Friday, October 31, 2008

Sorry...this puppy is NOT for sale


halloween october 26 2008 001

halloween october 26 2008 014

Before I get the party started...

I know there are many people who have never lived in a big city...nor have they ever commuted to one for work...nor will they ever do either. And I'm totally wishing that I was in that bucket right about now.

But this morning I got to Penn Station and was walking to the subway when all of a sudden, echoing through the underground tunnels, I heard a dog barking incessantly! Of course I knew it was a Police dog - most likely a German Shepard. But usually they are just laying about - or standing "at the ready". NOT barking. Barking signals alarm. People stop and look. You stop in your tracks and wonder if you should panic, run, proceed?

The dog stopped barking. I proceeded.

I walked up the stairs to the E-train and what did I see. Not one. Not two. But four or five armed cops standing with their guns (of the rifle/machine gun variety) held up across their bodies - not aiming at anything, just holding them across, resting on their shoulders in a "ready" position. Usually, whenever I see the the "big guns", they are strapped around their bodies, hanging on their backs.

Needless to say...this all freaked me out. It sucks to even have to deal with something like that. I mean, my sister is in the Army and has had to hold those large rifles, and she sees them every day when she goes on base. But I'm not in the Army. So seeing those "normal" things for her, really causes me stress...and I'm a knitter...I don't like stress! :o) for my second, more cheerful, post for the's HALLOWEEN...HOORAY!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tomorrow is Halloween! Saturday is ME time!!

I'm more excited than I'm letting on...I love Halloween!!! It's just the best! I used to make my costumes all the time so I think it reminds me of how crafty I can be outside of knitting.

Fortunately, I haven't had to make costumes for Casey yet - and Matthew will probably outgrow dressing up for a few years - Tweens can be SO difficult!

So I'll be home early for the town parade and enjoy the evening with trick or treaters and friends stopping by! Can't wait.

Then Saturday morning - bright and early - I'm off to Virginia to meet up with Alyssa and Jessica for the Sweater Workshop - I'm pretty excited about that too! Ken helped me ball a bunch of yarn and I started PACKING...YARN...WEIRD!!! Thanks to Jill who sent some goodies along to share good cheer at the workshop as well!

Halloween costumes will be posted tomorrow - so cute...I'm making you check back for them!

Let the count down begin...1 hour and 40 minutes...


I keep reaching for cardigans to wear to work now that the weather is getting colder.

Unfortunaltey, I don't have crew neck t's/sweaters/shells for underneath.

And maybe I'm being a little odd by thinking that I shouldn't wear a v-neck under a crew neck cardigan but I just can't pull myself to do it.

So I need more crew necks.

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


On Monday a woman I work with mentioned in passing that a friend of hers has cancer (it started in one of her kidneys over the summer and is now in her lungs) and was still commuting to the city from NJ every day. My co-worker is the sweetest woman and couldn't stand to see her friend so frail and struggling to get to work - so she held her arm and walked her to her office before coming to work.

Last night I decided to make her friend a chemo-cap - it's the least I could do. Today I bribed the girls at work to let me take a couple 10 minute breaks during the day so I could finish the ribbing.

When I went to drop it off the cap, my co-worker was so taken aback by the gesture. However, when I asked about her friend she said she was in the hospital and she might not see her again. I was SO sad I can not even tell you. The woman's name is Betsey...please say a prayer for her.

My Uncle Fred died of lung cancer 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Casey. It's just a horrible disease and it breaks my heart to remember how young he was (only 63 or so).

Cancer makes me very angry. Cancer makes me very sad.

Life is short. When you can, take time to tell anyone you care about (friends, family, otherwise) how much they mean to you. Sometimes the simplest gesture of kindness makes all the difference in the world.

Appreciate someone you know today!

Another crazy day/month

Honestly, I can not wait for October to be over and done with.

I've been SO insanely crazy lately - especially this week - with STUFF.

Over the past month I've...
  • Been hit with my second allergy-related illness (a sinus infection). Finally on the mend
  • Been to Martha's Vineyard for a get-away - but which didn't allow much time for me to "get away" so to speak (don't get me wrong - it was one of our best trips there in years!)
  • Been inundated with Soccer team photos that need to be INDIVIDUALLY packaged and labeled for each Division team (approx 150 kids) and each Clinic child (approx 75 kids). Yes, you heard correctly - INDIVIDUALLY PACKAGED! Because coaches can't be bothered remembering which players actually got a photo at their party - and which children were missing. I have to put each photo in a zip-lock bag (to protect from sticky party fingers), attach a name tag, then group each one in another plastic bag for distribution. It's all very time consumming - probably about 8 hours for the whole process (maybe more - I don't bother clocking myself anymore).
  • Finished S.J.'s sweater - which seemed to go on forever because I've...
  • Been working on the fundraiser Clapotis (finished completely) and Sweater (90% complete as of last night)
  • Been to Rhinebeck - which was awesome, but again, took time...hey, you've gotta just let the laundry pile up sometimes and LIVE a little, right?
  • Been trying to get the kids ready for Halloween. Casey was the easy one (again) because I said "You're being a doggy, it will be so much fun!" and she said "Ok Mommy. Ruff, ruff". Matthew...not so easy. The first struggle was getting him to get his mom to take him costume shopping. Once that happened the costume came home, the sword was put away for safe keeping (I REALLY dislike any "toys" that are weapons!!!) and that was that. Until last Sunday when I wanted to take pictures of the kids in their costumes. Not only was Matthew's costume filty (from wearing it at his mom's house) but the white outfit was COMPLETELY see-through! So Monday night we trekked out to Party City to see what might be left at the store to either HELP fix the current costume...or to get him another, more suitable one. Two hours later we arrived home empty handed and started rummaging through all of our closets, drawers, etc. We found his pair of karate pants from the trial sessions he went to over the summer. Those fit underneath the Ninja pants satisfactorally. I found a plain white sweater that fits under the hooded Ninja top. Whew. Then I found my black "rope" belt from my Professor Macgonnagle (sp?) costume from 2004. I'll cut that up to make some fancy strappy wrists wraps (that were shown in the original picture of his costume but that his mother never bothered to make sure were in the package before bringing it home). Well, our ninja may turn out alright after all. Except...
  • Been dealing with Matthew lying to us about a friends YouTube account...only to find out last night that there's a video on the kids page that Matthew is in! AND they made the video a week ago when Ken let Matt go over to rollerblade. AND Matt has mentioned this kids "funny" YouTube videos NON-STOP for the past week and NEVER mentioned that he was in a video. But apparently his mom knew about it. URGH! There are SO many things wrong with this situation that I can't even continue - URGH URGH URGH. Kids today! For this exact reason, Matthew does NOT use (well, hardly ever uses) our home computer.

So, as you can see, I'll be happy to get through this weekend and into November where I hardly have a single thing that I HAVE TO do - ahhhhh - deep breaths!

I hope to post some Halloween photos on Friday (if I make it to Friday - ha ha ha).

I've had so many other blogging ideas lately - I just haven't found the time to post. I'll just keep an rolling list for "someday".

Friday, October 24, 2008

What you learn from your kids

My 3 year old daughter has taught me that while it's frustrating to get kicked in the head by tiny feet at 2 o'clock in the morning, it's still great when they snuggle in with you because of a bad dream.

My 11 year old step-son has taught me that it's better to go on a date with your Mom to see High School Musical 3 on a Friday night, instead of attending a teen-dance and make a fool of yourself.

Kids are great!

matt casey heads

Casey and Ken with the fish he caught on Martha's

ken casey fish

Matthew trying to manage Papa's fish (which weighs more than Casey!)

matt with papas fish

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sock Knit Along

Anyone interested in a sock-along? The Ravelry group "Bad Girl Knits" is starting one on November 1st. We're polling our group as well as any friends that would like to join to see which pattern we use.

For some, this will be their first toe-up socks (if one of those patterns is selected) so if you're new to toe-ups, come along for the ride!

Poll note
There are two tags for the patters: TU is a Toe-Up pattern; CD is a Cuff Down.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good deed...

My husband and I are pretty quiet about the charitable things we do.

However, I have to tell you about the time we took on Saturday to try and help our local police catch a stray dog. We were on a drive back from someplace (I can't even remember what we were doing) and we were coming into town and saw a policeman standing in the raod with a skitish looking dog running back and forth across the street. We pulled up beside him and asked if he wanted some "treats" (they were actually oyster crackers we found in the glove-box, but who's keeping score). He gladly took some and the dog gladly ate them if he threw them to her out of arms reach. We wished him luck and continued another 50 yards down the road. We pulled over and stopped. He needed "back-up".

Ken took the bag of crackers and I stayed in the car with Casey. After a few minutes, Ken was sitting on the curb tossing snacks to the dog and a few more after that he had her eating out of his hand. The officer was able to bring his animal "leash" out of the patrolcar and together he and ken tried to lure this poor girl to safety.

After 10 - 15 minutes they were *thisclose* to having her...but she was quick and took off up the road a little ways. I remembered we had a bag of beef jerky in the car and brought it out for them...and it worked for a little while longer until they *almost* had her again. This time she ran into the nearby woods and we could barely see her.

The poor thing looked like such a nice dog, and seemed like she might have been on the run for a few days (or longer...I can't even bare the thought!). She didn't have a collar on - I hope it's because she managed to get it off and not because she had irresponsible owners. I'm going to call the police to see if they ever got her...maybe Ken and I will discuss (finally) taking on a second dog if she ends up unclaimed at a shelter. Well, I guess we would have to run that by Peanut beforehand too.

We did our best...hopefully her family is out there looking for her right now and there will be a happy ending to our story.


Alyssa had been telling me how awesome Rhinebeck's Sheep and Wool Festival was since last year. Every day last week all I heard from her was: birthday, Rhinebeck, birthday, Rhinebeck, birthday, Rhinbeck!

So Ken, Casey and I went to Rhinebeck yesterday...and it was AWESOME!

We knew if we were going to go, it would be on Sunday. But then Sunday morning came and it was CHILLY WILLY at home and didn't look on getting much warmer. So we waited and putzed around the house and had coffee and waffles. And then I asked Casey if she wanted to go see some sheep - and then it's all we heard about. "Daddy, come see sheep with me?" "Mommy, we're going to a farm!" Well, how could we resist that sweet innocent child's charm (we couldn't!). So we quickly got dressed, grabbed warm jackets and hats...even brought Peanut along for the ride...and hopped in the car to Rhinebeck.

The drive was spectacular...the changing colors of the trees and driving over the Kingston/Rhinecliff Bridge was breathtaking. And it only took about 1.5 hours to get there!

The fairgrounds were packed! Families, Knitters, Vendors, sheep, sheep and more sheep! I was sucked in and immediately overwhelmed! And it was fabulous!

Even Ken and Casey were amazed...granted, it wasn't exactly the farm she expected...but it was a great mix of something for everyone: sheep one row, yarn for mom the next! And I think I controlled myself pretty well - I purchased (with a project in mind!) 2 skeins of Blue Moon Luscious Single Silk (wait until I can post's VERY luscious indeed!) and 1 skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight in Puck's Mischief (the colorway is SO fitting for the name). I also bought a glass stickpin from Moving Mud - it's a burgundy color with a heart on top and about 6" long. I've been wanting a stickpin for a while and I was happy to buy it from a local vendor.

It was also nice to see and FEEL different yarns from around the country to get an idea of what's out there. There were so many beautiful patterns...I just took mental notes (it was cheaper that way).

Well, Rhinebeck is definitely on OUR list again for next year...and we'll be getting a much earlier start on the day now that we know what to expect. Whoo hoo...can't wait!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Feeling better...and Knitting Along!

The meds I've been taking for the past 48 hours FINALLY feel like they're working - hooray! I was actually able to sleep through the night and woke up feeling like my head weighed 100 lbs less than it did yesterday. Progress!

And I have the strength to knit more than a couple rows at a time again - even better! I started the back piece of the Anise for the MPHSA fundraiser on Monday night (while holed up in my bed with Matthew watching "Who Bob What Pants" - yeah, the things you agree to when you're sick!!!) and finished it this morning on the train. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my US13s on the train with me to start the fronts.

Here's a shot of the back - I am totally digging the color!

anise october 15 2008

I suppose, if I'm feeling so inclined to concentrate on the way home, I could knit more of Sondra's sweater - but my brain has to be in the right place for following line by line (and figuring out where I left off). It's really a quick sweater to knit - I don't know why I'm procrastinating so much. Ah...I better light a fire under my butt and get it done once and for all - does anyone have a match?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Finished Project...Another Allergy Illness

Last Wednesday night we all piled in the car and headed up to Woods Hole, MA to catch the first ferry to Martha's Vineyard on Thursday morning. The drive was about 5 hours and we ended up staying at the Knightsbridge Inn on the Cape side of the Bourne Bridge - we do NOT recommend it. It was shelter for the night, and a horizontal place to lay our heads for 6 hours or so...other than than, ewww. Peanut was the lucky one who got to sleep in her crate in the car!!

We had a wonderful time on MV with Ken's parents - the boys (and sometimes Nana) went fishing two days and each day meant heading down to Edgartown that night for weigh-in. Papa caught a 34.5 lb Stiped Bass on Friday and boy was it a nice looking fish. When he pulled it out of the cooler everyone in the hut ooohed and ahhhed the fish. It was like being related to a celebrity! Matthew caught two bonito on Saturday and the larger one got him second place in the Junior's category. Not bad for his first derby.

Between fishing trips we were able to get to most of our favorite island places: Humpheries (for Turkey Gobblers, of course); The Black Dog, Cronig's, Edgartown Pizza, O.B., etc. By the time I had time to do some shopping it was Sunday morning and most places (yarn shop and toy store) were closed. Oh well.

Here's a photo of my Cathode, which I finished on the ferry ride back to the mainland on Sunday afternoon (I actually need to sew the clasp in, or figure out what to do with the neck line)...

cathode october 12 2008b

And here are some pictures of Casey with her head out the sunroof when we were waiting for the ferry to dock...

casey october 12 2008a

casey october 12 2008c

The worst part of the trip was dealing with my allergies while we were on the island. Whenever we go there the pollens/trees aggravate me to no would think I would learn my lesson by now. So yesterday morning I got up and went straight to the doctor - and...ta da...I have a sinus infection! I'm on amoxicillian, Allegra-D, Mucinex DM and Tylenol (for the headache). I felt like my head was going to fall off yesterday. Today is a little better. I dragged myself to the office to deal with what's important - and I'll head home when I can't do any more. Allergies are the pits!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cathode a la mode

Yesterday morning I finished my first ball of coordinating color (CC) on my Cathode. It got me about an inch into the body section...yes, just an inch. I sat there, brows furrowed, wondering if I would need to buy more yarn...and how could my calculations on yardage have been SO off! Not to mention...why on earth were there SO many stitches...400 to be exact. Well I dug out the pattern and sure enough I (don't fall off your seat) had mis-interpreted the transition row. I read it as: k1f&b, k1f, k1b, k1f in the next stitch (translation: make 5 stitches in each original stitch). So my math would have been correct - 80 original times 5 new = 400. However, the way you're supposed to read the pattern is: k1f&b (in one stitch), (move to next stitch and) k1F, k1b, k1f (translation: make 5 stitches for every 2 original stitches)...and the math works out as intended = 200 sts.

Here's a shot of the WRONG stitch count...

cathode wrong CC count

On the train ride home yesterday afternoon I frogged an ENTIRE ball of yarn, hand wound it into a center pull ball and started again. Can I just say how much faster it seems to be going now (yeah, duh Karen)...

cathode right CC count

My goals for the upcoming holiday weekend are:
1. Finish Cathode
2. Work on Sondra's sweater
3. Start Anise for HSA Auction

Benefit of getting up before the dawn even has a chance to open it's eyes

So some of you may know that I now get up at 5:15am to catch the 6:07am train to work. And those that REALLY know me realize how much I love getting up early (not!). So when I'm walking around my dark house with a hand out like a blind person hoping that I don't bump into anything, or miss a step on my way downstairs, or fall on my head because one of the kids left a stray toy in my path, you can imagine how much more I'm REALLY loving the early morning routine.

The benefit (yes there are some) is that I get to see amazing things - like walking out onto our back porch this morning and seeing that the winter stars were coming into view. I took a moment to look up in awe and saw my old friend from childhood - Orion. It was really cool.

And later, as the train was chugging through some less fortunate neighborhoods, I saw this:

sunrise on train

Monday, October 06, 2008

If you're happy and you know it Clap-o-tis!

The only knitting I could manage this weekend...between the yard sale and being exhausted and dealing with Casey's teeth and night terrors (poor girl)...was to sew in ends on the Clapotis and John's baby blanket.

I couldn't be happier with how the Clapotis turned out. For being stash yarn that I had left over from the Bobble Sweater, it worked out great...and the colors are perfect together. I'm almost sad that I'm not keeping it for myself!

Check it out for yourself...

clapotis for hsa 012

clapotis for hsa 006

clapotis for hsa 003

And here's the baby blanket - which I also ended up liking (to some extent)...

johns baby blanket september 2008 003

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sucker for a contest :o)

Yes, Alyssa, I'm a sucker for your contest - even though I'm hoping to get to Rhinebeck too, and just celebrated a birthday of my own...29th birthday, of course!

For all those that read this blog...please visit Alyssa's for a chance to win a special prize...

And don't forget to visit her new shop on Etsy - she's got some awesome colorways!

P.S. LIBRAS RULE! Karen, Karen, Alyssa, Shelley, Sandy, Allys, Rebecca, Heidi, Dwight and so on and so forth...