Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Action, Excitement, and Adventure

So here I am, reading blogs, surfing yarn sites, minding my own business. All of a sudden Claude De Van Damme Cat barrels up the basement stairs and starts meowing like Timmy's fallen in the well. I look over and he has a clump of black chewed up something in his mouth. Of course I think, "Oh God, what now?" because it IS always something around here. He lets go to meow yet again and the fuzzy thing shoots off toward the stove. Yay. The little bugger is going to die there, I think, just in time for Christmas cookie cooking. "Oh no, that's not small hairs, it's spices. Really."

Not to fear, Claude recaught his prey, meowed yet again, and the mouse took off, again. This time, he was headed straight for me, fangs bared. I screamed like a girl, which startled Claude, and he lost sight of the mouse as it scampered along the kitchen island base. As long as the little guy recovers to be caught again, I'm fine. For his brave efforts, heck for the only effort the bum has ever made, he was given a generous portion of lunch meat. He's such a laid-back cat, Claude makes a fuss over the fridge door or tin can opening. When it's just us girls and him, he's laying around in the traffic pathways of home with a 'whatever' look on his face. But when Hubs comes in the door, all hell breaks loose because Claude knows he has Hubs conned. The C-man meows and loves on Hubs so much that he's compelled to feed him. Fry and I are made of sterner stuff.

Thus was the excitement part. The action is scheduled for late afternoon when we deliver papers. Fry and Dad, um, prepared the papers for delivery. ::snicker:: I missed out on the fun due to a scarf class. One of my students, and you can see her in the background of November 20th's entry, brought me this:
Every time I see the picture, I 'hear' my Mom say "Oh aren't you PRETTY?" I actually don't suck in this picture, unlike most of the others taken in the past 10 years. Family portraits are awful. Fry is stunning, Hubs looks miserable because he won't smile, and I look like something the cat coughed up as demonstrated by this morning's mouse incident.

Yes, I did make the sweater I'm wearing. It was supposed to be a man's sweater to sell in a craft fair, but Hubs claimed it for his own. Said it was 'advertizing'. Um hmmm. At any rate, it's comfy, if really big on me. In the picture, I'd just shown my student an increase in the front and back of the loop, and was currently knitting to the other increase in the thumb gusset. That's why the work isn't angled toward her and why she looks bored.

Now that my first and last name is visible, as is the city I reside... People could stalk me, I suppose, but they'd be very bored very quick. Hm, on the other hand, I could put the stalkers to work. Mowing, whacking weeds, changing the litter box. This has possibilities... After mulling it over, I'm not overtly posting Fry's first name due to pedophiles, nor am I posting Hub's first name because of his Army status. I want to be able to be anti-Bush without worrying about his military career. Even if I don't type up anything inflamatory, I want to be able to.

While I have yet to turn Fry's mitten right side out and resume work, as you can see, socks are good. I'm working the heel, just started. Can't wait until I'm done, then it's on to Fry's second sock.

Do we want to read about my NaNoWriMo progress and word count of zero. Nope. My motto for that is "Ignore it and hope it goes away."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

::pant pant pant::

Must resist, must resist... Would you look at those colors, though? I'm a weak woman with a crappy budget. :( Yes, I have the money, but no, I'd rather spend it on Christmas. Feel free to comment on your favorite color. There's colors in spiced wine, tranquil lagoon, and forest glade heather like here, in my stash already. The stuff is the Peruvian Highland Wool and certainly not chunky. Nothing has been done with it, yet, but as cold as it's getting, I'm certainly in the mood for something warm.

I've been Jaywalking, but not mittening. As soon as this is off the needle, I'm starting the mate to Fry's Jaywalker.

Tonight is a beginning knitter's class to teach. Happily, that storm that dumped snow in the midwest only grazed us and has melted.

Bragging on the Fry time. We went to see Fry in her karate class. It's the last one for this session and she wants to continue. Her instructor said and I quote, "If I had a daughter, I'd want her to be just like 'Fry'." He asked if she did well in school, and I said yes, then he continued that he thought so because she's always thinking. Good thing in a kid, huh? Of course I'm proud as punch of her, she's a joy.

In other news, my brother-in-law, Goopa's husband, is back from Iraq. Got in very early this morning. They're both very young, mid to late twenties, and pretty, um, healthy. So, should I call to see how he's doing and if he got back ok? Heh heh heh, I think not.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sorry about that scream...

I opened the mail box to see....

Honestly did not expect Joanne's to be so fast. While I'm not happy about paying $5+ in shipping and handling for something that would have cost me $2 less to mail, I am THRILLED to be able to finish my socks.

Can't believe it's two o'clock already. I've not done anything but bills, due to me throwing my business checks into the shred pile. If I had a brain, I'd be dangerous.

Study - Longer needles needed for fatter buttocks

Raise your hand if you thought "Why don't they just use circulars?" or "How do they know that since I don't have a webcam?"

Food Hangover and Lots of Drivel

This is MY sock. I love this sock, especially the surprise of yellow in there. I want to have it done by the time the other skeins are in for this and the pinkish red ones' mates.

Oh Lard. Yes, I do mean lard. I will weigh after Fry leaves for school, just so I can get on the scale, undress in peace, then get back on the scale. Then, I can hop a little to make the needle jump in hopes it rests a little 'lighter'. I could do it right now, but then I'd have to explain myself to the child.

Speaking of which, she tried to claim this hat today while I scanned it. Umm hmm. Everything I make is supposed to be for her. The thing looks soft, but looks are deceiving. The yarn is much softer than it appears. I love this stuff. Tough to knit with, especially the knit two togethers, but so worth it in the end. I also have some of Trendsetter's Blossom, which is the same stuff, different colors. Very pretty and better than Charmin to squish.

Christmas. I love it. Hate the shopping, really dislike dealing with people during the holidays, but love the gift giving. My beloved sister Toppa has a way with gifts. She gets me things I didn't know I wanted but love. That, and the kid can throw a party. She's very cool that way.

But, back to Christmas. I've bought a few stocking stuffers, and Fry's two dearly wanted gifts are bought. She reads over my shoulder sometimes, so I'm not typing which two dearly wanteds are stashed somewhere around here. Other than that, she has toys and gifts she's never touched. Not because she doesn't like them, but there's so much stuff in her room already. My husband is tough. He, too, has so much stuff that to get him any more is horrible. Then, when I think about what to get my family, parents, parents-in-laws, and sisters (in law and my own), nothing seems good enough. For example, the sweater for my father-in-law in the basement. (the sweater, not my father-in-law, ha ha ha!) Cuff one is fixed and when I threatened to give this to Hubs, he replied that it is his Dad's and I should give it back to him. I could do that. I have to laugh at how long those sleeves were, poor guy. My mother-in-law totally understood. Not every 'recipe' is a good one, even for sweaters. Those who have had their coffee will see the mistake. Once something is bound off, ie, off the needles, that's it. It's not getting fixed. I only noticed the goof when I'd scanned it and the cuff was blown up 200%. Um, yeah, I meant to do that decrease, uh huh.

Every year when I make out my Christmas list, I think about each item. Would they like it, would they use it, is it something they wouldn't buy for themselves? Do they have a good one of it already? Hubby says write a check and be done with it. Right. The year I gave him a $50 gift certificate to Penny's, he turned it into two $25 certificates and gave them as Christmas gifts. There's been enough other things like this with him that I really hate buying for him. When he says he wants to buy a Civil war re-enactment uniform or a new computer desk, I always agree, since he's actually stating a preference.

All that to say that Hubs suggested and I agree, this year, I'm giving cookies. Rugelachs are great, and everyone loves the Checkerboards, especially Fry. No eggs are in the the dough, so she can eat it raw. Goof. Parents and their siblings get the yearly fruitcake, which we're thinking of skipping for ourselves, thanks to diets. I've checked and all the above would be very upset if we didn't send said fruitcakes because they're so yummy. These are from Collins Street Bakery and are really cakey and nutty. Otherwise, I'm making little gourmet cookies. Once I find the drop dead mail date, pick out the cookies I want to make, and hit the grocery store, it'll be Bake Central around here. With fresh ingredients and TLC, these cookies are wonderful. The hard part will be quality control. I eat my mistakes and those accidents really are accidents. I'll have to freeze or send the scruffy ones to work with Hubby.

By the end of the first week in December, I have the basic dough recipes memorized. Actually, cookies used to be the worst things I baked. With enough practice, I've gotten pretty good at them, judging by the amount of weight gained every December. It comes off once I stop the baking. Then, speaking of things I've practiced, here is the mitten inside-out, as sort of promised. Once I looked at it, the work didn't seem as bad as I thought. Maybe I just had time to get used to the thing being crap. Ha! It's mostly fair isle with the upper snowflakes being intarsia. Nothing was done to it over the weekend, but I'm itching to do something today. Color changes are very time-consuming for me, since I'm constantly double-checking myself. Every row is different, so there's no groove to get into.

I teach three classes this week! All are full, so I need to shop for more handouts. Bernat has a cute little pattern book for under a dollar that happens to have basic instructions. Buying those, even with sales tax, are cheaper than copying at Kinko's and certainly cheaper than using up my printer cartridge. Since I hand these out to all my students, I'm keen on cheap. Inexpensive AND they look nice. The checkers give me funny looks when I buy handfuls of them, though. Like, did I MEAN to buy 20 of the same thing? Yes. Yes, I did.

Fun things we did this weekend:
Friday, had our picture taken for the church directory. Hubby loves getting our family portrait, I hate the way I look. For someone that looks good on video, I look horrible in a photograph. Fry more than makes up for me. She's incredibly photogenic and Hubs would look a lot better if he didn't look so miserable in photos. Pictures are usually his idea, and yet, he looks as if he's been coerced. Goof.
Saturday, the 'kids' did the paper route while I did not. Ha ha! My turn is Wednesday. We put together most of the computer desk (I LOVE my Dad and my cordless drill), and put up the Christmas lights in the front yard. Last year, I couldn't find C7 bulbs, this year, it's C9s. Burnt out bulbs bug the crap out of me, so I like having plenty around. We made it a family event and trekked all over before buying a string of C9s for the spare bulbs. It was cheaper to buy 25 that way than spend for each set of five. That and the gas to drive all over.
Sunday, the 'kids' went to church while I worshipped the peace and quiet. Then, Hubs and I finished most of the desk, excluding the drawers and doors. I might work on them today. The laundry and carpet get priority. Although I skipped my workout this morning, I'm subbing housecleaning. Carting laundry up and down stairs, carying boxes and tubs to and fro, and scrubbing all burn calories. Or I could take a nap. Ha! It's chilly and rainy out there, thus, I'm making beef stew per Fry's request. I need to make a lot, since it's torture cooking it all day. I'm constantly hungry, even on a full tummy.

Pay bills, vacuum, start laundry, do dishes, knit for the rest of the afternoon...yeah, sounds like a great plan to me!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I'm finally able to pry Fry from the computer. Thus an update. See the Jaywalker, beginnings of a green fluffy hat, and the continuation of a mitten. The hat is a good mindless project, while the mitten is great but very involved. The sock is for me, which is the first sock I've ever made for myself. I'm done with the cuff and am about to start the chevron pattern part. Personally, I think my fair isle on the mitten sucks eggs. If I get the nerve later, I might show the insides just so the other knitters' get a good laugh. Blah.

Ahhhh. Turkey dinner at Golden Corral. Yum, and not that busy. Tonight, we eat pumpkin and pecan pies for dinner, then back to the Beach for me tomorrow. Christmas is going to be better, we're cooking at home then. I'm hoping Toppa can make it over and bring her roommate, possibly. If her roommate's child comes along, even better.

Now, off to watch "My Family" with my family and try to stay awake. :) Do I need to mention how thankful I am for all my relatives? Probably not! I'm sure they get tired of me telling them how much I adore them, sisters, parents, husband and daughter. Cat. Well, not so much him. He's probably up there in bed, denned up with Fry and Hub.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What to do, what to do....

Sock, mitten, hat? Probably more like mitten, sock, and hat when I want to watch TV. There's a green hat on the circulars that I use for chemo cap knitting, great when I want to knit and not think.

I've done absolutely nothing today. Well, excluding starting a pot of soup for tonight. A warning about black beans, or rather frijole negro. They're not called 'negro' for a reason. (See, Mom and Dad? I can say 'black'.) Since the tomatoes and green chilies are now really dark, I'm fighting the urge to toss it all out. After that, THEN I would scrub the black off of each bean. Or, toss a frozen pizza in the oven.

When given the choice, my family would rather have a few tv dinners, frisbee pizzas, or the cheapest soup you can buy over anything I fix. So they say. When I fix them something, there's usually a scramble after the first plate for whatever's left. Very rarely do I have leftovers. Unless califlower is involved. Avocadoes, too. I'm a very lucky person. All the guacamole is mine.

Hm. Just checked in on the bean soup, i.e. black sludge. Honestly, it looks like the stuff I clean out of the ponds. Smells really good. Sad, huh? The garbage disposal is going to eat really good tonight. Maybe, if only because I'm mean and evil, I'll pass the stuff off as dinner tonight. Buh wa ha ha ha haaaa. Be glad my digital camera software doesn't work because no one wants to see what black tomato cubes look like.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Adult ADD

I started this entry at 3:51 and am just now sitting back down to finish. Vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen carpet, driving the child to Catholic school, washing the pickup were all done between then and now.

When cleaning up the living room, or trying to, I've re-found a few UFOs lurking around in there. One of the baby blankets 'grew' a border this afternoon, and I want to finish up another border this evening.

Guess what I'm going to do when my sock yarn comes in? Yep! Finish one pair of Jaywalkers and start another. Hm, scratch that idea. I have one Moda Dea's Sassy Stripes in Lucky, the other is on its way here for the second sock. My patience may not let me wait.

I'm not happy with what I've sketched out for Fry's Nordic mittens. A new design may be in order...

In the meantime, Mom calls me princess, and I wondered what kind I am.HASH(0x8cde634)
The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to be a little on the old-fashioned side. You value home, hearth, and family life and love to be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mittens Galore!

Don't look TOO close at the mitten cuff, ok? My fair isle sucks eggs in a big way. Practice makes perfect, right? Colors may not be my forte'. Heck, changing colors may not even be something I can consider in the future. :( As long as it's warm and won't fall apart, Fry will like it. On the other hand, I might just do a simple snowflake pattern on the back, then no fair isle for the rest. Not that I mind the color change challenge, I'd like to get a lot better at it. As long as it's taking me to knit up the cuff, they'll be ready in time for summer.

Look who made the paper! These are my students from Friday's mitten class! Sadly, it was part two, so they're on their own. They were all very good and we had a great time. The bad thing about Friday was that I had another hideously bad headache. Suffered with it until the evening, then took yet another Relpax. I've gone through a month and a half's supply already in a month. I'm not OD'ing or anything remotely like that, the frequency is just way up. Yesterday, I let myself be tired, since those things do wipe me, then today, I just goofed off while Fry and Hubs did their church and Children of the Revolution activities.

What do I call goofing off? Watching the History channel, doing dishes, and making mittens while doing sinkfulls of dishes. I scanned in this, yesterday. Then did the second today. They're for my sister-in-law to match her hat and scarf, if she still has them. I rather doubt it, but hey, she has matching mittens.

Then...the Jaywalker! This was finished...gosh. I don't even remember. That's the lovely thing with migraines, I get all short circuited on the memory. Fry tried it on Saturday morning, must have finished it Friday night. The sock looks odd from my making the cuff shorter than the pattern states, but is beautiful on her foot.

Tonight, I was finishing up the thumb of the probably donated mitten for my sister-in-law when I thought, "I need to call Mom." After a check of the time, of course, it was too late. Not that I need need to call her. Everything that had happened is right here in the blog. The house is a wreck, I've only cleaned in bits as I could. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow's housecleaning. It's not the doing, but the done.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Snickers and I'm a bad kid

Ok, after reading Snow's comment, maybe I should have written NEWSpapers. I'm having a chuckle over the whole thing. Ok, I guess I can admit this. While growing up, I was very sheltered and living out in the middle of nowhere helped. My sister was more aware of the stoners in our school, I just thought everyone was somewhat dumb. My parents had put the fear of drugs in me, and with my addictive personality, I knew that one try would hook me. Fast forward 20 years (gah!) to where my friend and I were at a Moody Blues concert. Did I suspect? Of course not! We were sitting on a blanket, since it was at an ampitheatre, when I pipe up and say, "Huh. There's a grass fire nearby." My friend pointed out the kids in front of us "smoking" and had a good chuckle over my country upbringing.

I could get all holier-than-thou over both hubby and I never having tried anything illegal, but then I'd have to admit what 'fish' we were in college. Even two to three years out, I could still knock back 10 shots of tequila and still say no to guys' propositions. At thirty pounds lighter than I am now, I'd certainly trained a LOT in college to still be so tolerant. Hubs has better stories, like getting caught peeing in the park, having to dump beer and all that. He's half German, I'm 80% Irish, so you know that if we'd met even five years earlier, St. Pat's and Ocktoberfests would have been a lot more rum-soaked.

This segues into a wonderful Fry conversation from three years ago.


(in a voice that carries to the four corners of the Earth)
Mom, why do you like beer so much?

(stunned and not wanting to be a hypocrite)
Well...I don't like it SO much, but it's ok.

(with a sly grin because she knows what she's doing)
Yeah, but you said you really love it.

(hoping that cashier doesn't think she's a lush while driving the child around)
Yes...but that doesn't mean I drink it all the time.

All I remember after that was thinking "to the car" over and over.

Then, there's the time we were at Office Depot. I had to run in there before going to the gym. We were at the checkout counter when she told the checker, "My Mom's going to jail." Yes. She said this. It was one of those things that sounded good to her at the time, but as soon as she said it, thought, "What was I thinking?" I know this because I'd done the same as a kid. If I had in any way NOT looked like a walking mug shot, the whole thing would have been hilarious. I hadn't showered, was wearing ratty gym clothes, and didn't even have lip gloss on. I was so mortified that I don't think my knees even bent as I walked out the store. The checker guy was sweet and said "We all have kids," like he felt my pain when I exclaimed, "I'm NOT going to jail, ever. Where did you get this??"

Sigh. I'm dreading the teen years.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wiped out Wednesday

Headache all day today. All freakin' day. Obviously, this is the bad month. At least next month will be good. Bleh. Up until Fry came home, I did nothing except eat lunch and sleep. We had rolled papers last night to deliver this evening. Dinner, then knitting and TV. I need to work on the mittens, Fry needs them, but, I want to finish her sock so I'll know to order one more skein or two for the other. I love this colorway. Parts of the brilliant red makes me hungry for raspberries.

Tomorrow evening, I'm teaching a beginner's knitting class in Lone Jack. A lot of really good spinners live there. Can't imagine that people who spin so well (and they do) don't know how to knit, but they don't. They either spin for others or crochet. The class is full, so it'll be hectic but fun.

An inch and a half before I start the toe of the sock, six rows to be done with the mitten's cuff.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Making Progress!

First of all, a big thank you to the Hubs for taking the trash to the curb. As a result, I can still lounge around in my jammies. This was a pretty busy weekend. We did the paper on Saturday, then ran to Lee's Summit for a class. Beginning Knitting for Teens, and boy are those little buggers surly. I want Fry to stay a girl instead of one of 'those'.

In the meantime, Fry is thrilled with these. So am I, actually. The mitten, and my fair isle is good enough that you can see the snowflakes, is turning out better than I'd thought. No gaping holes or anything! Of course the Jaywalker is lovely. Even though it's self-striping, I love the colors and the chevrons in the pattern. I'm pleased with both of them, amazingly enough.

Doesn't take much, does it? I'm easily amused.

Borning personal stuff:
First day of a new weight loss plan. I'm wanting to be down to 140lbs by New Year's, a sort of resolution in reverse. The start is 157lbs with my jammies on, so a drop in weight is expected by tomorrow. I could be wrong, hopefully not. My body is so weird. Low calorie and low fat diets don't work. I've also discovered that working out does nothing for me in the weight loss department. Doing it does help my physical abilities, so I'm wanting to resume something. Not to the kick myself in the butt level from before, that's too much and too boring. I want going to the gym to be fun, not a horrendous drudge. I used to be able to slog through working out, thinking I was losing weight, but no. Now that I know it doesn't work, I don't want to get on the treadmill for an hour. I'd rather mow the lawn, mop the basement, or do something else much more productive.

What does work for me? Cutting out the bad carbs. Sugar is my downfall. If I cut sugar and refined flour, the weight falls off. Really odd, too, because nothing else does the trick. I'm planning on cheating twice between now and New Year's, of course. We're going to a casino buffet for Thanksgiving, and I'll do the big dinner at Christmas. My sister and hopefully her roommate will be here. Plus, I'll save my 'cookie calories' for then, too. I'm wondering how much everyone will miss my gourmet cookies this year. I've made tons of batches for the past three years. There's been some positive feedback, but not a whole lot. Me, personally, I love all of them. I'm very lucky in that while it's murder for me to lose weight, it's also really hard for me to gain. I could easily double my size by eating all my reject cookies. Well, I have to do quality control, can't just give out any ole cookie.

Thanksgiving. I really want to go to my parent's house for the holiday. My husband does too, but also wants to spend a four day weekend at home. He bought a new computer desk for his office and wants to play with that. Also, he bought an armoir for our bedroom to hide the TV in. It was on sale, and while my father could modify our current armoir on a professional woodworker's level, I can not. I can change out knobs, though, and thanks to Van Dyke's, I'm going to. It's pretty rare that he gets a full four days off. Usually, it's one or two days at the most.

Time to start the Monday morning cleanup! Yay!

Nope, fake enthusiasm. Better than nothing, I suppose.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Sock and Mitten needs me

Busy day. Just for fun:

Your Birthdate: May 15

You take life as it is, and you find happiness in a variety of things.

You tend to be close to family and friends. But it's hard to get into your inner circle.

Making the little things wonderful is important to you, and you probably have an inviting home.

You seek harmony with others, but occasionally you have a very stubborn streak.

Your strength: Your intense optimism

Your weakness: You shy away from exploring your talents

Your power color: Jade

Your power symbol: Flower

Your power month: June

Really oddly accurate. Except for the power symbol. A flower? Hm, that is rather sweet, isn't it. Oh all right. I'll take flower.

Friday, November 11, 2005


For having a killer headache, (yes again) this has been an action packed day.

Up at 7:00am, didn't know until 8:15 that Fry had an extra choir practice at 8:30. Me driving a billion pound death machine with a budding headache and full coffee cup while in my jammies? Oh hell no. Like the true SuperMom I am, I asked, "You know all the words already, don't you?" She replied, "Yeah..." "Well, then, you're set. Ride the bus."

As soon as the bus pulled out, I hopped in the shower. Then to the doctor's office. I don't know how anyone gets anywhere in a single day. People drive 5 to 10 miles UNDER the speed limit at all times here. There are a few fools who, when I'm going at or a little above said limit, pass me like I'm standing still. Curse my upbringing in a one-stoplight town! Curse it! These 'car' things on the road, clogging it all up...maddening.

By this time, the headache escelated to "Kill me, Billy" proportions. Ate lunch at 11:00 to let the Relpax and Midrins calm down. Without food, they make me ill. Laid down on an ice pack, with the alarm set for 12:30. Why? To wake up in time for my Knit Some Mittens class! Um. Yeah. I'm so hoping those gals don't think too poorly of me. I did explain the increased dyslexia when I have them, just so they'd know the goofiness isn't terminal, only intermittant.

Done with that and hit Joann's on the way home, looking for Moda Dea Sassy Stripes um, Crazy, Crispy, or Curly. Some color like that. I'd stopped at Michaels before lunch to no avail. Lisa, my neighbor who works there, roped me in and the store wants me to teach there, too. Hmmmm, employee discount at a craft store. Buh wa ha ha ha haaaaaaa!

No one has anything so far. There's still another Hobby Lobby, Micheals, and even a spankin' new Joann's to check out. I ought to suck it up and order from online, but I'm afraid I won't stop with just one little skein.

Dinner was TV dinners, or rather, "Siberian Take-out". Isn't that funny? It was said on My Family, a double header tonight. The first show was cute, all right, but not spectacular. The second, the same except for Nick wrapping everything ala Christo. He had a big roll of brown wrapping paper and wrapped everything in sight, even the watch he wore. Funny as heck.

Something I found while rummaging around for something 'wrapped' on the Christo and Jeanne-Claude site... In what I think is the prettiest park in Kansas City.

Tomorrow: newspaper delivery, another knitting class to teach, and pictures of current works in progress. There's been progress on socks and mittens, but no scanning, sadly. I'm tired and will do spell check on this and updates later in the weekend. Really.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Singing Fry

I got to see Fry sing about bones today at school! She is so lovely. That kid is just wonderful. She had a little speaking part and did quite well.

Ran to Hobby Lobby after that for some double pointed knitting needles (DPNs) size 1. The 2s are great, but the fabric is really tight. See? I love these socks, more importantly, so does Fry.

Now Hub wants in on the sock action, preferably in brown or black so he can wear them to work. Sweet, huh? While I was waiting to check out, there were a trio of people speaking French. There were a few words here and there I caught, and tried not to snicker after hearing aujourd'hui (today). Which I took to mean, "sometime today?" I think the Hobby Lobby checkers are screened for their lack of speed. Yeah, they're very nice (the ones here are) but goodness! Feels like another reality in there. Their knitting notions are still on sale, 50% off. They didn't have the 1s I needed, but then, there's another store down the road.

Tomorrow, I get to go and get my sonogram results. Ninety dollars to hear "You're fine, no change." Duh. Sure, insurance pays for most, but it's still a waste to make me come in, sit around, and hear something he could have told his nurse to tell me over the phone. While I'm there, I'll go ahead and get the CA-125 out of the way. Gaw, I hate needlesticks.

I'm going to have to start the Nordics soon! How about if I teach my Knit Some Mittens class instead? It's tomorrow, and I'll be bringing the green and yellow pairs to show off.

I keep thinking that if I keep typing, I'll have something cool to say. Nope! Sock heel, here I come.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The day after...

a migraine day, I'm always pooped. Is it the struggling through pain? Or maybe the meds taken? Probably both. My father gets these, too, only not menstral, obviously, ha ha ha! (I'm easily amused.) When he eats the 'bad' foods, like chocolate, processed meats, and maybe aged cheeses, he'll get the horrid migraines. The ones that curl a person in the fetal position and make them pray for death. Thanks to Zoloft keeping them light, mine aren't that bad any more. It's all perspective, though. If a non-migraineur has a horrible headache, takes an asprin or something like it, and the headache goes away...well, it wasn't THAT bad a headache. I don't even bother taking meds for those. Actually, it's kinda fun taking stuff for those. I'm always amazed the stuff works.

So I did end up taking another Relpax and some Midrin, too. Midrin's great, since it has that sedative and is slightly narcotic. Just the thing for someone addicted to Diet Pepsi, yarn shopping, and the internet, huh? I usually try to take pure, non-addictive ibuprophen, since Midrin has that extra 'oomph' and a vasoconstrictor. After a whole day of a migraine, my neck and back muscles are tense from the constant pain, that sedative is sooo nice. A glass of wine would work as well, but if I'm already 'down', wine would just add to the 'fun'.

Last night on the news: Group Restrains Alleged Crook. Why do I care? This is MY gym. I think it's hysterical. Seriously. Kinda like robbing people outside a gun store or martial arts studio. The bugger got the crap beat out of him, looks like. I'm still chuckling over it. I do sorta feel bad for the guy for being that stupid. Funny as hell, though.

Yada yada yada, but when will she get to the knitting....

How about now? Yesterday, in a bit of haze, I started on the Jaywalkers, then this morning mapped out the Nordic mittens' pattern for the snowflakes. Due to the fog of yesterday, I'm K1P1 the ribbing instead of K2P2, plus, since the Fry wanted THIS yarn, a faux fair isle, I'm breaking the rules on that, too. In yet another addition, these are being knitted on US 2s because I'm far too lazy to go back to Hobby Lobby and get the size 1s I need. Also, I'm too pissed that I didn't get them half off when I had the chance. Test swatch showed me I needed to decrease the pattern by 8 stitches. The swatch has already been reabsorbed as the ribbing. The yarn is a mystery since the label is gone. The yarn for the Nordic mitten is right here next to me, being used as a pillow by Claude. I hate to wake the little (big!) guy, so I'll wait until he finds a sunbeam to roll around in before starting the mitts.

There's a few things I'd like to get done, dishes, laundry, pay some bills, do a bit of fun yardwork. After that, I'm taking the day off to recoup from yesterday. My motivation just isn't here at the moment.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Nordics, here I come!

Je suis finis! Voila! (I've actually seen someone spell this 'Walla'. Took me a moment to figure it out.) They've been tried on, are my size, are very even to each other, and I have more than enough left to make a cute hat. That'll be my 'distracted' knitting.

Today is a rather bad migraine day. Started out ok, but one Relpax isn't working. I can take another, but that's it. In the meantime, I'm scribbling out the charts for the Nordic mits and doing the top ribbing of the Jaywalker socks.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday Mitten update

Hopefully by the end of today, these will be done. Ignore, for the moment, that I said this yesterday, too. But then, when I entered in yesterday's, um, entry, this mitten hadn't even been cast on, yet. I've resisted the call of socks long enough. As soon as this is finished, I'm starting a pair of the Jaywalkers. Just to get them out of my system.

At the same time, I'm plotting the pattern for my Nordic mittens. I've seen them called Nordic, then Latvian, and am not sure what to call these, really. They're going to be colorful and patterned with a pointy top, whatever their name is.

If you can't handle a person not being a mental Twinky of yours, you might want to skip this part. I have an opinion and I'm actually using it! Outside of the blog, if you share my DNA, then you might know what I really think. Otherwise, chances are you don't.

Political rant part:
In the real world, I hate discussing politics or religion. Yet, they keep getting lumped together. Gah! When I think of how often some friends of ours (mine and Hubs) spout off some political rhetoric handed to them by their preacher, expecting me to agree with their snarky bad-mouthing... I suppose being political in a church is ok ONLY if you're pro the current administration. Otherwise, they sic the IRS on you. Intolerance is neither Christian nor American. They're whining about evolution being taught in the school, wanting to disregard the separation of church and state in that case, while being jerks to churches that don't agree with the conservatives. What a load of crap. No one has to agree with anyone, but everyone has a right to their own opinion without fear of punishment. Isn't that why the United States was founded in the first place? Why we're not a subset of Great Britan? Fortunately, I'm too much of a small potato for them to fool with. Or, I'd be audited for typing my opinion. Bleh.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

It's so greeeeeen!

Number one of two! Ok, I know it's heresy to admit, but I do like knitting with such lively colors. I'll start number two sometime this evening after everyone else is in bed. Just asked Fry, "So, what DO you think," and handed her the mitten. She replied in a nano-second, "Mine."

'Fraid not. She's getting Nordic style mittens to match her snowflake hat. The folds in the hat don't show off the snowflakes. Considering my fair isle skills, that's probably a good thing. Yech.

Right now and later today:
Fighting off a migraine and losing that war
Took Relpax and will take a nap for it to work
Will take Fry on the last of newspaper collections
Will enlist her help in a bit of house cleaning, laundry, and bulb planting
Will fix dinner
Will explain to Hubby how he should not leave a tiny birthday cake with two females and expect the last piece to be bigger than a thimble (he's at drill, and the piece IS bigger than that, really)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Mother's Love

Today is Hubby's birthday! Yay! We had take out from Olive Garden and a plain white cake. It's his favorite.

Sadly, we spent his day gettting newspaper collections with Fry. Good Lord is that work! I'm tipping every little paperboy I'll ever see again. Those people work hard! So we followed Fry as she knocked on doors, introduced herself as the carrier (lol! images of 'carrier monkeys'! lol), then either took the money or had me mark down them as a 'no go'. While one part of all of us wanted to be aggressive and get those sales, another, much larger part of us took great glee in crossing people off the list. That wasn't until the fourth hour. Until then, we were still gung-ho. Very courteous, but gung-ho.

Birthday boy is upstairs watching his favorite movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with Fry. She gets him all to herself tonight, while I get her to myself tomorrow. I had Hubs to myself last night. We watched TV and laughed our butts off at "My Family". I've had serious thoughts about getting an European DVD player, just so I can order the DVDs of this show. For his birthday, he's had a new computer desk and amoir on layaway. They're in the cherry wood he's so fond of, and looks really nice.

I'm almost done with the current mitten. Fry wanted to talk to Gran last night, so after they chatted, I talked with her too. They'd had a huge fire in Oklahoma the other day, coming rather close to their house. Eeek! Of course, I only found out about this a few days after the fact, which is pretty typical. Mom didn't want to worry us, and I joked that on her casket will be a note, "I didn't want to worry you." We also talked about the lack of people in my family wearing things I make them. PMS-fueled insecurity. Her comment was if I'd make them more things, then they wouldn't have to treat each item as a treasure. Think that's a hint?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fast Friday

Had an ultrasound today to check on Toomie. If you don't know who or what Toomie is, heaven help you, you don't WANT to know. Let's just say that little Toomie was a product of a radiologist's overactive imagination. So far. I need to go back in for a CA-125 test but just can't work up the enthusiasm. Happily, I think Mom no longer reads my drivel, so no choice words about me skipping the test. Buhwa ha ha ha haaaaa. It's still bad, since I do happen to hear her 'voice' in my head anyway. I'll get the nerve to go and be stuck in the hand by a cranky gal with a huge rubber band strapped on my arm. Joy.

Then, on to one of MY favorite shopping places: The Kansas City Market. It's even on a Hidden Valley commercial! The fruits and veg are so cheap there! Three bags of cut up salad for a dollar. I found some Spanish saffron, not cheap, but not bad. Ate all the baklava myself. Sorry, but phyllo, honey, rose water AND pistacios? Yeah, that's going to last a long time around me, ha! In the same middle Eastern grocery are big bags of various spices with little scoops in them. One scoop of curry is a dollar, and the scoop is about a quarter cup of spice. It's fresh and smells great! If Hubs hadn't gone to the Kama Sutra for lunch yesterday, we'd have curried chicken and saffron rice tonight. Maybe Sunday....

Ooooo, then to Urban Arts, a yarn, bead, and scrap store. They have a lot of the novelty yarns and not much else, sadly. I did find a decent pattern for some Norwegian style mittens in the Vogue mittens book there. Had a tough time putting back the little bag of rovings. I don't have a spindle or anything similiar, so buying them would have been a waste at the moment. Then, next door is a garden store, but with benefits. They have a spice section with tons of different spices in little and big bags, all for much less than you'd pay in the grocery. A quarter pound of Jamaican Jerk seasoning for $1.40. The same amount of orange pepper was $2.40, though. There's an Ethiopian cafe there, and a Chinese grocery in the area as well. It's so tough not buying something at every store. I didn't even go near the Italian grocery. There could have been some serious damage done to our pantry space.

After that, went grocery shopping, as usual, then home. Since Hubs our guest tomorrow for dinner out on his birthday, tonight is Refridgerator Night. If it's in there and you want it, you got it. Everything expired or trying to evolve has been removed, so it's all safe.

Did I write? No. Did I knit? Some, not a lot. The diagnostic imaging place was a lot faster than I'd anticipated, so I was halfway through a row when they called me. The mitten is looking pretty cute, even if it IS Lion Brand yarn. I'm afraid TKGA will revoke my membership for knitting with non-naturals, but honestly. I've gone by the tie-downs section of Home Depot, spotted the nylon twine and thought, "those would make GREAT exfoliating socks to wear around the house."

Yeah, I'm strange. Been called that more than once, in fact.

One of my favorite bloggers is having issues with her child being away from her. It's the company the child is keeping. I totally understand and am at a loss as to what to say. Her blog today reminds me of The Monkey's Paw in the be careful what you wish for category. I'm sure her fry will be all right, but it sure is stressful to be away from them. Every time someone drives off with Fry, I have to remind myself that I've totalled more cars than THAT driver has.

Three minutes until BBC American's My Family. Yes, I am in the mood to laugh my ass off.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's all crap.

Or, at least I thought so earlier today. With those thoughts, the belly from Hell, and my wanting to wear a sports bra, it's feeling a lot like PMS. I called my Mom to have her 'talk me down' from the ledge of self-pity. She wasn't home, so I took a nap, then started on the below mentioned mitten. I got this far: then ripped and did a do-over, which is really what's pictured. The Polarspun ruffle wasn't ruffly, so I decided to rib it instead.

Then, as if that's not enough of a Work In Progress, I undid this sleeve:
This is a sweater rescued from my in-law's basement. I'd made it for my father-in-law and the sleeves were too long. My mother-in-law was totally sympathetic, since it was a 'recipe' I'd never knitted before then. So I had beloved Hubs try it on tonight to get an idea where the sleeves should go.

I've not written a single word on the NaNoWriMo. I have some issues with my writing, mostly because of former friends. Once I get this started and finished, those issues will be put to rest in my mind. In the meantime, I've been mulling over the story in my mind, so once I do start, it'll be tough to stop.

The beginning knitting went well. I had a couple of knitters that were a bit beyond beginning and they helped teach the others. I don't like that for a couple of reasons. Teaching students is MY job. I'm earning money for this and I don't like others doing my work. The other is, there's a method to my madness. I teach the single cast on, with the yarn going over the palm, around the thumb, then the needle tip drags from pinky to thumb to pick up the yarn laying over the palm. I DON'T teach this single cast on method because the first row is too tight for beginners and it tempts them to twist the stitch. Then, for the knit stitch, the crocheters want to knit Continental, while most others try to English it. To give them the basic movements, I teach the wrap-around method, holding the yarn against the needle getting the new stitches. As long as they get the concept, then they can decide which method they prefer. I make sure I show them the three methods and explain how they differ.

I need to review the twisting of stitches for the Continental. I knit English, so couldn't accurately answer the why and how of the twists when someone wanted to do Continental. I really don't like not having a good answer, so I like questions that stretch me. Everyone was negative about their abilities, which was silly, since these were the first stitches most of them had ever done. I reassured them they were doing great and that mistakes were to be expected.


A series of questions:
How do you know when you've overdosed on Halloween candy?
When I CRAVE salad, stewed chicken, and mashed potatoes.

How do you know when you've let the yardwork go too much?
When I flush rabbits out of the shrubbery while mowing the lawn.

How do you know when you've not been out of the house in too long?
A two-parter: when I talk the ears off of anyone I interact with, and/or when I've forgotten how the gearshift, seat adjustment, and radio works. Maybe I should say slightly forgotten. My Mom will understand, thankfully, and maybe Goopa.

How do you know when you've knitted in stockinette or garter too much?
When it takes me an hour to knit 300 stitches of lace. I'll knit a few stiches, lose track of what I was doing, then count. Continue, lose track, and count again.

How do you know when you've let your personal care standards drop?
Many many things. Gray roots, Abe Vigota eyebrows, and forgetting how to put on makeup.

Now, on to the urges. Sadly and boringly (should be a word!), no sex or violence urges, just mitten and sock urges. After seeing the Jaywalker socks that a lot of people have done or are doing, I'm so wanting in on that action. They're gorgeous. Heaven knows, I've got the sock yarn. With no sock classes in the next year, I can knit up the designated class yarn at will. Some of the students have been wanting those classes so I'm hoping to teach a few this time next year.

I have some Homespun and Polar that I'd love to make into mittens. I have a class coming up in November, so I'm really wanting to whip out a pair of small and cuffed mittens to show off. Can you tell one of my mottos is "No yarn is a bad yarn"? All yarns serve a purpose, even if it's only as stuffing in a pillow.

The two colors look really good together, and I might have some progress by the end of the day. Tonight is a beginning knitting class for me to teach, so the evening is taken up already. To keep my family from overloading on 99 cent tv dinners and frozen pizza, I may make my Quick and impressive beef stew. For the curious, this is how it's done:

Beef Stew in a hurry.
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 package (1.5lbs) flank steak or whatever is 1 inch thick and on sale,frozen
1 onion, chopped
random vegetables
4-6 cups beef stock or water
1/2 cup Red cooking wine
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp basil
2 tbsp parsley flakes

Cut up steak into cubes, slicing off the fat.
Heat olive oil over medium and brown steak.
When steak is slightly browned, add chopped onions and cook until onions are transparent.
Add preferred vegetables, fresh, canned, or frozen.
If fresh, make sure the pieces are somewhat uniform.
If canned, don't drain before adding.
If frozen, just toss in there.
Add 1/2 red cooking wine or omit if necessary.
Fill cooking pan up to 3/4 with beef broth or water.
If using only water, more salt may be needed.
If using fresh potatoes, do not add salt until potatoes are cooked through.
Add basil, parsley, thyme.

The longer this cooks, the better, but at minimum, it needs to simmer for 15-30 minutes, depending on the vegetables added.

For a more exotic flavor, add a 15 oz can of tomatoes, chopped, whole, or sauced, before adding the broth. Then add 1 tsp of cumin.

I'll have to plug this into my Diet Power software to get the nutrional information, but overall, it's pretty good for you.

For some odd reason, I'm hungry....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ta daaaaa!

Zee mittens, she is done! Aren't they lovely? Ok, sort of. The scarf looked fantastic, the hat, pretty darn good. But the mittens? I'm not wild about using mixed yarns for mittens. Something else: When I looked at the techniques section for M1, the author used the bar method. For the mittens, though, I should have used the increase into the back of the stitch. I'm taking a deep breath whenever stressing about the necklace of holes in the thumb and thinking "Added feature." Toppa already has the matching socks to all these, but in one of the yarns only. I strung happy face buttons for the top, then continued with the socks. Turned out lovely but I don't think she ever wears them. She puts them up on her hutch with her other happy face collectibles.

While driving back from Hobby Lobby today (all knitting and crochet tools HALF OFF!!), I was thinking about the warm hands knitalong. Maybe I should knit up something more complicated, not quite Norwegian, but closer to Aryan. In the back of my mind, a little voice sounded, saying "Seascapes...seascapes...finish the lace...finish the lace..." So in honor of the guilt knitalong, I'll work on the lace knitalong.

Knit, clean, write. Yep, that sums it up for today!

Slow and Steady Wins the Race