Sockapaloooza Begun

Petals
I finally began my Sockapaoooza sock last night.  The pattern is Pretty Petals from the Townsend Sock Knit-a-long.  It is moving along quite well, but I am beginning to question whether this yarn might have been better suited to one of the zigzag/old shale patterns.  I didn’t think so looking at the skein as I thought the color runs were a bit short, but as you can see from the photo, I might have been wrong about that. The colors are a bit off, the reds are actually  more orange,  but the turquoise is fairly acurate.  I only have about 4 inches so I still have adequate time to rip and begin again with another, perhaps the Jaywalker pattern.  What would you do?

This weekend we are starting our veggie garden and I’ll be sewing a few things as well.  Hope yours is good and don’t forget to Spring Forward!

Well, THAT was interesting.

I can’t believe I lived this long and never got a tattoo.  Perhaps it’s just as well.  I’m not sure I had the judgement to make a reasonable choice for myself until now.  One of the perks of maturity I suppose.  Pardon the bandwidth challenge, but photos follow and as usual, click to embiggen.

Amillion Inside A Million Tattoos in North Austin.  They have five tattoo artists and a couple of body piercers (we won’t be needing them).  Their web site has examples of each artist work.  They don’t take reservations, so we walked in Saturday afternoon.  Michael took the artwork I brought in that a friend of Kandis had worked up from my description.  Michael spent about an hour and a half reworking one element of the art before he was ready for us. Us is me and Kandis.  I was the only one getting inked this visit.

FullWince_1  Michael is a student of traditional tattoo art and he knows a lot about the history of the art.  He was very cool to talk to because he shared our politics and we talked about the current state of affairs for almost the entire hour and a half he took to do my tattoo. And he likes John Prine too.

How bad did it hurt?

Not that bad.  Understand that I have had two children without pain medication.  I can handle it.  The photo on the right above appears to be me smiling, well, I am , but I am also wincing.  It felt like someone was slicing my leg open with an exacto knife.  But as soon as the needle was pulled away, it stopped hurting.

Michael_working_1 Michael

Tattoo_flash

It still appears red around the edges because it’s fresh and will look better after it has healed which is about 2-3 weeks, but here it is.

Since 4 people suggested the ankle and that is the closest guess, I held a drawing from the four and Christine won.  Fair and square.

I then threw everybody else into a pot just cuz they were nice enough to comment on my birthday and Scout won.  Ladies, if you’ll email me with snail mail addresses, I will send your yarn prizes.  And thanks for playing. And thank you to Kandis for a very cool birthday present.

But wait there’s more!

I have been knitting, though not yet on my Sockapaloooza socks (I really need to get on that) but on a pattern I found at KnitNet.  It’s Winter Branches by Chrissy Gardiner and I am loving the knitting of it.  I’m using my Peruvian Collection in Arizona Clay.  Pictures come when it’s finished.

“F”is for…

Fifty!   Today I am fifty years old.

The "F" photo will have to come later.  Mr. Spouse is still asleep.  at 8:41am.  Yeah, that’s what I said.  Okay, so in recognition of my big 5-0, a contest:

Where should I get my tattoo?  My oldest daughter is taking me to get a tattoo, my first.  I know what design I want, but don’t know where on this old body to put it.  Really, I can’t decide.  Leave a suggestion in the comments.  Whover comes closest to the location I actually decide on, gets…you guessed it…FIBER!  Fotos to follow.  We’re going this weekend, so the contest is over at midnight Friday night.

Who knew turning fifty would be so much fun?!

Edited to add:

My lovely, gifted and thoughtful daughter has honored me with a lovely Birthday post on her blog. I am a proud, lucky mom. 

Vernal Egguinox

Equinox
12:26 EST – I know it’s an urban legend, but still, it seemed like the thing to do anyway.  I am still home with Abby recovering from her tonsilectomy and ran out of ideas for fun things to do.  We are on our second half gallon of chocolate ice cream (what, you didn’t expect us to make her eat alone did you?) and I lost count of the popcycles and Gogurts.  She is improving, but we learned we don’t like Tylenol with Codeine in it.  We also don’t like waking every 4 hours at night to dose a child who DOES NOT WANT TO TAKE MEDICINE.  We are weary, but spring break is over for Tom and now it’s my turn.  But my mom came down to help and that’s been nice to have her here.

I think I may have given up on trying to knit FLAK.  I had the yarn and I have been waiting for ALL the pattern installments to be completed.  I don’t know why I didn’t feel like knitting in installments, but the delay caused fatal error to occur.  100_0056I was lured to cast on for something else.  Recognize the pattern?  I’m using the Peruvian Collection Highland Wool from Elann and I am really enjoying it.

I am still patiently waiting for the Perfect Sweater to be finialized so I can knit that.  I have not yet started my Sockapaloooza socks yet, but the yarn is beckoning me, if I could only decide on a pattern.

SXSW
was amazing this year and huge.  Hugely amazing.  This year I broke down and attended Bruce Sterling’s end of conference presentation(mp3).  Normally I leave by that time because I am usually worn out.  It’s an intensive conference and I didn’t even do the parties.  Yeah, I know I’m lame. But anyway, Sterling was awesome and I am so glad I got to hear him this time.  I was moved by his presentation and will not miss another one.  There were some great panels and I don’t even know where to begin telling you about it, but I was inspired, as usual, by all the creativity that flows in and around this affair every year.  It is the ultimate geekfest.  But in a really good way.   Jason Kottke  and Heather Armstrong interviewed each other at one of the keynotes.  And  Jimmy Wales interviewed Craig Newmark, that was a  good one.  I wish all my blogging friends could have heard all the good blog luminaries, but some of them were podcast so you can if you are interested. 

Redbud
Tomorrow is a big day and I hope to have something fun for you, but in the meantime, have I mentioned how much joy pink trees give me?  How about you?

Say Hello to Bob

Bob_1 Hi, meet Bob.  Bob was finished last night, blocked overnight and worn today.  The weather was perfect.  I am South by Southwest Bound for the next 4 days and then Abby is having her tonsils and adenoids out and we’ll just have to see where blogging fits in during all that.  Actually, I may just blog from the conference if anything interesting happens.  In the meantime, I would like to resurrect a tradition started by one of my favorite pundit bloggers, Kevin Drum (Political Animal):

Friday Cat Blogging

Katrina sleeps inKatrina_2

“E” is for…

Voting This is my precinct polling place.  It’s the local volunteer fire department fire house and I’ve been voting here for almost 6 years.  Today is Primary Day in Texas where the Dems and Repubs decide who will represent their respective parties in the November general election.  I am sittin’ this one out today.  Because IF you want to vote for an Independent candidate for governor in Texas, you have to abstain from voting in the primary despite local and county races that you really might like to have a say in.  Then you have to get a whole bunch (45, 540) of people to sign a petition to put said independent candidate on the ballot in November.  THEN you get to vote for them.  That’s the way we do elections in Texas, so…

"E" is for Elections

Now, skipping out on elections is not something I normally do.   I take my voting very seriously.  But I am determined to have more of a choice than the "lesser of two evils" or flip a coin between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and trust me, in Texas, them’s the choices right now.  As far as I can tell right now, the only state worse for a woman to find herself in right now is South Dakota.  Apparently they don’t observe the same constitution there that the rest of the country does.  I guess we’re going to try out that brand spanking new Supreme Court balance thing now for sure.

I promise that I am working hard on a decent knitting post for the very near future.  In the meantime, I just want to remind you, we don’t knit in a vacuum. 

Spring: the promise of things to come

Mnt_laruel Kinkyhq This Moutain Laurel is blooming right outside the Kinky Friedman for Governor Campagn Headquarters, where I picked up my T-shirt for the Petition-signing events.  I am the County Coordinator for Kinky for Governor and after the primaries tomorrow we can start collecting signatures to put Kinky on the ballot in the November election as an independent.  In order to be eligible to sign the petition, you cannot have voted in the primary.  NOT voting is hard to do, unless you realize we have NO candidates from which to choose.  The two-party system is broken and the Democratic Party in Texas is adrift. The legislature has made it so hard for an independent to get on the ballot that it has never been done.  Not since Sam Houston anyway.  I think history is about to be made.  Hide and watch.

Did you see the little surprise Knitty came out with?  Is that cute or what?

“D” is for…

Austin recieves an average annual rainfall of about 32 inches.  According to NOAA, our drought status is extreme.  North Texas (Dallas) area is even worse, they are at exceptional.  The amount of rainfall needed to overcome our current drought is 6-9 inches.  That’s a lot of rain.  And it can come all at once, it has before.  We seem to be in a cycle of either drought or flood at any given time.  So…

Dry_river"D" is for Drought.

This photo is taken from the Colorado River in Bastrop at Fisherman’s Park.  I should not be standing on dry ground.  I should be up to my waist in River.  I have never seen the river so low.  I am planning a vegatable garden.  I imagine I will be doing a lot of irrigating.

Drought is going to have a mojor impact on lots of things.  The wildflower bloom will not be as big or long.  Wildlife is going to need some help.  I plan on putting out more feeders and water sources for them.  I have friends who have rainwater collection systems for their home water supply and they have had to buy water recently for the first time.  People are going to need to water the foundations of their homes so the slabs don’t crack or the piers sag.   

It’s not uncommon for Texas communities to go on voluntary and even mandatory water rationing in the summers, at least for irrigation purposes.  Most of the counties in Texas are curently under a burn ban, no burning trash, brush or anything else.  Recreation will be affected too.  No campfires in the state parks.  Fireworks on July 4th will be very risky and probably prohibited.  The number of industries and resources this drought is going to negatively impact is mind-boggling.  There’s the peach and grape crops, not to mention the fodder crops.  Okay, I’m starting to depress myself.  The forecast calls for some light sprinkles, but that’s all they’ll commit to and that ain’t enough. 

Pray for rain.