30 June, 2006

I'm just ignoring it

... "it" being the fact that I can't breath. Maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away. That's how I'm operating today. sshhhhhh

I finished up that little Noro pouch and put a picot edging on the bind off. It's very cute. Pictures to follow. I am quite sure I have enough left to make another one so I can perfect the pattern. I love the seamlessness of it. Maybe after I make this second one I'll get another skein and make a big one. I'd really like to add beads but I don't know ... well, on second though I'm sure they do have beads with large enough holes. The way Noro is dyed it knits up with such great grand swaths of color to play with when you are doing a smaller project. The pouch I made yesterday starts off brown on the bottom, then a wide patch of pink and then it moves on to blues and as luck would have it the picot edge is a gorgeous vibrant cobalt blue. The next one will start out almost black on the bottom and work up through blues and aquas and end up green. Too bad it's a discontinued color. Oh! I should check with Webs. I know they handle Noro and I seem to remember they had some discontinued but I can't remember if it was Silk Garden or what.

Anyway I also finished the two inches of plain on the cardigan and got about two inches of the ribbing done. The evening cooled down a touch so I just sat upstairs in the quiet, Tink being very quiet and low energy when it's hot, and knit up a storm. And besides some chores around the house and a trip to a furniture store to look at couches, knitting is on my agenda for the weekend. I want to finish up a couple things.

Happy weekend!

29 June, 2006

Oh just shoot me now!!

I thought it couldn't get worse but my allergies! Aughghgh!! Luckily I'm not too awfully busy at work so I can work from home in between passing out from Benedryl. I really wanted to go work out today but just going outside sets me off and my eyes .... too itchy for my contacts. So. Enough with the kvetching ... :-p

My SUPER secret pal hit again yesterday. Some fabulous green yarn from Elann with a pattern for a vest and some nice scissors AND a Starbucks card! Shweeeeet! Thanks, Secret Pal!! I love that mossy green color.

Again, because of the breathing problems (plus which my work out clothes were still in the dirty clothes ....) I didn't run yesterday but took a looooong walk up to my LYS just to poke around [yarn porn anyone?] and get some stitch markers for my Secret Pal's next package. Lo and behold - a skein of Noro Silk Garden in the sale bin!!! Oh, this must be a mistake! I snatched it up, fer shur. I have been wanting to try this stuff out. You know my penchant for Noro ... me and a bazillion other knitters. All my good intentions to work on my cardigan went out the window as I schemed for something to make with one skein. I've been wanting another drawstring pouch for my iPod and/or anything else, so I used the Turkish cast-on method - now my rave fav for doing socks or anything with a closed bottom. I did my normal thing of casting on too few, ripped it out and cast on 40 stitches - 20 on each side. Did a few increases - about 8 stitches on each side, I think. I will knit on for a few more inches, make eyelets and then maybe try a fancy picot bind off, just for the heck of it. I think I'm going to have enough to make two. And as much as I love I-cord, for this - or these - I'm going to try the twisted cord. This is just an adaptation of a pattern from Vogue Knitting. Pretty, isn't it? I don't know about making a whole garment out of this though. It's not very soft. A cardigan maybe. I wear that shrug that I made from Kureyon quite a bit. The sleeves aren't tight up against my arms and I think if they were it would be too itchy. I'll do another picture when it's done.

28 June, 2006

This is better

Not so hot today, thank goodness! My allergies are still just terrible but at least I'm not sweating as well as sneezing and itching. As I sat here yesterday rubbing my nose I was think that if people didn't know me they'd think I was a drug addict, the way I was sniffing and rubbing my nose and blinking my eyes.

Yesterday was pub night with my pals from work so there was no knitting. I absolutely *must* knit tonight! I'm having withdrawals. I was dreaming about it last night! So tonight it's going to be a little laundry and knitting. Maybe I can get the last two inches done on the cardigan body and start on the ribbing. I know I know I should do the X-back top but I'm at the part where I really need peace and quiet to follow and keep track of the strap decreases so that's for a quiet afternoon.

27 June, 2006

I'm mmmmelting

Right - we are great big humongous weather babies here in Seattle. We whine when it's too hot. We whine when it's too cold. We whine when we don't see the sunshine for 30 days straight. Okay, I admit it with no reservations. However. It is freakin' boiling! And our homes here in the great Pacific Northwest are not air conditioned, generally. Oh well sure, the Microsoft millionaires have AC but us general plebes? Nuh-uh. Plus which my house is older than me, which is saying something!! So suffice it to say I didn't do any cooking last night, nor did I knit. I took baby Tink for a stroll, sat on my deck in the shade for a while but even that was a bit uncomfortable, so I finally retreated to the basement where it was nice and cool. I love that room - in the winter when it's cold it's cozy and I can build a fire and in the summer it stays cool and shady. Plus which the couch is super comfy. I do knit down there often, but last night I had a great book to read - "The Secret Life of Bees", which I highly recommend. So I took the night off from knitting even though I am truly itching to get down to the ribbing on the cardigan. It is supposed to be cooling off. Right now we have a smog alert so no running for me today either. My allergies are really kicking up. Bad combo - smog and pollen.

I spent a bit of time on line looking at couches yesterday ... dang! I just realized I forgot to measure the area last night. Here's a funny story - well not really funny as much as pointing out my shortcomings as a decorator. A few years ago when I re-did my basement room I had an idea in my head - my TV in the corner, a sectional with chaise and recliners and then behind it a couple of display cases to display some of my now ex-boyfriend's beautiful pottery. I got the carpet laid and oh I could see this beautiful room in my head and all I was missing was the perfect sectional. I shopped and I shopped and I shopped until I found the Perfect Sofa. Angels sang when I saw it. And it came in a beautiful sage microfiber that looked just like suede but cleans up like a dream. So I spend $1,000 MORE than I had budgeted for this Perfect Sofa - not only a chaise on the end, but a queen sized sleeper in the middle and not one but TWO recliners!! Oh lordy. We could have ALL the guys down here for football and everyone could just slob out and lounge. When the delivery guys came to deliver it, imagine my surprise. I hadn't measured, you see. I just eyeballed it and I tell you what - my eyeballs are way off. Forget about having the beautiful display cases behind the danged thing - it just fit. I mean just. There are ohhhh about 24 inches between the end of the chaise and the doors out to the patio. Oh it's comfy alright. And it seats everybody I know in comfort. But it's a monster and I will never again buy a piece of furniture before I know every measurement. You might ask why I didn't return it and get something smaller. Good question. My ex-boyfriend is a lawyer and a BRUTAL negotiator and I was just embarrassed to try to return it after all of the grief we went through to get it. I'm used to it now. But I swear I will know to the millimeter where my next couch will start and end.

26 June, 2006

You will NOT believe this weather!

I can hardly believe it. It's blazing hot! Record breaking hot. I don't know for sure how hot it got yesterday but I'm guessing near 90 and today it's supposed to be 92 or above. No running today.

Friday evening I worked some more on the cardigan and tried it on. I have about two more inches to go before I start the ribbing. I am going to get a really spectacular button for this and I think I'll be using it a lot.

So .... what an exciting and fun weekend I had! Saturday afternoon I went out looking for couch or loveseat. I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to do but after shopping around I have decided to get rid of my chaise, keep the comfy chair and ottoman (which is purple) and get a green couch. It might sound icky or strange, but the area rug I have is green and blue and I think it's going to look really cool. Now the tough part - finding the perfect one. Furniture is SUCH a racket!!

A friend came over Saturday evening to help me put up the hardware for the curtains and take down the pleated shades. What an amazing difference! I found that I hadn't gotten enough panels so I had to drive out to Ikea again on Sunday to get a few more and Sunday afternoon I put it all together, got the hooks for the tassel tie-backs up and manhandled the furniture around the room to get the layout I am going to have, with the chaise in the place of the new couch. I like it. I feel reborn.

There is no knitting to report then, because after moving everything around in the heat I just sat and enjoyed the new ambiance and read until it was cool enough to sleep. There's still LOTS to do, like find a new knitting position, but I am quite content with the progress so far.

23 June, 2006

Incredible Friday

What a super gorgeous day! Sunny and warm and it's going to get HOT this weekend. I am playing hooky from work. Let's call it a mental health day, shall we? I just got inspired or something last night and decided to do a little re-decorating in my livingroom. New curtains first of all and that's what I did this morning. Now to get the hardware up .... can't be too difficult, right? Next - a new couch.

Jasmine and Tink are getting on well although we had a little incident in the middle of the night. I think Jasmine had too much excitement or something but she threw up ..... yes, in the bed before I could get her off of it. Rather annoying but that's what bleach and washing machines are made for I guess.

All I did yesterday evening was knit - four solid hours. Got the sleeves on holders and now working down the body. Perhaps I can get to the ribbing today.

And --- I got another package from my Super Secret Pal. It's a copy of "Knit Wit" - a great book with tons of fabulous projects. Thanks secret pal!!!

Now for some lunch.

22 June, 2006

Twice the fun

... and many more times the chaos. Here's a bad picture. It was way off in perspective since Jasmine is sitting and Tink is laying down. I'll take more because they are just SO CUTE together! And as I surmised they keep each other occupied so I was able to do some uninterrupted knitting last night after I picked her up. Didn't get the cardigan down far enough to put the sleeves on holders before it was time for 'Lost', so maybe tonight. There were two back to back episodes of 'Lost' last night, both shows I haven't seen. I watched one and recorded the later one for tonight.

It's a lovely sunny day today - no June low clouds for a change. Sun equals X-back top so I need to just sit myself down and finish that thing. I know I can do it in a couple of sessions and I really want to because I have so many other projects I am keen to start but .... only 3 going at a time is the rule. I pair of socks to tote around with me and two other projects.

I have got to rant just a bit this morning. I happened to be in a position to eavesdrop on a couple having a conversation while I was waiting for an elevator. A young woman doing most of the talking. This was a well educated person talking about her position in student affairs but here she was ending each sentence as if it were a question! I just wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shout "Make a statement, girl! Be definite!! What are you asking? 'I work in student affairs?' Yes, yes you DO!" It makes me crazy!! That's why I am most happy when around students to be plugged into my iPod.

21 June, 2006


Happy first day of summer! Yay!! Although we're still experiencing the "June gloom", as my sister calls it. Thankfully the clouds typically lift in the afternoon so we get some lovely evenings.

Check out my new Secret Pal 8 button! Isn't that the funniest thing! I just cracked up when I saw it on my hostess' web site and asked if I could have it on mine as well. She had gotten it from the SP8 site and so I just copied it from there. My spoilee had told me that she was very happy to have me for her SP because she was just afraid somebody was going to dump their acrylic stash on her. I wonder if she made that button? I should ask. Anyway ... cool, huh?

I had a rotten and aggravating afternoon yesterday at work. Oooooo ... you know how when you get so mad that it feels like the top of your head is going to explode. Yeah .. like that. I was ranting and raving and stomping up and down the halls. Much to amusement of my colleagues, I am sure. I was so disgusted with a certain incompetent person that I just couldn't deal with her any more. What did I do instead? Anyone? Yes! I got online and bought yarn. :-) The quick fix. Works like a charm.

After walking the dog and mowing the lawn I didn't want to do anything but sit and listen to music and work on my cardigan. For me this is the hardest part of a top-down raglan ... when you're getting close to putting the sleeves on holders. After that it's easy. So I put in about 3 solid hours last night and I've probably got at least two more hours -- small needles. But it's looking nice. Well yeah, it DOES kind of look just like a big grey blob sitting there. Once it's on the body only it'll look more like a sweater.

Tonight I get to pick up Jasmine, my friend's little Cockapoo. She's going to be spending a few days with us and Tink is going to be in heaven! She loves Jasmine. And I'm going to be happy to have two doggies again for a while. I'd love to get Tink a friend, but it's just too hard to have two dogs when you're single. So it'll have to wait.

20 June, 2006

Will these clouds EVER go??

I know it's June. I know .... and yet I keep waiting for some sunshine. On a positive note, it's not raining like it was on Friday - which was torrential. Oh but for some blue sky. I guess I'll just have to settle for raspberries for my morning kick instead of sunshine.

I had a totally awesome run yesterday at lunch. I had to talk myself into getting out there but I am so glad I did because it was one of those times when I felt like I had wings on my feet and could have run for 30 more minutes. It will be a much mellower afternoon today because I've finally gotten my second package ready for my Secret Pal and need to get it up to the Post Office.

My spoiler Secret Pal has sent me a riddle of sorts to announce the next package. I've never been very good at them so I am not even going to guess.

I didn't knit last night. It was pick-up-the-nephew night --- the last one until next school year -- and so I got home rather later than usual and decided to finish up the last Harry Potter book, which I so indulgently bought myself Friday night. It was a good one. I have a hard time believe they're written for children considering how dark this one was. Tonight I'm going to concentrate on the cardigan and try to get the sleeves done and start working on the body only. I am liking the color.

19 June, 2006

Monday Monday

I can't seem to wake up. It's 9:30 and I've had two cups of tea and still I am groggy. Oh ... and aggravated. Work issues. Politics. I just have to be Zen about it, right? Deep breaths.

So .. the weekend. Not very eventful. I spent most of it involved in my favorite reality avoidance techniques - reading, sleeping, drinking and knitting. Not all at once - of course - but all for sure. I finished the bunny. Look how cute! I am not totally happy with the eyes and nose. I put them too far up the face. Still I am fairly happy with how he turned out. I also worked on the 'Something Red' cardigan and got a good bit done on that. It's slow going - working with size 7 needles doing the raglan increases. I've got about 15 more rows to go before I can put the sleeves on holders. I'll take pictures then.

The sun should come out this week. I am hoping for a good run this lunchtime.

16 June, 2006

Happy Friday

Friday at last. It has seemed a long week, since I've been waiting. ahem No matter. Friday is here and I am working from home. I have lots of work to do and the weather is pure crap so it's not going to be a burden. I find actually that I get more work done at home than in the office sometimes. No distractions - phones ringing or people stopping by, etc. So, big plans today to knock out a major project.

Got a great Tink-themed package from my Secret Pal yesterday! Sooo cute! I should have taken a picture of the package before I tore into it ... little doggie footprints all around the package. And inside ... a greenie for my baby and Lopi and a pattern for a new tug toy! Yay!! And for me ... chocolate in tidy little 60 calorie sticks. Perfect. Thanks Secret Pal!!

My knitting plans for this weekend are to finish up Peter Rabbit and work some more on the cardigan. IF the sun comes out I'll make a run at finishing off my ribbon X-back tank. I've only got 4 or 5 hours to go on it ... maybe even less. Sounds like a lot to a non-knitter but it's not.

No phone call so I'm still in limbo as to my plans for next week, which is driving me NUTS!! Oh well ... what can ya do?

15 June, 2006

A little Wednesday bonus

Oh wasn't it a nice surprise - an episode of "Lost" that I hadn't seen. Since I only started watching during the middle of this season there are going to be quite a few episodes for me to see. I think they are starting at the beginning of the season now. I know I can get on my computer and watch them but it's just much nicer to see them in HD on the TV with surround sound. Oooooo the spooky sounds of the jungle. I had cast on for the 'Something Red' so I got a few rounds done on that before bedtime. I think I'm going to like the steel grey color. I am thinking it'll be useful.

Tink had a friend come for a visit and a romp early in the evening so I figured my evening and night sleep would be long and uninterrupted. Think again. She was up at 1, needing to go outside for some reason or another. I fell back asleep but she kindly woke me up at 2:15 barking at the wind. I am going to run her ragged tonight and hope to get a full night's rest.

I am still waiting. Waiting to hear if I get company next week or not. I am of the mind that good news travels fast and bad news ..... well some people figure you can just wait for bad news. Me? I'd rather have it! errrrghghghg

14 June, 2006

I made a toy!

My first ever!! Here's my bunny - all sewn up the back (yes I remembered to leave a hole to put the stuffing). I still have to embroider the eyes, mouth and nose. I think I should have done that before I sewed it up but ... there ya go. Live and learn. I am not sure if I've got enough yarn to make a proper pompom tail but I will try to make a small one. If not ... maybe use another color. It's such a clever project. The pattern and yarn (and needles!) were sent to me by my Secret Pal. The designer is Kate Gilbert.
There are some very cute things on her site. I love how just with kfb and ssk and k2tog you can get all that shaping! Amazing. I had to buy a pound of stuffing! No such thing as a bit of it I guess. So I will be making more of these for sure. I'll take another picture when it's finished. Shall we name it? Oh yes, lets! He shall be named Peter. Peter Rabbit. Purrrrfect, don't you think?

I got a package from Elann yesterday. The Micro Cable I bought for the Something Red cardigan. It's a silvery gray and I think it'll be a nice addition to my wardrobe. I don't have any gray jackets or sweaters. So I might cast on for that tonight if I get the bunny finished. I also got 3 skeins of wool for my next package for my secret pal. In one of the inserts with the package it was advertising some linen they are going to be selling ... or are selling probably by now. In the Mason-Dixon knitting book there is a pattern for a linen curtain and the lace is reminiscent of champagne bubbles. It's very clever and I was thinking it might be nice for my bathroom. I'm going to check the gauge requirements tonight and see if it would work. Linen is typically so expensive that to find it at Elann is pretty sweet!

And what else? Well it's cloudy and windy but warm. I get to run today, which is always nice (and some days nicer than others, depending on my energy level!). And I'm waiting waiting waiting ..... waiting for a phone call.

13 June, 2006

My little huntress

That would be Tink. And when do you suppose she wanted to go hunting? Oh yeah ... about midnight. Between my house and the one immediately to the north we have a large juniper hedge and also ivy. My whole back yard is enclosed by this hedge and along the back of my yard is an alley and all of the neighbors have trees and shrubs and hedges. Plenty of places for rodents to hide and scamper and rustle and make lovely siren songs for my dog. I have seen raccoons and opossums and moles and squirrels and rats -- not at the same time, mind you. But we know they're around and last night something was out there. My window was open and Tink got wind of it and "needed" to go out. I thought she had to go potty but no, she had to go huntin'. The neighbors must just llllove me! The snuffling and rustling they don't hear, but once the cornered creature starts to move, then she barks. I ended up having to go outside and fetch her in, because she just would NOT come. And I was mad, too! It had been raining and she was holed up near the gate, the path to which is overgrown with moisture holding ferns. I got soaked! What a rascal! When she was about six months old she ran down a rat at my ex-boyfriend's house and I don't suppose she's ever forgotten it.

I got some GREAT knitting done last night! I am having so much fun doing this little rabbit. I've never done a toy before and it's kind of cool the way it's coming together. I got the arms done and started on the face before I finally had to call it day. I am hoping tonight I can finish the knitting of it and start the finishing. I think I'll get some pink floss for the nose. My Secret Pal sent along some black which I will use for the eyes and maybe whiskers. And I'm going to have to make a fuzzy tail as well. As I look at this I am thinking it might be cute felted. Not this on though - this is my first and it's going to be as the pattern directs. Then maybe I'll go off if/when I make another. I need to check with my friend and find out when they get their new baby. In a cotton or superwash yarn I think it would be a cute gift for a baby.

Well and now I should do some work.

12 June, 2006

And another Monday rolls around

It was all in all a productive weekend and I feel pretty good about it. I didn't get everything done I wanted to, but hey ... it was the weekend fer cryin' out loud!!

Friday night I intended to get some good knitting done BUT the mail brought a book that I had ordered for my Secret Pal and I thought that I should probably take a look at it before I sent it to her in case I wanted to get a copy for myself. Makes sense, doesn't it? So I sat down with some nice jazz on the iPod, a frosty cold Moose Drool at my elbow and cracked open "Mason Dixon Knitting". Good heavens! I thought I was an obsessed knitting freak (not that there's anything wrong with that) until I read this book. Wow. When do they have time to do anything else?? The stuff in there is incredible. And then all their group projects and rugs and blankets .... makes my head spin. Still trying to decide if I'm going to get a copy for myself. But it was definitely worth reading.

Saturday was cloudy and not too hot, which was fine because my garden guy came at 10 and when he finished up with edging the front and went to tackle the back, I got out there and did a sold 3 + hours weeding and cleaning up in the front. It still looks bad, but just not as bad.

I started a bunny from one of my Secret Pal's boxes. It is going to be so cute! I was going to get stuffing for it Sunday, but after I got done at the garden store and the grocery store I knew I didn't have the patience to wrestle with the crowds at the fabric/yarn mega store. So I'll do it later this week.

And that's the news that fit to print. I am waiting for Wednesday when I am getting some news about a potential visitor. Fingers crossed.

09 June, 2006

What a strange week

When I was riding home Wednesday afternoon I had the distinct feeling that it was Friday! I did remember almost right away that it was only Wednesday, but when I got to work yesterday I was expecting to have to proctor an exam. I couldn't find the exams and called the instructor only to find out that the exam is today, Friday. Yes .. it is finally Friday. Oh J-O-Y!! Even though I am going to have to do yard work tomorrow, I find that I'm actually looking forward to it a bit. And this rainy weather will make the weeds come out of the ground just that much easier, right?

I worked on my sock while I was visiting my dad and then when I got home I picked up my Knitted Flowers book and made a leaf. I love that book. It's so nice when you need just a bit of instant gratification. Boom! In a few minutes you've got a flower. What to do with them? Well who cares? They're lovely just sitting in my basket.

I've decided what I'm going to do for my second package for my secret pal. Hopefully I can gather it all together this weekend so I can post it off to her before the end of the month.

As for my weekend knitting ..... I would love to finish that ribbon top but maybe just maybe I'll make a bunny from one of my Secret Pal's gifts. It has been calling me. What does a bunny sound like? It doesn't sound like Bugs, thankfully.

08 June, 2006

June - it's killin' me!

Every year it's the same thing and I don't know why I can't just get it through my head! June sucks!! I don't have any trouble remembering that February sucks. I just count on it every year. But May always fools me and gets me in the mood for sunshine and warm days and furniture on the deck. Then comes June with the low clouds and the mist. This year further compounded by that lovely week in California and Mexico. Sunshine. As an aside, it's been so long since I've been in really hot sunshine that I forgot I get freckles! I tried to keep my face under layers of sunscreen and wore a big floppy hat but they popped out - freckles on my nose and all over! My sister found it rather amusing.

There are not enough hours in my days. After I got done walking the dog and mowing the lawn and reading the paper I just didn't want to do anything so complicated and the front and straps of that X-back top. I did swatch for a cute little sweater called Something Red with the left over Micro Cable I had used for Kate's shrug. I got gauge with size 7s and went to Elann to see about purchasing the yarn. However, I am not sure about the color. I don't want to do it in red and it seems all of the lovely blues and teals they had are gone! Do I want silver? Pink? Purple? What about breaking the mold and going for brown? I can't decide. I am leaning towards the silver but .... I can barely make a decision these days so will leave it a bit longer.

Thank goodness for my socks. You can sit there and watch a little TV and they really do move along quite quickly. I am anxious now to finish up these so I can start on the pattern that my Secret Pal sent me.

Vacation re-entry is almost complete. I had a hard run yesterday. Brutal. Next week should be easier.

07 June, 2006


Oh yeah ... feeling better this morning. I had a nice bike ride and thankfully not as tough as I thought it might be. Hopefully the rain will hold off so I can have a decent run this lunchtime as well and I can get the grass mowed after work. It is supposed to rain tonight and I have hired that man to come help me with the yard work on Saturday so I want to mow the front before he comes so he doesn't waste time doing stuff that I can do myself. And all that sweating today should just about get me back on track.

I finished the Harry Potter book last night. I stayed up late to finish so I could get back on track with my knitting. I only managed a few more lines of my socks last night and projects are backing up! Plus I got yet another package from my Super Secret Pal, this one themed "Think Pink". Of course here's a very poorly lit (actually over lit since the sun was blazing in the windows) picture of the contents. There in the upper right corner, completely invisible is a package with a closet sachet and a packet of pink plastic pins for putting together projects before you sew them. Also size 3 DPNs and a MagKnits sock pattern with beautiful sock yarn and of course another cute card as well. The color is off on the yarn, by the way. It's actually a deep pink. Very nice. Thanks Secret Pal!!! You're awesome!

06 June, 2006

Full blown post-vacation blues

Here we go again .... I am going to have to stop taking vacations, that's all there is to it!! Actually, tomorrow I will be able to run at lunchtime and that should put me on the road to recovery. I've had to drive to work yesterday and today so tomorrow back on the bike, brisk morning pedal should boost my spirits.

Tinkerbell has been suffering in her own doggie way as well. She's been soooo laid back and snoozy ever since she came back from spending the week with her doggie friend, Jasmine. She hasn't even been bugging me to play ball or fetch the squirrel but instead has been happy to lay on my chair next to me and chew her chewie now and again. Last night around 9 she seemed to snap out of it and played fetch for a minute. I'm going to babysit Jasmine for a weekend this month and I'm looking forward to having two dogs at once, at least for a few days.

And I finally picked up some knitting last night. Truth be told I've been involved in Harry Potter books. I had one with me on vacation and finished it and picked up another one Sunday and have been reading. It's a little escapist action there ... I think too much when I knit, ya know? Or watch crappy TV, so I've just been reading. But last night I got itchy fingers and so picked up my second toe up sock and did a few rounds. This weekend I hope to finish that ribbon tank top and then I don't know what I'm going to do next. I have so many fun projects, thanks to my Super Secret Pal. We shall see.

04 June, 2006

Home and it's Sunday

I know I won't have time to write on my blog tomorrow - it's going to be a horrific day since I have to get into work in the morning, go pick my Dad up and take him for a procedure in Bellevue by noon, then dash back to work and THEN go back to pick him up. Compounded by the fact that I have to prepare for a meeting Tuesday morning .... well I just won't be able to spare the time. I have a couple of really cute pictures I want to scan but that'll have to wait until Tuesday afternoon. There are photographers on the ship snapping pictures and video and I bought a couple of them - well, the only two that they got of us actually. They're very nice. There are portrait "stations", if you will, set up every night. It's astonishing and kind of creepy, but the people seemed to love them and they were always busy.

All in all my sister and I had a better than anticipated time. The ship is very large and the ratio of staff to guests is great. Plus they all learn your name! I am sure it is pounded into them from the time they get the job and they must all have their own little tricks. My sister and I shared a name - "ShelleyKelli, how are you this morning?" "ShelleyKelli, are you having a good time?" Even if we were separate - same thing. We were one entity. Very few Americans among the staff - they were from all over the globe. Our Head Waiter was from India, waitresses from Peru and Jamaica. Just from everywhere!

The guests also ran the gamut - I saw mullet wearing weirdos and motor heads, large groups of teenagers on senior trips, the gay contingent was well represented, and a fair number of sisters and/or female friends. Not too many single guys, as in none we saw. But really, it's not the type of a trip I would imagine two straight guys going for. We weren't there to hook up anyway, but to relax and get pampered and we were that. We shared a dining table with two GREAT couples. We really really REALLY lucked out there and spent time with each of the couples after dinner. There are lots of fun things to do after dinner besides gamble, but the shows in the show rooms are pretty lame. We saw one and that was enough. Think bad Vegas.

People say that cruising is all about the food and OMG, some people must just go cruising to pig out. There is always food around and there are enough choices that you can eat healthy stuff at every meal. Our dinners (we went to the sit down fancy ones every night) were lovely. We purchased a wine package when we got on and had a wonderful assortment of mid-priced wines to choose from. We ended up loving a French white one so much that we had it three times. We slept too late most days to have the sit down breakfast but even the buffet had plenty of fruit and smoked salmon so I was happy happy happy. And speaking of sleep, while the rooms were small we were comfortable and I slept like a log! I was talking about that with one of our dining couples and the guy said that he too suffers from insomnia from time to time and had been having the best sleep in a long time. I attributed it to the slight rocking of the boat. Oh ... and drinking my weight every day probably didn't hurt. ;-)

We didn't get the brewery tour on Tuesday because it wasn't booked full, so we just stayed on the ship. Wednesday we slept so late and my sister had a spa appointment so we only got an hour or so on Catalina Island. I would like to go back there - it's very cute and reminds me of the French Quarter in New Orleans -- many of the hotels are up above the street level with shops and restaurants below. Ensenada was what I expected until we got up into the hills where the wineries were. Just lovely - all the blooming flowers and rolling green hills. The wine wasn't bad either.

We got a bit of bad advice before we got on -- one was to buy the soda package where you can drink all of your non-alcoholic drinks for one price. Well I figured I'd have a juice or diet soda or two a day, and definitely water. Guess what's NOT included. Yeah, bottled water. Totally useless. The other thing was that supposedly the drinks were very expensive so we should smuggle alcohol on board. We didn't and we didn't have to. One must always consider the source. The drinks were actually quite inexpensive surprisingly. And they were always trying to give you the glasses! I did accept a couple of very cool martini glasses but other than that -- what are you going to do with a suitcase full of bar glasses??

I didn't get to go swimming although I laid around the pool area a couple of times. The pools were full of children all of the time. Oh, and huge fat men who had no business in bathing suits. I was thankful that the children are kept busy and out of the way most of the trip. Gives the parents a break as well.

The only glitch in that well oiled machine was getting off the ship. We had to vacate our rooms by 8. We were finished with breakfast by 9 and didn't get off the ship until 1. Customs was short handed or something - never got a satisfactory answer. Plus we were the last group called off. The customs agent I spoke to said they were typically done two hours earlier than that. So .. it was ugly and I was cranky.

Spent the rest of Friday with my sister, she unpacking (since we had moved her to a new place before we got on the ship Monday) and me reading. I didn't knit one single stitch while I was away. I read. It was great although I'm itching to finish up some stuff and, of course, start more. My trip back home was not bad - I had used frequent flyer miles which meant no upgrade. However, they were selling them for $50. Oh yeah, I'll take that. Comfy seat, lots to drink, plugged into my iPod giggling like an idiot as I listened to the second season of the Ricky Gervais Show.

Tink was happy to see me although seemed unmoved by my Tinkerbell tattoo. During her camping trip with my friend she lost all of her tags. All of them - license, rabies tag, ID tag. Just one more thing to add to my HUGE list of chores today. I didn't do anything yesterday evening but order pizza and watch TV. Until the alarm goes off Monday morning I am still on vacation. Oh -- and I brought my workout clothes and running shoes with me on vacation. Let's see a show of hands ... did she use them? When will I learn? I always have such good intentions but never ever ever EVER even pull them out of my bag. My nephew stayed in my house while I was gone and surprisingly it's in pretty good shape. I have an idea he didn't move from the TV room except to use the bathroom. So really all I have to do is unpack and do laundry and give Tink a bath and go to the grocery store. Not a bad list.

We're back to typical June weather for Seattle. We had lovely weather in California but here in Seattle - clouds. And it rained so hard last night that it woke me up. Just more water to feed the already massive and rapidly growing weeds.

01 June, 2006


My Tink tattoo. Bad photo from cameraphone. We are wine tasting. Did I say how much fun we are having?