Monday, December 22, 2008

10 days of night

Wow! I just got back from a lovely trip to 1642!! Last Thursday night (that's 11 days ago) we were victims of that crazy Ice Storm that hit the northeast. Particularly New Hampshire. Particularly the Hampstead area. I live in East Hampstead. Anyway... We woke up in the middle of the night to hear all kinds of crashing and what not. We knew there would be an ice storm, so we figured it was ice falling on the house (and our solarium!) and all would be well in the morning. It all started around 3am for us. We woke up again around 6 and heard this creepy creaking, scratching, eeeeeee eee eeeeee eeeeeeee sound. We arose from our bed to see what was the matter and saw this:

That big icy tree is NOT normally right up against our bedroom window...that is right above our heads. So we decided to look around and investigate. This is what we saw out of our windows and front door:

Our power was also out, which we figured would be a nuisance for the day.
After it was determined that I wouldn't be going in to work because we didn't even open, we decided to go grab some coffee. This turned out to take us over an hour, because there were no places open near us, and the places the next town over were jammed with people, it wouldn't have even been worth it. So, a ride that would normally take us about 20 minutes both ways took us over an hour. It was crazy! And while we were out and about, I took some more pictures:

This ice storm was no joke! Sure, it was pretty, but I couldn't even fit enough pictures on my memory card of all the trees on the lines, trees on people's houses, etc. It was crazy. We had trees down in our yard, across our driveway, oh, and that branch tapping on our window?

That tree REALLY wanted to come in! We were happy when the ice melted and it sprung back up to its natural state.
So even after the ice melted, we still didn't have power. For 10 days. Have you ever been without power for 10 days? Even more than 2 days? Its pretty crazy. I am not complaining, there are many many people who had it much worse than we did. We have a fireplace, community water (so we didn't have to turn off our lines), and we don't have kids to worry about yet. (And the cats really couldn't have cared less). It was just us, camping out in front of the fireplace on our air mattress. I had to get up every hour to put wood on the fire but hey, we were camping. With the exception of not being able to shower at home, I really didn't mind it all that much, but Erm had a tougher time than I did. He is not a camper :) You might say Michelle, you must have gotten so much knitting done in those 10 days! Nope. See, I still worked during that time, and by around 4:15, the sun was already down too much for me to have enough light to knit. What a waste!
Yesterday I got the call from Erm while I was out shopping with my Mom that the power went back on. So exciting! So after a rough drive home (did you hear that we also got a foot of snow yesterday?) I walked into my warm, bright house and watched the Patriots kill Arizona. And my Christmas spirit that I couldn't find? I promptly put up my little fake Christmas tree, wrapped some presents, and baked some candy cane cookies. I think this whole experience was meant to teach some of us what the Christmas spirit is all about!
Off to shovel some snow! Oh, and a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom today!!!! Love you Mom!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Renewed interest

First of all, I have to mention that my last night out, fling before the ring, last hurrah, Bachelorette Party was this weekend! I knew when it was, but nothing else... and it could not have been more perfect! My bridesmaids and a bunch of my friends gathered in our hotel room, we went out for Mexican food (my favorite), and headed off to Limelight, a karaoke bar in Boston where you can rent your own private room, and there is also a public stage. We infiltrated both public and private stages, and no you can't see pictures. Lets just say it was exactly what I wanted for my bachelorette party and I had a blast. I came home tired and very ready to settle down and get married!

So the renewed interest isn't in my wild bachelorette ways, it has to do with Joey and his Kitty Pi. Awhile ago, I knit the Kitty Pi for my cats because I wanted to try some new things, meaning knitting in the round and felting. The Pi did not come out as I planned, it is supposed to look like a cat bed you can buy at Petco or something. The edges of mine just flop in. But, I put some catnip in it and Joey jumped right in... for about a day. Since then the poor Pi has been neglected in the corner of the couch. Until this week for some reason, every time I walk in the office, this is what I see:

I'm not sure what happened? Maybe because its cold and the Pi keeps him warm with its felty goodness? Maybe because Octavious is normal now and has staked claim over both couches? I'm not really sure, but knitters out there know... whether human, canine, or feline, if your FOs are appreciated and used, success! So, this makes me very very happy. I may actually make one for Octavious, since I really need new projects now. Like a hole in the head.

I also think I need a dog or something more normal to take so many pictures of. I'm turning into a crazy cat lady.

I also do NOT HAVE MY TREE YET and its driving me CRAZY!!! This may be the latest I have ever had a tree in my whole life. Luckily, this has not dampened my Christmas spirit, it is out in full effect! I decorated my mantle last week, and while it may be my least favorite of all my mantles, its certainly cheery. I hope that everyone is enjoying this holiday season!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finally... knitting!

Poking through my last few blog posts... how boring! Well, except for Baby Alex's arrival, that was pretty exciting :) Speaking of Alex, I finally have a picture of a FO to show! This took me a long time, but its finally done! This is my gift to Baby Alex, the Heritage Blanket (Ravelry Link) by Oat Couture. I used Berrocco Comfort in a lavender, since Alex's room is all purples and lavenders. When I was done, I washed and dried it, (all by machine!) and it became even SOFTER! I may need to make myself some kind of blanket with Comfort! Anyway, here are pics! The real color is somewhere in between the colors in these pictures. I took them from far away and also a couple of closeups to get the detail of the blankie.

We will now return to our regularly schedule boring posts...

Monday, December 1, 2008

I am thankful that I got my coffee at Starbucks today...

...and everyone should get coffee at Starbucks today! They are donating five cents of each handcrafted beverage bought for AIDS research and awareness. Come on. Its the holidays, and you know you want a gingerbread latte or peppermint mocha...

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was busy busy busy!! It actually started during the week when I delivered over forty Thanksgiving meals to needy families in the community that I work for. It was cold and rainy, but I felt awesome for helping all of those greatful people! Thanksgiving came and went without any excitement, just a nice day with family.

My big complaint is that I do not have my tree yet! Hopefully next weekend?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

She's here!

Boy am I a bad blogger. I think its because I have next to nothing to report in my knitting world. Work has kept me super busy, as has the beginning of the home stretch for wedding planning! There is, however, one thing that took total precedence this weekend, quite early on Sunday morning. I got the call around 1am, and then again at 3ish, that Melissa was finally in labor with Baby Alex! There's been much confusion over her due date, but regardless, she was late. After 20 hours of labor and a C-section, Alexandria Margaret Child arrived at 8:38 on Sunday morning. Kelly, Fawn and I were lucky enough to be wanted there to meet her within her first minutes of life, along with Melissa's parents. True to form, I cried all morning :) Mommy, Daddy, and baby are doing well, and I could be biased, but I think she is BEAUTIFUL...

Congratulations Melissa, Mike and Alex!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thank you, thank you!

This was how I spent my Saturday morning:

Because it was my shower!!! Erm whisked me off to my shower brunch on Saturday morning. I was quite anxious until I got inside, but once there, I had so much fun! My mother, godmother, my bridesmaids, and my future mother-in-law put so much thought into everything to include all my tastes (shown by the omelette bar and Bloody Mary bar) and everything was black and white or ivory to go along with the wedding. Go to Kelly's Blog to see the gorgeous cake! We got so many wonderful gifts that I can't wait to use. It actually looks like Crate and Barrel threw up in my house! I'm so grateful to everyone who came and help make it a very special day. And especially to everyone involved in the planning... thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is this normal?

Most mornings, Erm and I sit and have our cereal and watch the news. Occaisionally, we will put our bowls on the floor for the cats. (I know, this is probably bad, but there's about a dropper ful of milk in there and they're still alive). Something different happened today... Is this normal?

He pushed that bowl all the way across the floor! Its a new sport!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My country 'tis of thee...

... sweet land of opportunity!

I couldn't post yesterday because I was way too caught up in everything else going on. I voted in the morning and was on a voter-high all day. I LOVE voting. I know there are lots of people out there who love voting, and NH residents take their voting very, very seriously. We have the priviledge of voting in the first primary, and, it appears that we have become a swing state? So, where its not a given any more that the Granite State goes Republican, its especially exciting.

I hope everyone voted yesterday. And if you didn't, gear up to start voting in the future. Especially if you're not happy with how the election went. "I didn't feel informed enough to make a decision" is not a viable excuse... it was impossible to not be informed about this election! I already jumped on my soapbox about how voting is part of what makes this country so wonderful, and its such an American thing to do. So I won't go on and on about that. If you didn't vote... no complaining!

Now that the election is over, I have a proposal for those on both sides. If you are a Barack Obama supporter, you must be very excited. Congratulations. Now simmer down and relax. For those of you who voted McCain, the election is over. Its time to get behind President Elect Obama and be Americans. No complaining will change the election, so we all need to be positive and hope that he and all the Democratic Congressmen and women and Senators do a great job, and that this new strategy works to fix the economy, and that we stay safe from all threats, at home and abroad.

Hey, we still have lower gas prices!

God bless America!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The last mention of the P word...

...and the P word is... Pumpkins!

I guess I really like pumpkins! Last week I barely got any knitting done, so I made up for it this weekend by finishing one of the Little Pumpkins socks! I was very excited to have found what seems to be the best number of stitches to cast on for my socks. I have narrow feet and kind of narrow ankles and calves. However, I have long feet (size 9), so I learned on my first pair of socks that if I cast on what is recommended for a size 9, they are too wide and become slouchy and bulky. These socks are written for a size 6 with 64 stitches. I knew I was going to be making them longer, but thought I'd try the 64 stitches. It worked, they fit great! Except... I should have made them a teeny bit longer. I think my foot is actually longer than I thought, or it grew after I measured it, or something. At any rate, here is my first Little Pumpkin sock, my first patterned sock that I knitted for ME!

In the ultimate act of Single Sock Syndrome, I may wait til next year to knit the other one. Isn't that ridiculous? I just have so many other socks to knit, and October is over, and my mom bought me the "2 at a Time on One Circular" book and I'm dying to learn how to knit both socks at the same time, Magic Loop style, so this doesn't happen again. Although, after I get the remaining yarn for Erm's sockthatwon'tend and finish that, maybe I'll want to finish the pumpkins. We'll see.
Now that Halloween is over its time to focus on the next holiday, which is tomorrow, and that is Election Day. I'm not going to go all mavericky on anyone and push any candidates, however, I do need to urge that everyone get out and vote! Even if you don't feel informed enough to make a decision, even if its a pain to stand in those lines... just do it. People died while forming this country so that we would have the right to vote, and I consider it the most American thing you can do. So even if you write in Mickey Mouse (I'm not suggesting Mickey Mouse for President - Sorry Kel) just VOTE!!!
And if you live in Massachusetts, vote Yes on 3 ;)
Happy Voting, everyone!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween! (So unlike me to be late...)

I just didn't have time to blog this week, so I'm extending Halloween by a day! I have no pictures of costumes, since we didn't go anywhere. We had a nice dinner and watched Open Water last night. Which, while not a slasher/ghost/zombie movie, was still pretty scary! Its one of those movies that you have to have an imagination to get the full effect, but if you do, its worth it. And you have to stomach the first 15 mins, they're pretty stupid.
We did watch the movie by the light of my pumpkin, which stayed inside. There's no point in putting it outside, we got one group of trick-or-treaters, as usual.

I have no pictures of knitting! I haven't knitted since Tuesday, if you can believe it. I was not home any night this week, and therefore had no time! I worked Monday and Tuesday nights as usual, Wednesday I had a fun dinner at my friend Keely's house with my old coworkers, and Thursday I was at a rally for our Senatorial candidate. It was a lot of fun, but I'm glad the week if over and life can go back to semi-normal!
If you're not lucky enough to live in New England, I wanted to share what my backyard is like right now. Leaf peeping paradise!

And Joey says have a nice weekend... or he's ready to attack. Either way, here he is:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin in disguise

This weekend we had a fall project day, not to be confused with our summer project day that we had a few months ago. I was too busy to take lots of pictures, but one thing I did that desperately needed to be done was to clean out our pantry. I like to stuff as much sutff in there as possible until things start falling out. Erm thinks we need to clean it, I think we just need more storage. At any rate, I cleaned it, and in the end, as always, I was happy I did. In the process, I found enough paper plates to feed a small country on. Literally. We never need to buy a paper plate again. Who needs this many paper plates?

After other projects got done, we headed off for a visit with Erm's parents' house and then to Skip and Dana's for dinner. My favorite thing to bring is dessert, so that's what we brought. I also got to make my chocolate-pumpkin-pecan cake, it was delicious, and didn't look too bad either! Next time I'm going to double the recipe so that it evens out more in the pan and matches up better. I thought I did ok, though. The stem? That's a secret ingredient...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mmmm... pumpkins!

So anyone who knows me knows that one of my favorite things in the world is (are) pumpkins. I love them. I love the way they look, taste, smell... and now I'm going to love how they feel! Before my birthday, I spotted some Dream in Color Smooshy in Flamingo Pie... which is pinky-orangey, and I had to have it. Orange is my new favorite color. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my birthday, which I realized when I had lunch with my mom last week and she said "I'm surprised you didn't do a blog post about turning 30?". So there, I said it. I turned 30 in September. Actually, its ok now. It WASN'T ok for the whole two weeks leading up to it... it was so bad that on the eve of this milestone, after Shaine, Kelly and Melissa surprised me with a very nice birthday dinner... I went home after too much wine, poured myself a stiff Kaluha sombrero (who drinks those?) and looked up Andy Rooney articles about the best things about women in their 30s. I shocked myself into it, and when I woke up on my birthday I was (hurting) fine with it. But... I digress.

So... my wonderful Mom gave me a gift card to my LYS because she knew there were two sock yarns that I wanted but couldn't remember what they were. I bought the Flamingo Smooshy, then some Smooshy in November Muse, which I had also had my eye on.

Not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it yet... but not to fear. I also had some left over on my card, and spent a couple of my own bucks (being my birthday and all...) and bought THIS beautifulness.... Mmmmmmmalabrigo

Malabrigo Worsted in StoneChat. I have two of these, and will be making a scarf for myself, since I've also been eyeing this for... months.

But, onto the pumpkins. I was looking for the perfect pattern for my slightly orange yarn, and came across the "Little Pumpkins" Socks (Ravelry link). I read the comments on it, people said it went really quickly (yeah, right) and the pattern was easy to memorize (ok, whatever) and guess what... they were right. I'm already just about done the leg on one and I've been working on other things at the same time and I started them on Thursday! I'd love to have them done for this weekend (wishful thinking) but by Halloween would be wonderful. Here's some pics of the first sock in progress. I don't know how much they look like pumpkins now, but maybe when I put them on they will?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Isn't that awesome?

Ahh... nothing like a long weekend to refresh and recharge! This past weekend was Erm's bachelor party, so I turned to my friend Shaine to entertain me. She did not disappoint! Shaine won some plane tickets in a raffle, but in order to get them, she had to drive up to the mountains and tour a timeshare and get the hard sell put on her. I was given the option of going or waiting for her to come home and hang out, and I said why the heck not? I'm not doing anything else today! So we went on a road trip to the mountains. I had heard that the foliage was at its peak and absolutely gorgeous, so we were excited (and amused) to get some leaf peeping in. We may have said peeping 20 times in the course of the day! Here's some pics of the peeping:

That's me... peepin

These people were peepin

So Shaine joined in

I missed my calling

So we finally got to the timeshare place after all the peeping (see, I told you I couldn't stop saying peeping) and went through the longest hour and a half of our lives. Shaine and I used to work in a sales-organization-that-doesn't-classify-itself-as-a-sales-organization, and we spotted this time share saleslady's tricks a mile away. We were particularly amused by her insistence on saying "Isn't that awesome?" after just about everything. "Europeans vacation 6 weeks out of the year, its their God given birthright... isn't that awesome?" or "You can get a locker at any of our locations any time... isn't that awesome?" and "These condos are fully furnished, there's even salt and pepper... isn't that awesome?". I don't think I've heard the word "awesome" that much since I watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in middle school. It was also awkward that Shaine was treated like some kind of invalid because she isn't married or engaged, and brought a friend with her. They kept telling her that they liked to have the people in charge of making decisions there, and asking her when she thinks she'll be engaged, like she's some kind of robot controlled by her significant other. (I'm not usually all feminist-y, but it was ridiculous). It gave me a nice out when they turned to me and asked me if they could get ME into a timeshare... I told them I clearly gave up my decision making skills when I got engaged...

Even Erm's Sock that Won't End got into the leaf peeping!

This sock really.....won't....end. I have a mere 2 repeats of the pattern and the toe and I RAN OUT OF YARN. Arg! Erm will have to wait on that second sock until I buy more, which probably won't be the same dye lot. Luckily its a cuff down sock, and not toe up!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wedding #2, Apple Picking #1

What a weekend! My maid (now matron) of honor, Kerri, got married on Saturday! I got to return the favor and act as her maid of honor for the day. It was a gorgeous day out, how lucky that the weather cooperated... for once around here. The ceremony was in a rose garden on the water in Beverly, and the reception was at Tupper Manor, also in Beverly. The whole wedding and everything about it were GORGEOUS. I was a basketcase all day... not sure what that was all about. Naturally, I don't have pictures yet, because for once in my life, I forgot my camera! More on that later.

Where I DID remember to bring my camera was apple picking on Sunday! Another gorgeous day! It was Kristin's first apple picking experience and she was not disappointed! We picked apples and pumpkins, grabbed some cider and crafty stuff, and went home and watched the Pats! I love fall!!!!

Kristin picking her first apple!

Me eating my first apple

Farmer Erm, showing off
Next up... more knitting!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The ILLUSION is done!!

I never thought I'd finish the Illusion Scarf, but I actually did! I finished last Thursday, just in time to get it packed up and sent to my swap partner. I really didn't anticipate how LONG it was going to be... this scarf ended up being 8 feet long! Considering that I usually make my scarves 5 feet long, this was a huge difference. Luckily, I was using size 9s and some bulky yarn, so it didn't feel like it took that long. I'm working on other scarves that are taking me much longer...

Here are some pics of the finished product!

One reason I like doing scarves (I like scarves, I'm weird) is that I get to try new techniques on something small, so if I have to rip anything out, its not painful, as it would be on a sweater, or even socks. In addition to Illusion Knitting, I got to do the Three Needle Bind-Off for the first time with this scarf. I have always been afraid of the TNBO, but its actually not bad at all! Looky:
You have two ends on two needles. In this case, the middle of the scarf. Then, you insert your needle as if to knit into the first stitch on each needle, like so... I included two pics here, what it looks like normally and then I spread them out so you can see better:

Then, you knit them together! You just wrap your yarn around like usual, and pull it through. Here's a pic of the wrapping around part, I am not crafty enough (yet) to get the pic of me pulling it through

And then you do it again and slip the first knitted stitch over the second, just like a regular bind-off. Keep doing it all the way across (like a regular bind-off) and you will have two pieces nicely bound together!

I have a new respect for anyone who takes pics of their knitting WHILE they are knitting. Its tough!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nice day for a white wedding...

This past weekend was the wedding of Fawn, one of my friends from high school. She got married at the Park Street Church across from the Boston Common, which I believe is the first place that "My Country 'Tis of Thee" was sung for the first time. Sadly, we didn't sing any patriotic songs, but the ceremony was still beautiful. The reception was at the Commandant's House in Charlestown, and everything was awesome. The tent was gorgeous, the food was delicious, the band was great. Everyone had a good time!

I feel very lucky to be so close to my friends from high school, I feel like not many people hold on to those friendships for very long. Actually, I met two of those friends in 5th grade (when I was 10!). I attribute these friendships to our strong personalities, similar morals, and the comradery that we developed from going to an all-girl, Catholic school. Yes, I wore a uniform. For YEARS. My four years of high school were the best years of my life, and I feel so lucky for that. Its amazing that we're in this phase of our life where we're all getting married, having babies, etc. Especially when I look back not too long ago to a group of girls who were just figuring out who they really are.

As at any function that we are at, there were plenty of cameras around! We all got some great pictures, we probably have about 500 group photos at this point, but they never get old to us!

Brady was a ringbearer, and I snapped this cute shot of him watching the action at the ceremony

Here's me and Erm

Here's me, my parents, and Erm

And last but certainly not least... Melissa (and baby Alex!), me, Fawn, Kelly, and Katey

Congratulations, Fawn and Bjorn!!!