Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Cioppino is a given. We do it every year and look forward to it all year long. The recipe will be posted, if it isn't already, on the kitchen blog soon.
The KALs on the other hand, aren't something I do very often. These 2 will be my 3rd and 4th.
The first one is hosted by my friends Jewelspurls Sheriffofknittingham and Wrappedaroundmyfinger . A group of us on Ravelry are going to be knitting Norwegian garments. The ones I will be working on are a Hat and Gloves .
The second KAL is an impromtu thing. It came about from a comment on another message board at Ravelry. One of the members Phro5gg said that in 2010 she wanted to knit 12 pairs of socks. That was one I could get on top of! A pair of socks each month for the entire year. Don't have to buy a thing to accomplish that one. Sock yarn stash - beware! The first pair are Thuja, designed by Bobby Ziegler for Knitty.com. They should take very little time and make one of the men in my life very happy.
So, here's to a new year, right around the corner. Here's to knitting with friends. Here's to being an active member of these KALs and playing well with others.
Monday, December 28, 2009
HP (Hijo Primero) - I need a new tooth brush.
Me - I just gave you one.
HP - But it isn't soft enough.
Me - So now I am a hard person.
HP - Why do you not like light fixtures.
Me - and you don't like my lamp either.
BF (boyfriend) - puzzled look on his face as he comes up the stairs.
Me - Hon, your son doesn't like the lamp in his bedroom.
BF - I picked out that lamp.
HP - All I want is a new toothbrush.
Later in the day.
Me - coughing because of this stupid cold I have had since before Christmas.
BF - Your Mom is dyin'.
Me - (to HP) Yer dad dosn't want me to live here anymore.
Again, later in the day.
Me to HP - What are ya drinking?
HP - (Rishi) *Irish Macha.
Me - That stuff tastes like poo.
HP - It tastes far different from poo, I'll have you know.
Me - Yer right. It tastes like horse doopy.
HP - Why do hate beverages?
Me - I don't hate beverages, it isjust that green isn't my favorite color.
HP - So you hate the planet too?
Me - (to BF) Hon, yer son is being mean to me.
BF - Stop bein mean to yer mom.
HP - I am not being mean to mom. She hates the planet and beverages.
Me - And you hate your father!
This is basically how my day has gone. And I still don't know what to call this game. It all ends when you don't know what to respond.
Oh, and here is my shopping list, amended by HP.
chicken feathers for voodoo.
Maybe it should be called "Its not what you said, it is how you said it". Or, "This is what you said, but here is what you meant."
I guess you have to be here to really get it. Have a happy New Year!
*Irish Macha tea is a vibrant green color, almost too green!
Friday, December 25, 2009
With each and every one of us going into it blindly, not knowing what we will find or where we will go. But we venture forth and, quite by surprise, find many amazing things.
If we are lucky, we find love, we find good friends, we find a mate with whom to start a family and share life’s moments.
Enjoy your valley, with all its twists and turns, gifts and surprises, for it is yours and yours alone.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I has been a long time since I posted anything knitting related. S’pose I have just been lazy about taking out the camera and getting pics. So, sit back, put your knitting eyes in and take a look at what has come off my needles the past couple of months.
First, a pair of socks made for my non-sweater liking son. These a Daughter’s original design called “Geoffrey Alloisius III Esq.” Why the name? Hijo Segundo used this as his name when he wrote stories for his English classes in Jr. High. The socks are his, the name should be too. They have just a couple fun touches. First, the cable continues down the side of each heel. Second, and not pictured, the pattern continues down the top of the toe.
They were presented to him yesterday, Yule, as his small token of my love and appreciation of him. He love, love, loves them!
These are the “Black Rose” mitts, a free pattern from "knitty". Oh, and by the way, they are made to match the socks! Yes, those socks, the ones just below…
The yarn I used on both of them was given to me by one of my favorite people on the whole big planet, and the universe to for that matter, Jewel. She always has a hug and a smile to share, no matter how far apart we are. I love you Jewel!
That is all I have to show for now. There are another pair of socks on the needles - my “My Son’s A Senior Airman” socks. These are for Hijo Primero to wear while in uniform. And then another, similar pair – “My Boyfriend/DH is a Senior Master Sergeant” socks. They are both being knit with Brown Sheep’s Wildfoote in the Mistletoe colorway. This yarn is almost an exact match to the new sage green color accepted by the Air Force.
Also in knitting news, Hija Primera is getting her Crocus Pocus shawl soon. The beads came in and are awaiting my hands to get them onto the yarn.
In home news, with the Boyfriend’s promotion came a promise of a new desk/credenza for his mancave. We went to Stickley again and, with the help of the wonderful Carmelita we purchased an office unit similar to this one. It isn’t the same, but close enough. Will look absolutely amazing in the mancave!
With the holiday looming close and the majority of the family safe and warm in our home, we are looking forward to a joyous season.
“Rahr! Rahr! I am the snow leopard of the Solstice! Be afraid. Be very afraid. Can’t you see I am ferocious?!”
Thursday, December 17, 2009
"Home is where your parents are," he explained. So, home he is coming.
He has a job to get him by until he can find full time, meaningful work. He has put college on the back burner for the time-being. That is alright as long as it is a temporary thing.
As the Mommee Person, I am both thrilled and concerned with his move. Thrilled that he is going to be close, concerned as to how he will blend with this society. It is far different than that of his birth state. I like to think that because of his father's and my background we raised him to be flexible and adaptable. Although he has never lived anywhere but Wyoming, he wants to expand. This should be a real experience for him.
His flight arrives tonight. I can't wait to see my son!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This shawlette is smallish; only 25" at the point. As the daughter is smallish as well, this should be perfect. Can't wait to see it on her as she teaches a class. Everyone is going to want one of these!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Well, I am truly excited to say that I finally listened to myself and purchased the entire, yes the entire "Garden Variety" collection from Susan. Not just 2009, but 2008 as well. Now my problem is figuring out which one to make first!
My decision must come soon as I have beads and plenty of yarn beckoning. I am really leaning toward Crocus Pocus It would make a great hip scarf for my belly dancing daughter.
If you pass by and check out the link, give me your thoughts.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Why? Why does the old and semi-rusty snow blower start for the Boyfriend. It is almost as though they have a secret relationship. One that I am not, nor ever will, be allowed to share. When the Boyfriend goes out to start the rusty heap, it turns right over. Granted it turns over with a chug and a belch, but, hey, she’s old. And she still runs. She sat next to the garage all summer long without running her motor. Then, early this fall, the Boyfriend went out, took a bit of spray paint and gave her a shiny, new looking auger compartment and she acts as though he presented her with the Hope Diamond! He gave her pull starter a small tug and she purred like a contented kitten. She chugged a bit, emitted a bit of smoke from her exhaust and moved on into the garage for her winter duties.
Then, this morning we had snow. Heavy, wet snow. The kind that gives senior citizens heart attacks. I went out, gloves donned, opened garage door, checked the gas level in the old girl, moved her into plowing position and gave her a prime. I grabbed her pull starter and gave it an energetic pull and…nothing. Pulled again. Nothing. Pulled again and again and again. Nothing, nothing, nothing! Okay. There is an electric starter as well.
I grab the cord, drag it over, plug it in to her discretely hidden starter outlet. Giving another prime, I push the starter button. Rumble of the starter mechanism occurs. She gives a shimmy. She give a shake. She doesn’t start. Again. Shimmy, shake. Again. Shimmy, shake.
I spy the snow shovel. It looks like a small spoon compared to the snow blower. But, if the thing won’t start, what choice is there? We can now call the driveway cleared. Done the old fashioned way. With blood, sweat, slipped L5 disc, tight shoulders and wet hands.
Yes. The snow is all pretty and white. We are supposed to get more tonight and tomorrow. Hope the shovel doesn’t give me any problems.
Monday, December 7, 2009
"You are so delicious!
I love you more than all the other fishes!" said by Dawn Summers, Buffy, Season 7.
As I looked at my fledgling shopping list, I noticed that Anchovies were at the top. Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy these little fishes on occassion. They impart a subtle flavor to things like pizza, sauces, and the ever popular Ceasar Salad Dressing. But, alas, last time I made my favorite Ceasar Dressing, the anchovy was very flavorful and not so subtle.
Hence, I have decided it is time to re-evaluate my relationship with the tiny object of my flighty affection. We must take a bit of time apart to see if we still enjoy one another's company; or, if our affair was one of culinary lust, each of us wanting something from the other that neither could provide. Did I try to change my little anchovy into something it wasn't? Or, did my little anchovy try too hard to be what it thought I wanted? I prefer to think it was the latter.
We shall give a trial separation a shot. Maybe with some time apart we can both determine if we want the same things in life. If, after a period of time, we cannot come together as two individuals with different tastes and different purposes, then it is time to move on.
Maybe to salmon.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Without going into the gory details, let me just say, I will be happy to have another of my children living close. It boils down to my oldest son missing his family so much that he is moving home until he can get himself situated out here. I am happy. I am relieved. I am exhausted. His sister, Hija Segundo has decided to stay out west. I miss him and his sister so much that it is a physical thing.
When my children were just that, my children, I would sometimes look at them and think, "One day I won't have you all around, then I can relax." But now, with Hijo Segundo looking forward to a college that will take him away from home, I think, "My life will be so empty when you are gone." But he wants to stay close. Maybe it is because of where we live. I know that is part of the reason his brother is coming home.
Now it is time to prepare a room for an extended stay. Stock up on foods. Prepare for the upcoming holiday and most of my family under my roof. We will miss you Hija Segundo.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I have taken to gathering up my knitting of an afternoon and heading out to my favorite local cafe, http://collegestreetcafe.com/ There I sit. At the table, in the corner, knitting away. It is a vigil that I keep every Wednesday afternoon. Religiously. Me, my corner by the window, my needles and coffee. It is a lonely vigil. A vigil not to be taken lightly. A vigil of love and endurance. Just how long can I sit there, knitting away, before someone joins me. It is my quest. This must be done for knitters everywhere. Kind of like a movement. So what if the movement has been going on in other places for much longer with varied rates of success. It is time for this to happen in this small outpost. The movement has been a great success just 15 miles up the road in Rome, NY. There, a group meets weekly and often has no room left for others to join. Every table is full. Every chair occupied. Can that happen here? It must! And, until it does, I will continue to occupy my table in the corner by the window at the College Street Cafe and Artists Studio.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
With the first of our holidays looming I am reminded of holidays past. Not because of what we are doing this year, but because of what we have done in the past. Does this mean I am getting old? Won't go there! But, I digress -
This Thanksgiving is going to be the first in years that I haven't been surrounded by family. My older children are scattered across the country, spending the holidays with their family or can't come for one reason or another. My siblings and father are in California and don't even think about heading across the country for a turkey dinner. And, my husbands family is in Wyoming and will more than likely be sharing the day with my oldest son.
What little thoughts have been flitting through my head this year? That I miss my father's wry sense of humor. He is one of the kindest and funniest people I have ever known. Yes, even kinder and funnier than my beloved Boyfriend. I miss my mother-in-law's pies. She can bake a pie that would put Marie Calendar into a frenzy of competitive pique! I miss the gentleness that is my father-in-law. I miss the outrageous, outlandishness of my brother and the quiet, stillness of my sister. I will miss the clamor caused by too much family around a too small table, that, in the past was an annoyance at best, but now, that it isn't mine to be annoyed about, is a small comfort. Family.
If possible, be thankful for the family you have around you now, because they may not be there tomorrow.
To my family - all of you - and my friends - all of you too - Have a wonderful holiday season and know, you are in my thoughts as that little niggle in the cerebral cortex, the little knot in my throat, and the song that plays in my heart.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
You get this gleam in your eye. Your fingers flex in anticipation. Your heart races. Then, you reach behind your ear, over to the table, next to your chair and "!@#! Where did my cable needle go?"
What is it with those things? Do they grow legs and saunter away thinking, "just wait, she'll never find me now". Or, is it the DH or DS? Calmly picking up that little stick thingy and using it to clean their keyboard or pipe? It could be the cat, the famous Captain that decided the cat toys were too tame and the cable needle presented a challenge yet to be beaten. Whoever the culprit, the cable needle is always gone.
I gave up trying to find the bag with the cable needles in it months ago and resorted to using a dpn. But then...the dpn went missing. Probably out having a great laugh at my expense with the bail jumping cable needle!
That was it. There was no more procrastinating. Throwing my wip down in disgust I relented and paid a visit to a couple of well known bloggers http://www.grumperina.com/cables.htm
I chuckled as I envisioned the Yarn Harlot on the train frantically trying to figure out how to retrieve her dpn. And, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to spare myself that embarrassment. With knitting in hand, I followed the tutorial provided by Grumperina and took the plunge.
With their help I was able to tell the cat, the DS, the DH, and yes, the cable needle itself, that I was FREE! Free of the dependency of a shorter, wannabe needle. Free of the need to keep track of more than my regular 5 dpns. Freedom!
It was easy! Imagine it would be easier if the yarn wasn't black! But still!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
It isn't quite finished as I haven't had a chance to put the pompom on the pointy end. But, how can one do a pompom when the hat is on a child's head? I ask you!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I have been going through a sewing thing of late.
Since the move, yes it has been a while, my machine has been languishing in the un-opened sewing cabinet. There isn’t enough room to sew in “My Little Room”. If I were to drag out the ironing board, the cutting table, the dress form, the sewing machine and all the little items that go along with the craft, there would be no room for me!
As a result of the limited space in my room, I began the whining thing. Hey, you do what works, right? I opened up the ironing board…”Gee, there is no room to open my sewing cabinet…” I whined pathetically. I moved the ironing board into the dining room and opened up my sewing cabinet. “I can’t get around to get my serger out,” I said woefully. I spread my pattern and muslins out on the dining room table. At dinner time, the boyfriend threw his hands up in surrender and helped me move it all down into the basement apartment. Yay! I now have a real live craft area that is the size of a small, well…apartment! It has hot and cold running water, a private bath for those unfortunate blunders with beverages while sewing, it has space for my dressers full of fabric and yarn. It is going to be wonderful as soon as I can get rid of the mancave stuff that keeps wandering in.
The first project that came from my newly acquired sewing space was a Yin Yang bag, designed by ScrapBags. The first bag was done in a Chinese brocade. It was fun to sew. I loved the contrast between the front of the fabric (Yin panel) and the back of the fabric (Yang panel). However, after a long hiatus from sewing, the fabric was rather challenging. It wanted to slip and slide and play around. Not cooperative at all! I was not extremely pleased with the completed project.
The second bag was much more fun! I used a cotton Chinese printed quilting fabric (yin panel) and a light weight plastic cloth (yang panel). I also made a few minor changes to the finishing. On this bag there is a pocket on the inside and one on the outside. And the cute little red button and the join. I also tacked the handle rather than try to sew it down completely.
My sewing area is now set up and ready for my at the drop of a pin. I no longer have to whine and drop hints about the lack of space I am allowed. At this point in time, there is a muslin ready for a tunic top of crushed burnout velvet. Will get to it sometime this week.
After all is said and done, I have to wonder. What was it, my Yin or my Yang, that caused my inner 2 year old to come out long enough to get an apartment?
Monday, November 16, 2009
Trying out new things with my new computer. This is a shot of Mirror Lake. Hmm…wonder why it is called that? I did a sepia effect and tilt from Windows Live Writer. Then I expect to send it to my Blogger account for posting. Will it work? We will see.
Why am I doing this? Because I am having difficulty with pictures on Blogger. I take a picture url from my flicker account, upload it to Blogger and it goes directly to the top of the page. It doesn’t matter where I tell it to go, it goes to the top. Then, I have to move it and I don’t like that I can’t get the text wrap when I do that.
I don’t want to move my blog because of the hassle of re-directing traffic. Just leave it where it is and import from here. Let us see if that works.
Oh…before I do, let me try bringing a picture over from Flickr WWell, that seems to work. At least it came to the bottom of the page. And, in case you were wondering, this is the main street in the Olympic Village area of Lake Placid, NY.
and this ends my 100th post
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Although I haven't been blogging much, I have encountered wonderful blog fodder; too much to even try to get into one post. So, I will start with this picture of a waterfall in the small upstate New York town of Ticonderoga.
We went on a mini vacation for my birthday, traveling through the Adirondacks and into Vermont, via the Ticonderoga Ferry. To say it was beautiful would not be enough. The autumn color was astounding. And, we missed the peak of color by a month!
Traveling from New York state, across the river and into Vermont was like moving through time. The scenery was punctuated with bucolic farm settings and quaint towns. We stopped for an early afternoon walk through Montpelier and then moved on to another ferry trip back to New York. This time the ferry was across Lake Champlain; our destination, Lake Placid.
We arrived in Lake Placid just as the sun went down. The air was crisp with just a bit of a bite to it. The Olympic village portion of the town alive with pedestrian traffic and lighted with turn of the century street lamps was a vision to behold.
Because we hadn't a clue where we were going to end up on this trip, we hadn't made hotel reservations. Our first stop for a stay was a downtown hotel that looked promising from the outside. Once inside that promise was quickly broken. We left quickly to say the least and headed for a hotel more in line with a wonderful birthday weekend get-away...the Marriot. To say this was a nice hotel is an understatement.
The next morning we arose and walked around the lake. I pity the people that have to live here all year long. The beauty and serenity would have me feeling as thoug I lived in a different time, a gentler time if there was one.
We spent the morning browsing shops and windows; enjoying one anothers company. Then it was time to head back.
The longer I live in this area of the country, the deeper in love with it I fall. Each new day, each new season, brings with it a different type of beauty and creates, within me, a serenity I have never felt before.
Friday, November 13, 2009
It has been a long time.
Friday, July 24, 2009
He is doing so well. So well in fact that I am now allowing him to take care of me. Last night, he prepared dinner. This morning his is making banana waffles! Yummm...
His tendency toward over exertion is becoming apparent as he tries to do too much. That is when, like a mother hen, I shoo him to the safety of his easy chair and television. He knows better than to argue and is fairly well behaved as he grumbles and shuffles off to his forced relaxation.
This visit has also shown me - and here is where my concern comes in - that my siblings are very busy with their lives. Their jobs take them away from home for hours a day, the commute eats into their off time, their relationships pull their attention down another road. This is understandable. This is normal. But...I worry that the dad person will be left alone to sit and fall into the depression that surrounds him as a result.
He has told me that he doesn't cook when it is just him. He doesn't enjoy cooking for just himself. As with most men, he doesn't clean the house well and he doesn't want a housekeeper. He doesn't want to rent a room, or bring in a roomie to help him occupy this huge house either.
These things concern me.
On a high note, as a joke, he started a "Bucket List". He wants to see Niagara Falls. He wants to go to the Aztec and Mayan ruins in Mexico and Central America. His dream of an Alaskan cruise is in the process of being fulfilled. My wonderful sister in law is busily planning a cruise on the Inside Passage of Alaska for next spring. And the dad person is allowing me to book him a flight to New York for as soon as possible after his release from the Doctor's care! These are all great things.
But back to the titled subject...I have begun the weaning process from caring for my father to him caring for himself. I am leaving him at home alone for a few hours today and most of the day tomorrow.
Today, his newly hired grounds keeper will be here working in the back, so he won't be completely alone. He gets to stay and pet his dog, watch television, and try to use his Spanish to talk with Manuel, Lupita and son.
Me? I get to hop in the car with Karin, my sister in law, and head to Petaluma to visit Kniterly! Partake of their sale goods and fondle yarn.
Tomorrow Karin and I again hop in the care, but this time to head further south to San Francisco and a city wide yarn crawl with the lovely and vivacious Jewel! This is the little trip I have been looking forward to for the entire month. I came armed with a merino fleece for Jewel and cash for any yarn purchases I may make. Of course, yarn purchased will be used for Christmas presents. These are not purchases for me. Truly.
So the weaning process has begun and the countdown is looming over our heads. I am both happy and sad. We both need the weaning.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Yesterday was the first trip the Pa person took out of the house since surgery.
He decided that he needed a new dishwasher. I must agree; he did. His old one was older than my oldest son and in such bad shape that you wash the dishes and put them in the "dishwasher" to rinse and dry.
With his announcement we jumped into his truck - alright, maybe more of a slow slide - and headed to the local Home Depot. Once there, we searched for the handicapped carts. That took a while as they were hidden in the corner by the contractor entrance. After getting my invalid settled into his vehicle, we set about learning the finer points of navigating one of these conveyances. *First, hit the forward switch. Second, squeeze the accelerator lever and pray there is nobody in front of you. Third, release the accelerator lever. Fourth, apologize for running into the nice person with the power tools. Repeat from * until shopping complete.
He did really well with his first attempt. Only 3 direct hits, 4 near misses and a damaged refrigerator.
After lining up the delivery and set up of his new improved dish dryer, we headed off to Wal Mart for more fun and games.
The carts there were a bit more sophisticated. The accelerator switch had both forward and reverse built right in! That was trouble. Squeeze it to the right and you went forward; to the left, reverse. And these babies hauled invalid ass! I had to quick step to keep up with him. And there, the employees joined in the game - ducking and running around and coming up behind. It was so funny. He looked like a kid on a carnival ride! A large, dangerous, conniving kid on a carnival ride.
The trip complete, we returned back to the house in time for the 10 foot tall Home Health Nurse Nazi to show catch us pulling into the garage. Ooops...busted!
Next time we head out will be to his first post op appointment and to Miracle Ear so he can watch television without blasting me into the next room.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Secondly, the dad person is doing really well. Up and moving around. Complaining because he is tired all the time. Grumpy because he can't do as much as he wants to do. Happy because he can do more now, 1 week after surgery, than he could for years before surgery.
Due to the sporadic availability of internet service, I can't promise another update soon. But, rest assured, I will be back, I love you all, and I hope you are having a great summer. Mine will start the beginning of August. Lots of fun to pack into a mere 30 days!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
But, here is a post anyway. Sorry about the no pics. I did get pictures of Luther Burbank gardens, Julliard Park, and my very first apartment in Santa Rosa. Those will all be posted as soon as I can get Hijo Segundo to send the cord to me.
So, without further lame excuses, here is the first, very long, very melancholy, California post.
I landed in California on the afternoon of June 26th. It was a warm, sunny day by New York state standards; cool and partly cloudy by those of the California crowd. My sister, my best friend, greeted me at San Francisco International with a huge smile on her beautiful face and a hug for me. As soon as my bag was retrieved, we set out for the North Bay area – Sonoma County.
The trip north was like a trip back in time. The heady scent of my childhood home, a mixture of eucalyptus and redwoods, fennel and dill, was like wine to my senses. Calming and invigorating all at once.
San Francisco was just as I remembered. A dichotomy of past and present. The pastels of the old Victorian homes clinging to the hillsides, the peace signs and psychedelic art of the 60s revived on store fronts and walls, and the chrome and gloss of the current era, all melded together to form the city.
We reach the Golden Gate. The rust orange bridge is a tourist attraction in and of itself. People travel miles to walk across it. People travel miles for the privilege of standing in the center of the structure to gaze to the east toward Alcatraz and west to the great, massive waters of the Pacific. It is a beautiful sight. If you haven't seen it, you must.
As we near the home of my teens the changes became more apparent. The orchards and fields and dairy farms gone; replaced by condos and homes and shopping centers. The occasional “green area” or park hinted at what once was. A plum tree in this one. An old barn, now a sitting area, in another. The field, where I would ride my beloved horse is now an “exclusive” neighborhood, not a trace remains of the trails or the stream my horse and I visited.
My father's house with the rose bushes, ponds and garden that my mother cherished is now overgrown. The grass a patchy remnant, the roses clinging bravely to life. The jasmine and gardenias, although still there, are being choked by blackberry bushes. The walkway to the front door is almost a memory as the juniper grows to cover most of it. This first view of my old home is a vivid, shocking, slap upside the head at the condition of my father's health, of his rapid decline from strong and active to weak and near invalid.
My internal checklist began to kick in. Yard work: prune and water roses – check – reseed lawn – check – Paint Front Door – stat! How he must feel. Knowing that his decline is reflected in the decline of his home.
I steel my heart for what I knew I would see once inside. But, I was spared. His health was a gentle decline. His spirit intact. His eyes glinted with the humor that was his and his alone. Although his body and pace were saying age, his words and laughter spoke of defiance. He was ready to live again; live as he hadn't since my mother's death in 2002. I was so glad to welcome him back, excited to meet my father again.
We had a few days to relax before his hospital stay. It was nice to be with my dad. His was a comfortable companionship. We laughed, we talked, we made plans. We. Made. Plans! So different from my last visit when he was giving up. Yes, I was so glad to welcome him back.
Today, I sit in the surgical waiting room, awaiting the visit from his surgeon, telling me that the aortic valve replacement went well. It has been a long wait. The surgery began this morning at 7 am and it is now almost 2 pm. My brother has called 3 times. My sister, 4. And, as I write this, Nieves, the surgical family counselor informs me that he is out of surgery and I will be able to peek in at him within the next half hour.
So, until next time...
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
With that being said I have decided to sell it all. All except for some very special gifted yarn and a few of the purchases I made with a specific project in mind. When I return from my caretaker trip to California I will be putting the entire Yarn Jungle up for sale. First in Ravelry and on my blog, then, a week or two later, in Ebay.
Before I moved I sold over half of it and still there is a small yarn store upstairs. Made a promise to myself that I would not purchase more yarn until the stash was down to a reasonable mountain. So what happens? I don't knit! This has to stop.
The stash has to go. The stash is holding me down. The stash is an albatross around my neck...a ball and chain to my needles...a cork in my bottle of creativity! I hate my stash and my stash hates me!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
This morning, as I carried my morning mocha out to the porch to sit and enjoy the morning, I saw Abercrombie looking around for a bite to eat. Poor little Abercrombie. So tiny. So hungry.
I turned silently and went back into the house. Grabbing a small handful of granola and my camera, I proceeded back out the door. Placing the granola next to the vase of flowers, I sat and waited for Ab's return.
I didn't have to wait long. Abercrombie is a very brave little squirrel. He even sat patiently while I snapped his picture over and over again. If you want to see more of this little guy, Click on his pic. That will take you to my Flikr photostream and you can see him in all his adorable cuteness.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
And just why is this? Because I went and got a job and it lasted approximately 2 weeks. There is some character flaw that I possess that no longer allows me to have the patience to work outside the home. I want to do things my way. Inefficiency drives me to distraction. And the insistence that I perform in an inefficient manner makes me crazy!
Case in point. The job I obtained was with a company I had been employed with in the past, as management. I was in a management capacity for over 10 years. At the end of that 10 year period I wanted a life, the job was no longer fun, and the expectations of the corporation didn't mesh with my own. Hence, I gave up the position. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. I was bored, or so I thought. Applied for a position with same company in shipping and receiving. After all, I had done this before. It was easy and I was fast. On day one, I set about doing the job I had been hired for. Scan box, open box, sort books by section, place sorted books on carts to be shelved. Not a problem. As I went about doing this in my fashion, the one that had worked for 10 years, I observed my fellow receivers perform the job that they had been doing since they were hired. It went something like this - Scan box, open box, take a book, put it on the cart to be shelved, do another book. Magazines went something like this for them: Scan box, open box, take a stack of mags, 1 title only, run it to the front, place it on the rack, go back, get another. For me: Scan box, open box, place magazines on a v-cart, wheel cart to front, place mags on rack. Done. Huh? They were running around like little bees, flitting from one cart to the next, running from the back of the store to the front of the store and back again. I was standing in one place, working until the stacks were too high to stack any more, then moving said stacks to the awaiting carts. Something was wrong here. After a couple of days of me getting exhausted just watching my co-workers, I was called into the managers office. There I was told that my method, though efficient and fast, was not going to work. Again, Huh? Why? Because my stacks were distracting to my fellow co-workers and my use of the v-carts was just not done (although it was a good idea and they might give it some consideration). My response? Inefficiency drove me nuts. That is all it took. I said thank you very much for the opportunity to observe your back room and stocking techniques, but I don't believe this is a good fit for me.
Oh well, I suppose I am just an irresponsible twit. Or maybe I just have the luxury of having worked for a retirement check and work is now a choice.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I love Colinette kits. The finished product is pleasing to look at. The knitting in simple and fun. The textural contrasts are interesting. This is my second one. I was excited to start.
How difficult can a Colinette throw be? I mean, k3, yo, sssk, and so on and so on. Easy peasy. I worked diligently for a week and became bored with the incessant pattern. This morning I awoke and realized the recipient's birthday is only 3 weeks away!
Quickly I pulled the bag that contained this beauty out of the hibernation cave and reattached the needles called for in the pattern. I did this only to realize that in my haste to begin, I used the wrong sized needle to start with! The pattern calls for an 8mm not a size 8! To my despair, if I continued with a size 8, the fabric would be more dense and therefore the yarn would not make the size required or desired.
Into the frog pond we went. Let me tell you. Frogging a Colinette is not as enjoyable as knitting a Colinette. The mohair does what mohair does and you have to coax it out of the stitch. The ribbon twists and turns and doesn't want to behave on the ball.
Maybe next time I should be a bit more careful in my reading of instructions. I don't like swimming in the frog pond with Colinette!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
To be bigger.
To be allowed to stay up as long as we want and not have to ask our parents if we can.
As children we are so unaware.
As we grow to our teen years, that yearning increases.
That yearning comes forth as rebellion in some.
It causes us to reach out to friends before family.
To explore our lives and challenge our limits.
If we are lucky,
our parents allow us to test our boundaries
and accept the consequences of our actions.
If we are lucky,
our parents provide us with that much needed safety net in life.
As young adults,
if we are lucky,
that safety net is still there.
It is still there even if it is a bit of a fall to get there.
If we have been lucky enough to have close friends and a supportive family,
our young adult years go as smoothly as can be expected.
we have children of our own.
We watch them grow.
We do the best we can to prepare them for their adult lives.
We allow them to make mistakes.
We hurt for them.
We laugh with them.
We glow with pride at their accomplishments and
cry with them when they fall.
As they grow to adults,
we realize that the hearts of our parents are so invested in us.
Us, the adults.
We realize that because now,
our hearts are invested in our children.
Each step they take causes our heart to break;
not in a bad way mind you but break nonetheless.
Our children take a bit of our heart with them on their journey through life.
They may not know this,
but their lives turn our hearts into a thousand and one pieces of joy and sorrow.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Oh, Hairballs! She put it away!!!!
This yarn has been driving me crazy. It changes colors! Does it change flavor as well? She sez it is the leg of a sock and won't let me test it on my head. Every time I even touch it with my paw, she sez "No, Jack!" no jack no jack no jack... And then, to make matters worse! It grew into a long tube thing with a sharp turn and a dead end! What is up with that?
If that isn't enough, she has this long thing...she calls it a scarf. I call it a long thing, that is hiding a scary face! She sez it is for Hijo Segundo, whoever that is. All I can say is I am a skeart of it.
I overheard her say that if I, the Captain of Jack, are not careful, she will make one for me! Think I will stay in hiding.
That's all, you can go away now.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Yes, I am a furniture snob. Hate cheap furniture. Would rather live without. Have searched for years to find just the right pieces to go in each room. It took almost 15 years to find the dining room furniture I have. But I love it!
My bedroom furniture? Same thing. For years my bed was a bed frame with a box spring and ma tress thrown over the top of it. Finally, after years of searching - 18 years to be exact - I found the perfect cherry sleigh bed. Now, 5 years later, I am still searching for the perfect accompaniments for the sleigh.
The furniture in the parlor is perfect as well. A huge overstuffed leather sofa and easy chair with an ottoman. An antique oak trunk for a coffee table. Simple, makes a statement, not over done.
But, I digress. Today is Stickley day! On Mother's Day, the Boyfriend and I took a ride. (I love riding through the NY state countryside.) Our wanderings took us over to Fayetteville where the Stickley showroom sits in an out of the way corner of a strip mall. We walked in and meandered about - the Boyfriend gazing and making comments about certain pieces, me drooling over everything. I had to jerk my leash back and think about what I needed in my home. Can't have it all!
To make a long story short, we purchased an entertainment cabinet to place in the front parlor. And, Stickley isn't the all assembly-lined, boxed in a warehouse, waiting to be purchased type of furniture! You see it. You say you want it. You select the wood. You select the finish. You pay...yes you pay, sorry. The sales person - for us the lovely Carmelita is our assigned salesperson. (yes, she is ours until she no longer works there) takes our order. Carmeltia explains the time it takes to construct it. The craftsman in the factory builds it. The factory sales person calls you when it is finished.
Truly handcrafted furniture. Made by hand in central New York state by someone who cares! Hand rubbed, solid wood. The kind of furniture that not only retains its value, but increases in value over time. An heirloom. The kind of thing you purchase to take care of for your children, whether they want it or not.
I believe I must have all my children over for the holidays so they can fight over who gets it when the parentals move on to greener pastures. Or maybe I will just tell them who gets this piece and get a few more pieces...I like that idea better.
I also believe I will take my knitting along for the ride to pick up my precious cargo.
Pics will be added later this afternoon - check back
Thursday, May 28, 2009
This summer, my first entire summer in central New York state, has a purpose. My friend and fellow explorer EM and I are in search of the perfect ice cream.
We live in Oneida County. As such, we are beginning our search for the Perfect Ice Cream right here. We shall venture forth, accompanied by our trusty research assistants when necessary, to explore and find this rare and much sought after prize.
As any good scientist and explorer knows, you must have criterion to allow for a good comparison during any study. So what are we looking for?
1. Cleanliness of facility.
3. Serving portion to price
5. Friendliness of staff
Our first foray into the jungle took us to Mr. Frostee, in Clark Mills, New York. It is one of the closest to our homes, practically the perfect, "meet you in the middle" location. Here is what we found.
Mr. Frostee is a newer stand and as such, very clean. Inside there is a seating area that sparkles. Outside, the tables and fountains, yes fountains, are clean. Not a spot of ice cream or other remains. Oops, EM's research assistant found a napkin tucked beneath the table. Isn't that where chewing gum is supposed to go? He removed the offending napkin and placed it in the nearest refuse container. What a great assistant!
The menu at Mr. Frostee seemed limited. Limited until you see all the little side boards with added extras. Hard, soft, chocolate, vanilla, sprinkles, dips, nuts, and the list goes on. Personally, I want my add ons in the ice cream. Less, mess, more goodies.
The ice cream served is truly marvelous! Creamy, rich, full of flavor. My favorite, "Moose Tracks" is on the menu as well! What a deal!!!! To make things even more hazardous, the small serving, pictured above, is truly huge! But, as all true researchist know, nothing is to be wasted and the cone was consumed with gusto.
As far as friendliness of staff, the server had a brusque and not too friendly attitude. You would think, that serving a sweet concoction to the masses would cause one, through osmosis, to become rather sweet as well. Not true, my friends, not true. Our lovely, young, scooper, was not chatty, not friendly, not willing to discuss the merits of her product. So sad. Such a shame. The only mark against this wonderful island of creaminess in the small town of Clark Mills.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
They are boot socks, so cuddly and warm. Knit with a sport weight sock yarn, quick to boot! (no pun intended) Also, they are designed to fit the smallest woman to a rather large man. Socks with sizing! Gotta love it.
Well into the second draft of the design. Wanted to have them finished in time to submit to Knitty for their fall issue. No gonna happen. Maybe, if I can hold them back long enough, they can be a contestant in the Winter issue. Maybe winter would be better anyway.
Back to knitting a boot sock. Mine are in Opal yarn. Will make the Boyfriend a pair too. Never made him a pair of socks before. Wonder if he will wear them...
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
My muse up and left.
My muse got tired.
After a whiz bang sweater
I tried on my own but couldn't even come up with a decent pair of socks!
I begged her forgiveness.
I grovelled at her feet.
I cried in the night...
but she didn't return.
No, she didn't return
until last Friday morning at about 1 a.m.
Kept me up all night!
She gave me not 1
But 3 ideas!
Albeit sock ideas.
But IDEAS nonetheless.
And along with the ideas
I could see them.
They wouldn't let me sleep!
I had to get out of bed and begin writing them down.
I mean, after all,
what the Muse giveth
the Muse can taketh away!
One of the ideas is a boot sock using a sport weight yarn.
It is (and this is where I give Muse credit for an extra idea)
in 3 sizes!
It is unisex!
It works up quickly!
It is worth 2 points for the Muse.
The other one is a toe up confection that came from my new love of fiddle head ferns.
Haven't gotten that one beyond jotting down the idea and a very poorly drawn sketch.
(My Muse doesn't help with the drawing aspect)
I danced the dance of joy.
I...maybe I am getting carried away.
My Muse returned for a little tête-à-tête.
Fickle little Muse.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Here is a shot taken by the Boyfriend from directly beneath the damage. I was too afraid to straddle the tree to get a shot like this as the other half of the tree is still whipping around in the wind!
Yes, my neighbor's tree was a victim of a wind gust and my house received collateral damage. Will get pics when the wind dies down enough that I am not taking my life in my hands to snap them. Poor tree...My Poor House!
If I may, I would like to say that I like comments. It lets me know what people are thinking.
If I may, I would like to say that when I visit a blog, I make a comment. It lets that person know what I am thinking.
If I may, I would like to say that if someone visits my blog, I pay the same courtesy. It encourages exchange and conversation.
If I may, I would like to ask if comments could be left. Please.
If I may, I would like to ask that if I visit your blog would you visit mine? Please.
If I may.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
click on the heart next to the box to see the caption
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I dare say, you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Lewis Carroll; Alice in Wonderland
My change of knitting heart came as I looked through my hybernation pile - a Vesuvius sort of pile - and saw a sad, forlorn bit of work peeking from beneath.
No, not the fern. That is an Ostrich fern, The one I saw peeking is a Maidenhair! A knitted Starmore Maidenhair. A beautiful piece of knitted art that I have been working on for a few years now. Begging for attention. Asking nothing more than to be loved and cuddled and nurtured to fulfillment. She has been so patient. Lying there, waiting for my attention. My fickle knitting attention. After the disaster that was Oblique, a nice, attention to detail, straightforward Starmore design was just what the doctor ordered. So, out she came in all her glory. The substantial wool a blessing after the blend used for Oblique. The cables and aran openwork a breeze after the repetitive lace of Oblique. The solid fabric a joy compared to the lightness of Oblique. I am now in a state of knitting bliss. I love this bit of knitting named for a fern. My knitting disaster has led me full circle back to the bottom of my knitting pile to a nice, attention holding work.
I love Alice's designs. I want to knit them all.
Monday, May 11, 2009
"Oh, where did you get those?"
"Will you make me a pair?"
"How cute are those!"
All from non-knitters. Now, here comes the shameless part - they are available on Ravelry or Payloadz.
Hangs head in shame and embarrassment.