Stop Right Here!

It used to be that I had bad days. As I get older these days draw out and it’s more like bad weeks. I’m in the middle of such a period right now.

The latest happened exactly two weeks ago when I reached into our cooler and ended up in agony on the floor with lower back spasms.

I know from experience that if I don’t break the spasm cycle I’ll be out for weeks. So instead of heading to San Francisco, we head to the hospital. A couple of shots later, I barely make it out to the car. For everyone who’s had that, you know. For the rest of you, light a candle to the higher being of your choice.

Self-medicated me then heads from San Jose to San Francisco, where we had arranged a house exchange for a few days.

If you saw a woman the next day bent over like a 110-year-old or someone who’d lost their contact lenses, walking toward Imagiknit, you guessed right, that was me. But it also was the last time you saw me on the streets of San Francisco. Though Imagiknit is only a few blocks away from our house exchange gig, I never made it back as I promised. Instead, I tested out the comfort of their couch. All 5 days.

As any knitter will know, I had along so many knitting projects and yarn, I could have stayed there the rest of the year. Also, it’s no fun knitting on your back. I have no idea how the time washed over me, mostly in a daze or asleep from the medication.

Totally in awe of myself, we somehow made it back home. And exactly two weeks after the cooler incident I’m still in pain, on heavy-duty doctor-approved pain medication and in my chair in front of the computer for the first time today.

You’re caught up. I wish we could catch up with our tomato abundance. At the time I took the photo I was delusional, thinking this was a lot of tomatoes. We have at least three times as much now, and they keep on ripening at a pace I can’t even walk at.


The tomato below is a deep purple-red, fleshy and exquisite.


When something happens, something unexpected, I usually find out that I’m not alone. Thanks to the interwebs I find my experiences duplicated over and over.

A few weeks ago a friend and I were chatting in our living room when we heard the strangest of noises. To be honest, neither of us had any idea what it was nor had ever heard such a sound before. We did eventually figure out it came from outside. And this is what we found:


It turns out that exploding patio tables are not all that rare. We’ve had this one long enough I don’t mind having to get a new one. In wood, please. Imagine sitting at the table eating when this happens.

In other news, I put in a drip system in the garden, probably contributing to the back issue. It would have been so much easier to do with starter plants, but always going for the hard way, I was digging around mature plants trying to find their stems and the right placing of the drip in 100-plus degree heat.

No pictures of knitting today? I finished a hitchhiker shawl made with Wollmeise yarn, ok, the ends need weaving in, but who’s looking right now. I finished a pair of socks, again, I have to close up the toes. There just might be 5 pairs of socks needing a similar finish. I feel the holidays starting to breathe down my neck.

This pony is also learning a new trick, toe-up socks. Got some Socks That Rock heavyweight yarn. The problem is that the pattern Spice Man from Yarnissima I’m using doesn’t accommodate the thick yarn. I’m making it up as I go. And I’ve reached a point of stuckness. I have no idea what the pattern is talking about. Where do I do the decreases? The solution is making another pair of socks in thin sock yarn and following exact directions so I can tell where the decrease happens. For sure not where I tried to put it. As my friend Meg says, there’s got to be someone out there who is contorted enough that it will fit. Meg, I don’t think that holds true. At least not with anyone I know.

Someone recently asked about a baby sock pattern. I just scale down my go-to sock pattern. I love the littleness and cuteness. And did I mention they are super-quick to make?!


Confession time. I got more fiber to spin. But I have a good excuse, really. I love Inglenook Fibers. And my first ever hand-spun hand-knit item left me a few yards short. Probably because I can’t spin exquisitely thin yarn yet. I’ve been looking for months to find a fiber that I could finish the cowl with and finally: success!



Time to get off this chair and into something more comfortable.


Did I Learn Anything?

Day 2 at Stitches West

I was in training for weeks to be ready to get up for my Stitches class. Why they start classes at 8:30 am is beyond me. But when the day arrived I was so excited I woke up voluntarily in time.

Most important lesson was learned yesterday, at home. Just because I learned how to do something does not mean I should. What was I thinking? With renewed enthusiasm after my Stitches Saami Mitten making class with Beth Brown-Reinsel, I tackled Liana’s Deathflake Mitten.

I started by unraveling what I had because I had learned about yarn dominance. Who would have ever guessed there is yarn dominance. Stranded knitting is knitting with two or more colors where you carry the yarn along in the back of your work. As you go back and forth between the colors one has to make a decision: place the yarn you are about to knit above or below the yarn you just knit with. Confused yet?

Guess which is the dominant yarn? The one that gets placed above the one you just knitted with? Guess again. Right, it is the yarn you carry from below. Since the yarn that goes above has a shorter distance to travel, it creates a smaller stitch. The other yarn from below creates a slightly bigger stitch, therefore becomes more dominant and visible in the pattern.

In the pattern of the Deathflake mitten I believe I’ll make the white the dominant yarn.

We also learned the braided cast on. With enthusiasm I incorporated that trick into my mitten. Since the mitten only asks for white and black yarn I picked another color, red, and knit away. Except, I don’t like it. In my usual fashion instead of immediately frogging, I’m knitting on. I’m not sure what I’m waiting for. That I’ll get used to it? That it’ll start looking better? Right now the balance is out of whack. It hurts more to frog than looking at that braid. Until that balance changes I’ll keep on knitting.

Another trick I learned is a herringbone braid. Yes, I will also incorporate this into the mitten. Perhaps adding insult to injury will make it all right and balance out.

When learning to work with 3 stranded colors in a row, one really starts to appreciate 2 stranded knitting. The latter I found very difficult until the 3 stranded.

Mittens are mostly knit in the round. What helps in stranded knitting is turning the work inside out and knitting on the inside. That gives a better tension to the strand that is carried around the corner from one needle to the other.

Really, this was a most amazing and outstanding class. I never did get a mitten done, but I do have a picture to show you. This is a class picture of all the started mittens.

Saami MItten Class at Stitches
Saami Mitten Class at Stitches

I’ll document here the rest of my purchases at Stitches. Starting where I left off yesterday, the rest of the Plucky Knitter loot.

Plucky Knitter - One Hit Wonder
Plucky Knitter – One Hit Wonder
Plucky Feet - Table Setting
Plucky Feet – Table Setting

Every knitter should have a ball of Kauni once in their life. This was my time and not surprisingly I picked the rainbow color. Not sure what to make with it yet. Though I’m a firm believer that if I buy it, the idea will come.

Kauni - Rainbow
Kauni – Rainbow

How beautiful this yarn knits up and I have photos to prove it.

At the Kauni booth at Stitches
At the Mannings booth at Stitches


Another example of knitting with Kauni at the Mannings booth
Another example of knitting with Kauni at the Mannings booth

As I am a knitting Mama, I could not neglect my knitting daughter. I sure wish the knitting bug would bite her like it did me. Then we could be a mother-daughter team at Stitches. To be an enabler I selected two skeins of heavy weight yarn. Unless otherwise instructed, this is what my daughter knits with right now.

Malabrigo - Rios for Liana
Malabrigo – Rios for Liana

What is left to show you is the fiber. A spinner needs to increase her fiber stash, don’t you think?

I had a very nice chat at Greenwood Fiberworks. What attracted me at first was the prominently placed fiber with bling. It was downhill for my credit card and me from there.

Greenwood Fiberworks - Merino with Stellina
Greenwood Fiberworks – Merino with Stellina
Greenwood Fiberworks - BFL with Tussah Silk
Greenwood Fiberworks – BFL with Tussah Silk


Greenwood Fiberworks - Merino Batt
Greenwood Fiberworks – Merino Batt

I also picked up a couple of grab bags from Abstract Fibers.

Abstract Fibers Grab Bag
Abstract Fibers Grab Bag

Enough photos for today. Yes, there are more. NO! No more loot. Isn’t this enough? Just photos of yarn not bought and left behind for other.

Have  knitting day!

Binge Spinning

Last Tuesday I bought eight ounces of fiber at our guild meeting, immediately went home and started spinning. I’m a binge kind of person. Just never knew it would be spinning. Food, stash acquisition, even drinking at times, but spinning?

The fiber is 50/50 merino and silk. There were some lessons in that fiber. It was the silk that started going static on me, or was it the merino? The fiber spread out and opened like a flower while drafting and spinning. Attaching itself to anything I wore. I wonder if that messed with my washing machine? Another story. Every piece of clothing I wore was covered in fine fiber I was hoping our washing machine would take care of.

What to do? I could spray the fiber with water but thought differently. I got a big sheet of paper and put that on my lap, it worked. I tried spinning fine, but since I’m still a beginner, my fine is not as thin as I thought. But I might be down to sport weight. Of course this makes me wonder about spinning fingering weight. Perhaps another spinning lesson would help. If I spin any finer I feel like I’m making thread. I’ll keep at it and one day will turn another spinning corner.

Not sure if this is true, but there might be a sweet spot of fiber weight. I hate the sweet spot phrase but it seems so appropriate here. Every time I reached that sweet spot, the fiber shone and seemed absolutely perfect. It would take lots of tries to see if I am on to something. Could be there are lots of sweet spots in a fiber and could be that changes with the spinner. I’m too old to experiment with that, considering all the variables, and would rather use my time in other ways.

For now, see what I accomplished:


Finally the color is cooperating somewhat. Imagine a little more pastel. I did overspin, a recommendation. I did another experiment with this fiber. I spun the singles counter clockwise. I’ve read in several places now that this might be advantageous to continental knitters. I did ply clockwise.

The same fiber in another color is spun the regular way, the singles clockwise and I will ply counter clockwise. Then I will knit exactly the same cowl and report back if there is a difference that someone like me would even notice. I don’t doubt there might be a difference, but honestly, I’ll never be expert enough or German enough to be that OCD. But there might be a surprise in this experiment.

Here is the other color:



The cowl uses very little yarn and is called Zuzu’s Petals, a design by Carina Spencer. Apparently I like her designs because when I looked I noticed I had others by her.

No pictures of the plied yarn yet. And it will all have to wait until Wednesday. The next couple of days are booked and I’ll write about those upcoming adventures later in the week.

One adventure I did not have plans to go on was dealing with the washing machine today. It’s not spinning anymore. Is there a message?

As usual I tried fixing it but the problem is tools. There are several screws in the back that need to come off, but I don’t have the right little allen wrenches. I put the blame on my son who loves to use my tools but with time that particular tool drawer is missing lots of useful pieces. It’s a magic drawer to begin with. One can put an infinite amount of tools in it and no matter what, there is always room for one more. At one point I noticed that some drawer overflow has landed in the cabinet below. But let’s ignore that. It took me a few hours to clean and organize this magical drawer because though it holds a lot, it does not stay organized.

Back to the non-spinning washer, I imagine some belt problem. But I’m not about to fix that. I will actually call someone. Even though the garage is an embarrassing mess, I don’t have a repair in me at this point. When our newish fridge gave up a few months ago I called a few appliance repair folks from the phone book and the one I liked most immediately asked if this fridge was in an unheated garage (check), and told me to wait out the cold weather. And he was right, the fridge turned back on when it got warmer, apparently a fridge can get colder but not deal with temps colder and warm up. This guy saved us lots of money and this is the guy who’ll get a phone call about the washing machine.

Our heater might be acting up, too. But we just changed the filter and we hope to get lucky. As long as the heater turns on and off, no matter what noises it makes while doing so, nobody will touch it. This modern living is not as easy at times as we think.

My health is somewhat deteriorating. I’ve had shortness of breath for a while. Yes, I should have gone seen a doctor with the heart issues I have, but what can one say to a person that starts knitting faster hoping not to run out of yarn that way. You see?

I’ve had a mild cold or allergies since December. Constantly sneezing, coughing, tickly throat, definitely feels like allergies. But I also have breathing problems while walking uphill. OK, OK, I always have breathing problems while going uphill, but this is more severe. Almost asthma like or heart attack like. I used to have asthma, could it have come back? Or is it a pulmonary embolism? My mind is going in many directions with that, but a lack of enough air can do this to you.

Finally, I made an appointment with my doctor for Tuesday. Usually, following a lifelong pattern, I will show no symptoms then and will feel better than ever. Will keep you posted.


Finally: Rain!

Waking up to the excitement of rain this morning. It will do little to help the horrible drought we’re in, but it is a drop or two in the bucket, and California will take every drop it can get. It did not keep us from taking a two mile walk, but we ended up soaking wet and were glad to get into a warm house.

In my future today is spinning. I started last night and could not get to sleep because I did not get enough spinning in. At the Foothill Fibers Guild Meeting last night Lisa Souza gave a presentation and we all succumbed to the fiber fumes she brought along and I ended up with two 4 ounce bundles of fiber made of 50/50 bombyx silk/fine merino in the colors petroglyph and water gardens. And here I was going to show restraint until Stitches. Really?!

As promised I will show you the Steve West shawl, but, and this is a huge but, there is no way I can take an appropriate picture in this rain or the dark house, so you’ll have to settle for an awful blocking picture. But even with the colorful distraction of the mats you might get the idea.

I just found out the Tibetan monks are in town for their yearly visit. One of their projects is a sand mandala they then destroy to show the transitory nature of material life. The last part of this sentence is plagiarized. I’m always in awe that these folks take so much time to create these exquisite paintings knowing they will not last.

Yesterday when I was contemplating destroying/unraveling the shawl I saw a similarity. Except I did not know beforehand I might destroy the shawl, and it took me way more time to knit this shawl than it takes the monks to do the mandala. And there would have been a totally different message in my destruction. So perhaps I’ll quit the comparison.



While I’m doing photos, let me show you a small shawl I made for my friend’s 96th birthday:



I will only show half of what I bought last night because one of the colors did not photograph well at all. That’s a shame because it is most unusual and my favorite one.



And that’s it for today. Some cooking and lots of spinning and Netflix waiting for me.

One more photo. Did I ever show you my Schacht Matchless? If I did, well, it’s well worth another look.


Promise Fulfilled

Last night heralded in a new season. Gone are semi warm days, lights are finally making lots of sense. And now I’ll admit to loving all the little christmassy lights everywhere in December. Forget all the consumer hoopla, but give me your lights. Just the thought of January and February with the colorful lights all being gone and the dreariness. No, will not go there now, but instead fully embrace the garish decorations.

Before going to bed I took some pictures as points of reference for the morning, just in case it would be needed.


Yes I know, not very impressive. So let’s catapult forward to this morning:


Same tree, more snow. I love the quiet, the reverence nature forces on us. Taking deep belly breaths. Yes….


I love the do not disturb sign nature has hung out, but I also love to see a sign of my existence by disregarding the sign. Others are no better and soon there are footprints and hoof prints and paw prints and tire prints and….

This is a day to learn navajo plying or chain plying as some call it. At least I think they’re both the same. It’s a bit difficult to work on two skills at the same time. I’m getting used to the wheel, but have so much left to get accustomed to. Which whorl to use, getting the right tension, treadle and foot rhythm, drafting, on and on. And then there are plying skills. Of course that assumes I had the skill to make singles to begin with. But ever impatient I’m forging, or rather, forcing my way toward yarn.

A new spinning wheel would seem sufficient to most as a project. But we’re talking about a Gemini at work here. I signed up for level one of the masters knitting program with The Knitting Guild Association.

Impatiently waiting for my chosen yarn to arrive to knit my projects with. Did I say this is only level 1? This might never go any further than level one because level two requires putting your seaming skills to the test. If I’ve never said it before, rest assured there is nothing more hateful in life than seaming, for me. There is a physical aversion that is so strong that I can show you parts of a finished cardigan, at least finished in that all knitted parts are done, that still sits in a basket because I’m avoiding seaming. It’s that bad alright. Oh, it has been resting there for years. 8?

On to navajo ply in a winter wonderland.

Did You Hear Me Scream?

I was so, so good and then get punished. How is that fair? As I have expressed in the previous post, I’m stalling working on our daughter’s scarf. No more! I finished yesterday. A big incentive was a project I’ve been eyeing for a long time. It needed a little cooler weather and conditions were just right yesterday. This was going to be so good. My knitting mojo was going to take off again and no one was going to be able to stop me. Except for myself of course.

But let’s get the scarf thing out of the way. All I can say is: finished. I’m not in love. But what else was I going to use the yarn for? Let me present the Zombie BBQ scarf for one night of Hanukkah:


But you came here for the screams. After midnight while happily, very happily knitting along the deathflake mittens I noticed something wrong. Of course I was already bothered by something, but had no idea what that something was until it hit critical mass or a tipping point. I can be very dense that way. Trying to will my knitting to do what I want it to do, though to be honest, it has not worked yet. Always ends in tinking or frogging.

What was going wrong? Take a look:


You don’t see it? Hear the screams? Black skulls? Wrong color scheme is what’s wrong!!! To my defense, the chart has the skulls in black and the background white. Can’t figure out why. It’s probably explained in the directions, but I wouldn’t know because I don’t read directions.

As you can see from the picture, I’m no good at stranded knitting or whatever you call the hell of carrying along two colors. I was hoping I could go through life without learning that skill. Until this pattern comes along and holds me in its spell. I knew that resistance would be futile, at least I know myself that much.

I’m now teaching myself stranded knitting continental style. And no, I will not carry my yarn left and right hand. I carry yarn with my left hand and this is not going to change. Back to watch videos and start over, right after frogging the whole thing.

I think I’m pretty zen about it, after the screams no other outbursts. Just handwringing.

Not wanting to ruin my gemini reputation I also finished a beanie for Stephen and dyed it last night with koolaid. My first attempt at dyeing. Even Stephen is turning koolaid friendly after seeing the results. The black cherry smell, not so much.

DSC_0008 DSC_0009

Now look at the beanie again and know that I spun, plied and knit and then dyed the thing. Kind of proud right now but waiting for the day when I will look at it and think what a beginner I was. That’s how good I want to get.

A word of advice about using koolaid: wear gloves. My fingers look like they came straight out of a murder scene.

In other news: Lambtown, Dixon. I did go and came back with major loot to be shown to you another time. The two major accomplishments and excitements: 1. I fell in love 2. Got 3 bobbins made for my spinning wheel, and they arrived today.

1. Fell in love with the Schacht Matchless spinning wheel. Morgaine from Carolina Homespun let me try the Matchless they had set up and it felt like, like what? Effortless? Butter? Magic? No, not magic, it was love. I always thought I would like that wheel also known as the cadillac of spinning wheels, but somewhere I also got the feeling of hyperbole, it’s not. I’m saving my pennies now. Feel free to contribute to my spinning wheel fund, I would not complain.

2. The spinning wheel I have now is an Anthony Cardarelle. It’s a one of a kind. Hence, parts could become a problem. Spinning wheels have changed since this was made in 1969 and I’m somewhat limited with what I can do. For now, as a beginner, this is OK. Until a Matchless comes my way. The bobbins Clemes & Clemes made for the wheel arrived today. They are the folks who took over when Anthony died in 1970 I believe. They are a bit shorter, the bobbins, not the people, but let’s hope they will work.

In other news, I survived my anniversary. And if you don’t mind I would like to take the opportunity again to post what Stephen wrote a year ago.

“October 16, 2012

I would never discount the relief and gratitude I feel: in the past few days Marianna has survived a massive, seriously life-threatening heart attack and two surgeries, the latter 7 hours of quadruple bypass and all that accompanies it. Having said that… my heart, head, and stomach hurt at seeing her – a full day later – in such apparent agony (hopefully dulled by medication) and discomfort. I.e., she’s still in the immediate post-surgery area, strapped to a bed, and breathing on her own only in the past few hours. During our last ‘visit’ I was sure – from her eyes – she wanted to cry, or scream, or both, but both were physically impossible. I was gonna head home today or tomorrow to deal with a work disaster, but that’s emotionally impossible. So our kids are driving there to bring me what I need, for work and to take care of Marianna. I wish I could just quit my stupid job, with the universe hiring me as her caretaker…. -S

October 17, 2012

Some progress today – a coupla chair-sitting sessions, speaking getting a bit less difficult – followed by some setbacks: she needed a transfusion, and her heart rate suddenly started climbing, with a headache – a frighteningly familiar pair of circumstances, tho with a different and also familiar (to us, because it plagues my dad) diagnosis: atrial fibrillation. Medication has slowly been settling things down, and the a-fib just now stopped. Marianna’s sleeping right now – well, most of today, actually. Food’s been a problem, too, but no time to finger-tap that story on her iPad. Let’s just go with another long, deep, heartfelt – please join me – Whewwwwwww………… And once – and always – again: thank y’all so very very much for caring about this wonderful person next to me. -S”

In my own words a while later I write about my experiences at that time. I’m pretty forgetful, but the hospital time is burned into my brain. I remember so much.

“My mind and my fantasies were constant companions. With the help of some narcotic here and there.
Imagine you are in bed laying on your back day and night. No getting up. A catheter attached so no bathroom breaks either.
Staring at bland walls I was able to close my eyes and imagine the most exotic textures. From floral designs to leather coverings, the walls let me play with them for hours. Especially the gorgeous leather design. I could imagine making small cuts and the leather would curl back at the incision, just like my wounds on my belly now that don’t want to heal.
After surgery and my experience with death behind the curtain, I spent several days in ICU. Getting blood transfusions, afib, another blood transfusion, probably developing the clots while being bed bound.
After the initial ICU, one patient, one nurse, I made it to another ICU unit, two patients, one nurse. The place I started out at.
Nothing to occupy my mind, but my imaginings, I started paying attention to noises coming from outside my room, and there were plenty. Next to my room, an important booming voice, often on the cell phone, and many visitors. I made him a politician whose constituents were not allowed to know he has heart problems. I pieced this together when a nurse mentioned his constituents. I gave him a very interesting life with lots of intrigue and scandal.
Then the almost constant screaming from another room. Stephen thought it was another language, but I made out phrases like, go away, leave me, over and over and over. That almost drove me crazy, so I had to come up with something. He was a serial killer of young women and feeling regret, he now wanted to confess. Also, he did not want to be tempted to kill again and so told the nurses to go away. The young nurses had no idea what was going on and were actually very attentive and fond of him as it turned out. I wanted to shout out, get away from him, you’re in danger, but I’m glad I refrained. It turns out the not so old man had a stroke and probably what I took as confessions of murders was just gibberish.”

So how are all these people doing now? Lesson learned and living a healthier life? Or like me, just plodding along?

I better go, I have some frogging to do.

Eye Candy

Let me start with some housekeeping before I give you scrumptuous eye candy. Or ignore me and scroll down.

For some reason when I signed up with wordpress I knew not what I was doing. So this blog ended up titled with my name. Yuck! It’s like hearing your own voice or seeing yourself in the mirror in the mornings. I will try changing that today or in the next days. If you are subscribed here I have no idea what will happen. If you do not receive notifications anymore, perhaps do a search for Gemini at Work, I will try for that name.

Old Lenin would be proud of me. Yesterday I knit 6 rows on the KAL lace shawl, tinked 6 rows and knit 2. You are wondering why I’m not hysterically throwing the thing in a far, far corner? Because now I’m the proverbial dog with the bone, I can’t let go. I will show that shawl who the master is. It can’t get any worse, so success will be mine today.

I’m not understanding what is going wrong. I knit, I count, I use pencil and paper, I cross out, I double check, I’m awake. Apparently none of those qualities are needed to knit a shawl, or at least this shawl. Breathe!

Yesterday was still a good day. I got my interchangeable needle set. The addi long lace ones. They arrived 30 minutes too late to start the lace scarf. Yes, I admit, I started another lace project. You knew it? But I had to use half a size up because I could not find the right needles. When the set arrived I immediately switched with a prayer that no one could tell I’m now using a different size needle.

I probably never showed you the yarn I’m using. Have a look, it’s from Hand Maiden. Smells a little, in a good way, but not really like the ocean. But yes, it contains seacell.


Not sure I picked the right project for this yarn. Time will tell if I frog or knit on.

Now to the pictures you have all been waiting for. Y’all know I started spinning. It will take me months to master that skill, but I’m keeping at it. Bought a few pounds of cheap yarn to practice with and waiting for the day I can use stuff I actually want to knit with.

Have you heard of Inglenook fibers? Check here. I just had to get my hands on a couple of batts and roving from Macrina. She’s an orthodox nun in Boston. But for more information visit this site. Go there if only for the picture of the craft room. I wants this.

I knew about the wool and I also knew how quickly it’s all gone. When the time came for Macrina to post the latest I was at the computer hitting refresh over and over.

And here I present you with my first batt, superwash merino, tencel, bamboo, starbright, silk, silk noil, in the color wine country:


And one more time from another angle:



Then I could not resist the bfl/silk top in the color lichen:



And apparently I have a thing for seacell, because here is the merino/seacell in the appropriate color of river stones:



And then I ran out of money and time. As soon as I learn to spin like a pro I will be going back and going crazy.

Imagine though, the nun included some crack in her package, a sample of merino/silk. Is this legal? It is the softest thing ever and had me go back to her etsy shop for another hour. A good thing she charges for shipping or I would have succumbed yet again.

My little rant of the day is about a roofer we wanted to make ours. He said he would come by to make a bid several times now and has never shown up, this morning is no exception. We had him bid a couple of years ago, but then I had a breast cancer scare and a year later the massive heart attack and bypass surgery. I think legitimate excuses not to deal with a roof. We might have to move on and find a more reliable person, sad. We kind of liked him and friends who used him were happy.