Thursday, January 31, 2008


I've had a little nap, supposed to sleep all night. Waiting, like the kids for the threatening storm to hit and give us a two hour delay but it looks pretty light out there. surrounding schools are closed, I wonder if it is in anticipation, or if the storm really hit there, we were supposed to be covered in ice and snow by now. No Ice please, just some pretty snow that will give us a two hour delay. It would be so nice to go to school in daylight!

My felted hats are dry and they are very cool looking. I can't believe I made them.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


48* yesterday, 11* this morning. Yeegads. It is 6.30a.m. and I am ready to go to school, but first a word about my felted hats. We felted them last night and it is kind of magical. After a lot of agitation and hot water and a bit of no rinse wool shampoo, the hat suddenly seizes up into felt from a huge HUGE hat fit for a Bill Cosby Fat Albert character. I am very tall and my pre-felted hat loosely came all the way down and covered my shoulders, Now I am not sure what to call it, not being a hat girl much, but it is a thick pretty roll-brimmed hat. Well, they both are. Too bad they are not yet dry, one of them might feel good to wear this morning. Yesterday I completed a tiny little newborn hat in a variegated fingering yarn and I am swearing off that tiny yarn forever although the hat is adorable.

I certainly hope our walkers cover up this morning, they have a tendency to dress lightly in all weather and this morning we have a dangerous wind chill warning.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Girl's Night Out

Two gals I work with, one just weeks away from her first baby and the other close to the empty nest and I went to see 27 Dresses. What a hoot we laughed so hard so many times. It is a light romantic comedy, quite enjoyable. Mrs J.'s teen daughter and all her friends came in and by coincidence sat right in front of us! So funny because we were very carefully trying not to sit near them if they were there! Oh those teens, can't let us have a minute alone! If you like a delightful chick flick--go see it. I still want to see Juno, but one of us is in the phase of watching "Baby Story" on TLC and weeping, so that was out, we wanted delight, and we got it.

I am a little bit proud of myself this morning, I networked! Hubby of a friend lost his job in the political shakeup around here at an extremely crucial time in their lives, and Chicago daughter has at least half a dozen ideas for contacts for him.. TA DA!

It is still bone shaking cold here, but it is supposed to rise to spring-like temps as early as tomorrow-- from sub zero to fifty-whew, Midwest weather is a roller coaster.

I knitted another hat out of the karaoke yarn yesterday and am making a few cotton dishcloths the dishcloth fairy forgot last year. I am still sitting on the one I made for my brother a couple of weeks ago--hey brother, couldn't find the blue address book the day I was ready! By the way, the free pattern for the hat said two skeins, but each hat took a bit less than one skein. This is a self-striping gaily colored yarn and is it ever nice to handle.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Long Time No Post

Last weekend was the 3-year old's birthday party held in the Children's Discovery Museum in Bloomington Normal IL near or on the campus of ISU. If you have some little ones around and some time, a few hours, in fact, GO. It is the most fun most interactive museum I have ever been in. It is just the right size, not too big, not too small, and has a climber suspended on guy wires that has children playing in it for literally hours. Large farm equipment seems to be imbedded in the floor for easy access into a tractor and a combine. The entire party walked a block to a little pizza joint that had no tv, hence no Sunday evening customers. Daughter had called ahead and the order for about 22 people was ready when we walked in the door, and that was such a good thing for the toddlers and hungry children ranging in age from 18 months to 7, going on 8. It was something like Michael's, and the windows are boarded up for remodeling on the store front so it doesn't catch your attention, but they have a super Chicago style deep dish, I didn't even try the thin crust. I know it was good, there was hardly a bite left.

Knitting: I completed the basic form of the two hats I am going to felt, but my class was cancelled for this week so next week I will be putting them in proper form. The knit shop provides a washing machine to do this. I have a new super energy efficient washing machine, so I don't think I could do it at home. Maybe I could do it in the dishwasher! I knit a hat in a new yarn, Karaoke soy-silk/wool self striping in very vivid happy colors. I gave it to my team member who is undergoing chemo until spring break and she loved it, her little girls loved it, too. The pattern called for two skeins, and it didn't quite use one skein, so I am making a second one. I started from the center of the yarn this time so maybe the striping will be in a different order. It is just an ordinary little beanie with a knit two purl two rib at the beginning, then knitting in the round for the rest of it. The decreases made a perfect swirl design at the top that looks really cool in this yarn.

My new group of students is working really well already so It is going to be a good 6 weeks with them, and best of all, the 9th hour is charming and willing to work, so I end my day each day on a positive note. I like that. I do not like the last period of the day with myself being crabby it spills over into my evening.

Exercise: We did so much leg work on Monday that I was really walking slowly on Tuesday and crashed very early on Tuesday evening. I wonder what Mike has in store for us tonight? I think it will be continuous motion weights, that's my guess.

Well, gotta go get dressed for school. Later.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I had a very vivid dream of Mom last night, she was young, in her
thirties, she had a beautiful head of hair, which, by the time she
died, most of her hair was gone. She lost hair with every surgery and
every fever she ever had, so her hair became very very thin and was
close to nonexistence in her 70's. She had the pin curl style she and
my aunt used to wear, but softly brushed, she was in her glamorous
phase as those young women of the forties always appeared to be. She
was just getting back from taking my two grandsons on a trip, my two grandsons
were both about 8, in real life one is three today(happy birthday) and the other is 16.
She used to tell about taking my son on a trip to Kentucky about that
age and for the life of me, I cannot remember, I may have been in a
blur of twin exhaustion. At any rate, she always remembered it as a
really good time with a chatty curious boy. And he was a chatty curious
boy. It was a very pleasant and colorful dream, I did some really wacky driving in it--don't have a clue what I was doing, I definitely wasn't watching the road and i certainly wasn't using the proper parts of the bright red sporty truck I was driving. But at any rate, hi Mom.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I now have two hats ready to felt-- I am so excited about it, dear
daughters, If I don't have the nerve to wear them, you will! One is
red, one is peacock, with a little mohair. I will try to make them look
youthful, maybe a little blues-brothery in colorful wool.

Cute preschool story, after my SIL had the misfortune
to hit or be hit by a deer on his way to daycare and work, the
preschooler had a million questions about the poor dead thing, then at
school announced that his Daddy killed Rudolph. Sorry SIL, everyone I tell keels over in laughter.

Tonight is leg and lunge night, and may I say I know I will be staggering out of the building at 5:35 tonight.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Knitting and Exercising

I started the felted hat class on Monday evening and had at least 9
rows done before I got there. As it turned out, though I consider
myself a rank beginner, I was the pro at the table. I have knitted to
the very top of the hat now and it looks like a cozy for the Liberty
Bell. I will be ready to felt on Monday, I am determined to get this
done. I chose a red wool with black or navy flecks in it and now I need
to find a bowl to fit my head. The class discussed going to big box
store together and trying on bowls. funny image. That might possible
include straight(strait? dire straits?) jackets and ambulances!

I got in my hour and a half of exercise, 30 minutes on the elliptical
before class starts. He killed us again with some new ab work and my
lunge steps were consistently 8 steps per half lap down from nine. I
moan and groan, but I am strong everywhere except the knee bones...

back: he has been sleeping and taking muscle relaxants, today is his
regular massage, I expect him to be much much better by the end of
today. It has been a miserable nearly three weeks for him.

And this to my brother cook, I got a jar of Goya Mexican tomato cooking base on sale at Kroger's and added it to my Spanish rice as well as having the usual plain tomato sauce and boy, is it extra yummy. I also added portobellos because I had them and didn't think I was going to get them used.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dh is in Shock

I made breakfast and something yummy is simmering in the crock pot, two meals in one day. no grazing. His back is so out I finally got him into the DR. Ho and I think he is geting some relief. I have never seen it so bad before. It has been at least a full week of misery. I am going back to work tomorrow and he will be calling the doctor, unless Dr Ho fixes him!

Bridge to Terabithia-the movie

I really scoffed at the trailers on this movie, what the hell were they thinking putting monsters in one of the most wonderful books. Today I watched the movie on Starz. begrudgingly at first, then pleased and moved by how true the movie is to the book, then, my jaws were aching with held back sobs, though I have read the book many times, to myself, to my students. I take back my negative thoughts about the imagination made visible from the book and say yes, the movie is really good, and true to the book.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Back Out There

I re-entered the world today-- I went out for a late breakfast, then to the yarn shop next door and signed up for two knitting classes, felted hat and felted bag-- Then I was off to school to grade papers or finish figuring grades. The custodians did such a good job on my room, it looked great, it smelled great, I was only there less than an hour because I wasn't as far behind as I thought! I went to a couple of stores and came home to add on to the lacy alpaca scarf I am making. I am loving that scarf. My goal will be to wear it on Monday. A scarf usually only takes me one day, but I keep getting up and playing with the computer. I also find the lacy pattern takes me a bit of time. I am not a speedy knitter. I may never be a speedy knitter. I am trying to break it up so I don't get a big muscle spasm in my back.

Dh put the charger on my car and got it going again. When I got in the car I realized I had left the radio on as I suspected and that in combination with a few near zero nights and no driving led to my predicament of completely drained battery. All better now.

What I have to do now is get back on my regular sleep schedule. For the first time in several years I have been sleeping until 7:30 or even 8a.m. This has been unheard of for me for a long long time. I have actually gotten enough sleep and feel pretty rested. Hopefully this sleeping all night thing will continue, I like it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


WOW! what a workout--I got in 45 minutes early and did 30 minutes on the elliptical, the one that actually has resistance, then, since I was alone (embarrassment factor) I decided to try 30 seconds or a minute on the stair climber, expecting to not be able to do it. I made it 5 minutes, then it was lunge and leg night. We did some new things on the floor and I could barely get up, I am slow anyway, but tonight my usual giraffe method of getting off the floor was in slow motion..... I pretty much staggered to the bike for the last 30 minutes of cardio and am feeling some soreness already from the new exercises. Let me tell you about myself, when I first started this class, I couldn't lunge three steps, I could barely maintain my balance, and now, though my lunge is not deep, I do three laps, nine long steps down and nine long steps back = one lap. Even that has changed, the same distance used to be 11 steps, and as my steps have lengthened, it has become 9. One night it was even 8. Tonight I used 8 lb weights instead of 5 that I usually use on lunges. We laid on our backs and did the alphabet with our feet together, my abs were screaming and, I bet by Saturday, they will be a complaint choir.

At Last I Have Ventured Out

I went out to check my car and it is dead as a door nail, not even a click. I am thinking the cold combined with the jack for the XM radio was enough to drain the battery. I sure hope DH gets back in tome for me to go to exercise class, or else I shall cry. Not having transportation automatically makes me want to go somewhere and I haven't wanted to "go somewhere" in days. So, a few more inches on my lacy new scarf will have to placate me.

PS: I accidentally forgot to do a knit row and did two rows of K2T yo K2 repeat and fond out I really liked that! so the rest of my scarf is not going to have the row of knit.

4 Times with the Alpaca

Last summer DH sent me 6 skeins of home-grown, home-spun alpaca yarn, and like really fine art supplies, I was intimidated by the yarn. I kept trying to think of something perfect. I knit nothing else until two dishcloths this week to break the knitting block and started with the alpaca at least 4 times. I am on my fifth try and I am doing a simple scarf with a very easy lace stitch I saw on tv--at last, something very pretty, but not perfect, is coming off the needles and I am just going to make myself a long, soft, warm, beautiful scarf and see what else is left.
Here is how I am stitching, cast on to suit my yarn, knit a row, knit two together, yarn over, knit two, repeat to the end. Next row is all knit, then repeat. I am going to make it LONG.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Coldest Night

The weatherman had just announced it was 7* when the power went off. I used my cell phone to find an old energy bill and make the call. A courtesy call came back within 10 minutes. "My two guys are busy right now, they'll be out as soon as they finish." Two guys in such cold? I heard a racket at 3:15 a.m. and, by then I was so very glad to have a down comforter, I looked out back and two big trucks were carrying transformers up and down the pole. AHHHH. Shortly the lights came on and the TV blared. I got that off. Relief, then the power went off again. I called the power company every time I woke up to register the lack of power and received no further courtesy calls. I finally became aware of the furnace running at 7 a.m. Later DH told me that the power came back on about 6a.m. He had slept of the sofa because our fabulous bed has some electric features and he cannot sleep sitting up with his feet slightly raised. The furnace ran without stop until 11a.m. this morning. We hardly ever lose our power in this neighborhood, even in bad storms, but I guess a couple of squirrels threw themselves into transformers last night. cell phones make good flashlights and you can just hit send to redial an 800 number instead of having to read it over and over.

I had just about finished a new knit dish cloth for my brother, just a couple of rows to go, so I finished that this morning and am a third of the way into one for my daughter whose cloth sprung a hole in the middle right away. Not sure how that happened. I do these in cotton and they work really well. One thing I learned is that you don't make them nearly as big as a store bought dishrag or they are too big. They also really scrub. I put a couple of thick bands in my brother's to add scrubbing power.