Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The State Of The Union

Sit. Stand. Clap. Sit. Blah Blah Blah. Sit. Clap. Stand. Sit. Blah Blah Blah.

I hate the State of the Union address. I firmly believe that if they saved all the effing clapping until the end, the speech would last 20 minutes and we could get back to prime time TV viewing. We do it at Graduations across the country, and even elementary students understand, "save your clapping until the end", so why can't the congress seem to catch on?

I hate the politics of it all. Half the crowd sits, the other half stands, half the crowd cheers (what was up with that one loud guy, someone shut him up!), half the crowd shakes their heads. It's one lousy a$$ speech, just sit their and nod. Pretend like you care, and then go home and hash it out later.

Love Hurts...ooohhhh oohhhh Love Hurts

(had to throw some bad 80's singing in there, sorry) *this is so dead on..it's scarey.

Your Love Life Secrets Are

Looking back on your life, you will have a few true loves.

You're a little scarred from your past relationships, but who isn't?

You expect a lot from your lover - you want the full package. You tend to be very picky.

In fights, you speak your mind and don't hold back. You know you're right, and you can get quite angry about it.

Getting over a break-up doesn't take long. Easy come, easy go.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Abby asked what a prayer shawl was, so I will do my best to try and explain it well.

A prayer shawl is created with someone specific in mind, or a general recipient..and the idea is that you pray for, or think about the person you are creating the shawl for, so that when they receive it, they are wrapped in love and prayer.

I knit mine, using this pattern provided by Lion Brand. The one I am creating for my MIL is using Lion Brand Homespun in the Williamsburg colorway. It's further along than the photo shows, as I've completed 13 inches. You can also crochet a shawl, or use a different pattern. There are no hard rules. I believe I am also using size 11 needles, instead of 10 but I'm not sure exactly. Either way, I have about 4 more feet to go.

For more information about the prayer shawl ministry, you can click the link.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

For The Birds

I am dog tired ya'll. This year is kicking my arse. I feel like no matter how hard I try, it just keeps getting harder. Days like today make me wish for a nice deep tub to soak in. Alas, we are not equipped with such a thing at our house, so I can only sit and dream of the steamy goodness.

My baby sweater has issues. I need to do some serious cosmetic work, or rip it all out and start over with a new pattern. In the meantime I've started a prayer shawl for my MIL. Her health isn't good, and she's going through a rough patch right now. Tonight I was working on it, and started dozing off mid-stitch. You know you're in trouble when your body just shuts down.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yarny Goodness

So, I got some money for Christmas. And I thought for a long time what I wanted to buy with it. I planned on saving up for a steel drum of my own, but was having a hard time justifying the expense. Then the boy sold my old laptop and gave me the cash. And I said..ohhhhhhhhhhhhh never mind. I need to shop. Retail therapy is always good. Especially when the universe is messing with you.

I got a ball winder. Previously I have been winding hanks of yarn by hand. The boy would like a swift to come along with that, but for now I use his arms. To the left of the ball winder (the white thing that looks like a tube) are 4 balls of Rowan Cashsoft DK Baby. 3 balls of a lovely pale orange and one of a lovely lemon yellow. The yellow is going to be socks, and the orange is going to be a baby sweater for a yet to be concieved neice or nephew.

In front of the Rowan, is the pattern for Elizabeth I from Knitpicks. The deep red/brown color on top of the pattern is the yarn to make one of the scarves. I just don't know which. My first dabble into lace. I'm nervous about lace. Next to Elizabeth I is Knit Lit the third. Love a good read.. specially when it involves yarn.

Next to that is Nursery Knits by Zoe Moeller. If you're going to be knitting for lots of babies, you need a good book. This was on clearance and I loved it anyhow so I snatched it up. Next to the book is a set of size 11 dpn's.. a pair of size 3 Brittany Birch Needles (short), a pair of size 2 needles, Knit Picks Sock Memories yarn for socks for myself, and 2 skeins of Knit Picks Simple Stripes yarn that is going to be made into a sweater for my favorite little man (in the back..). That sock yarn is leaning on a pom-pom tree. I couldn't resist. I hate making pom-poms and this makes it so easy. And last but not least, some daisy blocking pins.

All in all, a good haul. And I never stepped foot out the door. I think I have enough projects to keep me busy until spring.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I like to think that I'm a pretty easy going person. I don't ask for a lot. A little help. A little love. A little appreciation. I may get a little crazy at times, but mostly I'm just trying to get through the day, same as everyone else.

What I'd really like, is to be able to go to work, do my job and come home. And know that tomorrow when I get there, it's pretty much going to be the same as today, with reasonable changes. It's the unreasonable ones that are kicking my a$ this year. Next year what I'm aiming for, is to start out the year doing one thing and end the year doing the same thing. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation. I don't think most people (not the sane ones anyhow) would be OK with a job description that seems to change as people see fit.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Snowy Silence

I love the quiet calm that comes along with a snowstorm. From the quiet in the house, as the kids enjoy some extra sleep in the morning, to the quiet outside as I shovel. Rain is a loud event. Snow is very quiet. It muffles other noises you'd otherwise hear as well.

We've had one full week of school since early November. I have a feeling we are going to be in school until the end of June this year. That makes for a miserable end of the year. But it's hard for the kids. We were in the 50's at the end of last week, and over the weekend. Grass showed through everywhere, and they grumbled. It is January after all, and how can they play in the snow if we don't have any to play in. And if you've ever been in a hundred plus year old school building in June, you don't need me to tell you how miserable that is. It can be 70 deg. outside, and 105 in the classroom. Yet each time we get a snow day, we rejoice. Snow days are fun. It's kind of like playing hookey..but you don't get in trouble.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Now I Know my ABC's...

A is for Age-31
B is for Booze- Corona Lite, Midori Sours, Wine
C is for Career-Education (see also, doormat, maid, laundromat, professional "do it all")
D is for Doctor (last check up)- Last spring. Need to get my butt back in there. "No, I'm not tired ALL the time. And no, that is not my knee making that clicking noise either."

When the walls.....

I read Post Secret every week, as do most other net users, and I find it so fascinating the things that people share. Often I am more fascinated that they share things that I could as well.

This week, someone sent in this postcard. It was a teacher who also sent an email about how he works with abused and neglected students, and how he sees their misbehavior as an excuse to have people prove that they care no matter what.

I must've sat and stared at this photo for 5 minutes. It hits a nerve in me that runs so deep it could almost strangle the last breath out of my lungs. I am a wall builder. And it is for this same reason that is posted here in front of this wall. It's something I have struggled with since my youth. I like to think that I have mostly put the trowel down, and the walls have crumbled along with the rock. But that would require me to admit that I don't wear masks anymore. Which is not entirely true. I still take out the "I'm fine", or "I'm brave" or "Nothing bothers me" masks once in a while. I still build walls, just little stone borders instead of large barriers. Rome wasn't built in a day. And it takes a long time and a lot of healing to move forward. "I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday." ~anonymous

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Go Team!

Ok, So Stephanie, had a moment of weakness and came up with this crazy idea to have a Knitting Olympics. The idea is to cast on a project during the opening ceremonies, and be finished by the time the closing ceremonies end. 16 days the Olympics last for. She figured, foolishly, that a few people would sign up.

We are up to almost 800. 800 crazy knitters from all over the globe who will be trying for a personal best in 16 days. Some will knit lace for the first time, some will do their first sock. I will be creating a baby sweater for my friend who is due on St. Patrick's Day. It's one of Steph's patterns, Daisy, and I will be using TLC Cotton Plus in the Kiwi color (green for St. Patty's and it's a boy). The challenge for me is to actually finish something in 16 days. I don't have loads of time to work on stuff, so this will be a tough one. I am confident that I can do it! Just need to finish one more baby sweater before the games begin.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Sometimes You're Too Tired to Blog

Your Life Path Number is 1

Your purpose in life is to lead others.

You have great drive and determination. Nothing is going to stand in your way.
You seek out challenges and the spotlight. You'll take all the work - and all the glory.
Status and success are important to you. You demand the best from everyone and everything.

In love, you tend to take a protective role. You enjoy being the provider in relationships.

You expect others to be like you, and as a result, you are often disappointed.
A little selfish and vain, you always put yourself first.
Remember, everyone already knows you're great - you don't need to remind them!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I need to bitch. What, I've done a lot of bitching lately? *sigh* Yes I know. I don't know what it is. I was all set for this to be a GREAT YEAR! The year! Good things and all that. Seems like it's just been one damn thing after another.

The job's great though. That HARD THING from before? I so don't miss it. I don't miss taking Advil's every day cuz my head was pounding so hard (think it was stress? me too) at the end of the day. I don't miss feeling rotten and grouchy and just ugh. Nope not one bit. I'm quite happy to be done with the whole lot of that.

On the other hand, we have today. Today went by pretty fast. We got an ice storm last night which yielded a nice 2 hour delay. Which translates into missing 2 reading groups in the morning and let me tell you, that's a great day right there. School was good. I had a nice walk home. It was raining, but it was 50 deg..and can you really complain about that in January in the great north? I think not.

Wednesday giggle

courtesy of www.userfriendly.org

Monday, January 16, 2006

Clean Sweep

"Amidst all the crap, there are some things worth holding onto. " ~Gray's Anatomy

This is my year to get rid of the crap. Everyone has baggage that they tote around, knowingly or not. I seem to tow around people. You know..those couple people from your past that you just can't quite be done with. One of my resolutions this year was to finally put to rest somethings from my past. Last night, as I heard this quote on Gray's..I decided it was time.

This morning, I wrote three letters. I have 3 people who I carry with me. Two of them are tied to painful situations in my past. One of them is an old friend. The two letters regarding painful situations weren't all that hard to write. What I didn't realize, was that I have already come to terms with these people. I have forgiven them, and moved on. I am a better, stronger person because of what I went through. I just didn't quite see that.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's a Wee Bit Frosty...

This was the view out my front door today. The storm door on the other side was covered in frost, and when I looked out the top glass pane, this is all I could see. There is a gate on the other side of that frost, and some hedges.

It's a shock to go from near 50 to minus 10 with the windchill. It was a bitter cold day. We got a good half foot of snow, but the bottom layer is about an inch of ice pellets. And the rest is just fluffy stuff that whips around in the wind and stings your face. Walking to church wasn't fun, and neither was shoveling that mess. If it wasn't for the fact that the boy has to work tomorrow, and it's supposed to be just as windy, I might've considered leaving it all there.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some light hearted fun...

FYI, my bloodtype is B+, but boy does this fit me to a tee!

Your Inner Blood Type is Type A

You seem cool and collected, though a bit shy.
You are highly driven and a perfectionist, but that's a side you keep to yourself.
Creative and artistic, you are a very unique person who doesn't quite fit in.
People accept you more than you realize, seeing you as trustworthy and loyal.

You are most compatible with: A and AB

Famous Type A's: Britney Spears and Hilter

Friday, January 13, 2006

Restless Tonight...

Every once in a great while, the universe hits you with something that completely knocks you off your feet. Something so absurd, that no matter how hard you try to wrap your mind around it, you just can't. I found myself in a similar situation recently. I was caught, completely off guard, in such a bizarre thing that I felt like I couldn't even function normally.

For days I struggled. How could this be possible, my logical brain thought. I stressed and worried and rationalized and re-rationalized until I wasn't even rational anymore. And on the other hand, my heart told me something different. And so they battled. And it got ugly for a few days. And secretly, in the darkest recesses of my mind, I wasn't sure who I wanted to win. I didn't know what I wanted the outcome to be. I could give 6 reasons why I wanted one, and half dozen reasons why I wanted the other. I entertained a dozen different scenarios in my mind. And my heart entertained a dozen others as well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A few early year letters

Dear Mother Nature,
Thanks so much for providing us with a gorgeous sunny day today. You rock! We are doing a scientific experiment at school to see if we do in fact live in a gloomy part of the country. We will be tracking gloomy vs sunny days until spring and then chart it and submit our findings. We did a little predicting and it's not looking good in your favor. I hear it will be in the low 50's the end of this week, and then will abruptly plummet into the teens and single digits. How cruel your cold heart is to tease us so. Love the snowy landscapes however, keep up the good work!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Snow Days

Sometimes the best moments are captured unaware. I sent the boy out to take a photo of our mountain. We've had a bit of snow this week, including last night, and the white mountain against the blue sky (blue sky? I almost didn't recognize it) is a striking image. So he decided to hit the usual "great spots" for taking photos of the mountain.

One happens to be down at the top of the playground at school. Our playground is in two parts. The upper part, and then the lower field. Lower implies a hill, which is just perfect for sledding. In fact, we have saucers at school for just this thing. The kids love sledding during recess. Anyhow, Ms. Thang was down at the school sledding. Props to me for letting her be there in the first place. Alone. I've come a long way this year. *turns out our neighbor was there with her little daughter, but still*.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday Funny

Cuz we all need a laugh at the end of a long week(the boy sent me this):

HERE is something that you may not know:
Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before commercial fertilizer's invention, so large shipments of manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Stop The Year...I Want To Get OFF!

Sometimes, things are just bigger than you can get a handle on. Every so often, just when you feel like you have a good grip on stuff, and things are actually going pretty OK... the universe throws one at you that knocks you right off your feet. Or maybe two. Or in my case three.

First there was a scarey health issue with a family member. That issue still hasn't been settled yet, and so the stress was already rising.
Then, we had the thing with the taxes. OK I thought. This all sucks, but after some venting and a good night's sleep, it wasn't so huge and terrible, just big. Ever have one of those "things can't get much worse" kind of thoughts? So did I. I was wrong.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Would You Like Fries With That?!?

Back when I was a teenager, what seems like a million years ago, we had a little catchy phrase that we used. Now I can't seem to remember if it was my family that used it, or my group of friends, or if it was commonly used. I don't remember if it came from a movie, but we all used it nonetheless. It was a comment made in reference to the fact that no matter how slowly you repeated your order at the drive-thru, they always manged somehow to screw it up. Or, at least that was how it always worked with me. So we always kidded, "They f'ck you at the drive-thru." It came in quite handy during those years for a variety of different things. When you felt like the universe was screwing with you, out it came. When you went through the drive-thru and your order came back to you wrong, it came out.

Tonight, I said it out-loud for the first time in probably 10 years. I haven't even given it a thought in a decade, yet in my red haze of fury, there it was. The boy, who was privy to those earlier outbursts all those years ago, actually stopped and said,"What did you just say?" It was like some tiny jem of a catch phrase that my subconscious was saving for a time where nothing else I could say would express how crappy of a situation I was dealing with.

Quiet Reflections

"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but potential." ~ Ellen Goodman

In the early hours of the morning, after a fresh snow had fallen, I sat and thought about what I wanted from this next year. The house was quiet. The kids still asleep, the boy headed off to navigate snowy roads on his way to work.

I thought about what goals I'd like to achieve, and what habits I'd like to work on, and where I wanted to be at the end of the year. And after all this was done churning around in my mind, I decided to crumple it up and toss it out.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Ok, so I know I said we were going to look back on '05. Well, I changed my mind. The year is over, and it was what it was. Instead, I've got this to share with you. I hope you enjoy it. Courtesy of Ali Edwards, who rocks.

I was looking through my quote files tonight and came across this commencement speech made by author Anna Quindlen that I had seen/read earlier this year. I think it also appears in her book: A Short Guide To A Happy Life. Seems like a good time of year to share it: