Wednesday, January 29, 2014


There’s nothing like a summer job to motivate me.  Remember me talking about my summer job    last summer?  Well, I decided to do it again this year.  I received my “processing” date & immediately entered panic mode.  First, let me explain.  “Processing” is another word for  taking a drug test plus the tortuous task of being fitted for my uniform.  Good Lord!  Do you think it’s possible to loose about 50 pounds over the next 8 days?  Facebook does keep showing me ads about how Oprah & Rachel Ray have both lost a ton of weight over a short period of time.  Maybe I need to go take a closer look at those adds.  Do weight loss drugs show up on drug tests?

Although “processing” is next week, I don’t actually start work until March.  So that gives me one full month to do a boat load of stuff.  If this season is anything like last season, I need to catch up on my sleep as well as store up some for the future.  I need to make sure the laundry is all caught up & the house spotless because neither will be touched again until next November.  Any and all custom orders I have on the books definitely need to be completed & shipped.  A summer’s worth of lunches with the girls need to take place.  It would be awfully nice to pack in a few date nights with the spouse too.  Maybe even some spend some quality time with the kids.  A new lunch box set needs to be purchased.  And that’s not as easy as it sounds.  All containers must be clear so that security can see what I’m eating & drinking for lunch that day.  (One of the joys of working in the money vault area.)  I could stand to get some exercise in so that being on my feet for 8+ hour shifts doesn't kill me.  A winter of sitting on my butt watching Netflix while knitting has not exactly helped my leg muscles prepare for that.  And then, there’s those pesky 50 pounds I wouldn’t mind loosing.  Good Lord.  My 8 page to-do list just jumped to about 12 pages.  

It's hard to believe I'm in Prepare for Summer mode when this is going on outside. 

Yep, more snow last night.  This time, they said we'd get up to one inch.  We got closer to four.  It's also a balmy 13 degrees at the moment.  Seems like a good day to stay home and knit.

Monday, January 27, 2014

No ice here

That folks, is how you chemically treat a road to prevent ice.  There will be no ice in Caroline County, VDOT is making sure of it!

I can’t believe VDOT put down that much chemical for last week’s Storm That Wasn’t then took a hit from residents because of icy patches on the back roads.  Just goes to show that you can’t please everyone.  And hey, if you want to see icy patches, come to my neighborhood.  We can’t use chemicals because all of the drainage ditches drain back into our lake.  Here all that can be done is throw a little sand on top of the ice, plow if it’s deep enough & wait for the sun to shine.  

In knitting news, well, there really isn't any.  I've been fiddling with a custom order scarf & haven't made enough progress to make it photo worthy.  Hopefully tomorrow....

I do have some exciting non-knitting news though.  I am SO proud of my son.  He bowls, religiously.  This season, he left the youth league behind & moved into the adult world of bowling.  He could have waited until he turned 21 (a 20 years & 364 days old person is still considered "youth" in the bowling world) but he chose to make the switch when he turned 18 (the youngest you can be in adult bowling.)  Anyway... he bowled in a tournament yesterday and won!  He didn't just win one of the five games, he won the whole tournament!  Over the five games they bowled, he averaged 250.  The most exciting part is the prize money.  After taking out the entrance fees, his winnings were about what he makes in a week at his full time job.  He's pretty excited about that!  And I'm pretty excited about the idea of trying to talk him into buying me a new camera instead of buying more bowling balls.  I swear, that boy buys bowling balls like I buy yarn.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Knitter's Hell

Dammit!  I must be in knitter's Hell.

Don't these socks know how badly I want to be done with them & how badly I do not want to have to un-Kitchner them, frog the toe, get the stitches lined up on the needles properly, reknit the toe & re-kitchner them?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Shades of Gray

My entire world has turned gray.  It snowed on Tuesday.  We were supposed to get eight to ten inches which is huge for this part of the world.   Instead of getting almost a foot of snow, we got less than two inches, which was pretty disappointing as blizzards go but honestly, I can't say I'm upset about it.  What I am upset about is how cold it turned just as the snow was ending.  It's rare for Virginia snow to last more than a day before the sun melts it away.  Not this time!  It's so cold even the sun can't melt it.  So here it is, three days later and our schools are still closed because there's one inch of snow on the roads.

See how gray it all looks?

Okay, well that picture has a lot of red Virginia clay sand in it, but you get the idea.  Everything is gray.  The snow is dirty gray now.  The sky is gray, so gray I'm wondering if it might actually snow again.  The interstates are so gray from the chemicals VDOT put down that you can barely see the lane markers.  And every car that's ventured out of it's driveway over the last three days is gray.

Poor old Blaze is looking rough!  And so are my pants.  I can not get in or out of the car without rubbing against that nasty gray stuff.  I look like I've been on a major powdered sugar donut binge.   But at least Blaze made it home in time for the big snow fall.  Mike had taken her out of town for work (again) & made it home just minutes before it started snowing.

On one of his recent trips, Mike was a bad car daddy!  Blaze celebrated a big mileage milestone & Mike failed to photograph it happening.

Blaze, our youngest Chevrolet, (we have several) hit 300,000 miles!

I just hope Blaze gets to see 400,000.  I had my doubts yesterday.  I took the boy child out to teach him how to drive on ice.  We went to a nearby unplowed church parking lot that had plenty of open space to practice skidding & sliding without having to worry about ditches or other cars.  I gave him the lecture about what to expect & how to handle it.  We traded seats & I told him to carefully, very carefully try to take off a little too fast & feel the car start to slip.  He instantly floored it & began doing donuts all over the parking lot.  Controlled donuts, I have to admit.  When he'd start to get too close to a light pole or curbing, he'd steer out of the spin, move to a better spot & start us spinning around in circles all over again.  I have no idea how he learned to do that but I assume it has something to do with video games.  I'm still not sure how he'll handle driving on ice on a straight road with other cars around, but he can damn sure handle doing donuts!

Meanwhile, in knitting news.... after all, this is a blog about knitting....  I finished a cowl & fingerless mittens to match the hat mentioned in my last post.  I had planned to put them in my Etsy shop but I was cold today & the cowl matched my outfit.  I put it on & decided to never take it back off.  And yes, I'm wearing the mitts too.  Have I mentioned how cold it is outside?  (And inside for that matter, thus the need for the mitts.)  Even the hat looks cute on me & hats Never look cute on my big old head.

That's a close up of the mitts.  They are reversible!  One is turned inside out in the photo.  They are knit in an unevenly numbered rib pattern & on one side, you don't notice the rib hardly at all and on the other, the rib stands out & becomes the pattern.

And looky!  Look how well the KnitPicks Caspian dpns match the yarn!  How cool is that?  The needles arrived on the same day I finished knitting the mitts.  But do you know the coolest thing? Those are #2 dpns.  I meant to order #3.  And you know what that means....  I get to place another order!  Maybe my world isn't so gray after all.

That's the beginning of a chevron scarf I started while I waited for my KnitPicks order to arrive.  It's a simple chevron pattern with alternating double rows of white & an unlabeled rainbow sock yarn from my stash pile.  This scarf will have to wait though.  Now that my yarn order has arrived, I have a custom order scarf to attend to.  Yeah, life is rough when you get paid to do what you absolutely love!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I'm on a stripes kick.  It wasn't a conscious decision but the last seven or eight things I've knit have been striped.  I finished the blue & gray striped socks last week but never blogged about them because I wanted to sew up the toes before showing them off.  Apparently the urge to post them is stronger than the urge to Kitchner them because here they are, still hanging out with open toes:

One of these days, I'll find myself in a quiet, well lit corner with my handy-dandy Kitchner cheat-sheet & I'll sew them up.  I hope that day comes soon.  I've recently worn holes in three pairs of my socks.  It's been a sad few weeks!  But hey - those socks have been worn routinely for over 10 years.  Wow!  Ten years.  That's amazing!  And I'm sitting here thinking that that can't possibly be right, except that I distinctly remember wearing two of them in our old house & it's actually been almost 12 years since we lived there.  Wow.  Just wow!

And then there's this striped hat.  It may last 10 or more years as well.  It's knit from Red Heart!  Shhhh, don't tell.  (Yes, I am a yarn snob!)  The yarn is actually Red Heart's Boutique Unforgettable.  I have no idea how it came to live in my house but I'm glad that it did.  Although it's a Red Heart acrylic yarn, it's just as soft as it can be and I absolutely love the color.  The photo doesn't do it justice, mainly because it was taken at night in horrible lighting on my very messy desk.  But in real life, it's emerald green with stripes of purple that vary from almost black to grape.  Besides the softness & the color, I also like the way the hat's appearance changes based on the size of the head (think man vs. woman.)  On a smaller head, the hat is a bit slouchy and has just a hint of a ruffled shape around the face.  On a larger head, the ruffle smoothes out and looks like any other ribbed hat.   Anyway, I liked the hat so much, I'm knitting a matching cowl.  No photos of the cowl as I've only got a few inches of knitting done so far.

So, on a totally different note, how's the weather been treating you?  Here in Virginia, it's been typical.  Not typical as in normal temperatures, but typical as in you never have a clue what to wear and you need to have both your harshest winter clothes as well as your summer clothes available.   Our "average" winter temperatures are are the mid 40's during the day & the upper 20's at night.  Recently, when the big cold wave hit us, the daytime temperature dropped 41 degrees in a matter of hours to give us a balmy high of 6 degrees one day.  We tied a record for cold temps that day.  Three days later, we broke another record.  This one for high temperatures when we hit 68 degrees.  It's no wonder practically everyone in the state is sick & we have a reputation for dressing funny.  The extreme temperature swing brought massive, massive rains and house shaking thunder storms.  It also produced heavy fog to go along with the flooded roads.  Here's a picture of our lake.

You can see the fog rolling across it.  The picture was taken around 3:30 in the afternoon & I don't think I've ever seen fog like that in the middle of the day before.  Being a Stephen King fan, it freaked me out just a teeny tiny bit.

So, what's your weather doing?  Feel free to rant or brag about it in the comments.  Meanwhile, I'm off to knit a few more inches of cowl before bedtime.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Welcome, 2014!  I hope everyone had a safe & happy New Year's.  Mine was obviously not spent blogging!  Actually, New Year's snuck up on me this year.  I kept thinking I had an additional day in there.  And I'm quite certain that if I had of had that extra day, I could have finished accomplishing all those 2013 goals.  Oh well.  That's the fantastic thing about New Years.  It's like having a giant Do-Over button.

I'm thinking that I may have accomplished more in 2013 than I realize though.  Each year, I make my goals list, a list of 101 things I want to accomplish in the coming year.  I used to do 101 goals in 1001 days but that never worked for me.  I work much better under pressure.  Those far away deadlines are just way too easy to ignore.  So, I changed it to 101 things to do this year.  Most of the items are to-do list type of things, not necessarily things like vacuum (although that is a lofty goal for me!) but non-routine type things like power washing the house.  A few of the goals are of the stress inducing variety that will give me a good laugh in December when I review my list & have a good chuckle over thinking I could ever accomplish such a thing in only 365 days.  And of course, there are a few purchases I'd like to make.  But this year, for 2014, I couldn't come up with 101 things.  I only have 96 on my list.  Part of me is patting myself on the back for not having such a bad case of the I wants, part of me is thinking that maybe I'm actually making some headway in having the perfect life where to-do lists don't even exist, and part of me is going flipping insane trying to think of just five more items to complete my list.  For some reason, starting the year off without 101 goals is driving me stark raving mad.

Meanwhile, I'm very, very slowly working on one 2014 goal.

PoorFish is modeling the sock I'm knitting.  It's been a long time since I've knit myself any socks.  I knit so many a few years ago, I swore I'd never knit another one but since I wear my hand knit socks daily & have the tendency to walk down the driveway to the mail box sans shoes, they tend to wear out.

Item #2 on my 2014 goals list is obviously to clean PoorFish's bowl.  Yikes!  That water is looking a little cloudy.  But hey, doesn't PoorFish look good?  Since liberating him for his poor living conditions (& thus his name) at the pet store, his color has improved tremendously.

And since I never blogged about Christmas....  Looky what I got:

Yep!  Yarn salt & pepper shakers!  I'm not really sure why the one has yarn on a thread spool, but who cares!  They are yarn themed salt & pepper shakers!  My daughter gave them to me & she is now the official favorite child.

My son received gifts almost as exciting.

A one pound Reese's Cup and a crystal handled Solo cup.  Red, of course!

And a few other Christmas related photos...  My sister's neighbor:

Minnie pulling down her Christmas stocking:

And Max, who always waits patiently.

Happy New Year!