Goal Trackers

Friday, January 30, 2009

Water Whooos

I have not had a very good start to my year when it comes to my house. First, I had issues with my heat pump, AGAIN. I got an outrage electrical bill in December - almost as bad as the bill from last year. So, my immediate thoughts were that something is wrong with my heat pump again. After numerous phone calls to my home warranty company (shopping around for a different one this year) and numerous house calls from a heating & air conditioning company - turns out the HWC screwed me and I'm stuck with crazy electric bills.

What happened it that technically the warranty company created a mis-matched unit in my house. The indoor portion of the heat pump is a 10 SEER unit and the outside unit that was replaced last January is a 13 SEER unit. IF the units were matching the 13 SEER system would be much more energy efficient, but they didn't. Instead they replaced the outside unit with a PAYNE, which is turning out to be a Pain-in-the-ass or rather wallet, and the installed some little gadget to the inside unit that lets the warranty companies get away with creating a mismatched unit and sky-rockets my bills.

So, I bought myself a Delonghi oil-filled space heater. I put that in my bedroom and I still have one of those blowing space heaters which is in my computer room. The thermostat now stays on 60 and the space heater generates enough heats to warm up the upper floor of my house. So when I am home in the evening, I pretty much live upstairs. Hopefully the January will be a LOT less for me efforts.

OK, so I had my upset for the year right off the bat - so I thought. Sunday I was doing laundry and when I went downstairs to change out the loads this is what I encountered:


The culpret was that toilet in the basement. Apparently there was a clog in the main line of the house and all the water that was draining from house hit the blockage and then came back up from the toilet and all over the basement floor. I lost it. All I saw were the dollar signs it was going to cost me to fix this and knowing I just didn't have it right now. The one thing I am grateful for is that it was sewage that came up through the toilet! Thanks goodness for small favors I suppose.

This was like the straw that broke the camels back. I just lost it that morning. So after I cried out all my frustrations and got myself semi-together, I called my sister for help. I called the county first to see if the blockage was on their end. I prayed that it was! From there I called my insurance company, who inturn called a cleaning company to come out and clean up the water in my basement. County called me back and basically said "Nope. Not our problem." Soooooooooo, the plumber came out on Monday and snaked the main line. Nothing really seemed to be caught to create a blockage, but the toilet now seems to be flushing without incident. The plumber isn't sure what happened. " Could be rooted damaged the pipes." He said, "If this happens again he'll snake a camera down to see what is going on and to start saving money because I may need to install new drainage pipes." *WHAT?!?!?*

Can I catch a break.... PLEASE!

Sock it Two Me

Well, really three, but that wouldn't sound right. I finished three pairs of socks this month!! I can only show you two of them. I am a test knitter for my friend Sheila. She put together her first sock club this year and she asked me to test knit all the patterns before the shipments go out! Her yarn is FAaaaaaB - U - lous!! So go check out her sock club. I promise you won't be disappointed!

So, getting back to my socks!

First up.... Smeggin' Red Dwarf Socks...

Red Dwarf Socks
Pattern: Red Dwarf Socks (Rav link)
Yarn: Knit One Crochet Two's Wick
Needles: KnitPicks size 4
Modifications: None

Next up are my Psychedelic Falling Leaves Socks

Falling Leaves Socks
Pattern: Falling Leaves (Rav link)
Yarn: Colinette's Jitterbug
Needles: KnitPicks size 1.5 (2.5mm)
Modifications: None

I ran out of yarn while making these socks and looked around on Ravelry to see if anyone was selling this color. I found two people, but only looked like it would be the right color match. As you can see the colors in my skein were deep and rich and lots of the dark purple. I was careful when matching the new yarn to the old and you can't even tell where the new yarn starts!! I love it. Of course, now I have a little more that 3/4 of a skein left that I have no idea what to do with!

And my 3rd pairs for the month.....

Well, you'll have to check back mid-February to see those pictures :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

KCS4 Questions!

Round 4 of the Knitters' Coffeeswap is up and running. I am co-hosting with KnittyMama and Dawn. Here are the answers to my questions and I can't wait to read my partner's!!

1. Whole bean or ground? I prefer whole since Ihave a grinder

2. Fully-loaded or decaf? FULLY-loaded - a must!!

3. Regular or flavored? definately regular

4. How do you drink your coffee? usually I make a soy latte. If I'm running short on time or soy milk and I French press it with a little sugar and creamer

5. Favorite coffee ever? LaVazza or Jamacian Blue Mountain Coffee

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? I tend to be a bit fussy about my coffee

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Since I'm losing weight, usually just yarn and needles to keep my hands busy. Every once in a while I cave in to temptation and I have what are called Dunkers. They are chocolate chip cookies that are long instead of round and have chocolate on the back side. When you dunk them in the coffee the chocolate melts a little into the coffee give the latte just a hint of flavoring. Yum.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? hmm, not that I can think of right now.

9. Yarn/fiber you love? Merino, Suri, silk, cashmere, I definately lean more towards the natural fibers

10. Yarn/fiber you hate? scratch wools - my skin is sensative and if a wool is scratch I simply cannot have it against my skin. I'm not a fan of the fun furs either.

11. What's on your needles? OMG, I have to list this?? OK, here goes - 3 pairs of socks, 3 scarves, 2 lave shawls, a cashmere cowl, Juliet, and I think I have another cardigan aw well. That's all I can remember off the top of my head.

12. Favorite colors? I find almost all colors appealing. I personally lean more toward the jewel tone colors, black and red. I rarely knit with yellow or orange unless it was specifically chosen for a knitted gift. I never wear those colors.

13. Allergies? It's not an allergie, but I can't stand the smell of smoke and I'm an ex-smoker!

14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? I love my Italian heritage. I collect fairies. I love knitting socks 2-@-a-time. I'm an avid reader and I have a kitty called Frisco who always thinks I don't give him enough attention!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Twitches with Temptation

I'm an addict!!!
I need a 12 step program!

"Hello, my name is Pheelya and I'm an addict....

Hello Pheelya...."

I just cast off 2 pairs of socks and swore I would not cast on another till I finished 2 more pairs of the remaining 3! Yes, I had 5 pairs of socks on needles! FIVE! For someone who swore when she started knitting she would never knit sock I had, yes count them - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - 5 pairs of socks on needles!! 2 down - 3 more to go. And, what did I do today? Can you guess?? Uh you guessed it! I cast on ANOTHER pair of socks! I need therapy!

BUT - O! M! G! I LU-HU-HUV this yarn!! I couldn't resist the color any more. Even thought it was wrapped up in tissue paper - I knew it was there. Lurking.... calling to me... I swear I heard it speak to me every time I opened my closet of yarn... whispering.... "knit me.... you know you want to.... come on, cast me on...." *oh the temptation* It's been calling to be ever since I bought it at Stitches East.

Today, I just couldn't take it anymore. I tried to resist. I did. Really. I swear! HONEST! *Don't mock me because you KNOW you've all been there!* But the force was strong today. If you were in my house today you would have heard it too, the yarn, call me, mocking me....

"Resistance is Futile!"

*yes, yes, I know I just cross referenced Stars Wars with Star Trek*

And then, I thought I had resist. Really I did! Then I heard it again on my way to Knit Night...

"Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile."

Uh oh, now I was hearing it in the car. Can't be. Am I going crazy? I must be. *hey, no comments from the Peanut Gallery over there* That yarn is at home... in the yarn closet.... wrapped in tissue paper.... So I thought.

I heard whisperings as I walked into Panera's to join my knitting group...

"You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

I sit down and open my knitting bag and right there, right on top of all my other projects, mocking me... was THE yarn! And I heard it again....

"I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been, is over. From this time forward, you will service... us."

So, I gave up trying and cast on another pair of socks :)

Oh, the yarn? You want to know about the yarn? And here I thought you had read through all of that because it was entertaining! *grin*

The yarn is Yarn Love's Marianne Dashwood in the colorway of Summer Sangria (Wine, burgundy, maroon, claret. Kettle dyed) The picture below just does not capture the intense richness of this color. Oh so nice to work with!

Love - Marianne Dashwood

"Resistance is, and always has been, futile." -- Locutus to Captain Picard

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Returning from a Hiatus...

Sorry folks, I know I have fallen behind in my bloggin' and haven't caught you all up date with what's been going on *see Ellen, I'm writting* and sharing pictures of my two little cherubs *enough picture for you KK??* I was off work for just about two weeks and my whole schedule has been thrown off.

First off - I'd like to let you all know that I have resolved my transmission problem with my Honda. I sold the sucker!! Gone, it's probably up on some auction block right now or some high school kid is rebuilding it for auto-mechanics class! But, it is no longer my problem :) I now have a Toyota Corolla. My parent's were buying themselves a new car, so they sold me the Corolla. It's smaller then my Honda with the most annoying alarm system. I'll have to take a picture and share with you all another time. Feels so strange being able to sleep in an extra half-hour in the morning now that my car doesn't have to heat for 50 minutes!! The only think I hate is the color. Seems like everyone has a silver/light grey car and finding it in the parking lot is not so easy anymore! The first day I drove it to work, I completely forgot and I was looking for my red Honda that afternoon! It was a good 10 minutes before I remembered *DUH, you have a new car* But it felt good to be able to leave the work parking lot at exactly 2:30 PM that day and not have to wait 45 minutes for the transmission to warm up. Wow!! and whole hour and a half back in my day!!

For Christmas, I went home to NY. I spend several days there knitting, relaxing and playing niece Maya. She's such a little peanut of a thing. While I was up there I finially finished my Christmas Money socks!

Christmas Monkeys
Pattern: Monkey socks (Rav link)
Yarn: Wullenstudio Sock Yarn
Needles: KnitPicks size 2 fixed circulars
Modifications: None

They were finished the day after Christmas, but I wore them anyway!!

And here are some pictures of the little peanut at Christmas.

Christmas 2008

1. Christmas Eve 2008, 2. Nonni & Maya, 3. Nonni and Maya, 4. Grandpa & Maya, 5. Grandpa's the baby hog!, 6. Mrs. Maya Clause, 7. Felicia and Maya, 8. Felica and Maya sleeping, 9. She's a little peanut!, 10. She doesn't like the camera flash, 11. how peaceful, 12. I could have held her all night, 13. One pooped Ms. Clause, 14. Santa's little helper, 15. Christina, 16. Soon-to-be Godmother, 17. Are you talking to me?, 18. Hangin' with Zia, 19. Chillin' in the Boppi, 20. checkin' everything out, 21. Hi, 22. What's over there?, 23. She's trying to say something, 24. Wha' you say?, 25. Are you still talking to me?, 26. oooo fishies!, 27. Maya in her Santa's Helper PJ's, 28. Did that move?, 29. I can reach..., 30. Felicia babysitting, 31. Peaceful moments, 32. A steady heartbeat, 33. I'm not sure about you, 34. Oh, just gas :)35. Not available36. Not available

So, I was in NY for about a week, drove home Saturday, about an hour after arriving home I was picked up by my friends Stacey and KnitRedSox and we all went of to KozyKitty's for a graduation celebration for her son. We hung ou there for a few hours and then I returned home to unpack and pack for my trip to the Windy City.

I spend the next week chillin out *and it was chilly* hangout with Mr. X and Baby M. I have to say I was rather shocked that Baby M seemed to remember me from my last trip because as soon as her father put her down she came over to me for a hug. She so cute when she hugs too - she runs up to and then falls on top of you to hug you. Aside from saying Dada and Mama she now says Pup-py! Baby, Bye-bye and Thank you *it's sounds more like 'tank YOU' - so cute*. She will give you something just to take it back and say "Tank YOU!" I had her saying penguin a few times as she has this penguin today that she likes alot. Here are a few pictures from my trip.

NYE 2008

1. Baby M unwrapping her presents, 2. Baby M with Dr. Suess, 3. A book, 4. Not sure about that, 5. Baby M, 6. Checking out the knitting accessories, 7. Tastey row counter over the cheesy poof, 8. She luvs this puppy., 9. Showing off her teeth, 10. Not sure what to play with next, 11. My cuddle toys!, 12. All mine!, 13. Baby M's House, 14. Daddy acting goofy, 15. Now how do I open this again?, 16. Mmmm Cherrios, 17. She loves her penguin, 18. Baby M's laptop, 19. The little doodlebug, 20. You can't have my laptop!, 21. No, this button Daddy, 22. That, that over there!, 23. Juice!, 24. more juice, 25. Hugs with Daddy, 26. Smiles, 27. Diabolicale!, 28. Cuddles, 29. Kisses just for Daddy, 30. Baby M's dress, 31. Baby M loves her laptop, 32. more smiles, 33. Her Puppy!, 34. Daddy and Baby M, 35. another hat!, 36. Doodlebug!

While I was that the airport I casted on for the Ruffle Hat with the leftover yarn I had from the Baby Bolero I made her on my last trip there. I wasn't sure if I would have enough, and sure enough, I didn't. So it was turned into a rolled brimmed hat. Still looks cute on her though and she seemed to like it. Mr. X warned me that she tends to pull her hats off, but she didn't. Soft, squishy, warm yarn tends to make a difference ;) I still want to make her the Ruffle Hat because it's just so cute! Here's a pic of her in the Roll Brim.

Maddy's roll brimmed
Pattern: Ruffled Hat (Rav link)
Yarn: Wullenstudio DK Yarn
Needles: KnitPicks size 6 16" & size 6 DPN
Modifications: Didn't make the ruffle. Kept knitting till I ran out of yarn

I had also started the Cat-Eared Baby hat for her with the yarn that Mr. X picked out on my last trip. I followed the directions, but the hat looked awefully small to me. So before I cast-off, I packed it and brought it up for her to try on. Sure enough - too small. She's got her Daddy's big head. So the first hat was frogged and I started over casting on something like 20 more stitches. When I finished the hat I decided I didn't want to make cat ears and started searching around on Ravelry for some idea when I came across these flowers and thought "oh, I like those!" So I made three flowers and Baby M now looks like a baby flapper in this hat:

Maddy's Flapper Hat

I have also finished 2 more pairs of socks, but don't have pics yet. I will post them soon. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year's Resolution

More Wine Please!!

updates with pictures coming soon