Sunday, October 31, 2010

They don't grow up...

Meet Bruno. He's nine years ol...I mean young. Yeah. Nine years young. Slower than he used to be, but not out of the game yet, by any any means. Factor into the equation the fact that we weighs 112 lbs. and, well, lots of games are played by his rules.


Bruno's favorite game is tug. See him holding the knotted rope in his mouth?


He really wants Bill to play. Bill is MY favorite person. Bruno quickly learned that Bill is a "dog" person. You know, one of those people that loves dogs. You know who they are. And you know if you are or aren't one. Bruno can just tell that Bill loves animals of all kinds, including dogs. He's been known to carry on whole conversations with the two furry family members here at my house. (Shhhhh! they don't really know they are dogs!)


Of course, Bill obliges Bruno with a rousing game of tug! Bruno wrestles the rope away from Bill and runs away with it. Then he brings it back for more.


Once the game is done, Bruno decides he has to climb up in Bill's lap and give him hugs and kisses, too!


All of a sudden, there was a loud *SQUEEEEK!*


Bruno was wondering if Bill did that in his shorts, I think. ;-) hehehehe Bill tried to pull a fast one by inviting a squeaky ball to the party. Cut the innocent act, Bill. He's wise to you!

Interestingly enough, my female Lab, Coco, had no interest in playing their sophomoric games. Think I can teach her to knit??

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Four Years

A funny thing happened last night, while I couldn't sleep. I noticed, while looking at the sidebar of my little blog, that I have been writing here for four years now. Happy Blogiversary to me!

So much has happened in the past four years, but one thing has remained constant. Knitting. Even when I haven't been able to knit because of physical limitations, like right now with my shoulder issues, I think about knitting, or plan future knitting, or read knitting books. My corner of the couch is piled high with knitting books and magazines, and skeins of yarns to fondle. I even cheat and knit little projects like dishcloths, or afghan squares; albeit very slowly. Snails' pace slowly.

Some Ravelry friends and I are swapping 12" squares every other month. The goal is to eventually have enough squares to make afghans for ourselves. Being newer to this swap group, I have only received (and sent out) two squares so far, but others are getting close to having small blankets. Last night I started square #3, again, slowly because of pain. In less than a week the orthopaedic surgeon and I will decide if surgery is the best option for resolving this whole mess.


August/September square and goodies I received.

On my fridge I have a magnet that says, "I knit because I'm smarter than you." Really, knitting doesn't take a lot of smarts. If you can read, you can teach yourself to knit. (I did!) BUT, I credit knitting from keeping my brains from turning completely to mush while I'm job hunting. I'm smart enough to do something that exercises my brain and helps keep me mentally sharp. Gauge. Stitches per inch. Reading patterns. Meters vs. yards. It all keeps me from totally losing my mind these days.

Today I helped Absent-Minded Professor with his algebra homework. (Yes, he's in high school now... eeek!) After walking him through the challenge problem, the very last problem, he asked, "How do you know how to do this stuff?" My answer?


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Public Service Announcement

Today is October 25.
That means
Feel free to commence with the panic.
In other news, here's a great photo of the decadently delicious caramel apple rolled in nuts that I treated myself to during the kidnapping trip... It's definitely drool-worthy! The apple inside is a Granny Smith. mmmmmmm My favorite!

Do you have favorite fall treats? My kids love making S'Mores outside over a fire. I love Pumpkin Spice Latte's from Starbucks. What about all of you?

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Sunday, October 24, 2010


The past couple of days I've been gone, because I was kidnapped by two of my dear friends on short notice. The fact that I am back at my computer writing this entry shows that I have been safely returned, so there's no need to worry. :-) I was told to pack a change of clothes and my toothbrush and prepare for some fun. Of course, for me, that meant I had to pack some knitting and bring along a bottle of wine, too.

What we ended up doing was winding our way from T-Town a little ways north into Michigan, then west to a winery near Jackson. The Sandhill Crane Winery had free wine tastings, but was off the beaten path. We had a great chuckle because most of the signs for it were right beside the directional signs for the local middle school! Much of our wine tasting time was spent debating whether the kids skipped out to the winery or the teachers! hehehehe

After consulting the GPS (me!), we found our way back to the highway and next headed to Howell, MI for some outlet mall shopping. When we ran out of daylight, and stores, we checked into a hotel (after bargaining for a better rate on the room) and went in search of some dinner. Have you ever been to eat at Tomato Brothers? The food was good, but the bread sticks were amazing!

Morning found us on the road again (cue the Willie Nelson music here) and headed even further north toward Birch Run Outlets which are literally on the other side of the highway from Frankenmuth. We shopped, and ate, and shopped some more. And guess what, when we finally headed home, we had to stop in Ann Arbor to hit Whole Foods and Trader Joe's as well!

So what did I buy? I bought some jeans for Absent-Minded Professor, who is growing like a weed. Mayhem is the recipient of some sweats from the Gap. Bill gets a shirt from Woolrich... a soft plaid flannel. I found a wool sweater with sheep on it for me. (pic from the Woolrich website)AND, I treated myself to the most enormous carmel apple rolled in chopped nuts drizzled with chocolate. YUM

After all of that, and being in and out of the car more times than I could count, my shoulder was complaining quite loudly. I was more than ready to be home, but I was sure glad The Diva's kidnapped me. True, loyal friends are a blessing!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

FO Alert

I actually have a Finished Object to show off today! The hat I started for Dad is complete, all the way down to weaving in the ends. My younger sister will deliver it to him on Saturday. Interesting... there's a pattern here. I knit for Dad, little sister delivers the hand knits to him, I see him with the gifted knits later. (Remember the socks??)

Anyway, here's the finished Utopia hat. Please excuse the crummy cell phone photo. I was excited and couldn't wait to get a photo uploaded from my trusty Nikon.


My nephew is out of the hospital and adjusting to life with diabetes. He's really taking it all in stride and is back at school. Thanks so much for the prayers and good wishes.

In knitting news, while sitting watching TV last night, I decided to teach myself something new. I dug out my little book of Magic Loop Knitting and a long circular needle and taught myself how to knit using one long circular needle. This is something that I have been meaning to learn for ages. With having a bum shoulder, I figure I need to exercise my brain. ;-)

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

All Over The Place

The past few days I have been, quite literally, all over the place. Well, except for being on the internet, that is! My crazy life has continued to spiral out of control with the shit storm hitting my younger sister's house the worst this week. Her youngest son, age 8, was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes and is still in the hospital. I am not sure what else can rain down upon my family right now, but your continued prayers and positive energy are appreciated. Meanwhile, I spent part of this afternoon at the hospital with my dear little nephew and he is one of the bravest and most resilient little guys I know!

My dad has finished one week of radiation and will be starting chemo next week. He is in enormous pain, so much so that he has morphine at home. My kids have finally been fully apprised of their Opa's health situation, and Mayhem helped me choose yarn to knit hats. I started one today while working at the yarn shop. I thought that Utopia (Ravelry link) would look nice knitted up in the black Malabrigo Twist I have, so that's what I cast on today. Here's the progress so far:

One cable repeat done.

I have realized that knitting does indeed aggravate my shoulder issues, so I have to limit just how much knitting I do each day. (Boooooo!) It also hurts to use the computer unless I camp out on the couch or put the computer in my lap. (What the heck??) I also realized that I am looking forward to having some resolution to my shoulder issues, even if it means having to have surgery. Now you know I'm desperate! I certainly don't know what I would do without Bill right now. He helps me so much with the kids, the dogs, the house and the yardwork.

In the midst of all the craziness and uncertainty that is my life, my trusty Nikon still goes everywhere, and I am still taking the time to find the beauty that surrounds me every day.



I hope you're making time to enjoy Fall and your loved ones!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Perfect 10

People all over the world are commenting on today's date: 10-10-10. Has today been a perfect 1o for you?

Here in the Midwest, the trees are trying to change colors, but temps are reaching the mid-80's. Yesterday we spent a great deal of time in the car, having decided to visit Mom and Dad for the day. There's a new addition at the old house where I grew up. It seems strange, but it's totally necessary, and I'm thankful for my brother-in-law, my niece's husband, and his father who gave up their Saturday to build the ramp.


The sky looked like this on the way home, and I had to take time to marvel in the beauty of the day. Farmers were busy harvesting with their giant combines, creating a hazy, dusty sky at times.


I spent part of the afternoon napping and knitting in a lounge chair in my sunny backyard today. Listening to Jimmy Buffett. In shorts. Barefoot. It's October, people!!! Really, though, with not a cloud in the sky, and an intermittent breeze, the day was one of those perfect 10 kind of days that you want to file away for revisiting later. With as dry as it has been, the wind through the leaves sounded almost like rain.


While my chocolate Lab and I soaked up the sun, my two "guys" retreated to the shade. Wimps! ;-)


Like a true Midwesterner, I know that this kind of Fall usually means something, and that "something" usually equals a big Winter. That doesn't scare me, but it does take some preparation. Do I look prepared?


I was kind of hoping that the firewood would reach ALL the way to the ceiling of the back porch. Oh well.

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Birthday Bonanza

This week has been birthday crazy around here. Four friends have had, or will have celebrated their birthdays by the time Sunday rolls around. Three of those four friends are knitters!


~*~* HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! ~*~*

I love you all bunches!

Anyone in the Chicago area better watch out. Becca's big bash is going on this weekend. I'm just sayin'

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thursdays are for TV!

OK, humor me. Bones. Grey's Anatomy. The Mentalist. And every other week my children aren't here to interrupt the shows with their incessant talking and commentaries. ;-) I do let them watch Bones, though.

As I've teased the past couple of days, I have a completed sock to show you... but just one. It's pretty, though! A gorgeous green dyed Creme de Menthe - a custom colorway for our sock of the month club at Yarn Cravin' by Yarn Love.

Isn't it pretty? Sock 2 is on the needles. Who knows how long it will take. Shall we take bets?


Yesterday I had cortisone injections in BOTH shoulders - OWIE!!! Then, dummy me, didn't even think about the steriods, but I was up the entire night. Even with a sleeping pill, I didn't sleep. Anyone who has a kid on prednisone when their asthma is bad, knows what I mean about the steriod problems. Any surgical decisions will be decided the first week of November.

I did finish one novel, and read an entire other novel: "The Glass Walls," by Jeannette Wells, and the lastest Janet Evanovich speed-read, "Wicked Appetite." Finally between 5:30 and 6:00AM I fell alseep only to be woken with a blinding migraine at 8:00AM, requiring copious amounts of drugs in between bouts of having my head in the toilet.

Serendipity found me today, and I may have a lead on some knitting for money for a boutique here in town. Keep your fingers, legs and toes crossed, okay??

My love to those of you sending support!

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Yesterday was nutty, so I completely missed blogging. I don't think I even touched my computer, to be honest. By the time I got home from getting my shoulder MRI last night it was after 10:00PM, so there you have it.

Some people were wondering about my job situation. Yes, I am job hunting. I found out in mid-August that I wouldn't be returning to my job of 16 years. Nice, huh? Right now there's nothing out there. The county where I live has over 10% unemployment rate. One job I applied for had over 200 applicants, and the committee is still reviewing the applications. I have applied for 12 jobs and not received a single call back. On the bright side (is there one???) - no rejection letters, either. Do people still send rejection letters?

Today I saw the orthopedic surgeon about my shoulder(s). We are putting off making any decision about surgery for one month, and he put cortisone injections in both shoulders. It's a toss up between frozen shoulder and rotator cuff tear, but probably both in the right shoulder.

I did manage to finish another sock, and start on sock #2 of the pair - socks for me! Yay!

Later today, maybe, I will dump the camera photos and update the Insanknitty blog so you can see what's new at Yarn Cravin' too. I haven't forgotten that I promised to show you photos and give info about the afghan square swap.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

Instead of...

Instead of sitting through a political debate on television, I decided to leave the room to do my blogging for the day. Of course, now that I've left the room, I hear that Bill has changed the channel to a sit-com we regularly watch at 7:00PM. Go figure.

Dad's socks have been safely delivered to him and he loves them. He wasn't seeing them for the first time, mind you, but there's always a little (BIG!) thrill at receiving handknits. (I myself have only received two knitted items myself that I didn't make!) I worked on Dad's socks earlier in September when he was in the hospital having surgery, and he knew they were coming.

Instead of casting on a brand new pair of socks today, I dug out a pair that have been in progress for a while, and finished sock #1 of that pair early this evening. I really wanted to wind some yarn out of my stash and start a new pair! Remember back in January when I made the pledge to only work on UFO's this year? I have stuck to that! Other than Dad's socks, the shawl for my friend, and a couple of afghan squares for a swap I am participating in right now, I have not cast on new projects the entire year of 2010!

Instead of casting on new projects all year, I've worked on building my knitting book collection. I may have acquired another spinning wheel, too... a Schacht Ladybug.

New toy!  Ladybug spinning wheel

Isn't she gorgeous?! Unfortunately, it hurts to spin right now.

Instead of going back to bed after physical therapy this morning, I applied for two more jobs, and did the paperwork for my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll tell you about the afghan square swap.

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Proof

I promised some photographic evidence of Mayhem in knitting action, and I have it for you today. She is getting faster, and more proficient. When her dad picked her up this evening for his week with the kids (we alternate weeks with our custody), she made sure to pack up her knitting and take it along. Perhaps she'll need to learn to purl in two weeks...

Mayhem knits!

Mayhem knitting

There's also an FO alert! Dad's socks are finished, and I dropped them off at my younger sister's house this afternoon. She will deliver them to Dad tomorrow. I'm particularly pleased that I was able to make the stripes match up.

Socks for Dad

These would have been done about a week sooner, but I decreased too many stitches at the gussett and didn't discover my mistake until I was nearly ready to start the toe decreases. UGH! I had to rip all the way back to the gussett. Absent-Minded Professor could get them on his feet today, so I'm pretty sure that they will fit Dad okay.

Tomorrow is Monday and it's back to PT and my wonderful torturers.

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Productivity... sort of

The high today has been 52 so far. We decided it was a pot-roast-in-the-oven kind of day. The roast is nearly done. The potatoes have been peeled and are on the stove cooking. My whole house smells delicious! I wonder if College Grad will drop in for dinner like he did the other night. He's busy with law school, but I think he smells when dinner is ready...

Along with cooking, Mayhem and I even managed a trip to Yarn Cravin' to check out what's new and knit for a bit. I picked up some soft yarn to knit a hat or two for Dad - a black skein of Malabrigo Twist and a blue skein of Berocco Ultra Alpaca, which Mayhem chose.

I am wishing now that I had thought to whip out my camera while we were at the yarn shop because the big news is that Mayhem is knitting!! I promise photographic evidence soon, though. She is working on a scarf, garter stitch for now. I'm so excited about her knitting, finally. Keep your fingers crossed that she sticks with it!

After dinner, it's back to Dad's socks. I'm hoping to have them done by Monday, when my sister heads down to our hometown to spend a couple of days with our parents.

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Friday, October 01, 2010


Hey everyone, long time no see! It would take me the entire month of October to update you on what has happened since I last blogged, but maybe that's what I should do during Blogtoberfest.
My goal during October is to blog every day.

I am still alive, as you can see by this photo taken in July... things kind of went to hell after that, though!
Niagara, July 2010

Computer time has been compromised lately because of shoulder issues and pain, and I've been going to physical therapy three times a week. Next week I get to have an MRI and see an orthopedic surgeon because my right shoulder, also my dominant side, is stuck. The PT thinks that it may be "frozen shoulder" or adhesive capsulitis. We'll see what the surgeon says. This pain, and reduced range of motion, has affected everything in my life - sleep, driving, dressing myself, showering, styling my hair, and even *gasp* knitting!

Rest assured, I am still knitting, albeit slowly. This is a shawl I knitted for a friend's birthday in August. If you haven't tried Malabrigo Twist yarn yet, get some!!! The pattern is Belmondo on Ravelry, and it's a free pattern.

Belmondo shawl

I'm currently working on a pair of wool socks for my dad, who is seriously ill. If you're so inclined, some prayers and/or good thoughts for him would be greatly appreciated. He really needs them.

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