Sunday, December 14, 2008

Almost Monday MeMe..

And because it's Almost-Christmas! YIKES!!
With all the house selling/searching/packing going on, Christmas has been a bit over-looked the past few weeks. Which is unfortunate considering how much I LOVE Christmas... Maybe Santa will bring me a new house????

So to provide a little holiday cheer... a fun MeMe (and I'm embarrassed that I forgot to link the source-blog for it). Perhaps there will be coal in my stocking with that new house.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I love wrapping presents. Seriously...and I have enough paper/ribbon to last a decade.
2. Real tree or Artificial? I haven't had a tree in several years since I travel to Florida. I'm tempted with getting an artificial tree, but it's not 'green' (ironic, isn't it!). Growing up we always had a flocked tree, but that tradition didn't continue with me.
3. When do you put up the tree? If I have one, usually the first weekend in Dec.
4. When do you take the tree down? Just after New Year's.
5. Do you like eggnog? Ick!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? So many, but I remember coming down one morning and finding an art easel all set up... and going roller-skating down the street in my bathrobe on a rare Christmas morning without snow.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My step-dad and grandmother
8. Easiest person to buy for? My goddaughters
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Several... But my 'nice' scene is still at my parents until I have a proper place for it. Growing up we would unpack it, but would never 'arrange' the figurines until my grandfather was there to do it with me.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A jingle-bell necklace shaped like a turnip was definitely one of the funniest
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? How the Grinch Stole Christmas TV special (NOT the movie)
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I'm a 'gift' shopper all the time so some years it's early, but this year... well, my list is still mostly undone.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably, but can't remember.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas Cookies, and Gingerbread biscotti
16. Lights on the tree? Lots of little, white lights.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Impossible to pick... O Come, O Come Emmanuel, O Holy Night
Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel to family's
18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yup.
19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve
20. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Traffic and shopping lines. And trying to make Christmas policially correct (I stole this answer).
21. Favorite ornament theme or color? simple - gold, crystal, ivory.
22. What do you want for Christmas this year? A new house!
23. Angel or star on top tree? My tree has an angel, my family's tree has ugly glass bobbly thing.
24. Favorite meal: appetizers all evening on Christmas eve, followed by a bowl of homemade beef vegetable soup after we open presents.

Bailey's says: Momma, why are there so many boxes around? (cute pic trapped in camera until I find my cable)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm homeless...

Haven't posted in a while because it's been INSANE around here the past 2 weeks. Crazy, crazy, I tell ya'!

As the title states... I'm now homeless. Well, technically not until Dec 30th... but essentially (and definitely emotionally), I don't have a house anymore. It's both exciting and overwhelming... in this crazy market, I sold my house. Still looking for a new one... which although increases the pressure, it's definitely the right sequence. But it does make one, well... homeless.

I take some credit for the expediency of the sale... my home is wonderful. It's a great floorplan for this size house and a good sized lot with a very nicely designed patio (if I do say so myself). And all the 'little things' I've done over the last 10 years have certainly made a difference. Particularly when I compare it with all the houses I've been looking at the past few weeks (and it's been a lot!). But my realtor made it happen!

And did I say it happened quickly? I mean REALLY fast! I met with him one weekend - for him to get a sense of my house and we went to look so I could get a sense of what was out there.
- the day before Thanksgiving I signed the contract to list it
- the following Wed we had it on the MLS
- then we had open houses Sat & Sun
- I signed the contract to accept the offer on Monday (I even had more than one)

Now the insanity of the plan for moving, probable storage, etc... and of course, finding a NEW HOUSE! (not to mention the work/job thing...)

So if any of you were looking for a house in the bay area - this is what you missed (and what I will miss!)

I love the big tree in front...

and my red kitchen...

which really isn't like a dollhouse...


And the most-recently done guest room...
Guest room

I'd take the swing with me if I could bring the bougainville with it...

My long-last hobby room (which was NEVER this neat)

And I would normally not post a bathroom, but there's a really funny story about this one and I don't want to forget it!

Sigh... I'll miss you, little-house.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is one of the funniest turkey-day pics I've seen....

turkey motivation

Hope your Thanksgiving was full of family, friends, food and fun (and fiber if you're so inclined!)...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ten on Thankful Thursday...

Today's a blend of 'Ten on Tuesday' and Thankful Thursday... (26 min left!)...

10 Things You are Thankful for This Year
1. Healthy family, including my cousin's new baby
2. Budget cuts instead of layoffs at work
3. Ravelry and Bloglines and Flickr
4. Local farmer's markets for local food all year round
5. Bailey
6. My church
7. TiVo
8. L.C., S.B., and L.A.
9. Frequent Flyer miles

Bailey says: Sometimes it's nice to be treatedy like Royalty!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yoga Puppy!!

Sometimes he just makes me smile...


Monday, November 17, 2008

Looky, Looky - I won!!

CoggieTM had a contest for her Ravelry anniversary... and I won one of the prizes!! I was pleasantly surprised when she asked me for my address... and delighted when I got home from a brutal day at work and found a wonderful package waiting for me!


The highlight is the Malabrigo Sock yarn in a gorgeous, teal semi-solid! Also was a great journal and soap... not pictured are the edibles (hmmm... I wonder why?? but yes, that's my wine glass in the corner!!). She included a package of Skittles and some fun gold-rock chocolate. And a button with my Ravelray ravatar... I'll save that for Stitches West! Thanks so much!!

Saturday was a fun mail day, too... I received my second package of mini-balls that I've swapped with others in the Ravelry Blankiemania group. What fun!!


And, my addiction to mini-balls is escalating... see these minis all ready and waiting for the next swaps... half will be off for a December swap and then I think I may host one myself in Jan (and might even start my blankie by then...).

But even without an actual blankie-in-progress, the mini-skeins are a fun distraction to all the chaos of work, and the lack of actual knitting... I'm still amazed that it's almost Thanksgiving and how much I have to knit if I'm going to get all my planned holiday gifts completed. (i.e. not a chance!)

So back at 'em...
Happy Knitting!
- JavaNut

Bailey says: Momma, I'm just going to wait until you're ready to play fetch. Could you hurry, please?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Be Thankful...

After the historic US Presidential election last week and the tensions of the continued war efforts in the Middle East... today is a day to be thankful for those that have served our country.

This year we switch from observing the holiday on a convenient Monday, to the actual date, regardless of the day of the week. From the VA website: The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

On a lighter note, today is also Ten on Tuesday (I haven't done a Monday MeMe in a while so this is a good substitute). I didn't like today's topic, so let's go back a week (my blog, my rules)...

Last week's topic is "Ten things I like to talk about"---

1. Knitting!
2. Other crafy things (collage, altered art, sewing...)
3. Living a life of faith
4. Christmas festivities (events, decor, gifts - all of it!)
5. Traveling (including everyone's favorite horror stories)
6. Savings/cost-cutting (I tend to talk about this better than I actually DO this!)
7. Recipes (again, I talk more than do...)
8. Home decorating
9. Balancing work/life
10. my pup, Bailey

And lest we forget this is a knitting blog, my lasted completion:
Louisa Harding's Piper Purse... my friend E gave me the pattern book for my birthday and immediately pointed this out to me. So... easy to guess who is getting this for Christmas!
Main mods: changed handles to longer i-cord strap (d0ubled) and added a lining w/ 3 pockets on one side.
And meanwhile... YogaPuppy!
Thank a Vet -

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Change is hard...

and no, I'm not talking about the election, although I do think Obama has an incredibly hard job ahead. Anyone would considering the national and international challenges these days, and on top of that a public mania that is on a high and will be expecting great things - FAST.

It's been 5 days since we changed our clocks.

At which point, I very happily planned to enjoy my extra hour of sleep. The pup hasn't quite adjusted and still thinks we should be getting up WAY TOO EARLY. Not only that, but he's started to check to see if we should be getting up at about 1:30/2am as well. At that hour, a verbal reminder that it's still 'sleep time' is sufficient for him to go back to sleep, but by 5am (today it was even earlier - 4:30am), he starts to get pretty insistent that it's time to play, eat, pee or at least snuggle in the big chair.

But even with my incessant yawning, I'm long overdue for a Thankful Thursday post! So one day away from a weekend (which is always something to be thankful for), I'm thankful

- that I was able to fill my gas tank for $40
- for a co-worker that recognized my coffee mug that I left in a conference room
- for the 25% discount coupon from the huge used bookstore
- for the many decisions I have to make because it means I have choices
- for the stash of yarn and fabric that provide LOTS of creative projects when I don't want to spend money on new ones

Happy Almost-Friday!
- JavaNut

Bailey says: Momma, isn't this more fun than sleeping?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Where have I been?

For something a little different... I found this fun site that creates a map based on where you've visited... It would be interesting to see what it would look like if I excluded my work travels. ok, maybe not that interesting.

Red is where I've been in the US...

create your own personalized map of the USA

And to take a global view... Countries I've visited are in red.

create your own visited country map

That was fun!

- JavaNut

Bailey says: No more traveling, Momma.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nuts for November

October was tough. I'm ready for a new month and love the start of cooler weather.

And the goblins are gone... yippee! I love costumes and the excitement of kids at the prospect of trick-or-treating, but I'm not a big fan of Halloween in general. It's a dark holiday and although most of the celebrations and such are in good fun, it's still a bit creepy (and sometimes disturbing!) to magnify things that have nothing edifying about them. Don't get me wrong - I'm not the bah-humbug sort, but I'm far more entertained, encouraged and excited about Christmas decorations and lights down the streets.

I did enjoy my extra hour of sleep last night... it was much needed and I wish there were more where that came from. Seriously - how cool would it be to have an extra hour for more than one day. Just as long as it doesn't change the 'daylight' hours. The downside of that extra hour is trying to get Bailey's walk in before it gets dark!

Still thinking about that extra hour... looking at the clock I realize that no knitting tonight if I want to try to get started on catching up at work. Very few stitches for me this weekend, but at least I can post my progress from the trip to China.

First up is the Piper Purse... just waiting for handles and fabric for a simple lining. This isn't a bag I would have chosen to make (although I love cables!!), but a friend gave me the pattern book for my birthday and immediately pointed this pattern out... So Christmas gift for her is almost done.
Piper Purse IP

This is sock #1 with as much done as I could with the one ball I brought with me. Clearly I should have checked the yardage because the ball only has 137 yards! Fortunately I was able to find a 3rd ball at my LYS (the orig 2 were a gift). The foot is a bit big so I'll frog back to the heel and decrease a bit before knitting the foot... Sock #2 has a cuff and leg - about to do the heel. Hacho Heel
This is the first heel I've made that isn't a heel-flap. I don't really like the way the heel flap style fits so tried this after-thought technique... maybe next pair will get a short-row. It will be interesting to compare how they each fit.

sigh. 48 hours until the election will be over... I can't wait! I'm tired of all the campaigns and I've never been so tense about election results. My pastor said it so well this morning, that regardless of which candidate you support, the country will be disappointed because we expect a quick fix to decades of problems....

I've voted already and am ready for the rest of the country to do the same. Make it count!

Bailey says: Momma, this is how I'm spending my extra hour. OK?

tired pup

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Home again, home again...

Home again after a quick trip to China (almost half of which was spent traveling!)... This wasn't for work, but it wasn't exactly vacation either... I guess 'potential' work is the best label since M and I were there to explore a potential business venture. The trip was overwhelming and we've got some big decisions ahead of us, but other than a disasterous outbound flight, everything went incredibly well. More to share as we figure things out...

In the meantime, I'm still attempting to recover from the intensity of the trip and my standard sleep issues. Re-adjusting to pacific time hasn't been the main challenge... last night the pup was sick so I was up at 2am and 5am (at which I just stayed up). He's feeling better now, but I'm draggin' quite a bit. And I need to put in a few hours for work tonight. yawn!

It's been a while since a blog update, and I'm not sure how it happened, but I suddenly was bit by the "Sock-blankie" bug! (see the Ravelry Blankiemania group). I'm not really sure why I want to make this, or even what I'll do with it when I'm done. But...Must-Knit-Blankie.

So as if I didn't have enough to do before I left, I wound up some sock yarn into cute little balls for a swap and then got this back in return:

Each is about 5g or approx 20 yards. Aren't those mini-skeins cute!!?? The bug bit hard so I've just mailed off these for another swap (aren't the fall colors perfect for November?)
IMG_0378 IMG_0439

I haven't actually started the blankie yet - that will probably be after Christmas, but I want to get a good assortment of yarns so I'll have plenty of choices for color placement as I go.

Happily, a couple of FOs made it do the 'done' pile before I left. My 4th Clapotis... I love this pattern for mindless knitting! Not sure if this will be a gift or end up in my closet... made with Plymouth Boku which meant it was a quicker knit than the fingering weight I've used before, and resulted in a wonderfully large wrap (almost like wearing a blankie in disguise!)

And a scarf made with Bernat's Alpaca blend... one ball of each from a craft store sale made this an incredibly inexpensive gift-knit,

Happy Knitting!
Bailey says: I'm glad we're back at home Momma. My chair is really the best place ever!
still tired pup

Friday, October 10, 2008

What a Week!

After business in London I spent a few days in FL... was a good visit and amazingly (sadly) knit-free. Other than the necessary frogging of the ugly orange scarf!!

Bailey was very happy to come home from L&B's (but he did have fun at camp!). And I had to laugh when I looked at my sneakers. These were washed at the same time... I call the right one evidence of 'Frisbee-Foot' because it's evidence of his point of leverage for the requisite tug-o-war after each throw! It matches the frequent muddy prints on my right shin when the grass is still wet!

But then came home to celebrate a big birthday on Wed... starting with a lovely breakfast before going to the spa with 3 friends... what a wonderful day!! Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and extra long massages for all of us, followed by lunch at my favorite sushi bar!

My mom had sent these gorgeous roses!
and my goddaughters made me this wonderful card (I can just imagine how long they spent picking out the stickers to decorate it!). I love the mini-sweater and the dog treats... they know me well!!

They afternoon was spent at the LYS that offers a discount chip for your birthday-purchase! I was able to get 20% off on the Silky Wool to make an Aleita shell for my mom's Christmas present. Living in FL, it's tough to find a good knit for her... but she picked this out so I'll be casting on soon!

In the meantime, I did cast on another Clapotis... this one is in a worsted weight so it's knitting up so much bigger than the lace and sock-weight versions... It's with Boku and I love the way the striping varies ...

And now off to book club... with my Clapotis! ; )

Happy Friday..... -JavaNut

Bailey says: I'm glad to be home, Momma... I missed my toys.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lucky-in-London... NOT!

I'm in London for business... most people think 'oh, cool!' Well, not really... first of all my hotel and office are right by Heathrow. Convenient... absolutely. Interesting... not at all. And annoying that I'm still here on a Friday night, but the work-stuff went too late to be able to take a flight out.

And for those that ask 'Why don't you stay the weekend and see London?" Well... I've been to London many times and although I love it, not so interested in going around by myself. Not to mention how INSANELY expensive it is. I mean INSANE... pricey to begin with, and the current exchange rate makes some thing absolutely ludicrous. Like $36 for a mediocre burger. Granted, it's also hotel prices, but seriously???

The one thing that made me smile (or squirm if I think about it) was the in-room coffee/tea set up. I love hotels that provide that... but I like milk in my coffee and I hate the powdered "whitener" that is usually in the little tray. However, this hotel had a different option:


I choose not to think about milk that doesn't hit it's expiration date until Feb 2009. It was WAY better than whitener.

But that's not why I'm un-Lucky in London... sometimes you know it's going to be a hard trip. The work stuff was challenging, but good. The main tragedy of the trip was leaving my iPod on the plane. really. And I did check the pocket on the seatback in front of me. I ALWAYS do that ever since I left my iPod in it 3 years ago. I suspect it fell between the seats when I was carefully packing up my earphones. The tragedy is not the financial hit as you might expect (I actually have a new iTouch at home that's still in the box!), but when I'm traveling (and often at home), I fall asleep listening to podcasts. I'm a horrible sleeper, but I discovered that podcasts are enough to distract my brain and then I can get back to sleep... so 2 long days of travel and 4 more nights without it is the distressing part.

And on top of that loss... selecting knitting for travel is usually pretty easy. But having gone thru more options that I care to confess when selecting my 'travel knitting,' and having brought three different projects... I didn't pack well.

Project 1 is a baby vest. I've made this before and love it, but for some confusing reason I brought only a partial skein. Since taking this photo I've completed as much as I can until I can get home to the other skein.

Project 2 is a 'one-skein stole.' This yarn is more orange-y than I like (I don't really like orange, but it seemed like a good fall colorway). And I really don't like the pattern... I'll give it another pattern repeat before I decide, but I suspect it will be frogged before long.


Project 3 is a scarf... it's a simple linen-stitch in a cocoa brown/light pink. But since I'll be working on that tonight, I'll be done with it long before tomorrow's 8 hour flight is over. And I've already finished The Demolished Man for this month's book club.

TGIF! Happy (hopeful) Knitting!

(I miss Bailey, but he's having fun at "camp A" while I'm gone. He gets to chase as many squirrels from L&B's yard as he does at home)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Frayed Frisbee on a Fiber Friday

A wonderful way to end a long and challenging week... I participated in the Yarn Thing's swap on Ravelry, and was matched with Marly, the Yarn Thing, herself! And boy did she spoil me. Check out this package!!


In front of box:
WIP DPN holders (and I’m such a dpn girl for my socks!) fun spiral notebook & pink post-its
Peanut M&Ms (yes, that’s the opened corner… no comment on how much has been consumed
Clear ‘Creative Couture’ project pouch… I love clear bags for projects.

In the box:
beautiful blue/green/aqua stitch markers (can’t really see these in pic)
labels for the ‘hand knits’ to indicate as such - perfect for holiday gifts!
Two skeins of hacho sock yarn from Peru. I’ve been picking this up every time I visit my LYS since they got it in, but now it’s MINE!
Skein of a locally dyed Aspen Sock yarn in “It’s Candy” colorway… I love yarn from small/indies and these colors are yummy!

Back of box:
Fun booklet of Fabulous Felt with felting projects
And not to forget my pup, Bailey, Marly even sent a stylin’ collar and argyle sweater (too hot to get him to model today, but will be sure to post pic later…)

But although my Fiber Friday was delightful... sadly, it's also time to retire yet another Frisbee. Bailey goes thru these (and the rubber ones, too) rather quickly even though he's not allowed it as a chew toy. Note the clear tubing to the left of his paw? that used to be the inside!
Dead Frisbee

Bailey says: I think this should be Frisbee Friday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Feet & Fear Be Gone!

Happy feet!! These Jaywalkers were actually the second pair of socks I ever started... over a year ago. No second sock syndrome for me... I actually knit the cuff and leg of sock #2 before they went to the black hole of my knitting bag (seriously... things mysteriously disappear and randomly re-appear from that bag!).

In my recent mission to finish up some WIPS, these rose to the top and didn't take too long. The only problem was that after languishing for 15 months... my new gauge is completely different. The first sock fits so well... the second, not so much! Oh well... they're done and will still be toasty in my boots and around the house this winter!

I'm not a big fan of Halloween (well other than the idea of chocolate and candy all around), but I love costumes. And it's darling costumes like this Gnome-on-a-Toadstool that make me wish I had kids... of course I'm sure they wouldn't want to wear something like this anyway, but it still makes me smile. I LOVED the Gnome books when I was young... the creativity, the artwork, the fantasy. I'm happy to say, however, that I have successfully avoided any semblance of garden gnomes!

And finally... I'm happy to say that 4 year old M has overcome her fear of dogs! Poor thing was charged by a large dog and has been terrified of all ever since. And who could blame her??! She desperately wanted to befriend my little guy... and sure enough, willpower overcomes fear when the object of desire is a cute as my little pup!

Bailey says: Momma, I like my new friend now that she doesn't run away from me. Can she come play again?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Madness...

Whew! What a day...

It started way too early when the pup got sick at 3am... he went back to sleep, but I of course... did not. yawn. Pup was pretty sick so took him to the vet... xrays, fluids, anti-biotics, anti-naseous meds and a large visa bill later, pup is home and starting to eat a little. YAY! (not so happy about the visa bill!!)

But I finally finished the Baby Poonam for my cousin's baby... T was born on Wed, exactly 2 weeks past the anticipated arrival. Fortunately everyone is doing well and this little sweater will be on its way to NY very soon. And with it will be a copy of my favorite children's book The Gruffalo.
Baby Poonam

He's the first of his generation so lots of excitement! Unfortunately I don't see them very often so I'm not sure when I'll actually get to meet the little guy, but his grandmother and I will certainly keep him well dressed in knits! Baby blanket is in progress and I'm already thinking ahead to Christmas knitting.

I'm still working on my secret sewing projects... temporarily stalled, but pressure is on. I need to have them done in less than a month, but I've got a business trip in the middle of all that. So now that Poonam is done, it's back to sewing (... tomorrow).

And since it's a Monday... we'll play a Monday MeMe!

Back In The Day
1. When was the last time you went to a playground and swung on the swings?
In July I played on the swingset with my goddaughter and her sister... but I was pushing. My other god-daughter took great delight in spinning me around in my Sky Chair last week, though!

2. What is the first TV show you remember watching as a child?
Not necessarily the first show I remember, but one of my strongest childhood TV memories is getting to stay up an hour later once a week to watch Grizzly Adams. I was going to name my children after his animals...

3. What's your favorite board game?
I generally prefer card games over board games, but I've recently resumed playing CandyLand with aforementioned goddaughters!

4. How old were you when you started school?
I remember talking to my pre-school teacher about the annual field trip. In my second year, I wanted to go feed the ducks with the younger class but she told me that was the field trip for the 4 year olds. Since my birthday was in October, I was still 4 (therefore started school at 3) and thought I should be able to go with them. She didn't buy it and I didn't get to go feed the ducks. Clearly it was a traumatic experience and only fueled my appetite for rational debate.

5. If you could have given any one piece of advice to yourself when you were a child, what would it be?
Just because you don't like the trampoline teacher, don't quit gymnastics.

Happy Knitting!

Bailey says: I'm starting to feel better, Momma... Where are my squirrels?