Monday, December 25, 2006
The presents have been opened(everyone was nice this year), the breakfast cassarole consumed, the kidlets are playing well together, the husband's napping in the La-Z-Boy, and I'm not upset about the mess on the floor.
I wish you a year filled with good days.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
There really hasn't been much exciting knitting going these past weeks. I haven't started a lace stole, my 100th pair of socks, a sweater for me, scarves for teachers, or even a lonely little dishcloth.
I'm still working on this.
That is Samurai Hat Earflap Ni, and Samurai Earflap San. The little black box? It's 'Mommy's little helper'. My new MP3 player. I've been wanting one for a long time so I could 'tune out' the kidlets and their noises. You can only listen to Spongebob(on the t.v. or in dramatic recreation in the family room) for so long before you want to squeeze every last bit of moisture out of his square, pourous annoying yellow body, but only after you've used him to scrub the toilet in the kidlets bathroom that constantly smells like a gas station restroom.
Monday, December 04, 2006
My house is the habitat of 6 people, 4 of whom are 10 and under, two dogs, and a cat. Five of the six people and all of the animals are complete slobs. Only one person in this house gives a damn about the living conditions. I'll let you guess which one. It's pretty obvious.
A few mornings ago, the oldest male kidlet was eating breakfast at the kitchen table of all places(this is not their usual feeding ground) when I decided that I'd had enough of the silver poptart wrappers, the detritus of a craft project, and a box that someone had torn to pieces for reasons unknown. So I grabbed a garbage bag and started picking up.
I tend to rant as I tidy up, and this day was no exception.
"I've just figured out my purpose in life! My purpose in life is to pick up after y'all!"
Silence from the kitchen table.
"The good Lord put me on this earth to pick up after y'all. Y'all have known this all along! I'm so lucky that God has blessed me with four kind, considerate children that show me how much they love me everyday by leaving bits about the house for me to pick up, thus fulfilling my purpose. I should drop down on my knees this instant and praise the Lord! Halleluiah!"
Silence from the kitchen table.
By this time I had filled the bag, and plopped it down so I could tie it up.
"Hey, Kidlet #1, do you know what this is?"
"A bag of garbage?"
"No, it's a Bag o' Love!"
"It's a Bag of Guilt, you mean."
Friday, November 24, 2006
Is anyone out there? Or have y'all gone shopping?
I have declared today "jammie day" at our house. I have never seen the appeal of fighting crowds at the crack of dawn for a supposedly good price on something that if I just waited a few more weeks would be an even better price.
So, jammie day involves staying in the aforementioned attire, eating junk, and lounging in front of the t.v., computer, or playstation. This year it will also include dragging out the Christmakwanzakkuh decorations.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 have been bugging me since freakin' Halloween to put up the decorations. I woke up this morning to stockings hanging with care. They decided to get an early start!
I am also going to spend the day cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving number 3. Yes, number 3. We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with a Canadian friend in October. Yesterday we drove to Indiana and had Thanksgiving with the husband's extended family.
Saturday we will be having our own immediate family Thanksgiving. Someone suggested yesterday that I was nuts to be 'doing' a big meal again, but it's only once a year. I think I can manage. Besides, it's sort of become a tradition.
Years ago, when my brothers started getting married, they would celebrate Thanksgiving with their in laws on the day of. So, rather than make them go to two dinners in one day, my mother would have her dinner on another night. My mother passed away, Thanksgiving dinner became my responsibility(being the only girl), wives have changed, but the custom has stuck.
This year though, the Connecticut residing sister-in-law couldn't get a long weekend from work, so they won't be here, and the other brother couldn't fit it into his schedule with kid's visitation and kid's play rehearsals.
So, I've got rolls to make(yes, from scratch), pies to bake, and cranberries to relish. The husband is frying the turkey as he does every year.
Don't bother me on Sunday, I'll be in a coma.
Friday, November 03, 2006
This is Phoebe. She's 11 years old, and cranky, just like some 90 year olds I've known. Yes, I woke her from her endless nap. She's also a cocker spaniel, which means she usually has beautiful, long fur. But I have been a bad pet owner. It's been months(I'm ashamed to say how many) since she has been to the groomer. The spark that finally lit a fire under my arse was a case of dog abuse that made the evening news.
The local animal shelter rescued a cocker spaniel that had 8 pounds of fur that needed to be cut off of her. Eight pounds! Phoebe only weighs 20 pounds, and that's with a reasonable amount of fur(maybe a few ounces). The fur was so matted that it had fused together between her legs, and the poor rescued dog couldn't walk. So, I thought before I was turned in for abuse I had better get Phoebe to the groomer. She had some matting(she was able to walk into the groomers under her own power - I don't want any zealot do-gooder to turn me in!), so the poor thing had to be shaved.
It's getting colder and she needs a sweater. Have you every seen those little white haired ladies walking down the street in August wearing a sweater? I liken Phoebe to one of those dears. She's old, opinionated, and does what she damn well pleases. I figure if she has a nice warm, pretty sweater, she might be coaxed to go outside rather than do her business on the kitchen floor.
I dug into the stash and found some Debbie Bliss merino aran in a pretty lavender, just the thing for an old dear. I think cables ought to do the trick. The only problem is that her bladder tends to let go when she's excited. She'll probably pee on it when I try to put it on her.
And now for something completely different...I read with dismay on Annie Modesitt's blog that she had evidently offended some students in a class she taught here at my LYS last spring. She had stated that the most recent group of students that she taught had picked up the technique quicker than they had when she taught it at my LYS. She also went on to say that it was because the teacher(Annie) hadn't done as good a job the first time.
Because of this brouhaha, Annie says she's going to go on a blogging hiatus for a while. This is too bad for us. I love reading Annie's blog, and love seeing her designs. Incidently, did everyone see her new design in IK? It's not something I would personally wear, but I think it is an innovative and bold design that would look beautiful with a formal skirt(can you wear something like that to a PTA meeting?). Annie, please don't stop what you are doing just because you've stepped on a few toes. Like you said yourself, you can't cry over spilt milk...Nuff said.
Samurai hat crown number 3 done!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Since everyone else is...
I'm still just working on the samurai hats, so I don't really have any interesting knitting to blog about, I thought that I would do this...
1. FIRST NAME? Karen
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Maybe. My mother claims that my father had a girlfriend named Karen.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Can't remember.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Ham.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I think so, but only if I knit!?
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Nope.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? What, are you nuts!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? It depends on what's on sale and if I have a coupon!
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I usually have clogs or slippers on, so, no.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? When I have to be.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Greater's mint chocolate chip. Fortunately for my waist the closest Graeter's is a 15 minute drive away.
14. SHOE SIZE? Used to be 5 1/2. Once I was done pushing out babies, it became a 6.
5. RED OR PINK? Red.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Physically - the leftover baby pudge. Characteristically - the organization has gone out the window. I blame that on the kidlets also.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My mom. Passed away 9 years ago from breast cancer. Are you doing your monthly self exam? October is breast cancer awareness month after all.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Good heavens, no.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?Permantly stained blue jeans, green long sleeve shirt, green sweater, black socks, and Clarks clogs. I'll be putting on my slippers in a moment since I'm back in the house for the day after running errands this morning.
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Twix "fun size" candy bar. I needed chocolate.<>21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The fish tank water filter, the dog chewing on something she probably shouldn't be, and the twin kidlets watching something Disney in the other room.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Yellow.
23. FAVORITE SMELL? freshly mown grass, baking bread and cookies, the top of the kidlet's heads
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? The husband.
25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Their sense of humor.
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? I saw this on several blogs and thought, "why not"? I stole this from Natalie, and we've never met.
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Earl Grey tea and coke. Not together.
28. FAVORITE SPORT? I do like to watch the Bengals. Who-Dey!
29. EYE COLOR? Green
30. HAT SIZE? Beats me.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yep. Right now I have my glasses on. I need new contacts and haven't gotten around to ordering them yet. It's that disorganization thing..
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Anything I didn't have to cook or clean up.
33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy Endings.
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Now isn't this ironic? I love summer, because I hate to be cold. Yet I love to make and wear sweaters!
36. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs, especially from the kidlets.
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? I've never met a dessert I didn't like.
38 & 39 Eliminated Due to Blog Context
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, out loud to the older kidlets.
41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? It's one of those generic ones that come from the computer manufacturer.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? I didn't watch t.v. last night. By the time I got the kids home from karate, had dinner, did homework, and read some Harry Potter, it was time for bed. I was just too tired to watch t.v. I know it sounds crazy, but there you have it.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Silence, the kidlets giggling, and the kidlets snoring in their beds.
44. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Both.
45. THE FURTHEST YOU’VE BEEN FROM HOME? Which is further, England or France?
46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Other than knitting? I can curl my tongue.
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Covington, Ky
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I stole it.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I'm having one of those disconnected days. You know what they are like. Your usual Saturday morning routine is disrupted because you went to an elegant wedding last night that children were not wanted for fear of disrupting the ceremony(don't get me started), except for the screaming baby that was the nephew of the bride's(while everyone else was shooting the mother nasty looks - you were smiling and thinking that if you were close to the baby, you'd pinch it and make it scream louder because after all weddings are family affairs and you made sure to invite children to your wedding);and you dutifully found an aunt willing to keep your four kidlets overnight, so you don't have them waking you at daybreak playing the PS2 that's in the room directly under your bedroom. And you just don't know what to do with yourself...
You also feel disconnected, because you're using the Husband's work laptop, because your desktop computer, which could probably be sold under the "antique" heading on eBay, for some reason known only to itself keeps shutting down because you've performed some illegal operation(so arrest me!).
Disconnect Item number 1: I'd like to download pictures of the other 3 samurai hats that I'm working on just to give you something to look at, but I know that the computer police will give me another citation while in the middle of downloading. So, you'll have to settle on the telling of the really boring story. I decided to work the rest of the hats in bits rather than work one hat to completion before working the next hat to completion. This way I can do all of the fiddly dragons in one fell swoop without the dread of knowing that I still have more dragons to do. I'm at a standstill on the hats right now because I ran out of yarn and I'm waiting for the package from Knitpicks to arrive.
Disconnect Item number 2: I received a phone call from a high school friend that I had not talked to in years. She said that she was helping out our class president by calling old friends to let them know about a "get together" for our class at a football game at our alma mater. She said she was getting ready to call some of our gang, so I suggested that she collect email addresses while she had them on the phone. Deb then told me that she was very low tech at her house. She doesn't have internet or a cell phone, in fact she said, "I'm so low tech that I knit!"
After several "no ways" from each of us, it turns out that she learned to knit about 10 years ago while living in Minnesota. Her exact words were, "Everyone there knits." How fun is that to reconnect with an old friend that happens to knit also?!
I'll connect with y'all later.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
This past weekend I and the kidlets(had to take them, the husband was working, no babysitter) attended A Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, Ohio(charming little town). I had an o.k. time, it would have been better had I not had to drag the kidlets along. They were relatively well behaved, until the tractor ride melt-down by Thing Two.
There were sheep shearing demos...
There was also a sheep herding dog demo(sorry I didn't get pics) that the kidlets enjoyed. The dogs 'herded' ducks into a wading pool, through a tunnel and over a bridge.
There were also a few alpacas and angora bunnies. And this cute little Shetland sheep.
I liked that many of the vendors in attendance were 'locals'. They all had beautiful yarn, but there was a greater preponderance of roving. Too bad I don't know how to spin. The alpaca fleece from Cupola Alpaca Farm was heavenly. They are having an open house this weekend for anyone interested in starting their own alpaca herd. I'd love to start one, but I'm not sure Brunnhilde would be able to behave herself.
Look what she did to my $15 10.5 Addis.
Amazing that she managed to knaw them in half with out damaging the sweater or dropping a stitch. Stupid mutt. Well, in her defense, I did leave my knitting in her chair.
I was using the Addis on the daughter's hoodie. Luckily I had come to the part where you divide for the armholes and work back and forth so I was able to switch to straights. This is the sweater that I had finished the front and back and decided it was going to be too big. I also decided that I'd rather do it in the round, so I plugged her measurements and the gauge into the Sweater Wizard, and Bob's your uncle, I got a new pattern. No pesky math. I love Sweater Wizard. It's the older version, but I got it on ebay for way less than it would have cost if it were the current version.
Friday, September 15, 2006
The gang at Soulful Knitting Ministries have started a pink ribbon challenge for knitters and crocheters. They are asking for handknit or crochet pink scarves to be donated to the American Cancer Society to let victims of breast cancer that the prayers and good wishes of all the women that made scarves are with them.
You can find more information here.
This is a great opportunity to use up that "leftover" pink yarn in your stash. You know the ones I'm talking about. It's leftover from the sweater that you made your daughter years ago that you can't bring yourself to get rid of because it's YARN dadgummit!
I will have to go buy some yarn, although I do have some pink yarn that I just found at my Dad's house from a project I started 20 some odd years ago that I forgot about(see previous post). I don't think it will make a good scarf for someone going through chemo. I know when my Mom went through chemo her skin was a bit more sensitive.
This is a disease that will eventually touch all of us in some way. I pray that it doesn't, but someone you know will have a fight with breast cancer. Both of my grandmothers, an aunt, and my mother had/have breast cancer. Maybe, I've bettered your odds of not having to deal with this insidious desease. Obviously, this is something I feel strongly about.
I urge you to spend a weekend making up a scarf to let these brave, fantastic, beautiful women know that there are total strangers wishing them all the best, and giving them a hug via scarf.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
O.k., go ahead, admit it. Those of you that have moved out of your parent's house still have stuff there. I'll admit it, I've been out for almost 13 years and I still have stuff there. But, it's not always a bad thing.
We are in the process of cleaning out my grandparent's house, and oh my Lawd, honey, did they have a lot of stuff! The piece of property that my grandparents lived on has been in the family for several generations, and no one threw anything away! You never know when someone might need that broken tea cup. One a positive note, there are beautiful, old photographs and even lithographs of family ancestors, along with their furniture, quilts, and Bibles dating back to the latter 19th century.
But as this is a big job, and I'm going to have to do it all again sometime in the future(very long in to the future, I hope) at my parent's house, I decided to get a jump on it now and start getting my stuff out of my old room that I didn't deem worthy enough to go with me when I moved out.
So I was digging through my old closet and found a red plastic bag buried at the bottom from a LYS! With great excitement I ripped it open and found this.
I was like Christmas in, er, September! I had been working on a cropped, short sleeve sweater, and I had the back nearly complete. Plus, I found the missing no.5 needle! I can't believe that I had forgotten about this.
I've done it! My stash(stuff) has finally gotten so large that it's possible to forget about some of it only to rediscover it years(years, people) later. Insert evil laughter here.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Today my mother would have been 70 years old. I prefer to think of her on her birthday, rather than remember the day she left us.
Margie Ann Denham Keene was funny, caring, loving, and strong. I strive to be like her everyday in my dealings with the kidlets. I don't know how she did it. Growing up my mother had to be mother and very often for long stretches the father. My father's job often took him on the road to exotic places for months at a time. While he was gone, mom had to not only do the "mom" jobs, she also had to take care of the "dad" duties - minor repairs around the house, car repair, heavy lifting - you know, the jobs that are usually reserved for dads when they get home in the evenings.
In addition to taking care of the kids, house, and the occassional plugged toilet, she was also very active in PTA and church, which left very little time for Marge. I suppose that's why she liked to crochet and sew. Even though she was often making something for me, it was her time to sit, relax, and just be. I still have the hat she crocheted for me to match the poncho(back when ponchos were popular the first time around) that I sort of designed. I requested a purple and white granny square poncho with fringe. She threw in the hat as a surprise. I could kick myself for getting rid of the poncho several years ago when my daughter was still a baby. At the time I thought "these things will never come back in style". Thankfully, I kept the hat.
She was a very strong woman of character. When I was about 8 months pregnant with my first child, mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn't say a word to anyone except my father. She didn't want to steal my thunder at the impending birth of my first(and her only daughter's) baby.
Evan was born at 8:30 in the morning at the same hospital on the same morning that mom had her chemo cathater inserted. I didn't know it at the time. She came into my room to see me before Evan was born. I saw a bruise on her chest, and asked her if she had been in a bar fight. She just laughed and blew it off.
Mom never told any of us how poorly her chemo treatment was going. She didn't want any negative vibes or anyone's pity. She had a type of breast cancer that I had never heard of before. It was inflammatory breast cancer. It looks as though you have a bad sunburn is how her oncologist described it. It claims 80% of it's victims. But we didn't know any of this until her last days.
Through it all, Mom kept up her sense of humor even until the end. She was the perfect straight man to my husband's one liners. They had a running joke that she never paid him the dowry he had coming to him when we got married. Her last words to John were priceless, "You're still not getting my money!"
Here's to you, Mom.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
One down, three to go.
Honestly, the cat(Wally) never does what you want him to. It was pure serendipity that he sat there while I took the picture. I didn't even try to get him there next to the hat, it was all his idea.
Now that one hat is done, the world(or at least the next 2 hours until the bus arrives to shatter the calm) is full of possibilities. Do I immediately start in on hat number 2? Do I work on the girl's(the daughter) sweater that has been at a standstill since last October? (Subconsciously, I think it's been languishing in the tote bag, because I'm a-bored with it, b-making it a bit bigger because I thought it was too small, but actually it's a bit too big so I'll have to frog it, c-not crazy about the yarn(Lion Brand Homespun - needed something I could throw in the machine - you know kids).) - I'm making up the punctuation as I go along-
Or do I work on the husbands XXL Malabrigo sweater that's been on hold since the weather got hot and who the heck wants an XXL wool sweater sitting in your lap while you work on the sleeve? Should I sew up the seams on the baby kimono for the baby that's not due until February(yeck, seaming)?
What's most tempting me is to start a new project. Something for me. The last thing I knit for myself was a pair of socks in the spring of 05. The entrelac backpack I made in December of 06 doesn't count, the daughter has taken that over.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
...and I'm an eBayaholic. I'll admit it. I buy and sell. I have an "items I'm watching" list with over 50 items on occasion. It's usually always knitting related, yarn, yarn swifts, addi turbos, a wpi tool. Although I am on the lookout for a window scarf for the dining room.
I'm always looking for a bargain. I've scored 10 skeins of Rowan Rowanspun 4 ply for $20 which included shipping from England. I'm hoping to score some more and eventually try my hand at a Fair Isle sweater. (Who are these people spending well over $100 for the Alice Starmore Fair Isle book?)
I also got some Koigu for a good price. I thought about a pair of socks, but that would leave me with one skein left over. I hate having yarn left over, because it seems that leftovers never seem to get used up. They just take up space in the stash, valuable space that could be used for well, more yarn.
Having said that, I've recently bagged some Shetland cobweb weight yarn on eBay(five 1/2 skeins) and two balls of plain old sock yarn. I've never knit lace before and have been wanting to give it a try. I'm not going to start with the cobweb weight, I've got some very old fuzzy Pingouin in the stash with which I'm going to attempt the first shawl before I move on to the cobweb weight. I do, however, have a pattern picked out for the cobweb. The problem is that I'll have leftovers. About 1/2 oz. by my calculations. So what in the dang world do you do with 1/2 oz. of cobweb weight Shetland? Luckily, it is cobweb, so less area will be used up in the stash containment system.
It's not really a "system" so much as it's those big zippered bags that slipcovers, drapes, and comforters come in that I've somehow ended up with. Odd since it's been about 5 years since I've bought any of those items.
This is the last day of summer for the kidlets!!! This is the (school)year that I will finally get the trim in the dining room painted, rehang the curtains(maybe with the new scarf I find on eBay), get the house sparkling clean and organized so it only takes a half a day to run through the house with the duster, vacuum, and mop. I will also throw this in the compost pile. I should have done it May when I bought them and saved them the indignity of dying on the front porch for the whole neighborhood to see.
Monday, August 21, 2006
The past several days, I've been feeling all sorts of emotions - loneliness(pretty ironic in a house with 5 other people), jealously, despair, silent anger, boredom. O.K. , I've mainly been feeling emotions that most people would rather not feel.
So, I decided that rather than tussle with Puff the Freakin' Fussy Beaded Dragon again, I needed something totally mindless so I could go to my "Zen" place, but not so mindless that I actually did lose my mind. I started this
from this book.
I've obviously made a few changes from the way it's written. The first change was to make it a bit longer and wider. It's for my brother's and sister-in-law's new baby due in February. Prudence would tell me that if I'm going to get a jump start on something it should be gifts for that big holiday in December. You know the one I'm talking about, the one that's only 3 months away! Shut up, already, Prudence.
Anywho, my brother and his wife tend to produce rather large babies so I decided not to make the "newborn" size. I decided this after I decided on the green cheap cotton yarn that I only had two balls of, thus the white stripes to take up the slack. I hope it works, otherwise I'll be doing a bit of ripping to add more stripes, because I'm done with one side(I finished a few minutes after taking the picture), and I've started on the other front side.
I have some really cute green and white ribbon that matches the colors of the yarn perfectly, but I'm going to hold of until they know the sex of the baby(this will be my brother's 5th child, and he's done being surprised) before I decide on the type of fastener to use. They show ribbons as the fastener in the book, but I think that might be a bit girly for a baby boy. If it's boy, I'm going to go on a button hunt.
I've also added eyelets at the neckline on the back to match the eyelets along the edges of the front.
2 more days until the kidlets are back in school, and I'll be more of a frame of mind by then to pick up Puff.
Brainstorm! This can be a Christmas present for the unborn child! I'll knit another for when the child is actually born. Take that, Prudence!
Friday, August 11, 2006
Just because we have the knowledge and the technology, it doesn't necessarily mean that using it is a good thing.
Dear Monstrously Large Local Telephone Company,
I sent an email on 8/9 concerning my ability to log in to my
account in order to pay my bill, and have not yet received an
answer other than a computer generated message stating that my
message had been received. Considering that your company is in
the *communication business*, I have never dealt with another
company that is so hard to *communicate* with!
There are easily 30+ customer support numbers, not to mention
using email, for Monstrously Large Telephone Company, and I
have never been able to get through to the correct department
when I have a question after sitting through the automated
menu. I often put off calling, because I know it will be 30
or more minutes of my time wasted trying to get a simple
I understand the need to keep costs down by not having a large
payroll, but certainly a little too much technology can be a
bad thing. Just because you have the ability to use and
upgrade the technology(automated phone menu, online site),
doesn't mean you have to. A little personal contact with your
customers, and making it *easy* for them to *communicate* with
you goes a long way toward keeping your customers happy.
So, my payment is late, because I opted for the paperless bill
and online payments, and I am unable to log on to make a payment.
Sure, I could do it the old fashioned way, but that would
involve looking up the number, calling, getting the automated
menu, wading through the menu just to find out how much I
owe(we have two phone lines, so I assume it would take that
much longer), writing out the check, finding an envelope
(I no longer get the pre-printed envelope since I'm paperless),
addressing the envelope, finding a stamp(if I have one here,
otherwise you'll have to wait until my next trip out to buy stamps),
and finally putting it in the mail. Then you have to wait
several days for it to be delivered, when all of this could
have been eliminated had someone(a real live person)
responded to the email I sent two days ago! Have I wasted
enough of your time, yet? Good, now we're even!
P.S. While typing this I've been on hold for 10 minutes
waiting to get transferredto the *correct* department. Check
your phone logs if you don't believe me, I know you have
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
This is my white whale.
After sewing on 30+ beads per side and sewing on the belly of the beast, I began to crochet the scales along the spine thus attaching the sides to each other and simultaneously stuff the beast, when I heard the soft ping of beads hitting the floor. Son of a beast!!!
My suggestion to the husband that he learn how to sew on beads fell on deaf ears. It is after all a silly hat for him and his Iaido sword buds. Yeah, he requested that I make more than one hat.
On the school count down - 16 more days until it starts! Then I can tackle the other silly hats in peace.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
It's over there in the sidebar. I know it's not very exciting for you, but for someone that is definately right brained, i.e. technically stupid, this is a major accomplishment.
I've managed to add some links in the sidebar all while this
was going on. That's four sets of kidlet legs(the fourth one is hidden behind the girl)playing the PS2 very loudly, right next to my desk.
The Tylenol is not working. 21 days until school starts.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I'm ready to sit down in my usual chair near the Husband and put Puff the Fiddly Dragon together, so I begin to gather my equipment. Sides of dragon - check! Crochet needle(ugh) for the dragon spine - check! Yarn to crochet with - check! Cool folding scissors that I purloined from Mom that I know I left right here on the table next to my usual chair - bloody hell!!!
God knows I love my children, but I think we've been spending too much time together lately. They have this horrible habit of picking up things of mine, fiddling with them, and putting them down where ever and when ever the spirit moves them. Naturally, I went on the "Leave my stuff alone - I don't mess with your stuff except to pick it up off the floor and put it where it belongs" rampage, when the Husband calmly asks me, "Did you cram them up your arse?"(I tend to cuss in CanaBritspeak - I think it sounds nicer.)
"No, I didn....WHAT?"
Evidently, when he and his sister were children and my always blunt mother-in-law couldn't find something that they had fiddled with, she would shout, "Maybe I should have crammed it up my arse, that way you couldn't mess with it and I'd know where it is!"
I found the scissors buried in Mt. Laundray-to-be-folded on the sofa, and school starts in 23 more days.
Friday, July 28, 2006
So, I'm reading the Harlot's blog one day in which she mentions this book and the fact that there is a pattern for an Japanese samurai hat. In my attempt to get the husband interested in knitting, I show it to him. His response? "Can you make 3 or 4 of these?"
Over a year ago, the husband signed up for Iaido classes at the dojo where the kidlets take karate. He wants the hats to present as jokes to various people. It's supposed to be a surprise, but I'm pretty sure that karate sensei's don't read blogs about knitting.
I'm currently working on hat number one. Instead of using the Euroflax that the pattern calls for (at $18/skein, 4 skeins/hat = too pricey for jokes), I'm using Knitpicks merino. This is the first time I've used the yarn, and so far so good. It's very soft and springy, and I've had no problems with splitting.
The pattern is fun to knit and it goes rather fast, but I'm at the 'finishing' and it's rather fussy. The dragon on the top of the hat requires about 50 impossibly small beads to be sewn on, which means threading impossibly tiny needle eyes at a time in my life when I'm getting precariously close to needing bi-focals.
Did I mention that he wants more than one ruddy hat?
Friday, June 23, 2006
What the H was I thinking?!
I'm rethinking this whole blog thing...it seems to be more trouble than it's worth (remember, I'm technostoopid).
But enough about that. When I first learned to knit 20+ years ago, my first project was a cotton tank out of this beautiful yarn (don't remember the manufacturer - didn't bother to save the label - young and stupid). Well, I no longer have the tank owing to the fact that I've put on a few pounds. If I'd had the foresight to save it, my daughter could now be wearing it.
My second project was a blue sweater of some tweedy wool (again, didn't save the label) that never really fit correctly. It turned into a tunic, was (at the time) way to bulky, and I never really got the neckband right. There were huge gapping holes where I picked up the stitches. But I saved it because it was so big and I never out grew it. It's not picture worthy, so you get a picture of the drying yarn.
So I'm in the process of ripping it, washing the yarn to get out the kinks, and it's been drying on the kitchen table for 2 days. As I was ripping it, I got to see how much I've improved as a knitter. My finishing techniques really weren't that good. I still don't think I've reached Fantastic Finisher status, but it's something to strive for.
So, I challenge you to rip out that first or second project to see how you've evolved as a knitter/finisher. You may end up being very proud of yourself.
Meanwhile, I'll be fighting the computer Don Quixote style....
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I've been mulling this over for some time. What could I possibly offer that no one else had? Nothing. I don't have a particularly unique hook. I'm just me. So, here goes...
I would love to give the credit to the first person to do this, but I don't know who you are..
15 Things about me:
1. I knit.
2. I don't know how to spin, but would like to learn.
3. I love a clean house, but I don't love to clean house.
4. I'm basically lazy (see above).
5. I absolutely hate hearing someone else's radio/CD while sitting in traffic.
6. I actually enjoy bagpipe music.
7. I really love hot, humid weather. I call it the "over air/conditioning of America".
8. I don't like to be cold (o.k. - this one's a gimme)
9. I love crazy Britcoms and movies. Blame Monty Python.
10. Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie, Tori Spelling and their ilk make me itch. I mean does anyone really care that they just had a fenderbender or what they are wearing or who they vote for? Why is this constantly being crammed down our throats? I'm off my soapbox.
11. I must be the only Republican, semi-conservative blogger that I know of.
This is harder than I thought...
12. I'm technostoopid - the appearance of this page is proof of that.
13. I am going prematurely grey - anytime your hair turns grey it's premature!
14. I like animals, except when they are peeing on my floor. We just got a new puppy.
15. I prefer Coke over Pepsi - and never Diet.
16. I prefer peace and quiet - so I am blessed with a husband with a large voice, and 4 loud screaming, rambunctious, running, laughing, young children.
17. I've never, ever seen an episode of American Idol. Taylor who?
I'll post pictures on the next post. I'm just learning, be patient.