Blachoo!

That’s a cross between a “Blah” and a sneeze. I’m sick, but on the upswing. Starting coming down with it Saturday. I must’ve gotten it from my folks’ housekeeper when she came Thursday, a wonderful and amazing woman named Minnie who is 83 and still is so determined to work she comes in when she is sick and claims it is mild sinus woes and insists as always on staying until after ten pm slowly folding clothes despite pleas, protests, and occasional impatient outbursts asking her to take care of herself and go home. She once told me she had worked all her life and she didn’t intend to stop now. I told her if she never tried not working, how did she know she wouldn’t like it. She dismissed me. (She’s also told me some amazing stories about being a little girl in Athens and later living in segregated DC, but those I’ll relate at a different time.) She can’t see very well and misses a lot so my mother secretly hires another housekeeper to come on another day to do the bulk of the housework. My parents both knew Minnie really had a cold, since this is what she always does, but they didn’t think to tell me, so here I am, knee deep in tissues, thinking I can’t even complain because I am 32 and work reclining in bed with papers and reference books.
Also I’m house and kitty sitting this week in a gigamongous luxury house. I also feed the koi, and when I’m not feeling sick and the heat index isn’t 107 I’ll pick some of the apples–anybody want any–there are lots–they’re cooking apples, good and sweet. Yesterday I saw a huge preying mantis perched on the handrail, a barky brown, probably four inches long, perhaps longer. When I take working breaks and play with Miss Emma, who I swear has kitten ADHD, I look through the incredible library of knit magazines and books. I’m thinking of trying a knit miniskirt. You have to cast on some insane number of stitches, like 500+, but you quickly eat those up in k2togs and such to make ruffles. There’s also an amazing scarf in the Stitch n Bitch book with an optical illusion of sorts–you look at it in just the right light and angle and an alien face emerges. It’s a trick with texture–you do purls in the stockinette to make the pattern stand up. I’m not really interested in making the alien one, but I think it would be so cool to apply it some other way, but I don’t know how yet. A rabbit coming out of a top hat? The face of the Virgin? The faces/vase illusion? Any suggestions?
And for those of you keeping up with my mild soap opera, Joe was here this weekend. I didn’t see him much, because he spent a lot of time with his friends and family, which was good. He did go to Hancock Fabrics with me to get a pom-pom maker for my felted baby bunny slippers, and when I was sick he brought me a salad from DePalma’s and his mother’s copy of the latest Harry Potter book, which she bought in England. I can’t wait to hear about her trip. I didn’t even think about it, but she was in Cambridge during the bomb attacks in London. She goes most summers to take continuing ed classes–how awesome would that be? This year she studied Alexander the Great and the War of the Roses. She took Medieval Women and Medieval Architecture one year–it had lots of special field trips. Ahh, someday perhaps. Wouldn’t it be fun to shop for yarn there? Anyway, our visit was nice. He was shaking pretty bad when he brought me the salad, and he sweat a lot. I think his health is pretty bad. His blood pressure has been insanely high whenever it’s been checked. I hope he’ll be okay. He forgot to bring my camera cable (arghh!) but says he will mail it to me. Pictures . . . eventually.

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