Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday: Synopsis of a Week

With the best of intentions I refreshed and re-started the blog here.  Then... things went you know where in a special basket around my world.  Not as bad as it could be - but definitely wearing away at my creative and desire to update my adventures.  I'm not going to apologize.  I'll just say, I'll be here when I'm here!

I offer you a synopsis of my previous week to 12 days:

Now that you're all caught up.  What?  Oh, you want some explanations.

Mom has been having in-home physical therapy to help her regain some stamina and energy and such.  The visiting nurses discovered a pressure sore.  I've been learning to care for that and taking Mom to appointments for others to keep an eye out.  In the nursing arena, I've also learned how to give B12 shots.

When I was a young girl, first or second grade, I wanted to be a nurse.  I outgrew that desire after many visits to hospitals, doctors, etc.  Now, I'm a nurse - sort of!

I started coughing with a painful face and such a little over a week ago.  Last Sunday, the voice had hit the Bass level and I turned into Mr. C ~~ and not the dad from Happy Days!  My seasonal allergies often have me singing Bass and I'm generally mistaken for a man on the phone.  Turns out this was not just (or, possibly, even) seasonal allergies, but bronchitis and sinusitis.  On top of that, I was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure.  So, I've been taking new meds and getting used to this new regime for the past week.

My face feels a bet better.  I'm still coughing and don't think the bronchi are completely clear.  We will see what progress on Wednesday morning when I go in for blood work and an ekg.  Time to take care of me - according to me and my new doctor!

Since I was feeling poorly and taking care of me and Mom, I didn't drain the pool cover immediately after the last two rain storms.  Nobody was home to use the pool anyway.

I decided on Thursday that I needed to clear the water off the cover.  I placed the pump on the cover and let it go for a couple of hours.  I went out to adjust the pump's location and discovered hundreds and hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of tadpoles on my pool cover!!  Every rivulet of water not yet drained had this and many more tadpoles of various sizes swimming round and round.

I did not exaggerate on the thousands... my pool cover is 20'x40'... this little 6"x10" section has >25 tadpoles of various sizes.

After a major freak out - posting the picture and a little video on Facebook and Ravelry... I got my leaf basket/scoop net and scooped leaves and tadpoles and other stuff off the cover and into the brush behind the pool.  Today - we are tadpole free.   

Jungle taming came by hiring someone to tame the yard, the garden and the gutters.  Peaceful, beautiful yard today.  And I am grinning...

and still coughing....

and still knitting....

and still reading....

and still playing on the computer.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New paint on the wall and sheeeeeee's baaaa-aaack!

I have been away from the blog for the summer.  I've been busy and life has been hectic and I've not had much to say.  Well, that's probably not strictly true, but I didn't really have time to say it!

Medical appointments for Mom, work and such have kept me hopping.  It's been so darn hot all summer I haven't done a  lot of 'memorable' things.

But I'm back, for now, and hopefully I'll be a more frequent updater than in recent days.

Here are a few things I've been doing:


My first Baby Surprise Jacket!  Still needs buttons and ends woven, as well as the white buttons.

I also made a hat and a blanket:
Baby's Hat
Baby's Blanket

These are for Sean's Baby Boy - due at the end of August.  They will be finished and in the mail on Wednesday!!!!

Another cousin, Ami, is due with her first child in October.  Stealth knitting is going on for her baby girl.  I'd show you, but my family reads and I'd like her to be surprised!  :)

Other endeavors, mostly failed or barely executed, for the summer:  
  • planting veggies - all died due to extreme heat and a late start
  • clearing the clutter - plans were made, plans were not executed, plans have been remade, hope to execute as the weather cools
  • debt reduction - plans have been made, budgets have been made and (mostly) followed.  Long way to go, but I'm determined
  • Selling stuff - plans have been made, listing will soon begin, though I have sold a few things on while I'm learning the ropes of other venues.  I will be selling the stuff I de-clutter; selling stuff I knit, crochet, paint, bead, whatever; selling books and DVDs and such.  I'm learning the ins and outs of eBay, Craigslist, and Etsy!
Look for links in the future to the Etsy shop and my eBay listings and yard sale woes!

Glad to be back.  Looking forward to recording All My Great Adventures once again!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer's coming!

Today, 6000 gallons of water will be delivered to top off my in-ground pool!

Water delivery is scheduled between 8 and noon.  I got up waaaaay too early for a Saturday and put the pump on because we had thunderstorms roll through last evening.  It's now about 9:30 AM and the water has not yet arrives.  I realize I could have slept a while longer.  Of course, if I had slept in, the water would have arrived at 8 AM on the nose!

I dreaded rolling back the cover.  The winter weather was the worst it has been in many years.  Certainly the worst it has been since I've owned this pool.  Surprise, surprise -- this was the BEST winter for the pool.  Go figure!  Very little debris inched its way into the water through the very narrow gap between the pool cover and the wall on the shallow end.  I am usually scooping many, many leaves.  Hardly any this year.  This is a good thing, since the best scooper basket was broken by some helper over the winter.

Looks like we'll be ready for the pool company to come and get it set for the season on Tuesday!

In knitting news, I finished my Baktus, except for the blocking. 

I need to figure out what to do next.  With five or more babies expected in my extended family and friends network, you'd think I could pick some baby thing or another.  Yet, I have not. 

Instead, I am planning a Pampered Chef(r) Help Whip Cancer(r) fundraiser show for next Saturday.  The Pampered Chef(r) has been supporting the American Cancer Society and their Breast Cancer Education program for over 10 years, contributing $7.9 million dollars since 2000.  Last year, the Help Whip Cancer(r) campaign raised $875,000.  The HWC fundraisers are regular Pampered Chef shows, with a pink twist.  During the month of May, the guest specials are special pink and white products.  The Pampered Chef(r) contributes $1.00 for every pink product sold and up to 25% of the total products sold to the American Cancer Society. 

If you'd be interested in purchasing something to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Education, or you'd just like to see what The Pampered Chef has to offer, drop me a line and I'll send you the link.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Mom was doing much better, so I took myself to the Festival today.  Goal:  Funnel Cake!

Scored the Funnel Cake and this lovely skein of Tess Designer Yarns Super Sock & Baby yarn. I took the picture at two angles to show off all the colors.

There are three babies being born in my extended family.  One lucky baby will get a gift made from this fabulous yarn.

I traveled the Festival with Alex and Beth from The Yarn Garden.  Alex owns The Yarn Garden and she placed an order for the yarn I'd like for a sweater I loved at Autumn House Farm.  The yarn is called Blarney Stone and the pattern is Julie.  Neither the yarn nor the pattern seem to be available on the website, but we just fell in love with it.  Locals should look for both at The Yarn Garden in the near(ish) future!  :)

While I only bought one skein of yarn, I have an order for a sweater's worth with my local yarn shop!

After mowing the yard yesterday and walking around the Festival today - I'm tired and a little sun-kissed... It was a great weekend!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This and that on a Sunday

Last week, Mom and I took her first non-medical trip in a long time.  We headed down county, across the too-tall bridge to St. Mary's County for a little retail therapy.

Mom had an Estee Lauder offer to redeem and some creams she wanted to buy.  Younger son needed some new khakis and shirts and a tie for his job.  Belk was having a sale and we had an additional 20% off coupon.  So - off to California we went!  California, MD, that is!  :)

The pants I bought were too big.  They were nice pants too.  I was sad.  :(    Anyway, the trip was repeated today.  This time I went solo.

I got a refund for the pants at Belk.  I looked around and found some new pants in the right size.  Of course, the sale was over and the coupon was long gone.  I wasn't paying full price.  So, I left.

Luckily, JC Penney is in the same shopping center and I got a $10 off coupon in the mail yesterday!  Over to JCP I went.  They had pants in the correct waist size, but either too long (34) or too short (32).  B wanted 33x33 close to impossible to find.  I examined the 33x32s and the hem was long enough to lengthen, so I picked up a pair of those, plus a GIFT receipt for him to exchange them next time!!

Score. Khakis, 33x32, on sale for $29.99, less the $10 coupon and bonus 'free tax day at JCP' - new pants were $2 less than the ones I returned! :)

SUPER BONUS!  He tried them on as soon as I got home and ---- They FIT!

On the way back from the Great Pants Exchange, I stopped at Chesapeake's Bounty, where I discovered you can pick your own strawberries!  That's not why I stopped, but I was happy to see that they do that!  The only other place I knew closed a couple of years ago.

Today, I stopped to pick up some new annuals and perennials for the garden.

Older son and two of his friends cleared the weeds last week and it looked so bare.

It will soon be bursting with color!

Planted: Marigolds - big ones (yellow and sweet cream) and smaller one in disco (a multi-orange); begonias - one pink, one red; Astra Blue Balloon flowers; and Astra Osteospermum in yellow and sunset purple.

These lovely plants will join the irises and daisies and cone flowers and whatever else pops up from last year! :)

And - last but not least - I'm knitting myself a gift.  I'm participating in a CPaAG C/KAL.  Everyone is doing some version of the Baktus (link to Ravelry search results for Baktus)  I am doing the Lacy Baktus (my project page on Ravelry; you can click that link and see the project page, even if you don't belong to Ravelry!)

Last, but not least - we are seeing the end of the treatment tunnel for Mom's cancer.  Last infusion should be June 7th.  There have been and will be more doctors for other issues as the cancer treatments wind down.  Important for overall health.  She had her six month mammogram and it was all clear.  She'll have another next Fall.  If that one is clear, she'll be back on the yearly mammo plan

She fell twice in March and fractured her L1 vertebrae.  We are looking into Vertebroplasty.  The compression fracture is significant (50-60% and a backward tilt).  Doctor says she's a candidate and it is more indicated than not for this fracture at this level and severity.  We decide tomorrow.  If it's a go, we'll be heading to Annapolis on Friday -- getting out of the house before 5:30 AM for a 7:30 or 8:00 AM out-patient surgery.

I think that's enough for now!  :)  Hope to see you sooner rather than later next time!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring is sproinging!

This winter has been pretty intense.  Our area has had record setting snow falls and low temperatures.  As we've been moving out of the winter weather, we've had rain and fog and cooler temps, with occasional warm bursts.

This weekend, Spring is upon us and she brings the SPRING WEATHER!  Yippee!  I'll be able to go out and clean up debris that has been covered in snow and wet for too long.  I'll be able to till the garden area and cut back the snow-broken branches and get ready for the new season to take it's rightful place.

Let me catch you up on my doings for the past few weeks...

I finished my Olympic Sock event socks:

I took a knitting break and have been crocheting little hats for several causes.  I completed and sent off four for preemies at a NICU hospital.  I have finished three for full-term babies, with a few more days to go before I send them off.  Here's a sample (I keep forgetting to take pictures of things before I mail them off so there are only two in the picture - but the pattern is essentially the same for all.  The size and turned-up brim are all that change!): 

Tomorrow is my Mother's 74th birthday.  She celebrated by falling - again!  Luckily, she is just bruised and stiff - no apparent breaks or tears.  Last year, she celebrated birthday number 73 with a fractured tibia!  I told her she should break this habit of falling for her birthday!

She was supposed to go for her 6th month mammogram check today.  I've rescheduled for April 2nd.  While there are no breaks or tears, sitting in the car for an hour each way AND having a diagnostic mammogram are things that would tax her system too much today.

We are also supposed to go to the club for a dinner event tomorrow night - 150 Club - dinner and a chance for mom to win $1500.  Looks like that will be a no-go for a reason similar to the canceled Mammo - an hour ride each way.   We're playing it by ear.  Mom doesn't get out and socialize much.  She hasn't had the desire for a while, but she was looking forward to this event.

Enjoy your Friday, my friends.  Hope the weather treats you kindly on this first weekend of Spring!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Sooo close, yet no gold medal!

My Toe-Up Socks were my Knitting Olympics piece.  As my previous post indicated, there was a set back. 

After the set back, I recast the socks with fewer beginning stitches and continued with fewer foot stitches on smaller needles.  I finally got going pretty well.  A slow down occurred as I tried to figure out the heel and the wrap and turns and why I needed them and how to do them.  Figured it out on one and quickly finished the second.  By Sunday afternoon I was finishing heel flap number 2 and thought I could move right along on the legs of both.  However, the fingers were tiring and getting sore.  STR on 2.25 mm and 2.0 mm needles make for sore thumb and forefinger pads.  I might even have a hole in my thumb, defintely have a callous! 

Seems my confidence was misplaced.  I got to anklet length on the leg of the sock (two pattern repeats on the leg) and I could have done a fancy bind off and counted them 'DONE' in time to win the Gold.  But I had to be honest with myself and, in the spirit of the games, concede that I would simply unbind them and continue on to a more conventional leg length, as I did not want anklets nor would I wear them.  So, I gave up my dreams of glory and went to bed.

Knitting continues, albeit without the Olympic intensity.  The thumb and forefinger are getting a bit of a rest as I do knit a little at a time.  I believe I'll be able to eke out five pattern repeats and some ribbing before I run out of yarn.  I was afraid that 380 yards would not be enough for my big feet.  It looks like I'll make it to a reasonable leg height before I run out.

I'm sad that I miscalculated and missed out on the Gold Medal.  I learned a great deal, which is a fabulous thing.  BUT -- have you seen what I missed out on?? Franklin designed a fabulous medal!   Waaaahhhh!

Congratulations to all the Knitting Olympians claiming their Gold Medal!

As for me, there is always 2014!  I'll have much to celebrate in 2014

Knitting Olympics


RETIREMENT ! ! ! ! !    :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Setback

The swatch it a lie - and my foot lies too.

I measured my foot five, six times - each time the circumference was 9 - 9.5 inches depending on whether I was measuring at the ball of my foot, or slightly back from that - trying to use the pictures and procedures outlined by Cat Bordhi and Wendy D Johnson.

This would mean that I should knit my sock at a circumference of 8 or 8.25 inches, right? Swatching had me go down several needle sizes from that recommended for the yarn to get 8 st/inch. The stitch count is 66, which would put it right between 8 and 8.25 inches.

I measured the stitches in several places and I was getting 16 st/2 inches—or 8 st/inch.

As I progressed, it seemed too wide. I, of course, continued anyway as any good knitter in denial would do. I am about 4 inches into the foot going from the toe up, but it still seemed too wide, I tried it on and – guess what?!!!!

I did all the right things.

I did a circular swatch. I cast on 36 stitches, joined in the round and started with 3.00mm needles.  Knit an inch - measured, got 7st/inch.  Went down to 2.75mm for an inch, still not right. At 2.5 mm, I got the gauge for the pattern I was using as my guide – 8 st/inch.

I measured my foot multiple times over the last week – multiple times on different days at different times of the day -- because (a) I kept forgetting to write it down and (b) I wanted to be very sure!  At the ball of my foot where my big toe joins my foot and my foot is widest,  it measured in the 9.5” area of the tape measure, every time.  The area at the beginning of the instep, just past the ball part, measured 9". At 8 st/inch with a cast on of 66 stitches, my sock should be 8.25” - which should be enough negative ease to fit nicely. But it doesn’t. See?

Toe Up Socks 009
(you can see the gaps on either side. :( I put a note on the picture in flickr)

So, I measured my feet again and – guess what I get? 8.5 - 9 inches.

How is it possible that my feet could lose half an inch or more in a day?? ACKKKK! The sock circumference is about the same as the circumference as my foot rather than being 10% smaller for a snug fit. Double AACKKK!

The sock pattern I was using to determine cast-on, stitch count, etc., showed numbers for 4 sizes – small, med, large, x-large. Based on my foot size (women’s 11W), I should have been making size large. However, based on stitch count and circumference numbers -- which I had measured multiple times! -- I went with the medium size. Apparently, this is the only area in my life where I am SMALL in something!

I am very sad.  I really wanted to finish these during the Knitting Olympics. Starting over will not bode well for a 2/28 finale!

Ah well.  Better to have socks that fit than to have a sniff Gold sniff medal and sniff, sniff Bobicus Maximus medals for socks and single skeins!

A rippin’ I will go.  :(

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Going for the gold, or the Bobicus Maximus, as the case may be

I have completed my Aerial Unwind entry

and been awarded my Bobicus Maximus in the Aerial Unwind Event of the Ravelympics 2010:

I have completed my WIPs Dancing Entry

Knotty Gloves finally complete!  And still in time to wear for the winter!

I should be receiving my Bobicus Maximum Medal in the WIPs Dancing Event within the next 24-36 hours.  

Now, on to Charity Curling and Giant Slalom-ghan - two HAP Put-Together Afghans.

And to continue with the Gold Medal endeavour - two socks, toe-up, on two circs with STR Rare Gems Mediumweight... so far:


I wish my 2.5mm Addi circs were both longer than 24".  Ah well, I shall soldier on with the handicap!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Olympics, Ravelympics, Knitting Olympics!

I love the Winter Olympics.  I'll be watching more TV in the next 2+ weeks than I've watched in the last 2+ months!   When I watch TV, I knit or crochet.  Helps keep down the desire to snack!  To keep my fingers busy as I watch the athletes of the world compete for winter game fame and glory, I've joined a couple of Olympic events in the fiber world.

First, Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics!


I began my knitting career during Stephanie's inaugural Knitting Olympics in 2006.  This event is near and dear to my heart.  Over the past 4 years, I have amassed a stash of yarn and needles and books and patterns and other essential doodads, like stitch markers and measuring tapes and beads, that could take over my walk-in closet if I didn't have it spread all over the room!   I have learned so much and created so many things and improved as I have gone along!  I am ready to stretch myself a bit farther and win the coveted Gold Medal -- being designed by Franklin!

For this event, I plan to try a new (to me) technique - Toe Up Socks.  I think I've settled on a Wendy D. Johnson pattern - Sunrise Socks ( link).  I plan to use new (to me) Socks That Rock medium weight yarn in a Rare Gems colorway that I picked up during their fairly recent sale.  I may be one of the few people in the fiber world that has never knit with STR!

 * * * * * * * *

Second, I joined TWO teams for Ravelympics 2010 on  

I'm a member of Team Ooh, Shiny - centered in the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group Group.  I shall be competing in the Events WIPs Dancing and Aerial Unwind.

In the WIPs Dancing event, I plan to finish my Knotty Gloves.  I have less than half a glove to go to complete the pair.  I just have to figure out where I left off.  In preparation for this event, I will be tinking back a few rows to try and find an amicable starting place to carry on to completion.

cable full knotty

In the Aerial Unwind event, I will be frogging my Monkey Socks.  I have one completed and one commenced.  Having learned quite a lot about knitting -- in particular, sock knitting -- since I started these, I realize they just don't work.  I will be sad to unwind them.  However, this yarn should have been knit at a tighter gauge.  As knit, these will be loosy-goosy on me and will not wear well.  More importantly, because they will be loose, I will not wear them.  I haven't figured out a new purpose for this yarn, one of my first attempts at dyeing yarn.  That decision will have to wait, so that I can accomplish the other tasks I have set before me.

Monkey Start flash1

For my second team, Team HAP, I will be crocheting together at least two afghan sets to be sent to our Wounded Warriors.  I'm hoping to do three, but have set two as my goal.  Given the other things I want to accomplish, three may be pushing it!  The third will be done before the March Put-Together Event but, most likely, not by the end of the Olympics.  They will be sent off to be washed, packaged and mailed to wounded soldiers, along with the afghans of others in the group.

 * * * * * * * *
Starting tomorrow, cooking and cleaning will be taking a back seat to Olympics Watching, Knitting and Crocheting, as athletes from around the world - in the sports world and the fiber world - strive to do their best and gain the coveted medals of glory!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Neighbor is plowing a long driveway

Neighbor is plowing a long driveway
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

Neighbor is plowing his driveway with his John Deere with plow attachment. He hasn't made it to the road yet. Where IS the road??

Click the picture to see the February Snow set of pictures. I'm not sure of the official snow total - except there is TOO MUCH!!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Looking out the Front Door

out the front door
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

The snow is still falling. There is a band of "2 to 3 inches an hour" on its way to us from another Southern Maryland County. After that passes through, it should all start to taper off.

It will be hard to get an accurate measure of this storm. We still had a couple of inches on the ground (grassy areas and deck) from last weekend's snow. In addition, there were a few hours of sleet last night before it turned back to all snow.

Let's just say - TOO MUCH!!!!

Friday, February 05, 2010

And so it begins...

SnowFeb5 001
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

The Second Major Snowstorm (we've had a couple of 'minor' ones) of this winter season has begun. The flakes began to fall in my part of Southern Maryland just before noon. Latest guess-timates from the weather folks: 20 - 28 inches of snow before it is all over.

Looks like I'll be cooking and baking and knitting and cleaning for the next few days as my little neck of the woods turns into another winter wonderland!

(clicking into the photo will take you to my Flickr set. I plan to update periodically to capture the awesomeness of this storm!)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Good things for Haiti

I belong to the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group on  It is mostly completely pointless and arbitrary except when bad things happen to good people and they group rallies around to support their fellows.  Besides personal help and the spreading of mojo, prayers and good vibrations for the group participants, certain CPaAGers wanted to reach out and help with the Haitian recovery efforts.

With the disaster in Haiti on everyone's mind and feeling the need to help in some way - KnittyBe dreamed up an auction to raise money to help.

Artists of every kind are donating their wares.  Knitting to order, already knit items, home-made canned goods, jewelry, art, fictional writing as well as many lovely stash enhancers are being auctioned through the weekend to help raise funds for various charities that are helping the devastated in Haiti.

How it works:  The offers have been made and the hosts have put them into a bidding order.  Each offer is posted and bids are accepted over a 2 hour period.  (Check post 2 in the thread to see what is coming up when).  The offeror suggests a charity - like the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders or some such.  The winning bidder than sends the bid amount to the charity.  Sends a receipt for that donation to the offeror.  The offeror then sends the item(s) won to winner!

Winners all around!  Go check it out. 

If you are a Ravelry member, check out the Auction and join the bidding war for these lovelies.  DigitalDurga's homemade goodies fetched the record bid so far - $170.00!

If you are not a member of Ravelry, this is the perfect opportunity to join!

I have no funds to help and offers have been closed at this point.  My participation includes cheering on the bidders and sending YOU to the group to join the fun and help as you can.

Because of the overwhelming success, and because more help will be needed with the news stories cease to fill our airwaves, this charity auction will become a monthly event for a while.  If you are flat broke (like me!), remember to come back around Valentine's Day for the next auction.  Offers are already coming in for that!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010!

Hope you are all having a GOOD Friday.  I have been knitting and care-taking and entertaining and cooking and baking and playing games on Facebook.  Blogging?  Not so much.

I wanted to start out the new year with an entry of good things.  2009 had a lot of negativity and I was ready for it to be gone.  However, thinking about the negatives, I found some positives.

Mom did have cancer.  But it was caught fairly early and, after some scary, life-threatening side effects from chemotherapy, she survived to radiation and now is on the down swing of therapy.  Her hair is growing back.  I was able to work from home for five months and will be working from home 2 - 3 days a week until she's really on the mend, or some other care-taking solution presents itself.

My older son seems to have found some direction in his life - finally.  He'll be starting EMT training next week.   He has already qualified as a volunteer firefighter and hopes to ride ambulance duty when his EMT training is complete.

I knit a lot of hats for Christmas - all were well received!  Alas, I forgot to take pictures of every one.

Here is the Meret I made for my son's girl friend... she's hardly taken it off since she got it!  And would like two more - one in purple, one in black!

I shall have to hog-tie the boys to get their hats photographed!

It has been a pretty good Friday.  I hope to continue Shelly's Good on Friday posting this year.  I'll try to find good outside myself as the year goes on!

Happy 2010, dear readers!

edited because I had grammar/spelling goofs.  There may be more.  I apologize to the grammar police in advance!  :)