Any of you in New England, particularly in the Boston area, may want to look away from this post. Unlike you, we have places to put our snow.
A couple weeks ago Smokey was backing his car down the driveway. We tend to back down in the winter because there is not enough room to turn around (until next summer and forever after, but that is another story entirely) and it is easier to back down and drive forward up the hill than vice versa.
He was trying to put his car as far to one side as possible so as to give me lots of room when I drove out. He is nice like that, but it got him into trouble this time. He got too far over to one side and got stuck in a snowbank.
The sharp-eyed and car-savvy among you may notice that his car is an Isuzu Trooper, a 4WD vehicle. How in the world did he get it stuck in that little snowbank, you may wonder? (As some of us did wonder, but never out loud.)
Here is a clue:
Younger Son using a Sawzall to cut off the iron pipe the car was hung up on.
Why was that pipe there? Well, it's part of that other story that I may or may not blog.
Once the pipe was removed, my little Volvo performed admirably in pulling the much bigger and heavier Trooper out of its predicament. (Please note the warm hand-knit hat sported by YS.)
Notice how I [finally!] managed to embed an animated gif? Yay, me!
Yarn: Trekking XXL in a red/black/brown variegated that I have had for so long it is pre-Ravelry and apparently discontinued, held together with one strand of Knit Picks Essential (now called Stroll) in a deep red color. Needles:Addi Turbo US#2.5 (foot) and US#4 (leg). Pattern:Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock Pattern. Size:48 st.
I needed more red socks and I needed more thick socks -- these are the result. I started them shortly before Christmas, but the first sock was too tight. I knit the second sock, which fit, then bit the bullet and frogged and reknit the first one. Now they are perfect.
These are my current pride and joy. Two strands of sock yarn held together made them look like handspun. And they were stashbusters!
I made these at least five years ago in December 2007 for Younger Son, but he never took them. Now they are minemineMINE!
Yarn:Knit Picks Comfy orShine Worsted in some long-discontinued color, plus ivory stripes. It has been so long, and it was before Ravelry, and I don't remember. If I had to guess I'd say it was Comfy, since the yarn has zero shine. Yay for blogging -- I found this old post about the socks. Needles: US#5, maybe? Or maybe US#6? Pattern: Some generic top-down sock pattern. Size: To fit Younger Son, which was of course a bit too big for me. I threw them in the washer and dryer last week, and now they fit perfectly.
Every year the village north of us has an ice palace during their winter carnival. It -- both carnival and palace -- are somewhat smaller than the ones in St Paul and elsewhere.
St Paul Ice Palace 1992
St Paul ice palace, 1992.
Ice palace, Harbin, China
St Paul ice palace, 2015
Of course, the 2015 Luck ice palace didn't have the luxury of being situated directly in front of the Landmark Center, as the one in St Paul did, but it also was not as commercialized (above, lower right; click to embiggen).
Ice palaces have a long and storied history in the Land Of 10,000 Lakes.
St Paul ice palace, 1888. Looks more like a snow palace to me.
St Paul ice palace, 1917. That's the Landmark Center in the background again, although then it was either a courthouse or a post office, according to Wikipedia.
Here is the Luck ice palace:
Somewhat smaller, but just as much a source of local pride.
One advantage of a small-town ice palace is that the viewer can see its inner workings.
Bringing down an ice palace is as much fun as building it. Maybe more...
* * * * *
A Twin Cities television station has a feature called Going to the Lake, wherein two of their anchors travel to a vacation destination in MN or WI. The female anchor and the sports anchor came to Luck for the winter carnival. We watched them on TV: in front of the ice palace, in a local bar, having lunch at coffee house/cafe.
Edited to add: you can watch the Going to the Lake segments here.
The coffee house/cafe staged its second annual trivia contest during the winter carnival. Smokey, Younger Son, and I had participated the the first one and came in second. When I called the coffee shop to register they told me the contest was full! This is the first time in all our years here that anything -- a theatre, a restaurant, anything -- turned us away because it was full; such is one of the joys of small-town life.
But they called again the morning of the contest to say one of the teams had canceled and we were in. Younger Son got here 24 hours earlier than he usually does on a weekend, just so he could participate in the contest.
This was before all the contestants had arrived. The room was packed during the contest.
We remembered from the first contest that in order to win, a team has to bet big when they can So we did, and we didn't know the answer, and we lost all our points halfway through. Had we gotten that single question right, we might have won. [/whine]
Teaching his three little neighbor girls how to knit. Got a couple skeins of bulky yarn and US#10 circs for each of them. Gonna wind the skeins into cakes and do the cast ons and a few rows ahead of time for each one. Then they are gonna learn garter stitch.
Knitting the Gradient cowl kit (or scarf; haven't decided yet) I got from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.
Blogging about the three (3!) new pairs of socks I knit.
Getting a new dishwasher because ours broke this weekend and Smokey cannot fix it and we are reduced to this.
The next snowfall, which will cover the dogs' leavings on the deck.
The days getting longer. Someday there will be twelve hours of light. And there will be great rejoicing.
Seeing whether the daffodil bulbs in my garden survived the septic tank digging and repairs, which involved digging great holes in the garden.
Putting out bird feeders in the spring and luring back all the birds we used to have.
Your stated intent for this year was to step back from your volunteer activities to free up some time for yourself. How are you doing on that? Not as well as you might be, right?
It's time to pull the trigger on those couple committees that you have already decided to resign from. Procrastination will get you nowhere. Do.It.Now.
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Dear committee chairman,
Thank you for canceling this month's meeting. That gives me more time to compose my letter of resignation (see above).
Your friend, k
* * * * *
Dear hat & scarf combo,
I was so excited when I bought those two colors -- mottled brown and mottled blue -- of Malabrigo in December. A scarf! A matching hat! I would be so damned cool, er, warm. And when I had the brainstorm to double-strand that Malabrigo worsted with some mohair -- mottled gold/brown/blue -- I was over the moon! This would be fabulous!
Hat, you were fabulous. You were beautiful beyond my expectations. The double-stranding worked wonderfully, your colors were miraculous, your feel was soft and warm.
The problem arose when I put you on my head and looked in the mirror. Oh, you fit just fine. The problem was that the fashionable slouch I had envisioned turned out to be simply... droopy. At my stage of life, droopy is not a good look. So I reserve you for extremely cold days and then only wear you for the dash from car to [wherever I am going]. Such a sad fate for such a potentially fabulous hat.
Scarf, I have no problems with you except that the double-stranding makes it extremely difficult to keep track of where I am in my super simple striping pattern. Do you care if the pattern does not repeat in a regular manner? Do you care if one end of yourself is not symmetrical with the other? I don't care myself, but I thought it would be only fair to consult you in the matter. Not that I will listen to what you say, but I am being fair.
I gave The Jokester and her daughter a ride to Wal-Mart again yesterday.
Not The Jokester. Nor her daughter.
Joke the first. The fire chief noticed that the little girl next door was fixing up her red wagon to look like a fire truck. It had a hose and a bucket and a little ladder, and she had tied her cat to the front handle to pull it.
It was so cute that he went over to compliment her on her tiny fire truck. But when he looked more closely, he noticed that the wagon was not tied to the kitteh's neck or collar, as he had expected, but instead was tied to its nuts.
"Why is that?" he asked. "Wouldn't it be better to tie the wagon to the cat's collar?"
"Oh, no," she said. "Then I wouldn't have the siren!"
Joke the second. Two little old ladies went for a walk in the park. After a while they got tired, so they sat down on a handy bench, and lit up to have a smoke while they rested. But soon it started raining. One lady took a condom out of her purse, cut a little hole in the end, and put it over her cigarette. She was able to sit and smoke without her cigarette getting wet from the rain.
The second lady, who was rather sheltered and naive, said, "What is that thing? And where could I get one?"
"It's called a condom, and you can get them at the pharmacy."
The next day lady #2 went to the drugstore and asked the pharmacist for a condom. He said, "What size?"
She replied, "One that fits on a Camel."
Joke the third. (She told me this one was a favorite when she was in the nursing home after breaking her hip.) A young woman was going to visit her granny in the nursing home when her car hit a patch of ice and slid into the ditch. Happily, a man in a long trench coat jumped out of her trunk and began directing traffic so that the gawking drivers didn't run into each other. Soon there was a massive traffic jam, with cars backed up in both directions.
A sheriff's deputy arrived and demanded to know what was going on. The young woman explained about the ice and pointed to her car in the ditch.
"Who is that man in the trench coat directing traffic?" the deputy asked.
Several of you have emailed me to say that the capcha is not working correctly and is blocking your comments. I have started a *ticket* at Typepad asking them to fix it. Here's hoping their people can do so quickly -- I miss you guys.
I have disabled comment verification -- which I did not know was enabled, apparently Typepad in its infinite wisdom enabled it for me -- and that seems to allow comments. If I get bombarded with spam comments I will enable it again. Let's hope Typepad fixed the original problem.
Carole asks, What do I love? Here we go. You may take as given that I love Smokey and Matthew (Younger Son) and Andrew (Elder Son) and Lucy The Intrepid (Senior Dog) and Misha The Shy (Junior Dog) and Hannibal The Fluffball Of Doom and En Esch The Stoopid.
Ten A Whole Bunch of Things I Love.
I love computers. Really, all things electronic -- tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, remote controls, tiny beepers, all of it.
I love flowers. Especially the ones that smell good, like lilacs and lilies of the valley and old roses and stargazer lilies.
I love where I live, which includes the lake and the birds and the deer and the rabbits and the raccoons and the bears and the porcupines and the otter(s) and the fox(es) and the butterflies and the bees. I even kinda like the skunks. I do not love the mosquitoes or deerflies.
I love the feel of yarn and the contentment that comes of knitting it.
I love putting on handmade socks.
I love rummaging through the stash and the ideas that come of it.
I love burying my face in Hannibal's fluffy, silky fur.
I love hearing, Hey, mom! when I answer the telephone.
I love reading in my adjustable bed every night before I go to sleep.
I love playing computer word games with Smokey.
I love knitting while watching TV in the evening with Smokey.
I love a glass of wine in the evening, perhaps accompanied by chocolate or cheese.
I love the sound of spring peepers when they emerge from their winter hideaways.
I love being able to open the sunroof on my car on a warmish winter day (like yesterday).
I am overall pleased with the new laser color printer/scanner/magic machine I purchased from Amazon last year. However, there are one or two things I would like to discuss with you.
When the first machine didn't work you were very cooperative and helpful in troubleshooting and then replacing it. However, that first machine has been boxed and waiting for pickup in my entryway since last March. I am thinking of using it as boat anchor come summer. Please advise.
Why is it necessary for the magenta toner to be operable when I am printing in black & white?
Thank you for your prompt attention to these matters.
/s/ A customer who could possibly be a bit happier
* * * * *
Dear Hannibal The Fluffball Of Doom, aka The Fluffy Black Cat,
I apologize for bopping you in the head this morning, but really, what is a cat mom supposed to do when her favorite feline suddenly and without warning BITES HER FINGERTIP?! HARD! You had been carousingromping playing with the dog right before that, but surely you had gotten all that biting and clawing out of your system before you curled up on my lap and began to purr. Was it all just a pretense to lull me into a false sense of security, to lure me to begin to scratch your ears?
However, all is forgiven now. When you reached out with your paw and pulled the injured finger toward yourself and licked it, I realized I had witnessed something never before experienced in the history of the universe: my cat had apologized to me.
* * * * *
Dear Aging Mac Mini,
You have been my good and faithful friend for, lo, these past 6.5 years, but I fear you are growing increasingly feeble. The long wait whilst your beach ball spins for what seem like days when I have more than a few tabs open, the groans I hear from your hard drive when I consider opening Word and Excel at the same time, the way you stop working entirely when I open iTunes -- all these things make my heart sad because they mean you are nearing your last disk check.
I just want to say forget it.
Your hard drive is gonna keep spinning, your memory is gonna keep remembering, and your processor is gonna keep doing whatever the hell I tell it to do because I cannot buy a new computer right now. I just got a new iPad to replace the one that caught on fire last summer, I just paid the first half of our property taxes (how could I have forgotten that they are due by January 31 every year, not just the year I remember?), and my laser printer needs a new set of toner cartridges. My checkbook is feeling a tiny bit thin right now, so you are just gonna have to suck it up and keep doing what you do.