Tuesday, February 27, 2007

it's time

y'all know i don't do politics. all it causes is anger, and strife, and angst, between people who would normally get along just fine.

this is a little deeper than politics.

i watched the bob woodruff special tonight. i still need a tissue. the tears were very real. the pain was very real. watching him try to recover his sense of self, and speech, and everything else that went with recovering from a traumatic brain injury, was very intense.

what caused me to cry was watching the families that he followed after his recovery. the worst was the man who will live out the rest of his days in a hospital bed, with a trach tube, and will probably never speak or move on his own again.

here are some frightening statistics.

there have been 1.5 million soldiers through iraq since the war started.

of those 1.5 million, approximately 10% will have some sort of brain injury.

of those 150,000, a large number have closed brain injuries.

the way they explained it, anyone who has been exposed to an IED, or any large concussive explosion, has their brain bounced around in their skull so badly it can cause trauma. think concussions cubed.

there have been calls to screen all returning soldiers for these closed-brain injuries, so that they can be given the maximum amount of help in an expeditious manner.

it's not being done.

of those who are returned home, after going to a rehab center after leaving the major hospitals, have trouble getting help. they showed one man who was supposed to have all his care arranged when he went home, and when they got there, nothing was in place. they waited weeks, and while they waited, he ended up having more trouble, and backslid from where he was when he left rehab.

the local VA hospitals, such as we have here in omaha, are poorly prepared to handle these TBI patients (traumatic Brain Injury), and don't know what to do to help them. in fact, most end up in private therapy, with the defense department paying for it. when they do get help. these hospitals have done nothing but deal with an aging veteran population (for the most part), with the last action being the Gulf War in 1990/1991. they're being asked to deal with these men, understaffed, underfunded, and underprepared.

This is a travesty. I've never served (but i did try, twice), but my brothers have, and my sister-in-law has. My uncles did (my dad was hard of hearing, they woulnd't take him) in WWII. My boys want to. They deserve better than this.

it's time to stop. it's time to stop subjecting our men & women to a situation that we are not helping, and may well be hindering. bring them home.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

socks that rock!

i finished my first pair of socks for the L&V Sock Marathon. I've been using sock yarn, but this is the first pair of socks that i've done. they are the wyvern pattern from marnie. click on her patterns page, and it will take you there. these were made from trekking #69 (there goes the inner 12-year-old!), with size #2 lantern moon sox stix i won from sheri @ the loopy ewe (do i really need to link them?)

wanna see?

i know, you wanted to see them on feet. my camera is AWOL at the moment, so this is the best i could do. they look a little odd because they are done with 2x2 ribbing on the sole and the back of the leg. this makes them more form fitting. as much as i normally prefer bright colors, this colorway is definitely attractive. i tried to make these with full repetitions, however, which resulted in them being a tad bit too long for me. that's ok. i had wanted to make socks for A4A for their sock drive, and since they are due march 7, i got these done just in time. while technically this is a lace pattern, the holes are minimal. these will make some school age child very happy. they will go in the wash tomorrow, and into the van (mark smokes, so i'm trying to prevent "contamination") to dry. they will probably be mailed tuesday. I have a hat done for the circus people at A4A as well (they do something with school age children & they had specific colors they wanted (primary green is what i did)).
this pattern was easily memorized. in fact, after i finished sock #1 on wednesday at the school knitting club, i didn't start the next one until friday afternoon. i finished up #2 tonight, and had no problems swinging right back into the pattern after i had finished the short row toe. Whee!
more later, i wanna finish the other Ms. Lime sock (i'm on a finishing roll!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007


i decided to watch a movie on HBO on Demand (only reason why we have HBO is because mark got digital cable along with phone & internet), since i hadn't watched one in a few weeks. i was scrolling through all the available movies, and Gandhi was on the list. Since it was set to expire tomorrow, i thought i'd give it a shot. I knew it was the Best Picture winner for 1982 (or would that be 1983?), and that ben kingsley was in it, but not much else.

i am in awe. if this movie was anything like an accurate rendering of his life, mahatma gandhi was the most forgiving, unimaginably compassionate man on earth. i was outraged at the Indians' treatment in South Africa (well, any one of "color" for that matter!), and his way of resolving it. what i hadn't known was that at the end of his life, he had been planning a trip to pakistan, with the hopes of making peace between hindus and muslims. one scene sticks out in my mind, toward the end of the movie. he is leaving the compound (asrah?) to go meet with the muslim leader who had helped the rest of the indian leaders fight for independence, because of the whole india/pakistani split. the young men had been chanting "death to muslims!" as he left, someone begged him not to go. his response: "I am muslim. I am hindu. I am Sikh. I am jew. I am India." wow. he wanted a united india.

i also did not know he was a contemporary of nehru. now i know where the beatles got their clothes, lol.

and, of course, the one thing that you KNOW i noticed: the spinning. gandhi spun cotton. (who would spin wool in india, to be realistic!). he wore his own homespun. he used a charkha (the book type). he also used some other thing that almost looked like a walking wheel, except they used it sitting down, and the wheel was turned by a crank. there was one scene where he drove by, and there were dozens of women sitting by the side of the road cheering him on, spinning on those wheels.

as the movie ended, i sat there with my mouth open.

just wish it hadn't taken me 25 years to decide to see it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

what can i say

it's hard to post when you're trying to cough up a lung.

this is mostly why i hate so much having a "real" cold. when i was 4, i had pneumonia, so whenever i get an intense cold, it starts in my head, then migrates to my chest, where i end up living on halls & nyquil (i don't care about the decongestant at that point, i can actually breathe quite easily. it's the coughing that keeps me up all night that sucks). i forgot my nyquil last night, and woke up at 2 coughing so hard i couldn't see (i know, it was dark, but i couldn't see anything) i thought for a minute i was going to stroke out. i didn't get up with mark this morning, and when the alarm went off at 6:15, i almost cried, my head hurt so bad. not migraine bad, because my migraines run on one side of my head. this was on ALL of my head, sigh. fortunately, a handful of painkillers has taken it down to a tolerable level, except for one small problem.

today is parent teacher conference day. sigh. the kids get out at 11, and they start at 1230, so i have to scram in a little bit here. i hate days like this. at least they only take half-days 2 times a year, for parent teacher conferences. i would like to know, however, why the hell they're having these when the quarter is only half way done? quarter ends MARCH 16! blooming idiots.

anyway, i have two new yarns up on my etsy site:

this is goose. this was dyed by miss vi, and it's 100% domestic wool. 223 yds of sock-dk weight lovliness.

then there's this:
This is platinum, by Erin of Mama C*eye*berfibers.

This is a 50/50% superwash merino/tencel blend,which means it's machine washable! there's approximately 160 yards of dk-worsted weight, there.

go on, check them out! i gotta scram, i got laundry to do before my day devolves into sitting in lines for hours. oy.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

bad blogger

(curse new blogger and its tendency to insert huge spaces when you add pictures!)
I know, i know, bad blogger, no posties.

i've either been too bored, or too tired, or recently, too sick. blech.

a few funny things though.

i had bought a purple cauliflower, and had decided to experiment with the left over cooking water. i had about 5 yards of some left over handspun merino that i had used for Herbie, so i put the cooking liquid in a bowl, and tossed in the pre-soaked yarn. and it sat in the fridge. and sat. and sat. well, tuesday, i had gotten a chicken out for supper wednesday night, and mark was putting it in the fridge. he found the container, and said "ew worms!" while iw as in the kitchen (we have 2 fridges, one is in the spare bedroom, and catches anything that would be extra or harmed by being frozen (the one in the kitchen runs super cold)). i heard him in the bathroom when he said this, then i heard the toliet flush. i ran to the bathroom, to find him holding the container my yarn had been in. "YOU FLUSHED MY YARN!" he got this guilt-stricken look on his face, and he said "i thought it was left-over french onion soup! i was even going to joke about it being in the fridge for so long it had turned purple! I'm sorry!" i couldn't help but laugh at that. i forgave him, since he didn't know, but now he knows to make sure something really is food before he flushes, lol. and then i said "thank you honey, you just gave me some good blog fodder!" he laughed at that, and said he would probably be the most hated man in all of knitdom.

and now for some sadness.

stephanie and her roommate had gotten a puppy 4 months ago. everybody else had a pet at the complex they live in, but apparently, the manager had decided that sadie was too big. she was a golden retriever/black lab cross. so steph had been trying to find someone to take her, either on a permanent basis, or until they could move in june. a friend of hers volunteered, but he flaked out on her, so now she's permanently pissed at him. they had finally decided to take her to the humane society, because they HAD to get rid of her, and were actually on their way out of town when another friend, who knew their plight, called and said "we'll take the dog." the friend's husband only worked part time, and liked to run, and wanted to take sadie with him on his runs. and steph could still visit her. goodness all around. until 2 days later when steph found out this "friend" took sadie to the humane society anyway. now, sadie was only 6 months old. very lively. i've said before she had springs in her legs & rubber in her butt, but was a sweet pup, none the less. she just needed some training. steph was very upset, but figured that since sadie was just a wee lassie, she'd be adopted out in no time, and have a good home.

monday, my cell rang, and i answered to hear sobs. steph had been trying to see if sadie was on their website, so she could give them the correct information, because the "friend" had given them the wrong information as to her age, and breed, etc. they finally got an answer out of the humane society monday. apparently, even though sadie passed every other test they had, the one she failed was fatal. she had hip dysplasia. they put her to sleep. (scuse, me i need a tissue.) i don't blame the humane society, they were just following their rules. they can't give out a dog that has health issues. what was frustrating is that they had just had sadie to the vet a couple weeks before, and he said she was healthy. I'm also very angry with the "friend." If they really couldn't deal with the dog, why didn't they tell steph, so that she could find an alternative home for her. once the dog had gone to the pound, several people (including us) said that we would have kept the dog temporarily. i hadn't told mark she had a dog before, but did after this, and that's when he said we could have kept her for a while. meanwhile, steph is upset. even her msn messenger name is "i miss sadie :*(" she had a bunch of questions about hip dysplasia, which i answered as best as i could, but the one thing i can't do is bring the puppy back. sigh.

ok, how bout some pics?
this was dyed by Miss Vi, and she named it "goose." this pic isn't the greatest, but it's lavendary-grey with splashes of mauvey pink. very nice. it's approximately sockweight, 223 yards. it's going up tonight on my etsy shop.This is "Liam." i got the roving from dudleyspinner. custom requested color, and it's NIIICE. it's actually a little darker than this, but this is very hard to photograph, as the camera wants to pick up the highlights more. i thought i'd downloaded a pic of "sean," but apparently not. you'll get that one next time.

these are the last 2 hat/bootie sets i needed to finish, plus the extra booties for the dragon sweater. funny part is this is the same pattern, knit on the same needles, and look at the difference in sizes!

This is Norbert. He's Norberta's little brother, as i didn't double-strand when i knit this up. this is the Knitty pattern from from the winter 2006 issue. he went with the dragon sweater (which was meant for a boy, hence Norbert and not Norberta).

These are 7 of the 8 scarves i've knit for robyn. she's taking these with her to chicago for breast cancer survivors. i've got one more on the needles as we speak, and may try to whip up a few more before she leaves next week. since all they are is 10 (or 8 depending on the yarn) stitches in garter stitch, they go fast. i can whip one up in a day.
in case you've noticed, i've been posting a lot of my charity stuff here. my intent is to keep some sort of log, and at the end of the year, i'll count up, and see how many i've actually made. if it's a sweater/hat/bootie set, it counts as 3, because each item could be worn separately, even though it's intended to be together.
ok, now i must flee, steph wants me to cash her check, and i gotta run to my house cuz i never did yesterday, and i gotta get the mail, and grab some yarn for another super secret project.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

keep your eyes on the prize

I had entered a contest over at the Loopy Ewe. actually, it was Sheri's blog, but close enough, lol. She had bought the doors from her grandparents' house, because it was being torn down, and wanted to know about our memories, and if we'd done something nutty like that. i left a comment, about the delft china door knobs & switch plates i had taken from my grandmother's house, because we knew the house was to be torn down. well, i won, via random number generator, lol. this is what i got:
What you're seeing is a skein of cherry tree hill supersock sock yarn, a set of Lantern Moon Sock Stix (in some dark wood, they're just yummy!), samples of wool wash, a Sock Yarn Diary, and the most darling card! And all i thought i'd get is sock yarn. Wow! Thanks, Sheri!

And this has been a week for packages! I finally got my Violet's Pink Ribbon (ask, and i'll post a pic, most of you have seen it before, lol). Thanks Lisa!

and package #3? from my secret pal, who isn't a secret any more, lol! Lindsey Behrend, from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hey Lindsey! you didn't send a blog addy! Give it up, woman! And here is what she sent:

What you're seeing is 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn (i can't remember the name, lol, 2 balls of some yummy blue stuff (the box is at my house, lol, so i can't remember waht the name was), a glass canister filled with chocolate covered almonds (spot on there, lindsey!), citrus soap, a Love pearl kit (you get sent a tin with a mollusk in it that you open to find a pearl, and a necklace to put the pearl in!), 2 different boxes of gum, a pretty berry/lavendar candle, a box of hand-dipped truffles (don't worry, lindsey, i'm hiding these!), some tootsie pops for the boys, a tootsie roll, a post card from her show at college (she's an art type!), and magazines from her area. the pop rocks she sent are already gone (steph got them, since it was her birthday, and it's the only candy she can eat!). woohoooo! thanks a ton lindsey, these are fantastic! and here's a few things i've been working on lately:

This set is one of the promised for AC4C.

The Dragon Sweater! i did do a few alterations. No spots (i was ready to murder by then), i crocheted the ears onto the hood, crocheted the ridge onto the back, and added a pointed tail. dragonny enough for ya? i think i'll send a copy of this pic to Marnie, since it's her pattern.

This hat was started last summer, for dulaan. of course, i got sick of it, and it sat in Time Out for months. well, i finally decided i needed the needles, and since i hate putting things on stitch holders just cuz i want the needles, i decided to finish it. it looks funky like that because the bottom was done with the lime green mohair i had won from the ABC along, and the top was the brown mohair that i had given natalie when i was her secret pal. she could never figure out what to do with it, so when she put it up for her destashing, i got it back, lol. her contribution to dulaan! and finally, a pic of the birthday girl:

We went to Ameristar to the buffet for dinner that night (her request). i couldn't get a decent picture in the place to save my life, i'll tell ya! after this, she went to lincoln, and drank herself silly. Who's heard of a shot drink called frog sperm? what's in it? that, plus a cement mixer, and a scooby snack, and god knows what else. good thing she took tuesday off, lol!
so, anyway, i've got tons to do, so i gotta scram! TTFN!