Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh I wonder

Have you ever had those weeks where you think you have caught up on everything and all of a sudden you realize how far behind you are?

It's almost December.  I can't show you any of my finished knitting because it's all gifts and I am not willing to spoil the surprises.  

I am in no way shape or form ready for the holidays.  At. All.  I bought something for Big Brother.  I finished two other gifts.  Marky Mark keeps saying he's going to go get us a tree.  But he's about as behind as I am.

I need to have an ornament ready for Sunday and I have two kids home sick.  I think PeeWee may even have the flu, in spite of her flu shot.  Poor thing has been up in our bed all day dozing off and on, whimpering when she's awake, and watching cartoons when she's coherent.  Her little fever just won't break and it is killing me.  I remember the comfort in being up in your parents bed when you were home sick though so I am hoping that's some comfort to her.  She's a stinker when it comes to taking medicine, she spits it out and fights it completely.  So I can't even get Tylenol in her.  I'm just doing what I can to make her comfortable.  Poor little chicken.

Big brother was sick yesterday.  And I let it slide today.  He woke up feeling cruddy but is now catching up on all his homework.  He's going to school tomorrow no matter what.  Because if you are really sick you don't ask your mother to pick up sushi for lunch.  While you are watching TV and up and dressed.  I should have made him go in late but it really didn't matter today.  Tomorrow when he goes back in he has a detention.  So he'll start his day at 7am.  He'll be working in the kitchen.  Because he did something so stupid it was jaw dropping and opened up a can of worms and even though he undid the stupid thing, it opened the door for someone behind him to do something even stupider and blame it on Big Brother.  Confused?  Well, it was the workings of a 14 yr old boy's brain.  I'll leave it at that.  Because I am a mom and I refuse to use the language he used when typing something onto his teacher's computer which was projected onto the big screen at the front of the room when they got a 5 minute break.  He deleted it but someone else came in behind him and wrote something with a bit more flourish and said he did it.  (sigh)  The joys of high school.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's not all bad

Proof that I didn't leave the laundry room the way I showed it yesterday:

And that the living room WAS picked up:

There may be hope for me after all.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Clever girl

I had this dream. I figured out a very clever new way to knit. I mean, revolutionary. So amazing that it was going to change lives. I have three things I am working on for gifts this year and this was going to be how I knit one of them. It somehow involved knitting flat then not having to seam up. There were just yarns you pulled and it seamed itself. Too bad I can't begin to remember. It made a great hat.

I have been slowly working on about 50 things around here so there's almost no progress on anything. The cleaning and organizing is going great. I really do want to commit myself to loveliness . It doesn't sound like a chore, it sounds like an indulgence. I am working on getting the downstairs of my house organized and in working order. I've been making my way through the drawers in my kitchen. Out of 10 drawers, 3 have become junk drawers. That's nuts. I bought drawer dividers and things are even tidy in the junk drawers. I have always been one of those people who's clutter is not hidden. The insides of my cabinets are very orderly, so getting something as simple as the utensils all sorted has made me very happy.

The laundry room was the worst offender and I tackled it and have kept it clean. It's been about ten days so the keeping it clean part really IS a big deal.

It makes me so happy that last night I went in there, worked on something for an auction coming up, put everything away in it's handy place and walked away. 

(use your imagination here, Blogger is being cranky about uploading the good pictures of the lovely clean laundry room.  I will update when Blogger sees fit)

Normally I would have just left it all out since it was a mess anyway. But I need a space to do what I need to do where I don't have to step over piles of junk to do it. Mark loves that he can go in there and iron his shirt and not have to drag all the equipment out into the hallway where there's more room.

The living room is in order for when we go up into the attic and pull down the Christmas decorations.

(insert your own imaginary pictures of a super tidy and organized living room.  Darn Blogger.)

But I am waiting to do that until I get the dining room in order. It's now the worst offender. I'll be sure and get before and after pictures of that disaster too. I pile all the mail in there and then never do anything about it. And the few things that were homeless after the great laundry room takeover have moved into temporary housing in there. A little FEMA trailer for a dish rack and a fish cooker and the wrapping paper.

Any knitting pictures? Well, no. The only thing worth showing the progress on is a gift and I don't want to spoil the surprise. I have luckily moved my knitting energies over to finishitis. A rare and wondrous thing. Mark's blanket is back in the works, I have added about another foot. This thing's huge and I may be knitting it until Christmas morning. It's a quick knit but when you are three feet into a six foot blanket it sure doesn't seem like a quick knit. Not being portable the progress is slow. But I love it and think he will love it. And if for some reason it is not finished by Christmas his birthday is in March.

I am all about wrapping it up around here. I want all my knitting bags and needles empty. I want to wrap up all these challenging or boring knitting projects and be able to use them!

Wrapping up this week is the Preemie Knit-A-Thon. If you are a part of the contest but haven't let me know, now's the time to leave a comment or email me. Be sure to include how many things you have knit up. If you need a place to drop things off, let me know, you can mail them to me. It only takes about an hour to knit up the tiny hats, any pattern sized down a few needles works great. PeeWee's head was about the size of a tennis ball and quickly grew into an orange if you are wondering what size to make. I'll be setting aside the knitting going on right now to make as many hats as I can in the next few days. And with my absolute desire to wrap things up that's going to be a challenge. Contest ends Thursday so Friday when I get up and check for any new emails or comments I will gather the names and draw one. I have a few goodies here that are ready to go out in the mail!

And finally... I won something! Over at Rhonda's blog I guessed within seconds of the winner that she was knitting an Einstein Jacket. I was second to guess but we were guessing at the same time so she very sweetly sent me a consolation prize. Some beautiful cotton sock yarn!  Thanks Rhonda!  (again, it's imaginary yarn we're seeing here)

Dang this blogger. I'll update the pictures later. 

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!

I went to bed early and have been up since 4:30. So much for lazing around in bed this morning.

Lunch is at my aunt and uncle's house at 1pm. We're middle of the day Thanksgiving eaters. And not football watchers. We dress, too. I'm hoping to get a good picture of the kids all happy and smiling for the Christmas cards. Last year we did that and it worked really well. It's cloudy and supposed to rain today so this year's picture may have to be a bit more creative. Last year we totally amused the neighbor- she watched us trying to get "the picture". Wish me luck!

I am bringing creamed spinach- my own extremely fattening recipe, lots of cream cheese and an added crunch of sliced water chestnuts. Mmmmm. I'm winging it but basically I'm planning on sauteing a white onion, adding garlic, butter and cream cheese, adding the spinach and then some sour cream if it's too thick. Then I will top it with shreaded swiss and pop it on the oven. It's a one dish wonder too- I will be doing it all in my big red pot- the great oven safe one :)

At dinner today there are going to be 11 people I have never even heard of. And 8 of family. Because 8 people is not enough for Thanksgiving according to my aunt! We've done extra "family" before and it can be very interesting and nice or very interesting and horrible. But always interesting.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day! Thanksgiving is a favorite of mine, and we have so much to be thankful for this year. Even though it has been a tough one in many ways, we're all much closer as a family, and coming out whole is always the best thing to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"wooly balls"

Crafty Wednesday this week was felted balls. Pretty simple, you think. Kind of fun, I think!

I did a sample last night out of some brown roving, something which I wouldn't have minded messing up and wasting too much. Mark was proud (he said). Big Brother suggested something a dung beetle might be rolling ahead of him. Not too attractive, but it worked.

A little roving, a little water, some tossing around and a pile of nifty little woolen balls! I think I am going to save these for stocking stuffers. PeeWee is itching to get her hands on the wet ones.

I am all over the place with crafts right now. I haven't been this scattered with projects of all sorts since college! It's kind of a treat to give myself the one day a week to just play.

In the process the house has gotten really out of hand. We have had a cleaning service the last few years, since I was pregnant with PeeWee and told to do nothing. They do a great job, but lately it's been just about impossible for me to get myself organized enough to have their cleaning be as good as it should be. As a result we end up with a bunch of things stashed away instead of really out away. I have taken myself off their schedule for the next two weeks and will be trying to knock the place out in that time. So it's organize central around here. I have to do it before the holidays get in full swing or we'll be living in the midst of insanity until about February.

If I could just figure out a good way to organize all my crafts I would be set. (wouldn't we all?)

Sunday, November 11, 2007


We all know I have a "thing" with water. I had no idea how deep it went until this weekend. We ran off to the country to get some good relaxing in with friends. We all wanted a break from the city so we made a weekend of it.

When we got there we unloaded the car then instinctively I turned on the icemaker. After a while I noticed nothing was going on. Huh. Ignored it. Sometimes those things are picky and I just wasn't that worried. I was thinking there might be a switch I didn't know about that needed flipping.

When I went to turn on the dishwasher it was also doing nothing. Kind of fishy, I thought I better find out what the trick was to these things. So I picked up the phone and made a quick call to my father. Well, the icemaker was broken already so I was off the hook with that. The dishwasher had a trick to closing it right so I did and it ran for hours and hours before I thought it surely had done something and the dishes must be clean. Nope. SO I tried it again. Nothing. No water ever ran into it. Weird.

Around the same time we noticed that the alarm was beeping and said "trouble". Went to pick up the phone to call and see how we fix that and the phone didn't work. We hadn't yet realized the dishwasher was broken for this call. Good thing I could find a little corner of the house to pick up cell service. Turns out the phone was wishy washy and that was the reason the alarm was blinking.

Later figured out the dishwasher was indeed broken, so I washed a weekend's worth of dishes for 8 people who thought there was a dishwasher. That's a lot of dishes if you are wondering. I was trying to knock them out to be able to sit down with knitting and teach my friend while she and her husband kept the kids busy. That didn't happen. It took me forever to get them all cleaned.

While we were getting ready to go home my friend stripped the beds and rounded up the wet towels and I loaded the washing machine up and turned it on. No water. No kidding. And it's a little mini euro thing and there was no opening it to get out the wet towels we decided needed the first wash. I left with a car full of sheets and towels to wash and bring back out to the country. I hope the wet towels locked in the washer are not a giant molded mess by the time someone can pop that sucker open.

We decided that since the house was built 11 years ago that every single warranty had run out and things were just crashing. But really? The ice maker, the dish washer, the phone and the washer? (For once it was about no water instead of an excess of the stuff. For that I am thankful.)

If you're wondering, my father joked with me to please just stop touching things. The last call I made to him he answered the phone with "what now?" At least he has a sense of humor about it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Knitting in Action

It's been chilly the last few days...

PeeWee modeling her soft and fuzzy sweater

And me wearing socks

PeeWee in her sweater outfit, you can barely see my sock poking out

It's back in the 70's again but that quick blast of cold air made sure the knits got some use this fall!

Thank you all for the good vibes for my friend, she did well with the surgery and is in a lot less pain than she was expecting.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy work

What do you do when your friend tells you she has breast cancer and will be having a double mastectomy on Wednesday?

Knit socks! I'd knit her a tit bit but she's having the whole reconstructive tummy tuck done at the same time.

Green for healthy growth, healing and life. I could have used pink but I thought about it and well, it's just the obvious breast cancer color and when I think of this spring green I think of rebirth. Plus, after the initial shock of the diagnosis hit me it was Sunday evening and I had to find somthing in the stash (no yarn diet rules here, just no open yarn shops) that was A) washable B) bulky enough to knit quickly so it could be finished before her surgery and C) a color she likes.

I still have to pick up my other yarn from dyeing but I am very happy with what I have. I want to cast on socks right now. I'm holding off though, I want to wrap up my sweater.

Want to know what I love about my daughter? She sees things.

WOW! You made me a puppy! No, don't look at just the sock, look at the whole picture. Pretty cute puppy. I love the way kids' minds work at this age. It makes the absolute screaching fit when it was bath time last night worth it.

It still looks more like a reindeer to me.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Down to business

This week we went on a field trip for Crafty Wednesday to Christina's house to dye yarn. It was great. My yarn is still hanging to dry, some was cooking at her house when I had to leave for carpool, so I will get it at least by Thursday for the knitting meetup. I am ready to make socks with what I did yesterday though. She had all the goods ready for as, great explanations and we had a lot of fun! Thank you for getting it together for us!

My sweater is chugging along nicely. I'm into the second front piece now and will be redoing the one sleeve when I knit the other. Sort of annoyed at the length of the sleeve, but I know this sweater will get good wear so its all good with me. I am usually not about redoing anything but this one's good. The color of the yarn? 300601. No name for it but it's a really nice periwinkle. Tha pattern is the Office-to-Casual Cardi from Creative Knitting May 2007. I have lengthened both the body and the sleeves. I rarely follow a pattern and usually make my own, so it's not unusual for me to alter them a lot when I find one I like. My middle-aged belly is not something anyone wants to see in a cropped sweater so I made some modifications.

The contest is open for a few more weeks, so if you are interested make sure you leave a comment. My preemie knitting is going well. I copied more or less a little t-shirt we have, I was going to write up the pattern but I did things that I am not sure can be easily written out. Weird flip-flopping and stuff. The shirt works but I think it's going to be a one of a kind. It's a kimono-wrap style shirt, they need lots of access to bellies in the NICU so things which open easily are good.

Thank you all who have been working on preemie items, spreading the word about the contest or finding other ways to support this. Here's a heel flap preemie sock pattern from knittyauntie I have been meaning to link to. She changed the short row heel to a flap and the pattern can be found under September 25th. I realised looking back over some posts that I had not included the link! Oops!

Any more delayed answers to questions? I've got a three year old punching buttons on the computer alongside me so I'll have to give a good look back and get to those answers next post!

There are no pictures today because I keep getting errors, so bear with me, I'll have some when Blogger allows.