Friday, September 29, 2006


I'll start with a quotation from I found on the web:

A word study in the New King James version for SHALOM says: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

Shalom comes from the root verb Shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. ... So in essence, when you speak out the word SHALOM - you are not only proclaiming peace, but all the above meanings of the word over that person - that's a mighty blessing!!!

It is the time of Rosh Hashanah. I am not Jewish, but I have friends who are, and we have talked about this time in their religious year. It is a time of wiping clean the slate, a time of renewal. In that spirit, I deleted a previous entry that was a frustrated rant.

I am sorry for the times when we disagree so vehemently that we hurt. I am sorry for the times there are misunderstandings that lead to discord and communities breaking up. It happens in the microcosm of our families, at the office, in our churche; and it happens on a large scale between countries and cultures.

It is no mere coincidence that so many religions and/or life philosophies have goals of unity, wholeness, completeness, harmony, balance, and - ultimately - peace. We have so little of it outside of our spiritual selves that we have to seek it out specifically.

Here's to successful seeking.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dog Years

Apparently it is no longer accurate to calculate a dog's equivalent human years by multiplying his/her age by seven. However, no one who works on these things can agree on how to calculate a dog's relative age.

Charka will be 11 at the end of November. One site has her human years equivalent at 60 years, another has it at 72 years, and still another has it at 87 years.

She is doing a lot better, by the way. She'd been in for teeth cleaning several weeks ago and her spleen was enlarged about 3 times. On a follow-up visit last week, however, it was back to normal. About the only thing wrong with her is that she has some bad degeneration in her hip sockets (rear joints), and that could happen at about any age.

All of which is to say that, when I woke up from Ed's snoring this morning around 2:00 a.m., I joined the dog in the guest room to try to get some sleep. I can now say I've slept with an old bitch.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I am starting a personal campaign to save our favorite boy wizard from death in the seventh and final book of the Harry Potter series.

To that end, I have launched a new product line at Auntie Judith Designs, the Save Harry! series. And just to make it possible for everyone to participate at a low cost, my markup on the items is only 5%.

A bumper sticker for your car costs only $3.09! Get several! Get a T-shirt for yourself and your dog! Tote bags! Ball caps! Sweatshirts!

Save Harry!

(Of course, buying these items will have no impact whatsoever on author J.K. Rowling's decision of what to do with her title character, but wouldn't it be fun to be a part of this latest pop-culture frenzy?)

Grass Skirts are the "in" thing

Your Hawaiian Name is:

Akela Lani

Monday, September 18, 2006

Darn, I thought I could get kicked out.

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

It's one of my favorite films, too!

Your Christmas is Most Like: Miracle on 34th Street

Sweet and caring, Christmas is about helping for you.
While Santa may not exist, you try to share his spirit.

And I thought Comet was just for cleaning the kitchen sink.

You Are Comet

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed

Is "semi-anal-retentive" a word?

Your English Skills:

Punctuation: 100%
Grammar: 80%
Spelling: 60%
Vocabulary: 60%

Mary's Visit

That's my mom (left), me (back), and my sister Mary, who visited from Albuquerque this weekend.

Monday, September 11, 2006


These are knit from Dream In Color yarn for my niece Marky (note -- Shari, you can't tell her!). I made a little sweater for her, and now I'm knitting a hat, too. All of it will match.

These are knit on US 7.0 dpns (gauge of 5 sts to the inch). I think that these create a nicer density than the sweater I knit on US 9.0. For the cap I knit the ribbing on US 4.0 which is good for keeping that taut, but it makes a very dense fabric.

It has two skeins of yarn -- one orange and one pink -- to knit all of these items.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

We the Scots

I found this photo while looking among my archived stuff for Charka. This is us on a trip to Edinburgh in June 2003. We'd found this weaving mill / store that would dress you up and take your photo, so we went for it.

Notice how Ed looks the part and I look like an Eastern European forced into the outfit. Ed's mother is half Irish (Garvey) and half Scottish (Ross), so it's no wonder. I, on the other hand, am half Czech (Masek) and half German (Bieker). Hand me coffee and a kolac and I'll fit in just fine.

10K Today

I did a volksmarch today with Richard and Teresa. I also took along Charka dog (shown at left). Poor thing is just whipped. About the last mile she was hanging back. She'll be 11 in November. I think I'd better keep her to the 1/2 hour walks from now on.

I'm pretty much beat myself.

The walk was organized around Standing Bear Lake (about 144th & Fort Streets), but it took us through a few of the neighborhoods there. I saw some beautiful homes and landscaping. I also saw a few homes that should have been trashed on purely aesthetic grounds. (One big house was painted a medium-to-dark blue -- yuck!)

My own house is a pig sty. Again. In fact, I think the pigs have left because they can't stand the mess. I have laundry to do -- dirty stuff to wash & dry, and clean stuff to fold and put away -- and there is crap to pick up everywhere and vacuuming that desperately needs to be done.

And yet, I want to sit and knit.

I don't wonder why.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Zorinsky Lake

I met my friend Richard on Tuesday night (5 Sept) for a walk on the trails near Zorinsky Lake. In the photo at right is the levee; we walked on the part of the trail that goes there.

I had my dog Charka along and she had a great time. Of course, being outdoors in a new place means a smorgasbord of scents for a dog, so she was happy. I liked the smell of the cut grass -- very sweet. Charka was sticking her nose into the ground nearly everywhere, so I expect she was getting a lot more than I was!

I've got this Bride of Frankenstein thing going...

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous
People will stop and watch you when you appear
Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing

Je m'appelle ....

Your French Name is:

Aurore Marchand

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Yes, I do torment the British -- Just ask Roger

Your Monster Profile

Mad Ogre

You Feast On: Grass

You Lurk Around In: Candy Factories

You Especially Like to Torment: British People

I'm too freakin' tired to write anything original, so...

Your Vampire Name Is...

Athene of the Far East

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Gendarme Sock

Top left is the sock I've knit from the Lisa Souza Sock! yarn in the Gendarme colorway. Unfortunately, I knit a lot tighter in the round than I do side-to-side, so what I thought would be a gauge of 7 stitches to the inch is more like 9 stitches to the inch when I knit the sock. *sigh* I guess someone will be getting these as a Christmas gift. Someone with skinny feet.

The photo below shows the detail of the colors. I think it's beautiful yarn!

This will come in handy I'm sure

Your Irish Name Is...

Nicola Butler

September is my Power Month???

Your Birthdate: June 9

You are a born idealist, with more pet causes than you can count.
You prefer be around others, both when working and while relaxing.
Generous and giving, you believe you can change the world one person at a time.
You're open minded and tolerant. People feel like they can tell you anything.

Your strength: Your go-with-the-flow flexibility

Your weakness: Your flair for the over dramatic

Your power color: Pine green

Your power symbol: Circle

Your power month: September

You're As Young as You Feel

You Are 30 Years Old

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

Look Out Cap'n Jack Sparrow

Your Pirate Name Is...

Lieutenant-Colonel Janie Jalibird

Actually, I mainline caffeine

You Are a Frappacino

At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern

At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent

You drink coffee when: you're craving something sweet

Your caffeine addiction level: low

I'm getting around...

Your Russian Name Is...

Sveta Siny Lebedev

Monday, September 04, 2006

Rails to Trails - Peru, Nebraska

We traveled to this trail head today and took a short walk. It was a lovely day. We chose to walk south (at left) so that we could be in the shade, but I gave a look at the north (below) because the sky was so beautiful. We'll return to this with our bicycles sometime soon.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another Fine Day

I love my dog, but some mornings I could just strangle her! She had me awake at 5:00 a.m. and she fussed (despite fresh food, fresh water, and several trips outside) until around 7:00 a.m. I was due to wake at 8:00 a.m. for sort-of water aerobics (we walk back and forth in the lanes and pump our arms a lot -- no one stands on the deck and screams at us, which we like) at 9:00 a.m. with my friend Richard. Man, I was crabby! And then the water was COLD!!!!!! Like they'd just taken the ice cubes out before I got in!

I got home around 10:30 a.m. and sorted laundry. Then my husband comes home from his Sunday a.m. meeting at CompUSA, only to change clothes because some IDIOT changed the schedule on Friday or Saturday (the two days he didn't work last week) so that he had to work today, but no one bothered to call and let him know about it. What jerks!

At 1:00 p.m. I met Louise at the stationery shop and we started in on prep work for painting that horrid yellow bathroom. By 4:00 p.m. we were finished with the first coat. We even painted the dark woodwork (a short piece of wainscotting and the vanity cabinet) -- everything went to a creamy white color (that's white with a touch of yellow in it) and it looked so much better by the time we were done with that first round. I mean, that bathroom had been hazard-yellow! schoolbus yellow! Too-much lemon yellow! crayon yellow! Awful, bright yellow in a small closet of a room!

I showered when I got home, as did my dear husband. Then we went to dinner at Famous Dave's. Also, I'm nearly finished with the first sock I've knit from Sock! yarn by Lisa Souza, and I'm nearly finished (just the thumb yet) of the left mitten for the ensemble for my niece. I've noted my directions on both, necessary since I manage to screw up the written directions and end up with my own, unique item!

Gotta run!

Change in the Weather

I just checked the forecasts and learned that for the next few days the high temp will be only in the high 60s (F). It seems a little early for that shift to cooler weather, but I expect it's only for a few days. We've been getting cooler overnight temps for the past few weeks, but the days have still been quite warm.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the cooler weather. I love the days when the sun is warm but the wind is cold. I love layering clothing, wearing sweaters and scarves and warm socks, going for a walk around one of the lakes. I even love the days after most of the leaves have turned and fallen away from the trees. To some it is barren and bleak; to me it is different kind of beauty. There is something about the melancholy of cool air and the spiky branches of trees outlined against the colors of the evening sky.

Yesterday it rained nearly all day. It was a soaking rain, steady and quiet, and everything was cooler. It was a grey day, and I sat inside with my knitting and a good book (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, by Alexander McCall Smith), and my dog Charka curled up beside me.

Finally, a break from the summer heat. I'm ready for the change.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My Spanish is better than I thought

You Passed 8th Grade Spanish

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Zut alors! Pourquois le francais?

You Belong in Paris

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.

Yeah, well, I studied music and writing

Your Learning Style: Objective and Rational

You are logical and rational. You are open to any ideas or subjects that make sense to you.

You Should Study:

Political Science

OK, This is Right...

Your Wrestler Name Is...

La Femme Chaos

Unfortunately, I'm German and Czech by Birth

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Prior to my Birth, I was known as...

Your 1950s Name is:

Frances Vivian

My Old Fashioned Name

Your Old Fashioned Name Is...

Agnes Olingworth

My German Name

Your German Name is:

Viola Petra

My Italian Name

Your Italian Name Is...

Fiorella Bianchi

Oh, This is SO RIGHT!

You Are Miss Piggy

A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.
You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.
You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.
Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!

This Dog Will Hunt -- Trust Me

You Are a German Shepherd Puppy

Intelligent, quick witted, and a bit aggressive.
You've got the jaw power to take a bite out of anyone you choose.

OK, I'm 'way off on this one...

Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

After all these years, I finally passed!

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 8/10 correct!

Like I Couldn't Have Predicted This ...

You're Totally Sarcastic

You sarcastic? Never! You're as sweet as a baby bunny.
Seriously, though, you have a sharp tongue - and you aren't afraid to use it.
And if people are too wimpy to deal with your attitutde, then too bad. So sad.

Ha! I Knew It!

What Your Underwear Says About You

You have a lucky pair of underwear. And you wear it more than you should.

You're comfortable in your own skin - and don't care to impress anyone.

In my next SciFi script ...

You Should Rule Venus

Venus is a mysterious, stormy planet - shrouded in a thick layer of clouds.

You are perfect to rule Venus, because you are quite emotional and volatile yourself.
Your emotions change as rapidly as the weather on Venus, and both you and the planet are incomprehensible to others.

While you are not a logical thinker, you are quite empathetic.
You can care for and understand others, but your emotions swirl too quickly to truly understand yourself.

Open Wide -- Possibly an Explanation?

Your Linguistic Profile:
55% General American English
20% Yankee
10% Dixie
5% Midwestern
5% Upper Midwestern

Open Wide, Insert Foot

I promised my knitting friends I'd put this one in. It is a moment of exquisite stupidity, but I must own up to it.

A doctor came into the stationery shop where I work part time. He wanted to create a kind of simple advertisement, a note or something to which he could attach his business card and a send it out as a simple reminder to his clients to come in for their annual exams.

He really wanted to get this one fold-over note in particular because it was a color that was compatible with his card, which he wanted to affix inside. I told him that it would work just fine and that maybe we could print something catchy on the outside of the note that would encourage people to open it.

In fact, I suggested he write "Open Wide" on the outside of the note.

OK, so did I mention that this doctor was an OB/GYN?

Seriously, I'd seen his card so I knew his specialty, but I was somehow in my head thinking he was a dentist (maybe I was thinking that I needed to get back in to see my dentist about a couple of fillings -- I don't really know).

He was, of course, rather stunned. My female colleagues in the store were similarly stunned, and then they laughed. And somewhere in all of that I realized what I'd said.

As it was, the doctor wanted to do about 2000 of these notes, and that was far more than we could print up within a reasonable price, so we recommended a local printer to him since it would cost less to do this on an offset press.

Somehow, though, I don't think we'll be seeing any more of this customer.

Oh, goes on.