Sunday, April 29, 2007

She Who Sleeps on My Head

Shortly before Christmas, I sprained my sacroiliac joint, or as my chiropractor put it, I sprained my butt (not like you really needed to know that). I started getting adjustments and he sent me home with exercises, orders to stop sleeping on my stomach, and a very fancy pillow that cradles your head and makes it easier to stay on your back when you sleep.

When he sold me the pillow, my chiropractor told me that he had to chase his cat off the pillow every night. "Oh that will never happen to me," I thought, "My older cat sleeps at the foot of the bed and the new one is too afraid of alpha cat to sleep with me." Yeah, right. One week later, I wake up, roll over, and am greeted with this:

Good-bye fancy pillow, hello expensive cat bed.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Further Proof That I am Eight

About a year after my divorce was final, I suddenly started to feel the urge to wear pink. Now I like to fancy myself as a typical urbanite -- my garb is usually black, greys, dark browns, blues, and brick red. But suddenly, something strange happened to me. Pink! Bright! Happy! I felt all young and girly (o.k. that's laying it on with a trowel, but you get the idea)

I was never a big Hello Kitty fan, but this pink thing started to lead me there. It started innocently enough, an eraser here, a pen there, a pencil, or a sticker. Funny -- students pick up on the smallest things about their teacher. It's led to this:

A Hello Kitty keychain from one of my little girls. I added it to the Shrine 'o Kitty. Almost everything in the shrine was a gift from a student (Except for the HK ipod player. My excuses for that would be: 1-Target clearance aisle rocks! & 2- It was cheaper than the grown-up version). I don't have the heart to tell them that I'm kind of over it by now.
I think that's why I get along so well with my students ... mentally, we're the same age!


I had a question about the stitchmarkers I made. The Hello Kitty pieces came from Target. They are actually shoe charms for little kids. I just took them off their jump rings and wire wrapped them, so there would be less to snag at the yarn.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Apparently, I Am Eight

Fact #1: Children are germy.
Fact #2: They like to share with their teachers.

A few weeks ago, one of my little "cherubs" decided to share the virus he was carrying around. So, of course, I came down with whatever bug it was. My mother noticed the change in my voice right away (I sound like Lauren Bacall or Kathleen Turner when I'm sick - it's fun -too bad I feel like crap). Which brings me to:

Fact #3: I may have a mortgage, but to my mother I will always be eight.

Our conversation went something like this:
Oh dear, you sound horrible.
I'm okay, I sound worse than I feel.

Have you been to the doctor?
It's a virus, he can't give me antibiotics for it.
Well you know, (Oh Lord, I'm in trouble here!) I think the old-fashioned remedies are the best ones.
You should get some Vicks and rub it on your chest. Then you need to get a towel and wrap it around your neck--
Mom? You taught me how to do that when I was a kid. I've been doing that since I was seven.
But you really need to rub it into your chest and then don't forget to safety pin the--
Mom? I'm forty-one!
Chuckle...You really need to drink hot water with lemon and--
Forty-one, ma! Forty-one...sigh...I'm always going to be your baby, aren't I?
Of course! Now get a lot of rest and don't go out.
I love you too, Mom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Makes Sense to Me

I think I got into teaching because it would give me an excuse to buy more books. I love the way they feel when you are the first one to pull back the cover to look inside...I'm kind of embarassed to admit it, but I will pull from the back of the stack in bookstores, so I don't have to buy the one that everybody else has been thumbing through.

It's official, I am a:

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.
It's okay. I understand.

Artistic Nerd
Social Nerd
Drama Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

By the way, I found this on Pheelya's blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Proof That Some Things Do Get Finished

F.O. #1 - This was my first "big" project as a new knitter. The Cocktail Monkey bag from the Spring '05 issue of Knitty. Knitting with hemp wasn't the easiest thing to do, but the final results were worth it. It softened up a lot in the wash, so it needs to be lined with something that will help it keep its shape under the lucite handles.
F.O. #2 - The Chinese Charm bag from Stitch 'N Bitch. I used Noro Lotus for the body of the bag. Ok, ok, technically it's not finished, because it's not lined & the handles aren't on, but the knitting is done. Doesn't that count for something?
F.O. #3 - Hello Kitty stitch markers. I knew those jewelry making skills would come in handy!

I have to go...the cats are giving me stink-eye. It must be dinner time.

Monday, April 23, 2007

UFO's Spotted

When I was writing my answers to the coffee swap questions, I was surprised at the number of unfinished knitting projects that I have lounging around my house. Is there a support group for knitting ADD? Here's a sampling of what's (not) going on:Right now, it looks like a Dr. Seuss hat, but this is going to be a felted bag if I ever close up the other end of the tube and felt it. I'm not quite sure how that's going to happen, since I have a front-loading washer. It's the skinny tube baguette pattern from Noni Designs.

This is a Fleur de Lys (ruffled) scarf knitted with Linie 194 Solo. It's . . . interesting. You have to knit through the yarn, instead of wrapping it around normally. I think the pattern is more suited for a continental knitter and I'm not one of them. I hope to finish it by next winter, because it's heavy and warm. Yet another scarf (noticing a pattern?). I bought the yarn on a cold and drizzly day; Rowan Romance seemed so warm and sparkly. The pattern is a traveling vine, unfortunately it's not online anymore.
This is why I am not crazy about novelty yarn. The fuzzy stuff is Patons Mosaic. I bought it close to Valentine's day, thinking that it would be nice to wear in my classroom on February 14. So pink! So bright! So festive! Knitted alone, it was really bright. Like Pepto Bismo bright. Ugh! Trying to tone it down, I paired it with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in the Hollyberry colorway. I wanted it to look like
this (see 1/31 & 1/26), but instead it reminds me of a bath mat. Yes Virginia, there is a big difference between Rio de la Plata and novelty yarn. Sigh, live and learn.

Finally, there's this scarf. It's knit with the most wonderful stuff around: Artfibers
Alfabeto. It's a knotted openwork scarf. I found the pattern here.

Finally, a warning: be careful what is lurking around your knitting!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Knitters' Coffee Swap Questions

Here are my answers to the Knitters' Coffee Swap Questions.

1. Whole bean or ground? I prefer whole bean, but I also like the convenience of ground coffee, as long as it was vacuum packed.
2. Fully-loaded or decaf? Definitely fully-loaded!
3. Regular or flavored? Regular, please.
4. How do you drink your coffee? With milk. I only use sugar if it's really strong coffee.
5. Favorite coffee ever? I like them all; particularly Italian roasts, Brazilian blends, and Kona coffee.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? I like medium roasts, also espresso and Italian roast coffee.
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Cookies or chocolate. I'm a sucker for oatmeal-raisin, snickerdoodles, and thin ginger cookies.
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? Even though I live in the Bay Area, I'm not too fond of Peet's coffee (I do like their tea, however).
9. Yarn/fiber you love? Natural fibers. Wool, wool-alpaca blends, wool-silk blends, or good cotton. I love anything soft.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Novelty acrylic yarns. I've never really liked the finished product when I'm done knitting with them. Good thing I have a mother who loved the muppet scarves I made.

11. What's on your needles? I think I have knitter's ADD. On my needles: 1 top-down raglan sweater, 1 clapotis, 1 dishrag, 1 tote bag, and 4 scarves (oy vey).
12. Favorite colors? Ocean colors: blues, dark greens; autumn colors: reds, browns, and dark pumpkin; blacks and greys. I like stronger colors over pastels.
13. Allergies? Nope.
14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? Even though it is supposed to be good for you, I don't like dark chocolate. Give me milk chocolate (or milk chocolate with caramel, or milk chocolate with crispies, or milk chocolate with mint) any day.

Happy Earth Day

Back in the early 70's, when Earth Day began, I remember filling gelatin capsules with soil and seeds as a school project. The kids in our school must have made thousands of those little seed pills. If I remember correctly, they were going to be scattered along the highways in Oklahoma, where I lived at the time. I often wonder how that went, since we moved shortly afterwards.

Growing up in the 70's and 80's I was always interested in nature and the environment. (Must have been due to watching all those commercials where the Native American chief had the tear running down his face.) As kids, we spent most of their free time outside, rolling around in the grass, climbing trees (and falling out of them), exploring the woods and creeks. We were great garbage collectors on our expeditions; only we thought the trash we were picking up was treasure. I still remember picking up a crumpled up tube of VO5 and thinking, "Wow, this must be valuable." I was a first-grader! What do you expect?

I was a real tree-hugger; I used to get on my imaginary soapbox and rant about polluters and deforestation to anyone that would listen. I was so involved that I almost took a job with the California League of Conservation Voters--that is, until I found out I would be going door-to-door all by myself. Having just graduated from a woman's college (where you learn what can happen to a woman alone), I decided that would not be the best thing for me.

Still, I try to go green. I recycle and try to make smarter choices with the things I buy. (I love the reusable shopping bags from Trader Joe's, but these Envirosax look cool too.) I use mass transit when I have a choice. I know I can do more, but at least it's a start. My hope is that if people can begin by doing one or two small things for the earth, it will snowball into bigger actions. Because it's going to take all of us to change what is happening.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Testing the Waters

It was inevitable. After all the blogstalking I do, I figure it's about time I come out of the shadows and start one of my own. I was just invited to join in the Knitter's Coffee Swap (yay!) and found out that this really isn't too difficult to do. So here goes...

I am a divorced mother of two...cats (the only grandchildren my mother's going to get). I could have had a teenager, but instead I have a sixteen year old tabby, with the ridiculous name of "Little Girl." When she was a stray living on my patio with her siblings, we just referred to her as that little girl cat; nothing else seemed to stick. She is, perhaps, the best cat I've ever had, probably because she's so faithful and follows me around like a dog.

This is Zoey. She came into my life last Christmas Eve, when I followed my sister into the Milo Foundation, an animal rescue organization. She must have seen the "sucker" tattoo on my forhead, because the minute she saw me, she was out of her bed and head butting the cage door. By the time she reached her paw out of her cage to grab me, I was a goner. Talk about false advertising: I take her home thinking she will cuddle with me and be a lap cat, then she turns out to be a big dork (she plays soccer with her kibble). Of course, that only makes me like her more. To her, I am only the can opener.

Me? I knit. I teach. I craft. I write.