Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More of the same

Yup, fall is slipping away like sands through the hourglass these are the days of our lives. This time of year in the valley is a reward for living in Satan's armpit through the summer. Windows are open all day long, and the songbirds heading south are happy little critters as the sun rises in the morning. Kittens are happy and chirpy and snuggly (and I don't want to end them now that I have rigged up a way to keep them from destroying the carpet under the door of the bedroom, begging to come in and snuggle and bite our ears at 4am). Knitting happens not much at night, but nearly daily on the patio of a restaurant at lunch. I'm making decent progress on my shawl, in spite of the number of times I like to forget YOs or accidentally knit the flower-stitches in the wrong order. (Blocking for this puppy will be super-duper involved in some of those spots - I didn't realize why it looked like that until about the 8th repeat, so I'll need to fix those stitches individually. Oy.) Anyway, it still looks like boiled ass, as lace is wont to do, but I'm still mostly enjoying it (don't ask me about the purlback rows after a row of flower stitches - I might be a little tetchy.) So, no pictures. Go look here, and imagine it slightly larger, but still mottled and lumpy.
The rest of the time is spent trying to beat the house into submission, and we're making progress without killing ourselves. I realized a little while ago that much of my frustration came from not having places for everything like I did in the Tucson house, but I should suck it up because I had TEN YEARS in that house to find places to stash things. We're still rearranging in this place. (I'll probably get it just the way I like it, the week before we find a bigger place and move there.) Last weekend we had a day of errands and cleaning and general suckage with parents and children having bad attitudes, and Sunday morning we woke to beautiful skies and pancakes for breakfast, and a fantastic bike ride where Bug only whined a couple of times about being tired (allowable, as I figure we exceeded five miles on that trip). There was wrestling and playing (T and Bug), playing alone in the play kitchen (Smacky), and knitting (me), there was a barbecue with my family, there was the best day we've had in a long time. Ahhhh, fall.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Smacky-speak, take 2

mooany farm animal that is a cow, could be a cow, or stood next to a cow once
cah!Mommymommymommymommycah!oh look, Mother, a vehicle
arpla!Mommymommymommymommyarpla!oh look, Mother, an airplane
no nono no
uh-ohwith the shrug
ni-nibed time
poo?poo?poo?poo?I have desecrated my diaper and you need to take care of it at this time or I will drive you mad with my relentless monosyllabic repetition. (That's totally what it means.)

Funny things Bug still says:

That taxi is lello.
We're driving on the threeway.
Daddy Rick was from Meh-ontana.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christmas is in the bag

I am totally cruising on my shawl, have plenty of time to finish it and the other (already well in progress) projects I want to gift - the scarf, the hat, the slippers... I have a plan for baking cookies and freezing them to frost later. I have the Flylady to organize my Thanksgiving dinner, and I sit in my car at lunch with the windows open, feeling the beautiful soft breezes and knitting away.

I'm totally going to get there this Christmas.


Oh. Damn mail.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feels so good...

To be knitting lace again...

First, though, thanks for all the kudos for doing the run. I feel pretty good about the whole thing, and will likely keep it up (though I have given some thought to switching out running for biking). It's easy to think about in the light of day, but my resolve wavers when the alarm goes off at 4:45am...

Anyway, as I suspected, I hate the way this yarn is knitting up.


1014101254 1014101254a

(Kindly ignore the boiled-ass look of the unblocked lace and commiserate with me on the boiled-ass look of the variegation.)

It's lovely and soft and I think it will make a beautiful finished product, but I deeply dislike variegated lace, or really, variegated knitting of any type, with the exception of socks. Mottled, shaded yarns based on one hue? (what do we call those? kettle-dyed?) Lemme at 'em. This stuff? Not so much. (Before you ask, the store I visited had a limited selection, due to a recent move. The solid colors they did have were either not the recipient's favorite colors, or were superwash. I knew I could work with the greens in this yarn to come up with a nicely shaded, medium-to-dark cedar green with a light over-dye.) Lovely Echo Flowers (from here out, "Effie") will be having a bath in the dyepot when I've finished knitting her. The knitting of this shawl is interesting, too - the '2 into 9' and '3 into 9' stitches, which sound vaguely Borg-like, make these cute little flower-like spots throughout (though they are a monster pain to work), and I can hardly wait to get to the edging. (I'll have to, I have only 4 or 5 of 13 repeats of the flowers done.)

Truth be told, I still have Madli on the go, and while I still love that pattern, I won't likely be getting back to it any time soon. It requires the presence of a tray of beads, and with four little boys in the house (the happy pitter-patter of 12 little feet, as T puts it) I don't see myself working on it in the near future. I have procured a water bottle for the training of the four-leggeds, though, so maybe that will help. (I wonder if the water bottle can be used to train the two-leggeds?)(Update since I started this post - nope. They giggle when you spray them, then squint their eyes and grin and wait for the next spritz.)

Two Sundays ago, the four of us did the AIDS walk in Phoenix, and afterwards, all four of us, feeling under the weather, came home and napped for hours. It was indulgent and luxurious. I woke up to T unpacking boxes, and the boys bright eyed and rosy-cheeked (which later turned out to be fever), and we all had a lovely, restful evening. The rest of the time, though, we feel like we're on a hamster wheel. So much to be done, so little time and/or energy. The quickening pace of the fall... I've written about it before. I think the people who feel it still feel the urgency of the harvesting in their blood. The need to get it all done, all the food put up, all the wood chopped, all the ground turned, all the everything, before the dormancy of winter sets in. School starting, holidays bearing down. Daylight fading. No matter that I don't farm, that here in Phoenix the dormancy happens in the summertime, that I've never needed to put up food or chop wood or turn the fields... I still feel the urgency of the impending winter. I have a few limited projects I want to get going this month, plus the general care and feeding of home, children, partner, pets. I'm trying to attack my to-do list like I do my running: no matter how slowly I go, I'm making progress if I just don't stop. Unlike my pioneering forebears, no one will starve or freeze if I don't get it all done. (For which I am profoundly grateful - I am FAR too lazy to be a pioneer of anything but cookie-consumption.)(The flaw in this plan is that we dirty things and untidy things far more quickly than T and I can clean and tidy them again. Small bursts of desecration are apparently more efficient than small bursts of cleaning and tidying.)

This weekend is, of course, packed full of delightful engagements that will see us getting further behind in the home maintenance department. Sunday night will hit, and I will say, where the hell have all Smacky's socks gone, and why doesn't anyone have clean underwear? (The answer: no one knows. he takes them off at daycare, hides them or throws them away, and puts his shoes back on. and also, dunno, should prolly buy us some more.) But it will all be totally worth it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bouncy, healthy ta-tas, and some ass-kicking.

Cuz today, I ran my first 5k race.


Before. (Feeling like a poser.)(Note: I normally do not wear lipstick to run, but it was the only Burt's Beeswax I could find in my purse.)




After. (Feeling like a million bucks, and also dead.)

Many thanks to T (and all YOU, and particularly LeeAnn) for the support, and also for catching Mr. Pecs in that last pic. More later - today, I am glorying in accomplishment. And limping.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

October. Huh.

I'm not sure how it got to be October. I suspect I was around for June, July, August and September, but it all went so fast I'm not sure I can remember details. We got all of T's stuff moved over, and a very small portion of it put away. We need bookshelves galore, and that requires a trip to Ikea, which requires steeling myself in the most profound way. (Last time I was there I was 8 months pregnant with Bug, and told Rick that if he didn't find me an exit NOW, I was going out the second-story plate glass window. He didn't find one, but I did. And no one had to die, which was the miracle of that story.)
Anyway, it's October. (For those of you in the cooler climes, you should know that I just signed Bug up for his second set of swim lessons. The pool's heated, but it's outdoor.) That means I have actually started thinking about Christmas presents. (I know, but I'm not going to stop using that language just because some of you have delicate eyes.) I have picked out a pattern for the shawl and the scarf, and have purchased shawl yarn. Behold:


Alpaca with a Twist, romantically named Color 9005 (and it's far less spruce and more cedar than my picture shows), for the Echo Flower Shawl that I loved after I saw Cheryl's.

The cats are settling in just fine.


Dream and Icicle, or as I like to call them, Trouble and The Other One.

Since I finished the little snowman last week (it looks the same as last post, only it's actually officially done fer reals now) I got out another WIP, the Palindrome scarf for Norma's Orphans.


And for today's moment of cuteness, T just put his fedora on Bug and took him in to the bathroom to look in the mirror. T said, do you look cute or super cute? Bug said I look SUPER cute!