Close Enough

Today I noticed that our Land Rover odometer was about to hit 133333 and I vowed to take a picture. Oh, well. 133345 is close enough….

FWIW, it’s a 2000 Discovery II and has been a real work horse for our family. We broke it in with a road trip to Brian Head, UT for snowboarding, and it’s also our surf buggy. We’ve moved the kids in and out of college dorms and houses with it, as well as various other family members. A couple of generations of surf decals and bumper stickers have stuck and blistered and fallen off its windows. It’s also had the dust of several states’ worth of camping and road trips inflitrate its inner and outer cracks. Good times!


Give Blood

These trucks from the American Red Cross were packing up after their bi-annual visit to my high school on Tuesday. It’s one of the few days a year that I give props to kids who miss my class because they’re doing something truly more important. Unfortunately, I missed donating this time due to schedule and last time due to ineligibility. Sometimes my visits to Costa Rica disqualify me for a time, depending on where I stay. In any case, please donate often. The only source of life-giving blood is other humans.

Geek Stalking

This morning I met a geek celebrity at my local Starbucks!

While listening to Episode 196 of Security Now,  a podcast co-hosted by Leo LaPorte, I heard the host, Steve Gibson, a computer security expert, describe his day — coding for 12 hours at his neighborhood Starbucks, which was MY Starbucks. He gave details about his full-size keyboard that clicked and clacked, and how he enjoyed the bustle of the coffeehouse.  So, this morning, I spotted a gentleman in the corner with a full-size keyboard. I introduced myself and, indeed, it was Steve Gibson! He was very gracious as I went on and on about tech in the high school where I work and my first computer, a KayPro. But — how fun is that!?

Knitting content: first DNA Scarf completed and awaiting blocking! It took about 1-3/4 skeins of Cascade 220 in a medium blue colorway. The second will be a muted olive green. Just cast on another Clapotis in a vibrant purple Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend. Pix to come.

And, oh yeah, I have grading to do!

Costa Rican Bowl

I took this shot for the 365 Project of a bowl we picked up on our last trip to Costa Rica, which is known for its woodcrafts. It’s carved from the exposed root of a SomethingExotic tree in the the Guanacaste province. Farmers would have chopped it up, but this family of artists regularly gleans in that area with remarkable finds like this naturally blond-streaked dark wood.

Last weekend Costa Rica experienced an earthquake that did a lot of damage in the Alajuela province, which contains many of the mountains and volcanoes. Scary. Our friends on the coast felt nothing, fortunately, although a local hotel shook a little.

Knitting content: none this week probably, as I scramble to finish planning and grading before heading out to DC on Saturday for the Inauguration!


Welcome to the New Year!

090101 End of Christmas

Here is one last shot of our living room before we take down the tree. I especially love the twinkle lights around the soffit up above and the Dept. 56 Charles Dickens Village houses in the corner. We started to “collect” them, a new item every year, until we started running out of space, so we stopped acquiring. Most of our ornaments are handmade or have sentimental significance. When the kids were little, we’d each buy a new ornament each year. Again, this tradition has slowed down because of clutter. We’re truly trying to simplify our lives, something we started before “these troubled times” but it makes even more sense now.

We altered our fireplace in the remodel in 2000, adding the dark green marble and more elaborate mantle. The family portrait was from over 10 years ago. We have a newer one, but need to find another wall for this one.

Through the window you can see our lighted palm tree decoration. At the opposite end of the porch is a lighted angel.  That’s my DH’s sense of humor…. We live in southern California.

*sigh* Winter vacation is almost over. I have to get used to writing 2009 on all my papers. I am planning (but not *resolving*) to blog more and to post more pictures. I’m inspired by a blogger (whose name escapes me) and his 365 project. He posted a new photo each day to a Flickr collection. He said it honed his artistic eye. I think it’s a great habit, too, since I like the idea of chronicling certain parts of my life for my own amusement in later years.

For posterity: had a wonderful Chinese dinner for 12 last night at Seafood Village in Rowland Heights. The 6 Caucasians in our group constituted 75% of the white population in the entire restaurant. One white guy, fluent in Chinese, did the ordering for all of us and one amazing dish after the other kept coming. The newest to me was a warm Red Bean soup for “dessert.” It reminded me of the azuki beans at the bottom of shave ice or in other Japanese desserts. Yummy! One couple has retired to Costa Rica (living happily on $1700 per month and surfing every day!). They return to California for about 2 months of the year. We shared gadgets. They have a new Panasonic Lumix TZ5 that I drooled over. What a great lens! They were properly appreciative of my iPhone. 🙂

Knitting content: I’m on the last pinky of my new Cigar fingerless gloves. My first pair was out of a lovely wine colored Misti Alpaca but I’m missing one of them! Of course it’s now 70 degrees outside, but if we go up to the snow soon, I’ll be set. Also, I just wound 7 skeins of Noro Lily into balls for Bibi. Now I just have to locate a free set of #5 circular needles. On second thought, I should swatch with #4s since Lily is a little thicker than Noro Matsuri as used in the pattern. Hmmm.

Happy New Year!


Happy 2009!

Welcome to a brand new year and brand new start! Here’s hoping it’s better for our country than 2008 was.

I’m starting the new year with a new do:

Curly Hair

I had my regular appointment today and my stylist made me curly for a special dinner out with our Costa Rica partners and some other friends.

Exciting news: on Monday I “appeared” in the LIstener Guest Host #2 episode of cnet’s Buzz Out Loud. My interview begins at about 11:00 and ends around 22:00. Special greetings to anyone who found my blog because of my mention.

Knitting content: I was super busy with holiday shopping, cooking, traveling, and recovering. All I had time to do was use the leftover yarn from the Simple Pleasures hat for another Cigar from Knitty for myself. It’s not done yet – pix to follow, I promise.

Until then, have a happy new year!


Snowballs and FO Clapotis(es?)

Greetings to pheangeance, my first commenter on my first day! I haven’t even told my family about this blog yet, much less my knitting buddies. I’m amazed you found me….

“Snowballs” refers to effect I expected once I actually started a blog. No dipping in the pinky-toe with this stuff — once you dive in, ya gotta more-than-dog-paddle to keep afloat. I’m immersing myself in this new language and etiquette and, I must admit, it’s daunting! Fun, but … I don’t want to mess up. I keep telling myself, “No worries! No blood involved!” Yet the perfectionist in me still obsesses…. Plus it takes so much time!

My FOs pictured below are my three Clapotis, the iconic pattern by Kate Gilbert published at Does one say “Clapotises”? In French the singular and plural would look the same, but … I dunno…. The first was done according to the pattern in Knit Picks Shimmer, doubled, in Grape Hyacinth. I didn’t like the speckled effect until I kept the colors of the strands together and it pooled in a pretty way. I think the presence/absence of flash altered the colors in these photos. I gave this Clapotis to my wonderful saint of a mother-in-law.

Mom’s ClapotisWearing Mom’s Clapotis

The second in the purply colorway is my own from Mango Moon recycled sari silk. It, too, is to pattern, but the yarn is much wider, heavier, stickier. It was a PAIN to drop, but otherwise I absolutely loved the process of making it. When I wear it, I think, of all places, of Costa Rica because I knit a large chunk of it on the beach at Santa Teresa. As I knitted, I imagined all the women before me whose hands had worked the silk, woven it, sewn it into a sari, wore the sari, unwove it, washed and spun it back into yarn, then finally marketed and sold it to me. I hope it turns into a treasure to be handed down in the generations of my family. This

is a link to a photo of my Clap from Squeeze OC, an online magazine that covered a wonderful performance art event last year where we stitched and bitched and watched knitting on 8 foot needles and toured an art gallery, all in the same evening.

Mango Moon Clapotis

The latest, finished just last week, is in Caron’s Simply Soft for an old friend of my husband’s who is chronically ill. To be perfectly honest, I think I’m trying to atone for bad karma years ago when I considered her competition for my husband’s affections (he was soft of with her when we met). Is a soft (machine-washable!) and warm, handmade Clapotis enough to cancel out the bad vibes I sent into the universe? Anyway, I hope she likes it….Caron Simply Soft Clapotis

Rogue Tess

Caron Simply Soft Clapotis purl detail