A little before and after

It’s Finished Object show off time!!!

I had mentioned in the beginning of January that I began a set of socks on my new size 2 circulars in magic loop.  Well, here are some pics of during and the completed pair.  They were for Valentine’s Day.  I finished them the week before.  It was driving me crazy having them sitting there and not allowing myself to wear them until the day of.

Then, I want to show you a few pics of the fog icicles.  We have never seen them in the northeast, but here in Iowa it seems pretty common.  I have some pics from January and then a month later I got some more.  These icicles are not as long as they have been this winter.  One day we woke with 4 to 6 inch spikes growing from all the branches.

April 3rd 2009

Our day started off in the usual manner of slowly rising and eating breakfast.  I  went through our list of ToDo’s in my head and decided before we go to our scheduled knitting lesson/playdate in the afternoon we should get some grocery shopping done.

We are changing our families diet over to a Gluten Free Casien Free Diet.  I am hoping that this change might help gives us better results with T.’s behavior and gut issues and all around be better for us health wise.  This change is huge.   We are all cheese and bread lovers in this house and are going to have to move through our emotional attachments to these foods together. I am not one to lean on during a craving, so this should make for some interesting exchanges between myself and the boys.  I am not sure how much support I am getting for my other half. but I do hope  we are all venturing into this diet with the intention of the enitre household being GFCF.  I really want to make every effort into this change.  I need a full trial over the next few years to see if this is going to make a difference for the better or not.  More than anything I need this HOPE!  My inner self is dark and dreary and tired.  I need some light hopful actions to keep my spirit intact.  Which as of late has n ot been the case.

While shopping we were encouraged to find several items on our list at our local grocer.  This bodes well for our pocketbook.  There are still other items we will have to find at other locations, but I feel quite satisfied by our initial effort to replace some goods in our cabinets this day.  I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to have my rice milk back in my fridge.  I have been going too mong without it.  I love the light cold drink.  It really eases my tummy knowing I can drink this without having bloating and pains.  So yummy!!

Afterward we headed out to our dear friends, LC and her boys TC and OC.  It was my knitting lesson day!!  YEAH!!  I am know on the gusset of my sock and I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see this becoming a real sock.  One I whole heartedly intend on wearing.  I am going to start the second one soon, so my lessons are refreshed as I go and I really need to purchase the book “Sensational Knitted Socks” by Charlene Schurch.  What a great guide.  The boys played fairly well and we had a few incidents that got my hair up but nothing out of the ordinary for my boys.  Still prety frustrating.  I enjoy learning from LC and chatting with her.  Grown up friends are hard to find and harder to enjoy since we all seem so busy these days.

I love this little tree in LC’s living room and have actually wanted a large plant for my indoor living spaces, too.  It is really cute, but I can’t stop myself from thinking it needs little gnomes and fairies and such all around it hidden in the branches and sitting at its base.  But everytime I walk out the door I forget about it.  Today, I am taking a picture so I will remember my thoughts and begin working towards making some little nuggets for the tree.

On our way over, the radio was going on and on about a shooting and streets being closed off.  When I actually focused my attention to the announcement I realized it was going on about my local civic center and here I am heading directly for that area of town for my knitting lesson.  This was somewhat shocking.  I knew I could not enter the area from the way we normally take with out running into overflow traffic from re-routing, so I called and received directions from another way.  We were only a mile from the shooting of 14 people.  We listened to the radio and checked our local news paper online for updates.  It was pretty nerve racking when we began receiveing calls from out of state regarding our safety and such, since it had apparently hit national news.  This was bigger than I thought.  Even President Obama and his wife had been in contact with our local leaders.  That was surprising.  We were safe the entire time as only the block in which the civic center resided was lockdown and all other locations were secluded from any effect.  I feel our government agencies handled the situation the best they could.   Just wish we knew what set the man off.  Maybe we could learn from this and avoid possible situations like this from occuring.

From what we heard during the Address given after the incident by the governer and other officials, this type of shooting has occured several times in the last month all over our country.  People are getting scared, hopeless, and angry at our current economical situation and I fear we are just seeing the beginnings of what can come of someone who has lost everything.  I can only hope we resolve our countries issues with out the rage and violence that we are seeing lately.

A Little Hope!

A Little Hope!

Yarntastic!!

OMG!!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to present the first ever original collaboration between Ali Koerper and myself!  I posted a while back that I sent off some yarn I spun up and dyed into shades of red to a dear old friend in California.  She has finished her crocheting and sent it to me asap!  It is especially lovely to me, but beyond my own bias I feel it  is amazing!  Look at this lovely hat she created with it!!

Love it!!!!

And!!  Sock Progress!!!!

I have completed the leg, the heel flap and heel turn!  This is very exciting!!  On Friday I begin the Gusset.  It has taken a long time to get to this point but by doing it this way I am feeling very confident about making the next one and really understanding how the sock all goes together.  I am so thankful for the time and patience LC has had with me, teaching.  I couldn’t have asked for a more knowledgable friend to guide me with this challenging new learning experience.

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.
march-05march-03march-06
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!

Sock progress

First sock is coming along.  With LC’s, guidance I am building a sock with a knit three, purl on pattern ribbed sock.  I am so looking forward to tackling the heal I am really trying to plow through the calf.  I have more done than I thought I would by now.  These are pictures I took yesterday, and beleive me I have accomplished even more this morning.

LC even showed me how to find slipped stitches and how to fix them.  My biggest challenge and joy is the fact she taught me how to knit continental(left hand holding yarn).  This has changed my gauge considerably and shows on the Ruana that I am making in knit only, but so worth it!

I am very excited to have this opportunity to learn from her and am so pleased that I am not totally failing, in which , I was very fearful of.