not_hathor: pic from Shelter web page (Jethro Chow)
Due to the rain during July, we have practically floated into August.... the rivers are still uncomfortably high,  but going down (very slowly).  And once again, the mosquitoes are finding little ol' me to be a tasty treat, especially when I'm trying to sleep.  I have such ghastly bite welts and what  I suspect is scratch-irritated heat rash -- I've tried aloe gel, witch hazel, calamine lotion, Absorbine Jr., generic anti-itching spray, and antihistamines.  Oh, and over the weekend at home, cold compresses. Very temporary relief with most on these; the anti-itch spray and the antihistamines have had the longest lasting effects, but I can't use them together, and I don't want to take the antihistamines too often because I don't like throwing OTC drugs into the HBP / Diabetes / High Cholesterol pharmaceutical mix too often. Any ideas that are practical to a working schedule?

Nephew's college blanket was finished, and mailed to Texas --- where it was received with much delight.  Now I have to think about birthday prezzies for the Niece.  A wall poster of the 'Game of Thrones' world was suggested.... 

Beldandy had her yearly trip to the vet for shots, and was discovered to have infections in BOTH ears; daily ear washes and antibiotic ear drops for the next two weeks ensued -- not much hilarity, however.  Fortunately, at the follow-up visit yesterday, she was declared 'all better' but with the recommendation that I continue cleaning the ears on a regular basis. Bel was not amused.

************************
And because I don't have FaceBook or Twitter, I'll post here:  [personal profile] apollymi  and her roommate [personal profile] katsuko  have a financial emergency due to some shenanigans involving short paychecks, the IRS and an unexpected veterinarian bill.  They have a fundraising link on www.youcaring.com/daeandkat-887919 . Thanks to my shortened work hours (and decreased pay) this year, plus almost monthly unexpected expenditures (mostly car related), my budget has been tight, so I couldn't donate as much as I wanted to, but even $10 would help.... it adds up.  So if all you can do is spread the word via FB or Twitter, that would help too.....

******************

Books read: "Seventy-Seven Clocks" and "The Water Room" by Christopher Fowler. 

Knitting projects: trying to use up leftovers from Nephew's blanket, and a scarf using the 'One Row' pattern




not_hathor: pic by starz from DC Forum (blue stars)
 Well, the Raccoon has apparently vacated our tree.  I'm a little sad -- it was mildly entertaining to peek through the knothole  and spy a ball of grey fur, or a pair of beady little eyes, or even on occasion, fur plus small foot sticking out of the knothole ....  At a guess, I'd say that the Raccoon decided that our neighborhood was a bit too noisy for its liking, what with the hippie neighbors (NOT US!!!) playing Neil Young and Oak Ridge Boys well into the night on the weekends, barking Jethro, lawn mowers, ambulances and police cars  next door (again, NOT US!!!).    The river, I might mention, is still very close to Flood Stage, despite it not raining locally for almost two weeks.

Nephew's afghan/blanket is most likely close to 2/3rds done. I have 16 inches to go, before I knit the end border, and then add borders to the long sides.  The total size, according to the directions, is 50" x 58".  

Confession Time: when I said in the last entry that I didn't have time to read, due to the knitting, it wasn't quite true.  When my fingers get tired and start cramping, I set the knitting aside and pick up a book for a while.  I have read "Song of the Lion", by Anne Hillerman,  and Season of the Hyena, by Paul Doherty, and re-read Chapel Noir by Carole Nelson Douglas.  My Husband is on a Dan Brown kick, and has been nagging at me to read The Lost Symbol.   Ummm, sorry, I really have no interest in reading about conspiracies involving the Masons.   Also, since Crunchyroll has been running Series 6 of "Natsume's Book of Friends", I've been re-reading the manga as I locate them (scattered throughout the house).  

Wretchedly hot weather.  Of course, it COULD be wretchedly hot and HUMID weather.... and probably will be soon.
not_hathor: (Chows)
 We have a tenant in the big, partially hollow tree in the backyard -- no, not Keebler elves, nor Pini elves, nor even named 'David'.  We have a Raccoon.  Which is driving Jethro crazy, especially at around 2:30 in the morning when it decides to go walk-about in the (mostly) vacant lot next door.  I've seen it a few times; so has Daughter.  Husband got to see it one evening around dusk, when, for reasons only known to the critter itself, it decided to emulate our acrobatic squirrel troop and attempt a tree-to-tree maneuver and thence to the ground before trundling its way down the sidewalk and out into the alley.  We suspect that due to the tons of rain during the latter half of May, the varmint was flooded out of its usual habitat (we are approximately 1/2 mile from the river, as the crow flies/raccoon trundles).... the real question is whether or not we have a SingleRaccoonMale, or an ExpectantRaccoonFemale -- it being that time of year.....  Hopefully, SRM will return to its usual foraging grounds once the water goes down;  ERF, on the other hand..... well, we had a Mama Possum a few years ago that we only discovered once the babies were mobile enough to crawl out of the tree, not to mention the rabbits which persist in digging their baby bunny burrows within tie-out reach of the mudroom porch....

In the meantime, we are being careful about putting Bel or Jethro outside after dark.  Bel has always been pretty chill with wildlife antics -- she'll watch from the porch.  Jethro, on the other hand, raises the roof....and has to be restrained from dashing down the stairs. 

Over the past weekend, my Jazz-loving,  mathematical genius of  a nephew graduated from high school; Mom flew down to Texas for the festivities.  Nephew -- National Merit Scholar that he is -- has already been accepted by the University of Oklahoma, AND has a slot in the university marching band!!!  I am about a third of the way finished knitting an afghan in school colors (crimson and cream) for his dorm room, and will really have to double-down for the next few weeks.

Also over the weekend, we accomplished some house-cleaning and bad weed removal in the butterfly garden.  I think this year we will forego the usually futile attempts at a vegetable garden.  I pulled 'bad' weeds, and cleared areas for more of the desirables (Milkweed, Joe Pye Weed, Butterfly Weed, etc.) Looking to expand into Hummingbird-friendly plants as well.

Also trying to find the type of Sage plant that I had up at the trailer -- the one with the gorgeous silver-white flowers.... the thing is, I'm pretty sure that it was an ordinary culinary sage variety, picked up at random at a local garden shop.... but!  The closest I can find anywhere is either "White Sage", which is considered a desert climate variety (not suitable for Midwest growing) and reportedly has light purple flowers, or "Bee Sage", which does have white flowers, but not only looks nothing like my plant but is not suitable for cooking use.  Considering that the original purpose of the plant was  for cooking, I'm starting to wonder if my lovely little plant was a mutant....  Oh, how I wish I'd thought to take a cutting or even dig up the plant during the spring after the move but before the trailer sold!!!    **sigh**

On the Knitting Front: finished the 'Waves and Scallops' shawl, and gave it to our church's Music Director who went in for knee replacement surgery the week before Memorial Day.  She is also the organizer of the Prayer Shawl ministry -- my thought was:she's always making shawls to give to other people, she should receive one too.   As mentioned earlier, am now in a frenzy working on school afghan for the Nephew.  All other knitting is now on hold.

Books read:  Um. Too busy knitting.

Birthday Shout-Out to my One and Only Moffett (aka "Reziac")!!!




not_hathor: Pic from 'I Can Haz Cheezburgr' (squirrels)
Last week I was celebrating  that I'd manged to make it through the winter without slipping and falling on the ice ... so what happens Monday evening?  I slip on the rain-slippery wood  of the back porch, take a tumble and manage to  pull muscles and/or bruise my right side ribs against (I presume) a porch planter box.... (insert snarky references to 'Pride" and downfalls).  I was doing okay with Ibuprofen, until yesterday when I decided to switch to Tylenol... mistake.  I'm hurting again today, so back to the ibuprofen. If this continues through the weekend, Monday I will go visit a doctor.

Speaking of doctors, New Doctor was not happy with either my Blood Pressure or my Blood sugar numbers last month; I blame the Blood Sugar on holiday chocolate and not being able to do much walking in February and March.  The high blood pressure?  I've always tested high at doctor visits; my Old Doctor called it 'Office Anxiety' -- he didn't worry TOO much about the blood pressure and A1c so long as my other levels (cholesterol, potassium, calcium) and liver function were good.  But now I have yet another prescription pill to take  - a diuretic.  This tiny orange pill -- I think my Dad took this one when he was first diagnosed with hypertension.  Personally, I defy anyone to NOT have High Blood Pressure after nearly $2,000 of unexpected automobile repairs (front & back brakes, plus tie-rods), in addition to stressing over a faulty gas tank sensor which would have required removing the gas tank to get at, and would have taken the final cost OVER $2,000....   and  figuring out how to pay for all  this on my reduced salary.

Tax Refund?  Um, most of it went to refilling the Furnace Oil Tank, and the remainder is stashed away to pay Property Taxes this year.

Sigh.

Our Russian Overlords  on Live Journal are now requiring that users acknowledge and agree to a new TOS document before they allow access.  I'm stalling, but I will have to do something sooner or later.  I have yet to fully import to DW .... I did a partial import back in 2014(?),  got my entries, but none of the attached comments.  I'm not sure if it will work properly this time, especially with entries that are duplicate.

Um.

On the knitting front: finished the ruffled triangular shawl, despite having lost the instructions 2/3rds of the way through -- I was able to fake the decreases sufficiently, although the bind-off looks a bit odd. Almost finished with a 'spring' children's hood.  Finished a pair of mis-matched arm/wrist warmers (trying to use up left-over yarn).  Have started, frogged, and restarted twice more an 'intermediate difficulty' shawl -- the YO's and repeat from * are tricky.  But the yarn is gorgeous.  

I used a gift card from Christmas to purchase a few e-books from Amazon - one of Bujold's Penric novels, a Christoper Fowler  'Bryant & Mays' mystery, and the first in Patricia Wrede's  '13th Daughter' series.  And then discovered that apparently my Kindle PaperWhite's battery has gone bad and will not hold a charge longer than two days...... sigh.  Add that to the list of things to fix/replace when I have spare money.

Books read:"Industrial Magic" by Kelley Armstrong, 'The Heretic's Daughter' by Michelle Moran, "A Study in Scarlet Women' by Sherry Thomas, 'Leviathan' by Scott Westerfield, 'Day Shift' and 'Night Shift' by Charlene Harris,  'The Saint vs Scotland Yard' by Leslie Charteris.

Books re-read:  Most of Charlotte MacLeod's 'Sara Kelling' series, one or two of Maggie Sefton's 'Lambspun' mysteries

Still working on: "Guns, Germs and Steel"


not_hathor: (Default)
1. Trying NOT to come down with the cold/flu whatever that plagued Husband and Daughter for most of the month. Miraculously, I seemed to have done it?

2. Books read: Dime Store Magic, by Kelly Armstrong, The Aylesford Skull, and The Last Coin, by James M. Blaylock, Silver Wolf, by Jaycee Bedford. Re-read: The Silver Ghost, The Balloon Man, Something the Cat Dragged In, and The Wrong Rite, all by Charlotte MacLeod (or her alter ego, Alisa Craig). Started reading Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (non-fiction).

3. Went to see YU-GI-OH: The Dark Side of Dimensions at the Theatre -- It was fun. No real spoilers, but a) Yugi had a growth spurt, b) Kaiba was snarky and obsessed, and I swear that the last version of the BEWD he summoned looked like it had a frigging STARGATE on its back!, oh, and c) some backstory for Bakura that kind of contradicted what we'd been told before in both the manga and the anime.... Still, it was good to hear those familiar voices again...

And as a side note, Eric Stuart-sama is looking to start recording a new CD. Check out his web page for details. http://www.ericstuart.com/

Still adjusting to the new hours at work and the cut in pay. Doesn't look like there will be any conventions in my future this year, except the local one (ANIME-Zing! in July).

Finished knitting a child's hat, and still working on a ruffled edge triangular shawl.

not_hathor: (Default)
Got into work early today, and got 10 minutes of walking in before any one else showed up. It's easier to walk when no one else is around to ask, 'Mary, what are you doing?', or 'Mary, can you do THIS for me since you're here?' I generally walk up and down the halls and around the sanctuary -- I figure the Omnipotent One won't mind, since I'm making an effort to be healthy. I actually started doing this and the BG monitoring back in December -- I had to get creative with the walking while the sanctuary was decorated for Christmas, but it was all good. I wanted my doctor to be proud of me instead of mildly disappointed next time I saw him -- which unfortunately will be never, since he retired unexpectedly mid-December.

Cue the scramble to find New Doctor! especially since I was almost out of refills on three of my four medications. New doctor is young, so hopefully won't be retiring soon - Plus! on the Minus side, I will have to break her in; AND she's part of a Health Group, which could lead to switch board miscommunication -- has actually already happened: I called to give New Doctor a 'heads up' that my pharmacy would be calling about Prescription Refills, and when Pharmacy called, the switchboard told them 'No Such Patient in our Files'.... fortunately, I'd rather expected some such difficulty occurring and had allowed a few days of leeway before I was actually in dire need. Got it straightened out, and New Doctor wrote two of the prescriptions for an 90 day supply -- I'm surprised the Insurance let her do that.... maybe because she's in an Approved Health Care Group, whereas Old Doctor was an independent GP.

I miss my Old Doctor -- he had a great sense of humor and a practical attitude towards health care.

Efforts to get healthy include Eating Health(ier) -- My new Mantra is "More Salad, Fewer Fries", or as I told Daughter and Husband -- "French Fries are the Enemy!" Baked potatoes and baked sweet potato fries are okay, in moderation, because 'Fiber is Good.' Not making any headway on the 'Eat More Fish' campaign, however. Can't really complain, though; I'm not that fond of fish myself.


Being Thrifty: The rule about not buying more yarn, dvds or books does not apply in the following instances:

1) I need the yarn to finish a current project and am unable to find an adequate substitute in my stash;

2) my four current manga series - 'The Ancient Magus's Bride', 'Kaze Hikaru', 'Master Keaton', and
'Natsume's Book of Friends';

3) the remaining two live action 'Rurouni Kenshin' movies, the "Yuri! On Ice" anime, and 5th series 'Natsume' anime.

4) the OST to "Yuri! On Ice" if it becomes available -- absolutely captivating music, all of it produced for the anime, in multiple styles.

5) The books I have 'on request' at the Used Book Store: "The Captain's Dog" by Roland Smith, and the "Leviathan" series by Scott Westerfield. I placed this order before New Years, so I consider myself obligated to follow through. Actually, I have so much credit at UBS, anything I find there I consider fair game.


I currently have a prayer shawl, and a stocking cap on the needles; plus another two shawls that need additional finishing (crocheted borders, which I have been putting off since I will need to re-teach myself Crochet -- unless I can get someone from the ministry to volunteer?). Last fall I bought a book of knitted hat patterns; I've decided to knit at least one of each in due time.  I've made two so far; one went on the church's Mitten/Hat Tree, and the other I gave to the church's music director for Christmas.  Several I have my eye on for the children of a friend. Various hats have various difficulty ratings, so hopefully I will learn new techniques.

Writing and Fan Fiction:  I am making plans to send the faulty hard drive from three (?) years ago to a friend in Montana, who may be able to retrieve the data.  If The Moffett succeeds, I will have my lost stories back.  Am also continuing to research SteamPunk/Victoriam/Edwardian backgrounds for my FemRyou Bakura Egyptologist cosplay. 

No plans at this time for Conventions, other than the local one in July.  This may change once I get a few  Reduced Paychecks into the bank and work out a budget.

Sigh....







not_hathor: pic by starz from DC Forum (blue stars)
*sigh*

Last year at this time I was on a ferry heading for Mackinac Island.

This  year, I'm contemplating whether I want to buy another skein of yarn or simply un-knit the last ten rows and finish the shawl at the end of that pattern repeat.  The shawl is plenty long enough, and the yarn has been a PITB to work with,  AND  will be a massive PITB to un-knit.  The colors are pretty, though.

Yesterday Daughter had a chiropractor appointment in the late morning, so afterwards we went to Panera for lunch.  Today she has to work 1-5, so I'm planning to take her over, have lunch (MAYBE at Panera again) and kill time for 4 1/2 hours because it doesn't make sense to come home and go back (normally, Husband would pick her up coming home from work, but today HE has a doctor's appointment).  The King Tut exhibit left our local museum over Labor day - BAH! Humbug!  Maybe I'll go to the Art Museum -- free admission, supposedly, on Tuesdays.

Am on vacation this week, but just found out that Pastor has had a family crisis and will be also gone all week.  I have offered to go in Friday to make sure the Bulletin gets printed....

I have no life.
not_hathor: (Default)
Thank you, Lucidscreamer, for reminding me.....

Um.   Because I tend to spend my evenings knitting instead of reading these days, I don't seem to read as much as I used to.  However, I do get an hour for lunch, and I've gotten into the habit of setting a timer and reading for 20 minutes during my lunch hour (this of course depends on how much time gets eaten up with errands and fixing up something to actually eat). This seems to work best with anthologies and books that I've read before.  In this fashion I've re-read the first four (and in my opinion, the best) of Lillian Jackson Braun's "Cat Who -- " books, several of Charlotte MacLeod's 'Inspector Rhys',  'Peter Shandy' and 'Sarah Kelling' mysteries,  several of Laurie King's 'Mary Russell's,  a number of manga (Food Wars & Natsume's Book of Friends) and  the first three 'Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?' light novels.

Also, a book I borrowed from my Mom -- "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Anne Shaffer and Anne Barrows.  The novel is written in the epistolary style, which made it both easier and harder to put down at the end of 20 minutes.... It deals with the experiences of the Channel Islanders (between England and France) during the German occupation of WW2.  According to Mom, she's tracked some distant cousins from her father's (English) side of the family to the Channel islands, which made the novel feel somewhat personal.
 I will have to see if I can find a copy for my own. 

On  the knitting side, I finally finished a Sideways-knit Ruffled edge Shawl which I mistakenly thought would be a fairly quick knit - HAH!   I am almost finished with the Very Berry triangular shawl, despite running out of the yarn -- I have a partial skein of a heavier double weight in very similar shades which I am carefully de-twisting because I REFUSE to buy another whole skein when all I need  are another five - seven rows worth to finish! 

A sad note: Our local yarn Shop, 'The Naked Sheep Yarn Barn' went out of business last month.  It was only operational for seven months; I'm not certain exactly what happened, but I suspect that Cindy and Kelly tried to do too much too quickly (and Kelly being in the hospital for a month certainly didn't help).  I am now not allowed to buy any more yarn for at least six months (I managed to pick up at LOT of skeins during the GOoB sale) unless I absolutely need it to finish a current project.

Can anyone recommend a good Steampunk novel?  I've tried the series by Pip Ballantine, and didn't care for main characters at all (too stereotypical); also a series set in a Victorian era w/ magic which offered up Sherlock Holmes' long-lost niece from his mother's side of the family, but found the magic system too intrusive...  I guess what I'm looking for is something that reads like a cross between the Robert Downey Jr.. 'Sherlock Holmes' movies and 'King Solomon's Mines'   --- 


not_hathor: (JanineRGB)
I'm not ready! Well, okay, I have MOST of my Trip essentials but....It's ONLY A WEEK AWAY!!!

The Butterfly Prairie Garden has been doing rather well -- have seen several Monarch butterflies, and one Monarch caterpillar molesting the swamp milkweed, and quite a few big black & yellow bumblebees crawling all over the coneflowers and the beebalm. Some decent tomatoes, now that they've started turning red.

If I can remember how, here's a picture of my Fairy Garden:
Fairy Garden

(Going to try to crop photo a bit and re-insert. Please be patient)

We have a new phone system at the church. It is a mess. Sigh.

Knitting continues slowly. I have conceded temporary defeat on the Multi-colored cardigan. I have three prayer shawls in various stages of completion. My goal is to get at least ONE off the needles before next Wednesday.

Have finally watched TORCHWOOD: Children of Earth. Almost finished with 'Miracle Day'. CoE: gut-wrenching, but not as horrendously graphic as I'd been led to believe... MD is dragging, bloated, and I'm actually hoping Rex bites a bullet, because he's obnoxious, overbearing, and self-righteous.....

Later!
not_hathor: (Chows)
Okay -- AniMazing 2015 has announced a 3rd Guest -- a repeat from last year whom I'd never heard of at the time, and I'm still not sure who he is (was too busy stalki--- er, supporting Eric Stuart-sama all weekend, my bad). Daughter has yet to start working on her cosplay 'Mami Tomoe' from that magical girl Puella anime. Me, I might just scrounge out my old SW Role-play garb (if it still fits).

Over Memorial Day Weekend, instead of going to MediaWest*Con (which I'd contemplated until ROADTRIP with Mom to Canada commandeered most of my spare income and vacation time -- and the overly-enthusiastic RGB-Bronies who've taken over the RGB Yahoo Group certainly didn't provide incentive!) Husband and I went to visit Aunt Marie -- prepared to spend a bit. Came home with a trellis, a decorative yard pole and a hanging bird basket outdoor chandelier from SteelHeart Decorative Ironworks; a skein of handspun from The Fold for my Amazing Technicolor Cardigan; a sleeveless Harley Davidsson t-shirt from the 2nd largest HD dealership in the U.S., and some transplanted milkweed shoots for our fledgling butterfly garden (Husband's farmer grandfather must be spinning in his grave!). On the way home Sunday we made a brief detour to visit Dad; Mom had been up earlier in the week to place some flowers for him, and Grampa and Gramma A. -- didn't stay long, because it started raining again, harder. Got home just in time to hear the Tornado sirens go off !!!

Spent most of the following week thinking it was June already, because when I was growing up, Memorial Day = May 31st, and I still haven't kicked that mental habit.... Finished and mailed off a lovely 'Sunrise' triangular shawl to Da Niece for a High School Graduation present, and am currently using the remainder yarn to make a cowl which may be gifted or not. This week we've been prepping the garden to FINALLY get the tomato plants in.

On the knitting front: two prayer shawls finished, one still on the needles. Once I finish that one and the cowl, I'm going back to work on the ATC because I want to have it done for September!
not_hathor: (JanineRGB)
Yesterday the temperature supposedly reached mid-seventies -- today we're back to cold winds in the forties. Which is still better than minus whatever back in February.

I need to get my act together and apply for a passport so Mom and I can tour the Canadian fall foliage in September. Am wondering if I should try to get a newer copy of my birth certificate since the one I have is threatening to fall apart at the fold lines. I DO need a photo for certain, as my driver's license photo was taken years ago when I made the mistake of trying to go blond -- lighter hair is NOT a good look on me, unless I go to a lot of trouble and get fancy with make-up (I don't have the patience) on a daily basis!

Hopefully the pending arrival of Spring will sooth the 'Must Make HATS for the Children' itch -- especially since I have at least four projects on the needles, three of which are more likely to be finished than the fourth in a timely manner: 1) a mostly grey with multi-colored accents triangular shawl, and 2) a brightly multi-colored lacey shawl -- both of these designated for the church's 'Prayer Shawl' ministry -- the brightly multi-colored yarn being a prime example of 'lovely to look at, not so lovely to work with'; and 3) a gloriously multi-colored cardigan using some of the yarn I bought at The Fold last year, which has resulted in a few difficulties in that the yarn gauge is smaller than I'm used to working with and the colors do NOT work very well when double-stranded; and I had a heck of a time finding a workable pattern for smaller- gauge needles. However, I'm almost finished with the back panel, and as mentioned previously, the colors are GLORIOUS! The plan is to have it finished by September.

(the 4th project being a pair of half-fingered gloves intended for my husband to match the Uhlan hood I made for him last fall -- except the hood was too small for him; a bit snug on me, even. So the gloves have become low-priority, especially with Spring almost here)

So..... How about those CUBS?
not_hathor: (Joy of Ledger)
While waiting for my special yarn for younger sister's present to arrive, I've been working on other unfinished knitting projects(also watching Yu-Gi-Oh: Waking the Dragons -- My set is now complete, Bwahahahaha!). I'm almost finished with a triangular shawl, with Cherry Red for the main color and a variegated yellow, rose, tan and orange yarn for the accent rows. Looks nice, if a bit bright for my tastes. Not sure who I'll give it to. That's the way I knit most of the time: cool patterns, pretty colors! Who's it for? dunno -- yet. Ask me when it's finished.

I also need to finish my hot-water-bottle cosy; Mom liked the one I made her for Christmas so much, I decided to make one for myself. Odyssia saw the squirrel hat I made for rhye's little boy, and liked it so much that I will probably make her one for her birthday, with black squirrels. Hubby got me a magazine at Christmas with knitting patterns inspired by Downtown Abbey (which I've never seen), and my fingers are itching to try some of the simpler designs.

Guess it's time to d-d-duel! Dang, I don't remember it taking so long to get to the main Kaiba plot when this originally aired! Enough with Bug Boy and Dino Dweeb, already!
not_hathor: (Chows)
I keep trying to do things, but the Universe isn't cooperating. FrEx:

I'm knitting something for my younger sister for her birthday. I bought two skeins of yarn at our local Ben Franklin's 'Going out of Business' sale (curse you, Hobby Lobby!), because that's what the pattern called for -- ha ha, silly me didn't realize that sock-yarn skeins do not have a universal yardage! I'm half done, but out of yarn. None of the local craft/yarn shops have that brand and color, so I had to grit my teeth and order from on-line. Estimated delivery date? after my sister's birthday. This on top of my disappointment at being unable to make my Dad another pair of Hobbit Foot slippers before he passed away. Because despite having successfully knitted two and half pairs last year, I can't seem to turn the heel properly, and the instructions are less than precise ...

Another thing: Daughter and I are registered for Anime-ZING 2014 -- despite the less than ideal venue, the announced guests are stellar: Greg Ayers, Chris Patton, Caitlyn Glass, and (drumroll, please!) -- Eric Stuart-sama!!!! The fly in the ointment: daughter and I want to cosplay, which will involve crafty construction, etc.... Mine seems to be doomed, however -- The wig I need is 'Out of Stock' until further notice, and both the shirt and the 'special accessory' ordered through eBbay (which resulted in me ending up with a PayPal 'BillMeLater' account ?!?!, for which I'm still waiting for the shoe to drop) are, to put it mildly, TOO SMALL!!!!! Arrgh.

(I wonder if I can KNIT a Millennium Ring; the way things are going, I'm almost afraid to try!)

And that segues into my last gripe: every time I turn around, I'm bombarded with "Pay your Bills on Line!", 'Never Worry about Late Payments Again with Direct Deposit/Withdrawal from your Checking Account", "Do Away With Paper Checks" -- well, excuse me for wanting to keep SOME control over my finances!!! I don't feel like paying a $30 Insufficient Funds fee if Your Automatic Payment Withdrawal beats My Paycheck deposit to the bank. Then the Bank adds insult to injury by charging almost $40 for a box of checks!

Yeah, yeah, I know --First World Problems...
not_hathor: (JanineRGB)
The High Points since Last October:

In November:
1. I took half of the hand-knitted hats and scarves made by Odyssia and myself which had been accumulating in the church donation bin since the previous December, packaged them up and mailed them to the 'Knits for New York and New Jersey' drive for SuperStorm Sandy relief. The other half I drove downtown and delivered in person to the Homeless Teen Drop-In Shelter, since the church had pretty much dropped the distribution ball....

2. Hosted the Family Thanksgiving gathering/Dinner by renting the smaller dining room at the church.  Family members were encouraged to bring a dish to pass or a dessert, while We supplied the turkey, mashed potatoes, a really tasty sweet potato bisque that I'd experimented with, corn pudding & green bean casserole.  Most of the family, including the Texas brigade and Step-Daughter & SiL attended.  Texas BiL was introdiced to our local internationally famous German-style mustard, and was instantly smitten.

3. Oddyssia and I went to Chicago TARDIS Con 2012 -- had a great time, great guests, Oddyssia flirted with Sylvester McCoy during the Sunday Brunch, discovered that Tony Lee is a Sherlockian/Holmesian despite him dissing my Adric, bought a bunch of the Big Finish Audio Adventures (and have actually listened to some of them since then! -- now, if I could just find "Kingmaker", which I bought a couple years ago).  Oddyssia thinks she might be able to afford TARDISCon 2013;  which means she'd better get her membership soon, and I need to make room reservations....

4. Not a high point, but the Monday following TARDISCon, I had my annual physical during which my doctor informed me that after years of teetering on the Diabetic borderline, I had finally falling over onto the wrong side -- knew it would happen sooner or later, with our family history but  had been hoping for Much Later.... sigh.

In December:
Lots of Knitting -- made good use of the Knits for Nerds book. Made presents: Hobbit foot slippers for my Dad, Hermione's Beaded Bags in various colors for Oddyssia, Texas Niece,  and Step-Granddaughter. Took advantage of RightStuf's 12 Days of Christmas Sale to order anime for Husband and some items I wanted as well, including a nifty book of Bento recipes -- more re:Bento later.  Actually got to my Folks for Christmas on Christmas for a change!!!  Went to see The Hobbit.  Parents came out the following Sunday for New year's Ham....

January 2013:
Oddyssia came out to visit for a weekend.  While she was visiting, we went to see The Hobbit, and watched a bunch of  Series Five Doctor Who.  We also decided to get memberships to Anime-zing 3013: Me, Oddyssia and Daughter.  The Guest Line-up at that time was still fluctuating, but at least it wasn't a repeat of the previous three years, and after all, it IS local.... and the early bird discount was about to expire......

February:

Not much interesting happened.  Lots of work-related stuff, that left me feeling more than a little underappreciated -- also donated a Triangular Knitted Shawl  as a prize to the Church's Trivia Nite Benefit for the after-school tutoring program we support.  I do sort of wonder if one of our members has it.... Experimented with Bento recipes...

March:
Daughter asked if I would help her make/assemble Homestuck Cosplay for Anime-Zing. She did a LOT of internet-surfing, reasearching cosplay tutorials and patterns for two different outfits..... we spent hours every weekend, and some weeknights  for the rest of March and April, making patterns or finding patterns that could be adapted, bought material and several pre-maid clothing items that could be adapted, downloaded iron-on emblems -- Daughter learned how to sew, iron, make ruby slippers and dog ears -- and make up.....  Quite an experience, over all.  Reminded me a lot of my SCA days and garb making.....

June:
Anime-zing DEFINATELY lived up to its name!!!   Guests included Little Kuriboh of Yu-Gi-Oh:The Abridged Series fame, Greg Ayers (voice actor who has been in almost every popular anime for the past 10 years - saw & enjoyed at AnimeIowa a couple years ago), Sonny Strait (Voice actor & Manga/graphic novel artist),  Samurai Dan & Jillian, a bunch of others who I didn't recognized but who turned out to be highly entertaining as well.... Oddyssia enjoyed the Card & Board Game room (MAGIC:the Gathering is her game of choice), Daughter's HOMESTUCK costumes turned out stunning (she wants to do it again at ANINE-IOWA???), and I was NOT bored!  Okay, remember the BENTO I keep mentioning?  For Saturday, I made BENTO  for us to take  so we wouldn't have to leave the Con venue for Lunch --- turned out, I made waaaay more than we really needed, and we ended up eating leftover Bento for the next week!  But there were a lot of admiring comments in the ConSweet when I unpacked our lunch (mostly I think for the adorable Totoro Bento Box I was using....)

Once I figure out how to download photos from my phone, I'll see about posting pictures of Daughter as Jade God-Tier.

Anime-Zing this year was like an Ice Cream Sundae:  Local Anime Con + Good Guests= the Ice Cream,  Little Kuriboh = Whipped Cream Topping; Almost Last Minute Guest Greg Ayers = Cherry on the top!

After Anime-Zing Weekend, I buckled down and made Imagines an Amazing Technicolor Triangular Shawl for her graduation....

Whew!








not_hathor: (Default)
To say that I have MASTERED the Dread Pirate Rob---er, Double Pointed Needles would be an exaggeration. I HAVE managed to get them to work more or less the way they are supposed to, and do what I want them to -- mostly...

The individual who invented the Circular Needle should Be Sainted -- or at least Venerable-ized.

Over Labor Day Weekend I made the rounds of the local Craft, Fabric and Hobby stores looking for a 16-20" US size 11 circular needle and a set of US size 11 DPs, because there was an easy hat pattern I wanted to try and those were the requirements. I found lots of longer #11's, in plastic, metal and bamboo; most of my knitting is done on plastic or metal, simply because its cheap(er) -- I really don't cotton to the idea of spending excess amount of monies on a pair/set of needles I may only use for a single project. So I thought this might be the time to investigate the Magic Loop technique. There had been a recent post on one of the knitting journals I follow from a person who gushed enthusiastically about having finished a pattern from "the Big Book of Knitted Monsters" using the Magic Loop technique, so the next hobby/craft store I visited, I looked for said book -- flipped through it rapidly, noted there was a 'How To Magic Loop' section and placed it in my basket. There was also another book that I figured might be entertaining, if nothing else, so I grabbed it too (Husband later teased me about not wanting to spend $18 for a bamboo circular needle while shelling out $30+ for a pair of books that might or might not pan out...).

Le Sigh. "The BB of Knitted Monsters", imo, not worth the $$$ -- The 'How-to' section wasn't as helpful as I'd hoped and the 'monsters' are all pretty much the same pattern, with variations.

On the other hand, "Knits for Nerds" by Joan of Dark (Toni Carr) is more than mildly entertaining -- I Love it!!!! and, upon discovering that several of the most likely patterns require that same dratted 16-20" US size 11 circular needle/DPs combination -- well, that was my Birthday Present to myself on Wednesday. I've already successfully made the hat (it looks a little odd, but maybe it's SUPPOSED to look like that?), and I'm gleefully anticipating The Hobbit Feet slippers, precioussssss.... So glad that so many of Rabbit's Friends and Relations are fannishly inclined; gonna be busy busy busy with the knitting needles!!!

What Fun!
not_hathor: (crockenhaalics)
Finished my prototype 'Dalek' hand-warmer; made careful mental notes as to what, where, and how it needed to be changed; then frogged it. The Dalek image needs to be closer to the edge, decrease the number of rows between cuff and Dalek's base, and increase between top of the Dalek's head and the bind off. Figure out a better way to tighten up the finger space. Bobbles are optional; it looks fine just changing the yarn/color.

No deadline on these (other than Christmas --shhhhhhhh! you didn't read that.....); I bet I could make a hat using the TARDIS pattern....
not_hathor: (crockenhaalics)
Finished my prototype 'Dalek' hand-warmer; made careful mental notes as to what, where, and how it needed to be changed; then frogged it. The Dalek image needs to be closer to the edge, decrease the number of rows between cuff and Dalek's base, and increase between top of the Dalek's head and the bind off. Figure out a better way to tighten up the finger space. Bobbles are optional; it looks fine just changing the yarn/color.

No deadline on these (other than Christmas --shhhhhhhh! you didn't read that.....); I bet I could make a hat using the TARDIS pattern....
not_hathor: (Default)
I mailed your present this morning, [livejournal.com profile] oddyssia, which means by Monday I can talk freely about the knitting projects that have been taking up my time the past couple months.

Next step ... learning to 'bobble'
not_hathor: (Default)
I mailed your present this morning, [livejournal.com profile] oddyssia, which means by Monday I can talk freely about the knitting projects that have been taking up my time the past couple months.

Next step ... learning to 'bobble'
not_hathor: (Default)
The first week of June was busy and worrisome, due to Husband's unexpected visit and overnight stay in the hospital. See, back in December, Husband's Diabetes doctor retired, and so he was recommended to another local doctor. Mid-May the new doctor had Husband do a lot of tests and stuff, basically so she could get a feel for his condition, including EKG and Stress Test... something didn't quite look right with the results so she referred him to a heart specialist (also changed his medications a bit).

On June 2nd he saw the specialist who did whatever it is specialists do (special x-rays, etc.) and um, two of the secondary arteries in his heart were blocked or partially blocked. Doctor said, "let's schedule an angiogram for later this month; see what's going on, clear out the build-up if we need to.... oh, just had a cancellation, how about tomorrow (aka Friday)?"

Long story short, Husband ended up spending the night at Trinity West with two freshly angioplasted arteries, one with a stent. Apparently there was a section of artery that was like those long balloons all big and full at the ends, with a small pinched bit in the middle.

Well, as Husband (and Father-in-Law) pointed out, better to catch it now when there's time to fix it than be rudely surprised in a year or so with a heart attack! It was a hectic 48 hours, though not as bad as the Broken Hip incident. So Husband's got more, new medications to take and is on 'Light Work' duties 'til the end of the month (Though he's STILL working 10-Hour shifts at the plant...grumble grumble -- I KNOW, be grateful he's working....).

Anyway, between Hospital and Dentist, it's been a bit Hectic. PLus my Boss is getting ready for the annual Mission Trip to South Dakota, which means lots of working ahead and making sure all the bases are covered for the next two weeks.... "Tired" doesn't cover it. I went home last night, tossed frozen Dinners in the microwave for Husband and Daughter and went to bed. Friday is my Parent's 60th Anniversary; Youngest Sister and family are going to be in town, so the plan is to meet Sunday for noon dinner... If I hadn't already paid my money, I'd seriously be tempted to skip AnimaZING!Con this weekend.

Hopefully I'll get to see oddyssia this weekend; she said she had more of that lovely TARDIS-blue yarn, which means if I get my act together maybe I can make the cute TARDIS cell-phone cover that was posted over on novice_knitters.livejournal. Only problem, the pattern is 'in the round', which means I have to gird my loins and hazard the DP needles again, or figure out how to knit it 'flat'.

Starting to run out of new books to read. Would go buy more, but have to pay the Bills first. bleh.

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