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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Whoop There It Is!

I was just sitting there last night when what to my wandering eyes did appear? A FO!!

That's right, I actually have something finished that I can show you! One of my Jitterbug socks, currently listed in the "Stalled Out" section of the sidebar. I found myself at Bible Study one Thursday night with no project to mindlessly knit while listening and I remembered these socks were in the car and thought, "Hey! I could work on those!" and 2 weeks later, Voila! One finished sock. Now before we go whispering behind our hands and snickering about the fact that it took me 2 weeks to finish one sock, I will remind you that I only knit this at Bible Study, I am also working on a blanket which takes too much concentration for me to use it as a mindless knit ( i.e. I have to count-always tricky in a group setting for me), I went on vacation for one week and did hardly any knitting, and I have actually been working on this sock, bit by bit, for months rather than weeks- so there! I am actually slower than it appears. *sigh* Someday I am sure I will knit things in a timely manner, just not sure when that will be. I am actually planning on casting on for the second sock right away though because I still have 7 weeks of this particular Bible study left and I am going to do my best to have it done by then, in one hour a week increments. Maybe if I also use this for my church knitting (yes, I knit at church, judge me not-I pay better attention to the sermon because I'm not all looking around at stuff-God knits too, you can look it up if you want-- Psalm 139:13), I may finish it pretty soon and actually get to work on some of the stuff I have folded down in the Summer Interweave. There's a concept! I'm going to go cast on right now.

I'll leave you with a photo of what I did with my little ones yesterday-they were good little workers!! Mmmmmm, tastes like summer!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

This Sucks

Dear Brand New Vacuum,
I think I love you already. You are so quiet and you made the carpet look so pretty. You have so many settings-9 carpet heights?? Hello?! Who has that?! And a telescoping attachment wand-niiiiiice. I will treat you so nicely, I promise. My past vacuums have all broken my heart. Oh sure, they start off ok-picking up bits of fuzz here and there and making nice tidy little stripes on the carpet. But for some reason, the giant wads of Golden Retriever fur always frighten them into some sort of paralysis and they stop working. Completely. I've been good to them and bought them new belts, new bags, given them a good luxurious cleaning-all I ask in return is a little effort, some hard work a couple times a week. It's not like I asked them for daily time with me-I gave them their freedom and sometimes didn't even make them wind up their cords! They had their own closet, a nice rack for their tools-but could they give me any consistency? No! Really, what's so scary about a little bit (or more) of dog fur? I know you will not be that way-you are rated a Best Buy by Consumer Reports and noted for your awesome handling of pet fur. Maybe you can collect it and help me send it to a special place. Well, maybe not--but we could if we wanted to! We will be together forever, me and you (or at least for about 10 years, per the standard life ecpectancy of a vacuum) and we will blast away dirt, fur, pug-shredded paper bits, Husband-tracked mud, Thing-tracked mud, dog-tracked mud, and bits of yarn ends cast upon the carpet. Thing 3 can roll freely about, safe in the assurance that you have provided her a furless place to explore. I get giddy just thinking about you. I think I'm going to use you again right now just so I can fall in love all over again. This is the start of something beautiful, I can feel it! I am trusting you, Smartvac-you're The Boss and I expect nothing less.

Monday, June 25, 2007

In My Mind I'm Goin' To Carolina

Can I go back? I have returned home only to be faced with a mountain of unpacking, a dog that has forgotten that going potty is an outdoor activity, a gastrointestinal disturbance that nearly killed me, and of course, my period. Welcome home, Hilt family, welcome home.

I LOVED being at the beach-we had great weather and got to do all of our favorite things-bike rides, beach, pool, eat, shop, eat some more. Thing 3 ate the requisite amount of sand and got sand in EVERY available crevice (and even some unavailable ones) and the older girls got to go on a pony ride so they had a blast. I didn't get tons of knitting done because I honestly just didn't feel like it and for us, vacation is completely a "have a good time" time so we don't really do much that we don't want to do that week. (Ok, well, I don't really WANT to change diapers and cook dinners or make sure everyone is sunscreened constantly and clean sand out of cracks but there are some limits to the "it's vacation!" justification clause, particularly for Mom) I did do a lot of reading about knitting and reading my knitting mysteries though so it was like I knit vicariously through that. I also made some plans for my retirement to Hilton Head and where on the island I will open up my yarn shop and how I will make a killing off of all the richie golf widows-mwah hah hah hah!! It's all coming together....can I retire at 35?

Anyway, I've got to go change a diaper, do more laundry, get to more unpacking and take some advil. Big day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I met a crazy man at the grocery store the other nite while doing my vacation grocery shopping. Oh, he was extremely friendly and nice, in his mid to late 50's-maybe even 60, neatly dressed and all-but still, a nut. I was in the soda aisle and he came flying around the corner, looked at me and said breathlessly, "Hi!" like I had been waiting there to meet him. I looked up and smiled politely (because one of the most important things my Mom taught me is to always be polite and respectful, even to a crazy person...) and said, "Um, hi!" and went on about my soda shopping-still not really thinking he was crazy yet, just, uh, quirky. He proceeded to have an elaborate conversation with no one (or maybe me?) about the various flavors of Fresca and was delighted when he found the regular kind. He then said to me, "Over 4 dollars! Cripes!" and I agreed that it could be a bit pricey when not on sale (again, thanks to Mom, I can be most gracious to quirky folks by making meaningless small talk when called upon) and kind of tried to go on with my shopping. He stared at me a bit, then said, "You know, at [random drugstore for which I do not remember the name], it is $2.75" to which I added my helpful 2 cents by saying, "Well, you know Coke products are $1.75 at WalMart for the 12 packs right now" (true, by the way-I am a fountain of shopping knowledge-plus the WalMart cashier was trying to get me to buy some-does she work on commission?? I did not buy any, just saying) and realized I was not really going to get out of a conversation about soda with this man. He looked at me very intently like I had just said something unacceptable and said "But she doesn't want that-she wants this!" "Well, I know that's a Coke product so I was just mentioning it...." I sort of trailed off at that point because 1. I didn't know how much more I could really add to this interaction and 2. I didn't know who "she" is but it didn't seem like a good idea to upset her. "Well, no I have to get this-I didn't even know they still made it-I remember when it first came out" said Unusual Man. "Oh, me too-haha!" I replied and turned back to what I was doing (what was that anyway?) and he leaned over and said "And Cocoa Puffs!" What? This conversation was rapidly turning into a Mad Lib so I just smiled and made a polite "Um-hm"ish response and went about studying the diet cola very seriously as he said "Well, bye!" and marched off in his cowboy boots. He walked off and I chuckled to myself about his, um, quirkiness and how it is different here in the South and how my mom would've been floored by such a conversation (she still lives up North and does not embrace the whole "talk to everyone you see" Southern concept-even though you should still be nice to them if they do talk to you). Then, just as I was about to resume my shopping for real, he stopped, turned around and marched, very determined, right back to me and stopped. I looked up, through my burning, bloodshot, bespectacled pink-eyed eyes and he said "You know, any girl, when she smiles and her eyes light up, sparkles." I decided that maybe in fact I love him and he is not so much crazy as a gift from the Lord above (or a crazy loon and a big fat liar but that's neither here nor there) so I said "Thank you!" He nodded without so much as smiling and again marched off. It was an odd grocery shopping experience but kind of par for the course around here lately. It is a fine line that separates crazy from brilliant, frantic from fast-paced, panic from a healthy dose of caution. I've blown past that line and am currently crazy, frantic and panicking all at the same time. Damn vacation.

1 more day till Hilton Head...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's A Boy!

Well, I finally have a baby boy! Here he is! He has my eyes:

That's right, the Husband now has pink eye too and OH. MY. GOSH. You would think he was dying. He doesn't do well with illness in general and kind of has a wee tendency to be the slightest bit of a wimp about it (insert phrase "not that there's anything wrong with that..." to make it seem like I am not in any way being critical of this characteristic), but this has kicked it up to a whole new level of infantile behavior. He also has HUGE issues with anyone or anything touching his eyes so NOT a good mix. I literally have to sit on him to put his drops in his eyes and to his credit, he has gotten better about this. Now he only shouts a little when each drop goes in and then blinks uncontrollably whereas before he literally lurched forward thereby rocketing me off of him, jerked his head side to side and made weird squalling noises. Oh, they grow up so fast! I do love him very much and I do feel for him because this pink eye thing has been torturous for me as well. However, I have had it for several days now and have just gone about life as normal (well, despite the continual desire to pluck my eyes from their sockets and hurl them into the abyss), mostly due in part to the fact that I have worn contact lenses for the last 20 years so I am quite used to putting things in my eye, using eye drops and just general eye annoyances that occur on a routine basis when my contacts dry out, etc. So I am trying to drum up some extra sympathy for him-not real successful with that so far but I'll keep trying-after all, he hung in there for endless MONTHS of my nonstop, all day barfing with all 3 of our children so I guess I'll give him a couple days to pretend he's dying. However, NO ONE ELSE in this family can show up with this (Thing 3 has just gotten over it) either before or during vacation-I will just not have it! You hear that pink eye? I'm talkin' to YOU! Get on outta here!

3 days till Hilton Head...

ETA: New Knitty is up-yikes. Lace knickers, hole-in-the-neck tank, ill-fitting Noro tankvest-really?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Finished Objects, Silly Objects, and Sick Objects

A few Finished Objects:

This is a PINK tank top for Thing 2 (because is there any other color for a 5 year old?? Well, besides purple of course...) made of discontinued, need-to-use-it-up Cotton Ease. She looks really cute in it :)

The Deck!!! minus a couple of stairs (which are almost done) and plus a few dogs-but who really needs stairs??

A Silly Object:

And a Sick Object:


No, I am not posting a picture of it, but I have pink eye and some sort of achy, sinus torture going on. I am grouchy about it and irritable and have been unable to post lately because of feeling like garbage and being in that "week before we go on vacation" stress mode. Sometimes I wonder if going on vacation is worth it with little ones-not because it is not fun, but the herculean effort involved sometimes negates the warm fuzzies associated with vacation. However, we always have a fantastic time once we get there so we will press on, sick or not!! I've got my knitting projects planned, my Summer Interweave Knits and Summer Vogue Knitting as well as my 3 knitting novels-any bets on how much I ACTUALLY do? I like to pretend I will have lots of quiet relaxing time-hahahahahahaha. Hmmm, maybe I should have listed myself under Silly Objects.

5 days till Hilton Head-the countdown begins....

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A Public Service Announcement

My mom sent me this and I think it is something we all need to take VERY seriously:
Alright ladies, it's that time of year once again!!! I think we need to be reminded of a few things. So my sisters, please RAISE YOUR BIG TOES AND REPEAT AFTER ME:

The Open Toe & Back Shoe Pledge
As a member of the Cute Girl Sisterhood, I pledge to follow the rules when wearing sandals and other open-toe shoes: I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps. I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free. I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe. I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow. I will shave the hairs off my big toe. I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there. If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back into place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss them. I will not live in corn denial; rather, I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholl's if my feet need him. I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat and I would hate to take someone down with me as I fall and break my ankle. I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages. I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look good. I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them. I will promise to go to my local nail salon at least once per season and have a real pedicure (they are about $15 or 20 and worth EVERY penny). I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of wear... nothing is tackier than dirty white sandals. Don't keep this to yourself - pass it on to other sisters .

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Such a Dazzling Coat of Many Colors

I love, love, LOVE looking at beautiful, colorful, textural things which is one of the main reasons I love knitting and all the various amazing fibers. The colors and the textures and the way they interplay is fascinating to me and sometimes I find myself just looking, unable really to do anything else and I feel the desire to DO SOMETHING to be able to possess the beauty of whatever it is I am looking at. It is overwhelming at times and I get very frustrated when I just have to go on without doing anything with what I've seen. I know this sounds crazy to many of you who do not think this way, so just bear with me. That is, I think, one of the main reasons I knit. Not to relieve stress or keep my hands busy (goodness knows I have plenty that will do THAT for me!!), but to give me an outlet for creating and looking at and feeling beautiful colors and textures and patterns and objects. Claudia, of Claudia Handpainted Yarns, states on her home page "This is why I knit and dye yarns. It is an almost compulsive need to make physical my feelings so that I may share them." AMEN. That sums it up for me, too. (well, except I do not dye yarns excluding one disastrous experiment with Kool Aid which we shall pretend never happened) One of my other favorite things, besides knitting, is gardening. Not necessarily the hard work of gardening, but the rewards of gardening. Just like I am a product knitter (definitely not process-I get so impatient to have the finished product!!!), I am a product gardener. I do like to dig and plant and generally mess around in the dirt to a certain extent, but it is the payoff that makes me happy. The pictures are of what's coming up in the garden here at Chez Things-I picked these pictures because of their interesting color juxtapositions and hues and vibrancy and I think my next quest will be to find yarns in these colors because I want to always look at them and, unfortunately, my plants will die eventually but my knitting will not.

Ok, and I just like to look at pretty stuff and buy yarn-we all have our weaknesses....