Furry Friday, 12/3/21.

Clearly, the cat did not read the instructions.

A majestical beast.

When your dog has spent too much time with the rabbits.

Oh, shuckie-darns, just scroll through the entire blog.

Posted in Furry Friday | 3 Comments

Rants, etc. 12/2/21.

That map of Wisconsin? It shows that the entire state, with the exception of one county, is at highest risk for COVID. And that one county That’s Iron county, and it is at next highest risk.

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And now, some anti-rants, aka, good news:

The Biden, Kamala, Fair Maps, and Bernie Brew? Those are from the Minoqua Brewing Company, owned by a progressive man. He even started a Super PAC to help progressives get elected in this state. One more progressive brew: AOC IPA.

* * *

Not a rant. Today is also Andrew’s 37th birthday. Here we are, February 1985.

Happy birthday, Andrew!

Posted in Rants, various | 1 Comment

Unraveled Wednesday, 12/1/21.

Joining Kat and friends. Go see what the others are up to.

Knitting.

Remember the blue fingering weight hat that stretched so badly when I blocked it? I did the only thing I could think of that might possibly remedy my disaster: I put it with a load of white laundry and washed and dried it on the hottest settings in my washer and dryer. That did help, although the hat is still rather larger than it should be. I made a second hat to replace it and will send all three to Canada. If neither my brother nor SIL can wear it, I’m sure they can find some worthy charity in need of a hat.

Left, the fingering weight hat that stretched so much in the blocking bath. It recovered a bit when dried. Middle, the first replacement hat. Right, the almost-finished third hat. They will hit the post office on Thursday.

Reading.

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I finally finished this book. Sheesh, it really was not worth the effort. Happily, the author did not feel the need to provide a paragraph of explanation for every line of dialog in the second half of the book. Tragically, I had to suffer through the first half to get there. I see no reason to change my rating. 2✭

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Matrix by Lauren Groff. This is a very talked-about book, but I am not sure what the hype was about. It is the story of Marie, a teenage French girl in 1158, who is sent to England to an abbey to become a nun. The book follows her through her life there. The abbey is poor with half-starved nuns when she arrives. She eventually becomes prioress, then abbess, and builds the abbey to be one of the richest. I consider the time I spent reading it to be largely wasted. The book lacks the usual story arc because it seems to have no ultimate conflict near the end. 3✭but ymmv.

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The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield. Hadfield is the astronaut made famous by his singing of the David Bowie hit Space Oddity (Ground control to Tom). I confess I checked out the book because of Hadfield’s fame. I am only one night’s reading into it so I will not rate it. Hadfield has a bit of Tom Clancy in his writing — way too many technical details for the average reader. (Clancy seemed to be compelled to describe every nut and bolt used to construct an atomic bomb.) But I will persevere and hope the plot is worth the effort.

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Now that I have caught up on all my library books (except that I still have three on hold), I plan to spend a couple months not requesting books and instead reading the books I already own. Genius, huh?! Goodreads tells me I have read 100 books so far this year. Seems like a good point to switch up my reading.

Listening.

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Vanishing Fleece by Clara Parkes. This is read by the author, who had such a lovely, welcoming voice that I could listen to her read almost anything. This is the story of the 675-pound bale of very special fleece and how it went. Because I did not participate in the bale’s eventual distribution, the most of the story is new to me. I am finding it to be a lovely story. 4✭

Watching.

The cast of the new season, including all the bakers.

The Great British Baking Show. Actually, they seemed to have changed the title for this new season on Netflix; it is now referred to as The Great British Bake Off. Hmmph. That title seems a rip-off on the Pillsbury Bake-Off,* which is still going strong, apparently.

Anyway, I discovered that the show had a new season – yay! It is such a fun program to watch, although the two women who gave comedy relief in the first season never came back, boo hoo. They were great. And I always get inspired to bake something after watching a few episodes.

* Back in 1979 shortly after I was hired by a large accounting firm in Minneapolis, I was assigned to be the point person handing all the entries to that year’s Pillsbury Bake-Off. My accounting firm had been associated with Pillsbury, headquartered in Minneapolis, since the 1920s, and one of the services we provided was to manage the early stages of the Bake-Off. My job was to supervise the three women from the temp agency who opened the entries, sorted them into the nine categories — desserts, baking, main dishes, each of which had 3 sub-categories that I do not remember — and verified that the entry followed the contest rules. Then I labeled each entry with a number and another temp person came in after business hours to Xerox the entries after covering the entrant’s name, which was written on the entry; the entry would display only have the number I assigned. The next day another temp took the previous day’s entries to the three home economists — independent, not Pillsbury employees — who read and rated them. Same temp picked the entries up the next day and brought them back to the office. The ones that the home ecs had rated as worthy of attention went to Pillsbury, the rest sat in bags in my office. Through this whole process I kept track of the number of entries that came in the door, were eliminated for not following the rules, were Xeroxed, went to the home ecs, were approved as worthy, eliminated, and taken to Pillsbury.

It was a horrible job. All I could do was screw up; if I did everything perfectly and all the numbers balanced, that just meant I had given Pillsbury the expected outcome. If I screwed up — say, the numbers of entries in each stage somehow didn’t add up — there would be some explaining to do. With 50,000+ recipes coming and going across my desk, a few slip-ups were inevitable. But apparently there was nothing that troubled the Pillsbury people I dealt with and I got to keep my real job, i.e., as a staff auditor.

Posted in Unraveled Wednesdays | 6 Comments

Fiber Monday. 11/29/21.

Did I ever show you the stretchy bind-off I use? Here it is. More stretchy bind offs.

Came across this knitter/dyer on Instagram.

A beautiful stranded autumn cowl free pattern!

Posted in LInks knitting | 4 Comments

Posting on a Saturday.

What we know about the omicron version of the coronavirus. This article is free on the Washington Post. No subscription needed (pretty much all the articles on the coronavirus are free on their website).

Posted in Coronavirus | 1 Comment

Furry Friday, 11/26/21.

Posted in Furry Friday | 2 Comments

Three things.

Three things I am thankful for.

  • My husband, our sons, my daughter-in-law, friends, and our canine and feline family.
  • Science and public health that has kept us and much of the world healthy. Think readily available clean water and clean food, vaccinations for polio and measles and mumps and diphtheria and tetanus and HPV and COVID.
  • That t***p is not the president.

Posted in Holidays, Thankful Thursdays, Three things | 3 Comments

Unraveled Wednesday, 11/24/21.

Joining Kat and friends. Go see what the others are up to.

Knitting.

” Ready for my close-up, Mr Demille!”

This is the blue hat to replace the one that stretched to potato sack size. The blue hat I donated last summer that had 1″ stripes was my and others’ favorite of the blue hats. I planned to duplicate the style in this hat, but somehow there was too much contrast with 1″ stripes. The color changes in the previous striped hat were much more subtle. So I frogged and made this. Each stripe is 3 rows, about 3/4″, tall. Much better.

<Slight digression> I was lying in bed reading one evening last week when my cell phone rang. That in itself was disconcerting, since cell reception in our house is sketchy at best. Texts, yes, but voice? Nope. However, this was a call on the [Facebook] Messenger app, so technically it was not a phone call at all, but rather an internet video call. It was my brother and SIL calling from Canada. We talked about the hats and COVID and everything else under the sun. I haven’t seen either of them for years, although we do message each other. Sound and image were crystal clear — isn’t technology amazing? </digression>

Reading.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I loved this book. I didn’t think I would because 1, the setting was in sunny Southern California; B, among beautiful, tanned, fit, happy people; and iii, the cover seemed to emphasize those things. They are all true, but the four main characters were so fully drawn that I cared, plus SURPRISE! every one of those beautiful, tanned, fit, and happy people had very human problems. I quite liked Daisy Jones and the Six by the same author, so I thought that maybe this one would be good. And it was. Side note: it was especially good to read this during the run up to a northern winter. Sun, surf, warm water? It was pleasant to imagine being there. 4✭

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Harry Starke by Blair Howard; book 1 of the Harry Starke series.Turns out I read this back in June, when it was a Kindle freeby. Read it anyway.Better than average detective novel. 3.5✭

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Two For The Money by Blaire Howard; book 2 of the Harry Starke series. Turns out I read this one back in June, too. No wonder the plot seemed familiar. I will begin to re-read this one as soon as I finish A Familiar Sight.

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A Familiar Sight by Brianna Labuskes; book 1 in the Dr. Gretchen White series. White is a psychologist, criminologist, and consultant to the Boston police force. She also happens to be a sociopath. Although this book got high ratings on Goodreads — 4.12 out of 5 — I am baffled to understand why. Yes, the thesis is intriguing, a sociopath helping the police, but the writer ignores one of the primary rules of writing fiction: show, do not tell. In the first third of the book, well over half of the text is explaining the thought process of the character who is speaking. I got really tired of that. I would forget exactly what had just happened because it was buried under several paragraphs of backstory and explanation of the character’s thought process. I am somewhere in the middle of the book, hoping that it gets better, since pretty soon the author will [hopefully] assume that we, the reader, know enough not to require the annoying explanatory paragraphs. 2✭

Listening.

I gave up on The Warmth of Other Sons because it was soooo long, and I have 168 hours of unlistened-to-audiobooks in my Audible library. Obama’s book was 20+ hours, and it got me behind. Warmth was making me despair of ever catching up. So I queued up Clara Parke’s book…

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Vanishing Fleece by Clara Parkes. This is a fun book, especially for wool lovers. I started it last week two weeks ago while waiting in my car for woman I was giving a ride to. I look forward to more woolly listening. 5✭

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Note: here is the NYT article that talks about the black ballerina I included in Saturday’s links post. If you cannot see it, try this where I shared the story on FB.

Posted in Unraveled Wednesdays | 7 Comments

It’s Holy Week, aka deer hunting season, in Wisconsin.

Not being a hunter myself (much to my father’s dismay when he tried to take me rabbit hunting when I was about 11), I have no particular fondness for gun deer hunting. Bow hunting? At least in that season the deer stand a moderate chance of not being winter’s dining.

In both Minnesota and Wisconsin gun deer season begins at dawn on a particular Saturday in November and lasts for nine days. Some years those seasons are the same dates, others maybe not. When I lived in northern Minnesota, my school always designated the Monday after the opening of deer season as a holiday; if any student took off more time to hunt, said student would receive punishment. The local school here in Wisconsin designates the entire week of deer season as a holiday. That is not quite as weird as it sounds, since Holy Week gun deer season seems always to be the week of Thanksgiving.

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In other local news, Smokey and I got our booster shots last Wednesday. Neither of us had any after effects from the initial two shots, both Moderna, but the Pfizer boosters laid us low for a couple days. No idea if the different brand was the cause. On Thursday neither of us got out of bed until 4pm, on Friday it was 3pm. I woke up on the Thursday with the mother of all headaches, at least as bad as one of the good ol’ migraines I used to get. This was my entire head, not just one side like a migraine. Anyway, I woke up at 5am, took two of Smokey’s hydrocodone pills*, and went back to sleep. They worked, but I woke up again at 1pm when they had worn off, so I took 2 more and went back to sleep. That evening and Friday I still had a lingering headache, but aspirin took care of it.

No matter the after effects, we would get the booster every time.

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Andrew** and Amanda*** were in Florida for a week recently for him to attend a 2-day seminar on invasive procedures — or maybe it was non-invasive procedures, hard to remember. The seminar was supposed to happen in March 2020 but was postponed due to something or other happening at that time. Anyhow, they called twice, once from a park near to where Smokey’s parents lived in retirement and once from the Everglades. Lots of hiking, not so much of the animal observation; they make it a priority to visit the local zoo(s) wherever they go. We raised an animal lover, and he found another one to marry.

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* He took exactly none of the pain pills after his laparoscopic surgery to clean up the shredded cartilage in his hip. In fact, on the way home from the hospital he had me stop at Walmart so he could do some shopping. We had reported to the hospital at 6am for the 7:30 surgery (arrgh! we had to get up at 4:30! That time of day has never existed for me. I consider getting up at any time before 9am to be early) and were back out on the way home at 11:30.

** Andrew = Elder Son. Henceforth he and Amanda (GF, wife) will be referred to by name.

*** Fun fact, offered without comment: when Andrew was inducted into the National Honor Society in high school, there were more Amandas than boys inducted that year.

Posted in Amanda, Andrew, Coronavirus, Smokey | 5 Comments

We are all linked. Even the 1/6/21 rioters. (Ick!)

On autism, ADHD, and neurotypical-ism.

Pocket friends.

The world is a cat.

The art history version of “you’d look prettier if you smiled more”

Great commercials that have never aired in my region.

Here are a couple screenshots that are neither rants nor animals.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments