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Saturday, 7 January 2006
And so begins the G-COP program



I Passed 8th Grade Science



Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Could You Pass 8th Grade Science?


Cleaning Out - or The G-Cop Program
The folks on one of my lists are trying a sort of clean out along. Sort of. Anyway, THEIR plan is to round up 50 items a day for seven days, and each day get those 50 items OUT Of the house (throw it away, give it away, sell it, donate it, burn it in a pyre in the yard ... whatever). Ages ago, a friend of mine was on a similar long term clean out program that she called the G-COP program (Get the Crap Off the Property).

I still think this is a great idea, but recognized that I couldn't start when they did (my folks were still here... some how a clean out starting on the day before they're due to leave seemed, well... rude.

And I didn't count them as two items (or four contains suitcases) when they left either.

But, that next day I did round up 25 items. I figured that what with work and kids and gift-knitting (yes still ongoing -- remember those shawls??), I'd never get 50 items a day. I was pretty sure that 25 items a day was beyond my scope... but perhaps I could stretch mine to a 6 or 7 WEEK program, and go for 50-100 items a week.

So today I tackled the dreaded bathroom cabinet and drawer. It was no where near as threatening as my desk.

I THREW AWAY 94 items! Yep, it'd been awhile. There was only one old prescription, but there were other things with expiration dates on them. And just how many bottles of nail polish remover does one woman need? Especially a woman who doesn't wear nail polish that often?

I also found some stuff my SD might like, which I'll likely hold for her ... maybe. Maybe I'll get all intense and pitch 'em anyway.

If I could tolerate DH's whining about it, I could likely pitch another 50 by just emptying the soap drawer. He CANNOT go to a hotel without bringing home a hotel soap for every day he spends there. He'll use one, but stick all extras in his suitcase. When the maid service refills the bathroom, he packs the soap (and shampoo, and ...). I managed to pitch all the old shampoos when we moved here-- he has so little hair it's pointless, and I'm picky about my shampoo -- but he insisted on packing the soap. I haven't bought soap in years.




That was easy. It was pretty much a binary question for each item: Keep? or throw away? There were a few "What's this doing in HERE?" things, that I've since relocated to their proper homes. That ball of yarn for example?

The desk... now the desk is more challenging.




You may recall when I moved my "office" into this space. The desk looked like this:




Now it's encircled with... well.... stuff




And to make all of that crap .. garbage stuff go away, or at least stop lurking around the edges of the desk, each item will likely have to undergo a veritable litany of evaluations:

A few will clearly be trash. So the "can I just pitch this?" question will get asked. But once we've gotten past that part, each freakin' piece of paper will need to be fully evaluated.

Do I need to take action on this item? (pay the bill)
Must it be done NOW (due date, Monday), or can it wait?
Once I've taken action, what next? Pitch? File?

If no action needs to be taken, can I just chuck the paper? or must I keep this paper anyway?
If I Have to file it, where? Is this a tax related piece of paper?

If this is art or school work from one of the kids, is this REALLY a keeper? or just one I've held onto b/c at the time it was important to the child that I receive it?

If it's not an action item or a file item, is it a "supplies" item? If so, do I really need to keep this one? (How many manilla folders do I need to store?)

Is it a catalog? current? is there a chance I'll buy something form it? (this, of courses, means I have to stop and flip through all the pages).

I'm tired just thinking about it.

But I did bring up an empty box for the massive stack of recycle-able paper I hope to amass. I'm wishing I could just pitch it all, but I'm pretty sure there's an issue of Knitters in there ... and mayb ethe handout from that Latvian Mitens class.....


Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:01 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 8 January 2006 11:05 AM CST
Thursday, 5 January 2006
These Socks are Cursed
I was, merrily Jaywalking along, when it happened again! And this time, I was KNITTING when it happened...

What you see before you is another snapped Brittany.




As I'm sure you can well imagine, I am not a happy camper here. I'm also a bit miffed that the picture shows up much pinkier/purplier than the socks do. What's up with that?

I'm blaming this particular break on the double decreases, but golly, they don't put that much stress on the needles, do they??


I thought all was lost. That the Jaywalkers would be sidelined again while I waited for delivery of a shipment of a new set of Brittany 2.25 mm needles.
.
.
But
.
.
Elizabeth to the rescue!
My dear, wonderful "bestest friend ever", who remains blogless, has saved the day again!

She leant me these:




Size 1 Brittanies. Isn't she wonderful??? Now I don't have to switch to metal needles!

Perhaps if I start calling them Crosswalkers it will confuse the curse...

Meanwhile, I've since been able to calm myself enough get a picture of the impending ankle adaptation I'm making:




Note that wee bit of ribbing there? That's for ankle fitting. I find that ribbing at the back of my ankle, before the heel flap, is very comfy -- and let's my socks fit my [ahem] lovely slender ankles without causing problems with my irksome high instep...


Posted by shadowdancer105 at 8:43 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006 11:23 PM CST
Wednesday, 4 January 2006
A is for Anna and Arches! and Abalone
A is for Anna




Anna is was is my paternal grandmother. Today is was is her birthday. She would have been 104 today had she not died in the spring of 1997.

Anna was an extraordinary scrabble player despite having "only" an 8th grade education. She regularly whupped not only my butt, but also my father's (PhD in Physics who likes to do the New York Times Crossword Puzzle) and my "wicked-evil-stepmother"'s (PhD in French Literature who is one of the most delightful and bright women I've known).

Anna was also a fine bridge player, but didn't take bridge nearly as seriously as we all took Scrabble.

Anna was firm but gentle and loving beyond measure. She taught Sunday school until she was about 92, and turned to the Bible to help her solve her problems. But she never forced her Bible on anyone who wasn't interested or ready. She believed in God with an open heart that seemed to have plenty of room for folks who followed other paths.

She also made a mean fig preserve from the figs we picked from the tree in her yard. I fear that Katrina ripped that tree down...

She thought I didn't swear.

Anna brought me to yarn. She crocheted more afghans than I can count. So many of them so lovely, that I can turn a blind eye to the unfortunate number of Sunbonnet Sue refrigerator magnets she made when afghans grew too large. She taught me to crochet, and didn't bat an eye when, having learned and made my first square, I declared that I was going to make a ripple afghan next.... she took me to the store to buy yarn. You're saved from a picture of that bit of artistry in 70's shades of orange, as I finally donated it after about 20 years of dragging it from place to place.

I have an exquisite full sized bed coverlet she crocheted in thread....

She kept, and then gave to me, her grandmother's thread crochet hook. It was many years before I felt I'd earned the right to actually use it.

But mostly... mostly... Anna smiled, and loved, and laughed. I miss her still

A is also for Abalone




Abalone is a fun game I bought for myself and my secretary ... We've just started our first game... and we're playing it sort of like long distance chess. Each of us takes a turn, and then puts up a wee sign to tell the other person it's her turn. It lives on a table in my office. Whenever we have time, we pause to ponder the board.

Abalone brings a bit of levity to the day.

There's even an online version, if you'd like to try if for yourself.

A is also for Aggravating

I bought this lovely yarn:




When we were in the store (Needlework's), this yarn told me it wanted to be Jay's hat.

It LIED!

Now that I've gotten hit home, cast on an appropriate number of stitches, and started to knit, it's clearly saying that it refuses to be a hat.

Not for Jay (who did ask for yellow) ...

not for anyone.

Now that I've spent all this money on fancy schmancy cashmere/merino/micorfiber... it's starting to say things like "baby sweater".

BABY SWEATER???...

Is it insane?

It got me to knit up a nice wee hem, join the hem even, and now it's murmuring baby sweater at me?
No one in her right mind knits a pullover for a baby -- babies hate pullovers. They don't like that pulling over part. Besides, you have to make the neck so big to get it over the wee bairn's head that it gapes at the neck ....

Hmmph.

Baby sweater indeed.

Perhaps if I knit a few more rounds it will change its mind?


A is also for Arches --

Ever notice how many Arches there are around you? Here are just a few of the Arches I see as I walk from my office to my car:











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There are even some crafty arched windows, through which you can see still more arches on the other side:




And then there are more arches within arches.. whose beauty is withheld from those of us on the outside looking in:



There are Famous Arches around the world:

The Arch of Constantine




the Arch of Titus




Mezquita Arches




and other Cathedral type arches:

Amiens Cathedral




Giotto's Chancel arches




Dunkfeld Cathedral's arches




Wells Cathedral's Retrochoir




Natural Arches







Bridges











and even fanciful arches




I don't know about you, but I've even got arches in my house




Why do we care? Because arches help us build strong buildings with wider open spaces than we could otherwise.
Besides, they're beautiful!

They even used arches in knitting patterns now and then... What's YOUR favorite?


Posted by shadowdancer105 at 5:44 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Updated: Wednesday, 4 January 2006 10:05 PM CST
Tuesday, 3 January 2006
It's GONE
Now Playing: NOT Christmas music
Topic: Holidays
It's gone.
They're all gone!
...
Yesterday I took down every Father Christmas in the house, and packed them safely away for next year.

I put away all of the candles that smell so Christmasy you can't quite fathom burning them any other time of the year. (When else does one burn Bayberry, for example?) I packed up their candle holders and put them away too.

I put back the "regular" candles and candle holders. (We're not getting into a candle discussion right now).

I put away all the snow globes. They're safely in their boxes, upside down to keep the water in.

I brow beat the kids into helping me un-decorate the tree and carefully wrapped each ornament and put them all in their box. I gently took the strings of red beads off the tree. Dan took the lights off.
I put it all away, and we hauled the tree to the curb.

We went outside in the 50 degree weather (??) and took the lights off of the bushes and arbor vitae. I coiled, Dan tied and put each strand in its own plastic bag (thus clearing out the back log) and then put them all in a box in the garage.

I took all the Christmas/Holiday/Solsticey music out of the CD changers in the house and in the car, and replaced them with other stuff (like Tom Leher).

Sometime today, the tree disappeared.

All that remains are the wreaths hanging from the sides of the garage.

Christmas has officially left our house.

Deep breath.
AHhhhhhh.....


Posted by shadowdancer105 at 4:35 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 1 January 2006
New Year Weather Report - Fickle
Two days ago, it was snowing clumps.




No, not flakes, clumps. Practically snowballs already.




I tried to get good pictures of just how big the flakes were, but at least you can see the streaks as they fell.

By yesterday evening, it looked like this outside




Can you say "Fickle Weather?"
Sure, I knew you could.

Between those photos, we went to see King Kong. For reasons beyond my comprehension, DH decided this would be a perfect movie for the whole family.

NOT

If you excise the middle stuff, where Peter Jackson evidently felt compelled to insert a wee bit of Jurassic Park followed by some sort of Revenge of the Giant Bugs sequence, it would have been okay. But that middle chunk kept at least one child's head buried in my shoulder for the duration, and added nothing useful to the plot.

I managed to make some headway on the Jaywalker Socks during the film -- before the kids got scared. I've also done dome knitting at home, and they're actually starting to look like they might BE socks in the foreseeable future (knock wood)




Project List, Short Form
I start the year with the following knitting projects actively on the needles:

1) Jay Walker Socks for the KAL




2) Dan's Sweater

3) The second of the Celtic Wedding Shawls




Armed with great instructions for a PVC blocking frame from MatthewI have, lined up to block, the first of the Celtic Wedding Shawls.

I have passively on the needles, waiting for me to give them some attention:

1) The Prue-Columbian Shawl
2) The Guitar Socks (who are still in the dog house for not telling me I'd made two left ones)
3) A gorgeous top out of Tess' Designer Yarns microfiber ribbon that will not sew up the way the instructions say it will
4) A ribbon dress for summer


I have panting to get on the needles

1 hat for Jay, now that I've finally found the appropriate yellow yarn (he asked for it!)

New Year's Resolutions?

None yet. Vague ideas about clearing the clutter out of my house, knitting more, finishing more, exercising, interacting with my friends more, etc. etc. I wonder, would vowing to go to Knit Night or Saturday Knits regularly help me toward one or more of my goals?


Posted by shadowdancer105 at 10:49 AM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006 2:00 PM CST

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