Thursday, December 30, 2004

happy birthday!

Jump over to Inn of the Last Home and wish him Happy Birthday!

stop the presses...

Just when you've thrown in the towel and decided to order business cards with "professional misanthrope" printed on the front, something strange happens to remind you that the generosity of the human spirit is something to behold.

Yesterday when I retrieved the mail I noticed we got another Christmas card. There was no return address on it, so I was curious to see who it was from. Inside was a very cute, retro-looking Santa card. "Hmm," I thought, "very cute. Who's it from?" Inside was a personal note of condolences for Baxter and hopes for Rooney's improving health. It was signed "A friend and family." On the other side of the card a little half-envelope held a $10 bill. "Aww, gosh, what a generous and kind person!" I thought. When I took the $10 bill out, I discovered two $20 bills behind it.

I was floored and amazed. I'm thinking it could have been a fellow blogger, but I'm not really sure. If you are out there reading, dear philanthropist, know that your gift is greatly appreciated and will go toward Rooney's remaining vet bills. I am really quite speechless at such a sweet gesture and what I felt like was a huge gift. Thank you.

I think I'll hold off on printing those cards...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

the stuff Santa is made of...

Sadie has one mission in life when it comes to toys--unstuff them as quickly as possible. We have to buy our toys for her at places like Big Lots because we just can't afford to spend $5 for every plush toy. Why don't we buy her toys that can't be ripped apart? She doesn't like them! She LIVES to unstuff dog toys. Here's she's giving one of her Christmas presents the old "one-two." She finds a weak spot, chews it open and begins throwing the stuffing out as fast as she can. You could put a steak in front of her and she wouldn't care until the toy is empty. It's quite the OCD behavior. Thankfully she spits out everything.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

help tsunami victims if you can...

The Network for Good has put together a nice clearinghouse of organizations that are taking donations for the tsunami victims. The link is at the top of the left column or you can CLICK HERE.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Happy Birthday Ma!

Today is my mother's 71st birthday. The picture in this entry was probably taken in a photo booth around 1968 and I'm already copping an attitude (obviously I look like my dad). I feel so fortunate to still have my mother around since her own mother died when she was only 13 years old. She's always been very active and her hobby is woodworking--and work in general. This year has been the first time she's thought maybe she shouldn't always say "yes" when someone wants a deck built. She's the most mechanically inclined woman I know. I inherited absolutely none of it and she's fixed 1,000 things at our house with the enthusiasm of Bob V*lla. Sometimes I just worry myself sick over her as she gets older, but I suppose that's a waste of the time we have together. Happy Birthday Ma! Love ya' so much.

if you're the praying sort...

or if you are of the school of "sending good vibes," I'd say Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India could use some of that energy right now. Supposedly the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu had the warning information an hour before the giant waves crushed the shores, but they had no contact information for that part of the world. I suppose they do now.

The death toll was fairly close the population of my hometown. They are going to need everyone's help. Below are sites that offer ways to lend a hand:

  • The Red Cross International Response Fund (Note: this fund is not necessarily appropriated to one event but many throughout the year.)
  • World Vision Emergency Kits (I don't know a lot about this organization, but it appeared as a source of aid in a major Australian newspaper.)
  • Unicef's Emergency Relief Fund
  • Relief Web is a one-stop news source regarding the disaster.
  • Center for International Disaster Information

  • Thursday, December 23, 2004

    I just got CRAP for Christmas!

    Hoorah! The log o' poo has landed! No surgery! Rooney is coming home today. I am so happy he's moved the blockage out the back door. I was so terribly worried. I know it's hardly casserole-talk to discuss cat feces, but you just can't imagine how happy I am to know this problem is going to be resolved. It's just about the best Christmas present I could receive this year. I can't wait to go pick him up. The litter boxes at home are clean-as-a-whistle and ready for use. Atticus and Grayson (in pic) will be happy to see him.
    We also had my family over for Christmas festivities. I've never laughed so much with them in my life. It was probably the best Christmas my family has ever had together. There are many things for which to be thankful, including the 12 wonderful years we had with a very funny cat named Baxter.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2004

    my cat is packin'...

    Poop, that is. My little Rooney has severe constipation. He was really looking awful again this morning so I rushed him off to the vet on the way to work. X-rays from another angle today showed that the feared "mass" in his abdominal cavity is actually a giant pile of rock-hard crap. We were fooled by the diarrhea, but apparently it was shooting around the hard mass. He has lost another 1/2 pound in the last three days as well. Constipation is a diagnosis I can live with (yay!).
    They have been giving him enemas and laxatives all day and I'm sure we'll have plenty of diet changes and instructions after he comes home. For now he will be spending the night at the Kitty Sump Pump. We hope to bring him home tomorrow. The worst case scenario is surgery to remove the impacted poop...which we want to avoid if at all possible. Apparently Manx kitties are prone to intestinal blockage. Poo on that. Hell, I'm just glad to get some good news for a change.

    After all, don't you know It's A Wonderful Life?

    Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    da Roonster...

    I call Rooney so many things: Roonster, Rooney-spitoony, Roonster-padoonster, etc. He looked a little peaked last night when I brought him upstairs and put him on the bed with us, but this morning he was crawling under the covers with me, licking my fingers and looking fairly spry.

    He sat on the toilet seat while I took a shower and when I got out he began his usual loud-mouth meowing and pawing at me to pick him up--ah, that's the old Rooney I know and love--demanding! Once I'd given him a hug and some good scratches he was satisfied and sat at the top of the stairs before beginning his meowing again for breakfast. He is a very vocal cat!

    He ate a small breakfast and seemed to feel a little better. I didn't see any evidence of funky poo in the litter box this morning either, so I hope the frequent small meals are helping prevent the diarrhea and vomiting. I hope to hear some news on the bloodwork today and will update when I do.

    Thanks again for all your kind comments. I can't believe how much they have helped. Not everyone understands the worry animal-lovers experience over their beloved pets and your care and concern has been a gift. Let's keep our paws crossed for some good news. Sending thanks and peace to you all...

    Well, I just talked to my vet and Rooney's bloodwork looks normal somehow (Yay!). We're going to try and replace some of the "good" bacteria in his stomach with little bits of plain yogurt and put him on a prescription bland soft food. Then we'll try some steroids next week if he's not much improved. If that doesn't help we may still have to look at exploratory surgery. So, at least I didn't get BAD news. Whew! It could even be that he just has a bizarre intestinal problem that can be treated. One step at a time. Meow!

    Monday, December 20, 2004

    Dear Karma, cut me some slack...

    Now my little dearest clown-kitty, Rooney, has gotten ill. I thought he was depressed over Baxter's death, but he's been having terrible diarrhea and has continued to lose weight even though we've been working on fattening him up. He's been sitting crouched in front of the heater vent. So, I took him to the vet on Saturday and they did a ton of bloodwork (due back tomorrow) and took an X-ray.

    Usually, the vet will start out with one of those, "Well overall it looks pretty good..." but when she brought in the X-ray she began with a list of abnormalities and "this is not supposed be there; I'm not sure what these spots are...this is not a normal picture at all..."

    My heart sank. I felt sick. His intestines are pushed back into the end of his abdominal cavity and although the X-ray didn't show a mass, the vet said there might be one because it looks as though many organs are being pushed around by "something." His temperature was also abnormally low.

    No. No. No. Until the bloodwork comes back she told me to feed him a special prescription diet mixed with pancreatic enzyme medicine to help him absorb some nutrients.

    So I did. And he got sicker. He just huddled on his Purr Pad and his little face was fiery hot. And then he had the most violent vomiting episode I've ever seen in man or animal. I was considering taking him to the local animal after-hours ER with absolutely no money to pay for it (Baxter's hospital and cremation bills have completely wiped us out.) We thought we would try to hydrate him a little first, so we went out and got some Pedialyte and fed him tiny, tiny morsels of his favorite food without the enzymes. Every hour we gave him a couple dropperfuls of Pedialyte and a tiny bit of food. We got up throughout the night to continue the routine and he progressively perked up and even crawled under the covers with us for a while, which is something he likes to do.

    This morning he was hungry and meowing which was a very good sign. I hope the bloodwork tells us something and that it can be treated. The next step is probably a fasting X-ray and possibly exploratory surgery (which I hope is not necessary). My fear is cancer, but my hope is a thyroid problem that can be medicated. I'm going to check on him at lunch and give him another small snack/drink.

    Needless to say, we are just sick with this new development. Here's hoping for Christmas Miracles.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2004


    Home is a different place without Baxter. He was our "special" cat and was always tooling around announcing himself with his muffled half-meows "mmmmrrrrrphhhh." The other cats are acting strangely with Rooney being downright depressed. He refuses to play which is unheard of.
    Sleeping is especially hard because he was always laying on your head all night, doing his best to steal all the real estate he could on your pillow. If you took too long to turn over, you'd find him curled up already in the spot where your head had been. He was sneaky like that.
    We tried to convince him that he needed some Christmas spirit the first few years he was with us, but he wasn't terribly interested in it. He was very overweight when we adopted him and we should have worked harder to get the extra weight off when he was younger. He was a big cat, even lean, and we called him "Biggie" or "Big Boy."
    Of course, as you can tell, the antlers were his favorite. The pet burial services company called and left us a message yesterday saying "the process is complete and I could come pick up Baxter's ashes anytime." I'd rather pick up my sweet Big Boy.
    Thank you to everyone for your kind comments and expressions of sympathy...they make a big difference. Peace.

    Sunday, December 12, 2004

    Goodbye Good Friend...

    Baxter (cir.1991-Dec. 10, 2004)

    When I brought Baxter home Thursday night he seemed much better, just exhausted. During the middle of the night his breathing became labored and shallow, so the next day I took him to the nearby university vet school clinic as an emergency. They did more ultrasounds and x-rays and said they would call me in the afternoon with some news. After lunch the phone rang at my office and they said he'd taken a turn for the worse and apparently had thrown a clot. I drove over to the hospital as quickly as I could and they explained he had severe heart and thyroid disease and his kidneys were beginning to shut down. He was barely breathing and his prognosis was dismal, so I had to make the decision to let him go. I gently pet his head and said goodbye while they administered the meds through his IV. I'll write more about Baxter later when it doesn't hurt so bad. He was really a unique cat and we feel fortunate that we found one another. I just wish we could have kept him a little longer. Goodbye, my friend, you had wings long before you made it to heaven.

    Thursday, December 09, 2004

    American Opinion

    "State and nationwide polls have shown that the vast majority of Americans are strongly opposed to horse slaughter:
    In 1995 - A national call-in TV poll resulted in 93% of callers agree that 'the killing of horses for meat be banned.'
    In 1997 - A state-wide poll taken in California revealed that 88% of those questioned were opposed to horse slaughter.
    In 1999 - A poll conducted in New York State yielded the following results:

  • 91% considered horses companions, recreational or sporting animals -
  • 72% would never eat horse meat -
  • 73% believed that the manner that horses are slaughtered is cruel and inhumane -
  • 81% personally opposed the practice of horse slaughter."

    So, excuse me. Suddenly it's okay to bastardize our own cultural standards?
    From PBS.

    Baxter, my kitty who collapsed this morning, is doing better, but we're not sure what happened. We're still waiting on some more bloodwork to come back. Today's vet bill? $460. My husband is getting a pack of Cheese Nips for Christmas. I'm just glad Baxter is alive. Even the vet said he thought he had a goner on his hands this morning when I first brought him in.


    Of course W., the Idiot, signed away more than 30 years horse protection (which was unanimously approved by Congress at the time). Now wild horses are subject to slaughter for foreign palates--since we find it horrifying to eat it ourselves. Only horses over 10 can be shipped off, but horses aren't dogs. Horses live 30-35 years.

    Oh, by the way, Congress unanimously voted for Dec. 13 to become National Day of the Horse...on your plate that is. Most of the overgrazing they claim to be done by the horses was actually shown to be done by poorly managed cattle herds.

    Let's just go ahead and sell shelter dogs to Vietnamese restaurants. Or, better yet, lets fry up another historic symbol, the American Bald Eagle.

    I'm already out of sorts anyway because one of my cats collapsed this morning and I had to rush him to the animal hospital. The vet couldn't find a pulse on him when I first got there. They've had him in an oxygen tent for several hours. I don't know what's wrong yet, but they've done x-rays and taken blood and urine for testing.

    Deep breathing. Deep breathing.

  • Sale of Wild Horses to Slaughter Legalized
  • Bill add-on strips wild horses of protection from slaughter | And a letter to the editor in response

  • Wednesday, December 08, 2004


    Please take a moment to remind Congress that Americans do NOT eat horsemeat and condemn the practice of horse slaughter!

    ...from the Society for Animal Protective Legislation...
    "Currently, three foreign-owned slaughterhouses in the United States are killing horses for human consumption. They are Beltex Corporation in Ft. Worth, Texas and Dallas Crown in Kaufman, Texas and Cavel International in DeKalb, IL. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 50,564 horses were slaughtered in 2003...thousands more are transported under deplorable conditions across our borders into Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered...Once at the slaughterhouse, the suffering and abuse continue unabated...workers, using long, thick fiberglass rods, poke and beat the horses' faces, necks, backs, and legs as they are shoved through the facility into the kill box. Due to extreme overcrowding, abuse, deafening sounds, and the smell of blood, the horses exhibit fear typical of "flight" behavior – pacing in prance-like movements with their ears pinned back against their heads and eyes wide open. While Federal law requires that horses be rendered unconscious prior to having their throats slit, recent documentation shows that repeated blows with captive bolt pistols are often necessary, causing excruciating suffering. Horses writhe in the holding stall (known as the "kill box"), legs buckling under their weight after each traumatic, misguided and ineffective blows to their heads. Death is not swift for these terrified and noble animals."

    Just take a moment by clicking one of these links:

  • American Human Society
  • Doris Day Animal League
  • National Horse Protection Coalition

  • Wanna see sumpin?

    If you swoon over beautiful color combinations, you should see Carol Weymar's (a.k.a. The Silkworker) hand-painted silk top. I swear I can feel my pupils dilate when I look at her selections. She also has a nice page on how to spin silk, which I found very helpful.

    Other than that I'd like to point out to the entire world that I have a zit on my forehead the size of a pomegranate. I can feel it pulsing. There are little men working in there, shoveling coal into its fiery epicenter, making my skin itchy, red and hot. This morning I was imagining ants outfitted in rappelling equipment climbing to its volcanic peak and holding a religious ceremony there.

    I haven't had a zit like this on my face since the 80's. I can only surmize that I've entered perimenopause, the second-coming of puberty. I think I'll get a hysterectomy for my birthday.

    I am ever-so-thankful I recently got a hairstyle with bangs. And I am thankful the semester is over. I took my cognitive behavioral final exam yesterday and it was a breeze (knock on wood.)

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    Pearl Harbor...

    Excellent coverage here as we remember...National Geographic's Remember Pearl Harbor. Thanks to Shards for the link.

    Monday, December 06, 2004


    A short lesson on slaughterhouse practice.* Why and how does this occur? I'm not a fan of PETA but occasionally they do some investigation that speaks for itself. No dramatics needed. Thanks to VegBlog for the link.
    *beware of graphic content

    Regardless of whether or not you are a vegetarian, there are federal laws that demand animals not suffer, but be rendered "insensible to pain" before they are killed. How well do you think these laws are enforced? Poultry isn't covered by the laws at all. To discourage injuries from pecking in cramped quarters, their beaks are sliced off with a hot knife tool. And yes, beaks are packed with nerves. Eaten or not eaten, animals should not endure torture for our mere convenience. More here...

    just plain scary...

    ...okay so I panicked...
    So I deleted the entry and visited Remo's Homepage instead. I love reading about all the naughty things he can do...

    Saturday, December 04, 2004

    fresh from the mad hattery...

    Bloggie-friend Laura requested a hat from me a while ago and here's the almost finished result. I need to do some work on the brim and insert the hat band, but it looks like it will have a new home very soon a top Laura's noggin'.

    And takin' it from the top.

    All handmade and hand-felted of course of Norwegian and Merino wool and hand-dyed silk. Hand-blocked and a whole lotta fun! I hope she likes it. I get so excited to get a hat out to someone.

    And I have another custom order to get busy on ASAP as well! Fun for me!!! Woot!

    I commented on the entry below thanking you all for such wonderful comments, but I want to repeat that your support warmed my little pea-pickin' heart. Ralphie thanks you, too. He now shows up and expects his sunflower seeds each evening. It's hard being such a sucker...

    Friday, December 03, 2004

    emerging from the muckety-muck...

    Dear Darling Readers,
    My life has changed in a blink of an eye. A miracle has been performed. A door has been opened. I think I even see a red carpet rolled out for me. Forty is around the corner and I'm looking forward to it. Droopy boobs be damned.

    There's been much ado about my health over the last three years including several surgeries, medications and treatments. From uterine fibroids to endometriosis to gallbladder removal to tachycardia and high blood pressure. Oh, and I can't leave out the misdiagosis of Hepatitis B...that's another story.

    Whether from having life-long problems with depression or the life-long problem of the tachycardia, I have always and forever been battling serious fatigue. I have never had enough energy to get through the day--ever. I do things anyway, but it is a constant battle. Then, about a 1 1/2 weeks ago a corrective measure was made in some medication and I, for the first time IN MY LIFE, do not feel like I'm dragging corpse around.

    I FEEL NORMAL AND AWAKE (whatever that might be).

    I don't have to say "no" to social events anymore because I just don't have the energy.

    My heart doesn't sink when I see a mess in the house. Gosh-darn-it, I just walk over there and take care of it.

    I am not afraid of committing to projects I have been wanting to do.

    I feel like talking to people more.

    I feel like seeing my friends.

    I don't crash when I get home from work.

    I dust when it's not "cleaning day."

    I don't have to take naps throughout the weekend just to feel rested.

    I don't feel left out because I don't have enough energy to enjoy myself.

    The past week has been a mixture of shouting from the rooftops and crying in the depths of hell as I've made these adjustments and dealt with a myriad of personal challenges at home. Being suddenly COMPLETELY different was a tremendous shock. I was fearful that it was too good to be true. And I was also extremely upset that I was seeing my life clearly for the first time. The tremendous weight was removed and I saw many important changes that needed to be made ASAP.

    I will turn 40 next month and it's not going to be about sagging ass cheeks, droopy boobs, a flabby waist or developing pig-like jowls. Wah-fucking-wah.

    It's going to be about freedom from chronic fatigue--for the first time in my life.


    Wednesday, December 01, 2004


    We find it so appalling that the meat is only sold overseas. Appalling, sickening, barbaric. Wild be Slaughtered

    Read more about it...

    ...feeling a little more energetic than usual?

    Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Organic Milk

    Tuesday, November 30, 2004

    ponder fodder...

    I saw this quote at the end of an email today. I don't know much about the fellow who wrote it, but this little bit was worth thinking about.

    "I look upon what is whole in you, not what seems to be lacking, and when
    you learn to do the same, then the lack will disappear on its own. No
    effort is required to dispel an illusion, but it takes great effort
    indeed to deny what is and has always been true. This is why you are so
    tired, because you have used the power of creation to deny the power of

    -James Twyman

    I have named the fireplace squirrel "Ralphie." He hangs his head down from the hole in the flue like a periscope to keep a watch for fresh sunflower seeds. I need to take a picture of the cats...they sit in front of the fireplace like they are watching television.

    Dreary, chilly, foggy and rainy today.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    see you after the holiday...

    Tuesday, November 23, 2004

    you just can't make this stuff up...

    If you read the previous post, you are aware of our new pet friend...uh, visitor.

    He really does peek through the old worn-out flue. As soon as I shone the flashlight in the fireplace, his head poked right out and I attempted to take a picture through the glass. Not top quality, but this critter has been caught in the act. Click on the photo for a big view.

    Darling Klaralund does NOT want to be upstaged. She is finished. She doesn't really make me look quite so skinny, but she's lovely nevertheless.

    knock, knock...

    ...who's there?
    Flying squirrels.
    Flying squirrels who?
    Flying squirrels visiting through your fireplace.


    Yes, we have more visitors...or maybe just one more. He peeks his head through the flue when we shine the flashlight in the fireplace.

    Who's that? he says.
    Curious humans, we say.
    *blink, blink*

    Curious humans invite total infestation by placing water and gerbil food in the fireplace.

    What's that? he says.
    Food and water, we say.

    As soon as the food was placed in the fireplace, his velvety nose popped through the hole wiggling and twitching.

    A buffet? he says. For me? he wonders.
    Yes, for you, just in case you need it.

    He promptly followed his nose to the feeding trough and began eating to his heart's content. You could clearly hear the crunching and munching through the closed glass doors.

    Cool! How cute! the Curious Humans thought.
    Mmmm! Delicious the squirrel thought.

    He dragged the little plastic lid toward him, sat among the tasty morsels and commenced to more serious munching.The sunflower seeds were his favorite and disappeared first.

    We are such suckers, we thought.
    They are such suckers, he thought.


    I have about 10 more inches of seaming to do on Klaralund and I'm finished. I plan to wear it tomorrow because that's what you do when you finish something--you wear it haste...with self-aggrandizing glee.

    There's so much to say, but only so much room. I'll post of pic of Klara when she is fit to be fitted and such.

    I am SO ready for a day off.

    Friday, November 19, 2004


    I hope for this to become more than a piece of paper. It's been so disturbing to go about my daily business while lives were being snuffed out by the millions. I still wonder if the general public was quite so complacent during the Holocaust or if it was different then; if people were more involved in bringing aid to those who suffered. I don't know.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    A spitwad. A nerd. And a little bit of lightning...

    Well, I've not been my usual obsessive bloggy self lately. I'm not sure why. I have been having some serious energy problems lately...there's seems to be a blackout in the frontal and neocortex areas. All power lines have been shut down and limbic generators have been chugging me through the countryside. Usually this is caused by a special kind of lightning from hormonal clouds, known by its scientific name "Zitbloatskrieg." If you feel the hair in your DNA prickle up you'd better hit the ground and don the tin foil cap post haste.

    Anyway, we saw "The Incredibles" with the nieces over the weekend. It was a great movie. Even if you don't have short people to go with, go see it. It's really clever and amazing. Knitters will appreciate the faithful reproduction of stockinette stitch in sweaters thanks to the miracles of computer generated graphics. (How nerdy is it that I noticed such a thing? I deserve a spitwad between the eyes.)

    I am hoping to finish out two custom hats this week. I wanted to have them done by now, but my energy/irritation levels have been extremely low and extremely high respectively. What to do? Knit and chill. Wait for systems to return to normal.

    So, I have finished all of the pieces of Klaralund. No shit. I kid you not. I'm not lying. By the turtlehead invested in me I hereby say she is ready to block and seam. Can she do it? Can she finish a knitted piece? You'll have to tune in later to find out.

    I've casted on for Lara, but only four inches of lovely rust ribbing can attest to my activity. I'm using Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran instead of Alpaca Silk. It was cheaper--thank God for Elann during lean days.

    Friday, November 12, 2004

    told ya...

    Ah, she comes through, late like Amelie, but with pictures like she said...
    Klaralund sleeves in #213...obviously I was not trying to match the striping. I couldn't care less about that, so c'est la vie on that one.

    Some purple wool and mohair roving I've been spinning up. The score was made at SAFF of course. I bought some other roving in a brown/olive color combo as well.

    And something luscious, Kid Hollow hand-dyed mohair (almost 1000 yards!). Mmm, mmm, MMM! I have special plans for this baby and I ain't tellin'. I dread winding it up though!

    I did some "pre-felt" pieces tonight to be felted into other pieces of felt later, but those are hardly exciting to show. So, that's all for today folks.


    Feelin' kinda low this week. Not because of the squirrel, although that was a sad moment, but a variety of other things. All will be fine, but I despise "dips" in the road of life. Sometimes there are too many potholes to fix at once.

    Thanks for all the sweet messages about the flying squirrel. One person commented about rabies, but the Southern Flying Squirrel is wonderfully notorious for being practically disease and parasite-free. They are really beautiful little creatures and have been kept as "pocket pets" for hundreds of years. You could never tame an adult, but if you bond with a baby then you'd be happily stuck with a friendly squirrel for about 10-15 years!

    I am halfway through the last sleeve of Klaralund, but I dread blocking it because I really don't have a good place to block. No carpet, dog and cat fur everywhere, not enough table space, etc. I'm sure I'll figure out a way to solve it. I am (really) going to post some pics tonight.

    I have to work some this weekend, but man am I glad it's Friday!

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    need alternate ending...

    I haven't posted about the flying squirrel, because I just couldn't. The first thing I did was go to the fireplace after work and I saw the apple hadn't even been nibbled. Just beyond the apple, I saw a little tail. I touched it and nothing happened. I let out an "Oh, no!" and ran to get a little cotton washcloth. I pulled the poor little thing out by the tail and it seemed dead. Since it was still warm and pliable, I decided to massage its chest and blow in its nose (from a distance). After a couple of minutes I saw a little twitch. It was still alive.

    Meanwhile, my husband walked in and immediately asked how the squirrel was. My answer was dismal. I kept giving it little chest massages and DH gave it a little water with a dropper every few minutes. She got more and more agitated, started to breathe regularly and squirmed, so we were hopeful she (I'm assuming it was a female from the rows of nipples on the underbelly) was just dehydrated. We took turns cradling the little thing in our warm hands. Finally she opened her eyes and make a squeak. More squeaks. We were happy. But after a few minutes the squeaks seemed more like cries and she let out a couple of tremendous coughs, sticking out her little pink velvet tongue like a child would. A couple of loud cries followed. We thought she might be frightened by us now that she had her eyes open, so we put her in a dark vented box lined with cotton washcloths. Neither one of us could stand it for more than five minutes, so we lifted the lid to see how she was doing and she had died. Apparently the coughs and cries were her last moments. I rubbed her chest again for a while, but she was really gone this time. I gently closed her eyes.

    It took me two days to muster up the courage to write this stupid entry. Sucks to be me.

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    critter magnet...

    Last night I was on the couch thumbing through a knitting magazine while my husband was lamenting about his fantasy football loss to a friend on the phone and out of the corner of my eye I saw something move in the fireplace. I put down my magazine and went to look behind the glass doors along with the cats who had seen the same movement.

    Another Southern Flying Squirrel. We know we have families of them in the attic, but since they are practically disease-free critters, we don't see any reason to oust them from their warm little suburbs. This little guy must have fallen down the chimney and crawled through the flue. We don't burn our fireplace because of structural damage in our chimney--thank goodness for him (We have ventless gas logs, but they stink!).

    The cats were going nuts, trying to paw right through the glass, so we put the kitties away in other rooms while we opened the doors to attempt capturing the little fellow. Then, poof! he was gone. He jumped straight up through a little hole in the flue. We started to wonder if he was really trapped or just playing, but a few minutes later, plop! he parachuted back down onto the gas logs, just standing there looking at me.

    I could hear the kitties tapping on the glass from time to time throughout the night, fascinated by the little snack on the other side.

    We decided to see if he was still around today to make a better judgement call on his state of freedom. DH stopped by and saw that he was still there--asleep in the fake ashes, so DH cut up a little apple for him. He was so sound asleep (they are noctural animals) that, not only did he not notice the door was being opened, but DH actually nudged him with the apple and all he did was turn over and curl right back up. Talk about a heavy sleeper! We don't want to put him out during the day when he's so groggy, so we'll attempt to help him escape to freedom tonight. I'd like to take a picture of him but I don't know if that will happen, plus it would probably blind his little noctural eyes. The picture linked in the second paragraph is from the big escapee incident from the storage room--the lights were on then so I snapped a pic. Whee! Boy can they get around in a hurry! It was like a circus. Tickets are on sale for tonight!

    Friday, November 05, 2004

    persimmon power-pucker

    For the truly anal-retentive, a linguistic analysis of the Kerry-Bush debates. It's kind of interesting. Not that I am anal--I poo far too often to earn such a moniker.

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    more fiber, please

    No, I'm not going to pontificate on scat, feces, poo--as it were. I'm looking forward to this weekend so I can do some felting. I have a pulled muscle in my back and a sinus infection that's going to give me grief, but I say we'll work it out--literally.

    The front and back of Klaralund is done and I've started on a sleeve. I was going to do the sleeves at the same time, but I didn't have a circular in the same size and I wasn't in the mood to squish that many stitches on my trusty bamboos. I really like Silk Garden, although some of the skeins have giant silk zits. That add something sometimes and then other times, it's just too zitty and I have to's always something. I've run into at least four knots so far. I do NOT take kindly to knots. I just don't.

    I got a ton of hair chopped off last night. I have bangs for the first time in about 10 years. I kind of look like a deranged mushroom...but I do like mushrooms. Have a good Thursday...we're almost there!

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    stay the course...

    ...straight into the New Vietmam (even 81 year-old Walter Cronkite will tell you that and he covered the war); straight into more economic unrest; straight into cuts for social programming and money for research and sound environmental practice. I just hope it can all be fixed when he leaves.

    That's all I'm going to say.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    the joy of poo...

    I can't believe I have so many friends in the "must poo because I'm in my favorite store" category. Okay, some of you poo because you're on the phone, but a lot of you are poo-enhanced shoppers. Whodathunkit? Not me. No wonder it smells so bad in there. If you are a real poo-enhanced shopper, however, you know to perform procedure 3B (that would be the trusty Courtesy Flush). I'm going to get a bumper sticker that says "I'm proud to poo in public." I suppose I've said enough here.

    I just can't get into the bloggy thing over the past couple of weeks. Don't know why. I've finished the back of Klaralund and have begun the front. I have custom hat orders to work on this weekend. Woo-hoo, felting fun.

    Gotta run. No pun intended! ;-P

    Thursday, October 28, 2004


    That's right, the title means nothing. Move along, there's nothing to see here.

    I had EVERY intention of taking photos last night, but hubby and I wound up at the bookstore and I didn't get around to it. We always laugh when I go to the bookstore because it makes me go to the bathroom. Bookstores apparently change my body chemistry and I have to go poo within 15 minutes of arriving. Seriously. Creative supply stores do the same thing to me. Yes, I'm aware you didn't need to know that mental stimuli causes craptacular-itis in me, but I think it's so odd I had to share. Given the frequency of my visits to said stimulating places, I am one lucky unconstipated woman.

    Speaking of nastiness, my lovely little nieces are coming over this Saturday to make Halloween yuckies like "boogers on a stick" and "puke stew." It should be fun. We don't have them over often enough.

    I'm going to cast on for Klaralund Friday night. Hubby is going to a local football game so I'm footloose and fiber-infested for the entire evening. I also have some felting projects to get going...

    Which reminds me, I just signed up for probably the most exciting workshop I'll take in 2005--advanced felt hatmaking with Beth Beede. She is the teacher of the person who taught me and she travels internationally sharing her techniques. I am seriously excited about it. If you are a felter, check out the class. It's being held at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. I've been there before and really loved it.

    Well, I've flurble-goinked enough for my dad says, "See you in the funny papers."

    Wednesday, October 27, 2004

    testing, this thing on?

    Well, that stupid mid-term was a cinch. I thought it was going to be horrible and, since I fully embraced said assumption, I took off Monday to memorize everything we had been told, shown and assigned. I was kind of pissed off it wasn't harder. How whacked is that? Anyway, I was glad I was able to do well.

    After the exam was over I headed straight to Bask1n R0bbins to get a scoop of Nutty Coconut. Mmmmmmmmm, rewards! Then I decided I needed more rewarding and I got out some of the roving I scored at SAFF and started spinning like a mad woman. Then I decided that was not enough, so I headed to the store and bought limes and a six-pack of one of my favorite beers, Tecate. Mmmmmmm, beer. After that, I decided that was enough rewarding and drank, spun, plied and vegged out like a moron. Hey, it was the perfect day!

    I don't know why I'm so photographically impaired recently. I will try to force myself to take pictures of the SAFF haul and the four capelets/ponchos I've knitted up. Egads, I'm a lazy one on the blogging recently.

    Oh, and my hats are going to be in a nearby fashion show, which I think is really cool. More about that as it draws near.

    Happy Wednesday...I think.

    Thursday, October 21, 2004


    I just haven't felt like bloggin' it lately. Perhaps I deserve to be blog-flogged and hog-tied with a schwa. Or maybe it's because I'm about 2 1/2 months away from 40 and I can't decide what to do with my hair--again. Or maybe it's because my husband's boss is taking the "guys" to Zurich and Paris four days after I turn 40. Or maybe it's because all that health junk temporarily took the wind out of my sails...or the sails off my boat. Or maybe its because I can't stop knitting up Paris Loops or poncholettes make of Kureyon. Or maybe it's because I can't wait for my Silk Garden to get here so I can make Klaralund. Or Lara with the Silk Road Aran I scored. Or maybe its because I went a little overboard in rewarding myself for the art fair with a "little" yarn. Or maybe it's because I can't get the green sweater in the new Queensland Collection off my mind and how I might dye some natural yarn and mohair I have to mimick said sweater. Or maybe I should stop typing out freakin' sentence fragments before I force said schwa down my throat and choke to death (I love to say schwa...schwa! schwa! schwa! You can't stop me!). Then again maybe I'm just tired.

    This Saturday, I'm going to SAFF. I'm going to do some serious scoring of roving there. I feel like skipping through the building when I get there. Wool! Mohair! Angora bunnies! Alpacas! Llamas! Cashmere goats! Angora goats! All kinds of sheep! All for me! me! me! I'll also get to meet my wooly commrades in the Southeastern Felters Guild in the afternoon. We're a new guild, so we're trying to figure out what the hell we want to do with our time. I'll also be dropping off some hats to a weaver who is going to use them in a fashion show in November.

    Tonight is studying for next week's cognitive behavioral therapy mid-term. It's over the entire freakin' textbook, plus several suicide assessment topics. Bah. Hopefully I can multi-task and knit while studying--that could be dangerous for this little pea brain...

    Gotta go, I'm about to schwa all over myself...

    Monday, October 18, 2004

    it's just karma...

    It's just fate that I would park for my meeting this morning and have a pept0-bism0l colored leopard car just two spaces away. I don't even know what to say, other than the gods of oddity have been good to me today. Click the pic for a really big scary version in a new window.

    I AM AWAKE...

    I weaned myself off the beta-blocker over the weekend and I'm finally awake again. I didn't realize how much of a fog I was in until I started to snap out of it. I had to take a half-dose for three days before I could quit because this beta blocker can cause heart spasms or heart attack if stopped cold turkey. I thought that was scary. I thought it was even more scary that my doc didn't tell me that. I found out myself (I research everything--nerd!) and asked him how he wanted me to taper off.


    More importantly, I knitted up Glampyre's Paris Loop over the weekend and I love it! I'm making another one in some girly yarn. Mine has a wider opening at the top. I could promise pictures, but I probably will get lazy and not post them, so I'll say I'll try to post pics if I think about it. A vague half-promise. Or half of a vague promise. Either way, it's not looking good for you.

    Yes, I am awful.

    And awake.

    And little bit rotten.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    slower, slower, slowest...

    Just like the witchy lady says to Jason Robards in "Something Wicked This Way Comes"...

    I just don't think I'm going to be able to stay on this beta blocker. I've become a lump of barely formed lukewarm poo. The only thing I think about all day is getting home so I can take a nap. The only thing I think about when I stand up is when I'm going to get to sit down. The only thing I think about when I sit down is when I'm going to lie down. I have no idea how I'm going to get my work done and study for a mid-term.

    I said I'd give it a full week...maybe 10 days...but no more. Beta-sucka-my-big-fat-ass-blocker. I feel like a wilted piece of lettuce...not even nice lettuce like arugula, but plain old iceberg lettuce with week-old rabbit slobber on it. Wilted, man, wilted.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    halloween treats...

    For you guys who have kids, you're going to love this RECIPE LIST. How about some Toasted Tongues or Chuckie's Upchuck? Or some wonderful Noseblow Pizza? Or Diaper Dump Porridge? Mmmmm.

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    oh yeah? beta this!

    Well, I said I was going to avoid beta-blockers for the tachycardia, which was officially diagnosed as "inappropriate sinus tachycardia"--which is shorthand for "we don't know why your heart acts like it's on crack"--so Well-Trusted-Doctor talked me into a very selective beta blocker called Toprol. It seems to work, but damn, I can hardly keep my eyes open...I am SO sleepy and tired. I'm hoping these side effects will subside.

    So much for showing you my lovely Kureyon poncho. A friend of mine bought it right off my back for a good sum. I did the smart thing and bought six more balls of Kureyon, so I can make another. I loved that poncho! Money is evil!

    Man, I wish I didn't have two more chapters of textbook reading to do tonight. Yaa-a-a-a-wn...I just want to cat nap. Meeeeeooooowwww. Snoozzzzzzzzze.

    Who invented Monday? I want to find them and strangle them post haste. Or whatever...maybe I'll stare at them and think mean things...or lay down and think about doing it.


    Thursday, October 07, 2004

    insert title here...

    Here's some tech support for ya...

    I'm okay, just kinda takin' it easy away from the blogworld. I need some recharging...

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    dot dot dot...

    The show was a tad bit puny on the money side, but definitely worth going to. I think sales in general for everyone was mediocre. The caliber of artists was excellent, which always makes me feel good as a newcomer to be included in such good company. I am zapped though. I'm just devoid of energy right now, so I'll have to catch up on the blogosphere later this week. My goal for my next show is to be able to MAKE CHANGE for my customers. It's just like a math test...I go completely blank and appear to be legally retarded. So embarrassing. Even the calculator couldn't save me from my display of stupidity. More later.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2004

    lost boys...

    Hubby and I watched this documentary on PBS last night. My heart broke over and over again while, at the same time, I was in awe of the courage these young men had in their hearts.

    Unrelated brain smatterings:
    "...he had dandruff the size of mice...Bill Brasky!!!!"
    --from the Best of Will Farrell, vol. 2

    Tuesday, September 28, 2004

    unrelated to anything anywhere at any time...

    Have you ever met someone with eczema in her ear? Well, now you have. I have had this really, really annoying eczema in my left ear for over a year now. Nothing will get rid of it--not steroids, not hydrocortisone, not Rx cream with a really long name...

    So, I dig. How unladylike. And I drag out big flakes of skin. And it itches like poison ivy. And I unload the skin underneath my nail. And I feel like a heathen. But it must me scratched because I feel like ants are marching down the canal to eat what's left of my left brain no less, which means I might not remember to write bills or be able to add up the cans of cat food in the cabinet. That would be a disaster. I want to have some left brain left. So I dig.

    There, I said it. That's why I'm driving down the road with my left hand hanging in my ear like a gas pump. That's why. I can't help it. It's not my fault. Oh, dear Gawd!

    Right. Well, anyway, I got my bill for the electrophysiology study in the mail yesterday. The total hospital bill was nearly $15,000. Whoa. That made me really thankful for insurance. What do people do without insurance? Give up and hope they don't die?

    Monday, September 27, 2004

    where will you be?

    I'll be HERE this weekend. They have me listed as "art dolls," but I will have more felt than dolls. I spent most of the weekend working on some more items for the fair--that and nursing a very sick hubby. He's better now. I know, I know, I promised pictures and I have not delivered. Be patient, young grasshoppa...

    Thursday, September 23, 2004

    yammer time...

    There's not much going on today. I'm waiting on other people who are approving things that I have done so I can re-do them when they send those things back. The longer they keep them, the more I worry. Of course, I have to watch my negative thinking. DO NOT LEAVE ME TO MY OWN DEVICES. Respond before she blows!

    ANYWAY, I now have two ponchos (Click HERE for a list of free poncho patterns collected by Faerie Crafty--excellent list!). I had a little leftover Kureyon from an old project and I knitted up Yarn Harlot's simple poncho, but instead of doing fringe, I crocheted a picot border with little amber glass beads. Crocheting with beads is easy, but putting those suckers on the yarn beforehand...well, SUCKS. I swear I will take pictures of them both tonight. I'm also still doing the raglan body hugger (I got sick of fiddling with little yarn, so I hopped on the poncho wagon for relief). I guess I'll take pictures of that, too. Gah, you bunch of slave drivers!

    And here's a couple of sweet faces to send you off for the day, Pickles (top) and Sadie. They say life can be "ruff"!

    Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    alpaca and llama show...

    Here are some pics I took at the alpaca/llama show I went to a couple of weeks ago. These are Huacaya alpacas. There's another kind of alpaca called Suri--they have long silky locks instead of fluffy teddy bear hair. They are soooo cute, but very shy. These guys have already been shorn for the year. If they had all their fleece they would be mega-fluffy.

    Click pics for larger images...

    There was also an obstacle course for both alpacas and llamas. It's always funny/tragic to watch because leading alpacas and llamas around is about like running cats through an obstacle course. They usually humiliate their owners. They go through obstacles, get petted by a stranger, get their feet sprayed with water, have their feet picked up by the owner, get a hula hoop passed over their heads and show they can be trailered. Some were cooperative and some didn't want to do anything. The pics below are llamas (just remember to look for the "banana" ears...alpacas have teddy bear ears).

    This llama was undecided about me taking his picture.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    welcome worshippers...

    If you're warm and have a pulse, you can go to this church. I've started collecting funny church signs, and in the South, there is a plethora from which to choose. Most of them are scary, but this one made me chuckle a little. Note: I removed the name in Paint Shop Pro.

    Monday, September 20, 2004

    this is a hoot...

    If you haven't seen this, you're in for a treat. Funny stuff.
    Kelly Ripa Gets Ripped

    It turns out the rain missed us, so we were not drowned over the weekend as expected. In fact it was a beautiful sunny, cool weekend. How about that?

    Thursday, September 16, 2004


    Well, the electrophysiology study did not work for me. I am one of the lucky people who have supraventricular tachycardia that can't really be treated. The only treatment for it is beta blockers and I can't take those. I was really discouraged when they couldn't do the ablation.

    The test was kind of scary, but the worst part was the catheters being inserted into my larger veins on each side of the groin and upper chest. It was only a couple of seconds of pain and I was already on happy juice, so it wasn't terrible. They inserted long wires all the way up to my heart and sent electrical signals to different parts--but no "extra pathways" were found to ablate. I think my cardiologist was as sad as I was. At this point I wish I had never known about the abnormality, but I'll get over it. At least I know why just a little activity can make me breathe hard and get my heart racing...and that it's not the "woos" factor.

    I'm sore, bruised, grumpy and tired. And disappointed.

    But, I'll get over it.

    THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL THE ANNIVERSARY WISHES!!! It was great to open up my email and read all those congratulatory messages.

    We're headed for a torrent of rain here in East Tennessee thanks to Ivan. Even most of the schools have closed for tomorrow--a possibility of 15 inches of rain. Ugh.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    happy 8th anniversary...

    Hubby and I have been married eight years today. And here we are, skinnier than we are now, on our honeymoon. All together now: "Awwwww-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w!!!!!!"

    With all the impending medical CRAP going on, we've empowered ourselves to reschedule our anniversary celebration for Sunday. :-)

    I shall report all the gorey details about the procedure when I regain my, a) senses and, b) access to a computer.


    Monday, September 13, 2004


    First, I would like thank all you cool people out there who left reassuring and wonderful messages for me. You guys are really something. I mean, hell, we don't even know each other--but I love you all still!

    My cardiologist started me on an ace inhibitor (lisin0pril) Friday to control my blood pressure and oh my, it made me so sick! I usually tolerate medications very well, but this one gave me the worst back pain and abdominal cramps of my life. I'm still sore. So, we'll just cross that little cyanide pill off our list and try something else.

    I'm not really nervous about having the heart cath, but it does creep me out a bit that I'll be lying there while they stimulate my heart with little wires threaded through my arteries; not to mention possibly burning off some of the tissue in my heart. Dr. Cardio said I'd have five tubes--two in each femoral artery and one in the artery just below my clavicle. I haven't had conscious sedation before, so I'm hoping it's "I don't give a crap about ANYTHING" sedation. I'm curious as to what they're going to do, but not THAT curious.

    The funny thing is I'm more worried about having to lay completely still on my back for four hours afterward while the incisions in my arteries close up. I can't move around, go to the bathroom or anything. I thought about asking if I could knit, but I'm pretty sure that's on the "don't do" list. Well, that and the fact that I'm being worked on by co-workers who probably know my name from seeing it on the company intranet and newsletter (ack!).

    I did manage to go to a llama/alpaca show on Saturday and courtesy of my company, hubby and I went to this show. I just wanted to see the horses. The show was kinda hokey, but pretty much everything is hokey in Pige0n F0rge. I did wear my new summer poncho to the show. I was proud as a peacock pigeon.

    I know, I I have them--I just can't get motivated. Later, I promise. :-) Thanks again for all the support.

    Friday, September 10, 2004


    Well, I saw the cardiologist and he said my tachycardia was pretty bad. "Your heart rate shouldn't get this high if you were doing the worst possible exercise on a 110 degree day." So, maybe that explains why I sweat so much when I exercise? Uh, probably.

    Anyway, he said I have one of two things. I could have some extra fibers that short-circuit my heart and send it into tachycardia or it could be inappropriate sinus tachycardia.

    He wants to do a special kind of heart catheterization called an electophysiology study Wednesday. If he sees the fibers he'll burn them off and I will be "fixed!" If not, then I'll have to manage the tachycardia another way. My EKGs suggested both, so we wants to make sure of the diagnosis with the catheterization.

    I'm a little nervous, but I know it's a common procedure. I will receive conscious sedation and if he does the ablation (burning of the naughty fibers), I'll have to stay in the hospital overnight. If not, I can go home that evening.

    My cardiologist said that if I can indeed be "fixed" that this could greatly improve my quality of life. I've always had exercise intolerance and general fatigue. Gee, and I thought I was just a big pansy!

    Oh and he put me on blood pressure medication, too. My bp was 150/100 in the office. Sheesh, I NEVER used to have high blood pressure until this year.

    Anyway, I said I would report...and that's the report. Not pleasant exactly, but I am hopeful for some good results.

    Happy Friday!

    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    the canine sweet tooth of revenge...

    The headline should read: "Why didn't the pup shoot him sooner?"

    But that's just my take on it.

    He could have at least dumped them at the shelter. Too bad more paws didn't make it to the trigger. They are so beautiful.

    Hmmmph. Humans.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    spiders in my hair...

    For the second time this week I have left for work and, while locking the door, a giant "granddaddy long-legs" has kamikazied into my hair from the porch overhang.

    Note to God: This is NOT funny.

    I'm swamped at work and I have worried myself into ZERO-concentration-status. I feel like I should be swinging a club and wearing an animal skin. "Fire gud. Ow! Wait, fire BAD!" That's about how smart I'm feeling.

    Death by whining is terrible way to go.

    One more spider in the hair though--I'm taking it as a sign.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    I think I hear an echo...

    I had an echocardiogram this morning, which is an ultrasound of the heart. They look at all four chambers, the valves, etc. I have to wait until I see the cardiologist on Friday to see what's going on. It made me a little nervous that the sonographer spent so much time on one particular valve - it sounded a little different than the others - but, I shall not worry until I have something to worry about (repeat bolded area as needed).

    So, I did finish my summer poncho (no shit!) and I will post some pics in a day or two. I have class today, which means I have to leave work early. I got in late because of the test...sheesh, I hope I don't get put out to pasture. Moo. Ugh.

    I'm kind of a wreck right now. I know it will get better though. I'm not good at waiting on information. I really feel the need to hit an "eject" button. Perhaps I will tape the word "eject" to one of my computer keys.

    Friday, September 03, 2004


    Well, despite the fact my mind went wild yesterday, I was only victim to a minor amount of anxiety before my appointment.

    The EKGs I sent in showed my heartrate was getting up to 195 while exercising. Now I can have some appreciation for why I could never build up any distance when I tried to run in previous years. My heart has always done this, I just didn't know it was abnormal.

    Anyway, next week I'm having an echocardiogram to check for structural problems and see a cardiologist who is also an electrophysiologist - a rhythm dude. I'm probably headed for a combo of blood pressure medication and something like a beta blocker to control my wacky ticker.

    We'll see. At least he didn't diagnose me as having a pig heart or something. Oh, and he said the ants in the pants were normal.

    Thanks for all your concerns and thoughts. I'm still wearing the contraption so I can (hopefully) capture the palpitations, but so far the well has been dry.

    Thursday, September 02, 2004

    we'll just let you guess...

    I sent in two EKG recordings from my workout last night. This morning I picked up a message from my doctor's office telling me to come back in tomorrow morning. My follow-up appointment related to all this bullshit was originally set for September 30th.

    Hmmm. A mind could really go wild with this kind of information.

    Hmmm. Reality is I know absolutely nothing.

    Hmmm. The heart is a pretty important organ.

    Hmmm. Why so quickly?

    Hmmm. Why even ask questions? You can't answer them until tomorrow morning.

    Hmmm. Don't think about it. You're healthy. You're strong. You've got plenty of ants in your pants. You're funny and happy in your own strange way. You worry too much. You're worrying about the unknown. You're creating anxiety. Consult your cognitive behavioral textbook. Do the three column intervention. Stop thinking about it. There's nothing to think about. Stop being a hypochondriac. Stop making terrible assumptions about yourself. Do the three-column intervention again. Stop these irrational thoughts. Somebody call the wah-bulance. Why all the whine when I love cheese?

    Okay, so I'm worried.

    I'm allowed.

    I guess.

    Wednesday, September 01, 2004


    A couple of years ago, one of our co-workers died in a freak accident involving a flooded road. She drowned--only in her 20's and a vibrant writer. I wish I had known her better from the eulogies given by her friends. I'll never forget they had to videotape her funeral because her father was very ill in the hospital. Awful.

    She didn't work in my building so we didn't have the opportunity to "hook pinkies." Anyway, I ran across this poem I wrote after she died. Being in a PR office we had to "handle" the release of information, etc. And of course her death warranted a few seconds on the news. I wrote the poem after I saw the newscast.

    That Was Good

    On the news
    You were just a blurb
    At first nameless
    Until they found your next-of-kin.

    Now they have your name
    Now they have your age
    And where you lived.

    I watched as the reporter
    Stood in your last place
    Cinched in a wrinkle-less trench
    Worried about enunciation
    She mapped out your demise beyond
    Her pointing fingertip.

    You had been here
    Your car there

    In that clip that lasted
    A few seconds
    It rained and rained and
    Swallowed you whole

    They furrowed their brows
    In dramatic concern
    And then it was simply
    "back to you"

    After which the reporter's
    Face released from its nervous
    Actor's pinch
    And the camera man
    Hoisted the machine from his
    Shoulder and nodded,
    "That was good."

    written January 31, 2002

    See you in a couple of days...

    that awful screeching sound...

    Thankfully, I didn't have to set off my "fax machine" last night during class, but I accidentally hit it on the way back to my car. I sounded like a malfunctioning android.

    After class I went to the gym and got onto the elliptical trainer. Twelve minutes into the workout I pressed the button. Thankfully there was no one working out directly next to me and the machines muffled the sound a bit. After about a 1 1/2 minutes it finally stopped squealing. I know I shouldn't care, but I feel like a freakin' hypochondriac with this contraption on.


    When I got home I sent in my recording. Now I think this is kind of neat. You call a toll-free number and tell the person who you are and that you have a recording. The person asks you what you were doing at the time of the recording--and oh, how I was so tempted to tell her something like, "I was participating in an interactive community sex seminar," but I didn't. Then they say they are ready. You place the oversized beeper-looking-thing at the phone receiver and press "send." Then that god-awful screeching replays. How they can get detailed information from that lousy whining I do not know. But they do.

    After I played the recording the woman on the line asked me if my heart had slowed down and then she made me take a live reading and play it over the phone. I guess my heart had been beating really fast. They will interpret my recording and send it to my physician.

    I don't plan to talk about this crap everyday for two weeks, but I just thought the technology was kind of cool.

    In kitty news: I'm a little worried about Baxter. He seems fine but he won't leave the sunroom--a room I have rendered useless with felting supplies and work tables--and he sleeps more and more. It's time to re-check his blood again anyway. He's pushing 14 years now, so I guess it's time for him to slow down in a serious way. Poo.

    All I have left to do on my summer poncho is a three-needle bind-off to join the front and back and fringe it. OH...MY...GOD...I MIGHT FINISH SOMETHING!!! I don't care if it is a giant piece of garter stitch---I MIGHT FINISH SOMETHING!!!!! This just might change my life.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2004

    are you getting a fax?

    So I'm all hooked up on this godforsaken cardiac event recorder today. It looks like a big beeper attached to two EKG leads, one on my upper chest and one on my opposite ribcage.

    Of course now that I have the damn thing on NOTHING has happened. It's unbelievable. But if something does, I get to push a "record" button and it will capture the event. The cool thing is that it operates like TIVO and goes back a few seconds before you've pressed the button. I was wondering about that because these palpitations I have are like thunder but only last a few seconds. Pretty cool technology.

    The bad thing is that when I press the button it sounds like I'm receiving a freakin' fax. That's gonna go over great in meetings and graduate school classes.

    "Oh sorry, I'm getting a fax. It's being transmitted through the old metal fillings in my molars. I'll be done in just a second..."


    I can't even talk about the Nepalese executions today. I can't talk about the war. How do you dissect mass insanity? How do you make sense of that which does not make sense? It causes me such grief. Even further down on the rungs is the decimated Sudan. How can these things be allowed to happen anywhere in the world? Did people ignore the Holocaust the way we are ignoring the Sudan? Does outrage only happen after the final report is drawn up and the historians have penned best-sellers? It's like mass inaction. Everyone feels bad but doesn't really do anything--me included.

    Monday, August 30, 2004

    welcome to malfunction junction...

    The weekend wasn't too much of a malfunction except for one dismal spousal pseudo-argument...and both birthday functions functioned quite well. It's my junction that's malfunctioning.

    I started the morning by going to the doc and talking about blood pressure. It wasn't that high this morning, but I did tell him that my heartrate shoots up over 170 or so when I exercise--light or heavy exercise produces the same result.

    That got his attention.

    They did an EKG (which was fine) and some extended listening to the old ticker (which was also fine). Since my "events" seem to happen either sporadically or during exercise, I'm being put on an "event monitor" for two weeks, a kind of small-time Holter monitor, to see what my naughty little squeeze box is up to.

    There's no escaping now you neurotic sump pump!

    I'm more relieved at this point because all this stuff has been worrying me to death: high blood pressure, high heart rate during exercise, sudden arrythmia. I mean, hell, I'm turning 40 in January, not 95!

    We shall beat her organs into submission! We will triumph through science and logic.

    Anyway, it will be taken care of in a timely fashion (excerpt from "memo to self.")

    We rented Cold Mountain last week since we didn't go see it at the theater, and I can say it was the most f-ing depressing movie I have ever seen! Gah! However, Jude Law has joined the ranks of the Deppster. Heavens-to-mergatroids, I'm going to have to get a pacemaker...

    Friday, August 27, 2004

    helping youngsters find answers to very important questions...

    A most interesting search came up on my stats: "Does Johnny's Depp's Poop Stink?"

    Oh, gentle Googler, let's consult the Magic 8 Ball to end your tortured plight for large colon knowledge.

    *shake, shake, shake*

    "It is decidedly so."

    I'm sorry, yes, the Deppster's shit got stank all over it--through and through I'm afraid. End your quest now. And don't forget your medication. And stop picking your nose.

    happy Friday!

    Linky Loverlies:

  • Where's that bill in your pocket?
  • Eye candy at Woman Made art

    Hey, I feel great today! Ahhhhhhh. I'm not complaining about nuttin' today! Which is good because I'm starting to sound like a whiny vinyl.

    I'm now reading another wonderful book Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi (recommended by dear bloggy-friend Critter Lover). There are sentences I read over and over because they are so beautiful. Sometimes it reads like poetry and it's really rich with unusual vivid description. Yum, yum, yum.

    I thought working in PR had killed my love for words, but the last few books I have read have reawakened that original excitement. I cradle the "a," smooth the pregnant bellies of "b" and "d" and spoon with the lovely "g." I stretch from the capital "T" and steal a nap in the crook of the "q". I wish I could arrange all the letters to make a soft springy bed--I find comfort there.

    In Never-Gonna-Finish-Nuthin' Knitting Land, I'm 80 percent finished with the Boogie Knits Summer Poncho. If I can't finish this one, I'd say I need to hang up my needles. My gauge was MUCH tighter than the Boogie Knitter, so I am having to add many rows to make it big enough to suit me. Of course, I could have ripped and started again with bigger needles, but, um...oh well.

    It looks like a good weekend with birthday parties, outdoor movies on Market Square, and Greekfest on the World's Fair site...I'll try to not be lazy and take the digicamera.

    Happy Friday!

  • Thursday, August 26, 2004

    Well, hell.

    I guess I should come back some time. Today looks like a good day.

    So, how have you been? I have tried to not blog OR blog-surf, at which I was only moderately successful, but I needed to de-blog myself--kind of like de-lousing, I suppose. Perhaps I should buy a monkey to pick the bugs out of my brain. Protein for him; sanity for me. I think that's a pretty nice trade-off and besides, my husband has always wanted a pet monkey.

    How did I veer down that road?

    I don't know.

    It's been "Attack of The Uterus" (rated R for violence and language) week and I've been sick and in pain. About a year-and-a-half ago I had endometriosis and gigantic fibroids removed (one the size of an apple and another the size of a grapefruit) and I felt better. Now, I'm starting to wonder if they are growing back. And if they are, that old pear-shaped organ is going in the medical waste bin. I ain't kiddin'--or havin' kids, so... I have had enough. At the time of the operation we weren't 100 percent sure about kids, so we spared the Organ of Evil Distress and Despair (OEDD). Chop that sucker out, I say. Chop, chop, whizz, whizz; oh, what a relief it is...I am not sentimental about my Womb of Doom (WOD).

    Enough of that. Especially the acronyms. That was starting to get on my nerves. Acronyms are bad, n'kay?

    I have much more to say, but why expend all my energy in one sitting? Why, you'd have nothing to read tomorrow.

    My evil uterus didn't miss you all, but I did. Hope all is well in your respective worlds.

    p.s. The Color of Water by James McBride was quite a wonderful book. Go getcha one and read it! Or you can borrow mine and mail it back.

    Thursday, August 19, 2004


    Feelin' crappy today. Yucky, even. So I won't share the details because I am gentle and sweet with my wonderful readers :-P

    I think I need a bloggy break, too. I'm starting to think about entries in my car and when I go to sleep, which basically means I'm developing a new mental disorder--OCB (Obsessive Compulsive Blogging). Most of the time these entries never make it to the blog anyway, which means I am blogging into the abyss that is my somewhat rotten frontal cortex. And what's the point in that?

    See you in a few days.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2004


    I hate it when I don't have a title. I hope you didn't miss the dramatic 4x200m swim relay last night. Wow, what a finish. Thorpe may win the amazingly-cute-even-though-he-could-be-my-son award, but the last and first touch was ours. Phelps got so excited his crack was hanging out of his suit.

    Which brings me to the suits. Obviously I haven't been keeping up with this techno-suit thing. What's with the bodysuit stuff? They are stealing my last few good lustful years away. More skin, please. I mean...well? I'm only human.

    Anyway, I actually had a dream about the cute Aussie Thorpe, but to show my age, we were competing in freakin' bake-off. How lame is that? My super-ego has a nun standing over it.

    Good news from Zack Braff's blog today. Garden State is going to be opening up on 600 more screens. I really want to see this movie, so I'm hoping it will dribble down to our little art house soon.

    In me, me, me-news, I'm just kind of moving forward but at a snail's pace. I hate these lulls in life where no matter how hard you pull or push yourself, there's The Grande Pace that will not surrender to your desires. So, I'm here, getting ready to do lunch at the job I "love" (insert hysterical laughter) and I shall knit while I eat and then I will work some more, have a meeting and go home. Then I'll think about my real life and what I want to do with it.

    Everything will be okay.


    Even with my hormones.

    Even though we're broke.

    If I dream about having a bake-off with an Olympic sex symbol, then, well, I still have my sense of humor.

    Have a magnificent day. Seriously.

    Monday, August 16, 2004


    Every time I turn around it's freakin' Monday.

    Anyway, Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat was a wonderfully poetic book. Short, sweet and powerful. Recommended.

    Not only is it Monday, but I am officially under siege by Nazi hormones within my body. I feel so bloated they could just wrap a string around my neck and march me in the Macy's Day parade.

    Announcer: We return to Katie and Matt at the three millionth annual Macy's Day Parade...

    Katie: This year we have a new entry, a kind of new giant balloon to pay homage to the women of the world who are tortured by their own reproductive organs.

    Matt: Right Katie, I believe they call this one (shuffles papers), yes, here it is--Hormonal Helga. Wow, look at those swollen-

    Katie: A-hem, let's look at the stats on this one. Wow, Matt, she's 60 feet tall and retains 3000 liters of water. Gosh, how did they get all that water in there? You can see they really took their time getting the evil grimace on her face just right. Oh wait, now the face has changed--she's crying! What a technical feat!

    Matt: What's that in her hand? Oh Jeez, they went all out. She's got a dagger and she's looking for a penis to cut off!

    Katie: Matt! We can't say "penis" on this broadcast!

    Matt: We can't? How about vagina?

    Katie: (sighs...)

    On a serious note, if you are swimming in cash, cough up some of it to Catholic Charities so some desperate folks in Florida can get some additional aid.

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    moths beware...

    I keep smelling moth balls. I have done all the requisite cleaning a fastidious person would be wont to do, but yet, Grandma Moses Tinkerbell looms above me sprinkling her Mothball Faerie Dust upon my brow.

    I sniffed my clothes--check. I sniffed the ginger perfume on my wrist--check. I whisked my head back and forth to get a whiff of my organic hair products--check. Shoes--not a bed of roses, but about as good as shoes ever smell--check. So, I have surmised that the blend of lotions, perfume and hair products I am wearing today meld into a hippy-smelling version of moth balls. Patchouli meets mamaw. Granny Clampett goes organic.

    Lend me your wool sweaters for a day and they will be protected forever.

    Happy Friday the 13th. To hell with the number 13, it's Friday!

    Thursday, August 12, 2004

    and one more thing...

    This is the best salsa in the world. I tripled the lime and used a large bunch of cilantro instead of a small. The tomatoes came straight from my mother's backyard garden. Mmmmm...ain't nuttin' better.


    As directed by my physician, I took my blood pressure over a two-week period because it was so high in the office. All the readings were bad, mostly 130/100. That diastolic reading (the lower one) puts me in stage two hypertension, which means medication. Which sucks. How can someone so NOT type A have hypertension? I exercise six days a week, never eat meat; I'm a little overweight, but not by much and I don't give a rat's ass about, well, most anything that doesn't personally violate my highest code of ethics. That is, I usually don't sweat the small stuff.

    Of course, knowing you have high blood pressure gives you...all together now, kids-higher blood pressure! That's right. I walk around thinking my heart is choking the life out of me, that my arteries are being ripped apart by stirred and shaken corpuscles on crack (a mini-series, perhaps?). I envision my jugulars sticking out like two stiff twigs in my neck, just waiting to snap ...pant... pant... pant... See, I worked myself up into frenzied unbearable state of being.

    WTF. Anyway, back to the doc I go to get doped up again. I swear I am starting to look like the crazy lady at the pharmacy on SNL. I won't shop with a basket at the corner drugstore; I'll shop with the Big Metal Buggy. By next year, I'll have lipstick smeared all over my face and false eyelashes pasted to my eyebrows because I won't know where the hell I am.

    And, God help me, I'm bloated, which means I might blow sky-high at any moment, pinging the unsuspecting passerby with my jet-propelled eyeballs. My eyeball will be wiped away with a Kleen*x, only to have the victim mutter obscenities about pigeon poop.

    Boy the sleeves on that jacket they're bringing me sure are long...

    But, before they lock me up or I explode, I would like to see Garden State. It really looks wonderfully quirky. And wouldn't you know, Zach Braff has a blog, too. He has been imprisoned in my blogroll.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    travel plans can always change...

    Places I would like to go:

  • Australia
  • France
  • Italy
  • Hawaii
  • Canada
  • Alaska
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines The reason right here...

    Thanks to St. Kellen for scaring me away...

  • Tuesday, August 10, 2004

    do you ever...

    Do you ever look at your blog and wonder why the hell you're doing such a crazy thing? I wonder how bloggers rate on the narcissistic scale? Me, me, me, me, me. All about me. Pics of me. Pics of what I'm doing. Pics about what I'd like to be doing. Pics about the things I love. Pics of my hair, my cats, my dogs, my artwork, my stack of knitting UFOs, cat vomit, dog stitches, new yarn, old yarn, plants on the deck. Ah, we are so terribly NOSEY, aren't we?

    But, for some reason, it's fun.

    I ran over to my hometown last night to visit with mi mama (yes, the seed has not fallen far from the stinkweed). We had fried green tomatoes, green beans, cole slaw, stewed tomatoes, salad (with, uh, tomatoes) and garlic bread. I felt like a vegetable myself after all that. We chatted on the deck and I knitted while she talked a mile a minute. I like to write. She likes to talk - A LOT. I know why I am so quiet - who could ever get a word in whilst she is spinning her web of excessive verbiage? I couldn't talk that much if you put a gun to my head.

    It was good to visit and relax - just us gals. Sometimes I don't like visiting because that town holds a lot of old crappy memories, but last night I was able to break through the Great Wall of Mental Poop. It's a stinky old thing to scale, but it's worth it when you get to the other side.

    Have a great Tuesday, y'all.

    Monday, August 09, 2004

    thunderin' hooves and toothless speckled taters...

    We had an interesting weekend. Saturday night we went to a local horse show that benefitted disabled folks. The only information we had about the event was a lone billboard with an image that led you to believe the show might feature dressage.

    When we got there it was quite a different story. There were plenty of beautiful horses to look at, but I think we might have been the only people there with a full set of teeth. Only two of the riders wore helmets and a scant few actually dressed for the occasion. Some of the riders looked like they had spent a hard night in jail and had never used a new-fangled toothbrush.

    Everyone grimaced as they rode, except for one particularly smiley gal and the announcer played recorded pipe organ music the entire time, which was "graciously" donated to terrorize anyone with a shred of musical taste.

    The highlight of the evening was petting a seven-day old miniature foal, which was worth the whopping $4 admission.

    Then, because we had not seen enough gums for the weekend, we went to nearby Dollyw**d with some discounted tickets I got earlier this summer. The park has an awesome new wooden rollercoaster and we enjoyed getting our brains scrambled. We also partook of a dog agility show, which would have been a lot more enjoyable if someone around us hadn't been stewing in body odor. I couldn't believe I found a veggie burger there, although it was a ridiculous $7. A large drink was nearly $3. I can't believe how expensive amusement parks are: $6 to park, $21 for two burgers and drinks, $3 for a frozen lemonade and if I hadn't gotten heavily discounted tickets through my credit union, they would have cost us $42.40 per adult! I had to wonder how the toothless set afforded it. Hell, that's Rowan sweater kit!

    There were some young girls with hot pants on that were so short their cheek creases were hanging out. If they only knew what that middle-aged guy with the comb-over was thinking, they wouldn't do that... maybe I'm just getting old and frumpy. I know I wouldn't get to leave the house like that when I was a teenager. Maybe I just miss my ass from yesteryear...

    It was still a fun weekend though and it was good to get out and do some stuff.
    Happy Monday (ew.)

    Friday, August 06, 2004

    what's another black eye?

    Hubby called a little while ago and said his car went completely dead in the busiest intersection of a nearby tourist town. It had to be towed. Family members are rescuing him as we speak.

    Hoo. Rah.

    Chuh. Ching.

    Give the therapist

    A ring-a-ling.

    Murphy has been camping out up our asses for about three months now and he's smokin' some powerful weed. He's getting a little too comfortable up there. Get out, ain't no free hook-up on this campground!

    Poor old Rick James died today, too. What the funk?!

    I'm looking for the silver lining, but so far I'm just getting mecury poisoning.

    Hey, an update! I got another call and some wiring to the car's computer had come loose...he's back on the road again, minus a $35 tow fee. Woo-hoo, no disaster! Whew. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE!

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    damn that Wally Lamb...

    That damn fart of a writer made me cry after all. I finished She's Come Undone last night. I was being dragged down by the whole thing quite frankly, and wanted to get it over with. Then, when I finished, I'll be damned if I wasn't glad I'd read it. That Lamb pulled the wool over my eyes. Shithead.

    Anyway, Rooney is starting to plump up a little since we put him on soft cat food, which makes mama kitty very happy. Baxter is due back for a thyroid test and Sadie is due back for a liver enzyme check. Sheesh, I wish I had bought pet insurance when they were younger.

    I've been down lately, hating my job, hating being broke, hating everything happening to Dolores Price in that book. Today, I feel like I might have popped off a big barnacle on my ever-crusty exterior. I'm just a tad lighter, a tad happier; maybe on the upswing. I've been writing a lot, too - writing without being so judgmental, writing bits and pieces of fiction, ripping scabs off with some caustic poetry - just getting stuff down. It's good to get things out.

    Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    ice cream will kill you...

    I TOLD you those ice cream trucks gave me the creeps...

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    you've got shitty mail...

    Can't you just hear the little Micr*soft lady saying that? "You've got shitty mail..." It's, well, kinda funny.

    Anyway, I got a rejection letter yesterday for a really big and important fine craft fair in the fall. They had twice the applicants of last year and I got put onto a waiting list. Fine. *smirk*

    However, I did also receive an acceptance letter for another fine craft fair that may prove to be just as good. It was just kind of a let down to be rejected, especially since the product shots I sent in were double the quality of last year's (and I got in). I was also let down because of the potential for repeat customers--people who said they would definitely look for me next year. Sorry, Charlies and Charliettes...

    The financial stress is really getting to me and beating me down. I had to escape, so we went to the movies last night. A frivolous purchase I know, but I would have spent my last penny to disappear into someone ELSE'S story for a little while--one that isn't as dismal as Deloris Price's in She's Come Undone. We saw The Bourne Supremacy, which was just as engrossing as The Bourne Identity. I needed some excitement, some reckless abandon. It fit the bill nicely and snapped me awake for a little while. Awake is good.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    bye, Smarty!

    You were one cool racing horse...

    damn sheep...

    Which flock do you follow?

    this quiz was made by alanna

    Yeah, but I'm a reluctant Goth Sheep...
    Stolen without remorse from DD Fiber Farm.


    I posted something earlier and it vanished thanks to our godforsaken firewall here. I talked about what I did over my weekend trip to West Virginia and all kinds of stuff. Then, poof. Here's the new version:

    I was gone. Now I'm back.

    I didn't have time to read over the weekend so I'm still reading She's Come Undone. I like it, but not as much as everyone else seems to. The writing style is clever and funny, but it seems more tragic than humorous. Maybe because I know people whose lives have been that shitty and worse. I don't know. I'm only halfway through it. It's definitely a different style of writing than I am used to, but it's good.

    Once again poor hubby's clients aren't paying their bills, which means we can't pay ours. That makes me feel, oh, let's say---MURDEROUS?! My blood pressure continues to run high as well with the diastolic hovering at 100-- which also makes me mad, which makes my blood pressure even higher I'm sure. I swear my jugulars are sticking out like idiot-cord.

    Which reminds me, I'm halfway through the Boogie Knits Summer Poncho. I think it's going to be really cute.

    And school starts back in less than two weeks.

    Later, McTaters. It's Monday and that's exactly how it feels.

    Thursday, July 29, 2004


    And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

    --Anais Nin

    ...see you guys on Monday

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004


    Whilst I was being most puny with strep I read The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. It was a pretty good book. I really liked the characters and didn't want to leave them at the end of the book. The ending was somewhat lackluster, but I liked the characters so much that I didn't really care. The only thing that drove me crazy was that she uses "towards" all the time instead of "toward." Oh my gosh, it stopped me in my tracks every time I came across the word and I came across it a lot. See, I AM anal in some ways! I am a "toward"-preferring gal.

    Now I'm finally getting around to reading She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. This is so typical of me. I'm either reading all the time or I go a year or more without reading anything but work stuff and textbooks.

    My only pleasure-reading rule is that I only read writers I would want to emulate. No pot boilers. No quickie mysteries. I want to be wowed by the witty, wise and musical words of a great writer, or at least a great writer in the making. I don't ever want to say "good grief" to myself while I'm reading a book.

    Well, I have to get back to feeling like shit, croaking like a frog and blasting snot out of my nostrils to the chagrin of all office mates. At least I'm back at work, sweating because I'm so blasted hot, but still, back in the "swing" of things. I know: wah, wah, wah.

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