Thursday, November 29, 2007

Super Mommy Explained and Some Knitting

All semester, Squidette has been struggling with managing to get her Bat Mitzvah folder into the car for her Wednesday night class. For a while we tried just leaving it in the car and that worked until last week when she met with the Assistant Rabbi. After the meeting, she put it in her back pack and forgot to leave it in the car. Fast forward a week (no class the night before Thanksgiving) and she can't find the folder. Again.

I looked around the living room but I was pretty convinced that it was in the car. After suggesting that Squidette go down to the parking lot to look, I went back to unwinding and let the subject drop. In the morning we tore the car apart, to no avail. So, quietly dripping tears, Squidette got out of the car and went to school. I dropped off Little Squid and set out to my own school.

Actually, I had a meeting to go to at the New York Academy of Medicine over on Fifth Avenue. My intention was to park the car in front of my school and then walk to my meeting which was about a mile or so away. Strangely, however, all the spots in front of the school were taken and I really didn't want to park in back and risk getting into a conversation that would make me late. So, I drove to the meeting, figuring that I'd find a lot nearby. Yeah, right. No such thing in that neighborhood.

Finally, after circling the super block that is Mount Sinai Medical Center, I pulled into their garage and hot footed it a few blocks north for my meeting.

Fast forward through an uneventful meeting. Now, I have my car nearby and am feeling guilty about the missing folder. I should have searched her room the night before says my heart and my brain chirps in "um ... you could go home and look for it." And I did. And I found it. In under 5 minutes. And, because I am a serious geek, I shouted "I AM SUPER MOMMY!" over and over to the empty apartment. Then I called Mike and left a voice mail to that effect. Then I shouted it some more. Then Maria came in and I figured I should stop being such a dork.

Then I called work and determined that they really did not need me for the last two hours of the day. So I sat on the floor by our All-in-one printer and copied the contents of the folder. Page by page.

And then I got back in the car (now clad in jeans instead of my work slacks) and head uptown to this place:
Yup, the new one, just blocks from my next stop -- Knitty City. between the two, my wallet was just a tad lighter.

Then I set out for my usual Wednesday rendezvous with my daughter. And made her VERY happy.

While waiting for her to finish her class, I finished this hat for Papa Squid.
Won't lose him anytime soon.

Mike decided to break out the Futurama Socks yesterday, in honor of the series release on DVD.
After riding to work in them, he has decided that Zoidberg belongs on the left otherwise his tentacles risk getting caught in the bike chain.
Yes, he really did ride to work like that. Just wait until he breaks out the Kang and Kodos socks!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Faster then a cross town bus.

More powerful then a nasty rumor.

Able to find lost objects in five minutes flat!

LOOK! Down in the kitchen. (No, wait! Mommy would never be found in the kitchen.)

It's a spinner, it's a knitter, it's SUPER MOMMY!!!

Yes, it's Super Mommy. Strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of normal mommies.

Super Mommy, who can find your folder, wash your gym shorts and knit a hat;

And who, disguised as Mama Squid,

Mild mannered Assistant Principal for a Major Metropolitan High School,

Fights a never ending battle for Truth, Justice and Warm Feet.


Go ahead, ASK!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ode to My Aunt


My trips to my Aunt's house were like blackberries

With their sweetness and tartness

I loved seeing my family

My aunt, uncle and cousin

Sweet, like the blackberries across the road

And even in the winter,

The sweetness of the blackberries remains

I love you Aunt Marni! Happy birthday and may you have many more!


Ode to My Elder Sister

When we were kids

And birthday's came.

I often thought,

It's all the same.

For many years

Our cakes were one.

And yet it was,

Still such fun.

Now at times,

We're apart.

And our husbands work

To do their part.

.... Umm ... at this point I realized that 1. my brain is fried, 2. I am not very good at writing poetry, and 3., that an excellent poet is attempting to go to sleep in a nearby bedroom.

Yo, Squidette! Help me out!


I have to admit it. I love my family.

(Cross stitch present courtesy of Little Squid who diligently worked on it throughout our delightful dinner together, tonight. What a wonderful dining companion my son is.)


Presents In
(Pretty tea canisters from my big sister, CD from Mike and poem from Squidette)

Presents Out(Envelope containing b'day and chanuckah presents to big sis and nephew, box containing, very belated, b'day and, early, chanuckah, presents to youngest niece.)

Tomorrow, an ode to my big sis.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Have Decreed ...

because I am a beneficent mother, and because there are battles not worth fighting, that I will no longer make socks for my daughter. Instead, I will make for me and share freely.

Hey, her feet are only going to keep growing for a few more years and mine have stopped. Why make more socks for her to grow out of when I can make them all in my size and we can both wear them? Then, by the time she goes off to college, I will have enough, in the proper size, to send her off with.

What say you?

Free Range Socks

Apparently we are now in that stage where Mama's clothing is up for grabs. Just look at the socks below -- then look at the person wearing them. Take a good look, I'll wait.
Looked hard enough yet? Notice something about the person wearing them? Yeah, it's not me. And those are my socks! Apparently they were in her sock drawer. Hmm ... I think she's plotting with Maria ... and maybe the turtles.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Knitting Up A Storm!

Yes, there has been knitting here at Chez Squid but first, an aside to Cygknit.

*I was not taken aback or at all offended, by your comment. It actually helped me to see things in a more balanced light. I have, however, lost your email address due to the great "contact purge" that I performed in the wake of my accidental spamming. If you can email me off-blog, I'd love to reply properly.*

And now, some finished knitting!A hat, scarf and mitt set to match my new grey wool coat.

Socks for Papa Squid. Homespun Blue Faced Leiscester purchased last year at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. Yes, over a year in the making. They are a little bit big to allow for some felting on his feet.

And, some projects in progress:Teacher scarf. Recipient as yet undetermined. Either Little Squid's classroom teacher, our violin teacher or a colleague of mine.
Hat for Papa Squid as one of his was lost during the great buggie instigated clean-up and the other felted during the same process.
Little Squid's sweater. Which I keep swearing I will finish the front of already. Yes, the yarn for Papa's hat is left over from the center of Little's star.

Also in progress are socks for Mom but I was too lazy to take a picture and she knows what they look like. I promise to photograph them once they are done.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Because I know that I did not share certain things in an earlier post, I feel I must clarify why I am upset.

I understand the requirements and why they exist. My issues are 1. that this particular twist to the attendance requirement was not explained either verbally or in writing. 2. That the number of services that fill the requirement is very limited since they are not every weekend and run only from September to mid-May and tend to not be on long weekends or secular holidays. That, in itself, has to be a concession to some issue that arose in earlier years. If we had known about the twist, we would have knocked two of the five out earlier in the year. But, instead, we gave in to our inner-sloths and stayed home one of the two Saturdays because I was sick and we thought we had time.

Originally, this was not an onerous requirement as we rarely go out of town and had no standing commitments on Saturdays. Our kids do not participate in sports, so there is never any conflict like that. The music opportunity was unexpected, and the additional qualification for the special program with-in it was even more unexpected. All of a sudden, the service requirement was difficult, but not too tricky since we do not go away for vacations or long weekends. Then we found out that these same weekends are usually without the specific type of service that we need to attend. Now we are looking at having to pull her out of up to 3 rehearsals in a program with 18 remaining sessions. She's willing to miss one or, maybe, two. So again, we are talking about some sort of work around for maybe two of the five. She will go to the two immediately preceding her own which makes sense as the format will be fresh in her memory after a summer of nothing.

My other issue is that we cannot get a hold of the b'nai mitzvah schedule so that we can figure out which rehearsals she will miss. Right now, all of this is happening in my head so anything is possible. Next week should see some resolution. Hey, we are willing to do lots of other stuff. She will do the "high honors" program because, frankly, it is far too easy not to do. She's already fulfilled something like 8 of the 15 requirements and has blown away the community service requirement, for both regular requirements and high honors, with her participation in the monthly knitting program.

I do not disagree with the policy, I just wish it had been made clearer when we had our orientation in September. Had we known then, we would have acted appropriately at the time and would not, now, be in this pickle.


With the holiday shopping. Without spending a dime this weekend. Woo Hoo!

During the last two years I've gone a bit overboard with picking up little gifties here and there for the assorted cousins, friend-kids and office staff that need gifting. So much overboard that I had lots of extras that got lost in the depths of my closet.

During the great clean-up and throw out that accompanied our little buggy debacle, I consolidated all of the gifts and today hauled them all out. With the aid of some post-it notes and the ever helpful Squidette, we figured out what could go to who and have declared ourselves DONE! A few of the gifts were picked up this year, but most were purchased at least a year ago. I even wrapped all (save one) of the chanuckah gifts. The Christmas ones will have to wait until I have appropriate paper.

Now to just find boxes to pack up the mailables ....

Not Religious

Despite the plethora of Hebrew names in this house, we are not religious. We call ourselves Jews and pay some homage to the major Holy days, including Shabbat, but we are not religious. This presents a problem as one of us prepares for a Bat Mitzvah.

One of the requirements for "qualification" for her Bat Mitzvah is that she attend 5 Shabbot morning services. That is exactly what the handbook says and what was said in our "orientation to b'nai mitzvot." Since Squidette qualified for the Borough-wide band, which meets every Saturday from 8:30 until 1:00, we figured that we would do the required services on 3-day weekends and during the school breaks when band does not meet. Or, worst case, every Saturday in June, after band is over and the kids have done their thing in Carnegie Hall. Oh, did I mention that she will be playing with the New York Pops and will be performing in Carnegie Hall? Yes, this is a big deal.

On Monday, we met with the assistant Rabbi who is in charge of seeing the kids through this process. When she asked if we had started the 5 Shabbot requirement, we explained our issues and our solution to them. At which point we were told "oh, there are not b'nai mitzvot on 3-day weekends, it has to be a Bar/bat mitzvah service. Maybe we can count one non-mitzvah service." I've been obsessing on this all weekend long. We were going to go to services this morning. We are not going to do so now.

I am willing to pull Squidette from band for one Saturday (Mike is not even willing to do that.) I am so upset that I cannot even write a coherent letter to the Senior Rabbi (who is the final word on this). Frankly, there are two B'nai Mitzvot in the month before her's (and before Borough-wide starts up in the fall), so we are only talking about 3 which all, according to the Assistant Rabbi, have to be done before Memorial Day weekend because there are no B'nai mitzvot over the summer (which is why Squidette's is in September.)

Borough-wide is a limited run. It, too, runs only until Memorial Day weekend, with the big Carnegie performance right after that. It is, in our opinion, more important. It is not something that she can do in the future. This year and next year are it.

Is it about the religion or about learning the routine of the b'nai mitzvah service? If it is about the religion, then the smaller, non-b'nai mitzvah services should be even more important. They are, theoretically, more intimate and include actual Torah study. They sound like the kind of service that I might actually enjoy.

And, what is the actual consequence of not fulfilling this requirement? Are they going to deny her this opportunity if she is otherwise fully prepared? After 8 years of Hebrew School and the insane schedule we are following this year to provide our kids with this training so that they can make an informed decision later in life?

We are raising our kids to be good people who do good things for others. Both kids helped me during this last Mitzvah Sunday and Squidette has now done 3 of them as well as helping with the additional meetings of the Sanctuary Stitchers that I led. Will she be denied an opportunity because she only gets to 3 of the mandated b'nai mitzvah services? Will her ushering during Rosh Hashana and attendance at Yom Kippor (which was on Shabbat this year) not count?

Well? What do you think?

(Mike will be writing a letter to the Senior Rabbi later tonight. As I said, I am too angry to do this.)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Squid on Wheels -- Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving morning dawned clear and warm and Mama wanted to take advantage of the unusual weather with a bike ride. Sadly and gladly (at the same time) only one other Squid was willing to join her. So, off they went, Mommy and Monster, for a Thanksgiving ride.Our goal was 10 to 15 miles but, after just 2, Little Squid asked to abbreviate the ride and turn around at Stuyvesant H.S. Mama, looking to con the little one into a longer ride, suggested skirting Battery Park City on the waterside edge. Conning accomplished, the pair wend their way through Battery Park City, stopping to admire various sculpture and plantings, something they would not have done if accompanied by Papa and Squidette. At one point we even doubled back (gasp!) to check out an apple sculpture that Little Squid spied.
I forget the name of this one, but it was way neat.
Irish Potato Famine Memorial, side view
Apple Sculpture
All in all, a lovely morning.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Teens Knitting: Preparing for the Holiday

Theoretically there should not be an edition of "Teens Knitting" this week since I plan on shoving all of the teens in the building, knitting or not, out the door at 3:00 tomorrow. I take my long weekends VERY seriously! Also, for some strange reason, teens in a mostly deserted building, the night before a long weekend, tend to get up to some really odd stuff. So, we shove them out and make sure they are GONE. O.k., we strongly encourage them to leave -- no physical force is employed. Promise.

Before we strongly encourage them to leave, however, they must fill up on yarn. And some of them, knowing that I am not always in my office, stocked up early. Every lunch period today saw a multiple young people digging through the newest arrivals from Elizabeth and Knits With Cats. Thank you so very much, ladies!

One young lady brought in her half finished scarf and moaned about not having enough yarn to finish it. While I was pretty sure that we no longer had any matching yarn, I helped her dig through the stash and, voila!, we found one more ball of the same colorway! I think that it was this deed which earned me my good parking karma for the afternoon. (I have a strong belief that good deeds towards young people earn me good parking spots. The deed has to happen in the same day as the spot is needed or it doesn't work. And no fair intentionally doing a "good deed" to earn the needed parking karma. It has to be unplanned. That said, 6 out of the last seven street parking spots that I have found have been at failed meters. Including today.)

The afghan "squares" are piling up and I may bring them home this weekend to wash and hide ends on. After a disaster with the synagogue project blanket -- where 1/4 of the squares turned out to be wool and felted when I washed the completed blanket -- I now wash first. Good thing, too, the last batch of synagogue squares had almost a blanket's worth of now felted squares. They will not go to waste, however, we will put together a felted-square blanket.

Finally, a picture of the package I received last week from Felecia (no blog that I can find) -- it was kind of freaky to find the needles poking up through the yarn as I emptied the envelope.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gone Quiet

I know I have been quiet lately. Nothing is wrong things have just been so busy that when I get home at night, composing a blog post is beyond my mental capacity. I really need this four day weekend to decompress and sleep a little. Or a lot. Mike and I have promised each other to not set alarms this weekend. Other then Thanksgiving with my family, we have no plans. Maybe lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant or some long walks, but nothing specific.

Last night, Mike and I attended a concert at Carnegie Hall and noticed that the streets were surprisingly empty of people. We debated if it was a side effect of the stagehands strike or if it were just because it was Sunday night. Or maybe a combination of the two.

As we walked uptown, we saw a few picket lines and the question arose: "do you really need to walk a picket line if there are no scabs to cross it?" Mike marched with his mom on picket lines many years ago, the last time the NYC teachers struck. I guess the purpose of the lines is two-fold as the strikers get their message out to the public as well as stopping scabs. Outside the theater housing Chicago, we saw some of the musicians striking up a tune. Interesting. By the time we walked back home, the strikers were all gone and Times Square was eerily quiet.

Friday, November 16, 2007

True Conversation

I swear this was a real conversation:

Squidette: "So, we're going to Bubby and Zeida's for Thanksgiving?"

Me: "Yup. And your cousin S will be there and Uncle Josh and Aunt Jaye and ..."

Squidette, interrupting: "Louis!"

Little Squid: "Yea!!!"

Me: "Huh? remind me to bring allergy medicine"

Louis is my brother's cat. I never did finish listing all the aunts and uncles who will be there. The cat is all they care about now.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sounds Worse?

I have been fighting a cold for a week now and as colds go, it has not been too bad, makes me sound much worse then I actually feel. Got that sexy, hoarse thing going on. Today, however, that hoarseness gave me a good excuse to go home a little (only 15 minutes or so) early.

I had to make an announcement over the p.a. and in doing so, realized just how rotten I sounded. Hmm ... I thought ... the entire building just heard my hoarse, cracking voice. No one will think less of me if I go home right now.

And I did. Hung up the p.a., grabbed my purse and jacket and came home.

To do many loads of laundry and make dinner. A mother's work is never done.

(Dinner, by the way, was tasteless but the kids humored me and ate it anyway. I am seriously out of practice in the kitchen.)


Mucho thanks to Felica who found me via Sprite and sent yarn and needles for my kids. Thank you!

And one more aside, my knitting guy came in during lunch today and I got him going on dpns, making his first sock! Woo Hoo!

Teens Knitting: Where are the Guys?

My current principal is a guy. Like the rest of my principals, he supports the knitting club and thinks the whole thing is a bit odd but cool. Yesterday he wandered in while I was getting one young lady going, two more were in a corner working on their first pieces and the core group was digging through the stash. He looked around and asked "where are the boys." My answer? "He wanted to sit down, so he's on the couch near your office."

Yeah, we still only have one young man this year -- that's what tends to happen so I don't bemoan it. Frankly, male participation is a problem in the other program that I run -- and that one is geared toward future doctors!

The reason for the lack of males in the knitting club is, unfortunately simple. Guys don't want to be found knitting. Some will have their friends teach them on the side and knit at home or on the sly but unfortunately, knitting is still not macho. And in a school with a 58% Hispanic population, macho has real meaning.

Yesterday's stats? 3 newbies off and running, 1 (female) basketball player grabbing some yarn before practice, 1 core member working on a free Glampyre pattern, our guy making a crocheted hat and lots of squares for the blankie, and lots of stash diving by the other core members -- who swear they want to clean up my desk.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Toxic Waste

Yup, that's been my job for the last couple of weeks. Dealing with the fall out of a sensationalistic news report about my school. Today was the big day, with all sorts of experts coming to talk to and answer questions from parents and staff. Frankly, I'm wiped. I arranged and organized all three meetings today and only got home a short while ago. If I were the kind of person to take a mental health day, tomorrow would be it. But I can't. I've got the knitting kids to think of. And, oh yeah, I have the usual schlepage of my own kids to school, the weekly meal out with the elder child and the wait while she does her Bat Mitzvah training stuff. So, no day off. And it is only a four day week. Followed by a three day week next week!

And, I had parent-teacher conferences with Little Squid's teacher. All in the same day.

I did managed to finish a pair of socks for Mike so at least something tangible got done.

As an aside ...

Why is it that people distrust experts? Why do they not want to believe that we are all on the same side? And why won't they believe me when I say that we have more serious problems then the relatively stable toxic waste beneath our school? Or am I being naive in believing the experts and everyone else is right?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Out and About

It's been a long, slow, quiet weekend here at Chez Squid. Easy visiting on Saturday, quiet indoor pursuits on Sunday and a simple family walk today. Lots of time to knit, read and recover from a trying week.

Yesterday Mike made this:

apple pie made with fresh Greenmarket apples with apple goo on top. Mmmm ...

When we set our itinerary for today, Mike reminded me to take my camera. I think he intended to find some blog fodder since things have been rather lean for the last few weeks.
So here you go. First up, possibly the smallest piece of private property in NYC. It was created in the early 1900's when the Hess family refused to cede this small piece of property to the city after having their property condemned for the construction of the subway. Each side of the triangle is maybe 24 inches long. It is a very early protest against eminent domain, a fight that continues today.

Then on to Father Demo Square. The sign is pictured to show you that typesetting errors wind up even on Parks Department plaques. Look for all the question marks.

The church where Father Demo was pastor.And then a change of religion ...

O.k., a quick google turned up very little about this synagogue but it was organized in 1838 and in 1865 the congregation started a cemetery out near where my folks live.
Speaking of Google, I originally took the picture above to show the contrast between the old row houses at the bottom and the very modern black building. Then Mike pointed out that Google is housed in the very large building behind it all. Yup, the NYC outpost of Google. Mike's got a bunch of former students working there.

And finally, to prove that this is a knitting blog, the back of Little Squid's sweater and the graph for the front.

The felted slippers on the floor are mine.

And ... my Blogger Bingo prize!8 ounces of Sugar Lips BFL top from Adrian at Hello Yarn! It is much more purple then it looks on my screen. Yea!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Woke up yesterday to find Mike doing his weights with the t.v. off. Not unusual in itself but the timing was a bit off -- he usually does weights after the aerobic part of his workout, not before -- and the t.v. is ALWAYS on when he works out. As I headed for my computer with my morning cuppa, he said "don't bother." Huh? He had to repeat himself and explain before my sleep befuddled brain comprehended that we had not cable service. This meant no t.v., no internet and no phone.

I grabbed a book and settled in for a nice quiet morning.

The t.v. stayed off all day, even after service was returned -- sometime shortly after I really lit into the customer service agent who kept insisting that it was only an "assumed" outage and not a verified outage. (The difference? Not enough people had complained yet. Really! At least that's what she told me.) After 15 minutes on hold for a supervisor, my agent came back and said that now it was a verified outage. Um ... we reported this at 5:30 a.m. and it was 6 hours later ... even if it was not widespread, it was verified as far as we were concerned. I never did get to speak to the supervisor and I actually accused the agent of sitting and twiddling her thumbs for 15 minutes while I was on hold.

One of Mike's cousins was in town for the day, so we had a lovely time visiting. Lunch at a favorite, local, Indian restaurant, a wander through our favorite Indian market and lots of lovely knitting/schmoozing while we caught each other up on the families.

During the visit I finished cute scarves for my youngest niece and nephew (no pictures, their parents read the blog) and made major headway on Little Squid's new sweater. (Also no picture, imagine 10 inches of ribbing and stockiette in teal wool.)

Lovely, relaxing day.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bits and Bobs

My day was dragging. People were peppering me with requests -- mostly reasonable, but all while I was trying to count to 34. Over and over again. And then a package was delivered. From Paul! More yarn, needles and candy for my students. Woo Hoo!

Then, I managed to find a parking spot only 2 blocks from my appointment and when I got out to feed the meter, discovered that it was "failed." (Meter-speak for "don't have to feed, you lucky duck!") This is the third day in a row that I have accidentally parked at a failed meter.

My prize wool from Blogger Bingo was just mailed!

My daughter looks far too grown up in her turtle neck sweater which contains practically no ease.

My son loses sleep because his teacher said to staple the work into his notebook and he had to use tape because we could not find the stapler.

I am now addicted to EB Robb's (aka Nora Roberts) books thanks to Cookie. One is now being read and two more are sitting on my shelf. And it looks like the library has plenty more.

I misread our concert tickets and now have one fewer obligation on the 19th. Phew!

Oh, and right now my job is "all toxic waste, all the time" right now thanks to this news report. We are the second school mentioned. Please note, the report is GROSSLY exaggerated and one of the most irresponsible pieces of "journalism" I have seen in a long time.

Yup -- I'm just all over the place and thought I'd share my scatter thoughts with you, my faithful readers (who probably abandoned me after "Woo Hoo!") Time to leave the computer and knit a bit.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Teens Knitting: On a Roll

Last week my assistant decided that I needed some fun, and made a big push to recruit knitters. She made up colorful posters and had them put up all over the school. The result? My office overflowed this afternoon. Four brand new knitters learned to cast on and knit, my lone young man dug out what had to be my only crochet hook and started making something. A couple of basketball players came by to get yarn to knit before practice, my freshmen girls continued to work on scarves in some of the wonderful yarn that Paul sent a few weeks ago and a senior sat in my desk chair knitting something white and fluffy. Paul's candy came out and, while it did not quite disappear, it came close.

All in all, a solid, fun hour. Our collection of blankie blocks may now be full enough for me to put together the third blanket. I'll assess it after next week and decide if they will come home with me for Thanksgiving weekend. I had about 2/3 of a blankie going into this semester.

My assistant was right, I needed something to look forward to in my day.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Halloween Answers

I was just reminded that I never revealed what the kids actually were. Squidette is, as she appears, a black cat. Little Squid is a white cat. But wait, there is more! He is actually "Cloud Tail," a Warrior Cat from the Warriors series of books. He was very insistent that he was Cloud Tail and not just any white cat. He was particularly insulted when an elderly woman kept saying how scared she was of the ghost. When he started to argue, I reminded him that we do not argue with people who are giving us candy! He stopped getting insulted after that -- or at least stopped complaining about it. *grin*Squidette was supposed to be Crazy Cat lady but managed to get her costume thrown out. Yes, there is some irony about her being Crazy Cat Lady accompanied by a cat.

Fancy Schmancy

Today was a long day. O.k., it wasn't really -- all days are the same length. Except for yesterday which, at 25 hours, really was a long day.

I woke up early -- see that comment about yesterday -- and kept looking at my watch all day. I don't usually do that, I usually look at the school clocks but they were wrong. So I kept looking at clocks and then looking at my watch. And the day seemed to go much more slowly then usual. You see, since I kept looking at the clocks, I kept thinking it was an hour later and then had to correct myself and kept getting disappointed. Or relieved. It depended on what time it was and where I had to be.

The clocks should be back to normal tomorrow. We are supposed to have a fancy, schmancy computer controlled clock system. Since it was installed last year, before the government changed the rules governing Daylight Savings Time, I asked the installers if it would update correctly. They said no. So, the weekend before the spring time change, I changed the school clocks and the system that controls our bells. And came in on Monday to find the time 2 hours off. This time I laughed. "Ha!" I said. "We have the fancy, schmancy clock system that updates itself, no need for me to reset the clocks." Just in case, however, I made sure to get in to school a bit on the early side today, to discover that, not only had the clocks not updated but that the master clock was off by ... wait for it ... SEVEN hours. Good thing I got in early.

So much for the fancy, schmancy clock system.

Oh, and yesterday? After an afternoon out with my daughter, I sat down at my computer, glanced at the clock, compared it to my watch and almost cursed out my operating system. You would think that a brand new edition of Vista would have the right programing to update. And, in fact, it did. My watch however, is an old fashioned Timex. Which does not automatically update. Um ... can we say "user error?"

Flower Basket Shawl

I finished it! Presenting the Flower Basket Shawl from the Fall 2004 issue of Interweave Knits. My eye was on this for a long time but it wasn't until I finished spinning this laceweight alpaca that I knew the time was right.
The pattern calls for a laceweight yarn held double but I used it single and knit for 10 repeats instead of the 7 called for in the pattern.

Ta Da!

And yes, yes I did choose my outfit so that I could wear the shawl today.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

And the Winner is ...

SJ from Knit/Wit!

SJ guessed that we would ride 749 miles by Oct. 31 and we rode 745 miles.

Congratulations, SJ! Email me your snail mail info and favorite colors for your prize.

(We will continue to log miles for the year, assuming the weather and the kids' schedules cooperate enough to let us get out on our bikes.)

The Aftermath ... and other Blather

Here you go, cute picture of the kids sorting and swapping candy. This stuff will last until next Halloween -- at which point I will dump it. Yup -- did a big dump just before trick-or-treating started. All the stuff that didn't get eaten last year -- mostly Almond Joys.

Yes, it is a rather small haul. We live in a NORC (naturally occurring retirement community) and an average of less than 1 apartment per floor was giving out candy. We did all of both cores of our building -- 21 floors each and what you see was the result.

By the way, the "proper" way to trick-or-treat in an apartment building is to take the elevator to the top and then go down the stairs, floor by floor. For the first core, we had friends with small kids so my kids would shoot ahead, scout out the floor (candy-givers had paper pumpkins on their doors) and let us know if we should stop or keep going. For the second core, my legs gave out and I let the kids do the top 6 floors by them selves while I sat and knit on 15.

For all of you looking for my costume ... I didn't have one. My school doesn't allow costumes so a black suit with an orange blouse and my fancy nails was as halloweeny as I got. When I got home, the suit became jeans and I added a button that Sprite sent. By the way, you all should hop over to her blog and get info on how to send some holiday cheer to our troops.

There is knitting going on here and in the next day or two you should look for a finished Flower Basket Shawl and the start of Little Squid's new sweater.