Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why has there been no blogging?

Don’t you hate it when you read a blog on occasion and then the person doesn’t blog for like a month? Me too. Sorry for the lack of witty blog posts for the last few weeks, things have been absolutely crazy.
Most of my time has been devoted to work. Last week I was in training and I was expected to do my regular job on top of that. It was complete chaos. Things have been so bad that I do not even have my Christmas shopping done. I have never had presents left to buy and/or make this late in the season.
I am not done with my husband’s present, although I am almost through, so I am confident that he will have it under the tree come Christmas Day.
I made a felt hat for one of my co-workers and it was not completely dry by this morning so I had to give it to her damp. She was happy to get it as she had liked one that someone else in our department had bought. My one co-worker put in a special order for fingerless gloves. Easy peasy you say because there are about 10 million patterns out there for fingerless gloves! Well, yes and no. She wanted gloves that she could convert from long fingers to short. I had to come up with a new design to handle it. So I only made one because as I was coming to the end of the 1st one, I realized I had no hand measurements and was not sure what I had designed was what she wanted. I finished the one and gave it to her and told her I would make another one if this one worked. It was a good thing I did it this way because she has longer fingers than I thought and I am going to have to rip back a couple of the fingers and knit them longer. Otherwise, they are what she wanted. Hooray! So over the weekend, I am going to make the other glove. I made a hat for another co-worker who does not celebrate Christmas (she was raised a Jehovah’s Witness) and she almost cried just getting a gift because she had not expected it. She did like the hat, so all around, it was successful. I did not take pictures of any of these items because I can not find the camera and well, I just did not have the time.
I was going to make a hat for The Boyfriend, but I have not had any extra time and I do not think I will get it done at this point. It makes me sad, because I did have a great idea for a hat for him. Oh well, if he is still around next year, I will make it then.
It has been cold and snowy here. Which is fine by me really, although there have been a couple of days when the cold has made it unpleasant to walk from the bus stop. It was well below zero several days last week and the one day the wind-chill was -25 F. This is a tad bit chilly to walk in and I have to take my glasses off because they fog up from by breathing into my scarf. Overall though, it is not bad if I have my long johns on.
I am going to be off of work for until next Monday. I will try to blog over the weekend and I will try to get some photos up.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Chaos to Spare

Are you looking for some chaos? I have extra to go around. Things have been just crazy. Ahh where to begin?

Work has been just awful. One problem after another, which means I have been spending extra time there, which has been very stressful. Have I mentioned I am sick of work?? I am sick of engineers. I am sick of buying parts. I am sick of dealing with problem parts.

I had a dentist appt last Wednesday and I have a cavity. On the plus side, the dental hygienist said I did a great job of brushing. She did not even ask if I flossed! Which is always good, because I do not floss, I just brush really well. The Girl had an appt at the same time. She did not tell the DDS she was pregnant and he took an x-ray. He thought it should be okay, but that they normally do not like to take x-rays on pregnant women. I had to explain to The Girl that doctors and dentists and such need to know if you are pregnant so they do not do any damage to the baby.

Thanksgiving did go well. My hubby did a fabulous job of the meal. He gets better and better every Thanksgiving. This year we had turkey breast for The Girl, shrimp and venison steak. It was awesome.

I went out shopping on Black Friday. I was disappointed in the sales. I really did not find very much. It was so crowded in some stores, I did not even bother and the lines in some stores were crazy. So much so, it was not worth my time to stand in them. I think they had less people running the registers. Anyway, I still have a bunch of stuff to buy.

And to knit. It is already December. I can not believe it. I have been knitting, mind you, but there is still plenty left.
Here is some photo prove!

Here is the hat I made for my co-workers grandson

Here is my progress on L’illo.

Here is the hat I made for my co-worker in exchange for the venison steaks we enjoyed on Thanksgiving.

Here is the 6-hour throw I made for my in-laws. It is being held down by our troublemaking dog (more on that later).

Here is a hat I made out of Noro. I think it is lovely. It is darker in real life.

Here is the Opera Stole I have been talking about. I am using this picture because it shows the color off well. However, you can not see the sparkles very well.

So I have been working. I have also been working on my hubby’s present, but he reads the blog so no photos of that!
I also knit a hat for Save the Children over the weekend. I just did not get a photo of it taken. If you have some spare time, maybe you too can knit a little hat. They do not take much time and it can do so much good.
I have much left to do… we will see if it gets done.

On Saturday I went to the movies by myself. I saw “Let the right one in (Lat den ratte komma in)”. It is a Swedish movie. It was haunting and beautiful. If it is playing in your area, it will probably be at your local art house. It is about a 12 year old boy who lives with his mom and is bullied at school. He gets a new neighbor who is not exactly a girl, she is a vampire. I think it takes place in the 1980’s. I am not 100% sure, but there are some clues like the Rubik’s cube and the record player. I am sure there are others, but I did not live in Sweden during the ‘80s so I probably missed them. There are a lot of beautiful knits and one scene with actual knitting! It is a lovely movie. There is blood and such because it is a horror film, but all of the scenic loveliness of Sweden and hand knits makes up of any horror. I am giving it 3 ½ knitting needles out of 4.

Since it is the holiday season, I find myself in kitchen stores. I always like to buy something for the kitchen for my husband. I do not cook. I occasionally bake, but mostly, I just eat what my husband makes. So I find kitchen store fascinating. It is like an anthropological study. I always see something that I did not know existed and do not always know why it is needed in the world. For instance, I was in a store over the weekend and I saw an egg cuber. It allows you to make your hard boiled eggs into cubes. I don’t mean chop into cubes, rather make the whole egg square. Why is this needed? I would I want a square egg rather than an oval one? I stood staring at the box for a long time until I realized people wanted to get by me. But still it puzzles me. Sometimes, I see things and my first reaction is “Cool! I should buy that!” At the same store I saw a 24” balloon whisk. It was as long as my arm and I just thought it was awesome. I have no idea what any one would use it for, but it was big and therefore cool. If I lived on my own, no doubt I would have stuff like this all over my kitchen walls just for decoration. I really do have some sort of problem!

I have a friend who is going to give me her crib. Her girl has moved up to a big girl bed. So we have to get the nursery cleaned out by Thursday. My husband and The Boyfriend have been working on it all week. I also hope to get the walls ready to paint so we can get the taken care this weekend. It has thrown the whole house into chaos because everything that was in there has been displaced. We have no room for our Christmas decorations. Normally, we have our tree up by now.

On Monday, the troublesome dog (see photo earlier in posting) got into The Girl’s room and ate her Chips Ahoy cookies and her cat’s food. The Girl pitched an absolute fit and demanded that the dog go. Yesterday she refused to go to school unless we called the pound and got rid of him. We refused because he is part of the family and truthfully as much trouble as he is, I really do like him. I explained to her that it is just not that easy.
Instead, my hubby put a lock on the outside of her door. And he made The Boyfriend help him empty the nursery. She was calm by the time I got home. So I guess everything is okay for the moment.

Last night I hurt my foot. I don’t know how. I stepped and suddenly pain went shooting through my heel. I have been limping around ever since. I am fine so long as I do not move. My co-worker who sits in the next cubicle thinks it Plantar fasciitis. Then she implied it was because I was fat. Isn’t life grand? For the record, I do not think this is what the problem is. This is the 1st pain I have had in my foot and it is very painful.

Hopefully the rest of week will be less exciting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mama Told Me There’d Be Days like This

Actually, she really didn’t, but if it good enough for John Lennon, it is good enough for me. I am having one of those days. I need a day off, except I am trying to save my vacation time for when the baby comes. Sigh.
Work has been crazy and it makes me crabby. I really should just go home and knit or something before someone gets hurt. I am sick of being a worker bee. I know I have said it before, but it seems extra true today.

I know you all get very excited when I discuss the weather… It has gotten cold here. Not liquid in your eyes freezing cold, rather ice starting to form on the pond cold. It has been interesting to see the path I take everyday submit to the chill of winter’s onslaught. The cold does not bother me so long as I am bundled up sufficiently. Taking the bus has made me realize I need a better scarf. I have hand knit hat and mittens, but I have an acrylic scarf I bought at the thrift store. Why? You may ask. Why would someone so obsessed with knitting not have made herself a scarf? Because I hate knitting scarves. They are long and tedious. I have not bought myself a new scarf because the one I have is the right width and length. It is very wide and long. It is hard to find a scarf of such a great size. I have seen one at Macy’s, but it is a Hugo Boss and expensive. Sigh.

Movie Review
A week and a half ago my husband and I went to see “RocknRolla”. It was awesome. It was a fun, violent romp through the underbelly of London. It was directed by Guy Richie and very much in the vein of “Snatch” & “Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels”. If you did not like those movies, you will probably not like this one. I however, loved those movies and I enjoyed “RocknRolla” a lot. Gerard Butler was fabulous. Actually, everyone was really good. I am thinking about going and seeing it again. There were no hand knits, which is of course always a little disappointing. However, I am still giving it 3 knitting needles out of 4.

I have not downloaded my pictures of my knitting in forever, so I do not have any currently. I have been knitting though. I should be able to finish the 6 hour throw tonight. Last night I went out with some friends and did not really do any knitting.

Strange days indeed – John Lennon

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ahhh The Good Old Days

My life used to be dull. Really, it did. Big excitement was going down to visit my mom and dad. They lived in my home town about an hour away. We used to go down every other weekend. That became every weekend when my dad got sick. Sometimes we would go hang out at the MOA (Mall of America), not to shop per se, as were did not have much money, but to look around. We would poke through shops and maybe have a little lunch. We lived in an apartment, we had a couple of cats, and life was boring. God I miss that life! Now, everything is chaotic, too many things and people in my life. I really would like to go back to just my husband and me. Of course, that doesn’t seem likely at this point.

Yesterday I fell. When I got up in the morning, I managed to trip over a step stool near my bed. So, not only did I fall, but I fell on top on our floor fan. It was very painful. I have a huge bruise on my breast. I have never seen a bruise this color, it is dark blood red. My breast plate hurts, my hand hurts, and my knee hurts. It is miserable. I know that if I was old and frail I would be busted up badly and maybe even dead. That is scary. Obviously I need to clean my room!

The Girl
I just looked over my last few blog entries and realized that I am not totally up to date on info on The Girl.
1st – we have found out she is having a girl. We found out last Tuesday. I am sort of excited just because there are a lot more baby girl patterns to knit.
2nd – The Girl’s boyfriend has moved in. The Thursday before Halloween she went up to visit The Boyfriend and it ended with his uncle (whom he lived with and worked for) trying to strangle him. So now we have yet another mouth to feed. He is looking for a job and is willing to pay rent. Plus, he is helping around the house some. We will have to see how this goes.

Yesterday, The Boyfriend was driving over to pick up The Girl (in OUR car) and he was pulled over. It is somewhat unclear what he was pulled over for, but regardless, the police pulled up his name and it appeared were warrants out on him. They were not actually on him, but his father (he is a Jr.), but he still had to sit in the cop car for 45 minutes and The Girl did not have any one there to pick her up and DH did not have any way of knowing what was going on or to be able to pick her up. Eventually he got home, without The Girl and DH had to go pick her up late. Drama!
Later in the evening, there was a fight between The Girl and The Boyfriend. It was bad. The Girl stormed out of the house, followed by The Boyfriend. They came back in about an hour and everything seemed okay. More Drama!

Knitting Crap
I have been working on a Noro Kureyon hat. I am almost done. It is not for anyone. I love to knit hats and sometimes I just have to make one. It is really quite pretty. I also knit a baby hat out of sock yarn for a baby shower today. I took a picture, but I do not have it with me. It was a big hit with the recipient so I am happy. People are very impressed with baby hats made out of sock yarn. I recommend you make one for the next baby that comes into your life. They are easy and they look impressive to the uninitiated.
I was also knitting a baby bib to go with the hat, but the cotton hurt my hand too much to finish it last night. Hopefully my hand will feel better in the next couple of days. Wool does not seem to bother it too much so I can still knit.
I have started the “right” side of the front of L’illo. Who knows, maybe it will be done before the baby comes. I have not been working on the Opera Stole at all. Plus, I have to start on Christmas gifts. The Stole might have to wait until after Christmas.

Regarding Good Old Days
I know that logically, my early days with my husband were not all wine and roses. There were a lot of stressful things going on. Because life is stressful. I did not have my depression in control, we had no money, my family caused me a lot of grief, etc. However, I miss having time with my husband where we could just sit around naked in bed and watch TV and not have any reason to get up. I just miss the two of us. There just seems to be so many people in our house…

It will all be fine. To quote a former boss, “It is ALL good!”

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

My husband and I got to the polls before they opened, about 6:40 or so. There was a small line, nothing too serious and when 7:00 came around, people started heading in and it took us about 15 minutes or so to get through the line. And I was able to make my 7:30 bus. A successful voting experience all round! I love voting. It is so powerful and I truly feel it is the job of every American to go out and have their say. To me, if you do not vote you lose bitching rights. I do not care who you vote for, write in yourself if you want, but always take advantage of your vote.

It is hard to SSK on the bus…
It is also hard to purl slippery rayon on the bus. I have been working on my Opera Stole on the bus and it is going well. I am about half way done. Obviously I did not finish it before our opera outing on Saturday. Oh well. The company Christmas party is going to have a cocktail party theme, so I think my stole will be perfect for it.

I am also knitting L’illo on the bus. I am alternating depending on my mood. I am almost done with the extended collar on the one side of the front. It says it is the left side, but the pattern is wrong and it is going to end up being the right side. But that’s okay. I do not figure a newborn is going to mind.

At home I was working on the Aran slippers for my mom for Christmas. However, I have run into a snag. First, I can not read the adult chart to save my life. I tried to write it out, but it is a very convoluted cable pattern. So I decided to use the child’s version instead. I am using a bigger needle and added a stitch on each side. The second problem, I lost one of my needles. They were the lovely birch needles my sweetie bought me at Shepherd’s Harvest and I am very sad. I do not know what happened to it. I hope it turns up. Regardless, I am stopped on the slippers. They are sort of irritating me so I do not know if I will actually finish them or not.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby its Cold Outside

The weather has taken a turn for the cold. On Saturday it was in the 60s and very pleasant. Yesterday, the weather became cold and wet. It even snowed some, not the kind that sticks to the ground. Today, it is about 40F and windy. I think I will have to get out my winter coat.

Last Thursday, the family went to see “Max Payne”. It was okay. It was an action movie. The dialogue was not what you call great, however, it was okay. Stuff blew up, always a good trait. However, Mark Wahlberg was not in his under-britches even once, it was very disappointing. There was no nice hand knits as well since it was a dark dismal future type of movie. If you can suspend your disbelief for an hour and a half, then this movie is a good choice. You will not remember much afterwards, but it does allow you to escape reality for a little bit. I am giving it 2 ½ knitting needles out of 4.

Knitting News – Or How I Can Not Finish a Project
Yesterday I started a new project. They are a pair of slippers for my mom for Christmas. It is the Aran slippers in the Interweave Knits Holiday issue. It is a quick knit so far. I have about ½ ways done with the 1st slipper. I would be further along, but I had to rip out the heel short rows because I miscounted the 1st round.
Now, I know I said that I was not going to start anything else until I finished my Opera Stole, but it is so tedious, just the same 4 rows and really only two of those are different. It is going far quicker than I thought and I think I will not be able to use all of the yarn. So maybe I will be able to make something else with it as well.
So at present, I currently have 3 “active” projects: the Opera Stole, My Mom’s Slipper and the L’illo baby sweater. This is a problem because it is better if I have a bus project and a home project. Oh well, I will struggle on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

O Happy Day

My lovely husband came home yesterday. It was joyous! We were going to go out to dinner after picking him up, but The Girl threw up on the way to pick him up. So we went home and picked up some sushi for dinner. It was a nice evening.

Movie Review
The Girl insisted on seeing “W” on Sunday. She actually wanted me to miss the Vikings game, but I refused. We went after the miserable loss to the Bears.
“W” was okay. It could have used some extra editing because it was too long. It was actually really sympathetic towards The President. Sure, he looks like a doofus, but he appears to be in over his head more than anything else. There were no hand knits and like I said, it was too long so I am giving it 2 ¼ knitting needles out of 4. The Girl was bored and hungry about ½ ways through so I do not think she enjoyed it very much. It concerns me that she will not want to see “Nixon / Frost” when that comes out, because that looks awesome and good for her to see.

Knitting News
I came up with a stitch pattern for my Opera Stole. It is the vertical lace trellis pattern from Barbara Walker’s ‘Treasury of Knitting Patterns’. It is lacy and it shows off the yarn. I have several inches knit. I can knit it while I am watching TV, but not when I am tired as I tend to mess up.
This morning I cast on the left front for L’illo. I really like how the back turned out. I hope it will fit. I figure it can be the Baby’s coming home outfit. I think I will make a hat and booties to go with the sweater.

I bought Interweave Knits Holiday issue. There are several things in there that I think I will make. There is a pair of slippers (the aran ones) that I think I will make for my mom.
I do not know how much stuff I will be knitting for Christmas. I have some ideas for my husband, which I can not reveal here since he reads this blog. I think I will make The Girl a sweater from ‘Pretty in Punk’. It is knit on huge needles and really holey and has dropped stitches etc, so I think I can do it quickly. I know I will not have much time for knitting, so I will have to get moving.

Here is a random photo from my trip this summer. I do not know what this plant is. If you do, leave me a message and let me know.

Friday, October 17, 2008

All By Myself

Okay, I am not really all alone, The Girl is at home, but my husband is out of town. He is off visiting his parents. They wanted him to come down and visit them before the baby came. We were not invited, which I probably good since I intend to save as much time a possible for when the baby does come. I am going to take time off to spend with The Girl and The Baby. Regardless, I am very lonely. My husband and I are a perfect match. We really are meant for each other. I am sure many people can say the same thing about their spouses, although not everyone. So when his is gone, I feel his absence greatly. Plus, he takes care of most; okay ALL, of the household chores. So now I am faced with getting groceries (which I HATE) and doing laundry and finding something to eat for breakfast, etc. It sucks. And he can always make me laugh. I love his voice. If I am having a bad day, I can call him up at home and he makes me feel better. So it is difficult when he is away.

Otherwise, I have been driving to work so there has been no bus knitting. I did do some knitting last night and I was able to finish the back of the L’illo baby sweater. I bought “Pretty in Punk” for The Girl and she marked all the patterns she wanted me to make. She is so funny because she just sees the things in the colors in the book. I have to work on making her see the pattern in different colors. She marked about 9 of them. She did say I did not have to do them all at once. LOL. She is a funny girl! There is a holey sweater made with fingering weight mohair that I think I will make 1st. I have some Kid Silk Haze Night in red that should work. I showed it to The Girl and she declared it very nice. It doesn’t look too hard, so I should be able to do it fairly quickly.

I have cast on for my opera shawl, several times, I am not very happy. I am not sure if I am going to be able to actually get it done by 11/1 since I don’t know if I like the latest pattern I have chosen. It is frustrating when I have something in my head and I do not know how to get it out of my needles.

I have earned a $50 gift card from The 3 Kittens Yarn Shop and I am trying to decide what to get. I was very excited when I got it because, well, it is free yarn. I am trying to decide if I should go over there this weekend and spend or if I should wait. I did go to The Yarnery this week and bought $40+ worth of yarn and the Interweave Knits Holiday issue. So I really don’t need more yarn, but I like to use gift cards when I get them. This stems from when my purse was stolen and I had received a gift card from my boss and I was not able to use it because it was stolen. I live in fear of not getting free stuff. I know, it is an illness!

I do not have any really big plans for the weekend. I have to wait for my husband to come home to go see “Max Paine” and there are not any other movies I really want to see. I have to do laundry, blech. The Vikings play the Bears on Sunday. I will watch, because I am a masochist and I always hope they will play well and manage to win. Otherwise, I am going to try to knit. Something. I feel like I am behind on my knitting.

My husband comes back on Monday night. I can’t wait. He is the best man alive and I miss him terribly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Breaking Dawn Review

I finished reading “Breaking Dawn” the fourth and last book in the Twilight series. I had heard rumblings of discontent before I read it, but I did not listen closely because I did not want to have the story spoiled. Now, I am very confused as to why anyone would complain. It seemed to be a perfectly fine end to the story arc.
Overall, it was a good book. I enjoyed it. It was not as good as the 1st one, but that is not all that uncommon in sequels. Perhaps I will have to investigate what others were complaining about. If it is worth mentioning, I will write about it right here!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reviews – Book and Movie

I have been very busy this week and have not had time to blog. Sorry.
I have reviews today. I will go in chronological order.

Last Saturday, The Girl and I went to see “Appaloosa”. It is a western starring Ed Harris (who The Girl declared ‘sexy”), Viggo Mortenson and Jeremy Irons, oh and Renee Zellewillger. It is a good western. There was more humor in it then I had expected and the plot moved along at a good pace. However, there did seem to be bits missing. The timeline was not always clear. There is a point when you are not sure if a week; six months, a year or 5 years have past. I am sure that it is because this is based on a book and they had to hit the high points. There was no real hand knits in it, which always makes me wonder since there had to be people knitting stuff during this time period. There was a shawl that one of the characters had, which might have been knit, but I could not tell. Regardless, the acting is really good. Both The Girl and I did not like Renee Zellewillger’s character, but it did lead to a good discussion after the movie about what one does for someone they love. I am giving the movie 3 out of 4 knitting needles.

RIP III Review
I just finished “World War Z”. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is just incredible. On the back, it says it is in like the work of Studs Terkel and I have to admit I was skeptical of such a claim because I love Terkel. However, it is very much in the vein of Terkel’s “Working”.
Of course, this book is an oral account of the Zombie Invasion, so it is fictional, but it seems real, which is a huge accomplishment. It is broken down in sections by time. There is one section about how people survived and rebuilt their communities. There is a line in which a guy states how he is wearing a sweater he knit from yarn from his sheep. I loved that. I have always thought that when someone asks a person why they are knitting a sock that she should say something about having socks after the fall of society, but now, I think they should say something about zombie survival. I have to say everyone should read “World War Z”. Go out and buy it or get it out of the library. I do not think you will be disappointed.
If you do not think you are up to zombies, go out and read some of Studs Terkel’s books. I would recommend either:
“Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do” - 1974.
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Reflections on Death, Rebirth and Hunger for a Faith” - 2001
Both of these are excellent books. When I read “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, I thought that it should be required reading in high school. It deals with death and dying in a wonderful way. I think people today do not understand death very well.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Eclipse Review

Last night I stayed up late (1 am) reading “Eclipse”. I finished it. So I technically have finished both my books for RIP III, however, I am going to read World War Z next so I will review that as well.

I really enjoyed this book. I discovered the Twilight series a few months ago. I really like the books, even though, I know I never would have read them when I was a teen. I was just not into such tales. Even now, it is embarrassing. I mean they really are just sort of silly books, but it doesn’t stop me from loving them. Of course, they are a quick read, so that also helps.

***There will be spoilers ahead. If you have not read the books and you want to, stop now. ****

For those who are not familiar with the Twilight series, the books revolve around a teenager who moves to a small town in Washington State to live with her father. Of course, she was not really happy moving, but she did it for her mom’s sake. Anyway, in the 1st book, “Twilight”, she falls in love with one of the local vampires, Edward. You know all small towns have a few vampires, I know mine did. They are very good vampires as they do not feed on human blood, only animals.
In the 2nd book, “Full Moon”, Edward has left her to save her from living with a vampire for the rest of her life. She is very despondent, but she finds a friend in Jacob who is a teen from a nearby tribe. Their fathers are old friends. Well, the tribe has a wolfy history and Jacob ends up being a werewolf. We find out werewolves and vampires are bitter enemies. So Bella is torn between her friend and the vampire she loves. Edward comes back and in the end his family agrees to help turn Bella into a vampire so she can spend eternity with Edward.

So we start the third book with her high school graduation approaching. She is set to become a vampire over the summer. However, Edward wants to get married 1st. Bella does not want to get married; she just wants to have sex before she becomes a vampire. However, Jacob is in love with Bella as well as wants her to stay human and be with him. Bella realizes she is in love with Jacob as well, but she needs Edward at her core and so in the end, she chooses Edward. What was funny is that at the end I just knew that I would have picked the werewolf over the vampire. I felt truly sad for Jacob having to be alone.
All of these books have a plot other than the love entanglements. In this one, a vampire bent on revenge is forming an army in order to kill Bella and the werewolves and the vampire family work together to save her.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

October… At Last

It is hard to believe that October is here. Today the weather is perfect. It is about 65 and sunny with a cool fall breeze. I love it!

Movie Review
I have blogged twice this week already and neither one contained a movie review. This would not be unusual, except that we went to the movies on Sunday. I know, it is shameful! On Sunday we went and saw “Ghost Town”. It was very funny and cute. Nothing terrible deep, but it was sweet and I enjoyed it. Plus, there was a “fair isle” sweater vest with beagles on it that was too cute! It is about an obnoxious dentist who dies and then starts seeing ghosts. If you are looking for some simple escapism and can suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours, I have to recommend you go see it. I am giving 3 knitting needles out of 4.

Look I have photos. This proves I do actual knit!

Here are the Beer Gloves I made for my hubby. They are from “Son of Stitch n’ Bitch” they are easy and look pretty good, if I do say so myself. Although, if I made them again, I would do them in stockinet stitch instead of reverse. I just hate that I got ladders in between my needles.

Here is the market bag I am making for my MIL. The color on the picture is total crap. The yarn is actually an emerald green. I do not know why these did not come out color-wise, because the others are really close to their actual colors. Oh well. I am getting close to being done. The pattern is the Ilene Bag.

Here is the beginning of the baby sweater I have started. It is really easy so far. I have just started on the back.

I am working on my second book for RIP III. It is “Eclipse” by Stephanie Meyer (it is the 3rd book in the Twilight series). Please don’t judge me, but I do really enjoy them. They are so much fun and easy to read. Plus I am sure is has been banned somewhere since it deals with vampires and other supernatural beings and of course teenagers wanting to have sex. So it covers both my banned book reading AND rip III. What more could you ask for in a book? I will give a review once I am finished, which should not be long.

I think that is everything for today.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let’s Get Dirty!

Get you mind out of the gutter! Today is National Mud Pack Day. Tonight relax with a soothing mud pack. It will rejuvenate your skin. It will make you look younger and tighter. Actually, it probably won’t, but it would be fun. Slather on some muddy stuff and do a little reading.

I Read Banned Books… How About You?
Yesterday, I forgot to remind everyone that Banned Book Week had begun on 9/27. It goes through 10/4, so you still have time to read a banned book. Of course, you can always read a book that has been banned. I am trying to make my way though a list of them. I have read several, but some, well I know I will not be able to slough through any Steinbeck, so I know I will not read them all. However, if you can read Steinbeck, do it! Right now! Go out to your local library or book store and pick up a book that has been banned or challenged. To find out what books have been banned and why, please go to the ALA website. If you would like a recommendation, I would suggest Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It is one of my favorite books and ironically has been banned. A few others that I can recommend: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut, or Beloved by Toni Morrison. All of these are fantastic books.

Stick it to the man and Read!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wheresoever You Go, Go With All Your Heart

Today is Confucius Day. It is a day to celebrate the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. He was extremely influential in Asian culture. His sayings became the cornerstones for the Chinese for centuries after he wrote them.
Here are just a few (along with the title) that I like:

When anger rises, think of the consequences.

Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

So look up your own quotes or think about these, but spend a little bit of time with Confucius today. He really did have many good things to say.

We bought a car on Saturday. It is a 2008 Mazda 3. I know that I had not really talked about the Mazda, but we looked it up in the Consumer’s Report and they recommended it. My husband test drove it on Friday and he really liked it. So on Saturday, we went up and I drove one and it was fine so we bought it. I liked the Rabbit better, but the Mazda was more sensible. I did however figure out last night why I liked the VW better, I could really hear the engine. I like the sound of the engine. I realize that when I read reviews of cars, they always comment on how much road noise there is and that is considered a bad thing, but I like the noise, it makes me feel like I am driving.
The color is Galaxy Gray Mica. I think it is a stupid name for a color. I am not sure what the “mica” part means even. Is it going to flake off? Is it supposed to be sparkly? What? All the colors were really dull, black, silver, gray… sigh. I think I am going to get a racing stripe or something put on it to jazz it up.
I am not complaining (well, maybe a little). It is a nice car. We got a pretty good deal and got rid of our old car. I will not have to worry about a new vehicle until we get a farm and will need something to haul alpacas and such around.

Knitting News
I am plugging away on the market bag for my MIL. It is going well, but if I knit too long with the linen, my hand starts to hurt. So I have also cast on for a baby jacket for my upcoming grand child. It is l’illo from Knitty.com. I just love how it looks. I am knitting it with a wool/cotton blend and it is really soft. I think it will be just lovely.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don’t Read Under The Covers… You’ll Go Blind

Today is National Comic Book Day. When I was a kid, I never read comics. I don’t even know if I could have bought them in my little home town. I did not read comics until my met my husband. He really introduced me to them. Of course, he was a Marvel guy and I ended up being a DC gal, but we share a common love. And I was able to fix him and he soon was reading Batman and Sandman as well. It was he who bought me a subscription to The Tick, one of the best comic books ever! I think we were married by the time we were subscribing to The Sandman. So some time today, get out a comic book or a graphic novel and read it. Enjoy the artwork. Maybe it will change your world. Okay, it probably won’t unless you are reading “Watchmen” or something, but you never know. I do highly recommend “Watchmen”, it is awesome. I also will recommend “The Dark Knight Returns”, “Batman: The Killing Joke”, “Swamp Thing” (by Alan Moore), any issue of Astro City and almost any issue of “The Sandman” (stick to the ones written by Neil Gaiman). I also am enjoying 30 Days of Night, but it is really grim. A lot of these recommendations are old because, well, I really have not kept up with my comic book reading.

Car crap…
We test drove another VW Rabbit last night. I still really like it. It is so hard to decide because I know logically we should go with something like a Toyota, but then I think that I am going to have to ride around in it and I want to be comfortable. The gas mileage is not all that much better than the Passat, but it can take regular unleaded which will save money right there.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And To Think I Have Never Even Tried It

Today is National Cherries Jubilee Day. As my title indicates, I have never had cherries jubilee. I have never had any desire to try it. I still do not have any desire to try it National Cherries Jubilee Day or not. However, if you like cherries jubilee or wish to try it, here is a recipe from the Food Network
It looks easy. Try it out.

I am participating in RIP III. I am doing Peril the Second. I have already read my 1st book. It was “The Hellfire Club” by Peter Straub. I had sort of hoped it would be a horror book, but it really was more of a mystery. Although it was not much of a mystery, since I figured out what was going on way before any of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, it was an entertaining book. It was a bit gruesome in parts. So if that bothers you, don’t read this book. The plot revolves around a Tolkien type book that may or may not have been written by the author. So the mystery is who wrote the book and what happened in 1938 at some writer’s retreat. Like I said, it is entertaining, not deep or meaningful and I sort of questioned the time line at points because it did not seem like some of the characters would have been around for almost 60 years (the book was written in 1996).

On a similar subject…
Last year for RIP II, I read Lovecraft’s “The Rats in the Walls”, which I enjoyed immensely. Last month I received a newer copy of Stephen King’s “Night Shift”. This was to replace my ratty old copy I have owned since high school and did not have a cover. For those who don’t know, it is a collection of short stories from early in Mr. King’s career. One of the stories is called “Jerusalem’s Lot”. Now, I remember reading the story years ago and I had liked it then, but what struck me about it now, is that it is basically the same tone as Lovecraft’s “The Rats in the Walls “. I was actually really impressed that I noticed and that King was able to write in such a manner. It is a good story, so you should go out and read both and see what you think.

We did not like the Honda Civic. Tonight we are going to test drive a 4 door Rabbit. Maybe that will be the one after all.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Don’t Forget

Today is Elephant Appreciation Day. Take time out of your busy day to give your elephant a hug. Let him know that you appreciate all he has done for you. If you, like me, are not allowed to have an elephant in your area, perhaps just think about how cool elephants are. They can recognize friends and family members even after being apart for years. They are clever. They can tell when a tsunami is coming. They are really cute. So we should appreciate them.

On to other news…
Saturday night, my husband and I went to the opera. It was opening night, so it was quite a to do. We saw Il Trovatore. It was excellent. The music was lovely and the pace quick. The singers were very good as well.
I have decided that by the time the next opera comes up (we bought season tickets this year) I am going to have a stole knit for the event. I bought some Blue Heron Rayon Metallic yarn just for this very reason a few years ago. It is a sparkly blue color. I will start it next, I think.

Over the weekend, I started a market bag for my MIL. I am using Euroflax linen in emerald. So far, so good. It is a little hard on my hands though. I was working on it while watching the game yesterday. The Vikings finally won a game. Hooray!! It was a really good game. Hopefully, it is not too late for them to do well for the season.

Saturday afternoon we test drove some cars. I currently own a VW Passat. We are looking for something a little smaller and that gets better gas mileage. We drove a Corolla, and did not really like it. Mainly, it was uncomfortable to ride in. The sales guy said it was because of the narrow wheel base. So we left the Toyota dealer and went to look at VWs. Now, I had promised myself no more VWs. I love my Passat, but it costs a lot of money to fix when something goes wrong. But, we test drove a Rabbit. And you know what, I loved it! So now I want to buy the Rabbit. It is just not good. Tonight we are going to go try a Honda Civic and see if we like that.
I hate car buying!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shiver Me Timbers

Avast ye scurvy dogs, today be Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrrr. Ye best be piratey today or I’ll make ye walk the plank! Who doesn’t love Pirates? Okay, I mean the romanticized pirates of yore, not the modern day ones that highjack boats with rocket launchers. There is just something fun about talking like a pirate. So today is your chance. When you go to the store, thank the clerk in a manner befitting a pirate, perhaps “thank ye matey, arrr.” It will be fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Mayflower Day

Today is the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from England in 1620. So it is designated Mayflower Day. Why we would celebrate the sailing and not the landing is some what mysterious to me. I am however very grateful for it leaving England, mainly because the following person was among the 102 passengers on board: William Bradford - Husbandman, fustian-weaver during his time in Holland. Later governor of Plymouth, from Yorkshire, England, about 30-years old.
This is my husband’s ancestors. He actually can trace both sides of his family back to Mr. Bradford. I know you are impressed. I mean how many people can do that? Okay, I grew up in a community where almost everyone traced their ancestors back to Norway (I am half Norwegian and half Irish), so it was new to me when I met him.
If celebrating the fleeing of persecuted people from their homeland is not your thing, it is also Collect Rocks day. Go for a walk and pick up some pretty rocks. It will brighten your day! Who doesn’t love rocks? I always pick up rocks on vacation… it drives my husband crazy, but I can’t resist a pretty or interesting stone.

Knitting News

I have finished my husband’s beer gloves. They don’t look too bad if I say so myself. I was going to take a picture of them, but The Girl has the camera, again.
The pattern is well written and very straight forward, but I really do not like knitting reverse stockinette stitch in the round and that is what the whole thing is done it in except the cable. I will post a picture as soon as I get my camera back.
I am now working on a hat which I am creating from scratch, using a cable pattern from Barbara Walker. I am hoping it will turn out okay.

We went to see “Burn After Reading” on Saturday. I enjoyed it a lot, but I love the Coen brothers movies. So if you do not like dark humor, do not see this movie. I laughed all the way through. The characters are all morons, which is what leads to one problem after another. The story in a nutshell is that some gym employees find a CD with the memoir of a CIA analyst on it and think it is a valuable document and decide to get some money for it. It is very farcical. There are not any hand knits per se. I am giving it 3 out 4 knitting needles.

During the previews, we saw a trailer for “Nixon / Frost”. It looks really good. However, The Girl leaned over and whispered, “What did he do wrong?”, referring to Nixon. I had about 30 seconds to explain Watergate. Of course, she also said she might want to see the movie, so maybe we could all go and it would be a learning experience.
There were actually several movies that looked good: “Doubt”, “Milk”, “Nixon / Frost”… it might be a good movie season coming up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Have Fun Today

Today is both National Video Game Day AND Chocolate Milkshake Day. Woohoo! Two great things in one! So tonight, kick back and play a little Star Wars Battlefront or Destroy All Humans or Guitar Hero (I can not play this one) and have a milkshake. If you are playing against someone, you can yell out “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE” and laugh manically. Sounds like the perfect Friday evening to me. Okay, I would have a vanilla milkshake, because I prefer vanilla ones, but the same principle applies: drink something fattening and play a game.

This morning I woke up with My Chemical Romance in my head. I know what you are thinking, “Crap, isn’t she a little old for the teen angst thing?” And you are right, I am. But that does not stop me from liking My Chemical Romance. I think their album The Black Parade is one of the best albums ever. I like all of the songs on it. Well, the “hidden track” is a little silly, but only because you really can’t have hidden tracks on a CD since the number of tracks automatically comes on your player. The song itself is kind of catchy.
There is a song on The Black Parade called 'Cancer'. I love this song. It is sad and reminds of people I have lost, mainly my dad who died of cancer. I discovered on vacation that The Girl does not like this song. I found that interesting. Perhaps it is because she does not want to acknowledge that death can be a struggle. I don’t know.
As I was thinking about how much I like this album, it made me think of other albums I would put in the category of very nearly perfect. So here is a short list, not in any particular order:

1. Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited – I love all the songs on here; they are very poetic and thought provoking.
2. Oasis, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory – I think this is just a really solid album. Nothing fancy, but always pleasant to listen to and sing along with.
3. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Blood and Chocolate – the perfect mix of anger, sadness and pop music.
4. Johnny Cash, American Recordings I – I love Johnny Cash and this album showcases all of the best aspects of his music. I have actually listened to him since I was a kid. I also love Live at Folsom Prison.
5. The Beatles, Abbey Road – I think The Beatles finally achieved perfection on this, the last album they recorded. The harmonies are great and the songs interesting.
6. Metallica, Kill ‘Em All – It is difficult to decide which Metallica album I like better, this one or Master of Puppets. In the end, I love the raw, young talent of this album.
7. Alice Cooper, Welcome to My Nightmare, Billion Dollar Babies and From the Inside – Okay, I love Alice. The songs have a dark sense of humor that appeals to me; I think he is way underrated. He likes the concept album, which I think makes him have to think about how the songs fit together. This is a very rare thing in this world.

As you can see, I like a wide variety of music. Although I will say, I like interesting lyrics. I have always thought what you are saying is just as important as the tune you are playing.

Anyway, that is all for today. Have a great weekend. Tomorrow is a big holiday day. Check it out:
Chinese Moon Festival 15th day of 8th Lunar month
Defy Superstition Day
Fortune Cookie Day
National Peanut Day
Positive Thinking Day
Uncle Sam Day - his image was first used in 1813

Spend your Saturday celebrating any of these great holidays, or all of them. Dress up like Uncle Sam and eat peanuts and fortune cookies while sitting under a ladder in the moonlight with a black cat, thinking “I can do it!”

Most of all – Have Fun!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Baby let me be your lovin’ teddy bear

Yesterday was Pardon Day and I was going to beg your pardon for not posting on Saturday, but I simply did not get time to blog. So I am doing it today.
Today is Teddy Bear Day. So go out and hug a teddy, it will make you feel good. Or even better, knit a bear or bear clothes for someone who does not have a bear to love.
Here are some charities for you to consider:

Here is a photo of one of my teddies dressed in an outfit I knit for Cubs for Kids. I am sure I have posted it before, but he sure is cute!


I was sick over the weekend… food poisoning. I got it on Saturday from some bad cream cheese. It was honey walnut; I think the walnuts had turned. Anyway, it meant no blogging or anything else was done over the weekend. I did not even finish my husband’s beer gloves, which I had promised him, would be done by Monday. I am still sore in my back from all the heaving and my stomach has not totally settled down. I am sticking with fairly bland food still. I hate being sick. I know I have mentioned that before, but it is still just as true today.

The weather has been perfect. Labor Day weekend was hot and summer-like and then on 9/2 the temperature dropped and it has been lovely fall weather. I love fall.

I Think It's Time We Stop, Children, What's That Sound
Everybody Look What's Going Down

-- Buffalo Springfield

As promised last Friday, here are some of the photos The Girl took at the RNC protest on Thursday night.

The building in the background is the MN Historical Society.
I love this shot.

Just a few of shots of the dangerous folks who were protesting.

Tear Gas Over St. Paul

Friday, September 05, 2008

I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

Today is Be Late for Something Day.
So take your time. Put something off until tomorrow.
Remember tomorrow is another day, namely Fight Procrastination Day. So really it is okay to procrastinate today!
I have procrastinating tendencies, I always have. Not with everything, just things that do not seem very important. I hate to be late to appointments or meetings or work, but I will put off cleaning until the cows come home. It isn’t that I like work, I think it is just I have to work and well, cleaning doesn’t seem so important. It is a good thing my husband does the cleaning. God only knows what the house would like if I had to. LOL! Anyway, I thought I would share some parts of the Procrastinator’s Creed. I found it on the interweb… just Google it and you can read them all.

1. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.

2. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.

3. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.

Ahhh words to live by!

We had some excitement last night. As you have probably heard, the Republican Convention was here in town this week. There has been protests everyday. On Wednesday night, The Girl said she was going to the protest on Thursday. We figured that it would be okay so we let her go. She is very much against the war in Iraq and she hates the Republicans more than anyone I have ever met, so it seemed a natural thing for her to want to protest. Also, I think it is great that she is aware of anything political at 16, Lord knows most teenagers aren’t. So, a little before 8 she called and asked us to come pick her up because she was tired and the protest was breaking up. Unfortunately, my husband had the car so I had to wait for him to come home before we could leave. As we left, we called to let her know we were on our way… no answer. I just figured she was in a dead area or could not get to her phone because she was texting. You know something innocuous. We got a little lost because some roads were closed, but we were almost there when we finally received a voice mail (we had been trying to call her again) from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s dept stating the she had been arrested! We arrived at the parking lot were she had said to pick her up and there she was cuffed and surrounded by 5 cops. 5! There were no other protesters there, just her! Apparently, the cops were breaking up the protest and she had not moved along because she was waiting for us to pick her up. So we acknowledged her info and that we were her guardians and they cut her loose, literally as they had her in those plastic tie wraps. While cutting them off, the cop actually cut her wrist so she was bleeding profusely when we got in the car. Apparently, she will get some notice via mail regarding her punishment. Is it wrong that I am proud of her? I just think it is rare that people actually stand up for what they believe in and that she is willing to do that makes me proud of her.
She took photos of the protest and I will try to get some of them up on blog once we get the downloaded to the computer. Maybe tomorrow, because today I am procrastinating and tomorrow I won’t be!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Hey, it is Skyscraper Day.
Here is a picture of the Chrysler Bldg.

It is lovely. I took this photo a few years ago when I was in NYC. I love the Chrysler Bldg.

Here is a picture from the top of the Empire State Bldg.
We went at night (obviously) and some how I hurt my ankle standing in the excessively long lines. My husband had went there in January and said there were no lines at all. So if you do not want to stand in line, I recommend going in the winter.

I have decided that this month I am going to enlighten everyone on the more unique holidays. Remember, if it is a holiday, you should get the day off.

It has been 3 years since I have had a depressive episode. Is that the right term? I don’t know. All I know is that 3 years ago I entered a depression that scared me enough to get help. It actually started around the time of our trip to NYC. I started medication and therapy and I got better It was amazing. . I had suffered from depression since I was a teenager and I really regretted not getting help sooner because my life became a good thing. I discovered knitting, which helped me with my therapy. I did well in therapy and was able to graduate, or whatever it is called. I learned coping skills. Life was great.
However, when going home from work, I realized that the icy tentacles of depression were attempting to grasp my soul again. I could feel them tugging me into the pit of despair and darkness. I have been worried about this for a couple of weeks because I have been craving carbs and salt. This was always my signal that a depression was approaching. So, I have to put all of my skills to use and see if I can avoid the darkness and stay in the light. I am hoping that by writing this down I can see it for what it is: a mood, a feeling, something that I am in control of not the other way around.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Happy Beheaded Day

I know you are thinking, “Where has the year gone? It just seems like yesterday when we were celebrating those who have been beheaded”. Time just flies. Let’s take a moment today to think of those who have been beheaded before us. Not to say the any of us will be beheaded, but it is always a possibility.

In knitting news: I discovered that some how I reversed my shawl and the front became the back or vice versa. Anyway, I think I am going to have to rip it back and since I did not use life lines, I guess I will rip back to the beginning of the last ball. I discovered this as I was about to switch balls so this is not a small task. I am just so mad at my self for not noticing sooner. That is why pride is a deadly sin. I was so sure that I was doing really well and I did not need no stinking life lines. Sigh.

I have completed one Beer Glove for my husband. It looks really good. It has mistakes, but I was able to fix / hide them so it is okay. However, I started the other one last night and was working on it on the bus this morning. I thought that I should have the ribbing done by the time I get home tonight and then I could work on the fiddly bits at home. However, as I was walking from the bus stop this morning, I thought about how I needed to put the needle sizes on Ravelry and how I would need to do two since I used US 4 on the ribbing and US 6 on the rest of the glove. That is when I paused and realized that I had cast on last night using the US 6 needles and had been ribbing with those. Arrrgh! I could not believe I had performed such an idiotic act. Of course, it did explain why my ribbing seemed so loose. So on the bus ride home; I will be ripping up the 2nd glove. Knitting drives me crazy.

On the plus side, I did finish my mittens before the Olympics ended and I have photos.

And with the thrums showing

Aren’t they lovely? They are so soft; I can not wait until it gets cold so I can wear them.
I think that I mentioned before that this is the 1st time I have done anything with thrums. It is not hard, but it is tedious. I might do it again, but I do not know. I will see how these hold up.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Zombies Are A Lot Like Ponies

These words of wisdom came out of my husband’s mouth this morning at breakfast. I know you are thinking, “How can I get invited to breakfast there!” Of course, it is true. Everyone loves both zombies and ponies. Both are the object of much marketing. And of course, both are flesh eating monsters. So my husband is correct, as usual!
Zombie Pony
There are no pictures today. I know that I promised photos last posting, but I have a really good excuse… I can not find my camera. Last I saw it; it was sitting on the computer desk. It has disappeared. I suspect The Girl “borrowed” it and misplaced it. Of course, there is no evidence, so she simply says she does not have it.
So I can not post pictures. Even though I have one complete mitten and my shawl has made great progress, you will not see them today. I am going to figure something out. I really will!

Guess what! I have a movie review.
We saw “Tropic Thunder” on Monday night. It was hilarious. It was complete wrong on so many levels that you just had to laugh. There is something to offend everyone. Now, normally I am not a huge comedy fan, as you may have figured out since I do not review very many, but I like Robert Downey Jr., so I thought what the heck. RDJ is fantastic, actually everyone plays their roles to perfection, even Matthew McConaughey was good and I despise him! I laughed through the whole movie, which almost never happens when I see comedies, there always seems to me some message that they want to promote. The only message here is that everyone involved in the movie industry are morons. There were no hand knits because most of the movie takes place in the jungle. I am giving the movie 3 ¼ knitting needles.

And on the baby front, The Girl told my mom the news this week. I was going to have her tell all her grandparents over Labor Day weekend, but my mom called and left me a message wondering how I was because she had not heard from me in such a long time. I figured it would be best just to have it out. Plus, I knew I could not lie to my mom. I really do not like not telling the truth. I have always sort of felt the truth is better. I will not tell people stuff and I know sometimes people call that a lie of omission, but I think it is okay unless they ask me directly. If my mom asked how The Girl was doing, I knew that saying she was fine would be a lie.
The Girl actually tried to argue that they did not have to know because she did not see them often. I said, “What you are going to tell them a year from now, that you found a baby?” She lost the argument. It was hard for her. She was tearing up as she spoke to my mom. And afterwards, she was mad at me for making her do it. My mom did not yell at her, in fact, she told her what ever she decided, she would support. But The Girl said she sounded disappointed. Which, I am sure she was. I spoke to my mom afterwards and she did sound really shocked. I asked her how things were with her and all she could come up with is that it was hot (she lives in AZ). I do not think she will ever call to see how I am doing again.
The Girl also got her 1st sonogram. There is just one baby (which is good) and it is moving around.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You Want Me To Do What!? Blog?

I know that I have been very remiss in my blogging habits since I came back from vacation. I did not want to blog again until I had actual knitting photos, so I could prove that I do indeed knit, but the best laid plans of mice and men… you know. So I am going to blog without photos today and try to get them up soon.

I have been knitting. I have been working on the Lacy Prairie shawl on the bus. It is going really well. I have memorized the pattern and it is really relaxing. I also think it is looking pretty good.
And I am working on a pair of thrummed mittens while I watch the Olympics. Okay, the last two nights I have been reading the second book of the Twilight series while watching the Olympics, but I do have about ½ of one thrummed mitten knit. I will have them done before the Olympics end because I am doing them for the Ravelympics. It is the 1st time I have ever thrummed anything so I am learning as I go. They are going to be very warm, because I think I might be using too much fleece. Regardless, they look really pretty so far, which, if I had pictures, you could just how lovely. It is a kit from Fleece Artist and is Blue Faced Leicester. I love BFL. It is so soft and lovely. I bought this kit when a LYS was going out of business and it was 25% off. I figured it was a really good deal and of course it is some nice purple and blue colors.

I have been watching the Olympics every night. Well, not the opening ceremonies, because I don’t care about that sort of thing. Mainly, I watch swimming. I love Michael Phelps. Actually, I like watching all of the swimmers, mainly because they are so twitchy before the race starts. Every one of them has their own little tics and twitches. I find it fascinating. I also like the synchronized diving. It is kind of creepy when they are really good because it doesn’t seem right that two people should move in the same way when falling. I could do without all of the beach volleyball, though. Why is this being broadcast at the same time as swimming and gymnastics? It is no where near as interesting.
My biggest complaint with this year’s Olympics?
1) The snarky “reporters” who are calling the gymnastics and the synchronized diving. They are the same ones who did the games in Athens, but they are just so obnoxious! Can’t NBC find anyone better? Maybe they could hire Fred Willard or someone? Fred did a great job in “Best of Show”.

2) The fact NBC only shows the Chinese and USA competitors. Are no other countries attending the Olympics? They showed one Russian girl on the uneven bars and one Romanian girl on the balance beam (mainly to say that the Romanian’s sucked now in gymnastics) during the ladies gymnastic competition. WTF? I would much rather see some other countries competitors than to watch yet another fluff piece on the guy who found the beach volleyball player’s ring or a day in the life of anyone or to see the USA practice the vault. Who cares? Let me see some action.
Sorry. I didn’t mean to rant. I really will only watch them this week. Once the track and field starts, I will stop. I do not find the running and jumping bits nearly as interesting.

Last night, we woke up to someone at the door. We heard The Girl talking to someone and DH went down to see what was going on. It was the police. The Girl seemed to be issuing a complaint. Since the officer did not want to talk to us, we figured we would ask about it today. Unfortunately, when DH asked her about it, she said it was a false alarm. I am not sure what it is about. Hopefully, I will be able to get something out of her tonight. DH heard something about a restraining order.

Photos next entry… I promise.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

August 6th

Today, my little sister would have turned 37. I always remember her birthday, as it falls on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. I find it easier to remember birthdays if they fall on a historical day.
When we were little, we fought, a lot. She was the sibling who was closest in age to me (2 ½ years). My mother always called us “The Little Girls” as opposed to “The Older Kids” (my 4 older sisters and brothers). In spite of the fact we were close in age, we were complete opposites. I was a good kid, quiet, smart, thoughtful; but she was out going, rebellious, living in the moment sort of kid. We would play games and part way through, when I was beating her badly, and she would quit. And eventually, that would lead to a fight, which would often become physical. We would bite and scratch and pull hair. When we became teenagers, the physical fighting, became verbal. She was crabby and moody and I would push her buttons whenever I got the chance. She was the only person who I would allow to call me a bitch. I would just laugh because it meant I had hit the nerve I had wanted.
She will be gone for 10 years this October. There are days when I think about how different my life would have been if she had lived. I would not have to be worrying about whether or not my insurance will cover The Girl’s baby or how we are all going to fit into our post-war pre-fab house. Again, I suppose I would have different worries. And many of them still would have been about The Girl, they just would have been easier to ignore.
When The Girl was just a baby, I had a dream that I was dead. And I was walking through The Underworld (as in Greek mythology) and I came across my sister, her boyfriend and The Girl. I asked what they were doing there and my sister said they had killed The Girl and themselves. That is when I woke up, in a panic. It was terrible. Even though, my sister managed to get herself killed, she did not physically take The Girl with her, but sometimes, I think she took a part. Can we live with just a part of ourselves in this world? I suppose we do, everyone seems to lose bits of them selves here and there, but it seems wrong to lose those parts at the tender age of 6 and 4 (which is how old The Girl’s brother was when their mom died).

In spite of everything, I miss her. I miss being just an aunt. I miss fighting with her. There are still days when I think she will call and say “Hey what’s up?”, but I know that will not happen. She has moved on from this world.

So today, I wish my baby sister happy birthday, where ever she is. You are missed.
My little sister when she was little.

My sister and The Girl as a baby.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Hello, Dear Readers. I have returned from vacation. I actually got back last Friday, but I have been too lazy or busy to write on the blog.

Overall, it was a good trip. Vermont was wonderful, as was upstate NY. It was good to get away. The place we stayed in Vermont was called Vermont Twin Cabins and I would highly recommend it. It was a great place to stay. Out in the woods, but there was satellite TV and games and puzzles etc so it had all the comforts of home. Plus, it is right in the middle of Vermont so you can get to anywhere you might want to go. Here is a photo of the cabin we stayed in.

What would a vacation be without a trip (or two) to the movie theater? I know that most people do not go to the movies on vacation, but let’s face it, I am not most people. So I have 2 movie reviews.

1. We went to see “ Hellboy II : The Golden Army” while in Buffalo . It was good. I liked the 1st one better, but it was very good for a sequel. There was a lot of action and of course there was the love story between Red and Liz , very cute. If you liked the 1st one, you would probably like this one as well. So I am going to give it 3 needles out of 4.

2. We also saw “Batman: The Dark Knight”. We saw this in Burlington , VT at a very nice theater. They had flavorings you could sprinkle on your popcorn and they put butter sauce in the middle of the bag. Anyway, the movie was awesome. Heath Ledger was fabulous as the Joker. Of course, all of the actors were great. I am a huge Batman fan (the comic books) and I am very impressed with what Chris Nolan has done with the two movies he has created. Christian Bale is a great Batman. The movie is very complex and there is a lot going on. I think it would be good to see it again just to see all of the layers better. It is a very good action / superhero movie. I am going to give it 3 ½ needles out of 4. It is not quite as tight as Ironman, but very good none the less.

Other vacation news.
We went to visit Niagara Falls . It is quite impressive. I have a feeling that it used to be more so, but I will take what I can get.
While in Buffalo , we went to a great book store, Old Editions Book Shop. I highly recommend stopping by it if you are ever in the Buffalo area. Both my husband and I love bookstores. It is getting hard to find independent bookstores. I picked up a knitting booklet of socks from 1944. It was marked $7, but I asked if they could do better and I got it for $4 instead. Yeah! I liked it because all of the ladies’ socks are anklets. That is all I wear so I find all the sock patterns for long socks really kind of depressing. Plus, the store had a ton of Ravenloft (the horror world for D&D for those who are not as geeky as me) modules. I limited myself to just 2 because we really don’t play D&D like we used to.

Here are some photos of the trip.
Upstate NY

Vending machine in NY


I had decided to buy yarn for my souvenirs on this trip. Most of my money went to Green Mountain Spinnery. Here is a photo my beloved took of the back room while I was busy looking at yarn.
If you are ever in southern VT, I would recommend you go to Green Mountain . It is awesome. I bought over $200 worth of yarn. I got a sweater’s worth of unwashed yarn. It is lovely.
The Girl started to feel bad on the trip, morning sickness, and she just wanted to come right home after VT. So we drove for 2 solid days. Our last day started at about 9:30 am Thursday and ended 5 am Friday. It was an awful lot of driving.
All of our animals were glad to have us home. Here is the littlest one lounging on a suitcase.

Just one more thing
I recently discovered the Sticks & Strings Podcast. I am completely in love with David Reedy . His voice is so dreamy and I love hearing his cats in the background. If you have not checked him out, you should. Start at the beginning. That is what I am doing.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Man Plans and God Laughs

I do not think I have used this title before in my blog… if I have, please forgive me; it applies to my holiday weekend. It is an old Jewish saying. When things go wrong, I try to remember it so I do not go mad.
I do not know if I have ever mentioned my dislike for the 4th of July. It is not politically based or due to a dislike of my country. Quite the opposite, I love the US of A. It is a great country. My dislike has to do with fireworks… which piss off my dog and lead to days of non stop barking. And expectations… everyone should be at a lake or fireworks or picnics etc. And of course the heat and the bugs. I prefer winter holidays. And holidays where I get to give presents. Plus, it seems that bad things tend to happen over the 4th of July weekend and this one was extraordinarily dramatic.
When I arrived home on Thursday night, The Girl came rushing up to me and said we had to go to Target. I was tired and had a headache and was going to make an excuse not to go when she said it had to do with her period. I asked what about it and she said it was 10 days late. She did two pregnancy tests. It seems she is going to have a baby. Today she is going to get an official test to make sure, but apparently those home tests are really reliable. On Friday we bought a book on pregnancy, which from henceforth will be referred to as The Manual in homage to Raising Arizona. It does have some good info and The Girl is determined to read the whole thing. She has decided to keep the baby, hence the title of this entry. Obviously, we are going to be pushing back the date of when we will be able to afford to move to a farm. To her credit, The Girl is taking this very seriously. She has quit smoking; she is determined to eat right. She is forcing herself to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, she is giving up bacon (The Manual said no smoked or cured meats), she is trying to get a job, and she told the father that he will have to help support the baby or give up his rights to it. She has also said she is going to take parenting classes and anger management classes. The anger classes are a huge deal, because a
The Manual says not to tell anyone about the pregnancy until the 2nd trimester because of the chance of miscarriage, so we are keeping it a secret right now. Of course, none of my relatives read my blog, so I should be okay. I just have to get it off my chest. It is killing me inside. This is just hard because, well, we had discussed it. She was using protection and the condom broke. I know that this is not going to be easy for anyone and I am worried about the baby more than anything else.
I told The Girl that she is going to have to tell her grandparents because it is her choice to keep it and she needs to start taking responsibility for her decision.
I have been reading up on teen pregnancy and it seems that we are lucky she told us right away so she can start seeing the doctor etc. A lot of teens have problems because they do not get the medical care they need. And they do not eat properly or take care of themselves. She said she thought about not saying anything until she started to get fat, but then she figured we would kill her if she waited. We are as lucky as we can be in the situation.
But wait, there’s more. I know you are thinking, surely, that would be enough drama for the weekend, but NO, there is more.
On Saturday night, The Girl’s boyfriend came over so they could discuss the whole baby thing and he spent the night. At about 1:15 in the morning, the dogs started to bark like the apocalypse had just occurred. We could hear The Girl yelling at them to shut up and then we heard the door going outside open and close. I sent my husband down to see what was going on. He said she was out in the front yard yelling at someone on the phone. I asked what was going on with that and he said he did not know. Well, about 30 seconds later, The Girl came up to tell us that her boyfriend had just had the snot beaten out of him our front yard. He went outside to have a smoke and some of The Girl’s other friends came over and had mistaken him for a member of a rival gang and proceeded to pound on him. Why they thought this, I still do not understand. And why The Girl is friends with gang members is still confusing. They broke his nose and possibly other body parts as well. She wanted to know what to do. We told her to call the police and my husband went down to help the kid out. The police showed up and got their statements and basically said that nothing would probably go to court since it would just be his word that these guys beat him up. It does not make me feel very secure in our justice system when someone can get beaten up and then nothing will happen because it was not filmed or something. And the police told the boyfriend that he was in curfew violation since he was outside of the house without an adult.
By Sunday morning I was ready to go back to work. That was how bad my weekend was… I wanted to go back to work so I could get a little rest.

Of course, on top of all this, we have been trying to get ready for our trip. I went to Target Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I am sick of Target. However, we do have everything we need for the trip. Now, we just need to get it all packed up…

We also went to the movies on Friday. We went and saw “Hancock”. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is funny, it has a nice little twist and it was good entertainment. It is a good summer movie. I know it has been slammed by the critics and I really can not think of why. It is deep and meaningful? Not really, it is a summer blockbuster, by definition they aren’t. Did it make me forget my problems for an hour and a half? Yes it did. So in my opinion, it did the job a summer movie should. I am giving it 3 knitting needles out of 4, just for helping me escape my woes. Thank you, Will Smith you are a god among men!

I think that is enough for one blog posting. I will try to blog before I go on vacation. Later.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Today, I have 2 movie reviews. I know you are all aquiver with excitement!

On Friday afternoon the whole family went to see “Wall-E”. Do you know who little kids are at a kid’s movie on Friday afternoon? …little kids. I think the average age of the kids in attendance was maybe 5. I do not know how great a movie this is for the 5 and under group. There were several scenes which caused crying from the kids. Plus, the 1st 45 minutes or so has no actual speaking. Several children were very confused about what was going on. Over all, it is a good movie. Since it is a Pixar film, it is heads and shoulders above most US kid’s movies, but it is not Pixar’s best effort. The animation is fabulous, but the story is a little weak. Basically, humans have trashed the Earth and Wall-E is there cleaning it up. Then another robot shows up and Wall-E ends up in space. I would recommend it. I am giving it 2 ¾ out of 4 knitting needles. It is a bit above average, but I do expect a lot more from Pixar. Perhaps, the marriage with Disney was not such a good idea.

On Saturday, we all went to see “Wanted”. The Girl had declared the day before that she did not want to see the movie because she hated Angelina Jolie. However, when we went to tell her we were going, she said she wanted to come with after all. Mainly, because she did not have anything else to do.
If you do not know, “Wanted” is about a guy who gets recruited into an assassin’s guild, which was started by a weaver’s guild back in the 1500s. It is a great movie, especially if you do not think very hard about the plot. It is very violent and graphic (hello, assassins), so if that bothers you, please do not go. However, if you do not mind that, it is great fun. Plus, there are some very nice knits. James McAvoy wears a lovely zipper cardigan throughout most of the movie. And there is a sweater that Angelina Jolie’s character wears that is a cream colored lace wrap style sweater. It is divine. I am giving the movie 3 out of 4 knitting needles.

On Sunday, I stayed home and watched movies on TV while knitting. Normally, I do not talk about the movies I watch outside of the theater because I watch a lot of movies and it would take up a lot of time. However, on Sunday I watched 2 very different movies about mental institutions. I watched “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” starring Jack Nicholson. If you have never seen this movie, you really need to go rent it. It is a great movie and everyone should see it at least once. It is a classic 70s movie, it has some really funny scenes, but then it is really kind of a downer as well. Anyway, watching it again, I realized that I felt kind of bad for Nurse Ratchet. She is just trying to do her job and then this troublemaker shows up and totally messes up the routine. However, she is also really cold. But I think that is probably how a lot of the medical profession was back then.
Then I watched “Harvey” starring Jimmy Stewart. I love “Harvey”; it is just such a funny and sweet movie. However, the mental institution portrayed in this movie seems much nicer than in “Cuckoo’s Nest”. Of course, it does not seem very realistic either. But it would be one for someone with some money, so maybe that is why it is so much nicer.
Give both of these movies a look. They are both very good.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer is upon us

It is hot. Now, when I say it is hot, I mean it is over 75° F. I hate the heat. I find the older I get, the more I can not handle it. I suspect that I have mentioned this before. All I know is, I will not be moving to Florida or Arizona when I get old. The thought revolts me. Please do not get angry with this statement. If you have chosen to spend your life in a hotter clime and you enjoy, good for you. My mom lives in AZ and I can not even stand to visit her in the winter when it is inhumanly cold here in MN. It just makes me sad. This is something else I have noticed in my life. Summer depresses me. All the sunshine is too much for my soul. I wish for the dark evenings. I am a homebody. I love to go home from work and put on my pajamas and relax. In the summer there is all this pressure to do “stuff” because the sun is out. I do not sleep as well because it is hot and I can not stand air conditioning. Bleech.

Movie Review
Last weekend, the whole family went to see “Get Smart”. It was really funny. We all laughed, a lot. Now, I do love Steve Carrell and I did not really like the original series so if either of these statements do not describe you, maybe it is not the movie for you. It is not a deep, meaningful movie; it is a comedy. You will see the plot twists from a million miles away. The whole cast is good, even The Rock, oh, I’m sorry I mean Dwayne Johnson. If you are looking for a little comedic escape from summer, I will have to recommend “Get Smart”. I am giving 3 out of 4 knitting needles, even without any good hand knits.

My knitting has been lagging. I am working on 3 different projects, 2 of which are just seed stitch right now. I am soooo sick of seed stitch. This is not my favorite stitch and when ever I see a sweater or some large project in just seed stitch it makes me shiver. I can not image doing an entire sweater in seed stitch.
I was tired yesterday when I got on the bus to go home, I could not even knit. I actually started to fall asleep on the bus. I do have to get going on these projects because I want them all done before I go on vacation in July. It is my hope that on my trip I will be able buy locally produced yarn and knit it into afghan squares. I have an old pattern booklet for afghan squares. It promotes the fact that by the time you finish all the squares you will be able to knit anything.
On this note, if you can tell me of a good place to get local yarn in Buffalo, NY, I would really appreciate any help.

Now I know that I normally try not to talk about work, but today one of the people I work with on a regular basis is leaving. It makes me very sad. I know it should not matter, because I have worked long enough that I have said goodbye to many people, but she was like an ally to me. I guess sometimes you find someone who you connect with and it is hard to say goodbye. I did give her a dishcloth to remember me by. Another gal had been teaching her to knit and she had only made dishcloths, so I thought it would be fitting. She was part of our work knitting group.

A Parting thought
Last night DH and I were watching I Love the Millennium (2001) on VH1. My DH loves these I Love… shows, they are like crack to him. Anyway… They were talking about Enrique Iglesias’ video for Heroes and one of the commentators said that it was a bad video and they should redo it. I piped up with “What’s wrong with this video, he is wearing that cute stocking cap”. My DH muttered under his breath something about me and my love of knitted objects.
Am I unusual in this? Do others notice nice knitted objects in films and TV? Do others want to buy a film on DVD so they can stop and stare at a sweater and figure out what stitches were used in order to perhaps duplicate it one day?
I am sure they do. I would have thought he would be happy that I have almost completely stopped pointing out really cool light fixtures.