Friday, February 29, 2008

No Time to Blog

We're busy preparing for our weekend guest. There's so much to do because I just know that Vicki will be SO very fussy and need things just right. After all, this is a trip that's been in the works for more than a year!

At least the greeting committee is well prepped and ready to go. Tigger, as usual, is refusing to participate. He will be the first to warm up to her however. And once Chris gets here tonight for an evening of knitting - well, he just loves Chris!

And as of right now, Vicki will have a clean and comfortable place to rest her head. If she has to pee at all, that's a different story. And if tonight goes into the wee hours, KMKat (whom we can now call Kathy - because that's her name) will also have a clean and comfortable place to rest her head. She'll have to share a bathroom with Kathryn. All bets are off on that deal!!

I wish all the rest of you lived closer because I make really good butternut squash soup and it would be fun to have you all over for dinner and knitting and laughing and hugging and wine and beer and girlie drinks and sharing this thing that binds us together. But, I'll see all your faces and hear all your voices and feel you embraces and know that you're here with us!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


. . . is for the "Ds".
Chronologically, we are Deborah, Diane, Daniel, David, Donna & Dennis. In age we are 50, 48, 47, 46, 45 and 42. In this picture (taken at the birthday party) we are, from left to right, Diane, Daniel, Deb, Dennis, Donna, & David. These are my siblings. We share a common last name, parents, and genes. We share memories of events in our early lives but they are all remembered through our own filters now. Once sworn enemies for life for ratting each other out or wearing a sweater or taking the car when it was promised to you, these are now my most trusted confidantes and friends; the executor of our estate is in this group, as is the friend to whom I turn first when I'm tearful or joyful. The one who taught me how to bathe my baby is in this picture. I held the colicky child of one of this people for hours on end while the mom slept because dad's job means travel all the time. When one's baby daughter was born with a minor heart defect, I held that sibling in my arms while he cried for hours. When I moved out of my house after my divorce, it was brothers and sisters who came and did what I could not do - pack up a life and move on.

Many of us are separated by distance now; all of us are separated by time. But we are bound together by something more than family and genetics.

We are the Ds.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Too Cute

The last two days have been busier than usual and I barely have a moment to think let alone crank out a post. But this was too cute to pass up. And right now, at this moment, I'm wishing I could curl up for a cat-nap with them. They are, of course, lounging on Holli's bed. She has found a sunbeam outside in which to nap. Dogs!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Winner Is . . .

We had a little awards ceremony of our own this morning. Not as much drama as that show last night, but our presenter - a bit of a prima donna if you ask me.
Without further ado -

Our presenter licks the butter off the winner's card. It is standard language in her contract. If there are lines which she is required to read, they must be coated in butter for her to remain interested.

A quick look in to the audience confirms her worst fears. The winner is not present to accept her award and our presenter must improvise an acceptance speech.

"On behalf of carrie k, I accept this award for all the little people, and Hez. Is this my good side? I heard David Duchovny is going to be at the Purina "after party!" For sure I'm hitting the Eukanuba party - they always have the best food. Don't wait up, Mom. Is my limo here yet?"

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my two years of blogging. Who knew! And Carrie, send me your mailing address; I'll be putting together a package of goodies just for you - and Hez!!

spell check is working!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

What's In a Name

Ever feel like changing your name? It's bad enough most people think we have some magical connection to Ryan S-E-A-C-R-E-S-T (American Idol guy). But we have no "A" in our name - therefore no connection. Now this lady person "mom" goes and does this. Even though I spell my first name differently, I think that this is just the kind of trouble people will think I could find myself in. After all, I do have a really good sense of humor and, who doesn't love a good robbery of a church safe story!!

Alleged burglars laughed all way home, but last
laugh's on them

Two men are charged with stealing guns, antique war clubs and
Samurai swords from a home in Hugo, but one left behind something of his own:
cigarette butts.

Last update: February 22, 2008 - 12:02 AM

And the mother of one man joined in the laughter, according to a letter she
wrote that is described in charges against the men.

Eugene D. Benshoof, 28, and Matthew J. Secrest, 23, each were charged with
second-degree burglary in connection with stealing the safe and other goods from
St. Peter's Catholic Church in North St. Paul on Jan. 4.

Both also were charged Thursday in Washington County District Court with
aiding and abetting first- and second-degree burglary in connection with the
November burglary of a home in Hugo in which guns, antique war clubs, Samurai
swords and other items were stolen.

According to a complaint filed last week, burglars got into St. Peter's
Catholic Church at 2590 Margaret St. by breaking through a temporary
construction wall. Cash, gift cards, a safe, a wireless microphone and a sound
mixing board with a total value of more than $15,000 were stolen, the complaint

An informant's tip led police to search the home that Benshoof shared with
Secrest and his mother, Debra Secrest. Investigators found the safe door, other
items from the church and a letter written by Debra Secrest. The letter said the
men told her they had to drive 15 miles home with the back doors open because
the safe was too big for their vehicle, the complaint said.

"According to the letter, all three of them were laughing hysterically about
the incident and Debra Secrest just had to tell someone about it," the complaint

In the search, investigators also found several commemorative plates taken
during the Hugo burglary, which was discovered Nov. 27 when the homeowner
returned from a two-week trip to China, the Washington County complaint

Benshoof told police that he and Secrest had stolen swords, a tool chest, a
handgun and an AK47 assault rifle, the document said. He said Secrest had sold
the AK47; two Samurai swords had been pawned in Forest Lake, the complaint

Benshoof admitted to police that he'd left behind some items of his own:
cigarette butts and an empty Winston cigarette pack found at the crime

Pat Pheifer • 651-298-1551

Thursday, February 21, 2008


At long last, this "must have" tool for sock knitters, the un-sung hero of the laundry room, an essential for hand-knitters, hand-dyers and hand-spinners too. This little gem is finally getting the
world-wide national major-metropolitan area attention it so richly deserves.

If you read the puzzle page AND solve the cryptoquip.
From Star Tribune 02/21/08

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just Wait

I'm sorry almost-done Donyale sock in my own hand-dyed yarn. You're just going to have to wait to be finished and then wait longer still for a mate.
And you, long forgotten Baby Cable Rib in Koigu for my darling sister-in-law Ann. Even though I've recently picked you up again and started the second sock just days ago, had Ann try you on to ensure a perfect fit - thus teasing her into thinking the socks would be soon forthcoming - you too will have to wait.
See, the girls (Amy, Miss T) and I are meeting today for a small KAL kick-off. We know it's really short notice - BUT - if you want to join us in person, we'll be at the Starbucks at Excelsior & Grand at 10:00 this morning. Otherwise, you can join us in a virtual way by grabbing the Snowdrops Socks pattern, a skein of Noro Kureyon sock yarn, some needles and knit away. We'd love to have you. We're not cliquey or anything.
Oh and Amy, just HOW allergic are you to cats since we may have a tag-along?

"How many do you cast on for size teensy-weensy paws?"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Target Had a Little Lamb

And he followed me home from the store yesterday! Kathryn saw him on a shelf and squealed with delight as she grabbed him. "MOM! You have to have him for your room!"
He's just fits in so well in here. I thought he might be afraid of the wheel, but as he pointed out, there is no need to be afraid...
... he's not any of these colors!

Friday, February 15, 2008

S'Not Funny

Good moms probably take their kitties to the vet right away when they start sneezing. But we were enjoying it too much. The fact the when she'd sneeze on the hard wood floor, the force of it would send her sliding backwards about three feet. Or watching us all scatter to the far corners of the house at the mere sound of on-coming sneeze fit to avoid the inevitable "matter" that was certain to land on only the cleanest of our shirts. But no, I waited until the worst possible day this week to address the sneezy cat. The day I got called to pick up Kathryn from school with a sore throat - not strep, just a cold. The day I was supposed to teach my impressionable young 7th grade boys religous education class - sorry have to cancel. The day we also noticed the OCD dog had obsessively licked a sore on her wrist - "We can see the cat but not the dog; give her Benedryl.". The day of the fund raiser for the 8th grade class at our local Culvers (ummmmm ButterBurgers!) "Dad and I are going to Culver's honey. Can we bring you anything to make you feel better?". I figured Sammy's the smallest and would be the easiest thing to take care of that day.

Low and behold - a cure for the common cold! In a cat. I'm still walking around with the Clorox Anywhere wiping up snot. But you guys have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


. . . is for Cocoa.
There's nothing like it in Minnesota. Coming in from cold, shaking off the snow and ice, sitting down by a fire with a nice cup of cocoa to warm you from the outside, and the inside.
These are the four favorite hot chocolates in our house. For quickness (and mini-marshmallows!) there is the Swiss Miss Instant Cocoa. Next, a cup of Hershey's syrup and milk heated in the microwave with a half a teaspoon of sugar makes a great cup of cocoa. The best, by far, in the quick and easy category, is the Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate Shavings made with milk. They have a peppermint flavor as well. You'll note - that canister is no longer available for this picture. When we have time, the Girardelli Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder comes out for a nice, "cooked over the stove" cup of hot cocoa. Ummmmmm.
Depending on what time it is, there are things which can be added to cocoa which can only enhance it's warming and comforting abilities. This is our cocktail clock; it's not digital and has no AM /PM indicator on it.
Please don't disturb me for a while. I'm having an orange flavored cocoa for breakfast. I need my Vitamin C.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Sinks and Cats

My morning routine just wouldn't be right a visit from the kids. They stare at me in the shower and wait not-so-patiently until I emerge so I can turn on the sinks. They seem to know that I will let the water run for a while and that Dad just stoppers the sink and puts a little bit of water in the bottom.
Still - two sinks, no waiting. Or is that four cats and four sinks no waiting?
Tigger always uses the "boy" sink - Jon's sink.

Sammy, of course, prefers to use the "girl" sink - mine. My sink has the added benefit of fun toys like Q-Tips and mascara to steal and run away with. She also likes a little dab of lotion on her nose. Tig NEVER liked this.

"Help. I've fallen in and I can't get out!"

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sink Cats

It's a good thing I was up early this morning and that Chris' post about Mayhem's "sink loving" tendancies was available. Otherwise, you'd be staring at a blank screen. My kitties would much rather drink from a sink than from a water bowl. As such, wherever there is running water, you'll find a cat.

"My side is bigger new kitty."
"Yeah but my side has the garbage disposal in it fat kitty!"

As luck would have it, the kitchen sink is perfect. Two sinks, no waiting. Perfectly sized - little sink, big sink.

Friday, February 08, 2008


It's not just for breakfast! And thanks to Laurie, yesterday - I ate oatmeal at every meal, and all the little meals in between. It's very healthy for you.
Unbaked Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
3 cups raw rolled oats (quick cooking kind)
1/2 tsp extract (pick one!)

Mix first five ingredients and heat on high, stirring constantly. Let mixture boil three minutes. Remove from heat, add extract and rolled oats. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.

I'm not sure how many cookies the recipe is supposed to make because quite a few never made it to the wax paper. I can tell you that there were MANY, MANY more on that plate yesterday before Kathryn got home from school. Yeah - she ate them all! Who am I kidding? I had 5 after breakfast this morning!That's to keep me out - it just happens to keep her out too as a bonus! You've been warned.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I spent a lovely evening last night knitting and catching up with my two friends, Jeanne and Chris. I had two problems weighing me down, things I needed friends to listen to, talk with me about, convince me I was ok - or at least on the right track. They did, they always do!

Jeanne had two surprises for me. While stash cleaning she came upon this beautiful silk cap. And while certainly not wanting to see me slip further down the dark, deep hole that is spinning, she felt I should have it.

Second surprise, all the way from the UK and the lovely Mrs. Pao, this unbelievably gorgeous skein of handpainted silk yarn. And this, my friends, is the most accurate color picture EVER!! Oh, she sent it in honor of my ........ birthday.

I get home, my two roommates are fast asleep and the house is nice and quiet. I checked my e-mail and find out I've sort-of won a contest! Over at Cathy-Cate's (two names), where my name for her beautiful fingerless mitt pattern, "Feather and Yarn", wasn't selected. But because it was "punny" AND the random number generator picked me - I won anyway - for two reasons!! Plus, I get TWO prizes!

All these twos started to pile up (I know - this is a stretch - but work with me, there is a payoff!). On a whim yesterday, I looked back to see when my first blog post was. Guess what?
Happy 2nd Birthday Little Blog!
Who knew all the things you would do
before you turned two.
Help us celebrate; blow out the candles with a comment (by February 15th) and Sammy will draw a name for a some goodies. Nothing that's been in the secret kitty lair - we promise. Thanks for coming along with us these past two years.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Decision 2008

Yeah - like I'm gonna talk about politics here! Nope, this was a much more difficult decision. I could blog for two days about the fact that I had absolutely nothing - zero, zip, nada, zilch, null, nuttin' honey, to say. Or, I could spend that time doing something blogworthy.

And so I spun - until I got it. Shelley calls it the "ah-ha" moment. I call it the "water pump" moment. That feeling that Helen Keller must have had at the pump with Annie Sullivan when it finally clicked - "w-a-t-e-r" spelled out in her hands meant that stuff running over her hands - when she "got it". And once I "got it", the feel of "it", I couldn't stop for fear of losing "it".

No idea what this is, but it comes in the Louet Drop Spindle Kit. There would have been more of it but somebody (Sammy) has been tearing off big chunks of it and claiming it for herself. It's soft and fluffy.

This is Lorna's Laces roving. Again, there would have been more, but I "practiced" - a lot - with this before I got "it". It's soft and pink and pretty.

And this is the leftovers of both plied together. It's pretty and pink and brown like chocolate and raspberry ice cream.

Oh yeah - um, Shelley, I may have taught myself how to ply, but probably VERY poorly. We may to relearn that whole thing on Saturday. Blogworthy? Discuss.

Friday, February 01, 2008


B is for BLANKETS and plenty of them, everywhere in the house. It's Minnesota; it's cold here and when it's not cold here we crank the air conditioning to brutally cold tempertures. Add to this that I am constantly cold. Always. I am a poster child for layering clothing. As I sit and type this, still in my PJs I have 4 layers on underneath the hooded sweatshirt (which I slept in so that I could pull the hood up in case I got really cold - a hat would get lost!) Blankets are not accessories in our house - they are layers.

Family room blankets. Don't let the fact that there are three fool you. One is for the cats, the other two are mine.

Front hall chair - in case you're tired when you get here - you can sit down and rest for a minute - with a blanket.

My secret hideout in our bedroom. Shhhh - no one knows where this is but it catches wonderful afternoon sun, for which you need a blanket to keep warm.

The blanket on our bed. The only reason Jon tolerates this blanket at all is that it's a Ralph Lauren.

Matching Ralph Lauren Blankets (Jon bought them) in the guest room (Vicki??)

Theatre room blankets and the first big knitting project I ever made.

Two blankets in my studio! Actually one is a reclaimed poncho thing that I ripped the seam out of one day when my feet got really cold - I'm counting it!

This one doesn't really keep anyone warm - but for eleven years, it's kept Kathryn company, given her a sense of security and comfort, every night, no matter where she is. I often feel like I'm still searching for a sense of security and comfort - perhaps that's why there are so many blankets, everywhere in my house.