Pine fresh

All Christmas long I’ve been trying to figure out why it is that I can’t seem to keep our tree stand full of water. Last night, as I sat knitting lace by the tree

Lacelsw1

(I know it looks bad. It’s lace. It will look better later.)

I heard a funny noise. A lapping noise. I peered under the tree and the mystery was solved.

The cat is drinking the tree water.

She has fresher, nicer water in her bowl and yet, she is drinking the tree water. It’s really time to take this thing down. I’ll be checking the cat’s breath later.

I’m so finished over here. The ladies are having endless fights over the bathroom and the phone. Who needs it, who’s got it, who had it last, who’s life is being ruined because they haven’t got it, who has to have it before something happens that will make them friendless and outcast. These arguments are interspersed with Joe walking around talking about how “something needs to be done” and how he should be able to use the phone/bathroom sometime soon and how maybe we should move. (I don’t know if he’s thinking that just he and I should move, or if he means we should all move together. I’m afraid to ask.

I’m going to sit under the dining room table with a bottle of wine for comfort and a tablecloth for camouflage and finish a sweater. (Don’t tell me you haven’t thought of that.) Five sleeps until school starts again.

137 thoughts on “Pine fresh

  1. THAT’S GENIUS! why haven’t i thought of tha– damn you pedistal dining table. Life will return to normal soon. Hang in there.

  2. and chocolate.
    chocolate, wine and a tablecloth and you have yourself the best sweater-knitting clubhouse hideout ever.

  3. two of mine went back today the 3rd goes back tomorrow, of course did have to come home from school. Beautiful lace.

  4. Will the cat turn her nose up at plain water once the tree comes down? Will you have to add a few drops of pine sap to her bowl to get her to drink?
    Too funny.

  5. How ’bout covertly sabotaging the telephone for a few hours. Sure they’ll keep picking it up to see if the dial tone is back and they might moan about it being gone but it will a) make ’em appreciate the vile thing b) let you listen to some slightly different conversation.
    I wish my cats had pine fresh breath….stiiiinky.

  6. cat’s drinking tree water was a normal occurance here, then the cat would think the tree was for climbing – especially when the dog entered the room…ah christmas time…the climbing under the table sounds like a great idea, but in my house the dog would out me…

  7. Heh. I’m hiding in the kitchen. I’m actually doing work at the kitchen table, but the TV/internet-addicted men of the house are in the living room. I’m not sure they’ve noticed I’ve gone, but out here it’s quiet and I’m being productive.
    Wonder how late in the day it has to be for it to be “okay” for me to replace my hot tea with beer?

  8. Unlurking to agree! Oh yes, to hide from the bickering little rats, I’ve been sneaking off to the barn to “check on the alpacas” somewhat more frequently than usual. The alpacas don’t really need to be checked on 15 times a day and can’t figure out why I’m coming down so frequently and not giving them extra goodies. The kids, 13 and 10 are fighting over the satellite remote and TV scheduling and it’s raining here today. Yuck.

  9. We had eight (yes, eight) cats in the house for Christmas and I observed all of them (separately, thank goodness) drinking the tree water. Weirdos.

  10. Love the lace, and it actually could be somewhat worse. Our cat started–just this week!–drinking out of the toilet. Abjection, thy name is Kitty.
    But I’ve got red wine and a wine-red cardigan for myself on the needles, having just delivered my last knitted holiday gift today. That’s not even late, is it?

  11. Just be glad you don’t have to be in a classroom with 30 of THEM, who don’t think school should be back in session yet, AS A SUBSTITUTE.
    To the previous poster: There is no reason why children can’t play in the rain for a short while. Just have a hot bath and cocoa ready when they come back in. We used to do it, albeit in the summer, but my mom didn’t have satellite cable for us to fight over. . .
    Good luck, Stephanie! I hope you have a relaxing time in your fort.

  12. When I was a teacher(and non-mother) and my sister (a mother of 3) would call after every major holiday and sing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” I would get really pissed off. Now, (still as a non-mother but also a non-teacher) I get it…no knitting time! It does us all in…wait…she doesn’t knit.

  13. Cat’s are contrary like that. Harvey refuses to drink fresh water. It needs to mature, have a bouquet, body, things in it. His outside bowl is ignored until it has a decent layer of lawn clippings, dust and other debris. His inside bowl needs to be at least 24 hours old before it is approached and God help me if I freshen them both at the same time. The water tray under the Christmas tree was his idea of instant perfect water. Weirdo.

  14. If it’s any consolation my dog prefers water full of rotting leaves, dead things, and goodness knows what else, to nice clean water. At least the cat will have pine fresh breath rather than “the breath of rotten death” as I call it. : )

  15. The only thing keeping me from being an even worse human being is my conviction that I would risk being sent back as a substitute teacher. Or worse, a substitute school-bus driver.
    The wine sounds good — must be after five somewhere. And I couldn’t screw this lace (24/48 repetitions) up much worse snockered.

  16. Pull out the vacuum, mop & bucket, broom, dust cloths, and announce that since everyone is so bored and available – we’re ALL going to do an early, early, spring cleaning. Just make sure you’re NOT blocking the exits – they’ll plow you under making their escapes! I’ve done it – it works!
    Knit in peace,
    Elizabeth H.

  17. Dude – stunning used dental floss, I mean lace. (I have lace on the needles as well – it looks like crap until blocked…)
    Love the fort idea – is there room for Joe under there?

  18. The cat and the kids – maybe there’s something wrong with the water. Stick to wine just to be on the safe side. Nice lace by the way.

  19. May cat drinks tree water too. Also water left on the floor of the shower (soapy or not- it doesn’t matter). Sometimes cats are just weird….

  20. I like Elizabeth’s plan. Bound to get rid of the whole lot for at least half a day, until they think you’ve got it done or forgotten about it. You can have your wine and knit in peace for a while.

  21. One, not both, of my cats has piney fresh breath also. Maybe they know something we don’t. Hmmm.

  22. my cat drinks any and all water NOT located in her bowl. Even the fancy flowing fresh filtered water bowl she was gifted. Apparently, seeking out new water sources is somewhat instinctual for the beasts! I have taken to putting a little lemon in my glass to keep her away… don’t know if the tree would like that much though.

  23. Heh, I made mine get jobs. So one was working almost full time, the other part time and the one that is too young to work was assigned so many chores that she fled to friends’ homes for the week. When we were altogether we actually did get along. I didn’t really notice it until now. It was kinda nice.

  24. My cats also drink leftover shower water, from the bottom of the tub and from the shower curtain. I have a fake mini tree, but if it means it will improve their breath, maybe I will get a real tree next year…

  25. I remember doing that, only without the wine. I was much younger, then. Sounds like an idea that needs resurrecting… umm.. with the wine.

  26. Every year my cat and my 2 dogs drink the tree water. Every year. The new development this year was that my 2 year old niece has also decided to try it. Eww.

  27. I hate to be too terribly disheartening, but I’ve discovered that college aged girls are just glorified teenagers. I’m hoping mine moves out while she still knows everything.

  28. No question about it, just you and Joe should move. Bringing them along won’t solve anything.
    In fact, don’t even leave a note. They’ll try to find you when the phone gets cut off, no need to make it easier.
    I wonder if the tree water gets all fermented or some such, leading to compulsive cat consumption. Has your cat perhaps discovered a new, organic hallucinogen? Is it acting wacky? Is it listening to a lot of Grateful Dead records?

  29. Do you have a basement? My mother always banished us to the basement. Right now I have sent mine upstairs- I give it 2 minutes before I have to ask if they are bleeding or is the house on fire…

  30. Don’t the walls need washing around there? is the kitchen floor sticky? Or are there child labor laws in Canada? Mine swear there is something written down somewhere.

  31. Dude! NONE of my FOUR cats will drink ANY water that is near their food bowls. They will only drink from, dripping sinks, showers, and a lone water dish in the SECOND FLOOR bathroom. An enigma wrapped in a mystery. Cats….

  32. My cat always drinks the water. It’s his favorite source, next to the water in our glasses. I’ve tried setting out a glass for him whenever my husband and I have one, but no go. We have taken to drinking water out of bottles to thwart him, and in recent days, I have actually seen him (gasp!) drink out of his water bowl. I think he likes the tree water because he can then sit under the tree and hide and pretend he’s an outdoor kitty.
    I can’t wait to have kids so I can hide from them, too. I feel so left out!

  33. It’s lace…it’s lovely…but what -is- it?
    (Am I the only one who tries to block lace in her head? When I see lace pictures around the blogs, I try to mentally stretch it out and figure out what it will look like.)

  34. Hey, Steph, is your title a Harry Potter reference, or just a coincidence? I’m a huge HP geek and that’s one of my favorite passwords. I throw it into conversation whenever possible – drives *my* teen/pre-teen children crazy. Hey, I owe them big time. At least they only had 6 days off school….. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. My older cat adores tree water. She spends most of Jan-Nov under our bed, and all of Dec under the tree. It’s so strange. I’m glad to hear that other cats love tree water too.

  36. 5 sleeps till school starts again
    I read this and think, “Oh sweet zombie jebus, that is so TRUE! YES! I hear you. I understand! And like you? I can’t wait.” and then I remember that…. um… oh yes. We homeschool.
    Obviously I need to find a friend with children in public school and arrange for a visit in about 6 days.

  37. I can’t help you here. This is one reason why I only had one. It’s too late to advise birth control, methinks.

  38. It’s good to know that our cats aren’t as strange as we thought. Perhaps they like gin-and-tonic-flavored water… who knows? Both our cats exclusively drink out of the tree stand, though.

  39. I used to work at the Museum of Science gift shop here in Boston. We dreaded every school vacation week. It was awful. Monday was usually ok, busy, but all the kids and their parents were well rested. By Wednesday, the kids were getting antsy and a little cranky. By Saturday (usually the busiest of a vacation week), the parents were in a homicidal rage and just wanted to get out of the house, so they darkened our doorway. They were so sick of their kids, they did their best to make everyone else’s day just as bad as theirs. I am childless, but I know your pain.
    Hang in there, sister. Maybe a carnival will come to town and they’ll run off with the guys who run the sideshow.

  40. Two words for you: CD Walkman. (I think that’s only two words) Drowns out all the “Don’t touch me!” and “She’s hoggin it!” and most of all the incessant and highly irritating “MOM”. It’s the best money I ever spent. I can knit and drink coffee and count stitches all while ignoring the bedlam.
    Mine were supposed to go back yesterday but we woke to several inches of wet snow that didn’t stop falling until nearly dinner time. I empathize. I was supposed to be alone yesterday so I put on my walkman and pretended that I was. It sort of worked for an hour or so. Hang in there and get yourself a CD Walkman.

  41. I always thought cats were clean and finicky… I mean, my dog will roll in anything, as long as it smells (no, really… we had to fence off the compost pile because she would dig until she found stinky slime, coat herself in it and be quite miffed when I bathed her back to her Aran-colored self)… but cats? Don’t they clean themselves a million times a day?
    So weird.

  42. Our cats always used to drink the tree water…then they’d pee on the tree skirt. I solved the drinking problem by buying an artificial tree. Don’t know how to solve the tree skirt thing. Of course, now they drink from the toilet.
    When our son was a teenager, he was so much like me at that age that I called my mother, often!, to apologize. Now he’s 26, married, and lives in his own house, and I like him again…most days.
    Teenagers make baby Jesus cry.

  43. We had a real tree. Once. Until I discovered that my cats had minty-fresh breath, also. They weren’t drinking the water, though. Oh, no, that would be too safe. They were *eating* the darned thing. A few nightmares about pointy pine needles and cat throats were enough to make me get a fake one.

  44. We had a real tree. Once. Until I discovered that my cats had minty-fresh breath, also. They weren’t drinking the water, though. Oh, no, that would be too safe. They were *eating* the darned thing. A few nightmares about pointy pine needles and cat throats were enough to make me get a fake one.

  45. That lace is gorgeous! The kids–too funny. We added a new bathroom to the house when our four started hitting teenagerhood en masse–so now, instead of fighting with each other, it’s, Mom! Your amaryllises under the skylight are getting BUGS in my contact stuff in here! Tough, kid, I’ll be enjoying flowers after you head back to college tomorrow and I’ll be missing you so bad, they’re not moving.
    And man, will I miss kitchen adventures like their deciding to put food coloring in the key lime pie to make it look more lime-ish. Uh, oops. Too much. Neon Kryptonite Pie. Have a piece!

  46. My cats drink tree stand water too. No idea why. And if hiding under the table works, let me know.
    Pretty, pretty lace. I just love the color.

  47. Come on…surely you understand that the water in the tree stand is BETTER than fresh, clean water in a bowl, don’t you?
    Our cats seem to find any water source other than cat dish as somehow inherantly superior. Who knows – perhaps they’re right?

  48. There was a commercial a few years ago for Staples office supplies. Aired in August, just before the school year started, it showed a Dad frolicing through the store, skipping along as he tossed school supplies into the shopping cart. Behind him, trudged his two kids, heads down, shoulders slumped, while the music played, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Absolutely hilarious, and I don’t even have kids, but I could sympathize.
    Hmm . . . don’t know WHAT made me think of that….

  49. My cat used to do that too! My cats that I have now are big on licking up warm bathwater while I’m in the tub. They are so strange…

  50. Our tree was stuck in a bucket full of rocks, hence no cat drinking opportunities.
    I think the under the table strategy sounds like the only possible one at this time. Will you stay there for the next five days?

  51. Don’t know about hanging out under the dining room table. You know those bickering girls will end up there too and then there is the chance they will kick you.
    My favorite hiding place is in the laundry room here or in my in-laws basement. Of course with bottle of wine in hand.
    Think Joe meant you and him moving without the forwarding address to the other females in the house.

  52. There’s an advert here in the UK at the moment for a product called “First Defence” for colds. Mum and young son in supermarket – son picks something up and starts to tantrum for it. Mum flings herself to the floor in the middle of the aisle, banging her fists on the floor and screaming. Son puts item back on the shelf and they move on!

  53. mine drink out of the fish tank. regardless of fresh water anywhere, rainwater; toilet bowl or sink….the fish tank.

  54. You know, everything kids is just a phase that will end and transform into another phase. Some good, some bad. And then they grow up and leave home (or they just leave home as immature young people), and you will shed tears that they are not there. It’s true. Channel that energy–my mother made us scrub the kitchen floor on our knees.
    Remember Little Women when the mother changed places with the girls and they had to do her chores??? Louisa Mae Alcott was onto something there…..

  55. I will come join you. I’ll have to bring my son – I’d like to get him away from my ex’s girlfriend shenanigans. I’ll bring my own wine . . .

  56. My dogs turn up their noses if the outside water gets leaves in it. And if I dare to let the inside water go dry, they “ring the bell” – one pushes down on the edge of the bowl and lets go, so it makes a ringing noise on the tile floor. They also all do this when they think it’s dinner time.
    See, Steph, I know you hate cell phones, but think of the glorious silence if each daughter had one. Multiple numbers on one unlimited minutes plan. So they share, but not really. They’d never come out of their rooms on breaks, except to say, “I’m going to the mall with ____.”
    Dunno what to do about the bathroom. (Nail it shut one day after too many fights, and make them pee in the snow? Install a double padlock, and you and Joe get the only keys? Maybe those are a little drastic…)

  57. Face it: cats are feline. I should know, since we have 5. (Scientific fact: a cat brain is the size of a walnut. How there is room in there for personality and lovable quirks in addition to the basic circuitry I will never know.)
    I am thinking about cats to avoid drooling over the laceweight…

  58. Dearest Harlot-
    They can find you under the table…run fast, run far! I was so glad to see mine come home from university…for about a week. The new semester can’t get here quick enough!

  59. “Looks bad”? My lace should look so bad! I know, blocking is s’posed to ‘do it’ for lace, but my theory is that a “Knitter” can recognize it when s/he sees it — blocked or no. ๐Ÿ™‚
    P.S. My cat understands yours perfectly…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  60. As a teacher who gets all — and I do mean all of them back — and for longer, I’m enjoying the week … but I sympathize. Ever taught Grade 7? Hormones and nowhere to go with them. Can’t even scare them about high school yet in our district…
    Loved the Christmas knitting. It was beautiful.
    And re: Christmas deadlines. What about Ukranian Christmas?? Or considering the last day of the 12 days of Christmas which start on the 25th of December? Not to mention the leap second we had this year.
    LOTS of time!

  61. As a former screaming my-life-is-over-if-I-don’t-get-in-that-bathroom-now teenager, now older with cousins of that age, I can empathize (I’ve got many years before I get to be the parental unit in those situations though, thank goodness).
    And as my cat has a drink-any-water-but-that-which-is-in-my-bowl obsession, he can empathize too :).

  62. One of our cats seems to insist on room-temperature water from a plastic tumbler, kept on the kitchen counter near the sink (she’s a true diva and “counterhegemonic” besides). And our male cat? Yup, the toilet.
    That under-the-table knitting fort sounds *very* cool.

  63. A friend has one of those little fountains that one is supposed to meditate with, and her cat drinks out of that. I think the cat thinks that because it’s “running” water, it must be fresher than whatever is in the dish.
    Nice yarn. Where’s it from?

  64. Somebody please tell me WHY I homeschool? All that lovely potential knitting time, drowned in a sea of science experiments and long division…it’s sad. The lace is lovely, even unblocked. Some day I’ll have to learn how to do that – maybe after the kids go to college? I can’t even count how many sleeps that will be. I hope I live that long. I hope they live that long. Maybe I’ll go hide under the table too….

  65. Hi Stephanie,
    It’s long time, no see, since I immortalized you in my lovely poem “Death by Knitting”. I see you haven’t changed at all. I was happy to come across your blog when doing a search for a pattern. I’ve been slowly reading your archives and having a blast!
    When I had a cat, it liked to sit underneath the Christmas tree. Since the tree was artificial, though, the problem of a cat drinking out of the tree stand never came up. Now I have no cat, but three kids. Now we have real trees at Christmas, but no cat to drink out of the tree stand. The children show no inclination of either sitting beneath the tree or drinking from the stand. While I appreciate the lack of cat hair and not having to clean their litterboxes, cats don’t generally get snarky when told to clean their rooms. Am I really better off? Unfortunately, since we now have no cat, my husband turned out to be allergic to everything with fur and a few things without. Luckily, wool is safe.
    My kids went back yesterday, my husband who is a teacher went back today. I celebrated by going to the yarn store. Keep the faith, eat chocolate and knit. Tomorrow is another day.

  66. My cat Chessie thinks she’s an herbivore. I buy them kitty grass, and she eats it, reluctantly, while it’s green and fresh. But she *adores* it when it’s dry and like straw. She gets sooo miffed when I substitute a fresh pot for the old and throw away the straw. “But MOM, it was *just* the right age!!” And she can’t get to the water; our new tree stand is too deep for them to get their little snouts into. BUT, Chessie is with the other “piney fresh breath” cats; she keeps trying to eat the needles and I keep screaming at her to stop.
    Cats. But what would my life have been like without them?

  67. I’m usually just a lurker but that yarn is so beautiful I have to ask – Is it Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca and, if so, which colourway?
    Btw, I tried the spring cleaning idea and my children actually bought in! (For about a minute.)

  68. Your cat too?! Funny thing……the only time I cried this holiday season was the first time I crawled under the tree to water it. I recalled from years past that our cat did the same thing. Puddy
    died two years ago, but that’ll be the memory I have of the water in the tree stand….lapped up by the crazy cat.

  69. Perhaps the cat is using the tree sap in the water under the tree in much the same way we are using the wine. Ever tried it?
    I’ve tried locking myself in the bathroom to no avail. Doesn’t sound like it will work in your house.
    Hang in there. There will come a time in your life when you won’t want to have any more time alone. Would be nice if we could balance that just a little. As Meg Swansen would say “Knit On”.

  70. I lock myself in my room with chocolate and other comfort foods, besides my knitting stash.
    Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  71. What is it about knitters and cats?? Owner of six cats here. Kept employed by keeping the mice population to a minimum, they too frequent the watering hole under the tree, as well as drinking water out of the aquarium (all fish accounted for, not to worry…)!

  72. Cats… tap water that has been chlorinated will have less chlorine in it if it sits long enough for the chlorine to evaporate. Distilled water, hmmm. Distilled water lacks minerals and therefore lacks flavor. Maybe cats get some of their minerals from their drinking water. Do pine needles contain trace elements? Or maybe it smells like catnip to them – all the flavor, none of the kick? Cat methadone?
    Kids… my mother perfected her powers of concentration so that she could read a book and ignore us totally. She also could sit next to a whistling tea kettle until it boiled dry. You just ignore it until it stops. Instead of a padlock on the bathroom door, I suggest a timer and a record of time spent that is kept under lock and key and written in permanent ink, so you can prove who spent how much time in there and how often; you might add an assigned schedule for them to practice taking turns. This would take away from knitting time, but if you make it clear that it will stop as soon as they SHUT UP and will restart as soon as either one of them starts up again, results may be very quick. (No kids but I remember being one. I was the third, watching the older two fight and being, of course, perfect.)
    Beautiful blue/green lace.
    =Tamar

  73. My kids have been told (repeatedly) that my name is “Yes, Mom”, not “BUT, Mom” and that the “Magic Word” in this house is “NOW”. Sounds cruel, but it works. My 2 are 15 (boy child) and 5 (girl child). He’s in the throes of puberty and she’s 5 going on 15. Don’t know how bad she’ll be once she’s a teenager.
    My cats also drink from anywhere but their bowl and the dogs, despite having 2 bowls of daily-freshened water, much prefer to drink out of the swimming pool – extra chlorine YUM!

  74. Isn’t it sad when kids figure out the “who can be the quietest for the longest time wins” game?
    They’d find you under the table… I think you need another bathroom to hide in. Surely the next child to leave should have their room turned into a refuge for you. With your own bath. (Ah, now don’t you miss bookbookbook tours and the hotel room baths just a bit?)

  75. Note to Stephanie: Remember that next late December/early January may be a REALLY good time to schedule a book tour. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  76. Hi Stephanie, I got your first two books for Christmas – and I was so thrilled! I loved the first one and I am halfway through the second one and loving it as well. Thank you for adding so much humour to my day.
    You have inspired me to attempt a pair of socks, which I started tonight. I’m a little nervous about having to “turn the heel” eventually, but I’m hoping I can figure it out. Happy Knitting to you and all the other commenters…

  77. At least twice during this so-called holiday season I`ve taken my knitting and some lunch, driven the ten minutes down to the beach and sat in the car for an hour or two, listening to book tapes on the car stereo and knitting. Much more comfertable than under the table…and my kids have made a stuffed toy zoo in there anyway.

  78. I have always had cats around and several of them have preferred water from vases – my little Birman likes it with dissolvable flower food added.She also prefers water from the manhole cover after it’s rained.
    By the way I provide a fresh bowl of filtered water every day in case you’re thinking I neglect my pets!
    By the way, I’m feeling virtuous because I got all my knitted gifts finished on time and finished two other stash projects – my halo was shining!!! Don’t worry, it won’t last long!

  79. The “under the table” scenario sounds inviting ( my 2 year old granddaughter lives with us). Gravity would get me down but nothing less than a forklift would get me up again.
    What is that yarn you’re knitting the lace with? It’s lovely.
    K

  80. Lovely lace and yarn…looking forward to seeing it blocked.
    My Mom used to say that she was going to move and leave no forwarding address (and there was only one of me!). Of course, she laughed at me when I had my daughter. Who moved in with her the first 2 years of college (then I got to laugh). Now Mom gets to laugh at me again, since DD moved back with us. Confused yet?

  81. ours used to do that too…. it must be very tasty….
    of course she drank out of the aquarium, plant saucers and the toilet too…. poor thing never had water in her dish.

  82. Hilarious about the cat! But about the five sleeps–I’m a teacher and I don’t want this lovely break to be over. This is my time AWAY from children.
    Your shawl looks beautiful already. Please show it again in its full glory when it is done. Thanks!
    Marjorie

  83. I was happy that my daughter FINALLY went back to school -I don’t remember winter breaks being so damn LONG when I was in school – and then I realized that she ALSO has off Jan 13-18…the school’s trying to drive me insane!!
    Let us know how the table thing works out – that may be an option for me.

  84. I’m dying to know: what variety of lace are you knitting? By the way, I’m impressed that you can concentrate on lace with the chaos in your house.

  85. Wow. And I thought I had it bad with a 1-year old who’s enamoured with the toilet and a Saint Bernard who picks needles off the tree with his teeth one-by-one. But the under-the-table idea? Sheer brilliance…

  86. Ours has graduated from college and is living at home. At least she has a job, but we never see her because it’s not cool to “hang out” with the boyfriend/friends at our house. They have to “hang out” at his house. Oh, well, more solitude for me. Now, how do I get my husband out of the house?

  87. When I bought my house, the seller told me that when she needed to get away, she hid in the (enormous) master bedroom closet with her sewing machine. Kind of cracked me up. Made me wonder what her very small children were doing while she was sequestered.

  88. Cats do what cats want to do. I’ve seen cats walk past bowls of fresh clean water, then go outside and drink out of a birdbath. Go figure.
    Lovely yarn: the lace should be gorgeous. Someday I’ll get my several knitting projects done.

  89. Re: the bathroom — convince them that you believe they’re becoming incontinent, for that is the ONLY reason one would need the bathroom so desperately. And then threaten to tell their friends your theory.

  90. It’s bliss here! The kid & husband have gone back to school and work respectively. I still have 3 days of vacation left. I’m all by myself with the dog, a nice fireplace, and my KNITTING!!
    *gloat*
    sorry…

  91. Hi Stephanie … that yarn is lovely, and I’m sure once it’s finished the lace will look much better. Lace is a funny thing …
    We have 1 1/2 bathrooms in our house, but before my kids are teenagers we’re putting in another full bathroom. We will be prepared. *lol* I’m sure there will still be wars about it, because they’ll both want to use the same bathroom. *sigh*
    Your kitty is silly. I caught my dog drinking from the water run-off from our boiler (we don’t have forced air heat, we have hot water rads) … When the boiler gets too much water or whatever it drips into a little pail. The dog had fresh water elsewhere, but decided that rusty boiler water tasted better. Eeeew.

  92. All I have to say is “Thank God it is not just me.” Being a mommy is hard.
    Thank goodness mine went back to school on Tuesday. Sweet heaven, it is quiet around here now.
    Here’s hoping those 5 days will FLY by for you or that you will manage to stay hidden. Whichever works.

  93. Ah yes, those were the days. Mine are all grown & gone now, but they show up when they need to do laundry or would like some nice hot soup. . .
    As for the lace, well, my birthday is the 24th. . . It’ll just match my eyes. . . What pattern are you doing now?

  94. Just coming out of lurkdom here to say Hi. (I have been an avid reader of your blog for several months now, love your books, and am systematically reading through all of your old posts too.) ๐Ÿ™‚
    I can relate to the cat + tree water thing…my cat used to do that too, but he has, um, shall we say, intestinal issues? and water in an old rusty tree holder with tree floaties wasn’t working for us. One year we had to keep the nearby lavatory door open and toilet lid up because even though that was not our 1st choice, at least it was better than tree water. That seemed to be a bigger draw than the tree so it worked. Now we have a new tree stand that cannot be accessed by felines. The things we do for our cats…
    (sorry for the long comment!)

  95. If Joe’s saying something has to be done, why doesn’t he get his many toolbelt in gear and build you another bathroom? It is posible to put such things in the oddest of places, and don’t you have an odd unfinished place that was supposed to be a mudroom?

  96. HOLY CRAP. I thought our cat was the only dolt that drank tree water. He can’t wait for Christmas, because the tree water is a previously unknown cat delicacy.

  97. Why is it that animals refuse to drink the clean water we humans put out for them, every day? My fiance’s dog insists on drinking toilet water. It’s bad enough my man doesn’t put the lid down, but then to hear the dog happily drinking from THAT bowl, I’m not sure who to be madder at. I keep threatening to drop a bleach tab in the toilet bowl, so at the very least he’s drinking “clean” water. Sheesh!

  98. I know some cats who would rather drink from the birdbath (even when no birds are present) than from a nice clean water bowl. I figure they like bird-flavored water. But pine-flavored water? Hmmm. I’m with Elizabeth and the “pretend I’m a outdoor kitty” theory.
    You sure have made a lot of progress on that glorious blue laceweight!

  99. The kids went back on Tuesday and I waddled back into my classroom on the same day… but I feel your pain. Yesterday when my 7th grade boy sat and watched with his mouth open as the toddler’s milk cup leaked all over the carpet and I tried to evict the cat off my chest and move my 7 month pregnant body off the chair while yelling at my son to for crap’s sake DO something, I heard my husband’s voice in my head, talking about our middle-schoolers… “You know,” He said, profoundly puzzled, “I think they’re getting stupider.”
    I’ve long said that adolescent hormones push their brains out their ears… I’m having serious thoughts about scooping the damn things off their pillows with an ice-cream scoop and shoving them back in with force.
    And the cat would be drinking the tree water, but we haven’t watered it in a week. I’m hoping dropping needles will motivate the family to put the darn thing up without mom’s help.

  100. Comments at 122 and counting. You don’t need my two cents, but my cat used to drink from the tree too. No, she didn’t die from it. Though sometimes I wished she had. Those times when she was climbing the tree. Or the times when I threw her out for knocking over the tree. Or maybe when we found a squished cat in the road that looked very much like our cat who I threw out for knocking over the tree and I was feeling very very badly about it.
    But when she came home we were glad she wasn’t the squished victim in the road. And glad the tree water didn’t kill her.

  101. I have another cat who loves the Christmas tree water. She’s drank it for years and it hasn’t harmed her yet.

  102. hmmm…. mayhap I should watch our cats. And there I just thought it was awfully dry this winter….
    I am wondering if I could get away with hiding under the table, somehow I am thinking not.

  103. We started school on Tues. and I have been sleepless all week. Maybe 13 hours so far since Mon. night! I am a school teacher so I get the little darlings when the parents are rejoicing! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope your camo works!

  104. I have a friend with a purebred Lab that drinks from the toilet, but he stands in the room and barks until she flushes him a new supply.

  105. Oh, I’m so happy that lace is universally crumpled-looking before it’s blocked! I thought maybe it was just me.
    I love the colour of that yarn, by the way.

  106. cats are too funny! when we put ours up, the younger cat looked at me with such adoration in her face “thank you for my new toy! i love you!” the table! great hiding place…. i camp out in the utility room – that’s a room where work is done, no way the kids would step foot in that place! LOL

  107. LOL-my cat finds water in the weirdest places. Once I saw her appearing to be eating the garbage out of the upturned garbage can, but lo and behold she was lapping up rainwater collected in the lid. Makes you wonder what’s in the water we put out for them!

  108. Great looking stuff…did you mention posting the shawl pattern?? It is so beautiful and I am lusting after a pattern. I love your blog. It’s nice to know there are fiber freaks out there.

  109. Your execution (can I say that?) of the Whisper scarf is beautiful. Dorothy Siemens, the designer, reads your blog. I’m sure she was thrilled to see it. I am re-doing my crocheted mobeius (?) does that count? Thx for the eye candy. Carol

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