Thursday, January 29, 2015

This is Not About Knitting

I am currently driving my second Voyager/Caravan. In case you don't know, they're 
identical except for the emblem on the steering wheel. And the wheels may be different sizes on some models but overall, they're the same. My old Caravan had a sliding door on the passenger side only while my Voyager has a sliding door on both sides - I love this by the way. Sure makes my life easier for loading when the passenger side is parked against the fence, next to a wall or too close to other autos.

Now my cars are always old even when new to me. I've never been able to stomach the depreciation you get in the first year of owning a new car. Must be the bookkeeper in me! And I never cared enough to want another monthly payment or to triple my insurance either. I take good care of the working parts but I don't really care what the outside looks like. If I won a huge amount of money??? I'd still drive an old junque car.

My current Baby developed a problem with the driver's window in the summer. It just wouldn't go down without a fight any more & told me so with a squeal. The headlights were already  sandblasted when I got it & recently, I broke the driver's seat back adjustment switch when it jammed & I tried to make it work.  With a really wide tire behind the seat to hold the back upright like I wanted, I put out the call to my Scrapper friends about a new seat.

I was so excited when I got a call about a van going to the crusher with good seats inside. My buddy said my seat was held in with only four bolts & he could change it out in 10 minutes. So, while he was doing that, I checked out the lovely clear headlight assemblies on the front of it. Oh yeah!!! I was quoted $500 for new ones. And after I eyeballed them - same lights. One bolt, two screws. Everything matched nicely. Except the side wouldn't snap in. Mine had a round hole & the new ones had a slot. Well, dammit all anyway.  Apparently this is what grinders are for. A little trim here & a little trim there - why lookee here, it fits. And just because we were there, we took off the master window module - two screws & a plug - Holy Picture Window Batman, we have windows that work without a complaint.

All in all, not a bad couple of hours of scrounging. I probably saved myself $1000 in parts - you almost always have to buy headlight assemblies & window master modules new 'cause they're worn out in scrap cars too - the labor was already paid for by a previous favor. I smiled all the way home. No knitting got done. I didn't even think abut knitting. But my Baby's back & everything works again. Wooohooo

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wasn't that a Rainfall??

I had to go out yesterday since I ran out of milk on Wednesday. I can drink my tea without milk although I prefer it with, but I just can't eat oatmeal made with water!!  I love my oatmeal. I like Old Fashioned Oats which are just oats mashed flat. They take longer to cook but have nothing added or removed. I use oats, a quarter cup of raisins or craisins & milk. Cook it in the microwave for 7 minutes in my big 8 cup measuring cup. Let stand for 5. And eat. Sometimes I eat it with sugar, sometimes with cinnamon or jam. But I just can't eat the damn stuff without milk.
So, I had to go out. In the middle of the Rainfall Warning. OMG. Bad enough driving in the stuff but running - or in my case, hobbling - from the car to the store was awful. Not only did I get soaked going but carrying groceries BACK, unlocking a car, loading bags & self. Lets just say, I should've just brought soap & called it a shower.

I didn't do a couple of the things yesterday that called for running hobbling from car to store. Thinking I would do them today when the storm was over, I was sure mistaken. It's still coming down and there's still a red RAINFALL WARNING flashing on my computer. To hell with it, I guess I can just stay home & wash dishes instead.

In the meantime, I have been picking away at the current pair of socks trying to finish them off even though the fingers are sore. My thumbs are somewhat better than they were but still painful. The sticky salve works a whole lot better on the knee which means I can walk more without pain or wobbling. It doesn't work as well on the painful thumbs but it sure makes the skin soft. I can knit a few rows if I knit slower & take a break on every commercial if I'm watching the tube. I knew commercials were good for something. And a couple of the kids I know have asked for small items.

Jennifer asked for Boot Warmers. I'm on the Lion Brand e-list & the last email offer included a Free Knitting Pattern for - Cabled Heart Boot Cuffs - just in time for Valentine's & just in time for Jennifer. The pattern is written for "Vanna's Choice" which is a worsted weight & size 5.5 & 6mm needles. I wish I had Red for them but Jennifer prefers any shade of black. Yuk.
Max, on the other hand, wants a tuque in any shade of Blue. He says he'll even wear Royal or Robin's Egg but likes Black too. I told him it won't be Black. He likes to roll his tuques up & wear them like a Beanie with his hair tucked under at work. I think a nice Royal Blue Antler would be good for him. The pattern is from 'Tin Can Knits' and is free on Ravelry.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oh to be Useful Again

I'll tell you, having a job again really makes me feel better. There's a reason to get up in the morning. It's like the brain turns on the 'Git up & Go' hormone when you have something to do other than cater to your own needs. I sleep better, feel more rested & actually look forward to pounding on the old keyboard once more. I put the word out that I was back in business in the Home Office a few months ago & it seems people have finally got off their asses. It's a month before Tax Season of course, but I suppose it's better late than never. And I'm loving it. I think my sight & hearing have even sharpened up a little too. Stop laughing out there - just wait until you've been written off as 'No Longer Needed' 'But you're almost 64, why do you want a job' or my favorite 'Retire, you deserve it.' Yeah, Okay. But, I've worked all my life & am not ready to quit just yet!! And I still NEED the money.

To celebrate, I visited my doctor about my painful thumbs. I wanted information on & samples of medicinal cremes that I could rub in instead of taking more & stronger pills. I worry about my Liver. In the past, I tried a couple of them but wasn't impressed. And I just don't have the money to spend on sampling. I was told not to bother. Apparently the over-the-counter analgesic cremes don't have enough of the analgesic for anything other than minor aches but he could give me a prescription for one to be made up. And the cost would be about the same as the one on the shelf.

I should've known better. I ended up with a nice large tub of beige muck, the look & consistency of axle grease. It doesn't smell, thank gawd, but it takes forever to rub in - sort of like rubbing heavy Vaseline into your skin. The Pharmacist assured me that it mostly penetrates the skin but may take several applications before it's effective. I must apply it twice a day.

Let me tell you, you don't just dip a finger in, rub it on & go about your business. It's get a cup of tea, sit down, rub it in for 15 minutes per spot until it's gone, drink the tea & then go about your business after you wipe or wash the remainder from between your fingers. I must've spent at least an hour that first day rubbing it in!!! But you know, the darned stuff works. It takes a while but it works so well that I rubbed it into my whole knee - both sides & below & had the first painless knee since I tore that cartilage!! I'm still working on the thumbs.

And this is why I have no knitting to show & no projects to discuss. Instead, I'm reading Sylvia Olsen's book - Working with Wool. It's an extremely interesting history of the Native women who gathered the fibres, wove the blankets & knitted the sweaters that kept their families warm & fed over the years on the Coast of B.C.  It's a History book & a Sociology book & a Story book about the Women who work with wool.

Monday, January 12, 2015


I've been so frustrated the past couple of days that I could send my foot through the Internet & up the backsides of everyone at Google. For some strange reason Google decided to GOBBLE up my blog & my business G-mail account. No comment, no warning, no nothing. It's sort of like when you're typing in the Blog & the type-face suddenly changes in mid word. It's taken a couple of days to actually figure out what happened & then get it all straightened out. Why can't they leave well enough alone????

Haven't knit much lately since I've been pounding on the keyboard with a new project & filing GST reports. Trying to get as much done as  possible before it's time to do T4s & jump into Tax Returns again. And I have to bone up on all the changes this year - nice of the Tax Man to spread a few goodies around for the Working families for a change instead of giving tax breaks to the wealthy & rebates to the poor. Did you know the biggest percentage of tax is paid by the Middle Class Worker???

But, now that you're terrified by Taxes & Google changes, here's a picture of something warm & wooly that I'm finishing up. The mate is on the needles & almost ready to have the heel turned. It's my favorite Kroy again but in the 3ply - no wonder it went further. Other than finishing a pair of Arrow Lace socks already on the needles, I'll be concentrating on finally finishing a sweater for myself - yeah, the Poncho Pullover is still on the needles but it is advancing down the body rapidly!!! 

And I think I'll knit CONIC from Cookie A's book 'Knitwear Volume 1 - Shapes & Form' that I bought in December. I was chatting with another large woman in Ravelry who knit it for herself & she says it's a fairly quick knit even in fingering. She says she loves how it feels & drapes even though she sized it UP a few sizes. I love the back panel & those crazy sleeves. It seems to do what I need - covers the back, shoulders, sides & sleeves to the elbow & makes a great office sweater to kill the chill.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


Back to pounding on the Home Office computer for a living. This wasn't what I had planned but in some ways, it's kinda nice being back. I can commute in my fleece PJs, I can do the laundry while working & I can cook dinner while working & doing the laundry in my PJs. What a life!!
The only real problem is being cut off from the world. I can go for days without talking to anyone & it's easy to let your days become all tangled up with your nights & end up sleeping & working opposite of everyone else. That only adds to the loneliness of course. So, starting this week, I've set my alarm for 7:30 & plan on heading to bed before midnight to get my days & nights back on track. I have a big job of data entry, filing GST & Corporate Tax returns over the next couple of weeks.

I've become a complete TV addict while unemployed. PBS offers TEA TIME programming for adults during the day. From 3 to 5, they offer British drama & Antiques Roadshow. I like to take a late lunch at 3 & watch. A nice perk for the AT HOME worker. It also gives me time to work on the latest sock or my Poncho which is eating up yarn at tremendous rates. Since the weather has brightened up, I may be able to take a photo for a change too. It was so gloomy the other day that when I woke up at 7:30, I got that disoriented moment where you wonder if it's day or night. Looking forward to getting up really early again in the spring, drinking tea on the patio & watching the birds. I'm always happier when the days are lighter for longer.

Working on the second sock in another pair of KROY 4ply socks for myself. Since I had three balls of this color, I thought I'd make a pair of L_O_N_G socks for a change.

This must be an older Kroy colorway because I was able to make one long sock out of one ball. My orange/brown socks HAD to be shorter because of the yardage in the ball. Expecting the same yardage, I was able to make my new Red/Blue socks 4 inches longer & still use only one ball per sock.