Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sorting out plans for my craft room

    These last few weeks have been incredibly intense. I am constantly thinking of what to do in my craft room. The other day, I asked Hubs if we could paint the room, and after a positive answer, my thoughts really exploded.

    Hubs did tell me that my bookcases from the den have to go in there, but that's ok with me. There is one wall with no windows where they would line up nicely. If they don't all fit, I will find room for the rest. There are only five, after all. Although I really need a couple more.

    I would like to take the doors off the closet, and put shelves or something in there for yarn and WIP storage. Then I thought about lots of little hooks all over the wall to hang individual hanks or skeins.

    But color? My mind is going wild. I've started asking friends for color advice. So far, I've gotten purple. I love purple, but not too dark. I thought about maybe a nice dark purple on the bottom of the walls, with a lighter purple above. Then I thought about painting sheep on one wall. Or a painted tree in one corner, with the green leafy branches going out on the ceiling. There are just too many darn options!

    The room is currently a medium dark blue, which really isn't too bad. I could work with it. Here is what it looks like:

    It's really a nice blue. It would make a nice sky color. I do want to paint the ceiling, though. I guess I'll just have to see what I can talk Hubs into. I went to the store today and got some paint chips. Purples, and a couple orangey yellow ones. Just in case I want to paint a sun. You never know. It might be fun to paint the whole room a nice bright yellowy orange!

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Way of the Universe

    My whole life, I have marveled at the way the Universe works. You need, really need, something? You get it. You seriously need money to pay a bill? The mailman leaves an unexpected check for you in your mail, or, going through your old clothes, you find money in a pocket that you totally forgot about.

     I have come to totally trust in the power of the Universe. If Hubs is freaking that he can't find a certain thing, I tell him he must not need it yet, because when he really needs it, he will find it. Of course, he gets angry at me, tells me that "Yes I really do need it now!", because he's preparing for something way in advance. Which totally supports my point, don't you agree?

    When my youngest child was small, in Kindergarten I believe, he had a very awesome bus driver, who we became friendly with. His name was Brian. For years, he drove Jess to school and home every day. Even years when he wasn't assigned that route, he would always beep and wave to me when he saw me outside.

    I recently thought about Brian, and wondered of he was still driving school buses. Well, the Universe heard me. Yesterday as I was walking to my Jeep, a man on a bicycle was riding towards me. He hollared out, "Hi, Jesse's mom!". I stopped and stared, and then he said "It's Brian, Jesse's bus driver!" To which I replied, "Hi, Brian!", as he pedaled past me.

    I wish he could have stopped for a chat, but was obviously on his way somewhere. Now I know that he is still alive, at least, and appears to be doing well! Perhaps someday, he will be able to stop for a chat. I would like to update him on our lives, and ask if he's still driving busses. Do you hear that, Universe?


Thursday, June 28, 2012

In which I find a new project to do!

    After much soul and stash searching, I have finally found a new project. A certain very cute Puerto Rican man has a young son. Once upon a time he asked me to make a blanket for this youngster. At the time, I refused. I was working on lots of different things, and didn't have the inclination to start an afghan.

    Well, ladies and gentlemen, that worm has turned. I was searching for something to make, and this request came to mind. So I went and visited with the daddy in question today. It turns out that his son would love a blanket in the very color that I have in abundance! As soon as I got home, I began to crochet.

    On the way home, I was momentarily distracted by a sign on a local nail salon here in town. It stated - "Come in for a Spa Pdeicure". Now, this sign so distracted me, that as I was sitting at a red light, I very nearly forgot to go when the light turned green again! I got involved considering the possibilities. Store keeper can't read? Store employee doesn't care? Store personnel can't read English? And no one has informed anyone in this establishment of the error on their signage? It boggles the mind.

    I am, without a doubt, absolutely bonkers when it comes to spelling and things. It could come from both my parents being teachers. Or it could come from a lifetime of reading. But either way, I go totally nuts when I see spelling mistakes, especially when the people who wrote it are supposedly college educated.  Like engineers!

    I worked for many years in the semiconductor industry, with all these supposedly smart engineers who couldn't spell to save their lives. They would make up these forms we were supposed to fill out, and misspell words! On official company documents! Makes me mad, I tell you, mad!!  >>breathe in, breathe out<<  OK, I'm calmer now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Un-Crafting Report

    At the present time, I am not working on anything. That's right, not one thing. The secret project I started, I ended up frogging because something wasn't right. I was in the decreasing, but had waaay too many stitches left for the K3, K2tog round. I would like to start over, but I think I should use a smaller size needle, and then it would need to be shorter than 16". I don't have any circular needles less than 16". Perhaps you can see my dilema.

    When I go babysitting, I am taking my nook, so I can read while Malia naps. I am currently taking a break from Game of Thrones III (I don't remember the exact name of the book), and have started reading the Ann Rice werewolf novel. So far, it's good. I do miss crocheting and knitting. I have even looked through the newer patterns I have gotten from Ravelry, which I put on one of those stick drive things. There is another colorwork blanket which I might be interested in trying. At least, when I get some money ahead to buy the yarn.

    All I can do is hope that soon I can get together with my knitting expert friend so she can interpret what the great EZ means in the directions of the baby surprise jacket. I can't even call it a pattern, it's really directions.

    On a totally different note, I finally baked my famous walnut peanut butter chip brownies last night. I finally felt like baking! I used the metal pan, when I should have used the glass one. They are a little overdone on the edges. Next time, I will remember to use the glass pan. That's how long it's been, that I forgot which pan makes them come out the best!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tales of Malia

    My littlest charge, Malia, sometimes does the cutest things. And I swear, every day she's cuter than the day before.

    This past Friday, I heated her lunch up for her in the microwave. I put a few noodles from the bowl in front of her on the tray of her high chair, so she could feed herself. She looked at me, then at the noodles. She picked them up with one hand, and with the other she reached out, took my hand and turned it over, palm up. She then took her handful of noodles and put them in my hand. I took that to mean "Thank you, but no, I would rather not have noodles again today!"

    She totally blows me away sometimes. She doesn't talk too much, but makes her demands known. I know she understands when I talk to her, because if she's having trouble with something I tell her to bring it to me, and I will help her. She usually stops and brings it to me.

     There are things on the shelf behind the one couch where I usually sit, that she shouldn't have. She loves to try and get these things. She will climb up on the couch, and on me, to reach these items. I usually hold her back with one hand on her tummy, and tell her "No, there's nothing up there for you!" The first few times I did this, she gave me the dirtiest look, and told me off, but good, in baby language. As time has gone by, she is more accepting of my no's.

     Also last Friday, we lost power for a few seconds, and it messed up the cable box, which had to reboot. She got impatient, and I explained to her that the box had to fix itself. She walked over to the box, looked down at it, and proceeded to tell it off! I told her that it wouldn't do any good, the box takes its own time. But it sure made me giggle in amazement!

    Unfortunately at the current time, I am not actively working on any knit or crochet project. I am waiting for a day when I can get together with my knitting expert friend to help me interpret Elizabeth Zimmermann's directions. Hopefully that will happen soon!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Tale of the Disappearing Fish

    We recently gave our fish tank away, it's been empty since our last fish, Hitler, died. This is the story of Hitler, how he got his name, and an interesting incident in our fish tank. I think I've written about this before, so I'll try and make that part of the story brief.
    Once upon a time, we had a fish tank. It was a 55 gallon long. Which I believe means it was long, but not very tall. We had two fish in it, I don't remember what kind they were. One day, Hubs and Jesse came home with a new fish for the tank. They were warned at the fish store that the fish we already had in the tank might attack the new kid on the block. In the tank he went. He was only about the size of a quarter.

    The next day, one of the original two fish was badly damaged. One of his fins was all chewed up, and he was swimming funny. It seems the new guy was tougher than the old ones. the next day, the other fish was all beat up. Hubs put a divider in the tank, to keep the two kinds of fish apart. It didn't work. The new fish somehow got over or around the divider, and continued to attack the old fish, until they both died.

    And that is how Hitler got his name. He performed an ethnic cleansing in the tank. Also in the tank were two algae eating fish called pleckos. Jesse named them Johnny Tight Lips and Frankie the Squealer. He was pretty young, maybe 8. For some reason, Hitler let them live. He never bothered them.

    One day, when I got up, I noticed that the fish tank was totally green. I mean like pea soup. Nothing we tried worked. Hubs changed the filter cartridges, and other things that I can't remember now. We couldn't see into the tank. I knew Hitler was still there because he would come to the surface when I fed him.

    It was literally weeks that the tank was green like that. One day, I noticed it was a little less green. Gradually, over the next few days, the tank water returned to normal. And once we could see in, we noticed that one of the pleckos was gone. He never turned up, either. We never found a body, or pieces, or bones. Jesse, in his infinite wisdom, decided that Frankie the Squealer was the missing fish, and Hitler had had him killed because Frankie was gonna squeal to the cops.

    By the time he died, Hitler was about 7 inches long. We still miss that fish. I used to like to mess with him, I used a laser pointer and pointed it at him. He didn't like that, he would visibly change color, and come to the nearest corner of the tank and stare at me. If a fish could look agitated and angry, he sure could.

    It seems that getting rid of the fish tank brought back some memories. I gotta tell you, I never thought that Hitler would live so long! He must've been at least 10 years old when he finally passed.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Photos of Project Installed!

   Today, Hubs helped me install my new tire cover! I think it looks pretty darn good!

    And here is the close up shot!

     It is a little small, we stretched it as much as we could. I'm thinking it will stretch out over time, and I can take it off and re-tie it at a later date. In the meantime, I'm happy it's finally on!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

An Upcoming Anniversary

    On July 9th, 2012, I will have been unemployed three years. I remember well how strange it felt that last night. How somber my Control Center co-workers were, since we had lost one of our own 2 weeks before. The promises to keep in touch. We didn't.

    How it felt so final when the door closed behind me for the last time, and knowing that I couldn't get back in because my manager had taken my badge. Very very weird. I stood there in the dark, waiting for Hubs to come around to the back of the building to pick me up. He wanted it that way, I believe he left through a back door of his building too. He didn't want to see anyone, or witness any tearful goodbyes.

    We were much luckier than most, I believe. We all knew it was coming, but Hubs was smart enough to pay off all our credit cards, and reduce in every possible way, our debt and bills. Just before the closing of our plant, we refinanced our mortgage, and with the money we got from that, paid off the loan on his truck. So we had no car payments, as my Jeep had been paid off since the December before. And we had no credit card debt.

    Every one of us that worked there hoped against hope that someone, anyone, would buy us, but thank the Goddess Hubs decided not to take any chances. Thus his financial decisions, and he started our debt reduction well over a year before we were actually  unemployed.

    The money we both got for severance pay we could make last as long as we needed. That summer, since we weren't working, Hubs replaced all the old windows in our house, for energy efficiency. He also painted the house, and we replaced the front door too. We used to get quite a draft from that old front door, and the big picture window too. Hubs wanted to keep busy, so it was good for him, and long term good for us.

    We got very lucky; Hubs found a good job in November, on the same site where we both had worked, but in a different building. I stayed on UI as long as they would have me. No one would hire me, and in that whole two years I didn't have any job interviews.

    I've been off UI for just over a year now. I am still looking for work. I've had a few interviews, even one call back. But not one job offer. It's very discouraging.

   This helps to explain why I knit or crochet so much. It makes me feel like I am doing something, I can sell the things I make. I have had a little success, I have made and sold three shawls. I sold one afghan, and threw in three free ones, they are still in my basement waiting to be sent to Texas. (I haven't forgotten, Gordie!)

   OK, enough of the sob story. Let's not mention it again, please. I usually like to talk about fun and happy things.  I am almost universally known for my upbeat attitude and positive outlook. See, Shit does happen, and Misery is optional! (See post from Sept. 21, 2011) And sometimes it happens to me!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Beginning of the End...?

       My Hubs came home from work the other morning, and as we talked, he mentioned that he read something on the news. Apparently, there is a substance called Bath Salts that is sold in Head Shops. People have been buying it, and smoking it.

    When they do, it turns them into real zombies. They completely lose their minds, and even become canibalistic. One "person" was even caught eating, yes, eating, someone's face!

    It's not just here in the U.S. either, He told me the news reported it was world wide. So there are people in other countries smoking this stuff and being turned into zombies.

    I have been thinking about this very hard since we first discussed it. It well and truly scares me. Could this be how it all starts? With these idiots who will smoke anything to get high? Since that really only affects the individual, some mutation or something must happen, to turn it into a virus and make it able to spread to others. How long will it be before this actually happens?

    Mark my words people. Keep an eye on the news. I know I will....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

No Tire Cover, But....

    I still haven't installed my new crocheted tire cover. My friend and I decided it was too freaking hot to be that active.  It would have only taken a few seconds to get completely drenched in sweat. Hopefully we will be able to try tomorrow. I did accomplish my task of buying a new battery for the camera, though. So the day wasn't completely wasted.

    I'm really looking forward to having the new cover on the spare! It is so well known around town, I can't help but wonder what comments I'll get. I've had people next to me at stoplights roll down their windows and tell me how much they like it! Strangers in parking lots, too! It's fun and different, and there aren't any other tire covers like it around here.

    Also today I did something my Hubs has been bugging me to do, I went to the pharmacy and had a talk with my pharmicist. Last week, my pulmonologist gave me a new inhaler to try, to see if it works better for me than Advair. As I read through the accompanying papers, I discovered that the new one contains a LABA and I shouldn't take it until I check with my pharmacist to make sure none of my other meds contain a LABA.

    I know, YAWN.... But I finally went today, and the answer is "No", none of my other meds contain the nasty LABA, so I am cleared for take-off. Starting tomorrow morning. Whoopie.

    P.S. LABA stands for Long Acting Broncho-Something or other. Just so you know, and won't have to Google it.

    I added the knitting M&M just for a laugh. It's been too long since I posted a photo.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Knitting Update

    Well, the new tire cover is done, I just need to hook up with my helper to get it on. Photo will be posted once it's applied! I did start the EZ baby surprise jacket, and I've gotten as far as I can without assistance, which means interpretation. She was a knitting genius, but sucked at pattern writing. Hey, no one's perfect! Love her anyway.

    While I am waiting, I decided to start another project, which I am keeping quiet about, as the person I'm giving it to reads my blog, sometimes. It's going pretty well, actually. Started this morning by casting on, and doing the first row, the K2 P2 ribbing didn't come out right. So I counted again, and found out I only cast on 62 stitches, when I was supposed to cast on 72. So I frogged it and put it in my bag, as it was almost time to leave for babysitting.

    While Miss Malia napped today,  I got out the mystery project (mp), cast on the correct number of stitches this time, and did the whole ribbed section.  When knitting in the round, I don't join right away, I knit the first row first, then join and continue knitting in the round. I find it much easier, and when finished, I just take the long tail and stitch the tiny gap closed. No harm no foul.

    I know my limitations, and can usually find a way to get done what needs to be done, as far as knitting goes. Like when I did the Pi Shawl. I started out knitting it back and forth, until it was big enough, then I joined it and continued in the round. After it was well established, I took the tail and gently seamed up the opening. Looks nice, and you can't tell that I am an absolute idiot when it comes to double points.

   Now for a brief word about the weather. It was, and still is, very fracking hot today. Even with the air on, I am melting. I need an ice bath, and more Edy's Fruit Pops. Pineapple and pomegranate are my two favorites. And it's gonna be more of the same tomorrow! This is not helping my breathing, either. So I'm trying to stay cool, and stay still, or there could be trouble in the breathing department.

    Well, this just sucks! I closed this post, so I could take a photo of the sweater's progress. And the batteries are dead in the camera.  Last time, I bought two, and guess what? The compartment where I put the spare is open. So it could have fallen out at anytime, anywhere. I am so completely bummed! I guess I have to go to Rite Aid tomorrow and get another one. So, I guess you'll have to wait until then to see the photos. Sorry. OK, go back to your lives now.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Exploring Sam's Club

    There we were, Hubs and I, in Kingston exploring Sam's Club. I quickly discovered that they do not sell yarn. They lost me. I doubt I will ever go there unless accompanying Hubs.

    That being said, we are now the proud owners of a new 42" LCD TV for our bedroom. Yes, it's bigger than the one it's replacing. But it's smaller than the one Hubs wanted to buy! All I can say is thank the Goddess he came to his senses and realized that a 47" TV is waaaay to big for our bedroom.

    Then yesterday, Hubs took our old cable boxes back and exchanged them for new ones. Smart move! It seems our old boxes, while not really that old, were like dinosaurs! So everything is all hooked up in both the living room and bedroom. It turns out that the picture on the new TV is the best picture we have ever seen on any TV!  Now I am having trouble getting Hubs to come out of the bedroom. I may never see him again, except for when I go to bed.

    The new TV has internet on it! And is it's own WiFi hot spot. So now we can get Netflix in there, where we couldn't before. The really strange thing? There are movies being offered in the bedroom that are not being offered in the living room!!  How does that happen? It's all the same account!!

   And I am thinking that at some point I can hook my laptop up to the TV, and see facebook, twitter and the like on a HUGE screen!! That would be fun! Imagine, a giant size farmville! This week, Hubs is working four nights. So I have four nights to explore the new TV and its possibilities!

    As a side note, whoever designed that particular plaza in Kingston was a genius! There is a Michaels Craft Store right next to a Gander Mountain!! And behind those stores in Walmart! The Sam's Club is across the parking lot from Michaels and Gander Mt. And yes indeed, we visited all four establishments. It is no small wonder that my legs and feet hurt! All that walking! And I am still a bit sore today.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Plans for the empty room!

    Since our son moved out on his own two weeks ago, Hubs and I have avoided talking about what we will do with his room.  I know that we had talked about moving into it temporarily, while we re-do our room. We've been here 22 years, and it's waaaay over due. But after that, it's up in the air.

    Well, just a little while ago, I told him that someone had asked me what we are going to do with the empty room. Then I asked him point blank what his plans were for the room. I must say, what he said completely shocked me. I believe his exact words were:  "Well, you need a place for all your craft stuff..." I nearly fainted. It seems he might be getting tired of having all my yarn in bags, and boxes, and storage bins all over the place.

    So I've been fantasizing about decorating the room, would I have wall to wall shelves, or open bins, or what? I did tell him that it would be cool to put a futon in there, "you know, in case we get overnight guests..." Of course, I'm really thinking of my Stitch n Bitch buddies.

   He did tell me that he would like to move my bookcases from the den into my craft room. I don't have a problem with that. They would probably all fit on the one wall. I get to pick out a rug, since Jess took the one that was in there.

   In the original footprint of the house my new craft room was the master bedroom. The new master bedroom is an addition on the back of the house, off the dining room; if you look, you can see where the sliding glass door was. The previous owner took out the wall between the living and dining rooms, so it's more like a great room now, but I call it my "not so great room".

   I am just so excited, I had to share! Right now that room is a medium blue, we painted it for Jesse the weekend that Princess Diana was killed. I will never forget that weekend, it was my birthday weekend too. I might even want to repaint! OMG!  I am gonna have so much fun with this!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A New Project Started

    Yup, I put on my big girl panties, and started the EZ baby surprise jacket. I am currently on row 11, I think. I had to stop in the middle of a row, as I was knitting while waiting in the truck for Hubs, who was in Gander Mt, and I finished at Michael's before he was done. Anyway, I was knitting, halfway done with row, and he came back. That was my point. Sorry for the rambling.

    So far I'm not having any problems, except for placing the stitch markers. They need to be moved every row, and I am having trouble putting them in the right place. I figure sooner or later I will get it right.

    I went to Michael's to get another skein on the yarn I'm using, which isn't the denim blue one. I have plenty of that yarn.  I decided to use a color from the colorwork blanket, so they can go together. Anyway, Michael's had the yarn, but not the color I need. I will hopefully try the store in Poughkeepsie tomorrow.

   Last week, we joined Sam's Club, and this week we went there to buy a new TV for our bedroom. We got a few other things too. I like that, because Hubs pays. He's in the bedroom right now, setting it up. I will go and check on him when I am done writing.

    All that walking through Walmart, Michael's, and then Sam's Club, and my legs and feet are shot. Even my knees started to hurt.  So I've been taking it easy since we got home. We ordered a pizza, some wings and a meatball calzone for dinner, so I didn't have to cook. Yum.

   Watch this space in the future for photos of the baby surprise jacket! Hopefully I can  figure it out...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Projects Done and Almost Done!!

     The denim blue blanket is done, all washed, dried and folded. It's so very soft, I can't believe it!

     And I am proud to say that the new tire cover for my Jeep is almost done, I am currently working on the last section, the width of the tire. After that, there's just a round of loops, to put the string through, to tie it on with.

     I must say that the denim yarn was so nice to work with, and laundered out so soft, I am now reconsidering the Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket. It would look great in this yarn! If only I can translate into workable English. Since my plea for help got no responses, I guess I'm on my own. I will try to be patient and just do what it says. That's what I always tell my friend Bonny, when she has a question about a pattern.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fantasy TIme

    Today I made a decision. If I ever win oodles and oodles of money in the lottery, I know what one thing for sure I will do. I will buy a freestanding building, and open a yarn shop. If it's big enough, it will also contain a book store and a coffee shop. This is my newest fantasy.

    For many years, my fantasy was to move to a college town, and open a quaint little New Age book store. To illustrate how long ago I arrived at this fantasy, it was when my daughter was little, and before I married my beloved Hubs. Ideally, Sara would have attended the college in the town where we lived, and brought all her friends to the bookstore to meet her cool new age mom.

    That idea was so ingrained in me that I actually started writing a book about a character who does exactly that. Unfortunately I never got past the outline. I had character names, and relationships all worked out, but could never settle on a plot. What would there people do in their lives? I never did figure it out.

    My character had a live-in housekeeper, after all she had a business to run. She drove a Mercedes SUV, which I was in love with when they first came out. The SUV was added later, I remember we lived in our current house when I saw the first one.

    She owned a large property outside of town, a Victorian house with a large barn that had been converted to a house, and two of her friends lived there. I had even figured out where she got all this money from. But I don't remember now. I believe I still have the notes I made all those years ago, they are here in this house somewhere, but I don't know where. Maybe someday I will come across them.

    Anyway, back to my current fantasy. I even have a property in mind to buy. There is an empty building, near where my friend lives, that used to be a restaurant, I believe. All the years I have lived in Hyde Park, it has been empty. I would love to make that into my yarn/book/coffee shop. I believe it would be perfect! If only I could get a look inside! But that will have to wait until I come into a very large amount of money.

   I need to remember to go by there and take a photo one of these days. I hope you would all agree with me about its potential.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Amusing Story

     I have to tell you, I found this hilarious. For all the seasons that it's been on, my family has watched House, M.D.. I like it because it's the only show on television, ever, to mention my disease, Sarcoidosis. And I find Hugh Laurie and the House character adorable.

     Now, my beloved youngest child has only seen Mr. Laurie as House, and so is unaware of his earlier body of work. One day, I was watching a British TV show on Netflix, MI 5. Hugh Laurie was in that episode, as the head of MI 6, I believe.

     Now, as I am watching the show one evening, son comes home and wants to know what I'm watching. I tell him, and tell him to watch with me, as House is in this episode. He sits down, and within minutes, Mr. Laurie makes his appearance in the scene. A few minutes later, my son turns to me and says:
              "God, his British accent is terrible, so fake sounding!"

     After I stopped laughing, I pointed out that the "fake sounding" British accent is, in fact, his real voice and that his American accent is so good, that a lot of people don't know he's British! He didn't believe me. I can only hope that at some point he will Google "Hugh Laurie" and find out for himself.

     There is another actor, the good looking guy from The Glades, who is Australian! When I heard him talk in his natural voice, I was shocked. He also has a very good American accent. Just goes to show ya, you can never tell anymore where a person is from. American accents must be easy to do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blanket Update!

    I have made significant progress on the latest blanket! There are seven V-stitch sections in the whole thing, and I am currently on the sixth one. YAY! I laid it on my chair and took some photos!

    There was a third photo, but it was blurry. I have trouble taking more than a couple of photos, the shaking starts.  But at least I got two, and they aren't too bad.

    I also have a photo of those chocolate mushroom candies I talked about the other day, here is the photo of the box:

    Look for them in your local grocery or specialty food store! They're pretty good!

    And for those who read yesterday's post, I would like to thank you. I don't know which of you clued Hubs in, but last night I got the best sleep in a very long time! He didn't watch TV in the bedroom at all. And when he finally came in to go to sleep, he didn't turn the TV on. We usually fall asleep with it on, and whoever wakes up first during the night turns it off. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Best Intentions

    This morning, I woke up at 4:15. In the A.M. That in itself isn't unusual, but on the nights when Hubs is home, it can be a problem. See, he has trouble switching gears from working nights/sleeping days to sleeping nights/being awake days. Last night, he took a nap, and woke up around 1 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep.

    Unfortunately for me, he isn't comfortable sitting in the living room to watch TV in the middle of the night. This means that while I am sleeping, he's watching TV in the bedroom. Which is fine. Until I wake up. Then, especially after 3 a.m., I require quiet and dark to get back to sleep. I would use the ear plugs he got for me, but then I wouldn't hear my alarm go off at 5:45.

    I feel in all fairness, I should tell you about his sleeping. During his work week, he sleeps during the day, and our bedroom is nearly completely darkened. Once he goes to bed, I make every effort NOT to go in there, so he won't be disturbed. I even keep most of my clothes in another room, so I don't even have to go in there to get dressed. Even our living room is darkened, because you have to go through it to get to the bathroom.

   So it's really frustrating for me not to get the same consideration. There are times when he does go into the living room for a while, usually to smoke one of his cigars. He won't smoke in the bedroom. I have asked him to turn off the TV while he's gone. He did it once. The first time. After that time, he hasn't done it. I think he feels it makes more noise if he turns the TV off, then on again when he comes back in.

    So the nights that I have to get up so early the next morning, I usually don't get very good sleep. Like last night. And I still have to go through my whole day on less than the optimum amount of sleep. With any kind of luck, I will be able to get to bed a little early tonight. Especially since I need to get up at 5:45. again. tomorrow.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Hubs dearly, and can not imagine my life without him. He makes unimaginable sacrifices for our family. 

    So,wish me luck, please. This reminds me of a post I saw on facebook, "I try not to plan my days, because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in court..." That one made me laugh! I always try to not make plans, just because when I do, the Fates step in to ruin everything. I rather prefer living spontaneously anyway.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Catching up

1. It turned out I did have time to crochet at the tournament yesterday, pretty much after everyone showed up, and I still had to sit at the table guarding the money. After a while I had Julie help me carry them inside, and we put them in a locked box behind the head table. I think I got three rows done! Woot! Then I could go and watch my son compete!

2. After some digging this morning, through my pattern files, I found the name of the designer of the N hook afghan series of pamphlets. They were called Quick Crochet Afghans, and, as I thought, there were four of them. It turns out that each book was designed by a different designer. My favorite was in book 2, and the designers name was Joyce Winfield Vanderslice. Gotta give credit where credit is due!

3. The tournament itself was absolutely awesome! I took money for spectator fees, Julie handled those competitors who had pre-registered, and Mrs. Jackson took care of the walk in competitors. The Black Belt events were supposed to start at noon, but actually started a bit early. This is unusual for a karate tournament, but Master Leclerc always runs a very tight ship.  I didn't bring my camera, so no photos.

     It's so good for the kids to stay and see their instructors compete. There were many of them who stayed, or came back. They were treated to quite a show. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stitch n Bitch Report, a Day Late...

    Yesterday, we had our weekly Stitch n Bitch at Cranberry's. As usual, we had a great breakfast, and got down to business. This week, OFL (our fearless leader) was absent, due to her Cherub staying home from school due to illness.

    Jan and I carried on as best we could. Cheryl came too! Jan is working on a new shawl with beads. Her progress is slow, due to having lots of work to do. She has made great strides, however, since switching over to Addi Lace needles. She was having trouble dropping stitches and things, then OFL told her about the stickiness of the Addi Lace needles. She switched, and is now very happy!

    I was working on the new denim blue blanket. I have made great strides myself, but am now a day behind since I spent the whole day today at the local high school for the karate tournament. I was gone before Hubs got home, and didn't get home until after he left again for work! So I didn't get to see him today! I don't like that at all.

     That's it for now, I'm exhausted. I need to get some rest. Look for a karate tournament report here tomorrow! I will try not to brag too much, but it'll be really hard. After all, my son is awesome!

Friday, June 8, 2012

And the winner is....

     After starting the knitted project, I decided I didn't really want to do it, so I frogged it. It was only three rows, so I don't feel too bad. Then I began the crocheted blanket. That is what the yarn was telling me it wanted to be.

     As I mentioned, I have made many of these afghans over the years. No matter what the size, the stitch count is always the same. The way to change the size is with hook size and yarn weight. The pattern is written for a huge adult size afghan, using two strands of worsted weight yarn and an N size hook. I have made it that big, as well as child size, and sizes in between. The child size uses worsted weight yarn and a J or K hook. A baby size blanket takes sock or lace weight yarn, and an F or G size hook.

     It's my very favorite afghan pattern to crochet. Sometimes big projects can drive you insane from boredom, you just want it to end. Doing the same stitch over and over just makes you want to pull your hair out. That's why I love this pattern. There are only four rows of any given stitch in the pattern, then you do a different stitch for four more rows. If anyone is interested, the pattern is called Lace Panel. The copy I have doesn't even have the designers name on it.

    It was put out in a pamphlet by Leisure Arts years and years ago. There was a series of four pamphlets, all for N size hook afghans. They are out of print now. I know because I lost my copy of the one with the Lace Panel in it, and went to Michaels and asked for another one. They didn't have any, and told me they were out of print. I sent an email to Leisure Arts, begging for a copy, as it was my very favorite afghan pattern.

    They sent me a black and white photocopy of the pamphlet, since I was such a "loyal customer". I have been very careful to laminate this copy, and put it in a safe place. Even though I have the pattern memorized, I sometimes need to refresh my memory.

    Here are the promised photos of the progress I've made. The blanket is done long side to long side, so I laid it out that way.

And here's the close up:


Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Next Two Projects....

     I finally decided it's time to replace my crocheted tire cover on my Jeep, so I've started a new one! I bought the yarn a few weeks ago, but I was waiting to be done with a few other things first, and waiting for my crochet hooks to reappear when we moved the couch out of here.

     I went with another color scheme entirely for the new one! I started with burgundy, and found a variegated yarn to go with it, called Cherry Chip. It's got the dark red, as well as tan, dark tan, and chocolate brown. I like it. Here is a photo of the two yarns, together:

      So far, so good. I'm sure Hubs will hate it, thinking it's too girly. See, he hasn't driven my Jeep very often since I put the last tire cover on, he feels the other boys will make fun of him. I even started making one out of camouflage colored yarn. But I don't like it much, so I never finished it. I probably should, since my Jeep is green, and the camo would kind of cool on the back. Here is a photo of the progress I've made so far:

     At this rate, it won't take long to finish this one off! However, I will probably need help putting it on, since it took two of us to get the last one on. I made it a bit small, so it went on nice and snug. It's been on nearly two years now, and it's starting to get a bit ratty looking. As a reminder, here is what the current one looks like!


    Well, it's now after  p.m. and I've had to stop crocheting. My hand hurts! I will rest it overnight and start again tomorrow. Here is how far I've gotten:

    That was written last night. Today, I've made more progress on the tire cover. But the going is slow, it's been a while since I crocheted this much. My hand is aching. Today, I found two skeins of Lion Brand Pound of Love in my stash, in the denim blue colorway. I like this color! It's calling me, it wants to be a blanket for a small person. But I can't decide whether to crochet a blanket or knit one. I will have to think about this some more.

    The two choices? For crochet, I would make my favorite pattern, it's only 4 rows of any one stitch, so it doesn't get too boring. It's sort of my trademark blanket, we all have one, even son-in-law Mike, and Jesse's grilfriend Julie. Even both grandkids each have one! Only fair that the next grandbaby gets one too.

    The other, knitted option, would be to make that EZ blanket I started with the yarn I can't find any more of to finish it. I would make it a bit smaller, and with the two pounds of yarn, that should be plenty to make a finished blanket. Here's a photo of the yarn:

    It looks pretty against the pink of my chair, doesn't it!  As you probably guessed, I made the pillow cover that the yarn is sitting on too. It's on a pillow from our former couch. The corner where I sat kind of sank, so I would sit on the pillow to raise myself up to normal seat height.

    If anyone has any opinions on which blanket I should make, please feel free to leave me a comment!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happily Crocheting Again!

     I am very excited, since I got my crochet hook back from the couch, where it had fallen last week, I am nearly finished with my new shawl!! This morning, as I was hanging with the Cherub, I crocheted until I had to stop due to lack of yarn. I didn't bring another skein with me!

    Shortly after I got home, I connected the next skein, and was once again happily crocheting! My shawl is a pentagram triangle shawl, designed by Maria Merlino. I have seen the pattern for sale on etsy, she has a shop there now. When I bought it, she had her own web site. It's been quite a while since I purchased the pattern!

     There I was, sitting in my chair, counting the minutes until it was time to go and sit for Miss Malia. I suddenly realised I hadn't checked my phone lately, and there it was, a text message from her mom, saying I wasn't needed today! Yippee Skippee, I am free!

    Since it is currently raining, I can't take my shawl outside to photograph it. I don't understand it. It was really sunny earlier! Oh, well, I made do, taking advantage of the absence of part of the sectional. Here is the photo:

    I have to say, I'm very happy with how it came out. You can't see it in this photo, but the yarn has very subtle black sparklies in it. I am sorry to say that while I had it laid out on the floor, I didn't take any measurements. It's not as big as the last one, the point of which dragged on the ground at the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival.

    It hasn't even been washed and dried yet! I can't wait to wear it! I should mention, the yarn I used was from Red Heart, called Shimmer, color Black. Each of the colors of this yarn has the same color sparklies in it. It's a nice yarn to work with, and is machine washable and dryable.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Story of My Mom

    My mom is a cool woman. This year she will be 80 years young. Apparently I am not the only one who has been worried about her memory. This morning I talked to her on the phone.

    Her friend John regularly brings DVD movies to her house and they watch them together. I should mention that John was her next door neighbor, before she sold her house. They are good friends, he looks out for her. He is a little younger than I am. he considers himself her third child.

    A few days ago, he brought a movie and they were watching it. He asked her if it looked familiar. She told him no, it doesn't. I guess he asked her several times during the movie. She kept saying no. After it was over, she told him that she had never seen that movie before, she totally didn't remember that ending. He told her that they had seen it last fall.

    He started teasing her about her memory. After a while, during their conversation, she mentioned that there was a new show coming on TV about a Sheriff. John turned to her, and asked her, "Does it happen to take place in a town called Mayberry?" She  laughed, but was a little annoyed about the whole thing.

    I was appalled when she told me about it, but when I retold the story to Hubs, we both laughed a little hysterically. I guess I found it a lot funnier the second time I heard it.

    That's my mom, on the left in the photo. I guess it's the only one I have on file in my laptop. She is with my daughter's husband's grandmother. They are great friends.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Do Champagne and Crocheting Mix?

    Today, I was up at the ass crack of dawn to watch my friends Cherub. I go home for about two hours, then watch Miss Malia. So I am a little on the tired side. Hubs and I did lie down and try to nap after I got home, but neither of us could fall asleep.

     So when my friend Kit called, I said "Sure, c'mon over!" See, she is my son's roommates mom. And they have been friends since kindergarten. And we are both facing the empty nest thing. At least we have each other. She brought a bottle of champagne, which we cracked open, and poured healthy cupfuls.

    We sat and talked, and drank champagne. We visited for about two hours. After she left, I picked up my crocheting. Now, I was good and buzzed. Champagne and I have a history, and I usually end up asleep. So I started working again on my shawl, happily, since I finally got my crochet hook back from the couch. I must say that as far as I can tell, I have not made any mistakes on the shawl while under the influence. I have done several rows.

    I took a break to cook dinner, and crocheted while the chicken was in the oven. I am no longer buzzed, but I do have a pretty good headache. Since we have eaten, I am no longer buzzed. Now we are watching one of my favorite movies, The Last Legion. I love unusual stories about King Arthur and where he came from. This is a good one.

    I assume that at some point in the near future, I will be answering the question posed in the title, as right now, I don't really care. I'm just too tired to check my work. And I am very glad I have someone nearby to visit with, who will also be missing her son. After all, misery loves company.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Operation Empty Nest Phase II

    Well, today was the final day. The son is all moved into his new house, furniture and all. This time, I got to go along, so I got to see how the kids have set everything up. They did a good job. And now that the couch is all in place, there's room for tons of people to sit!

    That being said, it was traumatic for me. As we were leaving, my boy shook his dad's hand, and remarked that it was weird. Then I got a big hug, and he asked me if I was OK, and if I was going to be OK. Of course I said yes, but I was tearing up. I turned away quickly after he finally let me go.

    I did remember to take a couple of photos while they were loading the truck, for the second time. I forgot the first time. Then, after they left the first time, the sky got dark, and it got all windy, then it started to rain. Then we lost power for a little while. But by the time the boys got back, the rain had stopped and everything was drying up.

    They had gotten the first load of couch to Fishkill with no problem. Second load also made it with no problem. Whew. Tomorrow, Hubs and I are having a little empty nest get together with Graeme's mom, Kit. I feel bad for her, as she is all alone in their house for the month of June. Her Hubs is away working. So I think I will be keeping her company on those evenings that my Hubs is working.

     As a side note, I have to report that the number of crochet hooks that were found in between couch sections turned out to be 7! There was also a large knitting needle, a row counter, a cable needle, a small pair of scissors, and a stitch marker. I hear that after the first load of couch made it to Fishkill, a crochet hook fell out of one of those sections! I forgot to get it back when we were down there. Maybe next time!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Operation Empty Nest, Phase I

    Yesterday was the day when my son, and youngest child, officially moved out. He and his dad packed up his boxes, his dressers and his queen size bed, as well as some of his other miscellaneous stuff, into dad's truck, and onto a borrowed trailer. I should mention that two of the three flat screen household TV's went with him too. He even rolled up the rug from the floor of his room and took that too.

    Just now, it's beginning to hit me. He's really gone. He will be sleeping in his own house tonight. Well, dad owns it, but he lives there. Now we get to look forward to Phase II.

    That is when Jess comes back, and takes our living room furniture home with him. We have a six piece sectional, with a sleeper sofa in it, and a recliner at each end. And now it will be his. I'm happy about this, because that means we get new furniture! We also get a new TV for our bedroom! I guess that is the trade off, we lose our son, and get new stuff.

    The funny thing is that all four of the young people who are sharing this house are each the youngest in their family. So all four sets of parents having the same feelings tonight. Hubs and I will open our bottle of champagne after that phase is complete. It should be tonight. Yesterday, I totally forgot to take photos, I guess it was the shock of it all. Hopefully today I can get some.

An Explanation, Sort of...

    To begin with, I live very close to the Hudson River. I grew up on the east bank of the river, and still live there. I have a very acute sense of direction, or at least I used to. In high school, once some of my friends got their licenses, they used to drive randomly around, and try to get me lost. But I always knew which way to go to get home.

    So it is a concrete fact that if the river is on my left, I am facing north. Period. However, once I go across the bridge to the other side of the river, I get totally lost. I have no idea where I am, or in which direction I'm going. I think I'm going north, because the river is on my left. I'm actually heading south. You can see how this might be a problem. If I am heading to Kingston, I could end up in Newburg.

    That is why I usually try to get someone else to drive if we have to cross the bridge to the other side of the river. Since I have been to Kingston twice in the last 10 days, I am feeling pretty confident I can find my way back to that particular stretch of Rte 9W. I might be brave enough to try and find it on my own. After all, there's a Michael's craft store there...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Finished Project Photos!

    In the last 24 hours, I have finished two projects! First up was the Beast of a shawl, aka the great garter stitch monster. I finished that last night. I have yet to block it, and weave the ends in.

    After that was done, I started working on finishing the beautiful grey baby blanket. I only had the last side to do. I finished that today during Miss Malia's nap time. I also had time to weave in the ends. Now I just have to wash and dry it, then I can deliver it to my daughter.

    Now I just have to decide what I want to knit next. I had sort of decided to do the shawl that the Yarn Harlot recently did. Now I'm not so sure. I may make the Beast again, in a lighter weight yarn. Maybe I will try my hand at a baby sweater. Then again, maybe not. I am just not sure. I guess I will worry about it after my son moves out this weekend....