30 March 2007

Number 8

You can tell from the look on Ruthie's face that it's hard work being a model.

This is block #8, which means the blocks are 1/3 done. I keep meaning to start a different project, but these blocks are completely addictive.

29 March 2007

Destruction & a Package

Here is what my butler's pantry looks like right now. The kitchen island is similarly denuded, as soon will be the rest of the counters. Isn't hubby good at destruction? It'll all look nice in granite.

And, incidentally, I think that if one has a butler's pantry, one should also have a butler to go with it. Seems only right.

Today I received a wonderful package from Alvina in Singapore. This is our 4th swap! We ended up with a Disney theme this time, but Alvina also included a bunch of other goodies like an issue of Cotton Time that I'm very excited about. Does Thing 1 look cute in that hat or what? Thank you Alvina for another wonderful swap!

27 March 2007


I finally finished square #7. See? I think if I were to make a sweater or something in Kureyon, I might choose this colorway.

When I was in Portland last week, I acquired several skeins of Kureyon at Knit Purl. When she went to ring up my purchases, the really nice and helpful woman there (the owner, maybe?) said, "Oh, there's this great pattern on Knitty for Kureyon..." and of course she was referring to Lizard Ridge. She told me she's been a bit of a commitment-phobe about large projects, so I told her to try this one. If you're in Portland, do stop by Knit Purl (conveniently located a few blocks from Mecca Powells). They have a particularly nice selection, including lots of Habu and other hard to find high end stuff. Even their window display is cute. I was lucky to leave with my credit card intact. I keep justifying to myself it's a bargain because there's no sales tax in Oregon. Right.

After that super-whiny last blog entry, today I did something I should've done last week: I called in sick. After getting the Things off to school, I went back to bed and stayed there until 11 am (only interrupted by 4 phone calls and an attempted delivery of our new floor). I'm still working now, but at least I feel a little rested.

25 March 2007

A Tale of Great Sorrow

I'm absolutely drowning in work. I'm putting in really long hours but the work keeps piling up, and I feel like I've spent the last few months doing nothing but making excuses to various people about why various things weren't done yet. I have classes. I have department chair responsibilities. We just completed a search in which we hired 3 people. I just revised (from scratch) next year's schedule. I'm writing a book, which has several deadlines lined up over the next couple months. We're completely revising our curriculum. I'm trying to line up a grant for our youth mentoring program. And then people keep calling with requests like, "Can you drive 45 minutes away in 2 weeks and give an hour-long presentation on forensic science to 4th through 6th grade Girl Scouts?"

On top of that, half our kitchen is rubble (with the other half to follow soon) and, while hubby is being Demolition Man, I'm keeping the Things and Ruthie busy and out of his way. The yard is covered in weeds and has become a Snail Sanctuary.

All of which means I'm getting little sleep and no time at all to knit.

Woe is me.

22 March 2007

Singapore Swap

Just about in time for my birthday, I received a swap package from Linda in Singapore. There were all sorts of goodies inside, but here are a few of my favorites. She and her mom made that cute little pouch. Check out the button selection! And aren't those about the niftiest chopsticks you've ever seen? Ruthie enjoys the slide whistle.
Thank you, Linda!

21 March 2007

Back home, a birthday

Today could have been traumatic, seeing as I turned 40. But it wasn't. For one thing, I got some nice prezzies, including this one that a generous friend sent me:

That's an alpaca scarf kit, in beautiful natural colors. The picture doesn't do it justice. How could anyone be upset about a birthday that meant receiving something as nice as that?

Also, this birthday involved cheesecake eating.

Furthermore, tonight I got to begin a new class in ceramics. I've been wanting to take one for years, and I finally had my chance. So I get to play with clay for 8 weeks. Tonight I made a mug that looks like it was made by and for Neanderthals. Clumsy Neanderthals. I figure after one class my clay skills rank somewhat above Thing 2's. Maybe next week I'll get to Thing 1's level. But it's okay anyway, because playing with clay is loads of fun, as is being a student instead of a teacher for a change.

So 40's been good to me so far. Instead of being traumatized by my advancing age, I'll save my stress hormones for spring break, when we are replacing the counters, backsplash, and floor in our kitchen, laundry room, and family room. My favorite part will be keeping Ruthie and Thing 2 (who also has spring break that week) occupied and out of the way.

17 March 2007

On the Road Again

I had a conference in Seattle, so I've been email-less for a couple days. I like Seattle a lot and had hoped to be able to spend some time exploring it, but I lost half a day when my flight was delayed. I ended up spending an extra 4 1/2 hours sitting in crappy Terminal B at Sacramento airport while waiting for a part to arrive for my plane and be installed. Goody. Anyway, I did get to walk around a bit. I made it to Uwajimaya, anyway, where I spent a bunch of money at Kinokunaya Bookstore.

Yesterday I took Amtrak to Portland, where I'm visiting my family. What a great train trip! I saw, among other things, deer, a sea lion, an eagle, and a dead cow. Aside from the dead cow, very scenic.

So now I'm hanging out a bit and celebrating my birthday a few days early. We just visited two great yarn stores: Knit-Purl (where I scored, among other things, Handmaiden Sea Silk) and Dublin Bay. Portland has some really, really nice yarn stores.

12 March 2007

And the Oscar Goes to... Thing 2!

The Things fight over one of the kitchen chairs. We don't know why. It's identical to the other three. The only potential advantage is that it has the best viewing angle for the tv, but we don't allow tv at mealtime. Whatever the reason, they both want that chair. (Remember, these are the same children who have been known to squabble over bits of trash in the car.)

To reduce arguments, we assigned days for the chair. Thing 1 gets Monday, Wednesday, Friday; Thing 2 gets Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Hubby gets Sunday.

So tonight was T1's turn, but T2 wasn't happy about it. "I never get to sit there!" she cried, inaccurately. Cruelly, we made her choose another chair anyway. She slumped in that chair, a look of anguish on her face, and exclaimed, "I'll never be happy again!"

Oh, I am so not looking forward to the teenage years with this crew.

RIP, Paul DeLay

I recently learned that one of my favorite musicians died last week of leukemia. Way back when I lived in Portland, Paul DeLay was my top choice in live performances. I moved away, he did a stint in federal prison for dealing cocaine, and it's been years since I've seen him in concert. But I have a couple of his CDs, which I listen to often. He was a great songwriter and played a really mean harmonica.
He was only 55. I'll miss him.

10 March 2007

Fruit, finished, fun, and French food

The cherimoya is ripe. Cherimoyas are a subtropical fruit grown in Chile and California. They're delicious--they taste sort of like pineapple vanilla custard. You can just scoop the fruit out with a spoon and gobble it.

Aside from the price, there's only one problem with cherimoyas:

That's a lot of humungo seeds!

Square # 6:

As busy as I've been, I've been hesitant to commit to any project bigger than an afghan block. At least this way I get some feeling of accomplishing something! Oh, and by the way, the Spring Knitty is up.

It's a beautiful day. Here's Ruthie, Thing 1, and the neighbors "helping" me weed.

I'm finding a lot of that snail's friends and relatives. Yes, we do have enormous snails here. I've read that they're not a native species, but are actually escapees from a 19th century French restaurant. You'd think it'd be easy to keep snails from escaping. I don't know if that story is true, but I've heard it from a couple of sources, and I do know these guys are edible. One of my colleagues collects them, feeds them on cornmeal for a while, then cooks 'em. Bully for him, but I'll pass, thanks.

06 March 2007

No Theme Day

Today's post has no particular unifying theme. Oh well.

This arrived today in the mail: the first package in Blue Moon Fiber's Rockin' Sock Club. Yay!

This guy (girl? Aren't snails hermaphrodites??) was in the weeds in my garden today. Probably ten zillion of his/her relatives were there, too. Snails are so much more appealing to me than slugs. Isn't it amazing what a difference a shell makes?

They had cherimoyas on sale at the grocery store yesterday. This beauty still cost over 4 bucks, but I haven't had one in years. It's not quite ripe yet--I'll be patient another couple of days.

05 March 2007


I miscounted earlier, so actually, this is block #5. These blocks are so addictive!

04 March 2007


My one and only LYS closed its doors forever yesterday. The owner is moving and wasn't able to sell the business. It wasn't my favorite LYS in the world because she carried more novelty yarns than I prefer, but the owner was very nice, and the store was a 10 minute drive from my house. There was one small consolation: I was able to scoop up some Cherry Tree Hill yarn at 75% off.

And, here it is, proven for all time. Remind me to show this to the Things when they're teenagers.

You Will Be a Cool Parent

You seem to naturally know a lot about parenting, and you know what kids need.

You can tell when it's time to let kids off the hook, and when it's time to lay down the law.

While your parenting is modern and hip, it's not over the top.

You know that there's nothing cool about a parent who acts like a teenager... or a drill sergeant!

03 March 2007

An FO at last

It's not a very big O, but at least it's F, which means I actually had a couple hours to sit and knit. It's block #5 in the Lizard Ridge afghan. Only 19 more to go.
I'm so totally in love with Kureyon. Every time I knit another block, I say to myself, "This is my favorite Kureyon colorway!" Then I get to the next block and the next colorway and I say the same thing. I had quite a stash of individual balls of the stuff, which I'm gradually working my way through. I'm exercising tremendous self-restraint in not acquiring more until my Kureyon stash is gone. Well, almost, because I joined Yarniverse's Kureyon club, which means they send me a single ball in a new color every 6 weeks or so.