29 February 2012

Wrapping up and starting new

Today is the last day... and at midnight, we start all over again.  Club 33 will have completed it's first official round of Nerd Wars at 11:59 p.m. tonight.  By midnight, we will have a team of veterans.  So what all have I done this month, Round 1 of Tournament 4?  Just this ~

Too Cute for Words headband was done for Geek Pride
2 3Cs ~ The brown one was for the Intellectual challenge, the blue for Technical
A Fist Full of Firsts answered the Nerd Culture challenge
You Make My Heart Sing rounded out the crafting for the Scientific category
I also donated $25 to Hats Off For Cancer as a part of my Giving Geeks submission.  Six challenges posted.  Six challenges answered.  I also was allowed to began working on my dissertation for Tournament 4 - Rapunzel's New Dream ~

2 of 5 panels completed so I'm right on track with my time schedule
So what am I going to be doing with my extra day this year - helping the rest of my teammates get their submissions in.  I'm going to cheerlead, coach, mentor and console everyone on their efforts - both successful and non... but as soon as midnight strikes, I'm getting my hot little hands on this ~

480 yards of Wexford Merino Silk in Bellini, loving crafted for me by Three Irish Girls
 ... because at midnight, we start Round 2 - and I can't wait for it to begin!

28 February 2012

26 February 2012

Fiddle-farting around

Please pardon me while I fiddle-fart around with my blog design elements.  I need a change so if you pop in and find the header and such different, please don't worry - just working through some ideas.

I'm looking for something to welcome in Spring but yet stay true to the base foundation of the blog style... just freshened up a bit.

Sunday Snaps

We made some serious progress regarding our goofy girl...

I've spent a lot of time staring at the particular view...

Panel #2 should be constructed and joined this afternoon... fingers crossed.
It's been a most interesting week - full of trials and tribulations, laughter and tears, discoveries and realizations.  Letting go of people and things that bring you down and learning new ways to build others up.  New avenues are being explored and old streets are being bypassed.  Basically, the week can be summed up in one simple quote ~

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."

25 February 2012

Raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens

Now you're singing along too, aren't you... I thought the post could use some background music.  I have been wandering around a few of my favorite Indy shops and I thought to myself, "Self, why not share these fabulous things with the world"... and then I replied, "Why Self, that is a glorious idea.  Thank you."  So here you have it, let's go shopping this fine Saturday morning - I'll even throw in a treat at the end.

This is "Yarnvelope" - as she says, "Don't just write... write on art"
Natalie also has the most amazing yarn shop as well.
I love collecting journals and Handcrafted Books by Michelle has such an amazing collection!
Project bag and cute fiber items are abound over at Slipped Stitch Studios.
Ruth has some crazy mad skills - check out all her beautiful patterns at Rock + Purl
Yarn, stitch markers, buttons and more - all of these can be found at JL Yarnworks
Handmade pottery like you've never seen before - you just have to visit LennyMud
Man can this girl rock your world - check out Butterfly Bush Yarns and see Ruth's creations
Let your freak flag fly with something from Geekiana - trust me, it is a bit fantastic!
So those are the places that I've been this morning and then I read something that my friend Ruth wrote which prompted me to share with all of you... and as promised, here is a little treat.  How would you like to take $5 off your next yarn purchase of $25 or more?  Yeah, I thought so -  and thankfully, so did Doodlebug Yarn.  We have partnered to bring you this wonderful discount so hop on over and take a look at all the fabulous items they have in stock.

Just use the code "Peppermint" and you'll receive a $5 discount on your qualifying purchase
Support "local" artisans because without art, life would be pretty drab indeed.

24 February 2012

Weekend Wonderment ~ 2/24 - 2/26

Almost halfway... I'd say I'm about 45% of the way complete
6 squares.  Yep, yesterday I made 6 more squares and today, I'm hoping to finish off the other 4 and start sewing the panel together.  By the end of the weekend, I should have two completed panels and the beginning of the third.  I am really enjoying how this is coming out.  All the colors just make it such a happy blanket.  If I make another one, I think I might do it with shades of one color family... like different hues of blue, that would be cool.

Today is a busy day.  I have to take Hobbit to school, get my glasses fixed (new frames because my current ones are breaking), get the oil changed in my car and find out what that obnoxious noise is that just started the other day, go to the bank, pay bills, go to the grocer, laundry, dusting and vacuuming, mop the floors and then go get Hobbit from school.  I can't wait for today to be done if I'm being honest with you... all the crocheting yesterday seems to have aggravated my neck again.  It's all good though - I remember my stretches, took some Tylenol Arthritis already so hopefully that will kick in soon.  Either way, I've only got 4 squares to go and they will get done.

What about y'all - anything exciting planned or has the relaxation already begun over in your part of the world?

23 February 2012

There's just no way...

I can be expected to do chores when I'm still 14 squares short!
After I take Hobbit to school today, I've got to tear through the kitchen - Pokey cooked last night but somehow the kitchen got completely missed.  I had a raging headache and he fell asleep early so I guess we each thought the other had done it.  My day didn't start off fabulously but it's partly my own fault for not double checking.

Once that is done, I've got to wind my birthday hank because I found the perfect shawl to make out of it.  Y'all remember my Bellini that I got from Three Irish Girls?  After months of searching, I finally found the perfect shawl for it.  It's simple enough to let the beautiful yarn be the star but still has enough details to keep me from going bonkers with boredom while I work on it.  I need to have the yarn ready to go because I'm going to start it at midnight on March 1st because I'm going to need the entire month to work on it - for both Nerd Wars and the Leap Into Spring KAL with the Simply Notable Ravelry group.

Right now though, I must get back on track with my dissertation.  I am running about 14 squares behind schedule.  I can usually kick out 2 while I wait for Hobbit to get out of school and 2 while I wait at cheer practice tonight, then 2 more while I wait tomorrow for Hobbit to get out of school.  That gives me 6 so I'm still running 12 short and sewing time.  I'm thinking that if I can knock out an extra 3 tonight and tomorrow night then all I'll have to do is make 2 on Saturday and sew them together over the weekend.  I know I worked in a cushion for my timing but I'd rather not start thinking in that mindset because we're heading into "Birthday Season" around here and it can get crazy.

6 events in 4 months - yeah, definitely better to craft now.

22 February 2012

A different kind of work in progress

Success is on the way!
On Wednesdays, most people show off their WiPs for a meme but I don't usually participate.  I have a ton of projects that I can show off, it's just that I'm not big into the whole mega-meme thing...  today though, I just had a major development that I wanted to share.

I just got a call from FDLRS and they have finally heard my plea regarding Hobbit!  I was so happy to hear that they are putting her in for an evaluation that I honestly started to cry on the phone with the sweet secretary who called to let me know that someone has finally heard us.  It's just the beginning but it is in fact a beginning... an honest to goodness beginning.

After months of research, home evaluations, letters, emails and phone calls - someone finally heard me.  Do y'all have any idea how great it feels to simply be heard?  Oh my goodness, I've got tears of joy just sitting here writing this out.  Hobbit is going to get the help she needs to get back on track.  She's not going to get passed along and lost in the system.  Someone else is finally seeing what I see and hearing what I'm saying... someone else finally cares.

So that is my 'Work in Progress Wednesday' submission - and I am so tickled.

21 February 2012

Tuesday Tunes

I couldn't decided...

So I just decided to share them all...

These are the songs from my teenage years...

Hope you enjoy this walk down memory road as much as I have...

20 February 2012

Perceptions and balances

At some point we, as a society, developed a skewed perception as to what we have a right to know.  This idea that the amount of information shared is somehow directly correlated to level of curiosity is wrong.

I have no right to know what goes on behind the closed doors of anyone - family, friend or celebrity - unless they are comfortable sharing it with me.  Conversely, they - family, friend or celebrity - shouldn't feel that they have to share everything that occurs behind closed doors with me... and visa versa.

The level of information that a person has regarding another person's life is a gift.  If you have been trusted with a high level of clearance, then you have been blessed.  If you haven't been trusted with it, it simply means that the person doesn't feel you need to know. Simply put - the level of nosiness doesn't directly influence the level of trust.

Trust is something that is earned through making deposits in people's emotional bank accounts.  If all you do is make withdrawals and never make a deposit, your account will be closed... but if you continually make deposits, no matter the size, you will be granted withdrawals without penalties.

So the next time you want to know more about a person's life, take a moment to check how much time, energy and love you have deposited into it first.  You just might be surprised at your current standing balance.

19 February 2012

Sunday Snaps

I completed my first shawl this past week...

my first panel on my first dissertation...

my first Valentine's Day without chocolate in the house...

and I ended it by Gleaming the Cube for T4R1 of Nerd Wars (it's my 4th time doing it too)
There were a lot of firsts this weeks, as you can see... not a lot of anything else.  Today, we're having a pajama day because tomorrow has everyone a bit on edge.  Sure, I'm still going to do laundry and clean up around here but I'm not getting dressed for the entire day... and perhaps I'll even be able to pick my dissertation project back up.  I haven't touched it since Thursday!

I hope looking back over this past week, you find moments that make you smile and focus on them.  We all have moments that bring us to tears or make us frustrated but it's more important to focus on the ones that have brought you joy - because wrinkles caused from happiness are way cuter than the ones caused from being miserable.  They aren't even wrinkles at all - they're happy crinkles and I hope that one day, my face has it's fair share of them... as does yours.

18 February 2012

It is what it is... and that's okay

This is Hobbit's attitude about recent developments and I love it.  As y'all have been witness, this has been a rough year for her regarding school and we have been doing all we can to help her while we get to the root of the challenge... yesterday, I think I finally did.  Monday we'll have a better idea of if my research is true, once we speak to her doctor.

Let me get y'all caught up because I know I've not said a whole lot of what I've been doing behind the scenes here.  After several months of reading about every possible reason as to why things have been the way they are, I kept coming back to one possibility that I honestly kept dismissing.  Months of insulting conversations and emails from sanctimommies, months of side by side planning and evaluating with her teacher (no, I don't care for her and yes, I find her abrasive but we work with whatever we have for the betterment of our child) and my own constant observations and recordings in hopes of finding trends or clues to get the final piece of the puzzle that will shed some light on things.

So while others who know nothing of our family have been saying the most horrible of things about me and my family, I have been plugging away.  Self-righteous emails full of wild accusation and belittling comments made about my child, myself and my husband.  To those who sent them, if attempting to tear someone else down in order to raise yourself up brings you joy then I hope you are beside yourself with glee.  I don't take your ugliness to heart because I know that nothing that was written was true. The main focus of my husband and myself is to make sure that our children are happy, healthy and thriving.  If one stumbles, we are there to pick them up - not yell at them for falling.  While you sit there and attempt to point out the splinter in my eye, please be sure to remove the plank from your own first.

Monday, we will learn what I have already ascertained to be true.  Monday, we will have the official evaluation from the 25 or so online ones that all read the same results.  Monday, we will be taking the first documented steps in getting Hobbit the help that she needs to succeed in school - and to overcome her learning disability... Dyslexia.  Somehow, I don't think "tough love" will help, do you?

If the mean people learn only one thing from this post, I hope that it is to not make wild judgement calls when they don't have all the facts.  Insulting a child is despicable in it's own right but insulting a child with a learning disability is just disgusting.  Think before you speak.

17 February 2012

Weekend Wonderment ~ 2/17 - 2/20

After a most disappointing Thursday, I'm having a fiber fun-filled weekend.
  1. Check out my new kit that came in the mail yesterday from my Hook & Needle club.  It's my second installment and I'm still not sure I like the group.
  2. Finish or Frog this morphed creation and reclaim my needles.
  3. Check out my first kit from the Hook & Needle club and either make one or baggie it away for a future giveaway.
  4. Continue slogging away on my Nerd Wars dissertation.
  5. Bust open the packaging on my Turkish spindle and see if I possess any skill whatsoever in operating it.
  6. I have been dying to cast on with this gorgeous yarn since I got it the other week so I'm going to be hunting for the perfect pattern.
Did anyone notice that I have a three day weekend this weekend?  Yep, I do and initially we were going to go to Disney's Animal Kingdom park but we're thinking of shelving our plans.  So the three of us will probably be hanging out at home on Monday... one reading in her room, one probably on his computer and me in my chair, covered in yarn.

Does anyone else have a long weekend - anything fun planned?

16 February 2012

In response to some emails...

It's mine, I simply chose to share... that's all.
I'm a writer.  It is something I've always done, ever since I learned how.  It's my preferred way to express myself.  Sure, I do other creative things as well but when it comes down to it, I'm a writer.

It's how I share life experiences, noodle through trials and free my head of all my thoughts.  To me, the process is very cathartic and I do it because it brings me pleasure - that's it.

This blog is my space.  It's my place to write about my life, for me.  Bottom line is that it is really nothing more than my personal digital diary.  Sure, I share it with the world but that is because I choose to - I have been writing online for close to 6 years - yeah, it's true.  For those who are the curious type, you can click here to see where it all began.

I don't sugarcoat things, add fluff or view life through rose colored glasses.  Why would I keep a false record of my life for myself, I know the truth. I don't write for advice, condolences, commiseration or praise.  I write because it brings me joy.  I write because it brings me peace.  I write... for me.

If someone else gets a bit of joy from reading what I write, that's wonderful and I'm glad.  If someone else gets a bit miffed from reading what I write, well there is really nothing I can do about that because it's my account of my life.  I'm not a sanctimommy - I'm glad that you believe yourself to be a perfect mother, I know I'm not.  I'm not June Cleaver - I'm glad that you believe your husband finds you to be perfect, I know mine simply finds me perfect for him.  I don't compare myself to anyone because I am no one but myself.  I have failed in the past and I will fail again in the future... they work in a strange cycle just as my successes do.

I am human.  I am flawed.  I am genuine.  I am me... and I am a writer.

She's up

There she is...
Has been since about 6:30 a.m.  She doesn't need to be up.  In all reality, she should go back to sleep.  Her alarm will go off at 8 a.m. and then she can be up for real, but not now.  It will throw her off for the rest of the day and we've already had a not so great week... but still, she's up.

Yellow, green and purple.  While they do represent the colors of the upcoming season, they aren't the ones I want to see on her daily behavioral report from school... but that's how our week has gone.  Yes, I understand that some people just have an 'off day' but an entire week - have mercy.

Even thirty more minutes would have been good.  All I want is for her to have a fabulous day at school.  Just one day where her teacher didn't give her the stink-eye... one day where she doesn't do something wrong in somebody's eyes.  Yeah, I know the label has already been stuck on her but that doesn't mean it's any less wrong.  Every day should be a fresh start, a new beginning, without any of the mess of the days prior clouding it over.  It should, but it isn't.

If a child has built a reputation such as Hobbit has managed to do for herself this school year, it is hard to undo it.  Teachers and faculty talk - they all know her name.  Sure, part of it is because she is such a gregarious child but part of it is because of other reasons... reasons of her own creation to get attention that have back fired.  This has been the worst school year... ever... seriously.  In all my 39 years, I have never had a school year as horrible as this one.  Not when I was in school and not when Peanut was in school.

... in all her glory.
I couldn't have been blessed with two children who are more complete opposites of one another.  Peanut was quiet, shy and introverted.  She did well enough in school that she simply went through life unnoticed and that is how she wanted it... still does actually, even now that she's an adult and off at college.  Hobbit is loud, extremely social and as extroverted as you can get.  She is smart but lazy in school - she would rather do things that are fun and apparently, lessons aren't fun.  She is sneaky and defiant.  Don't get me wrong, she is also funny and lovable but her stubbornness and strong-willed nature make each day a bit difficult, both at home and at school.  The difference is, at home we start each day new.

I wish that I had one of the flashy memory things from "Men In Black" that I could use.  I'd go into school with her every morning and zap her teacher.  If a "good" child has a bad moment, it's just a bad moment... if a "troublesome" child has a bad moment, it's proof of the label that the child has been given and blown out of proportion.  As a parent of both, I know this to be true.  Yes, I know she's difficult... I'm not delusional.  I'll tell you flat out that she's an opinionated, stubborn mess but that doesn't mean she can't be good too.

It just means that she is a fun-size version of her mother...

15 February 2012

Now, we're outnumbered.

At the start of yesterday, we were a family of 5 - three humans and two animals.  It was a nice arrangement because everything was shared, at least in theory. 

Y'all remember him.. right?
Not long after Pokey and I got married, we decided to rescue a dog, enter "Buddy the Wonder Mutt".  Hobbit had to have a fish so we got "Fishey Fish Fish Nemo [ourlastnamehere]" who is a Japanese fighting fish.  Now, something needs to be clarified - while Hobbit had to have the fish, Pokey has since claimed him although he is in complete denial of this fact.  You ask him, he'll say he's Hobbit's... ask Hobbit and she'll claim him too - although Pokey is the one who feeds him daily, turns his light on, changes his water and talks to him... shoot, he's even located in a spot where only Pokey can physically reach him (on the shelf behind his computer)... so yeah, "Fishey Fish Fish Nemo [ourlastnamehere]" is Pokey's... moving on.

Ever since we first saw "Bedtime Stories", Hobbit has been fascinated with guinea pigs.  They were cute, cuddly, small and made sweet noises.  Then we saw "G-Force" and it got worse.  Every time we went past a PetSmart she would beg to go in and then drool at the case like I do looking at all the pretty yarn over the internet.  Yesterday, I had a thought - and I acted on it.  We went in and priced everything out, talked to Trevor and learned a lot.  Then, we left - empty-handed.  There were other errands to run and I wasn't moved by any of the critters they had at the store.  Sure, they were cute but I was going to let Hobbit pick one out after school as a surprise Valentine's Day gift (because the last thing she needed was more candy).

Isn't he awesome?!?!
During our gallivanting around town, we came across another store of the same brand as earlier.  The staff wasn't as knowledgeable or as friendly but there he was all the same.  Cutest thing with a white mohawk that made him look like a little skunk - and begging me to pick him up... so naturally, I did.  The associate who helped us was one who you could tell wasn't an animal lover - this was just a job and she was more concerned with whether or not she had something on her shoe than being sweet to the furbabies inhouse.  She claimed all the little critters bit and had foul dispositions, shoot she wasn't even knowledgeable - case in point, I offer you a direct quote... "Chinchillas used to be extinct"... ummm, what?  How can something be extinct one minute and then sitting in the habitat above my future snuggle buggie boo?  That solidified it for me, not only was I loving that little stinker, I was going to save him from the freaky ignorant woman with the super huge mole growing out of the back of her head... seriously, it was freaky, but I digress.

Sweet crib for the little furbaby.
The store we were at didn't have the cage set up that I wanted so we went back to the other one and picked it up.  We also had purchased a roaming ball (which guinea pigs can't use because it will hurt their backs - they don't bend like hamsters do.. just an fyi) but it was cracked so I had to take that back when I picked up Hobbit from school.  It was a guinea pig paradise.  It was now time to go and get Hobbit so I set off and when she was safely in the car, we headed to the store - she had no clue what was coming next, and honestly - neither did I.  The plan was that she was going to 'test drive' them to see if she liked them.. then come home to Stinker and if she was able to help me care for him, she would get a surprise one on her birthday.  Yeah, that plan went out the water when we learned about size dominance, cage ownership and neutral grounds... if she was able to handle them and not afraid, we were going to have move up her birthday present idea to today... oh boy!  She 'test drove' several 'models' and then she saw him.  The guinea pig of her dreams and complete with a pleading look fit for animation glory, she set out to try and "convince" me that I should get her one... that one.

Yeah, I know but still, they're cute!
Now what fun would it be if I were to spill the beans now?  I let her work on her negotiating skills, even though they are honed to perfection already - I swear, she should be a lawyer when she grows up.  She asked Miss Lindsey every question she could think of - some were actually really good, some where manipulative nonsensical to get the answer she wanted to 'prove her point' to me... I told you, she's good.  At the end, I let her 'win' and we brought home Flimzie. 

Now, we're outnumbered... three humans, two guinea pigs, one wonder mutt and one fish with a horribly long name.  Welcome to our menagerie.

14 February 2012

Tuesday Tunes

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  I hope you are as loved as you deserve today.  I'm feeling a bit rotten, my budget ran thin on getting Peanut's Valentine's Day care package to her so it will be late.  On a happier note - Hobbit loved her shawl -

Sometimes I wonder if acts in perfect collage mode or if she's just that animated... lol.
and I love my present from Pokey - a candy apple red mp3 player and money for iTunes... with which I bought Adele's album "21" and this album -

Have a great day!

13 February 2012

Motivational Monday - Mama's day off

I decided on Friday night that I was taking Sunday off.  I informed my family, left a reminder note on the refrigerator's dry erase board and set to task on my chores so that I wouldn't have to play a lot of catch-up come Monday.  This was going to happen, I needed a day off.  Just because I'm a homemaker doesn't mean that I get to sit around all day doing nothing - personally, this "job" is a million times harder than anything I ever did outside the house.  I have guilt if I am not working around here - I have the luxury of staying home so I better make productive use of my time... at least that is what I tell myself.  After 4 years, I think I deserved a day off. So I busted tail on Saturday - because if I worked extra hard then, I might not feel so guilty the next day and actually take the day for myself... then I got a surprise.

Hobbit's shawl, blocking in my room
Sunday morning, I wake up a little after 8 a.m. and the house is quiet.  I try not to jump into panic mode when this happens because it doesn't always mean that Hobbit is up to no good - it was early and I let her stay up late the night before in hopes that I would be able to do just as I had done - get up when my body was done sleeping but before her.  I then toddled out of the bedroom to get a cup of coffee when I saw it... Pokey sitting at his computer.  It was Sunday morning.  He works on Sundays.  My foggy mind tried to make it all make sense but I ended up hugging his neck and asking if he felt alright.  He said that he was here so that I could officially have a "Mama's Day Off".  He was going to be me and I was going to be a figment of everyone's imagination today.  The rules were set before me - I could not do anything.  Plain and simple.  If I felt the urge to do something, tell him about it so he could do it.  I smiled at the thought because it was sweet but we would have to see how well either of us would actually do in the execution of the plan - I'm too Type A and he's too Type B but it's always the thought that counts.  I sat down at my laptop and he brought me my coffee, the day had officially begun.

It's coming out perfectly!
After fiddling around on here for about an hour or so, I went and got dressed... and then proceeded to have the most wonderful day that I've had in quite some time.  I watched "Footloose", "Save the Last Dance", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Raising Helen" and "Definitely, Maybe"... uninterrupted.  I had breakfast, dinner and supper served to me in my comfy lazy boy.  I was able to finish and seam my first panel of my Nerd Wars dissertation, finish and block my Nerd Wars Nerd Culture submission and almost finish my Nerd Wars Scientific submission.  I even got the first two photographed and the Nerd Culture project submitted.  I am most definitely going to be gleaming the cube this week.

Hobbit spent the day joyfully in her room.  She wasn't punished, she was playing.  After four garbage bags full of stuff, she can actually enjoy her space.  She is working on putting things up when she is done but it's still a new concept for her so it wasn't 100% when I tucked her in but I'll straighten up the little bit after I get back from taking her to school today.

The kitchen was cleaned last night - something I don't really like to do when Pokey cooks because he makes such a mess.  The food is delicious but the mess is always triple what I would have made.  He scrubbed and loaded the dishwasher stuff in the dishwasher.  He scrubbed and soaked that which needed to be soaked and even came back later to finish so I wouldn't have it waiting for me today.

Lovely reminder of a lovely day.
At the end of the day, I felt recharged and relaxed.  It was exactly what I needed and Pokey agreed that once a quarter, I can relive it.  Taking time off doesn't mean that I'm lazy or uncaring, it's actually quite the opposite.  I realized that I had no patience and everything was turning me into a fuss-bucket with a hair-trigger.  I didn't like it and I know my family wasn't enjoying it.  That's when I decided that I needed a bit of time to decompress and just let all the knots out.  I know I bring it on myself since I don't really 'allow' anyone else to help out - a trait I get from my own mother... nothing is just as I want it so I might as well just do it myself and not get annoyed with the lackluster performance of others.  That mentality backfires after a bit and slowly a person starts to feel as though they do everything... which they do but it's by their own design.  Taking time to step out of the game lets others shine and you recharge... even if it's just for one day.

I have the most wonderful family for allowing me the time off but even more so for making sure I took full advantage of what was given to me.  Bring on the week, I'm ready to go!

12 February 2012

Sunday Snaps

Earlier this week, the air was thick with the smell of tree smoke...

which would cast this awesome halo around the moon that I attempted to capture.

I made some serious headway on my dissertation squares...

I cleaned up my little side table - and can now craft in comfort...

but I still haven't had time to actually work on them yet this weekend.
 This past week was an exercise in patience.  My laptop died.  Yeah, it was sad.  My husband got it back up in 'safe mode' so I could copy my important things to our network - patterns, photos and such.  Then he completely gutted it and got it back to factory brand new.  It took a few days but since I've had it back, it seems to be working as good as new.  Sure, there are a few hiccups but ultimately I am very blessed to have such a talented husband.  He has something in the works with his connections to possibly get us 'new' computers so who knows what next week will hold.  His budget is ridiculously small but I have faith because he is the most resourceful of fellas.  I'm sure he'll surprise me with something that I wouldn't have dreamed possible - but I'm not a geek, just a nerd... he has so much computer knowledge, I'm just the eye candy when we go geek shopping.

Hobbit had her first cheer practice this week and according to her coaching staff, she was a model child.  She listened, followed directions and never took her eyes off the coach - so why can't this 'model child' show up at school?!?!  Parents aren't allowed in except for the last 5 minutes of practice so I don't have photos this week.  Maybe I will try to sneak some in this time.  It's funny though, Hobbit is so much bigger than the other kids.  Everyone in that room is 6 years old so it's not like she's older than the rest but if you look at them all together, she looks to be 8 and the rest look about 4.. it's funny.  It's like having a St. Bernard puppy mixed in with a chihuahua litter... oh my, now isn't that a flattering visual!  Y'all know what I mean.  She's bigger, calmer and sturdy while everyone else is small, yippy and fragile.  Huh, that's not much better, is it... but at least you get the point, right?

Okay, time to get up and face my day.  I busted tail cleaning Hobbit's room yesterday and today I am rewarding myself by watching "Gilmore Girls", knitting and working on my dissertation blanket edging.  I hope to join it together today too.  I'll update y'all tomorrow if I get that far - because it will definitely motivate me, that's for sure.

11 February 2012

Keeping Promises

I just remembered that earlier this week, I promised to show you what I put in my swap box for my recipient... so here you go ~

She got it all on Tuesday and with one exception, it was a deemed a good box!
Let's run round from top center and I'll share what all is in there.  We've got Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate squares, a green tape measure, a yellow magnetic shopping list and two magnets (Florida themed), a small 3 subject notebook (she loves notebooks and she crochets, knits and spins), the hat I made (apparently it is too big which made me totally bummed but I winged it since I had to do it without measurements - inside joke and reason for the tape measure), Dove Milk Chocolate Valentine heart candies, a "Knitters Unite" button, a ninja rocker cat coin purse, two mini skeins of sock yarn from Rocky Mountain Dyeworks, the latest edition of Simply Knit and a skein of Butterfly Bush sock yarn.

So that was her box.  I am honestly gutted that the hat was too big.  It is a slouch hat and I followed the directions without modification because I didn't have her measurements.  It can't shrink because it's a mostly acrylic blend yarn.  She did make a comment that she would cut off the band and add a wool one so that she can reshrink it when it stretches out of shape.

All in all, I had a great time with my first swap.  I don't think I did too badly with creating my first box and I know for a fact that I was completely spoiled by my first package that I received.  As my budget permits, I might toss my hat in for another one because I can see how this could get very addictive, and expensive, for a crafter.  Our budge was to have a box of $40 value - I assume that is the average so upon my initial budget tweaking, I can participate once every four months... 3 swaps a year sounds like a great plan.

Who knows - maybe I'll host a swap next...

10 February 2012

Weekend Wonderment ~ 2/10 - 2/12

My shawl and my blanket, that's my focus this weekend.
I'm almost done with the last big square for this panel and then I'm going to go 'off pattern'.  You see, the original design just has the squares joined directly but Pokey and I agreed that it made the quilt a bit too crazy for us so I'm going to add a round of single crochet on each square in white and then I'm going to join them.  It breaks them up just enough so that you can see the definition of each square. 

There are 3 main panels that consist of 3 large squares, 2 medium squares and 8 small ones.  There are also two divider panels but I wanted to knock out the main ones first because the big squares take me a bit longer than I anticipated.  I'm also doing the edging and joining now so it isn't a huge daunting task later.

That's my plan for this weekend but for today, while Hobbit is at school, I'm going to work on her shawl.  It's for her birthday in April and she has been asking for a shawl for about a year now and I think she just might be old enough to appreciate one.  Just in case I'm wrong, I'm not doing anything spectacular (ie lace) so I won't be completely gutted if it gets ruined.  I am hoping to have it completed and blocking by Monday so that I can put it up and she'll be surprised.  This is one of my few knitting projects that she has yet to take notice of so I just might get away with it.

Anything crafty on the weekend horizon for you?

09 February 2012

5 more minutes

So there is this show that I love to watch - I admit it and I'm not ashamed to say it... it's American Idol.  I love music and even though we had a parting of ways for a short period of time due to some of the "choices" that were made and disagreeable contestants that were aired, we reconciled during Season 9.

Now, it seems as though we have a new challenge.  It started with Season 10 and it has only been getting worse.  Networks air shows in time slots.  Those are the parameters for when it will be on the television - and those are the default parameters for when my DVR will record them.  Yes, I can change it to read more or less but if I have it set to "when program is scheduled to start/end", wouldn't you believe that it will record all of the show?  Yeah, me too but guess what - it doesn't when the show doesn't notify the rest of the world and simply runs over.

American Idol is horrible at running past their scheduled time.  I'm not sure how it is allowed but it seems to be impossible for them to stick to the 60 minute time frame.  It's getting to be 63 or 65 minutes which means that I am missing the conclusions to the show... and we all know that they keep the best stuff for the last five minutes.  Do you see my predicament?

Yes, I have adjusted my DVR now to run 5 minutes past since I am not recording anything else afterwards on those days but what if I was - you can only record two things at one time.  American Idol, consider this me asking nicely that you please, please, pretty please stay within your scheduled air time... because just once this season I'd like to actually see the ending of your show.

08 February 2012

Random Wanderings

Yep, another day where my brain just won't kick into gear so it's going to wander around randomly today... should be fun considering I have a lot to get done today.

I need to make 1 large square and then single crochet around all the squares
on my Nerd Wars dissertation - Rapunzel's New Dream.
I had to change my pattern for A Fistful of Firsts because the one I was
using was so poorly written that a Ravelry group devoted a thread to fix it.
Starbucks is having a promotion - buy a bag of Blonde roast, get a free drink.
Hobbit's first cheer practice is tomorrow - heaven help us all.
15 minutes, every night - no exceptions and no excuses - to right a wrong Hobbit created.
... and now it's time to get my hiney in gear.  Pokey and I are going out and about after we drop Hobbit off at school.  We're thinking about having a bit of breakfast and I've got my Benadryl because I want a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit - have been for several weeks.  Then tonight, one of my many guilty pleasures is on - and it's Hollywood week so it should prove to be a rather interesting show!

Now, where did I leave my shoes...
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