Saturday, July 29, 2006

Warning: Lots of Grumbling and Cursing Ahead

I am so friggin' annoyed right now. I just did this really long post, and my computer crashed, or Blogger farted, or something, and I lost the whole damn thing! Now I have to do it all over

I have made considerable progress on my Creatures of the Reef shawl. I am halfway through the first Seafoam section. I'm down to about 150 stitches or less on the needles, and I am zipping along on it. I should be done with it by Labor Day. A Finished Object! I'm really happy about that, because it shows I CAN finish something if I want to. I will have to wait til tomorrow to take a picture of it, because I don't like the way it comes out with the flash, and I've already lost the sunlight, because, oh yeah, it's dark outside.

I got my Saturday Sky picture tonight. I went down to the park to take it, as usual. The sky is kind of reddish and hazy. What's that old saying? "Red sky at night, sailor's delight... Well, maybe the sailors are delighted, but I sure as hell am not. I hate hot weather. I can't wait for fall. I love wearing sweaters, flannel, boots, jeans. I am not a fan of tank tops and shorts. I want blue skys, comfortable temperatures, no humidity. I want to be able to walk from my front door to my car without feeling like I'm having a meltdown. I want my windows open again. Aargh.

I turned 57 on Monday. How the hell did I get to be that old? And why is my life so different from what I thought it would be? I thought by this time, my husband and I would be semi-retired, spending some time together, enjoying our kids, maybe doing a little traveling. The reality is I'm a single mom, just graduated from college, working full time, kids in college, trying to stay afloat. I have a good job, but my husband contributes less and less to our family. What's he doing? Is he working? Doing anything constructive, other than making a million excuses for everything? Who the hell knows. Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is that if he told me it was raining, I would walk out side to see if I got wet before I believed him. That's pretty sad, isn't it? You spend 37 years of your life with someone, and then you find out all the deception. I'm tired of working more and more hours each week to make up the deficit. He doesn't even seem to care any more.

I have to take some of my hard-earned cash tomorrow and head out to Sears. Our clothes dryer is in need of repair, but the repair will cost nearly as much as a new dryer, so I'm cutting my losses right now, and getting a new dryer instead. I still need to replace some of my windows, put a fence around my yard, cut down some of my trees (I don't want to lose any trees, but these DO need to come down for safety purposes) before they wind up in my house during a major storm, and do a million other things.

When I walked out the front door tonight, I noticed there were two adult wrens screaming at me. One was on the sidewalk, doing the broken-wing thing. I know other birds do that, but it's the first time I ever saw a wren do it. Then I noticed two baby wrens near the porch. One zipped off into
the pachysandra, and the other clung to the bricks on the side of the porch. The family got together a little later; we saw them at the birdfeeder.

Does anyone have any idea why, when I upload a picture from flickr, I get two of them? This never happened until the last couple of weeks. I don't have a problem with photobucket, I just don't like photobucket, and would prefer to use flickr, but this is driving me nuts.

Looking at all the grumbling I've done in this post, I think it's time for some chocolate.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Saturday Sky, Or Not

Wow. One of the problems with working overnight shifts is that you go to work one day, and come home the next. When you work two or three or four days in a row, that can lead to some confusion. I woke up yesterday afternoon at four, knowing that I had to leave for work by 6:15. No problem, right? Wrong. I forgot it was Saturday. I thought it was Friday. So, I didn't post, or even take a Saturday Sky picture. I'm not even sure I could have gotten a picture of the sky yesterday. We had thunderstorms, one after the other, and rain coming down like a wall of water.

Anyway, the pictures I posted of our Thursday sky might help make up a little bit. With the tropical storm offshore, we had a more interesting than usual sky. At any rate, I won't forget the picture next week.

Off to work again.

Oh, and before I forget, I had to turn on comment moderation. One of the things I did on Friday and Saturday was delete comment spam from some moron. 39 comments on Friday, and 47 on yesterday. I hope there's a separate hell for spammers.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tropical Storms and Butterflies

Tropical Storm Beryl is off the coast of New Jersey today. We have been seeing some interesting cloud formations, along with a bit of rain, as the bands cross over us. I decided to walk down to the park/retention basin at the end of my street to get some pictures of the clouds, because the trees in my yard blocked my view of most of the clouds.

Our park/retention basin is interesting. It serves as a park when it's not full of water. Right now, it's only slightly squishy, and only near the cement culvert, which runs most of the length of the park. It is usually overgrown, which lets the water spread out and makes the ground real marshy. I've had my shoe sucked right off my foot several times. Right now, the water is running down the small culvert, which is small enough to jump over. One of the nice things I noticed is that the township is not mowing the strip of land between the culvert and the woods, and it is really overgrown. Why is this nice, you ask? Because there are a ton of wildflowers growing there, including milkweed. Milkweed = butterflies. I enjoyed watching an Eastern Swallowtail (yellow) and two or three Monarch butterflies while I was there. It was nice to see all the butterflies, but especially the Monarchs. They have been having a tough time lately, and their numbers are greatly reduced.
The Monarchs were quite playful - it looked like they were playing tag. In the picture below, you can see the butterfly in the upper right hand corner zooming around to tag the one on the milkweed. I was going to jump the culvert to try to get closer but decided against it because: a) I was wearing flimsy sandals, and b) there were several extremely large black wasps on the milkweed. I didn't want to mess with them.

Anyway, the sky was amazing today. It went from sunny to partly cloudy, to grey with a quick rain shower.
The formations changed quickly. Right now, the storm seems to have moved off enough that we have clear skies, and a beautiful sunset, which I got to a few minutes too late.I have so many trees around my house, that I can't take a picture of the sky during summer. That's not a bad thing; it just means I have to hoof it down to the park to take any pcitures of the sky. By the time I realize it's sunset, and take a peek out the door to see what it looks like, it's usually perfect. Then I grab the camera, and zip down to the park. Well, I try to zip, but with a bad knee, zipping is not all that possible. It's easier in the winter, when the trees are leafless.

Oh yeah, this is a knitting blog, isn't it? Well, I am up to the second row of fish on Creatures, but i just got called in to work tonight, so I won't be doing any knitting, especially since I'm working the whole weekend. Oh, well.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Wilting That's what we're all doing today. My sweet potato vine is not a happy camper. Normally, it sits on my front porch, and grows like crazy. However, today, even though it's well watered, it is sulking. I don't blame it a bit. It's nearly 100 degrees out there today, and I'm willing to bet it's a lot more than that on my porch, which is currently in full sun. I'm feeling a little wilted myself, even though I have hardly ventured out today. I'm not a fan of hot weather. I have the a/c on, set at 75 degrees, instead of the 68 degrees I would prefer. Who says I'm not environmentally conscious?

Knitting? Well, I am up to row 113 on Creatures, which leaves me with 109 rows to go. That puts me officially over the half-way mark. However, since these rows are shorter than the beginning rows, and getting shorter as I knit, I'm well past half-way on this shawl. I'm not posting a picture until I finish the section I'm working on - the first group of fish.

I haven't picked up Clapotis in a few weeks. I'm not going to pick it up now, either. The thought of knitting all that wool makes me feel faint.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Sky

No real posting today, have to go to work. Saturday Sky Saturday Sky.And, Mr. B enjoying himself in the window while waiting for a bird to show up at the feeder here -Mr. B in the Window

See you all in a few days.

Friday, July 14, 2006

267 Stitches.....

....that's what I'm down to on Creatures. I'm on row 93 right now, and I just ran out of yarn. The first skein, that is. Now, all I have to do is locate the other skein, wind it up (by hand - I don't have a skein winder, Yet.) Then, tie it on, and go. And, I might add, I'm in the middle of a row, and I am going to tie a knot. That's right. A knot. In the middle of the knitting. I know a lot of people would be thinking I should be plying the yarn, or some other solution, but I am going to use a knot. I have tied knots in my knitting before, worked them in, woven in the ends, and been perfectly happy with it. On the other hand, I have plied the yarn, felted it, and had it come apart in the middle of wearing a sweater. So, I am sticking with the tried-and-true here. This pattern is pretty busy, along with the variegation of the yarn, so I feel that this will be fine. If not, I'm not sure how many people are going to be inspecting this shawl with a magnifying glass. Anyway, I expect to zip right along once I've wound up the last skein. My only concern at this point is , will I have enough yarn? It took me one skein to do 93 1/2 rows. That leaves me with with 128 1/2 rows to do. Will I have enough? I hope so -and I think I will, because the widest part of the shawl is behind me already. The rows are getting shorter and shorter, so I think I can squeak through on this one. Oh, by the way, i finished with the starfish and am working on the third tiny bubbles section. I'm starting to think I might actually finish this before labor day. Hey, I can dream, can't I? This blob on my front porch is the entire shawl. Excuse the foot in last summer's Target flip-flops.

In case no one has noticed, summer is here. Hot, humid, sticky. I don't like summer all that much. However, yesterday and today are an ok type of summer day. Yesterday was actually not too hot, and really nice. Great temp, no humidity, weather I can deal with. Today is almost more of the same, except it is about 88, according to my weather pixie. Still, not to bad, because of the low humidity. I have the air turned off, windows open, and the fans on, and it isn't too bad. Still, I can't wait for fall. In the meantime, my shade gardens are a nice place to be.

It always amazes me how much the cats (seem to) enjoy summer. I mean, if I was wearing a non-removable fur coat, I don't think I'd be all that thrilled about it. I don't wear a fur coat, and I don't like summer. That's Frankie toasting himself in the open window.
There are little furry lumps sleeping all over my wood floors, and when the windows are open, each has a cat, or several, in them. Of course, maybe if I slept 20 hours a day, I might enjoy it as much as they do.

Oh, I almost forgot. I just bought several skeins of jaeger Trinity in a beautiful cornflower blue, and a paler blue. What am I going to do with it? Make Annie Modesett's corset tank, of course. I got a little extra yarn to make sleeves, in case I chicken out, which I probably will. My upper arms haven't seen the light of day in quite a while. Sometimes I long for the days when I was younger, and definitely skinnier. Part of me keeps telling me that I must be crazy to make this top for myself, and the other part of me keeps telling the first part to shut up, love your body, etc, etc. Aargh. I really want to make this.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Yes!! We Have Crabs!! (And Seahorses, too!!)

Excuse me for using up my month's allotment of exclamation points all in one post. I'm really excited - I've finally made some progress on my "Creatures of the Reef" shawl. I finished the Crabs and Seahorses section, and I finished the Bubbles section that goes above it. I'm starting the Starfish chart now. Yes!! The stitches are decreasing, which helps move things along a little faster. I admit, I was not feeling the love while working on this shawl. However, that's changed. Nothing like a little progress to help my affection along. Makes me feel less like the World's Slowest Knitter.

I think having a few days off from work has helped, both attitude-wise and knitting-wise. It's been nice to do something other than sleep or work. Although it hasn't been all play this week. I've had some serious house-cleaning to do, and one of my older sons had his tonsils out this week. At his age, this surgery comes with a fair amount of risks, so I'm keeping an eye on him, and trying to help him be comfortable.

And, to make things even better, we have been having some beautiful weather. I've turned off the central air and opened the windows, much to the delight of our cats. Around here, the minute a window opens, there are several cats trying to cram themselves in it. It's not unusual to see a couple of cats stacked up on each other in the window, trying to make use of a small amount of space. What's more common is territorial disputes over limited window real estate. This picture was taken around 7 am, with the sun coming up through the trees. It was 72 degrees, with no humidity, and it felt like heaven. From left to right C.J., Muffin, and her brother, Alex. It looked like a cowcat convention.

Yarn diet? What's that? I've seen other blogs with these cute little tickers announcing how long it's been since yarn was bought. Um. Unfortunately, there has been no yarn diet (or for that matter, diet of
any sort) over here at chez Knitting at Night. While trolling ebay for my latest obsession, Vera Bradley,
I came across some Dalegarn in colors I was looking for. I have a few sweaters in mind from my Dale books, and this yarn was perfect. Now, all I need is the same yarn in Barn Red, and I'm good to go. I see that in the picture of the Dale yarn, there appears to be a large grey tail. That belongs to my official yarn inspector, Gremlin. His picture appears elsewhere on this blog. Gremmie loves getting into everything. Wherever I am, he's there too, usually yelling his head off. For a cat, he has a lot to say. There was also the little matter of the Lorna's Laces in Icehouse, Cool, and the Cherry Tree Hill in Tropical Storm. So, can you tell my favorite colors are blues, purples, and greens?

As an addendum to this post: getting this effing post up was one of the most aggravating experiences of my life. I kept getting messages that my frickin' links were incorrect. I finally deleted all of them, and then put them back in the post, republishing between each one, to figure out what was wrong. Nothing, apparantly. They all went up fine the second time around. Grrrrr.

Oh, I almost forgot. Last, but not least - the Saturday Sky photo. Taken in my front yard around 4:15, of a lovely blue sky. Haven't seen too much of that lately. By the way, if anyone could tell me how to put up the Saturday Sky button without hotlinking to Sandy, I'd love to hear it. I appear to be somewhat challenged in this respect.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

No Actual Knitting Content

Hi there. I'm back. This is what happens when you find yourself working seven out of nine nights, including five nights in a row. Other parts of your life go to hell. I don't think I have knitted a stitch since my last post. I'm not sure I am going to think of something to use for the next Amazing Lace challenge.

Technically, this blog is about knitting, and Other Things. So, let's check on some of the Other Things, shall we?

First off, my garden. This rose bush is beautiful. It's called "Appleblossom", and the flowers are pink with pale pink and white variations. However, thanks to our never-ending rain, this is what these beautiful flowers look Roses after the rain. like this year. And, this is the type of bush that blooms only once a year, with sporadic flowers throughout the summer, but not anywhere near the entire-bush-covered-with-roses that I get in the spring. Ugh.

And, next up, we have Alex (aka "Fluffypuff") vs. the cat-eating couch. I think Alex lost. Our Golden Retriever likes to hang out on the couch, even though he knows he's not supposed to be there. When he gets on the couch, he likes to wiggle around, and slide the cusions off. I guess Alex was sleeping on the couch during Dusty's last rampage, and this is the result. Alex is a pretty laid back cat, and nothing bothers him too much, as you can see from the pictures.Alex vs. the Cat-Eating Couch

Oh, and last but not least, the Saturday Sky Picture. Taken in the Target parking lot on Saturday afternoon, of an impending storm.