Friday, November 28, 2008

A sure sign of getting old

They say you know you are old when the latest music or trends make no sense to you. I think I might be there.

A few friends of mine have accts on places like My Space, Facebook, Tagged, etc, with a ton more constantly being invented. I've been tagged and poked and had virtual things thrown at me, and while I *sort of* get it, I really don't. I know there is a main area to post things, but you don't write long stuff on it. Just a couple of lines and move on. I guess if you have more to say you email privately? But why keep it private when you show off the pictures you took at some festival where you are stinking drunk or barely dressed?? I guess this is the new version of clubbing. I never liked that either.

Maybe I'm not so much old, I'm just old-FASHIONED. Yes, lets go with that!

As far as any projects getting done, I'm slowing working my way thru a scarf and I'm abt 1/2 way thru my part of a Warm Woolies Odd Ball blanket. I worked a bit more on my sweater, but ripped out all but a row because I forgot a y/o, and I started the 2nd sock that's been sitting for a long time. I'll post pictures of those soon.

And while I haven't been buying much lately, I have been window shopping at some on line stores. Apparently Malagribo has a new sock yarn out. If its as soft as their worsted weight, it's got to be wonderful! And Crystal Palace has a new sock yarn out to be similar to the Noro yarn. It's got those long color repeats like Noro, but without the scratchiness. I think #103 is my favorite. I think I need to add them to the sock yarns I want to try. That list is getting almost as long as what I already have!

I'll leave you with Hemi's version of staying warm during the chilly days we've been having.

Nothing like the Florida sun to chase away the chills!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

X, Y & Z

X is for:

X-Ray

We took this of #1 Son at Epcot in the now defunct Wonders of Life Pavilion. You can tell this was awhile ago since he could barely reach the top with his tiptoes. I think he was 4.


Y is for:

Yarn

No surprise here.


Z is for:

Zebra at the Zoo

This was taken at the Miami Metro Zoo abt 21 years ago. See how much younger and thinner we were???



So that wraps up my ABC Along for the year. While it was fun, I don't see myself doing it again in 2009. Kind of like Project Spectrum, once it's done, the novelty of it is gone as well. Who knows what 2009 will bring. With only 5 weeks left in the year (less than I originally thought), I've been looking thru what I accomplished project-wise and soon I'll be doing a year in review. I also have 3 projects I haven't shown yet, but I want to wait until they are mailed out before I post abt them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Reconnection brought to you by the letter W

Who'da thunk that the downfall of my NaBloPoMo would be a bad internet connection? My access went down Friday afternoon and I didn't get it back until late yesterday. Now I guess if I had some entries set up to post in case I couldn't come up with something, there would never have been a missed day, but in the grand scheme of life, I'm sure we all survived. And I will take this as my opportunity to still post often, but not kill myself to post everyday. Which of course means I'll come up with all kinds of ideas!

And while I'm trying to organize my pictures from our Saturday hike, I'll leave you with this:

W is for Wool


The only 3 pairs of wool socks that I really wear.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stitching Day

Today was our monthly group stitching day and we had a nice turnout!

From the left we have Allison, Kathy, me, Vicky, Pat, Dee and Deb. While I didn't buy anything this time around, I did get a chance to work on my snowman. And as usual we had a ton of fun harrassing the owner of Needle Orts, and of course each other!

Here's what my snowman looked like back in October

and then after today


I'm making progress, but it is slow. Since this is the only project that requires glasses and a bright light source, it doesn't get worked on that often. Plus the looking over and then looking thru the glasses will eventually give me a headache if I work on it too long. But it is winter and I'd like to get him done soon. Once the snowman himself is done, the rest will be fairly easy. It's just long running stitches and a few small things here and there to add.

I did buy some elastic at JoAnn's so look for some more sleep pants by the end of the wknd.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cold Fronts

There is a system to most cold fronts that come thru Florida. The first day is usually the coldest. The second day starts out cold, but by the afternoon its not bad and by the third day, its practically non existent. However when you have back to back cold fronts, on day 4 you wake up to this.

Days like this make me very happy that I have wool socks, but it also tells me I don't have enough of them. I really need to cast on for that second blue sock so that I have more than 3 to wear (the cotton and corn just aren't warm enough, and the other 2 wool socks are my first pathetic attempts at sock making).

Baby Girl doesn't understand why it's so cold! If it's this cold, then we should have snow. She is a true Florida girl!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

V is for

View



This was taken in 1985 in the Observatory Room of the World Trade Center. It was really wild how high we were and how little everything else seemed.

Even the shadows were bigger than life.


A few years later my sister and I got to go on the OUTSIDE deck (something that wasn't open very often due to weather). It's a bit freaky to think how those buildings are no longer standing, but I'm so happy to have had the experience I did.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Slow Boat to China

Finally with our cooler weather, I had incentive to pull out some flannel. I haven't made any sleep pants for Baby Girl in 3 years so it was her turn. I pulled out the Barbie flannel that we've had for a LONG time, found the pattern I wanted to use, and whipped up these babies! (click to get a better look)


*whipped up*. Yeah right. Those simple sleep pants took me abt 5 hours to do! I am SO slow when it comes to sewing. Do I have enough fabric? What abt this pattern? Do I still have the size I need? Or was it cut away? Do I have the right elastic? When I finally get the chance to pin it out, I get so many helpers. Then of course the bobbin needs to be refilled. The important thing is that I finished them in time for Baby Girl to sleep in them. I have to say, they are really soft too. They are a bit big, but hopefully that means she'll get to wear them thru March, plus I added a lot of extra fabric in the hem so if I need to let some out, I can.

I want to make them both another pair soon, but I need to hit JoAnn's for some more elastic. What I thought was a couple of yards of elastic ended up being a couple of yards of velcro.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Half way there!

One of the things I like doing on a Sunday morning is to make a cup of coffee, sit down and read some blogs. One of my favorite sites is Cake Wrecks. It's amazing what some people pass off as a professional cake. And it also just reminds you to check your cake before you bring it home! Every once in awhile she will add in a cake that is completely and totally amazing. Today was one of those days.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Sky

It may be the middle of November, but it feels like the beginning of May. Here is my local sky and temp.


It may read barely 80, but it's definitely hotter than that! Plus the humidity is high so it feels warmer.

We have a front going thru which will bring our weather from the mid 80s to the mid 60s in 24 hours flat. See?

So I'll have the a/c on today and the heat on tomorrow. Gotta love Florida winters!

With all this cold weather looming, I *should* be whipping up some more sleep pants for the kids and pulling out the sweater so that I can get it done in time for the next couple of days, but when it feels like beach weather, it's hard to have incentive to work on flannel and wool. And for all of you laughing at me (don't think that I don't hear you!) and calling me wimpy with our cold weather coming thru tomorrow, keep in mind this is a 20 degree drop. That's like going from 40 to 20. Trust me, you DO feel it. Just ask all the northern transplants that move here!

Last night we had a night time shuttle lift off and I was SO looking forward to watching it light up my night sky. Unfortunately while the sky above the Cape was clear, mine was not so I don't have a good shot of it going up. Instead I'll show you a picture that was posted on Drudge.

Isn't it gorgeous?!? It still bugs me that we've lived here for so long and have yet to go when they have a lift off. We WILL get out there one of these days.

For now I think I'll go play with some fabric and see what wants to be made first.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Meme

AKSUNFLOUR has a meme posted on her blog and its a great Friday Fill-In. Feel free to use it in your blog, just let me know so I can stop by and read your version.


1. What is your occupation right now? Stay at Home Mom, p/t office clerk.

2. What color are your socks right now? Well it is already 80 here with a high of 87 so no socks being worn right now. However, the color of the socks that I will be working on are blue.

3. What are you listening to right now? CNBC waiting for the opening bell.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Coffee this AM, Three Musketeers last night.

5. Can you drive a stick shift? yes, but I prefer not to. Too much work.

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Lourie.

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? yes

8. How old are you today? 41

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? football and the Olympics

10. What is your favorite drink? Diet Coke or an Irish Coffee

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes

12. favorite food? steak

13. What is the last movie you watched? One of the Jane Doe TV movies on Hallmark, not sure which one though.

14. favorite day of the year? New Year's Day

15. How do you vent anger? I guess I yell. I don't get angry very often. I'm more of a stressed out soul. I deal with stress by eating and knitting.

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? I had a doll named Michelle. She was bigger than your average doll and had bright red (almost orange) hair. I also had Barbie and Bionic Woman and Cher. I was never allowed to have a Ken doll.

17. What is your favorite season? Fall. That's when it finally gets cool in Florida

18. Cherries or Blueberries? cherries

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Only if they post.

20. Who is the most likely to respond? Susie

21. Who is least likely to respond? A random surfer

22. Living arrangements? a house filled with a husband, 2 kids and 4 cats.

23. When was the last time you cried? Yesterday.

24. What is on the floor of your closet? A Rubbermaid container that holds the antique linens from my grandmother and great aunt, shoes and big ziploc bags of yarn.

28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? My favorite burgers are the ones we grill outside with mushrooms and provolone cheese. Add some mustard, ketchup and mayo. Mmmmmm.

29. favorite dog breed? hard to pick since I'm more of a cat person, but we did have a shepherd/collie mix that was really sweet.

30. favorite day of the week? Friday, end of the work week and the beginning of the wknd.

31. How many states have you lived in? 2

32. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds baby!

33. What is your favorite flower? I really love a mix of flowers, but I guess my favorite would be tulips.


So there you have it. Thirty-3 more things abt me that you may or may not have known abt. Now don't you feel enlightened?!? Don't forget to let me know if you do the meme. I'd love to read it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Actual Progress Happening

So now that I have my camera back and I remembered to take pictures before it got too dark, I want to show the sock that I finished.

I did get some weird pooling around the ankle, but it isn't as pronounced in person as it is in the picture. I haven't cast on for the 2nd one yet, but I really need to. I don't like waiting too long because while I don't suffer from SSS, I DO suffer from a lack of memory and tend to forget what I did with the first one.

And here is my progress on my Seasonal Fall.

Before

After

It's coming along, but obviously won't be done in time for this fall. Hopefully by next Oct it will be finished and framed.

On going projects still include my sweater, a couple of scarves, my section of a Warm Woolies OddBall Blanket and that 2nd sock. Stitchwise I want to pull out Too Pooped and work on him a bit. And then I'll probably pull out my seasonal Spring.

Projects requiring a sewing machine seem to take me the longest. I have so many ideas of what I want to do, but never seem to take the time to complete. I have fabric and patterns all set to go, but since it's not relaxing, it doesn't happen that often. Unless there is a deadline of an impending birth.

Projects involving my scrapbook supplies are even further on the list. I remember making a project list at the beginning of this year of all that I wanted to get done. I completed some of them, some got started but never completed, while others are still sitting in their bags. It WILL get done, it's just a matter of time. Plus its getting close to the end of the year so maybe when I go thru what I've done vs what I wanted to do, it will give me incentive to finish some things off.

Or at least to make a new list.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Organization

While we all strive to be organized, as crafters, it's especially hard to do. Where do we keep all of our knitting needles? Do we have a spot that will hold all of our stamping supplies? What abt all the brads we use in our scrapbook pages? And the thread? How do we store it w/o having a tangled mess the next time we need it? It doesn't matter what your medium is, if you are a crafter or a hobbyist, there is STUFF to organize.

Susie has been listing a few sites that have great ideas on how to organize our stuff. One of the places she mentioned was FlyLady. I get the daily emails from Fly Lady, and while I delete most of them, one of the suggestions that is mentioned often is the 15 min rule. You can do anything for 15 min. This is VERY true for me. I can walk into a trashed kitchen, set the timer for 15 min and get started. Even if all I do is unload and reload the dishwasher, that gets rid of the majority of the mess in the kitchen. Much easier to accomplish than if I just look at all that has to be done.

Basically its a mind game for housewives.

Another blogless friend of mine is in constant search of that perfect organizer. She has a TON of organizers, but doesn't seem to have the time to organize. In fact she got this really great antique post office cubby. In the cubbies she has these glass jars to hold all of her small scrapbooking pieces. Meanwhile all of the pieces are sitting in bags behind her desk. Once she is done, it will be beautiful! Of course its now finding the time to do it all.

Me, well I like my plastic bins. My plastic bins hold fabric, yarn, on going quilts, quilts that will eventually be on going, cross stitch fabric, floss, stamping supplies, magazines, etc. Of course I have more stuff than plastic bins and because of this my crafting table has been sitting in my living room for abt 2 years now.

I don't go that wild with organizational magazines, but I did buy one called Studios. It has all kinds of great ideas of how to store our STUFF, plus it has a cat on the front that looks like Hemi. Check out the link. I'm only a quarter way thru, but I'm finding it interesting as to what people use to store their STUFF in. And while I can't drop $60,000 to close in the back porch to make my own studio, some of the smaller ideas she uses I can utilize in my small space.

The suggestion that made me LOL? Storing IN-THE-ROUND knitting needles in a hat box. While this suggestion is a good one, I want to know if this is a British thing to say or if the person is a non knitter. Most of the time these are referred to as circular needles. Anybody know?

And while I crave organization, even when I get a bit of it, it's the keeping-it-that-way that is the hardest. So while there are some of you that can get and STAY organized, I know there are a LOT of you that struggle with the same issues as me. And I'm in good company!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TV Time

I ain't gonna lie abt it, we watch a lot of tv here. A LOT! We have DVR on our dish which I LOVE! This way I can program to tape all of the new Grey's Anatomy or every single Full House shown. This comes in handy when I come across a new show that I want to catch up on. My new favorite show? Whatever, Martha.

Do you remember watching Martha build her own compost bin using scraps of wood from her sycamore tree? Or when she had a tea party and she hollowed out a lemon and filled it with honey from her very own bee hive? You know, the shows that made you want to barf. Well these shows have been given to her daughter Alexis and her and her friend tear the shows apart. OMG it is hysterical!!!! I don't let the kids watch it with me because there are times they use grown up references that I prefer NOT to explain, but it is some good mindless tv! Does anybody remember the series Mystery Science Theatre 3000? It's the same type of thing, except this time you have the daughter of the host heckling her mom. Sounds offensive to Martha, but since she is executive producing it, I don't think she really minds. Some of the comments I've read abt the show say its boring or dry or just plain offensive to mock her, but it makes me laugh every time, even if it includes an occasional cringe.


And good news, my camera is back!!! This means I'll be able to show pics of my finished sock and take funny new pictures of my cats. I've been working on scarves, but I can't show those yet. Hopefully soon.

Meanwhile, this is Lucy's take on my daily blogging.....

Monday, November 10, 2008

November

I don't know abt you, but November is a busy month. People are in the stores planning parties and dinners. People are stressing abt what to get/make/buy for somebody they barely know. Now while we tend to keep things low key here at Happy Acres, I still have kids and volunteering and a part time job and the IO and a bunch of other things in the mix. So why is it that Blogland (and its counterparts) tend to make THIS the month where you do something crazy. Like blog everyday. Or write a complete story during the month. OR (which is the craziest to me) knit a sweater in a month! (suddenly my daily blogging for November doesn't seem that bad).

Personally, I think February would be a better month for it. First of all, it's the shortest month of the year; blogging every day would end sooner! But it's also one of the coldest of the year, great incentive to get that sweater done. And with everybody depressed, what a great way to work thru it by getting your feelings out on paper.

Doesn't that just make more sense?

Meanwhile, here's a picture reminiscent of Where's Waldo.
Where's Princess?

Scraping the bottom of the barrel for pictures, huh?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How many more days??

Today is the first day that I'm at a loss of what to blog. I don't have my camera so I can't show updated pictures of my stitching or my knitting. I also don't have any new pictures of the cats.

What does that leave me with?? Not a whole lot. So I'll have to go into the archives of the picture file and pull something out.

The year is 2003. Five years in adult time isn't that big. Five years in small child time is HUGE!

What a difference five years came make.



In five more years I will have a soon to be 15 y/o and 12 y/o. I am already tired, what will 5 years make me?? OLD.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday Sky

So while some of you are freezing cold or under cloudy skies, I will brighten your day a bit and let you live vicariously in Florida.



Of course this comes with a price. See what's not that far away?

*they* say it won't hit us, but until it goes away, I am keeping an eye on it.

Since some of our nights have been getting into the 50s, I decided its time to take a trip to our local animal shelter. Here is my bag-o-goodies for them.

You can read specifics here, here and here.

This one

was given to me by an aunt who bought it for a buck at a yard sale.

And this one

was actually some fleece I got at JoAnn's many moons ago. It was a remnant that I got at a great price and planned on adding it to a baby gift basket, but once I opened it I realized that the pattern was blurry. I've been debating on what to do with it ever since, and have decided that the best place for it will be the shelter.

While I was pulling out the kitty blankets, I came across my bag of charity projects so I decided to take a group picture and mail them out to Warm Woolies on Monday.

If you want to read specifics, either click on the charity link at the end of this post or just ask. (I'm being lazy and don't want to search for all 5 of them). There is one that I haven't blogged abt yet, and it's this one.

This is another one of the vest patterns from Warm Woolies and it knit up really fast. I started it on 10/29 and finished it on 11/1. Three days, not a bad deal! I used up 3 different red yarns I got off eBay, then added some sock yarn to give the neck line some interest.

See? I AM still a knitting blog! I also finished off a sock and did some cross stitching today, but will post abt that later in the week. Gotta save SOME stuff if I want to try and do NaBloPoMo.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Great Pickle Experiment

A long, long time ago, (in the late 80s) the IO came across this article in a science magazine that showed you how to make a pickle glow. He thought it was the coolest thing and decided to try it. He was right, it WAS really cool! However it made my house smell like burnt pickle, of which *I* wasn't too fond of.

Four years ago, he's been threatening telling the teachers he would do this in class. For one reason or another he's be unable to get there. Well that day finally came. Today the IO will go into #1 Son's class and make a pickle glow.

What IS the great pickle experiment? I will show you in pictures, however.....

****DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME UNLESS YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCED PICKLE SCIENTIST****

This blog takes no responsibility for experiments gone awry and/or burnt pickles smells in your laboratory/house.

I'd like to say that no pickles were harmed in this experiment, but I can't. Let's just say they sacrificed themselves for the advancement of science.


Ok now that I've gotten my disclaimers out of the way here we go.

First find a pickle. Since I am not the pickle scientist I don't know if certain pickles glow better than others. Stick electrodes into each side.




Flip the switch.

Pretty cool huh? Depending on where you stick the electrodes makes it either glow or will give you a crackling strobe light effect.

The IO. Off to dazzle some elementary school kids with some cool scientific smelliness.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Hemi Wars


Covert Operations



Stand off



Retreat!



Lasers set to stun.



Lucy: That will teach Hemi to mess with me!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Politically Free Zone

Most blogs today will be talking abt the election of the new President of the United States. Not me. I write a politically neutral blog. Instead I plan on posting abt the ABC Along.

U is for.......

......um.

People, the letter U is HARD! I have no yarn that starts with U. I have no pictures that start with U. So we will rely on Google to fulfill this letter.

Ukulele


What does it make you think of first?

Tiny Bubbles?


or tiptoeing thru the tulips??



Umbrella



U is also for uvula and upchuck, but I'll spare you the pictures. However I'm sure you'll be seeing a few people upchuck if their candidate doesn't win. Film at 11.

Monday, November 03, 2008

It Takes a Village

If you've ever spent any time reading my blog, you will know I am an involved parent. I may lament how tired I am or complain abt how many things that are going on that keep me so busy, but in all reality, I wouldn't have it any other way. I like helping out at the school. I like knowing the kids in my kid's class. I like the fact that the principal knows me. And while it may be unfair, my child has a slight advantage over the other students. They are still graded fairly, but if there are issues, I find out abt them sooner. When there are field trips with limited chaperones, I get in. When there are limited spaces in the Dolphin area for a Sea World field trip, my kid gets in. As I said, it may not be fair, but nothing is fair in this life and if I can give my kid an advantage, I will do what I can to get it for them.

This explains why I spend some mornings in the classroom, or help out during parties, or hand out sno-cones during a walk-a-thon. And it also explains why I own so many school t-shirts. And as long as I'm wanted and needed, I will be there for them both.

That being said, it makes me feel bad for kids that don't have involved parents. I know I'm fortunate that I can do what I do at the school. I have a work schedule that allows me to be at school for my kids. I know there are parents that would LOVE to be more active at the school. These are not the parents I'm talking abt. Being an involved parent means spending time with your kids. Finding out how their day went. Looking over their homework at night. Helping them with a project. Letting them read to you (I'm even allowed to knit during this). There are things you can do any time of day. These are involved parents.

No, the ones I'm talking abt are the ones that call their kids stupid for not being able to read and yet wont take the time to help them out. The ones that want to sit in front of the tv instead of listening to them recite their alphabet or have them count to 100. I know they are tired. I get that. *I'm* tired at the end of the day. Being a stay at home mom is so much harder than when I worked in advertising or banking. There are times I can't listen to another story or look at one more piece of homework or do anything more that requires a mom hat. That's when I tell them I'm wiped out and I need them in their rooms to find something to do. Or I put on a video or the TV to watch Sponge Bob or Hannah Montana or any other Disney/Nick channel.

I'm talking abt the kids in class who bloom when you spend just 10 min with them listening to them read and telling them they did a great job. Those that beam with pride when they get some math problem that you've helped them with. The same ones that break your heart when they don't have books at home to read or crayons to use to color with (crayons are $.25 at the beginning of the school year at WalMart; beer starts at $2.50 for a 4 pack).

Where is all this coming from? Helping 3 boys who are struggling with reading in class today. Making them show respect for themselves along with their classmates (no talking was allowed) when they were reading out loud. Spending just 10 min of my time to help them read 5 sentences on their own. Seeing the pride in one little boy's face for actually getting thru it.

I know that as a parent I can't do it all on my own. I need the help of friends and relatives and teachers and teacher assistants. But I also know that the teachers are not the only ones responsible for teaching my child. They have too much on their plates as it is. And if I can help that teacher out just a bit by being in the classroom during the day or going over their schoolwork with them at night, I'm going to do it. My kids' education depends on it.

----------------------------------------------------

WOW!!!! See what happens when I have to blog about something everyday?? You just don't know what you're gonna get! And if you got thru all that, here is some yarn candy to look at!!!!

It's some malabrigo I bought on eBay. This yarn is so in demand right now I didn't get much of a deal on the price, but OOOOH is it nice!!! I think it will be for me, maybe a nice scarf to drape over my jacket. Granted I live in Florida and don't NEED a thick wool scarf, but this is one time I will make an exception.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November 1st Saturday Sky Post

Apparently there are quite a few people who have signed up for NaBloPoMo. I was #9773 when I signed up earlier today. I don't think there are *that* many participating this month, but there will definitely be increased activity. Let's just hope Blogger can handle the volume.

Yesterday as I was doing laundry and catching up on tv, I was waiting to take a good Saturday sky. I couldn't take one in the AM since I didn't have batteries for the camera, then the sky was cloudy and I knew if I waited it would be clear later on. I was right and got this around 5pm.

I even got one with the moon!

with the local temps (for those of you keeping track)


Stay tuned for posts involving tv shows, ABC along, cats and kids along with the normal project updates. Let's see if I can do this.......