Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell. (Unknown)

I waited with bowls of candy, but we only had a couple of children come trick-or-treating. So I guess that the kids and I are going to be able to claim the chocolate and the Skittles for ourselves. (I hope I sound appropriately saddened by that.)

Seriously, I am disappointed that there weren't more children out tonight. Our neighborhood has a lot of families, so I expected to have quite a number of visitors. Earlier the weather threatened to get nasty (there's a tropical storm out to the east of us), but it turned out to be just a little breezy and a smattering of raindrops. I guess parents must have decided to play it safe anyway, keeping their children home, or taking them to one of the many indoor Halloween activities offered around here.

While waiting for a knock on the door, I sat and knit. I managed to turn the heel on Becky's Christmas stocking, which was pretty exciting. The short row heel worked out nicely. I did a double wrap, using bits and pieces I picked up on internet tutorials. (I'd love to give exact credit, but I looked at so many sites that I don't remember whose I actually used.)
NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) starts tomorrow, and once again I've joined in. This is the year that I actually succeed in posting something everyday in November. I might have to give up the quotes, though. It takes so long to find an appropriate one each time. And I really need to be as effective as possible with the blogging since I'll have limited time: I'll be adding a second job in November (another behavioral case), as well as slipping off to New York to visit with my daughter for a weekend. At least I should have material to write about!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This isn't good or bad. It's just the way of things. Nothing stays the same. (Real Live Preacher)

How ridiculous would it be to turn down a raise? I was offered one today, with a change in my job description. I know I'm supposed to think that it's a promotion, but I'm not happy about the change and I really don't want it. I'm not stupid enough to walk away from the job, but I'm thinking that maybe I can at least keep my pride about it...

(Okay, now it's time for some chocolate.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something. (Jackie Mason)

I could be, and I really should be, depressed. And I was, for a couple of hours this afternoon. I wasted three hours on the phone with my ex-husband and a slew of customer service representatives, who between the eight of them managed to give me nine answers...none of which were of any help at all.

On the plus side, I rewarded myself for surviving the ordeal without resorting to foul language or chocolate by posting my yarn stash into Ravelry. I'm not really sure if a wicker basket containing two skeins and a bunch of leftover yarn scraps be called a stash, especially compared to some of the stash photos I've seen on other blogs. But I'm excited to have a choice of yarn for my next knitting project. (Of course, I should probably finish at least one of the two pairs I'm currently working before casting on anything else.)

I also worked on my bedroom restoration. The desk is gone, and I can actually see some of the floor again. Already the room feels so much calmer.

Monday, October 08, 2007

How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time. (Fred Brooks)

Shutterday challenge

Even though it's a Monday, I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Which is surprising, when you consider that between the flu and Gramma's death, I've only been able to work at full capacity about a week and a half of the last 5 weeks. Maybe because today is the first really good day I've had in the past month. (More likely it's the two cups of coffee I've had since getting home from work this afternoon.)

Despite the looming tower of books on my desk waiting for reports and/or goal modifications, I'm really not that far behind at work. As of today, all of the monthly and quarterly reports are finished. And the staff is finally giving me good data to work with...there were only a couple of reports that I had to get creative with explanations.

I'm coming along pretty well with some of my other projects, too. I'm on the gusset of my second ILG sock. (Okay, it's my third sock in that pattern; but remember, the first one doesn't count until I can find the replacement yarn.)

The first sock is so pretty...I'm posting a picture of it, too. I've put that sock on so many times "just to see how it looks" that it's going to be worn out before I ever get to wear the pair!

I'm also working on two socks on two circular needles. I've been wanting to try this method, even though I didn't really like the way my last toe-up sock turned out. I've decided that my problem with toe-up socks is that I don't follow a pattern for them. I don't mind listening to a pattern for top down socks on dpns, even though I know the basic method of doing a sock that way without a pattern. But for some reason, toe-up just makes me think that I know better than the pattern makers. Except that I'm totally clueless on how to do the heel from that direction.

Along with that, this pair is intended to be a gift for someone. (I'm not telling who, yet.) So I want them to turn out really good. I wanted something simple, since the yarn is self-striping. But I'm not sure that I really like the stitch pattern that I've used. It doesn't help that two different people have commented "what nice slippers!" upon seeing me work on these socks. Maybe I should frog it and start over with a real pattern. Or maybe I should keep going because the stitch will look better as it becomes a sock. I don't know. I'm open to opinions (especially from the person, although still nameless, that this sock is meant for!).

By the way, several of my family and friends are destined for gift socks. If you think you are on that list (or would like to be, since I love an excuse to knit) and you have a preference for color and/or style, please let me know. I accept subtle hints ("I wear a size 11 and my favorite color is blue.") but a direct request might be safer ("Aunt Sandi, I don't like socks but those fingerless gloves in black sound really cool for Christmas.")

In addition to my knitting projects, I started another project this weekend. I decided to redo my bedroom. I've moved the furniture around, and my plan is to make the bedroom look like a bedroom by removing the desk (Becky's excited about that, since the desk is going to go into her room once we paint it to match her decor). I'm also going through the "attic closet" with an eye to reducing the number of boxes I have stored there. I'd like to be able to switch the "attic" storage into the double closet, and then use the walk-in closet for my clothes and dresser. I don't have any pictures to post because I refuse to let anyone see the mess I've made by cleaning up the room. It isn't too bad, really. I only have to climb over two boxes to get to the lamp; and even though I would have to crawl over the bed and under the desk to reach the TV, the remote control makes that unnecessary.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Maturity is the ability to do a job whether or not you are supervised, to carry money without spending it

and to bear an injustice without wanting to get even. (Ann Landers)

I've had a horrible headache all day, and it's been really difficult to get anything done. I've spent most of the day over-reacting, or worrying that I've over-reacted, to things. Even as I write this, I'm upset because I really wanted to make an effort to write interesting, amusing posts rather than whiney self-indulgences, but it hurts to think.

At least I got all the cookies made for tomorrow. (Oatmeal raisin cookies, two batches of chocolate chip cookies, and a big pan of brownies are ready to go with us to Exceptionalities' Fun Day picnic.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Instant gratification takes too long. (Carrie Fisher )

I'm not obsessive compulsive. Honest, I'm not. But I can see how someone might get the idea that I am. After all, I decided that I wanted to try to do two socks on two circular needless (even though I've never used circular needles and the only toe-up sock I made wasn't exactly a roaring success). I spent most of yesterday evening and this afternoon, looking for a tutorial online. I finally gave up, and just figured it out based on the bits and pieces I did find (especially Cat Bordhi's socks on two circulars video on youtube, and Judy's Magic Cast-on directions in

Then, even though it was dinner time, I started my socks. I was just going to cast on and do one, maybe two rows. Only the *needles got tangled up, then the yarn got tangled up, then the socks were twisted (continue to repeat from * ad nauseum). I just had to continue to knit a couple more rows to see if it was going to work out. The kids finally gave up waiting for me, and had their dinner. (Is there such a thing as yarn orphans?)

Around row 20, the socks suddenly started to make sense. So of course I had to keep knitting, just for the fun of it. But only for a few more rows. Well, maybe until the toe increases were done. But it would be nice to see how the pattern was going to work out on the instep... Suddenly it was after midnight. (I think the kids said goodnight to me before they went to bed; I was trying to calculate out the pattern stitches, though, so I can't be sure.)

Since it was so much later than I had planned to stay up, I knew I had to stop and go to bed. After all, I have work in the morning. Of course, I needed to take a picture of the socks for Ravelry. And once I had the picture, I might as well take the couple of minutes to post it. And the picture had to be explained. And if I had time to post in Ravelry, I have time to post here on my blog.

But obsessive compulsive? Nope, not at all...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Look for the ridiculous in everything, and you will find it. (Jules Renard)

Okay, you know you're getting old when you have to wake the children up in the morning in order to find your glasses!

(I was in a total panic. All I could think was that without my glasses I couldn't see to get to the eye doctor for a new pair!)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Stressed spelled backwards is dessert. (seen on a bumper sticker)

My boss read an article in one of the women's magazines that gave advice on handling stress. She thought that with everything going on in my life right now, I might find it helpful.

The article gave three suggestions:
1. Take pictures of nature. I already have about 800 photos of flowers taken this year alone on my computer.
2. Keep in touch with family. I spend most weekends with my mom, and we talk several times a week. I'm also in touch with my sister, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my second cousins, their children...
3. Take up a hobby, such as knitting. Yeah, I do that already.

I think they forgot the "Eat lots of chocolate" strategy -- my personal favorite coping method.