Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Xmas!

I'm just sitting here waiting for the Webkinz website to quiet down enough so I can get in and name my new puppy.

Christmas 2007

After we opened the presents, this is what I made (with instruction from my dad) for dinner. It's mostacholli. (I affectionately call it "Monstercholli's") It was really good, and my dad says that we ended up making enough for about 10 or 15 people.

Yum! Mostacholli!!!

and I bought some frozen French bread baguettes that you cook in the oven, that was a good side to the mostacholli.

fresh baked french bread and mostacholli!  Yummy!

My sibling bought me a knitting book for Xmas, so I'll be getting the scrap yarn out later tonight to play with some knitting needles. (thanks sibling and sibling-in-law)

and here's my Christmas tree, before we opened up all the presents.

Christmas tree with presents 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My computer(s) hate me.

My desktop computer is driving me nuts. First I had to get rid of the stupid Norton 360 antivirus that I had on my computer (it was causing more problems than it was worth, and it wasnt finding a few viruses that I discovered after installing a new antivirus program)

So, now that I've got that taken care of, the stupid computer doesnt ever want to shut down unless I do it the hard way. (press the power button...if that does nothing and it usually does nothing, I have to turn off the battery backup and wait a minute before turning things back on)

Things just dont want to work on that 'puter anymore. It's only 2 1/2yrs old. It should last longer. (well, it is a Gateway, and even tho it's been a fairly good computer, it's got some Gateway weirdness to it)

And not to be outdone, my Toshiba laptop is also having some weirdness....like not shutting down (have to take the battery out), the browser's (both IE and Firefox) like to lock up on me all the time. The monitor is dim (that could be me instead of a dim monitor) and just doesnt seem like it likes me (I buy it good disks to burn, and I keep it dusted off and I dont abuse it any. I dont even go to any weird creepy sites with it (as if I go to those kinds of sites anyways)

I just want to know why my computers hate me! My ancient Compaq laptop that's had two hard drive crashes, a burned out monitor and a few other major problems is now a little champ. It's a lot chunkier than my Toshiba, but the Compaq has been rebuilt at least once and doesnt crap out on me (anymore) like the Toshiba does now. (guess which computer will be going to school with me this spring?)

Anyone know a computer wizard that can wave a magic wand over my computer and cast a patronus charm on it to make the 'puter dementors go away??

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wow! I cant believe I made this.

I finally figured out the pattern for the Seraphina Shawl Here's a picture or two of how it turned out. It's a gift for someone.

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The pattern was really really confusing. It's taken me a couple of years of attempts to get the pattern figured out. I really do think it's one of the most poorly written patterns out there on the internet

But, I do think that now that I've figured it out, that I can probably crochet anything from now on. I think it's now probably one of my favorite shawl patterns. This one is technically my third Seraphina shawl. I'd tried about a year or two ago to make this, and didnt have the pattern quite figured out and it came out a lot wonky. My aunt Jan liked it tho, so I gave it to her. Not sure if it was the yarn color (a variegaited pink/red color) that she liked, or if she actually liked the shape of the wonky one.

The second attempt (a white shawl) had a few errors (mostly forgetting the increases) in it, which I think I fixed, but I was so tired of having to frog the damn thing that I started over on this shawl a few days ago and managed to get this one made without having to frog back too often. The colorway in this shawl is a Country Rose color. I used an entire skein of Caron Pounder (16 oz skein) and probably another 4 or 5 yards of a second skein. The hook I used is a Susan Bates "J" hook.

I'm really excited that this shawl is finished. I started it on (I think) last tuesday, and finished it about 3am last night (saturday).

When I finish the white shawl, I'll post pictures of that one. The white one will be for me, because I think I need to be rewarded with a new shawl for finally figuring out the damn pattern. I'm also about to start another Seraphina in a chunky yarn to see what it looks like in a larger weight of yarn.

And because my aunt asked, I've got a picture of snow, not a good picture, but it has snow in it!

This picture was taken tonight around 5 or 6pm, so it was starting to get dark out.

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Friday, December 07, 2007


Warning. There is a very good possibility that there will be a few examples of (ok, a lot of) profanity in this blog post. If your kids can read, you might want to make sure they're not hanging over your shoulder.

I've been wanting to write a blog post about the shootings at Westroads here in Omaha for the past few days. I just couldnt come up with any thing good to say, and I'm pretty sure this post will have a lot of suckage and you may see a few of my strong opinions about that son of bitch.

I really do hope that Hawkins is in the bathroom of the sub-sub-basement of Hell right now. Cleaning up milleniums of shit off the floors from the forever-overflowing toilets of the sub-sub-basement of Hell for all of eternity.

(oh, if anyone is offended by an occasional use of the word "nutjob" as a descriptor for Hawkins, I really cant apologize much for that. Because that's about the tamest word I can come up with to describe him.)

Why couldnt he have taken a nice non-violent dive off the Missouri River bridge, or slit his wrists, or just take that damn AK-47 out into a cornfield to blow his brains out? And just what the fuck was his stepfather doing with an AK-47??

And why didnt the people he was staying with think that maybe the fact that he had such a huge piece of firepower in his possesion, that he could have been a serious danger to them and the rest of Omaha (and Bellevue)? He wasnt a "little lost pound puppy", he was a depressed, suicidal, supposedly "adult" man with a BIG FUCKING GUN!

The woman who was allowing him to live in her house with her family is a nurse. A lot of nurses are trained to recognize depression...she must have been either clueless or just indifferent to whatever pain Hawkins felt as long as he paid his rent to live there.

I bet that when Hawkins "just snapped" that woman probably had an "oh shit, I should have paid more attention to him..." feeling when the victims started to arrive at the hospital she worked at. (news reports say that she'd had to talk him out of suicide at least once before) She can say now that he was so nice and polite, but I'd be willing to bet he was broadcasting his intentions in some way the past few weeks or months. Showing her the gun should have been a big warning sign.

I want to know why Hawkins had to go and make Omaha another fucking statistic in the ever growing list of spree shooters, going postal for the various poor excuses that these nutjobs like him seem to always give in their suicide notes (if they leave one).

I never really thought something like that would ever happen here, but it happened in Colorado, and Virginia, and Pennsylvania and so many other states, that I guess I should have known that it really could happen here. It was just a matter of time before another nutjob reached his saturation point and decided to go and "rape" a city with such a senseless violent act.

I might have the smallest amount of empathy for that SOB, only because I've been the school "geek" and harrassed relentlessly for about 12 years or so. Apparently I must have had a good support system (and no underlying mental problems) because it never occured to me at the time to "borrow" my dad's shotgun and go take care of the brats who were harrassing me.

But, being teased and harrassed doesnt excuse his actions. If he was having problems dealing with the stress of the harrassment, he could have talked to someone. Not that talking to someone will help. The whole "just ignore them, they'll leave you alone..." advice doesnt work.

I do think the...intensity...of harrassment that children nowadays get is probably exponentially worse than what I experienced when I was a kid. There seems to be so many more ways for bullies to go after their victims now. Hopefully my sibling's kids dont get treated like that by their schoolmates. It's not fun to be the target.

I read a story in the Omaha World Herald that was written by an Omaha cop. This particular cop was one of the first responders to the shootings.

He made the comments that "Omaha shed it's innocence", and that this is "our own 9-11".

I would really like to say that Omaha still has it's innocence...but when I went shopping tonight with my parents, I could tell that most of the Omahans I saw tonight are no longer "innocent". Just about everyone I saw had this look on their faces...even if they looked like they were happy, smiling even, there was this sad look in a lot of the peoples eyes.

We were in a store, a place that is usually packed and people are usually not very polite when it comes to grabbing the last of whatever popular fad product is the "big thing" off the shelves. The store was so quiet. Except for some Christmas music playing on the model unit of a stereo. People were polite. Kind of a surreal experience for the being in that particular store.

I saw on the news tonight that (I guess) the Omaha city officals want people to wear O! pins in support of the victims and the city, and that the Westroads mall (where Von Maur is located) wants Omahans to make paper snowflakes and bring them (send them) to the Westroads. The snowflakes will be used to decorate a Christmas tree in the mall. (I cant confirm the snowflake project, WOWT is where I heard about that, but there's nothing on their website about it right now)

I'm half tempted to try to crochet a few snowflakes for the tree, but my fingers dont like the skinny crochet hooks and the really thin threads. Maybe I'll make some yarn or crochet cotton snowflakes, maybe I can stiffen them with an Elmers/water mixture I read about the other day.

I want to say that I hope there will never been another mall or school shooting, but I know that's a pipe dream. It WILL happen again...and it's actually happened once before here in Omaha...About 30 years ago in a nightclub called "Club 89". There was only one person killed in that shooting, and several (maybe 5?) people injured. There was no 24 hour cable news coverage then. No Sheperd Smith's (of Foxnews) to sit there and speculate about the mindsets of the killer. I barely remember the Club 89 shooting. I guess that was the Omaha generation before mine's loss of innocence, but then, maybe back then, because of the lack of constant news coverage, it was just another story "below the fold" of the newspaper the next day. Oh, and dont forget Charlie Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate back in 1959...until the other day, Starkweather was who Nebraskans thought about when someone would mention "spree killer". Hopefully they wont make a movie about Hawkins and turn the killings into a cheap piece of entertainment starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the angst ridden teenager.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not what I wanted to see today.

This morning I woke up, to this.

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And this...

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And this...

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I guess it's going to be a soggy and slushy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I bought yarn. Mmmm!! Yarn!!! :)

Went to my favorite LYS (Local Yarn Store) yesterday after dropping my mom off somewhere. I went to A String of Purls and got myself some yarn. I was looking for a chunky yarn that I had gotten there a few months ago. A really nice 50/50 merino/acrylic blend...I was really sad when they didnt have any, and the girls in the store couldnt remember ever having that brand. So, to console myself, I wandered around for a few minutes (hours), looking at the knitting needles (liked the Lantern Moon needles) and gently petting the yarn on the shelves. Looking for some yarn that I could hopefully afford. (sniffle...I really wanted some Noro, but not for the prices they were charging! I would never be able to make anything bigger than a swatch with it, since I'll never have the money to buy enough to make a sweater)

I finally settled on some Cotanani Mirasol yarn.

It's 60% pima cotton and 40% Merino wool. Started a small scarf last night with it. I really like how this yarn feels. Not so thrilled about the cost tho. I bought 3 hanks, and spent about what I'd spend for 9 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver. But, this yarn is soft and feels pretty and my knitting needles like it, so I think it was worth it.

Here's what I got.

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It just amazes me how little you get for $6.95/skein. Oh well, it's yarn and it's soft and pretty and I love how it feels to knit with it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Uncle!

Happy Birthday Donny!

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And Happy Veteran's Day (have you thanked a Veteran today???)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

So I started drawing again...

I used to be able to draw whatever I looked at. I pretty much lost that talent sometime in high school. Because no matter what I did in my twenties, I could not draw anything as good as I used to be able to.

So, anyways, I decided to attempt drawing again the other day. I was bored, didnt want to knit, couldnt decide on something to crochet, so I got out the typing paper and a crappy pencil. Drew a picture of my (now deceased) dog, TinyMonsters, from some photographs. The drawing turned out ok, but not as good as I liked...so I did it again, little better, did it again and it seemed pretty good.

I went to Office Depot and bought a cheap sketch book, some slightly less crappy pencils, and a pencil sharpener. On saturday night I got out the pictures of Tiny, and drew this:

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And then last night, I drew this one:

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I think the second drawing turned out to be the best one so far. I drew them both from photographs. I really like using TinyMonsters as a subject. He's easy to draw, and with the fur over his eyes in most of his pictures, I dont have to worry too much about drawing facial features like eyes (I suck at drawing eyes)

I'm going thru my stash of pictures of him to find more to draw. I think now I'll have to go out and buy some decent drawing pencils, and maybe some charcoal.

I'd love to do a scratchboard sketch of TinyMonsters, that would look so cool. (scratchboard definition is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scratchboard )

If I get the original pictures I drew these two sketches from, I'll post them later so you can see what the original pictures looked like.

Edited to add picture

Here's the original picture of Tiny from the first sketch that I did.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I feel like showing off a little...

Here's some pictures of an afghan that I made earlier this year, and a shawl I made about a year ago. (yeah...my 8th grade math teacher used to call me a procrastinator)

The afghan is a giant granny square. I made it with whatever leftover red, white, and blue yarn I had from a couple of other patriotic afghans that I'd made last year.

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And here is a pineapple shawl that I made about a year ago from a doily pattern (I'll find the link to it later...it's on Celtwich's site)

I moved some furniture around my house earlier this year, and discovered by accident that the shawl looks great on the back of my foam couch (folds out into a bed) So, it's actually being used as a chair back doily now.

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And here's another view with a little more couch showing...

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I'm currently working on another one of these pineapple shawls. I'm using Caron Pounder yarn in Iris (purple)

I got some Sugar & Cream yarn on sale at a LYS last week, so I'm having fun knitting dishcloths with it. I'm almost done with one...I may post a picture of that later this week.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another evolutionary knitting discovery!


I was just sitting here, playing with my double points, and attempted the Figure 8 for something like the 20th time. All of a sudden I had knitting on my dpns!

Holy cow excrement! I cannot believe I just figured it out and I wasnt even looking at any directions for the Figure 8. I was just trying to remember what I saw on an episode of Knitty Gritty that I recorded onto my TiVo awhile back.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to do the increases and there could possibly be knitted socks in my future.

I'm going to go wander around the internet and look at sock yarn. I figured out the cast on while playing with the 10.5 dpns and worsted weight Red Heart...maybe I'll keep playing with the Red Heart yarn and ginormous dpns and make an Xmas stocking (the yarn is green)

Monday, September 17, 2007

I feel like total crap...

which means that I feel sooo much better than I did yesterday.

Apparently I came down with a stomach flu (probably a Norovirus...like people who go on cruises seem to do a lot of lately...and no, I havent been on a cruise)

I think I must have come down with it sometime on thursday or friday, altho the bad stuff didnt "come up" until sunday morning. All I know is that I slept all afternoon and evening on friday...all day saturday, most of the day sunday, and part of today.

My dad, who will usually be down a week when this stuff happens, seems to have only been sick last night and this morning. (lucky dad) He actually ate some of my Mrs. Grass Chicken Noodle soup tonight.

I was supposed to have Jury duty today. Thankfully I got that postponed until november. (not sure if that's a good or bad thing)

I think I'm feeling better. Pretty sure my fever is gone...I just feel like I've been hit by a truck...repeatedly. I guess that's what happens when you're flat on your back in bed for about 3 or 4 days.

I wish I wasnt feeling so dang sore right now...I want to crochet or knit something, but my back is killing me. Maybe if I do something simple that wont be too painful. Either that, or I'll take another nap.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Look what I made!!! :)

I finally figured out how to whipstitch!

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I made this little afghan for practice before I move onto making a larger one (which I've already started)

I'm giving the little afghan to my aunt's dog. Pudge (a pug) needed a new blanket that goes with my aunt's furniture. I also didnt have a lot of the two colors I used, so I couldnt really make it much bigger than it is.

I'm giving Pudge her new blankie tonight or tomorrow.

I'm so excited about figuring out the whipstitch. I'd tried it before, but it never quite looked like what the pictures in the instructions always look like. For some reason last week, I was playing with some squares that I had crocheted on my last attempt to sew squares together, and suddenly I was able to whipstitch and not have things fall apart on me or get all tangled up because I couldnt get the yarn needle in the correct spots on the squares.

I'm starting another granny afghan. This one is being made in red, white, and blue, and I'm making what I think are 9 Patch blocks (9 squares of 3 colors sewn together into one big square), and I think I'll make 9 of these 9 Patches to be sewn together into an afghan. (finally, I can make something resembling a quilt...)

I might also attempt this in knitting also. I was thinking about making squares on my straight knitting needles and sewing them together into an afghan. Which I think would look cool if I ever try learning how to knit cables. I think I'll have to take lessons on making cables. (tried it, looked good for a few rows till I made a mistake that I couldnt fix)

I'll be taking pictures tonight of my attempt at a patriotic granny afghan. I have my first block finished, and it doesnt look too bad. I need to go buy some new yarn to finish that one, but I'm kind of excited about this now. I love patriotic afghans, and making one out of a bunch of squares sounds like fun. Plus, if it goes as fast as my first block did yesterday, I should be finished fairly quickly. (I join the squares as I go...seems to go faster than making all the squares before joining)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Some interesting fauna and flora...

So, tonight I was sitting outside with my parents, looking our new landscaping, when something started to fly around some of the flowers. It was moving pretty quickly, and my mom thought it was a hummingbird.

I had my camera with me, so I tried to take some pictures...the damn thing was FAST! I think I only managed to get one picture of it, and even tho I was zoomed in, I couldnt exactly tell if it was a hummingbird. (if you cant see it, look at the top of the purple flowers)

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So, when I got inside, I put the pictures on my computer and then zoomed in on the little thing. I was surprised to see antennae and and buggy legs on this thing. So, off to Google I went, and found out that the speedy little insectish-like thingie was actually a hummingbird moth.

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I dont like bugs, but this was interesting to see, since I'd never seen one before. Now I'll have to be watching for more to appear in our flowers.
And for you to see more of my amazing (?) photography skills, here are some more pictures of some plantlife in my yard. The next couple of pictures are of a Henry Fonda rose in various stages of blooming. (and they're probably not in order of bloomage)

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The third rose picture has a little bug sitting inside the flower, it's NOT a ladybug. Apparently the ladybugs are being overtaken in my area by some bug from China that looks a lot like a ladybug, but it's a horrible pest (another bad import from China) My next door neighbor had a swarm of these things inside her glass enclosed patio room a few years ago. They're just nasty, and very difficult to get rid of when you get a swarm swarming your house. So far, my house hasnt been bothered by them, but my neighbor seems to have problems with them every fall when it gets cold.

Eventually, I'll get some crochet/and or knit projects finished and will post them here soon. Just thought some people might like to see my roses and that moth.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

So, it's been an interesting few days.

I've learned how to do a couple of knit-ish type things (k1, p1 ribbing, loom knitting) and I finally got to replace my poor yarn winder with a new one. Bought some wool yarn that I'm either going to make a hat or a purse out of.

I went to the doctor last week because I was having some bizzare vertigo. The doctor put me on a steroid taper to try to lower some apparent inflammation in my middle ear, because he thinks I have otoliths (little microscopic rocks) in my ears. When these otoliths roll around in my ear canal, it causes vertigo. Which. is. not. fun. at. all. So...I've been on this steroid for a couple of days, and I see why people like and dont like to be on steroids. I'm all up and feel (I'm assuming, since I've never been) a wee bit high. I'm crocheting/knitting all sorts of things, I'll have all sorts of projects started that need to be finished when I'm done with the steroids. The steroids are interesting. I can now tell that there was some sort of funky inflammation and goo going on in my ears. I can hear...I can breathe better too.

Apparently my entire head must have had some inflammation in it. I didnt realize how long I havent been able to breathe. It's kind of neat to be able to breathe thru my nose without encountering a "roadblock" or two in there. The steroids are helping with one or two of my other problems that I've been having. The doctor told me when he gave me the Rx that I might see improvement in other problems I might have been experimenting. My back doesnt hurt anymore! yay! So hopefully whatever this steroid has done, it'll last awhile for my back.

Ok, back to the knitish type stuff I've been doing. I learned how to do ribbing this week and this is totally cool, it's become my favorite knit stitch. I'm trying to make a scarf with it now. Then, yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby and wandered around looking at all the cool clearance stuff they had. I didnt want to spend a lot of money, so I looked at a spool thingie to make knitted cord...decided I didnt want to spend 3 dollars on it when it originally only costs about $4.50. So, I walked around a bit more until I found a bag that the HL employees just threw a bunch of knitting/crocheting stuff into a slapped a price tag on it. Bought that! It had 2 crochet hooks, 2 pairs of knitting needles, a knitting gauge thingie, stitch markers, and a knitting loom. I've already got yarn on the two pairs of needles, and I'm playing around with the loom thing. It didnt come with the little tool that you use to manipulate the yarn, but luckily I have a bazillion crochet hooks and found that one of my grandma's old steel crochet hooks works perfectly for pulling the yarn over the pegs. I sat up till 3am last night learning how to loom knit. Havent finished anything, but it's an interesting technique.

I'm planning on knitting some Harry Potter scarves. I want to do them in k1, p1 ribbing. I just love the feel of that stitch. I just need to find the right shades of yarn for a Gryffindor scarf. My dad likes the Harry Potter stories (we listen to them on cd) and he said he wouldnt mind a Gryffindor scarf. I might try to make him a hat with the knitting loom once I get it figured out.

I missed the HP book premiere last night. I had gotten to the bookstore too late yesterday to get a wristband, so my dad said we could buy it off of Amazon. We ended up getting the entire series of books. (Dad's claiming them as his) and I'm just waiting impatiently for them to be delivered. Hopefully they get here soon, I'm having problems keeping from getting the ending of the series spoiled by the news and morons on the internet who have never heard of "spoiler warnings"!!!

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

I am SO MAD!!!

I just accidentally broke my yarn winder. ARGH!!!!

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I have to go look and see if I can buy a new one somewhere...cheap.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Now I'm depressed...

I just watched the final episode of Stargate SG-1. (No, I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who hasnt seen it yet)

This has been one of my favorite shows for ten years (except for a season or two when Michael Shanks {Daniel Jackson} was off the show) The only other show that I really enjoyed as much as Stargate was MacGyver (and gosh, how happy am I that Richard Dean Anderson was in both shows!)

At least they're going to have two direct-to-video movies coming out probably within the year. And at least I still have Stargate: Atlantis to watch, and at least one person from the original Stargate will be jumping over to Atlantis (Amanda Tapping)

Hopefully Santa Claus will bring me the entire series of Stargate in a box set for Christmas. I still have to catch up on those seasons I missed when Michael Shanks left the show.

I did something I never thought I'd manage to do. I somehow managed to use up about 3/4 of my yarn stash (it was mostly scrap yarn) I recently got a new bed, with storage underneath. So today I was finally getting things put away, and in a rare burst of energy, I decided to straighten out my yarn cabinet. So I opened it up and pulled out all the little yarn cakes and was surprised that there was not as much yarn in that cabinet when I filled it up last year (or was it the year before?)

I managed to get almost all of that yarn into the really nifty craft tote I bought on clearance at Joann's Crafts the other day, and also into a blanket bag (the kind when you buy new bedding that have zippers and are made of clear plastic) The blanket bag isnt even that big. So, now that I have a newly emptied out cabinet space, I decided to get my old laptop out of it's exile to my dad's office and it's now happily purring away in my yarn cabinet (which used to be a computer cabinet before it became a yarn storage device. Now it's a computer cabinet again.) When I start back to school this fall, I'm probably going to use that computer for schoolwork and that desk just for doing homework. If I manage to get my certificate for medical transcription soon, I'm going to probably also use that desk as a work area if I can get a transcription job working from home.

I'm now thinking of cleaning my closet tomorrow. I probably wont, but I am thinking about it.

I want to go buy new yarn since I got rid of a ton of scrap yarn, but I think I'll see how much more yarn I can get rid of before I start to stash it again.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Havent blogged for awhile...

So, I've neglected my poor little blog for a bit.

In my defense, I'll say I've been busy. I went on vacation (at the beginning of May) to the Black Hills. LOVED IT! (I have pictures, but am too tired to mess around with posting them right now)

I saw Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial (which I was surprised to learn was commissioned by the Lakota), went to Wall and shopped at Wall Drug, saw the Badlands (my favorite place in SD), went to Rushmore Cave, which is a big cave full of stalactites and stalagmites. Amazingly enough, I, a sworn claustrophobe and acrophobe actually went on the tour. I managed to make it thru the cave without curling up into a fetal ball, screaming, and rocking back and forth with my hands over my head. Outwardly I was very calm, but inside I was screaming in terror. I was almost to the end of the tour when my mind started to think about earthquakes (in South Dakota??!) and cave-ins, so I was a bit anxious to get out of the cave, but at least I didnt panic.

Also went to Deadwood and Sturgis. In Deadwood I went to the Midnight Star, which is the casino that's owned by Kevin Costner. I was thrilled that Costner's slot machines were generous enough to give me a $100 jackpot to go along with the $30 that I was able to accumulate before the jackpot hit. :)

On the way home we went thru Custer State Park, nearly got t-boned by a HUGE American Bison (buffalo) that wandered (ran) down the hillside towards the road we were on. Ironically, after we dodged the bison we drove a little further down the road and encountered a sign that said "Caution. Large Animals on Road"... The day after that we also saw Scotts Bluff and Chimney Rock in Nebraska...dodged some tornados on the way back to Omaha and then came home in time for the vision problem that I've had since last August to finally start to resolve itself to a point where I'm almost happy with my vision now. (knock on wood it stays that way...or gets even better)

I got a late b-day present! (my b-day was May 24th). My dad bought me a new bed. Not that I didnt have a bed before, but it was just a bedframe, and a mattress and box spring. My dad took us to Nebraska Furniture Mart last week, and I picked out my new bed (not a new mattress, I kept the one I had) It's really nice. It's a Captain's Bed...which just means that it's got a wooden pedestal base that has drawers (four) under it, and a nice headboard/bookcase.

Finally! I have storage! (not for yarn) I could have gotten even more storage if I got the pier that goes with the headboard, but alas...when we bought this house, I had the misfortune to get a bedroom with a funky shaped wall on one end where the bed goes. The pier (two TALL cabinets with a bridge and mirror thing that goes over the headboard) wouldnt fit in my room because of the funky shape of that wall. :(

My room feels much bigger now because I had to do some serious re-arranging of my junk....err...valuable things.

When I moved a piece of furniture this morning to vaccuum in preparation to the bed getting delivered, I discovered the last evidence that I ever had a dog. Under the bed, I found a towel that had been half chewed, a huge pile of dog hair, and a lone ancient dingleberry. (Ummm...how to explain dingleberries?? Hmmm...probably too much information, but my dog had hair that would collect things in it, and when he'd go potty, the hair would catch things, and they'd stick around a bit until they dropped off...again, probably too much information)

Strangely enough, the sight of the dingleberry, the chewed up towel and all that black hair I found under the bed made me wish TinyMonsters was still around. *sigh*

It's going to shock my friend that got mad at me when he visited last week because there was no where to sit in my room but on a footstool that day. He'll freak when he sees how clean my room is and the fact that I'm bringing my late-uncle's chair downstairs to keep in my room. So there'll be someplace to sit now (as long as I'm not storing dirty laundry on the chair)

In my little world of crochet and all things yarn-ish, I've finished a couple of projects. I did a couple more of those pineapple shawls, a giant granny square afghan, and I've done some more practice on the knitting that I've been teaching myself. I went out and bought myself an Addi Turbo circular needle. (got my sibling one too while I was at it...my dad forgot to get the sibling a present for a holiday) I REALLY like the Addi Turbo! It feels really neat to my fingers, and almost makes it feel like it's easier to knit. I'm going to have to eventually get myself a whole set of those needles in all sorts of sizes. I havent made anything with the turbo yet, just playing around with scrap yarn for now.

Well, I'm off to try out the new bed, and see if it's any more comfortable than it used to be (I had the delivery guys haul off the box springs, so now I've got a firmer mattress) I sat around on it earlier, and it didnt feel too bad. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep more comfortably now.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So my dad had a bunch of pictures professionally scanned...

My dad just got back a CD full of pictures that he had professionally scanned. I'm not very impressed. The pictures look VERY low quality to me. (but then, I'm half blind, so maybe they're not?) But, at least I have some more of our old film pictures of TinyMonsters. Here's some pictures of TinyMonsters and his little brother Corky. (we puppysat Corky for a week. No wonder we never got a second Bouvier when Tiny was alive) In the first picture, Corky is the one standing next to my mom...and in the second picture, he's laying down in the grass. He's cute, but I still think Tiny was better looking than his baby brother.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I think the scans are of poor quality, and that my dad probably wasted his money on this. At least we got all our originals back.

Today, it looks like Friday The Thirteenth was not a good day for computer equipment in our house. My mom's eMachine (wanna-be Gateway) crashed the other day. My dad and I took the computer out to Best Buy where we bought it last June, and the Geek there checked it and claimed that there was nothing wrong with it. So, we brought it home, hooked it back up, and it worked for about...two or three hours, and then started wacking out again.

So, today my dad and loaded up the piece of crap computer, and went back to BB...talked to the same guy. He kept claiming that there was nothing wrong with it. Until he tried to reboot it. :) It crapped out for him too! I had been told by the Geek Squad's online chat AND their telephone reps that they thought it was a bad sector, or some corrupted code or something. (those problems would be something we'd have to pay to have fixed) So, my dad and I were shocked when the kid at the store said that he thought it was the motherboard. (something BB's warranty would pay for! yay!)

Bad news...the computer is going to be gone for a month...and my mom is so not happy about that. I'm loaning her my laptop till she gets her computer back tho.

I've learned something. Dont buy an eMachine. I do have a Gateway, which probably isnt much better, but I've so far only had a few problems with mine...and I've probably just jinxed it.

A strange thing happened last week. I was listening to the first Harry Potter book on CD in my car. (borrowed it from the library) My parents were in the car, and my dad apparently has become hooked on HP. (mom was able to resist...) So now, I guess we're on the waiting list at the library for the CD version of the second HP book. I may attempt to crochet (or maybe knit?) my dad a Gryffindor scarf or afghan (if I make an afghan, it'll be crocheted) It's amazing how easily my dad got hooked on the story. We actually sat in the driveway the other night, with the back door of my car open, and my car stereo playing the HP disk.

Too bad mom doesnt like HP.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Colds suck..

So, I was going to post a nice memorial today to my dog TinyMonsters... Apparently my brain had other plans. (it's 11:40pm now...so I'm just going to do a short blog post and not bore you all with my dead-now-for-a-year dog.)

I've been fighting a serious cold (gee, thanks a lot Dad...is this revenge for me not getting you a birthday present?) and have not slept for the past two days. And then today, I've been in a fog of cough syrup and Claritin.

I'm hoping to go yarn shopping tomorrow. I've been wanting to try Brown Sheep wool (a Nebraska-made yarn) and so I'm going to a REAL yarn store tomorrow (not WM or Hobby Lobby) and see if I can score a couple of skeins of Brown Sheep to do an attempt at felting. (I say "attempt" because I'm pretty sure I'm going to screw it up) I may also see if I can find some nice new knitting needles (circulars) to add to my growing collection...and after that, I'll probably stop off at Joann's Crafts (I have some 50% off coupons)

I've started a giant granny square afghan (square, not rectangular) and It's not quite half finished. It's mostly red, with some white and blue yarn thrown in to add dimension.

I did recently finish a green shawl for a former neighbor as a St. Patty's day present. I took pictures of it, but I used my dad's camera, so I have to have him pull them off since his computers have the program for removing them.

And just so I have a little something on here in reference to TinyMonsters, here's a picture.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

March Blizzard...Part 2

Why am I hungry for cake?

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I dont think we'll be grilling steaks tonight...do you?

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The association snowplows finally showed up last night around 11pm. My dad got his car unstuck from the end of the driveway then (yay!) and he was silly this morning and went to work. (wrong move...it's snowing again now!)

I spent last night pug sitting my aunt's dog Pudge. It was like a slumber party. The dog slept in my bed and kept getting all grumpy because I kept making her move over. (she's a little furnace! and a bed hog!) My aunt spent the entire night at the hospital working because a bunch of nurses were not able to get to work to replace the ones that did. She finally got home this morning and Pudge was so excited to see her human. I was too. I didnt really mind watching Pudge, except for having to take her out to go potty in the cold snow. That's the ONLY thing that I DO NOT miss about my dog TinyMonsters...taking him out in the middle of a blizzard to do his business. At least Pudge was perfectly willing to go back into the house. TinyMonsters would go outside and see the snow, and think it was the neatest thing in the world and would refuse to come back inside. (always had to remember to take a cellphone out with me, to call for reinforcements)

Hopefully the snow melts this weekend. I want to go out to the movies sunday and my friend that's going with me has to drive from Lincoln to get here. Hopefully the slippery white stuff is gone by then (or at least plowed up decently)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

This better melt soon!

Here's a few pictures of the white crap that fell today. It's nasty stuff.

This is a picture of my neighbor's front yard...If you look closely, you can see the snowdrift is leading up to the front door of the house.

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and here's a picture of the storm from my basement back door. There are actually two magnolia bushes back there. One is much smaller than the other and it's almost covered by the snow. (the little one is to the left of the larger bush...you can barely see it in the snow)

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The snow in the backyard has drifted a lot higher since that picture was taken. It's just unreal how much snow fell today. (there's a bad rumour that we got 15 inches! We were originally supposed to get 6 - 9 inches)

I have a few more pictures, but they're on my dad's camera, and I dont know where he put the cable to pull them off.


I just went and got my aunt's pug Pudge. That was an experience. A scary experience.

The snow went up to my knees...and my aunt has a snowdrift that I couldnt see from my house. It's in her driveway and is about 4 feet tall. Her front door has an even bigger drift!

So, rescuing Pudge from her dog crate in Jan's laundry room was not fun. Pudge wanted to run around the house like a wild dog...so I had to let her do that for a bit, then try to wrangle her into her collar. Grabbed some food, and then tried to go back out thru the garage door. The garage door wouldnt go down from the keypad. So, we had to go back into the house. Close the garage door from there and go out the front door.

Then, I had to climb over the ginormous drift that's in her front door (carrying Pudge) and get the the relatively clear spot in her front yard so that Pudge could "take care of things", before heading over to my house. I think I twisted my ankle and my knee, walking back in the FOUR FOOT DRIFTS of WHITE CRAP! We made it back to my house fairly quickly. Got my garage door open, and came inside. I had to change sweatpants because mine had snow stuck all over them up to an area above my knees (eeeek! cold!)

Once we got inside, Pudge did exactly what Tiny did the first time he came into our house to stay. She poo-ed on the floor. ohyayforthat...at least it was solid.

She's run around my house several times over...I'm hoping she'll calm down long enough to lay down and leave me alone for a bit. I've developed an allergy to dogs and this is the first time in nearly a year I've had a dog in my house. I'm hoping I wont need to break out the Benadryl. I'm also wishing that Jan had taken Pudge to obedience school...none of the commands that worked on Tiny seem to work on Pudge.

This storm is seriously dangerous. I was scared walking across the street to Jan's house. It's THAT bad.

Holy Snowballs!!!

We're in the middle of a blizzard (and not a nice tasty one from Dairy Queen). This is a real blizzard.

My neighbor across the street has a FIVE FOOT DRIFT in her driveway that goes all the way up to her front door!

They've closed all the highways and interstate between Omaha and Lincoln, and Omaha is pretty much shut down. (Lincoln got 6 inches of snow and their storm is already over...the lucky bastards)

Omaha had thundersnow this morning. If you've never seen thundersnow, it's just amazing. The snow will come down quick, very heavy and intense. And then you get dangerous cloud to ground lightning. Cool to watch, but scary to experience!

I've taken a couple of pictures of the white crap, but havent pulled them off of my digital camera yet, but I might post some pictures later.

The local news said last night we might get 6 to 9 inches. Now they've revised that prediction. We'll probably end up with something closer to FIFTEEN INCHES by tonight.

I think I'm going to go make a cake, or cookies or something and then go crochet something later. Hopefully my dad will be able to make it home. (he's got a 4wheel drive car) but he works in a hospital, so he at least has access to food and a place to sleep if he gets stuck at work. My aunt lives across the street from me (next door to the neighbor with the five foot drift) and I'm really worried she wont make it home. If she doesnt, I'll be pug sitting tonight. (Jan's got a cute pug named Pudge)

There's no way I'm going to try to go out in this...even the snowplows are getting stuck in the snow.

Good thing we stocked up on chocolate last night...this qualifies as a Chocolate Emergency! I think I'll go rustle up some junk food for my mother. (she HATES snow with a serious passion, chocolate might calm the beast)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Half Granny square shawl

After finishing the red retro sweater, I decided to finish the scrap shawl that I started several weeks ago. It's nothing exciting. I just made half of a granny square. The first round is done just like a basic granny, but after that you only crochet halfway around the square and then turn, and do that to each row. (I know, I'm not explaining it well)

Here's a picture

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I just used scrap yarn, and changed colors when I felt like it. I randomly used yarn out of my stash and sometimes didnt care if I was putting a clashing color against a clashing color. I also didnt repeat any colors. The shawl is huge, and probably doesnt represent very much of my scrap yarn stash.

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For the edging, I did one row of half double crochet, and then for the next row, I single crocheted in the first 9 stitches, did 3dc, ch-1, 3 dc in the next st, and then skipped 2 sts... all the way to the center point, where I did 1 hdc in each of the next 9 sts, and then started over with the scallops until I got to the last 9 sts and then sc in each of the last 9 sts. (have I confused you yet?)

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Both my parents seem to like it a lot. I think my dad wants me to give it to him, but I think this shawl is for me. (I dont keep what I make very often) My parents can use it if they're cold tho..

I'm not exactly sure what to crochet next. I want to do a green sweater vest like the red one I did one blog post back. I'm also thinking of doing a scrap afghan. (I have a LOT of scrap yarn)

Friday, February 16, 2007

So, is it groovy??

I just finished this sweater yesterday

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I got the pattern from the old (now defunct) Groovy Crochet website. (which is archived on the Internet Archive thank goodness) It's the Easy Crochet Vest. It's a pattern from the mid-60's.

I've done this pattern before, but the last time I did it, I followed the directions exactly, and the sweater was a teensy bit too small for me. (gave it to a friend)

This time I modified the pattern a little...I made it a little wider, and a little longer, and then just "winged" it to do the shoulder and sleeve shaping. I was shocked to hell when I got the shoulders sewn up and it actually fit.

I wore it out into public for the first time today (went to the grocery store) I dont think it looks too bad. I'm just hoping that the yarn doesnt stretch too much from wearing it. (I used Red Heart SS Cherry Red and a K hook)

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Just found these....

A friend of mine helped me remove an old hard drive from a computer that is no more and put it into a case so that I can use it as an external hard drive. (for some reason I can only use 50gb of the 160gb...go figure. My friend is going to diddle with it later this week to see if he can find the other 110gb)

I did manage to find some old pictures of stuff on this hard drive.

Along with a couple of pictures of TinyMonsters, I found some crochet pictures. Here's a few pictures of an afghan that I made in early summer of 2004.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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I used scrap yarn for it, with a purple color in between each color change. This was the afghan that convinced me that scrap afghans look really cool when you throw in a couple rounds of a variegaited or ombre yarn to make the other colors pop.

I've still got this afghan, it's in my stash of finished afghans that I use for gifts occasionally. I think I might take this one out of the stash and use it on my bed.

I'm pretty sure that I used an "I" hook for this one, since that's my favorite hook size when I'm making the rectangle granny afghans.

And then I found this Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It's a crappy picture of me that I took with a webcamera. Ignore me, and look over my shoulder. That's one of the several dozen American flag afghans that I've crocheted. You cant tell from the crappy picture, but I used half double crochet for the body of the afghan, and Red Heart yarn (RH SS Blue, {edit: it's actually RH SS Navy Blue} Cherry Red, and White...I edged it in Gold in half double crochet) That picture is probably from early 2002. I made a lot of American flag afghans during fall and winter of 2001 and spring of 2002. My aunt Jan has that afghan.

I really like American flag afghans. I never use a written out pattern for them. I usually just eyeball the dimensions. Sometimes I'll take a real American flag, and use it as a template to figure out how long to make the starting chain, and how many rows to do each stripe and where to place the Field of Blue. I've never managed to put stars in my flag afghans.

Sometimes I dont bother using a template, and just hope that I get the dimensions right. I usually dont get the dimensions right when I do that, but who cares...they're just fun to do...and it means that each American flag afghan is different.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Wow...that took forever!!

I finally finished my very first KNITTED project. (I've been cheating on my crochet hooks with some knitting needles)

It's a scarf... (what a surprise!)

It's done in knit stitch, and has a single crochet edging around the entire scarf.

Here are some pictures.

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I started the scarf way back at the end of August. I was having a minor (ok, major!) vision problem at the time. (ginormous blind spots obscuring 2/3rds of my vision in my left eye) and I guess I felt that I needed a challenge. So, I taught myself to knit. I dont know why it took till I was half blind to be able to figure out how to knit.

I've gotten pretty darned good at the knit stitch, but purling is still fairly difficult for me...mostly the logistics of maneuvering the yarn. I have to use my right hand to wrap the yarn around the needle for the purl stitch, and after 30something years of crocheting and never having to use my right hand to do anything other than move my crochet hook around, it's still kind of difficult for me to grasp that concept.

I have a couple of other knitted scarves going on some needles...It'll probably take me another 6 months to finish each of them at the rate that I knit.

I like the feel of knitted fabric, but I prefer crocheting, probably because I can crochet an entire afghan in a week if I have to...it took me 6 months to knit that scarf!!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's been awhile...

Usually I post more often, but it's been a crummy month and I didnt feel like posting...and no, I'm not going to go into why it's been such a crappy month.

I'm starting to get better at the knitting...my crochet hooks are jealous. I've bought maybe 3 or 4 pairs of circular knitting needles (I hate the straight needles) in the past 2 or 3 weeks...and yes, all of them but one are occupied. I'm still not really knitting many actual projects. Mostly I'm practicing different techniques and trying to figure out an easier way to do the purl stitch. I do have one scarf that's 3/4 of the way done, and the start of a poncho. The poncho will probably take me a couple of years to do. (why is knitting so slow?!)

I finally got a new PDA...an HP iPAQ. I'm still waiting for Office Depot to honor their warranty. My dad and I got tired of waiting and my dad got me the new PDA for Xmas. I get the feeling that Office Depot is hoping I'll forget so they wont have to replace my old one. (meaning they'd give me a gift card for the broken one)

The new PDA is GREAT and is better than my old one. It's come in handy for a lot of stuff lately. Plus, it's fun to play with.

The weatherguy on the news just way too cheerfully announced that it's supposed to snow tomorrow. There has to be a law or something that weatherguys cant be chuckling, giggling or snickering while doing a weather forcast in the wintertime. Good thing this is the weatherguy who usually gets the forecasts WRONG. :)