Thursday, August 23, 2007

I have the Plague

Well, not the actual Plague, but it sure feels that bad. The whole house has been sick since last weekend, with high fevers, lots of vomiting, and piercing headaches and fatigue all around. We've been living on congee and soups, soft scrambled eggs, dry toast and lot of tea and watered down orange juice. The boys and I are going stir crazy since neither of them has been well enough to play outside and have been too contagious to hang out with Grandma. I've been morosely trying to knit here and there on the couch (a February Sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman for my soon to be born niece), but have mostly been resting and waiting for this to blow over.

Even my car is sick. Scratch that. It's essentially in it's death throes. We took it to the mechanic yesterday for a tune up and a check of a few things that haven't seemed right for a long time, and the list of things that are wrong is over two pages long. Official diagnosis from the mechanic? Get a new car. This is an unhappy surprise, since the plan was to limp this car (which isn't even that old - it's a 99 Saturn) until I'm out of school and bringing in another paycheck. So much for that plan. At this point, fixing it just so it's safe to drive NOW would cost $1,700, which is crazy since we know we need to replace it as soon as we can. So in the meantime we're running on one car, with me driving Dan to Vancouver in the morning and picking him up again with boys in tow on days I need to drive, and staying home on days I don't. We're racing to figure out what kind of car to buy: something inexpensive, good gas mileage, safe, reliable, one that *actually* seats 5 (instead of that pie in the sky dealership "seats five!" that really means three supermodels might fit in the back seat comfortably), ideally with a hatchback or good cargo space in back. Nothing fancy, just something I can drive for the next 5 years or so until I'm working again and we can afford to be picky. Edmunds is now my friend.

I was supposed to be posting about meeting Cat Bordhi, which was amazing. She looks at the world in such a different, beautiful way. It's not just intelligence, which she has plenty of, but an almost childlike wonder at the world around us and how it all works, something she shares with scientists and people who create things most of us can hardly fathom. On top of all of that, she's a genuinely nice and approachable person and gives a really interesting talk. And can she ever knit! It was an inspirational night in the truest sense of the word, and I'm happy I went. And thankful to my friend Vicki Jean, who guided us to a fun sushi place for dinner before and showed me the ropes of the MAX system.

Also never thought that bringing a plastic fork would win me a prize! I was making an amulet pouch for a friend of mine and wanted a nice, smooth cord instead of a crocheted strand. I've always wanted to learn how to use a lucet, but didn't happen to actually have one around. Hmmm. What could I use? Immediately rummaged through the "party supplies" box until I found a strong plastic fork, broke the two inner tines off, and voila, a home made lucet! Now, to learn how to use it. I roamed all over the web, finally coming across these instructions. Studied them, swore a lot, then finally got the idea and I was cording like a mad fool. Well, slooooooowly cording like a mad fool. It takes a lot longer than making I-cord, but the end result is so much nicer. Smooth, firm, a bit stretchy, and perfect for this project.

I took the fork along with me to Cat's book signing since I figured it was a pretty nifty trick and wanted to show my PDX knit buddies. I had just finished showing them what I was using it for when Tina from Blue Moon announced games....with yarn prizes! Oh, joy! I've never, ever had a skein of Socks that Rock in my life and desperately wanted to get my hands on some, but sadly they weren't selling any that night. I perked right up at the mention of yarn prizes, and what do you know, the very first one was "most unusual thing in your knitting bag". I waved that fork high in the air, and next thing you know I was up front, explaining what the heck I was using it for and selecting my very first ever skein of Socks that Rock. It's medium weight "Hollyday", and I'm beyond thrilled. I keep petting it. And I gave my fork and a good long strand of the cording to Cat, since she was so tickled at the whole idea :-)

Bobbie gave me two pairs of Groucho glasses to try to cheer me up. It worked - it's incredibly hard to be down when you're wearing goofy glasses and a fake nose. Here's the picture of the boys wearing them once I got home: