Friday, March 26, 2010

Save the 88

I love NASCAR, particularly Dale Jr. (as you can tell by the layout of my blog. He's now sporting a Grizzly Adams beard that isn't, in my opinion, attractive, but I digress.).

If you follow NASCAR at all, you know that poor Junior has had a tough couple of (well, several) seasons. Poor guy can't catch a break. He seems cursed. He's had only one win (at Michigan and on fuel mileage at that) over the past few years and it looks like the only luck he has is bad. Either he gets caught up in someone else's problems, his car breaks, the tires give out, the engine blows... you get the picture. Or, aliens take over his brain and he misses his pit stall.

Whatever the problem, it just hasn't been pleasant for those of us faithful in Junior Nation.

There are a group of us knitters who met on Ravelry who are rabid NASCAR fans, and we have a chat during each week's race. We've run through several theories on Junior's problems. One was that his stepmother had a voodoo doll and was sticking pins in at random times. The one that seems to have stuck was that meteors are falling on Junior during the race and causing the problems with his car.

We are of the opinion that the Hubble Space Telescope could be used to predict these meteors and that Mr. Hendrick should surely engage NASA in an effort to help his driver.

Evidently there's another movement afoot as well. Yesterday I received this package in the mail:
I have blocked the return address so that the Society may remain protected from all who would wish Junior harm.

Contained therein was equipment that would be necessary to be worn during the next race to ward off the oncoming meteors and hopefully protect Junior's car from possible harm and enable him to win.

Penny and I are ready:
Bring it on.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm Angry

It hasn't been the best tax season. Software issues have been a real problem. There's some other difficulties with the business. Family issues have piled on top of that.

And then this morning, I discover some low life has spammed my blog.

Her name, among what looked to be the Chinese characters, was "Karen". And she began her comments with "How Cool!" or "How Creative!" before launching into a barrage of what again appeared to be Chinese characters, clearly punctuated by a few words in English that I won't repeat here for fear of more spambots picking them up, and not for a good reason. It was ugly. I'm not a prude, but it's not the type of thing I generally want associated with anything I'm publishing.

What was particularly painful was that the spam hit the post I made when Oscar passed to the Bridge, and the comment began "That's Cool!" Yeah, I know it was something automated or someone who obviously didn't care and would just sit there and type in the code I thought you had to enter to prevent things like this from happening. No, it wasn't "Cool". It still hurts like hell, right to this day.

I've gone through and deleted the comment on all the posts the spammer hit. I didn't want to chance that anyone who reads my blog might come across them.

I've had to turn on comment moderation. I apologize for the hassle it may cause some of you, but I just can't allow this to happen again. And I'm disappointed, because I always enjoyed getting a note in my email letting me see your comments without having to go to the blog to view them. That's over. All because somebody has nothing better to do than spread filth through the internet.

No, I'm not stupid or naive. I know it happens. It just sucks that it happened to me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

One Year Ago Today...

...a little dachshund just south of Atlanta had a litter of pups.

We were waiting and watching anxiously. Our house was empty. The loss was tremendous since our beloved Oscar had crossed to the Rainbow Bridge. We knew that we wouldn't be a whole pack again until we could share our home with another dachshund.

And that little dachshund mother took good care of a little black and tan dapple girl. We talked about her. We speculated on what she was doing... how she was growing... whether she had her eyes open and if she was playing with her little puppy siblings. We called her "new puppy" -- afraid to call her by name just in case the unthinkable happened.

And then, about 7 weeks later"new puppy" became Penny Jasmine, and she came home to live with us. Three perfect pounds of dachshund fury. If you haven't guessed, she's named after the character on "The Big Bang Theory", and sometimes she looks up when Sheldon knocks on the door and says "Penny!".

It had been a long time since we'd had a puppy. We'd forgotten how tough things like teething and potty training were. And there were times I had to remind our little girl that there was only going to be one top bee-yatch in the house, and it was gonna be me.

But she's loving. And she's a clown. And like all dachshunds, she thinks she's much bigger than she actually is (although she's now at 13 pounds -- she's a little fluffy or, as she prefers to say, she's big boned). She loves her food and her chewies. She's fierce from behind a window, and she's successfully chased all the thunder away with her barking. She's kept us safe from airplanes flying overhead as well as a woodpecker who had the audacity to hammer on the metal chimney cover.

She's a bed hog. I wake up every morning with her snuggled up right at my shoulder. She doesn't dive under the covers so much, but she has her own way of taking over at night and making sure she's comfy.

She's smart -- learned to use the ramps right off the bat. She knows all the basic obedience commands. Whether she chooses to hear them is another matter entirely. I long ago resigned myself to the fact that I live with a dog who is much smarter than I am.

So, Happy Birthday Penny Jasmine! We love you, and we're so glad you're here. Thank you for all the joy you give us. And we'll get those birthday cookies ready.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

The victim:
An unsuspecting ball of #8 DMC perle coton, color 739. Last seen being used as a lifeline in a knitted lace project. Mercilessly cut down in the prime of life.

The Culprit:
Caught red-pawed with the victim wrapped around several chairs under a dining table.

Culprit expressed no remorse for her actions and actually begged for a cookie when caught.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I have been informed...

....that I needed to put up a blog post. People. Srsly. Look at the calendar. What the heck do you think I'm doing?? I sure as heck ain't lounging around eating bonbons. And some of you who are asking me to put up a post (ahem, Sandra)... I do your taxes. Just sayin'. So here goes...

So I've pretty much summarized what I've been doing. :) Except.... I went through another round of The Crud. Oh, and I went for my annual physical and my doctor informed me that I was a "walking fracture" thanks to my Vitamin D levels (normal is between 30 and 100 -- my level was 6.3 -- leave it to me to be an overachiever no matter which way I go). Actually, I laughed hysterically over that one, even though it was wildly inappropriate to do so. My doc was so panicked that he had his office trying to reach me on my home phone and cell at the same time to tell me to go get the supplement. Poor guy. He's really great and has been a friend of my family for years... he was actually the one who found my dad's brain tumor and was so good to us during all that, so I'm thankful for him. But the Vitamin D deficiency, according to my reading, actually explains a lot of symptoms I've been having, and I'm hopeful that treating it will turn a lot of stuff around.

We had some more actual snow, and the Pennster loved it! She ran around like a wild dog -- wouldn't let me put her coat on her before she went out. She dug in the snow... sniffed... it's still so strange to have an actual dog. Our little Oscar always treated cold, wet stuff as if it were acid and would look at it, turn around as if to say "No, thank you" and retreat to the comfort of the heating vent. Penny, on the other hand... well...
We had trouble getting her to come in the house.

Speaking of Oscar... we passed the year's anniversary of when he went to the Rainbow Bridge. Doesn't seem that long ago. I still miss him like crazy. Penny is soooo different -- which is what we wanted -- but Oscar was my little soulmate. Rest well, little man. I love you.
Knitting, you say? Well, I did participate in the Ravelympics as a member of Team Fast Girls Knit Left from the NASCAR group. I managed to medal in a couple of events with some baby booties I thought would be the death of me. I ended up changing patterns and yarn for fear of cursing the baby after I had to keep ripping out and re-knitting a simple pattern. Turns out those size 5 double points were actually 4 size 7s and one size 6. Yay me for putting things in the right place. Eventually I got a pair of booties that looked like this:
I also medaled with a crochet water bottle holder:
No stitching right now... I have a dog whose goal in life is to eat everything I pick up. She has extremely good taste and only insists on eating silks and expensive overdyed cottons. Won't touch cheap DMC and Anchor. Although, I did send Drema at Needlecraft Corner a list of stuff to send me from the recent Nashville market. That scream and "thunk" sound you hear around the 15th will be me getting my credit card bill. It will shortly be followed by me on the side of the interstate holding a sign that says "Will do taxes for food."

My friend Jen recently put up a blog post about "The Best Friends I've Never Met". I got to experience a little of that myself recently when, after a particularly wretched day, I came home to a box containing all this:
Homemade (and quite yummy, may I add) preserves. A hand knitted cloth with handmade soap. Stitch markers. Wollmeise (pure gold to a knitter). A sweet note to go along with it. All from a friend I'd made on Ravelry who I've never met in real life. I won't embarass her here by naming her, but if she's reading this, and I hope she is, thank you again. You have no idea how much it meant to me and how much I value our friendship.

Sometimes life hands you little surprises to lift you up when you need them, and God gives you people in your life to lift you up and help you carry the load when you need it the most. I'm thankful to Him for all of it. And thanks to all of you who read my little blog and miss me when I don't post. :)