Friday, December 23, 2005

Now that's ironic Alanis

You may recall the plan I shared with you last week. I was working furiously on washcloths for all of Ian's teachers after I finished the hat for the bus driver. I was delaying the work on the Irish Hiking Scarf since it was nearly half done and a week should be more than enough to finish it.

Here is where I am today, the washclothes finished, tucked into their gift bags with small bottles of lotion and shower gel. The hat also in it's gift bag, and the scarf I had finished earlier I finally weaved in all those ends and packed it up nicely as well. Everything neat, tidy and finished, right? Not so much, the Irish Hiking Scarf is in the black hole portion of the knitting so I'm barely at 3 feet. Avery's teacher will be getting his gift in the New Year instead of today.

Oh and the washcloths and other gifts, yeah well they will be going to their recipients in the New Year as well. You see Ian decided to get very sick around 2 in the morning and couldn't go to school today. Best laid plans of mice and men...yada yada yada...

Naked Stix by 2006 Update

1 washcloth - finished
1 Irish Hiking Scarf
1 Bob the Builder doll
1 Branching Out Scarf
1 pair of Ugg booties- frogged ( I will re-do them at another time, they wouldn't get there for Christmas anyway)
1 figment of your imagination

More on the figment this weekend, I hope...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Strike Stuff

Overall I can't complain too much about how bad my life is because of the transit strike. I live 4 blocks from the Botanical Gardens Metro North station, which will get me to 42nd street. At 42nd street NYU is running a commuter shuttle to help students and employees get where they need to go. Yesterday I was 2 hours late but the kids had a two hour delay in their school opening so I figured that was fine. I got to work just about as quickly as a regular day. So Rinaldo, Tisha and I left at 5:30 to get on a shuttle back uptown. I was expecting a slighter longer trip but nothing too bad.

Yeah, right...

To paraphrase that great thinker Riley [Escobar] Freeman the scene at Grand Central station last night was like, "getting to heaven and finding out that God smokes crack":

The camera phone picture sucks but that was when I was just about at the front of the line. You can only imagine how long it actually was. They had all the Bronx people herded behind these gates for the Bronx shuttles that they were running. The joke is Tisha got on a train as soon as we got there, since all roads lead to Harlem, sorry I mean all trains stop at 125th Street. Once she was happily sitting on her train she heard the announcement that in fact that train was also going to our stop in the Bronx. So why weren't we told of that option? To keep us from sullying the Westchester commuters? I don't know but it was a bit of a tinderbox toward the end. I will say that the Metro North cops and employees were doing a very good job of keeping heads cool and everything as organized as possible.

added later:
My co-worker Gary told me that he heard on the news that they shut the doors to Grand Central around the time I was there. They could not let one more person in, it was that bad.

All my gifts are done except for the Irish Hiking Scarf. I looked at it on the train this morning and thought, "wow, I think I can finish this by tonight" which would be ideal since I really want to give it a good blocking. When I got to work I measured it and it was a whopping 27 inches. Yeah a little over 2 feet. This is a gift for Avery's teacher and has to be given on Friday.

I am so screwed...

I wanted to say something deep and meaninful about the Winter Solstice but Cate did it so much better than I ever could.

Happy Solstice all...light a candle tonight...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Well, it's Friday, let's see how I did:

There are 3 washcloths there, and the yarn for a fourth. Not too bad, that leaves me about a half a day behind. What is that next to them, you ask? The start of a hat, no, no I don't see anything at all. Must be your imagination, yes that's it, a figment of your imagination, a trick of the light. My plan is very specific and there was never a hat mentioned in it so it can't exist.

A bit of a disclosure here, that yellow flower washcloth? Not mine. Maribel made it and since she hadn't used it or given it to anyone she offered it to me to give to the student teacher in Avery's class. You gotta have friends people, knitting friends to be specific.

I have made progress on the last washcloth, since I had the commute from hell this morning. Seriously, I would have had a shorter trip if there had actually been a strike. There was a flood in one of the stations so I had to leave the 4 train, to take a bus to Manhattan to get on the 6 train. This equals me being an hour late, it also equals lots of good knitting time. There's always a bright side.

I've decided at this late hour to join this:

I already planned to have all my projects done by new years this is just an extra incentive. I also declare that the Jaywalkers will not count since I have already called them a 2006 gift. So there.

Here's my list of what I need to finish:

1 washcloth
1 Irish Hiking Scarf
1 Bob the Builder doll
1 Branching Out Scarf
1 pair of Ugg booties
1 figment of your imagination (there is an explanation forthcoming but it's silly so I'll save it)

It's not as bad as many of the other participants so I know I have no hopes of winning the contest. I'm just in it for the fun of participating in something with the word naked in it. Yes, I'm that mature...

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

For Ann

So we bought the house a little over three months ago and this weekend it finally looked good enough to take some glamour shots. I didn't want to bore those of you who aren't interested so I'm linking them rather than showing them. If you're looking for knitting stuff go a little further down.

Here we go room by room:

First up is the dining room, trust me it is never this clean. It's so freaking huge and I still only have my little apartment table but we make a lot of use of the space. When I finally get my mother's piano out of storage it will go in here as well. Next up the living room. I really couldn't get the right angle to show it off. It's a nice cozy space but not too crowded. This picture doesn't show them off as well as I'd like but here are the pocket doors that slide out from the walls between the living room and dining room. My husband particularly loves the mantels above the doorways. Keep in mind while looking at the kitchen and the other side that I was preparing for a party. Here's the staircase that really sold us on the place (oh look it's the husband at the bottom of the stairs, most days I'm sold on him too). I'm hoping to work on restoring it in the Spring. At the top of the stairs is my other favorite thing, our skylight. It desperately needs to be cleaned but it's very pretty even so. Finally the master bedroom and the other side of the room. Don't you love that recessed area that the TV is in? I am not showing the kids rooms or the bathrooms or basement, they're just not that exciting. Homeowning is just as hard as I expected it to be but there is no denying the peace you find in having your own space and plenty of space for 4 people to share.

Where am I on my plan? Not too bad, here's the real finished hat:

I also have a nearly finished washcloth and will begin another one later today.

Stay warm all of you in the cold states, and I hate you to all of you in warm ones...

...just kidding of course.

Monday, December 12, 2005

It was a good weekend, I wish it wasn't over! I am so not ready for work today, but only 2 more weeks and then it's Winter Break. Whoo hoo!

I did finish the hat last night:

What do you mean it's not finished? Actually it came out really cute but far, far too short. So I ripped out all the decrease rows and will add a few repeats to make it longer. I do really love this hat though. I may have to make one for myself. After the holidays of course.

This week it's washcloths, washcloths, washcloths. I have 4 to complete by next Friday but I also have the Irish Hiking Scarf to finish by then. I figure if I can get the washcloths done this week that will leave all the weekend and next week for the scarf.

Here's the plan:

1- Finish the hat tonight.
2-Start washcloth A.
3-Tomorrow finish washcloth A, start washcloth B.
4-Wednesday finish B, start C.
5- Thursday finish C, start D.
6- Friday finish D, it's also my catch up day in case I blow it on any of the previous days.
7-Saturday go back to Irish Hiking Scarf

Seemingly only school personnel are getting knitted gifts this year. That hadn't been my plan it just worked out that way. If I work on anything during the break I may give some gifts for the new year but we'll see. I really want to finish Bob and Branching out before New Years. We'll see if that works out. I don't plan on keeping Branching Out, it's lovely but so not my style. Hopefully a receipient will come to mind when it is done.

We had a holiday party this past weekend. Mostly people from work. So I was in prep mode all day Saturday. We even sent the kids to my mother in law's for the night. I had a great time and I think my guests did too. In fact I was so busy partying that I didn't take any pictures. I did however take tons of pictures of the house just before the party, while the house was still immaculate (a Christmas miracle if ever there was one). Ann's been bugging me for shots of the new house so I will oblige her on Wednesday.

See you then..

Friday, December 09, 2005

Since Cara linked to me today I figured I should show my sad and pathetic progress on my Jaywalker.

Thank you to the Snapple bottle for modeling for me at 5:30 this morning.

I haven't worked on it since Monday so I can only blame myself today for the lack of progress. Although I have to admit that I have decided that it is not just the fault of the size of the needles but also because I am using bamboo needles. I am living in constant fear that I will snap one of them. The kids who were on the middle school tour with us on Monday asked if I was knitting with toothpicks. I'm getting really good at assigning blame on this one.

Of course I'm showing it off because I've got nothing else to show. The Irish Hiking Scarf hasn't been picked up since the weekend and although it's reached about a foot in length it doesn't look that much different than when I showed it to you last time.

The Lady hat, well, I uh kinda ripped it out yesterday, now hear me out before you judge me. I finally got into the groove of the pattern. In fact after continually forgetting a cable needle or a dpn I resorted to cabling with whatever was at hand.

First this:

yes it's a chopstick, I had a pair in the pen cup on my desk...

then this:

a red ballpoint pen

This was going along with varying degrees of success. Finally at lunch yesterday I went here and learned to cable without a needle. This made everything flow so much smoother that it was obvious when you looked at the hat. The first couple of rounds looked very sloppy. I decided since I get it now I should start again, and so I did. Unfortunately I didn't get a seat on the train home last night and then I fell asleep around 9 so I have nothing but a few rounds of ribbing. I'll spare you a shot.

I decided to do Scout's meme. This is my favorite knitting spot in the house:

It's the corner of the sofa, there's good light there, a table in front of me and one in back of me for my tea or hot chocolate and a good view of the TV. Plus plenty of room to put my feet up on the couch (I am incapable of sitting normally on a couch).

Lot's of snow this morning, which translates into shoveling and bus delays I am sure. Oh well at least it's Friday.

Have a great weekend everyone...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Yesterday I decided to take the Jaywalker sock with me to Avery's latest middle school tour (I could practically start my own having seen so many at this point). I am starting to see the pattern but you won't, so no pictures. I was working away on it at the school and on the bus and on the train to work, when it hit me, ain't no way it's going to be done by Christmas. Not 2 of them at least, not at the rate I'm going. So at the end of the day I called Tisha into my office and said, "hey, look at your socks to be, aren't they cool? Maybe you'll have them by your birthday". Thankfully Tisha is a knitter so she understood completely. In fact she laughed at me for ever thinking I could get it done in time. Ha Ha Ha...

By the way I've decided to blame Cara for this. Size 1s, what the hell was I thinking. I avoid size 1s even on socks as much as possible. I'll have you know Maribel has been churning out socks on size 13 needles for the past few weeks! House socks, yes, but socks just the same. Of course I should have remember the sockapalooza hell , when I swore to never do socks on a deadline again and what is Christmas but the deadline to end all deadlines for a knitter.

Last night I went to work looking for another hat pattern for Ian's bus driver. The beret has been ripped out though it was completed. The bind off was just too damn tight no matter what I did. Maribel re-did hers in another yarn and it came out fine. I searched through stash for something suitable but I just didn't come up with anything. Then I found this pattern and I thought that would be cool. First I tried it in alternating colors, blue and red. Nope not feeling it. Then I tried it in this yellow self striping that I got on the knitting cruise but as much as I love this yarn it really is too thin for this pattern (not to mention I won't have enough). I gave up at midnight deciding that I would just do a striped roll brim hat, 2 rows blue, two rows red.

I cast on this morning. I didn't feel like thinking so I checked my Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, estimated my gauge (it's just Paton's classic for god's sake) and checked the number I needed to cast on. 114, huh, really, 114? Ok, Ann Budd I trust you. I worked a few rounds on the train checking how the stripes were working but something was nagging at me, like the fact that it was fucking huge! Ok, yes I'm exaggerating just a bit, and yes it's nobody's fault but my own but damn, you know?

Now here's the thing. I made the nice Suede bias scarf for the matron on Ian's bus. I would like to make something equally nice for the driver who is frankly a sweetheart. She gave us her cell number so we can always reach her and asked for ours in case of emergency. In fact one day my mother in law was waiting for Avery's bus, whose stop is about 4 blocks away. Now she didn't know that his bus had broken down so she was still there when Ian's bus showed up at our house. Alexandra (the bus driver) called her, asked where she was and took Ian to her. She really didn't have to do that and may have even gotten into trouble if her bosses knew she did. I will pause for a moment to say that there were and are contingency plans in place if Avery's bus is late but my mother in law has some issues in judgment when these things happen and she blithely ignored them. Anyway she is deserving of something more than a plain old hat.

While sitting here at my desk actually working, amazingly enough, a little light bulb went off. Didn't Cassie make a very nice, quick, cabled hat a few weeks back. Sure enough she did and here it is. I cast on at lunch. Wish me luck...

Friday, December 02, 2005

I haven't gone much further on the socks. I mean it feels like I've knit about a million rounds on them but I haven't even added an inch, so I will spare you a picture. Can I just mention here that I hate size 1 needles? I have no patience in general so all that knitting and so little to show for makes me want to put the sock down and do something like this:

Now that's a bit of progress there.

I cast on [finally] for the Irish Hiking Scarf. It's coming along nicely. It's a really easy pattern. I only needed to look at the pattern for the first row and the eighth, when you cable, after that I can just go on alone. It's also a bit slow for my taste but I knew that with all the knitting and purling. I am so much slower when I have to switch back and forth within a row. I may end up taking a break from this over the weekend to do a washcloth (I just actually wrote sock, is that guilt?) for the student teacher in Avery's class. She's been leading a "literature circle" that he's in and he is very fond of her. A bit of gloating here, they're reading this as I explained to Avery, the students here at NYU read it as well. That puffed him up just a bit.

Ian had his IEP on Wednesday. Interestingly we didn't know until late Tuesday afternoon. Rinaldo and I were both able to make it anyway and although we were warned that the woman we were dealing with was quite nasty, she gave us everything we wanted so I can't complain. He continues with his full day preschool, 2 sessions of one on one speech therapy a week and he will go all summer. Yay!

Have a great weekend everyone...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I finished the mittens, see:

One knit along down numerous others to go. I used Gifted from Kate Gilbert. I'm not crazy about them. The second one is certainly better but I double stranded Cashmerino Chunky, instead of using Super Chunky. I think it made the finishing on it sloppy. Certainly my crochet skills didn't help at all. In order to do the thumb you actually crochet the side seam in the middle of making the mitten, so it is already finished when you get back to the hand. Crocheting with double stranded yarn is difficult when you suck at crochet so my seam ended up very lumpy. Overall they're pretty cute though so I think the flaws will be overlooked (and yes one is slightly bigger than the other, nobody's hands match exactly either, so there!).

Speaking of big, here's my completed Ugg Bootie:

Now if only I knew a baby with small tree trunks for legs, then I'd be in business. I'm going to rip out the second one since I haven't done any finishing on it and re-knit it on smaller needles. For now I'm keeping this one, damned if I know what I'm going to do with it maybe just keep it as a charm against hubris.

Just so you know I am still somewhat capable of knitting correctly, here's the cuff on my Jaywalkers:

I think the monkey approves...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Giving Thanks

I had kind of a weird Thanksgiving but a good one. I spent most of the day at home with Rinaldo and the boys just hanging out. I did make stuffing which I was going to take to Maribel's mom's house later that day but otherwise I just sat around watching the parade and lazing about in general. The plan was to go to Maribel's mom's, Rinaldo would drop me off and then he would take the boys to his grandmother's for awhile and they would all come back to hang out with me. The boys ended up having such a good time with their cousins that they didn't leave there until late and neither one really felt like coming upstairs to Bel's once they got back. So I went downstairs got in the car and we all went home. The point of the story is that I had Thanksgiving dinner without my husband or kids. Am I evil because I had a great time anyway?

The holidays are iffy for me since my mother died in October of last year. I am not the most social of people in the best of times so when I'm feeling low I am downright anti-social. Although Rinaldo has a very nice family who I am very fond of only a few of them really feel like family to me therefore I feel I have to "keep up appearances" if you know what I mean. I am not really fond of feeling that way.

Now I have know Bel for (ssh don't tell) 25 years. Frightening but true. There was a time where I was more comfortable in her house than my own. This means that her family knows me and I know them, in good and bad and no appearances need be kept when I hang out with them. At this point aside from my cousin and aunt in Iceland they are the only family I've got outside of the husband and kids. So hanging in the kitchen all evening with Bel, her nephew Danny, cousin Fran and myriad brothers, aunts, cousins and of course Mom, is as happy and safe as I ever feel anywhere outside of my own home.

Of course we all know the effect I've had on Bel. She is an accomplished knitter in her own right in spite of the horrible lessons I started her with, but on Thanksgiving she started working on the next generation:

This is Danny's gorgeous 2 1/2 year old daughter Nyrie (yes, Daddy is just as good looking ladies) checking out her Titi's yarn and needles (we will not discuss the tangled mess they became later) look at intensity of her look, she likes yarn and sharp pointy sticks. We'll have her making socks by the time she gets to kindergarten.

What would a day off from work and responsibility be without knitting, so I did. As I sat in the kitchen I worked away on the farrow rib scarf that I was making for a business associate and check it out I finished it:

(not sure why there appears to be a stain on the upper left hand side but trust me there ain't one, blame the fact that I took the picture at 6 this morning)

Damn I'm good...

Finally because she's such a bad influence I have joined Cara's knit along:

I, of course am using Socks that Rock...Cara would expect nothing less from me...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I read this article the other day. I like Rosario Dawson, I think it's great that she has such a cool boyfriend. Someone who appreciates her crafty side so much that he wants to share the joy with her. I've never seen Sex and the City so I wanted to know who this enlightened being was. I decided to google him.

Oh my...

He can join my knitting circle anytime...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Pictures, I Have Pictures

I seem to have appeased the Knitting Goddess and she is once again smiling down at me, well at least she's not ticked off anymore. Here's the Suede bias scarf:

Easy doesn't really begin to cover this one, although any type of chenille is a challenge all it's own since it's a taker not a giver. I'm constantly afraid of pulling too hard and breaking the yarn since that's what I always do to chenille, but Suede is a tough customer and she's doing just fine. Weaving in the ends will not be fun however (I've hidden most of them to protect the innocent).

Here's some finished shots I've owed you. Rinaldo's Socks that Rock, look it's a pair:

The Booga Bag after felting:

I already gave it to my friend Leslie and she loved it. Her birthday is this month and I never remember the date so as soon as I finished it I gave it to her. Saves me the trouble of apologizing for missing the day.

I recently washed and blocked a sweater that had been waiting (and waiting and waiting) to be gifted. We sent it out and it was much loved and appreciated. Check out the hottie who is now wearing it:

That is Ty who is the son of a good friend of the husband's. You may recall the Log Cabin Blanket which was made for him. Isn't he the cutest. The sweater is Mya (scroll down a bit for the picture from the book) for those of you keeping track. I refuse to discuss (with anyone, ever) how long it's been sitting in the basket.

Since we're showing off adorable babies, here's the lovely Asthildur Emma once again modeling that circular blanket made for her:

Like I need an excuse to show her off...

and because I too have an adorable baby (and yes he is my baby and will be even when he's 40), here's Ian wearing a hat I made for Rinaldo 3 years ago:

He stole it from his dad this morning and it looks like it was made for him (yes it fit Rinaldo just fine).

I think I will make him mittens to match...

People don't forget to put your pin on my map. I am far too excited by it, it's a little scary...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I never used to follow the crowd but since becoming a blogger I sure seem to do it a lot. First of all I've joined yet another Knit Along:

This is one of the times when I was already making mittens for someone so why not join a knit along for it.

This is the cool thing :

I love checking out the maps on everyone's blog to find out where their readers are, so here's mine. Go put yourself on it...

The scarf is going along fine at the moment. I'm not going to jinx it however so I'll save any progress pictures for tomorrow.

Veronica Mars is Smarter Than Me*

Actually at the moment everybody is smarter than me. I did the finishing this weekend on one Ugg baby bootie but it seems quite large. Not the foot portion but the opening for the leg (it was not assisted by Ian who insisted it was his shoe and tried to put it on while laughing hysterically). So I put that aside while I pondered fix-it plans.

I mostly rested my hand this weekend which seems to have worked. By Sunday I had no more pain, although it is always stiff when I wake up in the morning which makes me wonder if I'm holding it in an odd position when I sleep. I decided to start on the hat again. I had ripped it out because the bind off was really not working. I gathered my yarn and needles and took it with me to Lion King, which Avery and I went to see on Sunday. On the train I pull out the needles and the yarn, but what's this, no pattern. Now it is a fairly simple pattern, I just couldn't remember how many to start off with. I tried a couple of times and couldn't get it right so there's one afternoon shot.

That night I started it again with pattern in hand and for the life of me, this hat that practically knitted itself last week was simply not coming together. Screw it, I decided to try the beret from Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns instead. I took that with me on Monday. By yesterday evening I had pulled it out 3 times because I seem to have forgotten how to do a 2x2 rib. Ok, this is what happens when you are in the middle of a highly prolific and successful run and you take a break because of a little discomfort. Damn I should have worked through it.

Last night I decided I needed to forget the hat for a bit and do something disgustingly simple like a scarf. So I grabbed the 3 skeins of Suede, balled them up, packed them in my knitting bag and made sure to put the pattern in as well. I grabbed the bag on my way out this morning and sat down happily with my IPOD on the subway this morning. I pull out the pattern to see what color to start with and realized...

I forgot to bring the needles...

*for an explanation of this particular title scroll down to the last bit of dialogue on this page and by the way why are you still not watching Veronica Mars!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Playing Hurt at the CECCC

I am paying the price for productivity. My index finger is swollen and it hurts to move it. Interestingly it doesn't actually hurt to knit but my finger seems to want to stay in that position even when I'm not knitting. I suppose that's a bad thing but as we're approaching the holidays I'm wondering if I should view it as a blessing in disguise. Just think of it:

me: honey you know I can't do the dishes, my finger hurts too much
the husband: but you're knitting
me: yes, because it's the only thing that doesn't hurt

I'm exaggerating the pain a bit, ok a lot, it's really just a bit sore but it is definitely swollen. I'm taking ibuprofen and it's helping. I realize I really need to take a break from knitting but damn I'm on such a roll. Rinaldo's been away at a conference in Reno for most of the week so I've had tons of time to myself. I've nearly finished the booties, I am just finishing up the trim and then I will sew them up. I realize I promised pictures but with the husband away, exhaustion sets in quickly once the children are bedded down, so no dice, sorry.

I did manage to get one picture uploaded last night:

What the hell is that you ask? That was a meeting of the CECCC (Chuck E Cheese Cabling Club) last night. Of course it was the first and probably last meeting. Avery's school had it's annual Chuck E Cheese fundraiser last night and Maribel being the fool I mean friend that she is volunteered to keep me company since I was spouseless. Now in my case being spouseless means that I have to take the bus since I can't drive. She was really doing me a favor. She told me that she had bought some Lion Brand Suede and she wanted to make a scarf but she couldn't find the right pattern for it. I told her, "what about a cabled scarf?". She implied I was insane. I told her socks are way more complex than cables (and we all know that socks aren't all that complex either when you get right down to it). I mean really, I hate charts so I don't do many cabled projects but when it's written out all it really involves is moving stitches and knitting them. It's one of the really cool knitting techniques that is pretty simple but makes a project look really complicated.

So right there in Chuck E Cheese (actually on the bus if we're being honest) I taught her to cable. Now she's off and running. She found this pattern and called me this morning to tell me that it's coming along beautifully.

She's a freakin' cable queen...

Have a great weekend everyone...

Monday, November 07, 2005

It was a fairly productive weekend, but I didn't take pictures yet so you'll have to take my word for it. I finished Rinaldo's sock with yarn to spare. I did do a shorter than usual cuff in anticipation of a yarn shortage and that seems to have been the right decision. He loves them and is in fact wearing them today.

I made a beret from a pattern that I stole from a book of Maribel's. It came out well but the cast off is too tight. Bel had the same problem, in fact her's was too tight all around and she's been ripping back and tweaking the last few rows the entire weekend, in between rounds on a pair of socks. I think I am going to pull out the cast off row (which I did do loosely by the way) and go up a few needles sizes for the bind off. We'll see how that works.

I've joined the Irish Scarf Along. I've been wanting to make one and I finally found a good recipient. It will go to Avery's teacher. He was Avery's teacher last year as well and it a really good guy. He's helped Avery a great deal so I'd like to give him something special. I'm using Paton's Classic and Avery wants it in burgundy which I happen to have in stash. I'll be casting on for that this weekend hopefully.

The project I'm working on right now is the Ugg Baby Booties. I'm using the Lion Brand Suede rather than Berroco mostly 'cause I'm cheap. It is really a great yarn though. It was on sale when I picked up the balls for the booties (hmm how many bizarre hits am I going to get off that phrase alone) so I grabbed three extra for a scarf. I'm hoping to have enough yarn to do the hat also but I'm not stressing about it. I've been wanting to make these for quite awhile now but the right baby hadn't come along. Now there is one but I won't say which since all the new moms I know read the blog. They'll just have to wait until the holidays.

Speaking of babies. It's official I am going to visit my cousin Ingileif in the Spring. Nothing like a gorgeous new baby to get me over my fear of traveling. Maribel and Avery are going with me but we decided to spare Ian the 6 hour flight. He'll stay home with Dad, and wait for the next trip. Of course my cousin knows me far too well. She sent me many different websites so I can decide what I'd like to see but the first link she sent me was for the place she lives:

jealous much?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Not much progress to report. I finished the ribbing on Rinaldo's sock but I haven't really picked it up much. On Tuesday I started a Spenser novel and when I do that I'm shot for the next 24 hours (ok more like 12-15 hours). Spenser novels are like bags of potato chips for me.

I had to go for a sonogram on Wednesday morning. A few months ago I went for a mammogram, I'm a bit young for it but since both my parents died of cancer I'm kind of paranoid about it. I had to repeat it because it wasn't clear on the sides. The repeat one was more focused on those areas. The results came back and while there is nothing suspicious they are a bit dense on the sides so for a full analysis they need to do a sonogram. This of course involved a ton of waiting time. That should work out to tons of productive knitting time but instead I spent it with my favorite detective.

I did felt the bag last night. It came out great. It's currently blocking. I'll spare you pictures of that and instead will share when it's completely done. My friend's birthday is in a few weeks so for once I am finished early. I am itching to get started on holiday presents. I have a ton of scarves to do for teachers and bus drivers but I'm aiming for small quick projects this year this way I have a shot of getting most of them done.

Tomorrow I am meeting up with Maribel and a co-worker of hers to visit Seaport Yarn. They now has an online store so you non-NYC people can share the love.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I was on vacation last week but I didn't really intend it to extend to my blog. It's weird, time has been getting away from me a lot lately. My stepmother is here in NY, getting her new dog Nike,
and somehow I have yet to call her and her graduation is this weekend. How the hell did that happen?

I have however been knitting like a fiend. Check this out:

I made this last weekend. While that is in no way amazing for many knitters, that is damn fast for my lazy ass. It is still waiting for felting but I take a lot of credit nonetheless.

I decided to wind a ball of the now famous, or is that infamous Socks that Rock. I did the Tiger's Eye colorway and the minute my husband saw it he said, "forget the grey I want that for my socks". Since I aim to please (some days) I made this:

Gorgeous isn't it. Here is where the problem is, you may have seem Cara's close call. Luckily she has chick feet, which is to say they are dainty and on the smaller side (compared to male feet at the very least). My husband while not having gargantuan feet as some have been accused of having, certainly has manly feet. I am very worried about running out of yarn. I am nearly done with the ribbing on the second sock. I will keep you apprised.

I am in Middle School hell for Avery. We have tours, tours and more tours to go on over the next 3 months. I feel like I'm choosing a freakin' college here...and to add insult to injury I have to do this all again in 3 years for High School!?! I am not pleased.

On the good side, Ian had his fourth birthday last week and we threw him a small bash at school. I will not go into how excited all of us summer babies (Rinaldo, myself and Avery) were at being able to finally have a school party. It was really kind of pathetic but we had a blast, oh I mean Ian and the kids had a blast, well whatever. Ian's teacher decided to save me a parent teacher conference and told me he is doing well and talking all the time now. He has even started using full sentences in school (he's been doing that a home for a bit). Her recommendation for him will be general ed Kindergarten with support (speech in his case) whoo hoo! That means he can go to Avery's current school next September. Which is what I really wanted.

And finally since we all need to feel like we are worth something, here you go:

My blog is worth $17,500.74.
How much is your blog worth?

Cara, man, I think you need to try again yours can't be right...

Happy belated Halloween y'all...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Plethora of FOs

Ok, a plethora may be just a bit of an exageration but I do indeed have some FOs to show off.
Coming up first, Tashie's socks:

Look there's two of them, aren't you impressed. Rinaldo looked at the second one on the train going home last night and said, "you're actually going to finish the second sock, are you feeling ok?" Ha ha ha, he's so very funny...

...and because I've owed you these for awhile here is Rinaldo's scarf:

It came out exactly like he wanted it to. It's not quite cold enough to start wearing it yet so I finished way ahead of schedule!

Here is my multidirectional scarf that used Laurel:

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that I wore it on the Knitting Cruise but here it is in all it's glory. I wear it whenever I can, hell I'm wearing it right now. It goes great with my denim jacket and jeans.

Tisha and I are heading to The Point at lunchtime today. We have 10% off certificates burning holes in out pockets. I'll let you know what we think...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Much fun was had at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend and man there were a ton o' bloggers there. I saw Risa, Cassie, Ann, Cara, Vicki, Lauren (from afar). I ran into Amy at the Spirit Trail booth. I even ran into Nilda's husband Rob who is really friendly and fun to talk to. He is obviously an excellent knit blogger husband.

I had the husband and kids along so I couldn't play with the other bloggers as much as I would have liked. I had planned on flying solo this year but I had a business trip to Ohio late last week and I only got back late on Friday. I thought it would be cruel to abandon them for yet another day. Maybe next year, Ann!

I was a good girl and didn't go overboard with my purchases. I had mentioned earlier that socks will be the gift of choice this holiday season so in that spirit I only bought sock yarn, but oh my what sock yarn it is.

Here is what I picked up at the Spirit Trail booth:

The grey is for a pair of socks for Rinaldo.

I also picked up this at one of the booths. Sorry I can't recall which right now but I'll double check when I get home:

I just love those colors.

And last but not least, over at The Fold, where I hear Cara was making a scene, I picked up some of these:

Socks that Rock!

It was nearly impossible to choose with all the beautiful colorways they had. Go check out what Cara and Ann picked up and you'll understand what I'm talking about. I think if I had found these first I wouldn't have had money left for anything else.

I ended up avoiding Brooks Farms. I would have loved to get something but I really need a specific project to buy for with their yarns. They are too beautiful to sit in the stash.

We stopped at the mall on the way back home to get a bite to eat and let the kids run around a bit. Ian got a Happy Meal, hmm do you think the theme of the bag is a coincidence...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I finished the first of Tashie's socks but I have been slow with the second. Here's a picture of the finished one:

and up close:

Like my twisted cable? I decided to jazz them up just a bit.

I was a good girl and cast on for the second one right away but I just never pick it up. At night I am so tired that if I start to knit while watching TV I end up dozing off. Last week I was taking my laptop on the train to catch up on some of my shows (due to the whole passing out issue at night). It's a frighteningly cool thing to download a show to your laptop from your Tivo and watch it at your leisure, but it does cut into knitting time. This week I have been leaving the laptop at home so I can concentrate on the sock. I have a business trip to Oberlin on Thursday so I am really trying to finish the damn sock and send it off before I go.

The funny thing is somewhere along the way I have decided that socks are the big holiday gift item this year. I do enjoy them and I haven't really stretched my skills much this year. I've done more scarves this year than I have since the first year I started knitting. I think it's time to play with different sock patterns. Then maybe I can feel like I accomplished something.

This gave me a good chuckle, I picked it up from Martha (damn I make it sound like an STD):

Go to Google.

Type in "“(your name) needs."” (Remember to use quotes)

Here are my favorite 6:

Nancy needs help.
Nancy needs to wake up.
Nancy needs to learn the facts.
Nancy needs help choosing snake to breed.
Nancy needs to make sure that her Mom understands Nancy'’s message.
All Nancy needs is to wolf down a three-thousand calorie dessert and bring the silver spoon back to Miles.

I always tell my husband I have needs, I just seem to have been confused as to what they were...have a good one...

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Cruise

Two Sundays ago Maribel, Tisha and I headed down to Manhattan for a day of knitting and relaxing. God knows we all needed it.

Here is the boat we took:

The Cruise was hosted by The Point, which is a yarn shop down here in the Village. I have to admit I haven' t been there yet, but Maribel loved it when she visited. She spent the whole day there. The cruise was a celebration of Knitty's third anniversary and the indomitable Amy Singer was there:

(you can see this picture from the other perspective here on Amy's site)

The waters were a bit choppy for landlubbers such as ourselves but we had decided to stay on the lower deck so it wasn't too bad. The one time we did venture upstairs to check out the auction items (there was a silent auction for Gilda's Club) we could barely stand the boat was swaying so much. It did seem much more lively up there though.

We did head out to the bow of the boat to take in the scenery. Here's Bel and Tisha:

Of course a hungry knitter is never a happy knitter so there were amazing baked goods on hand to keep us occupied between rows:

Honestly it was great fun with good company. A nice respite from the everyday. Of course your really want to know about the goody bags, I know you do, don't deny it. They were slammin':

Friday, September 30, 2005

I'm glad someone got their pictures up

Amy Singer of Knitty has posted her pictures from the Knitty/The Point cruise. I'm actually in three of them, as is Maribel and Tisha was in 2 Here's me and Maribel waving up at Amy and also the three of us at our table inside. Check out the other shots as well so you can see a good time was had by all.

My cable did come in but I didn't get to the pictures last night. I think I will do a rare weekend post to share them with you as well as my finished objects. Maybe even some shots of the house.

Serenity comes out today. I will be at the theater for the 5:30 showing. I am beyond excited. The reviews have been excellent. Hell, even the NY Times loved it. Lest you think it has nothing to do with knitting, I share this with you.

Have a great weekend everyone....

Added later - Another type of Meme

Got this from Cara who got it from Norma (and they told two friends and so on and so on):

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans...

Re-post this if you believe in legalizing gay marriage

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I have a picture and it involves knitting and an adorable baby (sorry no cruise shots yet, Rinaldo says the cable should be in any time now...). Here is my lovely cousin, Asthildur Emma enjoying the circular blanket I made for her:

I am pleased to say that both her moms love the blanket and the fact that it is so bright and colorful.

About a month ago when all hell was breaking loose I realized that many of the things I was looking forward to were all going to happen in the space of one week. I declared that week, "Nancy Week". As of Sunday, my week has begun. Here is the rundown of what's going on:

Sunday 9/25 - Knitty Cruise
Tuesday 9/27 - Breath of Snow & Ashes by Diana Gabaldon comes out (I've been waiting 4 years).
Veronica Mars soundtrack released.
Wednesday 9/28 - Veronica Mars season premiere at 9PM
Friday 9/30 - Serenity premieres in theaters.

This week was obviously put together for me personally. All the planets aligned to create this special week of nirvana to make up for the chaos that came before.

So far so good.

Here is my favorite quote of the day from a Reuters Article on Serenity:

Yes, once you get the sci-fi True Believers on your side, all things are possible, [Joss]Whedon understands.

"We have a much broader base than just sci-fi people," he says. "That's what I found in our screenings so far. They're a diverse group, fairly well-adjusted socially, and I expect that a lot of them are even having sex. I really think the line between geeks and the rest of the world is blurring."

Nah, we geeks are simply taking over (insert evil laugh here)...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mathews' Big Move Part II

Sunday, my new best friend Stanley the plumber came over with a his colleague and spent most of the day fixing one toilet or another. By the end of the day, lo and behold we had a working toilet. At this point it was only the downstairs one, the mortar in the floor had to dry in the upstairs bathroom before he could put that toilet back.

He came back on Monday to finish the upstairs toilet, and then spent the rest of the day replacing my gas line. I told you he was my new best friend. Now I won't be so vulgar as to discuss how much this all cost me but I will say that dear Stanley gave me a "pity discount". Ok he didn't call it that but he took $700 off the bill simply because he felt bad that we had just moved in. Tuesday he called Con Ed and they came and inspected the work and turned on the gas. Whoo hoo, hot water. It was a revelation. Stanley told me that I had to get the chimney cleaned as soon as possible because we didn't know if it was obstructed. I called the chimney people and they said the earliest they would come was Thursday. I said fine. We went out on Tuesday evening to run some errands and when I came home there was a note in the mail slot from Stanley. It said, "call me". I called and poor Stanley was sitting in his house desperately worried that the chimney was obstructed and carbon monoxide would build up in the house. I assured him that I had not 1 but 2 carbon monoxide detectors. This seemed to make him feel better but he said he was going to call the chimney people and tell them they needed to come the next day. I love this dude!

On Wednesday I'm at work and my mother in law is home when the chimney people come. Now Stanley had warned me that they would say I need the chimney lined but that's what they always say and he didn't think I really needed it. Of course my mother in law called me a little while after they arrived and the gentleman on the phone said he believed I needed my chimney lined, big surprise. I hemmed and hawed and he said he would hold his judgment until they got up to the roof. When he called back he said the chimney had never been lined and there was only a bit of clay lining right at the top. Once they started cleaning pieces of the chimney started to fall down. My mother in law told me that it was quite bad, she could hear them as they fell through the kitchen wall. I needed to decide whether or not to believe this guy. In the end I had it lined. Here's my rationalization, see if you like it, The people who lived in this house over the years (it's 80 years old) seem to have only patched things as they went along. The pipes, the gas line seemingly the chimney. The only way I could know for sure the state of things was if I got it done myself. Did the chimney need to be lined? I don't know for sure, but 10 years from now no one can tell me it does because I got it done. I feel more secure that way.

Once that was done it was over. I currently still have a hole in my kitchen wall and ceiling but the contractors who originally worked on the house have been in to look at it and will be repairing it shortly, at the seller's expense I may add. We had the landscaper come in and clean up the yard. There is still tons of cleaning to do , the deck and the front area need to be cleaned and painted and on and on and on. But it's mine and we're very happy with it. Besides I have a house now I can't afford to go out on weekends, I'll need all these projects to keep me busy.

Since this is a knitting blog, here's a quick update on my projects. Rinaldo's ribbed scarf is done and I started a pair of wool socks for Tashie. She made the crew team and needs them to keep her feet warm and dry. I was ecstatic since that was just the project I was looking for. Quick and easy socks on size 7s. Rinaldo ordered me a new cable for the camera so I hope to share cruise pictures with you shortly.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

This is where I'll be today!

Friday, September 23, 2005

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Post for the Following...

I picked this up from that Crazy Fiber Lady. It looked like fun.

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five some other people to do the same.

Here's my quote:

"Can't wait to start those but that is a post Christmas project."

Damn I'm boring.

No naming names here, consider yourself tagged if you're interested.

Have a great weekend...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I have yet to find the cable for my digital camera so we are photo-less for awhile. I thought I found it in my bag but it turned out to be my USB extension. Oh well, instead I will regale you with tales from my moving adventures.

I present:

The Mathews Big Move Part I

On Friday night we sent Avery and Cheyenne to my mother in law's house to spend the night. Tashie and Cheyenne were staying with us for the weekend, Tashie, to help us pack and move things, Cheyenne to keep Avery company. By 1 in the morning we were exhausted and Avery's room was still not completely packed. We decided to leave it for the movers. All Star Moving came promptly at 9 (thanks Patricia!). Those guys were great, efficient, fast and nice. They warned me about all my IKEA furniture, it's not really made to be moved, but everything came through unscathed. In the meantime I went to the house to wait for the plumber. He had to do a pressure test before the gas could be turned back on. He showed up after the movers of course. He started working on that and the movers finished up. By this point Maribel had joined us to help as well as my good friend Leslie and her family. Rinaldo said to me at some point, " can you ask the plumber to look at the upstairs toilet when he's done, it's overflowing a little". So everyone started using the basement toilet instead.

Later the plumber called me downstairs to show me all the leaks in the gas line, lots and lots of leaks. My entire gas line would have to be replaced. OK...

While I'm down there I hear Leslie and Maribel calling me. It seems there is a leak in the kitchen, so I come upstairs and in fact water is pouring out of my ceiling above my beautiful new cabinets. I ask the plumber to come up and he checks the toilet and then proceeds to destroy the top of my kitchen wall and part of my ceiling. It seems that the toilet was clogged with construction debris (he says he often sees this after a house has been under construction, the workers tend to clean their tools in the toilet) but the pipe under it is had only been patched over the years and it was leaking through.

Now I knew when I bought the house that the plumbing hadn't been re-done. The wiring was updated, and the interior was completely reconstructed but the plumbing had not been touched. I expected at some point to run into issues like this but not 2 hours after I moved in! The plumber said he would be back the next day to fix the toilet and the pipe, then on Monday he would come in and do the gas line. Basically this meant on our first night in the house we had:

A- no oven/stove
B- no hot water
C- only one toilet working in the basement

Ok, not too bad, right? Everybody left around 7 and Rinaldo went and got the kids. We watched TV for awhile (because I did of course have cable and internet, you see where my priorities lie). We put the kids to bed and started to wind down from the busy day. Rinaldo came up from the basement at some point and announced that now that toilet wasn't working either. now no indoor plumbing whatsoever.

The fun never ends. No one told me I was moving into the Frontier House, I guess I should be glad we have a big backyard and it's overgrown too...built in privacy....

Next on the Mathews Big Move - We move into the 20th century...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Miss Me...I'm Back!

In case you hadn't noticed I have been rather quiet of late. I have many tales to share. There is the issue of the plumbing in my house malfunctioning within hours of us moving in. The gas lines that had to be completely replaced before I could have hot water or a working oven and the destruction of a good part of my kitchen ceiling and wall. There was a car accident (nobody but the car was hurt), buses that never showed up on the first day of school and myriad other disasters.

But most importantly there was this:

My cousin had her baby. Isn't she beautiful? Seriously I want you all to stand in awe at her beauty...
When you have only 2 relatives left in the world that you know and want to speak to you, having one more is an enormously big deal. I love her already and I haven't even held her yet.

There has been a finished object in all the madness and a nearly finished one as well but that's fodder for another day.

I've not been around to talk about the horrible things that went on in New Orleans, perhaps it's better that way. My feelings on this administration are very obvious and this event shows me I was correct but never more have I wished I was wrong. Rather than focusing on that I gave what I could to a favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity as my investment in hope for this beautiful city. The always thoughtful and giving Margene is co-hosting a fundraiser over on her blog as well. For those of you who are not currently in a position to give money Oxygen is promising to donate a dollar for everyone who registers at their Katrina site to help the overflowing Children's Hospitals caring for the smallest victims of this catastrophe. It's an easy way to give when you don't have much yourself.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Contest Results

In the words of Avery, "Michelle wins!".

Thanks to everyone who left me a comment, you all gave great advice. Some of it I knew and had been doing but some was new and it was all appreciated. Special mention goes to Patricia who recommended a moving company. That's who I'll be calling!

Things are crazy here as usual. Work is busy, home is all about packing and the boys are both home for the rest of the summer. I have done a couple of sections on my scarf during my train rides so knitting is not completely abandoned. Maribel and I are going to see Motley Crue tomorrow night at Jones Beach (yes, again). That should de-stress me a bit. I think I may have to treat myself to a trip to Haven when this is all over!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bronx Girl Moving and Clapotis no More

If you thought I've been horrible about regular posting, just wait. As Chris said in the comments last week life is really about to ramp up for me. We were supposed to close yesterday on the house, but it appears there is no survey for the house. The lawyer had to order one to be done. We won't have the results until Friday so the closing is now set for Monday or Tuesday. Now the plan was to move in on the 20th mostly because the weekend after that is "move-in weekend" when most of the students move into their dorms here at NYU. At that point it really gets insane here. Yesterday Rinaldo's boss helped us out by giving him move in weekend off, so it can now be our move in weekend! I do my own schedule and I work in an office so I can work extra hours during the week which means I don't have to come in, aah the joys of not working on the selling floor. We have been packing and throwing out a ton of stuff. I barely recognize my own closets. All the knitting stuff is mostly packed except the books and the projects I am currently (I mis-spelled that and for some reason Blogger's spell check corrected it into "carnality" wtf is that about?) working on.

I frogged Clapotis. For some reason I wasn't feeling it in the Laurel. It doesn't have the drape I would have liked and suddenly I didn't feel as much of an urge for a smaller version. Maybe I will again although I am making a regular one for a Christmas gift so maybe I won't. I decided instead I needed a huge narrow scarf. Damned if I know why but I decided to do it as a multi-directional scarf and it's coming out very nicely. It's nice and mindless too since I've made so many of them.

Tisha, Maribel and I have signed up for the Knitty Brunch Cruise. I received our confirmation today. Three hours of knitting, eating and cruising around Manhattan. It will be the perfect post-rush, post-moving, de-stresser (how many hyphens can I use in one sentance). Anybody care to join us?

In my cleaning and packing I found my extra copy of this:

Since I haven't been entertaining you well of late and even one less book to move would be a good thing I decided I should have a contest for it. So here's the deal:

Submit a comment between now and this Saturday (August 13). I will randomly pick a winner on Sunday night and announce the winner on Monday. To make it a little more fun, for me at least, if you have a good piece of moving advice share it with me. It's not required for the contest but I can use all the help I can get!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

When your best friend bitches at you, in public (see the comments on the previous entry), that you need to blog, then you really need to blog.

Things are completely out of control here at Casa de Mathews. We were supposed to spend last week packing and cleaning but if we got 10 boxes done it's amazing. We threw out about 7 bags of crap though so that's something.

The car died on Monday, the first official day of vacation last week, so that put quite the crimp in things. Maribel and I went to see Fiddler on the Roof on Wednesday and I have to say it was amazing. Harvey Fierstein was wonderful and Andrea Martin was perfect opposite him. I really enjoyed it. I was commenting to a friend how wonderful I felt for Harvey during the standing ovation. In the Playbill he dedicates his performance to his late father because Fiddler was his favorite show. The fact that Harvey's career took off because of his amazing writing and acting in shows that focus on gay themes, he is as famous if not more for being gay as for his talent, yet he has come so far and society has come so far, that here he is getting so much love and appreciation from the mix of people in that theatre for playing an extremely traditional character. It's a really wonderful thing.

We rented a car since ours would be in the shop all week. We still had our annual Sesame Place outing. Avis in their infinite wisdom gave us this. Good lord I felt like a pimp. I told Rinaldo he was simply missing the hat with a feather. We had a great time though and Ian had his best time yet. Three and a half is a good age for Sesame, he did some rides, played in water and even waved to a few characters, he wouldn't get too close though. I always bring a disposable waterproof camera with us but the pictures aren't developed yet. If there are any good ones I'll scan them in for you.

We had Tashie and Cheyenne for the weekend which was great. I'll have to visit Boston often once Tashie goes to school. I'll miss her too much if I don't.

We are closing on the house on Tuesday. This Friday will be the final walk through and then we have to figure out how we are going to get everything done before rush starts here at work. It's about 3 weeks away. I am already too damn stressed...

oh yeah and I've actually completed 4 feet on Rinaldo's 6 foot ribbed scarf, aren't you impressed?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Busy, busy, busy...

A good time was had by all at Avery's party on Saturday. We had the party at Catskills Laser Tag. There were other activities as well.

Avery and his friends Dylan and Aaren had a blast with air hockey:

(Maribel and I ended our game in a 4-4 tie)

Even Ian and Zeyda had a great time. Here they are tackling the rock climbing wall:

Of course there was more grown up fun on Sunday. Can you guess who I visited:

Hanging out by the pool for Kathleen's birthday. Here are Ann and Chelsea:

and Kathleen the action heroine:

It was a great day. Good company, good food (even for the picky eater that is me), broken glass of course and a lovely dip in the pool. The only downside was that I failed to convince the wonderful and charming Poe to come home with me. I tried to explain to him that he is a sophisticated dog, more suited for city life. The suburbs were too laid back for a playa like him. Yet he didn't climb into my bag to leave with me. I was devastated and after he nibbled on my ear so sweetly. Oh well...our love is just not meant to be.