Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wildlife interactions

This morning, I looked outside to survey the landscape, take pleasure in the post-rain green, and I saw a rabbit. Haven't seen very many rabbits in our yard in the past, and I think I discovered the reason.

I was watching the rabbit graze on the selection of weeds in the brush just beyond the yard, when I noticed a small bird marching around in the same section of plants. The bird was not very big, smaller than the small rabbit's head, even. I look at the walk, the white belly, and realize that it must be a baby killdeer. Baby bird uses the distracting tactic of pretending to have a broken wing, and walks up to the bunny. Rabbit starts moving away, but apparently not far or fast enough, because next thing I see is the bird, with wing askew, running behind the hopping bunny. So that, my friends, is why we rarely have rabbits in our yard - the birds scare them away.

Anyway, it was a busy week for having little planned. Monday was the big event. (Thanks to Mary for posting a picture of the frosted cupcakes.) Tuesday I schlepped leftover cupcakes all around the east side of Cleveland (to Rebecca, in Mentor, to share with her knitting group; to Chagrin Falls to share with my friend Cathy, since we were scheduled for lunch anyway; to Shaker Heights to drop some off for the nieces, since Grandpa didn't share Tuesday's cupcakes; to Macedonia for Jen and Nick, because they missed Monday due to family obligations), stopped by the library to pick up a book and donated blood while there. Jen and Nick came over for dinner to help eat the non-cupcake leftovers (yay!), Mike poured me a beer, and I crashed hard on the couch. Monday was a very long day - 3am to 11pm, approximately, and Tuesday morning started at 6 (the post-kitty-feeding nap ended about then). Sleep was necessary. Wednesday was a long day - had an afternoon meeting at my morning client, and there were a few computer issues afterwards. They called me in from the parking lot.... Thursday was spent preparing for the server migration that didn't happen, and a good thing, too, because Friday was filled with other crises that couldn't have been ignored for user support.

Anyway, when I finally escaped work yesterday afternoon, I was very cranky. Jen sent me a note earlier in the day, asking if I wanted to visit the Pea. Of course! What better way to rid yourself of nasty work vibes than some yarn therapy, especially sale yarn therapy? I picked up Malabrigo in Vaa and Velvet Grapes, enough of each color to make the Hemlock Ring blanket. Theoretically, they will be the family Christmas gifts this year. I have enough Indigo for a blanket already, so one more colorway to go. Maybe. Actually, I already have yarn for another alpaca blanket, so perhaps my parents will get the alpaca (since one has already been made for my sister), and Mike's side of the family will get the Hemlock Rings. It's a beautiful design, and looks incredible in Malabrigo. (If you're on Ravelry, definitely take a look at the projects out there!) Apparently it's a relatively quick knit, not all that difficult, and looks impressive. And there are fewer of them to make, so they stand a chance of being completed before Christmas.

Oh, and to alert you to a tragedy in the yarn world - Malabrigo had a fire in their mill. We learned of it yesterday, when I unloaded 12 skeins from my basket, and the friendly Chickpea employees shared the news. I had to sit down. Hope they get everything back in progress soon.
Jen and I had thought about driving down to Medina to visit Studio Knit, but I'd called, as I am searching for some Malabrigo Silky and laceweight (for me and Elin), and they did not have what we wanted. Also, by the time we were finished at the Pea, we had only an hour to drive to Medina and shop. And 15-20 minutes is not enough time to explore a new yarn shop.

Anyway, that was the week. Not much knitting news. Worked on the "Museum" scarf in the car a bit here and there, finished Geno the Penguin (pictures to come later), and thought about starting the Great A'Tuin. Haven't wound the yarn yet, as I want to finish a few projects first. I have a few too many things on the needles to start more. I should finish the clogs, as they will go very fast - one pair that needs finished, then only one more pair to make as a gift, and then one for me. I could probably finish them this weekend. Maybe that should be the goal. I have a few more baby gifts to do - I think I will make toys, as they don't get outgrown before they are gifted. I need to finish my sweater - now I have the needle back, I can finish the sleeves and collar.

So, game plan: Work on clogs this weekend (and finish!). Work on sweater after that (until finished!). Baby gifts for two neighbors, and several friends (quick toy knits!). Finish Firebird. Start A'Tuin. Return to Baudelaire socks. Make Hemlock Blankets. Knock my Ravelry queue from seven pages into something smaller. (Yeah, right!)

Anyway, I should get moving - time to make the weekend productive! I am a sole away from having a pair of clogs finished. Will post pictures sometime soon.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just a little crazy

Those of you that follow this blog already know this: I tend to go overboard. It is just what I do. I love to bake, and I love to share baked goods. This is what I made today, starting around 4am:

Billy's Vanilla Vanilla (slightly ugly but definitely tasty)
Magnolia Vanilla (my favorite vanilla cupcake. Sometimes I even prefer it to chocolate)
Peanut Butter Cup with chocolate frosting
Wasabi-White Chocolate with white chocolate cream cheese frosting (skipped the plum sake filling)
Pineapple Goo (apparently you shouldn't use fresh pineapple in baking. I learned something today.)
Chocolate with chocolate frosting
Pumpkin Spice with cream cheese frosting
Mexican Chocolate recipe only made a dozen, and they went quickly, so they are gone. Need to get more kahlua and make more - they were tasty!

Anyway, made fifteen dozen cupcakes. For ten people. The cupcake to person ratio was 17.8. I sent people home with plates full, but I still have around eight dozen left.

Here is a picture of the table, minus frosting and two batches of cupcakes:

From the upper right, we have: Billy’s Vanilla, One-Bowl Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice, Peanut Butter Cup, Magnolia Vanilla, Wasabi White Chocolate. No photos of Pineapple Goo or Mexican Chocolate. Which is a shame, as the Mexican Chocolate ones were the prettiest. Will just have to get more Kahlua and make more.

Anyway, as usual, I have been busy. Friday we had a mystery shop for lunch. Never again at that location. Started cleaning the house - my goldfish bowl of a knitting area exploded all over the living room. I cleaned out the stash basket again, to remove things that are not currently on the needles and make room for things that are. Also started removing things from the coffee table. Big mess.

Saturday was the Great Lakes Fiber Show. Jessica and I met Vicky there, and ran into Rebecca. Also saw Mary, and several other area Ravelers. Had a nice time at the Rav meetup, chatting with everyone. Yay - just found out that Rebecca will take some cupcakes for her Tuesday night knitting group.

My haul from the festival:

wooster haul
From upper left: felted cat toy kit; cone of unknown green yarn; green laceweight, to be the Great A'Tuin (I wonder if the pattern has been posted yet); Wildefoote sock yarn in Bluegrass; Prime Alpaca (undyed), enough for a cabled sweater.

Good stuff. Sunday, we visited the nieces for the elder's birthday party. Fun to see the kids. Also stopped by MicroCenter to get a new power supply for Mike's computer, as it wouldn't boot on Saturday. Cleaned a bit more. Went to bed relatively early. Oh, also received a fun swap box in the mail. Will have to share more details later, when I have more time.

Today: Woke at 3, and started baking (after finishing most of the cleaning). Had four batches done by 7. Paused for a few moments to take a picture of the kitty sunshine.

sleeping kitty
Token Zuzu picture

Zach showed up at 1:30 to help Mike brew a pale ale; Jessica walked in at 2, Mary arrived shortly thereafter, and they helped frost the cupcakes. Thanks, girls! Pixisis, Melita and family, and Megan weren't too far behind. Oh the food!

Anyway, I am up way too late, especially having been moving nonstop since 3am. If you're in the Cleveland area and want cupcakes, please leave a comment with your email address, and we can work something out.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Meme revisited

As promised, I am returning to Emmms' meme. Christopher Moore is much more fun:

"Gabe tracks rats with microchips in them," Theo said.
"It's only one of the things I do. Mostly, I count dead things on the beach."

Isn't quite as riveting as Melanie Omega, but hey, I feel better now.

Anyway, should get back to the knitting. Working on Geno. I never knew I was so lacking in white worsted weight yarn. Could report on last night's lecture, but will summarize that I discovered a new career for my mom: dental hygiene for dead people. Very intriguing lecture, especially the bits about cotton being found on teeth, which hasn't yet been published. Here's a bit of info; here's a bit more. Good stuff.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am a very lucky girl!

Yesterday was a very good day. Work wasn't bad, had a short afternoon, and came home to find goodies galore!

My Beer and Fiber Swap box arrived, with several bottles of Russian River and New Belgium beers. Sadly, the Lost Coast Downtown Brown did not survive the trip. And the yarn! Katrina really overdid things. Socks that Rock in Monsoon, hand-dyed Lamb's Pride, and a skein of unknown yarn of beautiful jewel tones. Oh, and some felt coasters, too!

My haul in the beer and fiber swap

unknown yarn
The unknown yarn got a bath when the downtown brown broke. I rinsed it out, and wound it onto the swift to dry.

I'd just settled down to research cupcake recipes, when the doorbell rang. Our new mail carrier had an armful of goodies for me! We have:

chocolate soap
Triple chocolate soap from Turtle Cove

turtle cove boysenberry in sunshine
Boysenberry sock yarn from Turtle Cove - love the colors!!

deltafine products
Deltafine lotions, soapsicle, and clove lip balm. Please note that there is only one lip balm in the picture. The other now lives in my purse.

yarn pirate - patina
Finally, we have my booty! Patina from the Yarn Pirate.

Anyway, I was happy to get so much stuff in the mail. Yes, I am a kid.

In other news, finished turtle-Stephen. He and penguin-Stephen are now in new homes, with HS girls. I finished the turtle this morning. Skipped the I-cord attachment, and just sewed. Easier and faster, and I was running out of time. Started another penguin this afternoon. My sister-in-law wants a redwing. I don't think so. May make her husband a penguin, as theirs is a mixed marriage, and I am on his side. Especially now. Go Pens! I am looking forward to getting back to Firebird, as well. And I want to get back to my Baudelaire socks, especially now that I know magic loop. Perhaps I can try two at once.....

Finished! Cell phone picture.

Oh, made 3 dozen cupcakes before work today. Took 2 dozen to the party for the kids, and had another dozen to share with non-school folk. Met my sister-in-law around lunchtime, so she could pick up the pressure washer that I couriered from Waynesburg, and gave her a plateful of cupcakes. Just basic chocolate and vanilla, nothing special. Those will wait until the weekend.

Had a nice time at the party, though. The girls liked their gifts, the cupcakes went over very well (I love walking out with empty containers!), and one very sweet girl gave me a hug. Today was a good day as well, even if I did swear a lot at other drivers.

I am very sleepy. Woke up at 4 two days in a row, and did not get my morning nap either day. Yesterday I was hoping to start the cupcakes, but Zuzu would not permit it. She wanted to snuggle. So I knitted. Today she wanted to snuggle as well, but I needed to bake cupcakes, so she settled in for a nap on the couch, under a blanket. Went to knitting group last night, learned to single crochet, and ate seaweed. Was able to carpool with Jen, which was nice. Stopped at Target on the way home for some cupcake carriers, as handles make a big difference. Was too exhausted to bake last night, so it had to be this morning. Yummy stuff.

zuzu being petted
Don't worry, Zuzu got her love even if we didn't snuggle this morning

Anyway, I have a few errands to run, plus a headache, so maybe I will just stay in and go to bed early. I don't really need to buy anything, right? I can grocery shop another time. Besides, my kitty is meowing and wants more attention.

Oh, and as far as the book meme goes, I would suggest Christopher Moore. When I think of it, I will post three sentences from "Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I don't want to work, I want to pet my yarn all day

First, thanks to EvilJulie, who showed me that you can add pictures to the Rav progress bars. And she probably doesn't even know that she was such a help...

Back from the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival. Lots of fun. Picked up a decent bit of yarn.

This is the haul:
waynesburg haul
Clockwise from the huge grey hank in the upper left: Grey 2-ply mohair homespun (nearly a pound!) from Sheepstone Natural Fibers in Darlington, PA, spun by Kris Savage; Red/burgundy/deep wine-nearly black wool, silk and viscose blend from Crabapple Llamas and Fibers in Latrobe, PA; green semi-solid superwash sock yarn from Knit Picker (not sure of location); multicolored variegate superwash sock yarn from Knit Picker; blue-green hand-dyed handspun merino from an unknown vendor.

Jessica and I had a really nice time. We left Saturday after lunch, stopped at IKEA and DSW on the way down (I bought a French press, plastic bag closures, and a small frying pan - no new furniture for me), and briefly popped into the festival around 5:30. The weather was bad, it was incredibly windy (tents were blowing over!) and many vendors were packing up. Jessica bought some gorgeous blue mohair/wool yarn for a bag, some pretty green alpaca for socks, and a hank of ivory silk light fingering weight. So soft! We dropped by Mike's brother's house, unloaded our stuff, and headed out to the only sit-down restaurant in Waynesburg for dinner - Bob Evans.

Went back to the house after dinner, and hung out with my sister-in-law and niece. And knitted. Worked on Stephen (the turtle). Finished the top and bottom of Stephen's shell, and started the "shell attachment panel." Forgot to bring Firebird, which was fine, as I didn't have time to work on it, anyway. Almost watched P.S. I Love You, as my niece and her friend had it on in the other room. Seemed like a decent chick flick; at least I appreciated the soundtrack. Camera Obscura, Pogues, Nellie McKay, I forget who else - oh, wait, of those, only Nellie actually appears on the soundtrack album. I won't be buying that one, don't think. Stayed up later than usual, but hey, I could sleep in, right? Um, no. Woke up at 6. Convinced myself to stay in bed until 7, and then went downstairs to knit. Rest of the house started moving sometime after 8.

Went back to the festival today, after a breakfast of cinnamon rolls. Word to the wise, let them warm up for a few hours before baking if they have been refrigerated. Or just make them fresh. I feel like I should have taken over my sister-in-law's kitchen and started from scratch this morning, as they would have turned out better. They weren't bad, just not as good as usual.

Anyway, I did my yarn purchasing today. Weather was somewhat better, although it was still windy. Love-love-love my huge hank of handspun mohair. Originally thought it might be a sweater; right now I think it might be a shawl. I need to figure out the yardage. Zuzu loves it, too.

zuzu getting friendly with handspun
Zuzu getting to know her mohair pal

Speaking of Zuzu, she and I were outside the other day. I noticed that when the sun shines on her fur, if you look closely, she looks like she's covered in rainbow glitter. Her fur apparently acts like a bunch of prisms and refracts light into many colors. She's my technicolor kitty! Not sure why it took me so long to notice that, but hey, I can be oblivious.

Oh well. I should head up to bed. But first, Emmms tagged me for a book meme. She is just a wild tagger lately! So here goes:

The rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people & post a comment here once you post it to your blog, so I can come see.

1. It was hard to pick the book that was nearest. There are at least five within an arm's reach. First one I grabbed was Mary Higgins Clark's Daddy's Little Girl. I almost feel like I should explain. A librarian foisted it upon me, and I haven't returned it yet. Haven't read Higgins Clark since high school, when she seemed very formulaic. Read one, you've read them all. At least that was my impression when I was 17. But it was closest, so here goes:

"I'd like that. I was kind of expecting that I'd get a postcard from Houston or L.A."
"I never send postcards."

Kinda blah. Let's grab another. No, no details of what to use for a basic rolled-brim hat from Knitting for Peace. How about Where the Girls Are by Susan Douglas? Ahh, the start of a chapter called "Genies and Witches." Sounds promising. Let's investigate:

The Journal continued, "They have rights and opportunities today the likes of which the Western world has never seen . . . .Indeed, women today are in many respects much better off than men." In its special supplement of October 1962 entitled "The American Female," Harper's maintained that American women were "repelled by the slogans of old-fashioned feminism.
But Harper's also thought it saw a trend in 1962 and named it "crypto-feminism."

Somewhat better, but still not great. Probably the best I can do before bed is from The Best of World Cafe, an interview with David Bowie:

Well the genesis of that song--- I had, I've had sort of an off-and-on long-standing thing about Tibet and its accompanying philosophy, Buddhism. And I studied off and on for three years in the sixties when I was younger and it really meant a lot to me, especially what I gleaned from the philosophy of Buddhism. And I guess over the last couple of years, my memories of that period, and also pangs of guilt for not having paid more attention to the plight of Tibet and to the Chinese, was sort of brought into focus with the lectures and speeches that the Dalai Lama is giving particularly, over the last couple of years.

Oh well. I am sleepy, and not in the mood to tag anyone (and too tired to post links to books, too). So if you are compelled, tag yourself!

Finally, kudos to Andrew for pointing me to his blog post that features Cary Grant knitting. Love the picture. Good night!

Friday, May 16, 2008

I am the brillopants

Thanks to Melissa for today's post title. I posted my favorite not-quite-a-pickup-line on Rav, and she told me that I was the brillopants. So I guess I am, since everything you read on the internet is true, right? So there - I AM THE BRILLOPANTS!!!!! I think that should be followed by an evil laugh, so Mwahahahahahahhahaha, too!

Anyway, I was a bit more concerned with the Pens game last night than I was with the blog. Still a bit down about it, but hey, they will finish the series in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Was concentrating on the game, and forgot to mention the Exciting Weekend Plans!

First, there is tonight's lecture. Read his book; good stuff. Then (and I am quite excited about this) Saturday, Jessica and I are heading to Waynesburg, PA for the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival. Mike's oldest brother and his family live in Waynesburg, so we'll get to visit them. If all goes well I will bring cinnamon rolls to be baked on Sunday morning. (Yes, I am still obsessed. I am starting to wonder if I have so many obsessions that I can never be truly obsessed with any of them, as there's just not enough time for it.) We'll drive back sometime Sunday afternoon.

What else? Nothing much, I don't think. Happy that it is Friday, but I still can't believe that it is mid-May already. Anyway, I should run off to find cash to spend this weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Arsetickled Numpty

Thanks to Emmms for the post title. She used the phrase on Rav, and I loved it, so have co-opted it here, just because.

As usual, it has been a busy week. Last weekend, went to my first Kirtlandia Society meeting in months. Fascinating lecture (as usual), this time on the Firelands Ground Sloth bones, which shows signs of human butchering even though it was carbon dated to pre-Clovis times, and there has been no other evidence to date of ground sloths being hunted/utilized by humans. It will be interesting to see the results of future studies on the bones.

Sunday, spent some time with Jennifer, and watched the Pens game. Made a penguin.
Stephen the penguin

Enjoyed the pattern, and will make another (to be named Geno). Will use a different, fluffier yarn for the belly next time. Stephen Colbert thinks that more animals should be named after him, so here's a penguin for the cause.

Here's also a turtle for the cause. Tanya thinks he should be called Dilly, but I will name him Stephen as well, just because.

turtle body
Stephen the Turtle, in progress. Body is done, and working on one leg.

Stephen the turtle's shell will be a sweater. Very cute pattern.

Both animals will be gifted to the HS girls that I teach to knit (party on Tuesday!), so they may be renamed.

Have been working a bit on Firebird here and there. Have done a few more pattern repeats. I think I like blogging while watching the Pens game - I can touch type (at least mostly) so I can watch the game and keep rambling on..... Anyway, here is Firebird, so far:

firebird closeup
Firebird; feel free to click on it to see the detail...

Just a few observations from the last week. Finally noticed the speakers in the corners of the front doors in my car - you know, where the little triangular windows used to be in old cars? Yeah. Took 12,000 miles to notice them. Also saw a woman in a dress that was startlingly reminiscent of a construction barrel. Wouldn't have noticed that fact except that she was standing just behind one. Made a mental note never to wear an orange and yellow striped dress, as I myself am rather short and stout. Also haven't seen quite as many right-leaning drivers lately. For a while, it seemed like at least 25% of male drivers on the road leaned toward the middle of their car. I don't know why, and the posture makes me hurt. Half of the time, the guys are on their cell phones, but not always. Do you get a better view from the middle? I am just curious.

Let's see... Monday was knitting. Small group of us; several people were sick and stayed home. Still a nice evening. Tuesday watched the Pens game at home while Mike went to the SAAZ meeting. He won the club's Homebrewer of the Year award. Speaking of his brewing, he had two beers advance to the second/final round of the National Homebrew Competition - his Munich Helles and Classic American Pilsner. Yay, Mike! Our friend Mark advanced his Scotch ale with habanero peppers.

Crap, Flyers powerplay. As Mike posted to his message board, he has been saying for the entire series: Fuck Filthadelphia! although Monk's Cafe is really great.

Wednesday (was that just yesterday?) had a long day at my morning client and spent the afternoon visiting University Circle. Went to the art museum to see the Arms and Armor exhibit - very cool, but they should give you magnifying glasses or binoculars, as there's so much detail that you can't get close enough to see. Spent the rest of the afternoon watching ducks at the Natural History museum. Dammit, Flyers just scored again. Was very inspired by the ducks (oops, needed to proofread that one!) - lots of gorgeous colors and patterns. I may have to design some knitting patterns based on various duck species. Yes, I am a dork. That likes ducks.

Anyway, this is the first evening Mike and I are spending together all week. We are both going to the DNA lecture tomorrow night at the museum, though, which should be interesting. Will work on my museum scarf, which is also a swatch for a sweater. This is the yarn I mentioned before; I do like it quite a bit. The pattern is used in the sweater body, and there are lots of cables and whatnot for elaboration. Only thing that worries me is that the pattern calls for size 8 and 6 needles, with the gauge swatch being on the larger needles. Well, I am a tight knitter, and get gauge on the smaller needles. I will need to check for errata to see if the gauge is really for the smaller needles.....

museum scarf 2
Plan on working on this only at the museum. We'll see how long that lasts. Although I will be there three times this week, and at least once more next week. Although first time I was working on larger needles, and needed to rip it out. Actually, frogged a second time, as my first smaller needles were still too big.

What else? I should focus on the game. The Pens need my love and attention - they are currently down by two. (edit - 3. Yikes!)

Oh, should include the token beautiful kitty photo.

morning kitty
She was looking so lovely one morning, soaking up the sunshine, and I couldn't resist.

Finally, my mom gave me her Wizard Snoopy. It was love at first sight. I have loved him since she bought him, I don't even remember how many years ago. Anyway, I guess she finally decided that he was meant to be with me, because she sent him home with me when I last saw her. He dances to his theme, and his crystal ball lights up. I will end this post with my favorite puppy:
snoopy dancing

I love Snoopy!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Another picture post

Just a quick note here - uploading pics to Ravelry; thought some should get shared here. Especially this one:

Zuzu, looking less than stunning

And for knitting:

At my parents' house last weekend, finished a hat and headband.

traditions folded brim
Nice, soft, fuzzy hat - definitely man-sized. Too big for my head!

calorimetry 1
I am a bandwagoner - this is my Calorimetry

calorimetry 4
Here it is again - because I like it.

I am really liking my Calorimetry. Really.

Finished the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater. I really like it, as does Zuzu.

sweater on floor
Sweater, sans sleeves (and collar)

sweater kitty
This is MY sweater! Don't try to take it - my laser beams will get you!

Left my size 8 circular needle at my parents' house, so I can't work on the sleeves until I get it back. Planned on picking up a sleeve on Tuesday afternoon, but realized that the needle was missing, so started another hat. It's made of the yarn that I brought for the HS girls (they loved it), and it is growing on me the more I work with it. I doubt that I could pull off these colors, but they remind me of the Muppets. What do you think?

dr teeth
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem...

Anyway, as I do not have my sweater to fill my suddenly empty evenings, I started Firebird. It's a lovely creation designed by the Tsarina of Tsocks, and definitely takes a lot of attention. I am learning new techniques, one of which is how to work on size 0 needles. (Also learned the Turkish cast-on, and look forward to using it again.) Look closely; there is a lot of detail.

Firebird toe
Firebird hatching

Well, I need this to be quick, as I want to get back to the Firebird. Hope you enjoy the pictures/progress report. (And Zuzu's tongue.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

For a slow week, it was definitely busy!

I'd expected a calm week last week. Why? I don't know. Calm is rarely a word that can be used to describe my life. Luckily there is rarely any real drama, but life is generally busy. I guess it was calmer than usual, as I was able to fit in a mid-week post.

Anyway, had lunch with my friend Danielle on Thursday, and discovered that I have misplaced a year. Don't ask how or why (maybe last year was simply that bad that I repressed it!), but I was convinced that her son is a year younger than he is, that our neighbors only moved a year ago (it's been two - at least), and as I found out that evening, that the NBA went to a 7-game playoff schedule a year before I thought they did. So does anyone want to fill me in on what happened in 2006-2007? Not sure where I misplaced that year, but it's gone.

Thursday evening watched the Pens game at North End (and during the period breaks they put on a basketball game, so I learned that the NBA was no longer using the 5-game playoff series), and was quite sad that the Pens missed the sweep. Worked on the sweater and yet another hat.

Friday I did something. Oh. Grocery shopping. Had a very sleepy day, and hit the stores just before closing. I think we also planted a tree. Or was that Thursday? Can't quite recall. Either way, Mike's mom brought us a crabapple tree. We had a bit of an amusing conversation about it:

Mike: Oh, we need to plant the tree.
Heather: Yes, I know.
M: But not in the Heart sense of the word.
H: That was a seed they were planting, silly!
M: Well, yes, but you know what I mean.

Okay, maybe I am just a dork. I was entertained. Pop culture references amuse me, especially references to bad 80s songs.

Saturday, made more cinnamon rolls (yes, this is something like the fourth batch of cinnamon rolls in a month), then delivered them to my parents. I'd mentioned to my dad that I might be heading out there again, and he requested cinnamon rolls. Hence the shopping on Friday - I needed butter. And powdered sugar for the icing. I have lots of icing left in the fridge from various cupcakes and cinnamon rolls and stuff. Anyone want icing and no cake? Will need to make more cupcakes just to use the leftover frosting.

Spent Saturday with my mom - went to the 380 auction and bought some vegetable plants, then stopped by the Bonnie Knits closing sale. 40% off yarn, books and needles. Bought more yarn that I don't really need, plus a few skeins to donate to the HS girls. Finished the hat, and started a Calorimetry. Yes, I finally jumped on the bandwagon. (For those of you not on Ravelry, the Calorimetry is listed as the most popular "hat", with over 4100 in existence. For reference, the second most popular hat has been made about 1500 times.) It's actually very cute. I really like it. (And will share a picture, probably in a photo-post later this week.) Loved the yarn, and have asked my mom to go back and get more. It would make lovely socks. (#204, for those of you checking the yarn link.) Really liked the way it stitched up.

Finished the Calorimetry Sunday morning, and finished reading "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Left it with my mom, as I think she'd enjoy it. You might, too - go on and try it!

Watched most of the Pens game Sunday after a trip to the grocery store and Pat Catan's. Bought some crimp beads - I want to try my hand at some stitch markers, and had everything necessary except crimp beads. Now there is no excuse not to attempt a new hobby!

Chatted with Cheryl a bit before driving home Sunday evening. Nice to finally talk to her - we'll have to get together sometime when she's not exhausted from Maryland Sheep and Wool. Megan went as well, and they both highly recommend the festival. Someday. I did enough damage at Bonnie Knits, and have plans to attend two festivals later this month.

Now, Eryn's comment made me think about my random facts. My math was off - I am closer to 400,000 miles now, quite possibly past. Drove 120,000 miles on my first car (Holly died with 324,000 miles under her wheels); 200,000 on my second, and 13,500 on my current. I have no idea how many miles I put on my parents' cars, but my favorite high school pastime was getting in the car and driving. Anywhere. We would play the "Let's see where this road takes us" game, get thoroughly lost, and then find our way home. Made even more entertaining by the fact that much of the driving took place after dark. Anyway, I would guess that I have driven somewhere around 350,000 miles, probably more.

(Oh, and side note about the current car: The windshield has developed road haze. Not sure how long it took, as I didn't notice it until yesterday, and it was rather thick. But I noticed the windshield was dirty, cleaned the outside, and it was still hazy. Used a bandanna - and is it a "do-rag", as in something you use when you're doing something, or a "dew-rag", as in something used to clean the "dew" off of your brow? - to wipe the inside glass, and was amazed at how much dirt had accumulated.)

Also, for those of you keeping track, I visited 49 states the summer after college. My final year at OU was spent working 60 hours/week as well as taking a full courseload (I rarely had a quarter with less than 20 credit hours on my schedule), and I was burned out. Had the thought, "I'm already in so much debt, what's a few thousand more?" and decided to travel. Left mid-July, with a stop to visit my parents and spend my mom's birthday with her. I didn't tell them of my plans until that day - I didn't want them to try to talk me out of it. I did tell them that I was off to NC to visit my friend Kelly. Talk about an akward conversation:

Mom: When are you coming back?
Heather: I'm not sure.
M: When did you tell work that you will be back?
H: I didn't. I quit. I'm going to spend the summer on the road. This is the only time that I will have six months of no one asking me for money (grace period of student loans), and I want a vacation.
M: Who's going with you?
H: No one.
M: *Stunned silence.*

Yeah. They weren't really all that happy about it. My grandma, however, was thrilled. She thought it was a fabulous idea, and wished that she'd done something similar. I spent the summer driving, camping and staying in hostels mostly, as well as visiting friends (my stalker skills were finely honed - I could find almost anyone!), and sometimes sleeping in the car. Found lots of wonderful people just about everywhere I travelled. Met Grama in Vegas in August, and spent a few days running around the casinos with her. Drove to Alaska a bit later in the year than is recommended, but still had a great time. It was the one time in my life that I was mostly faithful about keeping a journal. Someday I'd love to turn it into a book, although that probably won't happen. Maybe it will just be another blog. Thoughts?

Grama was so happy about my trip that she decided that she'd take me to Hawaii. So I visited my 50th state (with Holly's gear shift knob in my purse) in October 1999. Sadly, Grama got sick and couldn't go, but my mom was able to take the time off and come along. Learned to play the conch shell (how's that for another random fact?) on the ship - Grama had booked us on a senior citizens' cruise. Lots of fun, and someday I'd like to go back.

Oh well - enough nostalgia. Back to the current day. I am still working on the ribbing for my sweater, but should finish tonight. There is the possibility of Metropark knitting this afternoon, too. Figured out my stitch count, but did not factor in the collar. At least I will have enough of the discontinued yarn for the sweater, and probably to finish the fingerless gloves.

This is the time of year when I wish I still had my outdoor job. The pay was not at all good, but it was a lot of fun. I was in the best shape of my life - there were days when the job consisted of a nature hike, with the occasional stop for digging, so the upper body got toned as well. I don't miss it so much in the heat of the summer or cold of winter, but these beautiful spring and fall days make me wish I didn't spend most of my workdays staring at computers.

Anyway, I should take advantage of the quiet time and finish that ribbing!