Saturday, March 28, 2015

Do As I Say and Not As I Have Done

Because I do not have anything else to do I have decided to rename all of the folders on my hard drive where the photos reside.

ALL of the folders.

That would be around 100 folders and all the sub folders that reside under them.

I thought that I was being SOOOOOOOO organized with my folder system. And I was, I really was. It isn’t that the folder system is all discomboobulated. It is just that sometimes when I was putting pictures in a sub-folder, I might give that sub-folder a general sort of name like “Christmas”. That generically named sub-folder could be found in the master folder named “2012”….but it still had a generic name that was the same as “Christmas” in the “2005” folder. And then there might also be a sub-folder in “Christmas” that was “RAW”. All this works perfectly well if you are just looking at the photos in the explorer mode on your computer. But when you decide that you are finally going to seriously begin to learn and use your Lightroom 5 software that you purchased…….well we won’t talk about how long ago……Lightroom doesn’t really like that way of naming your folders and sub-folders. Oh, it will let you do it that way.But it frowns at you when you do it. And then it gets confused as to what you want to do with all of these foggily named folders.

I am actually loving the way that Lightroom keeps track of photos on your hard disk and your external drives. But I want everything to work just like I want it to. And it wasn’t. It took me time and effort and reading Scott Kelby’s book (my Lightroom guru) and watching YouTube videos before the light dawned on me. I am slow but I get there eventually.

So besides the fact that I am trying to knit a sweater to wear at the Niece’s wedding…coming up in 7 weeks…and I might possibly want to knit something else too. And the fact that I have office work and Hidden Moments work and house work to do.

I am renaming all the folders.

Take this as a lesson kiddos. Be VERY specific when you put your photos in folders. You will be very glad you did later when you don’t have 50 folders all named “RAW”.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ding Dong the Beast Is Dead

In the appliance world here at Chez Knit, it is never a dull moment. Even though we now live in a small place (THANK GOODNESS) with fewer gadgets that can act up and stop working or work strangely (old septic pump I’m looking at YOU), that doesn’t mean that things done go BANG! on occasion.

Yes, it’s time for another addition of Debbie Deals With Appliances. Sigh.

You might want to get a glass of wine, this is going to be long…and painful. I am certainly having one.

It all started on Tuesday. An ordinary day was Tuesday. I was home in the morning, then out to spend some time with my boyfriend where we ate apples and watched Winnie the Pooh. Then it was back home for more “home stuff” before starting dinner. I had cooked a chicken earlier in the day and we were going to have fajitas for dinner. Fajitas require generous amounts of things like lovely fried onions and peppers. I set about doing that very thing. I should probably start by telling you that for some time now the right front burner on the Beast (as I shall now call the stove) had been, shall we say, temperamental. Sometimes is worked fine, most of the time it only worked if you had it on the “fires hotter than hell” setting. Sometimes not at all. I adjusted to it. On Tuesday it seemed to be in the incendiary mode which was good because I was frying onions and peppers. I had my earbuds in and was deep into “I, Claudius” when I heard what I can only describe as a sonic boom in my kitchen.

Mother Mary and all the saints in heaven, what was THAT!

It wasn’t good. The Beast was dead. Well shoot. I figured that something had caused it to trip the circuit breaker, which was true. But I couldn’t get the circuit breaker to go back on. Not good. No amount of pushing or pulling or muttering imprecations under my breath was going to make that breaker pop back into place. Thank goodness the onions were cooked and the chicken was all ready, HHBL and I could at least eat dinner. But what to do now!! We didn’t know, then, whether it was something with the breaker/outlet that had caused the death of the Beast or whether it was Sir Beast himself. Is the Beast dead forever? Do we have to buy a new stove? I didn’t want to buy a new stove at the moment. I am wanting Sir Beast to last for a bit until maybe we can remodel the kitchen at some point. But even if we have to buy a new stove it is worthless unless it can actually be plugged in and work. So the first thing to do was to find an electrician…..because we don’t actually HAVE an electrician at the moment.

Angie’s List to the rescue. I sent “Big Lou” an email and he suggested that I unplug the Beast from the wall and try to reset the breaker. Nope, that didn’t work. So Lou came out today to take a look. The outlet tested fine. The breaker wasn’t bad. He was stumped. But he unwired and rewired and we talked and badabing! the breaker could be reset. I gingerly plugged Sir Beast back in and gave a shout of joy when the digital clock flashed on. We were in business!

Big Lou did suggest that I not use the burner that seemed to be possessed. I thought that was a good, if very inconvenient idea.

2015-03-27 17.21.19

Just in case I happened to forget I employed the tried and true “cover it with electrical tape” method. All set!

And we would have been all set….if I hadn’t still been nagged about why that burner didn’t want to work. Not only didn’t it want to work, I couldn’t even get the housing to to let go of the burner coil. So I had the bright idea to open the top of the stove. It lifts up like the front hood of your car and stays propped open. Cool! I did that. I looked in…..

2015-03-27 15.45.53

Hmmmmmmmmm, well that doesn’t look good. That doesn’t look good at all. I may not be appliance repair smart but even I know that a pile of ashes inside an ELECTRIC stove might just be telling me something.

And then I looked up.

2015-03-27 15.46.06

Ummmmmmmmmm, that is really not good. Scorch marks tell you something. I think I found the source of the problem. Well, I am not going to use that burner anyway so all was good……..

That is until HHBL came home and I wanted to show him what I had discovered. I opened up the top of the stove (that was still plugged in by the way) and showed him the badness lying underneath. And I pointed at the badness……and I touched the badness….and giant sparks flew out of that place and landed on the floor. And the Beast was dead again. And the breaker was tripped and could not be reset.

Well shit. (sorry)

Lou will be coming back to our house tomorrow to re-fix and replace the breaker.

I can tell you that the stove is now unplugged and waiting to be removed. Yes, I know that it most likely can be repaired. But to have a repair person come out, charge me a service call fee AND labor AND parts would cost almost as much as replacing this inexpensive stove with another one. HHBL and I can do many things, but appliance repair is not one of them.

Home Depot is bringing me my new stove on Wednesday.

2015-03-27 17.21.11

Sir Beast you are DEAD to me!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Deep Sushi Mourning

Back in the far distant past, well OK really just Christmas of 2013, HHBL and I spent the holiday in the Big Apple. We hung with HHBL’s sister. We hung with Cartoon Girl. In fact, we managed to talk Cartoon Girl into spending an entire day with us doing all the touristy things that she abhors.

HHBL and I are the ultimate in touristy…..especially if it makes Cartoon Girl roll her eyes in disgust. You know my motto, “Live long enough to be a gigantic bother to your children.” As part of our carrot at the end of the stick for her doing touristy things with us, we consented to go to Cartoon Girl’s favorite sushi place, Sushi Park. It is….or should I say was… unassuming little first floor restaurant. There are so many of those in NYC, places that are unassuming from the outside but serve pretty darn good food.

2013-12-24 13.11.04

I don’t remember what this actually was, I just remember that it was pretty darn delicious. That is saying something because I am still on the fence about sushi.

This afternoon I got a text message from Cartoon Girl telling me about a huge explosion at a building in NYC and the collapse of said building. Lots of fire, multiple injuries.

You guessed it.

Sushi Park_edited-1

Sushi Park is no more. We are praying for those who were injured and for the business owners who have lost their livelihood and for those who have lost their place to live and all they possessed.

And Cartoon Girl is mourning her favorite restaurant.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Always Remember to Open the Box

If you are a seller on Amazon, consider this your PSA for the day.

Or your cautionary “Do not do what I did” tale.

Or your, Geez Deb you are idiot tale.

Take your pick.

I occasionally put something up for sale in the Amazon Marketplace. Not all that often but if I have something that I think will sell I go ahead. I had an old digital camera hanging around, not being used, so I put it up on Amazon to sell. When I say old digital point and shoot what I really mean to say is that it was the first point and shoot I ever had and it was given to me back in 2003 by the parental units. I will be honest and say that the camera sat in the box for three solid months before I got it out to play with it. I didn’t think I needed a digital camera.

I know. Idiot.

Since 2003 I have moved onward and upward in the camera department but I hadn’t ever actually gotten rid of this little workhorse. So I figured that I would put it up on Amazon and see what happened. I had the camera. I had one memory card. I had two batteries and the charger. By the way, I should tell you that all of this actually happened in 2013, before we moved from OCK to Chez Knit. Where was I? Oh yes, so I put the camera plus the batteries and the card up on Amazon and sure enough, someone bought it. A whopping $30 but that is still, you know, $30. So I wrapped everything up carefully and sent it off to the buyer, whose name I do know by the way but won’t actually put up here….although I am sorely tempted to do so.

Sorely tempted.

I sent the camera off and didn’t think another thing about it. We had just sold OCK and were in the midst of trying to pack up the house, find someplace to live and execute a wedding. We might have been a tad busy you know. Imagine my horror when about three weeks after sending off the camera I got this email from the buyer,

Hi! I want to return this camera for a refund because it is defective. 
I took about 100 photos that were put on a memory card which was already inside
the camera.... next, to charge thebattery, I took out the Canon battery that also
was already in the camera and inserted it into the Rechargeable Battery Pack
(wall charger unit) which is what the seller included with this camera as stated....
and finally I put in the extra battery which, likewise, was included with this camera
as stated by the seller. All 3 steps involved periphials which are completely wrong
for this type camera, and as a result: 1.) I've not just lost all my photos since
inside was a FUJIFILM memory card which obviously is not the original-and while it
may have let me transfer my photos to my computer and upload them via the
USB port-- this USB cord was NOT included, and before I could even consider where
to buy a replacement USB cable my photos were already lost so as this type
Fujifilm CompactFlash memory card went completely defective upon switching
the camera battery... as soon as I switched batteries and turned on the camera
I got a screen message "Memory Card Cannot be Read". 
Farewell, photos, and 3-4 hours of worthy time and efforts spent meticulously
shooting..2.) The extra battery, I found out while literally writing this.. 
is not even for this type of Canon Camera - it reads on its backside that its
"For: Canon POWERSHOT S100, S110, S200, S300, S330" and this camera is 
the Canon PowerShot S500. 3.) And, finally, the battery pack included was also
completely wrong--its backside of says its a "CB-2LS" model--again
different/ incompatible with this camera that expressly states it is "Powered
by rechargeable battery pack NB-1LH (included with charger)"..and To Note on
the above-- NO I also did not receive the aforementioned "charger" 
(..??) I'm definitely willing to work w/seller on the refund & leave pos feedback
too as I'm assuming this all may not even be their intention fault(s).Thank you ".
Holy Digital Destruction Batman! I was horrified at the thought that I might have contributed
to anyone losing pictures. But I was also confused as I had used this camera and both batteries
and the charger without any problems. They had all been kept in one spot and weren’t allowed
to breed with any other cameras so the whole business about not being the correct battery 
charger etc was a bit on the confusing side. I didn’t have time frankly to investigate further 
and I felt horrified because I thought that somehow I had made a mistake so I refunded her
money AND I paid her postage to send the camera back. She was oh so grateful. The camera
came back and I promptly threw the unopened box in another box and packed it all up to 
That unopened box has been sitting on my desk in my Woman Cave since August of 2013. 
I kept thinking that I should just open the darn thing and deal with it. I am usually not that
procrastinational about these sorts of things but in this instance I just kept shifting it from 
here to there. Then on Saturday I decided to actually open the box and do something about it.
And imagine my, shall we say, rather volcanic rage when I did open the box and found that
the purchaser had obviously at some point PRIED THE MEMORY CARD DOOR OPEN 
AND BROKEN THE CAMERA. What the ever loving! Oh, and she only returned ONE of the
batteries that I sent her. AND the charger was the correct one for the camera.
She was just a lying person who broke the thing and then wanted her money back. There are
words. There are SO many words. But I am trying to remember that this is a family blog. 
May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits lady!
Of course, if I had opened the box when she sent the camera back I probably could have done
something about it.
Like I said, Idiot. Both she and I.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March Madness

I don’t fill out a bracket for March Madness.

But if I did…….

It would have been blown on the very first day thanks to the fact that my alma mater, Baylor University, managed to lose a game that they should have won. REALLY BEARS!! 18+ turnovers. Missed dunks. Missed free throws. Ridiculous. And personally, not a particularly nice birthday gift to give me on the day that I turned 55. I was so made…..and I might have yelled a bit……and we won’t talk about the stomping of feet that might have gone on.

Max the Magnificent might have fled to his “house” (actually the laundry room) in terror at the display of temper.

Thank goodness there was knitting to keep my hands from trying to throttle someone on the TV.

2015-03-20 18.27.15

I might have bought some yarn last week.

Yarn diet? I do not know of what you speak. I really did try to find something in my stash that would be right for the sweater that I felt I MUST have when we are in Sedona for the Beloved Niece’s wedding. It isn’t like I don’t have yarn that would be good for a sweater or three. But there just wasn’t anything that screamed Arizona and wedding and Effortless Cardigan (by Hannah Fettig) so I just had to get on the internetz and order something. That is what the internetz is for right?

2014-12-25 13.40.52

Nothing is too good for going to see this girl of my heart marry such a wonderful guy.

And besides, I wanted to knit a sweater.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Snippets of Similitude

I might have talked previously about my obsession love for hand knit socks. We need not cover the fact that I might have forty+ a few pairs of socks in my sock bin. Skip right over that part.

2015-03-08 08.19.52

These may be the softest, most wonderfully cushy sock that I now own. The yarn is part cashmere, part superwash merino and some nylon. My feet wanted to love me forever when I wore them this week.

2015-03-12 21.47.09

These are the newest socks on the needles. Polka dot fair isle socks. Can you say fiddly and yet oh so obsessive knitting? The first sock is done.

2015-03-09 22.03.00

The inside is a pretty as the outside.

The second sock was cast on last Thursday and I had made it through one pattern repeat (that consisted of the cuff and four rows of dots) and I figured that I could try it on to see how it would look next to the other sock. I was confused when I went to put it on and it was too tight. Too tight to even fit over my heel. No way, no how.

I should probably to tell you new or non-knitters that fair isle socks can be a bit on the tight side if not handled/knit with the correct tension.

And now back to our story.

Puzzled a bit and wondered what had changed between the first sock and the second sock. The first socks fits like a dream. I always hold my yarn in the same way when knitting fair isle. My tension was obviously correct…..and then I remember one salient fact.

When knitting these socks you knit the cuff on size 1 needles and then you go up to size 2 needles for the body. I forgot, in my enthusiasm, to make the all important switch at row 13.

2015-03-13 21.32.31

Frogging back a Fair isle sock is not as much fun as knitting it in the first place.

2015-03-14 10.57.08

Despite my best intentions, this yarn just doesn’t want to be this sweater.

I will let you know a secret in the knitting community. Many of us have what might be called an UFO bin. That is not, by the way, a place where we store our extra aliens until we need them.

Un Finished Objects bin. If you are a knitter and say you don’t have one of these… aren’t being truthful.

I started this sweater……….a while ago. I have had the yarn for a long time. It was a gift from a friend who has A LOT of stash, trunks full actually. She came up from her fiber repository in the basement and handed me a big bag of Jaeger aran weight yarn. Oh it is lovely stuff. I was a new knitter and I didn’t really think about the fact that there was enough yardage in that bag to produce a MAN SIZED aran sweater with cabling. If you are not a knitter you are scratching your head at that. If  you are a knitter you are saying, “That is a boat load of yardage.” Yes, it was…and I used some here and some there and soon there was barely enough yardage to make a sweater. But there was possibly enough and so I cast on a sweater…..and I didn’t like it all that much but sometimes you just have to wait these things out. I got the body done and half way down the first sleeve and it was still Meh! to me so I put it down and did another short project (probably a pair of socks…or two) and then worked a bit on the never ending sock yarn King sized bed coverlet (yes I am crazy) and then Christmas came and there was knitting for that and then traveling which means socks. All that time the sweater sat, in plain sight, waiting to be taken up again. Every time I looked at it my heart went Meh!

What I really mean to say is that this sweater isn’t in my UFO bin, it is in my NGFO bin. Never Going to Finish Object. It still says Meh! to me so I am going to frog it back and put the yarn back in the stash for a bit. I still think it wants to be just a plain raglan cardigan but just not yet.

2015-03-14 11.53.30

And speaking of sweaters…….This came today.

You see, in May our niece is getting married, in Sedona. Even though it will be May the evenings are chilly and we will be outside a lot partying with family around the fire pit and dancing under the stars. We are so excited for this wedding and I love my niece even more than fresh baked bread so I thought I should have a sweater that was made just for this occasion.

Besides, who could resist a yarn with the name “Toad”. I have told myself that I can cast on the sweater when I get that darn second Prikkedilla sock done. HHBL is going out of town this afternoon and I can see an “Inspector Lewis” marathon in my future with the second sock prominently featured.

I really want to cast on that sweater.

2015-03-12 13.36.15

When others in the office are on the phone, I can’t concentrate on what I am doing. We have an “open office” environment. When I put in my earbuds and my hair is down……..

This is just so that Chris and Jordan don’t scare the everlovin’ poopee out of me anymore.

2015-03-13 11.07.58

Yesterday I might have gotten out the ice cream maker and produced something that tastes pretty darn close to a Wendy’s Frosty. Oh my stars and garters and all the saints in heaven this stuff is good.

Pilot Man sent me the recipe. He had kindly put it through it’s taste testing and said it was good.

He didn’t lie.

Instagram. Because that is what the iPhone is for, right?
2015-03-05 12.50.01-12015-03-06 07.53.32-12015-03-06 22.31.12-12015-03-07 07.53.43-12015-03-07 11.05.34-12015-03-07 12.32.02-12015-03-07 19.15.502015-03-08 08.02.25-12015-03-09 22.03.00-12015-03-10 13.48.18-12015-03-10 18.52.45-12015-03-11 11.47.38-12015-03-12 21.47.05-12015-03-14 09.25.25-12015-03-14 11.53.30-1

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Caught In the Act


I will be honest. This poor little icicle is no more. It came tumbling down off the roof several days ago and laid in a broken and melting heap for several days before the weather finally warmed up a bit.

I was not sorry to see him go.

But before he met his horrible, icy demise I spent some time leaning out of my bedroom window taking pictures of the drips. I hadn’t been planning on opening my window and leaning out, camera to eye, to take pictures. It is just that as I was standing there folding laundry I saw the drip form at the end of the icicle and then throw itself into space. I watched again and ran to get Big Bertha. There was some frustration at first because, no matter how hard you try, you are NOT going to be able to hit the shutter at just the right time to get the drip in just the right place. I almost gave up. But I don’t like to give up on things. It makes me angry to throw in the towel.

And then I remember.

I paid a great deal for a camera body that is supposed to help me do these kinds of things if I would only use it correctly.

Insert dope slap here.

Photos like this are what the Continuous shooting mode are for. I am not a huge fan of that mode, if I am being super honest here. It just means that I have to go through a lot of photos just to find one that I really like. But I am willing to use it when need be, like when I am taking photos of Cheetahs.

Fleet of Feet

I was just happy to have the cheetah relatively in focus. You should SEE the photos that my fellow PhotoSib, Erica, takes. Oh my ever lovin’ heck they are good! But then, she takes a lot of photos of Cheetahs. It might have something to do with that Masters Degree in Cheetah Conservation that she has almost completed.

Or perhaps it is just that she likes Cheetahs a whole bunch.

The ever popular wedding blowing of the dandelion. Not possible to accomplish without Continuous mode.


Just as an aside, I coordinated a wedding this past summer where there the photographer (who had never shot a wedding before and yes I know we all have to start somewhere) had her camera set on Continuous shooting mode for the entire wedding. All I could think was…too many photos to go through.

But I digress.

Even with Big Bertha set on Continuous it wasn’t as easy as you think to freeze the drip “in the act”. Thank goodness my neighbors, who already think I am a bit odd when I lay down on my driveway to get just the right angle for the leaf shot, could see me cackling with glee when I realized that I had done it.

It doesn’t take all that much to make me happy evidently.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Joy Overflowing

Mother Love_a

She has been through a great deal in the past two years.

A car accident and head injury.

Unexpected health issues.

A move from one state to another.

A baby already waiting for her in heaven.

But today we celebrated the soon to be arrival of this most precious and eagerly anticipated gift from the Lord.

Little boy Johnson you are going to be so loved.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Reminder of Where I Live

Parental Unit Papa drilled into my miniscule cranium, all the years that I was growing up,

Be prepared. Think ahead. Walk through the problem before it is a problem.

Remind me again that I live in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. The land of ice and snow. If George R.R. Martin lived in Cleveland he would never have even started writing Game of Thrones because he would know that Winter is Always coming around here. Always coming and never leaving and….

I digress.

We live in a small development where most of the residents are more Geriatrically challenged than HHBL and I. Not much more but more. I am not sure if that is the reason why the person who plows all the driveways does such an astronomically horrible job of it…..but he does. And when a driveway is not plowed well and then the person who lives in said house doesn’t go out and do a bit of work cleaning off the driveway and then the snow gets driven over time and again by various people and then there is a freeze and a thaw and a freeze and a thaw and driving and…..everything turns to ice that is as strong as The Wall.

Not that I would know anything about that.

2015-03-05 17.37.57

My Nemesis

You can’t really tell but the ice at this particular point on my gently sloping driveway is around 2 inches thick. It is thick. It is gnarly and it is clinging to the driveway with as much force as the Kardashians cling to fame. Dislodging it with the sharp end of a shovel only serves to dislocate my shoulder. At one point, I resorted to taking a hammer to it. My hammer is not Mjolnir (look it up if you don’t know) and therefore not as effective at breaking things.

Where is Thor when you need him!

Put some melty stuff on it, you are saying to yourself. And I would have….if we had any more melty stuff. And there, now I have circled back to the whole “always be prepared and think through the problem” that I mentioned about 10K words ago. Way back in the Fall, which I can hardly remember because the cold has lasted so long, I bought what I thought was an appropriate amount of melty stuff to get through the winter. That appropriate amount ran out about three weeks ago. As I shook out the last of the melty stuff onto the most critical parts of the driveway I knew I had gambled and not well. I have been deluding myself into thinking that we could get through the rest of the never ending cold and ice on the driveway. But I finally threw in the frozen towel this morning. You see, it is not a pleasant thing to have to go out of the garage in the early morning with Max the Magnificent hot to trot and have to restrain a dog with a sloshing bladder so that you can safely traverse the icy col. I am wondering if George Mallory had this much trouble on the Khumbu Ice Fall. After the latest near fall this morning I determined to stop at Lowe’s on the way home to buy just a bit more melty stuff.

The woman in the aisle, who by the way was setting up the display of spring gardening merchandise, looked at me with pity and just a bit of scorn. I felt rather like Oliver, holding out my melty stuff bowl and asking pitiably, “Please Sir, could I have some more?”

We don’t have any more of THAT! (as she glanced at the displays of planting tools). And I know for a fact that Home Depot, Walmart and Target are all out too.


Marcs was out, if they even had any. And I had to traverse all the darn aisles of useless plastic items just to figure that out.

I was melty stuff defeated and looking at the prospect of praying that I didn’t break a leg before Spring as well as wasting time tomorrow trying to find melty stuff. And then, into my miniscule cranium there popped an image. I am very good at remembering if I have seen something. And I remembered, just at that moment, that there had been a display of melty stuff just to the right of the door as you entered Heinens. Oh please, oh please, oh please let there be some. So I braved the Heinens parking lot at 5:15pm (you take your life in your hands at about that time) and went in and…..there it was. THREE shelves full of melty stuff. I restrained myself from falling on my knees in happiness and just stood there with a happy grin on my face before I grabbed a container, no better make it two containers, and went over to plunk down some money.

All I can say, after this rather rambling post, is that come October of 2015 I am going to buy a pallet full of melty stuff. As God is my witness I’ll never be without melty stuff again!

I might have been listening to Gone With the Wind for long stretches.