Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Each One Different? I Stood In The Snow to Find Out.


I am making slow and steady progress with leaning how to use the new Macro lens. I have to rethink how I take a shot and what I think it should look like and how the ISO should be set and all manner of things.

So. Much. Stinking. Fun.

Plus I am finally learning Lightroom. I need about 24 more hours in the day. And I need to make sure that I sleep well. Yesterday wasn’t all that great because I couldn’t turn my brain off on Sunday night which meant that 1a on Monday morning found me out in the living room reading by flashlight. I felt like I was 10 again, under the covers and reading with a flashlight thinking that the Parental Units couldn’t POSSIBLY know that I hadn’t gone to sleep.

Yeah right.

Did I digress?

If only snowflakes would hang around until it is nice and warm. I didn’t want to take the time to put my boots on when I ran out to take some pictures so I just stuck my feet into a pair of my fake crocs and stood in the snow. The things I do for art.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Terrible Tiny Tiddlings

Still trying out names. Still no header photo to go with the still trying out names. Thank goodness I am not expecting anyone else to be linking up to this ridiculousness.

Blather of a slightly off nature.

I FINALLY put one of my Christmas Gifts to use this week. TMO and TSiL gave me one of these for Christmas…..


TMO has one and had be extolling it’s virtues for a long time. TSiL likes his ice cream.

Holy Mother and all the saints in heaven. The ice cream from this little thing is fabulosity itself. And so so so easy. I did elect to make the honest to goodness custard style of ice cream because, you know, I have to do it the old fashioned way just so that I can have bragging rights. Custard isn’t that hard folks. After the custard is cooled then it is just a matter of putting everything in the freezer bowl and turning the thing on and in 20 minutes or so….ICE CREAM.

No messing around with the ice cream maker that has to sit outside because it makes a mess. No more worrying that you haven’t done your ice to rock salt ration just right to get the coldest slurry possible.

I actually divided the ice cream up into single serving containers and froze it. It came out beautifully.

Next up…..Sherbet.


The bedroom is dark enough at night. The new curtain made a huge difference, that is certain. It cut the light coming in from the million candle watt streetlight. But just not enough.

But now….now I have finished the light limiting. You see, there was another window…and evil window…and I have killed it.

Well, I didn’t REALLY kill it. But I have, shall we say, neutralized it. When Chez Knit was built someone had the bright idea of putting a half moon window WAY at the top of the already very high dormer that is part of the front of the house. It is placed such that you cannot really put a curtain over it. And to put a louvered shade on it would mean that I would have to have one custom made. I do not want to spend that money thankyouverymuch. But that small window still let in a boat load of light. I had been looking at it and puzzling as to what to do.

And on Wednesday night, as I was sitting in Big Red alternately reading about the Oyneg Shabbos archive (just a little LIGHT bedtime reading) and looking at the offending window….the answer came to me.

This is what I made and implemented on Thursday.
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All it took was a piece of core board, purchased at Office Max, and the rest of the sheets that I used to make the curtain. I dragged the tall step ladder into the bedroom, I taped paper over the window and cut out the shape, transferred the shape to the core board and cut that out, ripped the sheet into uniform strips and sewed them together and then wrapped the board. I left enough of the strip at the end to make a rosette in the lower middle. I fitted it into the window opening and….VOILA! Darkness.

And it is REALLY dark at night now. I slept like a log.

Last night was date night here at Chez Knit. We usually either go out to see a movie or purchase one through Amazon Prime. Last night we made the bone headed decision to watch “Into the Storm”. Maybe I was dazzled by the thought that Richard Armitage was in it (Thorin Oakenshield from The Hobbit). Perhaps it was just that I had too much pizza and Stone IPA.

All I can say about Into the Storm is that you should not bother with it…or at least don’t pay for it. I did so you don’t have to. It is a combination of “Twister” and “The Day After Tomorrow” with bad acting, laughable script and big bang special effects. Good thing I didn’t actually see this in the theater because I laughed all the way through at the most inappropriate moments.

Oh, while we are on the subject of things to do to ensure a good night’s sleep. I have stopped reading my iPad just before I go to sleep. I read a plain old book.

I am sleeping like a rock.

My Bible Study group is about to start our new study…..Revelation. Yikes! The other night HHBL was telling me about something that one of his buddies is doing in conjunction with his bible study time. Have you ever heard of something called Journibles? When he was telling me about these I just knew I had to have one. Unfortunately the Journible that goes with Revelation doesn’t come out until March. I pre-ordered one and just figured that I would use a regular old notebook in the meantime.

You see, I am one of those strange people who love to write things out. LoveLoveLoveLoveLove it. In college I rewrote my class notes at least three times. A fabulous way to study! I write out passages and sayings that I find and want to remember. I have a large notebook full of them, all coded into different groupings.

Did I hear someone say Nerd?

I OWN my nerdiness.

I can hardly wait for my Journible to come!!

I might have bought some yarn…….SHHHHHHHHH don’t tell anyone.

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It was Pagewood Farms!!! Pagewood Farms no longer dyes sock yarn. I might run out someday. Oh the HORROR!!! My KnitSib Holly knows how much I geek out love Pagewood Farms and she kindly passed along the name of a place that was still selling it. Some skeins might have, without my knowledge, slipped into my internet shopping cart.

The one at the far end is calling my name with a fierce intensity.

Instagram. Because I am always looking to be the center of attention.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reunited And It Feels SO Good

One of the things that throws you when you move from one domicile to another is where to put well loved things.

The picture that has ALWAYS hung in the front entry just doesn’t fit there any longer.

The couch has to go in a different room.

Big Red…..was abandoned in the basement. We all know how much I love him. How he has been apart of my life, whether residing in various Chez Knit or when I was growing up and visiting him at the Grandparental Units house.

Big Red and I were like peas and carrots.

And then we moved from OCK to Chez Knit. And I was caflomoxed. I was confused. I was uncertain as to what to do. I just couldn’t decide what to do about Big Red. There wasn’t any chance in heck that he was going to be able to reside in the living room or the family room. His looks have suffered over the years. He looks a bit worn and shabby (don’t we all) and there might be some seams that are frayed or coming apart.

There was no place to put him upstairs. HHBL has his own well loved reading chair and the guest bedroom is small and already well stocked with a reading chair. So when we moved I, with a catch in my voice, told the movers (yuck, PATOOIE!) to put him in the basement for the time being. Oh he wasn’t stored in the unfinished side, he at least had a place to call home on the finished side. But he was lonely. I knew it each time I walked by and looked at him. We had no time together. There was no familiar WHOOSH of musty leathery air as I sat in his lap to read a book.

Maybe that is why Big Red has always been a “he” to me. I sit in his lap…..maybe we had better stop there.

Where was I? Ah yes, Big Red and his banishment.

Fast forward to Saturday. Saturday is always filled with all the things that don’t get done during the week, like laundry…and cleaning…and stuff. I was running in and out of the bedroom and all of a sudden it hit me. The set up in one corner of the room just wasn’t right. I had a bunch of old boxes stacked on top of each other and all filled with books. We are short of bookshelves around here. It looked nice…but it just wasn’t right. I stood there and stood there and puzzled until my puzzler was sore. And then it struck me, like a bolt of well loved leather lightening.


I wasn’t sure at first, not until I moved all the boxes and put their contents on the other bookshelves on the opposite side of the room. I took a look and had a thought and knew it was the right thing to do. Thank goodness HHBL was home because then I could enlist his help in hauling Big Red upstairs. I was so enthused about the project that I would have done it on my own (ask me some time about moving the LARGE wooden wardrobe all by myself from the second floor to the first) and most likely killed my back in the process.

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Ahhhhhhhhhh. The perfect place to do my before bedtime reading…and my afternoon reading….and perhaps my morning reading.

We are reunited! And may we never be parted again.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bitty Bits of Blather (Vol 2)

Still no picture, but then it has just been that kind of a week. Check out #3 to see why.

Blather to set your teeth on edge!

We have had Amazon Prime for a bit over a year now and I don’t think I can go back. Especially considering I have discovered Amazon Prime music.

How did I miss that I can stream tons of different music from Amazon? I know, I am sometimes a dim and flickering bulb that winks out at unexpected moments…usually around 9pm. If I have to pay Amazon for the privilege of Prime then I am going to use it for all it is worth. The only thing that I don’t take advantage of is books. I read a lot but it is divided between digital and “real” books. I cannot see paying Amazon $9.99 a month for that pleasure when my library has so many for free.

But I am trying to gorge on the free music. I don’t have to own all the music to enjoy all the music.

I go to the library just to return a book….and I walk out with three books from the library sale. I am hopeless. But they were books that I really needed!! Believe me, there were tons of books at the sale and I looked at a lot of them but I only bought three.

I have to rant just a bit for just a minute…or two. Again, I really dislike those individuals who come to the book sale with their little phone IBSN # scanner and rip through scanning all the books and taking out A LOT of books that you know they are going to turn right around and sell to someone else. It just chaps my big bahookie. I got stuck in the check out line behind a woman who was buying 200+ books. And she had also left a gigantic pile of books in a corner that she evidently decided that she wasn’t going to take. Those books then had to be re-sorted by the hard working library volunteers and re-shelved. Grrrrrrrrrr.

OK, I think I am done, at least until the next library book sale.

See, I really needed this book!
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And it was only $3. There are never too many knitting books.

We had a rather nasty scare with Max the Magnificent this week and received some not so good news from Dr. Jeff. First the scare.

Max sleeps in the laundry room on a memory foam dog bed. I don’t even have a memory foam mattress, but I guess that is beside the point. Early Monday morning HHBL went into the laundry room to get his running shoes. Max was fine. I go into the laundry room 10 minutes later and Max is NOT so fine. He has his head leaning up against the laundry room wall, he has been sick on the floor and it is obvious that he is disoriented. He wanders out of the room, through the kitchen and finally ends up in the living room, swaying and not really all there. Now I am scared. We decided that I would work from home on Monday to monitor the pooch and possibly take him to the vet. By mid-morning it was obvious that he needed to be seen. He was walking all hunched over like his belly hurt and he sure didn’t want you to touch that area. And he had turned up his nose at breakfast.

He had never, in all of his life, turned up his nose at breakfast or lunch or clandestine turkey stealage if he can manage it. I knew he was sick.

So off to see Dr. Jeff we go. It is a measure of how really bad Max felt that when we were in the vet waiting area with a boat load of other dogs…Max couldn’t have cared less. He laid down and didn’t look at anyone.

I was scared shitless. (Sorry, I said that word. It was necessary).

Finally we were in to see Dr. Jeff (whom we love almost as much as Dr. Jeremy) and after just a bit of feeling around in the belly area he looked at me and said, “I can feel something in there, around the liver area. I think we need to do an x-ray.” Can I tell you how long that wait felt as I am sitting in the front. And yes, when the x-ray came back it is obvious that Max has a fair sized mass in the area of the liver and spleen. And there was also a bit of bleeding into his belly, but not that much.

My heart dropped right down into my boots.

Dr. Jeff echoed what we already knew, that there wasn’t much we can do about this. Nor would we even if that was an option. Max is 13.5 years old and getting close to the end. But what Dr. J did suggest is that they give him a nice big shot of cortisone to see if that helped a bit. It is not curative but only palliative. And by gum it worked…pretty well. Max isn’t as energetic as he was before Monday but he is back to 75% and that gives us a bit more time with him.

Monday was a fairly sucky day.

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This is me being an Honorary Cheese Head. GO PACK!

It doesn’t take much does it.

Oh yes, and in case you hadn’t noticed.


Just in case you missed it on Monday.

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The first finished object of 2015. Rainbow Waffle socks of Awesomeness. And this evening I am casting on socks with this yarn, the first of my “Mystery Sock bags of 2015”

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I think I am just going to do a vanilla sock with a garter stitch short row heel…..but that might change.

Rule the sock world!

I started a batch of red wine vinegar back in July…..and then forgot about it. It has been sitting in my basement since then. LOADS of evaporation and it has a very interesting vinegary yet sweet smell. I have no idea if it is still good but we will see.

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Instagram. Because the internet is big enough for all the pictures
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

This Is Why I Am BEHIND the Camera

We all needed head shots at the office for the redesign of the website.

That meant that I took all the headshots…..

But my own. I tried to weasel of out having one taken….but all to no avail. The problem is that I couldn’t actually take my own head shot. So I had no control. And I had to explain to someone else what to do with Big Bertha.

Don’t touch any of the buttons except the ones that I show you!

Point it this way and put my head in this part of the view finder.

I hate the picture and I am not showing it to you and I hope it gets buried in the bowels of the website.

And of course I am betting that they won’t be willing to use THIS one…..

Silly head shot

But oh how I wish they would.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I KNEW I Would Use It Someday!

I think I have mentioned, somewhere along the way, the fact that there is a street lamp positioned perhaps 30 feet from our bedroom here at Chez Knit. It is something that we didn’t really notice when we purchased our little home on the hill. Why would we notice it other than to say, “Oh look at the lovely lamp posts!”. We always came to view the house during the day. The fact that the bulb situated at the top of the lamp post puts out about a million candle watt of light ALL. NIGHT. LONG. would not have been apparent to us until we actually slept here. And it wasn’t really apparent right at first even then. We had just begun to wonder about the overly bright appearance of our bedroom at 2 am every night when…..the bulb in the lamp post gave a fizzle and a wink and went out.

Oh how lovely it was to NOT have that lamp burning as a bright beacon of the insecurity of others in the neighborhood. When the annual meeting rolled around and others were complaining about the street lamp that was out…..we stayed silent. We had hopes that it would be permanently out. A dark hole in the overbrightness in our neighborhood that can probably be seen from space.

We reveled in the dark. We smiled fondly on the street lamp that wasn’t. We hoped in vain. Come summer, they fixed it and again the beacon of interrupted sleep shown into our window and lit up our bedroom like a Roman candle on the 4th of July.

And we did not sleep well.

And we were cranky…or more cranky than usual in my case.

In case you are wondering, there was a shade already on the window otherwise we would often be giving the neighbors who walk in the evenings a very rude shock. But that shade only cut the light somewhat. There was still light and plenty of it. What to do…what to do…other than taking the air rifle and shooting the lamp bulb out like some Light Activist Anne Oakley. The police station is just down the road. HHBL could visit me regularly. And it is probably dark enough there to get some sleep.

I struggled with what I wanted to do as far as window treatments were concerned. And lets be really honest here, I am a frugal person (Stop looking at the yarn stash! Nothing to see there!) and I didn’t want to just go out and buy something that I hated in order to cover the window and get some sleep. But it got to the point in December where I threw up my ample digits in frustration, went and got a blanket from the closet (a Mexican “throw” that had been in the family for years) and nailed it up all around the window to block some of the light. Our bedroom window looked like something from a frat house. And it cut the light…..somewhat…..and bought me a bit of time to figure out what to do.

The question still remained what to actually put up. As I was wandering around Target I came upon a curtain rod that I liked so that question was answered. But a curtain rod is not all that efficient without a curtain. And this curtain needed to be fairly light limiting. I was rooting around in my work space and what should I spy but a quilt top that I have had forever. It was pieced by my Great Grandma Maggie Pringle.

Maggie and AJ Pringle

Gosh aren’t they just the cutest. This is AJ and Maggie. She had the cutest little chuckle you have ever heard. Have I ever told you about the time they tried to teach her how to drive the car? She had only ever driven horse and buggy. She was behind the wheel of the car and attempting to put it into the garage and couldn’t remember how to stop the thing. She kept saying, “WHOA! WHOA!” …..as she and the car proceeded to go into the garage and then continued out the garage through the back wall. She never drove a car again.

I digressed didn’t I?

At any rate, when Maggie died several months before HHBL and I were married the family traveled out to Iowa for the funeral. After that was all done we wandered around her little place for a time just picking up mementoes to take home with us. I am sure if this happened NOW I would go for pictures and any diaries but then I just wandered around until I spied a quilt top sitting in a corner. It was sad and bedraggled and it was obvious that it had been finished but then someone had, for some reason I cannot fathom, cut a large chunk out of one corner. Really? But I took it and stored it away. It has been carted from Iowa to Illinois to the Frozen Northeast Ohio. It has been stored in one apartment and four different houses. Numerous times I have almost just given it to Goodwill but something always stopped me. And I knew that now was the time to use it. So I sashayed over to Goodwill and bought two very dark and heavy sheets to line the quilt top and give it some extra thickness. I sandwiched them all together and did a bit of sewing magic and……..

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I am completely in love with my heavy curtain. I would so love to be able to ask Maggie about all the squares and where the fabric came from. Can the dark come just a bit earlier today so I can see how well it cuts the light.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Tiny Tendrils of Tedium

As you can obviously see, I still haven’t come up with a picture header for this branching off from 7 Quick Takes. And what should I call it, this little bits from my week. Bitty Bits of Blather? Tiny Tendrils of Tedium? It will come to me.

Probably around 2 am.

Let’s talk about the weather. Let’s talk about the fact that the Polar Vortex has again descended upon us here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio.

Oh. Joy.

If you live someplace warm then I applaud your wise thinking. Yesterday morning when I arose from my nice and cozy flannel sheeted bed it was a balmy –2F outside. Oh how I LOVE putting on multiple layers early in the morning to go out and walk Max the Magnificent and then pick up the dog poopy tootsie rolls “straight from the maker”. That necessitates taking off a glove in order to successfully grasp the “stuff” with the plastic bag. Fun times when the wind is whipping up the hill and the wind chill is hovering at about –19F.

I keep telling myself….Arizona in a month….Arizona in a month…Arizona in a month.

But when it is 6:15a and still dark and I am freezing my big fat bahookie off it is hard to raise much enthusiasm. It is frozen.

The yearly house purge has begun. Some day I hope that I will not have to even think about a yearly purge. I will not accumulate stuff. I will have whittled down what we actually own.

We will be stuff status quo.

But not yet. There is a growing pile of boxes in the basement that are being filled up with this and that. When it reaches a certain critical stuff mass then I will load it all in Coco and take it to Goodwill. And then I will not shop at Goodwill for a while so that I don’t encounter my stuff there.

That has happened before and it is just a bit too Twilight Zone for me.

We won’t ever pair down enough to live in a “Tiny House” but I do hope some day not to feel so weighed down by the possessions.

I babysat my boyfriend today. The kid just cracks me up. Every time I pick him up from Montessori he looks at my car and says, “Your car is NOT red”, which it isn’t. He took one trip in HHBL’s car and he seems to expect me to bring that one every time.

It is a pain in the patookis to put the car seat in a Prius.

I just want to squeeze my little old boyfriend until he laughs and laughs and laughs.

Three year olds are so much fun.

So last Friday night HHBL and I went to see a movie at one of our local theaters. We are picky about our theaters…must have stadium seating…but that is a discussion for another time.

We went to see The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. Don’t go see this movie. And I say that as a LONG TIME Tolkien fan. I was a Tolkien groupie before there were Tolkien groupies. But the discussion of the movie is also for another time.

Let’s discuss what happened AFTER the movie. We leave the theater and walk back towards the main lobby, which is generally where we exit. Only we can’t exit there. The lobby is blocked off and we are directed to exit down a hallway.


The first thing I see, before we even leave the building, are two police officers right next to the door we are exiting from and they have an unmuzzled police dog with them. We exit and I immediately think something isn’t right. There are WAY too many young teenagers who are milling around outside the theater. And then I start counting the police cars…and stop after I get to 10. And then I see the group of 6+ police officers standing in front of the main doors talking to a group of teenagers. And then there were the other groups of officers placed in various positions.

That was when I grabbed the back of HHBL’s belt to let him know that I was, shall we say, really really really nervous about what was going on.

Call me paranoid but large groups of police officers at a movie theater on a Friday night makes me more than a bit on the jumpy side.

This is what we managed to miss by about 30 minutes or so.

Tuesday found me taking down all the Christmas decorations and heaving a big sigh of relief for another 11 months.

I always feel so good when I get the house back after the whirlwind of holiday decorations.

We all know that I have a weird obsessive drive love of knitting socks. I am about to finish my first pair of the year. Granted I started them just before the end of 2014 but they still count. I have decided for 2015 that I am going to do a bit of a mystery sock yarn thingy.

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Here are the first six skeins of yarn that I am going to be working on this year. But I want to be surprised when I start a new pair of socks so…………..

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They are now in paper bags and when I am ready to start a new pair of socks I will just pick a bag and start.

This should keep me going for the first six months or so.

Instagram. Because I have a driving need to fling the minutiae of my boring life out into the Internetz
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