Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I haven't blogged in such a long time! There wasn't a whole lot of news before Christmas, and then we were busy with Christmas but now it's time to write a bit down.

We got a fabulous tree this Christmas; Sio picked it out and she did such a nice job. It is very fat and full. If it wasn't up against the wall I don't think I'd have enough ornaments to decorate it! I'll post a pic later on, I took a couple but they aren't that good.

John and I got each other our new bed for Christmas and it makes all the difference in the world. It's only 6 inches wider than the old one but it feels like so much more! He also bought a dual control electric blanket so we can each be as warm (or not) as we please. I have to make a new quilt now because the old ones are not quite wide enough.

Melissa has been here for the last week, she is leaving tomorrow morning. It's always nice having her here. We have gone bowling 3 times since she came; John went yesterday too. She is thinking about getting on a league when she gets home. John and I are talking about bowling more too, it's a lot of fun. We are having pizza later this evening and then tomorrow she goes back home again.

We had Christmas Eve at Rich and Chris' which was nice like it is every year although I have to say mom was being a bit more complaining than usual and Carla didn't really get to enjoy herself at all. I said next year we should all go to moms to open gifts for an hour or two and then leave mom at home and go and do something fun together. Even if it's just going back to Rich and Chris' and playing cards or going to a movie or whatever. The long evening is just getting to be too much for mom now. Everyone would enjoy it more that way. Anyway, I made Chris another fishing collage, and this one was a lot bigger than last years because the fishing was so much better. He really liked it a lot. Actually I said John, Chris and I should go south next Christmas and fish. That would be cool! Christmas Day dinner was over here and that was better. It's shorter and less tiring for everyone.

And the last thing is, I got my Bleuette! Her name is Josette Clarice, and the pictures are of her modeling her 1905 American Smock, 1909 Sunday Apron and 1916 Spring Coat. I also made her a hat and muff and crocheted gaiters. The little white embroidered collar is detachable from the dress; I believe the pattern is from 1906 or 1907 although I don't remember for sure. She is also wearing an embroidered combination. The Empire dress and red smock I made her before were too small. I thought they might be. I am working on another embroidered apron and a red and white checked dress.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Catch Up

I haven't posted in awhile because I left the camera at Rich and Chris' at Thanksgiving and haven't gotten it back. I have been working on Bleuettes wardrobe and I hope the things I'm making fit. She is here and is in a box on Johns desk and it's so hard not to open it and check to see if the clothes fit! Melissa thinks I should be able to, but since she may be my only gift I want to keep her til Christmas Eve. Her little shoes came yesterday and I gave them to John to put with her. Melissa is knitting her some teeny socks. I have a pattern from 1915 that I really want to try, and some pretty green silk salvaged from a resale blouse that I think I'm going to make it out of. I don't work with silk very often, and even though I got the blouse cheap I'm kind of intimidated by it. I'm wondering if I shouldn't buy a 1/4 yd of silk dupioni because it has more body. I might and use the green silk for a dress that drapes more.

I am going to Mr. Skeens going away lunch today. I haven't posted about how Hancock pretty much forced him to quit because he didn't want to go to North Riverside. They've been putting the squeeze on him for the last couple of months so he's had to work 80 hour weeks because they cut payroll hours so drastically. They wanted him to go to North Riverside where they would cut hours and payroll more. They closed the Joliet store and the manager over there is coming to Lombard. Anyway, I think he's kind of happy he won't have to put up with the bullshit anymore. He's a pretty intelligent guy and I think he's finally taken off the blinders and read the writing on the wall. There's been no doubt in my mind for a long time that Hancock wouldn't survive this economic crisis and I believed that over a year ago before most people would even admit that the crisis was looming just over the horizon. It sucks that a lot of the people I know in the district are going to get screwed as Hancock flops around like a fish out of water taking it's last gasps of air before it dies. I wish I could do something, but I've been saying this is going to happen for a long time and it wasn't that hard to figure it out. On a more personal level, my big concern is thread, I need to get a lot of thread to augment all the thread I have already. I have plenty of other notions, and I can get fabric and trims from my thrift shop finds. But I'd like to stock up on thread, especially since this is going to hit Hobby Lobby and JoAnn too. I suspect it already is cutting into JoAnn big time; Hobby Lobby I don't know as much about. Anyway, without an American textile industry in the immediate future thread is going to get a lot more expensive so I want to get a bunch now. Cotton covered polyester or 100% polyester because it lasts the longest. I prefer cotton but it starts to get brittle faster.

Siobhan and I have been rewatching Stargates lately. We have all of the episodes up through season 5 I think, but for some reason Disc 1 Season 2 won't play. I haven't watched them in awhile so I don't remember which shows I'm missing and how much it has to do with the continuing mythology of the show.

On another subject, Lunasa is my current favorite Celtic band. Here they are live at the Cork Folk Festival on Aug 31 2007:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nous Habillons Bleuette

I started sewing for my Bleuette and I don't even have her yet! It's been quite awhile since I've done a lot of really fine hand sewing so I really need practice! There is a website where there are tons of the original patterns that were printed in La Semaine De Suzette called The Bleu Door
I made the American smock from 1905, drawers from 1907, and the Empire dress from 1908. The Empire dress didn't turn out as nice as it could have. It has turn down lapels on the bodice so the lining shows, and the pink kona cotton I used for that and the cuffs was a little too heavy. I lined the bodice on the American smock with a really thin batiste and it worked much better, The drawers are made from a vintage tea towel that had some stains on it. The legs are supposed to be gathered and have bows but I won't do that til I get my Bleuette because I don't know how big around her legs are. The edges are supposed to be embroidered, but I just cut them a bit shorter and edged them with vintage lace. I am going to make the embroidered apron from 1909 next, and then there is a cape from 1910 I'm going to make. I'd like her to have a nice little wardrobe waiting when she gets here!
I also finished the dress for the 18 inch compo type doll. I have my Daisy Kingdom doll modeling it and it's a tiny bit too small for her; it doesn't snap around her neck. I decided when I started looking at fabric to make a Christmas dress, so I guess she and Christopher Robin are going to a Christmas party. It did turn out pretty cute.
Melissa will be here in just a couple of hours! Yay!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My kids were big A.A. Milne fans when they were little, and not just of the Winnie-the Pooh stories either. We read all the poetry over and over again, and they could recite most of "When We Were Very Young" and "Now We Are Six". I remember sitting in the stairs at my mom's with Chris while he proudly proclaimed:
"Halfway up the stairs is a stair where I sit
There isn't any other stair quite like it.
It isn't at the bottom and it isn't at the top
So this is the stair where I alwys stop."

I loved the illustrations from the books,I still do. Running through the poems and making an appearance now and then was Christopher Robins little friend Anne. I was looking through my doll patterns this morning and came across this one I had ordered awhile back and it just really reminded me of the illustrations from the book so I decided to dress Anne for an afternoon with Christopher Robin. The outfit will look nice modelled by my Daisy Kingdom doll since I don't have one from the appropriate era.

Every little girl needs proper underwear so I started with something called an envelope chemise. It is part underwear and part chemise. The back of the chemise has a crotch that comes up between the legs and buttons to the front skirt part of the chemise. I made machine scallops around all the edges because I didn't want to make a lot of small hems. I also wanted this to be a play garment so I wanted it to be pretty without all the lacy frills finishing the edge. My machine makes nice scallops so I went with that to finish the edges. Not totally authentic, Annes chemise would probably have had scallops hand embroidered by her mother, but it still looks very nice and old fashioned. I may embroider some little white flowers on the front too.

I haven't decided what fabric I'm going to use for the dress yet. I'm leaning towards a little cream cotton with tiny yellow flowers on it; but I have a blue cotton with kitties printed on it that I like too.

I asked the kids to get me a Bleuette for Christmas. I've wanted one for years and I found a lady who does nice reasonably priced reproductions and has a lay away.I am going to pick out the one I want while Melissa is in for Thanksgiving. She'll be here on Tuesday and I'm excited! It's always nice to have all my chickees together!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Doll Dress

I had this dress set for Chatty Cathy over on E-bay and it didn't sell so I listed it in my Etsy store. I think it's really cute. Doll clothes don't sell really well in Etsy so I might end up keeping this one. I need to find a better outlet for selling doll clothes. I was talking to a lady in Hancock when I stopped to buy thread the other day and she said she's been doing well at craft shows this year. She said she makes dog coats. I didn't do any this year because they weren't that good last year. I'm going to just keep making the clothes and then maybe do a show in the spring. I was going through my doll patterns and I have quite a few for Bleuette, I just don't have a Bleuette to make them for. I've noticed the Bleuette clothes sell pretty well and I've been talking about getting one for years. There is a lady who has an online store and she has some nice Bleuettes for $165. She makes both sizes, the 10 5/8" and 11 1/2" I'm going to see if she will do a lay-away. I'd like to have the 10 5/8" because that's the size the antique doll was. There is so much hand sewing with Bleuette because her clothes are so tiny.

Melissa will be in for Thanksgiving! Yay!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My dad was a pretty conservative guy; although if you asked him he would say he was a Democrat. He identified with the Southern blue collar dems; he was from Arkansas. The big reason for that was not his political outlook, it was that he was a huge union guy. He believed in the union he was a member of; he went to union meetings and was pretty quick to defend unions in discussions. After he left the Air Force, he was a typical blue collar union worker, just like so many others at the time. In the days before Reagan and the beginning of the dismantling of the industrial base of this country, a lot of people belonged to unions and they were a force for labor. I would have to say that he would be appalled at the discussions we are having about bailing out the auto companies. After all we are talking about millions of jobs here! Why is it OK to fork 350 billion dollars of the recent bail out over to the banks and watch them buy each other up and continue to give incentives and golden parachutes to CEO's, and do nothing to help the American auto workers and their families? Why is there even a question about keeping an industry that is essential to keeping the economy (what's left of it anyway)on it's feet? If the auto industry in this country goes down we will be feeling the effects for years. I'm not saying that we just fork money over to them with no oversight, although as it turns out, that seems to be exactly what we've done for Wall Street in spite of reassurances that it wouldn't happen that way. No, I think we really can look at the money as a sort of loan to help them out. To let them fail will just make the current economic situation so much worse. People don't always think about how things are interconnected, but to possibly loose as many as one in ten jobs is not something that I feel we can let happen. And I don't know if this can wait til January; I think this is something that needs to be addressed now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Go Keith

While Rachel Maddow may have taken over as my favorite political pundit, Keith Olbermann's comment on California's Prop 8 last night was excellent. He's my hero for today.

A discussion that came up last night between Sio, Irene and I was if a religious group like the LDS can spend the money to influence the votes of people (which is what happened in this case), then they should have thier tax exempt status taken away. I think it's pretty cut and dried; this is a case where it really should be examined. If a religious organization is willing to step over the boundaries into politics, well they have every right to do that, but the consequences should be swift from the federal govenment, and those consequences should be revoking the tax exempt status they have had so far.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I watched parts of yesterdays press conference after I got home; I didn't catch it all because I went out with Sio for a lot of the day. Anyway, John and I were watching parts of it on the Huffington Post. I haven't watched a Bush press conference in a long time; actually whenever Bush comes on tv I generally turn him off because I'm either totally pissed about what he's saying or because I couldn't believe how stupid he can be. Anyway, I said to John "This is a good press conference." and John said he thought Obama would have a lot of them and so do I. I said it will be good to have some transparency in government again. It will be good to have some one in government who has every bodies welfare at heart. Over on the new website you can give your vision of what you think America can look like, and you can also apply for a job! It's remarkable! Rachel Maddow also has a "honey do" list for the new President elect over on the MSNBC website that she's asked people to add to. The top issue is the economy, of course, and Obama addressed that yesterday saying it will be his top priority as it should be. I think energy Independence/climate change should be second on the list and one of the things I'm going to put in my vision of what America can be is a country connected by light rail systems so we can use our cars a lot less. Trains can be run on electricity which can be gotten from solar or wind power and wouldn't use oil. And if we were riding those trains instead of driving we wouldn't be either. I actually am a big proponent of putting mass transit systems in place and then rationing fuel and taxing personal carbon emissions. It's a huge project and to put it in place will create jobs, too, although a lot of old railroad tracks still exist even though they aren't being used now.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Cute Doll Dress

OK, just because we have just gone through the greatest election of my life as a voter (Kennedy doesn't count because I was only a wee little thing) doesn't mean that I haven't been sewing and this is one of the things I've made and is now listed on E-bay. I really think this is one of the cutest doll dresses I've ever made, but there are no bids on it yet; no-one is even watching it!

I actually am waiting with bated breath to see what comes out of the startegy meetings that some of the Republican leaders (such as they are) are having. I realize that in some ways it doesn't matter, especially as the balance of power will remain pretty firmly center leaning left for awhile, however it does matter because if the right can be brought more to the center it will just be easier to start the sweeping changes that have to be made. I'm kind of taking the day off from politics today though. At least til 7 when Olbermann come on MSNBC.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

And Now the Real Challenge Begins

I spent a lot of yesterday as I always do, listening to liberal talk radio and then watching Countdown and Rachel Maddow last night. (As an aside, I have been a huge fan of Rachels radio show for awhile now, and I'm an even bigger fan of her TV show. The woman is smart and funny and I try to never miss her. She and Thom Hartmann share a place with me as the two smartest political pundits out there.) Anyway, Senator Bernie Sanders (another one of my favorites; he's almost enough to make me want to move to Vermont) was on Thom Hartmann yesterday. He's on on Fridays anyway, but yesterday he made a special appearance because of the election. He pointed out that the real challenge is just beginning, and if anyone thinks this is going to be easy then they are seriously mistaken. We as a people need to stay involved in the political process. As Senator Sanders pointed out, if we think the insurance companies are going to say "Ok, national health care is ok with us" then that's just crazy. They are going to do everything they can to keep the status quo. We as a united people of America have to fight like hell to make sure that real change comes. He also mentioned the oil companies. They are going to fight to keep from developing sustainable technologies that will take the profits out of their pockets. And the same with all the other huge corporations that exist; the military industrial complex and the financial institutions. Sen. Sanders said that the reason that Obama has won is because he recognized that his strength lies in the power of the people; and he had huge numbers turn out for him. I believe that he truly is sincere, and that he does have our interest at heart. And he showed us that a united front can really change things. He showed us that a people together are a strong force to reckoned with. What we have to do now is not just say "OK, we did this thing, we can go home now" We have to support him every step of the way by staying involved in whatever ways we can. We really can change a nation! We can continue the politics of hope.
The other thing that I find interesting is the question of what will happen to the Republican party. There's been a lot of speculation on that topic. I'll admit I read some of the comments people were making over on the Fox News site and they range from really ignorant to very scary. John was watching Fox noise last night, and he said Hannity is still screaming about Jeremiah Wright. Hey Sean, the election's over buddy. Did you miss it? Anyway, I don't believe that the majority of conservatives are really like the right wing nut jobs that comment over there. A lot of Republicans voted for Obama this time, too. If I were a conservative I would be asking myself what the future of my party was going to look like. It's pretty apparent that a lot of people are tired of the politics of fear and slime that has been the Rovian techniques that they tried again, and most people don't trust them on the issues either. I think the party needs to ask itself if it wants to continue to move to the right and become less and less a viable force in politics, or if it wants to move more to the center and have it's voice heard. I think it's important to have intelligent debate from both sides of the aisle in government, and that has been missing in the partisan politics of the last 8 years. However, in order to let that happen, they may have to make the decision to jettison the crazies who listen and believe the hatred that is spewed from people like Hannity and Limbaugh and O'Reilly every day. The conservatives of this country have some tough decisions to make too. I know what I would do. Cut the hatred right out, and rebuild the party on decent conservative principals. The crazy right wingers pretty much didn't vote until Reagan, so I say let them go back to their little corner and pray for Armageddon like they used to do and stay out of politics, it's pretty apparent their God of hatred is just a clay footed idol anyway. Let the rest of us get on with the important work of building a nation and a world for the future.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can!

I woke up this morning with such a hopeful feeling. I woke knowing that after 8 long years, the divisiveness that has torn this country will begin to be healed. I woke knowing that we will have a real leader to help steer us through the economic challenges ahead. I woke knowing that there will be someone in the White House who truly does care about health care and climate change.He really does know the cost of the thousands of our men and women who are in a war that most of the American people don't want, he cares that thousands of Americans and innocent Iraqi's have been killed, and wounded in violence they just want to end.And most of all I woke knowing that we will have a real leader who understands that most of us want to be a part of those solutions. We don't want to be told that the way to support out country is to go shopping. I have never felt so much patriotism and pride as I did last night while I watched Barak Obama's speech and heard him say:

"I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead.For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.....The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.....I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand."

I'll admit I cried. I couldn't help it.
And now it's time to roll up our sleeves and tell our President "Yes we can!"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

John, Chris and I all voted early this morning, and I really am excited about this election. This is, historically speaking, probably the most important election I will ever vote in. Melissa is in Philly for the day getting the vote out. Carla called because she said last night she was panicking and Jimmy wasn't home to talk her down. I told her I really think it will be impossible for the right to steal this one. If they do, it will be so apparent that there will be riots in the street. No, we stand at the beginning of a movement that will be for the good of this country, and for the world. Maybe we really can solve some of those issues that are facing us. Maybe the green revolution will cause an economic revolution as well. I am so excited, I really believe this will be a huge victory for the good guys!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've been pretty busy lately and I haven't really had the time or anything really worthwhile to blog about. I have been reorganizing the storage in the laundry room so I can add a lot of that stuff to the attic. It will give Sio a bit more room for pottery, and I can store food down there. While I really believe that having an Obama presidency is about the best thing that could happen right now to us as a nation, I still think things are going to get worse before they get better so I want to have enough food squirreled away just in case. I think the damage that has been done will not be totally apparent til after the election, or maybe not til after inauguration day. One thing that people don't seem to realize is that oil prices will very shortly start going up again, and it's pretty much a given that they will rather quickly surpass the highest levels they were at just a while ago. So food prices will continue to rise, too. Anyway, while I'm hoping that the changes we need to manage things will happen rather quickly under a new administration, Congress (even with a Democratic majority) is not always as fast as they could be so it's better to be safe than sorry. And if it ends up that we don't need all that food for emergency situations, my grocery bills will be a bit cheaper for a bit while we eat it all up.

I'm not sure, but the economic crisis might be the reason I've had so many sales lately. I've sold 10 things in the last 12 days, 3 were sets of doll clothes I had on E-bay. One was a Chatty Cathy Christmas dress and the other 2 were for Tiny Tears. Then I sold 2 pairs of fingerless gloves, 2 skirts and a top, a purse and a hand dyed fat quarter. I am finishing up another Chatty Cathy dress today, and I am going to list it and a snow suit for Tiny Tears on E-bay. I listed another set of fingerless gloves and 2 patchwork scarves on Etsy, and I have 2 more pairs of the fingerless gloves I'll list pretty soon. They are both made from felted sweaters. I have a pair I was crocheting that have cables too, but I seem to have misplaced my bag so I can't finish them. Anyway, my theory is that people are tired of cheap Chinese stuff that wastes so many resources and are looking for more handmade stuff, and if they are going to spend money they want a better quality product. And I think with the doll clothes it might be because it's cheaper to buy a doll you already own something new to wear than to buy a new doll, especially a vintage or antique one. Whatever the reason, I've been doing fairly well lately so I hope it keeps up. I'm saving the money to go to New York with Melissa after Thanksgiving. It will be a lot of fun, we are going to the Holiday market and we'll do some other stuff too. She'll be here for Thanksgiving and I can't wait, it will be so nice to have her here for a few days.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Feel Like I Failed Somewhere...

Every one knows what a HUGE Zep fan I am. I encouraged Chris to learn to play guitar because I wanted him to learn to play Over The Hills and Far Away, and The Rain Song.
My kids grew up listening to Zep because I listened to Zep. So words can't express the disappointment I felt last night when Siobhan came in while I was watching "The Song Remains the Same". The concert footage is good, even if the fantasy sequences leave something to be desired. Anyway, Robert Plant was on at the moment she came downstairs, and I said that Plant may have been really hot but Jimmy Page played guitar so fucking good. The movie switched to show Jimmy Page and she said "Who's that?" and I said something else about Page and she said again"Who's that?" I realized she was asking who it was on the screen and I was just floored. I said "Thats Jimmy Page!" and she said "Oh I thought it was the other guy. I get them mixed up" and then she said Plant looked like a girl! I never thought that any of my children would not know the difference between Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Especially a very young extremely good looking Robert Plant. I am just horribly disappointed. I feel like I failed as a parent somewhere.
Anyway, here they are in their prime taken straight from the movie in 1973:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Winter is Coming!

Siobhan and I were out shopping today, and I realized how close we are to winter. I know that there are all kinds of things going on in the world, but I have to just pause and enjoy this time. I love mid to late fall, it replaced spring as my favorite time of year a long time ago. I love the colors of the changing trees and the crisp smells of autumn; I love the foods; the pumpkin breads and cookies and pie; the hearty soups and stews, and hot coffee and chocolate to warm me up when I come in from the chilliness of out doors. And I especially love the getting ready for Christmas. I can work on gifts and plan meals and all the other things that I do every year. This is a waiting time, an anticipation that I enter into with great joy. This time of year even has it's own music for me; I move from the solidly Irish to more classical and medieval.The pictures are some from the last time we went out fishing; sometime over the weekend I'm going to see if I can get John to walk down the prarie path with me and I'll take some more.

We had dinner at Chris and Richards last night, Chris cooked chicken and nachos. There were no veggies, no salad, or anything like that, just chicken and nachos. It was good chicken, but generally I think of meals as being more balanced. I brought dessert, a berry crisp with whipped cream. Sio and Richard went down in the bar after dinner and played darts, Chris, John, Gary and Joe (who is another bartender) played cards for awhile and I watched. It was a nice evening and I like to get out and have fun now and then.

I have been working on some doll clothes to list, I figure with the economy being as bad as it is someone who collects dolls might not be willing to spend the money to buy a new one but they might be willing to buy an outfit or two for ones they already have. Actually there are a couple of ladies on E-bay who seem to be doing just that; one in particular makes clothes for antique dolls and she is making a lot of money doing it. I'm working on a batiste dress with insertion and embroidery, with a slip and combinations, the pattern dates from the teens or early 20's. It's almost finished and I'll post pics when I'm done.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Funny post

I heard about this blog on Stephanie Miller this morning! I's pretty funny!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Scarf and Doll Sewing

There hasn't been much new lately. I had to stop working on the sock to finish up Carla's birthday present which turned out very nice. She really liked it, but I forgot to get a pic of the finished scarf. At least I can post a pic of the pineapple pattern now and the colors of the yarn. I was really happy with the colors, it turned out really pretty. I dyed a lot of it; 3 skeins which is pretty close to 800 yds. I used just under 2 of the skeins so there is plenty left. I am crocheting an American Girl shawl with what's left of the 2nd skein, I'm not sure what I'll do with the 3rd.

I made a Halloween outfit for my American Girl and listed it on E-bay. It's the first time I've sold anything on E-bay in way over a year. If it doesn't sell there I'll list it in my Etsy store, although doll clothes are not a big seller on Etsy. I also made a little Halloween dress for my p-90 Toni. I've had her for a long time, at least 18 months and this is the first time I've sewn for her. I think I'm going to list her dress and panties too but I need a bit of black velvet ribbon for a belt.

I worked on the other sock over at mom's yesterday, I am to the heel now and will hopefully get the heel turned and be well into the foot before I go to bed tonight. I like to knit while I watch Olbermann and Rachel Maddow in the evening after dinner.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Finished Sock

Ok, here's pics of the first sock after I turned the heel, and then after I was finished with it. I'm working on the second one now. I had to sew up a hole on one side of the heel on the first one and my kitchener stitch isn't that well but I still think it's pretty good for a first effort. I hope it's mate is better.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More on the Bail Out

So in the excitement of making my first pair of socks, I didn't mention the economic news at all. I figure sock knitting is pretty important. If things get really bad maybe knowing how to knit socks will be a necessary skill! Ha-ha; as long as we still buy cheap shit from china, I suppose that isn't a danger.

Anyway, it doesn't seem that we need to pass legislation quite as quickly as Paulson and the Bush administration would have us believe. While the stock market plummeted way over 700 points on Monday, it rebounded some yesterday. I realize that something is going to passed in Congress, but I don't think it has to be a Wall Street bail out. I still really don't see the value of buying up bad debt when there are other things that can be done instead. I really think it makes more sense to buy the mortgages of people who are loosing their homes and renegotiate the loans so those people don't loose them. And I don't trust anyone from this administration; I don't care what kind of oversight there is, this money will end up in the pockets of Wall Street fat cats. I was listening to the radio yesterday and there was a Representative on who voted no on the bail out; I can't remember who it was, but Thom Hartmann pointed out that Paulson looked really worried and frantic on Monday. The rep pointed out it was because he and his Wall Street cronies had been reduced from billionaires to multi-millionaires.

On the other hand, I realize that credit is drying up for those small businesses that run on lines of credit for their payroll and what not and that is important. Again, I may not know much about economics but there has to be a way around that that doesn't involve giving Wall Street 700 billion dollars. We aren't the only country going through this; in Great Britain the government just stepped in and took over one of their banks. Maybe something like that makes more sense. Of course the Republicans would never go for that, but maybe if it was just a temporary measure til they were back on their feet. Whatever is done though, I think Congress needs to take the time to do it carefully and not be pushed into something that may look good at first but is still poison underneath. This is way too important not to get it right.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Knitting Socks!

The first pic is the beginning of the ribbing, then there are a couple of pics of the top part. The last 2 pics are of the heel flap. I am using a Lion Brand self striping sock yarn that Sio has had for ages. So far it's pretty easy; I think the hard part will be when I actually have to join the heel flap the the rest of the sock. Anyway, I'm pretty excited about this!

Monday, September 29, 2008


I've been working on some bags and I think they are turning out nicely. I am using recycled fabric for them. The camel one is recycled wool, and the applique leaves are from leftover dyed wool from my rug making stash. The lining is a leaf print that is recycled from a cotton top that I bought for $1 at the resale shop. The green bag is made from a pair of cords and a recycled sweater; I lined that with a new green on green cotton from my stash. The last one is the one I'm working on now. The solid black is from a pair of wool pants, the black and white is a silk/wool blend also from a pair of pants. I had it in my rug making stash but it ravels a bit more than I like to use. I have a set of black plastic handles that I might use, or I might make some. I'm going to find a vintage button to sew in the center of the red flower. I don't know what I'm using for a lining yet.

Sio and I went to Evanston on Saturday. Carla and her neighbor organized a bunch of people to bombard an empty lot with seeds to make it look better. It used to have a nice older building, but it was sold and knocked down to put up condos. In the current market I guess they didn't get their funding so the lot has just been sitting there. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and the lot will have wildflowers instead of just being an eyesore. In the past this might have been a waste of time but in the current economic climate there may never be a building on that lot. If things continue to worsen someone might tear down that fence and start growing food instead of flowers. We had lunch before hand at the Indian buffet, and dinner after at Lucky Platter where they have the best macaroni and cheese in the world!

It looks like they have come to some sort of agreement on a bail out bill in Congress. I haven't read the details yet so I'm going to do that now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This is from FoxNoise!

The results are in, it's probably been polled to death by now; Obama won last nights debate. I watched most of it and I think he did a fine job and he looked very presidential. McCain on the other hand looked mean and antagonistic. I don't think he looked at Obama even once. And when it comes to foreign policy I think Obama showed that he has the knowledge and the conviction to lead us down the right road. I wish they had spent a bit more time on the economy though; I don't think Obama spent enough time hammering home how bad this bailout will be, and how his tax policy will affect most Americans. And McCain spent too much time on his tax plan, Plus I'm not sure if we can really believe anyone on taxes if we end up footing the bill for Wall Street. That money has to come from somewhere.
Anyway, Fox did a bit on undecided voters, and I think their results are surprising considering how much they hate liberals:

Just came across this. Wow!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Am I Crazy?

I have been reading Naomi Klein's book "The Shock Doctrine"; I am not very far into it, maybe about 100 pages, but already I am making some eerie connections between some of the things that went on in South America and what is happening here. Thom Hartmann described what is happening on Wall Street as "The Shock Doctrine on steroids". Then there is the knowledge of how neo-con philosophy works. To grab and/or consolidate power they believe it's best to swoop in and grab during a national disaster of some sort, and if there isn't one happening, it's ok to create one. It is exactly what Friedman believed was the best way to gain control of a countrys economy and radically change it to "pure capitalism". While people are distraught and uncertain, just grab power. It happened on 9/11, and I think that's exactly what's going on now. I heard a soundbite of Bush talking in 2002 about how it would be a good thing to give people that didn't have good credit home loans so they could have nice houses too. I actually think that they knew something like this was going to happen. I think the real flaw was that it happened sooner than they expected it to. It would have been better had this crisis come about right before the elections or even after them. Another Naomi, Naomi Wolf has also written a couple of books. (I haven't read them, however I am about to rectify that starting today.) She was interviewed this morning on the radio, and I caught the interview. Anyway, in her book "End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot", she outlines how a regime takes over a country, and she puts forth the case that we are in the last stages of a coup, and that if we don't do something these elections may be the last elections that we see. I have believed for a long time that Cheney and Rove will not willing give up the power that they have gained. Besides the finacial meltdown, there are also some other things going on. The same Naomi Wolf has written an excellent piece over on the Huffington Post that talks about how Palins speeches are written by Bush's speech writers, and "that there are dozens of Bush and Rove operatives surrounding Sarah Palin and orchestrating her every move". The article is downright scary. Read it for yourself Then there is this little item I read about also, and heard mention of on the radio this morning:

Maybe I am crazy, but if the dots are connected it gets really scary. Are we that close to a police state? And even if we aren't, just the thought that we could be should be causing outrage in the American people. I have to ask, why aren't we marching in the street? Even real Republicans, not the fucking neo-cons, but real conservatives, should be outraged at the possible bid for power that may be in the making. I am holding out hope that Congress not giving Paulson and his cronies exactly what they want is sending a message back to the neo-cons and corporatists; that it might not be as easy as they think it will be. And if there is even a wisp of a belief that this election has been tampered with people will be marching in the streets. We are a democracy, and by God we need to remain one!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If it Smells Like Poop.....

...chances are it is. And that's exactly how I see the whole collapse of the "banking industry" and the bail out that's supposed to put it back on it's feet. Now, I know I am not an economic expert, however, the way I see this is, we let the fox in the chicken coop and he decimated the chickens. Now he's back with his tail between his legs asking us to put more chickens in the coop and then just leave him alone and everything will be ok. I think not, especially when those chickens are costing 700 billion dollars.And what will there be for the families out there who have lost their homes, or who are on the verge of losing them? As far as I can see, nothing. I'll also admit I don't know a lot about the last depression; however I do know that Hoover tried a very similar bail out plan then, and it didn't work. You can't take nothing and make something from it, and the whole financial sector was mostly made up of smoke and mirrors; trying to make something from nothing. John said yesterday that world wide one hundred thousand trillion dollars (and that means nothing to me; I'm still trying to get my head around 700 billion) is in derivatives. That's more than the GDP for the whole planet! And none of it, as far as I can tell, is real! It's total insanity, and they just want more money to continue it for a few weeks until after the elections. And that's all this bail out plan will do.

Anyway, I say tighten the belts and let it fall now.Make no mistake, we are going to have to assume a lot of the bad debt, and we're going to go through a painful time, but unfettered capitalism my ass! Wall Street shouldn't get a damn thing; if we're going to start doling out money then lets do some of the things FDR did. How about we start on the infrastructure of this country? A lot of people can be put to work in good paying jobs that way. And what about all the green jobs that can be created? And the homeowners that are about to be foreclosed on? Lets step in and renegotiate those loans to a low interest rate so the can stay in them. And then lets re institute the regulations on the banking industry! I think the last 25-30 years have shown that an unfettered free market is NOT the salvation of the world. One time I was upset about something and Melissa said that spitting on Milton Friedman's grave might make me feel better; well it's time to collectively spit on it, and then inscribe some sort of warning on his headstone so we don't let this happen again!

Oh, one of the things that was a bit funny was John trying to explain to Sio how this whole thing came about. He tried various ways, and explained to her what a Ponzi scheme was, but she just couldn't get it. She kept saying things like "Why would people invest in things that aren't real?" and "I thought these guys were supposed to be really smart, right?" I think the only thing she understands is that her generation is probably going to be left totally bankrupt and owing trillions of dollars to China. And she's already so cynical, this just shows her that she's right to be.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Water Water Every Where

I was out in the neighborhood taking pics of the incredible flooding this morning. It's higher than yesterday, Salt Creek wasn't supposed to crest until this morning. John said he doesn't remember it ever being this bad when he was growing up although there was a guy up on Normandy who said that it was worse than this in 1986; he showed me where the water came to then. There was a house that had a boat tied up to the light post. We are very lucky being in the spot we are; we had a little water but not too bad.

I know that the banking industry is going through the wringer right now. It doesn't bode well for things to come. JHK's post is all about it this morning:
He is also saying that we should be refering to the Republican Party as the "party that wrecked America", which is a pretty accurate description. I haven't given a lot of it much thought with all the rain, and today I'm taking garbage out of the basement, so I don't think the full magnitude has sunk in. I'm anxious to hear what Thom Hartmann has to say.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More on Palin

I read an article in the NYT about how Sarah filled government posts. It makes for some interesting reading.

I don't think playing favorites is the way to fulfill your duties as the Vice President of the US. I also read another article that talked about how her husband Todd sat in on a lot of the government business of Alaska, to the point where it was questioned about why he would need to be there.

That just supports my argument against having a conservative right-wing Christian in the second most powerful office in the nation, just a heartbeat away from the most powerful job on earth. Don't people realize that because of her religious views we won't be getting Sarah Palin as leader, we will be getting Sarah Palin who is obedient to Todd, her husband; who is head of her? Melissa told John that some of the women in her knitting group were rampant Hillary supporters and now say they will vote for McCain; and that Melissa is sexist because she doesn't support Palin. What is wrong with these women? Don't they realize that by voting McCain/Palin they will set the Women's Movement back by decades? Honestly, if that's what we've come to in this country; if intelligent people are going to let themselves be so blinded by their emotions, we might as well pack it up and move to Canada and let them live with the consequences of their decision. I mean, it's insane! Actually, Matt Damon calls it absurd and compares it to a really bad Disney movie in this youtube video:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

After Concert Blogging

What do you do if you are an ageing classic rock band whose lead singer is no longer with you? You get another singer who is half your age, sounds a lot like your old one, has a tremendous amount of energy and you carry on. That's exactly what Journey has done; and I was surprised at the results. They have a new cd, which I haven't listened to, and they did a few songs from that; and a whole bunch of older ones and Arnel Pineda did a fine job with them. He really does sound a lot like Steve Perry. Richard said they found him in a karaoke bar. Go figure. Apparently the new album has been nominated for classic rock album of the year and was #1 on Billboard.

Cheap Trick opened, and I've never been a fan; but the songs I knew they did well. I forgot they are the band that does the theme song from "That 70's Show", and they opened with that. All in all they were ok.

The band we were really going for was Heart. Since they were 2nd they only played an hour, and Sio, Chris, John and I agreed they did too much of their slower stuff and not enough of their kick ass stuff. They were better when we saw them last year at Napervilles Ribfest. However, when we saw them at Ribfest, and again last night, they did an excellent cover of The Who's "Rain on Me". I blogged awhile back on cover songs, and actually I have to say that if I had video of Heart last night I would post it. I have to say it's one of the best covers I've ever seen. They were just really great; it was the highpoint of their show. Plus it rained, kind of a steady drizzle, but getting a bit harder at times, the entire night, so it was a fitting song.

Speaking of rain, one of the high points of the show for me was when Sio called Melissa during Barracuda and held up her cell phone so Melissa could hear where we were. A couple minutes later Melissa texted back "You rule." Then Sio sent another text, because the show was so short and said "It kind of sucked". Melissa replied in a text saying "At least it wasn't rained out" Siobhan took a picture of John dripping water in his rain poncho to send to Melissa, but she couldn't figure out how to send pics, so she sent another text describing the picture. It was pretty funny.

The rain held over into today and we spent most of the morning getting water out of the basement. Sio and I are both thinking that Celticfest has been cancelled, so I guess we'll probably just go out to eat. It kind of ended up being a let down weekend.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wonky House Rug and Other Stuff

Here is a picture of the wonky house rug. It's been pretty much finished for weeks now except for the upper left hand corner, just about 2 inches. I picked it up and finished it in about 20 minutes or less this morning and I'm going to sew it into a pillow.

Tonight is Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey. I have to confess that I'm not all that excited about them; I probably would be if CelticFest weren't tomorrow. I'm soooo looking forward to that. We are going early and staying til the GBS show is over. It's supposed to rain, but it's supposed to rain tonight too.

Oh, I started back at Hancock for just 5 or 6 weeks til Lorraine comes back from medical leave. Mr Skeen really needed someone so he could get a break. But after she comes back I'm leaving again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

CelticFest and Other Stuff

CelticFest is this Saturday and Sio and I are going. Great Big Sea is playing on Saturday night and I'm pretty excited, even though I don't like what I've heard of the cd. I expect they'll play some old stuff too, they always do. Mairi Rankin is there too, and I'd like to see her. This is my first time at the fest, too, even though I've been saying forever that I was going to go. Since it's in Grant Park we can take the train and walk. And since we'll get weekend passes I can go to Geneva to the yarn store on Sunday too.

I have been pretty busy with the crocheting and recycling sweaters, plus I finished the scarf I was knitting. It looks very nice and I want to knit a watch cap to go with it.

We've also done a lot of fishing; the weather has been perfect, not hot but not cool either. We all have caught nice size fish, but John still holds the record for biggest out of the 3 of us.