On the Downslope of July

Last Wednesday, I talked to one of the ladies that wrangles wigs and hats for people undergoing chemotherapy at one of our local cancer centers. We have two here in town.  This one is an adjunct of the hospital where I got my first medical transcription job, so I’m kind of partial to that center versus the one that’s attached to the university teaching hospital.

Anyway, I asked for the criteria they want in a chemo hat, and they said they want soft, colorful, with washing instructions attached, and in October.  They liked that I had mine in sandwich baggies.

When I got home, I thought about it and decided, what the heck.  I’ll do up some little labels with washing instructions to put in the baggie with them.  I wonder how many people will get the pun?  Anyway, I’ve identified various hat patterns by “style.”  We’ll see how it flies. I love the little interlocking heart motif.

I’ve got to take the fat(cat)boy to the vet and get his yearly immunizations.  As hot as it’s been lately, it’ll have to be right after they open in the morning.   Not today, though.  Maybe tomorrow.  Last night I went to knitting group and then shopped groceries for the month including a significant amount of canned goods and frozen food, schlepped everything from the trunk/boot of the car into the house and put them away. I think I need to rest up before I have to haul a cat carrier full of fat cat out to, into and out of a car and through the airlock doors of the vet’s office  — and back.

I had to get some toiletry items and at Walmart, those are on the other side of the store from where the groceries are.  As I was en route from the grocery section, I saw they had yarn on sale, as in 40% and 50% off.  Instead of buying ice cream and sweets, I bought yarn.  And still came out under budget.  Sometimes you win one.

Anyway, I’m going to try out my ideas for a ruffled hat and a hat with cables and seed stitch, but I have a deal with myself that I’ve got to finish the two toboggans and the pussyhat I’m working on now before I can start the new hats.  The ruffle hat is going to take two 16-inch needles of the same size, US4 (3.5 mm), I think, because I think that’s the size I’ll need for the yarn I want to use, which is DK weight.

Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who, which means the Doctor will regenerate again. (“Regeneration” is the brilliant plot device whereby the actor who has played the role up to a certain point morphs into another actor who will subsequently play the role.)   The Doctor is supposed to be able to regenerate 12 times, but in the Christmas special of 2013, the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, revealed he had already used up all his regenerations. Fortunately, at the end of that episode, he was granted another regenerative cycle by the Time Lords, and morphed into the 12 Doctor, Peter Capaldi.  Now Capaldi is leaving so he will “regenerate” into the 13th Doctor, and she will be played by Jodi Whittaker.  Yes, you got that right.  She.  There is a certain segment of Whovian geekdom who are now apoplectic and frothing at the mouth because Whittaker will get girl cooties all over Doctor Who.  They are the ones who somehow managed to avoid being strangled by the epidemic of knickers knottage which resulted from Michelle Gomez getting girl cooties all over the Master.   Of course, a certain other segment of Whovian geekdom is saying, “About damn time!”  Imagine that.  Girls will now be able to cosplay the Doctor without having to cross-dress to do it.  (Of course, some will anyway.)

A Twilight Zone Moment

Thought I would work on a hat that has a cable on.  Wished I knew where my skinny cable needle was.  The fat one will work, but the skinny one would, in this case, work better.  Looked around on my desk for it.  Remembered I hadn’t seen it in my little dish for quite a while.  Looked through the gallon Ziplock bags I use for project bags, found the as yet unfinished hat that has a cable in it, but the needle wasn’t in there.  Thought about tearing up the world looking for it, but I decided I wasn’t that keen on finding it. Sat down at my desk and was working on the ribbed toboggan and heard what sounded like the fat(cat)boy playing with something hard on the sheet of plywood my chair and desk are on.  I was going to ignore it, but then I thought it might be a stitch marker, which is plastic, brittle, and could be eaten, and thought I’d better see what it was he was playing with.  Would you believe it was my skinny cable needle?  No idea how (or when) it got on the floor where he could find it and play with it.  It has a few teeth nicks in one end like he might have tried to pick it up in his mouth.  The weirdest thing about the whole episode is while I was looking for it and not finding it, I said to him, “Why don’t you find my skinny cable needle?” Cue the Twilight Zone theme.

April’s electric bill was $75 (£57); May’s electric bill was $90 (£64);  Just got my bill for June –$155!!! (£118).  Went to set my AC on 80F (26.6 C) and saw that, although the trigger temp was set for 78 F (25.5 C), the thermostat read 80F and the AC was just running and running and running.  Changed out the thermostat batteries and reset the trigger temp to 80 F and it’s only running very intermittently.  I think I’m having the AC guy out after the holidays. (July 4).

Last night at about 2 a.m. we had an old fashioned thunder boomer and it bucketed down for a good half hour.  Much needed rain.  It’s supposed to get up to 100 F (37.7 C) tomorrow, with high’s in the mid to high 90’s for the next ten days.  Our relative humidity is 68% at the moment (stop snickering, SA!). I’ve got a fan blowing on my cable modems and computer tower (which are side by side) so I don’t fry my motherboard or modems.

I counted just now and I’ve got six different hats in progress.  I get bored with one and switch to another.  I think I’m going to see if my cousin in Capitan, NM would like some hat/cowl sets to raffle off this fall as a fund raiser for their library.  The yarn I’m using for the above hat is not really soft enough for a chemo hat, but I’ve got enough yarn to make the matching cowl.  I’ve also got a skein of the Homespun yarn I got from AM at knitting group that’s white and rose variegated. I think I can get a hat and cowl out of one skein of it.  Seems like I did before.  I might do a couple of man cowls, too, for the sake of equal opportunity.

Here’s what I’ve got so far on the toboggan cap with ribbing. After thinking about it, I did 1.5 inches of stockinette (which curls like crazy) followed by 3 inches of ribbing.  Then the rest of the hat will be stockinette. The ribbing will be on the inside of the hem.  I’ll see how it looks, and if I like it, I’ll write the pattern up and put it on my knitting blog. In a provisional cast on, you cast on over a piece of scrap yarn (some of that Lily’s Sugar & Cream cotton yarn). That’s what those strings hanging off the bottom are.  I have several lengths of it that I keep in my little dish and reuse.

Now, I’ve got to call the stupid cable company and find out if the $10 (£8) that my bill went up is just a one-shot deal or if I need to start looking for cheaper cable.  Then I’m going to bed.  Now that I’ve turned the AC down, I may be sleeping under just a top sheet.

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.

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:


Muddling Through

I finally decided that I wasn’t going to get around to finishing that last lap robe, and it’s already so hot out that I don’t even want to visualize the concept, never mind make one.  Wednesday, in a mighty burst of energy, I did four washer loads (wash, dry, fold up, put away – except for the microfleece blanket that is still in the dryer needing to be folded up, and the stuff that’s on hangers, which is still hanging on the clothes rack in the laundry room.).  Then I ran my comforter through the “air” cycle on the dryer, got out my clothes drying rack and put my comforter over it and Fabreezed it within an inch of its life, and left it to air in the only clear space at that end of the duplex, which is right in front of the front door.  I bench pressed my sewing machine back up on the closet shelf, folded the table up and put it under the bed. Now I’m exhausted and have a big spoon deficit besides, figuratively as well as literally. (All my actual spoons are in the dishwasher — since my silverware drawer contains two complete place settings for 8, I apparently consumed a lot of stuff that had to be eaten with spoons this week.)

My mom keeps getting on my case about drinking so much sweet tea, but here’s the thing:  1 teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories.  My little scoop holds four teaspoons.  The tea pitcher I use holds a gallon.  When I make tea, I use 5 teabags and 3 scoops of sugar for a whole pitcher of tea.  That works out to 192 calories per gallon of tea. and it takes me a day or two to drink the whole pitcher (and it’s usually half watered down by ice when I do — That’s another thing she’s on my case about, me not drinking enough water . . .).  One of those little bottles of white peach juice that’s supposed to be so good and healthy for you (and which contains high fructose corn syrup, I might point out) has 160 calories in 10 ounces!  I can belt one of those babies back in 30 seconds.  So, compare 15 calories in 10 ounces of my sweet tea to the 160 calories in 10 ounces of the peach juice.  So, a 16 oz glass that’s half full of tea, with 8 ice cubes in it (and the ice cube trays I use, 8 ice cubes = 1 cup of water by the way), and no, I’m not drinking too much sweet tea.

I think part of it was that my dad’s tea was never sweet enough for him unless about half an inch of sugar had settled out of it into the bottom of the glass — I do not exaggerate —  and every time I say “sweet tea” that’s what she thinks of.  She puts saccharin in her tea, which is made from coal tar, BTW, commonly manufactured by combining anthranilic acid (used among other things as a corrosive agent for metal) with nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and ammonia, and that’s so much healthier for you. (Yes, that’s right.  Chlorine and ammonia.)

Anyway, the mystery of the knocked over sidewalk light was finally solved.  I’d look out and see it was knocked over, go out and put it back on the little peg, look out a while later, and it was knocked over again.  This went on for days.  It may have either gotten accidentally kicked, or the yard guys may have hit it with the strimmer while edging the sidewalk, but the end of the stake got a crack up one side.  Duct taped that sucker.  Sorted.  One of these days when I have the energy, I need to redo the edging bricks.  And weed.  But there’s no point in weeding until I get some bedding plants.  I want hardy perennials that do well in partial shade because that bed only gets sun during the first half of the day.

Inexplicably, I have two volunteer rose bushes.  A tenant a couple of tenants ago loved roses and had a rose garden in that bed, and these are probably growing out of the root stock of tea roses he had planted whose grafts died.   They are probably this one really hardy species of red climbing roses (“Dr. Huey”) as that is what is very commonly used as a root stock for tea rose grafts.   Anyway, there’s this little one (above) and the big one closer to the porch, with the hose/pipe for scale.  Neither has bloomed yet so I don’t know for sure they’re red climbers.  Maybe I’ll luck out and they’ll be pink climbers, or white ones.  Who knows.  I might get some cinderblock pavers this time if I see what I want at a good price, to put by the faucets so I’ll have a place to stand to turn the water on and off.  I probably better start watering.  I need to buy a couple weed and feed things this time.  If I can get the Bermuda grass going, it will strangle out most of the weeds.  If I thought I was going to live in this duplex for more than a couple of years, I’d be more pro-yard than I am.  Also if I had more spoons . . .

In the knitting news, I’ve tackled mosaic knitting, which is a form of two-color knitting that uses slipped stitches.  This is a hat with a rolled brim that I’m working on.  The base yarn is variegated and the contrast colors are white and black.  I think it’s turning out nicely.  This is not the same kind of color work as Fair Isle, which is a bit different, and not actually what I’m into.  If I want to follow diagrams, I’ll do needlepoint, thank you.

I found this and I want to use it in a “Dance Like an Egyptian” hat.  I’m kind of into pillbox hats now, thinking about how to do one.   I might do one with three rows of these on the brim done in two color work.  I have some ideas, but I have to finish the above hat first, and maybe do another hat I’ve been thinking about.   Don’t know.

Found this the other day, and just about went orgasmic over it.  I believe I can get enough detail out of it to work out how it’s done. Just too cool for words.

My next thing is going to be learning how to do two-color work while holding both colors in my left hand at the same time.  Goalz.  I haz dem.

The next item on the agenda, however, is lunch.  I think I hear some chicken noodle soup calling my name, and maybe some toast and peanut butter . . . . .

We’re having yoyo weather, as you can see, except what’s showing as “today” below is actually yesterday.

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

My lawn is greening up.  Some of the green is actually grass.  I’m debating about getting two thingies of “weed and feed” – a combination herbicide and fertilizer that comes in a device you attach to the hose(pipe).  The device mixes the stuff with water and then you spray it on your lawn. The back yard needs it more than the front.  That poor back yard needs all the help it can get.

Guess which is the greenest thing back there.  Yep.  That ^&*($%!@#@!%* honey locust tree.  It’s leafing out just beautifully.  I see a couple of low branches that need pruning, however.  If somebody who’s 64 inches (1.62 m) tall has to duck under them to get to the gate, then they are way too low.  Taking the garbage out is enough of a chore already without having to thrash through the jungle to get to the back gate.

It was raining earlier (Yay!)– and making a big production out of it, full of sound and fury, signifying very little water actually falling from the sky, alas.  Still there was enough to wet things down.  Hopefully, the rain will wash some of the pollen out of the air.  Between the grass pollen and the tree pollen, this weekend is going to be a bitch, allergy wise, if you’ll pardon my Anglo-Saxon.  The grass pollen makes me sneeze and stuffs me up, but the tree pollen just zombifies me.  The tree pollen has been very high for days now and I ended up not going to knitting group yesterday because I’d already glunked out* twice in the chair while I was trying to read, and then at about 5 p.m., I just hit a proverbial wall.   I was able to muster barely enough brain wattage to shuffle into the bedroom and crawl into bed.  Schmpft.

What many people don’t know is that chronic fatigue can be a symptom of allergies.  I don’t need allergy alerts from the Weather Channel to tell me when there’s tree pollen in the air.  Zombification sets in unperpetrated by the usual suspects, and when I can manage to get three brain cells to work at the same time, I know we are having tree pollen.

There is a volunteer bearded iris (left) in the back yard which is gearing up to bloom.  Ill be interested to find out what flavor it is.  A pair of what looked to be college boys did the yard this time.  Thankfully, they didn’t get happy with the weed wacker (strimmer) and give the poor thing a shave.

I’m not sure what that is growing behind it.  I need to peer over the fence and see if this is something else my neighbor is growing that’s also sneaking under the fence into my yard, or whether it’s an interloper.

In the top picture, you can see one of the piles of fireplace wood that’s too durn old and weathered to burn even if I didn’t have the fireplace glassed off. And anyway if I did burn it, then I’d have a great whacking pile of ashes I’d have to clear out of the fireplace and schlep out to the Dumpster . . . and dust from it all over everywhere . . . . I need to get out my little red Radio Flyer wagon and haul all that wood out to the alley.  Maybe I could plant a bush there.  Something that blooms and attracts butterflies. . . .

The roses in the front bed (above and at right) are going nuts.  Both are bursting with leaves and blooms.  I’ve started saving tea bags as they say “prebrewed” tea is good for roses.  Hope it helps the black spot, which both bushes have.  Coal dust is supposed to be good for black spot as well, but it’s kind of hard to come by in this part of the world this century.  Part of the problem is that the roses don’t get enough sun.  They are planted against an east-facing wall and only get half a day of sunshine.   The pink one is further out in the yard and gets a bit more sun.  Both of them need to be cut back and staked this winter.  I would have done it last winter, but I had a plateful already.

That bed needs plants that need morning sun and partial shade.  They should be perennials that are tough, hardy, drought and heat tolerant and can stand up to Bermuda grass.  It needs at least three different kinds of plants that grow to three different heights — low, medium and tall.  I need to call that Hispanic couple that weeded the bed before and see if they’ll do it again.  Then after stuff is planted, the bed needs to be rather thickly mulched to keep down the weeds and grass.

I still need to paint the lamposts.  I also want to get some of those red reflectors and some stakes for them and put them along the eastern edge of the driveway.  I still have a hard time hitting the house from the west.

In the knitting news, I got another Coriolis hat finished and now I’m working on a “hand grenade hat” in a Red Heart yarn called “Gumdrop – Smoothie” The yarn has a nice soft hand and is 100% acrylic, which makes it good for chemo hats.  It’s a cheerful, colorful yarn, I think.  I’m going to do this pattern in the two other Gumdrop colors I have, Grape and Cherry.  Something for everyone.

Spring? Jump?  Close enough for government work.  A blast from the past, anyway. . .


*glunk out —  You are growing sleepy … very sleepy . . . your eyelids are becoming very heavy . . . you cannot keep your eyes open. . . 

Oddments and Candy

Long time readers of this blog will know I have some out-of-common behaviors regarding candy and the eating thereof.  Reese’s Pieces or M&M’s or other such small candies that come in colors tend to get sorted into and eaten by color starting with the color I have the most pieces of.  (It’s a control thing . . .)

Well, another odd behavior has manifested itself, this time associated with Rolo candies.  They must be eaten by threes.  I get them in a big bag that half fills my pumpkin candy dish.  (One bag lasts me a whole month.) Each little candy is foil wrapped.  I can have 3, 6 or 9 at a time.  I can’t have fewer than 3 or more than 9 at any one time.  This is neither an obsession nor a compulsion.  Dire things will not befall me or my loved ones if I don’t eat the candies this way.  There’s nothing superstitious about it.  It’s just a little mind game I play with myself.  I started doing this with the last bag and it came out even.  I’m interested to see if it will come out even this time, too.

I turned on the AC last night, and a good thing, too.  It’s 91 F (32.7 C) at the moment with 7% humidity. My attack of yard work that was scheduled for today was aborted. I believe I’ll stay in out of it.

I finally figured out why the fat(cat)boy spends so much time in the bedroom these days.  There’s one place he likes to lie on my bed — turns out it’s right where air from the vent comes out and hits the bed.  It’s where the hot air comes out when it’s cold, and where the cool air comes out when it’s hot.

In the knitting news, I finished two “kitten” hats (“kitten” hats are PussyHats that are knitted out of some other color of yarn besides pink.)  I did them on US 8 (5.0 mm) needles.  I think next time I’ll do them on US 6 (4.0 mm) needles.  Not sure if I have a 32-inch long US 6 circular needle, though.

Brief Ascension to Periscope Depth

Been running deep for a while, busy doing things that were just routine and not really noteworthy.  Both Convergence, the newest in the Foreigner series by C. J. Cherryh and Where the Dead Lie, the newest in the Sebastian St. Cyr series by C. S. Harris hit my doorstep Tuesday.  I’ve already read Convergence and and I’m a good three chapters into Where the Dead Lie.  I’m up to 42 books this year so far.  Averaging 14 books a month.  If I could manage the knack of reading and knitting at the same time, I’d be in hog heaven, she said, thoroughly mangling the metaphor.  (Yeah, I know, audiobooks, but I’ve been a medical transcriptionist too long, and my audio retention is too short-term for audiobooks.  That in-my-ear-out-my-fingers pathway is just too hardwired.)

We’ve had a little cold snap — kind of like when you were a kid at the municipal  swimming pool and somebody fwapped you with a wet towel.  I’ve actually had to put the heating pad in the bed to warm up my feet.  Twice.  The temperature keeps yo-yoing up and down. Highs are like 74F (23 C) today, 90 F (32.2 C) Saturday, back down to 69 F (20.5 C) midweek.  It’s getting so I’m having to keep two sets of clothes going.  I may get out and work in the yard some Saturday if I can get my days and nights sorted back around.

I got a new summer bedspread, a 100% cotton one.  A bit pricey, but you get what you pay for.  Its longer, which was my quarrel with the one I had.  Tuck it in at the foot and it was too short at the head.  My bed is tall — the top of the mattress is over 3 feet off the floor — so I usually get king size things even though my bed is queen size so the sides will hang down far enough that I don’t need a dust ruffle, which is the pits to try to put on by yourself.  The new bedspread is a queen size, but it’s easily long enough and lighter than the one I had, which got hot in the summer as I don’t turn my AC down past 78 F (25.5 C).

Naturally, right after I put the new bedspread on, we had a cold snap and I had to put a blanket over it.  I am counting my blessings, however.  Other parts of the country have gotten large amounts of snow.  Bear who lives in Massachusetts posted a picture on her Tumblr account of the foot of snow they got on April 1.  The weather played a very un-ha-ha April Fool joke on a lot of people in the NE, including those at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory in central Maine, not all of whom are pelted for that kind of weather.

I’ve been trying Twining’s Chai with almond milk and vanilla coffee creamer and it’s lovely.  It also refrigerates nicely.  Right now I’m in fleece, but I have a cotton shirt and pants handy.  I’ve also got a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge just in case.

There is gobs of tree pollen in the air right now “Very High” according to the pollen index on The Weather Channel.  In addition to stuffing up my sinuses and making me sneeze, it makes my eyes run and gives me goo eye.  Not the happiest of campers just now.

In the knitting news, I’ve been doing some chemo hats in cotton yarn for summertime.  I’m doing some “kitten” hats, which are PussyHats in other colors besides pink, in cotton yarn, too, because they’re fun.  The way I figure it, people undergoing chemotherapy need all the fun they can get.

The blue and white hat was made using a modified chemo Coriolis Hat pattern which eliminated the knit rows, which I’m calling “Spiral Staircase Hat” — the difference being that the spiral is tighter.  I’ve got a bunch of cotton yarn in fun colors that I want to make up into chemo hats for summer.

I did a set of “Wedding Yarmulkes” to send to Florida with my friend just in case, or to share with others who might want to use them.  You’ll notice I twisted the cables in two different directions.  Getting the cable to twist the other way is a simple matter of substituting C6B for C6F where ever it appears in the pattern.  I like the way they turned out.  I might try one in cotton yarn.

I’ve got some yarn to do some knitted knockers but you have to have small diameter double pointed needles for those.  ChiaoGoo makes a set of sock needles which is what I’ll need for them.  That goes into the next budgetary cycle.  I also want to try knitting some socks, and in order to knit socks, you need sock needles.