Monday, April 28, 2008

Guess who I met?

Yeah, that's right.

I was so close to him!

He is as amazing as he ever was. How I wish he could run again.

But man did he look tired. I didn't post the pics of Billy boy standing on the platform with Joe Hoeffel and Allyson Schwartz, with his mouth hanging open and him staring blankly off into the distance. He's been stumpin' hard for Hillary, and he averages 6 or 7 stops a DAY. That's a lot for a 61-year-old guy who's already led the most powerful country in the world for 8 years. But man, once he got that mic, he was off, and we hung on every word. He is truly a gifted speaker.

I still voted for Obama though. ;o)

OMG, how cute are my girls? That's Hibou on the left, a Prima Dolly Ashlette. She's sporting a newly-set coif, as her box hair was atrocious. Dulcinea got a wash too, but I decided to braid her hair, and damn, she looks cute! Stay tuned, as there may be other additions to my burgeoning Blythe family (I know most of you can barely wait). Oh, and I crocheted both of their dresses and made Dulcinea's hat too.


Is it me, or are a lot of people getting pneumonia lately? It's kinda scary. One of the teachers I work with has had it, and he's only 38 years old. The husband of one of my classmates has had it for two weeks, and he is only 30 years old! My dad's girlfriend has it too. I've never known so many people to get it like this, and just have it hang on. Yikes.


I'm really anti-war. Like big time. Especially the Iraq War, because it is senseless and we have been lied to like never before, and we've lost over 4000 American soldiers, countless thousands are still suffering physical and emotional pain, and not to mention the number of Iraqis that have died. What a travesty. However, that is not to say that I don't support our troops. And it is 100% outrageous that we are not taking care of our soldiers properly when they come home. Get a load of this article on Our soldiers, our countrymen and women, are coming home to this disgusting situation at Fort Bragg. This is what they get for serving our country and risking their lives for nothing? This is how we treat them? And you know this is only one of many, many situations like this, or worse. How can this happen? Seriously, it is all George W. Bush's fault. I'm serious. His lack of care and empathy permeates his entire administration, and they are all a bunch of emotionless, greedy drones, just like him.

Dude, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is THIS WEEKEND!! I can't wait! I am really going to try to not spend too much money. Really and truly. But all of a sudden, I feel the urge to knit shawls and stoles. And I don't have any fingering or laceweight yarn to speak of. Hmmm...

Talk atchas later. ;o)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This fits me to a T

You're an Emu!

Tall, thin, and a bit lacking in poise, you have a gait all your
own. You never seem to manage to get your projects off the ground, despite giving
the apperance of being able to do so. You're beginning to feel a bit defensive about
your precious bodily oils. Contrary to the rumors, you have never actually done a
mating dance at a college debate tournament, nor do you say the word

Take the Animal Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008


Photos taken by my father in our backyard

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

An important object

I face an internal conflict every day. I want stuff. I like yarn. I like dolls. I like clothes. I like things. And much of the time, I wish I didn't want so much stuff, because stuff generally doesn't bring you genuine happiness - family and friends and sunshine and fresh air and good health usually do that for me. But every once in a while you come across something, a thing, that is important and should be protected and preserved.

My friend Robin in my knitting group asked me to repair a crocheted afghan for her. It belongs to a friend of hers, and it was kind of falling apart. So naturally I said yes.

This afghan was made of about 20 colors of old acrylic yarn. It was hard to tell how old it was, but this thing has existed for a long time. It is composed of multi-colored granny squares, edged with black yarn. It was large and heavy - I had to stand up and hold my arms over my head to stretch it out and get a good look at it. Many of the squares were separating from each other, and two of the squares were actually coming unravelled. So I sat down and started to repair it, this thing.

It smelled kind of funny. Sort of like an old person. At first it bothered me, but then it grew on me. I took a closer look at this heavy, aromatic thing. It was covered in pet hair. I couldn't tell if it was a dog or a cat, or if it was one pet or more, but definitely pet hair. The blanket was very warm. And I began to think of the person it belonged to. I've never met her, but I get the sense she might be older. Maybe the pet is her only companion. Her pet and her blanket. Maybe they watched TV together, and the pet snuggled up next to her on the blanket. She obviously loved her pet, if she let it on the blanket, and she obviously loved the blanket, if she was having it fixed. I wondered if she made the blanket, or if someone made it for her.

I have a blanket that my aunt made about 30 years ago. It is yellow and white variegated scratchy acrylic, a big granny square afghan. I stole the blanket from my parents when I went to grad school, and I kept it when I moved back home and got an apartment in Philadelphia. It went with me to my apartment in Roxborough, and now it is with me and my family in our house. The cats like it, the Banana likes it, WT seems to like it, and I like it.

Banana got 5 handmade blankets when she was born. She loves all of them, but one of them is her favorite, and has been since she was about 3 months old. It's crocheted, in four colors, and it's just the right size and weight for a little girl. I don't even know how I knew that it was her favorite blanket when she was a baby, but I figured it out. She always went for that one, even though she had multiple choices. She can't sleep without it. She talks to it and kisses it. She takes it places, even though we leave in the car for fear of losing it. She loves that blanket.

What is it about a blanket? And not necessarily just any blanket, but one that someone made for you? Maybe it's because it's like a big hug. It's so comforting. Or maybe it makes people feel safe - I remember cowering under blankets during thunderstorms when I was a child, feeling protected. But it's more than that - I just can't explain it.

So yeah, some things, some objects, are valuable. People always talk about what they would save in a fire; I remember Liz discussing that on her blog a little while back. After ensuring the safety of my husband and daughter, I'd save my photos, because those are memories, and I'd save my mother's ashes, which are in her copper watering can on my bureau, and then, if I had time, I'd save the blankets.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Now THAT'S crafty.

No, I'm not pregnant. Just found this to be hilarious.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Worst. President. Ever.

By Scott Horton, Harper's

“It would be difficult to identify a President who, facing major international and domestic crises, has failed in both as clearly as President Bush,” concluded one respondent. “His domestic policies,” another noted, “have had the cumulative effect of shoring up a semi-permanent aristocracy of capital that dwarfs the aristocracy of land against which the founding fathers rebelled; of encouraging a mindless retreat from science and rationalism; and of crippling the nation’s economic base.”

America’s historians, it seems, don’t think much of George W. Bush.

Now in all fairness, historians should wait a while before passing judgment on a president’s who served recently, much less one still in office. But the current incumbent is a special case. After all, 81 percent of Americans, according to a recent New York Times poll, believe he’s taken the country on the wrong track. That’s the highest number ever registered. The same poll also says 28 percent have a favorable view of his performance in office, which is also in Nixon-in-the-darkest-days-of-Watergate territory.

But, as George Mason University’s History News Network reports, the historians have a different measure. They want to stack him up against his forty-two predecessors as the nation’s chief executive. Among historians, there is no doubt into which echelon he falls–his competitors are Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce, the worst of the presidential worst. But does Bush actually come in dead last?

Yes. History News Network’s poll of 109 historians found that 61 percent of them rank Bush as “worst ever” among U.S. presidents. Bush’s key competition comes from Buchanan, apparently, and a further 2 percent of the sample puts Bush right behind Buchanan as runner-up for “worst ever.” 96 percent of the respondents place the Bush presidency in the bottom tier of American presidencies. And was his presidency (it’s a bit wishful to speak of his presidency in the past tense–after all there are several more months left to go) a success or failure? On that score the numbers are still more resounding: 98 percent label it a “failure.”

Historians Rate George W. Bush a “Failure”
This marks a dramatic deterioration for Bush. Previously he wasn’t viewed in the most positive terms, but there was a consensus that he wasn’t the “worst of the worst” either. That was in the spring of 2004. In the meantime, Bush has established himself as the torture president, the basis for his invasion of Iraq has been exposed as a fraud, the Iraq War itself has gone disastrously, the nation’s network of alliances has faded, and the economy has gone into a tailspin–not to mention the bungled handling of relief for victims of hurricane Katrina. In 2004, only 12 percent of historians were ready to place Bush dead last.

Here are some of the comments that the historians furnished:
“No individual president can compare to the second Bush,” wrote one. “Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the world’s goodwill. In short, no other president’s faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.”

“With his unprovoked and disastrous war of aggression in Iraq and his monstrous deficits, Bush has set this country on a course that will take decades to correct,” said another historian. “When future historians look back to identify the moment at which the United States began to lose its position of world leadership, they will point—rightly—to the Bush presidency. Thanks to his policies, it is now easy to see America losing out to its competitors in any number of areas: China is rapidly becoming the manufacturing powerhouse of the next century, India the high tech and services leader, and Europe the region with the best quality of life.”

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Cuz ya can't, ya won't, and ya don't STOP

Cuz ya can't, ya won't, and ya don't STOP
Ya can't, ya won't, and ya don't STOP
AdRock, come and rock the sure shot

Seriously, who can resist a little Beastie Boys? Not I. One thing that I positively cannot stop doing these days is making clothes for Blythe dolls. I know most of you think I've really gone around the bend, but there is something so satisfying about finishing a project in two hours. And I don't know what it is about these damn dolls, but they are addictive. They really are. In fact, I ordered another one. Yes I did. So deal.

Here's Dulcinea modeling her new couture. Not bad, eh? I didn't use a pattern, but used the same formula in Monica Brown's C3 Crochet Crop Sweater that I made last year. It worked well, and I only had one false start before I got it right. That's really good for me.

Here's a close-up. The ribbon is glued on. No way in hell am I going to sew it own. These dresses are all made from the top down, and there is zero seaming. Yay for zero seaming.

This one is for my dad's Blythe doll, Bridget. Since he made me two spindles and a niddy noddy, the least I can do is clothe Bridget for him. Sheesh.

And last but not least, finished just this evening, is a dress for my soon-to-arrive doll, Hibou. She is a Prima Dolly Encore Ashlette, for those of you who are into that sort of thing. Hibou is the French word for owl. It is just a darn cute word, and since Blythes have big eyes, I figured it would suit her to a T.

I will get back to making practical things one day. WT is impatiently awaiting his sweater vest, and I'm really close to finishing the Sunday Market Shawl.

It got up to 70 degrees today, and boy does that make me happy. I raked and mowed the front lawn and tore out a bush and swept and Banana played in the dirt, which is really really good. I'm sick of princesses. I want my girl to play in the dirt and have fun doing it. It was good to be out in the fresh air, making my yard look nice.

WT has been doing contract work for more than a year. Yesterday he just heard that his position is going permanent as of April 16. It will be a little less money per month, but he gets paid time off, short and long term disability, life insurance, and myriad other benefits. In this day and age, I am so grateful that we are both gainfully employed, can pay our bills, have two cars that run, and a nice house to live in. I am grateful that we can afford to send our daughter to a good school. I am grateful for my husband who lets me buy Blythe dolls and go to fiber festivals. I am grateful for the hyacinths in my neighbor's yard, and the forsythias and daffodils in my yard. I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for spring.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Stuff for you to look at

So I actually finished some stuff lately! Pretty neat-o, huh? Below we have the Ribbed Lace Bolero by Kelly Maher. I used a little less than 2 skeins of Cotton Ease. I'm pretty happy with the fit, but it grew a fair amount as I wore it. I'm anxious to see what happens when I wash it and dry it - it's in the washer as we speak!

Next we have a little hat I whipped up for Dulcinea in about a half hour. I made it out of some leftover Debbie Bliss denim yarn that I had laying around. I think it's pretty cute! I made it up as I crocheted.

I also made up this pattern as well. This one took about 2 hours, as it is mostly single crochet, and I used a much smaller hook. The yarn is from France - I think it's La Droguerie. I forget the fiber content, but it's really nice. I got the yarn in a swap I did last year. I let my dad have this hat for his Blythe doll, Bridget.

Next we have a pom-pom hat for Blythe (yes, I know, but it gives me such a sense of satisfaction to finish three things in a weekend!). I got the pattern from the Blythe Kenner Yahoo! group. It is very easy, I just have to seam the back, and make and sew a pom-pom on the top. I am going to make a fisherman's sweater to go with it. I used Cestari's cotton/wool 70/30 yarn in the Mint colorway. I like it.

Last, but most certainly not least, we have the Sunday Market Shawl. The name of the designer still escapes me, but it's on Ravelry if you're interested. I love this yarn. Love. It. It's soft, and the colors are prettier in person. I'm making this on size 13 needles, so it's working up pretty dang quick! I'm close to dropping the necessary stitches and binding off. Can't wait. It will need a serious blocking those, as the sides are rolling like a mofo.


I made dinner for my family and a friend tonight, and it was lovely. I made a pretty tasty dinner last night too. I really notice a difference in my health and well-being depending on what I eat. When I eat like crap (such as loads of carbs and sugar), I never feel full and always want more, and I feel tired and yucky. When I eat healthy food, I can go for longer without eating, I don't snack as much, and I have more energy. This all seems so elementary, but I'm one of those annoying people that you can talk at forever, but I need to experience it for myself in order for it to really hit home with me.

So last night I made baked chicken with a little seasoning, sauteed spinach with garlic, sesame, and olive oil, and roast cauliflower with lemon, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. I usually hate cauliflower, but my friend Julie made this for me last week and it is so. yummy. Seriously. Tonight I made a pork loin with tarragon, mashed potatoes with sour cream and fresh chives (not healthy, but way freakin' tasty), and peas and corn. For dessert, we had ice cream with fresh strawberries and fresh blackberries. Yum. I have enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

I also exercised twice this weekend! Yesterday, I walked about 4 miles on the Schuylkill River Trail in Valley Forge National Park, which is lovely and peaceful (except when a train goes by across the river). I saw ducks and geese and cormorants, and heard spring peepers peeping away. The air was clean, the sun was shining, and it was great. Today, I went to the gym and worked out with weights. I didn't like it, but I know I have to do it. I much prefer to exercise outside, but when I'm pressed for time and the weather is yucky, the gym it is. Gotta do whatcha gotta do.

I only have 5 more classes left this semester! I can't believe how quickly it's gone by. I am thinking of taking a one-week class this summer; we'll have to see what the money situation is. The more classes I can get out of the way now, the better. Plus, the one in the summer is a French class, and I know I would enjoy it.

That's about it for now. Thanks for stopping by. Have a good evening, and I'll talk to you guys soon. I have to go do laundry. Wheeee. ;o)

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008


It's been a while, eh? In between dealing with a sick 5-year-old, Easter, Spring Break, and turning in a 10 page paper, I managed to do a little knitting. I finally finished my Lacy Ribbed Bolero, pattern by Kelly Maher. I made it with Lion Brand Cotton Ease, two skeins in Terra Cotta. I'm fairly happy with the result. It's a smidge bigger than I might have liked, but it is comfy and warm on a spring day when you just need a little sumpin' sumpin'. I don't much care for the sewn bind-off or my seams, but they are minor details. There are no mistakes in the lace section, which is nice. I see myself wearing it fairly often.

I also just started the Sunday Market Shawl, which is a pattern I found via Ravelry. I forget the designer's name, but I'll post it when I write my next post, with pictures. It is essentially like a Clapotis, but instead of knitting it on the bias, it's knit straight, and you drop the stitches right before you bind off. I'm using Universal Yarn Deluxe Chunky in this groovy striped colorway that has mint, olive, tan, and taupe in it. It sounds grody but it's actually quite nice. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like the stripes, but I think it will look pretty neat once I drop the stitches, almost sort of a plaid. I managed to knit up one whole skein last night, which is some mighty fast knitting for yours truly. I am using size US13 needles, which also lends itself to expeditious knitting.

I need to finish the second Baby It's Cold Outside sweater, and I also need to get back to work on WT's Peter Easy vest. I had to frog a good part of it because it was way too big. Live and learn.

Talk at you soon. Smooches.

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