Saturday, September 12, 2015

Flower Power

My latest project is a crochet ripple (wave) pattern from Jan Eaton's book, 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns.  The book lists this as one of the easiest of the crochet patterns, so it's perfect for after work or at knitting group.  My projects all come down to the level of ease for me.

About halfway complete
I think it's very pretty.  While I did not choose the colors, and I am using a random stripe generator for the colorway, I am really pleased about how it is progressing.

Since we adopted the new kitten, Flower, I have been super vigilant about keeping my projects out of her reach.  She chews, and possibly eats, anything she finds on the floor.  I've never had that problem with the other three cats.  They are disinterested in my yarn, which causes me to question if they are really cats.  Flower, or La Fleur as Mr. Grumpbump has started calling her, is all kitten, all the time.  She is constantly baiting the Monkey Cat to play with her.  She can entertain herself for hours with the cat toys scattered throughout the house.  And I have been awoken by a kitten biting me, first without the teeth and, when I don't respond, with teeth.

Calm before the storm
Flower will be spayed in October.  The vet discovered that she has a umbilical hernia so that will be repaired at the same time as the spay.  Flower is still so thin, even though she eats like a horse, and I hoping that she will start to bulk up after the spay.

My washer is broken. I am super pissed off about it. Repair guy will be here on Monday and I just know it will cost too much.  All because I washed a bathroom rug.  The rug was not super shaggy but all the discards and threads clogged up the machine and I think it broke the drain pump.  I really hate this washer and I am pissed that I have to pay to fix it.

I am also pissed off about my life.  Very few good things about it right now.  Holding onto those good things like a crazy woman because I feel myself thisclose to going nuts.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Outnumbered Two to One

Two weeks ago, we welcomed cat number four to our house.  For whoever is keeping score, that's felines 4, humans 2.  And Mr. Grumpbump did not have a choice, or a chance.

Number Four is a black and white tuxedo female kitten, approximately 2 months old. That makes Mr. Grumpbump outnumbered Five to One in the females vs. males demographic.

Mr. Grumpbump was fairly annoyed with me, and he essentially did not want to deal with the kitten. But this story has a good ending.

First, let's see how adorable this kitten is:

Her name is Flower, after the skunk from Bambi.

Also because the white tips of her front paws remind me of petals on flowers.

After two weeks, she's got the hang of our schedule and she is allowed to roam the house with the other cats.  Delilah and Macy stay away from her because they are either too old or too shy to deal with scampy kitten.

Monkey, who is only two years old, was at first so mean to Flower.  She hissed and growled when Flower tried to play or get anywhere near her.  I was super bummed about that because I was sure that Flower and Monkey would be great playmates.  I should have just relaxed because within a week, Monkey had a breakthrough and these two chase each other around the house, although it is usually really really late at night.  They are destined to be great friends.

As for Mr. Grumpbump, he has been bitten by the love bug.  I know he likes her because he's given her a nickname, La Fleur.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Virtual Cat Collecting

There's  an app for the iPad, it's a Japanese game called Neko Atsume.  And the goal is to collect cats by feeding them and buying them treats, toys and furniture.  Oh, and the whole game is in Japanese.  So you have to rely on the pictures to figure out what to do.  

Mindless, but so cute.  Yes even Japanese internet cats make me happy.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's Next Time!

Whew!  That was a very looooooong break.  I'll just say "I'm sorry" and move on to the latest and greatest.

Most importantly, let's catch up on the cats!  My trio of gatos: Delilah, Monkey (a/k/a Pepper), and Macy.

Delilah - still grouchy, much more lazy and possibly going deaf.  Still the head of household

Monkey is a fierce hunter at night and a lovebug in the morning.  She's a real talker too.

Macy is just too sweet for words.  Also begs to be let "out" into our garage.

I've not totally abandoned my crafting.  During the holidays, I knitted a bunch of hats, based on a super easy (and free!) but oh so cute knit pattern (Slouched Tuva Hat).   Easily one of my all time favorite patterns and definitely a go-to for gift giving.

I also started focusing on crochet.  I made a granny square project bag, which I use to cart around my current crochet project (African flower blanket - more later).  I love the completed bag so much, even with all of its flaws (my lining/sewing skills are less than average).  I started a second bag, but it's been abandoned for now.

Granny Square Project Bag
I have moved onto the African flower motif (to be sewn together as a blanket).  Why do I choose colors that I think are fabulous in the store, only to start working on them and find that they are pedestrian and retro (not in the good way) together.  The project is coming together nicely and I should be able to finish it within the next month.

African flowers

The only thing in my way of needlecrafting is my job.  My life is consumed by work.  I am miserable.  I am doing the worst thing possible, catching myself saying things like "if I can just make it through this month" and "if I can just get through this next deal, then..."  I am always putting off living my life.  I'm not doing anything proactive to change things. I'm a negotiator and a procrastinator, so in my mind, I'm working on the solution, while still getting through my day.  However, when I really examine what my life is and how things actually are, you know, in the real world, then I cannot' really argue with that truth.

This rationalization is the way I convince myself that things are fine; I compare it to looking in the mirror.  I look in the mirror every day, while I brush my teeth, put on makeup, do my hair.  I see myself but I am never looking that closely or with a critical eye.  So I can tell you superfluous items about how I look (maybe I'm wearing lip gloss, maybe I'm wearing my tortoiseshell glasses, etc.) but I will not tell you or admit to you that my clothes are fitting too tight or my makeup line is visible.  That's too much information; too much to process or control or fix in whatever time I have.  I just ignore and persevere.  This is a stupid way to live.  I think I'm fooling myself.  But I'm really heading for a crash.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Until Next Time

Summertime is in full effect here, and I would like to go swimming but I have to wait out the afternoon thunderstorm that is headed our way.  I managed not be a total lazy bum this weekend - I got up and went to the grocery store, did the laundry and cleaned out the cat litter boxes.  

We're are still a family of five, two cat guardians (me and Mr. Grump) and the three feline overlords, Delilah, Macy Gray, and The Monkey.

Macy likes to lounge with us in the living room

Yes, I posed them but Monkey and Delilah lay like this for a while

The most gorgeous face in the cat world
Delilah has some health issues that we are mostly attributing to get up in years (she's maybe 11 or 12?) - her weight dropped off dramatically and we had to start her on medicine to regulate her thyroid.  She put the weight back on and we are trying to monitor her more closely.  She's not as active as she used to be, more lethargic but not in a scary way.  Just an overall lazier way.  She takes after me, or I take after her.  It's hard to get a picture of her sitting upright, she does a lot of laying down.

Macy is a robust cat, who rarely has any issues, and The Monkey, well, she's still a kitten so she's all over the place, not to mention a really effective huntress.  

I'm working on a ripple (baby) blanket right now, as well crochet place mats.  I don't have any big projects ongoing.  I have a Missoni-style blanket on the needles, but it's been sitting untouched for a while.  It's hard to knit a blanket when it's ridiculously humid outside.

Stash-buster baby blanket
place mat made from t-shirt yarn (fun project; I've made two; have two left to finish)

My sister-in-law visited the UK this month and promised to send me some yarn from Ireland.  I have to wait and see if I actually get it.  I found the most beautiful cowl pattern and I hope I can use that yarn for this project. 

Not my project - this is from the pattern page - it is simply beautiful
I will find the right yarn and the knit the hell out of this