Monday, October 20, 2008


This morning, I met with the teacher I'm replacing, and she doesn't need me to start until the day we originally planned. Today still is probably her last day, but she'll have a sub in the rest of the week to do test reviews and the tests, and she already had a sub set up for next week. The lady working next week is a retired Algebra teacher and can handle all the real lessons when they start back up. I'm so relieved that I can't stand it! Yeah!

Music MeMe - College Edition

It was so much fun the first time that I had to do it again. Same rules apply--see the earlier post.

This time my grad year was 1993, and I was starting to mature into someone a bit more musically interesting.

1. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
2. Whoomp! (There It Is), Tag Team
3. Can't Help Falling In Love, UB40

4. That's The Way Love Goes, Janet Jackson
5. Freak, Silk
6. Weak, SWV
7. If I Ever Fall In Love, Shai
8. Dreamlover, Mariah Carey
9. Rump Shaker, Wreckx-N-Effect
10. Informer, Snow
11. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang, Dr. Dre
12. In The Still Of The Nite, Boyz II Men
13. Don't Walk Away, Jade
14. Knockin' Da Boots, H-Town
15. Lately, Jodeci
16. Dazzey Duks, Duice
17. Show Me Love, Robin S.
18. A Whole New World, Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle
19. If, Janet Jackson
20. I'm So Into You, SWV
21. Love Is, Vanessa Willlams and Brian Mcknight
22. Runaway Train, Soul Asylum
23. I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me),
25. Rhythm Is A Dancer, Snap
26. The River Of Dreams, Billy Joel
27. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), Proclaimers
28. Two Princes, Spin Doctors
29. Right Here (Human Nature)-Downtown, SWV
30. I Have Nothing, Whitney Houston
31. Mr. Wendal, Arrested Development
32. Have I Told You Lately, Rod Stewart
33. Saving Forever For You, Shanice
34. Ordinary World, Duran Duran
35. If I Had No Loot, Tony! Toni! Tone!
36. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), Meat Loaf
37. Slam, Onyx
38. Looking Through Patient Eyes, P.M. Dawn
39. I'm Every Woman, Whitney Houston
40. Baby I'm Yours, Shai
41. Come Undone, Duran Duran
42. I Don't Wanna Fight, Tina Turner
43. I'd Die Without You, P.M. Dawn
44. Whoot, There It Is, 95 South
45. Hip Hop Hooray, Naughty By Nature
46. Another Sad Love Song, Toni Braxton
47. Will You Be There, Michael Jackson
48. Comforter, Shil
49. Good Enough, Bobby Brown
50. What's Up, 4 Non Blondes
51. All That She Wants, Ace Of Base
52. 7, Prince and The New Power Generation
53. Dre Day, Dr. Dre
54. One Last Cry, Brian McKnight
55. Just Kickin' It, Xscape
56. I Get Around, 2Pac
57. Bed Of Roses, Bon Jovi
58. Real Love, Mary J. Blige
59. Here We Go Again!, Portrait
60. Cryin', Aerosmith
61. Cats In The Cradle, Ugly Kid Joe
62. What About Your Friends, TLC
63. I Got A Man, Positive K
64. Hey Mr. D.J., Zhane
65. Insane In The Brain, Cypress Hill
66. Deeper And Deeper, Madonna
67. Rain, Madonna
68. The Right Kind Of Love, Jeremy Jordan
69. Bad Boys, Inner Circle
70. That's What Love Can Do, Boy Krazy
71. Do You Believe In Us, Jon Secada
72. Angel, Jon Secada
73. Forever In Love, Kenny G
74. Again, Janet Jackson
75. Boom! Shake The Room, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince
76. When She Cries, Restless Heart
77. Sweat (A La La La La Long), Inner Circle
78. It Was A Good Day, Ice Cube
79. More And More, Captain Hollywood Project
80. How Do You Talk To An Angel, Heights
81. Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat), Digable Planets
82. What Is Love, Haddaway
83. To Love Somebody, Michael Bolton
84. Give It Up, Turn It Loose, En Vogue
85. Alright, Kris Kross
86. Check Yo Self, Ice Cube
87. Fields Of Gold, Sting
88. Ooh Child, Dino
89. Faithful w/ Go West
90. Reason To Believe, Rod Stewart
91. Break It Down Again, Tears For Fears
92. Nothin' My Love Can't Fix, Joey Lawrence
93. Three Little Pigs, Green Jelly
94. Livin' On The Edge, Aerosmith
95. Hey Jealousy, Gin Blossoms
96. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Sting
97. Anniversary, Tony! Toni! Tone!
98. One Woman, Jade
99. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Taylor Dayne
100. Two Steps Behind, Def Leppard

Music MeMe - High School Edition

I stole this from the world-famous Adminnie when I saw it on her blog.

Here's the deal.

The rules:
A.) Go to
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year
C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate

I graduated in 1989, and apparently, I was a bubble gum pop princess--forgive my youthful indiscretions.

1. Look Away, Chicago
2. My Prerogative, Bobby Brown
3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison
4. Straight Up, Paula Abdul
5. Miss You Much, Janet Jackson
6. Cold Hearted, Paula Abdul
7. Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
8. Girl You Know Its True, Milli Vanilli
9. Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird, Will To Power
10. Giving You The Best That I Got, Anita Baker
11. Right Here Waiting, Richard Marx
12. Waiting For A Star To Fall, Boy Meets Girl
13. Lost In Your Eyes, Debbie Gibson
14. Don't Wanna Lose You, Gloria Estefan
15. Heaven, Warrant
16. Girl I'm Gonna Miss You, Milli Vanilli
17. The Look, Roxette
18. She Drives Me Crazy, Fine Young Cannibals
19. On Our Own, Bobby Brown
20. Two Hearts, Phil Collins
21. Blame It On The Rain, Milli Vanilli
22. Listen To Your Heart, Roxette
23. I'll Be There For You, Bon Jovi
24. If You Don't Know Me By Now, Simply Red
25. Like A Prayer, Madonna
26. I'll Be Loving You (Forever), New Kids On The Block
27. How Can I Fall?, Breathe
28. Baby Don't Forget My Number, Milli Vanilli
29. Toy Solider, Martika
30. Forever Your Girl, Paula Abdul
31. The Living Years, Mike + the Mechanics
32. Eternal Flame, The Bangles
33. Wild Thing, Tone Loc
34. When I See You Smile, Bad English
35. If I Could Turn Back Time, Cher
36. Buffalo Stance, Neneh Cherry
37. When I'm With You, Sheriff
38. Don't Rush Me, Taylor Dayne
39. Born To Be My Baby, Bon Jovi
40. Good Thing, Fine Young Cannibals
41. The Lover In Me, Sheena Easton
42. Bust A Move, Young M.C.
43. Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Great White
44. Batdance, Prince
45. Rock On, Michael Damian
46. Real Lov, Jody Watley
47. Love Shack, B-52's
48. Every Little Step, Bobby Brown
49. Hangin' Tough, New Kids On The Block
50. My Heart Can't Tell You No, Rod Stewart
51. So Alive, Love and Rockets
52. You Got It (The Right Stuff), New Kids On The Block
53. Armageddon It, Def Leppard
54. Satisfied, Richard Marx
55. Express Yourself, Madonna
56. I Like It, Dino
57. Soldier Of Love, Donny Osmond
58. Sowing The Seeds Of Love, Tears For Fears
59. Cherish, Madonna
60. When The Children Cry, White Lion
61. 18 And Life, Skid Row
62. I Don't Want Your Love, Duran Duran
63. Second Chances, .38 Special
64. The Way You Love Me, Karyn White
65. Funky Cold Medina, Tone Loc
66. In Your Room, Bangles
67. Miss You Like Crazy, Natalie Cole
68. Love Song, Cure
69. Secret Rendesvous, Karyn White
70. Angel Eyes, Jeff Healey Band
71. Patience, Guns N' Roses
72. Walk On Water, Eddie Money
73. Cover Girl, New Kids On The Block
74. Welcom To The Jungle, Guns N' Roses
75. Shower Me With Your Love, Surface
76. Stand, R.E.M.
77. Close My Eyes Forever, Lita Ford
78. All This Time, Tiffany
79. After All, Cher and Peter Cetera
80. Roni, Bobby Brown
81. Love In An Elevator, Aerosmith
82. Lay Your Hands On Me, Bon Jovi
83. This Promise, When In Rome
84. What I Am, Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians
85. I Remember Holding You, Boys Club
86. Paradise City, Guns N' Roses
87. Iwanna Have Some Fun, Samantha Fox
88. She Wants To Dance With Me, Rick Astley
89. Dreamin', Vanessa Williams
90. It's No Crime, Babyface
91. Poison, Alice Cooper
92. This Time I Know It's For Real, Donna Summer
93. Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson
94. Heavan Help Me, Deon Estus
95. Rock Wit'cha, Bobby Brown
96. Thinking Of You, Sa-fire
97. What You Don't Know, Expose
98. Surrender To Me, Ann Wilson and Robin Zander
99. The End Of The Innocence, Don Henley
100. Keep On Movin', Soul II Soul

Getting Crazier...

It looks like my return to work could come much sooner than the first week of November. The doctor wants to put the lady I'm replacing on home rest immediately (really last Thursday) until the baby is born. She calmly explained that she has no sub ready to go (my orientation class is still scheduled for the 29th), and she swore she would spend her days teaching from her chair until I could work. She's being re-evaluated today. I'm hoping he will allow her to stay as long as possible because she wants to stay as late as she can--that and I really want to go on Moose's field trip on Friday. The sub-school principals is trying to get me into this week's class if possible, but they may end up covering the class with other subs until I can get in there. None of us like that option, because it will just be a huge mess!

In other news, my baseline mammo wasn't weird because I breathed. I, like about 30% of women in my age range, have benign cysts that showed up. Their presence was confirmed by ultrasound. The good news is that they don't increase my breast cancer risk. I do, however, get to have yet another mammo in the spring. Yippee.

I finally finished the Hogwarts scarves for Moose and Roo, and there are still no pictures here or on Ravelry. I continue to be incrediby lax in posting pictures of FOs. The two pairs of socks are still in progress, and going nowhere fast. With all the tension about the return to work, I can't seem to concentrate on anything these days. I did pull out a skein of Cascade 220 Superwash and start a swatch (i.e. sleeve) for a sweater I saw in IK Fall 2008. I'm under no illusions that it will go anywhere at all...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Life at Full Speed

So just when I thought I could relax, I get an offer to return to teaching as a long-term sub in an Algebra class at our daughter's school. It's a dream opportunity. The teacher is part of the GT Center team, so I get all her little geniuses. For a middle school, it means the kids, on average, will be a bit better behaved than the rest of the crowd. They are also 7th graders, and I find that tends to give them a bit less attitude--they're still scared of their new, big, bad building--than the 8th graders. Now we just need to get a sitter for Moose for the mornings before he has to catch his bus. I also have to jump through the bureaucratic hoops over at the district offices to get my sub badge and pay account set up. I love that I'm suposed to start the first week of November, and they can't squeeze me in for an orientation class until Oct. 29...

On top of all that, I finally scheduled my last two tests to get my new state license. One is on the afternoon of the 15th, which means I have to find some alternate way of getting the kids to piano. The other is on the afternoon of Nov. 1st, which means I sacrifice yet another Saturday to the demands of the educational field.

Then there are the piano lessons, getting Moose and his bass to school and home every Friday, the orthodontist, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth group, church commitments, volunteering at school, and Bible study. Whoever said stay-at-home moms don't work really needs to spend about a month in the shoes of one of us.

And just one more thing makes all this a bit crazy--radiology called to re-do my baseline mammogram. Fun. Turns out when they say don't move and don't even breathe during the x-ray, they really mean it. I specifically remember breathing during the shot they want to re-do. Now I feel really stupid for having to drag out to the hospital for another two hours just because I can't follow directions...

I'm knitting like crazy on the kids' Hogwarts scarves for Halloween. Roo's is done except for the fringe, and I'm about a third of the way done knitting the one for Moose. I also have two pairs of socks--one is my design from the workshop, the other is plain vanilla--on the needles, and my Pi shawl is languishing in hibernation.

None of this inspires me though, and I really, really just want to knit a sweater. If I get the scarf done, I might have time to cast on for a sweater before I have to go back to work. I think it might be time to peruse the Ravelry queue to see what will work up fast and scratch the sweater itch. What to do, what to do...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sock Designer in Training

I went to my sock design workshop with Cookie A on Sunday, and I was stunned and amazed at how her mind works. She thinks of every possible detail you can add to a sock and accounts for it during the design process. Her thought process is very logical and mathematical, and I totally relate to it.

I already had a design somewhat in mind when I showed up for the class on Sunday. I just had to finish sketching it out and to finalize some details. Cookie A showed us how to make our ribbing feed into our design's setup, how to account for cabling and lace patterns, how to use hidden increases and decreases as part of our sock "architecture" so they blend with the design, and how to make the heels fit our sock's design. I can't think of a single detail she left out, and I am still in awe of her skills and talent. I want to be Cookie A when I grow up!

Cookie A was a treat to meet. She was kind, considerate, and highly encouraging. She even made the greatest suggestions about how to improve our designs if they weren't working out the way we wanted. If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with her, I highly recommend it.

Nature's Yarns, as always, was a fabulous place to be. The owners were great hostesses and made sure we all felt at home throughout the day. I even picked up some laceweight for Mystery Stole 4--now I just need beads--and some Euroflax to work up some Monteagle bags from Mason-Dixon.

My biggest prizes of the day? Three new patterns from Cookie A. I picked up Ornette, Twisted Flower, and Marilinda to go with Stricken and Mingus which were already hiding in the stash. I foresee much sock knitting pleasure in my future!

As for my design, you'll just have to wait and see it. It's cable-intensive, and I am mesmerized by it. I must have been positively affected by Cookie A's brain waves...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Okay, So I Lied...

...but it was unintentional. I didn't get my Ravelympics pictures posted here, but they are in my Ravelry notebook. I visited the finish line board to post my finishing stats, and it was locked down, and I wasn't allowed to post. I found it highly annoying, because I was just able to post Roo's stats on her board. I complained to the site about the WIPS wrestling board being closed, and I have never gotten an answer. It's probably why I haven't been on Ravelry at all lately except to update some project info. I just want my medals from Bobicus! :)

I'm in the midst of a big (for me) Halloween knitting project. I never knit for All Hallows Eve which is why it seems big. The kids are posing as Hogwarts students again this year since we moved away from all their old friends, and to keep things interesting I agreed to knit them Hogwarts scarves. Roo wants the scarf from Sorcerer's Stone, and Moose wants the one from Prisoner of Azkaban. Roo aka Victoria Ballycastle is a Ravenclaw, and Moose aka Adrian Vablatsky is a Gryffindor. I picked up all the necessary Utopia yarn at Patternworks for under $50, shipping included. That's much less than what brand new costumes would have cost!

I have found that even knitting the scarf on US size 7 needles instead of the size 8 called for in the pattern is leaving me a bit short of yarn if the kids want fringe (and they do). I've narrowed the scarf a bit by only casting on 60 stitches instead of 70, and this appears to be working for the moment. I even used Judy's magic cast-on for the end of Roo's so the cast-on edge appears to be invisible. I'll just graft the other end before attaching the fringe once I get there.

My next big, exciting knitting event is a sock design workshop with Cookie A at Nature's Yarns. I can't wait for the big day!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Husband's Knitting MeMe

So I was over at JessaLu's, and I lifted another meme from her blog. I couldn't resist finding out what the DCA's answers would be. I sent this to him while he was out of town for the OU-Cincy game (Go Sooners!), and he kindly sent it back before he returned home.

HG: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
DCA: The love you put into each product.

HG: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?
DCA: Obsessive compulsive frogging =)

HG: What is something I have knitted that you recall as being good?
DCA: An awesomely warm Sooner (Crimson and Cream colored) blanket.

HG: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?
DCA: Only if you consider the raw materials alone and not what a hand crafted product of awesome quality would cost if you bought it in a finished state.

HG: Do you have any hobbies?
DCA: Yes

HG: What are your hobbies?
DCA: Record collecting

HG: So, if we compared money/time spent on hobbies, who would win?
DCA: For the past seven years, the knitting would...

HG: Do you have a stash of any kind?
DCA: Only if copious amounts of vinyl count...

HG: Has my knitting in public ever embarrassed you?
DCA: No...

HG: Can you name another knitting blog?
DCA: Scout's Swag, The Loopy Ewe...

HG: Do you mind that I want to check out yarn stores everywhere we go?
DCA: No, I even aided and abetted a stop in Old Town Alexandria not that long ago...

HG: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?
DCA: Vaguely...

HG: Do you read A Tale of Two Needles?
DCA: Yes... I even occasionally feed the Llama... (ed.'s note: check the sidebar!)

HG: Have you ever left a comment?
DCA: Yes

HG: Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn’t knit?
DCA: No... there would likely be more scrap booking scraps around =)

HG: Is there anything else you want to say?
DCA: I Love my compulsive knitter!

Thanks, DCA, for playing along!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Roo's Pocket

This is Roo's finished object for Ravelympics 2008. I'll post mine in a little bit...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Is Winding Down...

...and maybe I'll get better about blogging...or not... I'm just too busy over on Ravelry and Facebook.

We just got home from our summer vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. I posted a couple of albums over on Facebook to show everything we did. I also took my Loopy postcard from The Loopy Ewe along, and he has his very own album of just a sampling of the things he saw.

My main update for now is that I successfully finished my Ravelympics 2008 projects. I put the Ocean Waves Wrap, Marmee's Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl, and the DCA's blanket to bed for good. I am so glad to have them behind me so I can concentrate on just the couple of projects I have on the needles. I also managed to sneak a Do the Wave scarf in during Ravelympics.

Mom's last set of post-surgical tests came in with fabulous results. The cancer recurrence prediction test she had contained the lowest number her oncologist had ever seen! The oncologist considers Mom cancer-free for now, and she'll just be monitored every six months for the next few years to really make sure there is no recurrence. Praise God for answered prayers.

We're getting ready for school around here. It's the kids' last week of freedom. We should learn who Moose's new teachers will be on Tuesday. The Roo will get her class schedule on Friday when she goes to new student orientation. I think I'll check in with them to see what they want to do this week as a last hurrah before they head back. There was some mention earlier about living in pajamas one day this week and watching all six Star Wars movies in a row. I have a feeling I'll be in a popcorn-induced coma in a couple of days!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm Addicted to Facebook...

I just signed up for an account to help keep track of all the family, and it's just like the first few days of Ravelry. You just get sucked in looking at all the features and reading about all your friends.

It doesn't help when your best friend from college is addicted to the same word games as you, and you just want to sit and play instead of doing something constructive...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Mom had her surgery on the 15th. Everything went beautifully, and the pathology results show there is no cancer remaining. No radiation! Yippee! The next milestone is the last test result on Aug. 14 which will indicate her likelihood of recurrence and her need for preventive chemotherapy. We're praying for a super-low number, which the doctors think is very likely.

To God be the glory!

Monday, June 30, 2008

June was...

hellish, in a word. For example,
  • we lost power for 36 hours, including my entire birthday,
  • my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer,
  • I had to spend 10 days in Florida caring for my completely bedridden grandmother, and
  • I spent way too much time away from the DCA and kids.
The DCA bought me two new skeins of Socks that Rock among many other way cool birthday presents, so that was a nice highlight of my day.

I finished a bunch of projects, and all the details are over on Ravelry. I just lost track of what got started and finished during the month.

The summer can only get better from here!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Sock Is Sad

Anyone who knows me also knows that I don't go anywhere without my current sock project. I'm a Yarn Harlot disciple in this respect. Unfortunately, the sock was not allowed to accompany me on my latest adventure yesterday because all large handbags were banned when I went to...wait for it...the White House!*

It’s National Military Family Appreciation Month, and this Friday (May 9th) is Military Spouse Day. In honor of the event, military spouses from around the country received invitations to the White House to hear President Bush speak about military families and to honor six volunteers who have done great works on behalf of military members and their families. Go read the President’s remarks.

I rode in to work with the DCA yesterday, and his mom came over to make sure the kids made it on to the school bus. When we got to his office, we found out that one of the ladies who works for the admiral was also going. She and some other wives from the Navy Yard were riding in a van provided by the Commandant of Naval District Washington, so she invited me to ride along with them so the DCA wouldn’t have to leave work to drop me off.

We rode in the van from the base over to the Southeast Entrance to the White House grounds. We had to stand in line for quite a while so the Secret Service could check IDs, and we weren’t allowed to take in any large bags, suitcases, or backpacks. We were allowed to have small camera cases and clutch-type purses only. After we made it through the first gate, we had to go through metal detectors, get scanned with the wand if we “beeped”, and have our little bags searched. It was kind of like going to the airport!

Once inside, we found they had set up a buffet breakfast on the South Lawn for all 1100 of us. There was fresh fruit with a light caramel sauce, ham empanadas with cheese sauce, at least 8 different types of handmade pastries, and biscuits with blueberry jam. They were also serving fresh-squeezed OJ, cranberry juice, and coffee. There were lots of picnic tables with red checkered tablecloths all over the lawn. We weren’t able to get seats because we were some of the last to arrive, but while we stood to eat, we had a fabulous view of the south side of the White House (the curvy side), and we could see all the way down to the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.

Because we didn’t have a table, we scooted up close to the stage area on one side near the guard rope. We were told we could stay there as long as we weren’t blocking the view of the people seated at the tables. We got an even better view of the White House from this angle, and we could see the podium where the President was supposed to speak and to introduce the volunteers.

The Marine Corps Band played while we waited and in between the speakers. The first person to speak was the Secretary of Defense, and he welcomed us and thanked us for coming out. Then singer-songwriter Phil Vassar sang the National Anthem. Shortly after 10 a.m., the President began his address. When he had finished, he and the volunteers moved to a special picnic table near the stage we were standing by to watch Vassar sing 3 more songs--Love Is A Beautiful Thing (in honor of Jenna Bush’s wedding this Saturday), I’m Alright (in which he required audience participation), and American Child. After the singing, President Bush greeted the people along the roped off edge of the stage, and I got to shake his hand! (My one brush with fame!)

As we were getting ready to leave, someone announced over the loudspeaker that we were invited to tour the White House starting in the East Garden. This was a big surprise, because my emails about the event said there would be no tour. We entered the White House from the garden and walked down the Ground Floor Corridor that had artwork, a portrait of Hillary Clinton as First Lady, some of the White House china patterns, the Library, and the Vermeil Room. We couldn’t go in the rooms, but I could see a picture of Jacqueline Kennedy through the door of the Vermeil Room. We only walked about halfway down the corridor before we went upstairs. On the First Floor, we saw the East Room, the Green Room, the Blue Room, the Red Room, and the State Dining Room. We exited through the Entrance Hall of the north side of the White House (the flat side) onto Pennsylvania Avenue before we rode in the van back to the Navy Yard.

If you want to see what I saw, go to the White House tour web site. It’s a photo tour of the White House that includes a lot of history I didn't know! We apparently were very blessed today because someone said these rooms are no longer on the regular tour of the White House.

It was definitely worth the lost sock knitting time!

*My tatting is incredibly thrilled though, because it got to ride along in the tiny bag I was using as a camera case. It is now the happiest purple doily on the planet!

Distracted by Ravelry

Another addict is born! I've been spending most of my time over there when I'm not knitting instead of updating my blog like I should. So here's my latest...

I finally finished the crocheted baby blanket and turned it in. It's about time that I started racking up those volunteer hours again!

All of the log cabin blanket squares are finished, and their ends are all sewed in. I even sewed them into four strips of six squares each. That's when I got anxious. I need to sew the strips together, but I'm afraid I won't get the seams to line up correctly. I just need to "suck up and deal" as we used to say in NROTC and get on with the process.

I finished the Summer of Love lace socks after I had to rip them back to the cuff and re-finish them. I hate running out of yarn at the last minute. They look great, and they even have a tiny bit of room to allow for the inevitable shrinkage of being run through the washer on a cold, delicate cycle.

I'm in the middle of the DCA's pair of Jacobean socks. I'm over halfway done with the second sock, and I can't wait to be finished with it. It's a fun knit, but I really just want to be working on Lenore from Rockin' Sock Club 2007. After the Lenores are done, I'll be moving on to work on Moose's Snakes on a Sock.

I finally pulled my Mason-Dixon Perfect Sweater out of hibernation. I finished the back, and I'm almost ready to start the sleeve caps. I'm working both sleeves at once on a single circ to make sure they are exactly the same. I am definitely going to make this a habit for all future sweaters. I keep thinking that it's taking forever to do the sleeves, and then I remember that I'm almost done with both! Bonus!

I'm going to head back over to Ravelry now and finish reading all the threads I pulled up for today. How does anyone get anything done anymore with such a great site???

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't Pass Out...

...from shock or anything since I'm posting after only 9 days.

The log cabin square project is moving right along. I'm up to 8 white squares and 7 red squares. I'm in the middle of square #16 now. There is going to be a ton of seaming on this one, but I'm weird--I actually like mattress stitch. I probably need my head examined.

The crocheted baby blanket is taking a while longer than I expected. When I was outside on Sunday, I noticed that the third skein I had used was a noticeably different dyelot than the other 4 that were in the blanket at that point. The DCA said not to worry about it because a baby won't care if it's different. I just put myself in the new mom's shoes--I would definitely have noticed, and I would have wondered why someone didn't care enough to match the yarn. Yes, on top of being insane (see above), I'm obsessive compulsive. I ripped it back to the end of the second skein, and I have just now gotten to skein #4. The finished blanket is supposed to be as close to 36" x 36" as possible so I have a ways to go.

I started sock #2 in the Summer of Love pair too. When I finished the socks for the DCA before Easter, I ran out of yarn just as I reached the second toe. I dug out some other grey yarn to finish the pair because he said he doesn't mind the mismatched toes. (I haven't woven in the ends yet, because I totally mind the mismatched toes. I'm still debating ripping out the first toe and doing it in the second grey yarn, so the socks match exactly. Sigh.) Since I ran out of yarn then, I'm starting to panic that I'm going to run out of yarn again on this pair. I should just hunker down with them for a few hours, crank out several inches, and realize that I'll be fine because it's Socks That Rock. I have to finish today's square first though.

I finally started putting some stuff up over at Ravelry--it's just my current WIPs. My username over there is hoyagirl. It's going to be a while before I get anything much posted because it's so time-consuming. I can see why so many people are abandoning their blogs in favor of the site. It really can be addictive! While I was there yesterday, I signed up for the pair-a-month sock challenge started by Kaity and her mom. I just couldn't resist, because I thought it would help me play catch-up with all the sock club yarn I have around here. Guess we'll have to wait and see! Come join the group too if you're looking for a little motivation.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

So, Anyway...

...we are settling in here on the right coast. It is SOOOOO good to be back home in VA. I'm in awe and wonder every time I get in the car and drive around our "new" town. I love the trees, the houses, the fences, the four-lane roads, convenient take-out, everything. Sigh...being home is such a good feeling! Now, if I only had a job!

I'm working on that part, kind of. I have registered for the teaching exams I need to take in order to get my teaching license here via reciprocity. I really think the whole licensing thing is a big racket--if you're licensed in one state, it should transfer automatically to another! It seems like such a scam to have to take a totally different set of much easier exams for one state when you've already passed--with flying colors--the much tougher exam for a different state. Someone is getting some big money off of this somehow. Hiring is a small problem too because the local schools are only working on transfers among the current employees at the moment. Once all that is settled, they'll post any remaing jobs for the new year. It means the potential new hires get all the leftovers. I'm not going to worry about it until later--I'm taking the exams for middle school math and science on top of my elementary license so as an experienced teacher I'm sure I'll be of interest to somebody in the district.

I thought by staying home temporarily I'd have tons of knitting time, but it really hasn't turned out as I imagined. I finished a pair of socks for the DCA, and now I'm slogging my way through a variation on last August's Socks that Rocks shipment. I'm so behind on that front! I also ripped out all the aran squares for the DCA's afghan, and now I've turned them into log cabin squares that will have to be seamed together later. I'm much happier with the results so far. My goal is to do one square per day until I've used up all the crimson and cream yarn or until I have enough squares to make something vaguely square or rectangular. I did finish two baby blankets for my mom to take to a shared baby shower for the refugee women who attend her church--they need to be dropped in the mail along with the needles I borrowed to do the blankets. I'm in the middle of a crocheted blanket for NMCRS too. I don't know why, but crocheting seems to be better for the type of yarn I received to do the project. I also have a daily goal of one skein per day on that. My reward for the one square plus the one skein is getting to work on the socks in progress.

Every day when I come in here, I always think about how I need to write a blog post to keep it up to date about what I've been doing, and every day when I come in here, I put it off until later. Maybe I need to add daily (weekly?) blog posting to my sock rewards list...

Log Cabin count: 4 white squares, 3 red squares

Baby blanket skein count: one down, 5 to go

Flower Power socks status: mid-foot on sock #1

Blog post: check

Monday, March 31, 2008

Trip Recap

Just in case you need exact details about our cross-country excursion, I've listed them here. The drive cross-country was fun, but long. I wish we could have taken extra time in some places, but there wasn't any to spare since the DCA had to start his new job immediately and the kids needed to get back into school.

Our pack-out was finished a day early on Jan. 31. We were blessed to be able to stay with some friends in town for the next week while the kids finished up at their school and while the DCA turned over with his replacement. We started driving across on the morning of Feb. 8 and drove from San Diego to Lordsburg, NM. The desert is truly beautiful--I only wish we could have made a northward detour to see the Grand Canyon on our way through Arizona. It wasn't really feasible though since we were taking a more southerly route on I-10 to avoid possible bad weather through the more northerly route on I-40.

On Feb. 9, we drove from NM to Boerne, TX. We were shocked to find posted speed limits of 80 (!!!) on the highways through west Texas. We had never seen them before, and living out here in the more crowded East, it is unlikely we will see them again any time soon. We covered nearly 680 miles that day which we never thought possible with the kiddos in tow.

On Feb. 10, we stopped in San Antonio to see the Alamo, and then we went on to Lafayette, LA. I don't know much about Texas history so I found this particularly interesting. I was also surprised to find the Alamo is smack-dab in the middle of downtown. All of my media-driven, mental pictures of the mission placed it far outside town, away from everything. It was quite a revelation. We also had a chance to briefly walk around the Riverwalk. It was a peaceful place for the middle of a city. Our high-speed run to end the day took us through Houston. We really wish it had been baseball season, so we could have gone to Minute Maid Park. Maybe next time!

On Feb. 11, we visited New Orleans before finally turning north on I-65 and driving into Montgomery, AL. I spent a few years growing up in New Orleans, so it was nice to take the kids to a couple of the places I remembered from when I was their age. We did typical touristy things like visiting Cafe DuMonde and St. Louis Cathedral and eating a muffaletta. Unfortunately, Central Grocery was closed so we had to settle for a nearby restaurant. Dinner that night consisted of pizza in the hotel. We just couldn't face going back out in the car in traffic.

On Feb. 12, we stopped in Atlanta to see the World of Coca-Cola and then we stayed in Gaffney, SC. If you’ve ever driven on I-85, it’s the town with the giant peach-shaped water tower. The World of Coca-Cola was a lot of fun. The kids' and my favorite part was tasting all the different flavors of soda from around the world at the end of the tour. I really liked the Fanta from Estonia compared to many of the other flavors available. I'm still a Cherry Coke girl though. It is definitely my overall favorite.

On Feb. 13, we made it to my mom’s house near Raleigh, NC, and we stayed there two nights before driving into Fairfax, VA to stay with the DCA’s parents. We were with them for a week while we waited for our shipment to arrive and to unpack enough of it so the house felt liveable.

The kids and the DCA started school and work on Feb. 19, and things have been settling down since then. There's been some culture shock with the change in school curriculum and with the work commute, but I think we're over most of it. Mainly the kids just love having other children to play with in the neighborhood, which was something they've never had before. It already feels like home to me, and I'm hoping it will be the same for them soon.

Knitting content to follow soon!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My, How Time Flies...

I've been busy, busy, busy getting ready for the move. I've done some knitting, but I can't remember exactly what I've finished. I know I've finished some socks--including the tall Tibetan ones from Cat's new book--but I really couldn't tell you what else.

I turned over my classroom to my replacement yesterday. The school finally hired someone last week after knowing since August that I was leaving in February. God answers all prayers in His own time, but waiting until we're down to the wire was a bit stressful! I think I was supposed to learn patience from this process. Let's just say it was very weird to drop the kids off for school this morning and not go to my room to start my day. I'm really going to miss the daily math instruction...

Today the packers are here, and everything is starting to disappear into boxes. I can't believe the day is really here or that we're finally going home after 7 years in "exile." We love all our friends here, and we sure have enjoyed the SoCal weather, but it's just not home for us. We are headed back to Old Virginny, and we can't wait to live closer to all our family. The kids are starting to get really excited too in spite of leaving their friends behind.

I still won't be posting much as we go throught the transition, so the next time I write it will probably be from the other side. Hopefully, I'll have more knitting news then!