Hmmphf Day

Didn’t get my bed changed or my sheets & towels washed.  Don’t care.  Mañana.

Knitting group was preempted from our room by an author reading/book signing. so knitting group met in the Juvenile Fiction section of the library for the simple reason that there are tables and chairs there.  (I still laugh about the time we got preempted without warning and one of the library ladies put up a sign on the door that said, “Knitting Group is in Juvenile Fiction.”)

Our Asian lady (Korean, I think, but not sure) and her daughter came and brought a friend and her daughter.  She is a pharmacist in a hospital pharmacy and her schedule shifts back and forth from 1st shift (day shift) to second shift (swing shift).  She can only come to knitting group when she works days. She knits Portuguese style.    The two new people who came last time, come back again.  They are learning to crochet. (We are a nondiscriminatory, equal opportunity knitting group.)

AM, one of our regulars, brought this big plastic bin full of all sorts of yarn that she had gotten at an estate sale for $8.  I got 6 small skeins of a black fuzzy acrylic yarn and 5 small skeins of the same brand/kind of yarn in purple to make hats from — only a few of those skeins had labels and the ones that did had a price tag of “43¢” so you know that yarn is probably from the 1970’s.  I also got 9 skeins of this Lion Brand Homespun  (above) for my friend LB’s daughter AB. There were no labels on any of them so I don’t know what colorway they are, but they’re all the same color.  AB likes to do big projects like sweaters and ponchos, and these 9 skeins would be enough to do something big like that. There was eyelash yarn, pompom yarn and all these other kinds of weird textured yarns in the bin, a real mish-mash stash.  Since I got so much yarn, I slipped AM a fiver.

One of our newest members is going to be leaving us in August.  She has gotten her Master’s and just finished getting her teacher’s certificate.  She has been substitute teaching, but now she has gotten a full time teaching job in a little town northeast of us and she will be moving in August.  We’ll be sorry to see her go.

I’m going to try to make a toboggan hat with ribbing.  I’m going to try doing a hat with 9 inches of straight ribbing and then turn the “hem” and see how that works.  Then I’m going to do another hat where I do 4.5 inches of stockinette, and then 4.5 inches of ribbing, so that the inside of the “hem” is stockinette and the outside is ribbing, and see how I like that.  I’ve got several projects going at the same time, so if I get bored with one, I can jump to another.  This is what I’m working on right now — a Coriolis hat (lower left) and two toboggan hats. one of which (top) is the ribbing one.  They’re all in the Unforgettable yarn.

I ran across a quotation from the below poem on one of the blogs I read (written by an Irish lady).  I tracked it down and am putting it here because I like it, and so I can find it easily again.

‘And the days are not full enough’

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
                Not shaking the grass.

Ezra Pound

I might also note, I have added a search function to my blog that allows one to search all the blog posts for a particular word or phrase. I had put one on my knitting blog to make a particular pattern easier to locate and liked its functionality, so I added one to this blog too.  It’s on the right sidebar.


Hot again today and the humidity is up (47%). I woke up at 6:30 this morning and after lying there for about an hour trying to go back to sleep, I decided I would finish the book I was just about finished reading and read a chapter or two in the next book in the pile, and that would get me to 9 o’clock and time to get up.  I had a bunch of errands to run and I wanted to get all my errands done in the morning before it got hot.  Well, I finished the one book, and started in on the next one, The next thing I know, I’ve turned the last page; I look over at the clock and it’s after 2 p.m.  YAH! Up I jump, dash into the shower, throw on a t-shirt and blue jeans and go pelting out the door.

The first place on my list was the Amazon store which is way the heck over on the other side of town by the University where I dropped off an item that Amazon sent me (and charged me for) two of, and I only ordered one of.  (If you take it to their store front, you get free return shipping).

Then I went to Petsmart to get cat food and kitty treats and to Michael’s to get some more Red Heart Unforgettable yarn for chemo hats (a friend gave me a “40% off of one item” coupon, so I got one of the $5.99 skeins of yarn for $3.60!).  Then I swooped round to this health & nutrition store for my monthly supply of NAC, zip round to Walmart, pausing to fill up my car at their onsite gas station before parking over on the side where the grocery portion is, did my shopping, schlepped the groceries into the house and put them up — and realized I’d forgotten to get Rollos which I’ll have to pick up after knitting tomorrow! Then I schlepped the garbage up the alley to the dumpster.

Then I hefted a basket load of clothes from the hamper in the bedroom to the utility room and got a load of wash started — and dropped the cover for the laundry soap container behind the washer and had to put a piece of clear packing tape sticky-side-out on the end of a broom handle to fish it out. I could have used the suction of the tank vacuum’s hose to grab it and pull it out, but I’d have had to go get it from the office closet, carry it to the utility room, hunt up a plug socket and plug it in, and then cart it back to the office. . . .and the broom was right outside in the garage and there was tape in the kitchen drawer and it worked just as well.  I have used the vacuum to get socks and unmentionables dropped behind the washer, but I bet tape on the broom handle would worked for that, too.

Anyway, by then I was not only hot and sweaty, but also bushed (2) so I booted up the computer and put my yoga music playlist on, reared back in the recliner and had a dose of that most sovereign of remedies, juice (apple, mixed 1:3 with Earl Grey cold) and cookies, and worked one of my puzzles and relaxed.

Tomorrow, I’ve got to wash a load of sheets and towels and change my bed before I go to knitting group. Busy, busy.

In the knitting news, I made this Coriolis chemo hat with the left over yarn from

making this hat.

You get a lot of yardage with the Unforgettable yarn.

Books Read in 2017

52. Thick as Thieves, Whalen Turner, Megan
51. Seven Wild Sisters, DeLint, Charles
50. *The Owl Service, Garner, Alan (re-read)
49. Stargate, Norton, Andre
48. *Swordspoint, Kushner, Ellen
47. *Privilege of the Sword, Kushner, Ellen
46. *The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Chambers, Becky
45. Point of Honour, Robins, Madeleine E.
44. The Mark of the Horse Lord, Sutcliff, Rosemary
43. Where the Dead Lie, Harris, C. S.
42. Convergence, Cherryh, C. J.
41. Visitor, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
40. Tracker, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)
39. When Falcons Fall, Harris, C. S. (reread)
38. Who Buries the Dead, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
37. Why Kings Confess, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
36. What Darkness Brings, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
35. When Maidens Mourn, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
34. Where Shadows Dance, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
33. What Remains of Heaven, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
32. Where Serpents Sleep, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
31. Why Mermaids Sing, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
30. When Gods Die, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
29. What Angels Fear, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
28. Alliance of Equals, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
27. Trade Secrets, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
26. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 2, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
25. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 3, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
24. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 1, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
23. Dragon in Exile, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
22. Necessity’s Child, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
21. Mouse and Dragon, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
20. Scout’s Progress, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
19. I Dare, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
18. Plan B, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
17. Local Custom, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
16. Conflict of Honors, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
15. Carpe Diem, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
14. Agent of Change, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
13. The Gathering Edge, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon
12. Dragon Ship, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
11. Ghost Ship, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
10. Saltation, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
9. *Fledgling, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
8. *Passing Strange, Klages, Ellen
7. Balance of Trade, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
6. Tripoint, Cherryh, C. J.
5. *Were-, Bray, Patricia and Palmatier, Joshua, ed.
4. *When Marnie Was Here, Robinson, Joan G.
3. Crystal Dragon, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
2. Crystal Soldier, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
1. A Conspiracy of Kings, Whalen Turner, Megan (reread)

* Ebook

Sighs of Relief

Yesterday was midsummer’s day (“Litha”), the longest day of the year, but I’m not sure if Tuesday night or tonight is the shortest night of the year.  However, long about midnight we had a little thundershower and got a little rain out of it.   Seems like here lately every time I decide I need to set the sprinklers on the lawn, it rains.  Not complaining.  Not at all. It’s cooled things down to 72 F (22.2 C) at almost 2 a.m., and I can almost hear the lawn sighing with relief.

I got the stitches out of my gums where I had the molar pulled yesterday, so another sign of relief.  I am now officially cleared to chew on that side, although with what is a moot point since I have this large gap where a major molar once chewed.  I’m supposed to go back in October.  By then the bone graft should have “taken” and filled the gap and there will hopefully be bone enough to anchor the implant.  In the meantime, vitamin D and calcium will be ingested, and we will think good thoughts of bone growth.

In the knitting news, my friend LB got to visit with the wig lady at our local cancer center after her last doctor visit (the lady who is in charge of the charitable bunch that provide wigs and chemo hats for folks undergoing chemotherapy), and LB reported that the wig lady really liked my toboggan caps and how totally soft and huggy they were.  That’s excellent, as there will be more of them in future.  I’ve ordered some cotton yarn and I’m going to try a couple in the cotton.  I’m getting really good at doing a provisional cast on.

After I revamped the pattern, I’ve now I’ve gotten my “Dance Like An Egyptian” hat to the point where I’m ready to do the color work, which involves Fair Isle knitting, and working with two colors.  In order to work two colors, I have to either learn to hold two strand of yarn in my left hand, or hold one strand in each hand, which is what I think will work best for me.  (I also need to review how you secure floats.  I think I bookmarked that Youtube video . . . yep. )  When I’ve worked out a way to hold working yarn in each hand, then I can progress to knitting two socks at the same time — one inside the other — on the same set of double pointed needles. (Is that cool, or what?)  It’s easy to keep straight which stitches belong to which sock, because the inside sock is also inside out, so it’s purled.  But in order to do this efficiently, I’ve got to be able to hold yarn in both hands.  When you knit socks this way, you work the heels after you’ve finished the whole sock (“afterthought heels”), which means I have to learn how to do that, too.    Goalz.  I haz’em.

Dagnar and The Raven

I’ve set myself another Mag Challege but I’m kind of cheating on this one. This is an excerpt from a longer story I’ve snipped out and left here.

Dagnar and The Raven

He was a tall young man, was Dagnar Halfdan, sky-eyed and straw-haired, with wide shoulders he still hadn’t quite managed to grow all the way into and a long-legged loose-limbed stride. He’d been walking southward along the beach since sunup making for the Languyard ley that would lead him inland. He was also supposed to be on the lookout for a bird. “You’ll know it when you see it,” was all his mother would say.

He was almost upon the ley when he found the man lying face down in the sand with the waves licking at his boot soles. Slender, black haired, young by the look of him. It was not until he felt for a pulse that Dagnar knew he’d found his bird. He gathered the man up from the rough wet sand and carried him further up the beach into the shade, brushed the sand off his face and poured a little water into his mouth.

When the man came to himself, the first thing he said was, “I must go to the Queen of Death in the Black Wood,“ in a voice that was hardly more than a croak. He spoke in the old tongue, the one all the Mother’s Children shared, though his accent was a little odd. If Dagnar needed further confirmation that he’d found the bird he was supposed to be looking for, there it was.

“Oddly enough, I’m headed that way myself,” Dagnar replied in kind, grinning. “We’ve got quite a hike ahead of us, though.”

“Why am I not surprised?” After a long, tired pause, the man muttered. “Helásasára. I remember her name was Helásasára. Vast cloud of red hair. And that damn big snake, and the tower, and climbing. Time was all jumbled and fragmented. I remember that.” He paused a long moment frowning. “But I can’t remember anything else except that I must go to the Queen of Death in the Black Wood.“

“You’ve been in a place of power. You fairly reek of it.”

“Oh, Holy Mother. So much power it made my bones hum.” He shivered at the memory. “Is there … could I have another drink of that water, please?”

Dagnar handed over the water skin. “There’s a creek just over yonder if that’s not enough.”

The man took a careful swallow from it, wiped his mouth and took another. “I’m Drogo, by the way, a raven brother.  Son of Zlota Baba, grandson of Matka Zhemya, great grandson of Bunica Singe, and you, I think, are a wolf brother.”

A nod of acknowledgement. “Dagnar, son of Hlifthrasa, grandson of Eir, great grandson of Hertha.”

The man paused in his drinking as something out to sea riveted his attention. “What happened to the sea stack? There was this little tooth of an island just there.” He pointed, and a brief spasm of panic slid across his face like a cloud shadow over the land.

Dagnar followed the finger’s direction with his clear-sky eyes, but there was nothing there but the grey-blue, breaker-ruffled sea. After a thoughtful pause, he said, carefully, “I’ve been traveling along the coast for a week now, and I’ve not seen anything out there but water.”

After another long, memory-haunted pause, Drogo shook his head, looked up, and said, “It could all have been a dream, . . . vision, . . . delusion, . . . I’ve been traveling for months. Not eating all that well or sleeping much. The weather has been pretty lousy, too. It’s bad when it’s so stormy this close to Samhain, . . . though it seems to have cleared up. I hope they got the harvest in all right.” He tried to keep the bedraggled locks of his hair off his face by tucking them behind his ear, but they would not stay.

“Beltane was three weeks ago.” A soft reply.

Drogo looked around then, at the verdant foliage rustling in the light breeze, the wildflowers nodding in the grass and his expression collapsed into bewilderment. He smiled weakly in the midst of his confusion. “I seem to have mislaid winter.”

“There’ve been times I’ve wished I could,” Dagnar allowed and quirked a smile. “Could you eat a little bread and cheese?”

“I could eat a whole cow, I think.” Drogo put the water skin to his lips and drank. When he took it away again, it was almost empty. “You said there was a stream nearby. I seem to be . . . gritty. . .”

He let Dagnar pull him to his feet, but once he was standing, he found he had somehow misplaced his equilibrium as well. He staggered into the big Dane more than once as he followed him through the trees to a brook wide enough that a long-legged man would need a running start to jump it. He struggled out of his clothes and crawled into the cold, clear water, flopping onto his back to let it flow over him. By the time he made it back up onto the bank, Dagnar had rinsed the sea and sand out of his clothes, wrung them out and dried them by the simple expedient of evaporating all the water with a flick of power.

“The Languyard is only about 20 yards further on. I thought I’d find a place along it where we can stop for the night. If you can survive til nightfall on the bread and cheese and smoked herring I’ve got in my bag, once we’ve made camp, I’ll see what I can do about fresh meat.” Dagnar said, grinning. His eye teeth were noticeably longer than the rest.

“I think I can manage 20 yards,“ Drogo replied.

They followed the stream inland, which led them deeper into the woods and then between two rocky outcrops. Further upstream Dagnar found a place where one bank had been deeply undercut and left an overhang where two men might sleep out of the weather with solid rock at their backs and with room enough for a fire between them and the water.

“Don’t stand on ceremony,” Dagnar told him, tossing his pack onto the ground. “Help yourself to food. It’s on top.”

Though his stomach growled at the mention of food, Drogo felt that fire was a higher priority.  While Dagnar scavenged larger branches with his belt ax from a downed tree a little way back up the way they’d come, Drogo collected stones to build a fire ring, then built a small fire within it using what he could pick up off the ground. Only then did he open the leather pack and search out bread and cheese, and smoked herring, each wrapped in linen soaked in beeswax.  He broke a hunk of bread off with his fingers.  The cheese was soft enough that he could pare off a hunk with a blade of grass held taut between his hands.

He had to bend a piece of dried herring back and forth several times before he could tear it in two since he had no knife to cut it with.  He had no sword nor belt ax, either, nor pack nor even a belt pouch.  All he had were the clothes he stood in, and they were a good deal the worse for wear.  His boot tops were in fairly good shape, but the boot soles were nearly worn through in places.  He had no idea what kind of journey they faced, but he was not going to be walking far in these boots without new soles.  Just as well he’d misplaced winter since he might be going barefoot.

After about an hour, Dagnar returned with an armful of fairly large branches cut to length and a green sapling, to find his companion staring absently into a small fire of sticks.  He selected some of the smaller branches, positioned them, and laid two larger logs across them.  Then, with his belt ax, he began to fashion a spit from the green sapling.

“My thought was to travel by night and hole up by day.  You can ride in raven form upon my shoulders.  If we don’t dilly dally, I feel sure I can get us to the lady Belisama’s hold in the forest of Bellême by Litha.  I had thought to ask her to ask her mother if we might fly the ley at least part of the way, else we’ll not be getting to the Black Wood before next year.”

“That far away?” The thought of a year on the road was daunting and dispiriting.

“Aye.  This is Armorica and the Black Wood is in the mountains east of the high Rhenus. Lurbira’s daughter Morana Gheata guards it.  She is the lady we both seek.”

After a time, Drogo said, “Who rules the Romans these days? The last I heard it was Claudius Gothicus.”

Dagnar shot him a puzzled look. After an uncomfortably long silence, he replied quietly, “Emperor Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius Augustus died the year I was born.”

“What?” From within the hood of his night black hair, Drogo’s face became ghostly pale and he hissed through clenched teeth, “Don’t. It’s not the least bit funny.”

“Not a joke. I was robed 17 years ago.”

For a long, almost painful time the only sound was the whine and pop of burning pine sap.

“I’ve mislaid more than a season, haven’t I.”

“Looks that way.”  None of them was robed until their four hundredth year, after they had been taught, tested and proved.

Drogo dropped his head into his hands, clutched his hair tightly as if his head might roll away. A gasping sigh twisted into a sob, and suddenly there were more sobs behind it, till he could hardly breath for them jostling and shoving their way out. Dagnar unrolled his cloak and wrapped him in it and, to give Drogo time to find himself again, he went to the stream and refilled the water skin, and took a devious and circuitous route back to the fireside, accumulating an armful of deadfall in the process.

Into a silence punctuated by the snap and pop of dead branches being broken into fire lengths, Dagnar said, “I’ve heard tell of places out of time. Places where time runs differently than it does out here in the world. You can go, stay a day, come back and it’s years later, or years earlier.”

“Places out of time,” Drogo repeated hoarsely.

“My Greatmother Hertha is said to have one somewhere in the Lofoten islands off the northwest coast of Norland, a place where five leys cross. I’ve heard tell of others scattered here and yon, always at a major crossing point, always out at sea.“

“I think I have been . . . I don’t know how long . . . in such a place.”

“You are back in the world now, and we have a common destination, so you will not be traveling alone.” Though Dagnar was a happy soul by nature, his cheerfulness was a trifle forced just at that moment.

“For that I am very grateful.” Said with a softness that made Dagnar smile.

“And those who travel with me do not go hungry, that I can promise you,“ Dagnar grinned.

“No, I think not.” Drogo smiled.

True to his word, shortly after nightfall, the white wolf ran down a young roebuck and they roasted strips of its meat over the fire.  It was hot and juicy and filling.  They cooked a lot more of it than either of them could eat at a sitting so they would have venison for days without the need for fire building.

“Roll up in my cloak and sleep your supper off, little brother. You’ve had a long and busy day.”

That made Drogo smile again. He did as he was instructed, and within four breaths he was deeply asleep. Where Dagnar had been sitting, there was now a very large white wolf thoughtfully gnawing on one of the roebuck’s long bones, one ear cocked toward the night.

Oh, The Suspense!

The hat has to measure 7.5 inches before I start the decreases that close up the top of the cap.  I’m sneaking up on 6 inches and that’s how much yarn I have left.  Will she have enough yarn to finish the cap?  I’m going to have to knit as fast as I can to try to finish the cap before I run out of yarn . . . .

You actually get a lot of yardage out of a skein of that Red Heart Unforgettable yarn — 270 yards/246 meters out of a 3.5 oz/100 g skein of yarn.  Even though it says its’ a Medium:4 gauge, which includes worsted weight yarn, it’s very light yarn.  I mean, the whole durn skein only weighs 3.5 ounces, so a hat weighs maybe 1 or 2 ounces, which is nothing.  It’s 100% acrylic yarn, which I like to use for my chemo hats because it is zero allergenic.  I mean, people are already going through the total bummer of chemo — and their chemo hat causes a rash on their poor little bald heads? No.  Just, no.   Plus, the Unforgettable yarn, like most acrylic yarns, you can machine wash and machine dry, so major easy care.   And it has some really snazzy and gorgeous colors and color combos.  So, big win there.  I won’t lie to you, it does split, which means you do have to pay attention to your knitting.  Some people hate it for that very reason, but I suspect individual knitting technique is a contributing factor.  I don’t usually have much, if any, problem with it.  I like it and I will be getting more.

This Unforgettable yarn is the colorway “Candied.” It’s made from the No Frills Toboggan Cap, Mark II pattern.  Even though the body of the cap is 12 inches long (4.5 inches of it gets turned under for the “hem”), I still end up with a ball of yarn about 2.5 inches in diameter.  This seems to be just enough yarn to make a Coriolis chemo caps out of.

I’m also getting more of the Caron Simply Soft, because it’s acrylic and it, too, has a very soft hand.  That’s one thing the chemo hat ladies at the cancer center I take my hats to said was a very important criterion.  I can see how skin that used to be protected by a goodly amount of hair, and now isn’t, would be very sensitive, plus chemo does a number on your skin.  The ladies in my knitting group who have been through chemo are all are unanimous about this.

Another thing, I want to get is some soft cotton yarn.  The Paton’s Grace yarn, maybe and there’s some Pima cotton yarn I want to look into for summer chemo hats.  Acrylic yarn is zero absorbent.  Cotton would be absorbent and cooler than acrylic yarn for days like today.  I ordered some skeins of the Paton’s Grace yarn from Joanne’s.  Hopefully, it will get here soon.

Well, surprise.  Today’s high was not 110 F (43.3 C).  It was 112 F (44.4 C).  Not sorry I missed it.  Slept through it. Only sane way to deal with temperatures like that is to become nocturnal.  Oh, and I did increase the number of ice trays in the freezer from 2 to 4.  (4 more in the cabinet I’m not using currently as I don’t have any room in the freezer for them what with frozen dinners, Outshine pops, and bread.)

Supposed to be in the low 80s F (26+ C)  Sunday through Tuesday.  Wednesday’s high 101 F (38.3 C).  Guess when I have to go back to the dentist at 2 p.m. in the afternoon — Wednesday!  — which is actually not as bad as it could be.  Highs for Thursday and Friday are predicted to be 103 F (39.4 C).

I think tomorrow evening I need to water my yard and give it a good soaking.  My weeds are starting to die off. . .





Too Durn Hot

It’s 98F (36.6C) at the moment, which is 8:30 at night.  Our low is supposed to be 73 F (22.7 C), which ain’t all that low, folks.  Tomorrow’s high is supposed to be 110 F (43.3C).  Yep.  You heard that right.  110 F.  But then a cool front is supposed to come through and Sunday’s high is only supposed to be 88 F (31.1 C) with a low of 64 F (17.1 C), which is good, because I’m supposed to go out to eat at lunch with mom and our friend CK.   In the meantime, and tomorrow, I’m doing what any sane person ought to do, I’m staying inside out of it, drinking iced tea (heavy on the ice), in my Bubba, which I love because it is “no sweat.”  The double walled construction of the stainless steel tumbler keeps the drink cold for hours and hours (I’ve had ice cubes last all day), but the outside of it is not cold enough that it causes condensation — not that there would be all that much condensation with a humidity of 19%

A while back, I plunked down for Jigsaw Planet’s downloadable software that allows you to create your own puzzles off line, and I’ve been working one I made from one of the paintings of G. C. Myers, and listening to music.  That, for me, is a total chill state. . .  However, earlier today, I made some chicken salad and put it in the fridge to chill, and I think I hear it calling my name . . . .

This Hot and It’s Only June!

And for the metric crowd:

My electricity bill for May was over $90 (£70+) and it hasn’t been all that hot yet.  My electricity bill for June is going to be higher than giraffe’s ears!  And wouldn’t you know I’ve got an appointment at 3 p.m. on the day it’s supposed to be 102 F (39C).

In the knitting news, I had just barely enough yarn left from making a toboggan cap to make this Coriolis Chemo Cap. That little blob of yarn beside the hat is all I had left.  What a squeaker.

I found a stainless steel drinking tumbler at Walmart and tried it out, and liked it so much I got two more of the same.  They keep my cold drinks cold without sweating all over the place. They also keep hot drinks hot.  They not only fit quite nicely in the drink holder in my car, they fit in the top rack of my dishwasher (just barely).  I may get one more when I get groceries next time so as to have four.

I think I need a new teeshirt:


Still OK

Had an emergency visit to the dentist yesterday because I thought I’d messed up the bone graft he put in when he pulled the molar whose crown had already failed catastrophically once three years ago, and came loose again three days before my birthday.  So, three days after my birthday, that left lower molar was pulled, and the bone graft placed.  He placed a membrane above the graft to shield the graft while it “takes” — which is to say, while my bone grows out over the latticework of the graft and fills in the big hole extracting the tooth left behind.

I have to chew very carefully all on my right side so as to protect the membrane and the healing bone.  Harder than it sounds as I habitually chewed on the left side, having lost a lower molar at the back on the right side.  That tooth had to be pulled quite a while ago because the tooth broke in half.  I have a long, involved dental history. I have more root canals than live teeth.  My teeth have probably put kids through college.

Thursday evening, I wasn’t paying attention, forgot, and chewed down on that left side, felt pain, and just knew I’d screwed the bone graft up.  Panic call to the dentist first thing Friday morning.  His office closes at noon on Friday, and they couldn’t fit me in until Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.  So I was on tenterhooks all weekend and most of yesterday until he could get a look at it.  Nope.  I was still “healing like a champ.”  WHEW!

I don’t go back until the 21st, when the stitches may come out and we will see if the bone graft has “taken.”  If the bone graft “takes,” then he’ll put in the post that will hold the tooth.  Once that has “healed in,” he’ll put the tooth on top of it, and I’ll be good as new.  We’re talking about three months or more before I have a working tooth again.  Sigh.

In the knitting news, I have been knitting toboggans for my friend LB, who is again (still?) battling  breast cancer.  This is her third recurrence, and it’s in her bones now.  She’s undergoing a months-long series of chemotherapy treatments for the third time.  She’s had enough treatments this session that she has lost all her hair (again), and she likes to sleep in toboggan-style caps to keep her poor little bald head warm.  This afternoon before knitting group, I snuck by her house and put a pair of toboggans in her mailbox.  Her chemo treatments are given on Tuesdays, and I knew she’d be out for the count and didn’t want to disturb her.   I usually wait until Sunday or Monday afternoon to call her, as that’s when she’s starting to bounce back again.

These are the two hats I put in her mailbox.  They’re the No Frills Toboggan Mark II pattern.

That Red Heart Unforgettable yarn has such gorgeous color variations. The colorway of the one to the right is “Polo” and the one above is “Parrot.”  It’s kind of a b*tch to knit up, though, as it is a single ply yarn.  As such, it tends to split badly, and it’s very fiber-fuzzy, which makes it extra soft, but which means when I’m winding it into a ball, I do a lot of Winne ther Pooh “poohing”* to blow the fibers off my nose where they tend to collect as I breathe — they tickle!

One great thing about the ChiaoGoo Red Lace knitting needles and their wonderful long-taper point, though, is that they make this kind of yarn easier to work with.    The long- taper points (the ChiaoGoo Red Lace needles’ taper is 3/4 of an inch long) are also great for lace knitting as the long taper makes stitches like k3tog and sssk easier to do.  As I finished each of these toboggans, I’ve been putting it into sandwich baggies with the intention of enclosing washing instructions.  One of the handful of baggies I grabbed and put on the table beside my computer fell off.  Apparently, a certain fat(cat)boy tasted it to see if it was the sort of thing that kitties eat — apparently, some deliberation was involved.  He’s nothing if not thorough.

*A.A. Milne wrote in the first chapter of the first Winnie the Pooh book, “But his arms were so stiff … they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think—but I am not sure—that that is why he is always called Pooh.”

Silly old bear.