Monday, January 31, 2011

I should note that the kitchenered back seam of the Pink Granite sweater is nearly invisible. A perfectly rendered kitchenered seam would be completely invisible, of course, but I think I did darn well (pun!) for a second attempt at kitchener stitch.

I'm adjusting to the Oregon winter, now that the bad storm that was present on my arrival has passed. I no longer think of highs in the 40s F as cold.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I finished the knitting of the Pink Granite sweater today. I knit the front/neck ribbing, including 7 buttonholes, wove in the ends, and blocked it. Tomorrow, I'll go shopping for buttons. Pewter would look nice, since the colorway is pink and grey. It only took two skeins of Blue Moon BFL Sport, and I'm a big girl.

Tom, the dogs, and I are getting used to the routine in Oregon. I cook more here than I did in LA. I do more hand-washing of hand-knits, since it's always sweater weather here. And, of course, since our yard here isn't fenced, we walk the dogs on leashes 4 times/day. As often as not, Tom and I go together. It's getting to be a pleasure, not a chore.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Today, I knit the ribbing around the bottom edge of the Pink Granite sweater. I won't know whether I'm happy with it until I do the ribbing around the front/neck edge. If I don't like the ribbing, I can always rip it out and replace it with another edging pattern.

Tom and I drove to Long Beach, mostly to see how much of it is open in winter. The answer is, most of it is open. It's easier to park, though. We stopped at a Thai restaurant, and found it to be just as good as the ones we used to frequent in Los Angeles.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I have finished knitting both sides of the Pink Granite sweater, sewed the arm/side seams, and kitchenered the back. It fits nicely, and looks good. All I have left to do is knit ribbing onto the edges, and block it. It's my first cardigan. I haven't decided yet what to do about closings, whether I should do buttons, snaps, or plan to leave it open.

Tom ran the errands today, which left me time to knit. He's a very useful husband.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Well, my faithful old Civic is to be totaled. Tom and I went to Portland to try on the Fit, and it did. It looks about the same size as my old Civic, but, when you fold the seats down, it turns into a wee panel van. There was a much prettier car, the CR-Z, if I recall, that wasn't too much more expensive, but I'm going to make good use of the Fit's Transformer abilities.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tom brought up a lot of kitchen stuff, including appliances, when he came yesterday. I'm glad we have a lot of outlets in the new kitchen. Much rearranging had to be done, in order to make room for it all.

Now, at last, Tom can have his regular breakfast panini in our new home.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I went to Cannon Beach this morning, to pick up some of Tom's favorite candy, to surprise him when he gets home today. In the interest of efficiency, I had to go across the street, to the excellent yarn shop there. They were having a nice seasonal clearance sale, which made it easy to pick up a couple of skeins of Noro. Love that Noro. This one is pink, white, black, and brown. Come to think of it, it's not that different, in its ingredients, than the Pink Granite (in terms of color), but it's put together differently.

After that, I dropped by the Blue Scorcher. It's easily the best bakery in a town filled with good bakeries, and it's a vegetarian restaurant to boot. Since I have no use for a veggie restaurant when Tom is home (he's meat-and-potatoes guy), I thought I'd check it out. Nope, it was packed. I picked up a couple of pastries and a loaf of bread, and continued on to the grocery store.

For whatever reason, I have had no desire at all to eat farm animals this week. If I lived alone, it would be easy to be almost a vegetarian. Almost, because I still like seafood, and I must have turkey for the holidays.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I "Unfollowed"most of my contacts on Twitter today, as I was spending waaaay too much time on that site. Yesterday, I think I was on Twitter from 4 am to 10 pm. I did watch TV for a few hours, but checked Twitter during station breaks. That's a problem. Since I cannot simultaneously knit and tweet, I cut the Twitter. Tweeting doesn't get me new clothes.

I'm making good progress on the Pink Granite cardigan. Not including edging, I'd say I'm 3/4 done. Since there will be edging, we'll call it half.

Got a call from the lawyer's office; my papers are in and ready to be signed. I have an appointment to do so Wednesday. I hope that, after that, I'll be able to move forward on such matters as remodeling the storefront and purchasing appliances.

Tom will be home tomorrow. I miss him.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

With a sore knee as the sovereign excuse for getting out of work, I spent most of the day either fooling around on Twitter, or watching TV. Mostly, I watched reality shows about hoarders; don't tell my husband. He despises all reality shows that don't star Kathy Griffin. I'll watch the ones that cut close to home. Since almost everyone I know is either a hoarder or somewhere along the continuum, including me, I can't tear myself away.

I admit to having 17 bins of yarn, but the number is probably closer to twenty. I wouldn't consider myself completely over the line into true hoarder-dom, as I can clean house when I have to, and I experience no distress over discarding expired catalogs, outdated newspapers, and the like. Parts of my house do look a lot like the houses on the hoarding shows, though, so I'm not completely free of the syndrome.

There was one moment, on one show, at which the "organizational expert" talked a knitter into giving up all her knitting needles except the ones she was currently using, and one circular. (!!!!!) That "expert" was clearly not a knitter. I use all my needles, from size 0 to 17. Okay, I also have a pair of size 35s that I've only used once. Getting rid of that one extra pair wouldn't make much of a dent in the clutter. All my circular needles fit into one purse, which is supplemented by a vase full of straights. If you want to clean up my house, make me thin the yarn down to ten bins, or even six, but don't make me give up the needles.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some cleaning up to do.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yeah, when I heard that Keith Olbermann had lost his show, I hit the Twitter pretty hard. By noon today, I was getting bored with being heartbroken over the loss of a newcaster I had never met, anyway.

Senator Ron Wyden had a town hall meeting at the Maritime Museum. He looked older, thinner, paler, and balder than I remembered him from TV, and I don't think his teeth are real. Then, when one of his constituents complimented him on his swift recovery from cancer surgery, it hit me; he's a cancer patient. His youthful good looks just a few months ago, contrasted with today, might have nothing to do with makeup and lighting for TV appearances. The last few months might have taken a lot out of him.

He's a heck of a guy. No matter how wacky the questions that were thrown at him, he treated all his questioners with the same respect and consideration. When he didn't know the answer to a question right off, he'd have his staff get the person's phone #, so they could get back to him later.

I, as always, wanted to get my two cents in on health care. I didn't want to take meeting time with my concern, since a couple of others had already brought up health care issues. When I told him I had "one niggling detail" that concerned me, he reacted with mock shock, "Only one!" He fully agreed that the six-month waiting period one has to go without insurance in order to qualify to shop on the exchange is completely unacceptable.

Progress on the Pink Granite cardi continues apace.

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 isn't shaping up to be any better than 2010, so far. I still haven't heard from the lawyer about incorporation, so I can't move forward on getting the restaurant ready to open. Due to the high cost of auto repair, the mostly-cosmetic damage done to my car may end up causing the insurance company to write it off as a total loss. If this happens, I'll have to buy a new car. The kind I want doesn't have a dealership within 50 miles, and I can't get the runner-up equipped the way I want. In other news, the company that has been insuring our house in LA doesn't insure second homes, so, now that we've moved to Oregon, we'll have to shop for a new homeowner's policy.

I'm at least halfway through the second sleeve of the Pink Granite cardigan, knit cuff-to-centerline. I could stand to have something a tad more complex to keep my mind of money matters. Miles and miles of stockinette don't quite cut it, as a distraction.

On the bright side, the weather *was* nice a couple of days ago, and is likely to be nice again a couple of days hence. It's amazing how quickly I've come to dislike rain. I may become an Oregonian, yet.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I finished the first half of the Pink Granite sweater yesterday, and started the second.

Better, I saw the sky for the first time in a week or more. The moon and stars are so lovely!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I am reliably informed by a friend who lives in England that the floods in Oregon are worldwide news, on a par with the flooding in Brazil. I looked, and found that, not only was the one highway I tried to use yesterday closed, but all the highways in this part of the state. Ah. So I'm not being a wuss when I complain about the weather this week.

As far as is possible, I'm staying in until the rain stops.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

We tried to go to Portland today, but the highway out of Astoria was closed by flooding. It's not my imagination that the weather has been challenging this week.

It was good to get out of the house, though. We stopped in at a local pet supply store, and Safeway. It's not glamorous, but it's what we have.

I very much enjoyed the Golden Globes broadcast. The gowns worn by the actresses involved were lovely, more so than for any other award show in my memory. I loved the vintage details, the beading, the trains and drapery and sheer volume. My favorites were Scarlet Johanssen's, for close-up detail, and Olivia Wilde's, for eye-popping glamour. Most of the guys looked uncomfortable in their tuxedos, except for the ever-lovely Bruce Willis.

It's unlikely that poor Ricky Gervais will be invited to host another one. For such a gifted comedian, he sure misjudged his audience.

I baked a loaf of white bread tonight, with eggs, butter, milk, and sugar, the way Tom likes it. He was pleased. I prefer a more rustic loaf, with nothing but flour, salt, yeast, and water. De gustibus non est...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm afraid the weather in Astoria, Oregon can get a mite dreary in winter. We knew this before we got here, of course, but nothing prepares you for the unrelenting nature of the rain.

Okay, if my knee didn't hurt so much, the rain might not bother me. Stuck indoors with a sore knee, compounded by being stuck indoors by unending rain, seems a bit much.

There's the waiting, too. I thought I'd be able to get right to work on the restaurant, once we got the keys, but the lawyer insisted that we incorporate before signing any more contracts. That means waiting before we can do the most basic of work.

And there's waiting for car repairs. Tom drove by the shop this morning; my car hasn't been moved from the space where we parked it on Wednesday.

And waiting for knee repairs. My knee collapsed a few days before Christmas. I waited until the New Year to make an appointment, because I didn't want to give up the New Year's parties in Los Angeles. When I did call, it took four weeks to get an appointment; two weeks of waiting remain. After that, I imagine it'll be weeks or months of waiting for a date for surgery. Then it'll be weeks or months waiting to heal.

I'm losing patience.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's not cold. If it weren't for the fine drizzle and the howling winds, it'd be t-shirt weather.

The sweater I'm working on is in stockinette, so it's getting dull. The only interest is watching the color pattern evolve. It seems to be alternating blobs of light pink with blobs of black and white stripes. Four more days or so, and I'll be half done.

Tom and I made another field trip to the local wholesale grocery store. We didn't buy anything, but, judging by looks alone, I think we'll be able to get decent pastrami. I don't like the looks of the rye bread, though. There's a good local bakery, Blue Scorcher, which makes delicious rye bread, but it's $5/loaf. I don't see much profit in making sandwiches on $5/loaf bread. It looks like I'll be making my own, after all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It is a day of no interest.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's a week since the cat died, my septic tank overflowed, and I injured my knee. I hope this means my Week of Bad Luck is over.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I cast on a new project last night. The inspiration came when I was consolidating my stash. I came across a recent acquisition from Bue Moon, which included a sweater-quantity of BFL Sport in the recently-discontinued Pink Granite colorway. I've started a sweater (could be a cardigan, could be a pullover: I have plenty of time to decide) knit wrist-to-centerline, so the stripes with be vertical-ish.

Tom and I went to a meeting last night, which had been described to us as a networking club of local business owners. Nope, it was a sales meeting designed to get people to buy into a multi-level marketing scheme for telecommunications. It was Tupperware without the high-quality plastic goods. I hate sales, so we snuck out as soon as we could. Of course, there's no "sneaking" out of a group of ten seated in a circle, so we did make a bit of a spectacle.

Oddly, the host of this meeting was the orthopedist with whom I have an appointment in a few weeks. Why would a doctor need to get involved with a pyramid scheme?

Monday, January 10, 2011

I have nothing on the needles. Nothing.

Last night, I went into the Yellow Room (its official designation in this household), and took quiet joy in sitting among my bins and bags of yarn, needles, and knitting books. I didn't take that to the level of opening the bins, and choosing a new project to begin. Neither have I put the pink cabled sweater I finished last week in water, in order to smooth out the minor blebs inevitable in a new, unblocked garment.

While I have done a bit around the house-- I've cooked every meal since arriving-- I haven't started on the multitude of phone calls necessary to getting the restaurant off the ground. Tom is running errands, by way of indulging my wish to remain motionless today. In response, I've dissasembled the Christmas turkey, thawed last night, and started the process of turkey-bone soup. So, I'm not being completely useless, just useless enough.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Yesterday was uneventful; I cleaned the house, finished packing the car, and drove until I was ready to drop. For the record, I made Medford before I gave up.

I wish today had also been uneventful. Four am, getting onto the freeway, accelerating to freeway speed, and immediately pulled over by an Oregon cop. He wasn't being a dick; he didn't give me a ticket. Just trying to keep Californians from driving like Californians while in Oregon. I wasn't going that much over the limit.

Flurries of snow on the Five in northern Oregon. Worse on the 26. Admiring the beautiful snow, following the snowplow, until the plow pulled over and went back the other way. WTF? On the unplowed part of the road, I gently drifted into the rail. Then a 4x4 gently drifted into my back bumper. Both vehicles drivable, no one injured, but a heck of a lot of body work needs to be done.

I need to knit something. I brought all my knitting books, needles, and a few bins of yarn (Freudian typo: I spelled it "yearn."). I should be able to get something together.

Friday, January 07, 2011

I do miss the cat. A hundred times a day, I catch myself performing the little rituals and habits I formed around this cat. Closing doors quickly, so the cat won't get in. Placing breakables far away from edges, so the cat won't break them. All that stuff.

Tom left for Oregon this morning. This is the first time he'll be spending a night there without me; I was too blasted from losing the cat, acquiring a knee injury, and dealing with home repairs, to leave yesterday, as planned. My intention is to go tomorrow. I have only to finish cleaning out my desk and refrigerator before leaving, as I promised the housesitter that she'd have a desk and fridge of her own.

I haven't done any knitting since finishing the pink sweater a few days ago. I knew that, if I cast on a new project, I wouldn't start packing until it was done, and no project is so quick that I could afford the time.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Yesterday was definitely trying to win some sort of "Suckiest Day in History" award. The cat proved to be terminal, and had to be put down. My knee went out again, worse than before. For the topper, the septic system backed up, rendering all the plumbing in the house unusable, and the pumper service didn't answer their phone.

On the plus side, the central heating has been repaired, as has the leaky kitchen faucet.

Our housesitter has agreed to help me pack. I'll probably make one trip back to LA to pick up more stuff, if my knee allows. At this point, I'm pretty sure there's a new knee in my future. I'd rather have the surgery done in Oregon, solely because I'd rather spend my recuperating time there.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Super. I have a sick cat and a sore knee, there has been no heat in the house for as long as I can remember, I'm supposed to be moving tomorrow and I haven't even started to pack the car, and the furnace company just confirmed that they've scheduled my "first thing Wednesday morning" repair for between 1 and 3 in the afternoon.

Sometimes, you just can't win.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

More confusion on the moving front: The cat urgently needs dental work tomorrow. I can't subject her to a 17-hour drive the day after, if she's still suffering. The shot of antibiotics she got today seem to have helped her, for the moment.

And, I still haven't lifted a finger about packing the car, etc. I did leave a message with my housesitter, asking about a time for her to come over. She has offered to help me clean and pack. As I'm still having some trouble with my knee, I think the better part of valor is to let her help.

I finished the pink cabled sweater. Naturally, the weather in LA has warmed up just enough that I couldn't wear it tonight, when Tom and I went out with friends for dinner.

Monday, January 03, 2011

I finished the second sleeve today, with two skeins of yarn left. I'm now adding a bit to the length of the body, and will likely finish tomorrow. As I had already moved most of my woolen sweaters to Oregon, and it has been chilly here in LA, I'll be glad to have it.

Some fool came onto our property while we were shopping today, broke one of the solar lights that line the driveway, left a bag of trash, and stole our bags of recyclables. Between the damage and the theft, we're out maybe $60. We didn't think to call the police right away, since the likelihood of recovering our damages is nil, but now I think we should. If there's a pattern of petty theft and vandalism in the neighborhood, the police should know about it.

I wonder whether fixing the gate isn't something we should do before moving out.

In theory, I'm moving in two days, but I haven't lifted a finger to do the stuff that needs to be done before I go, like emptying the front room and packing the car. My knee has been sore, and it has been so cold, with the furnace out of order. Today, I noticed that the cat has lost weight, so now I'm worried about her, too.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

When I got back from my last trip, I couldn't figure out why I had so many pair of socks in the laundry. There were 12 pair. I usually do laundry at least every other day, so I don't have more than 4 pair dirty at a time for the two of us. Couldn't figure it out.

Had a good talk with Tom. As it turns out, he had found the socks drying from the last batch I had hand washed, assumed they were dirty, and put them back in the laundry to transport back to LA. Mystery solved.

I'm almost done with the second sleeve on the pink cabled sweater, with still 2 1/2 skeins of yarn left. Once I've finished the sleeve, I'll do a few more repeats of the pattern before knitting the bottom ribbing. I like my sweaters on the long side.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

There were two parties today, a pot luck brunch (I bring the coffeecake each year) and a huge semi-showbiz-industry do.

The brunch is a small thing, mostly family friends. It's a picnic, which we in LA are fortunate to be able to do most years on January 1.

The other is also an annual thing. It's great fun being a fly on the wall, listening in as all the near-greats talk about their acquaintance with the greats. Today, there were a lot of stories flying about Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee, all of whom the assembled populace agreed were terrific guys.

The hosts of the latter (he's a TV writer, which explains the show-biz connection) are among my closest friends. She got positively weepy when I started to leave. She doesn't want us to move away, and this was likely the last time I'll see them for some months.

I only knit a few rows today, of course. One can't carry along an almost-completed sweater to work on during a crowded party, especially when one is prone to making mistakes in the design when distracted. A couple of my friends were working on socks during the party, but socks are smaller than sweaters.