Archive for May, 2008

If My Toes Are Blue . . .

May 25, 2008

. . . it must be the start of summer.

While I would never paint my fingernails blue, I’m happy to add my favorite color to my toenails. I tried to pick a teal shade this year after reading about Teal Toes, an organization that works to raise ovarian cancer awareness.

The color of the polish looks more teal in this photo than it does in real life, but I still love it. Thanks for tolerating this picture of my ugly feet with my wacky little sideways toes.

Here’s the progress on my Grown-Up sweater. As I planned yesterday, I finished the body and started the first sleeve. (Please don’t ask about the other things on my to do list. I didn’t even watch Juno yet.)

I’m nervous. I’m really intimidated by the idea of picking up stitches around the front and the neckline. The pattern tells me to use a smaller needle and pick up 2 out of every 3 stitches and knit, then knit a 2 by 2 rib for an inch. I’m so afraid that I won’t be able to make it look neat. I’m thinking of putting the sleeve-knitting on hold and attempting the big pick-up. Face my fears.

I’ve decided to keep my Smock-a-Ruche Scarf as it is, allowing it to remain in its natural, un-dyed state. Although 54% of voters encouraged me to dye it, the voices of the 46% who told me to leave it alone or didn’t want to get involved were a little louder. Okay. I’m a chicken. Too worried that I’ll ruin it. If I really want a bluish-purple Smock-a-Ruche, I’ll have to knit one with pre-dyed yarn. I’ve put it on my list.

Do any of you have the same problem that I’m having lately? It’s hard for me to admit, but it’s been said that coming to terms with the fact that you have a problem is half the battle in overcoming it, right?

I’ve become . . . um . . . addicted to this:

It’s embarrassing and humiliating, but I’m afraid that one day soon you’re going to see me sitting on the curb outside of Stop & Shop eating this stuff out of the can with a plastic spoon. What’s wrong with me?

This Chef Boyardee thing started within the last few weeks. I saw it on the grocery store shelf and before I knew what I was doing, I’d put two cans in my cart. When I checked out, I stared at the cans, wondering how they’d gotten there, but I allowed them to be scanned and paid for. When I got home, my fingers found themselves pulling the lid off the can and dumping the mushy contents into a bowl. (Thank goodness I remembered to throw a napkin over the top of the bowl before I microwaved it. Major splatter issues.) I ate it all within minutes. And I liked it.

Now I buy it every time I go to the store. Any store. Wal-Mart. Target. Any store. I look for it. I know I can’t be the only person who eats this. There must be others. Any advice for me? Any recovering canned pasta addicts?

Even Emmie likes it.
That’s her egging me on to open another can.


May 24, 2008

Nutmeg Knitter tagged me for a meme. (I got to meet her in real-life at SnB after being a reader of her blog!) Could you possibly stand knowing a few more things about ME?

Good answer.

The rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing ten years ago? Hmmm . . . May of 1998. I was being a mommy to my 4 1/2 year old boy, sticking it out in an unhappy marriage (hey, just being honest), playing around with polymer clay and jewelry-making, and working on a ridiculous Y2K-disaster-preventing new computer program team at Warnaco (see #6 below). I was also plotting my escape – figuring out how I could go back to school to become a teacher.

2) Five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:
Finish knitting the body of my grown-up sweater and start on the sleeves, go to the store to get cookie-baking ingredients for a memorial day picnic, watch Juno, try the self-tanner thing again without ending up with either white or orange feet like last time, and clean out my closet. The last thing is on the list, but that doesn’t mean I’m really going to do it.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Microwave kettle corn popcorn, Friendly’s watermelon sherbet, ice cream, Tootsie Pops, dark chocolate M&Ms, and a ton of other things that could keep me sitting here typing all day. There’s that to-do list, you know.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Buy a really nice house and hire people to clean it and take care of it for me, send my boy to a fancypants college for lazy kids who just want to play XBox 360, give my parents and my sisters lots of my money, fund cancer research, and start a program/summer camp to help young girls build their self-esteem. Oh, and I’d buy lots and lots of yarn.

5) Places I have lived:
Connecticut, Connecticut, Connecticut, and more Connecticut. I’ve lived in North Haven, Fairfield (for college), West Haven, and Milford. I’m a home-state girl and I don’t think I’ll ever decide to retire to Florida, Arizona or New Mexico. My family and all of my favorite people are right here, so unless everyone would come with me, I’m pretty sure I’m here to stay.

6) Jobs I have had:
I was a brown-and-orange-polyester-uniform-wearing Burger King employee, a cashier/did-whatever-they-told-me-to girl at Inside Outlet – a paint, wallpaper, and flooring store, a babysitter, a returned-dirty-tuxedo unpacker for a tuxedo rental place (for ONE horrible day), a stock girl at Mammoth Mart (for ONE horrible week), an office girl for a auto finance company, a mortgage company, and an attorney, a customer service rep for a company that makes those annoying beeping timer machines for fast food restaurants, a moved-through-the-ranks-doing-many-different-jobs person for Warnaco – the company that makes Warner’s and Olga bras, a waitress, a substitute teacher, a tutor, and finally – my favorite job – a 3rd grade teacher. Now wasn’t that a sweet little walk down memory lane . . .

7) Peeps I want to know more about:
Yankee Lagniappe


May 17, 2008

Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m a goober. A goober who got chills when I just tried this on:

It fits! My Sunkist Cardi fits me. It fits my very own body. I’ll be able to actually wear this sweater one day in the not too distant future. (Please don’t say anything about what month we’re in right now and what months are coming next and what the temperatures will likely be. I will wear this even if it makes me pass out.) When I came to the point in knitting where the pattern told me it was time to divide for the sleeves and the body, I got a little nervous. I thought the armholes would be too tight. I hemmed and hawed and sweated a little while I tried to decide what to do. Then I just kept knitting. I thought I’d better give my arms some extra room. Then, I divided. I’m so glad I did. I think it’s perfect. Woohoo! Now I can’t knit fast enough. So I won’t be writing much more in this post. Gotta knit.

Before I leave you, I’ll share a funny from my 3rd grade girls. The Bikini Girls and their friends have now channeled their energy into performing a play of the life of Helen Keller. Their idea! We just read the biography of Helen Keller, as we do every year in 3rd grade, and the kids loved it. This book is the only one that I have to read with the class each year that I actually look forward to and love. I get goosebumps at the end of Chapter 5 and again at the end of Chapter 8 (when Helen reaches some very exciting and important milestones- it’s delightful!). After we finished the book, we watched the remake of the movie, “The Miracle Worker,” with Hallie Kate Eisenberg (from the Pepsi commercials) as Helen.

The girls were so into the book and the movie that they decided to put on a play. They assigned roles, planned costumes, and decided on the scenes they’d perform. The next day, each of the girls came in carrying a bag of their costumes and props. Since then, every day right before recess they run to the girls lav to change into their costumes for their never-ending dress rehearsals. Dresses, hats, books, and even a porcelain-faced doll (whose entire scalp pulled away from her head, leaving a gaping hole that makes the play look more like a Chucky movie.)

Since yesterday was rainy, we stayed indoors for recess. The girls practiced their play, with Helen taking a doll from Annie Sullivan’s suitcase and Annie trying to get Helen to spell D-O-L-L in her hand before she’d let her play with the doll. They practiced the scene where the entire family is in the dining room eating breakfast and Helen goes around the table, sniffing and feeling for her beloved sausages on other people’s plates. This scene became exciting when Annie and Helen get into a big pinch-slap fight over Annie’s sausage. One of my Bikini Girls, playing the part of Annie, said, “Mr. and Mrs. Keller, if you want Helen to learn, you must leave her alone with me. You can’t keeping giving her her way all the time. You’ve spoiled her.”

I just kept biting my lip, trying not to laugh at the unbelievable cuteness I was seeing. I took a few pictures that I so wish I could share with you – but I can’t. I can, however, show you this. I didn’t even read it until after the recess/dress rehearsal was over. Apparently, it’s not a play they’re making. It’s a movie.

Stand behind desk please
injures can happen
Don’t get in front
of camras OR
! Actors!
! oreles !

Whoops. Got a little too caught up in this. Must knit now.

Thanks, Mom!

May 11, 2008

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. It was celebrated by our PTA with a week-long food fest. Each day we found new goodies in the Teachers’ Room. I was lucky enough to find some goodies in my classroom, too.

One of my goodies made this goodie for me:

Cuteness! So cute that I’m not letting my blood pressure rise over the use of the wrong your. We’ve been working on the your/you’re thing all year. Think we need a little more work on that, but hey . . . KNITTER is spelled correctly and that’s what really matters.

I also found this ginormous cup & saucer planter. Love it! It was a gift from two of my boys whose mothers are best friends. They wrote on the other side, “Thanks for helping us grow.” Adorable.

Yesterday, there was another goodie in the mailbox. It was a little gift to myself, but I’d forgotten that I’d ordered it. Here’s the envelope:

A close-up of the stamp that made me chuckle:

And the treat I found inside:

I ordered this little guys from Holly’s Designs on Etsy and was planning to use the beads as stitch markers. I might have to wear them as earrings for a while first.

And finally, I already broke my promise-to-self that I would finish my WIPs before I started something new. While I was reading blogs yesterday, I came across a free pattern that called out to me, the Sunkist Cardi, by Kirsten Kapur. It’s a top-down raglan cardigan, knit all in one piece with chunky yarn and with very little finishing. Perfect first grown-up sweater.

I’m all excited. Because it’s my first sweater-for-me, I was honest with myself about my commitment issues, so I didn’t splurge on fancypants yarn. I went to Michaels and bought Bernat Softee Chunky for $1.99 a skein. An $8.00 sweater. Sounds about right!

If I’m successful with this one, I might treat myself to some fancypants yarn some day, but then again, I might just put some gas in my car. YaknowwhatImean?

Before I go, some thoughts on Mother’s Day.

A conversation with my boy yesterday:

Him: What are you doing this weekend?

Me: Some shopping and laundry today. Tomorrow we’re going to K&J’s for Mother’s Day and birthdays.

Him: When’s Mother’s Day?

Me: Um . . . tomorrow.

Him: Really?

Me: Really.

Him: They don’t really talk about Mother’s Day in high school.

Since I knew that my boy would not have a little gift or even a handmade card for me, I’ve let him off the hook by asking him to simply cut his fingernails. That’s a gift to me.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably be vacuuming fingernail clippings on the bathroom floor.

TO MY MOM, a poem:

I’m a lucky daughter,

a lucky girl.

Thanks for teaching me

to knit and purl!

I love you, Mommy.

Imagine That . . .

May 4, 2008

. . . I actually finished something. I have way too many stops and starts going on right now, so I was determined to stick to my Smock-a-Ruche scarf and get it done. It’s done – just in time to . . . um . . . put it away until the fall? Crap. I need to work on my timing.

Here it is:
Now I’m trying to decide if I should leave it as it is, or dye it with Kool-Aid. I’m torn. I like it as it is, but I’d also like it to be a purplish-blue. I’m afraid of ruining it! Help me out here. What should I do?

Should I or Shouldn’t I?
Should I dye the Smock-a-Ruche scarf?

Dunk it in that Kool-Aid! It’ll be beautiful and you’ll love it!
Leave it alone or you’ll ruin it and end up cranky and miserable.
I’d rather not be responsible if you don’t end up happy, so I’m staying out of this.

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Emmie loves her Mommy time. The other day, she wanted my attention, so she put herself in the place where I was looking.
Then she realized that she was on the side of the laptop where the fan blows out the warm air.

Zzzzzz . . . .