Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Year is coming to an end

One more day to work before the Christmas holiday. By decree of GHW Bush I am not working Friday as our building will be closed. Somehow he did not decree that I would get paid for the day. Of course, the government people get a holiday every time someone sneezes. I am glad to have the time off anyway. I have not had a four day weekend in a while.

I hope to get some painting done if I can decide on the color. I got a new comforter set for my bedroom that does not rally go well with the yellow walls. They need to be more gold. So the plan is to make the change.

This is the car next in line. My old car needed to be replaced and when this one became available it was the answer to the need. It is a very sweet car with all the bells and whistles. It will last me a long time. It is part of an estate and will have to be probated but it should not take too long.

I should be able to finalize everything in a month or so then it will be all mine. I will keep the old car for a while to drive during bad weather.

This year has been rough in many ways but I am optimistic that the new year is going to have a lot of promise. My friend Chelle always picks a word to represent something to strive for. Mine for next year is Happiness. I am going to strive to find happiness next year. I have also discovered that I have not had a lot of JOY in my life for a while. I am going to dedicate time to looking for that also. Due to circumstances, mostly beyond my control, I have misplaced it. I know it is out there somewhere and I am conficent that I can find it.

I wish you all Peace, Happiness and Joy in your New Year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What I have been doing lately or Boy have I been busy

What a glorious sunset to a long and busy day. As many know, I love beautiful sky pictures. I have many. I am always fascinated by the color patterns and the light play on the clouds. This was taken from my friend Nancy's front yard just south of St. Louis. I was there to attend a family memorial service and this was a perfect ending to the day. It was almost like God smiling down and conveying that all is well with my soul.

There is always something clean and simple about a view like this. What more can I say...I think this says it all.

Last weekend was a very busy time for me. I flew to St. Louis Friday night to attend a memorial service on Saturday for a family member. Afterward I drove to Springfield, getting in at 10:00p to do Christmas with my family. My sister and her family came in early to do Christmas here so they could be at their own home this year Christmas morning. I must say that I liked it alot this way. We were all at my Mom's to open presents Sunday morning. Then because of the changing weather I left Springfield to get home before the storm front got here.

When I left Springfield it was 64 degrees and by the time I got to Carthage it was 48 degrees then when I got home to Lees Summit is was 34 degrees.

My wonderful friends Doug and Janet took me to the airport Friday night so of course my car was at their house. They were kind enough to bring my car home so I could have it for Monday morning.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I also brought a car home with me from Springfield. As many know I have been anticipating getting a different car. Well, I am buying the car I brought home. It is a 2004 Toyota Solara with extremely low miles. It will be probably a month or so before it is mine but I do have it at my house.

This is one of my very favorite things I got from my sister. It is made in Africa by women as a cottage industry. It is woven from native grass and dyed with leather grip. They are imported flat then when they reach here they are soaked in water and shaped. I think this is one of the biggest ones I have seen. When I was in Portland last time we looked at the art market where they usually are but could not find them. My sister went to a shop to get this one. If you are interested this is the link for it www.topanien.com .

Also, as you can see I am thoroughly gamed up now. I got an Xbox 360 Live with games. I already had the Wii so my nephew brought me some of his games to play. I also got Wii Fit to go with it. All are very much fun. I have been pretty busy since I got back last weekend but have carved out a little time to play. Since I am going to be off for 4 lovely days next weekend, I plan on doing a lot of playing.

My Christmas wish for all of you is to relax, be happy, and enjoy being with friends and family as much as possible.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What's New?

Ok...OK. I realize I have once again been a bad blogger. The way I see it is I get to it when I get to it. Things have really been busy lately and I just have not been in the mood to share.

Yes, I have been knitting all along but just not sharing. So here goes. This the the Abby from Knitty.com. I enjoyed this a lot. It basically is a lacey cowl that I am giving my mother for Christmas. She always likes to have her head covered in the winter so this will be easy for her. You really cannot see the laciness but it is there. I love the color of this wool silk blend I bought when I was in Portland.

The other night while talking with my sister she asked if I could make her a stocking cap. Having nothing new on th needles I just whipped this one up. It is nothing fancy but does have some cabling. I know she will like it.

It is cold here and she is coming next week so I am sure she will bet a chance to wear it while she is here. Her family is coming home early to do Christmas in Ozark then they will be in their own home for Christmas day. As this has rarely happened it will be a novelty.

A friend sent this poem and I want to share it with you. I was very touched by it.

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
Sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... An American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many

People as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
Festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
Stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN

30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What a Week

Have been knitting quite a lot but have been to busy to take pictures. I am about 3/4 finished with the Abby (cowl) and it is really looking nice. I think it is for me and I will love it. I do not like hat,scarve, or hoods on my head so I think this will be the answer. I can have it around my neck to keep it warm and then pull it over my head with I need it.

I am also working on a scarf that is really cute. Veteran's Day Laura, Mary, Shari and I were at Knitcraft and a couple of knitter's came in with them on. It is very easy and can be done with any yarn. I think I am going to felt it so will see how it comes out.

I have completed every thing I am going do for Christmas. I just do not have the time for anything else.

I have been very busy dealing with a family illness that I will not detail but it has been real eye opener. For those of you who do not at least a will get with it and get it done. I have realized that I have been extremely remise in not getting mine updated and getting a trust done. Do your family a favor. Let me tell you from experience that probate is not a good thing. When my husband died it cost me $2,000 to get my own money.

I am making the appointment with the attorney every soon to get my crap in order.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

It's OK to be Happy...Everyone else does it

OK..I realize that it is an unusual title today but this is my new montra. I have spent the last several years worrying about a lot of things I have not control over. Having a somewhat controlling personality that is must part of what I do, sometimes depending on what it is. I have had ups and downs in the job arena.

Don't get me wrong. I have been able to get work but much of it was not satisfying. It was just a job to sustain me financially. Now that I am in a more stable position and doing something I really like to do, tech writing, I am for satisfied. I like the people I work with and not having the extreme stress I have had on the last couple of contracts. The offset of less money is worth it.

Lately, I have been stressing about getting the money together for the house insurance and taxes that come due at the end of December. This in addition to personal property tax on the car and car insurance. Oh yes, throw Christmas in there also. Well, I am finished stressing about that. I can't spend any more time on this. It will all work out, it always does and I has taken up too much of my mental time.

Bottom line, I am happy with where I am right now and it is OK for me to enjoy being happy. I am going to practice HAPPY every day and give myself a break.

I have been having fun at work writing a user guide and passed the rough draft on to the client just so they could see the direction I was going. I got the most wonderful comments of "I LOVE this ....this is so much better than anything we have had....I wish you could write all of our stuff". To a writer this is very gratifying.

Also, my guy that always gets me his weekly status every week has finally cracked and I have brought him over to my side. This is very good because no one else has had this success with getting his status on time. Am I good or what?

Another good thing I learned this week is there is a fitness center in our building that is FREE to everyone...even contractors. So guess what I am going to be doing in the future? Since I get in fairly early and can leave about 3:30, I am going to start working out on my way out. Sweet!

I found a new Los Campos Mexican resturant on 350 hwy that I really like so now I have somewhere to get Mexican for lunch other tha Taco Bell. I have been to the one in Liberty and have always liked it.

I have hesitated to get on the scale lately because I have felt that I have eaten badly for the last month so I have not gone to WW either. I bit the bullet and got on the scale this morning and was down 2 lbs. I attribute this to the lower of my stress level. I certainly have not been exercising more. It could also be that I have been taking my lunch rather than eating out. Who knows...I really don't care. I am just happy I have not gained. Guess I feel comfortable going back to WW now.

OK...that is all of my happy talk for the day. On to other fun stuff.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I had a very good day

Yesterday was an excellent day. I have been working now at my new contract for a month and a half now and I am liking it more all the time. It is the first time in a while I have been able to relax on the job and really dig in.

I was request to write a user guide for a new segment of an existing system. There was already some user stuff for other parts of the system that the users really do not like. I offered up my first drafts, which for a tech writer is difficult to share, since it is very rough. But the client I am doing it for really wanted to see it...so I sent it up.

I got word yesterday afternoon the the client really, really liked it and are excited about seeing the finished product. What a delight to have such positive feedback for a change. This after working my last in the past for a micro manager who gave very little feedback, much less positive.

It has been so much fun doing the work I really like for a change. The people I am working with now are really warm and inclusive to boot. The only draw back to this contract is the money is a lot less but as we all know there are trade-offs to everything. At this point, I feel it is worth it. This has been a big boost for me psychologically. A dollar amount cannot be placed on that.

OK on to the knitting stuff. I finished my vest that is taken an adapation from the Great Baby Alpaca vest. I used a Ashford worsted, which was a dream to knit with. I got it the last time I was in Columbia at Hill Creek Yarns. I would definitely use it again.

I am working on several other things I hope to get ready for Christmas. Mostly socks so they should go fast. I have three pair done and probably two or three to go. I can do socks pretty quickly go I my have time to get some done for myself along the way.

I am also working on the Abby cowl from Knitty


I am going to try it this winter as a head covering, since I have to park outside this year. I don't hats or hoods so this my be my solution. If I like it I may make a couple. It is an easy 18 row repeat and works up fast.

I am so excited that daylight savings time ends tonight. I am almost giddy. I don't know why it affects me so much but I hate it in the Spring when we spring forward and can't wait until it is time to fall back. It is worse this year since the fall back has been pushed back to November this year. I do pretty well once it starts but this time of year I start to get more irritable and I have a harder time focusing. When it is finally time to fall back I feel like all is right with the world. Not sure is it has to do with circadian rhythm or the fact that I am a night person but I am absolutely affected. I will be back to right tomorrow morning. Yeah! ! ! ! !

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Haven't Seen One of These in a While

This is what I saw this morning when I looked out of the window. I cannot remember when the last time was that I saw one of these. My friend Carla recently saw a walking stick. Haven't seen one of those lately either. Wonder if it is a sign of an early weather change. I understand that we are supposed to be getting some much cooler temps next week.

The weather change makes me want to knit me some more wool socks. I have a couple of other things to finish before I get started on them. I was out with friends the other night for a drink and happened to have some sock knitting with me while I waited for the rest to come. One of the girls asked if I ever made socks to sell. My immediate answer was NO. She indicated that if I was ever inclined that she would like a pair. I had made a pair for one of the other friends I am closer with and saw them and really liked them. When I explained that she could not afford to buy them and what I would charge if I did sell them I think she changed her mind.

Besides, knitting things to sell takes the fun out of it. If you sell people expect to get the piece when they want it rather than when I get ready to give it too them. I cannot stand the pressure.

Monday, October 06, 2008

It's Blogging Time Again

This is the finished mitered vest. It is going to be a Christmas present for my sister but she has already seen me working on it so I am posting the picture. I think the colors really turned out well. It was my first time working with Noro Kuryeon. It is kind of scratchy but softens a lot after is it rinsed. I think she will like it a lot. It was very easy and quick to knit up so I may do another one for my mother. I think she would like it also.

Gracie really liked it too. She has been feeling a little neglected since I have gone back to work. Yes for those who don't know, I am back to work. This is my fourth week as USDA and I really like it so far. This contract is a long one so I feel like I can relax and settle in a bit.

Gracie has gotten very possessive of my time when I am home. She likes to lay on the arm of the sofa and get scratched and petted. Boy that is the life.

Friday I took the day off to attend the Speaking of Women's conference at the Overland Park Convention Center. I have attended every year for the past 10 years. It is a great day for all women's stuff. The day begins with registration where you are presented with a tote bag with all kinds of goodies followed by a continental breakfast and the opportunity to visit the health screening and exhibitor booths. There is a key note session with a great speaker.

The hostess is none other than Cynthia Smith who used to be the director of KCPT and now is associated with Shawnee Mission Hospital who is one of the sponsors of the event.

She is wonderfully committed to this event. She lets her hair down and is very down to earth.

After the key note speaker, we attended a breakout session. There is usually a really good selection. I chose Eating in Season which was very informative. The presenter prepared a fresh Marinara sauce that smelled wonderful. Unfortunately, we did not get to sample the result. This was just before lunch.

The lunch was great as usual. The Beef Producers sponsored the lunch so it was a very nice salad with delicious beef atop it.

The Lunch time speaker was the daughter of Allen Funt from the Candid Camera television show. She was very engaging and funny. It was a great time.

Of course the knitters same armed with knitting to do while we listened and watched. Laura is skilled enough to do both.

Carla and Lorena were having a fun time also.

The closing speaker was Dan Buettner. He traveled all over the world studying aging and where the longest live people were. At first I was not sure that I was going to be too impressed but I liked him a lot. There is a quiz at www.bluezones.com that you can take to predict how old you may live. It was interesting that the people who lived the longest were in Sardinia. There is not work in their language for retirement. They never stop working. Hmmm, is this a clue? Also, they eat a huge breakfast and smaller meals later in the day. No fast food there.

Saturday I had intended to stay home and get lots of yard work done but I got a call from Chelle saying that they were going to Old Missouri Town for the fall festival. Well she didn't have to twist my are very hard to get me to forget about yard work. There were several spinners there. This lady was a delight. She belongs to the Osage Spinning Guild. It sounds like it is a fun group.

Man, I think that catches for now me up.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Back from Vacation

As many know I spend last week in Portland. This is a forest fire in the mountains which is very unusual for this area. I think this is the first they have had in a long time. Just shows you how dry it has been everywhere this year.

From the plane I had a great view of Mt. Hood. I have only seen it from a distance when in downtown Portland. Have also seen Mt. St. Helen from there also but not up close. Alas, the were not visible this time.

One day we went to a small amusement park, Oak's Park (like Fairyland Park in Kansas City for those who are old enough to remember) that was ver quaint. It was really sweet that they let the Mommies put the little ones on the rides. Mom really enjoyed being there with Erik and Alexis. It was a fun day.

This was after the tug boat ride.

Sunday we went to the Pittock Mansion which is situated atop a hill that overlooks downtown Portland. The grounds included beautiful gardens. Many containing old fashion roses. This was a lovely place build by the owner then he was 79 years old and he lived there for 5 years until his death. He was a remarkable man who worked until the day he died.

The view of Portland is breath taking. There are many different views. This day was not very clear so you cannot see it but normally you can view both Mt. Hood and St. Helen from here.

I am sorry that I cannot remember the name of this flower but I really think it is wonderful. It looks similare to a rose but that is not what it is. If anyone knows the name please comment.

I really loved the color of this rose. It reminded me of the sunrise.

Yes I did get to do a small amount of yarn shopping. Fifteen minutes to be exact. We went to Yarn Garden to look for sock yarn and unfortunately they were getting ready to close. I did get yarn for socks for Alexis and Erik. Alexis decided that she wanted some for her birthday in November and Christmas. There will be much sock knitting going on this fall.

I am also moving forward with the mitered vest along with several other things. Stay tuned for progress.

Friday, August 22, 2008

OK Time for an Update

As some of you know I lost my contract two weeks ago. I have been pretty busy since then doing house stuff while looking for another job.

The dining room finally got painted, not that I was in a hurry. It had been waiting to be painted since October of last year. I am very happy to have it done and I really like the color. Today I got the drapes hung and purchase the new light which I hope to get installed tonight. I also have the paint of the master bath going. I have been intending to get it painted the last couple of days but have been busy getting errands done and new job related things going.

I am really excited about this contract it is supposed to last 5 years. Sure hope it does. I will be nice to know that I am going to be somewhere for a while and can settle in a little bit. Still the little contractor in the back of my mind will not let me relax completely for a while to make sure it is going to work out well. After the inital period I will be able to let go and get comfortable.

This will free me up to get the rest of the house things done that need to get done before the end of the year and get some money back in savings, which has taken a great hit this year. I had not expected to spend almost $10,000 on the house all at one time.

The new company pays weekly which will be very strange. I have not been paid weekly in about 10 years. I think it will be good but just different. It will be much better than monthly which one company did years ago. I did not like that at all.

As a result I have not been knitting alot. I am still working on a sweater and some other things but not very quickly. It is almost time to start Christmas stuff. Not sure how much of that I will do this year.

I hope now that things can kind of settle down I can decide on what I am going to make and get started. I have ideas but need to find the patterns I want to use.

Monday, August 04, 2008

It is Really Green

I finally got my dining room painted. I went with green but did not anticipate it looking like a ripe avacado. I think it will grow on me just like the new hair color did. The picture does not really show how green it is.

I have some trim to paint and some touch up but other than that I should be ready to put up the drapes and new light (yet to be purchased) by this weekend.It has only taken almost a year. It was time to get it done. Now on to the next room.

Friday is my last day on my current contract. I have been on this one for 7 months. Now it is time for something else. Anybody got BA or Tech Writer job openings where you work. If so, let me know and if you would like to submit my resume for a referral. I know most companies offer from $500 to $1000 for a referral hire.

On the knitting front here is the summer shell ready to do the neck and armhole stitches. Hope to have it finished in time to start my sweater for ravelryolympics on Friday.

My other WIP is ...drum roll please....a shawl. The Luna Moth shawl to be exact. This shawl does not require the use of markers so I thought it was right up my alley. I do use markers when it is absolutely necessary but I perfer not to use them if I can. They seem to get in the way for me, especially if there are YOs involved. I am almost finished with the first repeat so will see how it goes. I am using my Noro sock yarn so I am anxious to see how the colors work out. Stay tuned and you will have the opportunity to see the color changes also.

Well, that should catch me up, blog wise.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Well, last night was the culmination of the last 7 month of work. I went to work at 10:00 and left at 8:00 this morning. Boy, could I easily get used to working a shift 11:00p to 7:00a. I am trully a night person. I was so please that the part of the project I worked on turned out realitively well. Now on to something else.

Since I knew that if I went straight home I would have crashed and the rest of the day would tank so I went to the boat to unwind. It was a good day with a $400 gain, for a change. It must have been my day because it seem, for a change, that I won on everything I played. As Laura said, I won more yarn money.

I took a detour to the Old Mill Stitchery in Liberty on the way home to see what they had on sale. The shop has been rearranged and it seemed that they must be getting ready for Fall inventory. They shelve were a little sparser than in the past. While I was there a yarn sales person was there with some very cool stuff so maybe there will be some new stuff next time I go.

The next stop was KnitCraft for some Noro. I got Color 80 to make an Einstein jacket. I think it will be a neat colorway. KnitCraft has the Kureyon on sale for $5 so that is a great deal. Didn't see anything else I really needed.

I am really trying to stick to the plan of only buying yarn for specific projects. I really need to update my queue and projects on Ravelry. I have not been very good about that and know it is something I need to improve on.

Called Mary to see what she was doing and we ended up going to Starbuck's and knitting for a bit. Such a treat to be able to do that on a week day. Even though I was exhausted and was probably not very coherent, I really enjoyed the time. At 3:00 I finally had to go home and crash. I had not slept since 7:00 Sunday morning.

Once home, I collapsed on the sofa and woke up about 7:00. I wanted to sleep more but knew if I did I would be awake about 2:00am. Mind you I had about 4 cups of coffee today which did not hamper my sleep.

Now I am working on round 2 of the Summer Tank. I ended up frogging the back because it has to many mistakes and was going to be to big. I am already to the motif at the waist and should have the front completed soon then to redo the back. Now I know where the mistakes were it should go fast.

Now I am slowing down again and looking forward to going to bed to finish catching up on sleep. Tomorow is another day.

Monday, July 07, 2008

What I did with my weekend

These are the wonderful friends I spent the holiday with. On the right is my dear friend Nancy, middle Wanda (hosting the afternoon/evening activities) and of course me on the left.

I took the train to St. Louis to be picked up by another friend Friday night then on Saturday Nancy picked me up after the Independence Day parade. We went to the carnival to have lunch and rides then back to the house for a great dinner. Nancy had gotten a watermelon at Walmart that I think was the best I have had in a long time. After a two block walk back to where the carnival was we found our place to watch the fireworks display, which was great.

Finally, the cuff of the first Girl's Best Friend sock is complete. Now on to the rest of the sock and beyond. I took time on the train to figure out what was not working about this pattern. I took only the chart with me and I found that there is an error on the chart and that is what the problem was. I ran into trouble with this spot when I worked on it some time ago and gave up only to start over again. I feel very accomplished now and look forward to finishing this one and the the second. The design does not really show up very well so I will probably do them again in a solid.

We have had a lot of rain here and the Missouri river is pretty full in Kansas City but there is a lot more water in the St. Louis area. This is the ball field in Kimmiswick.

The train ride home was pleasant and uneventful. It is definately the way to go. Roundtrip cost $51. Less than a tank of gas.

So, this morning I am lookong as the peach tree an this is what I saw. The little sucker has been eating my peaches. Good thing there are a lot. There should be plenty for both of us.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Here Comes the Tank

I decided it was time to make something for me to wear so I started the Summer Tank from the Summer Knit N' Style. I really like the lace detail at the botton and middle. It is working up really fast so it should be a FO soon. Only thing I am concerned about is that it may be too big. I am using Cottonease and I am hoping that having the acrylic will keep it from growing like cotton can do. Will have to see how the back measures up and iff I feel it is big I will do as Shari with her tank and make the from the next size smaller. If that is better I will do the back over. If this one turns out good I will probably make another. I like tanks like this under a button down shirt.

SSK yesterday was nice. We had a new drop-in. She was getting coffee and came over to see what we were doing. We invited her to sit in and as a true knitter she had her knitting in the car so she joined in. It was great to meet her and we hope she will come again.

That is one thing I have to say about out SSK group, we love having new knitters and feel the more the merrier. I think we are a pretty friendly group. We are very good at sharing information and techniques. If you run across something in a pattern you are not sure about, most likely some will know or can hel figure it out.

I just wish we could find a better place to meet. Borders is OK but sometimes it is loud and the chairs are not very comfortable. Also, sometimes we get very loud and I think we might be bothering other people. I was listening to us when we got going and it was just like a flock of chickens clucking at the same time. It would have been a good AFV to film us and put chicken sounds. At least we have a good time.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday Again

OK I have not done this one in a long time but it cam out about the same as last time even thought I am out of practice at being a wife.


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

Laura started with this one so I thought I would copy her.

I am having a good week. I bowled last night and for the first time did well. I bowled a 122, 121 and the final game was 143. This is more like the old days. I used to carry a 150 average. Hopefully, I will continue to improve.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I have been busy

OK today I have worked in the yard and basement, where I found some summer clothes I have been looking for, cleaned my bedroom and the bathrooms then finally installed new light fixtures on the front of the house.

This is the new light fixture. I looked for a long time to find something that was not to foo foo and not brass or polished nickel. Everything l looked at was either tacky or gigantic and just would not fit the look of the house. I was going to wait until I got the house painted but the old lights we literally falling apart. These came in white or black but I didn't really like the white ones. If I decide I want a different color I can always paint them and black usually provides a better base to paint.

So now at 2:30 I am ready to have some lunch. I am thinking salmon on a salad. I am thinking I am going to start leaning toward eating more vegetation. I have some new friends who are into the eating RAW. There are several meetups in that vain that I am going to investigate. I like fruits and vegetables a lot and that is mostly what I eat. Not sure I will totally cut out meats and dairy but I don't eat a lot of that stuff now. Since I am loosing wait anyway and trying to be healthier I would like to learn more about now to put things together to provide better nutrition for my future. Over the last 20 years I cannot say that I have taken the best care of my health but I do not think it is to last to start at anytime in our lives.

Oh yes. I have been doing some knitting also.

The Clapotis has now been completed and is waiting to be blocked. I used a lace weight from Crafty in a good way which is hand spun and hand dyed by Andrea Scott from Mission Kansas. This was lovely yarn to knit with and l love the color way which is Mary. Speaking of Mary, my friend Mary and I started our Clapotis at the same time but she used Lorena's Lace Lion and Lamb so I am anxious to see out the two compare. I love her colorway also, but I do not remember what it is called. I think we will have to model them at SSK with we both have them blocked.

The bag part of the felted back pack is is done and I just have the strap to do. I did this out of Lambs Pride Bulky on size 10 1/2 needles. The pattern called for worsted weight on 10 1/2s so it it rather tighter than I would like so I am not sure how it will felt but I am going to give it a shot and see. I probably should have gone up a couple of sizes but oh well. I do like the red, white and purple together. I am anxious to see how it comes out. I think the felting will take place this week.

I have also started a pair of cotton socks knitting two at the same time on a magic loop. While I am happy I figured out the technique I am not totally sure that I will always do my socks this way from now on. As I understand from others who are doing this the heel will be the challenge. Since I am doing anklets I am getting close to that point so I will see soon enough how it goes. I think the advantage I may have is that I am not using the 2 At A Time book, which I understand has many errors so maybe I will have not problem. I should have something probably have finished socks to show next time.

Monday, June 09, 2008


I usually do not do these things but here it goes.

OK...I accept the meme challenge

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? Carolyn
2. What is your favorite food? Raspberries
3. What high school did you go to? Raytown South
4. What is your favorite color? Red
5. Who is your celebrity crush? I don't crush
6. Favorite drink? Amaretto Sour
7. Dream vacation? A cruise to Australia
8. Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? A
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you. Patient
12. Your flickr name. clcalton

After all of the weather drama last night tonight it is beautiful. The sun is out and the temp is mild. This is the way it supposed to be for the next couple of days. Later in the week it starts with the bad stuff all over again. I have definately had enough.

I am kntting away on my mindless project. Should be done in a day or so. It is a gift so that is why I am not showing it yet but I will soon. I think my next project is going to use something from my stash. I am going to try getting my inventory down so I can have room for new things when I can afford them

Sunday, June 08, 2008

It is Storming Again

The weather has been so strange this Spring. It took forever for winter to be gone the we have had storm after storm this month. Tuesday we had tornado sirens then Thursday night coming home from salsa dancing there were 70 mph winds and torrental rains in town but nothing at home until 11:30 when big winds came through with more rain.

I have just lost my DirecTV because there is no signal. The wind is very calm compared to the very strong wind we had about 30 minutes ago. It really sucks because I was Tivoing something. I hate it when that happens. At least I have stuff recorded that I can watch.

I just love my Tivo. I was panicked today because my Tivo was not recording. I really didn't want to have to replace it right now. Fortunately, I remembered to recycle it before calling for support. I was thrilled when that solve my problem.

I have been thinking of trying the ATT Uverse TV to see how it is. They are really pushing it just to get their customer base going. Has anyone tried it?

I am about half done with the sleeves for Laura's sweater but I am taking a little break. I am working on something simple, quick, and mindless for a little while. Laura brought her finished sweater to SSK yesterday and it really looked great. She did hers in cotton and my is in alpaca so it should be neat to see them together in the different fibers.

I am thinking maybe it is time to finish the hemlock since I have decided to try to finish things that I have had started for a while. I got off on the stitch count along the way and I think I am ready to tackle figuring it out.

The storm is getting very bad now so I guess I had better turn the PC off. More later.....

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Time for a Change

Can you tell I had too much time on ym hands in the wee yours of the morning. One of the topics for discussion at SSK yesterday was hair color. Well I just happen to have some I got at the Last Speaking of Women's Health conference and I came across it going through a cabinet. I decided that I woule give it a try. I was supposed to be very light brown so I thought it would be suttle. You be the judge. Here is the before color.

Here is the after. A little darker than I had anticipated. Guess I didn't account for all the gray sucking up the color. The color is much the same as it used to be in my youth (a very long time ago). Well I had decided I was going to shake things up a little so this much be the beginning.

Today is such a gorgeious day that I have been outside planting things. There is much to do outside. Things to plant and dead stuff to cut out. I normal have all of my planting done by the middle of May. We are a month late. I got some Stella Doro lillies at Lowe's. I love them because the bloom all summer and come back each year. That is the kind of thein I am leaning toward planting so there is less maintenance. I need to measure so I can order pavestone edgers to put around the flower beds.

I would love to be able to relandscape the front of the house but that is another thing to add to the list of things that will have to wait until fall. The list has gotten very long but little by little I will get to it. I may have to start hiring things done that I cannot do myself anymore. This is a hard thing for me to decide but as I am not getting any younger and my strength is not what is used to be I cannot do the physical stuff as well as I used to. I new the time would come.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Clap is finally a FO

After many weeks the Clapotis is finished. I really like it done in the lace weight yarn and the color is nice too. I must say that this one will be an only child. While I like the result, I found it very boring to knit. Only if I were in the mood for some major mindless knitting would I make another.

As you can see Gracie is extremely impressed.

There has been progress with the test knit sweater. I have only the sleeves and finishing to do. Should have be able to call it a FO soon. This one is going to be for myself for a change.

I just got this great book on cables. I think maybe my next project will come from this book. I has some great cable patterns. I enjoyed the Irish hiking scarf a lot so I am ready to do some more advanced cabling.

My friend Chelle http://www.hangingbyathinthread.blogspot.com/ blogged about experiencing a feeling of malaise. I think that hits it on the yead for me. I have been in this funk for the last two months (whining about it plenty). Things just were out of sync...well that is all over now. I met a friend at Margarita's after work Friday. It was nice to see here again; it had been a while. After leaving here I decided that I had done enough whining and I need to suck it up and move on. I am looking forward to June being a good month. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Recent Activities

I think this is going to be the year for peaches. Aboutr 4 years ago I had a peach tree come up next to my deck stares. Not really in a good spot but I decided to leave it since it did come up by itself (probably buried by a squirrel). Year before last I had 3 peaches which were not of much size but tasted really good. Last year when the tree was blooming we has a late freeze and all of the blooms were gone so of course there were not peaches. This year even with all of the strange weather we have had I think the peach crop is going to be big barring any unforseen disaster.

This will be so fun. I have had several people tell me just to cut the tree down because of the bad location but I cannot bring myself to do it. I feel that if this tree wants to survive where it is I will do what I can to help it. I fill update the progress as time goes buy.

I am glad to have a long weekend. The best part is my friends are here from St. Louis. They have a graduation to attend in St. Joe tonight then leave sometime tomorrow to return to St. Louis. They are both in education and have a couple more days left in the school year to complete.

I am so glad they were able to come this weekend. I have kind of been mentally exhausted lately so it is good to have a diversion. I have had some personal sadness and disappointment the last couple of weeks that I will not go into because I do not what to get started whining about it since I do need to move on and leave it behind. I am ready to suck it up and move on.

I have been knitting but have nothing to show right now because I am still doing a test knit for a friend who is going to submit a pattern for publication. When this has been accomplished I will gladly share.

I also have some baby things to do which are always fun. I have several baby friends on the way this year so I guess I need to get started. Not sure what I will decide on as yet but will share when I decide (soon).

I guess I need to cut this short...I am going to a cook out this afternoon so I had better be on my way.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A friend share this with me so thought I would share it with you.

One morning on my way to work the sky looked like this. I just happened to have the camera in the car and as one of my favorite things is sky pictures. I just wanted to share it with you.

The New York Times
May 11, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
Call Your Mother

The ad popped up in my e-mail the way it always has: “1-800-Flowers:
Mother’s Day Madness — 30 Tulips + FREE vase for just $39.99!”

I almost clicked on it, forgetting for a moment that those services
would not be needed this year. My mother, Margaret Friedman, died last
month at the age of 89, and so this is my first Mother’s Day without a

As columnists, we appear before you twice a week on these pages as
simple bylines, but, yes, even columnists have mothers. And in my case,
much of the outlook that infuses my own writings was bred into me from
my mom. So, for once in 13 years, I’d like to share a little bit about

My mom was gripped by dementia for much of the last decade, but she
never lost the generous “Minnesota nice” demeanor that characterized
her in her better days. As my childhood friend Brad Lehrman said to me
at her funeral: “She put the mensch in dementia.”

My mom’s life spanned an incredible period. She was born in 1918,
just at the close of World War I. She grew up in the Depression, enlisted in
the Navy after Pearl Harbor, served her country in World War II, bought
our first house with a G.I. loan and lived long enough to play bridge
on the Internet with someone in Siberia .

For most of my childhood, my mom appeared to be a typical suburban
housewife of her generation, although I knew she was anything but
typical. She sewed many of my sisters’ clothes, including both of
their wedding dresses and boy’s suits for me. And on the side, she won
several national bridge tournaments.

My mom left two indelible marks on me. The first was to never settle
for the cards you’re dealt. My dad died suddenly when I was 19. My
mom worked for a couple of years. But in 1975, I got a scholarship to go to
graduate school in Britain and my mom surprised
us all one day by announcing that she was going, too. I called it the “Jewish Mother
Junior Year Abroad Program.”

Most of her friends were shocked that she wasn't’t just going to play
widow. Instead, she sold our house in little St. Louis Park , Minn. , and
moved to London . But what was most amazing to watch was how she used
her world-class bridge skills to build new friendships, including with
one couple who flew her to Paris for a bridge game. Yes, our little
Margie off to Paris to play bridge. She even came to see me in Beirut
once, during the civil war — at age 62.

The picture of her in Beirut makes me think back in amazement at what
my mom might have done had she had the money to finish college and
pursue her dreams — the way she encouraged me to pursue mine, even
when they meant I’d be far away in some crazy place and our only
communications would be through my byline. It’s so easy to overlook
your mom had dreams, too.

My mom’s other big influence on me you can read between the lines of
virtually every column — and that is a sense of optimism. She was the
most uncynical person in the world. I don’t recall her ever uttering a
word of cynicism. She was not naïve. She had taken her knocks. But
every time life knocked her down, she got up, dusted herself off and
kept on marching forward, motivated by the saying that pessimists are
usually right, optimists are usually wrong, but most great changes were
made by optimists.

Six years ago, I was in Israel at a dinner with the editor of the
Haaretz newspaper, which publishes my column in Hebrew. I asked the
editor why the newspaper ran my column, and he joked: “Tom, you’re
the only optimist we have.” An Israeli general, Uzi Dayan, was seated
next to me and as we walked to the table, he said: “Tom, I know why
you’re an optimist. It’s because you’re short and you can only see that
part of the glass that’s half full.”

Well, the truth is, I am not that short. But my mom was. And she,
indeed, could only see that part of the glass that was half full. Read
me, read my mom.

Whenever I’ve had the honor of giving a college graduation speech, I
always try to end it with this story about the legendary
University of
Alabama football coach, Bear Bryant. Late in his career, after his
mother had died, South Central Bell Telephone Company asked Bear Bryant
to do a TV commercial. As best I can piece together, the commercial was
supposed to be very simple — just a little music and Coach Bryant
saying in his tough voice: “Have you called your mama today?”

On the day of the filming, though, he decided to ad-lib something. He
reportedly looked into the camera and said: “Have you called your
mama today? I sure wish I could call mine.” That was how
the commercial ran, and it got a huge response from audiences.

So on this Mother’s Day, if you take one thing away from this column,
take this: Call your mother.

I sure wish I could call mine.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunny Sunday Morning

Now I call this Spring. The sun is out, I have the window open, and I am on a roll with Spring cleaning. I have done the kitchen, even down to scubbing the floor on my hands and knees. At least, after loosing some weight, I am able to get down on my knees and bend over far enough to reach the floor to scrub it. My knees still do not like it but it will be OK.

Now I am just taking a break to have a cold drink and blog before I start moving the living room furniture to it's Spring time position. Of course this involves vaccuming and dusting to complete the whole process. Meanwhile, the laundry is in progress with the bedroom next in line.

Maybe I will get some knittng in tonight. I am almost finished with the Clapotis. I have 3 more decreases to do then the last 13 rows and it will be complete.

While this has been an interesting experience, I have found it rather boring. I am not sure I will do another one unless I want to do it for mindless knitting in maybe a worsted weight. This one is a fingering weight so it is lighter weight. I used this yarn so I could compare it with the one my friend Mary is doing in Lorena's Lace.

I think my next project will be a sweater. I have not done one since the one I did for my sister at Christmas. I also have, of course some socks in the works. I am knitting them as tube socks then going back to do the heals. The tubes are done so I will probably do the heals in the next couple of days. I also have a baby thing to do that I need to get started on since the baby is due in July.

OK...I have rested enough. It is time to move furniture and get on with things. It is 11:00 and I am planning on being finished with my cleaning by 1:00 so I can go shopping with Susan to look for smaller closes and some shoes with leather soles to wear for dancing.

Yes I have started doing some salsa dancing and am planning on doing some east coast swing with my singles group. You may recall that my New Year's resolution for this year was to get out and socialize more. I think so far I have been working that directions. This along with going back to Weight Watchers (so far down 20lbs at WW plus 15 prior to that since October) has been my major accomplishment this year. In addition, I am trying to aquire perm employment so I do not have to keep looking for work every year. So if you know anyone in KC who is looking for a tech writer, business analyst, QA person keep me in mind.

OK, I am really finished again.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

On the Move

I have been checking out a different blogging tool. I think I like it better so come visit me at http://knittingfastasican.multiply.com/ . I am not closing this one down just yet so I may be back here soon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring is Here..Finally

Today the temp was over 70. What a treat? I think (hope) we can put the last of the cold weather behind us. I am on my second round of allergy season since the grass is not growing and the Bradford pear trees are blooming. It is not as bads as the early season but it is noticable.

What's new at my house? I got my car back Monday night and wonder of wonders, the bill was only $250 to flush the transmission and replace the fluid. It passed the computer test with flying colors so we are good to go.

I had a foundation company come out to look at the basement wall. Unfortunately, the front wall has started to bow but has not started moving. I really need to get something done soon before there is more damage. I had anticipated an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. The finally amount is $5,900. Much better than I had expected but now I have to figure out how to pay for it and not totally tap my savings account out.

I am sure I will figure something out.

So far I have dropped 6 stitched on my Clapotis. It is going well but is kind of boring. I think I am going to start a baby something to trade off to.

I got new pictures of my neice Alexis today so I thought I would share. She is becoming such a beatiful young lady.

This is her new dress. She picked this out herself. The dress thing is fairly new for her. I think she made a good selection.
This is the everyday Alexis. The likes to be casual most of the time. She has the dark hair I used to have and the brown eyes to go with it. She has just started playing soccer. I hope she learns to like it and lot. She has so much energy it would be a good focus for her.

I hope this summer to be able to get out to Portland. It has been a while since I have see my sisters family so I have not seen Alexis as a kindergardener.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Better Day and More to Come

I am having a better day today. I got a grip and am moving forward. Last week is a week I can do nothing about and I always figure if you cannot do anything to change what is let it go and move on. I want and stood out in the sun today and I think the vitamin D helps. I was wishing that it was warmer so I could get started cleaning out flower beads but the temp is supposed to be 25 degrees tonight then by Tuesday it is supposed to be 70. The clouds that are left should move out tonight so maybe this is our last cold snap. It is about time. I think we have all had enough winter, even thought it is Spring.

OK, here is what I have for WIPs. I started this sock from som OnLine that I got on sale at KnitCraft. I was not sure how it was going to strip but so it was a surprise. I like it. I am knitting this as a tube and then will go back to do the heel. I saw somewhere in a pattern to do the tube the at the point where the heal should be you snip the stitches the pick up the stitches on both sides and do the toe decreases for the heal. I will be interested to see how well it fits. I don't like a short row heel but I thought I would give this a try. Stay tuned.

Here is this progress on the Clapotis. I have done 4 drops and am almost ready for number 5. Since I am using a lighter weight yarn, mine will look different than the one Mary is doing in Lorena's Lace. It is interesting to see how the same pattern works up in the different yarns.

The only thing about the pattern is that it is kind of boring after a while. You only drop stitched every 12 worse so ther is not much going in with the pattern the rest if of the time. It is basically k1 ktbl k3 ktbl the purl back. The sock is my car knitting so I may have to start something a little more exciting to switch off to.

SSK was nice yesterday. After my week it was nice to be with everyone and think go something else. We were a smaller group yesterday as several had other various other things going on. I was running early, after getting my hair cut so I went to Jason's Deli and thought I would get some soup or something for lunch. While standing on line I thought a baked potato would be good, not knowing that their potatoes weight about a pound. I could only each abount 1/4 of it.

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday while whining is that I went salsa dancing Thursday night with the singles group I have joined. It was a lot of fun. The Isle of Capri has free salsa lessons on Thursday night. My intent was to go watch but I ended up jumping right in and did really well. I figured I would only last a short time but I danced the whole 2 hours. It was way more fun than aerobics or walking the treadmill. I got on the scales the next day and had lost 4 lbs. Gee just think if I went every day. I would be thin in no time. Maybe I will be inspired to go workout more often. I know it would help and now that it seems that we are into better weather I can make myself go. Well, it could happen....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cheese with My Wine

I have had an incredibly bad week. Not the normal bad week but a bad week to the power of 10. It started out when I found out I did not get a perm job I was applying for. As it turns out I spent 2 hours of unpaid time to fill out an application and take some stupid test only to find out that the job went to a man who will probably take flight when the next lucritive contract comes along. After finishing the application process I got a call the next day from the headhunter telling me that the job had been offered to a guy who had worked for the company on a contract and he had declined because he had a long term contract with Sprint. The hiring manager really liked my resume but just after I call (oh sure) the guy they had offered the job called and said his contract got cancelled and could he still have the job. So they gave it to him.

Work was not smooth either but I will not go into that. It was mostly me and my OCD wanting everything to be organized correctly, so in otherwords my way. I was not happy with the work product but my client was to that is all that matters.

With all of the rain the last few days, my foundation is settling even more so the house is popping and creaking. Such fun to listen to. I have a foundation company coming Monday so maybe they will be able to help me. I am so anoyed with myself for not taking care of the problem before it got to this point but I just did not have the money to do it. I still don't but there is no choice now.

To finish off my week when I got home last night and pulled into the drive way my transmission went out. At least it was in the drive way and not on I70 or at the boat late at night. So the car has now been towed for repair but of course being Saturday the shop is not open so will have to wait until Monday to get the diagnosis. Hopefully, it will be something cheap and easy. I have my fingers crossed. My wonderful aunt has lent me her car do I do not have to rent on.

OK....I am through whining. Tomorrow is another day....the sun will come up tomorrow...la...la...la.

Oh yes, I did do some knitting this week. I have started dropping stitches on the Clapotis.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Here is the Round throw. Gracie is still not sure she want any one to have it. I think she is going to have seperation issued when it goes to its new home. It is not as big around as I thought it would be but I am tired of doing it. I thing Iam going to do some crochet around the edge to help it lie flatter.

Yes I did start my Clapotis. I link doing it with the lovely spreadsheet that some kind person posted on the now defunct Clapotis KAL. It has made it much easier to keep track os thr repeats. I am not as far along has I would like to be because I am not sure I like it in this yarn. I will go a little ferther and then decide. I cannot remember what this yarn is but I got it out at KnitWits originally to make a shawl that I have not gotten to yet. I do have some Koigu that I had intended use but wanted to see how this would work. The Koigu is still an option. There is also some Noro sock yarn I could use. Will have to see what works best.

On another note, I went to a over 45 singles dinner meet up this week. I really had a good time. I have not done the singles thing for a long long time but decided that one of my goals for this year was to develop a more varied social life. I met 55 new people at China Star in Overland Park. I was pleasantly surprised had how diverse the group was. I found this group on Meetup.com. I had joined another meetup earlier thsi year but it really did not work out. The events they had were always at a bar. I am so over the bar thing. I did that 20 years ago and do not want to do that any more. This was nice to be in a room with people where you could have a conversation and mingle without all of the noise. I will definately go again.