Water falling down

It is soggy in this part of California lately.

Very, very soggy.

I keep reminding myself that once upon a time, this kind of heavy rain was the norm during the winter – before the big long ugly drought hit and the whole state was focused on finding ways to cut back on water usage. Now that things seem to get getting back to ‘normal’ (albeit rather suddenly), there’s a sense of relief as the reservoirs are all filling up and the snow pack is growing, but in the meantime, it has begun to feel a bit as if we really ought to be investing in small boats, in preparation for the impending flood.

*****

Today’s snowflake is #36 in the book.

Why yes, there are a lot of similarities between this snowflake and yesterday’s snowflake. The difference, however, is that the longer points are *joined* in this one and they weren’t in yesterdays. Also the center is bigger and the points look more like hands reaching out to grab you.

Or you could just pretend they look like frogs legs instead. Your preference.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Yo ho ho or something

Today’s snowflake (#35 in the book) has a very nautical theme to it. Ahoy, Captain! Thar be kraken off the port bow!

Yeah, okay, so it’s been a long day and I’m tired, whatever.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Picots

I’ve seen people mentioning Santa Clarita Diet on Facebook but didn’t know anything about it until my parents mentioned that it had to do with zombies. Naturally my ears perked up because, well, zombies! So this evening we decided to give the first episode a try during dinner.

Four episodes later, we’re hooked. I know the zombie thing is so last year, but shockingly, someone came up with something entirely new to do with the zombie genre for this show. It’s absolutely hysterical.

*****

My enthusiasm for picots was never high to begin with. It is even less so after today’s snowflake (Snowflake #34 in the book).

Picots. So very many picots. Shudder.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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I shall name them all Casper

Today was the annual Free Museum Day in Sacramento, which means we browsed through the list and looked for one that was least likely to be swarmed. Last year we missed it, for some reason or another (who knows) but the year before we checked out the Medical History Museum. Figuring that was a good theme, this year we decided to give the Pharmacy Museum a try.

Much like the Medical History Museum, the Pharmacy museum is hidden away in an unassuming office park. It is, in fact, not actually ever open to the public the rest of the year (without an appointment).

They’ve laid it out in three separate tableau – the first representing a typical pharmacy from the 1890’s; the second a typical pharmacy from the 1940’s, and the third from the 1970’s. We had a delightful guide who told us all sorts of tidbits about each of the eras, and patiently answered lots of questions.

It was quite interesting and a sobering reminder of just how recent so many medications we take for grated actually became available.

*****

There have been a number of snowflakes so far where I start it, get a little way into it, and then cannot make heads or tails of the next instructions, so I set it down and wander away from it for a while to give my brain a rest, and then once I finally pick it back up, it makes (vaguely) more sense.

This one took two rounds of ‘what the heck are they talking about’, and for the first time since starting the snowflake saga (including last year), I actually pondered skipping this one and just going on to the next one.

Thankfully I did not, because I rather like how it turned out, and not just because all the main points look a lot like tiny little ghosts waving their arms in the air and yelling ‘boo’.

(And now you’re giving it a closer look, aren’t you. You’re welcome.)

This snowflake also has the honor of being (so far) the only snowflake in the book that requires you to break the yarn in the middle and rejoin it, resulting in twice as many stupid ends to weave in (astute readers may note from the pictures that the end-weaving-in hasn’t happened yet for any of the snowflakes I’ve made (uh…including the 29 I made last year – shhh) because I am leaving *that* loathsome chore for a much, much later date).

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Toasty

Today I had to go to a giant plumbing showroom to meet with a guy to review and then place the order for all the appliances and what-not for the upcoming bathroom remodel, and while I was there I needed to use the necessary and….

…the toilets in their restrooms have heated seats.

I can see how that would be a delightful thing on cold winter mornings when one really doesn’t want to place one’s delicate buttocks on ice cold porcelain, but I admit my mind went immediately (as it often does any time I ponder appliances/furniture/what-not for the house) to how this would work in a house full of cats.

Alas, the high potential for amusement as the cats vie for positions on the toasty-warm seats, and accidentally fall in is simply not enough to justify the price. So instead our cats will just have to suffer with only two big heating pads and the heated bed and a houseful of furniture and blankets to keep them warm.

*****

So these snowflakes. The book I’m working from arranged them (mostly) in order of difficulty and size, which means the ones I did last year were all the really easy ones (HA HA HA) and now I am making my way through the intermediate ones and I think it is important to point out that my crochet skills have not improved all that much since last year, and would it *kill* the book publishers to have done charts instead of a solid giant block of written directions that result in my losing my place multiple times and having to do a lot of ripping out and swearing, grr.

Anyway.

Here is snowflake #32.

It is 4 1/2 inches across, which is *much* bigger than the ones last year (I think maybe the largest from last year was about 2 inches in diameter, and I’m using #30 crochet cotton thread and a size 1.9 mm crochet hook – same as last year). There was a lot of under-the-breath swearing involved in this one.

A lot.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Or should they be called ‘Freedom Pancakes’?

Apparently February 2nd is Crepe Day in France for some reason or another that I am too lazy to go look up, so naturally I decided this meant we needed to have crepes for dinner.

Crepes are one of those things that are unnecessarily fiddly (okay, let’s face it, a *lot* of French baking is unnecessarily fiddly) because the batter is nothing more than regular pancake batter to which someone accidentally added too much liquid. All you really need to make them is a regular frying pan and a rubber spatula (pro tip: using a metal one is more likely to shred your crepe ASK ME HOW I KNOW) and of course a whole lot of patience because you have to have the lubrication and the heat *just so* on your pan or else they are a giant mess, often leading to swearing, and usually I have to discard the first three or four crepes I make until I work out all the magic settings.

Anyway. All this is to say for dinner we had Crepes with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Herb Sour Cream (helpful note – the recipe does not specify fresh or dried dill but TRUST ME they mean fresh because that is otherwise WAY TOO MUCH dill), followed by Crepes with Lemon Sauce (just google it, there’s a bazillion recipes out there), and the fact that our Meyer lemon tree is once again trying to take over the world in lemons had nothing whatsoever to do with the choice of recipes, no not at all.

*****

But enough about crepes! You’re here for the snowflakes (right? right? Just nod and smile), so here’s today’s.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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You only think this is deja vu

Oh look, it’s February! And we all know what that means! It’s time once again for Thingadailies, where I, along with everyone else who’s craz….I mean, brave enough to join in, commit to making one thing a day for the entire month.

And here is today’s thing.

Yes, I know, some of you are going to point out that I made snowflakes last year too, but these are *different* snowflakes. This one, for instance, is Snowflake #30 from this book, because last year I whipped up Snowflakes #1 – #29, and there are 99 in the book, and despite the last few weeks morosely staring at my yarn stash and poking around on Ravelry and nothing else jumped out at me (except possibly hats, except that last year somewhere around March I went a wee bit overboard and knit up something like 30 or so hats so…uh…I really don’t need to make more hats at the present time. Or possibly ever.), so snowflakes it is.

Whee.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Getting into the spirit

We put up the tree today.

Long-term readers will note that in years past (seven, to be exact – which coincidentally matches up with the number of years Rupert has been a member of our household – go figure!) this has been a very cat-involved process. After all, when one has cats that regularly treat the Christmas tree as just another jungle gym, one accumulates a selection of inexpensive, non-breakable ornaments and keeps all the nice, breakable ones packed securely away for the distant future when this is no longer a problem. And after the first year or so we just sort of shrugged and pretty much embraced the cat-infested tree, and I admit I actually sort of look forward to seeing who scales it first.

We pulled the tree box out. Sherman practiced looking innocent.

We opened up the box. Rupert and Sherman immediately had to investigate.

First section set up. Rupert came over and sniffed but then basically did the cat equivalent of shrugging and ignored it.

Nutmeg’s enthusiasm for the whole process, meanwhile, was palpable.

Sherman – who’s been our primary ‘supervisor’ in years past, climbed up briefly, but once a branch accidentally smacked him in the face, he wandered off. He bounced around the room a bit, but climbing the tree just wasn’t on his mind.

We put up all the ornaments – a couple cats came over to investigate those and Sherman did the customary taste-test on the tree lights (for some reason he really likes to gnaw on them. Luckily they’re made of super-thick plastic so he can’t hurt them).

The fully decorated tree, with a festive top.

A close-up of the tree topper. The Santa hat is what makes him festive. Ho, ho, he’ll drive you all insane, ho.

Later we decided to decorate Nutmeg, who is clearly thrilled by the experience.

‘Tis the season for Holidailies.

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Delicate balance

I flew home last night. The plane I was on was less than 60% full. I know this because they called up all the people in rows 8 – 11 and re-seated them elsewhere because apparently if the plane is that empty and everyone is in the front then it gets nose-heavy and isn’t safe to fly or something. Of course, the fun part of this is that rows 8 – 11 were all the economy-plus seats, where the frequent travelers who didn’t make the first class upgrade cut get to sit with a couple inches more leg room.

I am not sure how I feel about the fact that a massive piece of machinery capable of traveling great distances through the sky can be apparently be brought down by 24 people sitting in the wrong spot. But luckily, despite the great lamentations and woe that all the re-seated people expressed, many at length, to the gate agents during the entire re-seating process, everyone stayed in their new seats and we all made it to SF in one piece. Yay.

‘Tis the season for Holidailies.

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Pre-caffeine

The hotel room has a bathroom scale. Why? Who decided this should be a thing?

There is a bench in one of the elevators in the hotel. I am confused by this. The hotel only has ten floors. It isn’t as if it takes a really long time to travel up or down. I mean, major high rise, okay, it could be useful for a quick cat nap, but 10 stories?

“Our restaurant just earned a Michelin Star,” I was told when I first checked in, “so if you’d like to dine there, you’ll need to make reservations.” After the very long meeting yesterday I brought up the restaurant website and took a look at the prices. HA HA HA NEVER MIND, and this is why one doesn’t dine at Michelin Star restaurants when one is traveling for business and I totally earned that peanut butter shake after I had to walk all over the damn place to get more reasonably priced food so STOP JUDGING ME hotel bathroom scale.

There is an ice bucket in my room. This is normal for a hotel room. What isn’t normal is the loud crackling noises that startled the patooties out of me as I sat there, enjoying my (locally sourced, hipster-produced) cheeseburger in complete defiance of Judgy McJudgyScale in the bathroom, and continued until I realized that the sounds were from the ice in the ice bucket, settling. The ice that I DID NOT PUT THERE. So, apparently policy in this place is to fill up the ice buckets. This perplexes me on so many levels, not the least of which is that they did this alongside the notice about conserving water.

One final note. I realize that the world is changing and technology is taking over, but it is very cruel to make a tired person who is suffering from jet lag and also insomnia (because hello, wide-awake at 3am – whee!) try to figure out a complicated coffee making doodad in order to ingest the caffeine that is required in order to figure out a complicated coffee-making doodad.

‘Tis the season for Holidailies.

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