Archive - February 2009

Cast On!
Overdue Bookshelf
I Ate Dinner
Help Wanted
Show Biz
Breaking News
Good to Know


I love getting comments on my blog, but I find myself in a conundrum of how to handle them.  If someone asks a question, should I reply in the comments or through email or both?  All comments to my blog arrive to me through email and I’m supposed to be able to hit reply and it goes right to the commenter.  But I don’t think it’s working right.  I wrote out this nice lengthy reply to someone and right as I hit “send” I saw that it was going to my blog’s inbox. So I have no idea if my replies are even getting through.

So I’m going to answer some questions here.

Tami asked why she wasn’t able to make smilies appear in her comments anymore.  It’s because you need to leave a space between the sentence punctuation and the punctuation for the smiley.

Nancy wanted to know which colorway of Noro Silk Garden I’m using for my scarf.  It’s number 87, which is mostly jewel tones.  The scarf I’m making calls for 4 skeins.  By the way, the pattern I’m using is free.  I think it’s well written and is a good way to learn entrelac.  You can find it here:  Entrelac Scarf.

Janice was wondering if it’s all one skein of yarn.  Yes, it is! It’s handpainted varigated yarn.  I have seen other people’s entrelac projects where they used 2 different skeins to get a very specific set of color changes, but that’s a lot of work and I like the way the yarn does all that work for me.

JennG was wondering if I learned all these fun knitting techniques from books or from other people.  A little of both, but mostly I’m self taught.  I learn best from reading (what kind of learner does that make me?), so I can usually muddle along well enough to get by. Part of the fun of knitting, for me at least, is trying something new.  I’ve managed to infect several people in my neighborhood with the knitting bug and having all these new and quickly learning knitting friends has inspired me to try all the fun things I’ve seen others do.

Angoraknitter (a fellow Army wife who just moved to our area) mentioned that she can hardly wait until her yarn arrives (I’m assuming in her household goods).  Angora – can I call you Ang? – you don’t have to wait!  There’s a fun knitting store in Old Town Alexandria.  Head north on Hwy 1, after you pass the Beltway, turn right.  It doesn’t matter which street, but I turn at the gas station.  When you get to Washington, turn left.  When you pass the statue in the middle of an intersection, Knit Happens will be on your right.  I think the cross street is King.

She also asked me about my ottoman and chairs seen in my messy living room.  They are indeed from IKEA.  Both have removable, washable slip covers – a must in a house with children!  We put sliders under the ottoman feet so we could move it around the living room easily, but that was a mistake.  Pushing the ottoman around caused the knobs under the lid to break off, so the lid slides off when bumped into.  That was our fault, though, since it was designed to really stay in one place.  The chairs are comfy and have enough room under them to store a basket full of Wii paraphenalia under one and the WiiFit board under another.  I had to wash one of the slip covers during our last round of stomach virus and it washed up wonderfully.  No fading and the wrinkles disappeared once the slip cover was back in place.  I spot clean the ottoman at least weekly and it’s holding up well, too.

OK, I think I got all the recent questions.  Now I’m off to try to figure out how to get my emailed replies sent to the commenter.

Cast On!

My friend Shanti and I are at it again.  Crafting, that is.  We’ve been crafting buddies since the very late 80’s.  This time we’re having a knit-along together.  Several people wanted to know what I’m making with my Noro Silk Garden – well it’s for the entrelac scarf that Shanti and I are each knitting.

I cast on yesterday –

I love the way that entrelac looks like it’s strips of knit fabric woven together, but in fact it is not.  It looks tremendously difficult, but again, it is not.  If you know how to increase, decrease and pick up stitches, you can knit entrelac.

As for the Silk Garden, well, what can I say?  I found it online on sale and I had a coupon code. I saved $3 a skein, which only makes me love it more.  It feels sort of scratchy in the skein, but when it gets knit up it seems to soften.  I’ve read that with a good soak before blocking it’ll soften even further.

Did I mention that entrelac is addicting?  I keep wanting to finish just one more block, then one more row, then oooo! a color change is coming up, gotta keep going to see which color it is!  I don’t think this scarf is going to take long to finish!

Overdue Bookshelf

So last Friday when I was feeling mostly better after the stomach virus, and I’d eaten a couple of meals, I had this burst of energy. So big that it caused me to do housework.  I tackled this bookshelf:

Hey, I didn’t say it was a huge burst of energy.  And remember, I hadn’t eaten anything in like 6 days and was pretty worn out and weak. The bookshelf was all I could handle.

I was tired of looking at it all the time.  We’ve lived in this house for 2 years and this shelf has been the collecting spot for all sorts of things since we moved in.  It doesn’t have books because it is supposed to be where my Swarovski crystal collection is displayed.  But as that hasn’t happened in 2 years and we’re moving in 5 months, it’s not going to happen at all.

I took everything off the shelf, dusted it and found a new home for most of the stuff.  Then, because I’m highly distractable when it comes to housework, I went through all the other books in the house and picked out ones to give away.  I also rounded up some books for the newly cleaned off shelf.

Which is when I noticed our Curious George books.  My uncle Anthony gave Boo two Curious George anthologies for his first and second birthdays and he drew a cute little George cartoon of his own in the front covers.  We loved those books so much that the covers fell off!  I couldn’t replace them because we’d lose the little cartoons.  So they sat safely on the shelf for a while.

But since I was all energetic, I got out the book repair tape I bought a couple of months ago and fixed them.

And while I was culling another bookshelf, I found the original paper covers that I’d stashed behind some books for safe keeping. I covered them with clear library covers and now look!

All better and ready to enjoy again.

I did eventually get back to the original bookshelf.  See…

Just one more Corner of My Home that looks a little nicer.


Today when I got home from our homeschool group, I found this on the front step:

And I found this in my living room:

So what’s a knitter to do?  Well, since I didn’t make the mess, I’ll let the culprits clean it up themselves.  And since I did buy the yarn, I’m off to wind it and print out the pattern I’m using with it.

Priorities.  Gotta have ’em.

I Ate Dinner

Now this is not normally blogworthy, but today it is.  We’ve been battling either a prolonged stomach virus, or two viruses back-to-back for about 3 weeks. I will spare you all the details, but it has been unpleasant for all involved. I’m tired of all the extra cleaning that goes along with a stomach virus, the sleep deprived nights as feverish children can’t sleep and the way the house totally falls apart when I’m sick.  But mostly I’m tired of not eating.

I completely lost my appetite last Friday as the virus hit me full force.  Since then I’ve eaten an egg  or some crackers every day, but that’s about it.  I drank a lot of V8 Fusion to keep from getting light headed, too.  Pumpkin Girl got back to normal a couple of days ago, and Bip is almost there.  Boo and Philip escaped completely, so I’m the last one on the mend.

My appetite returned today and I ate three meals!  Granted, that only means 2 pieces of bacon, a boiled egg and most of a homemade burrito, but it’s an improvement over yesterday’s chicken strip.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to work up to a salad for lunch.

Help Wanted

I think I’ve mentioned a time or two that I’m a regular writing over at The Homeschool Classroom.  Go check it out – it’s a great resource.  Lots of good articles by fellow homeschooling moms sharing tips, ideas and inspirations.  I just did a three part article on the Homeschool Preschool.  You can find them here:

Part 1 – Preschool At Home…Or Not
Part 2 – Toys and Games for the Preschooler
Part 3- A Preschooler’s Day

I need to take a break from writing for The Homeschool Classroom for a few weeks.  Nothing serious, I just need a break and get some pre-pre-move stuff done.

So if you’ve got a good idea for an article that you’d like to write, now’s your chance!  Actually, it could be an article you’ve already posted on your blog, you just need to state that at the end of your article.  Search your mind and your archives and help me out by submitting an article to run during my hiatus.

Details on becoming either a guest writer, regular or semi-regular writer can be found here: Guest Writers.

What sort of topics are we looking for?  Product and curriculum reviews (positive and negative), craft ideas, organizational tips, co-op ideas, more preschooler ideas, teaching a child with disabilities.  Do you follow a Montessori model or use Charlotte Mason’s ideas?  We’d love to see more information on these methods.  Anything that has to do with homeschooling is good!

Show Biz

We survived the cattle call that was the auditions for a, um, nationally televised talent show.

I’d love to tell you all about it, except that I signed a contract, agreeing not to discuss or disclose events related to the Program, my involvement in the Program, blah blah blah, forever in perpetuity, world without end, amen.  I think I signed away Boo’s first born son, too, but I’m not sure.

I can probably tell you that we sat around and waited for  3 hours before it was our turn and then the kids danced half their dance (we knew going in that they only allow a minute and a half performance) and it was over.  Now it’s “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”  If we hear back from them, we move on to a live performance.  It not, well then that’s it.

It was fun, though.  I could have done without the people smoking pot outside the entrance (hello? major resort and convention center!) or the cross dressers (we only saw them briefly and I think the kids didn’t notice.  I wish I hadn’t), but other than that it was a good experience.

My favorite part was Boo’s answer to the question on his application – Why do you think you are America’s next great talent?  “I’m a good dancer and a great guy with a winning smile.”  Gotta love the boy!

My least favorite part- paying $19 for parking.


Philip:  Oh man!  Where’s my pager?
Me:  Did you lose it?
Philip:  I think so.  I’ve been all over the place today, too.  The metro, the commissary…
Me: Do you want me to send it an email and we’ll follow the buzz?

He doesn’t answer, so I sent an email anyway.

Me to pager:  Hello?  Little lost pager?  Where are you?

Philip continues to search, grumbling all the way.  He shoots off an “arrow” prayer, “Please Lord, help me find my pager.”

Ten minutes later…

Pager replies: at the commissary

Life is good.

Breaking News

This just in:  The Boy got an A in math.  Not on one test, but for the whole book.  This boy.  Got an A.

He’s made such a huge improvement in his attitude towards school which has shown up in his math grades.  He’s worked so hard to overcome his difficulties and I’ve gotten so much better in being compassionate and patient.  He called his daddy at work to tell him, then played a little air guitar in celebration.

So anyway…just had to share.  An A in math!

Good to Know

Until today, Boo didn’t know the color of his eyes.  He’s of Chinese and Mexican heritage, I bet you know the color of his eyes!  His language arts assignment required him to write similes, including one about the color of his eyes.  He claimed he couldn’t see his own eyes, so he didn’t know what color they are.  Nope, he’s never looked at himself carefully enough in the mirror to know.  So off he went to investigate and returned to tell me that his eyes are “Brown like dirt.”  Good to know.

I would have gone with “as brown as chocolate.”

In completely unrelated news, it looks like the kids’ America’s Got Talent audition will be less exciting than I thought.  There won’t be any judges, it’s basically a taping of their performance which the judges will view later.  If they like what they see, we’ll get a call back to a live, local performance in front of an audience.  So no autographs from “the Hof” for us.  Also, we’re not allowed to bring cameras.  I guess that’s good for the show, but it’s not good for the blog. Don’t these people know I’ve got people wanting a behind the scenes look?  I wonder if it’s too late to get a press credential?

And lastly, you’ll be glad to know that my PayPal-eBay fraud claim was resolved in my favor.  Turns out that someone won a computer on eBay, then hacked my PayPal account to pay for it.  Since I check my email 700 several times a day, I saw the PayPal notification within 20 minutes of it coming through my email, and within 30 minutes I had a fraud claim filed.  The seller had actually shipped the computer to Vietnam when he heard from PayPal saying the transaction was in dispute.  He got his computer back and helped out with my dispute by telling PayPal everything he knew and he filed a complaint with eBay.  eBay is pressing charges.  My money is back in my account and all is well.

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