The Autumn Leaves

2016_11_29-01The prevailing winds and the aerodynamics of my porch conspire to ensure that there is always this neat little pile of leaves on my door mat in front of my east-facing door when I look for the mail of a morning.

The oak trees with which the city is salted provide most of our fall color. Most of them are a dull bronze gold that is really kind of ho-hum.  But the two across the street and the one next door are more colorful.

This morning 2016_11_29-04the rising sun played light and shadow across the one next door.  It was windy, and I stood watching through the storm door glass as the colors shifted in the wind and sunlight.

2016_11_29-06In among the piles of brown, russet, and yellow leaves in my flower bed and on the porch are these lovely oxblood red ones.

I am a cusp child, born when Taurus is becoming Gemini, with Mars and Venus in Taurus, and Mercury in Gemini.  In my salad days, I was all Gemini blues, that being my favorite color still.  Now in the early autumn of my life, I find I am shifting toward the Taurean earth tones, the russets, the oxblood reds and old golds, but also the deep forest greens.  Back when I was young and blond, the deep shades overpowered me and I stuck to the midrange tones toward the lighter side of the palette.  Now that my hair is almost completely white, I can wear the deep, dark hues with impunity, the royal purples, plums, turquoises, sapphires, deep reds, rich forest greens, deep rose pink,  but cool shades.  Nothing with “orange” orange or lemon yellow overtones, however.  My palette definitely leans toward the cool blues and greens.

2016_11_29-03I am contemplating a random act of kindness and senseless beauty.  It will involve twisted cables. I hit up my yarn stash and found navy blue yarn and a ball of Wedgewood blue.  They were all fine weight yarn, so I combined four strands together, three navy blues and the Wedgewood blue into one strand.  They were already in balls, so I went to get this big bowl that normally sits on my dining room table.  It’s imported from Tunisia and I’ve had it quite a while.   I put the four balls of yarn into it to wind into a single ball.  Worked quite nicely.   The bowl usually has a cylindrical vase of Chinese blue and white sitting in it, holding three red silk peonies and three golden yellow silk dahlias, 6 being the number of the Northwest.

We’re having a cold snap with night-time lows in the high 20’s F (-2 to -3’s C) and highs in the 50’s F (13-14 C).  It’s supposed to be rainy over the weekend.  With the humidity around 40%, there’s a lot of static electricity.  Rice Krispies weater. Every time I walk across a room, it’s snap! crackle! pop!  The fat(cat)boy has been having periodic fits of sneezing where he’ll sneeze three or four times in a row.  Me, too.  A low pressure front has just gone through. I don’t have to look at a barometer to know the barometric pressure is rising.  I’ve got one built into my face.  If I build up a charge of static electricity while I’m wearing my earbuds, I get this little dolphin squeal noise in the earbuds when it discharges.  If my hair was shorter, I’d look like a dandelion clock when I brush my hair.  It’s funny the first couple of times to see it standing out all over, but it gets old quickly when little hairs cling to your face and tickle.

I need to finish that owl hat so as to free up that US10(6.0 mm) 16-inch circular needle for that thing I’m plotting.  I’m going to try to do that this afternoon. Tonight is knitting group, and on the way there, I’ve got to stop by the health food store for more NAC, and I’ve got to stop by Michael’s for another skein of that Lion Brand Yarn to finish that hat.  Busy. . . Busy. . . .


Almost December

2016_11_28-02I’ve been sitting at my computer most of the day doing one thing and another — almost finishing a hat (thought I could get both a cowl and a hat out of one skein.  Couldn’t.*).  Thinking about a cowl with twisted cables, which will, of course, need a hat to match.  I was working on the hat and came to a place where I needed to do a cable cross and couldn’t find my little wooden cable needle that I love.  Panic.  Dumped the fat(cat)boy onto the floor (he’d been sleeping between my knees), shook out my lap robe, felt around the edges of the chair cushion, moved the chair and looked on the floor. Tore the world up looking for it.  Knew it had to be somewhere around my computer desk.  Then realized I’d stuck it over my ear like a pencil.  Sigh.

2016_11_28-01Then I had to rip out about five rows from the owl hat I should have finished weeks ago because the pattern says you’re supposed to repeat the same line of the pattern for “Rows 16-22” and I subtracted 16 from 22 and got 4 instead of 6. (If God wanted me to do math in my head, She wouldn’t have given us calculators.) (Which is even more embarrassing since I’m the one who wrote the durn pattern in the first place!)  That short little brown stick looking thing on the hat in the picture to the right is the cable needle in question.

In the picture above, you’ll notice that on the left-hand computer monitor is a long thin blue rectangle with a white border around it — that’s Winamp, which I’m using to listen to the Drone Zone channel on Soma FM.  Snuggly warm with a snuggly warm kitty between my knees, listening to music and knitting at the computer.  Pretty much covers all the bases.

Week before last, I got a jury summons.  Now they’ve got it set up so you can report in and fill out the little form on line, which I did, which means I don’t have to get up at ye gods! o’clock tomorrow morning, schlep all the way across town to give them my form and sit there half the day in the central jury pool — where they won’t let you knit** — with about a hundred other people who don’t want to be there either,  hoping I don’t make the first cut. They’re supposed to let me know by phone on 1 December if I’ve been selected as a potential juror for a particular trial.  If I have, then I have to get up at ridiculous o’clock and schlep all the way even farther across town to the court house so the lawyers can decide whether they want me on their jury or not.



*No More Twist!

**No weapons or anything that could conceivably be used as a weapon is allowed in the court.


2016_11_25-02Wednesday I swept the locust beans and leaves off the patio, got my little red wagon and hauled three loads of boxes and trash bags and a waste basket full of used cat litter* off to the dumpster.  I took out that stupid aluminum bar from the sliding door, and cut and fitted the PVC pipe door stopper.  The drawer pulls worked a treat, but the fastening screws are too long — made to accommodate a thick drawer front rather than an thin piece of PVC pipe. 2016_11_25-01I need to see if I can get the same sized screws but with a shorter shank  I hung the hose hanger in the back. I hung the clothes rack, the ironing board hanger, and the broom hanger.  I got one lap robe made, the leopard print one for the livingroom.  I got my table relocated, put the new table cloth on and put the two unneeded dining table chairs in the garage.  I put on the new table cloth and laid some place mats down.

My mom and my BFF came over for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Prater’s did most of the cooking. It took me about 2 hours of actual food prep, including cooking things in the oven and getting things out of cans.

I had to go get my hammer from my toolbox to open the jellied cranberry sauce. Everything used to come in double ended cans — you could open either end with a can opener. But now they’ve started putting some stuff in “bucket” cans that only have one openable end.  Do they put things like soup and vegetables in those kinds of cans?

They use them for the very things that you need to be able to open both ends on the cans to get the contents out in one piece — things like jellied cranberry sauce.

When they came in double ended cans, I’d open one end completely, and then break the seal on the other end, and the release of suction would let the entire contents just slide out in one whole piece.  Now I’m supposed to open the only openable end, slide a knife around the edges between the stuff and the can, and it’s supposed to just slide right out. Guess again.  I have to go get a hammer, turn the can upside down, put the pointed end of a church key over the bottom of the can and whack the church key with a hammer to pierce the metal can and open the other end of the can with the can opener. Then the contents slide right out all in one piece.  Like the man says, “Nothing is ever simple.”

2016_11_24-03Anyway, the dinner was a success.  My BFF brought an excellent chardonnay and my mom brought green bean casserole.  There was a lot of food, and we polished off a good bit of it between the three of us.  We also remembered to pass round the mashed potatoes before we passed round the gravy. . .  Praters makes excellent corn bread dressing — for my money, the only dressing better than theirs is my mom’s, but she doesn’t cook much any more.  Oddly, nobody took pictures of the event.  I took this picture of the table beforehand, but that was it.

2016_11_25-03The fat(cat)boy called it a night early.  While I was putting the furniture back where it goes, and washing the last little bit of dishes that would not fit in the dishwasher, he disappeared mysteriously.  When I went into the bedroom to get ready for bed, I discovered a mysterious lump to the right of my body pillow.  I decided to be a copy cat.

Thought for the day:

“Hearts are really the only thing where one size truly fits all — all shapes, all sizes, all numbers, all will fit.” —  WOL

*I have a waste basket with a lid, lined with a plastic bag into which I dump the contents of the LitterMaid receptacles. When the waste basket gets full, I tie the trash bag shut, haul the waste basket out to the alley and dump the bagged contents into the dumpster.  The odor-“eliminating” cat litter and the lid on the trash can control the odor very effectively.  My mom has a nose like a beagle.  If she can’t smell it, nobody can.

Books Read in 2016

114. Monstress Volume 1: The Awakening, Lieu, Marjorie and Takeda, Sana.
113. The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow, Morris, Jackie
112. Rimrunners, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)
111. Finity’s End, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)
110. Downbelow Station, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)
109. 40,000 In Gehenna, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)
108. Visitor, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
107. Tracker, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
106. Peacemaker, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
105. Protector, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
104. Intruder, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
103. Betrayer, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
102. Deceiver, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
101. Conspirator, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
100. Deliverer, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
99. Pretender, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
98. Destroyer, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
97. Explorer, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
96. Defender, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
95. Precursor, Cherryh, C. J. (Foreigner series, re-reread)
94. Inheritor, C. J. Cherryh (re-…reread)
93. Invader, C. J. Cherryh (re-…reread)
92. Foreigner, C. J. Cherryh (re-…reread)
91. *Once Broken Faith, McGuire, Seanan
90. Old Man’s War, Scalzi, John
89. Book of Enchantments, Wrede, Patricia (re-read)
88. Talking to Dragons, Wrede, Patricia (re-read)
87. Calling on Dragons, Wrede, Patricia (re-read)
86. Searching for Dragons, Wrede, Patricia (re-read)
85. Dealing with Dragons, Wrede, Patricia (re-read)
84. *The Escapement of Blackledge, Kowal, Mary Robinette (Novella)
83. *A Red-Rose Chain, McGuire, Seanan
82. *The Winter Long, McGuire, Seanan (re-read)
81. *Chimes at Midnight, McGuire, Seanan (re-re-read)
80. *Ashes of Honor, McGuire, Seanan (re-re-read)
79. *One Salt Sea, McGuire, Seanan (re-re-read)
78. *Late Eclipses, McGuire, Seanan (re-re-read)
77. *An Artificial Night, McGuire, Seanan (re-re-read)
76. *Forbid The Sea, McGuire, Seanan (novelette)
75. *No Sooner Met, McGuire, Seanan (novellette)
74. *In Sea-Salt Tears, McGuire, Seanan (novellette)
73. *A Local Habitation, McGuire, Seanan (re-re-read)
72. *Rosemary and Rue, McGuire, Seanan (re-re-read)
71. *Sleeping with the Enemy, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve
70. *Heaps of Pearls, Seanan McGuire (novellette)
69. *Full of Briars, McGuire, Seanan (novelette)
68. *Book of Iron, Bear, Elizabeth
67. *Werehunter, Lackey, Mercedes
66. *Dreams of Distant Shores, McKillip, Patricia
65. *The ‘Geisters, Nickle, David
64. *Across the Wall, Nix, Garth
63. *Lirael, Nix, Garth
62. *Sabriel, Nix, Garth
61. *The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, Clarke, Susanna
60. *Against a Brightening Sky, Moyer, Jaime Lee
59. *A Barricade in Hell, Moyer, Jaime Lee
58. *Delia’s Shadow, Moyer, Jaime Lee
57. *The Lady Astronaut of Mars, Kowal, Mary Robinette (novelette)
56. Engine Summer, Crowley, John
55. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Clarke, Susanna
54. Flying in Place, Palwick, Susan
53. *Alliance of Equals, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve
52. The Book of Life, Harkness, Deborah
51. Shadows of Night, Harkness, Deborah
50. A Discovery of Witches, Harkness, Deborah
49. Visitor, Cherryh, C. J.
48. *Dragon Bones, Briggs, Patricia
47. Chanur’s Legacy, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
46. Chanur’s Homecoming, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
45. The Kif Strike Back, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
44. Chanur’s Venture, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
43. Pride of Chanur, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
42. When Falcons Fall, Harris, C. S.
41. A Liaden Univrse Constellation, Vol 3, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (reread)
40. A Liaden Univrse Constellation, Vol 2, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (reread)
39. A Liaden Univrse Constellation, Vol 1, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (reread)
38. Only Forward, Smith, Michael Marshall
37. Tracker, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
36. Peacemaker, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
35. Protector, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
34. Intruder, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
33. Betrayer, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
32. Deceiver, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
31. Conspirator, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
30. Deliverer, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
29. Pretender, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
28. Destroyer, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
27. Explorer, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
26. Defender, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
25. Precursor, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
24. Inheritor, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
23. Invader, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
22. Foreigner, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
21. *Bone Shop, T. A. Pratt (reread)
20. *Midsummer Night, Warrington, Frieda
19. *Crawling Between Heaven and Earth, Hoyt, Sarah D.
18. The Last Palladin, Bryan, Kathleen
17. The Dark Side of the Earth, Bester, Alfred
16. The Man in the Picture, Hill, Susan
15. Hexwood, Jones, Diana Wynn
14. *Imago, Butler, Octavia E.
13. *Adulthood Rites, Butler, Octavia E.
12. *Dawn, Butler, Octavia E.
11. The Sandman: Overture, Gaiman, Neil (graphic novel)
10. The Golden Rose, Bryan, Kathleen
9. *Tower of Thorns, Marillier, Juliet
8. *Three Men in a Boat, Jerome, Jerome K.
7. The Serpent and the Rose, Bryan, Kathleen
6. Who Buries the Dead, Harris, C.S. (reread)
5. Why Kings Confess, Harris, C.S. (reread)
4. What Darkness Brings, Harris, C.S. (reread)
3. When Maidens Mourn, Harris, C.S. (reread)
2. Where Shadows Dance, Harris, C.S. (reread)
1. What Remains of Heaven, Harris, C.S. (reread)

* Ebook

The Tawny Time of Year

We have entered the tawny time of year. The hard freeze we had the other night turned some of the oak trees this gorgeous, intense, oxblood red, and others an equally intense brown ocher. It is the time of year of two of my favorite colors, oxblood red, and russet. A blog friend in Devon publishes pictures of the bracken-covered hills which in summer are a lush green but at this time of year are this wonderful rich russet. It is the time of year when hereabouts, the pastures and lawns are tow-headed with dead grass.   2016_11_22-03Ran across this in my gleanings.  God, I love this woman’s mind — and heart!  Words of wisdom.

They are rerunning the old TV series “Kung Fu” on one of those TV channels that reruns all those old 20th century TV shows from the 1960’s and 1970’s.  I have recorded thirty something episodes of it. I feel a binge watch coming on.

2016_11_23-01I just finished this, using JT’s Cabled Man Cowl pattern and a color of Lion Brand Homespun Yarn called “Wild Fire.”  I’m about to see if you can get both a cowl and a cap out of one skein of yarn.  I like the colors very much, but I am not an orange person.  The ocher yellows, the “old” golds and the more earthtone reds like oxblood, yes, I can wear very well, but not orange.

Yesterday morning at 9 a.m., I had my eye exam.  It seems the VA is now providing all veterans with glasses — one pair a year — not just those with service-connected vision problems.  I can get bifocals free through them, but they’re the kind with lines, which are insufferable.   They will do the no-lines, but you have to pay an  “upgrade” fee to get them. Somebody is supposed to call me today to talk to me about how much I would have to pay to get the no-lines.   Considering what a new pair of glasses costs these days, it would be more cost efficient to just pay for the upgrade.  All of this was done by a pair of optometrists  Of course, they dilated my eyes.  My eyes are apparently very sensitive to whatever it is they use to dilate eyes, and my pupils always get so huge that it’s difficult to tell what color my eyes are.  Just as swell, actually, because they can really get a good look at the inside of my eyes.  I’m told my eyes are very healthy for a person my age.  My cataracts have not noticeably worsened.  I show no signs of diabetes, or other nasty things like macular degeneration. That’s very heartening.

I do have some trouble driving at night when there’s a lot of traffic, but that’s due to the glare of the oncoming headlights, and to the fact that car headlights and tail lights have gotten bigger and brighter over the years, and not due to loss of night vision.  My night vision is still very good.  I never have used much in the way of lighting and I don’t use my ceiling lights all that much, just those in the kitchen.  I just use a single lamp in my bedroom, and a pole lamp in the living room for task lighting.  And I use a floor lamp and my desk lamp in the office.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have many things to do before tomorrow, not the least of which is schlepping a lot of stuff out to the dumpster.  I’ve got broom holders and ironing board holders to hang, and I’m hatching an idea for a kind of hanging hook thing to hold the three layers of curtains out of the way for when I need to take bags of garbage out the sliding glass door.  I figure I’ve got about three trips worth, even using my little red wagon.  Two of those trips would be nothing but boxes.

I need to finish sewing the lap robes and get the sewing table put up, but that won’t happen before tomorrow.  I’m sure I’ll get told off about leaving the stuff set up for weeks and weeks, but I don’t care.  It’s my house.  I may get one lap robe sewn.  I have a lot of weaving in of ends to do on several pieces of knitting, a hat to knit, a shawl to finish and another to knit, and a hat to finish that I think I’m going to have to rip out about four rows of because I messed up and left out a repeat.  Machts nichtsWinter is icumen in, and, as previously noted, I feel a binge-watch coming on, and the shawls are TV knitting* at its finest.  I’ve still got to write that fingerless glove pattern.  Maybe Friday.  Busy, busy, busy. . .


*TV knitting is knitting that requires very little of your attention because the pattern is so simple.  The pattern referenced only requires you to thing about the first two or three stitches at the beginning and ending of a row; all else is garter stitch.

Flying The House

2016_11_18-01For a number of years now, my BFF has referred to my computer setup as “The Cockpit” and it’s a pretty accurate description.  Back when my sole source of income was medical transcription, I spent long periods of time at my computer with my headphones/earbuds on earning a living. Now that I’m more or less retired, I still spend a fair amount of time at the computer doing creative writing, reading blogs, listening to music, writing knitting patterns, playing games, watching videos. I have Winamp and Rhapsody/Napster and 1.5 TB of disk space when all I want is Music! Music! Music!.  I have an extension cord for my headphone jack taped to the underside of my desk with the plugin at the left edge of the desk, which enables the earbud cord to reach my ears without setting up an equipment disaster should I forget to take my earbuds out before I get up from my desk.   I’ve figured out a way to stream my favorite internet radio stations through Winamp.  I can settle in with a lap robe, a pot of tea, recline in my recliner and listen to music while I do whatever else I’m doing at the computer, like blogging.

My BFF refers to these computer sessions as “flying the house” — as though the house were a ship in interstellar space, and I’m in my pilot’s console at my controls off on a flight of fancy . . .

I’ve got a little timer on my desktop I’ve set to go off every 45 minutes, at which time I stop and use my facial steamer.  I’ve been doing modified Ujjayi breathing during the treatments, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.  It seems to be helping.

I set the HVAC on heat a while ago, and tonight we’re having our first hard frost.  At just on 4 a.m. it’s 27 F (-2.77 C).  I have the thermostat set at 68 F (20 C), and when the heat comes on, first the natural gas burner lights with a FWOOMP! and a soft roar.  Then the blower comes on, adding a rumble to the roar, and my rocket engines do a timed burn, pushing me a little faster, a little farther, heading toward warp . . .


Back On The Chain Gang

Stopped by Sutherland’s on the way to knitting group and got ten feet of chain, a pre-cut 5-foot length of PVC pipe (labled “vent stack“), and a couple of el cheapo drawer pulls.  That’ll be $21 and change, thank you very much.  Also got an earworm.  You’ll never guess.

Now, I’ve just got to measure and mark the pipe, saw off the excess (I only need 34 inches of it), then drill holes and attach the drawer pulls to it to enable me to easily get the pipe in and out of the track of the sliding door.  I should be sitting on my bedroom floor threading the chain through the hem of the blackout drapes, but not just now.  At least not until after I’ve finished having a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon in, some 20 minutes too early for elevenses, but we’re not strictly orthodox chez nous.

HPIM1467Went to Sutherland’s before knitting group, and went to Michael’s (buy two, get one free!), Walmart and Market Street after.  Had to get my red wagon out to unload the car.  (See left at the old duplex) Got everything I intended to get except a leaf rake and a particular supplement I can’t get at that hour of the night because the store closes at 6 pm.  I had to go to Market Street to get things Walmart didn’t have — Prater’s cornbread dressing, for one thing.  Thanksgiving is next week.  My mom and I are trading off.  I’m doing Thanksgiving at my house, and she’s doing Christmas at hers.  I’ve invited my BFF, so we’ll be three.  Walmart didn’t have my preferred brand of chai tea, Tazo, but Market Street did, and at two boxes for $3, I naturally bought two.

tumblr_mv6lapw3LE1s4z33jo4_400I really need to finish sewing lap robes.  We’re supposed to have our first hard freeze Friday night — predicted low of 26F (-3.3C)  One thing about using twin sized blankets:  They’re wide enough to keep me covered when a fat(cat)boy decides he needs to sleep between my knees and goes inertial.   The thing is, he’s so heavy he will fold up the footrest on the recliner if I don’t counterbalance him.  He always looks before he leaps, but sometimes my legs are far enough from the edge of the footrest that when he puts his paws up to look, they don’t touch me.  That’s not him in the GIF above, but you get the idea. All over sudden*, splat!  Gets your attention, I can tell you.

I’ll have to get my tools out tomorrow if my broom and mop hanger and ironing board hanger come — and probably my drill, so I might as well hang the hose hanger while I’m at it and get my saw out to cut the PVC pipe and put the drawer pulls on it.  I should change my bed while I’m at it.  Finally put my comforter on.

It occurs to me that those locust beans and leaves that are all over the back yard have been rained on repeatedly and are, no doubt, moldy.  I’m allergic to mold.  Very.  Which may well be part of my sinus problems.  But, I have face masks to use while raking.  It also occurred to me I could spread the leave bags out over the sides of my little red wagon for easy loading.  Cleaning up the back yard would help my allergies. Once I get the rake, I’m all set.  Now where did I put that roundtuit?


*Yes, I know it’s supposed to be “all of a sudden” but I cut my ear teeth on Walt Kelly‘s classic comic “Pogo,” in which he notoriously, and delightfully, played fast and loose with grammar, language, and anything else he could get his mitts on — wherein you could find a mouse and a fangless serpent (both in derby hats) discussing the finer points of teaching an earthworm to be a rattlesnake, and a possum, a turtle, and an owl (who wore glasses) could get sidelined into a discussion of grammar (“. . . the present aloofable tense, for use against elephants and other dry game. . .”) while bemoaning the fact that one of their number, a cigar-smoking alligator, had fallen into the clutches of an octopus.  Oh, and by the way, the turtle’s name was “Churchy La Femme” and the snake, being armless, had a serious drinking problem . . .

E Pluribus Unum*

rainbow-snakeIf we truly believe in inclusivity, that there is room for everyone, regardless of race, creed, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation, now more  than ever is the time to practice what we preach, to walk the walk, to include rather than exclude, to stand up for each other, to protect each other, to help each other.

Let us take this as yet another opportunity to prove to those who see us as “The Enemy” that we are not, in fact, the enemy; that we are not wild-eyed hairy bugbears intent on shredding the fabric of this nation, but that we are ordinary people much the same as they are and that, just like them, we’re doing the best we know how with what life has handed us. We want the same things they want: To be safe and warm, to be free from hunger and fear, to love and be loved, to live our lives in peace.  Now is not the time for rhetoric or marching or sign waving. Now is the time for leading by example. If we stand together, look out for each other and help each other, we will still be standing in four years when we will again have the opportunity to exercise our rights as free and equal citizens to determine how we will be governed.

In the meantime, in the immortal words of Mr. Vonnegut, “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’”


*E pluribus unum

Enough Already

I still haven’t gotten my sinuses to drain, and every time I sneeze it’s like getting batted in the face with a shovel. I’ve ordered a facial steamer. It’ll be here by Thursday or Friday, I hope. I’m sure that part of my constant headache is caffeine withdrawal as I’ve stopped drinking Coca Cola. If I could just get the caffeine without the sugar — and don’t tell me to drink sugar free soft drinks. I can’t stand the taste of sugar free stuff. I don’t care what they use in place of the sugar. Even Splenda tastes crappy to me. These people who “cut calories” by drinking a sugar free soft drink with their piece of pie, or their hamburger and French fries. My mom, who puts saccharine in her coffee and in her tea. Ye gods, people. A teaspoon of sugar is only 16 calories, for crying out loud!

Grumble. Grumble. I don’t have headaches. I just don’t. On the very rare occasions when I do, there are only two usual suspects: Caffeine withdrawal and sinus. I’m into my third week with this stupid sinus business and the pounding headache that goes with it, and I’m so damn tired of it. Every time I tilt my body in any way out of the strictly horizontal or vertical, it’s like having some little imp sitting on your shoulders hitting you repeatedly in the face with a skillet.  They gave me some saline nasal spray, and I suppose it would help if I’d use it, but I hate –HATE– squirting stuff up my nose.

I’ve got to shop for groceries today, and I have to go out early enough that Sutherlands is still open because I have to get that length of chain to go in the hem of my blackout drapes. The fat(cat)boy has figured out he can see out the back window now, and I have to keep pushing the hem of the drapes back against the bottom of the door frame to stop the “peekaboos” of light underneath the drapes. The chain will solve that. I also need to get a rake. And a length of PVC pipe that’ll fit in the track of the sliding glass door.  The door latch doesn’t work.  The adjustable bar that’s there now has a tendency to give way when you put pressure on it, which makes it totally unreliable as the only method for keeping that door from opening.   Can you imagine sleeping in a room with an outside door that won’t even latch, never mind lock?  I need to go take measurements of the drapes and the door track.

I’ve ordered one of those thingies you use for hanging up brooms and mops.  That’s going on the wall in the garage.  Also ordered a thingie to hang up your ironing board and iron.   I’ve seen what they have at Walmart, and they don’t have what I want.

I also ordered a new pillow, one that’s made for side sleepers. I’m sure that’s why  the upper edge of my trapezius muscles are all knotted up rock hard.  It’s not painful and they’ve been that way for years.  Now my PA has decided I need to be on muscle relaxers for that.  So far, not helping.

This is becoming a bit of a jeremiad.  Switch gears. I have been enjoying the new TV.  The picture quality is so good.  I need to figure out how to hook my Playstation  up to it so I can play Journey.

I have knitting to do, two shawls to make, an owl hat to finish, a fingerless glove pattern to write, still.  If I could figure out how to read and knit at the same time . . .


How To Put On And Take Off A Small Diameter Cowl Without Trashing Your Hairdo

Just a little public service announcement.

Putting the cowl on:
If there’s a right side up to the design, turn it upside down.
1. Grasp the side nearest you with one hand.
2. Grasp the side farthest from you with the other hand.
3. Hold the part of the cowl nearest you underneath your chin.
4. With your other hand, pull the other side of the cowl up over your head.

Taking the cowl off:
1. With one hand, hold the cowl against the back of your neck.
2. With the other hand, grasp the part of the cowl that is directly under your chin.
3. Pull the part of the cowl that’s under your chin out, up and off over your head.

Yes, it’s just that simple.