Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Enough animals. Instead, here's the brightest light on my Christmas tree, my angel, the best kid on Santa's "nice list" to help me wish you all a Merry Christmas!
She's anxiously awaiting the arrival of her San Diego cousins, her Milwaukee cousins, her Los Angeles uncle and his fiance, who will all meet here with her local cousins from Plymouth and Deephaven for the "full family" Christmas (a very rare occurrence). There are big doings happening after Christmas this year!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In More New Kitty News

In an effort to get to know one another better, Sammy and I tried to spend as much time as possible together yesterday but it was very difficult. Most of the time was spent chasing Holli who kept chasing Sammy who kept running under our bed. Many times Sammy had to be extricated from inside the box spring - tricky indeed. Holli's manners need to be addressed and putting on her choke collar and leash may help today. At least I can grab the leash when she starts to run for the kitty. What I did learn is that, Sammy LOVES the computer. Particularly, the cursor!
She thinks the kitchen sink is tons of fun, until the water comes on. This may cause a problem for Tigger as this is where he drinks his water in the morning.
Sammy takes her own sweet time eating her breakfast and dinner. She is not a snarfer like the other animals around her, but rather, she prefers to savor her meal. Her 1/4 cup of kibble can take 20 minute to consume. And yes, for right now, she gets to eat on the counter because everyone else seems very interested in her "special" ("smells different from the crap we get") food.
She chews yarn when you're not watching.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

This is Sammy. She has come to live with us at the tender age of 7 months. In that time she has already lived quite a life. She was left in a box with four other kittens at the doorstep of a vet clinic. Thankfully, my friend Becky works at the clinic. All of the kittens were malnourished, infested with just about everything you can imagine and barely alive. The wonderful people at the clinic nursed all the kittens back to health, but a nasty little fungus held on to Sammy and two other kittens. They were finally given a clean bill of health yesterday and Sammy was free to come home after two months in quarantine. Everyone was excited to meet her.
Well, maybe not everyone so much.
No animals were harmed in this picture - humans - that's another story.
"Pleased to meet you; hope you guess my name!" Sammy

Monday, December 17, 2007


I've been seeing so many beautiful mittens while browsing around, I thought I should finally try a pair. My first choice was Kate Gilbert's "Bird in the Hand". I made a huge mistake in my haste to get started and began these mittens in Malabrigo worsted. I knew this would be wrong, knew it would be really wrong. No stitch definition at all - but oh soooo soft!

Moved on to some Cascade 200 and down a needle size. Nice stitch definition, but somehow, the mittens got bigger and because the 220 was recycled from a different project, it was bugging me.So that leaves me with the Anemoi Mittens in un-recycled Opal on wooden double points (as suggested). I pretty much love everything about these mittens so far.
Now I just have to go back and read what everyone else used for their Bird in the Hand mittens. They are so clever and I really want to get back to them. That little bird on the thumb is just waiting for me!

The camera is home from Berlin!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Things We Saw

My favorite blog photos from 2007, and a bonus! Pictures are definitely worth a thousand words; so here are
January: Tigger's birthday greeting to Jeanne.
February: Log Cabin Squares, knit by the Tuesday morning Knitting Group girls on our knitting retreat. This trip and everything about it is probably one of my top three memories of 2007.

April: If all it's going to do in Cancun when you're only there for four days is rain, then drink shots. Lots of shots. and play a dice game you don't know the rule for. Especially if the rules include taking pieces of your clothing off in front of strangers when you loose. Oops, did I forget to tell you guys that part in April?
May: Still haven't thrown out the cage, but there still isn't a replacement hamster.
June: The dads in my family gathered on Father's Day. Bad picture but I love seeing them all together.
July: Baby Lou makes his first visit to knitting group fresh from Guatemala.

August: All the girl cousins and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Helen (far left) gathered for my parent's 50th anniversary week. For all the pissing and moaning I did about this week, it was a great time with my family and right up there in the top five memories of the year.
September: One of several "Dye 'N Dine" Saturday afternoons. with Chris and Jeanne. This one included a "mysterious", new guest however and was even more fun!
October: I know she's all better and everything, but I really miss having lunch with Chris...and the cats ... and sometimes it seems ...
November: ... like I see her more than him lately!
December: At this moment, Holli is asleep in her new bed. The added bonus to this new routine is that Tigger now sleeps in the bed with Holli at night. I swear, our bed just got three feet wider.Finally, my favorite blog photo of the year, and based on comments and the amount of new commenters as a result of the post, it must have been other's favorite too. From These Little Wonders
"Does this bolero make my butt look big?"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Places We Went

Copying (flattering?) Vicki, this is a review in words of the blog-life this past year. The best thing I did this year was to make a commitment to blogging everyday in May. While I may not have always been able to keep to that schedule since May, I have been a much better blogger because of developing that habit. Plus - well, you guys. What can I say?

January: It's not the 0s, its the 9s. "Sunday was my birthday, my 49th birthday."

February: Blame it on the .... "It's really hard to say how it happens."

March: (oops - I must have taken this month off!)

April: OK - Break Over "Here's a tip for bloggers: If you take a really long break from blogging, you'll have a lot to say when you come back."

May: The Tuesday Group "For nearly two years we have met every Tuesday at 9:00 am at 318 Cafe."

June: Winding Down "I have a whole lot of nothing today - but I guess I can manage to wind it together in to a coherent post."

July: Taking a Break "I'm taking a break today thanks to a killer migraine but wanted to share the following to prove that Kathryn survived camp. . . . ."

August: What a Heel "I can be very stubborn at times."

September: 5th Grade "Here is a normal, average 5th grade girl off to her first day of school."

October: Faithful - Part I "People sometimes talk about being "faithful" to a craft."

November: Boo Hoo Hoo! "Based on the Halloween costumes I saw out and about yesterday, not every 11 year-old girl showed (or was shown!) proper restraint in the costume department."

December: Guilty "This weekend was spent preparing the house for Christmas."

Favorite photos (which do not require the memory stick in the camera) tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stocking Stuff

Since the camera is away on another international trip, you'll be stuck with a few picture-less posts. As luck would have it, I remembered a few things I'd seen while blogging around that I can use. I shamelessly stole this sock survey from Valerie, who got it from Turtlegirl, who got it String Bean and so on....

1. What’s your favorite sock yarn? Note that the word ‘yarn’ is singular. Just pick one. Although I've only knit one sock with it, I'd have to say Koigu. I can't imagine anything would happen in the knitting of the second sock to change my mind.

2. What’s your favorite type and brand of sock needle? Addi Turbo circular Lace Needles. I love the sharp tips and the more flexible cord provided on the lace needle.

3. Do you knit your socks toe up, cuff down, or sideways? While I might be sideways when I knit them, I knit 90% of my socks toe-up. Sometimes I'll do a pair cuff-down just to switch things up a bit (like brushing your teeth with you non-dominant hand).

4. Do you knit both socks at once or just one at a time? I knit them one at a time, but I wear them both at once.

5. What’s your favorite toe and why? True confession - I didn't know it had a name. I do a Turkish or Eastern Cast-on and then increase until I have the desired number of stitches for the the foot. So whatever that's called, let me know so I can call it by the right name. (If you only knew how much I wanted to answer this "pinky toe on my left foot"!!)

6. Favorite heel? This I know. Short row.

7. Do you prefer plain or patterned socks? Yes. For different reasons. Plain for just having around when I need something for my hands to do and patterned for when I need to knit and think (oh, that reminds me of Amy kind of!)

8. Who do you knit the most socks for? This question should really read "Who do you knit most of your SOCK for?" And it relates directly to #7. I just get bore too easily I guess. Or distracted perhaps. And so lots of times, only one sock ever gets....wait, what was the question? Sorry. For me.

9. Do you darn your socks? If not, what do you do with them? No; I damn the quite often however.

10. Do you only wear hand-knit socks? See #8. Remember that I live in Minnesota and do the math. So sometimes I wear Smartwools or UnderArmour socks or black, blue or gray thick knee socks that I get at Target.

Bonus question: What pattern, if any, is your basic “I-just-need-a-pair-of-socks” sock pattern based on? Cast on 8 stitches and work whatever my toe is called until I have 64 stitches; then I use the Thuja pattern, short-row heel, work the leg, work 1 inch in 1x1 twisted rib pattern and bind off using the K2tog, return resulting stitch to left needle, K2tog, return resulting stitch to left needle, K2tog etc. Then start something new.

At this point you're either thinking "Man I hope that camera comes back soon", or "I hope she doesn't get one of her own for Christmas!"

Studio Time

First it was Michelle's lovely new craft room. Now it's Carole's studio- complete with a "fireplace". No matter what we call them, our "rooms" are our sanctuaries and how we decorate, use, or spend time in them is as unique as we are. My studio (NEVER referred to as my office as that implies work!) is in the basement, just off the theatre room. It's large and bright despite not having windows. Someday it will have cabinets and shelves and bookcases all built-in. Someday it will have a large rolling work surface. Someday it will have a big over-stuffed chair and footstool and a good light over the left shoulder.
But for right now, my studio is Santa's workshop and I'm forced to share my space with the jolly old elf and his little elves. They are messy and take up a lot of space. Thankfully- the reindeer are not here yet. Here's to "someday".

Monday, December 10, 2007


I don't think it's just me, but I tend to believe that life's hardest lesson should not have to learned when you are in 5th grade. Not when you're a young boy of 10 or 11. Not on a Friday afternoon when you are eagerly awaiting the end of the school day and the beginning of a weekend hunting trip with your dad. I don't think a mother and teacher should ever have to tell a young boy that during the day his father passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly. I don't think teachers should have to tell classmates (many of whom have never lost a grandparent) of the young boy about the untimely death of their friend's dad. I don't think a young man of this age should be thinking about wakes and funerals but rather basketball and Nintendo and playing with his pals. I don't think any of this should be happening to this family right now - but it is. That's life. It hurts.

Please keep Kathryn's classmate, Joe S., his mom, Kelly, and big sister, Gina, in your hearts. Their father/husband, John, was a good and decent man and a wonderful father, who left this world too soon.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Can you find the real kitty in this photo? If he only knew what was coming in the next few days, he'd never look this cute. Oh but wait, I don't think I've told you guys either.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Bed Time

The now upright Christmas tree required us to relocate Holli's dog bed for the season. This didn't cause Holli much of a problem, as the primary occupant of the dog bed has always been Tigger. We moved the dog bed up to our room. Holli has also been banished from sleeping on our bed as the primary non-human inhabitant of that bed is also Tigger. Up until now, Holli has slept on the floor beside us but with her head so far under the bed you could barely see half of her. She'd go from one side to the other all night long, harrumphing as she plopped down. I put the bed down in an empty corner where Jon said it "looked too cold". I'm a mom. I know how to take care of my children. So I quickly remedied the situation with a few of her favorite things. This is where she was at 9:00 this morning when I was ready to go for the day.
I'm working on teaching her to leave her blankie on the bed for the day when she leaves - but she loves it so much now.
What - you all don't make your dog's beds every morning?

Monday, December 03, 2007


This weekend was spent preparing the house for Christmas. These are Jon's favorite three days of the year - seriously. This is usually a major stress point for me. It's a huge project, a big mess, takes much patience (on all parts). This year, I took a new approach ("go with the flow..." and lots of deep breathing) and I enjoyed the process so much more than I normally do. Which is not to say there weren't a few flash points. My fault. I'm still a control freak no matter how hard I try.

And so it's all good - until laying in bed this morning and hearing the loud crash. Jon was in the shower so I figured it wasn't him. Kate was still in bed - not her; Holli, snoring loudly on the floor beside me. That leaves one .....

See if you can piece together what happened by putting these pictures in their proper order.

Ornaments no longer on Christmas tree because tree was on the floor in a horizontal position.

Tree tilted against wall now until a more permanent stabilization method can be established.

Pine needles left on a recently clean floor.

Long lost favorite catnip mouse is found in one of the Christmas boxes and played with for hours. It makes him VERY frisky and wound up tighter than a cat on catnip.

"So what if I did climb up your damn tree. I am - a CAT! SpiderCat! SpiderCat! Does whatever a SpiderCat does....!"