I did not mean for the final line of my last post to be left there dangling like that. That's what I get for pre-writing posts. That post was meant to be posted the day before, but then the whole Claudia hilarity ensued, so I redated it, but when I proofread it I missed that line. Does that clear things up or make them muddier? Probably a whole lot of needless information, but you must be tolerant -- I'm a fish out of water with the work having come practically to a screeching halt, and to add insult to injury, I'm kicking the can -- AGAIN. For those just catching up, I mean the Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi (I love them both equally, with Diet Pepsi having a slight edge in the race) can. I have fought an ongoing battle against my addictions to them for several years now. So here we go with Attempt No. 1,388. I really mean it this time -- No, I really DO. (pfffft)
To that detoxifying end, I'm drinking copious amounts of water, green and black tea, herbal tea, yerba maté, and even some fruit juices. I'm surprised I can even sit at the computer long enough to type, what with all that liquid going in. (What goes in must come out.)
So that's one reason why I did not finish my long Verizon story. Another is I realize readers only have SO MUCH of an attention span. Not to mention writers. Sheesh. I even pondered whether I was going to hit "publish" or just plain "delete". But I decided the story must be told! (I'm taking the piss out of myself here -- no pun intended.) Honestly, I had nothing else to say, as I have heretofore mentioned, since I've got no crocuses to show. I do have progress on my cardigan, but man is THAT boring to show. You've seen one yoked knit-top-down cardigan in-progress photo, you've seen them all. When it was just-slightly-less-than bolero length, I did put it on over my bare breasts to take a photo -- you know the kind I mean. You don't? Well, think about it. But that's been done to death, and by women with perkier breasts and better home photo studio setups than mine. I think I'd best stick with whatever it is that I do best. (What is that, again?)
So. Where was I before the brain fuzz of detox set in? Oh, yes! The WINNER of the 2nd Chance Blogiversary Contest is: Kate F. from Kentucky! She said it made her Monday a little less pissificated. (Wait, that's a word? Spell check did not even flinch. I suppose I should look it up, but I'm just going to leave it there. It suits me, even if I'm not using it in the right context.) I've got a sweet little package of goodies to send her.
What else? Oh, yes, back to the BlackBerry story.
After we became fast friends because I dropped the f-bomb on him, my BlackBerry guy (you don't mind if I call him my BlackBerry guy, do you?) asked someone with authority, I guess, if we could exchange that piece of crap (my words, not his) for something that might work. He got the authority, and he said they'd transfer all the stuff for me if I'd come back in about a half hour. This was good, since I had not had lunch yet, so I went out and came back. I have a new unit which seems to work. And also, since we were now budz, and I confided in him that, just like most things technical, I believe I am vastly underusing the BlackBerry -- mainly because I am paranoid that if I ask for something or download an app or something, that I'm going to get a new charge on my bill. He set my mind at ease about that, saying that if that were going to happen, I'd be asked for a credit card number -- so download away!
He asked if there was anything I'd like in particular. Well, apart from, you know, a sugar daddy, for which I don't think there is a BlackBerry app (though I'd probably be surprised...) one thing I really wanted on my BlackBerry is Weatherbug or something similar. Well, didn't he just go right ahead in front of my eyes and download a weather app for me (not Weatherbug, but about the same) and fix the settings for Burlington, etc.
I had some questions about how some other things worked. BlackBerry is INCREDIBLY nonintuitive and illogical, to my way of thinking. Everything you want to do is hidden in a complicated menu that, once you know how to do it it's easy, but figuring it out will make you go bald everywhere but those private places that you have to wax. Every time I want to know how to do something, I have to Google it or ask a friend who's had a BB longer than I. He cleared up some things, but more importantly just with those words up above, "to set your mind at ease" about the billing thing, he gave me confidence to fool around with it once I got home and I got some settings changed and some things figured out.
And I also Googled how to make the browser work. That is another area on the BB that is CRAP. The "browser" icon just kept taking me to how to add more email accounts, but did NOTHING else. Hello, "browser" should mean I can BROWSE the INTERNET. If I could ever get it to do anything else, it would be so slow and so cumbersome it was never worth it. Ugh. But in my research, I found the best little wonderful -- fast and sweet and clear and easy to run (and of course, developed in Norway, not the U.S.) browser for BlackBerry. It's called Opera Mini. I love it because it's got a sweet O icon, and I looooooovvvvvve O's. But more than that, it works slick as a whistle, it's fitted properly for my little BB screen (rather than the old one that required scrolling and scrolling to get to the other side of the page if need be) and it's FREE. If you've got a BlackBerry and your browser, like my old one, is C-R-A-P, go and download Opera. You'll thank me.
And so.... I'm sure the saga will continue. But for now, at least, the BlackBerry is working -- it even kept on long enough to have a phone call at my home with Ann yesterday without dropping the call! -- and I've got a browser that works and it's sending me email. But today we are having another snowstorm, the tower will probably get iced up or something, and then all bets are off.
The only thing that my BlackBerry guy did that pissed me off (after the initial "I bet you didn't try this" trick) was to recommend that I buy the $250 gizmo to give me a signal in my home. He pointed to it and suggested I get this wonderful thing. I told him that yeah, a woman on the phone suggested I get one, and it's $250, right? He says, "Yes, but it's only a one-time cost, and it's a lot cheaper than putting up a tower, and you'll have great service." I put the kibosh to that with this statement:
"Mmm-hm. I'd like it if Verizon GAVE me one of those."
Oh, this is just so damn hilarious. And I'd love to tell you why, but I can only tease you with this comment from my wonderful Claudia:
Because she is RIGHT. She can ask me anything, and I will answer. (It's not because she's a lawyer, either -- at least I don't think so. Heh.)
And when I landed on her name after asking My Random Number Generator for a number from 1 to 184 (the number of entrants who were on time and etc., though my rules are pretty, shall we say, flexible), I literally laughed out loud.
Am I a pain in the ass? Sorry to be giggling over here in the corner about a private joke. That is truly in bad form -- I do apologize. Will you forgive me? How about if I choose a second winner, as well? Will that do it? Comment today before midnight Eastern (Daylight Friggin' Savings Time) for a second-chance drawing.
Oh, we do have fun. I love you guys! You rocked my world with your wonderful and creative and loving comments. *mwah*
First off, thank you for all the blogiversary wishes. And of course there is a winner of the prize. I'll announce who it is tomorrow. If you get in your comments to that post up until noon Eastern Time today, they'll be included in the drawing.
Usually I do what I set out to do and complete what I say I will, but I have been known to bite off more than I can chew on occasion. For example, I signed up for the "knit mittens in January" Ravelry group. (or was it December? I can't even remember.) But when tendinitis reared its ugly head in November, I had all I could do to do my work for the months of December and January. February brought the timely and much-needed rest period to allow me to heal, and I have since managed to complete the Marta sweater, get back to work, and get well under way on the Garter Yoke Cardi. But I had a couple of very long work days this week, and I've been pushing myself probably a little too hard on the cardigan, which has brought back some of the pain in my arms/elbows. I'm now taking it a little more easy, and work has slowed down again, so I will be fine. And I never even cast on for a mitten.
Way back last summer, I made a commitment to knit a blanket for foster girls going to summer camp next summer. The request was simply for squares, but I volunteered to make an entire blanket. I completed three large squares, and they have sat and sat. I have decided that I can't finish the blanket and do all the other things I have to and want to do, which includes being a bit selfish and completing the next sweater for myself.
Anyway, since they're just sitting here, I've decided to mail out these squares. I might or might not get some more done, but I think it's time they got off that little stool they've been sitting on in the family room, and now that work has slowed down, I actually have time to take care of little details such as mailing things.
Seeing this photo of the very pretty squares makes me sad that I didn't finish the thing.
If YOU have any squares just lying around, or if you want to work on this project, please check in with Leticia at the Ravelry group Donate a Square. Leticia collects knitted and crocheted squares of all colors, shapes and sizes, and she has a group of volunteers to put them together in tasteful and artistic ways to make nice blankets to donate to various worthy causes.
If you are not a member of Ravelry and want the contact info for Leticia, let me know.
Five years! I cannot believe it. And in the last year and at least four months, I've written every single day. Phew. Sick of me yet? I'm almost sick of me, but definitely not sick of the blog. I suppose it's time for another one of those trite, treacly posts -- I can't help myself, and I think I'm entitled. So here goes:
The blog is one of the best things I've ever done for myself. It has enriched my life in ways I can hardly believe and certainly never would have envisioned six years ago.
My gains: Dozens of very close friends -- friends I can count on to lift me up when I'm down, to pull my feet back on the ground when my head gets too far into the clouds, to share with, to gossip with, to complain to. Trips. Festivals. Vacations. A cruise. Red Scarves. New gardeners. Visitors. Learning. And laughing. And kvetching. And crying. And yelling. And wondering. And sharing. And maturing. And encouraging. And, well, there you have it -- a big, sugary heaping helping of trite and treacle.
For sticking around, I'd like to offer a random winner a token of my friendship. I have a gorgeous Persephone Scarf kit that I bought at last year's Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival for just this occasion.
The pattern is written by my dear friend Miriam from Salt Lake City, Utah, and the yarn is by my dear friend Judy from Wherever In New England She Happens To Be At Any Given Moment, but often in Vermont. I got an extra skein so the scarf could be made nice and long. I am a fan of the long scarf.
The scarf kit is filled with meaning -- Persephone in Greek mythology was the Goddess of Spring (and don't we all wish for spring right about now?), the kit is the product of two of my friends, and, well, it's purple. What more could you ask?
This being the season of Vermont maple syrup, you can bet there will be some syrup in the package, as well as a jar of my rose petal jam. And since it's from me, you just know there will be a little bit of snark and sarcasm in there, too.
Just leave a five-word, five-syllable, five-sentence, five-item -- or, hell, something to do with fives -- comment.
I am seriously in need of some sunshine and going somewhere warm. Being of Northern European descent, I am almost unfamiliar with this feeling. We Northern European types thrive on gray, cold, dead, dark, dank .... don't we? Or am I just trying to convince myself of that? Seriously, I've never, ever been a sun worshipper (a thing for which my aging skin is very, very appreciative, though I'm not sure what it might have done to my bones, all that lack of vitamin D...) and I have always disliked the heat -- though I have come to love the heat in Bikram yoga, as long as it's kept at 105 or lower. Sometimes the instructor gets a bit carried away and jacks it up to 113 or 118, and frankly that is probably so dangerous it will lead to a lawsuit someday. But I digress.
When I was in England, I was so happy that I often wondered why people were always going on about the cold, wet, gray weather. I was perfectly comfortable, happy, and right at home. I suppose this explains why I often say I want to live in a cave. I'm not kidding about that. [much]
So why, right now, do I feel I need to go as close to the equator as possible and sit under a sunlamp at the same time, huh?
Speaking of Vitamin D, are you getting enough? My Breast Care Center nurse practitioner recently told me I should shoot for 1,000 I.U. a day. I was stupid and ran right out and got 1,000-I.U. capsules, but then I realized that my calcium-magnesium supplements also have some in them, not to mention my multi-vitamin. I don't take all these every day, by any means, but even so, I probably ought to back off the 1,000-unit capsules in addition to all the other stuff. But the standard 400 that is in multis is not enough, she tells me.
Well, yesterday's response was enlightening in many ways, and don't you love how grown up we all were? Thank you for the interesting and positive discussion.
Hey, so while I'm learning to adjust to my new schedule, and taking care of my arms, I'm going to be minimalist again today, so I've got another giveaway. I have a brand new copy of Knitted Jackets to give away. If this is something you're interested in, let me know in the comments, and I'll put your name in a hat.
I get to see Cindy today, and I can't WAIT. She's going to work on my neck next.
Mr. Jefferies got some new shoes. Does this qualify as abuse, d'ya think?
1. CindyCindy won the yarn. Sandy acted as my official "Random Number Generator," and she chose Cindy's number. Congrats, Cindy! And thanks to all who played.
2. Someone recently let me know that she is having problems with the links in the Red Scarf Blog. She says every single link she tries shuts her Internet Explorer down. I tried it with Firefox, and every link works. I tried to go to that blog, as well as this one, with Internet Explorer, and IE froze each time and didn't even load the frickin' thing. I haven't used Internet Explorer for years for that very reason, and frankly I rather thought that nobody uses IE anymore, (very parochial of me, innit?) but it still doesn't make me happy to think that the blog doesn't work with IE, and perhaps other browsers. Anyone else having any trouble? Not that I'd have a clue what to do about it, but I am interested to hear if the blog is useless or unreadable or is giving you trouble in any way. I can hear it now if we mention it to Typepad: They'd say, "Use Firefox." Which, of course, would be my advice, too. Heh. I mean, really: It's free, and it's damn good, and it doesn't have all the flaws of IE, which are legion. I'm just godawful thankful that Typepad has not yet graced me with the dreaded upgrade that fouled so many people up several months ago. Knock on wood.
3. The fact that I am still blogging daily is a testament to how much I love the blog and how much of an outlet it is for me and what a true hobby it is, more than any other hobby. Because I tell ya, if it weren't for that, with the schedule I'm keeping right now, I simply could not be here -- this next week in particular. I'm thinking this schedule will either kill me or make me stronger. If I come out alive, I'll still be blogging every day. Hell, I might still be blogging if I'm dead -- you just never know. If I ever stop blogging, please come to the funeral, will you? At least have a virtual one for me? You'll probably have to help make the funeral arrangements, because honestly, I think you friends and readers know me better than any member of my own family.
4. Don't hate me because my tomatoes are beautiful.
5. I tried on (again) the red scarf that is going to be mailed out, and I really need one of those for myself. I just love that thing. Such a simple pattern, but it's so great, and so red. I must have something in the stash.....
Really, I'm kind of skipping T because it could be for tomatoes, but that's been so done around here. It could be for travel, because I've done more of that this summer than I've done in a long time and I'm just over the moon about it. It could be for truck, because I do love our truck for hauling compost and shtuff like that. It could be for trellis, because I love my garden trellises, though I only have workhorse ones, not some of those lovely pieces of art that I covet. But time, that's going to be in very short supply from here on in. Labor Day Weekend is going to be exactly that for me -- lots of labor -- because Labor Day coincides with the opening of college. I have a full schedule of orientation events and opening ceremonies to work this weekend, and then I immediately hit the ground running next Tuesday for classes -- full mornings of medical school, lectures starting promptly at 8 (Have I mentioned I am not a morning person?) a couple-hours' break, and then various and sundry undergrad classes including that gem organic chemistry LATE in the day. Under normal circumstances, I'd just be about waking up at that hour, but since I'm forcing my body to shift schedules, AND I will have already put in a rather full day by that point, I'm thinking....hm, not so much.
BUT I'm NOT COMPLAINING. I'm thrilled about this turn of events, and it's a wave I want to ride for as long as I can ride it. Surf's up! Hang ten, baby!
And yes, all you concerned individuals, I'm taking good care of myself. I am very fortunate that I had an easy summer during which I had some lovely vacations and ate and exercised like a queen (in the healthful sense), so I feel like I have a good store of good health and happiness with which to embark on this (sure-to-be-exhausting-and-overwhelming-at-times) journey. In addition to that, I am going to schedule a massage every week, make sure I get enough sleep, see the chiropractor as necessary and get to yoga as much as I can. I have all the necessary tools in my tool chest and I know how to use them.
So T. There you have it -- time, what so many of us wish we had more of. I'm really just clearing the way for U for tomorrow, and I think you know what U stands for.
But because the ABC-Along is supposed to be all about the photos, I leave you with a couple of treats:
Miriam arrived at the Tuesday night stitch-n-bitch in SLC bearing this gift of her "Liquid Crack" (Purple raspberry and peach jam.) I had some of this on rye toast the other night. (The rye toast is becoming a bit of a theme, isn't it? I'd better stop that.) Sorry, I'm not sharing the jam. It's mine, all mine. DeLICious.
And a very pretty, very soft, mondo skein (500 yards, I believe) of Louet Sport Weight yarn dyed by Scout for the Red Scarf Project. She sent it to me to either knit it myself or offer it up as a prize. I am thinking "prize," because I've finished one red scarf and am not sure I will have time to do another. (Believe it or not, I would like to knit something for myself. Maybe even finish a sweater before Rhinebeck. Gasp!)
What say you? You interested in winning this big pile of loveliness? Just say so by midnight today, Pacific Time (that's 3 a.m. tomorrow my time).
(P.S. The color in the photo is quite accurate. Quite pinkish and grayish and lovely.)
We bloggers are weird creatures, are we not? It's my birthday, but you get a present. Well, a chance at one, anyway. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post and I'll enter your name in a drawing for the great pink sock kit giveaway that I'll tell you about now.
Did you ever know about Laura's lovely Pink Ribbon Sock Kit? She designed an excellent pink-ribbon sock pattern, hand-dyed the 100% merino superwash yarn in a sweet multi-shaded pink, and put together 100 kits for sale. $20 of the sale price of each kit went to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. All 100 of her kits were sold, and there are no more. Laura probably never wants to see the color pink again in her life!
I am the proud owner of Kit No. 3 of 100, signed and numbered by Laura.
And it could be yours.
So I'm 49 (but I don't feel it). I guess this means I am officially (almost) middle-aged. Given my genes and all those greens I eat and weights I lift, and if the world doesn't come to an end before then, I probably have another 49 51 or so to go. Happy birthday to me. (Sorry, no rack photos.)
Speaking of racks, though, of course I think everyone knows what Susan G. Komen stands for -- research for a breast cancer cure. I have been on a pretty close watch for breast cancer for a decade, having been placed in a high-risk category. But recently my risk category has been somewhat downgraded based on continued family history and personal history and such. Of course this is no guarantee that I won't get it, but it's a bit of a weight off my mind. I'm glad I won't have to be going through that seemingly constant revolving door to the Breast Care Center quite so often, too. Hopefully all will continue to be well in that regard. Maybe I'll reconsider showing the rack, just to celebrate that fact. HmLemmethinkNO.