Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Family bonding time....

I bought two "pre-fabricated" ginger bread houses. I thought it would be a fun family experience to decorate a house with my children....

I had a vision - the whole gang gathered around the table - sipping eggnog, cheerfully adding bits of frosting, gluing candies - making the magic of Christmas come alive....

First there was the discussion about - "If I have to do this with Mom, you also have to do this." I'm thinking..."HAVE to DO this?" - What the heck? I'm talking fun here!!!

Once I got the frosting mixed, Nathan couldn't spoon it into the bag - it's falling all over the place - gobs of sticky (Toothpaste consistency - according to the directions) gooey, frosting....By now, everyone else is starting to get a little bored ...what do teenagers do when bored? Well... mine start picking at each other - arguing about this and that - did I mention the frosting oozing all over the table as he has now ripped a hole in the bag?

I have attempted to smear frosting on the roof to add candies - there is no way in Hell that frosting is meant to be smeared - it won't stick to the gingerbread - it is falling all over the place - now I have a hole in my bag as well...

The older two have abandoned ship...escaped to their rooms...

My phone rings...I leave the kitchen for about 15 minutes...I come back to a spider web on one side of the roof and a WWF symbol on the other side along with...are you ready for this ...my children decorated, one might even use the word...adorned ...their house with a penis. (nicely decorated with gumdrops)...and of course, nobody is taking ownership for said penis...

I bet I have the only gingerbread house around that has male genitalia on it's roof...

So much for family bonding, warm fuzzy feelings and all of that....

Pictures to come....

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland....



Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all my friends in Blog-land....

Thanks for the advice...the laughter...sometimes the tears...as you have left comments and shared just a bit of your world with mine.

I hope your Season is filled with family, friends, good food, and lots of kniting...

May 2008 be your best year ever. God Bless each of you. Big Hugs.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Jeremy

Twenty-two years ago today - I was given the gift of Motherhood...

I have truly been blessed. It's hard to believe that it's already been 22 years. So many memories...

This is the only point in his life that his mother will be exactly twice his age....kinda cool. (For the mathematically challenged...I am 44 years old) hee hee

Happy Birthday Honey - wishing you much happiness and joy in the years ahead...believe in yourself and be proud of the wonderful young adult you have become...I am. xoxoxo

Only 12 days until Christmas....

Is anyone else in "panic" mode - or is it just me?????

I have the tree up....and that's it...we still have all bins sitting around the house, waiting for the remaining decorations to be put up and the bins put back into the closet.....

I have shopped - but not wrapped one single gift - thus, I am not even sure if I am done shopping...I know for a fact I have nothing for my sweetie...just some ideas...

Cookies...Let's just say...maybe I can get away with buying store-bought and just dumping them into my own containers....

Christmas cards - I have them....no one else may "have" them before Christmas...Is it okay to send "Happy New Year" cards?

Did Christmas sneek up on you as well?

I do have a couple of my knitting projects ready for felting....am still knitting frantically during every available moment - which explains the lack of direction concerning decorating, baking and cards.....

Tis the season.....which will be over for another year in about 12 days.....but who's counting?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy December

ohh - lots to talk about....

I love the Christmas season - every year I promise myself that I will be more organized and less stressed...somehow it just doesn't work out that way...maybe, someday.

I took one of my two personal days today from work and went shopping. I hate shopping with crowds of people - so the thought of doing it all on a weekend...was a little unbearable. I got most of it done...was really hoping the boys would be at their dad's this weekend, so I could get some sorting and wrapping done...no such luck.

It is "flippin' cold here this weekend. I mean...COLD!!!!! like 25 degrees below zero...cold!!!

Guess, I will just have to spend the weekend inside...ummm...what could I do...oh...maybe I could just KNIT!!!

I got one of my hair-brain ideas...decided to make a bunch of Christmas presents - yeah - I know it's like less than three weeks before Christmas - let's just say - I work best under pressure - (see 1st paragraph) Part of my shoppping today involved a stop at the LYS in Duluth. *big smile* Pictures of finished objects to come.

Are you having problems with blogger? Every time I try to post a picture from home - It tells me I am "no longer connected" to blogger. It's very frustrating - so, I can only post pictures from school...(where I am still trying to keep my head above water with grading and lesson plans)

Did I mention we have snow? (Lots of it.) Did I mention the county plow took out our mailbox? (It was on a 4x4 post.) Did I mention our plow truck is not working? (Apparently a life time guarantee on a battery means actually 7 months.) Did I mention we have lots of snow? (About 14 inches.) Did I mention how much I dislike/hate snow? (I think it's because I am half "Hawaiian" and don't belong in this cold climate.)

I finished an awesome pair of felted slipppers. My feet are now warm. Pictures to follow...(see above paragraph about the finickyness of blogger) And, yes, that is a word and I know it's mis-spelled. What do you expect...I am a Math teacher. hee hee

Did I mention I forgot to order my Christmas pictures while I was out and about today? I said a bad word when I realized that as we were almost home.

My sweetie thought we would be done shopping by 1:00, including lunch....we left at 8:00...foolish man.....I think I wore him out.....

I think I have rambled on enough...oh, one more thing...I noticed my visitor counter registered the number 1441...Does anyone know what kind of number that is?

It's a palindrome. A number that can be read the same front to back and visa versa. Cool, huh?

I know...Math geek...

Monday, November 26, 2007

I did it...

Something I swore I would never, ever, ever do....

I bought an artifical tree over the weekend. I swore I wouldn't ever...but times are changing...

Our family tradition involves a yearly trek to the tree farm...where you have four different boys standing next to four different trees...proclaiming this tree is the best....throw in some snow and wind, along with frozen toes and noses.....

Once the final selection has been determined....it is ceremoniously cut down and tied precariously to the top of our vehicle.....

Ahhh...the memories...

Well, I got to thinking about my new cream colored carpet in my living room and the mess of the tree water that invaraible gets dumped...not to mention the pine needles...and once you get pass the first couple days...can you really smell the tree anymore? And...the fact that two of my children are scattered across the state of Minnesota...

After consulting the troops this past weekend...everyone (except maybe mom who likes to hold on to family traditions) was okay with going artifical.

It's a sad, sad day....but...no needles and no spilt water.

So, here we are trying to assemble our tree....





More pictures of the finished tree to come......

More Thanksgiving thoughts.....


Here is what I am thankful for....my boys...

They all made it safely home to spend Thanksgiving with their mother.

Have I mentioned how proud I am of the fine young men they have become?

Happy Birthday Gramma



My Gramma turned 87 years old on November 17th.

She will be amazed when I tell her I put her picture out here for all to see.

She still lives on her own and does very well....we love her lots.....and I am very lucky to still have her in my life.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving

Have you noticed how the media refers to Thanksgiving as "the day before " Black Friday? As if the actual Holiday has no value at all and the only purpose of the day is to prepare and hype up the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

Well, I boycotted the whole business. I refuse to shop today. I refuse to get out of bed and stand in the cold (the temperature is down in the single digits) amongst a bunch of strangers to save a couple bucks. I refuse to stand in lines that zig zag across and around the store, arms laden (and aching) for over an hour to check out.

I refuse.

I choose instead to spend my day after Thanksgiving appreciating my home and children. We will eat left overs and maybe watch a couple movies. And knit.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Question for you...

Do you keep a journal of your finished objects?

Do you track the date started, yarn used, pattern...etc?

If so, did you buy it or make it yourself?

I am thinking about doing this just for "shits and giggles" and am looking for some input from all the "experienced experts" out there...

...or is this just another side of my anal nature/personality and nobody else gives a rip?

I have been knitting...


A while back...the beginning of October...I sent for the book Knitting Circles around Socks.



My first attempt was a little frustrating. The book calls for using both 16 and 24 inch circulars. I had two pairs of 16 inch. I thought I could figure it out and tried using Panda Cotton.

Well, the combination of light yarn and not being able to distinguish between which needle was my "24 inch" one (cuz I wasn't using a 24 inch one)...I gave up and decided to actually follow the directions and see where they lead me...

I started over with the correct needles and yarn... 16 and a 24 inch size 5 circs and a worsted weight wool yarn.

Much better.

It took me a while to "wrap" my mind around the process of knitting tow individual socks simutaneously while keeping them seperate.

Once I got going...it went really quick...this is the fastest I have made a pair of socks...of course I am also using size 5 and my other pair was on size 2....




The process is actually pretty simple. The two needles lie parallel to each other in their starting position. The 16 inch needle lies in front. The instep of each sock is on the 24 inch needle and the sole of each sock is on the 16 inch needle.

As you knit one round...you knit sole of sock one, sole of sock two, instep of sock two, and instep of sock one. You need to tug up tight the first stitch to prevent the loose stitch between front and back.

Only part you do individually is when you turn each heel.



The camera flash washed out the color in this picture. They are the true blue in the above picture.

I finished them last night but will not be able to post the finished picture until I get to school to upload it.

I have already cast on a pair in Cascade Fixation and have most of the cuff done.

I want to play around with knitting mittens using the same concept...anybody ever tried it?????

I highly recommend this book and process...easy to follow and quick.

It was a "snowy" drive to work....


In between putting on my makeup, drinking my coffee and texting a few friends...I snapped a couple pictures on my drive in on Friday....

This was the view going 45 mph on I35 on Friday morning. Our first substantial snowstorm of the season.

Lots of people in the ditch...you would think up here in Norhtern Minnesota people would know when to slow down and drive sanely...apparently not so....



....and...just for the record...I wasn't doing any of the above (well, okay, I was drinking coffee)...just snapped a couple pictures to share with you all......

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Football update...



Second place champs......

Eight sections in our state for our school size...eight teams in each section...

We made it down to the final game for the sectionals...and...we lost to an undefeated team....

So, football is over for another year. I will miss it. The team did very well for as young as they are.

As I told Nate...they are one of the top sixteen teams in the state for our school size...that's something...and there is always next year....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Contest

Go over and check out Megan... she's celebrating her 100th post...tell her I sent ya.

Ravelry

I finally took the time to set myself up on Ravelry. I am "alaina".

I know you all have posted your names on your blogs as you signed up...and I could go back and search all of your blogs...and I will...if I must...

Or...You could all be darlings and just leave a post with your Ravely name...

Please...pretty please?

I hate migraines...

I am home today with a pounding migraine. I have taken all the medication (prescribed and not) that I can possibly take...I am now playing the waiting game....

I am moving very slowly...like my brain has to 'catch' up to my head movement....must be the drugs....For whatever reason, the pounding lessens when I am sitting upright....I have been dealing with this in the horizontal position for the last 5 hours...we'll try the vertical for a while.

I called to refill my prescription and of course they need to call the doctor's office for verification...so, I am hording those little suckers...planning for the next few days....

I am such a whiner when I am sick....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

One sick little puppy...



Wednesday evening I came home to Max limping on his hind leg....He had tangled with some burrs...Nathan and I cut out the burrs and I figured I would take a "wait and see" attitude...

Thursday morning...I let him out...he can't walk at all....I pick him up (all 38 pounds of hair) and walk him out to the lawn...gently lower him to the gound...he collapses...

I call in sick (don't give the secretary a reason...figure I'll plead my case with the principal, later)...call the vet....can bring him in at 9 am

Carried his big, heavy, hairy body to the car...all the way to the vet...I'm trying to prepare myself...If I have to have him "put down"....how am I going to handle this...decided we would do it as a family...would have to include Chris and Nathan....

Carry him into the vet...wrestle 38 pounds of hair,...struggle to open doors...purse swinging off of my arm... repeatedly....

Have I mentioned how I am not really much of a "dog" person????? I love Max...would do anything for him...but I am a "cat" person...(sorry...please don't send hate mail)

He's running a fever...they do blood work...he has Lyme Disease...

Due to the warm weather this pass summer...we have an overabundance of "deer ticks" in our area...

Fully treatable...antibiotics for 3 weeks...Treatable but not curable...

Carried his big, hairy butt back out to the car....

Am happy to report that by last night (Saturday) he was bouncing around..almost normal....

Ok...maybe I am becoming more of a "dog" person.....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

TOPIC OF THE WEEK- Fall into Autumn Swap

Now that it is getting cooler here, it makes me think of apple picking and hay rides. Are you the type that likes to go to participate in all the fall festivities like apple picking, pumpkins, decorating for the fall, hay rides, baking fall goodies, etc. or do you just sit and count the days till Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah?

I start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas...I am not much into Fall activities...seems like every Fall gets busier and busier...it becomes more about getting it (all the outside stuff) done before the snow flies and buries everything outside and maintaining some kind of balance with school starting...lesson plans, football, pepband, confirmation, etc....

I do enjoy the Fall...the enthusiasm of a new school year...the freshness in the air...a little chill at night...football games wrapped in sleeping bags...it's all good.

It's Saturday!!

Busy, busy week as usual....

Short week at school...MEA weekend...for all you out-of-staters...that means "MN Education Association" ...always has their Fall conference this weekend...which means a four day wekend every Fall... (I did not attend MEA Workshops)

I went to Winona to visit Andy...Did an overnighter...It's beautiful in that corner of Minnesota (Southeast)..the leaves are just starting to turn...the bluffs along the Mississippi River are breathtaking. Andy seems to be doing well...it's comforting to see him have his niche in the big campus world. (His dorm room could have used some attention...)

Chris is in Chicago. He was invited to attend with a group of Exchange students and chaperones from the school. What an opportunity...They took the Amtrak out of Minneapolis/St Paul early Thursday morning. Saw the Broadway play "Wicked" Thursday night, Science Museum on friday, and today...Navy Pier and a Bulls vs. Pacers game tonight...Shopping tomorrow and the train ride back...how fun! Wish I could have gone along....Could have gotten tons of knitting done on the 8 hour train ride...think of the possibilities...

Speaking of knitting...I am working on dishcloths for my Fall into Autumn Swap partner...I just happened to be in the LYS this morning and picked up some more yarn for socks...am just itching to try the two socks on two cirs...I bought the book...just need the time.

I stopped at a used book store in the cities on my way through...didn't buy any books, but did buy 6 albums...yes, the real thing...vinyl!!! I bought a wide range of music: AC/DC Back in Black, Neil Diamond, Tommy James and the Shondells, Star Wars Soundtrack, Tanya Tucker (early, early years), Barry Manilow, and the Best of Buddy Holly...how's that for variety?

I have a lot of music on vinyl...I am going to buy the converter...takes your vinyl and converts it to mp format...puts the music onto your computer so you can then burn CDs. I have heard good things about it...comes with software to clean up some of the background "noise" normally associated with records...stay tuned for further updates...

"He" and I had our picture taken this morning...the Credit Union is offering a Free 8x10...of, course other sizes may also be purchased...so we got all "dolled up" and went and had our picture taken....we'll see how they turn out. It was his idea..which was kinda cool...

Not much else is new here...too much of writing lesson plans and grading papers and not enough of the knitting....makes me crabby.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I contributed...

I contributed to the numbers of knitters in the world this weekend...I taught my 18 year old niece Courtney to knit on Saturday....

She is working away on a scarf...using size 11 needles and a skein of chunky wool-ease I happened to have in my stash...

Last seen doing very well....

Technology...love it or hate it

I bought a new computer last Sunday...I really needed one...got it all set up - transfered all my documents and pictures...it was all good...then, suddenly on Monday afternoon...the modem won't connect....What the Hell?

I called "Geek Squad"...they told me they would come out to the house and check it out...in two or three days for $160.00...What the Hell?

Today...I spent three (long, frustrating, aggrevating, and did I mention...frustrating) hours at Best Buy...

I have a new modem.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I've been spoiled


I arrived home on Friday to find a package waiting for me...

Kaylee was my swap pal for the Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Swap. She truely went "above and beyond" the call of duty.....

Gather around as I show off my goods....



First off...the star of the show...She made me a gorgeous yellow dishcloth using a pattern from the Dishrag Boutique...Check it out...she used Feather and Fan I just love the color - so bright...it reminds me of all the yellow leaves I see around me.

And...what other goodies did I find?



What's a package without some chocolate and good smelling stuff? She sent a package of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot chocolate mix. Woo Hoo!! Gonna hide that from my children. She also tucked in a set of a nummy smelling candle and body mist spray...scented warm vanilla sugar by BTB. Lean close...can you smell it? Trust me...it's awesome...

And in this cute little package...a bar of softly scented soap...I love it.



And...yes, there is more...Check out the yarn...not one, not two, not three, but...four skeins of the softest yarn I've had the pleasure to touch in a while...



I e-mailed Kaylee to thank her for the package and ask if she had a particular project in mind when she picked out the yarn for me....here is what she said, "I picked the yarn specifically because you mentioned that a wool blend with angora would match your personality- "strong, stable, down home...weathers well...wool but with a soft heart and mushy side...angora"- and it was so deliciously soft and warm. I thought it might make a lovely tam and wristwarmers, or perhaps a cabled scarf... just something soft and snuggly for the winters there."

How thoughtful is that!!!



Thank you Kaylee for the awesome package. I can tell a lot of thought and care went into the gifts you chose for me and your timing was perfect...I really needed a "pick-me-upper".

Is it just at my house?

As previously stated...I've been sick for the last week and a half...

Apparently...NOBODY else in this house knows how to

1. Run the dishwasher...Hello???? this involves pushing a button...
2. Wash dishes the old fashion way...soap? water?
3. Sweep the kitchen floor...hello??? broom!!!
4. Vacumn...it's electrical...that should appeal to some part of their maleness...
5. Pick up their own belongings...no, the football gear does not need to be in the middle of my living room for all to trip over...

Is it just me?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Are you still there?

I'm still here...

I've missed you...yes, you. and you. and you. and even...you.

I've been busy with school stuff...lesson plans and calculus...way too busy....I feel like I have given and given to everyone around me..and I have had no time for me.

It's been a really rough couple of weeks at school...makes me question if this is really what I want to be doing with me life....don't get me wrong...I really enjoy the kids...even, the Senior High kids, which I have not had to teach before...it's the politics of it all...the community/parent shit that is just so hard to deal with....

For all parents out there (who are not teachers)...Please, please...if you have questions about what is happening in your sons' or daughters' classroom...Ask the teacher!!! Don't talk about the teacher around town.... don't spread rumors around town...don't go to the administration and complain....JUST ASK.

Besides all that....I have also had a really nasty, nasty cold. You know the kind...Where you blow gallons of snot out of your head over a period of several days and your body continues to produce gallons more...enough said about that.

Did I mention how much I have missed each of you.

Occasionally at work, I sneak peeks at your blogs...read a bit...grin to myself as I am taking attendance...then, I have to go teach...thanks for those smiles...

Family news...

Andy came home from Winona last weekend. He and I spent the day shopping for shoes for him in Duluth...hard task when said feet are size 14 (sorry, Andy for announcing that to the world...my bra size is only a 34A...there, Andy...now I have something to be embarrassed about...are we even?) We finally found shoes and celebrated by eating at the Zen House - Duluth's only Japanese Restaurant....(I know you're jealous Kim...thought of you as I was munching sushi) It was a fine way to spend a day....appreciating my son...

Similarly, Chris and I spent the previous Saturday shopping for jeans in Duluth. We ate at the Ground Round...had a very nice lunch and awesome conversation....I must say...I have some fine young men that I can call my own....

Nathan is starting and playing center on the football team....I got a hug from him last night after the game (which we won)...I am 5'8" and I was under his shoulder pads....and he's only 15. Again...good things.....

Life goes on....the bad stuff happens and the good stuff carries us through it.

Hugs to all and thanks for listening....

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

One more thing...

It's funny how life turns out...

I attended a wedding on Saturday..(my mom's cousin's daughter)..lots of relatives and local people...I ended up going to the wedding by myself...due to Him not having his shit together stuff done in time to accompany me there.

I hate going to stuff alone.

It's amazing what a great seat one can get as a single person, arriving 5 minutes before the wedding is to begin...4th row from the front...aisle seat...anyways...I digress...

As I was escorted to my seat...I see to my dismay that I am about to be seated right next to my old boyfriend's (high school love) mom and dad...not a lot of choice at this point...I had to accept the seat..besides, as I said..great view!

We chatted a bit after the ceremony, while we were waiting to be "let go" ...I always hate that part...the receiving line...always people you don't know...do you hug a complete stranger, just cause he/she just got married?

Anyways...on to the reception...as I am seated at a table waiting starving and eyeing up the food table for the bride and groom to arrive...They (old boyfriend's parents) came and asked if they could sit with me...

I spent the entire evening chatting with the person that very well could have been my mother-in-law...

It is strange how life turns out...Who knows, maybe if I would have went that direction instead of the direction I did go...Life would have been a whole lot different...better? i don't know....

It was a pleasant visit and it would be fun to be a fly on the wall if she mentions to the old boyfriend (in front of his wife) that she spent the evening chatting with me....I know...catty...but...it Would be fun...

Voo-doo?

How's that for a bizarre random title?

Well, of course there is a story behind that...Anyone who knows me...knows I don't do "random"...

As I was watching the students during passing time...I noticed a bottle of Mountain Dew being discreetly passed between about 6 seniors...each would take a sip and hand it off to another...this seemed a little suspicious to me...

I tracked chased his little ass half way around the school the owner of the bottle in question...sniffed the bottle...couldn't determine much...told the student I would hold the bottle for the principal to check out.

The Principal and student arrive at my classroom after the bell rings...I explain the situation,...the principal sniffs the bottle a couple times...he agrees that there seems to be a different scent..but can't determine much...consequently, we let the student go with a warning...

My question...(I know vodka is colorless and has no smell)...How does one determine whether a bottle is spiked without actually tasting it...and who in their right mind would taste it after witnessing at last 6 students take a drink from the bottle?

I would think there has to be a way...someone should invent a paper strip that can be dipped in..like litimus paper...

Oh...the voo-doo...well, that's what my 21 year old son said it's called "vodka-dew"... voo-doo...he said kids do it all the time at school....

I got IT!!!

I finally got IT...my Ravelry invite...I am just not sure what to do with IT....

Stay tuned to this channel for further updates.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Swap

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Now that in some geographic locations the weather is starting to turn cooler:

Do you change the type of yarns you knit with?

I tend to change the type of projects I knit which...in turn...changes the yarns I use...

I tend to knit cold weather items (hats, mittens, slippers) more when the weather is cooler..I think it's my way of denying that 20 below zero days exist when it is actually 90 degrees outside...

I like light projects for the summer..dishcloths...socks...

In conclusion..I knit with more wool in the winter time and lean towards cotton and fingering weights during the summer months, not necessarily on purpose, just becasuse that's the way it seems to happen...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lots and lots to talk about....

Ohhh...where to begin...

This week has been a whole lot better than last week was, even though it was a full week...it went by fast. I have the lesson plans somewhat under control...Actually, I spent all day Sunday doing most of them...I still don't have grades in the grade book or the online grade program...There's a few weeks until mid quarter...just kidding...I hope to have them this weekend at least in my hard copy..won't take long to input into the online grade program.

I don't have a teacher's edition for the college Calculus I am teaching...it's a college level textbook, but we are not offering it this year for college credit, anyways, I digress...I don't have a Teacher's edition, which means I have to complete all of the homework that I assign in order to have an answer to compare student's work with. It takes additional time, but I am definitely brushing up on my Calculus skills.

All in all..I think I just may survive this year. maybe.

In knitting news...I knit an entire dishcloth on the road trip He and I made a couple weekends ago...And in case you are still wondering where we went....it was the Wisconsin Dells....



I knit another dishcloth Labor Day weekend as I listened to the free concerts at the Casino...Joe Nichols, Telluride, someone else, and the headliner...Leann Rimes. Fun day in the sun...



I started my latest felted purse sitting poolside at the water park in the Dells. Originally, I had bought blue Tropicana sparkley ribbon/yarn to knit with the blue. I knit a couple rounds of the body and decided you really couldn't see the ribbon or the sparkles against the dark blue. I decided that I had paid too much money for the Tropicana ...to not have it show... so I frogged it back and left it out...I am really liking this pattern...it knits up unbelievabley fast.



It should be done and would have been done, except Cass pointed me in the direction of The Loopy Ewe. Holy Moley Rocky!!! I found Panda Cotton!!!! ...and it's all Cass' fault...

Stay tuned to this channel for further updates on the purse...If I can tear myself away from the new sock yarn darn you Cass ...I only have about 20 minutes of knitting to do and then the felting...

So, I ordered this and this and this....and yes, it came wonderfully packaged...





Reminded me of shopping at my favorite store, Christopher & Banks...they wrap my purchases in tissue paper and then gently put them into my highly recognizable bag with handles, no cheap plastic ...makes me want to stand a little straighter and lift my nose a little towards the heavens...

Well, I just had to immediately cast on a new pair of socks...see my little cuff...isn't it too cute? I think I am going to do a longer cuff on this pair and maybe a little more between the cuff and the heel. I had so much yarn left over from my first pair...it makes sense to use as much as possible...



This is the color I am using on the socks...



And...Here is a picture of my two boys on the first day of School...Chris bottom (left) is a junior and Nathan top (right) is a sophmore. Yes, I know it's sideways...just turn your head, okay?



And...here is Chris playing in pep band at last Friday night's football game...



And...still with me?...here is Nathan on the field at the same game....He's number 65...



Whew!!! That's a lot of stuff!

(Am loving this fast internet at school)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So much to share

Ohhh...I have so much to share...works in progress...new yarn....

I just need some time to put up pictures...Hopefully tonight.

Thanks Fall into Autumn Partner for posting soooo soon.

Back with details...this "working for a living" business is really putting a damper on my blogging time. ;(

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Drum roll...please.....

And the 1st winner's number picked is...Rachel

Second number picked.....Christina @ Chrichri (Sorry, I couldn't follow your link in to your blog or e-mail.)

Thank you to all who took the time to read my rambling, totally ridiculous, and boring list of random facts about me and hung around to enter the contest. I appreciate it.

Thanks for all the book suggestions, the great project pictures and the kind comments.

Rachel and Christina please e-mail me at alaina DOT privette AT gmail Dot com

I need to know which yarn you pick Rachel (wool or cotton) and both of your snail mail addresses so I can get this off to you.

Hope you all hang around for the next 100...I promise I won't post 200 random facts about me... hee hee

Friday, September 7, 2007

Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Swap

1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been doing it?

I learned to crochet when I was a child. I taught myself to knit about two years ago.

2. Have you made dishcloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both?

I love making dishcloths...I use them myself and give them away.

3. What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ?

I usually just use Peaches and Cream. I have no idea what cotton I would like to try...It's a dishcloth...

4. If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles?

I use straights on dishcloths and circs on hats and things...really don't have an opinion either way...I do prefer wooden needles to metal or plastic..although it seems the majority of my needles are metal because I have picked them up at Thrift store or garage sales.

5. What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much?

I like the warm browns, forest greens, maroons...blues... rose...not much into orange.

6. What do you like best about Autumn?

The coolness of the days, snuggling under a warm blanket with the window open at night, picking my apples off of the tree, raking leaves, a fresh start with school starting, Thanksgiving...

7. Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks!

Pecan would be first choice...then...apple..and then pumpkin...numm!!

8. When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day?

Let's just say the school supply aisle is still one of my favorite places in any given store. I had my school supplies organized, color-coded, labeled and in my backpack long before the start of school. Can you say "Geek"?

9. Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the time frame of the swap)

I give out candy, use to take my kids around trick or treating...now that they're older...don't much get into it any more. I could probably admit that I really don't like Halloween at all...

10. If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose?

Blackjack Cherry Icecream...Schwans (with chocolate sauce)
Cheetos
Junior Mints


11. Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;)

I have "The Man", and four sons ages 22 to 15...two in college...two in high school...one not-so-smart-but-really-cute
dog and one adorable cat whose house we live in.

12. If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why?

It would be a wool blend with a little angora...strong, stable, down home...weathers well...wool but with a soft heart and mushy side...angora.

13. Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths?

I had never thought of using them for facecloths...hmmm...great idea.

14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays)

Thanksgiving, hands down!!! I love cooking a huge meal, using the nice tablecloth, setting the china, putting all the food in serving bowls, lighting the candles and eating until you feel sick...and then...later enjoying all those leftovers...turkey with mayo on bread with some salt and pepper...makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Besides the fact that Christmas is right around the corner!!! And, I love Christmas!

15. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about?

I hate the smell of cigarette smoke, which is more a personal pet peeve than an allergy.

It's been a really long week.....

Lesson plans...Geometry...new faces...Algebra II...Pre Calculus...Large classes...very small classes... Calculus....new grade program...not in the e-mail directory....exhausted every evening...did I mention I had a tooth pulled? yes, pulled!!!...

I did tally my contest entries...I will draw a name on Saturday. Thanks to all who left well wishes and great comments...as well as awesome pictures of projects.

Catch ya saturday.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Friday Night Football




It has begun...Autumn is officially here...summer is over here in Minnesota....Friday Night Football begins...

Here is my youngest with game jersey...He wouldn't let me follow him to school to take a picture of him in his full gear (shoulder pads and all the stuff to protect his Junk)...and the coach kinda frowns on Moms who yell for their sons to come on over for individual pictures while the game is in progress...so, maybe a better picture will be coming someday soon...

First game tonight and he is starting as Center on the Varsity squad...the only 10th grader starting on offense. Although with the pride of the moment, I am more than a little concerned...any sport that has an ambulance on stand-by on the side lines...tends to make me a bit uncomfortable....



Another sign that summer is over...yes...that is a turtleneck you see peeking out...It is official I have donned my first turtleneck of the season...we will not be seeing any skin in the chest area until maybe next July...

I have Under Armor on under that turtleneck, said turtleneck, a hooded sweatshirt and the game jersey (he actually wore the away one and gave me the home one to wear)...and to complete the look...I wore my maroon and gold Bomber mittens...the temperature did dip down to about 55 degrees and when you are sitting on a cold bleacher with the wind freely blowing across a football field...it gets damn cold.

As a postscript...we lost 16 to 13. Lots of fumbles, loose balls (oh, I am so not going there), and interceptions.

Fun to be back among young people, cheering with familiar faces, seeing familiar faces behind football masks...faces that I've known since they were all in Little league together so many, many years ago...now, young men, playing their hearts out on an Autumn evening...football in Minnesota. Its a good thing.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My 100th Post!!!!

In honor of my 100th post...I am going to give away some yarn...



Two skeins of Handpainted Originals by Brown Sheep (70% Mohair and 30% wool)...very soft...



and two skeins of Mandarin Petit (100%cotton)...for my Vegan friends...sock yarn perhaps....

I haven't quite decided what I want to do with this contest...so, I am going to need a little time to think...so, while I am thinking...you can go ahead and read 100 Random Facts about Me!!!

1. I have four children
2. I have four boys
3. I buy a lot of milk
4. My oldest will be 22 in December
5. My youngest is 15
6. Two in college, two in high school
7. I kept trying for a girl
8. I am licensed to teach grades 5-12 in Middle school and Secondary mathematics in both Minnesota and Wisconsin
9. I love Math because there is a right answer and a wrong answer...no grey area
10. I struggle with random
11. I am more than a little anal
12. I think anal and non random are good traits in a math teacher
13. I hate Geometry
14. I am teaching Geometry this year
15. I worked for 8 years as a special education paraprofessional
16. I have a minor in Special Education
17. I went back to college at age 36
18. College was the hardest thing I have done
19. I was married for 15 years
20. I have been divorced for 8 and a half years
21. I am sad about not ever having a 25th wedding anniversary...weird, huh?
22. I have been with my current love for 8 years
23. I have been engaged for four years...don't ask.
24. I love what my life has changed into from where it has been
25. I am half Hawaiian
26. I have never been to Hawaii
27. My biological father lives on the island of Maui
28. I met my biological father for the first time in St Louis, Missouri, during the summer of 2004
29. I am the oldest of five children
30. Our names are in alphabetical order (Alaina, Benita, Corina, Darren, and Erica)
31. I live in the house I grew up in
32. One of my four grandparents are still alive
33. I can still stand on my head (how's that for random)
34. My all time favorite TV show was Knots Landing
35. My eyes are dark brown to the point of almost being black
36. I cry at weddings
37. Little House on the Prairie is always good for a good cry
38. I can't sing
39. I would love to play guitar..but think I am tone deaf
40. I hate being cold
41. Did I mention how cold it gets here in January?
42. Spring is my favorite season
43. My birthday is March 29
44. I was almost 8 months old when President JFK was shot
45. I don't remember President JFK being shot
46. I remember when Elvis died
47. I don't like Elvis...(go ahead send me hate mail)
48. I grew up on a farm
49. I have watched piglets, calves, colts, kittens, and puppies all being born
50. I have seen a chicken lay an egg and held it while it was still soft
51. I know how to drive a tractor, a bull dozer, and an excavator
52. I am scared of the dark
53. I hate spiders
54. My favorite holiday is Christmas
55. I hate Halloween (again...go ahead...hate mail)
56. I was raised Catholic
57. Catholicism doesn't like the idea of divorce
58. I am raising my children Catholic
59. I have no idea where I am going to get married when the time comes...2010
60. I played basketball, volleyball and golf in High school
61. I spent a lot of time on the end of the bench during High School
62. I have friends that I have known for 34 years
63. I like to get dressed up, use my good table cloth, china and candles for every holiday
64. I am a little stubborn...thought I would put that way down here...since I am sure everybody has just scrolled pass all of this nonsense...to get to the contest
65. I count some of my sisters among my best friends...
66. Cats..not dogs
67. Chocolate... not vanilla
68. Dark... not light
69. I put chocolate syrup on anything I think I can get away with
70. I could stand to lose 15 to 20 pounds...okay...maybe closer to 20...
71. I've thought about adopting a daughter...from China...
72. I learned to crochet from my Grandmother
73. I taught myself to knit
74. I wish I was more organized
75. My first car was a 1975 Saab painted baby blue
76. I want to own a Saab convertible, black....
77. I took Swing Dance lessons...am not very good...lack of coordination...see #61
78. I was 5'8" in 6th grade
79. I have never watched a hockey game.
80. I know very little about football in spite of 3 sons playing...tight end??? sounds sexual to me
81. I graduated from High School in 1981...Didn't that work out nicely...
82. I once dreamed about being a professional photographer
83. I have all of the equipment to set up a dark room...just haven't made room in the basement...see #52 and #53
84. My middle name is Marie
85. I was named after the song Maria Elena
86. The legal spelling of my name doesn't have an "i" in it...I added that so people /professors would pronounce my name correctly at college...and kept it
87. My confirmation name is Theresa
88. I love being a mom
89. My favorite comfort food is hot homemade soup - preferably any cream soup
90. My favorite local band is Rock-a-Billy Revue
91. I don't drink...just didn't like how I felt when I did...nothing religious or weird or anything
92. I don't smoke
93. I've colored my hair since I was 29
94. I use to read a lot...not so much any more
95. I believe in love at first sight and happily ever after.
96. I believe we are all put on this earth for a reason and we need to make a positive impact on the lives around us
97. I believe there is good in all people
98. I believe in the power of prayer
99. I believe in the importance of investing time and energy in children
100. I am happy with the person I am and the life I have created for myself and my children

Whew!!!! That's not an easy thing to type or read

Now, for those of you who skipped the 100 facts and found the contest...

Here goes:

I want to know three things:

1. What is your all time favorite knitting book?
2. What finished project are you the most proud of... and... of course, why?
(Pictures worth extra entry)
3. Whose blog do you read daily and why?

Answering all three questions will get you one entry.
Showing me a picture will get you another entry.
Linking to my contest will get you yet another entry.

Easy as Pi (you know, 3.14159265358979323846....hee hee, just a little math humor)

I will make a numbered list of all the entries and use my TI-83 to randomly choose a number amongst the number of entries...first picked will get first choice, second number picked will get left over skeins.

I will draw for the number on Thursday night, September 6 at 6:00 my time.

I am looking forward to hearing about your projects and some great books to add to my library...

Hey.....thanks for sticking around...I appreciate it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hello??? Anybody still reading...



Or... Where?..oh...where is Alaina???

Well, I went on a mini trip with The Man...a romantic get away...just the two of us...fun and sun...here is a picture of our hotel/motel. Guess where we went??? Maybe I should make that part of my contest...hmmm???



And... a random picture of me taken by my children...thrown in for shits and giggles...




I did manage to finish my socks last week at some point...





I am really happy with how they turned out and will definitely buy more of the Bamboo and do another pair - and it seemed to go much quicker working both socks simultaneously. And when I was done with one...I was done with both...how cool...

Lots of stuff going on in my life...As of last Thursday morning, the other math teacher that the district had hired accepted a job in another district. (No, they had not signed a contract with our district) consequently, my district was scrambling to hire another Math teacher this late in the game...solution...hire a elementary teacher (licensed through 8th grade and have he/she teach 9th grade on a variance...)

And how does that affect me, you ask...well, I taught Junior high...so, I was bumped to Senior High math - because I am licensed 5-12th grade. Which means all of my prepared lesson plans are now useless. I am going to be teaching Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calulus and Calculus. It's going to be all good.

I have been spending a lot of time a school trying to get prepared...at this point, open house is tomorrow night and my room is done - haven't gotten to any lesson plans, yet...tomorrow....I've been spending a lot of time with the teacher that was hired on Friday - brand new...young...I'm trying to make this as easy as possible for her...

On to knitting news...I did finish a whole dishcloth on our drive to our destination...(major hint...we drove there...) and I cast on my next project while we were sitting poolside...I can't just lay in the sun...I get too bored...here I am knitting in bulky wool...sitting poolside...anyways, I am making a new felted purse for myself... more pictures to come on that...

Here are pictures of the yarn I am offering for my 100th post contest....More to come on that another day...





As much as I would love to spend a couple hours online...I have to go to bed...I can see this "job business" is going to put a serious damper on my blogging time.

I have taken a minute here and there at work to check a couple of you out and see what you're doing - just haven't taken the time to comment..

I'll be back...contest to follow...promise....

Oh..in case you're wondering Kim..no, I didn't get married on that romantic get away...