Weekend Randomness #7 - Street Lights

A Lammpost From My Childhood

About twice a week (or more often lately) I notice a street light flare up and turn off over top of my head, either while walking or driving. When I drove back from MA last time, it happened three times. When I drove back before, it happened five times.

I know there is a logical reason for it, given to me from Helen, but it still freaks me out.

By the way, the picture above is of the street light that was outside my childhood window! The only way I could love it more is if were Narnian.


WIP Wednesday: Featherweight Cardigan

I'm obsessed with the color pink. I don't mean to be. It just happened. Not just any shade of pink will do. In fact, basically only this one.

I heart hot pink

I have been working on a scarf (and by "working", I mean, I have not removed it from its needles) for over a year, and it's just not getting done. Reason? The pattern was too complicated for me to knit while drinking wine and chatting. Since I basically only knit at knitting now, and I spent several weeks running tearing out all the stitches I had just put in because I messed something up, I decided to switch to something... simpler.

this scarf will never be done

And what could be simpler than a sweater, except for perhaps my first sweater? But Hannah Fettig's featherweight cardigan is nearly all stockinette. I counted all my stitches just now, and I didn't mess up, or miss any along the way. And it's fingering weight yarn on size 4 needles, so the stitches look all sweet and delicate. I can't wait to wear it, and at the rate I'm going, well, summer 2011 is looking like prime time for pink sweaters.

just imagine it!

Remember, folks, pink is the new black!


Weekend Randomness #6 - Keep Walking!

French Beach

Any time I go on vacation, I lose anywhere from three to five pounds. This is not because I suddenly stop eating and start exercising like mad. This is because Paul and I walk from sun up until a short afternoon nap and then we wake up and walk again until bedtime. On our trip to London and France, I managed to injure myself due to the amount we walked. Because, besides walking a lot, I like to do it in shoes not intended for extended amounts of walking. I love to walk in sandals or ballet style shoes, but never sneakers.

You can't tell in the photo above, but I was limping when we went to Normandy. I could only stroll very slowly and I was mostly almost in tears anytime a longer walk was expected or required. However, I kept walking even more. I tried to walk through that pain and it worked.

Victory Kiss

When we went to California, I was pregnant with Nathan, so I swore I would take it a little easier. Only, I didn't. I again walked until Paul was asking me to stop for the night. I would often consider asking him if we could go back to our hotel and rest but then I would remember how much we weren't seeing in San Diego because I was a weakling! Luckily, San Diego isn't much of a walking city, or I probably would have suffered a collapse.

Do you find that you can't actually relax when you go on vacation and you must see the sites until you nearly drop? Or are you completely unlike me and able to just lay back and tan?


Weekend Randomness #5 - Black Thumb

Mom Gardening

I'm the absolute worst at keeping a garden or plants. There's a number of reasons including forgetfulness, but the main problems? I have a terribly crippling fear of bugs, worms, and dirt. Due to this, in previous years, my mom has come by our house to plant flowers and mulch and do other things I grimace just thinking about and which Paul finds annoying to do.
Strawberry Plant

However, this year? Paul wants to do a vegetable garden, and I'm psyched to 'help'. I plan to do things like water the garden from a worm fearing distance and eat the food that comes from the garden after having Paul thoroughly search the vegetables for bugs.

I also plan to help by contributing tiny little strawberry plants. My cousin Talena gave away a tiny strawberry seed kit with Lilly's birthday favors, and I planted them and they are really growing! I didn't forget to water them. I didn't overwater them. I didn't kill them! This is a first since high school when I managed to successfully keep a cactus for two years.
Gardening Tools

So next summer? Expect some updates from me on whether Paul, Nathan (and his tiny gardening set), and I managed to grow vegetables for cooking. If we do, I plan on giving some to Helen for her food blogging, to keep some for myself, and to give some to my mom. Also, if I manage to make raspberries take over my backyard, I'm totally throwing a raspberry party, and you're invited.

Do you like gardening? Do you have a garden or are you a plant killer like me?


Your Olympic Knitting Plans

image from s.yume

You guys? Are you ready? It's time for the Olympics! And you know what that means? I mean, do you know what that means besides gorging yourself on coverage of figure skating, speed skating, cross country skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, hockey, and other fantastic sports? It's time for the Ravelympics, in which you try to knit a challenging project while the Olympics are on.

image from janusz.l

I've decided that I'm going to do the WIPS dancing event in a hopeless attempt to finish my stupid Slytherin Scarf! I'm probably going to join either Manic Purl's or Never Not Knitting's team since I am not part of any knitting circle either in real life or online.

It's time to be an Olympian. (I want to put a Greek god joke here, but I'm kind of floundering trying to think of one. Let's just end this on a classier note.) Pick out your project and event, join your team, and wait for the opening ceremonies!

Tell me if you plan to compete and, if so, what event.

image from Never Was An Arrow II


Wordless Wednesday #5 - Snow

Nathaniel In The Snow

WIP Wednesday #2 -- Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon Progress Pic

I know -- is there any progress since my last update, you ask! Well, there is, but not much. However, it's several hours worth of progress so I will blog it anyway. I admit, I love this design, but it's probably going to be over a hundred or more hours of my life by the time it's done. That's precious time I could be giving to knitting, blogging, baking, or playing Final Fantasy! However, I'm sure it'll look gorgeous on my craft room wall when done. I mean, it's not going to be done before we finally move and get a bigger house, right?

By the way, love my non-natural lit picture? This is what happens when your husband is working in Massachusetts and if your son gets five minutes to himself, you come back to find him with an uncapped marker in his mouth, while holding onto a watergun. I'm the best parent ever.

Lastly, I'll be taking a small trip next week. Unless Helen blogs her sweater, it's very likely that we'll miss WIP Wednesday! That's right, Helen, I'm calling you out.

Snow, You Are My Frenemy

Nathan and I are staying at my mother's house tonight. Once a week while Paul is gone, we go to stay overnight. It gives me a weekday to rest in a bit, two days of things to do that don't require excess cash, a helper for two of his bathtimes, and an excuse to eat horribly. ("Of course I had white rice, some butter, and some soy sauce two days in a row for dinner! That's what my mom has!")

This week, SNOWMAGGEDON II is on. You've perhaps heard of this ridiculous term? The first time I did, I snorted out loud at the stupidity. Well, my mom is normally one to shovel immediately when a storm hits and then to shovel repeatedly throughout it's whole fall. When I was younger, I would curse her. No sooner would I settle down with a cup of hot cocoa to the computer would she declare that it was time to shovel. Up until I was 18 I was the worst shoveling assistant you could meet. I would take frequent breaks and huff and puff and whine. I'd tell her my feet were freezing and so were my fingers and I was dying and then I wanted a drink and then I was tired. The whole time that woman would just keep shoveling and ignore me and make me feel petty. I'd think to myself, "Why can't we just wait until the snow is done?"

As the years past and I moved out, I stopped being so angry and started to get worried. My mom is not young anymore and I don't want her to have a heart-attack due to snow shoveling. I ask her to go it slow if she must. If possible, I beg her, pay someone to do it for you. Take frequent breaks, I admonish.

So, this year, when during SNOWMAGGEDON I, she shoveled, I worried more. She told me it had made her tired and out of sorts. When I learned it was going to snow on Tuesday, I scheduled myself to be here rather than at my own home so that I could sleep over and help shovel. She asked that we start right after her Korean soap dramas were over, at approximately a half hour after midnight, and I told her it was on. Only, I geared up and slipped out at midnight, to get started without her. I told myself that if I could get a quarter of the driveway, it'd be a quarter she wouldn't shovel.

I went out in boots, jeans, a nice puffer jacket, no hat, and gardening gloves. Five minutes in, I assumed my fingers would drop off from the cold. Ten minutes or so in, I had to take up my steamed up glasses and my fingers were once again warm from exertion. I would talk to myself about how much I had gotten done. "There's a quarter of the driveway, Kitten. You can do it." I would tell myself I could give up once I reached a certain point. "Just to the porch. You're almost there." It became peaceful and magical in that way that only being out in the snow is. The pink sky and the heavy flakes in my hair made me feel great and I kept going each and every time.

I shoveled the whole damned thing. At that point, I wondered where my mom was. I came in, and she had fallen asleep watching her dramas. I laughed to myself.

I'm still impressed that I did shovel the whole driveway and I wonder if I'm stronger than I was as a teen or simply more responsible. Maybe I'll find out tomorrow when she wants to shovel the driveway some more.


Weekend Randomness #4 - The Butler Did It!


Many of you know I like to read, and are aware that my proclaimed first genre of choice is fantasy, but I like to dabble in romances. However, not as widely known is the fact that I also love murder mysteries. And not the silly suspense novels that are popular nowadays, but classic murder mysteries such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers wrote. I want a list of possible suspects, a murder, and motives in my mysteries. If possible, I'd also like an English manor house in which the murder is committed.

I am so in love with murder mysteries, that when I first saw those boxes called "How To Throw a Murder", I knew I had to host one. I spent years considering it, but Paul finally made me pull it all together by promising that he'd handle food. We have held two so far, and I want to host a third one like no one's business. Christy, Paula, and Helen have helped bring up the awesomeness level of these gatherings by wearing over the top outfits. If you love murder mysteries, I highly recommend that you throw a murder mystery. Act in character! It's a blast, and by the time the night's over, you'll be shouting, "Sure, I'm a murderer and adulteress, but I'm not THE murderer!" And, really, how many times in your life do you get to yell something like that?


WIP Wednesday #1

I'm introducing yet another new feature because they make my blogging life so much simpler. It's stolen, rather shamelessly, from Ms. Knitpicky, though I'm not going so far as to steal her rather awesome title for it (WIP it Wednesday).

I'm hoping that once a month, Helen will jump in here with her WIP, but some people are very busy nowadays planning and rushing around, so if she doesn't, I'll have to understand.

My Slytherin Scarf

Remember that Slytherin Scarf I've been working on for over a year now? Yes, you do. How can you not? I always mention working on a row or two here or there. Well, I'm on section thirteen out of fifteen, so I'm finally closer to the end than the start. It looks decent, but it doesn't look as nice as Paul's yet. I stupidly picked an acrylic rather than wool yarn, so I'm thinking it'll never be as nice as Paul's scarf! When I'm done knitting this one, I have to get a photo of both of us wearing our scarves. If Paul has to broil in July for that picture, so be it.

The next two sections might go a little faster due to my superstitions. I always try to hurry along when the number thirteen is involved since I always fear it will bring bad luck on my house. Let's hope that I can wear this scarf this winter. The possibility is not nil!

I am a tiny bit afraid I'm going to run out of grey yarn before this whole scarf is done, so let's all keep hoping that if I do, I don't go crazy and try to knit the rest of the grey with scrap yarn from my yarn basket.

My Slytherin Scarf

Lastly, folks -- you're all crazy hateful of hunger. More than one of you is on an every two or three hour food schedule, and all of you get angry! I really am the only person in the world who doesn't mind hunger. You should all join a club with Paul that meets regularly for food. He can tell you about the times he's basically disallowed me from chatting with him while we wait at restaurants to get seated because he's grumpy and starving. I will not be joining you all since if the food comes late, you might attack!

Wordless Wednesday #4 - Cake

The Awesome And Delicious Cake