Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

And we wonder why crochet gets bashed sometimes.

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's getting tough, I tell ya.

So I made a resolution during the second week of January that I wasn't going to buy yarn or clothes or any frivolous stuff until my birthday, which is at the end of May.

It's been awfully hard, people.

I've slipped here and there. I haven't bought any clothes for work or play. I did buy new sneakers because I'm going to begin training next week for the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. And I accidentally bought two big-ass skeins of yarn at Walmart, each a pound for $3.98. How could I resist? Two skeins is enought to make a large, warm, comfy afghan. But that's the only yarn purchase I've made.

Then today, I got my catalog from Fire Mountain Gems. This is trouble.

I have not yet begun to bead or make jewelry, but I already have a lot of stuff (purchased last year!) to get started. This catalog does not help. It is 530 pages of really nice stuff. I already have a lot of stuff, and I am trying to cut down on my collection of stuff. But man. It's nice stuff.

I guess that's about all. I went to Target today to buy a present for Rosebud for her birthday, and lo and behold, there was a Cinderella costume. ONE Cinderella costume. I snatched that bad boy up and made off like a bandit to the cash register. Banana had wanted this damn thing for quite sometime, and I told her at Christmas that Santa wasn't making them this year. It was $20. I considered putting it back until a mom told me she paid $60 for the same thing in Disney. So I went to the register, along with my other stuff, paid, and thought to myself, "That must have been on sale. I've never spent so little money at Target!"

But no, it wasn't on sale. It just didn't ring up. I got it for free. I am going straight to hell for this, I just know it.


The things we do for our kids. And our bank accounts.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What city do you belong in?

Much as I love Paris, this result does not surprise me. I never truly felt at home in Paris, but London... London is fabulous.

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.

A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.

A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.

No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Musings on life in general


I work at a high school, and so I had off to honor two great American presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The Banana had off today too, so I decided that we should go into downtown Philadelphia and visit the Academy of Natural Sciences, one of my favorite museums. Banana has always had a fascination with butterflies, and as of late she has also been into dinosaurs, and the Academy has both! I myself am also partial to the butterflies and the dioramas which were created in the 1930s, so off we went.

Apparently, every other parent of a school-age child in the Delaware Valley had the same brilliant idea. I also failed to remember that the King Tut exhibit had just opened at the Franklin Institute, which is a stone's throw (literally) from the Academy. So issue #1: parking. I found a garage that wasn't full about 5 blocks away, and proceeded to march through sub-freezing temperatures and gale-force winds to the museum. Thankfully, my dad was waiting for us inside and managed to entertain Banana for the half hour that I stood in line to buy tickets.

Yay! We're in! Off to the dinosaurs we go. We were in the dinosaur room for about 2 minutes when I said, "Hey Banana, let me and Grandpop take your picture!" Now normally, this would not be an issue, but today it was. Tears ensued. After a 5 minute tantrum, off to the dioramas. This was fun for about 10 minutes, then I tried to get Banana to pee, since it was approaching noon and she hadn't peed yet. This child has a bladder of steel and an abject horror of public toilets. Tantrum #2, in the restroom, which involved Banana climbing my leg to avoid being sucked down the toilet. Back out to Dad/Grandpa.

Downstairs to the Tropical Butterfly Garden, which Banana had been asking about for the past 3 days. Slight whining at having to wait in line. Finally, entry was ours. The temperature inside the butterfly garden is about 85 degrees with 100% humidity and extremely bright lights. After approximately 30 seconds, Banana began to chant, "I'm hungry I'm hungry I'm hungry." When I tried to get her to look at the goddamn butterflies and cute little frogs, Tantrum #3 began. Banana and I go back out to lobby for snack and to wait for Grandpa, who is having a grand old time playing with and photographing the butterflies. Food calms the Banana. Then an employee of the museum tells us we can't eat there. Fine. Down to the cafe we go.

The cafe is packed with parents, grandparents, strollers, and 800 bajillion tykes of various sizes. We decide that the cafe is not the peaceful respite we have been searching for and decide to leave.

Enter MegaTantrum.

This involves LimpLegs, NoShoulders, Screaming with RedFace, Inability to Breathe in a Normal Fashion, Kicking, TwoAdult ToddlerCoat Application, AngryMother Hat Application, Grandparent HeadShaking and Cursing, etc. Grandpa walks us back to garage via unplowed/unshoveled Philadelphia sidewalks, Banana screaming at the top of her lungs, "I DON'T WANNA GO HOME! I WANNA STAY HERE! I PROMISE I'LL BE GOOD!" Too late now, my sweet.

We get in the car, start to head home. Banana is placated with bagel.

No TV, no snacks, no lovin' from Mommy upon arrival home. Banana is surprisingly well-behaved. No further arguments, no tears. After about 2 hours at home, I take her on my lap and ask her, "Honey, what went wrong today?"


"I was hungry."


A hug, a kiss, and back to my crocheting.

Crocheting and Knitting

I currently have eight projects in the works. Eight. I can't even finish a freakin' Sugar n Cream beach bag. I keep starting, starting, starting projects, and finishing none. What the hell. I did get a lot of work done on yet another scrapghan for a dear friend who is going to teach me to sew. I have also made one slipper, one leg warmer, half of a Noro stole, one quarter of a sweater, one row of another sweater, a hat and half of a scarf for a friend's kid, and the aforementioned beach bag. I've been having major motivation issues lately. I've always had problems getting things done in a timely fashion, but I've been really bad lately. I don't know what's wrong with me. Ugh.

My Five Gratefuls

Enough bitching and moaning. My life is not bad. It's good, in fact. And here are 5 things that I am grateful for today (in no particular order):

1. My warm house.

2. My daughter, even in the midst of MegaTantrum.

3. My husband.

4. My dad.

5. My brother.

And last, but not least, some photos that make me happy. Thanks for stopping by.

Poison dart frogs - I love frogs.

Butterflies and flowers - beauty and delicacy.

Pepe, Banana, and Rosebud on Superbowl Sunday with sundry objects serving as hats. Life doesn't get any better than this.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Good God, this is amazing (and not in a good way).

Go here to read about Swanson's Hungry Man Breakfast. It contains a lot of profanity, but oh my Lord, it is incredible. It makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I am so getting this t-shirt.

It's a snow day, so here are 100 things about me.

Hello everyone. The Banana and I have off today, so now you get to find out 100 things about me.

1. I am 5' 10 1/2" tall in my bare feet.
2. I own some really kick-ass boots because I could never find pants that were long enough when I was a 20-something.
3. I am 33 years old.
4. I have a younger brother.
5. When we were kids, my brother and I absolutely hated each other and fought non-stop, but now we are great friends and I love him to death.
6. I have a Master's degree in French.
7. I lived in Paris for 10 months.
8. I went to public school up until I went to grad school.
9. I am 23 1/2 years younger than my husband, and that's okay.
10. My Aunt Donna taught me to crochet.
11. My friend Anne taught me to knit in college, and my neighbor Anne Marie taught me to bind off and purl properly.
12. My mom told me I used to draw all the time, every day, when I was kid, until I learned how to read.
13. I graduated 11th out of 312 kids in my high school class.
14. I have been to Africa twice - once to Namibia (I was there before Brangelina made it cool) and South Africa, and once to Tunisia.
15. I used to be a city girl, but now I like the burbs and couldn't live without my backyard and summer barbecues.
16. I'll be friends with anyone as long as they are decent, honest, and nice.
17. I have naturally curly hair.
18. I have blue eyes.
19. I have 4 tattoos.
20. My dad went with me to get my first tattoo (a flower) when I was 17 years old.
21. I had an allergic reaction the last time I got a tattoo - I had hives for 3 1/2 weeks.
22. I want more anyway.
23. My family is the most important thing in the world to me.
24. My good friends are the second most important thing in the world to me.
25. I really want a dog.
26. I have a cat who has one tooth and no front claws. He's pretty harmless.
27. I love spring and summer.
28. Fall is okay.
29. Can't stand winter.
30. I used to be a vacation snob (i.e., would only go to Europe or big cities) until WT and I honeymooned in Hawaii. Then I got it.
31. I would really like to be in a tropical paradise right now.
32. I look good with a tan.
33. I like to get a tan even though I know it is bad for my skin.
34. I need private time, everyday if possible.
35. I drink tea almost everyday.
36. I like to cook, but I hate to clean up.
37. I am a pretty good cook.
38. I am a terrible housekeeper.
39. I try to buy organic food when convenient.
40. If they weren't so horrible for my health, I would eat a double Quarter Pounder with cheese every damn day.
41. I love macaroni and cheese.
42. If I had to choose between cheese and chocolate, I would probably choose cheese.
43. I eat two bowls of cereal when I get home from work every day.
44. I have high cholesterol.
45. I am going to be a French teacher.
46. I would rather be a speech language pathologist or an audiologist, but I can't afford to do that.
47. My husband is nicer to me than I am to him.
48. I don't have very much patience.
49. If I am in a crappy mood, I take it out on the people closest to me, even though I am feeling guilty while I am doing this.
50. I wish I wasn't like that.
51. I like to play in dirt.
52. I love nature.
53. I love to watch birds.
54. I love to travel.
55. Music has always been a part of my life, and always will be.
56. I would rather be deaf than blind.
57. I have bunions.
58. I get a bad headache when the weather is going to take a drastic turn.
59. I have a guitar (that WT bought for me) and a dulcimer (that my dad built for me) that I never play.
60. I am a procrastinator.
61. My dream job is to be Vanna White.
62. I like to drink wine in the winter and vodka and tonic with extra lime in the summer.
63. I don't drink every day.
64. I also really like Bailey's.
65. I was a waitress for several years.
66. I have been a nanny.
67. I worked for British Airways for one year.
68. I had a desk job for a year and a half, and I hated it.
69. I get cabin fever if I have to stay inside for more than one day.
70. I love to walk; it's like meditation for me.
71. I grew up in New Jersey.
72. I live in Pennsylvania.
73. I am spiritual but not religious.
74. I believe there is a God.
75. I believe that my mom is in heaven.
76. I had an idyllic childhood.
77. My birthday is May 27th, and is usually on or near Memorial Day.
78. I spent two summers in Ocean City, NJ.
79. It is still one of my most favorite places in the whole world.
80. I really like milkshakes.
81. I really like brownie sundaes.
82. I really like food in general.
83. My feet are relatively small compared to my height.
84. If I could, I would stay home and craft all day.
85. I am not motivated enough to make crafting my career.
86. I need a steady paycheck to feel secure.
87. I love animals.
88. I am not a Republican.
89. I love photography and can be quite good at it when I put my mind to it.
90. I like to roller skate.
91. I used to roller skate every Saturday morning at the Echelon Skating Rink in Voorhees, NJ.
92. I never learned to skate backwards.
93. I am going to run the Philadelphia Distance Run in May.
94. I am going to run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in May.
95. I have done the Race for the Cure about 5 times before, but have never run the Distance Run.
96. I never got football until I married WT.
97. I am good at painting watercolors.
98. I like to read books about people who triumph over difficult situations (Jane Eyre, Feather in a Storm, etc).
99. I have a tendency to interrupt people when they are speaking.
100. I think I am a nice person.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


Oh. My. God. Have you people received your latest issue of Interweave Knits yet? It's just so darn... scrumptious. Why, oh why did I choose now to go on a yarn diet? I need to make Cathy Payson's Green Tea Raglan on page 56. And I need to make Veronik Avery's Dollar and a Half Cardigan on page 58. And I just can't do without Kate Gilbert's Keyhole Top on page 96. And what about Wenlan Chia's Tea Rose Halter Top on page 80??? So little yarn! So little money! So little time! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

And I need to learn to knit socks! I informed WT of this last night:

Me: I want to learn to knit socks.
WT: Why?
Me: Because it's fun and cheaper than knitting other stuff.
WT: Oh yeah? Like how much?
Me: You can get a ball of sock yarn for, like, $14.
WT: ...
Me: What?
WT: You can buy three pairs of socks for $10.
Me: What's your point?
WT: How is it cheaper to make socks than buy them?
Me: It's not. But it's cheaper to knit socks that it is to, say, knit a sweater.
WT: Oh. I get it now.
Me: Good.
WT: Why do you want to knit socks again?
Me: Nevermind.

So we'll see what happens.

By the way, what is the deal with the luxury fiber du jour? This season's luxury fiber is camel. Come on. Do we really need a sweater made from camel? Or musk oxen? Or buffalo? I don't know, I guess some people do. I like cotton. Not to mention, how do you harvest the camel fiber? I sure as hell don't feel like being spit on by some Mongolian camel, or any camel for that matter. I've ridden on a camel; that was pretty fun. In the Sahara Desert no less. It was a nice camel. But the people that were running the camel rides made us tourists dress up in silly outfits, like sheiks. The outfits don't look silly on sheiks, but they look silly on American 20-somethings on holiday in Tunisia. And Mongolia is cold; I think the camels need their own damn fiber. I think right now, there are a lot of really cold musk oxen in Alaska and camels in Mongolia running around so we can knit a gaiter (who the hell can afford to make a sweater?) or some silly object out of their fur. But that's just me. Gimme some hemp.

Did you see that Grumperina has been knitting for two years? TWO GODDAMN YEARS. What the hell? She's all makin' Egyptian-inspired dresses and Odessa-inspired hats and Jaywalkin' socks. Jeez. I better get on the ball.

But first I'm going to go to yoga class. Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ramble on

Lady Linoleum left a comment on my last post. Whoa! This is crazy! I mean, she's like the Frank Zappa of the crochet world. I am honored.

I don't have any fun photos to post. I have been sort of plodding along, crocheting a little of this, knitting a little of that, and frogging a little bit of everything. I have been true to my resolution, and I haven't bought any clothes or yarn or anything in almost one month. That's pretty good for me, especially since I want to go and buy 2 skeins of orange Cascade 220 so I can knit a tea cozy for my dad. But no. I promised myself and others. The tea cozy can wait. Sorry, Dad. Maybe it will be a welcome home gift when you return from your South Seas journey.

When my mom died last May (I meant it when I titled this post 'Ramble On'), we donated her body to the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in NJ. We didn't have a formal memorial service or funeral, but we did have a nice party about one month after her death. Well, the RWJ Med School has a memorial service for all of the families who donated their loved ones' remains, and that is on March 2nd, one day before Mom would have turned 60 years old. I am looking forward to going. Mom and Dad didn't want a funeral, but I kind of did. Mom died in the hospital, and I never got to see her after she died. That might sound sort of weird to some people, but the last time I saw her, everything was (relatively) okay. I remember it so clearly. And then all of a sudden, Dad is calling me and telling me she isn't around anymore. It's kind of like she just went away, and I'm still expecting her back. It's strange. So I do hope this memorial provides some closure. I need it.

I feel kind of selfish when I say I need closure regarding my mother's death. It didn't only affect me. My dad took care of her for two and a half years before she died. Dad is the youngest of six; his brother died about 10 years ago, but his four sisters are still living. But there is something wrong with all of them. Aunt Mary will probably die soon from pneumonia and advanced lung cancer. Aunt Ruth broke her neck two weeks after her husband died, but she is on the mend. Aunt Virginia has myriad health problems, and Aunt Donna is having her knee replaced this week and expects a 3 month recovery period. Now, none of these women are spring chickens, but jeez-o, my poor dad has really been slapped around lately by mortality. And my brother is graduating from college in May, and Mom won't be around to go and hug him and tell him how proud she is of him. That stinks. So I need to just suck it up and be grateful for the things I have, and remember Mom fondly, which I do every day.

How's that for a cheery post? Everyone ready to slit their wrists now? I hope not. I have Stitch n Bitch tonight, and that is always a good time. Thank God for it. I sure have made some good friends there, and I have learned to push myself creatively.

Okay, I promise happier content next time. Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully you will stop by again. I have to go pick up the Banana from preschool.