Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Finally--the first payday of the new school year and my new job. I'd estimated that the increase would be about $200 before taxes, but it turns out to be that much almost exactly! Woohoo! Maybe we can pay off a credit card faster. Or I can buy more yarn.

I vote for a laptop. I miss mine soooo much.

The bad copier is still broken. It's been over two weeks now. The other one is being overused and is acting up. Twice now it's had a miscommunication with itself and has reset, which means it reboots. I lose all jobs I've programmed when it does that. So then I take a time out so I don't kick the stupid thing.

Most of the teachers here are on the ball and leave things to be copied a day to a week before they're needed, but there are just a few who, almost every day, send a kid in with a packet of papers half an inch thick and want 50 copies, front/back, stapled and hole-punched. The copier does all that work, but these people have to know before that class started that they were going to need those papers. They're supposed to have lesson plans and be prepared for unexpected absences. But they're not, and every stinking day, sometimes more than once a day, they send in students to get those copies. Now. (Annnnddddd I just made copies for another one.)

This poor copier is overworked and overheated and I'm afraid it's not going to make it. Because I'm going to kick it.

Casting on again

I admit it. I can't finish one project without casting on several others while I'm working on the first one. I lose focus easily, get bored with what I'm knitting, so I switch around.

I've finished all of my friend's BYOB except the handles. They require some concentration, something which is in short supply these days, so I cast on my coral Bam Boo Tropical Tee (Oat Couture) again. That's the one that I'd almost finished on vacation then realized that it was much wider than it should have been. So that one was frogged and wound into (many) balls and forgotten for a month. I started it again last week and am now almost to the sleeve increases.

It took three tries to get that photo uploaded in the right orientation. It kept rotating it. So I rotated the original and uploaded that one, hoping that would straighten it out. Didn't work that way. So I went back to the original, and somehow, someway, it came out right this time.

So I'm getting along well with that project. Naturally, I had to start another one. One of my co-workers bought a 3-button wrap that is simplicity itself, knit in cotton. It has three huge buttons and one buttonhole. She loves it and would like more; I saw a really easy challenge and jumped on it with all fours. No doubt that statement will come back and bite me in the butt, but so far so good.

I'm knitting mine of Claudia's worsted in the Roasted Chilies colorway. It is gorgeous. I've only knit an inch or so (I started it last night around 8) (past my bedtime), but I love it. I measured Bev's wrap, estimated stitches per inch, made a swatch (see, guys, I really DO swatch!) and got my stitches per inch, then multiplied by the width I wanted ( about two inches wider than Bev's, since she's petite), and cast on. After 10" I'll make a buttonhole, then continue until I hit about 61". All stockinette stitch. I hate purling, but for this I have to.

Several women are showing interest in the wrap. If I like it enough, maybe I'll do some custom work.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I must have lied

You Are 64% Interesting

You are a fairly interesting person. Many people find you to be intriguing.

You have a dynamic, adventurous life... a life that others envy.

You are genuinely interested in and open to the world.

You love making new friends, and you're always up for an unusual experience.

Like everyone else, you can get a bit boring from time to time. That's normal.

But unlike everyone else, you can pull yourself out of a rut. You don't stay boring for long.

Don't forget

the new contest a few posts down! Make me laugh! Educate me! Just say hi if you can't think of anything to say!

Blogaversary contest

If you like, I will announce the winners of the Blogaversary Contest that occurred over a month ago, and being basically a sloth, I've taken forever to get around to finding prizes and matching them with winners.

So I'm going to announce the winners. I don't remember exactly what yarns I chose, but I'll try to match them up correctly.

Courtney, of course, gets a prize for sending the most people. Hers is a hank of beautiful Claudia Hand Painted Yarn, large loop boucle, in the colorway (I think) Carnival. It's gorgeous, yellows and reds and I think purple and blue and probably some green. There's enough for a nice big old scarf, and it's really warm.

3rd place goes to Turtle, not sent by Courtney, who wins two balls of Knit Picks sock yarn, colorway Coral. Beautiful stuff, and it does make some nice socks. I used part of a skein (not one that I'm giving away!) on the toes and ruffle of my Red Wagon socks.

2nd goes to jennygirl, sent by Courtney, who wins three balls of Knit Picks wool (can't remember the name of it) that's good for felting, baby blue. I was going to knit and felt some bags and bowls and things and never did. So jennygirl profits from my laziness.

1st place is Georgi, who wasn't sent by Courtney, somehow! She wins the cd, Last Train Home's Live at IOTA (which happens to be where we're going tonight and Sunday, to see Last Train Home live at IOTA), and six balls of Knit Pick's wool (same type as jennygirl's) in the colorway Hyacinth, I think. I was going to knit and felt a bag for my sister, never did, so Georgi, it's yours! I really really hope that you'll like Last Train Home.

So, ladies, please send me your emails so I can get your shipping information. Who knows when the hell I'll actually send the stuff out, but you'll get it before say, Thanksgiving. Better make that Halloween, huh?

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all who entered. You've given me many new blogs to read and new friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Already tips are coming in, and they're good! You guys are on the ball! (I know; that's a bad pun.)

And, Georgi, I've been knitting for about 7 years and I've just recently started using stitch markers when I'm casting on large numbers of stitches. I wish I'd learned--and used--that one a lot sooner!

New contest!

Yeah, I hear what you're mumbling. Or shouting. I'll address that in a minute.

I meant to have a contest in celebration of my 400th post, but it slipped past me. This is 402, I think, so this will have to do instead.

For this contest, I'll give you a Peter Cooper cd, Mission Door, autographed by Mr. Cooper himself and witnessed by my partner in crime, Joan. I'll throw in a little yarn, too, to keep it interesting.

What I would like from you is your best knitting tip. Funny is not only accepted but encouraged. Rules: Post your funniest knitting tip or story in the comments section. If you link to this on your blog, you'll get an extra entry (hi, Courtney!), and if someone leaves a tip and says you sent her, you get an extra entry. Usual stuff. I need funny this time of year.

Contest ends Tuesday night, Sept. 30, 2008, at midnight EDT. That's right, isn't it? Eastern Daylight Time? Anyway, my time. If you come in a little late, I'll let you in. I won't be checking at midnight anyway.

Now for the last contest, which is still up in the air. I have chosen winners, yarny prizes, but I haven't put them together. My excuse this time is that I was sick for the last two weeks with either one odd bug or about 4 of them and just didn't do a damn thing at home (as if that's news). We're going to be out of town Friday-Sunday night, so nothing will be done then, either, but I will get the winnings in the mail next week. For the last contest. I'm not making promises yet on this one.

So check Peter Cooper's website (sidebar) (I still don't have my linkie page handy), listen to his music (some good stuff), and enter the contest. Shout it far and wide.

I still have a Last Train Home dvd (or, as B2 says, dvdv) to give away, too; maybe for post number 450. Or whenever I get this other stuff mailed out.

On your mark, get set, GO!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Twilight Zone

I've been holding off writing about this; it just didn't feel right. But today I have to.

I may have mentioned a time or two that B2 has Visitors and Friends and passes on messages from them. Back in July, while Tom, A, and I were in California, Jennifer called and asked if I'd heard about little Caylee who'd been missing from her home in Orlando for a month, but Mom had just reported it.

They'd gotten home late that night. B2 was asleep next to Jennifer while she watched the news. When the part about Caylee came on, B2 sat up, said, "She's dead." J said, "No, she's just missing." B2 said, with certainty, "No. She's dead. Her mommy hurt her." J asked how she was hurt; B2 slashed his hand across his cheek. Later he told her that Caylee's mom didn't cut her while she was alive.

A couple of days later, B2 told his mommy that Caylee was "behind the big trees." He later told her that she was no longer there; she'd been moved. When he saw a photo on tv of Caylee's mother, he again said, "She killed her."

Lately he's been saying, "Caylee's sad, very sad. But she's okay now. She's just sad." This is the first time that he's said that someone was sad. Always before they've been okay after death, no matter how they died (usually violently).

J called me this morning because she saw, on tv, policemen looking for Caylee. In the trees.

So many people have told J that she should call the police with the information B2 has given her. A 4-year-old kid who has Visitors? Sure, lady. And just how does he know this stuff? Uh huh.

It'll be interesting to see if poor Caylee is found and any of B2's "visions" are true. For now, B2's just saying, "She's very sad. I don't want to talk about it."

By the way

No one has come in for their emergency copies. Not one person.

And the 8.5" x 14" paper tray is broken. It was intact when I left this morning.

Mumble mumble

$1000 later, I have a temporary crown and three replaced fillings and lips so numb that I'm biting them and don't know it. I'm also drooling when I try to drink water.

It's a lovely day in the neighborhood.

Evidentally teachers can't read or understand a sign on the door that says I'm gone and will be back later. I came back to a pile of to-be-copied-ASAP papers on my desk.

Job security.


Dentist. Xanax.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Time out

Grandma bragging rights

I have to brag.

A started a new school in August. They moved in July, still near Walt Disney World but not in Orlando. J was going to homeschool her (her experiences at her first school were not..... shall we say, positive?), but after moving a week before school started, she visited the new school and was impressed enough to enroll A, who is in 3rd grade this year.

So far it's been a very different experience, a good kind of different. A was put into the class with kids who make similar grades, and she's shining. Her first three years, she was "at the bottom" of the class until the second semester, when she suddenly "matured" and reached the upper levels. That was an A+ school, and they were going to keep that rating no matter what.

This is a B school, having come up from a D to a C to, this year, a B. They try harder. The administration is friendly and open to parents. A loves her teacher and the librarian. They've done so much to make her feel welcome. And A has 100% averages in all classes but reading!

Reading is a B because she blew the first test of the year. Other than that, the teacher says that her only concern is that A reads with "too much drama"! She's grown up with adults reading to her with "drama", not monotones, and her pageant background has taught her to recite with "drama". Her teacher said that she doesn't want A to lose the drama, just tone it down for class.

What a difference.

B2 is attending the same preschool he went to last year. At first he was in the afternoon class and didn't have his beloved "Miss M" as his teacher, and he was really depressed about it. But the afternoon schedule didn't fit well with A's school schedule, so J changed him to the morning class three days a week. "Miss M" is his teacher again and B2 loves preschool and he loves "Miss M". Poor "Miss M". She probably thought she'd dodged the bullet this year. He's doing well, possibly because he loves poor "Miss M" so much.

The kids are going to schools in different counties and therefore have different vacation schedules. But they're both happy in their schools, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Autumn blues

I'm going to write about this and then try to forget it. Like that'll happen. But I don't want to go on and on all fall/winter/chilly spring about how much I hate cold weather, so I'll do it now and maybe get it out of my system.

I hate cold weather. I hate wearing coats. I hate wearing hats. I hate running to the car, shivering and swearing, before the sun comes up. I hate not seeing the sun before I go to work and only seeing it for an hour and a half after I leave work. I hate having to turn on the heat in the house and pay the ridiculous amounts the gas company will charge this winter (even though we keep the temperature around 66 degrees). I hate having to wear sweatshirt, t-shirt, sweatpants and heavy socks in the house, sometimes having to wrap up in a blanket to keep from freezing.

Poor Tom is already wearing a hat (that I knit) while we're home, and it's not that cold yet. He really feels the cold, while I'm always (almost) too warm. One would think that a post-menopausal woman would be happy with cooler temperatures. Not so in my case.

As the days get shorter, I can feel that ol' melancholia stealing over me, stealing my energy (what energy that I have), my motivation, my life. By December or January I'm ready to hibernate. I don't want to get out of bed. I hate wishing my life away, waiting for warm weather again. I feel like I'm just enduring six or more months of the year, waiting to feel alive again.

Thank goodness for trips to Florida to see my daughter and her family. Not only do I get a good dose of being MomMom (or Nanamarana, as last January), I get a dose of sunshine and warmth. Green grass, flowers blooming, trees with actual green leaves on them. Life. Sun. It keeps me from wasting away inside while waiting for warm weather at home. Even if it gets down into the low 30s at night while I'm there, I know that it won't last long, and even if I miss the nice, warm days, I know that they'll come back quickly, unlike in the mid-Atlantic states where it's winter for six months.

Thank God I have an understanding husband. It bothers him that I sleep so much, even in the warm weather, but that's my natural rhythm. Always has been, since I was born. I'm not finding that I need less sleep as I get older; for me, it's the opposite.

I've been diagnosed with Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Depression is so much worse in the cold times of the year, but increasing my antidepressant turns me into a zombie, so I just have to endure. I don't want to risk changing antidepressants; I don't have six months to live in bed while waiting for one to get out of my system and another to get in, then finding that it doesn't work well, and having to go through it again.

I will not miss the seasons. There are only two seasons I want to have: summer and almost-summer. If it never got colder than 60 degrees, I'd be a happy camper. I have to force myself to see the color changes in the leaves; I can acknowledge their beauty only after I've forced myself to notice that they're no longer green. Snow is beautiful when it's falling, but it soon gets grubby, and living on the side of a mountain isn't the best place to be in an ice or snow storm. Working on the other side of a mountain, where the roads are maintained by two states, one of which (and it changes) is always more on-the-ball than the other, is a royal pain when the roads are slippery. Tom's site never closes, no matter how bad the weather, and being the maintenance manager, he has to go in even if there's a foot of ice on the road (a slight exhaggeration). I work for the city schools, in a city where school is rarely closed due to inclement weather and only once in a while opens late. Doesn't matter. We leave home at 6 each morning, and if we hear that school has been cancelled or will open late, no matter. I'm on the way at the regular time anyway. The weather at home or on the mountain may be treacherous, but we chose to live where we do, so we have to deal with it.

I'll just have to endure. I'll have happy times; I won't mope around for the next six months. But I will complain about the cold weather, the short days, no warm sun. It's my nature. Again, thank God that Tom feels the same way about cold weather and wants to move south when we retire.

South, as in South Florida, where there's no (or maybe a tiny bit, once in 25 years) frost, where there's almost always sun (HOT sun), where most places are air conditioned so there's somewhere cool to go when it's too hot in the sun. Where we can grow tropical plants outside, not in pots that have to be dragged out in the spring and back inside in the winter where the poor things just endure until spring. Where we can see my grandkids and Tom's daughter (who was smart and moved to Ft. Lauderdale when she was 18). Where there's a beach within an hour's drive east or west.

Where maybe I can defeat this cold-weather melancholy and feel alive year-round.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I forgot to add

that my new best friend, the dental hygienist, told me that I need to use a particular kind of prescription toothpaste from now on and said she'd give me some. When I got home last night, I looked over the bill and saw that I'd been charged $17 for the "free" toothpaste! Seems she should have mentioned that I had to pay for it. It's being returned.

And my gums are in good shape in spite of the fact that I've totally ignored them.

Seems I touched a nerve

with my post about dentists!

The good news is that nothing hurt. The bad news is, we could spend a few weeks in Europe on what my repairs will cost.

On Wednesday I'm having four old fillings replaced (because they're cracking my teeth) and prep for a crown. Lord. I hate having my tooth shaved down like that. I'll be taking xanax. My insurance (mostly worthless) will pay about half of the cost for those items.

THEN I'll have to have a crown and bridge. No insurance on that (geez, the stinking insurance only pays up to $1000 a year, and this will be $3100; we figured why pay $600 and have it save us each $1000?). But at least I'll be able to chew on that side again.

I was in that office for 3.5 hours. I had to take half a day of sick leave for that. Another 3 hours next week. A full day the first of October when I go to my retinologist. A couple of hours each for two doctor appointments in November.

All in all, I'd rather go to Florida.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Let's get it out in the open right up front.

I fucking hate dentists. And I have an appointment in less than an hour.

When we were kids, we had an old dentist whose equipment was made in the mid to late 1800s. He was a sadist. He was 95 years old, couldn't see, and shook. Good qualities for a dentist.

He traumatized Betty and me so much that, as adults, we kind of... neglected to go to checkups.

Both of us were motivated to go back in the last few years by molars starting to break (some were nothing but filling; that old dentist was very liberal with the drill) and our dislike of pain. Broken molars hurt like a mofo. I ended up having two pulled because they came at a time that I simply couldn't afford to have root canals and crowns. By the time of the last incident two years ago, I had dental insurance (mostly worthless) and opted for a crown. No root canal. Yet.

So now my dental insurance (mostly worthless) will go up over 100% Oct. 1. The system has chosen the least expensive policy (mostly worthless) so we've decided to put away that money each month to use on dental bills. But till September 30, I still have insurance (mostly worthless) so Tom made an appointment for me to go in this morning. I won't make phone calls if I can avoid them and refused to go into the office to make the appointment myself.

Besides the sadist dentist we had as children, I dated a dentist who I'll call "Chip" (thinly-disguised) to protect him from angry patients who might read this. I've never met a man with more contempt for his patients. He bitched if they cancelled appointments because of illness, and he bitched if they didn't and came in and shared their germs.

It honestly makes me wary of all dentists.

So, I'm off to see the sadist wizard to see if he's any better than the others.

At least I still have dental insurance (mostly worthless).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A weekend in (almost) paradise

On the drive to Richmond Friday afternoon, we lucked out. The clouds parted and the sun came out. And the hotel had a pool, which was closed since it's after Labor Day, but that apparently meant they no longer skim off the bugs, so we sat on the edge and dangled our legs when we got too warm, lounged on the chaises, drank (Starbucks or water, as the case may be), read, and talked. Saturday was wonderful. Hot, in the 90s, which felt so good after the cool, dreary week we'd been through.

Our room was beautiful. It actually had a partition dividing the bedroom from the living room, and in the middle, on a swivel, was a 42" high-def tv. Now, we'd never seen HDTV before, as one of us didn't want to pay the extra $5 a month for it although she HAS an HDTV and the other two of us don't have them at all, and it was a revelation.

We all hate sports. We are blessed with a dad who never followed anything that involved throwing, catching, or hitting balls, so we grew up in a sports-free house. I'm fortunate enough to be married to a man who doesn't like sports.

But this past weekend, we only watched high-def channels. Outside of HBO, The Weather Channel, CNN, and something called Universal TV (I think), there wasn't much on that was high-def. So we watched a lot of CNN and, God help us, sports.

That doesn't mean I'll ever watch them again. But we could see every blade of grass. The colors were incredibly bright. Wrinkles on faces were unfortunately very visible. We decided that we'll never allow our photos to be shown on an HDTV, even though this weekend there was a hookup for a laptop (which I no longer have anymore) (but Joan does) and we could have looked at our pictures of Peter Cooper in high-def.

But that would have been just plain mean. And painful.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In case you're wondering

I forgot to upload photos of our new floor. It was conveniently installed while we were in California. We still have only gotten the tv, sofa, and loveseat back into the living room. Everything else (except most of my yarn, which I need to go through to find contest prizes) is in our guest room; there's no room in there for any guest! We've got to take care of that so that Tom's daughter can stay there when she comes up.

It's hickory. Natural light:

Hall light:

I really like it. And Zippy does some really funny turns on it.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I have been knitting, even though I haven't blogged about it. I'm knitting a white cotton (unmercerized) market bag from Knitty, BYOB. I'm knitting it for my former boss whose birthday is in two weeks, so I'd better get cracking on it. I have maybe 1/2 of the body done. No photos.

I've gotten one of my Buckeye socks about halfway down the foot, but I've only been knitting that when I don't want to drag BYOB around.

What I'm planning hoping to do is dye the BYOB when it's finished. I don't kow what color yet; I need to check to see if tea will eventually destroy the cotton fibers, but that's the sort of "color" I'm thinking of.

Oh well, a girl can dream.

My blog is famous, sort of

Peter said he's seen my blog. Oh Lord. He knows I lust after his hair.

(He said he's bald underneath all that hair. The man does have a good sense of humor.)

The show Saturday night was wonderful. Peter brought Alex McCullough (steel pedal guitar player), so it wasn't his usual acoustic show. Either way, he sings beautifully, and inserts humor into his songs and tales. Fun show.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How I spent my Saturday evening

Running my fingers through Peter Cooper's hair.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is today over yet?


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I love my random number generator!!!

That really made it so much easier to choose winners. Now I have the list of winners but I haven't chosen the prizes, so for now I won't announce them. Please give me to the end of the week to get that done.

I'll have to have these contests more often! What fun it's been to meet so many new people and read new blogs. I still have a ton to read.


Oh--my sisters and I are having one of our Sisters' Weekends this weekend, including a trip to Ashland Coffee and Tea to hear Peter Cooper. At least, Joan is going with me to the show. Betty doesn't like country music. I told her to ignore the steel pedal guitar, but she can't get past it. Oh well. Her loss! She'll miss out on his hair musical genius.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Contest update

Good grief, you people came out in droves!!! 89 of you, to be exact. This is going to be a real job to figure out!

Courtney has 30 entries, the most by far. Many others came from other sites or brought people with them. I am overwhelmed (in a good way) by the number of people who took the time to stop by and leave a comment.

Since there are so many entries, I'm going to give at least 3 prizes in addition to the "grand prize" of yarn and Last Train Home's cd, Live from the IOTA.

I can't promise when I'll have this all tabulated, but I'll do it this week.

Thank you all for coming here and leaving a comment. I really am excited about all the new blogs I have to visit to enjoy!

Now, off to see if Tom (who does "do math") can figure out a way to chose the winners easily!


This is why I don't like permanent hair color.

I know better. But once a year I get the bug to color my gray at home, since I've had so many haircolor disasters from professionals.

I chickened out of taking a photo; it's that bad. My hair used to be medium to dark brown; now most of the front is very gray. I can't even tell what color it's supposed to be.

I've been using semipermanent color, but I haven't done well with that, either. So a few weeks ago I bought some medium brown permanent and finally tonight got the courage to try it.

After 10 minutes it wasn't coloring the front white very well, so against my better instincts, I left it on the full 25 minutes. I should have listened to the voices in my head.

It's almost black! I love black hair, but not with my skin coloring. And age. It looks so obviously, badly fake.

Guess I'll get my hair cut really short tomorrow.

Now I'll go to the contest post and see what I have to deal with! This may take a while......

Saturday, September 06, 2008


When Hanna pushed through our skies last night, she didn't leave much rain, but she gave us some beautiful colors. Even a rainbow. Everything was infused with a soft, golden light.

Alex and Andy

Only unisex names for our baby deer this year!

Kara and Liz

Betty, Joan, and I each have a daughter and a son. Growing up with three sisters, we all felt that our girls had missed out on having sisters.

Kara and Liz are only a year apart and have grown up as close as sisters.

Surprise party

Joan turned 50 this week. Her husband managed to pull off a surprise party for her last weekend. It was fun to be with the family.

She doesn't even dye her hair. No fair. And she's skinny.

Turkey crossing

Chester the Cat watches tv

She gave permission...

In response to my statement that I don't put photos of our kids on my blog,

Elizabeth said...

OH put my face on your blog...You should see what else what else there is about me on the internet!! heh just kidding.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Okay, Liz, remember that you said I could! Shall I show Cousbians?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What's that sound?

That, my friends, is the sound of silence. Or near-silence. I am temporarily caught up on the copying and it's almost quiet in here.

I love this job!

Again, I'm totally blown away by the number of people who've come here to enter the contest! I originally set the deadline for Saturday hoping that maybe six people would show up. This is so cool!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I am amazed at the number of comments on my contest post. I just can't believe it. I'm almost afraid to go and look at the comments!

Since it would take all day to answer each one, I'll use this as a way to thank you all for commenting, and welcome to all of the new people who commented. I hope you'll all come back again. I'm glad to have you all here!

And everyone will duly be entered the correct number of times. I think that Courtney brought a bunch of you in; I might have to have a prize for she who brung the most!