The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Rat Marriott

We have guests at Chez Insanity! Paying guests even! I am rat sitting three girls for a week while their owner goes to Burning Man. They arrived today and dang are they cute. Below is a picture of Bibi (left) and Nakkie (right). Nakkie is so named because she's a hairless rattum. The third guest is Mousekins and she's very scared right now and hiding in her igloo. She is HUGE. Not that Bibi couldn't stand to lose a few ounces herself. These girls make mine look like babies.

They seem to be settling in alright even though I've rearranged their cage. I don't understand rat owners who stuff their cages so full that their poor ratties have no room to move around. It's no wonder these girls need the rodent version of Jenny Craig. And there are NO food bowls. Don't get me started on people who just toss food into the cage. No toys either. It's all very sad and I may have to tell their owner that all three ratties died while she was on vacation and oh I'm terribly sorry. Then I'll keep 'em. In a bigger cage too. This cage isn't nearly big enough.

There are now 19 rats in this apartment and Andy is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He hasn't left my side all evening. He keeps trying to climb into my lap if I'm at the computer or on the couch. He's also tried a number of times to climb into the cage with the new girls. Maybe he thinks that if he pretends to be a rat I'll pay more attention to him. Poor little monkey, I think I'll go give him some treats.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Schal Nr. sechs

That means Scarf Number Six for those who don't speak German. I don't but Babelfish does. Schal Nr. sechs is not quite done yet. Two skeins of Encore Worsted does not a five foot scarf make. I am short seven inches. Which I knew was going to happen because this is the second time I've crocheted this pattern with Encore. Perhaps I thought that a different colorway would have more yardage. Anyway, it's a nice sunny day so I thought "photo opportunity." It's not like another seven inches is going to make a whole lot of difference to the way this scarf looks.

This is the Men's Double Ribbed Scarf which is the pattern I had so much trouble with the first time I tried to make it. And I was going to post my version of it but then I got all caught up in rat adventures and I still haven't done it.

In other exciting news, I rented a storage locker yesterday. My storage locker is number 3066, just in case you wanted to write that down. It's gray with an orange door and I'm ever so thrilled. Well not really but I'm awfully glad to have some place to put all the damn rat cages. My 400 square foot apartment was getting rather claustrophobic. Of course I mean the empty rat cages, not the ones with occupants. That would be cruel. Does $64.00 a month seem like a lot for a 5' X 5' locker though? Of course it would be more than worth it if I could store Andy in there.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Stash Show

There have been some additions to the stash over the last few days. I'm stockpiling scarf yarn in case there's a worldwide yarn shortage between now and December. Though I seem to have lost my scarf focus lately; today I cast on for a Baby Surprise Jacket. Maybe the new yarn additions will inspire me to go back to scarfing ...

As we can clearly see on the label, this is Wisdom Yarn's "Poems" yarn. It's 100% wool and reminds me of Noro without the thick and thin thing going on. Thank goodness, because varying thicknesses of yarn drives me insane. As well, this yarn is a lot less expensive than Noro. I'm not sure if the yardage is better, each ball of Poems yarn is 109 yards. I can't wait to see what this looks like knit up. I'm thinking the Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf might be a good choice for a pattern.

This is one of the world's best buys in yarn and the only place I've ever seen it is at my local LYS, Green Planet Yarn. It's Shepherd's Wool and for $10.00 (maybe $10.50, I can't remember), you get 250 yards of the softest, loveliest yarn. And it's a worsted weight. 250 yards of a worsted weight for less than $20.00, how awesome is that? Not to mention it comes in about a bazillion colors. The coral looking yarn is actually bubble gum pink, thank you artificial lighting. I think combined with the purple, it'll make a cute little girl's scarf. I think Green Planet does mail order if you just had to have some of this. It's REALLY nice stuff.

And what makes it even better is that I had earned my $20.00 in store rewards when I purchased this yesterday so the two skeins cost me $0.99. Muhahahaha ...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yo Adrian

Believe it or not, I have no scarf pictures today. So instead I'll tell you about Adrian. Rats and yarn, that's all this blog seems to be about these days. Maybe tomorrow we'll have a book or movie review but I'm not really good at writing those kinds of things so rats it is.

Adrian came to me at the end of March this year as a foster rattie. With his two brothers Richard and Murray. In the picture above, we have Richard in front, Adrian in the middle, and Murray bringing up the rear. Which was a pretty accurate representation of their socialization levels at the time. They were only two months at the time and had barely been handled. They were SCARED. Trying to socialize babies SUCKS. Why? Because rattie baby fur is slick which makes them very hard to hold. I imagine that comes in handy when you're trying to escape a predator but I am not a predator. Plus, when rats are frightened they have a tendency to poop. And pee. I guess that's why they're so dang cute.

Richard and Murray were adopted by a wonderful family at their very first adoption fair despite still being a little under socialized. I didn't want Adrian to be alone but I had no one he could live with at the time. So I gave him to my boyfriend because he had space in one of his cages. Adrian looks very much like a wild rat and the b/f thought that was "cool." I told him quite sternly that he needed to keep up with Adrian's socialization or eventually we'd reach the point of no return with that.

Apparently I was not stern enough. Adrian is now back with me. Rats enjoy the company of humans but not when they're terrified of them. The argument, "But he should be able to just be himself" does not apply to rats in my world. Case in point: Adrian flies down the ramp in his cage when I get to within two feet of him. How is that a happy life for a rat? So I'm back to square one with my pal, Adrian. At least his fur isn't slick any more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Number Five

My apologies for this craptastic picture. This is what happens when you take scarf pictures at 10:30 at night. Not to mention that the batteries were dying in my camera. Where the heck have all my batteries gone? I know I had a jar full of AA batteries and now the jar is empty. This is rather perplexing. Of course, the likely culprit is Andy.

Anyway, details about the scarf. Once again we're looking at another Sweet Guy Scarf which is my current pattern obsession. This is scarf number five of a planned 25. Can I really make 25 scarves by December 15th? Well, let's do the math, said the accountant. There are a measly 113 days between today and the 15th. Divided by 20 (the number left to make), this means I need to complete a scarf every five days. I think that's doable, don't you? A Sweet Guy Scarf takes at the most three days, especially since I now know how to weave in my ends while I'm crocheting. Which delights me to no end. So yeah, I think I can do this.

In other news it was flippin' HOT here yesterday. 102 degrees. I refused to go to bed until it was 70 degrees but I crashed at 78. I know I shouldn't complain because it's been a fantastic summer so far and back East I understand it's been miserable. But I do hate to sweat. Especially since it slows down scarf production.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

About A Butt

Disclaimer: The photographs in this post have nothing to do with the content of this post. However, since the post is about my butt, you should be thankful.

I ask you, is there anything more alluring than a 50 year old woman with an ice pack shoved down the back of her panties? I think I can safely say that Cindy Crawford has nothing on me. My sciatica has been acting up. Fiercely.

I've always thought of sciatica as an old person's malady. And I suppose 50 is kind of old. But I've had this goin' on since 2005 when I fell down a gravel hill carrying a big bucket of horse poop. I was only 45 then! That's not old. I've kind of learned to live with it. Now and again it flares up but it usually goes away.

Unfortunately it's been flared up for about a year now. I'm at the point now where I can't stand for more than five minutes. Have I done anything about this? Well I did take some cortisone pills for five days. That helped for about a month. I was supposed to go to physical therapy but uhh, that didn't quite happen. It's gone away before, why wasn't it going away this time?!?!?

Things finally came to a head this weekend. I was sitting on the couch, something I'm quite accomplished at doing, and I was knitting. My butt started to hurt. And let me tell you, that was the defining moment in my war against my sciatica. If I couldn't sit on the couch and knit, life wasn't worth living. So I took myself off to see my wonderful massage therapist yesterday and she launched a full fingered attack on my rear. Anyway, for all you people out there thinking, "Oh how nice, a lovely, relaxing massage at the end of the day" let me tell you, I had to lie there for five minutes after she finished before I could get up.

That is the story of my butt. Now all I need to do is go out and buy a pillow. Apparently the last year that I've spent sitting on the bathroom floor watching my rats play every night is a good part of the reason why my sciatica has been so bad. Hard floor plus sciatica equals ouch. If anyone knows where I can buy rat proof pillows please let me know.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Horsin' Around

I'm hoping that the reason you decided to visit The Weaving Inn today is because you were dying to look at horse pictures. Because that's what we've got today and we've got 'em in spades.

My friend, Kat, needed a ride to the barn today so she could re-bandage her horse's legs. Twinkie took a tumble last week and is pretty banged up. Here he is, looking quite adorable. Kat and Twinkie compete in horsey events like barrels and reining and that kind of stuff. She's an incredible rider and Twinkie seems to enjoy himself too. Except for when he falls down.

This is Ransom. Also known as Handsome Ransom. He's an Arabian and seems to know that he's gorgeous. He belongs to Kat's mom. Ransom was having a bit of an attitude problem today. He'd been at a show all day and, upon arriving back at the ranch, wanted his dinner. Like NOW.

Here's our Twinkie having a conversation with a friend ...

"And then she tried to give me oat hay instead of alfalfa but I told her, "Biotch, that's not how I roll!"

Look, here's Vegas. Kinda looks like he's about to rip my face off, doesn't he? He'd been at the same show as Ransom and was obviously having "hunger issues" as well.

Last, but not least, what's a blog post without a chicken picture? I really like the way this picture turned out. Chickens aren't the easiest animals to photograph. But I do love me some chickens so I took quite a few pictures of them. I would absolutely love to have one as a pet but uhh ... yeah ... maybe not. I don't think chickens are really meant to be apartment dwellers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mucho Happiness

The phone rang tonight at 10:15. My first thought of course was, "Oh boy, an obscene phone call!" My second thought was, "Do debt collectors really work this late?" But it wasn't a debt collector. It was my Elder calling me from South Dakota!!!

To say that I was excited is the UNDERSTATEMENT of the century. Excited thrilled tickled pink overjoyed ecstatic. Yeah, that might do. How can I explain this so you guys will understand. I guess basically, what it boils down to, is having a person's trust. From what I understand, trust and friendship is not something given easily by the Lakota. Or any Native American. It really IS something that has to be earned. Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it given the history between white people and Native Americans. So for Adolph Bull Bear from Kyle, SD (that's how he identified himself, so I wouldn't confuse him with all the other Bull Bears I know) to call me was a big deal. Or he was bored and just wanted someone to talk to.

I, of course, instantly went into interrogator mode which I do when I'm nervous. I also talk WAY too fast. There was a lot of "What? What? Slow down, April Fool." Anyway, Adolph has lived a very full life. He was in the Army in the 50's, went on to be a police officer for 8 years and then went into construction. I was very glad to hear that he lives in a nice house with both running water and electricity. Unfortunately, that is a rarity on the reservation. He lives with his son and two grandchildren so he has someone to look after him if he gets sick.

Adolph is a full blood Lakota which is quite rare and he also speaks Lakota which I would love to learn. I asked him what else he needed me to send him and he was quite reluctant to say anything. Finally, he admitted he needed a winter jacket. And some laundry detergent. I can do that. So that's my big news of the day. My big, wonderful, super fantastic news of the day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Rave / A Rant

As I have mentioned, multiple times, I belong to the Pine Ridge Elders group on Yahoo (best group on the Interwebs). Last night it was mentioned that a certain American yarn company would give you FREE yarn if you wrote to them and told them you would be using their yarn for charitable knitting / crocheting. I immediately thought, "Yeah, right." Then someone else posted how this company had indeed sent them a box of yarn with 36 small skeins in it. "This was probably years ago," I thought, "before the Great Recession." Someone else chimed in with a "Yeah, I got yarn last year." Along with that, they posted the email address of the person to contact for your FREE YARN.

I decided to set my cynical side aside and write to this magical person. Sure enough, there was a reply in my Inbox this morning saying she would get a box sent to me. I am amazed. We're talking quality 100% wool yarn here. From a brand you would know instantly if I told you what it was. But I'm not going to tell you. Not because I'm a poopynose but because I don't want this poor woman's email address to show up on Ravelry tomorrow under a post titled "Free Yarn Baby!".

What I will do though, because I'm a big believer in knitting for charity, is give you that address if you send me an email telling me who you're knitting for and I can somehow verify that. Like you belong to a Ravelry group or you've written about it on your blog. My email address is if you feel so inclined.

Rant time! This is the scarf that I was struggling with last Friday night. Struggling because (a) the instructions weren't very clear and (b) there were errors in the pattern. Now you're probably saying to yourself, "Well hell April, you get what you pay for when you use a free pattern." However, this was not a free pattern, this was a pay for it pattern. I paid money for a pattern in which you alternated between 2 different rows. Two rows. Errors. WTF? How is this possible? Then tonight I tried to start another pattern and the number of stitches to cast on was wrong. I ripped the damn thing out twice before I went to Ravelry and checked. Multiple people who had made this pattern had pointed out that there was an error in the cast on. Has the pattern writer updated her pattern? No.

Now I will admit that I do seem to have some kind of track record for finding patterns with errors in them. But twice in ONE week? Is this some new trend in pattern writing? Are these like, puzzle patterns? Maybe they figure you'll get more entertainment value out of their patterns if you spend the first two hours trying to figure out what the hell it is you're supposed to do.

So, because I'm so ticked off about all of this, I will be posting the instructions for the scarf pictured above this weekend. I've had to rework the pattern (all four lines of it) to the point where this is now MY scarf. And I'm going to post it FOR FREE. For free, you sucky pattern writers! Take that.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oot And Aboot

OK, now you know that I love and adore my two loyal Weaving Inn readers. And that I would never DELIBERATELY do something cruel. But you have to see this. And you are gonna die. Simply die. You will hurl yourself to the ground, throw your arms in the air and proclaim, "I iz ded frum teh CUTE!" Seriously, you're about to die from adorable overload. Cute as you have never seen it before. Cuter than baby rats. Take a look at this and then I will tell you the awful truth.

Are you over being dead yet? The awful truth? This is the only one in existence. And it is mine. Not yours. Mine. You will have to pry this from my cold, dead hands if you want it.

I went to knit night tonight with my friends Kerry, Cindy and Melissa. I have been sadly negligent with respect to knit nights because hey, I suck. However, I am trying very hard to make up for that. Anyway, this unbelievably cute bag was Melissa's. She MADE IT. Like with a sewing machine.

Apparently there was something in my eyes that said, "Give me that bag or I will kill you with my dinner knife." Because now it is mine and quite frankly, the quality of my life has improved already by leaps and bounds. For instance, there were no lizards, dead or alive, on my living room floor when I got home. DeeDee managed to pee INSIDE the litter box today. All great things. All because I own the world's most magnificent notions bag. See what happens when you go out in public?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Burp ACK!

I was gonna tell you guys all about this fantastic dinner I had tonight. I love hamburgers almost as much as I love spaghetti and meatballs. If someone tells me about a good burger place I am THERE. If I see a newspaper column written by a food critic and it's about hamburgers, I'm rippin' that piece of paper out. So it was with some interest that I read today's Huffington Post and their article about Zagat naming Five Guys Burgers the best Fast Food Burger, beating out In N Out.

Now you nice people back East probably know all about Five Guys. Cuz it's been out there a while. And we West Coast people know all about In N Out. Which, by the way, I don't particularly care for. Gross fries, if you ask me. Anyway, the article went on to say that Five Guys had started to set up shop in the great state of California. And the Lord be praised, there is one within driving distance of my little apartment. And let me tell you, it is UNBELIEVABLE. However, I can't go into all the details right now because ...

I have a freakin' house guest to attend to. Andy, you are SOOOOO dead, you damn cat.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Too Much Fur

When you start buying rat food in 33 pound bags I think there is one question you should ask yourself. "How will I get this up the stairs?" No, actually what I think you should ask yourself is "What the hell am I doing?"

I'm beginning to think that I am incapable of spending less than $75.00 every time I go into PetsMart. Does that seem like a lot to spend at the pet store? Is it possible that I have too many pets? If you add up the rats, the cats and the fish there are 20 animals living in this apartment. Actually there may be more soon because I think one of my fish is pregnant. Or she has dropsy and is going to die, I'm not sure. She's 2 1/2 years old so she's getting near the end of her fishy life.

Of course, as we all know, rats don't live forever. I have five senior citizens here right now and I doubt any of them will be celebrating Christmas 2010. I sure hope they will, but it's hard to say. Phil is starting to seriously fade, he sleeps most of the day away and doesn't have much of an appetite. I think it's almost time to start syringe feeding him Ensure. And Doug has pretty much lost the use of his back legs so now he gets around by crawling like a little inch worm. He can still lay the smack down on his brother Bob though.

And this is what happens when you spend 2 1/2 hours cleaning rat cages. You write a blog post that doesn't really have any point and you ramble on and on about rodents. Or I suppose I could say it was the fumes from the cleaning spray. Yeah, that's it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


It's been a day of weaving in ends and adding fringe. I'm beginning to feel like a scarf production facility.

This is the Thermal Scarf from Lion Brand. Done in Wool-Ease Forest Green Heather. No, I'm not running the marketing department for Lion Brand from my blog, it's just the way things seem to be working out here. This is one heck of a thick scarf, it's more like a narrow blanket. That might be because I crocheted it with an "H" hook instead of a "J" like the pattern called for. It's 6" wide by 58" long and I think it'll probably keep someone quite warm this winter.

This is the Sweet Guy Scarf and I gotta tell you, I absolutely love this scarf. I mean LOVE IT. I think it's very elegant for a crocheted scarf, even with the fringe. Unfortunately, even though I obviously took this picture outside, the red didn't show up quite as nice as I wanted. The tree in the background looks quite nice however. That's an avocado tree. My current scarf total is a miserly THREE. But that's OK, because I've still got another three and a half months of production time.

Finally, I went to The Knitting Room yesterday to solve my current scarf problem. It ended up being a combination of my lack of crochet knowledge and two possible interpretations of the pattern. I also learned that you do not have to buy yarn from The Knitting Room to get help. Unless of course you come in every day for three hours for two weeks and ask them to practically knit your project for you from yarn purchased elsewhere. Which was pretty much the policy when I worked at both Knitting Arts and Green Planet Yarn.

Of course this did not stop me from buying more yarn because people, they have 80 bazillion colors of Encore Worsted which is perfect for the ol' scarves. I also bought a book on crochet but I'll save that for tomorrow since I doubt I'll have another scarf to show by then.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Look, it's 1:00 in the morning. A time when most normal people (and rats) are asleep. Like Doug here. But Doug's not trying to figure out a scarf pattern that refuses to work. It's a crochet pattern. I paid MONEY for it. $4.00 to be precise. But the instructions yield a scarf that is 9" wide. I don't want 9" wide. I only want 5".

It's a very simple ribbed scarf. You alternate between a FPDC and a BPDC. It should be easy to scale down, right? The answer to that question is NO. Now I'm going to have to go to The Knitting Room tomorrow (errr ... later today) and buy enough yarn to make this stupid thing so that I can get the owner to explain this damn pattern to me. Because at The Knitting Room they only offer help with patterns using yarn purchased there. That's OK, it's their store, they can do what they want. However, I need to get started on this thing now because I have 8,723,954 scarves to make by December. Time is marching on and all that rot.

I did finish a lovely scarf today though. It's the Sweet Guy Scarf and wow, is it ever nice. Plus, it's dead easy. Unfortunately, when I did my starting chain I chained (chon?) a bit too tight and so my version is kind of shaped like a banana. I'm hoping a little bath will help relax the yarn enough so that it straightens out. We'll see. I just have to put fringe on it and then I'll take a picture. I did mine in red and grey which is one of my all time favorite color combinations. Seriously though, if you like to crochet and need a scarf I can't say enough good things about this pattern. Except that you need to remember to chain loosely and if you want it to be about 5 feet long, you'll need to chain around 249 chains. I only chained (chon?) 199 for the scarf that looks like a banana and it came out at about 51".

You know what? I think that eating a big honkin' piece of Godiva Double Chocolate Cheesecake at 11:00 wasn't one of my better ideas. Maybe I'll give some to Doug to wake him up so he can keep me company. I have a feeling I'm gonna be up a while.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Odds And Ends

I don't have much of anything today. Although I did manage to finish Waffle Scarf #1. It's always nice when you can make a scarf in less than a week. Pictures tomorrow of the world's longest green waffle. I've spent part of the day trying to find my next scarf pattern. I bought a pattern for a crocheted cable scarf but man, oh man, that's some complicated stuff making cables with crochet. I need thick and I need fast. Hey, that sounds like this guy ... Whoops, let's not go there. Anyway, I looked all through Ravelry and Crochet Pattern Central. I found one pattern for something called the "Swashbuckling Scarf." It says to crochet until "scarf is 140 inches." Is that a typo? I'm not making any 140 inch long scarf, I can tell you that much.

In other news, here is the Quote Of The Day from Anita - "The reason I walk into things so often is because my spirit isn't within my body. It's actually above my head and to the right. So that means I'm always out of sync."

Carrying on, Celeste The Possessed tried to bite off Evan's entire ear tonight. I really wish I didn't own that rat. I tried to watch "Giant" over the weekend which stars Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. Did you know that movie is 3 1/2 hours LONG? I watched the first hour and a half and then it just ended. And I thought to myself, "My, that was a strange note to end on. I wonder why they're not showing the credits now." Yeah, it took me about 20 minutes to realize that I had to flip the DVD over. I'm not always the quickest Canadian in the igloo. Umm, what else? Oh, I'm trying to take Friday off but my boss says I need to give him two weeks notice to take an ENTIRE DAY OFF. I feel as though I'm coming down with the flu. Do I look pale to you? I feel pale.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Famous At Last

I opened the door to go to work this morning and taped to the door with duct tape was a note. It said:

My rat is very sick. I don't want her to suffer. Please call me at blah blah number.

Since when did I become the apartment complex vet? I don't know how to diagnose a sick rat. I mean, I could tell if they had an upper respiratory infection because we've had plenty of those here at Chez Insanity. I could probably clean out an abscess, but I wouldn't like it. I can sort of tell the difference between a tumor and a cyst. But that's it. So I called Bruce The Pedophile, who is the owner of the sick rat, back tonight and left a message. Bruce hasn't called me back which might mean rattie went to heaven. I hope not, even though I'm not really crazy about the idea of visiting a known felon's apartment to look at his rat. Stay tuned for more developments in my burgeoning career as a small animal vet. Or call 911 if you don't hear from me in a couple days. I'll be dead in apartment #8.

Am I getting blog mileage out of my rat collection, or what? Here's Celeste, the Naomi Campbell of rats. Lovely to look at, mean as a cornered rattlesnake. That's our girl. Celeste is what rat people call "overly hormonal." Female rats go into heat every five days or thereabouts. I'm pretty sure Celeste is in constant heat. She has been the bane of my existence since the day I brought her home.

One night I came home and she had a piece of fleece from her hammock wound so tight around her foot that her foot had swollen up like a balloon. I had to CUT the fleece off. She ripped LilyAnn's ear in half. She's chewed two very large holes in the base of my $100 cage. She's drawn blood on more rats than I can count. If I hear screaming coming from her cage it's because she's got someone pinned to the ground. She pees on me every chance she gets. And yet, she's still here. Is it possible to be codependent with a rat?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Is It Me?

I am being worn down by the crazies. No, I don't know what a picture of sunlight through trees has to do with being crazy. Work with me here. Anyway, I believe I may have mentioned once or twice that some of the people I work with are a trifle unbalanced. You don't believe me, do you? You think I'm exaggerating or I'm desperate for blog filler. Well check this out.

Let's call one of my co-workers "Anita." My apologies to any readers who may be named Anita, I'm sure you're not crazy. A few days ago I walked into the break room and Anita was sitting at the lunch table staring at her cell phone. I looked at her and said, "Anita, what are you doing?" Anita replied, "I just got a call from my niece, she's very ill. I can't put my actual hands on her at this moment so I am sending her psychic healing waves through the phone."

Now there may be a few of you at this moment who are thinking "God, that April is a first rate bitch, sharing things like that on her blog. Poor Anita. She would be mortified." Or perhaps you yourself have sent psychic healing waves through the phone. Or perhaps you were once an Egyptian priestess who was in charge of the aviary. In which case, you may know Anita. You know what, I'm beyond caring.

What's my point here, I knew I had a point somewhere. Oh right. OK. Well I don't really have a point, I have a question. My question is, "How much of this am I supposed to have to deal with?" I know we all have people at work that we perhaps don't get along with. That's why they call it work and not a fun party. But not only do I get this "I was blah blah blah in a former life" but I also get intimate details of this person's romantic life with her significant other. GROSS intimate details. Even when I've said quite plainly, "Please don't go there."

To those of you who would say, "Talk to your boss" I would reply, "I have. Multiple times." He just doesn't want to deal with it. Yes, I'm looking for a new job but in the mean time I've lost my lovely Canadian filter and you wouldn't believe the stuff that comes out of my mouth now when Anita starts carrying on. What to do? Is she trying to drive me crazy so I'll be like her? WHAT???

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I like crocheting. I'm not really good at it but I'm getting there. But there's just one thing about crochet that I wish I could change. I wish I could make it look more like knitting. The thing I like best about knitting is that everything looks so precise. Especially on small needles. Is there anything as crisp looking as a sock done on US 1's? I think not.

I have a million scarves to make in the next couple of weeks. And being the slowest knitter in the world, I knew it wasn't gonna happen if I tried to get all these scarves done with sticks and string. Out came the hook and the search began for a crochet pattern that looks like it's been knitted.

Which is why I'm crocheting waffles. I like this pattern a lot; it's Lion Brand's Thermal Scarf. The pattern calls for a J hook which I thought was going to be too small given that I'm a very tight crocheter. But apparently, where once I was tight, now I am loose. Well I did turn 50 this year, after all. Anyway, I crocheted a few rows and what was supposed to be 6" was actually 7". And it was looking a little "airy". So I boldly went down to an H and now I'm bang on. The color is totally off in this picture - the color I'm using is Forest Green Heather. Not steel blue. Please ignore the somewhat wavy edge on the right side of the waffle, I said I was getting better at crochet, not that I actually was.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Facebook - Two Thumbs Up

I'm on Facebook. Are you? I've been using it for maybe a year now, perhaps a bit less. I know a lot of people feel like it's the biggest time waster since Tetris but I think it's more good than bad. That may in part be due to the fact that all of my family live in another country but I like it. I finally "met" my nephew who is now 25. I found out my cousin finally divorced the dingbat she married 25 years ago. And I got hooked on Farmville. For a couple months.

But the best part is looking at everyone's pictures. Because we all know what a photo addict I am. Hell, I'll even look at pictures of people I don't know. And ...... I've got a TON of pictures to post myself. Above is my godson and cousin, Adam. He's 25 now. Twenty-five seems like a magic number in this post, doesn't it? Anyway, I took great delight in posting this pic on Facebook because he's all cool now. And now his 359 Facebook friends will get to see what he looked like in diapers. By the way, if anyone can tell me how the heck some people have so many friends on FB, let me know. Not that I want any more, thank you very much.

Here's my Grandma and my brother on his wedding day in, I dunno, 1981? I put this up so my newly acquainted nephew could see what his father looked like the day his dad married his mom. I don't know what the heck that big white splotch is on my Grandma's jacket. I'll blame the Kodak Instamatic I used to take this shot. Damn 80's technology.

Finally, this is my friend Paula and I on the day of my friend Brenda's wedding. The reason why I posted this pic? To remind myself never to be a bridesmaid again. You know what's on the back of that blue satin bridesmaids' dress? A big ol' white tulle bustle that fishtails down the back. This was taken in 1989 and was one of the longest days of my life. There is no joy in being a bridesmaid.

Of course I have about 80 zillion more pictures I need to scan and post for the world to see. Which may involve the purchase of a scanner next weekend - I did these at good ol' Kinko's. If anyone has a scanner recommendation, I would love to hear it.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Wait Is Over

I know, I know. I hear ya. It's been a while. And I'm sure there are some of you out there who have been wondering, "When the heck is April gonna get pulled over by the po-po again?" Let me assure you, your wait is over.

A bit of back story. I bought a used car in March. I don't like it much. We haven't really bonded. The stupid dealership sold it to me with an expired smog certificate. Which meant they couldn't transfer ownership. Which meant I had to take the car back to the dealership and have them smog it. I'm a busy girl with rats to attend to and I can't just drop everything and get my car smogged. So maybe it took a bit longer than it should have. But I've got the tags now, I just haven't put them on the license plate. So I've been driving around with the dealer plate still over my license plate.

A bit more back story. It took me an hour and a half to get to work today because of some stupid motor vehicle accident on 101. So tonight I had one goal and one goal only. Sit in traffic as little as possible. And if that meant not letting the nice highway patrol officer merge in front of me, well that's the way she goes. I'd had enough, I tell you! Well Mr. McCrankyPantsPoliceOfficer decides to turn on his nasty lights and over I go. "Where's your license plates, Ma'am?" he asks all snotty. So I give him the smog certificate story and gosh, I don't have any idea what the hold up with those plates is.

He gathers up all the paperwork that proves I can drive in the State of California and goes back to his car. I of course pick up my knitting. He's gone a while, I'm knitting, it's a little breezy there on the side of the freeway but it's all good. And then I see him walking back. With a knife in his hand. A big knife. He proceeds to cut off my dealer plate. I keep knitting. It was all very surreal. He's cutting, I'm knitting, it's almost as though we were crafting together. Finally he walks up to the window. "Ma'am, your license plate is already on your car." "NO!" I exclaim. He looks at me, I look at him with my honest Canadian face and he mutters, "Make sure you put the tags on the plate or you'll get pulled over again."

Yeah, like THAT'S never happened.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Pose, Darn It!

I didn't have any pictures of some of my newest "Sanctuary Guests" so I thought I'd snap a few tonight. Sanctuary guests, I like that. Anyway, I took a total of 31 pictures of assorted Guests. How many pictures did I end up with that were even half decent? Three. Rats - not so crazy about the posing thing. Coupled with my extra slow shutter speed and I ended up with a lotta crappy shots.

However, here is one of the salvageable shots. Meet Brill.

In case you're wondering, and I know I was, brill is an Eastern European flatfish. Why you would feel compelled to name your rat this, I do not know. Anyway, Brill came to me via craigslist. Brill is an innocent victim of the judicial system. His former owner is (shhhhhhhhhh) ... in jail. Which left Brill in the care of The Roommate. The Roommate did not care for rats. The Roommate wanted the rat gone. So I traded half a case of beer for Brill.

He is a tricky fellow, our Brill. Somehow he knew that I wanted a neutered male for my cage with four girls. So when I picked him up and turned him over, ta da, no Fuzzy Torpedoes of Awesomeness. Sold!

But when I got him home and picked him up? The biggest dingleballs I've ever seen. On a rat. A quick Google check and yes, male rats can retract their testicles when nervous or scared. Splendid. So Brill is living in a cage big enough for four rats with Tinky, my one spayed female. Let this be a lesson to us. If you're looking for a neutered male rat and you're doubting the honesty of the rat in your hand, poke him in the gut and out "they" should pop. Isn't it amazing the things you learn on this blog?

Speaking of learning new things, a big shout out to any Bay Area knitters that St. Anthony's in San Francisco is having a scarf drive. Here is the link in case you're interested. I may have pledged to knit a few scarves, it's all a blur now. Also, and this is something else I didn't know, is that The Yarn Boutique in Lafayette offers 10% off any yarn purchased for charity knitting. I think this is absolutely wonderful and wish more yarn stores would follow suit. I do believe a trip to the East Bay may be in order soon.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Rats And Prizes

I cleaned rat cages tonight. You know you have too many cages when you have to move some out on the walkway so you'll have enough room to move around. One of the cages I did was Bella's. This is Bella here.

Bella eating baby food.

A lot of people wonder what the appeal of rats is. A big part of it is their personality. For example, Bella firmly believes that all lab blocks (rat food) must stay in the food bowl. If someone removes a lab block, Bella will follow them and watch them until they put it down. Then she grabs it, races back up the ladder and puts the block back in the bowl.

I couldn't figure out why the two babies, Claudette and LivyJane, weren't gaining any weight. Now I know. So we'll be doing supplemental feedings of baby food for the babies. Makes sense, right?

Our mini-contest was just that - mini. Three people left comments so I'm not even going to fire up the random number generator. Instead, everyone's a WEINER! Weiners, please send your mailing address to my snail mail address which is and I will pick something delightful for each of you from my stash. I like contests where everyone wins, don't you?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Industrial Strength

You know you've made a pair of slipper socks worthy of a South Dakota winter when they stand up by themselves.

These are Baba's Bed Socks. A very easy, very fast pattern. Knit with two strands of Wool-Ease these were done quicker than you can say, "I'm really sick of slipper socks." Now I am not a big fan of thick yarn because I find it a bit cumbersome to work with on DPN's but I think these were worth it. I wish I'd been making them all along.

But it's too late now because this is officially my last pair of slipper socks for a while. Actually I haven't even finished the second one but there's less than 20 rows to do so I'm considering it done. To celebrate the end of the Great Slipper Sock Making Extravaganza Of 2010 let's have a mini-contest. Simply leave a comment and the random number generator will do it's work and we'll have a winner tomorrow night after 6PM PST. The prize? Umm, a rat? How about a brown tabby? A rat? OK, something out of my stash. I'm not sure what it will be but it'll be good, I promise.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Greetings From Kinkos

I'm at Kinkos posting this. Why? Because I forgot to pay my DSL bill and when I woke up this morning there was no Internet. And of course there's no one at AT&T today to tell my sad tale of woe to. Not that I have a sad tale of woe, but that's besides the point. I have a very strange sense of deja vu posting to my blog from Kinkos. As some of you who have been around for a while will recall, I posted my blog from a Kinkos in Canada when my Mom was dying. And here I am again. For the record, Canadian and American Kinkos are remarkably similar.

Here's another picture from the Filoli Gardens. This is beside the entrance to the ladies restroom, I kid you not. I hope to get back there soon. Not the restroom, the actual gardens. They were amazing.

This may be all I have for today since I'm not saying those words again even though I am almost finished the second one. A pair of you know whats in a weekend? That's a win. Yeah, I think that's it for today. I'll be back tomorrow with my own Internet since I've handed over my $93.00 to AT&T. Does that seem a lot for phone and DSL? Yeah, I think so too.