whinge

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.

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ELEVEN years?! Really?

So yeah. As of January 21, 2017 I’ll have been blogging for 11 years. That’s an accomplishment of some kind………?

I know posts have been quite sporadic the last 3 years – I do apologize. Without going into great personal detail, the last three years have been quite difficult and I certainly could have shared lots & lots more….I decided not to do that. Because to me, whinge-ing is more like funny complaining, which I believe is my God-given natural talent. Sharing woes is best done with one’s closest friends perhaps or family or most definitely one’s therapist (shoutout to Dr. F. P.!!). BTW, if you enjoy comedic whingeing, you might enjoy the BBC tv series “One Foot In the Grave” – I’m certainly not up to Victor’s level!

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I’d never planned to go on so long – certainly I cannot say that I’ve had a huge following…..but still, plugging away at anything for such a time tends to improve skill….

I believe I have gained some skill in writing, and creating the posts for the most part has been joyful. But wow, even I’m shocked it’s been 11 years.

I’ve also considered closing it down…..but as it costs me very little other than time and brain power, I’ve decided to keep going, however infrequently.

I hope to blog more consistently about knitting in 2017, God willing.

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Thanks to everyone who’s ever read this blog and enjoyed it. 🙂


P.S. You can still read my very first post here.    The 1st Knitting and Whinge-ing post

 

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

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(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.

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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-

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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.

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** 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.

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

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

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

Illness

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.

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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!

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

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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.

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* 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:

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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.

THEY WERE RIGHT!

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. 🙂

Miss November

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That’s a misleading title to this post. It really should be Miss(ed) November. I have been trying to at least write once every 2 weeks; I find myself on November 30th not having written anything here all month! Though I definitely have been writing….

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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.

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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…..

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  • 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?

This blog pause brought to you by….

…..a lack of FOCUS!

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No, this is not a picture of me……it is how i am *feeling*……

Y’all truly deserve a *real* post by me, but it isn’t in the cards this time around.  I guess this is a “snapshot” of right now:

  • I broke my yarn diet…TWICE in 2 weeks.  I figure I’ve been REALLY good for 18 months so I wanted to get some new yarn! In total, I got 4 skeins of sock yarn: 1 NORO Silk Garden Sock,  1 Regia Fluormania & 2 Naturally Waikiwi (ya need two skeins for 1 pair of socken), & 2 skeins of laceweight: 1 Madelintosh Prairie in Clematis, & 1 Maharashtra Silk in Navy.  I guess I want to make socks & shawls…..You can see pictures on Ravelry.com in my stash section……
  • I’m currently working on a Shaelyn shawl in  Madelinetosh Prairie in a gorgeous semi-solid dark blue.  I’m enjoying it so much, it put me over the top to buy the aforementioned M’tosh Prairie in Clematis
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  • more knitting is happening b/c the kitten is growing up.  This is very happymaking!
  • no pics ‘cos the camera is misplaced….again.
  • Instead of huge amounts of yarn, I’m buying loads of sewing patterns & fabric, so I will begin a fabric & pattern fast….soon.
  • Not much sewing is happening….at all.
  • I’ve bought 3 quilting books & 1 quilting magazine in the last month.
  • And more quilting fabric. Like enough to make my dream quilt for my bed.
  • And batting for baby blankets…..  I think I have a problem.
  • My therapist has been difficult to get ahold of……
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  • I have been reading many, many sewing blogs. This *has* to STOP!
  • I’ve broken through my writer’s block on my book, so a good deal of progress is being made. Yay!
  • My weight loss has slowed way way down, mainly because of the mobility problems, but also b/c I’ve learned how to cheat really well.  This *has* to STOP!
  • Total weight lost since Jan. ’14 – 43 lbs.
  • I cannot believe it has been FIVE years since Michael Jackson died….
  • And now Bobby Womack is gone . :::sigh:::
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  • Am reading a wonderful biography right now called: I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March up Freedom’s Highway by Greg Kot; I **HIGHLY*** recommend this book if you like soul or gospel music.  If you are not familiar with Mavis Staples/the Staples Singers, I STRONGLY suggest you drop everything & get to listening!
  • The Force of Nature is now a certified lifeguard.  I knew she could do it!
  • Parenting teenagers is a thankless job.  The last 2 weeks were particularly thankless….
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  • My garden is all kind of peally-wally b/c I’ve been neglecting it (see mobility issues).  Still the tomatoes will begin their inundation in a couple of weeks God willing.
  • I’ve been thinking about ending my blog.  Is seven or eight years enough?  Does anybody care? Do I?  I dunno….
  • I really love Kiva.org , Indiegogo & Kickstarter.
  • The One Human Family Workshop Choir is going on tour in August!  First time in nine years……
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I have so much more to write about everything here but Studmuffin & I are taking the Force of Nature to dinner to celebrate the lifeguardiness.  The Duke of Curl is over at a friend’s house playing video games.

So, how are YOU?

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A quick note about my mobility

So this nearly 30 year-old sports injury has reasserted itself as of February, when the combination of more regular exercise (great for blood glucose control) and converting the ‘puter from a “sitting” location to a “standing” one (to get MORE exercise) combined to make life more challenging…. The new ‘puter arrangement was *great* for a day & a half, then my right ankle started to hurt a LOT. I have same difficulty with both ankles and I *know* what to do – put on an elastic bandage and give it some TLC & it should be OK in a day…..

Not my ankle…..

No such luck and to shorten the story, most days I am using a cane to assist my walking. I don’t have to have the cane to get around per se but I have less pain if I use it consistently.  Getting around is WAY more difficult & I’ll tell more about what’s wrong in a later post perhaps, but in the meantime I wanted to share a catchphrase Studmuffin & I have been using daily that makes us laugh: “I’m disabled” said in an Irish accent. Why is this funny? Below are a couple of video clips that explain it.

Here’s the set up: The IT Crowd, a British comedy about Roy & Moss, two very geeky computer guys who work in the basement of Reynholm Corp., with Jen, their manager, who knows nada about computers. Here, the trio are at a theatre show (titled “GAY!”) and Roy (white) & Moss (black) need to use the facilities. It helps to know that the old style toilets in England had the tank up near the ceiling & you’d pull on the dangling chain to flush.

Part Two

The awkwardness just goes on & on….  If you think these are funny, I heartily recommend seeing the whole episode.

 

This blog pause brought to you by….

…the month of APRIL.

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  • I’ve got TONS to SAY….but NO DESIRE to write it down.
  • I have knitting pictures to share, still no mojo to put ’em up.
  • I’m getting ready for the Force of Nature’s SIXTEENTH birthday, so I’ve been shopping and sewing.
  • Down THIRTY SIX pounds so far…so I bought a birdbath.
  • I have bought more sewing patterns this month than in the previous 15 years COMBINED.  I’m disgusted with my own acquisitiveness. TRULY.
  • Book is progressing. Slowly, but  progressing.
  • Garden is progressing – no faster than the book. Ugh.
  • One more thing……

Yes, this is still a knitting blog (as much as it ever has been…..whatever!), but I am getting back into sewing and it will get mentioned here some. I am SO tired of paying lots of $ for ugly things that don’t fit. There is a recent SPECTACULAR blog post about this – everyone should read this I think. GET READY

I leave you with a few words from one of my favorite philosophers:

“Well, Art is Art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.

 – Groucho Marx



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The next post won’t be for…

…everyone.  Or rather, everyone can read it certainly, but it won’t be everyone’s cup o’ tea.

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I taught a class on this back in 1998, & I’ve put it up on various little websites I’ve had over the years; it hasn’t been available for awhile & now is the time to give it a new online abode. Consider this an invitation  and/or a warning. :o)

Update

  • Hadn’t realized it has been so long since I’ve posted.  SORRY!
  • Have not received any pictures or video from the David Wilcox happening.  I so wish I had!
  • Almost through month 11 of 24 month Yarn Diet – have only bought 7 skeins of yarn: 6 skeins for things I’m knitting for the Force of Nature & 1 skein for a swap.  Studmuffin said that yarn bought for our kids’ needs/wants doesn’t count, and I feel oogy about giving stash as part of a swap package……
  • Working on the book in fits & starts
  • Been seriously in the pit of depression since August, with a couple of weeks reprieve sprinkled through October & November, enhanced by difficulty sleeping most nights.  I think I need a different antidepressant……..Am afraid to change because of side effects.  :::sigh:::  All I want to do is go hide in bed.
  • Still eating tomatoes from the garden!  I definitely wanna write a serious post about the garden successes and failures, but it’ll have to wait.
  • Knitting is happening.  Photos of knitting are happening.  Blogging about knitting – not happening, obviously.  I have plenty of more yarn crimes to post but I got so few comments on the last one, I’m kinda thinking I’ll abandon the yarn crimes posts……
  • Got diagnosed with high blood pressure last week.  Both parents & both brothers on BP meds I found out this summer, so I don’t feel too bad about it. Hope the hed I got is the right one for me.
  • Duke of Curl is mostly laying about playing video games.  Force of Nature a royal pain in the tuchis but she’s 15 so what else is new?
  • Really have to find a job – seriously do not want to. Many reasons – mostly too personal and/or specific to post here, but I’m praying on it.
  • Working on my French again in hopes of becoming somewhat proficient & keeping the brain sufficiently stimulated…..
  • My friend Shannan R. has beaten cancer!! She got a clean scan
  • Working out has seriously stalled.  Please pray for me!

I’m also asking for prayers for friends: Cindy T., Tangela S., Cheryl P., Vicki C., Tracy B., Hayden L., James G., Marge W., Grace S., Malulinka H.

So how’s by you?

Climate change means WEIRD weather

ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!

Weather Nerdiness & RANT ahead!

ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!ALERT!

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When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.

-Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki tribe)

So last winter was quite warm, and this spring has been cold and wet and WEIRD. Last weekend, Friday thru Sunday, we got 6 & a half inches of RAIN.  That’s a LOT of rain!

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How old is that in dog years?

So I was reading an article over at Fab Over Fifty by a woman ho lies about her age to everyone, including her daughter. I wrote a comment that turned into a short essay….so I thought I’d post it for your enjoyment.

ical_asian_hat-demographics_of_vietnam-face-facial_expression-headgear-list_of_headgear-old_age-portrait-portrait_photography-smile-woman-women_in_vietnam

You can read the original article here: It’s My Birth Date & I’ll Lie If I Want To….
… here is my reply:
I think Ramona can lie about her age – that’s her business. Lying to her daughter – well, that’s her business too. Neither of the above are the same as my choices. Since Ramona has written about this, she has opened herself up to comments – a slew of which seem very harsh to me.

I LOVE how old I am – 44. I have always looked older than my age – which was really groovy until I was about 19. Still, I had a misdiagnosed heart ailment that nearly took my life at 40. The cardiologist told me they don’t usually find what was wrong with me til the autopsy…. I thank God everyday for the chance to see my kids grow up. Last weekend, I sang at the funeral for my dear sisterfriend Tracey who won’t get to do that; she was only 5 weeks older than I.

Anyway, my mother has always looked quite young and I have gotten really sick & tired of the thousands of times I was told we could be sisters. Made her feel great (though she is not vain at all) which is good, but I’ve never told her it always makes me feel like crap on a stick. I look lots like my dad who, in his 70’s, more & more resembles a troll. :o) Still, I am grateful that though I’m no great beauty, I am not disfigured either. As a musician, great beauty or disfigurement would be yet another obstacle to overcome.

Aging is a process of detachment for me, so for me, lying about my age would get in the way of that and – more importantly, get in the way of what I am trying to teach my kids (ages 24, 17 and almost 15): that your appearance is not very important in the grande scheme of things; your character is far more important. Of course you want to be clean and look well but not to become the plaything of fashion.

Crazy-old-Lady

I’d much rather look like this….

Joan Rivers

…than look like this. I mean, heck! It sure is CHEAPER.

 

My daughter, the almost 15 year old, asked me about 6 months ago to stop coloring my hair BECAUSE she loves my silver. I’ve got a lot of it and I earned every one of those suckers. I have stopped coloring my hair because there is SO little I can do to please her these days (ages 14 & 15 for me were no joke).

I guess as long as there is some perceived benefit to being young, people will lie about it….but I wish they wouldn’t.

Something really important REALLY!

I meant to put this up last Wednesday & forgot. Sorry!  I am tryna spread out my posts and be more consistent.  STOP LAUGHING! I hope to do the weekend wrap-up tomorrow. :o)

I know some folks who read here don’t like the serious posts and I try to limit them – really I do. There are really serious things going on that sometimes I feel I absolutely MUST say something or I will BURST!!

clipart-angry-woman

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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….

filigree-divider_2_lg

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…..

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Belated AND unfinished! What more can you ask for?

So, um, yeah!  It’s January 29th, so:

Years ago, my husband (with a little bit of help from me) wrote some Christmas/New Year’s letters that were, quite frankly, hilarious. They came about in response to the “shiny & glowing” letters we receive from various people during the holidays – we knew we weren’t accomplishing very much! – and also because I was getting tired of writing the same things again & again in more than a hundred Christmas cards.

One of my sisters-in-law kept them all and gave them back to me a few years ago; I’ve hoped to post them here but I’m such a s-l-o-w typist that hasn’t yet happened. It could happen….

The last funny letter came out right around ten years ago as email became widespread for North Americans – no more spending $ to print and mail them to everyone – and the letters stopped.  I cannot really explain why they stopped since I don’t really understand it myself – it’s really a Studmuffin thing and I’ll leave it like that.

This year I wanted to do one so I started started writing one during the last 2 weeks of December and didn’t finish it. SURPRISE!  I know you’re shocked….Oh, I had hoped to finish it with Studmuffin’s help but no dice. He straight up REFUSED to have anything to do with it (which is really too bad because he’s WAY funnier than I am).  Still, I think what I have so far is somewhat amusing and since y’all are being so patient with me while my writing mojo has been almost completely devoured by “the book” I thought y’all deserved to read it.  Also ‘cos I want to trash the sticky note reminder about the silly thing since we’re already at the end of January 2013.  Kill two birds, eh? I hope you like.

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Mele Kaliki makaa everybody! And Hyvää Uutta Vuotta!

The end of the Mayan calendar proved to be such a non-event on December 20th, that we thought it was time to start some NEW doomsday rumors – HEY Y’ALL The WORLD is ENDING!  How do I know? The reappearance of the helenkosings family letter.  Are you frightened?  Stocking up on canned goods yet?  Just checking…. (more…)

A few thoughts about guns

So much has been written & said about the Sandy Hook school killings that I was not sure I should say anything. As the days have gone on, I have not heard or read anything that reflects what I keep thinking about, so I’m sharing it here.

I’ve read in several publications that me & my fellow citizens of the U.S. of A. own 90 guns for  every 100 of us. If this is true, figure there’s about 350,000,000 people here, there are about 315,000,000 guns out there ALREADY. Even if we decided to stop selling all guns tomorrow, that’s still PLENTY of guns to shoot every person in the 50 states.

Yes, we NEED a much saner set of laws concerning guns & gun ownership and I am glad that something may get done towards this by the gutless wonders we call politicians (I know that’s really harsh……), but LET’S NOT KID OURSELVES: gun control legislation is NOT gonna make the epidemic of gun violence go away. Because this is a complex problem; it isn’t ONE thing, it’s many things. Things like: using violence as entertainment in tv, movies, video games, the media glorification of violent crime, the seemingly insatiable appetite we have for celebrity & fame, the widespread alienation of young men of all races & classes, to name just a few of those things. Truly, if we’re looking for an easy answer – let’s just lock up all white men from ages 14 to 50, ‘cos those are the people who do these killings (with few exceptions).

Or we could try blaming all the unarmed people around. I mean if any of the Sandy Hook teachers or kids had been packing some heat, perhaps so many wouldn’t have died this time. That’s pretty much how we treat rape here – as if it is the women’s problem and we train all the females how to avoid it and blame the victims…..for being out too late, wearing the wrong thing, being in the wrong place….using terms like “legitimate rape” and so on. Perhaps not…

I know some truly wonderful people who are gun owners – mostly hunters.  And these folks are SERIOUS about safety. Some of them belong to the NRA and I have had some passionate discussions on occasion about the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. Here is my question:

When does someone’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms end, and everyone’s Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness begin? Before or after the massacre? Or the drive-by? Or the ex-boyfriend/lover/husband who cannot let go?

Because there are thousands & thousands of people who have been deprived of their rights by being deprived of their lives. How many more will pay with their lifeblood? How many families will grieve over those murdered using the damn-near ubiquitous tools of terror that you can buy at K-Mart?

I’m so sad about these deaths. Not just these but all of those killed by senseless gun violence. My heart is sore. But I have to ask:

 Who’s next? Who gets to be the next innocent victim of someone’s right to have a firearm, to watch violent movies & television, endlessly play first person shooter video games?  Let’s talk about freedom; shouldn’t freedom include freedom from as well as freedom to?

I don’t know. I’m just asking.

A digression – Project Runway’s 10th season – #long!

I believe I have said before that I don’t watch much tv.  It’s true – I don’t, but it isn’t because I don’t love tv or that I have some high falutin’ moral opposition or feeling against it – ‘cos I don’t. I have learned so much & seen so many things, heck that’s how I learned to READ.  I *do* feel it is a huge time waster, the commercials are often racist, sexist, materialist, ageist and create desire for stuff I don’t need anyhow, the news ain’t really news, it’s noisy, it tends to make me passive and even more sedentary & I decided in 1997 that if I was gonna do music, have a good family life, read books and be a Baha’i the way I think I should, something was gonna have to give! That was even before I got online….

I love PBS. It’s my FAVORITE thing to watch. Still, most of those things on PBS – they make you think. Deep thought kind of thinking and I do plenty of that already (just ask my family…..). Now reality tv – that’s what I call low-brow entertainment and when I wanna turn off my brain – which still goes about 300 mph most of the time – that’s where I go.  I love Netflix & Hulu; you can watch stuff with few or no commercials, and often you can watch stuff all in a row whenever it’s convenient. What could be better?

It can’t be just any old reality show either.  I don’t really have clear criteria; I just know it when I see it.  So I got hooked on Project Accessory last summer and so I’ve been watching the 10th season of Project Runway.

**********SPOILER AHEAD***********

The final episode of that cycle was aired this past week, and I was surfing around trying find out a bit more about the winner. I read a recap/review by Mondo that I enjoyed and I decided to respond in the comments section….which turned into a fairly long essay.  I thought you might enjoy reading it, so here it is, with some photos added.

Read Mondo Guerra’s Recap here

(He *did* say to tell him how we really feel in the comments….)

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