Sunday, December 31, 2006

End of 2006, Hello 2007!

New Year's Resolutions, New Year's Resolutions, New Year's Resolutions... Surely a girl who has so much to fix in her life has some New Year's Resolutions. Lose ten pounds - good one. I'll list that. Body clutter is always a good thing to get rid of, and you're healthier when you're done. I don't even care if losing weight as a resolution is a cliche, because cliches are true statements made many, many times. (I should weigh negative 30 right now, I guess) I'll declutter the house a bit, too, and maybe - no, definately I'll put in a new deck on the house. Excellent. I'll try to get out of the insular community I live in more often. Very much a good one - makes for a well-rounded character. Oh, crafting stuff? No problem. Losing some stash, working on UFO's, making a gift a month. All set on having stuff to post on knitting, peoples.

Ever notice how selfish New Year's Resolutions are? I mean, people are bound to be getting knitted stuff from me, but losing some stash saves me some money. So, let's see... don't be selfish, Carrie. I am going to try to be a better person. Change your actions, the thinking will follow. There are so many wonderful things in my life. For me, here's how to let go of bad things and feel good: Appreciate! I'm totally in love with and lucky to have my kids and husband, my mom who is always there for me, the supportive friends I've found in the last few years. The planet and life around us are friggin miracles, and I love noticing that. I love the cycle of family, how my kids are doing what I used to do, and so I know they will appreciate things as they grow, like I have. I was showing my daughter the moon and stars the other night (while thinking about how some other race is watching us ruin this place), and my daughter said, "Mom? It's getting cold. I think it's time to go inside now." That sounds like when we were kids, my brothers and I, and my mom would take us for Sunday drives to see nature. We'd say, "Mom? That's another tree. We've seen them." Eh, my kids will appreciate the miracle of the galaxy as they grow older and less Id-ish. Maybe that's the key to letting go of negativity for me. Maybe I need to be less me-centered, let my Id go. Refocus and appreciate. That's my theme for 2007. I knew if I stream-of-conscious typed enough, I'd get there. Thanks for playing with me!

I had a wonderful time at my grandmother's the last few days, and got to see my nine-month-old neices. Twins, and beautiful little girls to boot. Plus, they liked me on sight, so they're clever little lambs, too - good judges of character. HeeHee! You want to see something really cool? There's a busy baby belly video, on this nice knitting lady's site. Really, this video is astonishing! She'll birth this little girl soon, and we can see her move in person!

Happy New Year's, all. If I'm lucky, we'll stay home tonight and goof around with just us family. But there may be a party we'll go to, and that will be fun, too. See ya in 2007!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

From a kid's view

I am always handing my camera to my kids and seeing what they'll snap. Hey, I'll hand my camera to strangers' kids. I've had to replace two cameras, but lemme tell ya, they just love when someone gives them a big responsibility like that. My very best payoff from it, though, was when my daughter took a picture of the dining room table, and you could see the underside. It suddenly struck me that this is what the world looks like to them. My two-year-old will come up to give me a hug, and her head is right at my bum level. Poor kid! That's what a hug means to her, and she loves me so much, she keeps on doing it! Anyway, I thought it was really interesting, the perspective they look through. Can you imagine how scary I must be if I yell at them, or just yell because I stubbed my toe (again)? I keep this very, very in mind when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes I give myself a time-out, not them. It's just as useful, really, if all they're doing is being kids, and someone needs to calm down. Yup, that would be me. (Oh, and I jinxed myself. Silly me, I was just thinking yesterday that Blogger hadn't given me a hard time in quite awhile. Now it won't let me upload the kid perspective picture)

I spent the first four years of my daughters' lives wishing I could find that danged mom manual. I knew there must be one out there, and I was sick of people telling me that every child was different. Now I'm feeling pretty confident, right before the teen years! They really are different, but I think there could still be a manual. Of course, I haven't been out meandering the book stores, so maybe there is. At this point, shopping means searching, so I guess I'll go there.

I got many nice comments on my FakeIsle hat, so I will gift it to my daughters' Girl Scout troop leader. She doesn't get many thanks from me, because I'm usually struggling with a hungry two-year-old when I pick the kids up, but I sure do appreciate the independence she tries to teach my children. We're pretty sure that if they were starving, and their sandwich fell to the floor, it would be touch-and-go if they'd live. I also started the Hermione hat, as part of the third blog-along for 2007 that I've joined. This blog-along is from Spinnerella, and I was planning to do it anyway. Get a teeny start on those Xmas gifts for next year! Knit from your stash, work on Xmas gifts, finish UFO's. Can you tell I'm trying to get organized? I want to be one of those moms I have been envying, but so far I haven't been able to put my makeup on consistently in the morning... that's overrated, right? =-P

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Four down, One to go!

Last Christmas party today - hooray! As a kid, holidays used to just wear me out. My parents divorced, and we lived a long way from extended family, so there was much traveling and too many Christmas parties! Can you imagine a kid being tired of opening gifts and going to parties!? Well, that was me. It's easier now that I'm an adult. After New Year's, it is nice and calm until my daughter's birthday in February and my friend's baby coming in March. A whole month of calm! Imagine it! Something is bound to come up... that's just our karma in action over here.

I have a new lurker from that game of games, World of Warcraft. Too much fun, peoples. It actually took me away from Sims, and I refuse to get a PlayStation because there just isn't time for so much gaming and still pretending to have a real life. Hi, Lauri!!! My sweetie and I decided we'd game together, since kids preclude us from going out to the movies. =) The one time we snuck off to see a movie, after 45 minutes of driving chillen to the babysitter (in-laws), it turned out that we saw Rollerball. I know, you're crying in sympathy for me. The other time we got away, a year later, we ended up seeing The Mummy. So now you're probably getting an idea of why we pay thirty bucks a month to stay in.

That's it! More news, but nobody will let me sit here and type. It looks too much like I'm working, and I'm sure these small people are bugging me because they want me to have fun.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Well, it just goes to show you...

... you can't know what your yarn is going to look like. I thought the skein I bought was beautiful, and yes, I still loudly proclaim its softy goodness. I finished the FakeIsle hat that I was saving for the 2007 UFO knitting, because once you start this pattern, it's really hard to stop. Each round is so engaging. I made the smallest size, while my friend Arleta made the larger. I do believe, thanks to the tricky, misrepresenting yarn, that my hat is significantly larger than hers. I say 'my' hat with only the proprietary sense of - I don't know whom I'm giving it to yet. Who has a larger head than mine? That's the household question going on. The yarn colors ended up being darker, less contrasting with my deep green that I was using for the contrasting yarn, so the knitted pattern isn't as clear as I would like. It's a very pretty hat, I know, but oddly disappointing as I watched the colors come off the skein. Yet I kept knitting, because I knew it was still going to be pretty, if not what I had imagined at the beginning. Some people rip, but not I. It is, after all, just a hat.

I have finished my Christmas knitting, and I have a weird feeling of incompleteness. I know it's because I'm so used to the energy and stress that last-minute knitting requires. Surely something has been forgotten! This year has been wierd, since I finished my shopping so early, then my knitting four days before Christmas. I do believe I've lost some of the magic the holiday normally gives. Next year I'll have to procrastinate to get things back to normal. Today I'll wrap presents and try to keep the kids spirits up. They're sick, and will be missing our third Christmas party today. And I have no oven yet, so no, I can't bake treats to distract them. Perhaps some fudge will do the trick.

To the neighbors, we delivered cookie mixes which my kids put together and decorated with fabric and a Christmas card label. This is something we have done for four years in a row, not necessarily mixes, but cookies or homemade candy. (See above for why it was a mix this year) It's funny, because the neighbors are still completely floored when we come over with the gift. HeeHee. They'll get used to us some day. It's the sort of neighborhood where no one brought us cookies when we moved in, and I had to actually stalk them by peeking out the window at all hours until I found them outside, then I quick grabbed the baby and went for a walk so I could meet them. I used to live in the country, and the neighbors were always great friends, lots of visiting. Then we moved to a suburb in Minnesota, and the stalking began. People just weren't that interested in meeting their neighbors. Then we moved here, back to the country, and I'm sorry to say the isolated feeling has followed us. I know it's a crazy world, but it seems we should fight that by meeting our neighbors, not pretending they don't exist. You! Reading this! This summer take a book outside and look open to conversation. (Unless you live in a dangerous place) I'm really nervous about all the badness in the world, but the people I meet are generally very good. That helps me fight the Go-live-on-a-mountain mood watching the news puts me in. I've met some great people in the blogging community, so that's been a really fun avenue for me. Good job, peoples! Thanks for being nice knitters!

There. That's my theme for 2006, and 2007, too, because it's a good theme. Put goodness into the world! It needs it, it can only help, and hey, it feels good, too. And seriously, the people who aren't pleasant to be around? They're definitely hurting themselves. Don't let them hurt you, also. Ignore them, feel sorry for them, pray for them if you can. That actually helps me not feel so angry or hoping for a dark street and no witnesses. See? I'm a dichotomy. I get angry. It's not easy for me to follow my own advice, but I'm working on living it, because it's the right thing to do. And it's working. Very slowly, I admit, but it is working.

Happy Holidays, all, and may you find much goodness in the world, and help bring peace to others. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Coupla Chilly Characters

These fellows were my Christmas presents to two of my blogging friends, Arleta and Cindy. I happened to see one as I was walking by our little yarn shop, and I had to pop in and ask about it. Apparently, it is the most sought-after pattern from Hershnerr's. Anyway, from first sighting, I knew I wanted to make one of these fellows. It was not complex at all, so another got made! Yay for Christmas gifts! My daughters were quite sad to see them go, though, so I shall have to make another before the snowy season is over. And I hate to admit it, but thanks to global warming, snowy season hasn't gotten a proper hold on us yet, so we don't have any real snowmen going on.

I did indeed cast on my projects last night. The Trekking XXL sock yarn got put on two circular needles, the FakeIsle hat was set on a # 6 circular, and my friend's daughter's mitten got put on #4 double pointeds. I have no serious affiliation with any type of needles. I like all that I have tried. If they have a sharp point, they're my friend. Having no discerning tastes regarding needles makes me happy, so please don't try to persuade me to one camp or another in the comments. Bopping from click to click either allows no one to sneer at me, or everyone is sneering at me. Don't know and don't care = happy! My husband suggested that casting on projects wasn't exactly in the spirit of the whole UFO knitting, but clearly he doesn't understand my fear of failure. Just off the top of my head, this gives me six projects now to knit on, that I know of. I shall have to dig through the stash at some point, and I'll likely find some acrylic mess from the 80's. Should be fun!

The FakeIsle hat is much further along now. The yarn is so buttery soft and nice to work with that I can't seem to put it down. I'll have to soon, though. Christmas parties at school!

UFO Challenge 2007

Kat with a K had a great idea, that works so well with my knit-from-the-stash joining from Wendyknits. Work on one UFO (unfinished object) each month in 2007 - and more than just a token row or two. Or if you hate a UFO, frog it. That counts too. Great idea, ay? Think of all of the guilt I'll be getting rid of! I signed up. I also bought three skeins of yarn today, but it was a new yarn shop, and I've been wanting to try the Trekking XXL yarn, just to see what all the fuss was about, and I needed blue for a friend's child's mittens, and I needed the variegated for the FakeIsle hat.... phew! I feel so much better now that I've confessed. I'm going to cast them all on tonight so that I can use them for UFOs! HeeHee. This is going to be easy....and fun.

Oh, and I bought these cute little bamboo needles, size 1 U.S., because I thought they'd be fun for socks. Budget, Carrie, budget... does anyone have a dictionary? Well, I'm pretty sure no one was getting me needles for Christmas, so if you could all just join me in the "I Wish Me a Merry Christmas" song, I'd appreciate it... or hum a few bars. I'm not picky.

More pics tomorrow, hopefully of casting on!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Weird Meme...

This is a meme about what is weird about you (actually, me), but I was really pleased to be asked to do it. I've been watching it move around the Internet, and I really feel a part of the group now =) Do you people know how long I've been waiting to be a part of a group??? Sorry... ahem.... Anyway, this is definitely a weird one for me, because one way I have always fought off trying to feel odd or out of place, is to tell myself that I'm very ordinary, as normal as everyone else, and underneath, we all worry about the same things. So I had to come up with six weird things about me, and I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. After all, I'm perfectly normal! But rolling this one around in my head, it's funny how stuff has started to come up, as I'm doing the dishes or whatever. For instance, it occurs to me:

I started dating my ex-, because I felt sorry for him, because no one liked him. Oh, and me? HELLO! What was it about this that you didn't figure out???

I make sure that there is a little piece of the sticker price attached to a gift, in case the person wants to know where to return it. That way they don't have to say, "How cool! Where did you get it?" I see through that every time.

I always tell people something the opposite about myself, I think to see if they will tell me it's not true or at least get to know me well enough to not believe me. Is that crazy stupid or what??

Eating Doritos with chocolate chips, or Milk Duds with popcorn is absolutely divine...

My mom is my best friend, and most people think that's weird. I think it's awesome. Who knows me better? Of course, she feels completely at ease to pick on me about embarrassing stuff, but I think that's true with any best friend, right? Right??

I didn't see the point of blogging at first. Let me do that one again. I didn't see the point. Like 56 million people doing it didn't suggest to me that it's fun?? It's a blast. Love it. I'm loving all the people I'm connecting with, and getting to share in the special things that happen in their lives. It's so awesome.

Oh, and a seventh thing, because I didn't want to delete any of the above. When my babies were small, I once didn't leave the house for a whole week, not even to get the mail. That was so weird, when I next stepped outside and saw the sun...

See? I came up with seven things, when I didn't think I could come up with any. What if there's more stuff that's weird about me? Yikes! I'm going to go deep breathe, and pass this on to seven more people, since I came up with seven weird things. They have to list the six (or so) weird things about themselves, and pass it on again to another six (or so). My seven are Kat with a K, Issues with Knitting, AmpuTeeHee, Stranded on Fair Isle, Jeanne Knits, Black Dog Knits, and Mortal Clock. I've sent them e-mails, so they know it's coming. They're supposed to do the same to their victims - errr, friends, I mean...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Knit From Your Stash (?)

Wendyknits has decided, with her friend, to knit only from her stash in 2007. Since we here have run up against a wall called, "We can't possibly make our bills without hitting our credit card," I think it's a good idea to do the same. I'm not sure if I have enough stash to knit for an entire year, but it will be interesting to see how far I get. Their rules are as follows, and if you decide to do the same, you can change the rules for yourself. Here they are:

Knit From Your Stash 2007: Guidelines for L-B and Wendy
1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.
2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:
2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone?
2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift.
2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.
2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.
3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn.
4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

I'm glad that sock yarn doesn't count. I've got enough for several pairs, but not enough for the whole year. Has anyone seen Trek Casts On and her sock count? I think that's awesome. So far, she has knit up 24 pairs for 2006. What does she do with them??? She must have the best-clad feet ever.

For Teacher's Gifts this year, I have decided to donate to the Yarn Harlot's cause, Doctors Without Borders, for each teacher. My oldest daughter approved, and she takes the teachers' request of No Gifts, Please very seriously. I think it's a wonderful cause, and whenever Stephanie writes about it, I get teary. I won't start on all of the hurt in the world, but gee, can't we do better? Anyway, it's a great organization, and if you know anyone who has everything, consider giving a gift like this. I think it's a feel-good for everyone.

I'm getting close to the end on my Christmas knitting. I think I'll finish right around, oh, the 25th or so....

Friday, December 15, 2006

My first Christmas gift!

My computer is making a little clicking noise, over and over. It's like a little person is in here, trying to tap their way out. Or my computer is trying to get my attention. What with all the money flyin out the window for Christmas, and the bank charging me thirty bucks every time I make a little mistake, I'm really hoping that there's a little person in there. Come on, sweet little silver laptop, give birth or something...

I told myself I am not doing holiday stress this year. I finished my shopping first thing, planned on just playing with the kids this month and making memories, you know? But there was the Christmas program at school, helping out at church, family party to travel to this weekend... well, I'm just not wrapping fast enough. Just remembered I have to ship gifts to Florida for the nephews. Think they'll make it? Ya think? Well, I haven't wrapped them yet, either, so that should slow me down some.

Got a terrific gift from my friend, Arleta, though! It's a felted soap, very soft for my dry, dry hands, and a beautiful entrelac dishcloth! She put in one red square for me, because I like red. It makes my heart go all warm and a smile spread across my face. I may not get the Christmas cards sent, but I've done something right this year. Yay for friends! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now I've written to all of you that I need to get on top of the wrapping, and I'm maybe just motivated enough to do it. You guys keep posting, though, cuz I'm getting short on time...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Diversionary Knitting

Well, I've reached the point in my Christmas knitting where I can no longer knit in front of people. But I want to knit something, so I've incorporated the idea of diversionary knitting. I know I'm not the first knitter to have thought of this - not even close - but I'm still pleased I came up with the idea. For reading with the kids, sitting watching CSI: Miami, meeting with my friends at church, I'm starting a pair of cotton socks. I don't need them, but I bought these cute little size 1, purple double-pointeds, and it seems like a very good idea. Otherwise, I'm sitting there holding my hands, and they say, "What? No knitting?" Sure, I think. There's lots of knitting going on, but none that you can see. Actually, there's so much knitting going on that I don't have time to sit and talk. Thanks for making me think of it. Instead I will get out my sock and say, "How do you like this foot thingie I'm knitting?" Diversionary... no one will ever suspect the frantic racing that goes on 'til midnight, with only 14 days left before the big day. I can't wait to see them open their gifts and say, "When did you do this? How do you find the time?" HaHa! Waving around a little sock will surely blind them to all of the bags of half finished projects laying in corners around the house. Pardon me while I gloat.

I did finish the wristlets, and managed to learn something in the process! (Yay, me!) I carried the yarn much further up the wristlet when I changed colors, and had less than half the threads to weave in when I was done. I sucked it up, though, and wove the ends in first thing, or I'd have been doing it in the car on the way to the Christmas party. Just hate weaving in those ends... I still need to block these, though. Other than that, I finished an appliqued pillow as a gift to my quilt group, but of course I wrapped it before I took a picture. Rats. It was very pretty, too.

Tonight - drama club! We have to move to another room midway through the class, and we've got a game where, with no words, the kids have to "pick up" and act the emotion of the next person entering the room. And as that emotion is traveling through the room, the next child will enter with the next emotion, which will hopefully again travel through the room without words. (Beginning to see why I like this game now? HeeHee) Some of the kids are incredibly animated during playtime, and stiff as wood when they're saying their lines. 16 more practices 'til the play... plenty of time, right?

And now I need to go wave my needles around, while using the Jedi force: "You are only seeing socks. Nothing for Christmas is being knitted."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

One down...

... and much end-weaving to go! I like the pattern, but I know that I will like it a lot better once the ends are woven and the wristlet is blocked. It went quickly, because there are only 41 stitches in a round, but I had to pay absolute attention to it. So no reading and knitting at the same time! Which is an art I perfected when I was 13, and I can hardly knit or read now without the other activity. Which is good for Christmas gift completion, because I love to read.

Here's another picture of my punk rocker, so I guess she's not too old after all! HeeHee. I didn't even know this picture was on my camera, so I missed a kid moment. Who knows where I was? Cuteness goes on without me cataloging it. I'm just glad that the camera fairy was there to record the moment.

And, yes, it's messy behind her. There are candy orders from Girl Scouts that I keep forgetting to deliver. I'm thinking now that I'll just pay for them myself and have candy on hand for the holidays! HeeHee. If everyone else is as busy as we are in this house, no one will notice a lost candy order.... mwahahaaa.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Well, whoops.

Well, this looks all right, doesn't it? Except that I don't usually knit two things at once. I'm sure some people do, but this is my first time. *blush* The problem is that I started changing the colors from what the pattern wanted, using what I had. That's why it was okay to make for a $10 gift, you know? But of course my charcoal grey and dark green were absolutely indistinguishable from each other. Also, my light color was Wool-Ease, and everything else was Galway 100% wool. The two yarns had a different feel, so I'm off to the yarn shoppe to buy two skeins of wool. HeeHee. That would, of course, put me over the ten dollar limit, but I don't think anyone down there reads this blog, so how will they know? Besides, I won't use all of the skeins, so I can make a hat for Rabbitch with the extra.

I went out to dinner with the husband last night for his company Christmas party and - hooray for me! - I only had one glass of wine, much coffee, and a glass of port with dessert. (That was very good) You know what this means? I don't have to be embarrassed the morning after the company Christmas party!!!! Yay!!!! Let's not even consider how many years I haven't been able to say this, but I think I've finally learned. Now maybe I'll get a new nickname, and will eventually stop being referred to as "that fun girl." Ho Ho. Ho.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Some Christmas knitting I can show you!

If only I had my digital camera. Left it at my mom's yesterday, when she was letting me use her oven to make Christmas cookies. (Thanks, Mom!) But I will be knitting these for my daughter's cousin. She drew her name for Christmas, and the gift has to cost less than $10. This gives knitters serious options =) My daughter will help knit on them, of course, but she really hates to purl, so I'm doing the ribbing.

The Christmas party is in one week, so I'm sure you all won't be bored as you watch these beautiful wrist warmers fly off of my needles. Since I can't post a pic right now, imagine me, knitting like a fiend, and the grey wool flying...

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Should I be frightened of the future? Heehee. Apparently, she's been watching too much Nick at Night, or something. Now, she's never been the traditional kid, playing with baby dolls or reading a lot. She much preferred drawing pictures and building things, so - an artistic type. Once, she told me she felt like a boy in a girl's body. I think we all feel like that a little bit. At least, I do. It's a big irksome irritant to me that if any dialogue needs to happen with workmen, it's better that my husband handles it. He's busy. He works all day at a job with a 45-minute drive. He does the kind of work that his bosses look at and say, "Could you go faster?" (Computer programming, folks, and there's no way to pretend that you worked that day.) Yet if I want something to get done the way I want it, I have to engage his help. Why are men more respected in business matters than women? I have literally had workmen answer my questions while looking at my husband. It stinks. I feel just as capable of explaining what I'd like or questioning what they're doing as he does. So, if that's the case, then yes, sometimes I too feel like a boy trapped in a girl's body.

I was driving with my oldest daughter one day, and I said, "In my next life, I'd like to be a workman, a mechanic, a builder, something. I'd like to know what's going on when things go wrong or break." She looked at me and said, "Mom, there's still time." .... ouch. She's right. Knowledge is power. Frustration is limiting and makes me head for the Ativan. Learning how to fix the dryer, or at least know what questions to ask, would help. If only there weren't these obvious telltale signs that I am not a man, I am sure I'd get much more information from the mechanic. There. That's my grump for the day. It must have been lurking there, or why would the cute picture of my punk rocker kid (with a Playschool toy, for goodness sake! HeeHee) have brought it on? Sorry.

In knitting news (you knew there would be some), I finished another Irish Hiking Scarf for the knitalong. I started a third, and I don't know when I'm going to get tired of this pattern. The cables pull it up into such a warm scarf! I love it, love it, love it. I think it's going to be THE gift scarf for 2006, at least from this house. I need to fringe this one, since it's for a female, and then I'm on to my dad's, in a forest green. This blue scarf was knitted from Caron, blueberry colorway, no dye lot (gotta love that). The yarn is shiny and soft, yet feels really warm. Better yet, it's washable! The girls used one of my sweet, fuzzy-yarned scarves last year on a snowman, and it ended up outside all winter. No, it wasn't ever the same. I've been knitting with really good yarn for awhile now, but now machine washables are beginning to make their case with me. Must be that I'm giving them as gifts.

Oh, and hey, this kid won an art contest today by drawing the 2nd place Christmas card! Huzzah! See? Artistic. Like I said.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The scarf went on and on...

And got too long! I was knitting a little scarf for a little something I'm making for the holidays, and it was supposed to be 21 inches of seed stitch. Now, from my heel of my hand to the tip of my longest finger is six inches, which is my measuring device when I'm knitting and can't find (again) a ruler. So I've been eyeballing it with my hand and knitting on while I'm reading blogs. It's kind of irritating knitting, k1, p1, and so I'm fine with just picking it up here and there. So my daughter (she's 2) came up to me and said, "That's MY ladder to Heaven! Mine!" Huh? Could she have listened to "Stairway to Heaven" or something? Now that I have little ones, it's Nickelodeon all the time around here. Plus, though her 2-year-oldness explains why she would claim it as hers, why would she want it? Oh, because it's mine. Forgot that for a second there. My stuff is interesting to them, therefore it must become theirs. Okay, I decided to stand up and measure it, see where I'm at. 24 inches! Apparently my hand, from base to longest finger, is 7 inches. I'm going to have to rethink some assumptions I've made in the know, like how far down I knit a sock before I turn the heel. What were you thinking? Anyway, while the 2-yr-old princess is saying, "Gimmee MY ladder to Heaven! Gimmee MY..." (well, you get it, I'm sure) I'm casting off, and I hand it to her. What does she do? Wraps it around her head so we can play Where's Baby? HeeHee. Don't you just love when kids think, since they can't see you, you can't see them? Life provides one constant set of chuckles though my day with moments like these. Look. See? She's smiling in this picture. She's happy. I'm not denying her sight, folks, she thought of it on her own. Give me credit. I didn't let her climb on the chair like she wanted to. And that's Blue's Clues behind her, so I'm likely scarring her in other ways. *shudder*

Is that a crochet hook?

I caught my reflection in a mirror last night. I had a tiny little crochet hook behind my ear, my hair was styled, I was still wearing black from the drama class. I was moving around during a break from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart when I saw me, and I had to smile. I have been a stay-at-home mom for 9 years, and the last baby is big enough now that I'm starting to look around me, and I'm realizing, "I am so uninformed." Politics? What the hey is going on? Oh, a lot of people hate America? The last time I checked in, we were loved. I read on-line business articles now, I try to catch the news when there are no small people around to scar with it, and yet, here I walk with a tiny little crochet needle behind my ear. I like the dichotomy of me. There are so many ways to dismiss people that we run into. First impressions give us a gut reaction, that we have to change once we actually start communicating. You may meet someone on the street who is overweight, slovenly, unkempt (please say hi to me). Forced to stand next to them, you make chitchat and realize they're nice people, with stress about the mortgage, or they're looking for an errant kid, or maybe they're embittered, opinionated haters. Either way, you now know something you didn't know a few minutes before about them. In the reverse, if I were to have dinner with Angelina Jolie some night, I would hope that I could leave my preconceptions at the door, also. Even though I've loved her acting since before she was famous, and I love the work she does for charity, and she has a husband that I believe would be hard to hold onto, I know that she wouldn't want me to come to the dinner with all of those opinions. I would try to shut them off and concentrate on talking to the real person sitting across from me.

So if you see someone like me, in her husband's sweatshirt, hair pulled back in a wrap, struggling with a kid screaming, "I don't want to!", please keep in mind I've probably had a bad day, and my kid has likely decided the car seat is for babies and she isn't going into it. But if you think, "Oh, my gosh, get that kid under control," don't worry. I won't judge you. I've done it myself. I am a work-in-progress, a lady teaching young kids about confidence, trying to figure out how badly we as Americans have offended the world, with a crochet hook behind my ear. It's there to help me pick up the stitches that I drop, which are many. But I'm working on it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I stole this..

But I'm sharing it with you. Does that make it okay? Heehee. I found this on a blog today, and I just had to share it. I thought it was really beautiful, and I need more reminders of how precious life is. I take too much for granted.

"Each second is precious. It could be the second that you see your first perfect circle rainbow (I saw one in a plane… it was cool.), the second you see a baby born or the second you cure cancer. It might be the second that you truly become aware and wake up to the world around you. It could be the second that you recapture your childhood wonder or save a life or taste the perfect cup of coffee. These perfect jewels of possibility called “seconds” are showered upon us to the point that we stop even noticing them and look further and further into the future toward a more perfect satisfaction. Unlike real jewels though, they are only collected if they are used. Of course all seconds are used. We are always doing something. It’s what we fill the seconds with that gives them their value.Time is precious because it has the potential to be filled with wonder, love, peace, fulfillment and any number of other amazing things. What’s even cooler is that we get to decide what to put in it. Wow."

Wow, indeed.

Santa, may I have a toaster oven?

Saturday we had my in-laws over to do Christmas-y things. As you know, we made ornaments, had homemade soup with noodles my kids helped make, and decorated gingerbread houses. It was all very nice. When things went awry was perhaps when I decided I'd like biscuits with my soup. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was then. I heated the oven, whipped up some biscuits with lots of butter in them (Mmmm, layers upon layers in my biscuits), and stuck them in the oven. Then I went to read to my youngest. An undetermined amount of time later (no, I don't know how long), I realized I had put biscuits in the oven. I dumped the kid unceremoniously on the floor and ran for the kitchen. My biscuits were hard little things, not burned to a crisp, but I needed more. After all, you don't serve hard little biscuits to the in-laws, do you? So I whipped up some more, as they chuckled about timers and croutons, and I turned to put them in the oven. The oven that was set to 425 degrees. That's important. As I opened the door, the inner glass of my 6-month-old, very-out-of-my-budget oven shattered and made a huge amount of noise in doing so. Ahhhhh! <--- that's what I did. I have no idea why it shattered, but we ate the hard biscuits/croutons.

Now I have to try to get a new oven from the manufacturer, which likely won't happen before Christmas. I mean, let's be real. It's hard to even find the right person to talk to. It should all work out okay, but in the meantime, we're back to stovetop cooking. I did that for several months during the first part of this year, as I saved and pinched for my new, wonderful convection oven. The convection went out the first month. My oven doesn't like me. I haven't poisoned anyone that I know of, and I try to make healthy meals, so I don't think it's any oven karma coming to get me. I do, however, feel that this time I will get a toaster oven while I wait for a new oven. The kids get really tired of Hamburger Helper and hamburgers and pasta and microwaved chicken, and all things that can be cooked in a crockpot.

So cross your fingers for me! At least I had witnesses that I was baking, and not deliberately sabotaging my oven so I could get a new one, since the convection went out. I'm not saying anyone would accuse me, because I'm sure human nature will be in my favor. Yeah, that's right. I'm sure of it. It was my suspicious mother-in-law who thought I might need witnesses....

Monday, December 04, 2006

Thank God Knitting Helps Me Think

I love how knitting gives you time to think. I'm sitting today with my daughter, and it's just too crazy snowing outside to go anywhere before I have to. I can't say I'm doing nothing, because I'm knitting, which is allowing me time to think like crazy. I started off thinking about how my step-mother will like this scarf. That got me to thinking about my step-brother, whose daughter I nearly forgot for Christmas last year. We don't see them much. Then I realized - yikes! - he had a second daughter this last summer. (Well, no, his wife did. Don't get excited) This would have been a huge error, to forget the new baby! Even if we don't see them much, it's not excusable. So, see? Knitting has saved me from a very nasty family situation, where I'm trying to wrest a toy away from my youngest to give to the new baby. I'm intimated before how well she shares.

I need to go into town early today, because I'm not sure how I'm going to get home from the school, what with all the snow, but I really don't want to wonder how I'm going to get there. If I have the kids with me, hey, the world is my oyster. My worst situational fear is they're stuck there without their mummy, who is trying to shovel the car out of the snow, with a screaming kid inside, adding to the pressure. If I've got all of them with me, and it's not smart to go anywhere, we've got options. I'm not above pulling up a piece of floor and sleeping at a friend's house, at church or even at the school itself. Just don't put my kids somewhere and me somewhere else, and then create a problem with us getting together. My husband and I have agreed, even though we love each other so damned much it's scary, that if we ever did separate, we'd have to live up- and downstairs from each other. The custody battle over the kids would be too ferocious to contemplate.

Yeah, I think about all kinds of things when I've been knitting. Some day a really good book idea is going to come upon me. Or maybe I could write a situational book of things Carrie would do if she were forced to be separated from her kids? It could be about a SAHM (stay at home mom) who climbs Everrest, commandoes into school, shinnies up a neighbor's tv pole, all in the interest of retrieving the little brood she's birthed. Eh, I'm working on it. =) Keep warm and safe! (No oven story. I can't face it yet. Soon.)

We made more stuff!

It was a nice and busy weekend. We made Christmas ornaments with the in-laws, and the girls made some gingerbread houses. There was a house of candy and a house of frosting. I have a girl who only likes frosting. The sugaryness of it makes me long for coffee, but I'm glad she's happy. The candy house was beautiful, too, and they were happy girls. That's totally worth the ten bucks at Wal-Mart for the houses.

I need to fix the date on the camera still. Life can't be that busy, can it? Oh, and I needed a break from Christmas knitting, so I swatted out a pair of mittens this weekend. It has gotten so very cold here, so quickly. It was 22 degrees yesterday, and who knows what with the wind chill? So mittens called out to me. It's back to being good now, though, and knitting for Christmas again. I picked up some cute size one needles the other day, though - purple! - so socks may be cast on soon. Technically, I can't think of anyone that needs hand-knitted socks right now, but I read that the YarnHarlot has made hundreds of pairs of socks, and that frees up my guiltiness over knitting something without a recipient in mind.

I'll blog later, with pictures, over the insane thing my oven did, but you'll have to wait for it. It's snowy, and I have to get small people to a learning center soon.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Domestic Arts

No, I'm not talking about knitting. The picture is very blurry - sorry about that - but does anyone know what this is?

No? Here's another hint:

The kids were home from school today, and we made homemade noodles (!!!). To go with the homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, because it really does make a difference. I can't wait to serve this tomorrow. Gotta make soup the day before if you can, so the flavors can meld together. Mmmmm, soupy goodness. (And why does my camera say Nov. 30? I could speculate, but who wants to look at me making a mistake? I don't...)

Since we were home, unable to go out because of the inches and inches of snow delivered on us today, we also made apple pie. I'd show you a picture of that, too, but it was so warm, and the weather was so cold - all that I could really show would be some crumbs. But it was good. Mmmmm.

A food blog? Maybe! But I also got tired of Christmas knitting for a bit, and knitted up one mitten. I'll show a picture when it's a pair. This first mitten was very, very slow, because my daughter thought it needed to be longer, so I knit 6 more rows before the decrease. Then it was too long (of course), so I went back four rows. She tried it on - too short. Okay. Ripped again and knit in two more rows, so I'm now only two shorter than when it was too long, but I guess now it's good. Anyway, it had better be, cuz that mitten is done. The second one should go faster!

So tomorrow I'm having the in-laws over, and we're going to make Christmas ornaments with the kids. Doesn't this sound nice? It does... and it's because I finished my Christmas shopping, friends! Yes, I'm hoping for a more relaxing December this year, with only Christmas knitting left, and gift certificates for those I don't get finished knitting for. Here's hoping I can get life back on track enough to enjoy December, instead of last year, when I spent a large part of the month glaring at my husband, who, after all, only had to show up for the gift opening. This year I explained better my need for help, then went and got all the shopping done early. HeeHee. So here's hoping I get to enjoy the eggnog.


Hey, you bloggers and lurkers! Here's a fellow, college student, trying to do a report on, of all the cool things, the Internet and blogland! So jump to his site, acephelous, and check him out. Then link to it in your blog if you have one, and hit the box that says "Ping"! This will help him track the progress of the traveling meme, which this is, and he can do a report on it. And, as I understand it, results will be discussed at the 2006 Meet the Bloggers panel, which is pretty neat, even if I don't know where the panel info will be posted... Anyhoo, give it a go, will you? Help a fellow human out. Pass some goodness along. I'll post in a bit about the cool snowed-in stuff we do... Well, I think it's cool!