The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Matters of Timing

One of the nice things about blogging, besides meeting so many cool people, I mean, is that you get to see things through the eyes of people who might be far away. When I posted the pics of our mountain drive, someone commented that they wished they had mountains where they lived. I love that drive, but I admit to sometimes forgetting how lucky I am, and to appreciate it as much as I should.

Which brings me to this point: If I post a picture of my mountains of laundry, would some mind commenting on it so that maybe I’ll appreciate it and feel lucky and all that? Okay, so lucky’s pushing it……..but see, I don’t even understand my continuing war with the laundry. It’s not like it was for my grandmother. My mom remembers seeing grandma’s knuckles red and raw and bleeding from the washboard. And she remembers hanging clothes out when it was so cold that they’d come in crunchy. For me, all I do is put it in one machine, take it out, put it in another machine. I even put separate baskets in the bedroom for darks and whites (yep, my laundry is apartheid) so I wouldn’t have to sort it. And, as evidence by the pink sock I made him, Mr. K is clearly better at sorting than I am so I don’t even have the excuse of an ignorant man screwing up the sorting system. And yet, we duel, the machines and I. Or, more specifically, one machine: the dryer (cue doom laden music here).

Like most dryers, mine has a setting whereby the machine will sense the dryness of the laundry and buzz loudly to tell me to come get it. It will keep drying it so it doesn’t get wrinkled, and it will buzz again a bit later. It will do this several times before it finally realizes I’m not coming and gives up, holding the laundry in a cold, lonely pile. I know—all your dryers do that. Nothing special about that. But see, my dryer has an extra feature: it is specially timed to only buzz when I am precisely in the middle of a row of knitting. I think it earns some sort of points for doing this, and I think it earns extra points if it can buzz when I’m in the middle of a row AND CSI is on (which, if you have cable, is nearly all the time.)

As an aside here, I’ll admit to being horribly addicted to the original CSI. There’s something about Gil Grissom’s lack of social skills combined with his astounding scientific skill that I love, and Katherine Willows is my hero. She’s not 20-something, but she’s sexy as hell and it gives old broads like me some sort of hope that I could, should I choose, actually look something like a babe. It’s not that I’m old and broken down and can’t be a babe…I just don’t choose to. Oh, denial, thy name is Knitingale. But as usual, I digress. To the dryer.

So the dryer buzzes once. I’m in the middle of a row, so I don’t get up and go get it. I tell myself that I’ll get it as soon as I get to the end of the row. I’m lying, of course, and both the dryer and I know it. I’ll get to the end of the row and, with the buzzing mercifully silenced, I won’t get up and go rescue the clothes. I’ll turn the needles around and keep right on going. There is, of course, another bit of timing at work here: the networks somehow know to place commercials squarely in the middles of rows as well, and always just long enough to be done at the moment you finish the row. It’s all about timing.

Around the third buzz, I start yelling back at the dryer. “I know, I hear you! I’m coming!” Yeah, it’s that bad. I’m talking to appliances. By buzz number four it’s “I said I hear you! I’m almost done with this row!” When the dryer gives up, which it always does with one short buzz (which I swear sounds like “Fine. Have wrinkly clothes. See if I care.”), I really ought to be thinking “Okay, I have to go get those now, or they’ll end up looking like they’ve been in a dog’s butt all night” (this last is a direct quote from the ever colorful Momma Knitingale. I heard it the whole time I was growing up, any time I tried to leave the house in something unironed. From personal experience, I would suggest not trying too hard to get a visual on this one.). Instead, I keep on knitting, secure in the knowledge that it will not disturb me again. Then, of course, I forget the laundry until I need something and then complain bitterly because it’s all wrinkled.

I recently accused Mr. K, my dear sweet hubby, of having an extra butt hanging around somewhere because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out any other way he could have worn 8 pairs of jeans in 5 days. As it happens, he had done a load of the jeans he wears in the shop (yes, I know how lucky I am and no, you can’t have him) and forgot them in the dryer (see, it’s not just me). I put a load of wet laundry in there with my usual attention to housework type detail (none whatsoever) and was unaware that I was putting it in with the load of jeans he’d already washed and dried. When I finally took it all out, I was folding two loads. So, he only has the one ass, which was a great relief.

I think part of the problem with laundry is that it never actually gets done. You can work all day and you’ll still look in the basket at the end of the day and find more laundry because more has already gone in. I tried to convince Mr. K to go around naked for a couple of days, just so I can have the brief satisfaction of having finished the job, but he seemed to think he’d get cold……

I finally got the Samus stitches all picked up and actually knit on it for awhile last night at Knit for Life:

I love this sweater already. I want to wear it today, right now. No pressure for it to turn out okay, or anything…..

And lastly, a picture of the lovely Gracie, seeing as how her writing so appealed to some of you:

Some of you probably already noticed that she is short an eye; this pic makes it pretty obvious. She lost it as a kitten before I got her due to an infection. I promise that she gets around perfectly well, is in no pain, and is, in fact, a hellion extraordinaire. As you’ll see the next time I have her guest blog.


  • At 11:37 AM, Blogger Jean said…

    I have no advise on how to get the dryer to stop harassing you. But I do have advise on how not to miss CSI that doesn’t involve waiting for commercials: Get TiVo. Seriously. It will change your life.

    Gracie is adorable.

  • At 7:16 PM, Blogger Kim said…

    Ms. K.,
    You are remarkable (dog's butt, indeed). I do love Samus. It's on my "sooner or later" list, and I can't wait to see how yours turns out.

  • At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Jill said…

    Yelling at the laundry machines isn't so bad. My washer yells at me too. Then I yell back, then it stops yelling, and I end up with slighty damp, musty wrinkly clothes.

  • At 8:22 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    I can 'set' my washer *and* dryer to not sound off at me...we're talking t-shirts and jeans over here and no one much caring about the wrinkles and besides, you fold and that seems to take care of them...
    Samus...looks like you did a great job on those 192 stitches evenly spaced, seriously, beautiful! I'm with you, I can hardly wait.
    (dog's butt, that got a snort that was nearly painful!)

  • At 8:24 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    crap, I always do this......
    mwahhhh to Ms Gracie sweetiepuss. and a murf and cuddles to Ms Gussie sweetiepuss.


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