Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cowboys and Indians

I recently acquired what I call, a cowgirl beagle named Sally, from a woman who rescues pups from certain death in Southern pounds. After my beloved Hannah died I mistakenly thought my puff ball Katy would appreciate a canine pal to hang with, so I fostered her, as I was broke from Hannah's expensive surgery.

Katy hates Miss Sally, cowgal extraordinaire, with a passion, as much as Miss Sally despises her. The fights have trickled down since Sally recovered from her mistaken belief that I was her fur child, but last night as I watched a biopic on Patti Smith and decided to chow down on some goldfish (the cracker not actual chordata), Sally howled "!Viva la revolucion!" and attacked. Katy, my little poodle/brittany scrapper, did not surrender. As I gulped my goldfish, scattered the box all over the floor and bed, screamed for my mother to get her a** in the room, attempted to crawl quickly on my post-surgical knee, fell over, got back up, fell down again, I reached the battle and managed to pull the bloody pair apart, while peeing my pants. Yes, that is correct. The combined excitement of having cable TV after approximately 6 years of not owning a TV, watching Patti Smith, and the blood and gnashing teeth, caused me to piddle all over myself.

In other news, it is New Years Eve day! I finished the celtic cable neckwarmer for my mom and have started one for myself with the softest most comforting yarn evah!

I have also decided to go on a Carribean cruise. It's nice to have completely unattainable desires.

Here is a lovely photo of my Grandmother, Molly Blumenthal, her mother-in-law (my ggrandmother Adelaide Stegemann, and Dorothy, her daughter (my great-Aunt), in the Park in Rochester, NY.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Take a guess?

I am a huge supporter of adopting dogs from the Humane Society, Rescue society's, etc rather than going to a breeder or GOD FORBID a Puppy Mill. But I have always been curious as to what breed (s) make up my little gremlin girl (my icon pic), Katy. We adopted her about 7-8 years ago from the Humane Society when she was only 9months old and a dirty, flea-infested, matted, stray dog. I finally managed to send off for one of those DNA canine kits and should get the results back in a couple of weeks. I am going out on a limb and place my guess as a "papipoo", or Poodle/Papillion mix. My mom thinks she is part terrier and maybe poodle.

Anyone else want to place a guess?

She weighs about 16-18lbs and has curly hair and her hair grows super long if I don't cut it. She is super sweet and affectionate and very smart. She is trained (unlike all of my previous dogs) and loves to romp and skip and race through open spaces.

More pics to follow...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Swimming with the fishes

Lately my life is attracting elements of water-frozen and solid, aquatics, and fishes (fishies?). My surgery required frequent icings, I have been craving ice cold water lately, my doctor wants me to swim at least 4 times a week (and lose 50 lbs) and I just received the most beautiful goldfish bag evah! Swimmy is my all time fav bag character.
Photobucket Photobucket

Thank you piddleloop sewing team (and Lucy and Samuel). Jen and her sister run the shop and are the most generous, fabulous power duo in the universe. When Hannah was sick they held a fundraiser and when she died they raised over $1K so that I could pick up her ashes. They oftentimes sew and sell like mad women, donating all of their winnings to help someone out.

I got an extra little gift included which was one of the bags that remained from the Hannah sale. So my little Hannah and Swimmy bag are my new two favorite things in the world.

I am going to be doggie/house sitting this weekend so things should be low key and relaxing- plus there will be cable TV!

Trying to stay positive so I will not mention my post-op ortho visit, except to say that I had one.

Back to knitting my tapestry cowl so I can start on other projects.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post-surgical Thanksgiving blues

It's hard to come up with apt, witty titles for my blog so I am just typing whatever pops into my head first. Surgery was a disaster- but I will save my lovely readers the drama and pity. I did not get my knee replacement- just got scoped which has turned an already inflamed knee into a super duper inflamed knee. My computer is also going wacko so if you see odd letters randomly placed- it was not from my typing.

I have been steadily working on my tapestry cowl. Here are the most recent results:Photobucket

I forgot how long double-sided knitting takes. I just bought the softest most beautiful yarn called Eco Alpaca- from Cascade Yarns (1528). I could only afford one skein. It should be enough for my new favorite projects (the cowl obsessions). I am thinking of doing the celtic cowl which was created by a local Baltimorian (notice I did not say Baltimoron b/c she is a cool knitter).

Otherwise, work has been so-so. Usual miserable folks trying to make others be miserable folks. I refuse to be sucked into the negative vortex. So I will continue to stay positive and live my life.

Today is a beautiful sunny clear day. I have the windows open and may try and take the dogs out for a quick walk. My knee hurts too much to do anything other than down the block and back. Tonight my mom and I plan to walk down the street to 34th St and take some photos of the Christmas set up. Every year 34th Street goes all out and decorates every house to the hilt in lights and decorations and artistic expressions of Christmas. People come every night in droves (some from out of town!) to see the "Miracle" on 34th St. Luckily I live on the corner of 34th so I can walk and take the dogs. Of course this also means getting a parking spot immediately after leaving work. No running errands, etc or I will be parking miles away (a bit of an exaggeration but a kernel of truth).

Nothing very exciting or fascinating to report. Oh, except my car was booted and I had to pay $400 b/c of the wonderful Baltimore Parking Authority's error (5th expensive error for me) and then they put a flag on my vehicle from the DMV (another error) and I have a court date for the tickets but they will not reimburse me for their error because..... because... THEY CAN AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT BECAUSE BALTIMORE IS A CORRUPT, APATHETIC CIRCLE IN THE FROZEN CENTER OF HELL.

Oops! Did that slip out? My battery also died on Howard St so I had to push my car into the Auto Parts store where I met "Pastor" Mike and Kenny, homeless mechanics extraordinaire. It took them 2 hours in the freezing pouring rain to change my battery but I was treated to some tall tales which made up for the wait. Pastor Mike killed his first wife by driving into a brick wall at a high rate of speed with his 5 year-old in the back seat (unharmed). Needless to say they gave his child to his mother and he lives in his car with his new wife. Kenny lives with his wife/gf who just kicked him out. His comments were more about lubing the nuts and bolts and sticking them back in the hole. Pastor Mike was very appreciative of my tip and offered to do some more work, but it was close to 8:30pm and I still had not gone home so I declined. My car is back in working order and hopefully will not catapult my battery into an unsuspecting pedestrian or car as I am not quite convinced that Pastor Mike or Kenny knew what they were doing.

I will leave you with another photo of me as a rockstar:


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ballad of El Goodo

"There ain't no one going to turn me 'round."

Words to live by Alex. Unfortunately my hormonally challenged gender confused beagle foster turned me 'round right into a brick wall and nearly fractured my wrist. I look like a prize fighter with a massively swollen hand and wrist and arm that is a lovely shade of purple today. People at work think I am mentally ill and I am sure some suspect abuse. But I can hardly admit that my foster beagle who is in false pregnancy and thinks I am her puppy is abusing me. I think all the excitement of x-rays, ice, wraps and meds made me violently ill on Friday night- or I have an ulcer. Even my beloved friend Ms. Phenergan could not rectify the situation.

In knitting news I am going to attempt the Tapestry Cowl

I am using a dark grey and a deep red which I hope will show the contrast of the colors quite nicely. I guess double knitting is not like riding a bike because I have made several double knitted items and totally forgot how to do it. Thank god for online video tutorials

I also dyed my hair back to a more "natural" dark color. Why does your hair get darker as you age? I started out lightbrown/blonde and have slowly approached a very dark brown. My co-workers saw photos of me back as an undergrad when I actually cared what I looked like and all suggested I darken my hair so I actually took their advice. I guess we shall see what the consensus is.

Surgery is rapidly approaching! Pre-ops on Monday and surgery the following Tuesday. I ordered new running shoes to celebrate (shhhh don't tell my surgeon) and I am joining the fabulous new expensive gym at the University where I work. YEAH!!!!

I feel this blog in incomplete without a photo so here is a photo of my grandfather when he was an undergrad at the University of Michigan. I'll bet that you can guess the year.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gas is good

Theme of the day: Gas, belching, borborygmus, etc. You have no idea how many phone calls I receive about gas, bowel movements, foul smells, and just plain morons. I get calls stating that they have sprouted hernias overnight because they don't want to go to work. Must be a new phenomenon because hernias generally do not grow like tulips. All day every day I listen to the less than intelligent ramblings of people who should not be allowed to live without constant intelligent supervision. Occasionally I will get the coke head who will start screaming at me about something that he already screamed to me about but forgot because he is so high.

I don't mean to sound supercilious or insensitive but after years of these calls and patients my tolerance is rapidly declining into a skein that has one more stitch. Many of the patients are uneducated or are homeless- or live with abusive or even less intelligent individuals. But when someone waits until their wound or colostomy is septic and necrotic you run out of words to say. For example: one of the patients went dancing w/o a colostomy bag. Two words: Sweet moses!

So today the word of the day is "gas." As in "I keep eating spicy, ethnic foods with beans and fried food and for some reason I have really bad gas. I want to speak to the surgeon NOW!"
Or, " Someone called me- do you know who it was? I didn't get their name or number but they had a funny name."

Sometimes I sit and ponder my decision making ability and how on earth I ended up taking calls about gas and stool after going to Graduate school for American history and Archaeology. Did I miss the bus? Was it the drugs? Am I a masochist? Or am I just stupid?

Things to ponder while picking up the phone for another gas, stool, drainage, surgical nightmare issue.

Oh and I still have no idea what I am going to knit next. Suggestions, suggestions to all of my faithful readers!! Oh, that's right I am the only one who reads this.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I am a moron

I do not understand how to add friends to this site or how to follow other blogs or even to look up interesting blogs to follow. Will someone take pity on me and help me?

I would think this would be simple enough for Koko the gorilla but clearly Koko has one up on me.

What is with all the settings/layout/monetize (as if I could make money on my stupid ramblings) and all kinds of weird google friends etc, which tells me I have no friends. Big shocker.

I accidently clicked on the follower tab so I am the only one following my own blog and I couldn't even delete myself if I desired.

Maybe I should call the University help desk and get fired. Hmmmmmmm....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Klonopin Blues

While waiting for my anesthesia consult I managed to knit up the Ashford Cowl in my new favorite yarn: Rowan's Cocoon -which is soooo soft and shiny and pretty. I managed to finish the cowl in one skein of light/grey blue and still have one skein left as well as two dark grey skeins. No ideas yet what I am going to knit up. The photos do not do the color of the yarn justice. I neglected to do the scalloped edging but it keeps me warm and looks good.

Doctor Evil likes is as well as the unidentified man walking by as I took this photo at work.

In other news my knee replacement should be set to go on November 17th barring any orthopedic surgeon in influence- grrrrr

Sally seems to have recovered from her false pregnancy and all things are back to chaos and doggie wildness. More on this later after I get some sleep and begin again tomorrow.

Maybe I will have chosen a new Rowan project by then.

Peace out,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Forays into the past

I am still learning how to post on this site. I have no idea what all these buttons and pictures mean and not sure if I need any bells and whistles. Maybe later.
Back to the exciting world of genealogy.
I have been flip-flopping between finding more Blumenthals and more Schoenbergs. Neither search has been very successful. My great-grandfather David Michael Blumenthal seems to have appeared in the US out of thin air. I cannot find his passenger record, despite his naturalization papers giving his date of arrival as August 17th, 1881. Nor can I find his first marriage certificate or where she came from. I am not sure if Blumenthal is his real surname or one he picked, or was his mother’s to avoid conscription in Russia. Sigh. Jewish Genealogy is incredibly difficult due to the myriad ways in which Jews switched identities, used several names and changed their ages over time. For example, David’s first wife had been known as “Amelia, Male, Malka, Mollie,” and possibly “Anna.” Her last name was “Greengrass,” also listed as “Gryngras” and “Gringras” and a million other spellings and pronunciations. I cannot find her passenger record either, but I am convinced (as are other Greengrass researchers) that she came from Radizilow Poland and was somehow related to one of the Falk Gryngras’s that came from that town. On her son’s death certificate her name was listed as “Molly Falk.” If I hadn’t studied the history behind the Gryngras’s from Radizilow I would have assumed that was another surname. But there are hundreds of Gryngras’s from that town and they descend from a male named Falk. All speculation of course. What is even more strange is that the story everyone had been told was that Mollie Blumenthal (nee Greengrass) had died after having 4 children: Anna, Julius, Gus and Ida; and that David Blumenthal was remarried around 1896 to Rivke Schoenberg, a 19-year old sent over from Russia for an arranged marriage. The problem with that story is that I received Molly’s death certificate from Rochester, NY and she did not die until 1903 of TB. And she was living a few doors down from where David lived with his new wife Rebecca, her children and his new children from Rebecca. It also lists her as married on the death certificate. There is no other info listed, as if she died alone and no one came forward with any info. I am going to send away for another search to make sure this wasn’t another “Molly Blumenthal,” but if it is true it begs several questions- Was David a bigamist? Did he leave her when she contracted TB? Did he get a “get” which enabled him to remarry Rebecca? Did the children see their mother or were they told she was deceased? If David did handle her care and support her financially why did she die alone with no one to provide her family information? It may also explain why everyone was reluctant to speak of the family’s history. My grandmother was actually named after her and her half-sister Ida named her daughter Molla after her, so she must have been remembered fondly. BIG MYSTERY.
Another issue with David Blumenthal and his family as they are missing from the 1900 census. I have searched through page after page of the Rochester, NY census and the house where they supposedly lived was skipped over or the page is missing. I think it would help solve some of the mystery by showing who lived with them. Rivke (Rebecca) came over from Kuzmin Russia in 1896 with her mother Rozia Schoenberg (spelled Schoeneberg on the passenger record) and Rozia seems to have disappeared. Did she go back to Russia? Did she live with David and Rebecca and the kids in 1900? Or did she die (a search for a death certificate yielded nothing)? Maybe she remarried? I can find no record of her anywhere. Nothing on Jewish Gen (actually I have found zilch on Jewish Gen thus far and wonder how people find their ancestors on that site), nothing on Ancestry, or any other site.
Another less important mystery is a listing in the Rochester NY Directory for a “Tontiff Schoenberg.” After posting on the Ukranian list serve on Jewish Gen I was emailed by several people suggesting that is real name would have been “Yom Tov,” a name given to males born on a holiday. Or a misspelling of “Yontiff,” another Yiddish worrd for holiday. I am not so sure. I cannot find him listed on any census, passenger record, etc. but I thought maybe his name was a form of “Joseph,” or “John.” I may try and send away for a death certificate but I have no date of death and I am not sure if he even lived in Rochester, past 1900.
I guess that is all for now. More to ponder and speculate

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baboons do not fall in love

Well maybe they do but how can you tell?

I am going to try once again to start a regular blog. After failing miserably several times I should really give up but I read all these interesting, fascinating tales of daily life that I am compelled to add ennui to the mix for balance.
Katy went to the vet for a check up on her lumps which seem to be fatty cysts. Like me she is getting fatter in her older years and these weird lumps pop up. In interesting news I found an ICD-9 code for "fatness,' while looking up fistula. I wonder how many code the bills with fatness. The term seems out of place- is it a state of being? Patient A has simply gained weight or is morbidly obese while patient B has "fatness." Hmmmm.... things to ponder.
Supposed to go to Evie's tonite for dinner, candy and some delicious wine I picked up in Normandy. I am sure one glass will have me slurring and drooling. Last time I went to Normandy, I bought my boss back a bottle of Calvados after asking a man in a wine store about a good wine in my atrocious French and his stunted English. I am completely ignorant about liquor and wine and it turned out it was Apple Brandy which nearly seared the tissue off of my bosses throat. Unfortunately, I have a slight fever and was vomiting yesterday so I am not sure I should be eating tonnes of chocolate and exensive French Wine.
In positive news, my foster beagle seems to be recovering from her false pregnancy and doesn't seem to regard me as one of her litter anymore. She hasn't attacked poor Katy in days and her snapping and snarling is down to a minimum. She is still nesting and licking me, and the lactating is still continuing. I wonder if someone needs a wet nurse doggie? I could loan her out. The testosterone meds do not seem to be working. I keep waiting for a voice change and weird hair in odd places. Except that she is a dog that has hair everywhere and an already deep bellowing howl. Let's just hope and pray that she doesn't grow a penis.

Went yarn shopping and got some Rowan Cocoon which is lovely, soft and shiny. It is a merino/mohair blend. Normally I hate mohair but this is just so soft and the colors are spectacular. I was looking for some Katia 100% merino that I purchased in Brugge. I just made a cowl for a friend and it is the softest, non-splitty yarn that knits up fast and beautiful. I imagine I will have to go overseas to get anymore:( I also bought some Zarina ultrafine Merino in a deep grey and red which I plan to make a double-sided cowl with. Very soft and yummy.

Going to go listen to my newly burned Neko Case and relax. Rainy blah day and tired of errands, wash, cleaning, etc.


In honor of this rainy day Halloween I am posting my favorite photo of my grandmother Molly, her sister Ruthie, and neighbor hood friends Halloween around 1910 in Rochester, NY.