Monday, March 26, 2012

Unbridled Enthusiasm

Anyone who has had any close contact with The Amazing Roxanne knows that not only does she have a luxuriant coat, but she is also all too willing to share it with the rest of the world. She sheds like crazy. This is particularly noticeable on hardwood floors and on my white sofa. Over the years I have experimented with a variety of hair control options. Finally I have found one that is completely satisfactory:  the Gonzo (revolutionary) pet hair lifter. The packaging on mine sports all kinds of optimistic words and imagery like "works instantly!" and a magic lantern. For once I don't think this is an exaggeration. Each gentle swipe over the sofa lifts up a mat of hair that can be dropped harmlessly into the trash or compost bin. I am going to buy a second one for the car and you should too! Between the Gonzo Pet Hair Lifter and the Furminator, both conveniently available from Amazon, I feel like at last I have the hair war under control. The only remaining issues are how to wash the dog without filling my sink with hair, and how to avoid getting dog hair in my eyelashes.

The Amazing Roxanne had her yearly checkup and vaccination fiesta today at the Forestdale Veterinary Clinic. Everyone quite appropriately admired her beauty and sweet disposition, and then poked holes in her. We took a little spin in the Pickerel Cove Recreation Area, which accesses Wakeby Pond from the opposite shore from the Lowell Holly Reservation (one our favorite places to visit).

I'm still working on Vivian's afghan, and it is easily the pinkest thing I've ever seen. I'll post a picture of it later this week, although I doubt it will be finished by then. The other completed blankets will have left the premises after this weekend, then we'll be down to one to finish and one to start. I'm running a sweatshop with one struggling fiber enthusiast.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee

Apparently NOM has called for a boycott of Starbuck's due to Starbuck's support of marriage equality. Let's have another cup! Clip from the Shareholder's meeting below (recorded by NOM):

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pink 'n Purple & in Progress

The pink and purple extravaganza continues with Vivian's afghan under way. She requested pink and purple with flowers and that is what she'll have, in spite of the fact the I dislike granny squares. They are too fiddly to be fun and I hate sewing things together, but I could not think of a way to get flowers into the project without them. I've decided not to do an allover granny square afghan, but to put panels of granny squares into a background of more rational crochet. I think combinations of single and double rows generally look good and hold up well, an important consideration because I am hoping this blanket will see a lot of use. Once I am finished I may go for a fancy border to girlie it up (as if it will need that!).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Knitting a Log Cabin

I'm on a roll! Yesterday I finished another baby blanket. This one was a knit log cabin blanket, as inspired by Mason Dixon Knitting, one of my favorite knitting books. This one is a little different from the pattern as printed in the book, but only a little. I did choose the girly pink and purple color scheme as requested by the prospective Mommy. This will be her third child and only girl - she wants to go full on pink. When I finished the body of the blanket I thought a little about the edging. I decided with the strong graphics of the blanket a lacey edging would look silly. I considered picking up and knitting a garter stitch border, but discarded the idea as with a grater stitch blanket I thought I'd want something a little firmer. The idea of applied I-cord made my heart sink, so I went with "Old Faithful" - the basic single crochet edge.

I took Roxy for a walk at the Lowell Holly Reservation today. I'm working every night this week so I think I'll try to get both of us outside in the good weather every day so I don't feel like a mushroom in a cave. Also I need to get out & clean up my beds for spring. I have seen a lot of plants springing up around the Cape so it's time to get ready for gardening season. Lots of outdoor action for me this week!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Evidence of Crochet

I'm still plugging away at the baby gift in progress, and I have finished one of them. I finished it at Stitch and Bitch this morning, and while I was there I had occasion to show it to a six year old boy at the next table. He was enchanted with it, so I think it should be a hit (eventually) with its intended recipient. One of the other gifts is nearly finished, and I will start on Vivian's afghan this afternoon. Big progress in the land of baby gifts. I've also started on my Christmas gift inventory, for which it is never too soon to start.

While I was messing around on line today I watched  The Big Lebowski out of one eye. I'd seen it once, and did not remember it well enough to understand why it's considered to be such a good movie. I really enjoyed it this time around, but I was distracted by the sweater Jeff Bridges was wearing. It's a Cowichan, probably authentic, and just gorgeous. Turns out you can buy a mass produced replica of this very sweater, although the replica is not nearly so nice as the real thing.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

It's International Women's Day

I've noticed that a lot of women like to say that they are not feminists, to them I want to say "You keep using that word and I do not think it means what you think it means". Feminism is simply the belief that women have the same rights as men, no more and certainly no less. Do you think you are as good as anyone else? Then step up and claim your feminism.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Rescued Pictures

Just before I killed my old laptop Shana and I had gone out for a walk with our friend Sue. We had intended to visit the Cape Cod Museum of Art, but it was closed because of fumes. Apparently they were painting inside and had to close until the smell dissipated. Faced with the choice of going for a walk or going inside for the afternoon to see a movie we decided to take advantage of a perfect day. I think I probably uploaded some cell phone pictures to Facebook or Twitter that day, but the pictures on my camera were lost because I had not yet uploaded them to Flickr when my laptop died. Fortunately I was able to get my data back. I'll be loading the rest of the pictures up on Flickr later today.

After getting a bite a Grumpy's Restaurant we drove to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster. We did not go into the museum, because we wanted to take advantage of low tide to get out on the property for a walk. Although the day was cool it was sunny and calm - a perfect day to go out to the flats. I was hoping to see some creatures among the pools but no such luck. I still had a wonderful time. Roxy was not happy when I walked her across pokey pointy reeds, but regained her enthusiasm when I paid attention to the kind of surfaces she had underfoot. We met up with other dogs on the trail, so her experience was complete.

We got back from the trail too late to go into the museum to use the rest rooms, so we stopped at a gas station down the road. When I came out the attendant was looking into my car and laughing. I asked him if he saw my dog. He responded "Yes, and she's eating a sandwich!" The sandwich Shana had left on the dash was now on the floor, and the car was locked. By the time Shana came out with the keys all the meat was gone and Roxy was happy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Maybe You Need a Smile Today

If so, here it is! It's the live stream of the penguins at Sea World in San Diego, complete with penguin sounds. Just click on the arrow to smile:

Free desktop streaming application by Ustream

Monday, March 05, 2012

So I Took the Dog for a Walk

This morning Oven Repair Guy came and told  me it would take two visits to fix my oven because there is no parts warehouse on Cape Cod. Because the population difference is so different from in-season to off-season this is a pretty common thing. There are a lot of things you can get only in season and some you just can't get on the Cape because there are not enough people here year round to support a business. In the winter you can have the full attention of all kinds of repair people, but they never have any parts. In summer everybody is busy and you still can't get any parts ;-) . Generally the Cape has a looser idea of time and workmen come and go on their own schedules. It's like Island Time with snow! The good news is that the part will come in a day or two and we'll have an oven before the end of the week.

I had an errand to run this afternoon and since I was not in a big hurry to get home and get dinner into the oven on an impulse I took Roxy for a walk in the Mashpee River Reservation. I pass a trail into the area every time I go to the dump, but today I had a little time to walk around. I had Roxy on the car leash, so we did not take a long walk. That leash is great for the car because it's thin and does not get caught on things, but it's quite short and not much fun for a walk. I want to take pictures; she wants to sniff around, and it just pits us against each other. We found it a pleasant walk, and the brilliant sunny day made us both happy. The stream I found was shallow and narrow, but sparkly and bubbly. I think in the summer the area would be very inviting and we will be back for a longer visit on a warmer day. I expect to be out & about walking and visiting the beaches a lot this month and next. Business is booming at the Major Retailer where I work and I can tell that the summer people will be coming soon. They are already getting their houses ready for the season and I don't want to miss out on having the beauties of the Cape to myself for a little longer.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Back Online Again

Parking lot art at the BMFA
Your regularly scheduled programming was interrupted due to a catastrophic hardware failure. I spit tea into my touch pad and killed my laptop completely dead.  It's worth mentioning that I have never spilled anything into a keyboard before. I just purchased my new unit Thursday afternoon, and  did not get to pick it up until Friday afternoon. I completed a long wait at the mall in Hyannis by having a fender bender in the parking lot. Arrrgh. I still have to pick up the backup from my late great laptop which will include a day of photos and my iTunes library. Those who have ever had to do it know that iTunes is only designed to go one way, and that without downloading special software (NOT from Apple) you cannot repopulate iTunes with your existing iPod library. I don't want to have to start again from scratch, so I am hoping it's all there and able to be backed up. The period of using my iPhone as my total online access was not fun. I am ruinously spoiled.
Proof that I was actually in the City

Picture of Roxy for Richard's enjoyment
This weekend Shana and I, joined by our friend Dea, actually went off Cape to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, ostensibly to see the new wing. As it turned out I really just wandered around in the old part of the building and only gave the new wing a glance. In my defense I have only been there once and it is so densely packed with every kind of wonderful art and furnishings that it's hard to focus on any one thing to give it the attention it deserves. This time I paid particular attention to some Sargent watercolors which I had not examined closely and Titian's Europa. Europa was one of Isabella Gardner's favorites and while she thought it was a depiction of great joy. I could not make out what Europa thought of the experience based on this painting, but whatever the emotion, it is a wonderful work. What a pleasure it must have been for her to live with these wonderful things on a daily basis! We rounded out the afternoon with a late lunch at Pho and I, serving a wide selection of Thai and Vietnamese food. It was about a half mile from the museum, so I felt good about ordering both coconut soup and bun! We each had something different and it all looked (and tasted) wonderful. I can recommend the restaurant - very pretty, not too expensive, and well located in addition to the selection and quality of the food.

I'm still wrestling a mountain of crochet to the ground. Two baby blankets and an afghan (especially requested) for Vivian are in progress and due in April. My library chair is surrounded by project bags; I hope I can meet all of the deadlines with beautiful finished gifts. Roxy is enjoying the process as she knows I will be in one place for a while. She hangs out in her crate while I crochet.