What a summer/what a bummer and What’s for dinner? (part 2 -long)



(Click here for Part 1)

What’s For Dinner?

I make some really yummy things to eat, even now that I am a diabetic and have changed my eating habits so that I can keep my fingers and toes and such. But overall, I’m just an OK cook. My Dad and my brothers are people who really love to cook, they really show their love to others through their cooking. My Dad wakes up every day thinking about what he and Mom are gonna eat for dinner, which – given that my mother takes a fair amount of time & caffeine to really “wake up”- has led to 50 years of him accosting her most every morning, right when she gets up, and demanding to know what she wants for dinner, which leads to a very blank and confused expression on her face that I find pretty hilarious these days.


Of course, Mom’s not wearing the hat or the beard…..

Now I might wake up thinking of food, but it’s a completed dish I’m thinking of, preferably one that could be conjured up and served immediately by the chef/butler we do not have. Since I’m the one who does the VAST majority of cooking around here, I have tried many different ways to make the decision of what we will eat easier, and some of them have helped. I admit that we go out to eat way too often, mainly because I just don’t wanna cook much at all anymore.  One of the things that has helped a bit has been subscribing to Blue Apron** for one week a month. Since I’ve been sick or gone so much this summer, I have not been eating the way I want to and need to, and we aren’t sitting down to dinner  together nearly as often. Fresh things are going bad in the fridge, mainly ‘cos I forget that I bought them. And there’s loads of things in the pantry that should be eaten as well. I’ve fallen into a very lazy & unthinking pattern about dinners around here that is not only costly to my wallet, but to my health. So here is my latest attempt to change this downward spiral & act like an adult-



If you click on the picture, you can see it better. I’m just happy to have a reminder of what’s going on foodwise each day. Studmuffin would rather eat chicken than almost anything else on the planet, ‘cept maybe chocolate ice cream, so that’s why there’s so many “Chicken Somethings” in the plan.  I have a lot of cookbooks, for someone who’s meh about cooking, so I put in “Use a cookbook” in hopes that I might try something new; it could happen. My favorite innovation here *has* to be “Pantry Roulette” – go into the pantry and see what interesting thing could be made from what’s there and the older the better. Please feel free to try this out yerself, or put in the comments how you deal with the daily grind of ‘what’s for dinner?’ BTW, it’s Crockpot Chicken Teryaki tonight. See? Workin’ already.


** If you don’t know what Blue Apron is, go to the website and check it out. I have some free meals from them to give away; let me know if you want to try Blue Apron in the comments section and if you live in the USA, I’ll send them your way.

Some Actual Good Things this summer

Singing with the band Kaleidoscope & becoming a much better keyboard player because the fellas let me play more and more, singing with One Human Family Workshop choir twice, been married to Studmuffin for TWENTY-EIGHT years, traveling to Dayton with Studmuffin, traveling to WV for the Studmuffin family reunion, the Force of Nature graduated from high school – in the top twenty of her class, taking the Force of Nature to Marion Military Institute for college, the Duke of Curl spent part of the summer working in Colorado, he came home and now is in school AND has a job, paid off a fairly large loan, going to Birmingham several times for Baha’i Ruhi Institute training, YARN! FABRIC!……there’s been good things, many good things.

THE END:A Real Grievance

The day after I wrote the previous post (The Gardening groove…) on this here blog, June 1st, my beloved dog Boris suddenly died. His sister Natasha has been ill/dying with a chronic parasitic infection for the last 3 years and we thought for certain, she would be gone first. We know their deaths are coming – they are 13 or 14 years old, and for their kind of dog to make it past 15 is quite rare, so we know it is gonna happen within the next 2 years certainly. Natasha, whom I have nicknamed “the Crypt Keeper” because she looks so bad – patchy fur, flaking skin and so skinny – is still living and quite happy. She gets all the treats now.

I has a sad....

I has a sad….

I think he ate something he shouldn’t have – probably some poisonous vegetation. He always loved to eat leaves and green things. I planted zinnias every year, not because I’m fond of them, but because Boris loved to nibble the leaves so much. Others have told me that Labradors tend to get stomach cancer and that is possible, too.  I did not realize just how sick he was until about 2 hours before he passed away; I spent about 5 or 6 hours that day driving the Duke of Curl to and from his dr.’s appointment in Birmingham; I would not have done that had I known that Boris was dying. We buried him next to Bluto^^ that night, and a week later I planted zinnias on his grave.

We won’t be getting another dog while Natasha lives; she’s elderly and sick, but she was the less dependent of the 2 and I think adjusting to a new dog would be hard on her. I will rescue more dogs after she’s gone, mainly because of this video: Shy Shelter Dog gets Adopted. But it will be a while. Emmy the cat was sick this last week with a bad cold and it brought it all back.

Boris was the dog of my heart and life is really not the same without him for me. I am reminded of him everywhere in our house and yard and all the streets nearby. It’s been nearly four months and I’m still grieving, which of course, I have mixed feelings about. There are so many terrible things happening in the world all over, and I’m crying about a dog. A dog who had a seriously wonderful life, who I was privileged to have in my family since he and Tasha were 4 months old. All I can say is that grief is the price of love and buddy, your death is costing me a fortune. You were the BEST dog for me and none of us will ever forget you. Thank you Borisman.


^^Bluto adopted us in the early Summer 1997 (est. 3 yrs old) – died January 7, 2010

DCF 1.0


What a summer/what a bummer and what’s for dinner? (part 1 -long post)


This has been one for the books. So let’s jump right into the whingeing, shall I?


So I’ve spent a fair bit of time this summer being sick and recovering from being sick. The only reason I’ve time to write today is because I have a cold and I don’t wanna give it to others, so I can’t go and do things, but I’m not so sick I’m gonna stay in bed all day. Studmuffin has had this cold far worse than I – I think I’ll be fine by Friday.


feeling yucky….

No, the mostest, worstest sickness I got was for about the first 2 weeks of August. High fever, then mega-chills, all over aches – I mean even my eyelashes hurt when I blinked. And I could not sleep for more than 30 mins to a hour at a time for nearly 2 weeks. I even went to the doctor, knowing that he probably could not help – it was a virus I was certain- but if it was one of the ‘named’ viruses*, I could be at least a public health statistic. But no dice – no help and an un-named virus, but he still took my co-pay (which has gone up about 30%) and suggested I come back in a few days if I was still sick. HAH!  I really considered going to the hospital, but then I remembered 2 things: I never get any rest in the hospital -someone always wants to ask you something or stick a needle into you the moment you’ve dropped off to sleep, and hospital stays are very expensive.

A friend from the next town over was in the process of dying, and I had previously promised his wife that I would sing at his funeral. He passed away & I was too sick to even go to the funeral, much less sing.  This is something I will regret for the rest of my life. Though I am very thankful that Studmuffin went in my place. No, he did not sing.

I lost 15 lbs. in 12 days I was so sick. I cannot ever remember feeling worse….and I was sick for all 9 months of my last pregnancy!


*Zika, Swine, H1N1,Bird, Spanish,Influenza and so on



The gardening groove is back!

vintage seed catalogWhen the seed catalogs start arriving in December, I start dreaming of my garden. I pore over the new offerings again & again – all those gorgeous photos! – and think back to what went well the previous year and begin my scheming. At least, that’s how it has been for the last 20 years or so…….until this winter.  The seed catalogs came in as usual with all their promises and blandishments, and I remained unmoved.  By the time March rolled around, I was seriously beginning to wonder at myself – what was WRONG with me?  I’d not spent any time at all planning the garden and coming up with a budget, much less actually setting foot inside the space, except to deliver kitchen scraps to the compost. It had been on my “To Do’ list for 4 months. This is so unlike me….

Friends and neighbors, I had lost my gardening groove. My well had gone dry. Heck, I didn’t even get excited when the crimson clover we planted as green manure bloomed.

This is not my photo or my crimson clover, but it does look just like this. So pretty!

This is not my photo or my crimson clover, but it does look just like this when in bloom. So pretty!

Still I knew without a doubt that come July, I was absolutely gonna want to eat homegrown tomatoes and a whole lot of them, so gardening had to take place. In a weird way, Facebook came to the rescue.

For those few who don’t know, Facebook will often remind you of something you posted in years past; they’re called Facebook memories.  I kind of like them as they remind me of how quickly time is passing, and not to waste it…. spending loads of time on Facebook in particular! Just before Mother’s Day a few weeks ago, Facebook reminded me of a post I had written about how I’d gotten all my tomatoes in the ground on that day in 2015. UH-oh!  I needed to get it in gear.

On Mother’s Day, I went to my favorite plant nursery (as did dozens of other folks). Such a lovely sunshiny day – really very cool temperature wise for Alabama in May (which truly freaks me out, but I’ll save that rant for later). I wandered on over to where the veggie plants were and BAM!  The switch was flipped – do plants give off fumes along with fragrance? – and Garden 2016 was ON!

I only bought 10 plants that day, but I knew that I had come back to my senses.

I’m doing things a bit differently.  Last year, I had 2 keyhole gardens, and that was a lot. I decided this year that I’d do just a few plants in the front of the house and 1 keyhole garden in the back since I still have mobility issues. For the unplanted keyhole I will continue to collect more “browns and greens” for it and maybe plant cool weather stuff there. I know, I know, I *say* I’m gonna do that every year but by the time I get to the end of August, I am tired of gardening!  But my dear friend Ellen had me chock full of garden envy last fall when she showed photo after photo of fall gardening success – I’m truly inspired. I’m dreaming of heads of lettuce and cabbage, and onions and peas and carrots….

As if to egg me on, the Nigella out front bloomed right after and was its usual spectacular & freaky self.

Nigella alba, aka "love-in-a-Mist"

Nigella alba, aka “love-in-a-Mist”


Buon appetito! – A Food Vignette

beautiful foodOver Mother’s Day weekend, Studmuffin made Angel hair pasta and sauce. It was yummy but he made a HUGE amount of pasta -far more than we could or should eat, so he suggested I make a baked pasta casserole of some type. The last few days have been quite warm – almost ‘normally’ warm, which we are unused to because it has been such a cold spring…….I had no desire to heat up the house by baking something in the oven when it’s 90 degrees F (32 degrees C)!



Ten fer Tuesday – 10 things to make yer life better

It’s been quite a while since I posted this. I was thinking of editing it, adding new stuff….but after messing with it for a while, I didn’t improve it any, so here it is. Hope you enjoy it – even tho’ it *isn’t* Tuesday. xxxooo

Knitting & whingeing in Abalama-ding-dong


  1. laugh & be silly      721510105_b314546e17_mkids_laughing


Are you smiling yet?


Really, if you aren’t smiling yet, you need to go do something silly immediately!! A few more for you “hard cases”…


2.   sing/make music/hear live music

Making music is a human birthright and do not let “performance anxiety” get in the way of that.  Listening to recorded music is wonderful…but it won’t make your life better in the way that making music does. Yer not performing at Carnegie Hall, so silence yer inner critic and make some music EVERYDAY.  And then make a date to go out and HEAR some live music; there’s just something about that energy that is good for the soul.

3.  STOP watching the news

Yup, you really can and still be a well-informed individual.  You can read the news and you’ll get more out of it I reckon.  I dare you to stop watching tv/online video news…

View original post 326 more words


New post – old project

Ok so I lost my mind during March, maybe several times. It’s been an odd time for me – everything’s ok in general, but I’m not feeling normal… I’ve done almost nothing abut gardening which is SO UNLIKE ME.  SOmething’s up, but I dunno what it is.

There is almost no knitting getting done, so I thought I’d share a sewing project I did quite some time ago.



Emmy the Rascal

Emmy's spot

Emmy the Ferocious, next to the only houseplant I have ever been able to keep alive for more than a year. I can hear you scoff and say, “But it’s an Aloe plant! Anyone can grow an aloe plant…” To which I say, “Hah! I’ve killed many before now.”

I had to take a few photos this morning of Emmy, our young cat.  The above picture shows her in one of her favorite places: sitting in the sun in what used to be called a “picture window”. Now I know it doesn’t seem too sunny in the photo; that’s because it’s a cell phone photo and today, everything looked really terribly blue. So then I tried fixing it, and even though the picture isn’t “fixed”, I got a nice effect.

Still, all of that isn’t the reason I needed to take pictures of her today. As I was puttering through the house this morning, I noticed a new behavior from her…that I think is cute. Therefore, the next photo:

Another photo I tried doctoring to better show what I see. I'm not very skilled at this, obviously.

Another photo I tried doctoring to better show what I see. I’m not very skilled at this, obviously.

She has her front paws resting on the window with the sheer curtain inbetween! I’ve never seen her do this before today….

A little closer. Friends, my curtains are a turquoise batik! And the sheer curtain is white......I give up.

A little closer. Friends, my curtains are a turquoise batik! And the sheer curtain is white……I give up.

I think its adorable. I am hoping she wont leave holes with her claws in the sheer curtain.   Of course, when I tried to get a little closer, the act of taking the photo disturbed the subject-

This one's the closest to the real colors in my opinion, except her eyes are very yellow in real life.

This one’s the closest to the real colors in my opinion, except her eyes are very yellow in real life.

Then she hopped down and then back up to her truly mostest favoritest spot: the ironing board.

Emmy the Rascal on the ironing board

Emmy the Rascal on the ironing board. This photo is unaltered- can you tell? lol

This ironing board no longer stays up by itself, so we have a “C” clamp that we use to keep it up. It’s a little bit of a hassle to take down and put it back up again, so sometimes it stays out in the living room like this for several days at a time (especially if I’m into a sewing project). Doesn’t everyone?  I put an old towel over the board when I’m not using it to keep the cat hair off of the surface. Then somebody put this polar fleece scrap on here (the red fabric); I’ve no idea why.  I sometimes wonder what the cats think about the appearance and disappearance of this favored cat perch…..

Still Life with Cat and Iron

Still Life with Cat and Iron


Have a lovely day, and take some time to dance.🙂

dancing stick figure


By the way, I **COMPLETELY** missed my TENTH Blogaversary…It was in January. Which seems completely in character. Maybe I’ll do a bunch of giveaways or something…for the Eleventh.  xxxooo

2014 kNIT WRAP-UP [very long post]

Yeah, I know. It’s 2016 already, so I’m very late (this isn’t news).


And of course, an end-of-the-year wrap-up is NOT a groundbreaking blog post idea certainly.  But I find it helps me see 1) what I’ve been accomplishing for good or for ill, and 2) how much yarn I will actually use in a given year – which is a serious curb on any urge to enhance the stash. I have NO BUSINESS buying more yarn!  Except maybe more Ultra Alpaca……. Since this is SUPPOSED to be a knitting blog primarily, it’s ACTUAL KNITTING CONTENT. So there. I hope you’ll enjoy it anyway.

Why is this not about 2015’s output? I’ll tell you at the end…a payoff for slogging through all the rest of this.



Yes, the past matters. A BUNCH.

I was reading this good article about Woodrow Wilson’s legacy at Princeton (The Chronicle: Don’t Repress the Past ).  I sometimes read the comments, though sometimes that *Really* isn’t a good idea because people will say the most awful things to one another sometimes.  However, I came across this and it really sparked something in me. Here it is:

“Why. Who is being ‘degraded’ by having a building named after W. Wilson. I am no fan of the late POTUS but give it a rest. It was almost 100 years ago. Isn’t there a statute of limitation on this kind of thing? “

IMO & my experience, I think there are lots of people who feel this way, and I wanted to give a somewhat serious response, which is below. Don’t worry, there will be knitting content in the next post, I imagine.🙂


I replied:

Ummm. No. There isn’t a statute of limitations, so long as we teach US History and deem it useful. What kids in the US – to this day!- haven’t heard “Remember the Alamo!” Or what about all those much more recent memorials for 9/11 that say “Never forget!”? Or is it just that those who have been oppressed should forget?


And who is being degraded, you ask? Every single one of us who considers ourselves an American, regardless of race, religion, creed, or origin.  Perpetuating lies when we know better/different – because it’s more comfortable and/or easier for some – makes us all accomplices to those lies AND it continues the wounding the wronged.

Here’s an analogy that may be useful in better understanding this issue. Just imagine if your whole life growing up, people told lies about your family. These lies are a hundred years old, but people still tell them. You know that what people say is not true, but the majority of the people you interact with, day in & day out, believe those lies to be true. When new people meet you, they hear your last name and they immediately say, “Oh are you one of that family?”  referring to your family’s untrue but widespread reputation. If they don’t ask out loud, it is clear from the look on their faces, that they are thinking about those lies, and it affects they way they treat you.  People you know well and have come to trust have learned that these lies are not true, mainly because you have taken the time to educate them, and to show them the proof that they are untrue. You do it, so you won’t go nuts, but you get damn tired of having to prove yourself over and over again to everyone. If an opportunity came along to educate the vast majority of people, to prove that the lies are untrue, do you think that you would take that opportunity?  Or would you listen to those who say,”Just forget about it. It’s untrue anyway. What’s the big deal? That was all a long time ago….”


In the instance of the buildings, YOU may not care because it wasn’t you that has been wronged, but to those who have been wronged (and continue to be), it . does matter and it will continue to matter.


My cat is a BOSS!

Kali, my mushroom colored calico cat, in the last 24 hours performed a rather amazing feat.


This is a rather awful Instagram shot of my BOSS cat, Kali.

We’ve had Kali for about 6 or 7 years (or perhaps even longer…I don’t remember) and she started off as a complete ‘fraidy cat – she wouldn’t come out from under the Duke of Curl’s bed for the first month for almost any reason.  Over time, she’s developed her own kind of boldness – the dogs leave her alone – but she still gets bullied by our much younger cat, Emmy.

About 3 or 4 months ago, the Force of Nature noticed something about Kali, and it wasn’t good news.  A little wart-like growth she had on her rear right flank that she’s always had, had grown into a rather large, hairless pink tumor like thing and it was ugly, veined and growing.  By last night, I would’ve estimated it was close to the size of a half-dollar coin. I’ve been sad about this because I cannot afford to take her to the vet for any kind of treatment for it, and I figured it would either kill her or eventually, if she was in pain, we’d have to euthanize her. Neither prospect filled me with joy as you might imagine.

So tonight, Studmuffin, the Force of Nature and I were in my bedroom relaxing and chatting – Kali was in there too, sleeping as per usual. The FoN went to look at the growth…and  and cried out – it was GONE!  I went to look – a thorough examination I made of it too – I couldn’t believe my eyes; it is gone. It almost looks like a surgical scar with stitches recently removed – I think she must have chewed it off or somehow convinced the other cat to do it…..

Who ever heard of such a thing?  Not I, certainly. I try to  imagine what it would take to chew something like that off; I haven’t got the guts to do it.Anyway, the growth is gone completely and it’s probably likely she’ll live healthy and a good deal longer.


And like I said – my cat is a BOSS.

Don’t scoff at my poultice, please.

No, my poultice did not look like these – WAY uglier.


I’m a little bit allergic to fire ants and yesterday I got 6 bites on my left hand, 3 on the same finger. Man, that finger hurts & it’s pretty swollen…but better today since I soaked the hand in hydrogen peroxide & after I put a poultice on the bites.

Yes, that’s right – a poultice. Studmuffin, who did NOT grow up in the country, makes fun of my poultices and herbal things. He is a bad man.

I think of……

There’s a website I like – http://www.nineteenmonths.com/
really lovely photography on it, and they just started asking some writers to read a quote from the Baha’i Scriptures, then write 95 words about it. Here’s the quote for this round:

“O My servants! Be as resigned and submissive as the earth, that from the soil of your being there may blossom the fragrant, the holy and multicolored hyacinths of My knowledge. Be ablaze as the fire, that ye may burn away the veils of heedlessness and set aglow, through the quickening energies of the love of God, the chilled and wayward heart. Be light and untrammeled as the breeze, that ye may obtain admittance into the precincts of My court, My inviolable Sanctuary.”

 (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p 322-3)


I decided to write my own 95 words. Here they are:

I think of the earth and how we can be as reconciled and meek as she – quite unfamiliar territory! Still, she is the source of our material well-being, our treasury. What power she holds in her meekness.

I think of the hyacinths coming up so early in the spring – their shape so unusual, colors so bright, that the eyes will find and must take notice, with fragrance so powerful and heady – like an open bottle of perfume the Supreme One hid here to remind us again of His constant love and presence.


I notice…

I notice the ridges in my fingernails
‘A ha!’ I think, yet another sign of age
I am, by turns, horrified and fascinated
By these ever more numerous energetic strands of hair that surprised my little brother.
‘Oh! Silvery!’ he said, while sporting some of his own in his beard.
Now that my steps are limited to daily dozens – I am, of course, grateful for them and parsimonious with them – still…
I wonder how many more I might yet make?

Attack of the SUPERcold

So, you’ve not heard from me lately for a few reasons:

  1. I’ve been working on an end-of-2014 post. It *is* almost done…..
  2. My family has been laid low by the SUPERcold (more on that in a minnit)
  3. Hence, I cannot concentrate much at all.

Studmuffin came home early last Wednesday feeling poorly and proceeded to infect the rest of us. Thanks hon! I call this a SUPERcold because its symptoms are multitudinous* and lingering.  I do not have it as bad as the others, but it is working thru my system much more sluggishly than everybody else; they had 2 days of fever, aches & chills & I’m now on day 4 of fever, aches and chills. Grrrrrr….. On top of this, I cooked something that really didn’t agree with me & so has just added to my misery. And it’s raining. And bloody cold. Yay!  Ain’t I just Miss Merry Sunshine today?

So I’ve been knitting some & binge-watching TV programs.  I’ve watched almost all of the Great British Bake Off – yes, all 5 series – and all of Outlander.## Now that I’m thru with those, I’m reading sewing blogs, which is by turns satisfying & highly frustrating at the moment.  I love catching up with all the different sewist blogs I read (like 30 of them…) & getting inspired by what people are doing, really wanting to sew but I don’t feel well enough to actually do any of the activities that comprise sewing – even little bitty things.

So until I feel better……..sending love out into the Universe for all y’all.


* symptoms: sore throat, fever, chills, aches, malaise, runny nose, sneezing, hacking cough, watering eyes, serious sinus pressure. When I lay down, I can hear my sinuses bubble. Did I mention all of the phlegm…..?

##By the way, you ABSOLUTELY ***need** to watch the Great Comic Relief Bake Off from last Wednesday with Dame Edna Everage. I laughed so hard I thought that I was gonna have a stroke!

I’ve been blogging for HOW LONG?!?!?

I swear I’d lose my head if weren’t attach-….HEY!!!!


The Yarn Harlot was just celebrating her most excellent blog’s anniversary and it made me curious: how long have I been blogging now?

It’s not how you feel, it’s how you LOOK….

I went back to the first place I blogged (Livejournal – it’s still there…..if you look for it) and saw the date:

THAT’S NINE YEARS! I have to go lie down now…..

Perhaps not *quite* like this……



Actually when I think of her success (the Yarn Harlot’s) in blogging, I feel like this:


I’ve been blogging only 2 years fewer than she has…….how come? Why not me?

But then I remember:

  • she’s far more regular in her postings than I
  • she’s a better knitter than I am
  • she’s far FAR funnier than I am
  • oh yeah: she’s a WAY better writer – she’s been Canada’s top blogger of any kind for years!

When I think of why I started; I didn’t start this blog to get famous or a livelihood or nuthin’.  I did it because my friends Meg & Joe thought it might be fun for me.


I’m tickled that ANYBODY reads this!

Thanks for everybody sticking around at all through this time. Who knows? I might go another nine years….

Happy blogiversary to me!!!

Now go read the Yarn Harlot’s blog.🙂

Happy birthday to me!

Yup – I had a birthday last weekend and I’m VERY GLAD to be ALIVE for another year.  I even got some prezzies!!! I got  some books, some earrings and some YARN!

Perhaps I don’t need quite this many candles…..

And instead of cake, I ate a WHOLE package of sugar-free peanut butter wafer cookies. It might not sound celebratory or decadent to you but I really dug it! Then the next day, I went up to southern Tennessee and did some singing with New Jubilee Baha’i Gospel Choir; Studmuffin came along as a gift to me.  I even had somebody tell me that I don’t look as old as my age – for REAL!  That’s never happened to me before.  All good for me on the birthday front!!

So here’s some photos (which I did not take myself FYI)  of the yarns I got:


Happy Hallowe’en….sort of…..

So I love Hallowe’en; I know yer shocked.  I love it SO much that I’m one of the few who still bother to put in the apostrophe in it, which believe you me, SpellCheck simply loathes. Anyway, this is the first year in more than 20 that I haven’t had a kid dressing up to go Trick or Treat-ing. All my progeny are too old! But there were still a few preparations to be done:

  • last night I did my annual Hallowe’en Blues show on WJAB.  During this football season, the first 1/2 hour of my show is now a sports talk show. I know it is of limited duration; I’m really missing that 1/2 hour & never so much as last night.

screaminjay (more…)

A little something for Friday & October birthdays


I say- whilst listening to some pretty amazing Austrian yodeling on Spotify: “Someday, before I die, I’m gonna learn how to yodel.”

The Duke of Curl (sitting nearby at the kids’ ‘puter): “It’s not that hard.”

Me: “Really?!  Can you do it?”

Him: “No.”

Me: “Then how do you know it isn’t hard?”

Him: “If you can teach it to hillbillies, it can’t be that hard…”


 He has taught himself how to do Tibetan throat singing. WONDERFULLY weird.

I come from a long line of Northern hillbillies, known as “townies”, and even though he doesn’t like it when I say so in this context, Studmuffin’s family is from West Virginia, he himself was born in WV and his parents are first cousins by marriage. Plus we have had – for months – a non-working car in the yard. It isn’t up on blocks, though…..

My little knitting group hasn’t been meeting regularly, but  3/4ths of the group did get out this past week and it was lovely to see them.  One of the the 2 ladies with the same first name, who now has the blog nickname of “SaTwo”, was delighted to show me a “yarn crime”, reminding me in the process that it’s been AGES since I did a yarn crime post. Duly noted and I’ll get right on it…perhaps for Hallowe’en or sometime in November…..  Here’s what she showed me:

yarncrimeOct2 yarncrimeOctdrawn

I drew the black marks -fyi.  I love this designer most of the time, but this time…..no. Just no.  I asked the Duke of Curl for a caption, he said, “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. sick boots.”

Have a lovely weekend and very happy birthdays going out to ALL the friends and family having October birthdays.🙂


This lengthy blog pause has been brought to you by…..

….a whole bunch of things – let’s call it a life tsunami..perhaps tsunami is too big, the wrong scale for what’s been happening, but I’ve been really SWAMPED and overwhelmed.the-wave

I’ve been missing y’all though. So even though my darling readers (both of you) really deserve an extensive update, I’ve not got it in me.  Still, going with the idea that something is better than nothing here’s what I can give tonight: BULLETS.

  • My mobility from the end of February to early August was next to nothing – lots of pain & very hard to get around at all. That, coupled with increasing incontinence (I know – TMI!- but hey….), made gardening this season a joke – even with 2 beautiful keyhole gardens. That’s why no gardening speak on de blog. Sorry ’bout that. I hope to talk some about the garden in the next month, including the story of what happens If You Ask an Engineer to Design a Bean Trellis….
  • Modern medicine to the rescue -I got a steroid shot in the right ankle & another pill to take (vastly decreasing the incontinence(!) at the end of July and therefore was able to go on the first One Human Family Workshop Choir Harvest Tour – the first one in 9 years by my count. The ankle is still going pretty good and I no longer have to carry a towel and a spare set of clothes with everywhere I go…..


  • Sang way too many low notes on tour ( I spent a good deal of time singing BASS – can you say ‘stoopid’? – & then talked my face off til 2 and 3 and nearly 4 am most nights…so the voice was TOAST when I got back home.  Then I got summer bronchitis….still coughing up nasty stuff 3 weeks after the course of antibiotics and do not have my high notes back yet…..
  • Celebrated TWENTY YEARS of NOT SMOKING on Labor Day weekend. Thank you God so much.
  • I’m still knitting on my Shaelyn shawl…which I’m thinking I will give to a dear friend instead of it being for me.  I had to tink back about 8 or 9 rows because of some really stoopid mistakes, but all is well and if I really knit on it every day I’ll have the knitting done in 5 to 7 days.
  • I’m most of the way thru the foot of a sock in a retina searingly bright neon sock yarn ( I just realized I have not even put a project page in Ravelry for this yet….aack!) and gonna try out the Fish Lips Kiss Heel on this pair.
  • I’m on a hat kick…again.  I’ve made 8 hats since January – here’s a few:      .. . . …. I’ve got one on the needles right now in lovely squishy Brioche stitch and gonna make AT LEAST 5 more pretty soon.  More & better pictures will happen…at some point. STOP LAUGHING!
  • Number One Son is supposed to move from NYC to Northern Virginia soon.  I hope all goes well.
  • The Duke of Curl was supposed to start college this fall as a computer science major, but decided at the absolute very last minute NOT to take on the $10,000 debt( and not allow us to take it on either) that would’ve been necessary for that to happen.  SO he will start at community college in January and is currently looking for work and generally being a sweet fella to be around.
  • The Force of Nature is focused on going into the Coast Guard after graduation from HS in a couple of years – more specifically the Coast Guard Academy and has been visibly doing HOMEWORK and has started running for actual exercise 3 days a week; she informed me today that she is on the A/B honor roll.  We are beginning to think some kind of alien abduction/ switcheroo kind of thing took place while we were in the bathroom probably…..
  • Studmuffin is still sticking with most of my dietary changes and so has lost about 25 pounds.  He has also discovered a deep and voracious love for grapes. Eating about 5 lbs. per week with little help from the rest of us.  I’m not complaining – just a bit amused.
  • The last 3 weekends I was off doing singing things – that’s an unusually high ratio even for me. I will write about 2 of the weekends for sure and soon.
  • The pets are endlessly amusing and every one of them sheds a bunch.  I am sick and TIRED of hair control….. Still, they continue to be charming. Currently, the are two cats surrounding the keyboard, the younger one keeps tryna lick my fingers and then licks the older cat’s head…..weird.
  • My potential career as a 911 dispatcher was cut short by my inability to type 35 wpm (I got 34 wpm) ::::sigh:::::  Need to find some employment – orthodontics aren’t cheap and neither is college tuition.  Plus, we need a new roof and well, you get the idea.
  • Work on the book is ongoing but slow. I am determined to get a first draft completed by the end of December!!!  Of 2014!!!
  • I’ve been flirting with sewing clothing again.  I’ve bought fabric and patterns at least….very little sewing has occurred.
  • Been practicing the piano most days for a good bit of time ( guess what? If you practice, you get better! who knew?)and have the opportunity to do a couple of house concerts too. We’ll see…….
  • I have been horrified at the killing of unarmed black people by the police for some time – I really became aware of Driving While Black about 20-25 years ago and started learning a lot from there on in. This summer has been truly remarkable (and mostly not in a good way) for the 1) wealth of information about white police officers killing/tasering black people with impunity, 2) the staggering naivete/ignorance/apathy of most white people about how different life is for black people in the US especially when it comes to law enforcement, and yes, I am gonna write about it here too.      albert einstein                                 I’ve been sharing a lot on Facebook about it and some people close to me really do not like it but I cannot be silent about it!  Even on my knitting blog. I encourage absolutely every person on the planet to investigate what is happening for themselves – do not take “the media’s” word, do not take the police’s word, do not take my word for it – learn about it for yourself. The truth will set us all free and then justice can take place and then unity will appear.

So much for brevity.  How’s by you?

Further stash enhancements

I warned you – I *REALLY* broke the yarn diet…with a bang!  I went to Nashville to drop Studmuffin & the Force of Nature off at the airport – they’re off to Cali for the fab trip with Grandmother. Since it was the morning, I decided to try to visit some stores we don’t have in my part of Abalama-ding-dong & see some friends. There WILL be a separate review of the yarn store I went to since this is meant to be a quick post (yes, Virginia, there really are quick posts…..).

Here we go!

1 skein of Plymouth Jelli Beenz 75% acrylic, 25% wool 214 yds

1 skein of Crystal Palace yarns’ Danube DK, 40% Nylon, 30% Rayon, 30% Wool 163 yards

Eisaku Noro should either be completely furious or immensely flattered by all of the copying of his color sequences by loads of other yarn companies……

1 skein of Diversity by Plymouth Yarn, Fingering / 4 ply, 93% Acrylic, 7% Polyester, 420 yards

I was halfway looking for some Tardis blue sock yarn or some really groovy self-striping yarn. This cover both bases.  YAY! There was a sample sock of this in another colorway that sold me on trying this – acrylic sock yarn!

1 skein of Revel by Plymouth Yarn, Lace / 2 ply, 85% Alpaca, 15% Merino, 275 yards

I don’t know that I would call this laceweight; I do call it gorgeous!

1 skein of Blue Faced Leicester DK by Debbie Bliss, DK / 8 ply, 100% Wool, 118 yards

I was having a SUPREMELY difficult time choosing the yarns to adopt – the yarn fumes*  were very nearly fatal to my bank account! So I decided to use my old trick: choose only yarns I have not previously used/bought.  I used just buy from companies I hadn’t tried before, but this time it was mostly yarn lines I hadn’t used before.  This was one of the exceptions – though I have a couple of her publications, I’ve never bought any of Debbie Bliss’ yarns before. I have a soft spot for BFL yarns I admit.  This may end up as part of a Fake Isle Hat.

10 mini skeins of Rekor Mini by Plymouth Yarn, Sport / 5 ply, 100% Acrylic, 39 yards

Yes I know – more acrylic!  But acrylic is so much better than even 5 years ago….. I’m thinking these are gonna be a part of a handbag I want to make.  My trip to India really changed my feeling about color for the better!!

1 skein of Arroyo by Malabrigo Yarn, Sport / 5 ply, 100% Merino, 335 yards, color: Candomble

I will ALWAYS be a Malabrigo junkie. I tried raelly REALLY hard to leave this at the store…but I just COULD NOT DO IT.  And the name? Candomble is a religion based on African traditions with elements derived from Christianity, practiced chiefly in Brazil.  This may turn into yet another Tessie Lily Hat.

My favorite purchase of the day! So fabulous, it gets TWO photos!

1 skein of Taiyo Lace by Noro, Lace / 2 ply, 50% Cotton, 17% Wool, 17% Nylon, 16% Silk 920 yards

I want to make a shawl for someone I love very much & I have already bought the (super lovely silk) yarn for it but when I saw this, I had to reconsider EVERYTHING I KNOW TO BE TRUE.  (more…)

I broke my diet on vacation – my yarn diet!


A Study in Yarn Weight.🙂

Tis’ true, tho’ I broke it some before then too if I’m honest. More about that at the end of this post.  While we were on the famdamily vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where just up the road last century Orville & Wilbur took that first flight, I decided to check out the local yarn scene.

The OBX – somewhere near Kill Devil Hills

I knew this was a dangerous idea to entertain, but heck!  Yer supposed to break yer diet whilst on vacation, right?  I reckon that’s almost required, innit? I looked in the trusty phone book and found Knitting Addiction and I am so glad I did!

Actual yarn photos follow…