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Monday, May 3, 2010

Emergency Prepardness

We live in an earthquake, volcano, sunami zone and I have delayed putting together an emergency backpack with a couple days' supply of food and necessities for a LONG time. I think I was afraid I wouldn't pack the right things, but finally I realized that anything is better than nothing, when it comes to your emergency backpack. I hung three backpacks in the laundry room and started putting things into mine. I found a couple pair of clean underwear in my drawer that looked like they were about two wearings from the rag bag, and put them in my bag. I figured I'd appreciate them a lot more when/if they were the only clean undies I had! I'm going to put the worst pair of scissors in the house in there, too, for the same reason; we certainly won't miss them around the house, and we'd no doubt LOVE them if we didn't have another pair. It's all relative, you know?

The Canned Food Outlet is a great place to pick up things for your backpack. You can find seafood, meat, and fruit in small cans that open with a pulltab. Don't forget bottles of water, a pocket knife, bandaids, a couple washcloths, soap, WetOnes, a comb, tiny containers of shampoo, etc., and a roll of toilet paper. If you're like me and take several prescriptions daily, be sure you put in a week's worth of those, too (and remember to switch them out every month or two, so they're current). And put in some Tylenol or Ibuprofen, or whatever pain killers are your faves--emergency situations can be a headache, literally!

Don't be like I was and be afraid you won't pack your bag "correctly "and with the "right" stuff, or that you'll forget something important. Just start!! Today! Now! Even if you only put in a few things, you'll be glad you have them if you have to run for your life!! I promise.

Table Still Clean, JD Monkey Has Tail, Knitting in the Dark

Happy Monday from the exceedingly soggy SW corner of WA state. It's another one of our usual spring days, with alternating rain and sunny periods. The wind continues to feel very cold and nothing wants to grow very much in the garden.
I am happy to report that our kitchen table has stayed relatively clean for the last entire week! I only had to put away a few grocery items before I took this picture. It appears that my plan is working, whereby I publish a picture of my table every Monday MORNING. I am amending my promise to make it before NOON, otherwise, I might post a picture at 11:59 pm. and that is giving me way too much rope!
I almost FORGOT Mr. John Deere monkey's TAIL!!! Without his tail he could NOT be a monkey!!! (Ask any zoologist--it's true; without his tail, he'd be an APE and none of us want that, at least he and I don't).
I have finally solved the problem of simplifying my monkey's design. I used a toe up sock toe for this prototype's head and I didn't want to have to explain that process in a pattern--it's not all that complicated, but for someone who's never done it, there is quite a lot of explaining.
So, after a lot of thought and trial and error, I finally remembered how the Christmas stockings I've knit go together, and decided to use that relatively simple way to make the monkey's body. You knit the body on two needles until you get to the heel (monkey's rear)--that is much easier than using the toe-up sock toe and I wanted my pattern to be easy enough for a beginner to knit.
I tried to knit in the semi-dark at a concert last night, and you know, I didn't do half badly until I realized that I had dropped a stitch. I found that, yes, I CAN knit in the dark, but no, I CANNOT pick up a dropped stitch in the dark--that can be difficult enough in the bright light; especially if you'd knit several rows (like I did) before you noticed a stitch had been dropped. So, I'd say the knitting-in-the-dark experiment was at least partly successful. Blind people knit, so I thought maybe I didn't need light to knit either. However, practice at this is necessary and DO NOT, under any circumstances, drop a stitch or you're in BIG TROUBLE!!