Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pinky Swear

You Are a Pinky

You are fiercely independent, and possibly downright weird.
A great communicator, you can get along with almost anyone.
You are kind and sympathetic. You support all your friends - and love them for who they are.

You get along well with: The Ring Finger

Stay away from: The Thumb
What Finger Are You?

So, avoid Michigan by all means, right? ;-)

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Ali is having a contest at Skeins Her Way. Leave a comment detailing when you learned to knit and you could win some yummy yarn!

I Won the Yarn Wars

It took two days of detangling, but I WON.

These are my mini-cakes of self-patterning sock yarn that I dyed in the workshop two weekends ago. The color motif is turquoise with white flecks to teal green/emerald to chartreuse to violet. This was taken at night; the flash makes the chartreuse look more yellow than it actually is. The base was Gems Pearl (or Opal—what's the dif again?). As always, click if you want a close-up.

And since I'm all photo-happy and the room is as clean as it may ever be, I present you with my beloved corner desk, revived, resuscitated, and reinvigorated:

The view from my desk (this is my creative studio, I guess, because it contains my graphics studio, my loom, my sewing stuff, and is where I'll do most of my designing):

Finally, the Stash Closet:

About the closet. It runs the full length of that wall (basically to the edges of the photo). There are huge tubs hidden behind the walls that the sides of the bookcases are up against. You can just barely see the ones to the left. There is another whole set of them on the right and yes, they all graze the lower shelf.

But there is still a little room for more... muwahahahaaaaa!

Bookcase to the left: all knitting, weaving, sewing, fibers-related books. Bookcase to the right: all designing books (software manuals, How-To's, design concept books).

I love books. I love yarn. I have more books. They are in one case and two towers in another room. I need a library.

Well, tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 29 again for the 15th time.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tangled Up and Going InSkein

Today's Plan:
  • put dishes in dishwasher
  • skein up the self-patterning sock yarn I dyed in that workshop two weeks ago
  • put away the skein winder and warping board
  • clear off the buffet table (that the skein winder, warping board and yarn were occupying) in preparation for some KoolAid dyeing this weekend
  • clear off dining table
  • unpack boxes of kitchen stuff and put away
  • eat a delightful dinner
  • watch TV for a bit before bed, maybe knit a little bit
How it REALLY went:
  • put dishes in dishwasher CHECK
  • skein up the self-patterning sock yarn I dyed in that workshop two weeks ago
  • spend five hours attempting to detangle self-patterning yarn
  • give up and go online
I was told that all I had to do was put each of the color band sections around a can (or a peg on the warping board) to keep it separate from the others, and wind off the skein. What wasn't accounted for was: transporting the skein from workshop to home; moving skein around in the home; color band sections getting wound around each other in the meantime.

SO FRUSTRATED!!! This yarn tangles upon itself and ties itself in knots when it is standing still. It's possessed. I swear.

All right, it's thundering now. Best shut down the computer and go eat. Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Back at the Desk

Oh, hurray, my second pair of hands came over today and I am now typing to you from my beautiful trusty desk. The new panels fixed the problem, and she's good as new.

Well, our Mudhens are going to the finals! They won again last night. Suddenly I'm a baseball fan. What is THAT about?

Time to take out the garbage, bring in the bike and get some dinner. Oh yeah, I took my ancient Schwinn to the bike shop and it's functional again. I realized I've had it since I was 10. That's a 34-year-old bike. While Second Pair of Hands was here, I had a go at riding (spotter, since I'm too old for training wheels). The first push off was wobbly—ACK!—but it came back to me quickly once I realized the balance point is the same as on a horse.

Just like riding a bicycle.

Good day. :-)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Take ME Out to the Ball Game...

Tonight I did something I never do. I went to a minor league ball game. B has season tickets, 10 rows up, behind home plate. I said, sure, what the heck, when she asked if I wanted to go.

Keep in mind, I find baseball to be tediously boring, second only to car races (I mean, come on, the Indy 500—500 laps of cars going around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around...). So why I said yes, I'll never know.

I almost bailed when I realized I'd committed to hours in a baseball stadium trapped in front of a game that bored me to tears. Honestly, I'd rather have water torture combined with having my fingernails pulled out. In self-defense, I packed my knitting.

So slap me silly. I actually had a good time (even without the benefit of five dollar beers). And the knitting stayed in the bag. Turns out it's kinda fun to sit amongst 10,000 enthusiastic fans, right behind the home plate, on a beautiful summer evening, watching a close game. I mean close. I know nothing about baseball except it involves bats, balls, and nine guys wearing knee socks, so bear with me—I know what a foul ball and a bunt is, but I couldn't tell you if it's offsides or out of line or what. First it was 1-1. Then it was 3-1, home. Then, it was 3-3 right at the end. We thought it would be a tie game. Then right at the very last minute, the batter who'd made it to the majors the year before (but was traded down this year), the guy who had become known for hitting them hard and out to the right (foul), actually hit a home run.

5-1. Home team. Very cool. Our team is tied for first in some big minor league thingiemadoodle, which means they may play the Governor's Cup for an unprecedented third time.

I think I might want to go again.

Besides, that Jack Hannahan is a cutie.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


The cat was not happy being isolated in the bathroom for the night. He made sure I was aware of this by meowing loudly ALL. NIGHT. LONG. For some reason, despite this, he is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed today and attempted to placate himself all over my feet as if I was wearing catnip slippers when I finally let him out.

I am so very, very tired right now.



Monday, June 18, 2007

Staples are a Cat's Best Friend

He's fine. It's just a cut. Silly cat tried to slice himself open on something. So I'm relieved on that front, but now I'm frantically scouring the room trying to figure out what he cut himself on!

He did have to have stitches—staples, rather. So he spent the day in the kitty hospital and B picked him up for me because I had to move my horses today. The barn manager gave me an ultimatum about my mare last week: shoe her, move her, or else.

Since it goes against my principles as a former student of AANHCP Natural Hoof Care (I almost became a trimmer) to put shoes on a horse (because AANHCP trimmers take an oath never to nail a shoe to a horse's foot ever again and are promoters of the Iron-Free Hoof movement), that left me with Move Her or Else. I dunno 'bout you, but I don't think I wanna know what "else" is. So I chose "move".

But I did it stealth. Less confrontation that way. No, we didn't swoop in under cover of darkness or anything like that. I just didn't tell anyone I was moving until AFTER we were already gone. The day after the ultimatum was issued, The Universe heeded my call and brought me a fantastic barn. Small, private, run by a young couple who are so into natural horsemanship (and holistic care) that the girl, who has trained her own horses and competes (for fun), said "teach me!!! Promise me you'll teach me Parelli."

Well, technically I'm not authorized to teach, but I can certainly share all my study materials and equipment with her and be an enabler. ;-)

And so, today we arrived at the barn on the hottest day so far this year (95 whoppin' humid degrees), loaded up my tack, my feed, and my accessories, then loaded the horses (who went in like a dream, I might add) and bailed. The place was deserted when we arrived and nobody came in or anything the whole time.

What surprises me is looking at the flip side—how easy would it have been for anybody to drive on in and just pick a horse and leave? Luckily it never happened (while I was there). The old barn is on a busy road in a major tourist area. The new barn is off the beaten path.

I scrawled a note on the bulletin board in ink:

Cheerios & Shaveya have relocated. Bye, y'all!

No, I'm not telling them where we went. They wanted me out, they got their wish. (But I got mine, too. And the holistic vet will probably come out next week. Yay!)

I'm so happy. SO relieved to be out of the old and into the new. SO relieved my poor blue cat is basically OK.

What a Monday. Time to go eat, shower and sleep now.

Thanks for the support! Sammy Blue says... well, not much. He's kinda feelin icky. :-) He gets a private room in the little bathroom tonight.

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There is a Hole in My Cat

For 18 June 2007

Health issues can be a dominating factor in Cancerian lives during June 18-21. Any problem that arises now should be given due attention and not be brushed aside.
I thought they meant me. But they meant my cat Sam (Blue). Tonight, he was upside down doing the couch surf. I leaned over to reprimand the paws, and saw something near his hoo-haw that didn't look right. Blue knew he was being reprimanded and shot off. I caught him and flipped him over to have a look.


I thought at first glance that his hoo-haw was inflamed because I saw reddish-pink. Well, it's not his hoo-haw. It's his SKIN.

There is a very strange open wound on his belly right above his hoo-haw that is about a half-inch long. It wasn't bleeding. Nothing was coming out (like innards, they all appear *knock wood* to be where they are supposed to be). But it looks like his skin just split open. It looks "healed". And there's an indentation like a pocket. The pocket is pink skin, no fur, and a tad reddish, like it's slightly irritated.

He realized I was staring at it and got stressed and started complaining. I didn't dare touch it. It's strange because it looks like it should be bloody and torn, but it's neat around the edges. Like a belly button.

Can cats have huge belly buttons (innies)?

I noticed this at 4:00 AM. The vet opens at 8:00. The cat carrier is ready. It's not (I don't think) an emergency requiring waking the vet four hours before he has to be at work. I think we can hold on another 2.5 hours. Blue doesn't appear to be in much pain and the wound isn't changing. It's like a wound that is not a wound. He is still high energy, careening around like usual. He has an appetite, and I saw him drink water. He looks fine, acts fine, which is why when I saw this thing, I freaked. For all I know, it's been there for awhile, but he never complained or revealed himself to me to see it. And it's not like I go around checking near my cats' hoo-haws for bizarre alien openings.

It does NOT look like any tumors I've ever seen. It's like a hole that healed.

It brought to mind this horrendous story (with Thank God a happy ending) I read a few years back about a guy who learned his lesson about leaving the dishwasher door down with dishes in it and leaving knives pointing up. His cat leaped from the counter to the floor and just grazed the tip of the knife, practically eviscerating herself. But she lived. He found her, uh, well, you can imagine... rolled her up in a towel and got to the vet. They put her back together, stitched her up, and she was just fine.

So that leaves me wondering:
What IS this thing on my beloved blue cat?
How on Earth did it get there?

Of course the internet is not my friend. The cat web MD sites do the same thing as the people version does—create worry about dread awful things. But there are other things not so bad, fixable, 100% recovery. That's what we're going for, here, people. So send us some positive vibes for a full recovery and a big WHEW! from me when the vet gives his diagnosis. I'm just going to stay awake until dawn and be the first one in the door.

Y'know, this WOULD happen on what will be a big day for my horses. (More on that story—positive story—later... after the fact.)

Wish us all luck!

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Spun Out and Dyed

Today I succumbed. My Ashford Traveller (the old single treadle style) and I went to our local LYS and took a Beginning Spinning workshop.

We started with a top whirl drop spindle then progressed to the wheel. I caught on fairly quickly until we got to the wheel. Treadling single is kind of tricky. It's such a one-sided rhythm that it kept stalling out and broke the flow.

There were some other wheels available in case participants didn't have one of their own, so I was invited to try a Louet S51 with a double treadle.

Ahhhhh. Even rhythm.

It still took time to get the hang of it. I didn't quite have it when the workshop ended. But I did rent the Louet for a few days to work on it and decide whether or not to buy a new wheel.

Then I discovered Ashford offers a double treadle conversion kit for the Traveller. They are built with DTs standard now. I'll get the conversion kit (more cost efficient) and see if that changes things and makes it more user-friendly.

This evening, I dug out some 12-year-old roving that I'd purchased when I got the wheel (yep, only took a dozen years) and sat on the deck with the Louet and practiced. Pretty soon I began to develop a rhythm. I stopped over twisting so much, and the consistency improved. When the skeeters started biting and it was too dark to see, I went in. I'd been out there an hour and a half, in the zone. Very cool.

I don't think I'm ready yet to spin up the handpainted rovings I bought back in March, but I'm really psyched about this.

On Saturday, Fiberworks had a Dye Your Own Sock Yarn workshop. You KNOW I couldn't miss that. We used Lanaset and Kool Aid dyes (yay, I've been wanting to play with Kool Aid). Using roving for practice, we did handpainting, vat dyeing, microwave versus electric skillet (crock pot/stove) versus sunshine, then we did self-patterning YARN on our choice of Gems Pearl fingering or sport (I went with sport). Wayne, the LYS owner and our instructor, came up with a brilliant method of separating the sections out. I won't reveal it here without his permission, but I've never seen it done anywhere else. He should publish the technique.

One of these days when I'm not so lazy, I'll post photos of all my recent endeavors. Until then, Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Elderly Gone Wild

I can't help but feel good after watching this! :-)

Young@Heart Choir sings the Ramones "I wanna be sedated"

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mutha Effing O

I finally have one. I must get pictures. This morning, at 6:30 AM, after an all-night weaving marathon, I FINALLY finished the nine (million) yards of fabric for my weaving class from last semester.

Of course, by "finish" I meant get the damn dog off the loom.

Next, I must weave in the broken warp thread (fun), fix the loom mangle spots, then wash it out. About the loom mangle—nasty thing! Not MY loom, the school's—it tried to eat my fabric at the very beginning when the little hooky jobby that holds the heddle thingy on the first harness came undone from the harness and hooked into my cloth just like a fishhook into a Big Mouth Bass. I was weaving along, and began to notice some resistance when I tried to advance the cloth. Oh, I was almost sick about it when I saw it. Another weaver came to inspect after hearing my moan of agony. She turned green and had to look away while I surgically removed the cloth from the hook. Then I rehooked the harness and taped the sucker down. It would not have happened except for some reason every time I tried to advance, all eight harnesses moved forward with the cloth.

That loom gave me so much trouble. One harness came unhooked and tilted and tried to have the heddles fall off in the middle of weaving. One treadle kept disconnecting itself from some of the harnesses when I stepped on it, which altered the pattern (more tape—that thing is duct-taped from castle to floor now). But I made it out alive. Sore, achey, with a neck migraine, but alive. The loom mangle is in the weft, but fairly easy to fix by tugging on the selvedge threads. The selvedges aren't critical because I'll be whacking up the fabric to make a coat.

This is the biggest lesson learned: when planning a woven project to be done within two weeks' time, do not decide to make a blazer/coat with a hem that hits below the knee; do not decide you'll need nine yards long by 45" wide of carefully-placed warp stripes; and do not, under ANY circumstances, choose a wool crepe yarn that could pass for stiff embroidery floss (20 wpi but turns out to be more like 24 wpi) in its thickness. Then, do not weave a dense 50-50 eight-harness meandering twill. Because it will take forever when you can only weave 12 inches per hour. Nine yards. Twenty-seven hours. In three-hour stints because that's about as long as one can stand to do that before the pain sets in.

Oh, the fabric is lovely. The pattern is subtle and the stripes pop.

Rolled up, it weighs about the same as an area rug.

I can't wait to see how heavy it is when it's wet.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007


That's right. I'm un-hijacking my own blog. This is supposedly a knitting blog. Where is the knitting? Oh. Between my brows. Well, that has to stop. It's time to redirect my focus.



I mean, that last post? Totally OT. Some of my visitors may be turned off when I go all introspective (some, like me, love it when bloggers veer off into the hinterlands of the brain). I will attempt to please everyone *wink* by killing two birds with one stone.

I set up a new WordPress blog. This allows me to:
  • test out WordPress
  • put the focus in this blog back on knitting, and move the major revelations to its own blog.
So. The new blog is Mental Manifestation ("it's all just...") <--what song am I paraphrasing?

This blog will continue to exist, but we'll get back to fibery goodness here. I hope you'll include the new one in your blogrolls if you're interested in the inner workings of my mind, my newfound possible ADD issue, and my experiences with the Law of Attraction in Action. Otherwise, over here we're getting back to our knitting content.

I sat outside in the beautiful weather this evening and finished a sock today. But I can't show it to you because it's a test knitting of someone else's pattern. I can say that the pattern and yarn initially gave me fits, but the yarn surprised me because it held up after frogging not once, not twice, but probably five times before I "got it". The finished sock is quite lovely. When the pattern goes public and I have permission to, I'll lead you to it.

Still working on the Christmas socks. Last year's. I don't know what I'm going to do this year. Perhaps hand-dyed or woven? OMG. It's JUNE. I learned my lesson last year.

Time to start working on Christmas 2007.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Stay With Me Now

All my life, I've had trouble with procrastination and follow-through. I could not seem to stay on task for the life of me. I'd flit from interest to interest; I daydreamed. School bored me to tears and I was often punished for "not listening" and for spending my class time drawing horses (from memory, and quite well at that) in my notebook rather than paying attention. The irony was that I was way ahead of the class already; they were on 2 + 2, I was chapters ahead doing 2 x 2 but again, I was reprimanded and told to "stay with the class, don't read ahead". Punished for being smart. But GOD was I bored, so while they went over 2 + 2 yet again, in order to prevent myself from standing up and screaming "For Chrissakes, it's FOUR, you idiots, FOUR!!!", I would doodle, lose myself in a daydream, or if opportunity allowed, sneak-read a book under my desk.

My attention span was obsessive when I was interested in the subject; but when I wasn't, I daydreamed. I fidgeted. I got cranky. I fell asleep. My ability to complete a task hinged directly on my interest level.

Mother would get so exasperated with me: "Finish one thing before you start another!" and "why can't you stay focused?"

Why, indeed.

Never mind trying to start something. If the project was the least bit boring, I couldn't begin. If it seemed like it would take a long time, I would avoid it. Even today, with knitting, weaving, and sewing, I'm labelled an "over-achiever" because I don't want to stick with stockinette, I want cables and highly-intricate patterns that take a lot of ingenuity and thought. I don't want to make an Easy Sew item, I want to rip apart a complex pattern and revise it to suit myself. I don't do simple twills on four shafts. Nope, give me doubleweave on 8-harnesses. If I'd had to knit a standard garter stitch scarf as my first project, I probably would have quit the class. Thank God the instructor gave us something more advanced and challenged us all those years ago. I can't do the basics. They bore me. Show me real quick how it works then move me to intermediate.

And I'm disorganized. OH am I disorganized. Put me on task for organizing or moving, and I'm a wreck. I can't focus. I can't just methodically unload cabinets into boxes. Thank God for friends who can, because without them, I'd be unable to relocate. I realize that the chaos and near-squalor that I'm living in could easily be addressed by simply outlining a plan—which I have, I'm great at making lists—then following the steps and staying focused until it's done.

There's the problem.


You may wonder where all of this is coming from. You can thank Paris Hilton. I know, weird, right? Stay with me. Paris has a medical condition. There was a mention of psychotropic drugs that she was supposed to be taking but hadn't been while incarcerated, leading to her disintegration. Being the curious (nosy) type, I got online and researched what these drugs could be.

Of course. Anti-anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD, and so on. I quickly lost interest in what Paris might be on and turned my attention to the list of psychotropic drugs and which ones matched the list that I've been on over the years. I'd gone to doctors and psychologists attempting to figure out what was wrong with me, why I can't make decisions, why I'm so lost, why I'm bummed out, why I had a worry loop going in my head all day long. They said I was stressed. STRESSED. All my symptoms, physical and mental, were from stress.

*pausing to snort with laughter*

My life at the time was no different from anyone else's, yet stress was doing me in. Laughable.

My sister the Great Psychologist and my niece, the Lesser Psychologist, both stamped me with depression for sure, possibly a little OCD, and have you considered you might be bi-polar? (Uh, no, but thanks for the vote of confidence.) Diagnosed by my last attempt at shrinkage as having "low-grade situational depression", meaning I wasn't clinically depressed, but instead react to stress via depression rather than self-abuse (alcohol, etc) or some other method (overspending, addictions, too much sleep, you name it), various drugs were tested on me ("to find out what works" *cough guinea pig cough*): Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Elavil, Effexor, BuSpar, Xanax and finally Wellbutrin.

The only one that worked was Wellbutrin. Instead of making me feel out of it, lethargic, apathetic, and dizzy/nauseated, Wellbutrin just made me feel "normal", "balanced", and what I read as "motivated". Plus, initially the side-effect was that I lost a lot of weight (no complaints there). Now. Here's the list of the drugs and what they treat:

Paxildepression (SSRI), OCD, panic
Prozacdepression (SSRI), OCD, panic
Zoloftdepression (SSRI), OCD, panic
depression (tricyclic)
anxiety, panic
Wellbutrindepression, ADD

What stands out about the list?

The ones that didn't work treated: depression, OCD, and/or anxiety/panic disorder.

The one that DID work treats depression, yes, but it also treats ADD.

Attention Deficit Disorder.


Off I went, surfing the net.

I do not have OCD. None of the symptoms apply to me remotely, except the hoarding possibility (I can relate to about half the symptoms). But the irrational thoughts, touching things repeatedly, worrying I hurt someone over and over again, and so on? Not me. Not even close. Besides. OCD leads to organization, right Mr. Monk? Anyone with a portion of a brain cell left in their head can step in my door and see quite visibly that OCD does not apply here. Dare I post a photo?

And let's not be kind and say "well, you're moving". I lived like this before. Let's stop kidding myself and be honest. I suck at organizing. I don't let people come over or in the house. There are only three friends given permission to enter and they are well aware of my cleanliness issues.

I also do not have a panic disorder.

Nor do I think I really have depression, or ever had. And I'm NOT bi-polar.

I have ADD. All the symptoms fit.

Today I've done a lot of thinking about it, examined my past, and I've always had it, just nobody bothered to notice, wanted to notice, or knew how to notice. A lot of creative people (artists, entrepreneurs, scientists) suffer from ADD and ironically it's the ADD stuff that makes them so inventive. All that eccentricity accounts for something special. However. There is a downside, because ADD causes a problem with focus.

THAT is my BIGGEST problem: the inability to focus and stay focused. That's why the Wellbutrin works so well—it helps me FOCUS.

According to my research, ADDers can also suffer from anxiety and/or depression and when those are treated, the ADD symptoms lessen or disappear. I disagree. They tried treating the depression and the anxiety, and failed. It did nothing to change my motivation and focus, it just eliminated the small amounts of OCD that were necessary to function "normally".

My belief, which may or may not be medically correct, is that an ADDer becomes anxious because they know their inability to focus may cause them to miss deadlines, not be able to complete the task, miss details, forget appointments, and so on; they fear social embarrassment, they fear letting down others. When they DO miss the deadlines or mess up some other way, the anxiety turns to depression.

I believe the key is to treat the ADD, get them focused, THEN see if the depression/anxiety disperses. I think I'm on the right track, because I noticed that Wellbutrin does to some extent help me focus, and when I'm focused, I get things done better, and I'm less anxious and less depressed.

I mean COME ON. I just lost my parents. I'm in mourning. If I were truly depressed, wouldn't I be a basket case? But I'm NOT. I actually feel rather well-adjusted and emotionally stable, considering. I did notice that I exhibited classic ADD behavior during all the crises, though. ADDers are great in a crisis. They focus better during times of extreme stress due to the heightened sensory stimulation.

Why didn't anyone think ADD? Because I'm smart? Because I can actually get A's rather than the typical C-level of a "normal" ADDer? Because nobody meaning my parents wanted to admit that their intelligent, creative, perfect little daughter might be "flawed"?

A conversation we may or may not have had at one time:
Me: "Mom, Dad, I think I might have ADD."
Dad (sweetly condescending): "No, no, there's nothing wrong with you, you're fine."
Me: "No, I'm not. I'm having trouble paying attention and getting things done."
Mom (dismissing the possibility): "You're all right. You just need to stop daydreaming so much and focus on your schoolwork."
Me: "But, I can't. It's boring."
Mom (indignant): "Well, just do it anyway; everybody has to."
Me (frustrated): "But I'm exhibiting all the symptoms of someone with ADD."
Mom (authoritative): "You just need to learn to stick with it till you're done, that's all."
Me: "That's the problem, I can't."
Dad (confident, encouraging): "Yes you can. You're intelligent—you can do the work. You just need to focus and stay on task."
Me (really frustrated): "But, that's what I'm trying to tell you, I can't. And that's exactly what ADD does to a person."
Mom (losing patience): "Do you WANT to have ADD? Do you WANT to have something wrong with you? Why do you always have to think you have something wrong with you? You're just too easily distracted, is all. Stop procrastinating, stay on track, and you'll be fine. You do NOT have ADD."
Me (defeated): "OK, I don't have ADD. Fine. Never mind."
Mom (parting shot): "But you do need to learn to stay focused and work a little harder."
Me (left the room, shaking head)
I took the OCD quiz. I don't have that. I took the ADD quiz: I have that. I also took the Hoarding quiz and I have that, too. So I have modified ADHD: Attention Deficit Hoarding Disorder.

Here's the thing: since I've begun reading all this Positive Thinking stuff, I figured that I might be able to fly without the net, so to speak. If depression was my problem, and PT seemed to be helping me with that, maybe I didn't need the drugs anymore. So I stopped taking the Wellbutrin a couple of weeks ago. And I'm fine. Depression-wise, that is. I even made it through the first anniversary of Dad's death fairly well. I was sad, but I wasn't sticking my head in the oven, and I've even found things to laugh at (thank you to the g*vernment for that one).

Except, I've noticed I've been having trouble with motivation, follow-through, and focus. But it was subtle. It didn't really stand up and shout until the Paris-psychotropic drug list phenomena. My conclusion, then, is that my problem is less depression or mood disorders, and more ADD, and that I should stay on the drugs because it seems to help my focus. I was on them throughout school, when I built the loom, and so on. My focus was better. I'm sure this entire post is lacking a clear focus. Kudos if you managed to read all the way through it. I doubt I'll be able to tonight.

So I'm back on the drugs. It'll take a bit to bulk up again but I'm sure I'll notice a difference. Perhaps the reason I wasn't finding the psychotherapist I needed was because I was looking for one that deals in grief issues. Maybe grief isn't my problem, but focus and possibly ADD is. Maybe that's the kind of therapist I need. Maybe I'll start looking for one tomorrow.

IF I can remember to, and stay focused long enough to do it.

I'm laughing at all this, btw.

You Can't Do That With Scrambled Eggs

Thank you, Mother of Chaos, for providing me with my newest quirky catchphrase! I hope it's OK if I make it a part of my personal dictionary. (Be sure to read her post—it's hilarious!)

I don't know what it is about that phrase but it gives me the giggles every time I think about it. In case you missed the comments section, here's how I envision using the phrase:

Other Person: "Well, if the sweater isn't working out, you can always frog it".

Me: "Yep, and you can't do that with scrambled eggs."

*giggle snort sigh*

I really have nothing else to report, I just wanted to share that with you. Time to go knit some more and possibly enjoy the sunshine.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

In Hysterics (and Yes, I Might Be Bi-Polar)

OK, I'm not bi-polar I'm just moody. And the hysterics, for a change, are good ones.

Got another mailing from the IRS™. Now. I approached it sensibly. I fended off the thought that they'd made a mistake and were withdrawing the approval for the penalty removal. I fended off the thought that they were trying a new approach to extort money from us. I reminded myself that the letter demanding more interest came from a different address and crossed in the mail with the one that said "all is forgiven".

So I took a deep breath, told myself it's probably nothing, and if it looks like it might be something, I can hand it off to my Trusty Accountant™ and she'll fix it like last time.

I opened the letter with a microscopic bit of apprehension.

Then I burst into hysterical laughter.


Big old effin' refund of $93.36.

What was that I said about "anything paid to them by me will return three-fold in the form of refunds, etc."? (Only $756 to go).

All I can say is, Oh. My. Good. Universal. Deity.

This stuff WORKS.

*pausing to recover from the shock of it all*

If you're interested in learning about the Law of Attraction but don't have the time or patience to read a book, then go to NetFl*x or Bl*ckbuster and rent "The Secret". Watch it four or five times. Direct link to the movie at Bl*ckbuster; direct link to the movie at NetFl*x. Your local library might even have it.

That's about it for the day's events so far: still waiting for UPS to show up with the rest of my desk; took the bike over for repairs (cheaper than buying new); laid out in the sun (not so white anymore); got the mail... slow, relaxing summer Saturday. Oooh, and the Belmont's on soon.

I feel so good right now, I think I'll go knit! In public, even!


Friday, June 08, 2007

Is Your Cat Suffering from EDS?

Thank you for the heartfelt comments. It helps to hear from others who've been there, or who understand where my head is at.

Today we'll try to lighten it up a bit. The morning began with much excitement—I awoke to NO ELECTRICITY. Naturally, I panicked, thinking I must have missed paying the bill or something. I called the utility company before my first cup of coffee. That I sounded reasonably coherent was surprising. They said the entire southwest quadrant of my town was without power for unknown reasons and they were working on it.

Oh, phew.

I hung up the phone. My mind quickly worked through the options:
  • can't have warm coffee (no power for the nuker)
  • can't read blogs
  • can't watch TV
  • no A/C
  • can't cook breakfast
This was not good. Oh dear God, the food in the fridge—how long had the power been off? How long before we'd be up and running again? I resigned myself to having a cold cup of coffee and opened the door to the fridge to grab the milk. After retrieving the milk, I quickly shut the door. A noise startled me—several in succession, actually. The fridge hummed, the light over the stove went on, and the answering machine beeped.

We had power.

I was without power for a whole two minutes of my morning. You know I had to go around flicking on light switches myself just to make sure.

OK. Next?

Torrential downpours all afternoon with a particularly dramatic thunderstorm that I actually enjoyed listening to. The echo and delay on the booms was fascinating. I suppose it was directly above us.

Now, why do I say "us"? My parents are gone, it's just me and five cats. Either I'm including my ghostly parents, or the cats make "me" an "us".


The cats were far less appreciative of the drama ensuing outside than I was and complained bitterly. Well, the visible ones, anyway. The others were wedged somewhere all afternoon.

After the storm passed and the sun returned, Zander, the Big Z, loudly informed me that he was suffering from a severe case of EDS* and wanted me to fix it right away. I did. It's a terrible thing when a cat is forced to live with EDS, when the solution is so simple.

Knitting news:
My hands hurt. Knitting is not fun today (nor is typing). I'm confused, because according to the Weather Channel, the Aches & Pain index is zero today (3 tomorrow). But it feels like they've been through a meat grinder. Of course, mine only feel that way, unlike poor Parikha, who really did lose part of a thumb yesterday. It's in the joints. They sting. They ache, but they also sting. It's the weirdest thing. And they feel groggy. Granted, I did a lot of heavy lifting Monday, and a lot of computerizing on Tuesday, but not much Wednesday and Thursday. So, there hasn't been much knitting. I still have four pairs of sock UFOs on the needles, and sewing hasn't been possible due to the new box farm that sprung up in my room.

Um. Wow. I have so much to say today and nothing is that interesting. Called the desk company: my parts are on the way, my desk will soon be rebuilt, and they were the LAST set of parts in the factory for that desk. They are going out of business. So sad. Thank God I was able to get my parts before they closed forever.

I think I'd better end this post before y'all go to sleep on me.

*EDS = Empty Dish Syndrome

Thursday, June 07, 2007

One Year

One year ago today, I blissfully slept through the phone's repeated ringing from 6 AM until noon.

One year ago today, after I awoke, had a leisurely breakfast, and wondered at having slept so soundly for a change that I actually felt rested for the first time in months, I listened to my answering machine.

One year ago today, I raced to the hospital, berating myself for not hearing the phone ringing or the messages containing my Mother's voice, that became more frantic with each message, until she screamed "For God's Sake, WAKE UP!!!" before slamming down the phone.

One year ago today, I arrived in the ICU to find my father gasping for breath but, thank God, alive and conscious and able to talk--though I couldn't understand him very well because the EMT's left his dentures behind at the nursing home. He'd been found unresponsive in the morning and they'd called 911 and they'd revived him. He was in acute kidney failure.

One year ago today, I consoled myself with the belief that because he was now conscious and coherent and in the ICU where they were doing everything they could to get his kidneys to function again, he'd pull through and we'd be able to go home in a couple days and resume our "normal" lives.

One year ago today, after talking to him for a little while, Dad told me two very important things: "I want you to keep going with your Parelli thing" and "go take care of Mother now and make sure she's all right". Neither caused me much concern because he'd been telling me these things for months now, every time we saw each other.

One year ago today at approximately 2:50 PM, I paused at the door of the ICU room and called out "I love you, Dad" over my shoulder, almost as an afterthought, because of course he was going to be all right, and he called back weakly "I love you, too" and I went downstairs to call my sister, fully expecting that I'd have good news for her later about his turnaround and improving condition.

One year ago today, at 3:31 PM, my Dad left us forever.

He coded in the ICU while I was on the phone to my sister. They got him back and were about to put him on life support when he coded again, and despite all their efforts, he wouldn't come back. I cannot believe an entire year has passed already since he died. Three hundred sixty five days.

I miss him. Of course I do. Trouble is, I can't figure out if I miss him or if I miss the person I never got to know.

See, my Dad was very quiet and reserved. He didn't like talking on the phone, so the person who called and talked for an hour was Mother. When the three of us were together, he always sat quietly in the background, listening to Mother and I chat away. Occasionally he'd offer up a carefully worded sentence or two. He was great with giving advice (short, polite and to the point), such as how to fix this or that, or what to do about something financial. He was the Reminder Guy: remember to check the oil in your car, remember to file your taxes, remember that such and such is due.

He had a repertoire of stories from his past experiences that were told over and over (until we knew them by heart): about when he was stationed in India and they ran over a huge snake laying across the road (all the way across the road and you couldn't see either the head nor the tail); or about Grummeeya, his helper boy that called him Memsaab and said "I see chinee, I kill chinee for you" (this was during the war, when he was stationed in the CBI China Burma India Theatre and the Chinese bandits that came over the mountain into the camp were very dangerous to them, please no offense to my Asian friends) and begged to be taken back to the States with Dad when he went home; or about his little Arab pony Slipper. There were many more stories, but they were told almost as if he'd rehearsed them, word for word. We'd ask questions, he'd answer, but again—it wasn't spontaneous, it was well-crafted.

If it was down to me and Dad, conversation was so awkward. Sometimes I felt like I was talking to a tree. I know he loved me; but getting him to talk was worse than pulling teeth. It was such an effort. I asked Mom if he opened up to her; she swore he did. Well, he didn't open up to me. I longed for that father-daughter relationship where the Dad and the kid had heartfelt conversations and peeled away the layers of their personalities together like sharing a secret. But that's hard to do with a silent man beside you.

But I remember him as a very kind, gentle, sensitive, helpful man who worked hard, and made it his life's mission to make Mother happy. He wasn't quiet out of meanness; I don't know if he realized how much his silence felt like rejection. Trust me, I tried to talk with him about it. Still, nothing came of it. That's frustrating. I know from the large number of distraught friends and colleagues at his funeral that he was a well-respected, well-loved man, and his friends knew him deeply. They were the ones who got to see another side of him. He and my sister, whom he adopted officially when he married Mom, had intelligent, profound, grown-up conversations about all sorts of things. (Mother's first husband, my sister's father, died young, and she and Dad married when my sister was nine.) I felt like I was the only one in the crowd who felt like a stranger to Dad, like everyone else got more of him than I did.

I've been wondering if I miss what we could have had if he'd opened up more than I miss his actual presence. Then again... maybe he was one of those people who could sum up his feelings with brevity (a trait I obviously didn't pick up on, LOL) unlike my Mother and I, who need(ed) more than a sentence or two to truly explain ourselves. Maybe my knowledge of him came more from observation of visual cues than from verbage. Maybe I knew him as deeply as I could. Maybe he showed me rather than told me who he was.

The trouble is, I'll never know, because he's gone a year now, and that's the part that hurts the most.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Birthday IS Coming...

...and someone needs to make these for me! OMG!!! Too cute!!!

Crossing My Fingers

The desk may be saved after all. On the manufacturer's website, one can download instruction manuals and order replacement parts. I did both. My desk is under a five-year warranty; I bought it within the past two years. I figured out which parts I needed and ordered. Cause: "damaged after assembly". Hopefully it will be free; but to salvage this desk I'd be willing to pay a little if need be. After all, it has to be less expensive than buying the replacement desk I'm eyeing.

Besides, I love this desk. I don't want a new one. I just want to fix this one. That's rather unusual for me, I'd typically rush right out and find a new and improved model. So that tells you how much I love this desk.

I can live with the computer cart camping out situation for a little while if it means reviving my desk with particle transplants.

Other than that, I have done absolutely nothing today. All day Monday, I was focused on moving. In return, all day Tuesday I "paid back" one of my helpful friends by assisting him with crafting the perfect PDF'd resume, cover letter and sample portfolio. He's applying for a job developing boardgames (authoring them) but lacks the software to make the PDF. Little did I know I was in for TWELVE HOURS of helping him with it (there was a LOT of setup involved since it had to be ported from PC PageMaker 6.0 into Mac InDesign CS2, fonts and all). Oy. Well, it's only fair. I borrowed him for about that long Monday and he did have to move two stoves, a fridge, and lots and lots and lots of other heavy things.

But we were up all night tweaking his submission. I got to bed at 6:30 am and slept until nearly 2:00. I am wiped out. So I took the day "off". Tomorrow my mare gets her new boots and the gelding gets a trim. Maybe Friday I can tackle the box farm. Tonight is all about vegging and knitting, if I can get the feeling to return from my elbows down, darned unergonomic work station...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Oh, I really underestimated this endeavor.

The size of the (very small) truck outlasted the size of our energy levels and enthusiasm. We packed and loaded and crammed that puppy to the gills. This sucker holds four rooms' worth of furniture.

There was still stuff left at the house.

I hauled four rooms' worth of boxed up crap back to my house and there is STILL stuff left to bring home later.

Where in Almighty Heck did all this stuff COME FROM?!? No way I could move into a studio apartment now.

The remaining stuff is smaller, though. It can be easily transported via the car (if I make several trips). It doesn't necessitate renting a mammoth for the day.

I'm upset about one thing, though. After dismantling the computer, then disassembling for what will probably be the last time the poor old computer desk I was using (particle board DIY that has been moved to at least four homes, has moved within those homes, first to second floor, vice versa) to make room for the lovely newer corner workstation I bought a couple of years ago, I had a grave disappointment.

The newer one lived upstairs at my old house. I looked long and hard to find one that would hold all my equipment satisfactorily and allow me room for scribbling. I have a scanner, printer, tower, monitor, keyboard, and a Wacom tablet. That means I need space. I was overjoyed to find this one and waited patiently for it to go on sale. I think I got a year's worth of use out of it. Then I had to move. But it would not quite fit in my bedroom with my bed in there. So it was partially disassembled and put into storage and I used the smaller, older one.

Apparently particle board made in 2005 doesn't hold up as well as particle board made in 1997 because it broke. (Maybe it's the difference between good Sauder and off-brands.) The wood gave way in the move. Of course, it's the base of the thing which the corners branch off of, and the part where the very expensive tower portion of my Mac would reside. We tilted it and it collapsed like it was made of butter and fur.


Mad, mad, mad.

My friend thinks it may be salvageable with L-brackets and/or wood glue, but I don't know. I nosed around online, and cannot find anything that looks like it would work as well as the broken one, or looks as stylish.

I am so mad.

The OTHER desk survived all the moves really well, and it was disassembled, moved and reassembled several times. Why did IT survive, while my beautiful *snif* wonderful *sob* spacious newer one not?

Tomorrow I'll look at a few desks and see if anything strikes me; if not, off to Home Dep*t we go for L-brackets. You probably wonder, well, what is she typing on, then?


I plugged in only the monitor, modem and tower (bare minimum). The monitor and keyboard are sitting temporarily on a UTILITY CART. *sigh*

Well, I guess I did say I wanted to purge and downsize...


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Spring Cleaning

It's finally happening. Tomorrow, two non-working friends are going to help me load up a UHaul with the rest of the stuff at my old house. Then it will all take up residency in the childhood home. This weekend, I've been shifting around stuff to make room for the incoming boxes. Oy.

I know I'll take one look at the newly-created box farm and want to cry at the prospect of unpacking everything (the mess, dear God, the mess); but I also know that once I've unpacked, reassessed, reassigned, put away, and de-boxed, I will feel SO GOOD knowing that I'm finally done with the old place and can put IT on the market, too. All the stuff will be in one safe place, and I can spend the rest of the summer sorting (in between fun, of course).

The ancient Schwinn 5-speed was rescued from the shed. It's still in pretty good condition for being 33 years old (sky blue) but it needs new tires and a tune up. I'll probably take it to the bike shop Tuesday. No sense wasting a good bike in a good bike-riding neighborhood, eh?

I've also done two of the five loads of laundry (eight if you count the sheets and comforters that need to be washed before being stored) and taken some tubs of clothes to the storage unit. When I have all my cast-off clothes in one place, they're being sorted. I'm purging. It dawned on me that there are several tubs of clothes in sizes 12-16 that I have not even thought about, yet they have somehow travelled from childhood home to 1-BR apartment to 3-BR townhouse to 3-BR house back to childhood home without ever leaving the box. That is over a ten-year period. TEN YEARS I have been dragging this stuff around with me. I haven't seen size 12 in a long, long time. It is time to say goodbye and let go. I'll only keep a couple of sentimental favorites, or stuff I've made myself. Everything else? Goooooooood bye.

Other than that, I've been really busy with the TKGA Masters' Swatches again. I had a burst of renewed vigor and attacked with a vengeance. I have 5 swatches to go, then the hat project, then the paper work and I'm sending it off this month. I could be really anal about it and fuss over every little detail of every swatch—is my tension even? how about the selvedges?—but I've decided, I'm just going to knit the way I knit (which I think looks pretty good) and let the TKGA committee decide if it's Masters Level I quality or not. Worst case scenario, I have to redo a bunch of swatches. Best case scenario, I pass with flying colors. Most likely I'll have some redos but that's OK with me.

Well, I'm starving. Hope your weekend is going well!

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Law of Attraction WORKS!!!

Remember the IRS Parental Nightmare? With ginormous penalties nearing the $3,000 mark? The one I said "Hey, now, I refuse to pay that, this is male cow doo-doo", and the accountant wrote a letter of reasonable cause explaining why I shouldn't be expected to pay it?

Remember that when I looked at that notification, rather than fainting or throwing a conniption, I solemnly declared, "this is NOT my responsibility. I have paid them enough. I'll give it to the accountant and she'll fix it. And whatever I have to pay, I'll get returned to me from the IRS in refunds later in triplicate."

Once I'd declared that, I took the letter to the accountant, and I let. It. Go. Just let it go, forgot about it, and when it did try to rear up in my brain to freak me out, I simply redeclared the above paragraph again.

Well. My single piece of mail today was from the IRS.

It said, "We are pleased to inform you that your request has been granted."


*doing happy dance* I don't have to pay it! I don't have to pay it!

As a show of good faith, I'd decided it was only fair that I pay the smaller amount of interest, because, after all, I had taken darn near a year to file. So I owed them that much. But the big chunk? The $2,600 or so chunk? GONE! Vanishimo! So long sucka see ya! And according to the other part of my declaration, the $850 in interest will be returned three-fold one day (still waiting on that but that's OK, I'm patient).

My heart leaped around about three or four times and I felt breathless. It was an adrenalin rush, only a good one for a change. My horoscope did mention something about an unexpected surprise today. Usually when I read that, my heart stops and I panic. Today, I said, "Oh, I hope it's a GOOD surprise!"

And it WAS.

This Law of Attraction stuff works. I've read the entire book The Attractor Factor, I'm working daily on changing my beliefs, changing the mental tape loop in my head, finding the source of my beliefs, and by golly, it is working!!!

Now. This doesn't mean bad, tragic and occasionally unpleasant things won't ever happen to me again. That's just life. What it does mean is that my response to them will be different. Healthier. More constructive, less destructive. One must take a philosophical approach to bad things. I've been reading Joe Vitale's posts (author of The Attractor Factor) on his blog, and he just had a big bad thing happen—or was it really bad at all? It's all about how you look at it. The trick is to find the positive opposite. Find the one good thing that can come out of anything bad and focus on that.

Yes, it's true. I'm a crunchy granola power-of-positive-thinking bohemian cowgirl. The funny thing is, I used to be this way, all the time. Hence the reason people labelled me "dreamer", "lost on fantasy island", "unrealistic". I truly believed that ANYTHING and everything was possible if you just believed (break out the Disney song). Naturally, between my pessimistic Mother (married, ironically, to a member of the Optimists' Club), my pessimistic ex-bf, my pessimistic best friend, and my pessimistic former co-workers... uh... well, let's just say not being exposed to the constant negative reinforcement is doing wonders for my 'tude. It's coming back. I'M coming back. I think I'm rediscovering myself.

God, it feels good to think and live this way. Far more pleasant than constantly worrying, panicking, losing sleep, dreading every piece of mail, always fearing the worst... yes! That's what I'd become!!! No more. That's gone. I no longer need to think this way. I can let this go. I release the negativity, the judgement and worry, and I choose to embrace trust and faith.

Yeah, I say a lot of affirmations. Right now the majority of them deal with money, because that's what my brain focuses on the most. I focus on money like a teenage boy focuses on sex. Every two minutes money crosses my mind, but I've had a bad relationship with it (too complex to go into here). One night I meditated before bed, using the affirmations like a mantra, and I fell asleep chanting them in my head. When I woke up to hit the john later, the chants were still repeating on their own!!! All night! Every time I woke up, there they were:
I always have more than enough money on hand for everything I want and need.
I am a worthwhile and valuable person deserving of wealth, abundance, and true happiness.
It's good to be rich.
The more money I spend, the more money I receive.
I am destined for great wealth.
I am centered and peaceful.
I probably sound like a raving gushing lunatic, but I really don't care. I'm finding a newer, better, happier way to think and live and I'm liking it. I got my proof. It works.

May you all have a blessed weekend with lots of positive energy heading your way.

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My First Knitted Garment

How weird is this? Through blogroll links, I found myself on WoolGirl's site looking at yarns and patterns and...

I found the elusive pattern for the very first scarf I ever knit! How weird is that! The only difference between my first attempt and the pattern is that this pattern shows beads on the ends. We didn't do that part.

It's been—erk—12 years since that first garment, and I just now rediscovered the pattern. Since it's been hard for me to describe it accurately, I'll just let WoolGirl's site do it for me. Here's a photo from her site:

I'm tempted to dig out my pattern and some appropriate yarn and make another. The original is around here somewhere...