Sunday, October 28, 2007

Knitting? Actual knitting?

Yes, knitting.

I seem to have gotten my groove back with this sweater. I love working with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, especially the Aran weight, it's so soft and it shows stitches so well, it's got nice spring, too. This color is lovely for me, I'm looking forward to having it all wrapped up and being able to wear it. I was walking to get coffee today and I was wishing it was finished up, I was underdressed for the chilly morning breeze.

I have finished the back, one front and one sleeve. I basted it together lightly to check out the sleeve length and I need to knit them longer. I've got monkey arms and they seem less than 3/4 length. And we all know, if the sleeves bug me I'm not going to wear it. I like the increases and how they work so I am just going to have to rip back the cap decreases and work in some length, saving me an entire sleeve to redo.

We've had just gorgeous fall weather this weekend, it's been a real treat. Mark and the kids were gone the whole day pretty much and I got a good chunk of time to myself, during which I realised the reason there's been so little knitting going on is because I absolutely can not knit with the kids around right now.

Big Brother has been on a moody teenage boy kick and I am having to talk to him about something that he wants to argue about even if I agree with him- pretty much constantly, I feel like I am riding him for everything while trying to remember just how cruddy being a freshman in highschool and having a bad day can be. When he's in a foul mood it is bad. No one warns you of it. They say girls are tough but he's been a lot of work lately. (I'm feeling pretty lucky that he's generally a very good kid. A night at Grandma's house has hopefully improved the mood a little. Keep your finger's crossed for me.)

PeeWee just wants to grab ahold of the yarn, smile an evil smile, and say "I need that", causing me to stuff away yarn and needles almost instantly. My weekdays have been packed with daily chores, with only a little down time for crafts, which has been overtaken by other endeavors. Getting a good chunk of time to myself I feel like I got a lot accomplished.

And a much improved mood too.

Friday, October 26, 2007


So I am a really bad blogger. I'll go sit in the corner.

We lucked out and the water didn't get into the house again. Phew! I am not sure I can say how relieved I am about this. We're in the plans now to replace our mismatched driveway and install much better drainage. I really hope that's going to solve our wet problem.

What have I been knitting? Pretty much nothing. I finished the first sleeve, kept it 3/4 length and will have enough yarn for the sweater no problem. Yeah, one of these days I'll take a picture. Can you tell I am having a love/hate relationship with the knitting needles right now?

I cheated big time on the yarn diet, I went to that great shop in Natchez, the owner is my brother in law's neighbor, a sprightly 82 year old woman who had not only an incredible selection of yarn, she had some great books too. It is a great place if you ever get to Natchez. The kind of yarn shop I too would like to own one day... bought some mohair and some alpaca... I am stuck at down 6 pounds, I needed that candy bar to get me back on track. I'm going back to the gym to jump start this old metabolism and get myself back on track.

We're completely in Halloween mode right now, maybe it's why I haven't been knitting. I took us a while to get it together but we finally made it to the pumpkin patch the other day. The kids had a great time getting their pumpkins.

Hope everyone is well! I'm trying to get it together and post more regualrly, maybe next time there will be actual knitting to show.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rain, rain go away

We had water. Again. In the house. And it's still raining, starting up again right now.


We have a small drainage problem over here. Our backyard is higher than the front by about 6 inches, just enough to rush the water towards the house when it rains. Normally not an issue, but when it rains really hard and we get several inches and there are toys and debris in the driveway, we get seepage under our back wall. Grrrrr.

It's weird how it somes in, under the corner of the end of the hall, not the door like you would imagine. I'll be laying down towels and making sure things are picked up before bed. I have a feeling Mark will sleep down on the couch on edge waiting for the water. We're supposed to get quite a bit more rain this evening into morning. Pulled the cars into the driveway, hopefully they won't block the water flow out to the street.

Send me nice dry vibes, will ya?

I spent the day recovering from the insane weekend, we were in the car for too much of it, dealing with family dynamics and basically having too much everything. The rain today was well timed, I was completely in the mood for a rainy day! I about flipped when I saw that familiar puddle water creeping my way across the floor. I jumped up and grabbed a pile of pool towels, pulled the furniture from the wall and mopped it up. Not my idea of a relaxing moment, but I did get a bit of knitting time in on the sweater I have started. I decided that I will go ahead and knit up a sleeve to see how much yarn it takes since I don't own a kitchen scale anymore. Weighing it would be a lot of work, I'm going to guesstimate yardage by the balls I use up. It's coming along, but I am too darn lazy to put it out and get pictures. I'll do it as soon as I have something good to show though!

The preemie knitting is coming along. I'm making up some mitts. The little things you stick on baby to keep them from scratching their faces. I'm trying to mix things up and make different types of clothes for the bitties. I've made literally hundreds of hats so I am branching out a bit.

Here's to a nice dry house tonight! Hopefully I can update next post without pictures of wet towels. Yes, if you've been reading here for a long time, this is NOT the first water in this spot since Katrina baptised the place. Seems like that first wave through opened up a flood gate and now we've got water issues. Reading along for a while you may have gotten that picture. Burst pipes, leaking bathrooms, Katrina funk-water. Seems like we've had it all here.

Now they are forcasting 2-3" an hour through the night off and on. Good grief. Gotta go lay down the towels. Wish me luck...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ahhh, Nightlife

Let me begin by saing I really do like my husband's brother. Very kind man. Mechanically inclined? Not at all. This is the man who misunderstood the instructions to turn the water off and instead of turning the water off at the main to the house, he turned the water off. As in turning the water off that runs in the sink. He went around and checked them all. He was very confused at the request to turn the water off, he asked if he had ever accidentally left water running before. Come February and a cold spell and burst pipes and a rebuilt house and another missed season to sell the place. Nuff said. But I really do like him.

Usually night life is all about going out on the town, late nights, dancing maybe, music, drinking, parties. Not here in this house. Night life is unfortunately the glaring streetlamp in the backyard. Seriously it is a streetlamp. My dear sweet brother in law told us it was a city streetlight when we asked him how on earth we could turn the thing off. We can't find the breaker box or we would have remedied the situation ourselves. Mark wanted to cut the wire. They recently bought this house, and I will repeat... not mechanically inclined. Um, the wire for this lamp leads into the wiring for the outside deck lights. It's on some kind of photo cell. It's mounted on a tree in their backyard. It shines into the house to light it up like a prison yard or something. We haven't slept through the night yet. Yesterday they came to install blinds. No help. My brain is a little fuzzy and I can't wait to go home and sleep. I'm going to the drugstore today to buy Mark and me matching eye masks.

But first I have to wait for my clothes to dry. I always overpack when I travel. Somehow I didn't do that this time. We washed a load and put it in the dryer and when the buzzer sounded to announce dry clothes we searched the closets for hangers to hang the wet stuff up to dry. Not mechanically inclined, they had not even washed a load. So now we have sheets and towels to bring in town to the laundromat. It might explain the remains of a laundry line in the very well lit yard. The one thing they took down.

It's the Natchez Great Mississippi River Balloon Race this weekend. Purely by chance we're up here for it. It's pretty cool though and I'm glad I am here. All over today there will be balloons flying overhead, a few passed the house a minute ago! Last night we got to see the balloon glow, when they set up the balloons and they have them all turn on their gas and glow. We thought it was going to be across the river and since they weren't it was a little hard to see them, but you get the idea.

There were also fireworks. They were a great show over the Mississippi River.

And this morning my brother in law and I ran out into the street in our pj's to watch the balloons go right over the house. Pretty cool.

They fly pretty fast, you can see the edge of the house but by the time I snapped, the balloon was moving out of the frame! It was exciting.

We were supposed to be on the road right now, heading back to New Orleans, but Mark's other brother called him with extra tickets to the LSU game so we're going to be stopping and going to the game. I am just ready to be home, but we're not getting back until the wee hours of the morning. (Not a good idea for someone who likes being in pj's about 8 o'clock!) Since my Saturday plans were already shot by the late leaving plan, we figured we'd take him up on the tickets and go. There's always tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Natchez, Knitting and Nightlife

I know, it's been quiet here.

After we recovered from PeeWee's birthday weekend, I had our pediatric fundraiser to work, which turned out to be a huge success. Glad it is wrapped up for another year and now that I am almost a week out, I am feeling the love again and I'd be glad to do it again next year.

We earned a break, our first vacation since PeeWee was born. We needed it after the last several years! We decided to take up my brother in law's generous offer to use his house in Natchez, Mississippi. It's not a bad drive, and we got to see some great stuff on the way. One of my favorite places is Afton Villa, the burned ruins of a plantation with incredible gardens:

Natchez is such a pretty town. I haven't been here in about 6 years or so and it seems to have been well maintained and improved in that time quite a bit. A lot of the downtown looks like it's been and being rebuilt and renovated and there are a bunch of cute restaurants and shops I don't remember. Maybe they were there, but I don't remember!

Partly because I grew up in New Orleans and partly because I am married to a history nut we always go to cemetaries when we travel. I've always appreciated the old tombs and graves and enjoyed the quiet beauty of them. I was blown away by the Natchez cemetary, it's HUGE. Giant. Sprawling. Everywhere you look you see these beautiful iron fences around little families who are together in their beautiful white marble homes. The hillside is covered with them. It was an amazing site. (Click on the picture for a better idea of how vast it is.)

All of the gates seemed to be open. Can anyone tell me if there's a reason for that? We couldn't figure out if we'd seen that before. We also couldn't figure out if it was just because they were old and had just swung open. Any guesses?

My brother in law spends a lot of his free time eating out and he gave us a list of places to try. My favorite so far?

I mean, how could you NOT stop and check it out? I wish there were more places like this left on the by-ways. It must have been fun to drive them back in the 40's and 50's and stop in places like that. Plus the pie was just too good.

I brought along a sweater for me that I am working on. I've been knitting away on it the last few days. The preemie knitting was left at home with the kids. Since this vacation is just us, I gave myself permission to be selfish and knit something for just me. It's a little cabled number, pictures will come later when there's something to actually show. I tweaked the pattern a little and am hoping I have enough yarn. It's looking good so far. Another question... when you fiddle with a pattern how do you determine the amount of extra yarn you will need? This one I have about 200 yards more, but I lengthened the torso several inches, it was cropped, not a good look for me. I am almost finished with the back and about to start my fourth ball of 100 yards. Can I safely guess it will take four balls for the front? It's a cardigan, but v-neck. I decided to start a sleeve next to see how much yarn I use for that. Plus, it will keep me off of sleeve island! I was thinking of lengthing those a little too, but I am going to see about the yarn and how they look as 3/4 length. Suggestions? Ideas? Am I the only one who just wings these things?

Nightlife? Next post. We're off to go get some breakfast right now...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Party on PeeWee!

PeeWee had her third birthday Friday, and it has turned into the birthday weekend. Who knew three could be so busy?

She's thoroughly enjoying herself. We went to a great spot for her party, Storyland. If you are ever in New Orleans with kids, it's one of those hidden gems the locals are keen to which is a great place to go play and burn some energy.

Hmmm, knitting... well, very little time here to be honest. I have a hat almost finished up out of a really soft fun baby yarn. But, yeah, not much else happening this weekend.

October turns into the busiest month for me. Now that we're past the birthday, I've got the hospital pediatric fundraiser coming up next weekend. I'm thankfully not chairing it this year, boy was that a lot of work, but I am in charge of the dunking booth. Which means following around a few doctors, rounding them up and putting them into a bucket of cold water. Hey, it's for the kids! This money raised this year goes towards financing families who have to travel long distances to be at the hospital with their children, a service we took advantage of- the meal card vouchers and such- when PeeWee was in the hospital, so I am more than happy to help out and return the favor. When this event is over I have just fun me stuff going on.

Yeah, I know, no pictures again? Blogger is giving me errors, I'm going to try again in a bit... Next post will be plenty to make up for it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hello! (echo, echo, echo...)

Yeah, I know, I'm slacking here.

I made a cute little preemie shrug though! Pale pink baby yarn, I hope they have a tiny graduate they can give it to! PeeWee was smaller than our model Teetsie when she came home, so I know it will fit someone.

I had never made a shrug before and the construction is so peculiar to me. One of those weird mistakes which turned into a pattern, I guess.

Here's my Crafty Wednesday finished project. I really like the way it turned out, the colors are just my style, the stitching was quick and easy yet required a little thought, I am all around happy with this one. And how nice to have a finished project! One of the group told me how good I was at finishing things. If she only knew.....

I also made a little ornament and finished it using some leftover sock yarns. I love the way the variegated yarns stitch up this way. I have a new use for the odds and ends of yarn around here now! Always glad to be able to use up stuff.

Yes, for the astute among you, it IS hanging on a vine growing inside the window. I was told my new curtains were really nice. When you are married to a landscaper, you leave those things until he gets them. And that's usually when someone teases him about it. Or when his mother is horrified at his wife's housekeeping skills. It's the one time I can really point out it's not my job.

And then just because...

Halloween is coming!

Yes, that is candy corn soda. Sounds absolutely horrible, but we're having our annual block party for Halloween and I couldn't resist. Besides, Big Brother and his friends will drink it up.