Pairs of socks knitted in 2014

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Shirley the Platypus!

I haven't been posting many pictures of the Mimi lately. That's because she spends most days running around in only her underpants. While we don't mind as long as she follows some basic ground rules (if someone comes over you must put on clothing, you must wear clothes to leave the house, etc.) it has cut down on the number of pictures we've taken of her.

She dressed up as Perry the Platypus for Halloween. (I crocheted the hat, and the rest is a matching teal sweatsuit.)

Now, not only is that costume the only outfit she's willing to wear, but she's claimed Perry as her imaginary friend. They're currently playing hide and seek in the living room. ( I drew the line when she claimed that Perry wanted chocolate for lunch.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cheaper than Xanax

I've started up a new/old hobby--counted cross stitch. When I was a child, family members would give me cross stitch kits for every birthday, Christmas, etc. I really enjoyed cross stitch, but since I had serious problems with the whole "counted" part of it, none of my projects turned out well. 

Beguiled by the prospect of amazing projects like this one, I've taken it up again. (I've never felt the need for zebra skin rug before, but I do now!) So far I'm working on a very simple geometric rug for a dollhouse and it's turning out well.

If my hubris led me to overestimate my needlepoint skills and I fail at it, it'll be okay. I may spend 30 hours working on something which is best used to wrap up catnip and make a very decorative cat toy. It's a soothing, relaxing craft (profanity? How dare you blankety blank blank suggest that I should moderate my language?!) and way cheaper than most of my meds.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Feelin' like a redneck

When we were in SF, one of the guys at church asked me "What is your ethnicity?"
And I relplied that while there's some Germans, Poles, and Native Americans in my family history, "I'd have to describe my cultural group as "redneck."" And for the most part, that's still very true.

Brian is pastoring again, and he's very happy about it. It's obvious that he's really missed having a place to serve. He's now associate pastor at an area church. (And we didn't even have to move. Yippeee!)

Our new church has a large Native American population. About half the church either is affiliated with a tribe, or related to/married to tribal members. And just like in Nome and San Francisco, I have to accept that there's a lot of things I just won't understand because this isn't my culture. But sometimes it gets kind of perplexing...

One Sunday as I was dealing with the very social Mimi's desire to run all over the church and "talk to my people, Mama!" I heard a voice behind me.

"Hellooo, my Native American friend!" It was the woman who was greeting people at the door, who identifies herself as Chocktaw and Cherokee.
I looked in the direction she was facing and saw that she was talking to the chairwoman of the Grand Ronde Tribal Council! Apparently this is a running gag between the two of them.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fun with telemarketers

We get calls from telemarketers all the time. When it's a recorded message "robo-call" we hang up immediately, but if the company cares enough to hire real people to solicit our money, then we can care enough to use a little creativity as we tell them no. Sometims our excuses are even true.

"Hi, we're collecting funds for the Oregon Special Olympics--"
"We get all kinds of weird phone calls that are phishing scams, so I'm sure you can understand if I'm a bit skeptical. There's a gal at my work who is really a coach for a Special Olympics basketball team, so I'm just going to give her money.""But the Oregon Special Olympics--"
"Is a great organization. But because I'm not sure if you actually will give them money, I'm going to give ten bucks to Chrissy at work, because she will." [click]

"Hi, this is Your Current Bank, and--"
"Really? It's eight o'clock at night here. You've always been nine-to-five people. I had no idea you'd extended your hours."
"We wanted to make sure you knew about our life insurance division..."
"Curent Insurance Company has been good to us, and we really like them. They always send us those little pocket appointment  books every Christmas."
"We have life insurance, and if you sign up now the first month's premium is free! It's a limited time offer..."
"You called in the middle of my daughter's bedtime routine, so my time is limited too." [click]

"Hello, this is the Oregon State Police Chief's Association, and we're raising money for our campaign against methamphetamine."
"Meth?! That's where all my business comes from!"
"Um, okay...We're trying to make neighborhoods safer and limit the damage meth is doing to our communities."
Belatedly, the though occurs to me that this one may actually be legitimate. "You actually are calling from the Police Chief's Association?"
"Yes, and can we count on your support this year?
"I'm sure you have promotional material to mail us. Send it to us and we'll think about it."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quote of the week

"Unfortunately the Ativan I took to deal with my anxiety about going to meetings has made me sleepy during this meeting and that makes me anxious," I overheard one of my co-workers say at the weekly staff meeting yesterday.

And that pretty much sums up my experiences with antidepressants. The trick seems to be finding a medication whose side effects don't mess up my life worse than the depression does.

However, I am back to knitting. I've been working on several pairs of socks based on variants of the modular hexagon pattern in the "Think Outside the Sox" book. It's nice to be at least somewhat back to my usual routine.

Friday, April 15, 2011

When I'm in this mood, yarn is just expensive string

I've been having a bit of a funk lately. And when I say "funk" I mean "the blues, but without the catchy music."

One of the bad things about a depressive episode (apart from the appetite and sleep disturbances, the thoughts of guilt and hopelessness, etc.) is that I lose interest in some of my hobbies. I'm still spinning yarn, but I've lost all interest in knitting at the moment. Sure, it looks like fun, but I just can't find the energy to care about it.

It may be a bit before I find the time/energy/motivation to get back to blogging regularly. It may be even longer before I can write anything that I consider clever enough to be worth posting on the blog.

In the mean time, I'm keeping in close contact with my mental health person and doing what I tell my patients to do: keep going to therapy and keep taking your perscriptions, because it works eventually. 

And if it's not working enough and you can't get ahold of your doc/therapist and you're thinking of harming yourself, go to the local ER or call 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK, both numbers of the National Suicide Hotline in the US.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Time for pictures!

The Mimi turned three this month. (Although she seems to have gotten her units of measurement muddled and keeps telling people "I'm three pounds!")

She's also decided that she's a superhero and "borrows" her father's sweatshirt for a costume. "I'm SuperMimi!"
"So what do you do?"
"I'm SuperMimi!" Saving the world from evil one stuffed animal tea party at a time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

You know you're from a small town when...

One of my friends from St. John is heavily pregnant. She asked for suggestions on how to trigger labor. Another friend had this suggestion : "When my mom was pregnant with me the men in at the St. John Hardware told her to try a big chew of Copenhagan, mow the lawn, and if all else fails tell my dad to start harvest. I was born on the first day of harvest that year. Mom swears she never tried the chew though."

Monday, February 7, 2011

How I spent my weekend

On Saturday, Cat, the Mimi and I went to the spin-in in Newport. In spite of trying on (and discarding) four different outfits that morning, the Mimi still managed to be clad in nothing other than training pants when Cat arrived so we could car-pool. (And then decided to wear the first outfit of the day.)
The Mimi was amazingly well-behaved for the spin-in. She held my hand (and hissed "no touching, Mama!" every time I visited a fiber booth) and was polite to people. My father-in-law was kind enough to keep an eye on her for an hour or so, letting me sit and spin with people. When I told him I didn't want him to think I was dumping the kid on him so I could goof off, he said, "No, you're going to sit and spin. In our family, that's perfectly fine work." Love the in-laws!
The best part was seeing the expression on his face when someone asked the Mimi "what are you going to do after lunch?" and she said "gonna take over the world!"
I made out like a bandit, if I do say so myself. I picked up a pound of miscelaneous longwool for ten bucks, got some silk hankies (I felt inspired by the Yarn Harlot and I've already dyed them up) and even found some silk/camel fiber at an insanely good price. I'm out of mad money until March, but find it hard to care.
Because the Mimi is prone to crawling in my lap while I'm using the drop spindle and saying "me help make yarn?" and "helping" me spin, she now has a very pink starter spindle and some equally pink wool roving that's for her. Baby's first fiber stash!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Anxiety disorder du jour

I've been knitting lots of hats lately. I've no idea where the camera is, and no motivation to take pictures of them, but at last count I have completed three hats in as many weeks. I have six more in progress at varying stages of completion.
While I still despise knitting scarves, I'm finding that hats are a good way of using up all my sample skeins and remnant balls of handspun yarn that I keep for sentimental value. Not only are stripes colorful and fashionable on hats, but my CDO (like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order, like they are supposed to be) doesn't kick in quite so bad when I'm knitting hats.
As I see it, a scarf should be fashionable, or warm, or soft, or at least pleasant-looking enough that you're not ashamed to take it out in public. All a hat needs to do is fit on someone's head. The fact that there's only a half row of fuzzy pink yarn on a hat project seems an appropriate way to use the yarn and add color--but if it were on a scarf I'd feel the need to rip it out if I didn't have enough yarn to repeat the stripe at the other end for "symmetry."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Found a new pet project

I try to keep my political leanings to myself on this blog. Sometimes I even succeed. But I feel no such qualms when it comes to sex education and STD prevention. Sharing knowledge about contraception and how to avoid preventable diseases ranks right up there with "Women are people!" on my list of things I want to share with the world. ("Jesus loves you!" is first on the list, but I think that working on the other two as well helps get across the message that Jesus cares about your life as well as your soul.)

Ever since I dealt with an ill-informed minister who declared (in 2005, mind you)  "HIV is God's judgement against homosexuality," I've felt extremely passionate about HIV prevention. Especially in over-looked populations, like older women. I realize that no one wants to talk to Nanna about her sex life now that she's dating again, but it's a lot better to have an embarassing conversation with her now than to later look back regretfully and wish you had. If you care enough to remind her to get a flu shot, you should be willing to mention that there's a lot of nasty STIs out there and how to prevent them. 

And then I found this site, which seems to link this quite handily with my yarn obsession. Knit A Condom Amulet!  What a wonderful way to raise awareness of this problem. (and use up scrap yarn.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And the antonym of "pot-head" is...

Holidays always bring out the crazy in everyone. There's something about lots of people in a small house, large amounts of fattening food, and uptight Martha Stewart wannabes who "just want everything to be perfect"--combined with strictures against making any offensive political or religious statements (At Christmas 2008 I wound up in the doghouse for suggesting that Jesus would come back whenever Jesus felt like it, regardless of who got elected president.) and reminders not to bring up awkward family politics that just brings out the collective squirrelyness (not dysfunction, because that implies that you have a plan, and we're way too disorganized for that) that lurks just beneath the surface of even the most WASPy middle-American suburban family.

And since extended holiday dinners with relatives, non-relatives, and screaming children always make me (a lifelong teetotaler) want to pick up binge drinking as a new hobby, I've spent the last two weeks asking patients (most of whom are either in recovery, or avoiding alcohol as part of their probation) very specific questions on what they're planning to do to stay sober over the holidays.

And the responses have been very illuminating. They've ranged from "go to extra meetings," to "my wife won't let me buy beer, and it's too far to walk to the store."

One slightly offended gentleman told me, "I don't have a problem with alcohol."

"That's good sir, but your parole officer does have a problem with you using it. So what are you going to do to keep him happy this holiday?"

"I'm spending Christmas with my in-laws, and they're the most uptight stone-cold sober-heads you're going to find. I couldn't drink even if I wanted to!"