Pairs of socks knitted in 2014

  • Roxanne's socks
  • Brian's Cascade socks
  • Shirley's lacy socks
  • striped Meredith socks
  • striped stranded #1

Monday, August 31, 2009

Every mother is a daughter...

There are as many theories on raising toddlers as there are parents, but in our house we have four inviolate house rules: No hitting, no kicking, don't exceed the "polite society volume level," and don't walk on the couch! Ignoring any one of these results in "Time Out," when we send the Mimi to her room until she stops screaming.

I called Mom today. And as we were having a lovely conversation, the Mimi began her regularly-scheduled conquest of the couch. "SIT!" I yelled at Shirley, invoking the Voice. She promptly sat, then gave me her best "I was merely investigating the compressability of the couch cushion-I can't believe you would question my baby honor by implying that anything untoward was occurring" innocent look, followed by blowing kisses. (Her new way of appologizing for minor infractions.)

Then, of course, I had to explain to Mom what was going on. "I love her, but sometimes I don't understand her in the slightest."

She chuckled. "Sounds like another little girl I know. Just wait until the teenage years!"

It's too bad that when we visited Grandma she was feeling too poorly to tell stories from when Mom was a toddler!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The Mimi woke up at 0615, threw a fit for twenty minutes when I tried to change her out of her soaked outfit, and is now reading quietly to herself on the couch. I love my daughter, but some days I don't understand her in the slightest.

Job-hunting continues. I've pretty much ran out of clinic and outpatient jobs to apply to (I'm kind of done with in-hospital nursing for now) but I realized it's been four years since I had anything to do with long-term care nursing and health care has no doubt changed since then. I've been trying to do "informational interviews" with the HR people from various facilities in the area (like the unemployment office suggested) but so far no one has returned my phone calls.

So I've also been asking nurses I know if they know any nurses who work in long-term care I could call to get a better idea of what their work day is like. And asking friends and neighbors what their experience has been with area facilities and "is there anywhere you wouldn't want to send a loved one to?" (Because if there's a place like that, they probably treat the staff just as bad as the patients.)

So far, I've heard everything from "Elderhome Gardens is great--I spent a few weeks there after my hip surgery" to "Ye Olde Nursing Home is nice, but the staff there always seems rushed," to "Casa de Bluehaired Ladies should be burned to the ground, and all the ashes should be swept up and dropped into an active volcano!" I bet there's a story with the last one, but I'm too scared to ask. I'm definitely not wanting to work there.

Friday, August 21, 2009

In praise of modern dentistry

I had my wisdom teeth out on Wednesday. Since they've been troubling me for the last four years, I figured I might as well get them yanked while we still have insurance.

And now that the puking has stopped, I'm a much happier person. (Trying to get the part of my brain that was all "Oh my GAWD--there's lots of blood in your vomit! This is BAD! BAD! BAAAAAD!!!" to stop hyperventilating and talk to the part that was saying "No sh*t there's blood in your vomit--accidentally swallowing the blood your mouth incisions are oozing is what's making you vomit! Drink lots of fluids and you'll be fine." was much harder than you'd expect.) I am getting bored with eating soft foods, but not stupid enough to try the Doritos corn chips I'm craving.

One thing I didn't expect is that the swelling makes it hard to project a proper "Mom Voice" (you know the one I mean) when yelling at Shirley for doing dangerous things. And the narcotics make it really hard to sustain "The Look" for longer than a half second. "Don't shtand on the coutsch!" accompanied by a silly grin just doesn't have the desired effect.

However, I have learned from my previous experiences with narcotics that this is not the week to begin new craft projects. Why?

As we were packing up the San Francisco house, I found this random piece of crochet:
Not only does it appear to be made out of my odds and ends of sock yarn, but I have no memory of making it. The best we could conjecture was that I made it when Shirley was first born and I was on lots of pain killers. (Out of desperation, I wound up adding shoulder straps and a ruffled hem and called it a sweater dress.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Worlds bestest husband!

I've wanted to go to the Sock Summit ever since the Yarn Harlot sent out the inital post about it. Unfortunately, the budget wouldn't allow for that this year. But it was only two bucks a person to get into the Marketplace, where Brian selflessly minded the Mimi while I wandered around in a fiber-haze.

It was total sensory overload! So much to see, so many wonderful yarns and fibers to pat. So many things calling "take me home with you!" Only the knowledge that our budget is very limited kept me from draining the checking account right then and there.

The Mimi likes people. Doesn't matter, who or where, she likes people. Needless to say, she had fun meeting a lot of new people Saturday.

I love batts and "sparklies." There's just something about the smoothness of the various fibers combined with the fact that I'm simple-minded enough to be amused by not knowing which color will come up next that makes them incredibly mesmerizing to spin. Unfortunately, angora fiber gives me a rash--and almost every custom batt I saw contained it in some percentage. And nothing takes the joy out of spinning or knitting something like getting an itchy rash from it. That's why even the most bored and financially insolvent spinner feels no need to spin fiberglass insulation.

So I was incredibly excited to find this superwash/angelina/recycled silk batt from Enchanted Knoll Farm. Sparkly and angora-free! (And when I showed it to Brian at their booth, he said, "Why do you think I was at their booth? I wanted to make sure you noticed it.")

I found that with enough patience, my wheel will do laceweight. I love this fiber, and I'm having so much fun spinning it that I want to get the most possible "mileage" out of it. I bought 8 ouncess, so I'm envisioning a glittery shawl. (Or I could do a laceweight February Lady sweater, but that's been done by so many people at this point that it's become the knitting equivalent of shopping at the Gap. While I'm busy conforming to everyone else's ideas of cute and beautiful, I might as well go plaster my car with Hello Kitty stickers and paint it pink. )

The colors turned out a lot more subtle in the yarn than they are in the batt. Brian was pleasantly surprised by this. After six years of marriage, it's still a mystery to me how two people with such completely different tastes in fashion and color can live together happily most of the time. He loves earthtones, blues, grays, greens. If the color occurs in nature, he likes it. And while it's not as bad as the proverbial "blind showgirl on an acid trip," there's no denying that I prefer the more saturated end of the color spectrum.
Although my attempts to replace my current drive band (which is several yards of doubled, highly twisted sock yarn) with flexible aquarium tubing didn't work, the wheel spins like a dream. It only has one ratio, but is very sturdy. I can transport it in the car to and from Monday morning spinning without having to disassemble it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

pictures that amuse me

For years I've been confused by the Protestant tendency to label churches "First Church of Denomination" even when there's only one church of that denomination in the town. But finally some congregation has gotten honest! This is the Second Baptist Church of Cheyenne.

Wyoming was the first state in the country to allow women to vote. I think their State Seal is much nicer than Washington's. (Washington's has the picture of George Washington, and not much else.)

Also at the historic Governor's Mansion museum, (the above seal is the carpet in the office) we saw this amazing log cabin quilt. I am in awe of the maker's color sense!

The Western Wyoming Community College has a permanent exhibit of dinosaur fossils!

All through driving through Wyoming, we saw these bilboards for buying fireworks. Aparently you can buy fireworks year round in Wyoming, not just for Independence Day.
On our return journey through Nampa, we discovered that in the three years since we'd been there, our beloved university had acquired a large water feature and life-size bronze elk statue. (I wanted to get a picture of Shirley riding the elk, but wiser heads prevailed.)

And at long last, we got to introduce the Mimi to the last of the three Shirleys she's named after. Shirley Lee-Warner was like our mom away from home when we were in college.

Photos from Wyoming trip

We drove 2550 miles in six days! I took a lot of pictures, mostly of things that amused me.

Like the Pioneer Post ginormous playground in Pendleton Oregon. Oh, to be six again!

Alpha Omega Services was a Christian book store and gun shop when we lived in Nampa three years ago. It appears that they've decided to go with just the weapons and gunsmithing, although I notice their window also advertises free Bibles. It is Idaho, so I guess they know their market!

These interesting rocks were in Utah. Utah was the land of lousy drivers, scarily clean gas station restrooms, and undrinkable water. The rest stops we were at all had signs from the health department saying the water was "nonpotable" due to the high coliform bacteria count. This might just mean that the health department checks the water more often than in other states, but still is worrisome.

Grandma had surgery Saturday and by all accounts is doing much better. It was good to see her. Shirley kept running up to random nurses and hugging their legs trying to get them to pick her up. Social baby!

We got to see our dear friends the Mwiingas. Nathan and Tasha have grown a lot since we were there in 2006!

I'll post more random pics in the next post, as the photo upload function is annoying me.