Monday, January 28, 2008


I was tagged by my sister for this 7 Random Things meme (again). I swear I've done this before (or twice). So, I've tried to come up with some pretty off-the wall stuff that won't reveal me as too much of a psycho!

Here goes:

~I once worked for the FBI.

~My first teaching job was with high-school dropouts who wanted to get their HS Diploma. They were mostly teenage mothers and gang members (or both). Good times. I was cursed out more times than I care to count.

~My mother was my labor coach when The Boy was born. DH (now "ex-DH") waited in the hall with my father. Wimp. (the ex, not my dad)

~My former MIL was the one who got me back into knitting by giving me some old needles, a book, and yarn that we found while I was helping her clean out the attic.

~I was born in Germany.

~I had a serious issue with feet (mine or anyone else's) until about 10 years ago. I wouldn't even wear sandals before then! I've since gotten over this, and now sport a script letter "Z" tattoo (for The Boy) on my left foot, which I think is very cute.

~I got that tattoo in Miami, from a man reading the Spanish version of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It was fate. I also almost passed out. Seriously. Don't try tattooing your foot unless you really, really, REALLY have a high tolerance for pain.
And the bonus "random thing" you'll figure out just by looking at the picture - I CLEARLY have bunions. Hence, the Fugly shoes from a couple posts back!


Sunday, January 27, 2008


When my sister moved to Belarus, she got herself a blog and a cool new knitting habit to go along with it. She's "Learning to Walk in Stilettos" on my sidebar. She and I have been getting each other in quite a bit of trouble. Basically it goes like this: find something wonderful, blog about it, the other person HAS to try it! Or, sign up for it, as the case may be. Hence, I sent out the first of THREE swap packages yesterday morning. I was quite pleased with the package, but, in my haste, forgot to take a picture. After it's opened and posted on my pal's blog (which will be Valentine's Day, at least), I'll post the same here.

So, besides the Be My Valentine swap (find the group on Ravelry), she's also convinced me to join the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap (#4), and that's proving to be fun because, while I'm receiving the materials to do a pair of socks, I only have to knit a bag. I was getting a bit weary of knitting socks for others. I like to wear socks that I've knit myself - although the ones I receive are always very lovely, I want the satisfaction of saying I knit them myself! I'm knitting Gryfindor colors (again), which is great, because they're also Redskin colors, and I get ideas galore in the process!

I'm also in the Hot Cocoa swap, which is for "beating the winter blahs/blues." I hope I'm picking things for my pal that will suffice. Don't want to give away too much here, but it's always so nice getting to "know" someone this way, and lemme tell you - my pal has EXCELLENT taste in yarn, which has been very costly for me, but only because I bought just as much for myself as I did for her! After I've sent and I know the package has been received, I'll post all the specifics (again). I do want to post a few sneak peeks, though, because this has been a big part of this weekend, with a little more to go!

Here's some knitting for one pal:

And, and x-rated shot of the hot cocoa made with the GOURMET marshmallows (I know, who knew!!??) I **achem** sampled for my cocoa pal:

It felt completely illegal, I swear! They were "Chocomint" flavored, by the way! I've got an "Amaretto" flavored one simmering in some cocoa right now. I'm sold! Go by Laura's Candy and get some for yourself!

Then, while rooting in the closet for The Boy's knee pads (he's determined to become a Skater Dude), I came across this: A dyeing project from when The Boy was a wee baby. I knit him a scarf made with yarn I'd dyed with kool-aid. Wish I could remember which packet made which color, because I really loved that purple and the bright, intense red. I do plan to dye again one day, but I'm not sure what colors I'm looking for, and I'm plenty distracted by other goodies right now anyway! I just thought it was sweet, and Can't believe how well it turned out, and that we still have it.

All this swapping and planning and Boy Stuff has meant very little work this week on my Tilted Duster, which I still plan to finish next weekend. I really only have about 8 more inches of ribbing and the collar to do (besides the finishing), so I completely think it's do-able!


Friday, January 25, 2008

A Quiz!

Because I worked on this late at night, in bed, it took me two days to get through this. I do love word puzzles, but they tend to make me very sleepy, which I really didn't need any help with during this busy week. So, without further ado, here's the answer to the Gryffindor House Quiz:

"Hogwarts. Hogwarts. Hoggy warty Hogwarts. Teach us something please. Whether we be old and bald or young with scabby knees, our heads could do with filling with some interesting stuff. For now they're bare and full of air, dead flies and bits of fluff. So teach us things worth knowing. Bring back what we've forgot. Just do your best, we'll do the rest. And learn until our brains all rot."

I really love the part about "learn until our brains all rot." I think I need to read that to my class! Although, last year's class would have appreciated it much, much more! This class still proves to be very immature - even now, in January, approaching the 100th Day! I'm a little disappointed that they are still not great listeners and I continue to have behavior issues. Very frustrating! Although, the reading scores/levels this time really, really impressed me. Right now, there's only two still left at "below-grade-level" so I think I'm right on track for ZERO "BGL" by the end of the year. I can do this. If they were stellar listeners and behaved properly as well, I'd be on top of the world. Hell, I'd probably be Teacher of the Year.

And yes, I do realize that the fact I just cursed about it means I'm probably not going to BE Teacher of the Year. Shocker.

I'm putting together the first of this round of swap packages. I think I have everything set - the $$ amount is adding up (oh, who'm I kidding, I spent too much, but DANG, I'd like to get this package in the mail - that's always my guide for whether it's a good package or not!), and I'm just searching my hiding places for a cute little red vase I picked up at Pier 1. One day I'll put "get organized" on the list of things to work on for New Year's, but clearly this year it didn't make the list!

Other than fulfilling swap requirements this weekend, I'm trying my best to catch up on the third season of LOST before Thursday, so I anticipate plenty of knitting in front of the TV this weekend, and I'm tickled pink. Now, to convince The Boy that he doesn't need to try to watch 10 hours of Hannah Montana this weekend. . . wish me luck!


Monday, January 21, 2008

Good Times

Twice a year, The Boy's school closes down for two days in a row in order for the teachers to meet with parents - parent conference days. With my busy-as-he&& class this year, I said I was going to take one of those days off for a "date day" with The Boy. That was this past Thursday. We had a lovely day. The weather entertained us immensely. Just look:

Make sure to look closely - that's the Washington Monument behind him! We had planned already planned to go to The Mall when we realized there was a snowstorm in the forecast. I've never been down there before when it was snowing, and we figured riding METRO was a bit better than driving our car down, so we went. It was GORGEOUS!!!

We went to the Natural History museum. While we were there, we caught an IMAX 3-D movie about sea creatures (wonderful), and finally, finally, finally, the boy is interested in stopping to look at the displays, not just running a-muck through the crowds! He was reading the names of the animal skeletons and insects to me (the insect museum is open again, by the way), and loved interacting with the tons of "touch me" stuff in the mammal exhibit. Of course, the mommy/teacher in me LOVED that he was sounding out/trying to read the stuff on his own. He's finally getting into this reading thing, and I LOVE IT!!! We had such a good day. What made it even better was, I didn't have to put up with my wiggly class on a snow-day! Wahoooo!! What good timing!

I've got more to post about recent yarn acquisitions (hey, I'm in a few swaps, so I HAD to. . . . right????), but I'll post about that later. I hear my washing machine calling me!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Knitting

The Hot Cocoa folks want to know:

"Now that we're in the thick of 'Winter'... has your knitting changed to match the season? Are you moving on from dishcloths, and tank tops to afghans, hats and mittens? Has your yarn changed from silk or cotton to wool, superwash or heavier cottons?"

I don't know if I knit to the season, actually. Until lately, with the last KAL for the Sexy Knitter's Club, I don't usually cast on and finish something in the same season, for the same season. Necessarily. That sounds horrible, eh?

It's not that I don't knit much, because I do - a day without knitting is HORRIBLE! I feel very cheated when I have to go to bed before I've knitted a single stitch!

My problem is, I cast on for too much at one time, therefore it takes me forever. Robin seems to have a similar affliction, but I do believe she pumps out the finished objects much, much faster than I do. And she's got more on the needles than I do, technically. She's a speed knitter!

Just to recap, I am currently working on:

The "Earth Mother Clapotis" - for The Boy's teacher.
Tilted Duster - for me.
Squarecake - for me, I think.
Sooper Seekrit socks - for SOS.
The Boy's First Socks - for The Boy!

AND, I'm supposed to be knitting a bag for a swap - the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap 4. Also, I have assorted socks in different stages around the house. Plus other projects I've put on the back burner for a while because I grew tired of them or frustrated with them. I have a pair of socks that were to be for my mother, but are so frustrating that they're about to be frogged! And a jacket/cardigan from a kit that I won at Stitches two years ago that I'm almost finished, but just really don't have it in me to make myself finish knitting the last sleeve. Probably because I know I'm going to have to sew in a bazillion ends and sew together seams. Blech. Yuck-O!

So, to recap, no, I don't really knit warmer things just because it's cold outside. And while I don't think I'd cast on for a tank-top right now, there's just absolutely no reason why I wouldn't cast on for something like the Tilted Duster during the Summer. My reasoning would be related to the above mish-mash of projects. If it did get "too hot" to knit something (I still don't see that happening), I would just knit on a different project for a while! By the time I finished knitting the item, it would be time to use it!

What about you??


Sunday, January 13, 2008


I've found a wine I like!

This stuff is, apparently, right from Germany. I know "Reisling" is a German-style wine, but this one says it's from Longuich/Germany. Yum-O!

I also, sadly, happen to really, really like my new shoes. In this department, it seems the uglier, the better. It's very sad to have such sensitive/bad feet, and to work in a job where I'm on my feet 95% of my day! Here are the new uglies--I mean "lovelies" I've found (got them in black AND brown), modeled here with one finished Sooper-Seekrit!

Ta! I've got to go see a kid's movie with The Boy. Maybe there'll be a movie review later. Stay tuned. I know you're holding onto the edges of your seat now! Hee hee!


Monday, January 07, 2008

Well, Bust My Buttons!

Well, blustering buttons, I think I did it!!!!!! Yay.

Okay - party over, I really don't remember exactly HOW I did it, but I posted my HSKS4 button! Check the sidebar! And, please, ignore the words underneath the button - I'm afraid to remove them, lest I f%#@& up the button again. You'll just have to live with them. They're a link to my Flickr page, in case you're interested. Nothing much but knitting, and a couple cute pictures of The Boy - standard fare around here.

While I'm at it, anyone up for Hot Cocoa?
The swap is actually closed, but this is what I did last time for the button, so you've got to see it here in order for it to be there. Don't ask me, but that's what's workin', and I'm stickin' to it! Thanks, Jennifer, for the suggestions - they worked!


Saturday, January 05, 2008


Originally uploaded by bkwrm1012002
I can't make this a button and I'm pissed!

I'm going to have a glass of wine!

Make It Beautiful

The yoga studio I've been going to is lovely. Just finished up with a week's worth of FREE yoga. That means Sunday, Monday (skipped Tuesday, although The Boy did a Kid's Yoga class), Thursday, and Friday's classes? - All FREE. YUM!

So anyway - last night, Adria, the instructor, used this quote for reflection that was wonderful. It was a bit lengthy, so I don't remember it all, but it talked about living in the present. And not just that, but making the 'present' you live in so beautiful that you wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~
So, this morning, I was trying to figure out how to put buttons on my blog (finally) for the swaps I've joined that are about to start, but wound up spending the morning uploading the needed pictures (plus about a zillion more) to Flickr so that I could just try to do it. I'm immensely entertained by the bouncing check-mark when a photo is uploaded, and, well, let's just say I pretty much used up my allowable 100MB of space "entertaining myself." Apparently, I can be easily amused! I cannot, however, figure out the button issue, but before the weekend's up, I'm GOING to tackle this!

So, one of the swaps I am about to undertake is The Hot Cocoa swap. Here is my questionnaire:

It's here at long last... so let's hear it for the Questionnaire!

1. What is your favorite way to drink cocoa? Prepared with milk? Water? from home made recipe or store bought?, In a tea cup, or big mug? I like the easy stuff – boil water, add mix. A BIG mug is a must!
2. Marshmallows or whipped cream? Either

1. What is your favorite type of yarn? In what colors? Any and all sock yarn! Merino is probably my favorite type, just because it’s soft, but really anything soft with gorgeous colors is a winner.

2. Do you knit or crochet (or both)? Can crochet, but prefer to just knit.
3. What are your favorite type of needles, would you like to try something new? I love the Knit Picks Harmony line – I think they are so beautiful. Since I already have a set of Denise Interchangeables, I don’t really see the point of having an entire set in the options style, so I’m slowly collecting useful sizes here and there.
4. Do you have a healthy supply of notions? Pretty much.
5. What one thing do you keep thinking you need to buy for your knitting habit (outside of yarn)? Hanging row counters for projects so I can keep track of the row I’m on, and beads – since MS3, I’m very tempted to put beads on things! Edited to add - I have been looking for an organizer for my circular needles to hang and not get that crimp in them (and keep them all in one place!)
6. What is your favorite 'quick knit/crochet' pattern (quick gratification). Baby hats – simple roll-brim style.

1. What is your favorite thing to do in the Winter? Sit and read or knit with a cup of cocoa or coffee.
2. What is your favorite animal? Turtle
3. Do you get the 'winter blahs'? Sometimes.
4. What is your favorite way to beat the blahs? Pamper myself – home spa treatments, pedicures, paint my nails/toes, etc.
5. What is the thing you are most looking forward to this spring? Spring Break (I’m a teacher).
6. What is your favorite treat? Yoga
7. What is your favorite board game? Not really a “board” game, but my family loves to play Dominoes – Mexican Train style.
8. Do you have any children (furry or human)? One human son – 5 year old Zachary.
9. Do you have any allergies or special considerations you partner should know about? Not really – I am a bit sensitive to 100% wool, especially on my feet, but most yummy sock yarns these days have me covered and are a softer wool, or have other fibers added to keep them soft.

In other knitting news, besides the Flickr upload, I also have been updating my Ravelry account - trying to keep it updated and current. Some things finally have a picture, so go take a look if you get a chance - I'm Heather219 over there, so stop by!

Oh, and if you're visiting and also have a Ravelry account, lemme know in the comments who you are so I can add you to my friends there!

Now, since I'm usually a little sad by blog posts with no pictures, I'll leave you with pics of the current state of my current projects. Man, I got a lot accomplished this morning!

This is the progress so far on the Clapotis that I'm knitting for The Boy's teacher. I've called it the Earth Mother Clapotis due to the colors, and the woman that it's being knit for - great ways to describe both!

Square Cake in the large version, knit with the Nashua Handknits Ivy gifted to me by a Secret Pal - thanks, Pal, cause it's gorgeous!!!

The front of my Tilted Duster - what I've been working on lately.

The top back part of the Tilted Duster.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008


2008 Resolutions

Be Healthier

~Develop a steady yoga practice – I was introduced to yoga this past August, and loved how it helped relieve the pain in my back. I invested in a CD, downloaded some podcasts, and went to a class or two outside of the original one that ended in November. I did notice a slight change (drop) in my weight during this whole time, but also and more importantly, noticed changes in my body, my energy level, and how good I felt. I resolve to make yoga a part of my life in a big way – Monday classes at a local studio (plus Kids classes for The Boy), and investing in a portable CD player to keep in my room-turned-yoga studio!

~Eat 7 fruits/vegetables each day – I did this during my healthy/college years and felt (and looked) great. I resolve to go back to this plan, keeping a diary to track my progress. I DO NOT resolve to diet or to “get to XXX pounds by XXXX date” - hopefully ever again. I know eating better makes me feel better and gives me more energy, and therefore this is my only dietary resolution.

~Drink more water and less coffee – this is a big one for me. I drink two cups of coffee every day – and the first is usually a honking big cup that I stretch all morning long while I teach. I plan to limit this to my ONLY cup and skip the after-dinner cup (most days). Can’t guarantee every day (cause I do love me some coffee), but I know the caffeine is not the best for the system, so I plan to replace the urge by drinking more water.

Be A Better Mother

~Spend more quality time with The Boy - less "good, he wants to watch a movie" and more "let's find a fun way to help him with his violin practice or reading/math skills" or "let's do something so he'll remember having fun with me, not me fussing!"

~Be a better example of what to do in everyday life - this covers a wide range of boo-boos, from being unorganized, to being lazy, to fibbing to get things to go my way (a big pet peeve when I see others do it - go figure!).

~Stop fussing so much and do more talking.

Be A Better Teacher

~Be more organized - my desk is a horrible example of organizational skills. Mental note - next school year, put desk at the back of the classroom!

~Be more positive.

~Do less fussing - see note above!

So that's about it for this year. I love when people say "I don't believe in resolutions." I imagine that those people have their lives together and wouldn't change a thing about themselves. That is NOT me. Maybe next year!