31 January 2008


If you don't want to read a rant, click away now.

Planning a cross country airline trip with young kids is a delicate operation, especially when you must arrive in time to catch a boat, and when it's this time of year, and the weather in places like Chicago and Denver is chancy. So of course I planned well in advance. I searched around for suitable air itineraries for weeks, finally booking our plane tickets back in November.

We leave tomorrow.

So I was informed this morning that our 11:50 am flight had been cancelled, and instead we are booked on a 6:30 am flight. We live 100 miles from the airport, so that means having to get moving in the middle of the night. Plus, the airline didn't bother rebooking our connecting flight, so we now had a 6 hour layover in Atlanta. Lovely. I called this morning, and was able to get an earlier flight out of Atlanta, but Hubby's seat is at the front of the plane, mine is 30 rows back, and the Things have no seats at all.

The airline claims they had emailed me in the past about the flight cancellation, but, despite receiving 20,000 emails from them concerning their frequent flyer club, I never got that one particular message. And the only reason I booked this particular airline to begin with was that 11:50 flight.


Shall I name the offending airline? Its name starts with D and it rhymes with Hellta.

I am so ready for sandy beaches and umbrella drinks.

30 January 2008

Misc stuff

Still no FOs to show. There are space expeditions that put less time into preparation than I have foe this cruise. On top of that, Thing 2 had a cold. She's now mostly recovered, but of course she generously passed the virus onto me. Thanks, kid.

A colleague at work sent me a link to a Dutch department store. Click here, and wait a few moments. Don't worry--no knowledge of Dutch required.

Neatorama recently had a link to this creative esty seller.

Some friends and I took a 3 hour glass fusing workshop last weekend. It was so fun! I could easily have worked many more hours. Now I want to sign up for a longer, more advanced class. I don't have my finished pieces back yet, but I'll post pictures when I do.

I still haven't blocked and assembled my Lizzy afghan. Some day soon.

25 January 2008

Quick Stuff

I've been mostly MIA lately. Knitting-wise, I'm working on a lacy scarf in Handmaiden Sea Silk. But I haven't had much time to knit, so my progress has been very sloooooooow. I may finish by next winter at this rate.

We're getting ready to leave soon for a 1 week Disney cruise in the Caribbean. For some reason, this trip has required inordinate amounts of preparation. I plan to make up for it by spending many hours doing nothing but drinking umbrella drinks and reading novels. And the Caribbean is sounding good now, too, as we are in the throes of what passes for winter here in the San Joaquin Valley. Gray skies, damp weather, wind, chilly temps. Fooey.

I came upon a fun website in which you build your own city. The more people that visit, the bigger your city gets. Please visit Ruthieville and click on one of the boxes in the bottom left. You can visit once a day. :-)

Speaking of Ruthie, she was recently diagnosed with arthritis in her knee. We're trating it with Rimadyl, which is helping. I hate seeing my pets get old. Furgie will be 19 in March!

I think I've mentioned this here before, but this video from Get Mortified is the funniest thing I have seen in a long, long time. Watch it when you're having a hard day, and just try not to laugh. Click on "I HATE DRAKE" next to the video box.

16 January 2008

Taking Liberties ATCs

I just completed a series of ATCs called Taking Liberties. I usually suck at titles but I'm really pleased with myself over this one. Each card has a constitutional right as its base:

That's the 1st Amendment, 4th Amendment, Due Process Clause, and Habeas Corpus.

Then each right is gradually obscured by a series of vellum sheets. Each sheet has images of people who have diluted the right, or examples of the right being denied:

Until finally, you're left with no view of the right at all:

These took a long time to put together, but I'm happy with the concept and the result. I don't often get to combine my work-work and my political views with my crafts.

Now, how many of the images on the vellum can you recognize?

14 January 2008

Pt. Reyes weekend

Some friends and I spent a 3 day weekend at Pt. Reyes, a part of the state I had previously, and unfortunately, neglected. We stayed at a cute little place on Tomales Bay called the Motel Inverness. Here's the view from the motel across a bird sanctuary:

We were treated to some gorgeous weather. Here's the view from near the Pt. Reyes lighthouse:

I didn't have time to knit, but I did find a little yarn store in Pt. Reyes Station. My friends say I have the magical ability to find yarn stores everywhere. :-)

Here are some very small things I saw:

The top fungusy landscape was right near the motel. The pretty red 'shroom on the bottom was a few miles away, near the Bear Valley Visitor Center. It's growing just a few feet from the San Andreas fault.

And here are some very large things I saw:

Click on this to see a better view of the large blobs on the beach, which are actually elephant seals (I wish I had a telephoto lens!). I'd never seen them in person before. They are impressively big, and make lots of really loud noises. One of them had just had a baby a few minutes before we arrived, so got to watch the gulls fight over the afterbith (mmm! placenta!) and the new mom and pup nuzzle each other for the first time. Incredibly cute. There were telescopes set up so we had a pretty good look.

We didn't see any whales, but did see tons of deer and a herd of tule elk. And lots of birds, including a hummer who kept buzzing my head because I was sitting too close to his feeder, and a large variety of waterfowl. And one plant managing to flower on some pretty challenging terrain:

I don't think I say it often, so I will now: I feel incredibly lucky to live in California!

10 January 2008

I'm Mohair

I'm off to spend a 3-day weekend at Tomales Bay with some girlfriends. In the meantime:

(Click on the button to see what fiber you are...)

08 January 2008


Crowzma asked what an ATC is. They're new to me, too. It stands for Artist Trading Cards. The idea is that you make a little piece of art, using whatever medium you want. The piece is the same size as a baseball card: 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches. Then you trade them with other people, either in person or by mail. You can't charge money for them (not that I'd make a fortune off mine anyway). There are some hugely talented people out there making these things; I'm just having a lot of fun with bits and scraps of papers and things. This site is by the people who invented the idea; Art in Your Pocket has info on the basics and examples; this guy has some really cool ones in his gallery; Mirkwood Designs has a template for the cards (and a lot of other cool paper shapes, too). I have the idea ATCs could become addictive, but they don't require much in supplies, at least. I've done a couple ATC swaps on Swap-bot.

I know some of you are really talented artists. I wonder what sort of ATCs you could come up with?

Socks and Cards

I finished a pair of socks for Thing 1 last night. Here she is before school this morning, modeling:

She picked this fun sparkly yarn out of my stash. I think it's from Cherry Tree Hill Yarn. The pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks, one of my favorite sock books. It's just an easy baby cable pattern.

I also finished some ATCs for a Swap-Bot trade. This is my second attempt at ATCs and I really enjoy making them.

For this trade, I had to make things fromy my partner's profile. I'm pretty pleased with the results. The one on the upper left has a shrinky-dink deer. The one on the upper right is my favorite. Here's a close-up:

The "beach" is sandpaper. I love the sparkly paper I used for the water. I wish I could draw or paint at all well (even my stick figures look sickly!) but at least I can cut and glue.

05 January 2008


Winter vacation is nearing an end. The Things have had 2 weeks to develop new ways to torment each other (and me), and now they have a nice, rainy weekend in which to perfect them. And I do mean rainy. Our street flooded yesterday, and seems on its way to a repeat performance this evening. We'll probably have about 3" of rain out of this storm--one quarter of our yearly average.

In the meantime, the Things have:
  • fought (repeatedly) over who gets to pretend to be which fictional character ("I'm Daphne!" "No, I'm Daphne! You're Velma!")
  • fought (repeatedly) over whether Thing 1 is privileged to conduct the Magic Parental Countdown on Thing 2 when Thing 2 is being recalcitrant ("Give me back my book! One, two...")
  • fought over who gets to put the forks on the table at dinnertime
  • fought over which video to watch
  • fought over which tv channel to watch
  • fought over which satellite music channel to listen to
  • fought over the coveted spot on the couch
  • fought over whose turn it is to play Dance Dance Revolution, or use the computer, or sit next to Daddy at dinnertime, or get served lunch first, or get to eat the very last bowl of ice cream
  • fought over who was the greater contributor to the mutually-created mess in Thing 2's room
  • fought over which of them does a better dinosaur imitation
  • fought because one of them was singing when the other wanted quiet
  • fought because one of them was talking when the other wanted quiet
  • fought over who is the rightful owner of a giant purple flower
  • fought over who had custody of Polly Pocket and her assortment of teeny tiny, impossible to put on outfits

I'm sure I've left some out.

I can't wait until Monday.

01 January 2008

Happy New Year!

I've been busy the last few days. I spent the weekend in San Francisco with my Mom and Thing 1. We stayed at the Sir Francis Drake. Here's the view from our window (which needed washing on the outside). That's Grace Cathedral slightly right of center.

New Year's Eve was quiet. We watched the Twilight Zone marathon on tv and I knitted. T1 was allowed to stay up until midnight. T2 went to bed at her normal time, but I brought her downstairs near midnight. She didn't remember that at all this morning.

I had a good crop this year on my Meyer Lemon tree. Last week I made some really delicious lemon pudding cake, but it actually didn't use many lemons. So today I made a lemon-almond cake:

It's good, too, although I preferred the first cake. I think if I make the almond one again, I'll increase the amount of candied ginger. Due to a tragic sugar-related accident, I ended up short 1 egg white half-way through baking. Thing 1 had to run around the niehgborhood, finding someone home who had a spare egg. I knew that kid was good for something.

I still have more lemons left. I think I might just make a batch of really good lemonade.

Do you remember when I was searching for some peche cassis tea last month? Well, apparently that brand is completely obscure. Fortunately for me, though, Emily in France found another brand of the same flavor. She sent me enought to tide me over for a little while:

Thanks, Emily!

I wish all of you a new year filled with joy, good health, and, most of all, peace!