Tuesday, December 30, 2008

High Tech

Today's world is decidedly high tech. However, there are a few situations where low tech works just fine or better than high tech.

For example, cat-proofing your kitchen. Raven has turned into quite the intrepid explorer. He has been spotted on tables, counters and even on the fume hood over the stove! He has learned how to open (and close, thus concealing the evidence) cupboards. He roots through the garbage. It's like we never feed him or something. Which I assure you is not the case. We have even set out an extra food bowl for him where the other girls can't get at it to give him a little extra.

So, the other day, when I came downstairs and found garbage strewn about and the cat-food cupboard open and the cans of food tumbled every which way, I took steps. Very low tech steps.
Step one:

Empty vegetable oil jug refilled with water and placed on garbage can lid. Not as inconvenient as other possible items to weigh down the lid since it has a nifty handle. and so far Raven has not discovered how to lift this much weight!

Step 2:

Loop an elastic band around the handle of the drawer, pass through cupboard handle and loop back over drawer handle. Raven can pull the door open a centimetre or so. The door then snaps shut on him. Makes a little thumping noise, but that's it.

Voila! Low tech cat-proofing! With bonus points for cheapness.


Monday, December 29, 2008

What Is That?

Could it be? Yes! I think it is! Light! There is light at the end of the tunnel. How exciting.
I would now like to direct your attention to the picture below.

That, my friends, is the last square. The final square. I thought I had 5 more to do, but decided to count just to be sure. Good thing. As I only had the one left to do. So I did it!

Now to the ironing of the squares so that they will stay semi-flat for seaming. Then the seaming. shudder.

I think I need some chocolate.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Handspun, not Mine, but MINE

A while ago I won something from the Farm Witch. It arrived today. Isn't it lovely?

150 yards of gorgeousness. Now, what to make? When I finish the never ending mitred blanket, that is....


Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's a Very Furoshiki Chrissmoose

As some of you may remember, a while back I was absolutely fascinated with furoshiki. So this year, I decided that some of the presents would be wrapped furoshiki style. The rest are in my usual newspaper-gift-wrapping. Does it make me odd that I won't buy wrapping paper but I will buy cloth to wrap presents in?

Anyway, when I was at the One of A Kind Craft Show the Hoi Bo booth had handkerchiefs with screen printing done on them. I bought them and wrapped some presents in them!

I may not be an expert, but I am rather pleased anyway.

The gift-wrapping inspector approves.

Merry Chrissmoose

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fingernail Friday-Snow Edition

Little did I realize that when I got my nails done the other day, that the friday weather would be like this:
My fingernails this week are rather appropriate, however accidentally that came about:


(Just for you, Bezzie, I picked an alternative caffeine product for a prop instead of using a coffee cup! )

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Scout had a contest and I won something! A book. A very cool book.

The most interesting project I think are the felted rings. You needle felt some roving into a cicle and then felt some other roving in a design on top or attach a bead etc. Very neat. I just may have to try it. There are some lovely other projects too. That is just the neatest one!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Adventures in Pharmacy

Due to a migraine, no real knitting has happened for a few days. Thus, it is time for another installment of work stories.

I had a lady come in to get something for her kids to keep them from being carsick. When I pulled out the Gravol (dimenhydrinate), she said that her brother-in-law out west used something that didn't make him sleepy. So I suggested the ginger tablets (also made by Gravol). Ginger has been used for centuries to settle stomachs. Nope, she was having none of that. She wanted the mystery product that her BIL used. I asked if this product was a patch?(scopolamine) Nope. I had no idea and suggested she get him to tell her the brand name or, ideally, the ingredient in whatever he was using. She whipped out her cell-phone and called him. What was the mystery product? Dramamine. Of course he wasn't at home (he was on his cell) so couldn't tell her the active ingredient.

However, with my 18 years of pharmacist experience, I knew that the active ingredient is the same as Gravol. She kept insisting it wasn't. Finally, I just had to tell her that the only thing we had was Gravol. Did she want it or not? As I was ringing her sale up, her cell phone rang again. It was someone in the parking lot. She had blocked them in with her company car. Since the phone number was on the vehicle, the blocked in person called her! She was all huffy about it.

Umm, this woman came in. Was rude to me. Refused to believe me when I told her something true to AND blocked someone in the parking lot. Nice person.

Onwards. Same day, a couple of hours later. Client came in with paperwork from her new job. Said paperwork contained (supposedly) the drug plan information for billing. she wanted her kid's $100 medication billed to the plan. I explained that I would try, but the paperwork typically doesn' t have all the info we need. Sure enough, there were 2 sets of numbers. One for the actual insurance company. One for the third party computer claims company. But no indication of which 3rd party computer claims company. There are many. There was also no indication that her particular plan was accepted online. I tried to take an educated guess and wrestled with it for 15 minutes. With her standing in front of me getting irritable. Finally gave up and told the lady that without the 3rd party company name, I couldn't do it, could she come back when she had the actual card in hand? She got all huffy and angry and stalked off.

Apparently, I was supposed to be psychic and know what plan to use. Lady, if Iwas psychic, I wouldn't be working. I would have divined the lottery numbers ages ago and I would be living the good life. Somewhere warm. With a poolboy and a masseuse on staff. Oh. and a personal trainer to get me off my ass so it didn't become the size of HER ass.

That is all

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Squirrel Nuts

Quite a while ago I worked in a nice little pharmacy in a heritage building. Our front door looked out to the park. Quite a pleasant view. It was a nice day, so we propped the door open and I happened to look out the door at just the right time and saw this:

A squirrel. On the stoop. Clutching a horse chestnut still in it's spikey green covering. not something I usually seee. Of course, I am usually in the back of some huge department type store. So just seeing sunlight is unusual and noteworthy. Never mind squirrels with nuts.



Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm So Excited

And I just can't hide it. I'm about to lose control....

Okay, maybe not. But I am excited! I have made my very own yarn barf.

That's right. My first plyed yarn off the Lendrum! Woo and hoo!

Close ups:

It's definitely thick 'n thin, but it is soooo soft. I don't have very much. Not sure what to knit with it. Any suggestions?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fingernail Friday!

Bet you thought I'd forgotten, eh? Nope. I left my house at 8:30am this morning and have spent all day running around. I didn't get home till 6:10pm. One of the things I was doing was getting my nails done. So as not to disappoint my fans, of course.

Today there are 2 pics, as I couldn't get fingers and thumb in the same shot.

And fingers:

Yup, I've got seasonal fingernails, folks!


Thursday, December 04, 2008


I am having a 'meh' kind of week. I really didn't feel like going to work this week. Then something like 12 shifts got cancelled on me by a client. Fortunately, I managed to fill them, so the issue is revenue-neutral, but I found the way the company handled it extremely irritating.

I blame the lack of sunlight. We are getting very few hours of daylight right now. The few hours we do get have next to no sun. Today the sun came out for a whole 10 minutes. While I was at work. Trapped inside. Days and days of grey nothingness. Why should I want to get out of bed?

I think Pagan has the right idea.

Curl up and sleep. Ignore the world.

Sweet dreams, all

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Last weekend I went to visit my sister. Which meant some primo knitting time on the train. My goal was to get 3 of the 13 squares I need to get done for the mitred square project. I thought I was going to do it. But I hit a bump in the road. A snag. A rough patch. A pothole in the speedway of knitting.

Check out the brown stripe the arrow is pointing to. Look a little thin to you? It is. It's WRONG. I have to rip back. I don't want to. Waaaaahhhhhh.

In other news, my sister and I did get her Christmas tree up.

It's a miniature tree for her small apartment.
Here it is lit up:And a close up of some of the decorations.

A teeny (not handknit) sweater, a couple of Starships Enterprise, I believe, C3Po and a Borg Cube. That says "We are Borg. Have a happy holiday. Resistance is futile"


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mighty Mitre Update

I am sure many of you have been impatiently wondering how the mitred square project goes.
That is a queen sized bed for scale. I love the look of this from above:

So, I have 13 more squares to go. Then the seaming. Then the bordering.

Quick, send blankie mojo. I think I'm gonna need it......

Monday, November 24, 2008

Apparently He is Not Special

This is sooooo like Raven when he is hungry!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thump Gallop

Normally, when Raven is hungry he charges around the house at a billionty miles an hour and makes a huge amount of noise. We call it galloping about. Last night, I was sitting demurely on my couch, knitting on my Black Tomato top when I heard the biggest racket. Kathumpety gallopy thumpety... I saw Raven go charging by with something dragging behind him.
My shoe. He had the lace in his teeth and was off to the races. Sigh.

The Black Tomato top is crawling along. I have been working on it at work on my lunch breaks etc. Thus, there is some progress.

I am hoping to have enough yarn to do longer sleeves on this one. When I have finished the body, I plan on doing the ribbing around the neckline first and then splitting whatever yarn I have left to do sleeves. Looks like I will have enough for 3/4 sleeves, possibly. Maybe. Either way, not cap sleeves. Maybe I should start calling this my "Longer Sleeved black Tomato" or LSBT.

Yours in kathumpety-ness

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fingernail Friday

Today's fingernail friday is special. It's my wedding anniversary too!

Not that the fingernails have anything to do with that. They're just pretty!


Thursday, November 20, 2008


Along with all the Christmas knitting madness and Tomato top work, I have been doing a little spinning. With the dark BFL I got locally.

Not too bad, if I say so myself. Although the latest session stopped when I started to break the single. I fixed it, spun a wee bit more and then put it away before I started swearing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tonight's Production

What I did tonight.

The square you eediot! Not the pillow. Although I did make those. And not the afghan. Although the MIL did make that. I appear to have a fair bit of handmade stuff lying around! Go figure.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Second Chrismoose Present

I have completed the second and last knitted Chrismoose present.

The Stacked Eyelet Cowl.
And a picture of how it is meant to be worn:

Made with Paton's Astra yarn on 3.75mm needles. Used a ball and a half roughly.

I am quite pleased with the way this one turned out! It was an easy pattern that went very well with this yarn.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ummmmm, Really?

So, I worked this past Saturday.

I had a client come in and wondered where you got "those bags you put camphor blocks into to hang around your neck"? Hanging camphor blocks around your neck to help with a stuffed up nose is a very old remedy. We health proffessionals no longer recommend it. Camphor is toxic. There are babies who died when they got ahold of some. Often a very small amount. I told the lady that I would under no circumstances use that on a child. Ever. Her reply? "A doctor told me to". Yeah. Lady there are doctors out there who I wouldn't let treat my pet. The problem was that the kid was stuffed up and couldn't breathe through his nose and all the infant decongestants have been pulled off the market due to "lack of proven efficacy". Right. So, instead of giving a small dose of Dimetapp or some other children's formula, the doctor suggested a poison. Good call doc! Mom refused to believe me and will be hanging 50 grams of poison (of which the kid only needs to get 0.5-1g into them to kill them). Fingers crossed the kid survives into adulthood.

Then I had a client who was pissed her welfare drug coverage wouldn't cover her estrogen supplement anymore. The plan will only cover it for "short term use in the management of menopausal symptoms." She had been on it for at least 6 years and the doctor finally cut her off. Naturally that is the pharmacy's fault. Even when we can show her the fax on which the doctor wrote, "she has been on it well past short term use. she no longer qualifies" This person proceeded to argue that she has diabetes and blah blah about why she deserves special treatment. She went on to say that she couldn't take these antibiotics (hands me a bottle to dispose of) and is it okay to just stop suddenly? (the antibiotics are $70 us taxpayers won't see again. That she got for $2) I told her to tell her doctor she can't take them and to get another anitibiotic because otherwise the infection will get worse. Whereupon she informs me that she "didn't have an infection". Then why were you on antibiotics? That you didn't pay for?
She decides to pay for her hormones and the technician went off to get that ready.

Another client has since approached the counter and wants help with earwax removal products. We go over to the shelf with the products and annoying lady from the above paragraph butts in and starts to tell him what he should do. I interrupt,"I've got this under control. Please go wait for your prescription over by the counter" Then turned my back on her. The ear client also turned his back. I suspect he was not amused at a complete stranger butting in like that. I know a store front shop is not private, but if you aren't a doctor and I am counselling a patient, I outrank you and please fuck off.

I have never been so close to asking a client what her supposed disability was to be on permanent welfare. She was hale and hearty in front of me. Able to argue and impose herself on others. I did not. But I sure wonder.

Yeah, that was a normal day at work. Blargh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kootchie Kootchie Koo!

No, silly not the baby tickling thing. Kootchie awareness! Have you had your Kootchie checked out? If you have, go here and enter the contest and spread the word!

The HPV vaccine is all well and good,but it doesn't do us adult people of the female persuasion any good. Kootchie checking is definitely in order. It is for those who have had the vaccine too. Which then begs the question...why is the government pushing the vaccine so hard and not regular pap smears? Regular pap smears are cheap. Finding cancer early is better since the offending bits can be yanked out and the problem solved relatively cheaply. IF it is caught early.

Go forth and do the kootchie kootchie koo!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Christmas Present

Well, almost. This is another cowl in progress for another Christmas present.

It's the Stacked Eyelet Cowl.. A very easy, very nice pattern. I pulled this out at work today to take advantage of the light for a picture and the tech was all over this one. "Ooooh, that's pretty!" "Ooooh, how nice!"

Gotta love people that appreciate the handknits.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Super Pharmacist Strikes Again!

Last week I worked a day at a pharmacy that has had no end of problems getting their blisterpacks done correctly. ( a blisterpack is the packaging whereby the pharmacy puts all your morning meds in one bubble, all your lunch meds in one bubble etc. That way you don't have to open a dozen little vials and/or forget some)

There are many reasons why this store was having problems, but I won't get into that. Aaaaanyway....I was checking a blisterpack and saw a red and white pill where I was expecting a blue one due to the accompanying paperwork. I asked the tech who told me that the paperwork stating that the dose had changed to the blue one was wrong. I thought it odd, so I called the doctor to make sure of the dose. Turns out the dose had changed and it WAS the blue one. I fixed it up and sent it out.

Fast forward 3 days. I am at a completely different pharmacy in no way affiliated with the other one. A transfer comes in. That is where a client decides to change pharmacy. I begin to enter the prescriptions onto the computer when I realize that it is the same person whose blisterpack I just fixed at the other store. There was an accompanying note from the person's caregiver stating that a new blisterpack would not be needed for 3 weeks as she had enough for that long.

I thought this odd, since I had only sent out 1 pack for 1 week with the new dose. The other 2 weeks that they had would still have the old dose. My technician called the caregiver and asked them to check and sure enough, the old packs had the wrong (old) dose.

If I hadn't have happened to be working those 2 stores on those 2 particular days, this would not have been caught and the woman would have been taking the wrong dose.

I am going to have to find my cape and tights to wear as I zoom about the city righting wrongs as Super-Pharmacist!

Raven agrees.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fingernail Friday

Ta Da!

That is all.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Christmas One!

The first of 2 knitted Christmas presents is done. Well, almost. Except for the finding of a button.

The cowl or reallys short scarf, as my hubbunny says, for a male so I want a nice manly button.

There was no pattern, I just kinda "wung it".

I cast on 36 in some superwash DK wool I had kicking around in stash. Sorry the ballband disappeared. Then I did 6 rows of seed stitch and then knit in stamen stitch until the thing went around the hubby's neck with a bit of overlap. About 18 inches all told. I did more seed stitch and put a button hole in the one end.

What is stamen stitch? Here:

row 1: knit

row 2: k1 slip 1 purlwise till 2 from the end, k2

row 3: knit

row 4: k2, then sl1 k1 till end

Pretty easy. Which is what I wanted. Here is a picture of the contrast between the 2 stitches I used.

It's not in your face different. It adds some texture, I thought.

So now, I just have to find a nice big manly button.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Another Reason I Don't like DST

Is that there is no light in the evenings to take pictures! And I may love all y'all, but I am not getting up earlier than I have to to take a damn picture. Anyway, onto the craptastic pic.

I have made some headway on the Black Tomato. It is my work knitting, so I don't get as much time in on it as I might hope.

I have done the waist decreases and am now doing the increases. Homestretch. Kinda.

In other news, I have found that it doesn't take much to set up a habit. For the last week or so, I was eating a mini halloween candy or two after dinner. Now that the candy is gone (I handed it out, I didn 't eat it all) I find myself wanting sweets after dinner. Not my usual thing at all.

Just another bad habit to break. What a pain.


Monday, November 03, 2008


Yesterday I showed you the food I whipped up in the kitchen. Today, a reason why I don't do that very often.


And after:

I had even been doing a little clean up as I went along. Otherwise it would have been worse.I also had a little mishap during the height of the cooking. The thingie fell off the fume hood.

That thing actually goes over this:

Yes, "thingie" is the technical term. For me anyway.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Adventures In Cooking..or...My Attempt at a 3 Course Meal

The menu plan for tonight was as follows:

First course: Cream of Broccoli Soup
Second Course: Saltimbocca
Third course: Cake

I started out well. I chopped up the celery & onion and sauteed them.
Then I added the broccoli and let it soften.
I pureed it and added the thickened milk. Voila! Cream of broccoli soup.

It was pretty good. Next time more creamy and less broccoli, I think.

Next, the saltimbocca. I pinned the prosciutto to the veal scallop with a toothpick

I fast fried the veal in a dollop of olive oil with a bit of butter. Then I deglazed the pan with some wine and another bit of butter for the sauce. Finished saltimbocca!

( I took the picture after I ate a piece!) This too was good. This recipe needs no adjustment!

Last was the cake. I figured I needed an easy one, after all the fancy cooking. So I thought I'd try a dump cake for the first time.

For some reason, the cake mix on top did not absorb the liquid. So it was still very floury. not yummy. That was a dismal failure and got thrown out.

Ah well, 3 new recipes and only one was a failure. Overall, I'd say that's a pretty good score!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Catnip High

A couple of days ago I promised some pictures of the kittehs high on the catnip.
First up on the 'nip parade, Micha:

Then Pagan having a grand old time:And lastly, Raven. He was a tad more destructive, as you can see from the bits of fluff he ripped off the catnip ball.That concludes our catnip high post!