Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I am back from the brink of death

   I didn't blog yesterday, as you may have noticed. I was busy, having nasty liquids shooting out of both ends of me, at the same time. All day. It started late at night, I woke up with a tummy ache, and couldn't get back to sleep.

   Little did I know that within hours I would be begging for death. At one point, I asked Hubs to look up on the internet to see if there is anything I could take that will help. He came back and told me, NO, don't take anything, you just have to ride it through to the end. Thus, I have experienced the dreaded NoroVirus. How can an illness named after a gorgeous yarn be so awful? I am calling it The Yarn Flu. I had to ask my parents to find other sitters for two days. Hopefully I will be able to go back tomorrow.

   I finally feel better, but still very weak. I knew I was over the worst of it when I could finally keep down the water I'd been drinking to avoid dehydration. Then, I kept down the few pretzel sticks I got from Hubs. This morning, when I got out of bed, I made myself a glass of 1/2 OJ and 1/2 ginger ale.  And I made some chicken noodle soup for lunch. So far, so good.

   So soon, it will be back to normal activities. But for now, I think I need a nap.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Make the phone call? Oh, yes, I did!

   After getting that wrong number, with it's touching message on my answering machine, I thought long and hard about returning the call. I really wanted to let that poor sweet old woman know her heart-felt message didn't reach who she thought it did.

   So today, I returned the call. I had to rehearse what I was going to say. I had decided to tell her that Hubs and I were away for a few days, that was why I was just now letting her know.  I listened to her massage on my machine again, I had saved it. Hubs hadn't heard it yet, so when I played it for him today, even he said I have to call her back. And it's a good thing I listened to it again, because she says her name and the name of the friend she called.

   Anyway, when I called, I got her answering machine. I told her that my name is Kim, and she doesn't know me, but when she called her friend Martha last week, she dialed a wrong number and left her message on my answering machine. I wanted her to know, so she could call Martha again.

    I feel so much better, my mind is at ease at last.  Now maybe I can get some decent sleep. Now it's tome for a nap... either that, or some coffee!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Family Birthday Party

   Saturday, February 25th was my granddaughter's 4th birthday. She had a big party at some "bouncy place" up in Kingston, with all her friends and younger cousins. Today, Sunday the 26th, we had a small get together in her honor at my mom's house. There were presents galore, and after we all went out to lunch, we had dessert at great-grandma Mary Lou's. She had cupcakes and mini ice cream sandwiches.

   Chloe's little brother Mason was getting tired, it was past his nap time, so shortly after dessert, they gathered up all the presents and took them to their new home. We had a very nice time. It was so good to see my eldest son, James and his lovely wife, Jessica. I can't believe their first born is 4 already. Heck, I can't believe my youngest is 22! So here are some photos of my son, daughter in law, and their two adorable kids.

   I am exhausted after hanging with them for just a little while! I also got to go to Out of the Loop, my favorite yarn store down Fishkill way. Now that we are back up here in Hyde Park, I don't get to go there as often as I'd like. I took my camera, I wanted to get some photos of the store for my blog. But the owner, Theresa, wasn't there today to give permission, so I will have to save that for another visit. I wand to do an extensive write up of the store, complete with photos.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

An Ethical Question

   The other day, when I got home from babysitting, I checked the answering machine. I always check it, it's a habit. You never know when someone will call. Usually, no one ever calls us, or they don't leave a message. Almost all the calls we get on our home phone are from telemarketers.

   Anyway, the other day, there was a message on the machine, so I listened to it. I quickly realized that it was a wrong number. But the old lady who left the message didn't know that. I listened as she rambled on about how good it was to hear from who she thought she was leaving the message for, and how excited she was to get the card. How she thinks of her often, and still keeps in touch with Blah Blah, etc. etc. etc.

   I felt really bad that this poor woman's message didn't get to her intended recipient. I wonder if she will get angry that her call wasn't returned. I wonder if I should call her back, and tell her she left her message on someone else's answering machine. And I guess that is my question: Should I call her back? Wouldn't that be the nice thing to do? I am in a quandary here. I probably won't call her back, but I wonder what will happen if I don't tell her, so she can call the right number.

   I can imagine that old lady #1 gets annoyed at old lady #2. So she calls her again, this time getting the right number. "Why didn't you call me back?" "You never called me..." You can see where this goes. Or, O.L.#2 gets annoyed at O.L.#1 for not responding to the card she sent, so she calls. Hopefully she gets the right number. "I didn't hear from you after I sent you that nice card!" "I sure did, I called you right away!" "You did not, I never got a call from you!" Either way, it gets ugly.

   Would I be responsible for the end of this long time friendship? On the other hand, should I care? And just for illustrative purposes, here is a photo of two old ladies, my mother, on the left, and my daughter Sara's husband's grandmother on the right. They have become close friend since their grandkids married each other!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stitch n Bitch Report

   Today's Stitch n Bitch meeting was delayed for two hours, because school was delayed two hours, due to the snowfall we got last night. We had a good time anyway, and got to eat lunch instead of breakfast. That was nice.

   There were only three of us today, Jan, Kim and myself. Jan was working on her beaded shawl, I chose to keep working on Samantha's scarf, and Kim was working on a super secret test knit shawl pattern for our pal, ObliviousKnits.

  I took my camera with me, as I wanted to get a few shots of Cranberry's. That's where we meet. It turns out I couldn't get an outside shot due to the rainy weather, but I did get a good shot of part of the inside.

   That's Jan at the counter ordering her sandwich. It's a really nice, homey place. I was concerned that we would interfere with the lunch crowd, but I think the weather kept some people away. They make their own baked goods which are really delicious. If you are ever traveling through Hyde Park, do stop by, the food is good.

It Has Weathered Outside!

   I woke up at 5 a.m. and made a bathroom run. I did notice that, even though it was still dark, there seemed to be white outside. On my way back to bed, I detoured to the front door, and took a look outside. It turns out that it had snowed during the night. Bummer!

   I truly detest Winter weather. Snow is my enemy. Thank the Goddess there isn't much, maybe an inch, and it will be getting warm later, enough to melt all this nasty white stuff.

  I went back to bed, but couldn't get back to sleep. I gave up at 6:30. I got up, started my coffee, and headed down to the basement. There was a load of Hubs' socks in the dryer, so I needed to get them sorted. On the way, I grabbed my camera. I started the dryer, to warm up the socks, then headed out to take a few photos of the snow in the trees. Being that it was still kind of dark, the photos are on the dark side.

   But just so I can prove that we actually got some snow this Winter, Here are the photos....

Here is one I took out the front door, when I first got up:

   And this one is of our little wood pile. It's what is left of the Tulip tree that we had cut down a few months ago...

   Now the sun is up, and soon the snow will melt. In about an hour, I will head out to Stitch n Bitch, which had a two hour delay, since local schools were delayed for two hours. So today's get-together will be a luch instead of a breakfast. It's been a while since I had lunch at Cranberry's. I am looking forward to that. I will also be taking my camera, and will ask if I can take a few photos.

   Look for my report, as well as photos, tomorrow!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Week's Craft Report

   This week, I have started knitting again. I got a wake up call from friend Bonny, her daughter is wondering where her scarf is, and if it's done yet. Yikes, Winter is almost over, and the poor girl doesn't have her scarf yet!

   So I took my knitting babysitting with me. When Malia is napping, I can knit. Yesterday, she slept for  2 1/2 hours. I knit for one hour. I couldn't take any more than an hour. Today, she slept again for 2 1/2 hours. And again, I knit for one hour.

   For the last week or so, I have had pain in my right shoulder; no matter what I do, moving, or stretching, it still hurts. I was thinking it's happening while I'm sleeping. However, after knitting for the hour today, I started noticing that the pain is less in my shoulder. How about that!! My shoulder hurts because I'm not knitting!

   Needless to say, I shall be knitting more in the next few days. I really want this scarf done. There are so many other things I have as WIPs. They need to be finished. Then I want to start on my two-at-a-time-on-circular-needles socks. I am really looking forward to that. And tomorrow is Stitch n Bitch!

  I haven't seen Kim or Bonny, or any of my knitting ladies, since last friday. It's been lonely. I didn't sit for my older charge this week, since both she and her mom, my good friend Kim, were both sick. I hear that they are better now, so I hope Kim can make Stitch n Bitch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

   This post was brought on yesterday, by a thought that I had about my three kids. That if Jesse had waited just a few more months to be born, I would have given birth in three different decades. It just got me thinking about them when they were babies and what they were like.

    My first child was a daughter, Sara Beth, was born in 1976. It was a good time. She was an awesome and perfect baby. She was good natured, and did everything right on schedule. She had lots of love from me and from her grandparents. She was the apple of our eye. All my friends loved her. One of my favorite memories happened a few weeks after she was born. My best friend was away at college upstate when Sara was born, and she was very upset that she missed it. I did call her when I was in labor, though, and she couldn't believe I did that.

   When Christmas break finally came, she rushed home. Sara was sleeping on the foot of my bed. Beth rushes in and throws her down coat over the foot of my bed, and demands to know where is the baby?? I just stared at her, open mouthed, and finally said, "Under your coat...." . She was absolutely mortified. I still chuckle over that one.

   Second child James Paul was born in 1981. He was a sweet baby, who cried a lot, even though he wasn't colicky. He lost a lot of his hair and looked just like his dad's father. It grew back, fortunately. When he crawled, it was a different crawl. He crawled just like a commando, like he had a rifle nestled in his arms. He used his elbows. Try and picture it. It was funny.

   Now, my third child, Jesse Michael, was born in 1989. He was a very happy baby. He had heard his dad and me laugh all through my pregnancy. He knew his dads voice, and his snore soothed him. Now, Jess had the most unusual crawl of all. He didn't crawl, he rolled wherever he wanted to go. I had read and heard about this, but Jesse was the only child I have ever witnessed who got around this way.

   And now they are all grown up. Where did the time go? James is a dad himself, to two beautiful children. I hope he has memories of them that make him smile. Sara just got married in August 2010, and there are no babies yet. I keep hoping, silently of course, No pressure from me. She has always done things in her own time. And Jesse? He's still at home, but is looking for his own place. He is welcome to stay at home as long as he needs to. He is in a long term relationship with a smart, terrific and wonderful young woman.

   Sara is a teacher, James is a mechanic, and Jesse is a karate instructor. So I guess he's a teacher too. I love when they get together and I hear them talking about their kids. It makes me happy to have three such wonderful, successful kids.

  From left to right, this is Jesse, Sara and James. This photo is a few years old now, but it works.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's time to meet my charges!

    I am now officially a babysitter! I have two babysitting jobs, for two very different young ladies. The first job is two mornings a week, from 6:30 - 8:30 a.m. It's hard to get up for that one! I watch a 9 year old and help her get ready for school. Gotta make sure she gets all her stuff done. She is an awesome kid. This is Miss Melanie:

   She is a 1st degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Do, and a student of my son's. That is how I met her and her mom, actually. Her mom runs the knitting group that accepted myself and my friend Bonny, even though we were  >shudder<  crocheters. We have had lots of fun!

   My other charge is a five day a week gig, from 11:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. This little girl is just 13 months old. She is as cute as the proverbial button. She really is a good natured baby, not screaming for attention all the time. She plays really well by herself, and manages to keep herself entertained.

   I've known her dad for a long time. When I heard that they needed a sitter for their little girl, I offered my services. So far, it's been working out very well. She really is very good natured, and as you may have read, I am trying to teach her to whistle.

   With permission from both of her parents, here is a photo of her, sound asleep. This is how she was when I got there that day. Meet Miss Malia:

And this is the face I saw after she woke up:                                          

     Does it get any cuter than that?  Anybody that messes with my charges is gonna have to answer to me!  Although I think that Miss Melanie can take care of herself!                                                                                             

Monday, February 20, 2012

Did I take my meds??

   I often find myself asking this question. Let me explain. When you have a chronic medical condition, it can require taking your meds every day at the same time, or even more than once a day. Mine happens to be twice a day, which means every 12 hours.

   Sometimes, the time for meds comes and goes, and I really can't remember whether I took them or not! This just happened today, so it's on my mind. I swear, I think I took them around 10 or 10:30. But it's almost 12 now, and I don't remember if I really did take them or not.  Its really strange; it gets to be routine, you don't even think about it. That is why I usually try to take special notice of the time, for instance, or something else to remind me. If I forget, I can take a few breaths and usually tell: if I can breathe, it means I took them.

   Most of the time, Hubs is there, and I can ask him if I took them. Today, he's already gone to bed, and I really don't want to wake him up just to ask him that. He tends to be cranky under those kind of conditions. For some reason, today I can't tell just by breathing, whether or not I actually took my meds.

   I took my pills, possibly for the second time. I stopped myself just before I took the inhalers. I am not sure what could happen if I take my meds twice. It could be bad. And I certainly don't want to over medicate myself!

  This seems to happen mostly on days when I have no plans, nothing to do. Like today. And since I will not be terribly active today, it's not a problem if I didn't take them. When I am more active, it becomes clear pretty quickly if I forgot to take my meds. After all, breathing is not optional.

   It's now just past 5 p.m. When I woke Hubs up, I remembered to ask him about my meds. He says that I didn't take them. I told him I thought I took them after he went in to go to bed. He says he heard me coughing, but not the cough I usually get from the inhalers. I can now pretty much tell that I didn't in fact take my inhalers this morning. It's harder to breathe that it should be. 

   Like I said earlier, I'm supposed to take the inhalers twice a day. Since I have been out of work, I've only been taking them once a day, in the mornings. I am sleeping at night now, not working, so I don't need them as much. If, in fact, it gets too hard to breathe tonight, then I will do them, but I usually just do them in the morning. If I forget, it can usually wait until the next day.
   I am currently taking two pills, once a day, and the two inhalers. It used to be three pills, but my doctor and I discussed it, and decided to stop taking the third one. It was pretty expensive, and I wasn't really sure it was helping. We decided I should try not taking it for a while, and if I discovered I needed it, I could call him. So far, so good. I haven't noticed a big difference without it.

   My favorite part of the day is about 10 to 20 minutes after I inhale my meds, I can feel my lung capacity increasing, and it gets easier to breathe. I always say "AAHHH, breathing is good!"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Downton Abbey

   Lately, as you know, I have been watching Netflix quite a bit. Recently, I have been able to indulge in absolutely sinful marathons of shows and movies that no one else in my house will watch. I began with Doctor Who, of course, and got all caught up with some of the newer episodes I missed. Some of the David Tennant years, at least the ones that are on Netflix.

   Then I moved on to Downton Abbey. It turned out that it wasn't about knitting at all. Although knitting was mentioned in one episode. But it was really good. Who would have imagined that servants could be so horrible? Now I just have to wait for season two to hit Netflix.

   After digesting that one, I then moved on to Torchwood. This Doctor Who spin-off is really very good! I had seen the newest version, Torchwood - Miracle Day, on one of our movie channels, Starz I think, but I really didn't like it much. The original from the U.K. really hit the spot. I watched all three seasons available, in two days. I am hooked.

   Especially the last ones, Children of Earth. I watched, horrified. I even cried at the end. What a sacrifice. I think I even cried because Jack didn't seem to care. Even though you know he did, because he cried too. Anyway, I highly recommend you watch this show, if you haven't seen it already.

  And just so you know, to make myself totally clear, I did my chores in between the episodes of all the shows I was watching. I wouldn't want you lot to think I just sit and watch TV all day...

   About once a week, I will go through all the movies and TV shows available and put the ones I might want to see in the Instant Queue. Then I can go through those, and choose which I want to view. That is where all the Doctor Who's are right now, even though I have seen most of them.

   There was one Doctor Who episode, from 1964, with the first Doctor, that I was really looking forward to watching. I started watching it on Super Bowl Sunday. I could only take it for about 45 minutes. It was really really bad. I do intend to finish watching it, however. I think I just need to be in the right mood. A mood where I can accept that Aztec warriors spoke with a British accent, and wore really bad, obviously fake, leopard fur garments, among other things.

   But last night, I watched a movie called Lunopolis. It's been sitting in the Instand Queue for quite a while now. It seems that I was in the mood for it. It was really very interesting! It had quite the premise. I really can't even begin to explain the plot, all I can say is this - if you can see it, then by all means do. It was fascinating. I may even have to watch it again, just to make sure I didn't miss anything.

   OK, my report is over, go about your business....


Friday, February 17, 2012

In Which We Have An Adventure

   Last night, my good buddy Kim and I went to our second meeting of the Spinning Guild, in Red Hook. It was very interesting, and I do believe that there are people there who can teach me to use the spinning wheel I was given.

   Kim's daughter, the Cherub, came with us as she has decided she wants to spin too. I brought my new spindle, but I didn't spin because it was a bit crowded, and there was not much elbow room. Everyone was really friendly, especially the ladies we already knew from the spinning group at the library.

   Neither of us can attend the library group anymore, since I am now working part time as a babysitter, and it's just too hard for Kim to stay awake for it. She works nights, and the meetings fall right in the middle of her work week. During the day, when she should be sleeping.

   Anyway, all the ladies we know from that group have been really glad to see us. It makes it easier to meet new people. And we are all crafters, after all. I have to say that it does my heart good to see people crocheting in this group.

   This month we officially joined the guild. I am impressed with us. I asked the president, who we also know from the library group, whether there is a secret handshake or something. He just laughed. So now we will get the official newsletter emails and such things.

   I am determined to practice with my new spindle so I won't embarrass myself at next months meeting. And I must remember that at some point I need to bring my wheel, so I can get instruction on how to use it!

   Oh, crap. I meant to save this for tomorrow, and I hit the publish button by accident. Oh well. If there's no post tomorrow, read this one again....

Here's how my day is going!

   So far, today sucks. And I've only been up a couple of hours. Hubs started my day off nicely, storming into the bedroom, and not speaking to me. I could tell he was in a foul mood, somehow.  I got up and started my day by washing some dishes, hoping this would soothe him into submission.

  Instead, he went to bed early. He was very tired, since he woke up really early yesterday. I hope he sleeps better today. I have laundry to do, which I will attend to in between episodes of Torchwood.

   I have worked my way through the entire first season, and am into the second season now. There are actually a few episodes that I have somehow already seen of this season, so I'm skipping those. I am really liking it.

   I have already worked my way through the entire first season of Downton Abbey too. The second season is playing now on regular TV. I can't seem to catch it, so I will probably have to wait until it's available on Netflix. I think I'd rather watch them all in one or two marathons anyway.

   Well, I guess I better get back to work, I have dishes to put away and more to wash. And the microwave needs cleaning, and then there's the laundry.....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Here, It's Here!

   Yesterday morning, I went and checked the mail at the Post Office. We don't get the mail at our house, our mailbox is across the street. It's absolutely treacherous to cross the road, so we got a Post Office box when we moved here. It's right down the road, so it's close.

   Waiting for me was a package! And in it was my beautiful new drop spindle! It is so very pretty, all pink and sparkly. And there was some fiber in the bag as well, I can't wait to get started. My spinning coach has a sick child, so I can't go see her, or I will get sick too. I was waiting until Stitch n Bitch this Friday, but it has been canceled because there is no school that day, and some of our members have elementary school age kiddies.

   So it seems I must resort to YouTube for an instructional video on how to get started. The problem is that on the now-lost spindle, my buddy Kim started it for me, and I didn't watch her do it. So this time, I am on my own.

   I have already done a search, and there are several videos that look like they could be useful to me.  I started to watch one, but it was for a bottom whorl spindle, and mine is a top whorl. So I will keep looking. I'm thinking that this will be fun!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here's What is Going on!

   Earlier today I published a post that I have been writing a little at a time. This was out of sheer desperation, since I have had no ideas about what to write. I even sat on the couch with a sick 9 year old, asking her what I should write. This is the ultimate in desperation, don't you think? Her idea was to interview somebody.

   I have no desire to interview anyone, I wouldn't even have any idea what questions to ask them. I am finding it hard to believe that I have run out of stories! I know that I haven't, I just don't have any in my mind that need to be told right now. In a way, this really sucks.

   I just hope I am not disappointing you, my dear readers. I am sure that soon enough I will be back on my feed, and all my stories will be begging to be told once again. Until that time, I shall be reading my new book about how to knit two socks at once on one circular needle. I shall probably even attempt to do it. I shall be sure to report to you here, all about it, and probably provide humorous photos too.

   So if you don't hear from me for a few days, that is what is going on. My stories are hiding, and I can't think of anything to write about. Except that in a little while, I can go to the post office, and see if my new spindle has been delivered to me! Then I can start spinning again. Woot!


Random Life Moments

   I love to watch the Food Network, most of the cooking shows. Giada, Ina, The Neeley's, And especially Paula. They inspire me to cook. But what usually happens is I get inspired, walk into my kitchen, open my pantry, and there's nothing in there to work with. At least, nothing they were using! So I just shake my head, close the door, and walk away.

   I've been holding onto this story for a while, it might be difficult to put into written words. It's hysterical when spoken, I hope it translates well into print.
   Back when I still had some hair, I was at my hairdressers shop to have it trimmed way down. In the next chair, there was a little girl, maybe 10 years old, with long blonde hair. She had just had a perm, and they were putting the finishing touches on her. She watched me as I sat down, and pulled off my hat. George set to work with his scissors. I had very obvious, very large, bald spots. As she was leaving, the little girl asked George, "What happened to her hair?". Well, George, with a completely straight face, said to her "Well, it all started when she got a perm...." !! He is just too funny, but he did tell her that it wasn't true, he was fibbing.  (Never mind that I wondered what kind of parents she had, to let her get a perm at such a young age!)

    I just now had a thought, that when we were in high school, my friend Beth used to call me the earth mother. It seems the older I get, the more earthy I become. I'm crafting now with more natural fibers, knitting and spinning with wool. I even have a spinning wheel now, even though I haven't used it yet.

    I love my Hubs dearly. And he is pretty handy around the house. One day we were at a big box home improvement store, and I saw a dog house for sale. Wouldn't Otis love that? He wouldn't buy it. He said he could make one for less than the cost of that one.
   So he tried. It turned out he had to make two. The first one? It wasn't right, and he couldn't reuse the wood. He had to buy all new wood. SO, from that time til now, whenever we see something we want to buy, we laugh and he remarks, "I could build you one, for TWICE the price!"

   So we were sitting there at Spinning, and I decided to check out the refreshments.
  I reported back to Kim that they had cheese and crackers, and brownies, and peanut butter cookies. She asked me to bring her a brownie ON a peanut butter cookie, and I remarked that I thought a brownie between 2 peanut butter cookies, making a sammich, might be better!  She agreed, so off I went and returned with two sammiches. I was right, they were superior! Kim said that she thought that this was possibly the best idea ever...

   I have read somewhere, in an article of some kind, that dogs can be converted to a vegetarian diet. However, cats can't live on that kind of diet. They will die. I think this is perhaps yet another reason I prefer cats.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Teaching a Toddler to Whistle

   The other day, my littlest charge was standing there, playing with something, and I swear I heard the tiniest whistle come out of her. I watched, and as she breathed, she whistled a little more. It must have been just the way her tiny little lips were pursed as she concentrated on what she was doing.

   I whistled at her, and startled her. She started laughing and ran over to me, touching my lips, to do it again. So I did it again. She tried to imitate me, but by breathing in, instead of out. I leaned over in front of her, and whistled gently into her face, so she could feel the breath coming out of my mouth. She tried again, unsuccessfully.

   I have heard her whistle since then, just like the first time, very gently, and unintentionally. I am still encouraging her to do it on purpose. I think it would be awesome to teach her to whistle whenever she wanted to. I will keep trying.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Downton Abbey, and It's a Jeep Thing!

    Downton Abbey.  I have up to this point, watched six episodes of the first season. And I have to say, I really like it! They almost lost me in an early episode, when Cook gave Daisy a bowl of poisonous stuff and asked her to take it away, then, before she could do so, gave her another bowl of stuff to take up to have sprinkled on the family's food. That would have been just too much.

   Obviously, I figured everyone would get poisoned or very sick. I was relieved to see everything put to right, just in the nick of time. I have enjoyed every episode since! I am nearly through the first season. I can hardly wait to get some more time to myself so I can watch the rest!

   It's a Jeep Thing. Back when I got my Jeep for Christmas, in 2003, right away I noticed that when I drove it, other Jeep drivers would wave to me. Since then it has continued. It makes me smile every gosh darned time too.

   As I have traveled through many of the surrounding towns, villages and cities, I have noticed that there are trends in this. In some towns, other Jeep drivers will wave. In some, they won't. For instance, in the City of Poughkeepsie, they won't, but in the Town of Poughkeepsie they will. Wappingers Falls, they don't, Fishkill, they do! I am glad to say that here in Hyde Park, we do the wave.

   It's like the Harley Davidson thing, only with Jeeps. I look at it as a kind of solidarity salute. And as I said, it makes me smile.  When my daughter is riding with me, she asks, "Do you know him, or was that the Jeep wave?"

   I must be kind of well known around my little town, because on the occasions that I am driving my Hubs' truck, I have actually had people in other cars point at me, and gesture questioningly. Like they are asking me, "Where's your Jeep?" I really like that. I shrug, and wave back.  I do so love my Jeep!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm Starting to Watch a New Show

   I've heard that lots of knitters love Downton Abbey, and since it's on Netflix, I have decided to start watching it. I had begun the first episode when Hubs came out of the bedroom, deciding to sit with me.

   He recently left to go hunting with his friend Gene, so once again I am watching it. So far, so good. What this has to do with knitting, I have yet to discover. Hopefully someone in the show actually knits, or talks about it.

   I haven't much to say today, I'm afraid. I was knitting yesterday, and earlier today. I've been working on a bag to be felted, of my own design. The bottom is a crocheted circle, and then I picked up all the stitches around the circle, and am knitting in the round. I haven't yet decided how I am going to do the straps and such. For now I will just keep knitting and knitting.

   It was snowing when I got up this morning. It didn't amount to much, thank the Goddess! In fact, at this hour, it's all melted and gone. By the time I thought to get the camera, it was too late. They are forecasting more for this evening and tonight, but again, not much accumulation. With any luck, I shall get some photos of the snow in the trees, it's so pretty!

   There's something for you all to be looking forward to tomorrow, dear readers!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Good News Today!

   Today I got some good news, in fact two pieces of good news! My new spindle shipped today, and yesterday my new book shipped from! I ordered the book on how to knit socks two at a time on one long circular needle.

   I have tried many times to knit on double points, as I have documented here, and was very glad to see this book. I even made a special trip to Michaels craft store to buy a copy. They didn't have any. I then went to Barnes and Noble, and they didn't have any either. WTF?? Then, out of sheer desperation, I went to Joann Fabrics. I knew that they have some books, and thought I might get lucky.

   I didn't get lucky. So I gave up for a while. My thinking is this - if the universe wanted me to have the book, I would have found it that day. But it was still on my mind, so a few evenings ago, I went to and ordered it.

   Soon I will be knitting socks and fingerless mitts with the best of them! As far as the spindle goes, I re-read the email this evening, and it says that the spindle has shipped, and it's on it's way to Lois. What I want to know is this - Who is this Lois? My name is Kim... just like the seller. That is one of the reasons I bought from her! Like my Hubs said, as long as I had a logical reason.

   After my new spindle comes, I promise, I will post photos!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

In Which I Share Some of My Favorite Movies

   We all have favorite movies, the ones we watch over and over again. I have a few myself. The movie I am watching right now, for instance. It's called Red, and stars Bruce Willis, and a bunch of other older stars. Like Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Ernest Borgnine, and John Malkovich. One of the young actors is becoming one of my favorites. His name is Karl Urban. He's very yummy to look at. He was in two of the Jason Bourne movies. He was also in at least one of the Lord of the Rings movies too.

   Another of my favorites is called Oscar. This is a comedy starring Sylvester Stallone as a 1920's era gangster trying to go straight. It is very funny, with lots of twists and turns in the plot. I love the gangsters trying to act like servants. Hysterical.

   Hudson Hawk, also starring Bruce Willis, is another favorite movie in our house. We love to watch it again and again. Another is Goldmember, the third Austin Powers movie. We also have several cartoon kids movies on our list. The best one being Cars. To this day, I can't look at the new style school buses, their windshields look like the ones in the movie, and I think their eyes are going to blink and they're going to talk to me. It's freaky!

   Also high on our list is The Incredibles. On my personal list are the movies that Hubs doesn't like too much, like the Charlie Chan movies from the 1940's. I have also recently found a movie on Netflix that I like very much, it's called Daybreakers. It's about vampires, ten years after they take over. Humans are almost extinct, and the vamps are running out of blood. I highly recommend this movie, it's different from all the other vampire movies I have seen over the years.

   I'm guessing, that from my recent posts, you, my dear readers, can tell that I am still not knitting or crocheting. And for that I apologise. Hopefully I can get my ass back in gear soon. Hopefully once I get my new drop spindle, I will find it in myself to get back in the saddle.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's Time for a Rant

   This morning, I woke up, stumbled into the kitchen and started the coffee. I then fired up my laptop, as I had some crops on farmville that needed harvesting. I turn on the TV, I don't even know which channel that it's tuned to. But the show that is being broadcast is a documentary, debunking a certain book by a now famous author.

   Of course, I'm talking about The DaVinci Code, by Dan Brown. In turns I find it hysterical and extremely annoying that some people take it so seriously that they have to make documentaries about it, pointing out all the facts that Mr. Brown got wrong. I am here to tell you that this book was a work of fiction. Made up. Pretend. Not reality. Imaginary. Much like Harry Potter, in fact.

   There are other authors who write what is called "alternative history", in which something happens in the past to change how things are now. There is one I can think of, that I actually own, in which the South won the Civil War, and how different everything is now because of that. Do these authors have to endure multiple documentaries about how wrong everything they wrote about is? It is absurd.

   It seems that now, everything Mr. Brown writes will be subjected to such nonsense. Angels and Demons, for instance. There are documentaries debunking this book too. I do realize that people took the ideas in the books seriously, because they are about Christ, and the Catholic Church. And the Christians tend to take these things very seriously. But these books are listed as Fiction. They are very entertaining and enjoyable. I have read them more than once, in fact.

  I watched the documentaries as they, point by point, "fact" by "fact" showed that each point was not true, that he "got it wrong", the narrator says in a slightly snobby tone of voice. I feel like screaming at the TV "It's fiction, people!"...

   F. I. C. T. I. O. N. !! Get over it already!

  Ok, I think I'm done, it's all out of my system now. Later!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grocery Shopping on a Budget

   Way back when, when I was married to my first husband, grocery shopping was a nightmare. He gave me very little money to shop with, and I was expected to feed our family of four, as well as buy diapers and formula for our baby son.

   After that relationship ended, I swore I would never live that way again. I had to be careful, of course, but I bought what I wanted to buy. Then I met and married the man of my dreams. Between us, we made pretty good money. Of course, at first things were very difficult, but after a few years, things started to get better financially. I had a good job, and so did he.

   Unfortunately, his job caused him a great deal of stress. It took me a few years, three at least, to convince him to leave his job and try working in my field. I knew he had the mechanical ability as well as diagnostic skills to be in equipment maintenance. I worked in production. He made the the transition successfully. He had to start at less money, but I knew he would end up making much more.

   I was right. Within a year, he was in maintenance, and making more money than I was. Things were good. I didn't have to watch my pennies any more. I spent what I needed to on groceries.

   Lately, though, things are not so good. With the death of his mother in 2010, he inherited her house, and all the responsibilities that go with it. And I have been out of work for almost three years now.

   After my unemployment benefits ran out, I depended on him for grocery money. He was very generous, but it wasn't as much as I was used to spending. So I have had to cut back on things. Lately, I've gotten two steady babysitting jobs, and that money really helps. But it is difficult, everything is so expensive.

   I go to the store with my list of things we absolutely must have, and a secondary list of things to get if there is money left over. I keep a running total of money spent on the side of the list. When I reach near my limit, I am done shopping. This forces me to look at what things cost, which I didn't do before. If I needed it, I bought it. The other day, I was shocked to find that a loaf of bread costs nearly $4! When did that happen?

   I am finding, however, that this time, I am not resentful. I know it needs to be done. I usually cut back on the things I get for myself first. I haven't had my favorite ginger ale for several months now. But I have some cash from my sitting jobs, so I may go get me a twelve pack tomorrow. You gotta have priorities. We are eating a lot of chicken lately too. I will only buy beef if it's a really good sale. The day may yet come when we are back to eating pasta several times a week.

   It's not all bad, though. Things seem to be looking up. The economy seems to be improving. It didn't get as bad as I was afraid it would, back before we lost our jobs. Did you ever see a TV series, I think it was called Jeremiah? It was about society after a plague wiped out everyone over the age of 15. The premise wasn't what got to me, it was how society was restructured. Each town and city was independent of each other, with no central government. I was terrified that that was how our world was going to end up. If you get a chance, you should watch it. At least the first two seasons anyway. After that it got a little weird. I enjoyed watching Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Luke Perry, they are both pretty good eye candy.

   I must admit I am very glad I was wrong about what was going to happen. Although I think it still could.

Monday, February 6, 2012

In Which I Buy a New Drop Spindle

   My original drop spindle, a gift from a very good friend, is still missing in action. I was moved to go look on etsy for a new one. I looked and looked, page by page, and finally found one I loved. I am interested in a top whorl spindle, and it must have a notch for the yarn to be secured into.

   There are some really lovely examples out there. Lots of them I really liked, but I thought that they were just out of my price range. Some of them were square, which is cool because it won't roll away if dropped. Some were carved into snowflake-like shapes, which are really pretty, and have notches built, or carved, right into them.

  Some spindles have their whorls made of exotic things like glass, or stone, or even polymer clay! All of them were awesome. But the one that stole my heart is multi colored in sunset colors of red, orange and yellow, and also has sparkles on it. It even has not one but two notches in the whorl! And even better, it comes with a little bit of wool fiber to get started with.

   I am certainly not a proficient spinner, yet, but I am really looking forward to using this new spindle! I hope it comes in time to take it to the Spinning Guild meeting this month...  I promise, I will take photos of it when it comes!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

An Afternoon Induglence, Before the Big Game

   Today is the Super Bowl. This morning I went shopping, to get some chips and snacks for Hubs and son to munch on. To my surprise, the store actually had some chips left! I kind of figured that they would be sold out, or not have many left. I think it was good planning on their part, they probably over stocked on purpose.

  So I got our chips and salsa, as well as cheese and pepperoni to slice and put on crackers. These, we like to warm up in the microwave, the cheese is good, all melty. I bought the big tortilla chips, as well as regular potato chips, and some onion dip for Hubs. He doesn't like the chunky salsa.

   So until the game comes on, Hubs and I are getting to indulge in watching one of our favorite shows, Swamp People. We love it, these people are such characters. It's interesting to watch the dynamics of the different families, and how they pass their heritage and customs down to their children and grandchildren. And the fact that they are alligator hunters is a bonus. Fascinating.

   The show has been on all day, I love a good marathon. I haven't been watching all day, mind you. I did the dishes, and straightened up the living room for Hubs and son and Julie to watch the game. I get to go into another room to watch what I want. I was just asking Hubs if he thinks Jesse will let me go in his room, since he has Netflix in there. That way I can watch some of the Doctor Who episodes I have in the instant queue.

   On another topic all together, I have misplaced my drop spindle! I have been looking for days, and I can't find it anywhere. It's driving me nuts, I keep looking in the same places over and over again, like it's going to magically appear when I'm not looking. My house is not that big, there are only so many places it could be! I have also checked and rechecked all my craft bags, to no avail. I guess it's a good thing that I purchased a new one on etsy last night. In the meantime, I will just have to keep looking.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

An Afternoon of Doctor Who

  Today, I am getting to spend the whole afternoon watching Doctor Who episodes, old and newer, on Netflix. My beloved Hubs was working in the garage, doing the usual man-puttering, so I started out by watching an episode I found the other day. It's from 1972 and stars the first three Doctors! I am in Whovian geek heaven!

  After that, I watched a newer one with David Tennant. Now I am watching yet another newer one, I think it's the one where the newest Doctor enters the picture. It's called The End of Time.

  Hubs has taken to the bedroom and is watching TV in there. He doesn't care for Doctor Who. We only have Neflix in the living room, and in our son's room. I think he gets it through his PS3.

   Anyway. Last night, I ordered a pizza after visiting my friend Kim at karate. Her daughter, the Cherub, takes classes from my son, the instructor. Funnily enough, that's not how we met! Oops, I'm getting off topic. Back to the pizza.

   I asked for a pepperoni pizza, with all the pepperoni on one half of the pie. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? That simply means that one side of the pizza has 2X the meat of a usual 1/2 pepperoni pizza. Unfortunaltely, it got lost in translation between the girl who took my order and the man who made my pizza.

  I took it home without looking at it. I should have looked. Not that it would have made a difference. I ate it anyway, but I am not sure that I will order from them again, I thought the pizza kind of sucked. That is really too bad, as their pizza is usually very good. I don't know what the difference is, it just tasted different, and not as good as usual. And the crust was very much thinner than usual, too. It was all floppy and sloppy.

  Right now, Part 2 of Doctor Who is starting. It turns out that I have seen Part 1. So I have to go, I want to watch it. Many thanks for listening to me rant, yet again!

Friday, February 3, 2012

This Week's Stitch n Bitch Report

   Wow. That's all I can say. As of last night, we were down to two people for our breakfast and crafting weekly get-together. Bella has been spending all her time at the hospital, a family member's not well. Bonny's grandson is sick and hasn't slept, so neither did anyone else in the house. Kim's cherub was home sick from school yesterday, and running a fever last night.  I truly though that it would only be myself and Jan this morning.

   To my surprise, Kim was able to come! Then Bella walked in the door! After we were settled, Bonny came too! And to top it all off, Denise came as well! What a pleasure it was to see everyone! Especially when I thought it would only be Jan and me. It was so awesome to have all of us together.

   Bella has picked up her crochet hook and started practicing for a ripple afghan. Bonny was working on a new crocheted sweater for her grandson. Jan is still working on her gorgeous knitted shawl with tiny beads in it. Kim finished Cherub's hat. Denise was rocking the double pointed needles and working on a hat. Me? I am still chugging away on Samantha's scarf.

   After our session, Kim and I had a playdate. We went shopping and bought some stuff for a new venture we are going to try. If it works out, she will sell her stuff in her etsy store. Keep yor fingers crossed!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

   The topic for this post came to me earlier today. I was remembering what it is like to work nights, as my beloved Hubs still is. For a long time, we both were working nights, he was Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and I was Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. We alternated working Saturday nights. We worked this schedule because our son was still little, and this way one of us was always home with him. We didn't want to have to hire a sitter.

   Working at night is difficult, to say the least. It took me, literally, three years to get used to it. I worked my last night job for fourteen years. Hubs has been working nights for about thirteen years now. He is still adjusting. It totally fracks up your whole body, all of your systems get out of whack.

   But the worst part? Most people just don't get it. They insist on calling you when you are trying to sleep, even though you've explained to them, more than once, that you sleep from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Or thereabouts. I never slept for more than five hours when I was working. Hubs used to sleep from 8 to 4, but now it's less than that.

   I have to say that most of the world functions from 9 to 5, five days a week. Most of these people can not even fathom that someone might work an alternate schedule. But you know what? Those of us who do, or did, work nights did it for a reason. For me, it was for the extra money. That's right, they pay you more to work at night. Sometimes as much as 15% more.

   And there is usually much less stress working at night. All the big shots, and engineers, and those kinds of people work regular hours, 9 to 5 ish. So they were usually well and gone before we got there at 6 p.m. No big shots mucking up the works, no engineers wandering in, interrupting your work with their experiments.

   I used to have these fantasies about calling people at 1 or 2 a.m. and seeing how they like having their sleep disturbed. I'd ask them stupid questions, saying I just wanted to see how they are doing, etc. Do you think they might get the hint?

   It's even worse when it's your own management that doesn't get it. They schedule meetings, that you are required to attend, on your days off or during your sleep hours on days during your work week. Can you say "DUH" boys and girls?

   But it comes with the territory, and I guess it's our own fault because we chose to work this shift. But a little understanding goes a looooong way.  It also helps to have a blog where you get to vent on occasion.

   So those of you with friends or family who work nights, take pity of them. It's very difficult, and they are probably tired all the time as well as occasionally cranky. If they have asked you not to call at certain times, please do not call. trust me, they will appreciate it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

An Explanation of Perhaps My Biggest Quirk.

   My parents were both teachers, and I was always an avid reader. That may start to explain one of my quirks, one that I know drives at least one friend to distraction. I am an absolute nut about spelling, and the improper use of words. Specifically the homonyms like to, too and two; and their, there and they're. I know that there are more, but my mind isn't cooperating right now.

   It does drive me nuts. When I was on eBay, I wouldn't even buy anything from someone who couldn't bother to spell the words correctly. As soon as I saw a misspelled word, I stopped reading. Click, on the next one.

   Right now, I have a friend who is, I think, very unhappy with me. She will not use spell check, and doesn't care if her words are spelled correctly. She also constantly uses the wrong words, as mentioned in the first paragraph. In her case, it drives me especially nuts, because in my opinion, it makes her seem ignorant, when I know darn well that she's not!

   And I think that, right there, is the biggest thing for me. When words are misspelled, or the wrong word is used, it makes the person writing seem uneducated, or just plain ignorant.  I totally attribute my spelling skills to my avid reading. The more you read, the more you are exposed to different words and uses of words, as well as cultures and ideas.

   I believe I wrote a post, possibly last summer, about a book that was actually published, that was absolutely awful. It seemed like it was written by a ten year old. I couldn't even read it. I was moved to send an email to the publisher, it bothered me so much. I think it was because I paid good money for it, and it was like the proof reader turned it in with out even reading it!  The publisher never bothered to answer my email.

    OK, I'm done. Put me back in my cage now. It's time for another cuppa coffee...