Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Next project...

Since the Star Wars pillowcases I made for Will turned out so well last time, I decided to make another set. I found this great Star Wars fabric in Rag Shop that is crying out for more pillowcases! On one side, we have Yoda...
...and the other side, Lord Vader.

Labor of love... and frustration

Here is the sweater-in-progress... stuff looks so bleah when it's not blocked. Eventually, I'll get the right front done and then you'll just have to read as I piss and moan about the i-cord.


How much fun is this? If you look closely, you can see a thin vein of blue/pink running through the yarn. It's a fuzzy novelty yarn (I have to look up the label, I think it's Berroco) that has a Matrix-type ribbon yarn included in the skein. So much fun to work with. I did the scarf with a #10 needle in a k2, p2 pattern, which really allowed the ribbon yarn to shine through nicely.

Santa's Workshop...

Humming along over here. I was at Will's school all morning helping to decorate their lobby, which was fun. I left a little early, but I had to run some errands. They'll get me tomorrow. :-)

Here is the baby blanket in progress for my niece-to-be. Actually, I was commissioned by my mom to do this one; I'll have stuff of my own in the making. It's not easily noticeable from the picture, but half the blanket is being done in stockinette stitch, half in garter, with a garter stitch border. The yarn is Patons Be Mine, which is a nice, soft novelty yarn.

More pictures coming...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Tree's Up!

Going on four weeks into my extended vacation from 9-5, my apartment is getting cleaner (although not necessarily tidier) and I'm cooking and baking with a vengeance. Gotta say, not really missing the rat race.

Knitting up a storm - working on that #*@#& sweater still, and on a baby blanket for my niece-to-be. I'm using a sweet baby novelty yarn from Patons, Be Mine, that was a little tough going at first, but once I got needle size worked out, it's been fine. I'm using the "Big Bad Baby Blanket" pattern from Stitch & Bitch as my inspiration - I've used it in the past with fun results depending on the yarn I use. I even managed to get one fuzzy scarf down so far! Next step is reacquaint myself with that sewing machine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Mike surprised me with the new Madonna CD today - it is awesome! I'm sitting here blaring it as I type, which appears to be distressing my husband to no end. Each song is great, but I could do without her voiceover commentary on "Future Lovers" and okay, some of the lines on "I Love New York are hokey ("I don't like cities, but I like New York, other places make me feel like a dork" - WTF?). Say what they will about her, but she's managed to successfully adapt to changing music tastes.

Furiously logging books into I am completely and utterly addicted to this site. I feel like running out to buy more books so I can log them in.

Have to make cornbread tonight for Will's classroom Thanksgiving Day party tomorrow. I'll enlist his help, since he really enjoys cooking. I'll probaby boil up the potatoes for the potato salad tonight too, and make it tomorrow so it has enough time to chill for the recipe. I'm trying a Kraft Kitchen Beta Recipe Makeover of a potato salad (made with light ingredients now). If it works, maybe I'll bring that to Linda's holiday gala event. I'm wondering if I should make my cranberry walnut stuffing since Linda's making a stuffing - Lin, if you are reading this, let me know what you think? I'm also making a butternut squash & apples recipe (finally!) for Thanksgiving - again, if successful, maybe I'll tote that to the Sheridan extravaganza.

Knitting up a storm - finished the left front to the wrap sweater that I ripped out a week or so ago. Lots of fuzzy yarn in the basket for scarves. Still have to get that #(@#&@ yarn for Elizabeth's blanket; I have 17 squares waiting to be sewn together.

Have to try and work on Stacey's wedding CDs - I'll try and pull some pictures off Snapfish today after I finish my latest reader report.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


This is the coolest thing. Lauren turned me onto, where you can keep track of all your books. I have been trying to get this project started for years, and now it's a reality. I actually sniffled with joy (and allergies - lots of cleaning going on here) as I logged in the shelf I'm sitting across from. And the fact that I can have random books featured on the blog is awesome. This rocks, all around.

I'm in Will's school so much that if it were a tuition-based school, I'd be asking for a freebie. I think I need a break from being a good citizen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Holy cow...

Being home for two weeks, I find I have less free time than I did when I was working! I'm helping out at the school a lot and getting work around the house done finally.

Had a good interview with a direct marketing temp agency yesterday. Hopefully they'll have something for me. Liked the setup.

Last night of school for the semester tonight. I'm a little sad, I really enjoyed the class and being back in school. I'm scoping out classes for next semester; there are a few I really like but I want to wait and see what the whole money situation is before I register. A little nerve-wracking, but have to sit tight and see.

I'm drinking my 8 glasses of water a day - good God, I haven't run to the bathroom this much since I was pregnant - and feeling good about getting one more aspect of healthy behavior back on track. I did dive into the Halloween stash again yesterday; I am helpless to the siren song of Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Must... resist... candy...

All right, I need to ponder lunch, straighten up the kids' room, and head back to 139 - I promised to help out with student of the month pictures. :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I've survived...

...Will's sleepover. We had a great night, visiting with Will's friend's parents, having dinner and coming home. Will came home this morning, thrilled at having slept over a friend's house and no, he didn't miss me in the slightest. For some reason, I was relieved rather than crushed.

Went on a Halloween candy binge tonight. Granted, a binge now consists of about 4 pieces rather than the old half a garbage bag, but still... have to keep on track. I know it will get better; it's just one day. I did some yoga this morning, want to do some more tonight. I've been working out twice a day for the past two and a half days (I say half because I did work out once today). I've read that you have to do something for 30 days in a row for it to become a habit. So only 27 1/2 more to go... now if I could just journal for an entire day, I'd be on my way!

Back to the sweater. I ripped out the left front entirely; it is unbelievable how getting a few weeks' distance from something helps you read it correctly when you go back to it. So hopefully the third time's the charm and I can get this piece done in another week or so.

I have so much fuzzy yarn, I've got to start finding something to do with it.

But for now, I think I'm off to brew a cup of tea and have a biscotti.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Good God.

Halloween candy is just wrong. I've just snarfed a Baby Ruth (mini, thankfully) and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Will is having his very first non-family sleepover tonight. My baby is growing up. I find myself seeking out his baby pictures to try and remember when he was so small, to try and hold onto a time that's passed. It's so strange now, sometimes, to be working on a report for school with him or to tuck him into a bunk bed for his night's sleep. To have him be the one to read to me.

Every stage is so precious, I think in part because it goes so quickly. But the nice part is that some of it sticks. He loves to read Frog & Toad - especially "Shivers". The 2 1/2 year old who struck the floor in front of me with a broomstick and hollered, "Mommy - you shall not pass!" still watches the Lord of the Rings movies with me - he cheers on the Balrog. He likes the new Star Wars trilogy, I prefer the original Holy Trilogy, but we both agree that Darth Vader is awesome.

I'm enjoying every second with him, and now that I realize how quickly it goes, I'm taking full advantage of my time with Alex. He's already a Star Wars fan, courtesy of his brother and mother. Chewbacca and Yoda are his favorites; for a while, Darth Vader was apparently responsible for anything that went wrong in our household. He loves being read to - which is a good thing; his entire immediate and extended family is made up of rabid bookworms. His imagination is already a force to be reckoned with (he was the one who exclaimed, "Darth Vader broke my highchair!" out of nowhere one evening).

It all goes so fast. But I'm going to just enjoy the ride. And enjoy the Halloween candy that seems to come with the price of admission. :-)
Holidays Are A-Comin'!

So we're already finished with the second week of November - how in the world did that happen? Start your Christmas shopping yet? I did, but anyone who knows me knows that my loathing of crowds is legendary, so it was really an act of self-preservation, especially since the lion's share of my holiday shopping is for children under the age of 10.

Since we're extremely financially savvy right now (like the way that sounds, right?), any grown-up gifts will probably be home made. Make with the fuzzy scarves! You can get some fun eyelash yarn from Lion Brand for about $5 a skein; knit that with a strand of regular worsted wool (less than $2.50 for a good skein, and one skein makes the equivalent of two scarves) and you've got some fun Christmas gifts. Get yourself down to Pearl River or hit their site at and get some cute Chinese take-out boxes, and you've got some fun packaging to add to the mix.

Basically, for the parents this year, I'm doing framed holiday photos of the kids. I can get nice frames from Target or Marshall's for no more than $10 each. For someone more computer-savvy, burn CDs with either some great music (the new milennium's version of the 'mix tape') or put a slide show of photos on it. I'm still working on the ones I promised my fellow bridesmaids - and the bride - from Stacey's wedding (blush).

Wow, it's 10 a.m. already. I've only had one cup of coffee - need to put on some more water. I'm definitely sticking with the individual coffee bags after the unfortunate penicillin incident from yesterday. Coffee should never come out of the pot in clumps, I don't care how old it is. I wouldn't be surprised if Gevalia showed up at my door to take my coffee carafe back after that one.

Continuing to get the boys' room together, which is getting easier now that we've gotten the bunk beds up and some storage solutions firmly in place. I may even have my living room back by Christmas. Man, do we all own a lot of books. I think I need to explore getting some shelves up on the wall. When we lived in our first apartment together in Woodside, Mike created this whole shelving situation around the living room, we had this great runner of books around us all the time. May be fun if we can do it here.

Thanksgiving - my aunt wants us in Staten Island as usual. I think I'm getting tired of it. My mom wants to know what I'm doing. I don't know what I'm doing on a daily basis, I have to think ahead to Thanksgiving? I really liked when we hosted it at our place. It was a little cramped but nice having our family come here, and best of all, we didn't have to contend with parking.

Friday, November 11, 2005

First week home...

So this marks the end of my first week home. I've gotta say, I don't remember the last time I got this much housework done. I've managed to clean the bathroom, get the boys' bunk beds up and get most of their room back together, and clean my microwave. I also discovered that I apparently made a pot of coffee quite some time ago, and now it's a lovely strain of penicillin. There were actually gelled chunks on the bottom. Egad.

Still on program for WW, even if I did blow through all my flexpoints with three days left to go in my week. I'm journaling, which is step one for me; even if I go over points, it's not as bad as it'd be if I weren't journaling. I briefly fell under the spell of a white chocolate Reese's peanut butter cup today, but after that, I went and drank a full 4 cups of water.

Knitting - I'm so scattered, I've got to narrow myself to one project. I started a white cable knit scarf, but something was really funky with the middle cable's direction. So I ripped it out. I'm noticing that I've still left the left front of the wrap sweater lie; I've got to finish that. I need to finish a project that isn't a scarf!

There is an adorable baby bunny hat that I want to make for my friend Theresa's daughter. I have pink yarn but I have to do the damned gauge swatch - I really can't stand making them but it's kicking my arse not to do it. Especially since I just buy yarn when I fall in love with it, without necessarily choosing a project that fits the yarn. Bleah.

And then there's Elizabeth's blanket, just a few swatches short of being sewn together. Man, am I a procrastinator. Okay, we're taking the kids to get their haircuts tonight; I'll ask Mike to stop off at a Rag Shop to get another skein of yarn and get to work on that.

Man, I haven't hit Crafster in a while. Okay, okay, pictures of projects to come. Honest.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Knitty Girl Rambles

Time to get back on the knitting track again, too. I have half that wrap sweater done, and the way I've been food medicating, it'll fit a shoulder when it's finally done. I just hope I remember where I left off... Thank God it's sleeveless. Less pressure.

Lots of scarves this Christmas, I have lots of fun, fuzzy yarn. But basically since we've all agreed to just buy our kids Christmas gifts this year, I don't really have many Christmas presents to knit. So I'll just knit a whole buncha stuff for my own personal edification.

Which translates to: Lauren, Stacey, Nancy, Linda, Molly, Laurie - expect a shitload of fuzzy scarves... ;-)

So how exactly will I work my way back to physical and mental health? Hell if I knew the answer to that, I'd be making more money than Tony Robbins. I guess I'll have the time to think about it, though. I know I have to get back to doing things I enjoy, and knitting is one of them.

Just got the Vickie Howell (Knitty Gritty on DYI! Watch it now!) book, New Knits on the Block. Cute kids knits, I'll try my hand at some of those. There is a guitar pillow pattern I've got to try.

Ah, Duran Duran. Lord, I hope they follow up Astronaut with some more goodness. Just listening to "Nice" off the Astronaut CD now, what a fun song. I've been skipping any down songs tonight (but I did allow myself "The Show Must Go On" and "Who Wants to Live Forever" by Queen - it's Freddie Mercury, for heaven's sake), need something with a beat to keep me going.

I'm off to check GoFugYourself to see if any new tragically dressed celebrity pictures have surfaced. Maybe I'll post something else on Domestic Goddesses. Or maybe I'll just sit the hell down and knit.
Keep Yourself Alive...

So now I'm officially unemployed. I'm medicating with a bag of lime-flavored Tostitos, cherry-limeade, and listening to Queen on MusicMatch Jukebox. Tomorrow morning, I'll deal. Tonight, I'm just going to let myself be numb and scared and after all that, relieved.

I'm heading over to Domestic Goddesses to post some recipes, I've been remiss. Check it out - especially since I'll be finally kicking in with my healthy eating habits and posting some recipes. Guess eventually I'll get around to some holiday ideas too.

Post 'em if you got 'em!
Guiltless Blogging!

Chris decided to launch his blog, Guiltless Pleasures, exhorting us all to be free with our formerly dirty little secrets - my Judge Judy viewership is no longer in the closet! Check it out at, link is on the right.

One of these days, I'll get Mike to actually start a blog... wow, I almost made it through that sentence without snorting. Maybe I can at least get him to guest post here.

Finished off two reader reports last night. If you've never heard of Christopher Moore, go to a bookstore or library right now and familiarize yourself. I recommend "Lamb: The Gospel According to Bigg, Christ's Childhood Pal". He is hilarious. I just finished the reader report for his upcoming "A Dirty Job" which, if you're a fan of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett like I am, you will truly appreciate. It won't be out until April '06, so I don't want to divulge too much here. But it is a great book. So read his stuff now , so you won't look like a bandwagon jumper by April.

Then there was "Tom Brown Saves the World", which I read for my beloved ISO. As I said in my reader report, I'm begging my IQ not to hold it against me. Twenty-something slacker husgband is bored with his life, wishes he was a rock star. Martians use a snowboarding accident to insert him into a parallel reality where he ends up touring with a queer punk band. It only gets more bizarre from there. I get that the author was making a statement about selling out, about how we're such a materialistic society and controlled by advertising and the media, but this book was ALL over the place. My head hurt for about an hour afterward. There's so much better stuff out there!

Preparing for the 'big day' today - loaded my MP3 player up with lots of Duran Duran, Yaz, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics - basically, nothing after 1987 (except for the new Duran CD). Told Stephan, the Parents' Association Pres at PS 139 that I'll see him Monday... and Tuesday, and Wednesday... we laughed. I'm terrified but hopeful. Hopefully things will cook up and happen. Gotta make my own luck and I'm trying to just see all of this as leading somewhere good. Sometimes you have to get cut by a few thorns and run through a few thickets to get to the better place.

A friend of mine from PS 139 gave me two lottery tickets this morning. Sometimes, people don't suck nearly as much as you think. At least, the ones you get to know.

Stuck to program nicely this morning. English muffin (lite, whole grain - 1 point) with some of that yummy honey Country Crock spread (2 points). Cup of soy milk (3 points). Now I'm off for more coffee.

Off to one of my last meetings, I guess.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I just posted some pictures of the boys from Halloween. Who knew vampires could be so cute, right?

A friend of mine posted this on her blog, so I'm shamelessly stealing it. Go to Google, type your name and needs - i.e., 'Rosemary needs' in my case - and see what comes up. Here's a list of what I apparently need...

1. Rosemary needs shield from cold. (how'd they know?)

2. Rosemary needs to be spayed! (um... WHAT?!)

3. To be happy and healthy, Rosemary needs at least 5-6 hours of sun a day.

4. Rosemary needs full sun to partial shade, and a well drained area. (Well... I do drink a lot of coffee...)

5. Rosemary needs bright sun. (I think that was determined at #3.)

6. Once you understand Rosemary's needs, she can be a long-lived companion. (LOL, have to send this to Mike.)
A vampire with a snazzy attitude! A vampire bat hovering in the background!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It's My Pity Party, and I'll Cry if I Want To...

So I've jumped off the bridge and begun the resignation process. By next week, neither of us will be working and I'll have only one more paycheck to come. To say I'm terrified is putting it mildly, but it's better than wanting to get hit by a car on the way to work. Looks like I'll be putting in some temp time.

How the hell did we get here?

So I dealt with it in the best way I could last night, and ate a shitload of Halloween candy. Today I'm back on track, and trying to just wrap it up here and make some plans for the very uncertain future. I'm praying for the Deux Ex Machina to show up, but something tells me it may show up late if at all, so we're on our own.

Can't let the kids know anything is wrong.

I can temp. I will keep doing reader reports as long as they send them to me. I'll keep sending out my resume. Maybe this latest recruiter can get something for Mike.

I'm caught between wanting to just lose it and go on a screaming tear and just being very calm, detached to the point of being dead. I feel so exhausted and worn out, I just don't know how to react anymore.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Identify! (imagine Logan's Run computer voice here)

Due to the unholy amount of spam comments I've been getting on here, I've turned on the verification button. I'm sorry, I know it's a pain in the rear, but if I see one more stupid comment about how I can get free prescription drugs or some other crap, I'll go postal. And if you've read the last few posts from me, you know what a tenuous grasp on reality I have these days. I'll be turning this on at the Domestic Goddesses blog too.

You spammers all suck.

In other news, I've resigned. Expect more manic posts as I search for a job over the next few weeks.

So the stupid CD player in the living room wasn't working. I tried to turn it off and walk away, really I did. But it wouldn't even turn off, and the CD drawer kept popping out like it was some sentient Stephen King creation. So I got a hammer (it was a little one) and tried to close it that way.

Do you believe that SOB popped out again?

But at least it felt good hitting it...

Another crazy day. Lot of stuff going on, not sure how this is all going to play out. I'm a little scared.