Monday, November 23, 2009

Its Thanksgiving Week, Already????


I just can't believe it.
So random updates--
1) We are NOT moving to the mountains- and I am NOT going to invest my life into the yarn store. The owner couldn't decide if she really wanted to sell or not. And I wasn't about to invest in the paperwork & funding issues any further when she started sounding iffy.
2) MC has started Daisy Girl Scouts & loves it. She is also in the Chess Club at school & likes that too.
3) PK is slightly regressing-- and has started eating everything- his favorite-- socks- even if he has to take them off his feet to do it. (TOTALLY GROSS) I've found our last passie & encourage him to chew that instead- but I HATE having a 3 yo with a passie.
4) Vince- the blanket is done & sitting on my shelf- all boxed and ready to go. I just need to get it from shelf to car & car to post office!
5) Malindi- Carrot Cake for Thanksgiving- your dad will pick it up tomorrow? or Wed am? I'm making it tonight.
6) HPKCHC Ornament Swap: I've got 2 little things done & the 3rd is drying! Love them!
7) Reducio: I have a Gryfindor partner, so I need to make a new mini sock. Maybe I can get that done tomorrow?
8) New job at Retirement Community is great. I really love it. I want to try to get "The Girls" to do wii Bowling... Then we'll be more adventurous to play with the gang in the other building.
I'm doing lots of crafts- and have ideas for the next few months-- but if you have ideas please let me know!
9) Still need to clean out the massive pile of toys in the play-room.
10) New (used) dryer to be delivered 12-5! Yippie.

and bonus #11) We will be getting high speed cable modem at home! (Hopefully this week!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm still here!

I know. I know. Its been ages since I've posted. I've just had so much going on & nothing happening, all at once. Sounds funny, but you know how it is.

So, a quick list of things I've been dealing with.
MC started 1st grade, and is already planning her birthday party that is two months away.
My friends are having babies like crazy. Katrina has hers this Spring, Malindi is a few months along, Cas is due in October & Vince's wife is due in a little over six weeks (haha- you didn't think I saw that pic, did you?) I've been working like crazy on making baby things- and Vince- yours will be late, as I thought I had a little more time to get it done!~
I've discovered an amazing shop that is for sale & I've been working on the business plan. (If anyone is interested in helping me out as a partner or investor or a micro-loan I'd love you forever.) I'm hoping to qualify for a SBA loan for some funding as well. Its somewhat of a crazy combo- its Shoes & Yarn. But it really works out nicely and is in an EXCELLENT location.
In order to save some money, most likey we wil be moving in a few months.
I've been working on a new group on Ravelry, NAIME, to offer HPKCHC students the chance to study through August. Several members of the group want to keep NAIME active, but I see HPKCHC having a bigger draw, and it is established on Ravelry. Not sure where that is going, as there is just so much that I will be dealing with in the next few months.

Well, gotta run & get things going at work. Hope all is well in your world today!
Like I said- A lot going on mentally, but nothing exciting to write home about.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm Back!

Hey! Blogger FINALLY let me back in to add new post!
I could do every thing else here, but if I tried to add a new post- I'd get a crazy blank white screen.

So, this morning, I FINALLY did something right.
I put the Jelly on the bread first, THEN the peanut butter.
Why does this make a difference, you ask?
Well, here is how it works if you do the PB first:
1) Get out bread
2) Spread PB with a knife
3) but knife in soapy water to soak of excess PB
4) spread jelly with spoon
5) close sandwich
6) cut sandwich with...spoon? nope, gotta use a new knife.

See? IF I put the jelly on first, then the pb, I'm most likely gonna hang onto it to cut the sandwich, before putting the knife into soapy water.
YEA! Success!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

End of Spring Break

My eldest is in year-round school. She just got back home last night after spending almost 3 weeks with her grandparents (THANKS!) Tomorrow she has to make up a snow day, so back to school we go. I'm not sure I'll be able to drag her out of bed to catch that 7:05 bus... I hope I can.

I'm so happy that she is home, but really need to get her back into the routine here. And, I need to get myself back into the routine of picking up after two kids. (She went, he stayed at home & in school.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Yesterday was my birthday.
I had TWO different groups call me & sing the Birthday Song.
I got Banana Pudding with a star candle!
My brother fixed an amazing dinner od pork loin & pasta & green beans & had us over for movie night. (we had to leave mid movie as it was already 8:30.)
I discovered that birthdays give us another "fresh-start" for resolutions-- so an April birthday is the perfect time to revisit New Year's Resolutions, because they've about worn off by now.

Things I want to do this year...
get life insurance
get health insurance
get a will
skate/walk/cycle more
revamp kids room storage
finish fixing back room
new yarn storage
finish some wip afghans
write letters/cards to old friends
keep up with car maintenance

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April!

The Pollen is OUT. I had another root canal. Winter Term of HPKCHC is over. MC is on Intersession. I've made tons of amazing projects that I need to share. B is learning to use the Knifty Knitter. (seriously.) I made the best chicken pot pie E V E R. I need a hair cut. I still hate folding laundry. I'm out of loaf bread. I need to pack clothes for a weekend in the mountains. I have a nagging feeling that I forgot to write down an appointment. The bathroom sink is sparkly clean. (I'm pretending to be using Flylady.) This weekend= big trip to Sams Club & restock the pantry shopping. (ugh- just typing that one makes me tired.) Okay. I'm off for more antibiotics & ibuprofen & bed. But that's my update. And I'm sticking to it. More later. Maybe.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I haven't been motivated to update my progress on various projects around the house.

I have been busy catering the dinner each Sunday evening for about 100 people.
I did get all of my HPKCHC assignments done, including reaching 25% mark on my 3 OWLs.
My score for February was 95 & the highest in my house. Yippiee.

Its been cold & yucky all week, I'm really tired, and its supposed to be in the 70s on Sunday. Very messed up weather. In fact, last Sunday's meal was canceled due to ice & freezing temperatures.

I'll be working on the House Cup Blog this weekend posting voting ballots for a badge design contest for OWL students. And Pasta for 100.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Garden Gnome

Okay, so today, the kids & I ventured out into the front yard. (I can't even call it a garden, because we barely have grass.) I kept glancing over to the big ivy covered pine, hoping to catch another glimpse of the garden gnome.

I finally did see it & I was ready with the camera.
at tree

We played for a bit & then went back indoors. I had to get back into the kitchen, as I'm in the middle of prepping mashed potatoes for a big dinner. I've done about half of the potatoes, and have about 20 pounds left to peel, dice, cook, mash & season. You can imagine my shock when I reached over to the potato basket & saw this:

in basket

My only guess is that it followed the kids or was captured by one of them.
Upon close inspection, I realize that this must be an infant. You see, it has sprout eyes.
close up of eyes
Unlike the root vegetable potato, which grows eyes as it ages, Garden Gnomes have the eyes when they are young. This is to aid in their camouflage, as they have a tendency to wander off & be spotted by muggles. The eyes & stumpy legs make them look like a random potato lost in the yard/brush/shrubbery.

I left the back door open for a bit & when I looked out the window, I saw him vanish as he reached the edge of my yard. I guess he found his way back home!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Patronus, Pretending to be a Scarf

My Portuguese Man Of War Patronus Neck-Scarf Thing

scarf on Lula

I used the free pattern I found through Ravelry.
Could it Be Any Easier? Neck Cozy by karendeane
I really like the look of the sample scarf, but I knew mine would be different. First off, I used an 8mm hook, instead of the 6.5mm & 6mm called for. I used 1 strand of bulky acrylic boucle yarn, which really isn't bulky, just uneven. The pattern calls for 2 strands of Bulky Alpaca Wool.
They suggest 2 buttons; I had the perfect button, which was really a pendant that a friend brought back from a trip to the Amazon. (Hi Bibb!) I had to tear out about 20 chains when I started so this thing wouldnt meet below my navel. I had to tweak the stitch placement to achieve the fabric qualities I wanted. Oh. AND, I had to add tentacles. But only to one end, because the Man of War is sorta asymmetrical like that.

Now, this appears to be quite dense and solid, but actually it is light weight yet cosy.
I actually remembered to photographically document some of my pattern changes & I'll try to show that with the following photos.

The working fabric stretched to show stitches:
Hook is through Chain Space, as indicated in pattern:
2nd Hook showing placement of next Chain Space:
White Hook added shows placement of my stitches BETWEEN the 'V' of the sc:
Work this space front to back:

Continue the pattern of sc into 'V' space as shown here, and chaining, as indicated by the pattern.

In about a dozen rows, you will have your very own scarf/neck wrap thing.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I have wizarding neighbors.

HA- I KNEW it!
I’ve suspected it since we moved here, but now I have proof. I have a whole slew of wizarding families living next door. But, since I’m a part time muggle, I can’t see their houses. MY house is number 852. My next door neighbor’s house is number 890. So there are several houses that should be in between us. I can’t see them but I have proof.

You see I found this by chance having to make a run out to the car after dark. Because of the full moon, I caught a glimpse of some sparkly blue in my ivy. I ran back inside & grabbed the camera. I didn’t think about the flash, so the first shot– Well you see.


Then I popped the flash & CAUGHT proof on film. Well, digital media card, but same difference. I tried to get a second shot, but the flash must have sent him(?) scrambling, as I might have blinded it.

Care of Majical Creatures Homework

If you are a muggle and aren’t sure what I’m so excited about– let me explain. I have photographic proof of a garden gnome. These creatures usually only reside in wizarding yards & gardens. But I think this one has taken up residence in my front yard. I’ve noticed the strange hole in the ivy around the tree, and now I know why. I’ll try to explore it further in daylight.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Patronus

So my classes in Ravelry's Group HPKCHC, We are having to do a lot of assignments based on our personal Patronus.
I have been trying to settle on what mine is-- and had a horrible time settling on the right animal.
I tried searching online for various crochet patterns that I could manage (not too many separate parts, not too fussy, easy for a beginner...) Nothing struck me.
I tried going through my vintage crochet magazines. Lots of cute critters, but none of them were IT.
So then, I just quit focusing on what it would be & would think about it later.

Again, back to researching & I decided I needed a water animal, but it wasn't a fish. My thoughts went to manatees, but that wasn't quite right-- they didn't project quite the right vibes. Whales & dolphins-- nope. Crabs or shell fish- too fiddly. Then I decided on a Jelly Fish.

That would work. There are lots of patterns for these & it shouldn't be too hard to make. So I googled for a pattern. Found one I liked-- who knew there were so many ways to make a jelly fish? Pulled out my desk yarn & started-- made a few rounds. Then back to the internet for a bit of research on the traits I wanted my patronus to exemplify. WHOA. there are eleventy-billion different kinds of jelly fish. And they have all kinds of different traits.

Did you know that Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is the source of a jelly fish's bioluminescence? And scientist have been able to make this protein & they use it as a marker when inserting genes into cells or organisms? HOW COOL IS THAT?

You can eat some kinds (they show a photo of tentacles in soy sauce in the wikipedia entry -- GROSS. And then they talk about treatment for stings. Vinegar, can be used but should not be used for treatment of Portuguese Man of War stings. AH HA. THATS IT! MY POTRONUS!!!!

See, "my" beach gets these quite regularly. They are beautiful. They are shimmery & iridescent. They have log tentacles that will sting the bejeebies out of you, even after cut off the creature. YES, this is my Patronus.

A little bit of research tells me that the Portugese Man of War is actually 4 types of creatures that live together as one unit. There is a fancy scientific word for this-- but you can check the wikipedia, cause I can't spell it & can't say it-- so why type it!

The Sail or floaty part is a clear iridescent bluish color, or sometimes pinkish or purple. The tentacles are a beautiful aqua blue with touches of purple. Good colors for me! (I even have yarn for this!) The floatie bit is usually 2-4 inches long, and a couple of inches high, but the height can expand up to 15cm (6inches). The tentacles range in length, but are usually about 3 feet with one or two or more long ones- up to 158 feet in length. YIKES! Most of the ones that get washed to shore have shorter tentacles, as they have been broken off. However, I have seen some spread maybe 10 feet along the sand.

So Back to my lovely Patronus.
WHY does the Portuguese Man of War suit me for my patronus? Its pretty. Its shiny. Its dangerous. And its more than meets the eye.
Although I'm not much of a girly girl, I have been known to pull out all the stakes & model, or win a beauty pagent-- or really out shine the others at a formal event. That takes care of the pretty.
Shiny Iridescence? I love jewelry. I love buying it, wearing it, making it.
Danger-- oh yes. I have a high tolerance for stupid people, people who piss me off, and idiots. Push me too far & I'll let you know it. I can be one very "Not-Nice" fishie. I think just like the tentacles, I can really pack a punch!
More than meets the eye. Just like the Man of War looks like a simple singular creature, I've got you fooled. I have multiple talents, multiple careers, multiple functions within my family. I am a complex creature.

Another thing-- there are few predators for the Man of War. I want my protector to be safe!Remember I said that the Man of War has only a couple of inches present on the surface of the ocean-- with varying amounts of length below? Well, there are three things that feed on these creatures in my part of the world. A little 6cm blue sea slug, a 4cm little common purple snail & the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

Now loggerheads are near & dear to my heart-- as many seasons sections of "my" beach have been closed for nesting. (Turtle nesting is ok, but those dang tern nesting ares- bah.) I've seen evidence the morning after hatching, but I've never been there. My mother has been out several times and seen turtles laying eggs. And she was able to assist when a turtle was confused by the conflicting sounds of the surf & couldn't figure out which way to go back to the water. That turtle had laid her eggs on the point, and could hear the surf both to the north and the south. So, yeah, I'm okay with the turtles taking a little nibble.

So, after happily discovering my patronus, I've found the pattern I want to use for my project & I already have the perfect button to use! Now to find time to work on it! More to come!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I've cleaned up the messiest craft room EVER!

I've still got 3 boxes (medium sized) on the couch that need to be sorted, but I've worked almost all month sorting & throwing out stuff in my craft room.
It feels SO good to have the open space in here now. Taking out the coffee table freed up more floor space that I imagined, plus that flat surface is no longer beckoning to be piled up. My kids now bring toys in here to play in the floor space, which is fine, IF they remember to put the toys back away when they are done. (So far- that is rare.)

Hopefully the last 3 boxes will be sorted soon, I can move the Big A$$ cabinet to the other wall (its full of scrapbooking & rubber stamping & stationary & crayola type products) That is a project in itself which WILL be done in FEBRUARY. I PROMISE. Even empty, I don't think I can move it by myself.

Once the craft cabinet is moved, I'm getting rid of the sofa & buying a twin bed. A spare room needs a spare bed, right? I've already bought the cutest Hula Girl printed sheets that will look great with my floral comforter. So By MARCH I should be ready to buy new mattresses & bed! WHOO HOO!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Is it possible to learn to blow bubbles with gum when you've just lost both of your top front teeth?
Because I'm having a REALLY hard time trying to teach MC.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wow- I’ve been busy, as I guess I should be used to. Being a single parent of two, and all. But, here is an update on some of the more fun/less mundane activities in my life.

I’ve been concentrating my creative time on yarn. More specifically on projects for the Harry Potter Knit-Crochet House Cup. HPKCHC.

I’ve turned in several assignments already, although the due date isn’t until the end of the month.

For my DADA assignment, we were to be Imperio’d by a fellow Housecupper.

So far I’ve made PDXWomans crochet Version of Which Witch. It is an adorable mini witch hat. I used Cadet Blue Lion Brand Wool, and embellished it with Pisgah’s PetalSpun, Art 2025, in the Teak colorway. This is the perfect color for BRONZE, and the shiny rayon really pops for the hat band.

This is my first successful attempt at felting crochet, the oversize SWS mitten sides being my first unsuccessful attempt.


For felting this, I used a small plastic bowl, some little acrylic pieces, meant to use in flower vases, and a few odd flat-backed marbles in really hot tap water. I let the kids take turns shaking the heck out of it. I took the sharp hook side of a strip of Velcro to help loosen some of the surface fibers. I tossed it in the dryer to finish it off.

For my Charms assignment, we were to practice our Expecto Patronum: Knitting or crocheting as a cure for seasonal depression. The one requirement for this assignment was that our project had to be made for OURSELF.

I made a cute little trio of owls, and have added them to my collection.

The Owlery for Charms homework

For my Care Of Magical Creatures Assignment, I made a rectangle granny rug, using Peaches & Creme Double worsted.

CoMC Rug

I love this thick 8-ply yarn. I used a single strand & a 10mm hook & this thing progressed at lightening speed. I think I’ll be making more like this—maybe even finally get to mom’s other bedside rug.

I'm still working on my Arithmancy project and my Herboligy. And I've also signed up for TWO O.W.L.s but more about those projects later.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year- New Projects

In the middle of all my real life obligations, I discovered that I do little for myself. I think this must be a reoccurring discovery, but hey, eventually it will stick.

To start the year off self-focused, I'm enrolled as a student in the Ravelry group Harry Potter Knit Crochet House Cup- HPKCHC, or just House Cup.

The term started January 1, 2009, and I've already signed up for Charms, Arithmacy, and an O.W.L.::Charms. I have ideas for Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Care of Magical Creatures. And Herbology is already underway. Except for the History of Magic class, I've got ideas for them all. I think that is a bit of overcommitment. You see, the House Cup isn't a normal school type of environment. The assignments are all yarn related. And although most classes,
O.W.L.s excluded, don't require large projects you only have the month to get your assignment made, photographed, & turned in.

So, in addition to the 2 classes & O.W.L. I've committed to, I'm also one of the school reporters. This is to help document the happenings of the group, and to add information to our blog. I spent almost 4 hours making a mock up of the Daily Profit called House Cup Press. The first issue was added to the blog yesterday, and lots of the other 140 students have requested the pdf. That made me feel good, but there wasn't any "real" info in it-- just house lists, and who the teachers will be-- stuff from the boards. But I thought it would be a fun way to start the term.

I'll be making some regular post to the blog before I do another HCPress, as I think I can gradually add to a document and compile a news sheet from that later on. I guess I can highlight house participation and people who have already completed assignments. There is supposed to be another School Reporter, (maybe 2) but I haven't heard from them to make out a plan.

So-- about my NEW current projects:
UFO Fridays-- on Fridays, I've committed to working on my Red & Purple & Orange Afghan, and I think I'm 1/2 way done now!!!!
Arithmacy: Christmas Stocking for ME
Charms: Something for ME-- I think a little stuffed Owl for my collection. Haven't started it.
OWLs ::Charms A Tunisian Blanket for Mom-- I've had the yarn a while-- this must be done with in 3 months. (This will earn Hufflepuff, my house, 200 points!)

I could keep listing things I'm working on-- but really, do I want to admit I'm in the middle of 11 different afghans? I don't think so. And the mittens? 3 different ones? (If I could figure out the thumb part I'd be good to go.) The All Shawl that has been waiting for a few rows of edging? All the little half finished dishcloths? Oh well, At least I have a reward for doing the Cup projects. Even if points are meaningless outside of that group. I think they are a bit more meaningful than the 500 points you'd earn for timing the jump to the flagpole just right at the end of Super Mario Bros.

Okay-- back to house work for me today!