Friday, March 31, 2006

Only for Gold


So I was looking at spinning wheels because Laurie had hers at our knitting group last week and I am a total fiber-aholic looking to feed the beast. Looking, just looking. I told The Mister about my meanderings through said topics and he was so supportive! He said, "you better be able to spin gold!" Can you believe what a man I married! Gold, indeed. Funny.

I guess that means that I won't get my own kiwi for my birthday. *pout*

Either way, I will Entertain Myself.

I joined this group of knitters sewing bags in April. We already know that I am a total bag-lady, so this is not a stretch. Although, I am finding myself really excited and ambitious at the moment. I think the sun and warmth that we have had the last 2 days has refilled my tank a bit. Could it really be spring?!?!

How Happy am I?

My best friend, Lady K, actually read my blog and left a comment without being harassed by the blogger! Thanks, girl. And if there is a website for the trout festival, I will advertise for you. Look, there I went and found the link for you. Ah, Kalkaska.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Men At Work

You Know Mommy Likes a Clean Line...

The boys are being trained up right in the trade of painting. The Mister gives them lots of pointers and a scary small space to practice in. But the outcome is fabulous, even if Eldest complained that they had more turns with the brush on the chocolate wall.

Yes, I realize that it is brown, but I like the sound of chocolate better. In general, I like chocolate better. I would say it is my girl gene, but INBA has it, too. Must be the sophisticated-tastes-gene.

I would have liked to have chucked it all to the wind and had the Celtic Queen and her celtlings over for a playdate Saturday morning and been her partner in crime, avoiding family entanglements, but I was really hoping that The Mister would do as he said and finish the room.

Of course, The Mister is a man of his word. YIPPEE! I love color.

Here's a look at what it ends up as. The green is more sage in real life, it looks a bit minty to me in this picture. See the mister there? He is taking a well deserved break. Thanks, Mister!

He loves me, you know.

A Little Knitting.

I finished the sweater for Miss M's Mimi. I think the sleeves turned out pretty cool, they are pastel on the front and the jewel tones in the back! Funny how the yarn did that, I didn't really notice the pastels until it did.

I guess they weren't kidding about it not being a good time to start a new project. There were several errors in the pattern and to finish the ensemble requires needles that I did not have until I purchased them today! Really, how could I not have size 4 dpns? unreal.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Bit of All

Poor Girl isn't Photogenic

I know how she feels. But really her heart is beautiful. About 15 inches wide and about 50 inches long, she is a nice length of italian wrap.

Now I just hope to find the right dress to show her off.

Make fun if you will, and yes, I did indeed once outfit myself for skiing around the color scheme of a pair of gloves... but I have in mind the right dress for my beautiful wrap. Oh, and I also have in mind the right body for that right dress for my beautiful wrap... At least the wrap is right.

Oh, My Guys DO Love Me!!

That's right, boys, smooth even strokes!

MMM-HMMM, that's right, Mister, don't you dare leave a less than clean edge.


Joy of joys! It is a chocolate brown. YUM!

The wall facing this is all bricked. The chocolate (which has a bit of red to it) is the dark color of the bricks and the sofa color is the light color in the bricks. The other walls are going to be a sage green and will hopefully push the walls apart (green being compliment of red) while pulling the room together!! The Mister leads me to believe that this weekend could involve more painting. JOY!!

Not All Roses

The Mister and the Boys did this work as I was off galloping through the midwest. Actually just to southern MI. My Grandmother, Rachel Frances Monroe, age 76, passed away on Friday, March 17. I won't lie and say that I was close to my Grandma. Families being what families are, mine is self indulgently dysfunctional. I could cry all day long for a grandmother that my Grandmother could never be and that is all it would be, crying. Instead I let my Grandma inspire me in the only way she could...

1 If you speak unkindly to people, people quit talking to you. This can come in handy, although telemarketers don't seem to respond as well as others. Still, if not used judiciously, it can backfire and soon the only people that will talk to you are the ones you pay to treat your hypochondria.

2 Shopping is not effective therapy. Someday someone is going to go through your belongings saying things like, "what the *#$% did she need this for?" And, "the woman wasted her money on this and then never opened it?" Or just plain, "what a shame." I know it feels exhilarating in the moment to buy what I do not need or sometimes even really want, but how much do I really use? Shopping is a symptom not a cure. Again, once we leave the store or hang up with customer service we are still alone.

3 File those papers. Geesh, be kind and dispose of old receipts and organize the paid pile and for goodness sake, put your life insurance records and will in one stinking place.

4 Love my children like I could screw-up their entire lives with emotional baggage. "Handle with Care," they make a label for luggage, but it should be tatooed across the bum of every newborn. I don't doubt that my Grandmother loved my Mother, but I am not sure my Mother could say the same... Hey, it took years of therapy for me to allow and accept the way my Mother loves me, but I didn't have near the life my Mother did.

5 Forgive

6 Love

7 Try and try some more.

In the end, it is the feeling that people are left with when they think of you that matters. I want to be thought of with a smile. Even if my words are forgotten, if I leave a warm hug in your heart you will always remember me kindly. It is my goal, at least.

Oh, and now my Mom is paranoid. My Brother had his accident on Valentine's Day, Grandma passed on St. Patrick's Day, so Easter is doomed... oh, and it is my Birthday, too. DOUBLE WHAMMY! Hide the children and lock the doors!

Relax, Mercury is retrograde only until the end of this month.

Speaking of a Warm Hug

Not that I thought my friends had forgotten me, it is just that it is hard with a young family to find 10 minutes with the Mister let alone 10 minutes to bond with friends that are a continent away. As an excuse it is pretty lame, but I just don't have the huevos to phone a friend at 5am pst even if they are probably awake and it is convenient for me.

Imagine my confusion, surprise and delight when I went to the mail box and found this!

My lovely friend from Northern California, Shannon, sent me a Yarn Harlot book! Happy Birthday to me! Wow, Shannon, thanks. I mentioned in a previous post how voracious I get with a good book. Well, let's just say that today seemed like a good day for the boys to take a nap! *snicker* Ah, I needed a good laugh and this book certainly is one. When is bed-time, by the way?

Of course, nothing is simple. In the midst of my delight, I was all sad and missing CA.

Why does it matter?

It is just a place.

I don't know.

But it seems to matter.

Bags make it better...
I had started this one before the olympics. I have been carrying it for a few days now. I think I like it. It holds enough, but not so much. I am a bit on the fence about the handles. They are wood. I love the look of them and they aren't bad to carry, but the bag just doesn't sit up nice because of the weight of them. Is that a silly reason to dismiss a bag? I also think it needs a bit of embellishing of the handle tabs, maybe nifty buttons or something of the like. But they need to be the right ones. I tried all the ones I have, just not right.

Notice how my sunglasses are buried at the bottom? My dentist told me today that we are actually lucky that we don't see much sun...

1 we appreciate it more when it shows itself

2 we are saving our retinas from all that scorching light. We are healthier for it.

Who says dentists lack humor.

So What Amuses Me, Now?
How about a doll sweater. My grandma had a box of odd balls. She was a crochet-er. I saw this ball that was working up into a granny square and fell in love. My mom just cringed and said it hurt her eyes. I really think there was a mistake at the hospital... but I was born on an Air Force Base and the military doesn't make mistakes, right?

Anyway, it is a good size ball, so I am making an out fit for Miss M's Mimi. This is the back. I am hoping to have enough for a skirt and tam, too. can't you just see a pom-pon in this?

Time for Lunch...
INBA would rather do this than eat lunch. Not that he is a big lunch eater, but he re-arranged my spices at least 3 times in one sitting. I have given up trying to place them so that I can find them. Even if I waited days and then, under the cloak of darkness, put them where I wanted them, he was pulled by some unseen force to view my handywork with thinly veiled disdain. Ok, kid, do what you will, at least this time they are standing up and not stacked on theirs sides... talk about risky spicing.

How Could I Forget?

A Great thing about PGH...

*The Eagle's Nest. Giant Eagle, the grocery store who's name I cannot pronounce, has a "play-place" for kids 3 to 9 while their parents shop. BRILLIANT!!!!! I simply imply that we need to go get groceries and the boys have their shoes on and coats in hand. Child magazine put Giant Eagle at #2 for their 10 most family friendly grocery stores, I cannot imagine what #1 does... deliver?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Congratulations are in order!
Our lovely playgroup friend had a beautiful baby girl on Sunday. They named her Jessica Dawn. Not just a lovely name, but appropriate because she was born just shy of 4 am! Early riser! Sheesh. As lovely as babies are and as much as my hormones taunt me at times, I have no desire to go down that path again. Good luck to you!

I Read a Book
The reason that I don't make time to read actual books is simple. I really, really enjoy a good book. Yes, I know that makes little sense unless you understand something about me and my lack of will power. I devour books. Little is as important to me as getting to the end of a really good book. And this weekend was no different. I picked up The Joy of Knitting by Lisa R Myers at the library. Not that this book was really that "good" as in well written, but it had enough information and trivial tidbits that I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in 2 days.

What did I learn from this book? Knitting is a joy. Whew!

And there were some nifty resources listed in the appendix.

Peace Fleece and Shetland Wool Brokers and wool works

And there are a couple of patterns that I would like to try. What more could a girl want out of a book?

So We Went to Oakland to the Library. Then over to the Museums. On our way to the Museums, INBA points at the Cathedral of Learning and says, "I want to go there!" So we took our first campus tour of a college of interest for our youngest son. It seems a bit early, but if the kid is shows interest... in tall buildings...
Anyway, off to the Museums. INBA didn't want to go to the Natural History, so I took him over to the Art. Can you believe that there isn't a single painting of a volcano to be found in the permanent collection?! Plenty of Pittsburgh burning and plenty of trains, no volcanoes. Needless to say, INBA was not impressed.

Knitting Stuff
I don't have a picture, but I started my fourth ball onto my italian wrap (sounds like lunch, but way yummier.) It is lovely and slinky. I am not sure that my desire to bead part of it is going to happen. I found only one book at the library (by Lily Chin) about beaded knitting. Not really encouraging for the visions that I had. I am withholding judgement until I finish the length and show it to Laurie, my guru.

Brief Birthday stuff...

Like I said, very happy to find Peace Fleece. Social and Economic Justice Knitting. Whoo-hoo.
So If someone wants to bestow upon me either Peg's Mittens or the Classic Wool Sock kit, ok by me. I know this seems a bit much to keep adding present links, I just really don't want to buy my own gift this year. So pardon me.

The List Gets Longer

* I have really nice neighbors.
* I found magnetic snaps at the craft store. (that counts as pgh, otherwise I would be liking online shopping)

I think I am going to start needing some help here... it takes a village, you know.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Yes, a weather report from my house. Balmy and 63. Sick and twisted when 63 feels so warm! Of course, I am still in a turtleneck and wool blend sweater...

What I Really Want

So, I thought of what I really want. The Mister tells me that he reads my blog occasionally. Hey, Mister! I want our family room painted. Yes, I want chocolate brown on that one wall and the sage on the other two. Yes, yes, those are the colors I want. They are in the garage. They just need to be "shaken, not stirred" and half the work is done! OOOOH, if it was done in time for my birthday. MMMMM, well, we all get to enjoy.

I Miss the Olympics

I really do. I don't miss all those darn loose ends of the frog, but I miss the permission to sit down for 15 minutes in the middle of the day when I should have been doing something else and knit. I look longingly at my spot on the couch and then at the clock. Seven o'clock cannot come quick enough some days.

I do love my go knit bag. I love it because I can stick it in my purse. I can have a sock with me all the time and I don't have to worry about losing a needle or anything weird getting stuck in my yarn. I can get a round or two done while waiting to pick up INBA from preschool, while the Mister is driving us to and fro, I even worked some at the Home Show last weekend while the boys played in the children's village! Happy Momma. I just don't get bored and aggitated if I have something that feels productive to do. Thank goodness I learned to knit. It is a pity that I have wasted so much time. I need to make up.

One Thing Before I Go

I forgot to see what number I am up to...

** relatively little squinting with relatively little sun.

probably shouldn't allow myself to be relatively sarcastic...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Something Finished

I really love these socks. I like the striping. Iwill really like it when the weather gets nice enough to wear them... 60?

Something that will eventually be finished

This is the Madison scarf from Knitpicks it seems to be happy to be an ongoing project. One day I will just run out of yarn, I suppose.

Something I hope I can finish

This is what I am doing with the yarn that I bought in Italy before Rick and I were married. Yeah, I have been fondling it for about 8 or 9 years.

So the problem is that I only have 4 balls and I want nothing more than to have some shawl/wrap type thing when I am done... I know this is a huge fantasy, but I figure if I pray the whole way... loaves and fishes, right? Ok, so it is Lent... that must mean something? I would wear it on Easter!

This is the pattern I am using. It is a garter drop stitch pattern that I found in my Vogue Dictionary of Knitting Stitches. I have 55 sts and it looks about 16 inches wide. But I only have 4 balls, 436 yards.

I think I could embellish around it to give it some more length. I thought maybe with some crochet thread and maybe some beads? OOOH, purty.

Why, thank you for asking! Of course I haven't beaded anything before. There was no need... until now. Always up for a new technique. Heaven forbid I ever get bored.

Oh, For Me?

It is quite considerate of you to inquire as to what I would appreciate for my birthday. Really, no gift is necessary. But, if you insist... this would do nicely.
I know. I am a total bag lady. And certainly, pick which ever color you think best. I seriously cannot decide.

I can understand not wanting to encourage the sickness, so how about a lovely tea set?
Just the cups and teapot, I am not much for coddled eggs. I do wish they had a small plate to match. Then it would be perfect. So what I have tea alone... I bet I could find tea drinking friends to come to my house if I had such a spiffy set. Either way, I would enjoy looking at it.

I would add the garlic press to the list, but I am going to have to break down and buy one, soon. I am not enjoying garlic fingers from actually mincing. ick.

What about those Guys?

What about 'em? They are still here. Still messing up the house, still dirtying clothes, demanding food, wrestling, crying, and laughing. I bought a book of Sudoku puzzles at the dollar store last week- for me - and Eldest and the Mister cannot put it down. The Mister does most of the work, but Eldest sure gets it and does well with help. Best dollar I have spent in a long time. I enjoy them enjoying it and I get to peek over a shoulder occasionally.

Eldest finished up another session of Floor Hockey this last weekend. He wants me to post his team photo on "our blog." Why do I have to share everything? Get your own blog, kid, it's free. Oh, that whole, I'm not 6 yet, thing. Whatever. I will see what I can do about that picture.

INBA is on another Fido kick. Mostly it is just at home that he refuses to be refered to as anything other than Fido the Dog, but he does bark in public occasionally. I know the kid wants nothing more than an animal pet, but I think this is really far better for his imagination. I hope the worst thing that I do as a mom is not getting him a dog. I would be doing pretty good.

Another good thing?

5. A lovely view from the Fort Pitt Tunnel. When coming through the tunnel into town on a pretty day or at night, the city is lovely. In either direction, the bridges the buildings, the hills, the water, the lights at night all combine for a really nice view.
6. A Convention Center with a view, too. We went to the home show this weekend, too. The upper level has a nice view of PNC park, the river, and a train bridge crosses the river right next to the building. The boys loved watching the freight trains running.
7. Station Square has a fun water fountain. It is one of those ones that they choreograph the water spray and lights to music. Freight trains run along the tracks by that plaza, too.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Happy Lent!

The Best Time of the Year!

I am inspired. It is spring-whether the weather agrees or not. It is 4o days 'til Easter. It is a season of reflection and renewal.

So, in another attempt to ditch the attitude, I set the clock on my laptop to Eastern Time. Yep, I had been on Pacific Time for the last year... talk about denial. No matter, it is adjusted now.

OK, I need another good thing about PGH...
4. The Carnegie Museums are a favorite place. The Science Center, the Natural History Museum and The Art Museum... can't pick a favorite, love them all. I haven't been to the Warhol Museum, yet. I would like to go there on my own once to check out the content before I take the kids.