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Showing posts from October, 2012

October 31 - Whatever you please

My granddaughter cuddling her favorite doll.

And … she's outta here

Sandy came, hung out with us for a bit and went on her way. It was, um, disconcerting to have snow so early in the year, but at least we don't have the devastation and destruction she dropped on other parts of the northeast. West Virginia is served by two different power companies. The one who takes care of our electrical needs still has nearly 100,000 customers to get back up and running.

New Jersey. New York. Oh, my, how hard it must be to try to put all that back together. My heart hurts for you.

Since yesterday was a snow day here, I spent it doing nothing I normally would do. I went back to bed after having been up for a couple of hours and slept until 10:30 a.m. (Partly because I was having dizzy spells; it just seemed safer to remain in a prone position.) I was fine when I woke up again, so I got to work on more party favors. (I didn't even make dinner. We snacked.)

I'm nearly done with the goodie bags. I quit last night at 7:30, and have just two projects remaining…

October 30 - Clothes

Winners … and winter

It ended up that there were multiple comments, but suggestions for favors came from three readers, so I'm going to send each of you – Jen, Denise and Winnie – a goodie bag. Congratulations! Send your mailing addresses to me at: shrinkingknitter AT gmail DOT com.

I'll try to get them in the mail so you'll have them by Election Night, but no promises. I still have a lot of work to do on them.

I woke up really early, wide awake, and turned the television on to see the utter devastation in New York. I then texted REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. It's not much, but if we all do it … well, it could make a big difference. I can't quite believe the pictures I'm seeing. I'd compare it to one of those disaster movies, but I've never seen one so I'm not sure which title would fit best.

So far we have less than two inches of crunchy snow here in the Middle of Nowhere. My dog Hershey very delicately tiptoed outside an hour o…

October 29 - Moon


Y'all must throw some pretty cool parties! Thanks for all the suggestions for favors in yesterday's comments. Keep 'em coming!

If you're a new reader, feel free to jump in. I'm looking for election-night party ideas that are small enough to fit in a lunch bag and that I can make myself. (Yes, Denise, with what I have on hand.) If you leave a comment by 6 p.m. EDT today, you'll be entered in a random drawing to win one of the swag bags I'm giving away at the party.

I actually did have blue mardi gras beads on my shopping list, Jen, but haven't found them in quantity. I've found them online, but it's too late to get them shipped on time without spending an arm and a leg. And you know what? I don't have an extra arm or leg right now.

What I do have is a trip to North Carolina, beginning Wednesday and returning Saturday. I'll be in the Triangle area. AND I have some non-family time to myself on Thursday, when everyone will be at work or scho…

October 28 - Looking back

How about a favor?

It just occurred to me that when I asked for suggestions for party favors, and offered a goodie bag to a random winner, I didn't put an end date on my request.

So let's make it Monday evening at 6 p.m. If you can think of any DIY ideas for election-night party favors that will fit in a lunch-sized bag, please let me know in a comment. Winnie came up with some great ideas, thanks so much! I picked up some supplies yesterday, but there's still quite a bit of room in the bag.

Each commenter between yesterday and Monday at 6 will be entered into a random number generator and the winner will get a goodie bag.

Get your election thinking caps on, gang. Ready? Set? GO!

Oh, what a night


I started out yesterday in the garden. Remember the garden? Yes, it's still out there, and yes, it still needs attention. Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy might prevent me from doing the final stuff I should have been doing all month.

(Elections are hard work. If I starve next year because my garden isn't producing I'll blame it on President Obama. NOT!)

Anyway, with the predicted Frankenstorm predicted to dump several inches of snow here tomorrow, I thought it best to get some garlic in the ground. I planted 30 cloves, 20 hardneck and 10 softneck. That's less than last year, but should be enough. I might not have any to share, though.

I came in from that chore, got all spiffed up and headed for the state capitol and my first Jefferson-Jackson dinner. Which was SO MUCH FUN.

Here's the thing about living in a small state. We only have three Congressional districts. Mine is the only district held by a Democrat. Congressman Nick Joe Rahall is very visible when he…

October 27 - Morning

Here she comes

So Sandy (I'm assuming Sandy is a girl name, although I worked for a man named Sandy for many years once upon a time), a tropical storm of which I knew nothing until Thursday, is scheduled to drop a lot of precipitation over the northeast next week. We will get an outer band of it, beginning this weekend. Probably. One never knows with the weather.

If temperatures remain moderate, we will get rain and more rain. But it could be snowing by Halloween.

At least today will be temperate. My husband and I are headed to the state capitol for the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, the Democratic party's annual fund-raising event. We've never been to one before, but since our county Democratic Executive Committee picked me as their Democrat of the Year, well, we're excited to be going. More hobnobbing with politicians! Who doesn't want to do that 10 days before a major election?
President Obama spoke at the West Virginia J-J Dinner when he was still a Senator. Our friends who went pre…

October 26 - Listening to

The funniest thing I've seen on Facebook in a LONG TIME

I REALLY needed this laugh:

Not sure what this is all about? You haven't been to enough wedding receptions. Heh. Watch. Smile. DANCE!

October 25 - People

I. Just. Wish. It. Was. Over.

Really, I do. I want to wake up and see that it's November 7 and President Obama has been re-elected and Congress is back in the hands of the Democrats so we can really and truly get some things done.

Normally I don't think all three branches of our legislature should be in the same hands. It's all part of the checks-and-balances that keep one party from running the other one into the ground. I think the past four years have proven that one party can still run the other one into the ground, even when two branches are in one party's control.

The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives famously announced in 2010 that his goal was to make President Obama a one-term president. In order to do that, he had to make sure nothing got through Congress that would make the President look good or effective. It's infuriating and wrong-headed and bad for America.

In my not-so-humble opinion. Apologies if you disagree.

I'm 61. I've NEVER seen a Congress so determi…

October 24 - Weather

Workin' for a President

Today is a work-in-Democratic-headquarters day for me. I'll be making campaign buttons, a project our women's group has taken on again, since the Obama campaign hasn't spent any money in West Virginia.

(Not blaming him at all … we're famous for voting against our own interests, and West Virginia's five Electoral College votes will most certainly go for Romney. Maybe.)

The second weekend of Railroad Days is this Saturday and Sunday, and a couple people are brave enough to walk through the crowds wearing button-covered aprons, selling our creations.

There are some rude Republicans out there.

One offered to pee on the apron. Another told the apron-wearer to get back in the kitchen where she belonged. (She told him she'd go cook up an Obama victory.)

If I get all the buttons assembled, there are plenty of phone calls to make, a job I truly don't like doing but I will. Especially after reading this open letter from John Franklin Stephens. I saw the tweet in que…

October 23 - The view from here

Short and sweet today

Thanks for your comments yesterday.

Diandra, who lives in Germany, nailed it when she said Republicans base their strategy on fear. I simply refuse to live in my life as a cautionary tale. To some, I may appear a bit reckless. And there are certainly times and situations where I've learned it's best to keep my pinko-Commie-liberal thoughts to myself.

Like yesterday, for example.

I was in a checkout line, sporting an Obama-Biden button on my jacket, when the young man ringing up my purchase said he had an Obama poster on his living room wall.

Silly me, I took that as an invitation to talk politics. Before I could respond, he said, "But I'm sure not voting for him this year. In fact I'm not voting for anyone."

He went on to say (paraphrasing here), "Here's what I think we should do. Once a year, every American should cast a vote for the politician they'd like to have assassinated. Eventually the politicians would figure out that if they started doin…

October 22 - In your town

Two questions

If you are voting Republican, why are you doing so?

If you are a WOMAN and voting Republican, why are you doing so?

My basic premise, of course, is that women, especially, should think twice before choosing Romney/Ryan, and that men who love/like/admire/know women should want to make the best choice for women.

I'm not asking these questions to be snarky or mean-spirited. I'm not trying to be holier-than-thou or even to imply that Republicans don't care about women. I'm sure there are some who do. It's unfortunate that so few of them have taken a stand, allowing the many to drown out the voices of the few.

I really want to know why someone voting Republican in this critical election thinks we'll be better off with a – I can barely type this – President Romney. (Excuse me while I go wash up.)

Okay, that was a little snarky. But it's my blog and I'll write what I want to.

I can't trust someone who waffles in his convictions, saying one thing to one gro…

October 21 - Calm

October 20 - 4:00

About coal

Winnie wondered how I felt about the candidates' debate regarding coal.

I don't think there's such a thing as "clean coal." On that, President Obama and I disagree.

I think ALL candidates who appear to support coal miners are really supporting coal company owners. It's the owners, after all, who make campaign contributions. It's the miners and their families who breathe the dirtiest air, drink the dirtiest water and suffer the most severe health problems due to the disregard of environmental protections.

And, of course, the disregard of safety protections results in loss of life and the complete shutdown of a mine.

The bottom line on coal is that its days are waning. Coal is not a renewable resource and it's getting more and more expensive to extract what's left. Coal mine owners know this and have publicly said it, as has former Senator Byrd (oh, how we miss him here in West Virginia) and current Senator Rockefeller.

There are far fewer coal mini…

October 19 - Letters

Yesterday's rant took it out of me

Today, this morning, facing this screen, I've got nothing.

I predict that will change if I just keep on typing.

My husband's son and his family will be here tomorrow. My plan yesterday was to spend the day cleaning and toddler-proofing the house and spend the evening at the Democratic women's meeting. That way I could make some treats and grocery-shop today.

You know what they say about plans.

I got a call at 9:30 from a plugged-in Democratic woman who'd just learned that Tish Chafin, a candidate for WV Supreme Court Justice, was on her way to our county, and could I show up here and take her there and introduce her to them and …

Turns out I didn't have to be the shepherd, thank goodness. I'm not so great at that. But I suited up, showed up and took a lot of photos, some of which are on Facebook. If you tag and post a photo of a politician, it will be seen by a lot of people.

I got home in time to fix a simple supper ('cause you know that's really impor…

October 18 - Made you smile today

Vote, damn it

The voter registration deadline has come and gone in West Virginia. If you didn't register, you can't vote, and don't come crying to me later when your government isn't doing what you want it to do.

If you are registered, don't throw that right away by staying home November 6. There are enough politicians and state legislatures out there already trying to take that right away. They don't need your help, they need you to oppose them.

Voting rights should be EXPANDED, not restricted, no matter your political persuasion. You think your vote doesn't count? There's really only one contest where it could be argued that it doesn't, and that's the Top Job, where the Supreme Court Electoral College determines the winner. (In the current political climate, I question what one wins.)

Every other candidate and issue on the ballot wins or loses because you made the effort to cast a ballot.

Yes, you.

As both of you know, I don't watch much television. I&#…

October 17 - Fruit

He's baaaaaack

No doubt about it, my President showed up for last night's second Presidential debate. I'm not sure who was standing in for him a couple weeks ago.

Watching it as part of a group was a lot of fun. I thought I'd miss having Facebook and Twitter in the palm of my hand, and I'll admit I did a teensy bit. But I didn't want to spend the evening with my head in a gadget. My screen time was spent watching the debate on television like everyone else, with occasional peeks at the phone. The internet connection wasn't great, and it was more frustrating than not to try to keep up. So I didn't.

Surely was a late night, though, much later than what I'm used to. My schedule is more like that of an infant or toddler – or an Amish. I'm up with the sun and the lights are out early. Like a toddler, I napped yesterday afternoon (instead of mowing). That was a helpful strategy for a long day.

Compared to the last campaign season, enthusiasm this year is way, way down.…

October 16 - Something you wrote

Nearly solved my e-mail problem permanently

You know, if you don't have your password written down or saved someplace, you could be cut off from e-mail for-freaking-ever!

Google notified me yesterday that someone from Peru tried to get into my account, and suggested I needed to change my password. So I did. But that messed up all the Google accounts on my phone and I had, oh, about five seconds of panic before I realized that not getting e-mail on my phone would really be a blessing.

Then, of course, I updated my password and all is well and connected in my little electronic universe.

Since I cleared out the inbox a couple days ago I've been spending 10 minutes twice a day keeping up with it. That's all it takes. I'm not sure why it's so hard to do that when I'm not at home. I'm taking a short trip in a couple weeks, and will try to schedule that itty bitty bit of screen time into my days away.

Hope to finish mowing today. I also have to plant some garlic before it's too late, and I have some pin…

October 15 - Dinnertime

My energy ran out half a yard too soon

So did West Virginia's, apparently. But I'm not talking about football.

Wow, what a miserable sports weekend this was. WVU plummeted from 4th to 17th in the AP poll after being blown out by Texas Tech. Amazingly we came in 13th in the first BCS rankings. The Yankees made it to the ALCS by the skin of their teeth, but have dropped the first two games and lost their shortstop my baseball boyfriend, Derek Jeter, who fractured an ankle. OUCH!

My NFL boyfriend plays tonight. His old team (the Colts) managed three field goals yesterday in their loss to the Jets. And he's not doing so great in Denver so far.

No, when I say "yard" I'm talking about mowing the "lawn," a term I use loosely to describe the field in which we live. The weather yesterday was lovely – warm, sunny and dry. After I raked three huge bags of leaves for the compost bin I used the string trimmer around the herb and landscape beds. Then I got on the mower and cut about half the grass, thi…

October 14 - Makes you laugh

I love this blog

I'm not sure how I found "If Beth had a blog." Sometimes when I have a little time on my hands I poke around in others' blog feeds, and I think that's how I started reading Beth's blog. She's a Presbyterian minister in McDowell County, WV. She's spirited and spiritual. Her writing flows and her ideas are original and forward-thinking. I'm glad I found her. I found this post is exceptionally thought-provoking. What do you think?

If Beth had a blog: BethRant6 - Let's End the Generational Wars

October 13 - Landscape

I don't need filters …

I just need to read my freakin' e-mail! Here's the funniest one I found when I plowed through them (finally!) yesterday.

And this is funny why, exactly? Because I telepathically invite the local deer to live in my woods and drink from my pond during hunting season. Hunters are supposed to request permission to hunt on private property, and that hasn't always happened. I've seen men dragging dead animals out of the woods a couple of times, and my husband saw a dead fawn near the pond several years ago. (Who would shoot a fawn!?!?!?!)

As a gardener, I know I shouldn't like deer. This year, especially, I should really, really, REALLY not like them, since they harvested the tomatoes before I had a chance to. But I think they're beautiful and graceful and still, now, 15+ years after I moved here, I run to the window when I catch a glimpse of them in the yard.

If I were gardening to feed myself for the year, I might have a different attitude. But I'm not a surviv…

October 12 - On the table

Plan B

My husband just woke up and said DO NOT FIX ANYTHING SPECIAL FOR DINNER.

He apparently thinks he's still 17. When he gets hungry at night he sometimes, um, overserves himself. Last night it was cheese. And peanut butter. And who knows what else is missing from the pantry.

At any rate, the menu suddenly got simpler, freeing up some time to make fairy wings. Oh, and I probably should pay some attention to the old inbox, which I didn't clean out the last time I wrote about it. It's worse now. Really, really worse:

That is all.

Must. Get. More. Creative.

I guess a close-up shot of canning rings taken with a smartphone isn't really very difficult to guess, is it? No matter, I loved the picture, and I love all the cool camera apps you can download nowadays. I still use my DSLR, but rarely, and only when I want to shoot from a distance. (Although some of the long shots I see on Instagram are pretty impressive.)

The Vice-Presidential debate has been analyzed, scrutinized, sliced and diced. Memes have been created and shared, polling continues and Martha Raddatz won, with Joe coming in a close second.

Best tweet of the night:

Fortune smiled on me yesterday, as I continued to make progress on my granddaughter's Halloween costume. When she asked if she could be Rosetta this year, the first thing I did was search for a pattern. Having last year's bride's dress and veil under my belt, I thought I could handle six yards of pink tulle.


Thankfully I gave myself more than one day to finish the project this year. I worked…

October 11 - Something close up


Now there's a once-in-a-lifetime day of the year for ya. Kinda makes me want to write checks. (NOT! I love online bill payment. I still don't love paying bills, but technology makes it a heckuva lot less painful and time-consuming.) And while I would love to be able to compose an entire post about today's date, I just don't have that kind of creativity in me. If I find anything clever out there, I'll link back to it later.

So. Moving on.

The man we said good-bye to yesterday is the first of my first cousins to die. He was 65, definitely not old (and the older I get, the younger 65 looks) in body or mind or spirit, but managed to develop a pretty awful form of cancer a couple years ago.

Most of the funerals I've attended have been for those much older than I. One recent exception stands out, but I didn't know her well. She was the wife of one of my husband's high-school classmates. I've been to funerals for my husband's teachers, his mother'…

October 10 - Emotion

Four years ago …

roadsides and bumpers were littered with campaign signs of all varieties. Navy blue McCain-Palin (remember them?) stickers were prominent, but not any more so than the Obama sunrise. It wasn't at all unusual to get passed on the highway by someone who either waved in delight or flipped you off, depending on the stickers adorning his or her vehicle. (Trucks sported McCain stickers, while Obama was more popular with the Subaru/Volvo/Prius set.)

Now? Not so much.

I still have three signs to put out (yes, I'm one of those). Obama was the first one up, followed by Chafin (a woman running for Supreme Court) and Wheeler (the former sheriff who, after an eight-year run, sat out a term, per county regulations, and is running again). Who's left? Jeffry Pritt, running for House of Delegates; Nick Rahall, who will most certainly be re-elected to Congress, and … are you ready? … I have a Byrd for Senate sign, which I'm not going to put too close to the road.

Yesterday as I traveled…

Just can't get enough red ...