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Feb. 11th, 2015


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Nov. 11th, 2015


Red Cups? The Spirit of the Season is Peace (I thought)

I don't really have a post to write today. But that whole Starbucks red cups ridiculousness inspires me to resurrect this post of mine from a couple of years ago. Warning, it's long. But it gets across what I think. I'm not really ready to think about the winter holidays yet, as for me autumn has barely arrived and I still don't know what we're doing for Thanksgiving.

Why and what I celebrate this time of year

Oct. 29th, 2015


Russell Crowe, knitting, maximalism, and messes

I like to think I'm a minimalist, but my homes, and even my bedroom as a kid, have never shown any indiation of that. I guess I like to think it only because I detest housework so much, especially dusting, and a little minimalism would definitely cut down on the need for that silly, overrated, overly-perfectionist thing called housework. Especially the dusting part. Yuck! But let's face it, I'm a clutterbug, and I don't clean very often or very well, and I'm quite relieved that the cats like it that way, well at least most of them. Tara is a bit of a clean freak and she's always trying to tidy up after the rest of us, to no avail. But she keeps trying. She is even the first cat I've ever known who doesn't mind the vacuum cleaner. She also has the perfect coat for dust-mopping, although we don't currently have the right flooring for much of that. Poor thing, her talents are wasted here.

So what does any of that have to do with Russell Crowe you ask?

Well it all started with an article linked on Facebook, about knitting being good for you, and that article's mention of Russell Crowe knitting, and a link to another article about that, and me wanting to see a photo of him doing so (I mean, come one, don't at least half of you want to see that?), and a search that almost failed because WTF is wrong with Google today? But I came across a non-knitting blog that had the photo I was looking for, and off in the margin the blogger had linked to a tour of her house that had been posted on a design site. I looked at the photos tagging her home as maximalist, and oh gosh I thought I'd come home - not to my real home, alas, but to a home I could love. Her final photo of a pile of glitter with this written in it was the clincher:

"My favorite thing about my home is it's okay to make a mess."

Searches online can be so weird, leaving the oddest trails, something that fascinates me no end. I discovered this as soon as the world wide web was born, at a time when I was writing fiction, and my research time suddenly went through this weird sci-fi-ish time dilation phenomenon, and I knew I was in trouble because the internet would suck me in and I'd forget where I lived if I wasn't careful.

P. S. Apparently Russell Crowe does not knit, the photo was staged. Well poop! It's a nice photo anyway and a nice plug for knitting.

*Public post*

Sep. 15th, 2015



We are suddenly getting wet here, really wet. A little rain was forecast. We got a lot. Well, a lot for our formerly drought-dessicated condition to absorb. We're on restricted water use, so the yard has gotten pretty dry.

Luckily we got some much needed yard work done the two days before the rain. There were some trouble spots that had to be done, still a lot of work to do out there. We needed this rain to help us see better what still needs doing in the yard. Branches that didn't seem to need trimming yesterday now droop under the weight of water and say, "Trim me or I'll brush you with my wetness each time you walk by." The walkway is narrowed by plants spreading out to soak up the rain.

I think my brain works better when it rains. But my sinuses and lungs are in shock.

Unfortunately Southern California doesn't handle rain well after a dry spell. Oil builds up on the road surface and cars slide around easily, drainage culverts get clogged with fallen greenery and trash, and back up. I remember when I worked on North Island (Naval Air Station), the whole place would flood from the first big rain of the season. If I had leave to take, I'd take it on the first day of serious rain, because otherwise you spend hours more in traffic both going to work and getting home. The less cars out there the better on days like that.

We're told we might have an El Nino rainy seasons this year, but real drought relief will require serious snow pack in the Sierra Nevada. I hope that's in the works.

Aug. 30th, 2015


Breaking the knitting language barrier

I found a few gems today in the Ravelry listings of sock patterns. Now and then I find a pattern I'd really like to try that isn't available in English. Some are in Japanese, which I haven't yet found a solution for, so I just try to ignore those patterns, but it's kind of like trying to ignore a chocolate cake.

One of the patterns I looked at today was in German, and although the designer didn't provide any translations, she did provide a link that seems really helpful, it's to a pdf International Glossary of Knitting Terms. So I thought I'd provide that link here as well as a few others. I don't usually make my posts public, but this one will be.

Vogue Knitting English to various languages (select your language and click "Go")

VK International Knitting Terms

The blog String-Or-Nothing links to the pdf I mentioned in my first paragraph above.

The forum Dave's Garden has a page full of international knitting term links, here.

Happy knitting!

Mar. 1st, 2015


Paper cuts

First the weather. Yesterday we just had a shower here and there, but today it's honest-to-goodness raining. I awoke thinking the sun wasn't up yet, but it was nearly 8 o'clock, so that didn't seem right. We have thick, dark cloud cover and incessant rain. It's the first rain like this we've had all season, and hopefully the water it leaves behind will last the trees long enough that we won't need to run the irrigation for a while. Water has gotten so pricey here, I really dread the drier months. Hooray rain!

Poor Raven, our black, indoor-outdoor cat, wanted in the worst way to go outside, though. He went out once, and came back five minutes later. An hour or so later he begged me to let him out, so I went out with him and sat in K's chair on the porch while Raven sat under mine and watched the rain for a bit. Finally he looked at me, headed for the door, and came back inside with me. He's not happy about it. Aren't we humans supposed to be able to control the weather or something?

I know, I know! You have snow, tons of snow, but here rain is a big deal. We sorely need it.

* * *

In a prior post I mentioned how much I detest filing and paperwork. I really do, but the thing I hate about it most is paper cuts. The little nibbles on the cuticles as well as the ones that go deeper and actually bleed. At one time I worked in a photo processing lab, back in the days before one-hour processing, when we ran miles of film or paper through machines with tanks of chemicals. Some of the work had to take place in complete darkness, and splicing reels of photo paper together in the dark means paper cuts. Having to dip one's cut fingers into a tank of chemicals to save a strip of photos means pain. Later I did my share of filing in an office job. If you've never tried to knit or crochet with those little cuticle cuts you get from filing, you don't really know paper cuts. Today I dread having to handle much paper. My aversion is so strong that the last time I needed to go through some envelopes and shred some items, I decided to wear gloves. At the last minute, I thought "How silly!" and didn't put on the gloves. The first envelope I opened got me. The flap snapped back as if it was alive and cut me. So much for thinking gloves are silly. I know it's a little thing, but seriously at that moment I felt as if the universe was out to get me.

Down with paper cuts!

Jan. 27th, 2015


Some of what I've been reading and viewing

I'm going to be lazy today and just share some links and not even say much about them. Some recent reading/viewing:

Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke
"Metaphysical thought process are more deeply wired than hitherto suspected...."

How the Business Community Screwed the Working Class -- by Richard Wolff
A somewhat depressing examination of how we've recreated the "company store" and how it's blossomed now that unions are once again being crushed. Not sure what happened to the end of this video. It just sort of trails off.

Want to be happy? You have to do 1 thing. Over and over.
Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard on altruism as the answer to everything - and I think he may be right.

LGB Individuals Living in Anti-Gay Communities Die Early
How intolerance can kill you sooner. Found when I came across this Youtube video of a TED talk:
Morgana Bailey: The danger of hiding who you are
On how coming out may help save lives (and how supporting anyone who does come out can aid in saving lives).

Mary Oliver on What Attention Really Means and Her Moving Eulogy to Her Soul Mate
I don't think one need be a fan of Mary Oliver's poetry to appreciate this, but it's a special treat for us fans.

Jan. 14th, 2015


The Voyage Out - Virginia Woolf

I fnished reading The Voyage Out last night. This was Virginia Woolf's first novel, which took her years to write and went through major revisions. While I liked the story a lot, I also found it quite sad, and it made me think about Virginia Woolf's life, especially her breakdowns, or what little I've read about them, which seemed to occur for the most part after deaths of people she loved. Grief was something she dealt with a lot in this book, at least toward the end, but all through it there were one character or another's fears about loved ones, or feelings of loneliness. This was a book about relationships. There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on how little we know of even those closest to us. So much of who we are is beneath the surface, seldom looked at even by ourselves.

There were a few quibbles I had with the book, but they were minor. It was a rich read overall, so I won't go into those. I'm looking forward to reading more of her writings.

Jan. 6th, 2015


More reading

Attempting to follow up my rant on a more positive note:

Well my Kindle has turned out to be a boon in more ways than one. I'm not sure if I mentioned in an earlier post, but they have this program that just started about the time I bought my e-reader (almost a year ago now) called Kindle Unlimited, which is like a paid book loan program. At first I was reading like crazy and spending more than I could really afford on e-books, until I finally realized I had to either win the lottery or stop reading. Then I decided to look into Kindle Unlimited. The first time I'd checked they didn't have that many books listed yet that I wanted to read, but now they have a lot, including some J.R.R. Tolkien, some J.K. Rowling (all the Harry Potter books), and many others, and they're adding to the list all the time. So now I can experience more books for less, and enjoy a lot broader reading experience. It's mostly books that aren't recently published, or are self-published, but many have been bestsellers in the past, or are simply very good reads. It helps greatly to have so much to choose from affordably. There are also these Delphi e-book collections, probably available for other e-readers as well, which are huge collections of authors' entire works for very low prices. The only hitch with the Delphi collections is that some of the files are so huge, it's important to make sure one has space on one's reader, and I'm one of those people who likes to keep about 100 books resident on my reader. I guess I'll have to cut back on that.

My most recent collection (although I think this one is published by someone other than Delphi - but it's the same idea) is one chock-full of Virginia Woolf's writings. I had recently read her novel Night and Day, as a stand-alone e-book downloaded from Project Gutenberg, and now I'm browsing her Writer's Diary with keen interest.

The part I'm reading is from about the time Night and Day was published (1919), so it's interesting to compare her journal writing to her more formal writing. She even points out the difference, and how journal writing "loosens the ligaments".

Jan. 1st, 2015


Happy 2015!

I was going to do a review of 2014, though it will be mostly about my Course In Miracles studies and progress, because that has been my main focus this year, and maybe I will later, but I will put that behind a cut or make it completely private for me only, because I know not that many people are interested.

Today I will just wish all my LJ friends a happy and prosperous 2015.

Happy New Year!

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