One Crow is ill news Two Crows mirth Three Crows a wedding Four Crows a birth Five Crows for riches Six Crows a thief Seven Crows a journey Eight Crows for grief Nine Crows a secret Ten Crows for sorrow Eleven Crows for true love Twelve's a new day tomorrow

Monday, January 30, 2006

Wendy Wasserstein

Urg - I have a bad headache but had to note that Wendy Wasserstein has died.

When I went to Mt Holyoke she was such a -hmm ,what? a 'looming' name and presence. Everyone spoke of her. And after college as time went on - every time I saw her in an interview - or read something of hers - I realized more and more that she was just the kind of woman I could have been friends with.

I feel bad that she has left her little girl - but she will be a child who is loved. It is too bad that she won't get to be friends with her mother as she grew.

The San Diego Union Tribune has a nice obit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Getting there - Kiri Shawl

I am making much better progress now for some reason. It took me an entire week to get through the first skein and I managed to do 39 motif repeats. I started the second skein on Sunday and am already at the end with a total of 90 motif repeats. The yardage is obviously greater on the second. I think also that turning at the end of a row takes more time than you think. Or perhaps I tend to take breaks in between and so took more breaks on the shorter rows.

Anyway this is already about 60 inches wide and 28 inches deep. I went to the trouble to buy a fourth skein and now I don't think I will need it. Perhaps I will use it for a hat. I didn't make any progress tonight as it took a while to place all the stitches on waste yarn and then once measured to put them back on the needles. I am very pleased with how it looks. Posted by Picasa

"Their finest hour”

Go Librarians, go!

Newton officials are calling their refusal to allow FBI agents access to library computers without a warrant during a terrorist threat last week “their finest hour.”

Law enforcement officials say it’s a “nightmare.”

From the Boston Herald we hear of librarians hold off the FBI for several hours until they came back with a warrent for seizure of a computer they thought had been used to email a terrorist threat to Brandeis University.

Librarians are some of the staunchest defenders of our freedoms and I am proud of the Newton Massachusetts library for standing their ground. Don't ever let them get away without following the law because your freedom is only as secure as the freedoms of the least among us.

Falling into the trap of self doubt

I think that Peter Daou has hit the nail on the head with THE TRIANGLE: Matthews, Moore, Murtha, and the Media.

Even the Dems have swallowed the story of Bush's strength and their own weakness hook line and sinker. This has infuriated me to no end - and why I supported Howard Dean so strongly. He was the only one to stand up and say what needed to be said and yet so few other Dems followed out of fear of seeming out of the mainstream. So although the grass roots were with him we lacked needed the connection to both the party and the media. Think of how much he did though - went from Governor of Vermont ( "Vermont? is that part of Virginia?" ~ our customer service people have actually had that question posed by a caller) to being a serious contender for the Democratic Presidential nominee.

It is maddening and yet we have to keep trying - Howard is is in there with them now. He is building his base and someday, people, the truth will get out there. In the meantime Democrats - in your fear of seeming wishy-washy you are exactly that!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Kiri Shawl

Well - I am wickedly grumpy. Had a bad dream last night and woke up and then, of course, could NOT get back to sleep. After that everything pissed me off during the day. I hate that feeling and yet I could not shake it. I got better for a while but then this evening I got all cranky again. Yes I am a crabalocker fishwife. Want to make something of it?

One a good note I am making prgress on the Kiri Shawl. I really like this pattern. Although I read comments from a bunch of people that they found it boring - it certainly isn't anymore boring than a sweater - or even a pair of socks. I think lace may be my thing. No color changes is good for me. I find that tedious.

I still love this yarn although I can tell with its hand-dyed factor the skeins vary a great deal. I don't think I would want to use it in a sweater where those variations would be more obvious.

I am well into the second ball of yarn and have calculated I should be able finish an 11th repeat of the pattern with enough yarn left for finishing. I am just starting the 8th repeat here. Once I finish this second ball I am going to put the stiches on some waste yarn to get an idea of how big it is.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Last night we had the first night-out in a long time. Ken needed to get a present for his son's birthday and I needed to do some food shopping. So we hit K-mart, BLockbuster, Hannaford's, the "Store That Shall Not Be Named", Taco Bell and then...

We went to the Hullabaloo Martini Bar (located in the Hullabaloo Coffee Co) in Claremont. Very cool little place - they had a couple of groups playing. One folksie duo joining a younger guy playing more modern stuff along with a bongo player. Drinks were reasonable. We stayed till they were all done playing - about 11 pm.

It was good to get out and try a new place. They have Jazz almost every Saturday night and I look forward to seeing that some time.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bills Bills Bills

Know what I did for 3 hours tonight? Yup! Paid bills, organized bills, tried to make heads or tails of medicare/private insurance and long-term insurance. Asked the old lady a couple of questions about a couple of things and she got all worked up.

I am coming to realize that Topamax is part of the problem. In a way I am not sorry that she has flat out refused to up her dosage.

Anyway - after all this effort I have her check book balanced and I think I have every bill paid. Of course I haven't even looked at my own. But I will try and do that tomorrow. Which is Friday, thank heavens.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

EEG Waiting room

Waiting in the waiting room again.

What I thought was going to be a quick one hour appointment - getting me back to work by say 11:00 a.m. the latest - turned into one of those marathon appointments again. First of all we were late getting going because I decided to be nice to the old lady and let her sleep till 6:30. As usual I was sorry almost immediately as she took her time , having her juice, and her oatmeal and her morning pills. AND she cranked about it the entire time!

So I drove like a maniac up to Dartmouth and made it just 10 minutes late. Then of course they didn't call us in for 20 minutes which allowed her to crank at me some more - "See we could have taken our time. They don't care how long you have to wait." etc. etc.

The doctor is very good though and besides the exam he wanted to get her an EEG. Which he set up but it wasn't until 10 am. And it takes and hour. And after that he talked to us again. And then sent us for some blood work. And the old lady got hungry.

so... we ended up leaving there at a little before noon and I made it in to work FINALLY by 1 p.m. Where I was greeted with a huge number of emergency requests for data and what-not.

Crabby morning

We are up early to head to the Neurologist at Dartmouth. Someone is very cranky. It isn't me, or Ken, or Tulip. So you can guess who it must be. I have heard about the hour, the fact that I made an appointment for this hour, the dog ( who pooped in the house over night) the weather, her health, the hour, the state of the world, the dog, the weather, the way she looks, her hair, the stupidity of 8:30 appointments, etc. I can hardly wait for the ride! SHould be a barrel of fun.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lurky Lurky

Hey - It is National De-Lurking Week! (from Paper Napkin via Fuzzy Noodle Knits)

So people, make comments! Say hello on the blogs you read. Be bold!

Oh and this will be a floater for a while - just to see what comments I fish out.

New England Weather

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday it was 50 degrees and pouring rain. Today it is 10 degrees (and falling), with wind chills of who knows what! Everyone is a bit cranky about it. I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of the sump pump alternating with the snow plows going by.

My Personal Day

Yesterday I took myself off by myself on a "Kari Day". Ken had his son and a friend over; the weather was crappy - raining cats and dogs so the old lady didn't want to take a ride. A while ago I saw an ad on TV for Hodgepodge Handicrafts in Newport, NH. Although I got the impression that the store was just a small corner in a furniture store - they did mention they have Noro yarns so I wanted to check them out.

I wasn't expecting much - but took off up Route 91 in the fog. It did rain hard enough that I thought perhaps I should turn around at one point. And then the rivers in NH are up near flood stage again. But on I went.

I tracked the store down on a side road in Newport that looked mostly residential. The building itself looks like an old slightly dilapidated country store. I walked in the front door and saw the entry room was filled with locally spun and dyed yarns. And lots of it. Perfect stuff for felting and lots of undyed amounts too if you are into dying.

I pocked around there a bit still not knowing what was in store. (Get it "in store"?) When I entered the main part of the store I was immediately overwhelmed by color - Noro, Cherry Tree Hill, Elsebeth Lavold, Dale, you name it.

I spent a good hour and a half. I have to admit I don’t like Noro Yarns as much as I thought I would from hearing the hoopla about it. The colors are nice – but the yarn itself didn’t call to me.

I ended up buying some Elizabeth Austen Andes wool from Chile. It is a nice hand dyed yarn in color #05 “olive/Dijon” (or “Forest Moss” depending upon where you look) that actually reminded me of VT. It is a worsted weight and lovely and very very soft. I am going to make the Kiri Shawl by Polly Outhwaite for the old lady. I already cast on last night and have gotten 20 or so rows into it. I realize now I should have gotten more that 3 skeins, but I can go back next weekend and get some more.

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So if anyone is in the Newport area – I highly recommend Hodgepodge Handicrafts on Belknap Avenue. It’s worth the trip.

Friday, January 13, 2006

A change in the air

As I drove home yesterday I felt there was something different, some nimbus surrounding the evening. I was almost home when it struck me - there was still a light in the sky - it was 5:30 and it was not pitch black. Oh hallelujah, the songs and parties and general joyous noise-making have worked! We have driven the dark away and beckoned the sun back to the northlands. Couple that with the strange strange "January thaw" we are having and it feels like spring.

But don't get too happy because there is also the feeling creeping in from the back that this is not right - that we will pay somehow. Will we be hit with crippling cold? Will the maple trees suffer for this warmth? Who knows?

Took the old lady down to Boston on Wednesday - after a long wait and a semi-nuclear meltdown the neurosurgeon arrived and told us he wanted to wait another month and take another CT scan before deciding whether to do an operation or not. This perked the old lady up immensely, although it took her a while to bounce back. She dwells on things so much and always tries to imagine the worst possible outcome so she is "prepared" but all this really does is freak her out.

We have a follow-up with the neurologist who prescribed the Topamax against seizures/migraines next Tuesday. As the Neuro Nurse asked me Wednesday – “Do you still have a job?” Well yes I do – but I keep waiting to see if there will be repercussions for having to be out about once a week for all this stuff. I don’t think so – but I do feel guilty and somewhat nervous about it.

I took some pictures with my new cell phone on the way down and back, which actually helped me get through the day as I kept looking for interesting pictures that would chronicle my day. Here's my favorite, the Blanchard's "bottled" liquors store in Allston:

Monday, January 09, 2006

Catch Up Entry

Although I posted a New Years' entry I never finished the Christmas post – AND I have whole lotta stuff in between to chronicle. This is going to be a short and sweet entry to bring everything up to date.

Christmas day was lovely – Ken and the old lady and I had a great morning. We lollygagged around and opened our presents slowly. We just enjoyed the day and each others company. In the afternoon I start prep for dinner. I made a stuffed pork loin to do on the grill. At 5 pm I was just finishing the vegetables when the old lady complained of her hand feeling tingly. Then about 5 minutes later she was speaking in a very slurred manner. Of course first thing I thought was TIA or stroke. She did NOT want to go to the hospital. SO I let us all eat and she improved over a 5 or 10 minute time. After eating though (and it was NOT a holiday dinner at that point – simply a way to make sure we all had something to eat) I insisted on going to the Emergency room.

Honestly I cannot now remember how long we were there – but of course it was hours. I was exhausted when we got home.

We followed up with her local doctor on the 27th I think it was. The old lady admitted that she had felt tingling in the outside two fingers on her right hand at other times prior to the incident on Christmas day. She got a new blood pressure med as her pressure was up, AND the doctor did say she thought it would be unusual that a TIA would manifest itself in just two fingers.

Fast forward to New Year – New Years Eve Ken and I went with Sandy and Bob to see King Kong. That was an intense film. If you are going to see it I suggest closing your eyes as soon as the bug part starts and keeping them closed. YUCK! I of course cried at the end – ‘cause that’s what I do. Afterwards we stopped back at Sandy and Bob’s house, had some snacks and champagne, saw in the New Year and were home about 1:30 I think it was. New Years Day I had planned on nothing but relaxing. It was not to be.

We slept late and then Ken went off to take care of some things. I decided to make a dinner in the crock pot using a recipe from the new cook book my sister got me for Christmas. I was just cutting up the chicken when the old lady called me. Yup you guessed it – another TIA type incident. This time much worse- she could barely talk and the numbness/tingling had gone up her arm. We called the ambulance as she was afraid to have me drive her. I must say our local volunteer EMTs and fire department are wonderful. It was like calling out the brigades. They took her in – I straightened up a bit in the house, made sure that Ken would come back and look after Tulip and off to emergency I went. After many hours they decided to keep her. Also put her on a stronger blood thinner.

She was there until Tuesday the 3rd. Came home – had a good afternoon and a good Wednesday. Thursday she called me at work feeling awful. And I called the neuro nurses in Boston – they said go to emergency at Dartmouth. We did. Were there for 7 hours. Saw Neurosurgeons, neurologists and who knows who else. They ended up deciding that she was not having TIAs rather it could be migraines starting up or seizures resulting from the fluid on the outside of her brain. They said stop the new blood thinner – which in retrospect I realize was probably the thing giving her the really bad headaches as those only started after she was in Springfield Hospital and started on the blood thinner.

They started her on Topamax – a seizure/headache med. We have a follow-up with a neurologist next week. And this Wednesday we still need to go down to Boston to the Neurosurgeons to see what to do about the fluid around the brain. Plus she has an appointment tomorrow with the local doctor that I am insisting that she keep because maybe she can get off the new blood pressure med as it 1) makes her unbelievably sleepy so that she is doing almost nothing BUT sleeping and 2) it gives her dry mouth and with her teeth I worry about that dryness. Oh and there is a slight chance that they will keep her in Boston to do the drain of fluid right away – although I am not betting on it.

What else has been going on? Well I decided with her emergencies that I should finally break down and get a cell phone. That was a comedy of errors. Went with Ken to get us both phone (an upgrade for him and a new one for me) on Jan 2nd. Well it was a holiday so the cell company was not open so they could not activate our phones. The next day I was just going to run up and get them but decided to call first – phones were still not on – the store could not get through to the company. The NEXT day I called and they managed to turn them on – I ran up after work to get them. I noticed they were charging me $69 per phone and I said – you told me they were $49 per phone. Oh says the lackadaisical kid – that’s with the rebate. So I say –Are you going to give me the rebate form? So he looks around and around and around. Finally he finds them and off I go. Get home and decide for once in my life to be proactive and start to fill the forms out. Guess what?!? The model we got isn’t on the form. MUST CONTROL FIST OF DEATH!

On top of that – I go out and feed the chickens on Thursday night and there’s a chicken missing. It is Pinkie (so named for the color ring on her leg) She is the one that I personally operated on twice for impacted crop. She is gone – disappeared – not a trace. I could not figure it out. There is no way an animal could have gotten her out of there without a sign of blood or feathers or something. So I was guessing that when I fed them Wednesday night she popped out the door behind me – I didn’t notice and then since she was out of the coop and just loose in the barn that something got her that way.

Skip ahead – Saturday it was a nice bright sunny day so I decided to let the chickens out a bit. And since it was so bright I decided to really check the coop carefully in case Pinkie’s body was slumped in a corner somewhere and I hadn’t noticed it. I don’t know what made me look behind the hay bales I use to line the outer wall of the coop to help against the cold, and there she is! Stuck between the bales and the outer wall. Little dummy. I pulled her out and gave her talking to and she was so thirsty poor thing. In a way I am surprised she made it at least two whole days without water and right up against the cold wall.

Anyway that brings us up to Saturday morning. Maureen came to visit this past weekend. But I shall leave talk of that to another time.

Oh and so much for a short and sweet entry huh?!