Tears and Memories

Woke up thinking about my baby girl, who I lost in May of 2015 to renal disease at the all-too-young age of 11.  She was the only survivor of an abandoned litter and was hand raised by a shelter lady.  Consequently, she was a lot more snugly than cats, especially female cats, usually are.  She was Stormalinda Phogg-Phoote, the name was bigger than the cat.  Stormie was never very big, always slender and graceful, agile, gracile, and quick.  She was a climber, and could leap highest of any cat I’ve had.  Sometimes, the (cat) boys would let her up on the bed at night and she would creep into the hollow between my stomach and my body pillow, curl up and sleep there.  I remember how privileged I felt when she did that, and tears slide down my face.  I’m down to one now, the fat(cat)boy, and I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep him before time and the world steal him away from me.   He turned 10 this August.

You may or may not have noticed the Mary Oliver quotation from her poem, “Starlings in Winter”  on the sidebar at right.  Doodlemum is participating in “Inktober” a drawing challenge to post a drawing every day in October, and the picture above was her post for today.  It resonated with me on umpteen levels.  There are days. . . there are days. . . .

In addition to being “Inktober” it’s also “Pinktober,” breast cancer awareness month.  I’m already very aware of it.  Four of the ladies in my knitting group are survivors, all of them have had mastectomies, one of them has had her third recurrence and it is in her bones now.  She’s done a third round of chemo, and now she’s doing radiation therapy to the lesions in the bone.  Three of them have gotten the monster to leave them alone for now.  One of them is still being stalked.  Some of us knit because it keeps us from screaming. . . .

Also in the knitting news, I finished a Little Twisted Hat in fuchsia glitter yarn in honor of Pinktober, and I’m futzing with a mistake in a Carrie Fisher Memorial PussyHat which I have put aside until I simmer down.  I’ve revised the Little Twisted Hat pattern to do the decreases differently, and I like the way it “points” the cables better.

Last night when I got groceries, I got a Super Saver Jumbo skein of Red Heart PINK yarn to make some more pink hats for “Pinktober.”  I went looking for clear glass beads at Michael’s but didn’t find any.  Did find colored star-shaped beads, though and in a way that’s even better.  I have plans for a pink hat with star beads.  There will be a pattern published on my knitting patterns blog . . . eventually.  I’ll have to find one of my small crochet hooks to put them on with.

I’m going to finish that one Malguri Morning shawl today if it harelips the governor, and get both of them in the mail to Spokane ASAP.  I also need to wash a load of clothes. The first item will get done.  The second item may get done.  What I should do is go sit and knit on it in the living room where I can hear the washer and dryer*, start a load of clothes, and knit while I wait for it to be time to put the clothes in the dryer, and then time take them out of the dryer and hang them up.  I should eat something also, so I can have a personal pie** for dessert.  I got two apple ones and two cherry ones when I shopped groceries last night.  Decanted into a dish and zotted in the microwave. . . but apple or cherry? . . . decisions, decisions. . .

 

* The living room is beside the dining "area"; and at one end of the dining area is the kitchen, and at the other end is the laundry room.
** A two crust fruit pie made in a 5-inch aluminum foil pie tin.
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Thor’s Day Afternoon

The French, who were up to their ears in Romans a lot longer than England was, call it “Jeudi” — the day of the Roman god Jupiter.  But because England was all over Angles, and Saxons, and Norse (oh, my!), the English name for the day hearkens back to the Germanic/Norse god Thor.  So today is Thor’s day, rather than Thursday, because Thor and Chris Hemsworth, (not to mention Tom Hiddleston, who is, very . . .), and it’s nice to have a change once in a while.

We had two noteworthy things happen in knitting group, Tuesday.  One, we were saddened to learn that A’s son had passed away unexpectedly.  He was only 53,  and although he did have COPD, it was not that bad.  He lived alone, and a relative found him dead.  A has had a lung transplant, so she has had a number of vicissitudes in her life already.  I think she only had the son and the daughter. VS told us about it.  She is A’s across-the-street neighbor and frequently brings A to knitting group.  Very, very sad.

We were processing this news when a woman walked in and asked if we would be interested in some yarn and knitting needles, which is rather like asking sheep if they would be interested in a pasture of nice thick green grass . . .  “Some” turned out to be two big boxes of yarn and a box of assorted knitting needles. It seems she had been clearing out her late mother’s house, and her mother was a knitter/crocheter (many knitters are ambicraftous and also crochet.  Me, for one.).  This was after KC had “busted” her stash and had brought me a big bag of yarn suitable for hats (which must be done in hypoallergenic acrylic or nylon yarn that has a very soft hand) in trade for five or six sets of circular bamboo needles, and here was a bunch more.  I got some double pointed needles out of the box of assorted knitting needles — several 4-and one 5- needle sets.  (Of course, the minimum needle requirement for knitting is two.)  Our group leader’s church is doing prayer shawls, so they made out like bandits with a large box of perfectly free “save me from this” yarn.

There were six 1.75 oz skeins of lavender “Natura Burlee” yarn which they probably haven’t made in 20 years.  And I rewrote the baby afghan pattern “Sweet Sherbet” for it. I may not have enough of it to complete the project and I may have to find an interposable color to finish it.  We’ll see.  I’ve got a yellow that might work.  KC’s church has a baby afghan project I might donate it to. I’m calling the new pattern “Sherbet Parfait” — seemed reasonable.  Made a nice change from hats.

In the plastic bag that had the lavender yarn was a thin plastic 7-inch ruler which says “St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, Montana.”  The lady did not say where her mother was from.  There’s no telling how the ruler got in the bag.  Or when.

The purple fuzzy hat is in the decreases now to close the top, and I’m going to finish it tonight if it harelips the governor.  No, the purple fuzzy hat is done!

 

Waltzing into Sunday

It’s from the Suite for Variety Orchestra.  by Dmitri Shostakovich.  It’s a perfectly glorious little waltz. I love the saxophones on the first iteration of the first theme.  He has a little Guy Lombardo vibe going there for just a bit.  My dad used to refer to ballroom dances (waltz, foxtrot, etc.) as “clinch dancing” — no telling where he came up with the term, probably from boxing.  You practically have to be a reenactor to do a proper waltz in public any more (You gotta have the floor length dress with at least three petticoats!) No secret, though, that I do love a good waltz, and this one is as good as any the Strausses could come up with.

While we’re waltzing, this scene from the film Van Helsing, one of the choicer bits from that film (apart from Hugh Jackman in that coat).  Dracula with a cape (and a ponytail!), check.  Grand staircase, check.  Beautiful clothes, check.  And that red dress on Kate Beckinsale, double check with an exclamation point.   And that bit when you see the reflection in the mirror, and she’s dancing all by herself because, of course, mirrors don’t reflect vampires.  If I don’t already have a copy of that film, I may just have to get one. . .

And even though this next one is a musical repeat, watching Bert Lancaster and a very young Sean Bean waltz, and getting an eyeful of Alain Delon . . .  It’s a mix of scenes from movies The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) by Luchino Visconti from 1963. Anna Karenina by Maurizio Millenotti from 1997, Anna Karenina by Joe Wright from 2013, Fanfan & Alexandre by Alexandre Jardin from 1993, War and Peace TV series from 2007, The Young Victoria by Jean-Marc Vallée from 2009, and The Waltz of Dagmara and Artur (their first wedding dance) from 2011.

And while we’re talking Russian waltzes, here’s Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella Waltz.

And from Aram Khachaturian, the waltz from his Masquerade suite.

Did you think I’d leave out Tchaikovsky? Perish forbid!  No, it’s not one of the ones you’ve heard hundreds of times.  Bet you’ve never heard this one before!  Lovely violin!