Saturday, October 25, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night...

Well, I've committed to the whole NanoWriMo experience.

I don't know why this makes me nervous because realistically, no one will ever see it, no one really has an expectations from me as a writer, and it's not like I'm getting paid for doing it.

That said, maybe I'm more anxious than nervous.

My story is actually going to be about the Pony Express.

I'm a huge Western fan and my beef (ha ha!) is that there aren't a lot of them.

I mean, really! We get one Western a year in the movies (that are all usually pretty good) but it leaves me wanting another.

There will never be another Western as good as "The Outlaw Josey Wales" It is perfection. I'm not asking for perfection (okay, maybe I am) but where are the days of Gunsmoke, Bonanza, or Rawhide? Where is the next Louis L'Amour?

You know what's sad? The best Western series I've seen in a while is a sci-fi series (Firefly) that's no longer in production.

It's gotten so bad in the lack of a good Western that Australia is now becoming the runner up for best Westerns (not to be confused with the hotel chain.) Their Westerns are as good (if not sometimes better) than American ones... or those Spaghetti Westerns that PRETENDED to be American ones.

So, Clint, this one's for you and Marion and Roy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grasping for joy

Today has not been a good day. Normally, I try to keep things light and fun and poke fun at the obvious. I try to find even the dark humor in things but today is not that day.

The mundane is that my husband is sick and so am I... completely different things, though. Another kidney/bladder infection for me, I'm afraid. I need a punch card. Get 10 and get a weekend in a resort free.

More serious is the news around me. I could make a joke about politics but that's not what's serious. That's the same players with a different name, my friends.

I had someone I really admire die last week. It upset me then and seems to grow heavier on my mind as the month wears on. It's a regret, really. A regret that I didn't get to know her better sooner. She was in her 80s and still contributing with ever fiber of her being to the community. It saddens me to think of all of the things I could have learned from her and didn't take time to do. That may be selfish, I don't know. I *do* know that I'm sad for not making an effort to share more life with her.

On the heels of that, my best friend in the world told me tonight that she's undergoing tests for cancer. My girlfriend and I have been through more together than I imagine most people have- no, I'm pretty confident in saying that we've been through a lot of serious stuff together and more than the majority of people will ever have to deal with and not end up in prison. We have shared laughs, loves, jokes, tears, good times and bad times. She is already a cancer survivor. Truth is, she's a survivor of a lot of terrible things - loss of a twin sibling, cancer, never knowing her real father, a bad marriage ending in an apathetic divorce, two children who really should be more appreciative of her, a brain injury (which I tease her only compliments her natural blondeness)... but through it all, she is always the one that's first on the phone to make you laugh or make sure your menial complaints seem as important as her cancer. I truly don't know anyone who will ever be a sister to me like she is and I'm being selfish again. I refuse to let anything bad happen to her - even if I have to punch cancer in the face personally.

I have already let her know that I will be with her at every appointment, smuggling in martinis, and singing Tony Bennet (she doesn't even LIKE Tony Bennet but it will make her laugh) or whatever else it takes to be by her side. I may even sing into a kitchen utensil... (What *is* it with these chick flicks and people singing into kitchen utensils???)

So tonight (and every night), I'm thankful to have her as my best friend and even more thankful that we're both A positive... should the need ever arise.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

It's probably not as cold as some places but when you have a 30 degree temperature drop in 24 hours, 57 feels REALLY cold.

It's sweatah weathah, in other words. Cold... rainy... drizzly... yep. Time to sport the sweaters.

I told you before about the Drive Thru Sweater and I cannot sing of its praises highly enough! It's so easy and so quick and you can put whatever designs on it you choose. Done in the round and based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's formulations, this sweater... well, it just ROCKS! A pattern for only $5.50 and it's in sizes from 2T to size 16 - really, where can you get a better deal???

After making one for Katy, Katy's assignment was to make one for Connor. I was a "bad girl", though and jumped right in to make one for him too. Did I mention how much I like this sweater pattern?

What a handsome little GQ guy!!! The best part of this sweater? When we put it on him, he immediately said, "Mommy did!" "Booful Sweater!" (That would be "Mommy did this!" and "Beautiful sweater!" This little boy just makes my heart melt. Such a sweet little monkey.

And speaking of monkeys, I finally got a picture from my hubby of the monkey I made him to stay with him at work.

Many of you are aware I'm a huge JoCo fan (Johnathon Coulton). One of his songs is entitled "Code Monkey" and is about a man who writes computer code for a living. This is NSFW, btw and not really safe around children but here's the song:

This is the monkey:
I made the eyes out of Fimo and then a couple of dabs of white paint for the "sparkle" in his eyes. You know what would be cuter? To buy a tambourine from the Dollar Tree, disassemble it for the clinky things and have the monkey hold cymbals.

Yeah, I know. I have WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY too much time on my hands.

Right now, I'm working on an amigurumi sock monkey for a friend of mine's little girl. She has sock monkey pants and I just happen to think that's one of the coolest things on the planet. Now she needs a sock monkey to go with them.

I really don't have a monkey fetish. Truth be known, I'm a flamingo girl myself. Sometimes, though, you just gotta' go a little bananas.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

South of the Border Ornaments in Crochet

This has been a fun diversion.

I've removed the chili pepper ornament post that was originally here so that I could put all the patterns in one spot.

As you can see by the picture, added to the mix is a sombrero/mariachi hat, cactus, and a blanket.

These were designed for a project to make and send ornaments to the troops overseas.

We have lots of themes, but this one seemed lacking in online resources so I thought I'd design my own patterns for it!

Now, I'm not the best pattern designer out there so if you have any problems, please let me know. If you're like me, you manipulate patterns to work for you so I encourage you to try that first.

Have fun!

For Patterns, CLICK HERE