Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tax Season Again

I know some of you laugh out loud when I say this is my favorite time of year. I really do love Tax Season. It's the challenge of the Game and it often IS a game because it's not what it IS so much but what you CALL it that counts!! Different types of Income are taxed differently AND not all expenses are treated equally. It's knowing the difference that matters. It's sort of like sock yarns.

And speaking of sock yarns - I've had my Gift Box sitting on the little table in front of my TV watching chair since I got it. I take things out & fondle them & put them back. I've got two balls of purples in with two balls of greens of the same yarn but FOUR different colors. I keep thinking about green & purple striped socks . . . hehehehehe! And the ALMOST finished hot pink lace socks!! And not enough yarn to finish them either. I think I'll have to frog them - SOB - but I have the Smoldering Hearts pattern which might work. Or a couple of Gansey Heart patterns. I could get two pairs of summer socks out of them!! Either way, I think it's screaming HEARTS.

Brown is not normally my color but I like the mottled shade in the box. I can't SEE to pick up heel flap stitches any more & I know my tension will be different so the mottled brown socks will have to be frogged for sure. And a real shame too since one whole sock is finished & the other is done to the heel flap. I think I'll use the same pattern which I really like - just a simple rib stitch - which will be appreciated by any man at Christmas. You can tell I'm already planning socks & hats for the Christmas Box.

But, before Christmas, there's all the Birthdays in the Office to conten
d with. April & May are the big months so I have several pairs on the go right now. The Boss Sock is the slowest of the bunch because it's that dark, dull color. I distinctly heard him say that he loves the new socks so much he'd almost wear any color. Hmmmm yeah, right! Mr Conservative says that but does he mean it??? I don't think so. I think he'll continue to get the dark, dull colors . . . Sock #1 is done & onto #2. I sincerely hope I have enough yarn!

I'm thinking Bryan will get Frankensocks. The wilder, the better for him. And I'll put a row or two of Black or Blue between the colors!! I can't wait to get started on them!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Just like Christmas

I got a box! I got a box!! I got a box of goodies in the mail yesterday but I was so busy I forgot it out in the car till late last night. It was so exciting! You'll have to forgive my crappy photographic skills - I never get the light right. The yarns are much pinker & brighter than they look here!! I got sock yarns & even a set of square needles still in a sock!! LOL It looks like the knitter was so annoyed at one point that she wrapped it all up, needles & all & tossed it in the box! I remember t
hat feeling when I was learning to do the Queen Kahuna heel from the Crazy Heels & Toes book. At one point I kicked the book across the room in one direction & the knitting in the opposite one. Since the cat was still around, I did have to pick up the knitting but that book laid there for weeks . . . I did eventually finish that sock after a couple of frantic phone calls to my friend Gail who didn't laugh too loudly. And I did learn how to do that gusset heel all by myself. The light bulb came on during the 3rd pair of socks! All of a sudden it all made sense. Honest to gawd, it was just like ZAP & the light came on. I can do it in my sleep now. Best heel I ever used. I was horrified when I realized I couldn't SEE to pick up the stitches around the heel flap without being outside at noon. I just had to find another way. Gail suggested the Queen's heel. I can whack off a heel in no time now. And the gusset heel is so nice & deep - I can adjust it to be shallower or deeper by adding or subtracting gusset increases - my socks never creep into my shoes or boots any more.

I love the box of goodies - there's some yarns in there that I've never seen before - yeah, I live in the wilds of the Vancouver 'burbs on the Wet Coast but MY yarn shops don't carry those fancy yarns. And I couldn't afford to buy them if they did. So, I'm saving the colors I love the best - good thing there's lots of shades of pink & purple - and adding the others to my sock donations for Christmas to Loving Spoonful. Thank you Linda.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Over at Last . . . I think

I'm down to the final periodic morning coughs & snuffle sessions. I don't think I've ever been this sick with a crappy rhino virus in my life! I dodged the pneumonia, thank gawd, but I'm still feeling the exhaustion & dehydration. I think I drank a gallon
of milk in three days this week so far & I don't really LIKE milk. I ran out of socks again so here's a few hanging up on washday.

I've been making a lot of soup - Hamburger soup is a perennial fav as well as Italian soup. Both start with onion soup mix & browned onions & garlic. Hamburger soup contains browned burger, barley, carrots or sometimes chopped cabbage & all the leftover veggies in the fridge while Italian soup contains diced tomatoes with Italian spices, sometimes little white beans or soup pasta & chopped green veggies like spinach, zucchini, chard or beet greens. Instead of greasy Italian pork sausage, I've been adding chopped Tofurky Italian sausage made from tofu. It has all of the spicy bite with none of the grease!! It seems the blowing, sneezing & coughing takes a lot of moisture from a body!

And have I been knitting?? Some. I knit up a couple of soft touques, one from merino & silk & one from mohair & handspun. One cold evening, one of my clients showed up with the shaved head so popular with the twenty & thirty somethings & I stuffed one on his head! I think he's the second to be warmly covered this spring. And I stuffed the other one into his pocket for his new son, Joshua. I'm almost to the toe on the Boss Sock & still plugging along on my Poncho Pullover. Haven't felt much like knitting lately - this crappy weather has my hands slightly swollen & my knuckles aching. I suspect the virus & tax season have contributed as well! I'm using my hands a lot & they really hurt some days. I've ordered a DVD 'Yoga for the Rest of Us' from PBS(Public TV) Peggy Cappy produces a program of gentle yoga with a section for arthritic hands. She's been on Public Television advocating for Yoga - especially for seniors - to increase mobility. The reports from the Seniors involved in her program are very encouraging. So, I thought it might really help my overworked & arthritic hands so I can knit more!! hehehehe, what can I say???

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Just a little Rant

I want to know how a 15% increase in a Teacher's salary over 3 years is supposed to reduce crowded classrooms, add extra Teaching Aides & find more resources for kids at school??

My Opinion is that Schools, like Churches are undervalued & underused. Especially Elementary Schools. We paid to install all those bathrooms, kitchens, gyms & classrooms that only get used from 8:30 to 3:30 Monday to Friday for about 8.5 months by kids. The rest of the time, they're empty. Let's get our money's worth!!! I would rather pay extra NOW & make sure the next generations are healthy & ambitious than waste money building more jails.

With the shortage of good daycare - especially for babies - why aren't schools being used for Daycare???? With all the Portables available, Daycare space could be expanded & contracted to meet the needs of the community. Daycare MODULES could easily adapt to any age group with the addition of a bathroom/laundry module.

I've heard that the school lunch/breakfast programs are often the only meals some kids get on a regular basis. Let's feed all school kids. And the Before & After School program kids too. These kids are our next generation of tax payers. Let's show them how it's done.

With the captive student population attending school - Medical, Optometry, Dentistry & Psychiatry should be part of each school FREE to each student. Everyone would get the services they need at school! Parents wouldn't have to lose a day of work & the student a day of school. What a wasted opportunity an empty school is.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Back to My Life

Still coughing but everything is moving along as it should. Managed to get out to work full days on Friday & Saturday without any problems except that I'm still falling asleep when I sit down!! Can't bring mysel
f to open the bills yet but Tax Season is starting so it will all work out in the end. Today, I did nothing! I slept in & ate breakfast at noon. Watched a little TV & caught up on a few things. Like taking pictures of a couple of things in progress. Like that Poncho Pullover from Cabin Fever. I'm using Briggs & Little Heritage one needle size larger than the pattern calls for. My swatch snugged up when I washed it in the sink & then tossed it in the dryer on cool for a few minutes. I liked the fabric I got with the smaller needle before I washed the swatch but preferred the swatch with the larger needle after washing so, it's a little loose as I knit but I know that will change when it's washed the first time. And this stuff has to be washed!! It's dusty & should've been soaked BEFORE I balled it all but it sticks to itself in the skein when washed & I've had a terrible time pulling the sock weight skeins apart never mind a dozen or so big worsted skeins!!! So I shook it & thwacked it against the porch poles outside a few times before winding it up & it'll get a nice soak & spin in the washer before I wear it . . . The rain was soaking the whole patio so I had to take this pic in the bathroom with all the Daylight bulbs. Another couple of inches & I'll be blocking off the sleeves. I intend to add some cheeky fringe on the bottom too.

April is the month of birthdays at work. Three out of the five of us have April birthdays & one is in May. Three Aries & a Taurus manage to work very well together believe it or not. Lucky for me that all three of my compatriots have decided they love my socks. I have no problems shopping for any of them - Taurus is dull as dirt & only wears 'traditional' footwear in monochromatic 'manly' colors. The other two are Aries Adventurers with no real hangups, color phobias, personality problems, tics, twitches or unexpected public exhibitionistic tendencies - except in socks - who will
wear anything that comes off my needles. I love them all & am doing my best to see they're all happy again this year!!

Mr Taurus is getting socks in the Regia Jet Set colorway in dark blue. This is about as monochromatic as I get. It varies a little from almost black to a lighter blue but it's basically DARK BLUE. I have a few more balls of Regia Jet Set in the sock basket only because I got it on sale. The Ex loves the darker socks too so he gets a pair or two every year as well. I don't tend to knit too many for him though since he wears a size 13WWWWW & I need THREE 50 gm balls for him. The Taurus sock is reclining on my new Ravelry Sock Bag under the Daylight bulbs in my bathroom so you can see the real color of this sock yarn.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Still Coughing, Still Snuffling

I think I'm gonna live! Yes, I'm still wheezing, coughing & snuffling but it's mostly in the mornings when I first get up. I'm singing the praises of Benylin's Mucus & Phlegm which I found on Monday when I dragged myself to the drugstore. I was really afraid I was on the verge of pneumonia especially since I didn't even have the energy to knit after a coughing fit. Not a good thing when you're single!! The Benylin really did the trick. One dose got everything moving, I can now cough almost like a normal person & my lungs are relatively clear. Yesterday, I actually went to work for a partial day. I have to admit I was exhausted, sweating & falling asleep by the time I got home but I believe I'm on the mend at last. This is no bug to fool around with folks but I think I've survived the worst of it.

Today I'm going to the Newton job with the dogs. I don't have to deal with the public there, I can work at my own pace & leave when I'm tired. Gotta take it while I can!! I really really miss the pooches. And, if I survive that, I'm going to Starbucks to work on that Boss Birthday Sock . . .