Today (and every day) I’m thankful for:

…My mom and dad for everything.

…Both my aunts and both my uncles for doing everything they do for my mom.

…My cousin A for all the “so there’s this book…” phone calls and black friday shopping and Ireland and going to the beach late one night in the middle of winter to get sand to send it to a soldier friend who was stationed in the middle east.

…My cousin C for for…well…being C and never learning to walk, but rather learned to strut, also the mohawk, and for choosing to serve his country. We miss you.

…My family back in Chicago, and even though I haven’t been back in years, and even though I’ve been bad about keeping in touch, I’m especially thankful for my Cousin S for reaching out recently and chatting with me like we last spoke yesterday. I DO miss you all. Wish I could be there for Christmas. Hey, does anyone have D’s recipe for those fruit pierogi? 

…My friends A and Cyn and T for being there all these years no matter what. You know that saying “friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies”? Well, that’s these three. I know I could call them any time day or night and they’d be on my doorstep with shovels, no questions asked. 

…My “old” knitting friends for being there every week and checking in with me to see how I’m doing and for making sure I’m hanging on, and for doing everything they can to help keep me going. 

…My “new” knitting friends for allowing me to crash their party and make me feel like they’ve been waiting for me to join in. 

…My friends, both “real” and “cyber”, for all they’ve brought to my life through the years.

…My yarn stash for being there and saving my sanity.

…The Container Store for making it that much easier for me to shop my stash.

…My local yarn store for allowing me to come in and just sit and knit without buying anything. Well, without buying MUCH. 

…and for everything else I didn’t list. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and spent it with those you love. I know I did.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka A Thankful Guppy 

A Pretty Thing for Diane (#16 of 30)

Waaaaay back in December (can’t believe it’s been a year already) I posted a list of knitting goals. Now, I’m not here to talk about which ones are finished and which aren’t. That’s for another day. Today, I’d like to revisit my friend Diane’s comments on Facebook:

you forgot to add ‘make something glorious for my very good friend Diane’ to the list… I’m sure it was just an oversight tho.

…And my response:

Lol so I did!

After some discussion about fibers, colors, etc., I puzzled and puzzed till my puzzler was sore (too early?) and I searched and searched for the perfect yarn. It had to be non-wool, as she was inconsiderate enough to be allergic to it. Really, I think I need to consider new friends. Way too many of the current ones are allergic. Right. Diane. Sorry. So I looked around at different yarns, and discovered Lorna’s Laces Honor yarn in a beautiful blue. Snagged the last skein, too!

I originally had tried a different pattern, but even though I am an experienced lace knitter, and even though I consider myself to be fairly “advanced,” I could NOT get more than a few rows in before I had to keep ripping back. I have a theory about that. If I’m fighting it THAT much, something’s not working. Wrong needles, wrong pattern, wrong yarn, something. So I let the universe have its way and went RavSurfing for a new pattern.

My friend Alyson actually picked out this pattern. She was knitting 2 of them at the same time, and I took a look and agreed it was the perfect thing. A bit lacy, but not delicate. Large sections of stockinette, so it would be a pretty fast knit, and adjustable as to the size, so I could make sure to use up every last bit of yarn (and boy, did I!).

Well, I finished in April, I believe. Took me until a few weeks ago before I had the time and floor space to give it a good blocking. After sitting around for a few weeks after THAT, I finally sent it off to Diane nearly a year after we first spoke about me knitting something for her. At this point she just knew I had knit something, not what it was. 

Of course, I sent it to the wrong zip code. *sigh*

I have to say that the USPS really stepped up on this. I called right away as soon as I realized it was going to come back to me as undeliverable. They told me if they were able to get in touch with the PO where it currently was, they’d be able to get it redirected to the correct zip. Unfortunately, it was Saturday and the local PO had closed an hour before. I told the USPS customer service that it was okay, and I’d just wait for it to come back and I’d ship it out again. Thanks for trying.

I get a text today from Diane. The package arrived. Apparently the USPS customer service person managed to get in touch with local PO after all and got the package redirected. Well done, USPS. Thank you.

Diane loves it, as I was sure she would. I’ll talk to her tomorrow, but in the meantime, now that she’s received her gift, I can finally share pictures of The Soft Thing for Diane. It’s a shawl, but, really, it could be used as a shawl, a scarf, a babushka, a chair cover, really whatever floats your boat.

And here’s the full shawl. It really turned out beautiful.

So to Diane, whom I hope has many, many more years to use and love this shawl. And know that if it ever needs reblocking, send it back. I promise it won’t take a year next time.

Love ya,

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka Knitting Ninja 

The Play’s The Thing (#15 of 30)

Okay, so we weren’t catching the consciousness of any kings, but why let that stop us?

I was able to attend the “opening night” of my friend Kelly‘s play, Glory on High. She wrote it under her pen name, Anne Eston, and it was wonderful. A funny performance where a mother and daughter are able to reconnect over making ornaments using paint that was…well…You’ll just have to check it out when the film is finished.

Yes, I said FILM. Frantic Lounge Films filmed both performances of Glory on High, so I look forward to watching it again on DVD!

I’m so proud of Kelly. She’s worked so long and hard on her writing, and it’s wonderful to see such exciting things happen for her, and I was honored to be trusted to help out in such a minor way. I’m glad I was able to help alleviate just the tiniest bit of stress for her. Love ya, Kels!

Three of my fellow Yarnivores attended with me! Pia, Kristin, Alyson, and I all piled into the car and headed down to Hollywood. For some bizarre reason, Pia left the house without her knitting! *GASP* That’s okay, though. I had ordered yarns for Alyson through Knitpicks, and we had needles and yarn in the backseat. Whew! Crisis averted! LOL Pia was able to cast on a lovely little seed stitch scarf while we were waiting for doors to open. 

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka A Satisfied Theatergoer 

I Got Nothin’ (#14 of 30)

Seriously. I got nothing for today. Today has been a long, long day, which started with a 17 mile drive that took us nearly 2 hours. Then after I dropped mom off, I went to dad’s for a visit and lunch. Fun, but then it was back to pick up mom, and it took us an hour to get home, then dinner, some errands, and we ended up walking in the door nearly 12 hours after we left. We’re exhausted.

So…the only thing I know right now is my cat is cuddly, my bed is cozy, the leftover pumpkin pie is tasty, and there is a pretty good chance that Alex O’Loughlin will lose his shirt at some point during this episode of Hawaii 5-0

See you all tomorrow.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka One Tired Little Guppy 

Knitting for the Holidays (#13 of 30)

I’m currently going through a tough time. I REALLY REALLY want to knit things for me, but I have a lot of Christmas knitting to do this year. I have a small thing for my mom for her birthday (which was over a week ago), a big thing for her for Christmas, not to mention my annual Christmas Ornament for my family members. I have a lot of knitting in a very short time!!!!


I have a lacy thing and a plain garter stitch thing in my knitting bag as relief projects for when the gift knitting gets to me and I just have to have a hit of something else before I go mad. LOL

So what, if anything, are you knitting for the holidays? Are you knitting gifts? What do you do to keep yourself sane while knitting gifts? Are you knitting for yourself as a balm to the insanity of gift giving? 

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka A Holiday Knitting Machine (no, not really) 

A Bookish Adventure, Part 2 (#12 of 30)

So…We left off with me still wandering around accosting authors. Let’s continue, shall we? 

Here’s Delilah Devlin

…And Cat Johnson

Julie James was a pleasure. She had just won Dabwaha, and there’s SUCH a pretty purple dress on the cover of her book, so I was weak and bought A Lot Like Love…

Mari Carr. Oh, Mari, Mari, Mari. Every time she posts one of her Snippets, I end up buying another book of hers. At some point she’ll run out of backlist, right? 

Here’s Shannon K. Butcher, whose books I had JUST started to read the week before…

Kelly Jamieson

And the Parade of Authors concludes with Tracy Wolff whose books I didn’t know until this convention. However, Katie, Shayera and I spent a bit of time talking books with her, and we realized with very few exceptions, all four of us love the same books. In fact, Tracy and I often said things at the same time that night. LOL Tons of fun. I’ve gone back and gone through her contemporary romance for Harlequin and I really enjoyed them all…

After the authors, Shayera, her friend (whose name totally escapes me), Katie, and I all went to lunch, then Katie and I did some exploring around town.

First off… DANG that Katie is TALL!!!! Sheesh! If I didn’t love her so much, I’d hate her. And no, she’s not wearing heels. Sadly, neither was I. *sigh*

We went to the Central Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, which was practically across the street from the hotel. It being L.A., we drove. LOL. 

We also did a quick trip to the Griffith Observatory, which, conveniently, is also one of the best places to view and take pictures of the Hollywood Sign. And bonus: it’s free, and open late.

They had this INCREDIBLE display. It is this really LONG ramp hallway going from one level down to another, and at the beginning of the hallway is this cloud of stars which represents the big bang, and then there is a stream of stars waving down the hallway showing a timeline of the universe, and it ends with an arrow signifying the future. What’s remarkable about the exhibit is the entire thing is made out of jewelry. Vintage and costume and real and fake, but the entire thing is made out of necklaces, pins, earrings, charms, and every piece of it (with the exception of the arrow at the end) all have stars or moons or something celestial on it. It was just stunning and so creative. 

Then it was time to take Katie back to the hotel and say goodbye. *sniffle* I tried to get her to move here, but, sadly, she’s now taken a new job and has moved even FARTHER* away! 

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka Hollywood Tour Operator 

*If “farther” is wrong, I blame Cyn. She knows why.

A Grateful Guppy

All gave some and some gave all
And some stood through
for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall

Thank you.

If you are a veteran or active military…

If you support a veteran or active military…

If you have been or currently are family to a veteran or active military…

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Without you and all you do we would not have the privileges we enjoy today. So thank you.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka A Grateful Guppy
aka Army Great-Niece, Army Granddaughter,
and Navy Cousin 

A Bookish Adventure, Part 1 (#10 of 30)

Waaaaay back in March, I found out that the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention was going to be here in Los Angeles. I wasn’t planning on going, until I found out that my good pal Katie was attending. Since she lives in Iowa (for a few more weeks at least. LOL) we try to take whatever opportunity we get to get together for a visit.

I’m SOOO glad I went. I met a bunch of authors whom I have been speaking to on Twitter, not to mention I collected yet another Librarian pal, Shayera. LOL I seem to have a lot of those. I met Katie and Shayera the day before the big signing, and we went to this “un-conference” that was fascinating, and it was followed by a cocktail party across the street, and afterword the three of us went up to Katie’s room where we proceeded to talk books for way too long before Shayera and I left. The next day, we again met up with Katie and proceeded to perform a military strike on the book signing!

So. Much. Fun. Oh, and be sure to click on the pictures. Hee!

*tap tap tap* “Pardon me. May I take a picture of your leg?” Me, to Carina Press Executive Editor Angela James.

Here I am with Bella Andre.

…And here I am with KB Alan who was nice enough to spend some time chatting with me while I was waiting for Bella…

…Did you know Jami Alden and Bella Andre are best friends? Here I am with Jami…

Cherry Adair was a hoot! Really funny lady. Got a little too friendly, though. LOL…

HelenKay Dimon whom I’ve been chatting with pretty regularly on Twitter. Since she’s fairly local, I may head down to meet her at a San Diego RWA event one of these days…

Robyn Carr. I LOVE her Virgin River books. I was so pleased to be able to meet her and let her know how very much I loved the first book in the series, especially. There’s a scene between Jack and Mel which was so well done, and I cry buckets whenever I read it…

And finally (for this post, anyway) Sarah Wendell. Visiting with Katie aside, she’s one of the reasons I went. I read her site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books all the time and find her to be smart, witty, and clever. With her first book (co-written with Candy Tan) and her second, she’s done a lot to try to change the way people view romance novels. I did lie to her, though. I told her that her book was the only one I was going to buy. I lied. I ended up buying one other book. More on that in a few days…

That’s it for tonight. I’ll wrap up my Romantic Times adventures in a few days.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka A Bookish Fish

*Yawn* (#9 of 30)

I had a whole long post I started to write, but it turns out I’m way more tired than I thought. Today I’ve done a few loads of laundry, two loads of dishes, cooked dinner, blocked one side of my Brea Bag, made iced tea, cleaned up a bunch of photos and files on my computer, did some online research, spent an INSANE amount of time on Twitter, and now I’m currently in bed, under my warm and comfy comforter with a sleepy cat curled up next to me. *yawn*

So good night, all, and consider this my post for today. I’ll get the draft post up tomorrow before I head out to knitting with The Yarnivores.

And be nice to each other. I think we all need it, especially this week.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka One Tired Little Fishy

See the Signs? You See Them. (#7 of 30)

I like to collect pictures of signs, and I’ve posted about them before. I like all kinds of signs, but my favorites are the ones with something either funny or a typo on them. I’ve collected more, so here are a few of the new ones…

Here’s one from my old Ford Focus. This was in the passenger foot well, on the door side. Who knows WHAT this was for??? And considering it took me 4 years before I ever SAW it, I don’t know who they thought was doing this…

Now, I’ve got a question. Does this mean the car will get cleaned, but will come out covered in salt?

Finally, here’s a sign found at my friend Linda-With-An-I’s “vacation” place. 

While I hate to speak ill of the dead (bookstores) and TECHNICALLY this sign doesn’t have a typo, one of these things is not like the other. Can you spot it? LOL.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks