The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hello from Heat Prostration, USA

It is hot in Seattle. Now, we northwesterners take a fair amount of abuse for our interpretation of "hot" and "cold" and "snow" (as well as "a reasonable price for a cup of coffee or a house" but that's a whole other post), but I feel that we are unfairly maligned. Remember--while it is certainly higher by the thermometer in places like Las Vegas (112 degrees when we were there last summer...and I still found a wool shop to hang out in) or Death Valley, the air up here is quite different in that it is really just a huge blue chunk of water, pretending to be air. It is so terrifically humid up here, that some manufacturers are thinking about selling hair care products to people like me with names like "Frizz Tamer in a Drum" and "Just Give Up and Use Crisco". Most days, my hair is in a desperate battle with me to sproing up from my head looking like nothing so much as a darkish brown chunk of steel wool, all because of this so-called-air. Frankly, I think it's just a piece of the ocean sneaking around trying to be something it's not. Very unseemly.

The point, and I may have one, is that 80 degrees here lays on your skin like one of those old, scratchy brown army blankets that have been wrung out in tepid water. Forget being active--it's like walking in hot jello (which I know would actually be liquid...but work with me here). Mr K and I sleep upstairs which, as it happens, is where all the hotness runs at the end of the day to lay around on top of anything that holds still and then refuse to move. SO.
So last night Mr K and I threw open all the windows and put a fan on the bedroom chair and tried to think cool thoughts (penguins, ice cubes, Paris Hilton when asked out by someone with an average sized brain and no money) and further tried to pretend that the sheets were cool and comfortable and that it didn't feel like we were trying to sleep in hot soup. Needless to say, there was some tossing and turning going on. Also a fair amount of whining which didn't seem to help but did make me feel a bit better. Not sure what it did for Mr K.
Around 3:00, the hotness finally allowed a tiny bit of coolness in and we started to sleep for real....for about 10 minutes. Then came Miss. Miss is supposed to go outside at night because of certain...tendencies, shall we say?...that will soon become quite clear. Last night, she somehow managed to slip under our collective radar to stay in the house.
Who am I kidding? Between our two new jobs, Mr K working more hours per week than I actually thought were IN a week, the HOT TUB INCIDENT, some health issues, and did I mention the hotness?--you could have slipped a pod of whales, several tanks, and a poorly behaved monkey in an evening gown under our radar. Neither of us lately could get a clue if we were standing out in a clue field during clue mating season covered in clue musk. It's not pretty. For all I know, one of us might have been HOLDING Miss when we didn't see her to put her out.

For most of the night, Miss just sort of lumped around, doing her best impression of a land mass, and making sure no one stole the chair from under her enormous butt. All was well. Then, a little after 3:00, it occured to her to seek some entertainment, to maybe....beat the holy living crap out of Gussie. Gussie, for some reason, was not completely on board with this plan. Thus, she attacked the issue with the calm and rational thought that I would expect of her: she shrieked as if being torn asunder and then launched herself up the stairs and landed on my chest, spitting and hissing and howling the whole time, apparently thinking that I would emerge from slumber ready to save her from the maurauding land whale, my eyes and sword gleaming with righteous fury.
Somehow, it has escaped her fuzzy little brain that 8 pounds of claws and spit at o'crap o'clock in the morning has never, nor will it likely EVER, bring out anything even HUMAN in me--forget superheros. What it brought out instead, in fact, was a sort of terrified and pained grunt (a logical response, I think, to the application of the feline equivalent of cleats to my frontal boobage area in the wee hours) and a frantic pinwheeling of my arms which, in turn, caused Gussie to be smacked broadside, thus causing her to leap approximately 50 feet straight up and, improbably, then to achieve a perfect 20 point landing (5 per foot) on Mr K's chest. He didn't do well with this.
I think a day that when you begin a day in this fashion, it should be your absolute right to call in to work to tell them that "I have seen the flavor of this day and it is not to my liking. Indeed, it is not to ANYONE'S liking, and I think it best for all concerned if I build a fort out of couch pillows and sit under it and eat oreos and read knitting patterns all day." Alas, the world has not yet caught up to my brilliance and I was forced to work anyway. Even with kitty cleat marks in my boobs. Life is patently unfair.

Some small comforts, though:

The beginning of my new favorite sweater, started with the birthday yarn from Mr. K (Debbie Bliss Rialto). I was smart enough not to work on it today during my lunch break...but you know, I did touch it to photograph it. If this day continues as it appears to want to, I can safely assume that the sweater will either mysteriously unravel itself as I sleep, or allow me to complete it before revealing itself to be the size of a postage stamp. I will not be suprised by either outcome.

Another of my Coral Bells, this one called Creme Brulee. It is supposed to be that color....either that, or people are trying very hard to encourage my gardening and not hurt my feelings.

This is a newish hydrangea that I planted, having been assured that it would turn blue once it discovered the acidity of my soil. It is unhappy with the heat, and wilted quite dramatically yesterday, while it's older, wiser, and far more intricately rooted cousin....

...was doing just fine. It apparently has an underground straw leading to somewhere more hospitable. For some reason, I am utterly charmed by the blue flowers.

I'm going to go find someplace soft and padded to sit. And wait for the day to turn into a new and better one.


  • At 6:53 PM, Blogger ccr in MA said…

    "Neither of us lately could get a clue if we were standing out in a clue field during clue mating season covered in clue musk."
    "I have seen the flavor of this day and it is not to my liking."

    Please promise me that you will never let anyone tell you that you are not a writer! I enjoy your writing so much, and yes, that sweater looks lovely and you were quite right not to work on it on this sort of day. Better luck tomorrow!

  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger Marianne said…


    I am so glad Smooch doesn't do that.

    I'm right there with you on being completely enchanted with the blue bloom...
    Miss? dreams)
    Sweet dreams to you, Ms.K...and Mr.K also...and yes, to you too, Gussie...I wouldn't forget you...

  • At 10:39 PM, Anonymous angie cox said…

    O.M.G ...there I was watching "Different Loyalty " when Roo's character asks Sharon's where she comes from .Her rely is Seattle to which he says "Oh yes the weather is very much like England". Now I am alarmed as hell. I don't do humid well and at that level might pass away .You might find me in the fridge . Holly is even more terrified as she spends 20% of every day trying to tame her afro-hair into an Audrey Hepburn as I refuse to let her use chemicals on it.

  • At 6:11 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    ::snorksnorksnork:: Oh god... Too true, all too true! (And I'm just a mile or so from the Columbia River, only the biggest river west of the Mississippi. Hey, that was fun to type. Mississippi. Almost as much as spelling it when you first learn-- Uh. Why are you all looking at me like that?)

    Please note, people, she said 'fan'. Not 'AC'. For some damnfool reason, despite the fact that in July-August, yes, it does in fact stop raining steadily and can hit 100+ (at least once, sometimes lots more) - no one builds places to live in up here with AC. Which means approx. 2-1/2 months of absolute misery for we of the webbed feet.

    And then Flo started on Miss and I forgot about being sympathetic and started having hysterics. I think I may have startled some neighbors. Every window and balcony door in every apartment in the complex is open, after all. Although maybe the 3 fans I have going, plus the sound of all their fans, managed to drown me out...

    Flo? 90 here in PDX on the 4th. (I didn't dare check the humidity.) Did we beat ya?

  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger Faren said…

    You really should be able to call in on a bad day, after all, your just looking out for them, right?
    Sweater is looking good!

  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said…

    Now here when life gets really really dreadful, we retire to the airing cupboard with a fast novel, a bottle of wine and a large bag of sweets. But that's for a cool climate and the bad day is usually when it's been raining nonstop for seventeen weeks. I quite see that you couldn't retire to the airing cupboard (do you have these over there?) Had you considered the freezer (with the door jammed open, for heaven's sake!) Could you fit a double bed in your freezer? Is this the time to consider separate beds in separate freezers?

  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    We had to stop the DVD because I was laughing so hard, and LittleBit demanded to know *why*. Thank you for making our day!

    I've never had a housecat [allergic kids and formerly allergic me], but I have gotten tiny toes in my kidneys and other tender parts in the middle of the night, back when I was a one-woman milk factory and it was easier to have the recipient close at hand for dark-thirty feedings.

  • At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Kathie said…

    You are such a good writer. Thank you for the laugh!

  • At 11:57 PM, Blogger Dez Crawford said…

    Delightful. I'm in South Louisiana, with the exact same air, only hotter. I feel your pain.

    We run eight head of cats here. I get it.

    Hilarious post. Thanks for the great laugh for my insomniac self.

  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Found your site through Celtic Memory yarns. What a hilarious story ! Reminds me of the time our dog chased the neighbours cat through the cat door and both ended on the neighbours bed ( with them still in it)
    Hope the front part has healed in the meantime ;-)

  • At 7:41 AM, Blogger Jen said…

    I just snorted ice cream out of my nose.

    I'm from Louisiana and live in Korea, so I know the exact air you are describing.

    I strongly suspect my Knievel to have been separated at birth from your Miss.

  • At 5:51 AM, Blogger Marimba's Notes said…

    Being originally from South Louisiana (think 25 miles north of the Gulf here), I *completely* know what you're talking about lol. And no air conditioning either. Which is why I *love* to hear my kids complain it's hot in the house when the air is on lol.

    Thank you for starting my morning out right with a good laugh! :)

  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Holly said…

    Oh yes, humid air and launched cat.

    Just make sure that she doesn't try it again from the top of a door (my DH still has the scars from that one).

    in Germany where there is no A/C, no screens and some very over worked fans


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