Goal Trackers

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Maya's 1sy Birthday

I know, I am very late in posting this, no comments from the Peanut Gallery *yes, Ellen that would be YOU* Back in November, my niece turned the big ONE!! Since her birthday falls the week before Thanksgiving, my sister had her birthday party the weekend before Thanksgiving. I was very thankful for that! I did not want to do the drive up to NY two holiday weekends one month apart!

The party was very nice and as you can see, Maya had a blast. She looked adorable in her polka dotted party dress. For a one-year-old she has pretty good coordination with her feet. You should see her kick a ball around. I'm thinking a soccer scholarship is in her future.

My sister and BIL had a balloon artist at the party. He made this amazing rocking horse out of balloon for my niece, and of course, I didn't get a picture of it. Sorry, I thought pictures of niece were cuter, but you can see his work in the lovely panguin hat that my other nieces' are modeling in the pictures below. I keep threatening the older (in the blue) that I'm going to post that lovely picture of her on Facebook and tag her so that all her friends can see just how silly she is outside of school. No, I haven't posted it, but it's fun to watch her squirm about it.

Maya's 1st Birthday

My sister made that birthday cake!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Everybody Hurts...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween Cuties

Well, Halloween has come and gone. My I bought 4 bags of candy to make Halloween bags to give out to the students at school. I put 4 bite size candies into each bag and made up 80 bags to give out to the students as the left the media center at the end of lunch. Apparently the high schoolers still love to get candy :) I also bought 4 big bags of candy for the house as I usually have a good number of kids come by the house and whatever I have left over I just bring in to work on Monday and the kids and staff tear into it. I couldn't believe the number of kids that came by my house this year! I went through all 4 bags AND had to turn my porch light off at 7:45PM! I ran out of candy!! I think kids were dropped off in my neighborhood to trick or treat! Oh well no candy for the staff this year.

Here are just a few pics of my niece and M in their costumes. My niece was a snow fairy. I asked my sister if I could borrow her to ensure that we get our four snow days this school year :) And Baby M was a pirate.

Halloween '09
1. Snow Fairy, 2. PirateM, 3. PirateM1, 4. 4

And I just had to share this. If I tried this with Frisco he would eat me alive!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Neck Shots - Take I

Two Saturdays ago I went in to get a Nerve Conduction Velocity test. It was too bad getting jolted, but at the end of the test the Doc let me know that in addition to the pinched nerve in my neck, I have a pinched nerve in my lower back, which I had suspicions about, and I have the beginning of carpel tunnel syndrome in my right wrist. I turn to the guy and said, "So basically your telling my the right side of my body is going to shit?" He laughed, I sighed. He said he would write everything up for my neurologist, but on the up side he didn't think I would need surgery for anything. So that's a plus.

Tuesday, I went in for my first epidural cortisone shot in my neck. The nurse offered me 10 mg of Valium before the procedure to calm me and in light of Valium not doing a whole heck of a lot when I had my biopsy, I asked if she could give me something stronger. I explained and she said that was all they give out, so I took it. I guess 10 mg at once was better the 5mg. I didn't seem to nervous going in, but I certainly didn't feel "ooolala" afterwards either. So, I received the first shot, the doc certainly got in the right area because he hit my nerve two because I felt two jolts go down my right arm while he was doing whatever it was he was doing back there. Afterwards, they want to know if there's any improvement, and well, I really couldn't tell. I was in any constant pain when I went it. My arm would just go all number with the tinglies when it wasn't in motion and I couldn't tell that there was any great improvement right then and there.

The nurse told me what warning signs to look for when I went home and gave me an ice pack and off I went. My sister dropped me off and I went inside to lay on the couch with the ice pack on my back and rest. When the numbing agent began to wear off, then I really started to feel the weird pain of what had happened. It was all in my upper spine area and my neck. I didn't get a fever, nor did I get a headache, but pain was certainly there. Nothing intense, but before I went to bed, I searched through my medicine cabinet to see if I had any pain killers left over from my surgery the previous summer and found that I still had a few Percocets. I took one and went to bed.

The next morning I really didn't feel any better. I felt very tight in the upper back and in the neck area that I couldn't really turn my head, so I didn't feel safe driving to work. I called in sick and stayed home for the day. It's been almost a week now since my shot and I feel as if I've gotten very little relief from the first shot. The numbness doesn't act up as much, but it's still there. Several people who have had cortisone shots in their neck or back have all said how they have felt instant relief the minute they sat up from the table. Me - not so much. Only one person has told me the shots didn't work for her and she ended up having to do the surgery in the end (HI Ellen!!) I'm still hanging on to the doctor's belief that I don't need surgery and the fact that sometimes it just takes more than one shot for some people. I seem to fall into that "some people" category.

Anyhoo, that's all for the medical updates for now. My next shot is next week as is my next appointment with the neurologist. So we shall see....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Amazing Sand Drawing

Can I just say..... WOW!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Medical Misfires and Weekend Getaways!

Back in June I had gone to the doctor because my right arm was bothering me. I was having these annoying numbing and tingling sensations. I was pretty sure I had a pinched nerve even though I had never had one before. So I went to the Dr and told him what was going on. He asked me if the sensations were in my hand. At that time, they were not. So he thought it was probably something muscular and sent me home and told me to do some yoga. I swear folks, that's what he told me.

I was walking to me car, shaking my head because I knew it wasn't anything muscular. I danced for 15, I played volleyball all through high school, and I grew up in the northeast so I have shoveled my far share of heavy, wet snow. Believe me, I have had my fair share of pulled muscles in the back and arms, this was not muscular. But, we always want to believe out doctors know what they are talking about and I think I just didn't want to deal with yet another medical issue after being slammed with what I feel is three issues in a row. I just didn't want another one right now.

So, I went home and did daily stretches for the next couple of months. The sensations were getting more intense when they came instead of less and now the sensations were reaching my fingers. Finally, I had to face the facts that there was definitely something going on with my arm and I called the doctor back. This time he diagnoses a pinched nerve, sent me to get X-rays and to see a neurologist for the next steps. I went to see a neurologist that my friend highly recommended and she took a look at the X-rays and to what I was describing and concurred that I had a pinched nerve, that it was severe and that I shouldn't have waited this long and that I might have done some irreversible damage to the nerve in my arm, but she won't know for sure till she runs a tests. Then she referred me to go see a spine specialist that can help me alleviate some of the pressure on the nerve before we do some physical therapy because I have too much pressure on the nerve right now for PT to be able to work on its own. She also sent me for a cervical MRI.

So, last Saturday I spent the morning at an Open MRI center getting an MRI done on my neck. Even though it was an open MRI machine, because they were scanning my neck my face had to be directly under the machine. I am not claustrophobic, but I do have issues with this being very close to my face. So I had to keep my eyes closed. Then about halfway through the process, I could feel that the air was blocked in from of my face and that was started to get bothersome, like I couldn't get enough air in my breathes because an object was in the way. Luckily it was all over before I went into any sort of a panic.

Tuesday I saw the spine specialist and he says that according to my MRI, I have two disks at the bottom of my neck that are bulging out to the right, which is why they are pinching that nerve. He recommends a series of three cortisone shots into my neck to alleviate the inflammation that is putting the pressure on this nerve (one shot every two weeks). He let me know exactly what could happen if I continue to let the pressure build and push on the nerve. Eventually the nerve will die and I won't have very good use of that arm because of it. I asked him what I need to do after these shots alleviate the pressure to try and prevent this from happening again. The usually PT and because of my job he wants to me learn some relaxation stretches and he thinks possible a muscle relaxer therapy at night and then I asked the dreaded - what if the shots don't work - question. Let's just say, I hope ths shots work, and leave it at that.

Of course, I come home and call my mom and let her know the outcome of everything and Dr. Mom just has to come out. "Well, are you going to go get a 2nd opinion? You sure you can't do something else? Are you sure you have to get the shots? You don't want to take drugs everyday or your body will get use to them and when you really need htem they won't work! You know I have this things with the nerve and pain and the doctor wanted to do surgery but I didn't want to have surgery so I didn't and I still have the pain, but I didn't have the surgery!" *yeah, I'm still trying to find the logic in that last one too - if you figure it please let me know, because I'm not having any luck* My neck was probably MORE tenses after that phone call then it was while I was processing all this information sitting in the doctor's office!

Anyhoo, so the verdict is, I'm getting 3 cortisone shots in my neck starting next Tuesday. And yeah, I'm scared of a needle going into my neck!

On a brighter note, I so needed a weekend getaway! Me and a few friends did just that this weekend. We took off Thursday night for the weekend. A friend has a house on the MD bay and so we went. Four of us got away for the weekend. The weather was crappy, but we didn't care! Friday we went on a mini yarn crawl and visited Frivolous Fibers in St. Michael's and then we headed up to Island Yarn Boutique on Kent Island. Here's the loot that I got on the yarn crawl:

Cambridge loot

From left to right: Wullenstudio Sock yarn - Flying Purple People Eater (not purchased on the yarn crawl, but acquired on this trip since I came up with this colorway and named it!), Jojoland Cashmere lace in maroon, Blue Heron merino silk in Sandstone, Jojoland Cashmere Sport - 1 maroon, 1 black.

The rest of the time we spend knitting and eating out in wonderful restaurants!! I managed to get most of the body on my February Lady sweater finished!! I know the pictures not the greatest.

February Lady

I also made great progress on my Halloween Horcrux socks!! I cast these babies on LAST year for Halloween, but Halloween came and went and they didn't get finished and then I stopped working on them this year! My girlfriends call these the phallic looking socks, and for good reason:

phallic Horcrux

I'm trying to convince my friend Sheila to dye me a skein of her Monster Mash color so that it stripes nice and thick like this:

Horcrux heel

But I don't think I have her convinced that she needs to do this :( Oh well, I will try again next Halloween *heehee*

If at first you don't succeed... skydiving is probably not for you!

OH No She Did-N'T!!

WARNING: Do not drink anything while watching this video!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Windy City - September 2009

At the end of September I went to Kansas City, MO for a workshop. Work sent me and paid for the workshop and all my travel expenses. Since there were no directly flights to KC from here and since our schools were closed on Monday for Yom Kippur I decided to take Tuesday off and plan a layover in the windy city so that I could visit with my gf, KnitRedSox, one day and Mr. X the other. I was in KC, MO from Thurs - Sun. When I purchased my plan tickets to come home I had to choose a flight that had its connecting flight in Chicago. My choices were 11AM or 6:50PM departure. 11AM meant I would have had to leave the workshop early and since work was paying for it, I couldn't. So, I took the 6:50PM but then I headed to the airport as soon as we got out at noon and put myself on the stand-by list for the 1:30PM flight. Luckily, I was able to take my luggage on board with me because if I checked it beginning the luggage HAS to go to the final destination and that would have left me in Chicago with just the clothes on my back!! But, Hera was apparently smiling down upon me that afternoon for just as I was getting to the place all overhead space was packed and they hand checked my luggage at the plane door and I was able to tell them my final destination was O'Hare and so my luggage got checked and was taken off the plane when we landed in Chicago!

KnitRedSox picked me up and we went back to her place. We hung out of the night and got caught up and we were going to plan a local yarn crawl for Monday, but I guess lucky for my wallet, most of the local shops were closed on Monday! We did find one shop, Knitches, to be open and we headed out there on Monday. It was a very nice shop! Here is what I left the shop with:

Chicago Trip yarn purcahses
1. Malabrigo - Bobby blue, 2. Blue Sky Alpaca - purple, 3. Blue Sky Alpaca - teal

I'm sure anyone who has gone yarn shopping with me or who knows me is is no way surprised by the color selection! Next door to the yarn shop was a bead shop, but I did manage to keep my wallet and credit cards inside my purse while we were in there :)

Monday night Mr. X picked me up and I spend Monday night and Tuesday with him and Baby M until I had to catch my flight.

Unfortunately, I did forget my digital camera and the woman that I went to the workshop with stopped at a CVS and bought us both a disposal camera. I haven't used one of those in years! Then the CVS that I use all the time doesn't do photos on CD. I should have just gone somewhere else, but I was lazy and dropped the film off anyway and then spend some time yesterday scan all the pictures into the computer. So, the pictures are not the best quality, but she's still a cutey. My favorite is the one of Baby M dancing. Actually, I have no idea if she was dancing there of if I manage to get a shot off before she made a mad-dash into my lap. She seems to enjoy running towards people who are sitting on the floor and then flopping on them! But she looks like she was dancing, so that's what I titled it :) Before Mr. X took her home she gave me a big hug and said "I love you." I thought it would get easier the more I saw her, but that just about undid me this trip. I was able to keep myself together just long enough for Mr. X to close the door behind him and then the tears came. Oh well, to use a very over used phrase - It is what it is - and there ain't nothing I can do about it.

Chicago September 2009

1. Madi and Me, 2. Daddy and Madi, 3. Madi dancing, 4. Daddy and Madi 2, 5. Daddy and Madi 3, 6. Madi 1, 7. Madi 2, 8. Madi 3, 9. Madi 4

All-in-all and quick weekend getaway after a business trip. Not a bad way to do it :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

She's Alive!!

Can you name what movie that line is from?? I'm sure I'll more answers then the one movie I'm taking it from :)

Sorry friends, I know I haven't blogged much lately. I've been kind of busy with my house and trying to get things going at work and then trying to get my Etsy shop up and going.

So to catch y'all up, sometime near the end of August I went home for a visit. I got to spend some time with the family and my baby niece, who will be 1 year old next month! Damn how time flies!! Here are some adorable pictures of her in the outfit I bought for her and then some of her with her older cousin in the kiddie pool that Nonnie and Grandpa have in the backyard just for her! That teething ring she has in the center pictures is probably the 6th or 7th teething ring that was purchased for her and one she finally liked chewing on! She apparently hates all the others and refused to put them in her mouth.


Here is my final SP package. Another package of espresso coffee this one chocolate flavored! I can't wait to try it. A beautiful coffee cup and tray set, some chocolates that I took with me on my trip to Kansas City, MO, very pretty feltable wool yarn, a skein of a pretty hot pink yarn that I'm probably going to turn into something for either my niece or Baby M, some boxes of black licorice and she knit me a pair of socks!! Aren't they so pretty!!! I can't wait till it gets cold enough to wear them!

SP package

SP socks

Thank you Hanna!! You've been a terrific spoiler!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Thank Heavens! Sorry I am posted about this so late. My doctor's office called me back on Tuesday or Wednesday to let me know the biopsy results had come back benign. I thought the woman on the phone had called the condition Fibrobcycstic, but I think I must of heard her wrong. On Thursday the surgeon called me because she didn't know if anyone in her office had called to let me know the results of the biopsy. I thought that was very good of her. She said the lump was a Fibroadenoma. Still not cancerous. Since fibroadenomas are benign, treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis. If it is small, painless, remains the same size(I pray it does), and the biopsy showed no problems, I will not need further treatment. I do have follow-up ultrasounds in 6 months. If there is growth or if it becomes painful the Doctor recommends removal of fibroadenomas. The exact cause of fibroadenomas is unknown. They seem to be influenced by estrogen. There is also a good change that it could disappear over time, I like that idea even better cause sleeping in a bra for a week after the biopsy was hell!

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers, thank you to my family and friends who have very much helped to keep this off my mind these last few weeks as I waited for my biopsy appointment and then again as I waited for the results. It has meant to world to me to know that I have such a support group!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Hate Waiting!!

Friday was my biopsy and now I am waiting for the results to come in. I hate waiting! The biopsy itself wasn't bad. I do think though that Valium appears to have not have the desire effect with me. I felt no calmer after taking the medication then I did beforehand.

The nurses at the St. Agnes Breast Clinic were all very nice. This is the same hospital where I had my abdominal myomectomy last year, so I was comfortable going back there. The nurse that was with me asked me all these questions to make sure I knew what was going to happen and what I was to expect. Then the surgeon came in and talked to me before she started the procedure. I was nervous as all hell. Strange too, this procedure was so much less stressful on the body then my surgery last year, yet I wasn't really nervous at all like I was on Friday. Guess it's because the stakes are higher this time, yet had something gone wrong or if the fibroids were worse then anticipated the option of children being permanently removed would have been devastating to me.

Anyhoo, I didn't feel much except the needle going in to numb the area and then the pressure each time the doctor put the needle/gun back in to take another sample. The first sample she took - I nearly jumped off the table. No, not from pain, but I certainly gave the doctor and the nurses a scare! The nurse had warned me before hand that biopsy needle makes a clicking sound, I just didn't realize how loud of a sound it was. So she takes the first sample and I flinch on the table and suddenly I have 3 pairs of huge saucers eyes on me and all three of them asking me at once, "OMG did you feel that? You shouldn't have felt that! She numbed you up good!" If I wasn't wound so tight and if the Valium had worked the way I suspect it's suppose to work, I probably would have laughed at that point.

"No, I didn't feel any pain, a little pressure maybe. The noise just startled me." You could see all three of them exhaling at once! Like I said, I can certainly see the humor now, but Friday - yeah, not so much.

Then the nurse that was holding the sonogram wand, who was also the nurse that saw me take my 2nd Valium pill, pats my arm and says, "Oh Sweety, I guess that Valium hasn't kicked in yet has it?" Gee, Yeah think! "Well, you'll be feeling really good this afternoon then!" That 'real good feeling' never did seem to kick in on Friday.

After that first jump, the doctor let me know each time she was getting ready to pull the trigger. I don't think she wanted me jumping anymore either. Afterwards, they took some mammogram pictures to make sure the markers that were inserted, so that people know in looking at future mammograms that these two lumps have been biopsied already, the machine broke! I didn't get out there till about 2pm and I was starving. I hadn't eaten since about 7PM the night before! Not that I couldn't eat, I was just too nervous to eat, but at this point I would have eat a whole cow myself!

My sister took me out to lunch and she would have taken me anywhere else I needed or wanted to go, but I needed to keep ice on my boob for the next 5 hours and that would be a little difficult if I was out and about. Lucky for my I have several ice packs in my freezer. With my migraines, I need to make sure I can pull out a cold one when the one I'm using is no longer cold. So, home for the night I was.

Luckily, I did have a little pick-me-up just before going in! On Thursday, my 2nd Secret Pal package was delivered and what a package it was!! First off, the box was just too cute! I may try to reuse it. It's a share we don't have cute shipping boxes like that here in the states. I opened the box and I was instantly enveloped in the wonderful aroma of coffee! My pal send my some Espresso coffee from Finland! I find had a cup this morning and it was DE-Lish!! Yummy!! Next up was some organic espresso chocolate and some jelly candies from Finland as well. Haven't tried the chocolate yet, but the other candies are yummy! There was also two bars of handmade soap that smell yummy, and a pamphlet of Finnish to English translations of some knitting terms that my come in very handy for me since I have several shawls I'd love to make that need to be translated from Finnish to English before I can do anything! AND!!!! She send my Wollmeise yarn - not 1 BUT 2 skeins!! I've never knit with this yarn, but I have heard good things about it and boy is it soft!!! Two skeins of Wollmeise - Twin. This is one of the best perks of International swaps, getting yarns that I can't easy get in my area!! I have no idea what the colorways are because the label has it listed as "We're Different", but but when I check that colorway on Ravelry there are lots of variations for it. I think this happens to be We're Different - Aquarius:
one is a beautiful deep aquamarine/teal and the other is turquoise and green. GORGEOUS!! My pal has certainly taken the time to learn my color likes!! I'll try to get a nice outside picture of the skeins to really show off the colors! These skeins are a generous 510 yards each!! I am defiantely making a shawl with the more aquamarineish one. It's just too beautiful a color to hide under pants and inside shoes!

I'm so excited about this yarn that I would love to wind it up and cast on right now, but I have way to many UFOs flying around my house and I have to finish test knitting a pattern for Fresh from the Cauldron's - Oz Club, which I so regret not signing up for, but money was tight and too many house emergencies were happening for me to risk spreading my finances too thin. Besides, I have to find a shawl pattern!!

SP14 package 2

Thank you Secret Pal!! I love my 2nd package!! And it was just the little pick me up I needed before this weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tomorrow is the Day

Well, my waiting time is has just about come to an end. Tomorrow I go in for my breast biopsy. I'm relieved it's finally here and yet I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. I'm not exactly afraid of needles, but the thought of one long enough to get to where it needs to get to *shiver* and I will be awake for the procedure. I get to take a Valium before hand to calm my nerves and they will numb my breast so that I will not feel anything, but still. I've never had Valium before so I have no idea of what effect it will really have on me. Some of those drugs that are suppose to have a "calming" or "this feels good" side effect doesn't always seem to be the case with me.

My sister is taking me because I'm not allowed to drive if I'm going to take the Valium before the procedure. The surgeon says the procedure will only take about 20 minutes - hospital paperwork will tack on two hours I'm sure. They will numb the breast and then find the lump on the sonogram and then use the sonogram to guide the needle toward the lumps to remove tissue samples from each. I have no idea if I'm going to be able to watch, or if I should bring eye covers with me!

Luckily the lumps are right next to each other they sort of make a little dumbbell shape. *Apparently my right boob was secretly lifting weights* So they will take both samples from one little incision. Afterwards she will insert a mark at each lump so that in future mammograms they will know that those two have already been biopsied. A little butterfly band aid to close the incision and an ice pack in my bra and they will send me on my way.

Then the real waiting game begins. The results should come back in about 3 days. I'm guessing that means three business days, so I'm not expecting to hear anything till next Wednesday or Thursday. I think I can hold it together for one more week, or course I'm going to have the migraine from hell when those test results finally come in - no matter what the results. Just the release of the pent-up worry is going to trigger it, what can I say, I know my body and I know my migraine triggers. At least this way I can prepare for it.

Anyhoo, I need to get some sleep now, before I think of this anymore and worry myself into a bout of insomnia. Not what I need tonight.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One Thing at a Time

That's all I can do, and now I can happily cross one more house project off my list! My front walk is now complete and whole again. I was able to get 3 different estimates, two coming in at exactly the same price and the last three times higher!! I couldn't believe it. So I highered one of the construction companies to repair my sideway and I came home to find to entrance to my house roped off. Guess the guy didn't realize that this was the only way into my house.


He came back the next day to remove the frame and and bring the dirt level up some, but he left me room in the flower bed for topsoil to plant new plants. He did a good job.


Now I just need to price out topsoil for the front lawn and plant grass come mid-September. Slowly, one step at a time.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mammograms, Sonograms, Breast Exams Oh My!

About 6 weeks ago I had my first mammogram done. I know lots of women complain that it is painful experience. Carleen, my assistant, who's more like a sister to me, warned me as well. She also gave me a tip to take 1000 IU of Vitamin E starting 1 weeks before the exams and that will help with the pain. I don't know if it was the Vitamin E or the fact that I was just well blessed was amble cushioning in that area, but it wasn't too bad. The woman who took the pictures was also very quick, so the pressure wasn't on them for very long. Anyway, I left think that wasn't so bad.

About a week later, maybe not even that long, I get a call from one of the nurses in the office. They found two small masses on the mammogram and they want me to come in for more pictures and a sonogram as soon as I can. After I get the sonogram the doctor wants me to make an appointment to come in for a breast exam exactly 4 weeks late. The nurse stressed that it was very important that my appointment be exactly 4 weeks after the sonogram. Yes, panic attack sets in. She's trying to tell me not to worry, that is probably nothing, but they want to be sure. So there I was in my office at work, taking deep breaths, trying not to panic and get my blood pressure up and trigger a migraine.

I call the radiology department and set up another appointment, it was the days before my trip out to Chicago. I go in and the woman taking the x-rays was trying to tell me not to worry. This is my first mammogram and they want to get a good baseline to compare to for later mammograms. Then she goes on to try and explain all the "other" non-worrisome things these masses can be and that these more direct pictures and the sonogram with help them determine if it's just a simple cyst or something other such non-cancerous mass. She was really pleasant and I felt somewhat put at ease, but there's still that little something in the back of mind that says "what if."

Let's face it, I had just spend two years dealing with a gyno who just kept switching my birth control when I was complaining of certain female problems instead of examining me. Finally I had enough and switch insurances and had to go to a different doctor to know I even had fibroids and yet another doctor who was willing to do the surgery to remove them. And I went through 2 Orthopedics before one could diagnose my knee issue correctly. Can you blame me for being a little weary when it comes to medical issues.

OK, so 2nd mammogram done, sonogram done, 4week appointment made. I can relax now. You would think right. No, the morning I am to fly out to Chicago I get a phone call from the radiology department - they wanted me to come down that day for another sonogram. OK - Now panic sets in. I'm suppose to leave for Chicago in 4 hours, I have the A/C man coming out the house in 30 minutes to clean the unit and get it running for the summer heat and now this. I'm flustered and furious and panicked and can't think straight. My first reaction was to tell the woman there was no way I could come in today - that I was leave for vacation in a few hours and I would come in as soon as I got back.

After I got off the phone I laid in my bed and just let the thought run ramped through my head as I went a little numb. After about 30 minutes I got dress and packed everything I needed for the airport into my car. When the A/C man arrived I let him get to work and then I called my sister and talked to her about it all. She sounded concerned that they called they that as well and asked me what I was going to do. I told her that as soon as the AC man was done, I would head to the clinic, get it done and then head to the airport. I should make it in time since I wouldn't have to wait at the clinic. They said they would take me as soon as I got there.

So, that's what I did. The A/C man left at 10. I went to clinic and was done and out of there by 11Am and on my way to the airport for a 1:20PM flight with plenty of time. I asked the woman who was doing the sonogram why did they call me back in and if they found something yesterday that alarmed them. She said that they didn't catch the masses on the sonogram very well and they just wanted to make sure. Then she said don't be surprised is they request to see you back here in 6 months. I thought that was a little strange if it was "nothing."

I tried to put this out of my mind till the 4 week appointment. No use in worrying till you know, right? *So instead I did a breast exam on my right breast every other day trying to feel these two lumps* I get the radiologists report during this time frame. One report states 2 small masses in the right breast and then another report states the left breast. Talk about mixed messages! But all the extra pictures and the sonograms were done on the right breast, so I was pretty sure these two masses were in the right one or the radiologist needs more then writing lessons. I'm sure we all know how well that works. It wasn't that this was exactly at the forefront of my mind all the time, but you know how it is. I was good, I didn't go surfing the net to try and find any and every article on breast lumps and cancer and false alarms.

Then the day of my appointment comes. My doctor reads over the reports and does another back-asswards way of trying to calm a patience's fear. "It's probably nothing, just Fibrocystic breasts, but I do want you to get a 2nd opinion and see a specialist. Someone who does nothing but breasts and can really tell. After all you are in a high category for breast cancer since you are overweight and haven't had any children." Then he was explain how it was funny that they even messed up when they wrote the reports and pointed out how on one report they stated it was the right breast and on the other report they stated it was the left. I mean he was actually laughing over it. Me, yeah, not so much. I didn't think it was that funny. I never did figure out why it was so imperative that I wait 4 weeks to make my appointment with him after having the 2nd mammogram. Didn't make any sense after that appointment.

So, on my way home from that appointment I immediately called my gyno, the one that finally really listened to me about my other issues, and left her a message about what was found on my mammogram and that I would really appreciate her taking a look at the results and her opinion of what I should do from here, and if she could recommend a specialist to go to for a 2nd opinion. I left a message with all the details and waited. In the meantime, I contact the breast clinic the my doctor suggests and made an appointment with someone for this Friday.

I spoke with my gyno yesterday and said that the masses are very small, but that she wants me to get a 2nd opinion. I told her which clinic my regular Doctor recommended and asked her if she recommended any of the doctors that worked there and she gave me two names. The appointment I had was with one of the doctors she recommended, but when I looked up both names today, the other one had a focus on breast surgery, so I switched my appointment to her and now my appointment is on Monday. What's a few more days of trying not to worry, right?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finished Projects Updates

Yikers! I have been a very bad blogger when it comes to posting my finished projects. I just scrolled back and realized I hadn't posted a finished project since May!! Bad me!! (Sorry Ellen!! - have to say that before she chastises me at knitting group ;) )

OK, first up is the Gail shawl. I loved knitting this shawl as it was very different from any of my other previous shawls. I may actually knit this one again as a Christmas gift for someone else, but this one I am definitely keeping for myself!

Pattern: Gail (Nightsongs) Rav link
Yarn: Fresh from the Cauldron - Silk Sock
Colorway: The Volturi
Needles: KnitPicks Harmony size 8
Modifications: completed 7 repeats and then the edging. The pattern called for a double YO at the center stitch. I thought that made to large of a stitch and changed it to a single YO.

Here's a nice close-up of the motif. Believe it or not, the yarn is a variegated colorway. The dyer blended the colors so smoothly and the changes are soft enough that it worked beautifully in this lace pattern. I couldn't have been happy with the results!


Here's an outside shot so you can see the colors a little better.


Next up are just a few dishcloths. I was on a kick. I had made one for my sister a while back and last time I was over her house I noticed that it was seriously on it's last life! So I gave her the top two that are pictures and I kept the bottom two for myself. I'm thinking of making a whole bunch more and giving them as part of family Christmas gifts this year.

Chinese Waves dishcloth Flicker Flames dishcloth

Octagonal Swirl dishcloth 100_2322

Next up, I test knitting a baby sweater pattern for my friend Sheila over at Wullenstudio and Sheila Rovelstad Designs. What a fun knit and you can knit the smallest size with one skein of her sock yarn!! I made this sweater to give as a baby gift for my cousin's wife, who is pregnant, but they are holding out till the baby is born to find out if the child is a boy or a girl. Since the sweater design really leans more toward a girl I"m holding on to it and going to start a more boyish sweater here soon.

Bebe Sweater
Pattern: Bebe Sweater (test knitted the pattern for Sheila Rovelstad Designs)
Yarn: Wullenstudio Sock Yarn
Colorway: Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys

Needles: KnitPicks size 2 (30 mm)

Bebe Sweater

Lastly is a birthday gift for my friend - KnitRedSox. OK, so she's a July baby and a wool cowl isn't really ideal - BUT there's a good reason for this. She has just recently moved back to the Chicago area and the winters up there can be brutal, so it will be put to good use in a few weeks I'm sure ;) Plus, her favorite color is purple! (Miss you Girl!!)

I cannot tell you how many times I frogged and started this cowl over because it just didn't look like it was coming out right. I looked on Ravelry on other people's project pages and no one had any comments about errors or anything, so I casted on again and worked through one full repeat during at a knit night. I showed some of the gals there the directions and what was coming out on my needles and it wasn't looking like the picture on the pattern. Finally I gave up for the night and decided to give Ravelry another look-see in the morning. On the actual project page is where I saw a more explicit explanation of the pattern directions and finally understood the pattern, but thought the pattern directions could have been written more clearly to reflect that! Well, I was finally able to get the cowl finished and the birthday package put all together and shipped out :)

I just may have to make one of these cowls for myself as well!!
Storm Cowl
Pattern: Darkside Cowl Rav link
Yarn: 100Purewool
Colorway: Storm
Needles: KnitPicks Harmony size 8
Modifications: none

House Projects Crossed Off the List

Well, one-by-one I am slowly crossing off projects on what seems to be the ever growing list of house projects. As you may recall from Plumbing Disaster No. 2, my yard looked like a tornado had come through. Literally. I walked out each morning for work expecting to see two stripped stocking legging sticking out from under my house. Frisco thought I was crazy when I asked him if saw the Lollypop Kids. Anyhoo, one thing at a time - right.

Project no. 1:
Well, I called around and found a handyman that would haul away all the roots and stumps and for me. He even went around the yard to get the roots and sticks that didn't make it into this nasty pile. Now you see it...


Now you don't!


Now I just need to figure out what to do from here. There are still lots of chips lefts from when the stumps were ground down when the tree were removed last summer (summer '08) and I the ground needs to be leveled off some to make mowing easier and I need to bring a whole bog load of topsoil to plant new grass properly - cha-ching. I just don't know how I'm going to afford all of this right now. I was talking to a friend, Ellen, at knitting yesterday and she made a great suggestion of having what she calls a "Garden Party." Apparently her church has them. You invite friends over to help you landscape and when all the work is done you have a party afterwards as a thank-you. I told her I would have to talk to her more about this because this sounds like an idea :)

At least this little guy is enjoy my backyard even if I am not!


Project no. 2:
I can cross off my list is the nice hold in my basement slab that the plumbers left behind as well! This was a lovely reminder of what needed to be done every time I went down into my basement to clean the litter box or do laundry.


Yesterday, I went straight home after meeting up with my Saturday morning knitting group because Kozykitty's husband, David, was coming over to help me patch up my basement slab. Actually, he did most of the work, while I asked all the questions and watched and be very grateful. Two hours later, the hole looked like this:


Afterwards, I gave KK a ring and told her to come over for a late lunch or an early dinner. While we were waiting David was giving me some suggestions for the backyard. All it cost me was a Miller High Life, a Chinese Dinner, and time spent with friends - well worth it. Thank you David!!!

Project no. 3:
After KK and David left, I decided to start tackling the front yard. You may recall that the plumbers left it in quiet a mess. They really did a very shitty job with the yard the 2nd time around. There were rocks every were!


And rocks are not good if you intend to plant grass. The rocks are good for filling up hole that is in front of my porch though. Not that these rocks were going to be enough, but they would be a start and someplace easy to put the rocks :) So, I got out the rake and tackled the front yard. Looks a lot better doesn't it?


I raked the rocks all up and pushed what I could under the piece of blue plywood and next to the ramp to fill up the hole. I'm calling around to get estimates for replacing the concrete walkway now.


My mother keeps trying to suggest that my father will come down and do it, but I don't think she understands that this isn't a small project, nor is it really a one man project. Of course when I try telling her this her response is, "well you and I will help him." and my thoughts to that are *great and I'll be in jail for man-slaughter because I'll end up killing you both before the day is over* That is just a disaster waiting to happen. So you can see the rush in getting the estimate for the concrete work. How do you tell your Mother - "Mom, if you really want to help, just write me a check for the contractor."

That is it on the house projects for now. I am sure more will be coming :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Secret Pal Goodies

I recevied my first Secret Pal package last week. I must apologize to my pal that it has taken me almost a week to blog about it, although I had send a thank email immediately. My camera batteries were dead and couldn't take pictures till yesterday.

I came home from work to fine this package from the Loppy Ewe sitting on my front porch. It threw me for a loop because I didn't remember placing any orders in the last week. I racked my brain and then thought I must be losing it! When I saw the Secret Pal note inside understand washed over me - and relief that I hadn't lost my marbles :)

I received this beautiful skein of Handmaiden Seasilk!! Yummy!! And look at those colors, teal, turquise, hot pink - hubba-hubba!! Now to find the right pattern!! Along with this yummy yarn was a handy-dandy keychain to check needle sizes and guage! Yes that FOUR letter word G-U-A-G-E ;) and a packet of SOAK. A knitter can never have too muck Soak!!


Thank you Secret Pal!!

If anyone has a pattern suggest, I'd love it if you would leave a comment :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chicagoland Visit

So, after the sewer fiasco I needed a getaway. Granted, I had purchased my plane tickets back in May when I thought everything was fixed and done and over with. Never in a million years did I think I'd be leaving my yard in such disarray, but as the saying goes - "Life happens when you make plans."

Baby M was hitting the 18 month mark which means Mr. X was getting his first official full weekend with her and he planned for it to be during the week that I was going to be in town. I can't believe how much she has grown! She looks just like her daddy. On Saturday, we went out to Plainfield and visited with my friends Suzanne and Conrad and their two kids. It was so nice to see them again! I know it's only been two weeks since they moved back up there, but I feel like it's been two months since she's moved away. I miss not having my girl around the corner from me!

It was really neat watching the kids play together. Baby M got all excited when Suzanne brought the dogs out. She just loves dogs, or as she says "Pup-Ies!" I think the funniest part of the afternoon was when Baby M would pretend she was sleeping and she would make these snoring sounds likes like she was asleep. I had heard her do this Friday night and early that day, so I didn't think anything of it. I actually thought she was immitaing her father sleeping but, shhhhhhhhh I never told him that. Apparently he had never heard her do this before so I think he was slightly embarrassed and Suzanne was cracking up everytime she did it! I thought it was adorable! Here are a few pics from my visit. Regretably, I didn't take very many pictures this time. Saying Goodbye gets a little harder with each visit *sniffle*

Chicago June 2009

I know Suzanne is hoping I could make it back up there for the weekend of July 17th so that we could go to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, and I keep checking the airlines every few days, but I don't think it's going to happen this year :( . It's a shame too, because I'd really love to see everyone again and that fair just sounds like it would be so much fun. Maybe not up to par with the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, but I sure just as much fun! I'm hoping to maybe get back up there in August when I have a break between summer school and regular school, but we shall see. There's always Stitches Midwest in September - not exactly a festival, but yarn overload just the same :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Plumbing Disaster no. 2

I know, I've been a bad blogger lately, as my friend Ellen has pointed out to me (Hi Ellen) but as you can see from the title of this post, I have good reason for being behind. Back in January, you may recall reading of my water woohs on my basement. Then again in April when "The House Strikes Again" I had my front yard dug up because the main sewer line needed to be replaced. Basement water problems all solved right! You would think. Right?


Picture this, Sunday June 14th (this is now about a month to 6 weeks after the sewer lines has been replaced) I am getting ready to go out to lunch with my sisters for our birthdays - mine was the 8th of June and my older sister's was the 9th and my younger sister was taking us both out to eat as her gift to us. I was just going to throw some clothes in the laundry and head over to my older sister's house. I head down to the laundry room in the basement, turn on the light at what do I see but a small puddle of water on the floor! Immediately, I look in the basement bathroom and sure enough the water in the toilet bowl is very low and it looks like there is some sediment in the bowl, but there is no water on the floor in the bathroom. BAFFLING! I'm at a complete loss at this point and trying really, really hard not to just completely break down. I didn't know what to do except call my big sister.

I was absolutely positive the water came up through my toilet - AGAIN - and that somehow the plumber had not fixed the problem. For whatever reason, my sister wanted to believe it was a different problem *I think she wanted to try and see if she could push me over the edge by creating another problem for me to think about with my house* She had me checking the foundation walls for cracks, the sump pump, she was thinking it was rain water coming in because we had so much rain the last few days - which to her credit would have all been valid reason, but none of them connected to, nor explained how there was dirt in my toilet bowl. The only logical explanation was that the clog was still there and that water had come back up through the toilet. It's the only thing that made sense, and yet - they had replaced my whole sewer line. So maybe I was going crazy.

So within the hour my sister, who is an architectural engineer so she knows a little something about something when it comes to construction, come over and took a walk around the house to check the drainage flow from the house. She came inside to check the cracks in the foundation, which were all normal settlement cracks and now allowing water to come in. She was still thinking it was the sump pump pump though, but she couldn't explain the sediment in the toilet.

Then my younger sister, BIL and the baby came by. My BIL was telling me all these other things I needed to do in my basement, which really were not things I needed to hear right then. I had just spend $3G removing all the trees from my property last year, and another $3G replacing the sewer line, I am tapped out in the money department and he's talking about redoing my basement. I told him, unless he won lotto and hasn't told the family, there isn't much I can do right now. Then he pointed out the black mold that has started to grow in some spots due to the repeated flooding, so I might have no choice be to tear down my basement to the bare studs to get rid of that mold, but I can't replace anything right now.

And of course, every time I talk to my mother she's telling me to just sell the house and get something better. What she doesn't seem to grasp is that if I put my house on the market right now I would probably lose EVERY DIME I put down on the house, not to mention EVERY DIME I put into this house to make improvements since I moved in.

Can I just run away and hide??

So, getting back to basement. Later on that night, stupid me, went ahead and did a load of clothes and when I went downstairs to put them in the drier... *squish squish* I turned on the lights and there was water all over the freakin' floor. All the water that had drained out of the washing machine had come back up through the toilet, I was sure of it this time. People, I can't even explain to you the emotions that racked through my body at that point. I completely lost it and the flood gates opened up. Once the tears dried up then the dam bursted and I let out a string or curses that would have made a sailor blush! I marched right upstairs at 10:30 PM and called the damn plumber to let him know something was wrong.

Of course, he insisted it had to be on the county end since they had just replaced the line. Called the county the next morning. OMG! Talk about dumb things people do and say....

me - Yes, I had water back up into my house and I just had my sewer line replaced a month ago, so I really doubt it can be on my end, can you please send someone out to check the county lines.

county person - is the water still backing up into your house?

me - no, I turned the water off

cp - well we can't determine anything if the water isn't flowing when we come out and look

me - *stunned* Excuse me??

cp - the water needs to be runner in order for the guys to look down the pipe to determine if there is a blockage on out end, they need to see of the water is back flowing.

me - are you kidding me? what idiot is going to continue to let water backup and flood their basement waiting for you people to come out an take a look??

I couldn't believe this conversation. Anyhoo, turns out, the blockage was not on the county end. I filled up my washing machine again to get ready to show the plumber exactly what was happening. Then he finds it necessary to tell me that if they find out the problem isn't connected to the first issue and is not connected tot he work they did, then they are going to have to charge me to snake and camera the line. NO SHIT, but I have water backing up into my basement and I would like to figure out where it's coming from and fix the problem so that it doesn't happen again!! When he got here, I showed him the toilet and ran the rinse the cycle at the point were it was starting to drain the water. After a few seconds, they heard the water bubbling in the toilet and this time it was ever backing up in the sink in the bathroom. We turned it off before too much water overflowed and then he snaked the camera down to take a look. He still didn't think they did anything wrong. He was thinking something happened to the pipe at the foundation wall when the house settled.

I'm thinking, this house is 30 years old, this house should be done settling and I'm not buying this load of bullcrap! Something inside me just knew it had to be something on their end.

They snake the camera down and they find the blockage, tree roots.

plumber - There's you problem, tree roots

me - *just looks at the pictures on the camera screen*

plumber - you must have a cracked pipe and the roots have gotten in and their catching the toilet paper and causing the blockage

I'm taking a closer look at the screen when it hits me - "ummm Joe, that's the same shots from the first time you guys came out. That's the exact same things that was there when you first came out and snaked my line with the camera that you were suppose to have fixed when you fixed my sewer line!"

plumber - huh?

me - That is the EXACT same picture from the first video tape that you guys recorded when you came out here the last time.

plumber - do you still have that videotape?

me - I sure do!

And I go running upstairs to find the tape and of course I can't find the tape. Here I am look through my stack of tapes "Shit!" , "FUCK!" , "Frisco where did I put that tape?" *yeah, the cat looked at me like I had lost it* I found the tape and brought it to them and they popped it in and sure enough it was the same! Thank God I kept the tape for insurance reason, even though insurance doesn't cover tree root damage.

So they had to come back out and dig up my front yard again, and this time they had to jackhammer the foundation in my basement because with Donald Duck installed the plumbing they somehow zigzagged the lines and 28' hit just underneath my house. I measured it out myself several times the night before, 28' at closest should have been underneath my front porch, but somehow it was underneath my foundation. Go figure!

It turns out that there was a crack in the pipe. There was also a tree root growing right along next to the pipe and at the point of the crack all the little rootlings that grow off the root were growing into the pipe and those damn rootlings had actually almost filled up the 4" diameter of the pipe!!


That sucker in the middle was the root that was growing next to the pipe! It's almost as think as the freakin' pipe!!


And there are all the damn rootlings that were growing inside the pipe causing me all the problems! Damn trees. And the freakin' HOA thinks I'm going to replant trees to replace the ones I cut down?? Hell no! Not in my yarn. I'll be happy to buy seven trees and give them each on they can plant in their yard!

The plumber then I think felt sorry for me knowing that I am a school teacher with like ZERO extra cash, so when he was done with the sewer line asked if I wanted him to take the backhoe to the backyard and pull up and roots and tree stumps I might still have back there. I was like sure! Not thinking of all the work this would leave for me!!

So this is what my front yard looks like again, and still because I am still waiting for them to come back and finish!!


And this is what my backyard looks like now:



Here are all the roots and stumps he pulled up from the grounds and if you can bleieve it, there are still some in the ground - I didn't want him getting to close to my house. Now I have to figure out how to get rid of all this. Unfortunatley, I don't know anyone with a pick-up truck that help me take it the county dump, so I may just have to cut it down and put it out a little at a time with the yard recyclables once a week. Once things at a time, right?


This portion of the fence fell over when that tree fell and just missed my car a few weeks ago in that bad storm that we had.


It looks like a tornado circled all the way around my house, and left my house intact!

Since this piture was taken, I have removed that portion of the fence and placed all the side beams under neither my back deck till I figure out what I am going to do.

But, in looking on the bright side, when I finally get all this shit done, I'm going to actually have a beautiful, usuable backyard!! I'm just not good with patiences, I want it NOW DAMN IT!! :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Furiously Frustrated!!

I am so furious with the county that I work for right now that I could spit fire! Back in November, I achieved National Board status. As a "Job Well Done" all Nationally Board Certified Teacher in my county get a county bonus added to their normal pay AND we are suppose to received an additional bonus paid out by the state. The state bonus is added to our paychecks in one lump sum toward the end of the school year. Now, just a couple of weeks ago we received a notice from our joke of a union letting us know that the state made a decision to cut these bonus by 50% for next year. To borrow Gomer Piles infamous line:

this was done very quietly so that no one could raise the red flag in the educational community to try and find this decision BEFORE it occurred!

Anyhoo, getting back to this year and the county underhanded: that state bonus is going to be in my check come Friday. Today, we can view our pay stub to see what will be directly deposited into our accounts on Friday. Imagine my surprise when I got barely more than 50% of that bonus in my check - BEFORE TAXES are taken out!! Well, the emails started firing off wondering what the hell was going on. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeet, I started calling around the all the county office wanting to know where the rest of my money was! Two hours and four different departments later, I come to find out that some bigwig of a jerk at one of the school county office (NOT the state department) just up and made the decision to this year prorate the bonus from the date that we actually received our official scores stating that we achieved. Again, no prior notice was sent out through the county's National Board department, nothing was received by any of us "newly achieved" telling us that - "oh btw, you aren't really getting you whole bonus this year either."

It is now six hours after I received this wonderful news *dripping the angered sarcasm* and still NOTHING is officially being said about the change to our bonus for this year. How frustrating!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's the Final Countdown!!

No, not the song, but it is the countdown to the end of the school year!! I'm trying to firm up my plans for the summer and plan some getaways when I can. I was kind of hoping to spend my birthday and a few days before summer school starts up in Chicago with Mr. X & Baby M, but I don't know if that's going to happen. At least maybe not the birthday weekend trip. He's been stressed lately because he's been laid off for about two and a half months now. He had a great interview a few weeks ago and it seemed very, very likely that he was going to get an offer, but then there was a hiring freeze. A real bummer.

He hasn't been sleeping well lately either and I'm sure that all ties in to the stress over the job hunt and worrying about his little girl. Usually when he is stressed like this he doesn't really want to be around people, so needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when he said yes to my visiting (provided that I go my Masters +30 salary increase and that these trips wouldn't hinder me financially). I didn't talk about the trips again for fear of stressing us both out, but when I go the salary lane change I let him know and he asked about the trip. He also mentioned that his mom had offered to let him stay at their vacation home in Santa Clause, Indiana (think it's in Indiana at least) and he asked if I like to go there when I came up. He warned me though that there was no cable and therefore no television and no Internet access.

So, I thought about it over night and sent him some dates of when I could come up and visit. I also let him know that if he had ulterior motives for wanting to go to SC while I was there that maybe it would be better for me to not to come up. Reasons being that 1. I didn't want him to miss his visitation with his daughter while I was there and I enjoy spending time with her as well, and 2. Baby M's mother just moved in a few miles down the road from him and he's trying to keep as much of his private life away from her as possible, so I didn't know if he was just trying to avoid us from accidentally crossing paths. Not that I am all that interested in meeting her, but from what all he's told me about her, I have no idea how she would react to realizing that he's not actually "pining" over her. The last thing I want to do is add anymore stress to his load right now with how she might react. I'm not sure what he was thinking when he read that email, but it apparently threw him off. Anyhoo, I think everything got cleared up, but he hasn't gotten back to me yet on the dates. I figure when he's ready he will and if he doesn't then I guess I'll make other plans.

Sorry got a little sidetracked there, getting back to school. Technically there are 16 official student days left in the school year. Things get a little wonky at the high schools in the school system I work for around this time of the year. Seniors are taking their finals this week and once they take their final they are done with their class for the year. Seniors will be done with their classes on Friday, May 29th, but graduations isn't until Friday, June 5th and technically the last day of school is Tuesday, June 16th! It just boggles my mind how things are so different. My senior year, I was in school taking finals until the 2nd to last day of school and then the night of the last days of school was graduation. Oh well, gotta go with the flow right?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today is for Remembrance

Please takea few minutes to send a prayer up to your creator and ask him/her to watch over and protect our brothers and sisters who are in the military.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What a GREAT Start to the Weekend

This weekend started of with, none other than....


Several of my friends and I went into D.C. Friday evening. We took the metro down and our first stop was the Chocolate Moose! What a funky store! My friend Naomi loves this place. Talk about eclectic! This store ran gammet from $2 gadgets and gizmos to nice martini glasses *very hard to resist not buying myself a set of 4* for gorgeous jewelry! We had a blast walking around and checking everything out.

Next stop was Hello Cupcake, sounds like a strip joint doesn't it? But in fact, it is just that, a cupcake place. I don't know who comes up with these ideas, but places like these certainly show me that Americans just have money to burn! The cupcakes are $3 EACH!! Sheeeet, for $6 I could have made a dozen at home! But, we all bought cupcakes while we were there. Kathy was the only sane one to buy 1 and just try it. The rest of us crazy gals, we bought either a box of four or six. I knew I was having company Saturday night so I bought a box of six. *Bellview called and they're looking for me* What the hell was I thinking??

Last stop on this crazy train was Happy Hour!! Finally!! Our final destination was just down the street from Hello Cupcake. We went to Cafe Citron for food, drink, music and laughs. My friend Sarah found this place on some "Hot DC" Happy Hour list. Just as we sat down at our table Sarah remembered we were in DC and that the Power Ball Lotto could be purchased in DC. So we started asking our waiter, who was oh so hot!, about Power Ball and if anyone had won and where we might be able to buy some tickets. It was quite amuzing. I'm sure the hot waiter thought we were all nuts when we played the number that corresponded to his name and then we asked his age. Oh if I was just 10 years younger! Of course Sarah said he was the perfect age for me *laugh*

We had pitcher after pitcher of Mojito *hell, no one was driving! We metroed it!* we shared several different appitizers, had great music playing the whole night and laughed it up. It was the perfect start to the weekend!

Saturday was nice and relaxing. I cleaned up a bit since I was having company and then finished knitting my Forest Canopy Shawl. It took me all while to find the right pattern for this skein as there are many colors through out and I wanted to create something that would show off the gorgeous colors without the colors detracting from the pattern. The FCS was the perfect match. This shawl was such a quick knit and with a great yarn. This dyer has a real eye for mixing colors together. This was one of the skeins I received in my first shipment from the club. The dyer's Etsy shop is called Fresh from the Cauldron and the club is the Vampire Sock Club. The shawl only took me 5 days to knit.

I wanted to use as much of the skein as possible. so I just kept repeating the main pattern. As the skein was dwingling down, I would put a lifeline in at the end of the repeats. I put one in after repeast 12 and then 13. This was if had misjudged how far I could go with what's left, I could just rip back to the lifeline and be safe. Turned out I was able to get 14 repeats out of a skein with 440 yarns. It was such a gorgeous day that I was able to take pictures outside when the shawl was dry.

Forest Canopy Shawl
Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl
Yarn: Fresh from the Cauldron - Silk Sock
Colorway: Debbie Pelt
Needles: KnitPicks Harmony size 8
Modifications: completed 14 repeats of the main pattern and then completed only 4 of the 8 row edging.

Here's a close up of the stitch pattern. Just look at those amazing colors!

FC close up

Here's what little yarn I had left after binding off.

left over Debbie Pelt

Saturday night I had my good friends Kozykitty and KnitRedSox over for dinner. We had a blast. KK brought the fixin's for Pomatinis and a broccoli slaw salad, KRS brought roasted red potatoes and I grilled up some T-bone steaks for us all. We drank, we talked and just enjoyed each others company. At one point we started talking about 80's music and before we knew it, it was 1 AM! Now that's what I call a great night! When time just flies by like that.

It's nice to have good friends you can hang with on a long weekend like this!

What a great was to start off a long weekend!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Special Deliveries!

I've received two very special deliveries this last week! Last Saturday I hung out with my friends Kozykitty and Sheila all morning long. We actually met for breakfast and knitting, but suprisingly none of us knit a single stitch that morning! Sheila was mailing out her latest sock club shippment, but since we were meeting, I got mine hand delivered! Sheila asked me to be the test knitter for all the patterns in her club, so I already knew what the pattern and new colorways looked liked. Here are the socks I knit up and were used in the photo shoot for the pattern. *Girl, you better work!*

Obviously the pictures that Sheila took were a lot better than mine :) I love the colorway and how well the pattern went with it. The funniest part - I had no idea what Sheila had or was going to name this colorway, but when I saw it I had to send a little teaser out to the rest of the club members telling them to think:

"Aruba,Jjamaica ooo I wanna take you
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why dont we go”

Little did I know she called the colorway - Kokomo!! You just can't match it better than that!

Pattern: Ocean Waves Socks
Yarn: Wullenstudio Sock Club yarn
Needles: size 1.5 on 32" circulars knit 2-@-A-time
Modifications: Cast on an extra 8 stitches so they would fit me

In this seasons sock club shipment was this awesome project bag that my friend Kozykitty made! She matched the colors so perfectly!! KK also has her own Etsy shop and you can check out her bags there. I love 'em!!


Next up in special deliveries is my swap package from the Eclips Swap. Check out this loot!! My partner, GirlyWithATwist, sure does know how to spoil me! I was delighted with everything in my Rosalie & Emmitt themed package.

Eclipse swap package
Here's what was in the box: a book (Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon), a cool bookmark, 6 different pins with Rosalie and Emmitt, a needles and hook gauge, KnitPicks circular needles 40" size 1 (2.25,,), Rosalie glove pattern, 2 bars of Endangered Species chocolates (yummy), a set of 5 great Twilighty stitch markers and the awesome items pictures below.

Check it out, another great project bag!! Two awesome project bags in one week! SCORE!! And this one so delights my hidden macabre side!

Awesome project bag

Here is a skein of Perfect Peds 100% Merino Superwash in the colorway "Emmitt & Rosalie." Suprisingly, even though I took the picture outside the colors in this yarn didn't come through so well, but trust me it a gorgeous skein of jewel tones!!

PerfetPeds Emmitt and Rosalie

She also sent me a skein of StitchyJones Glam socks in Garnet! So my color!! You can see the gret stitch markers she made me attached to this yarn.
Glam Sock - Garnet

And lastly, is this gorgeous knit Rosalie scarf!! She must have had ESP when she was picked this pattern to knit for me because about two weeks ago I bought enough yarn to make this scarf for myself!! I love it!! Too bad it's like 85 degrees here right now. A tad to warm to wear it.

Rosalie Scarf

I didn't take a pictures of all the goodies I sent to her, but I did manage to remember to take a picture of the cowl that I made for her, so she could cover those bite marks! ;>=