Thursday, May 31, 2007

Story of my life

5elementknitr --
[noun]:

A level headed person who always makes the wrong decision

'How" will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com


I forgot to link to Rabbitch, when I was talking about funny things I read at 1am.

Here's a great example. Specifically her post on Monday, May 28/07.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What's In A Name?

Running June 1 - September 15
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Up til 1a last nite. Unless you're entirely new to this site, your used to my sleepless ramblings.

I got an email from Girl On The Rocks last week or so. When I was cleaning out my email, I saw a name that seemed oddly familiar. I mean, I knew it was GirlOnTheRocks, but the name seemed more familiar then that. Then I realized it was the name of a character on a TV show I watch. I emailed her this morning telling her about it and following up with, "I'm sure you get that all the time." She said, yes and that people ask her if she was named after the character even though the show is about ten years old and she's around 30!

My name is Ruth and I, also, get stuff like that All. The. Time. Baby Ruth, Ruth Buzzie, Dr. Ruth. I always smile (sweetly) and say (sarcastically), "That's the first time I ever heard that one again." There was even one guy who asked me if I was related to Martin Riggs (Riggs is my maiden name). I looked at him blankly, waiting for him to laugh and let me know he was kidding. He wasn't. I sighed and said, "You mean that fictional character from the movie Lethal Weapon?" People are stupid.

Even more stupid are the people who give their kid F'ed up names. I went to high school with a girl named Candy Barr. When I was in the Army, in the medical field (kinda), I had to go through a lot of medical records. Seriously F'ed up names. Rhett Butler, Anita Freemann, and (my favorite) Krista Shanda Leer (seriously, crystal chandelier??). I swear, Candy and Krista's parents wanted them to be strippers.

Also, in the Army, your rank can play havoc with your name. I've met a Private Parts, a Major Player and a Captain Dick (imagine when he gets promoted to Major!). Then there was the Navy kid, Seaman Smiley (ewww). With a name like Smiley, I don't think I'd even join the military.

I forgot the worst name I'd ever heard. Ellipsisknits' comment reminded me. I used to work on our pediatrician (as a massage therapist) and we were talking about bad names. The worst she ever saw was a little girl who's name was pronounced femahlay. The dr. asked the mom how she'd come up with that name. The woman said the nurses named the baby before she (the mom) had a chance to. The woman, bless her ignorant heart, was reading the card they put on every girl baby's bassinett in the hospital.... Female. That poor baby. Yeah, I know. I begged the good dr. to tell me she was kidding, that it was a bad joke, that no one could really be that stupid. And what the hell, how could the nurses let her leave the hospital thinking that? The good dr. assured me it was all true. Sad, but true.

Whenever I can't sleep, I go to the Yarn Harlot's site and work my way through her archives. She's always good for a laugh. Then I go to Steve at The Sneeze. He is the funniest F'er on the 'net. He makes me snort laugh every time! I have to be careful reading him late at night. I have a really loud laugh. Here's a video that Steve has a link to....



After I saw that, I put misheard lyrics into the search window at YouTube. There's over 2,000! Some very creative people out there! Of course, as knitters, we know this. The only really misheard lyric I can remember doing was this....
Friend and I are in car and this song from Live comes on the radio. I'm singing along and I look at my friend and ask, "Who is Walter?" Friend says, "It's our love is like water, not Walter."

Going to take a nap, Ruth!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More Snakes a Tip and a Timer





_________________________________


I hope everyone had a lovely and restful weekend! Ours was blissfully lazy and uneventful.


Got this in the mail...



It's the sock yarn I won over at Nishanna's. My photographic skills (or lack thereof) don't do justice to it's fiery goodness and I can't wait to make them into socks!


Friday evening, my husband was in the bathroom while I was folding clothes by our bed. Our bathroom has no windows and w/o the lights on, is relatively dark. Out of the blue, D says, "I think we need to call a vet!" I asked what he was talking about (as we are currently petless). I turned around and see him walking out of the dark, shirtless, with his arms flexed in the classic bicep-flexing pose, " 'Cause these pythons are sick!" What a goofball! Laughed for days! He'd heard it on the radio along with some other ways to say how big your arms are ("I'm not allowed on the playground because these guns aren't registered", etc.). We made stupid, buff-arm, python jokes all weekend. We're lame. (Very different then last week's snake story, no?)

Since we moved here and he's had this new job/business. He's lost around 30 pounds. He's around the same weight as when we met. (Hot!) I wish I could say the same (she says, sitting on her butt at the computer or knitting all day).

Alright, on to Tippa Tuesday...


Last week, I posted a tip on how to make frogging a little easier. Yarnhog left another method in the comments (thanks, Yarnhog!). She said to put a smaller knitting needle on the row you are ripping to and rip away. I thought that was a great tip. I had tried that a long time ago when I was still a relatively new knitter and didn't keep the needle on the same row somehow.

After I read her comment, I tried again on a swatch and got it right this time. I also tried it a different way - instead of using a smaller knitting needle, I used a darning needle and some waste yarn. It worked great! It was flexible and, for me, easier to manage. I thought it would also work especially well with large pieces.

The second tip is for Massage Monday, which I missed yesterday by announcing my contest (see link at top of post). (By the way, I initially forgot to tell everyone where they can send the helmet-liners. I've remedied that and it's towards the bottom of the contest post.)

How often do you get up from your desk/knitting/other seated activities during the day? I know how it is, you get going and 3 or four hours have passed and you haven't moved. I do it too. At least I used to. It's So. Very. Bad. for you. You've got the stress of work combined with being stagnant and you go home with your shoulders up in your ears.

The easiest way to remedy this is to set a timer. You want to set it to go off every 50 or 55 minutes. (I use a kitchen timer but I hear there's a way to set a timer on one's computer.) When it goes off, don't just reset it. Get up! Walk to the bathroom, stretch, breath. This will, believe it or not, make your day go much faster. It's a physical break, it's a mental break and it will make you more productive. I'm not talking about taking 15-20 minute breaks every hour, I'm talking about 1-3 minutes.

I gave that tip to a client I had at the spa and he told me he couldn't possibly, he was too far behind on his work. I told him if he was that far behind, then a couple of minutes every hour wasn't going to make a difference and (as I already said) it would actually make him more productive. He didn't believe me. A few weeks later, I got an email from him telling me that he'd tried it, was all caught up on his work and did I have any more tips for him!

Going to go stretch now, Ruth!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Contest!

Here’s my first contest!

I’ve planned a helmet-liner drive for troops in Iraq. This is a topic that is close to my heart. I spent 5 years in the Army, got out in 1996. I still have a lot of friends who are active duty. One is currently stationed in Saudi Arabia (and assures me he’s safe), another is in Iraq (he cannot make the same assurances). I worry about them every day.

When I was in the Army, we never had the right equipment or if we did, never enough of it. That’s just the way the military is. Granted, we weren’t exactly at a time of war back then. Hell, we were the hospital soldiers which, in my experience, wasn’t even like the real army!

I want my friends and there friends to know that we haven’t forgotten about them and that we miss them and wish them warmth and safety.

My goal is to have 200 helmet-liners to send over. My time frame is from June 1 - Sep. 15.
There are PRIZES!! Prizes will go to the people who send the first helmet-liner, the 50th, 100th, 150th, and 200th. There will also be 4 more people picked at random. You will get an entry for each liner you send.

The prizes I have so far are:

3 skeins of beautiful Fearless Fibers sock yarn plus one extra the proprietor donated to the cause (Thank you, again, Deb!)
(That’s 4 prizes, one skein each.)


Sand and Sun


Wisteria



Pink Peppermint



Duck Season

The other 4 prizes are still in the works and I will be providing those as well. I’m completely open to donated prizes! The more prizes I have, the more random picks I will choose.

The best patterns I have found are these from SkeinLane:
Free knit pattern
Free crochet pattern

The yarn you want to use needs to be SOFT, washable yarn. The colors are supposed to be
dark brown, black or tan. I’ve made a few using Cascade 220 Superwash and it seems to do the job quite nicely. You can usually get a whole liner out of one skein knit. With crochet, you’ll need about 1 ½ skeins. Don’t worry about swatching, just use the needles/hook asked for in the pattern. If they come out different sizes, so much the better as people generally have different size heads! Also, please leave longish tails to be woven in. When my old LYS did this drive last year, they got a bunch of liners that had little tiny tails and they were coming unraveled before we even shipped them out. If you hate weaving in ends, leave ‘em long and mail them to me and I’ll weave them in.

I thought it would be nice to include a card or, even better, a postcard from your hometown/state with each liner. That way the soldiers can get a little taste of home. Not necessary, of course, but if you have some time. Scarves are acceptable too! (Same colors as the liners, please.) Although scarves will be included as extras (like the cards.) Again, not necessary, but if you feel like it!

Thank you to the anonymous tip that reminded me I forgot to put my mailing address!! Send the items to:
Ruth Moline P. O. Box 3832 Parker, CO 80134.

Spread the word please! The more the merrier.

Remembering my friends, Ruth!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gender Bender Week

During the week, I watched Orlando. It came out in 1992 and is brilliant! Since it's been around awhile, y'all have probably already seen it. Wow. Sparse dialogue, visually stunning, clever, strange, all at once. It's based on the Virginia Woolf book. It's one of those movies that makes me want to go read the book. (I usually do that the other way around.) It makes me wonder, however, would the book be more confusing then the movie or make the movie more clear? I had that problem with Naked Lunch. Like Orlando, I saw the movie before I knew it was a book. LOVED IT! Went and bought the book. Hated it. Couldn't understand what the hell was going on and then read the intro where it explains how the author was in an opium-induced daze the entire time he was writing the book. It's one of the few books I've ever just given up on.

The story of Orlando is about a man, apparently immortal, who goes through a series of events and then he's a woman (or was she one all along?). It starts in the 1600's (the person playing Queen Elizabeth is a man), somewhere around the late 1700's is when Orlando is a woman and she has a brief thing with a man played by Billy Zane. (God, I'd forgotten how beautiful he is when he's not being weird, creepy, or cruel.) Every now and then the director has Orlando just look into the camera and his/her expression says it all as pertaining to the current situation. Orlando is played by Tilda Swinton. Excellent casting. Her androgynous face, dark red hair, flawless skin and expressive eyes are so captivating. (Most of you may recognize her as the White Witch from the recent Chronicles of Narnia movie.)

Then, last night, I took the boys to a library event. Stage to Page The Emperor's New Clothes. It was a small, 3 person play, based on the classic story but set in the old west. 3 actors (one female, 2 male) played a plethora of charcters both male and female switchin' and dippin' and a good time was played by all. Reminded me of the fact that originally all actors were male and had to play all parts equally well.

Today, I'm planning on watching TransAmerica. This movie, starring Felicity Huffman is about a man, going through gender reassignment, who discovers he/she has a son. I've heard great things about it and am looking forward to watching it. If you click on the IMDB link to the movie and scroll down to the cast list, I find it interesting that the voice coach got first billing!

I'm glad I have you people to share with. I can't talk to Dave about the movies I watch during the day. He busts his ass for 12 hours a day or more and gets a little irritated when I talk about sitting on mine while watching movies. (Understandably so.) It's not like I sit there doing nothing, though. I only watch when the boys are down for a nap. Then while I'm watching, I'm folding laundry, working on patterns for my book or working on mailings for our other business. Plus, he'd never watch half the movies I like. He hates "period pieces" and gender bender things make him uncomfortable. (Not that those are the only types I watch when he's not here, just recently so.)

Sorry, no reward pic's for making it this far today. But! On Monday, a contest announcement....

Off to do more laundry, Ruth!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tense much?

I feel as though I've been swatching my life away. I was swatching some Ornaghi-Filati Gong to make the Mason-Dixon After Dark Nightie and the gauge is supposed to be 20sts on US 6 needles. I was getting 24. Had to work my way up to an 8! Then I looked at the ball band and realized I started out getting the actual gauge called for on the label. I guess M-D wants a looser fabric. No sweat.

I was also swatching for the Ogee Tunic from Knitting Nature. Using Garnstudio Drops Alpaca. Supposed to be getting 23 sts on US 4 needles. I was getting 28 sts! Had to work all the way up to US 7's! (By the way, this is a fabulous yarn! Sooooo soft and lovely.)

I always do this with slippery yarns. I death-grip it in fear of dropping a stitch. Tomorrow I CO. (So much for my first summer goal - 5 WIP's indeed.)

We found this in our front yard this weekend....


A sweet, loooong garter snake buddy. (Had to be at least a 3 footer.) Reminded me of a story (which I dedicate to Knitiot Savant).

So there I was.....
(If I ever start a story this way, get a snack and have a seat. Or move on. Your choice.)

When Dave and I first moved in together, I was a package deal. I had a huge tabby cat (Oscar) and 3 dogs (Maggie, the embarrassingly-harmless-Rottweiler; Toto,the wire-haired-mutt-terrier-that-looked-like-you-guessed-it; and Squirrel, a little strawberry-blonde-with-amber-eyes-mutt). We lived in a 2 bedroom townhouse. The development it was in was across the street from a huge open field where people go and take their kids and dogs to run and play off-leash.

We lived there 4/99 - 1/03. When I was about 5 months pregnant with our first kid, I talked some friends from my Shiatsu massage class into going to a concert of The Molly's. Dave didn't care for them and had to be up at 4a the next day to go to work so he opted to stay home. When I got home at about 11p that night, I came in the house and saw the backyard light on, and Dave out there with a shovel and a flashlight. The dogs were going NUTS. I opened the back sliding glass door and said, "What are you doing? Go to bed, we'll pick up the poop tomorrow." He yelled at me to, "CLOSE THE DOOR, THERE'S A SNAKE OUT HERE!!!"

It didn't quite register at first but then I heard the rattle. No mistakin' that sound! I told him to come inside and bring the dogs. He didn't listen for a few minutes and he was actually trying to kill it with the shovel. Come on. Seriously? Did he really think he was faster then a snake? He did. He was wrong. He didn't get hurt and I finally convinced him to come in and let the dogs in the house (they were outdoor dogs).

Dave is terrified of snakes. (He used to run 18 of 36 holes at a high end golf course in Tucson and had seen his fair share of them.) I spent the next 20 minutes calling pest control places to get someone to come out and remove the thing. The weird part is that our area of town was considered city. If we were county, the fire department would come and get it. Apparently if you're in the city... you're on your own. All the places we called were closed. We finally got one guy on the phone and he wouldn't come out but he suggested we get a hose and spray the little beasty til it left our yard. Great, so it goes into the neighbor's yard? They're like, 80.

Finally, I had a brilliant idea. I called the hotel where I worked (at the spa) and had them transfer me to maintenance. I knew for a fact that they've had to collect a snake or two and had the equipment to do it safely. (One time they had to remove a 6 foot bullsnake from the second floor hallway!) I talked to three of them before I got a young kid who would do the job. I told him I'd come and get him and take him back. It normally takes about 25 minutes to get to the hotel from our house. I made it in 10. (Midnight, no traffic, excessive speeding, you know...)

The kid brought the snake-catching equipment (a long metal pole with a grabber on the end and a cage) and the three of us were in the backyard trying to catch this desert rattler. Finally, the kid had me go on one side of our tree and shine a light in it's eyes to distract it and he went on the other side of the tree and grabbed it with the pole thingy. (They use metal because it has no heat and snakes can't sense it. Seems good in theory, but in the desert, metal things are hotter then anything else!)

He pulled it out of the weeds and GODDAMM!!! It was close to four feet long!! (I always regret that none of us thought to take a picture of it.) We debated what to do with it. We couldn't take it across to the open field (because of the aforementioned family outings that go on there) and we knew that if you take a snake out of it's normal radius (5 miles?) it'll die anyway.

We ended up chopping it's (not-so) little head off with the shovel. It was so freaky. It actually did that still opening and closing thing with it's mouth that you see in the movies. The kid took the whole thing with it to be taxidermy-ed. I felt really bad for it, it wasn't pissed off or attacking or anything. It was just scared and defending itself. But, what're ya gonna do?

OK, just had a weird memory. A boy that had, at one time or another, dated all 3 of my stepsisters (and eventually married Janet) used to keep snakes at his house. He kept them in separate aquariums and hand-fed them all. Including the rattler. He had his own anit-venom kit. Crazy!

For those of you that've made it this far... I present my first sock heel.


Sweet, snakeless, dreams, Ruth!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cake Anyone?

We've had more cake in this house then anyone has a right to. I made cupcakes on May 4 for Davis' b'day. They lasted about 24 hours. Then I made a sheet cake (their choices by the way) for Trevor on May 11 (the Friday before his b'day, May 14). On May 13, We had Dave's brother and wife over for dinner as well as his visiting parents. His mom bought a layer cake for dessert since D and I were cooking everything. Then the BIL and wife showed up with another cake that said "Happy Mother's Day". Then we had to buy a cake for the boys' b'day party on May 19! MIL bought it and of course she had to buy the biggest one available.

Can anyone blame me for cake-induced nightmares about cake? Never thought it was possible but I don't. Want. Anymore. Cake.

Nothing much on the knitting front. I'm still (and for the rest of my life, it seems) swatching the Drops Alpaca and the Ornaghi Filati Gong for the Ogee Tunic (from Knitting Nature) and the Mason-Dixon After Dark Nightie, respectively. (Seriously, really long sentences. It's a curse I have.)

OK, I try not to read other blogs before I post because I don't want to be unduly influenced for my subject du jour (read: I don't want to rehash/steal/bogart ideas). But.... I just read today's installment at Mason-Dixon and she mentioned the young relatives singing American Pie and how long the song is. It reminded me of a friend of mine from my Shiatsu class. She told us the story of a time when she and her friends were underage and they used to hang out at this bar. They'd hang there because the proprietors weren't all that diligent about carding and it was a place to waste time before the place they really wanted to be opened up. She told us that every time they were there, they'd go to the juke box and put in, like $5 worth of quarters and request American Pie about 15 times in a row. Then they'd leave. I love that song but that's just cruel.

So here's a video I like. It's actually really impressive knitting....
I was going to try to post it but my computer skills are famously lacking so here's a link. And thanks to NoMoreSweaters here's the video!



Photos tomorrow, Ruth!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Frogging Made Easy

At least physically....

Alright. You've made a mistake about ten rows back. sigh.
Typically, you rip back and you've got this whole row of stitches you have to maneuver onto the needle.


You get about 1/2way across and the pulling makes the loops you're aiming for start to disappear. Dropped stitches ensues along with some unpleasant verbiage. I have been known to tink back 12 rows or more just to avoid this. Until I was taught this technique.

Lorie from my the first knit group I used to hang out with in Tucson showed me this little trick.


Rip all but the last rows necessary, then when you get to the row you're shooting for... pull 3 stitches loose, put those 3 stitches on the needle. Rinse, repeat.

I, also, will put the needle in the next stitch, under the yarn, then pull the yarn out of the stitch. This is helpful with really slippery yarns (like the Ornaghi Filati Gong pictured). Sometimes, just to be sure, Ill do these methods a row above where I need to stop, then tink the last row. That way I can make sure I have all the stitches I'm supposed to have.

Of course, you always want to recount your stitches after you rip. You don't want to rip and then continue for several rows only to discover you don't have all the necessary stitches and you've got to rip again. Ask me how I know. sigh.


So now you have a technique (or two) to make your frogging physically easier. As for making it emotionally easier.... I'm open to suggestions.

Avoiding the frog pond, Ruth!

Monday, May 21, 2007

What's Your Favorite Position?

Have you ever had a dream that made you mad in the dream and it was so real you woke up mad? Happened to me this morning. I dreamed I had to help put together this military reception for Samuel L. Jackson and I was in charge of getting the cake. It was supposed to be a surprise party/reception and when I brought the enormous cake I had to buy, there were like 8 other cakes and the person who made me buy the cake picked a different cake.... whatever. Woke up pissed.


Despite the weird dreams and the sometimes-stress-induced insomnia, I sleep really, really well. A chiropractor told me the secret to really good sleep. (I have mixed feelings about bone-jerkers, too. But that's a story for another day.) What position do you sleep in?


Massage Monday
Are you on your back? If you are, with no support, then your sacrum (tailbone) is pulling on your lower back all night. Are you on your side? If you are, with no support, then your elbow/forearm touching the bed is pulling your spine sideways and your knee/lower leg is pulling your pelvis sideways which is pulling your lower spine sideways and your spine is basically a big painful S. (Did I mention that I write really long sentences?) If you lay on your stomach.... well, just stop. There's no good way to lay on your stomach (unless a massage table is involved). Look at how cranked your neck is? Blood flow, people, it's a good thing.

The best way to support your body during the night is to have a little pillow nest. If you're on your back, you should have a good pillow under your head and a pillow under your knees. Go try it (when you're at home). Lay on your back w/o the pillow and see how your lower back pulls. Then put the pillow under your knees and see how much more comfortable your back feels.

When you're on your side, you should have a good pillow under your head, one between your arms (the huggy pillow) and one between your knees. Some people like a body pillow but I prefer two separate ones. You get really adept at taking it with you when you change sides or roll onto your back. (Actually, my huggy pillow is a teddy bear. Pillows are too big for my T-rex arms.) The pillow btw your knees should support your upper leg from the knee to the ankle. If you have just your knee on it, it's going to torque your leg weird and won't be as comfortable.

The chiro I talked to explained that most people toss and turn a lot during the night and it disturbs their sleep. He said, they do this because they simply are not comfortable! Makes sense, no? My husband jokes that when we met, he only used one pillow and now he has, like, 6. (Actually, when we met, he had these ancient, flat, pillows that most people keep in the garage and only break them out when they go camping.)


This past weekend was a lot of fun! We had the boys' birthday party from 10-12 on Sat morning. We had their party at Pump It Up. It's like jumpy castle heaven and after 1 1/2 hours in the jumpy castle room they go to the party room where they get to sit in this inflated throne and get their presents. So cute!


Dave especially liked the giant boxing gloves....



Then we came home, fed them, threw them into bed for naps so they'd be rested for the game. My husband got a killer price on some good tickets to the Royals/Rockies game at 6p. Of course, we forgot the camera for the first big league game we take the boys to. Bummer.

We had dinner at a restaurant outside the park, then we bought some peanuts on the way in and had a small, soft cooler full of snacks and Capri Suns. Apparently if you give small boys a constant influx of food, they'll last the whole game! They were awesome! Of course, D says, "How would you know, you knit the whole time." Yeah, I did. D's a big Royals fan and even has a pic of himself with George Brett when the man golfed on the course D used to run.

I took this top I'm designing and the sock I'm working on for Sockamania's May pattern. Didn't touch the sock, figured I wouldn't. I was at the point where I had to start the heel flap and I was a bit nervous about a) losing a needle, b) dropping a stitch and c) not being able to concentrate on the actual pattern.

For those of you that made it this far, here's a picture of said sock so far (graciously held by our friend Peto)....

The pattern is the Sockamania May pattern and the yarn is Jojoland Kaleidoscope (220 yards 100% Merino Wool; color HMOI). I got the yarn on ebay but they have a website.

I was hoping to have the first sock done by May 15. HAHAHAHA!!! Due to my weak math skills, mediocre knitting skills and a general lack of project monogamy, I'll be lucky to have the first one done by the end of the month. (NOT in any way the pattern's fault. It's my first sock/pattern with a chart/time using DPN's.) Completely deluded.

I'm going to go post my sock adventures at Sockamania now....

Still delusional, Ruth!

Friday, May 18, 2007

5 WIP Rule (and how to break it)

Ali from Skeins Her Way is currently having a cool contest over on her blog. So after you read my list of summer knitting goals go here and participate too! Just make sure you let her know I sent you there.

Last year, Aswim in Knits had made a 5 WIP rule for herself. I thought it was a fabulous idea and tried to apply it to my own knitting. I did pretty well with it last year… until we moved. Apparently stress makes me cast-on. I currently have 9 things on needles that I can think of off the top of my head. Which means the real number is probably closer to 15. Sigh. Here’s my summer goals -

1. Get (and keep) the WIPs down to a manageable 5. It's going to be tough because even just writing that makes me itchy to cast on something new. (Do socks count as WIP's?)

2. Do all the socks for Sockamania.

3. Organize a helmet-liner drive.

4. Organize my book proposal and submit it to at least 3 publishers.

6. Be true to the stash-buster 2007 resolution I made (so far, so good! I've only slipped once. Good thing that sock-yarn-grace is built in!)

7. Stop here so I can keep my goals realistic.

I saw this contest first at Knitting in Pink, then at Stumbling Over Chaos (who, as I've mentioned before has the line on all the knitblog contests!), then at Uberstrickenfrau.

Exciting news! (At least it's exciting to me...) I got my first sidebar listing! You know, where someone links to your blog on the side of their blog. In the list of regular blogs that they read. I'm listed over at No More Sweaters. It's kinda funny because I saw Fifth Element Knitter listed for a few days and I thought, "What a cool name." I finally clicked on it to see what that was about and it was me! I'm actually '5elementknitr' as in 5 Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine but who cares! I'm listed! SWEET!

That reminds me. I need help. I try to list stuff like that in my sidebar but I always end up with miles-long website addresses instead of cool buttons (of blogs I read) or pictures (of books I read). Anyone wanna email me and I'll give my # to call and y'all can walk a computer-impaired chicka through it all? RuthAT5elementknitrDOTcom. Anyone in the Denver area wanna come over and help? I'll trade and give an amazing therapeutic massage! Let me know!

Good luck and happy summer, Ruth!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

An FO and a UFO (sorta)

We'll start with the FO.
Sorry for the crappy photos. My mom wanted me to make her a shawl and she wanted one that was triangular and black. sigh.
The pattern is free and available here. I used Homespun because it's warm without being too heavy and she can just toss it in the wash. The color is black but the edge is dark, dark grey. I'd made a scarf for her husband a couple of months ago. I mailed it, but to their old address so it got sent back. Then he went into hospice and died shortly thereafter. I decided to frog the scarf and used some of the yarn for the edging. That way she can wrap a piece of him around her whenever she wants.
On to the UFO. Or the Enterprise. I got a couple of emails and one phone call about my #8 random thing yesterday. It was about William Shatner. Here's the thing...
I had a really unstable childhood. My mom's a multiple marry-er (only one at a time, of course). I had three different guys I was told to call Dad by the time I was six. I watched a lot of TV (then and now) and my brother and I always loved Star Trek. I'm not a Trekkie, I can't give you too much trivia or anything but I still dig the show.
Captain Kirk was always so cool and handsome and funny and compassionate. The show started in 1973 and they played reruns a lot. So I was watching it a lot as a little kid. I always wanted Kirk to be my dad. Or my husband. I wasn't sure which. When you're six you don't really understand the difference between those concepts (my four year old just the other day asked if he could marry me!). It's not in a weird or creepy way, you just don't understand yet.
I still think Shatner is cool. He has no problem laughing at himself or playing the fool. He's a total nut in Boston Legal and we love that show! He's still a man I'd love to meet someday!
So laugh or ponder my sanity if you will, but I stand by my phaser-totin' man!
Beaming up, Ruth!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

2 Memes and a Swapbot

I got my first tag! Nell tagged me with this...

Each person tagged gives 7 or 8 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 or 8 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.Here are my facts:

8 Random Things -

1. I have to finish a book, no matter how bad or dull. I can’t stand not knowing how a story ends. (Maybe that’s why I rarely watch the news, you never get the whole story, just the tragic beginnings.)

2. During my first pregnancy, my cravings consisted solely of fat, greasy, shag-nasty cheeseburgers. During my second - horseradish sauce.

3. Except for Tetris, I’m really quite terrible at video games. I make up for it by being really quite good at word games.

4. I sleep with untucked sheets. I have to be able to stick my feet out from under the sheets at any time.

5. I invent things. I have about 3 or 4 half-used notebooks going at a time. If I combined them all, I’d have an enormous notebook full of my inventions and ideas for products and/or businesses.

6. If I won the lottery, the first thing I’d buy would be Lasik surgery for my eyesight. I hate contacts and glasses but can’t be without them. (Well, I could but I rather like having all my original teeth.)

7. I’m an excellent typist. Most of the time.

8. I've seen every episode of anything William Shatner has ever been in. Including the very cool Twilight Zone episodes and the very disheartening T. J. Hooker years. (OK, I just checked IMDB to create my links for #8 and Shatner has over 191 credits to his name and that's not counting the subcredits (as in credit #105 Star Trek - subcredits: 16 episodes). So let's just say everything he's done after 1970, when I was born, and a few things before that!)

If you weren't tagged but would like to play, feel free to snag the rules and post on your blog. I'm tagging:

Yarn Harlot
Stumbling Over Chaos
Uberstrickenfrau
TheSneeze
The Knitting Philistine
The Knitiot Savant
No More Sweaters

This next Meme I saw on KnittingInPink. She said she borrowed it from a blog she read and I asked if I could borrow it... anyway, here it is.

Mark with bold the things you have knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest. It's an interesting exercise. I hadn't realized how much I've tried til I played this game! (Or how far I have yet to travel on this knitting road.)

Afghan
I-cord
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Shawl
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Hat
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Sweater
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Cardigan
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Slippers
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book (I'm actually writing one.)
Scarf
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Buttonholes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Bobbles
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Steeks
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Fulling/felting
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Purses/bags
Knitting with beads
Swatching
Long Tail CO
Entrelac
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Darning
Jewelry
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Gloves
Intarsia
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Pillows
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Rug
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Shrug/bolero/poncho
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

What have you learned to do that has marked a definite change in your knitting life? The first time I tried cables (or any new technique). I realized that even though it sounds/looks really hard - it's not! It may be a little more challenging or fiddly but it's still all just knitting and now I'm not scared of trying anything (knitwise).

OK, as if this post isn't long enough, I'll leave you with one last thing. Girl on the Rocks mentioned something on her blog that caught my eye. I'm probably the last person on the web to have heard of it but here it is: Swap-bot. It is the coolest thing! So. Much. Fun!

Tomorrow - an FO!

Memes for everyone, Ruth!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Objectivity Swatch

OK, some will call this a cheat tip. I will probably have a lot of that going on here!

Whenever I swatch a new yarn, I ALWAYS had my friend (and knitting guru) Tracy measure it for me. See, I know me. If it doesn't match the count I need, I will either futz it into the proper count or I'll just shrug and say, "Close enough". Even if it's something important, like an item of clothing I actually want to fit on my body and look good!

With the objectivity of a friend, or LYS staffer, you can't cheat yourself out of doing a proper swatch.

So I guess this tip is an uncheat tip!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Baby Story #1 and Massage Monday

Sorry for posting so late, it's been a weird day.

I'm going to start with Massage Monday so those of you who want to skip Baby Story #1, can.

I was going to call this something "clever" like Hands on Your Balls but it seemed silly. Another tennis ball tip - take your favorite yellow friend and put the ball btw your two hands. Clasp your fingers together like a little child praying and put the ball in the cup that makes. Now, if you squeeze a tennis ball with one hand, it's a strengthening exercise that most people don't need. If you squeeze it btw both hands, it's a lovely massage. It's particularly nice on the thumb pad area (that big fleshy spot at the base of your thumb. Feels good, no? Feels even better after you've been knitting for hours!

BABY STORY #1


I already wrote about how we decided when to have our kids and how we were lucky to be able to get them both, first try. I also told how Dave got to name the first boy and I got to name the second. Dave chose Trevor Osborne M. The baby's initials spell Tom and his middle name is Osborne. Tom Osborne is the greatest Husker football coach of all time. It's just sad really. Good thing we all look good in red!

With our first baby, I was dead set that I didn't want to know what the sex was before it was born. Dave wanted to know. We went back and forth about it and finally decided he could find out when we had our sonogram and he wouldn't tell me. He mentioned something about telling his parents and his friends Chris and Ty but I said, "No way!" "Why not?", he asked. "There's no way I want your buddies knowing the sex of our child before I do!" He said if anyone let slip and told me before the baby was born, we wouldn't find out the next time. Turned out to be a completely moot point as Trevor was spread eagle, shaking it at the camera when we got the sonogram.

We had this whole water birth thing planned. The Women's Health and Birthing Center in Tucson has these beautiful birthing rooms and a huge jacuzzi tub for water births. Best laid plans, right? Trevor was breech.

We tried everything to get him to turn. Moxibustion, chiropractic, even a version. Nothing worked. Great, the baby is stubborn already - just like his parents. A version (and I don't know if I'm saying/spelling that correctly) is when they try to turn a breech baby from the outside. That was weird. Plus the doctor who tried it was a dick.

We show up for the appointment and I have to get in the stupid hospital gown and on a gurney, then wheeled to this small room. There they make me slide from one gurney to another (why not just have me dress and get on that gurney to begin with?). As I'm trying to heave my 8.5 month pregnant ass over, I looked at Dave and said, "It's like boatin' a marlin!" which was a little joke we always said. We laughed but the Dr. and nurse seemed unamused and confused. They monitor the whole thing with a sonogram while they are doing it, so I asked if I could see, too. The Dr. looked at me like I was crazy and bluntly said, "No." Ohhhkay. So, the way they do this is, the doc gently, slowly, but firmly pushes into your belly, beneath the baby... it's hard to describe, I'm on my back and he's coming in from the sides of my belly, pushing downward and rocking my belly back and forth. It's super deep abdominal work and it's uncomfortable and almost hurts but it's also like a deep tickle. Plus I was nervous and whenever I'm nervous, I laugh. So I start cracking up - the doc yanks his hands away from me and, again, looks at me like I'm nuts. The nurse said she'd never heard anyone laugh while having this done. She said it like I was supposed to apologize. I didn't. The doc tried for a little longer but said the baby wasn't going anywhere.

C-section here we come. We were both really disappointed but, whaddya gonna do? I was already off at work but they called me anyway and begged me to come in ("We have clients booked, and someone called in sick, please, please, please...." says the whiny voice of Spa director #2. "I'm giving birth in 3 days, but OK," says I. Actually, what I told them was, "I'll only do 3 and no Hot Stones. One of them was a Shiatsu and with that type of massage, I'm up and down on the table like a monkey. All three clients gave me weird looks like I was going to drop the baby at any second. One woman actually refused to let me work on her so I traded her for a smarter client. I got really good tips that day!)

We showed up for the C-section at 7am and the midwife, Janice, met us there. We thought that was really cool, considering she'd only be able to watch. She warned us that the doctors were going to talk like we weren't in the room and discussed my options for anesthesia. Then the anesthesiologist showed up and we chose the spinal tap over the epidural. The anesthesiologist was a blast! She was cracking us up and considering my nervousness, she was even funnier! We told her we didn't want a drape, that we wanted to watch and she got us this big mirror on a stand so we could watch the whole thing. (Yeah, we're gross that way.) A nurse commented that in 25 years of nursing, she'd never known anyone who wanted to watch like that.

Janice was right - the doc's were discussing where to get the best veggie burger in town. We didn't care, we were having a party up by my head with that funny anesthesiologist (wish I could remember her name because I'm bettin' it's easier to spell then her profession!). She said she'd never met anyone that laughed so much during her c-section, maybe she should turn down the juice!

Anyway, a c-section is so quick! We were shocked! It only took 20 minutes from first cut to last staple. They pulled Trev out butt-first and one of the nurses commented, "Uh-oh, he's already got the pouty lip thing down!" We got the pic's to prove it.

You know how a newborn baby is ugly? Has that weird alien monkey baby face? Well, Trev hung on to his for about 6 weeks. Of course, he's beautiful now. He has eyes like little blue/green planets. Dave jokes that when he first saw T, he thought, "Aww, oh well, I will love him anyway."

And we do! He's so funny and a brilliant little guy. He currently reads on a 3rd grade level and says things that sound so funny coming out of a now-6-yr-old's mouth! Like just last weekend, we were downstairs and when Trev woke up, he came down stairs and said, "Mom, Dad, it's the strangest thing..." What kid his age talks like that?

He's so observant. He never misses anything, even though sometimes we wish he would! If I had to guess at a profession based on his personality now, actor. Or doctor. Or forensic scientist. He's a total ham, he loves anatomy books and he's one of the most compassionate, generous hearts I've ever met.

And social! Ever since he could walk, he'd go up to anyone and take them by the hand and start pulling them around, showing them things. Scary, right? He'll talk to anyone anytime and he makes new friends wherever we go. We've had some serious talks with him about stranger safety and it doesn't seem to sink in. We've had to resort to outright scaring him about it. (He was going out front without telling us and talking to anyone again. I brought him inside and told him that some one could grab him (and I actually grabbed his shoulders really fast) and throw him into a car and we'd never see him again because we didn't even know he was outside.) He's starting to understand. But he still talks to everyone.

He's our special little guy and wouldn't trade him for the world.


Happy Birthday Trevor!

Going to go make another cake, Ruth!

Friday, May 11, 2007

More 7's Please (And a Rant)

I had this brilliant idea about making a blanket for Trevor. Davis has a fairly intricate hand knit blanket that a woman gave me at his baby shower. Very sweet, especially since I didn't know her all that well.
Anyway, my idea was to use the Pattern-A-Day perpetual calendar. I'm planning on doing 11 big blocks (19" X 20") using dates that are important to our family (birthdays, anniversaries and such). Plus one block of stockinette with his initials purled in. I figured I'd do a block a month and then I could give it to him for xmas.
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! How freakin' delusional am I??? Here it's almost halfway through May and this is all I have...
That's not even half of one block. sigh.
Now there are two things I have to knit (OK, only one is "have to") and they both need the size US 7 32" addi's that are stuck in this block. I'll probably bust out the block and then use the needles for the other projects and then someday, maybe when he goes to college, he'll have a nice, new blanket. sigh.
(BTW, here's the sight that has the errata for that calendar.)
Last weekend, Dave and I watched Gunner Palace. It's a documentary about soldiers in Iraq, made in 2004. It's pretty good. It's depressing and sad and a bit hopeless. There are funny parts, too and there's no visible violence/gore so I suggest watching it as soon as you can. The saddest part, for me, was hearing the AFN (armed forces radio network) news blurb saying that our government was going to send 187 billion dollars to help our troops - getting them the equipment they needed to be safer, etc. Then they show some guy joking about how much of that money they actually get - showing the "high grade Iraqi metal" (scrap metal salvaged from suicide bombed cars and buildings) that they were having to use to reinforce their vehicles. It makes me sick.
Then I find this article. It tells how there's this system that already works being produced; this system can detect and diffuse RPG's (rocket propelled grenades) within a certain radius of a vehicle. This could save countless lives and limbs of our troops but the ARMY won't buy them because they have an $70 million contract with Raytheon. Raytheon, who is developing the same technology but estimates that they are 5-6 years from completion. WTF??!! So, not only is the government screwing our troops, the Army is jumping in for a sloppy seconds screw as well. Does this give anyone else a headache?
In a perfect world, the Army would bite the bullet (so to speak), end the contract, and go get the systems that are already working. In an even more perfect world, Raytheon would gracefully bow out and let them get what they need.
Then I see things like this movie called Delta Farce coming out. So, yeah, let's take the fact that our troops are overseas, losing vital body parts and dying and let's make a farce out of it for some quick cash. It's the American way, right? I love America and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else but sometimes it makes me so mad that it's OK to belittle such important things.
Freedom of speech, they can exercise it by making such drivel and I'm exercising it here. I only wish common sense were as prevalent.
Praying my active duty friends are safe, Ruth!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Doug's Rules of Life

At the spa, on average, I worked on 800 people a year. I've had memorable clients to be sure (some for being stupid) but one of the clients I'll always remember was Doug. He had "Doug's Rules of Life"

There's only 3.

1. Love what you do. (Because when you're not at home, you're at work.)

2. Love where you live. (Because when you're not at work, you're at home. He meant, not only your abode but your climate and terrain.)

3. Love the people you choose to surround yourself with. (Family you can't do much about but the people you choose to hang out with - why hang out with people that are assholes or treat you like shit?)

Not many people get to achieve number 1. But two out of three ain't bad.

Still chasing number 1, Ruth!

P. S. The Subject title is not a typo. I'm going to start some memoirs/memories.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

West Nile Virus vs. Bubonic Plague

In Tucson, you always hear about this...
It's transmitted via mosquitoes and for the ten years I lived in Tucson, it kept getting closer and closer. Working it's way from southern states and finally landing in Tucson.

When Dave and I first moved in together, we lived in a townhouse. Outside our development, across the street was this huge open field next to an equally large wash (ditch in CA). People always take their dogs and/or kids out there and let them run off leash. One spring, I was out there with our (my) dogs, Maggie (the embarrassingly harmless rottweiler), Toto (the wire-haired terrier mutt that looks like, you guessed it), and Squirrel (the pretty, if stunted mutt with the short, strawberry-blond fur and the same colored eyes). The dogs had gone down in the wash amidst this waist-high (for me) grass. They couldn't see each other and so were completely, gleefully racing around the grass playing tag. I went down there with them and was running around too. My legs felt a little itchy but I just figured it was the grass. When I had the sense to look down, my legs were covered in mosquitoes. I ran out of the ditch, got the dogs out, ran home. At home, I showered, slathered in that goop that makes you less itchy and had a stiff drink.

The next day, they reported the first case of West Nile virus in a human confirmed in Tucson. I had another drink.

OK, fast forward. Now we live in Colorado. For the past two days, we've been hearing in the news that they have found one dead bird and several dead squirrels with confirmed cases of this...
It's transmitted via fleas. Does this make anyone else think the end of humankind will be perpetrated by insects hard to see with the human eye and even smaller bugs that are impossible to see?
Our problem here, in this house we're renting, is that for the past two months we've had squirrels chewing on our roof. Seriously, it's a horrible sound. Imagine sticking your fingers in your ears and chewing popcorn kernels. That's the sound. And just that loud, too.
We called the landlord and he checked the roof and checked the attic and said they haven't gotten into the house yet and there's nothing much we can do. I suggested getting one of those fake owls I see on other houses but he said it wouldn't work because the squirrels are so smart.
They are at it all day. They have woken us up at 3am the past two days in a row. The last thing we need is for Dave to be woken two hours before he starts his 13 hour day.
And since when are squirrels smarter then humans? Anything I see as roadkill on a regular basis, I don't know, I gotta assume we're smarter then they are (bad grammar, notwithstanding).
Any suggestions?
Contemplating cute squirrel homicide, Ruth!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sugar Rush

My inlaws came into town yesterday. I didn't tell the boys because I wanted it to be a surprise. They were pretty mellow about it. The inlaws were pretty mellow about the mohawk. (Apparently, I was the only one surprised! By the reactions, that is.)

I'm super-lucky. In many ways, but today I'm talking about inlaw ways. When we lived in Tucson, Dave's parents (DP) were the primary care-givers for the boys. (When we needed care-givers. With my job as a massage therapist, I only worked 1-5 hours a day, 3-4 days a week!) Also, Dave's mom cooked for us at least 4 nights a week, we had dinner at their house every Sunday, and when they sat with the kids at our house, she'd clean the kitchen and even do some laundry! We never bought laundry soap and didn't buy diapers for about 6 months before we moved to CO. We miss them.

And they miss us. Or at least the boys! They are planning on moving out here this summer. They decided to visit for the boys' birthdays. Dave's mom expresses her love through food. She's really good at it. I lost almost ten pounds when we moved out here in Nov. They visited us for Christmas and I gained it all back. When they showed up yesterday, she had 3 sacks of groceries in the trunk of the car. I say groceries but it was all junk food. Here's some hi-lites:
A 3 pound sack of peanut m&ms's; 2 bags of cheetos and one of fritos; two plastic tins of chocolate covered pretzels and another 3 pound bag of Hershey chocolate covered pretzels; 2 bags of marshmallows; 2 bags of suckers; a bag of Oreos (my biggest weakness); 3 dozen of her awesome homemade chocolate chip cookies.... I'd go on but I'm getting fatter just thinking about it!

And her cooking! It's the best! I already had dinner planned for last night (meatloaf) but tonite she's making her fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Again, she makes the best fried chicken gravy I've ever had! (I thought my mom and grandma were good cooks! She's better!) They are going to be here for about a month. sigh. At least our house will be really, really clean!

I love them and can't wait for them to move here. I'm just going to have to exercise more. sigh.

Here's a tip for Tippa Tuesday:

The first time I had to knit handles for a felted bag, the instructions said to cast on 11 stitches, and knit for 26". I know me. I don't see me knitting something for 26". And then doing it again. (That's probably why I've put off learning to knit socks for so long!)

This is when I discovered knitting two things at once. You cast on for the first with one ball and then for the second with a second ball. That way you are doing the 26" (or whatever) twice, but only once. Get it?

I find this most helpful with sleeves. This will also ensure your sleeves are the same length/gauge. I also do this with the front/backs of sweaters when the pattern says, "Knit front same as back". When it says, "Knit front same as back until..." then I knit them at the same time until it calls for the change. I slip one on some waste yarn, finish the other, then finish the one on the waste yarn.

To keep from getting the balls tangled, I either sit with a ball on each side or I sometimes put them in ziploc bags (if I'm going to travel with them) and put a bag on each side. It can get a little fiddly, (whenever I have to stop and then when I go back to it, it takes a minute or two to sort out which ball for which piece) but for me, it's totally worth it to not have to do big (or long) pieces twice.

I also mark each piece with a separate colored marker and either write it down or just remember (blue for back, red for front - that sort of thing). And I slip the markers onto the "right" side of the piece. That way, I know just by looking at it, what I'm doing (in theory).

Going for a walk, Ruth!

Monday, May 7, 2007

More Tennis Balls and a Mohawk

First off, let me say, I love to write but it is truly amazing what some people can do with a pencil. Or two. Check out her home page for amazing sculptures.
We gave the boys haircuts yesterday, in anticipation of Dave's parents coming into town today. Trev wanted something a little different. Something he saw on the cashier boy at Target.
This haircut has given him a little attitude already...
Just kidding.
On to Massage Monday.
Today we have more tennis ball shenanigans. Take the ball we talked about last week and use it on your back, in your chair. Lean back in your chair, put the ball just behind your shoulder next to your spine. Lean into the ball. Lean forward and let it drop a bit, lean back into it. Rinse, repeat. When you've worked the ball all the way down, pull it out and do the same thing to the other side. You can be subtle about this, you don't have to do the Janet Jackson roll or anything. This is a fantastic thing to try in the car. It's relatively hands free and feels great. I used to do this every night in the car on my way home from working on other people at the spa. I especially like it in the lower back area. So. Good.
That's it!
I gotta tell y'all about this joke Dave played on me last night. A few days ago, he was shirtless, looking in the fridge, and smartin' off. I was washing dishes so I flicked water at his bare back. OK, last night, the kids were in bed and we were deciding what movie to watch and since I was in the kitchen he asked if I could rinse his glass and bring it to him. I sighed and took it to the sink, emptied the glass and turned on the faucet to rinse it. I stood there for a few seconds thinking, "WTF, why am I getting wet?" That rat-fink husband of mine had put a rubber band over the handle of the high pressure sink sprayer. I stood there like an idiot and got soaked! When it finally dawned on me what was happening, I didn't even turn it off, I just walked away. The rubber band popped off and the main faucet was just running after that.
We laughed our asses off! We laughed so hard that I actually snort laughed. Twice. I kept saying, "You are SO dead!" He said it was payback for flicking cold water on his bare skin a few days ago. Whatever! That is so not the same! I was completely soaked. (BTW, this prank was brought to you courtesy of AFV. Some woman got her husband with this joke. Three times. The husband in the video was pissed and I always thought it was hilarious!) Dave said he'd set it up a couple of hours earlier and once, when getting Trev water, he forgot it was there and squirted himself a little! (That's when I did the second snort laugh.)
We are so lame!
Any ideas for getting back at him?
Plotting my revenge, Ruth!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Baby Story #2

This is going to be a my-family oriented post with too much info here and there. If you're just here for the knitting, I've posted an update of things here.

Still here? Get a snack and have a seat...

Today is my baby's birthday. He turns 4! I can't believe he's been here for four years already and at the same time, I can't remember life without him.


His name is Davis Emmett M. His middle name is the same as my FIL and Dave didn't like it but since he got to name the first boy and the name he chose for that, well, I decided this one gets a family name!

We wanted at least one of each, preferably first a boy, then a girl. Maybe 3 kids. We had all the names picked out before we even got married! We had a deal, Dave gets to name the first boy, I'd name the first girl, then we'd switch. The other person had right of veto. We got married April 22, 2000 and we had these intense little negotiations about when to start making the kids. We were both 30 (D. was almost 31) when we got married. D.'s parents were 40 when they had him and he wanted to get started right away. I wanted to wait awhile, at least a year! We went back and forth and finally decided on starting that August. We figured I'd be due at the beginning of summer and that'd be perfect for several reasons...

a) who the hell wants to be pregnant in summer?? Especially in the Tucson desert?

b) summer was the slow season at the spa and I could take the time off no problem

c) I'd get to be a practice client at the massage school for the prenatal massage class! (Score!)

OK, so we were super lucky that both times we wanted to get pregnant - BAM - good to go first try. We wanted our second child to be two years after our first and August worked so well the first time, we gave it a go the second time around.

This pregnancy wasn't as easy as the first and I ballooned up like crazy. I'm only 5'2" and I topped out at 198 pounds at the end! During the sonogram, I couldn't take it and said, "Just tell me." Another boy. Initially, we were both a little disappointed but quickly got over it. (When I really sat down and thought about it, the only reason I wanted a girl was because, who else was I going to pass all my crap down too?) Then my FIL told us that his sister (Dave's aunt) was the first girl in their family in one hundred years!! And there's only been one since her. If we did go for the third kid, we'd just have another boy anyway! So we decided we were done after this one.

Didn't have any cravings with this pregnancy until I was 7 months along. I was at a party to watch the last episode of one of The Bachelor. We were at a woman's house that has a Martha Stewart flair and she had quite a spread out! There was a huge pile of roast beef next to a bowl of soft rolls and a bowl of horseradish. I made a little sandwich with the meat and sauce. Then I had two (or three, four maybe?) more with just the bread and horseradish! I had horseradish every day til I gave birth. I still love it and recently found this at Safeway.
Horseradish and cheese? Heaven!
With this birth, we decided to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). I started labor on a Friday morning and finally had him on Sunday night. (little rat!) It was very - start, here we go, psych. Sunday evening, I'd finally had enough and went to the hospital and told them to check me in. When we first got to our birthing room, I had the nurse check me and she told me I was only 3 cm dilated. "WHAT?" Then she strapped me to some monitors, put a wedge behind my back and left. The pain was too much. I told Dave I didn't think I could do it. (We had talked about going natural. Either way, I wasn't going to do an epidural until I was at least 6 cm. Statistically, if you do it before that, you triple your chances of emergency c-section.)
5 minutes later, I got the nurse that was going to help the midwife for the birth, Beth. She had me get on my knees on the bed and face the headboard. Wow, 80% less pain, instantly. (Why didn't that other wench tell me that? Maybe because I yelled at her?) Karen, the midwife, showed up shortly thereafter.
We spent the next 2 hours changing positions and trying to keep comfortable (yeah, right). When we got to 6cm dilation I gave up, "OK, epidural." Karen said, "It's going too fast, there's no time." A couple of minutes later, she left the room to get some paperwork and I asked Beth (the not-midwife nurse),"OK, seriously, Beth. Is she just saying that because she's a midwife and doesn't want me to do it?" Beth assured me it was going too fast. Damn! (Funny though, because when Karen got there and had checked me out, she told Dave that we were going to be here all night! Smart woman told him while I was in the bathroom.) Karen did give me a shot of something that made me feel very drunk for about 30 minutes. It really helped, broke the pain cycle and took the edge off.
So two hours of serious labor, 20 minutes of pushing and we had ourselves a baby!
See the horns? Just kidding.
Of course the one with the big head comes out the normal way.
After we moved to our regular hospital room, I sent Dave home. They had a pullout couch in the room but Dave's 6'1" and I knew the nurses would be in every two hours or so. (BTW, Trev was staying with the grandparents at our house and we'd spent the past two days at their house which was a 3 min. drive from the hospital.)
When we first got to our room, a very nice nurse came in to see if we were settled and asked, "Are you comfortable? Can I get you a sangwich?" (That's not a typo) We assured her we were fine.
When you have a baby, you have no control over your bladder. I wet the bed. Embarrassing! I buzzed for a nurse and as usual, they call back over the intercom instead of just coming in, "What do you need?" I didn't want to say, figured all the other nurses were there within hearing distance, so I said, "I, uh, made a mess." "OK, we'll be right there." A different nurse from the "sangwich" nurse came in. This one had her hair and makeup all done perfect and pretty - looked like a china doll. She helped me to the bathroom, cleaned me up, cleaned the bed up and when I was getting back into the bed... I had one leg on the bed, one on the floor with the lovely open-backed hospital gown when this woman (who is standing behind me at the time) says, "You have very pretty eyes." I just had a baby and was a little loopy and tired and for a second, thought she was talking about the baby's eyes. "What did you say?", I asked. "You have very pretty eyes." All I could think was, 'You're not looking at my eyes.' "Thanks," I said, "You have very pretty.... hair." 'Weird and uncomfortable,' I thought, 'Can I just have my sangwich now?' Was that weird or was it just me?
So Davis. He's our serious one. He's friendly and laughs like crazy and loves to meet people but he has a serious side the other one just doesn't have. He's a smart little kid. He's the best at coming up with names for his "friends". We got him a stuffed dinosaur for xmas '05. (Looked all over town for one. They are impossible to find. Everything was too big or too hard. Dave found a perfect one for $5 on xmas eve. At Walgreens!) We asked him what he was going to name it. At 2 1/2, he said, "Peto Rex". We call him Peto. He also has little teddy bears, one's named Junior, the other is Freckles. And a stuffed bulldog named Otto.
Ever since he was 2 years old, people have commented on how well he speaks. However, he also has his own little language he made up. He resorts to it when he's feeling silly and when he doesn't want to talk to/answer you. He's terribly independent and our little daredevil. Once, on a trip, we had him in the pool (he was about 18 months old). I was holding his sides while he held on to the edge with his hands and pushed off the pool wall with his feet. He kept insisting I let him go, that he could do it himself. I had to keep reminding him... "You don't know how to swim." Finally, I just put my hand under his swim diaper where he couldn't feel it. Then he turns around and said, "SEE?!" Yes, I see.
If I had to guess a career from his personality, I'd have to say engineer. He will stay with something until. He. Has. Figured. It. Out. He's rather mechanically inclined and it's too cute to see his brow all knitted up while he learns something. He loves to have his picture taken but always wants to frown when we take it. He had a babysitter who was an excellent artist. Once, she wanted to draw the boys as safari guys in a jungle. She told Trev to smile and drew him up, she told Davis to smile and he said, "No. I want you to draw me mad." She did!
Here's a pic of him showing me his latest owies.
Trev's a carbon copy of me. Looks, personality, everything. Davis is Dave. He's a little instigator, a daredevil and a bit more reticent then his older brother. But a sweeter, funnier little kid doesn't exist.
Happy Birthday Davis. Looking forward to the rest, Mommy

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Tasty Links

Chris over at Stumbling Over Chaos always has the line on blog contests.

Trek is having a contest to gather ideas for summer activities for kids. Her goal is 145 comments for one post - help her out!

The Mother's Day Project - check it out. It's not at all commercial like it sounds and I've joined, so should you!

Speaking of Mother's Day Projects. I'm putting everything aside (shocker) to crank out a shawl for my mom. Her husband of almost 20 years just died last Friday. He's been buying time from cancer for two years. I will post details of what I'm making later, she sometimes reads this.

Also, the new Magknits is up. Very cute sweater there! They usually have a new issue every month but skipped April for some reason. Also, the surprise at knitty is up.

My other favorite place to go for free knitting patterns is knittingpatterncentral.com and the garnstudio site.

Favorite free crochet patterns here. Favorite crochet e-zine here.

Another free e-zine that's craft-oriented and just cool is here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Gratitude

OK, not much sleep last nite. Again. Here's a little ditty I've been pondering over since I started this blog.

Giving thanks where it is due.

First and foremost, I want to thank Lisa L. for teaching me to knit. And purl. And bind off. And thanks to Tracy (the guru) for putting up with my idea of a lesson (I want to learn this, this, and this. OK, GO!)

I'd like to thank all the people who've read my blog and taken the time to comment. I've been told about something called Haloscan where you can get emails so you can thank them personally but I haven't had time to figure it out yet.

I want to thank Rachel, my friend here in CO. She is there when I need to talk and understands the yarn obsession so doesn't get too bored with that. And recently, she took the boys and her daughter (Morgan) to an Earth Day event at the museum so Dave and I could have a date on our anniversary. Here's a couple of pic's of the boys when they came home and a copy of the email she sent me later telling me what a good time they had.

"I keep thinking of Davis and I'm cracking up. He was so funny yesterday--the child had a BLAST! We're at the reptile demonstration thing and it's pretty much over, all the kids are petting the snakes and the lizard. Davie is down on his knees next to the lady with the lizard and she is telling him that the lizard is real. He points to the lizard's cheek, "Okay, but this is fake." Lady says, "No. That's real." So Davis points to the leg, "Well, is this fake?" Lady says, "Nope, that's real, too." Davis points to the other leg, "Well how about this part...is this part fake?" This went on and on for about 10 minutes. The lady was cracking up.

I have a good one for Trevor, too. We're on on way home and Morgan is whining for food, "I'm so hungry...my head hurts and I'm hungry...I need food...I'm so hungry!" Trevor turns to Morgan and says, "You know, if you head hurts real bad, you could die!" All in all, a good time was had by all...and Morgan did not die. " - Rachel's email.

I will express my gratitude through food. If you were all here, I'd even serve it to you!

I call this recipe Bunko Pasta. I was in a bunko group for about a year. In that year, this is the only truly memorable dish that was served. It is not figure friendly or terribly time efficient but it is. So. Tasty. It also makes enough to feed a small army, but you can easily halve the recipe.

Bunko Pasta

1 lb. penne pasta (cooked), 2 jars pasta sauce, 1 onion (chopped and sauteed), 1 lb. Italian sausage (we use sweet/mild) cooked, 6 oz. Provolone (sliced), 1 1/2 cups sour cream, 6 oz. shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan.

Combine sauce, onion and sausage and warm (I cook the sausage and onion at the same time, then drain). In 9 X 13" pan baking dish, layer: 1/2 pasta, all the provolone, spread w/sour cream, 1/2 the sauce mixture, rest of the pasta, the mozzarella, rest of the sauce, top w/parmesan. Bake 30 minutes (covered) at 350 degrees.

Enjoy!

Here's some other tidbits. If you are even remotely in the area, the Purls on Oracle in Tucson is closing. Here's the details of the sale:

Sale begins April 30th at the Oracle Store ONLY!
Look for HUGE Reductions
Single patterns $1.00
Magazines 50% off
Pattern Books 50% off

4/30 - 5/5 = 25% OFF
5/7 - 5/12 = 30% OFF
5/14 - 5/19 = 35% OFF
5/21 - 5/26 = 40% OFF
As of 5/28 everything will be 50% OFF

ALL SALES WILL BE FINAL!
Oracle stock ONLY!
No store transfers.
No Special Orders.
All merchandise in "as is" condition.
No "hold" or layaways.

Pretty sweet, no? If you are making a day trip of it and want a list of amazing restaurants, let me know!

Here's my last tidbits. These are links to the news items about the Yarn Harlot's trip to Denver.

News item I'm in the 44th second of the video, on the far left. And here's her interview.

Ever thankful, Ruth!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Swatch Marking

I'm swatching some Garnstudio Drops Alpaca to make the Ogee Tunic from Knitting Nature.




It calls for 23 sts = 4" on size US 4 ndls. It's a slippery yarn on the addi turbos so I'm death-gripping it and am up to size 6... still not getting gauge. As I go up a needle size, I separate and mark as follows...

Started with 4's, switch to US 5, knit one row, next row, knit 5, (yo, k2tog, knit 2) 5 times, knit across, knit one more row. Next row, start gauge pattern for more swatching.


Next section, switch to US 6, knit one row, knit 5, (YO, k2tog, knit 2) 6 times, knit rest of row. Knit another row. Next row, re-establish swatch pattern.


Rinse, repeat. This way you can tell which needle you used in which section without having to use any markers. If you get up to double digits (say US 10), then do two rows with the YO's till you get the number of holes you need.

The problem with this tip is if you're using the metric system. I've got no solution. Except for reverting back to some sort of marker (pinning a piece of paper to it?) or writing your results in a notebook.

Bonus tip: The Garnstudio site has hundreds of free patterns. Knitting and crochet!

In other news, I got the first pattern for the Sockamania Knitalong! Very exciting! Of course, my printer isn't working. I've spent the past hour "trouble-shooting". After I take T to school and put D down for his nap, I'm going to call the HP people. (sigh)

Before I sign off, I want to mention a couple more knitting sightings. These were on TV. Last nite's Deal or No Deal had a 19 year old tennis player and her family was there for support. Did anyone else notice the mom's sweater? I told Dave, "I bet she made that." He bets she didn't. It was really pretty!

The other sighting is from Season 3 of The Shield. The show is actually in season 6 but I've been renting the previous seasons from the library. If you haven't seen this show, I recommend it, but only if you have a strong stomach. It's pretty brutal and graphic with the violence. It's about a "corrupt-cop-with-a-heart-of-gold" kind of thing. In season 3, there's a dog handler that the main character (Vic) hooks up with. When they first show her, she's wearing a pretty sweater. The other times they show her, she's wearing this beautifully knit, longish, shawl-collared, wrap cardigan. It's grey and you see it in several of season 3's episodes. Gorgeous!

Still swatching, Ruth!