Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Perfect Fit

Maybe there are other Fits, but this one is perfect. In a very bizarre - this is how things work for me - twist, my car arrived at the local Honda dealer in the midst of a very tumultous weekend. We found it by sheer coincidence. We were surfing the web making plans for the purchase of a car we've been discussing for months, and there it was, Orange Blaze Metallic, at Lia Honda in Northampton. I sent them a quickie email Saturday night promising everything from my firstborn to my entire life savings if they'd hold it for me till I could get in touch with them. Sunday morning I had a plan. Baby Emily's birthday party was at 3pm. I figured we could drive to Northampton, work out the car details, drive to Emily's party; a wonderful day! Right. Although it all worked out in the end, as you can see by the presence of my stuff in the front of the World's Most Nearly Perfect Car, my plan was nothing to the task. Not even in the ballpark. I was so far off from what actually transpired that I could not have been more wrong in my image of how things would actually go. That's what I love about planning. It's mostly useless but we all do it anyway, and in the end if we're smart we take it as it comes, make it work, and move on.
Sunday morning dawned with the promise of two things - a party for a baby girl, and a visit to a car dealership. It ended with a quick phone call to appologize for missing a certain first birthday party, hours spent in the local ICU with my mother, who is FINE but nearly wasn't, and a lot of questions about how to be in Shelburne Falls at noon on Monday to meet with your editor and Baystate Medical Center at the same time. I forgot about the car.
It's a long story. The bullet is that when we try to plan, and try to force our lives into the shape we think they need to be we often get thrown wild, crazy, sometimes scary curves. They used to throw me for a loop, disrupt my entire existance. 40 is like a wonder drug or something, because I just stepped through the weekend and early week as gracefully as possibly, with great flexibility and peace and a ton of prayer. In the end I have a live maternal parent, a finished book, and a new car. Also fingerless gloves and a baby set that I am not sure I love.
These are the finished Rowan CashSoft Fetching fingerless gloves that I began the other day. I did finish them by that evening, but never got back to post the pic. I love them. I want more in other colors. Very cute, very quick - I two-at-a-time'd them, of course. Part of my restful book-writing recovery plan included not making anything "from scratch" - patterns only, and the easier the better. The gloves went smashingly. I got comments on them Sunday at the hospital in ICU from one of the nurses, also a knitter. She was curious about what Girl and I were working on - Girl had snagged a skein of Lion Magic Stripes out of my bag and was making a skinny scarf/tie, and I was working on the...garment...pictured below. We're not in love.
I chose this set from Knitting for Babies and Kids. The pattern is technically correct and was very simple and quick to knit up. Now that it's done I just don't know. I will put the buttons on and attach the sleeves this afternoon. I just feel that it's a little too oversized for my tastes. I would have changed it up a lot, but was still sticking to my plan which included following directions only, no mods, no re-writes. If I did it again, I'd skinny it down a little. We'll see how I feel when it's on the kid!
Well, that's it for today, folks, off to the hospital to fetch my mother home again. It amazes me how quickly people are discharged. As a nurse, I question the safety of the whole medical racket and it's fast-paced processing of "customers" - HUMAN BEINGS?? We need socialized medicine. And we need it badly.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Good News, Bad News

The good news is, I finished. The manuscript deadline is tomorrow and the book is, for now, done. It's all spread out on the table, while Marvel (in Sweet Cowgirl Bandana) looks on and Hannah sleeps on my foot rest. The bad news? I hate it. Just like every garment, as soon as it's done, I hate it. Can't stand to look at it. I want it out of my house. If it were not snowing and I were wearing something other than running tights and a crocheted cowboy hat, it'd be on it's way to North Adams right this second. Sort of the way you feel about your kids when they're teen-ish, and talking to you with that tone that makes you want to...well, never mind about that. I cannot stand it. If I read one more word, one iota of information relating to socks, sock books, my sock book, anyone's sock book I will explode. It will be ugly. I don't hate it as bad as one particular sweater that shall remain nameless. But I don't ever want to see my own words on paper again. For a while.
The better news? I can knit anything I want. But what? The Fetching fingerless gloves from Knitty that Rue had on last week that I've started in Rowan Cashsoft Aran (my first Rowan and the last ball of red!) that I love to feel slipping through my fingers OR the Flower Basket Shawl in Gail's hand-dyed alpaca silk? It's a toughie. Given the weather I am leaning toward the fingerness gloves - it's snowing here, big fat flakes falling down by the boatload. Which reminds me I should go get the mail before it gets any sort of depth that would couse me to remain indoors for days. I really was perfectly happy with the non-winter, so to get all this snow toward the end of things is a little distressing. I mean, really, I have to drive this mess to North Adams, CD, printed copy, box o' socks, and NOW it snows? I hope all the Webs crew are having a great and sunny time across the country at Stitches West. Send me some sun, guys, just a teeny tiny bit! I am so ready for winter to end.
And I am so ready for these babies to be off my hands. Kiss 'em good-bye, folks. Next stop? Storey Publishing!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sad and Sorry

Sometimes things roll along so well that I wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. Usually, just about the time I get comfortable and complacent, it all falls in the toilet.Today is that day. I spent hours yesterday wondering how I was going to print the manuscript - which is all on the Mac - since some of the pages are in Excel and my pc does not have Excel and so refuses to even print Excel files. I spent many many more hours yesterday hand-drawing charts for the book and rubbing my forehead and questioning my sanity in saying "Oh, yes, I can write a book in four months, no problem.". Because I am an idiot. All I really need to do is make the charts on the laptop, and then maybe, oh, I don't know, LOAD THE PRINTER SOFTWARE onto the laptop, connect it to the printer and PRINT everything??
What is it? PMS? Too much Sweet Cowgirl Party? Plain old stupidity?? ALL OF THE ABOVE!?!?!
Then an email comes this morning from a very patient but confused woman asking about a chart in a pattern I wrote ages ago. I take a quick look and panic. This is huge! Glaring errors! I will have to rewrite the entire I have a plan. How about if I send it all to Persnickety and beg. She's good with numbers. Well, I am obviously an IDIOT. Turns out, my math is not bad, just my
chart. If it were not for Persnickety today I would be in my tub pulling my hair out by the roots. The manuscript is due FRIDAY. FRIDAY. That's 72 hours. Seventy Two. Like 48 plus 24. Like 24 plus 48. Like three days, three tiny short days. AND it's going to snow. AND the socks are not blocked. AND, and - and - and...oh, just AND.
In a few months when it all settles down, and I say "I want to write another book!" someone please - anyone - HIT ME, hard. Smack my head. Tell me no, say something like "What, are you STUPID!?!?!?!". Better yet, just smack me now and miss the Christmas rush.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sweet Cowgirl Weekend

It all began innocently enough...a trip to Maine to shop and visit the ocean. A night away from home with Mr. Wonderful, walking sandy but cold beaches, trawling outlets for good post-inventory President's Day Weekend deals. And we did get some deals. It ended like this - tequila and toilet paper. And if someone can find the significance of these items resting together I'd like to know it. And in between? Oh My! There was driving, SPA Spin and Knit visiting, shopping, dining, beach-walking, rock-hopping, more shopping, driving, nerves, a pile of people, pictionary, presents (one made me cry), posters and outhouse signs, cake and ice cream, hats, boots, guns, good friends, loving family and one concerned dog.
It went something like this...dream sequence music, wavy image.... Mr. Wonderful and I headed out early Saturday morning for Portland, Maine to visit the SPA Spin and Knit gathering. Although not originally a part of our weekend plan, when Persnickety told me about it I figured I'd check it out. I hope to spend my whole birthday weekend there next year. Have wheel, will travel. People come to sit and spin, or knit, or weave, or bounce babies, or talk, or crochet, or laugh, or all of the above. There was a vendor hall with some great stuff; Grafton Fibers where I once again resisted a batt - but it's getting close, and The Merlin Tree where I once again resisted a Hitch Hiker, but that too seems close. Or a Joy. I am torn. It's a $$/DT/ST/$$ quandry. I love a DT. But the ST Hitch Hiker is inexpensive. But the Joy folds flat. But it costs more. But it's a DT. And I adore Ashford wheels. But the Hitch Hiker is so cute. See the problem?
We did not stay long, just long enough for me to know I want to move in next year, dragging Mr. Wonderful and a loom, and Persnickety, and anyone else we can manage to convince. It's just a nice recharge, grass roots, simple, open-ended fun event. Next we went shopping. Well, actually we detoured to the water first. I can't be that close and not see it. We stopped in Wells to take a quick look at the ocean, and take nutty close ups of sand and sea plants and rocks and bird tracks and such. I tasted the water, took some more pictures, wandered, and then eventually got cold enough to prefer shopping.
My first stop was at the Coach outlet for one sole purpose. At the Superbowl Alter-knit-ive Party, Stephanie L had this little Coach handbag. It was all patchwork and adorable, and I wanted one. But maybe a bit smaller. I figured that unless I hit the lottery, lost my marbles, or Santa came early I was not likely to get this little baby. But there it was...reduced from it's original outlet price by an additional 40% making it $80-ish with tax, and I knew I had to have it. One only turns 40 once. Cowboy boots and Coach bags seem right. I doubt this will be a lifelong trend, but for now I am digging it. I love this bag. It's funny, because nothing else in the store spoke, called or whispered to me. AND if I had never seen this bag on Stephanie at the party, I never would have entered a Coach outlet. I love it. Hold wallet, cell and keys perfectly. And it's so pretty!
There was more shopping that first day, but not a huge amount of actual buying. We had a lovely lunch at a place called the Lobster Barn on Rte 1. Very quaint and charming interior, very much a barn, I loved it. For those more local to me, it was sort of like Gould's Sugar House, only closer to falling in on itself. The food was very good. I can't remember if we shopped before the lunch or after...Anyway, we had a dinner reservation, so left Kittery and went to check in at the Hampton Inn in Wells. I love Hampton Inn. I love that they are all the same. I know that's not the point of leaving home and all, and in terms of scenery and food and activities I like things to be different and unusual and new. But when the time comes to rest my head upon a pillow for the night, I enjoy the predictability of a nice chain hotel and lately that chain as been Hampton Inn. After changing and sprucing up a bit we headed out for dinner at a place called Jonathans in Ogunquit. Oh, my yum. Little slow service, but not painfully. It was a little crowded for a February weekend and I think that may have caught them off guard. The food was very good. For my entree I chose Kathadin Lamb - made with lamb raised at their farm in S. Berwick, ME, which was excellent, served with green beans and gratin potatoes. Mr. Wonderful had . . .some kind of cow. I don't remember. I was too in love with the lamb to care. We went back to the hotel, and slept. In the morning we packed up and headed for Nubble Light and York Beach(es) to wander till the outlets opened. I love the way the sun lights the water first thing in the morning on the Atlantic coast. I want to dive in, or sit and get lost in it. I did sit for a while, but the rocks in Maine are cold in February and eventually your butt freezes solid and you know it's time to move on. We crawled over the rocks, another favorite activity but one not intended for cowboy boots - I was determined to wear them all day. It's a childhood problem I have. Girl even made a sign about it. But that's for later. After wandering for a while amid sea gulls and waves and rocks we headed inland for more shopping. OK, now remember this is my birthday, did I mention that? I turned 40 at 8am on Sunday February 18th. 40 is one of those milestone events, the kind where people have a party for you, which they did. And what a party! I did not
know that many people could fit into my house. This is just a small representative sample. There were more, in the kitchen and the dining room and the outhouse. But I only got one good picture because I was the birthday girl, and that carries certain responsibilities, you know! The Sweet Cowgirl Party was sweet indeed. Between my best friend Kristie and my most beloved daughter Meg…well, I really don't know where to begin! We walked into a house decorated with people in cowboy hats, strings of cowboy lights, crepe paper, and general pleasurable chaos. I saw some people I have not seen in a long while, met some new people (Girl. invited boys. from school. She's old enough. to invite. BOYS. from school. Three of them.) Possibly if she'd gone to normal high school this is something I would have confronted earlier. But she didn't and I haven't. They brought me a most excellent gift, "The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses" by Paul Goble, and even wore cowboy garb. They seem like nice boys...even if they ARE boys. Let's see, what else...
Oh, we played Pictionary. There was a huge stack of cards encompassing various
parts of speech – “Things Melissa Likes to Do” (verbs), “Something about Melissa” (generous adjectives), and “Stuff Melissa Loves” (my favorite nouns) I think. And a bit tough too, like "kayaking" was made into "flat-water kayaking" to make it a bit more challenging. This is the tie-breaker - team 1 and team 2 battling it out for the basket of glorious prizes (like beans, toilet paper, and tomato paste). Tracy is trying desperately to convey "Rare Beef" to the onlookers. I think she did an excellent job. Kristie had to tell me twice to stop giving away the answers. Hey, she made the margarita! It would have been safer if I had not read the cards first, but just handed them out. Eric, stepson #2 got stuck with “Gone With the Wind”, one of my favorite movies. He’s not exactly artistic. Kathy got “hike”, which was entirely too easy for her, and I hope to have a future party at which she sucks down a glass of cactus juice followed by a tougher clue.
We had a booze-stuffed piñata, the indoor pull-string type, and a list of piñata words – if anyone said one of the words on the list, I had to pull a string. Persnickety’s girls, Daughter #1 and Daughter #2 really seemed to have a handle on which string I should pull to make it fall apart. I had a suspicion, but pulled whatever color caught my eye for a while. Eventually I gave in and pulled the right one, but not until after they’d suffered some torment. After the kids were done sorting out the candy and key chains, a select group of adults (I am not going to name names I am not… {cough}Persnickety and Cindy!) converged on the remaining bottles of booze and had at it.

Persnickety's DD#1 apparently enjoyed the wasabi peas a great deal. She's shown here releasing all sorts of endorphins. It is my personal hope that we have a new convert to The Way of The Hot Things. Next thing you know I'll have the kid here lapping "Sudden Death" off toothpicks. Then I will corrupt her sibling...heh, heh, heh...WORLD SCOVILLE DOMINATION!!!!
Here, Uncle Zoom and Grampa Dan share a quiet moment in a discussion about infant walkers, while UnCool Guy - husband of Persnickety and father of her DD's #1&2 attentively watches the barkeep in the next room. He's clutching that bottle of Opa Opa pretty tighly there. Hey. Huccome UnCool Guy is not wearing a Cool Cowboy Hat?? Oh, Wait, that'd be kind of oxymoronic if we let UnCool Guy wear a COOL hat.
Kathy, most beloved friend, you will never ever ever know what it meant to me to get this gift. This is the coolest gift ever. This is Marvel the Mustang, who was my best friend when I was little. Nothing can stop a girl in cowboy boots as long as her faithful steed is by her side. I plan on taking Marvel on the road with me for the "promotional tour". I still giggle when I think those words, you know, "promotional tour"! My dad put him together for me, and Aidan took over from there. He took my sheriff's badge, my gun, a hat and my horse. All he needs are the boots!
In all this was an excellent birthday, a phenomenal party, and I need to think up an excuse for another one, maybe in the fall when we can be outside or on the deck, and grill some stuff, and hang out...Now for some thanks -
First to Kristie, shown here in the only picture of me that we managed to get - that's my red hat from Happy Hooker sticking out over the back of her serape covered person. Best friend, amazing party planner. It would not have happened like this without her.
Megan, my much-beloved daughter, who broke her big toe on the Monday before the party necessitating my knowing a bit more than I should have so that the house would be cleaned and the fridge empty. It was a nasty looking injury but in true cowgirl style she sucked it up and forged ahead, buying party platters and writing the most flattering things about me on this timeline. AND I did not have to pay her! It was all out of the kindness of her little heart. A teenager said nice things about her mother JUST BECAUSE! I am so lucky!
Mr Wonderful, aka Toby Keith. Dig the hat. I love the hat. In fact I think he and I should invest in a whole matching wardrobe of cowboy hats. He socialized all evening long, and stayed awake to clean up while I sat in a chair and drank a glass of wine and watched. AND he emptied the car, AND, a half a year ago, when I said "Honey I think I want to write a book about socks..." he said "OK", just like that, like it would work, and it was ok, and it'd be great. AND he loves me.
Brendon SWEPT! Thrill a minute at this party, I saw Brendon using a broom for the first time ever in my presence. The oldest of our four kids, Brendon and his girlfriend Leighann (artist extraordinaire) came out just for my lil' ole' cowgirl shindig and once again, like at Girl's grad party, helped clean up until their eyes were falling shut.
What I've learned this year -
-Once a cowgirl, always a cowgirl.
-Age is relative. I am forty. FORTY! And I am finishing up my first book, watching my daughter work her way through college, and getting ready to begin a really cool adventure in promoting this book. I feel so lucky and so blessed by the people in my life, by the support I've received in the form of parties, hugs, listening ears, and one awesome mustang.
-Blessings fall like rain on parched ground, and some days they seem too much for one person to deserve or own. Take them anyway. They are intended for you. If you walk away from them, you're giving up, missing out on the best of the best of what and who you can be. I never thought a year ago my life would look like this, or be what it's becoming. As it's come I've taken it all in, one step at a time, and I am so thankful to God for letting me have it all.
-You can live your dreams. You just have to make it happen. It may not be as fast as you'd like or even take the form you first imagined, but it will all unfold if you just take one step in that direction and see where it leads. Then another step, and another and so on.
I am going to go pat my pony and tell him all about my party and the horrors of final proofing, which really is about as fun as labor, only no one's gonna hand me some squash faced infant to love and nurture for the next 22 years. Hey, maybe that's a good thing... I promise there will be more knitting VERY soon - the book goes to bed on Feb 23rd, and after that I plan to do nothing but PLAY for DAYS and DAYS. (with Marvel, and my sOx-shooter)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Break Time

In a complete break from anything 1.) knitted or 2.) socks, I made myself a hat this weekend. It's not totally working for me, as the top is not quite doing what it should. I would like to point out that cowboy hats do me favors that no other hat style on earth can do. I never wear hats because they make me look pretty stupid. For some reason, this one does not make me look stupid, and I am impressed by this. I therefore shall wear only cowboy hats from now on. I need a wardrobe of cowboy hats, in all colors. The pattern is from Happy Hooker, the yarn is Sugar 'n Cream El Cheapo Cotton from Lily - a whopping $1.49 a ball, and the hook is well away from that recommended by the pattern. In addition to being a loose knitter, I am also apparently a loose hooker. I have a thing for Sugar 'n Cream. It's perfect for crafty stuff like placemats and dish cloths. I wrote all weekend so... no more words. I don't think I have any left today. Just a cat, who thinks the bin of book-socks is her personal domain, even if I am only out of the room for ten seconds. Dig the look. "WHAT is your problem??"

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Is All This Fun Really For ME!?

I finished Aidan's Socks for the book, and took in a pile from sample knitters over the weekend, which made my heart sing with delight in ways I can't even describe. The pile grows. I like to see it grow. We've got Emily's Socks (knitted by Mary Alice), Aidan's Socks, the man sock Tamara did up, the Lorna's sock Mary Alice also did (Mary Alice is the current sock leader, with three in the bin, eclipsed only by moi, who's knit...lemme think...8 pair so far with one or maybe two more to go). I feel like I totally have a handle on sock done-ness. Kristen has the lovely teal ones, Karen has the bamboo ankle sock, Tamara is doing a re-knit for me...and I need to do the women's fair isle that I keep saving for last (I do not love fair isle, did I mention that?)

The rest of the time I do this, proofing, which is dull as dirt and boring as - as - as well, frankly, as snot unless you have some cool disease. I already wrote it. Why must I read it again and again and again? Eventually I will memorize it. For the most part I am pleased with the flow. I would like to add a bit in one particular location, but I am not sure how to go about that. It needs a tiny bit of something. The patterns are all written up except for two charts which need to be either hand-drawn or very creatively made into excel sheets. I have gone over the patterns twice now looking for math errors, but will go over them as many times as I can fit in between now and the 23rd. I still want to have it all done by the 18th, but I am not sure I'll send it. I may sit on it over that weekend, re-read some bits during the week and send it in on time, just to let it mellow in my brain a bit.
I have also been upsetting the cat again, so had to walk on the treadmill with her in my arms for a while, about ten minutes, till she calmed down. She is probably not the best cat for anyone with PMS, a temper, a kid under 18, or a book contract. She freaks out at any raising of voices, even if it's good raising, like party and game noise. She adjusts, with time and attention, so attention she got. And she made my nose stuffy and my eyes itchcy, but she was happy and purred and did not want to get down when I made her go. Maybe I should get her a baby sling...
Last night when I finished Aidan's Socks I could not take it any more and had to cast on something, anything that was NOT a sock. I chose the Flower Basket Shawl that appeared in Interweave a while ago (Fall 2004 it was, that's how behind I am in things I want to knit versus need to knit!) in Gail's hand-dyed alpaca silk, a lone skein I grabbed two weeks past because it called to me. Literally. No joke. I walked by and I heard this tiny little voice "Melissaaa...Melllissa..." what could I do but buy it?? It's allegedly an odd-ball skein, but very close to rouge. Maybe a tad softer. I got a bit done in the hour before bed. I love it. Very fun to work, although the chart is tiny and could use blowing up. So far I can follow and watch tv with post-it's. It'll be a few days before I get back to it, but it warmed my heart to knit something without a heel. Don't get me wrong, I love socks. I adore socks. But lately all I think about or do involves socks on some level. Talking with Stephanie-from-Storey Sunday about the sock book and impending Promotional Tour (which almost made me toss my cookies right there, and caused me to lose my ability to say anything besides "uh-huuuuh" for minutes), taking in socks from sample knitters and discussing the socks with them. Writing sock patterns. Proofing sock patterns. Knitting socks. Dreaming about socks. Socks, socks, socks, SOCKS, SOCKSSSSSS! It's enough to make a grown woman cry. So a flower basket was inserted, just a tiny drift into something not-a-sock for a little while, like when the dog was gone and I made the Zimmerman Surprise sweater for Em. I still want to get her hat and socks and second sweater set done. We'll see. There's time.
Stupid Job. Some days it's the best job ever and other days it backs me into corners I don't want to be in because I want to be free, I want to knit, I want to make shawls and start sweaters for babies and not think about socks. I mean, yeah, it's knitting related, and yeah, it looks all glam. And I do get a manicure and I've never had one. And I may even get to travel a tiny bit which will be cool. But oh how I would love to just sit and knit for the sheer joy of it. Just because I want to.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Silent Last Minute Poetry

Just my favorite bit of ole' Will.

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

It's a SIGN!

Look, see. It's a SIGN!
No, look closer. It's a SIGN!! Merry Christmas to me from Donna. But will it work, that is the question...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Well, I feel better now.

Mr Wonderful and Girl look a little befuddled and confuused, but they'll adjust. The dog seems to think it's cool. Of course, he can't see much anyway, so all this means is "more light on face", but he seems into it. Can't wait to see the chickens' reaction tomorrow. And I? I am beyond thrilled. I am Ecstatic. Delighted. Very, very happy. First, we can see our deck. This is a big deal for me. The last time I had a deck it was slapped onto the side of a 1971 Detroiter Mobile Home, directly across from a slightly newer mobile home in a park surrounded by lots of other mobile homes of varying ages and sizes and in various conditions. It was built by Mr. Wonderful and myself when my kids were tiny (3 and 4! TINY!!). I like a nice deck. The whole "sit and relax while supper cooks on the grill and you watch the hawk fly low over the meadow" thing has been a dream for three years. This spring, it shall become my reality.
Second, I can see my house from at least one angle. The other three sides are still immersed in Bavarian Forest; thick and dark as night with hemlock and pine and the dank smell of a deep forest. This afternoon when I went out to take a lil' wander about I discovered the most amazing thing. There is now sunlight behind the house! It's a little miracle. And it's kind of a cute house, now that I can actually SEE it. I always wondered what it looked like. I remember the first day we drove by, and I said "I am not living in that! You can't even SEE the thing! Where IS it??" But then I came inside and I saw the fireplace and the sliders on the deck and the big oak staircase and I decided I could live here after all. I still wondered what the house looked like. And I totally have to get rid of the green door. I am not loving that now at all. Change of color. I don't know what, and the house can stay the same color, but the door has to change, as soon as it's warm enough.

Third, and most importantly, I remembered how to concentrate when trees are falling all around you, and managed to get some work done. Cuffs for Aidan's Socks for the book. Oh, wait...that's not the right side. Here, try this instead. The wrong-side pic came out better, I think. I like them, cute little things. I like them so much that I am going back to work on them some more now, since it's 1:30 and I have to leave for work eventually, and only have a few hours left in which to knit today. It feels VERY good to have the Lumberjack Gang gone. Oh - get this - today they started off right where they left off yesterday - no boss, so it's playtime! Who needs silly ropes to keep trees by the electrical lines while we cut? We'll just hang out of the cherry picker over the wires, and give the tree a shove above while someone down below cuts it. That'll work!! And this is funny - they "broke" my cable (as in cable television). The boss came and told me and said I should go check and see if it worked. So I told him we did not have cable. And I got The Look, which is a typically blank faced, open-mouth stare, usually followed by a slow, drawn-out "Yoou...dooon't have caaaable???" then a light dawns, "Oh, then you have satellite (or dish, or whatever)!". Response: "Nope. We got nothing. Nada. Just DVD's." I love that look. I am not sure if our lack of cable makes us Un-American, or Just Weird. Any votes?