Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Funny

First, an update:
Work on the house continues with a mixed bag of accomplishments, but it is mostly good. The new flooring is in the office and craft room, but they were 3 boards short of finishing the closet. More than half the office furniture is back in place with the rest to be moved today. This means the boxes of stuff are next on my list. They need to be gone through and much will be given a new home, either under someone else's roof or in the cylindrical file aka, the trash can. On Monday the carpet will be installed. Once that is done, the last of the major messes should be over and furniture shopping will resume.
On to the funny:
Someone whose emails I had considered blocking suprised me this morning with one out of four emails that wasn't political. I'm glad this sweet little boy's face showed up in my preview or I might have deleted this without reading the cute story about honesty.


Our teacher asked what my favorite animal was, and I said, "Fried chicken." 
She said I wasn't funny, but she couldn't have been right, because everyone else laughed.

My parents told me to always tell the truth. I did. Fried chicken is my favorite animal.
I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA.  He said they love animals very much.

I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef. Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal's office.  I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was.
I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, so I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken.

She sent me back to the principal's office. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.

I don't understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn't like it when I am.

Today, my teacher asked me to tell her what famous person I admired most.
 I told her, "Colonel Sanders." 

Guess where I am now...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Friendship links and my birthday loot

My sister-in-law Beth and I had known each other for years when she mentioned a friend from her early high school days. The girl had an unusual last name. I asked if the girl had blond hair, brown eyes, glasses and so on. Yep. The girl had gone to my grade school. Beth and I didn't grow up hundreds of miles apart, but still, this was a surprise connection.

Do you find that some people seem to know everybody? I don't mean that boastful person who pretends to know all the celebrities. I mean the person who knows your sister's husband's childhood babysitter; your cousin's ex-wife's brother-in-law; your dentist and his dog walker.

There is a woman the age of my sons in my knitting group. She had a common maiden name. One year as graduation season approached, a woman in the group asked if I had graduated from the high school in the city where the yarn store is located. I said no, I was from XXX city. The young woman, Lindsey, asked which high school in XXX. I told her. What year? I groaned and said it was 40 years ago. She said her dad graduated from there 40 years ago too, did I remember him?

Bingo! Not only did I remember him, I grew up down the street from him. We went through 13 years of school together! Stranger still, when I was dating hubby and he bowled on a league, this man walked in and got the look of recognition on his face and walked toward us. I smiled thinking he was coming to say hi to me. No, he knew hubby from their teenage years when he worked across the street from the market where hubby worked. Years later the guys worked together and I officially met Lindsey at company picnics, but she was a little girl and I was chasing after my boys then.

Over the past two years Lindsey and I (along with other women at knitting) have discovered common links through casual conversation. Lindsey fondly remembered visiting her childhood friend's grandparents at their cottage in the same locale as ours. A few minutes of discussion later...she was talking about the cottage across from ours! Her friend's parents who now own that cottage live two houses away from my son who hosted the party.
The theory of 6 degrees of separation is true as far as I'm concerned, and Lindsey and others like her are in the inner circle that connects all of us. I was happy to see Lindsey at my party the other night and half expected one of my sons or my daughter-in-law to know her from someplace. That didn't happen, but they know a lot of people in common.

A close friend of my kids, someone I've known since they began high school, was at the party. She and Lindsey know one another, their moms used to work together. My daughter-in-law's mom knows Lindsey's mom from a club they used to belong to years ago. That info came out when we moms were working on wedding invitations and I relayed the story of Lindsey and I discovered so many links. For some reason I mentioned that Lindsey's mom had an uncommon first name. Once I said her name, my daughter-in-law's mom correctly guessed the last name.

See? Your mom was right. Don't talk about people because you don't know who knows who!

My kindergarten buddy that I mentioned yesterday knows Lindsey from where she works. My daughter-in-law's mom knows the daughter of one of my dinner buddies through church. Another friend who doesn't live nearby is trying to figure out if she knows one of the gals my sons' age or if she just looks familiar. She meant to ask her Saturday night but the woman is my age. She got distracted, went on to another conversation and left before working her way back to the girl.

It isn't easy being a social butterfly. We "mature" butterflies appear forgetful but we're just super busy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Now for my loot. Boy, oh boy, did I hit the jackpot!
East of Eden was an important book to my kindergarten buddy and I one summer. The page on the left is a list of quotes about friendship. The wine is Merlot, the wineglass is decorated with birthday wishes and full of Hershey Kisses. There are gift cards to book stores, yarn stores and Joanns.

The earrings are from hubby, the candle holder (blue!) and perfume are already upstairs. There is a gift card for a very nice restaurant and look at all those lottery tickets!

A necklace and the charm reads "There's nothing better than a good friend except a good friend with wine"

The three items with the d'marie label were called "party in a gift bag". The burgundy and white box is a cocktail to be frozen. The small tin is an herb mixture to mix with mayo, sour cream and wine to crate a dip to be eaten with the crackers in the green box. I can't wait to try this.

Mini loaves pan and flatware for the cottage. Where do missing spoons go? Are they with orphaned socks somewhere?

Yay!!! And it is cobalt blue!!!!

Isn't this cute?
Someone knows me well! I can still wear it while serving carry out, right?

Hubby seems to think it is time for things to return to normal around here and I should get busy. The remodel/redecorating continues so this isn't normal but it is busy.  I may lose internet for a while during the office floor installation. Technically I won't be down that long, but I don't do well posting from my iPad. Hopefully I will be able to visit others and leave comments, provided that boss of min doesn't catch me!

Monday, September 24, 2012

What a surprise!

My kids bowled me over with a surprise birthday party Saturday night. I'll spare you the details of how they pulled it off, much of which would only make sense if you knew the key players and how they interact. The stinkers. Those dear, sweet lovable stinkers.
When you aren't expecting something, you don't see suspicious activity, especially when there is a logical explanation accompanying that activity if you do happen to notice it. How can I read so many mysteries and watch so much investigative TV and have my head in the clouds or in the sand?

I don't have photos of people to share (I'm usually the photographer) and wouldn't have permission to share their faces here anyway. I was giving hubby grief (playfully) as we walked up our older son's driveway. They had a beautiful mum on their porch and we did not. I hadn't been able to coerce hubby to shop for a mum that afternoon. When my son told me to come into the back yard, that he wanted to show me something, I thought he had a mum for me.
I know I stopped. I know I cried. I don't know what I said that moment of for the rest of the evening. I made my way around the yard hugging everyone. We had just come from dinner with our younger son so I wasn't in a hurry to go downstairs where there was food. An hour might have passed before I got down there and found more people!

My once a month dinner buddies were there. Most of my knitting group was able to make it. Most of our neighbors were there. My dear friend since kindergarten was there. Our good friends from South Carolina were there (talk about a long drive to a birthday party!). People with mobility issues braved the damp night air and climbing basement stairs to celebrate my birthday.

I'm getting teary eyed again.

I'm not sure how my sons reached some of these people as some of my friends aren't really really family friends, even though they know about my family and my family knows about them. My younger son reached the knitters through my sister-in-law who is part of that group. Speaking of my sis-in-law, her family and mine have been together three weekends in a row now celebrating birthdays. This weekend is going to be boring without one!

What I want to tell you about today is a woman and her husband who drove 35 miles to be there among people they didn't know. Bobbi had met hubby a few times, long enough to say hello, and I think just one of my sons, also briefly. Her husband met me for the same period of time when I've been to her home.

Bobbi and I are internet buddies. We are part of a group of 12 women on a private message board that have been good friends for years. We all used to post at a huge forum on the HGTV site that shut down years ago. We didn't want to lose contact with each other so we formed our own board. I've met all but one lady, but I did meet her son when he was in the Detroit area twice on business.

I am as close to these women as I am to my kindergarten buddy, my South Carolina friend, my knitting sister-in-law and her daughters, and my once a month dinner companions who are 35+ year friendships. They heard me (or read) saying I want a mum, I need a mum, I'm gonna get a mum. They got me a mum, and "mooned" me:

The plant was in my son's backyard and was a pleasant surprise. The whole group mooning me was a surprise waiting for me in my flower bed at home. The plates were covered in plastic because rain was forecast but thankfully didn't happen.
There were 11 plates moons in all, each one with the board nickname of a very special lady.
No one group of friends is more cherished than another. It would be like picking a favorite child...impossible. I have been blessed with wonderful friends since the age of five. A number of the party guests were contemporaries of my kids and I count them as friends too. I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I am grateful.
And speaking of luck, I have a slew of scratch-off lottery tickets to attack before I begin writing thank you notes.
More on friendships and a look at my loot tomorrow!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Zappy Do Do to me....

No idea when or why our family began zinging (singing?) 'Zappy Do Do' in place of  the real words to 'Happy Birthday', but we did. Not when it is officially time to sing and blow out the candles, but at unofficial moments like random phone calls and Facebook postings.

I'm not posting this to request birthday wishes or presents (but feel free to contact me if you need my address to have a store send something here ) but just to remind everyone that age is just a number, and most times, numbers don't matter.

Today I am 60. Provided my hair doesn't catch on fire when I blow out the candles, I will be fine.

When I was a mere child of 45 or so (wasn't that just a year or so ago?) I entertained the idea of throwing a 50th birthday party for myself. The theme was going to be that my youth was dead. I was going to have a cardboard casket, black flowers, etc. I thought it would be funny until I reached 49 and a very close friend who was also 49 got a very scary diagnosis. The thought of losing her made mock funerals not so funny.

Thankfully, she got through her medical crisis and is just fine today. I wouldn't criticize someone else having a tongue-in-cheek death themed party, but I could never do that now. Friends and neighbors have lost loved ones, sometimes at a far too young an age, and while dark humor in a card can probably be overlooked, a whole party might be way too painful. I am not about pain. I am about love and humor.

If anyone would like to do something to honor my birthday, consider a Random Act of Kindess today or sometime soon. I don't think anyone that I know through my blog needs this reminder, but I wish it would magically enter the hearts and minds of some that I encounter elsewhere.

Before I leave to go spackle my face and truss my body into something presentable, my goal being to look 58 instead of 60 , I leave you with a very early photo of myself.  I think it is from 60 years and 9 months ago, give or take a day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Uh-oh....a new addiction: Copic Markers

There are a few crafts that I have never done, or at least never done at home, despite thinking they would be fun to do. Time, money for supplies and room to store supplies have all been factors at one time or another. This explains why I haven't thrown clay since high school and don't have a kiln. I've never had a class in stained glass but am okay with that as I don't want to store pieces of glass among all my other craft supplies.

The list of classes I've taken is long and I don't regret any of them. Saving odd bits of left over kit supplies in case I ever made something else in that craft became a problem, one I'm continually reassessing. Reassessing meaning sorting, donating and tossing. I'm never going to needle tat again. What, you've never heard of that?
Image from Wikipedia
I'm not doing macrame, quilling or frying marbles either. I did read about baking marbles, but relax, I am not buying marbles to bake them so that they crack internally. I'll wait until Colton is old enough to play with marbles and leaves a few behind.

I'm not likely to smock again unless Colton ever becomes big brother to a little sister. Yes, smocking can be done for all babies and some little boys do wear smocked garments, but that isn't the norm up here in SE Michigan. Also, Colton is big strapping boy. Putting him in a smocked garment would look almost as silly as putting one on his dad or grandpa. I can't get to photos of garments that I made years ago but here is a sampler from my smocking days. Sorry about the photo quality and angle, I was trying to avoid window reflection and glare on the glass.
My point (yes, I do have one!) is that I've stopped collecting fabric, yarn and other supplies while trying to use up or donate what is on hand. I've sworn off learning new crafts that would require more tools as I try to declutter my home and my life. So what is my new addiction?
Copic Markers!
I have always liked painting and coloring. I have always had markers in the house. I have also grumbled when a reached for a marker that hadn't been used in a while and it had dried out. Same reaction to one that was used up, usually a sign of a favorite color, and who knows which store carries that brand now.
My kids gave me some Copics last Christmas and I played a bit with them but realized there was a lot I didn't know. Last weekend I went to a Copic Seminar. Woohoo! We learned the advantages of Copic over other markers (for one thing, they are refillable), how to shade, how to blend, which colors work well together, what those numbers on the caps mean and also how to achieve a few special effects.
Basic coloring plus how to texturize the bear.
Shading for dimension and blending unlike colors.
A bit more detail in blending and shading.
If you are a Copic Marker junkie user, I would love to hear about it, including your favorite blogs, websites and You Tube tutorials.
Color my world warm (furnace and hot water are in and working!) and artfully blended, Copic style.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Knitted projects: A non-renovation post, mostly

Today is the coldest weather we've had in four months. Why? Because we were without a furnace and water heater last night. Do we actually need the furnace this morning? Probably not by most people's standards, but I am not most people and I shouldn't need to wear a sweatshirt when it is still summer.
Hmmm, looks like I need to shave, doesn't it?
The installers are working the furnace and water heater. I will feel better having both working soon, especially having hot water again. I haven't heated this much water since camping days!

Thankfully knitting doesn't require hot water, and knitting does provide warmth. Maybe I'll work up a sweat looking for a project to work on at the store tonight. I have two WIPs (works in progress) but I need something that uses yarn from the store. I finished the baby sweater and a stuffed animal of undetermined species and gave it to the mommy-to-be yesterday.

The sweater pattern is Baby Kimono by the Plymouth Yarn Company, made with Berroco Comfort yarn. The only change from the original pattern is i-cord ties rather than crocheted ones.

The animal is supposed to be a bunny. Hmmmm...not sure about that....his snout looks more like a puppy to me and his ears seem shorter than the pattern's photo. I'm sure the baby won't mind though. The pattern is Rabbit and Bear (plus 5 items of clothing) by April Cromwell. Licensing is through Creative Commons. Search for that name plus "rabbit and bear" and you should find the pattern. I'm not linking here because I'm not sure what is proper. It worked up easily and the clothing patterns included a jacket with a hood, jacket and  hat, overalls and a jumper (dress) that fits either animal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Looking better....

Both of our sons were here yesterday to help move appliances out of the way and to take out the water heater. Hubby wanted hot water as long as possible. Maybe he thought I was going to cook and needed to wash dishes? I could have cooked but couldn't find an extension cord.
Colton was here for the earlier move. He didn't find it strange to have a refrigerator in the living room. It was convenient actually. He didn't have to walk (guide Grandma) so far from the TV to get his juice.
The washer and dryer in the family room were annoying though. Most of his toys are behind the washer.

Yesterday I stopped at the reupholstery shop and learned that they do make furniture there. I still hope to find something new, but this backup plan pleases me. We both still like our sofa because it is well made and comfy. My chiropractor suggested a furniture company this morning that I will check into, and also the name of another company that will build to suit.

That sounds expensive, doesn't it? I won't know how bad until I check into it. I really would like a love seat or over-sized chair (chair and a half?) if we recover our current sofa and so far, nothing I've seen will match or blend (in my opinion) style-wise.

If I had absolutely loved the fabric upgrade (see my previous post) I might have had a hard time while canceling the order but there were two big factors that made it easy. First of all, I wasn't crazy in love with the material. It was my second choice. A far second one at that. And secondly, the store screwed up by not pulling the discontinued fabric from their sample wall. They could have offered some kind of deal since it was their fault I was going through this. I don't expect something for nothing. I'm really not a demanding customer, but dang, that was a lot of additional money! If I have to pay more than expected, I'll spend it where I can get exactly what I want. Hopefully I will resume the hunt Thursday or Friday.

The installers are done with the kitchen and the refrigerator and stove are back in place. Our old flooring was 26 years old. Boy, those years flew! The middle picture shows lovely cement. The floor color isn't uneven, that it shadow on the left in the bottom photo.
 I'm now off to clean a bit. Furnace installation tomorrow is bound to create more mess but this is all good.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Remodeling/redcorating...the fun never ends

As I write this, people from the furnace company are here ripping out the current furnace and hot water tank. Cleaning, a lot of it, will follow along with painting a wall that we've never had full access to paint. Tomorrow will be installation of the new flooring and the next day the new furnace and water heater will go in. Tonight is when the temps are forecast to dip and tomorrow's high will be in the low 60s. Really? What did I do to offend Mother Nature? The thought of no heat and no hot water is right up there with no car. I don't need them daily, but knowing I don't have them makes me think I am going to freeze, need to wash something, and need to go somewhere. Going somewhere might come into play if I get too antsy!

This is a very minor inconvenience and one we knew was coming. We also know that no remodel occurs without unforeseen  hiccups and added expenses. So far, with the plumbing done, those have been minimal. The "best" furnace won't work for us because of structure limitations. Another minor hiccup. What we are getting will be so much better than what we have, it will seem "best" to us.

Unlike what we see on TV where everything is done within 30 minutes, our floor covering experience will be spread out over two weeks, possibly into a third week. Delivery of materials, the order of installation (hard surfaces before carpet) and a day to move and reinstall a wall unit all figure into that time span.

So what blindsided me and has prompted today's post? Furniture.

Our living room furniture sees heavy use. While we don't abuse our belongings, we don't have things that are just for show. Children play here. Accidents happen. We nap on couches. We want sturdy and comfortable furniture. The sofa and chairs in our living room are La Z Boy brand. They've worn well. We had them reupholstered years ago when we didn't find anything we preferred.

This time, I really wanted a new line, a new look. I wanted a sofa and a love seat. I read reviews and asked friends for their recommendations. I window shopped a long time before dragging hubby out to look at what I thought were possibilities. We picked out a sofa and love seat made by Flexsteel. The next decision would be fabric. We brought home two fabric samples that we liked in the store. By nightfall in our living room, we didn't like them. I returned those and brought home 6 more the next day. We made a choice. Hooray!

The salesman went on vacation. Waiting a few weeks to place the order wasn't a problem (our decision, not his request) because we were knee deep in plumbing, relative birthdays and our anniversary. We placed the furniture order last week when we finalized the furnace and kitchen flooring schedule. was good.

Until the following afternoon when we got a phone call informing us that the fabric we chose had been discontinued. An expletive may have escaped my lips after that phone call. Oh well. The next day I picked up the carpet sample again and went to the furniture store to select four swatches to bring home. None were as exciting to me as the one I could not have but I wasn't going to dwell on that. We narrowed the choices down to two. We looked at them in sunlight. We looked at them while it rained in the afternoon. We looked at them as dusk fell, before and after lamps were turned on. Friday morning we were sure of our new choice. Hooray again!

I returned the carpet sample and went on to change the fabric order at the furniture store. Uh oh...the look on the salesman's face wasn't good. I knew the fabrics were all available, we checked that the previous day before I left the store, so what was that look? This fabric was an upgrade (the previous fabric was an upgrade too)...ok, so how much more? Is everyone sitting down? The additional cost for the sofa and love seat would be $1942.  Are you {expletive thought but not said} me?

The order was canceled and I have my deposit back. The hunt for new furniture resumes later this week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Need to smile?

Shhhhh.....don't tell hubby I've put him in my blog....he thought I was taking a still shot, not a video.

Is there anything better than a grown man having fun with a little one?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My new birthday gift idea

I've spent the day boxing up the contents of my desk and library shelves in preparation for new flooring that is probably a bit more than a week away in installation. We thought it would happen a bit sooner, but the extra time means we can paint and pull up moldings that need to be replaced.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that hubby had his own business for 20 years and by nature, isn't one to toss out something useful. I don't mean to imply that I trash things that are still good, but when the kids, nearby relatives and friends don't need stapler #24 (only a slight exaggeration), it is time for the stapler to go into the donation box!

We have an entire file drawer full of boxed sheets of printer labels. There are file folder labels, shipping labels of various sizes, full sheet labels, and so on, some for laser printers, some for ink jet. We have both types of printers here at the house, thus I can't automatically get rid of one style.

After all all the still useful office supplies, we have things we've accumulated through the years. A knick knack that doesn't mean anything to hubby might still make me go awww....and feel like I can't part with it because of who gave it to us, or who it belonged to (one of our parents). The reverse is true also, but I am more likely to part with something than he is.

I don't want to say he gloats or says "I told you so" but many of his projects around the house lately have been completed using supplies I would have pitched years ago.  We laughed about this just this morning and he suggested we could get a bigger house but we both know that we would just save more stuff.

The new flooring, carpeting and furniture are all replacing items, not adding to anything in the house. I'm trying to downsize but so far the only noticeable downsizing is the bank account. These pesky stores all want down payments!

In the headiness of all the ordering and scheduling that was done today, it hit me what I want for my upcoming birthday, this year and probably many future years. I don't want my dear sons, daughter-in-law and grandson to buy me anything. I want them to come here and take something home with them!

"Happy Birthday Mom! I'll take 6 boxes of labels, a gross of pencils, and a stapler"

"Happy Birthday to the best Mother-in-law! I'll take 2 of your 4 pie pans, 3 serving platters, a gravy boat and a stapler!"

"Happy Birthday Mom!  I'll take 4 of your spare computer cables, the white towels you never use, a ruler and a stapler!"

"Happy Birthday Grandma! I'll take your iPad and iPhone!" 

Colton! Get back here! Those things aren't up for grabs! Here, you can have a stapler but don't play with it until you are a bit older.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September chaos and happiness

Old habits die hard. Even though it has been a long time since my sons have been in school, a much longer time since I've been a student, and despite Colton looking like a 4 year old ready for preschool while not even being 2.5 until next month, September still feels back to school hectic in this house. Lest you think I'm beginning to develop excuses for my chaos, I have a perfectly valid reason this time. Drywall dust and an anniversary.

If you have done home improvement projects while working around holidays, birthdays and other commitments, you know that the seemingly smallest project can take much longer than expected. It is almost sad that the time and dollars spent in reworking plumbing for the washer (putting the shut offs in a better place) and prepping for a new laundry tub isn't something that will be showcased once it is done. Its like a crown on a back molar. You're glad when it is done and paid for, but only you and your dentist appreciate it.

Dry wall has been replaced, taped and mudded. Bill would be the first to say he isn't good at this and despite trying, he just doesn't have the finesse. We tried calling the drywall guy we used for repairs a number of years ago but we can't reach him. It is a small project for a professional, so even if we did locate someone, he would likely squeeze us in and the duration of our mess would continue between his original mudding and subsequent sandings.  Bill has just gone to Home Depot to buy something that hopefully dries better and will make more mess this afternoon.

Our laundry area is at the back end of my kitchen. Our house is built on a concrete slab. It isn't perfect, but it is home. Actually, it is Home with a capital H. I love it, warts and all. The hole in the wall that started out low and rather small grew to 47 inches from the floor and much wider.
For inquiring minds, the bucket in these shots is collecting water from the air conditioner. You are seeing the side of the washer, pulled away from the wall. The dryer is to its left and the laundry tub is setting in front of the dryer. Everything will be hooked up again, temporarily, when laundry needs to be done, then moved out again when the new laundry tub and water tank are installed. Oh yeah, and moved again when the new flooring is installed.
I think moving into a new home might have been easier!
Hubby was unsuccessfully sanding this area for a good part of yesterday afternoon. I had unloaded the dishwasher and left one glass baking dish on the kitchen counter that couldn't be put away as the laundry tub was in the way. Most of my baking dishes are in cabinets over the dryer. The baking dish is blue. Or should I say, it was blue. I came downstairs after changing to go out to dinner and saw that the dish now had a grayish cast to it. Ahhh, yes....plaster dust.
I should have taken Bill's picture before he showered and changed for dinner, but he wouldn't have wanted me to post it. The reason for our dinner out? Yesterday was our 37th anniversary. Where did the time go?
If you recall my stories of our Hawaiian vacation taken in January, that was a delayed trip from our 25th anniversary. If we go anywhere big in another 12 years, it won't be commemorating our 37th, the repairs, new flooring, new carpet and new furniture will cover this anniversary and a few others.
Once upon a time I would have thought this was unromantic. Now I find it romantic in a very quiet, comfortable way that we undertake these projects together and still speak nicely to each other. There isn't anyone I'd rather have at my side. I am truly blessed.
Yours truly, age 22, showing the world all is ok now that I have a marriage license!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It is Tuesday, but it feels like Monday

Funny how a weekday holiday can throw off a person's sense of what day it is, even in retirement.

We were at the cottage for an extended weekend. I had two knitting projects with me, plus yarn for a third. One project is a shawl called Cameo (thank you Rudee for that recommendation!) that I hope to show you soon. It is so dark and gloomy today, taking a photo wouldn't show you much of anything, certainly not the true denim color of the yarn. Another project is a baby sweater, a simple Debbie Bliss pattern that uses worsted weight yarn. When my sons and nieces were babies, a much lighter weight yarn was the norm in baby sweaters. I am making this for a woman who works in my doctor's office who is having her first. I wanted something that looked more "today" style-wise, but also practical in wash-ability. I don't know her well enough to know if special care instructions would turn her off or not be read and the sweater possibly ruined. Baby and children garments should be easily washable in my opinion.

I was not thrilled with the feel of the knitted back, completed before we left for the weekend, so I brought needles, another yarn and even another pattern with me. I decided to test drive the other yarn and pattern. The suggested size needles didn't result in the dimensions I needed for correct gauge. Odd for me as I knit loose, but the yarn is rather light for worsted weight. I reached for then next size needles, a size 9. Uh oh! I only had one size 9 needle in my Harmony needle roll!
I checked my knitting bag. No luck. It isn't like to me to lose things. I took a breath and decided to try size 10 needles. Rats! I only had one size 10! Uh oh, major uh oh! A neglected-because-I've-lost-interest project at home was started on circular needles but I switched to straight because I didn't like the join of that particular circular needle (where the tips meet the flexible cable) and I really, really like my Harmony needles.
When we got home last night I checked the neglected project and sure enough, it was on one size 9 and one size 10 needle. Spreading out the knitting, the difference is noticeable between same size needles and the mismatched work. Darn it!

Mindless knitting doesn't mean I shouldn't pay some attention to what I'm doing!!!

Thankfully, it won't be difficult to rip out the knitting and get back on track with that project but you know what...since I've lost interest in it, I'm wondering if I should just rewind all the yarn and use it elsewhere.

On the plus column of successfully completed projects, I did machine quilt two printed panels into a floor/play quilt for Colton. The two panels weren't the same size and one was printed with a portrait orientation, the other landscape. 
The "eye spy" side has less red border on one side than the other. Shame on me. I should have added fabric from my stash so that I could have properly centered things.
But you know what? Colton doesn't care. In fact, he hasn't paid much attention to that side yet.

Happy to you, unless you are reading this on Wednesday. May your needles be the same size, your borders even and happiness follow you wherever you go. I think that is an old Irish proverb, but I'm not Irish.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hiatus, only partially intentional

I am in back to school mode even though no one in my family has been " back to school" in the traditional sense in ages. Is it years of being first a student and then mother to students that causes this feeling, or is the flurry of activity of others contagious?

We aren't much further along in the home improvement/redecorating project but progress is being made. I've been away from home a lot during the day, and even when time has allowed me to post from my iPad, the blogger fairies and gremlins conspired to keep me quiet. Some sites have been taking so long to open, they time out, or that at least is my guess. I can't find a common reason.  Some are Blogger, some are Word Press, so it isn't one host that is incompatible.

I hate what election years do to some people, and every four years the mud slinging seems to get worse. I'm not talking about political ads. I can mute them or fast foward through them on recorded shows. I'm talking about the junk in emails and on Facebook. I've been spending less time online because of this. I wrote a long post the other day and while it felt good to rant a bit, it isn't what I want my blog to be about.

I have a dozen things to do and extra people to feed (not a complaint, just a little more care in planning and executing) so if I am successful in publishing this post from my iPad, I hope I'll be able to comment on your blogs later. Right now I have an urge to go look at binders and sniff boxes of crayons.