Monday, March 31, 2008

Me & Mickey

Me & Mickey 1989

Way back when I was 5, I had my first encounter with Mickey. Growing up in Orange County made that a little easier than for most. Disneyland was a place we went probably once a year, sometimes more. By the time I was a teenager, I had enough of it. I would rather go to Knott's or Magic Mountain. They had "thrill" rides.

It wasn't until I was well into my 30's that I became enamored of Disney again. In 2002, we went to Orlando for 10 days. It had been over 10 years since I had been Disneyland. Walt Disney World was amazing and wonderful and tiring. Even with as much as we got to see, something was missing. We were in Orlando in October. For Christmas, we went back to Disneyland.

That was the first Christmas without Dad, so we had to do something different. We spent Christmas Eve at the park. It was beautiful and magical. I don't remember every being there around the holidays. I regained what I had lost so many years before; I became a kid again.

There are those that have a preference for Walt Disney World, but Disneyland has so many wonderful qualities, not least of which is that Walt walked here. Pirates and It's a Small World are so far superior to WDW's version. We still have Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. And we have the sub's again! Last year was the first time since 2002 we hadn't been in the park, but we did go to Downtown Disney, so I got my fix (and my pins).

I wish that I had appreciated it more while I was still living there. It truly can be the Happiest Place on Earth.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Quotes

There is no use whatever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb himself.

Andrew Carnegie
1835-1919, American Industrialist, Philanthropist

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Night Movie

Because I have Windows Vista and it's causing me no end of problems, this week's videos are dedicated to this subject.

And if you hate Windows Vista as much as I do (I have seen more blue screens of death in the last two months than I have seen in 10 years), do take a look at the parody on YouTube. OMG - any tech head should see this.

An oldie, but a goodie, from the prelaunch of Windows 98 - it couldn't happen to a nicer guy - a memorable BSOD:

Friday, March 28, 2008

FO Friday

I finished two pairs of socks this week. I finally finished Nagini. I don't know why it took me so long to get these done. I had cast on for the second sock a while ago, and never really got much beyond the cuff. However, I discovered that I had not cast on the correct amount of stitches and had to rip out what I started. I think that's what got me fired up to get these done. Besides, Round 2 of Sock Madness and the Mystic Light Shawl are both waiting in the wings, so getting these off the needles was just a nice accomplishment.

Nagini in Voldemort
Pattern: Nagini by Gigi Silva (Momma Monkey)
Yarn: MacKintosh Yarns Chubby Sock
Colorway: Voldemort
Needles: US2

I can't say much about pair No. 2 since I was test knitting them. However, I can say that I loved the yarn and the pattern is one that had a technique that I had not tried before. The yarn was Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome in the colorway Green Mountain Madness. Here is a photo of the sole of the sock:

Secret Sock - Cherry Tree Hill Green Mountain Madness

It really is a beautiful colorway. I think I have enough left over for a pair of fingerless gloves.

I cast on for the Mystic Light Shawl tonight, so I will have a progress photo of that next week. So far, so good.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I've had very long days this week, today being no exception. So, similar to my posts over the last couple days, this post will be brief as well. I think I used up my week's blogging mojo on Monday with my Remembrance post.

One of my favorite things - sleep. Which is what I'm going to go do.

'Night all.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What's On The Needles

This week, it is yet another sock...

Noro Kureyon Sock

Noro Kureyon Sock in a basic rib. I wonder if I will be able to match up these "stripes". A bit more of a challenge.

I finished two pairs of socks over the weekend. Woohoo!

I am participating in the Mystic Light KAL and the first piece of the pattern was released today. Very cool. I'm looking forward to starting that one.

See you back here on Friday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thoughts for a Tuesday

I have no idea what to write because my brain is too tired. So, I will leave you with this thought...

Why is it that regardless of bred or size, puppies are so stikin' cute?

I want a puppy. Sorta. A housebroken puppy. With some obedience training.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Learning to play keepaway

Dad loved to play keepaway with me. It obviously started when I was quite young. I eventually got the hat ( photographic evidence), but he would tease me for-ev-er until I got my way. I usually did. Being daddy's little girl had certain perks.

6 years ago tonight that smile left forever, and the laughter with it. Even though the death certificate says March 26th, it was on a Monday night that I came home, went to bed and was awakened a few hours later by the call from my mother. Her words were nearly unintelligible - the gut wrenching sobs enough for me to know that he was gone.

Just a few days before Christmas, he and I had our last "real" conversation. I was in Las Vegas, celebrating Christmas a few days early with the in-laws. It was a Tuesday morning, sitting in a restaurant that no longer exists inside Treasure Island, speaking to Dad on my cell, that I knew something was terribly wrong with him and we needed to go there for Christmas.

It hadn't been in the plans. We hadn't been able to get a house sitter for the dogs. We get home, put in a day at work, pack up the Montero with dogs and luggage and head South. It's my mother's 75th birthday. She had always forbidden animals in the house. They had the run of it, except the master bedroom. We didn't know it at the time, but Dad had started throwing mini-clots. The man that could calculate a shopping cart full of groceries to the penny - for fun - couldn't figure out he had $28 in his wallet.

They would go to the hospital after Christmas - let's just get through the holidays. He hadn't been well, had had the flu. His appetite had been off. He'd be fine. I was in denial - and I should have taken him myself. They had never listened to me before; they weren't going to start now.

We headed home. There wasn't much else we could do. 3 days later, Dad was in the hospital. His idiot doctor told me, when I showed up at his office demanding an explanation, that he had already informed my brother (I'm an only child) that Dad was suffering from Alzheimer's. The doctor that was on call told me that Dad had congestive heart failure, said that because he stopped taking one of his blood thinners that he had been suffering from clotting and mini-strokes and that all we could do was make him comfortable. He probably wouldn't be with us for another 6 months. Dad's cardiologist was furious. He wanted to know why Dad had stopped taking the meds that he had prescribed. You see, 6 months earlier Dad had received an on-demand pace maker. His cardiologist said he would probably live to be 100! His General Practitioner, the one that had spoken to my brother, had removed Dad from some of his meds. Dad wasn't the one suffering from Alzheimer's, it would seem. The doctor retired from practice later that Spring. A lawsuit would have killed Mom.

That last Saturday before he passed, I insisted that my Mom go out for the day with her best friend. I would sit with Dad. I worked on my laptop, had the TV on with a show he would like. I talked to him throughout the day. He responded with nods or shakes of his head to questions I would ask. I made him lunch, that he could barely get down. Swallowing had become very difficult at this point. I spent some time working on a knitted blanket that I had started when he was in the hospital. It covers our bed now in warmer months.

That Monday when I was getting ready to leave, I told him I would be back in a few days. I knew that it wouldn't be much longer. He shook his head. I took it to mean that I shouldn't rush back. I insisted that he would see me again soon. He shook his head again. I kissed his cheek and told him that I loved him. It was at that moment that he uttered the first full sentence to me since that Tuesday morning in Vegas. The first time I knew in my heart that he saw me, that he knew who I was. "I love you too......"

Alone with my thoughts, and my tears, I retraced the path back to Southern California. I arrived back at the house, where less than 24 hours earlier my family was in tact. Like thieves in the night, the people from Hospice Care had seen to it that all traces of his illness, of his death, were removed. It was almost like a terrible dream.

Over the next few days Mom and I did what we had too. I went through papers. We met with the funeral home director. We made the necessary plans. We had the service and then we opened the house to any who wanted to stop by. My friends were wonderful that day, with one in particular who stole some older ladies hearts with his hosting skills. At the end, we toasted Dad with Norwegian Linie Aquavit. It had been a regular cargo on his ships, so it seemed appropriate.
So, tonight, I raise a glass to him in memory. I try not to think of those last few months. I would rather remember him as he was in the picture - laughing and enjoying a game of keepaway.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Quotes

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.

-Ansel Adams

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Night Movie

In honor of the socks I finished this week. Granted, it has little to do with Zombie's (maybe the floor show sequence?), but the colorway is Sweet Transvestite. OMG I love Tim Curry.

Friday, March 21, 2008

FO Friday

Here are the Finished Objects of the Week:

My So Called Washcloth #6
My So Called Washcloth #6
Yarn: Peaches & Creme Cotton
Colorway: Peppermint
Needles: US10.5

My So Called Washcloth #7
My So Called Washcloth #7
Yarn: Peached & Creme Cotton
Colorway: Licorice
Needles: US 10.5

Sock Madness 2 - Zombie
Sock Madness 2 - Round 1 - Zombie
Yarn: Cosmic Fibers
Colorway: Sweet Transvestite
Needles: US1

Arizona Stole
Arizona Stole
Yarn: Interlacements Arizona
Corloway: ? Gold, Blue, Bronze & Green
Pattern taken from Barbara Walker Treasury Of Knitting Patterns - Open Honeycomb
Needles: US 17

Arizona Stole
Close up of pattern.

That's it for this week. See you next Friday!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I'm one of the lucky ones - I have a great Mother-In-Law. From the first time I met her, she was warm and accepting. Throughout the 16+ years that I've known her, she has been supportive, understanding and shown me nothing but love. Luckily, we also share more in common than just the wonderful son that she did such an amazing job raising.

Over the last few years we've shared the joy of knitting. Last year, over Thanksgiving, we took off for a couple of hours and went to the yarn store and a couple of craft stores. It was just so wonderful to share that with someone close to me.

My Mom taught me to knit, and never picked up needles again. She'll go with me, but she has as much interest in skeins of yarn as I do shopping for pants at the mall. That's the sad thing about my relationship with my mother - we don't share any interests. None. My mother has a bit of a narcissistic streak too. She can take me from Zero to screaming in 3 sentences or less.

In less than a week, it will be 6 years since my Dad passed away. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him. My Grandfather-In-Law passed away 5 months after Dad. My MIL and I have been dealing with similar issues relating to our now widowed mothers. There's another thing - our mother's are nearly the same age. Mine is 3 years younger. Dad was a couple of years older than Grandpa. Both served in WWII - Dad in the South Pacific with the English Navy and Grandpa in France with the Army. Though their backgrounds set them far apart, they got along quite well.

I came to my parents much later than most for that time. I remember a store clerk asking Dad if I was his granddaughter. He pretty much took it in stride and told me later that's the price he paid for not getting married until he was 40. Of course, it didn't help that it took 5 tries and almost complete bed rest so that I could make my entry into the world. My MIL was 20 when she had my husband. I have cousins that are older than her! Even my youngest aunt, my Mom's baby sister, is 4-5 years older than her. To me, she's always been "too young" to be a mother-in-law.

So why bring this up under "favorites"?

Maybe because right now I understand what she's going through. Her mom's not doing well and it brings back to mind what I was going through those last few months of Dad's life. I know the helplessness, the frustration, and wanting to ease their suffering. The basic inability to be able to do a damn thing about it.

Maybe it's the fact that after so many years I finally accepted her as "mom". Not a replacement to what I have, but to fill the empty spaces in my life that I would have liked to have shared with my mother.

Maybe it's because she an inspiration to me in many ways. Her strength and optimism is there when you need it. She always seems to know just what to say to give you a new or different perspective. She listens without comment or criticism.

Maybe it's just because we share some of our favorite things together. She reads this blog with regularity. And since I'm sitting at work and can't call her, at least she'll know that I was thinking about her.

I love you, Mom. It's times like these I wish we were just a few hours away.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What's On The Needles

Nothing new, I'm afraid. I finished a stole over the weekend and Sock Madness 2's Round One Zombie socks last night. You'll have to wait for Friday, unless you're on Ravelry. Hehe.

I'll flash one of the skeins of Interlacements Arizona that I used for the stole to tie you over until Friday.

Interlacements Arizona

The sweater for my husband is coming along.

Big Easy close up

Your eyes do not decieve you - oceans of stockinette! I had a yarn shop owner comment on the evenness of my stitches. I am a knitting machine! I'm using Rowan Yorkshire 4-ply Tweed, I guess it's close to a DK weight. The differences between fingering to DK to Sport can be a bit of a challenge for me. I'm using US6, and it's making for a very light, drappy fabric. I thought it would make a nice layering sweater. A man on the train commented on the color the other morning. Olive, or Army green was a such "man's color". He said it was one of his favorite's. There are speaks of light blue, which I think adds some interest. I will make sure that it is properly modeled by the intended user once it has been completed. I have one and a half sleeves to go.

For not having much to report, I certainly said more than I intended!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Race Relations

I watched Obama's speech today. I felt connected to him for the first time, really. I'm not condemning him, as many have, for not casting his pastor aside. After all, this pastor was very much like a family member to him.

I don't know about you, but I've been embarassed by things my family members have said. I loved my father very much, and even though I was blind to many of his faults, I knew he wasn't perfect. He was raised in a different era. My mother made comments that came, for lack of a better term, from ignorance.

True, you can't change you parents. Obama commented on his grandmother's fear of having a black man walk towards her on the street. I've heard similar comments from my mother. I have heard devote Christians comment that God had "damned" this country for it's sinful ways, and AIDs was one of God's way to punish the most grievous of these sinners. There was a man I worked with for a time that said "as a Christian" he could not support our governments efforts to give aid to Africa because he didn't want his tax money "going to people who had sex with monkeys". I asked what had happened to Christian charity? Well, that was for Christian's, of course.

I didn't speak to my best friend for 2 years because of an off-the-cuff comment he made about my husband's religion. Quite frankly, I was being very pig-headed about the whole thing and should have taken the opportunity to have a dialog on how we could agree to disagree. He is a Christian and my husband is a Buddhist. Over the years they have had long, thoughtful discussions which finally came to the conclusion they could agree to disagree.

To create change, you have to put effort into it. Perhaps Obama has had long discussions with Rev. Wright on the topic of race relations, and how it may not be as bleak as the Reverend sees it to be. Maybe they agreed to disagree. Perhaps some things should remain between a man and his pastor.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Old Oaks

One of the last times we took our dog Heidi for a hike, this is what we got to see. This was taken at the Black Diamond Mines, part of the East Bay Regional Parks District in East Contra Costa County. In other words, it's over the hill from where I live. We were out there a few times with the dogs and hiked the trails - while the cows stared at us. Heidi was alway pretty good about staying close. She never ran off, but once her nose got the scent of something, she would stay at a spot for-ev-er appreciating and exploring all the subtle nuances. In other words, she dug in and wouldn't move. Fen had ADD and would have bounded off to try to intimidate the cows. He stayed on his leash.

I miss the hikes, though without a dog it's doesn't seem as purposeful. We saw a lot of beautiful landscape on these outings. Sundays just aren't the same anymore.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Quotes

A dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied.

- Irish Proverb

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Night Movie

I never get tired of seeing this - maybe because I see a little too much of myself in it. Enjoy!

Friday, March 14, 2008

FO Friday

Patons Preemie Blanket

The little Preemie Blanket is done. I had only two skeins of the Patons Cotton Club, but it went far enough. Used one skein for the Moss Stitch center and then mitered the corners while knitting in the round for the outside edge. I ended up being one side short when I was casting off, but luckily had some other yellow baby yarn that matched enough to finish the edge.

Ribby Goodness

There is something about matching up stripes that makes you feel like a genius. I called these Ribby Goodness and, it's official, I have now knit enough socks that I no longer require instructions. The yarn is Fortissima Socka Mexiko. They fit quite well. I purchased this at Stitches West. A decent flip on stash.

The stole I started last night has made sufficient progress that it will probably be done before next Wednesday. At least I have something lined up for next week.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Tide Pools - Crescent City

Tide pools - the shoreline - the ocean. I'm not picky as long as it's salty, moving and undulating, and there are fishies and crustaceans living in it. It's a pity the water here is so cold. I miss swimming in the ocean. I miss my summer days spent at Bolsa Chica and Huntington Beach.

What's On The Needles

Last year, I discovered the English magazine Simply Knitting. I have been amazed by how many patterns I find that I want to try. In one of the issues last Fall, there was a pattern for a simple stockinette rolled hem sweater that I thought would be perfect for my husband. Something he could just throw on, light but warm. I wanted to try a larger project with Rowan 4-ply Tweed, and with some minor adjustments, I was on my way.

I finished the front tonight.

Big Easy - Front & Back done

I know, I know. It looks like a couple of greenish rectangles at this point, but it won't be long before DH is modeling it for the world. I started a sleeve last night. I'm finding that this is a really good commute project. See, I can knit something other than socks.

And speaking of socks.....

I am test knitting a pair of socks. That's all I'm willing to say. Here is the sole of the sock:

Secret Sock

Can't tell really anything from that. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome in the colorway Green Mountain Madness. I love CTH. It is so soft and squishy. The socks feel wonderful to wear too.

That's it - check back Friday. I finished something!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thoughts for a Tuesday

I've been busy catching up on the New York Sex Scandal. I felt so sorry for Mrs. Spitzer. I don't get it. Why did she have to be dragged out in front of the media for further embarrassment? More humiliation. The woman looks like she hasn't slept, that she's probably been crying until there was nothing left. What goes through your mind when you realize this man you loved, trusted, shared your life with was also capable of scorning, lying and betraying you? A part of her died and that betrayal will be with her forever.

I don't really know what my opinion is of prostitution. If a woman is willing to have that type of intimate relationship with someone, be it for money, support or gifts, I guess that's her decision. But isn't she also saying that she's a commodity that can be bought and sold? I didn't think you could put a price tag on a human being. Whether you're getting $1000 an hour, and apartment and a allowance, or $50 for a back alley encounter, doesn't it come down to the same thing?

I hate the wall to wall coverage on the news. I don't care who the 22 year old is. I'm more concerned with the reasons why the IRS got involved. Why they were wire tapping? Less salaciousness, more legal footing. What consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business. If the money came from other than personal funds, that is our business. I don't need to know the conversation between the Escort and her handler/pimp/agent. I certainly don't need to hear it on the evening news or the cable news channels.

Honestly - the media are acting like 11 year old boys nervously giggling over an issue of National Geographic. You know the one I'm talking about. I had hoped the days of Beavis and Butthead were behind us, but alas, they can now be found on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Memorable Moments

Nacho Mama, Garberville

Some things just strike your funny bone, and this one did. Nacho Mamma, Garberville, CA.

Sunday Quotes

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Please share this video

If you haven't had the chance to see "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, please take the time to go see this video. His philosophy, and the message he conveys, is empowering. It is a stark reminder that as long as we have breath, we can make a difference.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A combined post

It was quite late when I got home last night. Had a late afternoon meeting far from home and office, and my boss dropped me off at one of the ferry docks so that I could make my way home.

I picked up the ferry at the Larkspur port, north of San Francisco and within site of San Quentin prison. San Quentin is where California's Death Row is located. When someone is subjected to the death penalty, this is where it - and the protests - take place. It's been a few years since the last one. What amazes me is that the original structure is a beautiful piece of architecture, and the views are some of the best on the Bay. No wonder so many people want to see this facility closed. The real estate, and subsequent property taxes, would be quite a boon.

This was my first time on a ferry here in the US. This is a common form of transportation in Norway, especially Northern Norway where I have spent the majority of my time overseas. It's been a few years since I was on the Bay, and I have never been out there at night. It was a wonderful way to end the day.

With the sun setting as I was waiting to board, it took on an almost magical feeling. Because it was twilight, when we were pulling away from the dock and moving into the Bay, it made me feel like I was back in Norway. Of course, playing some Norwegian folk music on my iPod probably helped create that mood. I was thinking of what I would blog about and how the experience restored some peace to my mind. I love the ocean. It has always had a restorative effect for me. I don't get to see it much, even though I pass under the Bay twice a day. I miss the smell and the sound of waves. It was chilly due to the wind, but it felt good. It was a much needed balm to my soul, after the last week or so. I need to remember that this is a viable option for me to get out on the water every now and again. Also, there's a great pub that serves good beer and food at Larkspur Landing. I believe there is also a yarn store within walking distance. I'm going to have to check that out sometime.

We pulled into San Francisco about 40 minutes or so after having left Larkspur. I stopped to take a quick shot of the boat.

2008 118

It's a little hard to see because it was so dark.

I decided that I would have a quick bite to eat before getting on the train to head home. I thought this shot was pretty cool.

2008 117

I had dinner at Ferry Plaza Seafood. I highly recommend the shrimp salad. It was wonderful! I also stopped at the bookstore and took a look around before heading out.

It is the first time I can say that I traveled by car, boat and train in one day. In fact, it was within 3 hours.

As to my Friday update - alas, I finished two separate socks, but not a pair. Amazingly, I have nothing to show off this week. Next week will be a different story.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What's On The Needles

2008 104

This is the new thing I can show you. I joined the Sock Knitters Pentathlon. This is a group that will be knitting 5 specific patterns leading up to the Summer Olympics. The yarn is from J. Knits in the colorway Los Angeles - the place I was born. The first Summer Olympics that I felt connected to was the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. So this colorway seems somehow fitting.

I'm still working on the socks I'm calling Ribby Goodness. I am also test knitting a pair of socks, which I can't really speak of or obviously show off. I am using Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome, which is awesome. I think I may have enough left over for a pair of fingerless gloves.

Nagini remains unfinished, as do a number of other projects. I think that there will be nothing ready for Friday. Oh well. One week with no FO's won't kill me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A little off

I've been a little off this past week. I had some news last Wednesday, though not completely unexpected, was still a shock to the system. It's not really something I'm ready to talk about, and it's not going to kill me, it just means I have to make some lifestyle changes. In other words, it's going to be a pain in the ass and I'm going to be cranky.

It just causes me to wonder "why me"? The only happy little refuge I have in my life right now is knitting. With almost everything else there is pressure, responsibility, inadequacy, disappointment or angst. I realize that I have it better than a lot of people, but there are a lot of people that have it better than me.

I know I'm just wallowing in a shimmering pool of self pity, but honestly, I hardly ever put myself first. Maybe that's why I'm in the shape I'm in now. So many people pull at me during the day, I have nothing left for myself at the end. Except for a little knitting time just for me. There are times that I wish I could just knit my problems away. About as likely as Santa and Tinker Bell stopping by for a drink this Friday night.

I'm just frustrated and mentally tired and I feel like whining. Sorry.

Tomorrow normalcy will return and I will post what I'm working on and we'll just put this little pity party on the back burner. Not every day can be wine and roses.

Thanks for humoring me.

Monday, March 03, 2008



Sunset out at Point Reyes. One of the reasons that I am happy to be a native Californian.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Quotes

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.

-Doctor Who