Stories About Stuff

musings, ramblings and some unintelligible mutterings....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chez Stuff or Craptastic!

I fully intend on finishing my summer vacation saga - but a few things have taken over my attention. Such as the fact that getting to my underwear drawer in the morning requires major excavation. Please refer to the left - a few examples of the rooms in my house since Sweet Babboo and his twenty five foot truck full of things arrived permanently. It's not all bad - SB has many lovely man-type accessories with buttons and flashing lights that will make life easier or at the very least, more entertaining. For example, his TV is much nicer than mine, and I think his toaster is too - it matches my kitchen better anyways - that Black and Decker I got for college is still going strong, but it's not quite so aesthetically appealing as SB's fancy chrome one. BUT - there's a lot of other "stuff". My boy is a collector of the finest kind and it would be easy to get rid of if it were all junk - but it's not, it's nice stuff - just WAY too much of it. So I am slowly weeding out some of the obvious stuff in this batch. We'll have to go back and get rid of more later, but I figure if we take it in steps it will be less painful (and yes, I am getting rid of my stuff too - just in case you all were wondering if I was playing fair). So, when I am more or less dug out from the pile, I'll be sure to be more interesting - what with photos of orchids and all that...

In between boxes, I've been trying to work on the Icarus. I was so excited because I felt like I was getting in a groove and then I noticed this. Crap! Crap! CRAP! So, I am too damn lazy to pull all those rows out and decided to try and fix just the section.

So far, this is where I'm at. All I can say is - blame it on all those knitting blogs I read, because I sure wouldn't be nutty enough to try this without reading them.

OK, I think I can , I think I can, I think I can.

I'll get back to you on this one.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Summer Vacation, Part 1 - The Great (Green) North

Finally, I have a few minutes to myself to sit and think and maybe even write a little bit. It seems like we flew home and the calls started coming in the minute we touched down (not that I'm complaining mind you - freelancers love calls - except at midnight, but that comes later).

So, I told Sweet Babboo that we were going to need a little more time off this summer to visit my family than the three day trip we had last year - luckily he likes to fish, so he agreed. He even agreed to go with me to visit my "surrogate" grandmother, but that was before I told him we'd be waking up at 4 am to drive 8 more hours north after sitting on a plane all day. I figured if I stuck with the "break it to him in small pieces" plan, he'd have a harder time resisting. It worked, plus, he resisted less when I promised pasties and fudge. (And no, not THOSE pasties - but he probably would have resisted even less if I promised that kind too...)

(WARNING - RANT/SMALL TANGENT AHEAD...) On "day" one, we fly the red eye to Michigan. Now, it seems the older I get, the harder it is to sleep on the plane, which sucks, but compared to wasting a day of flying when I could be snoozing on the dock or the pontoon boat, well, I figure I can catch up when I get there. As we are about to board the plane, a potential client calls 11:45 pm! I was pretty much speechless, because, while I was awake on this particular evening - well, I wouldn't have been if I wasn't about to go on VACATION - and if they knew I was going on vacation (which they didn't), why call? So, tell me, why do people call me at 11:45 pm (!) to talk about a booking five months away? Am I missing something here? This is why I need vacations. Many of them. (Rant over.)

Anyhow - we got there, mom and dad picked us up and we stopped off to pick up my dad's oldest friend and his wife for breakfast. Both of whom I adore and haven't seen in years. And just like that, I was home. The rest of the day consisted of catching everyone up on the latest news and sleeping, since I had maybe gotten in a whole 3 bumpy hours on the plane. OH yeah, and eating. It seems that my parents have forgotten that there is, in fact, food in California, so they push food on us constantly. Sweet corn, green beans, BBQ'd chicken, steaks, strawberries (which are actually, better in Michigan) and bacon - oh the bacon. Did I mention how much I love going home?

We got up early the next day for our little road trip, I let the SB sleep in until 4:30 am (aren't I thoughtful?) - 8 hours to Houghton, MI to see Mandy. Mandy is a family friend that my sister and I adopted when we were kids - she has put up with so much garbage from us and still loves us - so we had to call her grandma. And since my grandparents are all long gone, she took their place when we graduated from high school, college, and got married (my sister anyway). I haven't seen her in almost 10 years and decided that I'd better not wait too long since she's 90 (and would kill me if she had internet access and knew I just printed that). Seeing her was so great - she's got more energy than some 30 year olds that I know and she's sharp as a tack too (which means she beat us both at cards).

Sweet Babboo and I gave her a run for her money though - we drove all over and saw the Northernmost point in Michigan, a beautiful lodge where we had dinner and visited a real live copper mine. OK, it's not being used for anything except tourism now, but it was a pretty intense tour. First we learned how the mine worked, an older gentleman who probably used to be an engineer gave the tour and I was getting a laugh watching the younger teens on the tour who couldn't understand much of what he was saying (I barely got the gist of it and I come from a family of engineers) and sat there with their eyes crossing while they waited for the action part of the trip. I have to give them credit though - they were polite for the whole thing. Then we all put on heavy jackets and hard hats and made our descent into Middle Earth. First, it was this weird car thingy on a ratcheted rail at a 37 degree angle (doesn't sound like much - but trust me, it's STEEP) and then a trailer on the back of a tractor, down into the mine. It went from 87degrees F to 40 in about 30 yards and was a rather bumpy ride. The whole idea of working there in the dark is a bit scary though - when the lights went out to demonstrate - I decided that copper mining wasn't for me after all. SB sure can work a hard hat though - there may have been a few wolf whistles.

On our way back to the land of the trolls (Michigan reference there - trolls live under the bridge - go on check your atlas, you'll get it) SB and I picked up a few "gourmet" treats. Pasties were number one on the list - huge meat pies in a baked crust about the size of your head. I can literally get about three meals out of one pasty if I'm really hungry each time. Then fudge - why Mackinac Island is famous for fudge, I do not know. Nor do I care. Smoked whitefish - all for me, SB won't eat fish. And some real maple syrup - not that crappy corn syrup stuff they sell at the grocery store. Actually, as a kid, I never ate the other kind, I thought something was wrong with the syrup when I first had Aunt Jemima. Of course, we had to pick up food because we weren't sure there would be enough when we got back to Dad's......

And now, a love story (...and an action story with a high speed car chase! Family entertainment for everyone!)....Somewhere in my internet travels, I had found out about this yarn that is made of some sort of sea plant and silk. Well, it just so happened that there was a store that carried it on our way - but not many others in this here USofA - so I was intrigued. Plus, I love the hunt, the excitement, the danger of finding new species of yarn (or any shopping for that matter - I love me a challenge.) I called ahead and found out when the store closed and told the owner we would be stopping by. I calculated when we should leave in order to arrive before she closed, but SB was worried about getting there on time - he hates to be late ya know - and he was driving maybe a teensy bit too fast when the kind officer stopped us on our way. Luckily the officer was indeed a kind one and SB's ticket was very minor...BUT what kind of man will speed to the yarn store, get a ticket and not even give you too much trouble about why he was speeding in the first place? Folks, THAT kind of man is a KEEPER!

"Will Speed For Yarn" (Thank you nice Policeman!)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Red Lace Blocking

Here it is taking a bath.....

I even cleaned my sink for you guys - around here - that's LOVE.

Stretching out...

OH MY GOD, I hate blocking! I think I stretched it too far because I always hear that you have to "block the crap out of lace" and when it popped off of the mattress, the border curled under. So I took SB's fancy schmancy iron to it and steamed the edges. That'll teach it to be difficult! Problem is, it took me two weeks to get the damn iron out. We iron a lot around here. Can't you tell?

And, finished!

I hope SB's mom likes it. It's definitely her favorite color but it might be a wee bit small to be a wrap for her (however, it fits PERFECTLY to the measurements of the pattern. Whee! Even bigger now that it's over-blocked). I'm thinking we'll have to find a really nice pin for it and put that in the box too - look at me, one Christmas present done! It's from a Jaeger book that I looked everywhere for and finally found in London - the book was the only thing I bought that was less expensive there than at home so I felt like I beat the system somehow. If you're dying to know which one, e-mail me and I'll send it to you later as finding anything is a bit difficult at the moment (stay tuned...).

And, du du dunnnnnn...

My first pair of grown up socks. (Note: Please ignore the stubbly legs on the sock model - she's been really busy lately and unfortunately, no one's paying her to model anymore.) From Cat Bordhi's "Knitting on Two Circulars" book, Lion Brand sock yarn, one skein. Now that I've got the hang of it - it will be fun to do this on some fancy yarn. I just didn't want to waste beautiful yarn on a project that carried potential hatred.