Saturday, 26 January 2008


It's finished. (Well, almost - I still have to weave in the ends). Here are a few pictures of the blanket with edgings all in place.

It is smaller than had hoped, but works as a blanket for one person and has already been used for TV viewing, so I guess it will serve us well.

The cats of course are all over it! (But anything soft on a horizontal surface is fine with them, no matter what it looks like.)

Fight Club

I know the first rule of Fight Club, but I find it interesting when couples who have been together a long time have a fight (as happened between spousal unit D and me quite recently). Because we've heard these same old saws over and over, there is a tendency not to hear what the other person is saying. (We think we know what the other is saying and we think we know what the other will do.) I think I was wrong on both counts.

In our most recent incarnation of the "Surely you are not going to do that.", "Yes I am." ritual, I found myself both incredulous and divested from the argument and yet the fact that I had felt so incredulous and thus must have seemed very dismissive to my husband bothered me so much that I could not sleep last night. (I was the "Surely you are not going to do that" side of the production and have to confess I was truly bewildered when first confronted with the activity my husband proposed for today This meant I did not behave sympathetically, because I simply couldn't believe we were having a serious discussion - until I suddenly realized we were. At that point I was in way over my head and there was no turning back.)

The activity was simply making a trip to a store 90 miles away that has grocery items that cater to people with a particular dietary health problem from which my husband suffers. I mention this because as I was writing this and trying to remain abstract about the activity, the wording made it sound like my husband might be transporting to higher spheres, involved in pursuit of some pornographic pulp material or off indulging an excessive midlife crisis fetish. NONE of that is the case.)

As is usually the pattern, over night I changed my mind about where I stood on the issue. This infuriates my husband even more than my taking the wrong side of the argument. He finds it inauthentic that the next day I will accede and adopt the opposing position. Somehow I always manage to hoist myself on the petard of emotion and the fact that emotion is not logic. My emotions say that the action in question is dubious and this is motivated by logical reasons (none of which are really important here). What is significant, is that I realize that no matter how irrational I find the proposition, it is not out of line with what a reasonable person would do and it is my own disbelief that is actually out of proportion. Secondly the action does not involve harm or loss to anyone except possibly the person inclined to undertake it and certainly involves no harm to me emotionally or financially. Thirdly, it is something that seems to give my husband pleasure, so I am a fool to enter into a discussion about it in the first place. If he wants to do this and it makes him happy, then it really shouldn't concern me and I don't know why I let it do so. So now I feel stupid for having gotten emotionally involved. I feel stupid for having let it disturb my sleep and I look stupid for having once again reversed my position (even though it is (in my opinion) the right thing to have done. Spousal unit D is not going to take his trip, nobody is happy, and no matter how hard I try, I am sure that at some point I will stupidly repeat the pattern with some minor variation.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Art Car Found

Hi, all the Skull mobile has been found. Thanks for keeping your eyes open.

What goes on at this house?

I chose these two images separately, but then realized one could make quite a story by putting them together.

What sinister acts occur in this kitchen, she wondered out loud?

This doesn't look good at all, but really it is the reason I don't like to cook too many things with beets.

The cat doesn't really care one way or the other, unless there is fish involved - (and she is (lest anyone be concerned) still alive and well and acting indifferent, the way cats do.)

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Stolen Art car and Progress Report - Afghan

I know my blogging has been exceedingly boring of late. Classes have started again, so most of my time has been going toward trying to pretend that I am organized and unassailable. Of course I don't fool anybody, but it is the game we play. I pretend to be impressive and students pretend to be impressed. So anyway - I thought I would just put up more pictures of the afghan I have been working on with its new border on one side. Here it is before the border:

And here is a lesser quality shot of the border on two edges:

Oh, and I just got word that an art car was stolen in Minneapolis - It had skeletons sticking out their tongues on it. Please pass the word on to others (it may be ditched in south minneapolis??- according to the owner.)
if you see it please Call SOozin 612 -824-2355 then call the police... 3rd precint ???

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

What I'm Working On

Callie (the Cat) and I have been very busy working on our latest project.

It turned out narrower than I had hoped, so now I am adding a border. (You can see the border I've added thus far along the top edge. I'll put narrower strips on the sides and a matching strip along the bottom (directions refer to the photo - the sides in the photo are actually the top and bottom of the piece.))

(It looks like it is still going to be a bit narrow, so I may have to add an edging too!) It's about 70 inches long and I'm not sure how wide (maybe 36" ?) It will do for the couch (the goal I had in mind) but will be narrower than the beds so can not serve as a blanket in times of need.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Clay Play

What I've been playing with lately:

Here is an electrical outlet cover I made with sculpey (hmmm.,,,Wonder if it might catch fire!)

And this one is supposed to be a gift:

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Thought For Food

I'm always behind on everything. I started Atkins after the world decided it was unhealthy and ineffective. I am also a bit over-weight even though I try to eat healthy and in moderation. Now I think I know why.

While we were driving back to Minnesota I heard a very interesting interview on the radio with Berkeley Professor Michael Pollan, who has written a new book called In Defense of Food. He also wrote the Omnivore's Dilemma. Unfortunately we had to stop to fuel up somewhere in the midst of the program, but after googling around a bit I found this old article from the New York Times (from a whole year ago)

Here are a few very interesting snippets from Pollan's article titled "Unhappy Meals"

"From Complexity to Simplicity. If there is one word that covers nearly all the changes industrialization has made to the food chain, it would be simplification. Chemical fertilizers simplify the chemistry of the soil, which in turn appears to simplify the chemistry of the food grown in that soil. Since the widespread adoption of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in the 1950s, the nutritional quality of produce in America has, according to U.S.D.A. figures, declined significantly. Some researchers blame the quality of the soil for the decline; others cite the tendency of modern plant breeding to select for industrial qualities like yield rather than nutritional quality. Whichever it is, the trend toward simplification of our food continues on up the chain. Processing foods depletes them of many nutrients..."

"Put in the simplest terms, we’re eating a lot more seeds and a lot fewer leaves, a tectonic dietary shift the full implications of which we are just beginning to glimpse. If I may borrow the nutritionist’s reductionist vocabulary for a moment, there are a host of critical micronutrients that are harder to get from a diet of refined seeds than from a diet of leaves. There are the antioxidants and all the other newly discovered phytochemicals (remember that sprig of thyme?); there is the fiber, and then there are the healthy omega-3 fats found in leafy green plants, which may turn out to be most important benefit of all."

"As we’ve shifted from leaves to seeds, the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in our bodies has shifted, too. At the same time, modern food-production practices have further diminished the omega-3s in our diet. Omega-3s, being less stable than omega-6s, spoil more readily, so we have selected for plants that produce fewer of them; further, when we partly hydrogenate oils to render them more stable, omega-3s are eliminated. Industrial meat, raised on seeds rather than leaves, has fewer omega-3s and more omega-6s than preindustrial meat used to have. And official dietary advice since the 1970s has promoted the consumption of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, most of which are high in omega-6s (corn and soy, especially). Thus, without realizing what we were doing, we significantly altered the ratio of these two essential fats in our diets and bodies, with the result that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the typical American today stands at more than 10 to 1; before the widespread introduction of seed oils at the turn of the last century, it was closer to 1 to 1."

"The role of these lipids is not completely understood, but many researchers say that these historically low levels of omega-3 (or, conversely, high levels of omega-6) bear responsibility for many of the chronic diseases associated with the Western diet, especially heart disease and diabetes. (Some researchers implicate omega-3 deficiency in rising rates of depression and learning disabilities as well.) To remedy this deficiency, nutritionism classically argues for taking omega-3 supplements or fortifying food products, but because of the complex, competitive relationship between omega-3 and omega-6, adding more omega-3s to the diet may not do much good unless you also reduce your intake of omega-6."

He makes 9 suggestions for better eating, one of which is eat like your great, great grandmother. Thank goodness they made cookies back then! I guess I had better aim for oatmeal raisin!

Jan 28 2007 New York Times article by Michael Pollan

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

More Holiday Photos

Here are a few more photos from the holiday. The yule tree:

Grandma relaxes with a cold beverage.

Drycleaning aunt with a gift:

Rabbi Uncle Bob with his new toys.

The Gift that keeps on Giving

Yup! It was a tough holiday this year! We gave gifts and passed around another unwanted gift. The flu. It was a particularly nasty strain that like some kind of zomboid inducing gas started with ill-humor that developed into irrational rage and then weakness and lack of consciousness. We all had our moments - mine was when lunch was two hours later than I wanted and someone suggested going to Burger King. I exploded into a fury of rage and tears that someone would call that food. Then I got tired and crabby. As usuall I ruined the holiday for the family, but this year I wasn't alone. Here are a few pictures from the celebration.

Here are Reggie and Violet opening gifts.

This is me - the only way I could get a picture of myself.

Min before she got sick.

Holidays are nasty, brutish and thank goodness, short.