Sunday, July 31, 2011

Burning the Midnight Oil

Sunday nights are always late ones for me...I have a hard time going to bed because I don't want the weekend to end.  So I knit and watch True Blood and, depending on how much I don't want to go, I follow it up with a Hot in Cleveland.  (I have a soft spot for Betty White, I think she's hilarious.)

I've knitted so much today that my hands ache.  But it's a good kind of ache, like I've done something productive.  And I did, I finished another Christmas gift to add to the pile.  No, I will not tell you who or what, not til the day after Christmas and the "great reveal!"  Next up are baby things:  starting with the "bee sweater" to be finished for this weekend's baby shower.  (The bee was extricated with a pair of tweezers.  No muss, no fuss!)  Then a hat and mitt set for an upcoming baby boy, then my future niece, and a friend's baby as well. And my oldest friend is expecting in late winter/early spring.  What the heck to you knit for a baby that will be living in Florida??

Anyway, that's enough randomness for one evening.  In 18 minutes it'll be August first so I need to get my butt to bed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

By Popular Demand: The Bee Picture

A few have asked to see a picture....and I aim to please.

  Killer Bee, Meet my Killer Sweater.

Kaboom!  Now there's something you don't see every day.

The real fun will be figuring out how in the hell I can get this bee removed, so I can finish the sweater for the intended recipient's baby shower next weekend!

Making Time to Read

I admit it, when it comes to books and Goodreads, I am a greedy clicker.  I'll look at my friends' book reviews and if the title or description catches me in even the tiniest way I add it to my "to-read" queue.  It's not like there's any harm in that, since adding them to a "to read" pile doesn't cost any money and nobody's going to be in trouble if I don't read the book.  Lord knows I love to read!  I used to get busted in grade school for reading while the teacher was talking.  I gnaw on books like bones.  Plus I joined a book club on Facebook a few months ago with some of my friends, we pick a monthly book and then talk about it afterwards on Facebook.  It's made me read books that I wouldn't normally, and I've really enjoyed it so far.

But the reading, though I do plenty of it, oftentimes takes a backseat to the knitting.  For as much as I love to read, I also love to knit.  And I know that I *could* do audiobooks but I just feel too strange doing that in my own home.   (this is the only thing I miss about having a one-hour commute to work, by the way)  Having had a Goodreads account for three and a half years, the list gets longer and the "read" pile will never catch up.  So it was high time to go through some of the oldest additions to my list and purge.  I've picked my six next books, some of the oldest on the list.  No time limit, I just want to be able to cross them off:

1.  Household Words:  A Novel (Silber.)  Added in February, 2008. 

2.  Couldn't Keep It to Myself:  Wally Lamb and the Women of York Correctional Institution.  (Lamb)  Added in February, 2008.

3.  The Inheritance of Loss.  (Desai) added in April, 2008

4.  Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs:  A Low Culture Manifesto.  (Klosterman) added in August, 2008.

5.  Their Eyes Were Watching God. (Hurston)  Added April, 2009.

I have also had Anna Karennina  in the house since 2005 B.C.  (before children)  I really DO want to read it, but am intimidated by how many pages are in it!

I get asked this a lot:  "How do you find the time to read all those books?"  The answer is simple:  I just do!  For one thing, I'm a fast reader.  I also don't sleep, and I read (or knit) every free chance I get.  My bag always has a book and a small knitting project in it, no matter where I am going.  That way, you're not pissed off when you're in a half-hour line at the bank, or (the worst)your doctor is running an hour behind and you're there with nothing to do.  And I am the QUEEN of letting the housework go while I catch up with Stephanie Plum or knock off a few rows of a scarf or baby sweater.  

What's on your to-read list?

Bees: Fear Me!

 I was looking for my shoes in the living room before work this morning.  No shoes, but I saw a smudge of dust or something on this purple baby sweater that I am currently working on for a friend's step-daughter.  I went to brush it off and realized, Hey, that's not dust.  It's a DEAD BEE.  Apparently it flew face-first into the sweater, got tangled into the fibers and died with its butt in the air.  I left it as is, so I can show Brian the mayhem when he gets home tonight.  It really is a sight to behold.

Bees:  you've been warned.  A knitter lives here, and I am a lethal weapon!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The "Battle of the Sexes" Incident

Just to let you all know, I'm married to the guy who won Battle of the Sexes on the cruise ship.  Yes...the men ousted the women.  I'm not proud.  BUT!  If it wasn't for Brian's victory, the women would've prevailed.

So what did Brian do?  Well, I'll tell you.  There were three rounds in the competition.  One was people putting together numbers that the emcee was shouting out.  I volunteered for the second round, which ended up being everyone having a letter, and having to spell out clues that the emcee was giving.  Since *I*  vacated my comfort zone volunteering to go up on stage, Brian just couldn't sit there and be bested. So he jumped up and volunteered for Round Three.  The emcee announced that it was a physical challenge, and "man, you guys don't even know what you are in for!"

The challenge was to take a quarter, walk across the stage and drop it into a plastic cup.  Sounds easy, right?  Well....the twist was that you had to carry it there, using nothing but your butt cheeks.  Fully clothed, of course.  (Thank GOD I volunteered for the second round!!!)  Brian, being a good sport, was the third guy to go in the challenge.  This was not an easy thing....most people dropped it before taking a step, or laughed so hard that they never even got to move before the quarter plunked to the floor.  But Brian...Brian not only got it to the cup, the emcee made fun of him for this weird dance that he was doing, causing him to laugh and almost lose it.  but he didn't....and the entire male population of the room was up and jumping, cheering when he got it in the cup.  But nobody was more excited than him, I thought that he was going to jump off-stage from the excitement! 

Now, I should mention that Brian was wearing a bright red "Phillies World Series" t-shirt.  And if you've ever met my husband for five minutes, you  know that he is a diehard Philadelphia sports fan.  He has many Philly sports shirts, which draws other Philly sports fans to him like moths to a flame.  Rarely can we even go to Target, much less Disney World or Universal Studios (happened both places) where other rabid Philadelphia fans don't come up to us, bubbling with excitement over finding "one of their own" outside of the Philly city limits.  We met one such couple on the ship, at the Battle of the Sexes.  Later on we ran into them again,only we had changed clothes.  The wife asked Brian why he had changed his shirt.  Brian's sheepish reply?  "I didn't want to be recognized as "That Guy Who Had a Quarter Up His Butt."  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  In my mind.....he'll be That Guy.  Forever.  :P

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Post-Cruise World

Hubby and I just got back from the best vacation ever!!!!

We purchased a cruise package back in December, just a short one because we didn't know if we would like it. Boarding in NYC, it cruised up to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada then back again.  Now that I've been....What's there NOT to like????   There are no dishes.  No laundry.  Taking out the trash?  No.  Cooking?  HA HA HA HA  no!  For four days, all you have to do is go to shows, lounge by pools, visit the bar for frosty drinks, play games, and eat.  I have to emphasize the eating:  you EAT.  Like you never have in your life.   Breakfast bar in the morning with every type of breakfast food imaginable.  A lunch buffet, with many hot dishes, as well as a deli and a burrito bar.  And dinner...either you could go back to the buffet or to one of the ship's restaurants.  We went to the main restaurant twice and had dinner in their fancy steakhouse once.  (More on the Blue Plate Special for that one)  And if you were STILL hungry after that, there was 24-hour pizza and soft-serve ice cream.  Wow!

Where were the kids during all of this?  They were happily spending some time with Grandmom and Grandpop down in Pennsylvania.  I thought drop-off would be tough, but Will was very excited to see them and couldn't wait for us to leave!  They had an awesome time and were quite spoiled by their grandparents, who they only get to see a couple times a year.

Now we're home....and it's a bit of a downer.  I want to move a breakfast bar into my house.  And have a cruise director announcing the day's activities.  Well....maybe not, if they include laundry and going to work.

There will absolutely be more cruises in our future.  Next time, we'll even (sigh) bring the kids with us.  :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Movies

One of my favorite childhood memories is going to the movies.  My dad is obsessed with movies....action, thriller, comedy...he loves them all.  And he really knows his stuff, he usually knows not only the actor's name, but when they were born and if deceased when that was, and what else they have starred in.  Nobody loves to go to the movies more than Dad, and I can remember seeing lots of flicks with him  and my brother.  Mom sometimes would come too, but I think that this was a way that she could get a few hours to herself.  (And with me a Mom now, I totally understand!!!)  I can still remember seeing Indiana Jones on the big screen, as well as all of the Back to the Future movies.  I was also the coolest kid in fourth grade for a very short while, being the only kid whose Dad took them to see Dirty Dancing.  (And on a school night!)

Summer movies have kind of fallen by the wayside, due to how expensive it is to get tickets.  But in the last couple of weeks, I've been to the movies three times.  I saw Bridesmaids with my friend Tracy, and then the family went to see Cars 2.  (Being the huge fan of Cars that Will has been since he was a year old, we HAD to see that one in theaters)  And last night, I got to see "Horrible Bosses" with my friend Alana.  It was wickedly funny, as was "Bridesmaids."  Both are full of inappropriate humor, but hey, it was hilarious.  I've already saved both movies in my Netflix queue so Hubby can laugh at them as well.

Next month:  "The Help" with Mom and Kim.  And I have to say....I'm really looking forward to the new "Phineas and Ferb" movie on TV with the kids in August as well.

What movies are you seeing this summer?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Time Travelers

For two mornings this week, I have had the pleasure of having the morning to myself.  No kiddos to get ready, no drop-offs, no trying to keep Sean from chewing on Will's toothbrush or listening to "But Mom!  I don't need school, I already KNOW EVERYTHING!!!!"  Two blissful mornings.  Both mornings I knitted a little before work, lingering over my second cup of coffee.   Perfect makeup, put on without interruption.  I even had time to use styling products and a blowdryer!  With Hubby bringing the kids to my parents for the day, as soon as his car hit the streets, BANG!  It was 2005 again, with me being on time for work, going back and forth between Led Zeppelin and The Beastie Boys in the car.  Of course, in 2005 I didn't work so close to home, and I wasn't a knitter.  Minor details!

And next week we're planning a BIG trip into the past.  Brian and I are dialing it back to 1998....going on our first vacation sans children.  We're going somewhere that we've never been, but it'll be just the two of us, kind of like that first summer together.  And we're planning on coming home needing a vacation from our vacation, exhausted from the fun of it all.  Can't wait!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Last night was supposed to be the preview of "The Help."  I say "supposed" because it was not to be.

Mom and I drove to the theater that the preview was being screened, about half an hour away for both of us.  We met for a great dinner at Panera (she introduced me to their fabulous steak salads) and then headed to the theater.  At first things we a bit confusing.  But we found the line for the "sneak peek" and joined about a million other people, all holding their pink free vouchers.  Mom said "I wonder if I have time to go to the ladies' room before the movie starts" and I said I'd hold our place in line.

Well, it turns out that she had plenty of time.  She wasn't gone two minutes when an announcement came over the loudspeaker, saying that the preview was full and there was only one screening, so the rest of us were out of luck.  So much for "winning tickets!"    Oh, and that we could buy tickets to other movies if we wanted, but the production company for "The Help" had only arranged for the one screening.  The whole thing was a publicity stunt, to make sure that the theater was full.    No "sorry," no nothing.  A collective groan passed over the crowd of about a hundred women, and then the griping started.  Mom and I took it in stride.  Yes, we were irritated, but what good would complaining do?  We did decide that NO, we would not be purchasing tickets to something else.  Instead, we went to Christmas Tree Shops and poked around.  It was still an evening of just me and Mom, so I was happy. 

This morning, I logged onto Facebook and was surprised to see that the magazine that I had "won" the tickets from had posted something about last night's showing.  They issued an apology, saying that they honestly thought that the tickets were genuine and that they felt bad for their awesome readers.  I felt better instantly.  Other people had replied that it wasn't the magazine's fault, and it wasn't.  After reading all the comments, it turns out that they were handing out these vouchers everywhere.  One woman even posted that they were available in a pile to anybody at a local library!  All in all, it's estimated that there were over a thousand vouchers for one movie theater screening.  Wow, they were looking to generate some buzz for the theater, and they certainly did!

One interesting thing that someone posted is that most of us who didn't get to go are moms, and we're used to plans changing on the fly.  This is true.  I'm just glad it wasn't a premiere for some kids' movie that we had stood in line for with the boys for hours!  Talk about not understanding why you're getting back in the car instead of going to see a movie that your parents took you to and talked up on the way!

So I guess I have another summer movie that I want to see.  C'mon August 12th!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Year and a Half....really??

My little man turned a year and a half over the weekend  It's hard to believe that a year ago I was taking pictures of a six-month old in an Ohio hotel room, on our way back from our fabulous Wisconsin vacation! Now that Sean's getting over his nasty cold, he's all smiles and giggles.  He loves to play "chase" and roars like a monster.  His favorite things to say are "Hey, Daddy!" and "Thank you."  And once, he repeated Daddy and said "Only on Tuesdays?"  (I have witnesses.  It was said!)  And kisses...he's only too happy to give big, sloppy kisses if you ask for one. 

The daycare is closed for vacation this week, so Sean is hanging with Nana and Papa.  Will's going to hang out with them two days this week too, and go to school the other days.  I'm really glad that Sean's getting this one-on-one time with them, so they get to play with him constantly and he gets a little of the "nana and papa happy time" that Will always got.  Yesterday I heard that he spent most of the day laughing, chasing Papa and playing with remote control trucks.  Sounds just about perfect.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tool Time (minus Tim Allen)

Today Will asked me to help him take some tires off his toy truck.  I never realized that they truck had come with tools for dis-assembly!

Anyway, we set out to do some work:  Will doing his first "tire rotation" and me changing the batteries in Sean's birdie soother in his crib.

Three important lessons for today:

1.  I taught Will the phrase "Righty, Tighty, Lefty Loosey."  Of course, I called it "Lefty Loosey-Righty Tighty."  I've since been corrected.  :)

2.  The most important part of the job is cleaning up at the end!  If there's no clean-up, it makes it harder for the people after you and somebody can get hurt.

3.  And the most important one of all:  Hey Will?  Handy Manny has got NOTHING on Mommy!  :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Abracadabra! Sleeves.

I've gotten pretty far on the Ditto.  I wrapped up the bottom half of the sweater, and tonight I finished the sleeves.  For starting on June 6th, this is going at lightning speed!  

The bottom half of the cardigan body, with two sleeves on holders above.  

It's been a ridiculously stressful couple of weeks with a lot of things going on that aren't exactly blog-friendly.  I've been happy to have this sweater to work on at night while watching The Big Bang Theory.  Which, by the way, wasn't a show that I expected to enjoy.  But I really do, and so does Brian.  He gets more of the geeky references than I do, but it is extremely well-written and the characters are hilarious.  

And with the finishing of the sleeves....I am going to put this sweater in hibernation for a short while.  This is for two reasons:  1.  the next step is making a yoke and attaching the sleeves somehow.  I haven't quite wrapped my head around just how to do that I'm mulling it.  and 2.  I need to crank out some baby gifts!  I have several things picked out and well, babies come on a deadline.  Not a hard and fast deadline per se, but in the general vicinity of three in mid-to-late Autumn.  

p.s.  do you want to hear something kind of sick?  I've already chosen my next sweater!  It's called Radiate and it's a longer-sleeve cardigan made out of cotton instead of wool.  Even sicker:  I have the yarn in the house, ten skeins of Cotton Ease in charcoal.  Now, I didn't buy it for this sweater in particular.  I bought it last summer for a different pattern that I decided against last minute.  Every knitter (and crocheter too) is always dreaming about their next project.  This one however....not until after the holidays.  I'm sick, but not that sick!  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Won, I Won :)

Here's something that doesn't happen often....I entered a contest and WON SOMETHING!  I loved the book "The Help" and was really looking forward to seeing the movie next month.  I had entered a contest to win free tickets to what I thought was the movie coming out next month.  Imagine my surprise when I got an email that I had won two free passes to an advance screening next week!  Which is a month before the movie comes out!

I knew instantly who I was going to bring:  Mom.  She and I both enjoyed the book so much and were discussing the movie coming out just yesterday.  So Mom and I are going to go on our sneak peek next week.  (Hey, that rhymes...)  So exciting!  :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Photo Shoot, Gone Awry

Sometimes you set out to take pictures of your kids, and the "session" doesn't quite turn out as expected.  I had gotten the boys matching patriotic-themed t-shirts, and wanted to get a couple snaps of them together.  Eh....notsomuch.  We'll try again this weekend at the cottage while we're celebrating the Fourth.  Let's see what we got out of it this time, though:

 Hiya, Handsome!  Yeah....that's a toy pie plate.  How about you show me your cool shirt?  NOPE!

 What's that, Mommy?  Ohh....pose.  Thought you said wrestle!  Or bellyflop!

 This one is pretty cute.  Best one out of the bunch.  Though if they were looking at me, it would be better.

 Dude!  Love your shirt!  Where'd your brother go?  Oh yes.....into the kitchen to find the tupperware.  *Sigh*.  I guess I should just be happy it's not the dog water.

 Sean to Will:  "Will.  This curtain is awesome.  Come and check it out!"

Yes, Sean!  Sit on your big brother's lap!  Uh-uh.  Better luck next time, Mama!