Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yet Another Milestone!

Before I forget, Here are the socks from last week and the week before. A sock a week, I can't keep up that pace, can I?

These will probably go to my mother, even though I really wanted to keep them. When Knitpicks discontinued their self striping yarn, I bought a ton of it. For the price, you can't beat this stuff. I bought some of the essential solids from them and was not at all happy. It reminded me of the time I tried to use a very cheap acrylic to learn a new technique. I probably will not use any of this yarn. It has no sproiiiiinnnng. Know what I mean?

Here is the sock I completed last Friday. I got most of it done on Tuesday morning while stressing. It's amazing what stress can do to my knitting. Some people say it throws their gauge off, but I'm too lazy to knit tight! Again, it's knitpicks in my very favorite colorway (Sorry, sis Jill, I love this one!). I have a pair out of this yarn, so maybe I should give these to mom. I have more yarn like this in my stash in case mine wear out!

And of course, here is the sock from this week. Looks like the Friday target will be met. I'm already digging through my stash to see what's next.

And that's all the knitting that has gone on here last week.

Oh? And why was I stressing last week: I was sitting in the PA Driver's License Bureau, almost in tears while waiting to see if we got this:

Oh my goodness, I don't think I was this nervous since I was 16 and taking my test. He passed with flying colors (he can parallel park by just backing into the parking place-his father forgot to tell him he can pull forward and back up to adjust his position). I was almost in tears as I knit so fast my needles were smoking.

I was thrilled, of course, when he passed, and when I saw that he had chosen to be an organ donor, I was doubly thrilled. Then he told me that he registered to vote, I was filled with pride. Then he dropped the bombshell...he's a registered Republican....

His test was scheduled for 8:30 AM. By 9 he was a driver/organ donor/republican and he drove me home. Within minutes, he was on his bike, riding down the drive, on his way to school. I made the same trip an hour later, that's when I took the photo in my last post.

There are adjustments and changes in the days, months and years ahead. My last two are fairly independent. They have jobs, they have their own transportation, they have friends, girlfriends and acquaintances. They have hobbies, interests and definite opinions. They are registered to vote (even though their votes will cancel each other out). They do laundry and one cooks, the other has all the local restaurants on speed dial. As Tony pointed out, they can buy porn, go to jail and enlist. I hope he was just pushing my buttons.

I've raised 4 children. I've been a mother for 69% of my life. My oldest will turn 38 next month. Without dependent children, I was sure I would feel useless, without purpose or direction. I was certain empty nesting would make me depressed, lonely, without focus.

I might be wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the home front, we are planning a restoration of the kitchen. I'm sink shopping. I need an apron sink. Locally, they can be had, for a price. I was kidding Mark when I said I would find one cheaper on eBay. It was no joke. Type in kitchen sink and see. What can't you buy on eBay these days?

The cabinet, however, may not be as easy. As usual, with this old house, nothing is even, equal or standard. Last year when we replaced 13 windows, we learned that there were 9 different size windows in this house. This year we found out our kitchen is a parallelogram. What next?

I guess what's next is that I get dressed and do a few chores and plan dinner. I declared last Sunday a rehearsal for the next international pajama day. Mark tells me that I am entitled to one rehearsal per event, so Celia, we need another pajama day-soon!

Oh, and one more thing...even though your child knows how to do laundry, don't trust them to know what to do when they drop a skein of mother's classic wool on the garage floor. You might end up with this:

That stuff felts nicely, doesn't it? It wasn't a total waste. The 'thing' on the top left made one heck of a dog toy. Not quite sure what to do with the rest of it, though...

Peace out!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Having too much fun...

Oh my, it's been one heck of a week...and I promise to tell you EVERYTHING!!! but first, Hubby came home with a new computer for moi and although it is set up and functioning, there is still a clothes basket full of parts and bits that have not yet been installed...

Back tomorrow at the latest with news, pictures and of course, KNITTING!

Until then, here's a few photos to make you smile!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I can't believe I did it!

Today we were kid-less. They tell me that when your babies reach 18 and 20, this happens. They also tell me that when your later-in-life children reach 18 and 20, you should be approaching menopause with all the related brain farts. I must have been in denial.

We are computer shopping. To make Mark believe that I am being cautious and comparison shopping, I drag him from store to store. Today we were going to Costco, a 30 minute drive and ten Best Buy, five minutes from Costco.

When we are riding in the car, I always take a beverage with me. Usually bottled water, occasionally coffee, but every once in a while, I take a diet soda. Since I am cautious with my husband's money, I buy the raunchiest, cheapest brand I can find:

Because my hubby insisted we needed a stupid, useless, dumb-double-door fridge with through the door ice and water, we keep a REAL fridge in the garage for beverages.

On the way to the car, I reached in and grabbed a diet soda as a treat and put it in the cup holder. As he drove, I knit. We reached Costco and shopped around for 20 minutes or so. I felt thirsty as we left and was happy I had a beverage waiting in the car. As Mark backed out of the parking space, I reached over to open the can. I noticed that there was a blue pull tab and wondered why it was different:

But I opened it and took a huge tasted strange, but not unpleasant. As I swallowed, I realized what I had done. I lifted the can to check:It was...yes! It was beer! I have always loved the taste of beer, but never drink since I am a cheap (1/2 can) drunk. It has been many years since I drank a beer and I have never had a beer in a parking lot. I felt silly, a little apprehensive (headlines: Grandmother arrested for drinking beer in parking lot of Costco), maybe even giddy. In an instant, I didn't know whether to drink it, pour it out the window, pour it in my purse or hand it to Mark, who was driving.

Before I could act, we were at Best Buy. I opened the door and poured it on the ground and looked for a place to ditch the evidence. I'm sure the next person to place trash in the can at Barnes and Noble will wonder...

The end of an era :-(
Yesterday morning, in the freezing cold, in a pavillion that (partially) shelters the inline hockey rink, we sadly watched our youngest son play his last inline hockey game for the school team.

It's been one heck of a ride. Four years freezing our patoozies off, meeting new friends, watching the kids grow up. We watched some of our players graduate with almost as much pride as we would have our own and welcomed many new comers.
Tony did us proud. Four years, three years on the all stars, team high scorer (and that's pretty special for a defenseman) two of those years, team captain four years too. He loved the game and it showed. Although he's played for other teams and he'll probably play for other teams in the future, we'll miss the team spirit of the high school team.
They'll have a banquet in March. Tony will get his letter. I'll most likely cry. Maybe we can call it practice for graduation...I'm such a cry baby!
They lost their last game, 4-2, with Tony scoring the first goal and Justin, a newcomer to the team this year, scoring the other. They played hard and good, the other team out played them. That's life. That's hockey.
Snort, snort, sniffle-sniffle...
Jan with frozen toes!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Whoda Thunkit?
If I remember correctly, my guys were out playing golf in December. We worried about the lack of snow and the potential for drought in the summer. Tony, my youngest, whose ancestors must have been polar bears, hadn't even gotten his winter coat out of storage even though he rides his bike to and from school every day.
Baby, look at us now! We call my hubby Forrest because he loves to plow so much, he does most of the neighbors and some of the street. Can you tell he also has polar bear ancestors? Oh, he was born and raised in Upstate New York!

Check out this view out my window:

At times, we couldn't even see the coffee shop! Oh, and Laura, that's my Thanksgiving tree. I always put it up for Thanksgiving. I leave it up as long as I can, until hubby notices it when driving up the driveway and takes it to the attic. Last year, it was February 27. So far this year, it's still there!

It was so cold that Arnie, who has fur so thick you can't touch his skin, played out doors while Linda, who is a princess, waited for him to come in and play:
He would scratch on the door and then step back and wait for us to come out. I finally got her to go out for a while by throwing treats out onto the patio, then in the driveway and finally, in the deep snow in the back yard:

Linda loved it! Every time I looked at her, she had a face full of snow!

Oh, and Lucy, here's one just for you: Our own version of Lap dog:Of course, the snow was too enticing. Andy and Kailyn dragged out my sled (Used once, remind me to tell you about that some day) and run to the local store to buy more. Our front hill is perfect for sledding, especially since we have great neighbors on the other side of the driveway whose yard flattens out enough to let you stop! Yes, that is Tony, the polar bear, pushing them. No, he doesn't usually wear shorts and yes, he did finally get out his winter coat. He just came from the gym.

Of course, when you have kids of all ages sledding, you get wet clothes and soggy mittens. My son, who is a typical male, found a great place to dry the gloves: On the candles on the kitchen light: Last Christmas, I was proud to hand out my hand knitted socks to my family members. I had been working on them all year. Of course, I didn't photograph that moment, nor the identical one the year before. All I know is that last year I handed out 14 pair as gifts and tucked four pair into my sock drawer. It was tight. I burned a bit of midnight oil in December to ensure everyone got their socks. This year, my goals are the same or loftier. I would like to complete 20 pair. So far, since it has been cold, I have completed three pair:

Hey, if the kids can do it, why can't I?

Because of our crazy schedules, Mark and I took advantage of our empty nest status and went out on Saturday night to celebrate Valentine's day. Chinese. I can never remember which dish is what. I can't tell a king kong from a ching chong or a ding dong. I always let Mark order. The only thing I can remember about Chinese food is to take your rings off before you go to bed that night. Luckily, I did.

Oh, and we had company, our grandson and granddog! This is JR, who is 14 and his dog, Max who is 6 months.

At least it's done snowing, but the temperatures make everything crispy. At night when I take the dogs out, I add another layer of clothes and offer them bribes of the highest caliber to get them to hurry. I was blog jogging this week and saw that Mary Anne, who lives in British Columbia, has Daffodills popping up! Could it be that we really will have an early spring? I'm excited. I planted hundreds of bulbs this fall, thinking one for me, one for the squirrels and one for mother nature...can't wait to see what pops up here!

It's been too long. I could go on for hours and much to share, but I have to put dinner on and make myself beautiful for hubby and that takes hours and hours each day!

Stay warm and stay safe. I'll be back soon!

Monday, February 05, 2007

I just checked. It's up to one degree. One. Did they cancel global warming? Better tell Celia to start planning a Super International Long Underwear day.

I'll post more when I stop shivering. Until then, stay warm.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Some things just get twisted around...

We live in a wonderful old (circa 1842) farm house that sits waaaaay up on a hill:
One of the best things about it is that although we have an acre, we are close to all the things that I could ever want, including a kick-butt coffee shop spitting distance from us:
This is the view from my kitchen window. The house in the distance is the coffee shop
Yesterday, I went to have coffee and conversation with a few friends at the coffee shop. Now, I could walk, it's easy to get there, but my driveway is very long with obstacles like a leaning tree (the one visible in the photo above) and a sharp turn at the top-not that the tree and bend matter when you are walking, but it is slippery!
I drove. Not the Jeep Cherokee that I usually drive in winter, but the Caravan that makes me look like a soccer mom (I am a hockey mom-there is a difference). It does not have 4 wheel drive.
I tried to come home. I got as far as the sharp bend at the top and started spinning. I knew that as icy as it was, I would not be able to back down the drive. I put the van in park. I kept moving. I had no clue what to do next, so I engaged the emergency brake. I was still moving. I called Mark.
He told me not to worry, that it would not move much, there were snow banks on the down side of the drive to slow it to a gentle stop. That's if you didn't cut your wheels:

Mark was not at all shocked to hear that I was sideways in the drive. He remembers all too vividly the time I got a full size van stuck in a curb side mailbox...
All's well that ends well...Andy got it out before Mark got home.