x.x

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My husband is home until further notice.

I don’t know whether to be excited or horrified.

We might get the house fixed up a bit — I’ve been wanting to redo the laundry room and turn part of it into a pantry since we moved in 9 years ago.

…but we’re probably going to end up murdering each other instead.

The biggest bright side is L can babysit Sprocket while he’s home and that means I can knit!

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I cast back on Yggdrasil, a shawl I started and ripped forever and a day ago.  It’s double knit and starts with 360 stitches — so a 720 cast on.  It’s going to take a day and an age to finish but it’s something to keep me busy.

…and since today is National Puppy Day!

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Bit of knitting

Look at me, finally getting in a bit of knitting!

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This cowl was started as a large triangle and it kind of self binds off as the joined corners fill in to form the full rectangle.  I’m not super in love with the way it looks when reducing but considering it’s my first brioche project, I’m still mostly okay with it.  You have to start somewhere and I’ve decided I do like brioche quite a lot (IT’S SO SQUISHY!!!) and have another pattern for a much more interesting shawl, the Tourist Shawl on Ravelry, that I’d like to try in the near future.  All is not lost. =)

As for other stuff: the house is completely sanitized now.  We’re ready to bring home Sprocket on Friday!  We call that morning to set up an appointment to get him — he’s still on some medications and they just want to walk us through the rest of his care.  Apparently parvo can be contagious for 6 weeks after symptoms so we have our work cut out for us…but still excited!

I also received a neat little package from Germany today!

Back in September, hubs and I went to our favorite music festival.  We really like to support the bands we enjoy, which explains why most of both of our wardrobes are dominated by black band t-shirts.  The progressive metal band, Tomorrow’s Eve, didn’t have any merch as it all got caught up in our ridiculous customs.  The band was fantastic, though.

“Give us your address and we’ll send you something!”

I figured they’d forgotten or weren’t serious, but guess what showed up today!

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I’m super stoked ’cause that’s actually a long sleeve shirt and a size both hubs and I can wear.  It’ll be great for some of our cold weather concerts!

Sock it to me

I finally finished a sock!

It’s for my mother, who has very narrow feet and slim legs so it looks a bit hilarious just laying there but it does fit her (or it did before I started the star toe). She’s asleep now so not putting it on her foot yet.

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Now to get its friend cast on! I’ve only been working on these when I’m away from home. I need something that’s small enough to fit in my purse.

Pattern is Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes. So far, so easy.

…ans because I’m procrastinating:

What’s your show history?

– First show – Vince Gill at the WV State Fair with both of my grandmothers 😅

– Last show – Avantasia at The Palladium in Worcester, MA

– Next show – Heavy Montreal! Teo day festival at the end of July in Montreal, of course!

– Best show – Falconer, ProgPower USA 2015 in Atlanta, GA. It was their final show and let’s be honest, I didn’t think I’d ever get to see them perform. It was amazing!

– Worst show – There are a few up for the running. I’m going to go either with Anathema (PPUSA 15) or Tarja (PPISA 18). As somebody else put it, Anathema was like being waterboarded with sleep…and I did fall asleep. Tarja was pure diva and boring. For all the hype, I left early, as did most of the other people in attendance. It was pretty miserable.

– Who have you seen the most? I think that’s also a tie between Sonata Arctica and Battle Beast. I think I’ve seen them both five times. I had tickets for October when they’re touring together too but something bigger came up.

– Best show venue? Center Stage in Atlanta is my favorite. I also really liked The Filmore in Philadelphia. The Egg in Albany is also pretty nice.

– Worst show venue? The Webster in Hartford, CT. It was so bad I’ve refused to go to another show there. I also really didn’t like the PNC Pavillion in Charlotte, NC.

– Who have you not seen but want to? Powerwolf, Orden Ogan, Ayreon, Dream Evil, Turisas, and Eluveitie are the ones left on my bucket list. Seeing Powerwolf and Eluveitie this October and Orden Ogan in September!

– Bands you’ve seen that you want to unsee? – Alabama. They looked like they’d escaped from a nursing home, sweatpants and all. Also not my genre.

Passing the time

Craft room progress is coming.  I’m really thrilled with the reorganization of it so far, I suspect that I’ll be able to use it without cringing again before the end of the week.  🙂  I hope!

In the interest of sharing, here’s the library list I made of my craft room books.

I always love pawing through the books that other crafters have.  It’s interesting to see what they think is important enough to keep around and it’s a fun way to grab some ideas.

I think my cookbooks and CDs are also publicly available right now; I’m saving the rest of the books until I finish manually adding the ones without barcodes or ISBNs.  I also finished cataloging all of my patterns the other day — it was a heck of a task!  It will take forever to make a comprehensive library of them on libib, so for now they’re in a file on my google drive.

I hit my knee super hard while sitting in a closet today.  I thought I was never going to be able to escape; I turned into a howling walrus and was rolling around in pain and couldn’t stretch it out to help alleviate the pain.  It was very unpleasant.  It’s a pretty shade of purple now.

…so in the interest of sitting here a few minutes longer while my knee continues to scream at me, this popped up on facebook.  I’ll just say it was way freakin’ harder than I thought it would be.  I blame my middle name.

 

Every answer must start with the FIRST letter of your MIDDLE name – this is harder than you think!

Middle name ……………. Victoria
Animal ……………………… Viceroy (butterfly)
Girl’s name ………………. Virginia
Boy’s name ………………. Vincent
Color ………………………… Violet
Name of movie ………… V for Vendetta
Something you wear… Vest
Drink ………………………… Vodka
Food ………………………….. Vanilla ice cream
Place …………………………. Virgin Islands
Restaurant ……………….. Varsity (Atlanta, GA)
Reason to be late ……… Vomited

That turned into a rant…

I’m making progress with that super annoying UFO scarf.  The first half is complete and I’ve finished beading the second, so now it’s just endless rows of stockinette.

I remembered I didn’t like the makes that the pattern had — now I remember why.  Stupid holes.  I only did them a few times before I realized again what was happening and changed them.  No big deal, I don’t think the person who wants it will notice. >_>;

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I started working on the next Star Trek block but then I got distracted in a huge way.

My sewing room started to irk me.

When I do any project, it becomes cluttered and I can’t just stick to one project so it cascades and gets worse.  Within a few days, my room had quickly became a raging mess.  I’ve started to get frustrated working in there and that won’t do, so it has to change.  It’s even worse now.

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I ended up pulling everything out of the little closet and decided to reorganize everything — organizing is what I do when I’m stressed because I grew up with a hoarder.  I want to be the opposite of that and I go nuts with it; it’s almost like a trigger is pulled and I start itching until I can tidy something.   …and thanks to the ConMari thing on Netflix that’s ALL I’m hearing about from the females I know.  Not just that it’s neat but that I have to try it because it’s so amazeballs.  One of my cousins will NOT stfu about it and has talked about it for weeks.  I’ve stayed with her, she shouldn’t be the one telling anybody how to clean.  Just sayin’.

If something works for you, awesome, but stop trying to push it on other people, especially if they’re already telling you no and they’re not interested.  Sort of like the whole “when are you having kids” thing or the CBD/THC thing.  It’s great that they work for you but they’re definitely not for everybody…especially kids.  I don’t want kids, having kids would be a nightmare for me and I would ruin them.  If they’re the greatest thing that happened to you, that’s fantastic…for you.  And I’m sick of people asking for suggestions on forums and every other answer is “SMOKE WEED!”.  Cool, it’s legal in a lot of places now.  …but so is tobacco and a lot of people don’t use it even though they can.  It’s not for everybody.

I digress.  ^^ That picture is why I’m ranting.  Before I savagely attacked my sewing room and everything wound up on the floor, I went through the house and made a digital library of ALL the books, movies, music, and games we own.  I’m working on one for patterns now since I’m this deep in my sewing room.  Before that, I purged my entire kitchen.  It cascades and it’s a sickness.  😛

….and honestly, just my sewing table was cluttered.  Now I’m all-in on my personal brand of insanity.  Even my husband knows if I’m frantically organizing, something’s off with me and to use kid gloves.  I had a panic attack at 4  this morning over a vacation in OCTOBER, that’s how high strung I can be.

So I’m here and ranting to try to avoid tearing something else in that room apart.  It worked for a bit but I’m going to go back to patterns soon.

But first!  In an effort to spread that out and calm down a bit, another pointless survey type of thing!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, just for fun. 

Who’s older? He is, but only by two months.

Who was interested first? Not really sure?  We met online and things progressed pretty quickly.  He did message me first though and he was the first to be all lame and declare his love.

How long have you been together? Almost twelve years.  x.x

Married? Aye, for seven years.

More sarcastic? Me, it goes right over his head.

Who makes the most mess? Depends if I’m “cleaning” or not?  Day to day, it’s him.

Who has more tattoos? Neither one of us are inked.

Better singer? Neither. *cringe*

Hogs the remote? Neither, we turn whatever it is on and leave the remote alone.  We’re pretty similar in viewing tastes and habits.

Better driver? Me!  To be fair, he’s way better than he once was.

Spends the most?  Well, shit.  I guess that would also be me…but caveat is that I manage all of our finances so pay the bills, get groceries, and organize all of our vacations.  He doesn’t spend anything without asking, except for the occasional bagel. 😛

Smarter? Depends on the subject. I learn quicker, he learns deeper.  He has zero common sense, though.

Most common sense? Oh look! I just answered that.  Me, me, ME!

What are your middle names? Victoria and Sproull.

Whose siblings do you see the most?  …well that’s a shit question.  By default, since mine has been dead for thirteen years, we see his sibling more…which isn’t all that often.

Do you have any children together? See above rant.  We have furkids, they’re more than enough.

Did you go to the same school? Nope.

Who is the most sensitive? Hands down, him.  I have bad anxiety and all but he mirrors emotions and gets nearly suicidal if he’s hungry.

Where do you eat out most as a couple? Local Asian fusion place called Jade Bistro.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled? Scotland or Hawaii.  I’m actually not sure which is geographically the furthest.  Gut feeling is Hawaii.

Who has the craziest exes? Him.

Who has the worst temper?  Depends.  I get mad more easily but diffuse really quick.  It takes a lot of build up to get him mad but when he does reach that point, he starts breaking things…then gets mad that the things broke.

Who does the cooking?  Me, with his help now. 🙂

Who is the neat freak?  Based on my rant above, I guess that’d be me.

Who is the most stubborn? Also me.

Who hogs the bed?  Him. He sleeps sideways if he can.  Dogs and cats don’t help.

Who wakes up earlier?  Me. I don’t sleep a lot.

Where was your first date?  South Carolina — we met at a Waffle House.

Who has the bigger family?  That we see regularly?  Him.  All combined we’re probably even kilter with cousins though.

Do you get flowers often? Only when he’s messed up.  He’s under strict orders for no flowers for Valentine’s Day.

Who does the laundry?  I do.

Who’s better with the computers? He can code but doesn’t know how to do some super simple things, so I end up walking him through a lot of stuff, which is absolutely bizarre.

Who drives when you are together? Him, unless he’s tired.

Who picks where you go to dinner? Me, he’s usually just desperate to find something I feel like eating.

Who wears the pants in the relationship? According to everybody that knows us…me.

Who eats more sweets? Neither one of us really like sweets and when we do eat them, it’s always together.  Guess we’re tied on this one.

Three in January!!!

I just finished the Monarch mittens!  That’s the third UFO I’ve been able to cross off my list!  Only ten left!   …of course those ten are much more time intensive so they may take quite a bit longer…

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I altered the pattern enough that linking to the original probably won’t be of much help — if anybody’s interested, ask and I’ll dig it out to share. 🙂

If I make them again in the future, there are several additional changes I’d make as well, particularly with the thumb gussets.  I really don’t like how loose and ugly the m1r ended up looking, so will try a lifted increase in the future.

They’re rough and they’re the first mittens I’ve made.  I can live with them, they work as mittens with a bit of whimsy.

-edit- I just blocked them and HOLY CRAP.  The yarn smelt so bad wet I almost puked on it in the sink.  It was a kind of crappy 2-ply that was unraveling even as it came off the ball, so I’d decided not to use it again but daaaaaamn.  I’ve been sensitive to smells lately anyway but no, just no.  I’ve never had a yarn or dye smell like that before, ever.  It’s Cascade 220. Never again.

My husband said I still have to send them off even though I’m a bit embarrassed by how slap-dash they look.  :/  They were for my Grandmother.

I’m also doing a Row-Along with Star Trek blocks.  I haven’t had much sewing time but the first block in the row is done.  I’ll start piecing the second block soon…probably right after this post.  It will be a Klingon Bird of Prey and a Romulan Warbird.  The second row comes out tomorrow so I’m quite behind.  Eek!  Hopefully I’ll catch up since I have sewing stuff set up now.  (and I can hem those pajamas to finish them off!)

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The next UFO I’m picking up will likely be the “Cascading Diamonds” scarf.  It’s a pattern I got out of a library book.  It’s a simple stockinette stitch after the edges so gets boring really quickly.  I was about 1/4 of the way through when I gave up.

 

 

 

2nd UFO done!

You saw it here first!  I can mark another of the 13 items off of my UFO list!!!

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I need to give it a good ironing to work out the wobble but that can wait until my ironing board is cleaned off…or I’ll just leave it with something heavy on it like I have now.  That’ll probably fix it more easily.

The one thing I didn’t like about that jelly roll was it had cream and white based fabrics.  I couldn’t mix them and get the gradient I wanted without it looking downright dirty, so I just had to go with it.  Ahh, well.

IT’S DONE!  That’s all that matters!

I’m also making progress on the mittens, only about 18 rows to go before decreasing for the end of the hands.  It shouldn’t take long to knock it out, the four color intarsia ends with the decreases and I can handle two colors like nobody’s business at this point.  I’ve been doing about 5 rows a day.  I may up that a bit now.

OOOOR I may not!

I’m testing some blocks for the (currently a surprise) winter quilt along for FandomInStitches.  I’m also working on the current Star Trek QAL.  Well, I will be as soon as I change my machine thread over to the right color.  I think I might alternate between testing and Star Trek…it’s hard for me to pick just one at the moment.  They’re both new projects so I must keep up with a UFO yarn project to keep me on track.

I guess the cold snap and all the snow was good for crafting…it was also brilliant at making it so cold on the ground floor that I had to break out two space heaters to thaw the cat’s water this morning.

Half done!

One rug is done!

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My husband picked the color layout — this one is a gift for my mom.  I wanted blue on the inside but noooo he insisted pink.  I let him win unimportant battles.

To me, it looks like there’s a giant maxi pad in the center.  It was especially bad before the other colors were sewn on.  At least I talked him into not choosing the darkest pink for the dead center — gut feeling it would’ve looked like a nipple.

The next rug is more teal and gray so I don’t think it’ll have the color issues this one did.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

I’ve also sectioned off the thumb for the knitting project, so it’s also about half way finished!  Little more, actually, since the other mitten is completely done.  Yay!

…which is a good thing because I got my hands on the best and worst knitting book ever yesterday.  $1.45 for “Beastly Knits”.  Look it up if you knit, you won’t be disappointed.  It’s so kitschy it hurts and it’s older than I am.  There’s a bat sweater in there that’s absolutely calling my name!

My Frisian tea showed up at the house today too!

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It’s that dark backlit.  It’s so, so dry and yummy.  Hubs couldn’t do more than a sip of it, but he takes cream in his regular tea because he can’t stand the drying effect some have.  I think this really may have been the one I had in Austria, I’m fairly sure I can convince myself it was.  It’s certainly the closest, by far, that I’ve been able to find.  I’ll overbrew a pot of it in a few days and see how that turns out.  I also picked up some Scottish blend tea that’s supposed be quite bold.  It smells very sweet and floral to me but it’s hard to predict how they brew sometimes.  We’ll give it a try tomorrow.  Why not? 🙂

 

Teatime and crafting overload

First off, I had a MASSIVE realization this week.  For me, it’s potentially epic.

Fifteen years ago I was in an exchange program to Austria.  When I was there I stayed for a little while with a really awesome family.  Actually, I stayed with three pretty awesome families but, in this case, I’m talking about the one in the middle of my exchange.  They took me to a family party; I can’t remember the reason for the party, there may not have been one.  What I do remember though was the amazingly super sweet grandmother.  The party was at her house and I sat beside of her during lunch.  We chatted as best we could with my very limited German and her limited English.  After food, she asked if I’d like some tea.

I. LOVE. TEA.  I used to steal sips of my Granny Boo’s tea when I was a toddler.  I’m also ridiculously picky about it for somebody that loves it so much; I only really like black tea, don’t really like added flavors at all, and I drink it straight.  If I’m feeling sick, I’ll throw in a spoon of honey but that’s really the only exception.  Of course I took her up on the offer for tea!  I was stoked to have a hot cuppa in the middle of the day.

While she was inside brewing it, her son told me I was brave because nobody else dared to drink tea with her.  This is a guy that took me to a pub so I could win him some free beers by hammering nails into a log with the sharp end of a hatchet…and he wouldn’t drink tea with his mother.  She seemed very excited when I accepted the offer because she got to brew an entire pot instead of just enough for her.

She brought out a pot of tea so black that my first thought was maybe she mixed up the words for tea and coffee…but tea is tee so surely neither of us bumbled that one up.  It was so strong and so bitter and absolutely amazing.  We finished off the pot in no time.  She was elated to have a tea drinking buddy and I’ve been on the search for that tea ever since.  I’ve bought the strongest teas my local shop offers.  I’ve asked for the strongest teas at the amazing tea and crepes place over in Massachusetts; I even drink their samovar teas without dilution.  Nothing is quite the same.

Which is where my realization came in this week.  She of course spoke English with an accent and I had always thought she’d said it was a type of Russian tea.  She didn’t know a brand, just a type.  Now, I think I misunderstood her years ago.  I think what she actually said was it was a Frisian tea….which, honestly, makes a lot more sense considering the locale and could’ve easily been muddled by accent and my own ignorance.  I’ve done a bit of research and think I’ve hit the spot — she did, after all, have rock sugar for it and it’s the only tea I’ve ever drank that was strong enough for me to at least try adding some sweetness on the second cup.

So long story short, I’ve placed an order for some East Frisian tea and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.  If it’s still not the same, I’ll continue my search and will still enjoy the black tea!

…and in other news, crafting insanity is full swing here.

I think I’m up to my eyeballs.  Not complaining!  I’m super excited!  I had such a crafting doldrums last year this it’s nice to feel excited about stuff again.

I altered the pajamas pattern and have been churning out pairs.  They’re not hilarious fleece skinny jeans any longer and are quite comfy.  Hubs wants additional pairs and has also asked that I make him a fleece shirt to match at least one pair.  I ordered some fleece from Joann’s holiday clearance when it was 1.50 a yard so at least they’re affordable jammies!  I’m sure it’ll be a circus when it arrives and I start bashing my head against the wall to figure out a shirt.  I still have to hem and elastic the new “original” pair for me, then I can consider that UFO finished. 🙂

…and the big dog has now taken over the pajama flop from the first attempt.  He’s uncrossed the legs and lies between them with his head on the “lap”, just like he does when one of us gets on the floor with him.  It’s kind of funny to watch the dogs wrangle the legs around.

I’ve had the amigurumi itch for a little bit so bit and bought one pattern and am also eyeing a free one.

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The above is the pattern I bought from lalylala on etsy (and also her photo, but I’ll have my own soon enough!).  I mean, seriously, it made me want to stab my eyeballs out it was so cute.  I have the stuff to make it as well, I’m just trying to behave and put it off until I finish another UFO.

The free one I want to make is from Amigurumi Today….and is also a cow. Here’s their photo:

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I’m a big fan of not the most typical stuff, though I’ve seen some of them grow in popularity lately which is AWESOME!  I love gnomes, alpacas and llamas, rhinos and unicorns and narwhals, fauns/satyrs, and cows and cats.  I had a llama shirt when I was about 5, so these aren’t new developments.  I’m sure there are some other weird things I’m mildly in love to full on obsessed with (sometimes bumble bees make an appearance).

So getting back to other things, I’m still working on the monarch mittens.  I didn’t forget you, UFO list!  They’re slow going since I’m at four colors and full on intarsia in the round.  I still think they’re fun, albeit fiddly when I have to untangle everything.  They’ll get done eventually….hopefully sooner than later!

I’ve also got the stuff cut and ready to start making the rugs (#11 on my list).  I think I might clear off my ironing board, currently a “wtf do I do with this” pile, and see if I can churn one of them out tomorrow.  I have two to make.

…and I’m horribly naughty and joined a Row Along from Fandom in Stitches.  It was only a matter of time and I knew I was going to hop on this ship as soon as it was announced last year.  It’s Star Trek.  Seriously, how could I not?!  The designers posted a sneak peak of the photo today on their designer page (I’m only there because many moons ago I made a Captain Hammer block for the site) and oh lawdy, I’m excited.  Hubs saw it the mock-up and has already claimed it as his.  He said I already have my Spock quilt, so it’s only fair he gets a Trek one too.

I also practiced working with vinyl a bit.

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It’s now hanging above my kitchen sink.  I can’t resist being snarky and crass at times. 😀

…and don’t worry, it’s not cast iron!  Somebody gave it to me as a Christmas gift years ago with a little brownie mix.  I have an induction stove and this little pan isn’t magnetic enough to work on it, so definitely not real cast iron.  I didn’t know what to do with it until this week.

When I craft, I have massive attention span problems.  I’ll get all of this done eventually!  So long as I stick to having at least one UFO on the needles/hooks/etc. I’m still good with my goal from the beginning of the year.

 

Pineapple and puppers

The hubs made a cake today.  It’s the second one he’s ever made.  The first was a German chocolate with the icing mixed into the batter.  That particular recipe always cracks me up because my Grandmother gave it to me but she can’t ever get it to work out when she tries, so she makes a strawberry one with that mix in method instead.

Speaking of Grandmother, my uncle sent me a photo of her with her Christmas present I made!

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What was a tiny little lap quilt size for my tall self completely swallows her up.  We also just got back our genetic results.  I’m 22.1% her; I’ll take that.

So back to the cake!  It was an adventure but he didn’t do too badly other than thinking he needed to add flour to the cake mix.  We’re starting him slow here.

He’d never had a pineapple upside down cake and saw one on the Great British Baking Show.  I’m not sure how he’s lived this long without one of these cakes considering how much loves pineapple and cherries but he was very, very pleased with it.

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I also found the mysteriously disappearing bag of polyfill!  I had vacuum packed it so slender that it was UNDER the wardrobe.  There’s barely even room for my hand there…and of course, the seal had came loose because the bags are horrible.  That was a real adventure in freeing something.

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Ignore my super dirty floor — the big dog is in a midst of an epic winter blowout and I’ve had a migraine for two days so am not firing up the vacuum right now.

Little dog doesn’t mind the dirty floor and immediately claimed the overstuffed pants as her new pillow, just as I’d hoped.  As much as I love that bratty furball, my lap is really glad to have a small break from her — she’s only shifted a bit to settle into the criss-cross part of the “lap” since it was given to her.