Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Whole Lotta Yarn

Besides the obvious changes needed in my life for physical and mental health, I also find the need to "destash" in 2009. For you non-knitters, that means knitting from my current stash rather than buying new stuff. Seems like common sense, sure...but when you have close to 200 skeins of yarn and keep buying faster than you knit - there might be some room for improvement. And if you think 200 is a lot, you should talk to some of my friends or visit Ravelry. Mine pales in comparison.

So for 2009, I'm hoping to knit the following:
- 6 pair of socks (at least).
- This shawl, in some groovy Egyptian mercerized cotton I have.
- A scarf pattern that came with my Buckwheat Bridge purchase at Rhinebeck 2007
- Another hedgie for one of Joe's coworkers (who just had a baby)
- Possibly this scarf using this yarn
- A hat and scarf for Joe to replace the really crappy ones I knit him when I was first learning
- Another Clapotis, this time for me, out of some awesome yarn I got at Rhinebeck 2008 (the purple stuff at the top of this photo)
- This fish hat. Because how can you not make a fish hat?

It doesn't look like much, but it's a pretty aggressive list for a slow knitta like me.

For all of you non-knitters who really couldn't care less about all this, hopefully I'll be blogging more - about various things - in 2009. Since the world revolves around me, of course, my gift to you is more of myself. Bwah!

I hope you all have a lovely night - be safe, and have fun. We're celebrating in our normal manner, which usually involves lots of wine and a really awesome breakfast. Cheers!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Have This Friend...And She Rocks.

Many of you know (or have read about) dearest Lorena. Last week, she sent me the most delightful little package of Christmas surprises, and I promised not to open them until Christmas. Well, Joe and I typically open our presents early - this year I'm surprised we waited until 12/22 - and so last night was The Great Unwrapping, during which we found further evidence that our dear friend rocks. A lot. And not just a lot of rocking...but rocking a lot of the time...

She knitted us socks.

Adorable, warm, matching socks! The above picture has better color.

This picture, while darker, shows off the picot bindoff on mine (ZOMGWTFBBQ!!1! Cuteness!), and Joe's more manly cuff.

I also got a skein of the 2008 Holiday Gingerman sooper dooper sock yarn! Such lovely goodness. What a beautiful person - and mad-skillz knitta - you are, sweetie! MWAH!!!

Joe was particularly good this year, as he received TWO pairs of hand-knitted socks. I finally finished his Baby Cable Rib socks, made with Lorna's Laces I got at Hanks last year (see how it all comes full circle?)...

Joe is a changed man. He now owns four pair of hand-knitted socks, and I don't think he's ever going back. He loves them!

I'll go into more detail about our gifts to each other at a later date. But a couple of hints: I'll probably be posting more to youtube in the future, and our very cluttered office is about to be a lot less cluttered.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pull Up A Chair

- Over-the-counter cough/cold medicine: $4.99
- Variety pack of herbal teas: $7.00
- One bag of pellets for stove: $5.00
- Watching the snowstorm from my house, rather than from my office: PRICELESS

ETA: photos

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Trifecta of Pain and Misery...

Four words:
- Cold virus
- Hangover

Need I say more? Now get the fruck away from me before I hock a loogi on you, and please turn the light off when you go (and do it quietly, thankyouverymuch)...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Friends Near and Far

So Friday morning wasn't as bad, weather-wise, as they had predicted. It never got really icy on the roadways, so for that I'm grateful. But it was still so very nice to sleep least until the sun got too bright. I gathered up my courage and went to the mall (maul) to pick up some gift cards for my brother's kids. But first, a lovely little package appeared on my porch:

Lo-and-behold, presents from Lorena! Plus, a surprise Hanks gift certificate from Joe! Those sneaky little bastards... I'm not opening the wrapped presents yet, but the soap looks and smells absolutely divine.

After realizing how much I hate big-box-mall-stores this time of year, I did a little more shopping in the village, picking up a few things for work people and such. Then it was off to a friend's house to work on something for another friend (can't get specific here yet, alas - but it's good). Wine was flowing freely, and I got home way past my bedtime. A lovely day off.

Saturday was another day to lay low - with laundry, general housework, and some grocery shopping. I also picked up some wine to go over to another friend's house - he and his wife were having a holiday party and also celebrating his recent kick-ass diploma-getting skills. Lots of coworkers there - lots of food, wine, and beer...the next thing I know, it's 5am and we're finally putting an end to the "evening." Needless to say, Sunday was rough. Very rough.

Today brought the harsh reality of being productive at work, but this evening brought a couple of lovely surprises...
A lovely Winnie-and-Piglet hug from my dear friend Sunshine, with whom I'd recently become reacquainted on Facebook. It was such a perfect bright spot in an otherwise crappy day, THANK YOU, dear!

I also got plenty of Christmas/Holiday cards, one of which had an odd bulge to it. It was the sweetest card from Lulu (Willow's First Mum), with the cutest little cake stitchmarkers in it. I couldn't get a good picture though - not good with closeups on this camera in artificial light.

And so now I have a smile that won't quit, some knitting to do, and some holiday cards to get started on. I totally skipped out on them last year, and I'll feel really bad if I do it again.

Thanks for the prezzies, friends! Mwah!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I've been informed (and, of course, I realize) that I've been a bit silent as of late. Interestingly enough, many of my blogging buddies have been as well. Holiday planning, travel, stress - it all gets the best of us. To be honest, there hasn't been much stress here. Just not much...of anything. At all.

Routine: Get up ridiculously early to walk/strength-train/yoga myself back to a smaller, healthier Beth (4:30am - yup that's right). Shower/dress/yadayadayada, go to work. Work. Get home sometime between 5:30 and 7:00, depending on responsibilites for the day. Drink. Eat. Drink. Go to bed at grandma-early times, since 4:30 is freakin' painful. Barely get to sleep. Joe calls - forgets that 7 his time is 10 my time. Talk for 10 minutes. Sleep. Wake up to horrible interruption of REM 2-to-5 hours later when snuggly cats decide to play/fight/piss me off. Realize I have X number of hours/minutes/seconds left of precious sleep. Wake up.

Repeat forever.

It's not terrible - I really do appreciate that I'm not bugging Joe by (a) getting up at oh-dark-thirty and (b) having broccoli, crackers, and hummus for dinner. But there's not really anything blog-worthy, unless you like hearing about how the cats are acting lately. Because that's what it comes down to these days.

Except tonight. Where the Weather Gawds and Vacation Day Gawds aligned and All Was Good.

Because tonight, as I drove home in 33 degree temps and heavyish rain, I thanked my lucky stars that I booked a random vacation day for tomorrow. The intent was to do some Christmas shopping and whatnot.

This is the scene that greeted me at home:

Hard to see in this dark shot, but that is a hefty accumulation of ice on a tree branch near the porch. It continues to rain, and the temperatures continue to fall. Whatever ice accumulates on the cars tonight can stay there. For at 4:30 tomorrow morning, after I wake to feed the playing/fighting/hissing kitties, I will go back to bed and bury myself underneath our wonderful comforter.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Received a Book Tonight

Everyone knows I have a soft spot for the critters of this world. Well, maybe not spiders - if they're large and in my house, then all bets are off. But everything from the loudest little cricket and tiniest inchworm to neighbor cats, skunks, and even baby groundhogs - I'm a sucker for taking care of things. I'm sure there is a visible-only-to-strays sign on my head, for the Weismann Home for Wayward Animals has seen its share of visitors.

When I first visited the Daily Coyote about a year ago, I knew in an instant I was a gonner. The writing - the photography - and, of course, Charlie - I was in way over my head. I completely fell in love with everything about this little guy and his caregiver. So I kept checking in. And so I, too, became a part of their ever-growing family - hanging on to every word and picture. Shreve even commented on my blog once, and I felt like a celebrity.

And so tonight the mailperson brought me a great gift - my preordered copy of The Daily Coyote book. Even though I'm very familiar with the overall story, the first few pages captivated me. I once loved to write. I loved the freedom of words and all that they held for me in my small world growing up. In Shreve's book I see that same love and freedom. I see a life that most envy, even though it's certainly not an easy one. I see hard lessons learned, and I see beauty savored. I see pride in hard work, and I share in being extremely proud of the results.

Now, if you'll excuse me - I have a book to read...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I DON'T Have A Problem, Dammit!

Another package arrived yesterday. This was purchased long ago, y''s not like I'm buying MORE stuff...

I do, however, have to show off Fedex Packing Guy's mad skillz...I thought my mom wrapped things to withstand reentry into Earth's atmosphere...

All that bubble wrap protected this little bowl. Yeah. Good thing that bubble wrap is going to another, greater purpose. Holiday shipping, hooray! I have packing supplies for years!

I'd better be going - I scored the rare couple-o-slices of buffalo chicken pizza from our local deli. Sonnets should be written about this paaah. Seriously.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shut Up! I Can SO Stop Whenever I Want To...

I've been rather blog-silent lately, mostly because not much is happening. Joe is traveling, I'm working/knitting/talking to the cats, and pretty much nothing else. I'll try to catch up on the few exciting, the pretty!!!!

Anyone who knows Joe and me knows that we're total pottery whores. We can't stop ourselves. We have 2 sets of one-of-a-kind table settings. I have more bowls than should be legally allowed. Lasagna pan, casserole dishes, wall hangings - you name it. If someone shaped some pretty mud and threw it in a really hot oven, chances are we'll buy it.

And so when my dear friend Kristin put a bug in my ear not too long ago, little did she know she was feeding my inner demons. From her friend Lisa...

Some nice, solid cereal/soup bowls (yes, I know - we already or so, but you never know when you might need more). Plus something you don't see every day - a gorgeous decanter and shot glasses. Tall, thin things are rare - they tend to break in production, so I couldn't resist.

Also, these two adorable little bowls:

They're about the size of a little girl's tea-set saucers. The one on the right is a "wishing bowl" filled with cobalt blue glass melted into the middle. I just get lost in it.

Then Mom had to go to some show in Watkinsville - she took some pictures, emailed them to me to see what I wanted, and I just responded (within some kind of budget, of course). It was like having my own personal shopper! She's shipping them a few at a time, thanks to The Wonder Wrapper at FedEx...they could be dropped from a plane into an ocean of rusty nails, and still no harm would come to them...

Bowl and top/plate and really cool leaf tray.

I just couldn't pass this one up. I love unusual color schemes and patterns.

Yes. More bowls. But I don't have a problem. Really. Just one more piece, and that'll be the last one. I swear. Sure, I don't have any place to put this right now, but it's just so preeeetteeeeee....

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Rhinebeck 2008

Okay, so I've been a bad blogger. Shame on me. But now I finally have the time to share the wonderfulness that was NY Sheep & Wool Festival 2008 at Rhinebeck, NY.

Just like last year, we were joined by friends near and far, old and new. Ginger and Kelly flew up from FL, and Lulu (who rescued Willow) came up from Brooklyn. On Friday (after I picked up Joe from the train station - he'd taken the red-eye from Vegas, then hopped on a train to join us), we went to Montgomery Mills:

We later had lunch at The Guilded Otter, then hit a few local wineries. Adair Winery and Vineyards:

Outside of Whitecliff Vineyard, looking out at the Shawangunk Ridge:

We then went back home, tipsy and full, to spend some downtime knitting, napping, generally chilling, until we ventured out for a candlelight ghost tour of the Patchett House. Then it was home for a good night sleep to prepare for the weekend of yarny goodness!

What a perfect weekend it was - quite chilly, but warm enough in the sun...

Joe was particularly fascinated with the auction

We both enjoyed the sheep dog trials

On Sunday, I hit the sheep judging arena

And Sunday night Kelly made a fabulous Indian-inspired lamb chop dinner.

Here's what I scored over the weekend:

Starting at "noon":
- purple wool/mohair blend that just jumped out at me and right into my bag
- directly below: Kona DK Superwash from Mont Mills
- gray prime alpaca from Mont Mills for scarf/hat for Joe
- black/brown Peruvian tweed from Mont Mills for friend's gloves
- GORGEOUS handspun from Ginger
- LOVELY Alpaca from Lulu
- The cutest, warmest, best-fitting house socks EVAR from sweet Sharon
- Joe fell in love with some Alpaca socks from a local farm
- Two skeins of sock yarn - Creatively Dyed and Done Roving
- Bijou Basin Yak/merino blend

I didn't go too crazy this year - it helped that Saturday was so very packed, it was hard to pleasure-shop. But we met some lovely Ravelry people (and Ginger and I both won prizes at the Rav party!), and it was just a perfect weekend all-in-all.

We missed those who couldn't join us, but we expect you here next year!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Joining the Club

An online friend of mine lost her father this week. I wish you all peace.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Finished Something...

So my busy time at work is over, and I think I broke my brain in the process. The semi-final big meeting was towards the end of Sept, and then I had to straighten the house for my knitta friends to come over for knitting with wine. I was at the cuff of these socks then. Almost two weeks later, I finally finished these damn socks...

The yarn is truly lovely - it's Lisa Souza, a birthday gift from a dear friend - I'm just such a slow knitter. With knitting ADD to boot. So I've been hopping around project-to-project, avoiding the projects I SHOULD be working on (I haven't forgotten about your baby, John!), because I have the attention span of a gnat right now.

It seems that I blinked after knit night, and suddenly it's 10 days later, and I have guests coming Thursday afternoon to spend a long weekend getting their fix. It'll be a smaller crowd vs last year, but we'll have a grand time (we'll miss you, Lorena, Sharon, Jacquie, Paul, and Soph!). I still have to get the guest rooms ready (aka the rooms where we put stuff until people come over then we run it all up to the attic), and while I was finishing up one guest room I realized I hadn't looked over my stash in a while. Two hours later, I had it all a little better organized and back where it belonged - actually, it was good I did that. Helps me figure out what I'll allow myself at no way am I allowed to get more than 3 skeins of sock yarn, even if it is made of fairy farts and rainbow-pooping unicorns.

So I'm being productive, but in a very random way. Tomorrow I plan on cleaning out the den, which will no doubt mean I'll finally go through that old box of VHS tapes my mom brought up last fall, searching for the ones of our HS marching band, killing even more time in the process. But that'll be good too, since it seems half of CSHS has showed up on Facebook in the last six months. That could explain the wacky reunion dreams I've been having...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dudes! A C.O. Submishe!

I!!!1! Behold the cuteness...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, I'll Be Damned...

Came home last night to the typical drama - whenever Dobby and Willow are in the same room, there must be a stare-down. Growling, a little spitting, some bap-bap-baps on the head...I couldn't get Willow to come out from under the bakers rack (where Dobby had her cornered), so rather than feed her in her room first, I decided to feed the boys first, to distract Dobby. Needless to say, I was a little surprised at the new arrangement...

(pardon the really crappy phone picture)
This morning they did the same thing. All hissy until the food was poured. Huh.
And now I'm officially the crazy lonely cat lady who knits on top of the hill. Several posts in a row about my damn cats. Just please - someone stop me if I start walking down the street in a housecoat and rollers (neither of which I own, btw), pushing a shopping cart filled with aluminum cans and cat food...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Trying Something New

This past Saturday, after waking up (at 4am!) to Otis upchucking, I stumbled down the front stairs to feed the cats. Stumbled is a specific term...I missed the last step. Nothing like a jolt to your spine when you drop an extra 7 inches to the hard floor... So I fed the kitties, limped up and released Willow from her confinement (a really nice room, with food, water, blanky, and litter box), and rolled back into bed.

Three hours later, I open my eyes to Dobby at my feet, Willow at my shoulder, and Otis with Joe. All three cats on the bed, without drama! Oh my freakin' gawd!

Last night we didn't confine Willow, but the cats really didn't mingle. Let's see how it goes tonight - Joe's gone, and the cats usually get a little possessive of me...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Long Time No Blog...

Okay - here's a quick recap of the last few weeks, mostly in pictures.

We had General Montgomery Day, and there was a beautiful tribute to art, his empty co-pilot seat on the fire truck...

...and there was also a riderless horse to honor his memory. It was very touching.

Considering this was the day that hurricane remnants were to come through the area, I thought it was well-attended and fun. Not a lot of vendors showed up, but I made sure to patronize those that did.
I guess one of the problems was that I went without Joe (he was in Nevada at the time on business). I'm guessing this is how "the rumors" started.

But on to more pleasant topics - here are some Aliens for Peace. Really...

The same night that I was asked about whether or not Joe left me, I was knitting on the couch (another sign of becoming the Crazy Divorced Cat Lady), when something caught my eye...

Just about every emergency vehicle in the county was down the road from me. Fire trucks, ambulances, volunteers...and of course our local paper did me proud and didn't mention a thing the next day. I have no idea what happened. But lots of pretty lights...

I took some cute pictures of Willow...

Napping in the sun...

Have I mentioned how very adorable she is...?

I've also been doing some knitting...turning the heel on some socks for me...

Starting some socks for Mom...

Just bought some beads for a mohair cowl for a local knitting group knit-a-long....

Started working on a Qiviut scarf - the pattern and yarn (part Alaskan musk ox) was given to me by a dear friend who will be visiting next month for NY Sheep & Wool Festival.

That's about it for now. Work is finally slowing down, but it's still a bit crazy at the moment.

And there you go!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Watch This and Share

I apologize for the heavy political content lately, but let's just say current conditions have me seeing red.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I had something else up for about 40 minutes tonight. But then I saw this, and I knew I had to change tonight's post...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Losing the Storm Cloud Over my Head

I love and hate this time of year.

Love - the weather turning cooler, the days getting shorter, the festivals every weekend
Hate - working so many hours that I turn into a bitter shadow of my normal self

And so in an attempt to kick this morning's foul mood, I'm invoking The Power of The Cuteness...

Thanks, Willow...I needed that...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Quick and Dirty

Totally stealing this from a friend's recent post, I'm just going to hit some highlights as of late:

- How are those New Things going? Rather well, actually. I'm a little behind, but I'll get back on track. I've decided going forward not to publish any more of my goals because, well, some are a bit personal.

- How did that MS Bike Ride go? Oh - you mean the one where everyone bailed on me? Yeah. Due to our team captain, our team, and Joe not being able to ride, as well as that ride being the last weekend before we took off to Italy, I did not ride in that particular event. HOWEVER, we are hooking up with another MS ride very soon and will post information on that. Just so you wonderful donors know that your money did go to a worthy cause, and I will get my big butt up on a bike soon! ;)

- Super-secret to friends in my knitting group - I'm done with all eight legs! Now I can start my Rhinebeck knitting!

- Willow is doing really well, but she still bullies Dobby, and that makes me sad.

- This month will be filled with my working weekends and late nights, so I'm going to be a grumpy blogger.

That's about it - exciting as it is...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Montgomery has lost her smile

There are certain people you get to know in this tiny village - people you get to know rather quickly.

There's our mayor (and former neighbor) Steve, who made us feel so very welcome when we first moved here, and who loves Montgomery to his core.

There's Rags, the proprietor of the antique shop down the block from us - he marches in every parade as a proud veteran.

There's Rabbit, a Trustee whom you can find outside the Old Fashioned Deli on any pleasant evening, just chewing the fat with his buddies.

And then there's Richie. Everyone knows Richie. With a smile, and sometimes a hug or kiss, he greeted everyone as family. He rode with the firemen during General Montgomery Day parades, head held high, smile as big as his heart. There's a picture in Village Hall of him with Robin Williams during that movie shoot several years ago. Whether it was evening at Copperfield's or mid-day at The Daily Bean, you could always find Richie checking in with the local businesses and neighbors, just making sure everything was okay. Strangers might label him developmentally disabled, but Montgomery just knew him as one of their own. He was surrounded by people who respected and loved him.

Richie passed away last Friday, and all of Montgomery mourns.

Rest in peace, sweet man.

ETA: For a beautiful article on his life, as well as stunning photos of the funeral procession, go here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Guilty Pleasures on Late-Night YouTube...

Yeah. So.

Guys may not want to click further - not that there's anything NSFW - just that you might not appreciate it nearly as much as any girl who grew up in the 70s...


...I met this guy once...he wasn't shaking his booty so much, though...

...and best of all I don't pay property tax

I remember where I was when my little brother broke this 45. In Mrs. William's store parking lot. With his plastic cowboy gun. It broke my heart.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen...this is what I do when I'm stuck in a youtube loop of nonsense...

Colors You Cannot Describe

So I'm knitting and watching a good movie, then I turn around and see this...


Life is good...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Things: Week 1

HOUSE: Clean the master bath
PHYSICAL: Walk 3x this week (at least 20 min), 1 time must be outside
MENTAL: Knit for at least 2 hours total, outside of lunch hours and knit night. I gots me some baby things to finish for the new little Mr. Clark. Besides that, I was hanging out on the Rav this morning and realized how many lovely things there are in my stash. And then when I put away a recent purchase (hey - it was in Italy - that doesn't break the rules of my destashing goal), I of course had to open up all the bins and drawers and look at what's waiting for me. Yummy, yummy things with a world of possibilities.

This is all going in my Stephen King Desk Calendar, so you know it's official and stuff.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

One New Thing

I've come to a pretty disheartening conclusion:

I'm a fat, lazy, drunk potato on a dirty couch.

And so, with Joe's travel schedule being very intense over the next few months, I see this as an opportunity to take the steps needed to get myself out of this mess. Over the next few months, I will be starting One New Thing each Sunday in the following categories: Home, Physical Health, and Mental Health. They might be big or small. But I will start incorporating these Things into my daily/weekly life until they become habits. Because - and I tell you this honestly - they ain't habits now.


Home - clean master bath, tie up recyclables, vacuum certain rooms, etc. Currently this is all being done, but with absolutely no degree of regularity.

Physical Health - walk 3x per week (gotta start somewhere), bike for 1 hr each week, add 1 fruit to daily intake, etc

Mental Health - set aside 1 hr to knit on porch, read 30 minutes before bed each night, no TV on certain evenings, etc.

Again - starting REALLY slow and adding items as they become routine.

Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Exciting Things for Montgomery...

Joe and I were out at our favorite pub last night for dinner...guess what is moving into the neighborhood...?
I'd always joked that we needed a liquor store and a tattoo shop...I can't wait to see what certain "upstanding" community members have to say about this...

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Was Kind of Hoping for a Zombie...

I've had very odd sleep patterns as of late. The heat and humidity is back, Willow continues to pound on the door to her room, and Joe has been in and out of town, which can be weird to the half-asleep mind. Who is this in bed with me? And why is he mumbling?

Last night was no different. Except at 4am, when I'm usually in the last few precious moments before wakey-wakey time, I heard an odd noise from outside the open bedroom window.


Sounded a bit like a cat getting really pissed off at something. We have neighborhood cats that sometimes don't get along, so I didn't think much of it.


Huh. Probably not a cat. Getting a little freaked out now. I put on my specs and peer out the front window, where I see the silhouette of a tall, lanky man, fumbling around near the railroad tracks.

Holy shit. The zombies are here.

I went from eerily fascinated to disappointed and a bit scared when I heard him blurt out, "I'm gonna kill myself...I don't wanna live..." And in the stillness of the humid morning, he had The Sound of The Crazy - as in, this guy could take out a few others before himself. Gotta call the cops.

Then I realized that in his hand was not a gun but a cell phone. And he was talking to a woman who evidently didn't feel for him what he felt for her. For the next 45 minutes, he went from crying, to belligerent, to cussing her out, all throughout which he was so drunk he was barely able to stand. And so, as he fell/lay down into the gravel near the RR crossing, he Nextelled his buddy and talked about how innocent he was in whatever drama had unfolded.

"Man! I'm lying on the ground! She hates me! Oh, god I wanna die!"

He wandered up the street a bit, waking a few other folks up before his "buddy" came by to pick him up, and he was poured into the back seat of the car.

Edited to add: we live within stumbling distance of several bars, so loud, drunken folks wandering home are not uncommon...I'd just never seen one with such melodrama before...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Won Something...Again!

According to Cambria, a good chunk of my recent stories have been along the lines of, "I never win anything, but I won this..."

After several stories of my winning stuff (Pepsi schtuff right before I resigned, Young Frankenstein tickets...), Cambria stopped believing that I never win anything. And so she's right - because I won something else...


You see, as a Rav-Hoar, I'm prone to just surfing about and finding interesting things. I found this lovely lady's blog and saw that she was raising awareness and donations for a very worthy cause. I was supposed to blog about it, but...well...yeah. I'm a lazy bum.

So a while back I received a hefty bunch of yarn from a neighbor, and I wasn't sure what to do with it. But this seemed to be the perfect way to marry yarn love and yarn need...

Here is what I sent, and the letter I sent with it...

Hello from upstate New York!

I hope you are able to use and enjoy this yarn. I wanted to tell you a special story – that this entire box of yarn (except for a few skeins from my stash) came from a somewhat famous home…

John Wylie, a veteran stage actor in New York City, was in the original production of Grand Hotel on Broadway. While he was backstage, or during downtime at rehearsals, he loved to crochet. He became a recluse in his later years, and he passed away around the time my family moved into a home a few doors down from him.

He left his house to his good friend Hal Robinson, who was in Grand Hotel along with John. Hal has been a most wonderful neighbor and friend over the years. One day he mentioned to me that he had a lot of “knitting stuff” that he’d like me to take off his hands.

In the meantime, some movie producers came around our neighborhood, looking for a spot to film a new movie staring Robin Williams. It was called The Night Listener. While it wasn’t that great of a movie, it was exciting having it filmed in our little town, and we even got to meet Robin Williams. In fact, a good bit of the movie takes place in Hal’s house – Hal even had a small role in the movie.

I cleaned out the “knitting stuff” from Hal’s home – it ended up being two large boxes of yarn, odds and ends, and A LOT of things that needed to be thrown out. I was surprised to see so many full skeins still in tact, and I knew that John would be delighted that his stash was going to such good use.

Sending lots of knitting blessings,


And there you have it. Winning a prize was total gravy - I love that John's beloved yarn is going to such a good place

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"We Made Brownies...and I Think We're Dead"

Check the animated "Drama" and full call in Related Videos...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Maple's Legacy

Some of you might remember the Grand Old Beloved Maple from this story. And how it became lumber in this post. The life and beauty of this wonderful tree has now come full circle. I give you...

Joe's first project with this hallowed wood: a gorgeous little cutting board. It's simply beautiful. And remarkably heavy! I took it out to the Mother Ship...

I think Daddy Maple would be proud...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Back in the Game

So I spent the last few months stressing out about a long-distance vacation and planning activities (but not too many, mind you) for 10-12 people and hoping they wouldn't hate me. Our trip was so perfect - so right in every moment - that I still can't believe we were there - that we were part of it.

And now we're at a point where (1) we can't afford to travel anywhere and (2) we're too busy at work to do much. And so, I've come to a conclusion:

I must knit. A lot.

And I started last night, at the local Stitch-n-Pitch:

(That hot dog is a teaser for Joe). We had a blast. And I realized: I must knit more.

I've made myself a little list of all things that must be knitted before I can buy more yarn *. That list consists of:

- Finishing both of these sock pairs
- Make a pair of socks (for me!) in this lovely holiday yarn
- Make another pair for Joe - in this (on the far left - he picked it out at Hanks)
- Make a pair of socks for Mom, at her request (this pattern, this yarn - top of pic)
- Make baby stuff for John and Sara's kid (no spoilers here)
- Make the two projects that were given to me from lovely folks who visited during Rhinebeck (Sophie and Kelly, that's you - already nommed the goodness that Lorena gave me)

So there. That's my promise to myself. To knit wonderful things from wonderful yarn.

* Rhinebeck 2008 purchases don't count...of course

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy Dobby Day!

Six years ago tonight, I met this little cutie.

And how do I repay him for the joy and fun he's brought into our lives? I bring home another kitty - one who likes to f--- with his mind and drive him crazy. We never knew Dobby could make such bizarre noises...he sounds like a woman screaming in agony when he gets spooked by Willow.

The good news is (and I hope I'm not jinxing myself here) that we've found a bit of a rhythm. Willow stays out in the daytime, gets put in her safe room (with the Feliway diffuser) at night, and the boys get lots of loving and attention until the next morning. Otis seems to be doing okay, but Dobby is taking a little longer.

Poor, sweet Dobby. I hope tonight goes well for you (and all of us)...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Back to Normal...Kind Of...

So it took me a week to get back into a normal sleep pattern and be remotely productive at work. A little difficult to get out of the sleep-late-relax-drink-until-2am vacation mode. But to help out with that, we have some great friends who had us over for late-night drinking on Friday, then Joe helped some other beer buddies build a deck on Saturday (I came along to knit and, well, to drink beer). Today is for catching up and going through the mountain of mail I've been avoiding. But first...

Willow is not only out and about, but she's got a snazzy new collar. We started letting her out for supervised chunks of time, and today is her first full day out. It's not going badly, but we still have issues. She has a tendency to sneak around and startle one of the older cats, causing howling, spitting, and a fight or two. Hence the collar - it has a bell. We'll see if this keeps the spitting to a minimum. They all seem to still be intrigued with each other, but I'm not forcing anything. I know it'll take time. I just wish Dobby knew how much fun she could be - they'd be having a blast by now...

In the meantime, I've made some sock progress (gasp!). The pattern is rpm, but I call them my Big Bird socks. Hard to imagine why...

I love the yarn and pattern combination. I'd been trying to avoid the silliness and striping, but when I embraced it, I came to find a very happy sock.

This is a double eyelet rib from wendyknits - I love how it's working up with the yarn (Mountain Colors Bear Foot). This was another yarn I just wasn't finding the right pattern for, but it's really working well now. I knitted on these all throughout Tuscany - on plane, bus, hanging out by the pool...they will hold such lovely memories.

Both of these socks are for ME, because I wanted to make something for me again. And something small. I need to whittle the sock stash down a bit before I blink and it's Rhinebeck time again. I think I need to put myself on a deadline - like finish these two by September, and finish another pair by October. Then I have to work on some Christmas gifts that I had promised last Christmas. That's the thought, at least.

Well, I have some bills waiting to be paid, and some cats waiting for some attention...