cast of characters

Lani and Ann are the Weaver sisters!

Lani's household consists of Steve, the long-suffering coding genius and computer security guru; Jim, Lani's tall, red-headed and handsome son, currently finishing his second year of college; Hunter, Jasmine, Himari, Chenault, the miraculous Onyx and the even more miraculous Resk, undisputed feline rulers of the house; and Jesse, the man-hating green-cheeked conure.

Ann's household consists of Don, who is not just a computer genius but a pilot, a builder, and a damn good father; their son Steve, the marathon-running, college-bound, funniest teenager I know; and wonder dog Tater.

Other family members are Laurie, Lani's beautiful daughter who teaches at elementary levels; her handsome son Alex, aka Alexander the Great; Mary and Bo, a/k/a Mom and Dad, and Bud and Ann, Steve's patient and wonderful parents.

what's going on

previous posts

Sister, Sister, Sister!!
10 Random Things, Colorado-Style
10 Random Things
Tornadoes and Kitchen Sinks
Flying in and out
Sweets For My Sweet
Knitting - yes, I still do some
The Cake
I'll do anything for cake ....


July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 October 2008 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011

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blog reads

Knit and Tonic

Sister, Sister

the life and times of the Weaver sisters

Monday, August 28, 2006

The very model of restraint. (posted by Lani)

No, I know it's not you. It's not me either. What were you thinking??? And I can prove it's not me by telling you the following story (or by flashing my stash, but I'll save that for another day).

So this morning I washed the blanket in Dreft (it's been Onyx's favorite sleeping spot any time I set it down for more than 10 seconds without putting it away, and I'm not sending Melanie cat hair for her new baby), ran out for ribbon, threaded the ribbon through the eyelets, and took a picture.
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Think that's ruffly and girly enough? Personally, I'm thinking it'll pass. So anyway, then I went into the Pit Of Doom spare room to get the baby outfit I'd bought, and thank God I did since the kidney stone and all kinda put a kibosh on me knitting or crocheting an entire layette as I'd originally planned. But, um, do you ever buy stuff and stash it and then see something else really cute and buy it and stash it and then see something else ... yeah. Me too. I just kept pulling out baby clothes, and more baby clothes, and more baby clothes ... Baby Brianna is going to be one well-dressed munchkin. On the up side I was smart and bought a variety of sizes; 2 0-3 months, a 3-6, a 6-9, and a 1 year. And for a moment, a very brief moment, I actually thought about taking some of it back. But I mean really. Look at this stuff and tell me it's not adorable.


Check the little pink velour pants with the swing coat, lined to match the onesie. Can you see the eensy chiffon ruffle around the collar and cuffs of the coat and the hem of the pants? And both of the sundresses have panties with a ruffled butt, how cute is that? But the real winner, my favorite, is this one.

I mean, c'mon. It has a flower on the butt.

I sure hope at some point (FAR IN THE FUTURE) Laurie has a little girl. Shopping for Alex is lots of fun, but this ... this is like shopping for candy.

Anyway!! Is the card really you? Yep. It really is. Nice plaid jacket you've got there, by the way. And yes; we ARE so screwed.

But wait. You said Mom and Dad took a helicopter ride? A HELICOPTER RIDE? Mom? Are you sure that was OUR Mom who called you? Did you get an ID? I would never, ever have guessed that she would do that; I'm amazed and tickled pink. Maybe they'll actually use all the travel benefits they're about to get after all!

Speaking of travel benefits -- I got my employment package from the airline today and there's a ton of stuff that has to be memorized by the first day of training. Don't have it memorized when you show up? Bye. On the first day. That's one way to weed out the serious applicants, eh? And I have to have a plain black or navy suit and tailored white blouse before class starts too, because apparently I'll be doing a lot of flying even during the class. I haven't ever, to the best of my knowledge, owned a plain black or navy suit. Not plain in their sense of the word, anyway, and they are very clear about their sense of the word. I hate buying a damn suit that I know I'll never wear again once this is over, but I guess I'll do it. Grrr.

Oh yeah, my UFOs? I have to keep them under control. I have WAY too much yarn not to finish off some projects. Trust me on this. One day I'll flash my stash for you ... but not until I know you're sitting down, with a stiff drink in hand.

Is it really me? (posted by Ann)

One of the ladies at work brought this card in and told me that she thinks I'm moonlighting as a Hallmark model. I'm not sure about the resemblance - what do you think? I love the inside of the card, it says "We are so screwed."

I am now going to confess what a dumb-ass I am. On Friday night, my last flight of the week from Greensboro to home sweet home, the gate agent told me that the flight was at least one hour late, and that they would update later. Of course, they said "go to the gate area, since we might be let go earlier . . yada, yada, yada."

Here comes the dumb-ass part. Instead of going to the gate area, I went to the nicer bar outside security and had a glass of wine. Then I went through security and arrived at the gate 5 minutes before the initial departure time. That's right, an hour and five minutes before what they told me, I was at the gate. And - you guessed it - the door had just closed.

I wound up flying to Charlotte to get a connector to Chicago, and getting home at 1 AM Saturday morning. Like I said, I'm a dumb-ass.

We had a busy weekend, what with all the loss of sleep and the multitude of things that need to be done when you're out of town all week (which you will learn soon!). I have lots of FO's to take pictures of this week - a beautiful cabled baby sweater, a mesh bag with the right strap, more washcloths, and maybe a baby hat if it moves from project to finished object on one of my flights this week.

I'm off to Stamford, CT which is surprisingly hard to get to, and to Winston Salem before coming home just in time for 3rd sister and David to arrive. I am looking forward to a four day weekend and no travel next week. Right now, that sounds like heaven!

Mom called me last night, and she sounded very happy. Get this - she and Dad took a helicopter ride down into a crater. I'm so jealous!!! They're off the boat today, and home on Tuesday. I'll call at some point Wednesday to make sure they are alive.

Take care this week and drink, drink, drink. Water, I mean. Congrats on the baby blanket, I want a picture of the finished product. And I admire your discipline on the unfinished projects, I don't count mine anymore. If they will fit in two huge plastic bins I carry on un-detered.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The ho's lipstick of choice! (posted by Lani)

The ho's lipstick of choice, eh? HAHAHA! Niiiice. I've been thinking I need to get a makeover before I start The New Job, but that kind of makeover worries me.

Your airport story cracked me up and made me come perilously close to spitting juice on my keyboard. I'm left wondering, though, how precisely does one ignore a woman of a certain size dangling a leopard-print bra with cups the size of your head from one hand? I'm also left trying to imagine what could possibly make you need to remove your bra RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MINUTE, without darting into a restroom or at least a secluded corner, and it just boggles the imagination.

I'm envious of you for both getting to see the Third Sister this week and having her visit you next weekend. What a weekend ya'll have planned! Ours has again been quiet and boring, since I'm still waiting for the GD kidney stone to pass and in the meantime drinking so much water and juice that well, you know how the cartoon characters show the water level rising behind their eyeballs? I'm pretty sure if I could just get the right angle I could get a picture like that of myself. I'm more than a little stircrazy here, too; I'd really like to get out of the house to go somewhere other than the doctor's office or the hospital, and aside from one trip to the grocery store with a side trip to the thrift store, and one trip to the post office to turn in my passport application, those are the only places I've been in two and a half weeks. Oh wait, toss in a run to the vet for Onyx's checkup; I'm told that he's a healthy boy with a good glossy coat and "looks to be quite a little hellion, doesn't he?" She doesn't know the half of it. We have the running of the bulls kitties down our hallways and stairs on a nightly basis, and woe betide he or she who is making a trip to the bathroom at the time. You may not get gored, but you'll get knocked down and trompled (and then licked and purred at; our cats DO have manners).

I finished Mel's blanket finally! And by the skin of my teeth; I had exactly 6.5" of yarn left when I was done. I'm not sure if that's called good planning or good luck, but whichever it is I'll take it. I'll post the pictures tomorrow; when I say "finished" I'm using the term a bit loosely, since I don't actually have the ribbon to thread through the eyelets yet. So tomorrow I have to run down the block to the fabric store to get ribbon, thread it through, take a picture to memorialize my insanity, wrap blanket and other goodies, and mail the package off to Texas. This blanket was a Terry Kimbrough pattern and it turned out beautifully, but if I never see another picot I'll be fine with that. Two ruffles, both edged with picots, just about finished me off on those.

Now on to finish Tempting; I plan on casting on the second sleeve tomorrow, and with any luck I'll have her done within a couple of days. I'd better; I succumbed to temptation yet again and bought the pattern for Sizzle. After Tempting I'm going to finish another of my multiple UFOs (I have 3 partially finished afghans and one partially finished shawl, God help me), and my reward is getting to work on Sizzle once I do. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What Ann needs . . . . (posted by Ann)

I'm very glad to hear that you are doing better. I hope everything works out so you don't have to have any procedures I can't pronounce. I agree that Alex has the Grandmother thing nailed down pretty well, he's a smart boy.

So, I just happen to have the same first name as a very controversial public figure, so I got some good hits. Take a look.

1. Ann needs to get some Revlon's Cherries in the Snow, the ho's lipstick of choice. (That was my first clue that this could be bad)
2. Ann Needs to Get Ahold of Herself. (Amen!)
3. Ann is in desperate need of surgery. (True - would you please start up the liposuction machine?)
4. Ann needs a stylist. (Trust me, she's coming to my house on Sunday. I know you can see the gray, so can I.)
5. Ann needs a new Tricycle. (This is my favorite, I could really get into it!)
6. Ann needs help. (Duh)
7. Ann needs help with an eating disorder. (See #3, we have this handled already)
8. Ann needs help with a gambling disorder. (Actually, I'd rather eat than gamble. See #3 again.)
9. Ann needs a cheeseburger. There is actually a site to promote this, here is the link.
10. Ann needs to stop talking so much.

Who knew?

I love your new dishrag pattern, but I'm staying true to the ballband. I have knitted in all the cities I've been in this week, and have 2 new dishrags to show for it. I will hold you to the Yarn School next year.

Steve seems to have survived the first week of school, and I've almost survived this week though I've been up between 3 and 4 AM every day. Let's just say that I'm a little tired. The best part of the week has been shopping and dinner with the 3rd sister in Atlanta. It was great to see her, and she and David are coming to visit next weekend. We will be busy, with tickets to Wicked and to King Tut and an evening sailing on the lake. I promise pictures.

Okay, here's my favorite wacko story for the week. I'm in the Philadelphia airport today, walking to my gate. It's pretty crowded, what with the lines to get ice cream and food, so I'm winding my way through when I spot this woman. A very large woman. Standing in the middle of the walkway, stopping traffic, and doing that maneuver where you take your bra off without removing your shirt by pulling the strap out of your sleeve. I'm watching, thinking surely she's not doing what I think she's doing, when she whips out this absolutely enormous brassiere and dangles it from one hand. It was leopard print.

Just when I think I've gone too far, someone raises the bar.

What Lani Needs (posted by Lani)

I've seen a ton of people doing this meme on their blogs, and after seeing all the funny results I had to try it out myself. Just search ' needs' using Google or Yahoo search, and see what the first 10 results that pop out are.
  • Lani needs to work on her footwork (so true ... I broke a toenail this morning because my footwork sucks and I smacked my big toe into the doorjamb.)
  • Lani needs to avoid at all costs the comparisons to Regine (Whoever Regine is I'm NOTHING like her, I swear!)
  • Gregor finds Lani intriguing and definitely delectable. His fantasies are getting out of hand when he finds that Lani needs his help rescuing her nephew ... (I had to include the first part of this because, like, Wow. I had no idea, Gregor!)
  • Lani needs to pay attention more. (huh? Were you saying something?)
  • Lani needs to live. (As opposed to dying? I'd agree with this.)
  • Lani needs to be superglued to her perch... (uh ...)
  • Lani needs to find out how many people would be interested in this. ("this" was a weekend trip. So! How many people would be interested?)
  • Lani needs to find out what is wrong with her relationship (No doubt, no doubt)
  • The last thing that Lani needs is a relationship (Wait. Maybe that's what's wrong with it?)
  • Lani needs a special home. She does not like change and commotion and is shy and reserved. (And delectable. Don't forget delectable.)
And I couldn't resist this one, even though it wasn't in the top 10.
  • lani needs some comments (See? SEE THAT, YA'LL?? Even the great anonymous intarweb agrees that comments are nice.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Garterlaaaaaack! (posted by Lani)

OK, I freely admit it -- I've been bad. I swore I would work exclusively on Mel's baby blanket until it was finished, and I strayed. In my defense I did finish the BODY of the blanket, but I've barely begun the first of the two ruffles, because I was seduced -- I couldn't resist temptation in the form of the Garterlac dishcloth. I just could not for the life of me see how this thing could possibly work. Obviously it does, you can see the finished product in the pictures and all, but reading the pattern it made no sense at all to me. I kept going back to it, and going back to it, and finally I just picked up a pair of needles and some cotton and cast on, blindly following the pattern even when what was appearing on my needles couldn't possibly work. It was twisted and lumpy and weird, and it folded back on itself and you know what? It actually works. It's amazing. It's so cool to watch the first twisted misshapen set of little triangles suddenly morph into something worth keeping.
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMy garterlac is sloppy and amateurish (although it looks MUCH better now that the ends are woven in and it's been washed and therefore kinda-sorta blocked) because I'd never before picked up stitches, and let me tell you also that Clover Bamboo needles are sucky for working with dishcloth cotton and keeping any kind of even tension, and also knitting with a kitten presents new and unique challenges, but even so -- I did it. And you can even kinda tell what it's supposed to be, right? I feel like I've climbed, ok, not the Mt. Everest of knitting but at least I'm into the foothills. Maybe I can hire a knitting sherpa or two and actually keep going, climb higher, scale new heights! I'm inspired, and now I really AM going to finish Mel's blanket because (a) there is SO MUCH MORE to knit, and (b) Laurie just called and told me Mel's being induced on the 30th, so erm, time is kinda running out here.

In other news, I won't be going to Yarn School. Not this year, anyway. I have every intention of going next year, come hell or high water, so start planning to come with. You KNOW it'll be fun, Annie. But this year, starting October 1st, I'm going to be in training classes 5 to 6 days a week. I finally got my birth certificate and got my passport application in (since, like a big ol' dork, I'd let the old one expire), so I finally got the firm offer and all that jazz. Steve is still hemming and hawing about it; I know he's not happy. No, that's not right; he's happy for me, he's just not happy for what this job means, which is me not being home, like, ever. We'll be doing a lot of talking about that as time progresses; fortunately, we have time to do that talking.

In other other news, I went back to the doctor today. I was really hoping that maybe the stone had passed without me even knowing it, because for the past 3 days I've had no real pain, just a little soreness (and let me just say hallelujah for that). Well, unfortunately. Just kidding! No, the stone hasn't passed (dagnabbit), but after stubbornly staying put for the first week it has finally moved a substantial amount now and it looks like we're in the homestretch. I actually got to see all the x-rays, from the ER and last week and this week, and see what it is that's made my life so miserable. Such a little insignificant thing, really. It should have been bigger, or maybe shaped like a skull and crossbones, or SOMETHING. But anyway -- another round of muscle relaxants, stronger this time and to be taken only at night, and come back in 2 weeks for another x-ray and exam, and hopefully with the news that the stone has passed.

On the family front, I know you've heard from Mom and Dad and so have I; Mom hasn't sounded this happy and excited in I don't know when. I'm so very glad they did this, it's about time. And maybe, if things are wonderful and they have a great time, they'll travel more now. Mom's talked about an Alaska cruise for forever, so maybe ... just maybe ... that'll be next. And on the subject of travel, how's your whirlwind 6-city tour going? Hopefully this weekend will be quieter for you than last, although I have to say the cross-country kickoff DID look fun. The sailing adventure, however, sounded like not-fun to me. You can keep the real pukers, thanks.

And in closing, I talked to Alex today. Our conversation went like this: "Hi Grammer!" "Hi, Alex! How are you? I love you!" "Luyoutoo. Grammer! I need more toys!" This is a child with a firm grasp on what grandmothers are all about. I'll write more later -- for now, I need to go toy shopping.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Gulp (posted by Ann)

He is too cute. I can't pick between pictures, he's just adorable! He is growing up so fast.

We had a busy weekend. Steve's cross-country season started on Saturday with a mock race, team meeting and picnic. All of this . . .

went inside all of these . . .

and Steve's team came in third.

Don was really busy too. We have an all-Swedish construction crew, other than Don, and they managed to get rafters up on Saturday. This part of the construction goes really fast!

Then on Sunday we went sailing and watched the air show from the water. It's really impressive to have a jet come screaming over you going a bazillion miles an hour (that's some technical jargon for you). It was a beautiful day, but it was what I would call lumpy out there. I asked the harbor tender driver what to expect and he whispered in my ear "It's a real puker out there." And it was - 6 foot seas on Lake Michigan feels really different from 6 foot seas in the Gulf of Mexico. In Lake Michigan, the period between wave crests is four seconds as opposed to twelve in the Gulf. Instead of up, up, up, up, up, over, down, down, down, down, down, etc. it's up, down, up, down. Gulp. We lasted about three hours, and we came back in.

Steve starts school tomorrow - a sophomore. Almost 16. Gulp again.

And I'm one day into my six cities in five days tour. Today was New York City and Melville, NY. Tomorrow Chicago (yes, it counts, even if I live there), Wednesday is Atlanta, Thursday Philadelphia, Friday Winston-Salem. And then Chicago again.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

A quick update, and I ask you ... (posted by Lani)

Mom and Dad are safe in L.A., waiting for their plane to depart to Hawaii. Running almost 4 hours behind due to a weather delay that made their plane late to Atlanta and therefore late out of Atlanta ... but they sounded happy and excited, and promised to call one of us tomorrow.

And what I ask you is ... is this the cutest picture in the world, or what?

Oh wait ... maybe this one is cuter.

I'm loving these new pictures Laurie had done of Alex. Aren't they great?

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'll see you your dishrag, and raise you one (posted by Ann)

First of all, congratulations! I can so totally see you loving it, we just have to get you healthy enough to start training.
I've finished one - three guesses who it is for? Someone who loves pink . . . no, that's not the present I got her, but it will be in her stocking. I have to get a picture of her present, but I have to invite over a friend who is a size 2 to try it on for me.
And here's the next one I'm working on, also for the girl who loves pink. Aren't they cute? And fun to knit, definitely. Just enough pattern to not be boring, but not so difficult you're counting stitches. Love it! . . . and here's what I did this weekend at Hobby Lobby. It was on sale!! I swear!! Don't you love all the color combos? Oranges, blues, yellows, I'm going to have a rainbow of dishrags! I have them all earmarked for people, and they are portable enough to take when I travel.

Doesn't she look sweet? It's all a scam, I promise. First of all, she's sleeping on the chair where I work when I'm home. I can't get up for five minutes without her taking it over. But that's not the worst of it - she woke us up eight times last night. Eight times. In the summer, we have to leave the door to the bedroom closed to keep the cool air in. Then you hear scratch, scratch, scratch, meow, meow - let me in. Then scratch, scratch, scratch, meow, meow, let me out. Eight times. Then Don starts laughing at me, and that makes me furious.

Let's just say it wasn't a restful night. I have the squirt bottle of water on my bedside table already. Kitty Bad Girl, Don - they all better watch out!

I just talked to Mom and Dad. I can't believe they are really going to Hawaii!! Good for them, and I hope they love it.

Cross Your Fingers ... (posted by Lani)

There's something that I've been sitting on, not wanting to jinx it, not sure really how I felt about it ... and it's happened. The day before I made my impromptu little visit to the hospital, I'd done something off the wall. A while back I'd met a Delta Airlines flight attendant, we hit it off, and we talked a lot about the job and the benefits and all that stuff over a period of several months. She loved her job, she introduced me to two of the trainers for Delta, they all kept telling me I should apply, that I'd be a shoo-in for a job. Meh. I didn't. I thought about it a lot ... but I didn't.

So I picked up the paper that Sunday and they were having cattle calls for flight attendants for USAir Express, right here in Norfolk. So I went, that Tuesday, just on a whim. I mean, why not, right? It was a LONG process, and an interesting one. 30-odd people showed up, mostly women but a couple of men. After about an hour of 'this is what the job is, these are the benefits, these are the down sides, this is the pay' they gave us a break and told us if we didn't feel the job was for us, or didn't feel we could pass the 10-year background check, the FBI/TSA fingerprint check and security screening, the drug screens etc., no worries, just don't come back after the break. 25 people came back after break and they gave us a battery of tests, then broke us into groups and had us stand up and read in-flight announcements, etc. All that took another hour and a half and then we took another break, and were told to check the door in 10 minutes to see if our name was posted for one-on-one interviews, if not then thanks for applying, don't hesitate to apply again another time, blahblahblah. Five names were posted. Mine was one of them.

In short, I went in at noon, and around 5:15 p.m., along with two other women, I got what's called a 'recommendation for hire' -- a job offer pending the background check. We were told that normally takes about 3-5 weeks; if you wash out they'll send you a letter saying thanks but no thanks, otherwise you get a phone call saying congrats and giving you a training date. Five weeks of training and poof you're a flight attendant, do not pass go, do not collect $200, just go get on the plane. Came home, told Steve what I'd done, we've talked extensively about pros and cons (salaries suck for the first about 4 years then get really damned nice, travel benefits and other benefits are flipping awesome, you're away from home a LOT) and ended up deciding hey, we have weeks to think this over and talk about it anyway, no rush.

Except Air Wisconsin/USAir Express just called. One week, two days later. I'm hired. I have to send them a copy of my passport application, since I'd let my passport expire; I've already done the application and ordered a rush copy of my birth certificate, just have to wait for it to get here. I'm reeling. They had said 3-5 weeks just to do the whole background check thing, and it's only been a week and a half. Granted that the agency doing the background check called me twice for clarification/further info and I gave it to them instantly, even dug up a years-old W2 and faxed it to them within an hour of their call ... I am reeling. No training date until I send them that passport application, but it's a firm job offer. And I'm going for it. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Express Lane to Uncool (posted by Lani)

Yup, that would be us. I therefore seriously doubt either of my kidlets is reading this blog; they know about it but as you said, we're just SO un-cool that their own coolness quotient would be on a greased slide to nerddom if they did. So -- since you're probably safe, and I'm dying of curiosity -- get with the pictures already, kiddo. As for other family members, I do know Mom reads us (although thus far she hasn't commented) but as far as I know she's the only family lurker.

Your tomatoes and peppers looked so damn good that I made a 'mater sandwich (on whole grain bread, with mayo, salt and pepper, yumyum) for lunch today. Produce stand veggies aren't as good as homegrown, but they sure do beat supermarket stuff. My own veggie garden never got off the ground this year -- I'm definitely going to do better about that next year.

Last night I was twitchy and uncomfortable and irritated with life, the universe and everything, so I started a ballband warshrag from the pattern I posted a few posts back. It looked soothing and simple and I craved soothing and simple.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting(Fuzzy picture courtesy of my current difficulty with reading comprehension ... my camera manual may as well be written in Portuguese.)
This is FUN! Why didn't you tell me it's such a fun knit? Of course having to shoo Onyx away from the yarn every few stitches slows me down considerably, but this pattern is so easy and logical that I can do it even in my current haze -- it's easy to pick up and see where I am and I love it. And I have scrappy bits of cotton in assorted colors, so I definitely see many warshrags in my future.

The other thing from Mason-Dixon that I really want to do -- ok, so there are several. Obviously the Heartbreakingly Cute Kimono is on the list. Did you see the one with the puppy buttons at the MDKAL? Adorable. But Ann. The mitered squares. Have you seen the mitered square afghans that people are doing out of Noro and cotton? Oh. My. God. The Noro one is to die for, Ann, to die for. Sadly wool, even a wool blend, is not a practical choice for a throw in Casa de Mucho Cat and Dog Hair (this is, btw, only sad for me; Steve right now is probably lighting incense at the altars of every god he can think of in thanks that I'm not out buying up more yarn). A mitered square throw of some variety is in my future though, definitely.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Oh, man. Sorry to hear about your latest doctors vist. The only thing you can hear from a doctor that's worse is "that's interesting". Here's hoping you beat the odds and get that sucker out! out! out! without a procedure whose name I can't pronounce or remember.

I was going to take an "after" picture of Steve's feet, but they're not quite ready yet. They're better than "before", but they're definitely not "after". The funniest thing is that after he took a shower, you could actually see a tan line where his Teva's went across his feet.

I am in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, home of nice people and great barbecue. If only it was close to an ocean, I could live here. But no sailing, so forget it. I am doing my usual travel routine, which is work until it's getting dark outside, head for the hotel, room service, and then work until I drop into bed. Get up, do it again. No glamorous travel for me, no entertaining clients and certainly no partying.

I bought Laura a present this weekend - do you think she's actually reading the blog of her Mom and Aunt Ann? We're so impossibly un-cool, I just can't see her checking it out. I think I could probably post all sorts of family secrets here and be safe. I could at least post a picture of her present! What do you think? I certainly don't see any comments from her - or any other family members, for that matter. Do you think they're all lurking, or are they ignoring us??

Don is working this week on purchasing all the other parts to the garage/airplane hanger. Who knew there were so many choices for a garage door? Or that you had to decide what height to place windows? All these choices! I'm glad he has something to entertain himself with while the airplane is getting fixed. It's going to be a long three months.

Well, I'm off to finish my last e-mail and head to bed. Here's a picture for you - my garden is finally coming in. When you live in the frozen northland, you finally get tomatoes in August. Here's my first harvest - they were wonderful!

Well, unfortunately, (posted by Lani)

are not the two words you want to hear your doctor say. So well, unfortunately, I still have my kidney stone, and it's hardly moved, and well, unfortunately, this would be why I still hurt and (TMI alert!) am peeing blood and popping more pills than your average skid row drug addict. This also means I get to take yet another medication which has as a side effect dizziness and drowsiness (this makes 4 if you're counting, each of which makes me a certified zombie), and I wait another week with my fingers crossed, and if there's still no progress "which we need to realize is a very real possibility at this point" then "we'll need to consider our options".

As an aside, why do doctors say "we"? Is she going to share this kidney stone with me? Maybe have the procedure done in my place? Not that I wouldn't happily donate half of my pain to somebody but I'd prefer it to be someone I dislike and she actually seems rather nice, and well, unfortunately, I don't really think that's what she meant. Obviously what she meant was "and if it hasn't moved by next week, well, unfortunately, the payment on my BMW is coming due, but if I send you for ESWL that'll take care of both of our little problems!" Or something along those lines, anyway. Unfortunately.

Frankly the name of the procedure that looms in my immediate future isn't really all that comforting either. Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy. It sounds like something the Ghostbusters would use on particularly nasty critters, doesn't it? Stand back! Charging the Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripser!

On the up side Steve, Jesse, Pippin, and all three cats are hale and hearty and happy. I've actually crocheted about 6" on Mel's baby blanket, this time without frogging (my last effort at medicated crocheting led to medicated frogging and medicated cursing).
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1/3 of a blanket and 2 ruffles to go. At this rate her baby will be lucky to get this blanket for her first birthday. Still, progress is progress and I'll take what I can get.

What's underneath the partial blanket? Why, funny you should ask! I actually left the house yesterday for more juice and bottled water, and went to the thrift shop down the street from the grocery store because I've maybe got a little bit of cabin fever. Is it a bad sign when thrift shops know you by name and call you over to see goodies when they see you walk in? Because lo, they had gotten a whole collection of Louis L'Amour books, the ones that are bound in what resembles leather if you close your eyes and squint a little, and they were behind the counter and did I maybe want them, there are 61 of them and aside from being a little dusty they've never even been read and ... yeah.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Hi. Welcome to Lani's Home for Wayward Books.

Oh yes! The console table for the living room was delivered, and I love it, and every single DVD and VCR tape and video game is hidden away quite nicely with room for more. And I was bored and awake yesterday long enough to play around with The Rasterizer and we've decided to do a rasterization on the big blank living room wall; what you see on the wall in the picture below is the image we'll use, but it will be about twice the size, printed on canvas, and mounted on foam core (as opposed to small, printed on cheapo printer paper, and scotch-taped to the wall). Best part? If we get it up there and totally completely absolutely hate it, or even just get bored with it down the road, the total cost for all materials is under $40.
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Note the reflective running shoes: A Design Feature seen in all the best living rooms!

I'm all about cheap, baby.

I keep flipping back to that picture of your Steve's feet. UGH. How many baths did you make him take before you certified him as clean? Don really made some great progress on the "garage", too. Keep pictures coming! And y'know, Ann ... your guys don't have such a bad life there. If they complain, tell 'em they can come live here and eat hot pockets with my Steve (just kidding! I've actually cooked the last 2 nights!).

As for your knitting stories ... you've about got me ready to try a ballband dishcloth from the pattern I found online instead of waiting my turn at the Mason-Dixon book (SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE: IT'S LANI'S TURN, SEND HER THE DAMN BOOK RAWR!). I wonder if medicated knitting works better than medicated crocheting? If that woman on the train had ever even once tried a real knitted or crocheted cotton dishcloth, she wouldn't turn her snooty nose up at you knitting one. I completely heart mine. And the sock story? I LOVE it. As though raggedy-ass Walmart socks could compare to socks with love knitted into them.

Wow. I wrote a book. You'd never know I'm a wee small teensy bit stircrazy here, wouldya?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Eeewwwww! (posted by Ann)

He's back. This is what it looks like after 25 days of living outside. I know it's blurry, but when you can see the dirt even through the blur you know it's bad. Pay particular attention to the black residue on his pinkie . . . ick. I complained about the blurry pictures, and Don made a big show out of setting the camera back on "Auto". Hunh.

I did make Steve's favorite thing - Red, White and Blueberry Pie. As I write, he's laying on the floor with Tater, and his homemade pizza is in the oven cooking.

I had a nice weekend, but Don had a really busy one. Over the weekend, Don and our friend Ryan worked on the garage/airplane hangar. The pictures start Saturday morning, and the last one was today when I got home from work.
I am knitting away on dishcloths. I had a woman on the train this morning ask what I was knitting, and when I said a dishcloth she looked at me like I had grown another head. It reminds me of last year, when I took the sailboat up to winter storage. There was a convoy - or flotilla, I guess I should say - of about a dozen boats that all went at the same time. It was a long day. It's about 40 miles to Waukegan from downtown, and that takes 6 - 9 hours in a sailboat. You don't sail to get somewhere fast, obviously. We all came straggling in over the space of about 3 hours, and so those of us that got there earlier waited on the bus before it left to take us back to the harbor. I knew there was a chance I would be waiting, so I brought a sock to knit.

Well, it turns out I was the only woman. 12 boats, captains and crew on each, and I'm it. As I'm sitting on the bus knitting, one of the guys got on and asked me what I was making. When I told him it was a sock, he said - in a very loud voice - "You know, you can buy them at Wal-Mart for $1.99". There was some half-hearted laughter, and I said "You know, it takes about 40 minutes to drive to Waukegan from downtown".

The bus fell out. Don't you love it when you think of just the right thing to say?

Hope time and other things are passing quickly for you, if you know what I mean, and that you will soon be back to more strenuous past times than watching the kitties. Even if they are really cute. I'm off to North Carolina for the rest of the week, abandoning Don and Steve to the leftover pizza, pie, and homemade Chicken Pot Pie. I don't think it sounds too terrible, do you?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Insert Title Here ... (posted by Lani)

Dear Ann,

I know you must be ecstatic that Steve (your Steve, of course - this is getting confusing) will be home tomorrow. Are you planning a celebration, complete with fatted calf, to celebrate his return? And will you get to be at home for a few days to enjoy him, I hope?

On the home front, Skye and Ben, Jim's ex-roommates, passed through Norfolk on their way to their new home just north of Boston this weekend and stayed overnight with us. Perhaps not the best timing since let's just say I've had better weeks, but it was still really nice to see them both. Nice kids, and I hope they'll like it in Massachusetts.

I'm still recklessly tossing down fruit juice and water and pain pills, but everything is far, far better than it was Wednesday morning. Since I've been living on soup Steve is reverting to feral bachelor state, eating microwaved pizzas and hot pockets and Chinese takeout. I know he'll be glad when I'm better, if only so I start cooking again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and apparently that holds true even even if what's absent is hot meals.

And as all this has been going on the cats have decided, Barney-like, that we're a happy family.
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As long as Hunter doesn't try to steal Onyx's perch, that is!

I'm easily entertained. Right now, this is a Good Thing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wow. (posted by Ann)

And I thought I had a bad day yesterday, but you've certainly put it in perspective. I am sure that you scared Steve pretty badly, I was thinking about how I would react if Don was collapsed on the stairs sobbing in pain. Probably about the same as Steve did. I'm glad he was there, and I hope you are feeling better.

I have had some interesting issues the last couple of days. I had a 6:50 AM flight yesterday morning to Boston, and got in my car at 5 AM to go to the airport, which usually gets me inside the airport and ready for check-in etc. about an hour before the flight. When I turned on the radio, I heard all the news about the terrorist plots, arrests, cancellation of flights, red threat status, and the warning to leave extra time for check in. Oops.

I put my laptop in my purse (let's hear it for big purses), removed my makeup from my purse, checked my bag, and headed for the security line. In line at 6, and I completed screening at 6:38. I grabbed my laptop and shoes, and ran - barefoot - through O'Hare.

I made the flight. Barely, and barefoot. Flight attendant told me 26 people in line behind me didn't make the flight, which was why I had a row all to myself.

This morning I had a flight back from Boston, and when I got in the security line they told me that I couldn't have any lipstick. I threw away three Clinique lipsticks, which as you know aren't cheap. When I got up to the radar thingy, the TSA agent behind the belt was joking around and I said "Don't mess with me, I just had to throw away my lipstick!" Well, he was clearly startled by that news, and then went off to check with the TSA manager.

I know you can see the punch line coming. I didn't have to throw away my lipstick after all. I didn't get mine back, but at least any other women travelling out of Logan Airport today will arrive at their destination with lipstick. I've done my job for humanity today.

I thought I'd show you this - our spring break trip last year was to Sedona, and we went up to the Grand Canyon one day and froze standing on the south rim. Here's a picture of Steve and I, with him making fun of how short I am.

I sure hope you are feeling better. Maybe I'll send you brownies - I bet you would call and tell me you got them. Unlike Steve.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ow, ow, ow. (posted by Lani)

Dear Ann,

Today's post was going to be lighthearted and merry, filled with commiseration over missing your Steve, and envy of your great evening sailing, and chitchat about cats and yarn, and pictures of progress on Mel's blanket and the progress on our new living room table that was being delivered this afternoon -- but Things Changed at around 4:30 this morning. And they didn't change in a good way, either.

4:30 a.m. is when I woke up with what seemed for a minute like a little cramp in my side but rapidly progressed to a rather large and unsettling pain, and went downstairs to be all stoic on the couch until the doctor's office opened or the pain went away, whichever came first.

5:35 a.m. is when I woke Steve up by whimpering pathetically calling him from halfway up the stairs because I discovered that it really just hurt too much to walk the rest of the way up the stairs. Or to walk. Or to stand, when things got right down to it.

5:40 a.m. is when the ambulance arrived because Steve really, truly, totally flipped out in a most un-Steve-like way after finding me crumpled on the stairs crying, and he called 911 which made me cry harder which flipped him out more -- it was a lovely little cycle of insanity.

7:05 a.m. is when the ER doctor, a radiantly beautiful Higher Being straight from Heaven, accompanied by cherubim and seraphim singing hosannas in her praise very nice woman, examined me and promised me Drugs.

From there on my day was a fun-filled and ultimately drug-hazed journey filled with bon mots such as "Hi, I'm Dan! I'm here to start your IV. Um, I'm a little new at this." followed shortly by "Actually you'll be the first real human I've ever done this on, but I practiced on the plastic arm in class!" I Swear I Do Not Lie About This. Thank heavens that I'm pretty blase about needles, and Dan actually did a bangup job. I think he relaxed once I assured him that if he'd just give me the Dilaudid I'd been promised I didn't care if he had to take a knife and CHOP a hole in my arm. Dan's in training to be a firefighter and was doing his crosstraining in the ER today, and he was so grateful to me for being an uncomplaining guinea pig that he kept an eye on me all day. And he gave me Dilaudid not once, not twice, but three times, so I totally adore him.

Many hours of drugs, and more sticks, and flipping out a lovely nurse's aide who was going to help me go pee by standing up and promptly falling into a not-very-graceful-heap because my blood pressure was perhaps just a wee bit low, and catheterization, and more drugs, and xrays, and ct scans, and more drugs ... and Hi! Welcome to the wonderful world of kidney stones!

Yeah. I have a kidney stone. Who knew these damn things hurt like that? I had no clue whatsoever and I'd have been happy to have remained blissfully ignorant, to be honest. Unfortunately I wasn't given the option, so here I sit at home surrounded by pill bottles and bottled water and assured that This Too Shall Pass. Literally.

I'll leave you with this little face -- he snuggled with me and licked my face in my hour of need this morning, he met me at the door purring when I came home, and he can eat all the flowers he wants.
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So! My day sucked. And my new furniture didn't get delivered. How was your day?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Missing Steve (posted by Ann)

Dear Lani,

Okay, I'm done now. He's been gone to camp for 17 days, and I'm ready for him to come home. That's long enough, and I have to wait until Monday. Tater has taken to sleeping on the stairs, and we think he's afraid Steve will sneak in unless he's on lookout.

Thanks for finding the info on stringing the cranes, I'll have to try that. My basket is overflowing. And man, that is a very large TV. Don is proud of you, Steve! What a great idea for furniture shopping, I'm going to do that myself. You know I spend a lot of time in Greensboro, NC which is furniture shopping mecca, but I haven't even gone shopping once. That's going to change soon. I have plans for my living room that require new furniture!

Yarn School, huh? That looks really interesting, but I have to check the old calendar. Did you read on the web site that the bedrooms are old classrooms, complete with chalk boards? Can't say that I've seen that particular item in many hotel rooms.

I had a spectacular sail last night, one that made up for previous fog/hail/thunderstorms/doldrums - 15 knots of wind, perfect temperatures, great company, a perfect sunset behind the city and moonrise over the lake . . . and I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll post them soon. I stayed up too late, but it was worth it.

I'll post later when I get the pictures. No way they'll be as good as the sail was.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Yarn School! (posted by Lani)

Dear Ann,

I think your cranes are fabulous, and beautiful, and I also think you definitely need to string them together and festoon your office with cranes until you're done -- and then do send them to the Hiroshima Project, the address is in that link along with the stringing instructions. On the subject of those cranes, I have to wonder if you remember when we were kidlets and lived in Alexandria, just before Dad retired from the Army and we moved to Florida. We had gone ... somewhere? Maybe Mom will remember, some market with lots of unusual stuff ... and we saw a package of origami paper with instructions on it, and were fascinated by it. I remember folding cranes back then, along with fish and flowers and you name it. You were maybe third grade, kiddo; do you have any memories of this at all? I look at your beautiful cranes, and I wonder whether the reason you can do them without having to even think about it is that your fingers still remember. Maybe not, but it sure brought back memories for me.

The pic from your sailing trip is so funny! How could you leave your wine out to get wet?? You may not be a real Weaver if you're leaving the booze behind when you evacuate, girl.

Here on the east coast the heat wave finally broke, just in time for my friend Cathy to finally manage to get up for a (far too short) visit this weekend. Both Steve and I thoroughly enjoyed having her here. I think I told you Steve had bought a big ol' honkin' TV and that I was going to have to finally break down and actually do something with the living room just to accomodate it, so Cathy and I went furniture shopping Saturday. Such fun! We took the new camera with us (let me digress a moment to say that thus far I love it and would unhesitatingly recommend it) and spent roughly 6 hours on Saturday going from furniture store to furniture store, snapping pictures of everything that passed muster as a possibility. Then we came home and put on a slide show for Steve -- and let me tell you, this is the way to do it with a guy who hates shopping.

Within about 20 minutes after we got home we'd narrowed the possibilities for a console table down to two, picked out two new pictures for the wall, and narrowed cocktail table possibilities down to three. We hopped back into the car, zipped down to the two stores that had the finalists, and in no time flat had purchased a console table (to be delivered wednesday) and two large pictures (already on the wall). No cocktail or end tables; we need a smaller scale cocktail table and everything we saw was either too large or failed the stability test -- with a 22 pound cat, stability becomes a real concern. We returned home triumphant, had a wonderful dinner, and celebrated with a few after-dinner drinks; altogether a nice productive day. Got up this morning and had a luxuriously late breakfast, enjoyed the absolutely gorgeous weather for a bit, and Cathy was off again.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention that Cathy is also a knitter/crocheter, so while she was here we spent some time comparing favorite patterns, discussing current and future projects, and looking at yarn from her stash, my stash, and elsewhere. There are so many fabulous yarns out there, aren't there? And isn't this a perfect opportunity for me to segue right into my recent discovery of Yarn School, make a few innocent comments about how fascinating it looks and how potentially cool it would be for two sisters who both knit and crochet to learn how to spin their own yarn, and stroll off into the sunset? I thought so too, and what a coincidence that the sun is setting!

Love to you and Don, and to your Steve if you get to talk to him this week, and I hope you had a great weekend too.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Multi-tasking (posted by Ann)

Dear Lani,

That's a cute kitty, and Onyx fits him well. I agree that Hunter is very tolerant. Onyx eminds me of Charlotte's Chad, who is also all black, but Chad is a vampire kitty. He has an overbite and his fangs peek out. Very cute, unless he's growling at you.

You'll have to tell me how you like your camera. I've been thinking about a new one so I don't have to share with Don, and also so I can get one that will work with my PC. For some reason, the camera we have and my PC don't get along and I can't quite get it figured out.

It would be great to have my Arrrgh!yle socks done in time, but I don't think that even with a very simple sock pattern I could do a pair in a month. Maybe if I had a few 8 hour flights sprinkled in there, but thank goodness I don't have that to look forward to anytime soon. I'll have to have them done for next year's Talk Like a Pirate Day.

I've been so busy this past week, I've been thinking a lot about multi-tasking. Mostly wishing I could do it, because I have to confess, I'm terrible at it. I can do lots of things well, I just can't do them at the same time. I can't watch TV and have a conversation, I have trouble following a conversation in a noisy place - I don't multi-task well. The only exception is knitting/crocheting/needlepoint/embroidery/cross-stitch/etc. and a conversation, TV, or anything else.

Just don't ask Don about the conversation-while-knitting, it's a bit of a sore point. Maybe I'm just deluding myself about that exception.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I discovered that while I'm on a conference call I have a bit of a problem behaving myself. And no, I don't make inappropriate comments or snort when someone says something I don't agree with. I try to multi-task. You know, e-mail, the piles on my desk, whatever. And it never works. Inevitably I realize there is this long pause, and I have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER the current topic, what anyone has said, or what I should say. Not good. So, I discovered that if I did something that was sort of brainless but just enough to keep my hands busy, that it worked. I didn't mis-behave anymore.

Knitting, just your basic stockinette that requires no thought, works. But I do have a bit of a problem knitting in my office. Even with the door closed. I can just imagine my boss walking in and I'd get that look. The look like "I knew I should have hired a guy, he wouldn't be knitting instead of working".

So - I discovered origami. Specifically, cranes. I can fold them with no thought required, I don't get that look, and besides I think it would be cool to fold 1,000 of them. There's a legend about 1,000 cranes. Maybe when I'm finished I'll get a wish - or a new job - whatever!

I used to give them away, but I've started saving them. Here's my current collection in my office.

I'm on #158. How do I know? Well, I number them. And date them. And write down who I was talking to on the phone.

Just thought you might wonder what they were paying me to do these days.

The sailing didn't work out so well this week. I got caught in the harbor by a line of strong thunderstorms, and after I dashed below I realized what I left out in the rain. And yes, I did go out rescue it. At least I was on the boat . . .

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Click Click Click ... (posted by Lani)

Dear Ann,

If you guessed that was the sound of my BRAND NEW DIGITAL CAMERA, you'd be correct.
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I bought the Canon PowerShot A620 and I really look forward to playing with it. Do I need to say that I'm happy now? Because if I do, let me just say it; I'm happy. Steve is happy too; don't pay any attention to his threats to throw the camera into the lake if one more flash goes off in his eyes, he doesn't mean it.

I envy you that time on the boat and I sincerely hope you'll get to be back on it this week if your weather is anything like ours. Today was hot, and by hot I mean really, seriously, brainmeltingly hot. I made my monthly Costco run this morning and when I was leaving the thermometer at the bank showed 103. It wasn't even noon yet! I had originally planned to stop by a yarn shop I'd heard about down in Virginia Beach while I was out, but it was just too hot. When it's too hot to look at yarn, you KNOW it's hot. On the up side though, you know how at Costco and other warehouse stores you pack your food into boxes to bring it home? Well, and in my case into string bags too, but some still goes into boxes -- and those boxes make fabulous cat toys.
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Hunter is an incredibly tolerant kitty.

Back to yarn, look at the Arrgh!yle! I totally love that, it's fabulous. You're right, they'd be perfect sailing socks; but even if it weren't for that, you MUST make them immediately if not sooner so that you can wear them on National Talk Like A Pirate Day, which is coming up VERY soon - September 19th, to be precise. Maybe one day I'll feel confident enough in my knitting to try those; after I've completed a plain sock, that is. Or preferably two plain socks, since one is the loneliest number and all that. For now I'm back to working on the baby 'ghan (and then the sacque and booties) for Mel. Tempting is on the backburner until I'm done with this; sweaters will wait, babies won't.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Arrrrgh!yle (posted by Ann)

Dear Lani,

I've found what I'm going to do with my next pair of socks. Don't you love it? It's arrrgh!yle! The perfect thing for a bit of spring or fall sailing, don't you think?

I'm still fussing with the string bags. My tension is so loose when I crochet that the handles are too long. Waaaayyy toooooo llloooooooong. Once you put something in the bag, it's to my knees! I know it's me, not the pattern, but I'm pulling out and re-doing with fewer chains on the handles. Next time I do one of them, I'll use a smaller hook to begin with. Even though they aren't quite finished, I have a few orders from friends for bags, so I know I'll be making more. Thanks to Natalie for a great pattern!

I have gone crazy with I have over 60 books listed, and have mailed out 28 in the last three days. Well, I guess I shouldn't say I've mailed them, Don has. Though he tells me he's not allowed in the post office anymore after tying up the line two days straight. I'm not going to list anymore for a few days, I need a break! I'm tired of wrapping and taping, and Don is tired of the post office. I'll be interested to see how it works out, I have a few books headed my way right now and I'll be ordering lots more once I get credit for those I just mailed.

I'm going to be heads down working (and sailing!) the next few days. Here's a picture from one of my last sailing trips. I think you can see why I love it - blue skies, lots of sunshine, and the lighthouse and Chicago skyline in the background. I have a friend, George, at the wheel (don't tell him I left it on autopilot so he couldn't actually do any damage while I took pictures!)

Love to Steve and your menagerie, and I'll check in again this weekend!