22 April 2009

Sad Anniversaries

It will be my mother's birthday on the 24th, the second since she died. Somehow this anniversary makes me sadder than the anniversary of her death. In reaction to this, I find myself swamped in creativity or, maybe, in shopping to support creativity. I've been buying lace weight yarn like crazy. I bought three partial cones of Jaggerspun Zephyr and another three colors of cashmere-silk blend on eBay, four different colorways from Black Bunny Yarn, and two colorways of kettle-dyed yarn from Knit Picks. Then today I got a skein of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace for the 2009 Year of Lace Spring offering.

The funny thing is, I don't know why I'm suddenly accumulating lace weight yarn. It's not in honor of my mother. I never knit a lace shawl for my mother and she wouldn't have worn it if I had. She rarely wore sweaters or jackets or coats and a lace shawl just wasn't her style at all. An afghan would have suited her, but I'm just now starting to think about knitting afghans, mostly for the new house.

There's some miscellaneous news. We're having a heat wave here. It's been in the '90s, which is unusual in April. Today we're having a lot of convective activity and there's an actual thunderstorm just north of us that has really dropped the temperature. I doubt if we'll see any precipitation, though.

Gordo went to the vet last week and he weighs 75 lbs now. He'll be one year old on May Day. He's doing very well, although he has trouble sleeping in the warm evenings. We've started leaving the slider in the bedroom open and he's doing better. His crate is right by the door and the cool air washes over him, making him more comfortable. He also seems to be eating a little better. I think he's not wild about the lamb and rice kibble, so I'm going to look for a different brand next time. Maybe I'll pick up a small bag of Canidae. My previous pair of collies liked it very much, so I can hope Gordo will, too, and that it won't make him itch.

Some time ago I got a new vacuum cleaner, a Eureka, that claims to pick up dog hair. It does and I'm really pleased. I hadn't realized how much hair Gordo had shed in the bedroom (or how much we'd tracked in) until I saw it whirling around in the vacuum cup. His hair is pretty much invisible on the silver plush, which helped conceal the quantity. The vacuum can also be used on hard floors, having a switch to turn the beater brushes off, which is really nice. My halls and bathrooms are tiled and regular vacuums just spread stuff around on them, rather than sucking it up. This vacuum came from Overstock.com and was quite reasonably priced. I looked at Dysans but couldn't find one with the hard-floor option and thought they were kind of expensive. I've had Eurekas before and liked them, so that's what I got.

At the same time I also picked up a Bissell carpet cleaner from Overstock.com. It's refurbished and has a minimal complement of accessories, but I'ver never found that I use the accessories. I probably should, now that I actually think about it, since the chair I regularly sit in is a bit grubby and could stand to have the arms cleaned, at the very least. We have the carpet cleaners come in about once a year and do everything, but with a dog it's nice to be able to tackle spots when they appear, without doing the entire house. All of my dogs have been very good about not making organic messes, being well-trained, but I swear that they would sometimes clench an entire pawful of mud to track onto the carpet on rainy days. Add in my propensity to spill Caffeine-Free Diet Coke and spot-cleaning gets important.

The third thing in my order was a pressure cooker. I've never had one, but my mom loved hers. She was a working woman for as long as I can remember and the pressure cooker let her put dinner on the table in no time. I'm more interested in keeping the kitchen cool during the summer. I'm trying to add some balance and variety to my diet and I know I'm more likely to eat food I've prepared. For example, I despise cooked bell peppers, yet a lot of companies sneak them into frozen meals, where they taint the entire dish. This is particularly true of baked pasta dishes and Mexican foods, like enchiladas. I also think the pressure cooker will let me cook smaller quantities. There's really no reason to make two big pans of cheese enchiladas or lasagna just because you're going to all that work anyway. The cooker is also touted as making excellent rice and, with special pans, steamed desserts. I'll let you know how this works out.


jeffrey said...

You can use anything that doesn't have bleach in it. Ammonia takes cleans and takes out odors very well and the ammonia smell is gone when the carpet dries. Carpet Cleaners

Mary the Digital Knitter said...

Thank you for that information. As I said in the posting, I only do spot cleaning between the professional cleanings. As a result, the solution that comes with the cleaner lasts forever. When the time comes, I'll give the ammonia a try.