Monthly Archives: January 2008

Kinda Cranky Today

I thought I would post seeing as how the counter has registered 1,000 hits on my blog!  Cool.

Feeling a little cranky today — out of sorts — got the blues.  You get the picture.

I went to an orthopedist Monday and I have a pinched nerve and at least one ruptured disc in my back.  He gave me pain medicine that ended up making me sick.  I had an injection in my back Tuesday afternoon which was not a fun procedure, and now I am to go to physical therapy for two fun-filled weeks of pelvic traction and exercise.  Oh, the joys of aging!

The injection has caused my face to break out with a rash — flushing, they call it — and some insomnia.  So last night, while I am trying to sleep, at midnight I can hear the fashionista talking on her cell phone in the downstairs family room.  I lay there for awhile thinking that she will either end the call or go to her room.  No such luck.  So I get out of bed and get to the edge of the stairs, and she walks out of the family room.  I say, Who are you talking to? I can hear you in my room and I’m trying to sleep.  Her response — MY FRIEND, Nosy!  She then realized her mistake and kept calling Mom as I went back to my room.

We also have had lovely snowy weather today which has not helped improve my mood.

1,000 hits is the only perk I’ve had today. 


DishCloth Swap Question — Week 2

There are many people who ADORE receiving hand-knit or crochet items; but there are just as many who have no appreciation whatever of how much love, work, and time goes into a hand-made item. Share a story of a hand-made gift you gave to someone and how it worked out – good, bad, or ugly!

I love knitting for other people.  I am fortunate in that those I choose to knit for always love their knitted items.  My mother loves the handknitted socks I gift her with once or twice a year.  My aunt loves the red and white dishcloths I knit that match her kitchen theme.  My youngest daughter wears each scarf I knit for her.  I have knit sweaters for the infants of the young couples I know well at my church and they are always appreciative.  I also have adopted soldiers that I send letters and packages to and I usually send each one a black wool knit cap.  The knit guitar straps I gifted to two high school boys at church were also well received.  I love to knit socks, but am pretty careful about who I knit them for — you know you are a very good friend if you have a pair of my handknit socks!

Onto a different topic — I took some photos this weekend of the Whitby socks and the rib scarf I am working on, but they didn’t turn out well, so no photos for the blog — yet.

I took a vacation day on Friday and got some projects done around the house that needed to be done.  Emptied out some boxes in the basement and sorted through stuff.  I filled up quite a few large bags and made a trip to the donation drive thru at the Goodwill.  It was great to get that done.

I baked more bread.  Went to the library.  Ate lunch at our fave Lebanese restaurant/deli — the special was lentil pilaf with fattoush salad.  It was very good.  Met friends for coffee in the evening.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on music, knitting, reading, walking at the park, and some cooking.  I made a Shepherd’s Pie for Sunday lunch.  And I cooked two batches of chili — one that I brought in to the office for a soup day.

Last week I got the results of my MRI and now I have an appointment this afternoon with an orthopedic specialist.  Not too thrilled about it, either, but as with all things in life, I will do what I need to do.


It’s Tuesday

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These three books are the books I am currently reading.  I am nearly finished with Deep Economy and then it is on to The Uncommon Reader, which looks to be a quick read.

Yesterday we had a mini ice storm — travel home was rather treacherous.  Took me over an hour to get home.  And I was supposed to meet a couple of friends for coffee — but we postponed to Friday, so that was a very good thing for me.

The fashionista made a pan of lasagna Sunday evening and baked it yesterday, so I had a nice large piece for dinner. She added one of the bags of frozen roasted grape tomatoes that I fixed at the end of summer and they were a great addition to the sauce. I was going to make a Shepherd’s Pie this evening, but I think I will wait until the weekend.  Instead, I saw an appealing photo over at the Enchanting Juno blog — a spinach feta tomato pie.  I have all the ingredients — may need to get some more feta, but I think I will make that instead.  It just looked very tasty.  Instead of fresh tomatoes, I will use another freezer bag of the roasted grape tomatoes — it should work.

My mother has requested red socks for Valentine’s Day, so I browsed the stash and came up with two skeins of Baby Ull that I have had forever.  Next, to choose a pattern.  I finally decided on Whitby from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush.  I am about 3.5″ into the first sock.

All of a sudden I have knitting deadlines!  Red socks for Valentine’s Day.  A baby cardigan that should have been finished before now — which is still sitting on the dining table.  A cupcake scarf due in late February for a 10 yo’s birthday.  The 2×2 rib scarf needs to be finished pretty quickly so the recipient can wear it while the weather is still frosty.  Dishcloths for a swap — but those go pretty quickly — not worried about those.

Sunday afternoon the fashionista and I went to Borders for coffee and to browse.  We spend a couple of Sunday afternoons each month there reading and browsing.  I was looking at a few craft magazines and wishing I had a lot more time to work on things.  There are so many things I would like to make — hand stitched music stationery, kitschy little knitted things, fiber-y art-y projects, jewelry, collaged journals — the list could go on and on.  I could probably find more time if I was willing to give up some other things — the knitting I have now keeps me busy enough.  I have made a couple of collaged journals — one for a knitting swap and I was very pleased with the way it turned out — and another for a birthday gift for a good friend of mine. It is a matter of priorities, I guess.

I made the decision to focus on my music in 2008, so the crafty pursuits will be when I have extra time this year.


Weekly DishCloth Swap Question

Weekly Topic: Dishrag. Dishcloth. Face cloth. I’ve seen folks get all fired up in forums when someone refers to their knit or crochet creation as a dishrag, as that’s somehow offensive to them! When you’re working on yours, what do you call them? Also, is there a difference between a dishrag and a dishcloth? How bout a facecloth? Are they all really the same thing?

Well, I have always called them dishcloths.  Perhaps a dishrag would be those that have been used for several months — LOL.  I do think there is a difference between a dishcloth and facecloth — I generally knit cloths to be used on the face in a larger size than I would knit a cloth to be used for dishes.  A good sized facecloth to me is about a 12″ square.  Most of my dishcloths are generally 9-10″.


Still Alive and Kicking

This morning I went for a physical.  I had put this off for quite some time.  Since undergoing cancer treatment, I try to avoid spending much time on things of a medical nature.  Sorry, it is just not fun…. But I decided I had put it off too long, so I went.  I have had some low back issues, but nothing I can’t live with — now I am getting an MRI this week and  a colonoscopy as soon as they can schedule it.  Great — that is why I try to avoid all things medical.  But, I am still alive and kicking and the doctor really had nothing negative to say.  Perhaps she is saving it for the results of the blood work.

On to a more palatable topic — the fashionista and I went with a group of people to see The Bucket List on Friday night.  It is billed as a comedy and Freeman and Nicholson play well off each other and there are some great lines in the movie.  My favorite line is:  So, is your name Tom or Thomas?  Actually, it’s Matthew but he thinks it is too Biblical.  But the movie is not really a comedy — ’nuff said.  Don’t want to ruin it.

Saturday was a pretty good day.  Did some cleaning.  Baked a loaf of bread.  I used a recipe for a simple french loaf that I found on the internet several years ago.  I substituted a 1/2 cup of flour with ground flaxseed.  The fashionista ate a slice, and will eat it again, but she really prefers very white bread.  Next time I may add some sunflower seeds.  I have a lovely bread machine that my father bought me some years ago, so I have not many excuses for not making my own bread.  And it smelled wonderful while baking.  And it does not contain anything partially hydrogenated or high fructose.  What’s not to like — 

And since we need to eat more salad, I spent some time chopping and dicing and slicing salad veggies and dividing them into containers in the fridge.  That way, all the prep work is done and it is easy enough and quick enough to build a salad to eat right then or take to work or school.  Except for things like cucumber that get mushy quickly, it is all in there.

Went to my lesson — it has been forever since I have worked on etudes.  But I will be spending a lot of quality time with etudes.  No pain, no gain, right?

Worked on some knitting later in the day.  Got three repeats done on the Branching Out scarf — 7 to go!  Worked on the 2×2 rib scarf.  Knitted on a sock.

Watched a band from Vermont on PBS that I had not heard of before and now I will be finding their music — Grace Potter and The Nocturnals.  PBS showed a live concert from 2005.  I thoroughly enjoyed it. 


New Swap

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I am signing up for the “Defeat the Winter Doldrums” Dishcloth Swap.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Questionnaire:

1.  Do you knit, crochet or do both?

I am a knitter.  My crochet skills are limited to a single crochet for edgings and only if necessary.

2.  What types of needles do you enjoy using for making dishcloths?

I use primarily bamboo needles for all my knitting — either straight or circs or dpns.

3.  What types of cotton do you enjoy using for making dishcloths?  Is there any that you’ve been wanting to try?

I use Peaches and Cream, Sugar and Cream, and Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton.  I have never tried the Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, but thought it would be lovely.

4.  What color(s) are your kitchen and bath decorated in (if any)?

Kitchen is green — more of a sage green.  Bath is khaki, brown and peach.

5.  What are your favorite colors for yarns?  Least favorite?

My favorite colors are more earth tones — blues, browns, greens.  I also like dark purples and reds.  Not a fan of pink, orange or neon colors.

6.  Do you like Winter, or do you count the days until it ends?

I am definitely a spring and fall person.

7.  What’s your favorite way to brighten your day when you’re down in the dumps?

A good book, a cup of tea, and shortbread cookies.  Coffee with good friends.  Knitting and noshing.

8.  What is your favorite treat to indulge in and when you are down in the dumps?

A nice cup of tea and shortbread.  Or a cappuccino.  Homemade bread with lots of butter is another good choice.

9.  Do you drink coffee?  Tea?  Cocoa?

Yes, yes, and yes.

10.  If you could take a vacation starting tomorrow and go anywhere for one week and money were no object,where would you go and what would you do?

I would go to Italy and see the sights and wander the streets and eat in all the small cafes and pizzerias and pasticcerias.

11.  Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should be aware of?

None that I can think of.


Paying It Forward

My church has just done the coolest thing.  The Christmas Eve offering is generally given to a specific project.  This year it was announced at the Christmas Eve services that the offering given would be used for a project that would bless the entire city, but that we would not be told about the project until Sunday, January 6.  The offering collected on Christmas Eve is usually around $6,000+.  This year it was $13,000+ — awesome!  At church this past Sunday, the Pay It Forward project was announced.  The $13,000+ was divided into envelopes in varying increments — $15, $50, $100+.  The envelopes with typed instructions on the front of each envelope were laid out on the altar at each service and each family was given the opportunity to come forward and pick up an envelope.  Each family is requested to use the money in the envelope to bless someone in our city — through a random act of kindness, a specific charity, a specific need they know of, etc.  And the church set up a blog where people can write in about what they did with the money.   I am still considering what to do with mine.  We have until March 1 and then we will have a celebration of paying it forward on Easter. I just think that is so cool!!!!

I am knitting on various projects.  My mother requested a new pair of socks for Valentine Day, so I have turned the heel on the first sock.  I am knitting a 2×2 rib men’s scarf for a good friend.  I am still working on the Branching Out scarf and the Harvard Stripes cardigan.  A good friend asked if I would please knit a cupcake scarf for her granddaughter’s birthday, so I need to get started on that.  I don’t have any new knitting photos today — may try to take some over the weekend.

I am in the mood for Shepherd’s Pie, so I will likely make one this weekend.  The other day the fashionista was feeling under the weather, so I made some homemade chicken noodle soup.  It tasted so good!

The fashionista and I are planning to go out Friday night to see The Bucket List.  Then to do some shopping for a birthday gift.  Saturday I have my bass lesson and just general puttering around — need to get to the library.  Sunday I have agreed to help the fashionista on a sewing project.

Last Saturday night I was getting some things done before bed — fixing the coffee pot and so forth.  The fashionista was on the computer and started yelling for me to come downstairs.  Soldier Daughter was on Yahoo Messenger and we got to see her on the web cam.  It was one of those good emotional moments.  Technology is grand!