Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Heebie Jeebie Hump Day

On Monday I cleaned 3 windows and brushed away dirty cobwebs and insect cocoons from the outside of our house. All done in an effort to ward off creepy crawlies bound to hunt me down later this spring.

Then I saw this as a Facebook group pic.

So disturbing . . . and yet I can't look away.

Monday, March 16, 2009

More fiber to share!

Anyone ever wake from a fitful night, crabby and tired? Okay, many of us have. But I'm honestly pissed off at my kids ... and they haven't even woke! They were just ANIMALS in my dream! ARGH! Anyway, how about a little more fiber-luvin'? Just look at this gorgeous washcloth I finished Sunday night!

It's a pattern I purchased from Susan B. Anderson and I had to teach myself to crochet, but thanks to my copy of Teach Yourself Visually Knitting, I got it done. And not to shabby, eh?

Here's one I finished yesterday afternoon.

And I also started my hemp washcloth project. After completing not quite half of, I'm calling it "The FBI Witness Protection Washcloth" because my finger prints have been effectively erased! It's some tough stuff, but I think it shall be a fabulous kitchen washcloth (I'm using the same Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth pattern on US 6 needles). Miss Daisy tells me hemp does not retain mildew (joy!) and the coarseness of this Mother Nature Yarn of 50% wool/50% hemp will surely rid my surfaces of grim and germs (euphoria!). Now . . . to find the band-aids for my poor fingers.

As for my version of the Just Enough Ruffles Scarf? I call her 'Marilyn' and let me say that all I want to do is punch it! I chose to do this project with a delicious Moda Dea yarn that's a dreamy soft lavender. One of my beloved Bitches recently broke her fibula in a stellar display of racquetball prowess and I thought this yummy thing would help her through the remaining days of Minneapolis winter. But now, finishing this scarf is a march to the death.

I refuse to frog this beast! NO! Rather, I'd like to take a flame thrower to it, but given it's mostly acrylic, I don't think it'd burn with the veracity I crave. It's been the bane of my knitting existence since I started it on the 7th, which is why I call her Marilyn -- the other Marilyn in my life is the bane of my work life. 'Nuff said...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Show 'n Tell time . . .

I've been asked to post a show-and-tell of fiber wares. Here you go!

Here's Miss Mo wearing a boa scarf made with Lion Brand Fun Fur. I'm made loads of these because they're fun and easy! Basically, cast on about 15 to 18 stitches and then simply knit to the desired length. When I make these for kids, I knit with size 11 needles, but for adults, size 13 needles.

These are my Cyclone Fingerless Mittens. VERY easy, simply garter stitch two rectangles! And then sew up the seams. Though DO remember to leave a thumb hole in the seam. I sewed the first two completely up, so I actually knitted 4 f'ing rectangles before I actually accomplished a usable pair. But they're fun and perfect for the Cyclone in your life. Pick your colors in an average worsted yarn and Go 'Clones!!!

This is a pair of fingerless mitts for my sister, K2, who requested a pair she could wear while working on the computer. Her office is apparently a wee frigid. Anyway, I modified a free pattern found on the Net with an irksome homespun (it looks and feels yummy, but being a newbie knitter, it's a pain in the arse).

Me mum asked for a scarf to go with her brown coat and I decided to make one from the diagonal check pattern from Teach Yourself Visually Knitting in a basic worsted yarn. I failed to click pic of the finished product, but Mom said she loved it. Though I've yet to see her wear it. Humph. Maybe our 50 degree temps could be why, no?

Here's my present fav: the dishcloth! This first one came from Miss Wooly Daisy who suggested I whip them up for Christmas presents. Well, I was too crazed with painting and pre-holiday freaking out to do it then, so I'm hoping to build up a stash of these for Easter! Miss Daisy forwarded the favorite pattern: Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth. I used Peaches N Creme 100% cotton yarn for both this and the following Fishy Washcloth, also loosely based on the same pattern.

But knitting isn't my only thing distracting me from housework: beads! Here's a peak at some stuff the kids and I put together awhile ago.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The cooley coincidence

I know I've shared how crazy-beautiful my life is. Are there moments of complete sucky-ness? Oh yeah. But then come the moments that

Anyone read my last post, waxing about life in the beautiful valley and climbing out for better views? Recall how struck I was by a reading from one of my meditation books: "My sense of failure is a sure sign that I am growing in the new life. It is only struggle that hurts. In sloth -- physical, mental, or spiritual -- there is no sense of failure or discomfort." Turns out, I was not the only one to find comfort in those lines.

Later that day, I met my angel Miss Denise for coffee and she presented me with the most lovely raisin soda bread and a card. In it, she penned the exact same lines I quoted above.

I LOVE moments like that! Those times make me grin like a silly fool and get all giggly!

That deep part of my being, call it the Soul or Time Eternal or Sacred Intelligence, but that part of me just bubbles over and all I can do is smile at the realization of Jackie Warner's little gem: "The Universe is taking care of me." It really is!

For a long time, as I was being conditioned to a new way of living, I was constantly told: "You will be lead. You will be lead." Usually I say I believe that, but the coincidental words in that card jolted my body awake to that truth. Rather than thinking about that truth, I felt it at the core of my being. And Miss Denise, from the moment I met her, has shown herself to be a person of beauty and truth, love and supreme kindness.

Many of you may not be aware (ahem), but I'm a bit of a nut job. And Miss Denise has been unfailing in her willingness to talk me off the ledge. All my love to you Miss Denise!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another year climbing out of the cooley

I'm back to loathing my blog. Why? It's the pressure! Ugh. Every time I open my page to visit my favorite blogs, that Obama-con picture of moi smiled it's silly grin back at me, taunting me to come up with something to write. Well, I'm still dry as a day-old toast.

But I will say this, Life is Good. Really good.

Without going into detail, (I spilled those about a year ago if you're that interested) today is a super special day for me. It's the anniversary of the day my life veered off a crazy, serpentine road full of potholes and no shoulder and found an exit ramp that dropped me into a valley so sweet, so ripe it continues to amaze. But it's a valley, nonetheless.

Valleys, or if you're a Cheddar Head, Cooleys, may be beautiful -- shady on hot days, lush with pastures -- but valleys are also kinda chilly and offer the ever-present reminder that better views await, if you're willing to make the climb.

And because I'm one selfish, self-centered beastie, I crave the better view. But the climb can soooo SUCK. Yet I keep going, many times without even knowing why except for the feeling, the inner propulsion that I must move forward.

Deep down in the pit of my guts, I know something amazing waits for me. A book I aim to read every morning offered this little gem to me for today: "My sense of failure is a sure sign that I am growing in the new life. It is only struggle that hurts. In sloth -- physical, mental, or spiritual -- there is no sense of failure or discomfort."

So am I to trust that the laziness that I fight EVERY day is not sloth? I'm keenly aware of my laziness, my lack of follow through and the yucky feeling it leaves within. I feel failure at every turn. (True, that may be the perfectionist within.) Am I to trust that the wee lil' action I do manage to take is enough?

I guess the Universe thinks so. Within the last couple of months, I've experienced such a blowout of Magdalene support. Connecting with different authors, learning new methods of prayer, gaining deeper understanding of what the Magdalene means to me, and snatching glimpses of the Truth that is buried far down in my soul, I keep taking that wee lil' action.

Having hiked just a bit out of the valley, I am gaining a better view. But I want more. I want more peace, more serenity, more joy, more love. So I guess I'll pick up some more PowerBars and keep climbing. Anyone feel like joining me?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Facebook Friends

One of the bloggers I follow recently posted about Facebook. Comparing her paltry 197 friends to her husband's 661, she waxed about the friendship requests she's received and accepted. As I perused my Facebook mates' friend lists, they're rocketing into the 300s (clearly not as popular as Mama Bird's hubby) while I'm lagging just a titch behind. Currently hovering around the 131 mark, I've opted to protect my FB domain.

Every so often I do a little house-cleaning of the friends list. Initially, I thought I had to accept every request, whether or not I knew them. Not only was it the polite thing to do, but more friends mean you're more popular and loved, right?

When I joined FB in the fall of '07, a smattering of college buds were on, but neither high school mates nor family could be found. All that has changed! I've got cousins leapin' on, left and right. I'm seein' an avalanche of high school chums joining (of course, an upcoming 20-year-reunion could have something to do with that). My point is, there's new friends and associates constantly popping up. So why am I not rocking the 300s?

Because I'm a bitch.

Yup. Sorry if I'm unapologetic about this fact, but there it is. I made the decision a few months ago to review my FB friend list and purge the people I didn't really know or trust. And I think it offended a few of those people because I regularly get friend requests from them. Well, sorry.

Yes, it's rude for me to ignore or block requests, but I gotta watch out for my bad self! I think of myself as a generally positive person who doesn't intend to harm others, but I know I've got this ballsy/weaselly personality that can be somewhat sandpaperish. And those who are on my FB friend list know what they're getting when they enter the Facebook world of this pissy kitty.

I really hate, no ABHOR making amends to people. But I end up doing it, a lot, because I have a tendency to speak/type before I think. Sure, with age comes some degree of mental engagement, but for the most part, I'm still an emotional talker/poster. Which is why I guard my Facebook world closely. If I don't know or trust you, you can knock all you want, but my door's locked. And it's purely selfish: so that I don't have to apologize to strangers for some inappropriate or offensive thing I will surely, eventually post. (I do it enough with the people I know.)

Eck, just admitting this feels yucky, like I've punched a baby! There's this part of me who wishes she were nice to everyone, sings with the birds, and frolics with the baby deer.

But that's just not how I roll. I can't even be bothered to fill the damn bird feeder. And the mess they make?!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Raised by wild, Republican dingos

Happy February! To January's passing, let me hear ya' say, "Hell ya!"

Since Punxsutawney Phil did, in fact, spot his damn shadow, how about a little pick-me-up? Let me introduce the newest member of our family: Maudry.

Maudry is a mild-mannered, small, mixed-breed adopted from an area Humane Society two weeks ago. While I think she's fabulous, I'll let the following interview speak for itself . . .

"So Maudry, I hear you were raised by a pack of wild, Republican dingos? Is that true?"

"Is that too uncomfortable? Oh, I'm sure. . . What's that? They forced you to watch Fox News?"

"Oh, how awful! Does that mean Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity are not your home boys?"

"Easy girl. Let's change the subject. Kitties! Do you love kitties?"

"For a snack?! Oh, just to lick. Ok, I can live with that. What do you think of other dogs?"

"I know, it kinda depends on the dog, doesn't it? Well, how about you gimme a smile?!"

"Good Girl! Now, wanna chill out?"

"Yes, we're done, Honey. No more questions . . ."