Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grateful

Well, it's Thanksgiving week here in the states and it has given me much reason to reflect on what I am grateful for in my life. The list is long, so I won't relive it here, but I do appreciate this time to get away from all of the stresses and trivialities of daily life and focus on the simple things I have that many people in the world don't. At any rate, it has been a wonderful week of family, turkey and lots of knitting and reading. :)  So, without further ado... here's the update:

Reading: I finished The Sum of Our Days, by Isabel Allende. As I've said before, simply fantastic. I love her writing, I loved the ending. It wasn't saccharine, or unreal, but simple and fantastic. Her voice is so beautiful that I think she could write about cat puke and I would find it fascinating. :)
I did start reading my free book from Thomas Nelson, where I signed up to be a book reviewer. It's called In the Shadow of the Sun King, by Golden Keyes Parsons. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at first. It's historical fiction, which isn't usually my style, but so far I am LOVING it. I really can't put it down. It's about a family of Huguenots (French Protestants) in France during the 17th century. The Huguenots  being persecuted for their beliefs and Madeline and Francois Clavell have hidden their two young boys to keep them safe from the dragoons, come to send the boys to be re-educated as Catholics. Madeline was a friend and possible lover (it hasn't been explicitly said yet) to King Louis as a teen and when the dragoons take over her house she travels to Versailles to plead with the King to spare her family. So far I really like it. It is fast paced and hard to put down. When I finally went to bed last night, Madeline had angered the King because she rejected his proposal that she be his mistress in exchange for sparing her family. King Louis had ordered her estate burned to the ground and took her young daughter to the convent and her husband to jail. Madeline returns home to find her house and family gone. She collects her remaining servants, brother-in-law and two boys (who have been hiding) and prepares to travel to Geneva. I'm excited to keep reading and I'll keep you posted. I do think this book would make a lovely movie- the costumes!- it feels rather like  Gone with the Wind

Writing: Well... NaNo just isn't going to happen. It's currently 10pm on Sunday night and I technically have until midnight to write my remaining 20,000 words. Not going to make it. I'm rather disappointed, but I just can't bring myself to write drivel just to write. So, I'm going back to my original plan of trying to have my draft done by the end of the year. We'll see how that goes. I did however complete my article for the January edition of Women's Edition magazine. It's about lypossage and is rather interesting. I'll let you all know when it comes out. 

Knitting: I started and finished a Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket this weekend. I really enjoyed knitting it. So simple and intriguing. It definitely looks like a blob, but folds up into a lovely little sweater. Unfortunately the yarn I used was a little thick and it will likely fit a four year old, not the six month old it was intended for. So, back to the knitting board. I'm going to look for a thinner yarn and make another. Luckily it was very quick, so I believe I can still finish it for Christmas. Otherwise I've been working on a prayer shawl, my angora scarf and Andrew's socks. I desperately want to make a sweater for myself, but I'm trying to restrain myself until I get these other projects done. 

Panic: Oh... definitely some good old fashioned panic. I was supposed to start tutoring at a center in Boulder on Monday, but will not be doing that. After some serious soul-searching, I decided I wasn't comfortable with it, for a variety of reasons. So, I resigned before I even started. Though it was exceptionally difficult, I really felt that I had to trust my gut and not start the position. Anyway, I've also thrown my hat into the ring for the 1/2 time position at Sunset and I have a friend who is trying to get me to take a different 1/2 time position at her middle school. Though that position sounds great, the commute would be 40 minutes each way, which may be too much. I suppose we'll just have to see. I'm panicking less I suppose, since I'm trying to embrace the idea that it will all work out in the end, but it's definitely difficult. We shall see what the weeks to come bring. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quick update

Well, there's always something isn't there? I may be looking at going back to teaching, but only half-time. We'll have to see. I'm trying not to over think it right now. I'm really hoping that life will just work out as it is supposed to. Everything happens for a reason right? 
Well anyway... here it goes. 
Reading: I've been obsessively reading The Sum of Our Days, by Isabel Allende. I really can't say enough good things about her writing. This is a sequel memoir to Paula. It's about the years after her daughter's death, and is written in a similar style, she tells the story to her daughter so she won't be lost. It's really beautiful, dramatic (what a family!) and just lovely. I especially like how Allende sees what has happened with that clarity that only comes with hindsight, but she also never lets herself off the hook. She is quick to point out where she screwed up, which is endearing and also quite relatable

Writing: I don't know about NaNoWriMo. I'm really trying to push through this first draft, but I just keep wanting to change things, drastically. I'm not sure if this is my way of trying to procrastinate even more than usual, or if my new ideas have merit. I'm trying to just push through... but we'll see if I make it. Additionally, I don't believe I ever blogged about my articles that have been published in Women's Edition magazine. You can check out the most recent one here. I can't say I'm thrilled with the editing, but whatever. Non-fiction is not my forte, so I'm just glad that it's published. I will have another article coming out in January. 

Knitting: I've been knitting like a mad woman, not that I have any pictures to show for it. I really need to get better at photographing my work. What's a knitting blog without pictures? Well anyway, I've been obsessively working on the Noro striped scarf. It's just so beautiful. I'm trying to restrain myself from making another one. I was totally inspired by Yarn Harlot and Brooklyn Tweed. They're bad for me I tell you... :) I mean, how could you not knit one of those after seeing Brooklyn Tweed's? But, I finished it last night. I just need to weave in my ends and then we'll see what I work on. I have a number of projects on the needles: mystery stole 4; angora scarf, Andrew's socks, not to mention the quilt and sweater that I just dug out of the depths a month or two ago. But who wants to finish one of those? I might treat myself to making the Vivian. Mmmmm.... cables. Which, by the way, if you have not seen Twist Collective, go check it out RIGHT NOW! Lovely patterns and great articles. Love it!

Well... that's about it for now. I'm not putting in a panic section as I'm trying desperately not to panic at the moment. We'll see how long that lasts though. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ahh...change

Well, what an eventful week is has been. I can't even express how excited I am about the next four years in this country. I hope that President-elect Obama will be able to continue to inspire people the way he did during his campaign. I'm also very glad that the election was uneventful. No replay of the 2000 election or anything. I was a supply judge for my local precinct. That meant I was an election judge, but sort of the judge in charge. Overall it was pretty uneventful. Most people in Colorado had either voted by mail or voted early, so we didn't have a lot of turn out at the polls. That was nice. No one had to wait in line and we had very few problems. Though first thing in the morning there was an altercation between a poll checker and a security guard. It was so ridiculous. Why can't we all just get along? I don't understand why people have to be negative about things. I've felt this way a lot in the last few days as I read friends' and family's negative comments about Obama winning. Regardless of who won, we're going to have to work together to get anywhere and a negative attitude isn't going to help anything. Anyway, I'll get off of my soap box now and get back to my regularly schedule blogging. :) 

Reading: Well, because we had such a slow election day, I was able to get a couple of books finished. I finished Paula, by Isabel Allende. I always love her writing. It is just so beautiful, lyrical and real. It sounds like she's sitting next to you telling you a story. This book was no differnt. The story of it is quite sad. Allende's daughter, Paula, has fallen into a coma because of a rare illness and Allende write the book as a letter to her daughter so "she doesn't feel lost when she wakes up." It's a beautiful story of Allende's life and a really gripping account of South American history, which many of us American's don't know much about. The poignency of Allende finally coming to terms with her daughter's condition is heart-wrenching and the love of their family will make anyone want to be an Allende. Truely beautiful, as always. 
I also finished Warrior of the Light, by Paulo Coelho. Coelho is so inspiring and I usually feel as if I'm not quite getting to the depths of his novels. I enjoyed Warrior very much, but feel like I'll need to read it again and again before the deep meaning really sinks into my life. Given it's format, short one page stories and reflections, I believe that it would be a good book to read just one page a day and really meditate on the meaning of Coelho's words in my life. Sometimes I feel like my brain just isn't quite ready to learn things. Still, a lovely book. 
So, I'm currently in a bit of limbo with my books. I've been keeping a more "spiritual" book on the shelf to read as well as something that I think can help me with my writing. I've picked upOpen Mind, Open Heart, by Thomas Keating as my "spiritual" book. I've been taking a contemplative prayer class at church, and this is the book that goes with it. However, I'm not sure what to read next for my other book. I had started Catch-22 quite a while ago, but haven't been able to bring myself back to it yet, and I don't know if it would be a good influence on my writing right now. We'll have to see. I'd like to read something that I think my own book would sit in the shelf next to... not sure what that is though. 

Writing: Well... the writing has actually been going much better. As I said earlier, I signed up to do NaNoWriMo. I'm currently behind in my word count, (I'm not counting anything that I wrote before Nov 1st) but it is coming along and the pressure of churning out 50,000 words in a month has helped me somewhat to let go of the perfection that I had been seeking. I can't say that what I've been writing is any kind of good, but it's at least out and on the page. I figure I just need to get a first draft done and then I can go back and spend years revising. :) At some point I might get the courage to post bits of the novel here, but we'll have to see. 

Knitting: Well, somthing has to fall of the deep end doesn't it? I haven't been knitting much at all. I worked on my pink prayer shawl some on Tuesday and Wednesday, but just haven't been motivated. Andrew's socks are still confounding me. I think I might have to frog them and start over. It's justnot working to try to double the bottom of the sock. The Mystery Shawl 4, which I now know all the clues to, is also still languishing in the bottom of my knitting bad. I just haven' t had the attention span to work with lace and beads. I'm also working on an angora scarf, which I'm starting to think may be completely impractical as it sheds ridiculously and I think I'll have bunny fur up my nose constantly. We shall see though. I have a deep hankering to make myself a sweater, but am not sure that I have the time or money to currently contribute to such a project. I also don't want to get into more startitis than I already have. I don't need 12 million projects on the  needeles sitting unfinished. I need to get some done before I start any more. 

Panic: I did have some close call panic attacks on Tuesday morning. I was so worried that something was going to go tragically wrong with the election and it would some how be my fault. All went smoothly, except the checker/gaurd thing, and the outcome makes me happy as well. So, it hasn't been too panicky a week. I did get an email from an old professor asking if I would be interesting in applying for an elementary literacy coach job. Not sure how I feel about that. I don't know if I really want to go back to teaching. But I decided that I'd inqure about the application process and see where we go from there. I haven't heard back from anyone yet, so maybe I won't have to worry about making a decision at all. :) The job front still sucks though. Maybe some day someone will call me back. I just keep trying to have faith that everything will work out in the end and that it all happens for a reason... sometimes it's just so hard to keep trekking through the dark though. :/

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Voting

Well, at least it's every other day... or just less than a month in between posts for now. :) Here's the current status.

Reading: Not much has changed here. I actually haven't read anything since Monday. Special, I know. I have bene sick, which means that my normal before bed reading hasn't happened because I've been so tired. I also haven't been reading because I've been staying up late with Andrew while he works on his Halloween costume. It's turned into quite the project. I really have no good excuses though. I did however, just sign up to be a reviewer for Thomas Nelson. Basically you sign up, choose a book and they send you a preview copy. You agree to review the book (at least 200 words) on your blog and on Amazon. Fine by me. :) I think it should be an interesting project if nothing else. My first book, In the Shadow of the Sun King, by Golden Keyes Parsons, is on it's way. I have hopes that it will be good. I'd rather not write a bad review for my first one. 

Writing: Mmmm... yes, much the same as the reading. I've done nothing. I might be able to get something in today, but I just don't currently have the inspiration. I'm still trying to decide between continuing work on the current book or starting a new one for NaNoWriMo. We'll see... I'm just not feeling inspired or motivated recently. I'm hoping that some WriMo pressure might help, but I have my doubts. 

Knitting: Haven't been knitting either. I know... seriously. What have I been doing? Cleaning the house mostly and running errands. I don't understand how I can have "all the time in the world" to do things, and still not get anything done. I did buy some more shawl yarn at Walmart yesterday though. Not that I need any more yarn for shawls, but it was all on sale and I can never pass up a good sale. 

Panic: Well.. I'm actually feeling less anxious than usual today. And I VOTED! Yay! I still need to go turn in my ballot (it's a mail-in) but I figure I can do that tomorrow. I have to go to the cleark and recorder anyway to get some extra training since I am now not just an election judge, but a supply judge. Yeah, that means I'm in charge at the precinct. Honestly... that just seems like a bad idea, but we'll see. 
Voting did take forever though. I did actually read the blue book and do some research on all the issues, which definitely added time, but the ballot is huge! I STRONGLY encourage everyone to either vote early or by mail so you don't have to be stuck in line on election day. Filling out these ballots is going to take a while. And if you do vote on Election Day, please review your ballot beforehand (you can find them online) and bring a cheat-sheet so it doesn't take you forever to read everything. 
Anyway, that is all for now... I think I might go take a nap. To the rest of you-- GO VOTE!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

back again...

Well, it's been a while, as usual. I've determined that what holds me back from blogging the most is that I never have pictures to post. I always have the intention of taking lots of pictures of my knitting and other things, but I just never get around to it. So, I've decided that I'll just write my posts as they are sans photos. I doubt anyone will notice.

So, at any rate. The blog... in order. :)

Reading: I've been bouncing between a lot of novels. Paula, by Isabel Allende and Warrior of the Light, by Paulo Coelho mostly. Diary of Anais Ninn, A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle, and Catch-22 are all still sitting on the bedside shelf. Someday I might get back to them, we'll have to see. I've really enjoyed Paula so far. That book has been me trying to immerse myself int he idea of a memoir. I had hoped that it would help me with my own novel; give me someLink inspiration. You'll see how well that's turned out in the writing section. Allende's writing is, as always, amazing however and the stories in the novel are simply stunning.

Writing: Well, on the good side, I am an officially published author now. I had an article published in a local magazine. Got paid for it even! So that was fantastic. I have another article coming out in the same magazine in November and hopefully a third in December. So, my non-fiction writing career is getting some feet I suppose. The fiction side however... well, I'm in a bit of a rut. I've just been really struggling with finding the motivation to work on my novel. I keep getting parts of it written, but none of it seems to be flowing and I get stuck very easily. It's definitely been hard. I did sign up for NaNoWriMo but I'm not sure if I want to continue working on my current novel (which would sort of be cheating) or if I want to start a new one to finish in November. We'll have to see. I guess I have a few days to decide. Part of me thinks I might need a break from my current book, but I don't want to get distracted and not finish the stupid thing. Decisions, decisions.

Knitting: Lots of things on the knitting front. I finished a pair of socks- Wendy Knits' Cabletini, My So-Called Scarf (which is AWESOME!) a couple of mini-sock ornaments for the "Creepy Christmas" Halloween party that our friends are having this Friday. I'm also still working on Mystery Stole 4-though I know what it looks like. I'm just a little behind on that one. Making some socks for Andrew. He wants a doubled bottom, which is proving to be quite difficult. We'll see if I can make it through those. I finished a pink prayer shawl, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and am making a second. I'm also working on a lovely ruffled scarf in baby blue angora. It's SO soft! I think I need to actually finish some projects here soon, rather than continually starting them. ;)

Panic: Oh... so much going on in life in general. I'm not sure how my days are so busy. I still don't have a job, haven't been writing much, and yet there still aren't enough hours in the day. Whatever. I'm ready for the election to be over. I'm sick of nasty political ads. Though if Obama doesn't win, I'm not really sure how I'll feel about the future of our nation. I'll be an election judge for the election and I hope that goes smoothly.
I've been subbing more, which in general is nice. It's definitely nice to not have to plan, grade and deal with parents. I would still rather have a steady paycheck, but we'll have to see how it turns out. I'm still holding out that I'll be published and making millions by next summer. I can dream right?
In other news, we got a cat. He's a lynx point Himalayan- or at least a mix of something quite like that. We got him at our local Petsmart. They bring in cats from overcrowded shelters. He's pretty freaking adorable. Really sweet, loving and pretty independent.
Otherwise... life has been going on. I'm sick as all get out this week and feeling like crap. Less motivation to get some writing done... but I have hope. Maybe NaNoWriMo will inspire me. Until then...

Monday, September 22, 2008

insanity...

Oy... good thing I decided to stop pursuing jobs as a full time blogger... I would have been fired within a week. Anyway, here's a brief (very brief) reacap of life for the past few weeks.
-school started, I didn't go back. It was great.
-Have been subbing. I like it, but it's a mixed bag. Overall I've come to realize that the public school system is even more screwed than I thought it was.
-Read a bunch... Million Little Pieces, My Invented Country, Three Weeks with My Brother, probably a couple of others I'm forgetting.
-Knit a bunch.. two pairs of socks, working on my third. Finished a prayer shawl. Starting the Mystery Shawl 4 knit-a-long. Pictures later.
-Went to California with Andrew. He worked; I tooled around San Francisco. Took a bay cruise, saw the wharf and the bridge, went to the art museum, saw the City Lights book store, bought yarn at Artfibers and a variety of other things. We went to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival. It was meh. We went to Sonoma. It was great. I saw a family friend and went out to Capitola. Quite fun. Pictures later.
-Andrew had PRK... that was... special. Luckily he can see now and my life might be getting back to normal.

Overall, I've felt supremely busy. Not actually getting anything done though. My writing is especially lacking. I will have my first published article coming out in a few days. It's not amazing, but it's published. I've also decided that I will have some form of my book done by the end of the year. 100 days. That's what I've got. I even made myself a chart. :) We shall see. That's the goal at least.
We've been seeing a personal trainer. He's been kicking my ass on a regular basis, but it's good for me.
I'm really hoping that I can take a breath this week and maybe get caught up. Not likely, but it's a nice thought. Until then...

Monday, August 18, 2008

OLYMPICS! and whatever else...

Now, I'll be the first to say that I am a bit of a TV junkie. There isn't much I like more than sitting and watching a good show, or a terribly bad show, but I can usually restrain myself. For the past week however, no such luck. It has been all Olympics all the time around our house. I'm not quite sure what it is about the Olympics that makes them so hard to stop watching, but I just can't quit. I was up until three in the morning last night watching synchronized swimming. Which, by the way, looks ridiculously hard. Loved the pretty suits though.:) I haven't gotten any writing done because I've been completely engrossed with Olympic action. I have knit some- more posts on that to come, but mainly I've been cheering on whoever is on the screen. Gymnastics, swimming (I love Phelps, he seems so nice), rowing, tennis, badminton, diving, synchronized swimming, table tennis, cycling, volleyball- indoor and outdoor, weightlifting, track, dressage, I have watched anything and everything that is on. I LOVE it! Granted, I haven't really slept or cleaned the house or anything else, but it's been worth it. The tremendous human spirit makes me want to cry constantly. Phelps winning number eight; Dara Torres holding up the race so another swimmer could get her suit fixed; any time the national anthem is played. It's so touching. I don't know what it is that makes me so emotional about all of these things, but I can barely keep it together when all of those Morgan Freeman commercials come on, and if it's the one with Bella Caroli- forget it. Tears abound. Anyway, only a few more days of Olympic action and then maybe life can get back to normal. : )

In other news- well there is no other news. :) Schools went back today. I didn't. Which, was alright overall. I'm actually subbing on Wednesday, so I won't be out of the classroom for long. :) I had an interview at an athletic club, but haven't heard anything back from them yet. So we'll have to see. Went to the wedding of a childhood friend last Wednesday. It was nice, quite beautiful and interestingly enough I learned that I used to be baby-sat by the mother-in-law of one of my best friends from Sunset. The world is quite a funny place. Always too small. It was also nice to catch up with some of my mother's old friends. They are all such lovely women.
I finished my sun ray shawl, while being an election judge for the primaries. That was pretty painfully boring, we had about no one show up to vote. Not that they really needed to, they had mail in ballots and only one contested race. I also finished and blocked the 2008 Summer of Socks socks and am working on another Wendy Knits pair. I am thoroughly addicted to her sock patterns. Quick, cute, and just the right amount of effort. I really love tow up socks now too. I don't know if I'll manage to go back to cuff down socks.
If you are a knitter and don't read Wendy's blog- well shame on you. :) And the book.... well I have about four different beginnings now. Two of them may be viable. We'll have to see. I'll be taking them to my writing group this week for some critique.

Anyway, I'm off to have some dinner with friends. My friend Emma is also struggling with finding a job... we're going to commiserate over some margs at the Rio. :)
Until... well... whenever I get back to this.

Oh... and I believe I know who wrote my first and only comment. :) I'll miss you too E.R. maybe I'll get to see you when I sub.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

beginnings...

Why is it that starting something is always harder than finishing it? Ugh... again, no posts in a while and this one will be sans pictures. Maybe tomorrow I'll post some of the knitting that I've finished, but right now it's beginnings that are on my mind. I've been struggling for the past couple of weeks with the beginning of my book. Nothing seems to be working right. It originally started with me waking up, but that seemed too cliche, plus it didn't really get the theme of the book going quickly enough, so I wasn't sure if my readers would stick with me. I tried another beginning. It sucked. I'm working on a third one right now (well... I'm actually procrastinating from working on a third one) and I'm not sure if it's going to work or not. I like it better than the first two, but I don't now if it's there yet. It's just so difficult to get the whole thing going. I have the ending planned. It's going to be great. If I can ever get there. I see now why George Lucas started with the last three Star Wars. Beginnings just suck.

In related news, applying for jobs also sucks. I've applied for a ton of jobs, and heard nothing back. Seriously? I'm well educated, hard worker... blah, blah, blah. I can't ever get a call back? I don't know. I just hate being in limbo. I just want things to be set and on their way. Book beginning set...job set... things are so much easier to work with when they're already in motion.

Anyway... I'll stop complaining and go work on my book some more. If anyone wants to employ me, let me know. :) I'm up for just about anything at this point.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Well, not quite as soon as I'd hoped, but whatever. I just got back from beautiful Las Vegas where Andrew and I were on vacation for our one year (!) anniversary. It was a great trip. I always love Vegas, it's just so... much. We had a great time there, as usual, so here's the recap:

Accommodations: We stayed at the Tropicana Hotel. Now, I like the Trop, it's classic old school Vegas. But, it is old. It's definitely starting to fall apart at the seams a little bit. I've heard rumors that it's going to be torn down soon and rebuilt, but who know. No one can seem to confirm that. The rooms aren't fantastic, and ours smelled like BO sometimes, but overall we don't stay in the room that much and they are super cheap, so it doesn't really matter. The best part of the Tropicana is the pool. They have something like 5 acres of gardens and pool. It is quite fantastic.

Shows: We only got to one show on this trip, but we went to see Penn and Teller. We always go down to the Tickets 4 Tonight place next to the MGM to see what kind of discounted tickets we can get. Penn and Teller was great. I really liked that they showed you how some of the tricks were done. It still amazed me, even when they showed us what was happening. The slight of hand was awesome. Very fun show, and not terribly priced.

Food: My favorite part of Vegas. :) I found out about a day in that I am NOT actually allergic to Gluten, so I went a little hog wild. :) Turns out I should probably still avoid it, but whatever. Vacation food doesn't count right? We rarely got up in time for breakfast, but did make it to the Tropicana's Island Buffet for breaky one morning. It was... well... it was okay. The food wasn't fantastic and there wasn't a whole lot of variety, but they kept the champagne flowing and the omelettes were good.
Lunch- We ate at La Salsa, great food and wicked good margaritas (yard margs nonethless). I think there are a few around. We went to the one by the MGM. We got a coupon from the Tickets 4 Tonight place (apparently they do dinner discounts too) but it wasn't super worth it.
Planet Hollywood at Caesars- totally not worth it. We got a coupon for this place too, but there actually wasn't that much memorabilia and the food wasn't anything exciting. The service was only so-so as well. My one tip here... Andrew had a "LA Lasagna" it was pretty darn good. It's basically lasagna that has been wrapped in an egg roll wrapper and deep fried. Just make it at home... it was delicious.
Pizza at the NYNY- I honestly don't remember the name, but it's in the back corner by the roller coaster and is wicked good.
Sherwood Forest Cafe at the Excalibur- decent enough, nice big burgers and waffle cut fries. Seriously... who doesn't love a waffle cut fry. :)

Dinner- the dinners were for the most part great. We got reservations and some discount coupons (50% off entrees for some of them) through Tickets 4 Tonight. They try to get people into the restaurants either early or late (like 6:30 and before or after 9) but it was worth it for the most part.
Buffet at Mandalay Bay- I don't remember the name, but it was pretty good. Not terribly priced and our server was nice.
Carnival World Buffet at the Rio- This was great. It really is the best buffet on the strip. Granted, I'm not a buffet connoisseur, but it's huge. Lots of great food and endless gelato. Again... who doesn't love gelato?
Pampas at Planet Hollywood. This is a Brazillian Steakhouse, which was great. We did the Rodizio where they just bring you endless meats on swords. Quite good. The sides and salads were decent, but the meat was great. Definitely try the filet mignon, ham and pineapple and the lamb. All fantastic.
Enoteca San Marco at the Venetian- so... I have to temper this review with the fact that we didn't entirely know what we were getting into. When we were at the Tickets 4 Tonight place, the guy just told us this is Mario Batali's restaurant. I thought- sweet, Italian Iron Chef's Restaurant, sign me up. Now, we missed our initial reservation and so had to come back at 9:30- no biggie, we went and had some drinks and didn't worry about it. Well, turns out an Enoteca is basically a wine bar where they use argon gas to preserve wines so they can dole out small pours of expensive wines for people to try. Had we know this, we might have saved our money and really focused on the wine. We didn't know and the $15-45 for a 4 ounce glass of the wines was quite steep. We ended up trying a couple of tastes, 2 ounce pours, but those were still about $13 each. A bit much for a taste. The sommelier, actually I think it was just a steward, was quite unhelpful and a little rude when he realized that we weren't' going to be dropping a few hundred dollars on a bottle of wine. Whatever... our regular waitress was quite nice and I was excited for the food. Overall though, disappointing. Andrew had a Carbonara. It really wasn't great. I had some veal and ricotta meatballs, they were quite good, but not what I expected from Batali's restaurant. Overall it was pretty meh.
However... because we missed our reservation we did find a fantastic Mexican place also at the Venetian. The Taqueria Canonita was FANTASTIC! We had great service (ask for Martin if you go there). Martin recommended some great tequila for our margaritas, and a fantastic appetizer (ceviche). The food and drink was excellent. Andrew did a tasting of some tequila and I had some tequila liquor. It was wonderful Martin ever brought us out a sample of the house made pineapple infused tequila, which was amazing and when we inquired about purchasing a bottle, directed us to the website where we can get the recipe for free. He was so nice and the food was wonderful, so it made up for the ridiculousness over at Enoteca.
Our final dinner was for our anniversary and we went to Les Artistes at the Paris. It was another great meal. John Wayne was our server and he was wonderful, helpful, funny and had an amazing singing voice. We got a great bottle of wine, some foie gras (which was meh) fantastic lobster bisque and wonderful steaks. Plus I had the absolute best chocolate souffle I have ever eaten in my life. It might have been the best dessert ever. Period. Really a wonderful time.

Anyway... that's the quick recap. Oh... and we lost money. :) But who doesn't in Vegas. I got just about no knitting and reading done and absolutely no writing... But tomorrow is another day. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekly at least. :)

Well... again I'm not posting as often as I originally envisioned, but at least it's once a week now. There will be no pictures in this post... I'm feeling too lazy. But, the garden is surviving, despite my best attempts to kill it. I honestly juts forget to water it. Andrew and I are working on putting in the drip system, but it proved more difficult than we envisioned. Mainly because we can't run the hose underneath our deck from the spigot to the garden. We've moved on the plan b, but haven't executed yet. :)
I went to a wedding in Leadville this weekend. It was really beautiful, Jenna did an amazing job. I was sort of touched too because she used a lot of elements from my wedding last summer. It was really nice to see that someone was inspired by something that I put so much work into. I got to catch up with some old friends from high school too. At first I was nervous about this. I didn't really like high school the first time around, so I wasn't sure how it would be. It was really nice though. It was great to see everyone and from what I could tell, we all grew up a lot. I'm actually excited about my 10 year reunion next summer. I think it will be a lot of fun.
Anyway, on the way home from Leadville, Andrew and I stopped at Beau Jo's in Idaho Springs (the original one). I had heard that they have gluten free pizzas, so we decided to check it out. It was in short, awesome. Not only do they have gluten free pizzas (plural too, lots of options) but they also have all of the nutrition info and allergy info listed ON THE MENU! It was really nice and I'm sure their staff appreciates it as well. This isn't exclusive to the Idaho Springs location, so I'm sure Andrew and I will be back for pizza at Beau Jo's soon.
In other gluten-free news, I've been eating out more than I thought I would be able to. Chili's, Wendy's, Good Times, Happy Sumo, and I'm sure more places, have all been great and very accommodating. Granted, I don't think I'm super allergic (we'll see when the test results come back) so I can eat things that have been around wheat, but overall they've been really nice.
The knitting is going. I'm currently working on a shawl from Elann and some simple socks for my uncle. Reading and writing are about in the same state. :) Anyway, I'm off to go run with Jenny. I know... working out. It will be an adventure. If I survive, I'll try to write more (with pictures) later this week.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Marathon Post....

Yeah... my thought that when school was over I could totally post three or four times a week... I was wrong. I'm still working on developing my habits and learning to use my time well. It's going...well... it's going. Anyway. This will be a marathon post of all, or most, things that have happened in the past (that's p-a-s-t not passed... I've seen more people screw that one up in the last few days... it just irritates me) few weeks.
Here we go... in blog order
Reading: I haven't been able to devote much time to this, but I did pick up a new book. Simply Christian. It's pretty good so far. My sister is looking into Catholicism, and I'd like to be able to recommend some books for her to read so she has a full perspective on religion. I'm not Catholic myself, so I can't really speak directly to what she's learning at youth group, but I wanted to be able to give her some reading to understand Christianity as a whole. I think Simply Christian might be a little too academic for her, but I'm enjoying it. It's well written and very interesting. It addresses the basics of Christianity without centering on one religion and talks about why it is that Christianity makes sense, or should make sense I guess if you agree with the book. So far, so good, but I haven't had much time to read it.

Writing: Well.... yes. I haven't gotten very far on my book. I only have about 25 pages written. I got a little stuck about a week ago and went off into the weeds doing some probably useless research. I haven't gotten back into it since then. Again... this going beck to my "forming habits" problem. I need to set aside time each day to write, but I haven't. I did however get an hourglass. I'm quite excited. :) It looks very writerly on my desk and it supposed to help me stick with my "at least one hour of writing a day" task.

Knitting: The blanket is finally done! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! I am so excited! I decided not to back it. Partially because EVERYONE told me that I didn't need to, and partially because I was just so sick of it. I needed to be done. :) So... here are some gratuitous pictures of the blanket. I really hope that Nicole and the baby like it. :) I also hope that none of my other friends have a baby any time soon... I really don't think I can take making another ridiculous blanket for a while.







So... there it is. I'm feeling about done with my computer taking forever to upload photos. So I'll share my haul from the Ester Park Wool Market and the re-do of the back yard, as well as current knitting projects tomorrow.... or sometime soon. :)
P.S. that blanket really is that big... it's sitting on our king-size bed in those pictures.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm done...

Wow. It's still quite strange to say. I'm not really sure how I feel right now. Today was my last day of school. I don't know if it will be my last day of teaching ever, but it's definitely my last day of teaching for a while. A lot of people asked me how I was feeling. I'm not sure. I'm excited and happy, but also scared and sad. It sort of hit me when I left our FAC this afternoon. I really love the people that I work with and I'll really, really miss everyone. Sunset has been such a great place to work. Granted, I haven't worked at a whole lot of different places, but I've never worked with so many great people in one place. I'm not sure if it's all really hit me yet. Teaching is such a strange profession anyway. I mean, you spend so much time with your coworkers during the year, but come June, people generally go their separate ways. You usually don't see people a whole lot over the summer. It's a strange existence. I think it might hit me a lot more in in August, when for the first time in my life I don't be going back to school. I just don't know... we'll have to see how it all plays out. Right now I just feel weird.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

again with the long absence....

Right. I keep thinking that I'll post daily, or even weekly, but I just haven't gotten to it. So... here goes the marathon post. I'm not sure that any one actually reads this, but if you do, you're in for a long post. Get a snack and brace yourself.

First: School... counting down the days. Everyone's been asking if I'm getting emotional or if I'm going to miss it. I haven' t yet. I think I'll be a bit of a wreck in August when, for the first time in my life, I won't be going back to school, but we'll see. I'm excited right now. I'm really ready to have some time and energy to write.


Second: Reading... I've actually finished a couple of books. Inkheart and The Power of Intention. I wrote reviews for both of them over on my Goodreads page. So I won't bore you with a full review now. I started reading The Secret and The Birchbark House. Hopefully I can finish them in a reasonable amount of time. Yet another thing I'm looking forward to once school is out.

Third: I've been seeing an acupuncturist, as I think I've mentioned before. I'm pretty excited about it. She's the first person who has actually had some answers for all of the symptoms that I've been having for years. She believes that, among other problems, I have a gluten allergy. So, I'm going gluten -free to see if it helps. I'll be posting about that aspect of my life as well. One of the things I was really worried about when I first found out about my allergy was going out to eat. We like to go out with friends all the time and I didn't want to be the lame one that couldn't because of an allergy. So far I have had great luck though. We went out with Jenny and John last weekend to Jim and Nick's BBQ at Northfield Stapleton. They were fantastic! The server went and checked on the gluten in the chips and the BBQ sauce. We ate a giant plate of DE-licious nachos. I never thought to put BBQ sauce on nachos, but they were fantastic. Then I had a giant (literally the size of my head) backed potato with all the trimmings, plus pulled pork and BBQ sauce. Now, I believe that I'm just gluten-intolerant, not majorly allergic, so I can't say if there were trace amounts of gluten in anything or not, but the restaurant was really accommodating and helpful. It was my first outing gluten -free and definitely put me at ease.
The next outing was for Mother's Day with Andrew's mom and sister. We went to the Colorado Coal Company in Erie. They too were awesome. Granted, it's a steak house, so it's a little easier to go gluten free, but they were still nice and able to answer all of my questions.
Finally, last night we got Chipotle. At first I was really worried about going gluten free because I love Mexican food, but EVERYTHING at Chipotle is gluten0free, except the flour tortillas (duh). The guy there was also super nice and gave me a little allergy card with all of the major allergies on it and what they're in. Fantastic. I'm sure I'll be eating out more... so for those who are in Colorado and living gluten-free, hopefully my adventures can help.
Oh... I also bought some gluten-free bread at Great Harvest Bread Company today. Now... I'm only into this gluten-free thing about a week, so I haven't gotten the chance to try any other GF breads, but this stuff is pretty darn good. It's mostly buckwheat, but it's really hearty and not as crumbly as I imagined. The Great Harvest in Longmont bakes it every Wednesday, call ahead to place an order so they don't run out. Also, if you're seriously allergic, there probably is still wheat in the air and stuff. Very good though.

Finally... some knitting. :) And pictures too! I'm plugging away at the orange prayer shawl. No picture for that, it still looks the same. I did however finish the hardest thing I have ever knit in my life. Only after completely screwing it up.

That's the first one with all of the screw ups pointed out. I literally threw this thing across the room I was so irritated. Grumble...







Well, whatever... it got fixed. The next two are pictures of the finished square.

























I'm so glad it's done. I hope it looks as hard as it was. Ugh... This one I finished before the square of death.... It wasn't nearly as bad.

















And finally.... the square in progress now!


It's quite a lot easier than the last square. I really needed a break after that headache. :) Only 6 squares left. I really hope I can get this thing knit, blocked, sewn together and lined by the end of June. Yipes! Something else to do when school is out. :)
All right... hopefully I can post again soon.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I might miss the kids a bit...

Well, though I am very excited about leaving teaching (only 22 days left!) There are some things I'll miss, mostly the stupid things that kids say. I got two new stories to tell today. One of my teammates had a student teacher this semester and tomorrow is her last day. He got her out of the classroom earlier this week long enough to plan a surprise party for her with the kids. So yesterday one of the kids ran up to her and said, "Miss Roe, Miss Roe, I'm so excited about your surprise party tomorrow!" Priceless... :)
Second story: Today the kids who were applying for Accelerated Language Arts in 8th grade had to do their writing sample for their application. The prompt was pretty simple: Accelerated Language Arts students have a variety of attributes including time management, self motivation, love of reading and independent writing. Use three of these attributes to describe why you should be in Accelerated Language Arts next year, or something of the sort. As I was explaining this prompt to my last class of the day, one of my boys raises his hand and says, "What if we don't have three of those attributes?" Well...maybe you should be applying for Accelerated Language Arts then. Seriously. Luckily he figured that out on his own and wrote for his essay: "I don't think I should be in Accelerated Language Arts next year because I don't write out of school and I have no time management." At least he spared me from telling him... :)

I ordered some beautiful sock yarn, a couple of cute felting projects and a WPI calculator from The Loopy Ewe today. That site could very well be the death of me. BEAUTIFUL yarns... just beautiful. I think I'll need to start making more socks. :)

I also ordered a couple of sweaters from the Gap (a fantastic blue cardigan and a grey cable knit. I really, really love cotton sweaters) and a MAXIglide hair straightener from HSN. I know, I know... but it looked totally awesome on the TV and Andrew had actually seen it on a late night infomercial and thought it looked pretty cool too. I had read a bunch of reviews online and there were some complaints, plus it was super expensive, so I didn't get it. Today however it was on sale, with a bunch of extras and it was a new generation with a lot of the problems fixed. So, we'll see. I'm excited to try it. Though I do like my hair curly, I really like it straight too. I have high hopes...

In other news the book is coming along, slowly, but I did work on it a bit yesterday. I'm thinking of posting parts of it on Goodreads, but we'll have to see.
Until later...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Well... yes... yes indeed.


Still here... when I started this blog I had really grand aspirations. I totally thought that I would post at least once a day, maybe more like 5 million times a day or whatever Perez's number is. It appears however, that my upper limit right now is one post a week. I'm hoping that once school is out (24 days. 24 DAYS!!!! Not that I'm counting or anything), I'll have a bit more time to post... and write... and clean... and all of those other things that people do with their lives when they're not teachers. :)

Anyway... it's been a bit of a chaotic week. One of my best friends' mother died, rather suddenly. It was about a month from diagnosis to death. Way too quick. She was quite young too, only 54. That's Erin, my beautiful friend at the left, at my wedding last July. I felt terrible for her; it was a difficult end for her mom. So, Saturday was spent at the funeral and wake. It was surprisingly hard for me. My own mother passed away about five and a half years ago. (That's her in the picture below, with me at a ski meet my senior year in high school. Back when I was quite skinny :) ) I didn't quite think that the funeral would effect me as much as it did, but it was very hard. I was glad to be there for Erin though. I know how hard it is to lose a mother and how difficult it is to feel like anyone understands what you are going through. So, it was a long day. I was really glad to have all of my friends around though, both for me and for Erin. It's nice to have so many people who love and care about you. I love my family and am very close with all of them, but my friends are definitely family too, sometimes more so.

Anyway... so the weekend was pretty much shot. Friday Jenny, John, Andrew and I went to go see Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. It was really dumb, but completely hilarious. I totally laughed out loud multiple times. : )

Saturday was funeral and then afterwards was my cousin Juliana's first communion. We made it in time for a bit of the reception and then went home. We were both totally wiped out. Sunday was spent cleaning. I did get a bit of knitting done and like half a page of writing.
Yesterday was work... boo! And a TON of grading. I'm actually taking tomorrow off, but I think I'll have to grade most of the day to try to get caught up for the end of the year... maybe I'll take some time off to blog though. : ) I need to get some pictures up of the latest squares finished on Nicole's baby blanket. So it goes. Anyway, I'm off to my writing group, though I have no writing, and to pick up the baskets of grading that I forgot at school. I think someone is trying to tell me something... but it does need to get graded. :) Toodles...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The weekend...

Well, It's again been a while since my last post, but I do have a good excuse this time. Last Wednesday-Friday I was up in Estes Park with all of the little monsters for our annual Outdoor Lab field trip. It snowed like crazy on Wednesday, but otherwise it was a lot of fun. The kids were good, and I think they had a great time. I was wiped out when I got back, but managed to make it through watching a movie and getting some knitting done. I'll post those pictures later, as I am currently too lazy to go downstairs and get my knitting and the camera. :)
We ended up watching The Lake House, which was all right. It has Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. It was a cute idea, but not well acted (surprise Keanu Reeves... duh) and the writing left a little to be desired. But, overall it was entertaining.

I went out Saturday and got a pedicure with Jenny. We then went shopping and met up with the boys for lunch. It was a good time. I was in definite need of a pedicure and it was very relaxing. We ended up going back over to Jenny and John's house so Andrew could help with some alumni band website nonsense, and then we all met Matt and Nicole for dinner. Also quite fun. Nicole looks great, she's getting a little round belly and says the baby has been kicking recently. Matt just got a new job and is really excited about it. I'm really happy for him; he's had a hard time being excited about work for the last few years.

Sunday was church, a ministry leader meeting and lunch with Andrew's family. All relatively fun. : )

Monday I took the day off and went with Andrew and Google to go do a project for Earth Day. We went out with Americorp and the Volunteers for Colorado to plant Cottonwood trees out at some ponds east of Boulder. It was a lot of fun, though I wasn't ecstatic about contributing to the population of cottonwoods. I'm quite allergic to the dumb things when they loose their cotton. That evening we met the church Young Adult Group for dinner at the Sink... it was a crazy busy day.

Since then I've just been at work, trying desperately to catch up on my grading. I've been relatively successful, but it hasn't slowed down much. This has also been hampered by the fact that I think I am currently allergic to everything. I hate this rotation I go through. I never had allergies as a child or a younger adult. About three or four years ago, I started noticing symptoms. First year, no biggie...didn't have to take anything. Second year, took Claritin. It worked great. Third year, tried Claritin, it did nothing. Went to my doctor and got Zyrtec. It worked great. This year, tried Zyrtec, it sucks. I want to claw my eyes out. It doesn't help either that I just got all of my tear ducts plugged to keep my eyes moist, so I have giant sized eye boogers and my eyes are just watery all the time. So irritating. I don't particularly want to go get new drugs though either... so this Friday I'm off to the acupuncturist. I've never been before. We'll see how it goes. I've talked to a couple of people who swear that it has completely cured their allergies, so I'm optimistic. We'll see. I'm also hoping to get some help with a variety of other mild problems that my regular dr doesn't seem to care much about. I'll have to keep you all (or one, or whoever actually reads this) posted. Anyway... off to make dinner, do laundry and clean. :) Fun times...

Monday, April 14, 2008

And finally....


At last the finished drawer. I still have a long way to go on the rest of the desk, but it does look nice doesn't it? I do love organization and all things that help to organize too.


And something non-desk related. I finished another square. The middle is a little wonky, but I think it turned out nicely. I had a heck of a time grafting the edges of the border, but finally made it. It was defitnitely one of the more difficult squares.

Here's a close up of the corner. I thought they looked like hearts. :)

Also... after posting the last two posts, I saw a ton of typos... pardon those. I'm in a hurry as I should have left the house for a meeting about 15 minutes ago, but wanted to get this done. :) See you all later!
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Addict Part 2

Well, I really need to figure out how to get Picasa to post more pictures at once... a project for another day. For those of you that thought that really wasn't that many cards and I'm not addicted. Here is the rest of my card stock. These were just the ones in nice boxes. : )



And my collection of note pads. I don't really write notes. I keep some lists, but those are all on the four note pads that are on the fridge downstairs. I have no reason for having all of these... but again, do love them and most were only one dollar!


A small collection of my notebooks... another weakness of mine. I have about six more in various stages of use next to my bedside table and a bunch more in a drawer at school. So cute though, so cute and a writer can't write without notebooks can she?


My final addiction... puch penl Or pop-a-points as I call them. I love these! It is such a feeling of accomplishment to finish a point. Life finishing a pen, but in a much shorter time frame. Some of these even have scented erasers. How can you beat that?

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I'm an addict.

It's true. I am fully 100% addicted to all things office supply related. Below is a picture of my desk to proove it. : ) I took today off of work, partically because I just really need to use up my days before the end of the year, and partially because I had an eye appointment. I got my second set of punctal plugs* put in and my eyes feel great! So I came home this afternoon and decided to clean my desk. I spent a majority of yesterdya cleaning out my filing cabinet and the files in the bottom of my desk. Ridiculous the amount of crap that I have collected. I had kep so many articles and lessons and other nonsense that I totally thought I would use daily before I started teaching. I haven't looked at any of it since it was put in the cabinet. So anyway, I had a great little schedding party. Today I tackled my other drawers and realized that I am compoletely addicted to notecards, note pads, sticky notes and push pencils... it is a little ridiculous.
So... here's the desk with one of the drawers emptied. It's completely covered in various paper products. (and my pretty new monitor that Andrew bought me to support my writing. I love it!)

Here is the box, yes entire box, of blank envelopes. Not blank envelops that have card to go in them, just random extra blank envelopes. All of varying sizes, colors, weights. I really have no idea what I will ever do with all of these, but it seems like they had the potential to be useful someday so I didn't get rid of them. I did however shred any envelop that dared be too big to fit in the box. I have no use for nonconformist envelopes.

The box of little cards. Random love, inspiration, friend, whatever cards. I think I got all of these from a fundraiser the kids did a few years ago. I really don't remember. I think I've used about three of them. But they are just so cute! And if I ever actually thought about it, they would be wonderful to slip into friends' purses, Andrew's wallet, whatever... but I don't actually think about it. Sigh... maybe someday I'll be all super Martha Stewart like that. And when I am... I'll be prepared darn it. Armed with ridiculous amounts of tiny cards.


The rest of the cards. I really do have a problem. I don't know what it is, but I just can't pass up cute notescards. Stupid Michael's and Target always have awesome ones for like a dollar too. Who can pass that up? Really? One Dollar?? SO... I have massive amounts of Thank You Notes, blank notes, inspicational notes, friend notes... whatever. Keep in mind as well that these are all separate from the giant box of birthday cards that I have in my basement as well as my stock of about 100 tiny gift cards for wedding, birthday, graduation, baby... whatever. Do I write many notes? No, no I do note. I never write to long lost friends, teachers I should thank, my family. Well.. I take that last part back, I do occasionally write to my Great Aunt Dodie, but otherwise... no notes. So really, I have absolutely no reason to have so many friggin' cards, but I really do enjoy them a lot. : )



*Punctal plugs are little silicone things that plug your tear ducts so your eyes stay more moist. Fan-freakin-tastic for super dry Westerners like me. :)
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Since I'm on a posting role today...

And I just got this through my Google Reader, which if you don't have you definitely need. It's one of my favorite things. Took this quiz... interesting. Usually the political quizzes point me toward Hillary. I'm a full-fledged Obama supporter. I agree with Hillary in theory, and loved her husband in office, but I don't want a Clinton/Bush dynasty. Try it out for yourself! It has quizzes for Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Who should you vote for?
Barack Obama48
Mike Gravel45
Hillary Clinton-1
You expected: Barack Obama
Your recommendation: Barack Obama

Party: Democratic

Born: 1961, Honolulu, Hawaii

Family: wife and two daughters

Career: Business International Corporation; NYPIRG; attorney and constitutional law lecturer

Political career: Member of the Illinois State Senate from the 13th district, 1997-2004. Incumbent Junior Senator from Illinois since 2005

Hot topic: Universal healthcare

Did you know? He is the only African American currently serving in the US Senate

Supported by: Oprah Winfrey, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, George Clooney, Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Jennifer Aniston, Zach Braff, John Cleese, Leonard Nimoy and Brooke Shields


Okay.... last pictures of the day, I promise. :)
Another pair of socks for the church. This is some self-striping yarn that I bought about a million years ago and has been sitting in my stash for too long. It was okay to knit with... not my favorite thing, and the colors were a little weird, but for charity? They'll be just fine. :)

Another church project... prayer shawl in progress. It's much more orangy in person, the yearn is soft and has an intersting nylon thread running through it in other colors. Overall... it's okay.

A picture from the Wedding Ring Quilt project. This is hopefully what that mass of squares will look like in the end, which will hopefully be before August. :)
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And some more knitting.... these are various works in progress:
Here is one corner of another square for the Aran Afghan. It's an interesting pattern. You knit the outter ring then pick up the stiches in the middle on double pointed needles and knit in to the center. It's been fun so far, quite hard to put down actually. Going around the first corner was a little difficult. I'd never knit with short row wraps before, and it took some Googling to figure out what exactly the pattern was asking for... but I figuered it out. It's going rather quickly now.

This is one of the center squares for the Wedding Ring Quilt that I'm knitting for Andrew's sister. It's sort of a daunting task. It's knit entirely in garter stitch, so it's not super exciting, but there is a lot of shaping, so I still have to pay attention. I haven't worked on it a lot recently, but I need to get back on it. The wedding is in August, and I have long way to go. I'm not particularly looking forward to the finishing... but... it is a labor of love.

Here's the stack of squares that I've finished so far. There are 16 (!) of them to knit. I think I only have 3 or 4 left to knit the triangles onto... Just need to get up the motivation.
And finally some socks in progress... yes they are huge! They're actually for the soup kitchen at our church. Many of the homeless that come in are looking for warm socks, so I'm making a few pairs...
More pictures later... or when I finish something. :)
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Well... so much for me keeping up on blogging. :) I do have some excuses, really, I do. Andrew and I went to D.C. for Spring Break. It was a lot of fun. I'll post pictures some time later. We of course, couldn't get through all of the sights that we wanted to see, so we'll have to go back soon. It was beautiful though! The cherry blossoms were out in full force and they really are glorious. We went to a few different museums and made it down to some of the wineries and a battlefield. It was a great trip, but definitely too short. I feel like I could live there for years and still never see all that the city has to offer. It did spark my desire to live in a city again. We'll have to see how life works out, but I do think it would be fun to live in a little apartment or brownstone in Manhattan or D.C. Just to be in a small neighborhood, ride the subways around, be in the middle of a major cultural scene, I think it would be a lot of fun.
After getting back from D.C., I went to the RMC-SCBWI Spring conference the next day. It was a ton of fun! I was really inspired by all of the authors and aspiring authors there. Though I am still struggling with my children's book ideas, I do feel like I have more direction. I'm thinking that my picture book may be better suited for a middle grade novel, but we shall have to see how it turns out. I think I'm just going to write it and see where it goes for right now. Also on the writing front, I've started going to a writing group. I went the first time right before we left for D.C. On Tuesday, I went again and actually took some writing. I was absolutely petrified! However, everyone was extremely kind and had a lot of works of encouragement. I was so excited after listening to all of their comments. It made me SO happy. I just can't even explain how much I want to keep writing. I hope that I'll make it as a writer. I do think that I'm a good writer (not that this blog is necessarily a good example of my writing prowess) and I just need to get my work out there.
Well... on to slightly more exciting things. I've got a bunch of pictures of my knitting and various works in progress.
Here are some of the finished squares for my Great American Aran Afghan.

Only a slight mess up on this one. Hopefully no one who doesn't knit regularly will notice. :) I really struggled with this pattern at first, I had to tear it out and start again, but eventually got going on it and it turned out nicely.
This pattern was really interesting. It was knit in strips-- which is sort of hard to explain. You knit the bottom garter stitch rows, the place most of the stiches on a holder and knit the far right cable pattern all the way to the top, then pick up down the left side of the knitted piece, add a few stitches from the holders and knit up the side again, purling stitches together at the end of wrong side rows to join it to the existing knitting. It's quite hard to explain. I really should have taken pictures as I went, but alas... here we are. I'm not exactly sure why the patter was written that way, it didn't seem to do much visually... but whatever. :) Here it is. Only 9 more squares to go!
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

really, I am stilll here...

I just realized that it's been a week since my last post. I promise, I'm not dead. Still alive and kickin'. I'm feeling more and more obligated to post since it appears that people other than myself are looking at this blog. How exciting! Things have been busy. We're doing our state testing at school still, which just leaves me exhausted. I also got up one morning last week to see a note on the mirror from my computer engineer husband that my laptop (an only computer) was "hosed". Quite. It was in pieces on the couch. It drives me insane when he takes things apart sometimes. At any rate, my laptop is back together, but I'm still not allowed to use it because he thinks my hard drive may be toast. Yes, I know, quite special. So I'm currently using his ancient laptop. Good thing we have a few spare computers sitting around.* It runs well enough, but the most irritating thing is that the keyboard can't keep up with how fast I type. Now, I don't consider myself to me an amazingly fast typist, but apparently I'm too much for this keyboard, which gets really frustrating after a while. I may be fast, but I am not always accurate, so it's been a lot of waiting for the keyboard to catch up to me and the then realizing that there's a typo about six words back. I guess my high school keyboarding class wasn't as good as one might think. Anyway... I am still around. Still working on the baby blanket. I'll also be posting pictures of the socks that I'm making for the soup kitchen at our church, and the quilt tha tI'm knitting for my sister-in-law. Yes, a quilt. The pieces are knit and swen together. Honesly, I thought I had more time to deal with it because she hadn't set a date or done any wedding planning , but now she has a dress and is gung-ho. The wedding is going ot be sometime in August... I know, why the baby and the wedding have to be so close together? I don't know. I guess to give me a good excuse to spend lots of free time knitting for the next few months. I'm also holding out for more pictures until we get the new digital camera that we just ordered. A Canon G9. Quite exciting. Well.. until then. I hope your Spring is more springy than mine. At least most of the snow from Monday melted today. :)


*Can you sense the sarcasm. :) We have more than a dozen computers in his lair (my name for it) in the basement. Plus a server rack. Her really is a nerd.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Goodness.

Well, I have fallen off the face of the earth for a bit. It has been quite a busy week. :) I haven't much of an excuse for not blogging, though it is hard to get motivated when I'm not sure if anyone else is reading it. Sometimes I really just need that external motivation. I spent the weekend eating delicious Indian food with friends at Tandoori Grill in Boulder. Saturday was spent at a Children's Book class at CU Boulder. It was really inspiring. Kerry Lee MacLean taught it. I definitely feel like I have to be a writer now. That is my passion; it's what makes my heart sing. I just need to find a job to give me money while I work on my writing. We'll see how it goes and what I end up doing. I'll have to write more about my actual writing later. What I'm super excited about now is the newest Knitty! Sooooo many amazing patterns! I really think this might be one of their best issues ever! If only I had unlimited time, or if someone would just pay me to knit. That would be fantastic. I love this shrug. It is just so cute and chic. I'm not entirely sure that I could pull it off, but it looks like a quick knit. Really adorable. I also love this little sweater. Again, so super cute and chic. It is a fantastic sweater for both spring and fall, my two favorite seasons. This shawl and Wendy Knits' blog have me totally jonesing to make some shawls. Just too beautiful. I really love a good shawl, though I don't make many for myself, they are such satisfying knits. These legwarmers might just satisfy my ridiculous desire for some giant furry boots. I think that legwarmers paired with my ugg slippers sounds absolutely fabulous. I made a stole for my mother-in-law's ordination a couple of years ago using a pattern very similar to these socks, so I'm thoroughly intrigued and really want to make them. I love anything make with Koigu too. The yarn is just so beautiful. I love mitered patterns too; they are really fun to knit. And finally, this bag is utterly amazing. I love purses. (Like shoes they always fit) I made all of my bridesmaids felted purses for my wedding this summer and they turned out super cute, if I do say so myself. I love the delicacy of this bag. Really cute.
So... I haven't gotten much else done, besides drooling over new projects. Someday.... someday.
At any rate, we're doing out CSAP testing this week. It's completely exhausting and stressful. I can't wait for it to be over. Only a few more days. Well... until next time. Happy knitting and writing. :)

Monday, March 3, 2008

And... the other four squares that I have finished. I really liked the faux bobbles on this first one. Right after I finished this one, one of the parents that volunteers at the school was making a baby blanket with a similar pattern. Hers ended up looking like diagonal stripes though. Quite cool.
I thought this one looked like hearts. They're a little hard to see, but I'm hoping that once I get the square all blocked out, they'll stand out a lot more.
Another pretty square... I thought the seed stitch cable was different. I really wish that I had the mental power, time and knitting experience to design my own patterns. I might have to just try it at some point... we shall see.
A very basic Aran pattern, quite pretty though. I loved ho tight the framing cables are, and the center panel has plenty of space for definition.

I really hope that Nicole likes this blanket. I'm thinking about having my aunt (who's a seamstress) help me back it when it's all done. Thoughts? I have heard mixed reviews so far. Some think the back of Aran knitting is just as pretty as the front and I should back it. I think it would be nice to add some color and hide all of my ends better...
We will have to see. I need to get the whole thing completed first. I'll post more pics as I finish squares. At some point I'll also post pictures of the other projects I'm working on: prayer shawls, socks, random sweater, and a wedding ring quilt.- knit, not sewn.
Until then... :)
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