Boris & Natasha

A post I didn’t want to write

Today, the second of our beloved pair of “Labramatians” died. Miss Natasha has been declining for some time, and when I recently went out of town, I was quite sure she wouldn’t be here when I got back. But she was!

She didn’t like having her picture taken somehow.

For a dog of her size, she was very elderly – about 105 in people years; she lived 15 & a half actual years.  The last 6 months or so, she seemed to be free of the itching/scratching & everything else that went with her parasitic infection (leishmania); I think she outlived the parasite! She was a tough cookie. Her skin healed, her fur mostly grew back in and  she gained weight.

A happy, hot day at the dog park – before leishmania. She’s about 11 years old here.


Anyway, she had mostly stopped eating almost 2 weeks ago and I knew it would be soon that she would leave us.  Studmuffin was feeding her raw ground beef.  Tasha loved chocolate; she used to get into swap packages I received – climbing up on places I didn’t think she could get to & tearing them open with her teeth if they smelled of chocolate. Because it was clear to me she was dying, I fed her as much Halloween candy as she wanted. I’m so glad I did. Tasha seriously loved her food.

She had 2 seizures today. After the first one, I had the Duke of Curl put her on some blankets on the couch; she just loved to lie on the couch, she wasn’t supposed to do it but I often caught her at it. After several hours, she tried to get up/turn over and I helped her. That’s when she had her final seizure. I am so glad I was with her.

Natasha (L) & Boris (R) – at about 8 years old.   I’m so grateful to have been a part of your pack.

We will have dogs again I am sure, but gosh, they leave such a big hole when they go. It will be some time before I am ready again. I am so grateful to have had Miss Tasha & Mr. Boris in my life….. So sad to be writing the end of the Boris & Natasha adventures.

I sure hope, my Tasha, that in your happy hunting grounds, there are UPS trucks for you to chase, raisins & chocolate and garbage for you to eat and Boris is there to endlessly lick your ears.  I miss you already, my brown-eyed girl.

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



I found one!

lady_with_binoculars_card-p137162167504321023envwi_400Remember the last post? Where I said I hoped to type in some of the “old” letters? As I was looking for something else, I found the last one that Studmuffin & I wrote together and it’s already on the ‘puter. It’s from Winter 2004/2005 so I wasn’t exactly right about it being ten years since the last one….. However I do think it’s pretty funny and most of the names have been changed…because that’s how I roll. Fun to see some of the differences over the years….


Happy post-holiday greetings.

(NOTICE to the ACLU: There will be no mention of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, New Year’s or Festivus at all in this letter beyond that which you’ve already read.).  I guess it’s still OK to say “Happy Groundhog Day”, so-

“Happy Groundhog Day!”

We hope that this letter finds you happy and healthy, or at least on an even keel with your nose above water enough so that this letter doesn’t push you over the brink of despair at the pointlessness of existence that this letter all too painfully illuminates.  On to the follies…..


Happy HOT Fourth of July! and lots of photos

Hope it was lovely.  I spent some time showering in cold water (water heater still broken), trying sort out & clean things in the master bedroom, sweating, doing large amounts of laundry, sweating, taking photos of the garden before it goes all crispy, sweating,  taking more crappy phone pictures of a finished project, a work in progress, and some recent stash enhancement, and sweating. Did I mention it is hot?

I’ll save the garden stuff for the next post, and I still have some serious catching up to do (I can hardly WAIT to share my much belated “Mothers’ Day” present pics with you, many yarn crimes have been tagged for sharing and yes Virginia, there IS a podcast), but there is some actual knitting /yarn content here for you.

Just before we get to that, I made a rather eclectic Spotify playlist for today, and if you wanna get all patriotic and stuff, you can find it here:


I’m trying to make this more exciting with the animations. Is it working?

Finished Object

Well, mostly. A few ends to weave in here and there and perhaps some blocking…..

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the right color in the picture.  One ply is a raspberry red and the other ply is bright orange. It’s a yummy combo. Here’s the Ravelry link, and even tho’ it’s really hot, Boris was *still* willing to model it for me:

He’s so purty.

Work In Progress

I have begun the afghan for Mom & Dad and I’m having fun with it.

So much fun to see how each color looks next to the others – I’m neglecting things I really need to get done.  And now the fun stuff!

Stash Enhancements

Lana Grossa Divino –

75% cotton, 25% viscose, RL = approx 120yd/110m/50g

I got this because I’m really curious to see what it looks like knitted up, and to see if my hands can take it. I have a hard time knitting cotton… And it would be such a pretty summer shawlette….

A new book! (this actually came in the mail).

I wanna see if this will be useful in chart reading.

My friend Sarah M. gave me the Knit Picks interchangeables (top) to play with, and I’m not quite sure why I got the bamboo ones (bottom) now…..  It might have been to start on this beautiful thing:

Rav link: ‘Venus’ by Karen Bradley

I’ve been itching to start a shawl, and I do so love the look of this one. After consulting with the yarn enabling salespeople at Yarn Expressions, I decided on this yarn.

Lang – Mille Colori

75% superwash wool, 25% nylon; 400 metres (437 yards.)

It feels so yummy in the skein.  But then I looked around some more and saw these:

The Alpaca Yarn company – PacaPeds

Colorway – Paccachino

65% Superwash Merino, 15% Nylon, 20% Alpaca
about 100 grams
360 yd / 329.2 m

I could make 2 of them, right? Yup, I can.

Then, like a fool, I started looking at the Madelinetosh yarns

I found that the one I’d left behind last time  was still waiting for me:

Tosh Lace in Flashdance!

100% superwash merino wool

950 yards / 868 meters

I couldn’t leave it behind again….I just couldn’t.

I’m not certain what happened to me next – perhaps the fiber fumes made me a little woozy, because I got this one too:

Prairie – another Madeleinetosh laceweight!

100% superwash merino wool

840 yards / 768 meters

The color, which is called “Fathom”, is very different from the picture; it is deeper and more tinged with black.

(Go and see their picture on their website – it’s WAY better than mine)

Yep, I was-

  • in too deep –
  • way over my head –
  • out of my depth –
  • drowning –
  • going overboard –
  • sinking…ok, I’ll stop. 🙂

Alas – once more into the fray…   I mean, I’m already in BIG trouble here, so why not?  Let’s make the spousal displeasure & subsequent scolding REALLY worthwhile……

Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere

“Cranberry Melt”

100% merino superwash wool
400 yds.

You might wanna sit down first…

…because there is actual knitting content in this post! Amazing innit?  I know *I* feel dizzy, but that’s pretty usual for me.

First off – I did NOT make this sweater for the Force of Nature – a wonderful knitter in Massachusetts did it for me!  She did a fantabulous job- Her finishing work absolutely kicks my butt.

Ravelry project page

The Force of Nature was not terribly interested in having a good photo taken of herself in the sweater….::::sigh:::: No surprise there – she’s just turned thirteen years old a month ago (the same day the tornadoes came through!).

There are many more but I’ll spare you  all the drama…..  It will fit her for probably a couple of years and it’s machine washable.  Anisa, I thank you so much.

Next, we have a little crochet project that I finished just today – a steering wheel cover for Big Sarah. This was very very easy and I wonder why I’d never done this before.  Here’s the cover before I sewed it onto the steering wheel:

Ravelry project link

And after I put it onto the steering wheel:

No more sizzling fingers for me!

Now here are a few pics of the ENORMOUS socks I made for the Duke of Curl (he turned SIXTEEN years old last week.  He will have his driver’s license very soon.  I can’t even think about that or I’ll have to go lie down.).

Ravelry project link

They’ve been worn a lot and washed/dried at least twice and they look great.  The fit is not terrific, but I frogged these things at LEAST 4 times and I ain’t doing anymore.  Folks, this is tiny yarn knit tightly on on US size ZERO needles for size THIRTEEN feet.  I didn’t knit for a WHILE after I finished these – it was like knitting a sweater but not as much fun.  The colors are great tho’.

Last but not least, this scarf I’ve been procrastinating about for a year now.  It’s for one of my dearest friends. I will see her this weekend in Chicago – YAY!  I’m almost done with it – I may make another one but perhaps not out of sock yarn – that’s a LOT of d#$% stitches.

Ravelry project link

And I do think Boris makes a wonderful model……Natasha wanted in on the gig for some reason.

So very dashing!

Now the batteries are low in the camera, and I’m tryna get ready to go to a singing thing in Chicago this next weekend, so that’s it fer now; happy knitting to u all!

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

Rather dramatic WEATHER! Or haven’t you heard…? It was the Force of Nature’s 13th birthday, and she was NOT happy! A rather inauspicious beginning, but we’ve tried to make up for it.

Anyway, we sustained no damage and no injuries but some extended power outages, so we de-camped to my parents’ place in southwestern Virginia; even the doggies came with us! They were so good riding in the van for soooo long – the children weren’t NEARLY so good….

Anyway, we’re back, school is open again, the power is on and we are grateful. Now, here are some links for you:

Now this Sunday is MOTHER’S Day. Be nice to her if she’s living; say prayer for her if she’s not.

It’s not easy being a mom….heck say a prayer for her if she’s alive, and then, if yer inclined, say one for me!

Happy Mother’s Day a few days early.

The head cold has morphed…..

…into bronchitis, or near enough. And of course, Studmuffin is out of town. I hope he doesn’t bring home another new and exciting head cold this time.

I will be very VERY happy when we finally install a pet door. Boris and Natasha have taken to answering nature’s call at 3 a.m. most every morning. Since it wasn’t terribly cold, I’d left the sliding door in back open a dog’s width so I could have a night’s uninterrupted sleep. But oh NO! Natasha went out easily enough, but started barking at 3:30 a.m. to be let in….the FRONT door. Nothing would do except she HAD to come in the front door. Could it be that my lack of rest is retarding my return to health? Grrrr.

Still , it’s small potatoes. Life is good for me and my immediates. However, my illness isn’t assisting in the Force of Nature’s homeschooling progress!

Knitting is continuing as I’m taking a break from “The Beast”.

Weekend Round up /Contest reminder

  • The Force of Nature’s soccer team won a game!
  • -ate some wonderful food at Mezzaluna (try the Eggplant Parmesan appetizer; fantastic!)
  • saw the movie “Good Hair” with some friends (I enjoyed it)
  • Got some more Kureyon for the Lizard Ridge blanket (I’m halfway there)
  • made zero progress on the Tapestry Cowl
  • got “The Individual formerly known as Homeschool Kid”‘s hair cut. Yay!
  • since my hairstyle was making me feel OLD, I even got my hair cut (I now now own a flatiron to style it with….)
  • no band rehearsal because the bandleader had a heart attack (please say healing prayers for Sylvester!)
  • spent what seemed like endless hours tryna fix the Force of Nature’s cobbled-together iPod (I should post a picture – it’s held together with rubber bands for REAL)  and to remove some rather nasty spyware from my ‘puter
  • Studmuffin left for Cali on a business trip
  • I didn’t remember to call my brother for his birthday til like 2 am. I still haven’t called :o(
  • Natasha’s limp has gone away as mysteriously as it came.
  • posted one of my cutest ever posts (I think) about Domo-kun with cute pictures AND NOBODY COMMENTED      :::sad trombone:::  I guess everyone is too busy?  Or do you just hate Domo-kun?  Or is it me?

Today, I:

  • forgot to put out the trash
  • felt like crap all day
  • spoke to 2 wonderful friends on the phone (I love you guys!!!)
  • finished knitting No.1 Son’s birthday prezzie and am felting it (and felting and felting….)
  • took a nap and was
  • late making dinner and so
  • burnt the spaghetti with meatballs……..

Life is good but I still feel yucky. It will pass…..  WHERE is the goshdurn heating pad?!
Meal plan Monday:
Mon- spags & meatballs
Tues- Shepherd’s Pie a la Cracker (this didn’t get made last week; I WILL share the recipe)
Wed- leftovers
Thurs- Mac & cheese & salad
Fri- Romano Beans & rice
Sat- Soup & sandwiches/Corn Chowder
Sun- Chinese take out

CONTEST Reminder

Contest ends on October 31st, 2009 at midnight Alabama time, and the winner will be announced when I get around to it (probably during the following week).  My choice will be completely arbitrary and humor is encouraged.  :o)
Please submit prospective names in the comments – the name I choose for him will win a $14 gift card to Starbucks. If you live someplace without Starbucks, I’ll contact you directly and we’ll work it out.
See all the other names submitted in the comments here



Classic Elite Yarns, one of my favorite yarn & pattern companies, has put a ton of their out of print patterns up for sale via download on Patternfish! YAY! YAY!YAY!

If you like ganseys, cables, colorwork, you REALLY owe it to yerself to check them out.  Plus they (Classic Elite Yarns) *just* published Jared Flood’s book (it is SO fabulous – I saw it today at Yarn Expressions) and they get much kudos fer that too. Dammit, can the man make anything that doesn’t turn out absolutely amazing?  Us mere mortals (OK maybe just this one) tremble with awe and a wee bit ‘o envy…..

Finding these patterns available almost makes up for the fact I nearly broke my nose (in a very stupid way) today. Picture the scene:  I am at the dining table/homeschool table, busily cutting apart Russian flash cards, as the Force of Nature is whining away about her handwriting assignment.  I drop one of the flash cards on the floor; I lean over to get it…

I lean a bit too far and in slow-motion ……:::imagine long door creaking sound here::::   or better yet-play this:

long fall

-I tip over and bonk  the bridge of my nose on the edge of the seat of the other ‘puter chair (and fall on top of dog, Natasha).  Much blood ensued.  I did hear a “crunch” and thought the honker was broken for a minute…but it was just cartilage noise at the time of impact.   I’m glad it isn’t broken;  my schnoz already makes enough of a statement without the help of new ridges, flatspots or deviations.

Friends and neighbors, always remember and never forget to keep a bags of frozen peas in the freezer.  I’ma take a coupla Tylenol, then I’m off to bed.

Oh yeah – I need to post a silly picture:

Carrots and beets, sewing and knitting

How the stylish go gardening….

Gardening is in full swing here at Chez Crazie.  Plenty of weeds to pull,too hot to do it…y’all know how it is.  Yesterday I ate the 3 beets that came out of the garden (the birds ate most of the seeds this lvery wet spring).  The largest one was almost the size of my fist!.  Supa delish.  Plus we got carrots – about 25 actually edible carrots of some size.  Granted, I’d planted short carrots because of the overwhelming clay content of the soil but, I’ve never gotten carrots that one could really eat before since we moved here.  I’m basking in the little victories.  :o)  Pictures were taken, but they are the kind that need developing so good luck on ever seeing those babies……

The Force of Nature decided last week that there would be no more mucking about – she needed a charcoal grill of her very own.  She took about $50 from her savings account and went and bought herself a really nice grill which we as her parents are allowed to use occasionally.  Of course, since she’s 11, we must supervise her grilling attempts, but she wanted her own grill.  I *love* that girl!!  She has also informed us that, even though 2 months ago she swore up and down that she HATED and LOATHED summer camp last year, now she wants to go. Since I’ve not been sleeping well this past week, and my own ‘puter is still on the blink, I’ve not been able to research what I can do about this so late in the game.  Ahhhh- the capriciousness of youth…

Some sewing has taken place, altogether too slowly unfortunately.  The sewing area is in the garage which not only has no AC (but then again neither does the rest of Chez Crazie right now…and for the foreseeable future, heart surgery being rather expensive and all) but it has no insulation and no fans.  I’m still working on the toile for *the* summer dress I want to make about 5 times in different fabrics to wear a lot; it’s quite an easy pattern, but I am out of practice and then of course the wee bairns and the dog-a-boos all wanna be right in my lap while I work and asking 50 skidillion questions, which I as their mother must answer *immediately* or the sky will come crashing down….   Ummm, just for the record: the dog-a-boos ask no questions, but they do want to be petted right now and said petting continued until my arm falls off or they expire from old age.  After all, whatever could I be doing that could be more important than that?

Knitting is still a refuge though. Most everyone knows not to bother me overmuch whilst that is happening AND knows that they must wait until the end of the row unless blood or fire is involved.  Tonight I cast on a full size test swatch for the baby blanket I hope to make several times over for all the babies in the famdamily this October/November.  I’m using a new yarn for me – Caron’s Simply Soft  Eco.  Yes, it’s mostly acrylic (and so very washable; verra important) not terribly expensive and comes in some lovely colors.  It’s also got some post-consumer recycled plastic as part of the fiber content.  It’s a bit splitty, and I don’t have the actual pattern I want to use – I(‘d have to buy the whole book for 1 pattern which I may yet do if this proves at all challenging to recreate – but I think it’ll be nice enough.  We shall see.

Did I tell you about  my purse getting stolen and then returned?    It, like my super-gushy post about the handspun that Sarah gave me last week (Sarah, I take it out and pet it often; I showed it to the mailman…), will have to wait.  Oh yeah, and I’m WAY behind in my swaps…….but life is good.  My heart is STILL beating and I have a wonderful family and beyond fabulous friends and the possibility of musicking fairly soon and enough yarn & fabric to swim laps in if I wished to, plus the new Knitty is out  AND Norah Gaughan has done a bunch of AMAZING men’s sweaters so there’s plenty  for me to smile about.

The weekend wrap up

Here are the headlines:

  • the DH is going out of town for a week
  • the lawnmower was STOLEN – yes, the NEW one
  • one of my dogs ate some yarn – yes, NEW yarn
  • I went into the red in not one but two checking accounts and am mystified as to what the money got spent on
  • the weather is gorgeous
  • ordered a whole mess of garlic to plant
  • have almost completely lost my gardening mojo
  • back to wheezing and not sleeping or taking the nasty medicines
  • figured out something on the ‘puter
  • got a new voice student
  • behind on a couple of swaps and a spamflash
  • various childrearing conundrums
  • knitting
The DH is going out of town for a week. This is good news/bad news.  It’s nice to have a break from each other (and the usual routine expectations that I routinely fail to live up to), and I still,  even after 20 years of marriage, sleep better by myself, but now I have to do all the kid to-ing and fro-ing and that’s rather a hassle. Plus, he’s been extra-sweet lately and I will miss him.  I’m counting it a blessing that he’ll be gone only a week – he was originally gonna be gone for two.  I have a fantasy that I’ll completely clean out and organize our bedroom before he gets back as a kind of gift for him.  Pray for me that I can accomplish it.
Have a wonderful time in San Diego, studmuffin.  By the way, he told me I’d better not blog about him EVER. Yah right – sure thing babe.
Our el cheapo lawnmower died about a month ago from a combination of old age, overuse and neglect.  Studmuffin took it apart to fix it and then got bored or busy with something else and it sits in the incredibly messy garage in pieces.  Finally waking up and smelling the reality, he said let’s go get a new one.  I was all for going back to our previous purveyor of el cheapo lawnmowers, but he said, “Nay, nay,” so off to the giant warehouse hardware store we went.  We found a reconditioned model that seemed to fit the bill ok and we got that.  It cost about twice as much as the previous model but it was Studmuffin’s money so….ok.  I wanted a self-propelling lawnmower,  (note to self – I do not like self-propelled lawnmowers) so that was what we got. We have been mowing the lawn at the Huntsville Baha’i Center this summer as well as our own, or rather Studmuffin, the non-Baha’i husband has been doing it for $ and I occaisionally help him.  We were getting ready to go do that on Saturday when we noticed we couldn’t find the new lawnmower…anywhere. 
Here’s the thing about crime – it makes you feel bad.  I feel worse about how Studmuffin feels about this event than I do about the actual loss of the mower. He was really upset and many bad words were said. It’s all just stuff to me.  Yes, it’s a hassle to replace but oh well.
 We’ve lived here for ten years and we’ve had 4 things stolen:  one bicycle (though that was across the street at the school), 2 lawnmowers and a pitchfork.  From what I hear from other people, I guess that’s not too bad….especially since every one of those things was stored outside someplace (and not in a shed either).  So perhaps next weekend, we’ll go back to the el cheapo purveyor of lawncare implements and get another el cheapo model….if they still have any.  The Christmas stuff may already have taken over.
Natasha, incredibly fierce dog that she is, failed to eviscerate the lawnmower thief (if only the thief had driven a UPS truck, because she’s ALL OVER THOSE).  So in her time of shame, what else is there to do but to get into my yarn bag, take out one of the brand new skeins of Hoobody Fibers’ What’s Cookin’ and chew on it?
She didn’t do any serious damage, but my goodness – what’s up with that?
So I’m not terrific with money and now I can’t remember anything.  As a result of this excellent combination, I managed to go into the negative on 2 checking accounts this week, which of course incurs the wrath of Studmuffin.  I was very upfront about the whole thing and we mostly acted like adults about it, but there was also the major sucking up that had to be done by me as well.  It could have been worse, but when I printed out a bank statement and he saw that it wasn’t because I had bought a gross lot of tchotchkes from Borneo (always his fear), things calmed down a bit. I feel really frustrated because 1)  I thought I was doing better at this and 2) I am trying to save for a trip to Africa early next year and this isn’t gonna help. Drat.
It feels like fall here and it is beyootiful.  I really do love Alabama weather.
A few years back, we ordered a bunch of seed garlic and grew it in our garden over the winter.  We learned a lot and ended up with a ton of garlic.  It confused some of the neighbors – they couldn’t figure out what the heck we were growing.  Studmuffin has been asking off and on about doing it again, so I showed him the website and we ordered it.  It isn’t hard to grow garlic – you just have to make sure it stays weeded.  Fresh garlic is really yummy too.  We do’t have huge garlic needs as a family if the truth be told; we gave away 90% of what we harvested last time.  Who knows why Studmuffin wants to grow garlic again?  Probably just to confuse the neighbors again.  He’ll be doing most of it alone this time, because……..(see below)
Usually when the weather is lovely like this, I want to be outside and messing with the yard….but I have no desire to.  Usually, even if there’s no desire, there’s usually some shame or at least a sense of duty to keep the grounds here at Chez Oney looking presentable.  All of that is completely lacking in me right now.  I am as interested in gardening at this point in time as I am in learning how to butcher a hog…which is to say: not at all.  What has happened to me?  This is so different…..   I may have to start wearing a tinfoil hat or something because I think it’s got to be aliens screwing with my mind.
So it’s like this:  if I take all the medicines the doc gave me for my allergic lungs filling up with fluid (which he says is NOT asthma) I sleep too much, feel weird all the time and my mouth tastes funny, or I don’t take all the medicines and I can’t sleep for all the lung bubbling and wheezing.  What to do?
 My beloved computer boots up slowly. Really slowly and getting worse.  So I decided to find out which programs I actually need when the ‘puter starts up and which ones are just slowing things down.  I searched around on the net, found a really good answer to my dilemma and put it into action.  It worked just like they said it would, but it didn’t speed up the booting enough.  :::sigh:::   Still, I’m grateful for a little bit.
A young man I know, Navid, is getting married.  I’m SO happy for him.  He’s such a sweet guy and I’ve often wondered what was wrong with the young women of today because he’s one of several terrific guys I know who aren’t married and would like to be.  SO it’s gonna happen for him at the end of November, and I’ma try to teach him to sing before then as a wedding gift.  He’d like to sing something at his own wedding.  It’s not much time – God willing he’ll be able to and that I’ll be able to help him.
It’s nice to have a student again – teaching people to sing is fun – if they are motivated and will practice.
While the studmuffin is away, I’ll be able to catch up on a couple of swaps.  He doesn’t like it – thinks it’s pointless, and so gets all passive-aggressive when I need time on the weekends to do swap stuff, which is why I’m behind right now.  AND I have not done a spamflash in 2 months.  My email is acting wonky as it does most of the time so I really need to come up with a better way of sending it so it isn’t such a hassle for me.  Still, it takes a couple of hours to just write the stupid thing……maybe this week.
Louisa’s a brat.  SHe’s just getting into the swing of puberty and it’s gonna be hell for everybody. Again, please pray for us.  Ian is good, but still not getting nearly as much writing done as he needs to to be ready for next year.  I don’t know what to do.  And the oldest boy has called twice in the past week, each time promising to call back with an actual mailing address so we can send him some stuff that he needs.  No, he still doesn’t have a job, he’s not in school, he’s sleeping on people’s couches and still blaming me for his troubles. No, we do not yet have a mailing address for him. Plus, I was horrified to hear what he told his brother:  he’s doing other people’s homework for food money. This is unethical on so many levels.  And his father said something asinine about how at least it shows initiative……  Oy!  Am I the only grownup here?
The knitting is going well.  Love the Shetland Triangle, love the yarn, and now I even love the colors.  I’ll try to put up pics tomorrow. 

Various musings

The daughter woke us up about 20 minutes after 4 this morning because of a nightmare.  She was in tears and had dreamed that I’d put the dogs to “sleep”  just to be mean.  I promised her that I would never do such a thing – the only reason I would ever put an animal to death would be to remove suffering if I could not do it any other way.

She hasn’t woken us up like this in a long, long time and, tho’ I wish nightmares on NO ONE, it was a sweet taste of her childhood.  She’s 10 and our youngest and tho’ I’m not terribly nostalgic, it’s very nice to be able to soothe some small person.  As they get bigger, the problems get bigger and more complex and sometimes a hug and kiss isn’t anywhere near enough….if they’ll allow you to do even that.

And now…a gratuitous Boris the dog picture:

I’ve begun walking again with my partner, Michelle – thanks be to God.  My asthma has hit an all-time high (or low I guess you might say) and I haven’t slept well for several weeks because every time I lay down, my lungs start to bubble and wheeze.  I’m fine if I’m upright…..which makes it hard to sleep.  I’ve been to Dr. and I may be making a trip to the sleep clinic to help things out….fine by me.  So after the daughter woke us up, I just stayed up and then went walking at 5 am.  The stars were very beautiful and clear and there was just a silver of a crescent moon in the eastern sky…just beautiful.

Once I got back, the daughter was still awake so we spent some really nice time together this morning.  I went looking for a specific yarn online, and she was really getting into it; she has expensive taste just like her mother does.  There were so many she wanted….it gives me some good ideas for gifts for her in the coming months.  I told her I wasn’t gonna buy any *really* nice yarn for her until she completed another project.

After a good long while of drooling over yarn pr0n, she went over to the couch to lie down for a while.  I thought she was going to snooze for a little while, but pretty soon she asked me, “How do we start the heel?”  She was working on her sock!  I guess seeing all that yummy yarn online inspired her… Hmmm I’ll have to remember that. 

So now she’s working on her first heel flap….I’m really happy about that. She’s such an intense person (where oh where could she have gotten THAT from I wonder….) and knitting can be wonderfully relaxing – I’m so glad that she’s into it.  She’s also signed up for the last photo shoot of Frankin Habit’s 1000 knitters project happening at Yarn Expressions in October.  She’s very photogenic and I think it would be very cool for her to take part.

I’m looking forward to meeting Mr. Habit as well.  I adore his blog: The Panopticon.  He was talking about how he’s bored with all of his winter hats, so I was thinking of making him one – hats being rather a specialty of mine.  He lives in Chicago and has no hair so hats are very necessary.  So tell me: should I make him something really lovely and useful that he’ll use all the time?   OR should I make something outrageous that will make him laugh?  I just got this pattern and I’m seriously tempted to make it for him……

Post yer vote in the comments section!


Some us local folks are going to do a Shetland Triangle KAL (Knit A Long)  starting in mid-September.  I had started it a few times this summer but was not happy with what I was doing.  I have 4 skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino for this project; unfortunately 3 skeins are of one colorway (Indiecita) and the last is of another much brighter colorway (Caribueno).  The two colorways are complimentary, generally speaking, but all the various ways I tried to combine the two colorways just looked wrong.  SO this morning I bit the bullet and ordered 3 skeins of the Caribueno and it should be here in time for the KAL.  Some of the other knitters in the KAL, like Sarah and Laura, are much faster knitters than I am….maybe we slower knitters should all gang up on them and make them knit two Shetland Triangles to our single ones.  I bet if we ponied up the cash to buy the yarn, they’d probably do it without much complaining…..  Maybe if we gave the money for the yarn and they knit the shawls, we could give them to charity or something.


Boobs, Injuries & Dr. Pepper is one of my favorite blogs to read – that woman is seriously funny!  Not for the children’s eyes I’m afraid, but very funny!  Right now though, she’s doing something seriously cool and wonderful.  To get the whole story, you have to start reading her posts beginning with this one, and then go forward from there.  Here’s the quick n’ dirty:  Her 3rd grader got her GameBoy stolen plus Mom had to borrow some of the $ she’d been saving for a Nintendo DS to buy milk for the family.  Then, one of the blogs’ faithful reader’s decided to ship a Nintendo DS as a gift.  The third grader decided to give it away to some other child who really needed one, so Mom asked on her blog for people to nominate children in need.  There was such a response that really Mom wished she had 10 Nintendo DSes to give away….and then her faithful readership started sending her $ so that she could give 10.  Now, several thousand $ has been raised and something like 50 Nintendo DSes are going out to kids who could really use a boost; you can read some of the nominating emails on the blog.   Friends and neighbors, THIS is GOOD NEWS.  A win-win-win situation for everybody.  If you’d like to donate and feel like a million bucks, go here; you’ll find the “Donate” button on the left hand side…


Starting a new thing this week: Ten on Tuesday. Inspired (again) by Sarah (she has no idea how highly I think of her!)

So even tho’ it’s Thursday, here my Tuesday 10:

10 things I didn’t like about school

  1. classes after lunch (I would be so sleepy I could not concentrate)
  2. Frank D. – he teased me mercilessly until he graduated a couple of years ahead of me.  I don’t know why; I never did anything at all to him ever.
  3. bells
  4. bells
  5. bells
  6. 3 minutes bewteen classes – not enough time to go to the bathroom
  7. Almost the entire Math department – everybody (except for Mr. Palmeri) was friggin’ incompetent.  I took the minimum required to graduate – 2 years of Algebra, but I didn’t know what a variable really was til I took Computer Programming my senior year.  Ugh.
  8. How stupid all the girls would act around the boys as we all got older and boys became more important
  9. Mr. Richer (English teacher) such a @#$^^&%*&^(*&(*&)_(_)(&(*^&*%&^$. A lousy teacher too.
  10. How every time we got a decent teacher, some of the ignorant folks in my town would run them out on a rail.
So there ya go.

Nobody told Boris & Natasha….

….that chocolate is toxic for dogs.  I put together nice Mother’s Day package for me mum – all ready to mail on Monday (late as per usual) and then went to Tropical Smoothie Cafe for a treat (I love their smoothies and they now have half-price smoothies Mon-Sat from 5-7 pm YAY!).
I came back and there was the package scattered all over the lawn because I had put some nice chocolates in with the other stuff.  When will I learn?  I had another swap package disappear earlier in the week – I though I had just mislaid it but NOW I KNOW.

Harrumpf.  They don’t even have the sense to look guilty.

The adventures of Boris and Natasha

No knitting in this post – I cannot find my camera (tho’ I haven’t looked very hard)!

Boris and Natasha are our dogs.  We love them!

Boris has been having a wonderful time eating ryegrass this spring.   I call him “Gardening dog”  because he’s always interested in what I do in the garden.  If I bring home plants from the nursery, he’s gotta sniff them again and again. At times, I think he wishes he could garden….he does like to dig.

Natasha is very happy; spring is her favorite season.  Do you know why?  It’s when the “flying snacks” come back!  She loves to catch food with her mouth and the fact that there are things like flies and moths that will just fly around waiting for her to eat them is the BEST!  Did I mention her fav-o-rite?  BEES?  I imagine it must be the buzzing she likes…..

Stay tuned for more mundanity.