Friday, June 27, 2008

Dribs and Drabs

Once again, the insane pace of life around here has left me bereft of any coherent blog fodder. Instead of torturing a few disjointed issues into a semi-logical format, I'll just use the old bullet points to catch up on a few things around here.

  • I've been a bit of a fiber arts butterfly of late, knitting a bit here, weaving a rug there, petting yarn and hunting out sock patterns in spare moments. Ergo, a little progress on a lot of things but nothing worthing of photography.

  • Even if I wanted to post a photo, I'm having problems with uploading photos. DH changed some security settings and I've had to jump through hoops and play with settings to be able to post photos. While I'm getting pretty good at making adjustments quickly, the software just won't let me do anything with it today.

  • Would that be considered a bad software day?

  • I've been working lots of extra hours at the ice cream shop this week. A temporary crisis has made it difficult for my boss to be in the shop in the evenings, so I've been there every night but Tuesday this week. And it will probably continue into next week as well.

  • At least I'm socking away some extra money to cover gas expenses for awhile.

  • But I'm tired. Really tired.

  • I've developed a serious obsession with the idea of creating a fairy garden in our landscape. The initial idea came from Fiberit but a quick internet search yielded inspiring sites like this. Being the d0-it-yourself kinda gal I am, I am anxious to give miniature building a try.

  • It's time for pointe shoe shopping again. Dancing Diva managed to break the shank in one of her shoes and with pointe class every week this summer, she needs a new pair, pronto. So off we go to St. Paul today.

  • I like ballet shoe stores. I'm actually looking forward to it. Guess it's a case of vicarious living through a child.

  • I've finally been able to leave the splint off the Stupid Finger. I still have to be very careful not to twist caps or lids with my left hand or put any pressure on the side of the SF but it is gradually getting better.

  • Fortunately, I can type, since there is no pain using the finger straight forward or down.

  • It still looks terrible, the knuckle being very large and discolored yet. Stupid, Fat, Ugly Finger!

Well, that's about it. Of course, there's a whole bunch more about hockey camps, upcoming camping trips, the flood damage situation in Iowa and stuff but I'm all bullet-pointed out.

Ta-ta, time to go flit among the tutus.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Confessions of a Scooper

It has been a crazy, strenuous couple of weeks around here. It has been difficult to get to the fiber arts and garden work is of the maintenance type that really doesn't make for interesting blog fodder. Weeding, watering, removing dead trees, putting up barriers against bunnies who insist on treating MY vegetable garden as their own personal salad bar and general upkeep has been the routine. The flowers are all blooming and the landscaping is nearly at it's peak in color right now but I'm just a little burned out on the whole garden thing right now.

What's more, the job has ended up taking up far more time than I first anticipated. Initially, my schedule was supposed to be Sundays and one Saturday a month. However, The Boss, enjoying her first taste of freedom from the 78 hour work weeks she's endured for the past few years, has called me in repeatedly for extra hours.

Frankly, with gas prices as high as they are, I'm taking all the extra hours I can squeeze in for now, knowing that summer is the high season for ice cream shops and the hours will decrease dramatically in a couple of months. But, glory be, this is hard work.

Sunday was my first 9 hour shift and by Monday morning, both hands and both feet were aching and swollen. All that scooping and serving ice cream takes a toll on the ol' extremities. Needless to say, it is taking a toll on the knitting again, although I'm trying to knit a couple rows a day, just to keep the ol' digits in fightin' form.

So, no garden or fiber photos today. And I think I need a nap.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Eureka! She's Knitting!

Granted, it is a bit slower than my normal pace but I'm back to knitting on Hockey Tweedy Vest. I get an occasional twinge when I get too excited and start speeding along but for the most part, it is relatively pain free.

I am so excited, I'm drooling over sock patterns and yarn, anxious to get back at the whole Year in Socks thing but waiting a bit longer to tackle the finer needles and yarn. In the meantime, I'm still dancing and woooting around here.

Until I have something really photo worthy, knit-wise, here is a picture Hockeyman took that he color altered and manipulated on the computer. Hey, if the hockey career doesn't work out . . .

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

God is SO Good!

I just got off the phone with my Mom. They were able to return to their neighborhood today and the damage was far less than anyone anticipated. My sister's home lost a portion of the foundation and the main level flooring will all need to be replaced but she has already been able to line up trustworthy contractors who can repair the foundation and help with the flooring issues. Her renter had stayed for an additional day after she and her daughter evacuated and managed to move most of her valuables to the upper level of the home, so she lost very few of her possessions.

My Mom's home only ended up with a few inches of water on the main floor and her flooring appears to be salvageable. Most of her antiques look as though they will also be fixable. Although there will still be quite a bit of clean-up needed, she has received an offer of a place to stay until her home is inhabitable.

This is amazing because just last night the sheriff who talked to Mary on the perimeter of the flood zone told her that most of the homes in her area were going to have to be condemned and she was devastated. What a joyful thing it was to find out today that her home and Mom's were not nearly as damaged as others in that area and they could rebuild.

I plan on spending some time doing happy dances and whooping at unpredictable intervals tonight. Woot, cha cha cha!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A slow return to knitting . . .

It was one of those mornings when I arose before the roosters. It was about 3 am today and, knowing I'd need to go back to sleep at some point or risk being accused of being a zombie this afternoon and being neutralized by some concerned citizen with a bullet to the head. Or a pie to the face.

So, rather than take a walk or do anything particularly stimulating, I chose to turn on TCM and watch Fiddler on the Room and try to knit. I cannot say that it was an unqualified success. I managed to knit 1 and 1/2 rounds on the May Year In Socks installment before deciding that the fine yarn and small needles were a little too hard on the Stupid Finger. However, it did give me some hope that I could perhaps knit on something softer and on bigger needles very soon. I am planning to give Tweedy vest a try very soon. (BTW, I did manage to doze back off around 6 am for another hour of sleep - guess I'll be safe from gun-toting, zombie hunters this afternoon.)

One thing that is also hindering the return to knitting is the achiness of the good hand. The good news is, I got the job at the local ice cream shop, It's Just Perfect. The bad news is I've been putting in a lot of hours training for the position. Who knew scooping ice cream could be so strenuous! I am sure that I will adapt to the stresses of the job soon enough but it is a bit frustrating to come home and be too sore to craft.

Ergo, there is nothing new to show in the fiber arts department. But my garden is definitely starting to come alive with color. This shot is if the Veronica that is along side the garage. All this sprung from 3 small plants put there 8 years ago. It spreads with abandon and I've transplanted much of it to other areas of the garden. You just gotta love a plant that just keeps filling in and spreading out like this one.

Now if I could just bring myself to go weed the vegetable garden. Yuck. Do you suppose the Stupid Finger is enough reason to pawn this job off on the kidlets?

Friday, June 13, 2008


Just when things seem a bit depressing (stupid finger and flooding), you get a present in the mail. The lastest Woolgirl Sock club installment just arrived.

I won't spoil the surprise for others . . . yet. But I LOVE the yarn and pattern.

Now if the Stupid Finger would hurry up and get better so I can knit some socks.

Changes in the wind

It has been an eventful few days. Some of it good, some of it horrible. My head is a bit discombobulated by it all and I can't seem to put a flowing, coherent blog post together. So to borrow a technique from Sheepish Annie, I think I'll just let bullet points do the organizing for me.

  • In an effort to come up with a little cash to pay for gas and/or a few
    payments toward a new car (my van is on its last legs wheels), I applied for a part-time job at a local ice cream shop. It's taken a few weeks but I finally had an interview yesterday and I'm fairly certain that I may have the job. I find out today.

  • Because I'm struggling with this whole "no knitting" aspect of having broken my finger, I have been prowling around the ol' craft room trying to find something new and exciting that wouldn't put any stress on the left hand. I ended up pulling out this booklet and some fabric from my stash and starting a rug for the front entry. It fits the bill as a "do no harm" project for the stupid left hand. We'll have to wait and see if I like the finished project enough to actually use it in the entryway.

  • I spent a few panicky hours last night trying to get in touch with my mom. You see, her home is on the fringe of the 500 year flood area of Cedar Rapids and the news about the flooding has been so dire that I was very much afraid for her and my sister. Unfortunately, when I did get through, I learned that they had been evacuated and their homes are under water right now. It is such a shock, since they came through the '93 floods with very little damage (a little water in the basement). But this flood has exceeded any in recorded history and their homes are anticipated to be complete losses.

  • As a result, I fully expect to make a trip or two down to Iowa in the next few weeks to help with the aftermath of this tragedy. Starting a new job and having kids in so many activities is going to make it extremely problematic but it will just have to be done.

  • I'm a little concerned about the broken finger hindering my ability to be as much help as I normally would be able to. Stupid finger.

  • There has been some question about how I managed to break the stupid finger. Well, it's not terribly interesting. On the one hot day we had on vacation, I decided to swim with Peeps. We were just stepping into the pool on the stairs and I slipped. I'm not even sure what I jammed my hand into because when I slipped, I knocked little Peeps down and my first concern was pulling her up and out of the pool to make sure she was okay. Only after setting her back on her feet and apologizing profusely for knocking her down, and watching her paddle away, did I realize how badly I'd hurt my hand. While the finger looked straight and it didn't seem to be broken, the immediate swelling and bruising made it clear that this was going to take some time to get over. Little did I know that it really was broken.

  • I've never had a broken bone before. It didn't hurt as much as I thought a broken bone would hurt, so I wasn't really too concerned. Until Mrs. Doctor's Wife gave me a little gentle rebuke, that is.

  • I guess I can't brag about not having ever broken a bone any more.

Well, that's a sample of the craziness of my life this week. Who knows what the rest of the month will look like. For now, I'll just spend some extra time in prayer for my family in Iowa and everyone else who has been impacted by this tragic flood.

In the meantime, here are some volunteer Johnny Jump Ups that appeared in my garden. Even in the midst of uncertain times, there is beauty to comfort us.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yup - it's broken - kind of

After being gently chided by a close friend (who is also a doctor's wife) about not seeing a doctor about my finger, I finally capitulated and went in for an x-ray.

I have what is called an avulsion fracture. While the doctor did not tell me to do anything different than what I've already been doing (buddy taping and complete immobilization), she did give me a time frame for healing (at least 4 to 6 weeks). It's good in that I can continue to demand coerce ask for help from the kids with chores that require two hands for at least a month. It's lousy in that I'm not allowed to return to knitting or other two-handed crafty endeavors for the same amount of time.

Guess I won't be joining any bowling leagues this summer either. Gah!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Camping by faith

Faith can be a life saver - honestly. This last week is a great case in point.

Initially, we were scheduled to go to Kansas City. My hubby went to college there and has wanted to go visit friends and show off his alma mater to the kidlets. However, a week before we were to leave, he came to me with grave reservations about that trip. He didn't feel he had anything to base it on but his gut was telling him not to go to Kansas.

Since I knew how important it was that he pay attention to such promptings (he's had them before), I suggested several other campgrounds in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. After some research, he settled on one I hadn't even suggested in Hayward, Wisconsin, and the reservations were made and we were off.

It wasn't until we were back to civilization with television and weather news that we realized what a close shave we had. After hearing about the devastation from flooding, tornados and other weather-related issues in Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin, I am convinced that it was God talking to hubby. The weather up in Hayward, WI was cool and misty but the few showers we endured were nothing compared to those further south. What a blessing to enjoy a calm vacation in such a beautiful setting without all the chaos that severe weather would have created. Whew!

In knitting news, I did manage to finish the back of the Tweedy Hockey Vest in the Malabrigo I recently purchased before injuring my left hand. The front is cast on and a few inches along but will have to wait a few more days. While the swelling has gone down a little, I still can't grip much with the left hand. While the middle finger took the brunt of the force, all the fingers of that hand are stiff and sore.

I did bring my spinning wheel out and plan to try some spinning tonight but in the meantime, I resurrected an ancient UFO from my needlepoint phase of 15 years ago and am gingerly stitching away on it until I can return to quilting and knitting. I only have the roof, sky and band for the recipient's name left. I can't imagine why I stopped working on this Christmas stocking when I was so close to completion but, alas, I did. Hopefully, it will be just enough work to keep me busy until I'm back to full knitting strength.

Well, we're off to a full day of music camp, dance camp, play dates, an orthodontist appointment and an emergency homeschool support group meeting.

And I thought things were going to slow down for the summer. Oi!

Monday, June 09, 2008


We had a great vacation last week, with one notable exception . . . I managed to severely jam my left middle finger. I don't think it is broken and it is not out of joint but the swelling and bruising will keep me from knitting for a little while.

I've decided to do some experimenting with cross-stitch, hand-quilting and other needle arts that won't require so much left-handed interaction.

Typing is also rather slow right now, since I have buddy-taped two fingers together. I may invite some guest bloggers to fill in.

In the meantime, here are the flower photos Hockeyman took last week. Enjoy.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Vacation, here we come

I was going to show off some picture Hockeyman took in the garden this week. However, Blogger is being very naughty and not allowing me to upload photos at the moment.

Anyway, we've been furiously preparing for a camping trip to Wisconsin this week, so nothing really blog-worthy has been happening around here.

I'll be back in a week.