Monday, August 31, 2009

At odds with the day...

DH and I keep finding odd moments in our day where the absence of Sugar is a gaping, screaming hole. When we moved in to this house last fall, I noticed the sound of paws on berber, as if they were puppy paws, and it always made me smile. It's so quiet now. DH sat finishing a spoonful of peanut butter, and had just a smidge left on the spoon. He stared at it, and knew that no dog would clean the spoon. It's so still.

She was a good girl with a big personality. I stare at the dog-nose-level smudge on the back door's window, and realize I need to clean it. It occured to me more than once last night that if anything bumps that window now, I would probably die of fright.

I think about her face during the last days, where my dog was no longer herself, where she stopped responding to pets and chatter, and I have no doubt it was the right time. I think it was pain that I saw in her face, DH thinks it was dementia, and at the end of it all, it doesn't matter.

I looked on Craigslist and at the Texas Boxer Rescue pages already. Nothing serious, just browsing. I suck at being dogless. I bought Astro when I was in the depths of despair during my divorce, and that was 20 years ago this month. It was the best money I ever spent. I've owned a dog every day since then. Suddenly, there's no dog in my house.

When DH came back from the vet's, he 'scolded' me. "No strays, no dragging home a puppy!" Which is a big freaking joke, because he brought Sug home instead of my new dishwasher 13 years ago. "Best damned dishwasher you ever had!" Yeah, yeah. So I told him "Look, either a puppy, or you need to let me plan a trip. Your choice."

I started looking at air fares last night. We haven't traveled together since our good neighbors watched the dogs, and Lady Eve's dad has been dead two years. DH fussed "I want this if we are going to go..." He was surprised that I found the vacation of his dreams and a price we can afford, if we start now. He's been tasked to calculate his days off, and to find out how many SkyMiles he has. Hopefully, this Christmas will see suitcases and passports. And we'll get a dog after that.

I've suffered a creative lull lately. Enid found this clip, and I think it presents some interesting concepts. I will probably start working upstairs more often, because I won't notice the dog is missing.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

There will be no dog in my house tonight.

She'll be in the back yard, perpetually warming her belly and rolling in the grass.

I am certain that we grieve for our pets because they make us better people. They just want to be by our sides, trusting that we'll pat the space on the couch and invite them for a snuggle. There's nothing like a dog rejoicing "Oh, you came HOME!" that makes us glad of our homes. And only a dog can convince you that your latest culinary disaster is indeed edible. They don't hold grudges. They don't insult. They don't bitch....much. I have learned to read subtext from my dog, learned that happiness is 60 pounds curled in your lap, and learned that compassion is not selfish. Compassion sees pain and befuddlement, and recognizes that joints are screaming.

My dog taught me a lot. I hope I lived up to her expectations.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I've been working

on knitting which must not be named. Fortunately, I like everything about the project I have.

I've been watching the Little League World Series. It's sooo fun watching the kids!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Taking a stab at it-

I rewarped the loom, using 10/2 cotton and Colinette Skye scraps. The Skye is aran weight, and I can't get it thru all the holes in the heddle, only the slots between.

As it turns out, THAT gives it a couched appearance. I got out the pick-up stick, and played with that a little, so now you can actually tell that the Skye has rich, variegated colors. I am using Elann Alpaca; for some reason, I had a lone ball of Old Rose.

I am learning that crisp selvedges happen when you beat the fabric evenly.

Friday, August 21, 2009

So how 'bout them Nazis, eh?

I was doing my blog rounds today, and Cindy posted a link to a Mudflats essay. It's a reaction to Barney Franks and the Nazi comment at a town hall meeting. It's quite a good essay; I lost all patience reading some of the responses.

This mudflinging that started in the last administration is picking up steam. I think that a lot of it is manufactured, so we'll screech at each other in the streets while others pick our pockets. Makes for great headlines, but it doesn't get a thing done.

Because ONE small group compared Obama to Hitler, it does not mean that everyone who thinks conservatively does. That's ridiculous.

I've been to Dachau, I've looked at the ovens. And shivered.

There are no pictures of my mother before the age of eight. They burned when their home was firebombed. My grandfather was a shoemaker, not someone at Yamamoto's side.

My mother starved in wartime Japan, where one squash fed 8 people-the men got the vegetable, the women got the broth, and to her dying day, my mother was likely to stand in front of the refrigerator, gorging herself on jam because some switch in her body had flipped in that time, but never turned itself back. She could clean out a 32 ounce jar of jam in an afternoon, just her and a spoon. So I understand the ravages of wartime on a soul, and have seen it ripple out to ensuing generations.

I'm not flinging mud, or calling this administration anything.

We obviously NEED some healthcare reform. Having seen how one stimulus package was rammed thru legislation, a hurry-up bill does not interest me.

I don't trust our lovely government reps these days. When I went on my road trip a few weeks ago, I saw a lot of dealerships in a lot of small towns struggling. The Kia dealers are excited as hell because of Cash for Clunkers, but Detroit is still struggling, and so are all the loyal "made in USA" buyers. I feel like Washington is putting bandaid after bandaid on mosquito bites, while ignoring the rusty nail sticking out of their foot. The very fact that Cash for Clunkers and the auto bailouts weren't linked, when it would be a cost savings and a SMART move for everyone concerned, has me really worried. By golly, we just spent a lot of money stimulating Honda, Toyota and Kia. Whose dealerships DID we subsidize??

Did you ever watch a smart person who can't multi-task? They are fixing one part of the perceived problem, putting brick after brick into place, never looking at how the problem is morphing, changing, responding, and never really checking the result. They have worked really hard-but only fixed the problem on the surface, while a big mess festers elsewhere. Here's what I mean:

As a sound bite "sending millions to our disabled veterans" sounds great, doesn't it?

I got a stimulus payment last month because I am a disabled veteran. I don't know why I got it. I thought it was odd; unless you are of the group of people who are really stretching from nickel to nickel, I think a lot of folks would just throw 200.00 in the bank. Times have been tight-it makes sense to hold onto extra cash. So it's gonna start my grandson's college fund, not stimulate anything. That was a lot of money that went to a lot of checking accounts, but I don't think it helped the neediest enough, and those who had enough might not have done enough with it.

They didn't sight the target when they crafted that plan. I'd have done without easily, and saved my grandson's money up on my own. Instead, that money is a debt we owe now.

We need a smart, well thought-out healthcare plan, not the one we see because we are shopping at eye-level.

Trying to find balance

It's one of those odd, changeling times, where something rumbles past our days. The wheels spin frantically in the dirt, flinging up bits of mud and rock onto our collective hems and doorsteps, and some of us trip on holes left in the road, and fall on the ground whimpering or sobbing. The rest of us shuffle and duck, trying to avoid hitting each other. Some of us only realize it when we step out onto our doorsteps with a broom, wondering "Where'd all this crap come from?"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Loomer madness

The weaver's lesson for the week?  Choose a strong thread for the warp.  Learn from my mistake.

I recieved a loom on Tuesday.  Less than 30.00 on ebay for a 20" rigid heddle loom, MIB.  Yay me!  The instructions are stilted and confusing, German translated to English.  (That totally explains WHY it's MIB).  I've put a call out for Rigid Heddle Weaving at my library, but it's not in yet.  I want to set it up and go!  I talk to Daryl, and look at Youtube videos, but I am resolute.

Later, I gave in to temptation, and put the warp threads on.  I have some free laceweight alpaca and some Colinette scraps, so I use them. I thought it would be fun to stripe it (you know I can't ever ever do things plain).  The alpaca catches on itself and tangles, annoying the crap out of me.  I keep coming upon weird bits of alpaca, but it doesn't dawn on me.

Warped and ready to go.  It's odd; I have a place in the set up where the tension sags.  I investigate, and discover that the alpaca just isn't strong enough to handle the stress, and is tearing.

I am back to thread one!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

That funny clicking noise that you heard was my brain engaging-

Several years ago, I sat at a sorority function, and chatted with someone about her scarf-poncho "thing".  She liked it because it was perfect to dress up tops and fill in necklines after her bout with breast cancer.  I laughingly promised to make her a new one if I ever drew her as my secret sister.

She found cancer again last month, in the other side.  

Oh.  I kept thinking, "I should call" but in truth, I don't know what to say.  Yesterday, I noticed that her birthday is at the end of the month.  And I found THESE from the novelty scarf years that I made to have on hand as gifts.  And a spare ball of Zen ribbon (the pink and brown, which is still on the needles).  

And she's getting them, even if she's NOT my secret sister.  

Danged if I couldn't come up with a stinking stitch pattern for the ribbon, though!  

I am happy with what I have now.  I also have "knitting which must not be named" and the stab yourself in the finger Katrina top on the needles.  And I am waiting for my new used loom to come in the mail.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

More stash busting?

Look what I bought!  

Or at least, something very much like it.

A few weeks ago, I rumbled through the stash, and decided that I had several things that were serious mail order disappointments.  Look at this-really pretty, but impossible to use unless I get a carrier yarn.  Or possibly weave it.  Stupid loopy rayon boucle.

Then I got a flyer from Woodland Woolworks, and I've had loom fever ever since.  

I've been intrigued by the possiblity of a large triangle shawl loom and am really interested in a large square (could you imagine looming baby blankets??) but for right now, the little one will do.  This one was priced just right.  And it looks like there's at least a little on-line help.

I wonder if I will like it?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Locked and loaded

Bombs away!!!!