30 January 2011


This symbol {psi} is claimed by the discipline of Psychology, the field in which my husband's eldest son's wife is pursuing her PhD.  This afghan that I've been working on is a gift for the two of them.  It incorporates various elements that represent the two of them.  The "W" that is the main focus, the center, is for their family's surname {which is also now mine}.  The two "w"s at the top, each bracketed by two crescent moons, is for both my husband's eldest son and his wife.  The psi symbol at the bottom of the afghan is for the wife. And along the sides will be the representation of  my husband's eldest son's artist's stamp {which I have not yet graphed and do not have pictured here as of yet}.  I'll take a picture of the completed top {and foot} of the afghan in the next few days, when that portion is completed.  I've only been working on the Psi symbol since yesterday, so I think I'm making good progress.

29 January 2011

droll classic

So far my favorite movie quote from Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, which we are now watching, is:

"You can't fight here, it's the war room!"

Also, this has all sorts of surprises for me.  Like this was James Earl Jones's first appearance on the big screen.  Peter Sellers plays three roles in this movie, including the President of the US of A.  George C. Scott looks unrealistically young.  And I love the way folks deliver their lines, deadpan.  This is definitely a movie that you need to be paying attention during, or else you miss lots of the dark humor.  In fact, this movie is greatly misunderstood by the masses, esp those who have not seen it but are merely going on third or fourth hand misinformation and speak with indignant tones of disbelief and bluster.


I added a few more rows of cafe on top so that you can more clearly see the contrast with the gold.  That bed is queen sized.  It's in one of the spare rooms that holds my custom made cedar book shelves and quite a bit of my old stuff from the farm.

The bed is the ideal place to spread out projects, afghans, quilts, etc.  It makes it easier to see and easier to size.  I have some work left to do on this.  I want to add some to both the top and bottom and also will probably add to the sides.

project status: detail

This is actually one of two added detail graphics that I did this week.  This is the back of the project.  The reason you can see cafe {brown} yarn tails hanging off the top row is because this is the last row where I used multiple skeins for this graph.  After this, there are just solid rows atop.  Which means that I only need one skein instead of nine plus.

You can also see in some areas where I carried the unused yarn thru to the next solid swatch because I didn't want to drop and restart in smaller areas.  Once I spread it out on the bed, I can tidy some areas up by spacing things out better and trimming some loose ends.

My husband tells me that I notice details and less than perfect areas because I am the creator of the piece.  He assures me that most folks aren't going to notice unless I go pointing out the flubs.  I know that's probably true, at least to a certain extent.  But I don't like giving work that has ugliness cuz I know it's there and it's not done right.  I hoping that I can fix what needs to be fixed.

Once the entire piece is spread on the bed, I'll take another picture of the entire thing.  Sometimes seeing it as a whole instead of small areas like shown above gives a more accurate idea of how it is perceived by others.  Hopefully, I won't have too much left on this one to do before I can give it to the intended recipients.

28 January 2011

unsolicited calles

Last night, I was seated at the dining room table, crocheting on the rather large afghan that's heaped there.  The phone rang and I answered it without thinking {which is pretty rare for me, given that I don't particularly like the phone and we do have caller id but I didn't even look}.  The female caller immediately went into a spiel about how she wasn't trying to sell me a thing but that she was working for a survey firm and she'd like to ask one question for a short survey they are conducting and oh by the way, are you still on the line?  After I laughingly reassured her that I was, cuz I am sure that by the time she gets part way thru her intro speech, most folks hang up; she then asked to speak with a male {or ya know female} registered to vote.  So I told her that I am female and registered to vote.  And she exclaimed, in Mississippi?!?  Why, yes.  Perhaps I don't sound like I could be registered to vote in Mississippi, or perhaps she rarely has successfully gotten to this point in her survey in the past.  She informed me that there was a run off election between this person and that and asked which of the following two candidates did I intend to vote for?

By this point I had burst into laughter several times and did so again.  I explained that usually when someone says "which of the following candidates", they then actually list the options and could she please do so for me?  Cuz I didn't catch the two names of "this person and that".  So she told me.

At this point, I could have said, dude, I have no intention to vote for either.  But I was having fun by then and didn't want to be realistically rude to the poor woman.  So I said that I've been getting prerecorded phone calls from one candidate telling me which church he and his wife attend, the wife he's been married to for X years, with whom he has this many children, and all sorts of other irrelevant feel~good information which doesn't tell me anything about his political platform about the issues he is running on.

So I'll vote for the other guy.  Then I burst into another peal of laughter and admitted that is an awful way to determine whom to vote for, but I'd really like to vote against someone and you cannot do that, so the next closest thing is to vote for the other candidate.  At this point, said caller was chuckling and she said, "I really don't know how to end this call."  And I said, "have a good evening, good bye" and started to hang up.  As I did, I heard her saying to someone else, "Ohmigawd, I just had the most bizarre caller..."  And I wanted to say, "I wasn't the caller.  I was the callee."  But I didn't cuz I'd already disconnected.

I take my cheap thrills where I can find them.

23 January 2011

project status: centers done

So this is the main part of the afghan which is a monogrammed "W".  I want to add more to the piece so that it can be used for a queen sized bed.  I started this project two weeks ago tomorrow.  This is the front, however, the back doesn't look all that different, which is rare for intarsia pieces.  Next time, I'll take a pic of the back of the work.

19 January 2011

project status and some YEA ME!!s

Here's an update on the latest project:  it's about one~third completed.  I'll take another pic in a few days when some more definition is able to be clearly seen.  Any guesses yet?

I've gotten most of the large bedroom in the addition finished.  I do need to go thru a colossal amount of VHS tapes, cassette tapes, DVDs, and CDs yet.  Once that is finished, I'm pretty much thru in there.

Also I feel good about being able to take care of a difficult situation which I'd been dreading to deal with.  Of the twenty plus medical offices, doctors, hospitals, physical therapists, etc. which have taken part in my husband's post~wreck care, there is one which has been problematic.  One.  They keep shoddy records and have given conflicting reports to me, to our insurance carrier, to a collection agency, etc.  {as a side note, the collection agency they retained {which they now say they have no record of contacting} violated the Federal Trade Fair Debit Collections Act, so I filed a complaint with the FTC, and they found in my favor and told the collection agency to back off~~YEA, me!}  So today, I called this Problematic Medical Office to see what the problem was...as they are the only one of twenty plus offices to have problems filing claims with our insurance {who will eventually be reimbursed by the other driver's insurance, oh yes, they will}.  It's odd that twenty some offices have been able to successfully file claims, while this one office can't get their shit together to do something which is fairly straight forward.  And really, the amount they are getting all excited about is less than five percent of our total amount of medical expenses at this point.

Anyway, I think we may have gotten a huge part of the problem ironed out.  It turns out that their own system was kicking the claim back to them, before it even left their office.  So all this time that they've been getting on us, it was really an internal issue that no one in their own office caught.  Then the representative says, "well, gee, you shouldn't have ever been getting those bills anyway".  Uhm, yeah.  Good thing I document so very well, dudes, cuz your collective ass?  Just got burned.

18 January 2011


My Jerry's eldest son is an artist and this is one of this past Christmas's presents.  It's a very limited edition print {only fourteen, all of which are within the family}.  It's called "Son's Potential".  I wrote about it before, a few weeks back.  I apologize for the glare, but hopefully you can see clearly enough anyway.  To the right, there is the profile of his baby boy' sleeping face.  Swirling thru his brain and extended behind him is the planetary system, with the sun down in the lower left corner.  The universe of possibilities, captured.

Here's the latest project I'm working on.  You can't see the actual shape of what is to be yet, but as it is completed, I'll take more pix so that you can see.

It's double crochet, using color changes.   Tapestry methods carry the unused yarn within the stitches {I did that for some areas where the color change was simply too few stitches to not do so}.  Intarsia methods tend to let the unused color hang behind {I did this for some areas where the color change involves too many stitches to comfortably carry unused yarn}.

This is a flowing piece, with nice drape.  Tapestry tends to be done with a stiffer stitch and a gauge that reflects tightness.  Intarsia can be a bit of a mess, and every example I've seen of this online shows a back that is a snarled unattractive shame.  Altho what you see here is the front, the back looks pretty much the same.  I'll post pix later of both the front and back, so that you can see that the finished afghan can be used with no regard to which side is which.

15 January 2011

Just Say No {to clothes}

I saw this Tuesday and just loved it so much that I've watched it several times.  It's a junkie sock monkey whose addiction is fresh, clean, warm, snuggley laundry.  I'd say it's pretty clean.  {snicker}

lil steps

{me, last night, wearing a Raiders' hat that I'd made for my husband last year, it's a lil too big for him}

I've been feeling sorta woozy lately, easily tuckered, and disoriented.  I think that it is just that time of year, plus having some things settle a bit.  Post holidays, most folks tend to slow down, esp with colder weather.  At least, that's how it seems.

So I'm not overly worried about my increased need for rest.  Lately, my sleep has not been restive and that's where I am beginning to worry.  Terribly vivid dreams that cause much anxiety aren't conducive to solid valuable rest.

Last night, I went to bed around ten.  I read for about half an hour and then shut the lamp off and went to sleep.  I had a horrible night, so not only didn't I get up for a swim with my husband, I also didn't go to my writers' group at the library.  We didn't go out for lunch.  I finally got up around one this afternoon feeling like I had been worked over with a rubber mallet; my joints were screaming and my head was hurting.

So I took it slow this afternoon, made some tea, had a bagel, sat in my chair, watched some TiVo'd Tales from the Darkside, and cuddled with Sophie until I started to feel functional.  Then I went back into my craftee room which also functions as our office, and did some sorting and putting things away and such.  So, now, that room is done!

It's taken me a year plus to get it this nice.  Last year, after the wedding, I heaped the table full on all wedding~related things, as well as all our stuff from the honeymoon.  Then because I couldn't get to certain areas to put other things away, I would just stack stuff.  So, just after Christmas of this year, my husband and I went thru stacks of paperwork, bills, etc.  We filed things, threw things out {burnt them}, and got those organized.

I rolled up skeins and put them up, opened bags and cleared out projects, material, etc.  Balled up yarn and ripped half~finished abandoned projects.  Put up the iron board, sorted out spools of thread, and organized drawers and shelves.  It looks really nice back there now.

There is a lil area set up with a plush swivel rocking chair, a lil cd/tape player, a floor lamp with a small round table with everything ready for me to take a hot cuppa tea and settle in to listen to an audio book while getting busy with a project or two.  It's very comfortable.  Very soothing.  So now, when I need a lil break from football or desire to surround myself with lovely yarn, I have my very own haven.


13 January 2011

tids 'n' bits

Yesterday, my husband and I started ballroom dance at our local Wellness Connection {which is affiliated with our local hospital}. The ballroom dance class will be held for six weeks {five are left}, once per week {Tuesdays}, for an hour or so. There are about seven or eight couples, I think. For the most part, we are all beginners. The first class was the start of east coast swing. Next week, we'll continue that style but go faster, double and triple time, I think. The following two weeks are a smooth dance; class's choice of fox~trot or waltz. Then the last two weeks are focused on Latin, which I'm not sure which specifically, but the instructor did say that we would not be learning salsa, as there are not many places in this area to actually dance salsa.

We had fun, tho next time, I plan to wear shorts and a tank top cuz I got way too hot and sweated like the lil rotund piglet I feel like {which is odd, cuz pigs and their offspring don't sweat}. Well, maybe shorts would be pushing it, but definitely a tank. My husband was extremely patient with me, especially toward the end when I started to get slightly dizzy {overweight or vertigo, perhaps a touch of both~~I've been experiencing vertigo frequently lately, and I think it's due to being fat~~230+ is fat, unless you are at least a foot taller than I am and also a football player}. My hips started to stiffen up some, which is pitiful as I'm forty and my husband who is 55 with a newly healed multiple fractured like was just fine and limber. As I said, he was very patient with me especially as I had to take more and more frequent breathers.

We are to practice every day. Today, we both did so at odd times during the day in snatches. But tomorrow, we actually plan to practice together for at least half an hour. I need to work on the timing of the turns, cuz somehow I am two beats behind. It takes longer to get all the way around when at this size...excuses, excuses, right?

Also, I've managed to get an issue resolved and it only took me just over two years to do so! Ok, that was a lil sarcasm, but But BUT I am so very thrilled to actually have it resolved that I don't even care that it took me this long to do so. See, when AOL/AIM discontinued their journals division in fall 2008, they worked with blogger/blogspot to help users import their posts so that they wouldn't lose all the entries. I had no problem switching this journal over, but I needed assistance with making the transfer for the original Debra's Daily Dose. Someone at AOL/AIM {or blogger/blogspot/google} helped me do so, but when they did so, they didn't allow me to have full administrative abilities. This meant that I couldn't edit or delete any of the previous posts.

Why would I want to do so? Well, when AOL/AIM shut down journals, they also discontinued the community which included FTP {which is where the pix were stored that were featured in entries}. This meant that most pix also disappeared, leaving any references that were made in the post to a picture obsolete. I like to tidy stuff like that up. I also like to correct and update any links that I use in the text. So there are lots of reasons why I was frustrated over not being able to edit my own work.

So I am very excited to be finally able to do so! Yea!!! I'm going to get started with restoring what pix I can, the format/style/layout, and making other features compatible. Also, I'll prune and delete where needed. Some entries don't make any sense without the pic or usable links, and so I can just make it tighter. The original Debra's Daily Dose had less than a hundred entries, but once I cull thru those, I'll include links here to there, and vice versa.

Currently, it's less than twenty degrees here, with a wind~chill of ten. TEN. I have some serious hat~head, cuz I've been wearing my sleep cap whenever I am at home. Gotta hold that heat in somehow. I'm also wearing thermals under my sweat pants and two pair socks as well as fuzzy slippers. With all my layers, I am snug. Very snug.

I feel bad for Sophie when I take her out to do her business. She is so lil and she just shivers and quivers. As soon as she can, she scampers up the ramp to come back in the house. Most of the day, she curls up inside my hoodie, against my chest, and naps. It keeps us both warmer.

10 January 2011


I've been living here in Mississippi for nine years now and this is the most snow I've seen here! Sure, we've had snowfall, flurries, etc. But it usually doesn't stick, or amount to any coverage. And if it does stick, it starts to melt as soon as the sun comes up. Within an hour or two, it's gone. Then, it's just a very wet and usually not so cold mess.

But yesterday, the conditions had been just right for the snow that fell to stay, at least most of it that is, until today. It wasn't alot by any standard outside of the south, but it was enough for most everything to shut down.

And with good reason. We don't receive enough snow, sleet, ice to warrant fully~support wintry highway clearing equipment. In a state that is already strapped for cash and doesn't have a very good tax~base, it makes little to no sense to throw money into a program that would get used perhaps twice per year {sleet/ice}.

No, here in Mississippi, we count on the sun to do the job for us. But in last night and today's case, the sun alone couldn't clear the roads. Oh sure, the highways are clear now, for tomorrow's work/school. But today, most organizations did the smart thing: close.

See, we don't need a bunch of overconfident drivers on the road who have no idea what to do when they hit a patch of ice in with their bald tires. Most folks here drive on their tires until steel shows thru, blows~outs occur, or too many flats leave the tire unsalvageable. Driving on ice is a non~issue, so traction seems to take a low priority for most Mississippians.

I enjoyed the hush of the snow while it fell into a thin cover. I enjoyed the crunch of several inches of snow and ice underfoot while I ventured out to take a few pix last night. I enjoyed having the extra day with my husband.

But I'm glad it's all but gone on the roads and scant elsewhere. And I don't miss the snow at all. Having spent the first quarter of a century of my life in Pennsylvania where blizzards regularly led to the governor declaring a State of Emergency, where snowdays ate away at the school year so much so that my junior high didn't get out til July one year, where sidewalks must be shoveled and cars dug out, and where snow gets so old and hard and ugly; I know the pitfalls to snow, as well as the beauty and fun of playing in it.

So this lil bit of snow we've had is just fine, thank you. I'll take it while it lasts. Then it's good riddance.

09 January 2011

puppy love

{65 lb Shaddow and 6.5 lb Sophie gently play}

Long time readers will see that Shaddow has aged rather well over the years. She is a little over nine now. She's got quite a bit of white around her eyes; well, actually, her face is showing more white than black now. For the most part, she's very healthy. Her joints sometimes stiffen on her, so that she isn't quite as limber as she'd like to be. It's debatable how her sight and hearing have been affected over the years, but at any rate, she is not quite as sharp now. I can tell that she is not quite as playful as she once was, and that is to be expected; after all, she's getting to be an elderly lady now and fixed in her ways. She doesn't like to be disturbed while slumbering {truly, let sleeping dogs lie}. But she does play some with Sophie when she feels up to it. It's just that Sophie wants to play all the time cuz she's a puppy {fourteen weeks}. So sometimes she gets carried away and tries to engage Shaddow while she is sleeping. This earns Sophie harsh growls from Shaddow and scolding voices from the humans.

However, Shaddow does allow Sophie to play with her at times. Usually that entails Sophie jumping up on Shaddow and "biting" with that wide open mouth that human babies use for their version of kisses. Occasionally, Shaddow will lie down and let Sophie romp on her; the two of them mock~battling. It's really amazing to watch Shaddow let Sophie grab hold of her lip and pull! Sometimes Shaddow will raise her front paw and gently swat Sophie.

This is like watching a bear play with her cubs. When Shaddow's had enough, she climbs up on her sofa and sprawls out for a snooze. Sophie is too small to get up there on her own right now, but I imagine that soon, she will be able to get enough height in her jump to make it. Shaddow will set her straight, that the sofa is Shaddow's domain.

Which is only fair, really, since Sophie can claim our laps and Shaddow can't. And since Sophie can sleep with us up in the bed, while Shaddow finds the bed too high and not quite comfortable for her joints. Picking Shaddow up is not an option now like it had been. She doesn't like it, and I don't do it unless it's absolutely necessary.

I promise the next entry will be non~pet related!

06 January 2011

sweet sophie

k, ya'll, this blog is not gonna turn into one solely of puppy~cuteness, but really, she's just too sweet to keep from snapping pix! she's actually draped over my husband's toes, taking advantage of the lil space~heater blowing on them both.

04 January 2011

mah weener iz stuft

I want you to know that I make exactly that face when I'm as full as she is.

01 January 2011

Happiest of new years to all {and to all, a good night}

Tonight, my husband and I went to our local Applebee's. We ate various appetizers all night and toasted with complimentary champagne. We played yahtzee for a couple hours while there and had a blast!

But we knew that when we would get home, our newest lil girl would be in a tizzy over the torrential downpour with crashing thunder and blinding lightening. And the fact that she was all alone. So we knew that the bathroom might be in a state of puppy~poop and puppy~puddles.

When we got home, I burst out laughing cuz it appeared that Sophie, all five pounds of her, tried to wipe up after herself. With an entire roll of toilet paper. She'd managed to catch a loose end, spool the entire roll out onto the floor, spread it out, shred some of it, and yet it covered all of her messes.

It did make for easier clean~up, tho.

Have a happy and safe welcoming of the newest year and take advantage of the weekend to rest up before starting the new work~week.