Life’s Little Barometers

So how am I doing? Pretty well. I have a lot to say about all of the big changes that are happening, but I’ll wait until I have photos to show for these changes – in true verypink fashion.

A good barometer for assessing how I’m feeling is for me to take a look at the things I’m able to do again. A few weeks ago, my work with Basenji Rescue came to a halt. But I’m back at it now! I couldn’t manage to put a meal together back then, either…but I’m actually able to cook and eat a few bites now! (The Divorce Diet works AMAZINGLY well, but I don’t really recommend it.)

And my knitting…

img_6405.JPG I know I must be feeling more emotionally stable if I can handle this much chaos in my knitting.

Insane.

img_6406.JPG From barometers to thermometers…

The heat index here in Houston is probably 106 degrees (41 degrees Celsius), and where is Lou? Basking in the direct sun – on a black rug, no less.

He could burst into flames at any moment.

He seems okay with that.

Bobbi Bear is Prey

img_6360.JPG Baby Bobbi Bear is complete! After the sad realization that I was out of yarn while he was still earless and missing an arm, he’s all fixed up now, and cute as can be.

I have a problem, however. My dogs LOVE him. And not in a good way.

He must smell like a real animal (alpaca, perhaps?), and my dogs are mighty African hunters. They want to tear his new little arms right off his body.

img_6384.JPG Here’s Bobbi, chillin’ on the sofa. Watching a little National Geographic Channel – something about polar bears, I’m sure.
img_6385.JPG But not for long! Abe wants to disembowel him.
img_6382.JPG Bobbi was on his way to the kitchen for another beer when Ike tried to chew his face.
img_6389.JPG I believe that I will keep Bobbi up on a shelf for his own safekeeping. I will bring him any beer he wants, and make sure he gets enough National Geographic Channel.

Thanks again, Drew. The Bobbi Bear kit was a great gift. He was really fun to make. I promise to keep him away from the bad dogs.

img_6378.JPG Up next…my own design, still kind of a secret. I can tell you that it is lavender, and will involve a lot of bobbins.

The whole bobbin thing is new territory for me, so, fingers crossed.

Shouldn’t this photo be named Knitting in Outer Space or something?

mvi_6399_0001.jpg I gots a little movie for you.

It is called A Symphony of Croutons. Turn up the volume for maximum enjoyment.

Abe was there, just not in the video frame.

Humble Folks Without Temptation

Is it Friday again already? Well, good. I’m ready to change topics fastly…

sp1.JPG Let’s get the title to the post out of the way first…

Here’s my South Park character. She looks as much like me as my Simpsons character, I suppose.

Mo sent me the link to this little treat. You can make your own here.

Next…!

img_6349.JPG I finished the top!

This is Twisted Sisters Pattern “Eve”. I have a feeling I will wear it more like this than how the model is wearing it.

I’m not even gonna model it like she did for a laugh. I’m more of a “bra girl” myself.

img_6350.JPG The yarn is perfect for this scarf. It is Mountain Colors Twizzle, in merino and silk.

Reversible cables. No wrong side. Super soft and warm.

Thanks again for the yarn gift, Melissa!

Next…!

img_6345.JPG I like to think that I care about my appearance. I take time to do my hair, wear makeup, and keep my nails nice.

So why on earth do I wear this ugly row counter half of the day?

Is anyone out there making a row counter that I can wear with pride?

Next…!

img_6356.JPG This is my lovely souvenir from the girls’ trip last weekend.

It is made from the fuzzy fur of the alpacas on the Old Oaks Ranch, and spun with a little angora bunny. I even found out that the bunny’s name is Charmin. Don’t squeeze her!

Next…!

img_6335.JPG We are Ba-sen-jis if you please.
We are Ba-sen-jis if you don’t please.

Have a great weekend!

Three Little Birds

Ooooo…didn’t feel like posting. Then this happened!

Do you know the song Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers?

Rise up this morning,
Smiled with the rising sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Saying, this is my message to you…

img_6323.JPG Don’t worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Don’t worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

I swear, I opened the door, and they were there! They weren’t afraid or anything – they just sat and watched me. What a wonderful surprise!

I was feeling sad and weird, and they totally changed my attitude.

Three little birds.

Happy

I don’t need to use a lot of words in this post, because the photos say it all.

It was a great weekend.

img_6250.JPG Laughing and drinking.
img_6257.JPG Knitting.
img_6278.JPG Lots of photos…
img_6280.JPG …And lots of posing for photos.
img_6292.JPG Nature. (Unfortunately, that included bugs, lizards, and one brave scorpion.)
img_6311.JPG Alpacas.
img_6319.JPG Yarn shopping.
img_6291.JPG And a big stupid bear.

It was a fantastic time away from it all. In fact, my face kinda hurts from laughing so much.

I can’t thank you guys enough…Abbe, Amy, Caro, Jene, Kristin, Meg, and (almost) Snowden. I really needed some fun, and I had more fun than I could have imagined. Thank you so very much.

staci.jpg Update – I was there, too, and here is photographic evidence. I didn’t have any photos of myself until I snatched this one from Caro.

I look so relaxed – I need to remember to hang on to this feeling.

Quick and Dirty

Today is an especially fast-topic-changing Friday. I’m headed off for a girls’ weekend full of knitting and drinking.

The Friday verypink Rule: Don’t get too comfortable with any one topic. They change before you know it.

Here we go!

img_5970.JPG This is the dirtiest part of the “Quick and Dirty” post. This is my sister Phyllis’ dog, Izabelle, who you may remember from my recent trip to Alaska.

She is dirty here…

img_5996.JPG …and clean here.

I couldn’t believe how different she looked! My dogs look the same when they are wet. Maybe a bit darker, but nothing as ridiculous as this.

Next…!

staci1.JPG My Simpsons character, obviously before my haircut.

You can make your own here.

Next…!

img_6248.JPG Bobbi Bear!

Out of yarn!

Just one arm and two ears left!

Tragic!

Next…!

img_5664.JPG If there is a sunny spot in this house, you will always find at least one dog there.

Have a great weekend! (I know I will.)

A Cardigan for Staci

I don’t think I mentioned this while it was in-progress, but I recently finished A Cardigan for Arwen.

The story – well, if you’ve been reading verypink over the last few weeks, you know there are big and unexpected changes going on in my life right now. This has been The Knitting that has seen me through it so far. This is the sweater with a ton of stockinette that I didn’t mind doing, and just enough cable pattern to keep me alert. It has, in fact, been the perfect pattern for the last few weeks.

I kind of wish I wasn’t finished already.

staci.JPG Pattern: A Cardigan for Arwen, Interweave Knits Magazine Winter 2006
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca

The results: I love it. It is just so…wearable. Even though I used this sweater as mindless knitting, it ended up being a great fit. I even got the extra length on the sleeves that I love!

I purposely pulled my hair from my face to please the folks who prefer it that way. I got emails about it. I understand.

mannequin.JPG The thing that I like best about this sweater has to be the cable border. It’s reversible, so when the hood pulls the front open a little, it becomes a shawl collar – the same on both sides. Brilliant.
cable.JPG Here is a close up of the cable, in progress. It’s really pretty and intricate.

I can’t wait for it to get cold.

lou1.JPG This is half of what was going on at my feet while I was doing the self-portrait photo shoot in the sweater.

Lou and Abe were SO EXCITED for some reason.

They actually tore their way through a make-shift baby gate to get to me.

I don’t understand them, either.

blocking.JPG Now on the needles – this top. (You actually have to click on the link to find out why I’m calling it a top.)

It is actually a scarf named “Eve” from Twisted Sisters. I’m knitting it with the Mountain Colors Twizzle I got as a gift from my friend Melissa.

close.JPG This cable pattern is again – reversible. I do love me some reversible cables. It’s nice when scarves don’t have a wrong side.

This looks crazy and busy from close up, but as you can see in the photo above, it isn’t. I like how the pattern and the yarn are cooperating.

ike.JPG Doggie yoga.

Right Before Your Eyes

Okay, my friend. You stay right here at the top of this page until the bazillion photos have a chance to load below.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

This post is different from what I normally do (but “normal” is a very fluid concept for me right now). Here is a photo series I’ve been working on since September of last year. I had the rare opportunity (and hassle) of watching construction across the street, and I took over 100 photos of the progress. I’ve picked the best photos to tell the story.

A couple of things to keep in mind while you look – this is ten months of construction. Also, land in Central Houston is at a premium, so the trend is to build two (or more) homes on a plot that was originally designed to hold one. All of the new homes around here are big, but with small footprints.

b.JPG Day 1: September 12, 2006.
c.JPG Goodbye, tree!
e.JPG Dirt.
f.JPG Prepping for the foundation…
g.JPG …and foundation.
h.JPG Wood!
i.JPG Second story…
j.JPG Starting the third story…
k.JPG Goodbye, view of downtown!
m.JPG Second house is underway…
n.JPG Framed out.
o.JPG Solid structures.

Solid, yes – but they appear to be leaning backwards in this photo, don’t they?

p.JPG Tyvek paper on one…
q.JPG This is the houses looking their worst – covered in Tyvek with the driveway frame out front. The porta-potty isn’t helping them look any better.
r.JPG Scaffolding and black paper…

This part was really noisy. There were several guys with pneumatic staplers…bam! bam! bam! bam!

s.JPG The outside is covered in cement (or whatever it is)…
t.JPG …and the dudes put in the decorative stone.
u.JPG Just about there!
v.JPG Aaaaaaand done. July 15, 2007.

Landscaping, glass garage doors, etc.

I can’t say that I love the final look of the houses, but it was fun to watch the progress.

ike1.JPG Since this post is already photo-heavy, hows about two more?

I count my dogs, oh, 50 times a day. Just to be sure that everyone is inside whenever I close a door. On this day I couldn’t find Ike.

Was he upstairs? Downstairs? Outside? Shooting pool in a smoky bar somewhere?

ike2.JPG No. Just sleepin’.

Shhhh.

You can actually see an ear in the first photo if you look really closely.

Zigazig Ha

Someone please tell me that you “get” the title to this post. I think I’m hilarious.

Can I do a fast-topic-changing Friday, in the middle of the most chaos I’ve ever experienced in my life?

Yes.

Just watch…

hair1.JPG So, I did it. I mentioned on Wednesday that I wanted to get a “Pob” (not my term), and I rushed right out and broke the news to my hairdresser.

He was cool with it. It was his second “Pob” this week, in fact.

In these photos, I’m sportin’ my best Victoria-Beckham-miserable-look, complete with huge sunglasses.

hair2.JPG Don’t you smile, Staci! It was really hard to stay miserable looking. Every time I snapped a photo and saw it on the screen, my lack of a smile actually made me laugh.

My hairdresser did a fantastic job. He even gave me some new “hoochie blonde streaks” (his term).

Next…!

nails.JPG One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Ah, I was ready to cut my nails, anyway. Most of my time typing was spent backspacing over mistakes.

Next…!

sweater2.JPG Remember this baby sweater? (My own design, free pattern available here.)

I sent it off to my pal Craig for a little jazzing up…

sweater21.JPG And he did such a great job!

This sweater is already in Alaska, waiting for Molly Renee to grow into it. She just needs to be born first.

Next…!

lou.JPG The boys are very upset with me today, since I made it rain and all. They are determined to “hold it” until the rain stops, which isn’t supposed to be until tomorrow. Could make for an interesting day.

Have a great weekend!

But That’s Not All!

Look at me! Posting again! I’m so happy to be doing it.

This post is full of presents. Presents that I made myself, presents that have come in the mail, and four hairy presents that have been around for a long time. (If you didn’t catch that last one, I mean the four-legged things that growl and whine.)

Lemme show you…

indiancorn.JPG Here’s a little unexpected goodness. My friend Melissa (who doesn’t even knit) sent me this Mountain Colors Twizzle in the hopes that I’ll make something nice for myself. She also mentioned that she hopes this yarn is nice to work with.

Umm, yeah. I believe I can force myself to work with this lovely merino/silk blend.

earringssmall.JPG But that’s not all! She also sent me these pink skull-and-crossbones earrings. LOVE them.

Thanks, Melissa!

If you look closely, you’ll see my Dutch birthday calendar, complete with Drew’s birthday listed on the 6th, and my sister’s on the 10th. Just click on the photo for big.

bear.JPG But that’s not all!

Speaking of Drew…He went to the Crochet Guild of America’s annual meeting in New Hampshire, and brought me back a Blue Sky Alpaca Baby Bobbi Bear kit. He KNOWS I love kits. And I love polar bears, too.

He also gave me strict instructions to make this for myself. (I see a trend here. I suppose I do have a habit of giving my knits away.)

Thanks, Drew!

spun.JPG But that’s not all! I made myself a present, in the form of this yarn that I spun. I bought some pencil roving ages ago and decided to give it a try yesterday.

It doesn’t look that great, but it was really fun to spin, and the pencil roving made drafting really easy. This is the first time I’ve actually spun enough yarn to take it off the drop spindle and wind it into a hank. Thanks, Me!

sweater1.JPG But that’s not all! I also made a present for someone else, namely my soon-to-be niece, Molly Renee. This is the Matinee Coat from Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino book.

My sister insists that she’s going to have this baby any minute now. The doctors are still telling her she’s weeks away. We’ll just wait and see…

dogs.JPG And the gift that keeps on giving…

They normally like to spread out a bit more than this, but the sun wasn’t shining in a very wide spot on the deck.

Please take special care to notice Abe…it’s hard to see him on the black grill pad.

68826036-viki22.jpg One last thing…if I don’t get my hair cut like Victoria Beckham’s immediately, I’m going to pitch a serious fit.

🙂