Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goals: Update #3

This was not one of my goals. Nor was it executed by my nimble fingers.

What is it? It's the mascot of the Stuyvesant Computer Science teachers. It does not have a name but there is a school-wide contest in full swing to name it.

And this handsome fellow is a red green velvet whoopie pie.

Mike and Squidette have been on a whoopie pie tear for about 2 weeks now. Yum!

Finally, I give you Little Squid who is mostly back to his fairly sunny and strange self.
I love my family!

(And as to my own goals -- more weaving has been done and the end of the road is in sight on the spinning front. I've even made some progress on Little Squid's sweater.)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Goals: Interrupted

On Friday the kids went skating and Mike and I settled in for a quiet morning along.

Then we smelled something plastic-y burning.

It took a good hour or more of sniffing about before we finally figured out that Little Squid's humidifier was melting down. Before we went to open up the window I grabbed a box and then went to grab Lynx from his habitat so that he would not get a chill.

I'm the one that got the chill.

Lynx was dead.

We have no idea why but suspect that the fumes may have dealt the final blow. He had been bruminating (kind of like hibernation but not quite) and was very thin from not eating. He had also just shed prior to starting brumination, a stressful activity for a lizard so we suspect that he was particularly vulnerable to any oddity like plastic fumes.

Lynx was a good pet. He was a "forever" pet and we expected to have him around for a very long time.

He is sorely missed by all of us but most of all, by Little Squid.

Rest in Peace, Lynx.

8/15/09 -- 12/25/09

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Goals: Update #2

Another project in progress ...
thick socks for me out of hand spun wool. I do not expect to finish them this break but did finish the first one yesterday while visiting friends.

Then there is Little Squid's sweater, back in the queue now that his mittens are finished. My first goal is simply to finish the front before the end of the week. And maybe a sleeve ...

And in the finished column ...
Ta Da! We all put some serious time in on it and finally finished it!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Goals: Update #1

Yes, I know that break is only 24 hours (or so) old. But hey! I've had no obligations and my initial goals were modest.

We started on Tuesday with this partial mitten.
By last night we had this complete mitten (ends hidden and all) and this partial mitten.

As of 30 minutes ago we now have ...
one happy kid with warm hands!

The puzzle, meanwhile, has also seen some progress. Here we are Tuesday night ...
and last night ...
and tonight ...
Squidette has been rather obsessed with it today. I think I added about a dozen pieces in between weight lifting sets this morning.

There was also some weaving done. I took before and after pictures but they look the same! I think there is another 18 inches or so of warp on the loom so give me another day or three to finish it off.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Here are the first* of my winter break "want to finish" projects:

Mittens for Little Squid, who joined his mother in denial last year and wore mittens that were were very neat (double knit-neat) but a tad too small. We have both come to our senses and his new sweater is in time-out while I whip up a pair of too large double-stranded mittens using the same yarn. (I told you, I have a lot of it -- it came from a sweater that was too big on Mike even when he was 60 pounds heavier.)

Speaking of my husband ...
I intend to finish the spinning and plying for his new sweater. Six skeins of the main color are done and I think I have another 3-5 skeins yet to spin and ply. The contrast colors are done.

And then there is this puzzle ...
A 1000 piece, black and white opus of an Escher print. It's been in progress since before Halloween.

*By the first of, I do indeed mean that there are several more ...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Performing in Public

It's performance season here at chez squid. At least for Squidette.

On Wednesday she performed with the New York City All-City High School Concert Band (All-City to those in the know) at the MetLife atrium.

As real New Yorkers know, the MetLife building is really the PanAm building but that is rather irrelevant to our tale.

The important thing, is that the atrium of the MetLife/PanAm building is a major entry way to Grand Central Station and hence a venue from which one can be seen by hundreds of people over the span of the concert.

While the families, and some lucky bystanders, got to sit, most of the commuters experienced the concert as they strolled by or above the venue. Many took video or pictures on their phones and most gave huge smiles to see and hear the teens performing classic concert band standards with a few classic holiday tunes tossed in for good measure.

I just thought it was awesome that so many people got a taste of what can happen when kids are taught to play and enjoy music.

And then I got sad as Mike told me that All-City was just so much bigger in his day.

We debated the reasons for this but my side is that fewer kids are being exposed to music in school. We spend so much time on reading and math that art and music, subjects that truly expand ones world view and exercise the brain in so very different ways, have gone by the wayside. And then I got sad when I thought of how badly these programs have been gutted financially.

Boro-wide (the junior high version of All-City) started at the very end of October this year instead of two weeks earlier so that the city could save the money on the instructors' salaries. And, there may not be a Carnegie performance for whichever boroughs were scheduled to play there this year because they couldn't get the down payment in on time. Again, due to budget cuts.

Makes me want to run a fundraiser for them. I already gave them money from my own wallet so it is time to get others to do the same. But after the holidays.
Meanwhile ... I give you Squidette and friends. No, she is not dating her stand partner (though he's a nice boy and I wouldn't object). And yes, he does kind of look (and act) like Little Squid (hence the reason she will probably never hook up with him). Doesn't really matter since she's not allowed to date until she's 30 ...

The performance, by the way, was awesome! And she has her first ever singing solo this Friday followed by a reprise of the MetLife performance at the All-City rehearsal school on Saturday.

And Little Squid? He auditioned for his school play last week and had a call back on Friday so you can expect some kvelling about him in the future.

Happy Hanuckah, folks!

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Because Cookie asked nicely ...One knitting sheep magnet.

Holding a reminder to make french toast for breakfast.

Because we had a staling loaf of homemade wheat bread.

Which the kids forgot about at breakfast time (the french toast, not the bread).

So we had it for lunch instead.

And froze the extras.

Intending them for breakfast over the next week or so.

Until the microwave oven died.

Oh wait, we toast french toast.

All in all, a quiet weekend.

(And we ordered a new microwave.)

Which I needed after this.

Yes, it means what you think it means.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


In my last post I did mention building a mini hydroponic garden, but I failed to put up a photo due to the misplacement of my camera.

Today I'm back in action so here you go!

I have absolutely no idea what the top two plants are -- they're something interesting that we bought to fill out the garden until the seeds I ordered came in.

The bottom bottle has two tiny sprouts. So small, in fact, that I could not get a clear picture of them so you will just have to wait a few more days.

The plants do seem to be growing if the level of water in the reservoir is any indication. For the first few days it stayed pretty level but it's been steadily dropping since yesterday. This tells me that the grown plants have now recovered from the shock of transplanting and are taking up water and actually using it.

The system cycles water from the reservoir at the base to the top pop bottle where it drips first into a pill bottle (to muffle the sound of the air and water burbling in the tubing) and then into the top plant. As long as the media in the bottle is saturated, the excess water then drips into the next bottle and then the bottom one and finally back into the reservoir to be recycled.

I love it! I love it so much that tomorrow I'm building one in my office and planting some flowers and herbs to give a nice, natural, fragrance to my space.