Monday, December 19, 2005

Holiday Knitting

Yes I am back with Holiday Knitting! I know that it has been twelve days, and while I was not stuck under a mountain of student papers, I did have end of the semester finals to grade and grades to calculate, so I think I deserve a break. But now I am off for about a month and can recoup from a VERY long semester! Usually at this time I am running around like the proverbial chicken finishing shopping and knitting, but as I sit here I am proud to announce that I am done with both. Surprising I know, and Jeff can’t believe that I am not knitting my fingers to the bone to finish some project, but I am currently worried about not having a project. I am thinking about knitting up some swatches in different colors to make blocks for the awesome wee people in my life. This would take care of some of the stash and give me something to do; it just doesn’t seem like Christmas without a time crunch to get something done. But this project will be casual, as in if I get it done great, if not it’s okay. But enough whining about having nothing to do, what you all want to see is the Holiday knitting, so alright already look below. But be warned that if you see something and it is you or your child/grandchild’s present you must act surprised and ooh and ahh over it later. The first up is the fluffy cuffed mittens from the first Stitch and Bitch book. I made one in a blue wool ease, but I felt that it wasn’t the greatest effort and, well, let’s just say that I learned a lot about knitting in the round and we will never discuss the blue mitten again.
But with all that knowledge I was able to fly on the second pair in white with dream cloud cuffs and wool ease body. These are currently wrapped and under the tree to be opened by my Aunt Tick. Actually once I got the hang of it, knitting in the round was fairly easy. Of course I am not Hil yet who knits in the round without even looking down. But I am getting pretty good. So good in fact that when I saw a pattern for stockings in the Holiday edition of Knit It I decided that I would give it the good ole college try. Strangely the hardest part of this project was finding the yarn. I thought that Lion’s Brand Wool Ease Chunky would be easy to find. Well three days and a grumpy husband later that turned out to not be the case. Who would have thought that Christmas red yarn would not be the in color in Dec? In the end I used craft yarn which turned out well because these are stockings and not wearable garments.
The actually knitting of the stocking was fun and quick, but the decorative stitches were a pain in my, well you know. The pattern called for duplicate stitches for the names (which is another story….note to people who want me to knit for their children, don’t give them long names, or do so, but give me a short knick name!!!) but I a) couldn’t figure the damn thing out and b) didn’t like the way it looked so
I just used x’s, which I believe turned out fine. Then there was the chain stitch for the designs. Well the pattern told me to use a chain stitch, and to find said stitch turn to page 106. But guess what? The instructions for that stitch were no where to be found. Bastards! But Jeff found it online, so he can say that he helped. Of course we are always like this.
He gets the idea; it’s up to me to do the crafting. He calls himself the idea man; I call him devious and lazy. So once I figured out the chain stitch, which is simple embroidery for decoration, I had to actually do it, which wasn’t the problem. I tried to follow the picture exactly, which is what my crazy anal retentive ass does. Finally Jeff says “just do your own design!”
So I did, and should feel bad that I need my husband to make the obvious clear to me, but I don’t it’s why I married him. So that is it for Holiday knitting, unless I make the blocks, and if I do there will be pics. I will also welcome any ideas about a new project. I don’t know if I will update before Christmas, so in case I do not….MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Holiday Knitting

So I have been very naughty and not written in awhile, I hope Santa will still come. Well I would have written sooner, but I was stuck under a mountain of student papers, and by the time rescuers found me, it was time to leave for Thanksgiving break. But now the papers have been returned, as have I, safely to West Virginia. Thanksgiving break was a BLAST. We especially had fun with the karaoke machine. I have also been busy catching up on my knitting. I finally finished Jason’s Windy City hat,
which he has been waiting for, oh about two years. But it is finally finished and Jason is happy, at least I think he is because he also requested gloves, but he will have to wait a few for that one, I have holiday knitting to finish. I have started a blanket for my brother and Amy to decorate their new place.
I am crocheting it course because it is quicker to crochet then to knit blankets. I did it is a cream colored pound of love and I have made some more progress on it since this pic was taken, and I will post more pics. I started out trying to make it really wide, but then realized that the width was more like how the length should be, so I am working it that way, which should make it easier to finish. I think I will also make one for my dad and Helen for Christmas; I just have to decide on a color. My next holiday project is fluffy cuffed mittens from Stitch and Bitch.
Actually I just want to try the pattern and knitting in the round, but I will then turn my fun into holiday surprise. I have started a blue one, and pics will be forthcoming. I have also made progress on a sweater from The Yarn Girls Guide to Simple Knits that I started a long time ago. Of course once I started again on it I ran out of yarn, so I need to get to the store to stock up! I have finished the back and almost finished the front, now I just need sleeves.

Of course I think that I over estimated the size and it looks like it will be huge, but it is getting cold, so I will use it to bundle up especially when I am writing! I am excited today because we are heading out to get our tree!!! My poor Christmas decorations have been sitting here is their sad colored rubber maids waiting to be unpacked. I can’t wait to see how the house will look at decorates and happy! And of course I will send pictures! I am also trying to figure out how to edit my links so I can put my own stuff in, but I think I need Jeff for that, yes people he is more then a pretty face! That is all for now, although I will probably write more soon as I plan on seeing Rent this weekend! Oh I am very excited and hope that the other people in the theatre don’t mind my singing!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Harry Potter and Bears foorball

At first glance this may seem like a strange combination, but for me, the sixth Harry Potter book and the Bears in the background is the perfect Sunday. After my weekly cleaning (which is ultimately necessary because with all hard wood floors the cat hair has nowhere to go,) I am happy to chill out Indian Style (yes I said it! Some things will not be given over to the PC thought police!) on my bed with all of the pillows (yes I stole Jeff’s) and read Harry Potter in-between listening to the Bears. Unfortunately I did say listen because living in West Virginia means that the Bears are not usually on the TV, and sauntering into a sports bar with Harry Potter under my arm causes some strange stares. The fans around here all seem to be Steelers fans, and I have to admit that after only three months living here, I have begun to really dislike the Steelers. Why? A few reasons, the fans here are obnoxious, and this is coming from me, so you know it’s bad. The second reason? I can’t stand teams who feel the need to run up the score while keeping in their first string in, risking injury. It’s un-sportsmanlike and a just plain stupid strategy. Of course I was a bit smug when their QB Roth-something got hurt, it really serves them right for keeping him in when they are up 30 points in the fourth quarter. Do you know how happy the Bears would be to sit our QB? Believe me, we would like the opportunity to put a QB on the bench because we are up and not because he is hurt! But back to my point.

A nice Sunday when my house is clean and the Bears are on a winning streak is only made better by having some down time to read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood prince. I got this last installment last week after burning through books 4 and 5 pretty quickly, but I am savoring this last one, because there is not, as of yet, a book seven to run out and get. Jeff is afraid that I am turning into one of those people, but until I dress up like Hermione and begin to curse him, he will have to live with my new found love. And for all the times that I resent West Virginia for not having the Bears on television, I do have to say that not teaching as much has given me some more free time to read fun books that have nothing to do with my dissertation. (which is coming along…don’t rush me, a scholar needs some space!). And so I sit here on a nice cool autumn Sunday, waiting for the Bears to start with Harry Potter by my side, and I am happy!!!! What makes this better? The Bears and WINNING!!! A four game streak and yes I am aware that my writing this I may in fact be jinxing us, but I have to say it, football is good when the Bears are winning and the Packers are losing!!!!!! And while I say this I am throwing salt over my shoulder that we don’t have any horrible injuries and can at least get into the playoffs, but even if we don’t? A winning season is better then nothing!! GO BEARS!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

House pics!

When I started his blog I did so under the impression that I could keep my friends and family informed of all that was going on in our lives while we were so far away. But I think that I underestimated the interesting things that happen to me on a day to day basis. There was, I suppose, a reason that I didn’t call all the people that I know everyday, because they probably wouldn’t want to know the minutia of everyday. And this is, of course, my mea culpa for not writing for almost two weeks, nothing really exciting has happened. Although I finally finished reading the fourth Harry Potter, which meant of course that I had to run right out and get the fifth one. Jeff is afraid that I will now become one of the Harry Potter fanatics. I don’t think I will, but I do like the books, they are fun and I have to admit that I for one would like a few magic powers, it would be cool and I would only use my powers for good (well most of the time). So I don’t have powers, at least I have funny friends. If you look at the comments from the last entry you will see that one of my friends has taken on the persona of Zippy to have a little fun. I wish I could say that I knew who it was, but unfortunately I have more then one friend with a dry sense of humor and the willingness to slack off and write something like that. I appreciate it though, for what it is worth and would like to know who the funny one is! But to keep you all interested with this blog, even though I have said nothing new, I am leaving you all with some pics of the house.
The first pics are of the bedroom, which is the only room (besides the mater bath) upstairs. It is HUGE! I am sure that by the time that we get our own house I will miss all the space in this room. To give you some perspective, know that we have a king sized bed and a couch and chair all up here and there is still space. As you come up the stairs from the living room is a small space that we have dubbed Martini Corner, although the cats are the ones who enjoy it the most. So enjoy the pics! Coming soon, pics of the living room and outside and hopefully some of the socks that I am making with my new sock yarn. Actually the yarn is not new, I used a gift certificate to purchase it a couple of months ago, but have not had the chance to get to it, now I am attempting socks, but who know how that will o. Hopefully well, but I am having problems finding a good pattern. If I can get the socks into any sort of shape I will take some pictures!

Enjoying the pics so far?

It's just too much fun!

A wide pic of the room as you first walk in

Our sitting area. We will be adding a small trunk as coffee table

The other side of the room where the bath is and the door to the small deck right outside of the bedroom. The dresser we are in the middle of finishing

The entrance into the bedroom

A close up of the setee and chair from Pier 1

A wider shot of the bed/computer corner

Another view of the mater bath. I hate the wallpaper and the black commode, but it's not my house!

The all glass shower. It's nice but hard to shave your legs!

The vanity of the master bath upstairs

Friday, October 14, 2005

All hail Zippy

Having moved from Illinois to West Virginia, Jeff and I decided to cash out of the small (very small) amount that we had in our Illinois Teachers Retirement fund, built up by our need to teach at the local community colleges to supplement our meager grad school income (although I am remembering that income fondly right now!). And so we requested the paperwork and sent it off to SURS and knowing government bureaucracy, expected it to take about 30-40 days. But of course we underestimated both the effectiveness of government and the ability of our right honorable governor of Illinois, Ron B, who will heretofore be renamed Zippy the pinhead. It all began earlier this week when I phoned said government office to check on our process, and was told that because of Zippy’s new law, all of the member benefits would have to be calculated by hand. I said BY HAND!!!! Maybe it’s me that finds in our world of technology and computers that calculating anything by hand is asinine. I mean what the hell did Bill Gates do for us if not make our life a bit easier with the advent of the computer. I don’t even calculate grades by hand, I have a computer program that does that!! I know that there are people who constantly complain about computers taking over and the inability of people to do even the simplest task without computers and this will lead to the downfall of society…blahblahblah…those people are communists. I am sure that there is someone (not me) who can hand calculate the distance to the moon (I repeat again, not me) but a computer can do it in.25 seconds! So why, in the name of God and all that’s holy, would Zippy require every retirement fund to be calculated by hand? Way to go Zippy! Way to alienate once again the people who put you in office!!!!!

Of course I should not be surprised at Zippy, this is the same man who ran on an education platform and then turned around and ignored any and all campaign promises that he made. Zippy was so concerned with teacher shortages that he cut funding to the public colleges and universities, effectively cutting funding to the places that turn out new teachers… is this logical? Then he makes the best announcement ever, that the state will stop matching retirement funds for professors for three…no five…no seven years!!!! All of this to the people who campaigned and voted him into office!!! Every time that I think about voting for this guy I must raise a first in the air in C-like defiance. But I won’t make that mistake again, believe me if the Illinois Democratic party is stupid enough to run this guy again I might vote republican, wait, I won’t go that far, maybe I’ll just abstain. Although on second thought I won’t be a resident of Illinois anymore, so I will just encourage others not to vote for him. It won’t be much work for my teacher mother, and I won’t even count my republican in-laws. But I will continue my crusade against Zippy until the bitter end!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

New Knitting and New Computer

I know, I know, I have not blogged in over a week. I am sorry. I wish that I had a better excuse then I had a lot of papers to grade and was lazy, but I do not! So I will now use this time to catch up on all that has been going on. Last Friday we were surprised by the arrival of our new Dell computer more than a week early. I think that maybe there is a special flag by our name because I complained about our last purchase. So the new desktop is up and running. It came with a flat screen, which Jeff is loving! It is also a cool modern silver box that probably looks more at home under a steel table then our antique looking pier 1 desk. And Jeff says don’t worry MomP, he will clean up the cords. So now that we are back to two computers what is my excuse for not blogging? Well I discovered the public library and have been catching up on a bunch of chic lit. This means that I have been reading books with little literary value and absolutely no reference to my dissertation. And today I will procrastinate some more because it is the first time that I will be able to see the BEARS in my own house. I am very excited by this! I hope that Orton can shake off the last loss, and his wild partying ways and lead us to a somewhat decent showing. What I would not give for a winning season!!!!

With all this football, for the last few weeks I have been longing for fall. I want multi-colored leaves that I can stomp and cool winds. My sweaters have been mocking me from my closet for weeks now, they are as desperate as I am to get out after a LONG summer. Finally, in WV at least, fall has come, it has come with rain, but at least it’s here. This has also renewed my knitting urge, knowing that what I knit will soon get worn. Right now I am working on a huge comfy sweater on 17 needles that will keep me warm in the cold library this winter. I am also working on some blankets that I plan on using for x-mas presents, although I will be crocheting them! Speaking of knitting, see the pic below that I just received (thanks Abbie!!!!). These are a few of the knitted items that I made for my sweet nephew Leo. The bear’s arms and legs move and he has a musical button. The lion is a child’s pattern that I cam across in Zen and the art of Knitting. I thought it would be cute. My favorite though is the pillow, although I had to be careful when I was cross stitching not to get my blood on the white yarn! When I get Jeff working he will link them in the completed projects links.
I promise that I will write more this week and finally get some pics of the house up, it is getting together slowly but surely.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Leo's shower presents

The New Computer all set up with the new desk from Pier 1

The New Dell Computer! It's silver!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I Love Rachel Ray!!!

I really do. But first, let me explain. This weekend I decided to clean out my wallet (don’t ask, I’m compulsively neat) anyway, I found a gift card to Waldenbooks that I got for my birthday back in July, put into my wallet and promptly forgot about. Well we found a Waldenbooks at the Kanawha City Mall. The mall is actually a waste of a decent parking lot. They should tear it down and put up something more interesting, like a stamp museum. Anyway, I used the card to buy Rachel Ray’s Cooking Around the Clock. I am super excited to have all these new recipes! Sunday I made Jeff oatmeal cookie pancakes from the book and I am planning on the gingerbread waffles this weekend. Last night Jeff made the 30 minute Shepherds pie which was AWESOME!!!!! I really do love Rachael Ray, if it wasn’t for her I would only know how to make a few things, like mac and cheese and spaghettios. Hey those are yummy! I lived on those for years before I met Jeff. But now, thanks to Rachel I can let Jeff take a break once in awhile and I can make something. Of course I can’t cook when he is in the house because he stands over my shoulder and tells me what to add, edging me out until he is the one cooking and I’m watching TV. Mostly I’m okay with this situation, but sometimes I would like to make something. I know that my creations are not as good as what Jeff whips up, but hey at least I’m cooking! Jeff of course can look in the pantry and come up with a delicious recipe on the fly, I can not! At first I tried to do everything Rachel’s way, keeping it under 30, but then I learned that when I am unorganized and chopping and stirring at the same time I go crazy! So now I get all my ingredients ready before I start, do all the prep work, well some Jeff does because I am not allowed to use the really sharp knives, and have everything within reach. Then I can cook! I have also learned from my hubby to taste as I go along, which has helped me identify and use different spices. So I am very happy with my new book, and crabby girl has gone bye-bye. Jeff has a song that he sings that always makes her skedaddle! We are planning to check out a renaissance fair this weekend, so I will be back to let everyone know how that goes. And we were finally able to order the new computer! It is supposed to be shipped next week, so we will see what actually happens!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Karma is a B****

And Jeff and I were really bad in our past lives. This is the only explanation that I have for the run of bad luck that we have had since last spring. I know I shouldn’t complain, but hey this is my blog and I can write whatever the heck I want! At first we thought that we were just having a bad summer, heck we have had runs of bad luck before…who hasn’t, but this string has gone on so long, I can only assume that we are working off something from a very long time ago. To begin the summer was the breakdown of my car, on the interstate, twice. And then Jeff’s car’s air conditioning and the rental cars that had to take me to work and us to WV to find a place to live. There was the MOVE FROM HELL!!!! From beginning to finish this move was cursed, ask Amy and Paul (to whom we are indebted, for a LONG time). But once I had arrived in WV and school started I though that we had turned a corner and life would be good…boy was I wrong. The cable guy has been here four times and we are on our second cable box. We have been harassed by our neighbor and I swear one of these days Spenser is going to slid right into the wall on these wood floors. Then there is the security deposit that is non-existent, my financial aid that was held up and had to be redone, fighting with Verizon over their mistake that they tried to charge us for (but whatever you do don’t bring it up to Jeff who had to spend over an hour on the phone with a woman who assured him that he just didn’t understand the bill….yeah he liked that one, she finally got a supervisor when he informed her that he was in fact a COLLEGE PROFESSOR and had some modicum of intelligence). Then there was my laptop power cord that just decided to stop working (the exposed wires might have had something to do with it), and the delayed shipping of said power cord. And then, just as we got my laptop up and working, Jeff’s desktop decided that it had had enough and bid the world a fond adieu. So now we have to purchase a new desktop, which is irritating enough but Dell had upped the $35 coupon up to $50 and so we thought we had better order it right away, but now Jeff can’t remember how he spelled his mother’s maiden name (please don’t make me spell it here) so he can not verify our Dell account and we can’t order anything until Monday when, hopefully we can get a hold of Dell and get the damn thing ordered!!!!!! But of course this means that the stuff for the house we have been waiting to get until we paid off the move will now have to wait because we have to buy a new computer. To some people two computers might be a luxury, but for us it is a necessity when we are both teaching and finishing dissertations. And it’s not like we need a lot, it was just some little things like barstools for the counter downstairs, a small second desk because Jeff’s didn’t make the move, an étagère for the small master bath to hold all of my crap and a few other small things. Of course the big thing that we have been saving for is a wireless cable thing for the living room where there is no cable outlet, I miss my living room.
So I know that all of this is not life or death, it’s not like I had to be evacuated from Hurricane Katrina and then evacuated from Rita type bad luck, but honestly I just wish we could catch a break, it just seems like we put out one fire and then there is another one with no break. Now I don’t want anybody to feel bad for me after reading this, it is just a vent, but commiserate because I know we have all been there, and if not shut up because the rest of us hate you! (just kidding, but really we will not like you). So I guess the best thing to do is work off some of this karma as best we can. And just in case anyone is worried that all this talk of karma means I’ve joined the moonies, here I am speaking metaphorically about the general balance of the universe. So now that I have depressed everyone, I will leave you with a joke. So did you hear FEMA just showed up in Chicago? Yeah they heard that a cow kicked over a lantern. HAHAHAHA thanks dad for that one. And thanks all for reading my vent!!!! I will let you all know how the new computer buying odyssey goes!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"It's Alive!"

Well Dell came through and I now have a working laptop…YEAH! I am very happy that I do not have to share a computer with my husband anymore. I mean I love him and will gladly share my life with him, but a computer? That’s just asking for trouble. I’m just kidding, I am actually a good sharer and no one better correct me in the comments section! The docking station thing is actually very cool, but we are still sharing a desk because Jeff’s desk did not make the move and we haven’t gotten a small one for the other room yet. But we are doing the best we can. I still haven’t gotten pics of the house done yet, and I really have no excuse, I finished reading a Grisham novel today, which consumed pretty much all afternoon. I make no excuses for that because I HAD to find out what happened to the Broker if I were to sleep well tonight. But I thought I should blog anyway because I guess many people need my blog to keep from doing other stuff (like work, homework, grading paper ect). I greatly respect that sort of procrastination, so I must oblige.
I am very excited that tonight the season premiers of both Lost and Law and Order are on!!! I am trying to wait patiently for tonight, but this new time zone simply means I have to wait longer!!! I am super excited that Jesse Martin is back on L&O. I know that some people were worried when he left the show for a short time last year, but those in the know knew that he was simply taking time off to go shoot the movie version of Rent. Why you ask? Because of course he was in the original cast on Broadway as Tom Collins. I simply cannot wait until Nov. when the movie comes out! The plans are to have a reunion with the beloved Will and Jennie and see it together. Of course this was when I thought the movie was coming out Nov. 10th. But when I checked the movie site last night it said that it was coming out Nov. 23rd, which is the night before T-day, which may throw a wrench into the plans. I’m not sure, but until then I will walk around singing “525,600 minutes…..” because I am so excited! Just watching the trailer makes me want to cry….ooh I can’t wait, I just hope Rosario Dawson can play Mimi, I haven’t heard her sing yet and we all know the person who plays Mimi needs to have some pipes!
I am also slightly excited about the ER premier on Thurs, although Jeff is not. But I am a loyal girl, I committed to ER a decade ago, and I can not turn my back on it now, no matter how crappy it gets! Well, there is a line! When they killed off Lucy I stopped watching for awhile, but I always go back….this is probably not the best relationship!
I am also happily crocheting away with…NEW YARN!!! Sent to me of course MomP who is once again donating to a good cause! I will have pics of the new yarn in the next few days as well as pics of the house if I don’t get caught up in the new trashy book I have staring at me from the table!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

To quote Monica: "And nagging works!"

Well it does. As some of you may know I have been having problems with my laptop, well I should say laptop accessories, because you see the laptop itself works splendidly, but the power cord has bit the big one, so while my laptop will, theoretically, work, I have not seen this lately because I lack any way in which to bring electricity to the damn thing. The power cord itself has exposed wires, and I know what you are all thinking…please Jess, for the love of God do not even come close to touching those wires because you will electrocute yourself. All I have to say to those people is this: I am not the one who broke their ankle, am I? So anyway, I unplugged the thing before I actually tried to look at it; surprisingly there were little teeth marks on the cord, about the same size as cat teeth. We still have no idea how they got there, my theory is that a strange cat broke into the house, slyly got around Spenser as he was guarding the house from the couch, and chewed on the power cord to my laptop. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So this happened about two weeks ago. And of course because my laptop is a Dell, I had to order the cord from Dell. They said it would take a week, and then two, by the time that Jeff got an email that it wouldn’t be shipped until next week I was livid. I called Dell where the customer service people were nice, but they couldn’t do anything, so I wrote a letter. It was nice, but all about business. Well after I threatened to go somewhere else to purchase my next computer I received an email back. They had put a high priority on my order, had updated it to next day shipping free of charge and gave me a $35 gift certificate. So see, sometimes you have to complain and sometimes that works! But don’t call me to complain because I have absolutely no power to do anything about anything, or maybe I don’t care, one or the other.

Other than that I have been cleaning and finishing putting together the house, all in an effort to avoid working on Chapter three, although on the up side Chaps 1 and 2 have been passed by my first reader! I was going to take pics, but because the laptop is down, and I don’t know how to download pics on Jeff’s computer, so you will all just have to wait on Dell. But I did turn a corner today on my study/guest room. I haven’t been feeling it, but today I did a little rearranging and it is starting to look good. And more importantly it is ready for all of you people to come visit, and soon, I need some Illinois people down here to visit! Okay I’m a bit homesick, but any excuse for visitors. The second guest room I haven’t even started, but if I have a warning that someone is coming and will have to sleep there I may….. it’s all up to you people!

I have not much to report on the knitting front. I got the sock yarn, and Jeff would really like some socks, but I am still crocheting blankets for the needy, so he will just have to wait. I was also almost finished with a sweater, but everything has had to take a backseat, and why not we won’t be able to wear wool socks and sweaters for awhile! Well that is it from WV today, I am going to post this quickly because I am afraid of losing internet again. I have called the cable company, and they will be here Wed. between 8 and 12. I am glad their customer service allows them to give me a specific time…. (hear the sarcasm she thinks because she doesn’t use emoticons)….Well love you all, and hope to have pics of the house up soon!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blankets for Hurricane Victims

Okay before I get into the point of this post I have to point out that I recieved my first spam. Under the pic of Jeff and I on Bourbon street someone left a comment. Excited I opened it right away to find out that it was a an online dating service. Nomally this would elicit only the smallest irritation, but to have spam about a dating service in the comments of a pic of my husband and I is just too ironic. I guess once you're married, it is a good time to start dating online. Isen't one of the reasons people get married so that they don't have to date anymore? Oh well.

Enough peviews, now onto our main feature. Since I have really no dissernable talents besides teaching English, I decided that I would use my one semi-talent, fiber arts, to give to the needy. So I decided to start making baby blankets to send to the Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I saw a lot of babies out there, and I thought maybe I could help a little. But knitting baby blankets is very time consuming, so I decided to crochet them, which is going very fast! I have one completly done, and another almost done. When I mentioned this project to MomP (my mother-in-law for anyone who is not related reading this), she sent me a box full of yarn!! It was a great surprise and has made me very happy!!! I was going to have to buy some more baby yarn, but now I have a whole box, check it out in the photo below. MomP is an awesome mother-in-law. When I hear other people complaining about their MIL's I always snicker, not a very nice reaction to those poor women (and men) stuck with some steretypical harpie. I am very lucky, I have MomP. I think one of the reasons I love her so much is because she reminds me of my own mother, the woman who has always been the biggest inspiration in my life. Like my Mom, MomP has a huge heart, a great sense of humor, and a love for her family and mankind that is boundless. And most importantly, she has a daughter-in-law kitchen cabinet fully stocked with junk food. So thank you so much MomP for the awesome yarn, I am sure the people who get these blankets will love them as much as I love you (well I probably love you more...but who's keeping track?).
SO that is my part, trying to give something to those who have nothing. I know that all my friends and family are doing the same because they are all awesome people!!! Jeff is even getting into this and attempting to whip up a blanket with some of the blue cloud yarn, I promise pics soon! Well, that is all from West Virginia for now, I am back to baby blankets! I msut also insist that all my friends and family start making plans to come visit soon!!!

MomP's donated yarn!!!

Blanket 2 in progress. MomP I found the stitch!

Charity blanket one

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My hubby and I on Bourbon Street Spt. 2004

New Orleans

The Big Easy. The Crescent City. A city so historical and lively that its myth is bigger than its history. It is a beautiful, old, vibrant, city full of good old fashioned hospitality and love. Last year my husband and I visited New Orleans for a conference and it wasn’t long before we ditched the frosty rooms of academia to explore the pulsating city. I won’t mention the food or the music here, it needs no more exaltation, they stand on their own, but I want to talk about the people of New Orleans, the friendly, loving and soulful people of the city who made us feel so welcomed there, who made us feel like we were part of the family called New Orleans. Everywhere we went the people of New Orleans extended their love. They gave us directions; they walked us to the hidden restaurants and clubs that only the natives know about. I fell in love with the city and the people who called New Orleans home. I searched for a job there, and lacking that, promised to return and, my dream, to retire there in Cajun country, surrounded by jazz and antebellum homes. Those plans have not changed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Naysayers question whether New Orleans will ever be the city that it once was. I believe that it will. The Big Easy will rise again, bigger and better than ever, because you can’t keep a city with that kind of spirit down. In the last week I have wondered about the people that we met in New Orleans. The people on the street who stopped to give us directions and then tell us where the better place to eat/see was. The bellman who took our bags to our room, chatting the entire time about the city and how we would love it, giving us the inside scoop because we looked like “jazz people”. The tour guide who we stumbled upon, but enjoyed so much we went back two days in a row to take every tour he gave. The street performers who entertained us all afternoon in Jackson Square because their music was like being in heaven in front of St. Louis Cathedral. The hotel valets, who kept our car a few extra hours at no charge so we could see the Aquarium, ride the streetcar and chew on beignets at Café du Monde. The shuttle driver who took us there because it was neighborly and a hot day. I wonder where they are today. Did they get out before the storm and flood? Were they home when water rose to the roof? Were they stuck in the Convention Center, the Superdome or on I-10? Have they found their families in the chaos? Were they sent to Houston? Dallas? Baton Rougue? I hope and pray not only for the people that I came across there personally, but for all the people that made New Orleans what it was, and while I am angry at a variety of things that is not what this post is about. Right now I am writing about a city that I love, a people that were the epitome of southern friendliness. Later there will be time to blame and question. But for now I will dream of New Orleans rebuilt, a town revitalized by the spirit of history, the spirit of people who will make the city what it once was, I hope one day to be one of them.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Look at my banner!!!!!!!! And a cool yarn shop

Look at my banner!!! Isn't it beautiful! This is a picture of my knitting nook under the stairs. I took some boring straight on pics, but hubby decided that he needed to help me be more artistic, so he took some very cool pics, one of which is now in the banner. He then spent like four hours writing html to get it into the banner. I would have given up after five minutes, but he was determined! That's okay, while he was doing this I was able to watch two hours of Gilmore Girls, one which I missed last year, without any smart alecky comments. I have posted some of my finished projects and one of a hat in progress. As you can see I spent most of the last two years knitting for all of my new neices, nephews and cousins. And while I am not giving up writing for my babies (Tyler still needs a bear) I am going to start knitting more for grown ups (me...and of course my hubby who has wanted a sweater for ages (hey he is 6'4 give me a break)). Also I MUST finish Jason's hat. I have promised him this hat for like two years (I maintain that is was not my fault baby's came along!). But he must come visit us in WV to retrieve it!!

Today I also went to check out the Kanawaha City Yarn Company. I figured that since I was new to the area I should survey the local fiber arts. The store was AWESOME!!! Maybe I am just used to having to forage for yarn at Michael's and Hobby Lobby, but having a real yarn store 10 minutes away just made my day. They had anything you could think of...Brittany needles, every yarn I had ever read about! I had never actually seen some of these yarns in person before!! Debbie Bliss cashmero!!!! I was in heavan! And they have classes and people just come by and hang out and knit!!!!! This place will definately hurt my writing diss time, but what the heck!! I am super excited to go back! I will try to get Jeff there this weekend and to check out the other yarn store which is in huntington about 45 minutes away. Of course if gas prices continue to rise I'm walking!!!!!

I also took advantage of the gift certificate Hil and Rho gave me for my b-day for elann and ordered some of that special sock yarn that will create a pattern if knitted to gauge. I am super excited about it! I have wanted to try socks for awhile, but just haven't gotten around to it. Now I will be able to try out my double pointed needle dexterity. I used them once to make a wine cozy for Abbie, but now I will try socks!!! Thanks Hil and Rho!

Well that is enough for me today. I want to post in case we have more internet trouble. We have gotten alot of rain lately! Bye and I will post again tomorrow!

The begining of Jason's hat. See Julie it really is getting done!!!!! This winter I promise.... unless a new baby needs clothes!

Spenser in his sweater. It was one of the first projects that I finished!

Knitting bag from Hollywood Knits. I modified the handle.

Felted Diaper Bag From "Knitting for Baby"

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Thank god my hubby is a tech geek.....

which is how I got the pics up and linked at the side. I tried...I really trie dto figure it out myself, and then I sat in front of the laptop sighing and making frustrated noises until hubby finally asked what i was doing. (I hoped that he would do this sooner, but he is on a mission to get me over my passive aggressive ways and just ask for what I want....he has no idea about women!!!!). So anyhow, J figured out that there was editing and html.....and he just did it because he is a wonderful tech geek by night (like superman). So now I have posted some pics of my finshed projects and linked them on the side. Last night I thought I would take some more pics of finished projects I have around, and also some pics of the new house to email all the folks back in illinois, but alas the camera, which has not been used for awhile, had a dead battery. I am charging it now, and attempting to get the new place in a better order before showing people. I am frustrated that everything is not done, but hey i have only been here a few weeks, I can't expect everything to be perfect! Oh well, I am off to prepare class for this week and email all my friends and family this blog address so that they can keep up!!!!! Coming later if I have story of knitting.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Duck I made for my neice Genevieve. There is a musical button in the foot that plays somewhere over the rainbow. Posted by Picasa

Hat and bootie set. This along with the sweater and bear where made for my cousin Jen's baby shower. Posted by Picasa

A red sweater made from the book Knitting for baby.  Posted by Picasa

A wider shot of the bear. Posted by Picasa

A close up of the bear I made (fall 2004) for my cousin Jen's new baby Emily! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 26, 2005

I moved from Illinois to WV to start this blog blog

Which is what my husband thought that i should name my blog, but I went another way. I am starting this blog to keep in touch with my friends and family who have spread themselves across the country, show off and share my knitting and my wonderful rants about school and life in general. So hi everyone! I plan to post about knitting, projects I have done, ones I have on the needles, ones want to try ect. I will also share what books are on my nightstand and how I am enjoying them. Right now I am reading the 4th Harry Potter because some good friends said that I can not go to London for the release of the final HP with them, if I haven't read the books! Besides that the rest of my books right now are all about Jane Erye and Charlotte B because that is the chapter I am working on in my diss, so exciting for me, but not many other people. As I tell my students I will talk a lot about my pets, who are taking the place of babies for now! Ella and Louie are tabby cats, white and black and orange respectively and Spenser is our super hyper boxer doggie-boo. So here is the start of this blog...I will promise to keep it updated as often as I can and I hope you enjoy. By the way under the stairs is where my knitting/reading corner is in this new state of WV.


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