Bits & pieces of my crazy world…

A Nooner

Posted by MeTymeMN on May 21, 2008

If there is such a thing, I’m pretty sure I’d win the BAD BLOGGER AWARD this month – less so because of my own posts here and more so because I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to get to some of my favorite blogs and comment/chat with people!  It’s shortly after noon here so I thought I’d just throw a quick little post together while I have a few minutes.

Aside from graduation and party preparations, and almost fearful to say this out loud for fear of jynxing myself, job interviewing has picked up considerably.  This is obviously a good thing and a good reason for being so busy right now.  A couple of them are moving along very positively, so I have all of my digits crossed hoping that one of them pans out.  Feel free to send all good mojo this way!  I can’t complain too much about having the last couple of years off, but it’s definitely time to get back into the working world again.

Is it snowing anywhere else right now???  Our house backs up to a little forest, and in that little forest (as well as our yard) are poplar trees, and from those poplar trees come these little seeds/pods that produce little cotton puffs.  It truly does look like it’s snowing!  It was so bad yesterday, in fact, that my husband had to put something over his nose and mouth while he was mowing the lawn because you breath it in just being outside.  Most annoying when it’s all over the garage, the house, the deck furniture; most compelling when you start to wonder how much yarn you could possibly have made with all of this… 🙂 I haven’t yet figured out how to compress video or I would have shot some footage of it.

I am 2 repeats of the main pattern, plus the border and edging, away from completing my shawl.  I have my blocking wires on order (thanks, Miss T!) and pray that they get here in the next week or so because I REALLY want to wear this to my son’s graduation ceremony.  I have fallen so madly in love with lace that I just joined a group called Seasons of Lace…it is so jam-packed full of contests, prizes, etc., that I couldn’t possibly list it all here; but you can check it out via the link.  My whole desire to learn and knit lace started by seeing a picture of a scarf out on Ravelry – it’s the Melon Pattern Scarf by Jane Sowerby, in Victorian Lace Today (I couldn’t find a picture to use right now that would most likely not violate some kind of copyright infringement…but I’ll be sure to include one when I get started).  Next thing I know I’m taking a lace class, have purchased the book for the pattern, and splurged – SPLURGED – on 100% Silk lace-weight yarn to make this in!  Check out this color – it’s called Copper Pennies!  So since I was going to be doing this over the summer anyway, and the Summer of Lace ‘season’ runs from June 21st through September 23rd, I figured it would be fun to do this “with” a bunch of other people.  And God help me I’m already thinking about what to do for WINTER of Lace!  In the event that I get finished with the Melon Scarf and have time for another lace project by the September 23rd deadline, Kat (I lead a pretty boring life and sometimes live vicariously through her blog!  Kim’s too!) was selling some of her stash and this one just cried out to me: 

These are so totally my colors!  Are you starting to see a “fall” color palette?  So I’m hoping to do another lace scarf with this yarn.

If I take you back up to the very top of this post, it’s titled “Nooner” because I was going to quickly throw this together around the lunch hour – and I did start writing this at that time…it’s now 5:06pm and I am just getting back in here to finish it.  That time also signifies that it’s time to get the grill fired up for dinner – it’s a good brat night…wonder what they’ll taste like with a cotton coating??!!

If I don’t get back out here in the next few days, everyone have a WONDERFUL Memorial Day weekend!  BE SAFE and have fun (in that order)!


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Just some Hump Day babbling…

Posted by MeTymeMN on May 14, 2008

The sun has been out all day today…that’s a first for a little while now.  It’s a good thing.  I definitely need the sun; it definitely affects my mood.  I spent a good portion of the afternoon here, working on my lace shawl.  I still love it – not just this shawl but lace in general.  If it wasn’t for the constant up and down to chase a cat who’d snuck down the stairs and out into the yard (and all 3 of them tried it at least once), it would have been a very peaceful, lazy yet productive afternoon.  But I’m certainly not complaining – it was still great time spent outdoors in the sun and warmth! 

 Speaking of sun and warmth, Lazareth (that’s what I named my Fern Leaf Peony) has been thriving with all of the rain and sparatic sun.  Can you see the actual BLOOMS he’s sprouting now?!  You’ll most likely need to click on the picture to enlarge it a little to actually see them. 

I don’t know if any of you see this, but I really do believe that spring growth is slow to come this year; maybe it’s just a mid-west thing.  Even the annuals selection in the nurseries are pretty sparse right now – you can get geraniums, pansies, impatiens, begonias; the pretty basic standard stuff.  But the snapdragons, salvia, even the zinnias aren’t out yet (at least not in my neck of the woods), and ‘we’ were just warned that it’s still too cold at night to plant the tomatoes and to wait until at least after the 15th.  The most poignant indicator, though, is that there still haven’t been any great deals advertised yet.  Sure there are sales, but nothing terribly spectacular.  Probably because the choices are still so limited.  Being born without the patience gene, it’s tough for me not to just get out there are start filling all my pots and hanging baskets (which I typically make myself vs. buy pre-arranged).  So I compromised and just went ahead and bought one so I can look at something right now.  Yep – made sure it was a damn big one!  Unfortunately, the ‘shepherd hook’ I bought just about bent in half when I hung this hummer on there, so I had to move it to the back – on the big sturdy hook – which messes everything up because it’s a sun-loving arrangement and everything in the back is either predominantly for shade or a shade/sun mix.  So I’ll need to think about this one some more. 

“Of course they’re mocking us…they know the screen’s there!”

The finches are around in droves now – it’s great!  Not only are they all so beautiful and colorful, but they provide hours of entertainment for the “girls”…which then provides entertainment for the humans!  There have been a few times where we thought the cats were going to go right through the screen in order to play with them.  The two in the picture are the extremely lazy ones – you pretty much have to bring everything directly to them in order to engage them in play!  And they’re the two that need the exercise – just look at Zoey’s butt!  Of course I really can’t talk…but that’s why I don’t put my butt in pictures and then on the internet. 🙂

This was at 6:30 this morning, apparently “resting” before heading to school.  Madison’s not a lap cat at all, and only rarely with either of the kids…so we like to capture these adorable moments when we can!

Graduation announcements are being printed and hopefully we’ll get them addressed and in the mail by Monday.  I had thought about doing labels, but I think the graduate here should address them by hand; make it a little more personal.  Tomorrow we’re off to have him take a college entry/placement assessment, and then try to put together a resume – there is a summer job opening at his father’s place of work:  16 hours a week doing image scanning, copying, collating, etc., $11-13/hour (almost twice what he’s making now and about 4 times as many hours in a week), and he can pretty much define how those 16 hours play out (2 8-hour days, 4 4-hour days, etc.).  Hell, *I* thought about doing it!  I can knit while I’m watching the copier spit out.

8:37pm and still much to do tonight.  Have a great week everyone!

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Remember Elusive #15?

Posted by MeTymeMN on May 7, 2008


NO MORE, SISTA!!  Bye bye.

On the subject of garter snakes, the University of Minnesota says, “Remember that garter snakes are harmless to you and your pets and should not be killed.”  Uh-huh…

Okay, enough about death – onto LIFE!


Lets take a look at beautiful, living, GROWING things:


Not only is my precious peony still coming back from the assumed-dead, but see that little weed-looking thing to the right of it?  Haven’t seen that for 2 years; we assumed it died at the end of the ’06 season.  It escapes me exactly what it is, but you can tell it hadn’t surfaced last spring when we planted the peony or we wouldn’t have planted it so close!

My lace continues to prosper as well.  I’m so amazed by how “old” lace is and how “alive” it still is today; some of the more popular patterns I’ve seen go back hundreds of years!  I for one am very glad this style has survived.

My shawl is about 25% done.  Something finally just clicked for me and I’m clippin’ along much more quickly (though not fast) and with almost no errors – I even managed to do an entire pattern repeat WHILE watching TV last night and only had one little oops that I noticed right away when I’d made it.


That said…off to go work on it for a little while before the chillens get home.  Have a great day, everyone!

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Where Does The Time Go?

Posted by MeTymeMN on May 3, 2008

With today being May 3rd, that means 1 month and 3 days until my son graduates high school. There are surprisingly mixed feelings with this – of the “I can’t believe my first-born baby is already graduating high school” to “this day can’t come soon enough!” It must be tough for him being only 17 but knowing EVERYTHING. Regardless of how I’m feeling on any given day about this subject, there is one irrefutible fact that remains constant: I am WAY too young to have a high school graduate. 🙂

So needless to say I’ve been quite busy trying to get this ready for the big day.  Understand, however, that he cares not a bit about all of the hoopla – not the ceremony, graduation party (other than he’s excited about gifts of money…sigh), senior pictures, senior day – none of it.  I’ll spare you all the lack of motivation in the “what I’m going to do after I graduate” headache.  But one thing I will point out is senior pictures – they were taken quite a while ago and we went in again yesterday to view the proofs and decide what we wanted.  He doesn’t care about handing out pictures to friends, so between his dad and I we figured 2 8x10s, 8 5x7s, the minimum-purchase of 24 wallets and 8 proofs in a little binder (I’m making the graduation announcements/party invites myself and his God Father is printing them all up).  Working that order a number of different ways (packages vs. ala carte vs. a combination of both), the bare minimum we would spend is $541; that’s with a 10% discount and before tax.  Over my dead body.  If I made $500,000 a year I would not pay that much for those pictures.  They’re good, but they’re not great.  My son, I, his dad and step-dad all decided that we’ll take some pictures ourselves on the digital camera, run them through PhotoShop and have them printed somewhere.  I – who always pays for convenience – am stunned that people actually fork out that kind of dough!  It was $78 for ONE 5×7.  That’s just…rape.  So I now have a couple additional to-do’s in the graduation department, in a very short period of time here.

Today is Prom day.  For four years he has gone to school functions/dances (Homecoming, SnoDaze, Sadies, Prom) with “the gang;” his 4 or 5 closest friends.  We’d all get together the morning of and have the kids hand-make their corsages and boutonnieres, all re-group again to do pictures, sometimes the parents would slam a few after the kids had left wondering how they’re going to make it on their own someday… this time, however, my son is going to Prom with a friend (this will actually be the first time going to a dance without the same girl/girlfriend he’d had for a few years), as just friends, and here it is the morning of and he still doesn’t know what time dinner is at, who’s driving, where or if they’re all getting together for pictures beforehand.  I’m only the mom here, but I’m bummed; I miss the gang doing this together.  He was so adamant about going to Prom his senior year, but even he admits it’s just not the same this time without the whole gang going.  Some don’t have girlfriends anymore, or one’s ex-girlfriend is now another’s girlfriend so of course there’s tension there; still, I hope he gets a little more excited as the day wears on as this is his last Prom.

<Ooooooh – my wonderful husband just handed me one of his to-die-for bloody mary’s…he must be sensing some of my sadness.  Love!!> 

In between all of that and job interviewing, I’ve managed to get a few things done in the fiber department:


The two above are back and front shots of a washcloth done in Tunisian Crochet.  If you’re not familiar with it, think of Tunisian Crochet as a combination of knitting and crocheting:  each row is actually a series of two steps, where stitches are picked up and held on the needle across from right to left, and then crocheted off on the way back from left to right.  This particular pattern was done using a double ended crochet hook and two colors.  The washcloth was a refresher project for me before I start on a baby blanket.


Then I finally finished my Saucy Spring Socks for the swap I’m in; love the way they turned out and can’t wait to make another pair!  This pair was done in Dream In Color Smooshy.





After refreshing my memory on Tunisian Crochet, I hopped over to doing Tunisian Entrelac; I hadn’t done this technique before so used this bag as my starter project – something entrelac and done in the round.  This is all leading up to the project I eventually will dive into here in the next couple of weeks. 



Lastly, and most exciting for me right now anyway, I started my lace class at Double Ewe.  I was prepared for a learning curve; I was prepared for patience; I was prepared to learn how to read charts.  I’ve done lace before, but what I really wasn’t prepared for was using lace-weight yarn.  That really takes getting used to.  I find myself going very very slowly knitting this up, and move my life line often!!  I’ve already ripped back a couple times because I couldn’t find where my mistake happened (which I can only assume was a dropped YO when I was on a purl row).   The other thing that has me intrigued is how it looks now vs. how it will look once it is blocked; quite a difference.  When I really stretch this out I can start to see the pattern it’s supposed to look like when it’s finished.  I can see myself getting hooked on this!  But being a newbie at this point, it’s definitely something I can’t do while I’m trying to watch TV or carry on a conversation; I need quiet so I can concentrate.  Needless to say I barely have the opportunity to work on it in this house! Wait…wait… husband appears to be gearing up to go power-wash the deck; that should give me at least a couple hours of relative quiet. So I’m off!!

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13, 14, 15: A Quick Math Lesson

Posted by MeTymeMN on April 22, 2008




This is just soooooo WRONG!  Let’s be clear – they’re not IN the house, but they’re pretty much all over the outside on the south side of the house where it’s warmest right now.

You can see all the icky blood and guts on #13 to the left…it wouldn’t die!  My neighbor finally came over and took pity on me, informing me that you need to chop it at the head before it’ll die.



I somehow managed to kill #14 to the right here while it was peeking out at me from this little crevice in front of the garage.  It’s still there, which is good because that means it really did die right away.



#15, who had been peeking out and witnessed the demise of its other family members, just as I was sucking in a big breath for yet another scream, beat a hasty retreat in another crevice before I could get to him.  But his days are numbered. 

I should mention that the number of snakes this spring is a combination of those at my house and those next door at the neighbors.  Now she’s a real trooper – when she’s around she comes over and kills mine because I really have a tough time being anywhere near them.  And said neighbor actually had one get IN her house a couple years ago, so we are diligent about trying to control this from the onset.  I actually felt bad about killing the other ones; it’s not their fault they were born snakes.  I know they’re not poisonous and they don’t hurt anything or anyone, but GROOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSS!  So I may feel bad but not bad enough to let them live.  Sorry to any animal rights activists reading this; they may not cause physical harm but they definitely cause mental anguish.

In between my snake escapades I did manage to get one of my sock swap socks done; the other is on the needles right now.  Still love this pattern! 

I also start my lace class on Monday, and need to get a baby blanket done for my MN-Knice charity group on Ravelry (though I’m still waiting for my Mo-EZ crochet hooks so I can get started on the baby blanket; probably a good thing they haven’t arrived so I can get the other sock done).


It’s another pretty nice day here (mid-60’s) so of course the windows are open and a nice breeze is coming through in the office along with beautiful spring music:  



“I just want to say hi – I promise!” 


Good thing there’s a screen there.


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