Teach your children well
Monday October 19th 2020, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Life

A five year old made it into the news after his mommy was picking him up from daycare last week at a church in Daly City: Look, Mommy, there’s a lemur!

Maybe you saw a raccoon, honey.

The kid knew what a lemur was, he’d seen a lemur, and it was right there!

Which led to the daycare people closing the door on the little playhouse, calling the cops, the cops calling San Francisco Zoo five miles away, and the rescue of said lemur from inside that playhouse after it had gone missing. The person believed to have stolen it has been arrested and the five year old now has a lifetime free pass to the zoo with his family.

The daycare got the missing-lemur reward.

You never know when you’ll need to know what a lemur is.



Clicking her ruby slippers: there’s no place like home, so, show up, already
Sunday October 18th 2020, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Family

 A few more pictures while the babyhood lasts. Those are her big brother’s shoes, which is why she’s having so much fun walking around in them.

I love the funny faces they make when they’re trying to figure out how to say our words.

We FaceTimed with them yesterday, and Lillian abruptly decided she was going to settle this once and for all: she was done with that screen, she was coming to US. Now! Which made our day, and of course she was easily jollied out of her disappointment at our not picking her up from ~1000 miles away.

Meantime, there are a cuttlefish and a blue jelly on the needles with hopes that they’ll be done in a couple of days.



Fourteen months next week
Saturday October 17th 2020, 5:35 pm
Filed under: Family

An antidote and comfort for all that ails in a way that nothing else quite could. You know that old line, “Sleeping like a baby”? For utter contentment it should be, “Smiling like a baby.”

With thanks to the resident hero for restoring the photo function on the blog.

 



Cousin Jesse
Friday October 16th 2020, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,Politics

The knitting entirely eluded me so far today. It just… I mean…

My mother-in-law grew up on a dairy farm in the mountains beyond Salt Lake City; her dad, who was also the high school principal, retired by changing it to a cattle ranch.

My husband’s folks drove cross country several summers of his growing up for the kids to help out on the farm and have some of the experiences and chores their mother thought an essential part of their growing up–and she wanted them to know their Utah cousins well.

I got to know them a little, too, the first few years we were married, though in the last few decades it’s all been at weddings or funerals.

One of them married and raised a son with Tim Birt.

I found myself nodding my head at the descriptions of what a nice person their son was; he sounds just like his mom.

Richard showed me the message she’d sent to his phone this morning.

A “well regulated militia” is not crazy people in the middle of the night waving guns at strangers who want to help.

The Zoom funeral is Saturday.



Adaptable
Thursday October 15th 2020, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Knit,Wildlife

A finished fish, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to add the picture in.

I’m definitely continuing on. I think the next one should be a cuttlefish. Cuttlefish are cool–they change colors to match whatever they want so I can make it whatever colors I want.



Who knows, maybe I’ll have time to do a second pandemic project after that, too
Wednesday October 14th 2020, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Life

I’ve almost finished the angelfish after knitting like crazy on it for three days. Deadlines are a wonderful thing. Huge thanks to Afton for the annual Aftober race to finish something, anything, before the end of this month.

So if I end it after this fourteenth critter it’ll be maybe 70″ long.

My rule of thumb is that you make it to the height of the person, because it needs to be long enough to cover their feet and come up to their chin. Note that I am married to someone who is 80″ tall and after all this work it ought to fit him, too.

So far I’m planning on keeping this as my pandemic reminder project, to serve as a template for how to do each fish right the next time if nothing else in this time when we’ve had so much time together. And to remind myself that even when it takes twenty minutes just to get past the colorwork part of the triggerfish every single row, it does get done (and it did), just keep at it, keep going.

A trio of small jellyfish? Another octopus, only smaller than the monster at the bottom? Um? Anybody got a favorite fish to suggest? What should swim at the top?

Or I could just finish it off right there, do the final edging, call it done and be able to finish something else for Aftober, too. I’m so tempted.

Oh, and just for fun (and so I can find it again.) Man, that bass has a great voice.



Zombie gene
Tuesday October 13th 2020, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Life

Biology is weirdly messy sometimes.

Yonder daughter and I were sitting talking after dinner. Her favorite undergrad class at BYU had been evolutionary biology.

She told me, Yeah, the difference between hair and spine? One gene. There was this family in history in Australia that for three generations had no hair–but grew fine spines all over instead, as she motioned towards the hair on, say, one’s arm.

I was gobsmacked. Did they crunch when they hugged?

She had no idea.

I tried to picture how one would style, much less cut, such “hair” and how long it might grow, especially if you couldn’t.

She had no idea. But she assured me it was, like, really fine.

I guffawed and said, You know that this is the perfect Halloween subject to be talking about.

The prof had been talking about the genes. I’m still dying to know how it would have been to live with that and what it would look like. It gives a cool wind through your hair a whole different take–you’d be your own wind chimes.



Got closer
Monday October 12th 2020, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Knit

IMG_4216.jpgTesting testing 1, 2, 3. Let’s try again on that Picasso triggerfish picture. I really want to show it off.

(Update Saturday: here you go!)



So new, so perfect
Sunday October 11th 2020, 9:32 pm
Filed under: Family

The news came in that our new grandniece arrived at 4:44 a.m. on 10/10/2020. Welcome to the world, Carolyn!



She was a long cool woman in a black dress
Saturday October 10th 2020, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

(Sorry/not sorry for the earworm. I woke up with Frosty the Snowman nonstop in my head this morning, I figure that one’s an upgrade.)

“What’s a kangaroo pocket?” That was a new one on him. He definitely approves of pockets and can’t figure out why women’s clothes almost never have them or why we would buy ones that don’t, but yeah, he knows the answer to that is because they just don’t often make them. The fact that this one did is part of why I bought it.

I put my hands in and then pulled one arm through and out to this side and then the other through and out to the other to demonstrate. There’s this tube sewn on at the openings so it runs across on the inside, see?

It was this maxi cotton/modal black dress, pandemically priced down from $110 (which was ridiculous) to $15 that day (yeah we can definitely do that) and it definitely looked good on.

Machine washable. So I had run it through the laundry first, as I do.

And then I’d tried it on again just to, y’know, make sure it hadn’t shrunk any (but I think mostly because it was new and made me feel pretty and I wanted a dose of that again before putting it away.)

Holy cannoli what a tourniquet, but at least I got it–mostly–on. What happened?! I managed to scramble out again, perplexed and trying not to be upset.

And then it hit me.

So then I had to go show him, waiting for him to laugh. He did.

Oh yeah. It’s got pockets. Just don’t let the subject go over your head.



The fish
Friday October 09th 2020, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Knit

In the home stretch, with no more decisions to be made on which color going which direction where, I just have to follow the existing lines….

And you know what? It feels way easier to do something once it’s already done.

(Yeah I should have changed back to the green above/behind the eye sooner but I missed it. We’ll call it artistic license.)

The photo I’m working from is here, and with Picasso in its name, what else could an art dealer’s daughter possibly knit?



Squashed
Thursday October 08th 2020, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Food,Garden

There’s a joke to be made about the Waltham Mass but then maybe only because we used to live north of Boston.

Last night: one homegrown Waltham butternut squash–the seeds bought after Sally and others said that that was the best tasting variety. (I’m blanking. Who all else said so? Claim your credit, you earned it.)

Between being ginger with that back and the bit of flu still, carving it in half just didn’t appeal. Not even the method of putting the cutting board (on the floor, if there’s anything breakable on the counter) stabbing the edge of a large knife into the center of the squash and then going HeeYAH! smashing it into the cutting board with velocity so that it can split open and spew seeds under the fridge.

Like you’ve never done that?

Not doing it.

So I simply rinsed it off and stuck in the oven on a cookie sheet at 350 for 100 minutes or so. Whole. Along with the rest of the dinner after awhile, hey, join the party in there.

It was a pretty big one. We had seconds.

I said to him, That’s the best butternut squash I think I’ve ever had.

He looked up from his plate and pronounced, It’s a good one.

Tonight: I took the rest I’d scraped out last night and cuisinarted it with three eggs, a slight chug of milk (should have added butter) and a bit of ginger-infused maple syrup that was one of those weird things you occasionally find at Trader Joe’s that has just been *waiting* for this moment. Regular real maple would be fine, too. Put the mixture in my two quart Jewel-glaze cake pan from Mel and Kris, sprinkled a little brown sugar on top and took its picture because it was pretty–and again, it came out of the oven very very good and the blog still won’t load photos.

Thank you for the Waltham advice, you were so right!



The Divine is a poet
Wednesday October 07th 2020, 8:33 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

The vice presidential debate tonight.

They walked in, she, clearly comfortable in her own skin, he, face tense, wary of hers and her both.

He pushed at the first instance to see if he could talk right through the moderator and keep on going when his time was up and then did so every single time. She studiously avoided reciprocating, although she did several times note to the moderator that ‘I’m going to finish up my time that he took.’ He interrupted again and again when it was her turn, so often with baldfaced lies that, if she called him on them, he claimed them again.

The moderator kept expecting him to behave better and kept letting him keep right on talking. Every time. It was maddening. Pence was just begging for someone in the more immediate audience to yell out what Biden had only said under his breath last week, “Will you shut up, man?”

Winner of the debate: Harris, absolutely, but also the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s white hair and hung on for two solid minutes, exploring a moment and then head down and digging in.

Remember when the little bird landed right there on Bernie Sanders’ lectern at a campaign event and watched him while he was absolutely charmed by it? The two of them looking like long lost friends, and how it stayed there till Bernie moved his arm? And how the crowd roared its approval of the moment? (It was, as far as I could tell, a Pine Siskin.)

Flies eat at the decaying and rotten to recycle it back into fertilizer for the next generation so that life can continue on.

Even Nature knew who Pence is.



How it could be again
Tuesday October 06th 2020, 9:51 pm
Filed under: History,Knit,Politics

The knitting: the cowl didn’t get any further along today because the afghan did, now that the logjam’s been broken through. Man it felt good.

The blog: I got another auto-update notice and checked. Nope. Still no photo function. Sorry, hopefully soon?

The history, from Michael Beschloss:

“On a cold night, seeing a Secret Service agent outside Oval Office, John F Kennedy asked him inside but was told he couldn’t.

Kennedy brought out two cups of hot chocolate, which they both drank in the cold—years later, the weeping agent said, “That’s the kind of President I’ve been serving.”



Old startitis pays off
Monday October 05th 2020, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Knit

Propped my feet up, pushed my back against the back of the futon for support, and started knitting for the first time in nearly a week and was surprised at the intensity of the relief in those stitches.

Just a cowl. Anything heavier is unthinkable at the moment, but green silk with tiny clear glass beads would do. It had been cast on and a row or two done to get it started and then, being too yellow a green for my eyes, it had gone nowhere with the afghan nagging to be worked on. This was to have been a small carry-around for my purse.

Which would have been great if I were going anywhere.

But someone would love it–and I didn’t have to wind any yarn up to get it going again nor did I have to do that first fiddly little bit on the circs.

I thought I would do a row or two. I did a lot more than that before I finally had to put it down for sheer fatigue, but man did it feel good to be knitting again. To be creating, to be anticipating that someone out there was going to absolutely love this after it’s done, when I can go, Okay, now. Tell me who. Surprise me.