Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A New Look

Hey, I changed the template for my blog post! I never liked the other one, since about a week after I got it. I thought the script was too small, which I dislike when I visit other sites. I like big letters! I'll definitely be buyin' the bigger print books soon. Why not? Who's to know, other than the Borders guy??

Now I have to re-enter my blog roll, which is fine, I know who you all are =) But I may have a hard time replacing my information for the groups I've joined, like the Michigan Knitter's and whatnot. I guess we'll wait and see how long it takes me to work this out! But tonight I'm not working, I'm playing World of Warcraft. Life has been verrrry stressful of late, and tonight I'm not thinking. I'm going to baby my sore throat, mostly by not yelling at the kids - that helps so much - and if I'm not playing on the computer, I'll be watching David Caruso on CSI: Miami. Don't judge me. It's a brain-free evening.

Oh, and in case you're following along on the events in my life, drama club went GREAT yesterday! Huzzah! The costumes helped, and I let go of a lot of the frustration. When kids talked during a scene, about, you know, the dream they had last night, or whatever, I just winked at them and pointed to the actors. See? Disconnecting equals happiness! Who knew?? Just kidding... somewhat. Here's to enjoying a brainfree evening!

I got nothin'.

I have gotten several very nice comments in the last week about how I can write blog ideas about, well, nothing. I can take the ordinary, the mundane, the inconsequential things that make up your day, and blog about them (hopefully in an interesting way). Well, I hope I remembered to say 'thank you,' because all I could think was, 'That's all I've got, people." =) Seriously. I'm parenting in the trenches most days, where you just put your head down and do the next thing that needs to be done. Now that the youngest is nearly three, I have started to look in the mirror and think about make-up. Sometimes I even wonder what the back of my head looks like, but not often. We've had this great business idea that I'm working on, but need to find more time for. My husband and I got involved in the school drama club, because our local school is small, hit hard with budget cuts, and there is nothing in that vein for the kids. But, to be honest, without my mother as 'kid care coordinator,' the drama club wouldn't be getting done at all. Yesterday I did five loads of laundry, and my husband still couldn't find any socks this morning. *sigh* My life is full of these little moments that I actually find pretty entertaining, so I try to share them. *giggle*

Now, in my alternate life, I'm verrrrry important. Aliens watch me to figure out how people work, they see me cuss under my breath and write notes, et cetera. Or I'm a brigadier general, with all those troops doing whatever I say. Like that one. You can borrow it, if you want. Or I'm a starlet, shopping on Madison Avenue, with an unlimited credit card. What I am not is one of those girls living at Hugh Hefner's ranch, fawning on some old guy who gives them lots of gifts. Sorry. That just jumped off my fingers onto the keyboard. I had to stay up late last night, waiting for a kid to go to sleep, and nothing much was on....

But mostly I don't think my life is any different from most anyone else's. Sure, some people are policy makers or professional skiers. But the major number of people are just like me, with the same common stories, which I try to share in the interest of our sameness. I find it very comforting that I'm not as different as I always felt in grade school, and that most of you are like me. Now, the people in my local area all seem very reserved and cast in the same model, but I know there are lots of people who are more normal, like me, because we trade email addresses and stuff. =) Blogs let me learn about your kids and concerns, travels and even knitting and other creative endeavors. I likes it. But now I'm going to go put on my princess gloves and dress the baby, before taking her out of the castle. Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Heyyy, no fair

I haven't gotten any email since Saturday =( I have no idea why. My husband suggests I should reboot my computer. I will say nothing further about that suggestion, unless it works. Ahem. I am biting my tongue, and shall probably regret the surly feeling I'm having right now. I checked my comments through the site, though, and thank you all so much for the suggestions of what the babe's problem could be. I got some very useful insights, and I appreciate it!

I know you thought you'd see hat pictures, but we worked all last night on the drama club. We've only got four practices left, so things are getting close to the wire. In lieu of knitting pictures, I thought I'd post the kimonos. But I can't find the little cord that plugs into the camera, so I'm going to have to do something else entertaining.

Okay, these two nuns walk into a bar... no, no. That won't work. The punch line isn't as funny, even, as the thought of two nuns walking into a bar, at least for me.

The scarf continues on, and is very fun and soft. I've got summery patterns on my mind, though, and am pushing all other projects guiltlessly back into the bin, so I can knit spring fever items. Also, the Harlot is coming to Ann Arbor, while my brother is coming to visit my fam, and I'm trying to figure out how I can make both things work. I would love to go see her, but Ann Arbor is terrible with traffic, and I'm pretty sure I should just park at a mall and call a taxi. Working on it.

Sudafed is helping the young one, by the by. When it wears off, she grabs you or the wall, but otherwise is jumping on the couch happily, so the dizziness is getting better. (I know this because of the lack of injury after jumping on the couch. She would never admit to feeling better, though, because I believe she loves all the attention she got over the dizziness) Had a nurse look at her last night (Thanks, Mom!) and she agrees it's probably a middle ear issue.

You all have a great day! I'm off to pack lunches!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Gee, I had some great pictures

Unfortunately, I am such an idiot, I deleted them instead of fixing them up by cropping, lighting touches, etc. Rats! And it was such a beautiful day for pictures. I'll have to try to take some more tonight, but you know they'll never be as good as the first... sigh. I finished the second Hermione hat, and I love it so much! Will show pics later, when I have the kids as mannequins again.

I got an email t'other day, as you probably did, from Lion Brand, and there was a pretty cool scarf pattern in it. Now, I like me a good story, and it will frequently sell a pattern to me. In this case, the story's hook was the lady saying that they always had many, many scarfs in the winter clothes bin, but were always vying for this one. Well, this is so the way I remember my childhood. As kids, we never even questioned where all of those scarves came from, they were just (thankfully) there. So I went scrounging in the stash, and found some pretty green Peruvian wool from Knitpicks, and cast on. I lowered the stitch count and used #9 needles, and I really like it. It's soft, the patterns are interesting, and quickly change to something new. I don't know if this will be a gift or go into our winter clothes basket, but I'm enjoying it. There was a better outdoor pic of it, but I erased that, too. *another sigh*

So I'm pleased to report that I have been knitting, but for the last week, I just didn't have anything to show for it. Now, finally, warm weather season! I've got some pretty summery tops in mind, that I will guiltlessly cast on for, as soon as I finish the husband's sweater. It's so very close to done! Needs to be put together, and for some reason, that's the hardest part =(

Oh, and you know how I love to ask for advice, so here goes: My daughter, age 2, got very, very dizzy this weekend. She couldn't walk across the floor, because she said it was falling. She even got very concerned if you walked across the floor, because it looked to her like you were going to fall. It was not fun, she was very scared, and of course very uncomfortable. We waited a day, and took her to the hospital when it was still happening the next morning. At the hospital, she was a little dizzy, but then cheered up and ran all around like a perfectly healthy kid. The E.R. doc didn't find anything wrong with her ears, but said there might be fluid built up, and we should give Sudafed or something to clear up any fluid that might be there. We got home, she started doing it again. Is she faking, because it happened before? (Maybe) Is there a weird gas leak that is only affecting the baby? (Maybe) I'm really quite clueless. My friend has an idea of something it could be, but she won't tell me, so I guess it might be pretty terrible. Let me know if you all have any thoughts, because - as I so frequently see - many brains are better than one (or in this case, just mine).

Friday, March 23, 2007

Knitting Smiles

c6f, p1, c2rp2, p7, mb, p7, c6f, p2

This is why knitting makes me so happy

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Slothful Spiders

That's what I felt like this morning, sitting in bed, knitting like a madwoman. My husband, dear soul that he is, ran me up coffee and bagels and kept the kids entertained, so that I could knit this:

It's a doily, in Kathmandu DK wool, on size 6 needles, for the Knitoff competition. It took four and a half hours, pretty much exactly, and I gotta say, I'm probably doomed in the next round. A girl finished moments before me, and the girl I was competing with finished 40 minutes after me, but when did they start??? Actually, I got an email from that girl just now saying that she finished a half hour earlier, but had camera difficulties. Dang. Oh, well. Look at the pretty doily!

I also started another Hermione hat yesterday, and will make matching mittens for the Christmas gift-a-month that Spinnerella started. If you know me, people, watch out, because I love this pattern, and I think people will be getting them from me for Xmas this year. I'm enjoying the sunshine here, but from the kitchen table (I've gotten out of bed). It's very cold out, which I always consider very weird, when the sun is so bright. Happy Knitting!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Nonsense Knitting

Tell me you've done it before. Commiseration will get me through. Have you ever spent a week of your itty, bitty bits of free time, knitting something that you KNOW they won't wear more than once? I mean, we birth 'em, walk 'em, put up with the eye-rolling and the requests for tattoos (not until you're 23, dear). Then they ask for something hand-knitted for a special occasion; in this case, St. Patty's Day. So I knitted the little buggers - I mean, darlins - green hand warmers. They're worsted weight, Lions Brand wool, washable, of course. I used cable patterns from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks, and no, the hand warmers weren't hard. =+) They're just one of those things that aren't going to be worn after Saturday. Maybe I'll pick out the bind-off and make them into mittens Sunday.

Oh, oh - here's another bit of knitting nonsense. Last year, my daughter designed a sweater (I'm so proud!). So we charted it out, and I knitted it for her, with her stated colors. It's white, with a black swirl at the bottom, and I think it looks pretty good, as knitted things go. It also wasn't difficult, but with a pair of black pants, she'd be stylin'! (Yeah, I'm old - so?) I knitted it with the top-down technique, and it was really fun to try on her and knit the sleeves until they were the right length. For knitting entertainment value, I highly recommend this move. HeeHee. Anyway, she wore it... once. Yup. As it happens, she doesn't actually like long sleeves. Now I know.

(Hey, look! It fits the next kid! Woooot!)

For other blog events, I'm off hunting Nicky Epstein's Knitting Beyond the Edge. If one is sighted by you, be vewy, vewy quiet. You'll want to hear me sneaking up behind you. I'm hoping our local Borders will get a clue and quit tucking the twelve knitting books they stock in with the polymer clay section. But I can't complain. That's how I discovered the Yarn Harlot, and blog land. *waves to everyone* So I'm off, and wish me luck. If I bag one of these babies, it will start my Nicky Epstein collection, which I may indeed mount on the wall. I love the photos in her books, the ideas and inspiration. Mmmmm.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

See if you can help?

Hi, all. This was a serious post. A woman was missing, Cheryl Huish, and she was last seen near Landa Park in New Braunfels, Texas on February 28th, 2007. I was linking all of the information so you all could keep an eye out for her, too. When I went to link to the "Find Cheryl Huish" site, guess what??? She's found! I think that's awesome. I was so worried that she was just missing, you know? I watch too much t.v. and read too many mysteries for my own good. I don't know any details, I was just passing along the information for my blog friend from the Sweater Project. But, all's well, that ends well, and that is a good thing. Odd post, though, ay?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's okay to say we don't know.

*Whispering* I shouldn't be doing this. There's work to be done, errands, sewing, cleaning... and here I am, with you. *flutter of eyelashes* Well.... I suppose all that can wait, so we can have these few stolen minutes. After all, it's been so long. *sigh* Then again, we have to think of the children...

Well, the kids will wait a bit, I suppose. Not much knitting content to show, but wait til you see the beautiful kimonos! Phew! I'd have finished pictures now, but the sandman threw a bucket in my face last night, to make up for sewing all night the night before. Why do things take so much longer than we think they will??? Ah, well, here's my rant, for your review and comment. There's been a conspiracy (should we whisper again?) by all elders in my daughter's sphere, to steal the idea of magic. "No, dear, there aren't any dragons, or unicorns, or faeries, or magic." Sorry to send you home from school, crying.

Tell me, how do these people know?? And if you thought you did know, why would you tell a child? Is it our duty to divest them of their imagination, their joyful thoughts, their hopes to find a dragon egg? For heaven's sake, let them be kids! If there are unicorns, they sure as hell aren't going to show themselves to some 50-year-old woman who would take joy from a kid. A dragon might come visit, but then we'd never know, would we? What about the Loch Ness fella swimmin in their lake? I suppose he's a big fake, too? And don't start thinking I believe the wrestling I see on t.v. I know the difference. I just don't see why we should negate something so huge, that we probably don't have the first clue about. I absolutely believe that there are positive forces in the world we can't see. How else does knitting karma work? And I think the fairy rings we get in our front yard are astonishing, and a gift to see. So there. That's the rant for the week, as I struggle with teaching my child to respect adults, while they're spitting out stuff to make her cry. Why, I say, why? I believe there are things we should teach, and things that we should allow are mysteries. There's is a great deal of what I consider magic in the world.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Spring Forward

Mmmmm, I had THE most delicious strawberries this morning. My grandma bought them, and she can pick 'em! ;) Actually, I don't know how she does it, but she does always seem to get the sweetest fruits. I think she maybe might possibly taste them (shhh) first. And as I was eating this delicious thing, I was thinking about the warm, sunny field where it came from, the worker who picked it, the assembly plant where it was (likely) washed. I realized, I'm really tired of winter. It's cold and snowy, and I'm craving anything that stands for warmth, and growth, and, well, Spring!

So watch out, all, for Daylight Savings Time this weekend. Apparently the entities in charge of this sort of thing thought the time change ought to come a bit early this year. I think they're ready for Spring, too. I'll tell you, unless you've gotten some updated patches, your computer software is going to hiccup. Programs were written for DST to start the traditional weekend, which is a couple weeks later than this one (April 4th last year). So scheduling and calendars and such for hospitals? They might not mark the time change for a couple of weeks. Cross your fingers. Double check your appointments. And remember to spring forward an hour this Sunday. Come on, Spring!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Journey of Survival

One of my friend's sisters has, scarily, been diagnosed with cancer, as well as having type II diabetes. She has such an incredibly powerful outlook, and has started a blog called A Journey of Survival. I love that. I love that she wants people to follow along as she gets well, as she documents her thoughts through these difficult times, and I believe she needs prayers, and happy stories. If you have some of those things, drop her a message. She is the nicest lady (and apparently very rexy bald). Read the entry about how lovely it is to take your hair and your boobs off at bedtime. Man.... pure comfort. You've got to love her attitude! =)

Oh, and I'm not stressed any longer. For one thing, I worked it all out in my earlier post (thank you for your kind comments). Secondly, I have not yet been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. But I think that I'll go live as if I have been. I'm going to go hug my kids and then save their artwork. Tomorrow I think I'll make pancakes for breakfast, and make sundaes for dessert at dinner. I'm definitely going to take pictures of them, and write in the journals I started for each of them when they were born. Love them little buggers. Go on now. Go tell someone you love them, too.

What do you do when you're stressed?

You know when you're so stressed out you can't even concentrate on what's going on around you? Well, here's what I always do: Take a deep breath, look at the things that are stressing me out, and then I start to clean house. No, not my physical house; the mental one. I have to decide what the things are that are making me unhappy, and I have to get rid of them. My ex-husband? A stressful man, if ever there was one. (This husband is much better! *wink to the hubby*) If I have too many things to do, I either delegate, or I make a pot of coffee, quit complaining, and pull an all-nighter. That's not my favorite thing to do, but it frequently works, when I can in essence create another day. I'm getting old, though, and it takes time to recover from this.

If I'm doing something that makes me very, VERY unhappy, I stop doing it. I find a way to get out of the situation. Life on this planet spiraling its way through the universe is stressful enough without me adding stressful situations. So I have decided to drastically cut what I expect the kids to do in drama club. The last two weeks haven't been fun, they've been work - which makes sense to me, but the children aren't happy. My husband wisely asked me if I wanted to put on a mediocre play, and have the kids be happy, or if I wanted to put on a finished play, and have everybody walk away with a really bad feeling. I guess I want a mediocre play. Actually, it will probably still be a fantastic play, as the parents and classmates will get a charge out of watching the actors work.

My fledgling at-home business is very stressful with a two-and-a-half year old. There doesn't seem to be enough time to do the basic upkeep of it, so I have to figure out what to do about that, too. I haven't given up yet, but I do need to think about how to make things easier.

Wouldn't it be nice, though, if cleaning the house WAS a stress reliever?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What's new with you?

Been a couple of days, but I think my wrists are better. My house is such a mess that I couldn't find my wrist splints. When I went to price out some more, they were almost twenty-five bucks each! So probably I should just hire someone to help me clean my house. I've spent the last two days smiling at the mess, and saying things like, "We have such a nice home. I'm so lucky." It's all in the mind, right? And thank you all for your kind comments on my midnight appearance. It's so sweet having Internet friends! For a woman who has hardly been out of the house in nine years, and then not socially, I truly appreciate it when people take the time to give a compliment. Too sweet.

I told the girls I'd knit them hand-warmers in green for St. Patrick's Day. At our school, the kids pinch you if you're not wearing green. Pinch you! Hands, please. Who else went to a school that did this? My daughter's green necklace broke one year, and she cried for two days at the kids' cruelty. I didn't know that everyone didn't do this until I mentioned it at quilt night one day. I met a person who was shocked, and I realized this town isn't a map for the way the world will treat you. A fish bowl? Yes, indeed. But not everyone pinches you if you're not doing things their way. (right? Right??)

I've been fighting off some infection for a few days, and I'm just exhausted. The doc had no idea what it was, but gave me some prophylactic antibiotics and took a "wait-and-see, you complainer" attitude. (No, he didn't look like that. I love my doctor. He knows I don't come in unless forced to) The kids at Drama Club today are going to be astounded by my laid-back attitude. Maybe they'll respect it and work harder? I'm going to bribe them with pizza. They're 4th through 6th grade kids, and I keep thinking offering them nice things will be better than screaming, "Five more practices! What is WRONG with you people??? Learn your lines!!!!" The performance is racing up on me, and there's suddenly lots to do - advertising for the play, getting props, finishing doctors' coats. Deep breath. Told the doctor I'm under no extra stress. Must continue to pretend this is true. And that's the update with me. What's new with you?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Round One of the Knitoff - phew!

I don't usually do this. I'm probably the last person in the world to be brave enough to post nasty, tired pictures of themselves, but by gummy, I earned this one =+) Round One of the KnitOff is finished, and I'm going to go ice my hands now. The pattern was the Uniscarfity, and we had to knit until we ran out of our main color. My scarf came out 37 inches long, with Paton's Classic Merino wool, on size 6 U.S. needles. I would like it longer, so I'll pull out the bind-off and add to it tomorrow, or so. But I'm done! As near as I can tell, I was the first done in my group, Group G, and it looks like the second person done overall. I don't know about you guys, but I was under the impression I couldn't knit a scarf in a day... rats. Now I have less excuses for my gift-making timeline...

No, really, I'm excited. I've never been in a knitoff before. And even if I'm clobbered in the second round, I've got this tired, nasty picture of myself to look back on fondly...