Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Part I – Where does the time go???

I can’t believe that it’s been over a month since I’ve been here! I know I’m not the best correspondent in the world, but really, that long? Since that time, the NHL playoffs finished up – I ‘met’ a really nice person in CA who was able to get me some really good Ducks souvenirs as she went to one of the Finals games. We started chatting on-line and found a lot in common, but mostly that we are both certifiable hockey nuts! I thought I would try to knit her up a hat and scarf, but Mike pointed out that she might not have much use for them in southern CA, so we had a good laugh over that. I still think I’ll figure something out. I’d like to do something nice for her as she went to a lot of trouble to pick out good stuff and mail it to me here in NY. Maybe a light-weight cotton ‘scarf’ that she could use as an accessory, even in sunny and warm CA? Hmmmm, I’ll have to think about it and check out some patterns.

After all the sock yarn I’ve purchased recently, I seem to have gone off socks. I’m finding that I’m really not crazy about the Cascade Fixation I bought tons of; it’s just too stretchy and I don’t like the feel of the socks it makes. I’ll have to think of something else to make with it. I know there are lots of patterns on their website, so that’s more looking around for me to do. I have to wind the other sock yarn I purchased. Fortunately, as soon as I bring yarn home from anywhere I put it into Ziploc bags and squeeze all the air out. I found a small infestation of flour moths in my pantry goods – I’m sure you know what I mean – and I’ve heard that they do get into fibers as well, so I went ballistic checking out my whole stash. Fortunately, they don’t seem to have gotten into anything wooly….whew!! Of course, I had to toss most of the pantry out, clean it completely and now I’m working on getting air-tight storage containers for everything I buy that they might want to get into.

I don’t seem to have finished much stuff up though I knit every night. I can’t seem to stick to just one project. I have a bunch going right now; I’m even carrying two of them to work with me just in case I get time to knit during my lunch break. Here’s the current count:

(1) I’ve got a pair of socks to finish (I’m on the cuffs of toe-ups);

(2) a shawl in a gorgeous natural creamy alpaca about 1/3 done;

(3) my ‘Branching Out’ scarf from Knitty is about four feet long (maybe a couple feet more will do it);

(4) I’m working on a Gryffindor House Scarf from the book “Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter”; and

(5) I finally found a pattern for the hand-dyed pink/raspberry yarn I bought in Massachusetts – it’s the ‘Salt Peanuts’ pattern from ‘Knitting Daily’.

Just a few minor projects, right? All I have to do is finish something, anything now, just so that I’ll know I can actually finish something. I even brought my knitting on vacation with me and to two different air shows; I still haven’t finished anything. I did start to make a top out of a cotton/acrylic blend that looked like it would knit up nicely, but hated the pattern. I ended up frogging the project three or four times, and then finally gave up in disgust. I don’t know what I’ll do with all that lovely yarn – it is really nice – but it sure as hell won’t be that damn sweater I started so many times. It’s a modular-type knit, one of the patterns I bought from ‘Just One More Row’, and the directions are just terrible. I had no trouble figuring out how to do the first square. I could even pick up the stitches and add the second (and third and…) square(s). But when it came down to just what to knit, where, and when, the pattern was sorely lacking in direction. I suppose I could write to the designer, but I’m so frustrated with that pattern that I don’t think I’ll pick it up again for a long time. That’s too bad; because I really like the look of the sweater.

Mike took some pictures of me knitting at the air show in Binghamton, NY and at our favorite air show in Geneseo, NY. We go to Geneseo every year; it’s our mini-vacation in July. I wanted to check out some of the LYS in the area, but I just didn’t seem to get around to it. We had so much fun and the weather was just great that we were outside a lot, even when the air show was over for the day. I got a bit tan, even wearing a #30 sunblock lotion. I also wear a hat and sit under an umbrella during the hottest and brightest part of the day. I tell people I don’t ‘do’ sun; I’ve had skin cancer removed from my head, face, and back about nine times and I’m not a sun-worshipper any more. Besides, who wants to look like leather? I’ll take my few freckles any time.

Anyway, the Geneseo air show is just like going back in time; it’s on a grass airstrip and all the planes are World War I or II – the only jets are the ones that do flyovers for the crowd. This year, we saw two B-17s, four B-25s, tons of T-6s (the most efficient way to turn gas into noise), and P-51 Mustangs. I just love the old planes. If Mike didn’t take pictures with the highest resolution possible – some of his photos are three or four MB – I’d post them here for you to see, but I did take a couple with my little Nikon that came out ok, so check them out. While I was there, I did a bit of knitting – mostly on the previously complained about cotton modular-knit sweater – though I did also work on some other things as well. My diet went down the tubes for that lost weekend and I enjoyed every minute of it! Even the red hots (hot dogs to most of us), sausage & pepper sandwiches, and the salt potatoes on the field were perfect, though I had a little too much fried dough one afternoon….Mike had to finish mine. We get to Geneseo on Friday for the arrivals and leave on Monday morning while the last few are leaving. The first time we went was in 1988 and we’ve missed three shows since then. Once, when there was turmoil within the former group of ‘owners’ of what used to be the National Warplane Museum and they moved the show to Batavia, NY. A second time, because there was no show and the third time because I had surgery on July 1 that year and the show was the weekend of the 12th and I was still recuperating. This is an annual trek for us now and we look forward to it. We know where all the good restaurants are and where to stay; we even make our reservations a year in advance so we can stay right in town. The local hotel fills up pretty quickly with visiting pilots and aircrews, so if we don’t reserve that far in advance we’re likely to not get a room. If anyone wants to check it out, it’s the 1941 Historic Aircraft Group and you can find it at http://www.1941hag.org/.

Part II – me again
I’ve had a bit of a rough time lately. Two weeks before we left for vacation I found out that the credit card I had just paid off had been used to purchase something I didn’t authorize, meaning the number had been stolen. It was ‘fun’ straightening that out, though the customer service was very good and they took care of everything in time for me to go away with a clean new card.

I turned 51 with no ill effects; it didn’t make me crazy at all. The meds are working out and I’m feeling pretty good lately. I hadn’t spoken to anyone in the family in a month – for some reason, I just couldn’t talk to anyone. Thank God I had Mike or I might have gone off the deep end. He does keep me sane and makes me happy to be here. Mom was thrilled when I called her. She knows what I’ve been going through with depression and even though it was very difficult for her, she waited through my issues. We get along a little better now than we did before. My doc thinks that part of my problem is hormonal. I always seem to get worse just before my period. I don’t know if the fact that I seem to be going through menopause and my periods are getting farther and farther apart is helping or if the meds are helping. One of the meds I’m on has been used for PMS symptoms and I’m doing better since she added that to my regimen.

In the meantime, remember: wear natural fibers; hug your cat!