Thursday, August 30, 2007

HSKS3 Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?
Technically I am a Hufflepuff for this but Ravenclaw is a close 2nd.

2. List your favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length. Or would you prefer circulars?
Lately I have been stuck on the magic loop and have been using Addis. Apparently I am too tense so I tend to snap thinner wood and plastic so I have to stick with metal DP's. I haven't tried KnitPicks straights or DP's yet but my long-time favorite is Susan Bates Quicksilver (light, strong, and coated with something). I tend to use US1 (2.5mm) and 2 (3.0mm), 7" long DP's or 32"+ circs.

3. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?
Knitpicks maybe? Maybe one of the in-between metric sizes that I haven't invested in yet.

4. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?

5. Do you have any allergies?
Cats, some dogs. Haven't found any problems with sockyarn!

6. If you are swapping scarves - what is your desired length for the pattern? This will help your partner find the pattern that is just right for you and buy yarn accordingly.

What vacation?

Fiberge has been collecting photos for a contest. Pictures of knitting on vacation. Since I don't have any, Tia suggested I take one while at work. I kept forgetting my camera (always have my knitting tho!)so this was taken with my phone...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


That's Brian's latest addition to the house. I left work early and took Zack to karate (he's getting ready to test for his 2nd degree black belt Friday) and Steve went to get Brian from football practice. Upon arrival, Brian's ankle was swollen. He did something to it toward the end of practice but cannot tell us what (didn't he have his leg with him at the time?!?!?). The trainer took a look but couldn't come up with anything definitive one way or the other. She told Steve to take him for x-rays if the swelling didn't go down. Steve, knowing Brian and his apparent love for the ER, went directly there, did not pass go, did not collect $200. They did the x-ray and think it may be a Level 1 fracture just above the ankle. They put him in a soft cast and gave him a set of crutches. 'But here's a copy of the x-ray on CD to take to an orthopedic doctor to diagnose for sure.' They say there's no special software needed to look at the x-ray but said not to try it until after the doctor sees it as sometimes computers mess them up. In a few days, I might get to see...
Finally made it to the grocery tonight to use some of those coupons I cut the other day. $178 after 'saving' almost $80. And that wasn't even a full shopping trip, just some fill-ins to keep us going for a bit! Anyone need a couple teenaged boys?
Yesterday, Angel must have really been feeling more like her old self as she was throwing her food around. Doves are ground feeders and she's finicky to boot. When I would give her a bowl of food, she would pick put her absolute favorite seeds and then throw the rest on the floor. She'd just bat at it with her beak (almost like a golfclub in a sandtrap) and scatter it all over the place. Then she'd hop down and pick out her 2nd favorite seeds from the floor. The last couple of days, I had been noticing more seeds on the floor and wondered what happened. Then I saw her eating and throwing some around again! The old Angel was back just a bit more. I was feeling pretty good about her progress. Then, Zack called me twice this afternoon while I was still at work to tell me that Angel had managed to flip herself over and get stick on her back. He flipped her back both times even tho she doesn't like anyone else but me near her. He also managed to get her back into the fishtank she had been in. I've watched her some since as well as picking her up and brushing her a bit and she seems the same as she's been lately. I'm not sure what happened but will have to keep an eye on her...
On a different note, I got my KnitPicks catalogue today! Bob had his at knitting last Tuesday but mine did not arrive until today. I had resigned myself to just looking online and then waiting until the next issue came out. I probably won't order for a while since I just spent $100+ between KnitPicks and patternworks.
And the good news of the day... Hogwarts Sock Partners have started coming out and I got mine!! Gotta go read up on some blogs and send some email...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Productive days?

Over the past 60 hours I (in no particular order):
*finished another 8-10 loads of laundry
*painted my toe nails
*clippped a few weeks worth of coupons
*paid a month worth of bills
*balanced the checkbook and reconciled several other statements
*finished another dishcloth
*read the last 100+ pages of Cast On, Bets Off
*went to Zack's Open House and met teachers (chemistry, algebra II, Spanish II, Digital Media Arts Academy, Perspectives in American History, English)
*called the insurance agent to up our auto coverage, discussed upping the condo coverage and maybe adding an umbrella policy??
*called Tri-Health about a pesky billing issue - must wait for my refund
*called another healthcare provider to find out why I got a past due statement when I paid the bill online 20 days previous to the statement
*spent 5+ minutes on hold add DirecTV trying to add another receiver/Tivo (got to try again another time)
*worked 8 hours today
*went to church and volunteered in Children's Sunday School
*am currently watching the Bengals/Falcons game
*turned the heel and finished the gusset on Simply Lovely Lace sock #2
*cleaned up some of my knitting 'stuff' from around my recliner
*placed an order at Patternworks
*went through a couple of email accounts
*read up on some blogs
*watched Big Brother
*sat out on the back deck, in the sun, with Angel Bird until I started dozing off

And I still feel guilty about what I didn't get done?!?!? The house is still a mess and it really needs to be shoveled out. Maybe next weekend I can take a couple of loads out to donate, find a new sofa, rearrange furniture, do more laundry, etc...

I'd rather be here:

or even here:

(this was the yarn & needlework shop in Lahaina that was closed due to major water damage - the sprinklers ran ALL NIGHT LONG)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sleeping Late on a Saturday?

Not a chance! I was the first one up this morning as usual. It does give me a little quiet time to myself, tho. I puttered in the kitchen a bit and talked to the birds, made my first pot of coffe in weeks, ate breakfast and read. I might even finish the current book (Cast On, Bets Off by Jack Olesker) today. And I've started back into the mountain of laundry. I did 10+ loads last weekend and I probably have that many to do this time, too. I hadn't done laundry for 2 or 3 weeks before getting started last week. Mine and Steve's are done together but then each of the boy's is done separately. I don't like all their buckles and velcro and such eating my clothes and I can't keep track of whose t-shirt is whose anymore. They make enough laundry so it's not like I'm running partial loads. It just makes it easier to know that everything is one or the other's and not have arguments over who stole what or that I gave away someone's clothes.
Steve was next up and he is watching football re-runs. Don't we already know who wins? Yes, but he is evaluating players to decide who to draft for his fantasy football leagues (2 this year).
Zack's playing his video games and Brian's outside running off some energy. They made it through the first week of school! Zack thought about trying to drop Chemistry in favor of Aerospace and Environmental Sciens (each 1 semester) but he didn't qualify to switch. He'll have to take other 2 next year if he's still interested. Brian had football practice everyday, even on our record high temp days. 'Light practice' and/or game films from last year was intented to keep them from passing out. Maybe that will give his finger a chance to heal, again. Last summer he had a finger splinted after closing it in the car door. He had to have the nail drilled after blood pooled, etc. Guess what he did again the other day?!?!? This time it was the bathroom door down at the pool. Another kid was threatening to lock himself in so Brian was trying to keep him from closing the door. Again, it's not broken but severly bruised and they put a splint on to try to protect it. If blood collects under the nail... we know, bring him in to have the nail drilled. I called the school that morning to let them know where he was and that he would be coming in. The secretary was trying to reassure me that these things happen and it will get better, etc. We know, this is life with Brian, we've come to accept that.
As of last night, Angel has been moved back in with Teddy. I took the sandpaper out and just have newspaper down. It's a little more slippery than the papertowels I had in the fishtank she was in. The tray is also not flat like the tank. She seems to be getting the hang of it and is getting around OK. Teddy's been running around her like the spaz he is. He occassionally hits her with his tail or startles her when he jumps on/off the perches. She's getting a bit more excercise now but she seems to be handling it. I think it'll be good for her. And Teddy has started singing more again! (Last night I saw her scratch her head with her foot for the first time since all this happened.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Still having list trouble

I couldn't do anything to my lists last night from home so I brought my laptop to work and figured I could run it side by side with my work desktop and see what differences there were. I've run the laptop here before with no problem. Lists work from my work machine. My laptop is not even connecting to the internet here now. There are a couple of secure networks in range that I'm not privy to and one free public wi-fi with a pretty weak signal strength. Argh!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lists!! Finally

Ok, I'm still at work and just playing a bit before I hit the traffic jam that is NE Cincinnati. AND ADD A PAGE ELEMENT FINALLY WORKED!
I worked off memory and added a couple of items, I'm hoping I'll be able to work on it some more when I get home. Keep your fingers crossed!
(Oh, and did you notice? I did my first link last night! I'm actually learning how to work this thing!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

KnitPicks has arrived

I ordered over the weekend (to get the book sale before it ended), they shipped Monday, it arrived today!
Sensational Knitted Socks
More Sensational Knitted Socks
The Knitting Circle (novel)
Fergie, the Frog zip case from Clover
and 2 skeins of Risata in the Dusk color (looks like blue jeans to me).
(And today I spent a couple of hours making up a wishlist at as though I needed anything else!)

So much reading and knitting, so little time. The past few days, I've knit more on my way to work than anywhere else. I finished the latest troop hat over the weekend and have been kind of on a dishcloth kick lately. I picked up another striping colorway and am on my 2nd with it. I managed to adapt a bath puff pattern and finished the original color with that. One of these days, I'll try to get some pics of them all before I mail them off.

On the homefront,
The boys headed back to school yesterday. A junior in HS and an 8th grader. How are they getting so much older if I'm not?!?!?
Steve is home this week and next and then will leave Sept. 4 for 7 days. I think it's the Carolinas again with a side trip on Saturday to go to the Nebraska - Wake Forest football game. Not sure what other traveling will happen in Sept. but he just told me tonight that he'll probably be gone for half of October.
Angel has continued to progress to the extent that I may not move her to the spare cage, I'm thinking of putting her back in with Teddy. I think they'll both be happier that way. I don't need to feed or water her by hand any more so the accessibility isn't as much of an issue.
I have piles of paperwork, bills, laundry, and school stuff to go deal with (whether I want to or not!) so I should go start on some of that and then get some sleep...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Different survey yields different results...


Sort me!

and another...

Your in-depth results are:

Hufflepuff - 12
Ravenclaw - 12
Gryffindor - 10
Slytherin - 7

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Just for Beth and Nancy...
I finally added my name to the list and here's where I'm at:

You signed up on Today
You are #26768 on the list.
17171 people are ahead of you in line.
0 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far

The Sorting Hat

Want to Get Sorted?
I'm a Hufflepuff!
I tried the sorting hat after looking at the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap that I've been hearing about.
And then I managed to add the logo! I'm so proud of myself.
Now to figure out how to add lists... Usually when I go to the page elements page, it does not even include the link to add elements. On the rare occassion when it does, it won't save any changes I try to make!!

We have air!! And other thanks...

What a week. Steve left for Rochester Monday. We were supposed to have our first a/c consult Monday night. I came home and waited. Nobody came. Apparently they had tried calling Sarurday to confirm the appointment but Steve and the boys ignored the phone (didn't recognize the # on caller ID). When Steve checked the voice mail, he could not understand the woman since she had a heavy accent. She left both an 800# and a local #. He understood the local # but she did not include the area code! And he did not look at caller ID again to see where the call had originated! No call back = no appointment. He scheduled someone else for Tuesday evening. They called late afternoon to say they had another emergency and would not make it to our place that evening. He rescheduled them for Wed. evening.
One of my coworkers/neighbors gave me a couple of names and numbers on Tuesday. While in the car driving to work Wednesday morning, I called 2. Left 2 messages. 1 was to be returned in 1/2 hour - still have not heard from them. The other went to voice mail so who knows... She called back while I was still near home and said she could have someone at my place in about 45 minutes! And she'd put it in as a second opinion so I wouldn't get charged the service call unless he was able to do something on the spot. I turned around and went home. Left a message for my boss explaining...

The service man was a little late but was able to determine that the capacitor had shorted out. The unit was also filthy as we had been told previously that there was nothing to do for maintenance on heat pumps. He replaced the capacitor, added a bit of freon, cleaned the unit (Abbee likes to go on top of it) and gave me a few pointers. He was out the door by 10:00 am. 2.5 hours from when I first called (and $314) and we had cold air!!! Thank you, thank you Dale from Hauser Air!

He did say that if we'd had to replace the unit (which we seriously thought we'd have to), we'd have to replace both the inner and outer units. Apparently the federal gov't has decided we all need newer, more efficient systems with a minimum rating of 13. Ours are 10's. If you replace one, you now have to make them match rating-wise so we would have had to do both. Outside unit could have been done for about $2100. But then add the required inside unit and we would have been looking at $6000+. Guess we're keeping what we have!

Now, for knitting-type news...

I received my first stash buster swap package! All the way from England. Marylyn sent this adorable little bag made from Blueface Leicester Wool. It is amazingly soft! I'd heard of that type of wool before but don't recall ever experiencing it. I'm thinking I'm going to have to do a little searching to find me some! The post card has four sheep on it and is titled '4 Ply Wool.' It doesn't show well in the picture but she's got a red button on it that just 'pops' against the dark background. How'd she know what our traditional school colors are? (The Knights had been black and red but from what I've heard, someone else in the conference was also black and red so we got changed to Columbia Blue, not quite powder but definitely a lighter blue, and red. We still use black, tho.) Marylyn, I must be mis-reading your blog address so send me a message so I can properly thank you...
Still working on the Simply Lovely Lace socks. Have also started a bath scrubbee out of the remaining (and additionally purchased new) Sugar & Cream Stripes. And I'm up to decreasing on the latest troop hat.

Last month I signed up for Swap-bot's 'Bust that Stash' swap and an independent 'Swap your Stash,' both international and both to be mailed by 8/31. I'm usually a procrastinator but not this time! I did get my 2 stash-buster swaps worth of yarn/knitted goods packed up this week and shipped out this morning:

This one goes to Chicago for the Swap-Bot one and the other goes to Canada. (She knows who I am so I'll have to wait to post that picture.) I hope they both like them!

I had a hard time trying to figure out what kind of local 'treats' to put in. What is Cinci known for? Graeter's Ice Cream - I'm thinking it would melt. Montgomery Inn Ribs - also tough to ship and expensive. Cincinnati-style chili. A bunch has been recalled. So I started thinking.... What else is here? Good old Proctor & Gamble. How 'bout a few personal care 'treats'? I usually have a bunch of that in my 'stash,' too. Just for good measure, I threw in a "Who Dey Chew" in support of our favorite pros in stripes. (I hope the Bungles get their act cleaned up so they can concentrate on winning games instead of beating criminal charges!)
When I mailed these two, I also had to forward on some season tickets to Wake Forest. My husband is an extreme Nebraska fan (having been born and raised out there) and the Huskers are traveling to Wake this year. He said it was cheaper to buy season tickets to all the home Wake Forest games than to try to buy a single ticket to just the Nebraska game?!?!? When they printed and packed them, his got stuck in the same envelope as ones for Stephen Huff in NC. Close but... Steve googled him and left a message as to what happened and how did he want them sent? Regular mail should have them there mid-week and all will be good in the Wake Forest ticket world.

Also found out that the Post Office only charges $1.05 for money orders. Getting one at the bank was on my list of things to do (either cash or money orders only to get certified copies of my ex's death certificate, all the way from CT). 1st errand of the day and I already had several items checked off the to-do list!

This week I received a different surprise package in the mail. I'm thinking Susan, my Dad's wife, has read my blog?!?! I know I mentioned ready the Yarn Harlot and have gone on and on about my Dove. This came mid-week:
Stephanie's At Knit's End, Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much and "Blue Birds of Peace." The label says 'the doves signify peace and goodwill. The tulips represent faith, hope and charity. the heart is for love for all mankind. The color blue of the doves means truth, beauty, and spiritual strength.' Even though this came from their travels through PA recently, it still reminds me of the Hollanders in western MI. And I have been missing MI big time lately! Obviously, I love my doves, blue is one of my favorite colors, I've needed the spiritual strengh, peace, etc. She hit it right on! Thank you, Susan!
And to wrap up...
Angel is still progressing. She's walking a bit better each day, I don't have to hand feed her, and she's fluffing her feathers and spreading her tail more often. I'm even leaving the bowl of water in with her for longer periods of time. She has managed to get herself in the water bowl and then almost fell getting out but she didn't seem to mind being wet on the underside. I saw her flip herself back over one day so she's not getting stuck upside down anymore. I tried putting her in a regular cage so she could hold on to the wire grate with her feet for a little added stability but she's not quite coordinated enough yet. We'll try again later in the week. As she grows new feathers, she'd not able to groom all of them yet so they are staying wrapped in the sheath they come out in. I cleaned one off for her last night but she wasn't keen on me pulling on a few of the others. I am considering a soft brush to see if that might help without the pulling....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Too hot to knit?!?!?!

Beth mentioned having only 1 room with a/c. That's now one more than us Beth!! Our a/c (heat pump) died Thursday. We don't even have our first 'consult' until 6pm Monday and who knows how far out they are scheduling installs. We have 3 floors with almost no air circulation, and we sit facing the sun with basically no shade. There is 1 ceiling fan in the stairwell. The fan on the interior part of the system does not appear to be working either (we were hoping to at least be able to circulate some cooler basement air). Not sure if we have to replace only the unit outside or whether the unit in the basement will need to go, too. Record and near-record heat, oppressive humitidy, 'heat emergencies,' etc. I guess we'll just be sittin' and sweatin'...

I ran some errands yesterday, did a little shopping, and enjoyed others' a/c! Went up to Lambikins in Hamilton for their end of season sale and ended up not buying any sale items. I did get some 'Bengals' Opal sock yarn, a few Cascade Fixation to mix with some I already have so I can use it up (and make a few more pairs of cotton instead of wool socks for wearing to work), and Cool Socks, Warm Feet by Lucy Neatby. Beth's been working the Mermaid socks from it and has mentioned some other techniques I have not tried yet so my interest was piqued.

I also went looking for a button for the Pink Lady Bag and fell in love with a beaded tassel instead. It was absolutely perfect color-wise and everything. Till I tried to put it on. 2 of the tassels broke, spilling beads everywhere! One was while I was trying to loop it through itself, the other simply bounced against the bag and broke!! Not good. Back to square one...
I have finished the first Simply Lovely Lace Sock and have 2-3" done on the 2nd. I took care of the ends on the Rippling Waves dishcloth, and I finished the Socks Mark The Page bookmark I started a couple of weeks back.

On the homefront, football started this week so Brian was off doing that a couple of nights. They ended up cancelling a couple of nights because of the heat. This coming week, practice is 8-10 am. How is that supposed to happen when parents work??? I just love the schedules educators come up with - don't they know the rest of the world can't just drop everything and leave work at their bidding??
Brian's schedule pick up was this week also. Which really means 'come pay your fees.' $320 later and I was out the door. $45 for school supply fees and the balance of the fees to go to DC. And I still have quite the list of supplies to buy just for him!
Another thing I don't understand is why they can't publish the supply list earlier in the summer so we can catch sales and such. School starts 8/21 so we pretty much have to buy what we can find at this point. Zack's schedule pickup is not until the middle of this week. Less than a week to find his supplies (after I have the priveledge of paying $115 worth of his supply fees).

Zack got another 'tip' in karate so he is that much closer to being able to test for his 2nd degree black belt. Both boys have had their 1st degrees for a while now but progress has been slowed by other sports, school activities, travel, etc. Tough when you miss class and Mom gets on you about havng to pay even when you don't go!

Steve is travelling again this week, Rochester NY this time. Last week it was Greensboro, I think. I know he got to swing by and have dinner with his parents so it was somewhere in the Carolinas! In effect, I get to be a single parent for a few months while he gets a new project to market.

Angel is still slowly progressing though she is still in the 'birdie rehab hospital.' She is walking better and can almost lay down and relax. She is eating on her own from a shallow gecko bowl that has been repurposed. She prefers to stand in her food when she eats apparently and she is able to get in and out of this bowl without falling. I still take her out to let her drink as I don't feel comfortable leaving her with a shallow bowl to fall into and I'm not sure she can drink from a deeper bowl on her own yet. She has been grooming more but since she still can't reach all areas, it has been concentrated on her upper right chest. How can I tell?? The bald spot kind of gives it away. From what I can tell from watching her, grooming throws her off balance and that is when she occassionally flips onto her back. I suspect it is also, at least partially, why she's not grooming her wings and tail yet. She a bit rumpled looking but we still love this fiesty little girl. She will survive!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"BIG" Knitting

Felt like a little 'big' knitting the other day so...

Here's the Pink Lady Bag (pre-felting) that I knit Sunday. It was actually a fun little project! 2 skeins of K1C2 Parfait I had left after replacing all the yarn for the Moose sweater, held together and knit on KnitPicks size 9's. Colors aren't showing well - it's kind of a mauve, dusty purple, lavender-type color. Maybe 10 p.m. on a black background is not the best way to go...

And here it is post-felting (1 wash only). Perfect on the first try!
Just need to find the right button...

And when I stopped at Michaels the other day, I saw Peaches and Cream Stripes. Didn't know it came in that variety but I usually don't do many dishcloths so I don't keep up with it. I absolutely fell in love with this colorway (they look much more tropical ocean-like in real life). Thought the 'Rippling Waves' pattern would show the stripes well and ... ta da! Gorgeous, if I do say so myself.

I've turned the heel on my 1st Simply Lovely Lace Sock, maybe I'll be up to #2 by the weekend???

And Angel is still making progress. She does not fall as much and I am even beginning to leave a bowl of water in there for her at times. She is much, much fiestier than before!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Can't forget the dogs!

For those that have heard stories about my crazy dogs, here they are! Abbee is the Shepherd-Hound. Blitzen (better known as Ditz, Stupid, Knucklehead, PITA, etc) is the upside-down mystery mutt...

Birds and Frogging

Angel update: She got her last dose of antibiotic last night. She is taking some tentative steps but she is also still stumbling and falling a lot. Periodically I have to right her after she gets stuck on her back. She has started pecking seeds from the floor and even grooming herself a bit! We are still spending a LOT of time together but she seems to be OK with me handling her. We have even figured out how to get most of her meds in her instead of on her face. Some of her feathers are a stuck together, red, and crunchy from the antibiotics so I tried to was her face a couple of times yesterday. She wasn't keen on the idea tho she did seem to like my towel drying her! She still has the 2nd med to continue but we are dropping it down to every other day for a while (then every 3rd, etc).
Teddy is still noticeably quieter than normal but he isn't constantly watching over her. Maybe they have gotten used to my holding her up so they can 'talk' and see each other... Angel update: She got her last dose of antibiotic last night. She is taking some tentative steps but she is also still stumbling and falling a lot. Periodically I have to right her after she gets stuck on her back. She has started pecking seeds from the floor and even grooming herself a bit! We are still spending a LOT of time together but she seems to be OK with me handling her. We have even figured out how to get most of her meds in her instead of on her face. Some of her feathers are a stuck together, red, and crunchy from the antibiotics so I tried to was her face a couple of times yesterday. She wasn't keen on the idea tho she did seem to like my towel drying her! She still has the 2nd med to continue but we are dropping it down to every other day for a while (then every 3rd, etc).
Teddy is still noticeably quieter but he isn't constantly watching over her. Maybe they have gotten used to my holding her up so they can 'talk' and see each other...

I had a few inches done on Marina Piccolla when I brought it to knitting group Tuesday. I know some of the pattern was getting lost in the yarn colors but I just wanted to knit! They suggested that I pick a different pattern for the Tofutsies and a different yarn for Marina.

Took me a few days but I ripped it out. AGAIN!

Thursday I wasn't feeling so great but I did go to work anyway. And that night I managed to cast on for Simply Lovely Lace Socks from Interweave Spring 06. Yesterday I was feeling even worse so... Guess I gotta stay home and knit all day, right?!?!? I slept till noon and puttered around the house a little but I did get the cuff pretty much done before heading off to bed last night. I sometimes work 2 socks at once but with all the knitting and ripping I've done on this one, I'm only working one at a time.