The day, like the rest of my week, was super busy. There was so many people to meet and accounts and procedures to become familiar with. Although we had reservations for lunch, we could barely tear ourselves away to go eat. I can see now that this job will keep me very challenged and active and that's a very good thing.
After work I took the subway up to my brother's new apartment where my grandparents and sister-in-law were waiting. Aside from the lack of air conditioning the place was lovely. We ate, drank and laughed. We all teased my brother about his reasons for not buying an air conditioner. I hadn't seen my grandparents since last August
(way too long) and it was wonderful to see them looking so well. I really miss them!
Unfortunately, I had to eat and run so that I could get to the airport in time for my flight. Hah! After fretting the whole way to the airport, I arrived to find my flight delayed - indefinitely. Could be half and hour... could be much more. it turned out to be the latter, by quite a lot. Is was raining in New York but, apparently, the weather in DC was far worse. It was so bad that our plane, which was supposed to leave LaGuardia at 8:30, didn't even leave DC until about 10:20. When all was said and done, we finally took off shortly after midnight!
Spending large amounts of time in airports doesn't exactly bring out the best in people. I was lucky and found a seat next to a girl who had a sense of humor similar to mine and we people watched and laughed through much of our wait. We laughed about the girl who left her seat with no sign that she was coming back and returned a while later to claim it as if her aura was enough to mark it as her territory for life.
We laughed about the drunk guy who was sitting near us hacking up a lung. Not that illness is amusing but in this context anything can become very funny - like the ever growing pile of cups next to him from his adult beverages; like his regular pronouncements about the state of our flight; like the way he invited a much bigger gentleman standing next to him on line to step away until his cell phone conversation was over while failing to note that his own behaviour was equally offensive.
It was all really funny till the planes actually arrived and then it got a little ugly. In a nutshell, there were 2 flights to DC that were delayed - one at 8:30 and one at 9:30. We were assured that the 8:30 people would board the first plane to arrive. Logical - right?
When a plane arrived shortly before 11:00, the entire room full of irritated and cranky people lined up before the flight was even announced. After 15-20 minutes they finally announced that they would begin boarding the plane with the 9:30 folks. It GOT UGLY FAST! People swarmed around the desk and I admit that I was one of them. We were angry! Then we all got yelled at because we had gotten out of the line that we were told was for the other flight. It just got worse (and funnier) from there like when we noted that the flight they were boarding was not terribly full and suggested that they add some of us still waiting to the flight. They said no because it would start a riot. Ummmm... we were ready to riot right then and there. There was also the very petite woman with the high voice who went up and tried to talk sense to the guy at the counter. Think Minnie Mouse v Mike Tyson - with voices to match. It was too funny and I'm really thankful that there were a bunch of folks who giggled along with me. I guess that they felt as I do - sometimes all you can do is laugh.
I got home at 2AM and got up at 6AM for work so I apologize for any incoherence or really lousy grammar. I'm ready for more caffeine now - Starbucks here I come!
Jun 29, 2007
Posted by hillary at 8:25 AM
Jun 26, 2007
I just love the summer when it stays light so late into the evening. On some evenings, like tonight, we can squeeze in a little time at the pool to end the day. It was wonderful! My brother had a late flight home so he came too. I have to say that this was the best visit I had with him in a long time. It was quiet and low key and without many distractions. We had time to talk and laugh and relax. I just can't say enough and the best part is that I'll get to see him again on Thursday when I go up to visit my new firm's NY office for the day. Woo hoo!
As much as I enjoy the summer and all of the time spent by the pool it does seem to generate a huge amount of laundry. I wash towels and bathing suits just about every night just to keep up. Not that I'm complainin' or anything. Just an observation.
By the way, the plying continues and now I nearly have 2 completed skeins. On the positive side, I've been able to use my new Fricke skein winder to take the yarn off the bobbin and, thanks to the counter, I have a pretty accurate indication of the yardage in the skeins so far. On the negative side, it seems unlikely that the finished yarn will be enough for the shawl I have in mind. I'll just have to break out the dye pot this weekend.
Jun 25, 2007
I thank you for all of your good wishes on my first day at the new job.
As first days go - this was a really good one. I arrived to find a really warm welcome. I don't want to speak to soon but I'm cautiously optimistic about this new job. All of the signs say that this is a good situation.
I was reminded of a few very important things today. It was silly of me to have worn new shoes today. I know better than to wear new shoes to anything important without breaking them in first. They looked really cute but, after a day full of meet and greet I am paying the price for my folly. Speaking of folly, what was I thinking blowing my hair out straight today? I did sit and listen to the weather report this morning but apparently it didn't really sink in at all. The humidity did a number on my carefully considered 'do the moment I stepped out of my front door. Thankfully, these were relatively minor concerns and didn't really mar the day much.
More good news! After quite a hiatus I finally have a little spinning news to report. When I wind this off the bobbin it will make up the second skein for my Hanami Stole. The first was a gently varigated blue plyed against itself. I'll show it to you when it's dry.
I'm still not sure if I'll have enough yarn for the project but, I think that if I need to, I can come up with a solution. I'll keep you posted.
Isn't it amazing how far behind you can get on your email and blog reading in just a few days? I hope to catch up soon.
Jun 24, 2007
I had every intention of blogging during my week at home but it didn't work out that way. Actually, there were quite a few things I didn't do. I didn't knit much. I didn't spin much. I didn't read many blogs (I'm woefully behind). I didn't read any of the books I took out from the library. I didn't cook at all. What I did do is hang out with Stinkerbelle nearly 24/7 (DQ was in Savannah with her Girl Scout troop) and spend money. Lot's of money. How is it that the one week that I was not earning anything turned out to be one of the most expensive weeks in recent memory? Well, tomorrow I go back to work and my brother comes for an overnight visit. Yay! I'm hoping that the new job lives up to expectations.
Here is a representation of what I did in the requisite bullet pointed format.
Well, tomorrow I go back to work and my brother comes for an overnight visit. Yay! I'm hoping that the new job lives up to expectations.
Posted by hillary at 3:25 PM
Jun 18, 2007
The last of the Blue Faced Leicester that i'm going to spin for Hanami finally finished drying and I think it's going to be perfect. As a few of you guessed correctly, it is at the lighter end of the pectrum. It's pink!
It looked so much like cotton candy when it was done that I just couldn't resist the impulse to display it as such. Doesn't it look yummy?
I'm not really a pink girl but it seemed to me that the fluttery end of the stole where all of the petals flutter in the breeze needed to be pink. I really hope that this stole works out. I can see it in my minds eye and it looks lovely with the color changing gradually from one end to the other. I just hope that the reality (and the spinning) lives up to what I imagine.
By the way, I am blogging at home today but not on my patio. As it turns out, I've scheduled quite a full day for myself so I'll be running all day long. It's still better than being at work though - right? I may have been a little giddy this past weekend. I felt like this huge weight was lifted from my shoulders and I was flying. I'm not sure how that state of euphoria will hold up after spending the afternoon with my lovely bickering daughters. We'll see.
I'm sure that this will help keep me happy. It's the my latest order from the Loopy Ewe. That is my first Seawool and I can't wait to try it out. I also got one of Cookie A's patterns -Thelonious. I just love them! The best part is the special little treats from Sheri. I don't know how she does it. With all of the packages that she sends out she still finds time to write personal little notes. They are so sweet. And do you see the little skein of yarn that was part of Loopy's Sock Kit? How cute!
Posted by hillary at 7:26 AM
Jun 14, 2007
Most of the blueberries are still green but there is one that's turned blue. Can you see it? It's hiding behind the green ones. I wonder why it's turned blue ahead of the rest of the bush. I am in love with this picture. I just wish I knew why the edges on the petals look all wrinkly. I have a rather large patch of these in my yard (left by the previous owners) and they all look weird like this.
I couldn't let a week go by without a garden update - especially since there is cool stuff to report.
I am in love with this picture. I just wish I knew why the edges on the petals look all wrinkly. I have a rather large patch of these in my yard (left by the previous owners) and they all look weird like this.
After work yesterday I went to get my hair done. Gotta look my best when they take the picture for my new ID! I came home afterward and couldn't resist a quick little tour of the garden. There is just something about watching all of the fruits and veggies grow that feels terrific. No matter what your day is like, when you come home and see that a new pepper is growing or that the herbs are really thriving it just makes you feel happy.
I was going to show to the freshly dyed BFL that will complete the software for my Spun Stitches shawl but it's not dry yet. I'll show it to you on Monday when I will be blogging on my nice sunny patio at home. Hopefully I'll have quite a bit to share because I plan on lot's of fiber play this weekend.
Have a great weekend!
Tomorrow is my last day at the SSJFH and, although it would be nice to think that I'll cut out early, I suspect that I'll wind up working till the very last minute. It's just the way I am. I like to leave a place knowing that I left everything in good shape. In this case it's a little odd because my soon to be x-boss seems totally uninterested in the status of things and I have a strong feeling that she intends to let all of the bills etc build up until the next
victim person takes over the job and then she'll dump it on them and let them muddle through and catch up. I'm certain that any problems that arise will be blamed on me. It sucks but there is nothing at all that I can do about it and, in the end, it's really not my problem at all.
While I have been very busy at work, I've also had time for other, very important things like... Ravelry! I got my invite about 2 weeks ago and I'm still busy exploring and populating my notebook. This is such a great idea. It's so nice to have a way to organize stuff and get ideas about what to do with the stash.It's been quite a while since Charlotte and I spent any quality time. I've been so busy with all of the end of school year activities that the closest I've gotten to spinning lately is to look over at Charlotte while doing other things and promise myself that "soon" I'd get back to it. Last night, I finally made good on the promise and finished spinning the Blue Faced Leicester. See it all lined up there?
When I started spinning this up, my only intent was to see how BFL would feel on the wheel. As I spun it, I was enjoying the colors and fel so much that I went back to the dye pot again with the idea that I'd ply the 2 batches together to create a family of related yarn for a shawl. I just didn't know what the shawl would be.
Recently I re-discovered a pattern that I've wanted to knit. Have you seen Hanami? I think it'll be perfect for the yarn family I have in mind except for one thing... I need to add one more color to the family. I went to the dye pot again last night for one more small batch of pretty BFL. Can you guess what color it is?
My idea is to knit Hanami mostly according to the pattern except that I'll start with the darkest yarn and gradually get lighter. I think that the graduated color will complement the asymmetry of the design. Of course, my handspu is not exactly laceweight either but I don't think that'll be a bad thing. Actually, it's a good thing because I don't care for knitting laceweight yarn much. Besides, in a stole I think I can play a little more with the weight of the yarn withough having a horriffically adverse affect on the outcome. What do you think? Am I on the right track or horribly delusional?
Jun 12, 2007
I got the teachers gifts finished in plenty of time and today my girls delivered them to their teachers. I'm not sure that they look like much here but trust me - they were pretty cute.
Just in case you missed the earlier post, these are washcloths from Mason-Dixon Knitting that I made with Sugar and Cream yarn and filled with bars of handmade soap from Daisycakes. I got a few different scents and the girls chose a bar of soap, a washcloth and a ribbon for each or their teachers and made thank you notes that we attached.
I really love this idea for teacher gifts and I'm happy with the way it came out but it was not one of my favorite knits. Those cotton yarns are really hard on your hands! I kept having to stop and massage my aching muscles. Maybe this is why Stinkerbelle's blankie is stalled.
I also sent off a little package for Dulaan today. I made most of these things last fall and put them away in a cabinet to see what else I could put together. Sadly I never really had time to do much more Dulaan knitting so I wasn't able to add anything more than a hat. As I pulled it out on the cabinet I noted that it almost looks like 2 somewhat coordinated sets. I didn't plan it but I think it's kind of cool. Really I'm just very proud that I got it in the mail on time. I guess that it's time for me to start knitting for Dulaan 2008.
Jun 11, 2007
I remember a time not too long ago when I found endless reasons to take pictures of the sky.
Lately the sky hasn't been terribly inspiring but today I looked up and saw these happy, puffy clouds and I couldn't wait to get a good shot. Don't you think they look happy? Maybe it's just me.
People at work keep congratulating me on "getting out" and commenting on how excited I must be. I am excited about the new job because I think it's going to be great but right now, what I feel most is relief. I can go to work this week at the SSJFH without feeling dread and it's extremely liberating. I haven't told too many people at the office that I'm leaving because it feels too much like gloating so, instead, I sit at my desk trying to wrap things up and I grin from ear to ear.
I started a little something new tonight. This is going to be a Flower Basket Shawl for DQ. I'm not sure if I mentioned that I planned to do this or not. Since I finished Seraphim, I've allowed DQ to use it twice. I bought her a bright blue dress for the summer that looks killer on her but it's sleeveless. I lent her Seraphim when she wore it to Temple recently because it's air conditioned and bare shoulders were not quite right. Suddenly, as I looked at her in my shawl it occurred to me that the blue handspun would go really well with the dress and the idea for this shawl was born.
I started the shawl last night and I got through the first chart and one repeat of the second. DQ is so excited! As I knit, I'm sure that she's thinking of how great she'll look in the shawl. I'm thinking of how far my spinning has come since I spun this yarn. It's really twisty in spots and it doesn't have quite the hand that my more recent yarn does. I think that a really nice long bath after it's finished will help a lot. It doesn't matter though because DQ is already in love with it. She keeps petting it as I knit.
Posted by hillary at 9:59 PM
Jun 10, 2007
It was a great weekend.
Saturday was a typical weekend day and it was jam-packed with errands. It's the price we pay for working all week - all of the household chores get pushed to the weekends. Thankfully, we got a huge amount done on Saturday. We chose fixtures for an upcoming home renovation project, we shopped for clothes and I took Stink to spend one of the many gift cards she received as a birthday gift.
I have to say that the gift card thing is an interesting trend in birthday gifts. My girls get tons of them. One year DQ got enough from one store to pay most of the cost of a digital camera. Most often the cards are spread out over a number of stores which means that, on the positive side, the kids get to choose what they really want instead of pretenting to be thrilled with something that will sit and collect dust on the shelf in their room. On the negative side, the kids hound us to go spend the gifts and, when we do finally get to the store, they have such a hard time sticking to the value of the card.
The upside of out crazy day on Saturday is that it left Sunday completely free to go to the fair. The girls had a blast. We did a little bit of everything. We saw shows, we ate, and the girls went on rides.
At the end of the day my girls were pretty tired which allowed me to send them to bed at a decent hour and watch the finale of the Sopranos in peace. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. As an episode it was fine. As a finale it lacked the power and drama that I would have expected. I supose that if so many of the major characters hadn't already been killed off or comatose a more dramatic finale would have worked better. Although my heart was pounding a little as I watched meadow try to park her car, the ending was not quite what would have hoped for. But that's just me - I could be wrong.
Posted by hillary at 9:10 PM
Jun 8, 2007
You have no idea how many versions of this picture I took before I got one that I was happy with.
I love beads and I have a nifty little collection of them. I love all of the different sizes and shapes. The sparkly crystals, the cracked glass, and the bright colors really catch my eye. Unfortunately, someone dropped the container where I store my beads recently and they got all mixed up so I've been quite busy re-sorting them. It's not really as bad as it sounds because we're getting reacquainted and it's not a moment too soon. I think that one of my upcoming shawl projects will include beads. I have the pattern but I need to finish spinning the yarn before I know if it will work.
Have a great weekend!
Jun 6, 2007
Jun 5, 2007
Last night we attended yet another school production. This time it was DQ's school chorus production. She was really excited because she got one of the few speaking parts in the production. They usually go to the kids in the 6th grade and she's only in 5th. It was quite an honor.
I decided to try my hand at filming it. Let's just say that there is quite a bit of room for improvement in my filming skills. Of course DQ is just thrilled to be on You Tube. Her friends are always sending her links to videos they find there and she is a big fan. I don't think it matters much to her what the film quality is because, in her mind, she's a Star. Anyway, I totally understand if you choose not to watch it (unless you're family in which case it's a requirement and there will be a quiz later) but it was very cute. That could just be my mommy pride speaking.
Tonight we have no events to attend and I couldn't be happier. I get to go home and supervise DQ as she makes scones for Renaissance Day tomorrow. I will have plenty of time to finish spinning for my Spun Stitches project and continue knitting the teacher gifts. Speaking of those gifts - I was pleased that yeasterday's post served as a public service announcement. I'm so happy I'm not the only one who forgets till the last minute.
Last night I was sitting and working on gift #3 and hating the bobles because the constant flipping of the work for each one is way beyond tedious. I reached over to the coffee table where my laptop sat (so convenient!) and typed in "backwards purl". Minutes later I was studying the first tutorial that popped up. How is it that I never tried this before? It's not hard at all and once I got the hang of it I flew through those bobbles. Hooray!
Thanks for all of the nice comments on yesterday's post. Believe it or not, there's even more to tell but I'll go through it chronologically with monthly posts.
As I wrote yesterday's post I was suddenly struck by a sense of irony. Here I was, writing about new beginnings and I hadn't yet shared my current big news. I quit the soul-sucking job from hell (SSJFH) last Thursday! Yup! I feel more relief than I can possibly express. I have a new gig lined up and I'll start it later this month. It offers a little more money, better hours, a better location etc... but that's not why I know it will be fabulous. I feel confident about this new job because every lousy job I've ever had has been followed by something wonderful. It's like a reward for toughing it out.
The time I've spent at the SSJFH has been horrible for me. It's been so bad that I've often hoped that they would fire me. That was a new and alarming feeling for me because I tend to thrive on adversity. It makes me want to succeed even more. This place just made me want to curl up and hide. After giving it a lot of thought I realized that all the other jobs I've had have been balanced. There was unpleasantness but there have always been perks and incentives that made up for the stuff that sucks. There's no balance here. There's nothing to inspire you.
While I'm really happy to be leaving my SSJFH at the Very Big Communications company, I can't say that I totally regret my time here. The disappointment I felt with the job is what drove me to escape to the internet where I found the blogs. I don't have to tell you again about how much I love Blogland and the friends I've made there. I'm also pretty sure I've mentioned more than once how much the blogs have changed what and how I knit. It's all good!
It may sound a little maudlin but I can't regret any experience that teaches me something and I've definitely learned a lot about myself and about corporate America here. I know what to avoid in the future.
So, what else is new lately? I could tell you about last weekend but it would sound a lot like blah, blah, blah swimming pool - blah, blah, blah end of school year events - blah, blah, blah stuff around the house. Not very exciting at all except that I got myself a nifty new bag. I walked into M*arsh*lls looking for bathing suits for Stink-o and there it was calling my name. What could I do but take it home? It even has ample room for my current knitting.
Yes, there is knitting in the bag and I have finished a few things lately but they haven't been too exciting. I decided to make a few teacher gifts this year. I don't always do it because, with so darn many teachers, it gets really expensive. I also tend to forget until the last possible minute. Ooops!
This year, I'm feeling especially appreciative of all the extra work that went into helping my Stink catch up. I couldn't just thank her teachers and not DQ's teachers so I've been knitting MD washcloths like a crazy person. I ordered handmade soap from Daisycakes Soap on Etsy and they arrived yesterday. They smell soo good.
My plan is to knit the cloths up and block them out. Then, I'll let the girls each choose 2 cloths and 2 soaps and let them make up personal gifts for their teachers. I'll show them to you when they're completed.
Posted by hillary at 7:49 AM
Jun 4, 2007
This year I’m marking a few major events. Hubbo will have a milestone birthday and I’ll likely return home to Long Island later this year for my 20th high school reunion. They’re both big events but, in the grand scheme of things, not as big as what happened in 1997. Over the course of about 3 months that year my life was turned upside down. Thankfully, when everything settled down, I was much better off.
In June of 1997 I was in a pretty good place. My dh, myself and our beautiful baby girl were living in a nice (if unspectacular) apartment in Long Island. We had good jobs and great friends. Everything was pretty settled.
I was excited because I had just registered for the last few classes I’d need for my Masters degree. Because the coursework was close to completion, we had decided that it was time to leave the safe job that I’d held for 7 years and get a job in my chosen profession – a library job. On June 4th, as I drove along the Long Island Expressway, I was really excited because I was going on my first interview. Suddenly, traffic stopped and I looked up in my rearview mirror in time to see that the car behind me wasn’t stopping. My car, the first I’d ever bought and which I was pretty attached to, was totaled. Thankfully, I was fine and, more importantly, so was my darling DQ who was strapped securely in her car seat.
The things that stick in your memory during stressful times can be odd. I remember that we made the traffic report on the radio that day because my accident happened during rush hour where the Cross Island Parkway intersects with the LIE. It’s the perfect place to really screw up traffic badly. I remember the people flipping me off as they drove by – as if I was holding up traffic on purpose. I remember smiling a lot at my baby girl so that she wouldn’t be afraid. I also remember that I made it to the interview that afternoon (although I was quite late) and that as I walked back to my inlaw’s place after it I ran – quite literally – into Michael Richards (of Seinfeld) who was trying to avoid his fans. All of that is as fresh in my memory as the day it happened.
By the time I picked up the new car (shiny and red) a little over a week later I was looking at more change than I had ever imagined. My husband had accepted a promotion and, as part of the deal, we were preparing to move to Virginia! I had always assumed that I'd live on Long Island forever so it was quite a shock and really exciting all at once. Over the next month I quit my job, made arrangements to complete my degree from afar, said goodbye to our families, and had everything we owned shipped to Virginia. The adventure began and we wouldn't be truly settled anywhere again until nearly Thanksgiving.
Posted by hillary at 11:49 AM
Jun 1, 2007
The irises in my garden may have faded but there is still stuff blooming there.
These lilies were actually a gift from my aunt and uncle when they visited many summers ago. I loved them so much that I planted more of this variety in other spots and they're all doing pretty well. Other varieties haven't necessarily caught on as well.
We were pretty busy last night. DQ had a school prgram for the students in the Spanish Immersion program. They danced and sang - all with a spanish theme. The refreshments also had a spanish theme - chips and salsa. Sadly, they forgot the margaritas.
I ran home after that to make cookies with Stink-o for the chess club party today. Don't you just love all of the stuff they cram in at the end of the school year? This weekend I'll try to get ahead a little bit. I'll bake and sew badges on vests (ick) and order up the gazillion items DQ needs for her dance recitals, school productions and other activities.
Through all of this I'll be knitting and playing with fiber. I started one of the 4 teacher gifts I need to make last night. Better late than never! I really want to do a little something special for Stinkette's teachers because they were amazing. The proof is in the fabulous news we received recently. Her reading is now testing close to grade level! I cannot tell you what a huge accomplishment this is. Naturally, we could not have done it without her amazing teachers (and her tutor). I feel so lucky that she had such fabulous people, who care about her so much, to work with her this year.
Who knows - maybe my Stink-o will be one of the kids on the stage at the National Spelling Bee some day. Did you watch it? It's much more entertaining than it sounds. Is it wrong that I was disappointed in the ending because the kid who won was so dorky? He said before the show that he preferred math to spelling and just participated in the Bee because he had to. After he won they asked him how he feels about spelling now. He said something like "Am I supposed to feel different about it because I won?" Yes! Show a little enthusiasm. I bet the other kid, the cute boy from Canada, could have mustered up a little excitement.