Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Yarn Thief

There he is - The Yarn Thief. This has been the biggest part of the adjustment of having a new kitty - that he is not like Jacques. Jacques couldn't care less about yarn. Every-once-in-a-while he would steel a ball of yarn for two seconds. But with this new little guy -balls of yarn are THE BEST. I haven woken up to this sight many times...And it doesn't matter if it's crummy yarn or very expensive cashmere - it's ALL up for grabs. So what do you do? You wind it all up and start over again. Or you go to IKEA and get new boxes with lids! That is a fantastic thing! This little guy also has fur for days. I've had to vacuum more than ever since he's been here. But he is so sweet! I can't help but love him. He's become very shy. Doesn't want to meet new people. Not interested in going outside. So when Jacques is checking on his yard, Swee'pea is following me around the apartment. Doesn't matter what I'm doing, cleaning, cooking, knitting, folding clothes, taking a shower, Swee'pea is sitting right there with the great big curious eyes that say - "What are you doing!?" What a little sweetie-pie.
In other news - spring is coming. Really. Punxsutawny Phil (The groundhog of authority on the seasonal matters) said spring was around the corner and maybe he's right. Thursday and Friday we had a heatwave. It almost made it to 70° on Friday. But then Saturday it was very very windy and today it didn't break 40°. It's supposed to rain, maybe snow, tonight and probably snow on Tuesday. sigh. I am trying to be patient - but when the little crocuses are starting to poke their little green heads up, you really want them to come out! But you have to say to them - wait wait, not yet! Don't come out yet! It's going to be freezing in a few days. The nice thing is that Amaryllis grow indoors. Mine are beautiful this year. Its so rewarding to have something grow so fast.
My orchids, back on the rain-water diet, are coming up as well. They aren't very exciting at the moment, but they'll get a post once they decide to bloom.
And my other issue is still with me. This poor little guy (okay he's not so little), just wants to be loved. He is so sweet. But he does. not. like. cats. Not at all. I decided to see if he would be able to tolerate my babies. No. way. I opened the door (he was in a harness), Swee'pea jumped down from the sofa back, he snapped at him and Swee'pea lost his mind. Swee'pea turned into a whirling vortex of fur and claws. Got a couple of good swipes at his nose - there was blood - and then came after him as I was trying to drag him out of the apartment and shut the door! It wasn't until Jacques came around the corner and shocked Swee'pea that Swee'pea's attention was diverted and I could drag him out and shut the door. We went down stairs and I wanted to wipe the blood off of his nose, but I think he was embarrassed. He hung his head facing the wall and wouldn't turn around until I made him.
Ugh - these four-legged guys just break your heart. There's no bullshit in them. There's no passive aggressive crap. They are genuine - the way we just want people to be. Unconditional love as long as you feed them and pet them. If only people were so simple.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I hope your day will be filled with love.
On Valentine's Eve in thelifeofahouse we had a special first - at least that I've witnessed:Two kitties shared the same chair. A little while later Swee'pea had slipped down a bit and they were right next to each other. After I took those pictures, Jacques had had enough and got up and went to his basket.
Happy Valentine's Day anyway - hope you get to share your chair or basket or whatever with someone you love.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A week in Review

It's been quite a week. Monday was second class for the semester - everything was fine until we approached headbands. Then there was a lot of moaning and groaning but once we got started there was a lot of, "oh, is that all it is?" Yeah. We finish our books this Monday and then we do decorated papers. Should be a fun class.
Tuesday was not so great. We have had some pretty horrific weather this week. Really rotten. We missed the giant end-of-the-world blizzard, but we got freezing rain and ice instead. Tuesday I went out to go to work and a woman shuffled past my front door. I sort of scoffed inside - but only until I hit the sidewalk. It was slick. One giant sheet of ice. It is an experience let me tell you. So I started the icy-sidewalk-shuffle too. Got all the way down to the train platform and realized I'd forgotten a bag of very vital things I needed - like lunch. So up I went again and I thought, well, since the powers that be sent me back here I better salt the sidewalk. So I did... felt good about that and headed back to the train. I got the the next block and suddenly there was a moment of pause where I was hanging in mid-air with my feet slipped out in front of me and I had enough time to think - I'm going down. And I did. I landed on my elbow and my rear. Now there is plenty of padding on the rear - good design feature - but there is not so much padding on the elbow. It hurt like crazy. But what do I do? What I always do - go to work. I was concerned that I had cracked it or something - it was pretty painful. But when I got home I did Arnica therapy and the next day all was fine, except for the muscle I missed on the back of my arm. That stuff is amazing. So I arnica'd that up the next night and I'm fine now. Well, except that I am even more careful than usual on icy sidewalks. There are some creeps who don't clear their walks. Makes me want to knock on door and say, "What is wrong with you!!??" Problem is, they are usually just tenants and god forbid they should do anything about it - even for their own safety. Okay - rant finished.
The rest of the week went by rather quickly. At work I've been working on that cookbook. I'm SO close and yet SO far. You have most of the stuff finalized and yet there are a hundred little things to do - page numbers, degree symbols, how to make fractions appear and on and on. When I come home I knit. I might be addicted. Could be...
I finally bought a hat pattern I've been thinking of off and on for a while. Last weekend I tried to design my own hat with no luck. I thought I'd treat myself to the pattern. And then of course one must find the correct yarn in one's stash.
And I found this: This is a ball of yarn, leftover from a sweater my grandmother must have knitted at least 40 years ago. I can't remember when I inherited the yarn or the sweater. They seem to have always been there. At any rate, I decided it would be great to have a hat to match the sweater. Turns out, The sweater has faded a bit, the yarn in the bag felted itself a bit. But I kind of don't care. I really love the fact that I have something she knitted and something I knitted from the same stash. I barely made it too. The hat is supposed to sit much lower but well I squeezed it out!
Then of course, I felt the need to keep things going in the family. I knitted the same hat out of the beautifully soft alpaca Aunt Lois brought me when she visited last April. It is so soft. A dream to knit with. Sorry the picture is fuzzy - I'm too tired to go take another one.
When Aunt Lois and Aunt Alice visited last October, they brought some more beautiful alpaca so I decided to try out another interesting pattern. This will be a neck wrap. It gets an interesting button. (Don't' worry Aunt Lois, I'll model it when I'm done! :)) I'm really excited about it.
I was so excited about it, I actually went out in the really crummy weather today. It was just a misty rain- all day. I wanted to get rose water and a button. That's all. Well. There was an emergency on the train so we all had to get off, got to the other side and get on a train specially routed for us. Okay. but then there was the oncoming train and I was in the front car and so many people were freaking out about that train - even though it was going backwards that I had to get off early. Walked all over South Philly and they didn't have rose water. So I walked to get the button - thank goodness they had some beautiful ones, but by the time I was done, I was pooped. I came home, had lunch and took a nice long nap.
I'm surprised I was so tired, but maybe I made coffee too strong this morning. I tried out Hannah Penn's (as in Mrs. Penn of William Penn - founder of Pennsylvania) recipe for coffee. Turns out we have her recipes as well! Her recipe for coffee calls for boiling water, coffee grounds, 3-4 sprigs of rosemary and 20 grains of saffron. Verdict? Tastes more like dirt that usual. But after I added some sugar and cream (milk) I have to say it was very palatable. Its different alright, but it grows on you. I'm curious as to why she did it that way. Was coffee too strong? She didn't like the flavor? It wasn't possible to understand coffee as one ingredient? Interesting.
The cats? Oh they are fine. We had a lazy day after I got home and did nothing. Everyone has their favorite place and we snuggle accordingly. I'm having some trouble with my phone line, I'm getting a lot of static and my internet is being funny. So I tried to check everything out on my end first. This involved moving a bookshelf, books etc. And of course promptly Jacques needs to occupy the empty shelves. Poor Swee'pea couldn't figure out what was going on. But now they are uninterested.
I called my phone/internet provider and they weren't especially helpful. But they are supposed to come out on the 10th. What they did say was that they have been having a ton of problems "in my area". Interesting. But I need this too work. I need to call my aunt and uncle, and I need the internet! Cross your fingers for me until then.