Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spent the day in Fishkill

   This morning, Hubs asked me to go to the Fishkill house with him. I know he doesn't like going, much less going alone,  so I said sure! We were there by 10 a.m.  I've decided I don't like going there, either. It's really depressing, trying to empty the house of someone who has passed away. Especially since it's his mother, and he is an only child, so there's no one to share the burden with. Except me. So I go and be supportive.
   He has been working on clearing the debris from the trees he had cut down, while I get to work inside the house. Mostly, I'm throwing stuff away. It hurts, and I'm finding myself apologising to her as I throw out her things. "Sorry, Betty, but this has to go...", "Sorry, but we have no room for this in our house...". I try to save the things I can, like her flatware, pots and pans, sheet pans, and lots of kitchen utensils.
   Going thru her closets was a real chore! She had two closets, stuffed full of clothes, many of which were brand new with the tags still on them! Then there were the four dressers full of clothes too. She was a real clothes horse, and before she retired, she went to her job very well dressed. There were clothes ranging in size from Medium to XXX large. Nearly all of them were donated to charity, to be re-sold. A few clothes I kept, and I gave some to my mom, too.
   And watches??? At one point I counted 30 watches. Then I found some more! She had a watch for every outfit, I think! I didn't really like any of them, so I took them to my mom, who had asked for one of Betty's watches, and let her pick out as many as she wanted. I think she ended up with eight of them. I found one watch that I liked, so I'm keeping that one.
   It really bothers me to take things that I know she loved, and throw them away, or take them to the dump. But what else can we do?
   A few things, like the blanket I crocheted for her when she was first diagnosed with cancer, I gave to her friend who lives across the street. She really misses Betty too.
   We lived in the house with her, until she passed, which was WAY sooner than anyone thought! Even the Hospice nurse was shocked at how quickly she declined... He told me he thought he had more time to prepare us for what was coming. We stayed in the house thru the winter. Maybe some of you remember my ranting about the people of Fishkill. I am thinking of doing a post here about that whole experience. Anyway, it was difficult being there after she died, because we truly thought she would make it til the spring, and then we would put her on a plane to Florida to stay for a while with her friend Shirley. And suddenly, she was gone, and the whole plan changed. We stayed there just so someone was in the house. It's a good thing we did, because the heat went out twice over the winter.
   Now we are emptying the house, in preparation for doing some work, so we can rent it out.  And we still refer to it as Betty's house, cause it will always be her house.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Indigo Pi Shawl, Adventures with Double Points!

   I realized I never recorded the end result of the Pi shawl blocking... I am very pleased with how it came out! The whole blocking process fascinates me, the amazing way the stitches set and stay exactly where you put them! Most interesting. It is so pretty, I can't wait to wear it! It's color is indigo, so I can and will wear it with jeans!
   I enjoyed making that shawl so much that I started another one as soon as I was done with the first! However, I do have a confession to make. Double pointed needles still defy me using them; I tried at least five times to start the shawl on them. Then I got clever! I devised a way to start the shawl by knitting back and forth, then when it's large enough, joining it to work in the round. When it's even larger, I go back and, using the tail, weave it thru the first row and gather it tightly, then sew a small seam up to where it was joined. It worked for me!
   Now those darned double points! I have tried for a long time to use them. I swear I need a third  hand to hold onto them, especially the metal ones! I would get started, and still feeling awkward, but beginning to make some progress. The next thing I know, I hear a metallic "CLINK" as the one in the back slides out of its stitches and hits the floor! To say it's frustrating is a complete understatement.
   However, I have had positive experiences with the little buggers as well. I made a hat with wool left over from a sweater, and it calls for dps to finish it off. With great trepidation, I moved the stitches from circular needle to the dps, and began the ending of the hat. IT WORKED! I had no problems, and decided right away to make another hat! It worked again! So I have decided I can end a project with them, but not start one.
   When I took my latest sweater (and the hat)to show the ladies at the Spinning Group, they were laughing because I was so proud of the stupid hat, when I had made this totally awesome sweater, with knitted-in pockets, shaping, and an pleat in the back! I explained my battles with the dps, and they agreed that indeed, they are difficult to master, but if I don't give up, I can be successful! Somehow, I don't think so.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Thoughts for Today

    I went to bed last night without posting! I guess I had nothing to say, for once. I still feel as though I have nothing to say, but decided I better come up with something.
   It is very depressing not having a job. I have been out of work 2 years, 2 weeks and 2 days...   I was fine while my unemployment was coming in, at least it was something. It was very difficult and depressing looking for work at that time, because no one was paying anywhere near what I had been making. Even with taking 20% off per the unemployment people, that was still way more than companies were offering. The good news was that, while on UI, I didn't have to take any job offering less than that number. Even with those guidelines, I still never applied for a job while on UI...
   Now that my UI has run out, it's really getting tight. I'm having to ask my Hubs for money for groceries, gas, everything! The one thing I won't ask for is money for yarn. There would be no point. So, I'm knitting and crocheting from my stash, only buying new yarn when I really need some to finish a project.
   I have even applied for jobs, and had an interview. It sucks waiting, it's like the ultimate rejection. I even applied at 3 different jobs at IBM, I was told to by a supervisor there, was given specific job I.D. numbers to apply for, and STILL was rejected. (Oh, yeah, they really need people to works nights...) There's nothing more depressing than an oh-so-polite rejection email.
   But still I face the world with a smile, still have a positive attitude. After all, there's awlays hope, isn't there? It could always be worse, couldn't it? At least I have a wonderful Hubs, and my kids are relatively happy, and I'm not going hungry.
   Now that I've thoroughly depressed myself, It's time to go. I will leave you with a quote from a dear friend from High School that I've since lost touch with:


   I have no idea what it means, but he was always saying it, and it makes me happy. Of course, he was probably stoned out of his gourd all thru high school, so who knows what he really meant to say?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Progress at last!

   Today, I finally screwed up my courage and blocked my Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi Shawl. It dried pretty quickly, and is absolutely gorgeous! When I had it all laid out on my son's bed, opened the windows, and turned on the fans, I got my bathing suit on and went to Bonny's house! We had a really good time, swimming, talking and listening to music. I got to work on my tan a little, as well.
   Unfortunately, the chaos fairy has me in her sights again. I stubbed my toe, this time on my left foot. I stubbed it on the tall concrete foundation of their diving board. By the time  I got home, the top portion of my toe was turning purple. So now both feet have stubbed toes! I still have no feeling in the toe I stubbed on my right foot! That one I stubbed twice, on the same immovable object in my basement, two days apart. That was nearly two weeks ago! As two of my Twitter friends say: #FFS.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Play date!

  This evening, I had a play date with my favorite indie dyer/knitter and her Cherub! We just hung around together at her house, while I knitted, and she played on the computer and her new phone. Cherub also played on the new phone too, then got interested in showing me how she does her doll's hair, the washing, and styling, etc. She had a good time doing it, too. She even made a show out of it! After a while, she stopped and played Angry Birds on the phone again. Kim then picked up her knitting, and we were off to the races once again. To make a good time even better, she gave me some Malibrigo out of her stash! I am so thrilled! Thanks, Hon!!
  I had a very stressful few days, in which not a single person answered any of my text messages! I thought either 1. they were mad at me for some reason, or 2. my phone was broken... I decided to go on Twitter and she what one friend was up to, which is how I learned she was having severe phone problems!  So that answered one question! The other friend was busy working, or not having her phone on her.  I feel much better now that I've had some Kim time, and tomorrow I have some Bonny time!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blah, blah, blah

   What a nice day today! It was raining this morning, which got me a wet topless Jeep! Apparently it rained overnight, which it wasn't supposed to do... But after Hubs got home from work, and it started raining again, we went out and put the cover on my beloved Jeep. This time parking him under his tree didn't help much! He was wet inside, but I think it was hot enough later in the day that he could dry out.
   So I got to spend the day with Hubs, since he couldn't get to sleep this morning. We hung out down at the pool; he vacuumed, and I watched. After he was done, he came swimming with me. I waited so long for him to vacuum, my fingers were pruney!
   After we were all cooled off, we came back upstairs and watched tv. He watched in the bedroom, and I watched in the living room. I cooked supper early, so he could get to sleep. I made two pounds of bacon, which we made into sandwiches. YUM! So hopefully he's asleep by now. Poor guy, he was up for more than 24 hours; he got up yesterday at 4 p.m. then worked 12 hours. It was his 5th day in a row!
   So now I get to watch what I want, as long as he stays asleep. But I'm getting hot again, I may need to go for another swim before long! One of these days I must tell you the story of how I met the man of my dreams! Later!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My knitting beginnings...

   Since I had some time today to actually sit down and knit, I got to thinking about how I started, who taught me, and what that was like. I was maybe 10 years old, in 4th or 5th grade when my grandmother taught me to knit. Being as she was such a kind and gentle teacher, I now refer to her as the Knitting Nazi.
   She only let me use the cheapest acrylic yarn she had, in the ugliest colors, and made me knit with pencils with thumbtacks stuck into the erasers, so as not to perhaps damage her precious knitting needles. I am not kidding.
   This woman, the mother of my mother, made the whole experience so unpleasant for me, that after knitting a small purse for a class project, I gave it up completely, and never looked back.
   In 1976, when I was pregnant for my own daughter, I taught myself to crochet, and continued to crochet for the next 34 years. Then I met another karate mom, Laura, who invited me to come to this little knitting group she belonged to. I went, once assured they would welcome a crocheter. What a great group of ladies they were! I was hooked. With their encouragement, I picked up a pair of knitting needles. It was like I had never put them down!
   Don't get me wrong, I still crochet. I am now working on another tire cover for my Jeep. A more manly one, in a camo yarn, so my Hubby won't be embarassed to drive it.
   Once I started knitting, I discovered the joy of wool. My friend and knitting mentor, Kim, introduced me to all the soft and wooly goodness of the different breeds of sheep, and the blends of wool with silk, and bamboo, and other things. Amazing! Now I even smell the yarns when I shop.
   I was flabbergasted to discover that crocheting used so much more yarn than knitting! So now when I knit, it's usually in wolly goodness, and when I crochet, I usually use acrylic yarn. I still love the machine washable-ness of acrylic.
   In the first year of knitting, I knit four (yes, 4) sweaters. The last one only took me 18 days from first cast on to last cast off.  Two of the sweaters were acrylic and two were wool.
   Over the winter, I knit my most ambitious sweater yet. I has knitted-in pockets, and shaping, and a (gasp) pleat in the back. I was very nervous, but pushed myself. I messed up the pleat a little, but it looks good anyway. I am very proud of how it came out, and can't wait for the cooler weather so I can wear it!
  I was going to say, my grandmother would be proud, but realized I don't really care, since I came to knitting this time despite her!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Update for today...

    Update! I did get to knit for a while this evening, I also crocheted for a while too. Sometimes it feels like I will never finish that tire cover for my Jeep...
   I also got to spend a little time with Jess before he leaves for vacation in the morning. Sometimes I can't believe he's 21 and all grown up. Seems like yesterday he was just a toddler.
   Now it's getting late, and I'm tired. Buh-bye!


   Ok, I confess. It was too freakin' hot to knit again today. I spent the day trying to keep cool, hanging out by the pool. It didn't really work. And was lonely. Nobody wanted to come swim in the nice, cool water and keep me company. On the positive side, my first crochet student is here, and I can't wait to see how she's doing so far!
   Now it's time to cook dinner for the boy and his wonderful girlfriend. He has no concept of "too hot to cook"... So I suffer in silence. Stay cool, and don't melt!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Didn't knit today!!

  What with all the excitement of the job interview, and the excessive heat, I didn't knit at all today! I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. However, I will make up for it tomorrow!
   I am also jazzed about something else. In a few days, there will, temporarily, be an empty bedroom in my house! This means I can finally get some blocking done! I have two shawls to be blocked so far, and I hope to have the third one ready soon. I guess I better get my ass in gear! These shawls don't knit themselves!
   It's still so hot and humid outside, at almost 11 p.m., I'm thinking about leaving the air conditioner on in the bedroom over night. It's almost time to turn off the one in the livig room. And for goodness sake, don't let me forget to check the water level in the pool! I had to put the hose in it a couple of hours ago, when I turned the filter on. Hubs suggested running the filter at night to save electricity. When I turned it on, the skimmer was sucking air, which isn't good. Now I need to go check the water level, so I'll say good night! Hope to have a productive day tomorrow! Stay cool!

Job interview...

  It didn't start off too great. I got to the store a little early, so I could cool off in the a.c. before the interview. At the appointed time, I presented myself to the cashier, who paged the gentleman I was supposed to see. He told her to tell me to go back to the classroom, he would meet me there. I ended up waiting nearly 20 minutes for this guy, getting really annoyed, thinking it was a test of some sort, watching me to see what I would do... Then I thought he didn't want to interview me because he saw the head scarf, and was waiting for me to give up and leave.... When he finally came, he apologised, there had been a customer emergency, she had lost something valuable and was freaking out. Whatever. He is looking to replace some college students who will be going back to school next month, and remembered my application because I was available all hours, every day. So now I wait for him to call me sometime next month.
   As long as I was down there, I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up an application from them too. Might as well, right? 'Cause if I'm not crocheting or knitting, I'm reading!! While I was there, I scored a copy of Llewellyns 2012 Magical Almanac. I can't wait to crack it open and see what's going on in there!
    Now, if y'all will excuse me, the Club Scheffler pool is callin' to me!  I need to cool down and relax a bit. Driving the Jeep, even with the top down, was a bit like riding through Hell, it's that hot out there! Stay cool, everybody!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Job interview

   So, tomorrow, on the hottest day of the year (so far), I have a job interview, right smack in the middle of the heat index warning time frame. I plan on zipping down there in the topless Jeep, then zipping home as fast as I can to my swim suit, nice cool pool, and tall glass of iced tea! I promise, I will keep you updated on the results.....

From poolside

  Coming to you today from poolside, it's ME! It's too freakin' hot to go anywhere, or do anything, even though it's just shy of noon. I got to spend a pleasant hour with my favorite dyer/knitter this morning, as Cherub took karate class. Her esteemed instructor is MY cherub, fyi. Some, nay many, would argue that he is no cherub. In fact he's all grown up, much to my dismay. But I digress.
   Todays thoughts will be focused on a book that I purchased in a reputable book store, several years ago. I searched for it this morning, and couldn't find it; I wanted to give you the exact title and author. It is a trilogy of books put together into a single volume. It is about werewolves, and all that. I started reading it, and I doubt I got further than maybe 50 or 100 pages. I was really getting annoyed at the book/author. It was not coherent, the story line went rambling off in wierd directions, and worst of all, words were misspelled. A totally unforgivable sin, as far as I am concerned!
   It was reading like it was very badly translated from another language, perhaps German, as the authors name seemed germanic; or was written by a pre-pubescent person! Either way, it seemed very badly edited. I found the publishers info, and sent them off an email, with my comments and questions. To this day, I have yet to receive and answer or acknowledgement.
   My thought at the time was to force myself to read the book, use diferent colored highighters to highlight the errors in grammar, spelling, story line, etc., and perhaps send it back to the publisher for comment. Either that, or use it as a sort of resume of my own proof-reading skills.
   I put the book aside, and now it's not to be found. obviously, it's still on my mind.
Rave for today is done!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Doctor visit and more!

   I went to the Doctor this afternoon. My shoulder has been acting up for quite a while now, and I figured it's finally time to have it checked.  I also wanted him to check my foot, the one I stubbed twice last week? No bones are broken in my foot, which is good. I do need to see the Orthopedics doctor, though. Not really looking forward to that.  
   After I left the doctor's office, finally, I stopped at the pharmacy to drop off all our new scrips. When I got home, as a matter of habit, I check the answering machine, just to see if anybody called while I was out. Usually, no one calls, ever. Today was different! It was someone calling me for a job interview! I will call back tomorrow morning, and see what happens. My first job interview since the one for MiCrus/Philips/NXP, which was in 1995, I believe....Holy Shit, Batman! I will keep you updated on what happens...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spinning group

Today was spinning group day at the library in Clinton. I always have fun there, the ladies and few gentlemen who attend are always entertaining. Today we were missing quite a few people, but managed to enjoy ourselves anyway. I was surprised to see only one person was actually spinning today! There were three crocheters, four knitters, and the lone spinner! Our two gentlemen were split, one was knitting and one was crocheting.  There is always lively conversation when these delightful people get together. I love hearing the sheep owners talk about their sheep, and the adventures they have while caring for them. I am just sorry it's only once a month....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I get a real kick...

I have to say, I get a real kick out of people telling me that they like my crocheted tire cover on my Jeep! Three times yesterday, while driving in traffic, and stopped at red lights, people rolled down their windows, and told me they loved it! Then they asked me if I made it, and of course I got to say yes! It always makes me smile....

Shawl update and more

   I am very happy to report that I successfully wound that second hank of Malabrigo sock yarn into a nice, neat ball. I was worried, I thought I had tried to wind it once before with no success, but I must have been mistaken. I also successfully spit-spliced the new yarn to the old one. I do love a good spit-splice, no nasty ends to weave in later. I was also successful in finding a skein of purple sock yarn to finish the shawl off with!
   All in all, it was a good day yesterday. Went to Barnes and Noble to finally get my hardcover copy of Hit List, the newest book by my favorite author, Laurell K. Hamilton. It's the 20th book in my favorite series, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. Now I have them all in hard cover *and* on my nook!
   Today, I am attending a Pampered Chef party at my daughter's house, then coming home to relax by the nice, cool pool. Have a great Sunday, everyone!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Birthday party!

I went to my friend Bonny's grandchild's 1st birthday party today! He is such a cutie. It was just too hot, and my face hurt from the dentist yesterday, so I didn't get to stay as long as I wanted to. Even though it's not his actual birthday yet, Happy Birthday, Miles!!
The most surprising thing is that I brought my knitting, but I didn't whip it out! It was that hot!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Yarn Anon...

If you have more than one yarn stash, you might be a yarnaholic. I actually have two stashes, one here at my house, and one hidden at my friend Bonny's house... I think I may need to start a chapter of Yarnaholics Anonymous... The Hyde Park Posse rules!!

Back from the dentist...

So I just got back from the dentist. It was totally pain free, for once, and I was in and out quickly. Now I can go sit in the sun, and knit for a while! My 2nd Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi shawl is coming along nicely. I decided to throw in a row of YO, K2tog after every 6th row. Towards the end, I may switch that to every 3rd row, to make it more lacey. We shall see. I still need to wind the 2nd hank of the Malabrigo sock yarn that I'm using into a ball. I have a feeling that I tried once already, and it didn't go very well. I may need expert help with this one.

Some things that annoy me!

1. Here in our quaint little town, there is a Post Office. At this Post Office, there is a parking lot, with parking on both sides of this wide cement thing. People, this wide cement thing is called a SIDEWALK. Please use it for walking to and from your car, instead of walking in the traffic lane. Especially if you have children with you!
2. When exiting said parking lot of said Post Office, there is a STOP SIGN and a cross walk for people, walking to and from their cars. Hardly anyone stops for this stop sign, thinking it should be on the actual corner. It's not that difficult, people, STOP TWICE!! Once for the cross walk, then move up to the corner, and STOP AGAIN looking for traffic coming from either direction.
I feel better already! Thanks for listening...

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Welcome fellow crafters, I'm Kim. I knit and crochet, and laughingly refer to myself as bicraftual.  I worked part time for a while, after being without a job for over three years.  I'd like to tell you about my adventures in life and crafting, as well as things that I find irksome or noteworthy. I hope you find my stories amusing!