Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowed in

Okay. We had about 8 days of straight snow. Sure, there were breaks, and sometimes the snow was tiny, tiny little balls of snow-like stuff, but it was 8 days of snow.

I'm from West Texas. We get virtually no snow. Well, at least no snow that lasts more than about 6-12 hours before fading away. I have memories of my mom waking me up at 1am to go get in the car, drive out to one of our main thoroughfares and doing donuts down the 7 lane roads. In our pajamas. There were no cars to hit, 7 lanes to play in, and the snow was gone by noon the next day. Snowball fights at 2 am in pajamas and coats. Snow ice cream for breakfast.

You get the idea. Snow was rare.

I grew up with impossibly flat land, dirt, trees that only seemed happy in our 2 weeks of Spring, sand, tumbleweeds, dirt, wind, sand, blazing heat, dirt, thunderstorms with very little rain, or possibly thunderstorms with grapefruit-sized hail, dirt, big open skies, sand. Did I mention the dirt? Or the sand? There was beauty there, but it wasn't usually green. Or white.

I love the Northwest. I love the rain and the grey, overcast days. I love the hills and mountains, even the volcanoes! I love having four seasons. I still get wind, and somewhere under all the green is dirt. I do miss the thunderstorms. My poor children will no doubt grow up afraid of them, they are so rare here. I love the water, water everywhere. I can sometimes get over the fact that the geography prohibits road construction to a ridiculous degree. (My hometown of 150,000 has bigger, wider streets than Seattle.)

Every year I can count on a few rounds of snow. It is really nice. It snows and it piles up just enough to look all nice and even, then in a day or two at most (usually) it is gone. It stays just long enough to enjoy it, but not enough to be truly hampered by it.

Not this year. I guess my real point here, before I tripped down memory lane, is that 8 days of snow is too much in a town that does not do well with snow. Big hills, and this year the city decided to be green and not salt (or whatever they usually do). They decided the best thing for us all was to pack the snow/ice down so that people with 4-wheel drives could get around. Now, call me crazy, but if the environmentally friendly folks are pushing us all to get rid of big 4-wheel drive vehicles they are going to have to come up with a better plan for ice/snow. I sincerely doubt the ability of Smart cars to get around on the roads as they are right now.

But I digress again. I have a van. It works well enough for me.

This past week was the last week of school for the kids, but they only went for two half days. They've been home with me all week. Himself is home too, but on vacation. His idea of vacation, so far, is to rearrange the house. Again. I begged off the house thing, I told him I just wasn't up to it this time. We keep shifting the same three sections of stuff upstairs and down, trying to get the perfect, usable arrangement. This is the third move in a year. So, I begged off.

He was a real trooper, got it all done and even weeded out some stuff. I'm impressed with what he's accomplished, and I told him so. Lots of positive feedback for the hard-working man. Of course, that made me feel like a total slacker. So, I worked on a few odd projects myself, but nothing equaling the enormity of his efforts. Anyway, the bulk of that was done by Wednesday, so we've all spent the past six days trying to stay friendly with one another, trying to keep the TV to a minimum and keep the Christmas Spirit to a maximum, as it were. In short, the kids are bored and neither Himself nor I are able to fully enjoy anything we're trying to do without constant interruptions. My computer time is broken up frequently so that the girls can play games, etc., so no real blogging, Ravelry or anything else.

Over the past week I've spent every day vigilant against freezing hummingbird feeders. I must be one of a few, the birds are swarming my feeder every day. I put it in overnight, and some days I've had to bring it in several times to thaw out and then put it back out. I know the hummingbirds back in TX usually migrate, but we seem to have birds that do not. I have no idea what they eat up here in the Winter, but I remember seeing them last year too. (Though we did not have anything like this snow last year!)

Yesterday we shoveled 16+ inches of snow off our deck. It is on a second story, and I was concerned about it collapsing. Our deck needs to be replaced, and I'm worried about its stability anyway, that much snow was just making it even more precarious. Not to mention the giant snow slides we will have when our roof finally melts.

Today we got out for a few hours, but had trouble getting back into the driveway. So, I got out and attempted to shovel a bit of snow off so that we can make the Christmas services at church. We'll see if that helps. We'll also see if I can walk, or even move, tomorrow. So far my back feels fine. I'm suspicious of that, but I'm not complaining. grin

You'd think being snowed in would provide more knitting time. I've spent too much time clearing up email stuff and trying to feel useful. (Himself has given me such a complex this week!) Anyway,I seem to be in a weird knitting place these last couple of projects. I knit up a Jayne Hat (Firefly fans will know what I'm talking about) finally, and somehow I made it too small for my head. I tried it on. I'm fairly certain my head did not shrink for the fitting, or grow after I wove in the last bit of yarn. I have no idea how I messed that one up, but there you go. I'll be knitting a new one. Eventually. Hmm. I don't even have a picture of it. I'll get one of the girls to model my strange hat.

Next, I decided to do some fingerless mitts. I chose the pattern Evangeline and used some Paton's SWS in Natural Earth. The colors were spectacular and the pattern was fun. I decided to give them to my mom if I finished them before Christmas. Well. They fit my 8 yo, but the won't fit my mom. The colors are great. DD was thrilled to have them. For about 30 mintues. Then she declared them very, very itchy. Now they just sit there mocking me. I convinced her to put them on so that I could get a photo, but they were off again immediately.

I'll try this one again with different yarn and maybe go up a size in the needles. I may have been knitting very tightly. I was afraid they would be too big when I cast them on, so maybe I never loosened up again. Worst case, DD gets a pair in non-itchy yarn that she can wear.

After those two relative failures, I decided it was time to pick up the sweater I am making for Himself. (I'm making the sweater on the cover, Jack's Aran Sweater.) I'm not sure it was a wise decision, after the gloves and the hat, but there it is. I've done it now, and I won't look back. I have ripped. Oh, yes, I have ripped and ripped again. Who knew there could be so many frogs in the snow? I checked my gauge before I got started. I decided it was off, too large, and ripped back 2 inches of cable to the ribbing. I knit those two inches again with smaller needles and remeasured. I found that I had been reading the gauge for the wrong sweater (I think) and that my original bit was correct. So I ripped again, went back to the old needle size and started again.

No. Really. I'm not drinking heavily or engaging in any other substance abuse that I know of. I have moved past it, though, and I'm about an inch and a half from the arm adjustments. I shall read the instructions many times before commencing any decreases, etc. I have only bodged up the cables once, and ripped back about 8 rows, but picked it up again and it looks right now. I will be using lifelines again, now that I've reminded myself why they are handy little things. I will post photos of the sweater soon. I am glad I've picked it up again. If nothing comes up, I might even have it done soon enough for him to wear it this year.

I have no idea what I'll do with all of that SWS yarn I picked up on sale, though.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Eight days of snow! Girl, I would've committed suicide by now. The one-day, eight-inch snow we got when I was six was okay with me, back in the Ol' Hometown. West Texas winters, though incredibly BLEAK, at least didn't keep you frozen for four months.

Ah, good ol' Hometown West Texas. Do you remember the tornado that hit Saragosa the night we were out at Chelsea Street Pub? I remember that vividly because I was tipsy, and I never drank that much and was trying to keep my parents from knowing I had had alcohol at all. The whole next day was so weird weather-wise, and I felt weird ... and 36 schoolchildren and others had died in that tornado. So, yeah, be glad you aren't in the Tornado Belt anymore, gf. That was the nice thing about Arizona -- spectacular thunderstorms with no tornadoes. The heat sucked, though. So now I'm back home in Texas (although in Central, which is SOOOOOOO much better than West), and we still have tornadoes, we have heat, occasionally snow ... and now Cedar Fever. The Allergy Capital of the World.

I want to move to New Zealand ...

Anyway, beautiful gloves for your DD. Sorry she doesn't want to wear them. At least your creations are useful. I'm having a "what the heck is the point of making these cards I keep to myself, anyway" crisis at the moment. *SIGH* Stay tuned ...

And a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!