Saturday, January 31, 2009

Top 10 Good Things About Having A Broken Wrist

10. Pity. I take it when I can get it.

9. Pain medicine. Vicodin is a beautiful thing.

8. Your other arm gets a big workout. Bye, bye underarm flab!

7. Free food. I've gotten all this wonderful homemade stuff from people. My faves? Homemade veggie soup and homemade mac and cheese.

6. Sleeping as long as you want (see #9).

5. Flowers. I got two beautiful pink and purple arrangements.

4. It sure beats a broken leg.

3. No pretenses. Showering and make-up can take a back burner.

2. No one can blame you for not getting that knitting done in time for their birthday.

And the number 1 Good Thing about having a broken wrist?

1. Visitors. So many wonderful people have stopped by to check on me (in person, by phone, text message, and e-mail) since I got home Thursday, and I've got my mother here over the weekend. I am so grateful to everyone. I'm feeling very blessed by my friends--all of you. Thanks. :-)


Friday, January 30, 2009

Why I Won't Be Knitting Any Time Soon

We had an ice storm Tuesday night. On Wednesday I took Roxie outside to pee and slipped on the ice and...well you can see what happened. Fractured left wrist.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Showcasing My Devotion to the Dog

On Saturday, it was so nice outside that I left the door open most of the day:

Today they've called off work because of ice covering the roads (in Texas, we're not used to this kind of weather and, for some reason I don't fully understand, the sand trucks didn't go out in advance this time), so Rox is reduced to begging to go outside. Here, she shows off her non-bark, her "hup":

(You can see there that she doesn't behave perfectly all the time. She just kept tilting her head like she didn't know what I wanted her to do.)


Friday, January 23, 2009

New Picture Above My Couch

I've been wondering lately why I'm attracted to greens and browns in my living room lately. Then I realized:

they match the dog.

The new picture is a woodcut: "The Dialogue" by P.O. Hodgell. My dad's had it for a while. I took it and have had it rolled up for a few months until I framed it as a birthday gift to myself.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Some Are Having A Harder Time Than Others

Here is a selection of Facebook status updates from my old high school friend "S." You may recall my post a while back regarding nasty comments about a picture I put up of myself in an Obama t-shirt. S wrote "More like NObama" as a comment there.

S's facebook updates started around the same time that I put up that picture of myself. The first was invitational:
S reminds you to go out and vote tomorrow!! McCain/Palin 08.

Then, quickly, his hopes were dashed:
S thinks America cares more about money than character... Matthew 6:24.
S thinks that although he may be my president, I don't have to like it!

And they got increasingly aggressive over the next few months:
S thinks it's funny how Obama is not going to implement his windfall tax on oil companies now. Hahahahaha! So much for change.
S thinks Global Warming is retarded and that anyone who falls for that ridiculous scam is too!!
S thinks Rush Limbaugh is hilarious!

This week, there have been a rapid succession of status changes:
S will not submit to the Obamamania! It's carpe diem Monday!
S thinks pork, pork, pork! It's not a stimulus package it's pork!
S can't believe Obama's releasing terrorists!!! OMG!!

I really want to post a comment, but I can't think of anything polite to say; I can't figure out a way to say anything that he wouldn't just find insulting. But I have been secretly enjoying watching his postings, especially as they grow increasingly frantic and accusatory. It's fun to be on the other side, rejoicing, after so many years of being unhappy. I'm sorry that he hasn't fallen into some spirit of unity though. I think he'd be happier that way. I know the rest of us are.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Embarking on My Second Quarter Century

I was in Houston this weekend, and oh boy, did I have a great time.

Oh yes, this cake tells the truth. (Chocolate chocolate, with strawberries, baked and frosted by my wonderful Rebecca. They were, indeed, the best strawberries EVER, Rebecca!)

Some obligatory face pictures:
Heeere's Rebecca.

And Erin.

And Erin with her cat (or her boyfriend's cat, depending on who you ask...).

The best thing about Erin's cat?

She plays fetch. Oh yes, Riley is a fetching machine (as long as it's that particular ball--a cat must have her particulars, after all). This was endlessly entertaining, watching the cat fetch.

And then there was Margot. Also Erin's (or her boyfriend's? the possession thing can be a bit difficult).

Isn't Margot beautiful? She's a whippet/beagle mix, and she was enchanting. Positively enchanting.

I went to the coolest thing on my birthday night, "Change You Can Dance To," a collection of little bitty Obama celebrations from youtube. There were some I'd seen, and some I hadn't. My favorites? Well, you probably saw Obama Girl, but did you see Obama Girl's Mama? You really should.

And my other favorite? This deserves more than a mere link. This every woman must watch:

We saw all this at the Station Museum, hosting an exhibit on "Iraqi Artists in Exile." Click on that link for installation photos. Very, very cool.

And after that edifying experience, we spent the rest of the weekend in frivolous pursuits: shopping in hip shops, eating massive amounts of good food (I swear we got a piece of cake that was the size of my head), and crafting cupcake pincushions (not finished yet, so photo-less).

There were some other wonderful moments. The UU Minister's sermon was remarkable, totally appropriate for Martin Luther King Day. I saw a lesbian couple sitting in front of me, and one of them crying after the sermon about working together to create a new society of acceptance. It is a powerful thing to find a place where you belong, where you do not fear about being hurt. I sang loudly about justice and freedom, and it was the perfect preparation for Tuesday.

And that is the cap of my joy--coming home last night to a new year of amazing possibilities, and change, and hope. So I begin my 25th year with the words of Obama's speech ringing in my ears:

The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy Birthday...

Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin! Happy Birthday Michelle Obama!

Happy Birthday Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman, Maury Povich, James Earl Jones, and Betty White!

Happy Birthday Muhammed Ali! Happy Birthday Shari Lewis! Happy Birthday, Al Capone!

Happy Birthday Anton Chekhov and Anne Bronte!

OH...and Happy Birthday, ME.

This was 3 years ago on my birthday, but I'll be busy frolicking with friends today (pictures to follow in a later post?). I love this picture. It's my favorite birthday picture--me and the best gift, ever.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gave A Hoot

Oh yes, the Give a Hoot Mittens are done. In time for my sis's birthday. :-)

Please forgive the pictures. I am actually very pleased with them, and they ARE mirror images when on the hands. Bright pink, purple, and electric green. But is hard, so very hard, to take pictures of mittens by yourself, and you know how cables don't lay flat:

Needles: 8 & 9 US; Yarn: YarnBee Mosaic Twist, Color Rum Raisin.

These are darling and I love the pattern. I may make a pair for me. They'd be fabulous out of organic cotton, I think.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One Mitten Down!

Give A Hoot Mitten #1. Hopefully #2 will be finished tomorrow night. These do go very fast, and I'm not above knitting on my lunch hour.

And this is another reason why knitting is sometimes difficult for me.

Apparently, Rox loves sox. She thinks they're comfy, especially if they are still on the needles.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Seven Random

A short list:

1. Bush tugged at my heart a little this morning. I really think, maybe, the man was trying to do what he thought was right. Perhaps. I guess if all of my decisions were on the national stage, I wouldn't face up to much criticism. Maybe this is why I'm not part of the national stage. But it was interesting to hear him commenting about the people who don't like him, and hear him saying that he could see where the republican party had alienated people (he didn't say it exactly like that, but I'm trying for the best here). Also, it was really great that he's planning on sticking with the whole "one president at a time" thing...

2. And on a related note, on NPR: Nikki Giovanni wrote a Song of Celebration in honor of a certain event next Tuesday.

3. I was amazed by National Geographic Channel's "In the Womb" shows about dogs and cats this weekend. Very cool! I learned that cats practice their grooming in the womb, and that the large variety of dog breeds is due, in part, to the way that their nose develops relatively late in the process. So nice, I watched them twice! (And I was knitting and therefore not really concentrating the first time they came on.)

4. I am determined to make these owl mittens by this weekend, in pink yarn, for my sister's birthday. They're very fast, if only I could find the right gauge, and the right yarn (apparently my fingering weight yarn collection is very large, but my worsted weight is not), and the time...

5. This weekend, I learned that Roxie sleeps all day. ALL DAY. I was home with her, and it's all she did. All she wanted to do, apparently. She even groaned at me when I moved my leg under her snoring head. When she visits my parents' house, she can't relax--she's a squirrel/rabbit/cat chasing maniac. But at home, with a giant window looking out on the woods? She sleeps.

6. Speaking of Roxie,I found this cool illustration shop on Etsy. Just look at those dogs! She's got them down. I particularly like the doberdog. That is exactly how Roxie sits.

7. Anna Maria Horner's Drawing Room Fabric makes me want to stay home and perfect how to work that new sewing machine. I particularly like the "Green Sketchbook" pattern (the seventh one, with the bird).

So there you go: Political thoughts, animal thoughts, and crafting thoughts. Have a great Monday!


Friday, January 9, 2009

Repeating the Same Thing Expecting a Different Result

Something bad? I've set the knitting down because I forgot...again...that I cannot, absolutely cannot do anything when I am knitting lace. Especially talk on the phone. I'm an idiot. Now, I can continue to rip back row by row for an hour or so until I find where I lost a stitch (I think I forgot a yarn over somewhere back there) OR I can just start over again from the very beginning (45 minutes?). We'll see. This lace is going to be perfect, damn it.

Something indifferent? Another rejection letter in the mail today.

Something good? I have Gift Certificates from Christmas. That means that this afternoon after work I got to go shopping for free. Now that's a good result. :-)


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Personal Art History (West-TX Style)

Over the years, Mom has framed many things that I've done for her. So here are a few more "farm pictures." It was kind of fun, walking around our little house that Mom redid this year--new windows, floors, drywall, curtains, paint--looking at my personal art "history."

These generic organic shapes from my freshman year in high school are nice to look at in the bathroom.

I did this sketch of my sister and myself a couple of years ago.

This was a Mother's Day gift my senior year in high school.

Another Mother's Day gift--middle school?

And here's one more of Rox on the cold, hard floor at the parental units' house. It's awfully hard to fit a big dog on such a little square of carpet.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ignoring the Obvious

Let's just say you were knitting your first lace project. Let's say that you've knit hundreds of other things, that you know how to accomplish almost all stitches with little error, that you consider yourself, well, "experienced." That you've allowed yourself to teach others this fine art of knitting. Let's just assume all of those things are true.

So you're knitting your first lace. No biggie, right? Nothing different here? You know how to follow a chart. You've done this before.

So you've had to rip out the damned thing about a dozen times already. And all of those were, perhaps, your fault, and not the pattern writer's fault. So you cast on one more time--you tell yourself it's the last time--and you knit through the entire chart twice. You look at the little tangled mess you've made between every single row. You can't figure out why it doesn't look right. You keep knitting. And knitting.

You think, gosh, blocking must really make a difference.

And then, when you've finished THE SECOND REPEAT of the chart, you read the instructions in the box below the chart. They say "work each right side row from right to left; work each wrong side row from left to right." Easy enough. Simple enough. Common, even. Should have been obvious.

But it wasn't obvious to you. Oh no. You've worked all the rows right to left. So you say... well we can't repeat what you say here.

Let's say you do all those things. What does that make you? Does it make you a complete idiot? A loser? That word we couldn't repeat earlier?

Well, excuse me now. *Ahem.* I have to cast on some lace. Again.


And the winner is...

According to, the winner of my Post-Christmas Contest is: Marsha! I'll be getting the package in the mail this week. Congrats!

This was so much fun. I really loved reading everyone's comments, and looking at your pictures of the FOs. I e-mailed each person that I could back. Thanks for leaving your comments. If you haven't looked, you might take a moment to go through the posts.

What wonderful handmade Christmases! Inspiring!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cold and Dark (But Bright Again!)

Last night, I left work and came home to this. No power at all. I only have electricity--no gas--so I had nothing. I called the power company, and they said that the power had already been out for several hours, and would continue to be out for a while. Apparently we had a little ice-on-the-power-line issue.

You up north people can laugh at me for this, since it was probably nearly thirty degrees outside, but I was so cold. (Roxie was, too; she has very short fur.) I put on three layers of socks. I covered myself with a couple of hand-knit prayer shawls. I got into bed. I ate a sandwich and read.

Texas weather is crazy. CRAZY. Last weekend the weather was in the 70s. According to that article, today's high will be close to 60 and by Friday we'll be back to the 70s again. I really don't understand. Don't we get seasons here? I seem to remember seasons--maybe. I've lived here my whole life. Maybe I imagined them. Maybe I've read too many books. But 70 in the winter and 100 in the summer? And a dozen below freezing days? Doesn't this seem a bit odd to you?

And after 8:00, the power did come back on. So I got out of cleaning up for another day.


But you know what? After listing to the news this morning, I am so grateful to live in a country where the power comes right back on, where I can complain about this little outage.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Alone Again

I am home in my messy little apartment (the last two weeks have been a whirlwind!), so I eat bad food, wash dishes, put things away, cuddle with Roxie, and sit down to write.

And I am touched by the words of inventor Nikola Tesla that I hear on NPR this evening: "Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born." (Here's the link for the full quote.)

Good to remember, as I begin this new year, this 2009. I will try to be open to any ideas that are born to me.


P.S. Another rejection letter came today. I am happy about this. I can send that magazine a different story.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year from West Texas!

P.S. I love all the Christmas stories!

I'm continuing Christmas at my step-father and mother's home in West Texas. When I was school-age I'd spend the majority of my year out here. It's nice to have a place that goes back almost as far as you do. Here, my sister and I went to school, but also: sculpted two horses out of dirt that we "rode," actually did ride our bicycles up and down the dirt road, crafted quietly in the house, screamed and ran outside like wild children, watched the cotton bowl up and get harvested, picked five acres of asparagus, dropped okra seeds into little ruts while perched on the back of the tractor, filled buckets with glass and old bailing wire, dug post holes, stretched fences, bottle-fed baby goats, moved adult goats, and learned to drive. And then we drove away.

But sometimes, we come back, and we are happy here. I am happy here, today. I had a lot of little clever things to say (I am always so clever before I actually sit down to blog...), but I think I'd rather just leave with some pictures of the farm. Here's where I've been since New Year's Eve. I've been knitting on the orange sock you'll see, just some monkeys and also on an Elm Row scarf which is lace, so currently just looks like a messy jumble. Also, I brought my new sewing machine and Mom and I have done some cooking. But a lot of our time we've spent behind the house, in the empty cotton field (no cotton this time of year!), walking Roxie and my parents' two beagles (Snoopy and Odie).

Roxie kept Mom company during her nap.

The road in front that Rox isn't allowed to really walk along because she thinks chasing cars is divine.

The Beagleboys.

Orange monkey.

This is how hard the wind was blowing--30 miles per hour today. (And it was 70 degrees, too!)

Our house from the cotton field.