24 December 2007

Merry Christmas


Just wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas! Hope you and yours enjoy the holiday cheer and being together.

21 December 2007

The end is near...

Teaching at this time of year is awful. I don't want to be in the classroom. The kids don't want to learn. It's just mass chaos today. Only about 3/4 of the students have come to school, as well as 3/4 of the teachers.

What movie would you like to see? Ratatouille? Mulan in Spanish/French? Shrek 2? Take your pick!

What type of food would you like? Cookies? Cake? Chips? Candy canes?

I'm so NOT looking forward to sixth period-my class of 34 (26 boys and 8 girls) will be BOUNCING off the walls...so, if you hear on the news that a teacher was placed into a straight jacket, you will know why.

Once I get home, there are cookies to bake, presents still to wrap and of course there is still knitting to be finished! Oh my...

09 December 2007

In The Christmas Spirit

We have decorated the house and the tree and have been thinking about gifts to give to our loved ones this Christmas season.

Jason came up with this idea and I am all for it. His idea was to give money to an organization, Kiva.org, that helps others who are less fortunate or cannot get a loan to give them the push in the right direction; to better their lives. We decided that we would give gift certificates to Kiva to our nephews for Christmas so that they can choose the person to help out. We have been blessed with so much, that we feel we need to give back to others.

If you're feeling like you want to give, check out Kiva.org and for as little as $25, you can help out someone in need of a better life.

05 December 2007

It's SNOWING!

I woke up to snow! YIPPPEEEE! Of course I am home sick today (as well as yesterday), so there will be no playing with the aforementioned snow. Ho hum.

Jason proudly informed me that since he has lived in Maryland (5 years, 4 months), it has snowed on December 5th just about every year. Lucky MD!!!!

29 November 2007

The Cruise

Jason and I were the instigators of this particular cruise for Thanksgiving and our families said "sure!" Little did they know what they were in for...

We all got on board safely the Sunday before Thanksgiving. All our luggage was delivered to our cabins, we familiarized ourselves with the layout of the ship, participated in the lifeboat drill, and met in Grandma's cabin for before dinner drinks and to say "Bon Voyage" to Tampa. (So far, so good.) Dinner was okay, but our waiters were hysterical and made going to dinner a blast (definitely a good thing).
(Markus, our head waiter)

During the night, one of the propeller shafts broke. Aunt Helen (Grandma's sister) heard the racket about 3am. This was just the beginning of the troubles. Now, we were on a sick ship. It couldn't go the normal speed otherwise the other propeller shaft would break as well. We had to skip stopping in Key West. That didn't bother me, since I've been there already, but Jason has never been before and we were looking forward to going to the Pirate/Ship Wreck Museum. (Other people were not so forgiving-a couple was supposed to get married in Key West and another family was meeting up with the ship there to surprise their grandparents for their 50th anniversary.) So, we had an extra day at sea-two in a row. We relaxed in the library-great views of the water, awesome selection of books, puzzles, games, and the daily quiz (we attempted it each day, but they were EXTREMELY difficult). There was also a coffee bar and we had a few lattes (yum!). We also played trivia every day (the questions were tough, but we did win once! Our prize was a "Dam" mug-all the Holland America ships have "dam" at the end-ours was the Veendam.) and even started a Sequence tournament with Jason and my mom being partners and Rod (Jason's dad) and me being partners. (Rod and I kicked butt!!!)

After the two days at sea, we stopped at Belize. Jason and I had already visited there on our last cruise, so we stayed on the ship. Everyone else got on a tender (a smaller boat that hauls people from the cruise ship to the shore) and did various activities-Grandma and Aunt Helen took a taxi tour, Jason's parents went to see some Mayan Ruins and my parents and Aunt Felicia went shopping.

Our next stop was in Guatemala. The port was Santo Tomas and we were taking a tour to Quirigua, a site of some Mayan ruins. I had been there before (I didn't remember until I saw the ruins) when I was in college. We saw some stellas from various Mayan leaders of the area as well as the market area. Our guide, Carolina, was quite infomative and energetic. When we returned to the ship, we had lunch and everyone went back on shore to go shopping-Jason and I stayed on ship and read.

You're probably wondering what else happened...well, those two days at sea proved to be more exciting than Jason and I wanted them to be. Monday's dinner was mango gazpacho and king crab legs with drawn butter. Very good but very rich food. Apparently, my gallbladder didn't like that I had eaten such rich food. It revolted! At 2am, Jason and I went to the infirmary because we didn't know what was wrong with me at the time. The nurse, Caroline, took my history and was surprised that when I had the lap band surgery that the surgeon didn't remove my gallbladder as well. The nurse narrowed the problem to two things-a kidney infection or a gallbladder attack. The doctor concurred (I even had an EKG!) and told me to watch what I ate and see my doctor when I returned home.

To be continued...

While I was away...

...this came in the mail.

This is the November installment of the Yarn Pirate's Booty Club, Solstice. I can't wait until I have time to spend making something for myself with this yarn. Any suggestions???

25 November 2007

We're Back!

We've arrived home safely from our Thanksgiving cruise and family visit. There's a lot to finish this week (my courses) and getting back into work...I'll post soon about all the fun and excitement!

A Preview...
  • Ports of Call-Key West, Belize City, Santo Tomas, and Cozumel
  • A visit to the infirmary
  • Dining entertainment
  • A sick ship????
Just a little to wet the whistle!

13 November 2007

Something new

I wasn't really expecting to get new glasses this year, but Jason informed me that we had lots of extra $$$$ in the flexible spending account, so off to get the vision checked. Of course, it changed a wee bit (I already knew this...getting harder and harder to see things that are far away), so I had the chore of picking out new frames. I truly liked the old ones-blue-my favorite/comfort color, but none of the frames at Doctor's VisionWorks were blue. What were they thinking? So I looked and looked some more. I narrowed the choice down to two and went to the counter for a second and third opinion. We were all in agreement. This is what they look like:



09 November 2007

Caffeine does not work!

I am working like a mad woman to get all my assignments completed before leaving on our family cruise vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday. I have had little sleep, caffeine has not helped and am stressing terribly! Does anyone have some toothpicks to prop my eyelids open???? (Preferably non-pointy ones...I don't want to poke my eyes out!) I even stayed at work late this week...one night until 8pm (who knew what went on at my school that late...some students had not left YET!) to get one project semi-complete with my group members, but when you can't find the information that you need, it just plain old sucks. UGH!

02 November 2007

I'm a Klutz!

Yes! I admit it! I am the person that trips UP the stairs, trips in tennis shoes, and can even trip in her own bare feet. Needless to say, I am usually careful about where I walk, ESPECIALLY on uneven or grassy surfaces. HA! I wasn't so careful last Saturday at McDaniel, walking back to the car. I've had to park in other places this semester due to football games and homecoming, so I'm not as familiar with the walking paths (grassy areas) and sidewalks. Not 5 yards to the car, I rolled my left ankle and took a tumble also scraping my right knee a bit. After assessing the situation and catching my breath, now seated on a sidewalk, all I could think about was that I hadn't put any holes in my (new) favorite pair of jeans! {That's another story for another day...}

I was able to get myself back to the car and drive home-it helped that it was the left ankle and not the right. I got home and elevated said ankle and iced it with a bad of frozen spinach (Jason couldn't find a bag of corn nor peas). I also took Monday off since I could not walk up and down the steps-coming down was fun-on my bum! (The stairs in the house are a tad bit slippery-thought I was gonna slide down the entire flight!)

The ankle is better although the swelling has not gone down as much as I'd like (I do teach and need to be on my feet) but the bruises have come out-matching ones-lovely purples and greens!

25 October 2007

Latest Installment of YP's Booty Club

Because last week was so hectic and I have just (sort of) caught up to this week, I failed to mention that I received the latest (October) package of the Booty Club. This month, the package contained 2 sets of circular needles in hot pink for making socks and the newest colorway: Killer Bees. As I mentioned earlier, this week has been crazy too! I've been grading papers like a mad woman (trying not to pull her hair out) and being observed by our subject administrator (an assistant principal at the school). Of course he was coming to see my least behaved class-the one with ALL the trouble makers in it! They were awesome-all the trouble makers thought he was there to observe them! HA! The AP couldn't stay for the entire lesson (meeting to go to) but before he left he pulled me to the side and asked me to think about how I get these kids who drive others crazy to do their work and follow along during the lesson. WOW! That is a HUGE compliment...I just treat them like human beings, talk to them (not yell-that gets us no where) and hold them to high expectations. In other words, I treat them like the adults that they are trying so hard to be. Enough talk about work...

My favorite time of year...the weather is getting chilly, the leaves are falling and the World Series is on! Unfortunately, I didn't make it past the first inning last night (too exhausted-lack o'sleep) but from the outcome, I didn't miss anything. I dislike the Red Sox. Yes, it is because they are in the same division as my beloved Orioles. They play well and who knows what motivates them! But I am still rooting for the Rockies...and keeping my fingers crossed!

19 October 2007

I'm Back

I have returned from my first School Library Media conference! It was in Ocean City, Maryland. I went for both days of the conference, but the first day was much better than the second. I wish some of the sessions had been offered more than once-like the one on "edgier" books (ones that kids don't share with their parents or have more mature themes). I was able to get a copy of the handout from that session, but the media specialist who presented also presented at another session I went to and was fantastic!

I was able to finish another YA novel in my down time-Gossip Girl-it is a series about a group of kids who have more money than they know what to do with, drink like fishes, date each others' significant others, do drugs and shop 'til they drop (and that's just in the first book!). There's even a TV show on the CW by the same name (It is based on the books.) Since I finished that book, I've started another, Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman. This is one that I wanted to read, maybe even listen to as a book on tape (Vinny from Doogie Howser is the narrator) since my YA lit class over the summer. It is about a teenage boy who is trying to have a social life, but his family's business gets in the way-being part of the Mob!

I've also done some knitting...here's Skully! My SP sent me the pattern and the yarn in my latest package (mentioned in a previous post).

16 October 2007

Oh the insanity

My life is what is insane! But today just made me chuckle! This week has been crazy at work (yes, I know it is only Tuesday) but I took Friday off to play with lots of yarn and Monday was catch up day with the kids. Today was Parents' Day at my school. My principal feels that to create an atmosphere of learning, everyone should be involved and be able to see what happens in the classroom on a "normal" day. I totally agree (and of course, if the parents really wanted to, they could come in any day as long as the front office knows about it!) Anyway, I only had 3 parents show up (mom and dad of one student)-2 in 5th period and 1 in 6th period. What made me chuckle (and feel bad at the same time) is that the student in 5th period whose parents showed up was called down to the office for some sort of disciplinary action. Oh my...

But the other part of what made me chuckle is that we're trying to squeeze in as much as we can today because tomorrow we're administering the PSAT test to ALL 10th and 11th graders, 9th graders have an English/Leadership assignment to complete and 12th graders were encouraged to go on college visits or will be in the cafeteria working on college essays. Now, with trying to teach as much as possible in 50 minutes, there is little room for much else. HA! My classroom phone rang at least twice in each class, there were at least 3 different messengers coming to my room and of course all the students who needed to go to the restroom/nurse/office/etc. It's any wonder how ANYTHING gets learned at school.

Enough ranting...more knitting!!!

I mentioned in an earlier post that a friend is pregnant. I have made the baby some gifts already. I used the bib and burp cloth patterns from Mason-Dixon Knitting which I had checked out of the library. Both patterns were super simple and took hardly any time to finish. I think I finished each in one day (over the weekend). I used Sugar n' Cream 100% cotton for both in the same colorway (I have no idea what the name is-I recycled the ballband.)



(The pattern that the yarn makes is pretty cool, don't ya think? It shows up in both pieces in just a slightly different way and even with the texture of the burp cloth)



What makes this even more interesting is that the Yarn Pirate, who happens to be pregnant, made a bib (from the same pattern) using the same yarn! How cool is that? We didn't chat about it and she lives in Washington State and I'm on the East Coast. Too weird!

14 October 2007

My Secret Pal Strikes Again

Yesterday, Jason and I were figuring out what we wanted for lunch and he happened to look out the window by the front door and noticed a package. He went outside to get it and this is what it was...

A Halloween themed package filled with goodies-knitting and edible!









The edible first: A Halloween cake mix (which I've not seen around these parts, but I haven't really been looking either!), a spatula with a spider web on it, and some Edgar and Ellen candies (skulls & bones).


















The knitting: 3 dishcloth patterns for 3 Halloween themed dishcloths-pumpkin, batty and skully along with 3 skeins of sugar n' cream/peaches n' cream (I've never seen peaches before!) I've already started on "skully" and hope to finish today. There was also a lovely postcard and some Halloween pencils too. Thanks Nosy1!

13 October 2007

Getting ready...

I made this Thursday night...

It looks like this at first glance...











Then like this...












The magic of illusion knitting!

Stitches East

Yesterday, Angela and I went to Stitches East. It's a market and classes for knitters. Angela and I go for the market. We spent 4 hours just looking at yarn! I bought a pattern book for The Great American Afghan, a skein of Socks that Rock (STR) in Pink Granite 3 skeins of lace weight yarn made from Alpaca and a sweater kit (with lots o' yarn) We stopped at some of the local yarn shop booths-Ewenique Yarns and Eleganza Yarns. We also visited some of our other favorites-Lisa Souza, WEBs, Tess' Designer Yarns and Blue Moon Fibers as well as many, many more!


03 October 2007

My Stash...another contest

It's contest time once again for Secret Pal 11! Here is my stash...
video

I've been learning some new "stuff" in one of my grad school classes-Multimedia Design and Production. We have to create a still picture video. This is one of my first attempts using PhotoStory 3. It is a real user friendly program and makes lots of videos from pictures. The one that I am doing for my project will be using photos of Chacchoben, ruins that Jason and I saw in Mexico last summer.

Back to the stash...the first picture is my sock yarn stash. Then all my leftovers that will become some baby gift items (since there are two new buns in the oven amongst friends and family) and of course the plastic containers that are FULL with projects just waiting to jump on the needles. The end of the stash is my newest acquisition...LLAMA FIBER! I won it in a contest here.

23 September 2007

My Birthday?

I came home from work on Friday and Jason met me at the door. He asked me if it was my birthday...uh...no, it was a couple of weeks ago. Why?

This is why:There were four, yes, four packages waiting for me when I arrived home! It felt more like Christmas than my birthday. First, the largest package (bottom left) had some Christmas presents in it, so there are no pictures of the contents...sorry! The second largest package (top left) was this:
Cotton candy???? Nope. It's llama fiber! I entered a contest here and won some fiber. Of course I wanted the blue...it's my comfort color (maybe not that shade, but it works). Now, at the time that I won this lovely fiber, I wasn't thinking FIBER...I was thinking yarn. Hmmm...Jason asked if that meant I was going to need a spinning wheel. I told him that I'm not ready for that just yet. This fiber will be making its home in my office for awhile until I can figure out what to do. It is so soft and so llamay. (Yes, Niki, you can come over and touch it!)

Then there was the long awaited package from Amazon-my textbooks for class! Yipppeeeee.

The last package was from my Secret Pal, Nosy1. She's definitely on her toes with sending packages! I have become quite the spoiled pal!!! In this package, there was:

a lovely postcard of Recycled Sari Silk (I see it at my LYS and think about buying it all the time and just never do!), a pattern (Fetching) from Knitty, the yarn to make those divine fingerless gloves in a black colorway from Misti Alpaca, and a pirate ball and pirate pencils to celebrate "Talk like a Pirate" Day! (Sept. 19th). My SP is AWESOME! She's great and wonderful! Thank you, Nosy1!!!!

18 September 2007

Holidays???

Niki made a post on her blog today about all the celebrating going on in her world (bdays, anniversaries, etc.). She also included a website about unusual holidays.

I am proud to say that the "holidays" on my bday (Sept. 6th) are quite appropriate for me:
  • Fight Procrastination Day
  • Read a Book Day
I am a total procrastinator...it just makes life that much more interesting!
And, of course, read a book a day...more like two or three.

I think my favorite "day" in September is: National Beheading Day (uh, does that freak anyone else out????) on Sept. 2nd.

The Runner Up would be: Be Late for Something Day (Sept. 5th). I can't honestly say that I've been late for ANYTHING...not even being born (1 1/2 months early).

Being a lover of elephants, I need to remember to start celebrating Sept. 22nd as Elephant Appreciation Day. To borrow Niki's catch phrase (tweaked to fit here): "Why I love elephants and so should you!"

I haven't had time to look over the other months yet, but feel free to let me know what your favorite "holiday" is!

17 September 2007

Ravelry!

I got my Ravelry invite yesterday! Woooo hoooo!!!

I am srapalmateer (quite original...)

I've got a big grad school project due this week....booo hisss!!!

12 September 2007

Finished!

I have finished my one skein project from my Secret Pal, Nosy1! It was a simple pattern to follow-knit, knit, knit and knit some more. Plus, weaving in a ton of ends. I may have found a solution to this: knit the petals on a circular needle. Then when finished one petal, using the backward loop cast on, this would alleviate all those pesky ends to weave in. Anyway, this is what it looks like:
Thanks again, Nosy1 for supplying me with another great, quick project!

In other knitting news: my bday present from Jason finally arrived in the mail yesterday!!! It was a wooden swift and a ball winder! For all of you non-knitters, these are two pretty simple contraptions that allow you to create yarn cakes (nice, neat wound yarn that looks like a mini cake). I tried it out tonight (but forgot to take pics...boo hiss) and had a jolly good time!

09 September 2007

I'm slow...

...about posting about my Secret Pal 11 gifts! I'm sorry, Nosy1!

Here is what I received in my first package:
A pattern for a one skein washcloth, a skein of cotton chenille yarn to make the washcloth and a lovely card. I've started on the washcloth and it's looking good! Maybe I'll finish it today...

Then, on Thursday (my bday), there was a package waiting. AGAIN, from my secret pal! Inside was all of this goodness:


There was a set of Brittany needles #2, a pair of scissors, a bag to hold my sock project, some bday tissues (how cute!), a JellyBelly sampler and a decorated box with a pin cushion top. When the box is opened....




there were 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn in the colorway Layette. I've wanted to work with LLSSY and have just never found the right colorway for me. Nosy1, you found it!

THANKS!

06 September 2007

Happy Birth Day!

Today is the anniversary of my birth, just 36 short/long years ago (depends on how I'm feeling at the moment you ask...)

Jason and I were going to go to see an O's game tonight, but something much more important came to fruition...

WE WENT TO SETTLEMENT!!!!


We finally got the go-ahead to settle on the townhouse...only after waiting 2 months for the mortgage company to get their act together. We are finally the proud owners of only 1 home!!! We did have to travel to Rockville to settle, but the irony of the whole situation is that we settled at my (dad's) cousin's title company...kind of weird and strange at the same time. Something else just popped into my mind...would that be misconstrued as a conflict of interest??? We had no clue that it was her business until we were there. Hmmm...just more to ponder when I've got a spare moment.

After the paperwork was finished, we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, but had no cheesecake since I'm really not supposed to have that kind of stuff. It was nice to eat somewhere different for a change.

We came home, talked to all the parents and opened one present that was waiting from my Secret Pal...I'll post pics soon (tomorrow, maybe?!)

04 September 2007

BBQ & Holiday Weekend

This past Saturday, Jason and I hosted our first BBQ at the new house. Unfortunately, we have no pictures because we were too busy playing hosts to our friends and family. (BTW, if any of those friends and family has pics, please send!) I had some college buddies come and it was a mini-reunion of sorts-because we had not seen one friend in almost 15 years! (Time flies...)

We ate chicken wings, roast beast, and Cuban pork (Jason cooked that!) as well as SALAD on a stick, macaroni salad, deviled eggs (yum!), Cole slaw, fruit salad and tons o' dessert. Thanks to everyone who helped out by bringing something!

On Sunday, Jason and I went out to dinner with my parents to celebrate my birthday (this Thursday, the 6th) and then went to see one of the last Ironbirds games of the season. They won for a change! (But unfortunately, are currently tied for last place in their division.)

For all the fun and excitement over the weekend, the extra Monday off was nice-we were lazy and did absolutely NOTHING!

29 August 2007

Being a teacher is tough

Today was probably one of the toughest days of being a teacher that I have ever had. At 6:30am, walking into the school with another teacher, I learned that one of my former students (a graduate) was found on a footpath near the school, dead. He had been missing for a week. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers as they go through a very traumatic time.

After lunch, I learned that another former student's(still in school) oldest baby was allegedly shaken to death by her youngest baby's father. {Yes, this is the reality...we have babies having babies.} This young lady is also going to have a difficult time dealing with the emotions of this terrible situation, so I ask that you keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve for their loss.

We (teachers) can never truly prepare our students for life in the real world, no matter how much we try. We cannot protect them from everything or everyone, but hopefully instill in them some skills to cope with situations/events that will happen to them along the journey that is life.

27 August 2007

What a sight!

This is what I came home to today...



























We now know why BGE sent a letter stating that we are to have no power between 9am and 3pm tomorrow. (Not that we didn't have a clue, we've just gotten about 3 of these letters this summer and each one was canceled.)

Tomorrow, a crane is coming into the neighborhood to move the four pieces of the house into place on the foundation. The builder has yet to place the main support beam in...wonder when he plans on doing that???

In other topics...
  • today was the first day of the 2007-2008 school year
  • for me, the students were well behaved and my class sizes are in the normal range (other teachers are not so lucky...38 and counting when legally 34 is all we can have)
  • still no word on WHEN we will be closing on the townhouse...we suppose that the mortgage company will want to have it done by Friday since that is the end of August (already?!?!)
  • Grad school begins for the Fall Semester on Thursday...I'm looking forward to learning more about being a media specialist, being more than halfway through the program and the stress of it all
  • my "year in dishcloths" was a big hit at the bridal shower in FL over the weekend-apparently everyone was amazed by my knitting skills...enough so that my cousin-in-law said that my skills were as good as grandma's! WOW!!! (That's high praise!)

24 August 2007

New Socks!


I finished these cuff down plain stockinette socks on Sunday and just got a chance to post about them today because SCHOOL is starting once again. The kiddos come on Monday. I'm not ready! Thankfully, our custodians are going to keep the building open over the weekend for a limited amount of time so that we can finish making copies, planning and straightening our rooms.

Back to the socks...they are made from ArtYarns UltraMerino 4 in colorway 123. This lovely purpley, bluish, green yarn was one part of a package from my pal in SP10, Andrea. Thanks, Andrea!!! These socks are a little thicker and will be nice when the weather turns colder...I can't wait!

22 August 2007

Apropos

I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for the second shipment of Yarn Pirate's Booty Club. It should have arrived about 2 days after it was shipped, which would have been Saturday. We were home all day on Saturday because my dad was doing some work in the basement. No package. I figured I'd give it a couple of days and then start to get worried.

I came home from work on Tuesday (yes, that has begun once again...) and still no package. Boo hoo! I got a confirmation that the Yarn Pirate sent it, so I looked it up and I was flabbergasted. The message on the USPS webpage says "Delivery was attempted at 4:10pm on Saturday, August 17th and a notice was left." No notice and no package. I'm just a bit upset. I should have known something was not right, because our regular mailman is on vacation! (I hope he's somewhere nice and warm and relaxing...)

Jason and I flew (not on broomsticks, but that might have been faster) to the post office, 5 minutes before they close and I got my package. It was worth the wait! Inside was a YP sticker, 2 mints with a pirate theme and a skein of Calamity:

19 August 2007

Contest Time!

Secret Pal 11 just started and it's already time for a contest! (I hardly ever win, but I like to participate!!!)

For this contest, all I have to do is answer some questions. Here they are with my responses in purple:

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
The one accessory that I could not live without is...well, everything! My needles, yarn (ha ha), patterns, bags, stitch markers...the list goes on! Everything is essential!!!
2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If
so, how much and what type of project?
Of course! I usually take socks because they're small. I will typically take 2 different pair with me just in case I get tired of one...God forbid that ever happens!
3. Where have you traveled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?
So far, I'd have to say that Vancouver, BC, Canada would have to be my favorite place that I've traveled to thus far.
4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
My favorite knitting book at the moment is Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch and I do have it and More Sensational Knitted Socks
5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?
I listen to them every so often (when I remember). My favorite is Stash and Burn

15 August 2007

Pirate Booty

I've been meaning to post this for awhile and just haven't gotten around to it...but since the second shipment is being sent tomorrow, I thought "Why not?"

I joined the Yarn Pirate's Booty Club, a yarn club with unique colorways for Club members. The first shipment included a skein of Superwash Merino in Rum Runner as well as a limited edition mini soap bar from Good Soapworks of Athens and a Yarn Pirate button (which is not in the picture).

I'm not quite sure when I'll get around to knitting these socks, since I start back to work on Tuesday. Can't wait for those meetings...

09 August 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Lately, I've been working with some wool and some cotton. I'm not a big fan of novelty yarns, unless it is paired with something else. Other than that, I don't think there is a fiber that I absolutely do *not* like!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I store my straight and dps in a needle case. My circs just get stuffed into my notions bag, since they're sock sized!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for four years and I am self-taught. I would consider myself to be intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do have an Amazon list...check out the side bar under "Secret Pal 11."

I also am wanting the chartkeeper from KnitPicks!

5. What's your favorite scent?
Coconut and Lime mixed together-makes me think of the Caribbean Islands

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I'm not much into candy, but I love nuts!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I also scrapbook and will occasionally break out the sewing machine, but rarely! I do not spin, but would like to learn.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have an iPod and my computer, etc. does play MP3s...I like all kinds of music but especially classic rock, 80s pop and current pop/rock

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
My favorite colors are blue and yellow. But I enjoy all colors!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have been married for 3 years to my wonderful hubby and have one cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
yes, yes, yes and no

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
socks and dishcloths...both are pretty quick to knit!

13. What are you knitting right now?
socks, a sweater (my first), dishcloths

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
YES!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer bamboo in straight needles and addi turbo in circs...I have been trying out a pair of stretchy circs which I really like except for where the needle meets the cable.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but I'm hoping to get them as a bday gift from my husband (I've dropped many a hint!)

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Since January '07

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas, because I like to surprise everyone with my handmade gifts

19. Is there anything that you collect?
I collect elephants, but the herd has become quite large. There is a moratorium on any additions at the moment.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
See my wish list... as for mags, I have a subscription to Creative Knitting.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd love to learn to spin and dye my own yarn!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I am a sock knitter and I wear a size 9½US

23. When is your birthday?
September 6th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I've signed up, but have yet to get my invite...if that changes, I'll put that information here!

08 August 2007

Places I've Been in the US



create your own personalized map of the USA

WOW! It looks totally lopsided...I mean, I knew it would since I've lived on the East Coast my entire life and have only managed to get to the West Coast since I've been married. Alaska and Washington State were part of our honeymoon and California was part of a family vacation to San Francisco.

Only 25 more to go...

02 August 2007

Secret Pal 10 Last Package

My secret pal, Andrea, had some troubles getting out the last package to me because she tore her ACL and had surgery on it! She is also in the process of getting her own yarn store open...wooo hooo! Another LYS to go to since it will be in Baltimore!

In the package was a skein of Scout's Swag in Marina Piccola, an elephant (my fav) and a pair of size 2 10" stretchy circular needles! I've been wanting to try the stretchy circs for awhile and just never purchased a pair. I'll need to get started on knitting some socks again soon!
THANKS for all the goodies, Andrea!

24 July 2007

Three Years Ago...


...today, we used this certificate to get married at CND's Marikle Chapel and had a fun reception at Ripken Stadium. So, today in order to celebrate our anniversary and our favorite past time, we are going to spend our evening at Camden Yards paying homage to the IRON MAN (Cal Ripken), who is on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame this upcoming weekend.


We also get to celebrate our "mixed" marriage as Jason likes to say because the Orioles (my team) are playing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (his team). Go O's! (hee hee)

The Orioles did win 3-0 last night, but it was a pitcher's duel until the 6th inning!

23 July 2007

We're Finished!


We went to Border's to get our reserved copy of the final installment of HP, but arrived after 11pm. The store was packed with more adults than kids. Of course, some of my students were there. They were lucky enough to be in the first group (woke up early to get their wristbands) while we were in the third group (Jason doesn't like to get up early). When we left around 1am, there was just enough room to walk out of the store because hoards of people were waiting to be allowed into the store (fire code) and inquiring minds wanted to know what group we had been in.


Jason and I have finished reading installment #7. In the words of Laurie Halse Anderson (fav YA author of mine), "Well done!" I thought the epic could have ended in multiple places, but was happy with the epilogue. One day when I have time, I'm going to read all seven straight through...one day.

I am a bit sad that the series has ended. What great work awaits from some other genius mind?

10 July 2007

Proposal and Lit Review are FINISHED!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Out of my misery, there were two good things that arose from completing the research proposal and the literature review:
  1. I have never done any research using APA style. Even the professor was shocked that most of us had never used it before. He says it's so easy to use. (But it's so confusing when you attempt to read any of the research because there's a citation that is about a mile long!) I, like my classmates, have always used MLA style, which makes life just that much more simple, in my opinion.
  2. I learned how to create a table of contents using Microsoft Word. Who knew it was that easy?!?! But I don't know when I'll need to use it again, so I'll probably forget how to do it much less how EASY it was to do. Bummer...

02 July 2007

ZZZZZZzzzz...


...I'm awake now.

I mentioned earlier about the educational research class that I'm taking this summer. Yes, it is a snoozer of a class! I have sat through some awful courses, but this has to be the worst. In my program (School Library Media), we HAVE to take this course for certification. Now, remember, I will be a librarian in a school...when am I going to use this???? In my other course, there are 4 other people taking different sections of the same course. We're all asking ourselves and each other this question. I DO see the relevance of this for some educational personnel, but ME?!?!?!? The only research study I plan on completing is which book is the most popular and why won't anyone check out __________________ (insert any blah blah book you wish)?

I have killed at least two trees personally over the past week (printing out #*!@%$ research studies) and feel awful about it. Thank heaven Jason and I planted a new one a couple of weeks ago. I might need to find another to make up for the ream of paper that got used for the sake of educational research!

21 June 2007

Relief...

SCHOOL IS OVER!!!!!!! No more books, exams, nor student's complaining!!!!!

Now it's just time to read YA lit and a snoozer of an Educational Research textbook. Only 3 1/2 weeks of grad school to go for the summer, then I can really relax and work on the house some more. We haven't put ANYTHING on the walls as of yet except the brackets for the curtain rods. We're still waiting for a few things to be fixed by the builder...but that's another story for another time.

17 June 2007

Catching up

Jason and I have been busy! We've been putting things away at the new house, painting at the old house with the help of Jason's dad and step mom and my parents, selling the old house, finishing out the school year, starting summer school, starting summer grad school classes and just trying to breathe.

Last week, we had company for Jason's 37th birthday. (I can't believe he's that OLD! hee hee) Jason's dad and step mom came to visit. We (including my parents) went to MacGregor's for dinner. (That's the place we had our rehearsal dinner.) Everything was yummy! Jason also had a cake (from Safeway because I was too busy to bake, but it was GOOD!)










Jason also got some lovely gifts...a book on baseball, football boxers, NASA DVDs, a chair, a ladder and even a homemade card by the lovely, talented and PUBLISHED, Niki!










We've also planted our first tree- a Japanese maple. That was our house warming gift from Jason's dad and step mom. Here's Jason starting to dig the hole...it took awhile because our "soil" is chock full of rocks!






There has been some progress on the empty lot next door to us. Last Friday, they poured cement for the foundation. This past Friday, they set the support posts and poured the cement for the basement floor and steps. It's amazing to see how quickly this part of the building process goes.

01 June 2007

Troubles...

This week has been full of nothing but troubles!

First, we found out that the guy who put a contract on the townhouse wanted to rescind his offer because of asbestos siding. That's a pretty lame excuse because you only have a few choices for siding-wood, fiberglass or asbestos! There is one good thing about this...there was another offer on the house, not as good as the first, but we're excepting their contract.

Our second round of troubles was with the new house. The a/c unit in the attic decided it didn't want to work properly and the pan that collects condensation overflowed. Jason noticed this in the BASEMENT! The builder came over yesterday and hopefully (keep your fingers crossed) fixed the problem.

The last bit of trouble this week was just for me! (I feel so lucky...) I was informed that one of the classes that I registered for was canceled. I did register for another section, but I will be in two classes at the same time for a short period of time (about 3 weeks) while still teaching. I think I will be going insane. I am looking forward to one of the courses-Young Adult Literature. I've already started reading YA books for the class. I have to read 25 books from various lists and annotate them. I'm sure there will be some other projects to complete as well.

In knitting...
I have been doing some! I've been working on a present for a family member who is getting married later in the year. I won't be talking much about it just in case the person in question happens to see my blog.

To my secret pal...
Hopefully, we will have internet access next week at home and I will be able to post a pic of the lovely package you sent. I love the 2 skeins of blue/purple/green yarn and of course my favorite Bath and Bodyworks scent...Coconut Lime Verbena bubble bath!

27 May 2007

Under Contract

We have a contract on the townhouse! We actually had two offers and a bit of a bidding war! We are getting more $$$$ than we listed the place at. I signed all the paperwork on Wednesday to accept the contract and now we're just waiting for the guy to have a home inspection done. Keep your fingers crossed that nothing overly expensive is wrong.

15 May 2007

Finally

We can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The old house is painted and cleaned and polished too. We put it on the market on Sunday. Hopefully someone will want to see it soon and fall in love with it. I think once there's a contract on the house, I will be able relax a bit and not worry about having TWO houses at the same time.

Anyone want to buy a townhouse?????

07 May 2007

All moved in...

We are all moved in. Finally!

But, there is still more to be done at the old house. On Saturday, Jason, his dad and step mom and I painted for 8 hours. We finished everything except for the living room and a portion of the hallway. Plus there are a few spots in other rooms that just need to be touched up. Currently, they are at the old house painting and I will join them once work is over for the day.

We all took a break yesterday (we really needed it!). Jason and his dad just hung out at the house while his step mom (Patricia) and I along with my knitting buddy, Angela, went to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It was the first time any of us had been and we were all amazed! Our game plan was to see and touch as much yarn as possible in the time we were there. Mission accomplished! I came home with a skein of Blue Moon's Seduction in colorway Atomic #6 (that is just waiting to be knit into socks), 6 skeins of a chocolately brown wool for a sweater and some lovely ribbon and boucle yarns for a gift. I also purchased a couple of patterns. There was so much to see that Angela and I decided that we'd ask if some of the vendors would be at Stitches in October. We lucked out and many said that they would be! YIPPPPEEEEEE!!! Here's what I bought: