Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post of the Year

Happy New Year to all who read. I hope that your year was great, but that 2009 is your best year yet.

I buried my dollar this afternoon, so I'm sure the stock market will start rebounding on Monday. You can thank me later.

I finished my last knitting project of 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Actually, I finished this morning about 1:00 a.m., but I had to tuck in the ends this morning. It's the Ground Flower Hat, by Phoeknits and I made it to match Kelli's coat. I used Knit Picks Essential sock yarn in Peacock.

As for resolutions, I don't make them. I do set goals (okay, it's not the same). Some of my goals are:
  • Knit 10 - 12 pairs of socks
  • Knit 10 - 12 hats (some for charity)
  • Read 52 books (one a week)
  • Be healthy by eating better foods and exercising more
Again, Happy New Year everyone.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Ho Ho Ho Today is the day, I'm going to be so brave! I'm going to drive my car to dinner, all 3 1/2 miles.

I grab my keys and open the garage door. I back out, trying to get the exact right amount of pressure on the gas pedal. I make it out of the garage and past the place I got stuck yesterday. I back all the way to the shop and turn toward the highway. I'm doing great, but this is just the practice run.

I go back into the garage and then let everyone know that I can drive to dinner. I'm sure they are all thrilled beyond words.

Now it's time to leave. I get my purse, put on my boots, and I'm off. Watch out world, I'm back on the road. I get to the very end of the driveway, about three feet from the main highway and get totally stuck. Walk back to the house and call my most wonderful BIL who says he will come and dig me out, says it won't take but a minute.

Scott (most marvelous of BILs) and Staci (most beautiful of sisters) come to dig me out. Scott dug as much as he could then Staci and I were going to push. Almost instantly two cars stop and four very nice, wonderful, kind, and beautiful men (and young men) jump out to help push (sorry to the one who Staci smacked in the head). I got out of the driveway and went to dinner (a little slippery in town). Kyle came home with me and I let him drive (hahaha "let") and he got stuck at the bottom of the driveway, he dug, then I dug (okay, I only dug a little bit) while he tried to drive. He made it to the top of my driveway, where he got stuck again.

I talked it over with the car, and it decided to stay where it is until the snow melts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowed In

I can't take it anymore. It's been a week since I left the house. Well, left my house in a gas powered vehicle, I can still get out and walk next door and go out to get the mail. The stores are closing early, if they are opening at all.

This snow is unbelievable. When I go outside, the snow is up to my knees, making walking just a little difficult. This morning I went outside to knock the snow off the trees in the dogs' yard (so the branches don't break off on their little heads) and when I came in my legs were tingling and they stayed red for at least an hour.

I'm afraid to open the gas bill, because I'm sure it is going to be astronomical and I don't want to be tempted to turn off the heat. I'm tired of leaving every faucet dripping at night and starting the washing machine right before I go to bed, so the pipes don't freeze.

The icicles outside the bathroom.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Secular Progressive

Today, as I was channel surfing, I came across Bill o'Reilly. He was discussing the Washington Governor's decision to allow people with dissenting opinions access to the foyer of my state's Capitol Building. He calls Governor Gregiore a pinhead because she is trying to live up to the principles of the Founding Fathers. In my opinion, he is the pinhead.

When I hear Bill o'Reilly speak, the voice inside my head is Hermione Granger, and the words I hear are "what an idiot". I truly feel that the people that listen to Bill O'reilly or read his books, are idiots. I can't help it, but when that man speaks I feel sick to my stomach.

The only good thing that Bill o'Reilly has ever done, is give me a label. I think I am a secular progressive. I believe in the separation of church and state. I believe that if you allow one group to put up a display in a government building, you have to let everyone. I believe that nativity scenes belong in churches or on private property and nowhere else.

Sunday morning

Here I sit, surrounded by snow, watching Meet The Press, and missing Tim Russert. I am not happy with the choice of David Gregory as the newest moderator of MTP. I wonder why NBC didn't ask me for my opinion before they cast the moderator, I certainly had some good suggestions.

And then there is the snow. I can only remember snow like this twice in my lifetime. It just keeps coming and getting deeper and deeper.

What it is about snow that makes me want to eat more? Why is it that when I can't go anywhere, I want to go anywhere? It's not like I need anything. The dogs have food (thank you Scott and Staci), I have 84,000 books to read, enough yarn to knit 20 pairs of socks, my house could certainly use a good clean, but all I want to do is the thing I hate, shopping.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Butterfly Hats

I finished Elaine's Butterfly Hat, sure hope she gets it in time for Christmas. I mailed it on Wednesday (thank you Dawn for making it through this horrible ice and snow). The pattern turned out really nice and, once again, Knit Picks ( has impressed me with the quality of their yarn.

Many thanks to Aliceindilbertland's blog for the pattern, which I found on

Speaking of Dawn, when the postal service says neither ice nor snow nor dark of night, they mean it. The garbage trucks can't make it to pick up the garbage, the paper is not delivered, but my bill is in the mailbox right on time. And she saved my butt by picking up my presents that need to go to the other side of the country.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Snow and still more Snow

The roads are impassable and everything is covered in a foot of white. It's even too cold for the dogs to go outside for more than five minutes and I have to turn on the washing machine before I go to bed, in order to run hot water through the pipes to keep them from freezing. Hmmm that reminds me, I have jeans in the dryer.

It snows and everything shuts down, including the medical clinic. It always amazes me that there are people in other parts of the county are unfazed by this type of weather and yet here in Western Washington if we get two inches the schools close and most everyone stays in the house. Of course, there are also those people that use the snowfall as an excuse to stay home from work and then drive somewhere to go sledding.

I wonder if the mail will come today? Then again, I wonder if I will be able to walk through the yard to get the mail if it does come. Yesterday the snow was almost up to my knees and since then it has dumped about six more inches.

I am grateful that I don't have to go out. The kids don't want Christmas presents, do they?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Books I've Read in 2008

  • Died in the Wool by Rett MacPherson
  • Dead Man Running by Rett MacPherson
  • Thicker Than Water by Rett MacPherson
  • Killing Cousins by Rett MacPherson
  • A Misty Mourning by Rett MacPherson
  • Dyer Consequences by Maggie Sefton
  • Comedy of Heirs by Rett MacPherson
  • Hand of Evil by J.A. Jance
  • Dragonwell Dead by Laura Childs
  • Blood Orange Brewing by Laura Childs
  • Chamomile Mourning by Laura Childs
  • The Jasmine Moon Murder by Laura Childs
  • The English Breakfast Murder by Laura Childs
  • The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson ARC
  • Shades of Earl Grey by Laura Childs
  • Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs
  • Return to Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux
  • A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton
  • Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs
  • A Deadly Yarn by Maggie Sefton
  • Died in the Wool by Mary Kruger
  • Knit Fast, Die Young by Mary Kruger
  • Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton
  • Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows b J. K. Rowling
  • Miss Julia Strikes Back by Ann B. Ross
  • Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
  • Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan ARC
  • Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
  • Searching for Paradise in Paker, PA by Kris Radish
  • Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
  • Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich
  • The Sister by Poppy Adams ARC
  • Caroline's Journal by Katherine Stone
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  • Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich
  • Conspiracies by F. Paul Wilson
  • The House At Riverton by Kate Morton ARC
  • Miss Julia Stands Her Ground by Ann B. Ross

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Last Hat

I improvised on my last hat for Nell and while I really like how it turned out, I'm not sure Staci will. I used the left over yarn from Staci's scarf and made stripes in the off white hat.

I have been thinking a lot about my blog and think that starting in the new year I will try to type more often and on a wider variety of subjects. I'm also going to learn to organize my posts better.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Today my mail lady (to be known from this day on as Dawn) brought a package to my house and I was finally able to give her the socks I knit for her. I think she was a bit surprised and I also think she really likes them. It was fun to give someone something that they weren't expecting, but I'm not sure I can convince her to wear them, as she said something about hanging them on the wall.

Staci (my sister) has a friend who is going through chemo and losing her hair. Staci asked me to make her friend some hats. She also said her friend (we'll call her Nell because that is her name) used to knit but couldn't remember how and asked if I would teach her. Why not?
So we went to Wildfibers to get hat yarn. Now Staci is the least crafty person around and I'm positive she had never been in a yarn store, so there was a lot of discussion on why some things would just not work. Finally, we narrowed down the choices and Staci bought three skeins of yarn.

A couple of days later at Thanksgiving dinner, I jokingly told Staci that Knot Just Yarn had a 20 percent off the next day. She said oh do you want to go, I said no way am I going shopping the day after, are you nuts. So anyway the next day she called me and said I'm going to the sale, will you meet me?

I wade through the traffic (30 minutes/four miles) and meet her and she's picking out yarn to use to learn to make herself a scarf. She bought this amazing Jewel by Universal Yarn that is mohair and ribbony and you know a pain to knit, which she sends home with me for safe keeping. Of course, you know that while I was there I had to buy more yarn for myself.
Monday we go to Nell's for the lesson. I take all my stuff in my wonderful Mackinaw Moon rolly bag and they each get yarn and needles from the bag. Both know the basics, but neither can cast on. I show them and we sit and knit (although poor Nell was not feeling the best). Then Staci decides her yarn is too pretty for her to knit on so guess who made scarf.
You had to see that coming, right?

Friday, November 21, 2008

I hate shopping

So, I went to Safeway yesterday, then Costco today, and spent $400. At least I got some good chewies for the puppies. Still, I hate shopping. I don't understand people who like to shop and I really don't understand window shopping. Who wants to shop for fun, that's nuts.

I love Margaret and Helen, but their blog today was on breastfeeding in public. I wonder if there is a more polarizing subject. If they had asked me, I could have told them that any discussion of breastfeeding was going down a slippery slope and anything could happen. No one asked me, but if they had I would tell them that I was going to be Switzerland.

I usually post a picture with my blog post, but I figured a picture of my empty wallet wouldn't attract many readers, and I'm sure not posting a picture of my breast. Tomorrow I'll put up Bette's Christmas village, now that's a picture I'll want to share.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Zig to the Zag

First, this is the cutest name for a sock pattern I've seen. Second, I love the pattern.

I'm working on a pair of Zig to the Zag Socks with a pattern by Mandi Coughlin at . They are turning out so cute and in only four days I'm already down to the foot on the first sock. I love the Knit Picks and the Felici yarn I'm using is wonderful. It is so soft, it is a joy to use. The bad thing is that I'm looking at their website and there are no colors of this yarn that I like. Hmmmmm

Sunday, November 9, 2008

9" circular knitting needles

If you knit socks, you have to give the new 9" circular needles a try. They make sock knitting a snap and my stitches have never looked more uniform.

For these socks in the Horcrux pattern by Susan Lawrence from the Six Sox Knitting Group on Yahoo, I used the brand new Hiya Hiya 9" circular size 1 1/2. The yarn is by Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Color in the Strato colorway. The yarn, which I won from the Hooks Books & Needles group on Ravelry, is perfect for the pattern and I think the nice lady who delivers my mail will love her socks.

I haven't decided which pattern and yarn to use for my next socks, but I know I will be using my 9" circulars.

Anonymous sources

Everyone is up in arms because members of the McCain campaign are making comments to the media about Sarah Palin. My question to those who think it is horrible to say negative things without going on the record is, why the heck shouldn't they?

Have you considered that maybe they think she is so unqualified to be President that they want to warn the Republican party without ruining their careers as political operatives?

I think we should thank the anonymous sources. After all, Deep Throat is the most famous anonymous source and he was the first chink out of the armour that was the Nixon administration. If DT had not made the difficult decision to be truthful, Nixon could have gotten away with his dirty politics.

So for me, I'm fine with anonymous sources. As long as the news media ensures the sources are reliable, I say go for it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A couple of things

First, the Horcrux Socks I am making for my mail deliverer are almost finished. I just wish I knew what size shoes she wore so I'd know when to stop knitting. I'm using the yarn I won from the Hooks, Books, & Needles group on Ravelry, and it goes great with the Horcrux pattern. I may have a hard time giving these away.
The second thing is really an admission. I never used to watch the Today Show, because Katie Couric was just a bit to perky for my mornings. Well that and the fact that I worked everyday so I wasn't home or if I was home I was racing around trying to get ready for work or if I was off I was sleeping in.
Anyway, then came the multi million dollar contract for her to do the CBS Evening News, which I thought was a ridiculous amount of money so I vowed not to watch her. So, after the Sarah Palin interview, I decided to give her a chance and I like her. I'll probably keep watch, sorry Charlie.
One more thing, which just made me smile. When you spell check Palin, the alternative is Pain. Hmmmmmmm

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Can!

As I sit here, with tears on my face, listening to President-Elect Obama making his speech, I am amazed and thrilled that he won. I did not think it possible, that the people of the United States of America would elect an African-American President. I guess I should have had more faith.

I never thought the election results would affect me so much that as they are announced I would cry in joy. It amazes me how much pride I feel in America right now. Listening to the African-American commentators and news people speak from their hearts about how they felt was so touching and heartfelt.

It is so wonderful to listen to our leader speak and be proud that what he is saying makes sense and brings respect back the the United States.

You better believe it. Yes We Can!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


The race for the presidency of the United States has been going on for over two years and over a billion dollars has been spent. There is still a rather large percentage of people who say they are undecided. How is that possible? What the heck do they want to know and is it possible they will learn it in the next 48 hours?

Perhaps they should just stay home and start studying up for the next election in 2012.

It's almost over

In less than 60 hours we will have a new President and the campaigning will be put on hold for another two years. I cannot wait, I'm so tired of all the negativity.

It's just crazy, in my opinion, to spend this amount of time and money to elect our leaders. Imagine what we could do for the uninsured and under insured with all that money. Imagine how much research we could pay for; cancer, heart disease, stroke, autism, downs syndrome, could become things of the past.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What If

What if John McCain wins and Sarah Palin becomes President?

Can you imagine what would happen if the Palin family lived in the White House? Seriously, would the Easter Egg hunt become a turkey shoot? Would the rose garden be ripped out so they can drive their snow machines? Are these really the people we want representing us to foreign leaders?

Say what you will about Georges Bush, but Barbara and Laura have class and know how to act in public. I'm not so sure about Todd Palin.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please don't call the ASPCA

Poor Rowser! Today she got kibble for the first time in over a week and she laid down in front of her bowl with her paws on each side and ate until all the food was gone. I put more in the bowl and she ate that too. I guess she hasn't been getting enough to eat, but who knew that $15 worth of roast every day and a half would not be enough.

Now, not only do I have to feel guilty about her having a badly broken tooth for over a year, but also I can feel guilty for her being hungry for a week. It's a good thing she had pain pills, because I have definitely been a pain.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What a week

I eat Lean Cuisines, my dogs eat roast beef. I eat steamed vegetables, my dogs eat grilled chicken.

Rowser had her tooth pulled last Monday. The $770 it cost was, perhaps, the high point of the week, the $60 of roast beef, pork, and grilled chicken cut up into pieces the size of the tip of my little finger and fed to her one piece at a time with Bear trying to get his share, the low point. And that doesn't even count the joy of trying to get a 90 pound dog to take ten pills a day. I am completely in the debt of the person who invented peanut butter, which I've found is the pill taking magnet. My dogs will do anything for peanut butter.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Return To The Veterinary Clinic

I took Bear back to the vet today to have his ear cleaned and checked out. I also took Rowser for a check up and shots. What a nightmare!!! My head hurts so bad now that I'm sick to my stomach and I'm going to start drinking soon. It's not drinking alone if the dogs are here, right?

Bear is afraid of everything and can't stand to be away from Rowser. Rowser gets wired when she sees young children and other animals, mainly because the unsupervised kids in my old neighborhood teased the dogs while I was at work. My dogs do not like toddlers.

I took Bear to the vet, left her with Chelsea, the vet tech, and came home to get Rowser. Bear was fine until Rowser got into the waiting room and then got so upset that he couldn't see her that the vet asked me to go outside (we waited in the car). There was a kid and a colt in the parking lot, so the wait was not much fun.

The vet finished working on Bear and then took Rowser in to start the examination. I took Bear home. Luckily Quinn was next door at mom's, so he came over to Bearsit. Bear has never been home alone and will not even go outside to pee without Rowser. I was not looking forward to what my house might look like and there was a good chance that the ear could start bleeding again so it was great to have Quinn to count on.

I went back to get Rowser and pay. Rowser has a broken tooth and is fat. Sorry Rowser, but it has to be said. She needs to lose about eight pounds. Today's visit was $327 and it will be about $717 for the tooth to be extracted. Did I mention I'm going to start drinking soon?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I'm not sure who is hurting more; me or Bear. Bear is hurting because on Sunday there were motorcycles going by constantly to the Oyster Bay Bike-In and several sirens (probably chasing the bikers) upset the dogs. When Bear came in, he had long and ugly gash in his left ear, where Rowser got him with her teeth.

Two prescriptions, two shots, an appointment for next week later where they are going to shave the ear and clean out the cut, and a bill for $247.11 and like I said, I'm not sure who is hurting more.

At least Bear has pain medication.

Moving On

How early is too early for kids to move away from home? I don't know the answer to that question, but my nephew left this morning to live in San Diego and I don't think he's old enough to move 1123 miles away. Yes, I was 20 years old when I moved away, and yes, he is 22 and yes, he is a responsible, hard working, kind, and educated person, but still . . . to those of us he is leaving, he is still five years old.

Anyway, he sure is going to be missed.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today was the day that Dell would finally send a technician to fix the laptop. He was very nice and had it working properly in less that a half hour. He told me the reason I didn't get service on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday is that the company that services Dell in this area has lost three technicians recently and they won't let him work full time, so they didn't have a technician on those days. I am not surprised!

But at least this ordeal is over and I hope that no one buys a Dell product.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Countdown to Dell

Because the problem I am having with Dell Computers has not been resolved, I'm going to log their lack of action.

Tuesday - automated call saying part has been shipped.

Wednesday, 11(ish) a.m - automated call saying part is delayed because of inclement weather.

Thursday, 11:14 a.m. - automated call left voice mail saying technicians are too busy today and will call you Friday before noon to make an appointment.

Friday, 11:12 a.m. - automated call saying our technicians are too busy again today, we'll call back on Monday before noon with an estimated time we will be able to fix your problem.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I love my Toshiba laptop

I was on the chat with Dell for 2 1/2 hours. I am exhausted. The first tech got the supervisor who argued with me for an hour, at least. They are now saying that the warranty entitles me to in-home service, but they can't send a technician until they know the problem. Because it could be the LCD, video card, or the motherboard, and the technician has to know what it is before he comes out. You know because the laptop parts are so heavy that they couldn't possibly bring all three.

So, in the next two days someone will come fix this laptop. I'm not holding my breath.

Still Dell

Here I sit, three weeks and three days later and I am still waiting for Dell to send me a box to return a Dell laptop for service. Yes, I know the warranty said in-home service, but I guess they meant their home.

I'm number 33 in queue to get to talk to a Dell Chat agent. That's not so bad, because 13 minutes ago I was number 77 in queue, and it's sure a lot better than the 40 minute wait I had to talk to someone the first time I called.

How is this so difficult? For that matter, am I the only one who has to spend hours and hours on the phone waiting for them to tell me that the problem is in the CPU? How the heck do they stay in business, if this is the way they provide service to their customers?

Woo Hoo, I'm number 26, no number 24 and it's only been 17 minutes. I'll bet they'll be here before Keith Olbermann gets to #3 on the Countdown. Nope, I was wrong. I've made it to number 18 and Keith is up to Bushed. Then it's commercials and # 3 and I'm still waiting.

Twenty minutes down and I'm number 15 in queue. I love the word queue! I don't necessarily love being stuck in the queue-go-round, but I do like a word that has two u's so close to each other. Twenty two minutes and I'm number 12. Keith is still on commercial break, but I think he'll be back before I get helped. Maybe not, I'm number 10, 9, 8, . . . I better get ready to go talk to Dell, I'm sure they'll be here soon.

Keith is back and we're Playing Oddball. Numbers 7, 6, and 5. I'm feeling lucky, like I may really get helped. Chuck Todd is next, but first the World's Best Persons.

I wish NBC would tap Chuck Todd for Meet The Press. Number 4 and we're back to commercial. Number 3 and I'm going to go talk to Dell. It only took about 30 minutes for them to get around to me. I'll bet if I was placing an order they would have help a long time ago. Number 2 in queue. That means I'm next.

I waited 30 minutes. I got to number 1 in queue and got the message thanks for chatting with Dell and they cut me off. I am now number 84 in queue and I am PISSED.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Applesauce or I'm really not cut out to be domestic

I am exhausted. My feet hurt, my hands hurt, my fingers hurt, and I'm just basically tired of apples. Seriously, I think I have enough in my freezer to eat a bowl of applesauce every day for the next six months. Plus I'm getting so good at slicing apples that I may have to make more.

So should I go pick more apples and make more applesauce, or wait a week for the Italian Prunes or two weeks for the Asian Pears to ripen. It's a dilemma, and the answer will have to wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Traveling Wilbury Socks

The Traveling Wilbury Socks from the pattern collection of the Knitting Curmudgeon are my latest project, and these socks are for my friend in Texas. I hope she will like them and thinks of me whenever she wears them.

This pattern is the first one I have knit using my nine inch circular needles from KA Bamboo. I love them, it was worth the hours and hours of searching through stores and on-line. Why no one carries nine inch circular needles, I will never know. I think people who are new to knitting socks will love them and I can't wait to get them in all sizes. I am very happy that Inox is now carrying them in the 1/2 sizes.

Yesterday I picked about 50 pounds of apples for mom to make into applesauce, but today she said she didn't think her arthritic hands would let her cut up the apples, so I'm making applesauce. It's strange how many apples it takes to make two bowls of applesauce, but once frozen I'll have enough for the whole family for the whole winter.

I plan to use my vacuum sealer so that I will be able to store a lot in a little space. I wonder if it will work, I hope it will work.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dell's Customer Service continued

It's now been over two weeks since I contacted Dell about a problem with one of their laptop computers. The first call, which was several hours long got me nothing, but the promise of an e-mail with a link to new drivers which never arrived.

The second day was an on-line chat which didn't get me anywhere but seemed promising. Too bad the solutions recommended by the on-line technician didn't amount to anything, well at least that technician sent me a copy of the chat for my records.

The third day (Sunday morning) I got a call from Dell Customer Service and after about a half hour this technician dialed into my computer and tried to fix the drivers. It didn't work and I missed Meet The Press, because I was on the phone with the technician. I never miss Meet The Press, so you know I wanted this computer fixed.

After working on the computer via on-line take-over for over an hour, the technician determined that the problem is with the laptop and he told me he would send me a prepaid box so I can mail the laptop in for service. I'm still waiting for the box and I'm still waiting for an explanation of why I have to send the computer anywhere when I paid for a three year in-home warranty.

What makes a hero?

The political campaigns are in full swing and have been for over a year. I have to say that every time I hear someone refer to John McCain as a hero, I wonder, just what makes him a hero.

To me a hero is someone who runs into a burning building to save a life. To me a hero is a soldier who puts their own life on the line to save the life of a comrade or a civilian. To me a hero is the police officer who puts himself or herself in danger to get a criminal off the streets. To me a hero is someone selfless, someone who acts without a thought to their own safety or well-being.

A hero is not someone who was captured in war and held prisoner. If that were the case, then every "enemy combatant" being held in Guantánamo would be considered a hero.

John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. I do not doubt that he endured pain, misery, and torture. But that doesn't make him a hero, it makes him a survivor.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dell's Customer Service or lack thereof

I just spent 40 minutes on hold waiting for Dell Customer Service, and I am not a satisfied customer.

February 2007, I recommended a Dell computer from QVC to a friend of my mom. Betty Lou paid for a three year in-home warranty, which cost over $300. She does not use the internet. Mostly, she uses the computer to play games, so she really doesn't need an ISP, so when she moved she didn't transfer her service.

Anyway, now there is a problem which they determined to be drivers and she told me to go on my computer, download the new drivers onto a CD, and transfer them to her computer. Plus, it took over 30 minutes to determine that it was a driver problem. Hello, why pay for an extended warranty when Dell doesn't honor it.

The kicker for me is that for the whole 40 minutes I was on hold, they kept advertising their enhanced warranty that guarantees a two minute hold time and a representative based in North America. Nice customer service Dell, way to get return customers. I will never buy a Dell product, ever.

I'm so happy with my Toshiba, when it broke they actually sent someone out to fix it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hedgerow socks in Crystal Palace Silk Yarn

I love this pattern, I love this yarn, I'm not sure why I never finished these socks. Now that I've pulled the socks out of hibernation to finish them for the Ravelympics, I hate them. Maybe it's the magic loop method, maybe it's that they've been sitting around for too long, but this yarn is not working for these socks.

I think they need a stretchier yarn or DPNs or smaller ribbing at the top, whatever it is, they are not working for me. Frog? Finish? Change the yarn? Give up? DQ myself from the WIP Wrestlers?

If I finish, I'll never wear them and I hate to waste this yarn. Help!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Meet The Press

I'm sorry Tom Brokaw, but I still miss Tim Russert. Of course, I still miss Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson on This Week, so the problem may be mine and not yours. I just hope that NBC will take the viewers into account before they hire a replacement. In fact, I'd like to see a variety of hosts before they make the final decision.

My suggestions of people I'd like to see try out:

  • Andrea Mitchell
  • Chuck Todd
  • Richard Engel
  • David Shuster
  • Mike Barnicle
  • Rachel Maddow
  • David Gregory
  • Maria Shriver
  • Aaron Brown
  • Matt Lauer

People I do not want to see in Tim Russert's chair are:

  • Joe Scarborough
  • Dan Abrams
  • Tucker Carlson
  • Keith Olbermann
  • Tom Brokaw
  • Brian Williams
  • Chris Matthews

NBC please don't screw up my Sunday mornings.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Road to Socialism

I started a pair of socks using this yarn this week, but the pattern just isn't working for me. Too many ladders and purls, so I'm starting over. In fact, I've already frogged.

I love the way the yarn knits up, even if I'm not an orange person. Plus I like the name and have to wonder about the person who thought of naming yarn "The Road to Socialism". Obviously someone with an excellent sense of humor.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dear Cindy McCain

I saw clips of you on the Today Show several months ago saying that your husband would not do negative campaigning and you hoped that the Obamas would do the same. You said that your husband was an honorable man who did not believe in negative campaigning and would never resort to the tactics that were employed against him by the Bush machine in 2000.

My question to you after watching several months of this campaign is, do you have another husband besides John? Because the republican candidate I have seen is the most negative campaigner I've seen since 2004, when George Bush ran against John Kerry.

Your husband scares me, doesn't he scare you? Maybe just a little?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Why do people blog?

"This blog could be more exciting if you can create another topic that everyone can relate on."

First off, you never end a sentence with a preposition, it's just not proper English. Second, I'm really not that exciting of a person, and even if I was, I sure wouldn't put the details on a public blog.

The above quote was posted by lotto after I posted about attending my aunt's funeral. I'm not sure if lotto is a real person or a spammer and I can understand making a comment about being bored by the pictures of my new knitting project, but about some one's funeral? I just don't know.

However, the comment did make me think about why people blog. I started to keep track of what I was knitting and to learn something new. Most people blog to let others know how they are, what they are doing, and share their thoughts with like minded people. Political blogs are popular, but I don't care that much about stranger's political opinions.

So if you are reading this, why do you blog?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mamma Mia

What a funny movie! Even at 9:30 a.m., I laughed my ass off. Well, I didn't really laugh my ass off, it's unfortunately still there. Darn it! You know the movie is good when no one leaves their seat until the lights come up. Finally it's cool to like ABBA again.

I think Batman must have opened today too, as the theater was very crowded for so early in the morning. Do people really go to movies early in the day? I cannot believe that a movie costs $9 and refreshments . . . OMG. There was a lady at the concession counter that paid $22 for two drinks and an order of nachos. I paid less than that for lunch for two of us.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Funerals and Family

Why is it that the only time we see our family is at funerals? It didn't use to be that way, because we used to have family picnics every couple of years. Now we get together in funeral homes or high school gymnasiums.

My aunt Nancy died and her funeral was last week. She was a really nice woman and barely 60 years old. I didn't know her well, as her husband was my dad's half brother and closer to my age than my dad's age, but whenever we got together as a family I loved visiting with her. Her sister looked so devastated at the funeral, it just made me very sad.

I did get to give my aunt Helen her Fluted Bannister socks. I had to stay up until 1:30 a.m., in order to be able to finish, but I think she really liked them; of course, I had to make her promise to wear them. The pattern was great and the socks turned out very good, if I do say so myself.

I also finished a hat that will be used to make money to pay for someone's chemotherapy. It's the same hat I made for Umma, and it turned out pretty good. Plus it only took me two days, which is even better. I'm going to make another hat, since that one went so smoothly.

I have chosen grumperina's Odessa as the pattern, I just need to make sure I have the designers okay to use her pattern. Because it is going to be used as a chemo cap, I won't add the beads; however, I plan to make one with beads eventually.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Harry Potter on tape

Knitting has taken up a lot of my reading time, so I borrowed the first four Harry Potter books from Staci to listen to while I knit. There is nothing on television during June and I want to finish Helen's socks as quickly as possible, so I've been listening every evening. I must say that I like reading much more than listening, but that's just me.

After listening to the first two books, I went to and bought books five and six (on tape). Right now I am listening to book five, The Order of the Phoenix. I got book five for $4 (something) and book six for about $23.00 from bookarama through Alibris. The seventh and final book is over $40 so I can wait until the price goes down.

On the 4th of July, Apple Yarns in Bellingham has a 30% off sale on everything in the store. I didn't want to drive all the way to Bellingham, and since they allowed call-in orders, I got a needle holder and four skeins of yarn. Hmmmm, I wonder if they still call them skeins? They didn't have my first choice, but I did find some pretty (at least it looks pretty on the web) autumny colors. Now I just need to find a pattern I like.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fluted Banister Socks for my Aunt Helen

Finally someone in my family wants a pair of hand knit socks, knit by ME. My wonderful Aunt Helen say the socks I knit for Jody and said when I asked her if she would like a pair she said she would.

I chose the Fluted Banister Socks by Laura Gallagher in Knit Picks Essential Tweed color Marina because I was looking for a basic pattern that would look really good with a solid color yarn. This pattern is perfect and I have almost finished sock one.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Who says you shouldn't make friends over the internet and meet them in real life. I have "met" people that I admire, like, love, respect, pray for, and just about any other descriptive word you can think of and I have never met them in person. Today, however, I met Elaine as she came through Washington on her way home after a cruise to Alaska.

Elaine and I have been pen pals for about five years and we have gotten to know each other through letters, cards, and a few phone calls. She is just as amazing in person as she is in her letters and on the internet. We went to lunch and then I drove her around town, past the eagle's nest, past my high school, YMCA, and kindergarten. We talked and talked and talked and then she had to leave to go back to her SIL's house.

I had the most wonderful day, meeting a friend and I lost three pounds at WW.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Umma's Hat

I enjoyed knitting this cap for UmmaGumma. I hope that she finds it comfortable to wear. The yarn, a cotton/tencel blend, (Cascade Pima Tencel) is incredibly soft and feels like satin to touch. Another good thing is that it only took three or four days to knit. I may have to make more of these in a variety of color.

The pattern is the Lace Edged Cap designed by Julie Hentz, and hers looks much better than mine.

Tomorrow Elaine will be here and I will meet her in real life for the first time. I am so excited, it's amazing how you can "meet" people on the internet and they become your real life friends. I wonder if she'll like me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another Rainy Tuesday here in the PNW

Got up early and went to Weight Watchers. I should have lost a boatload more weight than I did for my first week, especially since I stuck to the plan. Still, I won't get discouraged and I won't fall off the proverbial wagon.

I just gave the dogs nylabone base chewies, which they have never had before. One of the dogs has been walking around the whole house looking for a place to hide it, including trips up the stairs twice. It's a good thing the door is closed or she would move upstairs with all her stuff.

Now that I finished my Flutter-by socks, I'm working on a scarf in the Feather and Fan pattern. I think it will be very pretty.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Another great sock pattern chosen by the Thrifty Knitters' Sock Club at Ravelry. Of course I screwed up the first sock and had to knit three, but I like the patten and it was pretty easy to do. In fact, the only reason I had to redo sock one is that the body of the sock was just too big.

Socks are getting easier every time and I love the free patterns on Ravelry and the sock knitter groups that make suggestions and/or help with problems.

These socks are for Bethany. Her birthday was in March, but I guess she can call them a Mother's Day present from her aunt.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Back to Weight Watchers

I always like to think I have a handle on the weight thing and can lose it on my own. I know what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, when not to eat, what is not healthy, and what is healthy. I know being obese is not good for my health and eating better will improve my life. Why oh why does it have to be so hard.

Wednesday I went to Weight Watchers. I signed up for the monthly pass and with it I get to go to as many meetings as I want and I also get all the on-line web tools. is a wonderful on-line tool and the support and information is incredible, but I need to go to a meeting and get on the scale in front someone with a pen.

The difference between Sparkpeople and Weight Watchers on-line is that with Sparkpeople you get to see the nutritional values of all the foods you are eating, but WW tells you the points you've eaten. I wish WW would add nutrition to their site and I wish SparkPeople did the points thing. Right now I like Sparks site better, but maybe once I'm used to WW I will like it better. Either way, I'm going to use both sites, because I love the SparkPeople people.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Since August 2002 I have had friends all over the world. Most of those friends I will most likely never meet. Still, if I needed advise, was feeling down, couldn't sleep, wanted to eat but knew I shouldn't, I could turn on the computer and there was always someone there or something to read.

Because of Gumbo Ya-Ya I have read books that I might never have read and learned so much more than could have learned on my own. I have been able to read the opinions and life stories of hundreds of women (and a few good men) and they have all taught me that no matter how different we are, we are the same in some way.

Yesterday Harper Collins publishing decided to pull the plug. They will no longer sponsor Gumbo Ya-Ya, which started back in 1998 based on the sisterhood shown in Rebecca Wells' book, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. It's sad and, although there are many sites springing up to try and take the place of Gumbo, I don't think it will be the same. I'll miss the people who inhabited Gumbo, I hope they will miss me.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


What an amazing read, Sandra Dallas does it again.

Up until yesterday I thought The Persian Pickle Club was my favorite book by one of my favorite authors, but Tallgrass is a five star read. Set in the mid 1940s, it is the story of an internment camp for Japanese Americans in Colorado seen through the eyes of 12 year old Bennnie. Bennie's family farm is on the border of Tallgrass, the internment camp and Bennie's father hire a few of the boys from the camp to work on the sugar beet farm.

Amazing, a must read. After reading this book, I want to learn more about the camps/prisons that citizens of the United States were made to endure because of rampant bigotry and fear.

On another note, I had to unknit about 10 rows of my Jaywalkers. I love the pattern, but it sure is difficult to fix my numerous mistakes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I'm busy working on Jaywalker socks and really like the way they are turning out. I say they because I had to frog the first one so I am technically on my second sock. I know, I know, that doesn't count.

Today is Easter and we are going over to Nikki's for dinner. It's cold and rainy and I sure don't want to hunt for eggs. Now if the eggs were chocolate, I might have a different opinion.

Yesterday I mowed the pasture. It is so wet and muddy, that it's kind of scary to be out driving up and down all the hills. Mowing the path behind Bette's house made me sad.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Drop Stitch Scarf

I finished knitting the Drop Stitch Scarf for my on-line friend, Beachy's birthday. I hope she like it. The pattern was pretty easy since the stitch was basically the same as the Bellatrix socks.

Now I am working on Elaine's Jaywalker socks in Regia Design Line.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lacy Waves scarf

Whew, I finished Jodi's birthday present and it's still two days until her birthday. She may not get the scarf in time to wear it on her birthday, but I can show pictures.

The pattern was fairly simple,but it took me until the second skein of yarn to actually get it set in my mind so I could knit without have to think about every stitch. I like the way it looks, and the yarn was fairly easy to work.

Now, back to my socks.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A new month

It's a new month and I just can't decide on a knitting project. I need to start a new pair of socks, but all the ones I've tried are just a little too hard for my skill set. I also need to make a scarf for a birthday present, and I've started over at least five times. Why oh why am I so indecisive about this.

Yesterday I went to Wildfibers and got the prettiest yarn. It has a very nice texture and is called Panda Silk, with 52% bamboo and 5% silk, shouldn't it be called Panda Bamboo?

Monday, January 28, 2008


The last State of the Union speech by President Bush is now complete and he has only 357 days left in office. The speech was, in my opinion, total buffoonary and no matter who wins the next election, our country will be better off in all ways. I just hope he does no more lasting damage to the reputation of this country.

I remember a couple of years ago watching a State of the Union speech for a college class and then reading everyones impressions, I wonder how this speech would be received.

I have now finished three hats that will be sent somewhere for someone to give to the babies of overseas babies. The hats are cute, but mine don't look like they are going to fall right off the babies' heads.

I also finished Miss Julia Stands Her Ground this afternoon. Ann B. Ross has really found a voice when she found Miss Julia. What a great character.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bellatrix the complete story

I did it! I finished the January socks in January. I wonder if there is a prize. If there is a prize, it should go to me, because I actually knit three socks. My Kirschner stitches even looked okay on one of the socks.

Today is January 23 and I have eight days until I start my next pair of socks. I wonder how many books I can read in the next eight day?
The weather today is awesome. I took the pictures of Bellatrix and all my new yarn outside because it is so sunny. Too bad it is below freezing or I could mow the lawns. Wait, thank God it is below freezing so I don't have to mow yet.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bellatrix sock two

Last night I finished my second Bellatrix sock and frogged the first one. I really like the changes I made to make the sock fit better. Now I have eleven days to finish sock one (or is that sock three). Makes no difference, because the more I knit the more uniform the stitches and it gets easier with each heel.

Today, as I sit here waiting for the carpenter to come and give me an estimate on sheetrocking the upstairs bedroom, I'm watching MSNBC's primary election coverage. They have predicted that Mitt Romney will win in Nevada. It's 10:00 a.m., how can they possibly know how people will vote. Hmmmmmm

It's raining and then they predict a very cold week. I'm so glad I don't have to battle the ice on the roads and the sidewalks anymore.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bellatrix sock two

Sock number two sure goes faster than sock one. I've been working on it for only two evenings and I already have the heel started. I may just finish both socks by the end of the month.

I finished The House at Riverton and I really enjoyed the book. I have to say the other readers at the B&N First Look bookclub are really intense. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think there is symbolism in every tree, book, flower, etc. I look forward to the author's comments.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bellatrix the complete story part one

I just finished my first sock where the pattern doesn't have easy in the title. Of course, my plan is to finish the other sock of the pair and then rip this one out and redo it so it will fit better.

I love to press the spell check button and have it come back with no misspellings found.

Bellatrix 2 / days 4 & 5

I am almost done with sock one, which is a good thing since today is the 14th.

Last night I had to frog three rows because somehow I managed to get a big loop right after the yarn overs. I figured I'd better rip it out or I'd end up getting my baby toe stuck. I'm not very good at going backwards, I kept dropping stitches. EEEEKKK When I finish sock two, I may just rip out sock one and redo the whole thing in a smaller needle. I tried it on last night and it seems a little baggy.

Yesterday I got all my Christmas decorations put away and reorganized into the crates. I have ten crates of decorations and I didn't hardly decorate at all this year. Eventually, I may just get rid of the ones I don't use, but for now, I'll consider the crates as extra insulation in the attic closet and leave them be.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bellatrix 2 / 3

Shopping at Ana Needlcraft in Anacortes was fun today. Didn't buy anything but row markers, but since my interests have been known to change in a heartbeat I don't want to buy too much extra expensive yarn. Still it is so nice to spend the afternoon at Patti and looking at all the pretty yarn is a definite bonus.

I finished the heel in Bellatrix last night and tonight I will work on the gusset (who thought up that word, sounds like something on a turkey). I will definitely finish sock one this weekend, so I am right on track and pretty darn proud of myself too.

The House at Riverton book discussion is going well. I find the book very entertaining and the history fascinating. I like the comparison between the family of means and the family who serve them. I definitely like the servants better, but it makes me wonder where would my family have been if my great grandparents hadn't come here. Probably nowhere as my great grandparents might never had met. :-)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bellatrix day two of starting over

I am ready for the heel - woohoo. I finished up the pattern of the leg of the sock and today I will be doing the heel. I still haven't decided if I will do the pattern on the foot, because I think the holes will make the wearing uncomfortable.

I am learning so much about knitting at Ravelry. The Thrifty Knitters Sock group tips and hints has made doing this project possible for me. I never would have tried something that looked this hard without the group.

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, the January B&N First Look book club selection is an awesome book. I am enjoying the book and reading the other people's comments in very enlightening. Sometimes I want to comment that a picture could be just a picture, or a name could be just a name, and it doesn't have to have significance in the end of the story.

Kate Morton is definitely a storyteller and she drew me in with the first chapter. I like reading the other opinions, but I'd also like to just sit and read without dissecting after every chapter.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bellatrix - starting over - day one

I dropped a stitch, I counted wrong on the heel, and it just wasn't working, so I frogged it and started at the beginning. I went up a needle size on the ribbing and down a needle size on the body of the sock and I am very pleased with the shape it is taking. I have also added four knit rows into the pattern to make it less holey and more fitted.

Anyway, it's going much better and yesterday I finished the ribbing and three sets of the pattern. Twenty more rows and I start on the dreaded heel again. Give me strength.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Bellatrix day four

I finished the leg and I must admit the pattern is getting easier and the rounds are getting completed quicker. Unfortunately, the dogs are starting to feel the stress of being ignored and last night were both trying to climb into my lap while I was knitting. 150 pounds of dog makes knitting even more difficult, let me tell you.

I really like the yarn I chose for my socks, I'm not sure that I like the pattern though. If I knit fast enough, I may frog it and pick the other pattern.

Watching the debate while I knit and blog, sure am glad that I don't have to vote for any of the people who are on the screen right now.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bellatrix day three

I must be getting better. Today I was able to finish two sets of the pattern (16 rows) in about an hour, while watching the Iowa caucus results on MSNBC. Tomorrow I'll take a picture of my progress.

I still can't get the picture taking right and I don't know why. Probably it's the amount of light or lack of light that makes the pictures not very clear, but that doesn't excuse the fact that they are so far off center when I download them to Flickr. Oh well, at least I'm getting some pictures and my progress logged.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bellatrix day two

Today I knit for over two hours and completed 16 rows or two sets of the repeat. I sure hope I can finish this pair in a month, although I'm not taking any even money bets. Knitting is hard, well at least for me it takes my complete concentration.

Maybe I can blame the lack of concentration on my cold and soon I'll be cold free and knitting a pair of socks a day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Bellatrix day one

I knit for four hours today and I only have 840 stitches complete. I am, however, an expert at frogging. Since I haven't knit anything since 1970, I had no idea what "frog" was until about a month ago, now I am an expert. I'm also getting exceedingly proficient at casting on. This is going to be a very short or a very long month.

My goal is to knit for an hour everyday this month in order to make one pair of socks each month this year. I may have to reconsider that hour and turn it into two or even three.