Sunday, November 30, 2008



Saturday, November 29, 2008


I love my sister, despite how gods-awful stubborn she is when it comes to seeing a doctor once in a while. Instead of going in when she didn't feel well last Tuesday and going home with a handful of pills she's lying in a hospital bed getting IV antibiotics, has a distended kidney, a fever of 101 degrees F, a racing heart rate (140 over somethin'), and might die.

If she lives I'm gonna kick her ass.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Things I am thankful for this year:

My ever-loving Fuzzy Husband who is the best friend and co-conspirator of tickle fights, late-night snacks, and letting bunnies run amok in the house. He's far from perfect and I don't want him to change. He'd be boring otherwise.

Real men learn fiber arts btw. He may not do them actively but FH has learned the basics of knitting and crocheting. It give him an appreciation of the time I spend on things and even more reason to love hand made things when I gift them to him. How cool is that? ;-)

Castor's health is improving slowly. The weight he has lost due to IBD is slowly coming back and his insides have started to calm down. Even though the only thing that works for his problems in an injectable steroid he's still very good about having his medicine.

His years are making him him slower and he's started to exhibit behaviors that can only be described as feline sun-downing, but he is still as sweet as ever and still wants to play fetch with paper wads.

Pollux has seemed to go into remission with the IBD that has plagued him for years. He's off of his steroids and only takes a mild tranquillizer to help keep his Siamese neurosis from stressing him to the point of relapse.

The sterile bladder infection also seems to be gone as he is now totally sympton free on that front as well.

Like his brother, age is starting to creep up on him but he still races around the house and plays with his toys.

Confetti seems to be healing well after her kitty tree fell on her when we moved it. She actually plays on it these days. There have been no signs of her liver failing again. Three years have passed since she almost died and she's going strong.

Her daddy calls her his G.E.M., which stands for "green-eyed moster." She makes the most wonderful bed monster at night under the blankets with us. It is the perfect way to pounce the boys you know.

Tempie seems to be on the mend. She's eating and voiding properly again and it looks like the bladder stones have passed on their own. We need an x-ray to confirm that, but we're still paying off the last vet visit for her which was a very expensive diagnostic adventure.

She's playing again. Really playing again. Bunny dancing that I haven't seen her do in a year or more. She less "painful" when you hold her and check everything, or even just try to pet her.

Her diva personality has kicked back into full swing. She's had alot happen to her in the 3 years she's been alive but hopefully now she can just chill.

'Bert has become much less skittish in his time with us. He's so much less fearful than the day I rescued his from the pet store where he had lived for a year.

He really likes FH more than me, which is fine. As long as he is learning the he won't be eaten or purposely hurt with us I don't care which human he prefers.

He takes "cookies" from fingers with authority and lets you know that he is hungry and wants food "now" instead of cowering in corners constantly.

He purposely seeks out Tempie during playtime to harass her through the bars of her cage. Apparently there is a brat inside all that cute fluff that didn't know how to be himself.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Excellerate timelines

So the second baby cross stitch has taken center stage in the crafting time-line as the little booger is apparently thinking about joining us early. So the second knit hat has taken a backseat for the moment.

FH isn't feeling well, thus our trip to Missouri to see the family may be postponed. My father has an auto-immune disease and we cannot risk passing on germs. *sigh* This has led to a very bummed FH as he really wants to see his grandmother who should also avoid germy nastiness as a matter of principle. We haven't seen her since our wedding reception in April and that was a total whirlwind for everyone involved. I really want to see her too, since I completely adore her. My own grandmother lives in the middle of a desert in the southwest and I haven't seen her since 2003. In fact, I didn't even hear from her when we got married. To her credit, seven kinds of Hell have broken out down there with health issues and the like.

The plan is if he feels well enough to go tomorrow then we will drive down Thursday morning. We will come home either Friday evening or Saturday morning, depending on if the little mister decides to try and join us for the holiday. [I'm the designated person to hang out with his soon-to-be big sister during the delivery.] I hope he waits since he's supposed to be here for Christmas and not Thanksgiving.

I'm going to go update my mother on the plan... she's already cleaned the bathrooms... and get back to stitching.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Picture Goodness

Here is the new knitting project. I'm about halfway finished with it. I completed the first repeat for the cabling last night. I'm set to start the decreases next.

This is the almost finished cross stitch for a friend's first baby. Of course I can't actually finish it until the baby is here and I know what date to put on it. The center chunk that is framed in green will be cut away so the whole piece acts as a photo mat.

My plans for today include blocking the wedding piece now that I have a frame and mat that I like, laundry, more stitching, and packing for the trip to the 'rents for Thanksgiving. I may or may not work on the cabled hat.

Funny thing about the hat... it's for a friend of ours. My husband saw me working on it and has said that if I don't use my second "safety ball" of the heather yarn, he would very much like one just like it. That was a hint if I ever heard one. I promised him that if there wasn't enough leftover that we would go visit a yarn shop and he could pick a new color if they are out of the heather. I'm such a good wife. ;-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So the new hat that I started while the sheep geek was here got frogged and restarted. I started out originally by trying to knit a Mobius strip. While I do find the mathematics of:


where 0 is less than or equal to u,
u and v approach each other in value,
and v is less than or equal to 1;

to be quite lovely, I do not want to knit one right now. Fortunately the mistake was caught early and the bit where I cast on too many stitches was also dealt with via a simple decrease.

However... I found yet another mistake in the first round after she had left. After a bit of pondering I decided I really should take advantage of the new cast-on method that was rattling around in my brain while it was still there. Really that is the only way I can actually remember a new technique. The added bonus of knowing there were no initial flaws was also quite compelling. So a froggin' I went.

With this new and improved cast-on I managed to not start a Mobius strip and actually got the correct number of stitches in place. Currently I'm on the 14th round and tackling the cabling. I will have a picture up sometime this week. I'm not saying who the hat is for though. I will say it's not for FH, but if he likes it I told him I would make him one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Fun Hat

Happy Fun Hat is finished. It is huge. I'm not sure if I did too many rows in the repeat section or just knit too loose or what. But it's big enough to keep my head warm in the cold winds up here and heavy enough to stay on my head when my hair is clean. I'm one of those people whose hats and hair ties will slide right off of when the hair is clean. It's too smooth to keep a grip on anything.

I started another hat today under the watchful eye of my friend. Heh. I'm so not allowed to knit without adult supervision. I counted the initial stitches 3 times. Each time was counted wrong but I didn't notice. I also skipped right over stitches and got the whole piece turned around the wrong way. So we'll see if it takes me another 4 years to make this hat.

One of my boys was sweet enough to model the hat for you to see. Just so you understand the size of this thing... he is a 12 pound cat.

Knitting update

The knitting that comes from my hands is improving markedly as the Sheep Geek is here on a visit. I will get the hat I started 4 years ago finished before she leaves. I call it the "Happy Fun Hat." It is not called that because the yarn is variegated rainbow colors. The name is a reference to "Happy Fun Ball" on Saturday Night Live. I will defeat the bedamned hat if it kills me.

One of my dear friends almost killed herself this weekend by rolling her van. She over corrected after she went onto the gravel shoulder when her cell phone rang and startled her. The van flipped into a culvert. She is alive with only a compound fracture of her right ankle to show for it. Her two great wheels were not so lucky. The Reeves can be repaired with a new flier and a replacement leg. The Elizabeth will rest in pieces. Needless to say she missed the baby shower on Saturday.

The Sheep Geek and I found a wonderful local yarn shop nearby. More money was spent than should have been. Also it is located right next door to an amazing jewelry and bead store. In fact as fate would have it, they share entrances. It is definitely a den of sin and temptation. I will be returning when I work through some more of my stash.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pixelated vision

I've been cross stitching so long today and so often this week my vision is appearing like 16-bit pixels.

I believe this may be a sign of sleep becoming a necessity.

I still have some tidying up around the house to do though. We have wonderful company coming early Sunday morning and I must be at a baby shower tomorrow.

Goodnight for now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I need a sign

More specifically a "No Soliciting" sign for my front door. This is the second time in four months the same chump selling "cancer and heart disease insurance" has shown up at my door, scared the cats, and irritated me. He doesn't understand the concept of "not interested." He doesn't read body/mostly closed door language either.

If a woman is standing with the door mostly shut it's likely for one of these reasons: 1) she is uncomfortable with you being there, 2) she has pets and/or small children who she doesn't want to slip outside, or 3) a bit of both.

In my case it really is mostly just reason #2 since I'm fairly large and he's past middle aged. I'm quite certain a spinning wheel to his cranium would hurt him more than it would hurt the wheel. Failing that, a mag-light does wonders. Not only that, but I live in a small neighborhood, literally surrounded by my neighbors, many of whom are veterans. But this is the second time in four months. I'm not the only one who finds him suspicious. I would prefer a revolver though. This state for all it's anti-gun laws has a castle law.

I figure a "No Soliciting" sign would keep that annoying man away if his intent is legitimate. . The cute kids selling cookies and candy for school, sports, and scouting fund-raising don't know the meaning of the sign, which means I will still have the opportunity to acquire fat, sugar, and salt while giving to charity.

If he shows up a third time I'm calling the cops.

The Lark Above The Trenches
by Muriel E Graham, WWI

All day the guns had worked
their hellish will,
And all night long
With sobbing breath men
gasped their lives away
Or shivered restless on the ice-cold clay,
Till morn broke pale and chill
With sudden song.

Above the sterile furrows war
had ploughed
With deep-trenched seams,
Wherein this year such
bitter seed is sown,
Wherein this year no fruitful
grain is strown,
A lark poured from the cloud
Its throbbing dreams.

It sang — and pain and death
were passing shows
So glad and strong;
Life soared triumphant,
though a myriad men
Were swept like leaves beyond
the living's ken,
That wounded hope arose
To greet that song.

My father was in the Navy during WWII. His older brother, a Marine, was killed at Pearl Harbor. The next younger boy was Army and went to Europe. The youngest had a heart condition so he stayed behind and worked making aircraft.

Remember to say "thank you."

Vet part two

The boys have had their shots now. Still no new ideas on the IBD situation. We're doing all we can and just have to wait it out.

Now to send all 6 papers (2 per cat) to the county with $60 for their tags. That's the part that irritates me. Every other vet I've ever worked with gives you the tags when you get the shot. No extra fees beyond an office visit. So when you need to budget the exam into your expenses you knew exactly how much you need. I didn't find out about the extra cost until yesterday when I took the little one in for her shot.

Oh well. It's done and I just need to write the check and get their tags. I won't have to worry about it for 3 more years.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vet part one

The little cat went to the vet today for her rabies shot. To take her there we have to drug her... which means she's confused, sad, and clingy until the drug wears off.

She did well and only hissed in the vet's face three times.

Tomorrow I take the boys for their shots. Happily I don't need to slip them anything before making the trip.

Oh, our microwave crapped out on us. I was rewarming some noodles when it happened. So until we can afford a new one, any leftovers will have to be sent with FH for his lunches and I will have to brew tea by the pot-full to make the energy use worthwhile.

Time Flies

It was five years ago to almost this moment that my husband decided I needed to be appreciated for who I am and what I am capable of... basically it's when he began courting me.

Since then we've both lost members of the family and friends. We've acquired more critters and both graduated from college. He's still one class shy of his master's degree.

My father's illness and age are things he wrestles with. My sister is letting go of the sorrow from her beloved husband's death. Two more nephew/niece type critters have been born with the "great" prefix. We got a new uncle a couple of days ago.

It's still our first year married. And the only thing I would change is us living in a place where I could find work in my field, or even a related field.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's Sunday

I wish there were more Sun today... ah well.

Last night FH and I went to the Mackinaw Long Rifles Harvest Party. As a gift for the exchange we took a small cast iron skillet. Always a good thing for Rendezvousers. For food we took a German Chocolate cake made with non-sulfided coconut so I and other person with the same odd allergy/intolerance could eat it. That's what is great about doing one's own baking. You know it's edible when you see or smell it and start drooling. For the recipe I used, visit this wonderful site. I did have to bake it in a 9x13 pan instead of the three 8" rounds since we had to share with about sixty people. So it added another 20 minutes to the baking time. I just had a leftover piece for breakfast. It's fantastic and I highly reccomend the recipe.

We also took along a pumpkin that we stuffed and roasted. In lieu of my old recipe which I could neither remember or find I happened upon a lovely blog where two lovely foodies blog about what they cook up for dinner. You can visit them here: Dinner with Pati and Bruce. We used their recipes framework and made a few changes based on what we had in the pantry and freezer.

Basically after we scooped the goo out of the pumpkin we stuffed it with: caramelized onions, some garlic, our favorite Black Krim tomato, cooked venison and wild rice, and some green chilis.

I did try to leave a comment on their post about their pumpkin but the blog provider is somehow convinced I've already said how much I enjoyed their inspiration and will not play nice. Sometimes the internet makes me shake my head and wander elsewhere. So, Pati and Bruce, if you happen to pop over here at anytime, thank you so much for the great ideas!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Things that make you...blink!

So after reading a wonderful post by AD I suppose I had medical things on my mind. The medical things in my memory aren't generally funny or even interesting. But then I read a Twitter update from a friend and it hit me. "The X-ray story! I need to subject more people to the X-ray story! Oh the wonderful thing of the internet!" Not really, but I'm feeling more like myself: jaded and snarky. Gotta love recovery.

**Names, location, etc changed to protect those involved... and to shield the fact that I may have forgotten names.**

Several years ago I was part of a Renaissance choir at my university. I say "part" but I was actually their costume person. I had been conned into sewing for them while I was dating a guy who sang. Silly me, but it was fun.

Anyway one of the girls in the choir had a sister and brother-in-law who lived in town. For some silly reason they actually liked it when we came over and so they would host small get-togethers for us choir kids.

At one of these events... I want to say it was a movie night... a couple of us were standing in that limbo area that isn't quite living room and not yet the dining room but isn't a hallway either parts of the house and I noticed what looked like x-ray film tucked behind a random piece of furniture.

"Hey, Ted. Why do you have x-ray film in the house?" Ted was an x-ray technician at the hospital.

"Oh yeah! Y'all have to see this!" Ted runs, pulls it out, and thrusts it into my hands.

I stare at it. It's a human pelvis. Male, I thought, based on the anatomy I'd studied for that paleo thing that I do. There was something odd about it though. A large blob of something was covering part of the bones. "Uh, Ted... wtf?" Ted turned the x-ray so I could see the circled area with a line drawn away from the center and a single word written at the end of the line. The word was, "vegetable." I blinked. Only one vegetable I knew of was that round shape and size.

"Ted. Is that a head of lettuce?" The other people in the house started making squeaky noises and groans.

"Yep. This guy came into the E.R. and the doctors had to surgically remove it." More grons and a couple of shreiks.

I kept staring at it and finally opined, "So do you think he used KY or ranch?" Lots of shreiks and laughter.

I will never forget that experience. I never did find out if "Ted" was breaking rules to have that x-ray in the house. I never wanted to ask any doctors in that one-hospital town what the rules were for patient x-rays for fear that they might figure out exactly which film I was asking about and figure out how I had seen it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Round of Ornaments part deux

Here's the next few. Actually these are the ones that have special meanings. So it is fitting that they have their own post.

These bells are painted in the colors that we had at our wedding last December. We were married 3 days before Christmas, but did not have our own place together yet. So you could say that this is our first Christmas together.

A counted cross stitched stocking ornament, personalized for FH.

My personalized ornament.

I have some more ornaments to get painted whenever I can get a chance. I also have some wooden ones to paint and stain but I'm not sure if I am going to mess with those this year.

I am going to be making some stitched ornaments for relatives this year in addition to a smattering of crocheted gifts. Pictures will happen when things get done.

First Round of Ornaments

I have completed 21 of the new ornaments. I still have at least 7 more to go, depending on what I feel like getting myself into.

Here is Santa. I thought a sprig of holly would make a great accent to his hat.

These are paper mache' circles that I embellished with scrap booking bits. I would not have worked with them except I ended up with the first 4 by chance. Once I started playing I figured out how to make them work for me.

I really made two of these guys, but the pictures of both didn't want to focus. They were a kits from Hobby Lobby.

I found these guys unfinished at Hobby Lobby and decided they were too cute to pass up. I'm seriously considering going back for another reindeer and gingerbread man.

I am truly obsessed with snowmen. And if you couldn't tell, I am a died hard Green Bay Packers fan. FH thinks it's cute.

I do have more pictures but Blogger didn't want to put them all here at once. So the next post will have them.

Idle hands. What are those?

I've been working on new Christmas ornaments for the last couple of days. In theory I will have them finished by the end of the week. I've put together quite a variety of styles and media choices. Currently the majority are unfinished ceramic pieces that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. There are two that are cross stitched, which are finished. I will get pictures up when they are all finished.

The project from the mini mixer that I went to on the 25th is almost complete. It's a view of a front door/stoop decorated for Christmas. Part of the original kit included a mailbox with our last name on it. The gentleman who put the kits together took the time to make them with everyone's name on them as a special feature. That was so very nice of him...but it doesn't match the color scheme that I decided on. so now I'm trying to decide what to do about it. I will hopefully get that sorted out soon.

So once the ornaments are painted, glued sealed, or whatever and the miniature scene has a mailbox and is decorated with garland, ribbons, and various other bits... I will post the pictures for all to see.

I will be starting the baby sampler for friends of ours soon. I also need to block the wedding piece and get it framed. Still waiting for an address to send it to though. That's slightly frustrating.

Also in the line up are Christmas gifts for the family. Fortunately they are small, fun things for everyone. On Saturday I will be learning how to use my new wheel. I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-elect Obama

Well. I didn't think I would see this day so early in my life.

It is almost in describable when I watch history being made. The big things I've seen so far in my life are: the Challenger explosion, Reagan being shot, the Berlin Wall coming down, the Gulf War, Steve Fossett's adventures, the bombings in London, the attacks on the World Trade Center building and the Pentagon, the execution of Saddam Hussein, the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan... just to name a few.

The beginning of the list dates me I guess. That's ok.

I figure let's all take a deep breath, as a country. We will let it out slowly and remember that this is America. We're all Americans with dreams. That's what makes this country special. We all have dreams. Let's watch and see if the man can help make our dreams come true. His predecessor has certainly shattered some of our dreams. So let's just sit back, have a breath and maybe a cool drink of something, and see what this man can do.

Currently there are two things I hope I do not see. 1) Him forgetting that he promised his daughters a puppy. That's not a forgivable thing for a father to do once he has said it. 2) The Bill of Rights being forgotten about again, in a different way. Leave our guns alone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shamless Plug

I just posted this month's miniature how-to project over on my dollhouse miniature website, Kat's Paw Creations. If you're interested in taking a gander, the link can be found to the right in my list.


It was a nice stretch of the legs. Only .9 miles. I was back in about 45 minutes.


I am apparently going to be walking to our polling place thing morning. When FH got up and offered to drive me there and back before work, I was not coherent enough to make the choices on the local propositions that require being read from the ballots. [gotta love how IL does that] I opted to wait until I could discern a 'p' from a 'q'.

Payday is Friday. Out of the ordinary occurrences have chipped a bit more cash out of the bank account these last two weeks. Therefore getting gas in my own car is not yet an option.

It is an absolutely gorgeous day outside. And our polling place is no more than a mile and a half up the road.

I think I shall walk. It should give me more time to ponder the local bits of the ballot and who I believe is lying less and will actually do something positive for the state. Yes, I have already made up my mind about the Presidential race. No, I am not going to tell you. That would be like sharing details from my non-existent honeymoon.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Because she's here observing everything while being oh-so regal, here is the youngest of our feline brood.I think she wanted some attention.

Either that or she found today's mail to be extremely comfortable to sit upon.


Since he was feeling better last night, FH tried something completely different for dinner. Here's a rough guestimate of his recipe:

3-4 strips of bacon, minced
1/2 cup water
1/2 olive oil
1 small Black Krim tomato, diced
1/2 small Orange Oxheart tomato, diced
2 dashes dried basil
2 dashes italian seasoning
pinch kosher salt
a couple of grinds of black pepper

enough pasta for two hungry people and water to boil it in

garnish: minced fresh parsley and carrot top

Cook the bacon in the water so that the fat renders and the meat is cooked through. Drain the fat off and add olive oil. Add the tomatoes and spices; cook until the Krim caramelizes.

Stir into the pasta. Garnish with minced parsley and carrot top.

Before you ask, the types of tomato will make a difference in flavor. The first batch only had some Oxheart in it. It was good. We wanted more and he decided to use the rest of the Oxheart and the Krim. It was better. The sweetness of the Krim made a huge difference. Given that we only planted those two heirloom varieties this year, we have no idea what it would taste like with others.

FH is planning on doing more research into heirloom tomato varieties this winter. I want him to plant those same two again but we both want to try another types as well. It will ultimately come down to available space. Until we own a house with some land it will be hard to plant everything that we want.


I went out to grab the mail and noticed this extremely confused violet. It's happily blossoming in November. I just hope it comes back in the spring.

I don't want to go in the cart

Fuzzy Husband and I are both feeling more like ourselves. Rest and Kevin Smith movies are good for the are kitten toes. We had bits of all three yesterday.

My take on Smith's new film is fairly bipolar. ****may contain spoilers***

On one hand I was happily entertained and content with paying a matinee price to see the film on a big screen with overpriced popcorn. The story amused me and the cast did a marvelous job. I will snicker forever at the "I'm a Mac" commercials thanks to this film, and that makes me even happier.

On the other hand I am not sure what factors are at play that make "Zach and Miri Make a Porno" less edgy than the original "Clerks." Is this happening because in the time since "Clerks" made it's black and white, foul-mouthed, and nonsensical conversational debut people have become used to seeing and hearing the topics, the language, and the emotion? A lot can change in fourteen years. Have we become so desensitized that the idea of average people shooting a porno in their workplace doesn't seem that big of a stretch? On top of that, we have the saccarin sweet love story that unfolds in the middle of the whole mess. A trend that I've seen in the last few Kevin Smith projects. Is it because he's becoming more of a romantic is his advancing years? Is it because the loves of his life (wife and daughter) are more of an influence when he writes? I'm just not sure. In fact I've accepted that I may never know.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a sap when it comes to a realistic and believable love story. Hell, I'm a sap for any love story really. [Love story does NOT equall romance novel/"old lady porn."] Therefore I will continue to throw my cut of FH's paycheck at owning every Kevin Smith movie, except for "Jersey Girl" until I actually watch it and make up my own mind about it. He scripts entertain me out of irritated and sad funks. They make me laugh when I least expect it. The casts have delivered the stories awesomely. He makes movies I can watch over and over again and still be happy with money well spent.

It also doesn't hurt that FH makes a very convincing Silent Bob when he wears a black trench coat and his ancient Napster hat... What can I say? I love slightly overweight, fuzzy, comic book/gamer geeks.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


The ever educational and entertaining Cranky Prof over at Cranky Epistles has added my dollhouse site to her list of links. I'm honored.

She has things to say that should be heard by many people on this planet. Go read and learn. Also take time to check out the list of "must read" books she has posted. Work the stuff in between your ears!

Not clever enough for a title

The FH and I have come down with some horrible illness from the outer reaches of Mongolia or somesuch.

We'll see how quick we get over this bit of buggery.