Friday, December 26, 2008

Asking for Help, Again.

My holiday went wonderfully, for the most part. Hubs came through with a beautiful and appropriately sparkly gift, made 2 amazing dinners, and was overwhelmingly jovial throughout the past couple of days. The Boy, although sick with a head cold, managed to make everyone laugh, opening his gifts with gusto and saying, "What is it?"... then- "Thanks a-whaaat" (think 3 year old speak for, "Thanks alot") after each one. Adorable.

We did have some mis-steps, as with all complex family gatherings. Hubs' brother decided Christmas was the best day to get stoned on our front lawn, only to be caught, making dinnertime uncomfortable to say the least. We have a pretty stiff no drug policy, which he is aware of. He's not welcome back into our home.

And- my family collected money for a charity (instead of doing secret santa) and now there's some disagreement as to where the money should be sent.

This is where I need help.

Originally we decided that it was going to go to a certain charity. But someone in my family, let's just say this person is the matriarch of our clan, is insisting that it go to someone else. I know this person isn't going to use the money for what we intended it to be used for. I can't tell the matriarch to go screw herself, but I can't in my heart send the money to charity knowing that someone in my family is hurting.

So, how can I send money to someone, but prevent them from using it on cigarettes and beer (not that there's anything wrong with vices, but he has a family to think of and hasn't worked in over a year)??

If I buy a gift card to Walmart, he can use it to buy things that I don't think he needs- he's irresponsible enough that he'd do just that. But I have no idea what bills he needs to have paid.


There's also the underlying feeling of being controlled my a relative that I don't appreciate. Not to mention the guilt of giving someone money to help them, but telling them what to spend it on.

Somehow, in trying to do a good thing, it's turning into getting my butt repeatedly kicked.

So not fair.

It doesn't help that Hubs is strongly against sending the money to my relative, even offering to match whatever amount we raised if I send it to the charity.

So, someone please tell me how the heck do I send money to someone who will probably blow it on god only knows what or tell me how to get out of this mess with a clear conscience.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Tell me what Santa brought you!! I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Just when you think things can't get prettier out there, the sun comes out.

I had the pleasure of dragging our garbage barrel to the curb yesterday morning. Yes, it was below zero wind temps out. And no, I do not own snow boots. Yes, the snow is up to my knees in some places and I still managed to take photos.

Because I'm an idiot.

And if you come to visit, please go through the garage. Our front steps,

otherwise occupied.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Snow.

I'm thankful that my Christmas shopping is completely done. We got more snow today, about 5 inches not kidding.

See- Hubs cleaned off part of the railing on our deck yesterday afternoon and this photo was taken this afternoon. There's more out there, as it kept on snowing like crazy for another few hours.

I don't mind the snow- really. I have no where to go and nothing to do. I'm happy sitting by the fire, watching crap tv in my pj's and knitting.

Unfortunately, I know a certain husband that does have some place to go and something to do. He hasn't started his shopping. Grr. (He KNOWS when Christmas is. He KNOWS it is my favorite holiday. He KNOWS that I gave him a damn list 2 months ago. And He KNOWS that I'm going to be highly pissed if there is nothing under that tree for me from him. We go through this every freaking birthday and holiday...last minute shit that drives me insane! I already know that I'm not getting the one freaking thing that I asked for- a weather station, even though he could have ordered it from work at a steep discount. Instead I'll probably end up with some left over 10 karat crap from the clearance jewelry section from Kay Jewelry. Shoot me now.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow, Snow....and More Snow.

I'm used to New Haven snowstorms. I've lived in that area most of my life. We'd get much, much less than the rest of the state, mostly from the warmer temps causing the snow to turn to rain at some point.

Since we moved north, we knew we'd have more snow. I had no idea what to expect (and still don't) but this is what we got last night (and as of 11 am today, it's still snowing).

Last night around 7 pm:

This morning around 6:30 am:

As of a few minutes ago:
The shitty-ass job of plowing that my guy did:

(and if he thinks he's getting $50 bucks out of us for this mess, he's on crack.)

Basically, we're snowed in. We don't own a snowplow or blower, it's over 10 inches of snow out there and would take a million years to shovel.

Instead of going bonkers, I'm knitting and baking.
I finished the fronts of Terrazzo this morning.
I'm going to put it all together in a little while, smack a collar on it, then attempt to block it.
I'm thinking this baby might be done for Christmas! We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Silver Lining

I won this today.

Second place in the weight loss challenge, a silver medal and $160 bucks. Not bad.
The woman who won first lost 18 pounds, which worked out to 8-point-something percent of her weight. Good for her.
Now...what should I blow it on?? A new knitting bag? A new lazy Kate? More yarn? Hmmmm.....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ah, Terrazzo...How Healing You Are.

Now that the weight loss challenge and the semester are over, I feel like I have a lot of free time. (I understand that to some, being a stay at home mom means it's all free time, but trust me- it's not.)
Anyhow, I've been working on Terrazzo, spinning and even finding time to decorate my tree!
Last night I sat and knit, thinking of what I wrote earlier that day and trying to sort it out in my head. (I still don't have the answer.)
Here's the fronts of the sweater:
Still don't like the yarn. But I love the pattern! The cables forced me to pay attention, while the Terrazzo stitch portion allowed for my mind to wander. Perfect.
Here's what these two look like when they are plied. My plying sucks, but I have no idea where to get lessons to improve on it. It's not really a beginner's spin class issue, but I'm not confident in taking an advanced class....I guess I'll just keep on practicing.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feeling Sentimental.

I'm not sure what I want to write.

I recently "bumped into" an old friend. I'm not sure what the protocol is. I have no idea if I should reach out or keep to myself. I would love to play catch up, but have no idea how to go about it or if it's welcome.

Funny, just when you think the door is shut forever, someone comes by and unlocks it- the door opening may settle my heart or tear it open, just like it was left years ago.

I recently went through and tossed a bunch of photos from back then. I didn't want to move them. But mostly, I didn't want to hold on any longer. I really thought that I'd never hear from you again.

I'm not saying that I wished for things to be different- you went your way, I went mine. I seriously could not be happier than I am right now, right here. I feel blessed to live the life I do.

But I still wonder- why you left without a good bye and worse- why you came back without a hello.

You are missed. In so many of my life changes you were thought of. At my wedding, when my grandmother was ill, when my son was born...I played your cd while in were there.

And you are loved. Not loved in a romantic sense, but in that basic, human connection that we shared from the moment we met. I hope you know that.

Be gentle. I'm feeling fragile.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Double Knots are a Rough Way to Start a Morning.

I found this gem at about 6:50 this morning. DAMN YOU double knots!Yes, I was up and knitting that early. Between the heavy rains, winds, and a certain young boy yelling, "AWAKE, MAMA! Good Mornnnninnnngg!", it was tough to sleep past 6 am.
So I knit.
And finished the sleeves on Terrazzo.
They may be a smidge too long, but I'm never knitting them again. I felt like I would never, ever stop knitting them. Seriously. (It could have had something to do with the lack of good TV last night. Or lack of sleep.) I'll cast on tonight for the fronts. I just hope they aren't as painful.

I also did a bit of Christmas knitting. This was a take anywhere project.

Hat for my mom's boyfriend. Since my dad isn't in the picture, Walt has done a bang up job as The Boy's grandfather (perhaps an even better one than my dad could have ever done...but that's another post.) and deserves hand knits. He's one of those guys (are any of them not?) who has everything, wants nothing and is content with seeing everyone happy. I hope he wears it in good health.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


10.6 pounds lost.

I was reaching for 15, but then I didn't stop reaching for ice cream and wine as much as I should I'm not complaining!

I lost 5 inches on my waist.

I still have work to do. I will lose those last few pounds.

I feel good. I guess that's all that matters.

Next up- handing in the final paper.

Then drinking heavily.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Too Late.

I've been saying to myself all day that I need to take a good photo of the completed back and partially finished sleeves of Terrazzo.

Now it's getting dark.
Instead of the artisticly arranged photo that I had in my head, enjoy this recently taken craptastic one of the sleeves.

Perhaps tomorrow I can pull my head of out my butt before 4:25pm to take a much nicer photo for ya'll.
(Tomorrow is D-day by the way- it's both the final weigh in for the weightloss challenge AND my final paper is due. So not sleeping tonight! Wish me luck!)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

First Snow.

Really, it's not much of a storm. We had an inch and a half. But for a little boy without much snow experience, it's magic.
What magic did you find this weekend?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Movin' Right Along...

The back is almost done on Terrazzo.
I still think it's going to be huge on me, but we'll see once we block it. I shouldn't judge a piece based on what it looks like unblocked. Plus, I'm meaning to wear it as a jacket, with a long sleeve shirt under it. Some extra room wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
In any case- serious, serious love.
What I do not love is this yarn.
It's Wild Apple Hill Farm's 100% wool, purchased at NYSWF this past year.

I will admit that it was cheap- I think it was $5.00/skein for 210 yards. The color is stunning. I love blues...always have. I think the color and the price are the only things going for it.

It is very rustic. Very. I'm constantly stopping to pick out pieces of whatever crap is attached to the yarn. I know some of it is ok, but this is more than just some vm.

There's a ton of knots. Sometimes it's only one of the two plies. I personally don't like knots so I cut them out and spit splice the pieces. It takes time...time that I should have spent knitting.

There is no give to the yarn. My fingers, wrists, and palms hurt from working with it. I stop every few rows to stretch and take a breath. My wrist hasn't hurt in a long time, even with more time spent knitting. I'm dreading the cabling part of this project. Perhaps I should do the sleeves next and then the fronts. (That's one of my secrets. Do the easy stuff first so you feel guilty when you put it down.)

I didn't knit most of the weekend or Monday. On Weds. I decided to give myself a decent jump on this project and don't regret it. Now it's back to the paper though.

Busy weekend ahead- Bunco with the neighborhood ladies tonight, tomorrow a party at a friend's house and Sunday is the final day that I'll have time to do the paper, except for finishing touches.

(Did I mention that I can't WAIT for this semester to end?)

And did you hear? Stitches East is in Hartford, CT for the next 3 years. The dates are in Oct 2009, on Hubs' birthday to be exact. I had plans on inviting a couple of out of towners to stay in the guest room, but now I have to think about it more.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas Questions

I love these. Found 'em at Carole's. Feel free to join in!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly wrapping paper. I am one of those freaks who highly enjoys wrapping. I'm actually surprised that I haven't done any wrapping so far this year. (Damn you, term paper!)

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. Both Hubs and I are allergic to the real deal.

3. When do you put up the tree? I love this time of year so I want it up asap, as long as it's after Dec. 1. Hubs says no. I'll keep bugging him until it gets unbearable and he gives in.

4. When do you take the tree down? First week of January. Hubs does it when I'm not home. Otherwise I whine and cry to try and keep it up longer.

5. Do you like eggnog? Love it. With cinnamon.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I got a bike once. I think I was 12. First bike. Loved that thing.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Definitely my father-in-law. (Ditto, Carole. What do you get a guy who feels he needs nothing, wants nothing?) His birthday is Jan 1, so it's even harder since we have to come up with 2 gifts. Having The Boy makes it easier. This year I think he's getting a calendar o' The Boy.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Me. lol. Yes, I buy myself one gift every year. No actually, the easiest is The Boy. He just wants anything fun.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? No. Although I'd love to see Carole's cross stitched one.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Oof. I admit that I'm awful at this. I'd love to send them, but I hate getting stuff organized, picking a photo, writing the addresses and don't you know- I always forget someone.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A pair of women's XXL boxers, you know- the kind you can sleep in? Yeah, I was a size 6 at the time. They had the tag on them still. $1.99. Not even joking.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story. Watched it last night. I also love Badder Santa. Perfect for when I start to get all anal about the holidays.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Late Oct/early Nov. I also look throughout the year to see if I can come up with the perfect gift, especially at my mom's craft shows. I love supporting homemade and it's possible that the craftspeople may not have what you need come Dec.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yeah, probably. But not in a really, really long time.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas cookies!

16. Lights on the tree? Yep. More the merrier!

17. Favorite Christmas song? Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. I get chills when I hear O Holy Night by Josh Grobin.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We're staying home both Christmas Eve (my family) and Christmas Day (Hubs' family).

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? I had to look it up.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? I'm awful at the suspense. One year Hubs and I exchanged on Thanksgiving morning. Not even kidding. It helps that he is a last minute shopper (annoying too, if I might add) so we can't exchange. It also helps that my fam comes Christmas Eve, so the gifts I get from them helps to kill some of the overwhelming need to open and share.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Mean people in the stores. I just want to say to them, "Look. We're all tired, we're all hot, we're all spending money we don't have. You being an asshole to me doesn't make the whole experience any easier."

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love buying ornaments on any trips or special occasions that come up throughout the year. Those reminders are always my favorite.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year? A fancy weather station, with a rain gauge and wind speed thingy. Stop laughing, I'm a dork in other ways besides knitting.

24. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star.

25. Favorite Christmas dinner? Beef.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Paper Crisis Overted (For Now)

I found out last night that everyone in class had crappy papers. We have one more week.

(Insert sigh of relief here)

In a fit of anxiety yesterday (and insead of working on the paper- explain that to me) I decided what I wanted to work on, knitting wise.

I saw Foxfire Fiber and Designs' Terrazzo sweater at one fiber show or another a few years ago. I instantly loved it. They only had it available in kits. All of the kits contained mohair. Since I'm allergic to mohair, there's no way that would work for me.
At Mass sheep and wool earlier this year I got the pattern, no kit. YAY!
I have no idea why I wanted to start this sweater now, but I did. I want it to look great so I swatched.

(Hey, see my wedding ring? I'm losing so much weight that it spins on my finger!)

I have bigger gauge than called for. Not surprising since I'm not using the yarn suggested. But the project is still a go. It may be a bit big in the end, but the yarn is 100% wool and I can shrink it easily enough.

I casted on this morning while The Boy was watching his 100th Thomas and Friends show of the morning.

I should mention that it's designed by Lisa Lloyd. Her designs are always nice. Nothing flashy, nothing wacky. I like that.

It feels good to have this thing on the needles.

Oh, and my kid is now sleeping in a big boy bed. No more crib. (I heard that gasp, Annika.) Yes, he has slept in a crib all this time. I'm sure that makes me a horrible mom keeping my 3 year old in a crib. lol We want to start potty training, but thought this would be a good step to Big Boy-Hood.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Yes, Let's.

Let's just pretend that my final term paper, due tonight and not even remotely done, is finished and I get an A.

I'm so screwed.