First The Bad News...
I have no idea if the two are related, but I made a bunch of hurricane donations online recently... and my credit card number was stolen and used. So I wanted to give you a heads-up so that if you also donated in the last couple of weeks, you can monitor your credit card statement, or view your account online, and nip any fraudulent charges before they post to your account.
I am pleased to say that I was utterly oblivious to the scammage taking place until my wonderful credit card company called to let me know there was suspicious activity. Apparently, they do not consider it unusual of me to, say, spend $300 on yarn, a Baroque recorder from England, humane society donations, a spinning wheel, or a case of wine... but it did raise concern that I would apparently charge $300 at a Toys'R'Us (and additional amounts at a Wal-Mart) in Houston. (It's kind of scary that they know me so well... and that they don't think I'm weird, and continue to do business with me!)
They called - get that, they called me - to verify the unusual charges, then instantly cancelled my account, and less than 48 hours later I have a new credit card in my wallet. And I'm not responsible for any of the charges.
Aside from this fantastic customer service, my card earns me points for Amazon gift certificates, good on anything Amazon sells. My Amazon purchases themselves earn three times the points. Interested? It's a Chase Amazon card, and right now, I can't recommend it highly enough!
And for the person who may have gotten my number through my donations, somehow, I have only this to say: you are responsible for your own karma and it is probably twice as bad, karma-cally speaking, to steal off of someone's donation money. Just sayin'! If you would have asked I would have bought you what necessities you needed... but I sure don't think Toys'R'Us carries milk and bread.
See My Nupps!
Those bloody Estonians, inventing knitted nupps to drive us all insane. Do you know how hard it is to purl through seven loops, using white needles and knitting with white yarn?
InKnitters, Summer, 2005
Karabella Lace Mohair
I think I'm getting this nupp thing down: make the loops very, very loose, and use a needle with a very skinny tip like these Bryspuns so that purling through them will be easier.
Some great tips I have learned from multiple "lace fairies" of late:
- Pull down on the row below the stitch you're knitting next, to make the loops line up properly on your needle, and to make needle insertion easier;
- Wind your yarn into a ball not once, but twice, under no tension (tug the strand you're going to be winding out from the purchased ball before winding it);
- Forget about pulling the strand from the center of your ball - it will collapse. Take it from the outside. To do this,
- put your ball in a bowl so that it doesn't roll or become compressed from being handled. Don't touch it!
I'm not sure I'm doing the nupps right but I guess they look ok.
Jeff saw this yarn and asked, "What are you knitting, spiderwebs?" Yeah, it about feels like spiderwebs, let me tell ya'.
This is what 40 looks like hereabouts:
Me with my raspberry cheesecake and vintage glow.
That would be wine vintage, not age!
Jeff made an awesome dinner but unfortunately I only got a pic of the scallop appetizer, made with a Mick's pepper jelly sauce (the stuff is great on any kind of meat or seafood!):
What To Do Now?
You've donated money (and are being vigilant about watching your credit card statement!), you've knit your squares for afghans and washcloths... but you still feel the need to help victims in the Gulf Coast. Or maybe you'd like to volunteer locally because your awareness of need has been heightened. So, what to do?
The President asked us, in his weekly radio address (I listen on my iPod), to go here to help. Whether you love animals or old people, kids or trees, you'll find many opportunities to make a difference, locally and nationally.
No matter what party's President is in office, Americans would do well to listen to the weekly radio address, rather than getting some reporter's version of what was said (or worse, not hearing anything at all about it). We need direct information to make up our minds about issues, not interpretations by radio talk show hosts, newspapers, or magazines focused on maximizing advertising dollars. We also need direct communications with our representatives, so be sure and check out the websites of yours.
No radio stations here carry the Presidential broadcast, though, so I am glad to see it's now available as a podcast.
Speaking of what's on the iPod, I've been playing this (track one) over and over and over... it really is magical. Jeff and I have been hunting down the music and after a fervent e-mail to the Flanders Recorder Quartet somewhere in the Netherlands, we have the title and have ordered it from Beethoven & Company. Hopefully we'll be able to play it when it gets here, instead of staring numbly at all the notes. (I often stare numbly at the notes of music Jeff wants to play.)
On the nightstand:
On the needles:
- Estonian lace scarf, InKnitters, Summer 2005
- Artful Yarns "Fable" purple top-down raglan T
- Debbie Bliss "Cashmerino Aran" rose top-down ribbed raglan turtleneck
- Up next? Just wait until you see my Fern Garden stole pattern!
In the kitchen:
- Apple turnovers, inspired by the latest King Arthur Flour catalog's recipe. Made with organic, whole-wheat pastry flour and topped with organic whipped cream, they were fantastic - quick and relatively easy to make (I skipped the recipe's sauce and "winged" the rest of it based on what I had) and they filled the house with the scent of fall - cinnamon and cloves. Yum!
In the yard:
- Massive wind and rain storms last night - exceeding 70 mph. Branches are down, my hibiscus toppled, but luckily the bee banner I have on my flagpole didn't rip its bracket off the house. I'm grateful that the computer and hair dryer still work despite (or because of) their surge protectors being set off. Much cooler temps today... phew! Mother Nature must've wanted to clean house before fall.
CMeKnit tagged her readers with a meme, so here you go, and I tag YOU:
Ten years ago: Owner and marketing executive of a national real estate property management company. Wear suits, drive a convertible. Buy house in the country.
Five years ago: Recovering from hostile takeover of said company. Dealing with chronic illness and spine injury. Spinning and knitting becoming my focus as I am housebound for many months. Dealing with horrible neighbor kid's regular, late-night parties taking place every weekend while his parents go up north (parents don't care, but sheriff does!) Not driving anything - can't! Conception of Spindlers taking shape...
One year ago: Gardening, gardening, and more gardening as I fall in love with roses. Meet wonderful friends from Spindlers at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival. Pets are my constant joy. Cooking organically, making and doing as much as possible from scratch. Trying to be positive and spread good energy. Pilates fiend. Driving the Pup Truck (minivan with "SPINNER" on the license) for limied engatements to vet appointments and yarn shops.
Five snacks: organic chocolate; East Shore seasoned pretzels with East Shore mustard (coarse with dill); popcorn with Penzey's Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle; organic blue corn chips; warm juusto cheese.
Five songs I know all the words to: Most of the music I listen to either doesn't have words or the words are in foreign languages, but as far as pop music... "Train In Vain" by The Clash; "There Were Three Ravens" performed by the Baltimore Consort; "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson; "Sk8ter Boi" by Avril Lavigne; "This Must Be The Place" by Talking Heads. I make up words to Gilbert & Sullivan songs, inserting the names of my pets. I am obsessed with rhyming.
Five things I would do with $100 million:
1) Buy myself a senator and get animal testing and experimentation made illegal in the United States.
2) Donate to the best animal shelters in the country - Monadnock in NY comes to mind first, as well as the Northwoods Wildlife Center and the Wildlife In Need Center here in Wisconsin.
3) Make ethical investments in "green" funds to encourage development of sustainable energy sources.
4) Install a real wine cellar for my husband and buy him a cembalo or a virginal or whatever antique musical instrument it is he's always going on about.
5) Buy myself a JEEP and some comfortable cowboy boots.
We recently saw this very unusual chair in a furniture store - it looked "Siamese" as it was sort of like a basket on a pedestal, with a tall, pointy top (like, ceiling height). Ok, imagine a giant turnip made out of wicker and you pretty much get it. You entered in this hole cut out of the front, and sat on a cushion. If I had any left money over I would buy that $1,200 chair for my whippet, Fiona, who is 12 and not getting any younger. She would love that chair.
Five places to run away to: The big hotel in Banff, Canada, that serves tea every afternoon. Knightsbridge in London for shopping and more tea. A hunting lodge in Scotland. Maritime Canada. Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Five things I would never wear: Wonder Bra. Belly-exposing top. Triangle shawl. High heels. Sleeveless top.
Five favorite TV shows: Masterpiece Theater, Mystery!, Ballykissangel, Antiques Roadshow, Scientific American Frontiers. Just plug me in to PBS...
Five biggest joys: Ref Chef Jeff, my fiber friends (and EWE know who EWE are), my beloved pets, Nature, fiber arts.
Five favorite toys: iPodling, computer, glorious wood handspindles, cocktail shaker, KitchenAid mixer. If I had an immersion blender I would love it, too!
Five people to pass this on to: Kary, Pamela, Nannette, Claudia, Nanette. You're it!
Oh dear, it looks like Claudia has had a mishap...
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