Monday, October 04, 2004

Inspiration

Sometimes I find that I am so transfixed and inspired by the knitting blogs that I simply forget to knit. OK..I don't really forget and I truly am aware of the warped time continuim. Oh, I've fallen prey to this before. Remember back in the early days of AOL when you paid for phone time as well as time online? Those mega-bills from the grand timesuck that the internet is..er, was? (I originally had four children...and two kidneys...) It's just so fascinating to me to read blogs. I feel as though I have some sort of knowledge of some of these amazing women, yet I wouldn't know them if I fell over them...and I just may in a week and a half! Yet what I know is what they choose to share, which is incredible and generous. Hmm...this whole blogging thing. wow.
About half way done with this hotpink scarf...can't wait to be done...one of those things that I thought would be a weekend project...a bit longer, eh? I forgot that the seed stitch is not a quick stitch for me. It will be, however, greatly appreciated so that makes it easier! I will have picks tomorrow.
Our culinary classroom..which was to be done by September 1, is actually almost, almost done. They are finishing up the wiring, the Ansel system is in, all the pieces in place. They need to re-do the ceiling....(huge hung ceiling, waaaaaay off kilter) So by next week at this time I will actually be a culinary arts instructor WITH a culinary arts kitchen! sigh.......

Sunday, October 03, 2004

getting back to abnormal

It's incredible to me that so much time has passed since I posted. Yeowch. I do have a new digital camera and will post over the next day or two. It's unbelievable to me how dependent on that camera I became! It is so simple to use and I was so use to using it. When it broke I was lost! I'm so glad to have it back...or actually a new one just like the old one. My secret pal is the best and I am excited to show of...(ahem..whats left)....my treasures! The chocolate covered espresso beans are my all time favourite treat. The cinnamon jelly bellies a close second...didn't last long! The taffy was so yummy and brought back summer memories. The coffee is just now gone. But the piece de resistan...oh heck...I could never spell in other languages...the ultimate bestest gift was a glorious needle roll...just phenomonal. The color is so rich and lustrous..I feel very grown up when I use it..which I do. Ok..I do this weird thing..I like to look at my knitting stuff. I lay bits of my stash out on my couch, open my needle roll and glance as I knit. I know I'm not the only obsessive one...c'mon...fess up. Even if you have to fib a bit just so I don't feel like such a fiber freak.
Speaking of which, the count down is on. Twelve days till this and I just can't wait. I'm going to be picking my daughter up in Hudson after dropping my son off with my son..(ya follow me??) in Northampton for the weekend. My husband is driving to Florida with his daughter to deliver a car so we'll pretty much all be on the road that weekend. I love traveling with my daughter. She is just so entertaining and such a joy to be with. She makes me laugh like no one else...the soda up your nose, can't breath, pee your pants kinda guffaw. That said, I love traveling with all my kids. I think I mentioned before how important road trips are with kids. If you're buying a new car, and a DVD is an option...opt out! NO!! Don't do it!!!! Oh, the things you'll miss in exchange for a "quiet" trip...heck with that! Take the back roads, stop and look, point things out, eat pie, have burgers and shakes in diners, play music, talk about everything. Road trips are so very important and such a great way to share and get to know your kids...and just as important for them to get to know you....
ok..off the parenting soap box...

and back to the fun place .... I've never been and am so looking forward to it! I have been entrusted with a great mission...the cyber knitting goddess Ana is in *need* of a couple of pieces for spinning. I have my list, the details and the vendor info and the best part is getting to explore something new. I love having a mission! Having never been to this or anything like it, any suggestions would be hugely appreciated!

ah yes...knitting...
I am working on the sleeves for Rogue and whipping up a garter edged, seed stitch hot pink scarf as a birthday gift for one of my culinary kids. I have a few rows done on Cozy which I am making in Koigu...(all hail...sigh...) in shades of blue. I was going to do a solid color, but after seeing Wendy's Clapotis in blues, I was smitten. Just lovely.

Yeah, yeah...I know...I broke my cardinal rule of only having one WIP at a time...hey...I can resist anything but temptation!
Stay well and play nice.
mj

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

weight

and I don't mean mr. postman
I know that I'm not the only woman in the world for whom weight is an issue. It has been most of my life and will continue to be. I did great last year on Weight Watchers, lost 47 lbs and about 15 of those have crept back. Also, I was playing ice hockey twice a week and walking or running about 15 miles a week...funny thing..when I stopped doing those things and started eating crap, my ass got big. Now I don't mean to be crass, and on some people a little "junk in the trunk" looks just fine. But this girl don't walk in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing...well...you get the idea. My weight is settling in happily for the winter, and I have begun the eviction process. Notice has been served. It...of course...is filing an appeal, though unappealing it is. There's a new program at WW called the Core plan. I started a couple of days ago and am finding to my delight that I have a bit more energy and *feel* better...not that sluggy, gross, just ate a whole cow and turkey stuffing need a nap blechy feeling. The premise is your basic eat right, lots of veggies, fruits and limit your protein low or good carb thing. I know intellectually how to lose weight. I just really like food. a lot. With this program I can eat a lot of food, which may not be important to some, but is to me. I like to sit and eat an entire wonderful juicy red pepper and not feel badly about it. So now I can and on this core plan it's ok. Because of this burst of energy (ahem.) I walked today for the first time in waaaayyyy tooooo loonnnngg. I did my usual four mile loop and ran about 3/4 of a mile. I feel good and happy and as though I may live longer cause I purged bad things. (ok...probably not, but if it gets me off my big ass again tomorrow, count me in!) Besides....Rachel just knocks my socks off with her running and marathon training and I wanna be like her when I grow up. Ya know, cool.

In other excitement....I have just received my assignment for this school year...I am grateful and happy. About three years ago, I drew up a proposal to begin a culinary program at our school. It was accepted, but as I am not (yet) a certified teacher, someone else was hired. (Fortunately I love him dearly. He is a good person and a good friend.) I was able to be in a couple of the classes, but needed elsewhere as a special services TA, which I love, but as a chef wanted to be in the kitchen. This year they let me. I have two Culinary I and one Culinary II and I couldn't be more thrilled. For CI I will assist (22 students....yyyeeeehawwwww!) and for CII I will teach the baking sections. I cried when they told be and have been riding high ever since. The coolest thing is...my co-teacher is something of a phenom when it comes to pulling things together and has designed, proposed and had built a new culinary room....rather he had our old one refurbished. I will have a complete commercial kitchen in which to teach and work and play. A new convection oven, eight burner vulcan, 20 quart hobart, steam kettle....my knees are week. I will take pictures (we need to buy a new camera as the cost of getting ours fixed is equal to a new one) but promise to post in a few weeks.....all that, running and walking, an email from Steve's daughter letting us help, everyone's well and healthy....thank you thank you thank you thank you....I am counting my blessings and it's gonna take a while.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

commitment

I initially began this entry with a woe is me I'm an awful blogger type sentence....gone...heck with that. I do the best I can, when I can...period. I enjoy it, love having a blog, and despite the fact that our digital camera is not recovering as quickly as it should, I can describe my Rogue, which I love and am thrilled to be working on...explain how much fun it is to work on this scarf in koigu #2132, especially since it was a Rachel design, talk about the nifty ipod cozies made from this pattern, (went to 4" and added a flap...larger needles, wool, felted in the boiling cauldron of death.) Yes, blogs are definatley better with pics...ah well...maybe next time!

So for now, I'll ramble about the end of summer. Mariah left this morning and I've finally stopped sobbing...sap. We had such a fun, wonderful summer together. Jed leaves next Saturday and again, it was and is such a pleasure to have him home...Jake is ready to start his senior year....he knows a bit about his schedule and has, thankfully, one of the best English teachers I've known as his teacher. For this I am grateful beyond words. Jack left on Wednesday...one more summer gone. My last year as the parent of a high school student. (and I'm so young!) It's exciting and scary and...wow. I feel like we're on the verge of switching gears here. Within the next few years they will move more and more into their own lives, homes, places...it's all good. So very cool.

Now, before anyone jumps down my throat for being an uncaring mother I would like to issue a warning...if you are faint of heart or prone to judging, skip the next part...do us both a favour!

In spite of the fact that my children are leaving and I am blue and miss them, I am totally thrilled for them AND for me. I love my own life. I've done a fine job raising my kids..they are all good, kind, decent people..(aside from Mariah's republican bent at times) but in general good folks. They love each other, keep in touch without me being in the middle, send cards or call home not just when they need things. I done good. And, it's ok for them to not be here. Believe me, I was never one to count down the days till school started because I liked having them home and doing stuff. Nor was I one to say "Can't wait till I have my life back." They were my life...or better said, that part of it. Now things are changing...it feels as though it's going from them being a part of my life to my being a part of theirs...and the fact that I am and they want that....I am one blessed, lucky, happy gal. Cause, I'll tell you...sad though I was this morning, next Sunday when I get up, the sink is still empty from the night before, I only have my own and my husband's schedules to think about...I'll be just fine. Yes, I'll look forward to having a full house again around the holidays...but I will look forward with just as much enthusiasm to the empty house not long after that....and on and on and on because that's how it's supposed to be...(in my opinion..)
off my horse now...off to knit and play.
xomj

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Back and faster than last year

What a time. I love these girls so very, very much and it was just a joy to be with them. We hit the outlets, shared great meals, went to Stew Leonard's and Trader Joe's and spent hours just laughing. I am a so blessed to have had this time with them. Steve also had a wonderful time...his *new* cousins were warm, kind, welcoming and his Aunt Laura is his new favourite person. (yeah, aside from me:)) He made connections and it really meant so much to him, and to them as well. The sad part is that his biological father is not someone who is liked by the family and has seemingly done wrong to many of them through the years...that aside, the rest of the family didn't hold that against Steve nor let it interfere with their enthusiasm for meeting him.

On Monday night, Mariah and I stopped at Steve's sister, Lisa's for the night. It was a blast. Her kids are Matty and Liam...Matty is 7 and Liam is 5 months...what a beauty he is! Hands down one of the sunniest and smiliest babes I've ever seen. He just lights up. When his dad came home from work, Liam just about turned inside out with happiness. Incredible. Lisa is happy and healthy and more relaxed than I've seen her in the nine years I've known her.
Unfortunately I have no picutres to share...Steve had the camera with him, water was spilled and our wonderful camera may be kaput...hoping it will dry out but not holding my breath. Knitting wise I worked on this scarf in lime green Koigu. It's now about 6 " and will be my travel knitting for the next week or so...off with Dad tomorrow for a doctors appointment in Hyannis, then off next weekend to take Jed back to UMass. Tried to make reservations today for Oct 15th so I can head to the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival. This would be my first trip to upstate alone as Steve will be driving a car to Florida for someone. Mariah and I will meet in Kingston, go exploring and stay with my mother in law (how I love saying that....I have a mother in law...and a husband...and sisters and brothers in law...sigh...) for the night. Long story longer, they aren't accepting reservations for then till Sept 8th. bummer. Ah well...hopefully I'll remember and get one then. I've lots of cleaning and catching up from my mini vacation...till next time~!xomj

Friday, August 20, 2004

I truly don't know where the time goes. I started this week with a list o'stuff and still have that list. I have accomplished a few things...finished the back of Rogue, knit an IPod cozy for Jed, got all eighty pounds of tomatoes canned and had my eyes checked. All good things. My eyes have improved from whatever whatever to 20/20 for distance. Close up, on the other hand...at least I think there's another hand cause at this distance I COULDN'T TELL YOU IF THERE WAS ANOTHER HAND...ahem...yep...my over forty year old eyes are acting their age. The nerve. The girls and I leave tomorrow for Maryland...taking Myrrha down to school...a road trip is the best and having kids trapped for hours in a car with you...well, it's the closest thing to heaven on earth. I love that. As excited as I am to spend a couple of days with these young women I'm thrilled to have my daughter all to myself for a day or two. Bliss. Meanwhile, as I'm heading south, my husband heads north to meet his cousins that didn't know he existed...ok...the Reader's Digest version is this...

In '55, Steve's mom, a minister's daughter, met and had a brief relationship with this man who shall not be named...(no, not Lord Voldemort...but beginning to seem as e-vil.) Steve learned of this when he was in his late teens, early twenties and has been searching for his biological father since. A few months ago, I found him. I called, leaving a message and to our surprise and delight, he wrote a letter. The first letter was guarded....certainly understandable...but somewhat positive and receptive...it went downhill from there. After a couple of mean spirited letters, we had given up on ever meeting him. Enter the cousins...one of whom responded to a query I left on an ancestry board. Steve called her and walla...she's kind, positive, receptive, excited and looking forward to meeting him. And..the best part (yep...it gets better...) one of the nine cousins lives here...on the island...AND (phew!) she's driving with him up to New Hampshire tomorrow....go figure...


ya know...this whole blogging thing touches me in a way that I just realized...when I was young I had an imaginary friend named Cindy Wolf. She was a wolf...hence the name. She wore a little plaid skirt (pleated, with suspenders) and a short sleeved white blouse that buttoned in the back...peter pan collar of course. I would talk to her for hours....she was my best friend. Blogging is like having imaginary friends. I *know* that people are reading much like I *knew* Cindy was with me. Ignorance is bliss methinks.

Monday, August 16, 2004

yep....feast your eyes....I got me some tomtoes to put up....any thoughts on what I should make? Sauce? Salsa? Plain old tomatoes? whatever I make it'll taste like summer in February....... Posted by Hello

a couple of weeks ago, a friend brought me a few cucumbers...from those came these...12 quarts and 42 pints of bread and butter pickle heaven. Today he is bringing me another gift...stay tuned.... Posted by Hello

Rogue and family

I was able to get a good couple of hours into Rogue last night...almost done with the back and anxious to get to the front...looking forward to the cables and the hood. I wish I had enough confidence in my knitting to make changes in finishing. For instance, the pattern calls for binding off the first stitch for every row for six rows in the back. I think that if I slipped the first stitch and bound off the next one, or perhaps slipped every first stitch I would have had a better edge...but I didn't. What am I afraid of? That the knitting police will come along and yell at me. Chicken. Ah well...it does look great. I'm using Cascade in a gorgeous deep bluey green with loads of purple and occasional flecks of red. The cables have come out nicely, standing right up there and looking very cabley. Next round of cables, I'm going to try Wendy's technique....makes so much sense as do so many things on her blog. If you haven't checked her site out (and you know who you are..) go for it. So much great information, techniques, tips...and more inspiration than a body can process...but it's fun trying. Speaking of blogs, my freind Rachel is in training. She's a creative, fun, cool woman who is adding to her repetoire by running...oh, not just a mile or two but training for a marathon, and one that will make a difference to a lot of people. Please check out her site and if you can, give a little...cause there's a chance that someone you know and love will get something back. It's all one big circle folks and it just keeps going around.
Speaking of going around, I had a great, great visit with my cousins yesterday. I am the only kid left (at 44) in my family, having lost my brother and sister. The most difficult thing for me in this is the loss of shared history. Now it's just me and Dad...yes, I have my children and husband the lot of them for whom I am eternally grateful. But pre-kids, pre-husband...my childhood. You know..those stories about bad haircuts, losing teeth, when Uncle Phil did this or that, all those *things*.. And watching siblings, even my own offspring, is sometimes a bit difficult. Siblings for me are more of a cool idea than something that was actually part of my life. We were far apart in age and circumstances...long story for another day... however, yesterday was such a huge, huge gift for me. There are seven of them and their spouses and their children, etc.etc....this is just one of my Mom's brothers. These people are my family, know what a horrible, whiney little kid I was, teased me fairly mercilessly about it and it filled a hole in my heart that I sometimes think is just always going to be there. The occasion..this time..was a baby shower for my cousin Jackie...wishing her luck, love and joy on the most amazing journey there is...

well, off to knit, gotta get the paperwork done today cause it's the beginning of the annual kids back to college adventure! Let the games begin!!!!!