Monday, February 23, 2009

This Too Shall Pass

Last Friday I had a birthday. I only mention it, because it was such a mixture of happiness and trauma, and I learned a lot of things, that I want to share.

Turning 42 is nothing. Piece of cake. Just a number.

Losing a friend who is just your age, on your birthday, is tough. Tracy Pleva Hill was one of the most amazing women I ever knew. She and I nursed our babies at the same time, and she just lost an 8+ year battle with breast cancer. Here's a photo of us a few years ago in NYC - Tracy on the left, and me on the far right. Tracy reminded her friends to drive with the windows open, to live every day to the fullest and made the f-ing cancer fight for every inch it took. She was a warrior!

Having true-blue friends that get you knitting books, yummy lotion, and birthday cake to celebrate with after work can help you feel so much better.

Daffodils sent to you at work by a dear friend who lives in another state help also. (I love you, Evil Twin!)

Getting rear-ended in Friday traffic and having your car smashed front and back, with one of your kids in the car, is terrifying. Again, I am lucky. I was able to call my son and tell him we would be late, but we were fine. Even my car had minimal damage compared to the guy who hit me. (BTW, the Ford Freestyle is a tank. I highly recommend it!) I will still be without my car at some point, since both the front and rear bumpers will need to be completely replaced. The muscle soreness and pain I still have are a great reminder of the importance of seat belts and that they do work. Mayhem, who was safely buckled up in the back seat, was scared, but has no pain at all today.

I also learned, over this birthday, that Bill is an amazing secret keeper and brilliant gift giver. Once again, the gift he procured for my birthday surprised me, was something I wanted, and took my breath away! (It wasn't even jewelry.) So what is this amazing gift?

(image from
Yep, a new camera lens!!! A ZOOM lens for my digital camera. The one I've been lusting after. The kicker is that he's had it since Christmas, just waiting to give to me. Me? I wouldn't have been able to wait. When I have gifts that special, I give them. So kudos to you, Luv, on your patience and master gift giving. (And the torture factor added in by giving me the lens when I didn't have my camera with me? Nice one.) My birthday gift also included a bottle of wine from here. The image on the right of that webpage is on the bottle label. Leave it to my beloved Bill to find wine related to my fiber addiction!

The day was full of contradictions. Even though my friend finished her time here on Earth with us, I had a very physical, tangible reminder that my time isn't done. Wear your seatbelts. Tell the people you love that you love them every day. Put your kids in the backseat even if they beg to be up front. Go get your mammogram.

Drive with the windows open.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

The past week has been incredibly busy. This time of year, for secondary schools, is registration time for next years' classes. As a school counselor, right now I am making sure my 12th graders are going to graduate, and the next couple of weeks will be spent signing everyone else up for classes for next school year. Along with that, I have to make sure that every student assigned to me gets what he/she needs; be that honors classes, summer school, special education classes... and make sure that students repeat required classes they haven't passed. In addition, the other counselors and I are running to the junior high to give information to the 8th graders about 9th grade and what high school will be like! Add into that the college applications that are still pouring in to be sent out, and my work days are insane. Our principal moved some people out of cafeteria duty and put the counselors in the cafeteria, so now there's less time our offices to do the same job... but that's a whole different story.

Last week my very favorite yarn shop, Yarn Cravin', celebrated it's 2nd anniversary. Yes, Yarn Cravin' is TWO! That meant making some extra time in my week to be there a bit more than usual. Did I tell you that I took over maintaining the blog for the shop? Check out Insanknitty. I love blogging. Since I'm already there for knit night and sock club, I might as well take photos and update the blog, right? Anyway, last week there were extra activities at the shop, including surprising DaleAnn and Bobbie with a special gift from a whole bunch of knitters who chipped in together. Look!

Is that neon yarn ball awesome, or what?

Looks fabulous!

In knitting news, I've ripped back the cabled shawl to my error, re-knit, and am past where I was. Moving forward. Bill loves his felted coasters they are in use. I am thinking about making some more.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Where Does The White Go When The Snow Melts?

Haven't you ever wondered that? Snow is white, and then it's gone. Where does the white go?
The temps have been in the mid-40's the last three days in a row now, and that means the 30.7" of snow that dumped on us in January is rapidly disappearing, prompting my silly question. I would love an answer, if anyone has one.

This morning I heard birds chirping in the crabapple trees outside my bedroom window and I (honest, I swear!) saw robins at the park today while Bill and I were there. Thanks to the newly bare ground, we also saw 15 or more deer on the move, happily grazing on whatever the melting snow revealed.

Ice floes were moving down Swan Creek and fortunately, no ice fishermen were stranded on these little pieces of ice. (This story was carried on the national news and also on The BBC.)

Patches of bare ground were visible today, and the sun was warm. I couldn't resist taking a picture of the little red schoolhouse at Wildwood Metropark. Even school looked cheery today. (Did I say that?!)

And look! More knitting! Growing tired of some drink coaster's at Bill's that don't absorb anything, I decided to stash dive and use up some aran weight wool that was just sitting around. I used size 11 needles, cast on 20 stitches, and knit 32 rows of garter stitch.

The coaster that is all orange is for on B's computer desk.

They're bright and cheery. Even better, they're absorbent and pretty much indestructible. Bill loves them because they are simple and practical. Oh, and he loves them because I made them just for him.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I still knit

There's photographic evidence that I still knit. I even have proof that I manage, from time to time, to finish something, too. (A little applause right now would be nice, people.)

Some recent projects for your perusal, if you wish to look...
After making two Ruffles and Ribs scarves out the Misti Alpaca for others, I had to have one for myself. Honestly, these are a lot like potato chips. You can't stop at one.

A popular pattern going around Yarn Cravin is this button band hat. Mine is knit from Socos, a chunky yarn in the Pumpkin Green colorway. Big needles were used - 11's and 13's. I have enough yarn to make matching mittens or mitts, but I'm battling with the thumb and have have knit mitt number one 4x now.

This is the start of my cabled wrap, a rectangular shawl. The pattern is by Plymouth. I'm using Plymouth Royal Llama Silk and size 7 needles. It's deliciously soft and I can't wait to wear it. Last night I discovered I made a mistake somewhere, so I will be going back a few rows to fix it. *sigh*

Here on my desk is the beginnings of the sock for January/February Sock of Month at Yarn Cravin'. This was dyed for us by Yarn Love and it's called Creme de Menthe. We're using the Herringbone Rib pattern from Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn.

Work is insanely busy. January was the 2nd snowiest on record here - 30.7" of snow fell, and it hasn't been melting. My children have kept me hopping and along with everything else, I decided I would help out my favorite LYS by taking over their blog. (It's fun, really!) All I can say is I'm having a whale of a winter!

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