Showing posts from 2012

2012 Knitting Report

I’ve not been very good this year about reporting my knitting projects on my blog. Let me assure you, there has been knitting and several finished projects.

I’ve become very good about recording each project on, and I think that has robbed some of the impetus behind my knitting blog posts of the past. Technical data recorded in a place where it is most likely to be useful to other practitioners - my knitting blog posts seem superfluous in contrast.

I will end the year with a report on what I did with the needles this year.

Sunrise Circle Jacket (completed January 8)

Obviously most of the knitting on this project happened during 2011. It’s knit in Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool, an undyed yarn that is soft and lofty. This is a very warm sweater with flattering shaping and a professional flair. I would feel comfortable wearing it to any business meeting.

The designer, Kate Gilbert, created a precise pattern that sewed up perfectly despite some very unconventionally shaped pi…

Goodbye to an old friend

In November, 2008, I wrote about how an early snow storm damaged a very large pine tree on our property. I write now to say that our old friend the grandfather pine is gone, cut down by forces of progress.

As you can see, the pine sat right next to the town road, within the right-of-way that the town controls. Our highway superintendent and highway crew undertook a major road improvement project on the road this fall. The objective: a wider road with better lines of sight, so that two vehicles could pass each other safely. The crew blasted away bedrock with dynamite, brought in truckloads of fill, and felled many trees. The old pine was one of the last to go.

As it turned out, the tree was probably not long for the world. The inner core of the tree had a crack, and it was infested with carpenter ants.

I took photos this fall, gave the tree a pat, and said goodbye.

I was at work when the tree came down. The crew dug up the stump with an excavator and pushed it aside.

The tree used to…

Son-of-a-No-Bull Book Review: Sock Yarn Studio by Carol Sulcoski

I was a lucky girl a few weeks ago, and I won a book from the WEBS yarn store. The book is Sock Yarn Studio by Carol Sulcoski, published by Lark Crafts. Carol is the proprietor of Black Bunny Fibers and author of another book in my library, Knitting Socks from Handpainted Yarn that I like very much; by chance, I just finished a pair of socks from that book. Carol also blogs at, and I’ve followed her blog for quite a while.

One of Carol’s regular features on her blog is her series of “No Bull Book Reviews”. To honor the enjoyment I get from reading her blog, her terrific sock book, and the generous gift from Carol and WEBS of a free copy of her latest book, here is my Son-of-a-No-Bull book review of Carol’s latest book.

Like Carol, I love sock yarn. Usually tightly twisted, smooth, and strong, sock yarn also comes in a dazzling array of colors. You can get shiny yarns with silk and tencel in the blend, rugged wool and nylon blends, and fuzzy, soft …

It Takes a Village to Make Bruce's Music

My sister called me in the early fall in great excitement, with the news that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band had announced that they would be playing in my hometown of Rochester, NY, on a special date (at least to me) - my birthday. I’m not one to ignore an excellent coincidence, so I found out what to do to get tickets and decided that this year, my birthday money would not be used to buy a Tom Bihn Swift. This year I would go see Bruce Springsteen, and take my husband with me.

My sister and brother-in-law are long time Bruce fans, and have gone to several concerts. R. and I were Bruce virgins, however. This would be our first (and possibly only) time to get the full-bore Bruce experience. J. filled me in on what I would have to do: register with Ticketmaster, and be ready with finger poised over my trackpad button at the moment that Ticketmaster made the tickets available for sale. I was ready at the appointed time, and successfully nabbed two tickets in the nosebleed sect…

Why I am voting for Obama, Part 2: Our individual rights, and the right to vote

In a few days, I will be 61. I have been privileged to be part of a great expansion in our rights as individuals in the nation that I live in during my life.

Now everyone can go to the same public schools, eat at the same restaurants, and drink at the same drinking fountains, regardless of the color of his or her skin.

Women’s rights have expanded past the right to vote. We’re still not getting equal pay in the workplace, but the Lily Ledbetter Act gives us an additional tool to use as we do our darndest to push thus issue forward. The glass ceiling has weakened some, and more women hold politically and financially powerful positions in government and industry. Our medical options now include effective contraception, allowing us to control when we have children and how many we have. And yes, Rowe v. Wade gave women the right to decide whether or not to get an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy based on their individual situations and moral beliefs.

The increase in gay r…

Why I Am Voting for Obama: Part 1; or, I won't vote to throw my kids and grandkids under the bus

Once upon a time I cast a vote that I later deeply regretted. I was a member of a labor union, and I voted for a contract that preserved my benefits, but reduced them for people who would be hired in the future. Upon reflection, that vote left a bitter taste in my mouth. I vowed to never again cast a vote that would preserve privileges for myself, and deny them to others.

This election is another occasion when I’m being offered that choice.

Over and over, Romney, Ryan and their surrogates say that if you are 55 years or older, your Social Security and Medicare benefits will not change under the Ryan budget, which Romney has pledged to sign into law. That’s not good enough for me.

Obama’s public stance on Social Security is that he “believes that no current beneficiaries should see their basic benefits reduced and he will not accept an approach that slashes benefits for future generations.” I’ve read many articles over the y…

New Life in the House

We’ve been dogless since July 14, 2007, when our last dog died. For the first couple of years, I rather liked not having a dog anymore. For the past year or so, though, my husband has been wanting a dog. He even settled on a breed. After two black labs, delightful dogs that filled our home, cars, and boat with dog hair, he decided he wanted a standard poodle.

No little dogs for this guy. We think our brother’s new dachshund Gracie is adorable, and proves that little dogs are wonderful companions. That doesn’t change the fact that R. is a big dog man.

At the end of August, he was talking with our town’s dog control officer, and said, “If you ever have a standard poodle turned in to you, let me know, I’d be interested in adopting him.” Whereupon the dog catcher told him that he had a labradoodle in his pound who was past his holding period and needed a home. R. rushed up to see the dog, and brought me there that evening. The next day, he was home with us.

I’m pleased to introduce Samwis…

What's got my goat?

The video link below is definitely Not Safe For Work - but I share Sarah Silverman’s anger at the coordinated efforts across our country to deny citizens of the US their right to vote.

For me the right to vote is one of the holy of holies. This is what our soldiers fight for. Too bad their veteran IDs aren’t considered to be good enough identification to allow them to vote in at least some of the places where these horrible new laws are in effect.

This issue is what makes me the angriest about this year’s election. And I only see one party resorting to these tactics. Please name for me one Democratic governor or state legislator who has proposed a law restricting the ability to vote.

Yes, there is a difference between the two major parties.

A Race, a Lucky Landing, and a Feast

I love our marina. We made a great choice to move Minuet there two years ago. The facilities are great, and it’s a sailor’s marina. Among the other boat owners there are the couple who are going to sell their home and become full-time cruisers, the couple that does live on their boat, wintering in the Caribbean most years, the man who is very generous with sharing his mechanical and boat repair skills, the woman who has a full-time painting business, the couple who sailed with their family down the entire St. Lawrence River, the man who races semi-professionally, and more. I’m very humble about my boating skills in their company, even though I have survived a couple of hard blows and a handful of the mishaps that inevitably come with time spent on the water.

Our marina has a wonderful annual August tradition of a race followed by a potluck dinner. The marina owner provides pennants as prizes for the top four finishers in two fleets of boats. Fleet One is made up of what our daughter c…

Re-examining a Classic: "The Graduate"

When we visit my dad and stepmother, we watch a movie almost every night. As a person who rarely gets out to a movie theater, was very, very bad at getting Netflix disks watched and returned, and who lives 20 miles from the nearest video rental place, this is an opportunity to catch up with films that I never saw in their heyday. On the screen this past week: “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Red October”, and the extended Swedish version of “The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo”. When the cry went up from the masses (well, from me) for a light and fluffy comedy, my dad chose “The Graduate”.

I think that my husband and I were the only two people left in our generation who had never seen this movie. I remember great reviews and it was tagged as a comedy, so I settled in to round out my cultural education.

Oh, my goodness. I think this movie is one of the least cheery comedies ever. It can’t help it, though. “The Graduate” is an excellent example of the movie that has not aged well.

The hero of the tale, …

First day back.

I kind of kept to my new year change resolutions. Got out to work earlier. Got home a wee bit earlier. A traffic snarl near the scene of a house fire and the necessity of obtaining gas were delaying factors. Then I got gobsmacked by one of the many end-of-year accounting scenarios playing out this month. So supper was served an hour and a half later than the plan. Tomorrow’s another day to try, try again.