Doctor Who Scarf--Meter O' Progress

Friday, December 31, 2010

Whatcha Been Up To??

US?  Well, we've been getting all "beautified" for XY3's two-year pictures tomorrow.  He's so darned cute!  He actually did a great job during the cut.  He sat on my lap and (mostly) held very still.  Tomorrow is the big picture day so, hopefully, that will go well also.
XY2 also got a new haircut.  His experience wasn't a good as XY3's.  In fact, the girl who did his hair took all of 7 minutes to cut it. . . and it shows.  I had to work on in a little bit when we got home. 
And, some actual knitting!!!  I only tackled one knitting project this season.  A cute little bear for a cute little boy.  The pattern comes out of Knitted Toy Tales by Laura Long.  I'm actually going to buy this book.  It's super cute and KnitPicks has their 40% off sale.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10 Years. . . And Counting!!

Ten years ago, today, I married this guy:
The years have flown by. At one time, we lived alone with only ourselves and our hobbies for company. It was good.
Then, XY1 came along. Things got better--and a lot more interesting. I knew I'd made a good choice because DH is a GREAT dad.
Then, XY2 joined the crew. And, still, things were good.
Finally, XY3 became a part of the family. DH was still a great dad, and things were still, albeit crazy, good.
I married a fellow who supports the things I want to do with my life. The things that make me a happier person and a better mom and wife.
He's invested on our family and is a "team player." He also likes to camp. This is a big "plus" in my book.
He's funny. So much so, that it can be a bit. . . how shall we say. . oh, yeah, a bit annoying.
But, most importantly, DH clears the snow so I don't have to. Sometimes the literal snow and sometimes the figurative.
Although the past ten years haven't been perfect (on either side of this partnership) they have been (mostly) interesting and fun. Where will we be ten years from now? Who knows? As long as we are somewhere just as satisfying as today.



Saturday, August 14, 2010

Birthday Girl!

Thirty-eight
It's that time of the year again. Every birthday I have always prompts me to re-evaluate my life and where I am on the journey. Some years I feel better about things than others. This year, I can only characterize my general attitude as ambivalent. So, in an effort to better ascertain my true feelings, I'm compiling a list.

Things I've done thus far that I'm happy about:
1. Had three (usually) great children
2. Earned two undergraduate degrees
3. Earned (almost--and I will finish this year) my Master's
4. Been half of a productive and positive marriage
5. Had a number of fun adventures
6. Have a job I like most of the time

Things I still need to do:
1. TRAVEL!!!!!! (UK, Italy, Germany, Toronto, Alaska, The Netherlands)
2. Live in the country

Hmmm. . . not bad I guess. I'll never be rich and I'll never be famous. But. . . I'm pretty damn happy!!

Monday, August 09, 2010

No, I actually did NOT fall off the face of the planet!!

Yeah, so I've been really busy--again--and have been neglecting the blog something fierce. It's been a really busy summer though at our place. We started out with a trip "up nort" to visit grandma and grandpa. Of course, a tractor excursion is all part and parcel of the whole visiting experience. On this day, XY1 and grandpa were relocating bird houses (which, I assume, is a good way to entice more birds to show up--but I cannot say for certain). The funny thing was, Mr. Curmudgeon took XY1 out every day and they did some sort of activity. Then, he'd complain about XY1. However, I'm calling BS on this one because if he were so miserable, Mr. Curmudgeon would not have continued in the same vein. So, I say, "suck it up grandpa, and admit that you love the XYs a bunch. Your gruff routine isn't fooling me one little bit."
We've also been doing a lot of camping. Last year we bought an old pop-up camper and we've been putting it to good use thus far. It's weird though, I'm definitely from a "tent camping/backpacking" background, so I'm pretty surprised I've enjoyed the camper so much. It's really nice to have with the XYs though. The nicest trip this summer was to Devil's Lake Campground. It's part of the Wisconsin state parks system. I guess it's supposed to be the most visited park in the state. It's really beautiful. Below is a view from the observation point on the west bluff. My three little guys (even the 18 mo old) managed to make the entire hike up the bluff and across before wearing out. I was so proud of them all!!


I'm extremely glad the guys like to camp. First, it's a lot cheaper than other vacations that a family could do. Also, it's good for them to be out in the air and observing the natural world around them. If you have kids, GET THEM OUTSIDE as much as possible. Not convinced? Check out Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. It's both interesting and scary. For a good chunk of our camping trip, we worked on the XY's "explorer packs" from the WIDNR. The kiddos were so excited to go exploring and discover the different tasks in the booklets! (of course, the patches that they can earn are a real draw also).
We have two more camping trips planned this year. One this weekend and another the second weekend after school starts. We are already planning for next year and where we might go. I like the idea of also trying some tent camping next year. Really, I just need to get the kids ready to go here. It's AMAZING!!!

No knitting to speak of lately (maybe I should change the blog header to reflect that). I just haven't had that good knitting mojo going on these days. I do have a small project on the needles for a friend but, since she does look here, I'll have to wait to post pics until I've sent the gift out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Future Olympians!

If there were an Olympic competition for revolting cuteness, I'm fairly certain (in my completely unbiased corner of the universe) that Op would take the gold. Just look at that face! I'm feeling sort of slackerish because I STILL haven't taken him for his one-year-old pictures but every time I plan to, he takes a digger at daycare and has some sort of head wound. Poor little guy! I guess that's what happens when you are a champion "climbing bug" though.
And, speaking of "cute," the other day my husband says to me, "So, I'm thinking of making knight's helmets for PoKaL and Fud." Now, DH is fairly crafty is a guy sort of way so this was not that surprising. The helmets though are hysterical! The kids ran around the house bashing each other with cardboard swords and screaming their heads off. It was a complete success.

Successes have been quite bountiful around here lately. I finished my French Press slippers in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Because, you know, you just have to have great footwear for Olympic viewing. One pair for me and one pair for my Olympic buddy.
The pattern is super easy and super quick. I'd recommend it to anyone who needs a stylish pair of slippers.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Knitterly LOVE!!

Ahhh! Perfection--what you are looking at my pretties is a fantabulous Tom Bihn Swift knitting bag. Oh, sure, I know I'm a little behind the times in discussing this amazing bag but--hey--I have kids, I can't be out buying knitting bags every other second. I decided to give this bag a try and spent a fair amount of time gazing (longingly) at the "punch and cocoa" picture on the Tom Bihn website. However, much to my chagrin, Punch and Cocoa bags aren't being produced at the moment. So, being the take-charge kind of girl I am, I emailed the company and inquired as to the current color runs and what might be happening in the future. I wasn't really holding out a whole lot of hope for the "perfect" color combo but--rather--had resigned myself to the inevitability that if I wanted a bag I'd have to "settle" as far as color was concerned.
Enter Ms. SanGregory from the Tom Bihn company (intrepid customer service rep). Ms. SanGregory did a little looking around and told me there were. . . . wait for it. . . . PUNCH AND PURPLE swifts available from an older color run (apparently they have updated the design a bit to include heavier material at the bottoms of the bags--this color combo is pre-update) Well, as I have a serious sickness for pink and purple, I knew this bag just HAD to be mine.
I have to say, I've never (really--and I have a couple of AMAZING knitting bags)been more pleased with a knitting bag. Not only are the colors great but the bag does stand up nicely when it is full of all my stuff. It holds a TON (as in ALL the yarn for my current Dr. Who scarf project for the Knitting Olympics (and the ravelympics too). Not only that but this bag holds all my other knitting stuff too. I can easily put in the yarn, instructions, and all the other miscellaneous hoo-ha I need for any kitting project (short of a comforter or something). The clear pockets are awesome--largely due to my need to be able to see the 2$ I have with which to buy cheap coffee. Currently, my swift contains:
*SpectraTredz circ set
*Instructions for scarf
*Sushi Stitch markers
*Stitchdots
*my phone
*About 14 balls of KnitPicks Swish Worsted
*Scissors
*Tape Measure
*crochet hooks
*The Nefarious WIP
*KnitClips
*a small notebook
*ipod
*There's a bunch of other stuff too--you get the picture.

Seriously--I LOVE this bag. It is perfect.

Now, if only it could help me knit faster. . . . . .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Things I Can Control

Let me just put this out there:

I think the universe basically sucks. There it is. My "the-glass-is-half-empty" philosophy in a nutshell. Now, I'm not saying my little corner of the universe sucks. Usually--despite my incessant whining--it's a pretty nice place to be. From a more holistic perspective though, we live a fairly horrid existence.

I base this supposition on events in the course of history and events taking place now that make life for humans (who, incidentally, never asked to be born) hell. Cataclysmic disaster, Ongoing War, Disease, Famine, Poverty, Abuse, Systematic Disenfranchisement, Human Rights Horrors, Genocide, Crimes Against the Innocent, Behemoth Greed (seriously, I could go on forever).

The above mentioned, incidentally, are the basis for my belief that hell does not exist but is--rather--created by us. That, however, is a whole other blog post for a different day.

So, in order to not feel completely powerless and puny in a harsh world, I donate to causes that--I fervently hope--are making a difference and bringing some modicum of peace to others. Perhaps you already donate time and money to causes you feel strongly about? If so, that's great.

Maybe you'd like to but don't know where to start?
Heifer International
Oxfam
United Way
Project Linus
Doctors Without Borders
Feeding America
Save the Children
Habitat for Humanity

There are, literally, thousands of charities around the world whose mission is to make life a little less cruel, a little less difficult. Consider doing something to help someone you've never met.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Look Out 2010!!

Wow! Another year has flown by and--as per usual--I've been neglecting the blog to a shocking degree. So, to amend for my slackitude, I offer the "year in review" in reverse order (just to make things interesting).
1. Op's baby dedication ceremony. It was beautiful and PoKaL and Fud were very well behaved.
2. Crafty, crafty--a Lucy Bag I made for the charity holiday raffle at the Jr. High where I teach one hour a day. The gal who won it's husband put the thing on his head like a hat. I don't know if it was inspiration born of "spirits" but I felt he did not show the bag proper respect. That rapscallion.
3. More Crafty, crafty--In November, I had an AWESOME scrapbooking weekend with some of my very favorite people. Good company, good eats, and major productivity.
4. The Lakeshore Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (Gah--what a mouthful!) bought a new building. It's fabtastic.
5. Trains! Always lots of trains. We live in a train house around here.
6. (Even) more Crafty, crafty--Matching dresses for two of the cutest little girls around.
7. A little brotherly love. PoKaL, Fud, and Op usually get along really well. And then, there are those "other" times.
8. Crazy fun times with friends--gosh we are so "stupid busy" around here we never get to see our friends as much as we'd like to so we really have to make up for it when we do get the chance to get together.
9. Oh PoKaL!!! I don't know what I'd do without your crazy faces to entertain and amuse me.
10. Op was our newest addition in 2009. He's a lot bigger now and running around like he owns the place. He says, "uh-oh", "ma-ma", and Fud's name. It's very cute.
There was so much more but I'd be here all year uploading pictures if I let myself. So, I'll end with this year's attainable and reasonable resolutions:

* I will knit something (unfortunately--I finished neither sweater nor mittens this year--D'OH)
* I will finish my Master's program
* I will develop "negative calorie" chocolate
* I will only complain about grading and writing papers on odd-numbered days
* I will avoid "Made in China" as often as humanly possible
* I will write my legislators more frequently
* I will start writing Arne Duncan (yeah, I mean you Arne--Harvard and Semi-Professional basketball do NOT an effective Secretary of Education make)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Things That Make You Go Hmm?

I wonder what Lucy is hiding from? Perhaps she is afraid of the flash? Perhaps she is avoiding the blog? No, really--I suppose I've been neglecting the blog shockingly for quite some time but the truth is: I am really, disgustingly busy. The crushing irony is that I'm too busy to blog but not to busy to take stupid cat pictures. Go figure
Well, at lease PoKaL has time to enjoy his hobbies and obligations concurrently.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Vamp-o-babe!

In one of the strangest incidences of toothy development I've ever seen, PtW sprouted the two teeth right next to where the fronts would be (are those the incisors? I do not know). The result: VAMP-O-BABE!!! The little devil looks like he could drain ya in under a minute with those pointy, new little fangs. And--least we fail to notice--he looks exceptionally pleased about this turn of events. So here's the real question, is he a "real" vampire or one of those lame-o Twilight vampire wannabes?
Of course, if he turns out to be a vegetarian vampire (oxymoron, that), we've got a stockpile growing with which to feed his insatiable (because aren't all vampires insatiable) needs.