Thursday, September 17, 2009

it's a miracle anything happens around here

FOOL: (looking at the diaper pail) I wonder why the thing doesn't close?
ME: (thinking he is talking about the nightstand) Because it's stuffed full of magazines and books.
FOOL: No, it's not.
ME: It is. They're probably stuck in the hinge or something.
FOOL: It stopped working when I took the insert out.
ME: It doesn't have an insert.
FOOL: Yes, it does.
ME: What are you talking about?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday night

A few random things:
http://xkcd.com/369/

So once the Fool got out of the hospital last week, we thought we were done with Bad and Inconvenient Things.
Then Angus had a serious and dramatic lapse in litterbox habits that not only required me to use a flashlight to look for cat poop in Jamie's room where he was sleeping, but caused Angus to take a trip to the vet this week.
The vet explained that cats who venture outside their litterboxes in the dramatic manner that Angus did (and I'm sparing you all the gory details, but let me just say if you're ever in my living room, sit on the couch, not the armchair) are generally not ill with any kind of kidney infection, nor are they making a comment about the condition of their litterbox. Instead, he theorized that Angus is suffering anxiety about something, and is generally upset.
The vet suggested I go to the pet store and get some of this cat pheromone spray and spritz that around the house liberally to improve feelings of feline well-being (kind of like lavender for people, maybe?) and put out another litterbox, and if that doesn't work, then we can take Angus to an animal behaviorist he recommended (cat shrink) or try drugs (cat Prozac.) Sigh.
I really hope the spray works.
Then, because he felt better over the weekend, the Fool decided to tackle some household projects. He oiled our deck furniture with linseed oil and threw the rags out. I forgot - and the Fool never knew - that linseed-oil soaked rags spontaneously combust if you wad them up and put them in a closed container. When we returned home Sunday night from a contra dance I called at, the house reeked and I suddenly remembered about the rags. Jamie wanted to nurse himself to sleep, and after we determined there were no leaping flames, I went to settle the kid down, and the Fool continued the search accompanied by inadequate narrative, so I had to stage whisper questions from the bedroom.

ME: What is on fire? Is anything on fire?
FOOL: Sort of.
ME: Sort of? What is sort of on fire?
FOOL: Well, it's not really a fire. It's just sort of ... smoldery.
ME: Not really a fire!?! Is it a fake fire?!
FOOL: It's OK. Mostly.
ME: ?!?!?!

The lidded kitchen garbage can that I felt so smug about buying, because it locks and keeps Jamie out of the trash, is on time-out in the yard until I can figure out how to wash the sticky oily smoke residue off the inside of the lid.
And you should all be warned: Linseed oil soaked rags are flammable.

I've been knitting, too. I finished the Fool's socks from Vintage Knitted Socks. These are with a Dutch heel and a wide toe, made from Opal Hundertwasser yarn.


View of Dutch heel from the bottom.

I wanted something without a lot of fancy knitting going on, so the giant expanses of stockinette were just what the yarn needed.


It's finally cooling off here, so Jamie can wear the sweater his dad knit for him last spring when we were in Seattle. It's a Dale of Norway pattern, which I could go look up if I hadn't gone biking with Jamie today and made my legs tired. I don't know what to make of this picture. He looks really mature for a kid in a frog sweater.


p.s. I found the bratwurst. The package had slipped down behind some other things in the freezer. Thawed, simmered in beer and onions, ate. Delicious.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ravelry continues to amaze me

They have a feature that links you to a massive online library catalog so you can search for a book in your local library without going to the library home page, logging in, etc.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wow. What a week.

On Wednesday, Jamie took a long nap and I started in on my new favorite hobby - cleaning off the dining table. This time, I decided no matter what I picked up, I would see that object to its final destination, whether it was the trash, the recycling or its home in the house.

I found that I had been avoiding hand-sewing by hiding all the projects under junk mail. Procrastinate no more, I told myself, going for needle and thread.



They are, from left clockwise: a fabric owl purse with a loose eye, four buttons sewn on Jamie's new shirt (he kind of picked the fabric out himself by pointing and hooting), a $1 duck I found somewhere that developed a small hole, and a selection of fabric beans that I made after Jamie spent a weekend collecting small hand-sized rocks. The beans, while fun to make and fun to dump out of a plastic cup and put back in ... are also fun for Angus, who likes to play bean hockey each morning on top of me as I try to sleep.
(Angus acquired another obnoxious habit recently: at 4 a.m. when he discovers his food dish is empty, he climbs on top of me and bites my butt.)

Wednesday afternoon, all heck broke loose when the Fool came home sick from work and ended up in the ER. He is fine now, home and happy to be here, after spending a couple nights in the hospital. Obviously, it wasn't under the best circumstances, but he had the presence of mind to take his knitting when the three of us left for the hospital and made some good progress on Jamie's sweater.



Now we are all home, and the turkey bratwurst I had planned to cook for dinner are mysteriously missing. They've either crept into a far corner of the freezer, are growing disgusting under the seat in the car because they fell out of a grocery bag, or Angus has cooked and eaten them, because I think even he would not eat frozen sausages.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It's Thursday night, so that means minestrone soup

burbling on the stove, because the Cosmic Otters are heading for Michigan tomorrow to help a dance friend celebrate his wedding with a big dance weekend. It promises to be laid-back, which is nice. Jamie will enjoy the time messing around outside in the late summer sunshine, and we'll get time to hang around as well. I plan to do some canoeing with Edward (the Fool doesn't find lake paddling exciting; Edward is generally up for outdoorsy adventures of all sorts) and look for freshwater jellyfish.
Last weekend, my friend Janice and I went to the Chicago Antique Market, outdoors in the West Loop. The Fool decided that an outdoor antique show didn't sound like much fun, so he and Jamie went to the Downers Grove farmer's market, bought fruit and corn and ate mini-doughnuts while I got on a train and knitted my toe-up sock.


Colinette Jitterbug; no idea what color. Well, obviously, blue. Colorway unknown. Sock pattern largely of my own devising, except for all the numbers that make it work; I got those off Deb Barnhill at Sock Summit.

The antique market was a lot of fun, although I think antiques are more outside my price range than plain old junk. We both saw some things we would have bought had money been no object, and in the end, we both bought a few little things. Janice got a cool purse at the indie crafts fair also at the market, and I bought a string of Indian cloth elephants from some vendor's $2 bin, plus three blown glass balls.

Here's what I love about shopping with Janice.
ME to GUY: How much are you selling these for?
GUY: The little ones are $12, the big ones are $15.
JANICE to ME: You can either hang one or three. Two won't look good. I think you should get three.
ME: Hmm, I dunno (doing math in head.)
JANICE to GUY: Hey, will you give us a deal if we buy three?
GUY: Uh, sure. How about three for $35?
JANICE: (withering glare.)
GUY: Or three for $30?
ME: Sold.
Is she not the kind of friend you want to take car shopping?


Painter Janice stopped to chat with. She's on the very far left in a baseball cap.


Interesting old mirrors. I started trying to imagine where I would hang one of these in my house.


Old kitchenware. I loved the colors, and I sort of fell in love with the glass dishes on the upper left, but they seemed pricey. I may keep my eye out for them at thrift shops, where hopefully they will be priced like junk and not antiques.



The long view. Something funny I should have photographed but didn't: someone was selling old workshop stools for, like, $25 each. I swear they came from my father's garage. Like, if I didn't know for sure those stools were still in the garage, I would have bet this guy had stolen them somehow. I had no idea the junky things were worth money ... heehee.


Jamie and I have been trying to get out and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. Winter's only too close. We went to the arboretum this week. I took my brainless sock and a relaxed attitude, and he looked at whatever he felt like for as long as he wanted. Here he is figuring out wood chips and coneflowers.



Kid with flooers.

Yesterday, we went to the library, because it was the end of the day and he was getting clingy and I decided for everyone's sanity (OK, mine) we were going to walk the mile to the library and see what there was to see there (which turned out to be lots of books and puzzles and aisles to explore while hooting and giggling). While at the library, I tried to find "Mason-Dixon Knitting," because I have four balls of Lion Organic Cotton I bought at a closeout sale, and I have some friends who are having a baby later this year, and I'm trying really hard not to knit a baby blanket, because I've said over and over, I don't want to fall down that particular crazy-hole, but there are some cute blankets out there, and I could use a brainless garter stitch project for days when Jamie requires a lot of my attention ... and only the fact it was checked out prevented casting on.
(But then Ravelry told me the pattern I want is available for free. Darnit.)

The Fool has been knitting too, but refuses to post, as he believes it's not interesting until he binds off the shoulders. Last night, Angus helped him knit. Angus is preventing the Fair Isle chart from blowing off the Fool's lap.



Back to the hot stove. The dance weekend is largely potluck, and I believe in holding up my potluck obligations, so I'm bringing a Thai noodle salad and a banana cake with mocha frosting that used up the four brown bananas rattling around in the freezer.