March 31, 2009

I haven't been doing much knitting for the last couple of weeks. I'm too tired in the evening to focus on the pattern and have been having to pick out stitches over and over again. Not fun. I finally picked up the sock that I started a few weeks ago and worked on it some yesterday morning before I started work. I've finished the leg, heel flap and finished the gusset yesterday morning. My goal for the year is 12 pairs of socks and this is #7 for 2009. I think I might have burned myself out a bit in the sock department. Not surprising. I tend to do this.

With March basically over, I need to start thinking about Birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. I know that I'm going to make my mother-in-law a scarf that she requested for her birthday but as of yet I haven't picked out any yarn or even a color. My MIL is a blonde with very fair skin, so I'll have to be sure to get something that will not blend in with her skin tone. I tend to lean toward very neutral colors for myself because I like things that will go with anything and I hate to stand out in a crowd. I'm all about blending in. But for my MIL I'm thinking about a Red. I really need to add the information from the pattern to my "Note Book of Fun" so I have the information with me when I head into yarn shops like I did last weekend. Naturally I bought myself some sock yarn but didn't even have a passing thought for yarn for MIL's scarf. Gotta get on that. Thankfully I have until the middle of November to make a decision, get the yarn and knit the dang thing.

Most of the Birthdays in my family fall toward the end of the year. My FIL is in June. My Step-mom is in July. Hubby and my dad share the same birthday in August. My sister and my mom are two days apart in October. SIL and MIL are two days apart in November. And my Grandmother and my husbands Nephew are both in December, about 10 days a part. It's a lot in a very short amount of time. And unfortunately it's all up to me to handle. Thankfully, both sides of the family are very easy going and are happy with anything you give them.

As of right now, I have no idea what I'm going to do for anyone other then my MIL. I'm sure it will come to me but I need to be on the look out for good gifts.

March 30, 2009

Oh boy, what a messed up week. I work Monday, Tuesday off for Ceaser Chavez day, and then work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I don't normally worked Fridays and this will be the first one that I've worked in a really long time. And my work hours are changing so I'm just feeling all over the place. Normally I work Monday through Thursday, 7am to 5:30pm. This week, Monday is 7 to 3:30, Wednesday & Thursday 7 to 4:30 and Friday is 7 to 3:30.

March 29, 2009

It's been a busy weekend again. I haven't done any knitting but I did so to a quilt and sewing expo with my mom, went shopping, bought some new shoes(yay!), bought some new yarn, bought some wool to make a new pea coat and went to the nursery.

I planted two tomatoes in the main bed with my herbs. In the back I have some thyme, rosemary, chives, sage and oregano. I chose two heirloom varieties this year. I didn't want to grow the same old red tomatoes that you can get in the grocery store. I got Hillbilly which is a West Virgina variety. (I thought of you Evil Twins Wife!) This Variety should have tomatoes in 85 days. I'm looking forward to it.

I also got Prudens Purple. It should have fruit in 75 days.

Because I only have the one bed right now, I have to do some container gardening.

Last weekend I spent Saturday hanging out with my mom. We went to a quilt show and then ran some errands. I always enjoy hanging out with my mom but she almost always gets me into trouble. I spent way too much money. I bought some much needed work clothes and also bought two new roses bushes for my back yard. Right now our back yard is a mess. There is no lawn because I let it die last year. We don't have in ground sprinklers and I have to drag the hose back and forth to water the grass. Normally I'm really good about it but...well it died a thirsty death I'm sure. So right now there is just a ton of weeds where the grass used to be. I'm working slowly on getting it back into shape. We want to add a patio with an arbor but that's all going to come later.

This rose bush is a climbing rose called Lady Banks. I have two of them in the front of the house that are just gorgeous. This one is white. I planted it right inside the garden gate. Eventually it will grow up and over the arched trellis.

This rose is also a climber. It's pink. I'm going to add a trellis to the fence to get it to cover this part of the fence. This is right next to where the neighbor keeps their dogs and I'm hoping that it will cover it enough that their dogs won't be able to see through the fence anymore. Right now, every time we open our door they bark and they will bark anytime our dogs are out in the yard. I guess basically they just bark. All the time. So very annoying.This Calla Lilly lives in the corner close to the pink climbing rose. Calla's are my favorite flower. I joke and say that even though our house needed a ton of work when we bought it, this plant is the reason that I loved the house so much.

Out front my Lilac is blooming and my Lady Banks Roses are so very pretty. I'm training the Lady banks to go over the window of the front bedroom. Looks like I need to tie it up again.

March 24, 2009

So the good news: My alternator is fixed on my Harley. I still need a battery but Hubbs is going to pick it up today! Yay!!

And now for the bad news: The alternator in my truck died yesterday. It's official. I AM the alternator killer!! Mothers hide your children!

Nothing beats taking a forced day off work because your vehicle won't start. Ok, in all fairness my truck did start but once I hit the highway I noticed that the battery/voltage gauge was in the red and even I know that's not normal. Called the Hubbs, explained the problem and his solution was turn off the radio. To say the least that didn't help so I ended up turning around and coming back home. About 3pm my lovely father-in-law came by and between the two of us we pulled out the alternator. After a quick look he determined that I needed a new plug and a new alternator. By 5:30 he'd installed the alternator and was on his way home. All it cost me was 100 bucks and a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies! Best transaction I've ever made! In fact I think I made money on the deal!

March 18, 2009

I finally ordered new shoes. I put my running on hold back in December because I really needed new shoes (and I'm lazy). I got new shoes in February but they were to small and I still need to send them back.
I ordered these Saucony's last night from Famous Footwear. They are the Grid Fusion 2 and I really hope they fit. My office is putting together a team to run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in the beginning of May and I'm thinking of participating. I'm not really sure what the plan is but they're having a meeting this Friday. Of course Friday is my Furlough day, but I'm thinking of coming in anyway. I need something to work toward or else, I know that I'll start running again, run for a few weeks and then crap out. Yesterday I spent the better part of the day thinking about running a 5K in May but I'm just not sure that I can commit to the scheduled number of miles that I'd need to get the job done. Besides, it might cut into my knitting time (GASP!!) But really, I need the exercise. I'm getting...chubby. Maybe chubby is not the right word but my muscle tone is not looking good and I don't really feel very good. It's time to get my eating back on track and get my tushy out on the road. So hopefully there will be some running updates in the near future
Since Famous Footwear is having a buy one, get the second one half off sale, I of course had to get the second pair. I've been eyeing this pair of Naturalizers for a couple of weeks and almost went last weekend and bought them. Last weekend they weren't having the sale so I'm really glad that I waited. I got both pairs for less then $100 with free shipping to boot! I'm trying to be more thrifty when it comes to spending money so I'm feeling pretty good. I would have paid $50 for these if I'd got them last weekend but since they were the cheaper pair I got them for $25! I love Naturalizers. I wear a cute pair of heels that I bought from them a year a go almost every day and they are really comfortable and they still look really good. I just have Hubbs put some shoe polish on them once in a while and they look great!

In Knitting news I cast on for another pair of socks. Shocking, I know! I cast on Pomatomus by Cookie A with Cascade Heritage Hand Painted. The color is a Red with a blue stripe. Sounds kinda funky but it's looking really good. I cast them on on Monday, 3/16/08. I cast on a different pair of socks on Sunday evening but I just couldn't seem to get them to jive. So far the Pomatomus is the most challenging pair of socks I've done. I'm kinda hoping to save them and put them away for my mom for her Birthday.

My sister e-mailed me on Monday to let me know that she ordered some sock yarn and was having it sent to my house. My sister has MS so she can't knit because she doesn't have control over her hands enough to knit anymore. For her birthday last October, I knit her up a pair of socks that she just loves. She says that she wears them almost everyday (they're more like slippers then socks) and she wants a couple more pair. Apparently she and my mom went on a sock yarn mission last week and couldn't find what they wanted so she ordered enough yarn for me to make her a couple more pairs. Sounds like I shouldn't have any problem meeting my 12 pairs of hand knitted socks for 2009. The Pomatomus socks are pair #7 for the year. I am well on my way now!!

March 15, 2009

Finished another pair of socks, #6 for the year.

Pattern: Lace Rib Socks by Charlene Schurch & Patti Parrott
Yarn: Cascade Heritage in Burgandy
Cast on: March 6, 2009
Finished: March 15, 2009
Now I'm off to find another pair of socks to work on. I'm 50% of my way to my goal!

March 12, 2009

Soooo excited!!

Last November I went out to the garage to jump on my Harley to head off to work. I got all my leathers on, scarf, helmet, get the idea, and jumped on the bike. I turned the ignition, hit the starter and got click, click, click. Hmmm, bike no starty? Uh oh. Being the girl that I am, I tried again and got the same result. I get off the bike, pull off my face mask, pull out my ear plugs, open the door and call for Hubbs. He comes out, I explain and then he tries to start it. Click, click, click, bike still no starty. I start to sweat, Hubbs starts to swear and I start to really sweat. Hubbs seems to think it's the battery but after some further investigation it turns out that the stater (read alternator for you non-motorcycle people) had died. Funny thing to me was that I rode the day before to work and back and had no indication that there was any problem. Bike never hesitated to start or made any funny noises or anything. I guess after I got home the night before, the stater just decided that after daily use for the last five years that it was done. I'm just glad that it happened at home and not at work, in the dark, 30 miles from home.

Normally I ride as long as the ground is dry and it's above freezing. Hubbs rides year round and I have no desire to even try to compete with that. He doesn't care if it's raining, snowing, hailing...whatever. He's crazy. As a general rule my riding season is from early April through Thanksgiving. After the Holiday it's usually too cold or wet for me to feel safe. This year my season ended a bit earlier then normal by a few weeks. Ever since the stater went out my bikes been sitting in the garage. Hubbs moved it from it's normal spot by the door to the other side of the garage. Poor baby, it's covered in dust and god knows what since I never go to the other side of the garage.

For the last couple of months I've been asking Hubbs when he expects to be able to get it fixed. We have the part that we need and have had if for over a month, yet she sits. I'm a bad motorcycle mama. Last weekend I was talking to my mom on the phone and she asked if my bike was fixed yet. Sadly I had to say no but Hubbs was sitting in the same room and over heard my conversation. As soon as I got off the phone with my mom, he called his friend that is a Harley mechanic and we now have a date to get it fixed!!! March 21st or 22nd Butch is coming over to do the work on my bike. I can't wait to get it back.

The weather here has been very spring like over the last couple of weeks and I feel the itch to get back on the bike. Not only is it a pleasure to commute on the bike vs my truck but I can fill the tank on the bike for $10 vs $50 in my truck. Not that I'm complaining about the cost of gas. Last year it was costing me over $100 to fill my truck every week just to go to work. Last night I filled the truck for a bit over $40 and that's with a $.25 off each gallon coupon. My bike gets 50mph and my truck? I don't even know. I usually go about 300 miles before I have to fill up. It's a 30 gallon tank and I usually put in about 25 gallons. So that's...hold on, I'm not good at math. I need a calculator. That's like 12 miles to the gallon. Yikes, but what do you want for a 19 year-old truck with a V8? In the warmer months I hardly drive the truck. It never gets driven during the week because I commute on the bike and I generally only drive it once or twice on the weekends to get grocery's or run errands that I can't do on the bike.

March 11, 2009

Being the neurotic person that I am, I can't just sit without having something to work on. It can be hand work like quilting, sewing on buttons or knitting. But I can't just watch TV without having something in my hands. If I try to just watch a TV show my mind will quickly wander and I get restless but with something for my hands to do, I can sit quietly and enjoy a show.

Since I finished my last pair of socks on Friday afternoon, I had to cast on for something new. On February 27th, my mom, grandma and I went up to Grass Valley to a yarn shop called Fibers. Naturally, I bought two skeins of sock yarn (still kicking myself for not grabbing the beautiful yellow/gold sock yarn). Both skeins were Cascade Heritage, one was a solid and one was hand painted, both were gorgeous.

Pattern: Ribbed Lace Socks by Charlene Schurch & Beth Parrot
Yarn: Cascade Heritage in Burgundy
Cast on: March 6, 2009

I finished the 1st sock yesterday, March 10, 2009. These are knitting up really fast and the lace pattern is really pretty. It's my first attempt at Lace and part of the Sock Knitters Anonymous Groups on Ravelry's March Sock Challenge.

I figure that I'll finish the 2nd one this weekend since Hubbs is going on a camping trip. Normally I'd be game to go camping for the weekend but since it's camping in the snow and I'm a wuss when it comes to the cold, I'll be bach'ing it this weekend. I'm sad that I'm not going but I don't want to ruin Hubbs's trip by whining about the cold all weekend, plus it's tent camping on top of the snow. Brrrrrr!

March 6, 2009

Another Pair of socks finished!!!

Pattern: Faceted Rib Socks by Charlene Schurch & Beth Parrot
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks Stripes in Mulberry Stripes
Cast on: February 23, 2009
Finished: March 6, 2009
I made a goal for myself of 12 pairs of socks completed in 2009, and this is pair #5. So far, so good! Knitting on my break at work really helps move my projects along. Plus with as stressful as my work has been with all the unpaid furlough days, moving my office downtown, having to find a parking spot (that's gonna cost me about $100/month!) or if I want to carpool with my boss and deciding if I want to stay in my current job, I've really needed the stress relief at work.
Well, I'm off to cast on the next pair!!!