Monday, May 23, 2011

Mixed emotions Monday

I have a lot to do in the next three days and am handicapped today and at least tomorrow by not having a car. Our younger son is using mine while he is having some mechanical work done to his. When we set this up last week, I didn't realize how jammed this week was going to become for me. I still would have loaned him my car but my angst would have begun earlier. Maybe it was good to not know in advance how the week would fill up.
I could use hubby's car but I hate driving it. I'll admit to all of you (but not to him) that I am milking this a bit and having him chauffeur me on errands that have to be run today and tomorrow including my hair appointment tomorrow morning. 

We have shopping to do for the cottage including a new bed for us. I am excited about this, but not about setting up the delivery. You'd think the cottage was on Mars when it comes to arranging delivery or service calls.

Wednesday will have me housebound with my grandson while hubby and older son tackle some jobs that for safety's sake definitely don't include the baby's assistance or curiosity.

My desktop computer is still on the sick and ailing list. I'd prefer it to be at the tech's so that I didn't have to look at and see it suffer. Oh wait...that is my reflection I am looking at....I am the one suffering. I am lucky to have other electronics available but at least 3 times a day I think of something on that hard drive that I can't access now. It's driving me crazy and that trip is getting shorter each day!

My knitting is suffering through all of this. I am working on something more challenging than recent projects and my focus isn't fine tuned. I bet I've knit and un-knit a total of 24 rows to get 14 good ones, and each row has over 220 stitches. Odd idea of fun and relaxation for some, eh?

For non-knitters, "frogged" means you've un-knit (sometimes savaged ripped out!) rows of knitting. You rip it, rip it, rip it which sounds like ribbet, ribbet, ribbet, the cry of a frog who may or may not knit.

But on a good note, because I really do prefer to see the good in each day, it is finally warm here in SE Michigan! I am wearing sandals and listening to birds outside my window. They are rather loud for such small creatures, aren't they?

The best smile of my day (so far) came from this picture of my grandson playing in his living room yesterday.
Car? What car? Computer virus? Huh? Knitting problems? Who cares! I'll have my hands on the Prince of Sweetness in 48 hours or less!

Everything is back in perspective now.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stranger in a strange land

Ok, I'm not really living in a Robert Heinlein novel, but I do feel like I'm in a strange land here on hubby's computer. He doesn't use the same browser. His keyboard feels different (better!) His mouse has a limp (worse!) None of my favorites are bookmarked on his computer. Do I dare start finding them and saving them here?

* Sigh *

He wouldn't do that on mine so I guess I will follow his example.

Meanwhile, I wait for my computer to be exorcized. The tech working on it has contacted Symantec to see if anyone else has my particular set of problems and what they recommend.

Hmmm, maybe in honor of exorcisms, I'll make split pea soup for dinner. I'll spare you the picture of Linda Blair spewing soup in the scene from that 1973 movie. Not only would it gross you out, I'd have to explain to hubby why the photo was saved on his hard drive.

It ain't easy being a stranger in this strange land.

Woefully, aimlessly, pitifully lost without my addiction computer, I remain...


who am I again?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Would it be impractical to look for local, state and national candidates whose platforms include hunting down creators of computer viruses and hanging them by their thumbs in wooded areas where bears live? By the way, they would have honey poured over them as an additional enticement to the bears.

Does it sound like I've given this a lot of thought? You bet I have. What else does one do when you can't use your own computer because of problems?

I am waiting to hear from the computer technician as to what needs to be done and why the antivirus he recommended and installed didn't catch this %$#& thing. As nice as being able to go online from my iPhone is, there is no comparison to having what I consider my real computer at my fingertips.

I will check in on your blogs as time and tiny keyboards permit. If you find a politician with the platform I am seeking, be sure to let me know. Until then, I am researching my constitutional right to bear arms, arm bears or arm myself with a bear, a pot of honey and go after virus makers. Even an ole softie like Winnie can only take so much....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One word or two?

An elderly couple, who were both widowed, had been going out with each other for a long time. Urged on by their friends, they decided it was finally time to get married.
Before the wedding, they went out to dinner and had a long conversation regarding how their marriage might work. They discussed finances, living arrangements and so on.
Finally, the old gentleman decided it was time to broach the subject of their physical relationship.
"How do you feel about sex?" he asked, rather tentatively.

"I would like it infrequently," she replied.
The old gentleman sat quietly for a moment, adjusted his glasses, leaned over towards her and whispered - "Is that one word or two?"

Isn't it odd that with each birthday I celebrate, the notion of what constitutes "elderly" gets to be a larger number?  I hope that along with health, my husband and I maintain our sense of humor. The smiling faces in each of the photos above are nice, but the laughter expressed in the last one, along with the physical closeness of the couple, really warms my heart.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Winning is a pleasant surprise

I entered my socks in a contest at my local yarn store and won in the category "best use of cables".
The sock pattern is Rosebud from Wendy Johnson's Toe-Up Socks for Everybody.  I used Ty-Dy Dots yarn by Knit One Crochet Too, color 762 Lavender.

My prize is a skein of Sockotta Limited sock yarn. Sockotta is made by Plymouth Yarn. The color number is 9842 and is perfect for me.
Whether you are a knitter, a baker, a poet, or excel in turning cartwheels, don't hesitate to enter a contest because you think your talent isn't good enough. You are probably your own worst critic. And besides, if everyone feels this way, you are sure to win the prize as the only entrant!

The prize isn't the trophy, gift card or ball of yarn anyway. The prize is in finishing your work, in my case this pair of socks.

Happy knitting, baking, poetry writing or whatever it is you do. You definitely won't have competition from me in cartwheels, but I'll gladly cheer you on.

Lemon Picker

Any of you have posts missing? According to Blogger, they hope to return all posts that were deleted yesterday.

I was going to follow up on my comments yesterday about the woman interviewed on Good Morning America who was giving her 8 year old daughter Botox injections. The story also aired on Night Line, and according to GMA this morning, thousands of people contacted them with 97% feeling the mother was wrong, very wrong.

Since it is Friday and I don't feel like being serious, especially if another post becomes lost, I thought I would share this joke with you. Don't take offense to the make of car or politics mentioned. There are many substitutes we could use, aren't there?  Photobucket

The  woman applying for a job in a Florida lemon
grove seemed to be far too qualified for the job.
The foreman frowned and said, "I have to ask you this:
"Have you had any actual experience in picking lemons? 
"Well, as a matter of fact, I have!"
I've been divorced three times, owned 2 Chryslers,
and I voted for Obama."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I try not to be judgmental...

I try not to be judgmental. I have opinions but I don't share them, much less impose them on others very often. Sometimes I can't help myself though, and this is one of those times.

The 8 year old granddaughter of a friend was diagnosed with a form of leukemia two weeks ago. The specialist said they would take a wait and see approach as a number that they watch is low and her body may be fighting this well on its own. Forgive me for being vague, there is much I don't understand on this subject. Last night we learned that she is in the hospital and they will be starting chemo. Bill and I are feeling all the things you would expect us to feel for this little girl and her family.

This morning I saw a segment on Good Morning America that made me want to scream. A mother is giving her 8 year old daughter Botox injections in her face because the beauty pageant world is tough.
What the hell is wrong with this mother? What 8 year old has wrinkles? Besides concerns over injecting a substance (from a source she doesn't want to identify) into her child, what is she teaching the child about accepting her appearance? And what about simply enjoying childhood?

I would have been just as outraged to hear this story last month, but hearing it after learning of another 8 year old who will be getting injections that have nothing to do with a vain mother who is apparently living life through her child, I would like to scream and maybe shake the San Francisco mother until her teeth rattled.

Will common sense ever be fashionable again?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Whether you've given birth, accepted a child into your life from another woman, been there for another despite no legal ties or if your babies have fur or feathers, we are all nurturers. I hope you enjoy this Jacquie Lawson card. Be sure to hover over the flowers at the end to read their meanings, or click on 'print' to read them all. You won't have to print them once clicking there.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What are you watching?

U-verse has changed my life, but is that a good thing?

When my younger son still lived at home, he recorded hundreds of shows per week. Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it felt like it. At one time we had 4 televisions and the same number of VCRs and on any given night, at least one and perhaps all four would be recording something between the hours of 8 PM and 11 PM. He was a film student at the time and some of it was homework. Or so he said. And the check was in the mail and the dog ate his homework. Photobucket
TV viewing had lost importance with me. I would occasionally watch a recorded show with him or a show as broadcast with my husband.

Even after this son moved into his own home, my viewing habits were pretty routine and I didn't watch much prime time TV. Then my older son began selling Uverse. We fought changing systems for a while. We were happy with Wow, but what are you going to do when your son is pushing selling a product? Of course we succumbed.

Hello, my name is Knitty and I am a TV addict. Photobucket

There are more shows than this on our 'scheduled series' lineup but some are Bill's favorites that I only watch occasionally. I stop myself from committing to any more shows otherwise my eyes may grow square, or perhaps I should say rectangular now that we have a flat screen TV.

Mike & Molly
The Chicago Code
Hawaii Five-0

Castle is my Monday fave, Hawaii Five-0 is one I can live without.

NCIS: Los Angeles
The Good Wife
Body of Proof

Love them all, my favorite night of TV is Tuesday. Would anyone like to discuss Gibbs or DiNozzo fantasies? Or having a soft spot for McGee? Or are you old enough to remember when Ducky was a heartthrob?

(The gagging noise you might be hearing is Bill who shouldn't read over my shoulder or my sons who should realize mothers are human, even if our children do warp us!)

Hot in Cleveland
Retired at 35
Criminal Minds
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

I love Hot in Cleveland.
If Suspect Behavior doesn't improve (in my opinion), it won't be around next season. I don't care about the characters personally the way I do in other series.

The Mentalist

Both of these are faves of both hubby and myself.

Blue Bloods

Ok, so besides liking the story and cast, who doesn't want to look at Tom Selleck for an hour on Fridays?

I am hoping Detroit 1-8-7 returns but already can't remember what night that was on. And soon the summer replacements will begin. Rizzoli and Isles, Men of a Certain Age, Southland and The Closer come to mind.

I hope summer storms don't cause power failures.  Photobucket

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Archive under the stairs

On Monday I posted about a trip back to my childhood. Today is a peek into my sons' childhoods via a box of saved items buried deep under the stairs.

We don't have a basement. Even after remodeling our home with an entire second story addition, storage space is still less than we would like. Of course, if it were more, we might never edit our possessions and then we would truly burst at the seams or have our kids curse us after our demise. The stairway to the upper story has a deep closet underneath, deep but with a declining ceiling that ends in a cubby hole under the landing. We're going to need access to that area soon for an upcoming project so I decided to weed through the closet this past weekend. I knew there was a box of baby items but didn't remember the exact contents.

My babies are 33 and 31. Yes, it is true but hard to believe. I received special dispensation to marry at 5 and adopted the first one at the age of 6. If they don't start lying about their ages soon, I am cutting them off their birthday gifts, but that is another story.

I should have laundered and pressed their christening outfit before photographing it, but I was in a bit of a hurry to get it repacked and there are no plans to use it soon. Colton was too big to wear this at his christening.
I made this sweater under the guise that it might be cold in church. They never wore it anywhere else because I thought it was a bit too feminine for little boys. The buttons are the wrong side for boys, but don't tell anybody.
The room we used as a nursery was painted yellow with yellow gingham curtains. I made my first quilt for that room. I didn't really know what I was doing, but it served them both well for many years and lots of laundering.
 This string of gingham elephants was tied from a corner post of their crib to the back rail. Why elephants? I don't know. I just thought they were cute.
 This crocheted afghan is basically a shell pattern with yellow shells on one side, white on the other. My sister-in-law had a daughter 11 days after Chuck was born. Her room was brown and white and I made her the same afghan in those colors.

While pregnant with Billy, I decided he needed his own blanket and made this one for his christening. It is much more yellow than it appears in the photo, but nowhere near as bright as the yellow in the crocheted afghan. It was my first time working a flat piece on circular needles and I was totally confused by the concept at first. I underestimated how long it would take me to complete this. It was done on small needles and I had a toddler running around me and was pregnant when I began this. It was finished on Friday of christening weekend. Nothing like a deadline, eh?

I didn't often make matching or coordinated items for the boys which might be why I saved these sweaters. I have no other explanation as they weren't my favorites. The blue one was made for Chuck. As Billy grew into that size, I made the brown one for Chuck but skipped the hat as that style never stayed on my sons' heads. The back of the blue one with Chuck's name on it says "Go Blue". I must have had that ski sweater pattern memorized as I also made one in green and white for my niece who is Chuck's age.
The boys were around 8 and 6 when I took an adult education class and learned to smock. I loved smocking, but the best part of that experience was becoming friends with the instructor. I never name just one best friend as there are a few women who will always have a piece of my heart, but Joyce is one of them. Once class on making a snowflake ornament led to a class on making a smocked nightgown for myself and soon I was a member of a smocking guild.

The guild wasn't the only temptation that Joyce led me into. She introduced me to heirloom sewing instructors, duplicate stitch teachers, silk ribbon embroiderers and so on. Bill joked that if the supplies were expensive and no one else in Michigan had knowledge of the technique, Joyce and I were doing it. Have you heard of Martha Pullen? She holds classes in Huntsville, AL in February and July. The school is now called the School of Art Fashion and I assume it is just as wonderful an experience now as the times I went in the late 80s and early 90s. I went three times and each was a wild adventure that I'll share at some point. One year, the course I took was baby themed. I was beyond baby making days and the boys were way too young to think of grandbabies. I took the classes for the techniques involved.

The work is beautiful but not always practical. While I hate to generalize a whole population, most northern men think heirloom sewing is way too frou-frou for their sons and many northern women are afraid of caring for the items. Many just plain don't like to iron and I can identify with that. We've become such a casual dress society, I can't think of the last time I saw the finery I learned to sew at Martha Pullen's, but I don't regret the classes at all.

Here is a heirloom baby quilt. Again, I should have pressed it for photos but we had company coming and I was rushed to put things back in boxes.

I made a few of these baby bonnets as gifts. I don't think I've seen a bonnet in use in over ten years now.
One of the sewing instructors I had along the way had taught elementary school for a number of years. She told us that human nature admires beauty and that while it may seem superficial to some adults, a child who is attractively dressed is going to be favorably noticed at school. She wasn't saying that any child was going to be overlooked, but human nature is going to notice the girl in the cute jumper and the boy whose hair is combed (at least at the beginning of the school day). The kindergartner who hears "what a cute dress/shirt you are wearing" doesn't notice that it is their clothing that is being noticed, they only realize that they are being noticed in a positive way. Isn't that what we would all like?

I know enough not to judge a book by its cover, but nostalgic enough to hope that someday people will take a little more pride in their appearance again. They don't have to wear heirloom clothing that needs gentle washing, starch and ironing. Just stop wearing pajama pants and slippers in public and if you really think offensive language and gestures on tee shirts is funny, save them for your friends who might appreciate them.

Guess I got a little off track from how I began this post. An interruption and watching scruffy adults and unkempt little ones in Kroger caused this. I'd like to beautify America, one person at a time. Guess I will start with myself by combing my hair.  Photobucket

Monday, May 2, 2011

Visiting my childhood

Do you currently live near where you grew up?  I do. I grew up on a corner and pass that house at least twice a week. Saturday I stopped to visit neighbors who lived two houses away throughout my childhood. I used to run into the man occasionally, but haven't seen the woman in probably 20 years. Why haven't I done this before? Aren't most of us in a hurry to get to our destination and guilty of thinking we have unlimited time to contact people?

Mr G wasn't home when I knocked on the door, but Mrs G was. She had a look on her face that said "who are you and what are you selling?". I told her to take a good look, then told her it was Charlene (yes, it is true, I have a given name and it isn't Knitty Photobucket ) To say she was surprised would be an understatement.

I only intended to stay for 15-20 minutes. After 45 minutes I tried to leave because I hadn't told my hubby that I'd be gone this long on my errands. Mrs G wanted me to stay because Mr G was on his way home with their great-granddaughter from a child's birthday party. How did their daughter, five years younger than I am, become old enough to be a grandmother to 10 and 6 year old girls? Of course I stayed. Mr G recognized me right away and said I hadn't changed a bit. He always was a sweet ole liar. After two hours, I did leave, promising to stop by again, and not after a decade passed but sometime this summer.

Besides reminiscing over their kids' childhoods and stories about my parents, I was told neighborhood stories I never heard before. For a time, the neighbor between their house and ours was a divorced woman with two girls. I thought rumors about her were spread because she was an attractive divorced woman in the middle of married suburbia. I never knew exactly what the rumors were because my parents didn't think kids needed to hear those stories, especially since I was friends with the older girl. The younger daughter told Mrs G's daughter that her mom sometimes gave the girls something to help them sleep soundly.  Supposedly the woman would turn her porch light on when her daughters were both asleep for the night but it wasn't for security, it was a signal to gentlemen who would only call on her after dark. One of the men was the married neighbor on the other side of the G family!

All of the stories weren't sad or salacious, but I had already heard most of the tales that were safe for a child to hear. What struck me about these stories was that in the 60s it was still possible to grow up blissfully unaware of the misdeeds of adults. Kids didn't think about their parents having intimate moments with each other, much less a whole string of people as in a Jerry Springer episode.

Soap operas are disappearing from television but reality TV lives on. What I discovered Saturday is that my street could have existed in Llanview, Salem or Pine Valley. The soaps weren't real, but they pretended to be.  Reality TV however, pretends to be real and isn't. Some make fun of old sitcoms because June Cleaver always wore pearls and Donna Reed never had a hair out of place while handling a family crisis, but they readily believe a new employee has a camera crew following them around (Undercover Boss) while managers reveal private, very personal matters to the new hire at the water cooler.
I'll take the old sticoms and illusion of people behaving in acceptable ways to most of what we see and hear today, both on TV and out in public. Keep your private conversations private rather than exposing everyone in the checkout line to who said what because their babydaddy told some (expletive) babymama how (expletive) their stupid boss is. And so on. And for goodness sake, pay attention to what your young children see and hear on TV! 

In a few weeks I will call Mrs G and see if she would like to go out to lunch or have me bring some lunch to her. We'll compare what is right with the world today to what we discarded (before we knew we'd miss it so much) from yesteryear. I won't be wearing a dress and heels, but I could probably manage a Laura Petrie flip and wear some pearls.