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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Hodgepodge

This is a day of unconnected, but very important items.

First, today is the birth day of my dear, departed, faithful kitty companion, Ethel Jean Mertzenberger Meisterstein, better known simply as"Ethel" or "Boo."

Ethel left this world last August, at 20 years plus. She was cranky -- but had been her entire life -- and skinny and wobbly, but she left us on her own terms, in her own home, very much in charge --- and for that I am grateful, although I miss her so much.

She got "planted" out in the Pine Room, in the Very Sacred Area near Luci's grave. We planted a beautiful pink azalea to mark her spot, since she loved to smell flowers. It is today in full bloom, seemingly in honor of the birth of Ethel:
Also in splendid bloom today at Chez Schavis is the first of our oriental poppies, Queen Alexandra:

... at least I think that's the name of this one ... but I don't have time for fact-checking as the DH is way hungry and beginning to grumble so I have to finish this post F A S T !

Last ... look what came in the mail today:

I do have ongoing knitting ... and I am making progress ... and I bought new yarn today ... but it shall all be cast aside tonight as I delve into the literary product of my favorite knit blogger, The Knitting Goddess who is now an author. How cool is that?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Our Summer Guests Have Arrived

The Hummingbirds are Here!

This morning, just before daybreak, DH spotted two of the little creatures.

I was still in bed, awake but not alert ... that is until I heard his hurried gait coming up the stairs. Scared me full awake, it did. Into the room he rushed, "they're HERE!" Of course I knew what he was talking about as we've both been anxiously watching the lonely feeders for weeks.

I hopped to it, preparing fresh sugar water in fresh feeders so they'd know we were happy they were back.

I saw the male a few times thoughout the day, then later in the afternoon, a sweet little female. Each of them made the same route: first to the porch feeder, then over to the kitchen window feeder, then back out to the chain hanging from the arbor -- which held a feeder last year. I think these must be returning guests. And we're very happy to have them back.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Continuing Ed Knitting

It's incredible how much difference bamboo needles can make to a "legal update" lecture:
I started the bottom ribbing of "Aran Rose" Monday night while hanging with Jack Bauer. Then Tuesday morning, I picked up with the rice stitch pattern of the body in nice rhythm to the dulcet tones of Attorney Davis (no relation). We finished nearly 3 inches while also gaining the remaining 3 hours needed to renew my license next month. Multi-tasking at it's finest!

Friday, April 14, 2006


I am a real fan of common garden violets and we have lots of them here at Chez Schavis.

There are a number of different varieties and I love them all.

This group, with a rich medium lilac color and delicate long-stemmed flowers, came up between the patio stones. They are particularly pretty against the grey stones:

This one has a big flower in creamy white, with a splash of purple:

Many years ago, I bought a pot of a variety called "Freckles" for my Mom. Of course, she shared the resulting babies with me. Over the years, the original had become two varieties.

Dark Freckles:

and Light Freckles:

Now this leads me to a knitting thought. Because this is just about the same shade as Dark "Freckles," let me share a pattern that caught my eye.

This is a freebie from Tahki*Stacy Charles that is an insert to the Spring/Summer 2006 "Vogue Knitting" magazine. It's a 20 row repeat with a stitch dropped 7 rows!

I am fascinated because:

1. the look is incredible;

2. I've never done anything quite like this before; and

3. VK is knitting something in drop stitch and made me remember that it's fun!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Refreshments on the Lanai

Last Christmas, my bro Joe, came up to visit and we had a splendid time ... eating bushels of tortilla chips with his Famous Salsa, playing Spades, and drinking beer.

It was a wonderful time that we really enjoyed, so it was an even nicer surprise when a box arrived from him a few weeks later. Apparently, the bro had a fun time too as he was moved to visit the Haak Winery in Sante Fe, Texas (Galveston County) and choose a great package to send our way: a very cool wooden box with sliding lid, and underneath nestled in crinkly brown paper shavings were 2 bottles of wine (1 white, 1 red) and 2 long-stemmed glasses with the winery logo.

This is a bit of a stretch from the typical nightly refreshment here at Chez Schavis so we decided to wait a bit to enjoy it.

Today was the day.

Our new sidewalk project started this morning and there was jackhammering and concrete sawing and dust everywhere. I had scheduled (in my own mind) to have the day off, but it was not to be as I was here at my desk until after 3:00, then off to the office for another 2 hours.

Once I got back home and started some vittles to cook, the DH and I met up on the back porch to overlook the demolition.

The “Blanc du Bois” was something new to me, Mavis. I’ve never heard of that particular grape but it makes me think of The Golden Girls … ahh, Sophia, Dorothy, Rose, and of course that Southern vixen, Blanche. What a great show! That's real TV!

The wine was great too. It is a bit sweeter than my normal taste .. and I don’t think I’d like it for winter … but it was 75 degrees and still sunny during our tasting. It makes a nice summer refresher.

I guess Texas did send something good to Washington.

Thanks Joe!

... and sorry for the barb on your boy

... kind of

This is Why I Love My Pals

me, Mavis had a crappy day yesterday ... complete with shutting my own hand in the car window.

But no matter what happens, it seems that The Hens always bring back my good spirit. Some days the on-line messages are classic:


I'm so confused about Easter - - is it today? It's all mumbo-jumbo to me. Although it's good timing that the "resurrection" of Christ coincides with the resurrection of nature, that way us pagans have something to celebrate too.

P.S. Q found a pair of women's underwear this AM at the cemetery. He covets his finds, so thankfully he did not bring the panties to me.


yes Easter is today - you should be at church. ... lost panties in the cemetary - brings back my youth! I actually did leave a pair behind in a corn field.
This stuff is priceless.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sunny Sunday all about DH

I spent most of yesterday ferrying cars and then hanging out at a car show with the DH. It was sponsored by our pal, His Lordship, and held at the mansion where he hangs his bowler during normal business hours. DH posted a few pics on his blog.

I must admit that my somewhat willing participation was also for the benefit of His Lordship, who truly endeared himself with this recent gift:

This is a teensy-tiny glass Lord Ganesha and I think it is wonderful!

Some weeks ago, over a (equally teensy) glass of vino, His Lordship and I learned of our mutual interest in Ganesha. I quickly retrieved my copy of "The Broken Tusk: Stories of the Hindu God Ganesha" which was beautifully written by a local woman who is/was an artist in residence at Montpelier Cultural Arts Center. HL apparently enjoyed the book because he returned it along with my beautiful prize.

Back to DH's blog, it's also a worthwhile trip to see the final pics of a recent kitchen remodel here and don't forget to take a look at the "before" shots.

In the Wacky Story Department, here's a really freakly one for you. The DH's parents retired to sunny Florida last fall and are enjoying the glamorous life in Boca Raton, courtesy of their rich friends. It was during such an event that our story begins.

The In-Laws were invited to a birthday party on some Big Ass Boat. I know it has a formal designation of some sort, but I am a land-lubber. It is also important to our story that this was some Big Ass Boat, because it doesn't fit under the bridges and they have to beep or something to get the bridge to open. So, here they are at a bridge, beeping and waiting, and the bridge doesn't open. The skipper (?) finally decides he has waited long enough and maybe they can just squeeze under. Off they go. The mast clears the beginning of the bridge, but midway through there is a terrible crack and a chunk of the mast drops below and KILLS INSTANTLY one of the party-goer passengers. Just like that. There was a medical professional of some sort on board who tried CPR, but she was gone that quickly.

It turns out the MIL was sitting quite near the poor woman, but had ducked away to prepare the birthday cake with candles. She was in the Ladies when she heard the big crack and immediately thought the cake had slid to the floor in ruin. Gee, wouldn't that have been a nicer outcome.

This story came from the FIL to the DH, so I'm telling it ... third hand, I think?

VK asked in the comments who was the cute pup in Thursday's post. I'll bet you didn't even recognize him in such splendid form, but that was my dear pal, Quincy, whom I wrote of last fall when he was one sad, sick pup. He's in great shape now, full of piss-and-vinegar, and loved by all, but most especially his main gal, GG -- who's also my pal ;-#)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

One Sleeve - DONE!

We finished the first sleeve this morning ... Beau and me.Of course, I had to stretch out the finished back too so we could see how they look together.

I cast on for the second sleeve while Beau tested for napability.

Next we have the mammoth front to think about.

Beau likes it just the way it is.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Picture Taker

My camera is a Sony FD Mavica and I love it.

It is a big ole clunker in comparison to today's sleek, tiny models and for that GG always makes fun of it, and thereby me, Mavis.

However, it has a feature that makes it invaluable: The Sony can store on regular, cheap, run-of-the-mill computer disks. And you can take said computer disk, toss to anyone of your choosing, they can go pop it into any computer disk drive and see the picture -- no cords to hook up -- no downloading -- it's just there, Voila!

If I need to prepare marketing stuff for a new house, off I go with my Sony. I can snap the pics, then head back home, to my broker office, or anywhere else to work the magic without regard to "do I have my cords?"

There is one downside.

The disks add up. They multiply. Most importantly: they don't self-label.

Here's the stack that typically piles up at my feet (but please ignore the dust which truly I can't even see from way up here):
This is the stack of stuff that I have already used. When it pops out of the drive, it falls a short distance to the floor below. Every so often, I can't stand it anymore and decide to erase the stack. Of course, I can't risk that there might be something very cool that I have forgotten, so I have to go through each one separately. This task I did this morning ... and the picture above is AFTER I went through a bunch and erased.

Here's the top of my desk, with the neat stack of freshly erased disks front and center:

See that other group resting between the telly and the speaker? That's the stuff that I have gone through and for whatever reason can't bear to erase, but have no useful purpose at the moment. The stack just sits there, occasionally getting knocked off by one Helper Cat, Beau.

Okay, so what did I get for my efforts at clean-up this morning? Here we go!

This baby-filled belly is courtesy of sweet niece, Michelle. Love the belly button ring! She is now another three weeks or so into the "project" and Hunter is due near the end of the month.

Here's my Wally doing a little fishing off the hallway radiator ... BTW, the DH just came in to tell me an interesting factoid. You might remember that one of Wally's nicknames is The Notorious BUG ('cuz he's the Bugman). Well DH says that The Notorious BIG, a/k/a Biggie Smalls (the rapper dude, ya'll!) was legally named Christopher -- wait for this now --- WALLACE! Unbelievable.

Back to the pictures ...

Here's a handsome orange cat with a serious attitude. Why, oh why is Beau is such a snit?

Here's why ...

Who let the dog in? Woof ... woof, woof!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I Need Some Focus!

Thanks so much for those nice birthday greetings for Isabella. She would thank you herself but has gone "down under" for the afternoon. That is, down under our bed where she can't be bothered, but will at least answer my inquiry as to whether she is ok with a feeble "mew."

Just like the weather, me, Mavis has been in a bit of flux here. I can't seem to find focus with anything I try to do. I'm hot and cold over my return to real estate. I thought I'd had enough of a "sabbatical" last year to put me back straight. Not so. Let me tell you there are some really really really bad agents out there. Rude, sloppy, out-of-line, uncommunicative ... and those are the ones that can speak at least pidgin English!

At nearly six years licensed, I am already a long-timer. My colleagues who are really old-timers and have been through fast and slow markets tell me that crappy agents will fall off as the market continues to slow and we will be back to a core group of solid agents that a) gives a rat's ass about a long-term reputation; and b) likewise gives a rat's ass about building relationships with other agents. I can only hope.

We had rain last night. Oh Momma, we needed it. We need more. Please! DH and I worked in the garden over the weekend and the soil was like powder. Nevertheless, stuff is popping up all over and every day there's a new delight as I welcome back a perennial I had forgotten. I almost always forget them which is cool to have a surprise, but annoying when I want to do some work before everything has emerged.

DH's outside kitty, Moms, is sooooo pregnant. He worried over her during the storms last night and then she didn't show for breakfast this morning. I'm just hoping she has retired to her nesting spot and is safe. We really have to consider trapping, spay and release after she weans her kittens. This is no life for her.

Remember my post about that cool catalog from Ram Wools? Well it turns out there was a specific reason why I suddenly received this catalog. You see, when my Secret Pal sent a note to reveal her identity, she also sent along a generous Gift Certificate to ... yes, you get it, RAM WOOLS! How cool is that?

My Secret Pal is a neat gal named Jan and I am looking forward to learing more about her. I must admit that I immediately starting going back through the catalog and dreaming of spending my loot, yet I still haven't made a final decision. I'm learning toward a pattern and yarn from Nashua Handknits. The "June Cardigan" has a v-neck and cabled edgings and cuffs. It is knit, appropriately, in "June" a 100% microfiber. Anyone know about it?

At first I was excited about the Tussah Silk, which is supposed to be harvested after the moths exit, but after the comments from The Bitter Knitter and VK, I'm not feeling so comfortable about it and won't go in that direction. I'm also liking the looks of their "Cilantro Stretch Cotton" (70% cotton, 30% acrylic). Though I love the feel of cotton, I'm not keen on knitting with it -- except that is, for the Manos del Uruguay "Cotton Stria". I'm also seeing lots of comments about Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, which was apparently discontinued and just brought back. Folks seem to LOVE it, and it looks to have that same crinkly texture of the Stria. Perhaps I should check it out too.

Back to the need to FOCUS ... remember that "Audrey" top in Calmer that I was so wacky about? Yes, it has been there on the sidebar with "Poised for Rip-Out" forever. Though the words are still there, that baby has been ripped. And, it was rewound and re-knit into the beginnings of Wendy's Generic Toe-up Sock Pattern ... and that is ready for ripping too. First, I don't think I got the short-row toe and heel quite right, and second, even though I went down a few needles sizes below the recommended, I'm still not happy with the gauge. So, I went looking for something else.

I finally settled on this "Aran Rose" from Interweave Knits, Spring 2006:

I dutifully swatched, going down one needle size since I tend to knit too loosely, but low and behold, gauge was off and I truly did need the recommended Size 7. Of course, my long size 7's are patiently waiting in the first sleeve of the Yankee Knitter Aran. I'm more than half way -- actually about 3/4 finished, so I'm going to force myself back to the sleeve before I start the new Aran. Isn't it cute?

I'm off to a monthly community meeting, followed by a check on a house, and then a visit to the office to pick up two offers that arrived this afternoon. Maybe the sleeve will wait a little longer.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Baby is 3

Happy Birthday to Isabella!
Our baby turned 3 today. She is quite a different gal than when we first spotted her, calling out from the weeds at the edge of the bike trail more than 2 1/2 years ago.

Why was she out there all by herself?

Why did she first call out to us and not the rest of the hikers and bikers?

After the mower scared her off, we thought she wouldn't return again, but why did she call to us again the second time when we rode back past her at least 20 minutes later?

Why did she follow along behind me, pushing my bike, for nearly 1/4 mile back to the trail head?

Why did we send her home with my sister that night?

Why didn't Ginny, Danial and Sassy find a way to include her in their family, but instead returned her to us?

Why did I make up flyers to find her a new home?

Why did Beau immediately decide he would be a very quiet, patient observor of the new wee babe and take on his position as mentor?

All these questions, and one important answer.

It was meant to be that Isa would join our family and infuse us with her quirky yet loving spirit.

We all love you, Ping Pong.
  • 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!

  • Previous | Next

    Previous | Next

    Email me!

    A Rainy Day with My Main Squeeze
    "Doggie Bag" becomes a Sweet Purse
    Off on an Adventure!
    School Daze?
    Knitting Knews
    Coming Up for Air
    Aran Rose is Done!

    Powered by Blogger

    Subscribe with Bloglines
    Dell Coupon Codes
    Web Counter