Thursday, December 30, 2010

January Goals

January knitting goals are brought to you by the letter A.

All things Alpaca:

I want to make some stranded mittens out of alpaca.  The pattern I selected is called fiddlehead, and it is a lined mitten.  I don't know if I have enough yarn, but I can always buy more.

Next, I plan to make a cowl out of some lovely alpaca I got from Bob for Christmas.  This cowl is a scarf in the day and the doubles as a head wrap when you go outside.  I love the idea and am looking forward to working with this yummy yarn.

On the things Acrylic:

While acrylic isn't my fav, I am going to start a baby blanket for a friend of mine.  I need to make my way through 4 colors and the starting square this month.

Other than that, I want to finish what I have on the needles, which isn't much, just a pair of socks.  Perhaps do a few squares on my blanket.

A Trip

We are back.  Home from the journey. 

Having done this trip every December, with one exception, since I have stopped living at home.  It is expected, normal and well, one thing that makes me feel whole.  I love seeing my family and hanging out with friends.

This year was very low key.  My brother and his family were in Asia, wrapping up their year in Australia.  My cousin didn't arrive until the very end and my nephew left for Colorado on Christmas.  It seemed there as enough time to hang out with everyone but just that one.  We reallly got to spend time with folks rather than rushing through one visit on our way to the next.  The kids would have liked more time with my cousin and her family.

The trip was fine, with the expection of the ice box limo trip.  There were no delays, not cancellations and everything landed when and were it was supposed to.  My kids didn't do anything too anti-social at my Uncle's fancy house.  No accidental swimming this year, no peeing contests, we may actually get invited back.

The weather was meh.  It rained, a lot.  We are not used to being stuck in the house.  But, then it was sunny and we played a lot of soccer.

They kids discovered Fox Desportes.  They watched a lot of soccer, in spanish.  My brother and I got my mom a new TV.  He walked in and said, "I thought this TV was in English, we should return it.  Sorry about getting you the Spanish one."

The trip was like the year, nothing to write home about, but not bad.  I am ok for with that.  After being on the rollarcoaster of great highs and great lows, I am happy to ride in the middle.  For things to just be.

Everyone is happy to be home and to play with their new Wii games, sleep in their beds and start the New Year.  Well, gotta run, David Villa is on the television.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yarnie Year in Review

The yarnie year in review.  I always feel like I really didn't make that much, but when I stop and look at the list, well it is long!

Socks:  I made 16 1/2 pairs.  The 1/2 pair is because I finished my targets socks before I was killed off... this is during sock wars, so if it doesn't make any sense, just move on.  Focus on the fact that I made 16 pairs of socks.  That is crazy!

Hats:  I made 6 hats.  4 of the 6 hats had flowers on them, so I also made 4 flowers!  I am not counting this seperatly, but that is a lot of warm heads.

Toys:  I made 11 toys.

Sweater:  I made 1 sweater for me.  Just one... but it took a long time, I am a big person.

Christmas stockings:  4... they were so well received I am making another one.  Same friend, she just wants one for herself.

Dishrags:  8

Scarves:   4

Baby Blankets:  1... slow year for baby blankets!  I am happy about that, I hate making them.  But, with 3 pregnant friends, I feel that there is at least one or two more in my future.

I think that totals up to 51 1/2 Finished objects.  No wonder we are starting to feel over run with hand knits in our house.  No wonder I look like the crazy knitting lady when I leave.  I have a rule about that, no more than 2 handknits at a time, unless it is cold and I have a scarf and mittens on.

If you are getting hand knit items as a gift, well you know why!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Rain, rain go away, please come back another day.  Another day after I am home and not here. 

California has gotten 300% of their normal yearly rain in the last week.  We have been here for the last week, and it has been horrible.  Get your hammers folks, it is time to start to build an ark.  When we come to California, we come for sun, sand and palm trees.  In that order.  There is no mention of rain.  I realize that the rain is hugely important to the environment here in California, but can it just come when I am not here?

The problem with the rain, is that there is nothing to do that does not involve being outside.  At least nothing to do with the kids.  They are cooped up here at my mothers house.  It is a fairly good sized house, but for 4 kids to spend day after day inside, well it is getting a bit overwhelming for everyone.  We all have cabin fever.

There is only so much computer and television that can be consumed before even the children get tired of it.  Yesterday, in a massive fit of cabin fever everyone took to the backyard and played soccer for well over an hour.  In the the pouring rain, on the muddy lawn.  By the time they were done, they were not as muddy as you would have expected, because it was raining so hard.  Clothes were washed and everyone was happy that they were not inside all day.

Today, it is the indoor olympics, completely planned out by the kids.  They have come up with a series of events that are not athletic, but still fun.  It has been refreshing to see them use their minds to try and come up with something to do that isn't electronic.  They have even resorted to reading books.  I am getting serious about getting the hammers out, it is definately the end of the world if they kids are choosing books over television.

There hasn't been as much fighting as you might have expected.  Things have actually gone pretty well.  But, on that note I am going to sign off, it is not currently raining and we are going to go splash in puddles.  At least it isn't cold.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I awoke yesterday morning at it was -2.5 degrees Farenheit.  If you can't imagine it, it is Cold, with a capital C, Cold.  Not as cold as say -25 degrees Farenheit, which it has also been in the very cold place we live, but that it not capital C Cold and that is Capitals C,O,L,D COLD.

The plan had been to wear light coats, hop into the warm limo and go to the airport.  Because we are heading to California, bring one's Nanook of the North outfit is well... over kill. 

I am going to digress for a moment here, when I bought my boots and my coat, I asked the fine sales person what the tempurature rating was on the items I had selected. I was told they both ranged from -35 to 15 degrees.  I asked, "is there anything warmer in the store?"  I was told, no that was the warmest things they offered.  I would have to go to a specialty store to get something warmer. Then the sales representative asked me if I was planning a trip to the North Pole or something.  I said, no I just want to get my kids at school without freezing, same thing!

Anyway, we didn't want to bring our warm gear, inspite of the fact that the thermometer would warrent such a selection.  In the end, every single one of us chickened out and we wore our warm coats.  I didn't go full Nanook and selected my running around town winter coat and not my going to get the kids at school coat.  As there is the whole going through security issue, no boots were worn.

These were all critical errors in judgement, because we assumed that the limo would be warm.  That mistake in judgement almost cost me my baby toes.  The limo was NOT heated.  The limo was marginally warmer than outside.  My best guess would be that it was say 10 degrees back there.  We spent 45 minutes riding from our lovely heated home to the lovely heated airport in a freezer.  When we arrived, walked into the airport and exclaimed "oh sweet warmth how we love thee,"  the secuirty ladies huddling in the vesibule laughed. 

We complained about it being cold.  These complaints were met with grunts.  Finally, we decided that there was nothing to be done about this, all we could do was huddle together and hunker down, next to the open window were periodically wiffs of warm air wafted through the open window.  The driver was warm.

When I got out of that ice box, to be met with air that was about the same as the air in the car, I turned to the driver and said, when someone complains about it being cold, you might turn the freaking heat on because I think I may have lost some toes on this trip.  He was not moved by my reaction. I looked at him and said, I spend at least 2 hours a day outside almost every day.  I am not weak and I not a wimp and I am not joking when I tell you it was cold.  He was still un-moved by this. 

I am willing to be he was moved by his tip.  You freeze a man's children and wife, and you don't get a very big tip.

Maybe next time we will request a limo with heat, or use someone else.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wrapping it up

As the year ends, it is time for the usual reflection on what transpired this year.  I have to say, that while this wasn't a banner year, it wasn't a bad year either.  It just was.  I for one, am ok with that.

Some not so good things happened.  My Father-in-law has experienced some rather large health problems this year.  That is pretty upsetting to all involved.  Living so far away from it, it is easy to disconnect yourself from it.  But the realities of the new situation come up in unexpected ways that are sometimes hard to manage.

Of course, there was the whole situation with my brother.  While in the end his son ended up in the right place, the emotional and financial fall-out from that situation will be long reaching for many years to come.  In the end, the reality is that no one will ever really be the same.  It is a heart breaking story.  The impact of that horrible woman's narcissism is some what mind boggling.  I wonder if she will ever look in the mirror and realize what she did.  No one is faultless, but BM does not recognize her role in this whole fiasco.

There were some good things that happened.  Bob found a job he loves, he has gotten a promotion and we are getting closer to being steadily on our feet again.  I feel that we are in a stable place with that right now.  In today's environment, well that is huge!

In the end, there were social justice issues at preschool, and other problems that cropped up.  Nothing was life altering.  I think we have had a pretty blessed year all things considered.  While 2010 was nothing to write home about, that is alright with me.  I am excited to start another new year.  I hope that the momentum we have started to build keeps on keeping on.  But, if next year is like this year, well that would be good with me.

Thank you for staying with me all year.  I wish all the best for you and yours.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Grandkids

While waiting to drop the kids off at school today, aside from being horrified at the chaos in the parking lot, we had an interesting discussion about interfaith marriage.  I asked the kids, do you think you will marry someone who isn't Jewish?

Mac said, probably, there aren't that many Jewish girls out there.  I can see from his perspective that is probably true.   As he has more experiences in life, he might find that there are more Jewish options than he thought.  This point of view was a spring board into the next question:  How will you raise your kids?

As you all know, I believe strongly in choosing one religion over the other.  I was semi-pleased when he said, "I don't know, I guess we would wait until we had a baby and decide."  At least he did not say "we would do both."  I discussed the importance of making that decision much earlier on.  Granted the kid is 10 and this is not exactly something that will happen in the near term.  Interestingly it brought up some emotions for me.

I have dedicated a significant amount of effort to ensure that my kids have a strong Jewish identity.  I think some place in my heart I feel like it would be an epic fail if my kids didn't have Jewish families.  Isn't that an interesting turn of events.  This from the person who gets all upset when people give me a hard time about my inter-marriage is going to be upset if my kids inter-marry. 

Well, more specifically, if the do inter-marry, I want them to have Jewish kids.  I really have no idea what it means to have Jewish grandchildren, but after all the fighting with the preschool, elementary school, park district and other places about being inclusive, I guess I feel like it is giving in to the man to have the Jewishness stop with my kids.  I have dedicated my life to this project and I want it to last.

I am sure that when my kids get married, MANY years from now, I may feel differently about things.  I am sure I will try very hard to welcome and love who ever they choose to spend their lives with.  I just really hope all this work isn't for naught.  At the end of the day, they will do what they will do, and all I can do is love them and hope for the best.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sick Day

We were sick yesterday.  I am talking about the down and out on your back, can not do anything kind of sick.  It was a horrible day.  We were so sick I pulled my 10 year old out of school so there was someone there to dial 911 if we needed it. Also, we needed someone to tend to our whims and needs.

Today we are all on the road to recovery.  Some outtakes from our day, also know as a few of the things I remember:
  • Sam stop bogarting the barf bucket.
  • I am Optimus Prime.  If you stand with us, we will stand with you.  What does that mean anyway?
  • I will give you a million dollars if you get me a slurpee. But Mom, I am 10 and I can't drive.  Really?  I think you could if you tried hard enough.
  • Mom, Sam won't share the buc.... ket.  Oh well, I don't need it anymore.
  • Mac, clean up on aisle 10
  • I want ice chips
  • Mac, find another bucket, Sam won't share.
  • Mac, we want popsicles.  Mom, we had this discussion, I am 10 and I can't drive.  You don't love me, why won't you try?
Finally, a friend called me on her way to the grocery store.  She just wanted to say hi.  If you don't believe in G-d, you should now.  The grocery store is a mile from my house.  I told her we were at deaths door.  She brought us popsicles and ginger ale.   The best kind of ding-dong ditch...the kind that leaves popsicles and ginger ale on your front steps.

We are better now.  It no longer seems like a resonable idea to have my 10 year old take the van to the grocery store for popsciles.  Everyone is still shaky, but we are on the mend.  Probably just in time for wave 2 to pass through, when Mac and Bob get it.  At least we already have popsicles.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snowmen on Parade

It seems fitting that on this first day of snow, my California snowmen should parade.  If you live in California and think one of these might be for you, you might be right, you might be wrong.  The question is, if one is for you, which one?

 Don't know how to imbed music, but imagine a Sousa march playing.  Enjoy.