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Updated: 2017-09-16T04:00:57.405-07:00

 



Z is for Zouk

2013-12-30T09:24:44.471-08:00

Zouk - to engage in unrestrained social activity

Now that I'm strictly online, I can hang out more!  I only went to my knitting group every other Sunday when it was in my town.  (We alternate between my town and the town where we moved from a few years ago.  They are about 10 miles apart.)

Dave would give me flack about going to the other town meet-ups because I was spending $15 a day on gas for my commute to school.  Using more gas to get to the other town seemed frivolous to him.

What Dave never seems to understand is that I'm a very social creature.   I was when he met me, I still am.  He's not social (at all), so it never really occurs to him.  He acts like it's a big, damn surprise whenever I want to hang out with my friends.

I already informed him that since I was no longer spending so much money on gas, I'd be going to knitting every week now.

I also want to spend more time with friends outside of the knitting group.  I'd like to strengthen and deepen some friendships that mean a lot to me.

I can't afford to go out to lunch all the time, so I'm going to have to figure out ways to make this happen. 

I'm also going to start writing letters again.  I used to write letters all the time to my friends that were still in the military, but they are all out now.  I've started a letter to my brother.  He and I haven't been close since we were kids (nothing in common as adults?).  I figure letters are a nice way to let him know what's going on in my little world, and who doesn't like to get a handwritten letter?

Last year, I couldn't wait for the year to be over.  It was a tough, fucked-up year.  This year has been better - mostly because I made the conscious choice to see it that way.

I'm looking forward to next year being even better and seeing where it takes me!

Can't wait to get started, Ruth!



Y is for Yule

2013-12-29T21:00:11.504-08:00

This Christmas is proving.... problematic.I never know what to get Dave, so that's nothing new.  He always says, "Don't get me anything.  I don't need anything. blah, blah, blah."  Right.  Like I wouldn't get him anything!The problem is that this is the first year where I really have NO idea what to get the kids!  They are at that age where they are mostly too old for toys, but I don't want to just get them more video games.T hasn't really said what he wants this year.  D2 says he "only has two things on [his] list so far."  So far...  At least the good news is that one of those two things is a book!  The bad news is the other thing is a video game.I love guns.  Dave and I each have one and we think at 10 1/2 and 12 1/2, they boys are old enough to get started on learning gun safety and how to shoot.  Dave wants to do this with the guns we have.   I think we should get them "starter" guns - air guns (BB guns, if you're closer to my age).  I know, I know... "You'll put your eye out!"Not with proper training.Dave and I recently went to the new Cabela's that opened up near our house.  I've never been to one.  It's flipping HUGE!!  We looked at guns and they have some very nice air pistols for just $25 each.I wanted to look at crossbows because I've always thought they were so cool, and we are also big Walking Dead fans.  Darryl is, of course, my favorite!I had no idea crossbows were so damn heavy!!  I held one up and sighted through the scope.  My target circle kept slowly dipping down because the equipment is too heavy.  I need to work on getting some guns before I get a crossbow!  (Guns in this context being stronger arms.)And the cost?!  Those bad boys cost equally as much as a good Glock.I think I may get the each of the boys a Nerf crossbow and then we can really have some fun with those!What do I want for Christmas?  I think (as previously posted) I'm really getting a sewing bug.  I told Dave I just want a gift certificate to IKEA, so I can get the pieces I want for my dream cutting table.Dave has created this tradition that really works great!  My husband purposely buys the ugliest piece of clothing in the store that equals the amount of money he wants to spend. Thus forcing me to return it and get whatever I want! It's stupid funny, and I get to pick something that A) I'd really like and B) make that purchase post-holiday when most stuff is on sale!  He started doing this about three years ago.  It cracks me up the stuff he picks!Two years ago, he got me this really plain, too-small, black sweater dress.  I think it was about $80.  I took it back to Macy's and got a killer pair of knee-high, stiletto boots, a gorgeous burgundy, cabled sweater dress with a cowl neckline, some leggings, and some much-needed new bras.  It was like five or six presents for the price of one!What are your Christmas dreams this year?Well.  I seemed to have written this a couple of weeks before xmas.  We ended up getting the boys some books and video games.   We got them Nerf Laser tag, but apparently, they only work with smartphones which the boys don't have.  The boys returned them and got another video game, a lego kit, and a few other things (the return plus their xmas money).Dave broke tradition and got our first-ever smartphones for he and me.  He also got me a nicer camera than the one we've been struggling with over the last few years.  The new camera has a flash that only works when you push the button to pop it up.  Also, it only takes 4 batteries - no way to recharge it.  I don't mind either of these minor issues because it takes amazing pictures!I got Dave a new deep fryer (ours broke recently), a Husker hat, T-shirt, and keychain, and a few other little things.What'd you guys get?Brainstorming for gifts for next year, Ruth![...]



X is for Xing

2013-12-28T18:35:19.888-08:00

Xing or X-ing means "crossroads".  This upcoming year is becoming a major crossroads for me.Everything is a choice.  It took me forever to get that through my thick head.  My crossroads involves several aspects of my life:  Keep being lazy and keep gaining weight or get off my ass.Keep fucking around or really buckle down and get my speeds.Keep buying yarn or make a concerted effort to knit the S.A.B.L.E. I already own.Write lists or do things.Weight:My knees are killing me.  That ain't good.  I know it's the extra weight.  In 2009/2010, I was still a stay-at-home mom with a lot of time on my hands.  It took me 8 months of going to the gym four or five days a week to lose 25 pounds.  Then I got a job and went to a school across town.  I had an 80-hour week.  80 hours of mandatory sitting.  I'd lost 25 pounds, but they found me again and this time they brought friends.  Bastards.As of now, I'm strictly online.  I have no job to speak of (although I may have a part-time one starting next month) and a lot of time on my hands again.  I plan to wake, have breakfast, practice for an hour, and then take my ass to the gym.  After gym and shower, more practice.School:I made the decision to switch schools.  That decision came in week four of eleven this quarter.  Since I made that decision, I pretty much wrote off this whole quarter.  I knew that much of what I've done at my current school wouldn't count for anything when I transferred.  I barely did the minimum of homework and started playing hooky.  That's so not me!I was so frustrated with the school I'm going to that I kind of said, "fuck it".  That stops now. I'm actually doing a bit of a "double major" type thing at the new school.   They have a voice writer program that only takes 6 months.  I don't even know what a voice writer does really, but I know they make $20-$25 an hour.  I figure I'll do the VW program while taking my speed courses for the next six months.  After that I'll take whatever speeds I have left and all the academics I can handle.  My thinking is that I can be a VW for the remainder of my schooling.  The registrar says no one's ever attempted it before, and I'll be the guinea pig for it.  I'm OK with that!  We already got the go-ahead from the school owner.Yarn:Jeezly Crow.  When will it ever be enough?  (Said no knitter ever...)  I say it every year, but seriously.  I have a fucking WALL of yarn.  And now I'm sewing, too?  So fabric's next?  I already have a pretty large bin of fabric that I've been hauling around for years.  Time to use it.I recently made a pretty ambitious list.  I've done two things off that list.  One was a much bigger undertaking than I'd suspected.  My side of our bedroom and my HUGE closet have been little more than a dumping ground over the past year.  It took me four hours to clean it out, clean it up, and rearrange it the way I wanted it.  Four hours.  That's just stupid.  Part of that job included the second thing I crossed off that list:  Making a space in our bedroom for my student activities.  This means that for all intents and purposes, our shared office is going to just be Dave's office now.To accomplish the space I wanted in our bedroom, I moved our bed and nightstands nearly a foot closer to Dave's side of the room.  If he's noticed at all, he hasn't said anything!  hah!The bad news is that I may have lost $100(ish)!  Dave went to a coin machine thing that said if you feed in $40, you can get a $50 gift certificate to Toys 'R Us.  He did it twice.  Instead of hard gift cards, it printed him what looked like receipts.  He gave them to me, and we'd planned to put them in the kids' stockings for xmas.  I put them in my nightstand.  I swear that's what I did with them. I forgot t[...]



W is for Weave

2013-12-28T17:52:09.643-08:00

I have lots of classes from Craftsy.com.  Like 33.  About half of those are the free classes they offer.  I've got sewing classes, knitting classes, jewelry classes, and a couple of cooking classes.

I've watched 1/2 of three of the 33.  The one I've completely finished is Sewing Studio, taught by Diana Rupp.  (If you are a beginning sewer, I highly recommend it!)

One of my goals is to watch two classes per month next year.

When Craftsy.com had their cyberMonday sale, I bought a couple classes (my current total is 33).  I almost bought the beginning serger class, but then I remembered that I don't own a serger.  Yet.  (Anybody have a serger they are looking to get rid of, send it my way!)

Strangely, the fact that I don't own a loom didn't stop me from buying a beginning loom weaving class a few months ago.

I have a friend who is a master quilter and knitter and now, weaver!  She's been bringing her weaving projects to our knitting group, and it has really made me want to learn!  I hear it's a great way to eat up a lot of yarn.  Just so happens, I have a lot of yarn!

I want a loom that's at least 24" wide.  They are SO expensive!  There are some that are nearly reasonable, but they are only 16" wide and I don't want to just make scarves and/or table runners.  I really want to make lovely towels like my friend has been making.

My friend is such a good friend that she said when she finishes her latest weaving project, she'll lend the loom to me so I may do my class.  She's so cool!  (She also has a huge floor loom.)

Looking forward to my future towels, Ruth!



V is for Valentino

2013-12-26T19:45:28.376-08:00

I've discovered silent films this year.It's no secret that I'm a fool for movies.  I particularly love old black-and-white movies.  My most recent break between quarters have been spent in front of a slew of old movies. I had a Cary Grant/Irene Dunn movie marathon while I sorted through the mountains of paperwork that have built up in my bedroom and closet over the course of a year.My favorites are The Awful Truth, My Favorite Wife, and Penny Serenade (makes me cry EVERY time!).I had a Vincent Price marathon while sorting two HUGE boxes of pictures to get them ready for a trip to Target where they will be scanned and put on CDs for downloading.Vincent Price is at his best when coupled with Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Spent a large portion of my childhood Saturdays with Vincent.  My brother and I would watch his movies whenever they came on.  That and Kung Fu theater.With the exception of Chaplin movies and early Laurel and Hardy fare, I've never been into silent films.TCM has been doing Silent Sunday Nights for a long time now.  They did a Buster Keaton marathon, so I DVR'ed them all.  He is amazing!!  I started watching them in the mornings as I ate my breakfast before commuting to school.  I would watch about 10 minutes a day.Truthfully, 10 minutes at a time was about all I can handle of a silent film.  I usually multi-task while the TV is on.  I'm knitting or doing my academic homework, organizing something, folding laundry, blogging (Chopped All-Stars is on right now), etc.  With silent films, you have to actually pay attention as most of the action is conveyed through facial expression and sneaky script cards.I had always heard about how great Intolerance was.  I recorded it and when I opened that recording to watch it, it's three hours long!!  I watched the whole thing.  Again, 10 - 20 minutes at a time.  It was all right.   It's not really linear in it's thought processes.I watched the original Ben Hur for the same reason I watched Intolerance.  It's supposed to be so iconic and innovative for its time. That one got me.  It was started out just OK.  Ramon Novarro is quite beautiful.  It's another long one - nearly 2 1/2 hours long!If you don't know the story.  The IMDB synopsis is as follows:A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.Ben Hur and his family end up in a very bad way through a series of events beyond their control.  He ends up in slavery, and his mom and sister end up in prison where they become "unclean" - that means they contracted leprosy.More series of events and Ben Hur regains some semblance of his former self/wealth/etc. and makes his way back to his former mansion, looking for his mom and sister.Through their own series of events, they are released from prison and also go home.  They see Ben Hur sleeping on a stoop outside the home (he got there first, couldn't get in, fell asleep).  This is where my heart broke.  The sister starts to rush to her long-lost brother, but the mom holds her back saying they can't let Ben know they are there.  She explains that if he were associated with lepers, he would spend his life being shunned like they are.  They both walk up to the sleeping Ben and they want so very badly to hug him and show him how much they love him and have missed him so terribly.They can't because they don't want to wake him or possibly infect him (back then, they still thought leprosy was contagious).What they do instead is pretend to touch him.  The sister is at his feet and gently kisses the bottoms of his shoes since she can't kiss her brother as she would if things were right in the world.  The mom strokes the air above his sleeping head, just like I'm sure she did when he was a child.  That's where I lost it[...]



U is for Unethical

2013-12-24T21:27:50.411-08:00

Exactly a year ago today, Dave's main employee, W.S. Binion, rear-ended a city plow truck with one of our business trucks.(For clarity in this post, WS also goes by W.)January of this year, WS got married.  He and his wife invited us to the wedding, so we went.  It was in a church and it was SUPER-churchy.  Very "the wife is obedient to the husband"-type of thing.  And this church is so far in that they don't even sing hymns out of the classic hymnal.  They have their own hymns that they all know.   Dave and I sat through the whole ceremony with barely concealed.... lack of zeal.I realized that I kept shaking my head here and there.  I also realized there were people sitting behind me, and I should probably stop, so I did.  They had the reception in the church hall.  Dave only knew one other person there (another of his employees), so, of course, the couple didn't seat us with them.  Nice.We were seated at a table with two other couples, one couple had kids.  The younger kid was seated next to me.  He has Down's and he and I had a very wonderful conversation about Sasquatch!  He was so cool!  The couple on the other side of Dave asked how we knew WS.  When they found out Dave is WS's boss, they asked, "How did he not see that city plow truck?" I said, "Have you met him?"JK.  I didn't say that.  Not out loud, anyway.We stayed just long enough to congratulate the happy couple and then we split.Shortly after the wedding, WS quit.  We knew he was going to, it was no surprise.  He decided he needed to find an opportunity where he had more room for advancement.  Completely understandable now that he has a wife and they, presumably, want to start a family.  He told Dave something about going into construction.He has been making noises for nearly this entire 12 months about buying Dave's business.  There was talk about a church member who was going to finance him.  That fell through.  Then there were trips to the bank together.  About 2 months ago, I came home from school, and Dave's truck was in the middle of the driveway.  This happens now and again while he loads/unloads stuff into his trailer.  I was listening to a good part of my audiobook, so I pulled up to the curb in front of our house to wait for him to move the truck.  I saw him make a call and realized he was talking to WS.  I immediately muted my book and eavesdropped.I only heard Dave's side of the conversation, but I got a really good idea of what was going on.  I heard Dave say, "W, I READ the letter!!"So basically what happened is that one of Dave's clients showed Dave a letter that WS sent to her trying to steal her business from us.What a fuck!OK, so many things wrong with this scenario....The first thing that stupid punk does is deny he sent a letter to anyone.  Dave repeated, "I read the letter" like five or six times.  Next thing that pussy does is hide behind his wife's skirts.  He tried to say that she wrote the letter, and he didn't read it before she sent it out.One of the things the letter said was that WS always did all the work and Dave just took all the credit (and the money).  That's like saying the register worker at Walmart does all the work and the Manager (or CEO, for that matter) takes all the credit.Um.... no.WS, you are an employee.  You did the job we hired you for.  You did the job we PAID you to do.  Barely.  Dave would catch him so many times NOT working and WS spent so much time on the phone wasting Dave's time with inane questions and general bullshit, that we finally put WS on salary.  That way, he got a set pay and we didn't end up paying him for time he was dicking around. During the phone conversation, Dave asked if W was going to go after our snow business, too. (In the winter, Dave's c[...]



T is for Theory

2013-12-23T15:20:54.940-08:00

My friend, the knitting, Navy SEAL, is a bit of a conspiracy theorist.  He sends me texts or emails sometimes that make me say to myself, "I'm going to tell myself that he's kidding."  (By the way, he's an ex-SEAL now.  He retired last April with 26 years of service.  I often ask what he's doing now.  I tell him that if it were me, I'd take the rest of my life off!)

I've never been one to see conspiracy in the motives of people, companies, or governments before, but lately, I can't help but think about it.

The Obamacare thing has been an abysmal failure so far.  People are getting kicked off their insurance altogether or have been notified that due to the new regulations, it is unattainably expensive.

My thinking is this...

The insurance companies have know for YEARS that these changes in the law were coming into effect.  They did nothing to avoid this clusterfuck.

My conspiracy theory is that the insurance companies WANT Obamacare to fail so they can say, "See?!  It doesn't work.  Let's all go back to the way things were.  SO much easier!!"

I know I'm no math whiz, for sure.  But here's my simple calculations...

We are self-employed and pay close to $600 a month for our insurance.  We are with a company that starts with an H.  Say Company H covers 1 million people.   Say that most people are paying an employer and probably a more reasonable amount, so we'll cut that in half - $300 a month.

Take one percent of that one million and multiply their payments by one year...

That's $36,000,000

36 MILLION DOLLARS IN ONE YEAR

Don't you think they could have taken a portion of that ONE percent and hired an entire TEAM of people to work out these kinks and make it workable and attainable for their customers? 

The thing is, Company H does not cover one million people.  They cover ELEVEN million people.

And don't think I'm letting the government off the hook here.  They also knew these laws were coming into effect.  They also seemed to have done fuck-all to prevent this mess.

With the government, I keep wondering...
Did NO ONE think to consult with countries where this is working?? To consult Canada, England, Germany, ANY of them?? To ask them, "What's working?  What's not working?  How did you make the transition from people paying on their own to healthcare for all?"

If they did, it doesn't show.

My conservative friends keep putting up Internet posters about how universal healthcare means we're paying for those who won't pay for themselves. 

I keep telling them they are delusional if they think they aren't already paying for people who can't (or won't) pay for themselves.  If they think the cost of the uninsured isn't rolled into the cost of healthcare (either from the doctor/hospital side and/or from the insurance company side), they are kidding themselves.

I think it's shameful in a country as well-provisioned as ours to allow people to lose their homes over medical bills.   Or for the elderly to have to make decisions between proper nutrition or necessary medications.  Or any of the other atrocities we hear about.

Looking for a new insurance company, Ruth!



S is for Shatner

2013-12-22T14:57:39.231-08:00

I can't believe I did "S is for Starfleet" last year and didn't tell you guys I got to go see Shatner in his one-man show!!

My friend, Donna, alerted me to the fact that Captain Kirk was coming to Denver.  She's as crazy for original Star Trek and Shatner as I am!  I immediately looked up the details.  It was William Shatner's one-man show!

Tickets were rather expensive, so I wrote it off. 

A couple of weeks later, tickets for his show were for sale on Groupon.  I don't make a lot of money (even when I had a job last year), so I texted Dave to tell him I found my birthday present! 

We texted back and forth for awhile (details, prices, etc.) and finally, he agreed.

Here's the last of that text conversation:

ME: you rock my world!
DAVE: you expedite my demise

He cracks me up!

Donna and I had a wonderful dinner at The Corner Office.  Excellent food! 

We had really good balcony seats in the show and, other than my memories and my ticket, I have nothing to show you about it.  We followed the rules and didn't take pictures. 

William Shatner's one-man show was outstanding!  It was funny and poignant.  We laughed and we cried a bit.  It was an appropriate length of time (looking at you, B.B. King, with your $80 for a 45-minute show in 1996...).

If you ever get a chance, go see it!

After the show, we went to a dessert place (can't remember the name) and had delicious sweets.

Walking to the car at the end of the evening, we spotted Shatner's tour bus.  We went over to it and asked the two roadies if Mr. Shatner was aboard.  They said that he was not.  He flies, never rides.  The bus was for his set and equipment.  (I almost asked if we could go in anyway, but chickened out.)

On a more recent note...

Our kids met their first celebrities!  T is nuts for Mythbusters.  There's a very expensive Mythbusters exhibit at a Denver museum.  Dave found out that a couple of the show's stars were going to be at a pizza joint in Denver - promoting the exhibit.  It was free, so Dave took the boys to see them!  Unfortunately, I had an online class meeting and couldn't go.

 
 
D2 only sort of likes the show, but T was over the moon!  Dave got lost on the way to the event, but the boys got the last autographed picture along with getting this shot.
 
Promoting a love of science, Ruth!



R is for Relationships

2013-12-21T13:33:11.066-08:00

There was a girl at my school who was a coupla quarters behind me. She is a very young, 21. She friended me on FB and I don't know her at ALL, but I friended her back to be polite.The first time I met her at school, she walked up to me and my classmates and introduced herself.  I liked that. Then I saw her shirt. It was a very "Jesus is Lord"-type shirt, and I sighed inwardly.Because she friended me, I see her posts on FB. They are all either very Jesus is Lord or very tragic. She writes depressing haikus about her life, Friends. Haikus. Seriously. Everything to her is so deep and painful, and I can only imagine I was that emotional when I was 21. Ugh.She actually dropped out of school after becoming a stripper.  Now, we all know I have NO problems with strippers.  I just think it's funny she was so gung-ho religious, and now she's stripping.  Dave calls her Stripper Christian.  Her FB feed is my guilty pleasure.  Some people have Jersey Shore, I have Stripper Christian.Anyway. I never post anything to her posts, and I usually don't even read them, just skip over them because she and her emo life are none of my business. But sometimes it catches my eye, and I REALLY want to post stuff. But I don't.Wellllll, once I did. She had a picture posted that I'd seen online once or twice. It's a man's naked back with some female arms around him. On her arms are written, "He told me he loved me." On his back is written, "I lied to get into her pants. It worked." I couldn't take it. I wrote, "I'm sorry but this picture reminds me of every sad little girl who equates sex with love. They are not the same thing. Never have been, never will be." 16 people I've never met "Like"d my comment.I want to sit her down and give her my life advice for women. It wouldn't work. Not anymore than it would've worked on me at that age. Although, most of this drivel I'd worked out for myself by 21. I'm posting it here and I'm doing my best to instill this junk in my own kids (at age appropriate times/language).My life rules concerning relationships:1. I don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about me. If I'm living my life to the best of my ability - doing what's best for me and/or for my family.  If someone has an issue with it (or me), than that's THEIR issue, not mine.2. The person who made up the rule that men can fuck anyone they want and they are a star, but if a woman does that then she's a slut? That rule was made up by men. It was made up to keep women in line. Do who you want, when you want. Be monogamous if you want.  If that's not what you want, be up front and honest about it.  Take precautions and protect yourself, but don't let anyone tell you that you're a whore for doing what men do freely.3. If my SO makes me cry or hurts me out of carelessness or cruelty..... NEXT! Why waste time on someone who is careless or cruel? Why waste time on someone who is going to judge me or make me feel less than. That kind of attitude in a person never changes and only gets meaner as long as it is allowed.4. Don't date crazy.  That last one, the boys already know by heart.  (We say "date" for them instead of "Don't fuck crazy.")  There is a caveat on the crazy...A few years ago, I had a long conversation with my ex-boyfriend (A) from the Army.  He had been with a woman for the previous 11 years, and they just broke up again.  He met her while he was installing cable in her home in GA.  She was married to a major in the Army, and she and her husband had a couple of kids together.  She left her husband for A, and over the course of the next eleven years, they would be together and break up and get back together.  She moved to Seattle with him the year previous to our conversat[...]



Q is for Quip

2013-12-20T14:53:28.208-08:00

Dave has a wicked-quick sense of humor.  He's clever and lightning fast with his jokes and barbs.  The boys have really picked up his timing and humor!  Dave's sense of humor and how the boys are picking it upA few months ago, Dave told me that he'd explained to the boys what "that's what she said" means.  Trevor had his first successful use about a week later at a restaurant:Waitress sets down plate of carrot sticks and ranch dressing. Dave: You need to eat at least two. Pick the big ones. T: That's what she said. He's 12. I'm so proud!D2's humor is usually more linear:At dinner, we somehow got on the subject of the new Carrie movie and the "many forms of being psychic". (These are the conversations that come up at our table.) D2 (the 10 year old) said there were at least two forms. T (the 12 year old) asked what they were. D2 said, "Knowing people's minds and moving things with your brain." T: TelePATHy and telekinesis ME: Telepathy [telling him the correct pronunciation] D2: T, read my mind. What am I thinking about? T: Tacos D2: Nope. OK, use your mind to move your glass. Really concentrate. T: [squeezes his eyes shut and gives it a shot] I can't do it. I can only move it with my hands. D2: If you think about it, our brains tell our hands what to do, so that means our brains are moving the glass.  Wow. We all have telekinesis. Who knew? D2 is getting a mouth on him, btw.  Dave doesn't help by cracking up at the smartiness.  D2's mouth may get him in some pretty decent trouble pretty soon.  I'm so used to him being a smartass that even when he's not, I think he is... We had some laundry on the bed and D2 came in to say goodnight.  He says, "Is that a bra?"ME: Yes. He picks it up, holds it to his chest and shimmies around, laughing.ME: That's upside-down, Stupid.D2:  I'm not stupid, I'm not a girl.ME: What did you just say to me?!D2: [looks to the left, scanning his brain for what he just said.  When he finds it, his eyes fly open wide.] No!  That's not what I said... what I meant!  I meant I'm not a girl, so I don't know how a bra goes! I was laughing throughout all this.  Here's where the written word could save some misunderstanding.  I heard a comma (I'm not stupid, I'm not a girl), he said a period (I'm not stupid.  I'm not a girl.)  Get it? Don't worry too much about me calling the boy Stupid.  Our family is very sink-or-swim with the quips.  D2 is crazy smart and he knows it.  Although, sometimes he does the dumbest things... Recently, he was in his bathroom, about to take a shower.  I heard the water running into the tub still and then I heard a huge thump.  I rushed in there, and D2 was standing naked in the tub with the water running and his lip bleeding pretty good. ME: What happened?D2: I slipped. Apparently, he has this ritual of getting into the tub before he turns the water to the shower.  He then leans out and puts his hand on the strip of countertop that runs behind the toilet.  He leans out further to look at himself in the mirror.  This time, his hand slipped and he face planted onto the toilet!  (The boys always have the toilet lids down when not in use - the solid lid and the seat lid.)  I started cracking up!  I told him to turn the water off.  He came out of the tub and I wrapped him in a towel and cleaned up his lip.  He also had a decent dent in his upper arm from hitting the corner of the countertop.   I asked why he was looking in the mirror, and he said it was just something he always does.  I looked at him while I cleaned up his lip and said, "And we're never doing it again, are we?"  [...]



P is for Pregnant

2013-12-17T18:36:46.303-08:00

Don't worry, I'm not.  Dave got fixed after D2 was born.  Have I ever told y'all that story?  It's pretty funny!  (At least I thought it was...)T was breech, so ended up being a planned C-section.  If D2 was also C-section, we were going to tell the doctor, "Hey, while you're in there..." and get my tubes tied.  D2 ended up being a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section).About 5 months later, we went to the doctor together to see about getting Dave a vasectomy.I think the weirdest thing about it all is that they wouldn't do the vasectomy unless, as Dave's wife, I signed off on it! So much for My-Body-My-Decision!The doctor discussed the procedure for a bit, then said he wanted to do a quick exam of Dave.  He didn't even give Dave the option of having me leave the room.  He had Dave drop his pants right then and there.  Dave and I both looked behind where Dave was standing at the HUGE window.  It was dark outside and the lights were on in the exam room.  The blinds were half open!  Dave shrugged and dropped his pants.  If anyone looked, they'd see a partially louvered window and Dave's butt!Dave's always bustin' on me for stuff.  It's what we do.  So when the exam was over and we were waiting by the elevator, I couldn't resist taking my shots...ME:  So... were his hands warm?DAVE: Shut up.ME: Was he gentle?DAVE: Shut up.When we went for the actual procedure, another odd thing happened....It's an outpatient procedure that takes about 20 minutes.  They just use local anesthesia, but they still wanted me there to drive Dave home.After it was done, we were, again, by the elevators.  A woman walked up to the elevator about the same time we did.  She was pregnant with what may have been triplets (her belly was enormous!), holding one baby with two other toddlers orbiting her.  One pushed the button on the elevator and the other started screaming, "I WANTED TO PUSH THE BUTTON!!!"  She stood there calmly while they stormed about her legs.I swear they hire this woman for the exact purpose of having the recently vasectomy-ed couple look at each other (as we did) and say, "Oh, yeah.  We just made the right decision."ANYWAY....This post is not about any of that!I have a Juliet sweater that I made years ago.  2007?  Whenever the pattern came out.  I had See Jayne Knits custom dye the yarn for me.  She did a worsted and I held it double for gauge.  I adore the yarn.  The pattern was quick and easy and pretty.  I even had custom-made clasps for it.  I hated the sweater.  Every time I wore it, I'd look in a window or a mirror and think, "I look pregnant."  So I rarely ever wore it.The look on my face is the look I get whenever I see myself in this sweater.I love the yarn so much, though!I spent most of the time at my Sunday knitting group frogging the whole thing.On a side note:  The knitting group had a cookie exchange this week as well.  I made 7 dozen of these.  They are super easy and super delicious!!Now I have scads of beautiful yarn to make in to something I WILL wear!  I'm thinking this.  Look at how much yarn!(Standard mouse added for scale)I also frogged this:It's a start at Cerie.  It's a sweater for my mom.  She picked the pattern and bought the yarn!Here are my notes from Ravelry:1/10/13 - I frogged the few rows I’ve done. I need to restart as I’m not entirely sure where I am in the pattern.12/17/13 - I am done with this sweater. I got one wing done. It’s a million short rows and that, coupled with the stitch pattern, makes this pattern very confusing for me. My brain can’t work like that!That coupled with the fact that I have to [...]



O is for Obsolete

2013-12-14T14:42:28.388-08:00

I'm officially done with the academics I'm taking this quarter.  That also means I'm officially done with academics for this crappy school.  I know our campus is dying out and they don't give a crap about us anymore, but it would be nice if they at least pretended to care.  As usual with this school's online program, my Courtroom Procedures class was a joke.  The east coast teacher (EC) can't even be bothered to discuss the class with our teachers??  EC covered SIX chapters that were already covered by our teacher in the Deposition Procedures class the previous quarter.  Nice.Also, EC would give us a short article every week and ask us to answer between 4 and 7 questions about the article.  I wrote, "I was unable to find an answer for this question in the article" at least once on three different weeks.  No response.  It's like she just opened the file to see that there was writing for each question and then moved on.  And that right there is pretty much my entire issue with online classes.  If the class was on ground (which is what I signed up for), then I would just raise my hand, say, "I can't find that answer", and the teacher would answer/help me with that.This EC also told us that we had to do a field trip.  Yes, that's right, a field trip.  A field trip that we had to set up for ourselves and that could ONLY take place during week five of the course.  What. the. fuck.My classmate Amy got us hooked up with a tour of a county courthouse.  It was very cool!We met with the Managing Court Reporter (MCR).  She answered our questions for nearly an hour, then took us on a tour.  We got to meet the Appeals Clerk.  Things are changing in the court world!  They only use court reporters for juvenile and criminal court in this particular county.  The lawyers have to pre-mark the exhibitions (used to be the court reporter's job).  The lawyers are also responsible for keeping their exhibits.  They now take pictures/scan the exhibits and put them on a CD for the Appeals Clerk to keep on file.   She showed us a large bookcase with boxes just big enough to hold the circumference of a CD.  Each box was labeled with a year and held all the exhibit CDs for all the cases that year.  She told us they were in the process of getting ALL the cases in the basement scanned and on CDs.  She said they had to hold transcripts and exhibits for FIFTY years, in case of an appeal.  I asked if they also used some sort of secure Cloud storage in case of a fire.She and the MCR looked at each other and at the same time said, "We never even thought of that."  The Appeals Clerk laughed and said, "Great, now I have even more work to do!"  I laughed and said, "I'm looking for a job!"We got to sit in on an actual case for a little while.  We came in to that courthouse right when they were about to go on a break.  It was perfect timing!  The court reporter covering the case showed us some of the exhibits (an AR-15!) and told us about the case. It was an attempted arson, attempted murder case.  This guy's ex-girlfriend used her key and entered his house.  She proceeded to trash EVERYTHING.  She broke all the electronics, shredded pictures and clothes, even poured gasoline on a bunch of stuff in anticipation of lighting it up.He came home, heard someone in the house, and called the cops.  She used one of his own guns and took a shot at him (she missed).  When the court reporter was telling us all this and showing us the pictures of all the destroyed personal property, I jokingly said, "Allegedly."  The court reporter looked at me and said, "Oh, no. [...]



N is for Needlepoint

2013-12-10T16:20:51.364-08:00

Before I discovered knitting, I used to be crazy for cross-stitch. 

I guess I should say, "Before I had kids..." 

When I got back to the states after having been stationed in Germany for two years, I decided to check out cross-stitch.   That makes it sound like I was waiting all those years, but it wasn't like that.  It was more like going to a flea market, seeing tiny cross-stitch kits for 25 cents, and buying one. 

I'd attempted cross-stitch in junior high or high school, but it never really took.  I think my mom is still working on the ones I abandoned so many years past.

Once I started in 1994, I didn't really put those needles and charts down until our first kid in 2001.  Then in 2003, I learned to knit, and it's been all yarn, all the time, ever since!  With kids, knitting is a hundred times easier than cross-stitch.  Cross-stitch has a thousand pieces to it, knitting is two sticks and some string, the little ones were over it pretty quickly!

I had two huge bins of needlepoint and cross-stitch stuff.  A year ago, when I went through all my craft stuff, I narrowed that down to one bin of "keep" and one bin of "sell".  Neither have been opened since then.  Most of the "keep" stuff consists of my WIPs. 

I am resigning myself to the fact that I will never get to these.  There's one that I want to finish, but the rest, I should just get rid of it all. 

Previous to kids, I had actually finished quite a few pieces.  Even had them framed!  The biggest piece I finished was a blanket-type one.  It is a piece with sheep and a shepherd and shepherdess and a poem.  I did it for our wedding and put our name and anniversary date in a blank square at the top.  I had the notion that I would put names/birthdays of our kids and their subsequent weddings/kids in the other blank boxes around the center piece.  I had a backing put on by a friend and had her leave it a bit open at the top for this purpose.  I meant it as a wall-hanging.  It's never been hung, the boys' names/birthdays have never been added in. 

When we first moved to Colorado in 2006, Dave put up several of my framed cross-stitch stuff.  He did it as a surprise while I was out somewhere!  I loved that he did that!  I loved having it up! 

Then in 2009, we moved to a town a few miles away and into a much smaller house.  We never put that stuff up there.  2012 - moved again.  We've been in this house for a year now, and my stuff is not up.  I think I will put it up either this month or next.  I like seeing my finished work up.  Gives me hope that I can actually finish things!

I was looking at the big, 7-foot-high bookcase full of my craft stuff in the basement.  I've made a plan of attack for next year.  Each month, I've designated a new craft (Jan - shrinky dinks and needle-felting, Feb - beadwork, etc.).  If I try it and like it, great - keep it.  If I try it and don't care for it, great - get rid of it.  If I don't even give it a shot in it's designated month, I'm going to get rid of it.  I'm sick of hauling this stuff around for no good reason!  (JustkeepwatchingHoarders, justkeepwatchingHoarders....)

Finishing out the year, Ruth!



M is for Map

2013-12-09T07:32:45.272-08:00

I hate being lost.

I hate it even more than I hate shopping, and that's saying something!  (BTW, Dave and I busted out all the shopping for the kids yesterday.  I've already done the shopping for him and the MIL, so I'm pretty much done!)

I hate being lost so much that when it happens, I usually start crying like a dumbass.  Even if Dave is driving, I get all panicky inside and have to look out my window so he doesn't see me getting all teary.  As is my way, when I get scared like that, I usually turn it into some pretty ugly rage.

I do what I can to circumvent this type of behavior, but MapQuest is usually a big fat liar, so that's rarely helpful.  I still use it and write down meticulous instructions to wherever I'm trying to get to.  (Obviously, only for places I'm unfamiliar with!)

Dave was talking about getting me a GPS for xmas.  While this excites me no end and I would really love one, I told him to wait until I graduate, when I will actually need one.  When I graduate, if I start doing freelance court reporting, I will have to travel all over Denver and sometimes even out of town.  I dread that, too.  Most of the things will be in downtown Denver, and I suck at parallel parking.  I don't suck at it, now that I think of it, because I refuse to do it.  I have crappy depth perception, so I never even attempt it.

I would like the GPS to go geocaching with the kids, though!  I've always wanted to try that.  Sounds like a fun treasure hunt!

What I did ask for this xmas is a gift certificate to IKEA.  I have an idea for a cutting table for my sewing space.  T's best friend's dad, Joe does woodworking.  He said he'd help me do an IKEA hack to make what I have in mind.  I'll definitely get it done in January, and post all about it then.  I've got it all sketched out on graph paper for now.

I also have an idea for some cute and useful shelves that I want to try out.  And a cat tower.  And a kid's plinko thing.  And some other easy woodworking projects.  I'm going to ask Joe to give me a bit of instruction on how to use a power saw without losing any blood.

What are you all wishing for this holiday season?

Watching Youtube how-to videos, Ruth!



L is for Laid

2013-12-03T09:39:37.964-08:00

Get your mind out of the gutter.   I got laid off in April.  They seem to have moved our jobs back to Malaysia.  Or maybe it was just that the job became so hateful to me that my numbers slipped.  Not really sure.  Maybe a combination of both?I've been on unemployment for the first time in my entire life.  I get a little less than half of what I was making at that job.  For those that don't know, I used to work from home doing customer support for Xbox.  I hated it so very much.  Those customers take lack of personal responsibility to a fucking art form.  They'd get all bunched up about stuff, and all I could ever think was, "It's a GAME, people.  Calm down."Don't get me wrong, there were lots of nice, fun people that I dealt with, but they weren't as plentiful as the tools.And then there was the job itself.  They seemed to think we should have no life outside the job, so they would throw all these extra trainings at us on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis.  A lot of them were repeats of things we'd already done.  Such a colossal waste of time.I had 15 managers (TL's or team leaders or whatever we're calling them this week) in the 2 1/2 years I worked there.  I may have had more; I believe I stopped counting around 15.We had this chat room where we could ask questions we couldn't find on our own in the system they gave us.  (When I say, "they", I mean the company Xbox hired that hired all of us.)  They'd have 2 or 3 people trying to answer questions for about 200 plus people at once.  So we'd ask a question and sit there for 15 minutes or more, like an asshole, while the customer would get increasingly upset about the wait.  And they wanted us to make small talk ("establish rapport") while we all sat there looking stupid.  Sometimes, you'd get a customer that was OK with that.  Lots of times, the customer is already frustrated and/or mad when they call, so that wait would only exacerbate the situation.Then there was the illustrious VKB.  VKB is a series of articles we could look up in our system that would tell us what to do.  We use VKB when the "strings" of solutions we usually use were of no use to the situation at hand.  Thing is, half the VKB articles were EMPTY.  They'd say, "This VKB is pending."  Like the Family Pack.  FP was created after my first year there.  So a year and a half later, when I was let go, those FP VKBs were STILL "pending".  Awesome.Also, you'd sit there waiting for an answer in the chat room and, often as not, the answer you'd get would be, "Check VKB."  Well, no shit.  Already did that, that's why I'm here.  GAH!The only other thing that would boggle me more was this:If the customer sees an error code, why the HELL can't they make a VKB that tells us WHAT that error code is and how to solve it??Anyway, don't have to worry about that mess and nonsense anymore.No job for me, then.Bad news for me.On the plus side, I've now made school my job.  I've been doing the homework challenge - that's 15 hours a week outside of school.  Fifteen extra hours practicing on my machine outside the twenty hours a week I'm in school.  This pushed me over the top with my 140 speed.  So this quarter, I'm frustrating myself with the 160 speed.  (Again, if you're new here, that's court reporting school with the ultimate goal of captioning.  One has to reach 225 words a minute to graduate.  I've been here two years and am hoping to finish by next April.)So good news for me?  Maybe.  Money is tight and scary, and when Dave[...]



K is for Kinetic

2013-12-02T21:34:32.888-08:00

This is a long one.  You may want a snack....Three or four semesters ago, the president (J) and vice president (D) of the Company that owns our school came to make an announcement.  We all trudged unhappily to the conference room of our school as we knew what was coming.  It was a long time in the works, and we just wanted to hear it and get it over with.D stood in front of us and told us that after a lot of "soul-searching" and "difficult decision making", the Company has decided to cease admission of new students to our campus.  (They own two other campuses "back East").  He went on to tell us that it wasn't fiscally feasible to continue to try and get new students at our campus.  He told us that when our time was up (as in, our allotted time to finish the program), we would have to transfer to the online program and we could continue receiving the quality education we've come to expect from blah, blah, blah, blah.I was sitting in the front row with my friends/classmates and my hand shot up.  ME: But none of us here signed up for the online program.  We've all signed up for the on-ground experience.  There have been a lot of changes over the last few semesters and none of them seem for the better.  We keep hearing how these changes are in the interest of making the online classes the same as the on-ground classes.   Much the same as the 1960's attempt at "Separate but Equal", that's simply not possible.  We are not online.  We don't want to BE online.  We signed up for the on-ground experience.  Our classes have been rather consistently forced online.  In fact, pretty much ALL of our academics are online now.  I took a full semester of this online program and it was.... less than ideal. [Truth in fact, it was a joke.]D gave me some political answer how if there was a problem, we should contact our school administrators at our campus and how they've been making great strides to improve their program every day.My hand shot up again...ME:  And why IS it that we can't get new students?  Last summer, I went to CA to visit family and you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing an ad for a court reporting school.  NO ONE knows this school even exists!!  Why is that?!  Is it some great secret you want to keep?  D started talking in circles (he'll make a great politician someday) and finally, the president spoke up.  J was standing to the side of all of us.  He told us that when they bought this campus, they hadn't anticipated how very much it would cost for advertising in this region.  I explained that I appreciated the straight answer, but hadn't they researched that before they bought this campus?  And how the fact that they couldn't afford to advertise was not our fault, but it seems as though now it is our problem as it is adversely affecting OUR education.As J and I were having this adult, diplomatic, civilized exchange (no exaggeration there, I was doing really well!), I noticed that while J was speaking, D was still standing in front of the lot of us.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him standing there with his arms crossed and he seemed to be looking right at me.  I looked at him and realized I was wrong.  He wasn't looking at me.  He was glaring at me with a look that could kill.  It was really odd. Me being me, I looked right back at him.  No glare, just meeting his eyes.  He glared more, and we sat there looking at each other.  I think he expected me to look away, but, pretty sure we all know THAT wasn't going [...]



J is for Janome

2013-11-24T09:24:56.427-08:00

Have I ever told y'all about my sewing machine? When I left Germany and got stationed at Ft. Huachuca, AZ, I had a friend that was very good at sewing.  My grandma was a master seamstress, and I'd always wanted to learn.  I found out that there was a company that would come to our little town (Sierra Vista, AZ) every few months and rent a conference room in the Holiday Inn to sell sewing machines for very low prices.  I had my friend go with me, and she helped me pick one out.  I got a Janome Home for about $100.  As is my way, I let it simmer for about two months, then finally took it to my friend's house so she could show me how to use it.  She got it all threaded and started it up.  It made a very disturbing sound, and it didn't work.We opened up the casing and saw that the engine was.... sideways.I called the company and explained the rather obvious defect.  The saleswoman (who was the actual seller at the Holiday Inn) simply said, "Well.... buyer beware."I was boggled.  For about two whole seconds.  Then I said, "That's fine. You're right.  But you should be aware that I will be notifying my base commander so he can restrict the entire base from doing business with you.  I'll also be outside your conference room every time you come to this little Podunk town.  You'll easily recognize me as I'll be the one handing out flyers saying "Buyer Beware.""She replaced my machine and even paid for all the shipping to send me the new one and to get the broken one back.  (I still notified my base commander.)I am not one that takes failure easily.  It's best to avoid it altogether.  Which is why I let my machine simmer for another... 18 years? before I gave it a shot.I have a basic working knowledge of machine sewing.  I did take a class or two here and there along the way, but never completed a class or a project on the machine.Last year, my knitting group had a sewing night.  We brought our machines to one house and set about making a project bag that one of us knew how to make.I ended up in tears.  I was SO frustrated.  THREE other people used my machine with no issues, yet when I tried it, I got yarn barf on the bottom side and a mess on the top.  My machine is... quirky.  It sounds like it's trying to start sewing and you keep pressing and pressing on the foot pedal and then all of sudden WHOOMP, it takes off at top speed. After giving up that night, I let it sit for another year. At our annual knit-group swap, my friend (and master seamstress) Tina gave her partner a really cute project bag she'd made.  She was explaining how it was made, and it sounded so easy (all straight lines!), I thought I'd give it another try.  I'd had an idea for awhile in my head about bags I wanted to make.  Her style fit in perfectly for what I had in mind.I tried one.  It was SO easy!  I made 15 bags.I have pictures of them in this previous post.I bought a Craftsy class on basic sewing techniques.  I highly recommend this class!  The teacher, Diana Rupp, is spectacular,  and the projects are so doable.  I learned SO much!  I made two pillow covers for the boys.  (Picture two of those.)I haven't yet made the skirt, but I bought the book, and once I pick it up from the post office, I'll try the skirt.I took another class at the ever-lovely Fabric Bliss in Denver.  This shop is gorgeous and the owners and staff are SO friendly!I made this super-cute little bag.Yes, the fabric on the back is upside down.  I folded wrong before I cut[...]



I is for Inappropriate

2013-11-18T19:04:56.579-08:00

One of my favorite people in our knitting group is Megan.  She is 6 feet tall and a dear, sweet, lovely person! 

She teaches Special Needs kids at a high school, and she loves her kids beyond all reason.  She tells us stories of their triumphs and sometimes their funny quirks as well.

She told us about one boy who is relatively new to the school.  He has severe autism and is pushing boundaries to see what they are at this new school of his.  But he's really funny about it!

He'll say something really out of bounds, then lean over and smile and say, "That's inappropriate, right?"

When she told us about this, I about died laughing.  "That's BRILLIANT!!" I said.  "I'm so using that.  For the rest of my life, I can say WHATEVER I WANT, as long as I follow it up with: That's inappropriate, right?"

It's really become a thing in our knitting group.  When we are feeling salacious, we say what we want and follow it up with that!

I've noticed that people online get all bunged up about the strangest things.  Case in point:

Ravelry has an SKA group.  That's Sock Knitters Anonymous.  I love socks, and that group is exploding my already burgeoning queue!

Recently, someone got all bunged up over the disagree button an Ravelry SKA thread.  Someone saying they find it "offensive".  Really??  The fact that some random stranger hits the "disagree" button about something you posted is offensive?  That seems a bit extreme.  Personally,  I find racism offensive.  I find victim-blaming in rape cases to be offensive.  I find yarn to be many other things.

I think it takes a lot to offend me.  It doesn't take much to irritate me, but to offend me?  When I was working for the X (gaming company), some people would cuss, then apologize for it.  I never cared.  As long as they weren't cussing at me, it never bothered me.  I would say, "I spent five years in the Army, and I have an older brother.  If I haven't heard it, you're making it up."  You should hear some of the names Dave and I call each other when we are alone and picking on each other.  He says things that most women would slap him for saying (name-calling-wise), but he says them because he knows it makes me laugh like crazy.  And I laugh because I know he would never say those things to me for real (as in, saying them in anger to hurt).

I think it's so silly to get all butt-hurt about ANYTHING in a thread dedicated to talking about knitting socks.  I always want to say, "Calm down, people.  It's yarn."  I hold my tongue though, as I feel it's not worth getting involved in that kind of silliness.

Someone else did comment on it though, saying "I don't take the disagree button personally, simples."  I'm pretty sure the "simples" thing was probably a  typo, but doesn't the comma make that look like she just called all of us Simples.  I'm so using that, too!!

I've actually already started.  When Dave starts getting on my nerves, I just say, "Shut up, Simples."  He looks at me like I'm crazy, and we both start cracking up!

I love all you brilliant, shiny Simples, Ruth!



H is for Hammer

2013-11-06T15:52:21.878-08:00

In February, I got a chance to be in a booth at Stitches West.  I shared a booth with Skeindalous and Dizzy Blonde Studios.  It was long days and great fun.  I sold enough to cover my costs and make a small profit.  It was good to see California again!  I forget how beautiful it is there.  I still would never move back (couldn't afford CA even if I wanted to move back!), but it is always fun to visit!Upon landing in LAX, I went to baggage to get my bag.  My bag was jammed to the gills with my Stitch SaversYarn I had dyed...And bags I have sewn...I sold some of the yarn (so hard to compete with the beauty that is Skeindalous and Dizzy!!), half the bags, and quite a lot of the Stitch Savers.  (When I get a chance to take much better pics, I'll put the stuff in my Etsy store!  If you want any of it, email me!)ANYWAY,As I was saying, my suitcase was stuffed with all of that, plus a few clothes.  I was waiting at the baggage carousel, when I heard an oddly familiar voice.  I thought to myself, "No.  Can't be."  I look to my right and see a guy reaching for his bag.  I thought, "Is it?"  And then he stood up...  all 6' 5" of him.Armie Hammer.  What?!He was a few feet away from me.  He took the bags to his wife who had their dog, then he went to a different carousel.It may seem strange that I recognized his voice first, but I had recently watched Mirror Mirror and found it so charming that I had the boys watch it with me a few days later.I walked over to him, and the whole time I was thinking, "Ask about his name, ask about his name, ask about his name..."  When I got to him, I asked, "Are you Armie Hammer?"  He nodded and smiled self-deprecatingly and all thought flew out of my head and I fangirl geeked out.  Completely.ME:  I just LOVE you!HIM: (graciously not backing away slowly from the crazy person) Thank you, that's very kind.I put my hand out and he held his hands up, explaining he was quite ill and didn't want to get me sick.  (He was carrying a wadded tissue and looked a bit rheumy.)I babbled for a bit about how I "really enjoyed the work" that he's done so far.  Then he said, "Where are you flying from?"I was taken aback that he wanted to know about me (being a nobody and all), but then realized he was being polite and kind, so I said, "Um... [dammit!  He's so pretty.  Where AM I from again??] "Denver.  I grew up in California."HIM:  Are you visiting family?ME:  No, I'm here for a knitting convention.HIM:  (still not backing away, not even batting an eye)  Wow!ME:  I'm sorry, you probably have a life you'd like to get back to.  Great dog, by the way!HIM:  Thanks!  Would you like to take a picture?ME:  (looking rather forlornly at the enormous suitcase where my camera was floating around in amidst the debris) My camera's buried in there somewhere and I have a dumb phone.  May I have an autograph?HIM:  Absolutely!I went to shake his hand again, but he reminded me he was sick.  (I felt like an idiot!)  Then we parted ways, he to his wife who was sitting with her back to us the whole time, attending to their dog (an Airedale?), oblivious to the fact that her husband has been accosted.  Although maybe she knew and was just so used to it?I should have scanned the autograph so I could post it here, but it's floating around in my closet somewhere.  He even wrote something really nice on it, not just his[...]



G is for Glass

2013-10-25T16:16:20.612-07:00

I found a store on etsy that is entirely devoted to glass bottles.  It's here.  This person has 1533 items in their store!   A whole store!  They are mainly vintage bottles - soda, apothecary, milk.  Where do they find them all?!I have spoken many times about my hoarder tendencies.  One of the things I would love to collect would be vintage bottles.  Apothecary, soda, maybe even some milk bottles.  I also love those electricity glass thingies.  Like these:  Instead, I currently collect yarn.  Here's the picture I posted recently...That's my Wall 'O Yarn.  On the left (and these are bins only - the bags are a whole 'nother story), the bottom is a 45 gallon bin with all my Aran through Bulky weight.  Above that, I have 25 gallon bin of Felting Wool, 25 gallon bin of Cotton, and 25 gallon bin of novelty yarn that I am willing to sell (currently that novelty is waiting it's turn to be made in to pet beds).In the middle, we have a 45 gallon grey bin of Non-Sock Fingering/Sport/DK/Worsted yarn.  Above that on the left, there's 10 gallon bin of novelty that I actually have plans for, 15 gallon bin of Kitchen Cotton, and a little shoe-box bin of Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn.  On the right, we have 15 gallon bin of sock kits (that's actual kits and sock yarn that's already wound in to cakes).  Above that, a 20 gallon bin that is ALL WIPs (or as I call it the Bin of Shame, or sometimes the Bin of No Return).  On top of that I have a 10 gallon bin of Knit Me Next!! (Or, as I like to call it, Future WIPs and UFOs.)On the right, the 40 gallon grey bin of roughly 200 skeins of Sock yarn.  Over that, we have a 15 gallon bin of Malabrigo yarn, a 25 gallon bin of Acrylicrap (mostly used in ami's), a 25 gallon bin of "Good" Acrylic (how much am I in love with Berocco Vintage?!), and a 25 gallon bin of yarn waiting to be dyed.S.A.B.L.E. much?I'm working my way through the Bulky lately.   It's so seductive in it's ability to be a full sweater within a very short time!!  I just finished Comfortable Cables.  I haven't taken any pic's of it yet, but soon, my lovelies, soon.....Happily drowning in yarn, Ruth![...]



F is for Finish

2013-08-26T12:39:31.234-07:00

Almost time for Husker football to start up again.  Next Saturday, as a matter of fact (or so the husband tells me).  For the past few years, I've had this tradition of CO'ing a new sweater each time.  Thing is, I'm not sure I've actually finished any of those sweaters.  It's hard to say.  The only one I've ever actually documented as a Husker kickoff sweater was last year's Astoria, which is not finished.  (As I suspected, I got to the stranding bit and chickened out.  It's still on the needles, it's just... waiting.)I have a rather shocking amount of WIPs.  Most are in an enormous bin in the basement.  Here's my Wall 'O Yarn...Here's a closer look at what's in the middle...That big monster in the middle, on the right is my WIPs bin.  You see my dilemma.  Above it we have the Knit Me Next!! bin.  Below it, we have the Sock Kits bin.  And the little one to the left is the Socks That Rock bin.  Sigh. That WIP bin is overstuffed.  The Knit Me Next bin is on top of it to help keep the lid from popping off.  It's not all sweaters.  It has quite a variety in there.  Socks, kitchen towels, bath mat, hats, more socks, a pair of mittens, slippers, some socks...  And I know that's not even all the WIPs I have floating around the house (I almost typed "gloating" instead of "floating" - equally appropriate, I think.).  I can think of at least six sock WIPs that are gloating outside that bin as we speak.  What should I do? Shall I finish things from previous years?   Shall I start a new sweater?  I've been puzzling over this for quite some time.  I think I may have a solution.  There's 2 halves to a football game.  Why don't I CO something new at kickoff like I always do? (frontrunners right now are either Idlewood, Alta, or Comfortable Cables - mainly Idlewood and CC because they are mindless enough to be able to watch the game.)  I can work on the new thing during the first half and then work on a WIP only during the second half!  The issue with this particular bit of compromise is that I often doze off during the second half.  I don't know what it is about football that makes me sleepy.  It certainly isn't the hollering husband sitting next to me!I think we all know which way I'll go, Ruth![...]



E is for Egg

2013-11-18T17:47:48.497-08:00

Before I met Dave, I never ate bacon.

I always thought, "Bacon and coffee.  How can something smell so good and taste so bad??"

My dad was always a bacon and eggs man.  And coffee.  He had bacon and fried eggs for breakfast every chance he got.  He and my mom drank copious amounts of coffee.  I tried all of it and didn't like any of it.  My mom used to tell my I'd change my mind about coffee when I was studying late nights in college.  Never happened.

I didn't discover the joys of bacon until years after Dave and I started dating.  I think it was a few years in to our marriage that I caught on. 

As to eggs, I like eggs.  But I've never liked them overeasy.  Hardboiled (in any form - plain, on a salad, mixed in to egg salad for sandwiches), ScrambledVeryDry (when I was in the Army, I had enough nasty, wet scrambled eggs to last a lifetime), cooked in to pastries (that's the best use of an egg)...

Dave likes his eggs overeasy.  Those type of eggs always grossed me out.  The yolky part just seemed like uncooked egg to me.

I've always been one to try new things.  Particularly with food!  I watch a lot of the food channel and they keep talking about the "eggy goodness" of a fried egg, so I thought I'd give it another shot.  Hell, I didn't like mustard until I was in my 20s, stationed in Germany!

Overeasy eggs are Delicious!!

I quickly became obsessed with them.  I had a fried egg sandwich nearly every day for almost three months!  I'd order them when we went out to breakfast.  I tried them overmedium and overhard.  I like overmedium best.

I'm liking this whole discover-(or even rediscover)-things-in-my-adulthood thing.  Makes me feel like there's hope that I'll never be stuck in my ways and inflexible about my preferences. 

Are there foods you hated as a kid and now you can't get enough of them?  What about other things? 
Like classical music?  I never hated it, but I never really gave it a shot, either.  I think I'll explore that next...

I still can't stand coffee, but overeasy eggs and bacon? mmmm.

All that wasted time, Ruth!



D is for Dope

2013-08-08T09:57:50.455-07:00

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the store for a mere 40 minutes, and while I was gone, Dave and his mom had the mother of all blowouts.  Thankfully, the kids were also gone (in CA with my mom for 2 weeks).I think I've mentioned that when she gets mad, she says things I wouldn't say to a dog.  She also brings up the laundry list of your entire life's mistakes, real or imagined.One of our imaginary sins that came up during this shouting match (lovingly held outside so all the neighbors can know their business) was that she thinks Dave and I are "dope fiends" because we are OK with marijuana having been made legal in Colorado.The funny thing about that statement is that Dave has NEVER tried an illegal drug in his life.  It's downright un-American, if you ask me.She and I almost got in to it a week before on the same issue.There was a traveling nurse that came to our house to give her an insurance-company-mandated physical.  MIL was telling me what a lovely person that nurse was (which, to her mind, means the nurse agreed with everything the MIL asked her about, thus confirming that MIL is, once again, right in all ideals).  One of the things they talked about was weed.  Nurse agreed with MIL that weed is the root of all evil.  Nurse used to work in a prison and claimed that every single man behind bars ever started down the road to the big house by smoking a joint.  Nurse also told MIL that it's been proven that marijuana is the ONLY drug in existence that NEVER leaves the body.  That it stays in your cells and never leaves.At that point, I'd heard enough.  We were driving to the grocery store, just she and I, and I'd had it.  I said, "That nurse was talking out her ass."MIL looked shocked and said, "Well, she's a nurse, so I think she knows what she's talking about."  I said, "Never happened.  Your body completely regenerates every cell it has about every 7 years or so, depending on the cell type.  NOTHING stays in your body forever."I went on to give her my views on addiction.  Here they are, for good or for ill:I think addicts are wired to be addicts.  I think there may be things in their life that they need to escape from, some of them have horrific things that they should be able to escape from, but some people do it with addiction, others do not.I strongly believe that if someone is going to be an addict, it doesn't matter what drug they start with.   My brother grew up in the same unstable, dysfunctional household.   I might even go so far as to say that I had it worse, considering the Very Bad Things that happened because I am female.  (No one in our house ever touched me - see previous post for the story.)  I've done the exact same drugs my brother's done.  (I almost let that slip out with her, too!  I can only imagine the firestorm that would've started.  Not to mention the filing away and savoring of that little tidbit until her next tantrum.)  My brother is an addict that has had a very hard time getting his life together.  I never got addicted to drugs or alcohol and have managed to reasonably keep my life on some sort of "normal" track.Everyone is addicted to something.  For the MIL it's cigarettes and (as I've recently discovered) copious amounts of alcohol.  For some it's food.  For some it's being a dick.   (Please misread that last one as [...]



C is for Comedy

2013-11-18T18:09:35.252-08:00

I spent most of last year angry.  Just pissed beyond all reason.  One of my best friends is a counselor, and she said that's a sign of depression.  I don't know about that, but I know I wasn't myself.I've always had people telling me I'm a dreamer and overly optimistic and always looking on the bright side.  Last year, those qualities have seemed to have left me.  I hope they aren't gone for good.So much happened last year that sucked.  My FIL passed in June.  My high school sweetheart's mom and a friend of mine (two separate people) passed away within ten days of each other in the fall.  I wasn't especially close to either of those two people anymore, but at one time or another in my life, they were important to me and the world was lessened by their passing.School keeps changing and not for the better.I hated my job with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns.After my FIL passed in June, I was so angry with the MIL.  She never really treated him well.  She fed him in to oblivion and she kept the house clean, but she was never nice to him.  For the few months we lived together in Parker (after they first moved out to CO), I watched her take his every misstep, misspent dollar, mistake he's ever made and fashion them in to a spiked club with which to beat him over the head every day.  Every.  Day.My prime example of how she treated him:We were having Sunday dinner at their place, as usual.  We'd just had a KFC meal and she'd made corn on the cob to go with it.  We'd put all the food on paper plates, to make that day easy for her.  Dave asked his dad to please pass the corn.  His dad picked it up with one hand and started to pass it.  She yanked the plate away from him, snapping, "You need two hands.  You're going to drop it."   Ironically, she'd yanked it away from him with... you guessed it.... just one hand.  I sat there thinking, "Jeez, woman!  The man is 80-some years old.  I think he can figure out how to successfully pass a plate of corn."Whatever they had together obviously worked for them because they were married 40+ years until he passed.   And he would sit there and take it, so... I don't know.It made me so angry that in his last days and after he died, she would tell anyone who listened what a great man he was.  What a fine man, a good man, a good provider, etc., etc.Wow.She sure as hell never let that on when he was living.Maybe I should be a little more compassionate.  I probably couldn't be less so, because to hear her go on and on about it made me sick.Maybe she finally figured it out too late?  Seems like she was suddenly afraid to be alone, even though when he was alive, she really seemed to hate being with him.We moved her in with us last November.  It's been... interesting.I've been with Dave since.... well, we met October 1998.  You know, I've never once seen that woman laugh?  She's never been taken by surprise and burst out laughing.  She's never heard a joke she didn't scoff at.  I'm not even sure I've ever seen her give a real, genuine smile.This January, I sat down and had a little chat with myself.I see how bitter and lonely and angry and unhappy she is with... well, just about everything.  I see that if I kept on the path I was on last year, I could easily end up just like that.  Wh[...]



B is for Bins

2013-02-01T19:37:31.143-08:00

We moved on November 1. (Well, about two weeks on either side of that.)  In moving, I've found scads of crap (as one does in a move).  The main thing I've done (besides watch several episodes of Hoarders) is to organize ALL my craft stuff.Anything that had a whiff of craftiness about it, was put in the basement.  After I found all craftiness-related items were put in the bottom of the house, I went to work.Let me give a brief description of our basement.  The stairs go down and if you kept walking, in about 5 feet you'd walk into the water heater and various other house-heating, floor-to-ceiling type things.  If you turned left, you'd see the set-up we did for the kids.  Against the wall where the stairs run: TV and gaming consoles.  Big piece of carpet underneath - rolled up futon (currently looking for a futon frame) - their toy bins - a table with all their board games - a heavy, 6 foot table that has those folding legs (Dave found it somewhere).If you turned right, you'd see a queen-sized bed up against the wall.  To the right of the bed is a small door about 4 feet off the ground that leads to the crawlspace (that thing runs under the ENTIRE rest of the house!  Told Dave I was going to fill it with yarn).  Opposite the bed, is MY space!Back to the craft stuff.  And understand that when I say "craft stuff", I'm including all yarn.I put five or six empty cardboard boxes on the bed and surrounding floor.  Then I took every little box and bin that had craft stuff (not the yarn, yet...) and started sorting in to the boxes.  There was a sewing box, a box for knitting accoutrement, a beading/jewelry box, a papercrafts box, a box for stuff that should be in my office, a box for glass rocks (used to make them into magnets), a box for misc..... you get the idea.  Most importantly, a box for duplicates and things I want to get rid of.I'd take all the smaller boxes and bins and and just start chucking.  I didn't peruse or think too much about any of it.  Pull crafty stuff out of small bin, chuck in to appropriate box.This took me roughly a week, working at least an hour a day.  Once it was all divided, I'd take each big box and further sort into smaller boxes or back in to the small bins/boxes where they would live.Dave gave me a big bookcase (7' X 3' X 1').  It's now full of very organized boxes and bins!Then I went to tackle the yarn....another week of time.I tossed the stash.  Didn't dump any out, just dug through what was in the bins, looking for vermin.  Nothing there - yay!I had 4 or 5 HUGE ziploc bags of yarn that had been either taken out or never put away.  I started to put it all in the bins I already had and then realized I wanted to rearrange nearly ALL of those bins in to different categories.  I have three enormous bins.  One is sock yarn.  The other two were marked Good Wool and Good Stuff.  ??  The "good stuff" was pretty arbitrary - anything with alpaca, silk, etc.  So I rearranged both those into "Non-sock fingering to Worsted" and "Aran to Bulky".I had an "Acrylicrap" and a "Good Stuff Acrylic" bin.  I kept those but took quite a lot of stuff out of the "good stuff" one and made a "Blanket" bin.  I have a bin of sock yarn that's already rolled, so should be used first.  I have a bin that says "[...]