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Archive for February 2008

LotR marathon

February 29th, 2008 — 9:05am

Our three Extended Edition LotR dvd boxes didn’t get packed with the rest of the dvds because they were in a different room in the old house. This morning I finally found them (in a box with half my LPs) so we have just started a LotR marathon. Or Henry has. I will alternate watching with knitting, chores, cooking, etc., so I don’t die of Surfeit of Jackson. (edit: turns out the first disk of The Fellowship was enough Jackson for Henry, too, so we switched to Survivor Vanuatu)

This message would ordinarily have been posted on twitter, but they’re down again. Good old twitter :)

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Henry’s much better

February 28th, 2008 — 9:53pm

In case anyone was worried, thought I’d let you know that Henry’s still sick but doing much better. His fever was down to 100 this morning (it was 103 on Tuesday night and 101 yesterday), and he had more appetite and more pep than he’s had since Sunday. He sent me out for French bread and garlic-herb Boursin cheese (what a great kid), and we had another quiet on-the-couch day watching Survivor Vanuatu and Best in Show together. And I worked on a pair of mittens Mom hired me to make for her friend. Photos soon. Oh, and Henry felt well enough to stay up till 9 to watch tonight’s episode of Survivor with us, which was a rare treat as he’s usually with his dad on Thursdays!

And, though my jaw aches sometimes, it has not been bad enough for painkillers for two whole days, so I doubt if I’ll need to take any more, hooray!

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Lost comment – pants

February 27th, 2008 — 9:06am

Sorry, we’ve been having server problems and I think I lost a comment that someone (maybe Thuy?) left. She said all I needed now was knitted pants. Got ’em already :) (edit – no, I didn’t lose a comment, she commented on my flickr and I was sleepy and didn’t notice. I’ll leave this post up anyway)

comfy knitted pants

2 comments » | Blog, Handmade

Rockola and a virus

February 26th, 2008 — 10:57am

Let’s see, I need to catch up a bit. On Friday, Rockola did their annual George Harrison birthday show. It went great! Henry played a few percussion parts (hand-claps and tambourine in a few songs, and a very snazzy cowbell in “Handle With Care”) and a small but important guitar part in “I Me Mine”. He practiced hard for a couple of weeks and did very well in the show. I was so proud of him! I forgot my camera, so no photos, darn it.

Saturday I picked him up from his dad’s house because his dad had come down with a very bad case of bronchitis. Henry got it too, poor boy, or some kind of nasty virus. Sunday he was a bit droopy, and yesterday he felt very bad and lay on the couch all day, but today he seems a little better, though still miserable. He’s actually asking for things to drink, instead of reluctantly taking a few sips now and then. But we’re having a nice time watching The Dick van Dyke show.

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Cobblestone cardigan, really-truly finished!

February 22nd, 2008 — 1:33pm

I sent several hours putting in the pockets this morning, and was wearing it when Dan got home. He took these pictures right then, so it *still* isn’t blocked!




The pockets are nice and deep. They go right down to where the border starts. I’m happy it’s a cold, rainy day, so I can wear it! By the way, this top-down, one-piece sweater was inspired by Jared Flood’s Cobblestone Pullover. Thanks, Jared!

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cobblestone cardigan photo

February 22nd, 2008 — 8:42am

Well, I wanted to wait until it was blocked, but I can’t :) So here it is, looking a bit wobbly, on my dress form this dark and rainy morning:


I’ll probably add afterthought pockets today, and I’ll block it tomorrow, maybe. When it’s dry, Dan will take photos of me actually wearing it!

2 comments » | Blog, Handmade

A good day!

February 21st, 2008 — 9:22pm

Yesterday Fargo’s parents dropped him off to visit for a few days. Fargo has been Henry’s best friend for… four years maybe. He’s a great kid, a big reader and a real person. Henry decided to skip his classes today in favor of playing with Fargo, which says a lot because he loves his Thursday classes! The boys played and watched Naruto until Henry’s dad came to pick them up, and then I went out to buy buttons for my red sweater. I finally decided on some largish wooden ones, and came home and sewed them on so I could try the sweater on and see how much longer to make it.

This evening during Survivor I finished it! It’s wonderful. I want to wear it to the Rockola show tomorrow night, so I won’t block it yet and I don’t want to take photos until it’s blocked. But trust me. It’s a beautiful sweater, nice and long and warm, and it fits me perfectly.

Oh, this evening Chloe and I went out to pick up a few things for the show. She wanted a See and Say — you know, “The cow says.. mooooooooooooooooo” — but the modern version of that toy is extraordinarily lame so we skipped it. Also, we couldn’t find any bathrobes. I think they must be like slippers — only available at Christmas. Stupid. But we had fun :)

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V-neck sweater, in progress

February 20th, 2008 — 6:02pm

Yoke is done, have divided for sleeves. Pretty, huh?



A bit of poor planning on my part (forgot that my ROW gauge was also different — blame it on tooth pain) means my V is not as deep as the pattern V, but I think it’s deep enough. I don’t know if I have enough yarn to do the whole wrap-front thing, so I’m going to work the sleeves next, and then decide if I should do the wrap or just join the fronts and make a pullover.

Yarn: Knitpicks’ Gloss (merino wool/silk)
Gauge: 5.5 st/inch
Stitch pattern:
right side: k7, p1
wrong side: p

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Scarecrow of Oz, complete!

February 20th, 2008 — 11:42am

LibriVox’s full-cast reading of The Scarecrow of Oz is complete and ready for download! As usual, our recording is public domain, free and legal to download and share, of course. Every character is read by a different voice, by readers all around the world, and the narration is done by still more readers. Scott Sherris coordinated this massive project and did all the pasting-together of parts, a huge job. I did a few chapters of narration, and Henry took part as Button-Bright. Hint: Chapter 8 is Button-Bright’s first appearance ;-)

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog, Homeschooling

feeling better!

February 20th, 2008 — 9:25am

I woke up yesterday feeling just awful, but as the day progressed I felt better and better. Saw my dentist and she said the slight bleeding I’ve noticed is normal. They packed some more medicine-soaked gauze wads into the “extraction site” (giant hole in my jaw) and said I was healing nicely. I felt well enough to do some grocery shopping (first time in two weeks) so now we have kefir again, yay! And other things. Trader Joe’s had leeks, all trimmed and clean, so I made leek and potato soup for dinner. I love soup. Leeks, celery, onions, potatoes, chicken broth, a bit of heavy cream, and a dash of sour cream. Yum.

I took my 800mg ibuprofen in the morning and it lasted all day, with just some aching in the afternoon. I was thinking maybe I was healed enough to stop taking painkillers, but it started to hurt a LOT at bedtime, so I took another 800mg. Maybe I can stick to morning and night doses, instead of three times a day.

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Wes Anderson, The Office, and knitting

February 18th, 2008 — 5:20pm

I’ve been feeling really worn out lately. I guess it’s probably because my mouth is still healing. I didn’t feel like doing anything over the weekend, so I mostly knitted and watched TV. We worked through all four seasons of The Office over the past two weekends, and finished up season 4 yesterday. That is some high-quality entertainment, let me tell you. It’s the only show I’ve missed during the writers’ strike. Now that the strike is over, rumor has it that a new episode will air on April 10th. Yay!! Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

I also watched The Darjeeling Limited and enjoyed it very much, and then watched Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, so it was a Wes Anderson weekend. Darjeeling and Tenenbaums are vying for first place. I still haven’t decided which I like more, though I’ve seen Tenebaums twice now. Rushmore was good but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the other two. All three are stunningly beautiful from beginning to end.

I started a new sweater, a neck-down wrap cardigan, number 263 on I’m using four colors (Pumpkin, tan, cocoa, black) of Knitpicks’ Gloss (merino wool/silk blend) in 8-row stripes, and I’m doing an all-over seeded rib as well (k7, p1 on the right side, p all on the wrong side). Of course the Gloss works up to a very different gauge than the required light worsted, but it’s such a peasant and simple pattern that it’s easy to rekajigger it to suit my gauge. I’ll get a photo for you when I have the energy to get up off the couch.

I’ve also worked a lot more on the red cobblestone cardigan, and have gotten to about hip level. It fits like a dream.

1 comment » | Blog, Handmade


February 15th, 2008 — 9:48am

Yesterday I saw my dentist, my sweet dear dentist. She said my wisdom tooth was the most difficult tooth she’d ever worked on. They took out my stitches and packed some little wads of gauze soaked with a mixture of herbs/oil of cloves into the wound, which is supposed to help it heal and not hurt so much. I think it really is helping the pain! She also said I can take 800 milligrams of ibuprofin at a time (instead of the 400-600 I’d been taking), or half a percocet plus 200mg ibuprofin. So yesterday I was in much less pain all day, which was quite a relief.

I felt well enough to work on my Cobblestone Cardigan while listening to Annie’s reading of Pride and Prejudice and got the sleeves finished and seamed! I learned how to do invisible seaming on garter stitch fabric as well as stockinette fabric and I’m so impressed with how good it looks. I’ll never fear seams again.


3 comments » | Blog, Handmade


February 12th, 2008 — 9:56am

I remembered today that we had $25 in our Kiva account, waiting to be lent out. Henry and I browsed around and chose Mrs. Men Kim Sean of Cambodia. She needs $1000 to buy a motorcycle so that her family can improve their motorcycle taxi business.

As of right now, she is 60% funded! (When her loan is fully funded, that banner will show another loan in need of funding.) Kiva is so cool!

My mouth is still hurting like crazy. Argh.

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Happy Darwin Day! And Lincoln’s Birthday!

February 12th, 2008 — 9:31am

Feb 12th is Darwin Day!

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held on or around February 12, the day that Charles Darwin was born on in 1809. Specifically, it celebrates the discoveries and life of Charles Darwin — the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection with scientific rigor. More generally, Darwin Day expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.

It’s also Abraham Lincoln’s birthday today. Happy birthday, Abe :)

It’s also a good day to donate to Barack Obama’s campaign. See this TPM post.

I propose that on February 12th (Lincoln’s Birthday) we have a money bomb extravaganza of small donations of $5.01 for Senator Obama. The reasons for this amount are easy to see:

1. Small donations are powering Obama’s campaign
2. Lincoln is on the $5 bill and the penny
3. .01 is also for us online progressives making a statement to the
campaign that we are here and we’ve got money. That we aren’t the huge
bundlers for campaigns. We sacrifice parts of paychecks that mean more
proportionally to those of us with smaller incomes. We buy into Barack
Obama because we do dream of a more hopeful future instead of cynicsm.
I would much rather be called a Hopemonger than a Warmonger. So if you
believe in the hope that small donors are powering the Obama campaign,
please join me in showing that when Americans united with Hope can
wield large influence with small donations!

We have donated today. If you support Barack Obama, will you contribute too?

obama icon

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wisdom tooth

February 10th, 2008 — 10:05am

Today is Sunday. On Friday I went to the dentist to get one cavity filled and two wisdom teeth extracted. I was able to keep all four wisdom teeth this long because they came in straight and never caused any problems, but they are really hard to keep clean and now the two left-side ones have decay, so they have to come out. Dan came with me to get his cleaning / exam / x-rays.

They gave me nitrous, which really didn’t seem to do very much. Nitrous was my choice, rather than full sedation. I really really hate being sedated, but I guess things would have gone better if I had been. She had said that I could switch to full sedation if I needed to, but then didn’t offer that during the procedure, I’m not sure why. She filled my cavity first, which was not a problem. But my lower left wisdom tooth WAS a problem. The roots were really really deep and also curved together, and it did not want to come out, so they had to cut it apart, or something. It was awful. It only hurt a little, but the banging and pressure and the feeling of my head being knocked around were horrible. I was in the chair for four hours, and they only got the one tooth out, so I have to have the other one out another time.

Dan took me home and the rest of the day was horrible. My face hurt so much. I had a prescription for percoset but the one I took made me really, really sick — super hot and sweaty, nausea, then chills, and a horrible feeling of panic. It didn’t seem to do much for the pain, either. Dan took such good care of me. He made me lots of cups of beef broth (which I drank room-temperature – no hot liquids allowed) and brought me ice cream, and sat with me on the couch all day. Chloe came over and read to me (Pride and Prejudice) and kept me company for a while. I had to keep changing the gauze dressing, but it hurt a ton even to open my mouth enough to grab the old one and push the new one in. In bed at night, I listened to Annie’s recording of Pride and Prejudice for a while, picking up where Chloe left off.

Yesterday, Saturday was a little bit better. I took some ibuprofin which helped the pain somewhat, though it still hurt all day, and I couldn’t open my mouth, and the left corner of my lips is all thrashed and sore. Dan cut tiny little squares of my homemade sour cream cake that I could poke into my mouth and suck on, and brought me broth and ice cream and yogurt. Henry stopped by to get his guitar and gave me leftover ramen soup from his favorite Japanese restaurant, where he’d just had lunch. I drank the broth (room-temperature) and managed to slurp down the noodles without chewing them much, heh. Dan and I played World of Warcraft and watched The Office all day. My Mage ran out of rest bonus, and I didn’t feel like playing the Druid (level 62 quests are too stressful), so I started up my old dwarf Priest, whom I hadn’t played in years. I re-spec’d her to Shadow and trained her in Mining/Engineering, and did Westfall quests.

Today everything still hurts, I still can’t open my mouth, the corner of my mouth is still sore and banged-up, my face is still swollen, and the entire left side of my mouth hurts every time I swallow. But it’s a lovely sunny warm day and I’ve got all the windows open, and I’ll just lie on the sofa and watch more Office and knit and play more WoW, I suppose. I’ll see if ibuprofin will help a little.

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Nice day!

February 7th, 2008 — 6:05pm

Still on the mend, and this is the second day in a row that I didn’t get a headache! Dropped Henry off at school in the morning, then headed home to mail a few things. It’s an hour and a half round trip to his school, but he loves it there so much and it’s only twice a week, so I don’t mind one little bit. Plus, on Tuesdays he’s only there for a couple of hours so I just wait for him and run errands up there, and on Thursdays his dad picks him up. So it’s not like its an hour and a half twice a day, every day or anything.

I just made a new pandora station, based on William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, and Thomas Morley. Isn’t it awesome that Pandora has a lot of their music??? YAY PANDORA! You can find links to my stations in my sidebar. And the neat thing is, if you’re listening to one of my stations and hear a song you don’t like, you can thumbs-down it, and pandora will clone my station to your account, and you can keep customizing it.

It was sunny and warmer today, so I opened up the windows and hung a big load of laundry outside. And it almost all got dry. I just had to toss a few things in the dryer for 5 minutes.

Also got my first issue of Interweave Knits, a gift subscription from hugh and christine! I like to take my time with IK, first skimming lightly through a few times, then later reading in more detail. My two favorites so far are the Auburn Camp Shirt and the Drawstring Chemise, which would make a darling little summer nightie if knit to tunic length! It could be knit in the round, too. The Good Stripe Dress is darling, too. It’s only designed in little girl sizes, but the largest size would nearly fit me so it’ll be easy to enlarge just a bit. Now I just have to figure out which knitpicks yarns will substitute for the given yarns :)

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Feeling better!

February 6th, 2008 — 6:47pm

Feeling much, much better today! I still have The Cough, and probably will for some time, but I had enough energy to do the grocery shopping today and I didn’t get a headache in the afternoon, YAY!

Henry had his weekly private Kung Fu lesson this afternoon, and I got a few photos of him and his teacher, Miss Edwards. Here’s one:


He loves Kung Fu! He’s at a group class right now. His school lets him attend as many group classes as he wants, plus there’s a special group class just for his level once a week.

Henry baked a cheesecake today. We’re going to try it out when he gets home :)

edit: Henry’s cheesecake was delicious. The three of us ate half of it in one night, and he took the other half to share with his dad!

3 comments » | Blog, Homeschooling


February 5th, 2008 — 9:51am

It’s election day here in California, and lots of other places too. Go vote! Things can get better! You can find your polling place here:

If there are electronic voting machines in your county, I suggest asking the poll workers for a paper ballot. They gave me one last time.

Still sick.

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February 4th, 2008 — 4:18pm

Still sick, little cough, headache, feeling rundown and gray. I planned to do the big weekly shopping at Trader Joe’s today but it was Too Much To Cope With, so I just ran around the corner to Henry’s Market and bought beef for Dan’s favorite soup for tonight, and a thing of broccoli and a thing of orange juice and a thing of kefir. That should last us a few more days.

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little cold

February 3rd, 2008 — 3:27pm

I still have a little cold, but no sore throat yet, and I think I feel a little better today than I did yesterday. Yesterday I felt pretty crummy, but I kept rinsing my nose out with my neti pot (oh how I love my neti pot) and I really think it helped the sniffles and congestion. Today I had enough energy to make soup and my nose is not nearly so bothersome! It’s nice and rainy outside and we don’t have to go anywhere, so Dan and I played a ton of World of Warcraft today. Now I’m cataloging something for LibriVox and then I think I might work on my red sweater for a while.

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