Monday, February 28, 2011

NOT public urination!

We just came back from a great week up in the North Woods of Maine...but more on that later.

My goals for the week of vacation were few. I was determined to finish Charlize, and to get as far as possible on my Very First Toe-Up Socks.
Anything else was gravy.
I spent the whole of one day painstakingly packing the Knitting Bag with everything I thought I might need or want.
Sadly, it only took me about 15 minutes to pack a week's worth of clothing for all four of us, though the Outerwear took an afternoon in itself. You can't 'forget' things like ski pants and extra, extra gloves when going ice fishing in minus 17 degree weather.
 Gore-tex and neoprene. These are our BFF's.

My goals were completely derailed when we made it to the lake.
No wi-fi.

I did finish Charlize. She now languishes on the To Be Blocked pile, with three other items.

She looks great. The pattern was perfect for that crazy yarn. I have a feeling it will be taking a trip to Greece with a certain person I know this April...if it makes it out of the Blocking Pile!

That left me with plenty of time to work on The Socks.
I had done some homework before I left. The two patterns included in the STR club shipment gave me some confusion. They are sport weight. They are stranded. They are not toe-up.
I don't know what I saw to give me that impression. Brain fart.

Having still not settled on which pattern to follow, I went online, and stored every file I could find on my hard drive on toe-up socks, in case I got stuck. (I had been forewarned that wi-fi might be an issue.)

We made it to the lake, unpacked, set out tip-ups, and I got cosy with the 2 patterns and my freshly wound balls of yarn.
And that, my friends, is when I realized that neither of these patterns are written toe-up.

Not one to be deterred, ever, I 'read' the pattern backwards. I compared the stitch counts to a few other toe-up patterns on my hard drive.
But, I wasn't all "Raise your hand if you're Sure!"confident. The stitch counts varied, enough to concern me.

And I couldn't get online to ask anyone.

Well, I can begin the toe, anyway. The rest is just increasing to the right stitch count. I can get to that point, anyway.
Um, no. I neglected to save the file with the magic cast on.
I had no magic.

The next day, we did some sightseeing, because Momma cannot live on lake alone. She requires restaurants and the occasional yarn shop.
And, wi-fi.

I found all three of these things in the next town. Huzzah!
We buzzed about, did the tourist thing, and then I dropped The Big Guy and Thing One off at a store so I could spend some quality time with a 'borrowed' wi-fi signal nearby.

I found the link to the cast on, and was elbow deep into it when Thing One called to say they were being  ushered out of the store.
I had not counted on the fact that the streets up there roll up even earlier than here!
The store was closing. I told them to sit tight, I'd be up to get them as soon as I could (translation: when I finished both toes...).
It was then that Thing Two made a funny strangling noise, half-laugh, half-gag.
He finally got out, "Uh-oh, Mom. I think you're in trouble....!"

I looked up to find a police cruiser blocking me in. The signal I was 'borrowing' belonged to a church, which was not in use. Mine was the only vehicle in the lot, and, seeing no reason to hide, I parked at the street end, in full public view.
I had a moment of discontent, as I wondered about the legality of borrowing an open, unprotected wi-fi signal. I'm no hacker. I'm just a knit blogger!
He sauntered over. I smiled, held up what was in my hands (it took him a minute to figure it out- two 'toes' on magic sort of looks like knitting, but not in the traditional sense, right?).
He looked at my laptop on the seat next to me, saw the pages open to multiple knitting notes and patterns, and laughed like a madman!
"THAT'S a first!" he said, as he walked away.

And, true to knitterly form, I was bummed out that I didn't get the chance to ask him if he knew anybody who might be able to help me out with this sock pattern...

Here are my toes, in all their glory:

I tried one more time, later in the week (again, in the church parking lot) to further my progress, but was still uncertain. I've gotten no more done than what you see above. pfft.

I did do a birthday gift and a couple of dishcloths, and had a fabulous fishing trip without any incidence of frostbite or hypothermia despite a record low temp of...seriously....-24'!

Thursday, February 10, 2011



I don't want to scare you off, but I've seen a lot of things in my career as an Xray tech, things I don't even realize create nightmares for other people.
Then I met Robin.  I fear for her safety when she reads graphic posts on my blog.
I'm scared to death she'll pass out, hit her head, and be left unconscious until her husband gets home.
It keeps me in check.

(Bear with me...I want the video at the bottom of the post.)
I have not formed any real opinion yet on Stem Cell Research. (Not even bothering to attempt the segue...)
I'm still gathering facts as they are discovered. There are some applications I am dead set against (Hello, cloning!)...but then I hear about some new, cutting edge technology propagated by stem cell research.

I hear about a child succumbing to Type 1 Diabetes. Or anyone suffering with Cancer. AIDS.

And I think: Surely, we can do better.

And maybe, possibly, Stem Cell Research is part of the answer.
Got to keep an open mind.

But enough about my struggles with formulating a solid opinion. I simply must share with you one of the most incredible advancements I've seen in medicine (specifically burns) in my lifetime.
I wish to remind you that I've been around, and had the privilege to work with, MRI technology (at one time new and scary, and now widely accepted) in my lifetime.
If you're close to my age, you have also experienced lots of 'firsts' in medicine during our time here on Earth:
Heart transplantation. Multitudes of new vaccines. Heart valves. Internal pacemakers. ECMO.

Like, when I'm old and gray, my grandkids are going to ask me, 'What was the most significant thing that happened in the world during your lifetime?'
My own grandmother answered, "the invention of the automobile".
Today, I am likely to say "The Skin Gun". (Though, I hope in the future to be able to say "The cure for cancer".)

While working at The Mecca, I was exposed to many things. In every sense.
There was nothing I would not do, nowhere I would not go.
At the ripe age of twenty, I volunteered to cover the Burn Unit.

Gray 12, and Shriner's Burn Institute are where I learned the true definition of HOPE.
I am forever changed.

I really can't go into the details, but suffice it to say, of all the things I saw at a Level III Trauma Center, burns are my nightmare.
I won't be the one to educate you about the nature of burns; I'll only say, surviving a bad burn is truly living in Hell.

And now, this:

I have no words.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

For You, Cuz

Why do I NOT have Allstate insurance???

Firstly, I LOVE Dennis Haysbert. He's The Voice.
Like, James Earl Jones used to be The Voice, but now (sorry James), it's Dennis.

Great. Voice.

And now...there's Mayhem.

Seriously, I need to meet the group of 20-somethings who sat at a table and came up with Mayhem. We need to have lunch. Liquid lunch. And a designated driver.

And now...Mayhem:

I don't know what Allstate paid for these ads, but they're worth every penny.

I've got to go check their rates. Genius like this must be rewarded.

That's Allstate's stand. Are you in good hands?

disclaimer: Allstate did not pay me for any of this, but they TOTALLY SHOULD. Call me, Allstate. Better yet, have Dennis call me!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Knitting Purgatory

Knitgatory? Oh, why not!

I have received the Rockin Sock club installment, and it is everything I had hoped for and more!
 But... I'm not sure what I want to do about it.

The dilemma:
   I have set myself a goal, or challenge, to do my next pair of socks toe-up. Not a big deal. Do-able.
The patterns included with this club shipment are both toe-up, and they are awesome.

They are both stranded. Stranded socks are not stretchy socks.
Also, they are sport weight. Sport weight stranded socks.
My feet immediately break out in fever and claustrophobia just thinking about it.

These awesome sock patterns...they are not for me.

But the colors!!! The colors ARE for me!!

There is the leetle caveat that I have not yet attempted a toe-up sock. There could be gasp mistakes!

As I see it, I have two options:
1. Knit either of the Fab patterns, as written, with sport weight yarn, and gift them.
harumph. (To add insult to injury, the 'theme' of the patterns is friendship. As in, knit one for you and one for a friend, and have them do the same. BFF type-stuff.)
2. Use the Fab yarn, and a simple toe-up pattern, and selfishly keep them for moi. And risk getting struck  by lightning, pestilence and disease, dogs and cats, living together...

Sigh. I love the colors.
On the other hand,  I have a long list of recipients who would love and cherish these socks, non-stretchiness and sport weight and all.

And that means more to me than another pair of socks in a drawer.

OK, not in knitgatory any longer.

You guys always know just what to say to cheer a girl up.
And I was totally freaked at the thought of getting zapped by lightning. And the dogs and cats living together.

I don't know how long it will take me to complete a pair of toe-up, sport weight, stranded socks, but I SMELL GIVEAWAY.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Weather like this makes me wonder, Why IS it that I am always Essential Personnel?

I've never held a job that gives a snow day!

The National Guard once gave me ride in to MGH. I felt all speshul.

The ferry tried to get to us today, but visibility was zilch, and I'll wager the seas were enough to reduce me to tears (it doesn't take much). Thankfully, I was on solid ground. Snowy, but solid ground.
They'll come tomorrow, and do a make-up trip Friday.

That's cool, but it made for a very boring day at the post office. I entertained myself by playing with the shredder.
Note to self: ALWAYS bring the knitting to work.

Frenchboro is, by far, the most fun place to be in a snowstorm.
With only 2 miles or so of road, we are not so much 'heavily trafficked'.

There are approximately 8 trucks moving around the island this week.

And there's the fun! Bumper cars! Donuts! Sliding backwards down hills! (Ok, that one wasn't on purpose, and I may have been crying when I stopped. We've got some steeeep hills, and they freak me out.)

With so few vehicles on the road, you don't have to worry about hitting much ( unlike Boston!)

I'm toying with the idea of blocking the road above and below Dump Hill, and letting the kids slide after school.

Hmmm, I wonder if we can bribe the Plow Guy with to 'look the other way' for a couple of hours......??

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Barn Raising

The Amish hold a great big community event when a barn is built, and whew, did it just get warm in here, or am I the only one who swoons at the thought of burly strong sweaty men armed with nails a hammer?

Oh, sorry. I'm back.

I won't even pretend to talk about stuff I know nothing about. Praise the Innernet Gods for Wikipedia.

So,  barn raising.

Having recently experienced this hell, I was drawn to this story.

scary picture from the Juniper Moon Farm Blog

Then, as it is wont to do, the knitting community got hold of the story, and, well....
you just have to read it to believe it.

I am a part of many communities: the medical community, a school community, a geographic community, the knitting community.
I'm part of some online communities, some for business, some for pleasure.

But knitters....we've got 'em all beat.

Outfit an entire Navy ship with hats for christmas? No problem.
Help a small indie farmer rebuild his dream? STAND BACK.

I love it- I love being a part of a community that DOES.
My own little Frenchboro Bakery is proud to be a contributor to the staggering prize list.

Spread the word, my friends, and do what we do best: take care of each other.

Thanks, Susie, of Juniper Moon Farm, for bringing us together, and letting us shine!