Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hand to Hand redux

I've split it for the neck. This sweater is worked cuff to cuff, and then I'll pick up around the bottom and knit the body. *Hopefully* I'll be able to steek the front for a cardigan. This will definitely be a warm sweater; I've already used about 10 ounces of wool, and I'm only halfway across the sleeve!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

now this is just ridiculous

This is a table on my back patio. It was cleared of snow on Monday after the last storm we had. This is how much snow we have had since yesterday morning...


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Yep, my parents are enablers


is what they got me for my birthday!!! Woohoo! I got a swift!!

Note that it is not a cheapo metal swift, but a beautifully finished birch swift!
I got it yesterday - Dad ordered it from California, so it didn't show up in time for my actual birthday last Friday.

Yep, my Mom and Dad love me. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2004


Goodyear just called - it was the freeze plug. It did exactly what it was supposed to blew out when the block froze up (because *somebody* didn't check the antifreeze!)

With an oil change, a radiator flush, and the tow, my total bill is $275. MUCH better than if the block had cracked.

My Durango will be okay, and should be home this afternoon. :-)


Kevin used my Durango for the last 3 days because it has 4WD. (backstory: the Durango has a slow water leak at one of the freeze plugs. The water level has to be monitored very carefully - it was supposed to go in the shop at the beginning of next week to get fixed. I check the antifreeze level EVERY SINGLE DAY).

He left this morning, and came back home about 45 minutes later. He said it was starting to overheat. Another guy he works with came and picked him up. As soon as it was light, I went out to put antifreeze in it...and every drop that I put into it ran right out the bottom! Kevin hasn't checked the water since he started driving it.


The tow truck driver just took it away...I'm *praying* that it was just a hose that blew. If Kevin cracked the block on my truck, I will do him bodily harm. The mechanics at Goodyear are supposed to call me as soon as they know what's wrong.

Thank God for Kevin's mom - if it's not a major repair (i.e. a cracked block), she's going to let us use her Goodyear credit card. If it's a cracked block, I don't know what I'll do. Kevin is using my 1993 Villager (he got that when I got the Durango), and he has completely and utterly destroyed it. The struts are gone, it has no exhaust, and it's 8000 (!!) miles overdue for an oil change.

He's not allowed to drive my vehicles anymore. When the van goes, I'll buy him a $500 beater car. Every year, if I have to.


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Snowy day project

What do you do when you're snowed in and have one skein of your own hand-dyed yarn to play with?

Knit a tam, of course!

It's drying over a Corelle dinner plate right now. I started this last night and finished it about 11:00 this morning. This may replace the gloves as my cousin's Christmas present; I need to finish the pair I'm working on so *I* can have gloves - I gave my prototype pair to my Dad yesterday. :-)


The picture out my front door:

And out my back:

Yep, I'm ready for spring!

Friday, December 17, 2004


Thanks, Dan - you're the only non-family member who remembered my birthday. :-)

That really made my day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I need a new job...

In the days before a break (Christmas, Easter), high school kids lose their minds.

I'm the in-school suspension teacher for a school with 2600 high school students.

I sit in a 24x24 ft concrete block room with no windows.

I get no breaks except lunch, even though I'm a certified teacher on a teacher's contract. 7-1/2 hours a day locked in a room with up to 25 juvenile delinquents.

My state of mind right now leaves a lot to be desired...

How long until Christmas break?????

2 days, 12 hours, and 58 minutes, to be exact.

Today I've been flipped off, called a f****ing psycho b**ch, and told to go hell. And that was before 3rd period - and all by the same student.

Such lovely children people are raising these days.

While my first impulse is to walk over and smack said student in the mouth, I started clapping instead. I told him that I applauded his wonderful vocabulary skills, and that his mother must be soooo proud of him. Such skills will get him far in life...somebody needs to run the hose at the car wash.

He hasn't said a word since.

Sign in my room:

"Obsceneties are the last resort of a mind too weak to think of anything else to say"

That's a Kim Craigs original, thankyouverymuch.

My favorite sign in my "classroom," though says:

"DON'T ARGUE WITH ME - I've been really grouchy since that house fell on my sister"

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Queen Matilda

This is Queen Matilda - she is a beautiful Kromski Minstrel in a walnut finish, and I love her. :-)

Hand to Hand Sweater...the beginnings

Not a very good picture, but you can maybe get the idea.
:-) I definitely need a better camera.

This is the sleeve of the Hand to Hand sweater from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. I had about 3 inches more than this done, but I frogged it back when I found a mistake in the center cable. The picture is deceiving; this is about 2" short of being to the top of my measures 17" long right now.

I'm knitting this in a beautiful bronzish/reddish Highland Wool. The wool is a tad scratchy for a next-to-the-skin sweater, so I'm *hoping* to steek this into a cardigan.

Pet parade

I figured it was about time to put my pets on my blog. :-)

This is Tick. He's named Tick because he's bigger than a flea, but not much. He's outnumbered 5 to 1 by cats, but he doesn't care, as long as he gets fed. (Can't you tell he's starving half to death? He still has a good 2 inches before his belly reaches the ground) We rescued him from a very abusive home when he was about a year old. You'd never know he was ever mistreated, though - he loves anybody and everybody...especially if you'll pet him. He also does a very good martyr act with anybody who visits - "please, please pay attention to me! I'm starved for attention...and food!" We *think* he's about 7 years old

Moe was my first cat since we moved here. He's almost 2 years old, and he rules the roost - in his own mind, at least. He's my baby. :-)

That's Rambo on floor. He's aptly named, to say the least

Sparky and Mr. Big Head are sister and brother to Rambo (Sparky's on the left). They were born in August in our garage

Repo was being camera shy. Maybe I'll get a picture of her when she comes up out of the basement...she's rather neurotic.

no snow day for me...

I thought for sure we'd get a snow day today, but the storm came through too early. We have about 8" on the ground, but there was plenty of time for the plows to go through.


I really don't feel like babysitting juvenile delinquents today. I only have 10 in the room today, but the 10 that I have in here are enough to drive anybody to commit random acts of violence.

I hate my job...

On top of everything, Kevin is home today - again. His work has slowed down, and now he's sitting home being *incredibly* grouchy waiting for a phone call to go back. If he's as grouchy this afternoon as he was last night and this morning, he's going to his mother's.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I hate snow

It's December 13, and I'm already sick of snow. This is going to be a loooong winter!

I keep telling my parents that it's their fault - they *made* me be born in the wrong part of the country! Freeze babies are not meant to live north of the Mason-Dixon line!

well, I could have told you that...

You are Dennis the Repressed! A political activist way ahead of your time. Everyone is always out to get you...but you'll fight the dirty bastards to the death!
You are Dennis the Repressed! A political activist
way ahead of your time. Everyone is always out
to get you...but you'll fight the dirty
bastards to the death!

Which Monty Python & the Holy Grail Character are you REALLY?
brought to you by Quizilla

sad, but true

from an email from my cousin Amy:


I know you have read the scare-mail about the person whose kidneys were stolen while he was passed out. Whilst that was an "urban legend," this one is not. It's happening every day. I'm sending this warning to all of my closest friends. You, too, may have been a victim. Read on.....

My thighs were stolen from me during the night of August 3rd a few years ago. It was just that quick. I went to sleep in my body and woke up with someone else's thighs. The new ones had the texture of cooked oatmeal.

Whose thighs were these? What happened to mine? I spent the entire summer looking for them. I searched, in vain, at pools and beaches, anyplace where female limbs might be exposed. I became obsessed. I had nightmares filled with cellulite and flesh that turned to bumps in the night. Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans and Sheer Energy pantyhose.

Then, just when my guard was down, the thieves struck again. My butt was next. I knew it was the same gang, because they took pains to match my new butt, although it was badly attached. It was three inches lower than the original to the thighs they had stuck me with earlier.

A year later, it was my breasts. Once full, yet perky, they now lay like bags of water on my chest, no longer proudly pointing forward to greet the world, but looking down at my feet, as though hanging in shame.

Two years ago, I realized my arms had been switched. One morning while fixing my hair, I watched, horrified but fascinated, as the flesh of my upper arms swung to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. Bat wings!! And I didn't even see the Bat Signal! This was really getting scary!! My body was being replaced, cleverly and fiendishly, one section at a time. In the end, in deepening despair, I gave up my t-shirts.

What could they do to me next?

Age? Age had nothing to do with it. Age was supposed to creep up, unnoticed and intangible, something like maturity. NO, I was being attacked, repeatedly and without warning.

That's why I've decided to share my story. I can't take on the medical profession by myself... Women of the world, wake up and smell the coffee! That isn't really "plastic" those surgeons are using. You know where they're getting those replacement parts, don't you? The next time you suspect someone has had a face "lifted," look again! Was it lifted from you? Check out those tummy tucks and butt raisings. Look familiar?

Are those your eyelids on that movie star?

I think I finally may have found my thighs, and I hope Cindy Crawford paid a really good price for them!

This is NOT a hoax! This is happening every night to women in every town all across the world. Warn your FRIENDS! YIKES!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

my fingerless gloves

This is the "prototype" pair - I'm really pretty proud of these. I tried several patterns, and they all pretty much sucked bilge water, so I designed my own. :-) I made them with Briggs & Little Canadian Regal from Schoolhouse Press (of course!) I used size 3 dpns.

The big difference in my gloves is that I do NOT increase after I knit the ribbing for the cuff. No matter how I tried, the increase always made the palm of the glove huge. For thicker wool like this, *no* increase works the best. :-) The glove is nice and snug across my hand.

I'm trying to write down the pattern as I knit them, but it seems that I'm the only one that understands the directions! I'm most of the way through the 3rd pair now (only 4 more to finish before Christmas!), and I have "tweaked" the design a little bit from this pair. I start with size 2 needles for the cuff, and then switch to size 3 for the rest. I also changed the front of the "mitten" part - I am using seed stitch on fewer rows. Using ribbing seems to make the front of the mitten floppy.

no more shopping!

I am completely shopped out. The sad thing is, I'm not even done yet. I'm out of money anyway, so I guess it's a moot point.

Time to get cranking with the needles and start creating!

I did make a giant batch of salt scrub today, though. The speech-language pathologist at school placed an order for 10 jars, with 5 different scents. Now I just have to make labels...

I also need to make some cracked skin cream, but I don't feel like standing in the kitchen anymore. :-)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

this could be a good thing

Kevin came home from work yesterday and started talking about a possible job opportunity. I guess that GQ, the company that his boss contracts through, has the patent on some new type of drywall finish. Every time this finish is applied, it has to be by GQ union guys. They need a crew to go all over the country (and parts of the world) to apply this finish. One of the guys that Kevin works with just came back from 6 days of training/working, and he made $3500...with his hotel and flight paid and a $50/day meal allowance.


Now Kevin is trying to decide if he should go for the training.

Let's review:
1. He would be gone approximately 10-14 days at a time, and then home for 10-14 days (during which he could be doing his regular drywall job).
2. He would make more in one day than I currently make in a week.
3. He would be gone approximately 10-14 days at a time...oh, wait - did I say that one already?

Let's give it 2 seconds worth of thought before we say "hell, yes!"

So he decided alst night that if he takes this job, I'm going to need to learn how to fix the little things around the house. the last few months I've already installed a phone line, rewired an outlet, snaked the toilet and resplined the screen in the front door. NOW he's going to show me how to use a screwdriver to remove the screw in the bathtub drain so I can clean the hair out of it?

Sure. When does this new job start again?

Of course, with the Craigs' luck, the job will disappear before he can actually start it.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Now that's just cool!

My mom and dad are in Wheeling, and they were very surprised when their best friends were at the restaurant for their anniversary dinner. They were even more surprised when Lynn Evans Mand of The Chordettes called them and sang "Happy Anniversary."

Yes, The Chordettes who sang "Mr. Sandman" and "Lollipop." Turns out Mrs. Mand lives in Elyria, and is good friends with the mother of one of the girls that works for my sister at US Bank.

That is just beyond cool!!

and on the spinning front...

Last weekend Kevin took Kelson deer hunting. While Kyle watched cartoons, I hauled out my drum carder (I love this thing!) and started to play. I now have a full bobbin of a romney/faux cashmere (nylon) blend, and a nearly full bobbin of corriedale/nylon/mohair/cashmere. Yes, that says cashmere, as in the real stuff. I got an 8 oz bag for $25 (!!!) about 3 months ago when a woman was trying to sell her spinning supplies to make her house payment. I'm going to ply these two together and make myself a pair of socks. Mmmmmmm.

Another cool thing - I MAY GET TO GO TO KNITTING CAMP!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed - and my toes, too!! hope, hope, hope, hope

back in the saddle again....

I have been an extremely negligent blogger for the last month - Amie reminded me! :) Time to play catch-up!

I finished the fingerless gloves/mittens (similar to the Broadstreet), and I'm really tickled with the pattern I developed. I wrote down what I did, but now I have to figure out how to translate that into a pattern that everybody else can actually understand! I've adapted the second pair even more - I'm making the ribbing a little bit snugger. I used Briggs and Little Regal yarn with size 2 needles for the k2p2 ribbing (cast on 40 stitches) and then switch to size 3 for the rest of the glove. Boy, are these things warm!! I'll put a picture up within the next day or 3.

My parents had their 40th anniversary last week (eek! 2 weeks from today, I'm going to be 39! Funny, I don't feel 39!). My sister and I wanted to do something nice for them, so we decided on a trip to Wheeling WV. It's relatively close (about 1-1/2 hours from their house) and they like to go to the new Cabela's. I set up their motel room and made dinner reservations for this evening, and told them that the rest of the weekend will be a "surprise." I even made a brochure, and everything!

What they *don't* know is that I arranged for their best friends to be there at the restaurant when they get there. :) They are going to take care of my parents this evening; my sister and her husband are going to ride down to Wheeling with Kevin and me tomorrow, and we're taking them out to dinner. I think (hope) that they'll be surprised!

On the school front:
11 school days, 2 hours and 6 minutes until Christmas break....

Right before Thanksgiving break, a student jumped me because I confiscated a note. That was fun. She got suspended for 5 days, and I have her back in the suspension room on the 13th. Yippee. Something to look forward to.

Now it's time to take the lovely juvenile delinquents on their bathroom break. I only have 10 in here today, so it's not too bad, but I'm ready to go home. :)