Thursday, March 30, 2006
Just had to sneak a piccie off of ruthee's blog of our knewest knitting bitch, Keelin. Visited this little angel last night and got to hold her ... I'm pretty sure she's the smallest human critter I've ever had the pleasure of holding. They weighed her while I was there and she'd dropped to 6#12--pretty normal for a newborn. My latest small person reference points, Hunter and Meara, were both over 8 pounds at birth, so having that little package in my arms last night was amazing!
I guess I really should take Meara out of the small person reference point area of my brain; she's frickin' 22! Just got offered an adjunct professor position for next Spring at UCF, and she's only half done with her Masters! I'm too proud to be jealous, but it does have me throwing myself into my textbooks again for my environmental science studies.
I must be learning patience too, because even though I can't wait to see Keelin again, I also didn't feel that ache that I get around really small people, that ache that tells me how ready I am to have one of my own. It felt completely natural to hold her, touch her, but it didn't hurt. That's a relief.
The nurse had her up on her shoulder last night and that critter was pushing back on it with her arms, holding up her head with eyes open...2 days old! Her cry is this clear, little sound complete with quivering chin; I was just knocked out watching her.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
So I cook a little. Really only a little, when you consider how we live, but I'm learning. I enjoy watching Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network and Lidia on PBS. I dream of not living out of a can or box quite so much. I dream of eating healthier. I've been told I make yummy round things (souffles, casseroles, pot pie, snicker doodles, etc.). Branched out into homemade bread this past holiday season with mixed success; my wheat bread kicks some ass, however I learned the hard way not to use self-rising flour in a yeast recipe on French bread. Had to shove it in the oven, just so it would stop growing!
So my mother-in-law, who never met a sale she didn't like and will likely have "Born to Shop" engraved on her tombstone, treated herself to the next size up of Kitchenaid stand-alone mixers after Christmas. Actually a justifiable purchase when you witness the number of quiches and pecan pies she ends up making in an average winter holiday. So what to do with the beauty pictured here, her original mixer (graphic courtesy of kitchenaid.com)? She has 2 daughters. She says they both turned it down; I wonder if she even asked them, but certainly wasn't going to look a gift mixer in the mouth when she offered it to me, so when they came down earlier this month for Les's dental appointments, they brought it with. Our galley kitchen is low on counter space, so I put it on my newfound worktable for now.
Last night I made shepherd's pie (round!) for dinner and 2 loaves of wheat bread afterward (one for the new mommy). Why not try the new mixer! Used it to make the mashed potatoes for the shepherd's pie, and then again to mix the heated milk mixture with the flour for the bread. So easy! Was able to do the whole bread mixing with it, just switched from the flat ceramic head to the dough hook once I started adding the 2nd batch of flour. Where have you been all my life, pretty black Kitchenaid mixer?! Where can I make room on the kitchen counter for you? Nowhere, really :( the one place where we do have space, it would kind of be in the way, and the other counters are packed (microwave, toaster, toaster oven, tea maker, coffee maker, unfortunately all of which get used with regularity). Hmm...for now, the worktable is awkward, but perfect; allows me to leave it out for use; which is cool because it's a heavy sucker, not something you want to be lugging out when you need it.
Remarkably, managed a couple of rows on the baby blanket last night; must've been in serious domestic goddess mode, though my heart wasn't really in the knitting yet. That's frustrating, but it's been a busy week. The baby shower is May 27, so I've got goals to set with regard to the baby stuff I'm knitting for Kara. Tonight I'll fix a basket for Terra and Keelin and go for a quick visit; can't wait for my baby fix!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I'm a surrogate aunt again!!! I have no idea how her first name is spelled yet, but she's here and healthy! Terra gave birth sometime this morning. The first name, pronounced Key-Lynn, I gave the "ie" because the pronounciation is similar to Kieran, but it could just as easily be Keelyn(n), I suppose. It means "gentle." Siobhan is pronounced "shi-vawn.
Delightfully distracting at work today, as if excitement about our newest Knitting Bitch wasn't enough to distract me, they're building new desks right behind me, which requires an electric drill, a modicum of banging, and 2 guys talking in Spanish. I'm on an upswing of sorts though, I can tell, and lemme tellya, it feels good. Patiently worked some SSS last night, but I think I've managed my first design flaws/features in the sucker, which I'm hoping to remedy with my crochet hook, because I'm damn sure not frogging or tinking. I think I'll work baby blanket tonight though; it's my solid TV night (NCIS, House, SVU) and I don't want to screw up SSS more than it's currently screwed. Just remembered I want to bake bread for Terra too, so knitting will have to occur between rises. She's one of those frightfully organized people who baked casseroles and other dishes to be put up/frozen for easy meals in the first weeks, but I figure you can always use some homemade bread to go with.
I hate shoes that make noise, always have, you know, like sandals that slap against your heel as you walk. Not sure why; was taught to turn my nose up at clogs and flip-flops at an early age, probably because they make it easier to trip over your own feet and a) I didn't need any help in that department growing up, and b) we weren't allowed to make mistakes, have accidents, etc. But alas, I needed something to wear with my wealth of capri pants now that the weather's warming. I have one pair of slides, but they don't offer enough support for my needy lack-of-arches to wear on any regular basis. So went to evil Wally world yesterday and sure enough, found an ultra-comfy, only slightly ugly pair of slides that curve the foot better for my needs and only cost $12. Must remember to send a thank-you note to the Dominican refugee that made them. Best yet, they have that big toe loop, which keeps the foot in the slide better; and that's fantastic for someone like me, who hasn't worn shoes like this her whole life and is quite the klutz besides. I mean, I also have a pair of black slides with a pretty butterfly on them, that I wear from time to time, but on stairs, driving, and other tasks—like walking—it's kind of hard not to come off looking like a cartoon character on roller skates. Fashion, unfortunately, also means knowing one's limitations.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Meet Bloo. Full name Blooregard Q. Kazoo, he's main character Mac's imaginary friend; when Mac's mom decided he was too old for an imaginary friend, Bloo went to live at Foster's where Mac visits him now. Bloo's vacuous, but complex; just when you think he's a completely irredeemable little shit, he does something to show that he does know right from wrong--he just chooses not to acknowledge it most of the time, because it gets in the way of what he wants.
I'm sleepy...I've gotta stop napping on Sundays, it goofs up my sleep sched; I hit the sack late Sunday as a result and feel shredded on Monday morning. It was a good weekend; didn't get to Sylvester yet, but did buy the supplies, got plenty of relax time...but still...weather's cool and beuautiful out, and there's about a million things I'd rather be doing than sitting at this f*cking computer!
Didn't touch my knitting this weekend; got some books out of the library a while back that I'm finally reading--Mayo Clinic's latest stuff on how to lose a big ass (body, not spouse...well, the technical titles are like, Healthy Weight for Everyone and Fitness for Everyone). It's decent, all stuff I already know, but sometimes when you read it written differently, it makes better sense somehow. Or maybe I'm just ready for a change. Thought I might be pregnant for about a week there, and when it turned out I wasn't, it was such a mixture of sad and relief. I've got to put my impatience on a shelf somewhere. Once Les has teeth and is looking for work, then it's feasible, but until then, we're not nearly ready.
I just ache to be a mommy. Ostara lifted my heart this weekend; got to see Draken and a small pile of 4-year-old girls running in circles at the church. Triplet girls....remembering them oughta keep me from getting pregnant before we're ready! Beautiful kids, but my god, how do those parents hear themselves think!
In the meantime, the weather's clear and pretty, I'm finally hearing Canada geese (their call has a sweetness that always transports me straight to Above All--where I lived in CT from 11 to 15), and I'll get my hands in the dirt this week; separating Sylvester into several vessels, downsizing Jade, and starting some basil and lavender.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Meet Wilt (graphic courtesy of wikipedia). Polite to a fault, this imaginary friend is the former buddy of a basketball fan. He's a sweetie; once missed an entire mall outing because he was too busy holding the door open for people and saying "you're welcome."
Got my hands in the yarn last night, but my heart wasn't quite in it. Cast on fresh for a baby hat and made it so tight by accident, that it had to be cut off. Vicky was impressed, I think. I don't get it, I wasn't tense last night; was feeling good, had just gotten my hair cut (nothing drastic, but quite a bit healthier and more manageable). So then gave up on the hat, did a round + of SSS, and when I got home, cast onto straights and transferred to the circular for the hat. I just suck at casting onto circulars, I guess.
So tonight, I'll plunk along on a little bit of everything. Thank the gods it's Friday! Tomorrow's Ostara, but I'm not making myself nuts over it; I doubt many people are going to show for the class that early anyway, and it's not like I'll get points taken off for reading straight from Turning the Wheel. Definitely crediting ruthee and Terra with the bulk of my material--that Ostara article from 2004 was a gold mine. Then I need to buy tires for the car, and the rest of the weekend is mine! Absolutely buying potting soil this weekend and dealing with Sylvester (aka the aloe that ate the porch); he's not looking so hot.
New Foster's tonight, 7 p.m., Cartoon Network. Sweet god, I need a life!
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Meet Eduardo (pic courtesy of http://imaginary-friends.net/). He's an imaginary friend looking for a home. He's about 3 years old and a very lovable fraidy cat of a monster. To get to know him, check out Foster's Home of Imaginary Friends (one of the more warm, fuzzy, positive cartoons out there today, having nothing to do with superheroes, guns, aliens, mutants, trading card games, ninjas, or any of the other fertilizer so common in today's cartoons) on Cartoon Network. The almost-35-year-old man-child I live with watches quite a bit of Cartoon Network, and Foster's rubbed off on me...especially Bloo, whose arrogance is only matched by his sarcasm.
Haven't knit since Monday.....definitely startin' to get twitchy..... canya tell?
Monday's knitting can barely be called knitting since I ripped it all out :( Then Tuesday, I did the taxes (still getting $ back! Whew!), and started prep for the class I'm giving Saturday morning on Ostara. Spent last night finishing the outline for the class and creating some visual aids (yes, folks, there will be props!), but by the time I got that stuff done (and dinner--I actually pulled together crock pot roast midweek!), it was like 10:30 and I wasn't about to pick something up just to knit one row.
At least the class stuff is done, so I can relax Friday night and concentrate on other stuff like what to accomplish this weekend, if anything, and whether or not to bring anything to the potluck besides that box of Girl Scout cookies we don't want...
So, if your LYS has a swift and ball winder in shop and you buy say, a skein of Lorna's Laces or something, will they wind it for you for free if you don't have your own swift? Silly question, probably, since even if our wonderful Judge K (LYS owner) couldn't do it for some reason, I could always schlep over to miss ruthee's and bribe her with wheat bread or something for the use of her swift...but stuff flies through my random head and I gotta ask...
Seriously though, back on my cartoon rant, whatever happened to cartoons being about regular roles in life, a little moral, a little lesson, the Roadrunner outsmarting the Coyote rather than dismembering him? If the Coyote got dismembered, it was his own fault, and that's what the kid watching it took away from it. I mean, when Elmer Fudd used to blow Daffy's beak off, I recognized it for what it was. It certainly wasn't instilling any kind of "violence is acceptable" message, like the family-values groups seem to think it was. If you're being raised right, you're going to look at it the same way Daffy did, with a "you're despicable" and move on. There is such a thing as taking something too seriously. One of my faves from the Roadrunner days didn't even have Roadrunner in it; it was the one with Wile E. Coyote and the sheepdog taking their rightful places in the grand scheme on a daily basis with the help of a timeclock and a lunch whistle. Coyote hatches elaborate scheme to steal sheep, sheep bleats, Sam the sheepdog comes running, beats the crap out of the Coyote, the lunch whistle blows, they stop, eat under their respective trees, the whistle blows again, and Sam goes back to beating the crap out of Wile E.
Call me tweaked, but that cartoon's hysterical.
Anyway, that's why I like Foster's, its simplicity. There's antagonists in Mr. Harriman, the head of the house in his mind, and Terrance, Mac's pesky big brother, but most of the show is small lessons and humor that almost any age can appreciate. And it doesn't try too hard; you know, how the Muppet movies made more recently seem to try too hard for the adult laugh...since the imaginary friends never grow older than their most recent human, there's this terrific intelligence and innocence in each one of them. Yes, folks, 36 years old and writing a frickin' essay expounding on a frickin' cartoon...sigh...
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
I did do one bootie this weekend, quite nicely too, since I figured out I didn't do slip 1 purlwise correctly on the last batch I did. Haven't stitched it up yet; really should put some time into the SSS and the B4...I tend to do a row here, a row there on the B4, and well, that just ain't gonna fly if I expect to get the sucker done by May or July (baby shower sometime in May).
Supposed to get hot today (mid-80s) but there's this fantastic breeze. No baby yet in our KB group; eviction notice for said infant is the 28th.
My clan got news that a family friend passed away, so please put the widow and kids in your thoughts today. Marty Darby passed away from lymphoma on Valentine's Day. His wife Dini and my mom met in a Caldor (Yankee department store) about oh, 35 ish years ago, when they noticed the kids in their baskets were roughly the same age (me and her son Ted). We kids haven't kept in touch, but the memories are fond of hanging out together and playing when the grownups got together. Dini and the boys live in Aiken, SC, so I'm looking forward to paying them a visit the next time we're up visiting Les's fam.
Back to work (blah!)...should've brought SSS today...
Friday, March 17, 2006
Slow progress on the knitting this week. House is a little cluttered. They installed fresh drywall in the closet, so the next move is the city inspectors, which could happen sometime between now and when we move out, so...the complex has nothing to do with that, it's all the city, so no one to bitch to. Spent $25 freakin' dollars to get a taillight replaced on the car, but FHP's been saturating my commute of late, so there really was no way around that expense.
Weather's turned rather glorious, and since we're staying in Florida (again), I'm determined to embrace it...work outdoors this weekend, get a little (only a little!) color. We'll see how gung-ho I am about the weather come July, but right now, I can definitely handle some sunshine and high-70s.
Knitting bitches are anxiously awaiting a new arrival :) Terra's doc/midwife/etc. talked about inducing at 39 weeks, which was yesterday, so today's appointment could mark a birthday for a little girl! She told us the name last night, and the first name promptly left my brain--I think it's Kylia Siobhan; I know that middle name is correct. ruthee's a little fit to be tied that the kid could be born on St. Patty's Day, and after reading up on it on the History Channel website, not sure I blame her, but I know Terra's ready for the small one to make an appearance.
I love that I'm learning stuff like the truth about St. Patrick's Day before I have kids; it'll allow me to teach 'em both sides without confusing them. I mean, given that I was raised Christian, it only makes sense that my community would take St. Patrick's Day on its face as a good thing. I mean, when I was a little kid, we went to church almost every Sunday. It wasn't until I was in junior high that we moved to the sticks, and my folks slowed down at putting forth the effort--and even then, we went to the Protestant church in town with frequency because the pastor could sermonize without putting you to sleep, and it was all of 3 miles from the house. Cyril and I joined the choir and remained in Christian circles, so how would we know any different? Especially me, since the folks pushed to get me confirmed but slacked on my bro and sis--now there's irony for ya...I had the most formal Christian education, Meara had the least. I'm pagan, Cyril's probably agnostic, and Meara's born-again. Probably a lesson there.
Gotta get to work; I am SO freakin' glad it's Friday!!!!!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Tired, tired, tired.....
Did I mention tired?
You have no idea how sedentary you are until you're forced to socialize on a school night. It's pathetic. I've had family stuff for 3 nights now, and I'm about ready to crawl under something for hibernation. We're in the home stretch, but it's still daunting.
It started with Dad noticing the bald front tires on our car the SECOND I pulled into their driveway Saturday night, and was capped off by Grandmother and Mom J going at it before dinner last night. I fell off the wagon a bit, and that helped. We won't even discuss how I feel about that.
I've been poking along on SSS for the most part, but we found out Kara's having a girl, so I'm going to dig through the stash for appropriate yarn colors for a set of baby Uggs, as well as start the sweater, hat, booty set from that mag (the basketweave stuff), mostly in white, 'cause that's what I've got.
And we got cell phones! His folks got 'em for us :) Graphic (and activation) courtesy of Virgin Mobile™. Can't wait to figure out how to work the damn thing...
Thursday, March 09, 2006
No, not that kind of quickie...tho' we did break a going-on-2-years dry spell on our anniversary Monday >:) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......
Added another Snoopy dancer; he's a fav pal of mine. I used to have a t-shirt with these two on it that said something like, "It's a Security Thing." Funny that Linus is my fave next to Snoopy, and I ended up marrying a woobie addict :)
Added a Yahoo Avatar too, just for grins. The dragon is Les. The Avatar's me channeling a bit of Abby from NCIS. My God, I need a life!
Put Tasha aside, she was vexing me; concentrating on B4 and SSS this week and the heck with the rest. Won't have enough time this weekend to work on 'em anyway, need to picnic with my folks Saturday, clean house Sunday, for Les's folks coming into town for his dentist appointments. ACK! At least I can bring one (or both) of them to my folks' house for something to do if things get weird--Cyril's living at home is starting to wear on them big time. Yeesh, both sets of parents in one week; I'm gonna need a vacation after this!
Monday, March 06, 2006
Damnedest thing . . . hung a left at the living room and there it was! And I didn't have to destroy the neatness of the closet to do it!
Saturday was a wash after work, and Sunday found me, after a leisurely time with the paper, pondering whether I wanted to putter or nap. Life without kids is rough, lemme tellya. I only hope the shock isn't too rough when we finally get our shit together and procreate.
So shovel in hand (just kidding, but it was definitely close to that), I created more floor space in the bedroom first, and then heartened by this success, I moved onto the dining area and tucked in to work. Threw things out, boxed things up, and added more to the Hubbard House pile. Moved stuff back into the walk-in closet without sacrificing space to move in there, and putting stuff in there that'll be easy to move back out when/if they get around to gracing us with fresh drywall and a stackable washer/dryer.
And I did what I mentioned, stacked boxes and crates and pillows to create a flat enough space to lay my old corkboard on top of it. It's sweet, and by some miracle the cats are only using it for a nap spot and not a scratching board yet. Probably still too bewildered by all the shit that got moved--I took away one of Fig's nap spots on purpose, because the books underneath her spot were nasty with fur and litter crumbs. Right now, it's just a workspace, but I love it! Les vacuumed afterward, and the place is feeling downright livable and not nearly so overwhelming. Next weekend, the other two corners of the living room--his folks are coming down for dental powwows, so say some prayers that we don't have to twist Grandma's arm too hard to get Les into teeth.
Thanks so much to my KB ladies who've been thinking about me and about ways to help with my living sitch. Rest assured I did get your phone calls, I just suck at returning them. Y'all are making it a lot easier to stay in Jax :)
graphic courtesy of darkharbor.com
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Feel free to laugh at me, I get quite a chuckle out of it myself.
I'm having delusions of aptitude of a philanthropic nature. There's blogs out there begging for blankets for the hurricane victims (http://purlsofhope.com), and it got me thinking about the 2 bags of stash I have. When I first started this knitting gig/sickness/obsession, Steph and Ginny unloaded a monster bag of mostly acrylic on me, that they had inherited from someone. We're talking stuff with $.35 cent pricetags on it, in colors that must've been in style, oh, during the Summer of Love. But before I learned to turn my nose up at acrylic, I certainly wasn't going to look a gift yarn in the mouth, so I sorted it, 86d the saddest stuff in the bunch, and was still left with 2 BIG Panera bags of yarn.
So I've been poring over the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns this week, and while avoiding work this morning, I think to myself, hey, self, what if you taught yourself those patterns by knitting swatches of each, and then knitting those squares into blankets? At the rate the government's taking care of things down there, I could actually have a blanket or two made before things stop being so dire.
I could bring a bag of the yarn to KB if other folks want to do a swatch or two with me, whaddaya think?
Helping with this burst of energy was the idea I got yesterday--stacking all the boxes that we don't normally dig into, in a formation on the left side of the dining room, and placing my old corkboard on top of them as a table. I could lay out projects, set up my sewing machine, etc. Not sure it's feasible yet, but I'm definitely digging into the dining room this weekend to find out.
Well, since I went to the trouble to go to work on a Saturday, guess I should edit a coupla more sites :(
Friday, March 03, 2006
The sucky part of knitting is when you have an armload (or roomful) of unfinished projects and it feels like you're accomplishing absolutely nothing. Yarn Harlot commented about the focus that came from working only one project for a set amount of time during the Knitting Olympics. That's what the SSS is for me right now, it's definitely the primary project; but there's also these other little bastards in the wings raising their hands for attention. Tasha...the baby blanket...the White Buffalo in its boxes quiet in the corner...the purple poncho I haven't put a stitch on in 6 months...mr. sock. For the most part I don't mind working that way; at KB, I usually have 2 or 3 projects on hand so that when I get bored with one, I have another one at the ready. But it definitely requires a level of patience with yourself. Anyone who says knitting isn't a character-building exercise must've had too much character to begin with.
This thread comes from last night, when I frogged Kara's baby blanket in favor of trying my hand at Trinity stitch (see pic, courtesy of About.com). I've really got to stop reading Wendy Knits and thinking I can emulate her work on sight. Granted, it didn't take long to master the concept of knitting 3 stitches in 1; I'm about 90% confident with myself that I had an understanding of it and that it reflected in the finished product. But that (im)patience thing got the better of me. If I try bordering the baby blanket in Trinity stitch, it'll be done around the time the kid starts school (She's due in July). It's a truly methodical stitch and I look forward to trying it out on other projects, but for this sucker, no way. However, as past entries attest, I wasn't sure seed/moss stitch was the way to go either, so I dragged out the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns and decided to garter stitch the border and put a nice diamond pattern in the body. We'll see how far I get on that tonight, how many times I change my mind, etc.
The ole self pride's coming to the fore again, this time on the fiasco that is the cable braid on Tasha's trim. Definitely gonna frog down to the latest screwup and give it the old college try again. Weird how it takes me a day or two to realize that my laziness just won't do. Why can't that translate to the apartment?
Well, it will this weekend, gonna plow into the dining room and get it back to snuff, and if the money comes through, I'm gonna play in the dirt. We have an aloe plant of epic proportions that we just transplanted in the last year into a LARGE pot. It responded by growing into the sucker with a vengance, so it's definitely time to gently separate him from himselves, break him down into several vessels. Also transplanting my jade into a smaller pot, because unfortunately he's on death's door thanks to the bastard squirrels in our complex; gonna try to nurse him back to health. Fred the fern is doing ok on his own.
Why are my plants all boys? Weird...
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Everything looks better in the morning. We'll stay in our current abode for another year, with the possibility out there of course, of bailing on the lease prior to its end. We're tearing into our ridiculous amount of material possessions in the coming months and organizing everything. I'm gonna recover that sofa. We're gonna need a storage space. It'll all happen in time.
Was reading Yarn Harlot today and feeling left out, until I remembered that I did create my first cable during the Knitting Olympics. Certainly not anything to take the gold medal for when you measure it against sweaters and shawls, but a personal achievement nonetheless.
The pic is Tasha, courtesy of Knitty™. That cabling across the top of the bag is what I accomplished, in a pretty dark pink, I think it's called Heather Rose (Lion Brand Wool-Ease). Now of course, ever since I goofed up said cable last week, I can't for the f*ing life of me get it set right. I've frogged back more times than I care to count, but I think I'm going to have to garter stitch the last inch or so, and pick up and knit garter stitch on the other end to make it even. This is only going to be trim for a bag for me, so I'm certainly allowed to cave to laziness if I want.
Knit an inch or so on the body last night (Wool Ease Blue Mist, kind of close to what you see here), and all I can say is knitting this sucker together is gonna be interesting. This is the one that I actually knit the gauge swatch for before starting, and it's already looking like the body's coming out wider than the bottom. So much for swatching.
Also did a row or three on the B4, before tucking into the SSS. Didn't want to put it away to hit the sack EON; I'm really loving that shawl.
If anybody has boxes they don't want/need, bring 'em to KB; I'm packing up my house anyway for organizational purposes. We just don't have the room to have stuff out, so I'm gonna shift into old Melanie mode, box and catalog our belongings, and find a way to decorate around 'em!