Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Colorful Catch up

Happy Wednesday! For those of you in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota (and probably other northern places too), please stay inside, safe and warm today! I'm thinking of you Kathy and Deb and Nancy, and it is probably really cold at Kym's too.  If I forgot to include you in this list I'm sorry but STAY WARM!

It is another foggy day (although there was sun Monday afternoon and yesterday--Monday I met my friend Lauren for coffee and even sat outside while I waited for her, albeit in my 'Oregon' warm coat).  Pilot gets another check later this afternoon and we may be able to eliminate the bandages--I think it is just sore and as long as we cover it with a onesie for a day or two more I think we'll be done. We'll see. Tim and I both are a bit tired of the onesies although Pilot still enjoys them. We just want things back to normal.

I'm knitting another Casapinka cowl, the Klickitat Street Cowl, and even though it calls for two yarns I'm using one:

It is so bright and happy!

But. I have a problem on the horizon. There are some instructions that I don't understand. When the pattern came out, there apparently was a video that explained it but I can't find it. I've reached out via Rav to the designer so we'll see.

In the meantime, here are the confusing instructions (it is just one round):
 "K2, with your right-hand needle, pick up the strand of yarn from below and place it on the left-hand needle behind the next stitch, knit the next stitch and drop the strand back off the needle. (You are essentially “trapping” the strand behind this stitch.)"

I cannot visualize the 'place it on the left-hand needle behind the next stitch'--any thoughts?

Let's see what else:

  • I gave the exam yesterday (haven't given an exam in years) and they did--ok. 
  • The one-on-one yoga class was interesting. A little odd to have someone watching me and (really) not judging, but just helping me breathe. When we got to the savasana I thought about 45 minutes had gone by but it was actually 80 minutes, so I guess I was kind of into it.
  • I have space to cast on (only two things actively on the needles) but can't decide between a big felted project or yet another "One and Done".
  • I had lunch with a junior colleague yesterday and it was great to catch up. I may have overdone on the tater tots, as I felt kind of nauseous for the rest of the day. Tater tots are very, very popular in Eugene. 
  • We're going to see Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt this weekend and I'm excited.
Did I mention you should stay warm?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Monday Q and A on Tuesday

  1. Do you have a skein waiting in the wings for your next cast on? Yes--I find it kind of tedious to wind yarn (I have to get out the winder, and the swift, and then wind, and it is sometimes tangly) so I tend to do it in gulps of yarn. I have a few things that I haven't started on yet that are wound, so now that I  have finished the starry night socks I can cast on for something new--probably a pair of simple socks for Tim and cable socks for me. 
2. For this particular snow and cold snap, Do you you have enough yarn? We are having a fog snap but yes, no worries, I'm all yarned up.
 3. Have you made snow ice cream? I don't think so--but I've only lived in cities where it snowed and--yuck
4. Kathy saw hats in the grocery store for 2.99 yesterday. Doesn’t it just kill ya to see knitted things selling for less than you can make them? Yes and that is true for all kinds of crafts, isn't it? Pottery for sure.
5. Do you live in a multi animal household? How do you figure out who vomited when there is no human witness? This is such an important question! We have two dogs and a cat and can definitely tell the cat puke from the dog puke.  It is fairly impossible to distinguish between the dogs.

6.  Have you had a pet with asthma? No, although Comet has some pug in her and so she has weird breathing sometimes. 
7. Kathy almost never knits with white yarn. There is something about it that I don’t like. Do you like white yarn? I almost never knit with it, unless it has spots or something on it. Or is one color of several, like as an accent. Spills.
8. There is a commercial out that I love right now. I know a lot of you don’t watch commercials, as you tape things or something like that. This commercial has a tattoo artist doing an OK tattoo. The person he is tattooing starts questioning him and suggesting things and the tattoo dude says ” Stay in your lane, dude.” I remind myself to stay in my lane! I don’t need to give everyone advice or interfere in things. Do you stay in your lane? I love this ad too and have adopted 'stay in your lane' for a lot of situations! I try to stay in my lane!
9.  Have you ever had to call poison control?  There's an animal poison control number that I've had to call after one of the animals ate something. Those places used to be free but now they charge, so now I would call our 24 hour vet. I think when I called places in the past they just googled it. I've never had to call for myself though.
10. Ideas for my survey topic please? Should we have a swap based on a project that we could all knit together?

Apparently, it is still January

This month is so long, isn't it? I think because it is the end of the holidays (although we still have one set of decorations--our silver bells--to take down), because it is dark, because it tends to be cold (although we seem to be skipping winter here in the Northwest), and because it is 31 days (and March does seem long, but there's spring break in there, and May seems long because June is the end of the summer, and then July and August don't seem long because SUMMER and October and December don't seem that long to me either).

The weekend seemed long, too, mostly because we didn't do a whole lot and we didn't do regular long walks because it was unpleasantly foggy and we're still a bit careful with Pilot about doing a lot, although he seems fine. The vet visit Saturday was good, with healing going really well. She wrapped the wound again but said the bandage would probably fall off and if it did, we could just keep it covered with the onesie and it would probably be fine. The stitches apparently are long gone.

She was delighted with the onesie, although she said jokingly 'now that you are THOSE people....'

I did finish these socks: simple socks in  a yarn inspired by Starry Starry Night:

Now that I"m on Instagram more I'm trying to up my photo game, but actually this post was to avoid showing you the unwoven-in ends. I used the invisible elastic on the ribbing and will report back on how it holds up.

We watched "Won't You Be My Neighbor" this weekend--yes, we're late to THAT party, and enjoyed it.

Today I'm taking a 'private' yoga class---there's a new business starting up associated with a business I patronize and they're offering free first yoga classes to clients to get it going. We'll see how it goes.

Happy Monday! Have a good week. I give an exam  on Tuesday and not holding out hope for good grades across the board, given the class's work on their first homework assignment.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Saturday updates!

I loved reading all your comments about the puppy onesie! We're lucky that Pilot seems to love them, and never gives us any problems to put them on. He has been sensitive about his feet in the past (toenail nightmares) and was a bit snappish when he first had surgery and we got near his back leg, but now he is nonplussed.

And adorable.

This is a new one, and you may think he looks like  prisoner but we think he looks french. He needs a beret! He goes to the vet this morning to get his bandage changed and we'll see how the healing is going.

These are so much better than a cone, and we're all happier because of the onesies!

I knit a quick hat for one of the checkers at our grocery store yesterday. She just finished a set of chemo treatments and I wanted to give her something to celebrate this milestone:

It took no time at all. It is knit out of BMFA Targhee bulky, which is a merino yarn that is almost pencil roving. It is incredibly soft and I think she'll like it. I adapted the Mega Spun pattern to do two spirals instead of a bunch of spirals in that the hat was way too big when I followed the pattern.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, January 25, 2019

N is for Numbat

I'm back working on the Australiana Alphabet!

The numbat is a small marsupial that eats termites.

And is kind of cute looking.
Obviously I'm focusing on the N and not on the numbat!  But that is coming soon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Pilot update: out of the cone---

And into a onesie.
There's a store near the vet where they sell puppy onesies, and our vet recommended that this could cover the bandage and eliminate the use of a cone. This one is a bit snug but we have a larger one that i'm going to try him in.

He's doing great.


Thank you everyone for your kind wishes about Pilot. He saw our vet Monday and we're going back today---she wants to try to determine if the sac that burst is still in his leg. If it is, he'll need another surgery to remove the sac, as it can heal and regrow. It wasn't clear from the emergency vet's notes whether she got it out. He feels good, except for the annoying cone, and hopefully we can start taking him on walks soon--I think he is getting a little stir crazy.

I finished Clinkerbell last night:

It needs a bit of a steam block but not much else. I think it worked well. You can see a bit of the pattern here--do you remember "Magic Eye"? I think this works a bit like a magic eye pattern.

I read a book called "Intermission"  which was a somewhat-light novel about a serious subject--trial separations. Not sure what is up next, as Goedel Escher Bach is a priority. And that book is interesting and challenging. There is an MIT course in it that is designed (apparently) for high school students but it is for high school students who know much more about math than I do.

A few people asked out the stretch elastic I used, and it is this one from Amazon. I haven't worn the socks yet but I like how shpringy the cuff seems, and my cuffs always seem to stretch out. So maybe this will work for you.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Packing up and heading back

We will leave here at around noon to head back to Eugene. Pilot has an appointment with our vet Priscilla--he has a small drain in his leg that needs to get removed (it worked fine--the swelling is pretty much all gone) and we want her to check what the emergency vet did. It is still pretty tender but the stitches seem to be holding ok and I think once the drain is out it should heel fine, but we'll have to see what Priscilla says.  Pilot is negotiating pretty well with the cone and he'll probably need it for another week, but that's life.

Yesterday it was all football, all the time. During the first game I knit on this:

I didn't care much about this game and fully expected the Saints to win and move on the SuperBowl, and that didn't happen.

The second game I worked on Clinkerbell, and while my Boston ties suggested that I root for the Patriots, my heart really wanted the Chiefs (well, mostly Mahomes) to win. So I shouldn't be disappointed that the Patriots won but I kind of am, a little bit.

After it all was over (around 7pm here) Tim and I took a walk around the block and watched for the wolf blood moon, which was much more wolfy rather than bloody here:

We took a sauna and read and now here we are.

I'm sad to leave but we'll come back two weeks from Thursday, which makes it better.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Slowly getting back to normal

We were all pretty exhausted yesterday from the excitement of Friday night/Saturday morning (see below to catch up!) which was kind of nice. It was warm and cloudy and if I had to detail exactly what we did, it would be challenging.  I know at one point Tim went to Beach Wok and got lunch, the dogs went out in the back yard at several points, we watched one GBBS and a Midsomer Murder (I think I slept through much of the last 15 minutes but woke up when the murderer was uncovered) and we were asleep before 9am.

Pilot is doing well--the swelling is down, he seems to be in minimal pain, he is eating and drinking and walking just fine. He can negotiate things fairly gracefully with the cone, and it is bothering him less. We have an appointment with our vet in Eugene tomorrow afternoon so we'll make sure everything is good from that perspective.

A couple things:

-we watched the documentary on the Fyre festival (the one on Netflix) on Friday (I may have mentioned it) and it was good. This was a festival that never happened in 2017---many many young people were part of this scam (that wasn't supposed to be a scam, but it ended up being a scam). Anyway, I had heard about it peripherally from a few of my students at the time and read an article or two but the documentary told the whole story in an interesting way. There is a competing documentary on Hulu, and those filmmakers interviewed the guy in charge extensively (which didn't happen in the Netflix doc, although he was on camera several times) but anyway, I recommend it.

I did do some fairly mindless knitting yesterday:

This is Clinkerbell, and I do really like it. I had questioned the yarn choice but now I feel good about it.

And finally, another piece of art was hung on the wall:

This was made by our friend (and Tim's dissertation advisor) Dominique Bachelet. We have another one of her pieces in our Eugene house (bunnies) and she is so talented. Plus, puffins.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Then this happened.

One of my few concerns about living in a small town is what happens in an emergency. There are people hospitals within about a 20 minute drive but the nearest vet hospital is in Salem, about 75 minutes away. Well, guess what?

You may recall Pilot had a lumpy bumpy that we had diagnosed about two weeks ago. It was benign, yet with all lumpy bumpies you are cautioned it could rupture and to get help immediately. Well, we were getting ready to go to bed last night and when I asked the dogs to join me for a quick trip outside, we noticed that Pilot's leg with the lumpy bumpy was incredibly swollen and painful. So we packed him into the car and ventured out on a night of driving rain and high winds.

We got to the emergency vet in Salem at about 10:45, and it was completely empty.  We were there about two hours (which is pretty speedy for an emergency vet) during which time he had bloodwork done, got sedated, got the site drained, had the discharged looked at (he had started bleeding a bit by the time we arrived at the vet) and had the wound lanced and a little tube put in to help with draining. Armed with three drugs and a bunch of instructions, we headed home and got back here around 2:15 am, and it took about another hour to get everybody settled in. Tim and I both got up around 8 and I need to run over to Lincoln City (20 miles away) and get a few more things and then we're just going to stay home til Monday.

We have a follow up appointment with our vet on Monday and his leg is doing much better today---much less swollen. He ate breakfast and if he didn't have his cone on you wouldn't know much was wrong. He is wagging and makes slightly miserable noises but let us put a warm compress on his leg this morning so that's a plus.

Keep our little guy in your thoughts today if you could!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Happy place

I really have two happy places (I'm a lucky woman!): the farm and the coast house. Here is how it looked last night:

 And here it was this morning.

There has been a high wave warning for the past day, and it is pretty chunky out there. It is lovely to be back at the house, as it has been a bit of a stressful week in Chez Sheehan. 

Tim drove out yesterday afternoon, so I had time to work on these socks, which I love. There are two unique things (for me) about these socks:

1. I used invisible elastic thread for the cuff ribbing and I do think that made it stretchier.
2. I used a brand new (to me) bind off which is very very stretchy--it was recommended for the Midsommer moon MKAL and I used it on that, and on the socks (I did these toe-up) as well. It is the Suspended Bind Off and is just like a regular bind off except it goes like this. You k1 and that moves from left to right needle. You k1 again and move from left to right needle. You life the first stitch on the right needle over the second stitch (up to now, it is just a regular bind off) but instead of dropping the stitch, you LEAVE IT ON THE LEFT NEEDLE (so yes, you need to use the left needle to lift the stitch, not use a crochet hook or something like that). Then you knit what is now the 'second' stitch on the LEFT needle, and when you move THAT stitch to the right needle, you drop the stitch you moved.

Really. It is amazing.

Here is a web page with a tutorial, and there are a lot of videos too.

My bind offs are ALWAYS tighter than my cast ons so this is a bind off I'm going to work to perfect. I think the first time it turned out a bit looser than I want but that works really well for a shawl.

What is your favorite stretchy bind off?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

An Icy Post!

The morning walk with the dogs was a little bit icy, particularly on the uphills in the shade. We persevered. I walked on the frozen grass and the dogs walked on the frozen sidewalk. We were very careful. I also saw a neighbor going out to get her paper and as she is a little on the elderly side, I hung out to make sure she got back in the house OK without slipping (she did).

Here's Clinkerbell!

One of my favorite designers is Casapinka, and Clinkerbell is from an e-book she published last year with a few winter-designed patterns. Clinkerbell is a pretty simple cowl with lots of stockinette interrupted by two rounds of a P Ktb Ktb pattern every so often. You can kind of see it here:

The yarn is a limited edition yarn by Knit Picks from the Sock Lab called Specimen. You saw this balled up in a post a few days ago--I bought both this color and the pink color which Knit Picks calls summer colors but I think they're just fun colors. I have another Casapinka pattern, the Klickitat Street Cowl, which I will do when I finish this one.

My SEM work did not go well yesterday, mostly because I haven't used Windows in 20 years and I had to keep calling Tim to ask questions like "how do I turn on this computer" (really) and that was nuts.

Other than that, I'm back in the swing of teaching. I'm doing an independent study with one of my grad students where we'll read the book "Godel Escher Bach"  which is a Pulitzer prize winner. We're both excited and intimidated, which is a good thing.

And on we go.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Come to my happy place

 Calypso and his papa, Kokopelli. Atom on the left with his back to us, and Onyx on the right.
 Strider (and Calypso in the back)
 Tripoli. More fleece on this little fluffernutter than I've ever seen.
The pregnant Georgia who is just starting to 'show'

 Kokopelli, whose fleece I'm using for Kilim
 Someboy got his bangs trimmed.
 Atom and Calypso.
My guys.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Weekend Report: Colorful

It was a colorful weekend around here, as I cast on for two new projects, knit on the 'Starry Night' socks, and finished up the Ibis and moved on to the next letter (N. not sure what it is for). In addition, there was laundry, a bit of work on the taxes, the aforementioned weaving in of ends, dog walks, some playing around with Tim's drone, class prep, and a bit of a Great British Baking Show binge.

Not sure how so much got done, but I'll blame the knitting time on football. We watched the entire Kansas City game and then parts of the other three games, and by 'watched' I mean Tim watched and I knit. I cast on for Kilim using three yarns from the farm--all from Kokopelli, Calypso's papa. Ann dyed them with mineral yarns that someone brought her from Peru.

The white thing is a stitch marker.

There are about 40 rows before the decreases start, and I've done about 12. It may be small, but alpaca has a bit of give. I'm also being very careful with the colorwork, and it doesn't seem to be puckering (knock wood). I'm catching the floats every few stitches. This is very bright and outside my (black-white-grey) wheelhouse but this is good!

This will be my 'concentration' project for a while--the other two are fairly mindless (sock is mindless sock, the other project is a cowl that is mainly mindless punctuated by a few rounds of sort of concentrated knitting). Good choices for January!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Entering the Land of Ends to Weave In

If you don't hear from me for a few weeks, I'll be weaving in ends.

Just kind of kidding. I thought I'd pop in and put the lid on these two projects--they are both blocked, both wet blocked and steam blocked, and just need ends woven in. Here is the box and cable sweater:

And here is the Midwinter Moon shawl.

See, ou an see the dark moon right there in the middle!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Mysteries solved and mysteries begun!

Well look what is off those needles:
It is the Midwinter Moon Mystery Knit Along!

I generally don't do these, just because it is hard to keep up, but I did this one because 1. I love the yarn used 2. I loved the color combinations 3. the designer is one I appreciate and have knit things she designed in the past and 4. I think at the time I was looking for a vacation project. Well, I didn't keep up at all (the last clue came out on 12/28) but finishing it within two weeks is not bad!

Yesterday afternoon had two goals: first, to finish this, and second, to finish this while I was teaching myself how to do Structural Equation Modeling (NOTE: if you want to see how nerdy I am, keep reading. If you already recognize how nerdy I am, and don't want to read about statistical analysis, please just continue on to the next paragraph). For those of you who have taken a stats class, SEM is a multiple regression on steroids---in fact, most journals will no longer accept a multiple regression or a path analysis for a predictor model because SEM is so, so much more robust. However. SEM can't be used with the stats analysis package that I have (SPSS)--there is an add-on that is only used on PCs (and I'm a Mac person). So I'm borrowing a PC for a week next Tuesday so I can run SEM analyses, and I need to be ready to hit the ground running. So I read a manual, I watched a bunch of videos, and I got my data ready. What could go wrong? But it was great to have something to do with my hands so when I watch the same video twenty times, I got something out of it).

Anyway, back to the shawl: itt really needs to be blocked and stretched out full to get the complete effect. So I gave it a bath this morning and now it is blocking, but you can only see half:

But it is looking good (ie I just checked the spoiler thread and it looks like other ones in the MKAL).

And you know what that means?


Well, at least two things will get cast on today. First the Kilim Hat (here's a reminder of the colors I'll use):

And then I wound up these guys yesterday:

I think the peach will be for cable socks, and I'll use one of the two middle colors for a Casapinka cowl. The one on the right is pastel-y stripes and sparkles so it may end up being a 'one and done'. But I'm still thinking!

Friday, January 11, 2019

On Fridays I Focalize

It is a word, really. I looked it up.

Anyway, this post is a paean (yes that is a word too, and it is different from the word paeon, really, I looked it up) to Kym's Friday Fish Wraps but since I pretty much copy every thing Kym does I decided to shake it up a bit. Of course, Focalize (transitive verb, to bring to a focus) doesn't quite have the same elan (yes that is a word too, I looked it up) to the blog as Fish Wrap but wants needs. So yes, let me recap my zany, zany life (ha) for you.

  • First week of class! I have a class of 30 juniors and seniors who are, shall we say, interesting. I have an eye roller and people who walk in really, really late and a woman who sits in the front who yells at me if I move the slides forward too fast and talks about what she considers the best brand in the world, a sex toy company called Dame. All part of a day's work.
  • None of the above is upsetting to me, and I think this is because of my decision to give up Facebook. It took a few days before I stopped going there automatically every time I opened up my computer or my Kindle or my phone, but now I'm really good without it. I also am spending much less time on Ravelry--I am checking it primarily for patterns, and many of the boards I'm on are just too judgy. 
  • I have upped my Insta game, but I'm mostly following knitters and cross stitchers. Speaking of which: it's an ibis. An ibis missing its feet and some other parts but an ibis all the same.
  • I'm kind of stumbling around looking for a good book to read: I read "The Studio" by John Gregory Dunne and now I'm reading "Monster" also by him about his involvement with the film "Up Close and Personal" and may re-read "The Goldfinch" but nothing is grabbing me. 
  • We are (successfully) training Jessie the Cat to eat out of an automatic feeder. This will make it easier to do shorter, last minute trips to the house.
  • This may be the weekend for casting on all the things. I have the yarn ready to go for Kilim and also have clear elastic to compensate for alpaca's lack of stretchiness. I will check to see if I have yarn to make a Japanese Knot Bag (if I have enough bright blue I would like to do it out of that) and also maybe a bright cabled sock because I really love cables. 
Thanks for sticking with me during this long focalizing post!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

It's not quite done--

--it needs a steam press (especially on the front) and some ends snipped off and I have to get rid of that little bubble but:

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

The Finishing Line

"Don't it always seem to go--
that your projects finish at the same time..."--not Joni Mitchell

So Blocking happened:

And then this was here:

And now it is here (note tiny ball left of one color)

I have about 12 rows left of the shawl, although each row is 350 stitches.


Monday, January 07, 2019

Beginning Again

Today is the first day of Winter term and I'm beginning it differently. I have a calendar that I'm diligently using (I may tend to rely on my memory too much) and a to-do list that I have organized as both 'today' and longer term. I still need to figure out some exercise stuff but I'm trying not to push too much into the first 'work' day of the new year (long walk, once it warms up, is on the agenda).

The BIG NEWS is that I am almost done with the grey sweater: one more repeat of the cable and then the cuffs and then blocking and it will be done!

Here it was at the end of the evening--it barely fits in the photo frame or on top of a coffee table!

I've also been working on the shawl, and have about ten or twelve rows left of that--BUT each row is about 350 stitches so that will take a while.

Kathy has some questions:

 *Do you think we will see games like football change to prevent concussions? Yes, I truly hope so.
*A friend has this lamp that melts any candle without a flame.  I have to find one.  Do you know where I can get one? I don't even know why you want a candle that melts without a flame. 
*Which did you have first, your yarn or your pattern on your last cast on? It was the blue sock, so definitely the yarn.
*How often do you go out to breakfast? Not that often, although I do love a cooked breakfast--cooked by someone else.
*Did you play any games this holiday season? Yes, Carcosonne (sp?) and an odd little Exit Room game.
*would you rather have a maid for a month , a  cook for a week or a gardener for a season? I think a gardener?
How many days week do you set a wake up alarm? M-F. 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Third clue--almost done!

First, thank you so much for your comments on Pilot's happy diagnosis. Apparently he will just become a lumpy dog as he ages and we'll continue to get new ones checked out. Our vet says the 'new' one (he has one on his back as well that seems to be the same type of lump) may need to be removed at some point--it is on the inside of his back leg and if it gets big it would be a problem for him movement-wise, so if he is in for a dental cleaning she'll just take it off then. It also may just get reabsorbed into his skin--the lump on his back got much bigger over the summer and then just started to shrink down.

The dogs got new dog toys yesterday---they both will completely destroy most toys and until yesterday we had a pile of 'pelts' in the corner of a room that Comet (in particular) still plays with occasionally. I found some fairly inexpensive toys on Amazon that are pretty indestructible and fun to throw around. You can see them here: (please note that the elephant and the dinosaur are the only ones that are indestructible, I don't know why those other two are on this page)

AND I am almost done with Clue 3 of the MKAL--there were lots of short rows in this clue. It has taken the shawl in a new direction (literally):

So we'll see where this goes.

I now want to make a lot of felted bags for some reason, so those might be my next project.

We are going to have a rainy and windy weekend, so much reading and knitting is on the agenda. Plus, I'm going to work on getting Jessie cat used to an automated feeder. We'll see how that goes.

Happy Saturday.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Pilot Update: Benign!

He thanks you for your best wishes.

Back to the needles

We're back in the 'valley' house (as I've begun referring to it in my head) and once again I'm so surprised at how a two hour drive can totally transport us.  One of my goals is to get out to the coast house more frequently (the month between TG and Christmas was just too long) although I'll miss being able to spend a few weeks out there (until summer, of course).

Here is my packing yesterday: crafts on the right, clothes on the left. Yes, that is a suitcase full of crafts I did not do.

Jessie cat was glad to see us (we don't take her to the coast house because she is a bit---destructive, shall we say?). Zach and his daughters came by every day to check in and after a few days she came out to greet them. She sat on me much of last night (which she generally does not do) and was very yowly (I think she was letting us know we were gone a bit too long).

Driving back, I made a bit of progress on the sock (I dropped a stitch marker in the car, and so was using a safetypin to mark the front of the sock. Wants needs.

And I finished 'Clue 2':

I also wanted to report on two books.

"The Witch Elm" by Tana French was good--very readable and well paced. However, I do find she goes on a bit too long and there are two or three twists when I would be happy with one. But I liked this a lot--I just found myself speeding through the last forty pages or so.

Then I read a short book called "The Secretary" by Renee Knight. This was interesting and a fairly short read. It is about a woman who works as a secretary for a high-powered woman. You know from the start that something 'bad' happened but you're not sure what. The book provides enough detail so the reader (me) builds an image and idea in their mind and then as the book progresses, well, more of the story comes out and the reader (me) morphs the images and ideas and it is surprising. I know I'm being kind of vague but if you read this book, you'll know why I'm doing that.

I liked it a lot, and it went fast too.

Not sure what I'll BEGIN next, but I'll keep you posted.

Pilot goes to the vet to get his lump checked today. It has not changed in the past few weeks so we are hoping for good news.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

And one final sunrise--

before we head back to the valley.

So I decided yesterday to BEGIN the New Year by deactivating my Facebook Account (and uninstalling all the Facebook apps from my devices, as well as uninstalling Bubble Witch 3, don't judge). It is weird how reliant I've become on FB but I'm reclaiming that social media time for myself.  Let's see what I can accomplish!

Yesterday we did a lot of cleaning and straightening of the house but also had time to play with Tim's drone, take a good walk with the dogs, and compete in one last game of Carcassonne.  And I finished the second clue of the MKAL, but will save that for another day.