Jan 27, 2008

Not enough weather, we gotta make more

Ok, most people in Southern California are hiding inside because of the torrential rain we have been receiving. My kids and their cousins didn't think there was enough rain. We've got the dryer going quite often because they want to be out in it and need more dry clothes every couple of hours.

I got out the camera catch the fun. I keep seeing them in the trampoline so..... I went with a smile on my face and found:

They didn't think the rain was enough.

They had to make more. I let them. I smiled.

It was one of my good parenting moments.

Donna from Quiet Life asks questions every Friday on her blog. Last Friday she asked a question about laughter. How many times a day do I laugh? Hmm. Well, I know I need to laugh more. Somehow I veer toward the more serious things of life and I think I need to lighten up a little.

So yesterday, I paid attention to the laughter. I was surprised.

I laughed all the time.

I am so encouraged. Thank you Donna for asking the question.

This is my progress on Lady Eleanor. This stole is still going on: I just can't give up!
The first picture is without flash, inside at night. The colors are more true. The second photo is with the flash which makes it more clear, but the colors look more saturated than they really are.

My mom is trying to get me to read War and Peace. Tolstoy. I've always wanted to read him, but been daunted by the reputation this title has. Looooooonnnnnnnnggg. Anybody want to do it with me?

Jan 24, 2008

Some Weather

We're having some real weather here today. This weird wet stuff started falling out of the sky today, a sky that was gray,silver and dark. Then some white stuff started falling out too. I went out to examine this new thing....it was cold and wet. Then some huge bombs must of been going off somewhere nearby because I heard a huge boom or two or three.

Jan 22, 2008

I'd like to thank my producers and the crew...

...because I've won an award. I've always wanted to be awarded something and I've gotta say that it feels good to make someone's day. I've just got to wonder, was it the recycled kids that put me over the top to win?

Thanks to Tammy for the award! She also passed on a Book Meme, in which you take out the book on your bedstand and go to page 161 and copy down the fifth sentence from the top.

I am reading "The Gun Seller" by Hugh Laurie and here is the scintillating sentence, "And another half-a-million will build the roads that the Nissan (curse word deleted) Micras run on, and pretty soon, you've got two hundred and fifty million good democrats, needing America to go on doing the last thing it does well: Make guns."

Now I am to name 5 people for the You Make My Day award.

Tammy - because you make me laugh and keep me pointed the right way
Nan - because I just found out you love Mount Hermon
Kristen - who emailed me when I stopped blogging for a while :)
Krissy - who is so young and so fun and wise all together
Gail - who has so much creativity in life and homeschooling too

Congratulations ladies, now it's your turn to award five people and comment on their blog that they've won. (anyone at all who wants to do the Book Meme may do it; I'd love to hear what you are reading!!!!).

This is my Noro Striped Scarf. I am making mine just the way Jared Flood described here.

And this is a preview of my Branching Out scarf from Knitty, Spring 2005.

Jan 17, 2008

Faithful women and Yard Waste:

What in the world is that...a yard waste can?

Why does the DH want me to see inside...maybe a dead rodent or gross mold?

Nope, but I guess we are recycling the kids?!!!!!

This book was a quick read and perfect for inspiration.
Noel Piper, the wife of John Piper, is the author. She tells the story of several women who inspire her. I has previous knowledge of two of them, but the others were wonderful to learn about. I recommend this book because it is challenging to read of those who came before, those whose footsteps I would follow if I dare...

Foliage is done. It took only about three or four hours. fun, and I love the colors being so rich!

Spiders and Foliage

This is what #2 saw when I asked her to come sit by me. The view you see here does not in any way reresent the huge, gargantuan nature of this BLACK WIDOW. I was sitting here:

And Knitting and listening to a book on tape and she saw it right there between the wall and that end table. I went quickly into action, admonishing my four terrified children to "stay!" and wait for their heroic mother to quell this foe with decisive action. Ok, they weren't afraid, but I did quickly get the hair spray and kill this beastie. I then took it outside to get a photo of it's red belly for you all to see. It didn't cooperate. It was all shriveled up and looking mighty timid and...well, dead.

This is what I began last night at 9:30. It's the Foliage hat pattern from Knitty Fall 2007 using Malabrigo Chunky. It is very quick. And nice. Two of the beasties here are vying for it when it is done. I wonder, though, if it will really get any wear here in windy, oops I mean sunny California.

Jan 15, 2008

Spiral Ribbing fun

This is the first sock finished. The yarn is Dream In Color "Smooshy" in Chinatown Apple colorway. I do like the pattern and yarn.

This is what it looked like when it came to me from The Loopy Ewe:

This is what it looked like when I wound it by hand. I don't know about you, but I really enjoy the way yarn feels and looks when I roll it by hand. Yes, the yarn swift and yarn ball-maker are so wonderful. It's just that I don't like to use them. LOOK at that ball. Does it do anything for you, too?

And now I will tell you about another quirk of mine with yarn.



I just received a new skein from a lovely friend as a gift and oh, it was beautiful and soft. The color is so rich. I can admire it on so many levels, but ....until i sniff it, I do not KNOW the yarn. Sniffing somehow makes it real to me. Yeah. I guess it is weird. Please, don't laugh too hard. Anyway, here is the yarn:

It is merino and silk. mmmmm!

Oh, the pattern for the Spiral Ribbing Socks is from More Sensational Socks by Charlene Schurch.

Jan 12, 2008

Eleanor bit the dust

This is me frogging 11 skeins of Noro Silk Garden from Lady Eleanor. It took me all day. All Day. I just sat and frogged and it was not an easy frogging because the wonderful fibers of this yarn had done their job: entwining themselves amongst the other fibers nearby. I was not pleased with them this time. Can you see the tears coursing down my cheeks?

Yes, it was a long day:

Can you see my #2 as she cringes beside me? All day the kids berated me for undoing the work of many months. But I HAD TO DO IT! It was too wide, and with 11 skeins of yarn, it still wasn't long enough AT ALL. So, I started over.

I gotta forget that debacle, so I'll show you these: my new favorite shoes. I can wear them with extra long jeans and they look great. They are also very comfortable, which is a big plus. With these shoes, I've entered the new era of style, but I am sure the era has already passed and a few more have come and gone. But really, is a 40 yr old supposed to keep up? Not me! I am happy with these shoes, and I FEEL in style. So there! Now what do you think of #4's new shoes. Lovely, huh?! She can't keep 'em nice for even a day or two. We won't even speak of #3 (the son).
We went to Disneyland and California Adventure (thanks to their Wildfire deal) and see...we had fun!!!!!!!!!!

And tell me, have you ever seen the original "The Absent-Minded Professor"? It's is so funny, my kids all laugh out loud. Rent it! And do you like these silly tests? I do. How creative are you?
ou Are 53% Creative

You are a quite creative person. You're always involved in at least on interesting project.
Keep it up and keep learning. Your creativity
may bring you great things someday.

Kid love (and frogging):

Jan 10, 2008

Moby Dick Almost Killed me

cash advance

(I can't believe I never finished this post!!!! I just found it in my drafts folder from 11/15/07 - oops)

Yes, Moby Dick did almost kill me. It was NOT a joyous addition to my literary education. It was a knock-down drag-out war just to finish the weighty tome. Really. I would fight with myself just to convince myself to get through every page.

WHY?????? Why would I do this to myself? Well, it didn't start out that way. I picked it up with the thought of investing a little in the beginning, you know - pushing into the beginning a bit until the story really got going. So I pushed a little. It was fun at first, with plot furthering itself fairly quickly. Then it got bad; stupid. So I pushed some more. It was ponderous, with many long, hulking discussions of whales in general and whaling in general and many inane ideas and descriptions. So why didn't I stop????? WHY??? Silly me, I thought I had invested so much by then (half-way through!) that I couldn't stop. I started skimming the longest descriptive portions. Sue me. But I persevered. I did finish it. I emerged out of the watery depths with the famous whale and rejoiced in the killing of Ahab. At least his death meant the book was over. Thankfully.

Oh, and did you SEE the blog level I reached up there at the top of this post??? I was intrigued by Donna's Quiet Life when she posted about her blog's reading level. I thought it was so funny. She writes so very well.

When I received the reading level of genius, I laughed. I did actually test as genius when I was young, but I can't think very well , or remember anything of value anymore. I am actually the best joke around the house. It is sad, but true.

Anyway, I decided to make this post sound like it had a genius reading level. How'd I do?

Oh, and don't pick up Moby Dick. You'll be sorry...

Jan 5, 2008

The Holiday by the Numbers

This holiday season, Thanksgiving through New year's Day, was the best I can remember since we combined our family units through marriage.
By the numbers, it was far, far calmer than usual, but the numbers are still staggering. Or at least, they left ME staggering and you'll see why knitting was done only for that precious baby born to my cousin.

We won't get into the usual large gatherings for Christmas and Thanksgiving full of truly lovely family here at our house. They didn't happen. Instead we had all those great gigs at other people's houses. Thank you everyone for hosting this year!

Here's the numbers:

We had ONE Thanksgiving this year. Only one. This is a record. And my mom hosted it. Wonderfully. Those of you who know me well will realize that this is a miracle number.

I organized Two book clubs for the school with my good friend Rena and pulled them off without a hitch. We did have to "wing" the second one - it was the Monday after Thanksgiving and we all forgot about it until 3 hours before the meeting. It was the best one ever. Sorry, no pictures...we forgot the camera.

We had Three actual parties hosted at our house between Dec 21st and New Year's day. Not family events, but actual parties.

We had Seven straight days of multi-family bonding with
Eleven children and various and sundry insane adults (myself included of course).

DH and I completed a college course with a very heavy reading load, with excellent grades and we worked together to complete a total of Twenty-Five pages of a project paper at the end (Dec 20th).

Now for the big one: I realize after counting up the number of books read in 2007 that it went to 56. Fifty-six books, not counting the bazillion pages for our class. Check it out here.

That boy with the kisser up top is one of those many family members getting together for that week. We sure had fun, can you tell? That evening, the boys were having fun making faces for the camera. For that photo I had just told his cousin NOT to kiss the camera, so of course he had to give the camera a big smooch! Isn't he full of fun (and beautiful skin!)? They provided me with much laughter and a reason not to help with meal prep for the whole gang for dinner that night.

Last, but not least is the number of balls of yarn I removed from Lady Eleanor: well, I think I'll save that one for another post.

Jan 4, 2008

A whole bunch to catch up on:

There is so much to say, I am going to have to do it in several posts.

First of all, it's well past New Year's Day, but....We still have our Christmas Tree up. No, not because we are so enthusiastic about the tree, but because we just haven't had the time to take it down. Honestly, we seem to be a bit late on things this year. The important things got done, but we never even decorated the tree. See?It did look beautiful on Christmas and the Eve, with pretty lights and...I put the leftover pre-made bows all over it, with all of them that were left after the present-wrapping-bonanza. I mean the one which lasted till 5 am on the 23rd and the one till 11 pm on the 24th.

The the important happening around here is that my cousin Katherine had her baby, a whole 5 weeks early and she is perfect and wonderful and we are all so happy for them. She was born on Christmas Eve. I got the call while shopping in Borders for books for my children. As you may know, I love books and I relish the opportunity to increase the number of them in my house. Just give me a reason, and I will go into book acquisition mode. So my mom called my cell phone and told me the news and I just started crying. For joy. In the middle of the bookstore on Christmas Eve.

Now comes the knitting good news: I finished the baby blanket for her a day or two before the baby was born (although several weeks after the baby shower - we won't count that as late, right?).I had so much fun making this baby blanket.
I used the pattern from the Berocco Comfort pamphlet #269 and used the color "seedling". I figured that it was perfect yarn for a baby because of it's softness and it's washer and drier friendliness.
I did modify the pattern, to make it smaller, baby size. I loved the pattern to knit with and I love the stitch definition.
While my cousin was still in the hospital, other lovely relatives hand delivered to her, some 500 miles away from me.

Needless to say, Christmas Eve was a wonderful surprise.

Now for the leader to the next post: I did not do any Christmas knitting. You'll see why.