Saturday, May 31, 2008

First Saturday...

...without a job and not on vacation. So what did I do? Took the dog for a ride to the post office to mail some stuff. Laundry. Put screens in the bedroom windows so we can have them open without bugs and cats (yes, cats) getting in at night. Pulled some weeds in the salad garden. And edited some vacation photos. What didn't I do? Sleep in or knit. Go figure. (Though knitting is bound to happen before the day is over.)

Regarding the aforementioned photos, though I'm sure they're more interesting to me than anyone else, here are a blog posts have been sparse on the photos of late, so why not add some beach memories? ;)

Mom and me looking slightly crazed and unintentionally color coordinated before going to lunch and to shop for cute shoes (of which we found none...sad...)

The storm we witnessed rolling in off the ocean as we ate a windy and somewhat damp dinner...and that's the young, blond surfer-dude bus boy who was trying to keep things from blowing off the tables...

And here's my storm dinner mojito...wasn't the best mojito I'd ever had, but it was ok...

On Sunday, we went to one of my favorite places...Fort Clinch. There is a pier there (which is being renovated so you can't actually walk out on it at the moment), and then there is this long row of boulders and concrete barriers in place as a tide break. We always have so much fun climbing on the boulders and walking along them looking for cool shells. The tide was in big time on this day, though, and the water was actually coming over to the other side of the tide break, so we were more limited as to where we could walk...

Another shot from under the pier...this is just such a cool place...

Fort Clinch is said to be a great place to find sand dollars and sharks' teeth, though I have never found any sand dollars there. Everyone else in my family has, but not me. (I did find a shark tooth once, but not at this beach.) I'm convinced I have sand dollar ADD. I'm always too busy trying to take everything in, I miss the small, subtle things. Like this...

I nearly walked right by this phantom step-dad had to point it out. Looks kind of cool, though...

Thankfully, I wasn't distracted enough to miss this...

Seriously! I wonder where it leads?? Davy Jones locker, perchance? MWAHAhahahahaaaa...!

Here's me getting my ohmmm on... ;)

And lastly, it isn't a beach trip without a picture of feet. This time, my feet...

I have to add that on this trip, I did not take my good camera with me. Instead, I took my son's little point-and-shoot digi. I mainly did it to eliminate a carry-on bag since I was limited in what I could take traveling alone, but it was really rather freeing to only have that little camera with me. No fussing with lenses or settings. Just pointing and clicking on a whim. Not that I'm going to be ditching my Rebel any time soon, but it was a nice change. Allowed me to be a little more IN the moments than focusing on recording them all technically correct.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Home again...

...home again, jiggedy-jig!

Ok, maybe not so much jigging going on here today. Rather, I'm in re-entry mode and feeling a sense of post-vacation let-down blue...not uncommon, but still. Blue.

Was a really good trip, though...loved the time I got to spend with my mom...but it's good to be home, too.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Five Minute Friday: Live, from Florida...

Yes, I'm blogging from my mom's in Florida right now. And as such, I thought I'd make Florida the topic of this week's Five Minute for the next five minutes, the reasons I'm happy to be in The Sunshine State!

1. Despite the fact that the sun has not been out and the rain seems to have followed me from PA, it IS at least warm here. Humid, but warm. I'll take it.

2. I'm getting to spend four days' of quality time with my Mom, something that has not happened before in my adult life. My mom is going to be 65 this year, and she's in good health, but the older she gets (and the older I get), the more I value the time I get to spend with her, especially now that she lives so far away from me.

3. Being here in Florida means I am not sitting at a garage in Virginia with my husband with a broken down (Budget) rental truck filled with our oldest son's family's belongings on it's way to their new home in NC. While I feel irrationally guilty that I am here having a good time while he is dealing with this, I am pretty thankful I am not there, because I imagine tensions are going to be running a little high before all is said and done.

4. Got to eat a yummy shrimp salad croissant with the best potato salad on earth at my favorite little restaurant here, Cafe Karibou. Mmm.

5. I can spend the next four days relaxing and knitting to my heart's content.

6. Having the whooooole bed to sprawl out in. ;)

7. Hot tub. Ahhhh. (A new addition here at the house since I last visited! Only probably is it is not possible to knit in the hot tub.)

8. No dog to clean up after.

9. Shopping! Wheeee! :)

10. Wine ad beer sold in the grocery stores. Seriously, PA is behind the times on this one. (Stocked up on a couple bottles of blackberry merlot today...a couple glasses of that while I'm in the hot tub and my aforementioned feelings of guilt will likely be washed away. LOL)

Off to knit for a bit now...maybe with a glass of wine....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Surely it's got to be warm in Florida...

...because it sure as h*ll ain't warm here! What the heck?! It's late May! Is it so much to ask for a little warmth and a stop to the precip? Apparently it is, because it's been cold and wet all week and I've about had it.

So there.

Thus, I'm turning my back on this cool, wet world of da 'burgh and hopping a plane to my mom's in Florida for the weekend. Even went and bought myself some spiffy new luggage today because the wheels on my old luggage are rather corroded and have been hard to roll the last few times we've used them. I figure new luggage every 15 years isn't so bad, huh?

I thought I was on the ball with my packing today until I remembered that the airlines only let you check ONE bag for free now. @#$!@#$!! Must now rethink my packing strategy. It wouldn't be such a problem if I didn't have to allot a goodly portion of my luggage space to the knitting projects I'm taking along, you know? LOL

Lots more I should post the yarn diet...and me inexplicably watching Wednesday Night Fights on ESPN2 tonight (for a good reason!)...and probably other things, but no time. Must go up to bed soon. Hopefully I'll be warmer and possibly tanner next time I write!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend recap...

...the job est fini. Saturday was a crazy day, though at the end of it, it seemed like a giant blur. I think we all spent as much time eating cookies and celebrating the finale as we did helping customers. If felt so weird to not have to do the things we usually do, like tidying up the shelves and bringing out back stock to replace what was sold. Pat provided champagne and other goodies for a lovely little party after we locked the door at the end of the day, then we sat around for another hour listening to Bonnie's stories that have come from 19 years in the yarn-selling business. A really fun time! It's hard to believe I was a part of that shop family for only a bit over a year...they are all really special people.

...yarn has taken over my office. Honestly...I brought home MORE on the last day, and I have no more more places to put more bins even if I had them. So I'm going to have to get creative in storing it all. I probably won't have time to mess with it before I leave, but after I get back from Florida next week, I'll be doing some heavy-duty office reorganizing.

...I still cannot find the surface of my dining room table. I keep trying, but the piles do not want to be subdued.

...on the up side, my bedroom is still relatively clutter-free after last week's declutter-fest! Woohoo!

...there is one particular customer service rep at Sallie Mae who was the most belligerent person I've ever had the misfortune to have to deal with on the phone. Not only was she rude and snippy, but she freakin' outright lied to me. Would like to jab her in the eyeball with a knitting needle. Grrrrr.

...the grandson was over yesterday. His latest thing is telling everyone they have "a fat bootie." Except the dog, which he said had "a fuzzy bootie." Should a three-year-old really know what a "bootie" is??? LOL

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Refrigerator magnets...

I don't know why, but growing up, my parents never had any magnets on their refrigerator. When I was old enough to have an opinion about this, I'd suggest getting some, but I think I was probably a young adult before they finally acquiesced. Perhaps it is because of this deprived childhood of mine (magnetically-speaking) that I am somewhat fond of refrigerator magnets. It's not like I officially collect them or anything, but I do enjoy me some fridge magnetization. And because I know that some of you are probably like me -- not with regard to magnets, but with regard to the little thrill your inner voyeur gets out of glimpses of a stranger's private space...:::crickets:::...wait, it isn't just me, is it??...nevermind... -- ahem, anyway, I thought I'd give all three of you readers a little visual tour of the outside of my refrigerator. (And for you, the one reader who has seen my fridge up close and personal-like, humor me and act like this is really exciting, ok?)

This magnet is what sparked the idea for this wonderful little photo-blog entry...

Crazy Aunt Purl had a post today about how she loves daydreaming about vacation destinations. I thought, "So do I!" But then I love fantasizing about just about anything (minds out of the gutter, people!) because it's an exercise in creativity and because fantasy life is usually way more exciting than real life (well, except for the knitting) and because I'm fairly easily amused. Anyway, I found this magnet at a little shop called Out of Hand near my mom's house in Fernandina Beach...they've got great kitchy stuff there (they don't seem to have a web site, though). When I saw this magnet, I was tickled because, oh my gosh, it just speaks of me. Really. In so, so many ways. ;)

Other magnets on my fridge also speak to vacation-y destiations, some I've been to, such as...

a crab I think we got in Chincoteague, VA one year, and...

...a set of three wooden fishies we got when we stayed on the Outer Banks in Salvo, NC (the BEST beach vacation EVER...oceanfront rental house...totally awesome). Then there is this one...

Hawaii...where I've not been, but some day may go since my sister-in-law is from there. We'll see.

Then there are the nostalgic magnets from my oldest's childhood...

Seriously, I used that top one for things up through high school. They don't get used for much stuff related to him right now (the top one is currently holding up a great recipe for granola; though the bottom one currently has the boy's outdated address from when he was in bootcamp.) Now that he's in the Marines...

...he doesn't bring home papers, but believe you me, if the Marines send me something of his, I'll sure hang it up using one of his name magnets! LOL

Then there is the motivational magnet...

(also purchased at the same store as the Fantasyland one) ... and the utilitarian magnets...

...the metal grandmother had these and they hung on the side of her stove and held up her pot holders, and I loved to play with them as a kid. I was so excited (more than I should have been, considering we're talking about magnets here) to find these as an adult and put them on my own kitchen appliances!

...the magnet the phone number for our favorite pizza place (which I've blurred the location info out on to maintain the privacy of those who eat too much pizza)...

...the magnetized grocery list pad...I am not weird, really, because I write my lists from the bottom up. I do that on purpose so that if I don't have a whole page of groceries, I can just tear off the bottom part and still use the top part for the next list. See...very environmental of me...right? ;)

...and the magnetized message board, which I cannot tell you how great this has been. I used it all school year to put the kids' daily assignments on, and I use it at night to list any chores I want them to do in the mornings. Right now, it's just got a list I've written for me (can't get out of that bottom-up mentality with my own lists...not sure why).

And last but not least, the FUN magnets, which I bought for our grandson as the ones I had for our kids when they were little have long since vanished. (Maybe the ghosty took them?) This particular set of letters actually spells out my grandson's first and last name...can you figure them out? LOL Looking at them, I see they also spell out our temporary dog's nickname (not the one I referred to him as in yesterday's post, but his real nickname).

So, there you have it...a tour of our fridge magnets. There are several more, but they are mostly boring, everyday ones, promotions and stuff for doctor's offices and organizations. Nothing exciting. (Like these other ones were SO exhilarating...gawd, I so need a life, don't I?)

Oh, but one last thing, not from the world of magnets, but from the world of If You Wait Long Enough, It Will Show Up Again...

...the charger cord for my little Sony digital camera! It's been missing for over a YEAR! And finally, FINALLY, it showed up this week, when I decided to clean out this little basket that has been sitting in the corner of my bedroom full of odds and ends that I thought were all meant for Goodwill. But no! There was my camera cord! This makes me so happy! I love my big camera, but sometimes the little point-and-shoot is all I really need, you know? Like for taking pictures of idiotic fun things like refrigerator magnets for my blog.... :}

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What's been goin' on...

Been kind of quiet is winding down. This is the :::sniff::: last week. Still sad about this. Anyway, between work and my quick there-and-back trip to Harrisburg last weekend and keeping up with all of my Scrabulous and Word Twist games on Facebook and trying to actually do laundry and keep my house from being condemned by the health department (ahem), not a lot of time for blogging. So let's get caught up. Let's see, what's new?

My little salad garden is growing nicely. I've got lettuce and chard and onions and the fuzzy sprigs of carrot tops...and these...

...radishes! I am not a patient gardener, so I couldn't resist pulling one of these to see how they're doing. The radish was the size of a large pea, or a small grape (or of a prematurely pulled radish!), but it was perfectly round and beautifully red and after the mud was washed off and the ends were trimmed, it tasted just like a radish should taste! Yeay me and my, ahem, stellar gardening abilities.

Also, this has been going on a lot lately...

...blurry photography! Wait, no! Wii-ing! Yes, that is an action shot of my daughter playing Wii golf. I've been on a Wii hunt for months now, but to no avail. Then, last month, I went to the annual CCO fundraising dinner and auction where there was a Wii up for bid in the silent auction. And bid I did. I stalked the Wii all night. Ruthlessly, I stalked it and kept upping every competing bid. And I won it! It only came in $50 over it's actual value, which I thought was a pretty good deal...sure as heck beats driving all over God's creation trying to grab one as soon as it's unloaded off a truck in the dead of night, you know?

Anyway, we still had a couple weeks of our school year left at that point, so, being the loving mom I am, I showed the Wii to the kids, still in the box (the Wii, not the kids) and told them they could have it after they successfully completed their remaining school work for the year. Ha! And then I went on to torment them, threatening to add more school work to the year, just because I am evil that way. >:} But alas, we finished the school year a week ago Tuesday, and minutes after I pronounced, "The End," we broke out the Wii. And it is fun, I must say.

And then there is also this in our lives, still..

...our temporary dog, who I've taken to referring to as Piddle Pup. Good-freaking-gawd, but this dog is going to make me C-R-A-Z-Y if he doesn't stop having accidents in the house! Seriously. I love the dog. He is a cute dog. Lots of fun. And he'll go for a week or more without any ill-fated peeing...but then he'll pee on the carpet three times in one day! (Frankly, the green carpet there? Not as big a deal if he pees on it, because we're going to be ripping it up this year's ancient...but the Berber? That's not ancient, and while it is no longer new-new, I do not want piddle marks on it!) Or he'll piddle on my BED. (Ohyeshedid.) Or on the COUCH. (Uhhuh, he did there too.) We take him outside all the time, so it is not for lack of opportunity to pee in the right place. Sometimes he piddles when he gets excited. Sometimes he piddles when he hears a noise outside and begins barking hysterically. Sometimes we take him out and he doesn't go out there but will then come in and immediately go! An attention ploy? A bad attitude? A bladdar control issue? I don't know. All I know is that as my son and daughter-in-law are apartment hunting, I am very hopeful they find a place that takes pets. :::sigh:::

Oh, and...if you look at that picture of PP above, you'll see he is chewing on a plastic dental bone thing. He loves that bone. Loves it. And there he was, laying next to my husband's new tennis shoes, chewing vigorously on his bone. A few minutes later, though...

...he was laying ON my husband's new shoes, still chewing on the bone. But I thought it looked so cute that I coudln't see the bone and instead it looked like he was chewing on the shoe. So I took a picture.

Only later did I realize that he'd abandoned the bone and really WAS chewing on the freaking shoe, which now has a little nibbled edge at the top of it. I don't think the husband has noticed this or he'd probably have gone ballistic. I really need to trim the little hanging bit of shoe off the top so hopefully he won't notice. He isn't always that observant about such things, so chances are I might be able to defer a "Stupid dog!" rant. Hm.

Anyway, these are the exciting things going on in my life. You have been updated. Carry on.

(P.S. As if all three of you readers need to read more about my goings-on, you'll note I added a Twitter widget to the sidebar on the I can upload moment-by-moment, blow-by-blow accounts of what I am doing and thinking. Isn't that just fab?? Apparently I can even update it from my cell phone if I set it up to work that way. -- Oh, hey...I got a new cell phone this week! I'd link to it so you can see it, but the Verizon site is not working at the moment. Bugger.)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hitting the road...

...for a brief journey to Harrisburg for the annual homeschool convention. Will be back tomorrow. I've not yet begun to pack, though, and am not at all organized. And for me, that mainly means I do not have my knitting projects ready to go, because I'm leaving early enough to have a nice quiet evening to myself at the hotel, where I plan to blissfully knit the night away. :)

Monday, May 5, 2008


The past year has been a pretty calm, quiet one for me. No major drama. Life on an even keel. It's been a good year. Considering how rocky and crazy things had been in the handful of years preceding it, this past year was a welcome respite into -- dare I say it? -- "normal." I've felt like I've been able to catch my breath.

Now, though, I'm seeing signs...things are changing again. I'm not averse to change is part of life, after all, and is better than the alternatives of either stagnation or death. I just wish change could work so that it evens itself out and doesn't show up all at once.

In the foreseeable future, our school year will be ending (always a welcome time of year for kids and mom alike), my job will be ending (sad, but nothing I can do about it), and my daughter-in-law and grandson will be moving out of state to join my son wherever he is assigned (I've still not fully grasped the implications of that one). So, this means I will no longer be responsible for teaching (for a couple months, anyway), for selling yarn or for babysitting. When I write it like that, it doesn't sound as big a deal as it feels, is a big deal. Any one of those things is an important thing in my life, and each will be an adjustment in itself, but all three together? I don't know. I'm hopeful that I'll weather the transitions gracefully and not have to go through some incredibly annoying (to us all) emotional binge that makes me not a fun person to be around.

On the other side of things, it looks like we may really be renovating our kitchen this year. I'm reluctant to say that out loud (or type it for all to see) because we've talked about this for years...we've gone to the stores and looked at flooring and cabinets...we've read literature...and then we've done nothing. It's an expensive proposition, to be sure, one that we desperately need to bite the bullet and undertake eventually (she says, envisioning with a shudder her current 70s-era dark laminate cabinets that are falling apart and that "retro" rust and mustard linoleum that just doesn't come clean no matter what you do to it). So, here we are again...talking and looking and reading...and hopefully we'll get beyond those steps and actually start the demolition process (because once you create holes in walls and tear up flooring, it's pretty hard to change your mind).

Friday, May 2, 2008

Five Minute Friday: Keep 'em Separated

Ok, so most of my friends will easily enough testify to my rather diverse and eclectic taste in music. It runs a wide gamut...classic rock to swing to rockabilly to (some) rap to (some) jazz to folk to get the picture. Lately, I've been in a pretty good alt-rock mode, which has me listening to The X on the radio. They play the likes of Linkin Park, Beastie Boys, Three Days Grace, Alien Ant Farm, Beck, etc. Cool stuff. Lots of songs I love but also lots of other songs I don't really know.

One such song came on the radio yesterday...The Offspring's "Come Out and Play." If you're familiar with this tune, you know it opens with an instrumental intro, followed by one line, "You gotta keep 'em separated," which is then followed by a whopping 16 measures of riffing instrumentalization before you get any more lyrics that might give you a clue as to what the song is actually about.

So, I was driving in the car, heard that first line, and then sat there wondering for 64 beats, "Ok, so, what do you need to keep separated?" I figured the song could be going anywhere, so I started making my own list of things that should be kept separated. I was kind of surprised by how many combinations I came up with at the time.

I actually had to come home and Google the lyrics before I figured out that the song was about keeping rival kids from shooting the crap out of each other (which, incidentally, was not one of the things I thought of during those 64 beats...just sayin').

Anyway, I thought I'd use this topic for FMF this week...just what DO you have to keep separated??

1. Boobies (all those bras out there built to lift and separate!)
2. Gas and fire
3. Sodium and water (or potassium and water, both combinations illustrated as having explosive capabilities by MacGyver and the Mythbusters team during their MacGyver special)
4. Bickering children
5. The whites from the darks
6. The wheat from the chaff
7. Your husband and your boyfriend (LOL, as if)
8. The men from the boys
9. Me from any more opportunities to buy more yarn!
10. Your favorite bamboo knitting needles from your cat (cats like to chew bamboo needles)
11. Your recyclables
12. The Hatfields and the McCoys
13. Chocolate from sunlight (waste of darned good chocolate otherwise)
14. Vampires and wooden stakes
15. Gremlins and midnight snacks (remember that movie? I think I saw it a half-dozen times. LOL)
16. If you're a picky toddler, every food on your plate lest they accidentally touch and then be deemed inedible and yucky.

Ok...I'm out. Anything you need to keep separated? ;)