Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Speaking of Thanksgiving Weekend Knitting....

.... and because this here is a Knitting Blog ... (*snicker*) ... have I told y'all my latest knitting news? No?

Well then.....

...all three pairs of Christmas Gift socks are FINISHED! That's right ... THREE PAIRS .. FINISHED! Can you believe it?? Whoo hoooo! And it's still only November!!!!

I'd post pictures .. .but ya know ... Christmas gifts! So I'll post those in about a month!

Plus, with all the knitting time over this Thanksgiving weekend, I was able to crank out this grey hat for my brother-in-law ... (he doesn't read this blog so I can actually post a picture!)

I had to guess at his head size so we'll see if it fits! And it's actually a darker grey than it looks in the picture. Nothing too exciting, I know ... but really, hand knit... by me ... and potentially fitting .... I'm handing out miracles for Christmas, I tell ya!! :)

And the hat was so quick and easy (of course, relative to my knitting socks .. what doesn't seem "quick and easy"!?? :)) that as soon as I arrived home Sunday I frogged my boob hat and reknit it into this hat for me!

Which, now that I look at this picture, actually still looks kinda like a boob, doesn't it?! Sigh. Yeah, well, at least it doesn't look like one when on my head! Which is a very significant improvement, don't think it isn't! ;)

(Oh, and please ignore that patch of grey there in the bottom left corner ... that would be CJ coming over to see what I was up to. Nosy, nosy, nosy!)

I have since started on another gift hat. One in which I might try incorporating a stripe! (that's a doosey for this here remedial knitter being that it involves changing yarns (on purpose!)!! So wish me luck! :)). And maybe I'll do another pair of socks. Or I could finish a couple of scarves I already have on needles.

Hmmmm. What other suckers ...errr, I mean, loved ones.... can I give homemade gifts to for Christmas?? Ponder, ponder, ponder. Friends, I'd start averting your eyes if I were you to avoid getting picked!!! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Random Thanksgiving Weekend Photos

Okay, by request ... some additional non-CJ (hrmph!) photos from this past weekend.

First off, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

We got SNOW, people! It was awesome! Here are a couple of "after" shots...

So we went out walking ... cuz ya know, we had SNOW!!! (Sorry. Please forgive the enthusiasm of a Southern California chicky who never actually saw snow fall from the sky until probably 20 years of age)

T1 and K with Friday and Penny. Buck.

Stella just lovedlovedloved the snow (though she's probably still scratching her head as to where those dang snowballs she was chasing kept disappearing to!)

And Penny, who didn't quite love the snow as much as she loved sucking on her blankie!

And, interestingly enough, what someone who never grew up with snow might not realize is that once the sun comes out the snow piled on your roof may come rumbling down off the roof in what one might think is a sudden avanlanche. Not that I thought that ... nope, not I .... tons of snow endlessly rumbling down the front window happens everyday for me ... but ya know ... someone could have, is all I'm sayin'! ;)

Here's the after shot...

So y'all, this group of folks knows how to stock up for a weekend away. We had SOO much food. And this cabin was pretty tiny. In fact, check out this oven .... ain't no way a turkey is roastin' in there!

And because we didn't know the "tiny oven" situation until we got there and SAW the "tiny oven" situation, we were stumped as to how to cook our turkey for all of about 30 seconds. Then Macyver (aka Jeff) took it upon himself to bbq it! In the snow! He he! The picture isn't very good (WAY too cold for this here photographer to wanna do more than poke her camera hand out the door and snap this shot!) but you get the idea.

And the turkey turned out great! Thanks, Jeff!

So as I said, we had MUCH food....

A couple of the desserts

....SO much food and drinks that we actually had to store some of the food and beverages outside the back door of the cabin in the snow. Which worked great. Until some little thieving teenager stole some! BASTARD!

T1 saw him on what must have been his third or fourth trip because we figured out we were missing a case of bottled orange juices, a case of diet Pepsi, and a case of Schmirnoffs (wine cooler things). CURSES! I mean, it wasn't like we were hurting for other drinks to be had (AT ALL) ... (here's a sampling of some that still remained at the end of our trip)......

Some of the leftover alcohol

..... I'm just sayin' the little turd is lucky we had other orange juice. Cuz you don't want to see this group of folks without their morning mimosas. Just sayin'! ;)

Anyway, so that was a bit of a downer. We're the types that if you simply come knock on the door and ask for something, chances are you'll receive it (albeit no alcohol to the minors). But really ... you want some sodas, juices, whathaveya .... I mean, we had A TON! But don't steal it. That ain't right.

Speaking of alcohol ... here's a cute pic of Buck!

hehe. Just kidding. I actually think Buck was completely sober here. But this was the beam I'da bet money that CJ was going to leap out to. She eyed it a couple of times but thankfully didn't. Instead choosing to enjoy the scenery out the window....

(what?? You didn't seriously think I wasn't going to post a picture of my precious kitty here, now did ya?? :))

Anyway, there ya have it ....a few pictures of our Thanksgiving weekend. We had a great time! Much food, drinks, Texas Hold 'Em poker, time spent in pajamas alternated with time spent in sweats, movies, and, of course, much knitting!

Monday, November 28, 2005

CJ's Excellent Thanksgiving Weekend Adventure!

Whoo hooo! We survived folks! And CJ did GREAT!!

On the way up, she mainly hung out in her carrier...

But look at this view she had...

Of course, we get there to find this in the pet policy for the cabin rental...

Oops. Perhaps they should have stated that BEFORE folks got there! Just sayin'! ;)

And being the good law-abiding citizens we are, we did what everyone else would have done ... we snuck her in! (shhh .. don't tell! ;))

CJ's friends on the trip...

Friday,Penny sporting her head warmer (aka a fingerless glove gone bad), and Stella

Here CJ is viewing our sleeping quarters...

"We'll take this bed, mom."

She then wandered around to check things out. Safety first, ya know?!

Okay, emergency escape routes mapped ... she found time to sit and enjoy the view...

Her favorite part of the weekend .... the tons and tons of food....

"Mmmmm ... turkey!"

The ledge above my bed CJ thought would be fun to sit on...

...thereby giving me a heartattack what with this being the drop off the other side...

I, of course, took no pictures of her up there ... scared that the flash would startle her into falling (who me? Paranoid?? Pshahhhh! ;))

CJ supervising the chaos from the safety of the stairs...

"Ya'll are pigs ... just sayin'"

And finally, on the last day, this questioning look...

"Alright, I'm done. Can we go home now, mom?"

"Good, looks like you guys have done great on cleanup .. let's go!"

The drive home...

"So how does this driving thing work?"

"Okay, that key thing goes there..."

".....and this stick thing needs to be at the "D"...."

"...then you sit, look forward out this window, and put your paw like this ... got it..."

"Let me drive! Let me drive! Let me drive!"

"No? Well FINE ... I will lay here and block your view then until you give me a turn!"

"Seriously? You need a license to drive? SHEESH! Well then I'll lay over here. But just know I can take over in case of emergency, k??"

And there you have it. CJ's Excellent Thanksgiving Weekend Adventure!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Interesting Dryer Safety Tip

So I just received the following email from a friend this week* and thought I would share:
I had a wonderful morning, the heating unit went out of my dryer! Why does everything seem to fall apart this time of year!???

The guy that fixes things went in to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. We always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes. He told us that he wanted to show him something. He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. Now, this thing is like a mesh - I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like - WELL......the hot water just laid on top of the mesh!!! It didn't go through it at all!!!

He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that???!!!! Learn something new everyday!

I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, thought I'd share!


I went to dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water collected a little but ran though the screen. I dried it off and was ready to put it back in the dryer since the water ran through it but, I thought was the heck it won't hurt to wash it while I had it out. Warm soap water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds.

I then ran the water over the screen and what a difference the water just gushed through it with no puddling at all and this time I was running the water at a faster rate. That repairman knew what he was talking about.

So I tested this out at home first before posting it here. Though my lint filter looked free of lint the water did pool a bit in the bottom. I just grabbed a hearty paper towel and scrubbed both sides of it real quick and then retested with the water. The water passed through afterwards without pooling. Hmmmm.

So that gives this safety tidbit Kat's Seal Of Approval! ;)

*this email isn't written by my friend. Just one of those emails making the forwarding circuit!

Let's talk turkey! ....

So, Thanksgiving ... tomorrow! Whoo hooo! I love Thanksgiving. Probably my favorite holiday. Which is only because I always have so much to be thankful for (true) and has absolutely nothing to do with the guiltless gorging on tons and tons of my favorite comfort foods (not true).

Nope, it's about the thankful. And errr, the pilgrims. And uh ... yeah ... not the hot dinner rolls slathered in butter. Nor T1's wonderful carmel apple salad (which involves snickers bars ... mmmmm). Nor piles of stuffing! And let's not forget the turkey and cranberry sauce!!! Oh, and hello! ... PIES!!!!!!

This year I'm gathering with friends up in a cabin in the mountains. Yep, 8 friends, two dogs, one oversized hyper puppy ... and as if that wasn't enough of a circus, I'm bringing ...... (*insert drum roll here*) ...CJ! HAHA! Yeah. She needs that dang pill everyday and I hatehatehate having to board her. So she's travelled well in the past (albeit WAYYY in the past) and I think she'll do okay after a day or so. (errr, guys, did I mention she does this plaintive wailing thing the first night she's somewhere strange? No. Oh, never mind.)

But really, thankfully she's an intelligent cat and doesn't scare very easy. So she'll wander around meowing for a bit and want to check out every nook and cranny of this cabin but should then settle in pretty well (errr, minus the second round of meowing and wandering she'll do again that first night. (shhhh, don't tell the gang! ;)). And I know she'll be okay with Penny and Friday because I've housesat them with CJ and Emma before. The only real unknown is Stella ... the puppy. CJ should be fine with her but the question will be "is Stella okay with CJ?". Given the choice, CJ will simply ignore her. Ya know, because Stella is merely a pet and CJ believes she is above mere pets! The problem is ... she may not have that choice. So we'll see. Wish us luck.

Anyway, it's going to be great! There will be much lounging in pajamas, and eating, and yapping, and relaxing, some board games, movie watching, wine, and, of course, knitting! Oh, and did I mention the eating?? May also squeeze in some skiing and hottubbing! Though both those involve changing outta the pajamas so may not happen in my case. We'll see!

But this four day jaunt also means I'll be off blogging for the weekend! So I'd like to wish you all a very, very happy Thanksgiving now while I can and stay tuned for a couple of more posts today of things I've stumbled across recently that I'll share with you before I go!

And while I'm gone I will take many pictures so when I get back I can let you know how the cat/dogs/puppy/8 people/1.5 bathroom weekend turned out!!! There are bound to be stories!! :)

Happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone!

I love you, Judge Cicconetti!

So apparently there is this judge in Ohio who will sentence criminals with unusual punishments.

For instance:
A woman abandoned 35 kittens in the woods (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr) and so part of her sentence is to spend one night alone in the woods without food, water or entertainment!
He has ordered a man who hollered "pigs" to police officers to stand on a street corner next to a 350-pound pig with a sign that read, "This is not a police officer." (*snicker, snicker*)

After an 18-year old man stole some porn from an adult bookstore, the judge ordered him to sit outside the shop in a chair, wearing a blindfold, and holding a sign saying "See No Evil" so that passing traffic could see him.

Cicconetti punished a group of high school students who vandalized school buses by making them throw a picnic for a group of grade-school students whose outing was canceled because of the stunt.

A nanny accused of hitting a little boy with a belt was given a folder of articles on the consequences of child abuse, and compelled to read them all, and then discuss them with in the courtroom in front of the judge and the victim's mother, as spectators looked on. Afterwards, the mother agreed to no jail time for the nanny.
Of course, apparently the alternative punishments don't always work. Like in this case:
A man who ran from the police was offered a reduced jail sentence if he agreed to train for a five mile race. The man stayed in shape, and a few months later, he grabbed a woman's purse and ran with it. (hehe)
But for the most part, I bet these alternative punishments are more effective. At the very least, it's great to see a judge that tries! You go, Judge!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tuesday Randomness

Okay, some Tuesday randomness for you:

  • I have finished TWO pairs of the Christmas gift socks now and have finished the ribbing on the second of the third pair. And hello?... it's STILL November! That's right, folks .... (*knock on wood*)... I do believe I'll be finished with these by Christmas. Whoo hooo.... who'd have thunk it??
  • A couple of book titles I stumbled across while surfing ... errr, I mean working .. today. They just crack me up!

  • Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini
    by Mark Leyner, Billy Goldberg

    When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?
    by George Carlin

    Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

    Running with Scissors: A Memoir
    by Augusten Burroughs

    "Running with Scissors: A Memoir"!! .... gahahahaha! Love that one! Even more so than "Who Moved My Cheese?" (by
    Spencer Johnson and Kenneth H. Blanchard) which has been my favorite title for awhile now!
  • My friend Ms C's knitted poncho she just finished! Look how absolutely beautiful! (damn talented people!):

  • What is up with me and The Nesting lately? I am just spending money left and right for things for the home. Thank goodness I've not found any furniture that moves me because surely I'd be more than happy to dig the ole credit cards out for bigger expenses too. As it is, I'm buying curtains and ... are you ready for this ... spin and store storage containers (ya know, like tupperware that stores on its own little Lazy Susan). Do y'all know I don't cook? Because it would make sense if I cooked a lot ... needing the tupperware* for all those leftovers. (which isn't to say I don't ever have lots of leftovers ....but luckily those nice waiters and waitresses box that stuff right on up for me. ;))

    But my theory on buying this spin and store crap is two-fold.

    1) On sale. (enough said ... right, Ladies?) :) But really, only $9.99 ... usually $19.99. Look at all the money I saved! (hehehe)
    2) I was thinking I would bake** brownies tonight to bring on my Thanksgiving trip. And wouldn't tupperware be nice in which to store it? To protect it from all the jostling on the drive? Yep, that's what I thought. ;)

And last, but certainly not least...
  • Any Fantasy Football widows out there? I just heard of a fantasy league for you! It's called: Fantasy Fashion League! That's right, you choose celebrities, you choose designers, and you get points for every time one of your celebrities wears your designer! What an absolute hoot, right??! :)

*please note I use the term "Tupperware" to describe any and all little plastic food storage containers with those plastic tops. Even though I realize "Tupperware" is actually a brand of those and certainly not what I purchased today. I do the same thing with Kleenex and Xerox. What can ya do?? :)

** "baking" is not "cooking". (welcome to my Crazy!)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Attitude Choices

So I was discussing Happiness recently with a friend and the discussion led to thoughts about a person's ability to make certain attitude choices. You know, whether or not a person can choose to be happy ... no matter what life hands you.

It reminded me of a little Tony Robbins tidbit I remember from way back when ("way back when" being when I actually listened to tapes or read books in an effort to better myself. Ya know, before I gave in to The Lazy :)) which I thought I'd try to share with you. I'm not quite sure how powerful this little exercise will be by reading it (it involves closing your eyes) but hopefully it will be effective enough for you to get the gist.

[I know this post is a little off the beaten track for me. But had I found anything, anything at all, even remotely amusing in the news today, I'da gone with that. So blame the media, k?? :)]


And this entire exercise is like a whopping 10 seconds so I'm not asking a lot from you. Really :).

First, I need you to look around your environment real quick (I'm talking no more than 5 seconds) and notice everything that is the color brown. Try to remember as much as you can, you'll be tested. Then come right back to reading this. Go.


Did you do it? Did you do it? If you didn't, do it now or this exercise will be completely ineffectual.

Got the list in your head? Okay, now close your eyes and try to tell me everything that you saw that was the color green.

Ah ha ... tricked ya, didn't I?! Kinda hard, huh?

Now close your eyes and tell me everything that you saw that was the color brown.

A lot bigger list of the brown, right? Right.

And Tony said something like the brown represents the crappy things in the world and in your life whereas the green represents the good. And though everyone has both good (green) and bad (brown) in their lives, choosing to focus on the good can be an effective tool for achieving a higher degree of happiness. Because surely only focusing on the brown would make for a crappy existence, don't you think? I do.

Which isn't to say that I'm always able to react positively to life's ups and down. Because Lord knows I've thrown myself some whopping Pity Parties every now and again. (can you say, all-day "pajamas, People magazine, and my three favorite men: Ben, Jerry, and Mr TeeVee" fest?!) But I think I've been pretty lucky in life in that I do tend to have a relatively happy disposition. But is that entirely based on my attitude choices ... or are there some genetics involved? I do believe that choosing your attitude can be an effective happiness tool, but I know people that deal with hard-core depression that can't seem to make the same choices.

So I leave you with this question because I'd love to hear your thoughts: are the folks who are able to make the positive attitude choices the ones who are happy to begin with? Is this one of those "which came first.. the chicken or the egg" situations? Is happiness strictly attitude based or does genetics play a large role?

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Knitting Rules

[okay, the photo software strike is over. (actually, I found a workaround -- screw you photo-upload-software!!!). So back to our regularly scheduled programming! ;)]

That's right, folks. Just when you thought it was safe to leave the house with your knitting ...

The sneak attack occurs. In this case, coming from my friend Buck's cat, Cosmo.

Yep, Cosmo. A kitty I assumed knew the knitting rules. But, as you can clearly see from the picture below, apparently does not!

Seriously, one minute I'm knitting along with the kitty purring contently in my lap. And the next ...WHAM!.... yarn chewed through.

I was less than amused. Especially being that I'm a remedial knitter who can't do anything but the basics. So when you throw me for a loop with something like broken yarn ... not quite sure how to continue with the knitting. (in this case I did some twisting and praying and I hope to give the sock away before it starts to unravel*)

And how hard is it to learn the knitting rules?? For Cosmo (and her guardian!), here's a little refresher:

Rule 1: Do not touch the knitting
Rule 2: Do not touch the knitting
Rule 3: Do not touch the knitting
Rule 4: Do not touch the knitting
Rule 5: Do not touch the knitting

See? Only 5 rules. Easy-peasy. And yet, me? ... with broken yarn.

Here's the culprit as she gloated:

And this incident again caused the baffling at the workings of the magic stripe yarn. Because, if part of a stripe goes missing due to missing yarn, then you would think that all the rest of the stripes that follow would be affected, right?

And, hence, the rest of the sock would no longer perfectly stripe, right?

Even though you don't even remotely comprehend how it perfectly striped in the first place, right?


And yet .... voila ... it continues to stripe correctly.

For the love of logic, how does that work, people??!!!!

That's just not magic ... that there is some kinda dark magic. (*shudder*)

*errr, to the recipient of this sock, please disregard this post. The sock is perfect, I tell ya! PERFECT!