Friday, June 30, 2006

Send a postcard!

I saw a news story on FoxNews this afternoon about this website. The link is

When you go to that website you can choose from several different postcard designs and then you can personalize the card with a short note to a serviceman/woman (you cant specify who you want it sent to) Then the postcard is printed out with your message on it, and are placed in care packages that are sent to the soldiers. It's free to do.

I thought it was a cool idea, and have already sent one off. (I put my email address on it too, maybe they'll write me back?)


My parents have to find a new maid service. (mom always wanted a cleaning service when I was growing up, so dad finally got her one for Xmas a few years ago) Anyways, We got a phone call yesterday from the cleaning service that we've used for the past 3yrs. Seems the owner has been forced to shut down. Her husband used to have a franchise with a nationally known maid service (not naming names) and last winter, he decided he wanted to concentrate more on his carpet cleaning business and so he cancelled his contract with that nationally known maid service franchise and started a new cleaning service, with a new name. (the nationally known franchise was about to start raising the franchise fees, so they'd have either had to raise the rates, or give their cleaning crews a paycut)

When he started the new cleaning business he gave ownership of the business to his wife, who up until that point had been just an employee.

They consulted a lawyer to make sure starting the new business wouldnt be stepping on anyones toes, and they contacted their customers and asked if they wanted to continue on with the nationally known company or stick with their new company.

So now, 6 months later, the nationally known company is now suing them, and they've got some sort of injunction keeping them from running their cleaning business for at least the next year. (her husband's carpet cleaning company is not affected) They had to lay off ALL of their employees too. Which is horrible because a lot of their employees have been with them for years and now they'll have to start all over again with a new job.

This really sucks. They're such nice people, and I know the cleaning company was probably where they got most of their income from. Hopefully they can get things straightened out and can get back to cleaning for my mom. I'll probably start pricing some of the other cleaning companies in town soon. But I'm actually hoping they'll get things straightened out quick and will be back soon. I'd kind of like to stay loyal to these people since they've done such a good job for my parents.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Finally, I've managed to complete a Seraphina shawl. I'm not so sure I'll ever do another one of these again. It was such a pain in the ass to start, took me a year and many a ruined skein of yarn to get past the fourth row.

I used worsted weight yarn, and it's very possible that there's a mistake in it (since the text of the pattern was full of mistakes) but it's now finished, and it will probably be years before I ever attempt another one of these things again.

I used Red Heart Giant "Candy Print", and Red Heart Super Saver "Amethyst". When I first started this shawl, I thought the Candy Print color was pretty and that it would look good in this shawl. Last night, as I was finishing up the shawl, and was checking it for mistakes and rogue yarn tails, it started to dawn on me that the Candy Print is a really really really busy yarn.

I'm not all that thrilled with how it turned out. I'm going to keep it for myself since I think that if I gave it to a family member, I'd be disowned. So far the only person who's said they like the color was my dad, but I dont think he's going to wear it unless he's got a disguise over his face.

Here's a picture of my ugly Seraphina shawl.

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I'm starting a scrap-a-ghan tonight. I bought a couple of skeins of Red Heart SS Mexicana and I'm going to mix that with the scrap yarn. I'm using my giant rectangle granny square pattern. I'm doing one round of Mexicana to three rounds of scrap yarn. (started the center with Mexicana) Just started it, only have 4 rounds done so far, but I like how the Mexicana looks with my first color. I've been wanting to do a scrap-a-ghan for a long time, but have been too busy finishing up a couple of other projects to start it before now.

Went to Hobby Lobby tonight to buy the RH Mexicana yarn, and found myself four skeins of Bernat Velour for $1.51/skein. Not at all sure what I'm going do with it...not sure if 4 skeins is enough to do anything exciting, like a shawl.

Monday, June 19, 2006

How freaking scary is this?

I've been watching the news about North Korea's impending missile test. FoxNews just reported that this missle is potentially capable of reaching as far as Chicago, IL.

This scares me. I live in Omaha, Nebraska...which I'm pretty sure is just a few hundred miles closer to North Korea than Chicago is. Plus the fact that Offutt AFB is right "next door" in Bellevue and has long been considered a potential target for the U.S.S.R during the Cold War.

If North Korea launches it's test missle, let's hope that it doesnt end up in a cornfield somewhere in the American Midwest. (the last time N. Korea launched a missle, it flew OVER Japan, and the Japanese were mightily pissed off by that)


Ever frog an entire two rows of a project, re-crochet those frogged rows, only to find that you made the same damn mistake again...way back at the point that you frogged it to?? TWICE!!!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

My dad had a pretty decent Father's Day

This year we remembered my dad (my mom and I were bad last year) and got my dad some actual presents for Father's Day. This year he got a nice oak filing cabinet for his office in the basement. It's so nice that we didnt have to put it together with an Allen wrench. It came already assembled. I labeled all of his file folders in alphabetical order (ran out of folders and the plastic tabs at the letter "Z" tho. (never understand why they dont sell the folders and tabs pre-alphabetized)

I also crocheted an afghan for my dad. It's nothing too fancy. It's done all in hdc, and I used Red Heart Giant (the ginormous skeins that WalMart gets occasionally) to make it. I think I already posted a picture of it on my blog back before I knew it was going to be a gift for dad. Here's a picture
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It's my dad's favorite crochet stitch that I do. He likes his afghans to be warm and functional, not pretty and decorative.

We took him to Upstream Brewing Company for dinner. The food there is pretty good, and they brew their own beers there. I think Dad enjoyed his beer he got, and the sample beer I bought for him to taste (they sell 4 oz. samples of beer for .95 cents) I got him the sample so he could taste it without having to blow $3something on an actual glass.

I'm almost done with my SoDarnedFrustrating...err....ummm...Seraphina shawl. I've still got a bunch of yarn left in the skein I was using, so I'm going to make it a little bigger than I was planning. I'll post a picture when I'm finished.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Hello World!!

Was just looking at the Google Analytics page for my site...I love this thing. It doesnt tell me who has been to my site, but it tells me where (country/town) that they're in. I got a non-American hit tonight...someone in Australia (Bankstown) visited today (hi!). Got a LOT of hits from people on the East Coast (Lititz, PA; Brooklyn; Falls Church, VA;...) and lots of other cool places.

I was telling my aunt Jan about it, and told her that someone from Lititz, PA visited my blog. She got all excited (she's from PA), said she knew some people there.

I even got a visit from someone in Hawaii.

I really like looking at the map on Google Analytics, seeing where everyone is from, and then Googling their towns to see if there's anything neat or interesting about the place. I guess I'll be learning more and more geography now. (my high school geography teacher would have loved this)

and on to some crochet related stuff. I saw a strange crochet sculpture the other day. It was a crocheted urinal ( read that right) and that got me wondering what other strange crocheted sculptures are out I Googled some more, and found this

I have to say that on one hand, I love Patricia Waller's work, but I'm also a bit worried that I might be just as disturbed as she is because I actually want to try and make some of these things. Ok, I'll pass on the pink crocheted bondage tools that she made...(eeek!) but I really like the crocodile with the kid in it's mouth for some reason. Not sure why, but her work just impresses me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I see you! (sorta)

I just discovered Google Analytics. It's a Google site you can use to monitor traffic on your websites. It's so cool. I can now see on a map all the different places in the world people who've visited my blog are from. I've only had it monitoring my blog for a couple of days, but I've already have 40something hits (about 6 or 7 of those are actually me, checking my blog)

I signed up for it on Google, they gave me the html code to put into the body of my blog template, and a day later, I could see a couple of dots on the map showing the geographical area people visiting my blog are from. So far I havent had any hits from outside the U.S....most of the hits are from the East coast, a couple of places in the Midwest...and a few from the SouthWest and California.

I knew people actually read my blog occasionally, it's just kind of neat to see actual proof of it.

Grandma's doily, all clean and pretty again

Several weeks ago, I posted a picture of a doily that my Grandma O'Neil (dad's mom) had made for me when I was younger. The poor doily was filthy. Well, my aunt Jan saw it the other day, and offered to wash it and block it for me. (she doesnt crochet, but she's great at blocking doilies!)

A couple of days later she gave it back to me, and I'm even more impressed with what a good crocheter my grandmother was. Here's the newly washed and blocked doily.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I think I freaked out my parents tonight.

Parents and I went out to the Upstream Brewing Company for dinner. What I think freaked out my parents was the fact that I willingly ate asparagus tonight (never had it before).

I'm one of those people who usually does not touch vegetables unless it's corn, potatoes, or the occasional raw carrot. The asparagus wasnt bad, but then again, there was so much spice in the gravy on top of my lamb shank that I was eating that it probably covered up whatever asparagus actually tastes like. (my mouth is still burning!)

I think my parents are starting to worry about me, because the other day I ate all the green beans in the Marie Callendar's TV dinner I had the other night. (I half expected my dad to check me for a fever)

I'm a little further along on the Seraphina (SoDarnedFrustrating)'s starting to look more like the pictures of shawls that I've seen others make with this pattern, so I guess I must finally be doing it right. I might not even have to worry about running out of yarn for this shawl (I only have two skeins of this color) I added a contrasting solid color to break up the busy-ness of the varigaited yarn that I'm using.

Once I find some decent batteries for my digital camera I'll take a picture of the shawl.

I'm trying to decide if I want to put any fringe on the shawl (fringe is usually a waste of good yarn)

I think I'll do another one of these shawls in red, white, and blue.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Made some progress on the SoDarnedFrustrating shawl.

I might have mentioned earlier that I've been having trouble crocheting on the Seraphina shawl (enough that I've renamed it the SoDarnedFrustrating shawl)

I've finally been able to get past the 4th row. Something that I hadnt been able to do since I started attempting this now I'm stuck somewhere on the 12th row and am about to take the entire thing out to the backyard so I can set fire to it and the pattern in the BBQ grill.

At least I'm a little further along with it now. There could be hope for this yet. I've noticed that there are several errors in the text of the pattern on just about every row. Wish the designer had either proofread the pattern before posting it, or have a pattern tester check the pattern.

The other projects I've been working on lately are a doll for my cousin's daughter, and I've also been working on a purse for myself with crochet cotton. Planning on lining that with some fabric.