Celtic Cable

Celtic Cable

Guest Book


Friday, September 24, 2010

This Year, on the Equinox ...

...I decided it was time to move. Out of this dense neighborhood where the foreclosures and neighborhood destroyers -- er, I mean "house flippers" -- are slowly driving everything down into the gutter.

Four years ago when I moved in, my biggest concern was being near work. Now, my biggest concern is getting as far away from the city as I can, but not need to use a commuter plane to get to work. I don't know yet if it will work out; I'm not sure if I will be able to sell my house for much more than I paid for it, if even that (again -- thank you, "house flippers" for screwing things up). Why the animus towards house-flippers? 'Cause they buy a foreclosed house, slap on a coat of paint, call it "remodeled," and rent it out or sell it for less than the neighborhood average. So not only does that drag everything else down, it brings "people of questionable character" into the neighborhood. I walk by a group of ten year olds and hear them swearing like stupid little thug wanna-be gangsters, then their mother or father (or step-father or mother's boyfriend, covered in tattoos and with that fresh-out-of-prison pallor) opens the door and bellows curse words at them (really, a simple "get out of the street" would suffice). So, I'm going to try to get out before it gets worse. The agent comes to look at my house tomorrow, and I'm keeping my toes crossed she'll give me good news. I hope to move to a magical wonderful place where all four walls of the house are mine alone, and  I can get to my backyard simply by walking AROUND my house, not through it!

So I spent all of today after work cleaning the house and shampooing the carpet upstairs, rearranging a few things, pulling weeds. I'm tired but hopeful. I chipped out the enormous block of ice that was 1,000 individual cubes stuck together in the auto-tray, and tossed it in the yard to melt. Now it's 94 degrees, I've just cleaned my house (with the A/C off because ... well, I wrote about that in an earlier post) and now I have no ice. $^#! I blame the house-flippers.

Enough griping ... on to the knitting! That is the purpose of this blog, after all.

The cowl, a birthday gift for friend ... coming along. I screwed up somewhere and the pattern is off, but she's not a knitter and won't notice (and doesn't read my blog).

Here it is, blocking. Edgar Cat feels very possessive of anything that is on "his" blocking blocks. Note the intent expression! He also claims all the T-pins as his own, too.

Was this on before? I think so. From "Think Outside the Sox." Coming along a little at a time, whenever I have the patience to squint at this nice dark yarn in a dim living room. These might be for me to wear.

Oooh -- I just heard ice drop in the bin. I have ice cubes now! Should I use them for water ... or for my Cutty Sark?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I've Joined the 21st Century!

I purchased a new gizmo today! ... and the crowd goes wild....yay. Don't they look thrilled?

Seriously ... should I buy a new sofa for me, or just a new house? Should I add a hedgehog or guinea pig to the mix, and see if they all gravitate to the Magic Sofa?

Actually, they're all there because I was there, five seconds before I took the picture. I got up and tiptoed over to get the camera to take this picture. I'm totally at their mercy. This is a Klippan loveseat from Ikea, and it seats three adults, or seven four-legged pets. I'm insane. I allow this.They have pet beds, and windowsills, and a cat tree, but if I'm on the sofa, then that's where you'll find them. I try to explain to them that I don't go laying on their cat beds when they're there, but they just look at me and yawn. Sometimes they nod in agreement. I guess it could be worse. They could figure out how to open the refrigerator, or unscrew bottle tops, or something. 

The reference to the 21st century -- ta da! I finally got a wireless something or another that allows me to move around the house with my laptop, and still have internet. So I watched the third season of "Vicar of Dibley" in three different rooms today ... I guess I can see the advantages to that.

And, the knitting part of this blog ... ta da again! Two FOs!

"Jacques Cousteau" hat...a little uneven, I know, but when it's worn, it smooths out.
"The Wave" arm warmers. Trust me, I've finished both. The other one was not available.

The hat is for my co-worker's husband, who is a professional photographer and helped me understand what kind of camera I needed. "The Wave" arm warmers are for the co-worker. The co-worker is the proud owner of several Morgan horses, and she thought she could wear her riding gloves under the arm warmers. To demonstrate this, she then bounced up and down in her chair, saying "giddyup!" and making horse noises while shaking imaginary reins. At work. At a job in which we are required to take three drug tests annually. It's supposed to be totally random, but I have the feeling her number will pop up soon.

And finally ... my new hobby. My garden did so poorly this year, my inner gardener was dissatisfied and disappointed. So I did some work on the smallest bedroom (8x8), which gets the most sun, and turned it into a little indoor herb outpost:

I expect it to do very well, since the sun just blazes into this room in the winter. I will put in a humidifier to keep it from getting too dry. I really don't know how this will go over with the cats though. Edgar Cat loves to eat anything green, which includes stalks of lavender I bring in to dry. I will have to find a cold frame to cover them, I think. I planted culinary herbs, chives, dill, oregano, thyme, purple basil, a few others. I hope to brighten the winter with it -- it stays cold well into May here some years, even June. If we get another 84 inches of snow-- in two storms, three days apart, like last year-- I'd like to have something green to remind me winter won't last forever!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reader, I Buried Him ...

     The quote is adapted from Jane Eyre ... "Reader, I married him." I changed it to fit in with this book, which was changed quite a bit by Seth Grahame-Smith! I read every page. I didn't think I'd like it, but I did. It was hysterical -- Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters are highly trained Shaolin warrior zombie slayers! In this version, England has been under zombie siege for fifty-five years, and the "unmentionables" roam the countryside in search of succulent brains. London is walled off and partitioned into patrol zones, and there is much swordplay and musket fire and brain-eating.

     Lady Catherine de Bourgh is the foremost Zombie killer in the land, and has a team of ninjas employed for protection. Charlotte Lucas gets bit by a zombie and marries Mr. Collins, who enjoys marital bliss with her for several months while she decays, until she is decapitated (you have to decapitate the recently dead to keep them from becoming zombies, see). Mr. Collins hangs himself afterward.

     Kitty and Lydia walk to Meryton every day in search of officers, impatiently slaying any undead who get in their way. Mr. Darcy is a great zombie killer, and Mr. Bingley is an ineffectual milquetoast. Lydia still runs off with Mr. Wickham, only this time -- revenge! -- Darcy beats him to a cripple when he finds them, and forces him out of the country. Wickham lays on an invalid bed and soils himself through much of the last bit of the book. 

     Through it all, the ladies maintain their decorum, fighting primly, sparring in modest gowns, and dedicated to protecting England until they are killed, maimed, or married. Elizabeth longs to decapitate any who insult her or her sisters, which is about everyone she meets. She even beats up on Darcy in the sitting room after he proposes to her. She also enjoys going up to the burning grounds to watch the captured zombies smoldering. A gruesome, but strangely enjoyable read! 

      Okay, on to the supposed reason for this blog.

  A new WIP -- no, smart-aleck, I didn't finish any of the other WIPs. I just started a couple of new ones. These are meant to be "The Wave Hand Warmers from 101 One-Skein Wonders, and they are misnamed, because they are actually arm warmers. They're meant for my boss, who does bead jewelry, and who fixed a necklace for me. I bought the yarn in Wales -- Rowan something or another. I'm too lazy to go find the label, which the cay has probably batted under the china cabinet anyway. 

 Socks, "Fair Isle Made Easy," from Think Outside the Sox. Yarn is ... some sock yarn I purchased from Joanne's. "Sensations Bamboo and Ewe." Punny, huh? If these fit me, they'll be for me. If they don't fit me, they'll be a gift for someone. 

And lastly ... this. No idea. I bought it to make a scarf "on commission" but now I'm not liking it so I don't know what will happen. 

    One more cute thing: look! Look at my car! This really pegs the needle on the Cute-o-meter! Lashes purchased from here. I think they sent me the wrong kind, they're much bigger than the ones in the pictures, but I think that just makes it more flirtatious. Not trampy flirtatious like blue eyeshadow on a woman with a bad hair dye job, but innocent flirtatious, like a teenage crush on a Mormon pop singer.

     I'm having a great time watching the reactions I get from this. Guys look at it then look away, with absolutely no change of expression, but women laugh. The neighbors love it, but the neighborhood children want to know why I did it. When did children become so serious?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rule Britannia!


I spent most of the past week in England and Wales, seeing the sights with a friend. I had a marvelous time. I carried my knitting around with me everywhere, but I didn't knit much. 

We went to the Jane Austen house in Chawton, where we saw beautiful gardens and got to walk around the house. This is the room where Jane wrote, and the little plastic-enclosed desk by the window is where she sat! I really wanted to sit at that little desk, but I guess everyone else does too, so they closed it off. For the record: Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, and the 1996 BBC version is my favorite film. (Keira Knightly aspiring to play Elizabeth Bennet is about as ludicrous as Demi Moore playing Hester Prynne!)

Winchester Cathedral, where Jane Austen is interred. It's a beautiful cathedral, and worth the price of the tour.

The next day we went to Stratford-on-Avon, where we walked through Anne Hathaway's gardens. I thought this little straw man looked cold, so I stepped in amongst the cabbages to give him a hand.

An improbably large leaf in the garden ... no idea what plant this is! To give you a sense of scale, that shoe is about a size 10.

The walk behind a tea house across from Anne Hathaway's cottage.


This is Stratford-upon-Avon. We rode around on a big red tour bus.

  There is an enormous statue of The Bard in the Shakespeare museum we went to, but there was also a docent there, and she probably wouldn't have let me climb up on the pedestal and hang the shawl over the quill in his hand. So I settled for Lady MacBeth in the park by the river.

  This is Bath ... the Jane Austen Centre, which is two doors down from one of the houses she lived in. This was the poorest time of Jane's life, and she was very unhappy in Bath.

Below is the Roman Baths, in Bath. This is the Central Pool, I think.My traveling companion told me a couple of guys were so distracted by watching me arrange my shawl that they nearly ran into things. That made me happy.

 A succulent lion.

And on to Wales! This is Castell Dinefwr. The view was splendid.

Me, trying to display my shawl at the top of Castell Raghlan. It was a little windy ... 

Monmouth Castle ... this is a Russian cannon that was captured during the Crimean War. It fired a cannonball a whole 2500 yards! Or feet. I forget which.


 This is Tintern Abbey, the last place we visited during our trip. It was enormous!

    I had a fabulous time. I am a Jane Austen fan, and it was wonderful to see two of the places she lived. I learned that she actually did accept a marriage proposal once ... but rescinded her acceptance the next morning.

     Britain was interesting. Here are some things I learned:
  • My name (Beth) in Welsh means "what."
  • England loves roundabouts. Driving on the left in a roundabout is scary.
  • A cup of decent, filter-brewed coffee is impossible to find.
  • A sign reading "End of Diversion" doesn't mean there will be no more fun. It means the detour is over. 
  • "Avon" is the Celtic word for river. When the Romans asked the natives what the rivers were called, the mischievous Celts said "avon." So there are eight rivers named Avon. 
  • The Welsh word for river is aber.
  • The Welsh language is seriously in need of vowels.
  • When the Brits say "Please mind your children" they mean it.
  • Clotted cream is such a heavenly substance, I wish I could fill a tub with it. 
    I had a great time with my friend, and I'd like to thank her especially for planning the itinerary and doing all the driving (I was too freaked out by the clockwise roundabouts to be of any use). I saw five castles and two Jane Austen sites and Shakespeare-town, a play, and had some really good cream teas! And yes, I have no discernible eyebrows when photographed. Now you know the truth!