My annual winter malaise seems to be drawing to a close. If I could simply hibernate for most of November and December, life would be so much easier.

In any event, this winter I did manage to get out of bed on most of the shortest, dreariest days. Whether it was the B12 shots the doc said I needed, the fish oil capsules and multivitamin she told me to start taking, or simply the excitement of being back in the city, I got through it. Now the days are getting longer and I'm already beginning to perk up.

And I met someone to knit with. This isn't us, but I like the photo.

We got together earlier this week in the local Star*uck's and had a lovely time. She was working on some new lace; I cast on a white chenille hat. I want to make some new bunny-eared hats for Easter. There's a cute free pattern here if you want to make some, too.


DIY Cat Scratcher Pattern

A few months ago I wanted to figure out how to make a cardboard scratcher for the girls. Well, someone has finally posted directions for a good-looking and what appears to be easy-to-make cardboard cat scratcher. I'm sure the girls would like this one. (Thanks to moderncat for the link.)


A Little Local Wildlife

In Our Backyard

Apparently, there are nearly 200 different species of birds identified each year in Prospect Park. Imagine! That's a lot of birds passing through the middle of New York City. Over the past few weeks, Mr. O'Kitten and I have been fascinated by an all-white pigeon mingling with the other birds in our backyard. At first I thought it might be an albino, but I can't tell whether or not it has red or pink eyes.

I like to think of every New York City block creating an enclave of wildlife, with its gardens or greenery, birds, cats, squirrels, mice and other critters living in a little ecosystem almost unto itself.

Almost in Our Backyard

Then last night on the news there was a bit about wild monk (or quaker) parrots living in Brooklyn.

Made in Our Backyard

Lucy, Monster Hat No. 16

Lucy likes trains, Abby Cadabby, snow, and books. When she grows up to be a big monster she thinks she would like to be a bus driver, an astronaut, a baseball player, and a fairy princess.

Lucy is made of KPPPM and Yarn Lust tencel-merino 50-50 sock yarn.

Lucy and Mackenzie, who is now two.

Bonus Material

Broken Piggy Bank by Veronika Nagy.

Make a monthly spending plan -- new at The Money Shot.


A New Shtuff

I finally posted something new at the Money Shot.
Go there to find out what this wee notebook is for.

"And this interests me because--?"

Happy Delurking Day! Thanks to everyone who visits me. I know you're out there--why not say hi today? I always reply if Bloogleglogger gives me your email address--although I know it makes it hard to leave comments and I'm guessing that if you visit and *don't* leave a comment it's because of the Glooglebloggle and not me, right? Right?

You can always email me at sohopixieATyahooDOTcom as well. {Speaking of which, SB, I'm sorry I didn't connect with you while you were in the city, and SU, I don't have your email addy.} Welcome one and all, lurkers and unlurkers and delurkers alike!


Stuff I Don't Really Quite Get

I remain a Luddite about a lot of stuff, and there are many things that other people seem to enjoy a great deal that I simply can't fathom. Here's a partial list.

Does this look fun?

1. Warm climates. I simply cannot bear hot, humid weather. I grew up in such a climate and found the weather absolutely intolerable. Aside from perhaps having some pretty flowers (however, see Item No. 2), I simply can't see the appeal of visiting hot climates for vacation purposes. I don't like being in the water for any reason, and see swimming merely as a survival skill, much like tying a tourniquet or performing the Heimlich. If I'm lucky I could probably dog-paddle about 15 feet to safety should I fall into the water. If it's non-turbulent, not-very-cold water, that is.

To which I reply: Does this look fun?

2. Gardening. I have killed cactus (not on purpose). Plants do not mew or bark when they are hungry or thirsty, and they sure seem to need a lot of attention without giving you any in return. Then, there is the incessant weeding. And if you grew up in the afore-mentioned hot climate, your garden patch was inevitably rife with stinging fire ants. Need I say more?

The worst of two worlds.

3. Aerobic exercise. I know I should be able to find something redeeming in this one, but I simply cannot bear gasping for breath. Why would I willingly exert myself until I felt as though my heart and my lungs were going to explode? Here in New York I walk a lot--and briskly, beacause that's what New Yorkers do--and I hope that's enough.

Maybe I'll knit an iPhone, since everyone seems to think I need a cell.

4. Cell phones. Here's where my Luddite leanings are glaringly apparent. I don't even like regular phones--in fact, I have something of a phobia of the ringing telephone. I rarely answer it when I'm at home, so why would I want people to be able to find me when I'm not at home? And does anyone remember that not very long ago (not that long, I'm only 40) we didn't even have answering machines? How did we ever survive?! Heh.

5. Ugg boots. Are these going to go away soon? Of course, there was a time we thought rainbow suspenders and jelly shoes were cool, too.

Thanks, Mork.

And boy, would these make your feet sweat. Ew.

6. Artificial sweeteners. Okay, if you can't have sugar for medical reasons I understand this one. But does anyone have any idea how bad for you aspartame (i.e. Nutra-Sweet) is? I once met a woman whose father was an executive for Nutra-Sweet and he wouldn't let his family touch the stuff. Really. The medical evidence was so weighty against aspartame and the FDA was so loathe to approve it back in the early 1980s that it became a huge political fiasco. So you know who was brought in to push it through the system? A young Donald Rumsfeld. Scary stuff. So you might want to file this under stuff you'd rather not know.

So what don't you really quite get as 2009 commences? Leave us a comment and let us know.


When You Ask a Klingon to Watch Your Cat

Does anyone besides me remember Data's cat Spot from Star Trek: The Next Generation?

Here's one of my favorite clips, when Data asks Worf to pet-sit and has to explain a bit about cat behavior to the slightly reluctant Klingon.

"Unlike a canine, Spot does not respond to verbal commands..."