Hives and Google Reader and stuff

So I promised y’all some pictures…and you’ll get ’em I SWEAR! I was gonna write an apology for not writing much this week, but I figger it this way – an apology for not blogging is really boring for me as a reader so why should I do that to all 3.5 of you AND it would take almost as long as just writing a short post so why didn’t I just hurry up and do it already?

This past week I was Queen Oversleeper Extraordinaire – I didn’t go walk a single morning last week because I slept thru the alarm every single day. I did, however, go walk the crazy dogs with Studmuffin both yesterday and today in bloody early morning cold – as in “bloody early” and “bloody cold” – we went just under 2 miles each day. My walking partner is not mad at me…but I do miss her.

So last Sunday, I sat down to knit for a bit in the sleep-inducing chair…and fell asleep for 3 hours. Here’s the weird thing: I woke up, went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror….

AAACK! my face and part of my neck were covered in hives.

Boy, I sho’ looked purty as you can imagine. I have no idea what caused them. I spent the next three days trying to remember what I ate or put on my face that would cause them and carefully washing my face gently with plain water and a “mild as water” facial cleanser. I was clear by Thursday but it is a mystery to me. I’ve NEVER had hives before – I’ve only seen them on others. I didn’t do anything unusual or eat anything unusual. Studmuffin thinks the crazy dogs must have rolled in something and I do put my face on or near them when we cuddle…. Still it was very strange.

While I was on vacation, I did not read any blogs at all, so my Google Reader had something like 800+ posts for me to peruse. I spent some time getting it to below 400 posts and then have tried to stay away from the computer this past week as it has become such an incredible time suck. So tonight it’s back in the 800’s again and I’m bummed. I love my Google Reader, you know that, but the pressure can be too much to bear sometimes.

Studmuffin fixed the washing machine this weekend. It has been doing some leaking whe ever you use it for the better part of a year now and apparently, this weekend was THE time to fix it. Only by the end of Saturday, it wasn’t fixed – it was worse as in flooding the house. So on our early morning walk, after Studmuffin told me we might be without a washing machine for a month or two until we could afford to buy another one, I tried in my most tactful way (which – if the truth be told, is not very tactful at all….) to suggest that even though one is an engineer, that does not, necessarily, mean that one can or even should fix things on one’s own, and perhaps someone who fixes these things for a living could be called and maybe all was not lost and it might not even be terribly expensive. Such effrontery could not be borne! How dare I have the temerity to suggest such a thing? He would of course take all the laundry to laundromat if it becomes necessary so that I would not be inconvenienced….!
Thank Heaven for small miracles because when I and the kids got back from devotions around noontime today, the washing machine was churning away per usual AND not leaking at all. I thanked him for doing such a good job on fixing the washing machine. :o)

I spoke with my mom tonight and I could just kick myself sometimes because I never learn. She was talking about her recent trip to New Hampshire to visit her sister (my darlin’ Aunt Cynthia) which was very cold weatherwise, and she was talking about how she hasn’t really gotten over her earlier bout with bronchitis and other various respiratory ailments and I suggested that she might try chewing nicotine gum instead of smoking for a few days. That way she wouldn’t have the withdrawal symptoms and she might be able to feel a lot better. That conversation devolved into a disagreement about smoking which was stupid on my part.

I *do* try hard not to be the rabid ex-smoker to my folks and well basically everyone who still smokes because it is their choice to do so and I hated that when I was a smoker. I do bring it up with my parents from time to time, usually when they are complaining of some kind of respiratory ailment that won’t go away, or talking about money saving strategies. I *know* I am not going to change my mother’s mind about smoking; if 8 years working as a cardiac nurse didn’t do it, what hope have I? However, when she started going on about how awful these smoking lounges are in various public places and how smokers are treated as pariahs and practically like criminals, I jumped in with both feet about how smokers do NOT have to go into nasty lounges because smoking is a purely voluntary activity, and lots of blah blah blah more, and that I had very little sympathy for smokers. Of course all of what I said is true, but why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut?

Riding With Mother – part 3

by Elaine Mead Currier Keniston

– Family Vacations –

Franconia Village and White Mountains; postcard from the 1950’s

Mother had a smart idea about how we could go on family vacations, something that others from more affluent situations did at least once a year.  Why not pack the family car up and go?  You could sleep in the car with blankets and pillows, stay in the various roadside areas, truckstops and state parks, and then motor along to see the sights.  Back then in the 1950’s it became our method of getting a well-deserved break.


Riding With Mother – part 2

by Elaine Mead Currier Keniston

-snow and Mr. Evans-

One winter evening after dark we were making our way home in another snowstorm.  We had turned off the Bowman Road; the tire chains made their metallic slapping sounds bringing us up the slippery incline on the corner so that the yellow halo of the kitchen light in our house came into view and cast a welcoming glow through the falling snow.  Daddy was driving and we girls were in the back seat as usual.  Being short, we couldn’t see beyond the high front seat and we couldn’t hear much for the roar of the snow tires and chains.  This always seemed to serve as a convenience to our parents who could discuss things which children shouldn’t hear, and an annoying obstacle to our young, inquisitive minds.  We faintly heard Mother and Daddy commenting on something in the road. We strained to see.  Daddy slowed the car, stopped, put the car in neutral, and pulled on the emergency brake.  We stood up and Mother said, “You girls sit down and stay put!”; but we had caught a glimpse.


Riding With Mother – part 1

by Elaine Mead Currier Keniston

Mother was driving. When we were young, it was the Ford with the smooth, curved hardtop. The car slowed and we heard its tires spinning.  I guess we three girls, always occupying the back seat, had been making some noise: talking, giggling or arguing the way kids do.  We knew instinctively to stop when we heard the car getting stuck.  The decibel level we had attained was not so high as to cut off our awareness of the larger situation.  As a matter of fact, Mother’s tolerance of kid-noise did not even approach the lower register.  She and those of her generation often reminded us how fortunate we were to take part in some social measure, because when they were kids, “children were to be seen and not heard”.  The next thing we knew from similar prior experiences was that this unintended automotive situation was somehow our fault.

Her voice resounded from up there in the front:”There! Now see what you kids have gotten me into? A mess – that’s what!  Now BE QUIET and we’ll try to get outta here!”

We sat perfectly motionless at first and maintained the quiet she demanded, hoping that it would help her concentrate while rocking the vehicle back and forth, shifting into first, then into reverse, the Ford spitting out gravel, its engine roaring with newfound acceleration, dipping down into the rut and straining up to its edges.  (more…)

Some actual photos/weekend wrap up

You might have noticed that lately there have been VERY few pix on the blog…and there is good reason for it:  I put the camera battery charger in a “safe place” and could NOT find it.  Until today of course.  Today was a good day because I also found the other skein of Jawoll Sock yarn I couldn’t find for months and can now finish the second black & white marled socks I started over a year ago and have a pair! Photos near the bottom.

So let’s get some photos happening! (more…)

The recent blogging break was brought to you….

  • ….by Google reader.

Yes, I finally sat down and figured out how to use an RSS aggregator to read blogs (it wasn’t very hard at all.  Maybe they made it easier?).  Now, instead of opening 20 or 30 browser windows at a time (veddy slow) and going through them all to see who has posted, I just log into Google reader and all the ones I’ve subscribed to just show up.  It’s lovely!  So I’ve been reading many blogs and have come to the conclusion that my blog is probably only interesting or amusing to very few people out there.  That’s ok – I love those of you who read my verbiage and especially those who comment!  I do not think I will ever have the widespread appeal of other bloggers, but that’s really fine.  I mean I wish I did, but I know me and I won’t probably develop a masterful writer’s voice unless by Divine intervention.  Oh well.

  • by feverish knitting.
I’m tryna get several projects done at once, and I am largely succeeding!  I realized last Monday That my mother’s birthday was coming up this weekend and there was this pair of socks that I had been planning to make for her… I cast on and am now almost done with them.  Yes, I’ve missed the actual date of her birthday, but she’s me mum and she knows me, ye ken?  I’ll post pictures of them after I’ve sent them off to her.  I also hope to post some of her writing here this week.  I’ve been meaning to do it for the longest time…
Plus, my friend Jason has moved to Finland.  No, really, he’s moved to Finland to work for a cruise shipping line.  SO I made him a hat in a couple of days.  He has no hair so I knew he’d need a good hat.  I was happy to get it done.I can’t remember if I actually took any pictures of it though…..   My middle kid wants one now, but in MUCH brighter colors – no problem.
And I made the helmet part of the dwarven battle bonnet that needs to be done by Saturday….but I used the wrong needles and it was too big.  I felted it and it’s still too big.  Fortunately, the middle kid likes it and he’ll use (he has a big head).  I just have to make his beard for him.
AND I’ve been procrastinknitting on the test knitting pattern.  I finally got both hanks of 1200 yards of super lovely laceweight alpaca blend into cakes and all ready to swatch.  Then, like a doofus, I left them in one of my many, many knitting bags on the floor and Bluto, my enormous fur-puddle of a cat, went and squooshed them so the cakes aren’t quite….right.  I think I can still use them.  I pray that I can, because untangling 2400 yards of laceweight is gonna make me a little grumpy and rather delay said test knitting.
  • because of catching up on swaps
As could be expected, I am still the poster child for biting off more than I can chew, and so needed to finish up 5 swaps this past week, as well as sending a big package to the oldest kid….now that I have a mailing address for him.  Sending off swaps would be no problem if I didn’t keep accidentally joining international swaps.  It’s a pain in the tuchas to mail even small packages out of the country.  I’m behind on 2 swaps, but I should get those done by Tuesday.
  • by the podiatry incident
I think that’s deserving of a post all by itself, so you’ll just have to wait.


UPDATE:  Based on y’all’s comments, I have decided to wait until I can buy another skein ofthe Shetland Triangle yarn to finish it off for real for real.  I may cast on the next one, it was such fun…..
It’s fall break from school this week, so I hope to blog everyday, putting in several things that are long overdue in this space……
See ya later.  Like tomorrow.