me, Mavis

I knit. I garden. I co-manage an eclectic shop. I sometimes work in real estate. I sometimes swing a hammer. I always volunteer in my community. I live in an old house with my nice family of one husband and three beastly cats. I have great friends. These are the things that matter to me, Mavis.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

End of Week Observations and Musings

1. I was driving along the Washington Beltway Wednesday morning and passed three big dump trucks all in line one after the other. Each had large lettering across the tailgate. I read each as I passed.

First: "The Lord Hears Your Prayers"

Second: "The Lord is the Light"

Last: "Pimpin Ain't Easy"

2. While I have talked a bit here about my Swingin' A Hammer Career, I haven't shared very much about my Exciting Career in Real Estate. That is partly because my business has been slow, and partly because of the kind of crap that transpires when I am busy that is too godawful ugly to set to type. Last Monday I listed a house and another will go on the market this coming Monday. This is the time that I have lots and lots of interaction with my fellow Realtors.* and I always think to myself, "I wish everyone could be smart enough to remember the Unofficial-But-So-Important-to-the-Success-of-Your-Transaction, First Rule of Real Estate. To Wit:

(You thought it was "Location, Location, Location", huh? -- WRONG!! NO SOUP FOR YOU!)

3. So I've been busy with the Exciting Career in Real Estate and thinking about the First Rule of Real Estate (see #2 above) and along comes a Subpoena to testify in a case brought by a former client from a looooong time ago against an "Inc." that I don't recognize. My relationship with said former client ended Way Bad and I have no idea of the subject of her case. OK, I was called by the Defendant and have exchanged several phone messages with their Attorney over my role. I have made it clear that I understand my obligation to appear and my obligation to (perhaps) produce my files. At first "Joe Esq." offered to have me on call as he wasn't even sure he needed my testimony. Somewhere in my questions about document production, he caught a major attitude, became rude, and I ended our call post haste. Shortly thereafter, he called and left a message on my phone suggesting we should continue our discussion. Hmmm, maybe he's thinking about a similar First Rule of Getting The Testimony You Want:

4. All of this negative stuff is hurtin' Wally's High. (Can you see all the catnip on that shiny back??!?!?!)
* By the way, the word is REAL-TOR -- 2 syllables please -- not REAL-A-TOR. THANKS!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ow, my Teefs Hurt!

Thanks VK and 'nat for your comments about "Becky." After I pout a little more, I'll pick it back up and see what I might do about "losing the tie."

Speaking of pouting, I have a second reason. I visited the Ortho place yesterday and received a new higher gauge arch wire. ouch. OUCH OUCH OUCH!

Either I have a great power to forget, or this is the worst hurt since the start. I left the office all perky proud after that cute Dr. B said "you're looking fabulous." Oh, I could certainly say the same for you, Dr. B. (this is for you, GG)

My rush was wearing thin by about 2:00 and when I got home at 4-ish, I headed straight for the drugs. For me, Mavis, this is a big deal. I buy the smallest bottle of OTC pain reliever and usually toss more than half because it reaches the expiration date.

I took one. Two hours later, I took a second, along with a double scotch. By bedtime, I was feeling pretty good. This morning it was all back again, so I hit the scotch -- oh I mean, I hit the ibuprophen again. Surprisingly, it seems to be working.

I hope it continues ... I have to sit through 3 hours of continuing ed today and I'm certain it will be dull enough to leave me no option but to concentrate on my teeth.

But maybe I can concentrate on my next knitting project! The one highlight of last evening was a new catalog from Ram Wools. I was lovin' nearly every page!

One thing in particular that caught my eye is the Tussah Silk. From what I read, unlike typical silk which involves boiling the worms in order to take the cocoons, the cocoons of the Tussah silkworm is havested AFTER the moths emerge. This would make is okay for me,Mavis to use! And, I love the colors!

I guess I have some time to continue researching the product because a) I have a huge stash already; and b) my wallet is pretty thin.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Becky's Disappointing Climax

All give praise; "Becky" is done.

Though the finishing work was my best effort yet, I am left with an aching hollowness.

Becky looks OK ... actually quite good ... on DH's dress form ... you can check it out in the Gallery here --

-- but it looks like shit-on-a-twisted-stick on me, Mavis.

See ...

First, that lovely, LOVELY color that I so adored while knitting, ... um ... maybe it's not good for me. Will a tan help?

Then, the plunging neckline -- which is so much lower than I anticipated -- also serves to show off my sensible, construction demo work, grey cotton bra. oh my.

Should I have knitted size "Small" instead of "Medium"?

So, I strung the drawstring a little further up the lace panel, pattern instructions be dammed!

Then I added in a cute cami with nice white lace.

Success! No sensible bra showing now!

But I feel like a cardboard box.

I need to go a'diggin' in my dresser drawers to see if I have any ancient, date-worthy, low-cut bras.

That's after a tan, that is.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Becky's Final Construction

I completed knitting the last piece of "Becky" over coffee this morning and after a fortifying breakfast of scotch and milk (soy, of course!) knuckled down to the process of {gulp} finishing.

Does anyone like the process of sewing the pieces together? This is the part I like least, mostly because I feel hugely incompetent. And also because it usually shows. My incompetence, that is.

So, this morning I was looking for a really positive attitude. I decided to go at it very slowly and methodically.

Which is why it is now 11:10 and I haven't finished.

But, I'm setting it aside for now so that I can get myself ready to head out for a baby shower for my very sweet niece, Michelle. She will be receiving the Cabled Baby Sweater and Hat which you can see here.

Okay, here's what I did so far. First, I have all the pieces ready to go, with the right BOOB(that's for you, VK!) part already attached:

Then I attached the left BOOB before turning to the back. I put together the yokes like this:

I was pumped after this part because I think it came out nice and neat!

Then I sewed the back yoke to the back, the front yokes to the respective left and right BOOBS (!!VK!!) and lastly, sewed up the left seam from bottom hem to sleeve hem.

Later, I will sew up the right side and then do some crochet magic around the neck edge.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Injustice! ... or not?

I've been reading knit blogs for a good while now and every so often I come across a post where the writer blasts back at a flamer.

My first impression is always "Wow, you must be offering something worthwhile in some way or other in order to have someone interested enough to comment!" That's the Positive me, Mavis.

Then, I received a comment pointing me to this Wacky Cat Hat.

Of course you don't get the connection yet, but I'm getting there.

Since I was already there, I decided to look around at the stuff that the "You Knit What?" folks find offensive.

A post titled Boobs caught my attention.

Now do you get it? YES! That's right! That's my current work-in-progress Becky!

Guess what else? I still love it and I don't give a rat's ass that it got flamed!

That's still the Positive me, Mavis talking!

By the way ... progress on Becky?

Front -- check!
Back -- check!
Left Bodice -- check!
Right Bodice -- check!
Left sleeve -- 3/4 finished.
Right sleeve -- still to go

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Tunnel

A very late Christmas present has arrived here at Chez Schavis!

Beau, Wally and 'Bella send a great big thank-you to their Granny -- THANKS GRANNY!!

She slipped them some do-re-mi during the Holiday Cheer but it took a bit of time for the humans to find the right thing to purchase.

The kitties think it was worth the wait.

Beau keeps look-out at one end ...

Wally "The Paw" keeps look-out on the other ....

?might there be a plump 'Bella in the middle?

This thing provides loads of entertainment (for both four- and two-leggeds!)

The manufacturer also makes a cross-road adaptor so that you can attach multiple tunnels. Sure, let's take up the entire living room floor!

The literature provides a "Helpful Hint: To attract your cat to the new Expandable Tunnel, place catnip toys inside to attract their attention." HA! I barely got the tunnel expanded before there was a large black explorer diving in!

Verdict: 12 paws up!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Early Spring Fever at Chez Schavis

Spectacular weather for early Spring here in MerryLand meant that the humans spent the entire day Friday happily working outside in the gardens. We cleared away the remnants of Fall leaves to find crocus, tulips, daffodils, poppies, peonies, bleeding heart, and many others just starting to pop up. DH cut back sod and remulched around a few trees too. We were tired at day's end, but in that nice, fulfilled way.

Meanwhile, the Beasts also enjoyed the warm day, lazing on their Cat Porch while birds of every feather stopped nearby at the feeder or in the big Pussy Willow.

Though we have been seeing the birds all winter, we realized that we had just started hearing them again -- Robin, Cardinal, Red-Winged Blackbird, Chickadee, and Mourning Dove are some of those we recognize by vocalization. After I cleaned and filled three baths, there was an immediate line-up of Blackbirds in one and Snowbirds in another. It is quite dry here just now.

At bedtime, it was still so warm outside (mid 60s) that we nudged open a window in the bedroom. I woke up several times to see a feline outline on the window sill, and when the birds started singing near 6 a.m., it was unmistakably Miss 'Bella stretched out.

So, it seems that the kitties didn't want to miss one second of the outside entertainment and stayed up most of the night. This morning they were definitely sleepy.

I attempted to do some knitting at the kitchen table, but I stepped away for just a moment and this is what I came back to:

A short while later, Beau decided my knitting basket was not so comfortable after all and he moved on. However, before the nest had time to cool, another customer moved in:

'Bella, on the other hand, prefers to snooze on the Cat Porch, stopping in from time to time to refuel:

We're headed back out for more spiritual fuel in the garden today!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Happy at Court

Who has time to knit? to blog? I've been in Camelot, baby!

At long last, I set aside the needles and passed back into my beloved world of myth, pulling this from my groaning bookshelves.

It's a joining of two novels of the life of Guinevere: "The Child Queen" and "The High Queen". At 623 pages of very small type, this is a lot of story. I'm near the end of the tale and am slowing my pace as I'm sorry to say goodbye.

I found a link to the Author today and see that she has several other interesting titles. Any reviewers out there?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Chocolate and Cats and Hummingbirds

Here I am on a lazy Sunday morning, enjoying my blog reads which feels like catching up with friends. Some of my non-blog friends don't seem to get my enthusiasm for this game, but I do truly enjoy it.

As a matter of fact, I find that I have really missed the adventures of Vegan Knitting which seems to be having some technical difficulties.

The Vegan Knitter (or "VK" as I call her) has been an active participant here and has touched my heart with her thoughtful and knowledgeable comments on my Beasts while she suffers from allergies that keep her from a closer contact.
While I'm allergic to cats, I love them, and I love to read about them on people's blogs. Why is it that cats and knitting always seem to go together? (Or not, if you know what I mean!)

Wally, Beau and 'Bella all strut by tails held high when they see VK's logo on my screen (and they would LOVE to dig through your yarn stash VK!).

Not totally smitten by those cute feline faces, VK also asked in the comments:

Have you picked a winner yet for the Damn I love chocolate contest?
Ah, another subject that touches my chocolate-loving heart! Yes, I have picked a winner. Though I truly enjoyed each and every entry pulled together by my Secret Pal, (notice the use of the past tense here?), I have to award the Gold to ....

Ah, yes, it's those wacky Dutch all decked out in their bright orange apparel. Don't let the fashion sense speak the whole story! Those folks sure know how to craft the chocolate. The little Pastilles are the perfect shape, size, and blend of luxurious meltability. I was entranced.

So much so that I was forced -- with my blood level nearing toxicity -- to purchase another flavor from the "Pastilles" line -- ummmmmm, Coffee Cream!

In my defense, I did not set out to buy more. No, I was minding my own business there in the Giant store -- actually, I was searching for treats to stuff the goodie bags for DH's 40th Birthday Bowling Party which is another matter entirely, but does point to my unselfish frame of mind --

ANYWAY, there I was totally naive to my fate, when I spotted them: the familiar by now, uniquely-shaped package with the fake official seal and smart gold lettering -- but wait! there are several varieties -- and one of them is ummmm Coffee Cream -- my fate was sealed, they came home with me. Doncha think I really must try each of the varieties?

I'm also excited these days by the fast-approaching SPRING! Birds are singing and early bulbs are popping up all around. I was delighted this morning to see entries on the Hummingbird Migration Map. Unfortunately I didn't note the exact date they first visited us last year, but I do remember that I put the feeders out just a day or two after the first of April, and we spotted a visitor within a week or so. Those little fellows kept us constantly entertained. I sure hope to have some entertaining stories and photos to share this year.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What Was that Weird Thing?

Were you curious about that odd scraggly item in yesterday's post?

Did you follow the links?

Huh, huh, didya didya?

If you did, then this will not be such a surprise to see what that wild mess became:

He's cute, huh?

Go on .... follow the links ... you know you want to make one or ten!

  • Yankee Knitter Designs "Aran Sweater" in Sirdar Supersoft Toddler Aran "Hyacinth"
  • Mark's "UT Afghan" in Red Heart Super Saver Carrot and White
  • COMPLETED! "Aran Rose" in Rowan Calmer "Powder Puff" (details in the Gallery soon!)

  • The Things I Get Into
  • Vegan Lunchbox

  • VEG WEB - YUM!
  • Customized T-Shirts at!

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