Saturday, November 9, 2013

Been a while....(Do you hear Staind?)

I'm alive!  I started out with 3 grad school classes and dropped to 1.  It's so much easier with one, especially when it's interesting and I like the professor.  It's painful to learn about the "foundations of information" when I've worked in libraries long enough to know I won't use it in my day to day life.  I have a test to take this weekend, but so far I have an A in the class.  I also know I can't continue taking them one at a time--so here's to more classes (and probably less knitting) next semester. ;)

I've been knitting too!  I made a hat for my friend Melissa's daughter (OK, total disclosure--I used to babysit MELISSA!  It's a little scary she has a baby herself.  I am old.)

I also am working on a sock in this pretty yarn.  The pattern is Roundabout, and I am nearly finished with the gusset decrease now (this was taken yesterday).

I also signed up for a Mystery Knitalong with a very talented designer, Jessica L'Heureux.  She's jesseknits on Ravelry.  You can sign up in her Rav group here.  I'm really looking forward to it--Jesse designs the most beautiful patterns!

Halloween was fun and the yard is full of leaves now.  We have a huge maple tree in our backyard that waits until the last possible minute and drops EVERYTHING!  So my grass is covered in pretty yellow leaves.  I know the ground will soon be white, so I will take the leaves every time.

Here's some Halloween pics:

And the last rose of the season:

It's cloudy and dreary and cold, so I think I'll go work on my sock.  And maybe have some tea (Oops!  How did that whiskey get in there?)
Happy Saturday!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Storms and Test Knits

This was going to be strictly a knitting update, but first I need to say I am thankful I have power again after 5 tornadoes came through the area--and those of us who didn't "technically" have a tornado were blessed with 98 mph winds.  We lost power for 3 days, which sucked, but it could have been way worse.

I saw some amazing good, and it kind of restores faith in humanity (of which mine has been severely waning lately).  All our neighbors met outside at 7am and helped clear tree branches from each others yards.  That night when we were driving up Forest Street, one side of the street had power and the other side didn't...and the road was a sea of orange extension cords from the powered side to the not, powering refrigerators on the other side of the street.

The most touching thing was going into our favorite bakery this afternoon.  I picked up the kids after work, and we thought maybe the power was on at home, but the kids wanted to go get their "Thursday cookie" first (which, after 3 weeks, is now a new tradition.)  We went to the bakery, which still had no power, but had breads and cookies brought in from their Little Chute store.  Mary was working behind the counter.  She was so excited last week when we told her all about how we were supposed to go to the State Fair tomorrow...and this week the kids told her our plans had been cancelled.  We need to use the money to replace food in the fridge that we lost, so we are going to Bay Beach instead (considerably cheaper).  Mary was more upset than we were, "But you were so excited about going!!"  I told her it was fine, and she said, no, it wasn't.  She pulled out a card and wrote on the back, and said, "When we have power, call ahead to make sure we have them ready for you.  It's a little bit of State Fair here." The card was for cream puffs.  She gave us our cookies, then handed us a little picnic cake, "Close your eyes and pretend you're at State Fair".  Made me cry. 

So there's good people in the world.  Some days they're harder to find than others, but they're always there.

And now for a knitting update--with no computer time, I had some time to knit, but not as much as you'd think.  I discovered a group on Ravelry called "Free Pattern Testers".  Designers put their patterns up and ask for test knitters.  They give you a deadline.  This is the interesting part--knitting something takes me For-Ev-Errrr....but not when I have a deadline to be fearful of.  The first thing I knit was a shawl.  The pattern was very beautiful and it had beads!  Unfortunately I f-d up a large portion (not pattern writer error--definitely user error!) but it was beautiful none the less, and Anna claimed it for herself:

Next it was a quick little hat called Honoring Angels.  Emily picked the yarn from IRIS, and I was done in a few hours:

Now, I'm starting another shawl.  It's done in worsted weight.  I had some Wool of the Andes in Chestnut in my stash.  I have about 2 skeins started into a really pretty shawl...that I don't remember what the name of it is, and I have no idea where I am on the pattern.  So I am going to use that yarn for my test knitting shawl, and unravel the "mystery" shawl if I need the other 2 skeins (which I probably will).

Monday, May 13, 2013


First of all, I had a lovely Mother's Day, and I hope other mom's did too.

*rant on*

And now...I am so frustrated with my own mother.  She decides on whims whether or not she is talking to me.  She gets mad at me for perceived things she thinks I do.  My life is a constant battle of "You have to..." or "You better..."'s. 

The latest:  She got mad at me (I think) because I didn't go to my cousin's Lia Sophia party (thereby making her "look bad").  I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to go to a library conference, which fell over the same time as the party.  I ordered online for the party, and went to my library conference.

My mother didn't speak to me for 2 weeks.  She then calls and pointedly talks to my children--and when the kids ask if she wants to talk to me, they get "No.  Bye."  Childish?  You bet.

So my uncle in New Jersey has cancer, and they decide to go.  My mom leaves me a voicemail that they are leaving and will be about a week.  Says nothing else, then comes walking into my house, drops a bag of potatoes on my kitchen floor (My kids are all sitting there mind you...) says nothing to my children, says to me, "Eat these or they'll go bad", then peals out of the driveway and speeds down my street.

So--onto Mother's Day.  I have heard NOTHING from them.  No "We're here" or "We're home".  I tried calling my mom's cell phone yesterday and got no answer.  So I am quite sure the WRATH OF MY FATHER will be down on my shortly, about how I neglected my mother and I am disrespectful and evil incarnate, etc etc etc.  Screaming and yelling will ensue, in an attempt to get me to cry.  This is what my parents do.  They "bait me" into a fight.

I'm done.

I just can't do this anymore.  I am quite sure my mother is suffering from something.  She's not the same person she used to be.  My dad blames menopause.  For the past 20 years.  He says things like, "I'd leave her, but where would I go?"  So he knows there are problems too.  But when it's her against me, it's not a contest who's side he chooses.  What I'm confused about is why there is any side to begin with.

My mom needs to understand she just can't come waltzing in and out on a whim.  Either be a decent human being or stay away.  You don't have to like me, but you have 3 grandchildren that I would love to let you see, but that I don't want used as pawns in your stupid whatever this is.

My childhood was horrific.  I just need to take away the power so that I don't have to feel this miserable at 40 anymore.  I'm tired of being the one to say I'm sorry for stuff when I don't know what I did.  I'm tired of being the one to face the wrath, and who gets blamed for everything.  I'm tired of trying.  I just feel like I don't care anymore.  I just can't take anymore.

*rant off*

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Little Update

So, I knit some more on a gift I am making.  Here is a sneak preview:

In other news, we played Yahtzee as a family tonight.  Anna was reluctant to play but she actually won with our help! I'm hoping this gives for the confidence she needs to enjoy math games a bit more.

In funny news, Emily decided she likes Lifetime movies.I was watching the end of one and she wanted to watch the whole thing. I told her it's going to be hard to find movies appropriate for her.

Hoping to paint my bedroom tomorrow I will try to take pictures especially of the multicolored green before. I will be very glad to see the last of that color.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Catch-Up

 You know, I took photos to post on my blog every day.  Unfortunately, real life (and sometimes laziness....) got in the way, so you get them in one big wrap up post!

So first...I was knitting on Anna's owl beret.  Here was the progress:
 Then, it was my wedding anniversary.  Brian and I have been married 17 years.  I had him book a hotel room away from the kids--and he chose one in Elkhart Lake.  We couldn't check in right away, so we did what all Library Geeks do and toured a library!  This one was in Sheboygan.

Mead Public Library is gorgeous.  We were happy to see Appleton isn't the only library with meters (Although, instead of the 20 minutes a quarter gets you in Appleton, in Sheboygan it gets you 50 minutes).

They have this awesome restored cigarette machine converted to dispense tiny works of art for $5.  It's called the Art-O-Mat.  How cool is that??

So I pulled a box from "One Word Wonders" and got some Joy.

There library there is beautiful--3 stories, lots of room for teens (2 dedicated rooms, actually), big Children's Dept on the 3rd floor, giant quiet room.  Just an all around great library.

So, after our library tour, we went to the hotel.  It really wasn't anything to write home about (We were the only people there...), but they did have a fireplace.  And Brian did bring wine:
 So then it was St. Patricks Day.  We continued a tradition of Shamrock Shakes (Even if McDonald's has froo-frooed them up):

 I started a tradition of my own--with green Midori Sours:

 Then.  It snowed.  Another 4".  I guess it's better than Thora's 7" in NY, but still.  I am so over winter.  It can stop any time.

How are birds supposed to eat with all this snow going on??

 And today...I finished Anna's hat.  I don't think she likes it much, especially when she found out it's a slouchy beret.  But I think it's cute.

So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  :)  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Some Knitting

I am involved in a local Yarn Bombing project called Fiber Rain.  My dear friend Kassie is one of the organizers, so I recruited my girls to help her out along with me. 

They are doing a jungle tree and need I-cord and chains made by kids.  Emily is enjoying her finger knitting I-Cord, and Anna is really enjoying chaining.

I made some leaves (with yarn donated by IRIS Fine Yarns, because Phyllis rocks!) and made the start of a collective light pole project.  It's Vanna's Choice in a pretty purple from my stash:

 We also had some fun outings this past week.  We went to Building for Kids (at Anna's event night, we won a family membership in the silent auction.)  We've decided this will be our "Tuesday" outing. Even Anna had a good time:

 Yesterday we decided to go ice skating.  The outside rinks are crap (and have been pretty much all winter) so we went to Appleton Family Ice Center.  They are generally only open for Public Skating during the middle of the weekdays or Sunday from 3-5, and they are a busy place.  But the kids had's Nicholas mugging for the camera:
(BTW--the bleachers have heaters over the top of them!)

In other knitting news, I'm working on more leaves and some cute anklet socks.  I also am trying to crochet, but I really suck at it.  I think I'm going to start with something simple and work my way up to birds (for the Fiber Rain project).  I can do the stitches--it's understanding the patterns I have a problem with.

Oh, and it's snowing again.  But I did find a really cool site called Sprout Bot.  You put in your zip code, and it tells you what to start or what to plant that week!  Very handy.  Between that and my Pinterest gardening board, I'm hoping it gets me over this blah hurdle!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


So, it's Saturday morning, and my son was trying to play SimCity and can't get on. 

No, I guess that's wrong.  He can't PLAY.  The play button is grayed out.  He can't even open the game THAT I BOUGHT to see if the servers are full.  They just won't let him in.

This sucks. 

So I go on the "Live Chat" to find out what the deal is.  And my wait time is 62 minutes.  How "helpful".

It's going to be a long, SimCity-less day.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I bought the new SimCity the day it came out.  I had a Target gift card for $15, but it was still a big bite to fork over $45 of a $60 game.  But I really wanted to play it.

You see, Maxis and I have a long history together, even if they aren't aware of it.  I played the first SimCity ("Nah, Nah, Nah Traffic").  And the second.  And Third.  I played all the Sims games.  I played Maxis games before EA came along and bought them.

And EA...don't even get me started here.  All the NHL games.  From Atari on up.  Command&Conquer.  SSX Tricky (one of my all time favorites).  Saints Row.  Tons more.  If it was an EA games, I played it or owned it.

I knew the new SimCity would have bugs to work out.  I've found pretty much all the EA/Maxis games (especially The Sims type games) automatically have a patch, and have one after that and after that and after that.

The thing is...I played the beta, and it was fun.  It was so nice to be back in the SimCity world.  The graphics are so much better, I was happy to be part of the beta, and part of a beta that tested their servers the night before launch.  It doesn't get much more exciting than that.

So I bought the game, and downloaded the obligatory patch.  I played for about an hour, and the server booted me.  It was fine, I had stuff to do after an hour.

Now I have to give a disclaimer here:  I am not a big MMP fan.  I rarely if ever play games with anyone else, much less someone I don't know.  I prefer to play alone.  Even on the XBox, if I forget to shut off the multiplayer feature and someone joins my game, I usually kick them out and shut off the feature.  It's not really that I'm antisocial, I just enjoy games at my own pace, and not relying on someone else's game play.

So imagine my surprise when my husband linked to this article, talking about how Amazon suspended selling of the new SimCity amidst all the server problems.  So I found this link and this link.  People are pissed.  SimCity's newest response is here, that they are going to give registered users a free game.  I'm sure it won't be anything expensive or stellar.  I'm kinda hoping for another expansion for my Sims.

But most people are pissed about the response.  Similar to the Knit Picks debacle, and isn't that it happened (although EA did have Diablo III as a perfect model of how this sort of thing can screw the pooch, and evidently didn't take heed of the warning).  It's that people were told they could get a refund.  Than obviously, they couldn'tNow a free game.

I hate to say, "Well, what do you expect?" but seriously, "What do you expect?"  It's EA/Maxis...known for this kind of problem.  It's frustrating and it sucks.  There is really few things worse in the gaming world as a gamer than buying a new game you looked forward to for WEEKS or MONTHS or sometimes YEARS and not being able to play it.  But this is coming from a company that has a LONG history of problem games.  But saying "They always pull this shit" doesn't excuse the fact that they developed a game that must be played with an online connection, only to have servers crashing constantly and having some people not be able to play at all.  They should have known better, and if they are so concerned about piracy, they need to come up with some other unique method.  Because this online thing isn't working.

It also goes back to a slightly off-topic discussion I had with a student worker at the library.  What happens when these games that rely on digital content--and the internet--cease to be supported?  You're kinda screwed.  And as a person who enjoys playing games over and over, that doesn't bode well for what is coming in the future.

So there is my very off-topic rant on the subject of SimCity.  BTW--I haven't had an issues getting on and staying on this afternoon or evening (knock on wood).  My 10 year old even got to play, and seeing him enjoy a game I enjoyed first when I was slightly older than he is makes me pretty happy. I'm sure Saturday morning will bring an all new can of worms. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Finished Socks. No Drama here.

So I finished the socks I was working on for the SKA challenge.  I am the slowest knitter in the world, and I rarely finish a challenge there, and I never have won anything.  But it was fun to actually finish on time for once:

SKA seems to be undergoing a transitional shift, and a bit of drama to go with it.  I've been a member for years and years, so we'll see where it goes.  I did find a couple of cool sock knitting groups on Rav, so I might check those out too.

I made Emily some jammies.  She is thrilled:
Now Anna wants a pair.

We are going to New York in May.  Emily is excited...I know this because she is looking up YouTube videos of stuff to do their and asking questions like "Have you ever been to this restaurant?"  I just hope the Statue of Liberty is open again, or I am going to have a bummed out boy child.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Busy Weekend Ahead

No pictures until I get home from work, so I'll make this short and sweet!  I'm still busily plugging away at my sock:  First one is done, hoping to finish the next one by the end of February.

Yarn is ordered for Radiator Mittens for the Seaver kids.  Hoping to have those done by the end of next week.

Will be busy working on sewing Anna's dress for the Gala next Friday.  The pieces are all cut out, and it looks like it should sew up nicely (famous last words....).  I can't wait to see her in it!!

I also have a market bag to sew up for a friend, then I want to go through my material and see what I can come up with for a rag quilt for Anna first.  Nicholas also tried on the hat I made for him a LONG time ago, and it fit, but he couldn't flip up the ribbed bottom.  SO it's high time I made my boy a new hat :)

And that's what's going on in my world.  I'll post pictures either later this evening or tomorrow.  Hoping all my East Coast friends in the path of the blizzard stay safe.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Super Bon Bon

Still working on my sock--it looks nice.  It's still winter. (BAH).  I take the GRE on Wednesday.  And I have eaten too many super bon bon's and gained 10 lbs since Christmas.

This is the opposite direction I would like to go.

I purposely didn't make losing weight as a resolution this year.  I never do it if it's a resolution.  I figured I'd start eating healthier (I didn't) and drink less (I didn't) and get on the treadmill more (I didn't) and not worry about the number (I didn't).  I even got a Fit Bit, because it looked like a good idea, I wanted a pedometer anyway, and it sinks with my My Fitness Pal account.

So my Fit Bit came.  And it asked for a weight.  And I got on the scale for the first time in a couple months.  Honestly, I'd been noticing my pants were tight and my underwear were going up my butt.  But, hey!  I wasn't going to worry about that.  I noticed sometimes I would snort like a pig while I was walking from the back of my throat, like really fat people do.  That worried me a little, but not enough to stop eating pizza and potato chips.

Then I saw the number.  And I was horrified.  Not the heaviest I've ever been, but damn close.

So, it's time.  I'm not going on a radical diet I'll never follow.  I'm not going back on Weight Watchers, where I feel the need to lick my plate because "I need to get my full points!  They're mine!".  I'm not going on South Beach, which probably works great, but won't work with my family. And besides, I like a sandwich now and then.

I am going to eat healthier.  I am going to make better food choices for my family.  I am going to keep track of what I am eating, and be accountable to myself and my family.  Salads are in our future, with our dinner.

I am going to move more.  I am going to try to get on the treadmill or exercise bike 3 times a week.  When the weather gets warmer, I will walk to pick up my kids.  They will walk home with me, or we will ride bikes.

I am going to drink more water.  I HATE drinking water, so I will flavor it with Crystal Light.

I will start today.  I will slip and fall.  I will sometimes eat too many potato chips with too much dip.  I will get back up.  Enough is enough.  I'm not getting any younger, this is something I have needed to do for a long time.  I need to do it for me.  I need to do it for my family.

It's not a resolution.  It's just the way it is.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Trip to IKEA

The closest IKEA to us is over 3 hours away.  The last time we went, Nicholas (who is 10) was just born, and Emily wasn't even in the thought process yet.  So today we took a roadtrip down to Schaumberg to visit IKEA.

You get there and someone greets you right away.  Then you are herded like cattle up an escalator to a world of things you never thought you needed, but feel like you have to buy.  It's like the pump something into the air, just like oxygen in a casino.  I didn't even know I needed a Pruta, but I own one now!

Everyone told us how you have to eat lunch in the cafeteria.  We get up there, are trying to figure out what line to go in (and what they serve besides meatballs) and some woman is screaming about how there is no line.  Then another woman is screaming about how there are multiple places to pay.  So our cafeteria experience was a little "Screamy".  And the meatballs--meh.  I've had worse things to eat I guess:
We did buy quite a few things we needed, like Lack side tables in black for $10 a piece, and some floating Lack shelves.  Brian got some Ribba frames for his Amazing Stories comics.  My splurge item was this little guy, and I should have bought is fat little brother too!

I did start a sock (of which I haven't taken a picture yet, and I will post it tomorrow, along with Downton KAL progress).  I used some stash bamboo yarn, left over from my friend Kris' shop, Sonny&Shear.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Turning 40...

Wow.  What an amazing day I've had.  I had wanted a big party, but kind of nixed that idea at the last minute.  Truthfully, I was afraid no one would come.  Then I wish I had told Brian to do one anyway.

Emily surprised me this morning with breakfast in bed.  Four cookies, 2 pieces of dry toast and a juice box.  She brought me a banana later.  It was the best birthday breakfast I ever had!

But, I went to work today and brought donuts (It's winter break, so there are not many people in the building.  This equals lots of donuts left.)

Aren't they gorgeous?
Brian picked me up, and there were beautiful roses waiting in the car, and a little box with a new bracelet for my beads in it.  He had scheduled a massage and facial for me at 2:30 at Massage Connection.  I had been wanting a massage for a long time, but was too chicken to go, so this worked out great (and it was amazing!  Although I don't know if I'd do a facial again.  It was a little claustrophobic under that really hot towel.)

Then Brian wanted to take me out for a nice dinner.  He made reservations at the Melting Pot.  I didn't want to go to the Melting Pot.  I've never wanted to go to the Melting Pot.  He wanted to go someplace in Algoma, which sounded really good, but when he called, they didn't do reservations and we couldn't eat until after 8.  I hate waiting for a table more than anything.  I have Texas Roadhouse programmed into my phone so I can do call ahead seating.  I HATE waiting.

So he got crabby.  He said he wanted to do something fancy and special for my 40th.  I told him I don't like fancy.  I told him he's really over thinking things.  I said, "I love Frank's Pizza.  I love Texas Roadhouse.  And I love perch from Lake Park.  Let's do one of those things.  My perfect birthday would have been coming home to my dishes done and a new TV in my bedroom with the Wii hooked up to it."

So we got home after my massage, and he brings in my present from the kids, which is the serger I always wanted.  I don't have a clue how to use it, but I'll figure it out (the knives part is a little scary!) 

Then Brian said, "Go into the bedroom." and there is a new TV with the Wii hooked up to it.  Genius!  Score!

He had to get the better one because the salesperson told him I was playing video games on it.  And he doesn't like to buy cheap crap.
We got rid of the kids and went to get fish from Lake Park.  (It wasn't as good as usual, but oh well!  Can't have everything...).  We came home and watched some Wipeout and there is a loud bang at the door.  It's the UPS man with packages.  One was the tubing to hook up the water on the fridge.  (Hooray!)  Then there is a long one from 1-800-Flowers.  In it are these pretty things:
My friend Jessica spoiled me today!  Oh they are beautiful!  They smell as pretty as they look, and NO ONE has EVER sent me flowers.  They've brought me flowers, but had them actually delivered?  Never!

Then there is another package from my friend Thora.  I was speechless.  Inside was tons of wonderful yarn, and a felting daisy kit and honey soap with little bees on it and a pretty bracelet and a lovely card:
And then I unwrapped the most beautiful pair of mittens I have ever seen in my life.  And they are mine, made for me by Thora's amazing hands:
I am so blessed!  What a great day!!  I feel like Cameron on Ferris Bueller's Day Off when Ferris tells him, "And you didn't think we'd do anything good today!"  I was wrong.  If this is the start of my 40's, surrounded by people who love me enough to make my birthday terrific, bring it on!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Rose Bowl Badgers

My Badgers are back in the Rose Bowl.  Their ex-coach decided to run away before he lost again, so Barry Alvarez is back in his sweater vest to coach a win (I hope!!)  I am ready.  I have:

Go Badgers Brownies, and a dozen roses...

Red popcorn from Dairy Queen....

and red Bacardi Bahama Mama!

Now the Badgers just have to do their thing, beat a really good team, and show Bielema how much of an ass clown he REALLY is.  In case you haven't seen it, this is great:

On Wisconsin!!