Thursday, December 27, 2007

Trying to catch my breath

I've been a baaaaaaaddddd blogger! It's been weeks!
Regular life and trying to get ready for all our Christmases and time has flown by.

Dad and Susan and her grand-daughter came down from MI a couple of weeks ago. I moved down here seven and a half years ago and this was his first time seeing our place. Had to get it cleaned up and semi-presentable. Turns out the basement hadn't been really cleaned up since the dishwasher fiasco 3+ years ago.

(I was too cheap to pay Sears to install a dishwasher. We were scheduled to be the first delivery of the morning so I pulled the old one out the night before. Disconnected the lines and all. Just needed a new dishwasher to put in it's place and they could haul the old away. We originally had the water turned off but then decided to try plugging the line so we didn't have to head up/down 2 flights of stairs to turn the water on for showers or flushing during the night. I used a tapered, rubber point protector out of my knitting stash and shoved it in the end of the line. I then duct-taped the daylights out of it so it wouldn't blow out. We turned the water on and watched. All was good so we went to bed.

Then it blew.

And ran all night long.

Luckily there is a drain the floor downstairs. We shut the water off and mopped up. Fans helped dry the drywall in the ceiling. We had a mess! But I didn't have to pay Sears the $50 or $60 for a simple dishwasher installation.... Aren't I a smart one?!?!?
Steve's family came up from SC over Thanksgiving 04 and, among other projects, screwed the drywall back up, scraped the old texture off, retaped, and retexturized the whole thing. They also installed some recessed lights and used a bit more of the never-ending 5 gallon pail of yellow paint on the old, ugly paneling. Major improvement!! We just never finished cleaning up. Till this month.)

We even managed to find a bound 9x12 broadloom rug for $119 (Harry's Corner) since it's only painted concrete at this point and then get the Christmas tree put up before they arrived. It was good to see them and spend some time together. One of these years we're going to have to head up their way...

Last weekend we headed to Steve's family in SC. We hit the road after I got off work Friday, got in about 2:30 am Saturday, and returned Sunday. The boys had gone down over the summer but I hadn't been since... I'm not even sure when. Lots of family, close and distant, and some I'm not sure are even technically family. Always more kids around than I can keep track of. Couldn't get everyone together in the living room for the assorted family pictures so we headed out to the front yard. Need to do more visiting there, too. Christmas #2 done.

Monday was a shopping day for me. I don't do malls or crowds well. I also don't appreciate folks who ding my car up in the parking lot! Red spots/gouges on my 07 navy blue Ian the Ion. Argh and a Merry Christmas to you, too!

Tuesday = Christmas #3.

Wednesday I was back at work (Steve's off all week)and made some more attempts at shopping in preparation for this weekend. And knitting group was rescheduled from our usual Tuesday to Wednesday. I needed my fix big time and we had a few people make it that had been missing for a while. A good night with good friends.
Brian headed off to his brother's/sisters'/foster mom's for a couple of days. Guess he won't be making it to wrestling practice!
Zack has already 'beaten' both Halo 2 and 3 on the new Xbox 360 they got. Don't his thumbs ever get tired?!?!?

(Today I found another couple of gifts for this weekend and I picked up my order from My GirlFriend's Kitchen - my kind of cooking!! Also made it to the chiropractor in preparation for the hours in the car. Now I am parked in front of the tube and 'puter. Updated my blog list and added logos for a couple of swaps I'm Taking part in. I missed posting about a couple of projects I completed - gotta find the camera and the pics to post. The 'list' for that has been updated also.

Christmas #4: It was looking like we were leaving for IL and my Mom's and sister's after I got off work tomorrow but we're gonna sleep here and then leave early Saturday morning. With another Sunday return.
And I get to work again on Monday, off Tuesday.

I think I've used up my Christmas allotment for a while. I may have to take any future ones off the 'to do' list. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Harry Potter Nicknames

just in case we haven't had enough in the quiz department...

Harry Potter MSN Names
Who are you?!?!?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Snow Days

Wednesday brought 1" of snow and the boys got the day off. Steve and I went to work as normal.
Friday was our next 'winter storm.' 2 hour delay was announced at 5:12 a.m. Steve left for work at 6:40(when the boys would have normally left for the bus) and the roads were only wet.
Ugh! I want real winter and people who can deal!!

Monk

He's my hero!! I'm almost to the point of putting the show on the calendar and scheduling around it.
Friday was his Christmas show (he shot 'Santa') and January brings new episodes. Can't wait.
In the meantime, I have finished reading Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants.
Sharona came back so he had her and Natalie battling for the job while solving several seemingly unrelated cases.
Next up is Mr. Monk in Outer Space. He wears a space suit in LA, what does he need to go to outer space for?!?!? Guess I'll have to read and find out.
They aren't literary masterpieces but they are good, clean, fun reading.

Quick Knits

Friday night's knitting from stash. Tudora from Knitty out of Cascade 220 color 5016 (a pretty pink with a hint of blue). A collar to keep my neck warm (ever since the accident in 4/2004, cold causes sharp pain and spasms so scarves, turtlenecks, etc are required) that won't get tangled in stuff at work!
Yesterday's take-along knitting (to the ferguson Christmas party!?!?). The color in the pic is way off - they are really a soft range of pastel pinks, peach, purples. 1 ball of di.ve Teseo, 98 yards, 55% wool/45% microfiber makes 2!! A pattern from a ballband of something I bought several years ago and have since made significant adaptations to. Will probably be given away...
A pound of World's Finest chocolate from the P&G Christmas box - all gone now.
Finally done!! Another significantly reworked pattern and lousy picture...
And the first of how many pairs??? 64 sts, , US1, 3x1 rib, garter stitch short row heel

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Citizenship

Brian has brought home the Citizenship Award for the 8th grade, 1st quarter!
During his study hall, he heads to the Special Needs classroom and helps out. From the group involved, they have also created 'Partners Club,' of which Brian is President. Partners Club is planning a party/fundraiser the Thursday before Christmas. They are seeing if they can get a local celebrity or two (also pronounced 'Bengal') to come. Apparently, a couple of the other partners' parents know or work with Bengals.
Bri's teachers all comment on how well he is doing and what a knack he has for it. He even is thinking of becoming a Special Ed teacher.
Way to go Bri!!!

Football updates

Steve is now happy. Nebraska has been floundering and backsliding for several years, with this one being the worst in decades. They fired their athletic director and hired their beloved old/winning coach, Tom Osborne. After their last game (a blown lead for another loss), he then finally fired Bill Callahan. Rumors have been flying.
They are currently having a press conference announcing their new head coach, Bo Pelini. He used to be defensive coach at Nebraska in 2003. Steve thought he should have been head coach instead of hiring Callahan after the '03 season. Now he gets what he's wanted for the past 4 years. And there's only one way to head for the Huskers - UP!

There were also rumors that Randy Edsall was leaving UConn to head to Georgia but...
He told his team at this morning's team banquet that he's staying at UConn!
I recently read about how he landed at UConn. He accepted the job before he even saw campus and it's lack of facilities. He says that had he seen it, he would not have come. Can't say I blame him! But he has gotten a new field and world-class facilities and has developed the program into a competitor. With WV's loss yesterday, we managed to tie them for Big East Champs!! And we are headed to the Meineke Car Care Bowl December 29th. If I hadn't already commited to family in IL, I'd probably be planning a trip in the other direction to see my Huskies!

(Now, what's up with Calhoun's basketball team?? Not even ranked?!?!?)

rainy days

equals warm fuzzy days...
(but not good picture days - sorry!)

finished knitting my Shimmer socks last week, didn't work in the ends till yesterday (Great Feats by dyepot.com)

450m of Fleece Artist Hand Dyed Blue Face Leicester, from Steve/Romni Wools in Toronto for my birthday last week

Kid Aran and Roving for Thrumming with pattern on the band, also from Steve/Romni for my birthday


8 balls of Regia Galaxy yarn, from Steve/Romni this week.
Steve said he spoke with 3 different women while in the store. They all said the same thing: It was their 1st time there, it's the largest yarn store they'd ever seen, they all thought they'd died and gone to heaven...
Road trip anyone?!?!?!?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fallen off the earth?

Not really. Much as I might want to.
(let me apologize in advance for my venting...)

Steve had to go to Toronto last week for work. He left at lunchtime Sunday with a probable return of sometime Saturday. And, yes, he had to work Thanksgiving.
He was up there last month for the Canadian Thanksgiving and had to rework his schedule so they could have the day off. Now that the shoe was on the other foot, he was still the one that had to rework his schedule. They were ging to work all week, even if it was for an American company that would be closed for a holiday. And then, to top it all off, not all the machinery was there so there were delays getting it in and running. And some never did get going. He was not able to do what he was there to do. He came home Friday evening but will have to go back this week.

Brian went to his foster mom's and brother's on Thursday. Another sister is also living there now. And they chat with a couple other sibs that are in the area and occassionally visit, too. It's good for him to keep up with family. He came back saying he has a cousin (unknown name) that plays on the Miami Dolphins. Hmmm.... maybe there is really something to this whole football thing?!?!?

Friday was just me and Zack. He's always reading and had been complaining that he was out of Star Wars books. Half Price Books was supposed to be giving away gift cards and tote bags to the first 100 customers, beginning at 7 a.m. By the time I got Zack up and out the door, we got there about 8:30. I could not imagine a used book store as being a popular destination first thing on Black Friday but apparently it was. Zack got all the Star Wars books they had that he hadn't read yet. 4 of them. He's going to have to supplement with full price books at Barnes & Noble and Borders and such.

I want the boys to switch bedrooms and beds. Kind of. Brian's room has a much larger closet than Zack's but he hides stuff that he should not even have. Zack is like his mother, a pack-rat, and does not have a large enough closet to properly put things away. I wanted to get them switched this weekend. No cooperation/help from the rest of the folks here so it still isn't done.
Zack currently has a futon/bunk but only sleeps on one side of the bottom. It takes up way too much space in his mess of a room. Brian had a loft bed (still in the garage) that he would not climb up in either, especially once he broke his leg. Brian has his brother and friends over occassionally. He could use the futon/bunk right where it is once they switch rooms. That means Zack needs a bed for the other room (Brian's mattress is currently on the floor, awaiting a frame). Zack and I went from Half Price to Furniture Fair (they had a sale going, too) but he did not like anything. Figures. He's fighting this whole thing as much as he can.
Just like he's not getting his father's stuff out of the bathroom and put away - it's been seven months!!

(I wanted to get some of the basement cleaned out and rearranged, too. Nope, didn't get that done either.)

I really don't like crowds and malls and all that so we headed from the furniture store to the grocery store. Not too many people at the grocery store the day after Thanksgiving! $232 (after $158 in store and coupon savings) later and I still had a list going of what we needed. Boys!!

I did do some knitting later on. I just have to weave ends and I will have.....
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
another pair of socks.
These took some reknitting (almost half a sock worth) but I like the finished product better. Gotta get some pics.
And when I get those pics, I'll also have to get some of what Steve brought back from Romni Wool (LYS in Toronto that he found). He picked out yarn all on his own!! He said the place was absolutely huge. Their site says 6000 square feet. Can I go, too????
He even remembered that the Harlot is up there and thought about trying to find her... She probably appreciates that he didn't!

As I expected, UConn lost to West Virgina. I just did not expect it to be as bloody as it was. 21-66. Ouch! But we finished #2 in the Big East behind WV. And we are headed to either the Gator Bowl or the Sun Bowl. (Unlike NE that's staying home this year.)

Did manage to get some laundry done and some bills/paperwork somewhat caught up. Only after I had a complete meltdown. Steve works and then sits in the recliner 'cuz he works and makes the money.' Well, I work, too. And I have basically all the responsibility for everything around the house, too. How is that fair?
And I've asked for help.
And I've screamed for help.
And I've cried for help.

And I get ignored.

I ask the boys to do something,

and they walk away and ignore me.
Steve says we'll have to talk about it another time.

Later, noone remembers me even saying anything. Unless, of course, I had a screaming fit. Then I'm just a witch (with a capital B).
Either way, it's not working.

I must come up with a plan....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

waffles vs. spaghetti?!?!?

Zack saw the truck sweater on the kitchen floor, where I had taken the picture of it. He asked if it was the same one I made for him when he was little.
Nope, making another.
Then I showed him the pic from the previous post.
He informed me that it looks like the way girls think. He says guys have waffles for brains and girls have spaghetti. Guys compartmentalize and nothing crosses over from section to section while girls just have a big ol' jumbled mess. 'That's what they learned in health class.'
Thanks public schools!

Ends...

I knit and knit yesterday, bleary-eyed and all. But, this is what I have to show for it:

Ends and more ends.
Gotta finish them off,
attach the sleeves,
add the neckband and button bands,
add buttons and send the trucks on their way...

(It looks so small!)

Old Connecticut

(Alma Mater)

Once more as we gather today,
to sing our Alma Mater's Praise,
and join in the fellowship strong,
which inspires our college days,
we're backing our men in the strife,
cheering them to victory!
And pledge anew
to Old Connecticut,
our steadfast spirit of loyalty.

Connecticut, Connecticut
Thy sons and daughters true.
Unite, to honor thy name,
Our fairest White and Blue.


That should probably do for the football season. We beat Syracuse 30-7 yesterday for the first 7-0 home record in UConn history.
And the first 7-0 home record in Big East history!
It's our first 9 win season since who only knows when.
We are 9-2 right now, with West Virginia at WV next weekend. One very tall order! It's probably not impossible, just very unlikey. 9-3 ain't too shabby for a school that just joined the Big East in '04 and is still figuring out what that whole defective, pointy ball thing is about - it doesn't bounce like a regular basketball!
A-bowling we go! (We have only been to 1 bowl game up till now. And we won the '04 Motor City Bowl. The only school to win in their first bowl appearance.)

And on the soccer field:
STORRS, Conn. (November 18, 2007) – Dori Arad (Hahotrim, Israel) scored two goals as the No. 2 nationally-ranked University of Connecticut men's soccer team captured the 2007 BIG EAST Championship title with a 2-0 win over Notre Dame at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. This is the conference-leading seventh BIG EAST Tournament title for the Huskies and the third in the last four years.
NEWTON, Mass. (November 18, 2007) - The University of Connecticut women's soccer team defeated Wake Forest Sunday 1-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the sweet sixteen for the first time since 2004. The Huskies improve to 13-5-2 on the season.

Men's basketball is currently 5-1 with our only loss being to #3 Memphis:
NEW YORK (November 16, 2007) - Tournament Most Valuable Player Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 33 points and freshman Derrick Rose added 24 more as third-ranked Memphis defeated the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, 81-70, Friday evening in the championship game of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic before a crowd of 8,895 at Madison Square Garden.
And women's:
STORRS, Conn. (November 14, 2007) - Freshman Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) came off the bench to score 31 points, 22 of which came in the first half, as the No. 2/2 University of Connecticut women’s basketball team defeated Holy Cross 91-36 on Wednesday evening at Gampel Pavilion.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Identity theft, sanity theft, ...or both?

I went down to my credit union this afternoon to activate my ATM card and open a checking account to go with the savings. As part of the process to approve someone for a checking account, they get a report from ChexSystems. This is sort of like a credit report but has more info on day-to-day stuff like checking accounts.
I got rejected because something had been unpaid?!?!?!
She also pulled my regular credit report and found I have a higher than average score.
I have copies of both. The Equifax report all looks like my info. Nothing weird on my charge statements either.
The ChexSystems report has my social belonging to Michael J. Dell of Danielson, Connecticut. Last I checked, I am not a guy. And I have not had a Bank of Boston account closed for 'account abuse.' They had to write off all of $33.00 in 2003 but they made sure to report it!
There is an 800 number at the bottom of the report 'for specific questions about the results.' I called.
I got a message that all calls could be monitored yada-yada... She sounded Indian but I could understand her pretty well. Then the call was picked up by the next available representative. A little tougher to understand. I'm thinking the whole place is overseas. He asks for some sort of account ID or something. I had to ask him to repeat himself to make it out. Apparently that is the phone number for the member businesses to call. He says I have to call a different phone #. I write it down and dial.
Phone mail H*LL. I had 3 options for ways to request a report and 1 option if I was calling on behalf of someone else. I try pressing 0 but that is not a valid option, please try again. I tried the 4th option and got a recording about all the info they would need if I wanted to discuss someone else's records. And it sent me back to the main menu. The other 3 options are just recordings on how to go about getting a report.
Back into the credit union. They did not believe me but then remembered there was supposed to be another sheet with contact info. Couldn't find it, call the main branch to have it faxed. It finally comes through. Same phone number.
They tried it. Yup, phone mail H*LL.
She tried the yellow pages and Google. Hard to find much of anything on this company but then did manage to come up with a page with the same phone number. Again.
They agree it's not good to be relying on a company their customers can't contact.
They suggest contacting Bank of Boston since they are the ones who reported it and would have to request the correction/removal.
Come home, eat dinner, and get back to it...
I try some more online searching. They are part of eFunds and investigativeproffesionals.com but still no contact info for us 'little people.' If I were a potential business customer, maybe.
Then I try searching for Bank of Boston. I barely remember that they had been bought out/merged a couple of times. I figure the 'net should help. Right. I kind of piece together that they are now part of Bank of America. I call the contact phone # for the Connecticut area. 26 minutes, primarily on hold, but some time trying to explain this to a customer service rep who did not give the best of impressions of the company. And then I get 'disconnected.'
I have my UConn Alumni Association credit card that is now serviced by Bank of America (that whole buy and merge thing again). Pull some of their paperwork and try that phone number. I figure it's probably not the right department but they should be able to direct me. Right. Again.
She did try to help a little but she only has access to current credit card customers. No signs of a Michael J. Dell. And the only thing they show under my social is my UConn card. She transfers me. More hold time. Explain it all again. Still wrong department and no help. Tranfer again. Explain yet again. All anyone can manage to tell me is to contact the main 3 credit reporting agencies. It's not on those! And it came from Bank of Boston (a.k.a. Bank of America). This one tries to tell me they can't access this type of info anymore as it's all been archived and she's never had to do that much work, etc.
Somehow I think this info should be (and probably is) accessible for when Mr. Dell walks back in the door and they have to decide whether to grant him credit and such.
I asked repeatedly who I needed to talk to since she wasn't in the right department either. Transfer again.
This time it was just back to the main menu of phone system H*LL.
Back to square one. Again. Thank you so much for all the help Bank of America!!!
I don't think there's any identity theft as it goes back to 2003 and this is the first it has shown up. It's also not on the main credit reports. But still, it's not right and should be fixed.
How do I prove to them that I am not a man from Danielson Connecticut who abused his Bank of boston account?!?!?

2nd-ing the opinion

From Neila in MN:

Demonstration of Support
Yesterday the Minnesota State Bar Association held a demonstration of support of the attorneys in Pakistan on the steps of the Minnesota Supreme Court building. I went with my boss, another attorney and a law student. As I stood there freezing because of the gusty winds and occasional snowflake, I realized that my discomfort was very insignificant compared to the discomfort of the attorneys and judges and people of Pakistan. There were several moving speeches given by members of the Minnesota, Hennepin County and Ramsey County Bar Associations. One person read an email from an attorney in Pakistan which almost brought tears to my eyes. Another speaker had just returned from the region and told us of conditions in Pakistan. It may seem a world away from us and it's easy to believe that the conditions there could not happen here. But is that really true? Aren't we seeing our constitution being deconstructed for the benefit or power addiction of a few? Once the rule of law is suppressed, the people have no voice.

Something for ua all to be afraid of...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Flip Flop Football

UConn lost to UC :(
Nebraska beat Kansas State :)
Ohio State lost :)
The Bungles beat the Ravens :) (Sorry Bri!)
and in the early games today, mostly visiting teams with worse records won?!?!?

I don't understand but...

some knitting pics... finally


I finished the Father and Son Socks (but for me) about a week ago. Here's the final picture.

And here is my first attempt at November's Sock Down project for Sock Knitters Anonymous. Hanauma Bay socks out of DharmaFey's HufflePuff 1st Year from Neila in HSKS3. It's been frogged. Too Pittsburg Steeler-ish. Maybe Rainbow or Annetrelac for this yarn?? Still deciding...

I started the Dragon scarf from Morehouse Farm. I knit over a foot worth and about a dozen spikes. Then I decided it was too stiff. The gauge was not right. I ripped it all out and started over on larger needles (US 8 instead of the recommended 6-7). I worked the spike bind-offs wiht a size 10.5 dp. I have now knit the entire scarf. It is still a bit stiff and definitely smaller than I expected. And I have almost a whole skein of yarn left. I'm thinking of ripping it again, working it on larger needles, again, and maybe even enlarging the pattern a bit...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Knitting update

I finished my Father and Son (but really for me, 'Mom') socks. Picture(s) should be coming to this site and to Ravelry one of these days...
I started Ann Norling's Truck Sweater...
I started Hanauma Bay socks with my HSKS3 Hufflepuff yarn. They're coming out a bit too Pittsburg Steeler/Bumble bee-ish so they may get frogged. I'm trying to find a pattern that can work with the yarn and meets the requirements of the November Sock Knitters Anonymous (Ravelry again) project.
And I started Morehouse Merino's Dragon scarf in the red, appropriately named 'Huff.' I am debating whether I'm knitting too tight. The yarn is surprisingly heavy and they say to work on US6-7 needles. I'm thinking 8-9 might be better. I have about a foot (and a dozen spikes) done. Do I rip that, too?
Decisions, decisions...

Beth's Birthday

Yes, Beth celebrated the other day. And Nancy and I wanted to do something special for her. What could we do?? She has enough sock yarn to keep herself busy for a few lifetimes.... but that's all that originally came to mind.
At least until Nancy left for California and did not have email access. Then I had an idea!! And a good one, too!!
Or so I thought.
Beth and I had talked previously about Morehouse Merino's scarves. We both liked the dragon and the alligator. She liked the alligator a bit more and I liked the dragon a tad more. But we agreed we'd prefer just ordering the pattern since neither of us wanted to spend the money on the whole kit. Neither of us would probably ever order one.
I could order one for her birthday since she won't order one for herself, right? And as long as I'm at it, I might as well order the other.
That's what I was waiting for from New York last week. It arrived Saturday just as I was looking up their phone number to call.
SnB came Tuesday night. Beth's actual birthday. I saw her in the parking lot and had her help carry stuff in. We waited to see who was coming and broke into the cupcakes (chocolate and carrot cake). And then I gave her her gift.
She said she had read my post mentioning something coming from NY and was worried. Huh????
She opened her purple alligator scarf kit.
And then told me she had ordered the green one for me for my birthday.
It is currently at Nancy's house for wrapping and such.

We decided great minds think alike!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Accomplished

Not sure if I am accomplished, but all this was today:

1. Bought gas on the 'cheaper' side of town, with my grocery store 10 cent/gallon discount.
2. Finally got my mammogram done (been carrying the reminder letter around for 2 years!)
3. Renewed my driver's license.
4. Picked up the info books to get a CDL so I can be a backup driver at work?!?!
5. Passed the eye exam without my glasses?!?!? (Trifocals, even. Yes, I'm getting old.)
6. Got lost and called OnStar to find out I don't have the 'where on earth am I package' any more? I only have the emergency head-on collision, we're calling for help package. They helped me anyway - thanks OnStar! Gotta upgrade and get some phone minutes, too.
7. Got back to the highway and called the dentist to tell them I was on my way but wasn't sure whether the highway had been reopened. They said to just come in and they'd work me in whenever I got there. Turns out the highway was open with no signs left of the accident that had it closed for hours earlier.
8. Went 1 exit too far on the highway and had to backtrack to the dentist's. Without getting lost this time!
9. Determined I only have sensitive teeth and no cavity!
10. Stopped at the clothing consignment shop and found a dime when I got out of the car.
11. Found out some of my items sold and they owed me $8.50.
12. Stopped at a home furnishings consignment shop and found out what their requirements are for when I get my rear in gear and clean this place out.
13. Stopped at Hobby Lobby and bought more 'I Love This Yarn' for Ann Norling's Truck Sweater for a girlfriend's new 4 year old son. She left for China on Saturday. They should be back in 11 more days.
14. Made it to the chiropractor finally.
15. Got my hair cut. A somewhat new, 'younger' style. Remember that getting old thing from above?
16. Stopped at Half Price Books and found 4 Sudoku books for 50 cents each.
17. Drove over 100 miles today.
18. Found out the water pump on the 'little' car was about to spontaneously combust but can be replaced for $150. We dropped it off yesterday at the local Saturn-guy's for front brake pads and rotors. Should save at least a couple hundred bucks on the whole shebang.
19. Had Steve get the oil changed and tires replaced on the Vue.
20. Got caught up on laundry. Again.
21. Did the finishing work on the Father and Son (for Mom) socks. Maybe tomorrow, in the daylight I can get a pic and submit it for my October Sock knitters Anonymous project on Ravelry...

I meant to get the bills/paperwork done today as well as cleaning out some of the house but...
I guess I found enough other 'excuses' not to get to those couple of things...

What holiday food are you?

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

More online shopping

I placed another yarny order last weekend and was getting worried that it wouldn't be here before Tuesday. That is important - knitting night, you know.
I looked up my receipt email and got the phone number so I could call. Then checked the mail first. There it was! It was supposed to have been shipped Monday, from NY. I didn't expect it to take so long but it all worked out...
Pics after Tuesday...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I wonder...

Connecticut UConn Huskies
symbol of might to the foe.
Fight! Fight! Connecticut
It's victory, let's go.

Connecticut UConn Huskies
Do it again for the white and blue!
So go! Go! Go! Go!
Connecticut! Connecticut U!

C-O-N-N-E-C-T-I-C-U-T Connecticut!
Connecticut Huskies! Connecticut Huskies!
Connecticut C-O-N-N-U! Fight!

Hmmm... Do you get the idea that the Huskies might have won? Again?
We beat Rutgers 38-19.
(That was the UConn Husky Fight Song, in case you wondered. I promise I won't sing for you!!)
Alma Mater next???

Nebraska did not fair so well. Again. They broke some records though! Last week was the first time they lost 4 in a row since 1961.
Now it's 5 in a row.
They allowed the most points ever to be scored on them. 76 points (to their 39) by #8 Kansas. They broke that record recently and now they've made it even worse. Looks more like a basketball score than footbal, doesn't it?!?!

The Bungles will be playing Buffalo tomorrow. Do we bother watching?
That will be followed by 'Super Bowl 41-1/2' between the unbeaten Colts and the unbeaten Patriots. That should be worth a few hours!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Friday Night Knitting Club

Finally finished reading this the other night. I enjoyed most of it. It seemed very detailed and really got into the various characters and their backgrounds. Some of it was almost spooky in how much it reminded me of parts of my life. I even shed a few tears along the way. And then, all of a sudden, it just ended. Was there a deadline? Did the author run out of ideas or lose interest? I'm not sure. I don't want to say how it ends in case anyone else decides to read it. Overall, I'd probably give it a B-.

A day late and a dollar short?!?!?

Got this link at work the other day but didn't get the chance to try it 'till tonight...

Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

oddball sock monkeys

I sent Beth a message about these and now I can't resist posting a picture, too!

The pattern can be found at:
http://evelynclarkdesigns.com/

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Zack's video

In school, Zack has been taking Digital Media Arts. This year's version is a 2 bell, all year long class. That means bigger and better projects. His latest, a group project is...
video
a movie they had to script, act, film, edit, etc. He the one who walks out of the door and down the hall.

EDIT: Not sure what's going on. It works in preview mode but not once it's actually 'published.' If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!!

Flash Backs

I keep meaning to post these pics and end up getting sidetracked.

In April, I had to head back to CT with Zack for his father's funeral. I decided to go across the Tappan Zee Bridge just 'cuz I always liked that bridge (as much as someone who is afraid of heights and water can, anyway!). It curves twice, rises in the center, and crosses a wide part of the river. Not the most cost effecient way to build a bridge but...
After that, we continue on some highway that does not look familiar but Yahoo Maps and Onstar both tell me to take. We were in north-eastern NJ. Then I see signs for Skyline Drive/Ringwood and Pompton Lakes, each only a few miles off the exit, in opposite directions. I lived in both towns back in the Stone Age. I don't remember as much about where the house in Pompton Lakes was but I'm pretty confident I remember how to get to the one in Ringwood. It was just off Skyline Drive, afterall.
I exited and headed to Skyline Drive. Good, twisty, turny Skyline Drive! I miss that kind of east coast mountain driving. And there is the park Mom took us hiking in. Do we remember Charlie Chaplin hiking??? Peanut butter and jelley and cheese and butter sandwiches? Tom? ;) And towing the Model A up over Skyline Drive with the wood paneled station LTD Station Wagon???
There were new houses along the way but I recognized most of it! We moved out of Ringwood between 6th and 7th grade (1978), I believe.
Edward Drive. That runs parallel to James Drive. James should be the next right.
Yup! Right turn. 3rd house (+/-) on the left, facing the T-intersection with Vanessa. There it is!


It used to be dark brown with an almost sold, bright green front door. There used to be a 'dike' on the left with a garden behind. On the right, at the back end of the driveway, there was a freestanding garage with a 2nd story that was our playhouse. Insulated, heat, lights. Mom could lock us out of the house any time she wanted to. Weather did not matter. The structure back there now is a different one-story shed or something.
All are now gone and apparently there is an inground pool in the backyard. How much dirt had been imported to try to level out the backyard and then it got dug out for the pool? Oh well! Different needs and wants for different families.
It does not show, but the monstrous mailbox structure still survives. Who else has a mailbox as big as a jungle gym, built from the old Kreosote railroad ties?
Zack and I took a quick trip through the original part of the neighborhood while I rambled on about crashing my bike here and riding the snowmobile there and...

Back to the road but I'm on a roll now. Maybe I can find Pompton Lakes, too! It's worth a shot. Afterall, I have Onstar in the new car.
Back over Skyline Drive, past the highway and right into Pompton Lakes. Over the railroad tracks, we're headed the right way. I think we're about there, is this it? I'm not sure but let me try this right. And the next right. We're on Durham! Should be down on the right, #40. And there it is???


Wow, that one changed even more. It used to be a basic little Cape Cod (what I see as war-time tract housing). The attic had been finished before Mom bought it and she used that as her room. Now it is 2 full stories with the attic above that! Bay windows, front 'stoop' with an overhang, and vinyl siding, too. I assume the inground pool is still in the backyard. Actually it WAS the backyard. Probably tough to change that unless they brought in all the dirt from the Ringwood pool...
I told a few more stories about my childhood (and Sandy and Tom - sorry Tom!) and then we headed back to the highway...
On to Connecticut and the business at hand.

Latest accomplishments

This week, I managed to finish the Seduction socks. I carried them around in my purse all week so I could show them off to anyone and everyone. God, I love them in the Bamboobaa yarn from Dyepot.com. Thank you, thank you Beth!


















I also added the buttons so the BSJ for Wallace. I ended up putting the buttons on back-to-back in order to hide the yarn ends. (Tough to weave in ends on the wrong side when it's reversible!) On one side, the buttons are on the 'boy' side and the other they are for a 'girl' even though the baby is a boy (due in Feb.). Yellow ducks and purple hippos...














On Ravelry, I signed up to be part of the Sock Knitters Anonymous group. October's project is either a pair of cabled socks or a pattern by Nancy Bush. I was trying to use stash along with a pattern I already had earmarked so I came up with Father and Son Socks from Interweave Knits Fall '06 out of KnitPicks Risata. It it a cotton blend, somewhat stretchy/springy yarn. I started on US2 to compensate for my usually 'taught' knitting style. I pull the working yarn tight but the larger than usual needles keep the stitches loose enough to create a normal fabric.
I was worried about big feet and limited yarn so I cast on at the toe with the intention of knitting till I ran out of yarn. If they turned out to be anklets, so be it. I also did a garter stitch short row heel as it is symmetrical up/down.
Turns out I have plenty of yarn!

What awaits inside our front door

Thursday evening I came home from work,

walked through the door,

And saw...





Another view...





And when he left for school Friday morning, he had managed to put a rubber band in it like a little itty bitty pony tail. Yikes!

Steve shaved it off Friday afternoon.

What will Brian's next stunt be????

What is this world coming to?

UConn is ranked in the BCS poll?!?!?
For the time-being, we are ranked 23rd in the nation!
But we host #10 South Florida today.
Next week we host Rutgers.
And then we come to Cincinnati.
Tough days ahead...

Conference play, real football, and in the Big East?!?!? The Big East currently has 3 teams nationally ranked (there have been others this season as well) out of approximately 117 teams in the nation. Not bad for a conference known primarily for basketball!

EDITED: UConn beat #10 USF 22-15! Ranked for another week!!
Nebraska has lost their 4th in a row. 1st time they've had a 4 game losing streak since 1961 (before even I was born!).

Kings 8th grade football (Bri included) won the FAVC Cardinal Division, 8-0 this season.

Biorythms?!?!?

Beth posted hers and got me curious. I figured that since our birthdays are close, are charts should be as well. It looks like it's roughly a month long cyclical repeat. A couple of weeks difference on birthdate makes quite the difference! (Beth is headed into hibernation while things should be looking up for me!)


If you're curious, too....
try it here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hufflepuff Wins!

Congratulations to all my fellow Hufflepuffs for winning the house cup. It was a nailbiter but you did it!

Looking forward to the next round of HSKS...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Bengal Socks worked!!

Last week they were finished but not worn (was saving them for Tues SnB).
This week they are on my feet.
It took some time for the Bengals to wake up but...

THEY WON!!


(I will do laundry between now and next week...)

Seduction

The name does fit!

I am sooooooo..... in love with these socks! I only started last weekend and have now turned the second heel.

And some BSJ progress:

Which side do I put the buttons on?!?! I haven't figured out how to ask Wallace whether they are having a boy or girl without giving it away so I may give it to him in 'kit' form and then do the buttons later...

Which HP minor character are you?

[i'm bill weasley]

...and which lesser Harry Potter character are you?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

more risky football update(s)

Poor Beatcats ;)

Let's see...
UC lost to Louisville. UConn beat Louisville.
UC lost to Pitt. UConn beat Pitt.

Hmmmmm......
GO HUSKIES!

On the homefront, 8th graders get scouted?!?!?
Apparently they do.
Brian reports being contacted by the Freshman coach. He wants Bri to be the starting running back next year and then have the current running backs figure out whether they want to be backups or play other positions.
GO BRI!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kings 8th Grade Football

They were undefeated this year! Congrats to Brian and his teammates.
For the last game of the season yesterday, Brian's brother, De'Anthony, was able to come up and visit. He wanted to see if #41 was really as good as he claims.
Brian only played defense yesterday but had 2 solo tackles and several assists.
Next up, wrestling...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

HSKS3 picture trivia

Bertie Botts:

Chocolate Frogs:

Jelly Slugs and Blood Pops in my package from Niela!

Jenean's 1st kit:

HSKS 3

1. What was the name of the book Dumbledore left for Hermione in his will?
a. The Tales of Beedle the Bard


2. Whose sign was on Xenophilius Lovegood's chest?
d. Grindewald

3. Was October 30, 1980 the night that Lilly and James Potter died?
b. No (1981)

4. What's another name for the Elder Wand?
a. Deathstick


5. Whose Potterwatch code name was 'Rodent'?
d. Fred

6. What was so special about the peacocks at the Malfoy Manor?
d. They were all white

7. Who does Harry say was "probably the bravest man I knew?"
a. Snape


8. What thing was Lockhart giving Hagrid advice about getting out of a well?
b. Kelpies


9. What was the occupation of Colin Creevey's father?
d. Milkman

10. Which Professor of Hogwarts was a dueling champion when he was young?
a. Flintwick


(Bonus Point: Who made the kit? Ansly)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kings v. Little Miami 10/15

Brian only played approximately half the game yesterday. Steve's estimates on his stats are:
8 carries
140 yards
2 touchdowns
2 fumbles but no fumble losses
1 incomplete pass

He still has 'Johnson' in his name. Should we contribute him to the collection on the Bungles?!?!?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Football update

Brian scored a touchdown in Thursday's game against Wilmington! He gained about 60 yards overall and had a solo tackle on defense. He says he's going to totally dominate in tomorrow's game against Little Miami. I'll let you know how it goes!

UConn is no longer undefeated. They blew it at the end at Virginia.

Nebraska also had a (very) bad day. At home. I think there will be some mutiny going on in Lincoln...

And I'm sure we all know the Bungles also blew it. Again.

This weekend's checklist

1. Ravelry came through and I started entering... (Where am I supposed to get the time for this?!?!?!)
2. manicure/pedicure - done
3. 2+ weeks of Steve's, my, Zack's laundry - done. Brian's is next.
4. Lambikin's Hideaway Yarn Tasting - fun!
8 skeins to use in the Color-Work Cardigan from Handknit Style II
5. Color Party Parka sweater knit last winter, finally finished!

6. Bengal socks - done


7. HSKS3 bag - done
8. HSKS3 stitchmarkers - done
(still have to put the finishing touches on and get the owl ready to fly all the way to California)
9. Seduction socks cast on, heel turned and gusset completed

10. Harmony Needles received

Sunday, October 7, 2007

HSKS3 update

I felted the bag today. It felted more than I expected on the first run and lost more of the cables than I would have liked. You can still see some of them, the beads definitely still show, and I do like the size! It's what I originally had in mind before getting carried away... Have to add handles once it dries.
Also managed some stitch markers. I had found some beads I thought would be really cool as they were blue with flecks of silver in them. Would have been perfect. then I took them out of the package and found that was only the front side. The backs were a solid, ugly, weird-shaped, weird-hued blue. They're going back.
After church this morning, I took the little car out on the highway and over to a new (to me) bead store in search of Ravenclaw-worthy beads. I wandered in there for almost 2 hours. The blues I liked were too big and heavy, the shapes I liked were not blue. Bought a few things and came home.
Dug out what I had in my stash (should have looked before I left), added the new purchases, and came up with something that even my husband likes! Pretty sharp if I do say so myself.
I have the sock pattern(s), the yarn, the bag almost done, the stitch markers...
Oops! I forgot to get the needles.
Zack has a doctor appointment tomorrow so I already have to leave work early to get him there. Maybe I can get to the store Tuesday...

Nikki won!


What's Wrong With Mud? won the ABC book competition! Congrats to Nikki!
You can check out her blog here...








And as part of Angela's incentive competition, Nancy won this piece. Congrats to her as well...












(I think this is one of my favorites, so peaceful and carefree.)