Friday, August 31, 2007

Just checking after a week back to work

I would gladly give my fantasy lottery winnings to the person who could make the months of January and March pass by as quickly as July and August! I don't mind Feb. -- that cold month goes by quickly!
After the shortest summer vacation know to man (or at least me!) I'm back to work. This first week is hectic, pressurizing, HOT, exciting, fun and very exhausting. I love seeing teachers who were scared first year teachers last year come back as confident and SO experienced this year. I look at the new batch of young people I'm working with this year and I get excited to start again. I just wish I could teach elementary night school. I have to get up at 4:45 in the AM to get to my job by 7 or 7:15. I always try to be one of the first people in the building so that I can be available to anyone who needs help in the morning. The older I get, the harder it is to yank my body out of bed at that hour. My dog is having a fit at me for disturbing him so early and he is very indignant that I expect him to do his business so early . He keeps looking at me as if to say I thought we had these early hours settled!
I treated myself to a manicure on the way home on Friday and I am going to the beach this weekend with a teacher friend and a student I taught in 1st grade. She is in her second year of college and has kept in touch all these years. She came in on Thursday and helped me to put up my new bulletin boards. This is one of the things that makes teaching the best job in the world.
I'm bringing my new Kauni wool with me and I'm celebrating surviving two days of NONSTOP meetings by starting my new sweater!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Secret Pal 11

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I hate knitting with anything that feels plasticy, acrylicish or crummy wool.I'm currently knitting with a yarn that is a blend of mohair, nylon and acrylic and it is soft and great. I thought it was mohair and silk. I've also done my life's share of most novelty yarns!:)

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have a very nice needle case from a previous swap but I still mostly keep my needles in mugs, baskets and ufos.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I learned to knit when I was 5 and I'm 56 now so I've been knitting for a while. I can do very complicated and difficult knitting but I pretty much don't right now.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Nope

5. What's your favorite scent?
I make soaps, creams and lotions as a small business now pretty much just as a hobby. My favorite scent Patchouli.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I'm doing the Weight Watchers plan right now BUT I do have a major sweet tooth. I love chocolate, the darker the better.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I quilt, do Red Work, make natural soaps, creams, scrubs and lip balms. I've played around with some jewelry making, beading and used to do stained glass. I HATE counted cross stitch. I used to do it but I did my life's share. I know how to spin but right now I don't have a wheel. Since my husband passed I'm also getting pretty good at doing "day labor" at my house.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I love classical music, Paul Simon, that type of music. I have an i pod but MP3 is beyond me. I do listen to CDs in the car

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love greens, blues, reds. I'm not so fond of orange, and yellow or pastel colors although I love the quilting fabrics from the 20's and 30's.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? My husband passed away in the summer of 2006, I have a son 24 and a 23 year old daughter. One dog and three cats live with me. Only one cat is mine. The dog and one cat originally were my husband and sons. One cat is my daughter's. Somehow I wound up taking care of all of them!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear scarves and mittens. I think I wear hats but really never do. When you are my size a poncho is a knitted crime.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I was on a sock jag for a long time but now I'm also doing sweaters. I love to knit socks on 2 circs.

13. What are you knitting right now? Right now I'm working on a sweater in Lily Chin Greenwich Village from her signature line.( got it half price when a yarn store closed) and STR socks.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes I certainly do!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I have knit with all the mentioned needles and what I really do is match the project and yarn to the needle. I don't like working with very large needles but I just finished a sweater on size 15! The needles I reach for are my Knitpick options and bryspun needles. I love the thin flexible points.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I own a winder, I used to be married to the swift. I'd like to own a swift if it was in my budget!

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Every time I think I've found the oldest another older thing pops up.

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas and Thanksgiving

19. Is there anything that you collect? I collect Polish pottery, (Boleslawiec), blue wedgewood, quilting fabric, redwork patterns and yarn!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I let all my subscriptions go. I would like Cat Bordhi(SP?) new book.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I would like to learn to knit or purl backwards.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am an recovering obsessed sock knitter. My foot is 9 1/2 inches long and about 9 inches wide at the ball of my foot.

23. When is your birthday? My birthday is August 5th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? I got on Ravelry and never did anything with it so not really!

Friday, August 24, 2007

One finished --one ripped

I hardly ever jump into the frogpond BUT with my Noro silk Garden sweater I went under. I knit a sweater adapted from a Noro pattern for silk garden. The sweater was a cropped length and the bottom edge had a nice curve. So I decided to make the sweater longer but keep the curve.---MISTAKE---- When I finally tried it on with the border knit on and button holes placed etc. the bottom curved piece pouched under my not so flat belly and I looked like a 56 year old women surprised by a nine month pregnancy! No amount of time at Weight Watchers was going to change it. Then on the the second surprise of the day, Silk Garden is horrible, terrible to pull out.

My garterlac vest is blocking and it appears to be what I wanted, at least I look post baby (too bad my "baby" is 23!) in it! It has been so humid in NJ recently it may take until Thanksgiving to fully dry!

Yesterday I went to the beach with friends, and the weather was not cooperative so we walked instead of sitting! Good for my activity points not so good for knitting. Today, I am bringing lunch to a friend who is recovering from chemo. We WILL sit quietly and knit. She has memory problems related to her medication and chemo so each time I go I have to figure out what she has done and sometimes correct it and start the new part. I don't know who has knit more on this sock me or her but it is a good thing for both of us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One finished item another started

This weekend I was on a mission to finish the polare sweater that I started at the end of July. I finished knitting it, seamed it up, even made buttons for it. I just have to decide if I am putting snaps under the buttons or knitting i cord frogs. As soon as it is blocked and the button issue decided I will find a way to post a picture. I have been camera- less all summer. I finally found my camera, but now to find new batteries to charge and the cable to connect it to the computer. Well, if only I knew how to use my camera phone I could do that also!

As soon as I finished the polare sweater I started a red cardigan from Lily Chin Greenwich Village yarn which I also got half price at that sale.My hands were just itching to start it. I'm doing a mindless sweater for walking around non-thinking project. I ordered Kauni yarn and I am just itching to get that started. I don't know how quickly that will work up but I do think I'll get hours of knitting fun from it. I plan on doing the same sweater that Stephanie, the yarn harlot did. Not very original but why mess with something that really calls to be done!

My poor socks are languishing at the botton of my pocketbook, somehow I have lost sock steam but it will pick up soon! I also NEED to finish up the garterlac vest and the silk garden noro sweater. All the intersting parts are done for each and I just need to force myself to finish up so that I can actually wear them instead of just carting them around in project bags!

Had two friends over for lunch today, we got so involved in talking that I forgot to pick up my knitting while we were hanging around. Tonight was knitting at Barnes and Noble. I didn't have the time or energy to make dinner so I had an individual pizza there. I checked on the calories of the buffalo wing pizza and it had 500 calories , 20 grams of fat and came out to 11 points. Last time for me! I wish that they had something there to eat which is lower in fat or sugar. Next time I will have to eat before I get there unless I have tons of point to toss away!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thanks Steven and Caroline

For my birthday my two children, gave me money towards a day at a local day spa, so I went today and had a facial, pedicure and manicure AND got a haircut. I really, really felt so relaxed and spoiled by the time I left. I should do this more often!
So thanks, Steven and Caroline for a very relaxing day and a new french manicured & moisturized me!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Guess I Should Just Stay Home Today

I hopped out of bed this morning with the idea of going to the early WW meeting then heading down to the shore.
Problem # 1-- daughter blocked my car in drive way and she is at the beach herself. So, I look for the spare key where it is supposed to be and to make a long story short, nope--- no key and she does not know where it is.
Problem # 2 my other car will not start, call AA and they send someone to the wrong address, he does get the car started and I get to the meeting one hour late AND I have gained .4 lbs. Does aggravation weigh anything?
Problem # 3 Car does not start when I try to go get coffee, so I have to get towed to a station to see what is wrong. I should have called AFTER the meeting but this was ALL precoffee.

So I was out and about for THREE hours this morning, had to make my own coffee, didn't get to the meeting, am now facing a new car bill and found out that I gained weight!!!

Well, I think I am going to sew up my polare sweater, work on the quilt for my brother and block my garterlac vest and work on an extremely dirty look for the daughter when she gets home! Wouldn,t think she would be so innocent looking would you? Here she is(the little key witch) with my grandmother about a year ago.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fridge Update

Last week, I showed the amount of space the previous "repair" man said needed to be devoted to "Keeping the fan clear" to a few friends. They agreed with me that it was insane and suggested that I return to store where I bought the item in the first place.
The salesman and owner quickly agreed with that that it was BS and arranged for a different service person to look at it on Friday. That man was here and he actually took the back panel off and checked things out. He removed a small piece of Styrofoam but said that he did not find anything wrong and to call again if there continues to be a problem. He gave me a receipt so that if it does not stop I can start documenting it for the lemon law.

This service person was much nicer. The people at the store feel that there is a problem with my refrigerator because they sold many of this model without any complaints. I'm hopeful the problem will not reoccur and I feel much better probably because I was treated well both at the store and by the service person! Now if the refrigerator performs well I'll really be OK.

Continuing the Summer Plan

Yesterday was another relaxing day. My mother and grandmother came over for a visit and because my mother brought her dog we stayed in the yard to keep him away from my dog. I have spent lots of time working in my yard but this was the longest I just spent sitting there and relaxing and knitting!
After a quick grill lunch I went to visit a friend of mine who is battling cancer. I've been teaching her how to knit socks so we sat and worked on her socks for a few hours until I could see that she was getting tired, I'll go back next week when she has another good window with her chemo.
Then after running home and a quick dinner there I went to meet with friends from my original knitting group at a new yarn shop south of me. I worked on my sweater and showed a few people there garterlac technique again. A quiet relaxing evening although the shop is too long of a drive for me to go there often.
Today after a return visit from the refrigerator repair man I'm off the meet my painting and carpool friend and a fellow carpooler who has just retired for lunch. I made a nap quilt for her granddaughter and I really need to get it to her while the kid still naps!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Knitting poolside

I spent a very relaxing afternoon at our local pool club just knitting away. I now have finished the back, two sleeves and one front side of my latest sweater. It was a lazy afternoon, no swimming just getting wet a few times and then back to knitting. I hope to have that sweater done real soon.
We were members of this club when my kids were young and I just may join as a single adult next summer.
Now I have to decide if I want to stay awake and try to work on my sweater or will I just watch TV and fall asleep very early?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14th 2007

One year has gone since Bob passed away last year on this date. I have been so busy this summer that I was either too tired or too busy to focus on last summer events. As soon as Caroline's party was finished and I've had some time to relax, I've really been feeling sad and missing Bob again.

Today, Caroline and I went out to Long Branch for lunch at a cute Sushi restaurant near the beach and to walk around and just spend some time together. She was just perfect to be with. We spent time talking about both sad and funny memories. My son, just does not understand sadness and he was stressful to be around. At one point when I was feeling very sad and weepy all he could focus on was how well I'm doing, how much I have accomplished etc. DUH, I could have wacked him of the side of his handsome head! He does not understand how what he is saying can be true BUT I can still feel such loss NOW!!! Their father and my husband is only dead a year. We are all entitled to still feel grief! He hides his feeling from Caroline and I in an attempt to be strong and not upset us. I wish he could just listen without needing so strongly to fix it right away.

I'm going to go knit with my friends tonight at B&N and as they are ALL women there I feel OK about going. I can feel how I'm feeling and the knitting will be an OK distraction.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stick a fork in me because I'm done for the Summer

I am not going to do one more bit of work until I go back to work the last week of August!
We had a party yesterday to celebrate my daughter's 23rd birthday and GRADUATION from college. So from 4 in the afternoon until about 4 in the morning when I shooed the last stragglers upstairs to go to sleep or at least get out of my range of vision we had a house full of people!

This was the first time since Bob got sick and passed last summer that we have had a big party either outdoors or inside. The weather was just perfect, warm enough to be pleasent, dry but not so hot that everyone wanted to be inside. My kids and I are blessed with wonderful friends and family who helped set up, clean up and lent us whatever we needed! Everyone seemed to have a great time. Everyone ate and drank lots but today I have enough food to start another party! Next time I'm going to estimate what I need and then get half!

For the next two weeks before I go back to school I am going to knit, read the last Harry Potter book, have friends over for quiet little lunches, and go to the beach. I am not going to paint, scrap or sand anything! NOR am I going into Lowes, Home Depot or Costco!

I did finish my garterlac dish cloth and I made a little scrubbie out of the leftover yarn to go with it. I have two sweaters and a vest I want to finish by the time it is cool enough to wear them.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Called in too tired to do more!

On Thursday my friend and I were painting until about 12:00 midnight---just TOO much for me. So Friday I called in too tired to myself to do more work and I've given myself the weekend off! Friday morning I took my sewing machine and went to a knitting friend's house to quilt. I worked on machine quilting one of two baby blankets I'm making for a friend at work having twins. I did some quick shopping then in the afternoon I took a long nap then did some knitting spaced with some cleaning up.

Saturday, I went into Queens for the Baby shower of the mom having the twins, with the quilts NOT finished. I didn't have the fabric I wanted to bind them off and Rags a local craft store has closed so I went to JoAnns another fabric shop and if the sorry quilting fabrics they had available says anything they will be the next to go! I try to shop locally but right now if I don't take a nearly 45 minute to hour drive I can't get anything but the most dated tired looking fabrics. So I'm back to online shopping!

After the baby shower I visited with a few other women I used to work with. They are much younger then me and one is also pregnant with twins! I have so many baby gifts to get out and now they all seem to be doubling! Today is my birthday so there was a luscious cake and a nice barbecue.

Today I am going down to the shore with my kids to be with my family for my birthday. My sister who is currently living in California is visiting with her family so we will all be together. If all this eating and cake stuff continues, I'm afraid to get back to WW this week.

Every time I sit down I'm working on a sweater in Polare a bulky tube like yarn on size 17 needles. They feel like logs after all the socks I've been doing BUT it sure does move fast!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Finally got to knit on my patio after using the grill!

On May 23rd I bought a new Weber Grill to use on my new patio. Well there was one delay after another and what could go wrong did go wrong. After much hoopla,(gas line destroyed during patio construction) I had to convert the grill from Natural Gas to Liquid Gas. The store where I purchased the grill ( also the place where I got the wonderful fan/freezer!) told me that Weber grills do not convert BUT the Weber Grill hotline was so helpful. MY GRILL does convert and a very helpful women sold me the parts and convinced me that I could do it. Yesterday afternoon when I was crawling around under the grill in 90+ degrees screwing and unscrewing and soaping up joints to look for leaks I was not really sure. I almost called her back to invite her to visit me and do it herself "while she was here!" BUT I got it completed and we actually used the grill last night. Just a simple meal, barbecued chicken, corn on the cob and my version on my grandmother Italian style Rattatoui. While the chicken was cooking I actually sat down and worked on my new sweater from Polare from Plymouth.

Tonight is Caroline's last college class for her degree. She had to drop this speech class last winter when she had her hernia operation. It is hard to believe how much has changed since last year. Last year at this time Bob was on hospice in the nursing home and we were getting the house ready for him to come home . He would be so pleased to see Caroline and all the changes we did to the house. I still miss him.

My friend is coming over for another marathon painting day. After today I am throwing in the towel until the fall. I'll do little things but I just am not doing anymore "day labor" . After this most of what I need to do can be done in chunks during cold afternoons in the winter!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Went Yarn Shopping!

Yesterday while I was minding my own business doing errands, a knitting & quilting friend of told me that another friend was making a last minute run to a yarn shop that was closing after 32 years in business. Everything was on sale for 1/2 price SO how could I resist? We did a quick run in and I got yarn for at least three sweaters. I got some Polare by Plymouth which has to be years old but just what I need right now. I started a sweater last night with it. The yarn is huge and knits up on size 17 needles which is just what I need to rest my hand after my sock marathon. It's a nice olive color. AND I got a ton of red yarn to make a sweater or two and a few other odds and ends. Now I really need to STOP spending or I'll be living in my car soon.

Today I am continuing my painting marathon and really hoping to complete it. Just a few ceilings and about a million doors and miles of trim to go!