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Bridges over Troubled Waters | How Will You Cross Yours? January 26, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Random Musings.
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Friendships can be such a strain on the emotions-

Take my neighbor …

She’s gone through some things recently I’ve never encountered in my life, and has fought back with the strength of 10 million Army ants. Shes a Cancer Survivor. I don’t know if I could do it, hope I never have to find out.
During this time, we’ve shared more in the last 6 months, than we had in the 8 years we’ve lived here. I chalked it all up to trials by fire, and tried not to dwell on trivialities. But as is the nature of my Beast, I let things get to me and in one flash-in-the-pan moment, took a simple comment out of context. The end result was, we both had to take a break, step back, and ponder our choices.
I’ve learned some things are just not worth all the fuss and had to put my pride aside. Tonight, I doused the flames with a word of kindness, and will wait and see if there is anything left amidst the smoldering remains…
What I learn from this,  will carry me through the remainder of my days. Today I chose to never to have to live with regrets.


The Silent Writers Collective | Away With Words January 25, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Writers and Poets.
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Tonight at 9 EST and PST, the Silent Writers Collective holds its weekly online writing retreat.  All writers are welcome to join in and be quiet.

You can work on your own project or use the writing exercise provided below.  For those participating in the WordPress.com Post A Day challenge, it’s a great time to stockpile a post or two.  For those who aren’t sure what they want to work on, here is an interesting exercise for fiction writers from Poets & Writers’ new series, “The Time is Now.”

My (first) project tonight:

Make a list of objects. One thing should be from your desk, one from your closet, one a body part, one a thing you covet that belongs to someone else, one enormous, one slippery, and at least one that makes an odd or evocative sound. Now, describe each using a simile. Do this twice for each one. Using as many of the similes as you can, write a poem with a title such as “Checklist to Survive a Nuclear Winter” or “Things That Have Nothing To Do With Grief.”

1. coffee cup : as large as a water tower, as empty as

2. slipper : as fuzzy as a bear,  as warm as a buffalo robe

3. eye : as dull as a tarnished penny, as dry as sand

4. wool : as scratchy as a brillo pad, warm as toast

5. old farm house : as big as a Big White Elephant, as old as the hills

5. 50’s linoleum : as slippery as Shinola, as ugly as headcheese

6. ceramic heater : as quiet as a mouse, as old as the house


“Checklist to Survive a Nuclear Winter”

My coffee cup goes with me, everywhere I go.

big as a water tower, so I won’t run out of Joe.

Slippers warm as a buffalo robe, wrap my toes in a blanket of fur,

fuzzy as a bear,  they protect from the elemental Winter.

My eyes, they are dull as a penny, I cup my face in my hand,

and rub them gently, dry like the desert sand.

A wool scarf around my neck, scratches like a brillo pad,

protect me from blustery winds,  keep me warm as toast.

In this old farm house, big as a white elephant, the wind whistles through the cracks,

exhaling memories old as the hills,  and recollections of winters past.

The linoleum creaks when I tread across it, thin squeaks,

years of faded wax, as slippery as Shinola, speckled and ugly as headcheese.

The ceramic heater in the corner purrs softly, as quiet as a mouse,

pushing forth it’s warm breath, to comfort this old house.


* I have no clueage how to go about this, but it felt good to just sit and write something as random as the above “poem”.  I am no poet and don’t aspire to be one, but it was a good exercise in brain function and food for thought.

I will be back again next week, barring any unforeseen schedule changes, work-related or otherwise.

Agatha Cardi, to the 5th Power January 24, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in A Stitch in Time | Projects.
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I have decided my “lucky number” is 5. Why, you ask? Because it appears I must redo e-ver-y single thing I start, 5 times, to get it right. BAH! Whoever came up with the saying “third time’s the charm” was a twit~

It’s either that or pattern writers automatically assume that everyone must understand it if it says less. Simple, right?

Not so, for me. I have to think, and re-think things over and over, until the concept either jells, or simply slides through the cracks in my skull and pools at the base of my neck.

I finally managed to cast on the body of Agatha. YAY, me!

Here’s the end-result of 5 reedoo’s over a 2 day period.

The arrow  marks the center back seam (Kitchener join) of the 2-part lace panel that the body is cast on to and worked. The 5×1 rib branches show the increases at the sleeve caps. It was only after I got this far into the increases, that it began to take shape, literally, and then it made sense.
The pattern is more obvious as seen on this, the Right Side. The person who is modeling the Agatha is in fact, wearing it Wrong Side out. The beauty of this pattern is, it’s REVERSIBLE!

The Green Bay Packers won 21-14 over the Chicago Bears last night! Sunday, Feb. 6, we go to the SUPER BOWL!! WOOT!!

FREE KNIT & CROCHET PATTERN :: Xian Knit Kimono Jacket January 19, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in A Stitch in Time | Patterns.
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I am making a correction to yesterday’s blog post; and let me add, I lost a contact last week. GAH! I’ve been visually challenged, having an impossible time seeing to type, and my standby glasses are of little help here. I just let my fingers to teh talking and hoped for the best.

I’m changing things up a bit. As some of you know, I’m a dyed in the cotton Doily Artist. yeah, humbling, ain’t it? LOL!

I was previewing my many newsletter subscriptions in my Inbox, when I spied this beauty, and had to look.

I chanced upon this FREE PATTERN on NarutallyCaron.com and really liked the lines-and did I mention, it’s FREE?

I’m not a huge fan of crochet garments. I’ve made a number of tabards in the past, loved the warmth, the simplicity, how fast they would work up. A dear friend gave me a pattern so easy that to this day, I still remember how to make it.

Since I’ve taken up knitting in the past 2 years, this pattern turned my head; the diamond pattern and loose draping is very comfortable to the eye.  Intermediate skill is required for this

For sheer elegance, this one is a great addition to any wardrobe!

Happy day, I just discovered that the original picture I posted yesterday (and am updating today) is for the KNITTED version! YIPPY SKIPPY, I KNEW I LIKED THIS ONE FOR A REASON!

Without further adeu, I give you: Xian Knit Kimono Jacket instructions

My replacement contacts just arrived at the Dr’s office; they called just at closing, so I wasn’t able to go pick them up-I am going over there tomorrow, first thing! No more visually challenged blog posts!

The Ships Project , Socks for the Troops January 15, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in A Stitch in Time | Projects.
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I have just finished a pair of Wisconsin WinterSocks and am happy with the outcome.

I went in search of an organization to donate to,  found The Ships Project and have joined The Ships Project Yahoo Group, to become more actively involved. Please check it out and join us!

I saw a Fox in our neck’o the woods while on my way to Eye Dr. to get a new contact-she crossed in front of my car, in plenty of time to get out of harms’ way . Losing a contact has it’s up-side; I would not have seen Fox, otherwise~

Pumpkin Butter Recipe – Allrecipes.com January 12, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Back of the Fridge Recipes.
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Cover of "Paul Blart: Mall Cop [Blu-ray]&...

Pumpkin Butter Recipe – Allrecipes.com

I’m about to finish Sharon’s WI Winter Socks,  working down the toes as we speak~ pictures in the coming day or two or 3!!

Work is done, and I’m off for the evening, going to go plug in a movie: Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Funnyman Kevin James (“King of Queens”) stars as Paul Blart, an overzealous security guard who finds himself in way over his head when he attempts to thwart a criminal mastermind’s (Keir O’Donnell) plot to rob an entire shopping mall. Bobby Cannavale, Jayma Mays and Shirley Knight also star in this family-friendly laffer from director Steve Carr, which shares more than a few similarities with the much raunchier Observe and Report.

Next disk: Dexter: Season 4

Have a good evening, and stay warm!

Tracks in The Snow January 11, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in A Stitch in Time | Projects.
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A dedicated knitter has no limitations; he/she just knits one row at a time.

~excerpt from a page of At Knit’s End, by  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee , The Yarn Harlot.

I have never even considered the possibility that there are limits to what one can do with knitting. I see it in random knit objects all over the internet, pictures people have posted from cities around the globe-lamp posts, bicycles, you name it, someone has knit it. The only limits are those we place on ourselves. ..well, that, and our pocket books.

I am about 4 inches away from finishing Sharon’s Wisconsin Winter Socks. After I finish her socks, I plan to charge full steam ahead on the Agatha Cardi.

The lace pattern almost resembles deer tracks…

reverse right panel, up-ended

There is a gorgeous first quarter moon hanging low outside our office window facing due west, and a new dusting of snow on the ground. Next full moon is scheduled for Jan. 19.

Freaky Saturday and the Creepy Modem January 8, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Weirdness in Wisconsin.
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Today was Freaky Friday, the day after. No, seriously, it was like riding through the tail of a comet.

I don’t usually share my random bizarre experiences, especially when I’m the only person having the experience at the time. BUT, I have the pleasure of being married to a guy who also knows bizarre.

Let’s face it, we’re both a little “out there”.

I had been talking with a girlfriend from back home, and was having a rather difficult time hearing her. Her cell phone was not getting a good signal, kept getting static breakups in voice relay. About 20 minutes into the convo., I told her I was needing to find my Bluetooth, so I could have hands-free whilst we chatted.

So, I’m digging around behind my monitor, looking for the Bluetooth device and found the cable right away. I kept telling her to repeat her last sentence, because I kept getting feedback from her end. That was when I noticed another sound, over by my monitor. Thinking I must have left a web-cam or chat client open, maybe I had Facebook open in a browser tab. I checked each app., finding nothing open.

Meanwhile, I kept talking with DGF. A few more times, I heard what sounded like chatter over by my desk. Then, DH came back in from making hair sticks, and sat down to do some computer work. I completed my call and was still looking for the Bluetooth, my head down low trying to look behind my monitor. That was when we heard the little voice come out of the modem, at first barely audible, then a second time, very clear, “is that you, Gramma Ranelli?”.

I looked at DH, he looked at me and shook his head. “Did you hear what I thought we just heard?”, I asked him. He repeated what we both heard, verbatim. The lights on the modem were blinking like some sort of crazy carnival attraction, no pattern at all, just crazy.
DH suggested maybe it was Mom messing with us again. Just the thought of that and I had to sit down, my knees suddenly giving out. I was immediately overcome by a feeling that I would say I only experienced one other time in my life.
I could not move for several minutes, and only after I regained my composure, did I send my oldest son a text message asking him if the girls were ok. He called me within seconds of getting the text.
“No, everyone is ok here, why?”, he asked. “You are going to think I’m nuts…” I said; then I told him everything. He even asked the kids, what do they call me when I’m brought up in conversations. Grandma Sandra, is what they said. As I thought.
DS and I had a laugh about it, as I told him I was having a little bit of butterflies as I looked down our darkening hallway, we exchanged more trivialities, then I let him get back to his family.

Later, when I came back downstairs, we thought it happened again, just once more time. Both DH and I heard that tiny voice come out of the box, then it went silent and the lights stopped flashing like a RR crossing light gone amok, and went back into a normal rhythm.

We may not know what it was that happened tonight, but we do know for certain, today was definitely electrically-charged.

Picking Up and Knitting Stitches – Sock Gussets Get a New Attitude~ January 8, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in A Stitch in Time | Projects.
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I almost forgot to blog today.

UW-Whitewater Wheelchair Basketball Player Matt Scott appears in Nike ‘No Excuses’ Commercial.

What’s your excuse?

It was one of those chaotic days.  DD19’s iPhone arrived today. Needless to say, I felt obliged to at least take it out of the box and have it properly charged before she got home from work.  We had to “set it up” with iTunes, which meant I had to re-download iT. back onto my computer. What’dya know, the last uninstall didn’t completely erase all traces of the first iTunes version, so it naturally had to update all components, yadda, yadda, yadda…

Then there was the Case of the Missing FedEx Delivery. Updates on their website said it was delivered, and “left at the front door, signature not required.”

Hopefully tomorrow, it will show up.

Updates on Sharon’s Winter Socks: did this just fine, but the stitches were too loose, as I discovered about 5 rows up…I ended up having to re-weave them to tighten them up, as a fix. (I know, I should’ve just rippit’d them…but) that is a problem I keep having….:(
LiatMGat relies :

What’s this I hear about putting the socks on DPNs to do the heel?! Haha caught you 🙂
A great fix to tighten the stitches after you pick them up is to knit them through the back loops the first time you come to them. This gives them a nice twist and tightens them up. Ooh, I sense another blog post coming… thanks for the inspiration!

Yep, you caught me pickin’ the lazy way out. I suppose I could have just put the stitch markers at the 9-stitch mark on Needle #1 and the 3-stitch mark on Needle #3, but doing two-ata-time, and o, remembering which side of the heel I was to work said gusset stitch, let alone which needle to pick up, at the beginning of each side, that was just asking too much for to wrap my mind around. So I cheated, sue me~ 😛

Thanks again, Liat; that is exactly what I had considered doing, after the fact. Note to Self: next pair of socks,  Stella’s Twisted Gussets. O, I feel a song coming on…

Jimmy Stewart – A Dog Named Beau January 6, 2011

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Cat Box.
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My neighbor sent this video to me this morning:

We miss Jimmy Stewart, Johnny Carson, and Ed McMahon. We also miss even more our loyal friends we call dogs, who have passed on. They are wonderful companions, and so much more, but they do remind us that we are mortals who one day must pass on as well.
If you’re a dog lover, how could you not end up with tears in your eyes, after watching this??

video clip from a 1981Johnny Carson show

I wrote her the following response:

I’m balling like a baby,
that is Igor, to the tee,
Duke, Rocky and Lily,
I’m sure, you’ll agree~

…oddly, Miss Pepper has decided she likes unsalted peanuts. I bought a 25 lb bag of NC-grown peanuts in the shell at our local Feed Supply, where I  keep them out in a corner of the garage. I originally got them for our Winged Friends, to help them survive the bleak winters when pickin’s are slim. The Crows and Blue Jays love them and will come when I call, “Peanuts, getcher PEEeeeea-nuts!”

Our Boy Igor knows where I keep them, and begs for his daily ration of peanuts, while we stand around with nothing better to do. If there’s noone around to beg off of, he helps himself, diving nose-first into the big netted bag, shells them in a neat little pile, and eats them, leaving me a nice little Outback Steakhouse peanut-shells-on-the-floor MESS.

Now Miss Kitteh must haz peanutz! she begs off me by climbing my leg, claws and all, until I shell one and break it apart for her; she actually *eats* several, then when done, plays with the shells…

Fickle Four-Leggeds~

Today, I turned the heel on Sharon’s Wisconsin Winter Socks,  got my gussets all in a row, and am moving on to the toes; they should be done by Sunday, if not sooner~ WOOT!

Sharon's Wisconsin Winter Sock

These darn socks defy every attempt to take a good picture; the colorway is  Lion Brand Wool-Ease Pines Print, a deep spruce green and navy blue. I’m hoping for a sunny day, before they are ready to be gifted.
I took a break from the socks this evening, and instead worked on the Agatha Cardi, 2nd front panel, while watching a movie on Netflix:  Rabbit-Proof Fence. Peter Gabriel directed the music. It was an amazing (true) story, and would watch it again.