Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fool's Game

I was so happy yesterday, thinking that I had survived a really busy week.
Then, I checked to make sure my post was posted properly... and it was dated WEDNESDAY! OMG! Really? Thursday and Friday still to go?!?
And still chugging along, although the worst is indeed over. And really, I don't mean to complain. I enjoy every minute of what I have been doing. I just am not used to being on someone else's time frame and juggling things that I do not usually juggle.
It is a little stressful.
So let's think about Monkeys instead.
Disco Socka Color color no. 1.
I think I saw somewhere it was called Marine.
Gorgeous works just as well.
I sure wish I knew the trick to get the sparkle to photograph.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Here they are, the 2nd grade Italian Saints.
Boy, that was a spectacle!
I have been volunteer gone insane this week. I won't bore you with the details, I will only say that I have been leaving the house a little after 8 and not getting home until after 4. It feels like I have a JOB and I am beat. Hats off to you who do this all the time. My house is a wreck and I am too tired to knit in the evening. But you know, I have slept really well!
Next week will be back to normal. I hope.
But then... Lent begins next Wednesday!! I have been debating what to give up this year. Last year and the year before I gave up my bad attitude. It was very effective. I don't think that my attitude is as bad as it was (not by a long stretch) and I am wondering if I could possibly improve even a little more... There is only so much one can do when the situation is as it is, though, don't you think? Cop-out, I know.
The other thing I am considering is coffee. I have pretty much gone off the coffee. And since Giant Eagle quit brewing the pumpking spice, I can resist temptation, sometimes. I don't make it at home, at least. So it wouldn't hurt me to quit it all together.
Don't even think for a minute that I could give up chocolate or sweets in general. I recognize my weakness and there is no point in pretending that my body chemistry is complete without the antioxidants in chocolate. :)
Are you giving up anything? How do you decide?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Good Monday!

It is Catholic Schools Week here in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. So this means that there are a lot of things going on at school this week. And, I am neck deep in the book fair, so I am at school every day this week... Hey, this is starting to feel like a job!
Today was Purple and White day and they have a pep rally this afternoon. (Go Tigers!!)
Tomorrow is a Saint Parade. The kids all pick a saint (nationality designated by grade) to learn about, dress up as and parade around. I made a hooded tunic for Eldest as his saint was a Camalodese monk of the Benedictine order. Now, who knows what he really wore, but Eldest looks smashing in his tunic.
Wednesday is the Grandparents Mass.
Thursday is Slippers day.
Friday open house in the afternoon.
I will try to get pictures tomorrow, but if I don't post again until Friday... I needed a nap.

As far as my knitting... INBAs red vest is in time out. It made me mad that I divided the front and back and didn't pay attention that I messed up and would have to be crossing cables on the front when I am purling across the back. So until I am not mad at it for letting me do that... TIME OUT!
Therefore, I started a new project... Monkeys. Not just any ol' everyone-else-has-already-made-'em Monkeys, Blue SPARKLY Monkeys. You must wait for pics, sorry.
And, I know I keep saying it, but the Bauhaus may make a reappearance, soon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Finished Stuff

Here is the picture of the FO I mentioned the other day.
Classic Wool Socks by Peace Fleece.
The Mister gave me the kit a couple Christmases ago, I started them early last year and just finished them... They are worsted weight yarn knit on size 5 needles. Yuck knitting, but the warmest socks ever!! And the weather has been very cold. Perfect combination.
And because I have been feeling so much better, I have actually been able to spend more than 2 minutes at the sewing machine and I made these...

Yes, the bag lady strikes again. I can't help it.

And I finished the baby-poop socks.
I thought that they were going to be the first Christmas knit of 2008.
I didn't know for whom, I just knew that they weren't for me.
I finished them last night after talking to a friend who is on Day 8 without a cigarette... and I knew that she deserved a reward, and I knew that she wanted nothing more than handknit socks, and I was right.
Of course, I didn't mention my issues with the color :)
So, I am not one up on everyone in the holiday preps, but I do have an estatic friend making herself healthier.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another Busy Week

Man, it has been a busy week. The Mister is, again, older than me. The debates and explainations with the children that even if for only 3 months that Daddy's number is bigger than mine, He is still and always older than Mommy, are taking a lot of energy. More than one would have anticipated, actually. But it is worth it in the end, I believe. Because at some point they will answer without thinking, "Yeah, Daddy is older than Mommy."
The technicalities are irrelevant at that point. Merely, Mommy's ego is preserved. This is truely important. Truely.

Oh, amidst this I do have a FO, I will perhaps take pictures tomorrow. But this makes me think about many of the blogs that I have read lately speaking to the blogging of WIPs versus or in addition to, even, the FO. I have been perplexed by this... who has enough FOs to post even semi-regularly? And what do you have against (WI) Progress? Yeah, I suppose if you only added a stitch or two... but that stitch or two could have turned a corner, gotten one out of a slump, made that funky pattern rendering make sense...
So, my two cents is... Sure, I strive for a finished object. Sure, sometimes (often) the progress around here doesn't look like much. It remains, however, that we are all a work in progress. This family is in progress, this person is in progress, this life is in progress. To banish the acknowledgement of that work while still in progress is to diminish the real joy and satisfaction that is obtained when something does reaches the finish line. The journey matters.

And that nicely leads me, much to my surprise, to the other thing that I wanted to acknowledge today... A life incomplete, unfinished. How ever you celebrate the Federal Holiday that commemorates the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., consider this quote from the late Dr. King...

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal."

The boys are off school Monday and Tuesday... so until then... Peace be with you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

C'est Moi?

What Heather Means

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.


Wow, the week has flown by.
Before we get much further, here is my next nudge to charity knitting.
It is the newborn campaign underway for Afghans for Afghans. There is a link in the sidebar, too, to their site. If you are local to me, we can consolidate shipping. I would like to fill up a priority mail box.
And here is a picture of the bears, only one is missing, I think. So one for each person on the mission trip. Better than nothing, I say. And I am going to monkey around with project spectrum this time around.
The theme is the Elements... Earth, Fire, Water, Air. It starts Feb. 1, I hope to be able to follow through with it.
Oh, and I am Co-Chair of the Silent Auction for our church's Extravaganza Fund Raiser... If you have any good ideas for auction items or anything else that you may have done for similar events, please, share with me! I am looking for ways to freshen up our event and make more money, too.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blog Angst

I have tried several times today to make a nice post with pretty pictures and something is prohibiting me. I would blame blogger, but my computer has not been on the well behaved list lately, either.

So, I will just say... The bears were well received and packed up to go to Jamiaca. Big Huge Thanks to those that took the time (I know it was not nice of me to ask over the holidays) to make a bear- or two! I sure do appreciate it, I know that BBINH appreciated it and I am sure, most importantly, the children will appreciate it.

We are getting snow, too. Funny to believe that it was nearly 70 degrees not even a week ago. But again, I am hoping that the weather man is right and we get another 3 inches by tomorrow night. The boys would love to be able to go sledding. And you would not believe how much they like to shovel the driveway!! I am sure this is only because we only need to do it a couple times per winter. Only twice so far this one. That's ok, we take our entertainment where we can get it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Almost Forgot!

I hereby pledge to send a handmade gift to the first three people who comment on this entry. No real promises about time frame, but it’ll be within the next 365 days. In return, you have to post the same offer on your blog, and prepare to send a gift to three other people.

So I was over at TKR and I commented to her and now I am giving you that opportunity. What say you?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Let's Go Adventuring

First up, Happy Birthday to my MIL. I can't say how many candles... just that it is more than 35. Which is a good thing since the Mister is going to be 35 next week! I need to frost the cake, yet, and make some potato and leek soup. Would you believe that I have homemade bread in the oven to accompany? I suppose it will still be apparent that I didn't get her a "real" gift. *shrug* The Mister did.

And I found the most interesting catalog in my mail today. National Geographic Expeditions. Oh, my wanderlust is in high gear. Even INBA is planning his escape. Of course, THIS is where he wants to go- who wouldn't- at 16 grand per person. Oh, that would be nice, but only if we take the St Petersburg extention for another 2200 pp. I would go just about anywhere they go. I would love to go to Tanzania and Kenya, but political unrest pushes it down the list. *sigh*
The other half of this point is to make CQ aware that they have an expedition to Peru. Days 5 and 6 are Machu Picchu.
There, now everyone has wanderlust.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Rock - n - Roll

Errr. something like that.
Rock and Spin, but that is a bit redundant for Rock Day.
So, Rock On.
We celebrated a day early, but in full spirit. That is Julia, the Celtic Queen, Laurie and Me. And our wheels. All different, all fabulous.
Julia also brought her drum carder. Oooooh, aaaaaahhhh.
Obviously, I am still on that steep part of the learning curve. This is some sunshiny roving that CQ gave me for Wool-tide. It happens to have been dyed by Julia. Very fun and bright. I am going to try to wash this up and use it as a single. I apparently have gone from over spun to slightly underspun (within inches sometimes, lol) and this is in no condition to ply. So we shall see what happens.

And this... my camera refuses to photograph properly. The ladies will verify that it is really mermaid green and rosy burgundy. Oh, with sparkles. Too fabulous to photograph! Ahhh, the joy of carding and mixing your own. Laurie did this batch of beauty... such a good friend. It becomes evidence that while having your friends over to your house to spin is great, not so easy to stop once they are gone!
And I notice, too, that I spin more consistently when I am not so tired. Heh, go figure.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Point of Grace- How You Live

I saw this over at Bev's. Beautiful song with a message that is right-on.

California Dreaming

Here's my Rocketry in Cotton EaseThis is for a California Baby, so I thought fruit to be appropriate for the buttons.
And really, not the most functional buttons- too many edges to catch- but it is for a brand new baby and cute out weighs everything else.

And did you know...
That the second Saturday in January (next Saturday) is Invite a Neighbor to Dinner Day here in Pennsylvania? Honest. It is.
There is an article in Cooking Light (Jan/Feb 08) about the family that petitioned to have the day created in 2002.
Anyway, the thing that most caught my attention was a quote by the Mother of the family, Mariette Danilo, "When people cook for you and entertain you, they tell you that they value you. They are saying that your relationship is important and that suddenly changes everything."
How true.
Community building- one neighbor at a time.
Here is their website. And Cooking Light has some menus to inspire you.
What's for dinner? Can I come?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don't Forget the Bear!

Remember, it is for a good cause and is really quick to knit... which is a good thing because I need you to get it on its way to me this weekend. :) Thanks. This was Grandma's gift to Eldest.
The KNEX Coaster Ferris Wheel.
I think that the Mister (mechanical engineer) enjoyed helping to put it together as much as the boys did.
The Rockin' Sock Club shipment arrived just before Christmas, too.
Very pretty.
I didn't sign up for next year. I think when it comes down to it, I am just not a good club girl. I don't get all wrapped up in what everyone else is doing... unless I think it is a good idea for me, too. Shockingly non-trendy. Yep, that is me. Suburban Housewife, boring me.
Boring as I am, I do make some cute stuff.
Like this korknisse out of sock yarn (leftover Mardi Gras Jitterbug.)
I made, oh, 8 or so of these little guys and gave all but this one away.
And since my spinning wheel was my Christmas gift and INBA was impatient with the hand spindle and Laurie had carded up all that colorful wool for him, we spun this up on my wheel. I plied the colors with some white that I had done previously and then finished plying color on color. I still need to wash it, but when it is done, he wants mittens. The picture does it no justice, it is quite pretty.
But everything is a process.
Here is a vest for Eldest, I hope to finish this weekend. It is a nice dark purple (grape 39,) Nashua Creative Focus Superwash Merino. The light is funny today... Pittsburgh Winter.
And a sock of Lorna's Laces Safari... just a plain sock. I gifted Celtic Queen some Sahara Jitterbug for Wool-tide and suffered from wanton desire for the colorway (it doesn't help that it was Jitterbug.) This was the closest in the stash. Nice, but like having a burger when you really want pizza.
This is the first sock in STR Monsoon (February club color) that I am doing in Garter Rib. It is a really nice sock! I am anxious to get the other done. I did a short row garter heel. Love it! You don't have to pick up wraps. FAB! So I did a garter stitch toe, too, to try to keep it even. I don't think that I really needed to do that, now. I am very excited about this pair. Better pics later. I seem to have as much a thing for a purl ridge as I do for sparkles!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!

I hope it is peaceful and prosperous for us all.

The boys go back to school on the 3rd. It will be nice to have a routine again. We have all enjoyed and had our fill of lounging around and playing games. The Mister dismantled the tree and boxed up all the bric-a-brac this afternoon. The house feels a bit naked. But the boys quickly spread the trains around the living room- INBA recieved yet another train set for Christmas, this one Geotrax- they have that and the blue track Thomas sets intermingled in there.
The New Year's pork roast is braising in the oven. The house smells like cabbage and dark beer. I use the 'braised pork and sauerkraut' recipe from the "Joy of Cooking" and Yuengling Black and Tan. YUM. We had our New Year's Eve Pretzel last night, a "tradition" that I just learned about this year... and will very much be a tradition from now on! I think I will make a braid of this recipe for Easter, too. SO GOOD!

As for the rest of this year... I suppose I will continue to strive to be a loving mother and wife and friend. For knitting aspirations, I will figure out a way to make a sock that fits the Mister nicely (darn skinny ankles!) I hope to be healed enought to finish the Bauhaus Fair Isle for him, too. And just so it isn't all about him (imagine!) I would like to make myself something, too. If I don't find a sweater to fall in love with... the "Cape Collar Jacket" in the Winter 07/08 Vogue Knitting (they don't have it to preview on the website, phooey)that just came yesterday might be one to, though... maybe a beautiful lace shawl-like the dark blue beaded diamond one in the middle of the top row. For the boys, I have a vest 2/3 done for Eldest in school color purple. I have some red pepper swish superwash for a vest for INBA, next.

I have plenty of FO's to show, but the camera is AWOL at the moment, hiding in the car, I think. So I will save the deluge of pictures for another day.

And don't forget that Chez Mayhem celebrates Rock Day (St. Distaff's Day) next Sunday at 1pm! Partly work and partly play....