Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bling Bling

The Cheers Are Deafening

Yes, here it is, official...

The pride of accomplishment is really uplifting. INBA wore his sweater to school today. See me beaming?

AND, I taught the school principal to knit. Wonders of all, she is left handed and when I handed her the needles and yarn to begin to knit, she picked the yarn up in her RIGHT hand after I had just shown her with the yarn in my left hand. So I taught her English and she took to it with no qualms. She is a happy GMa, has set herself a goal of a baptismal blanket as a first project and will be fabulous.

I love people who don't hesitate to expand their world. "I can't do that," isn't part of the vocabulary...

Another Great Thing About PGH

2. WYEP an independent radio station that plays the best music on the planet. You can stream online and you can even become a member online, too. Cannot say enough about how much I love this station.

3. Yes, my Knitters are up at the top of the list... Sanity is precious and having buddies that have a similar infatuation with fiber and textile of all sort, well that is priceless. But frankly, Laurie I don't like to acknowledge the ravishing beauty of my cohorts... it is an ego thing, sorry.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Good Idea

I appreciate your optomism and kindness...

And there are lots of great things about PGH and maybe that is just the thing that I need to do, create a list of good things. Focus on the positive.

So, to be proactive and enthusiastic;

The List of Good Things about PGH

1. Wool Socks, had no use for them in LA.

hmm, is that a good thing? I... am ...being... sucked... into...
no, wool is a great thing.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Olympic Glory

First Things First...Welcome to the top of the podium, darling...
I wasn't absolutely sure it could be done, but I knew I could try...
Me and Apolo, baby! If you don't try, you don't succeed.

I Can't Make This Up
This was lying on the floor in the family room.
I said, "What in the world?! It looks archaic!"
Eldest flies into the room, seriously, I don't think his feet touched the floor, "Cake! Cake! I'll have some Cake!"
And in the "Oh, Dear Lord, What Has My Life Come To?!" Category...
The Mister was googling this afternoon looking for a Steelers Toilet Seat. He thinks it would look perfect with our yellow comode in the first floor powder room.
Must I mention that this powder room is the most frequented lavatory in the house, most certainly by GUESTS?!?! uh, that is just me being irrationally hysterical. Sorry.
Anyway, he saw a picture in the newspaper, today, of some Steeler Freak's, I mean, Fanatic's collection that included the aforementioned throne. He was inspired, with Eldest on his shoulder cheering him on, he found one on EBAY. LUCKY for ME, he wasn't willing to shell out 40 bucks for it! *whew*
I am, however, concerned about my Mister. I then found him looking at video of Dick Butkis (sp?) and he claimed he was actually looking for Olympic information... mmmhmm, looks like football to me. I repeat, the water is tainted. This is not the man I married. I am really concerned.
Speaking of the Lord...
I don't like to make resolutions, set myself up for failure, speak out loud my aspirations to better myself. It could open up a whole can of psychological speculation as to why I plant myself in mediocrity and yet struggle against my self imposed restraints... but let's not go there. What I was meaning to get to is that Lent begins on Wednesday. Since I have little faith in my own will-power, I don't give anything up for Lent (bad Catholic) but I do try to improve something about myself. Generally this has been improving my vocabulary -read, quit the cussing - and this year is no different (try, try again.) Also I am going to finish reading the bible. I started it last summer and I am almost finished, but I need some pressure to finish.
Now, I know I just said that I don't give things up for Lent, but I am going to break my own rule (see how bad I am) and I am going to give something up this year. Can you guess?
I will put in a side note while you are thinking. Did I mention that my Birthday is on Easter this year? Yes, it is a special time. Feel free to shower me with Cadbury Eggs. Actually, I need a new garlic press. Hercules that I am, I broke mine the other day. It was even an OXO. I miss it.
Ok, whatcha think? The suspense is killing me, so I will just tell you that I am giving up my BAD ATTITUDE! I know, you barely noticed my poor disposition since we moved from the Golden State to the grey state, but really, I can't even stand being around me some days. So, I am embracing ( I am cringing as I type this) whatever it is that I need to embrace to shed this coat of gloom that I have been wearing for a year. I realized no one here really knows me as whom I prefer to be, happy, relaxed, optomistic. I am just a snotty, whiny, bitchy (oops, language,) angry, sarcastic, outspoken grouch. Hmm, not particularly flattering. Still, people talk to me and I am sure about me, so just think how much more enjoyable those relationships could be if I don't have such a bad attitude about everything. This is not going to be an easy task. This is the kind of resolution that is the reason I don't make resolutions. But this is for the health and well being of the family, of me. So, help me if you can. But not until next Wednesday :p
Back to the Socks
So now I can go back to knitting my socks without guilt. I have a lacey scarf to finish, too. Always something to keep me busy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

to Frog or not to Frog

I Cannot Knit with Hugh in the House

Shocking but true, Hugh Jackman distracts me. We watched Kate and Leopold last night (total chick flick) and my knitting suffered. I reversed one row and didn't notice until halfway through the next that I put the knee in the wrong spot. I threw it down in disgust, devoted myself to Hugh for a few minutes and then frogged the frog to re-knit. I am getting better at switching colors and am trying to weave ends as I go, when I remember. I only have 3 days left. I am getting a little worried. I am hoping to have the front done by Friday night knitting so that I can pick some brains about good finishing techniques. Fingers are crossed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What the Frog?!

So this is intarsia. Hmm, I guess my friends tried to warn me. I don't think that I listened. Whew. I was supposed to challenge myself, accomplished that. But look at the back of this sweater!!! Uh... yuck. The Mister even commented about all the loose ends. So I took on more than I anticipated. Look how cute it will be, though.

Brother Update
I made it back from Indiana. My Brother is out of the hospital and on the mend. He looks better each day and is healing. He has a hole in the back of his leg where his femur broke through. After the second surgery to clean out bone fragment, he said the pain was a lot less. His ear was torn from the top down into his earlobe, lucky he has a fleshy lobe, could have lost the whole thing. Anyway, he is all banged up and bruised but is getting around on crutches a little. It will be a long process, but he will be fine. He was happy to receive a new Steelers hat, I figured he had lost his other in the accident, but he had been wearing his Michigan hat. Oh, probably the worst of the lot, he had taken his dog, Canello, into the vet last Monday because he was sick and not acting right... Canello had to be put down on Friday. He had some central nervous system disease and wasn't responding to medication. What a lousy week for my Brother.

What about My Boys?

Well, they were really torn. They had daddy all to themselves for 3 days! I guess INBA missed me out loud, but Eldest just called to tell me what a "GREAT!" time he was having with daddy. "I think about you, Mommy, when I am doing art. I do think about you." I should have stayed away just a bit longer. I think the Mister missed me, he was picking at the same leftovers for 3 days. Yes, I did leave other things for him to make. He just didn't. Bachelor life. :) Look out, guys, Momma's back.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hole-y Cow!

Darn it!

I knew it would happen eventually. I am just as disappointed as I thought I would be. So now I need to learn to mend. Funny how when you spend 2 bucks and 2 minutes in a store, a sock doesn't mean much... spend a few hours and all of a sudden, I see why one would fix a sock.

The Frog

Well, I finished the other sleeve and cast on the front. The plan is to get to start on the frog this evening. I am going to Indiana this weekend, I am not deluding myself that I will work on it there. I am hoping to get far enough that it doesn't bother me that I am working on a sock or something instead of the sweater. I have 10 days or something, I hope 3 doesn't wreck me. And even if it does... he ain't heavy, he's my Brother.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mixed Emotions


Here is the status as of 11pm Monday Night. Pretty impressed with myself, I must say. Tonight, about half the second sleeve is worked. That is a good thing.

A Not Good Thing...

My Brother had a car accident last night. Details are sketchy, but what results is this: He is alive. He was thrown from the vehicle, he shattered his femur, has undergone surgery to have a rod installed, will have follow-up surgery on Thursday to clean out more bone fragment. He also almost completely ripped off his ear, but the plastic surgeon who repaired it said that there won't be a scar. He has a neck brace because of some swelling on the back of his neck that may be contributing to some numbness in his fingers. And needless to say he is in a lot of pain. Even morphine can only do so much. Obviously, I am reporting this second hand.

My Sister drove up from Indy to be with him. He is in St. Elizabeth Hospital in Lafayette. If you want more info, leave a comment or contact me via email. I am going to be there this weekend. We haven't decided yet if The Mister and the boys will go with me or not. I feel so helpless and so worried about my little Brother. Thank God, he is young and strong, he will heal. I believe that.

Still, say a prayer for him.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Olympic Spirit

Let the Games Begin!

The object of the game is to complete a drop shoulder sweater sized for a little boy with an intarsia frog on the front. This is where I stand. I finished the back as the coverage on the TV was finishing up. I think I will do the sleeves next and save the front for the agonizing finish.
By the by, this picture does no justice to the colors of the sweater. It is a forest green with a light sage for the hem. Much prettier in person.

Along the Lines of Pretty...

Oooh-la-la, I believe is how they say mighty nice in French. Look at what my friend Laurie gave me. A souvenir from her trip to Paris. It is so soft and sparkle-ee! I have to say that the gift was ill timed as she gave this to me last night... Just as the Olympic quest is begining?!?!? How can I concentrate on green wool with this in my hand?!?!? Would seem that someone was trying to psyche me out-If I didn't know that she is just incredibly nice and thoughtful. It will make a phenomonal accessory for my blue coat. Don't you just love the business card?

So then I guess this is an opportune time to make a few statements about the inhabitants of this place we call home, now. For as much as the weather SUCKS, and really it is the lack of sunshine that SUCKS, there are some really nice people who live here. I know that it takes time to establish oneself in a new place, 3 to 5 years at least, and having only been here not quite a year, I have been very fortunate to know the people that I do. We have a really nice community within our Parish and School, the Newcomers club has given us an outlet for the kids and the Mister and I as a couple, and the Friendly knitters at the BN are more than I could have hoped for. While I shall continue to raz the residents of these hills for being as special as they are, it isn't because I don't have a special affection for them. My goodness, I married a 'burgher! I must find it a bit amusing... although I didn't know just what I was getting into, I am beginning to understand. So pardon me, as I mourn the sunny shores of our former home, knowing that I am grateful for your friendship.

Take a Silly Picture of Me, Mommy!

INBA wanted to get into the act. Luckily, Eldest didn't see him being silly with his necklace. Isn't he cute? INBA is 4. Cute is the only thing that saves him.

Last Note

My apologies for the comments snafu. I assumed that when I set up the new blog that the settings for the postings also transfered with some of the other information that did. It did not, but I have corrected that and you may now post comments to your heart's content, annonymously or other-wise. :) And I would appreciate that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I Shouldn't Think So Much

Since I am so happy with my new rearrangement, I decided I should fix a UFO. I make burp rags for my standard baby gift. They are flannel with various edge finishes and an embroidered tribute to the bundle of joy. Well, on the blue, I put the wrong name. Obviously, I could not give it away. And I find it too cute to discard, so I salvaged it! I appliqued a heart over the offensive writing. It is the softest heart, ever, to boot. It is Minkee, some $20/yd fabric that I saw in one store only ever in LBC. I made the softest blanket, ever, for the Mister's godson (our nephew) and couldn't part with the softest scraps, ever. See why? Reuse. See, Mister, a method to the madness. And the next newborn gets to urp on it. Lucky kid.
JoAnn Fabrics has a bad knock off of this super (cannot overstate) soft fabric. It makes me sad, but I fondle it when I go in and wish I had a trust fund to go get me some more of the good stuff. Notice that I added a link to the name above... I googled and found the stuff... UH-oh.

And Then
I started another bag. I know, I know, another bag. But I have this gorgeous fabric with asian Lilies that I bought in Northern Michigan when I went to see my GodMother this summer. Really, I need another bag. It makes me happy. End Of Discussion.

So What Of This Olympic Sweater?

This is the official first attempt at intarsia. Obviously I need a bit more practice. I think it looks like Mickey's buttons. Mickey's belt buckle. He had a bit of a swagger, it could work. Either way, I will try to not have it so puckery when I do the Olympic sweater... Less than 48 hours until Cast On! EEK!

Beautiful Child Story

I need this kind of moment.

Standing in the kitchen, a sunny moment in the afternoon...
"Eldest, come here, I need a hug."
He comes willingly and I bend to embrace him. He lets go early. Dangling his head and arms back he groans, "Mom!"
"I'm not done yet, sometimes I need really big hugs." I look at him and don't let go.
He looks at me. The sun is streaming across his face as I am bent over him and he is arched back, wrapped in my arms. "I can see myself in your eyes."

I know what he was saying... he is 5 and quite literal. But doesn't that just grab your heart? It took all I had not to weep on the child.

I have a really blessed life. I b*tch and complain and whine and all, but I am a really fortunate and blessed woman. Even if we live here.

Speaking of Here

I did not take the boys to the Victory Parade... It was at 11am and there ended up being 250,000 people there. Eldest ended up watching the thing on TV in the school gym. Thank goodness we make an effort to give the child an education. The Mister sees no problem with this disruption in the academic schedule. It is the water. I just know it is. I am going nowhere near the tap again... Hey, if Michael Jackson can bathe in Evian, so can I.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I Have Been Thinking

First off, the movie was Maria Full of Grace. A really good movie. I felt her desperation.

On the Artistic Temperment

So, I like to read Wil Wheaton's blog. He writes well about what ever moves him. Some things I just don't understand, like poker and Fantasy Games. And that is ok. What I find most interesting about him is the way he writes about the artistic temperment, if he even means to be doing so. Of course he is an artist. He is an actor, a writer, a creative spirit in probably all that he does. And he is acheingly insecure.

I was thinking about this as I was sorting laundry. (today is House Blessing day, thank you fly-lady ) Anyway, I think that it is interesting that insecurity is an integral part of being an artist. Here we are talking about a very accomplished guy who is talking about what a loser he feels like. If you have ever spent any time around artists or reading about artists or being an artist I think you know just what I mean. The more insecure the artist is, the more s/he has to prove, to her/himself, to the world. And really, if you think about modern art and how seemingly incomprehensible it can be and how smug the artist seems because no one understands it... doesn't that just reinforce for the artist that no one understands? Validating an insecure ego? I know this sounds too psychobabble-ish, but I find it really interesting. I could go on into the unfinished, but that was supposed to be my senior thesis, not a blog entry.

Ok, so turning on myself and my insecurities, my biggest problem with creating my art (painting) is that I don't want to be insecure. Not that anyone does, but isn't it all about what you do with it? So I spent so much time getting over my life and the things that have made me who I am, and I have nothing that I have to say in paint. Curious, eh? So now, my creative energies are channeled into my domestic life. I cook (the Mister tells me all the time how cooking is an Art while baking is a Science which is why I am better at the former,) I sew (there is not much more functional or beautiful than a colorful quilt) and I knit (because my feet are cold.) And I think that I find so much joy in these things because there isn't much to be misunderstood. Perhaps I feel it necessary to remind the Mister and his brood how spoiled they are because I pour my love out on them in such a rich way, but it is as much for me as for them to know that I put me into what I do for them. Does that make sense? I know that every parent feeds their family and makes sure that the children are warm. It is a satisfying act in and of itself to love your family. For me, I need a bit more to validate what I do. My insecurity is that what I do doesn't matter because it is just what I am supposed to do. So, I strive to make our life a bit more personal. It matters that I love you enough to make you a pair of socks, write a poem onto the back of a quilt that I made with fabrics you helped pick out, bake you a cake that was droopy in the center but tasted good. I love you enough to give you pieces of my soul to hold in your memory of our lives together. And maybe my time and talent doesn't mean as much to them as it does to me. And I am secure enough to be ok with that. But I do want them to understand, I do want to be validated and I do see value in my creative process and the sanity it gives to me.

Funny how we all feel so different and alone and isolated and yet we all go through pretty much the same stuff. Funny how that doesn't make it any easier.

Back to Real Life

I finally got off my duff and quit complaining and rearranged my sewing room. Well, the Mister did the muscle work, but I feel much better about the flow of the room.

You might think it looks like chaos, and it is a bit still, but now I know where I want to put a couple more shelves and another lamp, maybe two. All of a sudden I have a place that I am wanting to hide in. I was feeling overwhelmed with the disorder that was the previous arrangement. The Mister's Mom can verify what that was like. But we were still able to accomplish a good bit in that mess.

An artist needs a decent studio.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl Mania

I Cannot Knit While Reading Subtitles

I know that there aren't generally subtitles during a football game. And I did not have the closed captions on either. I am refering to Eldest's mittens that I knit while watching a wonderful movie about a Colombian drug mule that was in Spanish with English subtitles. I have forgotten the name, give me a minute, I will think of it. Anyway, Eldest has lost those mittens (of course, I didn't put a big connector string on them) or I would show you a picture of his mitten and its pygmy cousin (the one knit during the movie- I left out a few rows.)

Instead, I will show you the socks that I am working on. I was working the heel flap and gusset tonight during the Super Bowl that those crazy Steelers won. You cannot tell in the picture, but I cannot really do accurate decreases while watching the commercials. My gusset is a little wonky, but not enough for me to frog. Either way, I am on the home stretch into the instep. I can finish this up and then focus on training for the olympics. I need to swatch to learn the intarsia and finish charting my frog. I have the grid taped to the window over a blow up of the picture, half traced. For many reasons other than my tracing we could use some sunshine in the 'burgh.

Speaking of the 'Burgh

I suppose I am going to have to take the boys out to see the victory parade. I suppose that it is history. I suppose that Eldest is going to be stoked that Ben "Roth-ees-burg" and the Steelers won the big game. I suppose this means that we will have to endure more... ugh. Well, Congratulations, it was quite an accomplishment.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Am I Your Favorite?

I said to Eldest the other day, "You are my favorite 5 year old."
He replies, "I am your only 5 year old!"
"OK," I say, "You are my favorite Eldest."
Exasperated, he cries, "I am your only Eldest!"
"Well, of course, what else would you be?"
"How about your favorite kid?"
"But I have two kids, how can I have a favorite?"
He grunts and stomps off.

Want to Share my Disease?

I am a huge fan of saline rinse now. Two nights ago my throat was getting sore. So, before bed I rinsed with saline and went to bed. The next day I was sick, not a horrible sick, but a fatigued gotta-nap-frequently sick with yucky postnasal drip. I rinsed again last night and today I feel way better. So I am crediting a shower for my sinuses. And if not, it sure didn't hurt.

Have You Had Enough?

What is with all the questions today? I must be in a mood. Either way, I will be glad to see next Monday come along. I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Really.