Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Must've Been Good

Thank goodness for what is probably the best radio station in the country and most definately in Pittsburgh... WYEP. I received the Summer in the City mailer today. Not only does it list all the concerts in the city this summer, it includes the web addresses... I will share with you, too. Oh, and these are the free ones!

  1. Allegheny County Parks Department 2007 Summer Concert Series... this includes Hartwood Acres and South Park. (!)
  2. Mt. Lebanon First Fridays
  3. Three Rivers Arts Festival (note the Los Lonely Boys on June 10 and that there are going to be real glass blowing demonstrations on the weekend of the 16-17 :)
  4. First Fridays at the Frick

Ok. I am happy now. I will relax until school is actually out... oh no! Friday at 10:30am?!?!?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Found It!!

Lookie-here!! I found the schedule for the South Park Theatre!!! Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am... but not free, $2 over the age of 2. But parking is free. Now I just need the Summer Concert Series calendar. One step at a time.

I have also decided that Thursdays are the big excursion day at Chez Metzger. I impulse purchased CLO tickets this afternoon. I had been thinking about it and then the flyer came in the mail and well, they have a Thursday matinee and well, that fits the rule and I called. I just hope the boys enjoy it as much as I think they will.

At the library today I checked out a pile of books about Pittsburgh and Western PA, hoping to get some leads on less popular destinations. I am only beginning to go through it, I will share any findings, soon. The problem is that there isn't a single comprehensive book of things to do that is appropriate and educational for kids in this area. So, you pick up 5 books and they have pretty much all the same information, just hitting the highlights. Like I said before, the highlights are really good, but how many times can you hit the highlights before die of boredom? Trust me, I am getting close.

I am on a quest! Whatcha doing Thursday?

Summer Is Shaping Up!

Wow, thanks for all the great ideas! They give us a good start.

We hiked a trail out of this book this weekend. It was a friend's book, so I will have to pick one up for ourselves this week. I liked it as it wasn't just a trail locator, but offered information for along the trail. We were able to identify some trees and notice some other things that we would have just stomped on past. And 60 miles is pretty much within the hour rule for easy excursions.

If you know of anyplaces that are off the beaten track, unusual, interesting, I would like to know about them, too.
For example...
  • Someplace cool to eat. Novelty, fun, weird, especially tasty, cool decor, odd large plastic mascots, whatever.
  • a nice park. something with great playground equipment, or water, or a sandbox, or a funky theme, something like that.
  • local small museum or historical society with even the minimum of kid interest... I can talk them into a lot.
  • Oh, of course anything train related. We have been to the trolley museum, Cumberland, Minerva, Ohio, and Altoona. If you know a great place to watch the trains go by (safely,) that would be cool.
  • Where can I find the schedule for the activities in South Park? I googled and didn't find anything useful. I am especially interested in the plays that I hear they do in the morning one day a week (or two?) Is there a trail map for South Park? Do you know if there is an information center over there? These are questions that need answers. :)

It is another lovely day here in the 'burgh. We are off to the Library to sign up for Summer Reading and to play at the park with some friends. I will also take some updated shots of WIPs just so we all know that I am still knitting away. (I have almost finished the heel on the second Hogwarts swap sock!! :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

No Pictures, Again Today

Boy, can you tell that the weather is nice? No hanging around the computer wishing for something interesting to see or do, lately.

This weekend, the Mister was occupied with enriching himself, so the boys and I entertained ourselves. I missed knitting at the BN Friday. Celtic Queen brought over a t-shirt from MDS&W on her way, though. Very sweet and thoughtful... if only meant to pressure me into next year. :) So Saturday, fully rested, the boys and I headed out for Hockey for Eldest and then to the North Shore and the Venture Outdoors Festival and then over to a friend's house for a pizza party and then to bed. whew. Don't tell the Mister, but we had a good time.

I was questing to gather summer activities. I came up with a couple of interesting ones.

  • at Boyce Park they do Orienteering. They have a beginner's course of 2-3 km and it is only $5. We are so into trying this one. It is a little far for us, but they do it on Sundays so, we can make a family day of it.
  • the 4th annual Party on Trail for the J.R. Taylor Memorial Bridge is coming up on June 2, 2007. Which also seems to be National Trail Day.
  • a map from the Allegheny Trail Alliance. Yep, that would be the group of trails that travels from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington D.C. I did get a bike for my birthday, after all. Wouldn't that be something? Yeah, we went for a ride to see the Lincoln Memorial. I have always thought that the ultimate 'I did it' would be to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but Pgh to DC might work for me, too.
  • donate your old bike! Earn a new one! Free Ride! is a not for profit, recycle a bike shop out at Construction Junction. How cool is that?
  • a recreational guide to the State Parks and Forests in Pennsylvania. Not that I consider myself very outdoors-y, but I do like to be outside and see beautiful places... have you ever been to an ugly state park?
  • Eldest is taking his friends out to the ballgame for his birthday celebration. The Dodgers are in town to play the Pirates. We got tickets in the outfield reserved, hoping that someone hits a homerun out that way. I can make a phone call and have 'Happy Birthday' put up on the big screen, too. How spoiled can a 7 year old get? He was blown away when I told him that I was 23 when I went to my first baseball game (took the BART to see the A's!) I didn't bother to tell him that way-back-when my brother got to go see the Tigers while I sat at home- I am a girl. bleh.

That is a little to get us started. But you know that isn't enough. Seriously, people, I am begging for options for things to do... within an hour of Pittsburgh, my boys are 5 and 7, free is best, cheap is ok, educational is always good, fun is a must. I am begging. There has to be more to do than the same old parks and the Carnegie Museums (which are great) and obnoxious kid arcades. I AM BEGGING, PEOPLE!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Well, it is raining. Dare I say, finally? We had a nice, long stretch of really nice, mostly comfortable weather. Today it is in the upper 60's and raining. A nice rainy day. The kind with the not too dark grey sky, the hills shrouded in mist. A day that makes me long for my oil paints.
Ah, that must be it. It is like winter in San Francisco. I spent many rainy afternoons in the painting studio at City College. Just like today, except no San Francisco and no painting, here. Oh, and it is the middle of May.
But that is ok.

The boys are both at school for the moment. The school year is winding down quickly. Eldest is going to be seven in less than a month. He hasn't mentioned a party. I am hoping to distract him with a buddy and a baseball game. I love my boys, I actually enjoy them most of the time, too. But, honestly, I don't deal well with the testosterone surges that come when there are more than two or three in a group. I just don't understand it and it makes me really uncomfortable. So Birthday parties... ugh. I suppose that makes me a bad mom, to some. I see it more as, at least I am honest about it and try to keep as sane as possible-for the benefit of my family. Crazy mom is not a better mom.

And what makes mom less crazy? MMhmm. Her knitting. Productive, peaceful, and as long as I don't have too many projects on the needles, relatively stress-free. But then, I have too many things on the needles at the moment. I am working on the heel flap of the Hogwarts grasshoppers. My Cardigan hasn't been touched in 2 weeks. Neither has 2 of the 3 other socks had any attention. I am mostly done with the cuff of INBA's second glove. I want to do something for the neighborgirl and has anyone even thought about the Mister's Bauhaus Fair Isle Sweater? Yes, I have thought about it. Laurie and I even talked about it. I know, I know! I only have 6 months until xmas!! I need to get a lot of stuff off the needles. I think it is ok to have 3 projects going, not...6! A carry around sock, a small at home project and a big at home project are acceptable, not 5 littles and a big!

So, I guess the moral of today's drizzle is that Mommy is crazy and she does it to herself.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Are you Nuts? or a week's worth of blogging

I like nuts. Well, some nuts.
I like pecans, mostly. Macadamia, a little walnut, cashews, too, are ok.
The boys in the house are all about peanuts. It is slightly gross how many peanuts they eat. I have to buy them at Costco... regularly.
The Mister likes almonds really well, too.
I like pecans.
So I made a Pecan Spice Cake from the April 2007 Gourmet magazine.
Don't hate me because they are beautiful.
I am typically not much of a baker.
I had to take a picture because they looked so good in the pans.
But it gets better.
I made a cake that looks like the cover of Gourmet magazine!
I would say that it tastes like the magazine, too, but I imagine that to be rather pulpy and the cake is rather Fabulous!!

Gotta Hand It to Ya...
a glove for INBA

I Need an Opinion
Well, I am generally not short of those... but I picked this up with my graduating neighbor girl in mind. It is her high school colors and I think somewhat her chosen college colors, too. I cannot decide what to make for her, though.
A pair of socks? Some gloves? Something else?
If you were 18, what would you want?
And don't say cash, I bought yarn.
Yarn Pirate, btw, in the colorway "Shiver Me Timbers."
Who could resist?

Hogwarts Socks in Progress
*sigh* I am having issues with these socks.
Emotional issues.
The pattern is fine.
I love Lorna's Laces.
I am having issues knitting socks for someone else.
Rather small of me, isn't it?
I suppose this stems from not many appreciating my socks.
I suppose if anyone will it is another knitter.

Speaking of problems with socks...
Look at this!
Thank goodness this yarn likes to gab onto itself.
(not useful when trying to pull it from a skein, very useful to save a dropped stitch.)
I lost one stitch in the k3tog.
Laurie saved me though, told me to sew it down.
All better now.

Birthday Thank Yous.

Big thanks to the Girls in Northern Michigan for the ever lovely gift certificate to KnitPicks.
This is my gift.
A fancy row counter.
More Sensational Knitted Socks.
Magic Loop.
And, of course, sock yarn. Plum Tweed.

The above mentioned Laurie gave me this awesome kit to make a beaded scarf.
It is so beautiful, I am a little intimidated.
Rayon and beads.
Purely delightful.
I am a spoiled girl.
Thank you, very much.

Monday, May 07, 2007

More Overheard

My Sister calls me this evening...

"We were watching Malcolm in the Middle. The dad's name is Hal. Your Niece says, 'His name is Hal?'
I said, 'yes.'
She said, 'Hal? Like, Oh My God and Hal? Hal?'
...pause of contemplation...
'Mom, can we name people Dammit?'"

Ah, to be 5.

Man Child

This is how the 5 1/2 month old Pea enjoys Coachella.
Ah, the life.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Little Catch-up

Lucky for you, today I forgot my camera.

The weather in the 'burgh has been so nice lately that I have quit looking at the forcast, because I don't want to know that it is probably going to go away and not come back for so long that I will have forgotten what blue sky looks like. Not that there is any experience with that, living in the most livable city in the country. (she said with only mild sarcasm)

Anyway, we took the boys out for a walk. Usually I wave good-bye to the Mister and the Boys as they go off on these hikes. Today, I was feeling family love, I double dosed on my allergy meds (we love those livable Pittsburgh Oak trees!) and trudged along.

The secret is out.

No, not that Secret, that is a wish more than a secret.

No, I am talking about the secret of the Mayhem Men on a hike. It is really code for walk a little, sit and eat a while, walk a little less and eat some more! Hike is code for PICNIC!!

Not that I have been missing much, their idea of quality cuisine is beef jerky and peanuts. But still, I could have packed a bag with some cheese and crackers, stopped at the State Store and picked up a nice merlot... let's go on a hike!

We walked around Washington's Landing that is near Washington's Crossing and really neither have any real thing to do with where Washington landed or crossed.

Then we went into Oakland and the boys ran up and down Flagstaff Hill across from the Phipps, trying to keep their kite up in the fickle breeze.

And the Mister made me run into St. Nicholas' to buy pastry at their Greek Food Fair. I won't tell you how good it was, cuz I don't want to share. But if you are in Oakland before Friday, they do lunch and dinner, they are right across Forbes from the Natural History Museum, you will see the tent.

Such a beautiful day.

So, here are some projects...

one completed classic wool sock from Peace Fleece.


The sock that will not yield.

A glove with a pinky for INBA.
Hogwart's Sock Swap sock for my Hufflepuff pal in the pattern from the Rockin' Sock Club April Shipment. I LIKE IT!

See, I told you!
It has been really nice.
These pictures are from earlier in the week when I was meaning to post.
INBA wanted me to take his picture.
He was mad, "I can hardly see me!"
My point was how shady the drive way is already!
This tree grew its leaves overnight! Little buds one day, shady drive the next.

Do you have any idea what this means?
It is the ginourmous tree in my front yard, way bigger than this picture can show.
It takes forever for it to grow its leaves. They start out as perfect, tiny maple leaves and take most of the summer to get quite large. I love this tree.

The azaleas are blooming all over the neighborhood.

The lilacs are making their 15 minute appearance, too.
Oh, how soft and sweet smelling they are!