Thursday, January 31, 2008

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work. (Peter Marshall)

I've spend the afternoon knitting. There was housework to be done. And bills to pay. And boxes from the attic that should have been put away. But unfortunately I had knitting to do, so none of that got done.

It's really nice to be able to say that with a righteous air. If I was knitting for myself or my girls, it would merely be self-indulgent. But because I was knitting a get-well gift I can get away with neglecting my work.

(Can I also claim the podcasts I was listening to as being educational, or is that pushing it too far?)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I'll waste no time reading it. (Moses Hadas)*

I picked up the pictures of my three children today, and they're beautiful ("they" referring to both the pictures and the children). I would have liked my son to have a bit more of a smile on his face, but let's not ask for miracles. It's enough that I have all three in the picture at the same time, clean, and awake.

When my oldest was still an only child, I was able to get lots of beautiful pictures of her. And by lots, I mean monthly professional portraits. We were still in Tennessee, and the portrait studio was nearby. Plus, I had lots of time to spend dressing her up and getting her to smile pretty.

It was a little different when my son was born. By then we had moved to a little town in Kentucky, and the photographer only came around twice a year. But I made a point of having the children's pictures taken each time the photographer came. It was a little more involved, getting two children cleaned up and happy, but I enlisted my husband's help.

When my youngest was born, it seemed that all bets were off. It was almost impossible to get all three children cleaned up and happy at the same time, much less on either of the only two days the photographer came each year. The best I could hope for was all three presentable, and two of the three happy with the third one asleep.

There finally came a time when I managed to get the three clean, happy and awake for their pictures. I was frantic. I kept asking the photographer: "Are you sure the lens cap is off? Is there enough film in the camera?" and other equally idiotic and annoying questions. Since she had photographed my children in previous sessions over the years (it really was a very small town), she was very patient only laughed a little bit at me.

A month later the photographer returned with the pictures. I went to pick them up, extremely excited to finally have a good family portrait. But my excitement quickly died when I saw the photographer's face. She immediate began talking really fast, and apologizing. It seems that there had been an accident in the lab, and chemicals had been spilled on the negatives. Luckily, only 7 photos had been ruined. Unfortunately, they were the 7 frames of my children. She had been dreading telling me. It was a very small town, and she had been taking pictures of my family for years. So I did the only thing possible -- I laughed.

- - -

*As you may have noticed, the quotes do not always go along with the stories I tell each day, or even the pictures I post. However, my daily quote is always relevant to my day, even if I choose not to share the reason.

Today the quote is a thank you to my daughter who sent me copies of the literary magazine featuring one of her works. Sweetie, it's awesome work and I've already read most of it (even the stuff you didn't write)!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Someone's boring me. I think it's me. (Dylan Thomas)

There's no picture today. I just never got around to taking one, and none of my older photos seem appropriate for today. Not that I even know what would be appropriate for today. Today's one of those days that you are torn between pride at how well you've handled everything and fear that you forgot to put on underwear.

Tomorrow, there'll be one more item on my to do list...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Beware of undertaking too much at the start. Be content with quite a little. Allow for accidents.

Allow for human nature, especially your own. (Arnold Bennett)

We finally managed to catch Philly huddled in the corner,
after he managed to get out of the $90 "escape-proof" cage!

I finished reading "Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair." It was supposed to be a comedic look at the life of a knitter after divorce. A fun, pick-yourself-up-and-deal-with-it-while-laughing type of a book. And it probably was. No, it definitely was. After all, I purchased it after only reading far enough to find this quote (which is now officially my favorite quote!):
Besides, as a knitter, you are armed at all times with two very sharp sticks, some sturdy string, and well-concealed scissors. And that's a very comforting thing.
But somehow, I missed most of the funny parts. I think I was too busy crying my way through it. You would think that after 10 years of being divorced, I would be over the whole thing. I've been divorced almost (not quite, but almost) as long as I was married. You would think that I was over it all by now. And mostly I am. But as Laurie Perry described her misadventure as a married woman learning to be single again, I found myself remembering it all too well -- the horrible feeling of failure, the depression, the desire to drink heavily (which was terrible for me, since I don't drink).

At risk of providing a spoiler to the book, she does grow above the depression and even manages to get out and date again. (I need to go re-read that chapter again.) So there is the happy ending filled with hope and strength and self-empowerment through sticks and string.

Oh, and there are knitting patterns included. Mostly scarfs and hats. But also the cutest little bracelet purse that I want to go cast on tonight.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

You can't have everything. Where would you put it? (Steven Wright)

I've been sorting through boxes in my "attic closet" and I came across more stories of my children when they were little. I used to be very good about writing down the cute things that they did or said, and the terrible things that they did to embarrass me, in order to use it in letters to my family. I'd probably get the boxes sorted a lot faster if I didn't keep stopping to read through the piles of paper or to look through all the old photos.

One of my favorite stories occurred when the kids were about 3 and 5. We were in the car, playing 20 (million) questions. It was a favorite game of the kids, mainly because if they played it long enough mommy would get a really funny look on her face and go absolutely nuts. The point of the game was to see how long that would take.

I was a good mommy; honest, I was. I would answer their questions for far longer than was truly humanly possible. I would even give the right answer most of the time. But sometimes the questions...well, I can be forgiven for using a bit of creative license on occasion.

In this particular case, the kids had been asking increasingly silly questions. My youngest had learned in Sunday School that God created the world, and this seemed to fascinate her. She wanted to be sure that she had gotten that fact straight. My son decided to egg her on. As we drove, she asked me if God had really made the things that she saw. She asked about trees, and birds, and clouds, and the flowers, and the grass. And of course my answer was, "Yes, God created all of those things." Then she wanted to know why. "Because H e wanted the world to have beautiful things."

With my son's prompting, she asked about the road, and the cars, and the houses, and airplanes, and light posts. And my answer was, "Yes, God created all of those things by giving people the power to build them." (I knew what my son was up and he wasn't going to get the chance to catch me up that easily.) And again she wanted to know why. So I told her, "Because He wanted us to have the things we needed."

Then, again at her brother's giggling prompting, she asked if God made booggers. So I gave the only possible answer: "Yes, He did. And since I don't know why he made them, we better leave them right where He put them."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

And now the sequence of events in no particular order. (Dan Rather)

I got to do a lot of knitting this morning, so the Ch'ear'ful socks are finished and the Blues Brother's socks are on the needles. While knitting, I listened to several more episodes of Knitwit's podcast. The more I listen, the more I like her podcast. When she was talking about cats and dogs, I actually found myself laughing hysterically. Which would have been okay, if I hadn't been out in public at the time.

It's not the first time that I've been embarrassed in public. Since I'm a mom, I guess that statement's pretty much a given. Every mom has had a turn being embarrassed in public. My mom still tells the story of when I threw a tantrum in a store.

I was about four, and was usually pretty well behaved. Or rather, I was quieter than my cousins, who would fuss and cry and tantrum to get what they wanted. I usually settled on just pouting. But one day I decided to try it their way. According to my mom, I laid down on the floor, kicked my feet a couple of times, and fussed for about two minutes. Then I sat up and looked around to see if it was working. It wasn't, so I stood up and went back to just pouting.

Mom has gotten her own back, by the way, in the form of her grandson. Unlike me, he was self-taught, practiced often, and was very good at it.

But I digress. I'm supposed to be talking about a time that I embarrassed myself. The trouble is that I have so many examples.

I like to sing in the car. And I tend to "dance" while I'm singing. One day, a really good song was on the radio, and I was really enjoying the music. I was singing out loud -- really loud -- and shimmying to the beat. Don't worry, the light was red so there was no danger. I just kept singing out loud and sticking to the theory that volume overcomes lack of key. I happened to glance over to the car next to me, and that driver had a big grin as he watched me. I looked away, right into the car on my other side. That driver was also grinning at me. That's when I realized my windows were down and everyone was getting to hear my free concert. I was never so grateful for a light to turn green!

Friday, January 25, 2008

People who like this sort of thng will find this the sort of thing they like. (Abraham Lincoln)

The Good
  • I finished the first of the Ch'ear'ful socks. And I've just got the toe to do on the second. I might actually finish the two pairs in time to mail them off on schedule. Maybe.
  • I found another podcast that I like (well, except for the episode about the security guard). Knitwit does quick little stories that remind me of sitting with a friend swapping tales -- hey, do you remember the time...
  • I just got my second "heart" in Ravelry. It's very exciting to find something that I've made is marked as a favorite of somebody. And it's even more exciting that the somebody who likes my work isn't even my daughter that I made the items for.

The Bad
  • I forgot to take a photo today. So I had to choose between doing without (again!) or using an older picture. I need to get back on track with the photography. Considering that this started off as a photo blog, I'm really getting off track.
  • My computer is still acting wonky. I did a full virus scan, and that was fine. But Excel is acting very odd and I'm not sure where to turn next. Unfortunately, it was my oldest who had all the geek friends. While I like the friends my younger two have, none of them are capable of fixing my computer for me. (And I do miss my daughter for more than her geekdom.)

The Ugly
  • Work was interesting today. And that's all I'm going to say about it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. (Isaac Asimov)

It's been one of THOSE days. You know, the type of day that just as you think you've got it all figured out, someone comes along and turns the paper around the other way and you realize that you're just an idiot faking it after all.

I can't post a picture, because the smart card driver is definitely dead in the home computer. And the laptop is doing odd things. I'm hoping it's only a temporary "jumping for joy" because I ordered the new power cord that was needed, and not a last gasp before total annihilation (which would be really bad, and not just because of the wasted money for the cord).

I did manage to finish the gusset on both of the Ch'ear'ful socks. Then my son and I finally got over to return his pajamas from Christmas. And I've got about half the attic closet cleaned out. So there was some good to the day.

Now I'm off to bed, with the hope that I'll wake up in the morning and the computer issues will have just been a bad dream...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You are what you file. (Ellen Mosner)

I have no topic for today. And really no desire to come up with one. My hands have been really painful today, and I don't feel like typing.

At least I was productive. I got all the piles of paper up off my bedroom floor. (I thought about taking before and after photos, but I was too embarrassed.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

If I knit fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise? (Author Unknown)

I've been knitting all afternoon, and listening to Socks in the City. The boys' socks that I'm working on need to be finished by February 1st, and I've just turned the heels on the first pair. So there's some major knitting that needs to be done in the next few days.

Having the internet available at work may not have been a good idea. It's very distracting. Even if I'm only distracted by our own website content, it's still making it difficult to concentrate on the reports I should be doing.

Speaking of work, I haven't decided whether to take on another behavior client or not. I like the money (it's really nice to be able to be able to afford the extras without worrying about the bills), but I'm still upset over the situation with my last client. I need to make a decision soon, because I have families calling me asking if it's true that I have an opening. "Possibly" isn't really a good answer.

Some days, my posts are really interesting. Other days, they're just a lot of wandering slush. Since today seems to be the latter, I'm going back to working on the socks.

Monday, January 21, 2008

There's plenty of folk as'd like to have a lion as a daemon and they end up with a poodle.

And till they learn to be satisfied with what they are, they're going to be fretful about it. (Philip Pullman)

I finished reading The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman, today. It was okay, but not as good as I've heard. It was slow getting into it, and there was too much preparation for the next book in the series. ("Read this book so that you'll have to read the next one!") But I will admit that about half way through, I was suddenly totally hooked. By the end, I was walking around the house doing my chores with my nose in the book because I just had to find out how it ends.

While at the bookstore today, I also read the most adorable picture book/love story. It is called "Smitten" by David Gordon. I was so tempted to buy a copy of this, just to have it, even though my youngest child is in high school! This is a definite must-read for any sock knitters (okay, for any Knitters).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others. (Jonathan Winters)

Jorge thought he should be in the
spotlight for a change, instead of Millie.

I've been trying to come up with something interesting to write about for the last hour. So far I've had a glass of soda, made a cup of tea, eaten a couple of girl scout cookies, and thought about moving my laptop off the kitchen table to get away from the temptation of food; but there's been absolutely no progress in the direction of a decent topic for today.

I think my creativity quota for the day must be used up. A friend at Share told me about their new website through Google, and I've been working on setting up our family site. We really don't need a family website. We've had a family blog for a little more than two years, and that seems to be working out fine. We only have a couple of geeks (including myself), so our needs are fairly basic. But doing the family site gave me the opportunity to check out what Google offers and evaluate it to see if it would serve our needs at work. For a free (with only a $10 annual domain registration) web host, Google is really pretty good. I found a few bugs, but managed to find work-arounds for most of them. Overall, I'm looking forward to going into work on Tuesday and giving my boss the good news -- I think we have a winner.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Family...the we of me. (Carson McCullers)

I've posted a couple of times about my grandmother, and how much I admire her. But she wasn't the only strong woman and role-model in my family. Her daughters are really good for that as well.

My Aunt Robin was larger than life when I was growing up. Robin was loud, and fun, and laughed freely. She was so vivid that she actually scared me. (To be fair, just about everything scared me as I was growing up.) She rode a motorcycle (when she wasn't driving the station wagon full of kids), she dyed her hair black (although none of us kids were supposed to know that she dyed her hair), she wore hot pants and bikinis despite being the mother of 5 children, and she laughed. Now that I'm grown and have my own children, I frequently refer to my parenting style as Robinish. I'm not as good at the laughing as she was and is, but I try.

My Aunt Mickey is another woman who knows how to laugh. With five hyperactive boys, I guess it was laugh or go crazy. When she became a single mom, she waitressed nights to put herself through nursing school. It was easy, and not always appreciated. But she still manages to find the ridiculousness in a situation and she doesn't take s**t from anyone. (Did I mention that she can be tough when she needs to be? Another side effect of raising a bunch of boys, I guess.)

I don't know what to say about Aunt Leslie. She also managed to rise above a bad situation and educate herself into a better one. Like Mickey, she can be a tough old bird. But I like her, and I'd like to know her better.

I would say a bunch of good stuff about my mom (who is also my best friend), but she sometimes reads this blog and I wouldn't want her to get an inflated ego. But she's stronger than she thinks she is, and I'm glad that I had her to show me how to handle life.

The rest of the women in my family are pretty great as well. I could mention Renee (who I admired even before I learned for myself just what she was going through raising her boys on her own); Dorothy (who was never handicapped); Aunt Kay (every bit as cool as my gramma); Aunt Gail (I love you!); and my sister (of course I didn't forget about you). Instead I'll just say that the women in my family would make Helen Reddy proud.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Anyone, provided that he can be amusing, has the right to talk to himself. (Charles Baudelaire)

I was thinking about my post for today, and had decided that using "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" was just a little too something (trite, meme-ish, cutesy) to continue to do on Fridays. But guess what I discovered on Kristy's blog* - a Good, Bad, and Ugly post! So if it's good enough for Kristy, it's still good enough for me.

*I think I've mentioned before. It's one of the blogs that I read faithfully. She's really very good -- her writing style is much better than mine, and a lot more interesting. If you haven't found this out for yourself, be sure to go take a look.

The Good

  • I finished reading Atonement today. Although I didn't read this as fast as I usually read a book, it wasn't the fault of the book. I just haven't been reading much at all lately, because my glasses are really beginning to annoy me. Atonement was really very good. There are layers of language and meaning that just beg to be rolled around on your tongue and in your mind. The imagery is beautiful, and brings to mind Written Pictures. I had gone to see the movie 'Atonement' when my daughter was visiting, and I recommend both the movie and the book.

  • It's Girl Scout cookie time and one of the ladies I work with is Cookie Mom for her daughter's troop. So I was able to indulge in several boxes of Thin Mints, Shortbreads, Peanut Butter Patties, and Caramel deLites totally guilt-free since it's for such a good cause. (I wasn't the only one who indulged. She managed to sell a total of three cases of cookies just at work today, and was made to promise to bring more in on Monday!)

  • Today has been a gourmand's heaven. In addition to the cookies, I had some wonderful garlic Alfredo shrimp with penne pasta for lunch. The niece of one of our instructors is opening a restaurant, and she practices on our staff. I think all of us kept eating long after we were full, just because it was so good! Then this afternoon I finally opened the box of Cello cherries that I've been hoarding.

The Bad

  • I had a call from my daughter today. There's a problem with her financial aid and student loan again. It seems like every semester we go through this. I wish I could win the lottery so that I could afford to just pay her tuition and not bother with this mess all the time. Instead, she had to make several calls and I had to redo some last minute paperwork, and now we just have to cross our fingers and hope they let her go to class in the morning.

  • Somehow this morning I showed up at work without my laptop. As I was getting ready and traveling to work, I kept thinking how nice it was to not have so much to carry around today. It never occurred to me to wonder why. I got in to work a little early, settled my purse and knitting in my desk, and went to put on the tea kettle. I was thinking that I'd have just enough time to set up the computer while the tea brewed when it dawned on me what I had done. Of course I had to rush back home to get it, so I was officially late to work.

The Ugly

  • I had a temper tantrum today. A couple of them, actually. All aimed at my younger children. They both spent the day at their friends' houses, and neither of them managed to remember to call me when they were supposed to. Nor did they answer any of my calls to them. Which means that I've been paying a huge sum of money each month to the phone company so that everyone has cell phones available to ignore me with. In my worry and frustration, I think I may have been a little irrational. (They probably aren't really going to stay grounded and phoneless until they're 89 years old.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time.

(Rebecca West)

My Grandmother
(photo was taken while she was in her 50's,
when she first
learned to scuba dive
and is used today in honor of Ryan - he knows why.

Yesterday in my post I mentioned my grandmother's friend, Mrs. Holland. I didn't say much more about her, thinking at the time that the name alone would say it all. But although Mrs. Holland was a fixture in my life growing up, she's probably not as well known to the world in general.

My grandmother and Mrs. Holland met when my mother was just a girl, at a school function. (I don't know this for a fact, but it's what I remember being told by my grandmother.) They were the only two mothers in the PTA that didn't think their entire life should be centered around husband and children. In fact, they dared to believe that they were people in their own right. So their friendship grew as they met to discuss books and politics, or to do things together that they enjoyed, without children or spouses.

Their friendship continued through the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. And although they continued to support each other as strong women (and strong-minded women), their friendship continued to grow to encompass their families as well.

I'd like to have a friendship like that. In truth, I do have some pretty wonderful friends. Ronnie springs to mind -- she and I have been friends since first grade. We don't call each other often enough, and our lives tend to join at sporadic intervals. But she springs to my mind at oddball moments, and I know that given a chance we would still be giggling over situations that if I were alone would make me cry.

And there are others who could easily become my Mrs. Holland, if we only had the time to discuss books and politics, and to do things together that we enjoy without children or spouses. So if anyone would like to get together soon, just call me Ms. H!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience. (Stanislaw J. Lec)

Random Notes:

Today was a "late start" day for the high schools because of mid-term exams. So I had PJ with me at work, with the intention of running him down the road to the train station at 9:45 to catch the later train. We had barely gotten to the office when Becky called in a panic; the bird had escaped again and she was afraid to pick it up. PJ and I had to go back to the house to try to save the bird. On the way we stopped at a nearby pet store for a new "escape-proof" cage. (Note to self: keep emergency knitting in the van just in case you have to wait in a parking lot for 15 minutes for a store to open...) We managed to corner the bird, transfer cages, and still get PJ to the train on time.

We had a volunteer come in to the program today, and I really enjoyed talking with her. She's a former teacher who recently became a widow. She sat in the back office working on a bulk mailing project, and we were able to chat a bit. She reminded me a lot of Mrs. Holland, my grandmother's friend of many years.

I've finally figured out how to operate the MP3 player that came with my laptop two years ago, and I spent the afternoon listening to Socks in the City podcasts. I'm not sure if this is just an enabler to my yarn addiction, or an addiction in itself. Either way, I'm off to listen to the next episode.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.

(Douglas Adams)

It was cold today. The heater actually came on in my van. (The van has this really great feature, where you can set the temperature and it automatically turns on the air conditioning or the heater to keep the interior at the temperature you select.) I even had to wear a jacket to work!

(I don't think I could survive a winter up north anymore.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Anyone who has ever 'gotten it' by following some so-called method, has gotten it in spite of the method, not because of it. (Lee Lozowick)

Some days, you just need chocolate. Some days, a drink might be better suited. After talking with my daughter, extreme measures were called for. (Apparently my video was not as helpful as I had hoped.)

And to think that this was originally going to be a post about our birds...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you learned only yesterday. (John Burns)

I finished my Cable Ready Bag today. I can't get over how quickly it knit up. It's because of the big needles and thick yarn. When I was done, I went to work on my socks and the dpns felt so fragile!

The bag is nicer than I thought it would be. I had thought that I would need to line it before I could use it, but it seems to be fine with my things loaded into it. The only problem is that the opening is so small because of the handles. I think a larger hoop (maybe the 8" I had originally wanted) would have been better after all. But it's very cute, and I'm going to enjoy showing it off at work tomorrow.

I made a little video for my daughter to show her how to attach the handles. It's very amateur; my son and I did the best we could with my Nikon Coolpix's video setting. Actually, the microphone was better than I thought -- the thumping noise you hear throughout is the drying running downstairs.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary. (Mary Kurtz)

I went to bed last night with my day all planned out. I was going to get up early and start the laundry. I would clear up the pile of paperwork in my bedroom, and write my overdue thank you notes. Then I could plan out the month's menu and go grocery shopping. If there was still time, I'd take my knitting to the park until it was time to pick up my daughter. This was a do-able plan. (I was absolutely convinced of that last night.)

The plan fell apart at the very start, when I didn't get up until late this morning. I compounded the problem by jumping online before getting dressed. Before I knew it, I was surfing the net. In an effort to be productive (go ahead and laugh), I updated my entire stash into Ravelry. Then I entered all my knitting needles by size and type. (I have a lot more needles that I thought I did!) Since by then my well-intentioned plan was shredded into millions of pieces of self-indulgent confetti, I just spent the rest of the day watching videos and knitting.

On the bright side, I'm almost finished with my Cable Ready Bag.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I know of no more disagreeable situation than to be left feeling generally angry without anybody in particular to be angry at. (Frank M. Colby]

The Good
  • We finally have internet installed at work! It's taken three years, but my boss has finally agreed that maybe computers could be useful. (Now I'm going to start working toward a website...)
  • One of my co-workers gave me some liquor-filled chocolates...these are really good!
  • Grey's Anatomy was re-broadcast today, so I had my second chance to see the final episode of this season. (Okay, I probably could have just watched it online like I do most of the time, but it was still good to see it on TV.)
The Bad
  • I woke up this morning feeling hung-over from the cold medicine, and it took most of the day to feel better. So apparently I can either go around being miserable because of the sinus-ickies, or I can feel horrible because of the medicine.
  • It's amazing how angry I've become over the situation with JS. Whenever I think about the situation and how I tried to do the right thing without hurting anyone and yet I'm the only one who got hurt, I want to become very vindictive and mean.
The Ugly
  • The laundry! (How did it manage to pile up so high?)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby!

You know, it wasn't all that long ago that you were carrying your baby doll as you followed me around the house. Now you grab your electronics (Ipod and cell phone) as you rush out to meet your friends somewhere.

I love you, kiddo. Then, now, and always.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. (SIr Winston Churchill)

Today's quote is in honor of
my new "Bartlett's Quotations."
Thank you, Cari!

My daughter returned to New York today. It was so hard to let her go. We've had such a nice visit. She's had a chance to mature out of that Obnoxious Teenager Syndrome, and I really enjoyed the young woman she's become. (Now I just have to make it through two more OTS children!)

I am so tired of being sick. I've had a cold/flu/sinus-ickies thing going on for over three weeks. Every time I think I've gotten over it, some new symptom comes along. Of course, it probably doesn't help that I run around all day long, and stay up late at night. But at least I'm drinking lots of tea and taking extra vitamin C. And now "Doctor Becky" has started to make sure that I take the cold medicine regularly. I really do need to get better soon, because my friends and family are starting to get tired of being sympathetic. (And what's the use of being ill if nobody tries to baby you?)

On the knitting side of life, I learned something new today. When doing a YO from a knit to a purl, the yarn is not orientated properly, so you need to reverse it before knitting into it on the next row. For knitters, this is probably obvious. Now that I know it, I just want to hit my head and say "duh!" However, I'm not frogging the one and a half socks I had finished before figuring this out.

Speaking of knitting, I found out that there is Competitive Sock Knitting. The league opens in May, so I need to start getting in shape...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm kind of jealous of the life I'm supposedly leading. (Zach Braff)

I'm so happy. After trying for only two and a half years (since my eldest left for college), I finally got the three children to go have their portraits taken together. It was touch and go as to whether or not we'd make it today, since the entire ride over my son was fussing:

"Why do we need some stranger to take our picture?"
"It was stupid to spend money on photos mommy could take herself."
"Why can't the girls just go?"
"We could just wait for the summer, instead of rushing into this today." (This was actually my favorite line, considering how long I'd been fussing to do this.)

But everyone cooperated wonderfully once we arrived, and I bought a much larger package than I had planned. (I had to -- all the pictures were beautiful!)

I've also had a lot of fun working on the Cable Ready Bag. I can't get over how big the needles are, and how fast this is knitting up. (Remember, I'm used to tiny dpns with my socks...) Cari and I are racing, trying to see who will get more done. I really wish she didn't have to leave tomorrow. It's been so nice having her home.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Do what is right because it is right; and leave it alone. (Chiune Sugihara)

Cari and I had another wonderful day together. I love having my daughter home! This morning we went to Mounts Botanical Garden.

This afternoon, while Cari and Becky spent time at the beach, I had a chance to KIP.* I thought I'd start a tradition of "traveling socks" ala the Yarn Harlot, so here's my first photo for 2008 KIPs:

*Knit In Public

Sunday, January 06, 2008

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it. (Roald Dahl)

It's been another long, but fun, day. My mom, Cari and I started by going to the beach to watch the sunrise. Then (with just a short nap after breakfast) we went on to visit the mall for a little shopping, some knitting time, and a movie. (If you haven't seen/read Atonement, you need to!)

Tomorrow the public schools open again, so it will be just Cari and I for a day together...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Madness takes its toll. (Rocky Horror Picture Show)

Woke, Michael's, yarns, rushed, Panera's, family, goofiness, gifts, hugs, hair, mall, shopped, late, ate, knit, Astaire, talked, bed!

*the condensed version of the day -- it's too late to do anything else

Friday, January 04, 2008

Make up your mind to act decidedly and take the consequences. No good is ever done in this world by hesitation. (Thomas H. Huxley)

Millie, dressed up in her snowman costume
in honor of the cold front that's hit Florida this week.
(Thankfully, it's starting to warm up today.)

The Good
  • My oldest is on an airplane right now, heading down to visit with me. I can't wait to see her!
  • My youngest cleaned the entire house for me, without even being asked!
  • I'm finally feeling better. I think the sinus-ickies are finally going away.

The Bad
  • I tried to do the right thing, and was punished as a result of it.
  • My missing paycheck is still missing. (Maybe it will turn up tomorrow?)

The Ugly
  • My bedroom is so bad, even my youngest in her cleaning spree didn't manage to get it straighted out. I guess I'm going to have to find some time to sort through all the papers myself.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand. (Lewis Thomas)

It was about 8 o'clock when I decided to jump online to brag about my latest knitting project. I decided that tonight I would get to bed early, since I'm still worn out from the sinus-ickies. That's all I wanted to do, just post a quick picture. Okay, and also to update my bank account to make sure that I had enough money before I mailed out the bills tomorrow. And since I did, to go ahead and order that pattern I want with my Christmas money. Which of course wasn't in stock, so I had to hunt around to see if anyone else had it. Nobody did, although I found several yarns I wouldn't mind ordering. Only I was very good and resisted temptation (only because my daughter, who has become as knitting-obsessed as I am, is coming home tomorrow and we're planning on hitting the local yarn store while she's here). And speaking of my daughter, she happened to be online, so I started chatting with her. And she got me side-tracked (see, you knew it was going to be all your fault, darling!), and I almost forgot to post. But then I had to find the perfect quote to use, and the randomizer kept coming up with better and better ideas. And while I was reading I remembered that I hadn't emailed my cousin yet. And since I was in the emails, I had better read them all. And answer what I could. And oh yeah, I was going to post something. But as long as I'm uploading the picture, I might as well stick it in Ravelry. And it wouldn't take but a minute to glance at the forums to see if anything interesting is going on. Wouldn't you know that tonight there are several active threads that I've needed to respond to.

And now it's already almost midnight, and I guess I'm not going to get to bed early. Or even make a semi-thoughtful post. Sorry.

But isn't the hat pretty?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

You're asking me to be rational. That is something I know I cannot do. Believe me, I wish I could just wish away my feelings, but I can't.

(Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars)

This blog is temporarily interrupted by a Star Wars marathon. Hopefully the Force will be with me tomorrow long enough to manage a real post...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I am only one, but I am one. I can not do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I can not do interfere with what I can do.

(Edward E. Hale)

Today is the first day of the new year, and I can't seem to come up with anything original, or even interesting, to write.

I'm not ready to look back at 2007 yet. My grandmother died, and I missed saying goodbye to her by only a short time. My friend died, and I never returned her phone call. I turned 45, and I wasn't ready for it. My daughter turned 20, and I was even less prepared for that.

It wasn't an entirely difficult year. We added Millie to our family. My youngest started high school. (Okay, this is in the "I'm trying to think of it as a good thing" category.) We did get the chance to have a really wonderful visit with my grandmother before her final illness. I learned to knit socks. The kids and I made it to Tampa, and I made it all the way to NYC to visit with my oldest. I actually completed NaBloPoMo.

Looking ahead to 2008, I have a couple of resolutions goals things I'd like to accomplish. I started making my list, and realized that I could go on and on. I guess the real point is that the start of this new year is a chance to look ahead at all the possibilities, and to grab the ones I want to make happen.