Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Today's post is about knitting. Because that is all I have to report to you. I still have no job (although something may be on the horizon, so stay tuned....), so I figured, might as well knit! With buckets of yarn and time on my hands, I should put myself to good use.

This is mom's finished vest. As you can see from this fine photography, I am the one responsible for this quality photo. Don't ask me why I chose to put this white towel under the vest for picture-taking purposes. But by now you should all remember that photography has never been a strength of mine. Anyway, let's focus on what is important here--the vest is finished. All mom has to do is pick out some buttons and then she is in business!

And about two weeks ago I started the coveted, ever-so-hard-to-find-pattern for the Paton's Must Have Cardigan. The Yarn Harlot knit it about a year and a half ago and I thought it was adorable. I had high-tailed it to Pacific Fabrics and purchased the last copy of the booklet, with no clue on how I would ever afford the yarn or when I would find the time to knit it. A few months later I was given a Christmas bonus at the shop and was able to purchase yarn at a considerable and generous discount for a limited time. I scooped up all of the deep charcoal Cascade 220 Tweed we had in the shop, and then ended up with this whole project in a bag just sitting on a shelf, taunting me.

Fast forward about 14 months and here we are. I am actually knitting this luscious object for me. I absolutely love the yarn and the pattern is quite easy. Not to say that I haven't made my share of mistakes, but all of them due to my inability to use that pesky universal numbering system we all like to call MATH.

Among my non-knitting activities lately are celebrating Eric's birthday by taking the boys and their cousins to Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Squeakquel (everyone says how traumatized they were by The Single Ladies. Much harder for me to take was their complete butchering of Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round) and the hugely overrated Harlem Globetrotters. Oh, so much of my life is about me these days...

I will say this--remember the person I met at Avatar who asked me about my knitting? Fast friends. We had coffee about 2 weeks ago and spent 2 1/2 hours talking, with only 10 minutes of it about knitting. Tomorrow I'm going to her home for lunch and more knitting.

So my life no long completely sucks. Now it just mostly sucks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Eric

Today Eric is 7!
Eric, that stubborn kid who did not want to come into the world. My 2nd born and supposedly easier labor, did not make it easy. Eric was face up and would not turn around and come out. Eric is a cozy kid and knew, even from the moment of his birth, that he would rather be snuggled up somewhere warm, rather than get out there and do something productive. He finally did come out, but not without a fight.

But once he eventually emerged, he has been a complete delight to everyone in his life.

With those blue eyes and thick blond hair, he has become quite the ladies man. We know the names of all of the boys in Eric's class. The names of the girls are all, collectively, "I don't want to talk about it." This is especially true when we run into a classmate of the female persuasion, who bats her eyes and beams "Hi Eric!" Eric should carry a shovel with him at all times for the purpose of digging a hole to bury himself in each time that happens.

Because if you were a cute 7 year old girl, wouldn't you want a piece of this?

Eric is a kid who has always been perfectly content to leave his life just the way it is. I mean, why change clothes when you can wear this red Elmo shirt each and every single solitary day the entire year you are 3? And even now, 4 years later, you still think it's in the laundry because your mom could not find another way to convince you that it was time to give it up.

The same kid who has burned through 3, count 'em, 3 Spiderman costumes. To the point of disintegration. We kept replacing them because for Eric's entire preschool career, this was a wardrobe staple. We washed these costumes as regularly as we washed his sheets. Oh, the conundrum that is Eric--the child who complains every day about the drudgery of school, yet just received a "well above average" score on his report card in math and reading, and likes to add double digit numbers in his head for fun. Eric, who loves to curl up in his Snuggie and cuddle with Grandma's kittycat, while watching his favorite fire-breathing dragon scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Eric, who makes cozy little houses for his Webkinz after a hard day of shooting bows and arrows with Grandpa. Eric, who has both The Chipmunks and Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer recorded on his DSI.
Happy birthday to our little Renaissance Man--you make us happy and you make us laugh each and every day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Let's Play Two!

Hey, look at that--two posts in a row.

As you can see, the boys are faring pretty well. Grandpa has several go-karts, in various stages of being rebuilt, but fortunately at least one is always in working order. What can two boys do with go-karts and 5 acres of land? Life on the farm definitely has its perks.

And the news on the job front, you ask? Yeah, I've got nothing to report. Well, that's not completely true...just nothing good to report.

Job interview number 1 was for a well established organization that pays well, has fabulous benefits, and can take over a year to get into. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm about halfway through a process that I started about 8 months ago. The good news is, I am continuing to work through this process and am making progress. The bad news is this is a job for the future. Nothing that can benefit me at all at the present.

Job interview number 2 did not go well. Again, it was for a well established organization, but up here on the island. It was not a good job--very entry level, but it would be a way to get into their system and move my way around. The problem is that I interviewed with two of the most boring human beings on the planet. Think I'm kidding? These were two women that had no personality. They were dull. They didn't smile. Or laugh when I attempted a little humor. Or give me any non-verbal queues at all. I interviewed for a job with two robots. Hard to connect with a robot. When one called to tell me that I didn't get the job, she sounded like one of those voice recognition devices. I think she may have hired another robot.

Job interview number 3 went pretty well, in my humble opinion. We clicked. We connected. She told me that I had many of the qualities they are looking for. Her son is in the 4th grade. My son is in the 4th grade. I could already seeing us having lunch together in the breakroom. I was suppose to hear by the end of last week and so far have heard nothing. The job is still posted, which means that A) she has been out sick and unable to get to the phone to offer me the job, B) offered the job to someone else who apparently has 2 sons in the 4th grade and forgot to pull the job posting, or C) the job is still open and they would rather start the whole process over again than offer it to me, even those I have many of the qualities they are looking for and my son is also in the 4th grade. Bottom line, it's not looking good.

So, I continue to look and look and look....I did actually apply for a job on Etsy. Yes, that's right--Etsy. They have a job listed for a Forum Moderator. And so even though I don't live in Brooklyn, or anywhere close to Brooklyn, I applied for that job. Because I can so do that job. And I could do it remotely. Don't you think? So I applied. What have I got to lose--I mean, it's literally a one in a million shot, right?

And since this is suppose to be a blog about knitting, I will now tell you about the knitting. There--mom's vest. I have 1/2 of the button band and one cuff left. The yarn is driving me crazy. It's Berocco's Blackstone Tweed and is a wool/alpaca mix. It's a beautiful yarn and I'm enjoying working with it, but it has no strength and breaks very easily. Very easily.

And oh my word I am finally finally finally working on Penny's socks. I promised them to her about 500 years ago, started working on them, lost my home and moved to a farm, had a nervous breakdown, and am now picking them up again. I'm doing the Hourglass Rib socks from my new favorite book, Knitted Gifts and using my beloved Pagewood Farms sock yarn. Yum!

That's all for now folks. Enjoy your rare double header. Your welcome.

Shopping with Sybil

I know that lately I've been writing a lot more about Eric than Ryan. It's really not intentional. I mean, aside from the fact that Ryan has turned into a big fat tweener, complete with attitude, eye rolling, and a sarcastic THANKS as a retort to every thing I say (doesn't seem to matter if THANKS even works--that's what I get. As in "Ryan, can you please put your shoes away?" "THANKS!" See what I mean?).

But Eric, well Eric is an enigma. I've said that before and I'm sure I'll say it again. Eric is a complex creature. This here is one side of Eric. All snuggled up with Grandma. Eric loves Grandma, loves to snuggle--especially in his cozy pjs, with a blanket and an armload of Webkinz. Eric loves kitties, and baby animals, and Alvin and the Chipmunks....

Eric is also the kid who has always loved hot flowing lava. And flesh eating dinosaurs. Eric can whine like you have never heard before. And then can turn on a dime and respond to you in his biggest big-kid voice. Eric is a lazy bum who does nothing productive. Ever. And excels in school without even trying. It has taken me half of the school year to figure out that my first grader is reading at a 3rd grade level, because he refuses to read to me. He's been tired. And for fun, Eric likes to add 2-digit numbers in his head. It's a fun little game we like to call "wait--mommy needs a calculator."

This is the kid we took shoe shopping yesterday. We were at Fred Meyer with a bunch of coupons and it was a good opportunity to buy the boys some much needed tennis shoes. Ryan found his right away and, miracle upon miracles, was perfectly happy.

Eric wanted red. And velcro. And he wears a size 2. And this was a combination not found at Fred Meyer yesterday. So he whined. And flailed on the floor. And complained about every single solitary pair of shoes we had him try on. At one point we had him trying on a pair that was a size bigger and he walked around whining "they're too small." "Eric, those are a size 3." "Then they're too big..." This is a stubborn child. I know all of you think your kids are stubborn, and as a rule, I think most kids are, but Eric majors in stubborn. Eric can make a career out of being stubborn.

We tried. We really did. But we couldn't find the shoes Eric wanted. We're not cobblers and we don't work for Fred Meyer, so our resources were limited. Which was completely unacceptable in Eric's eyes.

With the sale price and the in-store coupon, those Nikes were honestly, truly $7.50. So we put them in the cart. While Eric is lying in the aisle at Fred Meyer carrying on about how it's just not fair and he wants red shoes and he hates laces and it's not fair and he hates the perfectly good shoes we picked out and he wants red and then, like a beam of light straight from heaven with the angels singing the Hallelujah chorus, these Converse high tops gawd-awful dragon shoes suddenly started to glow. The lights dimmed, the store became quiet, and it was just Eric and these shoes. He let out a little gasp. Then he picked himself up, wiped his nose with his sleeve, put on his biggest big-kid voice, and announced that those were his new shoes. He was confident. He was standing a little taller. He was already planning all of the times he could wear these shoes that, don'tcha know it go with everything. These were the shoes he had been looking for. These were the shoes of his dreams. And I said what any good mother would say in this circumstance. I said there is no way in hell I am buying Sybil these shoes are you kidding me? as Eric had already selected a size 2 and was putting them in the cart.

Mike looked at the sale sign, did a little quick math, and pointed out that these shoes were going to cost a total of $5.00. Which is $4.50 more than they are worth. I looked that little psycho straight in the eye and told him that he was not allowed to wear them on gym days and was not allowed to wear them to soccer and that he would proudly wear the perfectly good Nikes we picked out on those other days. And Eric puffed out his little chest, said OK! and went off to pick out valentines.

I'm meeting my new movie/knitting friend for coffee tomorrow. My mom is leery. I looked at her and said "but you met Joy at a garage sale, looking through a total stranger's crap." "Yeah" she said "but that was different." This is the same woman who called me on the phone today to discuss dinner and gave me a long detailed explanation of how to wash the lettuce. Did I mention I'm 41? I think I'll be fine at tomorrow's playdate.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ah, I See How This is Done...

Island life, chapter 18. This week at The Clyde, Avatar is showing. Mike has been watching the schedule for weeks and now, finally, Avatar is at The Clyde.

At first just Mike was going to go. Then it was Mike and Ryan. Then my dad got in on the act and invited his friend, Greg, as well. And upon hearing all of this, Eric promptly burst into tears when I explained that I didn't think he was old enough for Avatar.

So Mike consulted his "friends" (and I'm using this term loosely right now, you liars) on Facebook and asked what they thought of bringing a 7 year old to see Avatar. All of you. Each and every single one of you stated that it would be fine. Not scary. Not violent. Harry Potter was worse. If Eric can handle his brother watching Lord of the Rings on my parent's tiny little half broken tv in the brightly lit family room while he himself is only half paying attention and playing his DS at the same time, then Avatar shouldn't phase him at all.

Really? Not one of you remembered the significant battle scene at the end? And all the giant arrows? Not to give anything away, but guess what the giant arrows were used for. No one remembered the freaky attack dogs? You all glossed over that fact because you were so mesmerized by the magic that is James Cameron? The man, who with all his trillions of dollars, can and should clearly be able to afford a watch?

Ok--for the record, Eric wasn't phased at all by the movie. He loved it. All those freaky creatures and giant flying pterodactyl things? Loved them. I, however, have issue with the fact that you all thought this was a movie for children. Liars. We won't mention the language used in the movie. All of the clearly enunciated four letter words still don't bother me as much the exploding people. You all saw the same movie, right?

Yes yes yes, I went too. And it was a great movie. FOR ADULTS. But a great movie nonetheless. I really try not to support much that James Cameron does, but I'll hand it to him--this was pretty good.

Being the only show in town, we had to arrive early to get seats. So it should come as no surprise that I arrived prepared for the wait with knitting in hand. As I was sitting there waiting and knitting, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The woman behind me said "you're knitting!" and asked if I knew of any yarn shops in the area. She is apparently new the the island looking for knitting help and support. I told her about the the little shop that is just around the corner from The Clyde and she told me that she's a pretty new knitter and is really intimidated by the "round kind of needles" I was using. I told her that, to be honest, I'm actually fairly good. And before I knew what I was doing I was giving this perfectly nice and normal person my name, email address, and cell phone number. Mike just looked at me and said "and now you know how your parents are always making friends at the gas station".