Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Tale of the Blue Jeans

     A few weeks ago, my beloved Hubs mentioned that he needs new jeans, as all of his are ripping in inconvenient places. Last week, I was able to accompany a friend to the store where I buy his jeans. It's across the river, and I don't like to drive over there. Someday it might make an interesting post to explain exactly why.

     I bought Hubs three pairs of new jeans in the size I was pretty sure he wore. I also bought him lots of new T-shirts, as he's been complaining that his have been going missing. When I got home, I removed all tags and threw all the new clothes into the washing machine. When I brought them upstairs, I compared the new ones to the ones he's been wearing. Uh oh. The new ones are a size smaller.

     The next day, I mentioned to Hubs that I thought I might have gotten him the wrong size jeans. He agreed with me, that he's been wearing the next size up. As soon as I could, yesterday, I got another friend to drive across the river with me, and I bought three more pairs, in the bigger size.

     Now, I didn't return the first jeans. They had been washed, and their tags were thrown away. I couldn't get them out of the garbage, they already had coffee grounds on them. Bummer. I thought of it as sort of a pay back for all the times I spent money on food, cooked it, and it didn't get eaten.

     This time, I left the tags on the jeans, and didn't wash them first. I put them on the bed for Hubs to try on. Last night, after his shower, he tried on one of the first pairs I had bought. THEY FIT!!  Then he tried on the newer ones. They were too big. I think we were both surprised. Now I get to take back the second set of jeans, and he's keeping the first set.

    I might mention that Hubs only wears carpenter jeans, he likes the way they fit. Do you know how hard they are to find? I can pay about $30 a pair at a local hardware type store, or go to the big, unpopular chain store and pay $17 or $18 a pair. Which do you think I did? That's right. I saved some money.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Unexpected Reaction

    This coming weekend, my son is moving out of the house. He is my youngest child, the last to leave home. I thought I was ready. It turns out I am not. For some reason I am freaking out about it.

    This past weekend, he was in his room, packing his belongings into boxes. He came out of his room, shaking a little jar. He asked me if I wanted these. I asked him what they were... His answer surprised me, he said they were his baby teeth! I asked him why he still had them, and he said that I told him to save them.

    Later on, thinking about it, I wondered why, out of all the things in his life that I had told him to do, did he choose this one time to listen to me!

    I have no reason to worry about him, he will be fine. After all, he is more mature than his father and I put together! He is a 4th degree black belt! He is a certified Karate instructor! He has more self confidence than I ever dreamed possible. Maybe I am mourning the end of his childhood, and what this all means to me.

    After all, this is what parents are supposed to do, prepare their children for life as an adult. We are supposed to look forward to the empty nest. That means we parents can finally enjoy each others company, and relax, knowing we did our job well.

    What they don't tell you is that you now have a brand new set of worries and concerns about your kid. Is he eating well? Does he have enough money for his bills? And worst thought of all, will he want to move back home?

    I applaud his decision to move on. It may not be easy for me, but I know it's necessary. He won't be alone, he will be sharing the house with his girlfriend and another couple. And Graeme is a full fledged working paramedic, who wants to be a doctor. That makes me feel better, in case of a medical emergency. I think the neighbors feel good about that too. They have seen the ambulance parked in the driveway, during the renovations, as he checks in to see how things are going.

    So it will be a very emotional day for me, when he actually leaves. He will be taking our sectional with him, as well as the big fish tank, and the stand for it.  Recently, in anticipation of his moving, I bought a bottle of champagne for Hubs and I to share on Jesse's first night in the new house. I know that the kids have a bottle as well. We shall all toast to the future!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Doings

     Today is Memorial Day here in the U.S. The day we remember all the men and women who have fought and died for our freedom.  My dad was in the Air Force, he served in Korea. I thought about him today, as the float of veterans drove by, during our parade.

< insert photo here > (see paragraph 3)

    Every year, our town had two parades, one for Memorial Day and one for Independence Day.  Since he was 12, our son has been marching in the parades every year. He started as a member of the Demonstration Team for his karate school, and now he's the leader of the team. I sit with some other karate moms and we cheer for our kids as they go by.

< insert photo here >

    This morning, I was in a bit of a rush to get out of the house and totally forgot my camera. I was going to take photos of the parade today. Now I wish I hadn't forgotten it, as there were some new marchers in the parade. The Captain and crew of one the ships that is docked in NYC for fleet week made the trip up to march in our parade. I believe they were from the USS Roosevelt. Which makes sense, because FDR was from Hyde Park.

< insert photo here >

    We were extremely lucky to find space to sit under two great big shady trees. It is very hot today, the forecast was for over 90 degrees. We were nice and cool in the shade. All the poor marchers were drenched in sweat as they walked by. More than one marcher remarked how cool it was under our trees, and told their group to march slower!

    It looks like I shall have the house to myself for much of today, as Hubs has gone to Fishkill, and Jess headed down there after the parade. I don't even know if Hubs will be home for dinner! I am getting ready to make myself one of my big salads for lunch. There is some teriyaki marinated pork loin roast, left over, sitting in the fridge that will be delicious in it. My tummy growls just thinking about it!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Shawl Photo!


    I decided to take the Beast, formerly known as the Great Garter Stitch Monster, into my bedroom and take photos of it on the bed.  I also took measurements. I am now more than halfway done, and here is the photo:

       In order to get the best photo, I had to find something to stand on. I got out our really old step stool and took it into the bedroom. I think my shawl looks pretty good!

      As for the measurements, it is currently about 32 inches across the top, and at the halfway point, its 26 inches, therefore it will be 52 inches when finished (I hope). Also at the center point, it's about 27 inches deep.  I think the stripes look pretty good. I hate wasting yarn trying to match up the color changes. So the stripes are a little off.

    When I was writing this earlier, a thunderstorm started, and I got nervous, so I shut down. Now that it's over, I shall continue. I am glad it rained, I would have had to go out and water my two unplanted lilacs!

    I was knitting during the storm, and being as I'm a little tired, I made a mistake. AGAIN. So once again, I had to tink rows 1 and 8 because I forgot to do the cable cast on of the 6 stitches at the start of row 8. But I'm already through re-knitting those rows, so I'm over it.

   At this point I want to state that I was not intentionally being a snobby knitter when I challenged Kim about Venomous Tentacula. I was hoping to spur her on to finish it, really I was....


    Well, when Hubs got home from work this morning, it was still raining a little bit, so he decided not to plant my lilacs. We are currently watching The Glades, a show I really like when it was on the first time. I can't wait until next Sunday, when the new season starts.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lilac Update

    Today, as Hubs left for work, he told me that tomorrow morning, he would like to plant the two remaining lilac bushes. If the weather allows, that is. Personally, I think he should be out there even if it's a hurricane. Those poor lilacs have now been here almost two weeks. I think they might have given up on ever being planted in the ground!

     I did run outside yesterday and snap a photo of Miss Kim in her new position in the front yard.

       Behind her in the driveway, which goes down to the two car garage and the pool level. I think she's happy where she is, she gets full sun most of the day. The other two will get full sun until later in the afternoon than Miss Kim. According to their tags, full sun is what they want. We will do our best to make sure that they thrive, after all I waited 22 years for them.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The World's Best Salad!

    I'm having it for dinner, and I make it myself! First I need to search through the fridge and see what there is to go in my salad. Hmmm, there's some left over lamb chops, but they are too old, so I throw them away. I guess there's no meat this time. I have been known to chop up left over pork roast, or chicken, or even steak and put it in my salad.

    Out of the fridge I pull the bagged salad mix, the extra sharp cheddar cheese, and  the pineapple spears I bought for just this purpose. Also I grab the salad dressing, more on that later. And out comes the jar of chopped hazelnuts. I buy them in a bag and put them in the jar and keep them in the refrigerator. I also pull out the package of mixed fruit that Julie left here earlier this week. She won't mind if I steal a few pieces of melon, will she?

    Then it's on to the freezer! I pull out the chopped broccoli, but change my mind and switch it for the bag of peas. I thaw some in the microwave and throw them on top of the salad mix in the BIG bowl. Then I cut some cheese into little cubes and they get thrown on top too. Next I slice the pineapple spear lengthwise and then chop it up too, on it goes to the growing pile. I pull some cantaloupe and that green melon out of the package and chop them up too. Then I sprinkle some of the chopped hazelnuts over the whole thing.

   I have been known to use fresh strawberries in my salad, they really taste delicious, even with chunky blue cheese dressing! I just love putting fruit in my salads! Then I realize I forgot the croutons! So I turn around and pull them out of the cupboard, and dump a large handful on top of the whole mess.

    Now for my favorite salad dressing. I really really love Marie's Blue Cheese
Vinaigrette, it's one of my favorites! I also love Ken's Sweet Vidalia Onion. Then there's my fall back dressing, Marie's Chunky Blue Cheese.  And here is what it looks like!

    Now, if you will excuse me, it's time to eat!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Todays Craft Report and More!

      After putting the Beast up for a day, I am back working on it. Now that I'm nearly halfway done, I want to finish it very badly. During the one day that I didn't work on it, I picked up Sara's baby blanket, and finally finished picking up the stitches for the fourth side. I even knitted two or three rows.

    Then I wanted to work on the crocheted shawl that I had gotten so far on. It was sitting here on the couch, right next to me, when the hook decided to slide out of the stitch it was in, and roll down between sections of our sectional. It is not, at this time, retrievable. In the past, there was enough space there that I could put a yardstick down there and manage to push out to the front the things that were lost. Now the sections  are just too close together. That makes two hooks in the past two weeks that have decided to do that. And I don't have spares of those sizes any more.

    The good news is that in about a week, the sectional will be moving to Fishkill with the boy. At that time, I am looking forward to joyously reuniting with my lost hooks. I wonder what else has been lost down there? I know there is at least one pencil, and maybe a pair of small scissors. Probably at least one yarn needle will be found also. It will be much like Christmas when this sectional is finally out of here!

    That event will start the ball rolling on all the work to get done around here. We will move into Jesse's room, and do our bedroom over. We've had new bedroom furniture waiting for us in the basement for years. Also, the carpet in the living/dining rooms and short hallway will be coming up. It's very old and Hubs wants it gone.

    I am greatly looking forward to shopping for a new couch, or couches, or recliners or .... whatever we decide on!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Should I or Shouldn't I? Please Vote!

     I have been thinking lately. It seems some people only read my blog when it's not about knitting or crocheting, and some only read it when it is. I have been considering starting another blog altogether, and keeping the two separate. One for crafting, and one for life in general. I would really like to know what you, my readers, think about this. Please comment and let me know which you would prefer to read, or if you would read both.

    On another front, I am tired today. It was even worse yesterday. Yesterday was a really bad air day for me. On days like that, I get worn out just from the effort of breathing. It's not pretty. I try to do the things I want to do, but am not always successful. It was rainy and humid yesterday, and today thunderstorms are possible. Right now, it's sunny and nice, but that could change.

    I am tired because I was up at the ass crack of dawn again. Earlier than my alarm, even, which was set for 5:45!  I am such a good friend. And I still have another young lady to sit for today. It's a good thing she has been taking loooong naps for the last week or so. They have been averaging 2 1/2 hours! So I have been getting lots of knitting done while she naps.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tinking Again, and Various Other Things

    I should have known better than to start knitting before I've had my coffee, I really should. I pick up the Beast, and start knitting, looking at the row counter first to make sure of which row I was going to be working on. I went all the way across, and then all the way back, and UH-OH. I stop and look, suddenly confused. Something's not right...

    I look again at the row counter, which told me that row 5 had been the last row completed. But in my pre-coffee daze, I totally forgot to cable cast on the six stitches when I started row 6. After swearing quite a bit, I decided that this mistake needed to be tinked. I set to work, and after a while, in a shorter time than I expected, it was done. It was a bit difficult at times, but I did it.

   Then I went to work, and after Malia went down for her nap, I realized I forgot my written pattern. It really was okay, since I am at the point where the pattern is there just for emergencies. I actually remembered what to do, so I was good. I actually got several repeats done while the little princess slept.

    After babysitting, I was going to the grocery store, so I stopped at the credit union to check my balance. As I was leaving, I checked the time, and realized Kim and Cherub would be at karate very soon. So I drove there, it's in the same plaza as the credit union, but they weren't there yet. After waiting only a short time, they came in! So I got some more knitting done during karate class. THEN I finally made it to the grocery store and picked up the few things I needed.

    For dinner tonight, I am making a pork loin roast, rubbed with Gobs of Garlic from the Awesome store, garlic mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and maybe pork gravy. Very yummy! The garlic flavor seeps down into the meat, it's soooo good!

    Still no new photos of Miss Kim or the other lilac bushes, it's been raining all day. But at least I know that they are getting enough water! But with all this humidity it's very difficult to breathe. I am getting a complete workout just sitting on the couch trying to breathe. There are days like this, thankfully not too many.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Famous Knitter's Influence / Lilac Report

     I read the Yarn Harlot's blog, like many, many other people. She is highly amusing. In fact, she is one of the reasons I began my own blog. She had been blogging about a shawl, Wingspan, and how nice it was to knit. And like many, many other knitters, I went to Ravelry and downloaded the pattern. It was even free. 

     If I had had to frog "the beast" again, I was going to give up on it, and cast on Wingspan. But to my delight, I was able to make good progress with "the beast", and so Wingspan gets put in my queue, and will up up next. I am looking forward to it! I will have to see if I have enough of any one yarn in my stash to make it. Wouldn't it be a pity if I had to go and buy more yarn??

     After a week of languishing in her plastic pot, this evening Hubs finally got a chance to put Miss Kim in her new place in the front yard. We hope she will be very happy there, and thrive, and give me many years of gorgeous smelling blooms. No photos yet, as it was getting dark by the time we were finished. I just watched the weather report, and showers  are predicted for the next five days, so she should get plenty of water. Now I just need her sisters to get planted.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

In Which I Start "the Beast"

     The Beast referred to in the title is a shawl, Venomous Tentacula by Jennifer Dassau. It is all garter stitch, with cool holes in it made by binding off and then casting on in the next row. Very cool looking. My friend Kim was knitting this shawl and finished it a few days ago. She wrote about it in her blog, Ridiculous Knits.

   Being a fan of garter stitch myself, I thought I'd give it a try. Now, Kim had some problems with it, eventually getting the hang of the trickier parts. I sort of challenged her about it, saying I could do it. Of course, I had trouble too. I frogged it three times, and had to tink it more than once. But eventually, I got the hang of it too. It is a fun knit! I took a photo of my progress as of yesterday afternoon:

    See what I mean? It is cool looking. That's what appealed to me. I ended up staying up pretty late last night, knitting. I couldn't seem to put it down! Here is a photo I just took a little while ago, after working on it again this morning:

    See how much progress I've made? I'm really excited about it. Of course, I still have to finish the baby blanket, I got bored picking up stitches on the fourth side. I also made significant progress in the pentagram shawl I am crocheting. It seems that this particular shawl is addicting. It's done sideways. The first photo shows the knitting needle at the top, and in the second, it's on the right side, so the top of the shawl is at the top of the photo.

   Hopefully later today, Hubs will get my lilacs planted. I will take photos of that so you can see them in the ground. Miss Kim smells so pretty! I smelled her blooms when I watered her yesterday. I am so glad it's Spring!

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Search Has Ended!

    For a very long time, I have been searching for a good back scratcher. This sounds simple, doesn't it? Well, it's not so simple. Most back scratchers on the market are simply not satisfactory. A long time ago, I had the perfect one, it was a salad serving fork, red plastic, from Betty Crocker. I have since lost it. Hence my long, and until now, fruitless search.

    I have tried so many scratchers, it boggles the mind. Most are simply not sharp enough for me. I even suggested to Hubs that he could pound some nails into a board, and those points might, just might, be sharp enough to suit me.

   Well, ladies and gentlemen, today my search has come to an end. On a whim, I went into our local dollar store. I was actually looking for a kind of short, kind of wide, plastic tumbler. I have looked everywhere else, this place was my last hope. I found something usable, to my surprise. Just by chance, I walked through the kitchen utensil section of the store, and there it was! It was intended to be wooden spaghetti fork, but I saw perfect back scratcher.

   I admit it, I tried it out, right there in the store. I was pleasantly surprised, it actually worked, even through my T-shirt. I was very excited. I left the store with my two precious finds. And here is the photo of it. I haven't named it yet, but you know that I will!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Forgiveness, Progress and Lilacs

    The Great Yarn Goddess has forgiven me my arrogance, shortly after I wrote my last post, I picked up the crocheted shawl and figured out where I fracked up. Woud you like to know? It turned out the first group in the row had one too few stitches. So that put everything else off by one stitch. I fixed it, and it's been full steam ahead ever since.

    I even made some progress on the great garter stitch beastie shawl!  But I am still taking it easy with this one, and waiting for my audience with Her Majesty the Knitting Queen for direction. It would have been yesterday, Wednesday, but she sent me a text message that they weren't going to be at karate. So I put my house clothes back on and settled back into my crocheting. I can have patience when I need to, even if I need to wait until Friday's Stitch n Bitch session.

   Today I went outside and took photos of my new lilac bushes. Since it finally stopped raining, it was do-able. And here is Miss Kim:

    I have to say, after Hubs took her out of the truck, she looked okay. But the next day, she began to look very peaked. Her leaves were wilting, and she looked pretty sad. I am very happy to report, that with all the rain we had for two days, she has perked right up, as you can see in the photo! I was worried that we were going to lose her.

   Here is another lilac, I'm afraid I don't know their names. I was too mesmerized by Miss Kim:

   And here is the third one, she is lovely as well! You can't see in this photo, but she has blooms too, like Miss Kim.  You can also see that our lawn needs mowing, but when it rains on Hubs' says off, that can't get done.

    I am hoping that this weekend, Hubs can get all three new ladies planted! I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Frustrations and Abominations

     I did not get a chance to blog yesterday. Hubs and I ended up going to the Fishkill house "for a couple of hours" in the afternoon, and didn't get home until after 11 p.m. That said, the house is really coming along nicely! The bedrooms are painted and looking awesome, and the light grey paint looks terrific in the dining room. I was surprised how well it went with the floor, which is a tan linoleum tile, it turns out that there is a significant amount of grey in the tiles! Before the grey walls, you never noticed the grey in the floor. It really looks awesome.

    So the house is almost done, and ready for it's new tenants. They are all excited about it. The only major project left is the electrical work.  And that should happen soon, so we can still make the June 1st target date.

    Now for the crafting part of my story. It turns out that I pissed off both the knit and crochet Goddesses. My crocheted shawl project is stalled, the stitch count is off. Hard to do, since it's mesh, like filet crochet, and the design is filled in boxes in the mesh. Every series of filled in boxes ends up being an odd number of stitches, and in the third row of my chart, one of the series of filled in boxes has an even number of stitches.

   I have gone back and counted stitches in the previous rows, they are all correct. I don't get it. I have even put it down overnight and counted again the next day, hoping against hope that it would somehow correct itself. It has not worked. Color me disappointed.

    Last week, I opened my big mouth and told an expert knitter that I could make the shawl that she was making and not have so much trouble with it. I think you can guess what is happening. This shawl is also kicking my ass, and making me doubt that I even know how to knit. So far, I have frogged it 3times. I started the fourth attempt, and am currently awaiting an audience with her Majesty for advice.

    So at this point, I need to re-learn how to count, to crochet, to interpret a crochet chart, and to trust my friends. But I really like the knitted shawl, I hope to overcome my obstacles. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what an appropriate sacrifice to the Goddesses would be? I am willing to do almost anything.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Let's Crochet the Day Away

     I have been crocheting a good portion of today, as well as yesterday, and my hands are beginning to hurt. It's been a while since I crocheted all day. But I am happy to be working on my new shawl.

     My new Lilacs are still in their pots. We did move the two down near to where they will end up, lower at the bottom of the hill. They will be planted up on the hill. But Miss Kim still seems to be wilting big time. At least it's raining, so she's getting some water. I gave them all some water yesterday. Miss Kim will be planted in the front yard.

     I have been doing laundry and washing dishes in between crocheting sessions, which is always a good thing. Hubs went to Fishkill today without me. I volunteered to go, but he said I should stay home. I got the mail from the post office, as well as across the street.

    I was going to go to spinning group at the library this morning, but I was so tired when Kim got home that I just went home and went back to bed with Hubs. I have missed the ladies, but now that I am babysitting from 11:15 to 3:15, by the time I got there, I'd have about a half hour until I'd have to leave. But this week I have off until Thursday, so I thought I'd go. But there was the whole being tired thing.

    This is, unbelievably, my 300th post!  I can't believe it. And soon my one year blogiversary will be here. Whoop whoop! I haven't gotten as much feedback as I hoped, but I will keep plugging away. So please feel free to comment! I'd love to hear from you... and thanks for reading my blog!



Sunday, May 13, 2012

I'm Crocheting Today!

   Ever since I gave away my favorite shawl, I have been itching to crochet another one just like it. This time it will be a bit smaller, since I'm using a smaller hook and lighter weight yarn. So, I dug out the pattern, and started shortly after I finished the one side of the baby blanket. I did start picking up stitches on the 4th side, but it has lost its luster for me at this point. The same thing happened when I was picking up the stitches on the side I just finished. It took me three days to pick those up.

   So I am having a very nice Mother's Day, thank you!  Hubs and I were taken out to breakfast by our son, a very nice gesture! I also received three lilac trees! I have been asking for some for 22 years. He was only going to get the two, but then spotted a dwarf tree called Miss Kim, and he said he had to get that one too. Apparently Jess helped with the picking out. Now Hubs is trying to get some sleep, but not succeeding very well, I'm afraid. He's been out here twice already. He worked last night.

   I get to sit here and watch television and crochet. It's a nice peaceful way to spend a day. I will get photos of my lilacs once they have been planted. Two are going on the hill in the back yard, and Miss Kim is going in the front yard. Now, if you'll excuse me, I should get back to my crocheting.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Knitting in Public

   I love knitting in public. We regularly do this, at our Stitch n Bitch sessions at Cranberry's at Tilley Hall, in Hyde Park.  It's fun to have people come up to you and ask what you are making.

   I have learned over the years to bring something with me whenever I go somewhere that I may have to wait. Like the doctor's office, or the DMV. I used to have my nook with me at all times, but have recently switched it out for my knitting. I find I am getting quite a bit of knitting done while I am waiting.

   Today, I had lunch with my mom and darling daughter. I thought I might be late, as I had a few stops to make on the way down to the restaurant. First the drug store for a mothers day card, then the bank to cash in my change stash. Finally I had to stop for gas, or I might not have made it home. That was the plan, anyway.

   The first obstacle was in the bank. They only have one change machine in our branch, and as I walked in I saw that there was already someone standing there getting ready to use it. So I sat down. Then I took a longer look. This man had, I kid you not, a huge satchel out of which he was pulling bags of change. I quickly decided I did not have the time to wait for him, so I left. I hoped to stop again on my way home.

   The stop for gas went smoothly, and soon I was on my way to lunch. It turned out that I arrived before mom and Sara! So I went in, and sat on the bench and pulled out my knitting. I remember thinking it was a good thing I didn't bring my nook, as it was very dark in there, and I wouldn't have been able to read anyway.

   This morning I finally finished picking up the stitches on one side of the baby blanket, and I had knit the first row. So I sat there on the bench and knit almost a whole second row before mom and Sara arrived!

   We had a lovely time at lunch. We talked long after the food was taken away, it was a good thing they weren't busy. The waitress was gracious, and the food was very good.

   There are times I would like to take a chair out to Rte 9, and just sit there and knit. Come to think of it, that's what we do on Memorial Day, while we watch the parade! I'm looking forward to doing that again this year. It's been the three of us, Kim, Jan and myself, for the last couple of years.

   All three of our kids march with the Karate School, and are on the Demonstration Team. Of course, my kid is the leader of the whole team, as well as being the newest 4th degree black belt, the second student ever to get that rank. No, I'm not too proud or anything....
   That's him on the right, accepting his certificate. The red stripe on his belt denotes his rank as a Master.  It seems I have strayed a bit off topic. Oh well...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

   Yesterday, I read a blog that I follow, in which she talks about having Lupus. And May is Lupus awareness month. In my infinite foolishness, I tweeted to her that at least her disease had an awareness month, that to my knowledge mine did not.  That was the Open Mouth part of the story. The target was painted on my back at that moment...

   Shortly after I tweeted that, I started thinking about it. I decided to Google it, to see if there is a Sarcoidosis awareness month. It turns out that there is indeed an awareness month for Sarcoidosis, and I just missed it! April is my month. I totally panicked, didn't know what to do. And there is the Insert Foot. I texted friend Kim, who informed me that I could delete that tweet, which I did, tout suite. I inserted that foot so hard and so far that I am still gagging.

   So here I am apologising to Miss Vicious, who probably has it a lot worse than me. I can do nearly everything I want to, just slower. And as an aside to Miss V, it's not the end of the world if you lose your hair. My Hubs still loves me just fine without mine.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nearly Finished Blanket and Empty Nest Report

   YAY! This blanket is finally nearly finished! Last night, I started the top border, and now that is almost done. I was talking about it today with my knitting expert friend Jan, and I told her I wasn't looking forward to picking up all those stitches on the long edges. She had a great suggestion for that! She asked couldn't I do a row of crochet and pick up from that? That was brilliant!

   I was concerned about the edges because the stitches there seemed a bit tight. I really wasn't looking forward to trying to work them. And just so you are aware, I won't be posting another photo of the blanket until it's completely finished, and washed and dried.

   As for the empty nest, it's getting closer and closer! Work is coming along on the house in Fishkill. The greatest advance, in my opinion, is the decision not to refinish the main floor hardwood floors. That would have taken a good chunk of time, and more money than we anticipated. The kids are so excited! Graeme and Amy's room is all painted, yellow, and Jess and Julie are down there now, doing their second coat. They chose purple, it's Julie's favorite color.  

   I can't wait to get our house all to ourselves! So much to do once the boy is outta here! I am not going to talk about our plans just yet, even though I may have mentioned something in a earlier post. Let's just say that changes are on the way!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tink, Tink, Tink

   Yup, that was me, tinking back across a row, for about the 7 millionth time. I think the problem is that I am forgetting how to count. I've caught the Hartmann disease! I mean really, how hard is K2, S1, K4, S1 across the whole fracking row? When I get to the end of the row, and it doesn't end the way it's supposed to, I know I fracked up somewhere.

  I even stop about every 30 stitches or so, and look back and make sure it's right! Yet, it continues to happen. With startling regularity. Yet, I persevere.

    Today, I measured the blanket, and it was at 31 inches long. I decided to do one more pattern repeat and then start the end border. So far, I have done four of the twelve rows. However, in a little while, I will be heading for karate to sit with my friend while the Cherub takes class, taught by my son. So I might get a row or two done while I'm there. But maybe not. I am extremely tired again today.

   This comes from not sleeping last night because Hubs got mad at me. Then I couldn't get back to sleep, and when I finally did, I dreamed all these dreams of horrible things he did to get back at me... And tomorrow is his birthday too. This really sucks. I have a plan, though. Let's all hope it works!

P.S. it is so totally not my fault that he guilted himself...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

While at Clermont...

    While I was sitting there in the AtKnitsEndYarn booth at Clermont, I was surprisingly enough, knitting. I was at that point nearly to the one quarter finished mark of the never-ending-garter-stitch blanket. I had, up to that point, not dropped a single solitary stitch.

   My friend Kim had gone off on a looking jaunt, and here she comes! She bears a gift for moi, a really beautiful beaded crochet hook fixer thing for dropped stitches. She bought three, all exactly alike, one for me as a thank you for helping, one for herself and one for friend ObliviousKnits.

   Shortly after receiving my gift, I was sitting there knitting, and it was like she jinxed me. I dropped a stitch! I cursed, and fumbled with one hand for the little tool, which was still in its package. I handed it to Kim, asking her to open it. She laughed, and was amazed that right after she bought me the tool, I needed to use it!

   I completely blame her for the dropped stitch. She did jinx me! That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Coffee and Blanket News

   It is 4 p.m. here, and I am having a cup of coffee. In fact, it's Godiva Chocolate Truffle Coffee... very scrumptious. I am needing coffee this late in the afternoon because I was up at the ass-crack of dawn today to sit for my favorite almost-10-year-old Cherub. That's not the bad part, the bad part was I had a bit of a rough night.

   I woke up at 3:15 a.m. looked at my cell phone, and thought it was 5:15, I figured it wouldn't pay to sleep for just another half hour. So I just laid there waiting for my cell phone alarm to go off. Apparently I fell asleep anyway, because next thing I know, I wake up and my cell phone looks like it says 5:59! I'm freaking out thinking the stupid thing didn't wake me up! When I sat up in a panic, I saw the time on the cable box was 3:59! So I got up and went to the bathroom. I guess I was able to fall back asleep, because my alarm did wake me up at 5:45.

   Today I measured the blanket. I have been putting it off, kind of not wanting to know, but last night I decided it was time. I measured it today, and it is 25 inches! Only about 9 more inches to go!

   I did the measuring when I was sitting for Miss Malia today. She was very interested in my blanket, it was hard for me to get her to leave it alone long enough for me to take the photo! I told her I would take her picture too, so here it is!

   I showed it to her on my camera, and she got really excited. But then something she likes came on the TV, so she started dancing and lost interest in the photo...


Saturday, May 5, 2012

What a Lovely Day!

   My day was pretty good, actually. I got to sleep late, until 9:30. I waited to get up until Hubs fell asleep. That's my favorite time of the day, when I can put my hand on his back, and he falls asleep. I got up and made myself some coffee, then started knitting.

   I got a few pattern repeats done, too. I am pleased that I am not needing to refer to the written pattern any more! I ate my cookie from Cranberry's with my coffee. It was my very favorite cookie, too. A walnut melt-away. They were originally made with pecans, but the nuts got too expensive. I have told them they could make them with almost any nut, and they would still be the worlds best cookie!

   To my surprise, Hubs only slept for two hours. So I made him some coffee and we settled in to watch a Steven Seagal movie, one where he fights vampire zombie things. It was made in 2009 and is called Against The Dark.

   After that, he took a shower and got on with his day. He went up to the farm and checked his trail cameras. While he was gone, I got all the dishes done, and started some laundry. Then he came home and looked at the photos that were taken. After a while, he went into the garage/man cave to try and get one of the three weed wackers, and one of the two leaf blowers to work. I think he was successful.

   After a while he took his chain saw down by the creek, and started trying to cut up the bigger pieces of the trees that we had had cut down last fall. By this time he was getting tired, so that didn't last too long. He came back into the house and I started dinner. We had Barbecued Sirloin Tips with garlic mashed potatoes. Yum. I made Jesse some Alfredo noodles with broccoli, his favorite.

   Now I'm back to knitting, and watching Cars on pay-per-view, as the movie channel that it's on is all broken up from sun spots and it's difficult to watch. We have plans to watch Cars 2 also tonight. I think I'm going to go fix myself a drink... my life sounds waaay more boring than it really is.

Friday, May 4, 2012

In Which I Discover Something Interesting

    As most of you know, I have been knitting intensely for nearly two years now. I worked my way through a bunch of scarves, three hats, four sweaters of one kind, and two of another. There have been so many shawls I can't even put a number to it.  I am now working on my second baby blanket.

   In all this time, I have also crocheted four afghans. Which, I am sorry to say, I have  still not mailed to Texas, sorry Gordie! I started a sweater for my granddaughter Chloe, but I just can't make myself do it. I have to say, that's entirely my fault, not Chloes. I have just gotten lazy.

   And so I made my discovery. I crocheted exclusively for over 30 years, and now I don't want to do it any more. Hopefully I will make the wrist warmers for my son-in-law, but other than that, I have no desire to crochet any more. I find that fact very saddening. My crochet hooks were my closest friends for a very long time. I had many hooks of different colors in all sizes, so I could use one the complimented or contrasted my project.

   I had my hooks organized into plastic holder things, by size. I had one for tiny hooks, for sizes up to G. One for "regular size" hooks, sizes H thru K, and one for the big hooks, sizes L and up. Since we moved back from Fishkill last year, I have misplaced my tiny hooks container, and I can't find it anywhere. I am surprised that this doesn't upset me! I think this was my first hint about how my feelings were changing. I was also in denial about it. I am really good about totally ignoring unpleasant facts, ask my Hubs, he'll tell you.

   And so I apologise to all my crocheting friends. I am now a knitter. I just hope I don't knit exclusively for the next 30 years!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Circular Needle Debacle

   I decided to randomly throw a photo of my cat, Ozzy, in tonight. And now back to our regularly scheduled program:

   When I started knitting again, I began using circular needles. I was hooked! It was so much easier to knit with them, and there was no way you could lose one needle. Since then, every once in a while, I will knit something small on regular straight needles, and again I am reminded how much better the circulars are. The straights seem so unwieldy, and awkward. The yarn gets caught on them, and wraps around the right one. Even with the shorter ones,  I would keep hitting my right arm, it was very uncomfortable.

   I started using Addi's, which I love even though they are a little expensive. When we lived in Fishkill for 7 months, I started buying HiyaHiya needles, which I really like, and they are less expensive. I almost always use metal needles, I do have a small 16 inch bamboo, size 11, I believe. I have used it, but am not all that fond of them.

   Now we fast forward to Winter of 2010/2011. I was making my first one-piece bottom up cardigan. I was so in love with this pattern. I had bought all the needles I needed, all size 9. I needed 2 16 inch, a 40 inch, and I ended up needing/wanting a 60 inch too. That was when I purchased a 40 inch square circular needle from Kollage. At first I really liked them, I liked the way they knit. The square shape is easier to manipulate.

   HOWEVER I had a very large problem with the cord on them. One of the facts of knitting with circulars is that your project slides easily from one side to the other. I found out very quickly that the cord on the Kollage needle did not allow this to happen.  It was like glue was applied to the cord! I literally held one end of the needle up in the air, and dropped the other end, with my sweater hanging on it, and my sweater did not slide at all  towards the floor!! I even shook it, just to make sure.

   I gave the needles a good try, I really wanted them to work well. I liked how pliable the cord was, but the not-slippery thing was unacceptable. In the end, rather than put the project down so I could manually force my knitting further along the needle, I ended up using my teeth. I only used them until I could get a pair of HiyaHiyas, which had to be ordered for me from my LYS in Fishkill. They have been in my collection ever since, unused since that time.

   Has anyone else used these needles? Do you love them, or hate them? I'd like to hear what you have to say about them. If there is something I could do to make them slippery, I want to know. I'd do it in a heartbeat, I'd like to give them a second chance.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Knitting Update and Product Disappointment

   The current blanket I am knitting has a 12 row repeat. I never thought I would memorize it. But after a time, I am finding I am beginning to remember which row comes next! I am only keeping the printed pattern handy in case I forget which row is which. Here is a photo of my progress:

   Pretty cool, huh? I'm thinking this will be a lovely baby blanket when it's finished. I have to agree, these certainly are soothing colors.

   Remember the other day, when I went to Michael's, then had to go back? Well. Both of the row counters for circular needles that I bought, broke. The first one after about 3 rows of knitting. I was pissed, but glad I bought a second one. Then the second one broke, even after being more careful with it!! They were $3 a piece! I asked my Hubs if it is possible to glue the counter thing back onto the hanging stem that it broke off of. He says probably, but he doesn't have any super-type glue. So I am making do.

   Another thing: On the stupid row counters, the numbers were extremely hard to turn! That was how the first one broke! WTF?? Is it that hard to make something that functions the way it's supposed to, for a decent price, with about 1/2 cents worth of plastic??  OK, I think I' done ranting and raving for today.

   Having read Miss Viscious' blog about her circular needle problems, perhaps I will regale you all with my circular needle disappointments. I've only had one, but it was enough, let me tell you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Just Another Day?

    This morning I was up before the ass-crack of dawn, and before my alarm went off at 5:45 a.m.  I was up so I could go spend a few hours with my favorite 9 year old friend, between the time her Nana leaves for work and her mama gets home from work. This is always a challenge for me, as I am totally not a morning person.

   I then only had to worry about sitting for little Miss Malia. This went off without a hitch, she is a very pleasant and charming 16 month old little girl. I will not do her the disservice of calling her a baby, because she is not. She is a very smart little girl, who can count to 10, and knows what she wants. Many adults I know don't know that much.

   After Malia's dad came to get her, I went home to my empty house. Hubs had gotten up late, and headed down to the house in Fishkill to get some work done today. I called him from home, to see if he needed me to come and help him.  It turns out he did want some help. But first, I went to the karate school and visited with the Cherub and her mama.

   Now it's getting late, and I have to get up early again, although not as early as today. I will be sitting with Miss Malia all day tomorrow and Thursday. Her mama is putting in some overtime. That's fine with me, I could use the money.

   I was knitting when Malia woke up from her nap today, and as usual, she climbs up on my lap and lays there against my chest. It takes her a long time to wake up. So I finished the row I had started, and by then she had sat up and turned so she could watch me knit. I told her that if she wants me to, I will teach her how to knit when she gets older. She didn't respond, just laid her head back down and yawned again. It was definitely not just another day.