Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Birthday USA

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Poor Roxanna! That ear cleaning really has her perplexed!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Animals of YouTube sing "Deck the Halls"

Friday, February 12, 2010

I do not want to lose the posts on this blog. Therefore, I will keep it open by making an occasional note. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Sunday, January 07, 2007


I may be moving to a new blogsite. I'm currently trying to set it up. I will plagiarize Marvin the Martian by saying that "Blogger has made me very, very angry!" Heck, I can't even make my Macros functions work this morning for making a hot link. Anyway the new address is: . Like I said, this may be temporary.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The last ride in Scabby was met with enthusiasm. We'll get him back up to my parents' sometime soon.

Another needle casualty means that the widowed needle will be sent to Mama-E for her shop project.

After fruitless searching for a bright

and funky bedspread/comforter for

A1 that we could afford we had an idea.

A bag of fabric scraps were spread out and we're contemplating a very freeform quilt.

Any suggestions, etc from quilters out there

(Karen) will be met with sincere appreciation. The pillow

cases shown are out inspiration for


I frogged back the sweater to begin the decreases again below the bustline. I didn't like the angles created from those I'd done previously. they were too sharp and my chest would have looked pointy. Small, but pointy. Bonny loves frogged yarn!

Friday, January 05, 2007

In an attempt to prevent next December from mirroring 2006's I've joined Beverly in The Organized Elf. It's very encouraging to hear others' ideas and to be reminded of tasks.

The transmission has been replaced on my van and we can pick it up tomorrow. I'm not sure when we'll get Scabby (my Mom's name for her van) back up to my parents' home though because my DH has to leave again on Sunday.

Now off to make the Friday night pizza. Cheers!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

If I go back to work

how in the world will I ever deal with this...
I'd like to claim this is an isolated event, but it's a daily mess resulting from A1 & A2 getting ready for school.
Notice the toys amidst the hair accessories? This is because A2 plays instead of doing what she's supposed to do. In fact, she always waits until the last minute when I've been transformed into some raving lunatic before beginning to brush her teeth, etc.
And this is just one small part of one room. The kitchen, bedrooms, living room and hallway are also casualties of daily chaos.
I must get a job, but a word of warning to those who reside with me... without drastic changes we will be buried alive.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Well howdy and welcome to 2007! The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve was a whirlwind of activity (hence the lack of blogging, etc.). Karen and Kelly (her DH) stopped by sans kidlets for an overnight playdate. Her recent acquisition of some lovurly Trekking XXL sock yarn and dps led to some quality knitting and visiting time. She cast on her first pair of socks which promise to be warm and beautiful. And she WILL NOT succomb to Second Sock Syndrome or I shall nag her relentlessly.

On New Year's Eve we had our traditional Game Night. This year we had some different faces at the table. Several dear friends were ill or otherwise unable to attend. And there was the welcome addition of the Quast family. Mr. Q. was the realtor who worked so hard to find us our new home. He has a daughter who now plays frequently with my three.

And after a 10 year "vacation" home with my kids I'm now looking for work outside the home. Putting together a resume is proving challenging. My education is limited to a Bachelor's Degree in English and Sociology... no teacher certifications and no Master's Degree and no technical certifications. Six years of military service operating what is now outdated communication equipment doesn't seem marketable either. So today I'll attempt to meld past skills with creativity, practicality and mommy wisdom to produce a "Wow, hire me!" document. The result may be suitable for lining the bottom of our parakeet's cage, but it's a start.

On the knitting front I've cast on a top-down, one piece cardigan in some red, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I purchased this yarn last year, but since no patterns have reached out and grabbed me I've decided to just make my own. The yoke and bust will be solid with some tapering or shaping below the bustline. Then the bottom will be a lace pattern. There are several floral and column style laces l I'm still kicking around. The sleeve length will depend upon how much yarn I have.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh, I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay
I sleep all night and I work all day

I don't know how the rest of you are feeling, but I'm ready to tear down the holiday trappings and wrap up 2006.

Christmas here was extremely low key. The girls each received roller skates from Santa so they've been in and out of the house ever since. My DH and I didn't exchange gifts because we're just thrilled to be in a new house. The girls were told ahead of time that we didn't have much money for presents, but none of them complained, whined or were otherwise ungrateful.

I always try to make something for them for Christmas. This year A1, A2 and A3 each chose what they wanted.

A1 is the fashion authority and resident clothes horse. And because a girl can never have too many accessories she requested a hat and fingerless mitt set. Here she is "working it." Oh, to be 10 and so self-assured.

A3 is a true girly girl. She adores anything pink and her passions fluctuate between My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake. Several toys must accompany us where ever we go, no matter how short the errand or trip. These toys are often left in the van, my purse or just plain lost . Now A3 has a pink backpack made just for her toys and there is a magnetic snap closure for added security.

As I blogged about last week, A2 requested a dolphin. Hours were spent searching for a knitted dolphin pattern, but to no avail. In desperation I even drove down to some Portland yarn (I hate driving, especially in heavy traffic). Then Fitknit sent me an email with a link to a knitted whale pattern with the idea that I could modify the whale and make a dolphin. The site, Aussie Jean's Toy Knitting , beheld many delightful patterns. And who should wander in while I was admiring her patterns but A2 herself. A2 thought the whale was okay, but she became enamoured with the dragon. As a result, gears were switched and this reptilian fantasy was began. Whew, it was quite a challenge to knit this in the allotted time. A2 fretted and "supervised" throughout the process. The dragon turned out much larger than I expected, but she loves it. Jean's patterns were easy to follow and very reasonably priced. Thank you Fitknit!
Now off to the grocery store. These people just won't stop eating! Thank heavens my parents loaned us a vehicle while we're waiting to get our transmission replaced. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

All I want for Christmas is...

no, not my two front teeth, I already have two Chicklet sized chompers that would rival Mr. Ed's in girth. What I really, really want is a transmission for my 1997, 6 cylinder, automatic Dodge Caravan. The poor old thing lost it today while my DH and A1 were heading to the store. It just dropped* . Ker plunk. Luckily they weren't too far from home. I'm searching the internet tonight and wrecking yards tomorrow (via the telephone, obviously) for a used transmission.

I'm thinking that Jessalu's bumper sticker curse is contageous. And believe it or not, I thought of her and the curse while installing this . And although it isn't technically a bumper sticker, it is the closest thing to one I've had.

I took advantage of the girls' last school day and wrapped presents in their absence. I stink at wrapping packages, but I didn't want to resort to the reusable gift bags. There is just something satisfying and necessary about ripping the paper off of packages at Christmas time.

The dolphin hasn't been cast on yet because of other pressing matters, but maybe tomorrow. One of the "pressing matters" included baking and decorating gingerbread people for A1's school party.

Other than some last minute knitting and vehicle repair, we're as ready for the holiday as we'll ever be. Hope you're all remembering to slow down and enjoy yourselves. Cheers.

* Okay, it technically did not "drop" out on the ground, that was just the sound the engine made as it died. I wonder if I could knit a transmission?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Well howdy! Things are full-speed ahead, like always here at the looney bin. On Sunday A3 celebrated her 6th trip around the sun.
Here is a picture of my littlest when she was only a few days old... This is probably one of the only times in her 6 years that she's held still.

Her party was fun, and true to the nature of 5 & 6 year olds, it was all over the place. The trampoline and dress up clothes trumped pin the tail on the donkey and the other planned activities. No worries, we just let them run and do whatever kept them busy and happy. Chaos reigned supreme and this is the only picture taken of the festivities. All that can be seen of the birthday girl is some hair and the back of a pink dress peeking out from behind dad. The intended crafts, etc. were bagged up and sent home with party guests.

On Saturday... or was it Friday? Anyway, last week a box arrived. Our mail is delivered into a locked mailbox cluster with two attached, locked package compartments for large boxes. The larger boxes can only be opened with special keys. These keys remain in the locks of outside of the empty package compartments and the keys can only be taken out when the mail carrier inserts her magic key into a lower lock, thus releasing the key that opens the package box. When someone has a package one of the package keys is placed into their little private cubby so they can retrieve their package. Well, whenever I get mail the first thing I do is see if there are keys missing from the outside of the package cubbies. If so then I wish really hard for one of them to be in our box. After all, packages are fun! The other day I opened our little cubby and beheld one of the magic parcel keys. I did a happy dance and immediately ran to the other side of the cluster to open the compartment. And what I saw triggered peals of laughter. Not just the little tee hee giggles either, but rather the whooping out loud, snorting kind of laughter. Any neighbors witnessing the display made mental notes to avoid the crazy lady. I skipped back home with the box. The source of the giddiness was a box covered with this packaging tape.

The box was a prize package, courtesy of the Yarn Pirate! I won a contest she had sponsored and this was the loot. Argh, the booty still has me imitating Jack Sparrow (rather poorly though).

The treasure included: Yummy candy, a heavenly scented candle, wonderful hand balm, two kinds of wool wash, size 3 bamboo dps and the most amazing yarn from Sheep Shop Yarn Company.
The candy was immediately devoured, and the needles were fortuitous indeed. Just that very morning I had broken a size 3 dp needle while making a hat. Thank you Yarn Pirate, you saved my arse!
And yes Cindy, I know that I vowed "No more Christmas Knitting" several weeks back. What can I say except that, I'm weak, a fiber addict, a sucker for requests. My daughters asked me for Mom-knits for Christmas. Can you believe it? They want me to make them something! A1 and A3's requests are no problem. But A2 wants a knitted dolphin. Yikes! I found a book with a dolphin pattern, but since nobody has the coveted book in stock, it wouldn't arrive until after Christmas. So, today's engineering feat: transforming short rows into Flipper. It could get ugly. Cheers!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Isn't electricity amazing? Today I happily baked, washed clothes, vacuumed, bathed and was warm and comfortable. Power outages always remind me how lucky we are to live in a place where running water and shelter are often taken for granted. My parents live in a small coastal town and power might not be restored in that area for up to a week yet! Thank heavens that they have a woodstove and of course they can always come here. Spending yesterday unable to use the computer, cook, or do the other "important" tasks penciled on my to do list turned out to be a welcome respite. Staying warm and boiling water on the campstove took top priority. Christmas card mailing didn't seem so dire. The peace and quiet was refreshing. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely grateful for the restoration of creature comforts. In fact, that Ghandi/Zen moment could only be the result of short term inconvenience. Facing a long-term power outage would leave me grumpy. And bored, cold children would drive me crazy. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my parents, all those living in that area and the workers having to clean up branches, etc. from the power lines. May they all rejoin the modern world quickly and safely.

We visited Santa and Mrs. C. today at a local motorcycle shop/hangout. What a great couple! They were so genuinely nice and happy to be around. Some years Santa has seemed rather out-of-sorts, but not this time. They even talked with Mom and divulged some of the Christmas wishes.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm Weird!

I've been tagged by Cindy to fess up to six weird things about myself. Anybody who knows me is aware of the diffeculty of this task. After all, how do I choose a mere 6 quirks to share. Well, here are some in no particular order.

1. I like fruitcake. It's one of the reasons I look forward to the Christmas holidays. But it has to be a real fruitcake made with rum and other good stuff, not just those dyed, imitation fruit bits. Are those even real food?

2. I don't like breathing the same immediate air as others. I often hold my breath when walking by groups of people. Especially if they look unkept.

3. I HATE it when bed sheets aren't perfectly smooth and they don't hang evenly over both sides of the bed. The foot must be tucked in evenly too, all the way across, regardless if it's my side of the bed. I can't sleep in a messy bed. Ever. I occasionally jump out of bed and rearrange the sheets. It drives my husband crazy.

4. I can't sit still. Even now my legs are moving. This is partially why knitting is a favorite activity. It's something socially acceptable that I can do while talking to others, watching television, etc. For some reason people tend to feel uneasy if you're doing jumping jacks while holding a conversation.

5. I like dipping French fries in milk shakes. This grosses my husband out. And what's funny is that all three of my daughters like to do this too.

6. I worry. I worry about everything. I worry about worrying too much. Sometimes I wake up because I'm worrying in my dreams and then I worry because I'm not asleep. When this happens I usually get up and make a snack. This time of year it's often fruitcake or some other high-calorie treat. I worry about how bad it is while I eat it. After I'm done eating then I often go back to the bedroom, rearrange and re-tuck the sheets. Then I'll climb into bed, with my back facing my husband so we don't breathe the same air, and go to sleep until the next worrisome dream.

And now I tag anybody reading this to show us your weird. I'll bet you aren't as strange as I am.

The power went out last night at about 7:45 pm and it was out until after 4:00pm this afternoon. I couldn't knit because the house was too cold so I dug out the Pendleton blanket mill end rag rug and finished it. Because of the size it required full body contact, thus forcing me to generate body heat . It measures 6'8" in diameter and is 2" thick. Because it's wool it's very warm. This is a non-surprize Christmas present for a dear friend. My wrists may never be the same again. Ouch!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Beta Blogger Bites

Switching to the new Beta blogger was not, I repeat, NOT a good idea. I won't bore you with my frustrations on that front. Hopefully I can figure out how to switch back without deleting my blog.

Yesterday this lovely 100% silk yarn in Kaleidoscope arrived. It was hand dyed by Dave over at Cabin Cove. I've never had silk yarn before and it's amazing. The colors are so pretty! I've no idea what to make from it. Perhaps I'll just sleep with it under my pillow.
Now off to hang curtains and bake some cupcakes and wrap Christmas & birthday presents. Another storm is upon us, which means rain, wind and probable flooding in the lower regions. No worries though, we're prepared. Cheers!
Aaack! Several people have confirmed my fear of not being able to restore my previous account with the old blog version.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Are you Ho Ho'd out?

I'm Ho Ho'd out. After mainlining my morning coffee I reviewed today's itinerary. Yikes! One awards assembly, a doctor's appointment, finishing the Christmas cards, a trip to the post office, making an appointment for the van (please don't die), shampooing the hallway carpet, and picking up supplies for A3's 6th birthday party all must be done before 3:30 today.

But the miracle of hot, running water will be my salvation. Tonight I shall lock the bathroom door and ignore children, cats, the husband, etc. while indulging in a selfishly long bath.

I've been making some last minute Christmas knits, but as they aren't felted yet there is nothing to share. Here's to hoping you all get a few minutes to yourselves. Cheers!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Yup, that's my new nickname. For the past week my balance has been completely whacked. I stagger around like a Skid Road bum. No longer do I walk down a hallway, I just bounce off one wall and then the other like a pinball. Last night's intended victim, the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Luckily that thing is huge and it fought back. When I lost my balance and fell against the tree its sproingy (is this a real word?) branches bent and then flung me away from it. Because Bonny had previously stripped the bottom portion of the tree of all ornaments there were no casualties. The only injury to report was to my dignity.

My DH returned home from a week in Las Vegas where he attended an IT conference. Because it's his guard unit's drill weekend though he'll be away most of the weekend, so we still won't see him. There is a Christmas party scheduled for tonight but the lack of a babysitter will probably keep me from attending. This might be a good thing. It would be really embarrassing to knock over the grog bowl before partaking of the spirits therein.

I made another hat yesterday, but it's rather sloppy looking, even for my tastes. Time to give up free form and get serious again. I'm thinking socks.

The final yarn installment arrived from Mama-E's Fall Sock Club. It's lovely shades of grays and greens. Green is my favorite color.

While in Vegas B bought me jewelry. And who said that geeks aren't romantic. These are genuine gold-plated latinum Star Trek earrings from Star Trek The Experience. Thank you honey.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Friday is my most favorite day of the week. It heralds the beginning of a weekend not yet spent. And kind of like a beautifully wrapped package with unknown contents, the potential and excitement of not knowing what's inside are sometimes better than the gift itself.

While slurping the elixer of life this morning I browsed the internet. A normal activity. However, what I found soon had the precious liquid squirting out my nose as I laughed with glee.

Here are some links. This reminded me that I always assumed I'd wind up the crazy cat lady. The possibility still exists.

Not all cooking utensils are socially acceptable, no matter how well they may work.

And a note to my darling husband. DO NOT SHOP FOR ME AT THIS SITE just because you can't think of a Christmas present. Money wasted on these items would much better be spent on yarn.

Enjoy your weekend all!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hurry up!

This time of year many folks hum Christmas Carols as they go about their daily business. In my head "The William Tell Overature" plays quickly and loudly. Over and over again. Letters have yet to be written, cards and packages haven't been mailed, decorations are only half way up and there is no stockpile of homebaked goodies in the freezer. But shopping is completed (thanks to Visa and the internet). December weekends are booked with holiday social gatherings. School concerts and performances threaten to usurp many weekday evenings, leaving little time to eat, clean or complete other essential activities. Is it just me or does this Christmas treadmill go just a little bit faster each year? And still that mental muzak keeps playing, urging me not to slow down.
Earlier last week I bailed on the Christmas knitting commitments. This week the decorating was halted midstream, actually, midstrand of lights. Yesterday I purchased some store bought cookies and Stollen to keep on hand in case of unexpected well wishers. This is not selling out, but rather saving what remains of my sanity. And to promote emotional well-being at least one hour a day has been spent doing something that I WANT to do.

First, I painted our dreary family room. The original color resembled a worm soaking in the bottom of a puddle... you know, that creepy not quite pink and not quite gray color . So now instead of drowned invertebrae, we have a bright cheddar colored accent wall and the other walls are painted a very pale gold color (they look white in the picture).

(I do not know where the dark spot on the ceiling or on A3's cheek came from. They only appear in the pictures)

The "tacky" rug I'm crocheting out of the Pendleton blankets is underneath the rocking chair. I hope to make it really large eventually. And yes, A3 is wearing a bathing suit top in December. It's her day off from kindergarten and mommy apathy has set in. Gone are the days of accessorizing my childrens' outfits with the bows in their freshly coiffed hair.

Here's another therapy hat. Hats are wonderful to knit because no patterns are needed and blocking, etc. isn't necessary. I can just knit mindlessly. This last detail is essential.

Here is our rather spartan, Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I tried explaining the "less is more" concept to my girls, but they didn't get it. Finally I gave up and just told them I was tired and that they could add more decorations if they so chose. After several minutes they too decided the understated look was in. We're going to relax and have fun this year damn it!

I almost forgot. Here is the latest addition to our family. A1 got an early Christmas present yesterday. His name is Juji. Juji is still in shock from leaving the pet store. He hasn't made any sound at all. Bonny (our young kitty) desperately wants to check him out, but the door to A1's room remains shut, much to her dismay.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Alicia in college, 1989

or as my daughters call her, "Miss Lish", came down for a visit on Sunday. Alicia and I met many years ago while waiting for the mail in our college residence hall lobby. We've been friends ever since.
Some Lish facts:
~ She doesn't like catching nightcrawlers, but she'll fish.
~ She grew up in Toppenish, WA
~ She's the youngest of four children, but two of her siblings have passed away
~ She moves... a lot. As a result we've lost contact on several occasions, but she always tracks me down.
~ She does amazing bead and leatherwork.
~ NOBODY can stack wood as fast or as neatly as Lish
~ She's funny, but quiet. If you don't listen carefully you're bound to miss something funny.
~ We've always had the most fun just "doing nothing" ... It's a Pooh sort of thing.
~ She will give you the shirt off her back, and her pants, and shoes and coat. Heck, if you asked she'd probably even give you her underwear... I've never asked.

Anyway, she drove all the way down here just to check out our new digs and say, "hey." She brought her friend, Becky along for the ride. While she was here we drove down to the Pendleton Mill outlet in Washougal. Pendleton wool is amazing, but I've never been able to afford it... Until now.

I was introduced to the tables full of mill ends and blanket remnants. And even though it wasn't yarn I felt the same rush of excitement a fiber addict experiences in a yarn store. These were very long strips of fabric. And the reason I only purchased two bags of remnants was because my youngest daughter played Houdini on us and disappeared. She hid in a circular clothing rack and pulled her feet up out of sight. Shopping was halted while everyone frantically searched in vain. Finally my eldest daughter found her. Once the felon was apprehended and restrained in her car seat she was assigned a full time warden, me. I think that poor Becky almost had a nervous breakdown.

Upon returning to our house Lish pulled this out and presented it to me! This is a very beautiful and very large blanket. It was only put on the table for this picture, it's been on my bed ever since. I was and still am speechless. I love it.

The afore-mentioned scraps were wound into large balls. I'm attempting to crochet a rug. A1 says it's the tackiest thing she's ever seen. I'll have her know that I'm capable of much tackier.

And in the meantime, I'm bugging the heck out of Lish. She's been in one place for far too long and I think she needs to move to the Portland area.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gratificationus Instantaneous

Sometimes we all need a quickie. Hang the long courtship that takes place between yarn as it searches for "the right" pattern. Ditch the formalities of toying with gauge swatches. Plunge with abandon into soft squishy fiber with sticks furiously ablaze. Frenzied knitting ends suddenly, sooner than expected. No blocking and only a few loose ends to clean up, then just walk away. No need for drawn out, awkward goodbyes. You are left feeling satisfied and rejuvenated. Commitment to a long-term fiber relationship no longer feels like a trap. Such have been my recent projects.

Fetching in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino edged with glass beads

A1 reluctantly models a hat made with some
plain old Cascade 220 and a whim.

These quickies have felt so liberating that I might have a few more "flings" before entering into an enduring fiber relationship. Cheers.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Saturday in review

On Saturday morning blue skies greeted us. After a leisurely pancake breakfast and lots of silly girls (friends spending the night plus our own silly ones) we ventured out to choose a Christmas

We returned home just in time to pick up the mail which included a delightful parcel from V, my Coffee Swap partner. The heavenly scent of freshly roasted coffee could be detected even before opening the box. Man, paper flew as I tore into this box!

And inside, starting at the top from left to right:
A lovely card with wonderful letter written by V , TWO coffee mugs, one is a MiGo traveling cup WITH A HANDLE! Partially due to my M.S. and partially due to just being a naturally born klutz I tend to spill and drop a lot of cups. Most traveling cups do not have handles so my caffeine is usually restricted to "at home" drinking. And the beautiful pottery mug next to it was hand thrown by artisans at the Plymouth Plantation. I love these cups. Next were 5, yes FIVE packages of premium roasted coffees from Boston Best Coffee Roasters. Three gourmet chocolate bars were also included. These have been hidden away for those late-night sweet tooth urges because I don't want to share them with my girls who cannot yet fully appreciate the difference between good and mediocre chocolate.(mean mommy).

And finally, the piece de resistance... this is 400 yards of hand dyed superwash from Mind's Eye Yarns ! Pictures do not begin to serve justice to the beautiful blues and purples of this amazingly soft yarn. It has a glossy sheen reminescent of silk. I keep stroking it and sniffling it. No immediate projects come to mind yet, as I'm still in the infatuation stages, but once the excitement has worn off a little then projects can be pondered. Thank you very much V for sharing such wonderful Boston goodies. Now I'm off to brew some wonderful coffee and catch up on my blog reading. Cheers!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hauskaa syntymapaiva Papa Porgy!

Today is my Grandpa Porgy's 86th birthday! Grandpa was born in Butte, Montana. His father, Eino, had fled the family home in Finland 4 years prior to avoid conscription in the Russian army. Wilma, Grandpa's mother, had immigrated to the United States from another region of Finland at the age of 19 3 years before his birth. Grandpa spent the early years of his life moving throughout Montana, Idaho and his family even traveled back to Finland briefly (his name can be found at Ellis Island where he re-entered the USA). At the age of 6 he was put into his first English speaking school. Prior to this he spoke Finnish and got on well in a variety of other languages spoken by other immigrants residing within the mining community. He worked for awhile alongside his father in the copper mines, but eventually he left Montana and moved to Washington State. Here, at the age of 19, he met and married my Grandma Helen. Over the years Grandpa worked many different jobs, but his primary income was as a fisherman. They had two sons, five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Sadly, last year Grandma Helen passed away. Grandpa misses her very much, but he stays active and remains involved with all in the family. His younger brother, Teino, lives in Olympia.

10 Facts about Grandpa:
1. His 2nd and 3rd toes are "webbed" about 1/3 up.
2. The end of his left index finger was pulled off in an industrial accident. He has fun playing jokes with his missing finger and this is an endless source of fascination for all under the age of 10.
3. He and Grandma wintered in Desert Hot Springs for over 30 years.
4. Favorite past times include golfing and fishing.
5. He is extremely superstitious, especially regarding Friday the 13th. Not surprising considering one of his boats, The Gail, was struck by a cargo ship on Friday the 13th. Luckily nobody was seriously injured and all were rescued.
6. Grandpa can build or fix just about anything ever made and he loves working with wood.
7. Grandpa still fishes and digs razor clams.
8. He's an avid reader.
9. He calls everyone in the family on their birthdays and sings "Happy Birthday" to them.
10. He's my last surviving grandparent.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Baa Humbug!

Ho ho hum, it's that magical time of year again. Most of our neighbors have decked their homes and yards in true Griswold fashion. Lines at the post office are excruciatingly long and even local gas stations are pushing holiday gift giving to a whole new level. So yesterday as Christmas Muzak assaulted my eardrums at the grocery store I decided it was time to get in the spirit.

Trips to the attic yielded boxes of lights and a crick in my neck. Note the neat and orderly state of these lights? Yes, that is sarcasm. But Bonny was delighted with the new smells and chewy strings.

The fruits of several hours' labor... one lone tree with lights and a wreath on the door. But this wee tree has sparked my enthusiasm to do more. I will have the happiest, brightest and probably most offensive house in the cul-de-sac by week's end.

And as far as not fulfilling all of my Christmas knitting plans... I've adopted a new philosophy. 2006 is not even a remotely plausible goal for most intended projects. So this year lots of homebaked cookies, breads, jams and jellies will be given in lieu of handmade socks, hats and other fibery gifts. And I'll just consider myself "ahead" for my 2007 Christmas knitting!

And since no knitting UFOs or WIPs haunt my needles I can relax and enjoy starting a deadline free project of my choosing this evening. Whoo hoo hoo hoo, could life get any better? Cheers y'all!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Turkey Day, smurky day.

What is it that they say... that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry? Don't worry I shan't go on to butcher either Burns or Steinbeck. But I will endeavor to coax pity for our sad little Thanksgiving.

Friends and relatives received invitations weeks ago for a traditional meal served in our new home. Because of the distance we didn't expect many guests, but we were delighted when several called with "yes" RSVPs.

Tuesday I picked up our new dining room table. Wednesday afternoon the turkey was prepped, the pies were baked the salads made and all vegetables were washed, peeled and ready for cooking.

The good china and crystal were located (this is a big deal considering our, ahem, still unpacked boxes in the garage). All was in order for our feast.

Thursday morning I awoke with the flu, or some cheap imitation thereof. Gory details aren't necessary, all imaginable symptoms were present.

As a result, previous plans were abandoned. The bird was crammed into the oven without ceremony, without a final basting of butter and definitely without the wine-soaked cheesecloth wrapping suggested by Martha. The table wasn't set and hors d'oeuvres plates weren't arranged. I went back to bed.

About an hour prior to the guests' arrival I crawled into the shower. After ensuring that my children were dressed and the cat box was scooped I moved the ever-present pile of unfolded clothes from our living room into the bedroom. I kicked the door shut on my way out. The housework was done.

Mom arrived and saved the day. She made the gravy and finished cooking the rest of the vegetables. Great Auntie Ruth helped dish it up and set the table. Between the two, dinner was served in a timely fashion.

It was not formal, or even pretty (note everyday dishes, mismatched glasses, etc.), but the company was pleasant and everyone enjoyed a quiet meal.

Guests enjoyed after dinner entertainment,

And I went to bed early. Not a stellar holiday, but certainly not the worst in Thanksgiving history.

Not a great weekend for knitting progress either. Nausea and fatigue quashed all desires to knit or spin. My sister's vest is done, but it's rather boring. Just a seed or moss stitch with simple cables. She requested a neutral-colored vest to slip on in the evenings. It was made with Heirloom Easy Care 8 ply. Very soft and pretty yarn, but it tended to split.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Oompa loompa doom pa dee do

I just love the songs sang by the Oompa Loompas in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory each time a naughty child meets a horrible demise. During this past year Mama-E created beautiful colorways which corresponded with Project Spectrum for her sock club members. July's color was named Beau after Violet Beauregard and August's colorway was dubbed Augustus for Augustus Gloop.

And true to their namesakes here we see Augustus busily gorging himself on chocolate while the ever-pushy Violet (Beau) becomes the first to be knitted into socks.

Now off to clean house and sneak in a few rows of knitting while visions of small orange men and those catchy songs are fresh in my noggin'. And because I love to share, here are the words sang by those sage fellows.

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do I have a perfect puzzle for you

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-dee If you are wise, you'll listen to me

What do you get when you guzzle down sweets?

Eating as much as an elephant eats

What are you at getting terribly fat?

What do you think will come of that?

I don't like the look of it

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da

If you're not greedy, you will go far

You will live in happiness too

Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do

I have another puzzle for you

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-da-dee

If you are wise, you'll listen to me

Gum chewing's fine when it's once in a while

It stops you from smoking

And brightens your smile

But it's repulsive, revolting, and wrong

Chewing and chewing all day long

The way that a cow does

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da

Given good manners, you will go far

You will live in happiness too

Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do

I have another puzzle for you

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-da-dee

If you are wise, you'll listen to me

Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?

Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat

Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame

You know exactly who's to blame

The mother and the father

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da

If you're not spoiled, then you will go far

You will live in happiness too

Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do

I have another puzzle for you

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-da-dee

If you are wise, you'll listen to me

What do you get from a glut of TV?

A pain in the neck and an IQ of three

Why don't you try simply reading a book?

Or can you just not bear to look?

You'll get'll get'll get no commercials

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da

If you're not greedy, you will go far

You will live in happiness too

Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Friday, November 17, 2006

Here comes the sun...

Yesterday the clouds parted and provided a much-needed respite from the blustery wind and drenching rains which have dampened both spirits and the ground in the northwest. Thankfully the roofer repaired the skylight and replaced some broken roof tiles prior to the latest storm so we stayed dry.

After our errands A3 and I drove down to Multnomah Village in south Portland to visit Northwest Wools. The shop was delightful. Much of the yarn is arranged by colors, rather than by brand. As a result you would find Cascade mixed with Manos Del Uraguay, Opal, etc. This arrangement made me want to mix yarns together, felt something and knit freeform without patterns, guage, etc. The walls were lovely to gaze at, but my feeble brain wanders easily. This type of shopping opportunity often leaves me buying yarns with no end project in mind. In other words, I add to my out-of-control stash. The clerks/owners (not sure who was a proprietor and who owned the shop) were all very friendly, they let me touch and sniffle yarn without giving me funny looks, etc.

Multnomah Village itself is rather Bohemian. Translation, lots of college-aged kids in ugly clothes and dread locks who reek of patchouli and lots of strange little shops. It's very reminescent of Fairhaven up in Bellingham, but without the splattering of "exclusive" shops and restaurants. My only reserve in being there with my daughter was that I don't think that was tobacco being smoked on the sidewalks.

Upon returning home we all seized a moment to soak up some sun in the back yard.

When the mail arrived it brought my new license plate frame (courtesy of Scout's Swag). It was immediately installed. Now I'll feel like a rebel with a bad-ass attitude in my mini-van. Whoo hoo!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Culture Fool

Have y'all seen the new Comcast commercials featuring Mr. T bursting through the shower wall of a man butchering the words to a well-known song? Well, I AM A KNITTING CULTURE FOOL! IF we subscribed to digital cable or if I visited cool websites like DIY then I would know who Vickie Howell is. As most of you probably know she hosts a television show called Knitty Gritty.

Last week I ordered some yarn from Scout's Handpainted Swag. When the yarn was dyed and ready to send (I don't think Scout ever sleeps) she e-mailed me to say that Vickie Howell and I had both ordered the Rosalie colorway at the same time, it was dyed in the same batch and "How cool was that?". Now any of you who have conversed with me either live or via email know that I'm a bit of a scatterbrain. I just assumed that Vickie Howell was somebody from a knitting swap I'm participating in. As a result the following emails between Scout and I became a "Who's on First" type of exchange. She soon ascertained that I had no clue as to Vickie Howell's identity so she kindly sent me a link. I am now enlightened!

This is the gorgeous yarn (and some much-needed "Heal My Hands") which arrived yesterday.

And here's a close up envy shot...

Not only is this yarn gorgeous, but it's soft too. I don't know what to make with it yet, but for now I'm happy to just fondle it, stare at it and know that somebody famous has the same yarn dyed in the batch.

Today's Bento lunches for the girls consisted of do-it-yourself mini pizzas. The idea was shamlessly copied from somebody else's blog as their version of the popular Lunchables. The crusts are simply some mini pita breads picked up in the deli section of a local grocery store. The homemade pizza sauce can be squeezed out of a small hole which is cut into the corner and covered with a sticker. Not only are these less expensive than Lunchables, but I can control sodium, etc.

Now off to Portland to have some documents shredded and run a few other errands. If you have a moment today then pop over to Cindy's blog and give her a virtual hug or a quick note. The poor dear is recooperating from having a tooth extracted. Ouch!