Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's the HOliday Season...

I can't believe how very fast the time has flown by...and my poor neglected blog...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours...

My boys journeyed to their father's house...so, I spent a quiet day with my sweetie, my Gramma and my sister...we ate turkey and bunches of other stuff...then we played cards...It was a quiet, satisfying way to spend the holiday.

I had hoped to get my Christmas cards out in the mail on Monday...doesn't look like it is going to happen...shamme because I've had them for about a month...it's a shame that no one else will know how very "organized" I am this year. ha!

I had also hoped to put up the tree today...well, that didn't happen either.

I spent a really lazy day on Friday...Andy brought home with him all four books in the Twilight Series...I know that's not what they are called..and either you know what I am talking about, or you don't....

Anyway...my students have been reading these and the movie just opened...so I thought I would give it a try...well, not my usual reading material...but, kept my attention...I started the first book on Wednesday night...made a complete Thanksgiving dinner and entertained...and finished the last (fourth) book on Saturday morning...whew!!!

Again, not my normal read...but was okay.

Can you believe there is less than a month till Christmas???

OH MY GOD! The presents to be bought, the cards, the cookies, the tree.......gotta go........

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not much new here...

Seems like the days are flying by...then the weeks...

It's already the end of first quarter and into second quarter...Halloween is past and Thanksgiving is looming....with Christmas peeking around the corner....Where has the time gone?

It seems like life is so very busy...every night either correcting papers late, lesson planning or meetings...if not school busy-ness...then other activities....

I have been knitting mindless items..dishcloths mainly...I really want to finish some of the gad-zillion projects I have started...just doesn't grab my interest or they take too much concentration for my fried brain.

I want life to slow down and I don't know how to make that happen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I have been spoiled....



I came home after a long day of conferences, crabby parents, and hormonal teenagers...to find a wonderful surprise.... a package on my table....Inside the package was this wonderful package put together by Jill. Everything was wrapped in orange and yellow....It made me smile opening it up.



A great Halloween dish containing chocolate(lots of chocolate!) and a "Trick or Treat" sign that will decorate my desk at school... a really cute Halloween towel that will dress up my kitchen...or maybe the bathroom...



...and...did I mention yarn...She went way over board...two skeins of a Autumn, dusty orange, tweedy sock yarn...and...a skein of a fingering weight, beautifully colored sock yarn....it is all gorgeous...and I can hardly wait to cast some socks on....

I always include a postcard when I send off my package...but, Jill used the postcard to actually send her warm wishes...which I thought was a great idea...(and why hadn't I thought of that before???)



Her two dishcloths are absolutely adorable....my pictures don't do them justice...sneak on over to Jill's blog and look at her pictures...much better and clearer than mine are...The orange cloth is a pumpkin and the white cloth is a ghost. How very fun! Thank you Jill!

The little stichmarker is an orange pumpkin. I tried to take a close up picture of it...it is adorable...but that was the final straw for my camera batteries...

She also included a jar of body wash cream that smells awesome...I am anxious to give it a try...I had never seen anything like it...

Thank you Jill. You obviously spent a lot of time picking things out and it shows. I love it all and you did a great job with the Halloween theme!!!




...other news in my world....It's football season...actually the end of football season...Last night we played the number one team in our section...who were undefeated...and we won!!!

Nathan is the center...the one getting ready to "snap" the ball...That's my baby....



...and here is Chris in pepband...this picture was taken a couple weeks ago during one of our gorgeous evenings.

Usually football watching involves large, bulky clothing, wool socks and mittens...(last night was one of those evenings...40 degrees with a wind)

Hope all is well in your world....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My poor neglected blog...

Life is just too busy these days...it's too busy to knit...it's too busy to read my favorite blogs...and it's too busy to post.

I have great posts, complete with pictures all in my head...brilliant conversations...catchy titles...tantalizing pictures...funny tidbits...all in my head....ahh {{{sigh}}}

I have been at work most nights until 5:30/6:00...coming home...making supper...grading tests and crawling exhausted into bed...it has to get better...really...it has to...I can't take this pace much longer...

The new curriculum combined with the new Smart board in my room means many hours of preparation....Giving out an assignment each day for every student means I have 100 pieces of paper each day to deal with...yes, I am whining...

I even thought I would show you some pictures of my awesome Smart Board...just hasn't happened...

In Dishrag Tag news...one of our team mates went MIA...so we needed a replacement box sent out...that's a bummer...(yes, I am a child of the 70s...bummer...love that word) We were in the running...now we are struggling to just plain finish. I want to be positive and say I hope the person isn't having a personal crisis which explains the MIA...or did she just decide to quit playing...I don't know...either way...it's a bummer.

I hope to have time soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

oops I did it again...

Don't cha just hate that song????!!!!

But, it is an appropriate title for this entry...I stopped at my LYS yesterday...saw a finished head band and of course, promptly bought the pattern, yarn and circs....

Never mind I still have 10 projects on my needles that need to be finished...never mind that I should be grading papers, doing laundry or cleaning house...oh no...I have a new challenge in my knitting basket...taunting me...just calling my name...I am weak....pics to come...no, not of the dirty laundry, dishes piled or dust bunnies...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The top 100 songs of 1981

I found this on Anita's blog. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link and it brought me right back to Minnesota!!!

I know I just posted a list of 100 books...well, here is another listing of the top 100 songs from 1981.

The rules:

A.) Go to Music Outfitters

B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year

C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline or italicize your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember (or don’t care about)

1. Bette Davis Eyes, Kim Carnes
2. Endless Love, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
3. Lady, Kenny Rogers
4. (Just Like) Starting Over, John Lennon
5. Jessie's Girl, Rick Springfield
6. Celebration, Kool and The Gang
7. Kiss On My List, Daryl Hall and John Oates
8. I Love A Rainy Night, Eddie Rabbitt
9. 9 To 5, Dolly Parton
10. Keep On Loving You, REO Speedwagon
11. Theme From "Greatest American Hero", Joey Scarbury
12. Morning Train (Nine To Five), Sheena Easton
13. Being With You, Smokey Robinson
14. Queen Of Hearts, Juice Newton
15. Rapture, Blondie
16. A Woman Needs Love, Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio
17. The Tide Is High, Blondie
18. Just The Two Of Us, Grover Washington Jr.
19. Slow Hand, Pointer Sisters
20. I Love You, Climax Blues Band
21. Woman, John Lennon
22. Sukiyaki, A Taste Of Honey
23. The Winner Takes It All, Abba
24. Medley, Stars On 45
25. Angel Of The Morning, Juice Newton
26. Love On The Rocks, Neil Diamond
27. Every Woman In The World, Air Supply
28. The One That You Love, Air Supply
29. Guilty, Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb
30. The Best Of Times, Styx
31. Elvira, Oak Ridge Boys
32. Take It On The Run, REO Speedwagon
33. No Gettin' Over Me, Ronnie Milsap
34. Living Outside Myself, Gino Vannelli
35. Woman In Love, Barbra Streisand
36. Boy From New York City, Manhattan Transfer
37. Urgent, Foreigner
38. Passion, Rod Stewart
39. Lady (You Bring Me Up), Commodores
40. Crying, Don Mclean
41. Hearts, Marty Balin
42. It's My Turn, Diana Ross
43. You Make My Dreams, Daryl Hall and John Oates
44. I Don't Need You, Kenny Rogers
45. How 'Bout Us, Champaign
46. Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Pat Benatar
47. The Breakup Song, Greg Kihn Band
48. Time, Alan Parsons Project
49. Hungry Heart, Bruce Springsteen
50. Sweetheart, Franke and The Knockouts
51. Someone's Knockin', Terri Gibbs
52. More Than I Can Say, Leo Sayer
53. Together, Tierra
54. Too Much Time On My Hands, Styx
55. What Are We Doin' In Love, Dottie West
56. Who's Crying Now, Journey
57. De Do Do Do, De Da Da, Police
58. This Little Girl, Gary U.S. Bonds
59. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, Stevie Nicks With Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
60. Giving It Up For Your Love, Delbert McClinton
61. A Little In Love, Cliff Richard
62. America, Neil Diamond
63. Ain't Even Done With The Night, John Cougar
64. Arthur's Theme, Christopher Cross
65. Another One Bites The Dust, Queen
66. Games People Play, Alan Parsons Project
67. I Can't Stand It, Eric Clapton
68. While You See A Chance, Steve Winwood
69. Master Blaster, Stevie Wonder
70. Hello Again, Neil Diamond
71. Don't Stand So Close To Me, Police
72. Hey Nineteen, Steely Dan
73. I Ain't Gonna Stand For It, Stevie Wonder
74. All Those Years Ago, George Harrison
75. Step By Step, Eddie Rabbitt
76. The Stroke, Billy Squier
77. Feels So Right, Alabama
78. Sweet Baby, Stanley Clarke and George Duke
79. Same Old Lang Syne, Dan Fogelberg
80. Cool Love, Pablo Cruise
81. Hold On Tight, ELO
82. It's Now Or Never, John Schneider
83. Treat Me Right, Pat Benatar
84. Winning, Santana
85. What Kind Of Fool, Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb
86. Watching The Wheels, John Lennon
87. Tell It Like It Is, Heart
88. Smoky Mountain Rain, Ronnie Milsap
89. I Made It Through The Rain, Barry Manilow
90. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', Daryl Hall and John Oates
91. Suddenly, Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard
92. For Your Eyes Only, Sheena Easton
93. The Beach Boys Medley, Beach Boys
94. Whip It, Devo
95. Modern Girl, Sheena Easton
96. Really Wanna Know You, Gary Wright
97. Seven Year Ache, Rosanne Cash
98. I'm Coming Out, Diana Ross
99. Miss Sun, Boz Scaggs
100. Time Is Time, Andy Gibb

Ohh...the memories......

All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Swap - Topic #1

I found this cool list on Rhea W. blog for the first assignment on All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Swap. What would your list look like?

The Big Read is an National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.)

*Look at the list and bold those we have read.
*Italicize those we intend to read.
*Underline the books we LOVE. (I don't know how to underline...so I am going to color blue the books I love...

Share this list in your blog, too, if you like.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas in French
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery in French
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Ronald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo in French

I only have 26 that I have read...I need to read more...What does your list look like?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Thanks Mom for reading those 'baby' books so we didn't turn out 'messed up'."
~Nathan age 16

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hurry...

Registration is open until Friday the 12th for All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Exchange....the sequel to Summer Dishcloth Swap.

It is always such great fun getting to know your partner and having someone stalk your blog, as well...and of course, the great package....

Are you still here? What are you waiting for...shoo!

All Hallows Eve Dishcloth Exchange Questionaire

Knitting Yarn
1. Do you knit or crochet? For how long?
I have been "seriously knitting for about 3 years. I learned to crochet a long time ago from my Gramma...I don't do much crocheting anymore.

2. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using the most? Are there some you've been dying to try out and haven't? I love bamboo needles. Most of my collection is metal, due to the fact I have picked them up cheaply...I am slowly adding bamboo to my collection. There aren't any that I am dying to try out...

3. What kind of projects do you most enjoy? Small things you can take with you, or big complex ones that are just gorgeous when they're done? I need gratification. I have not knit anything big and complex, yet. I just don't think it will ever happen...I like socks, little projects, and of course, dishcloths...

4. List one pattern for a dishcloth that you love to make, or just tell us about one you've made or received that you loved. I really love both the feather and fan pattern and the waffle stitch pattern.

5. What are your 'must have' notions? Are there any notions you need or can never have enough of? Any that might make you cry if you owned more? I don't use a lot of notions...I am always looking for a little scissors...seems like it is always..."in my other bag"

Petting Yarn
6. What are your favorite yarns to work with? Any you hate or are allergic to? I like soft and squishy...I like soft and warm...I do use wool a lot...have tried bamboo for socks...don't like acrylic or novelty yarns...

7. What colors do you like to use in projects? Any we'd never catch on your needles? I think I am generally a earthy person...greens, browns, reds, warm colors...although I have used bright and fun also. I can't think of a color that I wouldn't try at least once.

8. Any cottons you'd like to try you can't find by you, or just haven't gotten around to getting? nope...

Halloween, Fall, and General Stuff
9. Do you like to use bar soap or shower gel more? What kinds of scents do you love? What kind do you hate? I use shower gel. I like clean scents, don't like roses...like just about everything else...

10. What's more 'Halloweeny' - Ghosts, Pumpkins, or Witches? pumpkins

11. What's your favorite Treat to get? Sweet or Salty? Anything you're allergic to or just hate? Definitely sweet...and has to be dark...dark chocolate!!! (Although I have been known to consume large quantities of just about anything sweet)

12. What was your favorite Halloween Costume as a kid? As an adult?? I don't remember any favorites as a child...as an adult...I showed up to work one Halloween looking 9 months pregnant...that was pretty funny.

13. Are you on Ravelry? What's your ID? I am "alaina" on Ravelry. I haven't done anything on there in ages...my poor neglected Ravelry...Le Sigh.

14. Anything else you'd like to be sure your pal knows? no, I am pretty easy to please....

Monday, September 1, 2008

It was a short summer...

...and now it is over....

As I sit and type...I really should be heading for bed...the alarm will be going off way too early...although I got a taste of early last week...we were required to be there Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday...I was also there on Friday....I am ready...at least my room is ready...lol

I had surgery on August 22....Click here if you want the details...I faced being "put out" for the first time in my life...was a little scarey...but, it all went well and I am recovering...Was a much better alternative to a hysterectomy. If you have questions...I am open to discussion - but wasn't sure this was the place to do that...so, email me.

I spent most of the summer dealing with the medical business leading up to the decision to have the procedure done....seems like the summer really went by fast.

On a lighter note...I spent Saturday night with three very close friends of mine...two of which are experiencing "empty nest" syndrome...so, we had a "sleep over"...literally...It was a lot of fun...lots of laughter and chocolate.

What would we do without good friends to share our life with? They are the ones who lift us up when life hits hard, celebrate with us when life is good, and know when to just listen and hug. Thank God for good friends. They have truly been a blessing in my life over the years.

I did finish my scarf - pictures to come this week...I hope.

First day of school tomorrow- Chris' "last" first day.... the start of his senior year....we had his grad pics taken on Friday...another story for another day....

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's here and gone...

Dishrag Tag update.....

Here is my time line for the morning:

Patiently pacing, waiting for the mail truck.....

12:10 mail arrived...Yipeeeee!! I saw him put a box in the mailbox...I run down to the end of the driveway...(that's no easy feat when you're my age and overweight according to Wii Fit)



I ripped open gently opened the box.



Check out the goodies Emily sent...chocolate...I promptly ate most of them....and a recipe for Brown Sugar muffins and a set of measuring spoons...I can hardly wait to try the recipe out...it sounds nummy...



12:20 started knitting...I used size 7 needles (the pattern calls for size 6) I tend to knit tight...I ended up with about a 8 and 1/2 inch square cloth.



2:10 finished knitting (and weave in the ends...hate that part)...Printed off label, packed box (realized my children have used up all the packing tape...used scotch tape to seal the box...hope it holds) and drove to nearest "big" town....

3:10 dropped off at post office

I am not going to show you pictures of my finished dishcloth or the goodies I sent to Janice until she gets the package...I don't want to spoil the surprise...

Go Ragtag Racers!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is it just me...

...or do you have the same problem...I need to FINISH a project.

I was asked recently at the LYS what was on my needles...here is what I discovered:

1. slippers (need to finish second one)

2. beanie for Katie (pattern is a bugger...really need to concentrate)

3. socks on two circs for me (love the yarn, not going fast enough on two circs to hold my attention...maybe should just convert to dpns?)

4. Fair isle hat (need to finish the crown)

5. Pay it Forward gift

6. Felted bag (can't find the pattern...)

7. Felted blowfish for Katie (again, not sure where the pattern is or where I am on the pattern...)

8. "Plain Vanilla Pullover" (started last summer...mucked up the decreasing for the neckline and never went back to it)

9. stripped tubular scarf (I am actually working on that one...)

10. New pair of Socks (I just cast on a new pair of socks this week after my visit to LYS in city of my Math Academy....while sitting in the hotel)

11. New Sweater (I am swatching to check gauge on my new cardigan pattern/yarn)

That's crazy!!!!

I need to finish something!

...and...did I mention I need a new pair of mittens for football season? or the numerous dishcloths that I have on needles, just because they are quick and mindless knits!!!

I really need to pull it all together...be a little self-disciplined....show a little self-control....or not...

I wanted to show pictures...maybe I will get a chance on Monday to go to the library and upload pics...so much quicker than dealing with my dial-up...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Let the games begin...

Dishrag Tag has begun!

Go Ragtag Racers!!!(Team #4)

The box is on its way to me from Emily in Alabama....maybe it will arrive on Monday? maybe Tuesday?

Check out the picture Emily has posted as she is packing the boxes...the woman is amazing...Big round of applause for all of her organization and hard work!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dishrag tag

Yeah!!! Teams have been assigned...and all the fun starts this Friday...and did I mention I have the honor of being a team captain??!!! How cool is that???

I am currently at a three day "Math and Science Academy" sponsored by the State of MN....sitting in a hotel...with WIRELESS!!! Yeah!!!

Did I mention I bought myself a new (cheap) laptop computer...and in order to qualify for the 24 months, 0% financing...

I needed to spend an additional $130...so, I also bought a turntable that converts my old vinyl to computer (mp23) format...my vinyl can then be burnt to a CD or put on my i-pod. How cool is that? Stay tuned for details on quality.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"It's a contest!" or "What's your number?"

Emily is having a contest. Go check it out....she's giving away something cool and it's pretty painless....

Here is an excerpt from her:

Here’s the text from the front page of Divvs:

Our primary service is the Divvs Rating. We analyze your connections to other people across all the social networks you share with us, do some Complicated Math, and come up with a simple number that represents how connected you are.

It’s perfect for Craigslist or web forums where you want to keep your personal details private, but want to prove you’re a real person, with real friends. You can share your rating anywhere you can add a link to an image, and you do it without disclosing anything personal.

Think credit score, but social not monetary. Sign up for fun and to help test the
system.

Divvs is kinda cool...tracks the number of social connections you have somehow...and there is math involved...(everything cool has math in it...isn't there math everywhere??)

My rating is a (pitiful) 30.

Check it out and give me a shout out as to your rating...maybe mine will go up ;)

Friday, August 8, 2008

WOW....

...Did you watch the opening ceremonies?

Spectacular...awesome...precision...breath-taking...and I could go on...

I am so impressed.

...when the people popped out of the boxes (the wind scene)....My jaw dropped to the floor...I couldn't believe it!

(I had thought it was cool and probably all automated by a computer program, boy, was I wrong)

I planned on knitting...but, I couldn't keep my eyes off the ceremonies...so, no knitting...

Where does that kind of planning come from? To have that extreme of a vision and to have the talent and the money to make it a reality...wow!

Hats off to China for an awe-inspiring show...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Whiskers on Wednesday...



It wasn't me!

I was just laying here licking myself and the yarn unrolled itself....Honest!



Enough pictures...I'm out of here!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

This, that and the other thing....

Lots of stuff to talk about....

First off family news...Andy has been home for the past week...It's been awesome having him around. We did a day about town, ate at the local Chinese Buffet and played some miniature golf...I ended up in last place. Go figure.....

We went to "town" today to buy groceries to send back with him and of course to fill up his car with gas for the long trek home.

(Gas is actually going down...We paid $3.55 a gallon and used a 5 cent/gallon coupon...so actually paid $3.50/gallon...YEAH!!!)

Nathan is back from Bible Camp. He seemed to have a wonderful time and the weather was wonderful all week long. I wonder how long the two suitcases full of dirty laundry are going to be sitting in my living room? I've asked three times for them to be moved....

Have you looked at my counter? ONLY thirty days until the first day of school...and even less until the workshop days begin....sob. sob. sob.

We have a bear.



It won't stay out of our garbage. He/she took down our bird feeder, which was hanging from the eves. I was impressed that he/she didn't break it, just gently licked out all the sunflower seeds. I had three bags of misc. seeds sitting by the garage. The bags were found in the middle of the yard....ripped apart...and I can only find two of them...he/she must have taken one home for later.

We have Chris' motion camera in the front yard hoping to catch him/her in the act...so far...no luck.

Potential problem coming soon...my apple trees are "loaded". I can see broken branches in my future as this bear acquires a taste for my sweet apples. I have had a problem with that in the past. Any home remedies for keeping bears away?

I have been knitting.



The lady that does my hair is due to give birth any minute. I decided to knit her up a small pair of baby booties. On one of the previous posts, I talked about my attempt at a pair of baby booties. They ended up looking way too big...so, I compensated...or shall I say..."over-compensated"...the second attempt turned out to fit a preemie...third time was the charm....and....she was thrilled with the gift.

My good friend Linda and I went to Yarn Harbor, my LYS. And, I got sucked in again.

(Yarn + free pattern + finished object = Alaina has to buy)

Did I have any intention of knitting a scarf this summer? Heck no!! But, here I am...

I have probably finished this thing three times if you count the number of times I have ripped it completely out and started over. How hard can it be? It's a tube scarf! The pattern called for 50 stitches. I cast on 50 and decided that it looked way too small. So, in my infinite wisdom (stupidity), I decided 100 stitches would be a good number.

Well, almost went through a whole skein when I decided it would take way too much yarn...ripped that out...not before I actually calculated gauge and did some math...decided that 80 stitches would be a better number....(Don't ask me why...just believe me...80 seemed like a good idea at the time....)



Nope...still too much yarn....didn't rip it out...thought I should leave it intact in case I change my mind....

So, I cast of 50 stitches and have made it this far....



...and the kicker...I don't even know if I will wear this...I just thought it was cool.....

The Carlton County Fair is coming...I thought I would be all prepared and maybe enter a few items or some framed pictures....It doesn't look like that is going to happen...or...if it does...it will be photography and not knitting...

I thought this picture would look great framed in my dining area...



...and this one in my bathroom...



...or maybe this one....



....as long as I was enlarging and matting and framing...why not enter?

Speaking of knitting...I was talking to one of the helpful ladies at LYS and she asked what I had on my needles...I started rattling off items and I came up with about ten unfinished items...(not counting the Pay it Forward gifts)...SHAME on ME!!!

I need to get responsible and finish a few things...Can you say ADD???!!!

Ohhhh, look at that pretty yarn over there....

I just got home from seeing Mamma Mia. I loved it!! I am a huge ABBA fan....naturally, I loved the music...and I am a sucker for musicals.

I highly recommend seeing it if you haven't already.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dishrag tag

Emily is once again hosting Dishrag Tag.

Registration opens on Friday, August 1st.

If you missed out on the fun last summer....make sure you don't miss out this summer!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm still here.

Just wanted y'all to know I am still here....

Life has been too busy lately. (and the summer is going by too quickly)

I did go yarn shopping. I have been knitting. I hope to post pictures soon....

Stay tuned....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weight loss and other "heavy" issues...

I have always struggled with my self-image and my weight.

When I got divorced, 9 years ago, the weight came off. I felt wonderful and for the first time in my life, felt comfortable in my own body. It was a great feeling.

I vowed to keep the weight off. Well, it has slowly crept back into my life. The last two years or so has seen me slowly gain 25 pounds.

I tried making small adjustments in my eating habits and/or exercise (or lack of it) to halt the onset of poundage...but, to no avail. I even quit drinking pop, in the past, that move alone was good for 15 pounds, not this time.

I questioned the doctor at my last visit. Seems once you hit your mid-forties, your metabolism slows down, thus making it even harder to lose those extra pounds. (Yes, he tested my thyroid)

As a result of the extra pounds (and a family history) I am now dealing with high blood pressure. Something I was really trying to avoid. I had hoped I could avoid medication by keeping my weight down. No such luck.

As you may remember, I bought Wii Fit this summer to get myself and my boys active in a fun, motivating manner. Well, it worked for about a month. But, my weight didn't go down. So, I lost interest.

I realized the other evening, as I was trying to fit my butt in a pair of jeans, that my "school" wardrobe isn't going to fit me, unless I take action. And, as you can see by my counter on top, school is fast approaching.

Long story short...(Love ya Beck!)....I was reading Megan's blog and she recommends SparkPeople.

Here is what Megan says about the site:

....There are a few things I really like about it. First, it is 100% free. Second, it's not trying to sell anything. I NEVER send a patient to a web site that is trying to sell them vitamins or miracle powdered drinks or anything else. I think all "education" on those sites is suspect at that point.

The biggest thing I think I like about it though is that the site encompasses so much. Not only can you track your weight loss, your daily calorie intake (it does most of the work for you, you just plug in what you ate), and your daily exercise but the site is big on motivation. There are tons of "SparkTeams" that you can join (much like the groups on Ravelry), there are message boards to ask questions and connect to people with your same interests or in your same area (there IS a knitter's group!), and there are SparkPoints.

You earn points for logging on, tracking your food intake, your exercise, drinking 8 glasses of water daily, basically most of what you do on/with the web site earns you points. The points go towards trophies which are displayed on your main log in page...

So, I created a profile for myself....I am "alaina.p" on SparkPeople.

I liked what I saw. The site is going to be very helpful, if I make the effort to use it. One of the things I liked...I struggle with planning healthy meals. The site gives me a weekly menu that I can adapt.

I don't know if this is the answer or not, but I think it's worth a try...

Let me know what you think and if you want to join me on this walk.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

camping and such



I have been MIA for the last three days.

I decided to go camping.

I didn't go far...less than three miles.

The weather was gorgeous...yes, we do have sunny, warm days in Minnesota.

Here are a couple pictures...



We watched, admired, and listened to the loons....they are so beautiful...there is nothing like the sound of loons calling to each other early in the morning...



Chris showed off his diving expertise on the raft....such awesome form....ohh...to be young again...

The lake is spring fed and over 22 feet deep at the raft....



We sat around the campfire...we made s-mores and had a great time....

Life is good.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wow...


I walked to the mailbox expecting just the normal pile of junk mail and bills ...and lo and behold...a package!!! For me!!! I was totally not expecting a package...and...what a great package it is!!!

Everything was "wrapped" in a little bag with a bright blue bow...So cute.

(The bright sunshine kinda wiped out the colors...)

Jessi/Bubblesknits was my spoiler for the Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Swap.

She went above and beyond the call of duty...What a thoughtful package....I absolutely loved everything in it...it felt as if I had shopped for myself...Gather round and look at all of the awesome stuff she sent my way....



This sock yarn is from Sophie's Toes the color is "Garden Party". What a great color choice for a summer swap! I can hardly wait to cast on a pair of socks with it. What a great choice! Thank you Jessi.

Jessi also included two skeins of cotton yarn. One "peaches & Cream" in a color that I have not seen before and a skein of Knit Picks "Cotlin", which I have never used. I am looking forward to checking that out...(thanks for the tip Jessi of using smaller needles)



Other goodies...a set of flowery/summery notecards with a matching magnetic "to do list" (looks great on my refrigerator), a hand cream, a whole bag of Crystal Light drink mixes (see picture below) to keep me cool, a miniature body bar, and a set of "designer" handkerchiefs...they have an "A" on them....(How did you know I cry a lot? LOL)...She also included a "sock blocker" keyring, complete with yarn to knit up the little sock...(see first picture) I can't wait to make it.



and...this awesome little cuddly sheep. Isn't he absolutely adorable?? And he is as fluffy in real life as he looks...makes me smile everytime I look at him. His name is "Woolsy"



She also knit me not one...but...two beautiful dishcloths....One in a light tan



...and the other in a light green...very, very nice...





She also sent me this very, very awesome sock bag from Gypsyknits. I LOVE it!!! I can hardly wait to go "public" with my awesome bag. It is absolutely adorable...with little Knitting chickens on it...

(I know it is sideways...sorry)



And...last but not least...the chocolate...(and a picture of the Crystal light mixes that I mentioned above)...Jessi was worried that the chocolate may have melted..well, it did...but, that didn't stop me from enjoying it...

Picture this...I am in the kitchen, literally licking the chocolate out of the little containers...Nathan comes into the room, stops and exclaims, with this horrified look on his face..."Mom, you have chocolate all over your face!" Sorry...no pictures.

It was awesome!

Thank you Jessi for a great package. I know how hard it is to shop for someone else, but, you really nailed it! I love everything!

{{{BIG HUGS}}}

Saturday, July 5, 2008

This and That...

We spent the first part of the week at a Wisconsin Dells water park. (A mere five hour drive with two teenagers...need I say more?)

Andy and Katie met us there...which was awesome...we don't get to see enough of them...

It was tons of fun...I do not do "dry" rides...I have this insane fear of falling and I get sick...but...I will do water rides...

However....Chris convinced me to go with him on one of the rides...we had to sit in a big tube...and go down a huge chute....all twisty-turny...then...looked like we were going to fall off of a cliff...and we went straight down...

I closed my eyes and screamed the entire way down......won't be doing that one again.

I did, however, enjoy all the other rides I went on....my favorite being the lazy river...got myself sun burnt...again....



Here is Chris in the lazy river...trying to avoid Mom taking his picture...

Happy 4th of July.....



We spent the day at Bayfront Park in Duluth...which is right on Lake Superior....Listened to our favorite band....and of course, enjoyed the fireworks....weather was nice...music was good...fireworks were awesome...and it only took us one hour to leave the parking lot afterwards...



..and one last shot of the fireworks...



Hope your holiday was as awesome as mine was....

Whiskers on Wednesday


Wherever I go...she follows...I don't even know where she is when I leave a room, but, she will show up where I am...and of course, when she shows up in whatever room I am in...she acts all nonchalant....like it's a coincidence that I am in the same room as the room she happens to be in...

I find it touching...she just wants to be in the same room as me...

Heck...my children try to avoid being in the same room as me...lol...guess that's why I have a cat.....

Monday, June 30, 2008

Knitting progress...


Well, I didn't finish it...but I did make a lot of progress on it...I am now decreasing for the top...The colors aren't showing up as nicely as they could...I'll post a better picture when its done.

I knit one of the dishcloths for my Keepin' Cool Swap Pal...I wasn't excited about how it turned out...I think it turned out too big...don't know if I will redo it or give it to her as it is...I will post pics after she gets it....

Silly dog...

At my house, all you need to do is mention the word "ride" to get Max all excited...and I mean excited...bouncing up and down...howling/crying...he is SO there...

Well, I was bringing Nathan to work yesterday...and Nathan was driving...so I guess, technically...Nathan was bringing himself to work and I was riding along...anyways, I digress...

Max is in the backseat with his snout and most of his head hanging out the window...Suddenly, the window is going up and his head is being caught...At the same time, Nathan and I yell at each other to stop rolling up the window....

Neither one of us is rolling up the window...Max is doing it to himself...power windows...he's standing on the "up" button with his paw....He got his head out in time...

Silly dog.....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another chapter....

This summer has been different for me...

Jeremy and Andy are off at their respective "college" homes, working through the summer, stock-piling money and taking summer classes....I miss having them in my daily life. A phone call every few days just doesn't do justice...I miss hearing about the mundane details of their daily lives...

Chris and Nathan are both working this summer...

More often than not, I find myself alone in the house...it's an unfamiliar feeling that is becoming more and more familiar...and I don't think I am ready.

In the past, our summers were so very active...filled to the brim with Little League games, riding bikes to the bookmobile, visits to the local library, miniature golf, camping, swimming lessons, golf practice, and later golf itself...

We spent our days together...eating lunch (hot dogs wrapped with biscuit dough)...having "siesta" time...everybody in their rooms to either read or nap...great opportunity for reading for the older ones and quiet time for the younger ones...during the very hottest part of the day...

I miss my boys.

Friday, June 27, 2008

News from up North

It has been a really busy week...

I've been doctoring most of the week...nasty migraines...don't know if we have "solved" the problem or not...time will tell...no migraine today (knock on wood) Lately I have been going to bed and waking up with one...sucks.

Was down to school yesterday...gave blood for the blood drive...it was my 16th donation...got the "two gallon" pin...yeah!!! The young lady did a nice job with the needle...I have no bruising today...

I then met with the representative with the new curriculum we are ordering (pending board approval, of course)...My intention was to work in my room on lesson plans, as long as I was down there...well, my room looks like a disaster zone...they are painting it...

On knitting news...since I was in Duluth doctoring, I stopped at the LYS looking for yarn to send to my Swap partner...well, found her yarn...but HAD to buy something for myself...I've said this before...if there is a sample AND a free pattern attached (with yarn purchase) they suck me in every time!!!

I left the store with a hat pattern and yarn to match. Now, I had absolutely no intention of knitting a hat this week or this summer...and of course, I immediately had to cast on....can you say ADD???? Oh look at that pretty thing over there.....

I think I have a new "favorite" dishcloth pattern. I am really liking this...



Isn't it pretty? It is a Waffle Knit Dishcloth. I found it here. I am not sure how I got to Deb's blog...but...I found it and I like it...it's easy and quick and I like the texture.

One last thing before I go...



This was on my window the other night....It is the largest moth I have ever seen...the wing span was a good 4 inches across....I have no idea what kind of moth it is...the markings were really cool.

No big plans for the weekend...probably go listen to music and do some dancing tonight and tomorrow...I think we have one last graduation party to attend on Sunday. Hope your weekend is a good one...

Hopefully, I will have pics of my finished hat on Monday to share...

Keepin' Cool in Summer - Topic #3

Well now that Summer has OFFICIALLY begun.. what do you do to beat the heat? A nice tall glass of lemonade? Frozen Coffee? A dip in the pool? What's your favorite way to keep cool this summer as things heat up?

My favorite way to stay cool is to go to the lake. Pack up the boys, the knitting, and some snacks, along with a bottle of water...and head to the lake. If the local lake isn't an option...I head for Duluth...it's always cooler by the big lake (Lake Superior)

I don't have a favorite summer beverage. I am trying to stay away from pop/soda. I tend to drink a lot of flavored water...and seem to be on a "Crystal Light" kick....I must have about 6 different "flavors" currently open in the cupboard....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Just another Monday...


Here is a the only picture Nathan would allow me to post of our day at the water park.



Here is a picture of what a Minnesota water park looks like. This is a beautiful park...lots of picnic area...water slides and go carts... and an alpine slide...good times...

As you know, we live in Minnesota...in the country...we have wood ticks...more specifically...we have deer ticks...deer ticks carry Lyme disease.

Nathan had a deer tick on him last Thursday...I tried to remove it as I remove all wood ticks...with a tweezer....( do not touch wood ticks!!!)...Well, deer ticks are very small...the tweezer pinched the tick right in half, leaving the head of the tick embedded in my son...he was not happy (the son, not the tick, although the tick probably wasn't happy either)

We went to the doctor's office today to have the head of the tick removed.

Doctor put him on antibiotics and now we have to wait and see if Lyme disease develops....

Incidentally, the preferred method of removing a deer tick (according to doctor) is to rub gently over the tick with a cotton ball soaked in dish soap. After about 15 minutes, the tick should back out...

Wouldn't work for me...I would be hysterical by that time...can not stand wood ticks!!!

That was my day...how was yours?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Keepin' Cool in Summer Topic #2

Share with us how you know that summer has truly 'arrived', or something that signifies the start of Summer in your world.

In my world...summer arrives at 3:10 on the last day of school....Ahhh...the joys of being a teacher.....

Seriously though, summer truly arrives with the smell of the first freshly cut lawn....the buzz of the mosquitoes...the smell of burgers on the grill....the lilacs are blooming....the lake is warm enough to swim in.....

It's a contest....

...Come check out Whiskers on Wednesday....You don't have to be a cat lover...(although it helps)...spread the word...registration is still open....

It was a grand day.....

The weather was beautiful...the crowds were light...no lines to stand in...it was an absolutely gorgeous day...the boys had a wonderful time....

I sat in the sun listening to my ipod and I spent the entire day knitting...

...as a result...I have this funky "knitter's" tan/burn...the picture truly doesn't do it justice...



Check out my funky "triangles"...isn't that nice???!!!

I did manage to complete (except for kitchener stitch) an entire baby bootie/sock...



I used size four needles and kinda guessed at the pattern...resulting in a sock that turned out a little larger than I had pictured...a kinda "funky" deformed, club footed, large baby...yeah...that's who I planned it for...I guess I'll make a second one to match...

I am really anxious to start a pair of socks with one of these skeins of sock yarn...isn't it pretty...I think the one on the right is my favorite...



Is it wrong to cast on two or more pairs of socks at the same time? Seriously?

...And here is my Whiskers on Wednesday Picture....



Isn't she just adorable? Attitude....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Check this out....

While I was out and about today...I stopped at the LYS..and she had knit up a set of baby socks/booties...cute as a button...and unbelievably soft...well...I just had to buy a skein... she gave me the rough pattern she had made up..thought I should do some searching...see if I could find a pattern....

I found THIS...every sock knitter's dream....594 sock patterns....

I am bringing 5 teenage boys to a water park tomorrow...since we cannot all fit in a car...I am driving the motor home...it's about a 90 minute drive one way....I of course, have no intention of putting a swimsuit on...so plan on spending the day sitting in my camper or in the sun......knitting....

Pics to come....

Friday, June 13, 2008

They are all idiots....

..They are all idiots...

Yesterday, I dealt with idiots all day long....

My day started with ME calling my credit card company looking for a pay-off amount....Yes, I was going to give them money....After two hours and three different phone calls.....I decided that they are all idiots...How tough can it be? (I never did get an answer)

Then...a salesperson called from a card that I have paid off, have no intention of ever using again, and don't even know where it is (physically)....I tried to assure the young lady that I did not need whatever service she was trying to sell/give me...and I explained all of the above...I have no intention of reactivating said card...and I gave her the reasons why...She just wouldn't give up....I finally told her - go head send me the materials and I will throw them away myself....

all idiots....

Then....I notice my phone is not working...I walk next door and check with my mother...her phone isn't working either...together...we walk to two other neighbors...nope, not working either...

I decide to call QWEST on my cell phone to report the outage...side note...some company is burying underground fiber optic cable all along our rural road....might have something to do with the phone outage...

The person answering the phone tells me that she will send a repairman out to check my "box"...if the problem isn't with my "box"...the phone company will charge me $85 for the service call...

I assure her that it isn't my "box" that is the problem...ALL of the neighbors are without phone service...her response..."That has not been confirmed"...Are you kidding me???? I just told you!!! ... And... I know it's not my "box" because they are burying cable long the road...again...her response..."that has not been confirmed"...

Idiots...they are all idiots!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Whiskers on Wednesday

I found this on Anita's blog.

Whiskers on Wednesdays....

Whiskers on Wednesday a site dedicated to bragging about your kitty. What a great idea!

Anytime I can brag about my spoiled brat and post pics...I am all in!

So, even though I am a day late....and some of you have already met...Meet Squeekers...the residing Queen of our house.....

This and That...



This arrived in my mailbox the other day...isn't it pretty? The picture does not do it justice...it is the prettiest shades of greens and browns...all my favorite colors...Megan ordered it for me from Mandy's etsy shop. I won a contest that Megan was hosting....Big Thank you to Megan! I love it and can't wait to knit something pretty with it.

It's cold and it's raining....seems like that is all the weather we have had this summer...

We went to watch Rock-A-Billy Revue at the local outdoor concert series....It was so cold...honest to God, you could see your breath...it was only 41 degrees out....at least it wasn't raining for about a two hour period....reminded me of football season.

My plants are all water-logged...Thank God we aren't dealing with the flooding issues that are prevalent around the area. We are lucky enough to have really sandy soil...

I haven't even thought about camping...it's been too cold...I went into the camper a couple days ago and thought...boy, do I need to get out here and do the "Spring cleaning" - but that is as far as that went...

Enough whining...on the Fitness front...I am proud to say I have been doing my 60+ minutes on Wii Fit every single morning. My body was very, very sore for about 4 days..it has gotten better. My BMI has gone down...a couple pounds also....nothing to get too excited about...but, I figure if I keep it up all summer...it has to be good....

As you go through the program, you "unlock" more "activities" the more you do. For example, the basic comes with a "step activity" that has you stepping off and on the Wii Board in time to the music...I have since unlocked an "advanced" step activity...well, I am so uncoordinated...to the point to tripping over my own two feet....rhythm...I have none. I am kicking when they are stepping, and clapping a half beat after the group...at least I am moving.



On the knitting front...Here are my finished "Fixation" socks. I gifted them to my "bestest" friend for her birthday...I hope she enjoys wearing them as much as I enjoyed making them for her....

I also just finished the third dishcloth to a set of three for my sister. I am working on my next pair of socks...anxious to start a new pair with the lovely yarn I ordered....but, am trying to resist the temptation...I just want to see how the stripes are going to play out.....and of course, the feel of the yarn....

If I could upload pics faster...I could show you the lovely goodies I ordered....I may have to make a trip to my local library and see if I can upload more pics...With the price of gas ($3.87/gal) - I can't afford to drive to work(school) just for the sake up posting some pics....It takes me about 8 minutes to upload one picture...and then that isn't a promise that it will upload...many, many times...I wait 10+ minutes just to be booted off of blogger....ahh, the trials and tribulations of country living.

I went grocery shopping yesterday...ventured out in the rain...needed to get out of the house and of course, the boys were complaining about no food....I saved $93.00 with coupons....how awesome is that? I still wrote a check for $217...but..... saved $93....I was pretty proud of myself...and now we have food...I have found that it is more expensive to eat "healthy". It is no wonder our society is on the overweight side...people can't afford "healthy" choices.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Keepin' Cool in Summer Swap - Topic #1

Make a post on your own blog sharing YOUR favorite pattern(s) with us! Don't have a favorite site? That's fine! Show us a photo of one of the cloths you have made and really loved, even if it was just a made up pattern!

I have found a lot of my patterns at Knitting Pattern Central. Go check it out...she has some awesome patterns and most are free....

My current "favorite" pattern is the Feather and Fan Dishcloth. I like the texture of the finished dishcloth. The pattern whips up pretty fast - it's just a repeat of the four rows....I like that I don't have to think...but there is enough change to keep my attention...

If only I had high speed internet....I could post pics....but blogger keeps dumping me off while I am trying to upload....

OH!!! I don't know if you are lucky enough to have a Michaels in your area or not...but they are running 10 balls for $10 on the "Sugar 'n Cream" by Lily.

That's ONE DOLLAR a piece!!!! I bought bunches!!!

I would also like to take this opportunity to say a Hello to my Swap Partner! Thanks for contacting me .....I look forward to getting to know you.




Saturday, June 7, 2008

I am going to get fit...

...and I might die in the process....

We called all over to find a Wii...Best Buy had just received a shipment and had 12 on hand....we rushed and got dressed, drove the 40+ minutes to Duluth....They still had a couple left...as we checked out...every person around us that was checking out...was buying a Wii.

Now...to find a Wii Fit. Again, called everywhere...literally 20+ phone calls....checked out every "gaming" store in the mall area...anyone we remotely thought might have it....Went into K-Mart...first store clerk told us they were sold out...second clerk overheard and said they had just received a shipment of three that had been unloaded from the truck less than five minutes ago.....

So...TAH-DAH!!!! By the luck of I don't know what...we have a Wii Fit.

I am determined to make this part of my morning routine...I got up this morning and did every single yoga exercise, every single stretching/body building, and all of the aerobics...I even ran...

OMG!!!

I was panting, hyperventilating, sweating profusely....thought I was going to die...

I didn't realize I was THAT out of shape....

Stay tuned for updates...and send oxygen....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer vacation

....ahhh...it's begun...Today is my first full un-committed day....and...I just got dressed! It feels pretty darn good.

The last teacher day was Tuesday. I left right after school to go visit Andy and his new apartment, a mere four hour drive....His apartment is great, nice new building, 4 bedroom.....

I had a chance to try Wii Fit while we were down there. I am now on a mission to buy it. Of course, it is not available anywhere....and...for those of you who may not know what it is...its a game that consists of a platform you stand on...it measures your weight and BMI. From that information, it gives you a test (in my case, standing on one foot for about 30 seconds) and then calculates your "fitness" age.....I am proud to say...mine was 6 years younger than my actual age....

It has yoga, stretching, body building, and other "games" to help you get your heartbeat up and get fit. Once you create a profile, you can track your progress and your weight.

I do have pictures to post, but my camera is currently MIA.

Not many plans for the summer...I do want to get a bunch of cleaning done...and painting...maybe some camping...for sure some knitting...watch some Oprah....

It's all good.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Exchange Questionaire

1. Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long? I know how to do both. My current obsession is knitting. I have been knitting now for about 2 years.

2. Do you enjoy using metal, wooden, or some other kind of needle\hook? I love the feel of wooden needles. Unfortunately, most of my needles are metal...

3. What are your favorite types of yarn? Any you just can't stand? I have bought enough sock yarn to keep me in socks for the rest of my lifetime...I can't seem to help myself...I love sock yarn. I don't like novelty yarns...

4. When it comes to cotton, are there any brands you'd love to try and haven't? I have only used "Sugar and Cream"

5. When you make Dishcloths, do you use them yourself, or tend to give them as gifts? Both, I love making dishcloths...instant gratification, simple, easy to take along, mindless knitting....consequently, I tend to accumulate them...so I usually throw a couple in for bridal showers, birthdays, etc...

6. Do you have a favorite color? Any that you dislike? I like earthy colors and bright colors....I don't like orange...but everything else is fair game.

7. What color(s) (if any!) are your kitchen and bath decorated in? Kitchen is greens and bathroom is tans...

8. What are your favorite scents around the house? I like cool melon, lilac, vanilla, citrus...

9. What is your very favorite thing about summer? My favorite part of summer is being home and enjoying the sunshine. Spending time with the boys, knitting, camping, gardening...and....did I mention...not working....

10. What is your least favorite thing about summer? The mosquitos.

11. Do you use soap or body wash in the shower? I use body wash in the shower.

12. What scents do you enjoy in the bath? My favorite is cucumber melon.

13. What is your favorite dishcloth pattern? I don't know that I have a favorite. I make a lot of ripple, fan/wave pattern cloths.

14. What sort of treats do you enjoy? Sweet or Salty? Oh, probably sweet...chocolate is top of my list...if it's dark chocolate, that's even better....

15. Imagine today is one of the hottest days of the year - what do you do to keep cool? Or are you one of those folks who loves the hot weather? I love the hot weather. I would pack some flavored water, my knitting and head for the nearest lake...

16. What sorts of hobbies do you enjoy besides knitting or crocheting? I belong to a stamping club. We meet once a month and make cards. I should own stock in "Stampin' Up". I have way more sets than I would ever admit to...Almost tops my yarn stash....I also dabble in scrap booking. I use to read a lot, not so much anymore...seems like I knit instead...I also like to dabble in photography. I love taking pictures.

17. Do you collect anything (besides yarn!) no

18. Are you on Ravelry? If so, share your ID! I haven't been on in ages, but, I am "alaina" on Ravelry. Maybe this summer I will have time to play with Ravelry more....

19. Do you have any allergies? I can't stand cigarette smoke...

20. Do you have any pets? One cat, whose house we live in and a dog who torments her.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

In my world...

I won!!!

I entered Megan's contest....and I won!!! How cool is that? I never win...never.

School news: The end is in sight...we are going down the home stretch...the light is shining brightly....the teachers are dancing in the hallways.....

Graduation was Friday night. For the first time, the administration requested that all teacher's attend. It was the coolest thing. The school board members marched in first, followed by the entire teaching faculty, then the graduates. It touched me deeply that I was a part of "this team" that was responsible for these young adults to be graduating today and moving on to the adult world. (I've had them in class since they were 9th graders....)

After the ceremony, we marched out behind the graduates...we went through a receiving line and was able to congratulate..handshake/hug each graduate...something that hasn't happened in the past. It was great having that opportunity to speak to each one. Many tears...and that was just me...okay...the graduates shed a few also. It was a heart touching evening.

Family news: Summer jobs are in full swing!!! I have an Ace Hardware sales person, a local restaurant dishwasher/cook trainee, and a Dairy Queen counter person. Hopefully, in the very near future, I will also have a K-mart associate.

I have mixed emotions on summer jobs...I think it builds character and responsibility on one hand, but on the other, you are only young once....

Knitting news: I need to take pictures. I am to the point of turning heels for my latest pair of socks. I finished the cascade fixation pair....and I ordered new sock yarn....pictures...coming soon...promise.

I spent yesterday buying plants...so, am spending today planting...although at this point, it is looking pretty cloudy and cold outside...I may have to stay inside and knit.

Hope your Memorial Day weekend is a great one!

Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Exchange

The summer dishcloth exchange is back!!! Yeah!!!

Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Exchange registration opens Wednesday, May 28th.

Big thank you to Anne for hosting.

I have had so much fun in the numerous (three or four) Exchanges/Swaps that I have done....and fun on both sides of the swap...meaning...so much fun getting to know the person I am spoiling and the wonderful comments and emails from the people who have spoiled me...

The actual package is just the frosting on the cake(...and just for the record...it's a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting!)

I highly recommend joining...see ya over there....

Friday, May 2, 2008

Prom 2008

Every man should know how to tie his own necktie......and...my boys will know how to....





I don't remember slapping myself in the face while tying a necktie...however, Nathan manages to do it every time...funniest thing you've ever seen.....



I would be lying if I told you this was a picture of their first attempt...



After all of the practice tying...we were finally ready to do it with the real thing...Nathan was suppose to wear a beautiful blue tie to match his date's dress...however, the vest was too small and the necktie looked ackward without the vest holding it all together...so, he went back to the generic bowtie.

Don't they look absolutely handsome? And grown up? (sniff! sniff! where is my kleenex?)





Mom and Chris



Mom and Nathan

(Just for the record...I am 5'8")

Their dates were beautiful...we survived post prom...slept for most of Sunday....only got an inch or so of snow.....

It's all good.