Friday, November 30, 2007

Green Sleeve

Knitting is slow going for me, but it's going. At knit nite Tuesday I started a sleeve for Buddy Bill's slow-but-sure Cobblestone sweater. I worked on it Wednedsday night also for a bit. The cuff is done, and I am starting the increases now. Not knitting at school is really messing with my knitting time, since as the day goes on, my wrist pain increases. Does anyone have any elves they can send me to help out? I really, really want to have this done for Christmas! Buddy Bill (bless his heart!) insists that it's OK; whenever the sweater is done is fine with him. That is not OK with me, though. Who wants a wool sweater in May or June?!?!

Mayhem's pink dress arrived yesterday, in plenty of time for Oma's birthday dinner tomorrow night. The icing on the cake is that the dress fits, and is more flattering than anything we tried on at the stores! Since my two wild children are outgrowing everything, both of them needed new shoes also, and we did that yesterday after school. Of course, Absent-Minded Professor was much easier to please than Mayhem. BUT, they are now properly outfitted for a family celebration in a restaurant that also includes close friends of my parents and the one sibling my father has in this country.

I'll be sure to post some photos of the big celebration and my kids all spiffied up.

And since you all were just dying to know this about me:
Your Brain is Purple

Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.
Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Mayhem is the source of much aggravation this week. First, there's what she wants for Christmas. That's the Nintendo DS Lite. They aren't hard to find... unless you want pink. It can't be black, because that's what brother has. White won't do. Red isn't acceptable. It has to be pink. I was late to knitting tonight because I was going to the one store in town that still has these in pink.

Yesterday's aggravation was dress shopping. My mom will be 75 shortly and we are having a birthday party on Saturday for her to celebrate. Mayhem has outgrown everything! Now, she's a big kid, tall, but also heavy. What she wants to wear just isn't going to look OK on her. I know what that's like, I was her when I was 8. Finally, the old standby Lands' End came to the rescue with this velour dress. Guess what? It's pink. Raspberry to be exact. Pray it arrives before we leave Saturday afternoon!!!

Remember my mention of the neighbors whose yard decorations were giving the Griswold's a run for their money? Believe it or not, today the postage-stamp sized yard contains even more decorations that light up! An inflatable Santa was added. A light up story book joined the display. Now there are 2 snowmen and 3 reindeer. The lights on the roof don't just edge the roofline, they also cover the flat surface of the roof. The icing on the cake is that the music that accompanies the flashing lights is loud enough for me to hear each time I go into my bathroom. (Yes, I have indoor plumbing.) All of these things are in addition to what was already there. I really must take a picture to show you. Just when I think they have run out of yard, they find space for yet some other tacky display!

Thank goodness for knitting. It's slow, but it's happening. Thank goodness for Buddy Bill who brought me lunch today, and also knew I was out of coffee at school and brought me a whole fresh bag that will see me well into the new year. I can't survive at work without coffee!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

First Thanksgiving For The Boy Named Sue

Thanksiving held a big surprise for my family.

It's required that my siblings and I be at Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving; the five of us don't even question our presence. The grown children of my older siblings often have other commitments, however - work, family, military. Two weeks ago, my nephew and his wife had their first baby, and none of us have seen Baby AJ except in pictures. Andy and Rebecca live several hours away and don't normally celebrate Thanksgiving with my side of the family. That was the surprise! They pulled into the driveway with the baby and everyone went wild! (that's the house where I grew up - where I've celebrated every Thanksgiving and every Christmas of my entire life.)

How memorable it was to see my dad all teary-eyed at having another great-granchild under his roof; number four for him and mom. We had great fun hearing first hand the story of the arrival of "Maggie" who turned out to be Andy Junior. New momma Rebecca was so good about letting all the doting Aunties and Great-Aunties hold the baby.

After dinner I sat at the table with my knitting. My oldest sister was crocheting a baby blanket for her new grandson. My nephew Nicholas asked me to teach him to knit sometime soon. That will be fun! Another knitter in the family is always a good thing.

Then I loaded up the car and drove 2 hrs. back to spend the rest of Thanksgiving with Buddy Bill. We built a fire and watched Grey's Anatomy together. He and I have spent a great deal of time lately discussing what we have to be thankful for. The short version: The most important things in life aren't things.

How is your holiday knitting coming along? I don't mean to scare you, but have you checked the calendar?

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I want, I want, I want!

That big holiday in December is creeping up on us. All you have to do is look at the yard across the street from my house to erase any doubt. It looks like something the Griswold's would do, and Thanksgiving isn't even here yet. If you can't get a look at that, just listen to my kids. "I want..." "I really want..." "Ooooh, Mom! I want..." The television commercials and newspaper inserts aren't helping, either. And I can't even begin to describe the deluge of catalogs in my mailbox every day.

Unfortunately, I have found plenty to add to my wish list as well. Shall I show you?

Initial Knitting Needles from this seller on Etsy. (Edited to fix link to correct shop!)

Spindolyn for learning to spin yarn.

101 Designer One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant.

Yesterday this arrived:

Hooray! It's my Ravelry Beta t-shirt.

This also arrived:

The orange and brown reminded me of the colors for BGSU, where I had a wonderful time as a graduate assistant. It's called Banded Agate. The dark, blue/black colorway is from the Raven Clan series and is called Haida. Yummmmmm. Blue Moon Socks That Rock really rocks.

However, I have so much already. I have much to be thankful for, I know, and have more than so many. Lord knows I have more yarn than I can knit in a year. Therefore, I am not buying any more yarn until January. Instead, I have made a donation to the Offhand Designs Fundraiser. There are plenty of UFO's for me to finish when my pain level in my wrists will allow me to knit. There's enough yarn in my stash to keep me going for a long, long time. Check out the link and consider donating. There's a little incentive for donating, but it's not yarn.

Remember to count your blessings this week, dear friends. It's not about the turkey.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

You've Got Mail

Friday got here today, and I barely knew it had arrived. This whole week was a whirlwind of appointments and extra work hours. It seemed I didn't have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. With having conferences at my school - meaning late, extra work hours for me - and conferences at the kids' school (days off for them), the whole week was topsy turvy. A scheduling nightmare ensued. Buddy Bill surprised me with some lunch yesterday, knowing I arrived at work before sunup and that I would be there long after sunset and dinnertime. We also had some planning to do for the Washington trip in June, but lunch was unexpected and very appreciated.

The kids and I arrived home this afternoon and were greeted by a mailbox stuffed almost as full as the Thanksgiving turkeys my mom makes each year. I had nearly forgotten that my order from Piddleloopon was due! If you have never checked out this shop, go. Right now. I'll wait.

So? What did you think? Want to see what I bought? I love bags! First up is Mr. Black Sheep. He kind of reminds me of someone I know. Me. The ribbon handle says, "I wonder who's knitting for me?" There are some stamped knitting sheep gift tags and a stitch marker that were included in the package as extras. There are always extras from Piddleloop!

Next up is the sock bag I ordered. This bag will hold two yarn cakes, and the knitter has the option of having a grommet put into the bag through which yarn can be threaded. The ball of yarn stays in the bag, the bag stays on the table and the knitter happily knits. Inside there are elastic loops for securing needles. See the sheep button? One more little extra included. :-)

Here's a photo of the bags and some of the goodies. There was a surprise tin of stitch markers! I won't tell you about all of the surprise goodies, because that would ruin your fun.

Suffice it to say, if you're looking to give a gift to a knitting friend, or looking for a new, little bag for yourself, check them out. I'm a repeat customer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Einstein Made a Poopie!

Seriously. You would think it was the greatest thing in the world!

I'll back up a little bit. Meet Einstein.

Einstein is one of the African Dwarf Frogs that was so generously bestowed upon my household and my children by the OTHER Karen not so long ago. Today, Mayhem and I cleaned out the small plastic aquarium that houses Einstein, whom I have dubbed Little Frog. (OK, really it was me doing the cleaning, let's be realistic here.) Mayhem decided to feed Einstein a little bit of food and then we, quite unceremoniously, dumped her back into her clean tank and put the lid on.

Forty minutes later, I heard a loud, "SQEEEEE!" which was followed by, "Brother! Einstein made a poopie! Come and look!"

One would think that the child who has baby cousins and two very large Labrador Retrievers had never seen solid waste. "Awwwww, it's a little froggie poop," the big brother crooned.

1.) Nobody thinks that the land mines in the backyard are cute on Saturdays when I send them out there to clean up.


B.) Isn't anyone but me annoyed that the little critter is pooping up a clean tank?!?!

Ugh. My blog has been reduced to frog poop. I knit people. Really I do! Honest!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Always Check Your Sources

A Follow Up...

A few days ago, in support of our US Troops, I had posted an address to Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital with the suggestion of sending mail to someone recovering. I had gotten the info via email, and know several other people that had received the same message. Well, it turns out that the USPS will not accept mail for "any soldier" because of safety reasons. Liz left me info in her comment on that post. Walter Reed does give suggestions on other ways to help out our US Troops here if you are so inclined.

As I said, many of us know someone or know of someone serving in the military and maybe even serving in Iraq right now. Let's make sure our US soldiers know they are appreciated!


Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Joke's on You!

April Fools' in November?

My nephew Andy and his wife had their baby last night! The much-anticipated "Maggie" turned out to be Andy Jr., however! I'm still chuckling over the whole thing after my older sister called me this morning.

The baby shower I attended at the end of September was a sea of pink. Really. There was more pink than I had ever seen in one place at one time before. Did I give pink? Nope. I had crocheted a yellow and white granny square blanket a while back and stashed it away. I supplemented that with a gift card to a baby chain store.

What fun! I have a new great-nephew and everyone that bought pink can go shopping some more!

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

For Those Who Serve

This weekend we observe Veteran's Day. Nearly everyone I know can think of someone who has served our beautiful country by spending years in a branch of our armed services. Let them know that their service was appreciated! Below the flag you will find one simple thing that you and family can do to spread good cheer.

Find a card or two - Christmas card, holiday Greetings, Thanksgiving Card, Get well Wishes, A funny card, or eve a Thank you card - and send them to the address listed below. You decide if you want to include your return address. Brighten the hospital stay for someone who has served our country!

Pass this on to others via email. Send it to your teacher friends so that their classrooms of kids can make cards. Share the love for these special men and women who are away from their families! Better yet, pack them up a scarf, hat or mittens when you send out that card.

A Recovering American soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue, NW

Washington ,D.C. 20307-5001

C'mon, everyone, share the love!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Keeping Warm

It is beginning to get colder. This morning I saw my most favorite thing: SNOW! Plenty of you are groaning right about now, I'm sure, but the sight of the first flurries of the season never fails to make me giddy with anticipation for winter delights. Woolen mittens. Rosy-cheeked loved ones. Long walks during quiet snowfalls. Snowball fights. Making snow angels. (Buddy Bill, this winter you WILL learn the fine art of making snow angels! It's not a spectator sport.) Snuggling in front of the warm woodstove after playing outside in the snow.

Along with the cold, I've thought of others and finished one cap and cast on for another. First up is the Knit Shortie which will go to the chemo cap donation box at knit nite. It's made with Tatamy Tweed, size 7 needles, and was a quick, quick knit. I plan to do another with some Plymouth Royal Bamboo. This was mostly knit up on Saturday evening after the junket to Marblehead. The kids were out to dinner with their dad and I was being lazy. See my handsome model?

The newly cast on hat is the Ribbed Beanie (pdf). I'm using two sock yarns, one thick solid red yarn and one thin, self-patterning yarn, for this cap. It will be warm! This is destined to be a gift, and if I can make it fast enough, there will be a twin cap.

My monsters have chosen the yarn for their Brain Monster hats. Yes, Mayhem decided she needs one too. Crystal Palace Merino 5 is soft, squishy and washable. Mayhem chose Dogwood Pinks which also has her required purple. Absent-Minded Professor chose Ultra Blues which is a combo of blues and aqua.

If you haven't seen enough autumn here at chez T-Town, have another look. This is part of my house, and the big, big, maple tree out behind it. The photo was taken today, so this tree is a late bloomer in terms of fall colors.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Out and About

Leave it to Sarah Lou to hatch a plan to go head to yarn shops on the shores of Lake Erie in November! Marblehead is, believe it or not, home to not one, but two yarn shops. Sarah found out, via Ravelry, about an Open House weekend at these two shops, and decided to organize a group of us to go check out the goings-on. A little after 9:00 this morning we met up, caffeinated ourselves, and loaded into my car for the drive.

Front: Me, Sarah
Back Row: Patti, Cher and Alana

Christi's Just For Ewe was our first stop. We were greeted by vociferous sheep and gentle alpacas. The shop was small, crowded, almost claustrophobic, but very friendly. I found it a bit disconcerting that the yarn was arranged by color, not by type of yarn. All the blue yarn was together. All the pink was together. All the green. One then had to paw through to find if there was a particular type - wool, cotton, bulky, worsted - or brand of yarn.

After that, we went to A Yarn Shop. Yes, that's the name of the place. It was much more open, neatly organized, and more typically arranged. Drawing a slip of paper out of a bucket awarded me a 15% discount on the Colinette Jitterbug, Copperbeech sock yarn I chose.

Lunch was simple and satisfying; soup, sandwiches and salads at a local place recommended by a family friend of Sarah's. We had to check out a couple of the shops right beside the restaurant after eating.

No trip to Marblehead is complete without a visit to the Marblehead Lighthouse, built in 1821.

Alana, Patti and Sarah were knitting socks!

Hope you are having a gorgeous weekend. I will have another FO to report in my next post.

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