Monday, January 15, 2018

One down

The first sweater of the year is done. Claire had taken a photo of a cardigan she liked for C. and I figured out the alternating ribbing at the top from the photo. Rather, friends in a couple of Facebook machine knitting groups helped me figure it out. I have a strand of raspberry pink left -- maybe 15 cm. That's it! I have a little more of the dark yellow -- the gauge swatch I made and maybe 10 grams unknitted. In all, maybe enough to do a dark yellow trim on another sweater. As I said previously, my aim is to reduce the stash.
I did have to buy the buttons, though. I didn't have the right color or size in my button box. I'd like to reduce that stash, too.
I've reorganized the yarn. I'm taking over the IKEA closet in the room. I didn't realize I had so many cones of yarn to get through in addition to the skeins. I still have box to sort out. I've got years of yarn ahead of me!
We have made a little room in the basement. The kids took some things with them when they were here at Christmas and identified other lots for the bin. There's still tons more. The idea is to make room for the grandkids to play. Once upon a time, our kids had room to play down there.
The freezer died last week. Thirty-three years old. Luckily, I was in the "have to empty the freezer to defrost" phase, so we didn't lose too much. I made a very thick raspberry and blueberry pie. We ate some barbecue spare ribs and gave the last batch of that to the Paris Lebelles. The couscous vegetables went with the frozen chicken broth and veal paupiette sauce to make a rich soup. The only thing we had to throw out was one thawed pizza. The new freezer should be delivered by Thursday. It's a good thing we have a clear path in the basement to get the old one out and the new one in place. Before Christmas, we didn't. It's just a clear path, not really a clear space!

Monday, January 8, 2018

While the bath is running....

I'm a bath person, not a shower person. I like to soak in the bath, read in the bath. I don't have to rush. And while the bath is running (and why do we say "run"?) I can stand still and write.
Back to that question, why does water run, which becomes "the bath is running"? In French, "on fait couler un bain". I hate running. I'm not a runner. Stockings and pantyhose run, too. There are place names where creeks flow fast; they are call "... Run". Or where animals pass through. Deer Run is fairly common.
I'll look it up. But now, the bath is ready.

That was this morning.
Check this out if you want to get lost in all the ways we use "running".
Or this, for a more humorous outlook. (Thank you, Claire!)

We had a good AARO Meetup lunch, today.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


I woke up this morning thinking I had heard the doorbell. I don't generally remember dreams and this doorbell didn't seem to be connected to any previous scenario. I just woke up thinking there was someone outside at the gate.
There's a dilemma to waking up like that. If I go to the window to see if someone is there, I might have a little accident. I really have to rush to the bathroom, first. But if I do that, then whoever might be there, will be gone. Does it matter? Instead of getting up to go one way or the other, I just lie there thinking about it until it doesn't matter any more, anyway.
I didn't have my watch on, so I didn't know what time it was. It was still dark but in Paris, in winter, that's not saying much. On my return from the bathroom, I opened the window for some fresh air since it wasn't raining, for once. I really hoped I could get back to sleep, but all I could think of was that doorbell sound until it was replaced by a chirping bird. Just one, lonely bird who had been tricked into thinking it was the right season by the warm temperatures we've been having in France. Birds are not chirping in the US along the Atlantic coastline.
I gave up on trying to sleep and peeked at my phone to see the time. It was a perfectly reasonable time to get up, but since I was holding the phone I opened Facebook. That's a mistake. I forgot it's the weekend and I want to try to wean myself from Facebook on weekends. The French have a great word for social media; it's "chronophage". It eats up time. It does. I didn't emerge until well over an hour later.
Part of that hour had been spent on looking at a Tedx Talk and a four-part conversation between James Navé and Court McCracken. Yesterday, I attended a storytelling workshop led by Navé. I'm glad I attended the workshop; we'll see what comes of it. There were thirteen of us, in addition to Navé, all very interesting people. I think I may try to do this kind of thing more often. One of the participants had seen the Tedx Talk and that had inspired her to attend. It was fortunate I hadn't been so curious before the workshop; I would have been intimidated and wouldn't have attended. Having attended and having been inspired, I understood and appreciated what I watched this morning.
I thought I'd be writing this morning, but of course, Facebook and email and YouTube ate up a big chunk of time. Breakfast and the newspaper ate up some more time; I didn't even try to do the crossword. It's Saturday, the first of the month, so routine household accounting took up some more time, which I didn't finish until after lunch, which between preparing and eating also took up a bit of time.
Yesterday, we all had at least one list of words with "time" on it. In fact, one list had "time" twice. That's how important time is. We have time, but it slips away, disappears. Next thing you know, it's time to go to bed, again.
On the to-do list is finishing up the New Year greeting for those I'm sending snail mail to. It's short. I'm already in the French version.
Another project is finishing the sweater I started this week for C. It's a small cardigan sweater - size 4-year-old. That's a good thing because I am dead serious this year about making room in the yarn boxes for the yarn that hasn't found storage space, yet. The goal is to reduce the stash, not get rid of it. You can't get rid of a yarn stash. There's always left over yarn. The request was for yellow, but not a light, lemony yellow. She favors a mustard yellow, almost leaning into orange. And I had some! Four 50-gr. skeins of a dark yellow alpaca yarn. Since I'm not sure that's enough, I'm doing a few rows at the bottom hem in raspberry pink. I first tried with a dark purple but the yarn was not the same weight and it didn't look right.
The back
There's a lot of manipulation to do. The top part, above the start of the armhole, is a 2/2 rib, alternating every four rows. It's a raglan sleeve; I have to remember to decrease for the raglan. Add to that, I wanted a garter stitch at the front opening and I have to do that manipulation, too. My back gives out after about half an hour at the knitting machine, so I can only work on it in spurts. I've got the back and one front piece done and I'm about half way through the second front piece. Then come the sleeves, but I won't have to worry about the garter stitch for those, so they should go faster. I think I may even have the right buttons in my button box.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas and all that

I'm a bit late for Hanukah, but I hope all my family and friends who do celebrate Hanukah (I'm settling on this spelling this year) had a wonderful 8 days. We did nothing, here. We used to do it, when the kids were little, but we've moved to the French Christmas, which is basically stripped of religious meaning and therefore suits our family better.
We had a good year, over here. Macron was elected president and he's going about getting what he said he'd do done, without too much complaint. Well, at least without the massive strikes almost anyone else would have been shut down with. Let's see what comes out of all this in a year or so. The mood in the country, at least, is more upbeat.
I was not happy with the US election and I haven't been happy with whatever news comes out of the US. Today, it's the tax bill. There was one thing I would have wanted to see in the tax bill and that concerned Americans living overseas -- me. The Republicans, more or less, promised it. Then, well, we "dropped through the cracks" again. I don't believe we dropped through the cracks. I don't think they are at all sincerely sympathetic. Then, I have a second problem -- what if they had taken care of Overseas Americans? Would that have made the rest of the bill palatable? In my opinion, no.
I got all worked up, disappointed, and confused. I am stepping back from it. I've dropped at least one facebook group, limited notifications on others, and am generally ignoring most of what I see, anyway.
The kids and grandkids are fine. I'll be including pictures with the snail mail version of this for family and friends. In the French fashion, that will be coming with the new year, not this week. Right now, we are expecting the home invasion. They are due to arrive from England and the south of France, tomorrow and the house will be at capacity: 10. On Saturday, we're all going to the theater and the Parisian contingent will join us. They will be leaving for the other grandparents on Sunday. At dinner, on Saturday, we will be joined by the Verrières cousins: 18