Rhymes With Fuchsia

Friday, March 30, 2007

Acorny Story

For a number of years I've had, er, plumbing issues, and last week I finally went to the doctor. How times have changed. The last time I went, admittedly a good while ago before I got distracted by Taz's health issues, there were things that might or might not help, which turned out to be the latter in my case. Now there's a whole protocol involving controlled fluid intake and outgo, several drugs, and a laundry list of things I can't eat.

Before I even got the list I was sure chocolate would be on it, and coffee and tea, and I was right. Alcohol is also forbidden, which I don't mind because I hardly drink anyway due to wicked hangovers, but I am really ticked off about the cheese and tomatoes. All those yummy recipes some of you have been posting are driving me insane. Yes, I mean you, and you and you. I can't have potatoes either, or mushrooms, which I would have said were the meekest, mildest veggies imaginable. I can't have apples, peaches, strawberries, or plums.

Two things I can happily enjoy, however, are lamb patties and acorn squash, so that was what Grant made for dinner last Saturday and Sunday, the reprise being mostly for the benefit of Miss B. Her veggie palate is fairly narrow, but she has decided she looooves acorn squash, especially with butter and cinnamon and brown sugar on it. Well, really, who wouldn't?

Meanwhile, back at the Never-Ending Saga of the Elderly Cat, Ed spent several weeks meandering between his makeshift bed (read: cardboard flat lined with a towel), the food dish, and the litterbox. The new just-for-him litterbox is four feet from the food dish, which is two feet from the bed, so as not to require great navigating skills, but when he found the litterbox after several days there was great rejoicing. A few days after that he started wanting to go outdoors again, which we allow under close supervision, and after a few more days he found his way to the living-room sofa, a whole 15 feet from the food dish and the litterbox and apparently vastly superior to the bed.

(That's Callie keeping him company.)

So things were clearly looking up, and we weren't too surprised when, as Grant was serving Sunday dinner, Ed climbed on his chair and attempted a commando raid on the lamb. We of course removed him, but he was not easily discouraged, trying several more times during dinner. Finally, when we had all finished eating and Grant and Miss B had excused themselves, I let Ed get up and polish off the lamb crumbs on my plate. I figured there wasn't enough there to freak out his kidneys, and he'd get down when the lamb was gone.

Silly me.

Where is Marlin Perkins when we need him? The poor squash rind never had a chance.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lost in Lace

That title is for Norma, who's in the mood for puns this week (sorry, Norma, it was the best I could come up with). And this post is for Margene, who asks, "What are you loving today?"

Maybe I haven't been blogging much lately, but I have been knitting. It being auction time again, I've just finished my donation, and may even be able to take it over to the collection point this time around without interrupting anyone at breakfast.

This year I decided to give myself a break and knit a scarf instead of a shawl. After a fairly extended stash-diving-and-dithering session — don't want to use that, it's just enough for a shawl; can't use that, it might not be quite enough; no way am I using that, it's mine — I settled on some Cascade Indulgence that had been marinating for quite a while, trying to decide what it wanted to be.

I had completely forgotten how much I love this yarn. Being 70 percent superfine alpaca, 30 percent bunny crack, er, angora, it's unbelievably soft, with just a bit of halo. I wouldn't use it in a sweater, where high-friction areas would be pill city in 4.3 seconds, but it's heaven to knit with and perfect for a luxury scarf.

It's been a while since I've made any lace, and I chose one of my favorite lace stitches, little lace chain, as one of the three simple stitches I combined for the scarf pattern. Within a few rows I remembered how much I love it too. Apparently I am somewhat odd in this respect (I? odd? whodathunkit?), because it doesn't seem to get used in patterns and I've never seen it in any stitch dictionary except the first Walker treasury, but it delights me every time.

Yesterday on the way out of knitting group I got the lovely and patient Amy to model the nearly-finished product for me. Note the circular needle fashionably hanging from one end. Ruth pronounced the incomplete scarf "stunning." I love Ruth: I could be knitting an acrylic dishrag and she would admire it and find something nice to say about it. It's gotten so my ego rolls over on its back and starts writhing and purring shamelessly whenever it sees her coming. (Ruth has some very exciting news — stop by and visit her if you haven't lately.)

I finished the bind-off last night and admired the result for a few minutes before taking it upstairs to block it. I love taking the obligatory "before" picture.

And I love what blocking does to lace. I realize that this is somewhat like saying I love that the sun comes up every morning. Come to think of it, I do, but given my (lack of) knitting speed, I cherish the blocking metamorphosis for its rarity.

The pattern will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bustin' Out All Over

No, not June, nor even spring quite yet, although it sure feels like it today: I am referring to birthdays. The lovely Roxie celebrated her 57th recently, and the amazing Margene is following suit today.

Not to mention that today Taz becomes a teenager. He is not too sure how old he is: if you ask him he will tell you he's three, or six, or 10, or he may just bag the whole thing and start singing to you. I guess he, like Margene, is too interested in living the moment to worry much about numbers.

Hold onto your hat, Taz: the ride is just beginning.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday Sky: Memories of ME

(being possibly the very last SPA 2007 post)

SPA held myriad attractions for me, affording opportunities for visiting my folks, who live roughly equidistant from Portland and Freeport, home of LL Bean's flagship store, as well as spinning, knitting, eating, and excellent SEX, all in fine company.

First things first, however: Kitty B, who always has her priorities straight, reminded me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

About SPA itself, I can say only two words: too short. I saw Carole and Blogless Sharon and Monica, who was spinning and shopping for two, and That Laurie in her amazing sweater, and Laurie of the speedy camera, and I got to meet Kate of the thousand hats. (Way more than a thousand, actually. Amazing.) And Cassie mesmerized me by spinning the finest purple laceweight I ever saw on a tiny spindle, and Kristen took delivery of her new Robin, and Liz made an all-too-brief cameo appearance, and... and... you get the idea. I didn't mention anywhere near everybody, but it was great to see you.

I got to go out to dinner with Lynne

and Jena

who is seen here knitting a sock in public, at a brew pub yet, and Dave and Mike, of whom I got no pictures: guys, you know who you are.

On Sunday we hung out with my folks, who live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

This is the view from their front stoop.

We went shopping at LL Bean, where Miss B scaled the biggest snowbank around

and the biggest boot I've ever seen.

Note the small sign on the right. It says "do not climb the boot." It wins my prize for Silliest Sign of All Time. Let's hear it for the lawyers.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Grumpy Old Me

I'm now on week three of The Cold That Will Not Die. Or maybe four. How can I remember anything when my brain is full of snot? Also, it's raw and overcast out, with intermittent slush. As a result, I'm not getting a whole lot of knitting done, or much of anything else, for that matter, but I did send some hats off to the lovely Kate, who probably began this endeavor not expecting quite the inundation she has received. At last count she had 845. Bartholomew Cubbins, look to your laurels.

I had hoped to make more than seven hats, but I have some more fun fur, and Taz has his annual checkup at Dana-Farber next month, and if the Jimmy Fund people recoil at the sight of them, well, they'll keep.

845 and counting. I am honored to represent a minuscule part of such an amazing effort.

Hey, I think I feel better.