Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gee, Look At Me! I'm a Diplomat!

Those who know me well are cringing at the thought of anyone, or any organization, relying on my skills in diplomacy for anything. But it seems that once children become teenagers, your life as a parent immediately changes. If you are the parent who happens to be the opposite sex of the child, then you become the diplomat. Somehow since puberty kicked in (I waged a two year stop-the-puberty campaign that ultimately failed miserably. Okay the campaign consisted of me stating to anyone who would listen, "I'm on a stop -the-puberty campaign", but still.) the father and son who have been best pals for years have been clashing more frequently.

Today's argument: The cell phone. First I should tell you that my husband was very against the cell phone. Not my son's cell phone, but his own. He hates carrying it. He forgets to turn it on and he still doesn't really know how to use it. He has killed three cell phones in four years by 1)forgetting it was in the pocket of his hoodie and throwing the hoodie in the wash, 2)losing it, 3)leaving it in a canvas bag on the floor of a baseball dugout during a tournament. One of his players spilled a sports drink on the bag rendering the cell phone useless.

My son on the other hand loves his phone. He saved up for a new fancy phone and paid for it himself. He bought a special "jacket" for it. He may be the Speilberg of cell phone movies. He always has it with him. He sends me text, picture, and video messages just so I know he loves mom. He has never lost a cell phone. Ironically I carry the replacement insurance on his cell phone rather than his father's cell phone.

I called home this afternoon to talk to the crabbiest Dad on earth. When I asked him what was wrong he told me that our son had lost his cell phone. He was extremely put out that he had to contact our cell phone provider to put a hold on the phone so that, as he put it, "some kid at school doesn't find it and put 10,000 minutes on it that we have to pay for". I pointed out that it is probably in our son's locker at school and that while our teenager has been surprisingly responsible about his phone, HE has lost, ruined, etc. not one but several phones. This did not improve his mood and he went from being crabbiest Dad on earth to crabbiest husband on earth.

Thank goodness for knitting. And wine.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Lots 'O Yarn

I've been waiting by the mailbox like Ralphie looking for his secret decoder ring. And today, after 4 days at home knitting and hanging out, while I was at work the mailman brought everything I'd been waiting for.

On the left, my knit picks yarn for my Spooky Train from plastic canvas. I haven't done this in years and then it was coasters and easy stuff, nothing three dimensional. It's taken my two hours to cut out the engine. Good thing I've got 7 months until Halloween. The center is cotton chenille for a new pattern I've got in my head. On the right is cotton blend I bought on e-bay. A yarn bonanza.

Have to go vote for DWTS (I'm totally addicted). Drink more Ovaltine (or was it Drink Your Ovaltine? I always forget. RC will know).

Really Bad Blogger

Sorry. I just haven't felt it lately. I've been knitting I just haven't been writing about it. I've been on a big towel kick lately. I made my parents a towel while visiting them and they were so appreciative that I decided to make them a couple more. So this weekend I made this:

I don't use my swift exclusively for hanging things, I sometimes even use it to wind yarn.
I've also caught the washrag bug again and have been making washrags that match the towels. The matching towel has already taken up residence at my sister's (my mother told me that she was not interested in anything lime green).
I figure if you are going to go bright, it might as well be in a dishrag. Especially now when I have a bit of the spring cleaning bug. I've been shining things up around here like crazy.

Today is the first day of school after spring break. I should have invited the marching band over to wake my son up, but I'm not sure that would do it. He got a new bigger more comfy bed over spring break and he's been sleeping in until 10 every morning. His cat is a co-conspirator, he has no interest in my son ever getting out of bed. I better go roust them out of bed.

Friday, March 16, 2007

On the Road

I'm blogging from South Dakota today as my son and I hit the road to visit grandma & grandpa. I didn't want him spending his entire spring break laying around the house playing video games so we have come here and he's laying around the house playing video games with his grandfather. Surely you can see the obvious benefits of intergenerational video gaming. It involves me saying things like, "put down your grandfather I don't care if he's hogging all the purple coins". Maybe a video game where the characters can't use "the dark force" to pick each other up would be a better choice next time.

Yesterday we spent a good portion of the afternoon working on this:

Mom and dad are working on this crazy plastic canvas Easter train. At Christmas time they made all of us "kids" a set of plastic canvas birdhouse ornaments. Confident in their newly found plastic canvas skills they decided that the little ones would enjoy the train decoration at Easter. They have it all cut out and stitched so I just worked on the finishing stuff with them yesterday. I haven't done stuff like this in years, but it was a lot of fun. It reminded me that I really enjoy crafts. I don't think of knitting as "crafty" but I know some do. Once I started knitting, I kind of abandoned my craftiness. (I've got a closet of craftiness too by the way) I might just borrow this book and make the halloween train to add to our halloween decorating this year.

Besides working with my parents and getting a chance to hang out, it was the chance for me to make an important discovery. There is a second shop in town selling yarn. We are heading to bustling downtown Watertown SD today to check it out. I already stopped in at the LYS and loaded up on the cool colors of Sugar n' Cream they carry so I'm ready to hit another yarn shop.

On the road back to Minneapolis today we'll be hitting the Montevideo LYS. They are the only store outside of Michigan that carries the merino from Stonehedge Fiber Mill. The wonderful soft merino I love. This time I'm ready for their cash only policy and will be taking home several skeins. All this family togetherness is making me want to go off somewhere by myself and knit.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Drastic Measures

It is time for drastic action. I have a lot of yarn. Really. A few weeks ago I took one of my bins marked, "full skeins for felting" out of the stash closet to post on the blog and someone left a comment about my "little" stash. It was cute. Like the one little bin was my whole stash. Sweet really. Here is part of my stash.

It's getting ridiculous. In addition to the full size closet devoted to yarn, I have baskets of yarn all over the house. I have yarn that I cannot for the life of me remember why I bought it or what I was going to do with it. I have yarn that I know exactly what I bought it for and after it has been ignored in the stash closet for a couple of years, I am coming to the sad realization that I probably will not knit a Clapotis with the beautiful Lion & Lamb. Not because I don't want a clapotis, but I've discovered I'm allergic to Kate Gilbert patterns. Although this one doesn't have a line that reads, "Row 78 repeat row 12". (This is why I don't have a Sunrise Circle Jacket). I love her stuff, I just can't knit it.

ANYWAY, as my current yarn yearnings are exceeding the space to put more yarn, I am taking drastic action. Tomorrow my husband, the ebay king, is helping me sell some yarn. So I will have room for more yarn. Details tomorrow. I hope my husband has an AED stashed somewhere in the house in case I have a coronary parting with some of this.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Kate's Cockamamie Medical Theories

I have been knitting. Really. But as you may know I have opinions on nearly everything so today I present my cockamamie medical theories. I have no science or empirical evidence behind these theories, they are simply mine.

  1. Everyone is on Prilosec, Nexium, etc. because everyone is addicted to highly caffienated, over-roasted Mc-coffee. I'm not naming names. We all have our favorite poison. I just don't think it's any coincidence that a few years after the $4.00 a cup coffee chain sprang up on every corner in America, we all have acid stomachs. I'm just sayin'. Kate's cockamamie health theory: try banning the char-roasted after noon.
  2. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women (not my theory). We have a whole generation of women, primarily older boomers, who grew up after the invention of electric appliances and before Title IX. They've never sweat or really worked hard. They wouldn't have dreamed of playing competitive sports even if there had been organized competitive sports to play. Their husband's have done the heavy work. My grandmother didn't own an automatic washer until the 1970's and then it was a little thing that washed and spun the majority of the water out so that she could lug it out back and hang it from the line. She never had an ounce of body fat. My mother thinks exercise is fine unless her heart beats too fast or she "glows" and then she's done. No offense mom. Kate's cockamamie health theory: sweat once in while for God's sake. If you can do it without buying a bunch of fancy workout clothes and subjecting yourself to some overly perky fitness instructor, even better.
  3. You feel better if you drink some water everyday, get 8 hours of sleep at night, are regular, and eat and drink in moderation. Laughing everyday is important. I think all of this makes your skin looks better too.

Okay, three of my cockamamie medical theories are probably enough for one day.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Too Much Snow if You're Long and Low

It's a snow day! My office is closed, the school is closed and we have about 14" of new snow on the ground. Grocery Guy delivered last night, I've got plenty of yarn and a fire, we are all prepared to be snowbound. Everyone is happy, except for this one. This is too much snow if you're a dog that's long and low. Maxine & Maggie go out the back door to do their "business". This is primarily because the BHFH is a runner and we have to let her out into the fenced backyard. My son and I shoveled a path out the door and down the deck last night, but this morning another four inches had fallen and the snow had drifted. So I had to get back out there first thing this morning so that she could get out the door.

The giant mound on the right is the grill. I figure as long as it's not bitter cold, I can fire it up all year long. Of course, getting to it will now be an issue. On your left you will notice that the snow has piled up in my window box to the point that it is blocking the kitchen window. I'm going to have to get out there and clear that off.

Last Friday the backyard was brown grass. No snow, just brown grass. Between last weekend's 10 inches and yesterday's 14, the landscape around here has changed dramatically. The mailbox post is completely covered. The mounds at the end of the driveway are over my head. The drifts in the backyard are up to my thighs. So imagine how difficult it is to get around in this if your legs are only 6 inches long. We've shoveled a path but she has to leap up and down to make any progress. She comes in from outside, collapses by the fire, and power-naps. After shoveling for an hour or so this morning, I might just join her.