Monday, October 31, 2011

What can it all mean?

It's still there.





It doesn't do anything.  It doesn't lead anywhere.  No one, for example, has stepped out of it from another time or place.  It doesn't appear to lead to another dimension, although one might argue that I am not qualified to make that determination.  And, in glaring defiance of the principle "if you build it, they will come," no one has even stopped by to use it.  Nor does it seem to signify anything.  I thought for a while that the unexpected arrival of a Purple Porta-Potty must be portentous (say that ten times fast), but I have yet to decipher its meaning. Its ways are subtle and devious, too much so for an ordinary thing like me.

It does seem to have brought a few disturbances with it. For starters, Emma suddenly announced the other day that her softball coach was holding pre-season (I'll say; someone should remind her that softball is a spring sport around here) training sessions.  At 6 in the morning. And she wants to go. At 6 in the morning.  It's an absurd hour to be driving anywhere with an 8th grader, especially now when it is dark and cold. But I am the mother:  I drive, therefor I am, and all that.  I just wish I had a spiffier car.  Something with a little zip to it. Or seat warmers.  Either would work for me.

Another anomaly:  my kids are entirely uninterested in Halloween costumes this year.  Matty says he'll plunk one of his existing Star Wars costumes on, Nate is going as an an "army guy" for which El Husbando will be supplying the outfit (how?  we have nothing appropriate here except for one camouflage bandana), and Emma is going as some sort of pirate in a skirt (assuming she can stay awake after her early morning at pre-spring training).  The shocker, though,  is Isabel.  The ultimate costume girl, the girl who spent one year as a blue inchworm (my best one: blue fleece zip-up union suit with accompanying body length stuffed tail, all made  without a pattern) and another masquerading as cauliflower (white sweats and sweatshirt, hat made of white terry cloth stuffed in a very lumpy manner)--the same girl who wore her tiger suit to pre-school for weeks on end and even drew up plans for dressing up as an end table-- the very girl who tested my ability to create these same costumes out of nothing year after year--is out of ideas.  She has no clue what she wants to be this year and cannot even say for sure that she wants to dress up.

Top left:  (1) a paired costume--Emma was the artist, Isabel posed as the art; (2) the tiger suit-- I made it for Emma when she was little and all of the kids wore it (some more than others) and felt terribly brave-- I will never part with it; (3) Isabel as a penguin; (4) elegant in a fabulous cape.  Bottom left: (1) a fabulous chapeau; (2) another fabulous chapeau, because what is a girl without her hat? (3) dragon costume-- she put it on at her sister's birthday party and we had to pry her out of it; (4) wearing bunny ears, just for fun; (5) still another fabulous chapeau, still for no reason we can recall.
Strange times are indeed upon us.

Monday, October 24, 2011

On Second Thought . . .

I'm having a bad reaction to the Purple Porta-Potty.  What kind of world is this where someone--anyone-- can just drive up a person's driveway and deposit a porta-potty on the lawn?  Who does this?  Why didn't they at least ask me what color potty I wanted for my lawn?  Clearly there was a choice.  See?

Purple and green.  And--here's the killer-- it's not even sitting straight.  It's tilty.  So whoever it is who hatches vile plans like randomly porta-pottying people can't even get a good seat for the show. Which only serves them right for hatching such a vicious plan, but all the same, couldn't we have enough pride in our work to do the job right? Jeez.

Intruder Alert

 I am being watched.

This made its way up the driveway this morning:

Your eyes do not deceive you.  It is a Purple Porta-Potty.  It approached with great stealth, but as it rounded the last corner of the driveway, my ever vigilant guard dog caught sight if it and issued Standard Signal Four: 


Translation: Intruder on the Premises, Possibly Dangerous.

Stymied by my top notch security system, the PPP stopped a good distance from the house and has concealed itself in the brush, where it evidently intends to await further instructions.  The camouflage must be working:  my daughter, who walked right past it on her way up the driveway, didn't even comment on its sudden appearance.

I believe it to be some sort of spy.  Here we can clearly see it inspecting the site of our next home improvement project.

I wonder what it wants.

On a sadder note, here is photographic evidence that my newest socks have suffered from Fading.  I took them out of the wash this morning and realized that they were no longer black with streaks of shocking green.  Instead, they are grey and lime.  Good thing I have a second skein. It looks like the next pair will have to be washed specially if I want to keep the colors. Bah!

Monday, October 17, 2011

In which I am Totally Famous and Don't Even Know It

Ok. Maybe this is not really 15 minutes of fame.  15 nanoseconds?  Who cares.  As I may have mentioned before, once or twice or twenty times, not that anyone should be counting, my girlfriend Deb and I make an annual pilgrimage to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck.  This year was no exception, although it does seem to us that the bus arrives just a little bit later and leaves just a little bit earlier every year.  Nonetheless, we went.  And, to boost the fun factor (especially important to me since I felt last year that I had approached the festival with a faulty strategy and mindset and therefor failed to extract the maximum fun possible from my one big day away) we added another Deb and a Jodi and spent the day alternately parting from and meeting up with each other, comparing notes on the different booths we had been too, and texting each other at a rate that would have made our teenage daughters' heads numb.  It worked like a charm.  We still ended up walking through most of the buildings, and we definitely became store-stupid and zombie-like from seeing far too much stuff for sale, but it was refreshing to have accomplished that by accident as opposed to tackling each building in order and making sure that we didn't overlook a single skein of yarn.

The second Deb (who is known locally as Knitting Deb, largely because I took some knitting classes with her, but also to distinguish her from Regular Deb- who was the first of my Deb acquisitions and is my usual Rhinebeck travel companion--and Spinning Deb--who, as you may have deduced, taught me to spin) has an 'in' with my favorite shameless-promoter-of-economic-recovery-through-discounted-yarn-acquisition website, The Dizzy Sheep. Dizzy offers a daily deal on a yarn (punctuated by an occasional holiday-related multi-deal frenzy) and K.D. used the occasion of her trip to Rhinebeck to take the website's eponymous mascot along for some photo-ops.  Now, normally, I would avoid author book signings and the evil, snakey lines that accompany them like the plague.  But Knitting Deb was determined to plunk herself in the line for the Yarn Harlot's book signing and I really really really didn't want to miss this because she was going to get a picture of the mighty Stephanie Pearl-McPhee with our very own Dizzy Sheep.  I thought this would be a memory in the making, and that is what led me to be wandering near the book signings at exactly the moment that would ensure my everlasting international stardom.  To appreciate the scope of my new-found fame, you'll need to pop over here for a minute.  Go ahead.  I'll wait.  Now, scroll down to the picture of the kid with the only kind of monster-butt I would ever want to have.   That's amazingly cute, isn't it?  But that's not what I'm all wee-wee'd up for.  Scroll down to the next picture below the monster-tush.  There is a woman there with her leg on a table, showing SPM her sock.  That's not me.  But, I remember seeing that woman hoist her sock up on the table because I was there.  I can prove it, too.  In the background of the picture, there is a woman in a blue sweater who is actually watching the sock-woman put her foot on the table.  That is still not me.  That is Regular Deb, and if she had known that this was going to be our international debut, she would have smiled for the camera.  But no one told us.  If anyone had bothered to mention that we were about to be famous, then instead of being the pony-tailed girl in the orange vest walking behind Regular Deb and not even looking at the camera, I would have been the pony-tailed girl in the orange vest mugging it up like an idiot for my big debut.  No matter.  I'm still in the picture, and I'll probably go back and look at it a few more times to make sure I haven't been edited out yet.   Excuse me for a second.

I'm back.  There isn't much else to report from Rhinebeck.  Knitting Deb had some good stories, one of which involved her being tracked down by a large man called Thor (yes, the same Thor who sold me free yarn a few Rhinebecks ago; could there really be more than one?), who had reported her --and more particularly the hand-knit shawl she was wearing--to the shawl's designer and wanted to know if the designer had managed to track her down among the thousands of hand-knit clad people in attendance.  But that's not my story.  My only story--and I use that term very loosely--took place on the ride home, where I was so tired that I began sleep knitting and dreamed (hallucinated?  it's a fine line, isn't it?) that someone had thrown a golf tee onto my knitting and just as I was trying to remove the tee from my project, I woke up and realized that I was actually trying to pull my Brittany DPN out of the mitten I was working on. Not much of a story, but that's OK because my picture is on the Yarn Harlot's blog and she's really famous, so now I'm famous too.

In honor of all this photographic excitement, I'll post a few pictures of my own.   The first pictures are Rhinebeck purchases.

One skein of STR mill ends for a pair of fingerless gloves for me to wear when my office gets too cold for typing. One purse strap, because I really am determined to knit that kit purse that I bought last year. One bag of dyed bluefaced leicester top.  The display at this booth was photo-worthy -- all sorts of colorful top and and skeins neatly displayed against a black background.  I had the most miserable time choosing because everything was beautiful.

One yarn bowl from Brier Street Pottery.  Isn't it pretty? The color is  teal blue, with a lot of blue-grey in it.  I also bought a little rose colored crock, but it is busy holding some of my spindles right now.

More roving from Hope Spinnery, which is a co-op that produces fiber and yarn  using wind power, and local purchasing, and natural dyes, and all sorts of socially responsible things.  I think I would feel wrong not buying something from this booth.

Next up are some things I actually finished.  First, my Night Fury socks.  I have a second skein of this stuff, which is good because I am not done enjoying either the yarn or the color way, which is named after Toothless the dragon in How to Train Your Dragon.  There is also a possibility that I'm going to take a dyeing workshop with the person who dyed this yarn, which would be too much fun for me.

Here is my Swallowtail Shawl.  Finally.  Finished.  Not sure what to do with it now.

Here are a pair of hats I made for a woman in the knitting guild who is collecting preemie hats for donation.  These were started and finished on the eternal bus ride to and from Rhinebeck, which isn't saying much because they are so quick to knit, but I also finished my Night Fury socks and knit most of a mitten on the same bus rides.  Just saying.

Emma, who had asked me a while ago to make her some hats for her pet gourds, was annoyed that they didn't fit her gourds properly,

although I think this guy looks fabulous.

That's enough for tonight.  The natives want dinner.  Again.  And I think I'm going to go make sure I'm still famous.  Again.