Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Extended Holidays

My family has this interesting ability of extending the holidays. Christmas doesn't just last until Christmas day and then poof! that's it, take down the tree and decorations... Oh no, Christmas in my family lasts for another week if not more. Generally every year I still have presents to open on New Year's Eve.

This year doesn't look like it's going to be any different. Christmas day was spent with my immediate family. I was the third one awake... this is shocking. I'm usually the one who's waking everyone up... yes, I am that annoying child who jumps on the bed to wake up mom and dad so we can open presents, but not this year it seems. My brother was already up playing Ratchet and Clank.... I wonder if he's going to beat that game before I even get halfway... I have to say this year was great. My brother gave me rosewood circular knitting needles in size 8 & 9. I tell you, there is nothing more breathtaking than a full needle case... My big present this year was a digital camera! I love it! I can take 300 pictures without downloading them onto my computer... it's a beautiful thing. My mom also got me this crystal figurine of a spinning wheel that was pretty cool. I really didn't get many knitty type things this year, but I'm definitely not disappointed! After the presents were all opened, everyone fiddled with what they got for awhile. Me with my digital camera, dad putting together his new table saw, mom with her drop spindle and roving (courtesy of me!) and my brother with his new Bart Simpson Chia Head. Of course, I couldn't fiddle too much longer. I knew that I had to finish my sister's mittens before my dad's side fo the family Christmas party. I swear I knitted like a madwoman! I was already finished with one mitten and to the thumb on the second one. In one day I finished the second one, blocked them, sewed in the ends and knit the linings (pictures to come as soon as I figure out how to get them out of my camera!). I'm still shocked at myself. They turned out great!

We had my dad's side of the family Christmas party on the day after Christmas. As predicted, it wasn't the most fun and heart-warming Christmas ever. I think this has something to do with the fact that I really don't know these people and they really don't know me. Every year we get together for this one obligatory afternoon. I see these people for five hours once a year. There's just something sad about that. It was also obvious to me while I sat there observing them (I tend to do this a lot, I'm an observer... what can I say?) that they know each other quite well, but my family is the odd one out it seems. Ever since we moved, and maybe even before we moved, we were never very involved with that side of the family. They're not bad people and we all get along fine, it's just that we're all so different. As evident by the fact that they don't know me well, I received a pair of earrings I may never wear. I'm not bitter. I'm just sad that every year we all have to put on a show instead of just enjoying the time we spend together. At least I got to spend more time with my sister and nephews. She loved the mittens by the way! And she had made me a beaded necklace in exchange for them!

On the other hand, my mom's side of the family is an absolute riot! I love hanging out with them. My cousins and I are really great friends and all of us love getting together. This year, they're all coming up here for our Christmas. There's no coming up, staying for a few hours and leaving with this bunch, oh no. They're coming up for a week! My grandmother decided that this year she was going to give my aunts and me appointments for massages and manicures (I'm the only girl grandchild who will be here so I was included in this little day of luxury!) The guys will probably go skiing if there is snow. I'm really excited because I found out my cousins will actually be able to make it this year. A lot of us are finding that with jobs or school we can't make it to our family vacations and it's really nice when everyone can.

So again, there might not be any posting going on for the next couple of days with my family here. I was going to post pictures of my digital camera to show you and then I thought it was awfully ironic to be taking pictures of a digital camera with a digital camera. Maybe I'll so you the glory that is my needle case instead!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Nephew # 1 knitting

Nephew # 2 knitting

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Phew, what a week it's been. And here I thought I'd be less busy with no more concerts or rehearsals to go to. Ha! Boy was I fooled. My sister and nephews left on Tuesday. It's so bittersweet. I hate seeing them go. But the good news is I'll be seeing them in a week when my family and I drive down to Maryland.

I have to say, I have become the ultimate enabler! Monday night I was sitting there doing my thing, knitting mittens for my sister, watching my middle nephew kick some butt on his video game, when my oldest nephew comes over to me and just starts watching me knit.

Nephew #1: Is that hard to do?

Me: Not really, do you want to learn?

He tentatively shakes his head 'yes' and I'm up out of my seat faster than you can say 'knit stitch.' I'm telling you the boy is a natural! Though watching him learn definitely took me back to some of my earlier attempts to knit... dropped stitches, holes, and carried yarn found throughout without specific purpose. Ah... memories. Not an hour into teaching him, my middle nephew comes up to me and asks if he can learn too. Woohoo! Absolutely! Nephew #1 is 10 years old, I'd say that's a great age for kids to learn if they're interested. Nephew #2 just turned 7. I was very surprised at how quickly he picked it up, though I must say he was definitely distracted at times.

I feel like the ultimate aunt now! Not only did I get to teach my nephews to knit, but they actually wanted to learn.... and they're boys! Look out ladies, we're gonna have some competition for master knitters in a few years. Ok, so I know that's very far fetched because they're probably going to become more interested in sports than in knitting, but hey, you can't say I didn't try.

I did take some pictures of them and I really wanted to post them, but like I said, it has been a very busy week. One of my friends from high school came home for Christmas and we got together the other night. I probably stayed up way to late chatting and catching up, but you know, I'm glad I did!

I will try to post some pictures soon, but I really can't make any promises. I haven't even wrapped any Christmas gifts yet and what's tomorrow??? Oh yeah, Christmas Eve!!! Then I'm going to be driving down to MD to visit relatives so there won't be any posting going on then. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays, but I really can't wait to get back into the regular swing of things!

I hope everyone is having an excellent holiday!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Thursday... what a great day...

I love Thursdays.... granted, I realize today is not Thursday, today is one of the most hated days of the week. But Thursday... that's a day to celebrate. There are several reasons why this Thursday was great.

1. Thursday is the day that comes before Friday and as we all know, Friday is a wonderful day.

2. The mail comes on Thursday and this past Thursday, the mail was very special. A couple of Christmas cards came from two of my college roommates...

What makes this even better is the fact that these are just some of the cutest cards I've seen all season!
Not only did I receive cute Christmas cards, but this also came....

I have been waiting for this game since I heard they were making a third one. That was approximately a year ago. I'd like to say that no knitting will be done because I will be obsessively playing this game... unfortunately that wasn't the case. The reason lies in something else that came on Thursday...

3. My nephews arrived on Thursday night....

Apparently being obsessed with video games runs in the family because they sat and watched me play my new game for about an hour, then they begged to start a game of their own. Being the wonderful aunt that I am, I let them. Little did I know at the time that I would have zero access to my game for the next several days. In fact, I haven't played it since Thursday. I'm not bitter or upset about this in any way. I feel time spent with nephews I only see two or three times a year is well worth giving up game time!

On to knitting news. My mom's sweater is coming along nicely. I have about three inches, maybe four finished on the first section of pattern. I'll try to post a picture of that later. We took a little trip to the yarn store on Sunday. You better believe I didn't walk away empty handed.... but you're not allowed to laugh at what I got....

If you guess that's yarn for more mittens, you're right... My sister asked me for a pair so I thought why not? It's been few weeks since I've made a pair, I'm due for another mitten fix now anyway. I tell you this is an obsession! I need counseling for my mitten addiction!

I have to go see my yarn shrink now, I hope everyone in blogland is having a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Finally something to show...

I promised you pictures did I not? Ok, here are a few of the things I've been working on recently. Remember way back when I went to Rhinebeck and started spinning that green roving? Well guess what? Two weekends ago I finally finished enough to ply it together. Doesn't it look great?

I know that looks like a lot, but it's actually only a very small hank. I haven't washed it yet, but as you all know I've been a tad bit busy.

I've also been working on that scarf for my coworker's sister. It's out of a mohair type yarn that I bought at A.C. Moore. I like the way it looks, sort of pepperminty.

I actually finished the knitting part last night. I still have to put the fringe on but that shouldn't take me too long. I liked working with this yarn, except of course for the fact that when I was finished I'd have a lap full of mohair fibers, but we all make sacrafices for the craft right? The best was when I was working on it before one of the concerts. We had a little down time so I decided to pull it out.... big mistake. Did I mention that our concert dress was all black? So there I was going on to sing with pink and cream fuzzys all over me! Oh well, I'm sure no one noticed.

On to the spinning I've been doing, I told you about that roving that looks grey, but has all those specks of colors in it right?

Unfortunately those specks don't show up so well with my camera. You're just going to have to imagine them there!

I started a sweater for my mom last night after I finished the scarf.... who said I had to do the fringe right then? I was in a non-fringe mood last night. I don't know what made me think starting a sweater who's first instruction was cast on 288 stitches on a size 2 needle would be easier than making some fringe, but oh well. I did the long tail cast on..... three times. Finally on my third time I had pulled out enough yarn to actually finish the cast on.

This is actually the first couple rows of garter stitch. At least they made that part easy. Then it came to the cast on four extra stitches and join part. What are those four extra stitches for you ask? Oh they're only for the cutting.... (insert cartoon pop-out eyes here) CUTTING?!?!?! Oh this should be fun. Well, I'm sure it will be months before I get even close to that part seeing as how the body is worked on threes. Yeah, it takes me a good half hour to knit one round. Longer if there's a pattern. Yeah, this is a marathon pattern....

And finally, because it was cute, I give you a picture of a couple of my kitties.

The one on the left is Daisy. She's our oldest cat, I think she's 8 and then there's Pippin who's trying to suck up to her. She's not buying it, by the way, because she know the minute she turns her head to look away he's gonna be up ready to pounce on her. I just happened to catch him in a non-stalking pose. He decided to be in the I'm-so-cute-you-have-nothing-to-worry-about pose. Ha! At least Daisy knew better. Me? I was suckered into taking the picture...

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Good, The Bad and the Cheesey

*Phew*..... That was me breathing a sigh of relief now that this week is over! I can't believe I made it through!

The concerts were, let's just say, really good and really bad. Friday night's concert was really bad. So bad, in fact, that the entire soprano section stopped singing for about a minute on a three minute song. How could it have gone so wrong? Well let me tell you! The organ that was playing our notes was in the back of the room, we were in the front of the room. There was about 100 feet between the organ and the choir and I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this before but sound carrys through the air relatively slowly. (That's why you see the jet in the sky before you hear it). Basically what happened was the choir and the organ were off. It was a disaster, but I will say that we sung quite well on our acappella songs!

Sunday's concert was fabulous, not only did we sing well, we totally rocked the song we completely messed up the concert before! I can definitely say that that concert was by far the best we've done on a lot of those songs.

So now I don't have practice again until next year! Ah, it feels so good to say that. I know next year is about three weeks away, but still, I get a certain satisfaction from saying 'next year'.

I'm very excited about this week. Why you ask? Well, Thursday my sister is driving up from Maryland with my nephews to spend the weekend with us! I haven't seen them since this summer and lets face it, having three kids in the house all ages 10 and under is going to be interesting.

It's my middle nephew's birthday on the 18th so we've decided to do something special for him. We're going to Chuck E. Cheese . That's right, it's that magical place "where a kid can be a kid" and where I'm afraid of the bodily fluids lerking in the ball pit. But hey, if the kids enjoy it, why not? After that fun filled lunch, we're going to take him and his brothers to see the new Lemony Snicket movie . That part I'm actually looking forward to. I read a couple of the books, they were ok, but the movie actually looks good.

On the knitting front, very little has actually been done, but I'm hoping to post some pictures tonight or tomorrow on some of my projects. And I'd love to post a picture of a certain package that arrived friday, unfortunate it's a Christmas present so it's just going to have to wait, but I assure you, it's soooo nice!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Directions and Space Bubbles....

In an attempt to keep my loyal readers coming back I'm going to post yet again! Amazing, I know, especially after I complained about how busy I was.

Last night was the first of two dress rehearsals this week. It was at LeMoyne College. After last night I am now thoroughly convinced that my directional skills are not nearly as highly developed as I was led to believe. I made it to the campus perfectly fine and in fact I was quite proud of myself having never been there before and not having the slightest idea of where it was located prior to going. Feeling a bit cocky now, I left my car armed with nothing but my music and a poorly printed map of the campus.

This map was not what you might call specific. It had a circle drawn around the parking lot with an arrow leading to the building we were supposed to sing at, said building was also marked with a circle. You would think that I'd be able to make my way from a parking lot to a building but apparently this concept alluded me. The problem is a campus looks much different in real life than a 2-dimensional representation.... who knew?

So imagine if you will, me walking around a completely unfamiliar campus, trying to hide my little map everytime a student walked by. For some unknown reason I felt the need to "blend in" and act like a student myself. Perhaps this had to do with the fact it was not so long ago when I myself was a student. Of course, I was trying to avoid acting like a student who had no idea where the heck she was going. Heaven forbid I ask someone..... I suppose my sense of pride was a bit of a deterant there. I now have a new respect and understanding for why guys generally don't ask for directions....

Finally after about 10 minutes of wandering (though I have to admit I made it look as though I wasn't wandering. I'd pick a spot about 100 feet ahead of me and walk there looking like that spot was exactly where I wanted to go and when I got there, I'd pick another spot....) I happen to notice another person in the chorale. Thank the lord in heaven because at that point I wasn't so sure I'd be able to find my car again!

The real trouble I think is not that the campus is laid out badly (or that I can't seem to find my way from a parking lot to a building using a straight arrow on a map) it was the fact that there really weren't any walking paths. Coming from a school that was almost over abundant with walking paths I found it a little strange that on more than on occasion in my wandering I was walking on a road or a grassy lawn.

So now, with the help of a fellow chorale member I made it to the chapel. Did I mention it was a chapel we were to sing in? Anyway, rehearsal was quite the experience. I'm not sure if you've ever sung with a large group before but in general everyone gets on risers and crams together for several hours, standing all the while. Being that most of the people in the chorale are over the age of 50, I was not entirely surprised at the amount of complaining going on. Granted, it just plain sucks to have to stand that long, period, but when you throw in the fact that the "personal space bubble" is nonexistant, people tend to get a little grouchy.

One older woman in particular, who I had the immense joy to be standing next to, sticks out in my mind. She talked every time the music stopped to complain about how she had no room. She moved around so much that she managed to smack the girl in front of her on the head with her music book, oh..., I'd say about 20 times. This girl was none to pleased, she had that look on her face that said "if this lady smacks me again, I swear I'm gonna push her off the riser!" This would be quite feasable seeing as how this woman was standing on the end. Disaster was averted when, having had enough of "no personal space bubble time," the woman stepped off the riser onto the floor for the rest of rehearsal. That was when I breathed a sigh of relief because I was about to start complaining about how much she was complaining.... ironic, I know.

The absolute best part.... I get to do it all over again tonight. I feel something like that greek in Hades who had to push a boulder up a hill all day just to find it at the bottom of the hill the very next day. Or something like that, I'm not very good with greek myths.

Wish me luck, hopefully I'll be able to find the place we're singing at tonight and I'll have the patience and tolerance of a saint to deal with the complainer!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Busy Week and Allergy Blues

Not much posting will be done this week and let me tell you why....

1) I have dress rehearsal for the concert I'm in Tuesday night and Wednesday night so two of my nights this week are shot. I'm going to be missing Lost on Wednesday which I'm slightly peeved about but as long as I can get someone to tape it, I'm sure it'll be fine.
2) The actual concert is on Friday night and another one on Sunday afternoon. There goes my social life for this weekend. "What about Saturday?" you ask.... well Saturday I'll be sleeping all day because I'll be wiped from this week!
3) Thursday night is Survivor night.... at least I'll be able to watch one of my shows and possible knit a little. I've been commissioned to make a scarf for a girl at work. She wants to give it to her sister for Christmas. It's turning out pretty well if I do say so myself!

I haven't even been knitting that much recently. I finished the mitten linings for my grandmother's mittens and then I was left with a bit of a problem. I had no other projects that I really felt inspired to start. So I started spinning some of the roving I got at Rhinebeck. It's gorgeous. I really love it. From a distance it looks like a purplely grey color but when you look closer you can see it also has green and pink and blue in it. I'll have to post a picture soon....(when I'm not busy....)

I have some very sad news. I went to the allergist last friday for the skin test. I shutter thinking about it. The scratch test wasn't so bad, but being pricked with about 22 needles was very bad. The nurse was very nice though. She tried to talked to me about my knitting to keep my mind of the fact that I was being jabbed so much. And the bad part is, in another week I have to go back for the other half of the needles.... that's right, they only pricked me with half of them!

So you think that's the bad part.... it's not. The bad part is we found out what I'm allergic to. I am allergic to dust mites. Ok fine, I can handle that, just get some allergen barriers for my bedding, and clean a little more often. If only that were the only thing I'm allergic to..... when they did the scratch test another thing came up itchy..... cats. I'm so unhappy about this. I'm keeping my cats though, I really can't bare to think of life without them. And besides the nasal spray they gave me seems to be working quite well. I've been feeling excellent actually.

Well, that's the news from my corner of the world. I'll try to post some picture soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I'm jumping on the wagon...

Since it seems these lists are inescapable (and I wanted to see if I actually could come up with that many things) here’s my list.

100 things about me

1. I was born in Annapolis, Maryland in1981
2. Green is my favorite color
3. I don’t wear a lot of green though
4. I’ve been in love twice
5. It didn’t work out either time
6. I’m not bitter about love.
7. I believe the right person for me is out there
8. I’m in no rush to find him
9. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in psychology
10. My minor was philosophy
11. Apparently I’m a thinker
12. My mom thinks the cartoony picture in my blog profile looks just like me.
13. I’ve been asked if I’m anorexic on many occasions
14. I’m bitter about being asked if I’m anorexic
15. My friends & family know I eat like a pig
16. I’ve never dyed my hair
17. When I was a kid I used to think I could make the wind blow
18. I have reoccurring dreams about vampires
19. I don’t watch scary movies because I get too into them and freak myself out
20. The book Conversations with God changed my life
21. I’ve worn either glasses or contacts since I was in the 4th grade (9 years old)
22. I won several competitions for singing
23. I was the lead in two musicals in high school
24. I’m excited to have kids someday
25. When I’m thinking I rub the tops of my fingernails out of habit
26. I’ve never had braces
27. I have no cavities in my teeth
28. I have three nephews
29. My birthday is on the same day as Mother Theresa (Aug 27th)
30. I don’t like gold jewelry
31. I make funny faces to myself in the mirror every morning
32. I have a highly overactive imagination at times
33. I’ve been to China with a children’s singing group
34. Every summer I go on a family vacation with my mom’s side of the family
35. That’s 17 people total in one house for a whole week
36. That’s my favorite week out of the year
37. I cry at movies and TV shows where animals get hurt
38. I’ve thought about going back to school for zoology
39. I want to someday go to Australia and volunteer for an animal conservation project
40. I have very little tolerance for TV commercials,
41. they make me angry
42. and they’re stupid
43. I’ve never broken any bones
44. I’ve had stitches though …. twice
45. I’ve been told I’m graceful
46. I think I’m clumsy
47. I dance around the house when no one is home
48. I have to be in a good mood though
49. I love wrapping Christmas presents
50. I sing to myself… a lot
51. but again, only if no one is around
52. I can sing in front of big crowds
53. I have issues with singing in front of one or two people
54. My kittens make me feel more like a mom than a pet owner
55. They’ve also shown me I have more patience than I thought I had
56. The first concert I went to was Live on their Throwing Copper tour
57. I was in 10th grade
58. The drunk people there scared me at the time
59. I’ve learned to deal with drunk people after 4 years of college
60. I love reading sci-fi/fantasy books
61. Sometimes I wish I lived in their worlds
62. My over active imagination makes it easy for me to wish that
63. Sometimes I feel like life is one big movie without a soundtrack
64. I love video games
65. I used to think I wouldn’t be good at them
66. Turns out I am
67. My mom’s my best friend
68. I tell her everything
69. Can’t really imagine life without her
70. I can’t believe I’ve made it to 70
71. I’m not afraid of dying
72. I’ve been told lots of times that I’m an “old soul”
73. I tend to believe that
74. I live with my parents
75. I’m not ashamed of that
76. I hope to move out next spring
77. I lived on my own last year
78. It was the best experience ever
79. I’m a very emotional person
80. I hide it well
81. I’m very grateful for the life I’ve had so far
82. Ready for a cliché? I’m spiritual, not religious
83. I’ve never been political
84. Until this last election that is….
85. I’ve been to Paris with the French club in high school
86. I got to put my feet in the Mediterranean in Nice
87. The Mona Lisa was a lot smaller in real life
88. People drive crazy in Europe
89. I used to love it when my dad made rice krispy treats
90. He doesn’t make them anymore
91. My favorite hot drinks are Chai Lattes
92. I can’t stand coffee
93. I like the smell of flavored coffee though
94. I’ve been knitting for 7 years
95. It’s the best thing I’ve ever gotten into
96. I tried quilting but it just didn’t stick with me
97. Children laughing is the best sound in the world
98. It sometimes makes me cry
99. Told you I’m emotional
100. Yeah I’m at 100!!!

I hope you enjoyed this because it wasn't very easy coming up with that many!