Monday, October 11, 2010


Well . . . .

We are all settled in here in Clawson. My girls are doing great. Joe's working here and there and I'm still looking for a job, but all in all, we are ok.

Except for the mouse.

We moved back into our lovely, clean, freshly painted home and it's stayed clean, believe it or not. So when I saw the mouse poop in the bottom cupboard, I wanted to cry. I don't like mice. They are disgusting, sneaky, creepy little rodents and they belong outside, far, far away from my house, not in my freaking pristine cabinets!

I will show no mercy. I was all for poisoning the little bastard and his family. But Joe pointed out that when you poison them, they have to go somewhere to die, potentially in the walls and that's just creepy. He also said the Billy the Exterminator didn't like using poison. I told him if he was willing to call Billy the Exterminator and have him come over and kill the mice, I'd be all about not poisoning him. Of course, Billy costs money and since we are unemployed, we went with the traps. Oh, not the humane traps. Look, if they want to live, more power to them - they just need to live OUTSIDE. Inside, all bets are off. So we put out the old fashioned, snap their little spines, mouse traps.

All that did was provide the little fuckers a steady meal of peanut butter for a couple of days. Once again, I pointed out the need for poison, but Joe, in his wisdom, said perhaps we should try a more sensitive trap. I said fine. But if they ate the damn peanut butter again, I would by the d-con myself.

This morning Sophie woke us up by telling us there was a dead mouse in the cupboard! Victory! Joe threw it in the garbage. But that reminded me of what a friend did, when confronted with the dead mouse in the mouse trap.

She made her teenage son take the thing out and swing it around the front yard a couple of times so all the other mice would know what happened to mice that ventured into her house! Genius. As another friend pointed out to me, you've got to let them know who's boss!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My blog got mentioned in my Alumni Newsletter!

Does that qualify me as famous?

Really, Kalamazoo College's Be-Light E Newsletter mentioned me under the Class Notes section - and I totally did not send that information to them - so who did?

I was totally shocked, they mentioned that I had a blog and that in it I chronicled my experience of finally finishing my SIP twenty years later, and linked to that post! I feel kind of cool now!

But guess what? Not only am I now finished with my SIP, but I've completed my gym credits and in December (which is when they print up the diplomas) I will be the proud owner of a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a French Major from Kalamazoo College! Yay!!!!!!!!! Although, word to the wise for other people thinking of majoring in French - double major in some kind of business-y thing, because really, I'm not very marketable at the moment. I plan to remedy this by taking the GRE and getting into Library Science School, but really, it would have been much easier to do when I was younger.

Friday, September 3, 2010

moving back home

I've posted it on Ravelry already, but I thought I'd do it here. I'm moving back to the D. Or, well, the metro Detroit area, which is the place I call home. I tried to call Alpena home. And I'm very sad to be leaving. I'll miss my friends, my job, my book club, the swans in the river, the snowy winters (really, I mean it, I love the snow). Oh, I know I complained but I thought this was where I would be, for a really long time, and so I adjusted. Only to have the rug pulled out from under me. From under my entire family really. I'm not ready to talk about why we are leaving, but someday I will be. I can't wait for that day.

But in an effort to look on the bright side, here is a list of shit I won't miss in Alpena.

1. Road kill that lays on the side of the road for weeks at a time.
2. The melting plastic smell that permeates the air 4 out of 7 days a week from the panel processing plant in town.
3. The way the most of the locals look at you like you are still a stranger after two years.
4. The absence of any real Mexican cuisine.
5. The lack of a decent bookstore (ok, at least there is one here, but let's face it, it's substandard)
6. The absence of any real Chinese food (really what I mean is that there is no Young's here!)
7. The only radio station that played semi-decent music (it's catch phrase is "playing the 80's, the 90's and now" emphasis on 80's and really it should say "80's no one listened to)
8. Going to the store without showering and seeing at least three people you know.
9. How the "important" people here think that they really are important
10. All three McDonald's and all three Subway's.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

His first (that I know of) "college story"

So. The 18 year old found some friends, of the smallish rodent variety, in his apartment. Three mice to be exact. Now, he IS a boy, and we've had mice in our houses before, a couple times and he didn't seem to traumatized. However . . . .

Last night I was IM'ing him on Facebook, and I asked if they had seen anymore mice - here, I'm just gonna quote the conversation verbatim. Read it, it's pretty funny.

Me: Did you see anymore mice?
JB: I don't know.
Me: What do you mean you don't know? Any mouse poo?
JB: I don't know. I don't venture into the quarantine area.
Me: (chuckling) The quarantine area? Where is the quarantine area?
JB: My room.
Me: Where are you sleeping?
JB: The couch.
Me: Did you get your clothes out of your room?
JB: No, only a select few.
Me: Ok, you know mice can smoosh themselves flat enough to go underneath a door.
JB: Taken care of
Me: How
JB: Hoodies rolled up along the edge of the door, smashed in with a large metal box.
Me: How long is the "quarantine" going to last?
JB: Until the PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) stops.
Me: LMAO - are you having flashbacks?
Me: It's kinda funny! LMAO
JB: It's like you are making fun of a war veteran!

I'm sorry, I just thought this was hilarious. I'm still picturing my 18 year old son curled up in the corner of his couch with the computer actually having flashbacks about mice running across the floor and his cousin throwing a shoe at them, stunning them, and then beating the crap out of them. It is kinda funny, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Forget Cat Bordhi

Ok, too hard. I'm back to knitting a plain old vanilla sock. My Cat Bordhi creation was ginormous and didn't so much resemble a sock. I know when to say when.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

always read ahead

So I started a Cat Bordhi sock, and I thought the beginning was odd, because there were like, 15 different cast on amounts. I picked the one closest to 64 figuring that would be normal. I picked sixty.

You had to cast on 60 on a size 2 (I used 3 because it's all I had) straight needle (I used a double point because it's all I had AND I had to smoosh all the stitches on there and pray none fell off) and knit 1 1/2 inches of linen stitch ( I think that's what it's called, it's all "slip wyif, k1") back and forth.

Then you have to join it in a circ on two circs , size ones, (which I have!) and knit8 more rows of this pattern. Then comes the trouble.

You are supposed to downsize the whole cotton picking thing by four stitches. Turns out I should have cast on 70, not 60. Need I say I literally spent from 5 to 9 getting that two inches knitted before I realized I messed up? Did I frog? Hell no. I increased 4 stitches and am praying the thing goes over my foot. We'll see. I don't hold out high hopes. I see frogging in my future.

Read ahead people, always read ahead.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cat Bordhi - mind blowing

I got the two latest Cat Bordhi books from the library today - New Pathways for Sock Knitters and the one after it, something about insouciance. They are (as the title of the post implies) blowing my mind! She has rewritten the sock. She calls it "sockitecture". No more leg, heel flap, gusset, foot, toe. She has sort of rerouted the whole heelflap/gusset part, so that you can increase, basically anywhere to make room for your heel. It's crazy. I can't claim to understand it yet.

My problem is, I am not patient. I don't want to knit the little baby socks on huge needles to practice, and Cat says I must practice. But I don't wanna. I want to knit all the really cool looking socks in the book. I've had this problem before. It's why I can't knit two socks on two circs or magic loop. I tried to do the projects instead of the practice projects. Does anyone else suffer from this particular form of delusion? Maybe there is a support group. Or better yet, maybe there is an enabling group, that can tell me exactly how to not do the practice crap and still be able to knit the fun stuff!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lots of work and play

So, I sewed up the ends of two pair of socks, and am part way through my second pomatomus, but I screwed up and the sock is in time out.

I have spun another ounce of Andrea's roving. It's heavenly to spin, except every once in a while a piece of fluff flies up my nose. I just wish I was as fast as FatCat, because I haven't even got halfway through my four ounces, and I want to knit something with it!

I suppose if I were the kind of person who stayed with one project until it was finished I'd be done much faster with the spinning, but I'm not, and really, I don't know any yarn people who are! We can't resist the pull of starting a new project. Each WIP is like a badge of honor, right? So I started some socks - Big Tease, from the Joy of Sox - with my new loopy ewe solid, sereknity. It's gorgeous.

And in between knitting and spinning and sewing, sometimes I go to work and try to wrangle teenagers. I had four teens working for me all year, doing all kinds of cool programs, making awesome sea serpents for our summer reading program and creating a final video about their experiences and how cool the library can be. It's not all just books people! There are fun things for teens at the library. Really, you propose something to us, we'll consider doing it. Like movie nights, a dance (where no one really danced but still had a good time) gaming days, the list goes on. Anyway, here is the final video that my teens made. They are all done working for me and I will miss working with them.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Invasion of the Earwig

I can't figure out how to move the pictures so look at them first and enjoy the post later! 1.Yarn Hollow Haul. 2.Shepherd's Wool. 3. Mohair in Motion. 4. Wonder Why Gal. 5. My socks! from top to bottom: Plurks, Lohengrin, Pomatomus.

Don't worry - no earwig pictures. I was just "inspired" because as I opened up this window on the computer, I looked up and saw a FUCKING EARWIG crawling on my ceiling. Ewww. I hate them. We've had an unusual amount of them this year. Maybe the humidity? Anyone else in the lovely state of MI experiencing this phenomenon?

But look - I have lovely pictures of my haul from the Castle Farms Fiber Fest. People, this one is nice. It's in this gorgeous building near Charlevoix. It's full of vendors with lots of yummy stuff and if you go on Sunday you miss the super rich crowd of tourists buying yarn and yarn stuff even though they don't knit. Really. We heard a couple of them actually say "This would be really cool if you were a knitter". Dude, it's a fiber festival. What did you think there would be? Different kinds of oatmeal? That sounds fun.

Here's my stuff

The new sock yarn from Shepherd's Wool. Superwash (the variegated) and denim 100% wool. Her wool is so unbelieveably soft. And the colors! And, she's located in East Jordan Michigan. Which is up, just east of Charlevoix. Beautiful stuff.

Yarn Hollow. 3.6 oz. of soy fiber to spin! Pretty orange lace for a shawl, and a heavier laceweight which I think I can finagle into a mythos, from knitty.

And lastly, a bargain bin buy from Mohair in Motion. It's cotton, though, not mohair. Those people are some of the nicest people I've met at these fiber festivals. And they always have the best bargain bin around.

I also bought sock needles because I've got three pairs of socks finished, but the second sock of each is still on the needles because I don't have a sewing needle to graft them! Yes, I know I could've bought a sewing needle, but buying the new sock needles now enables me to actually work on four pairs of socks at once! How awesome is that?

Oh, and here is my alpaca from WonderWhyGal, I have lots left to spin, but I couldn't resist plying up my first spindle full, just to see what it would look like. Isn't it pretty?

Oh no. The earwig isn't on the ceiling anymore.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spending Spree

What's it called in psychology when you push down your feelings by doing something totally inappropriate? Well, whatever you call it, I think I'm doing it.

My son moved out two weeks ago. He's going to MSU in the Spring and is living in East Lansing with his cousin and trying to find a job for the summer. He was deferred at MSU for the fall, but we figured it would be a good idea to live down there, go to Lansing Community College in the fall and acclimate himself to the environment before January.

People keep asking me if I cried. Well, no. I keep telling myself he'll be back. I mean, I came home all the time from college, holidays and summer and such. So it's not like he really moved out. Come on!

But curiously, at the same time he moved out I found myself ordering yarn from the Loopy Ewe. Four different kinds of yarn. Did you know they have this awesome new Solid Series? I had to get two skeins each of Strawberry and Serenity ( I think that's the green color's name, but don't quote me on it).

And then I needed to try a new line - String Theory sounded fun. And they had this lovely color called Jade Fusion. A must have.

And since I was going with something new, it felt right to throw in an old favorite, you know, for comfort. So a skein of Trekking found it's way into my basket.

And last week the Tour de Fleece started. My knitting homies, the ZPDK, all joined the Team of Wonder, how could I not join too? I will admit, I am not spinning every day. Only because it's freaking hot as hell up here and I have no air conditioner. Did I tell you all the story about the air conditioner? If not, let me know because, while a bit embarrassing, it is quite funny. Anyway - it broke. And no one wants to pony up for a new one, so I suffer. Not so much in silence though. I think everyone I know is sick of me talking about air conditioning.

But I did manage to finish spinning up some Lorna's Laces roving, which was the very first "serious" roving I bought. I'm plying it up right now and thinking of what to do with it.

But all the ZPDK are talking about this Wonder Roving. I've resisted because the hubby has a thing about credit cards and the internet (did you know you can pay with a check at the Loopy Ewe? ) but then I realized that since my daughter has become an Ebay entrepreneur (the rule in the house is "hide it if you don't want Sophie to sell it") we have a PayPal account set up. And then, right when I was chatting with the ZPDK about Wonder Why Roving, I heard my husband say that there was money in the PayPal account! How convienient! I zipped over to Etsy, plunked two 4oz. balls of roving in my basket, asked for the username and password of our PayPal account and before my husband even knew it, bought the stuff! He figured it out when he got the confirmation email, but hey, I told him I'd pay him back on Friday.

The point is, do you think this little spending spree could be related to the kid moving away?

(Obviously, I've misplaced the camera again, but my girls are back from downstate and they both have cameras which I plan to snatch for a little photo shoot with all the new yarn and roving - pictures will be forthcoming!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beatiful Blogger! -blush-

Holly nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger award - which essentially means I have to tell you ten things about myself that you might not know. That's hard, because I tend to blurt everything out all the time, I don't have a lot of secrets! But I'll give it a go

1. I am a "pill" baby. My mom was totally on the pill (in it's infancy albeit) and got pregnant with me!

2. I'm married to my junior high sweetheart.

3. Bono is my hero. I may have already mentioned that. I love his music and his political involvement.

4. I love Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. It should NOT be classified as romance. Yes, Ms. Gabaldon can write a steamy love scene with the best of the Harlequin authors, but can they give accurate historical medical detail? I don't think so.

5. My middle name is Louise. I hate it.

6. I asked for drugs about 2 centimeters into labor for the first two kids and they turned out perfectly normal. Hopefully some pregnant person who thinks she needs to martyr herself in the name of natural birth will read this and realize it's not necessary. Oh, I waited till 7 centimeters for the 3rd kid, only because it is true that if you get the epidural too soon, labor can last longer.

7. I've never read a Jane Austen novel. I've tried a million times, because I have many friends who LOVE Jane Austen, but I just can't do it!

8. I think South Park is hilarious! Trey Parker and Matt Stone are satirical geniuses.

9. I'm sorry, but I don't think Denzel Washington is good-looking. (We're watching Training Day, that's why I said that, but I really do feel that if you don't SAY that you think Denzel is good-looking people look down on you.)

10. I love doing these "tell people 10 things about yourself"!

I don't know anyone else to send this too, but if you read it and feel like doing this on your own blog, go for it, it's fun!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Have I Lost My Mind?

I think I may have lost my mind.

When I got married, within about nine months I found myself in a "delicate" situation, as the Victorians referred to it! Knocked up, in current argot. And I was happy, really. It was all I had ever wanted, to be a mom, the stay-at-home kind, like my mom. You know, drinking coffee and gossiping with your neighbor while your babies played contendedly on the carpet nearby.

That shit never happened. By the time I was a stay at home mom (early 90's), no one else was a stay at home mom. If they were staying home they were babysitting other people's babies and had no time to gossip. Coffee wasn't to be enjoyed, it was the drug of choice you took in order to do all the running around the little people you were raising required. That's ok, I still loved it. I'd do it all over again. I miss when my people were little. I love them all now too, but I miss the cute. Now I've got smart (sometimes too smart, sometimes smart ass!) medium size and large people living in my house, eating enormous amounts of food and requiring even more squiring around.

So what do I go and do? Decide I need to make job into something resembling a "career".

I love the library. I would love to get a Master's in Library and Information Sciences someday, I actually state that this is my goal, but my goal is being put off for a bit because my son is going to Michigan State next year, and that's expensive! (Plus, I guess I should first focus on going to the gym enough times to actually receive the bachelor's degree). Short of being an official librarian, I've found myself being strangely ambitious. Not only am I a Reference Assistant and Teen Tech Trainer (only until July though), I'm now - get this - a Co-ordinator of the READ Literacy Program at my library!

I'm so excited about it. When we first moved up here, I became a tutor for the literacy program. I got 12 hours of free training for it, and it was awesome. I love language. It's why I majored in French. I wasn't so much into the whole literature analysis thing - I just really loved learning languages. Helping adults learn to read is really, teaching someone the basics of language. I found the whole thing fascinating.

So when one of our coordinators decided to retire to help care for her grandchildren I thought about applying for the job. But I thought no way would I be qualified. These awesome ladies that have been running the program have years of experience. Little did I know they were thinking of me! I'm so honored.

So now, on top of being a stay at home mom, because that is still my primary job - only one of my peeps is flying the nest anytime soon, still two to teach to fly - I'm a reference asst., teen tech trainer and learning how to be a READ Literacy Coordinator. I think I might have lost my mind. But I'm really excited about the whole thing! Maybe somewhere in the process, I'll relocate my mind and it'll be in better shape than before!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blogging as Panic Attack Therapy

Let's see how this goes. I am awake, it's 3:00 a.m. and I'm mid panic attack. Two xanax (just the .25 mg ones, not the heavy duty stuff) under my belt, I think the edge might be off, but I thought blogging might help, so here I am.

Hey, did I mention that I finished my SIP? A SIP for those of you who don't know anyone who attened Kalamazoo College, is a Senior Individualized Project. Essentially it's a thesis, that you have to complete to get your bachelor's degree from Kalamazoo. I finished taking classes at Kalamazoo in 1990. I never did my SIP. I did other stuff, like gettting pregnant, procrastinating, getting pregnant again and procrastinating some more, getting pregnant one more time and procrastinating again, working at my favorite library in the world, the Blair Memorial Library for seven years and raising my children as a mostly stay at home mom, and eventually moving to the tundra of Alpena (which this winter wasn't so much of a tundra). I have a great job up here at the library, but it's really part time and I was getting a little bored and my husband pushed me just hard enough over the line (really he called Kalamazoo and figured out exactly what I needed to do to finish) that I enrolled for my SIP. And about a month ago I finished it and mailed it in, all prettily packaged in that famous Black Folder.

This was quite a feat for me. I never thought I would do that kind of a SIP. When I was at K, I was going to student teach (they don't even have a teaching program anymore from what I hear) and that didn't require an actual researchy sort of SIP. And at that time in my life, the thought of doing a 30 page French literature analysis sort of made me feel queasy. Hell, it made me feel even queasier this time, but I buckled down and with the help of my advisor, Dr. Kathy Smith, I managed to do it. My french was atrocious, but it's sort of like riding a bike. After a while phrases and vocabulary started coming back to me, but in the beginning, I'm sure my writing sounded like a french kindergartener's - if not worse! But it must have been good enough in the end, because last week I found out I passed!

Now I just have to fulfil the P.E. requirements. Yes, one of the bonuses of going to a liberal arts college is that whole "well-rounded" education thing they are so big on. I was supposed to have had six gym classes while at Kalamazoo. Did I mention I am probably the least athletic person you will ever know? I finished two. Aerobics and Yoga. I dropped out of Ballroom Dance! So now, to make up those four credits I am officially a member of the Bay Athletic Club in Alpena Mi. My butt is on the treadmill at least 3 times a week until the summer in over and I've fulfilled my requirements. It's not so bad if you go at the right time. Early morning isn't so good, because all the real die hards are there and it's crowded and I get an inferiority complex when the girl on the next treadmill is full out running a marathon and I'm walking at the lowly 3 miles an hour speed. After school is brutal because all the high school boys, including some of my sons friends are on the ellipticals which are behind the treadmills, so I feel a little self-conscious. I mean, those boys know I'm fat, but do they really want to be looking at the fat, forty year old mom working out in front of them? No. So I've determined the best time is around 9 am to noon. This way, I get the little old men who remind me of my dad and the middle aged ladies who are shaped like me. I plug in the Ipod with my daughter's music on it, and off to the races I go. If by races you understand s.....l.....o.....w and steady wins the race! I'm trying. But I don't believe any of that bullshit about how someday I will just LOVE it and not be able to live without it! Let's get real - there is SO much I'd rather be doing. Knitting, reading, watching tv. Unfortunately those aren't going to get me the bachelor's degree. So off to the gym I go.

I think this might have worked. I think I might go lay down and watch some tv. Not FOX news, which my husband listens to when he has insomnia because he likes to point out all the factual mistakes they are making. That doesn't work for me, my blood pressure skyrockets and I yell at Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity or whatever "reporter" they might be featuring at the time. No, I enjoy reruns of Roseanne when I can't sleep, or any of the Real Housewives franchises from Bravo. We'll see what I can find.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm back

Wow, I can't remember how to blog. I have another picture of a one row lace scarf that just disappeared, and yet I can't figure out how to cut the extra picture of me and my son. Jeez.

But I'm going to return to the blogosphere. I have lots of knitting to capture with my newly found camera and I'll probably rant about all the crazy political crap people post to me on FB. But I missed the blog and I hope people will still tune in now and then.

My boy going to prom, with his date and the obligatory picture with his mom!

My Baktus - yarn from Taos NM, purchased by my awesome husband while on a business trip. I didn't even ask him - he just did it!

An extra picture of me and my boy that I can't figure out how to cut.
Maybe I'll be able to figure things out eventually!