Sunday, July 29, 2007



I'm actually knitting again.

Seeing the pictures of Lisa's mystery shawl enticed me to get out my Swallowtail (of which I thought I had posted a photo but apparently did not). I carried it in my tote to work several days this week, but it was not a good week (massive understatement, but no need to go through all the gory details). Friday evening I discovered my copy of the pattern was not in the bag with the project, so I wouldn't have been able to knit it anyway. I didn't feel like searching for it until Saturday afternoon. When I couldn't find it, I just grabbed the Fall 2006 issue of IW Knits and began trying to find my place in the pattern.

After a false start and some tinking, I took a good look at what was already knitted, and saw big mistakes about two repeats back. I also realized that on the last pattern repeat I had been forgetting to knit the purl rows! It was 9PM before I had it tinked and reknit to where I'd been when I started (at least by row count and used yarn). About three times during the reknitting process I found places where I had made a mistake a row or more back. I'm rather pleased that instead of having to rip whole rows back, I was able to "read" the knitting and just rip the portion concerned and fix the problem!

This morning, I decided I was tired of dealing with the joint on my bamboo circulars, and went in search of long single points. Unfortunately, I'm less happy with them. The metal needles are just too slippery, and I seem to have a nervous shake (hopefully just a low BSF thang) this morning, so that's not helping. I'm going back to the bamboo circulars for now, and may decide to shop for some wooden single points.

Time for a shower and Sunday dinner in Bogalusa. I'll try to find or take a photo this afternoon.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Here are two photos of my star-gazer lilies.



flight(?) of the bumbley-bee

    I knew when my eyes fell upon my digital camera this morning that there was some reason why I should bring it with me to work. But, of course, I couldn't think of it at the time, and as my bag was already bulging, I left it behind.

    The reason was because there were photographs of my Star-gazer lilies in the camera which I wanted to post here. I remembered this when I backed out from under the carport and saw them in the flower bed. I also remembered that I wanted to take some blooms to work, so I broke off two stalks. All the buds on each had already come into bloom, so that meant several were old; the petals on these older blooms were already falling away as I walked back to the car. Thinking one of the dew-covered petals was on my hand, I looked down to shake it off only to discover it was a bumblebee!

    Startled, I screamed, of course. Waking up Son#1 who was asleep in the back seat -- at least he'll make it to class today! -- and, of course, who knew where the bee went then. I got out of the truck, looked all around my seat and couldn't see it anywhere.

    I calmly told myself that it would not sting me. It was only a bumblebee and that if I saw it or felt it on me while I was driving there was no need to panic. Just pull over and let it out of the truck. I didn't put on my sunglasses so that I could see better inside the truck, but all the way to work I never saw or felt it. I thus decided that it must have been dead and just got on my hand while I was handling the flowers.

    All is well. I stop for coffee and biscotti. Head back to the truck, and just as I get outside the shop, I feel something on my arm. Darn if it isn't that bee! I yelped again, scaring the elderly woman who had left the shop ahead of me, and shook my arm. The bee landed on the ground.

    No, I did not step on him... and I hope he crawled off so no one else did. What an interesting beginning to my Monday!

p.s. The lilies smell wonderful and look so nice on the shelf above my desk, it was worth all the eventfulness to have them! LOL

Sunday, July 15, 2007

grrrr: cellphone companies!

 I have been a Sprint customer for quite a few years. Not always by choice, but by financial necessity, i.e., it would cost me so much more to change that I remained. Finally, I am nearing a point where all contracts are complete and I can make a change. Or so I thought...

 I have three lines on my account: one for me, and one each for my sons. Their contracts are fulfilled; mine will be on the first of March 2008. Son#1 had picked up a TracPhone while he was living out of state earlier in the year, and we now we are thinking that for the two of them, TracPhones would be better. Son#2, especially, does not use his phone enough to warrant the $20/month line charge (plus taxes and fees ad nauseum) with Sprint.

 So, this morning, I called to cancel their lines. Through three representatives and a total of about 30 minutes on hold, it turns out that when I drop their phones, I no longer can keep my "Family Plan" and the fall-out is that I would have to re-commit to two years because of the plan change!

 I. am. R E A L L Y upset. with. Sprint. again.

 So, I will either 1) have Son#1 go to the Sprint store and cancel his phone on Monday morning, or 2) after I calm down, call Sprint and do it myself, thus leaving Son#2 and I on the "Family Plan" until my contract expires in March.

 I am definitely becoming of the mind that these no-contract phones are the way to go. I think I'm leaning toward Virgin -- they use the Sprint network, on which, I do have to say, I get good service. I just hate the way they treat long-time customers and feel like they hold on to you by the "short-hairs."

 Darn it. All I really want is a QWERTY keyboard phone through Sprint (without having to take a data plan)! LOL! I like this Nokia 9300 from AT&T:

but there only seem to be refurbished ones available. (I plan to change to Bellsouth/AT&T/Cingular when my contract is with Sprint is over; I can "bundle" all my services together and save a little bit by doing so.) The Kyocera Strobe like Rissa has is okay too, but the Nokia is less clunky-looking. There are some others that look okay, too: LG VX9900 enV, AT&T 8125, AT&T 8525, UTStarcom PPC-6700, UTStarcom PPC-6800 but I really don't want the PDA style.

 On a more pleasant note, I spent a good amount of time yesterday afternoon and evening cataloging my mother's paperback novels into my Book Collector software.

I am doing this in order to sell them. I just have to get rid of all these books. There are hundreds, if not over a thousand of them! Most have never even been read and are only showing a little edge/shelf wear and yellowing pages. Before I resort to, I hope to try to sell them myself through word-of-mouth/internet. Years ago, actually, I began this project, but did not ever really get it going. Now, I think I have a way to upload the list as an html file from the program. But it will take a while to finish cataloging the books... which, after I do my homework for this week, I plan to get right back to doing.

 Hope everyone has a lovely Sunday.

Friday, July 13, 2007

free nano?? hmm.

 I have done, probably, something stupid. I want to buy an iPod Nano, the red one. It only comes in the 8Gb (i.e., $249) model. I don't really want to spend that much money on something with which to listen to music. True, it will also hold data, but, still, it's a lot of money. So, last night while googling for other places to buy it than the Apple online store, hoping to find someone with at least some kind of promotion, maybe a small discount or some free iTunes downloads, one of those free-with-completion-of-offers things popped up.

 Yes. I succumbed. What the heck. I do know people (okay, one person) who got their iPod this way). So, I signed up for Netflix, GoodCook Book club (one Rachel Ray, one Giada De Laurenitis, Fix-it-Forget-it for stepdaughter, forget the fourth one), and 5 magazines for $27.00 (Diabetic Cooking for me, Firey Foods & BBQ for Rodger, Golf Illustrated for Brent, can't recall the other two). Netflix will cost me $10 for a month--and I'll cancel it perhaps at the end of the trial anyway; the book club will be probably about $40. So, including the additional bookclub purchase requirement, that's about $80 max -- the cost of an iPod Shuffle -- and I'll at least have books, mags, and a couple movies to watch. We'll see if the Nano part every materializes, hmm?

 Here's a random -- no, it's not really random, I picked it out especially for today -- photo from Tibet for you to enjoy this morning:

psssst... did you know it is Friday, the 13th?

 Enjoy, everyone! It's probably too early yet, but I'm heading to check on Miss Woolly Knits.

(Edited to add: No! It wasn't too early, and she posted a link to a nice Nora Jones tune/video, which reminded me of a song of which I have become really fond: KT Tunstall's Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

scattergories 4

    I'm a little behind on getting this one done.

Good name for a new rock band: Crow Shade
Something you’d see out a car window: cosmos
Ten-letter word: compassion
Something scary: care less - ness
Super-hero or super-villain name: Cinnamon Girl
Two ingredients that should NEVER be in the same recipe together: chocolate and . . . hm . . . uh . . .
Something you’d find in a purse or wallet: checkbook
Reason to break up with a lover: cruelty
Something that irritates you: CNN
Reason to celebrate: completion

Monday, July 09, 2007

somethings just haunt you

 Like the tearful voice of a little boy who'd been cruelly taunted by his schoolmates: "I can't even wear what I want!"

 Any time in my own mind my thoughts go along similar lines (i.e., I can't even [fill-in-the-blank]), the image of my son and the sound of his pitiful voice, comes back to haunt me, along with the heartache a mother has for those things which she is powerless to remedy.

 I won't share the details. That would be embarassing to him, perhaps. But I will say that he overcame. He continued to wear the type of clothes he liked (though not that particular color combination -- no! that's wrong... he DID continue to wear it!), and once in senior high, where peer-pressure is so great, he REALLY wore what he wanted: camo pants and t-shirts. every. day. I even had one teacher/administrator contact me about it. I basically told them to jump in a lake: his clothes were clean every day and that was more than you could say about a lot of the kids. To say nothing of the saggy pants and exposed undergarments!

Now, tell me... could anything BE sweeter??

 Good. Now I am out of my blue-funk about that sad little boy, whose situation was breaking his mother's heart (cause it was also bound up in my decision to stop homeschooling and put them in government schools) -- and likely, because I had been RIGHT there. I can still remember -- what? 47 years later?? -- from KINDERGARTEN, for chris'sake! -- an insult from a classmate about my plastic raincoat, which I thought was just delightful with it's matching umbrella!

 What brought on the torment? Well, I have always done things just a wee bit differently than other people. In this particular case, one of the tasks in my job I do in a different order/manner than I was shown. I get the work done the same, and *I* think that I make fewer errors. But I am always afraid that my supervisor will aske me how I am doing this certain thing and that she will tell me that is why I make mistakes and that I should go back to doing it the way I was shown. However, the way I was shown, I believe, requires more repetitive motion with the mouse and keyboard to cut and paste.... nevermind the details. You get the point, and know I have hand pain to deal with every day, all day. Heaven only knows why this morning it was worrying me! It's not like I can't quit if things ever get too weird here. I like the money, and I like taking classes, but I don't *have* to work, thank all the gods and goddesses!

 Thanks for letting me share, blogreaders.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

early birthday later

written at about 5 AM:

    In typical Rita-fashion (my mother), I'm up in the middle of the night -- with a stomach ache from eating foods I know will make me ill -- scribbling away on another idea. Staying in bed (A) won't help my digestion system, or (B) settle my mind, so I might as well be up getting my thoughts on paper. They don't vanish into thin air, into my dreams, or into regrets over their loss if I can manage to write them out -- they only hang around to taunt me as unfinished, or worse, never acted upon.

    It is my 52nd birthday and it is July 7th, 2007: 07-07-07. The media has been reporting that wedding bookings are the highest for this date all across the country. Others predict disasters and terrorist strikes: 7 bombs in 7 cities (in 7 countries, would be appropo). I just wated to do something to make it meaningful to me, but the whole world is "horning in" on my special day! And, of course, I have to remember my birthday twin, KiwiEllen, on the BeadArt Forum.

    So, first I thought I would get a tatoo. But, hubby really doesn't like the idea (which is why -- and I think the only reason why -- Son#1 hasn't gotten one, or more). I'm also a big wimp; low threshold for pain that gets even lower as I age. Then, where to place it? I want to be able to see it! And of course, what to get . . . something small, but meaningful . . . not too obvious in meaning, but not too obscure or outlandish either.

    Nah, I'll just settle for a third ear piercing in my left ear. "Left is right, and right is wrong," a friend advised. Heaven knows I haven't kept up with those kind of trends. I am so clueless.

    I was going to take off early from work yesterday to get the piercing done, but I need to save my leave hours. It may have to wait until next week. I told Rodger last night to go ahead and mow for one of his customers today, and I don't want to drive all the way to H'burg just to do it ... especially since my stomach is upset. There is probably no place closer to get it done.

I think I am finally getting sleepy again -- side effect of the Nulev, too. I've been up an hour and a half, and awake over two.

written at about 3:30 PM

    Well, it has been pouring rain most of the late morning and through the afternoon. Hubby got home from mowing (unfinished) about the time I got up at noon. He had cut me Stargazer Lilies and Gladiolas and put them in a vase on the counter with a sweet note this morning. He is such a treasure.

    I've worked on a project for cataloging class, talked with my dad and my sister, checked email and gotten nice birthday wishes from friends far and near. Sons want to go with us to supper, so that means picking somewhere they will eat well, i.e., Ryan's. Lots of choices for all the various appetites in this small family; I can avoid fatty foods and get fairly good salad, lean meat and non-carb veggies. So, I'm off to shower then prod everyone else to do same.

    (Turns out there is a place not too far to get pierced, but I doubt I will stop to have it done with the whole family in tow.)