Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010


Which do you prefer?

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I wanted to take this photo, of my eldest son reading.
(He is the one who writes the Sci-Fantasy blog linked in the upper right.)
However, a certain small somebody could not resist getting into the photo, and I can not resist showing her doing it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

365-10 Trixie

Trixie likes to sit on the back of this chair to sunbathe.

Trixie's name suits her as perfectly as Jeb's does him. Officially, her name is Beatrix Potter, namesake of the famous author, illustrator, and naturalist. I'd wanted to get a dog for my daughter - a small but sturdy dog. After many trips to the shelters, we found our Trixie.

Trixie turned out to be nothing like we anticipated. First of all, she had no intention of being my daughter's dog. She was determined to be my dog. Secondly, she yaps more than any other terrier I've met. Thirdly, she took forever to housebreak and is still plagued by submissive urination issues.

My son turned Trixie into a belly rub addict like his Jeb.
Here she is begging for me to stop taking photos and rub her belly.

All of which makes her sound rather unlikeable. Not true. She is the sweetest, funniest little dog we ever could have wanted. Beatrix, it turns out, is a Latin name meaning "bringer of joy," and that is exactly what Trixie is! It is impossible not to laugh when Trixie is around. She is always up to something and is the most affectionate dog I've ever known. She is as happy to run around and play as she is to curl up on my lap.

Trixie loves to lick my husband. She also likes to squeeze in between us to remind him that she is mom's dog.

My blog was named for one of Trixie's pastimes, Kravitzing, ie, spying on the neighbors. She keeps her eye on everything and warns Jeb if intruders are approaching.

Trixie loves to attack this mountain lion and her moose.

(I cheated on this post; the small pictures were taken in Dec 2009.)

365-9 More sky or less?

Which looks better?
I like the first better, but I'm not sure if it is because of the lower position or because I don't like seeing the trees in the latter.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New and Improved Saxon Mitts

I was not quite satisfied with my earlier pair of mitts. I did not like the ribbing all the way to my wrist. They fit fine, it's the chunky appearance I don't like. So I made another pair. This pair was done with less than a skein of Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb. I wasn't sure how much yarn they'd use. I had enough left over that I'd knit the cuff a bit longer if I were to knit them again.

I used number 5's. They are rather densely knit. 6's might have been better.

Since I was knitting a new pair, I decided to make them symmetrical, so on the left mitten, I reversed the crossing of the center cable. (Instead of c4f, I did c4b.)

The basic mitt was guided by Ann Budd's Book of Handy Patterns. Here are more detailed instructions:

gauge: about 5 sts=1 inch. Maybe 5.5 sts=1 inch. The mitts have a snug fit and stretch. I think if your gauge is anywhere close, they'll fit.

Saxon Cable:
row 1: p3, k2, p4, k4, p4, k2, p3
row 2: p3, c4fp2k2, c4b, c4f, c4bk2p2, p3
row 3: p5, k4, p4,k4, p5
row 4: p5, c4b, p4, c4f, p5
row 5: same as row 3
row 6: p3, c4bk2p2, c4fk2p2, c4bk2p2, c4fp2k2
row 7: same as row 1
row 8: p3, k2, p4, c4f, p4, k2, p3

Cast on 48 sts. Join in round.
Begin chart on first round.
On rows 1-5, k2,p2 around. Then change to stockinette for remaining rounds.

Knit 4 repeats of the cable. (32 rounds)

Work thumb gusset while continuing the cable pattern. Basically the thumb will be worked by two increases on every 3 rounds until the gusset has 17 stitches.

Like this for the right hand:

Knit cable row 1, k5, place marker, m1, k1, m1, knit to end.
Knit cable row 2, st st around.
Knit cable row 3, st st around.
Knit cable row 4, k5, m1, k1, m1, knit around.

When the thumb gusset reaches 17 stitches, place them on a piece of scrap yarn. Increase by one backward loop over the gusset.

Continue to work around, in pattern until you reach the next row 5 of the cable. Then begin k2,p2 ribbing again. Work through row 1, then bind off in rib.

(For the left hand, knit cable row, knit around to 6 sts before the purls, place marker, m1, k1, k1, place marker, continue.)

Pick up stitches around thumb. Add 3 st where you did the backward loop. I know this sounds wrong, but it works. k2, p2 around for 5 rows. Bind off in rib.


Friday, January 22, 2010

365-8 Jebediah

In the Bible, names are so meaningful. We didn't name any of our children because of the meaning of the names. We certainly did not think of the meaning of the names of our pets. However, their names are so perfectly matched to them that not even the patriarchs could have chosen more apt names.

This is my son's dog, Jebediah. According the baby name websites we consulted years after naming him, that means "beloved friend." Perfectly true. The only thing that would suit him more perfectly would be "beloved friend and bed hog."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

365-*6, 365-7

I wanted to take a picture of myself reading, with Trixie curled up on my lap. However, the 10 second delay did not give Trixie time to make herself comfortable. Me hopping up and down to repeatedly push the camera's button was not conducive to "content." Trixie was very confused by this game and decided to make it a kissing game, so many of the shots looked like the one below. LOL Funny little dog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010


Frozen Fountain

Sunday, January 17, 2010

365-1, 365-2

My friend, Heather, has encouraged me to take part in a photography project. The aim is to post 365 photos this year, or one each day, to improve one's skill as a photographer. My skills could use some improvement. Okay, lots of improvement.

This sounds like a good idea, but I doubt I'm going to post a good photo for every day, even if I had started on Jan 1 instead of Jan 17. So my goal will be to post photos at least once each week that do not have Lumpy, my dogs, or knitting in them. Not to say I won't still photograph those, but I will make an effort to take pictures of other subjects.

Mostly, I will work on framing photos nicely, ie, not lopping off heads and holding the camera steady. My camera is a pink point and shoot that is the size of my cell phone. It is a 7.2 mega pixel Casio autofocus. (I include this on the off chance that someone cares.) Basically, it is for people like me who take snapshots, not serious photographers.

Criticism is invited in this project, so please help me improve by leaving comments.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Three hours I'll never get back

My family has been asking why I've not been blogging since returning from our Christmas holiday. Truthfully, just nothing to say. However, today we went to see Avatar. Afterward, I told my son, "This will break my blogging silence."

Every one I know who has seen Avatar has liked it. Every one. Not one person suggested it was not worth the ticket price. I am now that person.

First, yes, effects were excellent. We went to the theater because 3D effects need a big screen. We did not pay extra for IMAX. So that has been said: the effects were splendid.

What a terrible film. It's one thing to have a three hour film when you have three hours of plot, even two and a quarter can be stretched to three....but when you've only written an hour of story, have mercy on your audience and do not turn it into a three hour movie!

Remember going to see Fellowship of the Ring and leaving the theater and being surprised that you'd been in the dark for three hours? Avatar is not like that. You're sitting in the theater wondering how much time has passed because it seems like you've been in there for three hours already, and you can tell the movie is not half over. You don't walk out anxious for a sequel, either. You hope that James Cameron will buy an island somewhere and give up making movies now that he has the two top grossing films of all time.

Two of us had seen it before and liked it well enough to want to come again. One of them fell asleep. Can you imagine going to see Gone With the Wind in 1939 and falling asleep in the theater? No, I know you cannot.

So, very little plot stretched out over a very long three hours. But, wait, there's less: Zero character development. None. All stereotypes, every one. Even the main character was flat. Nobody died whom you didn't know would die. Nobody lived whom you thought was marked for film death. Nobody turned bad who'd looked good. Nobody evil reformed. No surprises. Nothing original. That's it more than anything. There was nothing original in the story or the characters.

Without the effects, this story couldn't even have aired on the Hallmark channel.

All of that is bad enough on its own, but the message of the film, which was as lacking in subtlety as everything else about it, is just plain sad to me. I don't believe in a deity who can be killed. My God is omniscient, eternal, omnipotent, and will redeem those who have placed their faith in Him. He created all, but He is more than His creation. He protects me; I don't protect Him. How lonely and frightening and egotistical to believe that men could kill God.

I do not think those beliefs equate with the inability to write an interesting story or make a great film. They just came together in the lackluster blockbuster Avatar.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here is a wish list for 2010:

1. Lose 30 lbs.
2. Get a job with set hours, days off, and a paycheck.
3. Take a vacation someplace I've never been.
4. Date my husband.
5. Teach my dog not to yap so much.
6. Learn to drive a manual transmission.
7. Win the lottery. (It's a wish list, remember.)
8. Teach my daughter to understand fractions.
9. Cure cancer. (I may as well dream BIG.)
10. Move somewhere with quiet neighbors and a private backyard.

Here are my actual goals, resolutions if you prefer that term:

1. Be joyful always.
2. Pray without ceasing.
3. Give thanks in all circumstances.

For this is God's will for me in Jesus Christ.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)