Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cats, dogs and books...oh my!

I've just returned from the bookstore where I picked up two new books I've been dying to get my hands on: A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth installment of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series; and Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's newest book. Now I'm all set for an upcoming weekend of book-signings. Both Diana Gabaldon and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee are coming to the Chicago area at the end of the week and this is blowing my mind a bit. How coincidental that two great authors will be in town at the same time, hm?

Jamie asked if I'd like to accompany her to the Diana Gabaldon book-signing Friday night, but I had to decline. I'm already signed up for a crochet class at Arcadia that night and would have to kiss my deposit good-bye if I canceled. Plus, as great as it is that Diana Gabaldon is going to be nearby, she will be in Naperville, not Chicago. I just couldn't deal with fighting my way through traffic on a Friday afternoon to get to Naperville.

See, I've learned to figure out what I can and cannot cope with. It's taken many years to get to this point, but at least I'm no longer putting myself in situations that cause me implode. Jamie has kindly offered to get my book signed, however, if I pass it on to her roommate Shannon at work tomorrow. Yay!

I will be going to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book signing on Saturday. She'll be at Arcadia, which is easy for me to get to. Looks like several of us SnB ladies will then be attending the play Hack/Slash:Stagefright in which Jenna, one of our own, plays a prominent role. I'm going to have to pass on sitting in the "wet" section, though; I wouldn't want to get fake blood on my knitting.

Incidentally, I don't think I've noted here how miffed I am that I can no longer get a Yarn Harlot fix during the day! I used to check the Yarn Harlot blog every few days to get a little pick me up whenever I needed it, and usually this happened during business hours. Imagine how ticked off I was one day about a month ago when I needed a little break and found that my company has blocked her website! If there were real people compiling this blocked web site list and not just dumb software then I'm sure they'd realize that just because the word "harlot" is in the URL it is NOT a pornographic site. Sheesh! Now I can only read the blog at home when I don't have the VPN software running on my laptop.

Little Fiona is growing up fast! We went to Mayfair Animal Clinic today for her second set of shots and I brought along the camera to show off some of her "growing up" photos. Like this...

Fiona on Cat Tree Fiona loves her new cat tree, and I'm quite pleased with it, too. I had priced these things at the pet store and they were pretty expensive, and not at all what I wanted. I found this one on eBay, though, and got a great deal on it. Brand new and in the box, it required only a bit of assembly and it cost me only $66 all total with shipping and everything. I bid on it through the Armarkat store and highly recommend this vendor.

Cat TreeThe cat tree works really well for me, too, not just Fiona. I've started putting her food in the little "house" and this way she can get it easily, but the dogs can't. I've found that dogs and cats can co-exist quite well together, and even enjoy each other's company, but we have to come up with all sorts of clever ways to keep the dogs away from Fiona's food and litter pans. Mark has erected a makeshift barrier around the litter pan on the second floor, and we have to keep a baby gate up at all times across the room on the first floor where her main litter pan is located. Without the gates and barriers, well...let's just say very unpleasant things happen and leave it at that, shall we?

Yes, dogs and kitties get along just fine. Monday night, Fiona engaged Hannah in some vigorous play and I luckily had my camera at hand. I encourage this play; it keeps Fiona away from my knitting!

Fiona and Hannah Of course, afterwards she needs to take a wee nap because she's all tuckered out.

Fiona napping ...On the needles...

ClapotisI finished Clapotis on Sunday morning. Yay! Then I layed it out for a quick steaming so it would be ready to wear this week. (Gee it sure is getting dark early these days, isn't it?) Here's a closer shot of the stitch work...oh, and look there's a kitten standing on it! *wink*

Fiona on Clapotis
My new project is using Knit Picks Suri Dream yarn. Yes, it does feel like a dream. So soft and fluffy! I'm making this bolero from for myself. It's coming along well, but I'm not really happy with the pattern. I think it could be written a bit better.

I have lots of gift knitting to start, but am having too much fun knitting for myself right now. The shawl from A Gathering of Lace is still sitting on the needles, and I had started a sock that is still on the needles, too. With our vacation fast approaching, I'm having a hard time trying to find the time to fit in all the prep and find time for knitting. I consider knitting this bolero prep for the trip, though, as I'd really like to have it finished by then! I'll bring along the shawl on the trip, and maybe the sock, too.

...In the garden...

Brrrrr! Tonight it's going to get pretty nippy outside, although not cold enough for frost. My neighbor, Karen, has been busy ripping out her tomato plants and basil, but I'm leaving my veggie plants up until this weekend. They could keep going through late October if we don't get a real frost, but I'm tired of the maintenance right now.

It's time to pull out the veggies (except for the brussels sprouts) and sow a nice crop of winter rye as a cover crop. When I get back from D.C. I'll still have time to plant the garlic and then it's on to major leaf shredding and getting the beds ready for winter. I'm looking forward to the winter break this year and spending time planning my landscaping in the front. There are so many shrubs to choose from...

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Hey Linda,

Some company's website blocking is based on content, not just url, so it's possible Yarn Harlot said some forbidden word in the text of her blog that blocked the site. Since only the most recent blogs appear on the frontpage, you might try back again to see if you can access it yet.

Or learn to hack the system...It'd be worth it ;)