Thursday, July 26, 2007

"The In-Laws are Coming! The In-Laws are Coming!"

My husband's immediate family
My mother-in-law is the lady beside me and my father-in-law is hiding in the back right, looking very uncomfortable not wearing his usual electrician's uniform of faded navy blue Dickies and matching shirt. They are coming from Ohio to see the Bug and the new house on Saturday and staying into early next week.
Let the mad cleaning begin!
I will resurface early next week, hopefully with a lot of progress on my sweater. Wish me luck, I have to spend all day Monday alone with the in-laws as it is my DH's first day at his new job.
PS: Delilah has a nasty tapeworm and some other nasty parasite called Giardia or something like that and is so sick. Poor baby.
PPS: I am through with HP#3 and on to #4...I cannot stop. It is clearly a sickness.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This X 8

In the past four days, I have gone from this:

Oh, this yarn is yummy. It even has a great smell. I am a freak.

To this:I know, it's just wouldn't sit still. I'm kidding. I have no idea why it's blurry, I hadn't even had a drop of the Happy Juice, I promise.

Before any of that, there was, certainly, this:

Connor wanted to help me wind up the yarn.

We also had a barbecue to attend and so I made this:

Worship at the altar of my mad Wilton Cake Decorating Class I and II skills, yo.

All the while trying not to step on this:

He could eat her in one bite. But she rules him with an iron paw.

I have been feeling left out because of the new Harry Potter book. I tried to read them years ago when they first started, but just didn't get into them. I literally felt sad about not being in on the craze this weekend. It was all the other moms talked about at the BBQ, after being shocked that I, an English teacher, had not read the things--the HORROR of it all! You would have thought I was a mutant the way they reacted. They may have, may have, referred to me as a Muggle. I was ready to throw down. Seriously.

And so, having been coerced and shamed into it, and okay, maybe since I wanted to, since Sunday, I have gone from this:

To this:

And am starting on this:

Maybe I'll catch up before I find out how it all ends? Probably not. But just in case, shhh!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Another Finished Object.

Please, hold your applause.
I started this...hmmm...I don't even remember when. That is how long it has been. Shameful, really. Rusted Root on my dining room table
I apologize for the dark photos, it is very rainy here today.

I wanted it to be just one lace repeat longer...but truth be told, I just couldn't take it anymore and wanted it to be done! I have to wear something under it anyway, so it just peeps out the bottom a bit. It's all good. And all done.

That is what's important y'all. It is done. That means my WIP basket is currently empty (socks don't count).

What is up next?

I need to make a baby set for my good friend Michelle who went through the forty stages of Hell to conceive and is expecting a little boy this fall. I am thinking of making her the Pea Pod Baby Set by Kate Gilbert. The yarn called for (Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere) is sadly discontinued and I can't find the right color online anywhere in enough I am going to improvise. With what, I haven't decided yet. I think I may run down to a LYS I haven't been to yet and see what they've got.

In the meantime, I am going to wind up the yarn for my Pastaza sweater from Fitted Knits. A good way to spend a rainy afternoon, yes?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hey There Delilah

We have a new addition to our household. Meet Delilah...

This picture is for scale...Cooper is a full-grown, 100 pound Chocolate Lab

We have always said that when we got a bigger house, we'd get Cooper a buddy to keep him honest. We've been talking about it for a few weeks, and agreed that this is the best time to get a new puppy as I am home for the next 6 weeks for summer break, and would be able to do all of the crate-training, potty-training, bonding, etc...that needs to be done. So, we started looking.

Initially, we wanted an English Bulldog puppy, but they proved to be scarce in these parts, and also a bit on the pricey side for us at the moment (teachers, contrary to public NOT get paid in the summer). So, we asked ourselves what we loved most about the bulldog and the answer was clearly the wrinkles. So, then we looked at other wrinkley dogs (shar pei, pugs, etc...) and found something new.

Delilah is a Puggle.

She is a cross between a Beagle and a Pug. Her mom was an AKC Beagle and her dad was an AKC Pug. The AKC doesn't recognize Puggles or any of the other new "hybrid" "designer" breeds, which is fine with me, snobs that they are. Cooper is AKC, and it hasn't done a thing for him, I swear, he is still neurotic and clueless and the papers haven't improved upon him not a whit. [I find those labels from the AKC hilarious btw...we used to just call a spade a spade and call them "MUTTS"! Apparently that is not politically correct anymore, I wonder how long until they pitch a fit over the terminology of calling a female breeding dog a bitch? I'm surprised that one goes unchallenged these days.] Delilah will be spayed as soon as it is appropriate, as all of our animals have been, so lah-di-dah to the AKC anyways.

Delilah is 9 weeks old and cute as a button, as you can see. What you cannot see is how funny she is--because all eight pounds of her is bold as bold can be. She is not even a little intimidated by Cooper. And when she barks, she does that deep, braying sound that beagles make. So funny.

Well, not at 2am, but still...cute.

I did forget in the past 5 years how much work puppies are! Last night she cried so much that we had to put her crate in the finished basement, in the media room, with the TV on for company. Then, we had to close all the doors and put a fan on to drown her out. I set the alarm for every two hours and went to take her outside to do her business and give her rubs. I am weary today. She has made no fewer than 8 puppy puddles today in the house, and so we are out the door every minute or so it seems to reinforce that pee goes out in the grass. There is no rhyme or reason to her peeing, she could have just peed a lake in the yard, and she will still have more for the bedroom carpet. And so...

Today, Bug and I went to the store and got her a crate of her own, she was borrowing Coop's but it was much too big...see photo above. As I type, she is now sleeping in her new crate, if not happily, at least resignedly and that is a start. She was NOT being crated at the house where she was born, so it is a bit more challenging to get her used to the crate.

Crate training is best for dogs, I don't care what other people believe...dogs are den animals, and when they have one, they behave better. If you are unfamiliar with what it involves and what it doesn't involve, you should look into it, just to educate yourself. Crate training is NOT a punishment for dogs. Most dogs, Cooper included, come to look at their crate as a safe retreat and love it. It works for us and our dogs. Case closed.

I am off to catch a cat nap (or a puppy nap) before the next trip outside for "business". But before I do, in a moment of sleep-deprivation randomness, I give you:

You are Brigitte Bardot

Naturally sensual and beautiful
You're an exotic beauty who turns heads everywhere
You've got a look that's one of a kind
I freakin' wish!
Mostly for my husband, who reads the blog religiously,
because until I get some sleep, someone else doesn't really stand a good chance
of getting any (and I don't mean sleep!) either. But, at least he can look at her, and dream.
Who has your back, honey? I know. I rule.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I couldn't leave you bumming

I feel bad leaving y'all on a downer, so I thought I'd share the niftiest, fanciest, coolest new trick up my Mommy sleeve.

The Bug needed a haircut yesterday, so I tried this new place in town called SnipIts. It is like a SuperCuts, Fantastic Sam's, etc...but totally geared toward little kids. It cost a bit more ($16 instead of $11) for a haircut, but Campbell didn't cry the entire time, and I actually got to sit quietly and read a magazine for almost 20 minutes. Well worth the extra $5.

It is so cute, they hand the kid a plastic card (it looks like an oversized debit card) and at the end of their haircut, they scoop up a piece of hair from the floor, stick the hair into a cartoony machine along with the plastic card and a cheesey prize comes rolling out the other side. Campbell got a rope bracelet. And the stylist had lollipops, animal crackers, and bubbles to blow! I mean, I wanted to get my haircut there.

So. Much. Fun.

He got a great haircut, the best ever. Probably because he wasn't wiggling all over. They have a TV screen right in front of the chair and they have a cartoon that plays with animated scissors and clippers and combs. Cute! The girl was super friendly, and all of the stylists looked happy to be there. (Usually they get that look when we walk in the door, like, oh's a kid, I don't want him!) Not at all here. Just happy happy joy joy.


They don't seem to be all over yet...but it was a great change from the usual crying and tantrum throwing Cam usually puts us through. Oh, and they do manis/pedis and spa parties for little girls.

It made my uterus ache for just one more try for a little pink one.



Today was a rough one.

I met my mother, and two of my sisters about an hour north of here to visit my Gramma in the hospital. She is 82 and has been living on her own, but in the past few months she has had two small strokes, one nasty fall (the reason for the current hospital stay), and set her kitchen on fire cooking kielbasa. It took her a while to remember who we all were, especially my mother. She kept looking at me and thinking I was my mother, but then she'd look at my sister and think she was me. [She also told us an amusing story of how the ballerinas that come floating through her walls at night keep her awake with all of their racket}.

But, the worst was when she out of the blue looked at me with a moment of clarity and mental acumen and said, "Jaimi, it's horrible, but I have forgotten how to do this (insert knitting hand gestures here)".

Not only has she forgotten how to knit, but her mind won't even let her remember the word for it. This is a woman who always was knitting something, usually winter hats and mittens for her annual church bazaars. Always on Susan Bates Silvalume needles. She thought Red Heart was good yarn (God bless her precious little heart).

The one steady thing in her life, through losing two husbands (one impossibly young), through losing more siblings than I can keep up with, through the hard times growing up on a farm being poor, was knitting. And now, when it could bring her the most comfort? Her mind has betrayed her body and it is just...g-o-n-e.

It bummed me out when she said it, but in typical me fashion, I didn't deal with it, and just soldiered on. Pushing it way down deep to fester and grow. Just call me Cleopatra.


I got home and to cheer myself up from feeling a little down about something (see how good I am at denial, I couldn't even place why I was feeling blue) I decided to read today's post at Crazy Aunt Purl "The Story of Roy".

If you haven't yet...please do, I'll wait.

[insert cheesy musak version of "Memories" here]



I started crying like I haven't in years. Like I didn't when my first marriage fell apart. Like I didn't when Patrick was diagnosed with any of his bad syndromes. Like I probably haven't since my parents got divorced when I was twelve. (Well, there was one time, when Alan and I had a pretty horrible fight right after we were married, but I choose not to remember that entire situation).

Well, to be honest, I didn't cry right away, I tried to hold it off, but then that ache in my throat got unbearable and I wept like a child.

It took me a bit to realize that it wasn't all about Laurie and Roy, although to be fair, a lot of it was.

A lot of it was grieving over the loss of my Gramma. Because even though she is physically still here, I can clearly foresee that the end is coming, and a lot of the really good stuff is gone already.

Me and Gram the day I picked up my wedding gown and brought it to her to see for the first time. You see, my first wedding wasn't fancy, so this was her first time seeing me as a traditional "bride".

It was a happy day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Heart Magic Loop

The finished and blocked Clapotis is finally here...

I have been craving sock knitting. It was ridiculously strong, the urge. I decided to try something new, and am practicing the Magic Loop method. I'm not good, yet. But, I will be. I love the concept so far. I still am getting ladders where the two halves meet, however, nowhere near as bad as I sometimes get with dpns. I can see this being a useful trick to know for sleeves, etc...but I have to admit, I miss my dpns for socks. Eventually, I also want to learn how to do socks on two circs and toe up socks, so I have lots of socks to be knitting in the coming months.

I made more backward progress on my Rusted Root. I frogged it back almost to the underarms. It looked like crap, and I couldn't live with it. It was just sitting in my basket, not being worked on while I tried to deal with its imperfections, but in the end...I could not. So, I ripped it back and will plod ever onward. Trying to get it done in time to wear it this fall. I can wear it with a long-sleeve blouse under it, though, so I should be fine.

Up next?

The V-neck sweater from Fitted Knits with the yummy Cascade Pastaza yarn I bought in Lake Placid. And also, I have the Cloud 9 to make the Elizabeth Bennett cardigan from there as well...but I am suddenly not overly fond of the shade of pink yarn I bought.

I know...shocking.

To be honest, it is a bit too Pepto-Bismal for me...I wanted something a little softer.

I may have to use that yarn for something else in the future and re-buy the yarn in a different color. I am starting to really love the lavender shade it is made up in for the book and that Stefanie Japel wore on her episode of Knitty Gritty.



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Monday, July 02, 2007

A corner of one's own

This is my new small corner of the home office where I can have enough space to do my crafts! I'd love an entire room someday, but for now, this little corner is lovely.

I bought myself a sewing machine. I'm not sure how much I'll use it right away, but I had the extra money now, so I bought it. It is a Kenmore and has a one-step button-hole, which I hear is important for your sanity.

My husband and I went to Lake Placid, New York, for our anniversary weekend. We had a lovely time sans kiddos. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza, which is on top of the hill by the Olympic Arena for those of you who have been there before. We had a balcony overlooking Mirror Lake which was nice. We hung out in the great room at the bar quite a little bit. Ah, the joys of having no children for a weekend...we acted like grown-ups!
On Friday night, we went out to dinner at The Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Company, which is right on Main Street. It is one of my favorite restaurants and I hadn't been there in years...they still have the most incredible dessert known to womankind. It is called Chocolate Perversion. Need I say more? If you are ever in Lake Placid...have one. You won't be sorry. (Once I even ordered it as an appetizer to make sure I had room!).

Then, after dinner, we went over to my sister and brother-in-law's house and hung out on their deck with their fire pit and some drinks. It was nice to see her and catch up on family gossip and such.

Saturday morning we headed out to get some coffee and then we took the hour long tour of Lake Placid on the antique boat The Lady of the Lake. The boat is named after a book called A Lady in the Lake, about a murder on Lake Placid. A woman named Mabel Smith Douglass, the founder of a women's college in New Jersey, had a camp on Lake Placid. She disappeared mysteriously one day in 1933. Her boat was found, but no trace of her body. At the time of her disappearance, she was 56 years old, and had a broken arm.

In 1963, a group of divers, exploring caves more than a hundred feet below the surface of Lake Placid, discovered a body. It was the body of a lady wearing antique looking clothes. She was remarkably intact, and looked as if she had only been laying on the rock shelf where her body was found (off of Pulpit Rock on Lake Placid's eastern shore) for a few days. She had an anchor tied around her neck, and a broken arm.

Scientists speculate that the very cold waters of Lake Placid perfectly preserved the body and they confirmed that it was, in fact, Mabel Smith Douglass. They ruled her death a suicide, although many people believe that it was murder. Her body was three miles from her camp. She had a broken arm. How could she have rowed three miles by herself with a broken arm, then tied an anchor around her own neck and chucked it into the water? Mysterious, indeed. Many locals, of which I was one (I lived in Lake Placid for almost five years in my early twenties), even believe that she haunts the lake...

So, we toured and got spooked out. Then we went to The Cottage at Mirror Lake Inn for lunch. It was yummy. We went back to our room, my husband did some studying for a test he has this evening at college and I heeded a call to one of the mother ships.

Adirondack Yarns, is a beautiful small yarn shop, but they manage to have a diverse selection of yarns and I was lucky to find Cascade Pastaza for a sweater I want to make from Stefanie Japel's new book Fitted Knits. I also bought some magazines...The ladies there were super friendly and I can't wait to stop back in the next time I am in town.

Saturday night we went to the local Mexican food joint. I had a beef chimicanga and was in heaven. Then we went to the early movie at the theater. We saw Ocean's Thirteen. Two hours of Brad Pitt and George Clooney. All good, my friends.

Then, back to the hotel for drinks and bed. Sunday morning we had the delicious breakfast buffet at the hotel, and then headed out of town to pick up Le Bug at my mother's house. The big boys are with their dad and stepmother on vacation in Fire Island.

It is freezing here today, and I am off to knit some on my Clapotis. I am at the decreasing rows finally, and it is large enough to cover my lap and keep me warm. I also have some Knitty Gritty episodes to catch up on, including the one with The Yarn Harlot that I missed when it first aired!