Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So Young and Yet So Wise

I got stuck driving the kids to kempo (a form of martial arts) last night, a duty that I have managed to shift to my DH for the last couple of weeks. I don't know what it is about a moving vehicle, but the kids tend to talk non-stop while we are driving. After much giggling from the back seat Katie asked me what "pregnack" was. Her and Christopher obviously thought it was a horribly dirty word. After I assured her that, no, it really was an okay word and all it means is that someone has a baby in her tummy, Katie told me that she wasn't going to ever have kids.

"How come?" I asked.

"Because they will just annoy me. And then I would have to spend all my money on kid's stuff instead of spending it on myself."

She has figured it out already.

A few minutes later a fight ensued about telling me a funny part of a movie that they had seen recently. Katie wanted to tell me while Christopher wanted me to wait and watch the movie. Katie eventually won the arguement when she reminded her brother that I wouldn't remember anyway.

"You're right," he said. "Because she does forget a lot."

When we got to kempo I had to hurry inside so I could write this all down. Because he is right, I do forget a lot.

I blame my kids for that.

Monday, April 28, 2008

And the Winner is...

Sharon Rose!

Maybe because I am a Canadian I never even made the connection between the yellow ribbons symbolizing the military unable to come home and my row counter. But the more I thought about it, the more poignant it became. Canadian troops are now also heavily involved in armed combat in Afghanistan and are suffering heavy loses. Traditionally the Canadian military has served in peace keeping duties instead of being out on the front line. Now as a nation Canada is feeling the incredible burden that the American people have felt for many years.

So the row counter will be named “Home Front,” for where ever home happens to be.
Sharon Rose also got bonus points for some of her other suggestions. I particularly liked “Orange You Lucky?” and “Teals on My Pillow.”

This wasn’t and easy decision! There were so many cute and original names. 7 year old Katie really liked “Daffodilly Dreams.”

Huge thanks to everyone who left their suggestions! I had a great time going through them all. Watch my Etsy shop for many of the other names.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's Mr. Nuthatch to You

It turns out that the little bird building a nest in our almost dead apple tree is a nuthatch. A red-breasted nuthatch to be exact. And it's dad, not mom.

He was working away again yesterday so I grabbed my camera. At first he wasn't too sure about this human standing on a lawn chair so close, but he slowly got used to me. Every once in a while the female would fly in for a few minutes. She never landed on the branch with the soon-to-be nest in it, though. Eventually, the male hopped up on the top of the dead branch to check me out. He seemed to be facinated by the clicking of my camera. Every time I took a photo his little head would cock to the side.

On the needles I have another of the Opal Zircus yarn. This one is 2003. I love watching the Opal self-patterning yarn knit up. And to non-knitters it makes you look so smart. : )

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring Has to Be Coming, Right?

I have been hearing that tat-tat-tat of a woodpecker for the last couple of days, but I was never able to spot him. Then today as I was out taking pictures of some counters I finally saw him. He is just waaaay smaller than what I was expecting. For a little bird he is really noisy! So it looks like we will have a nest of baby birds in our backyard soon as this little guy has been very busy hollowing out a tree. Or I guess it should be her instead of him.Does anyone know what kind of bird she is?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sigh...

It looks like we are back to the muddy paw prints again today. This is what I woke up to this morning...


Snow in April is just so depressing. Actually, I find snow at anytime to be depressing. I am just not a winter sort of person. So how the heck did I end up living in Canada?? With all the places in the world that my ancestors could have emigrated to, why the heck couldn't they have picked Florida?!

These are the socks that I was working on in our dreary March. I finally finished them up. Or almost anyway. I still have the toe to stitch shut on the second sock. While it is a lovely soft yarn (KnitPicks Pebble, which I don't think is available this year) I was finding the colours of it to be too reminiscent of my back yard. It was just too drab! So I set them aside to do something much more colourful.




And this is what I picked! Opal Zircus in colourway 2000. It doesn't get much cheerier than this! I have no idea what I will wear these socks with, but the yarn was just too cute to resist. The little flecks look like confetti on your sock. I am almost done these, but my knitting is taking a back seat to the row counter production right now. About the most I have gotten knit is a pair of socks that I use for my pictures that I post on Etsy. When I list a new counter I will include a picture of it on a project so people can get a better idea of how it works. I knit one on, and then I knit it off after the picture is taken. So that has been the extent of my knitting in the last while - one row for every row counter listed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Addendum for the Contest

It seems I still have a lot to learn about blogging. Or more specifically, contests on a blog. So here is your new assignment... name this row counter:




The assignment, should you chose to accept it, requires you to name the above row counter that I will then put up on my Etsy site. Bonus points will be given if you can think outside the box and come up with lots of different names for other colours of row counters. Just post your row counter names in the comments section.

The winner will receive a row counter in their choice of colour. You have until Sunday midnight (or Monday morning when I get up - which is early) to get creative. Judging will be completely subjective. Make the names sweet, descriptive or witty - it doesn't matter. I would like to use the names for counters that I make in the future.

If you don't have a link remember to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win!

Happy Earth Day!

It started like any other school day morning. Christopher woke me up way too early. Katie would only eat a yoghurt tube and cheese string for breakfast. And we had the usually panic about getting all the field trip forms signed and packed properly in the back packs. I laid out their clothes and finally got myself a cup of coffee. Then Katie came out of her room dressed. What? Those aren't the clothes that I left out! I had forgotten that in honour of Earth Day the kids were supposed to wear green or blue so Katie took it upon herself to find a different ensemble to mark the occassion.
My first reaction was to tell her to go back and change immediately into the clothes that I had already picked out. And then I really took another look at her and started to giggle. The birth of a new Earth Mother! I especially like how she picked tights and socks to continue the earth theme!

So nasty mother that I am I grabbed my camera and made her pose outside (which was really mean as it was a very cold -9 celcius out). Then happily sent her off to school.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Help Me Name My Row Counters!

As I mentioned on Saturday's post I need some help naming my counters. You have until next Sunday to come up with some great ideas for a chance to win a free row counter. I have decided, though, that instead of just me picking a winner that it will be a joint effort between the kids and me.

As an example of my desperate need, I ended up naming two different row counters the same thing on items I listed last night. And I just started this! Can you imagine what it will be like over time? Row Counter #642, Row Counter #643...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So Much For the Peace and Quiet

Well, they are back.
Ten minutes after they were back I was trying to send Christopher and Katie back to Poppa's. They wouldn't go.
Darn.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

She Works Hard For the Money...

It's only 8:05 pm and I am dead tired. I should be full of energy since I now have had over 24 hours of peace and quiet. Dallas loaded up the kids and took them to his dad's to help him open the cottage which is 2 1/2 hours away. But Etsy is starting to control my life. It has been less than a week since I opened my shop and I am having trouble keeping up. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. I never would have thought that my row counters would sell like they have. I finished three more up this morning and the first one sold before I had finished listing the second. The second one sold about 15 minutes later.

But now everything hurts. Sitting on your butt for that long is really a work out!

Etsy also seems to have a mind of it's own. As I was trying to list another counter this evening I kept getting an error message that the title contained illegal characters. Uh? What is all that about? The title was basically the same as all my other listings. Slowly it dawned on me. The illegal character was the name I had chosen - Cherry Pie. I continued on trying different combinations but the same error message kept appearing. In an act of desperation I retyped the exact same thing that I had entered the first time but this time Etsy let me continue on. Did Etsy hear me swearing at them?

So I need some help. I need a stash of creative names for my row counters. It can be something to do with a colour, a charm, or any other thing that is cute and catchy. At the end of the week I will send a row counter to the person who comes up with the one I like the best. So put on your thinking caps and on Sunday, April 27 I will post a winner.

edited on Sunday, April 20 to add:
I have fixed the comments page to allow anyone to post. Never realized that the default was to allow only registered users. Thanks for pointing that out, Elizabeth!

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Life is a Circus – ‘Cause the Phone Told Me So

Some days you can’t hear yourself think around here. No one knows what a whisper is. Dallas, love of my life that he is, loves sci-fi and shoot-em-up movies. Loud. So I am either hearing guns and car chases or lasers and “Luke, I am your father…” Sometimes even at the same time as he is typically male and can’t keep his finger off the remote control. The kids can’t just fight with each other like normal kids. They have to scream at each other. It usually also involves squeals of pain as they are in this phase where they have to physically hurt each other. At least I hope it’s a phase. And the shelties are… well, shelties like to “talk.” And if there is nothing happening for them to bark at (the squirrel ran through our yard, the mail man delivered a letter, a leaf dropped on a lush lawn three blocks away) they will talk to each other. Just for the shear joy of hearing their own voices.

So I escape downstairs to my beading, hoping that no one will follow me. Na├»ve, I know. Then the phone rings. The kids still haven’t figured out how to answer a phone, Dallas can’t hear it over the tv, and someone has moved the portable phone so that I have to hunt to find it. Meanwhile, Mikki and Kai think that I am hard of hearing (after all this I will be) and have to tell me that the phone is ringing. But the joke is on me. Dallas has programmed my phone to play circus music.

So it’s official.

Waiting at the gate for a reason to bark.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blogging on the Brain (or So Little Sleep, Too Much to Blog)

No one told me how tiring this blogging thing would be. I tossed and turned and turned and tossed for close to a couple of hours after going to bed last night. My mind was whirling about, trying to come up with ideas for what to write about. Let's see... Both the dogs need a bath and their nails done - nope, too boring. The kids are driving me crazy - nope, that's normal for around here. My Impatiens seedlings are over-running the plant/grooming room - again too boring. After all, plants just sit there, don't they? Although it could make a neat picture.
Okay, maybe not. But it took me so long to get that picture in here that it's staying.

And this is what has been keeping me from much needed grooming of the shelties:

My daughter, Katie, is some ticked at me. We recently renovated the basement (okay, so we still haven't done all the finishing and if it goes the way most things do around here it never will be) to make it more kid friendly. At the ages of 9 and 7 my husband and I (the kids, that is. Not my husband and I. We are actually 31 and 29 *wink*) figured that it was time to kick the kids out of the upstairs family room and hide them in the basement. The place in the picture was supposed to be a craft area. Katie LOVED it. She could finally do all her handiwork and not have to worry about me nagging her to get it off the kitchen table. But then I took it over with all my beads. It doesn't help that she would dearly love to get into my stuff. However, she knows better since the penalty would be death. So far it has kept her out. But sometimes I think Katie has a death wish.

This is the latest row marker I have made that will go on Etsy shortly. I'm calling it "An Evening at the Opera." I was going to call it "A Night at the Opera" but then I had this vision of the Marx brothers smacking each other up side the head with my row counters. Hardly the refined image that I had in mind. Or maybe I will call it "Black Tie Affair." Ooooohhhh, elegant and sexy! *insert shameless promotion here* I guess you will have to check it out on Etsy to find out what I will call it.

And to keep the knitting theme... Before buying sock yarn I will often go out hunting on the net to find pictures of yarn I am considering. I like to see what it looks like knitted up. So I guess I can do my small part and post pictures of my finished socks with their brand and colourway. Here is Trekking 159. There is a whole long story about how these socks finally came to be. My sister has it up on her blog, Doglover's Yarn. And no, we do not have any green leaves yet. We dumped the fake tree out in the yard while renovating so that we could at least see a little green.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Knit, Therefore I Blog?

Am I the only knitter that doesn't have a blog? I'm sure that there are others out there, but we must surely be in the minority. I read somewhere that the number one use of the internet is for porn, followed by genealogy. My guess is that knitting would be number three. Okay, so the porn doesn't interest me so much. Afterall, I have a messy husband (bless his soul! It's probably why we get along so well), two incredibly messy kids (they got that from their dad - it couldn't possibly be from me), and two messy dogs. Who has the energy for porn?? I actually do genealogy and have had a web site for that for years, but unless you actually have a connection to my family it wouldn't really be of much interest. That leaves knitting. So here we go...

The thought about setting up a blog has been rumbling around in my head for awhile now. Coming up with a good name has been a major stumbling block. Sometimes all forms of witty creativity are completely absent from my brain. I have enough trouble remembering that one kid likes baloney with ketchup and the other likes ham with mustard. Heaven forbid should I get my condiments mixed up. But then March rolled around. It was a dull, dreary, cold March. And dirty. VERY dirty. The melt was slow which means my backyard was muddy for ages. After the third day of wiping up muddy paw prints every time the dogs went outside, talking myself hoarse reminding the kids that muddy boots should be left outside, and moving my husband's shoes off the carpeted steps and onto the mud tray, I gave up and resigned myself to living with
muddy paw prints for the next while. Out of resignation a blog name was born.

But now what do I write about? I'm boring. My life is dull. Not that I am complaining. I like it this way. But even my knitting is boring. I knit socks. I knit socks in stockinette stitch. The most elaborate that I have gotten was to alternate rows of ribbing for a few inches on a pair of socks. I draw the boring line at single colour socks, though. We all have to have our limits.

However, I have to go now. It rained yesterday and I still have muddy paw prints on my floor that I have to clean up.