Books Read in 2019

90. Fortune’s Favor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella)
89. *The Soldier’s Scoundrel, Sebastian, Cat
88. *The Lawrence Browne Affair, Sebastian, Cat
87. *The Ruin of a Rake, Sebastian, Cat
86. Shout of Honor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella)
85. The Little Paris Bookshop, George, Nina
84. *Brilliant Devices, Adina, Shelly
83. *Magnificent Devices, Adina, Shelly
82. *Her Own Devices, Adina, Shelly
81. *Lady of Devices, Adina, Shelly
80. *Romancing the Inventor, Carriger, Gail
79. *Cast In Honor, Sagara, Michelle
78. *Cast In Flame, Sagara, Michelle
77. *Cast In Sorrow, Sagara, Michelle
76. *A Gentleman Never Keeps Score, Sebastian, Cat
75. *Cast In Peril, Sagara, Michelle
74. *Cast In Ruin, Sagara, Michelle
73. *The Damnation Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
72. *The Ripper Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
71 *The Red Plague Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
70. *The Iron Wyrm Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
69. *The Underwater Ballroom Society, Burgis, Stephanie, editor
68. *Cast in Chaos, Sagara, Michelle
67. *It Takes Two to Tumble, Sebastian, Cat
66. *Cast in Silence, Sagara, Michelle
65. *Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
64. *Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna (reread)
63. *Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
62. *Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
61. *Provoked, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
60. *Merry and Bright, Chambers, Joanna
59. *The Ruin of Gabriel Ashley, Chambers, Joanna
58. *Once Burned, Frost, Jeaniene
57. *Night Shift, Harris, Charlaine
56. *Day Shift, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Midnight Crossroad, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Cast in Fury, Sagara, Michelle
54. *Any Old Diamonds, Charles, K. J.
53. *Tea With the Black Dragon, MacAvoy, R. A.
52. *The Omega Objection, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
51. *Summage Solution, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
50. *Marine Biology, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
49. *Threshold, Hawk, Jordan L.
48. *Widdershins, Hawk, Jordan L.
47. *Band Sinister, Charles, K. J.
46. *The Hollow of Fear, Thomas, Sherry
45. *A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Thomas, Sherry
44. *A Study in Scarlet Women, Thomas, Sherry
43. *Poison or Protect, Carriger, Gail
42. *Cast in Secret, Sagara, Michelle
41. *Cast in Moonlight, Sagara, Michelle
40. *Think of England, Charles, K. J.
39 *A Case of Possession, Charles, K. J.(reread)
38. *The Magpie Lord, Charles, K. J. (reread)
37. *A Gentleman’s Position, Charles, K. J.
36. *A Seditious Affair, Charles, K. J.
35. *Cast in Courtlight, Sagara, Michelle
34. *Cast in Shadow, Sagara, Michelle
33. *Inside Job, Willis, Connie
32. *The Tea Master and the Detective, de Bodard, Aliette
31. *Waiting on a Bright Moon, Yang, Jy.
30. *A Fashionable Indulgence, Charles, K. J.
29. *The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t, Carriger, Gail (reread)
28. *The Parasol Protectorate: Timeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
27. *The Parasol Protectorate: Heartless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
26. *The Parasol Protectorate: Changeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
25. *The Parasol Protectorate: Blameless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
24. *The Parasol Protectorate: Soulless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
23. *How To Marry A Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
22. *Romancing the Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
21. *Competence (The Custard Protocol, Book 3), Carriger, Gail
20. *Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 2), Carriger, Gail (reread)
19. *Prudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 1), Carriger, Gail (reread)
18. *An Unnatural Heir, Charles, K. J.
17. *His Consort, Calmes, Mary
16. *An Unnatural Vice, Charles, K. J.
15. *An Unseen Attraction, Charles, K. J.
14. Chanur’s Legacy, Cherry, C. J. (re-re-read)
13. *An Enlightenment Story: Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna
12: * An Enlightenment Story: Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna
11. * Enlightenment Series: Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna
10. * Enlightenment Series: Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna
9. *Enlightenment Series: Provoked, Chambers, Joanna
8. Chanur’s Homecoming, Cherryhh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
7. Chanur’s Venture, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
6. The Kif Strike Back, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
5. The Pride of Chanur, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
4. Alliance Rising, Cherryh, C. J.
3. *Introducing Mr. Winterbourne, Chambers, Joanna
2. *Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas, Chambers, Joanna
1. Merchanter’s Luck, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)

* Ebook

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The Boss Is Dead

Wouldn’t you know it.  I was almost done cleaning house — 3/4ths of the way through cleaning the last room I needed to clean and — the vacuum cleaner died.  Deader than the proverbial door nail.  I don’t understand it.   I’ve only had the durn thing since the early 1980’s.  I plan to get another Eureka tank vacuum once all this surgery song and dance is over.  (Hope I live long enough for it to last me as long as this one did!)

Until about 10:30 this morning, I had two vacuums — one for floors and carpets and this one for “stuff” cleaning (tops of curtains, windows, light fixtures, ceiling corners, surfaces).  I prefer to dust with the vacuum cleaner brush rather than squirt Lemon Pledge all over everything — and get lemoned within an inch of my life or use those Swiffer paper duster things you have to buy just to throw away — and this one had such a nice round brush attachment.  This little Eureka was perfect for cleaning up kitty litter and for vacuuming upholstry and whatever else I needed to clean except the floor.  I have a Shark Navigator for floors and carpets.  It’s bagless and it cleans carpets and floors very well, but it doesn’t dust worth a hoot.  You can, but it’s unweldy and a PITA.  The Eureka had a bag, and so will the new one I plan to get.

Sigh.

I reckon I’ll go rustle up some lunch.  I’m waiting on a phone call from the hospital to tell me when I need to show up tomorrow, and I have half a basket of unmentionables to fold up from the load of laundry I did yesterday.

“S” Minus 1 Day And Counting

A load of wash in the washer and one room left to clean.   That will be ticked off the list by tonight.  Tomorrow afternoon:  Bed linens (including spread) go through the laundry and right back on the bed.  Garbage gets take out.  Dishwasher gets run and emptied.

My mom has a tub seat left over from caring for my dad which she’s lent me — unfortunately, the seat back was on the wrong side as her tub has the water spout on the right end and mine has it on the left end. I thought I was going to have to get out my Act of Congress to get the seat back loose so I could put it on the other side, but fortunately, an invocation of Sir Isaac Newton involving  a hammer and a screwdriver, plus a judicious application of some welly,  and Bob’s your uncle.   So that’s done.

I got one of those hose attachments that fits over the tub spout and has a shower wand on the other end (and a hose clamp!) and I’ve got it installed.  I was going to order one on-line, but I couldn’t get it shipped to arrive before next week.  Further research revealed that Home Depot had three in stock in their store which was on the way to me getting the tub bench from my mom.

A word to the wise here.  If you go shopping for something on line and it says they’ve got it in stock in a store near you, print out their webpage (or find it and bookmark it on your phone) where it shows the thing, including those all-important SKU numbers and take it with you when you go to the store to get it.  I didn’t.  I had to explain what I was looking for to three different clerks and the customer service rep, all of whom were clueless.  After a fruitless search on their in-store computer inventory and a call to their help desk, we did finally find it on line; it said they had three, but there were none on the display.  (I will admit to having a John Cleese moment. . .)  They finally found them in a box in the overhead rack above the display, but only because they had that SKU number.

There’s a reason I’m getting my left knee replaced and it has everything to do with really not wanting to hike all over Home Depot looking for this thing I’ve got to get because my shower stall is the size of a shoe box and there’s not enough room in it for me and a shower stool both.  The guy did give me a $5 discount for my trouble, though, which I did not look in the mouth.  (The thing was only $9.95 to start with, plus whatever the hose clamp cost, but every little bit helps.)

I’ve got to finish off that last little bit of housework now.  I have to do it piecemeal.  Straighten and pick up, go sit down and take the weight off my knee.  Dust, go sit down and take the weight off my knee.  Vacuum, go sit down and take the weight off my knee.  Clean the en suite, go sit down and take the weight off my knee.   Then I get to sit down and pay bills.  Oh, what fun.

I still don’t know when I need to be at the hospital.  If they don’t call me by tomorrow morning, I have to call them and find out.  Hopefully it won’t be at the crack of dawn. . . .

Knitty Thoughts About Garter Tabs and Turks

I just finished watching Arne & Carlos’ latest video tutorial on starting the toes of toe-up socks.  They use what looks to me like a variant of the figure-eight cast on.  You can use the Turkish cast on, which wraps the yarn in a spiral fashion around both needles, but if you plan to use double pointed needles (DPNs), it’s really tricky to knit that first row.  Turkish cast on works much better when you use two circular needles.

What got me to thinking about garter tabs is that one shawl I’m making (Ilisidi) where you have a continuous cable across the top edge of the shawl. It’s constructed in a similar manner to garter tab shawls, but in order to get the utter coolness of an unbroken, seamless cable across the top, you have to use either a provisional cast on, or the Turkish cast on.

Many triangular and semicircular shawl patterns use the garter tab method of construction.  In a garter tab, you cast on “s” number of stitches, knit “r” number of rows to make a rectangle (the “tab”), then pick up “r” number of  stitches along one side and pick up “s” number of stitches across the bottom of the rectangle.  This method of construction allows you to knit from the center outward in both directions and from the top edge down.  This manner of construction is used in Vanessa Ewing’s “Cable Edged Shawl.”

Frankly, I have never liked this method of construction because I’ve never been satisfied with the way the end result looks.  In particular, I don’t like the way picking up stitches across the bottom looks.  If you use the Turkish cast on to cast on for the “tab,” then you don’t have to pick up stitches across the bottom because they’re already there.  You get a seamless, invisible join.

This is how I used the Turkish cast on to construct the Ilisidi shawl.  (Click on the picture to enlarge it.) It’s the same principle as the garter tab, but uses the Turkish cast on instead of a regular cast on.   In this version, you only have to pick up the stitches down the side.   The stitches along the bottom of the “tab” are already there.  When you start knitting the cables in that direction, it looks seamless, because it is!  (Of course, there’s a trick to knitting a cable in both directions at the same time.*)

Using the Turkish cast on for the foundation row of the “tab” enables you to make as wide a tab as you need.  The Ilsidi shawl has a “tab” that’s 19 stitches wide and 21 rows long — long enough to pick up 19 stitches for that downward cable.  Also, you don’t have to use garter stitch to make the tab.  You can use whatever stitch you want to make the border.  If you want a cable along that top border, you don’t have to go back after you’ve finished the shawl body and knit one on.

 

 
* When you're doing a braided cable, the cable going toward the left is "normal." The cable going toward the right is technically a mirror image of the "normal" cable, so the rightward cable's crosses have to "mirror" the leftward cable's crosses:
For the first cross, the leftward cross is C6F, the rightward is C6B.
For the second cross, the leftward cross is C6B, the rightward is C6F.
Drove me nuts until I figured this out.

A Belated Birthday Present

You know what they say about the best laid plans.  I was out of pocket most of Tuesday getting lab work done, running errands, and the like, getting ready for the surgery that was supposed to take place today, and so was unaware that the orthopedist’s office had been trying to reach me.  They left me a message to call, but it was Wednesday morning before I could return the call.   They were calling me to tell me that the surgery I was supposed to have today had to be rescheduled as the orthopedist was called out of town unexpectedly.   The surgery has been rescheduled for 5/24.  I’ll still be getting a new knee for my birthday, but it’ll be a belated birthday present.

In a way, I’m glad.  That gives me a lot more time to get ready. It gives everybody more time to get the bureaucratic ducks in a row, and me more time to fine tune my furniture and domestic arrangements, and get better organized.

It also gives me time to do some much-needed yard work.  The roses are going nuts, blooming like crazy.  The flower bed, however, is a mess.  The roses need pruning, the bed needs weeding, and the back yard needs raking because of that stupid locust tree and the beans (and consequent seedlings) everywhere.  How much of that yard work will actually get done remains to be seen.

Books Read in 2019

79. *Cast In Honor, Sagara, Michelle
78. *Cast In Flame, Sagara, Michelle
77. *Cast In Sorrow, Sagara, Michelle
76. *A Gentleman Never Keeps Score, Sebastian, Cat
75. *Cast In Peril, Sagara, Michelle
74. *Cast In Ruin, Sagara, Michelle
73. *The Damnation Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
72. *The Ripper Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
71 *The Red Plague Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
70. *The Iron Wyrm Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
69. *The Underwater Ballroom Society, Burgis, Stephanie, editor
68. *Cast in Chaos, Sagara, Michelle
67. *It Takes Two to Tumble, Sebastian, Cat
66. *Cast in Silence, Sagara, Michelle
65. *Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
64. *Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna (reread)
63. *Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
62. *Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
61. *Provoked, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
60. *Merry and Bright, Chambers, Joanna
59. *The Ruin of Gabriel Ashley, Chambers, Joanna
58. *Once Burned, Frost, Jeaniene
57. *Night Shift, Harris, Charlaine
56. *Day Shift, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Midnight Crossroad, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Cast in Fury, Sagara, Michelle
54. *Any Old Diamonds, Charles, K. J.
53. *Tea With the Black Dragon, MacAvoy, R. A.
52. *The Omega Objection, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
51. *Summage Solution, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
50. *Marine Biology, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
49. *Threshold, Hawk, Jordan L.
48. *Widdershins, Hawk, Jordan L.
47. *Band Sinister, Charles, K. J.
46. *The Hollow of Fear, Thomas, Sherry
45. *A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Thomas, Sherry
44. *A Study in Scarlet Women, Thomas, Sherry
43. *Poison or Protect, Carriger, Gail
42. *Cast in Secret, Sagara, Michelle
41. *Cast in Moonlight, Sagara, Michelle
40. *Think of England, Charles, K. J.
39 *A Case of Possession, Charles, K. J.(reread)
38. *The Magpie Lord, Charles, K. J. (reread)
37. *A Gentleman’s Position, Charles, K. J.
36. *A Seditious Affair, Charles, K. J.
35. *Cast in Courtlight, Sagara, Michelle
34. *Cast in Shadow, Sagara, Michelle
33. *Inside Job, Willis, Connie
32. *The Tea Master and the Detective, de Bodard, Aliette
31. *Waiting on a Bright Moon, Yang, Jy.
30. *A Fashionable Indulgence, Charles, K. J.
29. *The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t, Carriger, Gail (reread)
28. *The Parasol Protectorate: Timeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
27. *The Parasol Protectorate: Heartless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
26. *The Parasol Protectorate: Changeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
25. *The Parasol Protectorate: Blameless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
24. *The Parasol Protectorate: Soulless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
23. *How To Marry A Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
22. *Romancing the Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
21. *Competence (The Custard Protocol, Book 3), Carriger, Gail
20. *Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 2), Carriger, Gail (reread)
19. *Prudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 1), Carriger, Gail (reread)
18. *An Unnatural Heir, Charles, K. J.
17. *His Consort, Calmes, Mary
16. *An Unnatural Vice, Charles, K. J.
15. *An Unseen Attraction, Charles, K. J.
14. Chanur’s Legacy, Cherry, C. J. (re-re-read)
13. *An Enlightenment Story: Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna
12: * An Enlightenment Story: Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna
11. * Enlightenment Series: Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna
10. * Enlightenment Series: Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna
9. *Enlightenment Series: Provoked, Chambers, Joanna
8. Chanur’s Homecoming, Cherryhh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
7. Chanur’s Venture, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
6. The Kif Strike Back, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
5. The Pride of Chanur, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
4. Alliance Rising, Cherryh, C. J.
3. *Introducing Mr. Winterbourne, Chambers, Joanna
2. *Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas, Chambers, Joanna
1. Merchanter’s Luck, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)

* Ebook

Hallelujah! — I Think . . .

I’ve been trying for about 8 months now to get the VA to pony up for total knee replacement surgery for my left knee.  As I may have mentioned, I have no cartilage remaining in my left knee, and I’m walking bone on bone on that knee, and because I have no cartilage, the action of walking is causing the two leg bones to gradually chew ligaments in two.    As you might suppose, this makes my knee hurt, especially when I’m standing or walking on it.  Which is bad enough, except I’m allergic to opiates, which would be morphine, Demerol, Darvon, fentanyl, hydrocodone, codeine, Tramadol, i.e., all the good stuff.  Add to that, I’m on Plavix, so I can’t take acetaminophen, and I’m already taking all the aspirin I can, which is the 81 mg you take for your heart.  That leaves ibuprofen, which does diddly-squat.

Tried the injections.  Knew they wouldn’t work and they didn’t.  Tried physical therapy, knew it wouldn’t work, and it didn’t.  But, because bureaucracy, you have to try all those things so you can prove to them that surgery is the only viable option.  It would be bad enough if I was dealing with an insurance company bureaucracy, but I’m dealing with the VA, which is umpteen orders of magnitude worse because it’s a government bureaucracy.  And, as I have said, repeatedly, dealing with the VA is like pushing a rope.

We had the surgery scheduled for May 10 (yes, that’s this Friday).  Because my previous Secondary Authorization Request (SAR) had expired, the doc’s office had to get a new one, which they applied for on April 22.  It was (FINALLY!) approved Friday and I didn’t find out about it until this afternoon, and then only because I called.  I was supposed to preregister with the hospital by April 26, but I couldn’t because the SAR has the billing account number, and I was waiting for the VA to approve it.   So, tomorrow I have to got get registered, get paperwork to my cardiologist, get my preop lab work done, and then I’ve got to clean house, buy groceries, do wash, and all those other housekeeping things, because knee surgery Friday . . . .

But, wait!  There’s more.  The orthopedists office hasn’t submitted a SAR for aftercare!  And they don’t know that until they get the message I just left for them!

The only available caregiver I have is my 95-year-old mother (and she doesn’t live with me).  I’m going to have to go to some sort of extended care facility until I can get around on my own, and I’m going to have to be able to negotiate one step up and one step down, because the duplex I live in has that death trap from the 1970’s called a “sunken living room” between the front door and the entire rest of the stupid house.  (Yes, it is a ginormous pain in the posterior, not to mention the knee. . .)

At the moment, I’m taking this one hour at a time.  Now, I’ve got to go fix me some supper and settle down to logistics and tactics and the 9 gillion things I need to get done between now and Friday morning.

For the last four or five months, I’ve been pretty much house bound.  I do a lot of sitting and knitting, sitting and watching TV, and sitting and reading  (which activities have been reflected in the paucity of blog posts lately). Doing housework is a chore.  Shopping groceries is a chore.  Going anywhere is a chore.  Some days, going from my bedroom to the kitchen is a chore.  I’m hoping so much that once I’ve recovered from the surgery, I’ll be able to go places and do things again, like go to Pearland (south of Houston) with my mom in October to visit the friends and relations who live in that neck of the woods.  Or go to Capitan, NM to visit my cousin.  Or go out with friends.  There’s this nice park about two blocks from my house . . .

Anyway, stay tuned.  Life is about to get ever so much more interesting, frustrating and painful.