Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm (You Guessed It) Tired

As always:

I'm looking forward to the end of the work day tomorrow almost with desperation. As much as I enjoyed the week up to and after Christmas, and as unstressful this week has been, I need to be still for a while. A little more consecutive doing than I'm used to. I feel tired and under the weather and speaking of the weather, how annoying is it that it's bitter nasty cold now, and yet might rain on Friday and screw up the Winter Classic? Which, if it gets pushed to the rain date of Saturday, pushes the Legends Classic (for which I have tickets) off the map into limbo? (I can't find the answer anywhere online as to what happens to the Legends if the Winter Classic plays Saturday...)

It must be bed time.

Post script: I hope it doesn't bother anyone or stop anyone who wants to comment, but I'm enabling word verification on the commenting as of now. I don't get a ton of comment spam, but the pace has picked up lately, and perhaps this will stop it. Drop me an e-mail (ccrinma [at] msn [dot] com) in the unlikely event you have anything to say about it, how it works, or whatever.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Half-Way Through the Long Short Week

You guessed it: still so tired.

Overall, the whole family-holiday period was great, no regrets, but one of the things that made it less than 100% perfect was that I felt slightly under the weather much of the time. The main problem was congestion (nose and throat), along with a (thankfully sporadic) cough that was hard to tame. I was and remain grateful that the illness* never got debilitating, so it didn't ruin the holiday, but I'd rather have been without it, no doubt.

*Am I sick? Just congested from winter's dryness and cold? Who knows?

And though the holiday is now over, the congestion is not. In fact, today it reached truly disgusting levels, going straight past "self-conscious worry that I am disgusting others" and firmly into "I am disgusting myself". (I will spare you details, partly because it makes me dry heave just remembering.)

This is not fun. The cough is less disgusting, but it is (literally) disturbing. As in, the other night, disturbing the kitty who had been curled up most sweetly on my hand, so that's not fun either, for her or for me.

But it was all good. And happily, my mother did not have to suffer through today's bitter, bitter cold (on the radio tonight, they said it was 14 degrees, and with the wind chill felt like -15).

I am happy for my mother, that she is back in the land of the heat index. After all:

funny pictures of cats with captions

Monday, December 28, 2009

It Was: Great. I Am: Tired

Oh, y'all, I am so tired. We had a great time, but I'm about worn out.

I'll try again tomorrow. Tell me how your holidays went!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Little Catching Up Before Christmas

I won't lie to you. I forget what the calendar gave me on Saturday. Yesterday was a Sweet Sloop, today was a Harbor Light, but Saturday? It could have been anything. And I don't feel bad about forgetting. My mommy's here. We've been busy.

There was a lot of snow. Yuck. But we've been dealing. And look at the funky things snow does:

That dip is just hanging off the edge. It's pretty cool.

We went out to dinner Saturday, then watched the Bruins game (boo). Yesterday we dug out to get to a brunch with friends, then in to Boston to the Nutcracker (fabulous) followed by dinner at Legal. Today we had lunch with an old friend, I went to the follow-up appointment with the ortho*, we ran some errands, had dinner at Bertucci's, then stopped in to Home Goods before returning to watch the end of the Bruins game (yay).

*As the hand has been largely pain-free since a week after the shot, the visit was largely a formality. He did show me how to do some stretches to extend the flexibility, so I'll try to remember to do those.

And I will finish with some bloggable moments from Home Goods. It's funny how they can have some things I quite like, and others that I wouldn't take if you paid me.

I mean ... seriously?

Depressed multicolored dog art?

If roosters are a symbol of hospitality ...
this one will burn your house down.

There are no words.

To give them credit, I did find what I was looking for. But still, whew.

Also? They had Valentine's candy out. On December 21st. Can we get past Christmas first, please?

Now, I don't know if I'll be blogging again before next week, so if I don't, happy merry to you all! We'll talk next week, okay? Have a good!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Secret Project: Revealed!

Now that her plane is in the air, I can reveal the secret knitting project recipient is my mother! I'll be giving it to her today, and since she won't see the blog before she sees the object, it's time for the big reveal!

When I went yarn shopping way back on July 3rd, I was pretty sure I was going for sock yarn. I hadn't bought any really nice yarn in a while, and I wanted to start another pair of socks, and it seemed meant to be. And I did, in fact, buy sock yarn:

But I also fell prey to a common knitter's situation in a yarn store. I touched something lovely, knew who it was for, and had to buy it.

It followed me home. Can I keep it?

Misti Alpaca, Hand Paint Lace. The colors are hard to capture, being an exceedingly subtle blend of beige and pale peach and soft pale purple and light seagrass green. In poor lighting, it looks merely beige, but in good light, ahh. Mum, it said to me. Something lacy, it said. I couldn't put it down.

The drawback was that I couldn't blog about it without giving it away, and I wanted it to be a surprise. Since Mum is my first and most loyal reader here, that meant blog silence for the project. I couldn't show you the pretty yarn, and I couldn't discuss pattern possibilities. I did decide to write this post, this after-bestowal post, starting in July, so that I can capture some of the process.

So today is July 17th. Over the last week, I've taken lace books and shawl books out of the library, and I've gone round and round Ravelry, trying to find the vague idea I had in my head:
  • something lacy
  • not too complicated (I haven't done much lace knitting)
  • not triangular (nothing against them, I just wasn't feeling the love for the pointy in this case)
It seemed that I had a clearer idea of what I didn't want than what I did, or at any rate I knew it when I saw it. Eventually, though, Ravelry came to the rescue. I chose the Meandering Vines Shawl (Ravelry link). It looked pretty, and others said it was simple, and it fit the type and amount of yarn. I even had the suggested needle size (I'm starting, at any rate, with a US 9 circular).

So tonight, I wound the yarn, and by the way lace-weight takes quite a while to skein, compared even to sock weight yarn, doesn't it? And I cast on. I'm using stitch markers to keep my place between the repeats, but it seems like it's going to be very easy to keep track of. And although I have heard lace knitting before it's blocked compared to either a wad of dental floss or a hunk of uncooked ramen noodles, I think it's rather pretty so far. Early days, of course, six rows in, but so far, so good.


Saturday, July 25th. I'm just over a week in, and still love it. I've finished three pattern repeats, and it looks like this:

It will be even prettier when it's blocked; I can hardly wait.

One thing occurred to me earlier, given how light-weight it is, and I tested the wedding ring theory (with my great-grandmother's wedding ring). It fits.

August 19th. I've been working away at the shawl, enjoying it immensely, and today I finished the first half (with this pattern, you make the first half, put it aside and make the second half, then graft them together). I wanted to finish it and cast on for the second half before Saturday, so I can work on it while I'm on the plane, without worrying that the lovely already-done part would snag on something. Mission accomplished!

I haven't blocked it yet, and without stretching it out, it's 33 inches long. I think when I block, I will be more trying to widen it than lengthen, but I guess time will tell.

On to the second half!

It is October 14th, and I am full of the urge to call my mother and say to her, "Look what I did, I made a house."

My mother has on her wall a framed "painting" that I did in nursery school, which to the untutored eye looks like random squiggles. The teacher, however, was smart enough to write on the paper what I said to her when I finished, and that is what I want to say to my mother now, because the shawl is completely finished and it is lovely. I can't believe that I made this.

I slid the blocking wires out, and all the pointies remained pointy. I was sure it would be so, but that was still neat to see.

Here is how much yarn was left:

Lace-weight being what it is, that's more than it appears; I wasn't in danger. Still, it reinforces my feeling that I got my money's worth out of this yarn. It cost $23.99, and took me three months to knit, and I loved every minute of it. Go, Misti Alpaca!

This is before blocking. I laid it out dry to see the size. Each square is 2 feet by 2 feet.

And after wetting and pinning:

Longer and wider!

Harold supervises the drying process, sniff. (I put it in the office with the door closed shortly thereafter.)

Dry, unpinned, and still pointy!

December. Some people have referred to this as a Christmas present for my mother, but I never thought of it that way. It's a present, because I wanted to make something for her in a tough year. It was always going to be gifted the first time I saw her after it was done.

I had to restrain myself from bringing it to the airport with me when I picked her up.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Now It's Hours

Today brought Periwinkles.

Tonight I did laundry.

Tomorrow my mother arrives! I was counting months, then weeks, then days. Now it's tomorrow afternoon.

And, importantly, she should leapfrog right over the storm currently blanketing the eastern seaboard:

But keep your fingers crossed, would you?

My throat is still bothering me; I still feel fine otherwise. This is the weirdest thing. Sometimes it's so dry I can't stop coughing, while other times I have to keep clearing my throat because it feels so phlegm-y (yuck). Right now it's sore, too. Fun.

It will get better, it will, because I'm determined not to be sick again so soon. Not when I have so much to look forward to. But cross your fingers for that, too, please?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Quick Takes, from the lack of attention span blogger

I took today's Sweet Shell to work with the other two, and made some people very happy; they are good, just not my thing. And a vendor brought us in some cheesecakes from the Cheesecake Factory (seriously annoying website warning), so I got a treat too. Happy all around!

My throat is still kind of weird, and now my voice sounds a little funny (to me, anyway). When I was singing along to the radio, I couldn't hit the higher notes: my voice just vanished. It doesn't hurt at all, thank heavens, and I still don't feel sick, but apparently I can't drink enough water to overcome the dry air.

This afternoon, the Gmail page was still telling me it was snowing. I don't appreciate this. The weather is bad enough (I never again want to read "Current Temperature 18, Feels Like 2", let alone "15, feels like -1" in my life) without taunting me.

Mum? Please still come. I have hats, scarves, mittens, long johns, sweatshirts... as much as you want.

I stopped for gas on the way home (brrr!), and paid $2.53 per gallon. About a mile and a half away, in the same town, I passed a station charging $2.79 for the same thing! I saved $2.60 in one visit. Ridiculous.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quick Takes

Friendship Sweet!

G-mail is having some weather confusion this week. When I have my e-mail open, their page has a background image of my local weather, sunny or gray or rainy or whatever. But yesterday it showed thunder/lightning when it wasn't even raining, and last night and today it showed snow, when again it isn't. Weird.

It's no news to me that I don't tolerate even small pains well. But I broke a nail tonight, down close to the fingertip, and man did it hurt! Surprisingly ouch for such a small thing. (Picking up dry cleaning may be hazardous to your health.)

I love when someone leads me to fun stuff I didn't know about. Thanks, Carol!

As you can see from the program of the concert I went to last weekend, Carol of the Bells is a favorite of mine. As are the Muppets!

As for the Carol of the Meows, I foresee a holiday category on the new MP3 player...

I have a dry throat/cough thing going on, though I feel perfectly normal otherwise. (Perhaps I should say "as usual" rather than "normal" though.) I think it's just from the dry air. I had a sore throat for, oh, about 3 or 4 days recently, and now this irritation. The joys of winter. I have two small humidifiers running around the clock, and still it's so dry.

Miri says Meow!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Counting down to Saturday

Another two-fer! Monday was a Sand Dollar, today was a Harbor Light. Nothing like good chocolate when you need a lift on a busy, busy day.

Today was that day, but it was still better than the not-as-busy yesterday, because today my head didn't hurt. Sing it with me! There's nothing like the post-headache non-headache feeling. The cautious feeling of worry, it is really gone? Combined with the lack of pain that is a palpable, perceptible thing.

It's good.

Yesterday wasn't even as bad as Sunday evening became, but bad enough. I was baby-sitting (after all), and after the boys were in bed I dully watched the Bruins game (hint: playing two periods well is Not Good Enough), trying to knit, failing to have the energy to hold the needles or focus on the pattern. By the time I got home, the tide was going out, and today has been better. Yay for better.

I even made dinner tonight, so lunches for the rest of the week are taken care of. You know, the next three days that I have to work before my mommy gets here? Talk about yay! She offered to take the express bus from the airport to the suburbs near me, and I explained that I need to hug her as soon as humanly possible, so I will go to the airport.

I don't know where the evening goes, though. I need to put the leftovers away and get ready for bed already. Time's evaporative powers are strong this week.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday: Evaporating

Sorry to miss yesterday: the day got away from me and the evening went very late, and here it is today already, the time moving faster than I can fathom. At this time of year, I have more I want to write about, and less and less time to do it. I find this slightly frustrating, but that's life.

Chocolate updates first! Leslie pointed out that I didn't give the chocolate news for Friday. Friday's chocolate was a Sweet Shell. Yesterday I welcomed another Marblehead Mint, and today was Periwinkles. Mmmm!

I have a slight headache today, and am feeling rather low energy. How irritating to feel this way when I have a whole day ahead of me in which to accomplish things. I'll just try to take things one at a time.

The knitting Friday night went pretty well, and I'll be able to get more done tomorrow at stitch and bitch. I was provisionally babysitting tomorrow night, but that's off, so I'll have some dedicated knitting time tomorrow instead. Not a bad thing, really.

I'm a little paralyzed with all the to-dos right now, so let me leave you with this lovely seasonal cartoon. Click to see it bigger for the full effect.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Can't Talk, Busy Busy Busy

Yes, in a fit of apparent knitterly denial of how close we are to Christmas, I'm casting on a few things tonight.

Don't try to introduce sense or logic. These are small projects. I totally have time to make them and clean the bathroom.

Not all tonight, I mean. In the next week.

This can work.

Gotta go.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Another Barque Sarah is not a bad way to start the day.

Such a pretty Christmas tree.

How many trees are on the tree? One:




This one was from my dad.

So was this.

I took Pan and Harold to get their pictures taken on Santa's lap (at Petsmart) in 1998. They hated it, but they were so cute.

I loved these as a kid. I would walk around the tree, counting them. (There were six.)

Shrinky dinks! Remember those?

Dad and I went Christmas shopping together one year, and bought most of the twelve days of Christmas.

Some things never change:

Thank you, Hallmark, for giving me hockey-playing penguin ornaments.

Yes, a good tree.