Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Close don't feed the bunny

You've heard that close doesn't count except in horseshoes, right? Well, this is what happens when Kristin has too much caffeine. We were playing cards last night, and someone said something was close, and out came "close don't feed the bunny" from my mouth. Don't know why. It just did. My mother is very amused by the phrase (I crack her up all the time - just no one else thinks I'm funny) and she is convinced that I've coined a phrase that will spread worldwide. Okay, Mom. Whatever.

I did have a cool thing happen yesterday that is the real reason I'm blogging today. I had set up appointments to get my oil changed and to go to the eye doctor (I haven't gotten to the cool part yet). I was done REALLY early with my oil change, so I'm sitting in the parking lot of Costco (wholesale warehouse like Sam's or BJ's) talking on the the phone and trying to get hold of my insurance company. (That's still not the cool part - but don't you love the suspense???) I was talking to Bill (since my insurance company wasn't open yet due to the weather, and this still isn't the cool part) and saw a pickup truck trying to back out of a space and spinning a wheel. And spinning. And spinning. And spinning. And spinning. (Did I mention he was spinning? And this isn't even the cool part, but it's coming up really soon.) So after I got off the phone with Bill, I decided to offer to push because it didn't appear he was going anywhere otherwise and no one else was coming to his aid. If I were having trouble, I'd sure want someone to help me. Now I'm not strong, but let's say that I could put my weight into it. :-p I also learned how to push a vehicle out of spots when I lived in New York and when to push and how to push, so I wasn't a newbie. Anyway, between my pushing and his pushing with one leg out the door :-) we got him out of the hole he had burned in the ice with his right rear tire.

As someone who receives help much more than can give it, it felt so great to be on the helping end for once. It made me smile most of the day. The guy was really grateful as he honked and waved as he pulled away, and that makes it all the better. It made me feel better about mankind in general, and that I'm not a totally useless sac of protoplasm on the face of the earth - who wouldn't feel good about that?

Thanks for putting up with my story. I just felt so blessed because there was something I could do. And because it came in handy for once to be overweight. ;-) Had I been the 135-150 pounds I'm supposed to be, I don't think I would have been much help. There's just something cool about being in the right place at the right time.

Well, I'd better get back to the family (who said they're going to be at our house until spring because of all the snow we have). Bill's at the next door neighbor's house right now looking for eggs for corn bread to go with the chili Mom is making... it's closer than walking to the grocery store in 10" of snow. Sounds like he scored three eggs. Woo hoo!! :-) See what I mean about usually being the person in need? :-p

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas and a very happy and healthy new year. If you're in the snow like we are, be safe and warm.

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, December 22, 2008

Made it to work....

...but not uneventfully.

The van wasn't getting out of where it was parked, so we carpooled. I didn't realize when I got to the P&R that I would be driving (though I was ready if I had to). Since I did well in the snow, I didn't think about ice (I figured it would all be compact snow - that's what I get for thinking). Two people had chains and didn't want to drive with them should the roads be bare later (not good for the chains, the tires, or the road), so I drove the four of us that showed up. Long story short is that I did a fishtail and a 180 on a patch of ice on 405 (no harm, no foul - God was SO looking out for me!!!). After that, one of the more experienced drivers took over driving my car. So we're all safe and he has temporary custody of my car in his building's parking garage while we're at work. :-) There are actually a lot of people at work today, surprising for the weather and for the fact that people can take three vacation days and get two weeks off due to the holiday schedule Boeing has. Some did take vacation, of course, but there's a lot of chatter over the walls, so there must be quite a few people here. Bill walked toward the park and ride (about 1.5 miles away) since the busses weren't going any further north than that) and at one point decided that he was nuts for being out and was going to turn back for home and work from there. He gave a bus five minutes and then he would turn back, and a bus came along. So he made it to work (not sure if that's good or bad, but he's there). I had left him a voicemail asking him to call me when he had a chance - I didn't want to email him with the "news."

Bill and I had a nice hibernation weekend. I beat Bill at cards (but not by much), he got some cleaning done in preparation for my parents coming up on Wednesday for Christmas, I played on the computer a bit (but not here, obviously - mostly iTunes) and facebook). We got some presents wrapped, got the snow and ice off my car, and unearthed the front steps. The car took a while - there was some nasty ice underneath the snow. I don't know how much snow we got because the roof (and several other places on the property) had snow drifts. Cleaning the car is playing in the snow for adults, I guess. There was about another inch of snow on the car this morning when I went out. I had started the car last night and made sure I could get out with no problem (I did), so that was nice to know.

There was a snowman across the street that appeared on Saturday and got buried Saturday night / Sunday (they dug it out Sunday afternoon. This was not your average quit-in-the-middle snowman. This one came complete with shoes, a broom, a hat, and a basket. I could see the face from across the street (not sure what they used for facial features). Pretty cool.

No other stories that I've heard from other people about getting in except no one in the carpool could believe that I got out and about without chains. I like my car. :-) I thanked my Mom again for being a consideration in buying the car I have. Without thinking that I'd have to drive them around, I might have had something with two seats and rear-wheel drive. :-o

I don't know what I'll end up doing tomorrow, but I won't be doing it at work. ;-) I may sew some, and even get that Christmas table runner done (or close) that I started at the beginning of the month. Or I might end up sewing something else, or finishing a scrapbook layout (just a few embellishments and journaling missing) so I can call that finished. (Finished? Whats that???) Or maybe I'll spend all day on the computer. :-)

Stay warm and stay safe, everyone!!

Blessings,
Kristin

Friday, December 19, 2008

Boucle is my new best friend!

Okay, boucle is not for the beginner beginner (sorry, Henry Cho), but I'm a sucky knitter, and this covers the fact that I'm doing knit-knit-knit ad nauseum when I hate the way it looks in better defined yarns (like worsted). It's also covering my inconsistent stitches and inadvertent increases and the following decreases (fortunately, the project I'm doing is also forgiving of my sucky knitting). I haven't figured out hot to crochet boucle yet, though... I can't get my foundation row done because I can't see where the chains are.

Yesterday was a snow day away from work. I went to the park and ride to catch my vanpool, and the van couldn't get out of the neighborhood. I went back home, which was a piece of cake compared to Wednesday night's fiasco. 3/4 of the road was blocked with cars that couldn't get up the hill, people were being idiots (it doesn't snow often enough here for people to get a clue), and it took me a 1/2 hour to get from the P&R to home (about 2 miles). Bill ended up walking almost a mile home because his bus couldn't go anywhere at that point, so he brought home McDonald's for dinner. :-) So back to yesterday. I get the call that the van's not running, and in the 20 minutes I'd been sitting there at the park and ride, about 1/2 inch of snow had fallen, making it less than easy to get OUT of the park and ride since it's all a slope. After the third try, I finally made it to the top and headed for the exit. As I said, the road wasn't clean by any means, but there weren't a lot of people on the road, so I had a pretty uneventful drive back home.

The snow came down pretty much all day, and there were some sunbreaks that were nice. I spent a portion of the day printing out our year-end newsletters (without pictures since my printer was being stupid, even though it had brand new ink) and stuffing the letters into our Christmas cards (which still don't have stamps and might not until New Years if we can't get out tomorrow to stamp and mail). Fun fact: I figured out that my printer prints 12 pages per two rows of knitting. ;-) Then I played computer games, formatted some CD labels... OH! That's ANOTHER story! Ugh!

After putzing and futzing at work Wednesday with Word CD label templates (I hate Word), I went home and made labels for our wedding CD with photos that our friend took, and for my brother's wedding photo CD that my stepfather burned for me. I got them all nice and pretty, went downstairs and got my labels. I pulled one out and yelled a Grace phrase! Bl---y H--l!!! They were a TOTALLY different setup and you had to use their software! UGH! Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo... I loaded the software and played around to find out what it would do ("Help" is a last resoert). I like it marginally better than Word... okay, a little more than marginally. I know what to expect and how things work now, so that's good. So I got 4 labels printed (several to go), and feel some sense of accomplishment for the day.

Today I'm back at work, typing this up during lunch. There are quite a few more people here than I would have expected (if I weren't in a vanpool, I don't know if I'd be here). Bill walked 2 miles to a park and ride this morning (not mine) because that's the furthest north the bus was going to go (and we're north of there). We're hoping by the end of the day that the busses will be on their normal routes so Bill has his regular 2-block walk again. I also have an appointment to get my hair cut, so I'm hoping that the "storm" we're supposed to get today or tonight holds off until tomorrow, and I also hope that the cleanup is done by Monday morning because I have to work that day, like it or not. If I have to work Tuesday instead, I would have to cancel a couple appointments after making them purposely for Tuesday because I thought it was going to be a vacation day. *sigh* Not that I expect the weather to accommodate my whims and wishes, but it would be nice. ;-)

I guess that's about all I have for this time. I may update over the weekend when I should be sewing or something... we'll see what my motivation looks like at that point. And if I have anything to say besides what I had for breakfast. ;-)

Blessings!
Kristin

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm so lame, I prob'ly think this blog is about me...

Okay, the blog is about me but I needed a halfway catchy title.

I just got done catching up on a friend's blog that I just found out existed, and she was talking about communicating online with a webcam and voice. I bought a webcam years ago (I might even know where it is, and there's probably a microphone in the same place). I tried to no avail to do voice chat with her several years ago (I guess my mic(s) just did not want to work). Part of me is tempted to try it again, but what would I talk about? Kind of like on the blog. From time to time I have a bit of accomplishment or drama to share, but for the most part, I'm boring. I don't do anything exciting (if anything at all but work, go home, eat dinner, and go to bed), and even though no one wants to hear that I'm trying to knit and how it's going (could be better), I write anyway. Why? Because I CAN! ;-) This is my little corner of the web and I can put whomever to sleep that decides to drop by. Hey, maybe my purpose in life is to be a cure for insomnia. It's a thought.

So here's what's been going on lately:
We (I) just finished composing our newsletter to put in our Christmas cards, and addressed most of our cards. We're waiting for the holiday stamps to arrive and for me to have a chunk of time to print the newsletters to send them out. I don't know that the East coast ones (and Canada for sure) will get there by Christmas, but it might be close enough to call it good. If your tree is still up, it's still Christmas. I'm hoping to get them all in the mail before the end of the week (which is fast approaching - I'd better get printing). One of these days we'll have our newsletter on only one sheet of paper like everyone else (though presently our font is a little bigger for our older readers - at least that's the story I'm sticking to). I'm one of those "I need to include detail" people... apparently Bill is, too, because there was only one section he suggested I take out (and I did). Or perhaps it's because I'm anesthetized because I have a cousin who sends newsletters twice a year that include work stories (he's in law enforcement) and jokes and family visit details. I can't imagine paying that postage. I'm on page 45 right now I think. It's nutty. But it's entertaining and it gives him a nice hobby to keep him out of trouble. As for us, maybe 2009 will be boring and we won't need as much real estate in our newsletter. But I think we said that in 2007 about 2008. And the beat goes on.

Last night I had fits and more fits trying to make holiday return address labels. Word doesn't make it easy, and Word and I already have a hate-hate relationship. I tried another (very unintuitive) program and gave up on that pretty quickly. I don't have Avery installed on my laptop, and I didn't feel like powering up the desktop and let it do its diskscan because it turns on every time the power goes out and comes back on, so I do a hard shutdown every time. I also didn't feel like fishing around for the Avery disc. Either would have been faster than Word, but Word it was. I got them done and they're as good as they're going to get. Jimmy-crack-corn.

Last weekend was errand and snow weekend. We're supposed to get a big storm today, but the meteorologists are coming up with lame excuses why we're not getting the snow they predicted at any of the times they predicted. I could have had that job, but I'm not pretty enough nor thin enough to be on TV, so it wouldn't have worked.

I recently took the dive and set myself up on facebook. I'm still totally befuddled by it all, and they tell me there are games and stuff and things I can't figure out how to do. WHAT did I get myself into?? The nice thing is that I've been able to connect (to some extent) with classmates and see what they're up to. I also have a couple friends that are almost exclusively on facebook now (that were on MySpace), so if I want to know what they're doing, I have to go there. I haven't found a place to read blogs yet, though. One of my friends used to have some good blogs on MySpace and I miss reading her stuff. I'll have to ask if she has a blog anywhere. It's probably in front of my face in facebook, but I wouldn't see it if it came out of my monitor and bit my nose.

Oh, and I have my Christmas shopping done and presents wrapped (except one that's coming in the mail). Sure, I only have to buy for three people, but that's not the point. Are YOU done? :-p

Two or 3 more work days (depending on my mood and workload), and I'm done until January 5th... free time! YAY! Maybe I'll have a project I can post about or something constructive.

I guess that's all the "fun" stuff I have for now. Aren't you glad you dropped by? ;-)

So HI!!!! to the 5 of you who read me here (I found out about another one - Hi, Di!). Maybe one of these days I'll find out a 6th person is reading my rambling (and yawning). :-)

Blessings!
Kristin

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What I'm up to

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend - ours is going to be pretty low-key with hubby hanging more lights outside and me staying in and seeing what trouble I can get into and which of my many projects I can procrastinate on. :-)

We ran a couple of errands earlier today - nothing too exciting. There wasn't a run on the grocery stores even though they are predicting an "arctic freeze" here (low of 19F, and that would come close to breaking a record, I think). I know most of the people reading this aren't feeling to sorry for me because they wish it would be that warm in the winter. ;-)

My hubby is out Christmas shopping so I'm trying to remember how to knit. The only problem is when I used anything besides worsted yarn (and maybe even then - I haven't worked with it in quite a while), I have to count the stitches each and every row because I have a tendency to increase my stitch count. I knitted three rows and I had already added 3 stitches. I don't know if I'm an idiot or the boucle is screwing me up. I'm probably a idiot. ;-) I'm much better and faster and crocheting, but it uses up more fiber. With this boucle crocheting is just as much of a pain in the neck as knitting, so I may as well knit. I have a bunch of it, and I hate to never use it. SO there you go.

I made three (small) seams in my rose quilt last night. I had a couple blocks to sew on to make complete rows, so I got that taken care of since I was downstairs doing something else anyway. So now I think I have 10 rows sewn, but I didn't count and can't remember. Because the blocks are on point, the rows are getting longer and harder to transfer from the family room (where it's all on the wall) to the sewing room. I thought about taking the sewing machine to the family room, but I don't know that I want to set it up there, either, when it's so nice and snug in my sewing table. Maybe 'll just have to bring in half a row at a time or make the invisible thread work and go back to the pirate quilt. Or I can stay upstairs where it's warmer and knit. ;-)

My computer is being slower than slow , so I guess I'll sign off. I don't have the patience to type half a line of text and then have it show up 30 seconds later (and I don't type that fast).

Blessings!
Kristin

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Short update on Karen

Hi, all! Thanks so much for your prayers for my friend Karen (see previous posts - I'm too lazy to link them all). I got an email from her this week that she's up and around and her live-in help has gone home. Here's her email:

"Quick update: I'm doing really well. Had my first followup appointment this week. Everything is healing well, no problems. Pain level is much less than I expected it to be. I'm walking every day. Getting around well. [Names removed] moved back home yesterday and is going to come every day to do the stuff I can't (whatever requires bending, lifting and twisting). Biggest issue... determining how to minimize weight gain from all the good food my friends are bringing! I'll be starting Physical Therapy in January and should be able to start driving again by the end of this month."

She also included "before and after" pictures of her since her surgery... boy does she look great!

I'm sure she'd appreciate prayers for her physical therapy starting in January, as well as just general healing to go well.

Thanks agsin for your prayers!!

Blessings,
Kristin

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rose gardens and spinning yarns

Well, we’re decorated, shopping has started... welcome to the holiday season!

Sorry about the radio silence. We’ve been working on our Christmas letter and I’ve been busy at work and at home. Errands, this night out, weekends with my parents... the next couple of weekends are a little less busy, but work is ramping up to be even more busy, at least for a week or so. I usually make my posts from work at lunchtime or other break time, so busy at work means no blog in the immediate future unless I have something I’m just DYING to tell all four of you.

We had a nice Thanksgiving with my parents - we went to a community dinner (they had done that several times in NY). Mom may not like that I say this, but I don’t know that I’d do it again. There were a lot of people there that needed the free meal more than we did, and they didn’t even take donations for those of us and willing to make one. The food was great, the entertainment and hospitality was outstanding, but I just felt badly looking around at people who really couldn’t afford a whole traditional thanksgiving dinner, and then looked at us who just didn’t want to cook (mostly Mom). She suggested the same deal for Christmas, and I put the nix on that really fast. First, we have Christmas china we’ve never used (we got it after Christmas last year) and I wanted to make a home-cooked holiday meal and we haven’t done so since Easter. We have three people out of four who are capable of cooking and cleaning (some more willing than others) and I want to have Christmas dinner at home. So she ended up being okay with that and even offered to make sweet potatoes (since she knows I won’t) and green bean casserole (which neither of us has ever made). Bill and I are in charge of ham and stuffing and potatoes and gravy. Canned gravy. LOL! I can never get gravy to come out right, and we’re going to get a pre-cooked ham anyway, so I’m not sure we’d have enough drippings anyway. So now you’ve heard about a holiday that’s passed and one that hasn’t even happened yet. :-)

I’ve been working on the rose quilt and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle back together from what the Milla-meister knocked down. I’ve gotten 3 or 4 rows done at the bottom and 3 rows at the top... or almost done - I had to unsew so I have to sew the right block on, and I’m really wondering where the other block came from that I put there first. That’s a real mystery and I have myself concerned. It doesn’t help that there are some blocks that I have to assemble as I go along and then sew them into rows, either. Since most of my problem is in the middle to lower section (the ones that are 13-15 blocks long), I thought that if I started in opposite corners and work toward the middle, then I’d be able to decipher what’s left and make sense of it. We’ll see how well logic prevails in this case. I had a map at one point of how many rows there were of how many blocks, but every time I tried to count, I got goofed up. So I’m just going forward and que sera sera.

I’m trying to figure out if I should start a knitting or crocheting project to do here and there when it’s not time-practical to sew (maybe even to do at work at my lunch break). I’m much better at crocheting, but knitting consumes SO much less fiber. I’d love to make a shawl and I got one at Ross that would be so easy to copy... it’s two lengths that are stitched up the middle in the back. Hey, I could do that! How much yarn do I need? I don’t know. Do I want to knit or crochet? I don’t know. I do know that I can’t knit with needles as small as were used for this shawl (that was probably not even knitted by hand anyway), and I can’t get my edges to not curl if I knit/purl and I don’t want to knit knit and have those ridgies (and the whole “blocking” thing eludes me). I’m so picky. Anyway. I’ll have to find some black yarn and see what damage I can do. Or maybe I should try one in a fiber I already have. I don’t need a shawl in any of the colors I have, though. That makes it tough. :-p Can you believe I don’t have any black yarn? I wear black 2-3 times a week, and I don’t have black yarn. I have variegated blue and variegated green, but no black. I also have a nice cream, but that’s the color of the shawl I bought, so that doesn’t make any sense. I’m rambling again, aren’t I? A little bit more. The other project I had in mind was a crocheted cloche or a bucket hat. I lost my great pattern from a few years ago and I found another one online but don’t like it as much. I could try to copy the one I made that I like, but I wouldn’t remember how to make the brim. The rest of it is pretty easy. I’m also not a bit working-to-gauge fan, which is probably why I don’t make anything but scarves. :-p

Okay, I’ll plod away now. Enjoy your week, and “talk” to you later!

Blessings,
Kristin