Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This is so wrong...


Looking for x-ray technician school?

Wrong, but since I have one and someone sent me this link I had to take the test. Right?

Somehow I know I will sleep better now. Himself only scored 17, I'm thinking I might have to use him as a weapon too. LOL

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This was a surprise

Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with
You scored as Gytha (Nanny) Ogg

You are Nanny Ogg! A talented witch, able to make yourself at home wherever you are, and insist that Greebo is just a big softie. You enjoy drinking, a lot, and singing about a hedgehog. You have a huge family, and get your daughters-in-law to do most of the housework. You are kind and gentle, and help put people at ease.

Gytha (Nanny) Ogg


Commander Samuel Vimes




Lord Havelock Vetinari


Carrot Ironfounderson






Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax


The Librarian


Cohen The Barbarian


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Brief Update

Well, I made a short visit to the doctor yesterday. Good news: the leg is maintaining the correct positioning and is healing. Slightly less good new: I have to wait another 10 days for a walking cast/boot. It is really all good news, I guess, I'm just done with the "I can't do anything" stage, and I'm ready to be a little more capable. My family is with me on this one. They are so done being me. LOL

I sympathise with them. It is hard having to do all the stuff I do, but now Himself is getting a better taste of what I do every day. He isn't liking it. Poor baby. The girls are learning to do more for themselves as well, they aren't liking it either. I am learning that they could all be doing more than they have been, without taking over everything I do, and I'd still have more on my plate than I have time for. It is an interesting learning experience. The challenge will be not regressing to doing everything for them again when I can walk.

Wow. A lesson. How nice. I'm sure I'll appreciate it more when I'm up and moving again.

One major downer, my poor kitty seems to be sick. She is a beast of a cat, friendly only to me and even then not the most affectionate thing. She's 16, so getting up there in cat years, but I'm not sure what is wrong. I think she is having some problems with her hips or legs. She has some joint problems, but they haven't bothered her in many years. She seems to be aware of her limitations and doesn't do dumb things (like jump too high, etc.), so I don't know what she might have done to hurt herself. She's just laying around, occasionally crying pitifully while just laying there, and if she gets up to move, lots of crying. I suppose it could be something else, but it is hard to say. She won't even look at me when I talk to her, she just keeps her head down and if I pet her gently, she cries.

I'm really very worried, but since I'm on crutches, I can't do anything to get her to the vet. I have to wait on Himself to work around his schedule to get her in and I'm pretty stinking frustrated. I think I empathize with her pain more than he does. So, I'm hoping it is just her hips and that they can help her get through this pain. I'm worried it is something more and we are nearing the end. Most of my cats hit the 20-22 year mark, but I know that is not the average. Obnoxious though she is, she's my baby. I got her a year after we got married.

Sorry, that got a lot more sad than I intended. On another note, I'm still trying to psych myself into getting Christmas cards out. I missed last year due to the hand surgery. I was really hoping to get back on track this year, but it isn't looking good. We'll see if I get a sudden burst of energy or something.

I finished the blasted hat (on the 5th try) and the scarf. I'll get pictures up when I'm able. Everytime I ask the girls to get me the camera, they start taking pictures of my cast & I never get the pictures I want. I'm about 2/3 of the way into the 2nd hat for the other DD, but I noticed that the ball of yarn was a partial ball. I eventually rememered that I had made a scarf & hat for another friend in this same yarn several years ago. Apparently, I used a partial ball for something and this is what was left. It isn't enough to do the hat, and I was using the remaining yarn from the Hat Ball to add a little more length to the scarf. sigh So now I can either give the youngest a significantly smaller scarf or I can go get more yarn.

The Problem: I can only think of one LYS that carries the yarn that I have a reasonable chance of getting myself into on crutches or the roll-a-bout.

Think about it. We love our LYSs with their stuffed shelves and baskets full of goodies on the floor, etc. On crutches, they are a blinking nightmare of near-death experiences waiting to happen. Two of my favorites are in houses with stairs and I'm not sure I would even want to attempt getting into them, much less maneuver through them. Zowie.

I've never considered accessibility before, but I'm willing to bet that most stores are not very convenient for people with mobility issues. That is a very sobering and distressing thought.

Sorry for not leaving this on a happier note. I guess I've just got too much time for thinking these days.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Snow, casts & stuff

Sorry for being so absent! I'm afraid the week quite got away from me and Ravelry has been eating up a huge amount of my online life. (I read this often enough in other blogs, I know it isn't just me!) I'm Silvercat if you're there and want to say Hi.

I returned to work this past week and made slightly over half-days most of the week. Thursday I started having nearly constant cramps and muscle spasms, mostly not painful, just persistent. (Reminded me of Braxton-Hicks contractions when I was pregnant.) Anyway, I stayed home from work on Friday & called the doctor. She had me come in for some vascular tests. It seems cramps are a symptom of blood clots, so they wanted to be sure everything was okay.

The Doppler they did on my leg was quite the ordeal. I had a 1:00 appointment, but orthopedics neglected to have me come by so that they could remove the cast first. After hauling myself around on crutches (my Roll-A-Bout was trapped in my house and I could not get it down the stairs to the van) and waiting in the lobby for 20 minutes or so, I went back to an exam/test room where the doctor proceeded to make noises about how she couldn't do anything with my cast on. She finally called orthopedics for me and everything got rescheduled for 3:00 cast removal (orthopedics office across the street) then back for the Doppler at 3:45, then back to orthopedics once more for a new cast.

People, that is a lot of crutching! I ended up moving the car back and forth just so I could have some sit down time. I would never have made it on crutches alone. That left me with about an hour & a quarter to kill. Going home was out & I couldn't really go anywhere that involved moving around on crutches for long, so I just got something to eat, sat in my car and read a book. (I was too grumpy to knit in the car, I have to shift my leg too often to get anything done.)

The Doppler results were good, no blood clots! I just seem to be the lucky sort of person who is susceptible to muscle spasms/cramps when casted like this. Or maybe I'm working too much (or moving too much at work) and my leg is not getting enough rest. I got some muscle relaxers, but I can't take them during the day if I'm driving. So they will be for the evenings only, if I need them. I tell you, the cramps I had last week had me acting like a Tourettes' sufferer all night. (No offense to the people suffering with Tourettes, it just fits) I'd jerk awake yelling, sometimes not very nice things, as my foot cramped and moved involuntarily in the cast which HURT. Scared Himself half to death several times. LOL

So here is my new cast. Nice and shiny red for Christmas. The girls have already decorated it with snowmen and ornaments in silver and gold. The youngest was singing the song while she did it. My leg is already looking stringy and scrawny from lack of use. Good grief!

This Doppler test was my second lengthy ordeal of the week. I won't bore you with the details on it, let's just say that if you need a handicapped placard here in my town, you'd better have an able-bodied person with you to get it! No wonder I was having leg troubles last week.

I did finish the stupid, from hell, hat. Finally. At least I know how to make one now. Ha! And I wrote everything down since I'll have to make at least one more with the same yarn. The scarf is about 30 minutes away from completion. I'll get the pics up when finished. DD #1 seems happy with them, she keeps modeling the hat, so I guess that is a good sign. If she loses it, I may have to hurt her! LOL

It has certianly gotten cold enough for hats and scarves. Today is supposed to be about 38(F) and there was a bit of snow. (There was snow last Sunday too, that's the top picture.) At least there isn't any ice on the sidewalks by my office. We're at sea level, so it rarely gets bad enough to mess things up downtown. Where I live, however, it is a different story.

I do hope you are all making good progress on Christmas projects & things and that you are taking time to enjoy the season. In spite of how I may sound when sharing my latest adventures, rest assured that I am laughing at myself & the situation. Okay, sometimes I'm a bit grumpy with some of the thoughtless, inconsiderate people I'm dealing with, but it doesn't last beyond the moment really. Mostly, I am extrememly grateful that I am not more severely injured and thankful for the many, many blessings in my life.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Purple haze

Well, my last visit to the Dr. included additional x-rays and a consultation with another orthopedic Dr. The consensus was that I do not need surgery as my projected recovery would not be improved by surgery. Or, I will heal just as well without it. I've looked at the x-rays and the fluoroscope as the doctor described what she was looking for, while I'm not a doctor, it did seem pretty clear that all was as well as it could be. So, I'm now the proud owner of a purple cast. (Yes Husky fans, that is purple and gold!)

The girls have been handed metallic markers and have spent the week decorating my cast. They've been so enthusiastic that I think the only clear space is on the back where my leg is resting on pillows. I'm not sure how much longer this space will remain clear...

I turned the imps loose with the camera again, it is too awkward to take them myself, and after I'm up for a while, my foot gets pretty achy. I'm glad I decided to postpone going back to work. I had intended to return today, but I am still having a difficult time getting around and if I'm struggling at home, I can't imagine going to work. The trip to my bathroom at work is about 7 times the distance that it is at home. Of course, the restroom at work is equipped with rails, etc., which would make things a bit easier. It is frustrating. The only part of my that is broken is my leg, the rest of me is going mad sitting here with so many limitations. Work is appealing, just so I can get out and interact with people, you know? My husband seems to think I should be back already, but I figure if I'm uncomfortable, I shouldn't do it.

I pulled a stunt worthy of Jerry Lewis yesterday. I managed to get my crutches tangled in my new Duvet and tripped. In the process I banged up the middle toe on my good foot and fell slightly on the broken leg. The slight fall on the bad side ached, but did not really hurt. The thing I did with my good leg/foot, well, let's just say I don't know exactly what I did to my toe, but it hurts & has a big black bruise at the end on one side. I feel like maybe I broke it, but maybe it is just a sprain. It is ridiculous, I mean, seriously. I'm sure Mr. Lewis could have done it justice in a film. I just fell back across the bed and gasped out some very unlady-like words. No one to hear me but the cats. I spent the rest of the day crossstitching and icing my toe.

It may have been a blessing, of a sort. I finished the quilt square now, YIPPEE! and I can go back to other things, like knitting. I've really accomplished quite a few things from my nearly prone position. The colors aren't great, but the girls' camera doesn't have the ultra nice flash & the lighting wasn't great at the time they took it. The color of the vase is a deep steely blue, the leaves are a medium antique-ish green, and the flowers are a very dark plum. They balance very nicely, I think, and it is a nice square. Best of all, I finished well in advance of the due date, nothing to do but turn it in.

I think I'm ready to get back to the knitting, but I might read a bit more first. So far this week I've finished two books; The Old Wine Shades (my first Martha Grimes) and Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair. Both very enjoyable, though the Grimes book involved quantum mechanics, and there were bits that required a second read to make sure I understood it all. I was not prepared for the ending and I wonder if it is common in her books or just fitting for this one in particular. (Don't worry, I won't give it away.) I also worked in a short story by Jim Butcher, an outstanding author (fantasy/urban fantasy).

One last photo, I just can't resisit. My youngest (the 5 y.o.) is quite something. I should probably be concerned, but I'll just file it all away for later. She was posing for her sister with the camera, she is a total ham. And a flirt.

What a cutie, right? Not long after the picture was taken, she was helping with something and I said "thank you, sweetie." She said, "I'm not sweet, I'm evil." I said "No, you're worse. You're cute." That made her laugh and she started making up a song about mommy saying she is cute.

I tell you , that kid is twisted.

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Well, there it is. My girls wanted to take some pictures of my foot last night, so I was able to use one of theirs to post here. Please note the lovely flamingo pants I'm lounging in. :) Himself was helping the girls to create a nice shot, so they draped the purple background to set off the foot nicely.

I will go see the orthopedic doctor tomorrow to see if I will need surgery. All I want is a nicely healed ankle, so I can walk comfortably for years to come, it it takes surgery to do that, so be it. I am anxious to get one with it though. I'm trying to be a good patient. Himself has this huge project that is due on 12/7, so this has come at an especially bad time for him. I am trying to keep my requests (and directions) to a minimum so that he can concentrate on all the things he needs to get done as well. Work is going to be a bear.

I obviously have control issues, although I prefer to look at it as a need to plan. I'm really freaking out right now because I have no idea what I'll be doing next week. Can I go to work? Will I be home for two weeks due to surgery? Can I do all of my Christmas shopping on the internet? (Actually, this will probably be the easiest one to manage!) Bah! No humbug, but just lots to sort out. I hope that when I do return to work, I will be able to drive myself. I can't carpool with my DH, his hours are too erratic, especially as he approaches his deadline. Such a mess! So much uncertainty! AAARRRRRGH!

Sorry, I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to learn patience and to let go and, just have faith it will all work out. December is an especially difficult month to be rendered reasonably helpless.

It really is ironic. I complain that I don't have anytime to just sit and work on projects, but now I have it (in spades!) and I just can't enjoy it. I am rotating through the crossstitch square for the wedding quilt and the gauge-nightmare-hat (I had to rip it again!) and the Harry Potter scarf and the laptop. I haven't worked in any reading yet, since the family is around and I will have plenty of alone time to zone out on books next week. The thing is, those crutches have made my arms VERY SORE. In fact, my arms and shoulders hurt more than my foot does, for the most part. I can't spend much time on any of my projects because they hurt so darned bad.

It will pass, I know. I'll build up muscles/tolerance in my spaghetti arms and then maybe I can make better use of my forced down time. I took my pain meds today mostly because of my arms/shoulders, not my foot. My ankle feels much better today, overall, which I'm guessing has to do with the swelling going down or something. One of the cats keeps running over it on his way to food (of course), but otherwise no one is bothering it much.

I am running out of interest in children's cartoons. Possibly TV altogether, at least with other folks in the house watching it. I had trouble watching (American) football today, which is really something for me. I have to admit that even though I can't do much for myself right now, I'm looking forward to some alone time tomorrow.

I am also amazed by my children. They come in from playing outside and ask me "what's for dinner?" Do I look like someone who is going to cook a meal? Really? Still, we have been playing a few games together, and they've been a bit motivated to try some different toys that have been sitting neglected for a while. That is fun, although my youngest DD is a bit of a cheater...

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and well wishes! They are much appreciated, and very cheering. I'll be sure to post after the doctor visit tomorrow. Now I'm off to help the cheater darling youngest girl with her newest art project.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thankful anyway

Well, I hope all my American friends had a lovely Thanksgiving. Our plans changed dramatically, and suddenly, but we had a lovely Thanksgiving day.

I took this past week off of work. The daycare was going to be closed, and the girls' school was on a half day schedule all week, so I thought I'd take a few days off and get some things done around the house, get started on another quilt square and take a little time to get some photos done for Ravelry.

Insert about an hour's worth of hard laughing here.

Yeah, so what I really did was cart the girls around to school and back, go see the doctor about my hand (he wants to do surgery again) and hit a number of after school school activities. I didn't even look at yarn, never saw the quilt square and the only cleaning I got done was just enough to put things in piles to be sorted out "later". There was piles of cooking to be done. We were joining friends from church for Thanksgiving, so I had a few side dishes to prepare. I got those all ready, although I was stressing a bit about the vegetable dish. I was feeling uninspired and all my favorites were already spoken for by other guests.

Wednesday was an insanely busy day, I think the only time I sat down was to drive to the school and back. Himself called late in the day and said "Guess what? It is Christian's birthday and there is a surprise party tonight." So, dinner went by the wayside and we headed down to the valley for the party. There was food and music (this is the guy he's been playing in a band with for the past 13-14 years). We had a new friend there. He is also a musician and plays the Native American flute. (Sorry if there is a better name for it, my head is rather fuzzy - you'll see why soon). There were a few people I haven't seen in some time, so it was a nice, and small, gathering.

We left early, as we had a church service Thursday morning and Himself was directing the choir. Our friends house has about four wooden steps leading up to the front door. It has been rather wet and rainy here, although the past couple of days have been stunningly clear and beautiful. And frosty, lots of frost. As we left our friends home, I was going down the stairs, holding my youngest child, and I slipped (the wet wooden stairs were very slippery!). I have no idea how I actually landed, well, except that I sat on a very old moldy pumpkin. I did not drop the child, though I scraped her leg a little bit on the stairs. She started crying and everyone came to check on her. I was a bit stunned and eventually, people asked if I was okay. (It is nice to be remembered.) I was dazed, but I knew my foot was hurt, so I got Himself to finish loading the (still crying, but fine) child in the car with her sister. Folks gathered to help me up and I discovered that I couldn't put any weight at all on my foot. (Too bad, really, I've got lots of weight that needs putting somewhere!-LOL)

Himself and a couple of other guests helped me get to the van and off we went. I was shivering uncontrollably, I thought from the cold outside (it was in the 30s). After a few minutes, I thought I could actually feel my foot swelling. I couldn't see anything, but it hurt. A LOT. I decided that a trip to the ER was in my best interest. I knew it hurt too much to sleep, and since Himself was directing the choir in the morning, I wouldn't be able to go then.

Good decision. Turns out that I have two, yes 2, fractures in my left ankle. Yay me! They are in the Fibula, the non-weight bearing bone. I had to wait to see the orthopedic doctor until today, and they won't cast it until next Monday. If the swelling is down enough. I'll also find out if I need surgery then. Yippee, just the way I wanted to spend my holidays this year. I seem to be stuck in a rut of some kind.

I'd like to say that I'm very grateful that it was only my ankle that was hurt, not my daughter, and no other bones were broken (or worse). I am hopeful that I can dodge surgery, but if I need it it will be next week. I'm a bit strung out on pain meds, so I'm sorry if the post is a bit rambling or plain old weird. Not only are there meds to work around, but I'm using my DH's laptop, which is weird for me

I was in no shape to go out to eat with our friends from church, so we were planning to try to get a pizza to go with the cranberry salad I had made for lunch. (Sounds like a winning combination, right?) Our friends who hosted my calamity, had their Thanksgiving day plans canceled as well. They stopped by and brought a store bought feast for Thanksgiving. (The people who had ordered the food canceled.) So, we had a lovely meal with good friends afterall. You know, friends are the family you choose. I'm grateful that we did such a good job choosing, even if they have slippery stairs. LOL

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quiet time

Well, it seems like the proverbial 'quiet before the storm' is setting in. Although, we had a bit of a storm yesterday with gusts in Bellingham up to 97 mph or so. I'm happy to have had nothing over about 50 or so at my house (or here one the waterfront). No pics, I don't usually bring my camera to work and don't use my phone much, but the view was really nice. Glad I wasn't on a ferry, though. Not sure how I'd do on the "rough seas". LOL

What I really mean by "quiet time" is that people seem to be fairly quiet in the blog world. Odd, I know there's the NaBloPoMo going on, but most of the blogs I read don't seem to be signed on for that one. I'm glad I didn't know about it before now, or I might have done something foolish and signed up. Goodness knows I can talk about nothing for, well, ever.

My guess is that folks are taking a deep breath before the gift giving season (looming around the corner) gets into full swing. Yes, only a little over 5 weeks until Christmas. The Advent season is upon us! Last night as we drove past a house with Christmast lights up already, my 5 y.o. asked: "Are they insane?!" No offense to any of you "early birders" out there, but I'm with the 5 y.o. on this one. And I have to admit, it is a pretty darned funny thing to hear coming out of a 5 year old's mouth. I'm just sayin'.

I try to avoid planning knitting gifts for Christmas. I did several scarves a few years ago, and that was enough to smack some sense into my head. (Until I forget, that is.) I also subjected myself to the trauma of knitting dozens of gifts for graduating student employees. On a schedule. Yep. Lesson learned (for now). I just knit things for gifts. If it is done in time for a significant date, fine, if not... Happy Tuesday! (or whatever) I don' t need that much pressure for projects that I do for pleasure.

I'm planning my shopping as well, but I'm also spending my time trying to decide how to spend my time next year when I'm no longer working outside the home. I'm pretty stinking overwhelmed by the whole prospect. I think I'm just going to make lists. In time, perhaps I'll even make lists of lists. LOL Anything to avoid thoughts of the emotional trauma of seperating my kids from the daycare family. Lists are good, they are even actionable. If I do them right.

As a librarian, I'm very good at organizing stuff. Its what I do, really. The problem is, there's lots of ways to organize the same stuff. I think I could easily spend way too much time on the re-organizing side of life. I don't have a problem. I can stop anytime I want, erm, when someone hits me over the head with something, ah - eventually. Let's just hope that is sooner than later. But I do think I deserve a couple of weeks off. First, I have to get there. (And yes, I know that the time will somehow fly by and drag on, simultaneously.)

The above info is why I have nothing but a profile page on Ravelry. I have to get my yarn stash all out and gussied up for pictures. Then find the time to take the pictures, etc. Still, another organizational project for me. Yay, me!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Frogging myself silly

Okay, would you believe I've ripped the darned hat yet again?! Somewhere in round two of the stupid fuzzy fee hat I twisted my stitches. I discovered this in round three. I believe that the error occured while watching the girls as swimming lessons, so it is sort of forgiveable, but man! I am feeling fairly incompetent here. Jinkies!

And don't get me started about gauge. I've knit up several swatches, found one that looked good and went with that needle size, etc. Now that I've got it going, I'm concerned that this will be too big as well. And I've already ripped it, what, like four times now? I really don't want to rip it again.

Holy cow.

I thought I could manage a hat by now. I really did. Maybe I've just lost my hat mojo or something. I think I'll go forward for several inches just to see. It is hard for me to tell the actual size of something when it is on the needle. It is so distorted. I'll just knit tighter than usual for the ribbed bit and hope that makes it fit. Otherwise, I might just tell DD#1 that there won't be a hat to match the longer scarf. She probably really wouldn't care, I'm just trying to give the cute little customer what she asked for. And then, whatever she gets, sister will want.

Bah. I'm nearly up to the first stripe on my HP scarf. I can't believe how slowly this one is going. I only work on it at home, so that's pretty limiting. We've been so crazy busy, that's even more limiting. Then, K1P1 seems to take forever to work up into a row (that may just be me). I usually manage 2-6 rows at a time before someone interrupts me and I don't get to touch it again for a few days. sigh This thing is going to take a while to finish.

Please pardon the rather frustrated tone of the post today. I just had such a crazy busy weekend. Himself was out filming a 10th anniversary for the Seattle Gaelic League Friday night (until late) and all day Saturday (again until late) and then Sunday he was recording a CD for a friend. I was parenting without much assistance, teaching sunday school and attempting to keep the kids entertained while I cleaned around the house. Guess how that worked out?

Let's just say the kids were reasonably entertained & I got very little done beyond toasting pumpkin seeds & bringing in the Halloween decorations from the front porch. The rest are still all around the house. I tried to balance our checkbook, but there is some problem with the software and it won't update from my bank account. I think I spent over an hour on that one, to no avail. But hey, I got in quite a few games of Freecell around all of the Zoo Tycoon tutoring I did with the girls.

That game is so stinking addictive. I should probably have just done that instead. I might have accomplished more with the animals than with my house. LOL I'll try to remember that next time. (There's always a next time!)

Friday, November 02, 2007

I bought it for the cover model

No. Seriously. The new Vogue Knitting? It has Paulina on the cover. I LOVE this woman. You know, in a healthy non-stalking sort of way.

It is a throwback to my life in the 80s. She was all the rage, on the cover of all my favorite magazines, the Cars video for Drive, etc. In fact, her face drove most of my magazine purchases at the time. (I'm sure the 80s marketing directors would be quite satisfied to hear that.) Stunningly beautiful, somewhat ethereal (to me anyway). She was the closest to a 'perfect beauty' I could imagine. (Well, apart from Audrey Hepburn maybe.) I admit that, as a fan of the Cars, the video and her later marriage to Rick Ocasek really pushed me over the edge in my admiration of her.

Man. How superficial is that?! But then I wasn't even 20 yet, so I think some slack is due on this.

Weird. I was never someone concerned with becoming a "beautiful person" or even of being in that crowd. Nevertheless, I was smitten with Paulina. Stayed up to watch her on the Johnny Carson version of the Tonight Show and spent my money on all kinds of stuff just because her face was on it.

Well, imagine my surprise when I was browsing knitting magazines and there she was. Right on the cover. Cover model Paulina is back! Probably not quite what she's been used to, but somehow it is perfect. For someone who had a bit of a reputation for dissing the fashion industry, I think it is appropriate that she represent something she does apparently enjoy - KNITTING.

Wow. The Cars and knitting. Its like we're twins or something. We have so much in common! (Yes. I'm kidding!)

And yes of course I bought the magazine.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sugar Hangover

Okay, anyone else a little hungover from all of the sugar?

Actually, it isn't that bad. I did pace myself. Today has been more of a challenge as I am so tired from a late(r than usual) night. The chocolate is a convenient crutch/something to do to keep me awake. This week has been so busy! Field trip with 2nd graders Monday, work Tuesday & Halloween party with a friend of the girls, Halloween & a party with Kindergarteners (oops! I forgot to post a picture of that!) and then back to work. Tonight is homework night and then only Friday to get through. Homework will be tough, though. I'm sure I'm not the only one tired and ready for an early bedtime.

At least I hope I'm not.

Knitting has been a mere dream this week. I cast on a scarf in GGH Fee (I think it is color #13) for my oldest last week (I think) and decided that I'd make a hat as well. I have exactly two cakes of the stuff, so I thought maybe I should do the hat and than incorporate whatever is left into the scarf. You know, to make it as long as possible. (Hey, she's small. She doesn't need a long scarf.) Anyway, getting the right needle size and gauge, etc. has been a real bear for some reason. I've gone two rows in and then ripped it all back out at least three times (I'm starting version #4, in other words) and I'd really just like to git 'er done. (I'm from Texas, I'm allowed this kind of talk on occasion.)

Part of the way through the hat gauge wrangling, I picked up a book at work. sigh So of course I had to finish that right away. Another good one. I seem to be reading these in reverse order. Hmm. Or perhaps "random" is a better word. Either way. I'm enjoying Agent Pendergast, but I do wonder if I might find them boring or repetitive if I read them too close together. I'm trying to pace myself.

I seem to be struggling on the knitting side of life. I don't know if the difficulties in gauge are a symptom or the cause. Perhaps they are unrelated. I only know I'm having a tough time sticking with any one project. Perhaps it is just Startitis.

Did I mention that I cast on for a Harry Potter scarf too? The one for years 3-4 in the Charmed Knits book. I've been wanting an HP scarf for years. Once I saw this one it was just a matter of time. I think I thought it would be an easy and quick knit. I'm obviously insane. (I forget that sometimes.) This scarf will not be a quick knit, but it is satisfying. I just won't plan to wear it any time soon.

I may just be out of sorts due to obsessing about the job/stay home issue. The jury is still sort of out on that. I've got to get the budget in order and I've got a month to work it out. I'm trying to psych myself into staying home (and to stop worrying about the impact of ending the daycare family impact on the kids). I meet with variable success as the day passes. Did I mention that I'm insane? Just in case you were wondering... LOL

Monday, October 29, 2007

slipper madness

Finally! Here's the photo of the completed slippers with feet in. As I mentioned before, the girls were pretty freaked out at how big they were on their feet.

The slippers were knit with size 13 US needles (16" knitpicks circs). The pattern called for size 10, but I needed a 13 to get gauge. This was odd because I'm usually spot on for whatever the pattern calls for. Oh well. I used Cascade 220 yarn, I don't remember the color numbers & they don't do names. As you can see, one pair was red and the other was pink. LOL

If I do them again (and it is likely that I will), I'll consider making the next smaller size for them both. Unless I really need the larger size to get the right amount of felting, this size just seemed crazy big and it took forever to shrink them down.

That said, here's the finished item. Well, mostly finished. They are still a bit large, mostly in width. I'm considering another round of felting to see if I can make them fit a bit better. The straps seem way too long. If I use them to make the shoe fit better (in the width), the girls will need to button them all the way at the sole/floor. That seems a bit too much.

Of course, I could shorten the strap, but I'm just feeling that something isn't right here. Either I've got incomplete felting, or inadequate felting or I just knit up the wrong size and this is the best these will do for now. Maybe I just measured the girls' feet wrong. I did it about 5 times to be sure I was right, but who knows. I'm still thinking about it.

On Monday I went on a field trip with the second grade class. They went to the Lively property. The name is intriguing during the week of Halloween, but it is simply a property that was donated to the school district to teach children about their environment. I say "their environment" rather than "the environment" simply because it was not a big GREEN place (although it was green), it is just an opportunity for urban kids to learn more about life 100 years ago or so. There's a museum of old farm equipment, an old classroom, a spinning wheel (looked like a modern Ashford castle style, missing some parts) and about 40 spindles (top whorl) for teaching, a BIG basket of raw wool (smelled lovely- the kids thought I was crazy sniffing the wool), and an old wood burning kitchen stove, etc.

All of the schools in the district are given raised plots to use. In the spring students come out and plant vegetables, in the fall, different classes come out to harvest. This is what we did. You can see my oldest showing off a carrot she picked. We harvested a HUGE amount of potatoes and carrots, a few beets, squash and cucumbers. The kids will be making a stew/soup on Thursday or Friday with the vegetables that they picked. It was a really nice opportunity for the kids. I was surprised how many had never even been for a walk in the woods before. I mean come on, we live in the Pacific Northwest. You pretty much don't even need to drive anywhere to find a wooded area.

Good grief.

We also made a scarecrow (sorry I didn't manage to get a picture of the finished thing, they put the parts together in class rather than at the property), pressed some apples for cider (though they weren't allowed to drink it because it wasn't pasturized) and went for a walk on some nature trails. There was also a nice lop-earred bunny that they could pet & a another one hopping around the property that was a constant distraction.

It was a lot of fun. The day was a bit damp, but not too bad, and fairly cool, but not freezing. I had fun, but needed a quiet place when it was all over (about 5 hours with about 60 kids - 7 year olds). I don't know how teachers do it. They deserve HUGE salaries.

I' m just saying.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Felted thoughts

I spent about an hour Sunday night trying to felt the slippers. (No worries! I did get 'before' pictures that will be posted someday.) This was my first attempt at felting and I must say, it was not what I was expecting.

Perhaps I was anticipating the great drama of Me vs. the Machine as I fought valiantly to keep the slippers from shrinking down to Lilliputian-sized slippers. You know, checking every five minutes as the instructions, erm, instructed. Instead, it was a 30-40 minute ordeal of great tedium interspersed with moments of quiet admiration for the process. No real drama at all. Except for the fact that I was sitting in front of my washing machine in a chair designed for toddlers/small children and my back was still hurting yesterday. (I didn't notice any problem at the time or I would not have remained in the chair.)

A few things I learned:
  1. While I took measurements as instructed, I believe that the sizes I knit were, in fact, too large for the feet of the intended recipient. I may be misled, but it seems that it was a real struggle to reduce these puppies to a size that the girls can wear. I think if I'd started with one size down for them, they would have shrunk to the correct size more quickly. HOWEVER, perhaps the point is not the time it takes to shrink to the desired size, but the time it takes to reach uniform felting as well as shrinking to the correct size. Experienced feedback on this would be appreciated. I don't know anyone who felts.
  2. The slippers are not quite the correct fit. I left them a little big for both girls, you know, so they can grow into them. The slippers are pretty wide, though, and I'm not sure what I can do about that. I could toss them back in the wash and try felting them a bit more (with a different chair!) to see if that helps, but it seems like they would have to shrink quite a bit more to make a difference in the width of the shoe.
  3. I have a front-loading machine. I read (somewhere) that it was possible to felt in a front-loader, but I wonder if it made a difference in how much time it took or how effective the felting process was over all. I put each pair of slippers in a lingerie bag and tossed them in with a few towels. Perhaps I needed something more abrasive? I just didn't want to risk shrinking anything else down in the hot water.
  4. Lastly, I noticed that the "hot" water in my washing machine did not seem to be very hot when I stuck my hand in there to pulll out the slippers to check on the progress. I ended up adding some much hotter water in the hopes of helping things along. In the past, we've had some crazy hot water, but I'm wondering if they adjusted the temperature when they put in the new hot water heater this summer. I think they did. Also, maybe since the washer uses so little water, it doesn't have enough time to get really hot before it is in the machine.

So many questions! Mostly, I think I'm just not much of a felted person. I have some seriously negative associations with scratchy wool and felted things from my childhood. I have dealt with most of the 'scratchy wool' issues since I became a knitter. I now know that all of those hideous scratchy sweaters I had as a child were simply the wrong wool for a sweater. In particular, the wrong wool for a sensitive-skinned child living in the desert where it never really gets all that cold anyway.

The felted issue, well, let's just say there were numerous scratchy felted incidents that left an indelible mark on my views about felt. I can appreciate the many fine qualities of felt and felted items, I just don't have any desire to own many felted object. Though, they do have their place. I'm working on it. But it may take years to fully embrace felt in all of its glory. I'll start with a pair of slippers for me. Eventually. First I've got to find a better chair for the Felting Watch.

Friday, October 19, 2007

busy, busy, busy

There's so much to share, and none of it photographic. Sorry. (I know I keep saying that, but I really mean it.)

Last Saturday I celebrated the 17th anniversary of wedded bliss with Himself. "Celebrate" is rather loosely applied, but it has been 17 lovely years. I didn't get around to mentioning that last week since my posting has been so erratic, but I thought it deserved a mention. When we met, he was holding down some crappy job to pay his bills so that he could be a Rock Star. I was a college student struggling with severe depression. After two years of dating we decided to get married. My family was pretty stunned. While they loved my man, they did not see him as spouse material. I think they were envisioning an older, filthy rich man would would adopt the entire family and set us all up in a gigantic mansion, etc. Or something, I really don't know. It just wasn't a musician.

They freely and enthusiastically admit praise him for the wonderful husband and great father he has turned out to be. I think they misjudged us both. I also think they see that now. I hope I can remember this lesson (at least let it give me hope) in the future when my girls are introducing us to their young men.

Thanks for a wonderful 17 years, mo chroi, here's to at least another 17!

Another bit of potential change in the air is on the job front. I have been searching for a new job for the past 6+ months, with no luck. I have applied for dozens of jobs and can't even get an interview. The job market here is really tough for librarians. If you don't already have a job in the system you're applying for, you can't get an interview or the job. Since I'm trying to get into a new system, I'm pretty much out of luck.

Himself has decided that, in all reality, we can probably afford for me not to work anymore. Probably isn't really good enough though, so I'll be spending some time in the next few months looking at our budget/expenses and trying to determine if this is something we can really do. I'm very nervous about it. I've never not worked. I haven't been dependent upon anyone besides my mom since before we married. What if I suck at staying home? Although goodness knows I have yarn enough to keep me going for years!

My biggest concern is taking the girls out of daycare. I know this is a bit backwards, but they have been with the same family since they were babies. They've grown up with the other kids since they were babies. The family who provides the daycare are called 'Grandpa' and 'Auntie', etc. and are very much like extended family to my girls. If I take them out of that, they will lose people who are like family. I worry about that loss in their lives. We live 2,000+ miles from real family, so it isn't like there's something else to fill that void.

Himself thinks I'm nuts. I just want to do the right thing. If I take them out, there will be new kids in daycare and they can't go back there if things don't work out. I told Himself it would be much easier if we just moved someplace completely different where everything was new. Then it would be part of one big change instead of big isolated changes.

I guess I'm really crazy here, but I can't help worrying about this one. Maybe I'm just burying my "real" fears under this one. I don't know, only time will tell I guess. First things first. I have to find time to do the budget thing to make sure it is even possible.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Renewed energy

Wow. That sounds really, um, energetic, doesn't it?

First can I share that I have a spectacular view from my library window right this moment. There is a break in the clouds and the sunrise is shining through all rosey-gold on West Seattle and the back end of a ferry. All the rest is a very dark grey, so the bright light on the trees & windows and buildings (& ferry) is really spectacular... And now it is gone. Yep. Fall in the Pacific Northwest. It's exciting. & fast. Look! There's some pretty red/gold leaves... >gust of wind< ...Yep. They're gone. Gotta look fast around here this time of year. heh.

Okay, sorry there's no photo to go with that. It happens so quickly and then it is gone again. Such is life. Now back to my renewed energy schtick. ahem.

I've been very, very busy at work. It is the beginning of a new term at school and we have been providing Information Literacy tours like we always do, except different. This time we are making trips to individual classrooms and driving the students around out website rather than inviting them into the library and just talking about the same stuff. It is a lot more work for us. Normally, I do about 85% of the tours by myself. The school has restructured some first term classes and is now requiring all of the faculty to incorporate the library into that class. There are a whole list of reasons for the change (although technically, the faculty were supposed to be doing something like this before now as well), but the admin dept. is really threatening to crack down on it this time. (I have no idea if they will really follow up with those who do not do as they are told for this class.) At any rate, the result is that we librarians are splitting the classes up a bit more equally in order for each of us to get accustomed to the changes in this current set-up.
I have to say the students appear to be paying a bit more attention, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say, and we'll see how they do on their test and project scores.

This new presentation thing has me running all over campus giving talks and making copies for handouts, etc. It is exciting to be doing something old in a new way. I have a bit of extra energy for the whole process, and that is nice. It makes it feel like something that is totally new, even though it really isn't. Does that make sense?

One down side is that I've had very little time for email or blogging. I have had time for some knitting, though, and that makes me very happy. I have not yet felted the slippers for DD#1. I put it off until I had time to properly monitor the washing machine and hopefully enlist the girls in the process. In the mean time, I have started the slippers for DD#2 and am a little over halfway there. I've finished her first slipper and I'm about halfway up the sole for the second slipper.

I'd be done with them by now, but we had such glorious weather this past weekend, I got out and did some much needed yardwork in front of the house. (There's still an opportunity to do loads more, but I don't think the weather will be all that suppportive around here. In other words, I'm not holding my breath.) That work not only kept me from knitting, it kept me from watching any football this weekend. I was very sad about that. The pay off was nicely trimmed hedges and lots of pain in my joints from all of the unaccustomed labor. That'll teach me to try to accomplish something! ha. No, it was totally worth it, I just wish I didn't ache so much.

At least now I can knit without guilt. The yard is as good as it is going to get until spring and the inside work, well, it never really stops, does it?

I finally got my invite for Ravelry! Yippee! I'm just hoping I can get my life back on track and gets some info up there soon. See? That's the renewed energy. Renewed energy in knitting and blogging and email/web related stuff in general. I know that Spring is a renewal time for a lot of people, but I tend to get going in the Fall. At least until the holiday season runs over me. LOL If you're looking for me, I'll be Silvercat, so be sure to say Howdy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On the other foot...

Hmm. Well, no picture today. I'm just happy to be posting something. I'll appologize now for typos I may miss. I seem to be using someone else's hands, or maybe my feet, for the typing today. We're talking every other word takes three attempts to get it right. Jinkies!

Anyway, I'm making smashing progress with the second slipper. As predicted/hoped, I do seem to have learned from my errors on the first one. Or perhaps I just learned to count. Either way, I'm nearly finished with #2 here. Perhaps I'll get it done today at luch. If not, it will be close.

Another thing that will be close is whether or not I have enough yarn to finish the slipper. It looks like it will be pretty tight. I'm not necessarily good at gauging that sort of thing though, from what remains of a ball of yarn. We'll see. I can't decide if I'm going to preemptively get another skein, or sweat it out until it is finished (or the yarn actually runs out). Do other people do this? Freak out and buy an extra skein just in case? Even on stuff where dye lots don't matter & the yarn is easy to find?

I think I have some weird section of my brain that thinks I might be knitting at midnight and run out of yarn on a project that must be completed or else I will expire on the spot. pffffft! As if. I go to bed waaaaay to early for that, AND I've never really heard of any situation in which a knitter actually expired because s/he ran out of yarn and couldn't get more immediately.

I am really happy to be back on my knitting/TV viewing schedule. I'm happy to get my fall shows back and this slipper is going so fast. It just feels good (except for the twitching over maybe needing another skein - LOL). Work is stressful enough these days that I really, really, really appreciate the break.

Monday, October 01, 2007

One foot in front of the other

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted! Eeep! I also can't believe how busy my break was. Normally, I have time for movies & books & knitting & cleaning and maybe even a project around the house. This break I did nothing except errands. I can't believe it. The whole break gone & I didn't really have any down time. It was more than a little frustrating.

So, the first day back with all of the students & what do I do? Finish the first slipper! Yep. It is finally done. Finally. This is the first time I've knit in probably a week. I'm knitting these puppies in Cascade yarn in red (obviously). They look a bit like clown shoes, it is enormous. Maybe I should knit her a round ball for her nose. My dd flipped out when I showed it to her. "Mom, that shoe is for giants or something." Pretty much. In fact, I don't think I know a single human being who could wear this puppy as is.

I explained to her that when it was felted, it would shrink and be just right (unless mom messes up that part). She looked skeptical, but is willing to see what happens. Himself was only slightly less dubious about the whole thing.

The pink in the photo is just a note I attached to the slipper, then my dd put a Hershey's Kissable on it because she thought it would be funny. Be sure to laugh. LOL

I'm ready to start slipper #2 today at lunch. My shows are starting back up again, I finished this one with last week's ep of Bones. Today, I'll start the next one with House (also last week). See? I've even been too busy to watch the shows I record. I've really got to get back on track or else I'll have to stop taping stuff.

I feel like I've accomplished something though, so I guess I'm off to a good start for the quarter. Which is good since the job search is not going so well.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mermaid x-stitch

I've gotten a comment that yesterday's photo isn't working. Sorry, I'll get that fixed later today.

In the meantime, here's a photo of my other crossstitch project, Mermaid of the Pearls. I've been working on this lady for, well, a long time. This is the piece I was trying to work on when my oldest dd was born, and it is the one that convinced me that small children do not go well with crossstitch (at least not in my house). So in a way, I can thank her for leading me to knitting. LOL For that reason alone I need to finish her and get her framed.

I had a heck of a time getting a good picture, sorry, I think I was in a big hurry and people kept moving my stuff when my back was turned. She is being stitched on 32 ct. star sapphire linen and looks very nice. I started a new section using some silver braid thread, and I have to say, it is a good thing it looks so darned nice. I really don't like working with the metallic braid. It feels all stiff and crunchy. bleh! But it will be lovely. There are tons of beads on this one and I haven't decided when I'll add them. I think I will do it as I go, otherwise I'll probably miss spots if I add them later.

I'm not a particularly organized stitcher on this piece. I just work on a spot until I can't stand the color anymore and then move to a nearby section with a different color. I'm just trying to keep my interest up so that I don't set it aside again now that I've rediscovered it. Oh, the little mind games we play!

I haven't managed any stitching/knitting of any kind the past few days. For someone who theoretically has an extra hour or two this week (I get to leave work a little earlier when we're on break), I seem to have even less time. Good thing we're on break I guess! I think I'm just squeezing in little errands every day and that is eating up my extra time. Since they are things I need to get done, I really have no complaints. It just seems like I should have more time for knitting or something. Oh, well, I just remembered I've been doing more involved cooking for dinner too. Hmmm. Yep, that eats up some time.

My family eats pretty darned well when I'm on break/vacation. That includes healthier food as well. I don't know how other working moms manage the whole meal thing. It is a real challenge to fit in a good meal everyday, especially when the kids are so picky and Himself is working late most nights and not home to eat anyway.

Fall is my favorite season. I usually get motivated to start all sorts of new things in the Fall; cooking, sewing, knitting, etc. I guess it is a dangerous season as well. LOL This weekend we're brewing up some barley wine with our friends. This should be interesting. I haven't done one of these before and I'm not too sure if there are any changes in proceedure to make a barley wine. I really love trying new things!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wedding quilt

Finally! Here's the photo of the completed quilt square for the wedding. It shouldn't have been so hard, but I outsmarted myself a bit. I got a new online photo thing and thought I would be able to put stuff there and download it here and maybe get it to make me dinner as well. LOL Actually, I just got my photos moved all around and couldn't remember where I had what. Anyway, I finally got it here.

As you can see, I just went with the two shades of blue and I didn't modify the design so that it would match at the two corners. (This was suggested as most of the other designs are symmetrical.) I would have to completely rechart this design and pretty much create a whole new one to get it to be symmetrical. So I didn't. The original design only had borders on the bottom and the right side. I added the border on the other two sides. It is intended to be a corner type piece, but it would be the only one on the quilt, so they really didn't want it to look like a corner piece. I guess they didn't want to 'require' three other people to do corner pieces, but they asked if I would do one. I have no idea what was in their heads at the time. In the end, it looks nice and I can't wait to see the final quilt.

The wedding is this weekend, and I'll be singing in the choir. Orthodox Christian weddings are not like Protestant weddings. They were traditionally performed as a part of the liturgy on Sundays, as I understand it, but are often moved into a seperate service now. (Perhaps this is just in the states, or maybe a 'modern' or local adaptation. I have no idea.) The music is pretty much liturgical and generally performed by a set group, usually the choir. There might be a piece performed as a solo, but it, too, is liturgical in nature. We do not use musical instruments, it is all acapella. I digressed a bit, sorry, but the point was that the quilt is usually given in the fellowship area after Sunday's liturgy. I'm not sure this one is on schedule, but I hope so.

On the knitting side of life, I've been working in a bit of sock knitting this week. I think the Oktoberfest got me inspired with the sock again. I've had some meetings at work and the sock was a good size to take along. I was surprised at the progress I made while drinking beer, and the stitches still look good. LOL Of course, now I'm a bit strung-out on decongestants as my youngest gave me her sinus-y virus thing. So, I could be wrong. Maybe I'll just wear the socks when I'm sick. Hee!

You know, I spent the whole day at Oktoberfest knitting a sock. A couple of people asked about it and said "cool" or whatever and moved along. I worked on the sock in a room full of artists, for Pete's sake, and I must have had three people say "You know, you can buy socks..." Seriously. What snots. Oh well. I know what a hand knitted sock feels like and they will just have to suffer along in their handmade sockless state.

Is that cruel of me? Naaaaah...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Eine Prosit, eine Prosit der Gemutlichkeit!

Well, we sat under canopies of hops & Himself was in heaven. I can't tell you how many pictures of hops and hop vines he took. Even he was impressed with how many pictures were on the camera. He decided that he might have been a bit 'tipsy' at the time. Really? You think?

We got to the Oktoberfest at about 1:30 pm and left at about 8:00 pm. That was quite the day. I never get to go out like that and not be the designated driver. It was a crazy day. The even was sponsored by the Washington Beer Lovers group (That's WA.B.L. - wobble, if you will) and it was a pretty nice event. My only real complaint was that they started out with a German oompa band and ended with a reggae band.

Are you kidding me? It is OKTOBERFEST. If people don't want to hear the polkas, let them go hang out somewhere else. It isn't Oktoberfest if you're listening to R&B, Ska or Reggae. Sorry. I can be a real purist. And the girl in the Halloween German Beer Maiden outfit? Good grief! (We're talking the Naughty Beer Maiden outfit, not a 'real' dirndl.)

While we did have an oompa band, there was a lot of loud singing and carrying on. When the other bands started playing, it just got loud and hard to talk. Fortunately, I had something to occupy myself with.

I managed to get in quite a bit of sock knitting during the day. You know, until I was knitting the purls and purling the knits. Then it was pretty much time to admit the beer had won. Still, I more or less doubled the length of the sock that day. While my friend and I were knitting, we had one whole person stop by and ask what we were working on and compare styles, etc. The gentlemen were playing senet (you can see the board behind the beer mug above) and they must have attracted more than a dozen people by the table to see what they were up to. Granted, knitting is pretty recognizable, but I thought it was kind of funny.

I really only dropped one stitch, which I found before I finished that needle, so it was an easy fix. But I missed the k2,p2 count a couple of times on one round and just decided it was better for me to stop. I don't expect these socks to be perfect, but I was obviously too distracted. Not really toasted, though I wouldn't have passed a breath test, that's for sure.

The event hosted about 37 breweries and each entrance fee bought you 12 tasting tokens. The mugs were marked at the 3 oz. level, so that equaled one taste. If you wanted a full mug o' beer, it was 3 tokens. You could buy additional tokens and advance ticket holders got 3 more tokens. The mugs were glass for WABL members and plastic for non-members. More than you needed to know? LOL Anyway, it was fun trying so many different beers and many of them were either Oktoberfest brews or other beers brewed specifically for the event (and therefore not available anywhere else). That always makes me feel special.

All in all a good day of friends, german food, good beer and knitting!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fabulous Friday

Wow! I can't believe it is finally Friday! Woo-Hoo! The end of the quarter, around here, so most of the students will be gone for two weeks. I'll miss them. I only had one graduate, but I no longer knit gifts for everyone. That was too much pressure and I imagine most of them really didn't appreciate the time and effort, though some did. Anyway, I hope the grad finds his way out there. He's a good 'kid' and was a pleasure to work with.

It is another grey day here in Seattle, though not as foggy as yesterday. At least not yet. LOL We got an elliptical machine a few weeks ago, did I mention that? (Floor model on sale, great deal) Anyway, I've been trying to get myself on a schedule to work out. This week has been my overall best effort, but today I am all sore from my success. The tired achiness combined with the grey weather just makes me want to go back to bed and sleep until noon. I thought exercise was supposed to make me feel better - ha! I know, I know. It takes a while. Still, a nap sounds sooooo good.

I got a little knitting done last night. It was tough to work in, but I managed. All of the neighborhood kids were in the house down in the play room (also the exercise room) last night. Himself has set up quite the irresistible corner full of electonic drum pad, keyboards, and microphones. It is an attempt to get the girls interested in playing music, we'll see if it works. All of the equiment is his, but he's not using it at the present time, so since we had to put it somewhere he figured we might as well let the girls have go at it. Every kid in the neighborhood wants to come play on it too. I suppose it is good for all of them to play some music, even if they don't know what they are doing. (although I think one boy's mom teaches piano & he plays a bit). I happened to choose that time to call my mom, however, and that was a wild conversation. She kept asking what all the noise was. I was just trying to find a quiet place to talk.

Tomorrow DH and I are going to an Oktoberfest without the girls. They are going on a day-trip with friends & their dd. I think everyone will have a nice time. I don't have to be the designated driver this time, either, and that almost never happens. I think I'll leave the knitting at home. Or at least in the car...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back to school

Oh Jinkies! This week is INSANE. There's just no other word for it. Hopefully, you, wherever you are, are immune to the insanity that seems to be taking over here. Every single day this week has seemed like it was one week long, all in 24 hours. So, here it is, Thursday and I feel like I should be preparing for Oct. 1 already. I thought maybe it was just me. Nope. Virtually every grown-up I talk to is experiencing the same weird time/space thing. Mind you, it doesn't mean that it is a bad week, in and of itself, only that time is not working properly. At all. Well, okay, it hasn't really been a great week for me either, but yesterday was decent and it was still a week long. Go figure.

It took me two days to find enough time to weave in the 5 ends I had for my washrag! Good grief! That's ridiculous, isn't it? Ah. Well, I keep hoping each new day will only be 1 day long and that I can get some stuff done for a change. You'd think week-long days would allow more time to accomplish stuff, but so far, no go on that one. Just keep swimming... (Thanks to Dory for that one, it does help on days like these. LOL)

Anyway, last week we got the kids off to school and it was quite an adventure. My girls are in the back row on the left, and in the front with no sleeves. The youngest was so excited to be going off to school, I didn't get a hug or kiss or even a wave. She all but ran up the steps to the bus. >sniff< I'm glad she was so excited, but mommy needed a hug and a kiss and maybe a wave too. LOL I'm glad it all went well. Day 2 saw some crying from the youngest once she was in class, missing her mom and all, but by Day 3 she was fine again.

The oldest had a rough couple of days, but seems to have recovered her interest in school again. I'm very grateful for that. We were looking at some serious emotional upsets for a while and I was considering the possibility of counseling for her. It was frustrating because we couldn't identify any specific cause for her anxiety about school & it was, quite frankly, driving me crazy. Day 1 didn't start out so good for her, but by this week, she was fine again. She lays the credit for that at the, erm, paws of the "puppy" she plays with before school each day.

"Puppy" = 9 month old rottweiler/shepard/great dane mix. He's already the size of a big shepard, with a bit of the bulk of a rottie. SWEET, sweet dog. I should try to get a picture for DD#1 to keep with her. I love this dog & they seem to have a special bond. Too bad he isn't ours. (Of course, I might be less enthused with him if I had to take him for walks and clean up after him. I'm used to cats, dogs require different efforts that I'm just not used to.)

Ah, well off to see how the day shapes up. Seems that we've got a bit of fog out there today. All I can see is one uniform shade of pearl grey. I kind of like it, but it'd be even better if I could just go curl up for more sleep. And a book. And some knitting.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Finished two things!

I can't believe how long it has taken me to post this week. It has been a crazy week! Not bad, just really busy/chaotic. I have no idea when things will let up, but I swore I would not let today pass without posting. Sometimes you just have to resort to swearing. LOL

Here is my competed quilt square. I finished last Friday, as I had hoped, and was quite happy. Himself scarpered off for an evening with his music friends, and the girls invited themselves along. I wanted to stay home to work on the square. I was determined to stay up as late as necessary to get it done. Turns out, since everyone left me home all alone, I had no distractions and I had it done by 10pm. Not too bad (I get up at 5am weekdays to head off to work, so 10pm is really late for me!)

I used only two shades of blue on this piece, instead of six, and I think it looks pretty nice. As expected, I'm now thinking about my other crossstitch project that is sitting around in limbo. I guess I should work that back into my life on a regular basis. It isn't going to stitch itself, now is it? And I am about a third of the way through this one. I love these mermaids!

On Sunday we went to visit our dear friends who live over on the penninsula. The oldest DD fed the goats and chickens, played with the cats and dog and climed way too high up a tree for my comfort. In other words, she had a blast. The other DD stayed in the house most of the day. She doesn't like the big dog, although it is a well-behaved big dog. I sat and visited with church friends and knit up one of these.

The colors were picked out by the youngest & she is delighted to have her own washcloth. I'm glad she is so easy to please (sometimes). It was a perfect project for the day. I was all happy to get back to my knitting, but I didn't want to work on anything that required too much thought. This was a nice simple project and I literally bound off the last stitch as they lifted the gate to drive off the return ferry. Talk about perfect timing.

I had to rip back part of the slipper. It seems I failed to pick up the correct number of stitches for the side and top of the slipper. I've got them now, but I just haven't had time to sit and knit on them. I'm sticking with the safe and mindless knitting for now. More washcloths. They make nice gifts.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ice Cream Social

I took the youngest DD to her Kindergarten class for an ice cream social yesterday. She was so very excited! Her best friend from daycare just got moved over into her class, so they were both thrilled. They were positively giddy. Until they walked into the classroom and met the teacher.

Now, this teacher is AWESOME! She was my oldest's teacher and she is just terrific. I think the reality hit them full in the face - "We are going to school!" and it suddenly felt a bit scary. This is the part where it is great that they will be in the same class. These girls have grown up together and are good friends. While they are both a bit bossy and very confident in their environment at daycare (and parties with the same group of kids), this is a 'bigger pond'. They suddenly felt unsure and insecure. I'm very glad they'll have one another to get by.

I'm bit grumpy about the photo. Camera phone. I tried to lighten it up, and it honestly looked fine on my computer at 5:30 am, but looking at it now, it isn't so hot. Mom was not prepared for photos, mom was just happy to get off of work early and do something exciting with the girls. That will have to be good enough for now. There will be other photo ops with the same crowd very soon.

I'm nearly finished with the quilt square. In fact, I should have it all done today by the end of lunch, unless I'm interrupted. By bedtime for sure. Then it is back to the slipper. Yippee! Tonight (or tomorrow morning EARLY), meteors. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! A nice long one for those of us here in the States. Though they're never quite long enough, are they? LOL

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oh dear!

brew knits --


Pretentiously academian

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

I forgot where I found this one, but, Oh dear! I have to say, that it does sound a bit like me. I prefer to think I don't really come off as pretentious, but that's not really something I'm likely to be able to judge myself. So, in the event I really am a pretentious git, I'm sorry, please forgive me. I won't make any appologies for loving academics though, that is just who I am. LOL

I think my brain is finally starting to wake up. I can't tell you how very foggy I've been all week. Maybe you noticed it in the previous two posts, but it has been pretty bad. I would like to blame the lunar eclipse or something, that way it wouldn't be my problem, it would be the universe causing the problem. Notice I didn't say "conspiring against me". That just sounds a bit too parnoid or desperate at this stage. I prefer to save that one for bigger problems. Hee!

I have been paying a bit more attention to the cosmos lately. I attended a guest lecture on extra-solar planets, which was quite interesting. I don't think most of the art students were all that excited, though. (Extra-solar planets are the ones outside of our own solar system.) It is so nice to sit in on a lecture for fun. Anyway, I missed the lunar eclipse this week because I preferred to get some much needed sleep instead. However, there is a cool meteor shower on Saturday morning at 4:30 PST, the Aurigids and I hope to catch that one. It sounds like we could be in for an amazing show, if the skies are clear. Always a bit dodgy up here in the Pacific Northwest. I'll probably set the alarm, go out and see if it is clear, then go wake up the kids. We can lay out on the deck under a pile of blankets if needed. They love doing this!

So until then everybody sing: Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies, do I see...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Quilt Square

Note: I appologize in advance for my overall incoherent rambling. I have no idea why my brain isn't working well, but yesterday I commented on someone's 'incomplete sandwich'. In case you are wondering, it should have been 'incomplete sentence'. And no, I wasn't hungry at the time. LOL

Here's a shot of the quilt square. I'll try for a better photo when it is complete. The lighter blue is actually very bright blue, the middle bit (that looks like it has an "S") is very dark blue.

I took the crossstitch to Tae Kwon Do last night and caused quite a stir. A number of the kids, primarily boys, thought it was the coolest thing they'd ever seen. They crowded around, much to the annoyance of my daughters, and wanted to know how it was done, what the pattern looked like, what colors I was using, etc. The only reason they didn't ask to try it was because it was time for my class and I had to put it away. It was pretty wild, but fun. A few of them were old enough to give it a try (over 5 y.o.) and at least one of them looked interested enough to want to try it. I'll probably take it again on Friday, just to show him how much work I've done on it. Maybe I'll have even finished it. (hope, hope, hope)

My knitting never caused such a stir. At least not with the kids. I've had one or two inquiries, but never the crowd that I had yesterday. It was fun. Maybe now they'll have the same questions for my other work though. You know, now that they've talked to me once I'm not quite as "other" as before. Hard to say with kids.

Anyway, I'm making good progress on the design and I'm easily halfway done now. I should be able to get it done by Sunday and that's all that matters to me right now. As predicted, I'm getting a bit of a bug to do more stitching. I even went so far as to consider a weekly schedule of knitting for 5 days, spinning for 1, and stitching for 1. Dreams are cool, aren't they?

First Foot

Okay, here's a photo of the first slipper so far. I still haven't finished the crossstitch, but I figured since I had the camera out, I might as well get both.

I seem to have a heck of a time with the photo part of blogging. More often than not, that is what keeps me from posting, a lack of pictures. Goodness knows I've always got something to say. (Even if it isn't all that interesting to anyone else. LOL)

I'm using Cascade yarn in a very bright red. This one is for my oldest DD, and she picked out some very vivid colors compared to the youngests' pastel choices. It suits her. The pattern calls for 10 or 10.5 US needles and I had to go up a size (I think), so I'm using 11US on these. Or perhaps I'm really tired and forgetful and I'm using 13s, but I don't think so. (I mean, I don't think it is 13s, I know I'm a bit tired today.)

I'm really anxious to get back to this project. It goes so quickly, I'd really like to get these finished up and get the next pair out as well. I'm very curious about this whole felting thing, and if I can make it work properly. Also, it is a project that has my girls pretty excited. I have no idea why, but they are. I'm not sure if it is because it is for them, or because it is slippers. Whatever. We'll see how long the love affair lasts once the slippers are done. Children, especially young ones, can be so fickle.

There's a bug going around my school and also daycare. Some kind of 24 hour stomach flu with a high fever. It made me think that I almost wish for a sick day, just so I can try to finish things off. Then again, I don't actually want to be sick. I just want to be home stitching and knitting. So I'm back to diligently washing hands and avoiding people who look a bit sickly. Since we're approaching finals, all the students look a bit sickly. hee!

I am taking a half day off on Thursday for a Ice Cream Social for the Kindergarteners. It is a get-to-know-you thing for them and should be nice. I'll probably take both girls, my oldest had the same teacher and the youngest always tags along to the school stuff for the oldest. It seems fair. Maybe there'll be a little time left at the end of the day to get some stitching done then. I'll get a picture up of the quilt square tomorrow.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ye Olden times

Isn't he just adorable. Or maybe it is a she. I'm afraid I didn't check. LOL

The family went to a medieval village this weekend and had a lovely day. The girls helped to crush apples in a cider making demo (sadly, no cider to be sampled). We ate at the Inn, although the girls only sampled the food Himself and I were eating. We watched a play, and that was where the girls found the sheep (there were two, but one was sleeping) and decided to share a bit of grass. The youngest was a bit nervous about getting too close to the teeth.

The oldest DD went in for some archery and did quite well for her first ever attempts. There were a few arcade type games; a cross-bow shoot-the-dragon game, a catapult-&-sink-the -ships game, a catapult-knock-down-the-castle-walls game and a fire-the-cannon-and-smash-the-towers game. They both played these several times and did very well. They seem to have better hand/eye coordination than mom, which is a good thing. However, I don't think I'll be getting them many toys that can be launched/shot at me in the future. They're too good.

The girls also made some candles. This was a lot of fun, something I would enjoy doing more of in the future. I'm not sure they would have the patience for this if it were an on-going hobby though. I think it was the crowd of other people trying it out and the novelty that kept them going. The wax was in a pot of water over a big fire, and that was cool too (as it were). Until the wood popped a bit of coal onto my youngest DD's foot. She wasn't hurt badly, but it stung a bit and she was mightily offended that the fire would do that to her. Her enthusiasm for the candle making dimmed a bit from that point. I would still enjoy it, but I probably wouldn't do it over an open fire sort of thing. The electric stove doesn't pop out sparks like that, so she might give it a try again.

Knitting-wise, not much going on these days. I need to get a photo of the slipper up, but it isn't quite completed yet. I've gotten part of the top bit done, but I've had to stop. I am crossstitching another quilt square for a wedding at church and I have a due date of Sept 5. I've spent maybe 45 minutes on it so far and I've got a looooong way to go. The quilt is all in various shades of blue and white, so it is pretty and a nice break from the earth tones of the last 3 or 4 quilts. I'm not saying earth tones aren't pretty, I'm just saying 3 or 4 quilt squares all in shades of brown, rust and cream get a bit old after a while. The stitch patterns are interesting, but not that interesting, and they don't compensate for repetitive color schemes. I'm enjoying the six shades of blue (although two are so close in color that I don't think the difference will be visible unless they are right next to each other in a good light).

Once I finish the quilt square I'll be able to get back to the slippers. I'm also working on a new website for myself. I kind of needed something professional looking for a position I am applying for this week. So, my evenings have been full of computery stuff and I've really missed the ability to sit down with the knitting and just go. Does that make sense? Crossstitch is fun, I love it, but right now I want the simplicity of the slipper project. One yarn & just keep going. The multiple threads of the crossstitch, trying to decide what shade of blue to use where, etc., isn't quite as relaxing. That's okay, I've got two weeks at most & then it will be finished. I wonder if I will have adjusted into a crossstitch mode by then? I've got a few of those projects I'd like to finish too. heh, heh, heh

Yep. I really need to take up candlemaking...