Archive for March, 2012

What time is it?

March 31, 2012

We switched to Daylight Saving Time last night.  Or this morning.  Whatever.  All I know is that I got one hour less of sleep.

I had to go to Physiotherapy this morning at 8, so I set the alarm in my phone to 7.  Then I started worrying that perhaps the smartphone wouldn’t change the time as it should, and the alarm set for 7 would ring at 8 and I’d be late.  So I set an additional alarm for 6.  Of course the phone changed time all by itself, and I was awakened at 6.  After a late (and wonderful) SnB the evening before. Where I did the weaving part of the In the Navy Criss Cross scarf!  And got to wear Roberta’s gorgeous Topiary shawl most of the evening.

One very significant point:  both partner and kidlet joined me at SnB.  And partner was knitting.  Rejoice!

Anyway, up at 6.  I began the day today already bleary.

I arrived at my appointment at 8, but my therapist was still busy, so I waited.  When he came out to call me, another two people waiting there started fussing, one protesting that his appointment was at 7 and it was already 7:15, what’s going on, etc.  The therapist said what 7?  It’s already 8:15.  Oops.  He hated to send them home, so he was rushing around like a madman trying to fit everyone in.  And the day had just begun.  He probably had a crazy schedule all day.

Afterwards I managed to get a lot done, bank and pharmacy and getting something fixed on the car and grocery shopping and getting a haircut.  But I really felt that missing hour of sleep.

It has been a royal pain all month, as different countries changed their clocks.  The US a couple of weeks ago, the UK a week ago or so, etc.  Since part of my job is coordinating teleconferences, I really hate the time changes.  Most of the time I know what time it is in several places in the world.  The months that Daylight Saving begins and ends are always confusing.  As pointed out so very well by C. P. G. Gray:


What do you think?  Should we just do away with the whole silliness?  Is there really any advantage to it these days?  I’ve never done a poll, here’s a good subject for one!

The Feline. The Anti-Florist.

March 28, 2012

I have managed so far to refrain from casting on a new project, instead working on my WIP-busting.  My Wedgie scarf, started so long ago and put aside as gift and deadline knitting took over, is now finished!  Wove in the ends on the way home from work yesterday.

Finished, but not blocked.  Just like the Algonquin.  And others.  There are six finished projects waiting to be blocked.  (Actually, one needs to be reblocked, I didn’t block it aggressively enough the first time.)

Part of the problem is that I do my knitting on the go, very little at home.  The meager home time I have is filled with other household-y things.  I need to set aside some blocking time and just do it!   As soon as I figure out where I’m blocking so that the cat-beast doesn’t pull her favourite trick of pulling out all the pins and curling up in the resulting mess.   I need to move some things around so that one of the balconies can be shut off.  Although she is adept at opening doors with handles, the cat can’t move sliding doors.  Yet.  It may drive her crazy to see all those blocking projects through the glass door, but tough.

Why so little sympathy for the little dear?   The other night we were at a wonderful wedding – saw people we enjoy being with and don’t see enough, great food (too much of it, actually…), and great joyfulness all-round.   When we were leaving, the mother of the bride insisted I take a bunch of flowers, saying they would just be thrown away.   Purple flowers…need I say more?  So when I got home after midnight, I arranged them all in water before collapsing into bed, tired but happy.   Didn’t give it another thought.

Woke up to this:

Now, the cat-beast has never paid any attention to flowers before.  What is it about these???    I rearranged them in the bowl, minus the odd torn/crumpled petal.  Twice more, as soon as I left the room, the cat “redesigned” the arrangement.    Then I divided the flowers into two arrangements, one purple, one all white, and moved them to where it would be hard for her to get to.   Or so I thought.  She again managed to scatter the flowers, but this time only the white ones.  The purple flowers she has left alone for an entire day.    So the white blooms probably have a scent that bothers her.  Or she’s just being ornery, which is also possible.

Don’t be fooled by the “Who, me?” expression.

It will serve her right to be able to see all the knitted yumminess blocking and not be able to reach it.

And in the meantime I’ve pulled out another languishing WIP and I mean to finish it!!  I’m not promising not to cast on anything new, especially since SnB is tomorrow night and there are murmurs of a group KAL.  But in the meantime, WIP-busting is afoot.

And how can we help you today?

March 23, 2012

Most small shops are easily definable.  Shoe shop, jewelry shop, electronics shop, pharmacy, gift shop.  Etc etc and the list goes on.  But there’s one shop in town, right by one of the yarn shops, that defies classification.  I’ve passed by it for 30 years, and every time I pass by I ponder, and yet I’ve never gone in to ask, mainly because I don’t have the faintest clue what to ask without sounding like a prize idiot.

The shop has three big display windows facing the street, which should make things very clear, no?

Not exactly.

The first window has jewelry cases, a few stuffed animals, a few hookahs.

The second window has women’s perfume, and some soaps.

And the third….has weapons.

There’s some serious hardware there!

The three window displays have changed very little in 30 years.  Maybe they have nothing to do with what’s sold in the shop?  I appreciate, even cherish, things that are unique, that defy simple description, but this place really baffles me.  I love quirks – this is taking quirk to the extreme.

Any help, here?  Can anyone hazard a guess as to how this shop would be listed in the phone directory?   Wild guesses also welcome.

(I’ve never noticed any customers in the shop, come to think of it, although it’s open many times when I go by…  Is this significant?)

Curiouser and curiouser.

Button, button, who’s got the button?

March 22, 2012

I’m still digging through boxes.  Lots are cleared by now, but there are those yet to be unearthed.  I recently found my old button collection, and it was indeed fun reading!

At one time (in my distant youth) I draped big cotton scarves on my wall, different colours overlapping, and onto these I pinned my collection of political and other buttons.  At some point the scarves and the buttons came down, some of the buttons were stuck on a corkboard, but eventually most went into a bag in the cupboard, only to be dug out for the occasional demonstration.  Some of my absolute favourites were lost, as I would pin them to my bags and eventually most of those would fall off in the shuffle of daily life.  Took me a while to learn my lesson and stop doing that.  (Even today, I don’t pin my knitting buttons on my knitting bag for the same reason.)  Most of the 100+ buttons are political in nature, referring to various candidates or issues, or specific events, films or books that were controversial, etc.  (Quite a few about Harvey Milk/Dan White and the fallout.)  I’ll leave all those out of here for now, as well as some of the cruder examples.  (Of course, if we subscribe to the belief that the personal is political, all the buttons are political…)  Back in the days when I was actively protesting one thing or another and either marching in, leading, or monitoring a demonstration at least once a week, butting my head against one brick wall after another, the buttons were an easy way of emphasizing where I stand on an issue.

Of course, many – if not most – are feminist in nature.

As the LGBT movement grew, so did the collection of relevant buttons…

There were many versions of the “Don’t presume I’m…” (Fill in the blank with whatever mainstream characteristic you aren’t.)  I started with a few,

  etc, etc, etc…

but as the list seemed to be getting too long, I gave up and just went with

Lots of general and/or other causes and interests

(Gotta love that last one…)

One of the most common catchphrases was “Question Authority”, which I had on buttons, shirts, and I think a bumpersticker.  As I – and my generation – got older, though, and our roles began to widen and change,  I did switch to a slightly modified version:

Some speak strongly to me to this day

What would you have on your ideal button?


OK, OK,  I know I said no political buttons here, but I just. can’t. resist…..

just one….

Whew.   I feel better now.

Rainbows, WIPs, chai and a cervix

March 21, 2012

Back at the job, and crazy busy after all the days I missed.  Boss has requested I work overtime – finally making up all the lost work.   Last night I got home from work and headed right for bed.  I was asleep before 8pm, and slept through to the morning.  Sheesh.

Finished the rioting rainbows!

Wove in the ends on the way to work, and wore the mitts while it was still kinda cold this morning before the heating kicked in.

I  can’t decide whether to now

  1. Cast on for another pair for kidlet  (Do I want to work with splitty yarn again right away??  OTOH, it’s fresh in my mind, and she really loves them.)
  2. Work on the WIP pile  (Of course this is what I should do…there are quite a few that are close to being finished.)
  3. Cast on for a new project since I finished one  (Way too many queue items are calling me…and *ahem* there is some chatter in the Yarn & Falafel group about starting a new KAL.)
  4. Knit and felt a cervix for women’s collaborative art.  (Check it out!  Now why does this especially appeal to me??)


I need your opinions!

At least we got to spend time with Kidlet on Saturday.  Picked her and a friend up at the kibbutz, and they begged for a trip to the mall.  Shops were still closed but the cafés were not, so we had a treat while waiting for the shops to open up. Then the girls got a phone call that several old friends had come to the kibbutz to visit, so they decided not to wait and wanted to return early.  (Methinks my wallet is grateful…)

Kidlet did manage to snap a picture of me with some of my favourite things, all in one:

There’s me with my tea (a wonderful chai latte), lace knitting and the iphone.  Never mind about raindrops on roses,  just colour me happy!  (Pull the kindle out of my bag and onto the table, and the happy upgrades to ecstatic… but let’s not get carried away.)

Now I’ve got Julie Andrews singing in my head…

*blink blink* Is that the sun? *sniffle*

March 10, 2012

Well – time, or the pills the doc gave me, or some other factor seems to be making a change.  The nose is still running, but less.  I’m still a bit foggy, but able to carry on a reasonably coherent  conversation. 

Yesterday I picked my stir-crazy self up and in a brave foray stuck my poor red nose out into the fresh air.  We needed to do some shopping for kidlet, so partner and I took her to lunch at the mall.  The two of them did most of the shopping, I rested a lot.  Even treated myself and kidlet to a manicure. One thing I did pick up – in the cosmetics store I found some cloth cosmetic/gift bags that are just perfect as knitting project bags…they were a great deal, and I grabbed a few in different colours.

Afterwards we picked up one of kidlet’s friends and then dropped them off to meet up with a crowd of their buddies for the big Purim street party the city throws every year.  Lots of streets were closed off in the centre of town, bands played, everyone was dressed up in costume, lots of noise and craziness and fun.  Partner and I drove by and considered joining in, but I really wasn’t up to it, so home we headed.  Brought kidlet home much later, together with two of her friends who slept over, after they had exhausted themselves dancing non-stop for hours.

  Today they all slept in.  After brunch, it was decided to go to the beach, as the weather has turned amazingly warm.  I figured it would do me good to sit in the sun.   The girls were all excited to pull out the warm-weather clothes!

What makes this so striking is that here is a picture of kidlet from exactly one week ago –

– when the kibbutz took her and her housemates north to the Golan covered in snow.   (This was the first time in her life she saw snow – I was getting constant updates by text and by phone and she was so thrilled…)

Anyway, back to the beach.  The sun was strong, but unfortunately so was the wind.  The place was mobbed, all the cafés were packed.

(Sorry about the red tint, kidlet changed the colour filter on the camera and I only noticed after the first couple of pictures I shot…)

The girls took off to one of the beaches that is a hangout for their crowd, and partner and I finally found a place to plop ourselves down.

(That’s the lovely shawl my friend Batya knitted for me…)  I pulled out my knitting – the second rioting rainbow – and partner pulled out her sudoku.  We kept getting blasted by the wind, which among other things made it very hard to knit, so finally decided to find an inside table to sit.  Found another spot down the beach some, still outside but sheltered.  I also made an interesting discovery.  Walking on sand hurts the hip much much more than walking on the boardwalk.  Good thing to know. 

We treated ourselves to a hot lunch and I tried to fix the fiddly knitting mistakes I had made in the wind.   The yarn is way too splitty and fuzzy to tink easily, and half the stitches are twisted, not to mention the lace elements.   I finally said enough and frogged it, deciding it would be easier to start over.  I was only just past the cuff and into the pattern, so it wasn’t too bad.  I managed to get back to where I was before frogging by the end of my tea after the meal.  (Black tea in a cup full of fresh mint leaves.)

Kidlet is enchanted with the mitts, and it looks like I have enough yarn to make her a pair as well.  (They would have been handy – pun intended – on her trip to the snow, but we didn’t know about that in advance.)

Returned home to crawl back under the covers to rest.  Tomorrow I will again venture out for a short jaunt, to a family birthday.  And then Sunday back to work.

Better start psyching myself up for that now…

In which I battle a mutant cold virus….

March 7, 2012

Getting a cold is not that big a deal, right?  Even a few times during the winter season, when the virus stops in to visit on its journey, whenever you’re run down a bit.

My colds run a pretty predictable pattern.  They often begin with the hint of a sore throat, then after a day or two of sneezing, whether the throat continues to hurt or not, my nose starts running for about three days and my head hurts and I feel woozy and miserable.  Sometimes this is it,  especially if I caught it early and nearly drowned myself in echinacea tea.  Sometimes it moves on to the coughing stage at this point, which can linger for quite an annoying period.  Cold medicine during the runny nose stage can really help me feel more human, but it just deals with the symptoms and doesn’t change the course of the cold.

Or so has been my experience until now.

I am now on day nine of the runny nose stage.  There was no warning signal in the throat – I just started sneezing, my eyes felt hot, my head felt thick, I told my boss that I would stay home the next day or so until it passes.   And then eight days stuck in bed filling trash bag after trash bag with kleenex, enough to feel guilty about the number of trees being harmed by my sinuses.

Cold medicine has not really helped this time.  For the first few days I was too fuzzy-headed to pay attention to the old adage “feed a cold, starve a fever”, stumbling out of bed to grab something quick.  ( I never remember how that goes, have to look it up every time.  And it seems it works, researchers are discovering that food and fasting trigger different responses in the immune system.  When-oh-when are they going to realise that those “old wives” were pretty damn smart?)  Wasn’t up to cooking a meal, but I did order takeout a couple of times.  Finally did some proper shopping – online – and had the supermarket deliver, so as of yesterday the meals got a lot fuller and healthier.  Of course, there hasn’t been much my doc can do, although she did prescribe something new on my one-and-only venture out into the cold weather.   We’ll see.

Kidlet arrived for the holiday vacation this morning, and brought me tea in bed.  What a sweetie.  Of course, she may be angling for permission to go to some party or event…in which case, it didn’t work, sorry.  But the gesture was lovely.

What does one do in bed for a week?  I had to field some calls from work, and one horrible afternoon had to take part in a teleconference training session that couldn’t be rescheduled.  Luckily not much feedback was required, I got through with a few grunts.  I have managed to read some, although attention wavers pretty quickly.  Finished Barbara Allen’s Antiques Maul, and enjoyed it.  Now I’m making a change away from cozies with Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians by Corey Andrew, but so far I’m finding it pretty disappointing. I may not finish it, although I’m still giving it a go.

And of course when I’ve felt strong enough to sit up among the pillows, I have succeeded in getting some knitting done.  The first Rioting Rainbow mitt is done!

So far I’ve only done the cuff of the second mitt, inspired by the first.  I’m not sure I’ve matched the colour sequence exactly, but it’s close enough that I’m not worried.  And since when am I symmetrical anyway??

That’s not a whole lot o’knitting for eight days of being stuck at home, which testifies to how this totally unnecessary mutant cold has hit me. And this is my first time sitting up at the computer for the duration, although I’ve checked email, etc. on the phone from bed.   I have a lot to catch up on!

I’m beginning to feel more human once more.  Although the damn nose is still running.  Let’s hope that this is not a prediction of colds to come in my future, but simply a single deviant virus come to harass me.  I plan to go back to work after the holiday weekend.  Enough already.

Here’s also hoping that everyone else is healthy and happy.  And have a great Purim!!