Thursday, March 31, 2011

First fruits!

Wait...beets aren't fruits...well, never mind! These are golden beets, from one of the front boxes! The seeds over-wintered in there, and came up like gangbusters not long ago. Unfortunately, I spaced on taking the anti-cats wire off, hence the too-early harvest.

But they'll still be sweet and lovely, maybe baked in a little balsalmic vinegar in a slow-ish oven.

Hi, Spring. Glad you're back.

What to do in an earthquake - good advice - David Icke Website

A friend sent me this today - some good advice in here: What to do in an earthquake - good advice - David Icke Website

Being born and raised in California, this kind of thing is second nature to me...wouldn't usually get put of my car, though, since frankly falling debris - light enough to break your head, not heavy enough to crush your car (and therefore, you IN your car - is the more pressing worry. But of course, I WAS taught to get under my desk in case of earthquake. Or fire. Or nuclear attack.

Come to think of it...I'm beginning to suspect the school leaders had a VERY irrational opinion about just how powerful a desk actually is.

[Ed: Best point from Snopes article referenced in the comment below: Buildings in the US about NEVER collapse due to earthquakes alone. But like I mentioned before, light stuff (you know, like BRICKS) fly around like crazy...personally, unless I had a darned good reason not too, I'd want to stay inside and away from windows until the ride came to a full and complete stop, keeping my hands, feet, legs, arms, head in particular and, well, every other part of me away from flying debris. And I'd rather be under a good sturdy desk watching the show when the fluorescents start plummeting from the ceiling than catching them with my BACK, thanks all the same...]

A large part of what makes earthquakes - any natural disaster really - so terrifying are its Imponderables. No warning. No second chance. No make-up test. Nothing you can DO, to prevent or even mitigate.

I find it helps, as I'm on my way in to the site of the 1902 quake, passing where the Cypress fell, remembering how it was during that awful hours when bridges were falling and I didn't know where my San Francisco-dwelling friends and family WERE, thinking and praying hard for my brothers and sisters in Japan as they struggle to raise their heads again, to reacquaint myself with these sorts of things.

And to then stop worrying about it.

Life is beautiful. I don't ever want to turn the sweetness of it to ashes in my mouth by leavening my mind with pointless worry.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coffee Memories and 3-D Eyeballs

This morning as my beloved ACE rumbled into Pleasanton, as always I gathered up my scattered belongings at the almost-last-possible-second and flew down the stairs to the doors.

As I stood there, thinking about work and email and the need to call The Lady My Mother during normal human hours, I suddenly became aware of that "I have forgotten something" feeling, washing over me. Something wasn't right...something was missing...(counts bags, checks keys, phone is in place headset in pocket, BUT YET SOMETHING IS WRONG, THERE IS A HOLE.........)

And then, it hit me. OH NO!!!!!!!! MAH COFFEE!!!!!!!!!

So I dashed back up the stairs, snatched my Contigo off the table, rolled my eyes and ran for the shuttle.

The rest of the commute, I worked on Captain Adventure's hoodie. At first, I was going to tear out and redo that eyeball of Googly's, because as you can see, I was asleep or something while doing it and it got puckered.

But then I thought, Huh. I wonder...if I pull it *tighter*...would it be kind of 3-X-ish? That might be kinda cool...

I'm still not 100% sure about that call; kinda like it, kinda don't. But I'm going with it at this point, being so far in Intarsia stepped that to go back is way too tedious to contemplate.

And now...gonna reheat my coffee and get the party STARTED at work. Woooooooooo, work par-TAY!!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When The Crazy Attacks…

I think I am in the middle of some kind of epic adventure, wherein we are going to learn fascinating things about just how exhausted a person can become and still muddle through.


…dunno, maybe I can get a Discovery channel gig out of it…?

Now, I recognize that it is only Tuesday and that really, trying to say that “this whole week {blah blah blah}!” is kind of silly.

But this whole week? OHMYBLAH BLAH BLAH !!!!

OK, so, actually, it all started Thursday afternoon, when there was a mudslide over the tracks which caused the ACE trains (and every other train that uses those same tracks) (but who cares about them?!) to not run.

Hilarity ensues!

Having signed up for the text alerts from ACE, I began receiving a long string of messages that made almost partial sense most of the time. When instructed to call, I did…and received even more confusing instructions.

I suspect the person I spoke with was confused about where the Embarcadero BART station is in relation to the Santa Clara light rail system. Because the dude thought it might be possible for me, at 3:40 in the afternoon, to get to the Santa Clara stop in time to catch the 4:32 Amtrak to Fremont.


Yeah. Dude, I’d be lucky to make it to Oakland by 4:32. Word.

But eventually it all got straightened out and ACE called and paid for a cab ride home for us, which here means ‘the husband and I’ because of COURSE we were both in the office that day!

And four three other stranded passengers.

And since they had a total of five four passengers needing a ride, they naturally called for a small bus minivan one of those big black cars you see around airports a lot a Prius.

…and now you know why we lost Passenger #5…

It was a VERY COZY ride home. VERRRRRRRY cozy. And also it was raining like @*&^@, and the cab driver was one of those guys who likes to tell jokes and stuff while eagerly watching your reaction in the rearview mirror.

Ya, dude, look…this is already really damned uncomfortable and there are about 400 inches of rain on the freeway PLUS you’re doing 75 in a Prius with the four of us crammed in here like sardines and I don’t want you to slow down really but it WOULD be nice if you could LOOK AHEAD OF US and some junk…

So then we got home and went to bed. I was going to have to go into the office Friday (on National It Is A Constitutional Right To Always-Always-ALWAYS Work From Home On Fridays Day?! {GASP!}) because I had left my laptop locked up in its docking station.

Which was a good thing, seeing as how I then spent about an hour standing in the driving rain waiting for the aforementioned Prius to show up. My bag, and everything in it, was soaked.

BUT, well, guess what? The ACE train still wasn’t running on Friday.

I hate driving. BUT, I’m a big girl and I have a driver’s license, sooooo, you know, I’ll suck it up and deal with it. And leave early. Because Friday night traffic + me = reality television fodder. Seriously. Next, on COPS…watch as some INSANE WOMAN screams randomly out her window at other drivers…!

But it did occur to me (as the text messages warning of flooded roads and so forth buzzed on my phone) that I probably better wait until sunrise to start driving. Because good grief, who wants to drive into one of the temporary Not So Great Lakes of California? Not me.

…and so it was that I walked out to the driveway at a little after 7:00 in the morning, looked at the flat frickin’ tire on the Civic, turned right back around and began brewing a second coffee because yup, it’s gonna be THAT kind of day…

And then Big O couldn’t help me on account of because approximately three million other people were already banging their fists on the counters yelling about Tahoe and fix and tire and NOW!!!

I personally feel that my desire to go to work trumps their desire to go to stupid Tahoe and the stupid fresh snow, but, whatever.

So I attended meetings and, well, that was about it. Sigh.

And then, I’m told, a weekend happened.

But it’s all…rather a blur.

First of all, it rained some more. HARD. So I spent Saturday lying around in my personal sauna while a trained chiropractic massage specialist worked on my back and I ate shameless handfuls of chocolate and crap, I just realized, this totally wasn’t me! It was my dream-self, because I was unloading about 300 pounds of meat out of the freezer, giving said appliance a much-needed and very thorough washing out as fast as I could because now I’ve got meat sitting out starting to thaw, and then put it all back again.

But a little more neatly.

And then I did the same thing for the garage refrigerator which was, in a word, ew.

I mean, you know how fridges get, right? A little apple juice here, maybe a broken egg you didn’t quite clean as thoroughly as you thought, and suddenly you look at it and go, “Gross!”

Now add garage funk. Dirt, dust, sawdust even…yeah. Just go ahead and add the exponent of your choice to the Gross Factor.

Then, because I live a life of this kind of excitement…I cleaned the inside fridge as well. Wooooooooo, there ain’t no party like a cleaning-cold-appliances party…wooooo…oooooo…ooo…ahem.


THEN, I got up the next morning and cooked stuff. Lemon yogurt muffins, and homemade English muffins, which were then used to make some homemade egg sandwiches, PLUS some ham quiches with two kinds of cheese and some diced canned chilies because that’s right, I am a WILD THING. And some tea scones with currents.

Plus eight half-pints of lemon syrup.

Oh. And I made the yogurt for the muffins, too.

Because I am crazy, that’s why.

…and then I’m all surprised because ohmygoodness, will you look at that! Suddenly, it’s almost Wednesday!

Meanwhile in other news, our neighbor has repaired / rebuilt our blown-down fence, for $300 plus materials. Which is about $600 less than we would have paid to have a contractor do it, and by the way, guess what he does for a living?

Yeah, he’s a carpenter.

The fence looks better now than it did when it was brand new.

I’d show you this, but this whole week? Crazy. Yesterday and today went exactly the same way:

4:49 a.m.: Ah! Here I am, on the early train, I’ll be in my chair at the office by 6:30, out right before 3:00, early train home, home by 5:30-ish, couple hours of daylight and a little energy left, it’ll be awesome!

2:00 p.m.: AAAAAAAH! Why is all hell breaking loose?! Seriously?!?! Dude, quit saying we “lost” your accounts, we so totally did not “lose” a @*^&@ing thing…you are making those accounts UP, is what, and I CAN PROVE IT!!!! {typity-typity-typity!!!!}

3:00 p.m.: …crap, I missed the first train…oh well, I’ll just finish this One Last Thing™ and then I’ll definitely make it out of here in time for the middle one…

4:00 p.m.: …CRAP!!!!!

{commuting happens}

7:30: …crawl-crawl-crawl {face-plant!!!!}


I am totally going to catch that first train home.


…man, what a week…!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday and the return of real life

The main problem with having a couple days off is that you start to believe in believe that this IS your normal, that sleeping in, slowly waking up with coffee and a thoroughly-read newspaper is some kind of basic human right.

And's back to work.

But at least you can bring a hoodie with you to work on.

(Actually, I stayed up a leeeeeetle too late last night so I could get past the part where you graft the live stitches from the provisional cast on into the live stitches on the active needles...the thought of trying to do that on a moving train made me feel weak.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Anything But Money Monday: March 21, 2011

YA KNOW…I had this big long thing that was all blah blah blah budget and suddenly I was all, “You know what is cool? Just about anything ELSE.

So I went outside and moved about two cubic yards of dirt, the end.

(OK, so, partially true; I did have this big long thing about budgets in mind but then it stopped raining for a few seconds and then I went outside and moved dirt around because you know what says “fun”? Shoveling wet dirt into a wheelbarrow and then moving it from Point A to Point B! Yaaaaaaay!)

(I mean, it had to be done. And so did All That Weeding. Plus also getting the broccoli, onions, carrots, green beans, spinach, and lettuce into the ground. Oh. Plus some potatoes. But now I’m just getting off track…point being, I didn’t think it was particularly cool. Unless we’re talking about the temperature outside right now, which is remarkably frosty all things considered.)

(…and then, to continue avoiding thinking about blah blah blah budget when the rain kicked back up, I came inside and make nine half-pints of lemon jelly. Because you know what ELSE is cool? ANYTHING OTHER THAN BUDGETING.)


I’m having a hard time with getting my arms around budgeting right now. We had a really bad week last week, iced off yesterday morning by the discovery that after the lovely storm we had Saturday night, pretty much the entire back fence is falling down.


Coming right on top of three rapid-fire “surprise” hits that have left me out a good three grand so far…ugh.

It’s somewhat miraculous I was able to keep all the bases covered.

But over this weekend, I just couldn’t sit down and look at it. I’m gonna hafta pull the scab off sooner or later on this deal; but right now, I just don’t want to look.

So instead, I work. I do what I already know needs doing, with single-minded devotion. I keep shoveling, keep planting, keep removing weeds and folding laundry. I make food. I go to Google and ask it what to do with approximately 300 pounds of lemon peels. (And then I resist the urge to go with nothing but limoncello.)

I resist the urge to sign up for one-click buying at Amazon. (My GAWD, I do not want to think about the harm I could do to myself with that ‘tool’ enabled.)

I find myself thinking tonight that half the battle is knowing when to do battle…and when to resort to some mental aikido and redirect your energy into Something Else. I know for a fact that if I’d tried to work on the budget this weekend, I would have ended up in a major spiral of anger and drama. There would likely have been Sweeping Statements made and Drastic Measures put in place and etc. etc. etc.

How many would be actually necessary v. purely the product of me being too pissed off about things I couldn’t control (but yet were somehow responsible for cleaning up after anyway, what’s up with THAT?!), would be a topic for Eternal Debate.

The neat thing about having a constructive plan in the first place is that when all else fails, you’ve got something constructive to fall back on, you know?

Would be nice if it didn’t involve wheelbarrows, though. Just sayin’.

(But the peas are coming up already – I planted them a couple weeks ago –which is pretty awesome. See?)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Money Monday: March 14, 2011

Wow, is time ever playing tricks on me right now! My mind is stubbornly insisting that it is February - early February - and really can't seem to grasp the concept of, you know, March.

My mind works in strange ways sometimes...the fact that I've been steadily receiving W2 and 1099 forms didn't drive home the passage of time; my birthday came and went, eh, whatever; new year, yeah-yeah, sure-sure; but digging a shovel into the richly-scented loam of finished compost suddenly turned the abstract numbers of the calendar into shockingly meaningful things.

Suddenly, things that have been back-of-mind ‘yeah, I really need to think about that soon here’ are...real. Now. Immediate.

Somehow, my contract extension kind of lulled me to sleep, in terms of planning, and figuring out What's Next - I have had the “new contract” feeling ever since, and that happy mental glow of “got it covered, yay me!”

But, um, hello...18 month limit ringing any bells, babe? Yeah, I'm out the door on May 10 no matter how much love we all may still be feeling, or what I'm in the middle of...or how much more headway I wished I'd made on Things, or whether or not I have given even the slightest thought to What's Next.

Time is mean like that. Life, too; we humans scurry around trying to enforce our ideas of what is or is not “fair” on it, but really that’s like trying to tell the wind you disagree with his decision to blow down your fence.

Not only is the wind not going to change his fence-toppling ways, you’re not getting an apology, either. The wind is not merely indifferent to your problems...there is not even the slightest hint of acknowledgement that you even are.

We humans have remarkable trouble with this, bless us. It’s a marvelous thing about our species, really, our willingness to stand naked before God and take Him to task about “unfairness.”

Our refusal to take our individual insignificance lying down has wrought some mighty wonders. the same time...wellllllllllll...I think we occasionally forget who is actually in charge of our health, happiness, wealth of possession and spirit. Hint: You see that person every the mirror.

Life can be unfair. You can plan and plan and plan and still find yourself caught by surprise; I honestly don’t think there is any conceivable way for any of us to be so completely thorough in our planning and execution (…oh…yeah…that…) that we can be assured of a “perfect” life.

@*^@ happens, ya know?

But at the same time, we can help ourselves avoid it. We can notice that the fence is leaning over and shore it up before it falls; we can realize that unhealthy habits are making our bodies more like a sewage treatment plant than a temple and make smarter choices about what-all we put into the system; we can decide we don’t want to walk the razor’s edge of financial ruin all the time and start taking steps away from it.

This is a storm I can clearly see coming, tracking toward me on the old triple Doppler.

And I know I need to start spending some time getting ready for it.

I admit I don’t feel like it. I have a million things I’d rather be doing than thinking about whether I’d rather take a job in San Jose come May, or try for something local (again) (wait, let me rephrase that: spend a good year looking, in vain, for work that even enters the same ZIPCODE as what I actually do that pays at least a THIRD what I make in The City before giving up and going back to work for MegaBank like I always do), or do something else, entirely, or, do nothing at all.

I also don’t want to be turning the thumbscrews on the household budget, or tucking things in so that my income is left completely untouched, to get a feel for how it would really go, in really-real real-life.

A lot of times, what looks awesome and oh-so-do-able on paper turns out to be…yeah…a tad more challenging on a day to day basis.

But I’ve got to do it, like it or not. Because ultimately, it’s what I need to do – for myself, for my family, for our individual and collective futures.

And also, I need to get our taxes done.

And I’ll get right on that. Right after I finish, uh, organizing the embroidery floss.

(Seriously, I need to get on that.)

(Why can’t my “need to get on that” list ever include something like, I dunno, “try all 31 flavors of ice cream”?)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Testing, testing, one-two-three

This is a test of the emergency blogging system. This is only a test. If this were a real blogging emergency...wait...a WHAT emergency?

Ahem, yes. Well.

Sooooooo, obviously, I am playing with my new phone this morning. I downloaded the 'official' Blogger far, seems to work just fine. I'm getting used to the "weird" touchscreen keyboard...and learning why "Curse you, autocorrect!" exists.

Heh...yeah. Puts some...INTERESTING..word choices in there, sometimes...

Darn, work laptop is booted. Okay, guess I should go work or something...sigh...

BUT FIRST, I gotta test putting a picture in this (you know, in the name of science).

(preview? Yes? No? Wait...huh...maybe I should call in "too new phoned to work" today...?)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


My new phone arrived with ludicrous speed; now begins the fun and excitement of figuring out how to USE it. Having been a Palm user for so long...well. I'm just kind of used to thing being A Certain Way.

Also, DANG! Did you guys, like, KNOW that Android phones are, like, CRAZY with the apps?! Holy shoot...I could get lost for WEEKS in that market...

Thank goodness for socks. They may have different patterns, color schemes and so forth, but their basic construction, where the needles and yarn go...that, I understand...

So, before you ask: It's an Evo Android smartphone, which is all 4G and some junk. I'm slowly getting it figured out. It has all kinds of calendars and live weather and GPS and REAL video games and Facebook and email plus web conferencing and streaming videos and whole entire books can be downloaded to it in, like, five seconds.

Oh! And also? I'm told - and this may just be wild speculation so grain of salt and all - that it can also send AND RECEIVE...wait for calls.

I KNOW! What will they think of next?!

Sent from my HTC

Thursday, March 03, 2011

This may be the last of these...

..sent from my Treo. It has been getting jicky lately, batching up communications on me and'll be absolutely silent alllllll day, then suddenly spasm into buzzing, chiming, etc....and then show me 27 text messages from earlier in the day, inform me that I have five missed calls and three new voicemails.

So I called Sprint and they said, "Uhhhhhhh...hey, lookit that! You are TOTALLY done with your contract! We have UPGRADE OFFERS for you!!!"

Been "out of contract" for almost four years now. And the phone HAS been....slowing down. And a couple of the keyboard buttons are cracked. And the ringer doesn't work anymore.

Ahem. Yes. It is time. And also, I got an extra $75 incentive - on top of the "usual" $150 for new contract AND $100 mail-in...because I was all, "...meh..." about it on the phone and the kid was DESPERATE to get my dinosaur-phone OFF their network.

So, I show you my breakfast (coupon at Subway this morning...bought a $1 orange juice, got the flatbread egg and ham sandwich free), AND the sock-in-progress (part of the Great Actually DEALWith Your Stuff Issues campaign of 2011), AND....check it out...that little bag?

Perfect size for sock and other small, portable projects. Snaps onto my belt so I can be a TOTAL dork and knit while I walk. Has an exterior pocket for my Knit Kit, so I can even click my row counter as I go.

Dollar. Tree.


Happy Thursday...may your coupons be good ones!

(sent from my Treo)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Disorganized Finishing

We had a houseguest this weekend. A most delightful and awesome houseguest, the kind of houseguest that is not merely welcome, but the sort where you wish things like he would buy the house next door, and maybe his wife won’t notice if we just KEEP him. (I think she’d notice. And also, she could totally beat me up in a fair fight. Which is why I wouldn’t fight fair, bwa-hahaha.)

He brought all kinds of good things with him; good memories, good conversation, fun times, and last night we went out to dinner with him and a bunch of other people we haven’t seen in way too long – the old gang, cutting it up.

…until almost midnight…

NEEDLESS TO SAY, I did not catch the 4:49 train this morning.

Or the 6:09.

In point of fact, it is miraculous that I managed the 7:09.

And then I was heading for the shuttle and had a moment of confusion because it recently changed so that now instead of the 54 I take the 53, which used to be the “wrong” one but now it isn’t the wrong one and in the couple of heartbeats that I was going all autopilot to the 54, the 53 slammed shut the doors and, soooooooo, I went ahead and got on the 54 whiiiiiich now takes approximately 3.5 hours to actually get to BART.

…but at least I got a seat, which it is looking like the people at the next station (which is where the 53 is now going all expressly) are not going to get.

So, I’ve got that going for me.

Plus, I spent more than half of the weekend going, “Blah blah blah blah blah!!” at our guest (the lucky devil) instead of tending to my usual anti-Chaos pre-next-work-week business, and then worked from home yesterday (which means I didn’t have to get my commuting act together until this morning, after said late night) soooooooooo, ahem, yeah.

I am more than tad discombobulated this morning.

How bad is it? Yes, well, let’s put it this way: I am wearing a dress today.

That’s right. Girl. Clothes.

Because, my usual attire is…well, I’m not sure where it is, actually. But where it is not is in my closet where I can find it. But the dress was there, and clean, and hanging up and all like that (because I have never actually worn it before, ahem) (yeah…had to cut the tags off it this morning) (huh…hope I got all of them, come to think of it…), so I threw it on and then there was this farce about shoes (oy), and since I have no full length mirror in the house, I have no idea if the “look” I have thrown together here is even marginally OK.

But, it’s what I’ve got soooooo, I’ll just have to go with it.

Welcome to my life, people.

But! I did manage to finally remember to grab my new laptop. Which is not the new laptop the husband bought for me a while ago.

It’s actually a very old laptop that has been re-re-re-re-re…hang on a sec…{counts on fingers} re-re-re-purposed.

SEE, the new laptop was…too big. It was heavy, and awkward to carry around, given that I had another laptop with me as well. A bunch of the function and number keys were in the “wrong” place for me, and I was having a remarkably (ridiculously) hard time adjusting to it.

So reluctantly, I gave it back to the store and the husband and I went back to the drawing board…and just as the fun and games were really ramping up again with the I dunno, netbook or notebook, or maybe a tablet thing, he had one of those a-ha! moments.

“What about that little machine?” he asked, pointing at the rather large paperweight sitting on the table – having recently been regurgitated from a long-forgotten box of Laptops That Only Need A Little Work To Function Again.

One $69 hard drive later, this older Dell is more than sufficient for my needs. Woot!

Now, a large of the reason that this extremely obvious option didn’t occur to us was that we are shamefully disorganized – things just kind of get shoved wherever they’ll fit instead of somewhere logical (ha!) or accessible (hahahaha!), and also we have so much crap potentially valuable bits of this and that (one of the dangers of the LBYMs lifestyle: You hold onto stuff because it “might be useful.” Which is fine up to a point, that point being the point at which you can’t get into your garage anymore because you’ve got so many boxes of cables, plastic parts that don’t fit anything you currently own but might be useful, you know, if we should happen to get another circa 1952 refrigerator someday! and the like).

I have actually been trying, really hard, to fix this situation; over the last couple months, I have been an organizing fiend. I’ve been going through all kinds of areas, one at a time, and really dealing with them; not just getting things to look neat, not just to get an idea of what-all kinds of Crazy I’ve got shoved in that cupboard or drawer, but to actually take everything out of them, really look at them, decide where it “should” live, and then {brace for revolutionary thinking, y’all} put them there.

I KNOW. I should write a book or something. I don’t think anybody in the history of ever has had this kind of crazy-awesome idea!

But it is very, very slow going. I totally know why it is that things have gotten to the level of Nuts that they have; it’s because the only person who actually cares enough to deal with this kind of stuff (that would be me) has almost no natural patience.

So when I’m sitting down with a file cabinet full of old papers from 1996 and deciding what I can scan-and-shred, what I can just shred, and what I’m going to have to go ahead and hold onto…I get real twitchy, real fast. It’s boring, it’s pointless, I have “better” things to be doing, aaaaaaaand then I shove it all back into the file cabinet to deal with “later.”

Which should be pronounced “never.”

It’s very slow going. My bedroom currently looks like a hurricane hit it. Right after a big earthquake. Which came on the heels of a yarn store throwing up in it. And then a classroom of ADHD children visited. And brought a farm-load of dust with them.

Plus I think I could knit a second cat out of all the cat hair. Oy. (How only one [1] cat can produce that much hair is a scientific mystery. If only we could harness this power, baldness would be a thing of the past.)

But you know one of the cool things about this kind of frenzy, where you pull out a bag full of something and say, “No! You will not just shove that back into the cupboard! You will deal. with. it!”?

You finish stuff.

Like…little Dale of Norway “Lillehammer” sweaters that have “only” needed their steeks sewn and cut, and their sleeves set in, and approximately 32,000 stitches picked up around the neck to make the collar.

Captain Adventure Lillehammer

(Alas, it is too small for Captain Adventure now. I could weep, even though it totally serves me right; you canNOT set aside a sweater for a 4 year old until he is SIX and reasonably expect anything but sorrow to come of it.)

I will have to make another one for him, someday. I do love it so…and it would look so smart on him. Plus also I did a pretty awesome job on the collar – if I do say so myself, and you will note that I do (shameless!):

Lillehammer Collar


Like another less-little sweater for a more-bigger sister.

Danger Mouse Sweater

Fortunately, this one was being made a size too big for Danger Mouse to start with, so it does still fit her! WOO HOO!

I’m not as thrilled with the collar on this one, though; these Dale of Norway sweaters do a nifty thing where you do the collar, then purl a turning row, knit another fourteen rounds (or so) above the collar, and then fold that down and stitch it to the inside of the sweater – it makes for a very neat looking finish on the collar, and (if you do it right) a smoother join for the wearer. Win-win.

But this one…I dunno. I just had a lot of trouble getting the stockinette to not pucker around the neck on the inside. (It doesn’t show from the outside and doesn’t bother Danger Mouse at all, but I know it’s there. All wrinkly. And pucker-y. Feh.)

Danger Mouse collar

The other thing that has me mildly alarmed on this sweater is…after I washed it and stretched it out on the PVC sweater blocker the husband made for me…I found a couple holes in it. I’m not sure it is actually moth damage; they don’t look chewed so much as like I split the yarn (possibly because I was daydreaming and looking out the window on BART instead of looking at what I was doing with my hands right now, which was actually a recurring problem on these sweaters), hooked only one of the plies with the needle and then that gave way in the wash.

I repaired the holes (pulled out the broken bits and tacked them down on the inside, then used a duplicate stitch to pick up the “dropped” stitches, graft them back together and keep the pattern intact), but now I’m regarding the sweater with Great Suspicion.

Which makes Danger Mouse nervous, because of course she doesn’t know I’m squinting irritably at the sweater as she dashes by, so she’s all, “What?” and I’m all, “WHAT-what?” and she’s all “I didn’t do it!” and I’m all, “Wait, WHAT didn’t you do?!” and it just kind of goes downhill from there.

(She did too do it. That’s a given whenever a child randomly blurts out, “I DIDN’T DO IT!” The trick is discovering what she did. Like maybe shoving five travel mugs full of hot cocoa under the upstairs bathroom sink instead of bringing them downstairs to be washed. WHICH SHE DIDN’T DO. AND NEITHER DID BOO BUG.)

(You’d think I beat them bloody, wouldn’t you? The way they struggle to avert all blame, for anything and everything, you’d think I practiced Old Fashioned Spanking-Style Parenting…which I don’t, not because I’m “100% dead-set against spanking, period” but because by the time I’m pushed to the point where I don’t wanna use words anymore, well, I shouldn’t be raising my hand to anybody, let alone a little child…)

ANYWAY. That’s the news, in brief, now from BART, straight from my cluttered-up, hopeless mind to yours. (Wait…waaaaaaaait…here we goooooooo…AND! IT IS UNDERWATER BLOGGING! WOO HOOOOOOOO, UNDERWATER BLOGGING!!!!!)

May your day be free of madness, and may your filing systems be systems…instead of “where can I shove this envelope full of whatever-it-is, AH! There’s a little daylight...!” operations.