Friday, September 28, 2007

Etsy Junkie

I started a new swap on

I'm as addicted to Etsy as I am to knitting/blogging/reading blogs/swap-bot.


My new swap is called "I Love Etsy" and you can sign up here.

If you don't know Etsy... well, if you're a knitter and read blogs and don't know about it, I'd be shocked.

Go to Etsy and discover your newest time-suck. But, man, what a way to go!

Loving the Etsy, Ruth!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Yea. I can't even say that word with a straight face.

If I can't simplify, I can at least make it look a little more organized. My closet...



I love bins. The two on the bottom (right and center) are all yarn. That's yarn from this year. Someday, I'll show you the bins and bags in my basement.
The ebay yarn store I have is a failed experiment (one of many) and I'll be shutting it down soon and just putting stuff on my blog from time to time. It seems like I'd sell just enough each month to cover the cost of having an ebay store. Anyway, all that yarn is in the basement, along with my already substantial stash. And I discovered hand-dyed sock yarn this year. sigh. I not only have S.A.B.L.E., I have S.A.B.A.L.E. (Stash Acquisition Beyond Anyone's Life Expectancy).
I am organizing a de-stashing (I know, I keep saying that, but it really is in the works).
Any good ideas on where to stash more yarn?
Just kidding, Ruth!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

J. O. B.

Awhile back, La asked how my new business was going. This is what I told her....

"No money yet. It's recruiting for a Medical Device Sales company. I feel like I've walked into the middle of a conversation. There were 12 open searches when I got it and now there's only 6 (happens all the time). None of our candidates were picked for the ones that closed. There's 2 that I'm fairly certain our people will be picked but the entire interview processes takes 60-90 days. It's a waiting game.

But it's very cool to wake up and a) have something to do during my day (something that makes money, anyway) and b) have something I'm excited about!"

The "middle of a conversation part" is so true. Imagine walking into a room and there's a man talking on his cell phone. You've got to not only decipher what the person on the other line is saying, you've also got to speak as though you know what they are talking about and then you've got to go and find 5 other people who know what he's talking about and add them to the conversation. Now multiply that by the number of open searches. Currently, there are 7. sigh.

My Blogless Rachel H. clued me in to the fact that I haven't posted in almost a week! That's so unlike me. Usually it's about 4 times a week. I miss you guys! Tomorrow there will be more posting and a clean(ish) closet.

Buried in resumes, Ruth!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dream A Little Dream

Hey, Marly! I had a dream about you this morning. It was so lovely!

I dreamed I was walking up to this huge yarn shop and there was a field behind it and a little to the left (or was it right?). Anyway. You were sitting in the field surrounded by about 50 knitted and crocheted purses. You were beckoning to me, "C'mon Ruth, we're about to get started!" You had this huge smile on your face (do you have any other kind?) and I couldn't wait to get over there!

That was it. Short but perfect! I took it to mean your Etsy store is going to be a booming success. Of course, I didn't know about your store til this morning.

I've always had these incredibly vivid dreams (in color, even) that I remember in great detail. When I read The Hundred Secret Senses, the older sister teaches the younger how to remember her dreams. She asks what the girl dreamed about. And what happened before that? And before that? That's what I've always done. Ever since I can remember.

I've had some recurring dreams too...

a) Nightmares from VeryBadThings that stopped with therapy and a good life.

b) I used to dream a lot about having to save people. We were always trapped in a big warehouse type building and someone bad was trying to find us. The people I was with were always panicked and paralyzed with fear and I had to be the one to get them out. Sometimes it was just one person, sometimes a group. Often it was a small child I was trying to protect. After Dave and I moved in together, these dreams stopped. Weird.

c) There was this dream I used to have when I was 5 years old and younger. I had this dream All. The. Time. I mean, at least 3 or 4 times a week.

I'd dream I was in this big square tunnel. There was this giant cotton ball blocking the tunnel. On one side of the tunnel, it was filthy - the walls were smeared with grungy dirt - and there were these creatures that looked suspiciously like the Cavity Creeps, only brown and rockier-looking. (Anyone remember the Cavity Creeps?)

On the other side was me. Tiny, under-5-years-old me. My side of the tunnel was white and clean. In the dream, I had to push the cotton ball and the Creeps were on the other side pushing back. There was only one of me and, like, 5 of them. It was really hard to push the cotton ball because, well, it's a cotton ball and it's soft and squishy - my hands would sink in to the elbows. Behind me was a giant, guardian angel being (this was before I ever went to any kind of church, so it wasn't any kind of religious being. I'm not sure where it came from). Some nights I was able to push the creeps, some nights they'd gain ground. The ground they gained would turn grungy and the ground I claimed would turn clean. The angel thing would never help me but would say soothing, comforting, helpful words. Some nights, when I was really losing, I'd beg it to help me. I'd be crying and my arms were like lead. The creature would tell me it couldn't help me but it was OK, because it knew I could do it. So I'd suck it up and try harder.

I'm not sure when that dreamed stopped. But whenever my life would suck or something would be really difficult for me, I'd always remember that dream. I'd remember the comfort I got from that winged being and I'd suck it up and keep going.

Do you guys ever have any recurring dreams? Do you dream at all? Do you remember them? Black and white or color?

Still crazy after all these years, Ruth!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hello? Are You There??

How to Get a Massage - Part 3

[Part 1] [Part 2]

Be Present

If you aren't present during your massage, you can't properly communicate your needs to the therapist. This is very important, friends. Contrary to popular belief, there is no psychic class in massage school.

I always begin a massage by saying, "If you get too hot or too cold, let me know. If you need more or less pressure, feel free to tell me. If you have any questions, comments or stories, feel free to share. If you fall asleep, I'll wake you when we're done." This lets the client know that it's OK to communicate. They can talk or not, it's up to them.

It's very difficult to communicate if you're plastered.

If you are going to have a celebratory Margarita lunch. If you are going to indulge in illicit (and/or illegal) recreational drugs. If you are on heavy painkillers....

Schedule your massage for another time!

Here's why:

If you've been drinking, massage is going to make you drunker, quicker. The increased blood flow that occurs during massage sends the alcohol through your system faster. Some may think this is a good thing, they don't need to drink as much to feel high. I can guarantee no legitimate therapist will agree.

The same goes with drugs. Even painkillers. I know if people are in pain, they're going to think massage will be helpful in relieving that pain. They are right. However, if they've just taken painkillers before their massage, they are not going to be able to feel the pressure properly, they are going to ask for more pressure then they need and they are going to feel like crap later. Sore and miserable. Usually the therapist gets blamed for this.

Another part of being present is being relatively healthy. If your therapist came into the room sniffly and sneezing or with a hacking cough that makes you think they should call a Dr., you'd be horrified. Again, like the unclean, it happens. All. The. Time. Being trapped in a small room with someone who is obviously ill (and possibly still contagious) is never a good thing.

I've had a few clients that I had to deny service to because they were obviously drunk. I had one guy who was actually imbibing while he was on the table! This was during the Gem show in Tucson. It happens every February, this Gem show. It's a huge deal and it's also a huge party for those who attend. This guy came for his treatment and obviously didn't want to be there (his girlfriend had booked them). He comes down the hall with a big plastic cup of soda, sipping through the straw. Once he's in the room, he looks at the radio and asks if we can get the game on it. Fine with me! It was the NFL Pro Bowl game and I was kinda bummed I had to be at work and missing it.

I left the room so he could get on the table and when I came back in, the cup was gone. I thought he'd thrown it out. When I finished with his back and started on his legs, I saw him reach under the table and heard him drinking something. He'd put the cup under the table and was drinking with the straw through the face cradle! I asked, "What are we drinking?" He said, "Long Islands." (plural, I might point out) To myself, I thought, "Drinking during the massage, well that's a first." The guy wasn't being inappropriate in any other way, so I let it go.

My friend, Grace, had a client that same weekend who was so wasted...
We didn't realize until too late. She wasn't slurring or anything strange, just a little glassy eyed. But she'd just had a facial and that's relaxing, too. Chalked it up to that. About halfway through the massage, Grace knocks on my door (it was ajar, I had that hour unbooked). Seems her client has passed out so hard, we weren't sure she was even breathing! She was. But, we couldn't wake her and we had to call security and an ambulance. Scary! This client was somewhat of a regular there. She was a drug rep and it seems she'd been secretly sampling her wares for quite some time. We had to call the police, too.

We eventually got the woman to wake up. We had to help her get dressed and the cops had to take care of her. The ambulance cleared her (the EMT told us, "She's not hurt, just a junkie") and the cops were calling a cousin of hers that lived in Tucson. They were telling him if he came to get her, they wouldn't take her in. I could hear the man on the phone asking, begging really, for the cops to take her to a rehab center. The cops explained how that would be a family matter and they, as police officers, had no authority to make that decision for her. It would amount to unlawful imprisonment and kidnapping if the cops took her to a rehab center.

Sad, really. Scary, too. She said she needed to get something out of her car, so I helped her walk out there. Her big-ass SUV was parked sideways across four spaces. Driving wasted. Fantastic.

In short, you want to be here for your massage. I mean, you paid for it, right? Why not be present enough to enjoy it!

More next week, Ruth!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Are You Still Here?!

What are you doing here???

The new is out!

Have I explained my love affair with knitty? I know some people don't care about it but I can't get enough.

When I first learned to knit in June '04, I read about knitty somewhere and went to the site. I clicked over there and this is the first issue I read. What a great idea! I was hooked. I immediately went and read all the back issues, starting with the first one. And I've got this weird, stupid ritual about it. (I know, so unlike me to be weird and stupid, right?) I have to read every word of every article before I can look at the patterns. This has caused me to discover some speed reading skills.

I submitted my first article to knitty a few months ago. Rejected.

That's OK, I ain't hurt. Much. Anyway, knitty's still top 6 in my list of fave mags.
Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting,, (love that they are monthly), the Anticraft (which has some really cute stuff up right now) and Family Circle (what? they've got great recipes!).

Someday, I'll put the article up here somewhere. Throws Like a Girl told me that someone made blog buttons: Rejected by Knitty, Rejected by Interweave, etc. That's a cute idea, but who needs that daily reminder on their site??

Btw, I have a new knitting sighting:
Hitcher 2 - Kari is washing up behind some desert truck stop and the woman at the counter inside is knitting. As Kari leaves, she thanks the woman but the woman doesn't respond so Kari just walks out. Camera pans to front of woman with knitting needles now sticking out of her chest. (Wish I could find needles that pointy!) Also, I think this is one of the few movies where Kari doesn't show her bewbs. But I've never seen the whole thing so I can't be sure.

Off to pick my new projects from the internets, Ruth!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Amazing T-Man

Trev drew a picture on the dry erase board a few days ago. I kept looking at it but yesterday, I really looked at it....

The man on the left is saying, "I see the chair."

The chair is saying, "Not exactly, you see the light."

Trev explained that the black squiggles on the chair are light rays bouncing off. This is something he remembered reading in a book 4 months ago.

Here he is, posing with his latest creation...

Also, in January, I got a free trial of a computer game called Bookworm Adventures. This bookworm has to travel around and fight different mythological creatures to save the princess. He beats the creatures by making words. He gets a square of nine blocks and each block has a letter. When you use a letter it's replaced by a new letter. You don't have to use "connecting" letters, you get to use from all nine. The trial was supposed to be a two hour trial but I discovered you get to play until you turn it off. We played for about 6 hours. We made it all the way through the first map. Then of course, when you get to the princess, she gets whisked off by a villain to a new map. By then, it was 9p and Davie was asleep on the couch and we made them go upstairs to bed.

Anyway, during the game, Trev started helping me. Here's some words he came up with....
Flight, Treasure, Quest, Pillow, Singing (also, when I'd come up with a word, he'd remember to add an 's' or 'ing'). He was 5 at the time.

He keeps blowing my mind, Ruth!

P. S. Love that game. Dave and I played for another hour and a half after the boys went to bed! It's about $30 to buy it. Someday....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pass The Soap

How to Get a Massage - Part 2
[Part 1]

Be Clean.

For the love of God.

OK, I'm not a Christian, so...
For the love of (insert deity or favorite yarn of choice here).

Picture this...

You're in a small, dimly lit room. There's soothing music playing, and you're almost asleep, anticipating your relaxing massage. In shambles a scruffy looking person. Their hair is greasy, there's some lunch on their shirt, and you can smell their feet from across the room. You realize, with horror, that this is your therapist! They look and smell as if they haven't showered in the last 36 hours and you don't want to be in the same room with them, let alone touching you.

OK. That scenario would probably (hopefully) never happen. Yet if you reverse the position of the players - it happens all the time. We would constantly get people on our massage tables who hadn't showered that day, who maybe just came in from a hike in the hot sun or 18 holes of golf. They are late from their game and don't want to miss a minute of their massage, so they skip the 2 minute rinse off shower and head right for the table. EWWWWW!

You don't need to shower 30 seconds before your massage (although,that would be ideal) but sometime between when you get out of bed and when your massage is scheduled - well, it's just common courtesy. And if you are late from hiking or whatever, you are much more likely to get your whole hour if you are a tiny bit later because you took a shower then if you end up on our table all sweaty.

The sweat makes it more difficult to massage. Not just the disgusting factor but it also makes your skin sticky and difficult to work with. And a swimming pool is not a shower, people. You sweat while you swim and it still creates the stickiness.

And the feet. Friends, I cannot emphasize enough, how important it is to wash your feet. Men, soap running off your body into the drain is not washing your feet. Apply soap to the feet, rub it in, rinse it off. That's washing your feet. This is a real sticking point with me as in every massage I give, I pay particular attention to the dogs. They take a lot of abuse and rarely get any attention. Every step we take is 3 times our body weight through our feet, when we run, it's 5 times. The feet need a massage. In the summer, as therapists, we get the nasty, black sandal feet and in the winter we get the smelly, musty, been-in-shoes-all-day feet. sigh. Wash 'em. Please. Even if you don't want them touched. Please.

The worst two I ever dealt with...

This guy had not showered and was sweaty. Sticky. And there was a weird odor in the room when I came in. (Never a good sign.) When I finished with his back, he told me I'd worked on him before, "about a year ago". "Did I?" I said as I undraped a leg.

Then the stench hit me.

So hard, my head did the involuntary snap-back. His feet. I think this guy actually had a medical condition but his feet were so bad, the smell gave me an instant headache and I became nauseous. "Oh yes, I remember you," I said, trying not to gag. Even if he did have a condition, I doubt it precluded him from actually showering as the rest of his body indicated.

The other time was also a guy (which is not to say I haven't had unwashed women, happens all the time). I was upstairs trying to see if my next client had shown up as it was 5 after the hour. I see he is running in and as he checked in, I went back downstairs. He looked vaguely familiar. When I went to the waiting area to call his name, "Ken." He stood up and said, "Kenneth. You're Ruth, right? I was in the class behind you at DIHA [our massage school]." "Oh yeah," I said but what I though was, oh crap.

No one ever wanted to work with this cat because he never washed (our classes would mix together in the elective courses). Sure enough, he had just come down from a hike and that's why he was late. (No shower. From when he checked in to when he showed up in the waiting room, there was no way.) I asked him to start face down and when I came into the room he was face up. He said he preferred to start face up. No problem, it's his massage and that's no bigee. But when I came in, he was doing these weird swooping movements with his legs (one at a time) under the sheets. "I like to stretch before my massage." Ooooookay. So I start to work on him. He's talking about the spa he works at in Phoenix.

I'm only half listening as I get more and more angry at how filthy his skin is. Sticky and dusty and sweaty and smelly from his recent 5 mile hike. When I have him turn over to work on the back of his body.... I almost threw up from the dirt balls I was rubbing off him. Dirt balls are created by mixing massage, massage lotion, and no shower.

I cut his massage about 10 minutes short, explaining that I couldn't go over because I had someone schedule after him. In truth, he was really only a couple of minutes late (which means he actually missed about 15 minutes of his appointment). After a massage at the spa, we step out of the room and get a cup of water for the client while they get their robe on and come out. As I was waiting with his water I looked down and saw one of his dirt balls stuck to my forearm. I calmly plucked it off my arm and put it in his water. I couldn't help smiling as I watched him drink it down. (OK. Not one of my finer moments but it was his. I was just returning it.)

I think what pissed me off the most with Kenneth was that fact that he is a massage therapist and should fucking know better.

Whenever I get a massage for myself, I try to schedule it so I can shower right before I leave to go to my appointment. Even then, when I get there, I usually go to the bathroom and rewash my feet. I love having my feet worked on and want to make sure they are ready. I definitely do this if I showered a couple of hours earlier.

I know. I'm being anal about this and driving the point home probably more then it needs to be. But y'all have no idea how horrible it is to have to work on the Great Unwashed. It's a matter of common courtesy and respect and in the end, that's all anyone can really ask.

Still traumatized by stench, Ruth!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Spicy Puncher

Thanks, Uberstrickenfrau, for another quiz I must take!

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.

You pull punches, but people still love you.

What Kind of Food Are You?

I think we're actually going out for Mexican Food tonight!

Feeling Salsa-y, Ruth!

P. S. Sophanne is having a contest!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Need Some Paper?

I love notebooks. Can't get enough of 'em. Little ones in my purse, medium ones by my computer, big ones here and there. I don't think I've ever completely finished one notebook. So I've decided to host my first swap over at Swap-bot. I put it up on Monday or Tuesday and there's already 18 participants. Pretty excited about that!

I've talked about Swap-bot before because I'm completely addicted to it. There's even a Knitting category over there! I've put my swap under the categories "Paper", "Books", and "Miscellaneous". I named my swap "Never Without A Notebook". If you want to join my swap it's here. If you don't already have a swap-bot account, you'll have to sign up for that first, it's free.

Dreaming of Back to School Shopping, Ruth!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Old MacDonald

Had a farm. And then he took his wares to the Parker Farmer's Market. The market is every Sunday from May through October. If you're lucky, you go on the day when a woman has also brought some of the bounty from her garden. Unlike the professional farmers, she's got no tent, no scales, no chair to sit in, no big table. Just a little card table and her sunhat.

I scored this enormous zucchini for 50 cents!! I wanted to make some zucchini bread and was eyeing the smaller ones (at 3 for a dollar). I asked the seller which she thought and of course she directed me to the biggest one. I thought what the hell, it's only 50 cents. When I got home to my cookbook, I found I only need 1 cup of shredded zucchini for a loaf! So I'll likely be making a LOT of zucchini bread and freezing it. Anybody want some?
Here's my little guy snuggling the zucchini...
Here his is showing how strong he's becoming...
I scored some multi-colored carrots (purple ones, white ones, and your basic orange) at another booth and bought them so the boys could see some variety. Here they are displayed by the lovely Trevor...
My skinny little man. He's wearing his swim trunks because he was playing in the sprinklers but came in just to model carrots for my blog. What a trooper.
I ended with a huge bag of fresh peaches. Love peaches. Can't get enough of really good peaches. I made a peach cobbler - wasn't too happy with the recipe, it was kinda blah. Anyone have a favorite cobbler recipe? I like a biscuity and/or cake-ish top, not a crumbly top. If you do, email it to me (Ruth AT 5elementknitr DOT com). Other then the cobbler, I've been eating one or two of these enormous peaches a day. By next Sunday, I'm going to need another bag!
Cleaning up the juice, Ruth!

Monday, September 3, 2007

One Man's EWWW Is....

Another man's YUM!

I was just reading JenLa and she had a link to this. It got me thinking of disgusting food combo's and what I like.

The worst food combo I've ever heard occurred at the grocery store:

Lady in Line in Front of Me Buying Peanut Butter and Bananas: I love mixing peanut butter and bananas.

Cashier: Me too. It's also good with apples.

Me: Remember Ants on a Log? Peanut butter on celery with raisins on top.

general murmuring of other peanut butter combo's

Cashier: When my daughter was in high school, she went through this phase where she loved to make tuna salad sandwiches. Instead of mixing in mayo, she'd use peanut butter.


Lady in Front of Me Saying What I Was Thinking: Was she pregnant?

Cashier: NO! (laughing)

Me: High? (to myself)

That is so gross, I can't even think about it without gagging.

Gross things (according to those around me) I love:

1. Dipping my chicken tenders/nuggets/fried weird shapes into mustard instead of ketchup.
2. Putting a slice of cheese on my tuna or BBQ pork sandwich.
3. Dipping my fries in my Frosty at Wendy's (salt and sweet can't be beat!).

Looking at that small list, no wonder I'm overweight!

My husband dips potato chips in ketchup. Ew.

What's your favorite weird food combo?

Off to Wendy's, Ruth!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Knitting Season

So this starts today.

Which means I'm going to get lots of uninterrupted knitting time! I'm calling this, "Season of the WIP's". I'm going to use this time to finish -

Bamboozle - started about two seasons ago of Lost. Can't watch Lost and do complex stitch patterns (read - anything other then stockinette or ribbing).

Mason-Dixon After Dark Nightie - wanted to finish this by the end of August. Didn't.

Twisted Cherries - technically, this sweater is finished (I've even worn it twice) but I've never like the length. I'm going to frog the bottom ribbing, add 2" of length and redo the ribbing.

Finish a pair of socks - whichever I finish will be my first pair!

Slogalong blanket - This is actually the Moderne blanket from the Mason - Dixon book. Another frog and go project. There was one skein of blue that I bought that is such a different dye lot it looks completely out of place. When I was photographing/rearranging my stash in anticipation of the inlaws moving in, I found two skeins of the blue! It means ripping out 3 skeins worth of Lion Brand Handspun. sigh.

I think that'll keep me occupied during the season. Of course, other projects will be started. Some Christmas gift - scarves and gloves. Not to mention the two new sweaters I'm swatching for!

And then there's this. Wanna play? Sign-ups are going until Sept. 8.
Here's my questionnaire for it.

1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been doing it? - Both. I learned to knit in summer 04 and have been obsessed ever since. I learned to crochet when I was four but didn't do it since then until I relearned a year ago.

2. Have you made dishcloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both? - I make them for our house and for gifts. I've also made Swiffer covers and my mom wants a bunch for Xmas.

3. What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ? - I'd like to try Cotton Chenille or Cotton Fleece. I usually use Peaches/Sugar 'n Cream.

4. If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles? - I prefer circular metal. I've got all my addi turbos and have just discovered the wonderful pointiness that is KnitPicks. I'm currently collecting the tiny (US 0 - 3) 32" ones. Saving up for the Options package.

5. What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much? - I love all colors, leaning toward jewel tones rather then pastels. I can't say I've ever purposely bought orange or yellow, thought I don't have any aversions to them. (Vague much?)

6. What do you like best about Autumn? - The season change. The colors.

7. Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks! - Pumpkin and Apple. Pecan, not so much.

8. When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day? - I loved school. My favorite time of year was the buying of the school supplies! I still get giddy when I get a cool-looking new notebook.

9. Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the timeframe of the swap) - Oh yeah! It's my favorite holiday and I think it should be a national holiday where everyone gets the day (and the day after) off! Even so, I'm not that big on the decorations. Just the dressing up and the candy!

10. If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose? -
Something sweet, something bread, something cheese. Sweet cheese bread? (ew!)

11. Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;) - I have 2 little guys (6 and 4) and one amazing husband.

12. If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why? - I'm a sucker for hand-dyed and/or variegated yarn. It's mercurial changes and unique colors remind me of my moods/personality.

13. Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths? - Dishcloths

14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays) - Halloween. Definitely! More fun and none of the family tension that forced holiday togetherness can bring.

15. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about? - none!

Whippin' out WIP's (theoretically), Ruth!