Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I got home safely from my trip Friday night. I'll post a picture of my yarn stash additions from the week soon. It wasn't *too* bad....

Since my last post, I started the quasi-stealth project that I was swatching last time. I also started another stealth knitting project that has a deadline. I'm a little over 10% done with that, but it's pretty quick knit, as long as I pay attention.

I think the cats were happy to have me home, if having them follow me around everywhere I went was any indication. Here's a crappy cell phone camera action shot of four of them "helping" me make the bed on Sunday.

That's everyone but Ripley, who was probably camped out on a kitchen chair at the time. The heat register is under the kitchen table, of course.

I decided to go ahead and give my Secret Santa kid the weird little hat I knitted, along with the scarf that matches. If he can't/won't wear them, hopefully someone he knows can/will.

The last two nights this week have involved these:

That's two of the four bags of homemade rolls I made for various Thanksgiving dinners today. YUM! We're off to my uncle's house for dinner. I'm looking forward to it, since I only see my extended family every other year these days.

And since it's Thanksgiving, I'll do the "traditional thing" and list a few of the things I'm thankful for. Of course there are the things nearly everyone has on their lists: Family, friends, and pets. Also, my health and the overall health of my friends, family and pets. There are a few members of that group who have some health issues, but they're still with us, so I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful I have a job, and can pay my bills. I know people who are worried about those things, so I'm wishing the best to them.

And a few frivolous things I'm thankful for: fabric, yarn and all the assorted goodies and gadgets that go along with them, good books and books on CD, which make my daily commute much more entertaining! Oh, and I'm very thankful for my bread machine (see photo above for reference)!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Be safe, and remember, Thanksgiving calories don't count!! ;-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turkeys and chickens and cats, oh my!

[Warning, more really crappy cell phone pix today.]
It's been a fun couple of days here in Beantown. The class we're taking is okay. It's not anything we'll use on a regular basis at work, but it'll be good to have the background knowledge. And despite our instructor's dismay at nearly half of the class (3/7) being system administrators, K. and I have been the first to finish our labs nearly every time. We also require a whole lot less assistance than the "DBA" in front of us, who we really want to throw something at most of the time.

On the plus side, we got to see these guys and a few more of their friends this morning on our way into class:

We told them to run for their lives. They must have understood, because they were long gone by lunch time.

But that's not the fun part. A couple of my college friends moved out here right after we graduated, and I don't get to see them very often. Last night we went to their house for dinner, yarn shopping and knit night. Dinner was yummy, we had an adventure winding a hank of sock yarn at the yarn shop, and got very little knitting at knit night. :) But the company was excellent, so we went out there again tonight.

My friends raise chickens and their son sells the eggs, which are really good. It's a shame we're flying home, or I'd ask for some to take home. Here are two of the 50 or so they have at the moment:

There are also two resident cats. I'm sure you all know how much I like cats. :)

Butters enjoys blending in with the furniture, when he isn't eating hand-knit wool socks. Wolfgang spends his time climbing trees and into the laps of those who are allergic to him. Butters is polydactyl, but even without that, he has the biggest feet I've ever seen on a house cat. Wolfgang has the softest, silkiest fur I've ever felt. We were hoping to bring one of them back with us, but couldn't sneak them out. Well, I was hoping - K., probably not so much.

I do have some fiber content today. First, the finished hat:

It's looks a big misshapen in the picture, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be too small for my Secret Santa kid. I ran out of yarn and had to stop, though. Maybe he'll have a small head, or a younger sibling/cousin/friend who can use it.

Next up, the projects I have on needles at the moment:

From the top: The sock I cast on (2 or 3 times) tonight; the swatch/pocket of the quasi-stealth project I started the other night; and the first couple of rows of my felted clogs. I've been assured that if I follow the pattern, this will eventually become something that resembles the sole. Time will tell.....

And finally, as if two tasty home-cooked dinners wasn't enough, S. made shopping bags for each of us. Here is mine:

I love it! Thanks so much!!

Tomorrow the three of us are going do dinner and go to a quilt shop. Oh yeah, we have to go to class first. Minor detail.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A new look and a new (temporary) location

Sorry, all crappy cell phone pictures this week. The digital camera was one too many electronic gadgets to keep track of. I've already missplaced all my chargers and forgot to bring my laptop power cable. Sigh.... Luckily, I'm travelling with a co-worker, K, who has the same laptop I do, so I can still juice up when needed.

Anyway, here's the new look, after a color, cut and addition of glasses:

My location for the week:

Any guesses? It's the site of a famous "Massacre" - which involved the death of a whopping 5 people. Not to say that killing 5 people is a good thing, but I hardly think that qualifies as a massacre. Maybe it did in 1770.

At any rate, we're in Boston. That's a picture of the Massachusetts State House on Boston Common. We got here Sunday afternoon, ate some good seafood for lunch, then walked part of the Freedom Trail. We thought this was the marker for the Boston Massacre, but it's not. I have no idea what it is, actually. Pretty, though. Except for the graffiti. People are so stupid...

We found the Granary Burying Ground where this guy is buried:

I'm not a beer drinker, but John likes his brew. ;-)

Also there were Benjamin Franklin's parents, but I instead of taking a picture of their tomb/maker, or the guy dressed in period clothing, I chose these shots:

Nearly every headstone in the place had a skull of some kind on it. A lot of them were hard to see. This one had the skull and crossbones, as did a few others. A lot of them had skulls with wings, which kind of resembled some really creepy bats. Along one side of the cemetery, is a building, but we didn't look to see what the building actually is [we would make horrible reporters, btw]. The ground level windows all had bars on them, with razor wire strung above them all the way across. WTF? Are they trying to keep people from breaking into or out of the cemetery?? I just don't get it.

In other news, our hotel room are really nice, and this was the cheaper place, I think.

This is almost as big as my last apartment. The room has a separate bedroom and a full kitchen. We could stock up on food and cook our own meals. But we have no intention of doing that. We're in Beantown, baby. We're eating seafood all week!

Except tomorrow night. Tomorrow night, we'll be enjoying the hospitality of some college friends of mine and their sons, who live in this fine commonwealth [how come KY, MA, PA and VA call themselves commonwealths, not states?]. I haven't seen them in a while, so I'm excited. They have two new cats this year, one who climbs things (trees, mostly) and one with a wool fetish. Can't wait to meet some furballs who are at least as weird as mine. :) And as a bonus, there's a yarn shop nearby, and tomorrow is knit night at the library. K and I are going to learn to knit socks!

I'll have some fiber-y pictures later in the week. I finished the stealth knitting project, but haven't delivered it, so no picture. I finished a quasi-stealth quilt top on Saturday. I have a picture of it, but not with me. I started and am about half done with a hat for my Secret Santa kid. I'll take a picture of that when I'm done with it.

Now, I'm off to get ready for class. Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


So far this weekend, I've embroidered a couple of pillowcases for the local children's home (no photos for privacy reasons). I put together these two stockings from kits for my quilt guild. They going to a local Native American Charity.

I also finished the commissioned quilt block for my co-worker. The one on the left is the actual completed block. The picture on the right is the original center, just folded up on top of the finished block.

I like the black background better, but the white one looks better than I thought it would. I hope the sister-in-law approves.

I also got some more knitting done on the latest stealth project, both at embroidery club Saturday morning and while I was doing the embroidery. I can't really go far from the machine while it's stitching. I don't know how the machines know when you leave the room but they do. As soon as you leave, BAM! the thread breaks or the needle breaks or some other nastiness happens. So I keep a chair by the embroidery machine and knit while it's running.

Next up, I have a quilt top and possibly a quilt label to finish by next weekend. A friend of mine and I are working on a joint project, and I have to get the top done before I see her. It's all strip-pieced, so it should go together really fast. It's going to be a really busy week, so I have to try to get at least part of it done tonight. I was hoping to get the stealth knitting project done by Tuesday night, but that's looking less likely all the time.

Oh, and the "kittens" got a clean bill of health yesterday, though neither of them was happy about getting stuffed in a box and hauled to the vet's office. They forgave us pretty quickly, though, which was good.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The B-word

Bifocals. Oh, sorry, they're "Progressive Lenses" now. Same difference, if you ask me. Either way, I spent $$$ Thursday night ordering a pair for myself, along with a pair prescription sunglasses (distance vision only).

The irony of it is that I had LASIK done several years ago. When I originally had the surgery done, my vision was pretty bad, and they told me upfront that I'd have to have both eyes zapped twiced, with 6-8 months between the procedures. They were fine for several years, then I noticed the right eye was getting blurry again. I had that one re-done, after which they told that A) I had lost some of my near vision and B) that eye was done with surgeries - not enough of my cornea left to zap. Now 3 years later, and just past 40, I've noticed some more blurriness in my distance vision, and a bit of trouble seeing close up. Yippee.

I'm not sorry I had the LASIK. I was extremely nearsighted back then. I had to squint to see the clock radio next to the bed, and if I dropped my glasses, I was pulling a Velma (i.e. patting around on my hands & knees while saying "Where are my glasses?? I can't see without my glasses!") to find them. Great visual, huh? Even worse was the time I dropped a contact lens and it landed on a plastic baggie.
Good times.

Anyway, my new specs will be in next week. I don't *have* to wear them all the time, but likely will, just because it's easier to do that than to remember where I left them. :) This getting older thing is *not* fun!

I've made some more progress on my stealth project, but can't show you that till it's done and given away. I got the new center done on the commissioned quilt block, but still have to do the embroidery. I got the names digitized for it, I just have to stitch them out. This weekend for sure. I want to get it done before I go to training.

In other news, a couple of someones get to go for a ride in the car today to see the nice lady doctor.

"We told you, we're not going!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!!

I am so glad it's FINALLY election day!! I'm so tired of hearing politicians telling me what the other guy is going to do TO me instead of what they themselves are going to do FOR me, I can't stand it.

I hope everyone exercised their right to vote. If you didn't vote, I don't want to hear you complaining about who's running the country, or your state, or city or whatever. Unless you're a convicted felon (and I don't think I know (m)any of those), you have the ability to make your voice heard. If you choose not to, you've forfeit your right to give your opinion on the state of the country, etc. You know who you are.....

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. :)

In crafty news, there really isn't any. I still haven't re-done the center of that commissioned quilt block. I did start a new stealth knitting project, but I can't show that yet. So instead of projects, I'll show you this:

That would be one of my socks, pilfered from the container in the basement under the laundry chute. I keep finding them in strange places around the house. On Saturday, I found one in the middle of the bed, and another one in the doorway between the living room and kitchen. This one was in the middle of the living room floor when I got home from work today. I don't know how they're getting there, but I worry about what will happen when I start knitting my own socks.

What? Fetching Mama's socks is perfectly normal behavior.