Sunday, February 28, 2010
We drove out (it takes 5 hours) on Saturday, went to dinner with M2 and her boyfriend, then watched some of the Olympics before going to bed. Steve and I went out for coffee this morning while waiting for her to get up, then took her and her roommate out to brunch,
and then we headed back. Lots of knitting time! It was really pretty out there; it was snowing very, very lightly most of the time.
It's kind of cool that I was able to watch the Olympics with M1 last weekend and with M2 this weekend, despite the fact they both live elsewhere.
Saw this recipe over at Make It Do and can't wait to make it. I love this kind of salad and I think I have most of the ingredients in the cupboard already. If I could just stay home once in awhile, I might be able to do it.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Here at home things are looking ugly. This is pretty much what our kitchen sink and counter has been looking like this month. (I don't recommend enlarging this photo, it'll only get uglier.) Between Steve and I working ten to twelve hour days during the week and going out of town three weekends out of four, we're having trouble keeping up.
The bleach and laundry detergent are from our run to the laundromat last night. Yes, the washer is now out of service, so we had to go to the laundromat. Why I walked past the laundry room to set those down there is probably part of the reason the counter looks the way it does. There's also the birdseed jar from when I filled the feeder on my way out the door this morning. And a few random dishes, both clean and dirty. Yuck.
Oh well, on to more important things. This is the swiffer cover I finished for M1. It would have been nice to take it with me last weekend, but getting things in the mail is nice too. All I have to do is add the buttons.
And although I haven't been knitting on my sweater as much as I'd like, I am making some progress. I'm so happy with this project, I can't wait to see how it turns out. I'm thinking I'll have a lot more time to work on it this weekend though, since we'll be in the truck for five hours on Saturday and five hours on Sunday.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I really enjoy blogging about my trips; it's a way to share but it's also a really nice way for me to reflect upon what I'm doing. I like that I can slow it down long enough to record it so everything doesn't slip away, like our days do. Although my digital camera skills are at the beginner level, I love photographing so many moments. If I didn't blog, so many of those photos would just sit on my hard drive, unexamined.
Speaking of examining things, I had a tough day yesterday with a few "mean girls" in my class. You remember mean girls from junior high, don't you? Well let me tell you, I do. There were a few girls when I was in eighth grade that would make life miserable for their victim of the week. Now that I teach eighth grade, I get to deal with them all over again. There are four such girls in one of my classes right now that have chosen me the past week or so to focus on. It's very hard to address because they are right on the edge of disrespect without overtly crossing over it. The worst thing is that if I'm not careful, I stoop to their level when I respond to them, which is never a good thing. And yesterday was really ugly. So this morning on my way to work I was thinking about the situation and it occurred to me that I spend more time with at least one of these girls than her mother does. And that some, if not all, of her behavior is about her rebelling against a surrogate mother, who just happens to be me. Identifying it doesn't make the problem go away, but it does help, if only just a little.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Steve and I have been watching the Olympics; loved the women's skiing and the speed skating, don't get snowboarding so much. Although you gotta love Shawn White's exuberance.
I'll fly back on Sunday night. Hope you have a good weekend!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I'm so excited by this sweater; it's challenging enough for me, yet easy enough that my confidence is growing. No frustration, just fun.
Off to work now, so knitting will resume after the "break". (Isn't that what they say during commercials?)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
And speaking of the Olympics, I am so excited about my knitting challenge. This is the progress on my sweater, and wonder of wonders, I understand the directions. Even though I was stumped at a couple of places, I thought it out and wrote it out, and it's making sense! Fun!!! The trip to Annapolis was wonderful. We had beautiful weather, cold and crisp and clear, and Steve and I had a lovely, lovely time. I took tons of photos but I'm mostly posting about the knitting for this one.
This is one of the sidewalks and that's the knitting bag I carried with me on all our walks. We walked on Saturday after we got there and we walked all day on Sunday, stopping at bookstores, coffee shops, and pubs whenever I got too cold or wanted a rest. And I knit every time we stopped. A perfect weekend.
Isn't the snow so pretty?
Here are my new Noro mittens, finished just in time for the trip. They are so warm and I love the colors. And that beautiful bracelet is my Valentine gift from Steve. Amethysts and silver. A lovely surprise.
And my hobby of "stalking" celebrity knitters continues. The very gracious Wendy agreed to a photograph. She was so nice and friendly and even gave me a magnet with Lucy's photo on it. I meant to take her book with me to be autographed but I forgot.
She's actually the reason we stopped there, even though I've been wanting to visit the store since it opened last summer. It's a great place, lots of beautiful yarn, a funky decor, and a very friendly staff, even though they were slammed with customers due to their super sale. I bought two skeins of tweed to make a slouch hat, and two skeins of yarn to make Steve a hat in the GT colors. I could have easily bought more as the prices were so great, but since I'm going to New York this Friday and will do a yarn crawl with M1, plus the fact that I'm committed to the sweater, I decided to exercise a little self-control.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I cast on for the Mondo Cable Pullover and completed seven rows. I had forgotten that I bought the pullover pattern and not the cardigan pattern, hoping for many rows of circular knitting.
Now Steve and I are off to Annapolis for the Valentine's Day/My Birthday celebration. We went there for our first Valentine's Day and I loved it so that's where I picked for this year too. There's a dusting of snow on the ground here (again!) but the roads are clear and the forecast up there looks good, so fingers crossed.
We're due back on Monday. I'm hoping to stop at Fibre Space in Alexandria on the way back home to see Wendy! Steve is such a patient man.
Hope your weekend is lovely.
Friday, February 12, 2010
I went to the thrift store the other day after work and bought this "tablecloth". It may have been a repurposed sheet, but I liked the blue swirls.
Now I'm wondering if it looks like there's a sheet on the table. Hmm. I also bought this fabric for fifty cents. I'm thinking of making some of those napkins I saw the other day, even though I have to cut the fabric. Or, a bath mat, ala SouleMama's pattern from her second book.
Almost done with a Swifty for M1 per her request. She said the previous tenants of her apartment left a Swiffer and she would like to use this instead of the disposable cloths. I made one for her sister last year but still don't have one for me. Maybe later. It's usually more fun to knit for others. Except in the case of my mittens. Did I mention how much I love them?
This one has me in a quandry. I like the colors but the solid, unknown yarn is kind of scratchy. Not sure it's the best yarn for a scarf. Someone asked me how the swatch of it washed up......ha, ha, ha. No swatching was done, so no idea, although it does seem like a reasonable plan now that I think of it.
The shawl hasn't been worked on in a week, but I'm working on it this weekend. And I'm casting on for the Mondo Cable Pullover or the Eyelet Cardi. I have set my standards pretty low and may even be out of compliance with the Olympic Knitting Rules, which, I think, expect you to complete a project. The way I look at it is that my personal challenge is to start a sweater and make decent progress on it. So that's what I'm doing.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Well, lo and behold, when I went to the doctor today for my checkup, he told me that the sore throat I thought was just sinus drainage was actually an infection and that it was drifting down to my lungs again. Good grief, no wonder I was feeling so low last night. I'm on a whopper of an antibiotic and coughing like a seal again, so I guess it was just in time. It's like when the girls were little and would get super cranky and then the next day I'd find they had a fever. The lightbulb moment.
Anyway, I finished the day at school, came home, took a hot bath and I'm in my pajamas ready for a little relaxing on the couch. Which includes knitting. Photos tomorrow I hope.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I did a quick mini-lab during my shortened science bells, so all was well after all. On days like this, you have to make up your mind to let a lot go or you lose your mind and/or your temper. Luckily, I lost neither one. Today.
I need to make up my mind about my Winter Olympic knitting, instead of starting any more little projects. Right now I have my Noro socks, a Noro scarf, a Manos scarf, a thumb left on my Noro mittens, and the Saroyan shawl. Hmm, feeling the Noro I see. I think I may just do the WIP event? Especially since I'm supposed to go to Annapolis this weekend and New York/Stamford next weekend. Of course with all this snow, I may miss one or both of those trips. That would make me so sad.
Now I need to figure out what's for dinner. Something from a bag I'm guessing. Maybe I'll just knit awhile.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
In keeping with my birthday-palooza, I made little heart magnets from the felt scraps for my teammates and paired them with Dove chocolate hearts today. I didn't do a thing but cut out the hearts and put a stick on magnet on one side, but they're cute enough. I think they mostly enjoyed the chocolate.
Here's a photo of the goodies I sent to each of the girls. Mostly Trader Joe stuff. The wrapped gifts contain lip balm, a large Toblerone chocolate bar, hot chocolate mix, and Reese's peanut butter hearts.
And in case you're looking for a reason to buy some of those fat quarter fabric bundles, this is a very cute and practical idea. I got the link from bean&noodle's blog. I'm always tempted by the fabric in those bundles but never had a reason to buy them---now I do. I've used cloth napkins for years, although I usually buy them from thrift store. I keep them in a picnic basket (also a thrift store purchase) on top of the refrigerator, for easy access. Now I can add some new ones to the mix!
And speaking of blogs, this one is hilarious!!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Despite waking at 3:30 a.m. with a sore throat, going to the kitchen for a drink, hearing the washing machine running and finding the laundry room flooded, it wasn't a bad day.
I don't know why, but it just wasn't.
I did a great reading strategy with my AVID bell, then did a pH lab with my science classes that worked well, so that was nice.
I put the girls' Valentine's Day packages together after dinner and Steve is going to mail them for me tomorrow. I even made felt heart magnets and despite the fact that they look like they were made by a pre-schooler, I'm happy with them. And I think the girls will appreciate them anyway. I'm waiting till morning to photograph them. I even stuffed the cat toy with catnip so I can include it in M1's package.
Now for some knitting. And soon, bed.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I can't believe how good she looks at seventy and hope the gene pool extends to me.
And here's the new bird feeder I just put out before we got more snow. We already have visitors!
I've decided to celebrate my birthday every day this month in order to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm turning fifty. Thursday morning I bought myself two large bouquets of flowers to take to school and gave a stem to each of my team teachers. Thursday night I bought myself the birdfeeder, and Friday morning I made cranberry muffins, wrapped and tied them up with some raspberry colored yarn and gave them to my team teachers and the tutors who come to my AVID class three times a week. Going to my mom's for her birthday was today's treat, plus I'm going to enjoy some quality knitting time tonight. Sounds like a great plan, doesn't it?
Thursday, February 4, 2010
For some reason, I feel a little performance anxiety over this. Is my list a good one? Are my highpoints too self-congratulatory? Too hokey? Etc., etc. So here goes.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Didn't do much yesterday besides read the book, The Gift of An Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison. I got it from the library based on Chinaberry Book's recommendation but kind of put off reading it cause it looked like one of those cheesy books, sort of a Chicken Soup for The Soul-ish (and if you like those, I apologize in advance). Anyway, turns out the author is the woman who edited the Houghton Mifflin Best American Short Stories series for sixteen years. In other words, she can write. I really enjoyed it, and wished I had read it about five or six years ago. (Of course, since it wasn't published until 2009, that would have been impossible, but you know what I mean.) She tackles the subject of redefining yourself as your children are preparing to leave home and I think she does a great job of it. I added one of the quotes she used under my blog title so I can see it on a daily basis. Here are a couple more I need to keep in focus:
There are many, many more great quotes in the book, but those three really struck me. Speaking of Anne Lamott, you should read some of her books, especially if you are interested in unconventional spirituality. As for the Sarton quote, isn't that a part of what blogging fulfills for many of us? A place to write so as to discover what is important to us? I've never actually read any of Sarton's work other than as quotes in other books; I really must check some of her books out from the library for myself.
This morning I finished another book, Single Wife, one I bought used from one of the library booksales. It's funny, I had started reading it awhile ago, thought it was dumb, but held onto it, and this time when I pulled it off the shelf, I enjoyed it. Isn't it interesting how books can work for you one time and not another?
And I've put the shawl down for a bit while I work on a pair of mittens for myself. Despite my desire to make it for my mom's birthday, she really wouldn't like it. She's not a scarf person, and she'd probably think a shawl would be a reference to her age, so I'm taking the Yarn Harlot's advice on this and keeping it for myself. I can't remember exactly what she said but it's something along the lines of recognizing when other people don't love and/or respect the knitting and how we must respect that and not force knitting upon them.
Anyway, I love the way these mittens are looking and I can't quit working on them. Every few rows I hold them up to admire them. (Steve said I do this with everything I knit but I don't believe him.)
I'm using the Noro Kuryeon that I was using for a pair of Maine Morning Mitts I frogged the other day, paired with some Noro Silk Garden. Originally I thought I'd do the only the cuffs in stripes and use the Kuryeon for the hand, but it looked weird, so I ripped back and put the stripes in throughout. I used #5 needles for the cuff and #6 for the hand section, which is making quite a dense fabric; they should be plenty warm. I plan on finishing them so I can wear them on my trips to Annapolis and New York. I think they're perfect for February, don't you?
Monday, February 1, 2010
I'm thinking about this shrug, (even though I haven't even started the Mondo Cable Cardi that I've talked about.) Is it too "young" looking for me I wonder?
I didn't get the sewing machine out today, but since school's out again tomorrow (icy roads, our area doesn't have much in the way of snow/ice equipment), maybe I'll get to it then.
Wow, this post really is all over the place.
And this is our beach access walkway, with snow drifts and shadows, from our walk yesterday.
I also ripped out a pair of Maine Morning Mitts I had started awhile back but quit halfway through the second when I realized I was going to run out of yarn. So while Steve and I were playing Scrabble last night, I decided I would use the yarn to make a pair of mittens instead. And I'm incorporating the idea of Jared's Flood Noro scarf by striping the dark Noro Kureyon with some pinkish Noro Silk Garden, at least for the wrist cuffs. That should insure I have enough yarn, plus it gives it an interesting look. Again, breaking a little new ground for me. Semi-designing going on over here.