27 December 2008

Mom's Surgery & Update on Dad

Mom's surgery went well. The doctor found no abnormalities, tumors, etc. in her wrist. The entire procedure took 26 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly...26 minutes! The surgeon told Mom that it would be 45 minutes. He must have wanted to get home...who knows? Since the carpal tunnel surgery took so little time, I didn't have time to eat anything but a few Snap Peas, finish reading the last couple pages of Fables, vol. 11 and text my brother and Jason to tell them Mom had gone into surgery. It took longer for them to come get me to see her in recovery than it did for the surgery.

One of the nurses that took care of Mom recognized her from the week before when Dad had gotten his port. The nurses in the out-patient surgical center of Franklin Square Hospital were AWESOME! They were smiling, caring, and just great to be around. The nurse that discharged Mom explained everything thoroughly, made sure Mom understood what she needed to do when she got home and treated both of us like friends. The manner of all the nurses made the experience that much better.

2 days after surgery, Mom is doing well. She is taking her pain meds, which make her sleepy and a bit dizzy. She has been keeping her arm elevated and in the sling when she is up and about. I've already noticed a distinct decrease in the swelling of her fingers. Plus, she can feel her fingertips! I told her that was good pain-better than the numbness prior to the surgery!

Now onto Dad...the hospital was supposed to call to schedule Dad's second biopsy. They haven't as of 5pm tonight. They probably won't until Monday, when they wanted to do the procedure. Figures. More waiting. Dad was fitted for the mask for the CyberKnife and also had the CT scan in which they locate the lesions for programming the robotic arm to the correct locations. It's amazing what some Stanford doctor came up with to treat cancer with radiation in a non-invasive manner.

Dad is still experiencing some pain- 1 or 2 out of 10 (for most of us that would be a 7 or 8 out of 10 and have us in the hospital begging for morphine!). He did go to work today and Aunt Felicia helped out (THANK YOU!) and he plans to go to work tomorrow with the help of Joe and Tim (THANK YOU!!). The doctors told him he could and I don't think he knows what to do when he's not at work. Plus, he eats better (or more) when he goes to work. That's a plus because he needs to keep his energy up for the upcoming chemo treatments. Dad is scheduled to start his first round on January 7th.

That's all for now...hopefully, I will know more on Monday! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, spent time with family and friends, ate plenty and just enjoyed the holiday.

23 December 2008

Nothing Definitive

The latest update on Dad is that the pathology report from the bronchoscopy did not tell what type of lung cancer it is. What that means is that Dad will have to go in for another biopsy, this time it will be done through the chest wall. We're not sure when this biopsy will take place since the hospital did not call today to schedule it. It will probably be on Monday. The reason they need to do another biopsy is to determine which protocol of chemotherapy to give Dad. For one type of cancer, the protocol would take 3-4 hours to administer. For the other type, about 5 hours.

The results from the brain MRI were more definitive. There is a spot there. The doctor is going to use the CyberKnife at Franklin Square Hospital. It is an interesting procedure in which Dad needs to get fitted for a mask that will keep his head absolutely still during the intense radiation. Dad will also have the procedure done on the spot that is located close to his spine because the doctor does not want it to attach itself to the spine. Tomorrow, Dad is going to be fitted for the mask and have another CTscan.

While Dad is doing all that, I will be with Mom who is having carpal tunnel surgery on her left hand. Thankfully, we'll all be at the same hospital, but in different areas.

Please keep both Dad and Mom in your thoughts and prayers.

18 December 2008

Update on Dad

I talked to Mom at lunchtime yesterday and the doctor was giving Dad an infusion of some medicine (it starts with a Z) so that his bones would not be susceptible to breaking. If a bone breaks, he would be set back. I talked to Mom again last night and Dad also had a bronchoscopy to see the mass in his lung. The doctor went through his throat-so Dad's throat was sore last night. The doctors have ordered an MRI on Dad's brain, I guess as a precautionary measure. He will also be having a port inserted on Friday afternoon for the chemo. The schedule for chemo right now is once every three weeks starting between Christmas and New Year's. The pulmonologist told Mom and Dad yesterday that he thinks this is Stage IV lung cancer and that it is treatable. Right now the treatment will be chemo, but Dad does need to make an appointment with the radiologist just in case the cancer does not respond to the chemo alone.

The doctors are stunned that my father has never been sick and never really taken any medications. My dad has gone from seeing one doctor once a year to having at least 4 different doctors and Mom says he is a bit frustrated with it all. I can only imagine... Mom and I see a bunch of different doctors all the time; we are used to it and Dad is not.

Please continue to pray for him and my entire family.

17 December 2008

Just not feeling Christmasy

I'm just not feeling in the Christmas spirit this year. We've put a wreath (Snowman-see previous post), bought a tree that we can plant outside (it's not got any decorations yet...hope to change that today or tomorrow), send cards and hung the ones we've received, purchased and started wrapping gifts, participated in Secret Santa at work and went to the staff 'holiday' party (it was not much fun...especially being groped by another faculty member that I don't know much about except his name-oogey!) And still not feeling the spirit of the season!

This is mainly due to the fact that my mom will be having surgery Christmas Eve for her severe case of carpal tunnel. It runs all the way to her neck. She's not had use of her left hand for about a month now-her fingers are so swollen that they look like Vienna Sausages (great imagery...I know...). Being ambidextrous makes this worse because as the doctor told my mother that your brain doesn't know how to deal with the loss and therefore confuses the person. Mom has learned to open some bottles with one hand (some are just impossible) as well as other every day tasks that we take for granted.

What makes this situation even more difficult is that my dad had been having some pains before Thanksgiving. His doctor sent him for some tests which came back with some bad news. There are lesions on his liver and spine. He was sent to see an oncologist who ordered more tests then sent Dad to see a pulmonologist, who ordered MORE tests. The conclusion so far is that they found a mass in Dad's lungs. The doctor's seem to think that this is cancer related to being exposed to asbestos. With Dad working in construction for 40+ years, I suppose this was inevitable. Dad goes in for a biopsy today. Please keep him and my mom in your thoughts and prayers. This will be a difficult journey for all of us and for those of you who I have already told, thank you for listening and being there for us. I love you!

I will attempt to keep everyone posted with updates on every one's conditions.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

15 December 2008

Christmas Decorations

We have decided to go simple this year for decorating (unlike just about everyone else in our neighborhood)...

We purchased this at Kennedy Kreiger's Festival of Trees after Thanksgiving. It was too cute to pass up and of course, I love snowmen!
We also spotted some live Christmas trees at Sam's Club before Thanksgiving, but when we went back to purchase one, they were all gone. We headed over to Lowe's to look for one and found a lovely little Charlie Brown-ish tree that we can plant outside when the weather gets warmer.

ETA: Yes, it even lights up! (I failed to mention this and Niki said that I needed to tell everyone this!)

Letter to SP13

Dear SP13 Spoiler,

I've been bad. I've been very bad. I received a package from you and have not posted about it on my blog. Yes, I did email you to thank you, but that's never enough. You were so sweet to send a gift straight away and I have been remiss. I am so sorry. I have been using the stitch markers. I love them. They make knitting even more fun! [I didn't think that could happen :0)] I just want you to know that I promise to be better to you in the future and post as soon as possible...not waiting; not procrastinating; not letting anything (not even Guitar Hero) stand between me and posting about the fabulous gifts you send my way!

The Forlorn Spoilee

11 December 2008

Brought to you by the letter A

I've worked hard. I've shed some tears. I've stressed. I've left my students to attend conferences. I've used my students as guinea pigs for projects. I've co-planned and co-taught with colleagues. I've made colleagues listen to me talk about technology. I've read. I've written. I've reflected.

I've received an...

...for completing my internship!

Now time for a little rest, relaxation and repose before starting the Spring semester with my portfolio. The end is near! (and time to decide if I want to walk at graduation...)

17 November 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

...there may be some snow here tonight in the great state of Maryland!

How I love winter and the weather it brings. Warm mittens and scarves. Woolen socks. Hot cocoa, tea or even a latte. Snow days (NOT YET!). Watching the flakes fall. Staying inside wrapped up in an afghan (crocheted by Mom, of course!). Catching up on all the DVRed shows and movies. Reading a good book or two or three. Cat naps.

16 November 2008


No matter what, I cannot stop procrastinating!

I hate this!

I've been working for 3 hours on one assignment while watching the Ravens lose to the Giants...and I'm still not finished-only 1/2 completed. I don't know what to do to stop procrastinating. I can't work without some white noise.


09 November 2008

SP13 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love yarn! I have been knitting lately with the Yarn Pirate's stuff as well as some of those critter scarves from Morehouse Merino.

I would like to try the new Malabrigo sock yarn!!!

I have not yet come across a yarn that I absolutely do not like.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have some wraps for the straights; my circs are in the folders/bags they came in.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting for about 5 years and I am self-taught. I am probably intermediate, but have done some advanced work.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have an Amazon wish list as well as a Loopy Ewe wish list

5. What's your favorite scent?
My favorite scent would be coconut and lime together (Bath and Body works scent).
I also love Jack Frost from Yankee Candle.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do, but prefer to have sugar free candy or nuts.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I have been known to sew or scrapbook, but since I've been knitting, I don't do much with those anymore. I want to learn how to spin. I have a drop spindle, but haven't learned how to use it yet.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like 70s & 80s music, but also like new stuff-mostly pop, some hard rock

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
My favorite color is blue. I have noticed lately that I have been picking more autumn colors. I can't stand neon-ish colors!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married and have 1 cat, Ophelia

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes to hats, mittens and scarves.
No to ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
My favorite item to knit is socks. Scarves have been coming in a close second. I have some sweaters started, but just haven't had time to finish them.

13. What are you knitting right now?
1 Critter Scarf
2 pairs of socks
1 lace scarf
1 market bag (BYOB)
1 baby blanket

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Depends on the project

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, I have both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 2 years old-a sweater that I've only finished the back

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?
Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Elephants and yarn

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Check out my Amazon list

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to learn Entrelac

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, I wear a size 9 (USA) womens

23. When is your birthday?
September 6th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yes, I am srapalmateer

05 November 2008

A Change

November 4, 2008 has brought a change. A change in our government. A change for our country.

This morning, talking with other teachers, we hoped that our students would stand a bit taller, walk just a bit prouder and not act the fool because of the election. They did not let us down.

Instead, they raised more concerns. Ones that I hope never come to fruition. My students were speculating that Obama would for sure be assassinated because he is our first African American President in the United States. It made my heart hurt that these 14, 15, 16, 17 year olds would have this fear. I had to quiet their voices, but also their fears. We talked for a bit about why they were feeling this way-mainly due to the reported assassination attempt earlier last week. Then I had them think about what Obama had become-he will be the head of the USA. He will be the most powerful man in our country, if not the world. I also had them think about the media-do you know every little thing that happens every single day? Of course not. I explained to them that they will only hear of the foiled plots in the news or if an attempt becomes more than that. They will not hear that every day the President of the USA is always in danger.

I see these students every day. Every day they amaze me. They help me to learn as I help them to do the same. Some days the lesson is not about Spanish. Some days the lesson is just about life.

01 November 2008

Feliz Dia de los Muertos

Happy Day of the Dead! (for those non-Spanish speakers)

Being a Spanish teacher for the past 16 years (I still can't believe I've been doing the same job for that long!) and sharing this holiday that is so different from anything that is celebrated here in the USA, I have grown accustomed to celebrating it with my students. Although I never seem to have enough time to do all the customary Day of the Dead festivities with the kids I teach, they always come away with an appreciation for something that is different than what they know. (YEAH!!!!!)

25 October 2008

Rain, Rain, Rain...

go away and come back another day!

Okay...not really. I know we need the rain.
But it always makes me feel like I should stay in bed under the covers with a good book. Or be in front of a fireplace with a warm mug of hot cocoa.

If only...

Today, I'm in front of my computer working on various assignments for my internship. I am almost finished two of the 7! There are a couple of pieces that will not get finished today since I need pictures of displays, etc. from school. On the bright side, I do have a warm cup of caramel latte that Jason got for me at Starbucks. What a great hubby to go out in the rain and wind and get that for me!

I also made a stew/soup for lunch today-a twist on chicken noodle soup. Jason likes orzo in his chicken noodle soup and just a little liquid. I used some carrots, onions, celery, peas, turmeric, ginger, salt and pepper as well as come chicken stock and a little bit of water. Brought all of that up to a boil with the orzo and let it simmer. Then I tossed in some leftover rotisserie chicken. Yummy! (Especially on such a rainy, cool day!)

08 October 2008

Final Final Package

My secret pal did not reveal herself in her last BIG package. I was bummed. I really wanted to thank her properly. To my surprise, I received a "FINAL" final package-a gift certificate to Loopy Ewe! I covet the yarn and notions that they sell. I have put off purchasing from them because I enjoy touching and looking at the yarns at the four local yarn shops that I frequent. Now, I have no excuses! :0) That gift certificate is waiting to be spent...I wonder what I'll buy???? So many choices...


05 October 2008

Knitting Escapdes

Lately, I've been knitting lots of stuff.

I finished Mom's latest pair of socks, Dublin Bay, in Tofutsies. They are nice and soft and have a trellis pattern on the sides.

I am in the midst of Niki's Bday socks. I have turned the heel (again, after making a big mistake) on sock #2. The pattern I used for Niki's socks is Bubble Wrap Socks in YP's I Want Candy from the YP's Booty Club.
I've also started a pair of socks as a gift for someone who reads this blog, so no other mention will be made until said person actually has their feet measured.

I've even started a pair of socks for ME! I'm using Noro's Silk Garden Sock (I don't remember the # of the color) in a basic sock pattern. I started these in Knitting Club at school and worked on them for two days during a conference. I'm already on the second sock! These socks are definitely boot socks-they're too thick to wear with regular shoes. They will definitely be keeping my feet warm in the winter.There has been another influx of babies being made amongst my family and friends. (None here!) I am currently working on one blankie (sort of like this pattern, but I totally changed the colors and how I'm knitting it, so it's really NOT like that pattern!) I also will need to start thinking about two other blankets to make for the Spring. I haven't gotten as far as what pattern I will use yet.
Finally, I'm working on a scarf for me, Tiger Eye Scarf, in YP's Hard Cider, the September 2008 Booty Club colorway. It's my first foray into lace and it's going pretty well since I completed the first repeat of the pattern last night. I decided to make this pattern with this yarn because it matches my winter coat PERFECTLY and I can also use the scarf with some of my winter wardrobe since the scarf will be light enough to wear indoors as well. BONUS!

30 September 2008

J's Rays in the Post Season!

Jason and I went to a couple of the last Orioles games this season because:
  • they were playing the Rays;
  • we would get to see a TRUE double-header;
  • we would see the RAY-HAWK in person;
  • the Rays would possibly clinch the AL East.
Unfortunately, it took the Rays a couple more days to clinch the AL East, but we had a great time seeing the Rays win the games that we saw. (Yes, I, the lifetime O's fan, wore Rays gear to the game. I did have an O's shirt on under the Rays one though...can't let my boys in orange down!)Since the ALDS started, we've been watching the Rays on TV and they start off slowly, but always seem to pull it out in the end. Jason's mom and step dad purchased t-shirts for us-we've been wearing them when the Rays play. BUT, today, Jason has a tough decision to make. The Rays play at 4pm and so do his beloved Buccaneers. Who knows which shirt he'll be wearing today!

15 September 2008

Yet again...

...I've been bad. I have totally forgotten to post about my last Secret Pal package! I've had the pictures taken for weeks now. Oh Pal, will you ever forgive me????

Here's what I received: a container to protect my yarn (you'd be surprised how Ophelia's hair gets into everything and who wants socks made from kitty hair?), a travel magazine that made me want to jump on the next plane to some remote island and teach by web cam, a mouse/note pad (which will definitely come in handy) and lots of yarn-two skeins of a locally(to my pal) dyed wool, 2 skeins of Fun Fur (which will make a nice warm scarf or possibly part of another hedgehog) and 1 skein of Neighborhood Fibers' Loft.

THANK YOU, Secret Pal! You've been the best!!!
(be sure to let me know who you are!!!)

09 September 2008

bad bad bad...

I've been bad.

No posts.
No pictures.
No nothing.

School has started!
Internship is going to start ASAP (as soon as I make my schedule)!

Blogging to resume at some point...

21 August 2008


...I can't believe that twenty days have passed since I last posted. I have been BUSY (more than a bee can be) with:
  • a visit from Rod and Pat (the in-laws) who were gracious enough to help paint 3/4 of the basement walls and the 1/2 bath.
  • the MD BBQ Festival in Bel Air (the 'Q was yummy!)
  • a quick visit to NYC
  • school shopping (for supplies and clothes)
  • watching the Olympics (had to cheer on Michael Phelps, local Baltimore boy and the gymnastics, softball, baseball, beach volleyball...you get the picture...I'm an Olympic junkie!)
  • reading graphic novels (I got hooked on 'em after my class this summer-FABLES is awesome!)
  • knitting (have finished some projects that were laying around and of course started new ones!)
  • And finally, I've been in meetings all of this week since teachers had to report to work. The administration is having us do all these team building activities and there's been little time to do any other work in our classrooms. We did do an awesome activity today-A DRUM CIRCLE! I'm all for doing that at least once a week. It felt good to make some music (and I have no musical talent) and beat on a drum for an hour with my colleagues. They guy who lead us in this is a former WL grad, so that made it all the more special.

01 August 2008

SP 12 Package

I've been horribly remiss in posting about my most recent package from my SP 12 spoiler. I received the package last week and was going to post, but the parents came over to work on the basement (really just Dad), cleaning was done (in-laws coming tomorrow) and of course preparations for Ravelympics 2008.

The package was AWESOME! I got some new yarns to try-Mission 1824 Cotton (in a fallish colorway)And some Neighborhood Fibers Loft in Foggy Bottom. It's so soft!
I also received EZ's Knitter's Almanac (from my Amazon Wish List), a Frog to hold my little knitting notions, a travel sewing kit and stationary with my initial on it in my favorite color, no less!
Thank you very much Secret Pal!

29 July 2008

Question of the Week #7

What is(are) your favorite place(s) to knit? and

What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?

My favorite place to knit is in the living room in my chair with my feet propped up on the ottoman watching TV (usually HGTV, the O's or something from the DVR).

Supplies? hmm... a nice cool beverage (in the summer) or a cup of cocoa/tea/latte (in the winter) and the view of the squirrels and bunnies in my backyard-they can be hysterical with their antics!

24 July 2008

It's been four years!

WOW! I can't believe that I've been married to the most wonderful man for four years...it seems like only yesterday that we said our "I do's."
Jason and I reminisced a bit this afternoon about what we've done on our anniversary the past four years:
  • 1st=a BBQ with family and friends
  • 2nd=a cruise
  • 3rd=an Orioles game with my parents and pizza for dinner
  • today=a laid back day with a homemade meal (crab cakes, roasted potatoes and onions, fresh cucumbers from my parents' garden)
Next year we'll be on another cruise to Northern Europe (if we can afford the airfare to get to Europe)!

Happy Anniversary, Jason!

19 July 2008

Question of the Week #6

What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?

My favorite type of knitting project to take on vacation or even a longish car ride is SOCKS! They are so portable and don't take up too much room.

14 July 2008

I've got a green thumb!

Apparently, I have a green thumb and am able to grow things. Woo hoo! Let me explain-when I first lived on my own after college, I had some troubles with keeping plants alive. I would either water them too much or too little. Maybe I just never gave them enough attention? I even killed a cactus!

Needless to say, I have always been apprehensive about growing things. So far, I have had success with some houseplants (that I've had for quite some time) and even ventured out to plant some bulbs last Fall that actually gave us some pretty Spring flowers. I decided to grow some tomatoes and cucumbers (since produce prices are crazy at the grocery store) and purchased 2 tomato and 2 cucumber (I killed one before I even transplanted them.) plants that I planted in pots. This past weekend, I noticed that we had a cucumber that was just about ready to be harvested.
There are even some wee little cucumbers growing too! I also noticed that there are some tomatoes growing:
I can't wait until the tomatoes are ready. Tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches-they remind me of summertime growing up when Mom would tell me to go out to the garden, pick a tomato and we'd construct the sandwiches. Yum!

09 July 2008

Question of the Week #5

1) Where is your favorite place to go for vacation/holiday?

My favorite place to go for vacation...tough question for me. I like to go to new places every time I get the opportunity to travel. My favorite place that I've already been to would be ALASKA (got to go on my honeymoon) and would love to live there. I have always had a fascination with Alaska-I think it goes back to 2nd or 3rd grade and reading about how big vegetables grow because of the long daylight hours. I almost moved to North Pole, Alaska before I met my husband. I had the teaching application all filled out and ready to be sent.

2) Where is one place you’d like to go?

The place I would most like to visit is SCOTLAND. I have never been there, but I've been to just about every where else that surrounds it! I have a friend (started out as pen pals way back when) who lives in Edinburgh. One day I'll get there! Next up on our travel plans is a cruise to Northern Europe-The Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Norway, Russia and Estonia. It's already booked...hopefully airfare won't be too pricey...we're going for our 5th anniversary!

07 July 2008

Just another way to procrastinate...

I've seen this meme before, thought it was cool, never did anything about it. Of course, I have 3 big projects due this week for grad school and here I am procrastinating in every way possible.

So here it goes...

Want to play too?
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

02 July 2008

Question of the Week #4

1) What yarn (that you don’t have/haven’t used) would make your stash “complete”?
2) What yarn do you never want to be without?

I'm not sure that my stash will EVER be complete because I like to try different yarns and different colors and there are so many indy dyers to choose from...my wallet definitely limits my stash though!

I have yet to discover the yarn that I cannot live without...the options are definitely OPEN!

A package!

I received a package from my SP12 pal on Monday! (Sorry it's taken me two days...grad school all day and it's killing me slowly!) I opened my box:

And this is what I received:

A ball-band dishcloth in my favorite colors
with a nicely crocheted border (a new idea for me!)
A pair of knitting needles that say,
"I love knitting!" with a kitty face and a
"gummy" bear point protector
3 patterns-1 for a hat, 1 for socks and 1 for a cozy-and
all of a baseball theme!
a knitting pattern calendar and
2 skeins of wool for the hat and
2 skeins of fun fur for a scarf
all in Orioles colors! (I <3 the O's!)

Thank you, Secret Pal!

25 June 2008

SP 12 Question #3

"What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?"

The perfect amount of stash...I think that would be when I can go to my stash and the right yarn for the project is there in the right amount that is needed to complete said project.

21 June 2008

Pile of Craft

Today, Niki and I went to the Pile of Craft sponsored by The Charm City Craft Mafia (what an awesome name!) and wandered around the tables o' crafts and goodies. We saw pottery, t-shirts, monsters, jewelry, yarn (I was tempted but purchased none), note cards (got me some of those), hand painted tiles (thinking about purchasing some of those for the kitchen) and even some vegan baked goods (Jason has yet to try his mini key lime pie, but Niki loved her Brimley Bar). I even got some freebies-magazines with step by step instructions on how to reupholster furniture! I've been looking for some direction in that area since we have a couple of old recliners that have great foundations, but need a little loving on the outside.

The coolest part of the the morning/afternoon adventure was that the craft fair was in a church that really isn't a church anymore. It's used for crafty as well as community type stuff. Yet another way to reuse and recycle (a bit of a theme at the craft fair too!) and keep Charm City's charm.

19 June 2008

SP12-Question of the Week #2

I'm a bit slow...I missed Q#1: What's your favorite summer beverage? I have 2: Arnold Palmers (who knew the Iced Tea and Lemonade together had a name???) and Iced Caramel Lattes

Question #2: As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation?
This is an easy one! Being able to go to the library and check out as many books as I could read in the alloted check out time (3 weeks usually). I always finished reading the books before it was time to take them back!

14 June 2008

Problems in Iowa

As many of you know, Jason lived in Iowa and went to the University of Iowa (Go Hawkeyes!). While he was there, he lived through the "1000 year" flood. This week, Iowa has yet again been experiencing the "1000 year" flood. The pictures show water covering cars, roads, bridges. It looks horrible. Every day Jason checks the online newspapers from Iowa to see more pictures and shows them to me. On Thursday before going to class, he showed me one from 1993 of "The Strip" in Coralville where he used to live. The Strip is the road he walked down during his 1000 year flood. While he's talking about the places, I'm looking at the people in the photograph. There are two guys just looking at one of the shops. I look closer. It seems to me that the taller one resembles my husband! I ask him to take a look. He says it could be him and his friend, who had a camera that day (the other guy in the photo is holding a camera)...we think it's Jason. What about you? (Click here and then look for the DonutLand sign. Go straight down and you'll see two guys. Taller one is Jason?)

09 June 2008

Secret Pal 12

It's here! I've signed up and even got a message from my pal and sent one to my spoilee.

Here's my updated questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely not like? I love to knit with just about any kind of yarn except acrylic!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Straights are in a roll up thingy, circs are in a bag and the interchangeables are in their case

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

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Amazon and Loopy Ewe (see side bar)

5. What’s your favorite scent? Citrus

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Sugar free Reese’s cups/sugar free Dove chocolates or any kind of nuts

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? Scrapbooking has taken a backseat to knitting! At MDS&W, I purchased a drop spindle and some roving, but need to learn how to spin!

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like ‘80s stuff and yes, MP3s can be played.

9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand? I like just about all colors, but my fav(s) are blue (navy, cobalt, midnight) and yellow (butter)

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Husband and 1 cat

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

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? socks

13. What are you knitting right now? A baby blanket for my cousin (due in Sept.), socks (2 pair-late bday gifts)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? yes

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Prefer circs-bamboo or addis

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? yes and yes

17. How old is your oldest UFO? About a year (started a sweater and just haven’t gotten back to it)

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? Elephants (but my husband says that the herd is getting too large for the house!)

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have yet to try Louets gems, Noro Sock and more (but the first two are high on my list to try!)

21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn? 2 socks at a time, magic loop

Currently, I use 1 circular to knit everything but the toe of the sock then switch to dpns.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I am! I wear a size 9 1/2 US

23. When is your birthday? September 6

24. What’s your Ravelry ID? srapalmateer

08 June 2008


I am a glutton. I can't stop. I don't know why...

I've put myself on a diet.

The temptation is too great.

I've succumbed.

If I can't purchase it; I will give myself the opportunity to win it!


Gingersnaps with Tea is having a contest and the prize is sock yarn. I couldn't resist. Oh my...

07 June 2008


I asked Jason what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said, "Let's go see the Maps exhibit at the Walter's." So we went yesterday.

We saw all kinds of maps: maps of the world, specific places, make believe places, aerial maps of the ground, pictorial maps, maps in books, maps on tiles, maps of the cosmos, maps as art and many more. The maps that I found most interesting were:
  • the map of Maryland because it was from the 1700s and four counties (Garrett, Carroll, Howard and Wicomico) weren't on the map! It was interesting to see places that I know existed back then (some spelled differently, of course)-Towson, Bel Air, Abingdon, Joppa (my hometown) and more.
  • the map of fairy tales/nursery rhymes because it showed many of the tales that I knew as a child and many more still that I had never heard of.
  • the map of the US Civil War because it was a moving map (on a TV). It showed a timeline, various historical happenings (Lincoln elected, first shot, etc.), where the battles happened, how the sides progressed and the casualty totals. I never realized how high the totals were for both sides. I've always heard that it was the bloodiest battle fought on US soil, but never knew the figures were so high.
I also found that the maps were from a wide range of cultures; many were pictorial in nature while others where three dimensional. Maps where not just for telling where places are or how to get to point B from point A, but also works of art. For instance, in a painting done by Vermeer, he painted the map in the background so well, people could identify which map it was and display it with the painting. Amazing.

We left the Walter's and went to dinner at Mi Casa (Niki, thanks for sharing that place with us!) which is always yummy!

Happy Birthday, Jason!

04 June 2008


It feels like summer...

  • school is (almost) out...7 days to go!
    • 3 of those are 1/2 days due to exams being administered
  • the humidity is high (ugh!)
  • grad school has started
    • only one class right now (2nd begins the end of June)
    • tons of work already!
Looking forward to sleeping in late...

25 May 2008

Knitting Content!

It's been awhile since I've posted about knitting content (Thanks for the reminder, Niki). I'm working on some test knitting for SWTC and it's due to be finished this week. I've been knitting like a mad woman trying to get the project finished and they didn't send me enough yarn to finish.
So, I'm waiting for more to arrive and picked up Baby Blanket #1 of 2008 and finished it this week! I'm happy with how it turned out (600 stitches around) and can't wait to give it to the new parents.I've also been working on Mom's birthday socks which I had hoped to be finished by now, but I needed to check if they would fit. One sock is 99% finished and the other will get started on today!
Also, started was another dish/washcloth that will be part of a Christmas present. Cloths do not take long at all-if I really work at it, I can finish one in 2 hours. (Sometimes the brain and the hands just don't work that fast and it takes a whole day!) {This got frogged-undone-because I was using leftovers from another dishcloth and ran out of yarn. I hate when that happens!}

Since birthday socks seem to be the trend this year for me, of course I have another pair to make for Niki! I picked out the pattern and she picked out the yarn.
For now, the queue of knitting projects is overwhelming especially since there's another baby blanket to finish before July!

19 May 2008

Kansas City

Two weekends ago, Jason and I traveled to KC to see the Orioles take on the Royals. On Friday, we got to see American Idol Contestant, David Cook, throw out the first pitch and sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". (Easier to take pics on the jumbo tron than on the field...looks too teeny tiny.)
We also went to the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Museum. The Negro Leagues Museum was self guided and had a ton of artifacts. I learned a lot!
We ate plenty of KC BBQ! We went to the big three: Arthur Bryant's, Jack Stacks and Gates. All were different and all were yummy! Gates had a stand at the ball park and served seasoned chips-sort of like crab chips, but the seasoning was HOT! (Those were my favorites!)

We also went to the Hallmark Visitor's Center, the College Basketball experience (Jason and I were never bball players and never will be!), the Truman Library (my first presidential library!) and the World War I Memorial and Museum. The WWI Museum was excellent-had multiple time lines, artifacts, hands on activities, actual trenches and many videos to see. The best part for me was walking over the glass bridge looking down on all the red poppies. Each poppy represented a specific number of deaths in WWI. Amazing.
(The museum is under the monument-sort of like the museum under the St. Louis Arch, but more like the Civil War Museum in Madrid, Spain. The tower has been in KC since not long after the war and one can go up in it-elevator ride then 45 steps to climb.)

We enjoyed our trip-there was a lot to do, but not too much. Even though the city wasn't busy on the weekend, it wasn't like Cleveland where the carpet got rolled up at 5pm Friday and laid back down again at 9am Monday.

17 May 2008

Funny Stuff

This week has been crazy...see previous post plus it was the last full week with the senior class. Typically the last day of that week, the seniors execute their prank. In years past we have had ALL the chairs in the building on the first floor, balloons everywhere, and even some fish heads and feces spread throughout the building. This year's prank was a cute idea but definitely lacking in execution-bubble wrap was taped to the entire floor on the first floor. If only the seniors had planned on spending a little more money and coated the entire three floors... So it was a noisy end to the week. **Another school in the area was the recipient of a prank that was much more interesting...check out this listing on Craig's List.

Yesterday, Jason and I went to my parents' house to celebrate Mom's bday (which is on Sunday-she'll be away). We were in the basement and Jason noticed the "no" list of things to put in the paper shredder-No hands, no beverages, no ties, no paper clips/staples, and the best one...NO CHILDREN!!! (I wish the picture would have turned out but the drawing was too small and I couldn't get a focus on it with the camera.)

13 May 2008

Day o' Crap

Coming back to work from being out for two days (trip to KC) is just plain crappy. I had the same substitute for both days (Friday and Monday). He was TOTALLY unreasonable with my students. I couldn't believe it! He posted a sign on my classroom door that stated if students arrived more than 5 minutes late that they were to go to the main office. He refused to let these students in the classroom. On their return with pass from the office, he refused to give them the work that I had assigned. He also left me about 6 pages of notes telling me how to do my job (one that I've been doing for 15 years) and that my students are the worst that he's ever seen. I spent the majority of today cleaning up his mess. UGH! (I know my students are not the most angelic nor are they devil's spawn...they are human. They make mistakes. They are teenagers. They know the rules and know how to bend them to suit their needs. You must be firm and kind with them. I knew things were bad when my sixth period students came into class saying that they missed me!

I haven't gathered my thoughts about Kansas City yet...we did have a good time and even got to visit Kansas! A post with pictures will be forthcoming...

08 May 2008

Yarny Goodness

Maryland Sheep & Wool was great! My knitting buddy, Knitea, mentioned that we seemed to be going more quickly through the booths this year than last. I agreed with her. I think we weren't as overwhelmed (last year was our first year going) and knew which vendors we wanted to look at first and even found a few new ones. I didn't purchase as much yarn as last year, but I did get three skeins of sock yarn-1 from Brooks Farm (acero) and 2 from Maple Creek Farm. I also succumbed to peer pressure and bought a drop spindle to spin some of my own yarny goodness. This purchase also required me to buy some roving so that I could spin some yarn! The roving that I bought is a blend of blues (surprise!) with some other colors as well. I bought this particular roving because I would like to ply it with some other fiber that I already have-from a blog contest that I won in the Fall. (Pictures will be coming shortly...)

We're off to Kansas City tonight for a mini vacation. Of course the mini vacation is centered around our national pastime-baseball! Hopefully the O's will win a game while we're there! (I'm keeping my fingers crossed!)

01 May 2008

The FInal Countdown, Another one for the Geek List and It's a beginning!

The final countdown has begun-I have my final exam in hand! I hope to have it finished by Saturday so that I can enjoy MD Sheep & Wool on Sunday and not have to worry about finishing before our trip to Kansas City next week.

The GeekList #8: Jason and I have this bill to pay. I ask him why we don't round the amount to the nearest $100 mark. He says, "Because it's a great number. It is the blah blah blah of blah blah blah." My brain went into Charlie Brown mode and I just smiled and shook my head. 'Nuf said.

The beginning: I've become a test knitter! I answered an ad and the company sent me a pattern and the yarn to make it. It's not a paid position at least not in dollars, but in yarn. IMO, that's the best payment! I do have a time constraint-the end of May. Oh my...I think I'll be able to finish. I know I will!

Other knitting-almost finished baby blanket #2 of 2008. Only a few more rounds of 600 stitches to go.

19 April 2008

Lovely Weather

The past week has been wonderfully warm here in MD! All the trees and flowers are blooming and everyone is out cutting their grass for the first time this Spring. Since moving, I've gotten a bit of a green thumb. I've never really had one before-I've killed cacti!

In the Fall, Mom helped me plant a variety of bulbs in the front garden of the house. Some of the bulbs have bloomed and some are just beginning to grow.
Yesterday, Jason and I went to Lowe's and purchased some other plants that I could put in the strawberry pot and the planter that his dad and stepmom gave us for Christmas. I picked out some petunias, dianthus and gerber daisies to put in the strawberry pot. Jason picked out a climbing clematis to put in the planter.
Right after we moved into the house last Spring, we planted a Japanese Maple tree. It was a house warming gift from Jason's dad and stepmom. It was a baby and it definitely survived the crazy MD Winter. Here's the proof:

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can keep all these plants living and in good health!

Recipient of 1st BB of 2008

The recipient of BB #1 of 2008 has arrived! Baby Noah will never have trouble remembering when his taxes are due because it will always be on his birthday! I was able to see the little guy on Thursday. He has a full head of hair and weighs 8lbs, 7oz. He is just too cute!

08 April 2008

Can you say Omazing?!?!

Yes, I did say "O"mazing!

The Orioles (as of this afternoon) have the BEST record in major league baseball.

No, this is no April Fool's joke. The team that Baseball Prospectus said was "the worst team in baseball" is not only first in their division but the entire league.

My team has been generating hits and runs out of no where. I think that the most amazing thing is that 5 of their 6 wins have been come from behind wins. Yesterday against the Mariners, all the runs came in the bottom of the 9th!

Have I "jumped" to some alternate universe? I sure hope not! I could get used to this!

GO O's!

07 April 2008

Finished Knitting Projects

I have been lazy about posting my finished knitting projects (or even my works in progress)! Here's some of what I have finished since the end of January...

I finished the first baby blanket of 2008:

This blanket is for Baby Boy Gray (whenever he decides to show his face). It was a kit from KnitPicks that I decided to purchase because the colors matched his mommy's personality and hopefully his too! I have started on Baby Blanket #2, a pinwheel pattern in good ol' primary colors-red, yellow and blue. I'm using LionBrand's Microspun. It's soft and washable; just what every new mom needs! (No pictures yet...)

I also finished a throw for the newlyweds, Joel & Mariah. It was their wedding gift.

I had started the throw using a microfiber ribbon yarn inbetween the bouclé and angel hair, but it just didn't look right nor feel good against the skin. I frogged it and started again. Much better without the ribbon yarn. I did use the ribbon yarn in the fringe. It gives the throw a bit more texture and just adds to the overall look.

I finished my Jaywalker Socks. I've even worn them since the weather here has been cold and damp with all the rain/mist we've gotten in the past week or so. They are warm and snuggly!

I've finished some other projects, but have yet to take photos. I'll have another FO post coming soon!

02 April 2008

Tired (AKA 100th post)

That's me. Tired. Spring Break did NOT help me at all. I was too busy doing the following:

  • going to the dentist (3 TIMES)
  • meeting up with friends that I hadn't seen in awhile
  • visiting family
Since Spring Break, I've been
  • going to the dentist (again!)
  • preparing students to take assessments (that only means teaching to the test)
  • doing course work
  • cleaning
  • knitting like a mad woman (two more babies are on the way...and they're due in the fall when I'll be doing my internship-must knit faster!)
  • Baseball has begun!
    • Opening day was cold and the O's lost 6-2 to the Rays (boo hoo)
    • Off again tonight...maybe it will have a different outcome?!?!
Soon, I hope to post about all the knitting that I've finished.

10 March 2008

Add another to the GEEK list


I've been wanting a Wii for awhile. They've been tough to find. Jason has been keeping an eye out for the gaming system on Amazon.com with no luck. Amazon would have some once or twice a week at a predetermined time and would sell out within 10 minutes. Jason, being the geek that he is, would investigate what store was going to have some of the systems and when. He even found a website that would send out an alarm when more Wiis went on sale!

Due to Jason's diligence, he found out the Sam's Club was going to have Wiis on sale at Midnight this past Saturday. He went and sat in the parking lot at 9:3o pm to wait. Niki (there's a pic here) joined him at about 11pm (since I wasn't feeling 100%) and about 12:15 am they came home with a Wii in hand! Jason set it up on my TV and we played baseball, bowling, tennis and boxing (the games that came with the system).

I tested my abilities again yesterday. I'm pretty good at bowling and pitching in baseball, but all the others are pretty tough. I guess I'll just have to practice some more! (I might have to give my arm a rest though...it's a bit sore this morning!)

03 March 2008

Signs of Spring

The weather is lovely but surely won't last. I'll take the bright, warm sunshine after all the gray that we've had this winter (not snow, of course).

I came home to find this in my garden:

02 March 2008

New Form of Mail in Rebate?

This has become one of my new favorite snacks. These are snap peas that have been baked and are super crispy. They have the consistency of cheese curls without the cheese. Who knew veggies could taste so good?

Yesterday, I had an all day class for Grad school. I always pack my lunch when I have to go to McDaniel because if I leave, I will lose my parking space. Even on a Saturday! (There was a lacrosse tournament going on yesterday.) Anyway, I've packed most of my lunch and decide to put the rest of the snapea crisps into a baggie. I noticed something a bit different coming out of the bag of crisps. It was this:

A DIME! I guess this gives new meaning to mail in rebate. Or are they just paying me for using their product? This has never happened to me before, but I think I'll be buying more of this product...who knows? Maybe there will be dollar bills in the next bag!?!