Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life Update

Haven't blogged in a while, I know, but there hasn't been much going on. Trying to find a new job, but there are so many people laid off that pickings are slim and by the time I find something good the spot is already filled. Ugh.

My hopes are high, though - and my blood pressure is holding steady. :) It is so relaxing to not be around people that are so nasty and high strung every day!! I do miss Tracy though, so hopefully once the snow is gone we can meet up for knitting or Wii or something on a regular basis.

I've been lax on my knitting the past few days because of other excitement (snowstorm, cleaning, Justin being home) but I am almost finished with 2 pastel bunny buddies and have started my first fingerless mitt. I've decided that knitting those bunny buddies with the cotton is much like weightlifting for your hands. I can only do it for a little while and then my hands are sore (especially the left one with the cyst that didn't go away). I'm not sure what I'll do next, there are so many things I'd like to start! I've been adding projects to my Ravelry projects section as I get the materials together for them, so hopefully I can work on those before starting something new. I'd love to finish up the blue afghan I started last winter! Anyway, if you are curious what I am working on I am trying to keep Ravelry updated every few days (I change the status to 'hibernating' on anything that I've put aside).

We had a big ice storm followed by a snow storm! Justin made it about one car length out of the driveway and got stuck on Wednesday morning, so I got his car back in the driveway (just barely) and he went back to bed and I went to Lowe's to get shovels and ice melt. We finally got his car back in the garage at about 2 pm. The back roads are heck (they do NOT know how to plow here - I can't imagine the postal lady will be able to get to our box) but the snow is so pretty!! Blindingly so. :)

That's about it for now, I'm going to spend most of today cleaning house and maybe listing a few things on eBay (leftover wedding stuff mostly).

I hope everyone is staying warm and happy!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm bored, here's a meme

Went blog surfing tonight and saw this on a few, so I figured that I would do it. I like to call it the 'WHAT have you DONE?!?' meme. My yes-is-es are in bold. :)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (indoor)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

I feel like I might need to explain some of those. But I'm not going to. :D

Crazy Days & January SP13 Gift

As is the norm in my life, good and bad news come together and slap me around like waves on a rocky beach.

Thursday, Tracy & I were laid off. It had nothing to do with our performance or other people there - simply that they had to downsize our department. I took it pretty well - partly because Tracy was told before I was so I could prepare for it and not cry - but also because I've been looking for a new job casually for a while now. I had decided that I would stay until my car was paid off in April and then leave - so this just moves my plans ahead. The good news - they gave us severance in lieu of notice and a bonus for finishing the Association Management class last year. The only thing I dread is going backwards on my pay scale. We just barely scrape by now so with my pay cut it's going to be pretty hard until I can get my car paid off.

That night when I got home I started thinking about all of the things that I could sell to ease the transition and my first thought was my yarn stash. My pretty, pretty yarn stash. I started going through my Ravelry list and thinking about what would sell and how much I could get from it. Hopefully it won't come to that - but it had been on my mind. This morning I finally finished knitting my mom's birthday present and when I came in here to post the new info on Ravelry, I had an e-mail that I had won the button contest for Secret Pal 13! I can't wait to see what kind of prize it will be but it made me feel better about not being able to buy any new yarn until I have a steady job again and hopefully not having to get rid of anything, at least not right away. :)
And now for belated mad props to my secret pal! (Sorry I didn't post this sooner!)

I received my January SP13 package on Jan 6th:
It was all gifts from one of my favorite stores, Bath & Body Works. I got a Lambie (which I hadn't gotten yet so I was super excited about), a pair of aloe infused slipper socks that keep my feet nice and toasty, and a little gift set of the 'Sensual' Aromatherapy products (body wash, lotion and pillow mist with a pretty little red bag) which I am saving for Valentine's Day but they smell really good!

(I had to include the picture where Tigger looks totally offended because I won't let him play with Lambie - it was too funny.)

Thank you so much, pal!! :D
That's it for now, good news and bad. I just wish I could get my hair cut. Maybe I will be able to splurge on that soon, who knows. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

SP13 Blog Question

We received this question from our hostess:
What is one thing you think you can't do that you really want to do in 2009? Please elaborate!

This took some thinking about. I guess I would have to say 'crochet'. I don't really feel like I can't do it, but I have tried and it has seemed more difficult to get started for me than knitting. Thankfully I did receive a message on Ravelry not too long ago from a group that meets at a local library near where I work to crochet every week. She gave me some pointers and invited me to stop by anytime to learn and I am going to get out there sometime this year. :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fun with a Yarn Winder

My mother-in-law got me a yarn winder for Christmas! (The ROYAL one from KnitPicks.) I've wound up most of my skeins and balls now but am going to wait until I have a swift to do the rest of my J Knits sock yarn - it doesn't work so good hanging on the dining room chairs.

It's too much fun and now I am going to have to come up with a way to mount it - and figure out how to get a yarn counter in the mix - so I can use it to measure some of my mystery yarns. :) In other words - I get to build something! Wooyay!

I've been thinking about making a homemade swift but I'd need to get a few things I can't afford right now - unless I use the rest of my gift cards. I might try that first though and then get the real swift with my next next paycheck. Things are going to be really tight until my car is paid off in April, but then we will have money again!! Yay!! :)

I am trying to think of ways now to hold the center-pull balls together. My first thought was rubber bands but for the ones that have no label or small labels, that could ruin it. Now I'm thinking if I just get some construction paper and cut it into strips, I can tape that around them. We'll see. :)

Off to work on my mom's birthday present - I am excited to be half done and can't wait to finish it now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Christmas was less stressful than usual this year, even with our lack of funds. The weather co-operated (for the most part), so we headed out to visit my in-laws. We got some great presents and I even got to go exploring around St. Louis to find yarn shops. I got 5 new skeins of sock yarn (3 J Knits hand painted and 2 Harry Potter sock yarns) and 4 new sets of addi Turbo Lace at the sales, along with a few other misc items.

New Year's Eve we had my friend Tracy and her son over - we went to Incredible Pizza where they were having a deal that included a 2-hr unlimited play card and the buffet. We grown-ups spent the whole time on the 'Power Tower' game trying to win as many tickets as possible. J & I ended up with about 4500 tickets which I decided we should save. (You put them in the 'ticket eater' and get a receipt - we did NOT bring that many home!!) Then we stayed up until midnight at our place and watched the ball drop in Times Square and went to bed. New Year's morning we got up and I played a few games on Tracy's Wii which I now have to buy!! I also showed Tracy how to purl and yarn over, so maybe we can get her started on some more patterns!!!

My mom's birthday present is taking me longer than expected, but I think it's because I psych myself up too much about it. I am halfway through the 4 pattern repeats now but considering adding one more because I should have enough yarn to do so. I don't want to make it too big, though. I think I'll just stick to the pattern. I really hope she likes it, I want to make more for other presents this year.

I am trying to do a better job of keeping track of things, and this blog seems like a good place to do it! I've added sections for my 'Goals for 2009' (basically New Year's Resolutions) and the knitting projects I hope to complete. I only finished 12 this year (other than stitch markers) so my goal is to double that! Which means I need to finish up my afghan projects so that I can focus on smaller things that I can do in less time. I will be crossing things off my list as I finish them, so enjoy the ride with me and your support is needed and welcome!! :)