Saturday, December 15, 2012

I have no words that matter.

I've been off the grid... lab is busy, life is busy, Hubby didn't get that position so we're applying like crazy for others.

Then yesterday happened.  40 minutes away from where I sat.

And I am completely lost.

Every second that goes by, every second that I try to be normal so that N. doesn't get upset, every second that I breathe, I feel so completely undeserving of what I have.  What I still have.

I fell asleep in N.'s bed last night, long after he'd gone to sleep himself.  And it wasn't enough.  It'll never be enough.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm letting myself off the hook

NaBloPoMo FAIL in my house.  The stress of Hubby's interview, and planning for contingencies, has taken it completely out of me.  I'm not going to let myself feel guilty (if that's even possible).

This week - Thanksgiving at Hubby's boss's place, who generously invited all of us international orphans over to share in some turkey and goodness.  I'm making pie and probably something else, then I will throw myself headlong into Christmas preparations.  It's the only thing that'll keep me sane.

More soon, promise.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

About to finish a hat :-)

So, I have a simple hat on the needles... with the stonehedge fiber mill ends that I bought during the I-91 shop hop back in June.  Turns out it goes well with my new wool jacket, so I figured it would be a good way to get the mojo back.

I can't wear just a plain touque, though, so I was thinking of what to put on to decorate and sass it up.  I consulted with a labmate/friend/newbie knitter, and she votes for pom-pom embellishment instead of crochet flower, and I have to agree.  Now that I've cleaned up after the sleeping 4-year-old hurricane, I think I'll try and finish it before the evening is out.  Could it be I might have photos by the end of this week?!  I'm ridiculously excited :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Free Saturday...

Not much to report... we spent the day downtown, buying groceries at the co-op and doing labwork.  I started a hat a few days ago, and it's about 2/3 done, which is the most knitting I've done in weeks.  With a bit of luck it'll be done by next Friday.

In non-knitting news, turns out Hubby's interview will be over skype, since this particular location isn't near a major airport.  Should be very interesting :-)

And with that, I'll admit that the laundry from yesterday is still not completely folded, so off I go.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Whelp, that was an interesting week... post-hurricane puttering around, dealing with Enterprise rent-a-car (who, by the way, screwed us and management still hasn't gotten back to me, but that's a story for another day), and getting this crazy email about a potential job interview.  So, I will divert to the pre-written prompts yet again, which are hilariously apropos:

Friday, November 9, 2012
If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

One thing to change about my life... that's tough, because I think the list covers several pages.  My don't-think-about-it gut reaction: I would stop being so anxious about everything and just focus on getting us to the next step.   Hubby will have a skype interview at the end of next week or the beginning of the following... and I'm trying not to get excited, anxious, stressed, or otherwise worked up.  It's not going too well, though.  I want to be hopeful without setting my heart on it, but I want to be prepared for all contingencies.  I need back-up plans. I need front-up plans.  I need plans.

But right now, I just need to focus on just what's in front of me.  Laundry to fold, paint and glitter to clean up (craft-night for the kiddo), bedtime for N., and dinner.  Tomorrow, I'll do tomorrow.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The writing prompt for today is:

kind of hilarious considering Hubby's interview coming up.

If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

I honestly don't know how to answer that.  I love being a lab manager/research scientist, and I pretty much have the qualifications to do that.  I love knitting/crochet/crafting, and I suppose if I needed business training to open up a store or run classes, that would fit.  The thing is, I do both of those things now, even though I might not get paid for them.

The only other thing I think I might've been good at is being a clinical psychologist.  Based on my status within the family and sometimes the lab as the 'Dr Phil' type of the group, and doing a fairly good job with it, I often wonder if that's the education path I should've taken.

The question remains will I be able to do any or all of them when we settle in our next stage...

Missed it by mere moments

Wednesday's news, ever so slightly late : Hubby got an email that they want to invite him for an interview at a university he applied to a couple of months ago.

Holy crap.

We've been discussing it non-stop since the email came through, and it's hard to focus on anything else.  I'm not sure if I"ll survive the blogging month, but maybe it's a sign that I need to make an effort, if only to keep a little bit of sanity.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday NaBloPoMo fail

The child was using every last bit of energy, and when he fell asleep I had to mentally prepare for how I'm going to deal with a school situation... there's a bully who seems to move from target to target in the class; N. has been spared, but I watched this child punch another kid, taunt him, and then smirk when he got away with it.

Parenting is such a trip.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Free day...

Sigh.  it's been a good/bad day, and I know I have no real reason to kvetch, but the time change always kicks my ass.

We had a second day of shopping/errands, since the car rental isn't due back until tomorrow... it started off great, and ended up crazy.  N. was golden til right after lunch, when he pitched fits.  After a calm-down, and apologies, he was better and wanted to come to the supermarket with me... which started off great (again) and ended up in tears.  He wanted treats, he wanted to run (in a parking lot? I think not), and he wanted to pump gas with Daddy.  He got none of these, and cried and cried.

After coming home, and feeding the now tired child, Hubby got ready to run into the lab to set some things up for tomorrow. While looking through his computer, he discovered that in his haste to back up files before the hurricane, he somehow managed to overwrite his key master data file.  The major project that's been three years in the making.  I figured there was a copy somewhere between dropbox, google cloud, thumb drives, etc., even if it was an older version, but for about 45 minutes it was crisis mode.  The solution was found in *my* gmail account, where he'd emailed me the file a few weeks ago so I could help with some calculations.

So, after determining that was, in fact, OK, I shoo'ed him out of the house, and proceeded to load and run the dishwasher, set a chicken to roasting, and put away the rest of the groceries.  I feel like it's 9pm and time to crash, but it's barely 6:00.  I don't know whether to be thankful that I have a few extra hours or sad that it's not, in fact, time for bed yet.

Tomorrow, however, is another day.  Time to be optimistic about the new week.  Wheeeee *pffffffffft*.  (that's me with noisemakers and streamers, can't you tell?)


Saturday, November 3, 2012

According to my unofficial official prompt list for NaBloPoMo...

.. today is a free day.  I exercised that freedom by spending the day shopping and driving around with my two boys.  We rented a car, picked up the annual holiday photos that we had done a couple of weeks ago, and chipped away at the to-do-and-to-buy for Christmas list.  My treat to myself was some fancy nailpolishes to head into the festive season, including a matte topcoat to play with...

And I'm realizing that free day is making me sound very shallow, which makes me very sad.  It's just been a long week, I guess.  We were relatively unaffected by the hurricane, but everyone around us is picking up the pieces.  I crave routine, and it's not here right now.  Since the time change is all but impossible to impose on a four year old (no extra hour of sleep for me), I'm going to crawl into bed with the sleeping four year old while Hubby finishes up some computer work.  It's weeks like this that make me realize everyone needs more snuggle time with their kids.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2

Today's is an easy one...

Friday, November 2, 2012
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Anywhere?  Anywhere at all?  Then I choose to go as near to my family as I can.

Living 900 miles away, with no easy flight routes, makes visiting my parents, hubby's mom, and my siblings, very difficult.  I've come to realize that every time we get together it's precious.  Plus, being an academic heading into the next phase, it's difficult to dictate where you want to go.  I just hope that wherever it is that we settle, it's close enough to my family that I can see them more often, but just far enough away that I can pretend to be independent once in a while ;-)

Thursday, November 1, 2012


A little post-hurricane push back into blogging, methinks.  I'd been debating this, and I found a list of topic prompts here, so I figure, why not give it a try.

Today's prompt is:
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Tell us your favourite quotation and why.

So, I will have at it.  My favourite quotation lately has been one from one of my favourite authors:
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." ~ Isaac Asimov

This quote is sourced many years ago, but it's just as, if not more, relevant today.  As a scientist, I find myself railing against public opinion... which can sometimes be well informed, but sometimes one single erroneous position can cause rampant misinformation.  Not to open a can of worms, but the causes of autism, whether to get your flu shot, the actual existence of global warming... to name a few.  One thing that people don't often think of is that doing research isn't often clear-cut.  And if you don't know how to do research, chances are you'll get the wrong answer.

I'm not looking for a fight... I'm just hoping people will learn to discern between credible sources and quacks, between sensationalized news and facts.  I'd be remiss in my job if I didn't encourage it :-)

And with that, I'm off to bake cinnamon rolls for the teachers at N.'s school... it's my turn to provide breakfast for the monthly staff meeting, and I personally would rather fresh baked cinnamon rolls than bagels and flatbread from the donut shop ;-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still here

Head above water to say we've been largely spared with this hurricane as compared to last year's bout with Irene.  But my heart goes out to friends in NY and NJ who are devastated.  I'm praying that everyone is safe...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

And three weeks turns into nearly six...

blub blub blub that's me coming back from the edges of the earth, popping my head above water to check in.

Strangely little to report of these past days... Hubby is going to a conference which hopefully will be a great networking opportunity, and we've been spending our time getting ready for that - he's giving a talk (which is pretty cool), so there are slides to perfect.  He was going to give a poster too, but that got pulled at the last second (conference organizers decided it was too late for additional entrants).  We'll have to bach' it for a few days, N. and I, but it'll be OK.

I've done a little bit of knit/crochet, but not nearly enough to keep me sane, hence the disappearance.  Some pattern testing, and a little bit on my second stripe study, but nothing I can really show as progress.  Just slogging along, convincing myself it's in the forward direction.

One nice thing that happened - a surprise visit from my dad :-)  After two weeks home at Christmas, and then the wedding in June, I think the grandparents are feeling a little N.-time withdrawal.  We had him here for a little over a week, and managed to get some fun stuff in - first movie (3D showing of Finding Nemo), and first Cosmic Bowling (second bowling adventure - the first was a lab outing a few months ago).  All in all, a fun time, but not very conducive to the fiber arts.  Oh, with the exception of one thing - did I mention that my mother, who has been knitting for about 50 years, managed to throw my dad's alpaca hat into the washer and dryer? (Yes, she knows better, and yes, she feels like an idiot.)  I managed to finish a replacement and give it to him while he was here - it amounted to "Surprise, Mom shrunk your hat, here's a new one!" :-)

And with that, I'll sign off again... hopefully to be back before another three-to-six weeks pass by!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Three weeks? Is that even possible?

Here I go again, with the radio silence... I always tell myself that I won't let this much time go by between posts, and *blink blink* it's gone.  I remember that I feel better when I write (even if I don't hit publish) and then I forget again.

Life's been getting in the way, some good and some bad.  We had a wonderful weekend in NH for Hubby's cousin's little girl's birthday (how's that for nested possessives?)... I baked the birthday cake upon request, and will find the photos for FO Friday.  I've had several shopping-type trips with some generous car-owning friends (former labmates and/or their spouses), and did pick up some crafter cotton for dishcloths and flannel for kids projects at a really good sale.  But I've been almost completely unproductive crafty-wise... a bunch of false starts, none photographed, all sitting around.  The lab is in a bit of upheaval - a couple of new (amazing!) grad students, but one of the girls that graduated had her last day yesterday.  She's lived half a block away from us for four years, and is a newbie knitter but longtime enthusiast.  We ride the bus together (or at least, we did), and she's one of the first people that I was able to call my friend down here.  She's the second good friend to move away this summer (boo), another one will be heading out at the end of this month, and I realized that it's no easier to have your friends move away when you're 34 than when you're 15.  I just don't have the luxury of putting Boyz-II-Men on my Walkman and wallowing for weeks.

I also can't wallow, because I know it's not the end of the world, and worse things could happen.  My uncle, who has been fighting for his life by inches for the last few years, finally lost his battle.  I hesitate to write about this, because my mom's family is notoriously private, but I feel like I want to honour him and what he did.  My aunt and uncle, living across the country from our side of the family, adopted two children, one nearly 20 years ago, one 15 years ago.  These children both had rough starts to life, including being born drug addicted.  F. & J. took them in, knowing what it meant in terms of struggle, and while life wasn't (and isn't) easy for them, these kids now know what it means to be loved by a forever mom and dad.

Mom on the left, F., and a family friend A. on the right.

F. at high school graduation

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WniP Wednesday

That's Works Not In Progress... because I can't seem to shake the schlumps out of my head this past week and pick up needle or hook.  I've done a little bit on my second stripe study, but the wedges are getting bigger and going slower.  I also picked up the 2x2 rib scarf that goes with my brother's hat, but it lasted about 10 minutes, and that does nothing to pull one out of a rut :-)

I've done a bit more baking lately, though, which surprises me considering the fact that I swore off sweets after making the second wedding cake.  I tried (and succeeded!) at making baklava (ohmygodwasitgood), and Hubby's supervisor has me on retainer to do all special occasion baking for the lab.  This week, one of the grad students is turning 26, and he loves peanut butter, so I made chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream, and PB bars.  The cake recipe is here, the frosting here, and together, they're the best EVER.

I'm gearing up for a little family road trip - one of our cousins has a little girl turning two, so it's party time for us.  Maybe a couple of hours in a car will cure my knitting blues.

Friday, July 20, 2012

FO Friday

A quick one since I'm at work...

Draco, the test dragon :-)  Pattern here.

It's a choose-your-own-adventure sort of thing, where you decide what kinds of features you want on your dragon - big or small horns, ears, frills, scales or a whip-tail.  I picked ears, small horns, scales and a standard tail :-)

As always, check out Tami's Amis for more amazing FOs :-)

Friday, July 6, 2012

FO Friday

Quick post - here's the trim from my niece's flowergirl dress... size 10 crochet cotton with a 1.65mm steel hook. Photos courtesy of my SIL, taken the week after the wedding once things had calmed down. And, off I go!


As always, check out Tami's Amis for more amazing FOs :-)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom! (tomorrow)

:)  Hubby stayed home today, with the exception of a quick jaunt to the lab to start up some cultures, and we are celebrating the 4th in our own quiet way - the boys are outside playing in the backyard, and I'm straightening up the fridge.

I've decided that N. is going back to preschool tomorrow, hence my upcoming freedom.  He's still feeling great, his blisters are fading, and he's starting to strut around here like the king of England, demanding this and that whenever it strikes his fancy.  I can see it sailing downhill, so back to the routine it is.  I'm hoping to even be bad tomorrow and sneak to the cinema to catch a flick over lunchtime, but I'm stuck between a documentary on autism and OCD and (ahem) Magic Mike.  I had a friend see the latter, and she complained that there was too much profanity within the first few minutes that it turned her off; I figure, a movie about male strippers that's (of course) rated R - you expect a little potty language.  Rotten Tomatoes has it hovering somewhere around 73% fresh, and I think after a few days cooped up in here, I deserve a little fun ;-)  In any event, I will go somewhere that has a cold drink and AC and take my knitting.

No pics for WiP Weds this week - the laptop was in the shop because of an unfortunate milk-spill, and I haven't downloaded the card since I got it back.  I've been working a little on my second stripe study, and finished a test-crochet (hopefully will have that one up on Friday)...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

a slightly calmer day (I hope)

N. slept well again last night, although was up early (it's a trend since coming home from the wedding).  He's in a great mood, although the rash is only fading slightly on his hands and feet.  The baboon's arse, a common additional site, would be hilarious if it wasn't so cringe-inducing.  Luckily he still seems to be feeling absolutely no pain or itch.

I'm feeling more zen about the whole dis-invite thing, too; one family coming to the BBQ on Tuesday basically said, "bring it on, our kids have had EVERYTHING :)", but another couple are visiting a branch of their family later in the week that they've never met before, including some small children, and are feeling a little paranoid.  I purposely pulled us out of a second party on Wednesday, because I realized that I'm not sure I've ever had it, and I could be incubating right now and not know it.  What I do know for sure is that there'll be a 3-month old at the party on Weds, and I'd never forgive myself if I got a tiny baby sick.

I am not, however, staying in the house.  N. isn't contagious anymore, and as a (mostly responsible) adult, I can keep myself from sneezing on people, so walking through the neighborhood to keep my sanity is a must. Then cleaning, knitting, cleaning, and waiting for my grocery delivery for the rest of the day.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bite me, universe.

June 27 - Pull kid out of daycare because of coxsackie outbreak making its way to his classroom. Pat self on back for being proactive mother.
June 28 - Come down with soul-sucking flu, bribe child with DVDs and collapse on futon.
June 29 - Feel surprisingly better after sleeping 18 hours, go on Shop Hop 2012
June 30 - Finish shop hop, feeling good, kid still feeling fine, figure he's out of the woods
July 1 - Kid comes down with tell-tale blisters
July 2 - Diagnosis confirmed. Entire family unceremoniously dis-invited from early July 4th picnic even though child is no longer contagious.  Engage in extreme self-pity while child suffers from ZERO symptoms except for scary red (but strangely not-itchy-or-painful) rash.  Complete online grocery order to include comfort summer food like Klondike and freezies.  Feel zero guilt.

And, scene.

Friday, June 22, 2012

FO Friday

Drove in last night.  Still not unpacked. Off to get groceries before car rental needs to be returned.  Here it is: 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WiP Wednesday

Quick drive-by post... Pardon the cellphone pic - here's some progress on a crochet project... a chain of flowers to go on my niece's flower girl dress for Little Bro's wedding :-) 

Do NOT ask me how many ends there are to weave in... I don't know, I don't want to know.
The trip to NYC (which I promise to recap sometime soon) netted me two japanese crochet books at Kinokuniya, which is a Japanese bookstore with a zillion things I still want to go back and buy ;-)  The cute factor is astronomical, and I'm so glad I found it - crochet roses are so much cooler than a plain satin ribbon sash :-)

As always, check out Tami's Amis for more awesome WiPs :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sorry for the radio silence

There's not much exciting going on, but we're dealing with some family stuff that's not so nice.  I lost one of my great uncles two days ago, someone who was very very dear to me.  He would've been 91 in September, and left behind his wife of nearly 67 years.  My heart is broken, but I have no time to recover, because another family member has been losing his battle with heart disease by inches, and my mother flew across the country to be with him for a few days.  Her choice to go now rather than later is one I'm not sure I could make, but it was the right one.  What kills me is that I can't go to be with either side of the family right now, so I'm going to ground.

I don't like to be too much of a downer blogger, so I will continue to prepare for the amazingness that is my brother's wedding, and all the handmade/homemade things that I'll be contributing, document it as best I can, and pop in every once in a while. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

FO Friday

Here it is... with all it's flaws, the first non-fondant buttercream four tiered wedding cake... and it's after the break because J & J want to be surprised when theirs comes :-)  J: If you're reading and you don't want to know, DON'T CLICK.  Everyone else: if you click, keep it to yourself, or I will cut you. ;-) (but seriously, don't give anything away)
This way for cake ---->

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thunderstormy Tuesday

Gosh, that was a crazy couple of days... After posting on Friday, I finished the cake tiers, cleaned out my fridge and put them in, and set to preparing all my things to put the cake together on Saturday morning.  I was out of bed at 5:45, and at the church hall by 7:20 to get things started.

I learned several things with this first cake adventure:

  1. Making extra gumpaste flowers is important.  Making tenfold extra is unnecessary.
  2. If it looks straight and even at home, check it again.  I had a tier that was shorter than the others.
  3. It only took 45 minutes to assemble and decorate on site.  Even if the cake for Little Bro is more elaborate, it shouldn't take more than two hours, not the three that I had budgeted for.  Efficiency for the win!
  4. Extra buttercream is welcome by everyone:

The day was beautiful, and it was one of the most touching ceremonies I've been to.  I'm waiting to get pics from other attendees, since my camera battery died (FAIL!).  The buttercream pic above is from one of K's friends' facebook pages (thx A!).  Hopefully we'll have a cake summary post soon, although I'm still pretty set on waiting until after my brother's wedding - the cakes will share some elements, and he wants it to be a surprise, and since I don't know who's actively reading at the moment, the cake is under embargo.

And with that, I'm signing off... now that I'm done baking, have cleaned and packed away the pans and supplies, I'm going to do a little bit of sewing and get back to picking up N. from preschool, instead of leaving kid-duty totally to Hubby.  And no more baking.  At least for the next three weeks ;-)

Friday, May 18, 2012

FO Friday!

I need to get back to my buttercream, because this cake is nearly finished, but I have to post about my FO this week:

Pattern: Madli's shawl, from Knitted Lace of Estonia
Needle: US4 knitpicks interchangeable circular
Date Started: July 13, 2011
Date Finished: May 11, 2012
Active knitting time: 40 hours
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silk Thread 2, colorway Rook-y
Mods: two extra reps in width, completed the chart an extra three times to use up all my yarn.

I'm thrilled with the result.  Notes if you're going to attempt this in this/similar yarn:

  1. cast on double with a LARGE needle
  2. give yourself a couple of HOURS to get the grafting row tension right ;-)
  3. blocking wires are your friend

And now I have to get back to that wedding cake (and photograph it when it's done!)

As always, check out Tami's Amis for more amazing FOs :-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WiP Wednesday

No knitting... wedding cake baking instead... up to my eyeballs in gumpaste and flour... :-)

As always, check out Tami's Amis for more awesome WiPs :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

FO Friday under the wire

Finished these little guys last night - as a test crocheter for Stacey at FreshStitches, it's always fun to see what she'll come up with.  I've done lots of her patterns, including dinosaurs, a whale, a goat, a monster... This time, it's a little garden set:

A slug...

... and a bug!

There's a third in the set, a little snail complete with shell.  The patterns are scheduled to be released on May 15, so check out if you're interested in super cute stuff...

(I know I sound like a spokesperson, but I'm not - I honestly love doing these little creatures!)

As always, check out Tami's Amis for more FOs!

Monday, April 30, 2012

First post back from trips and birthdays and I get slammed with new Blogger software?

What the spork?

I think this is supposed to be more intuitive, but my brain is fried and it's just wrong.  Have I ever mentioned how much I despise change?


Let's see... I have about 30 minutes before a lab meeting that I can't miss, so let's try to update as efficiently as possible, perhaps with some photos:

With Memere (and Momma in the back on the phone)

Memere had bought us some of the real, high grade maple syrup from Quebec... so good it needs a spoon!

And yes, it snowed over Easter... a lot.

So much we made a snowman! 
Memere used to do oil paintings and watercolors, and gave an art lesson

And this is what a kid on maple syrup looks like :)

Grammie came to visit for N.'s birthday - this is her uncle and Godfather, a wonderful man and musician and we're thrilled he lives close enough to visit!

Not so sure about the party hat

Birthday crown is just fine, though.

A new hat!!

And that just about covers it... Mom and I had a visit to my LYS, but there was only one; last year, I swear we were there every day.  I'm not sure how the week got away from us so quickly this year, but now that I think about it she was here nine days instead of twelve, and the first day was cut short - she missed her last flight because of a delay in one of her earlier connections, and didn't show up until 7PM.  The good thing is, we'll be heading up to see them for Little Bro's wedding in 6 weeks.

Of course, between now and then I have another wedding cake to make, and I'm so excited.  K. and I are shopping for ingredients this weekend, and I'll try my best to photo-doc the entire process.  I'm also taking a trip into the city with S. (my first time in NYC!!), and trying desperately to finish the silk lace stole that's been hanging around for an embarrassing amount of time.  Add on a couple of pattern testing projects (though small) and I'm busier than I've been in a while until at least the end of June.

I also need to blog more... it keeps me on my toes :)

The clock now tells me it's time to pack up and get to lab meeting... rumour has it there will be pizza, so it won't do to be late!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

back from Easter

and barely two rows knit over the course of the whole thing :)

It was worth it, though. N. took to his Memere very well, and we had a wonderful few days. There is entirely too much chocolate left in my house, though.

More soon, once things settle. Over and out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sorry for the radio silence

I'm home with a sick preschooler, hopefully on the mend. The trip to my MIL's is still tentatively on, contingent on this GI bug leaving our house. I'm halfway packed, just in case. Luckily for me, N. is in good spirits, and is happy to sip juice and live in his blanket fortress while I get organized. At one point today he asked me to sit with him while he rested on the futon, and when I sat down, he said, "Momma, take out your yarn, you have to do your yarn!" I picked up a 2x2 ribbed scarf that's been stagnating, and he happily fed me yarn out of the center-pull for about 20 minutes, so I can't complain :)

We did manage to get out for a quick walk today - down the street to the H&R Block... every year I dread it, but this year was the best yet. Because of my lack of employment, we're getting slightly more from the feds, and have to pay significantly less to the state (in the order of $40!). That refund will go straight into the daycare account, meaning we're taken care of until Hubby's contract ends.

Radio silence will likely continue if we make it on our trip... if so, have a good weekend, and I'll be back in a week!

Friday, March 30, 2012

FO Friday

In advance of Easter, and since I'll be travelling next Friday, here's what I've completed for the holiday this year:

Stacey and I did pysanky a little while ago, and these are the result of a couple hours work :) Check out her blog post for some more details!

As always, check out Tami's Amis for more FOs!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday bitlets

I swear, I would pay money to take a good class in coming up with clever blog titles ;) It makes me wonder how I did so well in creative writing in highschool... I must've been able to fool a lot of people.

I'm on campus today because we have our bi-annual parent-teacher meeting with N.'s teachers... which is separate from any specific meetings on behaviour. This one is the update on development, going over the checklists that the accredited centers use. Sometimes it seems a little silly, but other times it's nice to have the reassurance that he's doing well. I'm notorious for comparing him with others, even though I know that all kids develop at different rates, and they're all completely normal... but N. is shy, and sometimes it makes me wonder when I get stories of my precocious, very vocal niece :-) It also makes me remember when my parents would go to these meetings, typically in the weeks after report cards were issued. Practically all the teachers would wonder why they were there, since my brother and I were both doing so well; they were used to seeing the troubled kids' parents. Luckily for me, we're not dealing with algebra and trig grades, or a disruptive teenager, but it's always heartwarming to hear, "N. is the sweetest, most pleasant and loving child we have" even when he's refusing to nap :-P

I'm hoping to get some knitting done this afternoon, too. Yesterday was baking, frosting, cleaning, and not a lot of anything else. Tomorrow I will head into full-on plan-and-pack for next week's trip, because I won't have time to do it later on - a labmate is defending her thesis next Thursday, and we're going to her party afterward... and I'm baking cookies and squares for her as a congratulatory gift. Which means Wednesday is baking, Thursday is tidying up the house and setting up the light timers, and going to the party. Friday is a travel day. Oh, and Tuesday? Meeting with the accountant. That's my least favourite day of the year, and I'm just not going to think about it until Monday night.

Someday I'll be less scattered. I don't know when, but someday it'll happen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WiP Wednesday

Two things to report today, only one of which has been photographed...

Yesterday I cast on my second Stripe Study... For this one I'm using a skein of black ultra alpaca light I'd bought a couple of years ago along with a burgundy/red/pink skein of Kauni. First wedge done, 12 or 13 more to go.

I also did a small 'tasting' cake for the wedding coming up in May... I'm using a new recipe that I wanted to modify, so I needed to do a test run, and wanted to make it pretty :) I put together what would be the smallest (6") tier:

Lemon pound cake with buttercream
(and secret raspberry filling that you can't see until it's cut)

(Pardon my crappy photography skills;
the weather today was weird, I needed a flash,
and I wanted to walk it to K.'s house while she was still home)

Hopefully I'll get a photo of my next stripe study soon... I don't think I'll have it finished right away, but it's still my favourite go-to TV knitting.

As always, check out Tami's Amis for more awesome WiPs :)

ETA: what is it with Blogger and fonts these days? I can't seem to get anything right.

ETA2: K. and I sampled. She snapped a pic. It was delicious.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

rambly tuesday

I keep promising myself that I'll get back into the habit of posting regularly, then I promptly forget and go underground again.

I've been trying to figure it out, and I'm wondering if it doesn't have something to do with the weather, combined with the insanity of the next couple of months looming over me. I never thought I fell into the S.A.D. thing, or at least not as badly as others, but we're back into winter this week after a freakishly warm blip, and the cold is driving me bonkers. Yesterday the wind was so fierce that I briefly considered staying put in the hospital cafeteria instead of walking 20 minutes to my lys (fortunately for me, the pull of yarn, even if it's just for a visit, is a strong force). Today it's even colder, with the windchill down around 18 F this morning. I was glad to have my stripe study, and glad for the chance to wear it, but I think I'd much rather shed the full-length wool coat for a light hoodie.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just sit down and plan out everything between now and the end of June; it might de-clutter my mind (if not my house) to have it all set out, and looking forward to the warmer weather could help.

We're visiting my MIL for Easter this year, having not seen her since summer of 2010. With my permanent residency being up in the air last year, we couldn't travel, so after going to my parents' for Christmas, it's her turn. She's really excited, and I'm . . . getting there. It can be challenging, but there's typically a visit to the farm and an afternoon/evening with the family at the farmhouse, which N. loves.

After that visit, I have to bake for the daycare teachers (which I love to do - they have monthly staff meetings, and I like to send them good stuff every few months).

That's followed by Mom's visit at the end of April, which will be 10 days this year. I'm hoping for good weather and lots of knitting.

Next up - I'm making a wedding cake for good friends who are having their church wedding (courthouse wedding a year or so ago, so technically married already). I was thrilled to do it anyway, but I'm also glad to have a 'dress rehearsal' for the next one:

L'il Bro is getting married in June. We're driving up (joy, bliss) and have to be there a week ahead, because I'm making that cake too. It'll be bigger, and have fondant, and needs to be PERFECT. Luckily I have several minions on call, complete with extra kitchenaid mixers :) I have to finish at least one more shawl or stole to have options, although my dress has arrived, it fits, and I love it.

And then... rest. I hope. Until August when Hubby goes to a conference and I'm on my own for a little while.

Let's see... does that cover it? I think so.

I'm hoping to start another stripe study somewhere in there, and keep up with my little knitting group at the daycare, and have some quality afternoons at my lys, but I don't think I'll add anything else to the list.

Le sigh. I should get out in the sun... we're too far north to get much vitamin D benefit from the sun (true, little known fact), but maybe it'll make me feel better anyway.

Friday, March 23, 2012

quick FO Friday

I finished my stripe study, started way back when... there's no way this should've taken as long as it did, but I plead spousal job applications, multi-craft committments, and actual lab work :)

I did it as written for the fingering weight; I likely could've squeaked out another colored wedge, but I didn't want to risk it. The border was a bit tedious, but after paying attention to my hand motions, I was able to modify my stitch to make it faster... only works on garter, but it worked well. Details on my ravelry page. Even with the border, I loved the process so much that I bought another ball of Kauni to go with some black fingering that was languishing in the stash :)

As always, check out Tami's Amis for more FO's :)