Monday, December 29, 2003

She's got the idea

Sophie has good taste. Here she is lounging on the first sleeve of my Emerald Isle sweater.

She seems to find any horizontal, soft surface on which to recline (right in the middle of all the holiday detritus). Then she gets crabby if I shoo her off. Today, I'm letting her stay. The kidlets have gone to Granny and Buster's house. Hub has gone to see the status of his latest job (he's a contractor and since the surgery, he's been unable to work - no lifting). The house is mine and it's quiet. There's no shouting or bickering going on. It's heaven. They'll be gone until New Year's Eve - we have 2 whole evenings to act like adults instead of parents!!

Here's what we did yesterday:

That's my newphew on the left and Little Big Man on the right. Hub had a bunch of tickets to the Great Lakes Invitational hockey tournament at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The tickets were free, but let me tell you - the beer and pizza definitely weren't! It was a whole afternoon of hockey goodness and it was a lot of fun. Sassy was a little distressed when we told her there were 2 games being played and we were staying for both, but she survived.

I have the whole week off and very little that I HAVE to do. I don't think I'm getting dressed today. There's Coke in the fridge and plenty of chocolate. Life is good.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Why it's good to be a kid on ChrisTmas Eve

This was the tree last night after Santa stopped by:

It doesn't look like that this morning.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Holiday Blogworld Thanks

I want to thank a few people out in Blogworld today:

Thanks to Tracy for talking me out of trying to knit Entrelac stockings for my children this ChrisTmas. I actually had the yarn months ago, but kept putting it off. Not long ago I asked if it was too late (hoping someone would tell me it was) and SweaterGirl came through for me. So, maybe they'll get them next year, but I'll start before November (I promise).

Thanks to Jillian for giving me a yarn crawl to look forward to in January. And also for giving me the heads up on the new Spring knitting books. It's so nice to know what's coming down the pike. She's a good friend (virtual and real).

Thanks to Mac who makes me laugh out loud at least once a day. And then makes my co-workers laugh out loud too.

Thanks to AJ who brings a unique view of motherhood and nurturing and makes me think about how I relate to my own children. You rock my friend!

I hope everyone has a safe and restful holiday season.

Monday, December 22, 2003

It came to my house

We now official join the households who've had the flu this season. It hit me on Saturday evening. I went to bed early with a massive headache and woke up at 3 am throwing up. It lasted approximately 12 hours (just long enough to get me out of ChrisTmas dinner at my mother-in-law's house) and then vanished. No one else has it yet, keep your fingers crossed.

I spent yesterday trussed up in a big, warm, blankie in front of the TV with Viggo to keep me company. I'm trying to figure out when we can find time to see LOR III before the end of the week.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

It's all good

When I first started making socks with Koigu, I thought it would be a drag to hand wash them. I have 4 pairs - I wear them to work during the week and on the weekend I throw them all in the sink to soak for a bit (with Eucalan). Nothing makes me happier than this:

I know I'll have warm, dry feet all week.

Off to pop in Fellowship of the Ring. Where's the popcorn?

Friday, December 19, 2003

Good karma

Last night I went out at 8:00 pm to give a friend a knitting lesson. I don't like to leave my home after I get there from work. All I want to do is put on my jammies, turn on my heated mattress pad, and chill out. She usually comes by during the day and once even brought me lunch (salmon spread on a bagel - stop laughing Jillian). So, we couldn't hook up this week during the day and she asked me to meet her at a local restaurant and help her turn the heels on her socks. I went. It was fine. She knit the heel flap, turned the heel, and picked up the stitches on sock #1. She wanted to do them both at the same time, so sock #2 is up to the point where she'll knit the heel flap next. She's hoping to have the pair done for her "gentleman caller" for ChrisTmas. I told her to call me if she got into any trouble and I could talk her through it. What I want to know is, does this get me good karma? Even though I pissed and moaned about having to go? I must at least get good karma for allowing her to kiss and hug me when we parted ways (cheek kiss, but still...).

We're having a Lord of the Rings weekend. I haven't seen The Two Towers yet (Hub took Little Big Man to see it last year). I went and bought the extended version a couple of days ago and Little Big Man's plan is to sit in front of the TV all day Saturday and watch the first 2 movies before we go on Sunday to see the third. I've been trying to think of something I can knit while staring at the screen. I think big fluffy scarves of mohair and Eros are in order. They're on the projects list - so it's fair game.

I'm so excited about the Great Stash Redistribution Project that Amy over at Cyborgoddess has organized. I'm the the "Slip-Stitch" group. The idea is that a box full of yarn is shipped out. When it gets to your house, you take out anything you like and add stuff from your own stash that you've fallen out of love with. The beauty of this whole scheme is that I can get some of the beautiful, but unused yarn out of my house and someone else will fall in love with and use it. At the same time, if something strikes my fancy in the box, it can stay with me. I can't wait!! This is the perfect thing to look forward to in the new year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Is it tempting fate...

to tell the surgeon who just operated on your husband that he didn't take long enough? I didn't even have time to finish my Coke in the waiting room before Dr. Speed came out to talk to me. Apparently, hernia fixation is routine and never takes very long (about the time it takes to patch a tire). Not a surgeon's favorite thing to do because it's not complicated enough. Hub is home and fine. He refused to take more than 1 Vicodin and is living off ice packs and Motrin. Thanks for all your good thoughts.

So, here's what I did yesterday,

+ =

I stopped last evening because it looked like it was getting too long and I didn't have Sassy's hand to measure it against. I checked it this morning, and it's perfect, I'll be starting the decreases during lunch today. Pink Koigu curtesy of Jillian's Yarn Palace.

Here's even more good news - J made me check out Travelocity and we can fly to Jersey for $141 on Spirit Airlines! That's about equal to gas $$ and a hotel for an overnight stay if we drove (not to mention food and drink). How good can life get?

Did I mention that we're having ChrisTmas dinner at my mother-in-law's house on Sunday? Apparently it can't get any better.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Here it is

My first picture with my new digital camera:

This is just to prove that I actually did finish something!!

I have my knitting bag all packed for my hospital waiting room this afternoon. I'll show my progress tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Lost Weekend

I'm feeling a little better today. Originally, I had a huge list of things that I was going to get done this weekend. Here's what I did: nothing.

No really.

I had a nap on Saturday and knitted on the front of my Emerald Isle Pullover on Sunday. I did finish my orange Koigu socks. I now have 4 pairs of Koigu socks - happy me.

Okay, I did cross one thing off the list. Hub's family trades cookies instead of gifts for the adults. We send a dozen cookies to his brother, 2 sisters, and his mom. I made my family help and the job was done very quickly - Henry Ford would have been proud.

Here's what's making me happy this week:
a planned trip to Stitches East 2004 (road trip with my buds and yarn - what's better than that?)
my digital camera should be on my doorstep this afternoon
it's a 4 day week*
students are leaving town for break, so parking is a cinch

*It's a 4 day week because Hub is having hernia repair surgery tomorrow. Send good thoughts at around 1:00 pm.

Friday, December 12, 2003

It's a Holiday Funk

It's official - I hate everything. When I'm at work, I hate work and want to go home. When I'm at home, I hate home and want to go to work. What's up with that? I keep thinking that as soon as I "get some time off," I'll feel better. Unfortunately, I still have another week to go. At least I have an interesting project to do here at work. We're beta testing a new coding manual (you know, seeing it written down makes it a lot less exciting than I thought). Anyway, it's something different - so that's good.

On the knitting front, I have finished the back of the Emerald Isle Pullover. I went home last night and just knit. I also started the front, but I'm only about 3 rows into it...there was only one episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit on USA last night. This is my prime knitting show, because Hub won't watch it and I won't let the kids watch it. So, I go into the bedroom, close the door, turn on the heated mattress pad, and spread out the knitting. Okay, I'll admit, I usually have a nosh too - but something that won't leave crumbs in the bed!

Tomorrow is my spinning guild's holiday party. It's usually a pretty good time with everyone bringing good food and a gift to exchange. The gift is supposed to be fiber related and cost under $5.00. While some people do manage to find a fiber related gift for under $5.00 - most go over the limit. I always bring some fiber that I've enjoyed spinning to give away. It's hard to put a price tag on that because more often than not, I've had it for a while and have no idea how much I spent on it! Anyway, I slip it into a Christmas bag with a candle and some hot chocolate and call it a "Spinner's Survival Kit."

The digital camera I ordered on Thanksgiving still isn't here! I called QVC yesterday to complain and the woman said, "I'm so sorry. I'll ship another one out today, priority. It's so close to the holidays - I hope you haven't been inconvenienced." Gotta love their customer service. I should have it today or Monday (fingers crossed).

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I'm crabby and bored

On what planet is it acceptable for one to say, "I'm leaving for lunch now" at 11:30 am and not return from lunch until 3:05 pm? I mean really, I've taken some long lunches in my time, but sweet jeebus!

I'm going home now. I think I need a nap.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Monday, December 08, 2003

Vanilla Sock Pattern

I almost forgot. Colleen and Latifa asked, so I posted my vanilla sock pattern on my projects page. Go have a look and let me know if you have any problems with it. My mother-in-law and another friend have "test" knit from it, but I'd love to hear from you if you use it.

Now, I give you...Productive Girl

First, go congratulate Amy on a gorgeous new Knitty! And, hey, how about those fabulous cover models!! I must tell you that I've seen this sweater in person and it's beyond beautiful. As Little Big Man would say, "Now you're famous and people will ask for your autograph."

I had an extremely productive weekend. My horrible mohair scarves are now behind me - I finished #3 on Saturday night! It felt so good to be done, I picked up the Emerald Isle Pullover and knit several inches closer to the top of the back. I actually thought that this weekend would be a spinning weekend, but didn't feel much like spinning anything.


should be on my doorstep this afternoon. So, I'm guessing that I'll feel like spinning. Hub finally saw the wheel for himself. We were at Nancy's house on Sunday and I dragged him in to have a look. He was pretty impressed with it and I think he secretly wants to try it out for himself.

My spinning guild asked all the members who went to SOAR to bring a selection of what they learned and what they bought to the meeting in January. Since I have so much stuff, I need to get busy making some sample skeins to bring in. Nancy has been productive indeed and she showed me a skein of everything she bought! Each one was lovelier than the last - I'll be ready to spin tonight!

Can someone goose UPS into delivering my camera? It's been over a week and I still don't have it. Sheesh, it's only coming from Pennsylvania!

One more question, is it too late to get Christmas stockings knit for my kids? In entrelac?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Still Lucky Girl

I drive over to my salon today to pay my bill (makes me feel a little like a guy with a bar tab). My stylist greeted me at the door with, "Oh, I forgot you were coming back today!" Of course, I feel weird, because my hair never looks like when she styles it (I know, she's using 2 hands and can stand behind me). Anyway, I have this weird piece of hair that always flips like Mary Tyler Moore's no matter what I do to it. So, I grab it and say, "What do I do with THIS?" "Don't you have any gel?" she snorts. "Umm, no. Not a drop in my house and I looked everywhere this morning."

She scans the shelf with product on it and asks the woman behind the counter, "Don't we have any of the slicker?" When the receptionist shakes her head, she runs back to her station and grabs her tube. "Here, take this." When I start to protest, she shoves it in my hands and moves behind the counter, "No, take it." (I think what is implicit here is that I really needed the slicker.) So I gave her a big tip. How cool is that?

Then I pick up lunch from my 2nd favorite Chinese place and drive to Jillian's for a grown-up lunch. Damn those kids are the cutest! That Henry could make child-haters want a baby; he's smiling and baby-talking now. Isobel showed me a couple of different jumps she knows and also how high she can jump. See, she's paying attention in gymnastics after all!

It was really hard to return to work, so I consoled myself on the Threadbear site. I haven't actually purchased yarn for the Charlotte's Web Shawl, but I sure looked at all the colors. In the end, I sent an e-mail to them and asked them to help me pick yarns to go with
this and this I should go home tonight and finish something - just so I feel justified in ordering something else. Wait a minute, I'm not on a yarn diet - am I?

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Today I am Lucky Girl

I called my hair salon to see if I could get in for a hair cut. I haven't had one in about 6 months, so I was kinda shaggy looking. I'm getting ready to go and reach into my briefcase to find my wallet and checkbook and find...nothing. They aren't there. So I do what everyone does in this situation, I scramble through the rest of my briefcase, check my coat pockets, and desk drawers - nothing. Then I remember I took them out of my briefcase and put them in my knitting basket last evening for Sassy's ballet class. Knitting basket is at home. With a heavy heart, I call my salon and tell them I don't have means with which to pay. (here's the lucky part) They told me to come anyway and I could drop a check by tomorrow. How cool is that?! So, now I'm head swinging, new haircut girl.

So, I'm swinging my head while driving back to the office and wondering if I can scrape up enough change to get a bagel to tide me over until dinner. I park my car (on the bottom level of the parking structure - someone was just pulling out), open up the armrest to see if there's any change and find...a $5 bill. Can you stand it??? I bought a sandwich for $4.02 (and I had .02 in my coat pocket). I'm thinking I should run out and buy a lottery ticket tonight with my lucky $1.

On a knitting note, I was resisting a certain pattern that it seems everyone is knitting right now. It's this one

Charlotte's web from the Koigu people (I'm really a ho for Koigu). I was resisting even though I saw all the lovely yarns and shawls that people are making. I can no longer resist. I must have this pattern. The most gorgeous one I've seen is on BoogaJ's site. (Click on the knitting gallery button - the shawl is the first thumbnail in the third row.) She picked my current favorite color (orange). Go take a look, it's really lovely. Hmmm, my salon is near the yarn shop I usually go to, maybe I'll swing by there tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Holidays are Upon Me

I feel a sense of relief now that I haven't had before. Yesterday was my work holiday party. The woman who organized last year is on her way out this year (her choice) and refused to participate in the holiday party. So, it was my job to pull it together. We just wanted a small lunch-time gathering where we could exchange gifts and eat good food.

A co-worker and I devised a movie trivia quiz that everyone had to play. There was lots of complaining when everyone was trying to figure out the answers (all these high achievers!!). I'm happy to report that everyone got at least 2 questions right (out of 17). The people with the least # right got to pick from the gift pile first. Everyone after that could either pick a gift from the pile or steal something someone else had taken before. There were a couple of hot items (a lava lamp, a set of ornaments, and [for some unknown reason] a giant tin of popcorn). My scarf was well received - it got oohs and aaahs.

I have declined all other Holiday party invitations. We have one wedding to go to (on the 19th) and Christmas Eve dinner at my parents' house. I suppose I'll have to show up at my mother-in-law's house at some point too. We used to switch back and forth between my parents' house and my mother-in-law's house for all holidays. The last Christmas Eve dinner I had at my mother-in-law's was in 1990 (my father-in-law's last). "Dinner" was sub rolls and deli meat (still in their plastic bags) tossed on the table with jars of mayo and mustard on the side (the knives were sticking up out of the jars). Seriously, she couldn't even be bothered to try and make it look nice. I looked at my husband over my Chinette plate and said, "This is the last time...." He cut me off with, "Don't even finish, I know and I agree." I hate it when he agrees too quickly - then I don't get to rant and rave.

Does it make me anti-social that I hate holiday gatherings? I'd much rather be sitting in a corner and knitting than trying to be pleasant for 2-3 hours. I want to hibernate. My office-mate and I decided that everyone should have an "opt-out" for December if they want it. Companies would pay their workers for the entire month of December, but not expect them to show up at work. I have received 5 work related invitations for holiday gatherings - each on different days. If they're paying me to eat and drink and be merry with my co-workers - why not just let me stay home in my bed with the remote and a basket full of yarn? I'd really be much happier and more productive in the long run.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Nothing to see here

I am happy to report that my (soon to be ex) brother-in-law behaved himself at my house on Thursday. He showed up, sat in the living room watching football and golf, ate dinner, and left. There was no screaming and yelling and no ugly scene. The one blemish on the day was when my mother realized that she hadn't sauteed the onions and celery before adding them to the stuffing, and we could have used more pecan pie. My sister stepped into the dessert breech with a fabulous bourbon bread pudding courtesy of AJ. It was so yummy, there were no leftovers!

Jillian asked if I bought any of that lucious silk yarn I posted last week. Well, no, I didn't (yet), but I did buy 4 oz of this... I can't wait to spin this gorgeous stuff. I'll let you know how it is.

I must report that after complaining I had no shopping done, as of last night I'm 99% finished (I LOVE the internet). Can I whine a little that my 12-year-old son is harder to buy for than my 62-year-old father? The kid has everything he needs and can pretty much buy what he wants (allowance + a grandmother who's always finding some task for him to do and to pay him for). He's the only person I have left to buy for. I think I'll turn him over to Hub and make him do some shopping too.

Here's what I bought for myself...

I was laying on my couch on Thursday evening (my parents took my kids away and Hub went off to play cards with his brother-in-law) flipping through the channels. You know my travails in finding a suitable digital camera - I flipped onto QVC and there it was. It's perfect (or it looked perfect on TV). I'm supposed to have it in hand this week (it was shipped on Saturday). I can't wait!!

The kids have been bugging me to see this...

If you have anyone at your house who wants to see it, I would recommend NOT. I think Mike Myers is hysterical, the first Austin Powers movie had me crying with laughter. This cat is no Austin Powers. There was so much toilet humor in this movie, I was nauseous. It bears so little resemblance to my beloved Dr. Seuss version that I wanted to throw my popcorn at the screen. On the flip side, my children thought it was hysterical. So much for good upbringing.