Vacation beginnings

July fist came around and I was very prepared.  I had scrimped and saved a good amount of money in hopes of staying for an extended period of time in Massachuesetts, visiting, catching up, and having fun.  I had packed all clothes the day ahead and gathered all travel snacks and some specialty items for GFCF diet that I might have a hard time finding initially in MA.

The truck had been packed of most items the night before, so when I awoke we could head out right away.   We were all pretty excited.  The only thing about this journey that bothered me was that my man was not coming with us.  He had other plans, but it would have been nice to have gotten away on vacation with him.

We arrived in very good time and I arrived to a great hug from Brian.  I actually pulled out of it, since I was really smelly from road ware.  I unpacked the boys into our rooms and calmed down from the drive then proceeded to the nearest grocery store for yum yums and went back to cook dinner.  I love sirlion steak tips and we can’t find them in NY so I grabbed a coiuple packages for that week.   Brian was so sweet!!  He had gone out and grabbed some of the food we would need during our stay prior to arriving, so I didn’t need much else.   He also went way beyond the average hosting and purchased a game for his X-box that was appropriate for the chidren.  They were thrilled!!!  Since at home the TV is only used for PBS and watching movies, this was a huge vacation for the boys.  Their dreams were coming true right before their eyes.  LOL  They even enjoyed a few games other than the Lego Star Wars one that Brian had purchased;  Rockband and Guitar Hero.  They even got to watch cable.  These were the mainstays of their vacation.  This is what they lived and breathed most of the time we were away.  Sad, I think, but they were in heaven.  😛  I let them have at it.  It was a vacation for them too.

It was incredibly nice to be staying with Brian.  I have missed seeing him for so many years.  I am very fortunate to have really generous friends and he was incredibly kind to offer his house to myself and the boys, as long as we were willing to stay.  Our usual haunt, of staying with my friend Kara and her girls, is now a bit too crowded, with additional girls and the fact our two sets of eldest children are tweens and teens.  A tight squeeze for all of us under one roof.  I love Brians’ home.  It feels like “home” to me.  I have many memories there and attachment to the area.   Part of my time was to be dedicated to cleaning the house.  I did clean but it was mostly picked up already and I was just doing maintenance cleaning.  He wouldn’t let us help with the outside work or the basement, so there was little to be done. 😦  I enjoy cleaning this house.  Yes, I realize this is weird to some folks.  But I really enjoy cleaning others’ homes.  Totally selfish reasons I am sure.  I get quite a lot of it.  Self satisfacation, intimate connections with the house and it’s furnishings, greater connection to the people in the house, and a sense of trust and belonging.  See, you all thought I just do this cuase I am generous and kind or something.  NOT!!  Totally selfish.  So there.

Before I left for MA, I signed up for several Ravelry events.  One included spinning every day of the during the Tour de France.  Another was a swap with a theme of Mary Poppins.  Upon my arrival I pulled out my spindle and begun to spin.  My dear friend Brian just looked at me as if I had gophers growing outta my nose.  I don’t think he ever thought I would be doing such a thing.  Silly man!!  Well, after a few times of my spindle smacking the hard kitchen floor, it cracked right at the hook.  This was a major impairment to my plans.  I had heard of a fiber store in a town nearby that I wanted to check out, but it was coming up to the holiday weekend and I was sure normal business hours were void.  The next afternoon, I called the store, Fiber Loft in Harvard MA, in a panicked flurry.  I was happy to talk with the woman and was not surprised that they were closing in an hour and they were not opening till next week.  I grabbed my boys and ran out the door.  She was staying open for me and I was going to make it the least amount of inconvience as possible.  I flew through the few little towns and made it there before closing time.  I picked out a new spindle and picked up some lovely J-knits roving.  Just couldn’t resist.  Aqua and deep brown….PRETTY!!!  T. was literally pulling me out the door as soon as I walked in.  I think he saw the fever kick in immediately upon scenting the wool all around me.  He’s smarter than the average bear.  😛

On the way back from The Fiber Loft we stopped by for a surprise visit to our friend Kara’s.  Her girls and my boys have been good friends for a long time.  We went out for a yummy dinnner at one of my favorite family dining places, Tiny’s in Ayer MA.  Nummers!!

It was great to see Kara again.  I miss her terribly. 😦  I hope that I have had enough of an influence on Abigail to have her become an evil mastermind that I see as her greatest potential.  Muuaaaahhhh!!!  Do you hear the manicial laughter?  Anyway, we visited till late in the evening and made plans for the next day. 

Natural Food store in Groton, MA for snacks and such, then to the Ayer park for the afternoon.  It was a beautiful day and the kids had a great time.  We even found plenty of snacks that we could eat and enjoy.  While we were there we saw a guy practicing walking the tight rope.  I was fun to watch. 

I was getting pretty psyched for Independance Day. Only one more day to a fireworks show that I look toward ever year.  We usually see two shows in this town, but the Fort  Devens had cancelled the fireworks show on their land.  Probably due to economy.

Sunday Spin Ins

For the last two Sundays the Knitting group from Ravelry that meets at B&N have met for some group spinning time.

I was very excited at ElsieDeluxe joined us this time and I was able to complete another skein of Orange Alpaca.  I am getting very close to having enough yarn for a lace pattern shawl for myself.  I do hope I can find help and a pattern so I don’t screw it up.  That would be really sad.

I brought some GFCF Cherrybrook Kitchen Brownies, which were yum!!  And had some delicious liquor with.  A big treat night for me.  I did get deathly ill that morning when I got home though.  Apparently my stomach wasn’t too happy with all the food I had during the Native American Festival and then adding these treats to it, within one day.

While our conversations went to all sorts of inappropriate  topics(the best ones in my opinion) we fell upon a couple of humorous instances.  I had to take pics!!!!

Firstly, there is BugaBoo whom can’t reach the floor while sitting in her own dining room chairs!

It may look it, but her feet really aren't touching the ground!!

It may look it, but her feet really aren't touching the ground!!

Then we had a wildly inappropriate happenstance!!  It was a good evening!!  Just so happens Yarngasm dropped her spindle and bent down to pick it up.  As she came up the alpaca fluff she was spinning stuck to her….

Too funny not to take picture and share with the whole world!!

Too funny not to take picture and share with the whole world!!

Sadly, I missed the shot of when she then stood up and walked across the room for treats and the same tuffed was stuck to another unmentionalbe body part!!!  It was a good night!!

I left around 12:30am, tired but really happy.  Not always the easiest thing to come by in my book.  I look forward to our next Spin-in.

Dr Seuss Arrived!!

My partner sent me the best package ever!!!  I can’t tell you how awesome being in this swap was.  Just too fun!  I loved having a purpose to my knitting that was just purely fun for another.  I received my package today and immediately set upon it with my camera.

And Oh My GOD!!  If you want to most amazing felted item go to my partners website!!!  cicadavalley.etsy.com, Cicada Valley Studios.  Just really wonderful stuff.  She is soooo talented!

Did you see the bag!!! of Lindt Chocolate Truffles!  My FAVE!!!  They are already half gone….

Dr Seuss Swap

It is so exciting!  I finally was able to send off my package to my ravelry partner for our Odd Duck Swap themed Dr. Seuss.

I spent a lot of time knitting up a huge Horton stuffed animal from, “Horton Hears a Who”.  I ordered two books and a soy candle for the package, then placed in Horton Hears a Who animated video and a dark chocolate bar. Lastly, I gave her two skeins of lovely Susan B. Bunny’s Sock merino/tencel yarns in plummy colorway.  Here is the link to the ravelry post, http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-odd-duck-swaps-of-ravelry/467390/426-450#450

Don’t know if it will work foryou, but I was able to contain myself long enough after I completed filling my box to take a couple pics of Horton before sending it off.

March Madness!

Now, I know why the phrase “March Madness” and “Madder than a March Hare” really suites this time of year. The change of the season combined with the “Spring Ahead” time change, makes you crazy! My entire body’s rhythm is completely throw off kilter! I am exhausted all the time and can’t seem to find any energy or reason for smiling throughout anything in my day. I am grumpy… I don’t think I have recovered from a head cold that began over a week ago. I still wake up with my nose and throat on fire. My day consists of aches and pains and mild headaches. The only warm weather we get is tainted with grey overcast sky and rains, so you can’t really enjoy it. The little blue sunny sky that sneaks in, is on freezing snowy days, in which I can’t stand to even look at anymore. I am in a funk and so are the children. So, of course, we are all cooped up here together, biting each other heads off. I am going stir crazy. I have seen this building in me for over a month. I need a trip, to anywhere, that doesn’t involve the kids, preferably. I need a break. I am getting so depressed about being “stuck” I really can’t get out of it easily. I guess, mostly, it is due to the fact that no matter what, I end up returning to the same situation with the children. I wish our country had a national healthcare system that worked, like so many european countries. I think I could use a little care, right about now. I so hope for sunny days, where I can get out and move about comfortably.

To help myself get in the spirit of Spring, I (kinda) impulsively purchased twenty chicks. Seriously, I have been trying to decide which kind I wanted and when for this coming Spring all winter, but since no decision was forth coming, I sent out a plea on craigslist for chicks in my local area and before I knew I had several contacts. I was very fortunate enough that a local organic farmer was heading to the hatchery the very next day for pick up and was kind enough to offer to pick me up some whilst there. I imagined having the chicks hidden until the Spring Equinox, Ostara, and the children waking to see them littered across the floor in the living room upon waking to their baskets of goodies, but reality set in. They are in my bathroom under their heat lamp, living in luxury, with water and food readily available. They are Comets, a cross between a White Rock and a New Hampshire Red. Pullets are golden red with a little white around the neck. Very cute. Their feathers will initially come in white. I will take a pic and post it, so you can see them feather out. It looks quite funny! So this year we have chickens again. I hope to enjoy these more than the last batch, which was Cornish Rocks, and well, they are stupid and crazy for food! Not personable at all. Definitely, for meat purposes only. These new birds can be used for both meat and eggs. They are really great for brown egg layers, since they mature early, so you have eggs earlier in the year.
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Aren’t they just adorable!?! And so Soft!

Knitting:
I have been knitting a lot lately. I don’t have pics, but will post those soon. I have been working on the heel of the sock. Very excited about the possibility of finishing my first sock. It seems so close now. Of course, schedules and commitments have changed so my instructions in knitting will be placed on hold, but I have some resources to refer to for help. It will just be a little slower to learn new techniques and skill sets. I am kinda used to not getting to finish things due to circumstances outside my control, so letting this go, is par for the course. I will bounce back from this set back. I have also been working on a secret project for my Dr. Suess Swap on Raverly. I can’t wait to finish that up and send it. Only then can I tell you what it is and post a pic. It is soooo cute!! I hope my partner really enjoys it all. I choose some really luxuriously soft yarn to knit it up with and some great skeins of yarn to send along with it. I hope to find some really fun items to add to the package as time gets nearer for me to send it out. What is really neat about this, is I have for the first time created my own pattern. I took something similar and adjusted part of it to create the “body” and had to create my own patterns to finish it off. I have gotten several more inches, if not another foot completed for the three scarf Ruana. I love the color. It is certainly not going to be a great piece of art, since I am using it to practice my continental knitting on and my gauge is going to take a long time to smooth out, since I can’t seem to keep the same tension as easily as with my right hand. It is a good take-a-long project, since I don’t need to concentrate on patterns and such. It is a funny feeling going from such large needles to such tiny needles between these projects. It certainly is giving my hands a workout. The only issue is, my wrists are really starting to ache quite a bit from it all. I am not sure what to do about that. I have always had problems with all my joints, but I don’t want to loose my writing ability sooner than the rest. I really would like to keep using my hands as long as I can still breath. I hope I can maintain that wish.
One Day:

I received a large lot of knitting magazines from craigslist this weekend. In the process, found myself very surprised by the experience. I know this sounds weird. Where might this go?! Well, let me tell you about my day. I woke, really looking forward to getting out of the house and having some fun with my man. He wasn’t on the same level of enthusiasm as I was, so I found myself checking out my emails and such on the computer, being fairly bored. I got this reply for the magazines so decided I would make an afternoon for myself and the boys. I really needed to get out. Even if it meant going to some places I don’t care much for, but the boys really enjoy. First stop was picking up the zines. The woman whom posted them lived less than five minutes from my home. I zoomed to her local and found a familiar face standing at the door! She was a mother who had attended a couple of playgroups, but didn’t get a chance to really get to know her, as she had only come to a few that I had attended. I found she was giving the zines away due to a possible move. “But you just got here.?” Was what first came out. After much discussion and observation, I noticed they were of similar persuasion in many areas of lifestyle. Nutty Crunchy, Waldorf, Health Conscientious, Fiber nut, Geeky Man syndrome, etc etc etc, right down to watching the same type of shows enjoyed. I pointed out her local waldorf families and fiber groupies and spent most of our day there. The children played and the men geeked out. It was funny. I hope they don’t end up moving, or if they do, not far, unless of course it is truly ideal for them. After many hours spent there, it was past lunchtime. I headed off to home for pit stop and an unload. Picked up S. in the process, headed for a yummy sweet of real!!! frozen yogurt. I don’t mean the stuff that looks and feels and tastes exactly like soft serve ice cream, I truly mean, Stonyfield yogurt placed in a soft serve ice cream machine and frozen. Just plain yogurt, no additives. Such a delicious and refreshing treat. I had fresh kiwi and strawberries upon mine. While we were there, we got another surprise. The shop was attached to a lovely little Korean Restaurant. We grabbed the “togo” menu and began to drool. I was not ready to eat anything else after my treat, so those thoughts of Korean for dinner were placed on hold for another day. We went to Jupiter Games for some eye oggling fun. This shop gives up much pleasure. It is stacked from top to bottom with board and card games and more! I picked out a game I knew our family would love, called Cuthulu 500. Combines Zaniness of Cuthulu with wickedness of MotorSports! Really funny but complicated game. I was a little surprised by that since it was only a two card deck package. You really can’t tell by the cover! It is still fun to play, after the forever long tutorial of how to play was over. LOL After getting hounded for items we weren’t purchasing anytime soon and pulling them out of the store, we needed dinner. Dinner, was a yummy spot called Texas Roadhouse. Good Steak! T. had some challenges while we were there so I figured after dinner, it was time to go home. I will try to be posh and sit at B&N and read a book some other day. That was my plan for the evening. I just wanted to sit with some warm drink and read, while the kids roamed through the store reading and such. We enjoy that. It is only challenging when it is time to leave or T. gets it in his head the he is getting something. Ugh.

Today, we were supposed to go to a field trip up north, but chaos ensued and it was clear I was not leaving the house once again. It just isn’t safe, right, nor proper to go out with a child who is swearing, yelling, and defecating throughout all his days. I am tired of it, with no where to turn, that could produce any results that would prove helpful. This is why I don’t go out much. I just can’t stand fighting to get the basics of living appropriately all day and night, and then getting hit in the process. Just not worth being out there in the world, dealing with this madness. Instead, I am refocusing my efforts for today to getting evil school work sheets done. He doesn’t realize it, but I see it. They are getting done much faster, every time he works on them. I think he is overall improving on his school work. At this point, I wouldn’t care about the content, if I could just see him improve like this, but I am fortunate enough that the content of his work is really sticking with him and he is doing very well! I gotta be happy about that, right!

I am still stressing over B.’s next year of work. I need to find a way to afford the initial cost to his online program. I just have to find a way!

OMG! I can’t not post about this! My family is joining FaceBook!! I love Facebook so much. I keep in touch with folks I haven’t seen in 18 years + and can’t be more thankful for that connection. I can always feel like “home” when I log in daily to see what folks have been up to in their daily movements. Now! I am so happy to find that several of my cousins have become members of Facebook! I grew up being around all my cousins frequently and for all occasions. Not being near them as an adult had been frustrating and sad. Now, I can connect with them like never before as an adult, online at Facebook. I am so very happy about this. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. This is truly a blessing. My family has always been such a huge factor in my life. I miss having that interaction. Family! They are the best!

Thank You Twiggi34!!!!!

I got gifted!!!  Totally unexpected!!  A lovely woman from Ravelry knitting group at B&N, brought gifts for everyone!!

She and her husband made these!!!  How splendid!  I wish I had my camera last night as each was different and so was each batt of wool.  They were all lovely and two folks hadn’t spun before, so it was really nice to see them initiated into spinning.

Knitting at Barnes and Noble

Last night, whilst feeling much more functional I attended a Ravelry Knitting Group at B&N.  I have been attending for a few weeks and really like the folks there.  They are all interesting and funny.  They are also extremely kind and helpful.  I am very fortunate to have found these folks to play with all my fiber with.

Last night was the Holiday Gift Exchange.  This was planned before I began attending so I got to take pictures and watch rather than have to worry about picking out a gift in my well over drawn budgeted way.  Here are the pics from last night.  I got there when about half the ladies had already exchanged gifts.