Friday, December 30, 2005

It was a Happy Christmas

I've been putting off this post until I could get pictures together that I want to post...but I just can't be sure when I will find the motivation for that, so here goes.

I got everything done but one thing. I didn't finish the Bubby for my mom. If I would have made it the same size as the pattern, I might have finished. But on the ride to Dayton, it got dark about an hour in and half an hour later I finished the parts that I could knit without seeing what I was doing. It turns out that I didn't have enough yarn. I would have finished on the return trip to Pittsburgh, but I ran out of yarn. Oops. I was using leftovers from another project, so it wasn't a total shock. I'll buy more on the 3rd (my first day back at work) and send Bubby home by the end of the week.

We had nice visits with family and friends in Ohio. Although I will admit that I was stressed underneath it all until all the presents were wrapped on the 24th. Until that point, my mind raced with the items left on my to-do list every chance it got.

Everyone seemed to really like their presents and I liked everything that I (and we) received. I haven't found homes for everything yet - especially the "house" stuff. But except for one white porcelain cat, everything will look great in the house and I'm eager to find places for it all. And maybe while I am at it I can get myself to hang a few more pictures.

I also got a speaker base for my iPod (so I can listen to it anywhere in the house), a compound mitre saw, a new watch, a swift and winder for my yarn addiction, as well as several knitting books, some yarn, a yarn shop GC and some other odds and ends. Only one CD this year (Spamalot) and no DVDs, so I plan to use a little christmas money for media and then a few new pairs of pants.

R and I plan to spend today in our respective offices dealing with our stuff. We've already spent some time on the couch watching movies. (He got Star Wars III and Serenity.) And the first floor has been straightened up, we are basically caught up on dishes and I have made progress on laundry. I realize that these are not the most glamorous things to be doing on ones vacation...and honestly, if I hadn't knitted christmas presents I would have done it before the 25th...but that's not how things panned out this year.

There is a short list of things that I should really do before Tuesday's return to work. I think there is enough "float" in our schedule that I should be able to convince myself to do them. :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

11 hours

That's all I have left of work for the year. That is assuming you don't count the time on Friday that I will be taking photos in Ohio for a proposal we'll be doing in January *and* that you don't count coming in for "clean up day" as work. (It mostly isn't)

Still too much to do for Christmas, but I've made great progress. About 16 presents are wrapped (it would be 18, but I ran out of tape at 11:45 last night). 3 presents need sewing, 2 presents (5 pieces) need to have ends woven in, 1 present has about 1 1/2" knitted and the last hasn't been started.

I will get it all done, it's just a question of how much sleep I'll lose this week...and I'm tired already.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Brief Update

All items to be felted, have been felted and are drying.

Yarn for second to last project is partially wound.

Tags are done except for washing instructions.

Tonight - Casting on for both of the last two knitting projects so they are bus-worthy and just-before-bed-worthy knitting. Also, photographing finished projects, making their tags and *hopefully* the beginnings of wrapping. Or at least finding suitable boxes.

I must start wrapping by Tuesday night so I can figure out if I will have enough wrapping paper... I always have gift bags I can fall back on...I just don't think it's the same as wrapped presents!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Getting there

As of last night, all but two projects were knitted. And I began weaving ends in. I continue the weaving and sewing today, and given the size of the pile of "finished" items, I think I'm at least halfway through. Though I'm saving the striped items for last. Probably a mistake, but I might even start photographing and wrapping the other things before I tackle the stripes. I need to have a few things wrapped before the weekend is over or I might panic...

I went with a couple of girlfriends to see "Pride and Prejudice" today. I really enjoyed it and I plan to add the book to my reading list. I found with "Sense and Sensibility" that seeing the movie and then reading the book was a good combination. It helped me appreciate the differences between the two more. I would probably be harder to like the movie if I fell in love with the book first.

I also want to comment on a phenomenon I've noticed lately. I really have trouble feeling all "there" and coherent right after a movie. It's like my brain needs a little time to adjust back to the real world after being focused on the movie for 2 hours. It's possible that this adjustment is a little easier when I watch all of the credits and have that 5-7 minutes to get my head back in the game. (The first time that R and I went to a movie I was pleased that he was like me in his desire to watch all of the credits. Maybe its silly, but its just one of those nice little things that we have in common.)

Okay, back to the yarn needle. I need to felt tomorrow, 'cause it doesn't look like it's going to happen tonight...

Oh, and for any readers who might be on our mailing list, it looks like we will be sending a new years card this year instead of christmas cards. :-)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Not a baker this year

It's not the best idea, when transporting both a frozen entree and an iPod to work, to put them next to each other in your bag. C-c-c-o-o-o-ld earphones...

Finished one present last night and started the first leg on Bubby. ( I'm making him 50% bigger than the pattern calls for because his torso just looked too small at the pattern size. I'm thinking I should have made the head 100% bigger since he's so lanky, but he'll be cute...and that is all that really matters. One of these days I'll get in the habit of taking those cool in-progress pictures that everyone else takes...but not while the clock is ticking down to Christmas.

I've heard many references from others who are making cookies for the holidays. Even from those people doing plenty of other things. I enjoy cookie making, but I just can't justify it when presents aren't ready yet. Besides, as long as I keep our kitchen stocked with pumpkin pie, I don't think R really cares that there aren't any cookies.

I am looking forward to many aspects of this weekend. Although I know it will be one where there is so much that I want to get done that I won't be able to go back to sleep once one of the kitties wakes me up. And I'll be too busy for a nap. But then again, I only have to get through 3 1/2 days of work next week and then I'm off for 11 1/2, so there will be time for extra sleep soon enough.

Lastly, I'm going to be doing a little "work" while we're visiting family in Ohio. We are short-listed for a project in town, so I will take an hour or two on Friday to shoot photos of the relevant sites that we can use in our interview presentation. It won't be hard work and I'll look uber-dedicated to be "working" while I'm on vacation. Not bad. I also plan to ask questions of family members who have lived there forever, and see if they have any thoughts about the area. Can't hurt.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ten Days

I was incorrect when I posted about knitting projects on Monday. I had two projects in progress and four to do (not two). I have been spending basically all of my free time knitting. I finished watching the DVDs I rented last week on Tuesday night and I started watching "Angels in America", this time from the beginning. (Long story)

Since Monday, I have finished one of the projects that was in progress and I'm 75% done with two projects started this week. So that leaves me at three projects in progress and two that are not yet started. My attention will be focused on finishing the last item to be felted, so I can felt it all this weekend.

Will she make it? Will she have to lose any sleep in order to finish? And if she does finish, when will she get it all wrapped? ;-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


So we're transitioning to a new file management database at work. The new database won't recognize certain file types. So before we transition, the unrecognized files either need to be added to the database to be recognized by the database or moved to a different folder not managed by the database system. (Trying to describe it in layman's terms, so that probably isn't totally right, but you get my drift.)

The woman next to me is not savvy with computers. Fine. She's a pleasant person, and I don't mind helping when I can. I helped her last week to try to explain to her what she needed to do with all of her unrecognized files. I spent 15 minutes helping her. She took notes.

Now she's going through exactly the same stuff with someone else from my office, as if I hadn't told her anything. She did make one statement about something I had told her - but it was the opposite of what I said and totally wrong.

*grabbing my iPod and slapping the headphones over my ears*

Monday, December 12, 2005

Holiday Music

I should also add, that I am completely enthralled with the holiday CDs found here:

I'm speaking specifically of the "Broadway's Great Gifts: Carols for a Cure" albums (although I'm sure the rest are great, too.) Each CD is $20, and $10 of that is tax deductible. And it is not required that you be a musical geek like me to enjoy them, although I'm guessing that there might be a few reading this that would enjoy these with the same fervor that I do. There is nothing like recognizing a singers voice because they also sing on a cast album that you have listened to over and over and over again. :-)

Glad to know that knitting isn't my only obsession?


There are many pictures I want to post...I just haven't been able to get the stars to align to get them up here. With Christmas presents to knit, many other things are getting shoved down the to-do list. Although I did manage to clean the kitchen floor (it was gross!) and put up the Christmas tree and indoor Christmas decorations this weekend. We really have more decoration than I'm willing to put up, especially since it is likely that only Rudy and I will see any of it (other than the photos I'll post eventually). I did decorate the banister in the foyer (which does not prevent Stewart from sitting on it in his favorite spot), the mantle and a few surfaces in the living room and the bay window where the tree is sitting.

I'm still being very bad and not weaving in ends on Christmas knitting as I go. I have two things to finish, and two to knit, and then I'm going to have to spend all of my time finishing everything. Naughty Amy. Several things are felted, so knots are okay. It is the striped items that will be the death of me. At least they are for very deserving family members. ;-) I found the last few skeins that I needed at the yarn shop across the street from my office. That unfortunately means that I don't have an excuse to go visit the new one in Squill. I will save that for the week after Christmas when I have some money to spend on me.

Lots to do at work. The next few weeks are going to go very quickly. I'm proud to share that I came to work with a great burst of motivation and dealt with an item that has been on my to do list for a couple of weeks. And, I managed to keep my desk straight enough since I cleaned in off over a week ago that I can still see surface. Woo!

Lastly, let's all pray for a lack of snow in Pittsburgh during the week between Christmas and New Years. I'd really like to practice driving some more that week, but I have no desire to do so on snowy, slushy, slippery streets. I'm not scared of driving in the snow (I learned to drive in Buffalo in winter...), but worrying about moving the car from a stop without stalling is enough to think about, without being worried about sliding around! And it's not like you can drive anywhere in Pittsburgh without dealing with a hill of some description...

Friday, December 09, 2005


Official depth of snow at our house: 4 3/8"

Practically every school in the area is on 2 hour delay. I only saw a few that were closed. But I had no trouble getting to work. I left a few minutes earlier than usual (so I could walk slowly), and it seemed like the 8am bus was on time. I got to my desk a few minutes later than usual...but the bus driver got us here safely, so I have no complaints.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

One moment to complain...

...about some of our neighbors.

I really enjoy our neighborhood and I really enjoy riding the bus to and from work so I have that time to knit, read, close my eyes, etc. (and it doesn't take much longer than driving during rush hour). Even in the winter is isn't a big problem because I'm never waiting at the stop for more than 10 minutes, and it's usually closer to 2-3 minutes.

But then there is the walk to the bus stop...

I *don't* like all of the people who can't be bothered to clean off their sidewalks. It snowed here on Saturday night. We got about 1/2" and we haven't gotten any more since. I shoveled and salted on Sunday afternoon, as did about 50% of our neighbors. It is WENDESDAY, and there are still sidewalks covered in ice. If I thought the city could afford to send someone out to ticket them, I would start reporting my neighbors.

This will be my biggest pet peeve until the spring thaw. At least there is sun and blue sky today!

Wednesday already?

I can already tell that this week is going to go too quickly. It happened the same way last week, too. A full day of meetings on Tuesday means that Monday goes quickly with prep work, Tuesday goes fast because of being in the meetings and Wednesday goes quickly because of the motivation and work gained in Tuesday's meetings. The motivation flows through Thursday and by the time Friday comes you can't believe that the week is almost over.

On top of all that, there is always too much "little stuff" to do at home - dishes, laundry (which I should have done last night), cleaning the bathroom, etc. And, with much preparation still needed for Christmas, it is easy to fill the rest of the time with knitting, yarn shopping, and (hopefully before the weekend is over) decorating the house & working on holiday cards.

I know that I set my sights too high for what I wanted to accomplish this week - nothing new there. So maybe I'll just put off the vacuuming and other cleaning until next weekend. That way, our house will be clean enough during my week off that I won't be tempted to do any significant cleaning, unless I feel like straightening up my office!

Monday, December 05, 2005


The benefits of a productive weekend:

- Goals were accomplished
- Bedroom furniture is back where it belongs (I'll try to take pictures soon...but it won't happen tonight)
- Tools can be returned to the toolbox
- The kitchen sink is no longer producing strange smells
- The Halloween decorations are put away
- If we should have unexpected guests, there are LOT of clean towels
- Enough stuff is put away that I can see the dust that needs to be removed (not necessarily a benefit, but a step in the right direction)
- And most importantly, I got enough done that I don't have to feel guilty about all of the knitting I'm going to do this week.

The downside, is that I don't feel like I got much resting time to recharge for the week. I got enough sleep, but just not enough time for my brain to be quiet and my body as well. But, that's the way it goes. My main goal is to ensure that my week off between Christmas and new years can be as productive or as boring as I choose, because I know it will go too fast. So I want to go into it with a generally clean and straight house, with no "in progress" projects that *must* be worked on. It is looking like I might get my wish...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I don't really get it

I don't understand the "Merry Christmas"/"Happy Holidays" controversy. Have we all become so easily offended that we can't be satisfied unless our own particular preferences are being reflected all over the country and media and throughout the shopping experience?

I agree that the term "holiday tree" is silly. But I just really don't understand why people are offended if they are greeted with "Happy Holiday" instead of "Merry Christmas". It is still a greeting! The season is supposed to be about love and peace and happiness, not to mention tolerance and understanding.

If your priest or pastor starts saying Happy Holidays, you have a right to be offended. But there is no reason to be offended because your local department store doesn't say Merry Christmas. All shoppers are not christian.

This too shall pass.

Happy Holidays! :-P

Friday, December 02, 2005

Forget Regret

My goal for the weekend is to push myself to finish the bedroom. I could have made progress last night, but after kitty playtime and making dinner, I didn't have much time until CSI...and therefore I decided to camp out on the couch with my laptop. If I would have known that CSI and Without a Trace would both be repeats, I could have gotten something else done. But at the point I could have left the couch, Nora was cutely curled up in my lap...and by the time she left I was too engrossed in my laptop activities to get off my butt. Non-productive evenings are good now and then, right?

Some things that I read on other blogs last night reminded me of a few other comments I have about RENT, the movie. (Again, I've only seen the show once on stage, so it is really much more about how the movie compares with my thoughts on the show based on listening to the CD 4 million times.)

-I liked the fact that the last shot of April is her getting the HIV test results and being comforted by Roger. I had no need to see her bleeding on the bathroom floor.

-The most "uncomfortable" part of the movie for me was when Roger was in Santa Fe. I don't see a city boy like him climbing up into the mountains alone or going out into the desert. The shots of him driving through the dessert in a convertible seemed wrong, too. Yes, the car was totally beat up and old, but it just seemed very un-Roger like and misplaced. One shot of him driving was fine...but several were unnecessary.

-Jesse Martin can move - I had no idea. I loved "Santa Fe". A great example of the reinterpretation for film.

-Benny's part sucked, although I enjoyed him in his first scene on the street tearing down Maureen's posters. I don't think he ever "got credit" for Mimi's rehab and he just really wasn't given much to do other than look pretty. ;-)

I will stop boring the non-interested with this now. Although I don't promise that the topic won't come up again when it comes out on DVD!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I remembered...

...what I forgot to post about last weekend. On Sunday I had driving
practice, and it was good. We were out long enough that of course I
stalled more times than I ever had before, but it was still good. It
was the longest I had been driving since my first lesson with James in
Slippery Rock many summers ago. R and I hadn't really made it a
priority for me to learn stick shift until after the wedding, and by
that point things were busy enough that we never made significant time
to practice. There have been enough times in the past six months when
it would have been convenient for him if I could have driven the car myself.

I probably won't be driving solo until we find time for a few more
practice sessions...but if some emergency would occur, I feel confident
that I could drive the car from point A to point B. I just might make
some screechy sounds each time I started from a stop, especially on
those darn hills. ;-)

What did we ever do without the internet?

Growing up in Ohio, Heidi and Katie were my closest friends.  I've known Heidi since I was born and Katie and I met in kindergarten.  Katie's best friend was Carrie, who lived around the corner from her.  And as we all went through K-4 together, I got to be friends with Carrie, too...but didn't keep in touch with her after we left Ohio.
So, Katie and Carrie keep in touch, Katie and I keep in touch and Heidi and I keep in touch.  And now that Katie, Carrie and I are all keeping a blog, in a strange way Carrie and I can now keep in touch, too.  So now Carrie has read about Heidi's two adorable boys and I've read about Katie's younger brother being engaged - which are cool things to know but kind of odd since Carrie probably remembers Heidi as a 12 year old and I remember Katie's brother as a 6 year old.  Time marches on, even if we aren't there to see it.
I guess it really isn't that big of a deal, it is just kind of strange to be "reconnected" with someone that you haven't seen since you were both 11.  I've been reading Carrie's blog, so now I know more about what's going on in her life than some of my close college friends.  I guess that just means I need to bug my college friends to start writing in blogs of their own so that they don't seem so far away!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm determined

Some days posting on my blog seems like a lovely little way to share what I'm thinking...and other days it feels like one more thing I *need* to do.

To make it easy on myself, I'm going to leave this post-in progress up for a while, and as things pop in my brain I can add them and then let them get out of the way of the work I'm doing.

- I really enjoyed the movie of RENT. Having listened to the soundtrack countless times and having seen the stage show only one, I was able to spot a few things that were changed (reinterpreted), but I'm sure I didn't get them all. And the fact that I mostly listen to albums now on shuffle on my iPod meant that it was harder for me to tell when song order changed. But I did notice a few words changed here and there.
I thought there were some issues with the direction - mostly the Roger/Mimi scenes and a few of the dialogue to song transitions. But they weren't disruptive enough to ruin my enjoyment of the movie. The movie fit the "world" that I have imagined when listening to the CD over and over again, and I thought that the things that were altered for the big screen were done well. It seems to me that it was a good stand alone movie, although I have an extremely biased perspective and I know what was going to happen (or be said) before it happened (in most cases) I could be totally wrong on that one. And given that musicals are just generally not popular anymore, I don't really expect people who aren't fans of the show to go see it.

- There is no need for us to purchase any more toys for Stewart (unless we need a new cat dancer or laser pointer - the interactive toys he likes). Lately, all of his "playing alone" energy has been spent on the plastic rings and former rings from milk jugs. On Sunday morning, he was even fetching...we kept throwing it from bed, and he kept bringing it back. He also still enjoys "helping" while I knit.

- A late review of the set I designed in July. One of my college professors saw it and just told me that I did an "amazing job". Aaaaahhhhh. :-)
Full disclosure - he's also a friend of the family. He and my mom were good friends in high school. But that didn't mean that I got A's on everything when I took his classes...and he didn't have to use the word amazing if he didn't want to...

- We had a nice visit with family in Ohio at Thanksgiving. All three grandparents seem to be well and we had a great time with friends that lived across the street from me growing up. My friend Heidi and her husband have two adorable boys. Bobby is 3 and Brendan is 6 months - we haven't seen Bobby for two years, so the change was pretty amazing.
Lots of time to knit in transit and while we were there. I might be ready for Christmas after all.

- It seems as though R and I will be dumping our gym membership in favor of putting together a small "gym" at home. We both have some hand weights, so a treadmill is first on the list. I find myself surprisingly excited about this plan. The only issue at this point is figuring out how we can afford a new TV for the exercise area (or a new one for upstairs so that an old TV can move down).

I'm sure that more will come to me this evening, but it is nearly time to go get the bus.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A week has gone by...

...and my lack of posting wasn't intentional. It's just been busy enough that I haven't made the time. And when I did have time, I was on dial-up at my grandmother's, so not much time.

The saga with the picture rail continues. It's all up, but it needs some more futsing. The new bedspread came, the fabric for the headboard is pinned and the curtains are ordered. The room is nearing completion, but the evening doesn't seem to afford a lot of time for that unless I get home early.

*sigh* I really want to post, but I really need to go to sleep soon.

I'll try to make some time tomorrow night. Meetings all day tomorrow.

Monday, November 21, 2005

the Bedroom and Harry Potter

Bedroom Drama:
(Get your mind out of the gutter!)

I'm very proud of myself. The darned picture rail for the bedroom has been in the works since March. *sigh*. We painted the bedroom for three weekends in March and April. (It would have taken less time if I would have primed the wood trim. duh.) Sometime in April or May, I got the pieces of picture rail cut and in June I found the time (and good weather) to stain them.

Last Sunday, I started the process of putting the trim up. I got the flat trim on around the doorway to the "dressing room" and I started on the picture rail. But, it was Sunday evening, and I ran into a few snags. I found two pieces that didn't quite fit (too big) and I found that nailing pieces into the exterior wall was not easily workable. The layer of furring below the plaster is pretty thin, so it didn't take me long to get to masonry. And 6 penny nails don't easily go into masonry.

So yesterday, I got the smallest masonry drill bit at home depot, and a bit more motivation. I cut the long pieces, and got them in place. I successfully nailed the exterior wall pieces, with the help of my new drill bit. And in the end, I got all but one piece up on the wall, and all of the holes filled with wood putty. The final challenge was the "long" wall. The only wall long enough for an 8' piece and another shorter piece. If this wall was straight, I would have finished everything but the final staining last night...easily. But, the wall is wavy. (I could also mention that none of our corners are 90 degrees and I'm really not working with the right tools for that kind of situation...but I'm not really going to complain.) After realizing that nails were not sufficient to secure the trim to the wall, I broke out the drill and a 3" screw - thinking that having one in the middle to pull the trim in at the "worst point" would be sufficient, and nails would work for the rest of the length. But, after about 2 seconds, the screw pulled out of the wall, and I was back at square one. I fussed a bit more, but without more 3" screws and considering the way the plaster crumbles around the holes, there wasn't a whole lot I can do.

Tonight I will cut my 8' length of picture rail in half and hope that the shorter span will be able to accommodate the nasty curve in the wall better. I mean, honestly, it's not like all of the pieces that are up are super secure and perfect. We're dealing with plaster walls in a 90 year old house. There isn't a lot in those walls to really get secure into, I'm using a hammer and nails (not a nail gun) and none of the walls are really flat. I realized long ago that trying to use a stud finder in this house is just a fruitless effort...although it might be useful on the third floor or basement, so maybe I'll find a use for it someday.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:
(No spoilers, but if you're planning to see the movie, I would wait to read anyone's comments until you've formed your own opinions...)

Overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot. There is a little part of me that wishes they would have made it into two movies - I missed Mrs. Weasley and it seems like there were a lot of characters that only got a scene or two (not enough Snape!), since there were SO many characters in this book. But I think they did a good job of focusing on the important plotlines from such a long book. And I had a good time and thought that the story climax was very well done.

I just have two critiques. I don't remember having a problem with Dumbledore in POA, so I don't know if it was a bad acting choice or bad direction...but I really got a sense that *someone* just doesn't understand what Dumbledore's manner is supposed to be about. He doesn't yell or shake Harry by the shoulders. He was just more *intense* and fast paced than the Dumbledore that is portrayed in the book. I'm really hoping that this was poor direction, and that this issue will be solved for Dumbledore's important parts at the end of book 5 and throughout book 6.

There also felt to me like there were pacing issues throughout the movie. And I don't actually think it was the whole movie, but there were definitely points where the pace from scene to scene felt very "jumpy" and a few non-action scenes that felt unnecessarily slow. And a few of the scenes in the great hall were shot in a way that made the hall seem smaller and more intimate than usual.

To make a few unfair comparisons, I feel like Chris Columbus did a great job of portraying EXACTLY what was in the books, which was great for the first one, and maybe a little overkill for the second...but I still enjoy watching them. I think Alfonso Cuaron did a wonderful job of "interpreting" the book as a movie. He did not present the book as literally as the first two, but he also didn't distort any of the characters or lose any important qualities from the books. It's a fine line, and I think he did the best job of walking it. I hope he directs another HP movie.

I guess in the end, GOF is still my favorite book and it is a better movie than the first two, but I think POA is still my favorite movie thus far.

Friday, November 18, 2005


A friend posted this link on her blog, so I had to try it, too. What does your name mean?

I would post this as a comment in her blog, but she doesn't allow anonymous commenters and I don't have a livejournal. :-P

Beloved : French

Peaceful, poised and understanding you do not let anyone or anything disturb your innate calm. You are tolerant of others no matter how their behaviours or beliefs differ from your own. Not attached to material or worldly affairs you are free to express your true self. Displaying great wisdom and serenity people are naturally drawn to you for guidance and counsel. Your courage and presence of mind see you through any adversity.

For fun, I plugged in the cats, too. I'd say the last line of Nora's is true, Effie definitely thinks she's a famous beauty and the first line of Stewart's is *very* true.

Light : French

You are charming, talented and have a very positive attitude to life so it is hardly surprising that you attract success and recognition. Focussed and patient you understand that material rewards are a result of discipline. Being so creative and with a need for self-expression you may be drawn towards the arts, travel is also likely to be important. A loyal friend, you are a person who must be allowed freedom and independence.

Famous beauty : Greek

Energetic and courageous you stand up for your beliefs and for what you desire. You are independent, strong willed and fiercely competitive when needed although your ambition is tempered with patience. You maintain a positive attitude and with a more organised or practical approach to life material success is very likely. Your immensely loving and generous nature brings joy into peoples lives and ensures your happiness.

Steward of the household : English

Life is never dull with your adventurous and restless spirit. You are always on the move and seeking a new challenge to pit your wits against. Being in touch with nature you love the outdoors. You have keen intuition and a desire for knowledge and you can be something of a crusader. When you apply discipline and tenacity to your energetic mind then leadership positions are easily available to you.

The Decorating Bug

I have been bitten again.

(Hopefully this post won't scare my husband too much.)

In my case, the decorating bug hit when I ordered fabric samples from Country Curtains. I have to say that I am very impressed with this feature. The thought of going from store to store to find the right curtains is not appealing (I'm very picky) and there is great fear associated with ordering curtains from online vendors (or even catalogs) sight unseen. If you go to the country curtains website, you can request up to ten free samples of their fabrics. This totally rocks! I have the convenience of ordering online (or by phone) without the fear of the fabric looking different than expected on arrival.

So now I know what curtain fabric I want to put up in every room on the first and second floor of our house (not including the bathroom). This not only makes me excited about ordering curtains and adding some color to our rooms...but it also makes me want to start painting. Several rooms are painted, but my new color plan makes me think that one room should be repainted and makes me glad that I haven't painted the kitchen cabinets yet, because I'm rethinking the direction I was going to take that room.

The sad part of this plan is that it includes less use of purple (and it's various shades) than I would have anticipated. But at the same time, I realize that none of these color schemes preclude the major use of purple within a room (a.k.a. my big purple couch). In thinking it through, it is probably good to avoid purple walls, considering the number of purple accessories I already own and am likely to receive in the future. Besides, my love of purple does not prevent my adoration of many other colors. And, in general, my favorite shades of purple are dark and rich, and having those on the wall would probably drive my husband to take away my paintbrushes.

Also, it might make the most sense to save a deep, rich color like purple for some part of the basement (when Rudy's office is no longer down there) since so little light penetrates the space anyway.

I just needed to get all of these thoughts recorded, so that I can go back to work without distraction. I need to leave on time today, so I can get out of town before the craziness of Light Up Night begins!

I think it will be a good weekend. Stuff at home tonight, Rockettes tomorrow, Harry Potter on Sunday...and there is a pumpkin pie and whipped cream in the refrigerator, so Rudy should be happy. If only we can find time for some driving practice...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I wish...

...I would have asked my question earlier in the day. It prompted a meeting with the "big boss", that I now need to prepare for before I can leave tonight. *sigh*

But I do work better with a deadline...

No exciting title for this post

I love the Irish Hiking Scarf Pattern! And I am knitting it with the softest and warmest wool I've ever had on my needles. It is elizabeth lavold's Chunky AL - 50% FS Alpaca and 50% Peruvian Wool. I will be making something for myself out of this stuff after the holidays - no doubt!

Knitting Christmas presents seems to be the most exciting thing going on for me right now. I am looking forward to seeing the new Harry Potter movie on Sunday afternoon and I'm happy that I don't need to clean the house this weekend since we aren't hosting Thanksgiving (although I might do some cleaning just so I don't feel the need to do any during the long weekend.

I am also in the process of putting together suggested window treatments for the house. It will likely be a while until we can do more window replacements, so some fabric at the windows could certainly help, especially with gas prices expected to climb this winter.

I had a good walk on Monday, but lunch plans prevented one yesterday and will prevent one today. Hopefully it won't be rainy on Thursday - rain is definitely harder to deal with than the cold at this point in the year.

I've been feeling a little "blah" lately. It's not all of the time, just here and there. I'm hoping maybe it is just tiredness and getting myself to bed earlier will help. I managed to get about 8 hours last night - it is a trend I need to continue!

And last, but not least, Grandma got to go home yesterday! I haven't had a chance to call yet, but Dad said she sounds good. I hope she got a good night's sleep last night, back in her own bed and without a roommate. ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Weekend Update

Friday evening I started another knitted Christmas present (which I finished Sunday night).

Saturday morning I had a wonderful massage. In the afternoon and evening I fluctuated between doing nothing and organizing things in my office and computer. It was gorgeous, so after walking over to the coffee shop for chai, I came home and opened windows for the kitties.

Sunday we slept in. Once we were up and about, I finally start working on the picture rail in the bedroom. I discovered the need for a few tools that were not immediately available. So instead of finishing the picture rail, I ended up going through the tool/paint area in the basement. I put up a set of shelves for all of the paint and paint supplies (it's been on my mental to-do list for a few weeks, but I hate being down there with the kitty litter smell) and went through all of the piles and shelves of stuff down in that room. Three garbage bags and a quarter roll of paper towels later, the unfinished area of the basement is a whole new place. There is still a shelf of stuff to get rid of, that we have to figure out how to get rid of, but the rest of what is left is all stuff we *want* and not just stuff that was left for us.

(Note to self: When we sell a house, don't leave a bunch of crap in the basement and garage for the new owners. It's just not nice or necessary.)

So I probably need a smaller masonry drill bit than the one I uncovered last night. So once I have that, I can finish the trim. Hopefully by this weekend, if not during it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

New Template

There wasn't really a nice purple template available, so I chose the one I liked the best. The overwhelming whiteness of the old one was annoying to me.

While I was updating I added links to some of my completed knitting projects. It is not everything, but those are most of the projects that I've taken pictures of. I'm much better at taking pictures of presents than stuff for me.

I've also added links to the blogs that I read regularly so it will be easier for me to get to them quickly. If you know of a blog that you think I should be reading, let me know.

Progress. I like it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sun influence

If it would have been as sunny at lunchtime as it is right now, I probably would have been good and walked.

Bad Amy.

Instead I bought more yarn for Christmas presents. Mmmmmm. Now that I have thought of presents to make for everyone I am definitely in less of a funk about the impending holidays than I was...

3:30am wake-up

With 5 of us in the bed, I usually wake-up at some point during the night because I am too "trapped" to move in my sleep. I have learned to accept this. I can generally fall back to sleep in a few minutes, the disturbance usually occurs about 4 hours after I've gone to bed (so I am relatively confident that REM sleep isn't being disturbed) and I have learned that despite the incredibly cuteness of the "puddles" of cat on the bed, my sleep is most definitely more important than theirs. I don't get to nap WHENEVER I want to.

When I fell asleep last night, Stewart was sleeping on my legs. I was in a comfortable position, so no problem. But when I woke up at three o'clock this morning, it was because my legs were falling off the bed! Both he and Nora were sleeping between Rudy's legs and mine, and apparently Stewart had been stretching to the extent that my legs were traveling slowly to and over the edge of the bed...

Along with his need to take up as much space as possible while sleeping, Stewart also likes attention, and lots of it. As soon as he sees that I am at all awake, he comes up to my head for attention. In this particular case it worked out well, because it freed up the lower portion of the bed so my legs had a resting place again. But I did have to direct Stewart a little bit to prevent him from leaning on Effie. And it took a few minutes to convince him that I was done rubbing his head and in need of going back to sleep. After a few minutes of unrewarded finger nibbling he got the hint, put his head down on my chest, and we both went back to sleep.

As far as I am aware, the other 3 in the bed were not disturbed by these rearrangements.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My tunes

I like shuffling with my iPod because it usually reminds me of a few albums I haven't listened to in a long time. I think there will be some more Moxy Fruvous and Radiohead after lunch. ;-)

Chips on My Shoulder - Soft Cell
I Remember That - "Saturday Night" World Premiere Recording
The Ballad of Czolgosz - Neil Patrick Harris - "Assassins" 2004 Broadway Cast
Doctor Robert - The Beatles
Whistle While You Work - Adriana Caselotti - "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
I Love My Boss - Moxy Fruvous
Instrumental: June Meets her Twin Sisters - Rachel Portman - "The Joy Luck Club"
Phone Call - Jason Graae - "Lucky Stiff"
Instrumental: The Grand Waltz - "The Sound of Music"
Capitol Radio - The Clash
No Surprises - Radiohead
Gordo's Law of Genetics - "A New Brain" 1998 Original Cast Recording
A Wink and a Smile - Harry Connick, Jr. - "Sleepless in Seattle" soundtrack
Gulf War Song - Moxy Fruvous
Foolish Games - Jewel
Hey Now Everybody - They Might Be Giants
I Get a Kick out of You - Patti Lupone - "Anything Goes"
Instrumental: Precedent - Howard Shore - "Philadelphia"
Tchaikovsy Rococo Variations - VI: Andante - Leonard Rose
Round Tables, Square tables - "Falsettoland" Original Cast Recording
Twelve Days to Christmas - "She Loves Me" Original Cast Recording
There is a Light - Nick Cave

There were a few more...but I was in such a work groove that I forgot to record them and I don't feel like going back to get them.

Going to meet a friend for lunch. Yeah sushi!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I'm bad

I didn't walk yesterday or today. No good reason, just laziness.

Maybe watching "The Biggest Loser" this evening will provide motivation.


Quick Update

Grandma is doing well. She has come a long way in a week, and honestly when we left the hospital on Saturday night she seemed totally fine. She stood for ~10 minutes while we said goodbye, her speech is normal and her comprehension is there. She will be in the hospital for rehab for as long as she and the doctor think it is necessary. It sounds like she doesn't mind the rehab, but wishes she could sleep in her own bed at night. Where she will go after this is still TBD - but I have a feeling she wil be going back to her apartment. There will just need to be some extra precautions put into place because she could have another TIA at any time. So no more driving and we'll probably come up with a schedule to make sure that someone talks to her every morning.

What happened last week was scary, but she seems to have recovered really well. Hopefully we have a lot more time to spend together. But I am very happy that I went to Ohio. Seeing her doing so well made me feel better and if something awful were to happen now, at least I have seen her. I'm still not ready to lose her...but I know that none of us (including the doctors) can really prevent future scares.

On the knitting front, I was planning to post pictures last night...but after Effie had taken over my lap I realized that my wireless card was upstairs. Meaning no access to the server where the pictures are stored or the internet where I would post them. Maybe tonight, if I can get eveything I need before I'm trapped on the couch. :-) I've been getting lots of xmas presents knitted, some of which are for people who don't read there might be more than just photos of baby stuff posted.

My December 26th-31st vacation will probably involve getting lots of photos (knitting and otherwise) online. I always have hopes for that week that are just way too I will try to keep my goals within reason this year!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I find myself occassionally in a quandry about how much personal information to post here. On one hand, the only people I've told about this blog are close friends (most of whom don't have their own blog to link mine to) and on the other hand *anyone* could be reading this.

I guess the balance has to be found in writing what I need to "get out" while still being careful.

I am concerned because my grandmother is not well. On Sunday, my paternal grandmother had a minor stroke and then another on Monday. At the point, we are told from my aunts and uncles that she is recovering well, she has made a lot of progress in the last couple of days - including talking, smiling, sitting up in a chair and telling my uncle that she doesn't like the neurologist. Sounds like the Grandma that I know.

So beyond the good news that she is recovering well and she has a great team of doctors and nurses looking after, the main reason for concern is that this is a chronic condition that the medical team can't keep from happening again. They are running tests, she is taking medicine, and she will be going to therapy...but another stroke cannot be predicted or prevented.

I am heading to Dayton on Friday, as are my parents. There is nothing specific that we will do, other than see Grandma and the rest of the family. Hopefully there is a lot more time to be spent together. But I can't help but think about how quickly Rudy's grandmother went from being stable to being unconscious...and then being gone. It's possible that I would be less anxious to go visit this week, had it not been for the experience with her earlier this year.

On a positive note, I had a fabulous time at a baby shower last night. I have taken pictures of the knitted presents, but they haven't been transferred to a computer yet. The mother to be was so appreciative that she started to choke up. Yeah! Pictures - soon, soon.

Now knitting progress on Christmas presents can continue without distraction. I love reason to go yarn shopping without guilt. ;-)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Two meals

Again, writing down what I have made recently since I tend to experiment a bit and not write enough down.

Chicken Pot Pie without the crust
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put chicken tenderloins into glas baking dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil.
Add a can of cream of chicken soup, peas (put frozen peas in the microwave for a couple of minutes to thaw), green beans and carrots. (Future note, consider potato cubes)
Mix ingredients well.
Cover and cook for 50 minutes.

Salmon recipe from
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise and 1/2 cup mustard.
Stir in 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. oregano, and 1 tsp. basil.
Place 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets on a baking sheet, and spread with the mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle with 2 tsps dill weed or two taste.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the salmon is easily flaked with a fork.

I hope to get some knitting pictures up in the next couple of days!

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Not surprisingly, it seems that many of the things recently that make me happy or annoyed have to do with control. Several things that I don't have control over make me annoyed, and I've gotten annoyed with myself for not controlling things I should. :-) That's probably an oversimplification, but that's the first thought that came to mind as I was pondering this blog entry.

I went for a walk yesterday, which made me happy. I didn't today, which was my choice but also caused me to be somewhat annoyed with myself for making the choice. But it was a trade off, because I spent two hours cleaning my desk which gave me a great sense of control and accomplishment. As I result, I felt like I should spend the rest of the day in to get as much done as I could before quitting time. Things are going to get busier. Hopefully not "work lots of overtime" busier...but busier. We will see how it goes. My hope was that cleaning my desk would help me start with a clean slate and make sure that any loose ends are taken care of before I get more overwhelmed with the main project I'm working on.

There are probably more examples of these "control" issues, but I need to get back to Rudy's Halloween costume. :-)

By the way, three years ago today Rudy proposed to me on the Oak Island Beach in North Carolina. Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of our first official date and Rebecca's birthday. Happy Birthday, Rebecca!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Seeing a friend on the bus this morning helped to perk up my mood this morning - but the rain, the cold, my bloat and the fact that I have to go to a professional event this evening have me in a worse than usual mood. I don't dislike other professionals in my field - I'm just not in the mood to shmooze and the discovery that the skirt part of my black suit isn't any looser than it was the last time I wore it didn't help much either.

Last week's meetings combined with the cold and rain threw off my walking plan, and I have to force myself back on track tomorrow.

First song to come up on the iPod this morning (on shuffle) - "Sunset Boulevard (reprise)", 1993 Original London Cast, Patti Lupone and Kevin Anderson. Yesterday I allowed the iPod to shuffle through my entire collection, and I only got one christmas song, so I think I'm going to let it go again today...

Monday, October 24, 2005


There is nothing like spending all of Friday evening on the couch with your husband, your kitties and your knitting. Especially when knitting cute baby clothes that come together in no time and when a formerly misbehaving kitty is the only purring in your lap. Looking forward to posting some pictures after the baby presents have been given!

I made two cakes this weekend for the house tour thank you party. I haven't used the kitchen aid stand mixer that we got as a wedding present nearly enough - it totally rocks for making cake batter! No standing there with the hand mixer for 4-5 minutes trying to get a nice even batter. Just move the lever, and then go start cleaning up or preparing the pan.

I also used the art deco bundt cake pan that we (really, I) registered for at Williams-Sonoma. It make the cake look very impressive, and the cake popped right out when I turned it over. I do enjoy baking and cooking - moreso when I have a day like Saturday when there was nothing else I had to do really.

No real excitement to report otherwise. The party was nice on Saturday. Nora insisted on sleeping in my lap for most of Sunday afternoon - so I oraganized the files on my laptop until I couldn't take it anymore and had to go get my knitting. She returned to my lap within ten minutes of sitting back I probably should have gone up for my knitting sooner. :-)

Oh, and I made meat sauce last night that Rudy really enjoyed. So here is a note to myself about what I threw together:
Ground Beef, Basil, Salt, Pepper, Mom's Pasta Sauce - Special Marinara flavor

He hasn't enthusiastically commented on anything I've made in a it is good to keep track of what gets rave reviews...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Catching up

I feel like there is the chance that I have a handful of "dedicated" readers of my blog and I have been letting that small group down. Let's see what I can do to feel better about it. :-)

Last friday, a CMU friend, Larry, came over for dinner. He was in town to recruit and I had been planning to finish cooking the brisket that evening, so a small dinner party was born. We ate at the dining room table and everything - *gasp*. The brisket turned out well - the only snag was that we had stubborn potatoes that refused to cook quickly. I had meant to throw them in the microwave for a bit to get them going and I forgot. I'll remember next time...probably.

Early saturday was too busy. We drove out to the Mt. Pleasant area to see the progress on Janice's cabin. We knew the time would be tight, but an accident on the road slowed us down even more and we probably should have headed out earlier. But we had sufficient time to walk through the cabin and talk about issues that Janice wanted to review. We will find another time to go when we can hang out a bit more...but we both really wanted me to see the place before too much more is done.

We had to rush back to town so I could go downtown to see "Joseph..." and Rudy had an appointment to give blood. I got there five minutes before curtain and he didn't have enough to eat, but it worked out well enough. The show was good, although very much over the top. But given that the plot really isn't all that extensive and the music is good, I'm not complaining. It was certainly a lot better than 80% of the Broadway Series shows from last year and the "over the top" aspect gave it a broadway feel. The funniest part was the finale - a change into sparkly costumes, remix versions of the shows songs and lots of changing lots and fog - "Joseph..." meets the club scene! :-) The next show is the Rockettes. I'm intrigued, but it is probably the show in the series that I am anticipating the least. Maybe it will help get me in the holiday spirit in time for Thanksgiving.

Saturday night we watched "Team America" on DVD. Very enjoyable - and I got the bear knitted except for the eyes and nose! I also started another knitted xmas present. Sunday I got to sleep in a little and take a walk with Rudy, but the rest of the morning and early afternoon was devoted to preparing for my work trip. I met my coworkers downtown at 3:30 and we drove to Bradford, PA. They took us out for a lovely dinner at Glendorn ($$$$) and I had a little time to watch the end of Crossing Jordan and watch the 11pm news from buffalo before settling into my king bed at one of the only two hotels in town.

Monday was a long day of meetings and driving back to Pgh, but during the two car rides I got quite a bit of knitting done on two xmazs presents. I think this entry is going to get more and more boring if I keep updating my week like this. So to wrap up - tuesday night was the house tour wrap up meeting and wednesday night we went out to shogun with a bunch of friends.

Walking hasn't happened this week, unfortunately. Monday I was in Bradford, Tuesday I was in Greensburg, Wednesday i got to work too late and today I should have gotten here earlier (technically I could have gone, but I hate getting home less than an hour before the HPCC meeting). I think tomorrow night is free, so I will force myself to work tomorrow and I should probably bring a heavier coat with me. :-)

Lastly, I finished Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince this week. I made the mistake of reading the last few chapters on the bus and at work. I managed not to cry, but it wasn't easy. Good book. That's the closest together I've read any two HP books. I think I'm glad I have a little break until the next one. I've also been thinking about going back to read the others, now that I have the perspective of the later ones. (Kind of like going back to watch Star Wars 4, 5 and 6 after seeing #3.)

I think I'm still convinced that somehow Snape is going to turn out to be on the good side, but it is not as easy to believe as it was before. And part of that could just be my attraction to Alan Rickman (damn movies!). Either way, I am looking forward to the fourth movie (so far, #4 is my favorite book) and I'm glad the books have gone in the direction they have. Like "Serenity", there is an increased urgency and emotional commitment when you feel like *anyone* could be lost at any time.

Enough rambling. I'll try to be a little more on top of this in the coming week.

Friday, October 14, 2005

So cheap they wrinkle...

Warning - "girly topic"

In the past I have generally purchased all of my panty hose from Victoria's Secret. While this may seem excessive, they are extremely good quality and only a few dollars more per pair than the options at the department stores.

In a recent attempt to be frugal (and avoid the temptations of shopping in Shadyside), I've purchased my panty hose from Kaufmann's and CVS. The ones from CVS are *extremely* cheap - they are so stiff (and plastic-y) that when I pulled the last pair (thank goodness) out of the drawer this morning it was actually wrinkled! *shiver* I am praying for a runner today so I can throw them in the trash tonight. Or I might throw them away anyway.

The ones from Kaufmann's are okay, but half of them have gotten runners on their second wearing. Not a great track record, and if that pace continues I will soon have no viable options left.

I will be returning to Victoria's Secret to buy panty hose at my next opportunity.

End "girly topic"

(I tried to use the geeky html symbols to represent the beginning and end of the "girly topic", but everything written between the carrot parentheses didn't show up in the post...)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A few updates

Exercise: I walked every day at lunchtime last week except thursday (I had zero motivation that day...) and both days so far this week. Saturday we went to the mall, so I think I came close to the requisite number of steps then, too. Sunday there wasn't any official walking, but it did seem like I went up and down the steps many, many times while straightening up the house. Last night I went to the gym, too. :-)

Knitting: Another purse is ready to be felted and I'm more than halfway done with my first knitted bear. It seems to be going well, although a friend made a disaster of a bear, so I'm not going to be confident until he's closer to being finished.

Reading: I started Harry Potter #6 last night. The danger is that I have trouble putting it down once I we'll see how much else I can get done until it is finished.

Homecoming: Plans seem to be well-established for the S'n'S events at Homecoming this year. Still a few issues to work out, but since we're just playing a tape of the award presentation, I don't have any VIPs to take care of. There is still much I would like to do with S'n'S alumni that I haven't...but I'm not sure that I'm ever going to find the time to make it happen without support from fellow alumni. Steven and I are committed to seeing the award continue, but beyond that I'm not making any promises. I'm tired of being disappointed by everyone else.

Highland Park House Tour: One meeting left to summarize the tour, make lists of what worked and what we would have done differently, and to plan the party! Then freedom!

Halloween: Rudy and I might actually be dressing up this year...imagine that!

Food: We bought pork tenderloin with apple and raisin stuffing at Whole Foods on Monday night - YUM! And, I plan to make my first ever brisket this week. The family recipe (one of the few passed down on my mom's side) is pretty straightfoward, so I expect to get the usual yummy results.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tiny Bit of Guilt

So Stewart is *our* cat and from the beginning Rudy and I were introducing him to the house, giving him his first bath, playing with him and welcoming him to his new home (not quite in that order) together. But, it seems clear that Stewart tends to favor me.

I realize that I didn't do anything to encourage this, and it is probably at least partially because Stewart's previous owner was a single female...but I still feel a little bad.

Of course, Effie still loves Rudy to pieces and it's not like Stewart dislikes him. He just chooses me to walk on at 4am. :-)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Something I should mention

I probably won't be talking about knitting much for a while. I'm working on Christmas presents and various other presents for people who might be reading this blog.

I will say that the hooded pullover from Vogue Knitting's fall issue is going well (I started the front last night), but I probably won't work on it much as long as I have presents going.

I am hopeful that once the holidays have passed, I will not only spend more time on here talking about knitting, but I will also find time to post pictures.


...I have been cooking again.

For a while now, I just haven't been. Rudy and I have been "fending for ourselves" when we are hungry. We haven't starved, but we have probably both snacked to much just because it is faster when there isn't a meal prepard. I'm sure that the local coffeeshop has gotten more of our business, too.

I have no desire to cook *every* night or become the next Rachel Ray, but I do want to come up with a reasonable "rotation" of meals that I can make fairly quickly and confidently. And I'd like to learn some uses for some of the unique fruits and vegetables I see at Whole Foods - in a way that Rudy will actually eat them. :-) And I just want us to get into the habit if eating well-balanced meals.

Also, I have a great kitchen-aid mixer that I've only used abut 3 times in 2 years, and I need to get off my butt and find some recipes I can use it to help with. The other sad item is that I didn't make any ice cream this summer...and soon it will be too cold for it.

My random thoughts about food for the day.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Beginning the holiday dread...

I should begin by saying that I enjoy the holidays. I like the time spent with families, I like the time off from work and I like the general "spirit" and "flavor" of the season. I'm definitely happy that Starbucks has the pumpkin spice latte available again (although I'm certainly not going overboard and it is not as exciting as it once was now that I have found chai) and I am a fan in general of the cool fall weather.

But by the year, I am becoming less-enamored with christmas presents. I'm really not trying to sound scroogy...but the past few years, especially being responsible for presents for two sets of families, it has stopped being fun. More and more, I am feeling like Rudy and I just don't need that much stuff. And the things that we do need (clothes, home depot supplies and supplies for our various hobbys) are not the right kind of thing to put on a christmas list, other than the obviuos list of gift certificates. So I find that our lists are primarily CDs, DVDs and books. Now, these are things that we enjoy a lot, but it just seems kind of boring, and getting some family members to actually look at our wishlists is just never going to happen.

Then there is the problem of getting presents for others. I like to get things that I know the recipient can find useful. Not something that just sits around or just looks pretty. And there is something bad about buying people food related presents when you know they don't really need them. Then, of course, there are Rudy's relatives who I have found to be impossible to shop for the past couple of years. They all seemed to like last year's gifts, but now I have to come up with more.

And yes, I did do some knitted presents last year and I can do more this year (not quite so last minute), but that's not going to last forever. And there are some people that I just can't come up with the *right* present for, knitted or not.

So, I guess there is a part of me that would like to say, "No presents, let's just all hang out." Or maybe "immediate family only."

Then there is the dilemma of friends (some of whom may be reading this). There is a part of me that would like to do more for my friends around the holidays, especially those that I haven't seen since the wedding and my relatively "new" Pittsburgh friends. But maybe I just need to do a better job with the holiday card (which was skipped last year) and do something for local friends that is less about "stuff" and more about spending time together.

This is all coming out because I need to buy yarn for the christmas presents that i know I want to make. I either need to make time for shopping in person (more fun) or do some online ordering soon. I need to get a move on with those...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

5130 steps

Walked with Rudy this evening. It was too nice a night to be inside at the gym. :-)

6400 Steps

If I can trust this pedometer. Considering how much further I walked today than yesterday, it seems like it was more than 200 steps more.

I probably made a mistake getting the pedometer that was least obtrusive and not the one with the best reviews. When there is a little extra cash sitting around, I might trade up for better results.

Music was definitely part of the reason I moved along a bit further today. But I came back to the office with a sweaty head...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Jail trail

6229 steps, 2.55 miles

(BTW, I probably walked 15-16,000 steps on Saturday, but the pedometer wasn't working well since I was stopping and starting so much, so I stopped using it.)

Pros of the jail trail:
It is an 11 minute walk from my desk. No stopping and starting at intersections. I can walk "out" 30 minutes and then"back" 30 minutes. No traffic, so I can safely use my iPod.

No shade (this might be a plus in the winter, but at the moment it makes for a warm-hot walk. Next time I'll have more water before I leave...). Lots of nearby highway traffic. Walking past the jail and the greyhound station.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

It's over

Similar to a wedding, the last week before a large planned public event is full of lots of phone calls, last minute details and craziness. Also, much distraction during the work day, so no blogging when I needed to be working...

The tour went well. We're still working on the final count of attendees, but it's probably 750-800 plus the 90 volunteers and 10 homeowners families. It was a long, busy day. My cell phone ended up being the "information line" for the day, so I gave directions to the church about 40 times and answered lots of other questions.

I was at the King Estate most of the day. I left for an hour in the early afternoon to see about half of the other homes - very quickly. Otherwise, I was there until 5:45 when I went to the church to help with ticket clean-up. There were a few issues with the volunteer shift change and at the worst point (other than a few groups who were accidently skipped) the wait was about 45 minutes to get in. I only dealt with one upset person and some other grumbly ones. We did our best to make people happy and I think we did a good job with a difficult house.

And I'm very happy it is over.

Today I've started some new knitting projects, felted the kitty bed and a purse, did some other laundry and watched Sense and Sensibility (twice, once with commentary and once without). Rudy went to see "Serenity" a second time tonight. I needed some more down time this evening, but if he goes for a third time, I'll probably join him.

We saw it for the first time on Friday night. It was a bit more violent than "Firefly", but still very enjoyable and with the same feel as the original. It introduced the characters with new scenes and got right to the action.

There is probably more to tell, but the West Wing is on and I want to get back to my knitting. :-)

Monday, September 26, 2005


I'm not totally trusting of the pedometer, but to the best of my calculation and based on its readings, I walked 5693 steps at lunchtime. I even went out in the rain to do it. Go me.

Mostly quiet weekend

It seems like things are finally "winding down" to a more normal pace. Yes, there are still house tour things to do - but not nearly as much as there was in August. I spent a good chunk of Saturday making display boards of the "before" photos of the King Estate. But Friday evening we did very little after we returned from my tour of Rudy's office (not much different than it looked in June, although I got to see his actual office this time). I started knitting a cat bed and completed a few minor house tour tasks while we watched TV.

Saturday I began cleaning up my room, then a trip to Staples for supplies and lunch at Five Guys Burgers and Fries (i enjoyed it more than Rudy - I think the messy and enormous burger was unappetizing for him - glad I got the "little" burger). After I finished the display boards and made some food, Rudy and I watched a few episodes of "Firefly" in preparation for the release of "Serenity" next Friday ( Can't wait!

I made good progress on the kitty bed, and Stewart showed lots of interest in helping me...which is adorable, but a little painful, even after his nails had been clipped.

Sunday, after a nice brunch at Enrico's, I met Brigette to prepare for our training session at the King Estate. All went well, although the training took an hour longer than i thought, so I missed my knitting get together. :-( So I volunteered to host the next one. At least it is only 2 weeks away, it's been too long since I've seen the girls and I'm anxious for them to meet Stewart!

I focused on my knitting last night since I had missed the GTG. I weaved in the ends and added fringe to my scarf. Weaved in the ends on a purse and the cat bed so they are ready to felt. And I got most of the sewing done on my t-shirt. Stewart was keen on helping me again during the sewing. Once he stopped pawing at me, he watched me intently, and then suddenly he was fast asleep. Crazy cat.

This morning - 183.0 lbs and 43.2%. Not bad.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Never mind

I ended up being in the conference room from 1-3, preparing for the 3pm meeting. So it's a good thing I didn't go after all.

The earlier I can get to work tomorrow, the more time I will have to walk. I have a chance to go see Rudy's workplace, including his office between 3 and 5pm tomorrow. It will probably be my only chance to ever see it given the security of his department. In order to leave at 4, I will have to arrive by 8. The only time I can take for lunch is how far in advance of 8 I arrive.


Progress but one obstacle

So I did make it to payless today, to buy a pair of walking shoes for my lunchtime walks. But with a meeting at 1pm, that I was preparing for until 12:20, there wasn't substantial time for a walk today. But my new shoes are ready and waiting for tomorrow.

Turns out I could have gone, our consultant pushed the meeting back until 3. Oh well. Maybe I can make time for a walk tonight after work.

On the knitting front, I started my first square to donate to The first attempt turned out an inch too wide, but I was halfway done by the end of this morning's bus ride, so starting over won't be painful. And I definitely have plenty of acrylic in my stash that I don't have another use for.

Last night I was so close to finishing my scarf that I couldn't stop until it was done. Still have to weave in the ends, on that and on my t-shirt.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


185.4 lbs
43.5 %BF

Still 4.6 lbs below my all-time recorded "high". I'm up about 5 lbs since January, but I probably gained 2 lbs while we were in St. Lucia. :-)

No where to go but down.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I am in need of a plan

I need to stop gaining weight. And I need to lose weight. I have no need to be super skinny...I would just like my bum and various other parts to be smaller.

I will weigh myself in the morning to get a "starting" weight. Although I went to the gym today, so this morning would have been the best time to get a starting number. Oh well. I'm probably not going to start enacting all of "the plan" until Thursday anyway, since I have lunch plans tomorrow.

"The plan" is to walk at lunchtime. Based on my effort at the gym tonight, I can walk about 7,000 steps in an hour. Knowing that I'm not going to get to the gym everyday and pretty soon it will be too dark after work to go for a walk, walking at lunch seems like the best plan. I'll just need to put a good pair of walking shoes at my desk and I'll have to work while I eat lunch when I return.

I've lost weight before. I can do it again. I think now that many of my commitments are lightening up or going away, now is the right time to focus on my goals.

Twice, I have gotten myself down to 150 lbs and promised myself the scale wouldn't ever go up again. Now, I realize that is a little ridiculous...but I am also happy that I'm still not back up at my all time high. I'm not going to make myself any more promises, but I do need to put a priority back on my health.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

We have a clean house

This makes me happy.

My room still needs to be straightened up and there are still items in the guest room that are still in the process of airing out to remove the smells that Nora left behind. But the bedding seems to have come out of the washing machine well and the smell in the room is already less.

A little time left in the weekend to do what I need to do for the house tour a relax a bit.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

There is probably something wrong with me...

When I wasn't busy at work on Friday, I was anxious to get home and start cleaning.

Don't get me wrong. I don't love cleaning. But it is nice to finally have a mostly clear weekend to finally get the house under control.

Last night I cleaned the kitchen. I cleaned all the surfaces. I put some of the appliances away that have been sitting out. I scoured everything that didn't move. It was gross and now it isn't.

I began putting things away from the dining room, but then it was bedtime. I also did a little spraying of areas that Nora had sprayed. I'm hoping that by the time I get back to them the "stinkfinder" light won't see them anymore.

This morning I'm in the process of touching up some bad spots on the wall with JC and primer, cleaning the dining room and vacuuming. I hope to get to start the second floor sometime today...but I am trying to be thorough.

What an exciting blog post, huh? :-)

Not really an exciting week. Trying to wrap up House Tour stuff and working on the scarf for me. I balled up half of the wool for the Kitty Pi Bed. It's not cool enough to be really worthwhile for the cats yet, but it looks like a fun knit.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Eating and the TV

So according to a report on the Today show this morning, those of us who grew up eating in front of the television are not as good at paying attention while we eat and knowing when we feel satisfied.

I don't totally disagree, and I would probably argue that my propensity to eat at my desk at work probably has the same poor result.

Just something to think about as I reignite my efforts to eat better (and less) and reinvigorate my exercise routine. Along with an expected return to the gym in the next week or two, I have ordered myself a pedometer. With the bus and regular lunchtime errands, I know that I walk, but I don't know if I walk enough to make a difference. So I hope to use the pedometer to find out what I am already doing and help myself improve.

After the house tour, I expect things to get less busy. It would be good at that point to make an effort to eat at the table with the TV off. A good habit to get into before we have kids...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Return from St. Lucia

We returned safely last night. Our flight was supposed to land a few minutes before 11 and we were home a few mintues after midnight - not bad.

We had a great trip. Photos and more information will come soon.

On the regular-everyday blog-worthy front, I read "Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix", I worked on the short-ribbed scarf for me and I got quite a bit done on another "Sophie" purse. The book was so good I found myself wanting to read that in my down time instead of knitting quite a few times. I won't start the sixth book until the House Tour has passed...those books are just too hard to put down.

Back to reality tomorrow. Got caught up on regular laundry today and got quite a bit of hand-wash stuff cleaned. My bags are unpacked, and I hope to bring the kitchen closer to a state of cleanliness (especially cleaning out the frig) before I give up for the night.

The house is still messier than I'd like, but I'm going to have to work on it slowly for the next couple of weeks in between house tour stuff.

Friday, September 02, 2005


I think there is an end in sight. I have been literally spending all of my free time working on the house tour since the evening of the 23rd (and I had to do some work while we were at my parent's house). I finally finished the house tour program last long as one of our drama queen homeowners doesn't pull his house off the tour as he has been threatening to do for the past couple of days. *rolling eyes* Thankfully the printer can take the program when I return, so we might just put it on hold until the drama subsides. There will still be some stuff to do for the tour when I return, but the program was my big "job" and most of the other stuff just has to get done before october 1st.
Oh, and to top it all off. Nora has been spraying. And we have been so busy there hasn't been a really good time to clean. Rudy did make a pass with Nature's Miracle on Monday night, and I'm sure we'll spray some more tonight before we leave. We also bought a Feliway diffuser, which is supposed to calm an anxious kitty. But the pet store only had one, and it only covers 650 square feet. So hopefully we can find a couple more when we get back. The first order of business when we return from vacation will be cleaning the house from top to bottom!

So, on one hand I am totally ready for a break and on the other, I would love to have a little "time off" before going away so I could feel like things are a bit more "together".

The good news is that I have gotten the hang of the pattern for the short row ribbed scarf I'm knitting, so I no longer have to look at the pattern constantly. Now that I "get it", it will be a good pattern for knitting on the beach! :-D

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Back to work

Thankfully, today didn't seem too long. I started the day with a headache, but my morning coffee helped with that. (Now, I realize that coffee is not really a solution, it's just a band-aid. But until I can get out from under all that I need to do and get more sleep and exercise, it will have to do. Also, I only have on serving a day...I'm not totally overdoing it with the caffeine.)

The best news of the day is that my friend Suzanna's dad is okay! He lives down in New Orleans and he is alright. They still have to figure out the best way to get him out of there, but at least he wasn't hurt in the storm. They will worry about cleaning up the house later...

On the way home from work, I bound off the second sleeve of my t-shirt. A bit of sewing to do, and I have a new shirt! Not sure that it will be ready to take on vaction, but I'll certainly be able to wear it before it gets cold out.

Just a photo of Effie when she was helping me with the Highland Park House Tour Program:
Lately, this is Stewart's favorite evening sleeping position...although sometimes his legs end up more up in the air than this.
A close-up. Isn't he so cute when he's not getting into trouble?

And then I had to annoy Nora with the camera, too.

Did I mention that we just bought a new camera? :-D

Monday, August 29, 2005


I decided to leave work and go to the viewing with Rudy, and I'm glad I did. There is something about being there for a difficult time that makes you feel just as much (if not more) like part of a family than just being there during the happy times.

It is sad that Sara is no longer with us. But she left behind a wonderful legacy of children, grand-children and great-grand-children that she loved very much. She also led a very happy life with many friends, much fun and lots of square dancing!

Personally, I think that she knew that she would be exceedingly unhappy in any condition where she could not continue to live an independent life in her home...and I think she was ready to go. She was too independent to fight to live on in a life that would have been unhappy for her. I think it takes a brave women to know when she is ready to stop fighting.

I never looked closely at the casket. I enjoyed looking at the variety of photos available much more.

Rudy spent the whole way home talking about his memories of living in Mt. Pleasant, and it made me realize that I never really recorded any thoughts about Grandpa Eldon. Although, I must admit that he felt like the grandparent I knew the least. We had a lot of fun together when I was growing up, but I tended to have a preference for my grandmothers growing up - they took me out to lunch and out shopping - more exciting that working on the car when you are a young girl.

But we did have things in common. I remember watching the Reds on TV with Grandpa Eldon and Grandma Lillian, and in later years we watched golf together, when I *finally* became interested in it. The three of us went out golfing together a couple of times. My grandmother prodded me a bit more, since she knows what it is like to be a female golfer...but we all had a great time out on the links and getting lunch afterward.

I remember Grandpa doing his crossword puzzles and reading Reader's Digest in his chair by the front door (I wasn't really involved with that). He also liked to do jigsaw puzzles, which I remember helping with. When the three of us were watching TV, he would fall asleep in his chair and I also remember that when I spent the night, he would take the bed in the other room so I could sleep in his twin bed in the master bedroom and be closer to Grandma.

I remember discovering all kinds of cool stuff with him in the basement. There were pool balls, old vacuum cleaners and many things that I think he planned to fix someday. It was musty and dirty down there, but that was probably the place that the two of us spent the most time. Well, that and the backyard. He was always happy to throw a ball or practice chipping or do anything that was possible to do in their small urban yard...which is probably about the same size as the yard that Rudy and I have now. I hadn't thought about that before...

Enough typing for one night. I want to go work on the second sleeve of my t-shirt.

Note to self - Tara wants an orange felted purse for Christmas. :-)

If only my office policy was online...

So one of the advantages that my husband has is that he works for a university. Meaning that it is a big "company", so there is lots and lots of information online so that the HR and benefits people don't get a constant barrage of phone calls. This means that when there is a death in the family, he can find out about his bereavement leave online.

And I have a paper office manual in my desk drawer, so I couldn't find out about my leave until I got to my desk this morning. Turns out that I can use sick time for "death in the family" leave, which I have plenty of, instead of vacation days (of which I only have two left).

I'm skipping the "viewing" today, because I didn't want to use my last two vacation days and be out of vacation by mid-september. But now that I know I can use sick time I'm contemplating getting back on a bus and going home. I have things to do, but nothing urgent.

I hate decisions like this. It would be easier if I hadn't already sent an email around about being out tomorrow...

I will look at my to-do list, and then decide.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

How to use a blog?

I realize that up to this point I have mostly been using my blog as a daily journal. I don't know yet if this a good thing or a bad thing. And I'm wondering if it will become less of that and more of an idea place once I am less super busy.

We'll see.

Sad news - Rudy's grandmother passed away early this morning.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday night

The best thing about having a 9am meeting in Greensberg is that my day started at 7:30, so I could take most of a lunch hour and still leave before 4:30. Instead of going right for the express bus, I stopped in Payless and browsed. I have a few pairs I shoes I was ready to get rid of, but not without replacing them first. :-)

I found three pairs of pumps! Two black and one brown. And they were having a "buy one item, get the second half price" sale. So I picked up a purse, too! The good news is that I came home and put four pairs of shoes in the goodwill pile. That's right - a net loss of a pair of shoes. Those Clean Sweep organizers would be so proud.

After getting home, I made pretty good progress in cleaning up the dressing room and bedroom. All of the clean clothes are put away. All of the non-bedroom stuff has been moved to the appropriate room and my suitcase from last weekend is unpacked. Still need to unpack the camping bag and now my office is messy with stuff that was in the dressing room and bedroom. Oh well. I'll get to that room in September...

I need to do more work on the house tour program before I can let myself go to sleep. sigh.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Too much

I can't cover it all, it feels like too much has happened in the past week and I'm having trouble processing it all. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining...there are many people in this world that are much worse off than I am. I'm just in a state where I really need some ME time and some US time with my husband, and I need that AFTER I get a chance to clean the frickin' house. Don't know if it will happen.

The sad news is the Rudy's grandmother, Sara, is not doing well. She had a stroke last week, but she seemed to be doing well afterward and we had planned to visit her this week once she had stepped down to a less intense unit. Unfortunately, she had another stroke early Tuesday morning which had a much more damaging effect. She is in a coma and the prognosis isn't good. So we are playing the waiting game at the moment.

In happier news, we had a nice time at the wedding over the weekend. The bride was lovely and we got to meet a number of friends and family of the Tuckers that we had been hearing about for years. I started knitting a purse when we got in the car on Friday that I wanted to carry to the wedding on Saturday. I had to stay up until 1am to finish, but I got it done.

(the pictures are not yet downloaded to our server, but someday I'll get some pictures of my knitting up here...)

The t-shirt is going well. I'm up to the shoulders and it seems to fit! Also, Mom and I went yarn shopping on Monday and had lots of fun. There is some hand-spun, hand-painted yarn on order for me - can't wait!

I need to go work on the house tour. I can't really relax until my work for that is done...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Poor Stewart

He had to go to the vet today. And so did Nora. I don't want to embarass him, but being put in the cat carrier is so upsetting for him that he poops. It happened the first time we brought him home, and we thought it was just because he was being ripped from his home by strangers. But no, he just HATES the carrier.

Rudy had to do the vet visits alone and clean Stewart up afterward, so it will be my turn next year. I'm thinking we should take Stewart's food away the night before so there won't be anything to come out.

Poor Stewart.

He seems to have recovered, and since he had a bath this afternoon he smells good.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Finally found my passport. I was afraid I was going to have to declare it missing and try to get a new one in 2 weeks and 4 days. Not fun. I was seriously thinking about calling in sick tomorrow if I couldn't find my passport tonight.

So first thing tomorrow I'll take my packet to the post office and overnight all of it and a prepaid envelope to have it overnighted back. Hopefully in a week I'll have a passport with my new name, and relaxation can occur.

Took an awesome stained glass restoration class last weekend. Trying to get house tour stuff done. Going to Toledo and Michigan this weekend for a wedding and parent visit. House is still an enormous mess - even more so since I spent 90 minutes looking in nooks and crannies for my passport.

I've started knitting a t-shirt, I've bought yarn to knit my first bear and I'm starting to think about what I might knit as christmas presents. Ribbon X-back is waiting to be frogged again.

Did I mention that the house is a mess? :-)

Oh, and I have no idea what I'm wearing to the wedding this weekend. I might just end up wearing the same thing I wore to the last wedding we went to...since Rudy is the only person who will be there who has seen me in that dress before.

I'm going to work on the t-shirt for a bit and then try to get a good night's sleep now that I have located my passport...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Back from camping, still overwhelmed (and a Stewart Story)

Camping was good, although overall uneventful. In Rudy's words: "We were slugs, with mastery of fire." :-)

Friday, I only left the campsite to go to the bathroom building. I tended to the fire, worked on the blanket and ate. Rudy read LOTR, ate and made a few trips to the camp store. Saturday and Sunday we did a little hiking and we took a quick dip in the lake on Saturday afternoon. Otherwise, we tended to the fire and ate. We nearly polished off two bags of marshmallows!

I also finally wrote a letter to my friend, Eva, in Spain - she sent her last letter in November. I'm feeling better now that the letter is in the mail. She is supposed to be getting married at the end of the year, so I'm anxious to hear how her wedding planning is going.

Although I got a lot of sleep while camping (somewhat interrupted, but lengthy), I came back home and I feel overwhelmed again. There is a lot to do for the house tour, the house is a disaster (Rudy keeps trying to tell me that it isn't, but I'm not convinced) and most of my upcoming weekend will be filled with a stained glass restoration class. Plus, there is plenty going on at work, so I can't always leave after 8 hours. I think at some point I'm going to have to sacrifice some sleep to get it all done. I'm not thrilled about that.
Oh, and to top it all off, I can't locate my passport. It's not where I thought it was or in about ten other places where I've looked. Either I put it in the safe deposit box or I put it someplace really dumb. I'm hoping for the former.

In addition, Stewart prevented me from sleeping for about an hour last night. At 4:37 am he came up on the bed to get attention. He generally starts by climbing over my body. Being a male cat, he is very muscular and surprisingly dense for being a relatively small cat - so we're not talking about delicate steps. He comes up purring and ready to be petted. Lately I have been ignoring him, and after a few minutes he leaves.
I guess I was feeling generous this morning, and I gave him some attention, hoping to convince him to relax and sleep next to me. I'd pet him, and then try to go back to sleep...and then he would nudge my hands and face with his to indicate that I shouldn't have stopped petting yet. :-) I eventually hid my hands under the pillow, and after 40 minutes, he got the hint and went to sleep. 10 minutes later I adjusted my position, and he got up again. Not wanting to start all over again, I went to the bathroom, and thankfully while I was in there Nora showed her face and she and Stewart went off to play together.

At 6am, Stewart walked on me again. This time I did not pet him, and he got the hint that I was not ready to stop sleeping yet. Maybe next week we'll try again...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Feeling better after an overwhelming start to the week...

The good news is that Rudy and I are legally married. :-)

Last week I attempted to request a sealed copy of our marriage record in order to change my name on my passport. I know that I shouldn't have waited until a month before a pending trip, but at the time I changed my name on everything else I didn't know if I would need my passport again before it expired so I just didn't bother.

On Friday I received a letter from the county stating that they didn't have a record that our ceremony was ever performed, although they did have the application that we made for our license. *Sigh* I went to the marriage license office, and after a bit of haggling with one woman (and a few tears shed), I finally got help from a supervisor who got me going on the right track.

Two overnight envelopes back and forth to our wonderful officiant in Ohio, and today I have a triple-sealed copy of our marriage license in my hands. I will have to pay for expedited service, but at this piont getting my passport changed won't be a problem. *Whew* We're legal. No need to plan another big wedding. ;-)

I am still overwhelmed with all of the stuff left to do for the house tour, but I have made good progress this week, and it will get done. It doesn't help that one of our co-chairs seems to be AWOL at the moment...but we will push on without him.

I'm also in a great mood because my first felted bag turned out WONDERFULLY. I'm really happy with it, and having a new purse to carry always brightens my day. When I was out running errands at lunch it was a little hard to convince myself that no, I don't need any more yarn at the moment - but I managed to show restraint.

This weekend we are going camping, to our usual spot. I plan to finish the wedding blanket, and once that is done I will work on Ribbon X-back. I'm about 1 1/2" into attempt #2. I also plan to bring the purple cotton I have and the directions for a wrap sweater from SnB Nation. I need to swatch for gauge and I want to rewrite the pattern so I can knit it mostly in one piece. Same thing with a T-shirt pattern from I don't think it needs the seams for structure, so I might as well knit it in the round.