Archive for June, 2015


June 23, 2015

Yesterday was a sad day.

Father’s Day (and the Monday after it) are always a bittersweet time for me.

Twenty-eight years ago, my dad was once again in the hospital following yet another incident with his heart.  Since I was far away on a different continent, I sent a Father’s Day gift well in advance, and my mom baked a cake for him according to my instructions…  She spent that Sunday’s visiting hours with him in the hospital.  I always spoke with him on Father’s Day – they tried to phone me from the hospital, but lines were so busy that day and international reception was not good, and they couldn’t get through (phones in the 80s weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are now).  They decided to try again the next day as soon as my mom got there.

It wasn’t to be.

When my mom arrived at the hospital on Monday, it was to Code Blue.  Dad’s heart had stopped.  She phoned me, told me to get on a plane and come.  A couple of hours later she phoned again to tell me he was gone.

I never got to talk to him for Father’s Day that year.

I got there 48 hours later.  Three flights, one overnight stopover in Germany – at the time, it was the quickest connection.   It was my mother’s birthday.  For years after that, she refused to celebrate it.  It was a week before their wedding anniversary.

This year – 2015 – was only the 4th time since then that the actual dates correspond to the year he died.  For some reason that’s harder, no idea why.   I read all the tributes to fathers online on Sunday, but didn’t add one myself.  I thought about him all day yesterday.

Here’s to you, dad.

high school grad

high school grad



Aunt Mabel's


Dad n me



Carpenter at play


Royalty in the House

June 6, 2015

The family has grown.

The catbeast and the kid do not get along.  Kid doesn’t know exactly what she did or when, but the catbeast decided at one point that they were not compatible.  This has made the kid very sad, not to mention pissed off.  She is not the most patient of humans, and her many unsuccessful tries to make friends with the feline have made her vent in frustration.  Especially since it was kid who saved the catbeast when she was a 2-week-old kitten abandoned on the street by her mother.

Kid has repeatedly bugged me to add another cat to the household.  I told her all the expenses and care would be on her, as opposed to me having to take over (which has happened with multiple rabbits, hamsters, and other beasts).

So when (now ex-) boyfriend’s cat had kittens, the kid decided to adopt one.  There was only one female in the litter, and a week or so ago, when the babies were old enough to leave mom, kid went out and bought supplies and settled the kitten in her room.


After much discussion about names, the kid, to my horror, chose to name the kitten “Princess”.  Gak.  Cliche, much?  I tried to persuade her to perhaps name the wee beastie after a princess, real or fictional – like Jasmine, or Tiger Lily – but that didn’t take.  Then I tried other characters that kid loves, like Luna.  Almost worked, but no.  Princess it is.

I have consoled myself with calling the babe “Prynne”, sometimes expanded to “Hester Prynne”, although kid objects to the Hester part.  I have told her that Hester Prynne was among the first and most important female protagonists in American literature, a truly fascinating character and a strong and defiant woman in a time period when women were meant to be totally subservient.  Kid is not impressed, and has told me that “Prynne” is fine, “Hester” isn’t.

Yeah.  Whatever.

Catbeast is not amused.  At all. She is quite angry about her territory being invaded.  I’m spending a lot of time cuddling her.


So far the solution has been to have separate areas for the two.  Baby catbeast has the kid’s room (with food, bed, and litter box there), and senior catbeast has my room and office (with food, bed, and litter box for her).  The rest of the house is joint territory, with alternating occupancy.  Although they are currently avoiding each other apart from the occasional growl or hiss, I’m really hoping that they will eventually become friends, or at least tolerate each other in the same space.

The babe is quite active, and is proving herself a great hunter of flies and other insects.  She is also very curious and must explore everything.


I have not yet tried to knit with the kitten around.  That will almost certainly happen at a later date.

And it’s never a dull moment in the neighbourhood.

Of socks, fish, and Draco

June 4, 2015

I finished the Saved By a Fish’s Kiss socks.  Knit till I felt I was done, did an inch or so of ribbing, then used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.  It is extremely stretchy, but still a wee bit tight – methinks this has more to do with swollen calves than a problem with the socks.  I only used about 2/3 of the yarn, so there’s enough to do something with what’s left, I will have to consider options.  I’m very happy with my new socks!

saved FO

Rudely ignoring the other WIPs waiting for attention, I gave in to my enthusiasm for this sock construction – especially the Fish Lips Kiss Heel –  and immediately cast on for another pair.  No pattern this time, just plain vanilla socks, to show off the yarn.

A few years ago Opal sock yarns came out with a line of self-patterning Harry Potter character colourways.  I managed to grab a skein before the company stopped making them, and it had been patiently waiting all this time.  For some reason, after time had passed I was certain I had bought the Hedwig colourway.  I decided to knit some Hedwig socks!  Imagine my surprise when I dug through my stash to discover that I had actually purchased a skein of the Draco colourway.  Hm.  Beautiful colours, to be sure, but why was I so convinced I had Hedwig in my stash?  Very curious, to quote Mr. Ollivander.

Anyway, I decided to knit a contrasting toe/heel/cuff.  There is a tiny bit of beige mixed in with the blues, grays and white of the yarn, and I want to highlight that, so I chose a soft brown for the contrast yarn.  Used Judy’s magic cast on for a wedge toe.

Accio toe

Since the Opal yarn is self-patterning, I took the extra time to divide it into two balls, then found the same (approximate) spot in each to begin the pattern.


I generally like the randomness of socks not having the exact same pattern sequence, but this time I choose to be different!

I like how they’re looking so far.  I’m feeling the need to knit a lot of socks contrasting patterned and solid yarns.   If there’s enough Draco left over it may become the toe/heel/cuff of a pair of solid socks!  Maybe blue or off-white…  I have quite a few self-patterning or self-striping sock yarns, it will be interesting to see how many pairs I manage to knit before this kick dies down.  What do you think?

There may even be a pair for the kid in the works next…