Sunday, January 11, 2009

I've moved this blog over HERE

Lock, stock and barrel.
Wordpress lets me see my photos, just like blogger used to. Blogger has gone all wonky on me, I opened chloeknitsii and had the very same problems.

So please, join me over at

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm moderating comments now

Too many viagra invites and then the altogether inappropriate comments from complete and total strangers hawking..well enhancers, for want of a better word. I get tired of wading thru the filth, so I'm just moderating all comments. Nothing personal.

So in an attempt to at least get outside..not that it will help

I'm off to Miner's for some gardening "stuff". I have a little weeding to do. (Little as in about 15 minutes worth. I need some gloves. There's some wood around back that needs to be tossed. I need a Hudson sprayer. And for my prize (getting out of the house), I'm renting Brothers and Sisters, which I never saw, since it comes on too late.

I have some bulbs which need to be moved and some seeds I need to sow (always). I have some cinderblocks up against the back fence that I'm thinking of putting tomatoes in. Passive heat, since it is cool up here on the hill and there really isn't that long of a growing season. I think planting inside the cinderblocks will give me a couple of degrees and the fence will give the a place to grow. I'm thinking of little Romas, cherrys and ladybug tomatoes. Maybe some heirlooms in different colors and some onions. And maybe bok choy. And fennel up in the corner by the electric meter. It sounds like a LOT but it isn't.

All I need to do is get through this one day.

Just until midnight.

I thought maybe I had missed this altogether

I have a hard time with depression but for the last several years, I've managed to dodge the bullet. Not this week.
I tried eating right, regular bedtimes, positive thinking....exercise...everything that usually takes the dreaded black edge off.

Mind you, I've done okay for several years. When the black dog comes trotting to my door, I don;t mark it on my calendar, so I think it's been a couple of years. Maybe even three. (If you don't count when my inmates wanted to kill me. That wasn;t depression, that was reality.)

So I tried what usually works; got my nails done. Got my toes done. Had my hair cut.
Cried there and back.

I might be reading the paper too much.I KNOW I'm reading the paper too much.

All there is is gloom and doom and layoffs and furloughs. (I got my furlough letter. I get to choose two days a month for my unpaid days off. Not the best but I still have my job.) My job is offering golden handshakes to get people to retire early--and I'm thinking GREAT! Retire and let me inch closer to the top. I'm planning another five years. After that, I don't know.

Real Estate--which is what we are mainly invested in--is flatlined right now. At the least, all the units are occupied. I'd like to see the house we live in right now and move up to the hotel EVEN WITHOUT HEAT. But that doesn't look like it is going to happen. Maybe in two years.

Then there is the total slowdown in building. Usually at this time of year, we are booked way into November. Not this year. We have a few jobs, so we are busy, just not crazy busy.

And then the jail is laying off and even though Lisi can't see it, I can see that she is on the short list. They are giving her too much overtime for them to be fully staffed but she isn;t permanent yet. So I worry about that, too.

So I'm one depressed, unhappy, up-all-night, can't-sleep-but-boy-can-I-cry mess.

I think I'll go pull some weeds and cry.

Since I'm going to cry, I might as well be busy.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Visiting with Keri and family

I'll post more photos later; I want to get the journaling done before I forget this whole trip!
Ben stayed at Judy's and cooked and watched Mom, so Judy could have some time off. It is obvious to us (8 years of tending to her counts for something) that Judy is either going to have to PAY someone to come in so she can go out (Eli and Seth are not reliable enough to hold down jobs, much less show up to watch Mom. It's not for nothing that we call them "those people"). Mom is as helpless as an infant and the inute she is left alone, she will try to climb up on a chair on a table. That is just the way she is wired. Stubborn as a hog on ice AND she needs to be the center of attention.

Anyway, after spending Christmas brunch with the bunch, we packed up and left before Judy had a break nervousdown. I did give her a very nice (HUGE) basket with wine and nuts and candies from Avila's Acres, which is my gift of choice. Ben rescued brunch (he can do wonders in the kitchen) and I set the island out, just like I was catering a buffet. (Judy had lots of good stuff in her big ass walk in pantry.) Probably more stuff than she even knew she had. I will give her props--she just moved and there are 400 boxes in the garage, so the house was not ready for company and since I haven't been to visit in ten years, I am not only company, I'm a stranger.

So it is Christmas Day and we are in a hotel in Salt Lake City. Nothing is on television. It is snowing like crazy and we've been driving for days, so we don't want to drive to Trolley Square
although we did go downtown to see the lights at Temple Square. Downtown Salt Lake is always pretty but even it looks like every other city in the world now. I guess malls do that. On the one hand, it's nice to know what Denny's is serving; on the other hand, it would be nice to take a chance on some regional cooking. Needless to say, Denny's was what was open. I can go for the rest of my life without eating there ever again.

We drove up to Layton the next day to meet up with Keri and her family. Staying in hotels is getting old, mainly because there is NOTHING TO DO. I can knit or read or watch tv. There is even less for Mike to do. No wonder the hotels have pools and fitness centers, because otherwise, we would go crazy. This hotel has a 24 hour mini-mart in the lobby---junk food and fruits, too, so there is a choice, which was nice.
This is one of the first trips we've taken where I've been really careful about what we eat---no junk on the road. I packed fruit and yogurt and juices and funny thing, we feel better.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

More about my road trip to Utah

It was snowy-ola on Christmas morning. We drove up to Salt Lake IN a blizzard to Judy's new house (they've been in for a week, so no photos of the 400 hundpacked boxes). She is living in a nature preserve, so the back yards all back out onto a large meadow where there are ducks, geese, deer and I'm not sure what all living, since it was all buried in about six feet of snow. If I lived there, I'd be on the deck or the patio all the time.
However,they don't plow the streets, so I was more than a little worried about sliding off and ending upside down in a ditch (didn't happen). Could have. Once we got there, though, there had been a huge power outage and there was no electricity, so Judy was beside herself.

We managed to get a fire started and Mom wrapped up so she wasn't cold.
Josh and his girls came over (along with his wife...I didn't get a picture of her but she is blond, tall, young and skinny. I sure she is perfectly nice. Josh couldn;t get over how much I look like his mother (we aren;t a really close family. I think I saw Josh 10 years ago on my last trip to Utah. If my mother wasn't living here, I would have no reason to be sitting in this house.)

Seth was there.
He certainly has no sense of humor. None.
Must take after his father's side of the family.
He is crazy, too. Like Ben, only worse. Ben got help and graduated from high school. Seth managed to impregnate half dozen girls when he was good looking, young and unemployed. Now he is just unemployed.

Joe was at work.
Eli continues his boycott of all things Gene. I guess that is working for him.

Ben got a cook book, fixed brunch and decided to stay at Judy's for a few days to vist with Mom. Judy and Mom and I have a rocky relationship at best, so a few hours with me is MORE than enough for the three of us.

He cooked the entire time he was there and Judy just raved about his skills in the kitchen. I'm no cook but Judy cannot throw down at all. Her boys did not starve but that is about it.

Ben, however, can cook.

And by the by...I bet you didn't know that Ireland has the highest rate of schiophrenia IN THE WORLD.

I'm not any better off over at CholeknitsII so I'm still here

I may try wordpress when this totally breaks down. I can't post photos and see them to move them around; all I can see is code. But over at 2, I get the same thing, so I guess it is a new thing in bloggerland.

At any rate, here I am again and here I'm staying. I did change my header. Notice?

I'm trying to do more knitting this year. My one and only goal. Well, that and pay off my credit cards (8 out of ten this week) and what a story THAT was.

First I try to pay off all the cards onlline...nope. Evidently, online is only if you DON'T want to pay the account off. I have to call a super duper top secret number, where i get one of the rude minions, who wants to know my name, first and last. I tell him and he procedes to call me by my first name. HOLD IT RIGHT HERE. "I'd prefer it if you would call me MRS I'm Paying off my Card, if you don't mind." He promptly transfers me to a woman. She has no problem calling me MIPOMC and waiving the phone fee to do so.

And why could I not pay it online? It is set up to NOT allow you to pay it off online. This is a money making business, you understand.

And all this time, I thought Visa was my friend.

I have a little balance on Amazon and an every present balance on my gas card and then I'm free. Good feeling. Of course, this didn't magically HAPPEN. I've been working on this for an entire year. That would be an entire year of going to the lilbrary. Skipping Starbucks. Skipping the mall. Cooking and cleaning for my own self. (Ok. That was plain punishment for everyone concerned.)

My next budget cutting plan? My own yardwork. I know. I hate it. But since I am obviously the only one i can count on to do it and it is a nice way to unwind at the end of a very long, felon intense day, it will be good for me.

Plus you can take the girl off the farm but you can never take the farm out of the girl. I'd like to get my garden into sale-able shape. The bones are there and we're going to e here for three more years before the economy perks back up.

So expect so interesting only to me garden shots as I make something wonderful out of my little corner of the world here. It is the perfect spot and I have a koi pond filled with great water for irrigation. I just need to get on the garden train every day and go for it. Simple design. Beautiful produce and above all, the illusion that it take only minutes to achieve.

I can do that.
I've been doing that my whole life.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009

This took me totally by surprise (December 23)


I lived here for ten years. This kind of weather should have come as no big surprise to be...but it did. This is the night we drove into Payson..December 23, right around 4 pm. I'm a couple of blocks from the little house I used to live in and in a little bit, we're going over to Pat's house to visit for a while and then crash out at the hotel. All of this traveling has just knocked me out.

This is what it looked like when we parked the CAR outside the hotel. You can barely see the hotel!

December 24
We are going to Homestead to go diving at the Crater. When I was at BYU, my sorority used to come here for the weekend. There was llittle of nothing to do--cross country ski, snowshoe, go horseback riding. There was a big hot springs pool and the food was great, but there were no televisons, no radios, no telephones. These are stock photos from the Homestead website. It was SO COLD that it looked like we were walking into the gates of Hell. The water is 96 degrees and the outside air was around 15 degrees. If you ever are in the Provo area, I highly reccomend going up Provo Canyon and spending some time at Homestead. It is wonderful; close to Heber, which has lots of neat shops and activities and you can take the highway around the mountain and circle back towards Salt Lake and drop down into Park City and Emmigration Canyon on your way into town.

After we got home from diving, Pat came and got be so we could juke around. Payson is a lot bigger than it used to be--it even has a Walmart! There's a Subway and a McDonald's but that's about it for fast food. we stopped at a drive up liquor store and got cokes, drove around and gossiped. Drove out to Wilsonville, past Big I's place and Up Yours, over to Angee's...who RAISES ELK! Like a whole herd of them! Is that crazy or what? And Angee looks like Miss America (even after three boys). She lives in one of those big family-cenric houses where there is only one tv, where she can keep an eye on it. The boys are polite and like to hunt. They have snake skins and other critters they've hunted down in their bedrooms (which were tidy and clean). Angee is exactly the way she was when she was 10 and just as sweet. Love her and her mom to bits. I've know them...since 1975 and probably talk to them once a week and email almost every day...usually over nothing; just to keep in touch.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

On the road to Utah December 23

It is o'dark thirty because we get up before the sun comes up. We don't even need an alarm clock. So here we are, about an hour outside of Vegas, thinking about breakfast.

See how much knitting I did? I'm going to fiddle with a couple of ideas I've been thinking about (this is a pattern I've been using for the last 25 years). I want to see if I can add a sideways ribbing, instead of picking up stitches later. So here is where I'm going to make my new little changes. I have about six hours of dry road to fiddle with,

Is this gorgeous or WHAT? This is the Virgin River Gorge, outside of St. George, Utah. It used to be the bottom of the ocean, so what you are seeing are layers of sedimentary rock, which used to be sand and silt. This is the same part of the world where you can find dinosaur tracks

The ground around here and down south into Arizona (Bryce Canyon, Zion and Grand Canyon) is the most beautiful colors of red and pink and peach. Couple that with the forest greens and weathered greys of the sun-bleached is really beautiful.

Outside Cedar City...
Uncle Howie lives here.
Look! some snow!
I heard on the news that there is a big storm headed towards Seattle. I'm hoping that we get a little snow on this trip. But right now, just a little up on the landscape is more than enough for me. We brought chains and I had the car prepped for super cold temps, but I don't even own a warm winter coat. I forgot my Dux boots, but I figure that they have stores even in Utah.

Parowan, Utah
My friend Karen lives here

My old room mate from college, Carolina, lives here. She has eight kids. I think her husband is some kind of a farmer.

Yet another friend from college, Fawn Hunter, lives here.

The roads are dry but we saw deer! (You take the road thru Scipio thru Orderville to Kanab and Tuba City. I taught there for one summer when I was in college and really wanted to teach at the reservation school. For one, it would have canceled out my student loans (I also thought about teaching in Appalachia). But my mother did not send me to BYU to go teach a bunch of poor children. (And what have I been doing my entire career?) Anyway, I liked my time at the Navaho Nation, even though it was a boarding school and there was an immense amount of grinding poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and very young mothers. Knowing what I know now, I'd be a better teacher NOW. Then? I had a sack on my head. I was a do-gooder. Sincere, but without a clue.

11:30 am
Nephi, Utah
It is just now starting to actually snow. Big fluffy soft dry powdery flakes and just at the end of town. I used to work in Payson (about 45 minutes from here). Before I-15 was put in, Nephi had the only stoplight between Orem and, well, Nephi. I was driving to work one day in a terrible snow storm and I missed my exit and didn;t notice it until I stopped at the light in Nephi. I had to find a payphone (long before cellphones) and call in to let Pat know I was going to be late.