Monday, June 26, 2006


First off, hello to all the new people stopping by! And a big thanks to Steph over at Yarn Harlot for linking me and causing the demise of my stat counter. Hee! It's been fun reading all the new comments and the old comments and having unwary stalkees find out they've been stalked for a while now. Hi Rabbitch! Yes, I too lurk, too.

Oh and for those new comment makers that for some reason end up in Earthlink's Spam Folder of Doom and get the Email Rejection Letter That Hurts and Stings, never fear. I always check the evil spam folder first and rescue any comments having been wrongly shuffled off.

Bird Update!

Saturday morning, we got up and let the dogs out as normal and thank goodness they aren't morning people either. They stumbled outside right past the baby bird on the floor. *Whew!* Momma bird was in the room screeching at us, so we hustled out the door with the dogs and let em be. Peeking into the windows, we watched her fly down to the baby while it hopped around on the floor. She then flew up to the freezer and chirped at Baby. Baby chirped back then flew!! To the freezer!! Then Momma flew to the washing machine, chirped at Baby and he followed her over to the washing machine.

Momma then flew to the window in the back door and flew out to a tree and chirped again. Baby flew to the window and sat for a couple of minutes exchanging chirps with Momma. Personally, I think the conversation went like this:

Baby: Why are we doing this again?

Momma: We can't live in the nest forever. You're a bird, you have to learn to fly and get food.

Baby: But you bring me food.

Momma: If you think I'm feeding for the rest of my life, you're crazy.

Baby: Momma, I ain't goin' out there. It's too big and scary.

Momma: Don't you back talk me.

Baby: But Momma...

Momma: Boy, you get your sorry butt out that window right now before I count to 3! 1.....2.....

And with that the baby bird flew off to our fence where she joined him and they flew off. T thinks the Momma bird was calling encouragements to the baby such as "You can do it! You're the best flyer in the world! I know you can fly out here." Pffft. Dreamer.

Crochet Update!

I have no idea where I am on the shawl. I made progress this weekend and noticed I had screwed up one of the edges by making one too many shells and had to rip back 5 rows. Don't crochet exhausted folks. It just causes pain. I was hoping to have it done by this weekend for the Dallas trip and now it's gonna be a booger bear to finish on time. Yikes!

Did I mention I was going to Dallas this weekend? Cuz I am. Did I mention I was meeting knitting bloggers for the first time? Cuz I am. Did I mention that my legs are sore from all the happy puppy butt wiggles happening around here? Yeah. Just you wait til I get to stand up in front of the class for what I did on my summer vacation. All the other bloggers are gonna be so jealous.

Now, there's a list of blogs on the sidebar over there. Go. Read. Comment. Enjoy.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sometimes Mother Nature Gives Back.

Despite my bitching about trees here lately, life is pretty good at Casa de la Stalker. I just have a passion for trees. Sometimes though, when things seem pretty shitty cuz some bureaucratic asshole wants a wider road so he cuts down all the trees and burns them or your hubby says it's ok to do away with your fruit bearing pear tree, Mother Nature says "thanks for caring" and throws you a treat.

Last year around this time, I was out in our laundry room and reaching for something on our shelf and got this flurry of wings and chirping. I jumped back to see a wren flying around our laundry room. Ok.....weird. It sat on one of my hung up shirts chirp-yelling at me and pooping on my clothing in disdain. I opened the back door and shoo'ed the little critter back into the yard with the plan to close the window on that back door to keep the little bugger out. Got what I was after on the shelf and there, braced between the WD-40 and a box of matchbooks, was a nest. Being as short as I am, I immediately went and got the Sasquatch hubby and made him look. Sure enough there were 3 eggs in the nest. I left the window in the back door open.

A few weeks later you could walk by the shelf and baby bird heads would pop up with their mouths open. We got into the habit of checking the laundry room before entering so as not to disturb feeding time. We set up a fan in the laundry room to circulate air so the heat wouldn't build in the Texas summer and kill the babies. Our laundry room was not our own. The babies did fine and ventured off one day. We missed having the babies pop up.

Since last year, we've bought new cans of WD-40, never moving the one on the shelf. We've used none of those matches. Unspoken between us, we respected the nest, neither one of us touching it, moving it or disturbing it in any way. We never have closed that window in the door.

Last week, I reached for the starter fluid for the BBQ pit for my steaks, and lo and behold but I did get a flutter of wings and chirping. I ran in to get T for the height advantage. He looked into the nest, got a great big grin on his face and lightly thumped the shelf. Up popped one baby bird head. Our diligence paid off and she hatched in our laundry room again.

Inside the nest you can see one baby resting after hatching and 2 more eggs. One of the babies has moved out of the nest and into the box of matchbooks next to it. I do believe we will follow the same nest policy as last year. We love having them in there. We really don't mind being careful in our own laundry room for something this wonderful. We really appreciate the gift this really is.

In crochet news:

My dog is a butthead. I know, this is supposed to be about crochet and the shawl. Bear with me. The shawl is progressing nicely, if a bit slow, and I am still enjoying the heck out of it. I went to photograph the progress the other day so I stretched it out on the couch, turned to grab my camera and turned back to find Alex laying on it. So I reach to move him. He growls. Butthead. Fine, he gets to be in the picture. I gently move the shawl out from under his hairy butt, him growling the whole time and throw it across him.

This picture shows the butthead having gotten his way and the edge of the shawl and the pattern.

This picture shows the butthead now bored with having gotten his way and almost half of the shawl. It's huge, people. It's gonna be.....huger. Or something.

Shawl status? 78% w00t! The score is Mamma-1, Shawl-0, Butthead - negative 15. :oP


For those of you coming over from Yarn Harlot, welcome! Have some ice tea, relax, leave a comment and get stalked Hehe.

Y'all, Steph's gonna be in Austin on July 29th. I'm there. Who wants to hook up and give her a real Texas welcome? Yeehaw, baby!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I Have To Quit Liking Trees.

Renovations here at Casa de la Stalker. We had (until Monday morning) a chain link fence that encompassed our back yard. On the left fence, we had a lovely grape vine (non producing as of yet, but I am hopeful) and on the right fence was an ivy that is just beautiful and hardy. I willingly gave up my vines knowing they'd grow back anyway, neener, neener, neener. For those of you confused, here from a previous post, is the left hand fence.

And here, from a really, really previous post that contained actual knitting content (you may have a moment if you need one) is the right hand fence. With a Sophie bag in the making.

So what did I give my chain link fence for? This.

I've got some butterfly vine going along that back fence next year and some other ideas for the yard now and...........there's something missing in this picture. Dammit all to hell.

See the big red circle?? That used to have a fruit bearing pear tree! They cut down my Pineapple Pear tree! With Pears! See it had a pear tree in that very spot like this.

Ok, you have to click on this next one and make it bigger cuz I have proof ya'll.

And y'all, I totally did my artwork and words with my right hand. I'm left handed. I'm a genius. Really.

But they cut down my pear tree. My husband let them cut down my pear tree.

Et tu,Brutus Thomas?

Friday, June 16, 2006

What The Hell? Friday Already?

Totally random stuff today, my dear Stalkees. Also a serious rant at the bottom you may wish to ignore. It has no bearing on anything.

First off, shawl progress. I'm down to the 14 shell row which, by shell count, means I am 64% done with the shawl. W00t! No, Christina, I'm not done with it yet. I'll get there! Hee No pictures today cuz I'm a slacker and , well, it's the same guys. Just longer and getting more narrow. That's not too totally exciting. Seriously.

If you want exciting: There's a new blog collaboration happening that is completely fictional and way too much fun. Won't you visit the neighborhood and say hi? Oh and go say hi to Sachi. She's like, famous now and stuff.

Also, the highway I drive to work was, until a month ago, a beautiful hilly drive with trees on either side. Now, they are expanding so they have ripped out all of the trees and burned them to expand the highway which totally doesn't even need it. Yeah, they burned the trees. Miles of trees that could have become paper to go for school supplies for homeless kids or lumber for housing for homeless people or firewood for the next winter for people who can't afford to buy any. I mean, seriousy. Just rip the trees up and burn them? I get pissed everytime I think about it. Hey beaurocrats! Fuck you! The tsunamis and earthquakes and hurricanes? Maybe that's Mother Earth's way of saying "How do you like having your homes ripped apart, you bastards??"

Seriously! Why is it that for us to progress we have to destroy something? Why, as a species, do our advances come to the detriment of everything else? Oh, yeah, I'll have more lane choices as I drive to work. I already had 2. I only need one. Gimme a break. Tell the deer, the raccoons, the 'possums, the coyotes and the wild pigs that lived on that land how nice their options are now. I see that raw barren earth every morning and I just want to cry. It's so damn ugly. And not just visually.

It's raining outside. I think I'll go stand in it until I feel clean again.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Shawl Update!

Ok peoples, settle down. I know we're all here for a shawl update and you'll get one. My model is just running a bit late. You know how models can be. She won't leave her dressing room until her hair is perfect and 30 people tell her she really is beautiful and no that last bite of wheat grass did not make her bloat and look fat. Models. Hmmmfff.

So until she gets here, lets look at the shawl itself, shall we? Oh let's! I'm pretty proud of how far along I am and I have a couple of pictures sans moody model. Here we have the shawl doubled so you can see how big this sucker is really going to be. It takes up the middle of my bed so opened? Yeah. Huge. Yay!

Next we have a picture of the pattern developing further in the shawl. I really like how this is turning out guys. I have plans already to make another one and the yarn(s) to make it with. It'll be for a 16 yr old girl, so there's regular yarn and a railroad yarn involved. It'll rock. I'm all excited. Oh, right. Picture. Hee model yet. Well ok, as I was saying, I'm pretty impressed with the shawl so far and my progress on it. I've completed 6 shell rows out of 20 so that's 30% right? No! Wrong! Re-think this. The rows are getting shorter so row count isn't exactly accurate. So I decided to go by shell count because that's really what's important here after all. So with (Bear with me. Math is NOT my strong point) 22 (grrr) shells in the beginning row and losing one shell each row you progress then you're adding 22+21+20+19 and so on and so forth. I know there's a Trigonometry formula for this kind of calculation out there somewhere but high school Trig was my Junior year and that was 17 years ago. Can I get some slack?

Anyway, so it adds up to 253 shells in all and I've completed 117 which leaves all of 136 shells to go. People, I am 46% done already. Almost half! Sweet! Screw the row count! 46%! That's so awes...huh? Oh, finally the model shows up. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Saoirse the lovely in her modeling debut for Casa de la Stalker.

Saoirse: Momma, am I pretty enough?

Me: You're the prettiest girl out there, baby.

Saoirse: But the colors...are they ok?

Me: Oh they're gorgeous on you sweetie. Hold still for the picture.

Saoirse: It doesn't make me look fat?

Me: No Baby Girl, you look nice and svelt. Now hold still for another picture.

Saoirse: Momma, it's nice of you to make me this nice cuddly shawl.

Me: Umm....Baby Girl, the shawl isn't for you. It's for Mommy.

And with that she threw the shawl across the room, stormed out and hasn't spoken to me in hours. Models. Hmmf.

Monday, June 12, 2006

For The Love of 2 Shells

So I worked on the shawl this weekend to some extent. I got another couple of rows done anyway. I spent most of my weekend cooking food on the grill and cleaning around the house. Food wise, we had an awesome weekend at Casa de la Stalker. Saturday afternoon was fresh corn on the cob, baked potatoes and the most expensive steaks I have ever bought from a store in my life all cooked out on the grill. It was amazingly good. See, I don't splurge on steaks. I'm just gonna marinate the shit out of them anyway. But damn, was I ever wrong about meat. These just melted. And I'll never, ever, ever boil corn on the cob again. It gets grilled, baby. Grilled. Just, yeah. I need a moment.

Anywho, Sunday was turkey burgers grilled outside and I just wasn't impressed. We're trying to eat healthier and everything was wheat bread and grilling and turkey burgers, but dammit, I want big greasy burgers from a grill. I'm a total carnivore. I like pink steak. I want greasy burgers. Gonna take some time to get used to the whole turkey burger idea. Is there a middle ground? Some sort of middle step? Like...pork burgers or something? Anything?

So on the crochet front:

I made T drive us to work today so I could work on the shawl. I was delighted to get crochet time in this morning. Brought it to work with me so I could work on it at lunch and during breaks. Got halfway down the row and my yarn must have broken. I feel an end. What the hell? Check the bag. Dammit! Not only did the yarn break, but the rest of it fell out of my bag! I checked as well as I could being strapped into the seat. Put the shawl away until we got to work. Fumed the whole way there. Got out. No yarn. It hadn't broken. I had finished the skein and forgot to bring a second skein with me. Not a happy camper.

So on the drive before I discover what a dumb ass I am, T takes an interest in the shawl.

T: So.....what's it gonna be?

Me: A shawl. Been looking for a pattern like this forever for this yarn.

T: so how big is it going to be?

Me: Not sure yet. I know the top stretches atop the bed.

T: Wow....that's kinda big. Is it supposed to be that big?

Me: Well, it started with 20 of these shells across the top, so yeah. And you lose one shell every shell row until you get to one shell for the point.

T: Cool. How many shells are you at?

Me: *counting out loud* ....17, 18, 19........What the fuck. Oh my God, no.

T: Is..that too many?

Me: *Groan as I count the top row.* ....19, 20, 21, 22. Shit.

T: If you rip that out for 2 extra shells I will tell all your blog friends and they will hunt you down.

Me: *Glare*

T: Besides. It's now 2 shell thingies wider. Most of these patterns are for toothpick women. It's no biggie, right?

I hate him when he's right. I really do. Two extra shells. *Pout*

Friday, June 09, 2006

So Much Hooking I Need A Red Light.

There has been much excitement at Casa de la Stalker recently. I've been getting reservations made for the Dallas weekend and Chris found some rogue knitters for a yarn shop crawl and it's all just. Too. Much. I'm not sure I was this excited about the cruise. There has been much squealing and happy puppy butt wiggles on my part and much rolling of the eyes and finger ticking on T's part. At this point I'm not sure who all I get to meet. My head spins with the possibilities! This also means I will probably have to make future trips to Dallas to keep in touch. Oh. Darn. Hee!

In crocheting news:

Yes, you read that right. I've been crocheting. Have too. Like hooking it up until 1 am "just to finish this row" crocheting. Yeah baby. Stalker found her groove back. See, here's the deal. For about the oh...hhmmm....last YEAR I have had an issue with getting inspired or caring. I have started umpteen projects and either cast them aside or ripped them right the fuck out because I just couldn't stand it. Crochet was making me angry. The yarn stash has been making me angry. Where is my muse???? Where is my inspiration? Where is the excitement of finding a new pattern and knowing just the yarn for it? Hasn't happened.

Well, about a month ago I was in the local Barnes and Nobles and happened to see the Stitch N' Bitch Happy Hooker book. I didn't get all excited. I just thumbed through it then tucked it under my arm in the slim hope there might be something in there worthwhile. Then it sat in my back seat for weeks. So terrible when you can't even get excited enough to look at new patterns.

So a couple of weeks ago, I went to Mom's and took the book in to show her because she collects patterns the way I collect dust. So she goes through the book and gets all excited at how new and wonderful the patterns are blah blah blah....then she smacks me and asks me if I have even really looked at it. Well.....define look, woman. *Smack* Never get a smart mouth with anyone you call Mom. They take smacking privileges. So I look through the book. "Oh wow...this shawl is what I have been looking for for 2 years! Oooh check out the cute potholders with skulls on them! EEEEE an anarchy pattern!!" My butt starts the wiggling and Mom announces "You have neglected cool patterns. In punishment, the book will stay here with me for a while." *Whimper*

No big deal. I've done without this long, right? Yeah. So about the same time as said visit and book confiscation I decide that part of the problem is the gaming. I play both Guild Wars and World of Warcraft. I am addicted to both. I am trying to advance in both. This does not leave much time for anything else. Executive Decision Time!! From now on Tuesdays and Thursdays are non-gamin nights. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for getting my house back in order and crocheting/knitting/reading/movie watching. So far it's been about the cleaning and the reading. Cuz the project I wanna do is in the book Mom thugged from me. Finally I can't stand it anymore and Tuesday I called her and begged her to scan the pattern and send it to me by email. She laughed at me. She said she knew if she denied me the book I would want to crochet so bad it would hurt. Sneaky bitch. I love her.

Tuesday I get home and there, in my inbox is the pattern. Oh sweet yumminess. If any of you have the book, it's the Sweet Pea Shawl here.

The pink kinda grosses me out cuz it's too bright but the pattern! It's sooo sweet. I started it Tuesday night. Chained 202. Got almost to the end of row one with all the shell goodness and realized I was doing the shells ALL WRONG.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppppppppppp! *Curse snarl foam rage hate*

So I chained the 202 again and set it aside for the night. Stalker needed sleep to deal. Wednesday? Could not stand it. I kept looking at the pattern off and on alllll day and making sure I had the instructions and understood in my head how it needed to be worked because I want to see this shawl take shape. I'm using this yarn and it's been so fun watching the colors emerge as they are being worked. When you knit with a variegated you get some really cool stripes or pools of color. When you crochet with it, it will at times twist the colors around each other forming a striping in the stitch itself or causing a candy cane effect in a double crochet or, in this case, a double treble crochet. It looks pretty awesome.

Picture huh? No cuz I suck. I got 3 rows of the shell done last night and was exhausted but happy. I will have more done by the time I get home cuz I hate putting it down. If you wanna check back this evening, I'll have a picture posted of the current progress. Although, at this point, it will just look like a jumble of yarn. This thing is gonna need some serious blocking and y'all, this is gonna be a first for me. Never blocked before cuz afghans? Yeah, big and heavy with not so much blocking involved. Ack!

Update! Shawl Progress pictures! Wheeeeee!


Ok, kidding! Hehe

Here's a picture of the pattern emerging (so freakin cool and I wanna run around with it going "Lookie lookie it's awesome! Squeeeee!")

And here's a close up of some of the stitches that have the really cool color twisty thing kickin'.

And y'all, seriously? This thing stretches across my bed and down the sides a bit. It needs to be blocked. It's going to be huge. Guage what? Where the hell am I going to block this thing? Wonder if the neighbors have an open floor.....I don't think I have one that big! Do I know anyone with a king size bed?? It's going to be sooooo cool when it's done. *Happy puppy butt wiggles*

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Story Time!

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away called Savannah, Oklahoma, lived a young man named Larry. Larry was a cool dude. He had a black leather jacket, thick curly black hair and was a ladies man. He was on the volunteer fire department and would set small grass fires at lunch time his senior year just to get out of class. He was the cool one to know and hang out with. He was also in a rock n' roll band with a younger boy named Jimmy. Jimmy looked up to Larry.

One day in November, Jimmy took Larry to his house for dinner and was really embarrassed because there stood his sister, Gloria, at the sink washing dishes in a house coat and her hair in curlers. Gloria was the oldest of the four kids, a senior in high school and didn't care what anyone thought and told Jimmy to basically get over it when he said something about it. She was in her mama's house and she didn't like Jimmy hanging out with the older guys anyway. After all, Larry had already graduated high school and Jimmy was only 15. She thought Larry was a hooligan and didn't want him around her brother, even though this was the first time she had ever met him. Larry thought she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Larry continued going over to the house with Jimmy but Jimmy soon realized Larry was interested in his sister. Jimmy didn't like that at all. Larry was a cool guy but he was in no way good enough for his sister. Gloria finally consented to go out on one date with Larry in January. Jimmy was furious.

Larry was on his best behavior trying to impress Gloria on their date. Gloria had never had anyone pay that much attention to her before. Neither of their parents were impressed with the match. Gloria's parents "knew" what Larry was after and Larry's folks thought Gloria's family wasn't good enough because they were poor. None of the parents were impressed when Larry and Gloria announced their engagement a month later. Larry and Gloria didn't care, because they were head over heels in love. Gloria's parents loved their daughter enough to trust her judgment and not protest too much. They were willing to try and accept Larry as family. Larry's parents offered him a solid gold watch and a college education if he'd dump Gloria. She was white trash to them. Larry told them what they could do with said watch and that unless they wanted to lose a son they would back off.

Five and a half months after their first date, Larry and Gloria got married. They were the only ones at the wedding that were happy about it. As they were leaving to go to the reception, Gloria's 3 brother's made their feelings known by grabbing their sister from her new husband and driving off with her. As they were getting her into the car kicking and screaming, Larry was trying to get to her, Gloria's mother was trying to hold Larry back to keep from killing her sons, Larry's father was trying to get Gloria's mother off of his son and Gloria's father took offense to him man-handling his wife. Once the car sped off, they had to hold Larry back from jumping into the car and taking off after them. They were only gone for 30 minutes before they brought Gloria to the reception hall. She had kicked and fought so hard the entire time, they had to get her there or she was gonna get them all killed. After the reception, Larry and Gloria's parents never spoke to one another again. Not even when the grandchildren came along.

13 months after the wedding, their first child was born. Larry, Jr. was born 2 months premature. Newly married they had to watch their new son go through several surgeries and they were told he may not live. They persevered and Little Larry finally got to go home. The stress was a lot to handle as Gloria was only 19 and Larry was only 21 when their son was born. Larry turned to playing poker with his friends and drinking to escape the stress of family life. When Little Larry was 2, Gloria went home to her parents. A few months later she went back to Larry because she was pregnant and that's where she belonged. They worked things out, expecting to have a little girl and what was considered the perfect family. Three years after Little Larry was born, Gloria gave birth to Scott, their second son. Larry now had a 3 yr old toddler and a newborn son. Once again he turned to his buddies and drinking.

A few more years of this and Gloria threatened to leave him again. Her parents loved the boys and were willing to let her stay with them. Once again, on the verge of leaving Larry, Gloria discovered she was pregnant. Larry realized how he was acting and finally straightened up. He loved his wife and children and didn't know why he was being the way he was. He got a steady respectable job and provided well for his family. They were thrilled when their 3rd child was born and they had their little girl.

Larry and Gloria had rough times after that but their love saw them through very sick children, being broke, almost being homeless and a number of other things that plague marriages. They took their wedding vows seriously and realized all they had to do was love one another enough to get through it. They passed their love, strength and sense of commitment down to their children and they were good parents. They loved their children unconditionally and they were very active in their lives as they grew into adulthood. They never missed an open house or a school activity. They never failed to tell their children how proud they were of them. When their children grew up and got married, they accepted the spouses as family because of how they had been treated. They aren't perfect parents, but they are mine and I am very proud of this fact. On June 4, 2006, my parents celebrated 41 years of a (so far haha) successful marriage.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. We love you both very much.

Your little girl