Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

It is Christmas Eve at 8:22 am and I have about 8 loads of laundry to do. My floor hasn't been vacuumed, with my new Bissell bagless vacuum, in days, and the bathrooms....there are no words. I wouldn't care so much if we weren't having Mike's sister and her husband for dinner. And well, that means I need to feed them. And church starts at 4:00, which means I only have until about 3:15 to get all of this done. My Christmas cards are only 1/2 addressed and we just finalized the letter last night. We have no stamps and Mike needs to go to Kinkos to make copies.

Perhaps I should concentrate on what I have accomplished so far. My shopping is done and, as of 7:00 last night the gifts are actually wrapped. We've planned a scavenger hunt for the boys which will result in finding the Wii under the couch. I worked close to 20 hours at Cultured Purls this week, and I was completely successful at doing absolutely no baking at all.

My job is great. The people I work with are so nice and I get to help people pick out yarn. This week I got to help a lot of husbands select gifts for their wives. I'm having a great time there. I'm actually accomplishing some of my knitting backlog and I have finished the boys' Harry Potter bookscarves, Jeremy's hat, and I've made significant strides in Meghan's cake.

Anna canceled the rest of her order (which I had suggested to her a few times, but I guess it needed to be her idea) because the stuff is not selling as fast as she had hoped and the thought of making 4 more pairs of booties right now was just about to do me in. I still owe my mom a sock and now I'm starting to compile new projects for ME. Cultured Purls sells this really fun hand dyed sock yarn, so I had to get some of that! I also plan to make some convertible mittens, a really great scarf (I'm not a scarf maker, but this one is very pretty and is a lot more interesting that 10000 rows of garter stitch), these cute woolly snowmen, and oh yeah.....I still have to replenish my stock at Happy Delusions and Venue.

We're trying to talk the boys into opening all our gifts tonight. We're a Christmas Morning family, but tomorrow we have to leave early to make the 2-5 hour trek up to my parents' house. I've explained to the boys that I don't want to rush them and I want them to be able to enjoy their gifts. They will still have their stockings in the morning, but opening the rest of the gifts on Christmas Eve makes more sense this year. According to Ryan, I am ruining Christmas! Why would I do that? We HAVE to open presents on Christmas morning or it will all be RUINED. Fine. I'll get up at 5:00 am and then MY Christmas will be ruined. I'm kidding. If it means that much to him, that's what we will do. But I will be the first to say I TOLD YOU SO when he complains that there is no time to play with his new toys because we're in such a hurry.

Merry Christmas to my 6 faithful readers!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Griswolds strike again

This is a copy of the Renton Reporter, our little local paper. And while it certainly does not have a readership of The Seattle Times, it does have a distribution of several thousand households.

See that little article I circled? In the Christmas Calendar, under Christmas Lights? That would be a blurb about Clark and Ellen and their garish disjointed seizure-inducing light display. They contacted the Renton Reporter and actually advertised their hideous display, inviting people from all over Renton.

Seriously? The only reason this should be in the paper is if it were in a "how not to decorate for the holidays" section. If you're writing an article on "don't let this happen to you" then this is the house for you.

And no one else on our street has really decorated. A few of us have a string of lights up, but that's about it. My home is inviting and tasteful, but certainly not worth a special trip. I can only imagine what people think when they've piled into the car to see the "light display featuring more than 5000 lights, figures, and a hi-tech light and sound show synchronized with 40 holiday songs", and then they arrive on our street.

I also need to point out that they posted different days than what was on the little flyer they sent around the neighborhood. According to the paper, they are holding the show Fridays through Sundays. Which, again, is pointless because in reality they are running it 7 days a week.

Why does all of this bother me so much that I feel the need to share it with all of you, my 4 faithful readers? I don't know. Maybe because Clark and Ellen/Todd and Margo are such an anomaly to the rest of the neighborhood. Maybe it's because I'm a little sensitive about my own Christmas decorations. Or maybe it's because I'm trying to avoid my mile-long to do list of household and holiday chores and this is a good diversion!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


This is a paper Ryan brought home from school yesterday. His class has been learning about germs and they had to write a summary. I have copied it verbatim, spelling errors and all:

Ryan Keene #13 11-29-07

Bacteria and Viruses are alike and different. Read this paper to find out more information.
First, bacteria are very interesting. Did you know that bactiria are responsible for causing cavities in your teeth?
Medicine can cure an infection caused by a bactiria. Even though bactiria are bigger than a virus. They are fasinating.
Second, viruses are different than bacteria. Medicine will not cure your sickness if it's caused by a virus. Unlike bacteria, they can come in all kinds of weird shapes. If you do get a virus don't worry because you'll never get the same virus twice.
Third, bacteria and viruses are alike in some ways. They can both make you sick. Germs are everywhere. All of them are microscopic which means you can not see them with the naked eye. In conclusion you have learnd all about bactira and viruses. Read books or go online to learn more.
Watch out because germs are everywhere!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Something really bad must be coming....

....because this has been such an unbelievably good day.

The Wii: Our search for the Wii has ended victoriously. Mike has spent countless hours this week driving from store to store, checking multiple internet sites, and just narrowly missing the very last Wii each time. The rumors about Best Buy, Target, and Fred Meyer are that a lottery will be held on Sunday morning for any and all people insane enough to arrive at the store by 5:00 a.m. (and then there was another rumor that Target was going to be first come, first serve--who really knows?). Last night Mike and Meghan were on the phone strategizing (I completely checked out about a week ago) and at one point the discussion turned to hijacking a UPS truck. No one loves a good hunt more than Meghan and she was even willing to stand in line at GameStop for us on Saturday morning because we have a Christmas brunch to attend.

30 seconds after Mike and Meghan hung up, our friend Mark called, asking if we were still on the prowl for a Wii. Apparently Mark has a colleague who knows someone at Nintendo and is able to buy products from the employee store. And somehow Mark was able to ask this colleague to buy one for us. Which he did. This nameless, faceless person used up a favor buying a Wii for us. Mike and I are practically giddy with excitement! We are now trying to figure out just the perfect way to give it to the boys.

The vacuum: Shirley's vacuum has been permanently returned to it's rightful home. I am the proud owner of a new Bissell-bagless-$129-it's-not-from-Sears vacuum. Although I still covet the Dyson, I am perfectly happy to be vacuuming with a working machine that is not from Sears. And when it dies 2 years from now I will very happily replace it, knowing I only paid $129 and it did not come from Sears.

Happy Delusions: I popped in today to pay my rent and check up on my inventory. Cinderella has sold! I was practically speechless when she told me.

My house: This is where my giddiness ends and I come back to reality. My house is a mess. A disaster, really. In fact, it's down right dirty. I think I have some time to clean it on Sunday.

The knitting: Again, a bit of a sore subject. It's the current reason for the state of my house.

Misc: I am living with a 4 year old, a 7 year old, and a 39 year old man who has been hunting to the depths of the universe looking for a Wii, at Christmas time. They are all making me crazy and I fully understand why my mom never saw the magic of Christmas the way we all did when I was growing up. I still have a ton of shopping to do, I have not even ordered my Christmas cards, let alone written the letter or even made a list of names. I may be sending New Years letters. For years Leah sent Epiphany letters, which I always found funny until now. I may be asking all of you to celebrate January 6th with me. I'm working a lot at Cultured Purls this next week, which is wonderful, except for the fact that I still have to purchase many of my gifts and actually wrap them. The thought of baking anything makes me laugh. And twitch. Oh yeah, and we're hosting Mike's sister and her husband for Christmas Eve. I wonder how they feel about pizza for dinner? Eric has already requested it, so I know at least he will be happy.

And currently Emily-the-neighbor-girl and her brother Daniel are here for the evening. Ryan and Eric have been acting like their long lost relative from Timbuktu is about to arrive, bearing gifts (or a Wii), rather than the people they see every single solitary day of their lives.

There is a Mike-arita in the fridge calling my name.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend Update

So much to tell, and so little time! Let's begin:

The new job: It's fabulous. I love them and they love me. It sounds facetious, I know, but it's true. Never has my ego been stroked so much. I've worked at Cultured Purls for two days and they're already talking about teaching me to close up the store. They look at me in amazement, like they can't believe what a gem they've found, and I stand in complete amazement that I've found the perfect job. It's a match made in heaven. I know, I know--I've only worked there two days. I can't fully explain it, but this was meant to be. Anyone reading this who knows me at all, knows that I'm a glass-half-empty-kind-of-gal. NOTHING in my life is ever meant to be....

Venue, Zizia, and Happy Delusions: I am freaking out. I am slowly and steadily moving into a nervous breakdown (see, the happiness can't even last a paragraph). I actually did sell something at Happy Delusions and in January a more prominent spot is opening up for me, so that's something. At Venue I've already sold 7 hats for the month of December. That is about my quota for the average month. Unable to bask in my success, I immediately start to think HOW AM I GOING TO REPLACE ALL OF THOSE HATS WITH ALL I HAVE TO DO?! It's as if a red flashing buzzer is going off and the only way to turn it off is to replenish my stock. And Anna keeps calling me with special orders. Those damn viking hats. I never should have introduced them. They are a total and complete success at both stores and are in constant demand. One is fun to make. 6 of them are a royal pain.

Special orders: part of the reason for the freaking out. Christmas is 15 days away. I have the power to make or break someone's Christmas by the knitting of a baby hat. I also want to make Harry Potter book scarves for the boys for Christmas. I still have 4 special orders to complete by Christmas. Eek!

The search for the Wii: ok ok, I haven't actually posted about this yet, but you should know it partially responsible for the freaking out. Mike and I decided we would like to give the boys a Wii for Christmas. What Mike and I should have done is purchased it last July. Because now everyone, and I do mean everyone, is giving a Wii for Christmas. Mike routinely stops in at Fred Meyer, Best Buy, Gamestop, Fryes, Target...anyplace selling electronics has had a visit from Mike and has had the pleasure of telling him that he just missed the last one in stock by mere minutes. I was at Costco today and saw several people clutching them to their chests as if they were sneaking their newborn baby out of war torn Baghdad. It goes without saying that I was not one of the lucky few. We do have a plan B and, in my mind I'm already there. But Mike is determined to get one of these things before Christmas Eve. Apparently Target will have a bunch of them early on the morning of the 16th. Mike says he is planning to go there at 6:00 a.m. that morning to wait in line. This is a man who wouldn't get out of bed that early if it were on fire, so this should be good.

My vacuum: still broken. About once a week I borrow Shirley's extra vacuum for a couple of days. It's a 20 year old Hoover which works better than my 4 year old piece of crap Kenmore did when it was brand new. Since I still have a boatload of Christmas presents to buy, I haven't had the extra $100 ($200? $300? $400?) to spend on a new vacuum. But I'm getting tired of carrying Shirley's vacuum around the neighborhood, so I believe that is what I will be spending my first paycheck on.

Clark and Ellen/Todd and Margo: their holiday show is in full production. The other day they sent notices around the neighborhood, explaining this is their gift to all of us and to expect a little more traffic. On their notice they explained that the light show will be held between 7 and 9, Thursdays through Sundays, from December 1 to December 23rd. Which is interesting because the light show goes 7 days a week, from about 5:30 until 11. Honestly, I don't care what their "hours" are, but they have this thing going all night, every night, so I don't know why they're telling all of us their schedule. Also, what's with the 24th and 25th? Are they saying there will be no light show on Christmas Eve and Christmas night? The entire reason for the existence of the light show? Adam and Meghan came over last night for a viewing. Apparently my description did not do the show justice. Frankly, they were horrified. And I could tell the completely random blinking pattern was really getting to Adam.

Mike put our lights up today. Ryan is really disappointed. He wants to know why we can't have giant blow up monstrosities. I think he's too young for the term "no way in hell..."

I don't work again until Saturday. I wonder how many hats I can get done between now and then?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A New Adventure

So, I start working at Cultured Purls on Saturday! I get a discount on yarn, they aren't open late into the evening, and honestly, how bad can the customers be? I use to do customer service for an insurance company. Compared to the array of insults and complaints I received in that line of work, what's the worst that can happen? It's YARN.

I think I'm up for the challenge.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

This was not on my list of things to do today

Today Eric and I went to the yarn shop in Issaquah, Cultured Purls. I don't frequent it as much as some of my other yarn haunts, but it's a nice shop and lately I've discovered they do have many of the things I need. So Eric and I went to Cultured Purls to pick up more cupcake and viking materials. Posted on the door was a help wanted sign for part-time help.

I don't know what prompted me to ask about it, but I did. I suddenly found myself seated with Shannon the owner, and with Eric, interviewing for a job. At one point I had to apologize to her and explain that I would never dream of bringing a 4 year old to a job interview, let alone wear my "Whine? No. Wine? Yes." shirt. Had I planned this at all, I would have made a few changes. It didn't seems to phase her in the least as she asked me about my knitting experience. She told me to go home, talk it over with my husband, and show up at 8:45 tomorrow morning with samples of my work. She needs someone to start right away. I explained that I can only work evenings and weekends because, clearly, I have other responsibilities during the weekday. She'll see me tomorrow.

I haven't worked in 8 years. And while I've been thinking for a while now that I should really bring some money in, it's been too stressful thinking about finding a place to work that would give me the hours I need AND that I would not hate.

I actually may go to work in a yarn shop. Who would've thunk it!

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I am, after all, the Queen

I realize I've spent very little time discussing knitting lately. As this blog is titled The Knitting Queen, I should probably touch on actual knitting from time to time.

The fact that very little knitting has been posted as of late is NOT an indication of the amount of knitting I have been doing. Quite the contrary. The other day Mike dropped Eric off at preschool and Teacher Meghan, who had been expecting me, asked Eric where I was. Eric told her "Mommy's knitting. She always knits." Lately, that is a very true statement.

Mike has set up Excel spreadsheets of each store and project to help me keep track of my vast knitting responsibilities. He and I have lengthy discussions about my knitting projects. Yes, that's right. I spend so much time knitting that Mike has now assumed the role of my lovely assistant. He helps me with my inventory and has even been known to purchase yarn for me. If Mike didn't have 4 thumbs I would probably teach him to knit.

And just how much knitting am I doing? Anna (the owner of Zizia) has ordered 31 baby hats from me and 8 pairs of booties. I drop in each Friday with a bit more of her order and pick up a check from her. I still owe her 4 pairs of booties and 5 hats. Initially Anna sold a lot of hats, and now has sold none. I keep bringing them to her and I've questioned her order a few times. Is she sure she wants it all? Yes, she is quite sure. She has every confidence it will sell. And since she pays me up front, I'm not complaining too much. However, it is a little perplexing that the hats are not selling. Her store is very nice, in a great location, and is surrounded by other fun gift shops. So while I agree that they will sell, I'm confused about why that have not sold yet.

Venue: Venue Venue Venue. I do still love Venue, although sales there have been so-so. I am still selling there and the hats are still popular, but I guess I expected to see a big jump this time of year. It's cold, it's the holidays....for 6 months now I've been waiting for the Christmas season to see the hats really take off. And my sales are about the same as they are every month. I sell 7 or 8 hats a month and it's pretty consistent, but still. The nice thing about Venue is, I can control my inventory and make whatever I feel like. Making 9 Viking hats for Anna is starting to get a bit tedious.

And Happy Delusions? Not so happy. I have not sold a thing. Not. One. Thing. Zero. Nada. Zip. I'm confused as is Mary, the owner. I'm making no new inventory for Happy Delusions since there is nothing to replace. But if I look at the bright side, that gives me much more time for my special orders: 3 cupcakes hats for Mike's co-worker, 2 marley hats for Cori, socks for mom, hat for Jeremy, baby daisy hat for Karis--all before Christmas. And Meghan has gently nudged me about the birthday cake, which she would like before her birthday in March.

So there you go. The Knitting Queen is still knitting. Now I don't have to change the name of my blog.