Friday, February 26, 2010

a moment with the monkey

There's been a huge lack of pictures of the monkey on here-mostly cos once we moved back here I used to see her all the time and the novelty of spending time with her wore off. Now that there has been marital strife (to put it politely!) going on within her family, when I do see her, it's usually when her dad is around so I don't get to have time with her on my own-at least not as much. I miss it! She spent the night a few days ago and she wanted to play with me (but it was 11 o'clock at night!) and though I was game to play with her (lol) hubby wasn't interested. :(
Here she is grinding coffee for me. lol. We got the grinder when my MIL passed away. Apparently she had been saving it for my husband. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

first signs of spring

After a night of heavy rain, here's what I woke up to this morning!
the first tulip of the season!

our first California poppy of the season!

though not the first daffodil I've seen from our garden, it's definitely currently the happiest one.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

For Robyn

Well, I finally got it to work! Granted it took me having to be at Starbucks to do it (and on high speed internet no less), but here I am blogging from windows live writer. :) It was definitely the dial-up keeping live writer from working at home.  I’m so bummed I don’t have any pics to post with me. Oh well. Maybe next time. I do have another finish to boast about though. I finished my pair of crack socks (finally) and actually went to bed with them on.
They are fabulous! When we get home I’m going to block them and maybe I’ll be able to get a decent shot of them. I brought my mom’s shawl to work on and it’s going to be painful. Just working on two rows made my wrist hurt. It’s going to take forever. I was hoping I’d be okay and my wrist wouldn’t feel a thing but I was mistaken. I was knitting slowly too. Sigh…might have to work on either the cable scarf or gust for now. Later I’m going to go through my queue on ravelry to see what patterns I might want to work on this year so I can keep an eye out for the right yarn while I’m at Stitches later this week!
It’s raining here. After a nice, beautiful day yesterday, the rain has returned. It has also been chilly the last few nights so this storm is coming from the north. This is off topic but have you seen the Tazo tea bags lately?? I still have really old tea bags at home compared to the one I received today.
It’s beautiful. I’m going to save it just so I can take a picture of it to share with all of you. I tried to google an image of them but couldn’t find one worthy enough.
Today I have learned that I am definitely a Mac person (at least when it comes to laptops). We had to get the hubby a new laptop for work purposes (our Mac wasn't opening certain windows-based documents) so I'm here trying it out and I have to say, I miss Sylvia (our MacBook). First of all, she's lighter. The keyboard isn't so big..and the touchpad is easier for me to use. Creature of habit, you say? I'm not ashamed. It'll just take some getting used to but this is something I don't want to get used to!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

busy knitter

I guess all it took was the lenten season for me to get my butt in gear with those current works in progress! I finished the second habitat hat on Friday!
It was a reminder of why I don't enjoy knitting patterns a second time. It wasn't as fun the second time around. It was actually a bit of a drag. Once I got through the tricky cable sections though, it was smooth sailing.
The pictures are unblocked. It's just about completely blocked and will eventually be on its way to Portland, Oregon.
I had been busily working on my crack sock but gave myself an involuntary break yesterday on account of my SIL needing to chat with me and I needed to find the screws to put my bed frame together (more on that later!).
I've gotten to the heel. I was determined to at least get to that part on Friday and I did! I think once I finish the crack sock I might dust off my mom's shawl and work on it. I know secretly she's wondering why I haven't finished it yet. Little does she know that it's been a pain in a half because it's fingering weight!! It's going to take forever and that's why I set it aside. Plus my wrist was getting too overworked from it. I've got the next 35 days to attempt to finish it. I still have gust and there's that scarf I started for my husband too. I have to tell you, I don't like the pattern. I was hoping it'd grow on me but it really hasn't. Maybe once I knock out a couple more projects, I'll have to finish it and there won't be any excuses!
There is still major drama going on with my brother and his family. We don't get to see the monkey as much as we had been because of it. Hence the lack of pictures. The time that we do get to see her, isn't to ourselves either and because of that, she's different. She's not the monkey that we know. The monkey we know is goofy and in my eyes comfortable in her 3 year old skin. The monkey we're forced to see is doubtful, whiney, and needy. Sigh..
I haven't been blogging as much this week because the hubby and I have been busy trying to work on our insurance situation. I think it is safe to say that we just might be okay and won't be living in anymore debt than we already have!
I have been reading Eat, Pray, Love and I really like it. The hubby admitted to reading a bit of it over my shoulder a couple of times and he likes it too. I told him I'll have to purchase him a copy of our own because he doesn't read as fast as I do! I'm just a few pages shy of completing Book 1. 
Did I tell you that we ended up watching Time Traveler's Wife after all? I absolutely loved the movie! Did you know that Brad Pitt was actually one of the executive producers? I've only read about the first 20 or so pages and I can say that the movie actually begins the way the book does. I can't wait to read it now but I know it's got a long wait!
Some exciting knitter news..this Thursday Stitches West begins and the hubby and I will be going to the marketplace for the first time ever! We're excited. I just purchased tickets for us to go on two days. We're gonna go on Friday and Sunday. I read somewhere that Sunday is the best day to go for all the deals. I didn't want to wait until the last day to go though so that is why we're going twice. I hope we're not disappointed! Oh my word. I started clicking around the Stitches site and there's a schematic (and a list) of all the booths. It is going to be a dangerous place. Let's see how bad (or good..depends on how you see things!) I do with purchases. I don't plan on really buying anything but you never know what I might find. There isn't anything that I can think of (yarn-wise) that I would need. I can think of a lot of accessories and knick-knacky stuff though. Maybe patterns but we'll see. There will be a couple of button booths and the hubby is obsessed with buttons. The great thing is that parking is FREE!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

lenten season

Well, as all you good Christians know, Ash Wednesday was yesterday (I learned that Joe Biden is a practicing Catholic!) and so began the Lenten season. My sister has decided to give up tv watching. I laughed. This girl doesn't just watch tv on her tv but she also watches it on dvd and on her computer screen. I told her hat if she is going to give up tv watching, then that basically means she is giving all watching of anything on a screen. She freaked. I'm sure she's going to just stick with cutting down on the tv watching for the next 40 days. We'll see how she does. This year, I'm actually partaking in giving something up. It's been a while since I've done this but I felt compelled this year.
So over the course of the next 39 days (since I didn't post yesterday!) I plan to complete as many of my current works in progress before starting anything new. I'm sort of getting sick of looking at said current works in my basket-namely gust and habitat!
Though after the deluge of finished projects over the last few weeks, I couldn't help but feel burnt out from all that knitting. Yesterday was a bad day that I don't want to relive. But guess what helped make me forget the badness? Knitting. Before I went to bed, I was knitting. On our way to our destination this morning, I was knitting. Must. finish. old projects! I've gotta focus on something, right?
I also started a journal last night. I plan to keep up with that for the next 40 days and then some.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Weekend

Well, I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day/President's Day weekend! I baked some cookies Friday night in honor of Valentine's Day.
There is still quite a few. They haven't been all been eaten up just yet!
My sister arrived Friday night and just left a lil while ago. It's always a busy time when she's here and I'm usually away from the computer when she's in town but storing everything I want to talk about here (in my head).
The hubby and I went to see Valentine's Day yesterday. It was really cute.  Last night, we went with my mom and my sister to see The Blind Side (finally!) and that was really good as well. How I miss going to the movies!
We got to see the monkey for a bit. She has been lil sick and I was worried that she'd get sicker while we had her in our care so I suggested we take her back to her mom's house. I didn't want to be responsible for her having got a fever while we were out and about. Plus, my sister didn't enjoy having to chase the kid all around Target as she (the monkey) went in search of me!
Today I watched Sunshine Cleaning which my sister had brought for us to watch. My mom had watched it already and said it was depressing but I didn't think so. I thought it was pretty good. I received Time Traveler's Wife for Valentine's Day and I so want to watch it but I haven't finished reading the book yet! I keep thinking that maybe if I watched the movie, it would make me want to read the book more. We'll see who wins.
While my sister was here, I was able to get better shots of blood, sweat, and tears

and my leafy greens.
I finished my brennan cowl too (just in time) but have yet to get a modeled shot of it. Soon though! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

brennan & books

I finally got around to getting a decent shot of my brennan cowl.
It's slow goings.I've been devoting my time to reading or catching up on my internet life. It'll be a miracle if it's finished and blocked by Sunday! I finished Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers yesterday and started Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. A pen pal had recommended Mary Poppins so I thought why not. It was really good. It made me want to watch the movie again as it's been ages since I've seen it. My only regret is the library doesn't have the next book in the series!
As for Love, Stargirl, I read Stargirl when I was student teaching. The only thing that would ever bring me to teach older kids would be the great literature out there for them. I knew that a second book had been released but didn't have the time to read it. I stumbled upon it while at the library this past weekend. It's basically a long letter. I happen to be a fan of books that are written in letter/email format. I'm about 75 pages from completion! I still have that Farmer book waiting for me. But I also checked out a bunch of other faster reads that I might skip to. Oh, and I checked out Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy! I also wanted to finally read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides but with Anna Karenina on my plate, it's completely full for now. We'll see how I do with it. It may be the longest book I have attempted to read. The longest book I've read that I can think of was East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
When I was in high school and into my first two years of college, I always tried to spend my summers reading classic novels. One summer I did all Shakespeare plays. I want to go back to trying to read all of the appealing classic novels. Do you reread books? I don't. Though there are some books that I would reread but there are so many other books out there yet to be discovered!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday Breakfast

Yesterday, my husband (with the one bandaged finger on his right hand, and the bandaged left hand) decided to make me breakfast.
Notice anything peculiar? Like the blue tinged bread?? He's still sort of getting used to where things are in my parents' kitchen. He thought he was grabbing vanilla but it ended up being blue food coloring. So instead of green eggs and ham he said he made me eggs and blue french toast.  He ended up eating most of it. I couldn't do it. I thought my teeth were going to turn blue. I had a teeny bit of them though. So here they are for posterity!
Today, I did a bad thing. I wound chocolate cherries. She is so stunning.
Of course I ended up casting on for brennan like I was trying to keep myself from doing by not winding the yarn! Oh well. Can I tell you that I love Claudia's Handpainted Yarn? I wasn't aware of it's loveliness. It is SO soft! Maybe I'll get it done in time for Valentine's Day and it'll be my gift to my hubby. :) Pictures tomorrow. I had bad timing. I couldn't stop knitting! Plus I was watching this bad movie on Lifetime Movie Network. haha.
Ohh, have you seen this yet? Sooooo freakin' cool! :) Had to share. I want one for myself!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

the big finish!

I finished up my blood, sweat, and tears shawl in the wee hours of the morning on Friday. It is stunning. I'm not a fan of garter stitch and I've done one too many projects as of late that heavily relied on garter stitch but this shawl is a thing of beauty.
And I have to say that it's the garter stitch that makes the design within the pattern stand out.
Earlier in the week I cast on for a scarf for my husband from this book.
He is the easiest person to knit for (other than myself!) because he loves and appreciates everything that I make for him. He's been in need of some new accessories since it's a tad colder around these parts than it was in LA!
We were going through my yarn bins yesterday afternoon to see if there was anything I could part with and we only turned up one skein so we're going to just keep it! lol. In the midst of our scavenging, I showed him my lone skein of chocolate cherries.
It has become earmarked for something for him. He wanted a new pair of mitts but I saw brennan and knew that it was meant for him. I've resisted the urge to cast on. But I so wanted to at least wind the yarn so it'd be ready!
I've been trying to finish the projects I've got going. Lately, I've been focusing on gust.
I'm definitely going to make it longer than the pattern calls for. I have found that the knitspot scarves are a bit too short for my liking. I don't want to make it super long (like I usually do with scarves!) so I'm hoping to make it in-between what the pattern calls for (24 repeats) and what might be considered too long. I think I'm at the halfway mark for a suitable length for myself. I'm at 20 repeats.
Once I'm finished with gust, I don't know what I'll want to work on next. There's still the hat to finish, my second crack sock, and my mom's shawl! Sheesh. I'm thinking I may have to pick up the hat again soon since my best friend will be coming into town in the next couple of weeks. I'd rather give it to him than have to mail it!
Aside from the knitting, there's been reading. I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett which I absolutely loved! It was so good and possibly one of the best books I've read so far this year. I then moved on to read The Letters of Frida Kahlo: Cartas Apasionadas which was a pretty quick read. I was a bit disappointed with it though. I would've liked to have read some of the response letters written back to Frida's letters. So to me, the book was a bit one-sided. I gave up on the Malcolm Gladwell books. Today, I started Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Harvesting Legacies from the Land by David Mas Masumoto. I first heard about it in Reader's Digest! There was an excerpt in Reader's Digest over the summer and I really liked it. So far so good. Here I thought non-fic wasn't my thing but yet, I was able to read The Letters..without a problem and I'm now reading the Masumoto book without trouble. Maybe it's just Malcolm Gladwell. :o The Masumoto book, to me, is a son reflecting on his history and how it affects his present and his future. He's a very good writer. I might have to check out his previous books.
Life-wise, I finally did the taxes today. We are sort of adjusting to my brother living here. Though he's rarely ever actually home. He is definitely still a kid and might actually stay one for the time being. I didn't hear back from the woman I interviewed with on Monday for the preschool director position. Guess it wasn't meant to be after all. There was another trip to the ER but all is well. Just sort of a false alarm. It's been raining a bit and it's been cold! The monkey still has moments of normalcy (though they're not when she's around her dad). The folks have sort of settled down. Though there's still the business of figuring out where my brother is going to keep his crap and since he's rarely here, we have to deal with it all (but I just ignore it!!). My parents are incapable of ignoring the piles. **I'll have to remember this for when I have children and they possibly move back into my house. The hubby's finger is getting better and we're starting to settle in too.

Monday, February 1, 2010

interview # who knows what..

We just got back from the interview (plus a bunch of other errands). I finally found a sort of local place that has whole wheat pizza dough (which Robyn turned me onto!). I remember seeing this restaurant in LA but we didn't ever try it. The pizza is yummy..and the salads are delish!
As for the interview, it wasn't really an interview. She gave me a tour of the proposed preschool site (which is still undergoing construction). It was very exciting to get a tour of the place before any furniture was put in or ordered. It was easy to envision what the place was going to look like once the flooring was put in, cubbies put in, etc. Then she took me to her house (hubby dropped me off and she only lives a few minutes away from the site) and we just chatted. She gave me the philosophy of the school and before I could even finish reading it, I asked when she was going to hire me! lol. Oh, I got to meet her fiance while I was receiving the tour of the place. He met us back at the house and came in during the sit down conversation and said something to the effect of, "This is the one!" (meaning me). It was both refreshing and amazing to speak with a woman who pretty much had the same vision of what a preschool should be like. She has no education background at all and is looking to hire a director who has the education background she is lacking. She would cover the business end and honestly, I would want someone to walk me through the business end of things. I remember when I took the course in Administration of Early Childhood Programs and all the budgeting, etc. was so overwhelming for me. I'm sure if it was done with someone else (particularly one who was a bit more business savvy than myself) it'd be much easier to conquer. I'll be meeting up with her daughter soon and she's hoping to hire by the end of the week because she has loads of paperwork that needs to get filed the day after Valentine's Day. If anything, I would just love to help her get the school ready. Something that I have yet to share here is that I've always had a deep love for preschool. It's where I got my start in the world of education and when I went back to school to get both my teaching credential and my master's degree, I went in wanting to walk out designing high quality preschool programs. So should I get this position, I'd finally be leaving one of my dreams.
I'm a firm believer in people being put in your path for a particular reason and the woman I met with today was very inspiring. When I go on these interviews, that's sort of what I look for--someone who is inspiring because that is who I want to work with not someone who isn't passionate about what they do.
Aside from the interview, things have been mostly status quo. The folks have let up a bit but it isn't helping that they have sort of regressed in regards to my brother. My mom freakin' did his laundry yesterday (only because my dad told her she had to!). She also started to take my sister's clothes out of the closet so my brother has somewhere to hang his clothes up. She also brought up the whole 'needing to share' crap again. I retorted back with if I need to share, what about all the crap he left that I have to deal with? I can't wait for us to have our own space again! I also can't wait to have a job again..