Saturday, June 30, 2007

My edge has been sanded smooth

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Too funny. Who would have ever thought that the queen of the F-bomb and other such atrocious language would get a rating more family friendly than many Disney films!

I'm snickering somewhere inside, but at the same time, I guess it proves just how dull I've become over the years.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Which beads and bad pictures

My yarn arrived for my Mystery Stole. The suggested colors were either white or black for the purest interpretation of the theme, but white is just not a color that's an option for me. I mean, 3-year-olds, cats, a dog, they just don't go with white yarn, no matter how careful I am. And black... yes, I love black. All one has to do is look in my closet, or my high school yearbook to know that, but knitting tiny lace in black is a sure way for me to go blind. And so, I went with another favorite color and chose Knit Picks Shadow in Vineyard. It's a lovely eggplantish purple and I couldn't be happier with it. It's not splitty, it's not fuzzy, it's just perfect! And the price is perfect too. I don't exactly have a huge yarn budget... or any at all, for that matter.

So, I got my yarn and went ahead and did a test swatch to make sure I was picking the right size needles- size 4 options. I could knit for the rest of my life and never need another needle aside from these. Some people complain that they're too slick for lace knitting, and by the end of this stole I may feel the same way, but so far *knock wood* I've never once dropped a stitch or had one jump off the end of my needle. Aside from a little goof at the beginning, which I was aware of when I did it, but decided that I'd just keep on going because, well, it's a swatch, it turned out perfect.

Onto the beads. Since, as I said, my budget is fairly slim for this project, I decided to purchase beads locally rather than online shopping and hoping that my choice actually matched well once it arrived. I like the tactile experience of local shopping rather than trusting pictures on the computer.

Ny delimma? The pattern calls for size 8/0 beads, and they simply don't have them in any of the stores here. So, I picked up every size I could find in the color that I wanted-- an amythest with silver lining. I've got them in 11/0, 10/0, and 6/0. On first thought, I assumed that the 6/0 would stand out the best, but after rethinking, the 10/0 seem to be the better choice. I want them to be an accent, not a focal point, and I just think the 6/0s might be a bit too heavy for the yarn. Lord knows I don't want to put that much work into a project just to have a bead break the yarn and leave me a cursing, muttering, sobbing heap.

You can click on the picture to make it bigger. Yes, that really IS a crochet hook there! Can you see the tiny little hook on the end? How did our grandmothers do all that doily stuff?!

Of course, there's always the option of not beading at all, but that just doesn't sound very adventurous to me.

So, your opinion please...

The picture sucks, so please don't try and rely on color so much. The beads are the same color, just different in size. Which ones would you choose if you were going to knit this sucker? The 6/0's are the larger ones on the left... the 10/0 are the ones on the right. 11/0's not pictured... I can't get a crochet hook small enough to fit through them and they would most certainly give me fits if I were to try and string them with wire.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Split personality

I've been tossing around the idea lately of dividing my blog up into two separate entities. I know that the knitting content, however lacking it may be right now, holds very little in the way of interest to a lot of the folks that drop by here.

Heh! Listen to me! As if I have more than a handful of readers of any sort at all!

And I know that the daily life stuff holds no interest to the knitters that might decide to stop in.

Honestly, I seem to be flip-flopping and wishy-washing in all areas of life right now, so it's no real surprise that the queen of indecision and fearer of change is considering such a thing. I mean the blog is one of those safe little things that you can go and change whenever the mood strikes you with little or no repercussion. It's not like pulling a Britney Spears and shaving your head in a frenzy of mental breakdown, and it's not walking out on your job mid-shift because you realize you're just fed up with the crap and don't need it, and it's not by far like running off on some extravagant and unaffordable vacation to the other side of the world to get away from all the mundane things you're just not wanting to face, now is it? No... just a few lines of code and POW! you've got yourself a shiny new blog.

If only everything else were that easy.

And yet, some part of me likes the simplicity (or perhaps just familiarity) of letting it be as it is. Those of you not interested in knitting, feel free to snooze through it. Those of you who don't want to read about my particularly unspectacular life and day-to-day happenings, they're easily glossed over, too.

See, indecision.

I asked my magic 8 ball what to do, but it simply smirked a sarcastic "Try again later" at me.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just reflecting

Four years ago today this amazingly beautiful little boy was born into our family; My nephew. I still remember all of the anxious pacing and excited waiting for our phone call letting us know he had arrived, and that he and mom were doing ok.

It was love at first sight when the pictures started rolling in-- those blue eyes, those long fingers, those cheeks! He was absolutely perfect!

It's hard to believe that it's been 4 years since that day, even harder to believe that we've only been able to see him a handful of times. With 3000 miles separating us, I'm thankful every day for the internet where I can pretend that the gap isn't so wide through pictures and e-mailed updates. And I'm so thankful for the time that we do get to visit together.

He's a total flirt with the ladies-- a skill that will serve him well for years to come. :) Especially with those beautiful eyes of his! He's amazing-scary smart. Of course, one only needs to look at the parents to know where that came from. He's funny, imaginative, a defender of justice (or at least, a herder of Jonas), and an all around sweet and good boy.

He and J are the closest in age of all the cousins, and I wish they were able to grow up together and play together more. Maybe one day I can convice the husband an the in-laws to leave Florida, but until then, I hope he grows up knowing that his aunt and uncle waaay across the country love him and miss him and think of him all the time.

Happy Birthday to you, big boy! We love you very much!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Feeling brave

I just signed up for Mystery Stole 3 last night in a moment of bravery. I'm not the most experienced lace knitter in the world, but I'm always open for a challenge. Besides, I have no one to impress but myself, right?

I ordered my yarn this morning, and now I'm just waiting for it to arrive so that I can choose the appropriate beads to go with it. Doesn't that just give you the shivers? Lace knitting AND beads. It'll be a good time. Any of you knitters interested in joining me on this adventure?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What the heck?!

Have I mentioned yet that even after spending $1400 on my car this weekend, my air conditioner is still broken? It's a sore subject, so let's not dwell on it. I only bring it up because the wind/noise of driving with the windows down has a peculiar effect on J-man... he falls asleep.

After work tonight he fell asleep on the way home. A bonus because this meant that I was able to go do the grocery shopping sans munchkin. I'd forgotten what a luxury that was! Man! I could browse the aisles, compare stuff, wander blissfully through the produce department unencumbered. See, I secretly love to grocery shop. I suppose it goes hand in hand with loving to cook, even though my husband will tell you that I avoid the kitchen like the plague. But, while I love to shop, doing so with the kid in tow is more like Mission Impossible meets Supermarket Sweep. (Does anyone else remember that show?)

Really I had a fairly short list of things to get, so I figured I'd be in and out rather quickly, but figured I'd savor my time alone and really get my money's worth.

Little did I know, it was inventory night at the 24 hour grocery mega-mart. What, exactly does this mean? Well, for starters, it means that they are not stocking anything, and there is very little on the shelves. Very little, as in, not a single gallon of whole milk in the entire place! Ummm.... yeah. I considered going for a gallon of 2% instead, but there were only two of them left, and they were both sporting expiration dates that were too close. There were several skim and fat-free gallons, but my kid absolutely WILL NOT drink it. I can't really blame him. I'm not a big milk fan, but if I'm going to drink it, it has to taste like more than white water. And am I the only one that thinks it looks sort of bluish when you pour it? Strange stuff.

For $2.29 I could purchase a half-gallon of whole, but again with the expiration dates! We don't use milk up very quickly around here, so I'm pretty anal about finding a carton that will be fresh for more than two or three days. Then I look over and spy the organic milk all fully stocked in the next case. Only $.70 more than the nearly expired stuff full of hormones. What the heck, right?

I've never really given much thought about my milk. Like I said, we just don't drink a whole lot of it. I can usually talk J into a single serving of it, but he just doesn't like it all that much. The only time I've ever had a craving for it was when I was pregnant, and I've probably consumed less than 24 ounces of it since then. All that said, I've always thought it would be pretty dumb to go out and spend the extra money on organic when it's such a small part of our regular diet. Let's face it... you have to be selective about your extra costs when you've got a paltry budget to work with. I'd rather buy organic produce, since we tend to consume a lot more of that.

But as I sat there, fretting over the fact that I really did need to buy some milk and that I was either going to go semi-cheap and buy the regular stuff with the fast-approaching expiration date, or stifle my thrifty side and actually buy the expensive stuff, I realized that I was being really stupid. I mean, it's less than a dollar more. So, into the cart went the organic milk.

Just this weekend my brother and I were discussing organic milk. He tells me that they buy it for their son, and that it tastes completely different from regular milk. I took his word for it, but now that I've been forced into coming to the dark (or is it light?) side, I'm intrigued. I can't wait to see if J's picky tastebuds agree with it.

Wow, long post about milk, isn't it?

What I really came here to tell you about is how aware I was of the fact that I seem to get stuck in these silly ruts. We all do, I suppose. How many years have you been buying the same toothpaste, or the same pancake syrup? Maybe it's because it's what your mom used and it gives you the warm fuzzies inside, or because it's the less expensive one, whatever... but how often do you step outside that little box for just a second and actively decide to try something new?

Maybe we should all try to apply the quantam mechanics (is there such a thing?) of organic milk buying to the larger things in our lives? In other words, live a little, try new stuff from time to time. Be different. For the love of God, wake up from our zombie-like lives.

BTW, Genisoy Crispy Dippers are like crack! Do not buy a bag unless you don't mind eating the whole damn thing in one sitting. Of course, they're heart healthy (says so on the bag) so why not?

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Monday, June 11, 2007

A few

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J-man listening to the launch information while wearing his souvenir mission t-shirt. Thanks Uncle B!

While it's rather blurry, I'm surprised that my camera was able to pick up even this much detail.

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It wasn't until about now that we actually heard the rumble of the launch.

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Pictures forthcoming

It's been a wild and wonderful weekend, and I don't even know where to begin with it. Brother and nephew came to town for the weekend, and that alone is enough to make it great, but add into it a trip to the cape to watch the shuttle launch, and a trip to Disney, and it makes for a lot of excitement. I won't be surprised if J-man sleeps until noon today.

The nephew is an amazing kid, and I'm not just saying that because he's my nephew, either. He's insanely smart, witty, and a sweet big cousin to Jonas. Of course there have been the squabbles and a few bouts of crying (mostly on J's part), but for an almost 4 year old and an almost 3 year old, things couldn't be any better.

I haven't even really had a chance to go through the pictures on my digital to see if I've got any decent ones, but once I do, you know I'll have to share at least a few. Right now I'm still trying to recover from carrying J through much of Disney. He didn't like the stroller riding much, and his legs just couldn't keep up with us. Right now my lower back and legs feel like they're filled with lead jelly, if that makes any sense. But it was well worth it.

And with all the good going on, there always has to be some drama, and that part is being played by my car. When we got home from Disney in the wee hours of Sunday morning, we discovered that, along with all the mechanical problems that were already on our list of things to fix, the air conditioner had conked out. Figures... first week we've had temperatures in the mid- to high nineties. Now, I can drive around and ignore the "change oil" light for a while, and the brakes needed doing, and it needed a tuneup, and there's a whole list of other stuff that was being neglected, and I probably sound really spoiled, but I cannot drive around with J-man and no a/c. That's just cruel. And so, almost $1000 later, I'm still carless, but once I get it back, it should be virtually new. But talk about bad timing!

Anyway, just a fly-by sort of post just to confirm that I haven't abandoned the blog entirely.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007



Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Weekend Forecast

Busy, with a slight chance of chaos.

My brother and nephew are flying in tomorrow. I'm so excited to finally get to visit with them again. It's been more than a year since the last time we saw each other, and that visit was under less-than-desirable condiditons, so it'll to great to get to have some fun time together. And the kids are at an age where I think they'll really enjoy each other's company.

The reason for their visit is that they have tickets to the shuttle launch on Friday. Originally, I planned to work that day since I didn't have tickets myself, but Dad called me yesterday to let me know that there was one extra adult ticket, and that J-man gets in free since he's 2. Super cool! J's incredible stoked about getting to see the astronauts, and watch the shuttle launch. He ran around the house all evening saying things like "Roger" and "blast off!" and singing the Backyardigans "We're going to Mars" song.


And I believe that Saturday plans are in the works for a trip to one of the theme parks.

But honestly, even if we were just sitting on the porch watching the kids run circles around us, it would be a great time.

In other news, the brand new gazebo lasted all of 4 days before toppling to it's death. We had a little bit of rain and wind from tropical storm/depression/whatever Barry over the weekend. Not enough that we felt it imperative to take the beast apart. I mean, we get worse rains and winds on any given day. But, sure enough, about 1:30 on Saturday afternoon, down it came, bending and twisiting every pole. Furthermore, with the very first drop of rain, some of the parts began rusting. What a piece of crap! I called the store we bought it from, and they told me that they wouldn't take it back, even though it was less than a week old, and that I should contact the manufacturer. Manufacturer wants over $200 to send some replacement parts, and so I'm going to have to do things the dirty way, it seems.

I refuse to be put out the amount of money we spent on that gazebo simply because it can't stand up to a 15 mph gust of wind. So, we'll go buy another one, take the needed parts, put the damaged parts into the new box, and return it that way. Yeah, it's dirty, but I don't feel like I'm being given any sort of feasible options. If the structure can't hold up to the elements (and by that, I don't mean hurricane force winds and torrential downpours) then it should not be labled for outdoor use.

Of course, with the new one, we will only place the canopy on it when it's actually in use. Sounds like a pain in the ass, doesn't it? Note to readers: When considering outdoor structures, choose one that is better designed than this thing. You see, the canopy has no vent in the top, which essentially turns it into a kite when the wind gets beneath it. Stake it however you want, a 10x10 kite is going to fly!

J just stumbled out of bed, so time to get the day started.

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