Category Archives: Oddments

Pumpkins Wish You a Happy Halloween! (Ha ha!)




Illustrated Book Report: The Odyssey

You saw the RockStar’s work when she was five in the ground-breaking illustrated Shell Report.

I just thought you might want to know what she was up to now, at age fourteen.

Illustrating The Odyssey, of course….


My personal favorites are the Cyclops, seen again below (also a favorite of my daughter’s, apparently) and Penelope with arm akimbo.

Just where have you been all this time, Mister?  This story better be good!


I wanted the RockStar to draw Charybdis, because Scylla and Charybdis just go together like bread and butter, like mmm and Malabrigo.  But she seems to think it’s rather a challenge to draw a whirlpool as a stick figure.

ITLAPD (Arrr!)


Th’ sun is risin’ this fine mornin’ o’er the flag on the mizzenmast bluff.


This very day, September 19th, as ’tis ever’ year, be International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Need a PirateSpeak Primer?

Then join th’ piratical party that’s goin’ on all over th’ seven seas!

I be Red Anne Bonney, shiver me timbers!  Who are ye?

My pirate name is:
Red Anne Bonney

Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate’s life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

We’re in the big leagues now

Thanks for all the Gothlet birthday wishes!  I’ll make sure she sees them.  Madrona post(s) coming very soon, when the work backlog lets me get my head above water, but I had to share this in the meantime.

From a Charter Communications story about the recent semi-conversion to digital TV (on the Gothlet birthday, as a matter of fact):

“The most populous places where many or all major-network stations are cutting analog this week include San Diego and Santa Barbara, Calif.; La Crosse and Madison, Wis.; Rockford and Peoria, Ill.; Sioux City, Iowa; Waco, Texas; Macon, Ga.; Scranton, Pa.; Rhode Island and Vermont.”

Glad to know we’re up there with San Diego… Waco… Peoria… and the state of Vermont!  What an interestingly varied list that is, to be a part of.

Yes, we are all digital here in this populous place.  Explains why my father had his upper body wedged in the kitchen cupboard corner, installing a converter box for their little kitchen radio/TV, when I went over to their house to dry an emergency load of Gothlet jeans Tuesday night. 

(A propos of which:  my husband finally arranged repair services, who came and fixed the oven yesterday, assisted by the Beya-kitten (fortunately, the repairman was a cat guy).  The dryer?  Worked when they tried it, dang it.  Supposedly repair guy and husband tested all sorts of things while they were about it.  What about no heat, no tumbling and weird burning smell for me?  Makes me nervous.  Because,  since nothing was fixed,  it WILL happen again.  At the worst possible time.)

Ain’t technology grand?


Gothlet quote of the day:

Donuts: Not just for breakfast any more!

And who can argue with that?

This was breakfast time yesterday as I got to work, not as gray as the day before, over the parking lot:


Late in the afternoon, the high temperature was a record-tying 51.  Fortunately, yesterday’s steady rain stopped.  Rain in February is not a good thing here: the ground’s frozen and it has nowhere to go.  There was some minor flooding, plus now it will be ice-rink-slick in areas.  The good news: most of the mounds of snow are gone.  My Pacific Northwest friends tell me the snow is over there instead!  Strange….

I missed the near-record warmth, working late to get things tidied up so I can leave tomorrow in good conscience.  Here’s the sunset over the parking lot on the OTHER side of the building I work in.


And I left in the full dark, a few hours later. Sigh.   Gotta pay for your fun — on both ends — I think.

Maybe I’ll go have a donut.

Rain and Random

Rain and 51 degrees, as we had today, is just not quite what we expect in February up here.  Thaw, perhaps.  All-day rain, not usually.  (I worked from dawn till dusk, so no pictures, but I expect you can imagine gray and rainy on top of dirty gray snow and ice.  Not much in the colorful department.)

Though it was raining and about this temperature the day that the Gothlet was born, almost 11 years ago: I remember going for a walk in early labor, trying to get the irregular contractions a little closer together, and stepping over puddles in the neighborhood.

Yes, the Gothlet’s going to be ELEVEN in a week, and she has definitely transformed into a Pretëën (trying to subvert some weird searches there, or channeling the Swedish chef, not sure which).  Mostly in the Attitude department.  She’s always had a certain sardonic wit.  Even back when her father would tell her as a toddler/preschooler, “Cute don’t cut it”, to remind her that batting her eyes would get her nowhere, she would fire back “Cute DO cut it!” because, of course, a winning smile and long eyelashes can get you a certain amount in life, whether justly or not.  Not perhaps with her parents, who were immune, but in other situations….

That sardonic wit has now transformed into full-out sarcasm.  Which can be funny when the sarcasm is not 24/7, and not directed at what’s for dinner, or why practicing piano is or is not necessary, or my explanation as to why the gym teacher has to be tolerated though not loved.


Here she is, being forced to pose for a picture after she and her team won the city “Battle of the Books” championship last Friday (on to the state competition in a couple weeks, which they won last year).  Doesn’t the ‘Oh, Mom!’ come right through the screen despite the coaxed smile?  (Third picture attempt to get the smile, I said something tangential, probably something sarcastic.  Wonder where she gets it from?) (From her father, actually!)

There is a certain detachment, though, and sense of humor, that make me think the Gothlet could be an author.  Or an artist (she has leanings that way).  She sees the world from a slightly different perspective than most.

So, in honor of the Gothlet’s approaching 1-1, I will share a Goth-quote with you each post till the natal day.

Today’s is more about the recent point of view and sardonicity (yes,  I know that’s not a real word): the Gothlet told me yesterday that she informed her 11-year-old friend, who is fond of wearing H*llister and Aerop*stale T-shirts, that:

“You know, A_y, when you wear that, you’re just a corporate billboard.”


Is this how Michael Moore started?

The other Goth-quotes are a little farther back in time, in the innocent days of ten-and-a-half, and not quite so pointed, therefore….


And now for something completely different, or perhaps just back to the beginning of the post.

In two days, I’m going where the weather we’ve just had is unremarkable for February.  Yes, I’m leavin’ on a jet plane and heading to the Pacific Northwest in the first of several knitterly jaunts this late winter/spring.  (Enough jaunts that I feel guilty.  Really.)

A friend that I met at BMFA Sock Camp last year, KT, talked me into coming to Madrona (Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat, to give it its full name) this year.  (It was really hard to talk me into it.)  (NOT!) There was a lottery for several popular classes, including classes by Nancy Bush, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and others.  I decided that if I got a lottery class, I would go (I had frequent flyer miles, and could take the time off work).  Indeed, I got into Nancy Bush’s “Overture to Estonian Lace” and signed up for a class taught by Elsebeth Lavold: “Viking Knits: Mitered Cables” (it’s about designing with cables and making them go around corners and such) also.  And I got on the waiting list for a class by Sally Melville about making your sweaters fit (just got into it a few days ago).

And then I find out that my internet Doppelganger twin Laurie is going to be there, and so is my other Sock Camp friend and kindred spirit Sam, and Tammy, and others that I met at Sock Camp, and WOW!  Not only am I going to be learning, really learning advanced techniques from knitting book authors, but I’m going to see friends again, and one friend I haven’t met yet (in the memorable words of the RockStar at age 4), AND rumor has it there will be more cool yarn there than one could possibly shake a stick at even if one wanted to do such a foolish thing.  NOT that I need more yarn, but still…..

Lots to do, to be able to leave pre-dawn in two days!

Which is probably why my dryer broke Sunday night….Life needed to be more interesting.

MidWeek Quick Update (or, Not Dead Yet)

1)  First (of three) Nutcracker performance tomorrow (school performance during day).

2)  RockStar also has a band concert tomorrow night.

3)  Finished the Gothlet’s Noro Striped Scarf.



She wore it today, out into the -2 degrees F (-19 C) morning.   To do morning safety patrol.  Brrrr.  It seemed to be well received, however; it got a smile.

4)  There was just about enough yarn left to make a similar hat for me.  No pictures yet.  (And I had to borrow about 5 yards of yarn from another skein of Silk Garden to complete it.)

5) Received a wonderful package which I need to photograph and tell you all about.  Thanks, Janet!!

6)  I need to send the corresponding package, which I have pretty much ready to go (I just keep thinking I should add to it, but I need to SEND it).

7)  My girls are “Twilight” obsessed.

8)  Barnes & Noble has ‘Breaking Dawn’ back ordered.  This has caused some angst in our house.  But is probably good for the homework situation.

9)  Kittens make eating breakfast extremely difficult at times.  Especially irrepressible kittens who feel that your bowl is their bowl.

10) Kittens curled up sleeping on one’s lap while blogging are both warm and extremely endearing.

¡Hasta la vista!  Could be on the other side of Nutcracker.  Hopefully earlier….

Monday Miscellany

Bits and Bobs that have built up.

  1. Jeanne and Lisa spotted with their sharp eyes the little brown blob in the back of Carny the Goldfish‘s bowl.  Yes — my husband (the pet-scoffer) actually BOUGHT a pet, but only as a live cleaner for Carny’s bowl.  So it’s really an accoutrement instead of for its own sake.  Apparently it’s a plecostomus catfish (algae-eater).  It was dubbed “Typhoon” after a ride at Oktoberfest.
  2. Unfortunately, Carny bit the dust sometime today.  So Typhoon is alone now with his algae.
  3. There are a lot of orange pets I had forgotten about, that you guys think I should have.
  4. I have been knitting stealth things and working on a third stealth project/pattern.  Besides working all weekend and into the evenings.  So I have little to show you.  I can perhaps show you one semi-stealth project tomorrow, since the recipient doesn’t read my blog that I’m aware of, if I get home during daylight.
  5. Thank you for all the nice words about the Pioneer Braid Scarf!  And the coreopsis (which indeed are blooming away, Nora, though the echinacea are gone).
  6. The Yarn Guide for colorwork, to carry two colors (or more) over the left finger, which I showed you in the last post, is not working for me at the moment.  I could use it, but it required some left thumb manipulation to position between one color and the other, which my thumb complained about.  So not in the cards right now.  We’ll try again some other time.
  7. It was a gorgeous weekend.  After work Saturday, I went to Ewetopia Fiber Shop in Viroqua to pick up some Louet yarn which Kathryn, the owner, had kindly ordered in for me, and also some other local yarn may have followed me home.   The local yarn may be earmarked to see the world, or at least New York. . . . On the way home, I had time to take some gorgeous Saturday Sky/Coulee Region pictures.  I was a little bummed going there that no one could come with me, but at least that meant I could stop the car and get out and take a picture any time I wanted. Here’s a sampling:

Lastly, in the midst of all this beauty: life sucks, and sucks big sometimes.  I have nothing to complain about, but some of my friends are hurting.  May they get through hard times as gently as possible under the very difficult circumstances.  And may they find moments of peace and beauty even in the middle of pain.