Goal Trackers

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Wednesday nights my Stitch 'n Bitch group meets at the local Border's Cafe ad has a blast for a few hours. Here is our fearless leader Lynn, and sitting next to her is her partner-in-crime Denise. Between the two of them, there is nothing they can't help someone in the group fix or figure out :)

Fearless Leader

Our little group has grown from about seven to almost 20 weekly!! We love it! So does Borders :) *thank goodness since I don't there there is any other place in town that would take us in*giggle* Because each of us is so different in this group and yet we have a total blast together, one of the ladies has nicknamed us "The Island of Misfit Toys" I L-O-V-E it!!

The Group

This week we had a special treat. Cass and Bri both had oodles of skeins they needed to wind into balls and Denis just happened to have her ball winder AND swifter in her car *Now THAT's what I call a knitting addiction!* Don't worry, we love you Denise!

Picture Title: How many gals does it take to wind some yarn?


Winder 2
Yes, we got some very strange looks for the other customers as to what the heck they were doing *giggle*

Here's the end result - and no those gals didn't finish winding everything, least I don't think they did, but then again, I could be wrong. It's been known to happen, just not very often *laugh*

Knit On Ladies!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Last Wedding.... for a while that is

Busy, busy weekend! It started out calling in sick on Friday. My stomach was not doing well and I had to drive up to NY later that night for a family wedding on Saturday, so I thought it best to stay home and rest. When I finally felt OK to get up and start moving around I dragged out the suitcase to start packing. Here's the first thing that WANTED to be packed!


Isn't he cute! So anyhoo... I shooed him out of my luggage and instead of getting the hint and just curling up on the bed to watch, Frisco followed every step I made. I mean EVERY step! This little guy knows what that red bag means. I almost stepped on him, I don't know how many times, because he kept scampering around under my feet as soon as I moved.

Luckily the drive up to NY wasn't bad. I made it in 4 hours. *lets just hope the NJ Turnpike people don't check the times on my E-Z Pass account*

Now, a little family history between my and the mom. She hassles me about my weight EVERY time we talk. And when I say every time, I mean each and every time we talk on the phone or the first day of the visit - if not every day of the visit. *and she wonders why I lag between phone calls or get annoyed with her over the conversation topic*

So, I get to my folks house about 10 PM, say hello to all (sister and hubby are there as well as my aunt and uncle from Florida), then run to empty the bladder that was filled with 3 bottles of water from the trip. *I tend to drink a lot of water on driving trips so that I don't feel the need to stop for food - not so good on the bladder though*

10:06 PM

I came out Mom was heating up some of what they had left-over from their dinner. I told her not to do that because I wasn't hungry and I really didn't want to have a full meal in my belly when all I wanted to do was hit the bed. Not to mention that because of the drive, I had missed my 4 mile walk for the day. I told her I had something before I hit the road *I didn't tell her it was half of a McDonald's chicken nugget happy meal, but I had eaten.... and felt disgusting afterwards, so I guess that's one good mark of watching my weight since that's the first McD's meal I've had in months* She got annoyed with me! H-E-L-L-O!! Aren't you the woman that badgers me about my weight at EVERY conversation?? I'm home for 6 minutes and it starts!

10:22 PM

The movie (Kingdom of Heaven) they were all watching is finally over and Mom has the usual coffee and sweets ready for dessert. She fixed everyone a plate with a slice of cake and a scoop of some orange cream ice cream without asking who wanted and who didn't. Now, if I had just told you less than 15 minutes ago that I wasn't hungry would you automatically assume that I would want cake and ice cream?? I fixed my coffee and didn't touch my dessert plate *kudos to me* It took a few minutes for Mom to notice that I was eating my dessert, when she finally asked if I was going to have it. "No, ma. I don't want it"

"How about just the ice cream?"

"I don't want it, thank you."

Then she huffs and eats the ice cream herself! I just can't win! I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't.


Saturday was pretty relaxing. By the time I got up my mom and my aunt had left to go get their nails done. I made a quick trip to the local CVS to get hair gel and some pantyhose *whoever invented pantyhose needs to be shot!* Then I came home, changed into my workout clothes and got on Mom's treadmill *that hasn't been used in God knows how long* and did my 4 mile walk. The treadmill hasn't been used in so long that the motor started giving off a burning smell when I hit about 3 miles. I kept looking around the machine to make sure nothing was actually smoking! Then is was shower, hair, make-up and we were all off to the wedding.

The wedding was beautiful. The weather was kind of crappy, but they say rain on the wedding day is good luck. Hope so! Here are a few photos. You can click on them to see a larger picture.

Laura's Wedding
The little guy in the picture with my mom and with me is my cousin's little boy. He's 6 months old and adorable. He was my dance partner most of the night so that my cousin could dance with her DH. I had 2 different ladies come up to me while I was holding him and told me "Your son is absolutely adorable!" Those of you that know, can just image how hard I had to work at keeping the tears from falling. The wedding was hard enough, but to hard these two women mistake this little guy for mine (honest mistake - I know) was just not something I had prepared myself for that day.

On Sunday my Mom shared the following documents with us all. Apparently she found some old awards that her grandfather, my great-grandfather, won! These two agricultural awards are from 1932 & 1933!! She needs to get them framed.



Lastly, is a photo of my great-grandfather from World War I!! Right side of the photo, 2nd row, 3rd guy in is Great Grandfather! I love all this old family shit!


And this is probably the last family wedding for a while. I do have two other cousin who are still single along with me, but one is a workaholic and as far as I know she isn't seeing anyone, let alone someone seriously, right now. My other cousin, well we seem to be two of a kind *guess since he was only born 2 days after me it makes sense* He in a very similar love situation that I am, minus a potential baby. Guess Geminis really do have twins out there.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Crochet! Knit! Crochet! Knit! What season is it??

OK, with a title like that I just couldn't resist finding this :)

So, now onto some updates. As you can tell by my trackers it has been 29 days since my last cigarette! *How awesome is that!* On that same day, I started my walking routine. There is a lake behind my house and the path around the lake is a 2 mile lap. I walk 2 laps pretty much daily. A nice 4 mile walk each evening. Wednesdays are tough since I have therapy right after work and I don't get home till about 6:15 PM and then I have knitting group at the local Borders that starts at 7PM. But hey! Four miles/six days a week is pretty darn good! *for me at least* I call this my "Me Time." I walk and think, and plot and scheme *just kidding.... maybe* and talk to God and even say a prayer to a few relatives up there to watch over friends and family down here. Heck, I have even asked Mr. X's father to watch over him and help him maintain his sanity during this rough period in his life. *Color me a fool who's still in love - PARAMEDICS WE NEED A STRAIGHT JACKET FOR THIS ONE!*

Here's the baby blanket I am working on. Believe it or not, it has been somewhat calming for me to be working on this blanket. Not sure why, since when I'm working on, THAT situation is always on my mind. Several people have called me crazy for putting this much effort into a blanket for his baby, but in my mind, the child is the innocent in all this. It certainly isn't her fault that her daddy was a dumb ass in that situation.


Moving on.... here is the Soft Waves Ripple that I am working on for my sister's Christmas gift. I have to add a stripe of the Denim color yarn and I will have one repeat of colors done!! That will be 25% complete! A nice start for the month of September for a December gift :)
Soft Waves Ripple 3

Lastly, is an update on my Mom afghan. I think this is about 25-30% completed as well. Again, a nice start for a Christmas gift! Unfortunately, you can't really see the pattern very clearly in photos, but the color will go beautifully with the family room decor at Mom's house.

Just had to add this picture.... How can you resist a face like that one??

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Friday Night Happy Hour... and other stuff too

Wow, what a week! Work has just been C-R-A-Z-Y!! Can I just say, I hate, HATE my schedule this year. Did I mention that I hate my schedule? About the one things that actually saves my sanity each day is that I get to each lunch with one of the teachers that I really like :) She's a trip. Here she is eating a not-very-sweet orange for the sole purpose that an orange is good for you. PUCKER FACE DANA! *heehee*


Moving on.....

I just discovered that one of the teachers at my school owns one of these....


DAMN DOUG! It's a '71 Corvette Stingray. Can you say NICE! *I certainly can, too bad he's married with two kids* Course I'm wondering how a teacher affords a vette, but more power to him! Unfortunately this baby didn't want to start for him Friday afternoon! :(

After work I headed out to a tapas bar on the other side of the county to meet up with some girlfriends for Happy Hour! We sat inside, but restaurant had all their door/windows open to the courtyard and we got to see and hear this band while we were there.

Here they are doing a sound check before the actual festivities got started. The dude in the plaid shorts was cute! Didn't catch the name of the band, but it was one of those "ska" (I think at least) bands. A bit of reggae, hip hop and pop. I could really hear the reggae in the music. I just love that!


After dinner and drinking, we walked around the square. My gf Karen and I hung out and danced a bit in the square. The other girls were too embarrassed and went window shopping. It's a tad hard to really be embarrassed when you *HEART* dancing and music *and several Long Island Iced Teas in the system doesn't hurt either* ;)



When I got home from Happy Hour, I found this package on my front porch! *squeal* I love packages!


Here's what I got from my WhoDuKnit swap pal!

Moving on to knitting/crocheting projects....

Here are 2 dishcloths I made this month. I really like this pattern. It's called Elvish Leaves Dishcloth from Kelley's Yarns. I made one in a Sugar'n Cream ombre and the other is made in Berrocco Touche. The made with Touche is Soooooooo freakin' soft! I love it!


Next up is an update on the baby blanket. These patterns are fairly easy to follow. I scanned and printed out large copies of the three charts that are required for this pattern. I laminated them at work so that they would last for the duration. I use a sticky note on each chart to help me keep my place and I mark the number of repeats on the sticky notes. I will probably be using this pattern following technique in the future to mix and match patterns! Oh! And I really like working with this yarn! Super soft and touchable!

I learned the hard way that you really should not try to follow charts after you've been loaded up on Long Island Iced Teas. I came home from Happy Hour last night and did a few rows before crashing on my bed. This morning, I had to rip out all those rows cause I totally goofed on the floral patterns. The floral pattern is 29 stitches and I had 31 stitches between my stitch markers this morning. If I wasn't so anal, I probably would have try to find a place where I could have just K2tog, but I am anal and ripped back till I have 29 stitches again.

Does this mean that I won't drink and knit at the same time in the future? *HA! Fat chance* I just need to pick up WIP that have much simpler patterns *grin*


I have 23 squares made for the Stained Glass Afghan. 334 more needed and then I get to join them! Color me crazy for picking that pattern! Anyhoo, a few squares here and a few squares there and I should have my afghan in about 10 years *LAUGH*

granny squares

Next on the "To Make" list is this ripple blanket for my sister. This is going to be her Christmas gift. So far it's 60" wide and 11" in length. I like how the print yarn breaks up solids! It's super soft and it should keep her nice and warm in the NY winters!

Soft waves ripple

Still working on the Tunisian Baby blanket for a co-worker. I have GOT to get this one finished this week. She's due this month!

Tunisian baby blanket

Tunisian baby blanket 2

And last up.....

Frisco! Apparently he loves the ripple blanket too! *the little bugger grabbed the yarn and ran pulling out half a row of stitches!* That's what I get for trying to get a cute picture of him with yarn. I should have known better!

Frisco and a ripple

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Forgot All About Florida!!

Totally forgot to tell you guys all about Florida! It was GREAT! A little boring since I was there by myself, but it was peaceful and relaxing and just what I needed after Summer School was over.

I went down on a Tuesday night and stayed till Saturday. My parent's condo is just 2 blocks from the beach, so that was great. I couldn't believe that my parents didn't have an alarm clock in their place, but then again they are retired and have no need to get up early. Apparently, I'm the big nature lover in my family. Even though I was on vacation, I wanted to see the sun rise on the beach. *I knew I'd never see it without an alarm clock kicking my ass out of bed though* So, I bought a cheapo alarm clock at the local CVS, suffered through the ridicule of my family for wanting to get up at 6am while on vacation, and saw my sun rise. *I mean, what's the big deal with 6am? I'm on vacation. I have vampire white skin that can stay in the sun too long anyway, so get up at 6am, watch the sun rise, lounge on the beach till about 11am and go home and nap till 2pm. What could be better??* LOVED IT!! Of course, had I been on the west coast, the goal would have been to see the sun set *grin*

Florida Get Away

You can see, I managed to get a few pictures of the sand crabs early in the morning. They are fast little suckers! You wiggle one little pinkie toe and ziiiiiiiiipppp they're are back in the ground hiding. The sand fleas in the morning are killer though! Next time definitely need to remember to spray bug repellent on me.

It was worth it for these shots I got :)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I Am Alive, Just Busy as all Hell

I think my Internet is finally holding a real connection at home!! *does the Happy Dance* It only took Comcast a MONTH to get it fixed! *growls at the Comcast advertisements on the tv*
I know I haven't spent much time in blogland lately. My life has just gotten a little crazy these last few weeks and I have been spending a lot of time in contemplation land.

As you can see, I have quit smoking, again. It really amazes me how smoking is one of those things that I can just pick right back up no matter how long it's been since my last cigarette. I quit back in November of '95. Just threw the pack away one day and didn't buy another. That lasted till February '05 - the month that I realize it was time to end my marriage. Then I quit again in April '06. Just stopped buying them - till March of this year. It seems to be my vice when I feel like my world is crashing down around me. Anyhoo, it's over. This is the last time.

Since the whole ordeal started with Mr. X, my weight has fluctuated greatly. I have been on the losing end of the weight titter-totter when I made the decion to stay on that end as long as I could. I've started walked around the lake behind my house. I do two laps daily, which is about 4 miles. And I've really started to be more aware of what I'm shoveling into my mouth. So far, so good. I'm contemplating joining Curves, since the winter months are just around the corner, but weight training should be done on an every-other-day basis. I still need to find some sort of cardio to do on non-Curve days. I'll continue to walk through the winter, but I need to figure something out for those days when it snows and/or ices as the mini mountain I need to climb down to get to the lake trail is steep and with snow and ice and my luck, I'll wind up slipping and sliding down the hill on my ass and right into the lake! *not my idea of fun when it's colder than a witch's tit outside* In the meantime, I'll walk and contemplate my life and try to find out what God's has in her mind for my life. *God, a hint would be really nice right about now!*

School (work) started back up for me three weeks ago. Last week the rest of the teachers in my building started and it's just been crazy. I am so NOT looking forward to this school year already, and I really HATE *HATE* feeling this way already. I had toyed with the idea of switching to middle or high school toward the end of the last school year. The dilemma for me is that I really like my 25 minute commute to work, I like the kids at my school, I like working with the little rugrats and I have the best assistant in the world. I was really hoping all that was going to out weight the damage that my principal was going to inflict on my program, but I should have known better.

I have a very hard time dealing with the fact that my principal (and some of the teachers) just see my program as a babysitting-drop off program, instead of as an educational enhancement to their curriculum. I'm tired of being the only person advocating for my program. I'm tired that the county supervisor for School Library Media Programs does nothing to advocate for us. I'm tired of dealing with selfish teachers. I'm tired with dealing (and paying!) a union that does NOTHING to truly support every one of its members equally.

Well, enough ranting about work, let's get on to more exciting things! I have a lot to catch up on.

I have two swaps that I need to post updates on. The first is the terrific package I received from my upstream pal in the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap! Look at all this great stuff that was in my package! Thank you Joanne!! There was a bag of jelly beans in the package as well, but I have a real weakness for those and well they didn't quite make it to the photo session. *grin* Yes, those are sheep shaped Post-It notes! Aren't they adorable! I love the nice big washcloth and the soap holder! Loved everything!!

Another swap was the International Tote Exchange Swap. Lulu sent me the most gorgeous bag! Along with the bag were lots of goodies! *as you can see* A few things that didn't make it into the picture were a skein of Rowan Cotton Rope is a very pretty Granny Smith green color, some gum and chocolate candies, and a little box holder. That little red cloth is like a tiny Indian rug that is just gorgeous. The picture really doesn't do it justice. And the stitch markers are just gorgeous!! Thank you so much Lulu for stepping in and being my swap angel!

ITE bag

Onto the Knitting/Crocheting updates!
Since I haven't really been able to surf the net and blog from home due to Internet connection problems, I have lots to update you all on!

First up is the Boteh Scarf that I made for my sister for her birthday. The pattern was so easy to follow! I think I will make one for myself *that is after I have finished make all my holiday gifts - just 4 months left... Iiiieeeeee!* I used Plymouth Royal Bamboo for this scarf. I really like that yarn! The scarf took just a little over 4 balls to make.

100_0586 100_0587

Next up....

I finally finished my first sock!! *and I mean one sock*

first sock

It's toe-up. The pattern is Crosshatch Lace from the More Sensational Socks book. The yarn is Tofutsies. Yes, I have cast-on the 2nd sock, but with the holidays 4 months away *panic attach* it might be a little slow going on the 2nd one.

I've started a ripple afghan for my sister, for her Christmas gift. I'm using Lion Brand Suede in various complimenting shades. The different colors are Waterlillies (pictured below), Eggplant, Denim, Olive and Fushia. The pattern is Soft Waves from 200 Ripple Stitches.

Sisters ripple

Lastly, I've cast on for the Lace Christening Blanket from the Vogue Knitting Baby Blankets book. The pattern called for the blanket to be knit in panels and then sewing the panels together. I wasn't having that, so I cast on all the pieces at once and knitting all as one. This is my first attempt at strictly following charts to make the piece, but the 3 different charts are pretty easy to follow, so I'm pleased that I bit the bullet and tried it! *pats herself on the back*

I cast on for this baby blanket Wednesday night when I met with my Stitch 'n Bitch group. And before you ask, yes it is for Mr. X's baby that is due in December. I can't even begin to explain all of that in a post. Two weeks ago, he bought me a ticket to fly up and see him. I went. *I've heard the gammet of responses from friends and family ranging from "are you crazy" to "you gotta follow heart" so trust me, I've already heard it ALL* I really went with hopes that seeing him and hearing about the situation from him would really squealch and squash all these mixed feelings I have about him and everything that happened and I would finally be able to tell him to fuck off and move on. Yeah, it didn't quiet work out that way. Instead, I came to the realization that I was still in love with him. *sigh* No, we are not back together, but my feelings for him are still as strong as ever. He made no promises, and I asked for none. I just need to keep it real. I can't afford the honeymoon period. I can't afford to think about the fantasies. I need to keep it real - and that's what I tell myself every day and every night.

Here's what the blanket looks like so far! You can see that it required 7 different panels - I was not going to do that much sewing! Especially since the edging will also need to be sewn on - unless I look through some of the different edging books and find something else that I like better and can just pick up stitches all the way around the blanket at the end and knit the edging that way! *oooo another idea to start looking into*

baby blanket

You can see in the above picture that there are 4 panels of the cable stitch and below are close ups of the Diamond panel which is smack dab in the middle of the blanket.


And here we have the floral panel that is called for twice in the pattern.


Had I taken a little more time to think about this pattern and creating as a single blanket instead of panels I would have made the minor adjustment to the stitches between the panels. Right now, you can see that the connecting panel stitches are garter stitches. I think I would prefer having the Seed Stitch between panels, but I'm not being that anal about it cause I have no desire to frog it and start over *grin*

I've made a few dishcloths this past month as well, but I don't have pictures of them right now. I will post those at another time.

Well, that is my update for now. It feels good to be back! :)