Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When did Mondays start lasting all week?

I mean, I get that it happens now and then, but two weeks running?  :P 

We are not off to a good start this year.  I am extremely unhappy about that.  The changes in our online school program are really making it hard to get going.  Thank you, State of Washington, for screwing up a great program and making it harder to get any school done during the day.  NOT. 

The attitude of my youngest is making it even harder.  How do you spend 3 hours reading and get nowhere?   I'd bang my head on a wall, but I already have a headache.  She is all excited about working harder and getting done sooner, but she isn't doing the work.  I'm trying to get all the new regulations sorted and push her to do her work.  We had a great first week, then :P. 

I am hopeful that we will find a way to get it together, but she is really just NOT working.  Somehow.  Ah, Week 1 was So Promising!

I signed up to do an online course on the Constitution from Hillsdale College.  So far it is really interesting, but it is tough working it in around trying to get the youngest to do her daily work.  I really need more than 24-hours in a day. lol

On the painting side of life, I've finally decided that the color I used in the entry is too dark to keep.  The few days of clouds, and the evenings spent contemplating color, just back me up.  The lighting in our house is not very bright.  I want some new lighting in the entry, but it won't happen for a while and it still might not fix the problem.  After painting swatches near the brick on the fireplace, I've also decided this color goes a bit too yellow for me.  So, I'll be repainting that space a shade lighter and slightly different (more blue-green).  Not looking forward to the whole mess, trying to squeeze it in around the school work that already isn't getting done as it should.   On the up side of things, there's a big sale on the paint I'm using starting Friday, so I can get all the paint I need at a good savings.

Always have to look for the positive.

The sweater is proceeding nicely.  I'm on my first sleeve, and things are going nicely. After reading, and rereading, project notes for this pattern, I'm feeling pretty confident about the choices I'm making for the collar and button band (which is new to me).  I've got two sets of buttons secured, and will choose once I get a band done.  I've been rather lazy about the pictures, though. I need to remedy that situation very soon.

I'm also trying to do the Scary Sock KAL again, love these socks!  Sadly, my sock mojo is missing and I am really struggling to get things done with that KAL.  So far, we've had Frogs, Bride of Frankenstein and The Door With Seven Locks.  Very cute patterns, not enough time (or needles)!  I'm still hoping to get some done this year.  Ah, where are my time management skills?  Anyone see them?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More painting

Spent a bit more time last week painting the entry.  The final color does not really match the little paint card I was choosing from, and is much darker than the wet paint.  I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it, which I think means I need to repaint.  I think my waffling on the final color is because I don't want to repaint that space.  But, it was easier than I thought, though it did take all day, and if knitting has taught me anything, it is that it is worth the time to do things right.

So, I'm thinking I'll get some paint samples, and put those on the wall before making any additional decisions.  It is a nice color, don't get me wrong, but it is a bit dark (or is that deep?) for the area, at least darker than I intended, and what I put in this space will determine what I use in the rest of the living area (the walls all run together).  I really need to make sure I am happy with this choice before I can move forward.  I really need to move forward before the rain/clouds comes back to stay.  I really don't need to get paralyzed by indecision. lol

Speaking of taking the time to do things right, I just ripped a couple of inches out of the sweater.  Again.  At least I'm only at the shoulders, not starting all over again. lol  This time, I've second-guessed myself silly over the sleeves.  There's a provisional cast-on, but it does not say to use waste yarn, nor does it say anywhere in the pattern to pull out the waste yarn and pick up the live stitches and keep knitting.  I decided that since all my other patterns have been more specific, maybe the designer didn't mean that, and that I should do something more creative.  After a few inches, and more thought, I realized that the designer probably expected that I would just know that a provisional cast on should always be done in waste yarn, or something like that, and I was a doofus for trying to make it more complicated.  So, it is ripped, provisional cast on with waste yarn is done, I just need to get back to the knitting part.  I didn't realize the lengths I'd be willing to go to in order to avoid weaving in extra ends!  Because, that's pretty much the reason I got all creative with it. 

We helped a friend today by babysitting her two-year old.  Wow.  I'd forgotten how very busy they are. lol  The girls played with her all morning, and after her (too short) nap.  We got up extra early today, however, and I haven't been sleeping very well.  I'm exhausted!  I'm also rather surprised that ripping went so well on the sweater.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Finally Framed

I bought this print about 7 years ago.  I never got it framed thinking I could just do it myself. cue maniacal laughter  So, I found a big coupon on framing and bit the bullet, stopped putting it off and just got it done.  This, in turn, led to picking out a paint color and painting the room to go with the painting.

No.  The painting needed to happen.  We've been in this house 11 years.  The white walls look like it, in many places, and I've decided I should learn to embrace the fact that this is my house and I can paint the walls if I want to.  Not sure why that is hard for me to grasp, but it is.  Also, painting is a lot of work, so if I'm going to do it, no barely-not-white colors need apply.  Well, unless that's what I really, really want.

So, here's my newly framed print, at long last, and my very colorful room.

This is a Waterhouse print, Circe Invidiosa.  I love the colors in this print so much.  I have no idea why, but, there it is.

I spent the day yesterday painting my room with my kids.  I found that one of them is a bit erratic, but a crazy hard worker.  The other loses interest quickly and is a sloppy worker.  Okay.  I knew about the sloppy thing in advance, but I was a Good Mom and did not pick on her for the messes (they weren't too bad), just thanked her for her hard work.  They made the work go faster, though it still took up the whole day.

I got virtually nothing else useful done this weekend, other than cleaning out their closet, but I sure love my "new" room!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ending just in time to start


Yep.  Homeschooling two, in two different grades turned out to be more challenging than I ever thought.  Add in lost time when 1 is sick, much less when they are both sick but at different times, and, well.  This looks like a math equation, but mostly just = FAIL.  Then the music theatre class sucked out about 6+ hours per week of teaching time, the vacation days, time off for funeral, etc.  Wow.  

This year was an amazing learning experience, it just didn't fit into the "school year" timeline.

I gave up on blogging for a while, trying to stay afloat in everything else.  I didn't 'float' so well, but here we are the last few days before the next school year, and the kids are just finishing their work for last year.  I really need a vacation (October!), but we stagger on.  I think we've worked out the things we need to change to be more successful next year, so I'm optimistic.  The girls both admit they would have forgotten too much, and they "would've been bored" (their words, really), if they hadn't had some school to do over the summer.  We all agree that some school over the summer is a good thing.  Just not as much as we had. 

So, we are almost finished, just the eldest still working away.  She should be done tomorrow, but we'll see.  She's starting to get really lazy, getting in the way of her own success, really.  How often do we all do that each and every day.  My kids are really teaching me some valuable lessons in this process.  Stop getting in my own way.  Who knew?

The new school year starts on Tuesday, 9/6.  We'll have a little down-time as the new materials will be late in coming since the girls were late finishing.  So, some slower days to recover from the mad rush to finish.  Oddly, both are asking me to push them to work this hard from the beginning of the year.  You might think this is so they can finish early and have a longer summer.  What they say they really want?  To move ahead to the next grade faster.  When I've suggested this as a possibility in the past two years, they have rejected the idea as unappealing.  I have no idea what changed, but I hope I can set a good pace that will move them in that direction without burning us all out.

Seriously.  I need a vacation.  NOW.

We will make our scheduled family vacation in October, as per usual.  Florida is on the roster this year, and we are in heated debate regarding the parks we will visit this year.  I'm pretty sure that is all sorted out, but until the tickets are in my hand, I won't believe that any decision is final.  Sadly, the airfare jumped quite a bit in the time we've been kicking around ideas.  We really need to get that sorted soon.  We got all flummoxed when Himself announced a work trip to either London or Frankfurt.  There was a brief flurry of thought along lines of altering the family vacation to Europe, but spur-of-the-moment trips like this are very much out of the budget.  So, no go on that one.

My lovely girls are very sad to miss an opportunity to visit "all those cool places we've studied in history" and have to go to amusement parks instead.  Ah.  They are wonderful girls. :)

It seems a bit much to try to fill in all the blanks since I last posted a million years ago, so I won't try.  But, a highlight from the year was Tour de Fleece.  I managed to reach my goals and had a blast doing it.  I never totaled my yardage, but I was pleased.  I tried spinning from my first batts, managed some heavier weight yarn than my "usual", and spun with some new elements like firestar, faux angora, etc. My new goal is to knit with some handspun before next year.  I was surprised to realize I had never done that!

Oh well, off to finish up more schooling.  We'll see if I can't juggle more things this year. lol

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March Madness

Well, more like sickness.  The kids both have what must be the slooooooowest moving bug I can remember encountering.  The symptoms took nearly a week to move to the "real" sick stage, including fever.  I'm still in the "I don't feel quite right, but I don't really feel sick" stage.  I have no idea if I will get worse, or better.  Down side, eldest has spent her 11th bday feverish.  Up side, we had the party last week when everyone was healthy (though the symptoms were starting to show).

Himself stayed healthy long enough to toddle off to Long Beach to give a presentation at a Writers conference.  He gets temps in the 70s and sunshine, we have temps in the 50s and a steady rain.  Fair trade, I guess, since no one here is healthy enough to enjoy good weather anyway.

I'm busy knitting along on a test knit.  A pair of mittens for the upcoming Princess Bride Sock Club (for which the RNG did not see fit to select me!).  I'm loving the mitts, though the yarn I had on hand to use isn't the best choice for the pattern.  The yarn is beeeyootiful, but too busy for bits of the pattern.  I still like them.  A lot.

Sadly, my brain is over-eager to cast on many other projects now.  I really should not do that, though.  I've counted my WIPs recently.  I'm scared!  7.  I have 7 WIPs sitting around, some of them kind of big.  So, adding more would be a bad idea.  Right?  Yeah.  I think so too.  Which is why my crazed brain is determined to find new things for me to cast on.  In all my spare time.  lol


I love my brain.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I don't hate blogs

Really.  I don't. 

I have found, however, that they do not blend all that well with my former schedule.  Yeah.  I said former.  Himself has declared this year to be the Year of the Schedule (or should that be year of THE schedule?).  After a mere two weeks of one new schedule (just plotting out the general hourly flow of things Mon - Sun)  he has decided we need much more daily detail. 

Very nice for him.  He only has to schedule himself.  I have to plan/schedule for 3.  Color me displeased and quietly (and gleefully) hoping the new(est) plan dies a miserable death soon.  The first schedule idea was working pretty darned well.  I was exercising again (after 6 months off), school was starting earlier and, better yet, ending earlier, the kids were back to guitar lessons.  Ah, it was nice. 

The newest schedule thing, however, is tedious, time-consuming and makes my head go 'splodey.  My rebellion has been noted, and frowned upon.  Perhaps that's why I couldn't stop giggling when Himself got stuck in the bathroom after putting too much lotion on his hands with new doorknobs that are very slippery.  Tears-streaming-down-my-face laughing.  Ah, such a bad wife, I am. lol  I did get up to help him.  Eventually.  But by then he had it all sorted out.  I didn't realize he'd missed the girls doing this, too.  So far, I'm the only one in the family who's managed this predicament without an audience.  Yay, me!

At any rate, I'm hopeful that now that we have a Shiny New Schedule, I might work in time for the blog more frequently. 

Since I picked on himself so thoroughly there, I'll share the lovely hat and scarf I did for him.  Just to prove that I can be a good wife when I want to be. lol

This pair was knit up in Dream in Color Classy Worsted, November Muse colorway.  I used the Palindrome Hat & Scarf pattern, which was lovely and very simple to memorize.  I was knitting some socks for myself in this color (in fingering weight) and he darned near drooled all over the yarn.  That almost never happens, so I figured I should do something for the poor man who supports my fiber habit.

Oh.  Did I mention that the scarf measures 10 feet in length?  I'm concerned Himself might resemble a mummy once wrapped in it, but as long as he's warm...  And, he did request the length, or at least "knit until all the yarn is gone", so that's what he got.

I'm currently in a Stash-Down Mode.  I'm working harder on WIPs and trying to work from stash.  Hopefully, this will help me feel like I'm making progress on something around here. lol  I'm also trying very hard not to buy any new yarn, but I'll likely put myself in some lotteries to win places in some new yarn clubs coming up on Ravelry.

I have had a very busy time since I posted last.  Most of the house repair/remodels are done now.  Thank goodness.  I'm pleased as punch with the results, but my photos are not all that great.  We made our October vacation back to Texas, to visit my family in Dallas and in Odessa/Midland.  We had a lovely time visiting with family, and I was able to have lunch with friends from high school, and even a few I've known since 1st grade.

Sadly, we repeated the trip in November, just a few days after Thanksgiving, when my grandmother passed away.  My mother's mother helped raise me after my parents divorced when I was 6, and we lived with her from the time I was about 10 until I got married.  I was named for her, and we were very, very close.  I don't think I've properly dealt with her death, or grieved.  I was much too busy getting my mom through it all and successfully pushed it all away.  When it catches up with me, I will be a complete mess.  Until then, I carry on.  My grandmother was a crocheter, and loved to see my handspun yarns and finished projects.  I had just purchased a nice red yarn to make her some fingerless mitts a couple of weeks prior to her death.  Not sure what I'll do with it now.

The holidays were not entirely good this year.  I was sick for Christmas and New Years (with different viruses) so I was actually quite ready to move into the New Year and hope for something better going forward. Then, Himself was out of town for my birthday (in Vegas! for work), so that was bit of a let down, as well. 

Sorry for the whining, but, well, now that it is out there I can just move on.  Hopefully, the (first) new schedule will help us get off on the right foot for the year.  You know, if Himself will stop pressing the other new schedule, that is.  lol