Monday, July 31, 2006


Friday was knitting night at B&N. As we were leaving, we noticed this. It was right next to The Idiot's Guide to Boating and Sailing. Hmmm, which one would you choose? There was a guide to Dating as well. We felt they should have been a matched set. (And note, it's not just plain regular, but Amazing.) It was the source of much hilarity.

I'm still knitting on Grey Socks II, I just turned the heel this morning and am on the gusset of sock #2 of the pair.

But I spent this evening making this:
Which will eventually become the bracelet on the right here. (I'll probably do the earrings, though too.) I caved, and bought a couple of books on jewelry making (both wire and wire and beads) this weekend with the gift certificate I got for my birthday. I'm enamored. (Look! It's shiny!) And I don't even wear jewelry. (Really, not at all.) I've been putting off the siren call of the beads for years, now; but it was finally just all too much for me. I'm weak.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Power of Worrying

Well, as a testament to the power of obsessively worrying about things -- both of the Sons are OK. Older Son made it to his picture taking with all of his accoutrements and then back again (hmmm, I still have to check on the current state of the accoutrements) and Younger Son has [almost] survived his first week of boating camp, and successfully completed the kayaking portion of the camp. Just one day and one week left to go! Whew, this worrying is wearing me out. Wish it would burn more calories, though.

My shoulder is still painful. I realized today that what the doctor was pussyfooting around and not really saying was that the pain was going to get worse before it got better. (He did say improvement in two weeks, though.) I can't wait. I keep looking at my fiber and thinking of spinning, but I'm afraid that it's going to hurt so I'm not risking it yet.

This is two days' commutes. Speaking of commutes, and since we're kinda on an insect thing here....There was a woman on the bus today who had a spider crawling around on her head. Not a huge spider, but not teeny tiny, either. She was sitting directly across from me, but there was someone standing between us in the aisle, so there was no way for me to get her attention discreetly, or even reach over and flick it off her. All I could do was watch helplessly while it climbed through her hair. Once it climbed down her bangs and dropped almost to her lap (she was dosing, with her eyes closed) and I thought it would just drop down and scurry off, but no -- it climbed right back up into her hair. Finally the guy next to her noticed, and flicked it, but that didn't work. Eventually it disappeared, I think it climbed down the back of her seat. Ewwww, I'm still feeling kinda creepy just thinking about it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ant War!

There was an ant war in my yard today. We had to take Older Son out to pick up his suit so he was ready for his pictures tomorrow, and when we walked out to the yard we saw thousands of ants boiling out of the ground. It seemed (to us, at least) that they were fighting. The victors (presumably) trailed off in a column to the other side of the yard, carrying little ant larvae with them. They were still at it (but not as vigorously) when we got home three hours later. Dave took a picture, but didn't send it to me, so I can't show it. (I told you blogging required fast action, Dave! There goes your chance of a by-line.)

OS has his suit, and I'm laundering his other clothes, so he will be ready for his senior pictures tomorrow. Three outfits, one of which will include the Birthday Sweater. I went out today and got him the perfect shirt (IMHO) to wear underneath it. I'm hoping it will turn out ok! Keep your fingers crossed. He says he's not going to smile, but as far as I'm concerned, that's the photographer's problem.

After we picked up the suit, we went to Half Priced Books.
I got this book for $4. For that price, I figured I didn't have much to lose. It looks like it's fairly decent, and bobbin lace is something I've been interested in learning for awhile. Now I just have to gather up some bobbins, a pillow, and some pins....

And finally, this is how long my daily commute is:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Diagnosis Is...

I saw the orthopedist today and he said I was "easy". (Dave says now I have a professional opinion on that.) And that was before I flashed him my belly while trying to lift my arm over my head! He says I have a "Frozen Shoulder". But here's the best part -- NO ONE KNOWS what causes it. It's one of those things that make orthopedists scratch their heads and wonder. I do have a risk factor in that I'm a woman (it's twice as likely to happen in women) and I'm over 40. But you know what I really mean - IT'S NOT CAUSED BY KNITTING! Woo HOO! I don't have to give up knitting! Happy, happy! The doctor said it would go away on its own in oh, about two years (yep, I said years). But we're going to do some things to hurry that along a bit. I got a magic shot (cortizone) in my shoulder today, and a stronger anti-inflammatory than the Alleve I've been taking, and I get to go to PT. Yeah, baby! I'm gonna pick me out a real hottie to work with me! And the doctor says we're talking about months here to rehabilitate me. Hmmm, a standing appointment to have a cute young thing give me some "hands on" therapy for the next couple of months? I think I can handle it.

What with the appointment and the longer commute (the doctor was right by my dad's so I just parked there and hopped on the trolley in to work) I finished up my first sock of this pair (Grey Socks II) and started the second. And yes, the doctor actually saw me knitting and he still didn't say that caused the Frozen Shoulder.

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Weekend

Whew! I had alot to get done this weekend, and managed to do it. We got Older Son a new suit, so he can look fabu for his senior picture this week. He gets three poses, one with the suit, one in his normal "dressy" black polo shirt, and one in his birthday sweater. I have to get him a shirt to go with the birthday sweater, I'll bring it along and we'll get one when we pick up the suit on Wed.

I got my new driver's license. And the picture looks just like my old one! I wasn't even thinking about it on Saturday, but I wore my hair the same way I did for my last picture, and it was the first time in years I'd worn it that way. Wierd.

Then I got my dad's prescriptions filled, and did his grocery shopping.

Next! Went to the Pittsburgh Blues festival with Dave. We got free tickets. Our favorite was The Jimmy Adler Blues Band. We know Jimmy -- he and Dave used to work together, and they've played together a couple of times. His daughter and Older Son were born within three weeks of each other; Dave and two of his co-workers all become fathers within a three week span. Anyways, he's a nice guy, and I like the band's sound. Get the cd -- support a local band! (You may have heard them on WYEP, they're getting some air time there.) We've got ours, and it's autographed!

Sunday I managed to pick up my x-rays to take to the orthopedist. (Tomorrow's the big day!) and then Dave, Older Son and I went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday at Outback. And you know I had the Chocolate Thunder. But they wouldn't sing "Happy Birthday" to me. They did to the girl at the next table, and made her cry. I guess they figured that was enough drama for one evening.

And did I get some knitting done? Well duh! I was sitting there at the Blues Festival for over seven hours. I started sleeve two of my Hot Shrug when we got there (I tried starting in the car, but the yarn was too slippery, and I had metal needles.) and got most of it done. I will hopefully finish this up this week. I can wear it to work next week, then. Yeah! (Well, that is, as long as I do some laundry.)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Margarita and Socks

Or how about a margarita that will knock your socks off? Here's the flower arrangement I got from my sister and Younger Son for my birthday. Isn't it gorgeous? Everyone at work was very admiring of it. Dave came and picked me up at work, so I was able to bring it home without making a mess of myself on the bus. Sis told me she sent Evil Twin a regular margarita (mine is the strawberry one).

Dave, Older Son and I all went shopping tonight and outfitted OS for his senior picture. We got him his first adult suit -- he'll be styling! We went for the whole enchilada, except for the socks.
When the salesman mentioned socks, I whipped my current sock in progress (which just happens to be for OS, and just happened to match the suit, which was grey) from my bag. "No socks," I said. I might have been a bit too emphatic, because there was a little of the "I'm going to back slowly away from the wild woman with the pointy sticks" look to him around the eyes.

Still celebrating. I ate ablsolutely nothing of nutritional value until dinner today, and that was mall food (Panda Palace, kung pao chicken with rice) so only nominally nutritive. But just to be sure, I followed up with a DQ Blizzard chaser. You know, the nutritional choices you would beat your kids for making. Meanwhile, I won't let the boys get white bread for sandwiches. And a tip here -- we justify these things to the boys with the "Over 30" rule. "Only people over 30 can eat ice cream before dinner." "Only people over 30 can eat in the living room/car/bed." "Only people over 30 can play with candles/knives/other implements of destruction." You can see the value here. A friend once asked if I would up the age after Dave and I both turned 40. No, I think 30 just about covers it. If they survive to 30, they're on their own from there.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

You Say It's Your Birthday

It's my birthday too, yeah.... I had lots of doughnuts, and some bagels and muffins at work. Then my co-workers took me out for lunch, and then off for dinner at my Mother-in-Law's. I'm stuffed. And for birthday loot, I got some beautiful flowers from my sister delivered to work, and this:
From my Mother-in-Law a monogrammed knitting bag and some green(!) novelty yarns (They're in a kit to make a butt-ugly scarf, but I'll use them for something else.) and a very nice outfit. From my Sister-in-Law, some perfume, and from Dave, the chocolate pretzels. Yeah, my In-Laws are great. And my sister and Younger Son also sent me a birthday card and gift card. Dave's going to get me the Vacuum of My Dreams next weekend, too! And I got birthday greetings from family (My Evil Twin, Sister, and YS all called and sang "Happy Birthday" to me today!) and friends (I got a sheep e-card from my Other Secret Pal! And an e-mail from Heather who is currently homeless err, staying with her MiL while her floors are being finished). So a good day. And more to come, because chez moi we don't just have a birthday, we have a week long Birthday Extravaganza! Yeah, we love a good party. Or conversely, we haven't got alot going on.

I'm still knitting the grey socks. But moving right along. Lots of bus knitting. The other day it took me over an hour and a half to get home. I don't know what the hold up was (no, it wasn't the bus accident) but I was happy enough to just sit and knit. I'm approaching the toe on the first sock of the pair. And I've got the second skein of the rayon boucle balled up and ready to be knit. Dave and I are going to the Pittsburgh Blues Festival on Saturday, so that should afford lots of knitting time. I might get the shrug finished. Maybe even a pair of socks!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


This picture's for my sisters. It's my Danny's hoagie just before I ate it for dinner. Mmmmmm. BEST hoagies in the world. No Lemon Blennd, though.

So Dave and I are discussing my birthday gifts. I think I'm going to order some yarn for socks. So I had Dave pick out some colors for socks. He picked out black. Just black. He's a wild man, I tell you. I'm still knitting grey socks for the boys. But excitement is coming, because I have blue yarn coming up (both a blue equivalent to the grey I'm knitting now, and two different navy based colorways of Trekking XXL [#s 140 and 40, if you're keeping score] ready to become socks for the boys.) I also balled up the second skein for my Hot Shrug. Since I got pretty much exactly 1/2 the shrug done with the first skein I'm going to start at the cuff for the second and knit until I run out of yarn (so as to use it all up) and then graft the two together at the center back.

I leave you with a photo of me. I use this one for my Blogger profile. I just wanted to point out that I'm knitting socks here, out of size 10 crochet thread on size 000 needles (I didn't have any 0000 at the time, but I got some so if the mood strikes me to knit with the size 10 thread again, that's what I'd use.) Actually, I think some of the black yarn I'm ordering for Dave's socks may require the 0000s.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Picture Is Worth

a thousand words, right? Blogger better get this right today. Just in case I'm pre-loading all the pictures. Here's my picture from inside the Love to Knit Yarn Shop. From left to right, there's the helpful sales woman, who really didn't have to put out much of an effort to get me to lay out the dough (err, I think Dave may read this so it really wasn't all that much) for a bunch of yarn. Then young and beautiful L (whose name isn't very different from mine) who is holding her knitting project. Isn't it beautiful? And it's just one piece of a three piece ensemble she completed for a 4H competition. I'll bet she wins. I'm truly amazed. I didn't knit anything half so nice until I was more than twice her age. And finally another knitter, a yarn shop "regular" I guess (the lucky thing) who was knitting a shrug, iirc. Everyone thought I was really wierd when I asked to take their picture. I have a teenager, I'm used to that.

And here's some of my purchases on the counter before I checked out. There's some merino lace weight, some Koigu, the book A Gathering of Lace and some Trekking XXL. Also some other assorted patterns I may have picked up.

And finally, here's what I got at the first yarn shop I went to. It was called Ewe Can Knit and was in Marblehead, Ohio. I forgot to take my camera, but this was a great little shop. It's set back from the road in a funky little building. There were chickens outside. Lots of interesting yarns, and a wonderful woman working there who talked to me about Pittsburgh (she used to live here) and knitting. More novelty yarns, and organized by color which although it certainly looks impressive is not my favorite Yarn shop layout.
But I was sucked in by the wall of blue yarns (I mentioned before I'm starting to be really into blues, especially dark blues). I got (ahem) several skeins of this dark indigo blue wool/cotton blend to make a sweater for me. I'm thinking all over cables with mid length sleeves. And then I got the multi sock yarn. Interestingly enough I saw the same yarn at the second yarn shop, but was able to restrain myself from purchasing another skein. I'm thinking a feather and fan sock.

Monday, July 17, 2006


It's hot! And I'm working on a hot new project, too. I'm done knitting the Secret Blue project, I just have to do the finishing. I'm waiting on finishing inspiration. I'm of two minds on finishing items on the bus. One is that I'm trapped, with nothing else to work on, so I have to get it done. The other is that this work is really too fiddley to do while jammed next to someone on a jerky bus ride. I'm going with number two right now, but if I don't get this finished by next Sunday afternoon (my preferred finishing time), it's going on the bus with me on Monday.

Here's my new project:

It's approximately half a shrug, knit with the Fiesta Rayon Boucle. After much consideration, I feel I've overlooked the wearability of the shrug. I was initially thinking of making a wrap/stole/shawl with this yarn. But then I got to thinking, I probably couldn't keep track of something like that. And when I thought about a shrug I realised it may be the perfect solution for me. Here's a garment that will hide my fat, flabby upper arms while not adding any width to my fat middle. AND it's pretty firmly attached to me so it would require some effort to walk away from. It's just about perfect, I tell you.

And what did I do while I was away last week? Well, I visted two yarn shops. I recommend both. I'm a bad blogger and forgot to take my camera to the first shop, but I will put up a picture of what I got tomorrow (blogger only allows four pictures now, apparently). The second shop was Love To Knit Yarn Shop in Vermilion, Ohio. A great shop, just the kind of yarn shop I love to visit. I wish it was my local shop. And notice the big honking sign out front. Older Son and I drove by three(!) times before we finally found it. DUH.

Grrr, apparently Blogger in its infinite wisdom has decided that two pictures are my limit for this post, so you will have to tune in tommorrow for more on my knitting adventures in Ohio.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm a Coward

Yes indeed. Here is a picture of my right shoulder. Which has been causing me considerable pain, and is one of the reasons for my multiple doctor visits. I could finally no longer ignore the excruciating pain and limited range of motion in my shoulder which had been steadily worsening for the past two months. I could no longer procrastinate about seeing the doctor. And why did I put it off? Afraid of the pain? No, if that were the case I'd have gone right away. Was it because I don't like doctors? Partly, I hate the way they talk down to me and don't listen to what I'm saying. But mainly, I was afraid I would have to stop knitting. So anyways, I have the x-rays and I'm off to the orthopedic specialist in two weeks. So keep good thoughts that it is not only not knitting related, but that knitting will be seen as good therapy. (And maybe that I get to go be manipulated by a real hottie of a physical therapist two or three times a week, too.)

In other news, Dave, Older Son and I are going on a three day trip starting tomorrow. Dave has to go to meetings for work, and they are footing the bill for all of us to stay at The Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, OH. (We'll get to go to Cedar Point too.) We're leaving tomorrow as soon as I'm done with work (they'll pick me up there) and we'll be gone until Saturday. So no knitting group this week for me. But the big question is...What knitting should I take?? I'm taking my secret project, obviously, but I think I'll finish that. What else? Some socks, natch. Not the scarf, though, there's too many balls of yarn to keep track of. Not a great travel project. Hmmm, how about this?
Fiesta Rayon Boucle in the Madrid colorway. I'm thinking a Clapotis with it. Apparently the big draw at this resort is an indoor waterpark. Waterparks not really being mine or OS's thing, I've already found two yarn shops within a half hour drive. Now I just have to find some book stores.

Monday, July 10, 2006

So Long Old Blue

Dave's car finally gave up the ghost on Friday. After 15 years and over 288,000 miles our 1992 Toyota Corolla wagon's heart (actually, I think it was an engine bearing) finally gave out. We bought it new (our first new car), and drove all those 288,000+ miles except for twelve. We were a bit disappointed (we were both hoping for 300,000) but it did have a good long life. Dave went out today and purchased a brand new Subaru Forester. We're hoping for another 288,000+ miles.

I'm still knitting my Secret Blue Project. I'm more than half way done with it. Tomorrow will bring several doctor's visits, with all the knitting opportunity that implies.

And Holly, I think I've gotten over the Sudoku thing. (I knew it would be just an impetuous fling. I'm fickle like that.)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rip It, Rip It Good...

My Blue Secret Project? Not so good. I had to rip back today. Quite a bit. (About half of what I'd knitted so far.)
(Note: NOT my project, just an illustration. I can't show you the Secret Blue Project because it's, well Secret.)
Other knitting? Non-existant. I have to shamefully admit I have been seduced by the Evil Sudoku. Twice in the past week I have spent my commuting and lunch time Sudoku-ing instead of knitting. I know, I'm weak. BUT, I've worked my way up to the "Hardest" puzzles in the book. Which is, by the way, Older Son's "Loaner" book. He keeps his "real" book with all the truly diabolical puzzles to himself. This is the one he lends out to keep people out his book. Butter for the cat's paws, as it were. I don't think Dave has even solved a "Hardest" in this book, although I see one he was working on.

Also, I'm working on getting Younger Son packed and off to spend a month with his aunt in Florida. I'm nervous. I'm also doing laundry and packing. So pretty busy but not much knitting getting done.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Pirate Tale

I have no knitting pictures to entertain you with today (still knitting my Secret Blue Project) so I will regale you with an amusing Pirate Tale. Heather made me think of it with her picture of Johnny Depp (the hottie). And since Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest opens tomorrow, well, I thought it was timely. Now, hard as this may be to believe, I'm not really all that into alot of popular culture. I almost never go to the movies, and I only rarely watch TV. So, the only movie I had ever seen Orlando Bloom in was Lord of the Rings (because yeah, I'm a geek). So when the first Pirates movie came out on video, Celtic Queen was telling Dave and I about it. She mentioned something about Orlando Bloom and what a hottie he was with his dark curly hair. Now, I hadn't seen the movie (still haven't) but I looked at her blankly.
Me: Orlando Bloom is in the movie?
CQ: Yeah, didn't you see him in the preview? You know (goes on to describe scene).
Me: That was Orlando Bloom?? He has dark curly hair?
Not straight blond hair? Really? Are you sure?

At which point both CQ and Dave look at me like I'm a complete idiot, and CQ says: "Laurie, that was just for the movie." And Dave adds "Those weren't his real ears, either."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

14 Days

I know this will come as a shock to some of you, but there are only 14 shopping days left until my birthday. So much for shopping early to avoid the crowds. But I'm sure there are still some great gifts out there for the resourceful shopper. :D
(If you're still doing the math, July 20 is the big day.)

It rained on our Fourth of July parade. And to add insult to injury, my umbrella leaked on me. So why did I sit in the rain?

Younger Son was marching. He was collecting money for the local food bank. Just after this picture was taken he asked me to donate. I told him I didn't have any money, he had to go ask his dad. Whereupon about six people standing around us felt so bad for him that they all started giving him money. (Note that we didn't identify each other as mother/son. In their view, I was just being mean to the kid.)

I got a bit of knitting on the scarf done Friday at knitting group. Not much over the weekend though. I finished the second pair of grey socks for YS. And now I'm working on a secret project. Here's a teaser.

It's blue. Plain Regular Blue.