Friday, March 30, 2007

Virtual Friends

I realized the other day, when DH commented on my blog, that I do spend a fair bit of my free time on-line. And in reality, it's mostly knitting blog related, i.e. visiting the one chat room I "hang out" in, skimming &/or commenting on blogs of my "homies".....checking my email...those are the daylies...or almost dayly reads. Then once or twice weekly scanning on line discount yarn places I've heard about from other folks. Once a week or every other week I'll run throught the Pacific Northwest Fiber Bloggers webring, and then check out what Carrieoke is up to....and skim through her links. I'm a pretty regular reader of about 10 or 12 blogs on that linklist.

Recently I read somewhere (and I apologize for not being able to remember so if this is from your blog..chime up and take credit)...that some bloggers were disappointed and puzzled because they didn't get a lot of blog traffic and/or comments. The reply to that was suggestions to 1) jazz up and /or simplify the site for easier/more interesting reading....AND...leaving pertinent comments on other people's blogs. Leaving a comment allows the receiving blogger to link back to you.....sometimes there's an interest/connection....and wham....there you go....another regular visitor.

I was very slow to this whole blog thing. I lurked in a couple of knitting chatroooms for a couple of years. Then started commenting on one, infrequently at first....then found myself more and more comfortable. After a bit, I noticed that some of those chatters were setting up blogs. So I googled "knitting blogs" and Holy Cow found reading material to eat up a lot of spare time. But it was so much fun sometimes, so interesting at others, and man...the tips, techniques etc. I have learned and continue to learn about fiber,yarn and knitting. So about six months ago, I entered blogland myself. I had no idea at the time how habit forming it would become. I like it for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it has led me into a sense of community and "virtual friendships" with several delightful individuals. Now, of course, because it is blogland....they may in reality be obese hairy men in dingy underwear sitting in recliners smoking cigars and drinking cheap disrespect intended......but not likely. I enjoy the interchange of ideas, the planning of surprizes for this small community of "virtual friends". I love the level of giving to their home communities as well as to many international projects. It's contagious...and it spreads vital information about health and social welfare issues that we all need to pay attention to. I feel privileged to be a part of this. OK, enough mushy stuff.

So....I was thinking....wouldn't it be fun if we all shared a list of the top 5 blogs we read regularly....that are not already linked in the sidebars. If any. If not, then why?

And just so this doesn't come off sounding too pathetic...I really honestly do have "live friends" in my life with whom I interact, however, not on as regular of a basis due to all those other concerns that take up, work, exercise, knitting, eating, sleeping, sex, stuff like that. (NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER! NO COMMENT FROM YOU DH!)
as I'm sure you all do. This is just my little "sit down, have a cup of coffee/tea/beer whatever, me time" to check in with the folks who support my fiber habit and are my Knitbuds and developing friends. I'm really looking forward to meeting some of you this year.

Ipod Friday

Finally; I have everything in the same place at the same time to do an Ipod Friday post!

1. "Fix You"-Cold Play
2. "Pinch Me"-Barenaked Ladies
3. "Ground Control to Major Tom"-David Bowie
4. "Lola"-The Kinks
5. "Torn"-Creed
6-"Let's Dance"-David Bowie
7. "Edge of Seventeen"-Stevie Nicks
8. "Nothing Compares to You"-Prince
9. " You Were Mine"-Dixie Chicks
10. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"-Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty

Welll that was pretty boring. Looks like someone is stuck in a time warp, eh! I must say though that I've become a big fan of the post-grunge group Creed. lately. It's great music for rocking out while on the treadmill or elliptical trainer or running the trails. I also highly recommend it for heavy duty vacuuming!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Funny Work Thing

Whenever a new "customer" (per our company's policy, we no longer have patients...or clients...they are "customers") is admitted to our program, I perform an hour to hour and a half comprehensive medical history and physical examination. I then dictate this assessment, identifying all pertinent diagnoses...from ingrown toenails to head lice to whatever...and develop a treatment plan with referrals and recommendations for additional care needed beyond my scope of practice..i.e., vision..etc. This dictated document is generally 5-6 typed pages. In an interesting cost savings maneuver, our transcription service has been farmed out to someplace in Nepal. Yes..Nepal. We are in Alaska. Global community? Whatever. Anyway....there are some interesting and unique interpretations of medical descriptive terms that have come across my laptop for editing. Such as:

Under medications, herbs, nutritional supplements:
My dictation: " reports chamomile tea several times daily for relaxation"
The finished transcript: " reports camel milk tea several times daily..." cute. But it costs me time/keystrokes to make the edits, and if my records ever ended up in court for any reason...i can just imagine some attorney grilling my but about where folks get camel milk in Alaska....

My dictation: "complains of discharge with foul odor"
The finished transcript: "complains of discharge, smells like chicken" took me a second...foul..fowl..chicken....

I am not making this up!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kiri Takes A Trip-Chapter One

"A trip, a trip, my knitter says I'm going on a trip. The Queens have come to my rescue. My knitter has been accusing me of all sorts of bad behaviors. Trash talk...dropped stitches, missed yarnovers, pattern totally out of control....attacking even my physical attributes. Saying I'm unattractive, evan ugly at times. I know she's frustrated. I know how hard she's worked to knit me into shape. know...she is easily distracted. She's worked on me for hours without once stopping to make sure the previous row was perfect. I think she gets lulled into complacency on those purl rows. But that's just my opinion. And she's inconsistent. Working away for a bit then bam...setting me down in the middle of a pattern repeat. What kind of fool does these things? Anyway, she apologized for keeping me in time out so long. And she lavished attention upon me for the last several weeks. Now my fate has been decided. It was a close call though. There were times when I was sure my knitter was going to cut me into little bits, stuff me into an onion sack and leave me for nesting material. That was knitter Benne's idea. Not a terrible fate, but I'd had hopes for a more auspicious and long lasting career. Something a little more...public. Then there was talk about burning me on a ceremonial pyre. Ooooh, that one made me totally cringe....i think i was only saved from that fate by the knitter's personal knowledge of the fragrance (stench) of burning wool....Knitters Grace QOS (Queen of Shawls) and Jayne QOD (Queen of Dyeing) have graciously volunteered their time and energy to my makeover. I'll feel like a virtual Phoenix after they're through with me. Well, must get much to do!

1) let's see...I'll need a nice container for myself and what my knitter calls my "dangling ball of ugly". Here's a great clear box!
2) And we'll need to restring my live loops on a lifeline so they don't get damaged in travel.
3) Oh...and a fresh, uncrumpled copy of the pattern for Auntie Grace's convenience. What knitter? Oh never mind, I see that the corrected pattern came from my savior Auntie Grace already!
4) and some little stitch markers, just because of all the counts and repeats and stuff.
5) oh, and tea. mustn't forget tea.
6) and chocolate. because you just never know and my knitter says you have to have chocolate for a trip anywhere. for when I leave there and go to visit Jayne.....
1) some lovely Wilton's...a little green, red, orange, yellow....maybe some blue too...hmmmm..
2) some rubber gloves
3) some zyrtec for her allergies (well, my knitter does have that awful Pearl who sheds on everything)
4) and stitch markers...just because
5) and some tea.....
6) and chocolate.

I just pray to whatever powers that watch over traveling knitting projects that I get there safely AND don't get diverted to Vermont where I here there is an evil knitter named Joan who would think nothing of stuffing me into a garbage bag and into smelly transfer station oblivion forever! Oh I just can't wait. My bags are packed. I hope I don't get airsick! My knitter says I'm out of here on Saturday.....ooooh I just can't wait! Wish me luck very first trip!
Oh yeah, it's Kiri Nagalong day 27 too! all I can say. It's been marathon week(s) at work recently due to staff shortages---spring break---a seemingly abnormal increase in births this month (I'll have to do a stats retrospective one of these days), highly needy patients, and prep for our medicaid audit next week (shoot me now..please!) It's been insane I tell you.

Not much new on the Kiri...another mistake was found...which explained the lack of symmetry of pattern...a rippin back we entire 'nuther repeat...but that's ok...I will not likely be the person who sets her straight...she's going to be sent off to visit Aunt Grace for a little remedial behavior management....then possibly on to Aunt Jayne for a beauty makeover. She'll be a well traveled Kiri that's for sure! Alaska to New Jersey then on to Vancouver BC, then home.......hmmm...maybe she needs a side trip to Vermont (that's what I threaten her behave or else you'll have to go see JOAN in Vermont...she starts getting all shaky and teary-eyed when I say she's begging to go to Grace's..hah!)

In preparation for the marathon weekend at the hospital, I did a little self indulgent shopping and purchased THIS FABULOUS pattern book!

I'm a sucker for a great cover pattern and I've been wondering what to do with the Berroco Air I got for such a steal at last month. Well, this Taylored Scallops pattern by Pam Allen...which basically seems just like a version of F&F...appears to be perfect for the Air! I love scallop stripy things...very 70s-early 80s (remember those ripple afghans) I think the color of the Air and the wavy pattern will be JUST RIGHT!

There are lots of other patterns that remind me of some elannites in this book. Particularly this shawl....reminds me of SK, but with all the nupp scuttlebutt, i probably won't be doing this anytime soon.

And this lacy dress totally makes me think of Svetlana. Did you ever see this pattern?

And I am in love with this top...totally Alaska impractical but what the hey...I go on vacations (once in a while) to warm climates. And think this would look great over a tank or even sundresses ( I have sundresses!)

Overall, for the money ($24.95 before coupons/discounts etc.) with 21 patterns (even though I don't do really only 19 if you take those away)...I'd say it's a good buy and will surely inspire me to do some stashbusting!

Only four more days left of the Kiri a comment! Drawing to be held April 1st for a fabulous goodie bag chock full of Alaska surprizes :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007


DH comes downstairs after taking a shower. I am sitting on the sofa working on 85 stitches of ribbing. He says to me, "so, are you knitting underwear or something?"...
Me: "huh, what are you talking about?"
DH: "you know, that knitting laying on the towel upstairs. looks like panties...."
Me (thinking to ol' this your idea of sexy flirting talk?)....."uh no...those are sleeves"
DH: "Sleeves?"
Me: "yeah, sleeves for a sweater..see.." (i show him the sweater pattern photo)
DH: "looks like panties to me"
Me: (rolling eyes.. thinking...yeah buddy everything looks like SOMETHING to you...)..."NO"..."sleeves".

I go upstairs 1/2 hr later to shower. This is what I see:


I guess I should feel glad he thinks my ass is that small. Hah!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rookie of the Year

I'm just going to brag all over the place. I can't help it. We received a letter in the mail inviting us to a special banquet for the Alaska Barrel Racing Association. Why would that be something worth going to you might ask? beautiful, horse-lovin, wacky DD was named ROOKIE OF THE YEAR for the Alaska Barrel Racing Association for 2006. She started racing in 2005 but started late in the season. Last year was her first full season of racing. And race she did. She won her way straight through all the junior divisions and missed placing with the "seasoned adults" by less than 2/10ths of a second. She won $$$$....enough to cover her entry fees and then some....she didn't win the saddle she'd hoped for...but she did get a belt huh! (No...she refuses to wear any of her western wear to's all about Ts & hoodies in high school! She's much better at segregating the different facets of her life than I am!) For the non-horsey set out there....owning, keeping, and riding horses in Alaska has many, many challenges....and entails a huge amount of physical labor. All of which this kid does...willingly. She'd about a hundred times rather clean her barn than clean her room. Just thought I'd share some images of the girl and her horse(s)!

Here she is with Shorty and Danny (Danny's her friend's mini that comes over to play with the big boyz!)


Horse Love!

Tired Cowpoke

Demanding Boy!

Not a lot of fun hauling round bales...especially in the winter!

She jumps too!

And wins!

I think she's growing up into such a beauty....

She em what I really look like ma!

That's my grrrrrl :)

More knitting updates tomorrow when I have a day off!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Kiri Nagalong Day 19

Sadly...i believe the relationship with Kiri cannot be salvaged. We've tried the tips and communication strategies suggested by friends. We've gone back in time to when the pattern/relationship was by mistakes...back when the repetitions were smoothly anticipated. Bitterness and resentment has set in, although there was a brief resurgence of infatuation during the second honeymoon earlier in the month. Now...i feel only a sad nostalgia for what might have been. I will let her sleep there on the stairwell for a bit longer....dreaming of only she knows what. The end of the month deadline is peeking around the corner. The earliest sense of defeat is beginning to gnaw. But I shall think about that another day...because...

I'm awfully proud of myself! Why? you might ask....would SHE be proud of herself. Well, I'm gonna tell you. This weekend (actually the past several weekends, whenever there have been a few extra hours...I've been spring cleaning. You know the drill, unearthing files and boxes and going through years worth of papers and craft project rejects and piles of ...general crap that builds up when you've lived in the same place for almost two decades. Anyway...this flurry of activity spurred the little Grandma Clara into going through her boxes of "stuff" that we packed up and brought back from Oklahoma a few years ago. Last night, she had her walker loaded down with things and meticulously went around the living room laying filet crochet doilies/antimacassars across the backs of the chairs and sofas in the living room. She was the queen of filet crochet in her day and has dozens of these lovely crochet'd pictures packed away. I've had some of her exquisite doiles framed atop velvet and suede backgrounds. So why am I proud...I'm proud because a year ago I would've gotten mad about her pushing her "style" into the general living areas of my home. (yes, even after 3-4 years..i still would've gotten ridiculous was that?) Several months ago, DH and I had a long long talk about this....and basically what a lot of my anger/stress/upset etc. from having Grandma Clara here was a sense of losing "my" home...being pushed out of "my" space...even though it was my/our choice/decision....i guess i wasn't truly prepared for the reality of bringing another adult into our home..or..the repercussions of inviting them to make it their own. was just another grandma clara thing...something to be remarked upon...but there wasn't an emotional response.....except maybe amusement....mostly with myself. That's what I'm proud of today. Besides....isn't this cool? The woman was an artist with a tiny hook and some thread!

In other knitting news....Bets from the chat center wants to do a Wren-A-Long...with THIS. pattern! Hey, I'm all about the knitalongs, and it seemed like something eminently wearable...but was there anything in the stash that could work?
A visit to the newly re-organized knitting room ensued....

I found enough Berroco Softwist (41% wool/59% rayon) in an interesting blue/green (called Blue Gabardine) purchased ...oh..maybe 5 or 6 years ago...for ...i don't remember...but I started knitting up a mean swatch....and voila'.....

We have a wren wing!

A decision will be made on Kiri's fate over the next several days....your comments, nagging, long as they relate to Kiri...(even remotely) will go into the drawing. (Hey, there sure seems to be an awful lot of name drawing going on these days! How fun is THAT!)
Shoot...before you know it someone in that elann webring that Joan's cooking up will start up a sock or scarf exchange or sumpin! Have a great knitterly day everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth;
Love your neighbor as much as yourself.

Shui Kuen from the chatsite sent this lovely dress for a St. Patty's Day celebration. She thought I just might be able to find an adorable baby to fill it as a tribute to our friends of Irish descent, old and new, here and gone. She told me that there is an old Irish saying that when one soul departs this world, another enters. To our Irish friends who've passed, we raise a toast in honor of your life. To the new ones entering this world, may Irish blessings rain upon you.

Here is wishing you all a day of laughter and friendship! Thank you again Shui have such wonderful ideas!

Kiri Nagalong Day 16

Home again! Here's the promised baby pic from hippiemama and OliveBerthaline (not their real names!) Thanks Blogger for your endless cooperation. (If I make tribute to the bloggergods maybe they won't make pics and blog disappear--she whispers to the audience)

I spent some more time with Kiri yesterday. Sadly it was not very productive time. The lovely and talented Grace QOS sent me updated edging instructions...which help...but even with my perfect looking "leaves" and running through the stitches one at a time out loud...mistakes have been made. I have learned to honestly and truly "read" my own lace knitting...and know what is supposed to come next in the pattern just by the shape of the motif. Lesson learned, enough already. I reached a new nadir with her last night. Perhaps I shouldn't have had that glass of wine...or been watching the new HBO series on Addiction (great series...just started...i encourage everyone and anyone to watch this...with your kids if you have kids...this is one of the most important health issues you can address with your family!) Anyway...whatever happened...there i was at the end of another repeat (yes...ripped back well into the chart 2 pattern sequence one again) with total crap in my lap...again...a few stitches off at the end...not at the center...but at the end. Well, I have to tell you. I got a little emotional (i may have blurted out a few expletives) and pulled the needles out. So there she lays on the floor....all her little live loops exposed....

DH said " have that "someone's gonna get a major ass whoopin" look on your face.......and I very calmly stated "I am trying to decide what to do with Kiri".

Option 1: scissor her into small yarny bits
Option 2: toss her and her dangling ball of ugly into the garbage
Option 3: start a ceremonial pyre and burn the bitch
Option 4: pack in a box. duct tape it shut. mail to Jayne-no can't do that...Jayne's fam has allergies and I think Kiri's pretty well blended with cat and dog fiber/dander.
Option 5: pack in a box, duct tape it shut, mail to Joan...hahahaahahaha...nah.
Option 6: dust her off, put her back on the *&^%$ needles and try ONE LAST FREAKIN TIME TO GET IT RIGHT!

OK...Option 6 it is. ONE.....LAST.....TIME. This is for sure her very very very last chance. Period. If she screws up......I promise it will be one of the other less pleasant options. Period. (I am well known for being stubborn, persistent, the point of pain at times. It usually is a positive character trait...usually.)

And in case the rest of you believe that I am totally lace impaired....I am truly not....See, here is a fabulous Fishtail Lace scarf I made with the thrift store Rowan DK.....beautimous...perfect....wearable! And I've gifted off several (ok only 3) lacy scarves...i think it's just those freaky non pattern/partial pattern parts towards the center and at the edges (you know...when you are doing the increases/decreases to make that great triangle shape) that send me off onto the western slope.

I coulda been finished with my vest by now if I wasn't wasting all this time on Kiri. Speaking of the Vesty Jayne has decided to call it...I was rescued from being one ball short by the lovely, talented, and now sadly blogless CatBookMom! Thanks so much CBM...You are the Best! Due to hospital knitting the back is completed and the ribbing for the front is done...just a few hours of mindless SS & a little shaping and a little ribby fini!

Stop back by tomorrow when there will be a St. Patty's Day special cooked up by elannite knitbud SK! (and who knows...maybe a little more Kiri slamming...ha!)

Oh...and stop by Joan's blog ( and nag HER to get another KAL going! Have a great knitterly day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kiri Nagalong Day 14

Kiri Nagalong Update: I finished re-doing the last repeat. I have 273 stitches including the end YO's and garters. I have re-started the edging...get this...4..yes 4 times. Each time the first row of edging comes out incorrect. 2 stitches off at the midpoint...4 stitches off at the end. Yes. 4 times I have tinked the first row of edging back. Maybe I've tried it too late in the evening or after working too long. Maybe I'm just hopelessly lace impaired...or at least edging impaired here. The next step for me is to sit down with paper and pencil and graph out 273 stitches..and write in the pattern stitches to see if it works. If not...I dunno what I'm going to do. Any other ideas/suggestions, etc. will be enormously appreciated. How discouraging.

And to make matters worse. I sliced open the end of my left thumb. Yes...that would be the purling know the one. And man is it annoying. (Notice I did not say that it has stopped me from takes true dedication to knit through pain right....I'm of the opinion that knitting is my distraction therefor it should distract me from the pain of my poor thumb.) And sadly, I think the purling makes it a lot worse. I'm gonna have to find me a garter stitch something to knit for a while...or SS in the round...something. ouch. Who knew you used your left thumb that much huh?

Have been out of the loop for a few days. Lots of work playing catchup at the office. I love taking continueing ed programs...but man it throws my office/paperwork crap into a mess. Yesterday I spent 14 hours at hospital with one of my moms. What a trooper she was. Very unexpectedly loooooong....looooong....hard....very hard...labor. But this little hippie mommy is amazingly strong and brave. (Hey...she impressed the heck out of her labor nurses! and that's a tough crowd!) Sweet thing that she is...she was 5-6cm at 6:30am....and even with the dreaded vitamin P (yes, that would be pit) for 6 hours...was still 6ish cm at 5pm....babies usually get into a position where they are facing moms back in order to deliver...this stubborn lil baby girl wanted to stay facing forward...and did for hours and hours and hours. Mom finally decided to get an epidural (no other meds on board all day brave thing) at around 5:30...and little OliveBerthaline (OK that's not really her name) was finally born at 7:02 pm. Sometimes (in fact rather often)...epidurals will relax pelvic musculature enough to allow babies to turn and labor to support whatever my moms need to help them make their labor and birth experience a positive one. .....and I think epidurals are great for many many many reasons...both emotionally and physically. Better living through chemistry and all that.

Blogger is not accepting photos today for some no new baby pics...sorry! Here's hoping everyone has a lovely knitterly day!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thanks for your Comments on the Silver Thaw!

It's Kiri Nagalong Day 10!

I picked up a few pots of early bulbs a couple of weeks ago. Look what is happening with our spring sunshine! Still lots of snow to melt off, but it feels like spring is just around the corner. It was 16 degrees ABOVE when I left the hospital this morning. There was no frost on the windshield. The sun was bright and skies were such a very clear blue. As I turned onto the Glen Highway...a mama moose and her yearling calf picked their way delicately through the snow. In just 6-8 weeks, all the pregnant moose will have their calves. The air is still crisp and cold...but the smell of hope seems to make everyone friendlier.

I am SO EXCITED! I found the mistake in KIRI...and it wasn't as bad as I'd all. I missed a knit stitch on the second row of the last repeat before the edging....don't ask me how I just kept on trucking...I dunno...but I've strung lifelines and run contrasting yarn lines through with stich markers bewteen each repeat. I'm ready for some rippin". (After dinner I think!) Then it's only 8 more rows and then 5 rows of edging and the bind off! Holy cow this is so very very doable! I think the major hurdle was just refamiliarizing myself with the pattern after 4 months, and then just making/taking the time to sit down with all the tools I needed and go stitch by stitch as Grace suggested (BIG GRIN...THANKS AGAIN GRACE for your excellent advice). I also spray dampened and blocked out the last 2 repeats and let dry to open things up and make it SO MUCH EASIER to count the stitches. THANKS AGAIN SK! for that tip. Keep up the nagging's working for me!

Thanks so much again to everyone for your flattering comments about the KPS Silver Thaw. It's blocked and almost dry. I'm going to try it on again and decide based on the blocked fit. It may stay may be gifted...we'll just see. A few people remarked on the (cough) financial investment of the Silver Thaw. This was from a bag special at LittleKnits! I think the bag sale of Noro Silver Thaw is under $100, if I remember correctly. And only 5 of the 10 200+ yard skeins made this sweater (46")...I think it's going to have way too much ease...but we'll see. I love the way the silver thaw feels and yes...for me...I can wear it against my skin. But I'm not a sensitive type.

In OTHER knitting news....I know, I know, I should focus on the Kiri now that we've made some progress....but Kiri is not a portable project for me, and I was on overnight call last night so needed something rather brainless to work on. I finished about 1/2 the back for this vest.....

From this book of patterns (purchased with the last flurry of Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran from a few weeks ago! yummy yummy soft stuff this is! 20 balls of the Avacado green for the cover sweater oh yeah!):

Hah...I bet you're thinking you're going to get to see that Kashmir Aran today huh? Nope...cuz I'm making the vest from the beautiful and sexy OnLine Gaucho superwash wool. I need another little wool vesty to keep my vesty parts warm in the spring and fall you know! I'm thinking this will be a very versatile wardrobe piece...and's superwash wool whoohoo!

Well, that's all for today. Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'm going to make chicken curry for dinner...mmmm.
Chat with you again soon and DON'T FORGET TO NAG! Grandma Clara thinks the Nagalong is a hoot and has added a special prize to the pot!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

KPS Silver Thaw & Kiri Nagalong

Kiri Nagalong Day 7-----Sadly, no further progress to date. However, I do have a valid excuse. Honest!

This has been my primary focus for the past 2 days. 8a-5p, and then I had to go back to my office for about 3 hours afterwards:

OK....i know...uck...ish....but this happens to be one of my personal soapboxes. I treat so many STD/STIs each week.. I also teach classes/facilitate groups on STD/STIs and HIV. Prevention through Treatment. Risk/Harm Reduction. The whole nine yards. I have an enormous clear glass cookie jar on my desk filled with free condoms, that I refill regularly thank you! I embarass DD (but she loves it..really) by giving her friends impromptu lectures on this stuff (along with contraception.......remember this: the average age of first act of intercourse in the US has moved over the past 20 years from 17 yrs to now 14-15 yrs of age. The adolescent thinking has not changed yet from concrete to abstract, therefor they absolutely are not yet fully able to fathom the consequences of their actions. Hell, I know 40 year olds that still think that way. Maybe someday I'll show you my Queen Chlamydia outfit...complete with crown made of inflated condoms and sceptor topped with a golden glitter coated speculum. One of the more colorful cast of characters when I teach to youth....but again...I digress. Besides enjoying the content and updating my knowledge of the latest CDC treatment recommendations by attending excellent conferences, I use this time for POWER KNITTING!!

Hence.......May I present the KPS Silver Thaw... can see she still needs to be blocked, the ends woven in........and...well, if you click to enlarge the photo, you will probably notice a pretty purple glass bobble hanging on the front....what could that be.......perhaps a hand made stitch market that got knitted in and I was too many rows past to go back......goodbye little purple stitch marker....i made you many years ago and you have served me well. Now I will snip your ring and recycle your bead to mark another repeat..another day.'s worse than you think. You see, I ended up making it TOO FREAKIN BIG!!!!!!!!

How the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICK did that happen? Because dork that I am, I did not try it on. Double dork that I am....I used the same measurements I've made all my other sweaters with.......the last one was ummm...over 25 pounds ago. Yeah, I've lost 30lbs (+/- 2) since last September. And my skirts and pants have had to be replaced. And I had to get new bras. And I bought a fitted a size 10 which is still snug...but not gaping or uncomfortable. So why did I not even think to measure and go down at least a size on the pattern. Looking on the bright side....I know two girlfriends who would look marvelous in this....I'll do the finish work, weave in the ends, snip out the a nice blocking job and make someone a lovely gift of it. C'est la vie! (hey...when it doesn't fit because it's too big...that's a good thing. Besides, it only took 5 skeins of the Silver Thaw, I still have 5 left....and I LOVE this stuff!)

So, on to Kiri tomorrow! Don't forget to leave me a nag :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Go Dogs Go!

Sure it's Kiri Nagalong Day 4.....But it's also the OFFICIAL START of the 35th IDITAROD Sled Dog Race. Here's a little sweet shot of the ceremonial start.

For those of you out of the loop, the Iditarod Sled Dog Race is an 1100 (yes, one thousand and one hundred) mile race from "Anchorage" to Nome, through some of the most grueling terrain, weather, and other natural hazards most mere mortals can't even imagine. The dogs and their mushers are true super-athletes in every sense of the word. The ceremonial start takes place on Saturday from downtown Anchorage. Over 15,000 mushers, handlers and spectators crowd the streets. Roadways into and out of downtown are blocked off. In an ironic turn of events, truckloads of snow (previously hauled off the roads to make driving safe) are hauled into town and a snow pack is built up on over 5 miles of city roads until meeting the trails that crisscross the city. Some years, the ceremonial trail even winds out to the Eagle River area...depending on how much snow we have, of course.

The race then restarts on Sunday in Willow, Alaska and travels through wilderness for the next 1100 miles. Mushers travel through mountain passes and down gorges, along frozen rivers and across frozen sea ice along the coastline of the Seward Peninsula on the Bering Sea. Moose, snowstorms, brutal cold, wind, river or seawater overflows...all are dangers to the exhausted, sleep deprived men and women, and the canine team.

Their has been a lot of grief over the years from PETA saying that the Iditarod is inhumane and cruel to the dogs. And yes, dogs die sometimes. These dogs are athletes, in top shape. They are well-trained year round, and fed appropriately high calorie, high protein diets, vet checked before and during the race....and most importantly...these dogs love to run. This is what they do. They are some of the happiest dogs on earth. The people who protest are not from Alaska, and do not understand the breed, the sport, or the training. Enough said.

For more information about this fascinating and uniquely Alaskan extreme sport (distance mushing), check out this year's Iditarod website!

Keep your ears and eyes open for my personal favorite, Dee Dee Jonrowe . Ok, If these links work, thank Joan & Cate!

Not much else going on this weekend...lots of housecleaning...very satisfying to have clean floors, dustfree horizontal surfaces and nice shiny clean toilets yessirree! Reorganized some yarn, did a little grocery shopping, helped DD with a school project on French castles..(you remember...she hates history...we are trying to make this interesting for her...any help/suggestions etc. from the peanut gallery is truly welcome...) But most fun but very poignant was the couple of hours spent with DD discussing college goals, life goals, etc. On the one hand, she wants to be a veterinarian...on the other, she doesn't want to commit to the time and focus required to obtain the GPA needed to get there. She's a solid B student, with a good handful of A's thrown in...but can be inconsistent in study habits, attentiveness to know..typical teen stuff. Anyway....she/we stumbled across several interesting baccalaureate programs in Equine Management, both at public and private colleges/universities. It's a liberal arts based degree with a lot of biology, vet technology, animal husbandry, educational psychology (for teaching other riders/training etc.) along with basic accounting and management courses. Looks very promising. We've sent off for information from several. My baby is growing up. She's always been headstrong, high-spirited, stubborn/willful....and my longtime friend (since jr. high!) sent me a book when DD was little ....on "Raising the Spirited Child". I always remember the message...paraphrased, these kids already have most of the tools they need for success and happiness....your job as a parent is to provide the boundaries and guidance needed for safety and provision of the moral compass...the rest is all theirs". So good. I can't imagine her leaving..yet..but on the other hand, the most important things are to have a passion in your life for something...and if you can develop the tools and skills you need to make a living at it, WOW..(take my word for it!)

DH came home tired and cold from shooting the Ceremonial Start for a NOAA project. I made homemade chicken & dumplings, and we vegged out on the couch and watched "The Prestige" interesting movie. Learned some things I certainly didn't want to know. But it was very very well acted. (IMHO) more links today...see, i can link movie trailers...and all sorts of other things. Whoohoo!

..not much sleeve left to do on the Silver Thaw KPS....Kiri is wetted down and drying so I can start her major surgical overhaul later this week. Don't forget to nag......there've been lots of little Alaska goodies going into the prize box! YOU COULD ALREADY BE A WINNER!

Have a great knitting day, keep up with the dog race, and don't forget to leave a nag comment!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Kiri Nagalong Day 2

How cute is this? chocolate lambiness! yum!

yay...lots of great nagging going on! OK nagsters (and i'm including everyone...even those who say they don't or won't "nag") let's keep it up! The lazy ass midwife only pulled out the pattern last night. She told everyone she was going to count up the rows and all to figure out where she was again and how many stitches are SUPPOSED to be on the needles...but she didn't. Just the pattern. See...nagging is very important! What is even more important is the wonderful support and ideas received. SK (lace designer and expert knitter extraordinaire suggested doing a mini wet down, stretch and dry to open up the pattern on this area to make the job easier! great tip SK. Grace QOS who is another lacy shawl expert has reminded me to read the pattern stitch by stitch and place some sort of marker following each repeat within the row to denote the "good area". Jayne has great ideas for overdying in wild orange! Excellent suggestions all! Joan & Karin are in support of frogging and/or trashing...but i've too much of myself invested in this one to not stick it out til the bloody end!

And speaking of weekends.TGIF! Not to whine too much or anything but my god my clinic has been a wreck this week. I have sent two infants and a toddler to the hospital (and all have been admitted...2 are STILL inpatients) for an awful rotovirus (gut bug) that has them blowing out both ends! It's hit my moms and moms-to-be pretty hard too but they've been able to kick it within 24-36 hours, but babies get so dehydrated so fast. Of course, this throws everything into more chaos in the residential program...assuring the moms check back in by phone every 4 hours, UAs/breathalyzers when they return for groups, staff needed to transport moms back and forth between hospital and evening process groups. stuff like that. oh, and of course, being short staffed, because when patients are sick...staff get sick too. And then there is the little business of ROIs (release of information) you know...HIPAA stuff... Our organization has a fairly new Health Information Manager who has decided that all ROIs are invalid unless they have the complete address of whatever person/organization has been signed for. So they pulled out all the ROIs with missing addresses from the charts and say that we have to 1) get new ones from the patients-some of course who are long long gone..we're just doing ongoing care coordination for them and 2) can't talk to anyone who we've had previously signed ones for. I'm sorry, but I'm just not going to stop what I'm doing in the middle of seeing patients and go find the full treatment chart (not just my separate medical chart) and go thru 5 thousand sheets of paper to see "if" the ROI has an address on it. Nope. Not. Doing. It. ok. enough work whining. the problem is....i love what i do. I love where i do it. It's just all the administrative crap above/around me that makes me crazy. and everytime there is a new manager in whatever dept., they seem to feel the need to prove themselves by making sweeping pisses everyone off. ok..enough. It really is overall a good company. with great benefits. and an amazing vision & mission. which is why i work there right.

I'm hoping for a relatively quiet weekend. I'm on call next weekend. I have 4 very late pregnant, very whiny (and understandably so) moms to be.. 2 of them are actually "due"-which i define as past 37 weeks-so I may end up at hospital over the weekend anyway. I kind of hope not. My house needs to be cleaned...toilets especially...(I HATE cleaning only do it every 2 weeks...gross huh!)...I actually have a friend who hires someone to come over every week and just clean her tubs and vacuuming or mopping...just clean tubs and toilets...holy cow! that would feel too wierd to me i think. (although i loooooved having a cleaning lady come weekly back in the days before we enacted the dreaded budget. Funny, but I always kept things much more picked up and tidy then...and always did a once over before she came to make sure all she had to do was clean...ah those were the days!)

In other news...let's see...the single sock is still single. I'm just not feeling soxie these days. But it's Ok. There is always charitable knitting to be done. And I have done and still do my share. Just not this month..or last I guess.

The Silver Thaw KPS turtleneck is on the downhill stretch. Body is complete, turtleneck is complete. First sleeve is picked up and started.

The weather totally sucks. It has been much below zero over the entire area for SEVERAL days. DD was commenting at the dinner table last night about how when she was outside cleaning up the corral, she spit and then rubbed her fingers over the big glob...and it was frozen solid by the time she took her gloves off to feel it. Yes, that short of time span. I brought in a case of bottled water that i'd left in the truck overnight. frozen solid...48 hours later there is still some ice in the bottles...and they are sitting in a 65 degree dining room. We are also having 40mph winds right now, gusting to 70mph. nothing like getting hit in the face with little particles of glass like fine snow.

OK, not much else to really blog about today...enjoy some Alaska views...keep knitting and don't forget to nag me!

Beautiful Glacier Bay Alaska....see those great big things that look like ice blocks...yep...those are glaciers!