27 November 2009

Yeah, Socks!

Today I finished my first pair of socks. Ever.

Other people knit socks all the time. They knit them like they're going out of style or, like, they're easy or something.

I watch people knit socks while I'm at SnB on a Thursday night and they knit on these tiny little needles - making the pattern up on the fly, changing the stitch count , subbing a different heel or toe because they don't like the heel or toe that the designer used for the sock their knitting.

Some of the people in this group do it without looking.

It's crazy, but good crazy. My kind of crazy.

Not only was this my first pair of socks, but it was my first Mystery knit and my first knit-a-long, all at the same time.

And now that I've finished my first pair of socks, I'm hooked and I'm trying to decide what pattern to knit next!

This one is the Through the Loops Mystery Sock 2009, knitted in madelinetosh tosh sock in the colourway "Shell" and knitted on KnitPicks Harmony 3.00 mm DPNs.

I knitted these week-by-week, per the Mystery Knit-a-long, with no modifications other than needle size to obtain gauge.

05 November 2009

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

It's Guy Fawkes Day here and much like The Horse Whisperer or gefilte fish, I wish it could be dis-invented.

I can't stand this night.

The fireworks. Oh, the fireworks. Bloody amateur fireworks, too. Amateur fireworks that drive my dogs crazy. Crazy.

As soon as the sun sets, the fireworks start with the popping and the banging and the whistling and the high-pitched whining and then - worse - the barking.

Oh, the barking.

I've tried everything - shushing the dogs; pretending the fireworks aren't happening; feeding them so that they associate the fireworks with good things; I even took Campulance's advice and took them out into the back garden and oohed and aahed at the pretty lights bursting in air, lying for their sakes, so that they could see that I wasn't afraid and that they needn't be afraid. Pshaw! Nothing worked.

I've given up now and am letting them run in and out of the back door, bark alternately at the sky and the skylight and shiver and quiver in fear, as they like. It's nearly midnight now and the fireworks will ease and, hopefully, end soon. They'll forget about the noises and the bad exploding lights, but I'll know it's coming next year.

It's coming.

I'm no fool, I have a plan. Next year, they'll have these to cover their ears.

Next year I'll remember the 5th of November and the three of us will Keep Calm and Carry On.

10 October 2009

Look Who's 1!

Today is Roxzilla's first birthday. It's hard to believe that we've only had her seven and a half months. I can hardly remember a time when she wasn't here.

Since it's her birthday, I'm letting her roughhouse with her brother, bark at the neighbor she hates and I let them both have roast beef and roast ham with their biscuits for dinner.

What did we get her for her birthday?

We got her spayed.

Happy Birthday, Rox!

08 October 2009


It's fibroids. Again.

23 September 2009

As If I Wasn't Jealous Enough Already

It's not enough that some people get to live in New York, oh no, they get extraordinarily lovely events, too!

I logged onto the Purl Bee blog to see their post about the upcoming NYC Yarn Crawl happening in October!

Sooooooooooooooooo jealous.

Sigh. There are definitely some things I miss about living in the States.

And before you ask, yes, I would have gotten off my keister and gotten on a plane and gone to the East Coast for this.

Maybe I could convince to some of the wool shops in London...

(Note: Original artwork copyright of Melissa Soong)

09 September 2009

I'm Not Martha

I live every day of my life under the cloud of a conundrum: I don't like to clean, but I loathe clutter and dirt.

Though I like our house, it has been making me insane for the past three-plus years. We moved into a lovely, late-1920's semi-detached from a very modern townhouse. You know, one of those apartments with open-plan kitchen/dining/living areas with storage in every conceivable place including a kitchen pantry and a coat closet at the front door, an alcove specially meant for the flat screen tv (whether you had one or not), walk-in closets in both bedrooms, built-in storage along the upstairs hall (wall and base cabinets), laundry room, fitted furniture in the bathrooms... Let's just say that we don't have that kind of storage here.

We had some rather large pieces of art on the walls and a huge mirror that stood in our hall. One of the pieces of art is being partially hidden by the tv and the mirror is still crated in the garage. I have boxes of things that travelled via container ship from the States over three years ago that remain unpacked. Mind you, there are only a few, but a few is a few too many!

Yesterday I woke up and had had enough, er, I mean, I woke up inspired and made a start.

In two days I emptied all the crap out of two 75 litre plastic boxes that have been stored in the garage for at least a year and either rehomed (in our home), recycled or binned the items. I sent the husband off to the charity shop with several bags to donate while I went to the tip and dumped all of the larger items that could be recycled and bags of trash that couldn't. I donated bags of dog treats, toys, leads and bedding to the Dog's Trust and packed and posted a package that I've been meaning to post for three weeks. I even took 23 books to the secondhand book stall at the weekly market and sold them to the proprietor. And if you knew how I feel about books, you'd know what a big deal this is!

The sad thing? I don't think I can see a difference.

It's time to get ruthless.

25 August 2009

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me Sooner?

Anyone who knows me, strike that, anyone who's met me (even ever-so-briefly probably) knows that I am arachnophobic.

And I mean arachnophobic. Not a little. A lot.

The tiniest of spiders, tarantulas... all the same in my book. I will throw away goods if I find an old web in them. I cannot sleep in a room that has a spider in it - especially if it's crawled under or behind something and I can't see it. Every September I consider moving out of our house.

I have been carjacked by a spider. I kid you not.

Last night, on my way up the stairs to go to bed, I froze, one foot in the air, after catching sight of one of the eight-legged evil little freaks, casually hanging out on the wall.

I called the husband.

He came to the top of the stairs and said, "What?!" I could only point. His response?

"It's not doing any harm."

Ohhhhhhhh! How silly of me? Has that been the secret all along?! Well, now that I know it's not doing any harm, I'm completely cured! Thank you, husband, for your wise words have opened my eyes to the truth of the world and I am now unfettered of my fear and can go through life blithely picking up and tongue-kissing spiders!

If only I'd known...

Suffice it to say, I made him come downstairs and get the damn spider.

14 August 2009

He's Here!!

In the wee, small hours of the English summer morning, a baby boy was born.

Actually, he was born in the not-so-wee, small hours of a Midwestern summer evening, but he's here and that's all that matters.

The Husband is a grandfather and I'm a granny-by-proxy. I'm so frickin' excited!

He was born at 8:13 p.m. on August 13th (very cool) and I'm dying to see a picture of him. His mother and his grandfather were both beautiful babies, so I can't imagine that he'll be any different!

I say it's time for a plane ticket and a visit, so we can get to the cuddling!

Oh the knitting I see in my future...

Welcome, little one!

09 August 2009

Best Weekend Ever

While my weekend was quite good, the pups had a great weekend.

On Friday, Himmelbjerget brought the heiland coo and the Polar-Dog to Bridge House Marina. Roxzilla and Retardo Montalban thought they'd quite fancy a walk, so they convinced us set off in the direction of Garstang and brave the wilds of the Lancaster Canal tow path.

The dogs ran and sniffed and snuffled and tried to steal everything they could think of - from cups of tea and sandwiches to moving worms in tackle boxes. Roxie and Tally strayed waaaaaaaay too close to the edge of the canal, but we discovered it was just a ruse to get into the narrow boats and see what they could steal from the people onboard, be it food or cuddles, I don't think they were bothered which!

They all got to trip over the aqueduct and taunt the golfers. They scared little kids and even aggravated two really sour people because (admittedly) they were taking up the entire width of the tow path. It took 20 seconds away from the lives of those people, but they were really bothered about it. The dogs weren't. They were busy and not paying a blind bit of attention. There were ducks, swans, other dogs, non-sour people and piles of horse poop to sniff. They seemed to say, "Time is too short to be bothered with people who didn't see the joy in it all" and off they went, never even noticing those silly, silly people.

After a short break in Garstang and a (relatively) quick walk back to the marina, Nino and Tally went home to watch Himmelbjerget eat some lunch (and possibly sneak a bit, as well). Milo and Roxie climbed on board our canal cruiser and headed out for a weekend of sailing. They ate snacks canal-side at the Water Witch in Lancaster, ate biscuits bay-side in Hest Bank and then acted like fools all along the coast (chasing other dogs, teasing a doberman pinscher who was afraid of small dogs, leaping in and out of puddles - turning Milo's coat green - and pretending to be springboks when the grass or sand dunes were too high). They had roast beef for breakfast, instead of the dry biscuits and holistic dog food they normally get, tried to eat their weight in schmackos and napped on the bed anytime they thought we weren't looking. They barked at everyone and everything on the tow path, cows and sheep in a few fields and some plastic-covererd hay bails (I never said they were smart).

By Sunday, ready for home and expecting rain, we turned the boat back towards Nateby and the marina. Back at the house, they jumped out of the car, had a quick lap of water, wee'd in the garden to ensure that the cat knew they were back and then sacked out on the carpet in the lounge, dead to the world, little legs and noses twitching.

Dear Diary, this weekend was the best weekend ever...

18 July 2009


Today is my 5th wedding anniversary.

When choosing anniversary presents, the husband and I use the traditional gift table as our inspiration. Usually, we try to be fairly inventive, interpreting the medium if necessary to make the gift fit. For year one, I bought him the newly published Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and he got me plane tickets (paper); for our second I bought him designer denim that he wanted (cotton and remember, he's schmancy!) and so on and so on.

For the fifth wedding anniversary, the traditional gift is something made of wood. This year, I bought him a walnut and sycamore clock to put on the boat. Traditional, applicable, admittedly not very imaginative.

Here's where the interpretation bit kicks in. We went to Derek Woodman and he bought me this:

My very own little whizzer.

Thanks, hon!

Happy Anniversary! xx

11 July 2009

The Bad Service Cafe

One of the (many) differences between living in the hub of Silicon Valley and a tiny little town in the Northwest of England is the food. One of the differences between living in the U.S. and England period is service. Customer Service. Or, rather, the lack thereof.

Today, the husband and I needed lunch and we wanted food without the consequences (i.e., washing up, not calories) and we headed to the Mill on the road behind our house to the Bad Service Cafe.

The weather, though overcast, was nice enough for us to sit outside. The only table available was covered in cups and lettuce and other vestiges of the previous patrons' lunch. A "waitress" (and I use the term loosely) came to our table in a tank top with bra straps and her midriff showing, along with the top of her underpants above the band of a pair of calf-length, sloppily-worn black leggings. Oh, did I mention that her leggings were dirty?! Dirty. She took our order and shuffled away... without clearing the table.

A different "waitress" came - chewing something - and cleared the table... partially. She went away, but didn't come back.

A third girl came to tell us that the drink I requested wasn't available. I changed my order. To our surprise, before she walked away, she cleared the rest of the table... but she didn't clean it.

No. 2 came back to the table and delivered the husband's tea and was about to walk away when I asked her to clean the table. She said, "Sure," but the look she gave me said,"You're getting a sneezer instead of an iced coffee." She went away, got a cloth and came back to clean. She seemed stumped by the act of cleaning a table. I kept quiet. I was trying to limit the damage to the sneezer.

Once our food arrived, we were forgotten. We suddenly ceased to exist. We became ghosts, phantom visions, noises that requested extra napkins or more water, but insubstantial, unreal. Worse, we were outside and all of the outdoor tables at the Bad Service Cafe are conveniently located behind brick pillars. I truly believe that this is so that they can ignore us with impunity.

And today they were fairly on top of things. Normally, we're inside and the staff are all sitting at a table chatting while the customers sit, starving, watching them chat and dreaming about delicious sandwiches or puddings. They forget who ordered what (even asking when the there are only two people and they've ordered the same thing), they never know what drinks are available on any given day, and when you order Cheese and Onion Pie, you get Cheese and Onion Lake. I am not kidding. Ask Himmelbjerget or Pendle Stitches, if you don't believe me.

The problem? The food is good, really good. It's just that the service is bad - really, really bad.


We'll go back the next time we're in need of a quick fix. We always do.

14 June 2009


What do you do after destroying Tokyo with your big pink bandage?

You take a nap, of course.

07 June 2009


Brooklyn Tweed taught me cabling without a cable needle.

That's right, I said b r o o k l y n t w e e d taught me to cable without a cable needle!

Let me explain: Yesterday Himmelbjerget and I travelled to Coventry for the very first Ravelry Day UK.

We got up at oh-god-thirty in the morning and drove to the Midlands (into the most confusing City Centre ever; even the sat-nav couldn't figure out where we were supposed to be!) to the Coventry Central Hall and workshops and market stalls for the day.

Our first workshop was a complete and total dud. We went to the Liz Lovick "Introduction to Fair Isle" workshop. I paid actual money to sit in a room (in which two other workshops were being conducted simultaneously) for someone to tell me to "wing it," "fudge it" and "tug it." Seriously. I wish I could say it was dirtier than it sounds. It wasn't. Then she told us to go ahead and add in the second color. Uh, if I knew how to add in a second color, I wouldn't have taken the frickin' workshop. It was a ridiculous waste of my time.

In lieu of eating, the two of us hit the stalls. Oh, how I loved the Old Maiden Aunt booth! It was wonderful to see the colors of her homecoming collection in person. They were absolutely gorgeous. I limited myself to three skeins, but I did buy a project bag and a needle book from her that was made by an artist who has a studio near her. We also got to see a friend who was selling there, to stroke the cashmere and alpaca at the Knitting Goddess stall and I shelled out an absurd amount of money for one of the Toft Alpaca bag kits, but I simply couldn't resist. Sigh. I've already wound the skeins from the kit into center-pull cakes.

Back in the hall, we took seats in the back row of the auditorium for the Meg Swansen talk (it was billed as a talk with her and her sister Lloie, but I never saw or heard the sister during the talk). Meg read a passage from The Opinionated Knitter by her mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, and then asked if there were any questions. About what, precisely? I scored well in verbal comprehension on the SATs, so I was good. She read a another passage that was equally self-explanatory and then opened the floor to questions for the second time. Himmelbjerget had made us lunches and at first I was conscious of the noise I was making munching on the deliciously crunchy gem lettuce in my sandwich. As soon as I realized what the "talk" was going to consist of, I thought, "screw that" and ate at my leisure. The girl next to me knitted and took notes on her knitting and the girl next to her surfed the web and her email on her iPhone. Apparently, it wasn't just us. Meg Swansen also kept referring to Elizabeth Zimmerman as Elizabeth and not 'mom' or 'mum' and I found it weirdly disturbing. Apparently it's done for professional reasons, but why bill yourself as Elizabeth Zimmerman's Daughter and then call her by her first name the entire time you're talking? It was just so odd.

To break the uncomfortable silence, audience members started asking questions - inane, desperate questions: "in a fire, what knitting would you take with you?" and "you told us about the sweater room, where do you keep your stash?" I wanted to channel that moment in National Treasure and shout, "Snorkel! See I can do it, too."

My last workshop of the day was the Jared Flood, aka BrooklynTweed, "Plan Your Own Aran" workshop. It was fantastic! He taught the group to cable without a cable needle and explained it in a clear and concise way - so much so that my brain made a click sound when it happened. He even crawled along the floor on his knees to be at our eye level to demo the technique. Awesome! Mind you, I'm surprised any of us learned a thing; we all sat there crushing on him a little bit. He's soooo sweet and genuine, you just can't seem to help it.

His was one of the very few workshops I've attended in which the instructor gave an assignment that could actually be completed during the workshop. He made sure that we could all see what was happening when he demo'd and he ensured that all of our questions were answered - no matter how many times he had to repeat himself. He was patient, articulate and a talented teacher. I geeked out and asked for his autograph. I left with both the feeling that I had the tools and information I needed to create my own Aran pattern and a big, fat, stupid grin on my face!

Despite the fact that my first workshop and the Meg Swansen talk were disappointing - and the fact that minister of the church was skulking about and reminded me of a creepy, serial killer-esque version of Where's Waldo - the day was an overall, overwhelming success for me.

It was great to see the wares from all of the wonderful vendors. Best of all, it it was fantastic to buy and to see people buying yarn from small, independent, British artists.

Good times.

04 June 2009


For the second time in a little over four years, someone in the medical profession has described something about my current condition as "impressive."

Neither time has this been meant in a positive way.

After months of being exhausted by the slightest bit of physical effort, intermittently falling asleep for hours on the sofa in the middle of the afternoon and compulsively chewing crushed ice (I can go through three bags in a week), I was diagnosed with severe anemia.


At least I know what's wrong and can now put a treatment course into place. I was given a prescription for iron pills today (and warned about the lovely side effect) and was told that my particular kind of anemia was from blood loss and, thus, can't be fixed by more B12 or folic acid. Rats. I was hoping for a homeopathic remedy.

The upside of getting more iron is that I'll be able to walk up flights of stairs without becoming short of breath. Woo-hoo!

The downside is that I'll no longer have an excuse for my afternoon nap. Bummer.

28 May 2009

Pieces of Eight

KraftyKoala tagged me with possibly the hardest meme I've ever done. I actually had to consider the topics and think about my answers. I think I took less time writing the exam essay that determined whether I would skip remedial English at University.

So here they are, my pieces of eight:

8 things I am looking forward to…..
  1. My step-daughter having her son in August!!!
  2. Ravelry Day UK!
  3. Having a clean boat - the mess keeps me up at night.
  4. Terminator Salvation. 'Nuff said.
  5. Roxie learning to sit and stay.
  6. Reading 50 books in one year.
  7. More arts trails in Scotland.
  8. Warm weather.
8 things I did yesterday…….
  1. Got a bruise from having my blood drawn.
  2. Took two naps.
  3. Talked to my sister in California.
  4. Soaked in the bath while reading "Knots and Crosses".
  5. Bought £20 worth of treats. Nooooo, they're not spoiled...
  6. Noticed that Roxie's "bits" are swollen. My puppy's first season.
  7. Picked up my new toaster. I got the red one!
  8. Made Milo stop humping Roxie's head... and the cat.

8 things I wish I could do…….
  1. Sew! Like KraftyKoala, I have a machine, but lack the skills.
  2. Play my cello well.
  3. Have a Monica Geller-clean house. Oh, if only...
  4. Keep chickens and bees.
  5. Rid myself of my arachnophobia.
  6. Take great photos. Minder has been a fabulous mentor.
  7. Bake! I'd love to be able to make pie crust from scratch.
  8. Still hit a High C. I was able to do it in my youth.

8 shows I watch……
  1. The Big Bang Theory - I laugh so loudly that I frighten the dogs.
  2. Grey's Anatomy - Especially worth it if you need a good cry.
  3. Next Top Model - America's, Britain's, Canada's, whoever's!
  4. Nothing to Declare - I'm hopelessly addicted to the stupidity.
  5. Two and a Half Men - Best Ever? "Old Flame with a New Wick"
  6. As Time Goes By - I know it's old, but I love it.
  7. CSI - I only like the one in Vegas, the original and the best!
  8. Ideal - Graham Duff is my hero.
I don't actually have eight bloggers to tag, so I tagged these six:
Pendle Stitches
Snake Surly
Brown Berry
Meir Cats

And here are the rules in case you need them!
  1. Mention the name of the person who tagged you.
  2. Do the lists of 8.
  3. Tag 8 bloggers of your choice.
  4. Let them know that they have been tagged!

Play along if you like, even if you weren't tagged.

Have fun, kids!

26 May 2009

Are You Spring-Flinging?!

This past weekend was a Bank Holiday weekend and Himmelbjerget "dragged" me to the Borders and Southwest coast of Scotland for two-days of visiting artists' studios and driving along the glorious, picturesque coast. And by "dragged" I mean she asked and I jumped at the chance!

Despite the rain, Saturday was lovely and I got to see the artist that was number one on my list - Amanda Simmons. She's a glass artist who lives and works in the small village of Corsock, near Castle Douglas. I bought one small vessel from her range of pieces that are cameo engraved on a diamond wheel lathe, but managed to resist one of her large platters that I really, really wanted. I was the very picture of restraint. I may not be so well-behaved if I get to go to Origin in London in October.

But the best day was Sunday.

On Sunday, we had beautiful weather and were rewarded with spectacular views on our drive along the coast. We ventured out to Port William to the studio of printmaker and painter Lisa Hooper. Oh my word! As well as getting to watch her demonstrate her newest technique of doing batik on paper (beautiful!) and viewing her wonderful prints and artwork (displayed along the walls of her gorgeous home), we had tea and homemade pastries in her kitchen served up by volunteers who'd made the cakes and the jam to spread on our freshly baked scones and gave us a tour of the garden and showed us the bee hives and chatted and entertained us before sending us, sated and happy, on our way back to England clutching our linocuts, notebooks and cards.

Were we Spring-Flinging? Yep.

Will we be next year? Yep.

05 May 2009

Roxie Jessica Parker

My puppy is definitely a girly-girl.

She wears a pink diamante collar, she plays with a little pink rhino squeaky toy and right now she's laying on her belly on her little cushion watching Sex and the City.

Who knew that racy talk and Manolo Blahniks were her thing?!

That's my girl...

30 April 2009

Absolutely Fabulous

Something terrific happened to me.

A couple of months ago, one of the women in my knitting group contacted The Knitter magazine and suggested our group for their gallery page. They were keen to feature us, apparently, and we submitted a shortlist of projects to be featured.

My AbFab throw by Colinette was one of the five accepted.

In this month's issue, on newsstands now, there is a photo of me and one of the throw I knitted. Amazing.

All of the projects look wonderful; the photographs really do the items justice.

It's such an honor to be chosen and to be featured alongside these fabulous knitters and exceptional women.

Well done, ladies. Well done.

26 April 2009

Like Babette

Friday was Himmelbjerget's birthday and we were invited to celebrate with her and feast.

And feast we did.

I'm furious with myself for not bringing a camera and taking pictures of the gorgeous meal we had (and I mean gorgeous in both the American and the English sense).

Our first course was a delicious beetroot and apple soup, served with blinis, smoked salmon and soured cream. Yum! For mains, we had the most beautiful open-faced sandwiches, my favorite being the amazing Danish Blue cheese and Pear on artisan Rye. Sha-mon! It was all I could do not to pull the plate of sandwiches to me and tip the entire thing into my mouth. We finished off with Himmelberjet's meal with a decidedly moreish coffee-infused ganache-filled gateau. So, so lovely.

And all of this was eaten off of her wonderful Bing & Grondahl "Seagull" patterned dinnerware (apparently some it over one hundred years old!!).

Delicious food, much laughter, good friends and reasons to celebrate. Who could ask for more?

Happy Birthday, X!

17 March 2009

You Must Read This

I happened upon a lovely blog the other day (in fact, the photo introducing this post is hers).

I found it just as she was giving away some wonderful old baking tins. The next time I checked in she had a fabulous contest where her readers had to guess what three truly gorgeous and wild pieces of antique silverware were - spectacular.

Today, she wrote what is probably the most beautiful and poignant post I've ever read. Ever.

You just have to read it for yourself.

15 March 2009

And the Nominees Are...

I've been nominated for a Sisterhood award.

This is my first blogging award and I am spectacularly pleased and flattered to be nominated. I have to tell you that I feel much the same way the person who nominated me does about this last year: my life has changed dramatically - for the better - and I'm living more the kind of life I was expecting to live when we moved to a tiny little town in the northwest of England.

I haven't talked about it much, but it's been both a trying and an amazing twelve months and I'd complain, but the bad has only served to emphasize how good the good has been.

Sooooo.... On to the awards. The rules of the Sisterhood award are:

- Place the award logo on your blog
- Nominate 10 other blogs which show "Attitude and/or Gratitude"
- Link to the nominee [in] your blog post
- Comment on their blog that you have nominated them
- Share the love and link to the person who nominated you

I don't have 10 women to nominate, but I do have these women (and their blogs, in no particular order) to nominate:

Joli House - These two prolific and talented knitters are also really lovely, sweet, inviting people. I am always in awe of the beauty of their projects and I suffer from pure, unadulterated envy of Minder's photographic talent. She has inspired me to "forget" about the auto setting on my digiital SLR and learn to use it properly.

Himmelbjerget - Stuff the fact that Pendle Stitches already nominated her, I'm doing it again. To know here is to be mighty, mightily, heartily inspired. She's generous, kind and thoughtful; helpful, insightful and very, very funny. There are at least a dozen other reasons that I can cite, but it will have to suffice to say that in small ways, everyday, she inspires me and I am glad to be able to call her 'friend.'

Yarn Snob - Okay, so I don't actually know her. We "met" when we did a yarn transaction through Ravelry. She was lovely to message and seemed friendly and sweet. Then I saw her project page and I instantly hated her. And then loved her. And then hated her, and then, ultimately, loved her. Good god, stop the gorgeousness!! No, wait, don't. Don't stop. The world needs the gorgeousness.

Brownberry - I love the way she talks about her family and the world and the things that mean something to her. I love the way she stops by to comment on my blog and comments on you commenting on her blog. Again, this is a woman that I have not met in person and yet I cannot help feeling connected to her. Funny thing, the Internet.

Mimsie - Not only does her knitting prowess rule, but her day-to-day blog often leaves me in stitches. I adore the way her voice comes through in her posts and I like the fact that she blogs about being an ex-pat without it becoming an "us vs. them" blog (actually, I admire that in any ex-pat blog that can do it). I have to admit that I also like her blog because we come from the same place (even went to the same high school) and it's good - however transient - to have a connection with the place I come from.

And lastly, but absolutely not least, the lovely Pendle Stitches herself (who nominated me) - a gracious and genteel hostess (though that's as far as the gentility goes, which is a good thing), fabulous stitcher and friend extraordinaire. I admire anyone who can admit, out loud, that that Barton Grange lemon cheesecake is better than theirs (it's better than everybody's).

Ladies, thank you for letting me share your virtual and real lives.


28 February 2009

Yarn Embargo

The husband is home for a few short weeks between assignments.

We decided to take this unexpected opportunity to make some long-overdue changes to the house.

For various reasons, it's a rather dovetailed process; one room has to be finished and cleared so that the next can be started.

It's also a process best served by having the rooms organized to move, rather than moved and then organized since I'd like the next room to be started almost immediately.

So today, while the husband looked after the fur-babies, I spent three-plus hours in our makeshift bedroom and finally finished stashing (though not photographing) my two drawers of yarn onto Ravelry.

Two drawers.

Two drawers of yarn may not seem like much, but, in stashing them, I discovered just how much yarn I have simply sitting in a drawer. Just sitting there! I also realized that I have a relatively large number of projects queued that I haven't started and that made me realize that I've been knitting for 3 and a half years and I have all of 19 projects to show for it and - I'll be honest with you - I really haven't knit many more projects than that because there are only three completed projects (the Hateful Sweater, krafty koala's Woolfest bunting and a fun-fur scarf) that aren't listed on my Projects page.

What in the hell have I been doing?! That is entirely too much yarn for the amount of knitting that I do or, rather, have done. Entirely too much.

So I made a decision: I am not allowed to purchase any more yarn for the foreseeable future. I need to knit projects from my queue and I need to use the yarn I have. If yarn comes my way by some other means, I will not hesitate to abscond with it, but my purchasing days (at least for awhile) are at an end.

I don't know how I'm going to do it...

More Good News and Bad News

The bad news: the jeans I was wearing smell like wee.

The good news: It wasn't my wee.

Well, not all of it.

It belonged to our loverly new puppy. Yes, folks, she's finally here.

Introducing Milo's little sister, Roxie:

Let the girly "sqeeee" noises begin. You may opt for the more manly "awww" if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Believe it or not, they are not only the same breed, but they are of the same parentage. Yup, same mom, same dad. Crazy, huh?

She's 20 weeks old and much shyer than Milo was when we got him, but she's already napped with the cat and tried to eat her weight in kibble at every meal.

Good times.

10 February 2009

Licenced to Drive

After several long months and one very nerve-wracking drive, I am licenced to drive on a full UK driving licence (not a mere provisional one!).

It's about bloody time.

I know that's not me and it's not a UK licence, but the picture was just too good to pass up.

20 January 2009


From today he will no longer be the president-elect. No longer will we have to ask ourselves whether change is possible and whether or not we are ready for the future.

The future is here. Change and progress happen today.

Today Barack Hussein Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States of America.

I haven't been able to say this for eight years, but today I can say it. Finally, I can say it, "He is my president."

04 January 2009

Climbing Trees

Today I went looking for Milo.

Mind you, he was in our back garden and he was supposed to be out doing his business, so I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary.

Maybe he'd finished and maybe he hadn't, but whatever he'd done he was doing something else now... he was climbing a tree.

That's right, my bloody dog was climbing a tree.

A frickin'

He was about a quarter of the way up, just as cool as you please, looking over the fence into our neighbor's garden.

Crazy-ass dog.

Unfortunately, I freaked and called his name instead of running indoors and grabbing the camera, so there's no photo. Just the one of him doing what he's doing now.

Good grief.

01 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Best Wishes for 2009.