Books Read in 2017

74. The Curse of Chalion, McMaster Bujold, Lois
73. Summer In Orcus, Kingfisher, T.
72. *Neogenesis, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (eARC)
71. Wolf Wing, Lee, Tanith
70. Wolf Queen, Lee, Tanith
69. Wolf Star, Lee, Tanith
68. Wolf Tower, Lee, Tanith
67. *Jackalope Wives and Other Stories, Kingfisher, T.
66. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule, Chiaverini, Jennifer
65. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, Chiaverini, Jennifer
64. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Watson, Winifred (re-read)
63. *Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, McMaster Bujold, Lois
62. *Jackaby, Ritter, William
61. *Howl’s Moving Castle, Wynne Jones, Diana (re-read)
60. *Due Diligence, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve
59. *Flight of Magpies, Charles, K. J.
58. *A Case of Possession, Charles, K. J.
57. *The Magpie Lord, Charles, K. J.
56. A Conspiracy of Kings, Whalen Turner, Megan (re-read)
55. The King of Attolia, Whalen Turner, Megan (re-read)
54. The Queen of Attolia, Whalen Turner, Megan (re-read)
53. The Thief, Whalen Turner, Megan (re-read)
52. Thick as Thieves, Whalen Turner, Megan
51. Seven Wild Sisters, DeLint, Charles
50. *The Owl Service, Garner, Alan (re-read)
49. Stargate, Norton, Andre
48. *Swordspoint, Kushner, Ellen
47. *Privilege of the Sword, Kushner, Ellen
46. *The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Chambers, Becky
45. Point of Honour, Robins, Madeleine E.
44. The Mark of the Horse Lord, Sutcliff, Rosemary
43. Where the Dead Lie, Harris, C. S.
42. Convergence, Cherryh, C. J.
41. Visitor, Cherryh, C. J. (reread)
40. Tracker, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)
39. When Falcons Fall, Harris, C. S. (reread)
38. Who Buries the Dead, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
37. Why Kings Confess, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
36. What Darkness Brings, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
35. When Maidens Mourn, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
34. Where Shadows Dance, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
33. What Remains of Heaven, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
32. Where Serpents Sleep, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
31. Why Mermaids Sing, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
30. When Gods Die, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
29. What Angels Fear, Harris, C. S. (re-reread)
28. Alliance of Equals, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
27. Trade Secrets, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
26. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 2, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
25. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 3, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
24. Liaden Constellation, Vol. 1, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-reread)
23. Dragon in Exile, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
22. Necessity’s Child, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
21. Mouse and Dragon, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
20. Scout’s Progress, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
19. I Dare, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
18. Plan B, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
17. Local Custom, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
16. Conflict of Honors, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
15. Carpe Diem, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
14. Agent of Change, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (re-. . . reread)
13. The Gathering Edge, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon
12. Dragon Ship, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
11. Ghost Ship, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
10. Saltation, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
9. *Fledgling, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
8. *Passing Strange, Klages, Ellen
7. Balance of Trade, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
6. Tripoint, Cherryh, C. J.
5. *Were-, Bray, Patricia and Palmatier, Joshua, ed.
4. *When Marnie Was Here, Robinson, Joan G.
3. Crystal Dragon, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
2. Crystal Soldier, Miller, Steve and Lee, Sharon (reread)
1. A Conspiracy of Kings, Whalen Turner, Megan (reread)

* Ebook

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As the Wheel of the Year Turns

We’ve had the Autumnal Equinox already, last Friday.  It’s been chilly and rainy all week.  Last night, I actually thought about putting a blanket on my bed or, actually, just getting that little twin blanket I still haven’t made into a lap robe off the rocker and spreading it over my side of the bed.  Would have done, too, but I’d have had to get out into the cold to do it.

I’m actually thinking that a carafe-full of hot Moroccan Mint Tea might be just the thing.  And I’ve got hot dogs and buns in the freezer and if I take them out now they would be thawed by tomorrow, and there’s cans of Wolf Brand Chili in the cabinet, and I could have chili dogs with chopped onions, a big glop of chili and sprinkle cheese melted on top. (I take one of those wide, shallow soup bowls, open the bun out flat, cut the wiener in half longways and put half on each side of the bun, then load that sucker up and eat it with a knife and fork.) I’ve also got spaghetti, and I could break it into thirds before I cook it, and mix it into a can of Wolf Brand Chili, add some chopped onions and eat it with a generous amount of sprinkle cheese on top and zotted in the microwave.  Serious nums.

But what I think I’m going to do is have two slices of liverwurst on Red Oval Farms Stoned Wheat crackers with a garnish of chopped black onions, because it has a sell by or freeze date of 2 Oct, and it’ll take me three days to eat the 6-slice package.  But I could make a carafe of spiced chai and put some almond milk into it to have with . . . .

I just checked the 10-day forecast, and the hottest predicted high is 84 F (28.8 C) for Monday, with the lowest being 65 F (18.3 C).  Lows are going to be around 60 F (15.5 C) with the lowest low of 50 F (10 C) on Monday week.  We’re getting into that transitional, easy-on-the-wallet-utilities-bill part of the year where it’s not hot enough for the AC or cold enough for the heater.  It’s not quite late enough in the year to switch from AC to heater yet, though.  It’ll be time to do that when I start thinking I should get up and put some socks on.  Oh, just a little light jazz for a Saturday afternoon. . . .

Not much happening in the knitting news, the reason being that since Thursday, I’ve read two and a bit books, a stand alone (Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher), and the first and part of the second book in a trilogy (The Curse of Chalion and The Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Hallowed Hunt being book 3), which is the setting world for a later quintet of novellas.  All of them are quite inexpensively had in e-book form from Amazon, which is where I acquired them from.

What I am doing knitting wise is working on the Ruffles and Flourishes hat pattern, which is proving to be a bit complicated. The hat pattern is a piece of cake, but I’ve ripped the first ruffle out and started over about four times now.  If I can ever get that ruffle pattern worked out, I’m home free.  I’m about to let it sit and stew for a bit and finish the Coriolis Chemo hat which is ready to start on the decreases.

However, I don’t get to do any of that right at the moment because it’s bill paying night.  Once I get that onerous chore out of the way, I will get up and get some supper and maybe read some more on The Paladin of Souls.

Rainy Wednesday

***In case you didn’t know, Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.  Help the Red Cross help our own.   Donate to Red Cross hurricane relief here.  Also, the Red Cross always needs blood. ***

Actually, it started raining Sunday and has been raining off and on since then — like, an hour or so of just bucketing down, followed by hours of light sprinkling or mizzling followed by a couple of hours of glowering clouds, and so forth. It’s supposed to be like this all week.  It’s not unexpected.  It “always” rains here during the South Plains Fair, so that the dirt parking lots and dirt fairgrounds can become a goopy mess.  Also they’re gearing up to start stripping cotton, which they can’t do till the fields (and cotton) dries out. One good thing, though; the rain has washed all the ragweed pollen out of the air.

This is the flatlands, remember, so when it rains, water fills the slightest depression till it overflows.  It’ll rain like the dickens for about an hour, water will collect in all the street gutters and at the intersections to about 12-18 inches deep (which means the lanes of traffic closest to the curb/kerb are virtually unusable due to standing water covering most of the lane), and the pickups will just go barreling along at 40 mph like they always do, rooster-tailing great splashes of water when they hit puddles, deluging the cars on either side to the point that you can’t see out your windshield/windscreen for several seconds.  Then, an hour or two later, the water has run off through the storm drains into the numerous playa lakes in the various parks scattered about the city, and the streets are pretty clear of standing water again.   Of course, any underpasses where the roadway is below ground level quickly become impassible.

I had a checkup at the dentist’s Monday (during an interlude of raining cats and dogs), and everything looks OK.  I’m on my last day of antibiotics. I was down to 500 mg of acetaminophen four times a day on Sunday, and stopped taking it completely yesterday and haven’t needed any since.  I should get the crown — the actual tooth part — some time in January.

In the knitting news, I reworked the decreases part of the pattern for “A Little Twisted Hat” and I like it much better. 

You really can’t see the changes too well.  The picture on the left is the old way, and the one on the right is the new way, but you can’t really see the changed part in the picture. — I ran out of the dark orange and had to finish with the light orange, and it doesn’t show up well.  I stopped the twisted cables three rows sooner, and did the decrease from the center of the cable, not decreasing the purl stitches til the very end so that the cable comes to a point with purls on either side.  Looks much better.  I need to make another one in a yarn I’ve got enough of to finish the hat with and take a better picture to put on the pattern.

Also, I’m down to the last ball of yarn on CJ’s shawl.  Soon as I finish it and weave in the ends, both shawls are going to be packed up ready to be mailed to Spokane, WA.  I hear the weather is starting to get cool up there and it’s finally raining some. They are knee deep in a kitchen remodel so I will probably hold off for a couple of weeks until things settle down.  I’ve already got a fair start on one for me.

Two Pictures For A Friend

I ran across these two pictures in a blog post by Twisted Sifter, which were entries in the 2017 Nat Geo Nature Photographer of the Year contest. These are for Shore Acres, because she’s into wildlife photography.  They’re also beautifully abstract images.

Photo © Cole Frechou National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

This alligator is lurking in a pond covered with duckweed.

Photo © Jerry am Ende National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

Here’s a Rorschach test for you.  (It’s a heron preening.)

Adventures in Dentistry and a Short Trip to Atlantis

“The land that lies between ‘Factual’ and ‘True’ is the undiscovered country wherein tales are found. One of the most delightful discoveries one can make in this uncharted land is that a story does not have to be factual to be true.” thus sayeth WOL.

I need a sign that says, “Let Sleeping Dust Lie.”

OK.  So off to this morning’s adventure in dentistry wherein I had to get up at ridiculous o’clock because I had forgotten to get any Ensure or acetaminophen 500 mg tablets, because instead of grocery shopping Sunday morning as I had planned, instead, I drove my mom to the ER because she got waylaid by the norovirus du jour currently making the rounds, had had most of the usual symptoms for four days (mercifully no vomiting), and she and I were both concerned that she was getting dehydrated.  Four Cotton-Picking Hours Later we had a brief glimpse of a doctor who told us these “stomach bugs” are usually self limiting, that for electrolyte replacement, she should have been drinking Pedialyte instead of Gatorade (which is loaded with sugar and only aggravates the diarrhea — which I could have told her without making her wait for four hours).  Totally derailed both our plans for Sunday.  I ended up not going shopping until Monday morning and had to wade through large crowds (including screaming preschool age children) to do so.

Anyway, I had to stop off at Walmart to get Ensure and acetaminophen on my way to my 9 o’clock dentist appointment, and then on my way home had to stop off at Walgreen’s to get $23 worth of antibiotics.

As I mentioned in other posts, after I got that lower molar ‘extracted’, the hole it left was bone grafted.  The graft “took,” and this morning I had the post for the tooth implant put in, which required that the gum be incised so that he could get to the bone, and then stitched back up afterward.  I’m supposed to baby the area and watch what I eat.  Naturally, since I can’t have them, I’m craving these really crunchy crackers I like.  This time, unlike when he “extracted” the tooth (read: drill out the root canal part of the tooth to get it out), his nitrous oxide dohickey was working, so I wandered off to the ozone listening to Kevin Kendle’s “Journey to Atlantis” and didn’t much mind that he was drilling a peg into my jawbone.

Of course, immediately I got home, I popped an antibiotic capsule and two 500 mg acetaminophen, and knocked back an Ensure high protein formula, and did what anybody would do — I took a nap.  The key to pain control is to take pain meds before you need them, so by the time the numbing wore off I had enough acetaminophen on board that when I laid me down to nap, I was comfortable enough to sleep for four hours.

In the meantime, the knitting fairie struck and I had two little outfits to give to the dentist’ s receptionist, who is due in November.  There were a couple of minor blips in that process, however;  one was that I had to rewrite the hat pattern to be knitted in the round.

There are some people who hate knitting on double pointed needles so much that they will knit a hat flat and then sew it up.  And then there are people like me who are unfazed by double pointed needles, but hate to sew knitting.

It seems that there is this whole school of thought that approaches knitting from a sewing standpoint.  In sewing you cut out pieces of cloth and then sew them together to make a garment, so they write knitting patterns like sewing patterns.  You knit the garment in pieces and then sew the pieces together.  No, thank you. I would much rather work out a way to knit the garment as a single seamless piece.

The other blip was that I made a boo-boo in the little pink sweater and didn’t catch it until I was about three inches beyond it.  For about 20 stitches on this one row, I purled where I should have knitted.  Even though this little sweater was knitted flat, I was using double pointed circular needles.  That made it easier to fix.

Allow me to digress into technicalities.  Some people would have ripped the whole thing out back to the mistake and reknitted everything, which would have entailed a lot of time, work, pejoratives and scatological language.  I just ripped out the bit that needed fixing and reknitted just those stitches.

Let me show you what I mean.  Recently I made a booboo in a hat I was working on, and k1, p1, when i should have p1, k1.  it was only 8 stitches, but I had knitted about 4 inches beyond the mistake before I caught it.  Rather than rip out all that work,

I just ripped out those stitches that I messed up — ALL the way back to the mistake. You can see how far I would have had to rip out, if I had ripped the whole thing back to where I flubbed up.  Instead, this way, I just had to reknit 8 stitches for four inches rather than 90 stitches for four inches.

I got out my trusty straight double pointed needles in the same size as the 16-inch circular double pointed needles I was using to knit the hat.  (I have a set of double pointed needles in each size that I have 16-inch circular needles, for doing the decrease to close up the top of the hat.)

I picked up the stitches on a double pointed needle.  Ripping out just those stitches leaves a “ladder” of threads, one thread per row.  I then use a second double pointed needle to  knit each “ladder rung” of thread across the 8 stitches I need to fix, being careful to take the rungs in order working my way back up, rung by rung.

Because the needles have a point at each end, when I got to the end of one row, I just went back to the right end of the needle and started on the next row. And with a little bit of patience and attention, there’s the goof all fixed!  This is one of my Toboggans with the internal ribbing on the hem.  The white bit at the bottom is the cotton yarn I used for the provisional cast on.  This whole little episode speaks to something I do not always do, which is stop frequently and check over the work to catch any errors before I get too far past them. If I hadn’t caught that error before I’d turned the hem, I would have had to rip out clear past the hem, and it would truly have been a big, loud PITA.

In other knitting news, I finished the twisted cable hat. I like the way it turned out.  I need to post it and the rewritten baby hat pattern on my knitting blog.  But not today.  I think I hear some chicken noodle soup calling my name. . . and I need to take my antibiotic dose and a couple of acetaminophen with something in my tum.

 

Seven Quick Finches

Seven quick finches go teasel threading
Carding their quivers at the weavers wedding
Widdershins working before loom-ward tending
Seven quick finches come teasel threading.

Artwork ©2017 by Jackie Morris, poem © 2017 Chris Jelley

Give your brain and your heart a treat.  Check out Jackie’s beautiful books. They are full of wonderful things.

Aftermaths, Dentistry, and a Baby

Please, donate to the Red Cross.  Nobody is immune to natural disasters, and what goes around, comes around, folks.

Heard from my friend JT who lives in Key West.  They evacuated Thursday afternoon and were holed up in a hotel in Orlando for the duration.  I don’t think they thought Irma was going to track as far east as it did, and Orlando did take a hit, but not a direct hit like the Keys did.  They have the hotel room booked until Saturday.  They should be able to get back by then.  Hopefully, they will have something left to go back to.  I’ve seen footage of the damage in Key West, and it’s pretty bad.  The main thing, though, is that they’re alive and unharmed.

I got a CT of my jaw done this past Monday to see if the bone graft took where I had that lower molar pulled, and the graft has taken.  That means that on the 21st, a large gob of money will be given to my dentist to implant a peg into my jawbone.  Three months after that, he will be given an even bigger gob to put a tooth onto that peg.  I also learned that the dentist’s receptionist/clerk is pregnant with a little girl due possibly at around the first of the year by the look of her, so there will be baby things in the knitting news.

However, currently in the knitting news is that I have finished three hats and a shawl.  The shawl pattern is Malguri Morning, one of two I’m doing for friends in Washington State.  It’s done in Loops & Threads Charisma yarn, “Northern Lights” and “Electric Blue” colorways.  The other one has about a ball and a half of yarn left to go and has been bumped back in the queue again due to the fact that their kitchen is in the process of being remodeled, and BABY STUFF KNITTING!

I finished two ribbed toboggans and a Simple Pleasures hat, and I am working on a new pattern I’m calling a Little Twisted Hat (at right).  I’ll post that pattern when I’ve figured out how many cable crosses are needed before the decreases can start.

 

 

 

 

The toboggans are the ones above (camo chemo!) and the Simple Pleasures one is to the right.  I’ve got five other hats started, but two are stalled, one has to be half ripped out and rethought, and the remaining two just have to be finished.  They will be on hold, however, until I get baby stuff out of the way.  I’m going to see how many baby things I can knit between now and the 21st. They already know it’s going to be a little girl, and I have pink yarn and lavender yarn, and yellow yarn . . . I’ve also got a ChiaoGoo size US 11 (8.o mm) 60-inch circular needle on order and two big balls of a nice yellow yarn, so there may be a baby afghan at some point.  We’ll see.