Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Final Insult

...of public transportation for my sister's return trip to Atlanta is this: having arrived at 10:30pm on Wednesday night she decided to call her roommate and let her know that she would be taking the subway to the school's closest exit. Her roommate agreed to pick her up there and take her back to their apartment. All good intentions, right? The subway broke down and she had to sit there for 20 min while they repaired whatever broke. She was so frustrated by the time she reached her apartment at around midnight that she had a little snack and went to bed. Her normal travel time had been doubled. I would have been a little frustrated myself! Poor kid. Anyway, she managed to make it to her first day of classes and called us last night to say how much she thinks she's going to enjoy her senior year. As usual she's packed all kinds of things into her days. On top of 5 classes for her two majors, Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology and French, she's got workstudy plus 2 5-hr shifts at the school's ER each week. Then she volunteers at an adult autism center for extra credit. Are you kidding me??? This girl is driven. She makes top grades, too! And she's worried about getting into medical school because she didn't do well on her MCAT's. I think she's going to do just fine. She may not get the school of her choice but she's on the right track to getting in. She's already been asked for secondary applications for several schools which means they looked more at her resume, references and transcripts than at her scores on her MCAT's. She's brilliant and will succeed!

I have finished the first of two panels for my crocheted market bag. I think it's going to need some starch to stand up. Bernat's handicrafter cotton is too soft to make the bag hold it's shape. Otherwise, it's turning out beautifully. The colorway, mayflower, is very pretty and the stitches are very simple. The whole bag is done in half double and double crochet. When the pieces are assembled I'll be using single crochet to sew them together. I took some pictures last night. This weekend I'm hoping to get the Moda Dea Bamboo Wool I need to make the wild man's turtle amigurumi. JoAnne's is having a sale so I'm going to use my coupon for 1/2 off. Maybe I'll get enough to make 2 animals. He likes elephants and dolphins, too. Hmm...

I'm enjoying a new shade of haircolor! I decided to go back to a light reddish brown. It seems to work best for my ever changing natural color and my skin tone. I've been blonde my whole life. Natural and bottle, every shade. Somehow, after having had my kids, my natural color has turned mousy with patches of gray. That just won't work! I don't mind wrinkles so much, since I really don't have any. TG! But the hair?? I have to color it. It turned out pretty and a little lighter than I expected. At least when it grows out some more my roots won't show!

Wild man is after me to go outside and play. I know I should and he needs to but my energy levels always peter out on Friday. He's wild and raring to go, too! I know I'm particularly boring today and I feel sorry for the little guy. Stuck inside with too much TV. Bad mommy, bad bad mommy.

I missed Obama's speech last night so I'm planning on trying to catch it on YouTube this afternoon while the wild man naps. I wanted to see it live but was too tired to stay up. I haven't even read the paper this morning because I want to see the speech first then read the analysts points of view. What an historic occasion!

Phew! Have to change the wild man's stinky diaper...another wonderful mommy job! Happy knitting y'all and have a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Public Transportation & Other Wonders

So my poor sister, who always plans her flights right down to the last minute, through no fault of her own missed her Air Tran from Logan to Atlanta tonight and was facing the possibility of spending the night in the terminal. She was put on standby for the last flight out of Boston to Atlanta which means there was no guarantee that she would get a seat. The good news was she only had to wait 2 hrs to find out if she had a seat or not. Then she could plan which bench to take for the night while she waited until morning to book another flight. BTW, did I mention she only missed her flight by 5 minutes???

Her train from Wells was late by 20 minutes. She had a bad feeling but she still boarded the train to Boston, hopeful that she would still have plenty of time to spare for Logan security. When she arrived in Boston, her train was 45 minutes behind schedule. Then the shuttle to Logan was late and when she finally was able to board the shuttle, it too was also behind schedule. So it was that she arrived at Logan security with 25 minutes to spare before her plane took off. When she finally made it through security and got to her gate with 5 minutes left she was refused entry and told that her flight was already closed. 5 minutes!!! Mind you she had originally allowed herself a full 90 minutes to get through security. As often as she has flown, she knows how to pare down her wait time. This time she was bitten on the ass HARD by public transportation.

The story has a semi-happy ending. She was given a seat on the next flight out that left Logan 2 hrs after her original flight. She is now in the air and will land in Atlanta around 10:30pm where her wonderful roommate is waiting for her to drive her an hour back to their apartment on campus. Otherwise she would have been doomed to more public transportation horrors by having to rely on the subway and shuttle bus. Did I mention she's only doing this because she has ONE class she cannot miss tomorrow morning and then NOTHING until Monday??? What a way to ruin your family vacation!!!

The wild man already misses her and has been asking for her this afternoon. He's having a restless nights sleep, I can hear him kicking his crib. He's not crying yet. Which is good. Since I suspect he has gas and will wake up the neighborhood in about two hours... Shocking me out of bed, shaking and stumbling, banging down the hallway, only to hear him fart and cease screaming. At this point I'll be standing in front of his door with my hand on the knob asking myself, "should I? or not?" Of course, I will. Guilt would set in otherwise and I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep again!

The hubby sweater is on hold...again. The market bag is coming along swimmingly! The first panel is almost done. Then one more panel and the side and bottom panel, assembling it and making the handles. Should be done this weekend! Pictures are slow but I'll post some soon.

I'm stuck on the book front. I've been reading Janet Evanovich's book on writing and it's quite good. Except it's firing my creative juices and I've been writing gibberish like mad. (Which means time away from knitting). Hubby would tell me to quit slamming myself but it's a very bad habit now and I'm afraid I just can't break it! The other book is an Annie & Max Darling mystery by Carolyn Hart which is also very good but I can't seem to get into either one of them. I think I need something really different from what I normally read to spice up my imagination. I mean my imagination is really spicy enough just that I need a new direction.

Research is going nicely on the store front...ha ha ha! I put in two hours today. I'm still convinced this is something I can do and my research is supporting that. Unfortunately I don't have any collateral or credit to secure a loan. I'm going to keep plugging away and see if there are some other alternatives. Besides the more I know the less trouble I'll be in when it comes time to actually go through with it! At this point, the cons outweigh the pros in all but one very important area - drive and determination and the conviction that I have a damn good idea. I've also begun asking for information from those who are in the know.

In a totally opposite direction, does anyone know where I can find a used ball winder and swift for a reasonable price?? I'm stuck on hold with the socks I want to make since the hanks need to be wound and I'm too lazy to do the toilet paper roll thingy.

I don't have words to express how I felt about the Democratic National Convention. Can I just say hooray for former President Clinton! Man, he still has it! My heart is proud that this country is finally moving in the right direction with Obama. Can't say I was all that impressed with the star power aspect but I guess it all goes together. In any case, I feel sorry for the Republicans...they are in ba-a-a-a-ad shape! Ok, ok...

Fodder for a novel? My grumpy father - I could make up stories about him and they would sound true. (He's really wonderful - just cantankerous and single minded...and grumpy and obstinate and ...) I love him dearly, I really do! He keeps me on my toes and if he can make me a published author? All the better!

Happy whatever it is that makes you happy! Me? Well, it's too late to open that bottle of Vinho Verde, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Sister's Very Short Visit, Tomatoes and Procrastination

My lovely and gorgeous sister was home for a short visit. In fact, she flies out tomorrow to go back to Atlanta for classes on Thursday. This sucks because she only has one day of classes before Labor Day weekend and would have been able to stay for a longer visit if her school decided to start after the long weekend. Grrr... She drove her car from Atlanta, left Friday morning and arrived here in Springvale very late Sunday night. We've had a wonderful time, too! Yesterday we drove into Kennebunkport so she could get a lobster souvenir for a co-worker and friend back at school. The wild man went with us, of course. He was such a good boy! No fussing or crying or freaking out like he usually does when he's with just me or his daddy. Anyway, Auntie bought him his lunch (and mine) and we walked around for a little while. After that we spent a rather quiet afternoon at the house. She watched the wild man for a little while when I went to pick up hubby from work. Then after dinner hubby told us we should take in a movie! Did I mention how much I adore this man??!! Anyway, we saw Mamma Mia! and it was so much fun! We laughed a lot!

Today she spent visiting with our Dad. He treated us to a wonderful seafood dinner that he and R drove all over York County to find! They all had lobsters and I had some deliciously fresh haddock. Yeah, I know, born and raised in the great State of Maine and I don't like lobster. I guess it's just not my thing! Again, she watched the wild man while I fetched hubby from work. Right now she's laughing her ass off watching Funniest International Commercials! Her train to MA leaves Wells at 1:30pm so at least I'll be able to see her again in the morning before she leaves. So sad... :(

This afternoon I put our ripe garden tomatoes to work. I deseeded and diced them and threw them into a pot with fresh garlic, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and extra virgin olive oil. When the mixture was hot enough, I measured it into 4 pint jars and stuck them into a pot of boiling water to process for 30 minutes. The end result looks fabulous!! I can't wait to tackle the grapes that are riping on the vines out back! When I do, I'll make some sugar free jelly that will taste absolutely divine!

I've been picking away at the hubby sweater adding an inch or two here and there. It is such a boring pattern that I can do it in my sleep! Or in the turns out that I don't get car sick when I knit! Yahoo!! If I try doing anything else to keep myself occupied on long drives I get instantly car sick. What a wonderful relief at finding I could knit for several hours on our drive this weekend. No more wasted time! Unfortunately I got so bored that I'm taking another unscheduled break from knitting. At current time, I've got almost a dozen rows done on the first of two panels for a market tote I decided to crochet. I'm using Bernat's Handicrafter Colonial themed cotton in Mayflower. I love this colorway! I also love the fact that I'm knitting with 100% cotton from a company that is decidedly moving in the eco-friendly yarn direction. I can't wait to try their Cot'n Corn yarn.

Which leads me to the store idea. I'm definately still in idea mode and I'm filling sheets of paper with yarns and ideas and notions and STUFF in general. I think I'm going to start polling everyone I meet, asking them if a new yarn store opened up in town what kinds of yarn would they like to see offered.

In addition to all the research on the store, I'm trying to get back into creative writing. I've started several novels and never got very far. My confidence level is practically nil since all I can think about is how boring my life has been! I should write from experience??? HA! Not unless people want to hear about a happy childhood, a happy marriage, bankruptcy, the loss of a child, the birth of another (and what a miracle it was that I got pregnant in the first place), the loss of our home (which we built with our own two hands), having to move back into my childhood home again with a cantankerous aging father whose wife left him several months after we moved in... Oh, wait. Maybe I do have some fodder for a novel!!!

Photos of the market bag will be posted shortly! Happy knitting (or crocheting) all!

Friday, August 22, 2008

In Need of Some Sage Wisdom and Advice...

I've been dreaming a lot lately. Not nighttime dreams or day dreams...I'm talking about life changing dreams. Dreaming about wanting to do something special with my life and helping to provide for my family. I'm seriously tossing around the idea of starting a knitting store. There's nothing in my area for miles, outside of our local quilt store that carries a small selection of truly excellent yarns. I think I've got a brilliant idea for the store too. I want to do something with all the eco-friendly yarns that are springing up everywhere. Also I want to highlight producers in my own state. I'd focus on having an environmentally friendly store that showcases Maine made yarns and knitting products. Of course I'd carry all the popular mid- and upper- grade yarns, too. But my main focus will be on how the 3 R's are as important in our craft as they are in our everyday life. However, I don't know where to begin with the information gathering. Where do I find yarn and knitting related wholesalers? How much inventory should I start with? I know where to go to do the business end of things - I'm going to take a course for women that will take me through from idea to actually writing a business plan and applying for loans. It's geared for this sort of thing. I need tons of direction on the rest of it!!

Hubby is actually really supportive. He wants me to go for it and he'll help by watching the little guy when I have to be gone at night for classes or whatnot. Realistically, I know I have a lot of research ahead of me before I can even think of doing this. I'm hoping to have something started in a year's time. This should give me time to take my class and research the demographics of the area and learn where I need to go for my products. With the part time job my husband hopes to get soon, I won't have to return to work and can focus on the wild man and my research.

So tell me folks, is this a crazy idea??? Could it work in this economy, in this region, in particular southern ME? Please comment and comment often!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Ambitious List of Projects & A Commentary on Society

Here's my list of knitting projects I'd like to do before the year is over. It's ambitious for me, with the wild man hanging around, but doable if I get my ass in gear!

5-10 Spa cloths for the Crafty Angels
socks for my MIL (Araucania Ranco purple)
socks for my oldest SIL (Trekking XXL tweed)
socks for my hubby (Trekking Handpainted gray-green)
Fiber Trends moccasins for my Dad
Fiber Trends tote
Fiber Trends Clogs (for me!)
Turtle amigurumi (Knit.1 Summer 2008 Green issue) for my wild man

I was deep in thought last night about so many of the knitting blogs I read. Granted a lot are written by singles or by moms with older children. I find it difficult to find a chunk of time in a day to just knit with a rambunctious 2 yr old around. Usually it's during his nap time when I should be doing more important things like; the dishes from last night and this morning, the laundry that has made 3 significant piles in the basement, or vacuuming the dog hair from the floors so my wild man doesn't look like a furry hairball. Instead I watch a DVR'd show and knit...or nap, whichever. How do other moms do it??? I feel like I'm being a horrible mom snatching what little time I do get.

So we're off to the Acton Fair to show the wild man some animals this morning. Should be interesting. If I can get to one of the exhibition buildings I may get to see some spinners and weavers at work!! I'll use the rabbits as an excuse. Their barn is right next door!

We're off!


The fair, though small, was a lot of fun! Grampa paid for our admittance (wild man was free) and also bought us fresh squeezed lemonade and piping hot french fries! You have to admit, fairs make the best fries. Generously sprinkled with salt and vinegar and dipped into thick tomato sauce...YUM! Wild man busily stuffed his face as fast as Grampa could feed him the fries! I know, it's not exactly healthy for him and could possibly start food related issues at an earlier age and cause him to become extraordinarily overweight and have self-image problems - come on!!!

I'm digressing here. Kids are treated with, well, kid gloves in this era and look what's it's done. We've got kids with weight issues, gender issues, behavioral issues, substance abuse issues, sex issues, identity issues. And, we've got the drugs to treat it all. I could go on and on and on. Suffice to say, when I was a kid in the 70's, my mom told me to get out of the house and find something to do. I played hard outside. I rode my bike, walked, ran, climbed trees, swung from tire swings, played cops and robbers or cowboys and indians, went swimming, played make believe in my sandbox with my matchbox cars and barbie dolls. I even read my books outside. I had daily and weekend chores and I was given a modest allowance for them. I was NEVER allowed to play video games (not that we even had them)...and in case some of you forgot, yes, there were video games in the early 80's. Remember Atari? We also had color TV and that was forbidden until 7pm. My folks watched the 6pm local news and the 6:30 nightly news and then I was allowed two hours of shows. I exercised my body and my brain in those days. None of this constant exposure to everything electronic.

We are an instant gratification society. If we can't reach it by cell phone, email, texting, podcast, digital whatnots then it's too much bother for us to do it the long way. I'm as guilty as the next guy. I can't live without my internet, high def TV or my email. (I'm still resistant to the iPod). The main difference here is I was gradually introduced to these things as they developed. Generation X is a crossover generation. We remember beta and 8track and now we are adept at programming our TIVO's for next week's special event. Our children, on the other hand, are born into it - bombarded with pixels and dolby 6. It soaks into their pores until they can't survive the day without texting at least one person every 5 minutes. I'm terrified and hopeful at the same time that my little guy will be better at it then I am. That he will have a handle on it and become a genius at managing his life that will no doubt be ingrained with electronics, yet somehow, keep himself grounded and take time to do something the "long way" just because.

So to that, I'm attempting to model myself after my mother (she's rolling in her grave right now) in a more modern way. I've been limiting the wild mans TV and not even letting him see video games yet. He's booted outside to our lovely fenced in playground to play and run to his heart's content. Hubby and I are keeping him active longer and making family time together fun. Wild man will not be a latch key kid ever. I will let him play video games when he is older (much older) but, if the weather permits, I will continue to boot his adorable little butt outside as often as I can. I'm not perfect, as evidenced by the consumption of french fries this morning, I will never be perfect. I can only do what I think is right and hope for the best in the end. In the end we are the sum of our experiences and these experiences help us become who we are meant to be.

Well, that was an unintended rant! And long-winded, too! Probably should have given it it's own posting... Live and learn! (Or cut and paste!!!)

Anyway, back to the fair... I was disappointed in the spinning and weaving tent. I was hoping for some demonstrations. There were 2 women set up, one was winding yarn and the other was spinning. Several more were gathered around and I got the sense they weren't ready to demonstrate anything. One woman in particular was grousing about being stuck there (I presume at the spinning tent) during a spectacularly beautiful day and could be doing something else. Hmmm...none of them gave off a friendly vibe. Oh, well. The rabbits were fun!

More fair tomorrow night when hubby will be around to help manage the wild man. Who, BTW, was really good today and is now napping his bald little head off! I'm off to my chair by the window to knit a few more rows on the hubby sweater. 'Later dudes!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Royally Wretched Day

It all started this morning when I stubbed my toe on my hubby's steel-toed work boots. I didn't just bump into him and say "ouch"... no I had to really smash my toes into his boots so hard it brought tears to my eyes. I should have known then how my day was going to evolve. From there I actually thought I would be OK. HA! Since then I've knocked my noggin on the roof of the car while putting my son in his car seat, whacked my toes again (yes, the same ones), narrowly avoided a royal mess in the grocery store when the wild man decided to grab a jar of spaghetti sauce off the shelf because I neglected to keep my cart in the middle of the aisle, spilled nearly a whole jar of salsa into a piping hot pan thereby splattering the stuff on the front of my shirt, had to clean up spilled juice that my son decided to splash all over himself, his blankie and the inside of my car (my fault for thinking a 2 yr old could be trusted with a juice box), and cleaned up spilled honey mustard when I turned my back on said 2 yr old only to turn back and see him holding his honey mustard soaked chicken nugget on a fork and flinging it around his head. To top it all off, only seconds after I stuck the wild man in his crib for his nap, while making my bed I smacked my funny bone into the closet door sending hot waves of numbing aching pricklies up my arm and into the last two fingers of my hand - my little pinkie still hurts. What's so inconceivable still is it's only 1:42pm. I still have the whole rest of the day to go! Heaven help me from the sky falling 'cause that's where it seems the day is running to. Frankly, I don't dare do anything more than what I'm doing now, telling you all my woes, then sitting in front of the boob tube catching up on Saving Grace and maybe knitting. Although at this rate I'll probably discover several dropped stitches half a dozen rows back. Oh, Calgon take me away!! At least give me some chocolate!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

C'est fini!!!

Finally...the Harlequin Baby Blanket is done! All the ends *sigh* have been woven in. I'm not so thrilled with my workmanship on the weaving but I can't complain about the project not being complete! I just hope our friends like it. It is a bit on the colorful side! What a relief to have finished. I'm typically a procrastinator so I'm not that used to actually completing something. It's kind of a weird feeling - ha ha ha - but I could definitely get used to it!

Now if I can just get some more progress done on the hubby sweater.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


My girl, vicioussweettart, got herself a honking tattoo this week! I'm so proud and a little jealous. (I've got a couple designs I want done but I just don't have the $$ for it!) I hope she blogs about it but just in case, here's the shot she sent me:

The Harlequin is finally done and I've started weaving in all those darned ends. Hopefully by this evening I'll have found the time to do it all and post a photo. Then it's back to the hubby sweater. I've been slightly distracted by the Fiber Knits book that arrived this week. She has some incredible felted patterns that I can't wait to try! Maybe as another break from the hubby sweater later this month I'll give one or two a try.

We're off to a friend's camp this afternoon for a lake party! I'm going to feed the wild man a little early (his favorite mac-n-cheese) and put him down for his nap a little early so we can get to the party while the sun is still out! Hubby is working 'til noon and I hope the wild man will be in bed by then!!

Have fun whatever you do this weekend and stay safe!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Felted Knits and Green Tomatoes

I'm so excited! My order from Interweave knits finally came today! Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas. She is amazing, simply amazing. I've been on this felted kick since the beginning of the year. Purses, wallets - I've been wanting to do some clogs but I've been sidetracked by the never-ending hubby sweater and now the Harlequin baby blanket. I ordered it more than a month ago from their "hurt books" special and got it for a steal! It was definitely worth the wait. I'm going to try quite a few things this winter...felted clogs, mittens, booties, pillow cases, totes, even a throw rug! I hope my washing machine can take it!!! I'm all tingly with anticipation :) !

On another domestic note, our tomatoes are literally popping off the plants. Dad didn't tie up the vines so they are all over the garden and just loaded with green tomatoes. I plucked 5 today that were fairly ripe and had one for dinner on my burger. Now normally I am not a tomato person but today, I was thoroughly enjoying their fresh, sweet taste. I'm planning on making and canning my own sauce. I'm also going to can some of them diced. Ooohh, I can't wait! I also have tons of Concord grapes bursting off their vines and coloring up nicely. They won't be ready for a few more weeks, though. This year I'm going to go nuts on grape jelly. Between the grape jelly and the strawberry jam I've already made, add to that the apple jelly I'll turn out during apple season, and I'll have quite a store for eating and gift giving! It's all homemade from here on out!

Laurie, aka Crazy Aunt Purl, posted this today and it really got my feathers ruffled. Imagine having the balls to be so callous about heavy weighted people. Obviously this person doesn't have a lot of contact with normal people or he/she wouldn't have made such an ignorant comment. I've struggled with my weight for years and have had little luck in recent ones with keeping any kind of weight off. A lot of it has to do with having had kids and a c-section. Those muscles, when they aren't in good shape to begin with, really won't spring back without a LOT of extra effort. In fact, my doctor told me I'd need plastic surgery to remove a chunk of it because it wouldn't go away no matter what kind of shape I'm in. This person was spewing such insensitive filth. America is an obese society. We live with two extremes - you are either Hollywood thin or not. Most of us are certainly NOT Hollywood thin. And we shouldn't have to be. It galls me to know that women who look healthy and fit and are, say, a size 12 would be considered a plus size model. HA! I'm a plus size model and I'm size 24! Well, I could be a plus sized model if someone were to ask... Anyway, we've been brainwashed to feel badly about ourselves if we weigh more than the Hollywood norm. I've dealt with it my whole life. What really lights my ass on fire is when I think back to those horrible Jr. High and High School days and remember all the horrible weight related names I was called, then I find a picture of myself (rare, I admit) and I look perfectly NORMAL. I wasn't fat. I wasn't obese. I was athletic and healthy and stronger than most. It was teenage guy insecurity that led to many trauma filled days. You know, I've already spent WAY more time on this than I planned. I'm done.

That's it for me, folks. I'm off to finish up my Harlequin and watch some Olympics. Happy knitting y'all!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Need I say more??

My other babies...18 yr old Taz and 4 yr old Dolomite (we didn't name him). Aren't they adorable? We were up especially late last night watching the Olympics - swimming & women's volleyball - so the furry ones decided to snuggle up and wait for bed. Makes me want to bury my face in their fur, oh wait, I already did!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mushroom Mania

Most of you know how much it has been raining here in the Northeast. Not just regular rains - we're talking massive torrential downpours accompanied by great flashes of lightening and claps of thunder so loud they shake the house. The kinds of rain that create flash floods and washout roads. One of nature's by-products of excessive moisture is the annoyingly squishy mushroom. We have those in spades! Once beautiful lawns are now dotted with large clusters of ugly, bulbous, and slimy mushrooms. Today, however, I have changed my view of some mushrooms from "pretty gross" to "rather lovely and interesting." Here, take a look at these extreme closeups:

Granted they are still mushrooms, but aren't they nicer than the spongy mess that dot our lawns? I guess mother nature tells the delicate 'shrooms to stick close to trees and bushes where it is still damp but has better drainage!

The Harlequin baby blanket is still trucking along and the hubby sweater still languishes in its bag...

The wild man had a great day yesterday despite the moist weather. It let up enough for the sun to come out and dry things up a bit. So he and his cousin played outside for a while. Then when hubby got home we got busy moving furniture - again. This time it was living room furniture and we were trying to get our HUGE sectional couch into a little bitty area. Of course we got 2 of the 3 pieces in with no trouble and got stuck on the 3rd piece. There was no way, short of tearing out the doorway, sills and trim, we were getting that sucker inside. So it went back out into the garage to await its fate while its 2 siblings stayed in the living room. It actually looks quite nice and comfortable and creates a LOT more room for the wild man to maneuver. I can't express how much better it looks than those 2 UGLY recliners we removed. BTW, does anybody have a need for 2 well used recliners that are less than 2 yrs old? Ha ha ha...I don't think I'd give them away! Really, they are quite horrendous. Though I hear that the Salvation Army takes furniture and repairs them to give to people who've lost through fire or flood...maybe I'll check it out! I am, after all, supposed to be recycling!!!

Another good day for the wild man today! We intended to get out and go to church this morning but we couldn't seem to get out of our own way. So instead of going and showing up very late, we detoured to my father-in-law's and spent the morning with him at the nursing home. He loved seeing the wild man and we ended up sitting outside in their lovely fenced in garden. They have really beautiful outdoor furniture and swings. So the little man and I played while hubby bonded with his dad. The weather again proved to be beautiful with huge puffy clouds and a lovely breeze. Wild man tuckered himself out then we took him to the mall to look at TV's...a blog posting deserving of it's own time. Now we are home, the wild man is napping, hubby is resting his sore back and I'm catching up on the weekends posts and emails!

I'm off to work on the Harlequin...have a wonderful day and happy knitting!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Harlequin Baby Blanket

Doncha just lurve the colors! They are fabulous! Have to admit...not so crazy about the acrylic yarn. I guess I'm just spoiled. I like the feel of natural fibers running through my fingers. Not that this won't be an absolutely beautiful baby blanket (because it will) it's that I wonder how it would look in brilliantly dyed natural fibers. Or even monochromatic natural colorways. Hmmm...yup, I'm a yarn snob! Anyway, the project is going fairly smoothly. I'm really not looking forward to weaving in all the ends. YUCK!

I'm starting to feel some major guilt about letting the hubby sweater languish. Granted it won't be long before I'm done with the baby blanket and I can get back to it. Guilt remains though as I've left the project in full view to remind myself it's still there. I envision this great green variegated monster rising up from the depths of my knitting bag, gnashing its pearly teeth and growling, "finish me, or else!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Terrible Two's...

The wild man has now hit phase 2,134, otherwise known as "picky eater syndrome." ARGH! I was really hoping he would be the 1 kid out of a million that would just continue to love his veggies and fruit and not fuss about what is put in front of him. HA! Not a chance. For the last week I've been stupidly trying to figure out what was wrong with him. Refusing food, telling me he doesn't like it. Turning his nose up at fruit! All this kid wants to eat is toast, cheese, sausage and mac-n-cheese. There's no fruit or veggies in any of those things. He'll maybe eat some canned peaches. I have no idea how long this phase lasts but I do know it overlaps many other phases. Oh joy, oh joy. He's also decided to regress a bit. Ignoring everything I say, he reaches into everything that isn't tied down, nailed down, or weighted down. As a consequence, he's pinched his fingers, banged his noggin and come very close to dousing himself with extremely hot water. Of course it really doesn't help that his Grampa chooses to ignore safety concerns and leaves the handles of pots sticking out over the edge of the stove. I can't tell you how many times I've caught him doing it. It's like I have 2 two-yr olds in the house! And, I have him to thank for the wild man's current tastes in potato chips and cupcakes. He says in complete disgust when I call him on it, "you can't hide it from him forever, Annie." Hello - he's TWO, he really doesn't need it and I really don't need the added aggravation of having to tell my two yr old son he can't have something that Grampa will give him at the drop of a hat. Even if I posted rules they would be dutifully ignored. So, I'm the bad guy - all the time. I have to catch them in the act! Then I say no and take it away, the wild man screams and my father (whom I really do love dearly) grumps in disgust and glares at me. Rock - hard place - ARGH!

I've made a potentially large error in the Harlequin baby blanket yet I'm hoping it can be camouflaged. I'm missing a sequence of chains in the middle of a row and I didn't discover it until the next row of clusters. I've kept going and I don't think it will be all that noticeable in the end. There are way too many colors and clusters to pick out the ones smooshed together...I hope. Oh, well.

Nothing yet on the job front. I'm calling first thing tomorrow morning when the hiring people are back in their offices. Kind of not looking forward to it. I'm still having fits about the whole daycare thing. Despite the above rant and despite the fact that I know he needs other kids to interact with. It's all about ME!

Dinner at the White house was fun and further emphasized the importance of the wild man needing kids his own age or slightly older to play with. He had a ball with K & S's two kids and they are quite a bit older! *sigh* I know, I know...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dinner at the White House!

Seriously! We've been invited to have dinner tonight at the White house. LOL! Not the President's house I'm sure you already may have guessed. Our friend's, the White's, have just returned from a 6-week vacation across country. We are very excited to see them and see all 3,000 pictures - yes, 3,000! They had a great time with the exception of some pretty crappy food. My friend K, is a nutritionist and has raised her kids with healthy foods and has been lucky enough to avoid most fast food restaurants. Now that the kids are older and know what's out there, that's all they wanted to eat! Poor K! Anyway, she loves to cook healthy meals and tonight she and her husband, S, whom I've known for about 28 yrs (K for about 20 yrs), have invited our family up to their lakeside cottage for a nice meal. She's instructed me not to bring anything and I'm tactfully ignoring that order and bringing a nice homemade loaf of bread, baked fresh this morning, and a cornbread just out of the oven - BTW, the most delicious cornbread I've EVER had - and lemon bars I must confess, came from a box. I've been on a baking binge lately! I'm tempted to bake some more stuff but I need *desperately* to take a shower. I'm feeling a bit game-y today!! LOL!!

I'm on hiatus with the hubby sweater for a couple of weeks. I've started a Harlequin Baby Blanket for some friends who are expecting. Since it's chunky yarn and crochet, I think I'll finish it in about a week. It's really fun to do once I figured out the harlequin stitch. This is why I don't think I could be a good designer. I don't understand the construct right away and it takes me forever plus some tutorial viewing to get the beginning stitches just right. I still don't think I'm doing it exactly as instructed but to my benefit, it's actually turning out quite nice. I just re-learned how to crochet last summer and my preference is definitely knitting. So I wouldn't call myself a knowledgeable crocheter. What do I do? I pick a blanket with an intermediate pattern!!! Go figure! Anyway, it's a lot of fun and I'm using a lot of really bright colors. Once I get a picture of it I'll have it posted. I think it will turn out very nicely in the end.

Just jumped back into Scifi again. I used to be a Scifi/Fantasy freak and wouldn't read anything else. Then I got stuck - it seemed like everything new had pretty much the same stock plot and stock characters with a stock quest. YUCK! Not to mention that the hardcore scifi stuff was WAY over my head - or so I thought. Anyway, last night I picked up a book I've had languishing on my shelf for YEARS. It was recommended by my good friend S, of the White house fame. It's awesome! It's Eon by Greg Bear and I'm only on page 100 of 502 but I'm hooked. What a great concept! Especially since it was written in 1985 with a point of view in 2005. The man is a visionary - and even though it is filled with hardcore scifi, I still love it. Of the various points of view, there is only one that I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around. There's no basis for my imagination so I'm having to exercise that part of my imagination that hasn't been used in many years. So far, so good!

Nothing yet on the job front. I called yesterday morning about the Secretary's position at the JHS. The principal has been on vacation for 2 weeks and is tied up with retreats until Thursday. So I left messages with the Superintendent's secretary and with the secretary at the JHS. If I don't hear anything by Thursday, I'll call again.

I'm still nerve wracked about this whole job/daycare situation. I have nightmares all the time. Last night the anxiety attacks came back. Fortunately it was a small one and I recognized it well ahead of time so I could take some pills. On top of that, hubby and I had a disagreement, so my day was a stellar one. Hubby doesn't understand that when he doesn't tell me what's bugging me it's worse than when he does tell me. My imagination gets carried away and I think of horrible awful things and get all worked up. I'd rather him blow up at me and get it out of his system. We can both have a good yell and cry and be done with it. But NO, he has to grudge it out. Not so healthy for the anxiety prone. So then he threatens to not say anything at all! Can you possibly see how BAD that would be? I know when things bug him and it would go back to him hiding how he feels and me thinking all sorts of catastrophic things. What good would that do??? He does have a good point though. It's not like we can have a knock down drag out shout-fest with my dad and wild man in the house. It's not healthy to never fight. The best part about fighting with someone you love is knowing that they'll still be there when it's all over with and want to make up with you as badly as you want to make up with them! It's called PASSION! And hubby and I have it in spades (even after 15 yrs of marriage) so we need to have some shout-fests once in a while. Just to keep it interesting!

Ok, it's getting later and I'm not getting any cleaner. So shower time, here I come! BTW, I might have to report a large case of poison ivy on either myself or the wild man or possibly both. We'll find out later!

Have fun whatever you do!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pattern Information For Ravelry Users!

MagKnits is no longer a live site and many people have been looking for the below pattern. I downloaded it a while back and ended up knitting it for my neice. I'm happy to post it here so many of you all can use it. Enjoy and Happy Knitting!! -Ann


Very Cropped Top Hoodie

by Astor Tsang


About the designer

Astor Tsang is a knitwear designer who is influenced by her architectural training. Her designs have clean lines and forms making them both trendy and classic.

Astor also is a popular knitting/crochet instructor in Vancouver and is currently a fashion design student at the Art Institute. She says, “Although I know how a building goes together, I don’t know how a sleeve cap goes into an armhole!

I'm on Etsy!

I only have one item but there will be more to come. I debated doing it but figure "what the hell!" So check me out on Etsy (under anxiousknitter) and let me know what you think!

Saturday and Nothing to do???

How'd that happen?? We have no plans, no places to hurry off to, no worries about where the wild man is going to nap and for how long, where we're going to eat (on the run, of course) or how much $$ this is all going to cost. I feel anxious for some reason. Have we forgotten something important? As I type this the phone rings so pardon me while I see what's going on... All is good, it's only one of my SIL's! So anyway, what is it I've forgotten? Hmmm, how about just doing something for myself because it's FUN! Oh, the guilt. Why is it we moms can't seem to do anything positive for ourselves without feeling guilty about it? I think it adds to my anxiety levels! Do something fun, feel the guilt, up the anxiety and everything is then normal. What is wrong with this!

So the SIL called with valuable info...there is a new yarn store open in Portland and after having checked out the website, I'm happy to share! It's called Tess Yarn and it is fabulous. The color gradation of the hand dyed wool is so vibrant and gorgeous. I can't wait to visit the store so I can sink my hands into all that yarny goodness! Bless her heart for thinking of me!

I'm facing an overwhelming urge to set aside the hubby sweater from hell for a short hiatus. I want to start on something else, like the baby blanket or another pair of socks. Something that will have more of an immediate result. I think if I experience some instant gratification I'll be reinvigorated and more energized to finish the hubby sweater. I don't want the sweater to be this huge hulking monster hanging over my head, either. So maybe a quick dishcloth or two to feed the need.

I've been losing a little bit of weight here and there and the reason I haven't blogged on it before now was I didn't want to jinx myself. I had lost 10 lbs somewhere this spring and hadn't lost much since then. I started off at *ahem* 256 and now I'm weighing in at 243. That is a whole 13 lbs people!!! I don't know what I'm doing exactly besides trying to eat less and better. It doesn't work all that often that's why I'm puzzled! So, I'm encouraged and now I actually want to exercise a little...maybe. Huh, maybe not? Oh, well. One day at a time! Did I hear a cookie calling?

Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris