Donnerstag, April 30, 2009

We hit the French Quarter

Here is a good idea for people visiting New Orleans. Take your hiking shoes. Man, I wish I'd thought of that. An umbrella is generally a good idea for NOLA, too. I will take those items to the wool show on Saturday.

St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square
square and cathedral

There is actually a knitting store just off Jackson square, on the street that runs in front of the cathedral. It had more needlepoint than yarn when I went several years ago. With Maryland Sheep and Wool coming up, I didn't bother this time.

Statue of Saint Joan
st. joan

Immigrants statue and Mississippi River Bridge


Was the mime by Jax Brewing Company? It's been a mall for some time now. I bought a bejewelled, camo fishing hat to wear to the zoo this summer.

Mule tour cart
mule cart

If you want to see the cemeteries, you really do need to go on some kind of tour. Muggers like to jump out from behind the raised tombs and catch naive tourists unawares. You're safe in a group. If you stay with your group.

Leftover muffaletta

We had the muffaletta in the Riverwalk. Other meals: sandwiches from Mother's on Poydras; barbecue shrimp at Ruth's Chris Steak house; sandwiches at Texas Barbecue Company in Metairie.


Must do's for the French Quarter:
  • beignets and coffee or cocoa at Cafe du Monde.
  • pralines from Aunt Sally's
  • a stroll along the river
  • a tour of the Cathedral or, next door, the Cabildo
  • eat a muffaletta or a roast beef poboy
  • sit in the shade and listen to the music; there always is some

  • Tomorrow: We go uptown.

    Mittwoch, April 29, 2009

    We visit our old neighborhood

    Welcome to Metairie (MET-uh-ree), the little farm, the New Orleans suburb just west of the city.

    magnolia flower

    I think it is really weird to be on vacation and still feel at home. Living someplace for ten years establishes it pretty permanently in your psyche.

    Thing have changed, though.

    Our old house used to be French Provincial with bricks and stucco.

    old house

    Now it is boring.

    The Lake Ponchartrain levy is much higher.


    The shore is less accessible.


    New Orleans itself has changed some, too.

    Casinos have opened.


    Charity Hospital has closed.

    charity hospital
    Paul and Cherry said my picture of Charity Hospital, taken in the dark from a moving vehicle, would not turn out. I think it turned out pretty danged interesting

    On the other hand, some things never change.



    green lady

    Tomorrow: We hit the French Quarter.

    Dienstag, April 28, 2009

    Sounds of New Orleans

    The calliope on the steamboat Natchez. Sorry about the Blair Witch camera work.

    Street musicians at Cafe du Monde.

    Dienstag, April 21, 2009

    Fairy Tale Club spoiler in this post

    I wonder how much stuff I have to put up front so that a spoiler picture won't be the first thing people see.

    It's possible that spring is really here now.




    Two days until we go to New Orleans. We have a food list: a good muffaletta. A good roast beef po-boy. A snoball from Plum Street Snoball Stand.

    Plum Street Snoballs

    We decided not to go to the Jazz Festival while we're there. Very expensive when one of us is not interested. Plus, I would feel bad to hear Joe Cocker when Paul is still in his meeting. Cherry is more interested in visiting her old haunts.

    OK, what do you think? Is it OK to show you my Fairy Tale Sock kit?

    Fairy Tale Club Spoiler

    On the left, the yarns for the sock. It is intarsia in the round. Some doodads. I think the little box is part of my prize for guessing the Fairy Tale. Actually Cherry guessed it, after much more googling than I had patience for. I am waiting to hear if she wants the box or the yarn, which is the red Gaia cashmere/silk lace in the middle. The purple yarn on the right is Little Traveller in Bergen. It is a very good purple. I ordered it just in time to have it come in the club box, making it a very scrumptious package, all told.

    Updates to Sanguine Gryphon's website may make those links not work; plus the yarns are sold out.

    The fairy tale this time is a Punjabi story called Bopluchi. You can read the story here, but it is kind of bloody. Just warning you, don't read it during lunch.

    Sonntag, April 19, 2009

    Some Days It's Better Just to Stay in Bed.

    I gave Paul the audio book version of The Lord of the Rings in German for Christmas. A while ago I transferred part of Book I, Die Gefährten, to iTunes so he could put it on his iPod.

    So far, so good.

    So today I was feeling relaxed . . . the Early Music concert is over . . . and decided to feed a few more into the computer.

    I had finished Book I and was about halfway through Book II, Die Zwei Türmen, when I realized I hadn't checked the ripping format before beginning.

    Aaargh. I just spent all day making huge megafiles instead of MP3s. So now I am waiting for iTunes to convert my day's work.

    My brain is fried. That's it.

    I will let you know if I finish my sister's tam. Beret. Whatever.

    P.S. I have to admit there are some entertaining moments when working with German translations. Such as the chapter entitled "Elronds Rat." Elrond's Council

    I always thought he looked like the kind of person who would keep a pet rat.

    Donnerstag, April 16, 2009

    Blossom Snow


    blossom snow

    peach blossom snow

    I spent a few hours yesterday with my sister in the infusion room at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Her daughter, probably the nicest 13-year-old in the world, was there too, doing her homework. We went to lunch and then drove home in the snow.

    The infusion room is emotionally draining for everyone. For the patients, there is the added fear and physical exhaustion caused by the disease and its treatment. Of course there is hope, too. That's why we were all there, because we hope we can beat cancer in our own various ways, whether nurse, patient, or visitor.

    I worked on another chemo cap.

    Lisa's and Katie's Berets from Through the Loops;
    knitted in Rowan Calmer

    The test knit I did is for sale now, so I can show my pictures. The first one is a little cloudy. I think I need to do a photo shoot in better light. When there is some.

    Ammonit Stole from Arlene's World of Lace;
    Wollmeise Lacegarn in Blue Suzanne

    It is done in short rows, and so makes interesting use of variegated yarn.



    I don't know why it's so hard to take a picture without a cat in it

    Samstag, April 11, 2009

    In Your Easter Bonnet . . .

    I finish a chemo cap for my sister.

    Bloody Stupid Johnson

    Bloody Stupid II
    Bloody Stupid Johnson from in Rowan Calmer yarn.


    I buy doo-dads.

    Knit Kit
    The Knit Kit. I bought mine from Blazing Needles.

    The Ear Light; mine came from Full Thread Ahead

    Sonntag, April 05, 2009

    Camp SG

    Coming up at the end of the month are a trip to New Orleans, where Paul will attend a meeting and Cherry and I will hang out. Maybe we will go to the Jazz festival.

    And then the next weekend is Camp Sanguine Gryphon.

    We'll be arriving in Maryland at the height of the dogwood blossoms and just in time for the Sheep and Wool show. I may never make it to Rhinebeck, but it will be my fourth time at MDS$W.

    Last time I did the NOLA Jazz Festival and MDS$W back to back I gained 4 lbs. This time I won't need to try the fried twinkies and funnel cake. It will be harder to avoid the fiber feeding frenzy. All I'm in the market for is a theme tote bag or maybe apron. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.

    Samstag, April 04, 2009

    Reasons to buy yarn. Or not.

    I think these are the top ten reasons I buy yarn:

  • 1. I want to support the dyer's business because she needs the money
  • 2. I don't have that colorway yet
  • 3. I caught the update, so it's fated that I buy some
  • 4. Ooh, shiny!
  • 5. It's from a club and it will come with doodads, and I will feel left out if I don't have that yarn and those doodads
  • 6. Everyone else wants it, so I must want it
  • 7. I need a blue sweater and I would have more fun knitting it than buying it
  • 8. Meggie needs a blue sweater, and I would have more fun knitting it than buying it
  • 9. It's less fattening than a carton of Winter White Chocolate
  • 10. I test-knitted that sock in that colorway, but I had to give it back. I want that sock!

  • Some of those are not very good reasons to spend my hard-earned piano money, and most of them are worse ones for spending Paul's hard-earned cash.

    If I am completely honest, the first six items on the list are responsible for probably 95% of my yarn purchases. Yet, the rest of the list, representing the other 5% of the yarn, seem like more viable reasons to buy yarn. The need for clothing; the need for a reward for a battle fought or a task well-done--the something for something way of life, instead of the pile-it-up, acquisitional way of life.

    Can I stop acquiring, just for the sake of acquiring?

    That was just a rhetorical question. I don't think there is an answer.

    No tickers