Monday, March 31, 2008
Looking forward to seeing you in July!
This room would be our library:
Lanai and side yard:
Gotta go now; I have an appointment with my retinologist this afternoon, and it's a 2-hour drive. I suspect I'll have to have a shot in the eye again, but it's worth it if it works. I'll put up more photos when I have time, maybe tomorrow afternoon. Maybe not.
And on my feet today (shoe shopping in Ft. Lauderdale--a dream! Three pairs.):
Well, now......here's something I never knew before, and now that
I know it, I feel compelled to send it on to my more intelligent
friends in the hope that they, too, will feel edified. Isn't history
more fun when you know something about it?
Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating
victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of
all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would
be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and
therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This
famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew
tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as 'plucking
the yew' (or 'pluck yew').
Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major
upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle
fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck
yew! Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult
consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a
labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words often used in
conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the
pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the
symbolic gesture is known as 'giving the bird.'
And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Big big difference between Yorkie poop and Great Dane poop. Just sayin'.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
So here's the second (black)hearted sock, at least, what I knit today. The "in progress" photos are on another card and I'm too tired to upload them tonight.
Notice the clever draping of sock over spider veins and wrinkles?
Last, but not least (you know I'll never shut up), with only a couple of rows left:
I'll finish it tomorrow.
In front of us.
In back of us.
For hours the traffic was more parking lot than actual driving. If I hadn't had my knitting, I'd have gone insane, and I wasn't even the one driving. I was just along for the music and company.
Not only was the entire East Coast on I95 in Georgia and South Carolina, there were miles and miles of road work, which meant that at least one lane was closed for 30 miles or so, and which also meant that many of the idiots going home had to rush to the front of the closing lane and then push into one of the two available lanes. I did a lot of screaming and gesturing.
For some reason, this sign amused me; check the photo that follows it and you'll see why.
Heh. I have a sick sense of humor, and I needed that today. Poor Tom. He didn't complain. I did it all for him. See what a good wife I am?
To add insult to injury, it started pouring right around dark. We were really lucky; it was the first rain since we left home on Good Friday. But back to bad luck; everyone on the East Coast decided to call it a night and stopped at hotels. Every hotel at every exit for two hours was full. Every. Flucking. One.
But by that time, we were listening to XM radio's uncensored comedy channel and laughing ourselves silly. At least, I laughed myself silly. It was dark. I couldn't see to knit. So I laughed.
Finally found a hotel with one unrented room, and here we are.
I'm going to bed. Knitting content will follow when I'm able to get online again.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I'm so relieved!
Today we found The House. It's perfect. All tile floors, lots of windows, huge kitchen and great room, six bedrooms and six baths; five bedrooms have private baths.
Here's the plan. This palace, on two full acres, entirely fenced, is--get this--only $270,000. Yes. You read that right. (Okay, the guy who showed it to us doesn't speak English too well, but I asked over and over, pointing to the price on the spec sheet, and he agreed every time. Yes, 270 thou, yes, two acres. From there to there.
Okay, there are four of us and assorted husbands. Each of us only needs to kick in $70,000 right now (cash preferred; Tom doesn't want to sell that old Porsche yet) and we've got us a mansion in the agricultural area of Homestead, Florida, near the Everglades (and thus the necessity for a fenced yard). Of course, since we found it, Tom and I would get the master suite (wait till you see the photos; getting ready to go to a Brazilian restaurant for dinner, so I can't download them now), but the rest of you can pick your bedrooms. The one in the front is almost a suite.
There's a dining room, a media room, a room that has glass doors but has open arches into another room, a beautiful lanai, on and on and on.
I figure we can have a maximum of 10 dogs, fewer is the dogs are big, maybe more if they're Yorkie or Chihuahua size. We'll have a Great Dane as a guard dog.
So, who's up for this? I'm making a list. Show you the photos later.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I may never leave.
Monday, March 24, 2008
My youngest grandson, age 4, loudly said, "He's not the Easter Bunny! He's a man in a costume!" while the Easter Bunny asked my daughter if he could have her business card.
Since I was 11 I've lived in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia, but the flat land of Florida is where I feel most comfortable.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Family's the best.
Then, tomorrow morning, on to Florida!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Somehow I missed Trillian's entry, "scrub ALL of your hands"; all I can say is that my boss has been gone all week and is back today and I've had fun playing this week and I was busy and trying to multitask and missed it.
When I get home, Trillian, I'll pick out some yarn for you.
Thank you all for playing along and being good sports! I don't think that any other post has had this many comments. I guess I need to bribe you all now and then!
How long do you think I had to consider that? You're right.
First she has us knitting gauge samples. She's had some patterns written for some of her designs, which are incredible, and she gave two of us yarn (Heidi got chunky in Antique Jeans**drool** and I got worsted in Strawberry Latte) and told us to go at it. So far I've knit one on size 8s and one on size 7s. Here's the 8s (couldn't tell you the gauge; I was gone all last weekend and didn't have time to check it):
This one isn't striping as obviously as the one on smaller needles, but it's striping. I'm hoping that on a garment it'll work up better.
Test-knitting for Claudia? Hell, yeah!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Remind me, will you, please?
Oh, and please remind me that I have another contest I want to do.
And, oh yeah, we've made more plans involving music and following bands around. More when I have time to tell you.
Life is looking so much better than it did a couple of weeks ago. Is it the antidepressant kicking in, spring and longer evenings with light, a wonderful weekend, another wonderful weekend and then a trip to Florida next week, then more music and more music and more music? Or am I just crazy?
Whatever it is, I like it. And I love Tom for putting up with me this winter and not locking me up or walking out on me.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The food was great, though, and the prices aren't bad.
We spent the night with my sister who lives in town, which saved us a 45-minute ride home in the middle of the night. Zippy was there and wouldn't sleep with us; he preferred the freedom of the entire house and visiting with Kipper. It was nice to visit a little when I got up the next afternoon; then we drove to Mom and Dad's house for a drop-in and sandwiches before we went to the Saturday night show at Ashland Coffee and Tea; this is a surprisingly unpretentious little place with a full coffee and tea menu plus some food and a wonderful "music listening room" where only whispers are allowed during the show. It holds 150 people with no "standing room only" crowds allowed, the acoustics are decent, and there isn't a bad seat in the house. Too bad it's about 3 hours from home; that's the only real drawback to it, although we spent the night with Mom and Dad and had a nice time visiting the next day.
That show was so much better. There were maybe 100 people there, and there are chairs and tables that you may not move, so it doesn't get crowded.
We got there early enough to be the first people in (not that I was worried about that, not old Obsessive-Compulsive Me), so I chose what I considered to be the best table there. Right up front, next to the tiny stage. Tom went back out to the car and slept for a while, and I sat in there and knit(ted?). I dropped a stitch somewhere on the sole of the sock and didn't see it for a while, and when I did, I couldn't see well enough to pick it up correctly, so there's an odd-looking spot, but it kept the stitch from running and I'm the one who'll be wearing it, so big deal. I used to be enough OCD that I had to fix everything perfectly, but I've kind of gotten over that, if I'm the one it's for.
So anyway, the show was wonderful. There are usually the core group of four, and others mix and match as their schedules allow. In larger venues, there are as many as 11 in the group; most times we've seen them, there have been five or six (you can check their website if you want to see who's who; I'm too lazy, once again, to list them. But they're all damn good. Except I'm just not crazy about having having the trombone in the mix; it just doesn't fit their music that well. Loved the accordian this show.). There were five on Friday night, six Saturday night. People fly in and out all the time, it seems. Steve Wedemeyer used his Blackberry or whatever the hell those things are onstage to check in for his flight home to Houston the next night.
Some of them live in East Nashville (as distinguished from Nashville, which Eric Brace, lead singer, emphasises); one in Houston (or was it Austin? You know me and geography.), one in PA, some in DC. It seems pretty incredible to me that they manage to stay together as a band, what with members living all over the place and flying/driving in to meet the others. They started out in DC and most moved to East Nashville a couple of years ago.
Okay, I'm rambling. It was a good show, a good night. These guys are so good together. It's not a serious show; they joke around, but they don't mess around with their music. That's serious stuff. Go to their website (in case you haven't seen it before or don't know where to find it or something) and listen to the songs they've got there for your listening pleasure. They're not country, although they play a lot of country songs. They're not rock, although their music contains a lot of rock. They're not bluegrass, although, you know. (But three of the members formed the group The Starlighters, which is a bluegrass band.) They're just good.
Take my word for it. Buy their albums. You won't be sorry.
The only modification I'd make is to add 4 or 8 stitches. I didn't when I started knitting because my brain is too numb to figure out how to do it. Uh, duh, there are four hearts, add one or two stitches between each heart.
It's a little snug because I usually use 68 or 72 stitches for a sock, plus this one only has ribbing at the top, not all the way down the foot as usual. But it was so nice to knit, just mindless stockinette once I got past the hearts. I did drop a couple of stitches (which I managed to pick up a few rows later, one badly), because I was knitting in the dark, more or less, before two Last Train Home shows last weekend. In light (ha!) of that, these are now my (black)hearted aka Last Train Home socks.
They aren't the best, but they're the first ones I've done. I'll probably knit more of this pattern because they're so cute. I might make them of my spring yarn, Red Wagon. I think I posted a photo of that down a few posts.
For you kitty people, here's our Miss Lily, aka Fat Cat, aka Will You Quit Clawing Me B*tch.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Blogger is not allowing me to link directly lately. This is the link: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/medical/sexual/precocious.html (okay, that doesn't appear to be working, either, but it's the correct address)
From the above link:
" What Are the Signs of Precocious Puberty?
In girls, the telltale signs of precocious puberty include any of the following before 7 or 8 years of age:
pubic or underarm hair development
rapid height growth - a growth "spurt"
onset of menstruation
"mature" body odor "
A has the first three symptoms, has since the age of 6. Six! My gosh, I was well into my teens before I...... well, actually, I never had boobs until I gained weight the last few years, same with hips. I wanted boobs. Now I just want my shirts to fit again.
A's okay with the boobs. She likes them just fine. The hair? Notsomuch. Actually, it freaks her out. Totally. (I don't much blame her.)
Now, if those symptoms were the only problems Precocious Puberty caused, well, having a period at age 6-8 can be traumatic (hell, I never got used to it and was absolutely delighted when menopause finally, finally became an official diagnosis for me), but a child who's been well-prepared by her mom can cope.
But. There are problems.
(Again from the above website) "How Does Precocious Puberty Affect a Child?
When puberty ends, growth in height stops. Because their skeletons mature and bone growth stops at an earlier age than normal, kids with precocious puberty usually don't achieve their full adult height potential. Their early growth spurt may make them initially tall when compared with their peers, but they may stop growing too soon and end up at a shorter height than they would have otherwise."
A has just gone through a very rapid growth spurt. The pediatrician ordered a hand xray, which is the way it's determined if the bones have started to fuse, which means that growth will soon stop. Also, it determines the child's "bone age". A's bone age is 11-12. She's barely 8.
A's height is currently 4'6", which is at the 95th percentile for girls. Sounds good, huh? But what if she only grows a few more inches?
I'm aware that this can sound really superficial and also cruel to those who aren't tall anyway. But I'm going to use that word--"but"--we're a tall family. A's mom is 5'7", her dad is 5'10", I'm 5'9", my son is 6'5". My shortest sister is 5'7" and my two nieces are almost 6'. Mom is--or was, before she started shrinking a little--5'9", Dad is 6'. A has always expected, with good reason, to be tall (although it really disappointed her that she'd be too tall to be a good gymnast). She's always been the tallest or close to the tallest child in her class. She's used to that.
So. A saw a pediatric endocrinologist this week. He looked at her hand xray and immediately said, "She doesn't have much time", meaning that she can start her period any minute now. Her bones are fusing. He said that her pediatrician should have referred her two years ago. Oh, J tried. She told the peds, each visit, of her concerns and asked them to check things out. Nope, it's "totally normal these days". Those two pediatricians may have cost A a good 7-10 inches of height. That's totally unacceptable. What else have they overlooked when a mom insisted there was a problem?
The ped endo ordered more blood work for the insurance company, not because he needed it for a diagnosis, he said, but because the insurance company would insist upon having it before they'd consider paying for the treatment, which is $30,000 a year. (Note to former peds: You owe A's family approximately $60,000. Thank you for your attention.) Now, the ped endo said A might have a couple of weeks before it's too late to start the treatment. It's going to take another week for the bloodwork to reach the insurance company, then, it'll be 2-3 weeks before their decision, then, if it's approved, the surgery for the implant has to be scheduled. It could be months before all of this is accomplished. Remember up there: "She doesn't have much time?"
Treatment? Again--same website: "The currently approved hormone treatment is with drugs called LHRH analogs - synthetic hormones that block the body's production of the sex hormones that are causing the early puberty. Dramatic results are usually seen within a year of starting treatment with an LHRH analog, which is generally safe and usually causes no side effects in children. In girls, breast size may decrease - or at least there will be no further development. Growth in height will also slow down to a rate expected for children before puberty. A child's behavior usually becomes more age appropriate as well."
And this treatment is $30,000 a year, one implant good for a year, usually done until the girl reaches 10 or 11. The implant was just given FDA approval (yeah, I know, that's a comfort) less than two years ago; before that, the drug was given in injections every 28 days. That works well with most kids. (Catch the sarcasm there?)
If A receives this treatment, she will possibly reach 5'6", acceptable given her family history. If not, at most, she'll reach 5'. Full adult height at age 8. When A heard that, she said, "I want the implant," and J agreed.
Maybe I've been overly hysterical about this. It's hard to tell; I'm too close to A to be objective. But it's a pretty scary thing for a little girl and her grandmother who didn't have her first period till she was 13.5. And is 5'9" tall. And doesn't have to shop in the little girl's section at age 55.
It's really been difficult finding blog entries dealing with Precocious Puberty. It's my hope that someone (a mother or grandmother or sister) will Google PP and find this blog and start writing about it themselves. We need personal perspectives from those who have or are going through it.
Then there's that whole gymnast thing.....
P.S. The ped endo looked at B2, who the regular ped said is the size of a 6-8 year old, asked how old he is; when he heard "4", said that he'll be testing him next.
Friday, March 07, 2008
I've decided to attempt to knit Passion in this pattern. See, trek, it's mostly stockinette, totally mindless knitting, with little hearts along the top (and I knit socks for A with hearts on them, so I think I can manage it again) and, get this, a ruffle on the top. A ruffle. Cast on 256 stitches, then after a couple of rows decrease decrease, and end up with 64, knit a few rows of ribbing to make sure the stupid things stay up, then the hearts, then stockinette baby all the way to the heel and then to the toe.
Remind me of my enthusiasm for this project when the stockinette parts become unbearable, will you? Or, maybe not. It might be better that way.
(It appears that Blogger isn't allowing me to link to the site. It's stariel . blogspot . com/2008/02/blackhearted.html. Perhaps that will help if you want to see the photo and pattern.)
UPDATE: I've knit the two rows of 256 stitches and done the decreases, the little bit of ribbing, and am now ready to start the heart patterns. Pray for me, please.
Deedee, who chose the pattern for the yarn Passion, gets first place, even though I'm going to be hard to get along with and picked another pattern, gets
Trillian, who gets a prize just because I'm boss and say she can, gets
trek, who also gets a prize because I'm boss and like to be bossy, gets
Last, but most assuredly not least, my sister Betty gets this for suggesting that we grab the credit cards and head far south:
Uh, I'll get that to you next Friday when I see you, Betty. Be patient with me, please.
The flu has been smiting people right and left for about a month, and up till now I've avoided it. I've had colds and bronchitis, but not this.
I just took my temp. Almost 101.
There goes my weekend.
(I guess it could be worse; my poor sister has pnuemonia!)
Thursday, March 06, 2008
So, this afternoon, two young women came into the main office, the only way to enter the school unless some moron kid lets someone in through one of the side doors. The young women were there to take pizza to some group of troubled youths in the school. They do this every week. Those
Fictitious High, like the other Fictitious City schools, has a police resource office in full uniform stationed at the school. She was in the office today, getting ready to sign out for lunch, when a call came into the office that a young man refused to take off his gang colors bandana tied around his wrist, so she went upstairs to take care of the problem. After she came back to the office, the pizza was delivered and the delivery man left.
Several minutes later, Fictitious I answered the phone. In response to "Good afternoon, Fictitious High School," a male voice said, "Good afternoon, this is 911, I'm calling in response to a call from a pizza delivery man who said that two suspicious-looking young men wearing black hoodies were going into to the school as he left. Are you aware of any problems of this nature?" Uh, no. Fictitious I was not aware of any such thing. The office was rather full at the time, what with
Fictitious I alerted the resource officer, who was again trying to leave for lunch, and the building's administrators of this development. The resource officer told the officer on the phone that as far as
Approximately 30 seconds later, two police cars rushed to the front of the school and four officers ran inside. Might as well fan out and check things. So here we have 1/3 of the students at lunch in the cafeteria, 2/3 of them in classrooms, possibly two dangerous men, and five people known to be carrying weapons legally. They searched the school as quickly and efficiently as possible, then determined after talking to Pizza Delivery Man that the suspects had been about 200 feet away from the building, at the transit stop, waiting for the bus. They had not been near the building when PDM called 911. The bus had already picked them up so it wasn't known who they were.
By this time, the resource office was rather pissed off that PDM hadn't bothered to call the school after he called 911. It would have been nice if someone inside (and the main office is the only yadda yadda yadda) (which is where
So. No danger. Police officers ready to leave. A fifth one came in at this time. Time to arrest a
Fictitious High's resource office never got her lunch today.
Fictitious I knows where she will hide if any suspicious people make their way into the school. Fictitious I knows all the good places. She has a plan.
P. S. Three kids trashed a boy's bathroom this afternoon, too. The fun never ends.
Okay, this pattern is not a difficult one, if my assessment of it is correct. There are no stitches other than knits and purls, no yos, no ssks, no cables. But my knitting neuron was evidentally turned off yesterday.
Hmmmm, that doesn't look quite right, does it? So let's rip it out to the ribbing and try again.
If I remember correctly, there are only 12 rows to the pattern. Most are simply "knit" or simply "purl". There are two that say "*k 12, turn, p6, turn, k6, turn, p6, turn, k6 p6, turn, k6* and repeat from *", and the other row is reversed with k6 at the start and k12 at the end.
From what I can sort of understand, this one row takes a while to knit, what with all those turns and going back over what was already knitted on that needle, but should almost all of the actual knitting end up on one needle? No. It means I made a mistake. Twice.
Patience at an end, several hours of prime knitting time wasted, sock frogged. Twice. And I'm looking for another "simple" pattern. It's starting to look like a ribbed sock is all I can manage. I'm afraid to even think of Pomatomus. The words might leap off the page and clog up that knitting neuron and kill me.
And that nice dark Santa Fe colorway isn't looking too good to me right now, either.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Good times, good times, to quote my grandson.
They'll also be at Ashland Coffee & Tea the following night and Tom and I are planning to go there, too.
Yeah, they're that good.
Well, this is what she sent to me:
Two skeins of this beautiful 100% wool Palermo (just the name makes me drool!) and a little sachet to keep the buggies away. It smells sooo good!
But what made me sit in my car and laugh out loud for the longest time was this:
I started reading it that night. It's very funny and just what I needed.
How's that for appropriate?
Thank you, Nancy! I love it all!
Monday, March 03, 2008
B2 was a great help, as he always is when bossing is needed. J's email:
"We did go to Disney yesterday. A kept saying she was feeling better... she threw-up on the Winnie the Pooh ride- yep- people were sitting right behind us...then she threw-up when she got off...they gave her a voucher to buy new pants! We obviously went home at that point.
Flu, I guess. Great. B2 will have a wonderful time when he gets it. Yesterday he LOUDLY kept telling A "GET IT ALL OUT A! JUST THROW UP- IT OKAY A- JUST GET IT ALLLLLL OUT!!! JUST THROW UP!!!" Uggghhhhhhhhhhh...
She got a pair of ugly pink stoned Princess sweatpants and changed into them there. Yuck. She even insisted that I push her out to the car in a wheelchair after I could no longer carry her on my back. (While B2 is yelling "LOOK OUT PEOPLE!!! WATCH OUT EVERYBODY!!!" in his bossiest tone, trying to keep his hands on the wheelchair the best he could.)
To quote B2, 'Good times, good times.' "
For some reason I keep picturing Disney World as being this huge petri dish......
Winning pattern entry: Deedee--Pomatomus (is that spelled right?). I know that the yarn can speak for itself, and no doubt will, but right now I need a challenge, at least until I get so aggravated with it that it's frogged and banished for a while. If my tendonitis doesn't start up again, that's the pattern I'll try. Prize: TBA. I have to go home and rummage through my stash. Maybe I should have thought this through and picked the prizes first, but I have very little self-control.
Best idea to beat the February blues: March. Just kidding. It's a tie, Betty and Deedee, since they both had the same theme going. Again, prize TBA.
And since only four people entered: Trillian and trek will both receive prizes just because I can do that. I'm sweet like that. Prizes TBA.
In the meantime, if I don't have your mailing info, please email it to me at mpost @ harrisonburg dot k12 dot va dot us . I'll let you know when the prizes go out.
And thank you, guys.
I've watched the princes grow as much as anyone has (maybe), but they're grown up now. Their momma's been dead for a long time. Leave the boys alone.
And while I'm at it, please report genuine news. I really really don't care what Britney is doing to herself these days.
There is one more option: *click*
I finished these socks a week ago Friday, the day the baby was born (son of a teacher here) but didn't get them to him until this morning. Still, they're done, and I'm pleased with them. They're from some leftover Strawberry Fields from vieuxrouet at etsy. I made a pair for myself, but I think these are prettier.
A contest. This lady has some incredible yarns in her etsy shop. And you can go to her blog and enter the contest for some kind of knitting goodies. And link to her shop and tell her about it and you can enter again.
I found her at InsanKnitty’s blog. She has an etsy shop, too.
*ahem* See what a little sunshine and warm(er) weather do for me? *note to self and Tom: we have to buy a house in South Florida. Soon.*
Last night, just before bedtime, I finished the blasted M&D socks, and if I do say so myself (and I do), they're lovely. I immediately picked out some yarn for the Bremen Muster socks, some Claudia Santa Fe, a colorway that's been discontinued, the very first Claudia yarn I ever bought, a colorway that I snarfed right up when she was getting rid of it. This one is a little darker than most, but I still love it.
But I might get a wild hair and buy some Fingering 55 for these socks, merino/silk, which takes color in a different way, so the same colorway looks totally different and luminous. These socks just deserve something special.
Time to run downstairs to the attendance office and hand out detention notices to the kids who insist on being tardy every day.