August 30, 2008

L's Birthday and Computer Disasters

This is the cake that L has been wanting for two years now. It is a Hylian shield from the game Zelda. It was two years and a day late, but he got it! R worked hard and finished it the day after his birthday. Since it was his choice, the cake was strawberry, the ice cream was strawberry and breakfast consisted of waffles, whipped cream and, you guessed it, strawberries. Now, I'm not a big strawberry fan - unless they are 'real', so this has been a real test of my "Mommery" and that, my friends, is an official of a minute ago.

On a very sad note...a moment of silence please...our computer died. It was a slow and tragic death. It was sad to watch. First the new modem software wouldn't load. Now I can't go very long without internet access. I tried once and broke out in a cold sweat! Next, the computer would turn on, but it wouldn't do anything else. I couldn't run virus scans. I mean it wouldn't do anything but turn on. Such a sad, sad day. I must have looked pretty pitiful when RL came home because he even tried to fix it. Now you've got to understand that RL works on a computer all day long and the last thing he wants to do when he gets home is look at another computer screen. It was hopeless. A trip to the Geek Squad was in order. We went for advice, but didn't bring the tower with us. We went back home and got it. The tech started the scan and the first thing out of his mouth is 'uh-oh'. I don't like 'uh-oh'. I know what 'uh-oh' means and I don't like it. Scan after scan wouldn't work. Finally he found a way into the mess and it was totally infected with viruses! We described what we'd been seeing prior to the shut down and he was not the least bit surprised. A couple of other things were messed up with a card or whatever and also with our printer. So, our choices were $400 for repairs on a four and a half year old computer or double that for a new one. We got a new one. It has Vista on it and I have no idea what Vista is all about. So hang in there with me while I figure it all out. Looks good so far, doesn't it?

August 27, 2008

18 Years Ago Today...

This is where we were 18 years ago today. That 'little' bundle of joy weighed in at 10 lb. 2 1/2 oz. We weren't surprised to have a boy because we found that out a couple of months before he was born. However, when they came in to the delivery room with news of a 10 lb. 2 1/2 oz. baby, I was curious just what sort of woman was able to have a baby that size. Imagine my surprise when they said it was me!
The time has flown by. People warned me that it would. At the time I was going through all those diaper changes, feedings, sleepless nights and a confused two year old who wanted me to 'put him down and play with me' - I never thought I would make it through another day. We all did and I don't regret any of it. If I do have one regret, it is that I didn't enjoy it a little more instead of just surviving it. That's what grandchildren are for, right? Not that we are in any hurry for grandchildren though! I just felt like I needed to clarify that...
L has been a bit of a celebrity today. He's gotten calls from both sets of grandparents, cards from RLs brothers families and a call from my sister. R stayed up late last night and made paper streamers to decorate his doorway with as well as the stairway. She'll decorate his birthday cake to order later - as soon as she can wake up a little more! Late night streamer making can really take it out of you. What a great sister!
L, we love you very much and are proud of you. You're a beautiful person inside and out. Stay that way!
P.S. You're welcome that I didn't use the picture I really wanted to use. You know the one...

August 26, 2008

When In Doubt, Knit A Dishcloth

Now that I am in between knitting socks - which means I have NO idea what pattern I'm going to knit next, but it will probably be socks - I decided to do some useful knitting. I had the yarn in my stash and found this pattern on Thimbleanna's blog. The picture stinks, but we've had much welcomed rain all day and it's very overcast, so it's the best I could do for now. It was a neat pattern to knit and I love the way the stripes turned out.
Tomorrow is L's 18th birthday! I cannot believe he will be that old since I am just a year or two older than that myself. R and I are the same age - 20. That is quite the feat!
Good news from Florida! My FIL finally got into the oncologist yesterday. I guess the waters from Tropical Storm Fay receded enough so the doctor was finally seeing patients again. Anyway, all they saw was scar tissue. From what I gather, that's good because they didn't see cancer. We'll know more after they see the radiologist on the 4th. So far it's great and we are all very happy. They have some damage from the storm, but it's being taken care of, so that's good.
Any ideas for a sock pattern to knit? I welcome any ideas. Thanks!

August 22, 2008

A Cat, A Napkin and A Bored Kid

What can you do on a boring afternoon with a semi-willing cat, a napkin and a bored kid? The bored kid can make a sailor hat out of a napkin and put it on he semi-willing cat and hope the semi-willing cat will be patient enough for a photo shoot. We really need to get out more...
On another's starting to feel like summer is giving way to fall. I think we might be ready although it hasn't been an extremely hot summer. My second pair of flip flops are about ready to blow out so that's a sure sign that summer should end. Two pairs to blow out in one summer - that's unusual for me. Then again one pair has lasted through two summers, so that's a record of some sort.

No real news from Florida about RLs Dad. Due to the tropical storm, all normal life came to a stand still. All doctor appointments were cancelled for him, so we know as much now as we knew at the time of my last post - NOTHING! Hopefully we will know something by Monday afternoon. We do know that their house sustained some water damage and it looks like new carpet is in the works.

Look what R found in the garden! Isn't it pretty? She thinks it's a Monarch caterpillar. Since the garden is kind of on the way out it's not a real threat if it's something that's going to eat everything in sight!

Did I ever mention our sunflower patch? Probably not, because there isn't much to mention. We dug out a section of the yard and had big dreams. The sunflower seeds were stolen by greedy squirrels and our dreams were dashed. While outside playing croquet, R and L happened to notice that two came up! This is the only one that has flowered so far.
Tom Sawyer is back on the shelf and I can chalk up another classic to my summer reading. I'm starting on a mystery series called Aunt Dimity that Aredhel recommended. I am enjoying it so far - 'so far' means I've read the first chapter!

I've also finished another pair of socks! This pair is the same pattern I used for the pair before last - if you're keeping up. I made the cuff slightly longer and I really like them. Once again, I have Aredhel to thank for recommending using this pattern with this yarn. I'm not a big Kaffe Fassett fan, but this yarn 'spoke to me'. When yarn speaks - you must listen.

August 18, 2008

Instructions, Instructions Everywhere!!!

You just never know where instructions are going to show up, do you? Imagine my surprise when I reached for a banana last night and read these instructions. I've never been instructed by a banana to do anything, so I was mildly surprised. Must have been more than 'mildly surprised' because I didn't eat the banana. Man, everything is bossy these days!
Knitting is still the main event around here. It did take a backseat to the Olympics, but is once again the number one source of entertainment. Wow! What a great week of watching Michael Phelps. He is thoroughly amazing. The kids tease me because I have to watch him. He has such a great relationship with his Mom and sisters. I just love watching them together. After beach volleyball is over, the Olympics are over for me.
We are awaiting news from Florida. First, we are waiting for my FILs test results. We are very anxious to see how he has responded to all the chemo and radiation he's been through. Second, we are waiting for news of the hurricane. Ally Jo's family has the right idea! If it hits, they use the time for family bonding. That's what we did while we lived in Florida and now that we are in NC, we do that when we have ice storms.
We also got news from our former minister that his wife, Terre, is one again battling cancer - this time in her brain. Terre is one of the most amazing women you would ever want to meet and has beaten the cancer odds so many times before. She's a walking, talking miracle. So, if you don't mind, please add her to your thoughts and prayers. Thanks!

August 13, 2008

Fibery Goodness

I promised fibery goodness and today I deliver.
These are the latest finished socks. Just your basic generic pattern, but pretty and bright. I finished these while the gang was in Gatlinburg. Sorry to flaunt another pair of finished socks in front of you, Ally Jo!
I bought this after getting strict instructions from RL to relax and go to the yarn shop. No problem! I can follow directions like that. I've already started another pair of socks using the zig zag pattern I used a couple of posts ago - thanks to the suggestion from Aredhel. The yarn is Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett. I'm not usually a fan of his designs, but I really loved the colors of this yarn.
Second purchase from the yarn store. Online Supersocke 100, hiking - color. No telling what this will become - but I've got some time to decide while I knit the current pair of socks.
This was my souvenir yarn that RL picked out for me. It's a little darker than it looks. The picture below looks a little more accurate. It's Trekking Hand Art in Karibik colorway.Here's Rs new addition to her stash. Too bad it doesn't grow on trees, isn't it? It's Brown Jacob from the Smoky Mountain Spinnery in Gatlinburg.
And last, but certainly not least, another addition to Rs stash. It's also from the Smoky Mountain Spinnery and it's Mahogany Colonial. I'm very anxious to see how it turns out once it's spun.
So, there you have the fibery goodness of the week!

August 11, 2008

The Weary Travelers are Home

My family is home and all in their places. I'm so happy they had a nice trip and a careful one too. The kids enjoyed seeing their grandparents and R was in her element with all the historical stuff at Cades Cove. I think L and R thought their grandparents were trying to kill them with all the walking they did! R just came down stairs and said her legs were still killing her. Hmmm, walking, a new concept! Since she was the official photographer of the trip, I thought I would share some of her pictures with you.

Here's really neat picture of a millstone. The kids said they overheard a conversation between a couple. The guy was saying this was what they used before they made the wheel. Somebody came along and explained what it actually was. People say home schooled kids are dumb - well, my kids knew what it was!
R took her Hallowig for Popo to wear. She's been itching to to get it on him since he lost his hair due to chemo. He cuts quite a stunning figure, doesn't he? Note the lovely 'redneck windchimes' to the left. Those were his birthday present from his cousin.

These motorcycles are the reason L now is considering a career in National Park employment! What a way to get from point A to point B and get paid for it!

This makes me so sorry that I complained about the little red truck in my earlier post. Somehow I think A/C was the least of their worries. I don't think they would have gotten too far on that front wheel!

Tomorrow I'll have to share pictures of the beautiful yarn that they brought back for me as well as some of the roving R brought back to spin. And, now that the camera is back, I can also take pictures of my new socks - hot off the needles. Check back tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel!

August 9, 2008

I Am Spoiled Rotten!!!!

It's true, I am! I am spoiled rotten to the core. I am married to a wonderful man who will do anything for me. I have two great kids who are wonderful company and are compassionate people. I am very well taken care of. I have a nice air conditioned house that is slowly being transformed into what we want as a family home. I have a nice automatic car that is a little older than a year. It's a great car - a/c, auto locks, windows, cd player - you name it. Now, you may be asking yourself, "What has this got to do with anything?" I'm going to tell you. Thursday afternoon my wonderful husband and two great kids piled into our one year old car - with air conditioning - and went to Gatlinburg to see my in-laws. (I don't go because I don't travel well at this time. Long story that I'll save for another day - lucky you!) They were gone all afternoon Thursday, all day Friday and will be home sometime in the next hour or two. I have been here taking care of an unappreciative cat, sleeping alone and driving a standard truck with a broken air conditioner. Each of the kids volunteered to stay for the week leading up to the trip. "No, go! I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself!" Ha! No, make that DOUBLE HA! For starters, I have NEVER been alone IN MY LIFE! Well, occasionally I've been home for a few hours alone, but not very long at all. I moved out of my parents house into RLs after we were married. Whenever he went on a business trip, I stayed with Mom and Daddy.
The first day was weird. I was given strict instructions by RL - take it easy, knit, rent some movies, sit in your pajamas all day, read, finish the socks you started, buy yourself some new yarn, etc. Now that sounds like something I could actually do. They hadn't been gone an hour and I had already brought out the vacuum and vacuumed the rug in the kitchen, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and cleaned both bathrooms! Yes, even that disgusting one upstairs! Yuck! I brought the recycling bin and trash can up from the street, folded laundry, put it away and went to the library. I did ALL that in a few hours. Then I twiddled my thumbs until it was time to fix something for dinner. I did manage to finish my socks. When I reached for the digital camera so I could share them with you, I realized that spoiled rotten me didn't have the camera - it was with my kids!
The next day was a little better. We won't even discuss how dark this house gets at night and how Psycho - which I've never even seen - goes through your mind while you're alone taking a shower! I got up fairly early, for me, and decided to hit the road. L had asked for a book from a used book store in town so that was first on my agenda. They didn't have it. Borders didn't either. Nope, not even Barnes and Noble. How do I know??? I went to all of those places in the unair-conditioned truck with a window that gets stuck when you try to roll it back up! And doors that need to be locked when you're in town but won't lock on the outside without the key. No, I'm not bitter - don't even say that! R had asked for a pattern from JoAnns and since they were on sale, that was possible. I got that and then headed for the yarn store because RL had told me to get some. I must have been a sight by that time. I was sweating so much and had gone through one soft drink that didn't even begin to touch on the thirst of a hot day. I was soaked through and smelled like it too! Yuck! My hair was ALL over the place from being windblown. I bought some yarn. You knew that already, didn't you? They also had a sale - 40% off quite a bit. I had to get some more. It was all worth it. I came home and ate dinner once I had cooled down and food was again appealing. Falling asleep was much easier after watching John Edwards dodge every question asked, reading a couple of chapters of a pretty good book and being exhausted.
Today was a little better. Still hot, but okay. I got some birthday shopping done for L - who will be 18 in a few weeks! NOT POSSIBLE! Mom met me at Babies R Us to look for a gift for 'Little Miss M.' Now, it's been a long, long time since I've shopped for babies, but when did turtlenecks become fashionable for a three month old???? How many three month olds do you know with necks? My babies had several folds, but no necks. We finally settled on an adorable outfit and I need to wrap it and get it over there in time for the baby shower. By the way, I got to babysit her the other day! Oh, she is just adorable! No, I do NOT want a baby. Surprised myself on that one! I came home and convinced myself to mow the backyard which was in desperate need of it and then back into the shower with Psycho visions! I am clean and eager for that family to get back here!
To top it all off - hasn't the news been horrible this week? First the news of Georgia and Russia, then John Edwards - who was surprised? - Bernie Mac passing away and now the people killed and injured in China. Not a good weekend for news!
I promise pictures as soon as the camera gets back. I'll probably have a gazillion pictures of Gatlinburg that R has taken and maybe even a picture of my FIL wearing a Hallowig! We can only hope...

August 3, 2008

Katamari Damacy Is Ruining My Life!

A few years back the kids got Katamari Damacy for Christmas. They loved it. When 'We Love Katamari' came out, they wanted it for the following Christmas. A recent afternoon of boredom brought the game downstairs and they have been playing it. In a moment of weakness, they got me to play. Now I have better things to do with my time than go around a pretend Japanese world, pushing a little ball that collects objects. I know I have better things to do. I see those better things to do all over the house. I had just about gotten myself from the clutches of this evil, monotonous game when both of the kids completed the final level. Well, we thought it was the final level. Turns out that there is a final final level where you collect a million roses. A MILLION ROSES! Do you realize how long that takes? FOREVER! I thought I would help them out, so I've been playing that stupid game when the take a break, collecting those stupid roses, and we're only up to a measly 200,000 on L's game and less than that on R's. I thought L was going to have a melt down of the worst kind when the cord came out of the back of the Play Station and he lost 60,000 roses. I would not have blamed the boy at all. It's not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. No violence. No blood. No nudity. It's just monotonous. Top that off with repetitive Japanese music that we don't understand one word of and you've got a doozy of a game! I don't know if I'll ever like roses again.

See, even Ginger is in on the action! Actually, the sounds do catch her attention and we'll see her watching the game while we play. Somebody send there a Katamari Anonymous?

As for knitting, well, what knitting???? I started a pair of socks a couple of weeks ago and I'm to the heel of the second one - finally. I didn't think I'd ever get there. The sad part about it all is they are your basic generic, just knit, pair of socks and they are taking me forever!

We've been spending some time at Mom and Daddy's lately trying to help them with some computer problems. As a result, we've been spending a great deal of time with Scout and Gus - my feline sister and brother. Gus had an appointment on Monday to get 'tutored', well, that's what we call it. He was also declawed. That poor little booger. Normally he is a brat with a capital B-R-A-T. However, after two surgeries and lots of pain killers and penicillin and they found a parasite during surgery - he has been quite sad. Mom and R took him to the emergency vet last night to have him checked out. He was dehydrated, so they gave him a shot of some sort of fluid. It wasn't an IV, but I don't know exactly what it was. He's on a bland diet for a couple of days. Mom and Daddy are officially broke now. Man, emergency vet medicine must be where the money is. Last I heard he was doing much better. Thank goodness because he gave all of us a scare. The only one not sweating it out was Scout and I'm sure she ever wanted a little brother to begin with.

Time to find that sock and get knitting. The game is off for the moment and maybe I can get some knitting finished if I can get into before I hear that monotonous music again....maybe.