Wednesday, January 31, 2007

SP9 wound up.

When I got home monday, and after the desire to kill my husband for not taking my daughter to the doctor subsided, I got to open my final SP9 package!! It arrived that afternoon- perfect timing!

Here is what I found in the package:
Twizzlers!! I've already had a handful of them, and boy are they good! It's my usual movie treat, or vacation treat. It's so much fun to have them when I'm neither at a movie or on vacation. ;) Plus a notebook, which I'll either use to keep track of patterns/stash that I have/want to make, or use as a knitting journal. Not sure which yet. Then, there is the yummy purple handpainted yarn, which I am so in love with. I can't wait to ball it up, and use it! She also sent me a sock pattern that I love! I bought it for a swap gift, and wanted to buy 2 but they only had I bought it for the swap pal. Now i have my own copy! Yay!

Thanks so much Penny for being such a fantastic pal! I can't wait to get to know you now that I know who you are!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What happens in Vegas...

...stays in Vegas! Or so the commercial says. Thankfully I can't keep my mouth shut about the fun I had, so I'm going to tell you all about it! First, let me say that Las Vegas is an amazing city!! I had so much fun, my head is still spinning. When my dad told me I wouldn't get much sleep, I laughed and said I would be in bed before midnight every night and sleep in. HA!! Let's just say it was about 4 hours of sleep each night. Maybe.

Friday: I got up early and headed over to the airport. My Southwest flight left right on time, and actually ended up getting in like 35 minutes early! I got off the plane, headed to the restroom and went to find my luggage. About 2 minutes after I got my luggage, in walked my ride- Nicol!! We got to the car and decided to head over to Paris for lunch. After we had crepes (I had ham and cheese with a cream sauce, and then peanut butter, banana with caramel and cream), we walked one way up towards the Venetian, Mirage, and several other hotels. All I can say is that the strip is amazing!! I love that you can walk around with open containers, and that there are people on the streets handing out directories and cards with strippers/hookers info on it. Only in Vegas!! After we wandered around a bit, it was time to head back to the hotel and find my family. Their flight got in at 4. Nicol took me into the hotel, and we parted ways. It was SO awesome to actually meet her in person. There is nothing like seeing a city through the eyes of someone who has lived there for a while. And she's just such a great gal! Thanks for the great day Nicol!! I only wish we had more time together!
Here's Bellagio!
Around 4:45 my family walked in! I realized then that one of my cousins had gotten in at 1 too, and had been playing the slots while I was on the couch waiting. I thought I had seen her, but it had been a few years so I wasn't sure. Anyway, we got checked in and went up to our rooms. On the 28th floor, and I had a fantastic view of Ceasars Palace. After everyone got freshened up, we went to play a few slots, and met up with everyone downstairs. After a cocktail at a piano bar, we went to the sports bar and found out that if you play video poker at the bar, you get free drinks. No brainer! And the bartender was WAY better. Talk about a smooth cosmo! After a bit, we met up and went to the Buffet for dinner. Let me tell you how good the lamb chops were. And the veggies, pasta and desserts! It was SO good!! Then we played a bit more, found a $5 blackjack table, lost a little (but not too bad, I mostly broke even there), and some slots, some more cocktails, and all of a sudden it was 12:30! We met in the lobby shortly after to discuss plans for the following morning. So the whole purpose of this trip was a celebration of my aunt Debbie's 10 year survival with breast cancer. It turned out a few weeks ago that she needed some surgery and had to back out. We were waiting on the last person when my dad went outside for some air. I called him when the last person came, and he walked in a few minutes later with my aunt!! Apparently she had some tests that morning and the doc cleared her to go!! It was really a huge surprise and we were all so excited! I went to bed around 2

Saturday: and was up at 6. I got dressed and headed down for slots so I could get some coffee. I found my dad, and we wandered around a bit. We met up wtih everyone else around 8:45, and headed over to Ceasars Palace, where there was a Deli. After a great breakfast (Salami and Eggs with a potato pancake...YUMMY!!), we did a little bit of shopping. Apparently my cousins had all brought dresses for going to see O, and I had cords and a jacket. So, I figured if I found a dress quickly, I'd grab one. I walked into Ann Taylor and 2 minutes later bought the dress (actually, my dad bought it for me). It was pretty, brown with ivory spots on it, perfect for the show! Then we got back to Bellagio, and headed over to MGM Grand.

After walking around a little bit, my cousins and I headed over to NY,NY to go on the roller coaster! It was really amazing, and absolutely worth the 12.50!

We walked around a bit more, and headed back to the hotel for a quick lunch at the Cafe Bellagio before our pedicure appointments (all of us got them done!). There was a little issue with my cousin's flight out of Rochester, she missed her connection. So she was on a standby for another flight, and was like #10- and she did make the flight that got in at 2, so she walked in right before we went back for the appointments. We ordered cocktails, and relaxed while we were pampered. Then, we went up to my cousins room and relaxed a bit before getting dressed for dinner. My cousin Hope wanted to do my hair and makeup, so she did, and it looked great! Unfortunately I don't have a picture of me all dressed up... Hopefully I'll get a copy from someone. 1 more cocktail before the show, which was awesome! I highly recommend seeing O if you are in Vegas. The show is just fantastic, and we were all blown away. Just make sure you have some coffee first, after a bit the music was a little slow and I was half asleep for the last 2 songs. Oops! After the show, we headed to Jasmine, a chineese restaruant at Bellagio. The food was incredible, and we were able to see the Bellagio fountains from our table. Very cool!! After that, I changed and went down to play a few more slots before bed. My cousins went up to the club Light, but I was too tired and went to bed early.

Sunday: I got up at 6:15 and ordered room service. Coffee and banana walnut bread and a bear claw. YUMMY!! I showered, got dressed and was completely refreshed when I headed down to play some more. I started out on a nickel slot. My third pull, I won about $120. I cashed out and put in another 10. When I turned that into $40, I stopped on that machine. I then decided to try the texas hold-em game against the dealer, and I lost a bit there. Then I found another machine, was winning about 40, and got a call from my dad saying to meet my uncle and cousins in the lobby to head to the old strip. We started at Binions, had breakfast and played a bit. I headed straight for the poker room and got a spot at a $2-4 table of texas hold-em'. I plopped down 100, and lost most of it, but it was the best hundred bucks I"ve spent in a long time. I had so much fun!!! Then my cousins and I wandered across the street to Golden Nugget, played some blackjack, and then headed out for a walk. After some Gelato, we spotted a tattoo parlor. Here's where it gets good! When we were chatting the first night, someone mentioned that we should all get a tattoo in my aunt's honor. We talked about getting a letter J, made of a curly pink ribbon. The artist at this place said it would cost a lot more if we did color like that, and showed us her book of fonts. We picked a pretty, curly J, and all got one done in black. Mine is on my lower back, and I LOVE IT!! I called my husband about 5 minutes before I was going to get it done, to let him know. Thankfully he doesn't like them much, but he wasn't going to be upset with me for doing it. Here's me in the chair!
And all of us:

After that, we headed back to the hotel and changed for dinner. I played some more slots and wandered a bit. After a cocktail I went over and found my family and headed out to Del Frisco's. Dinner was fabulous, the wine was yummy, and we had such a great time. After we got back, we headed over to Mandalay Bay for some more slots and gaming. We played some roulette, which was fun. I lost, then won a little back. After wandering some more, we decided to go to the Burlesque bar there. Unfortunately the show didn't start for another hour and a half, so we didn't see it. Just had a drink and chatted. Then we met up with everyone else and headed back to the Bellagio. Some of us had dessert at the Cafe Bellagio, and I headed up to bed shortly after. I had to get up at 5 to get to the airport in plenty of time.

Unfortunately I overslept a little. I set both alarms wrong (not sure how I did that one!), and thankfully was only up 15 minutes late. On my way down I ran into cousins Lauren and Dave (Lauren's hubby), and Melissa. All had stayed up all night. I found Hope and we shared a cab to the airport. After some breakfast, her flight was boarding so I headed down to my gate. My flight was on time, and I got my aisle seat with no problem. I got in a little early, headed to get my luggage, to my car and drove home. I was SO glad to get home! I missed Nathan and Celia a lot, and couldn't wait to see her sweet little face. I walked in the door with food (he called it in and I picked it up), and she ran up the stairs when she heard that I had her food. Then I saw her face. Nathan had mentioned that she had a little spill and fell and had a cut on her nose. But he didn't say it was as bad as it is!! I was ready to kill him for not preparing me better, and for not taking her to the doctor. Thankfully she wasn't in any pain, it just looks really bad. Anyway, she was happy to see me and missed me a lot. Nathan got her to bed and I just relaxed and watched TV.

She went to the doctor this morning and thank goodness her nose is fine. Nothing appears broken, so I'm really relieved! Wouldn't you be upset if you walked in and saw this first thing?? Not that it happened, but that he said it was a little scratch on her nose. I'm just really glad that she's not really hurt.

Now I'm on to catching up on sleep. I'm still completely exhausted!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

1 more day!!

In just 24 hours, I'll be waiting in the airport for my plane to arrive! I am meeting up with my dad's side of the family in Las Vegas for the weekend! I'm really excited, and can't wait to see what it's all about! I even get to meet one of my fellow co-hostesses of SP9, Nicol! It's about a 5 and a half hour flight there, so I'll have lots of knitting time, and I've somehow managed not to listen to any of the knitting podcasts that have come out in the last two weeks- I'm saving up for the plane! 4 days of peace and quiet, without my husband and daughter. Whatever will I do with myself?! I'm going to have a BLAST!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dyeing 101

This past Saturday, I drove out to Baltimore to the studio of MamaE for a class on dyeing! I was excited about it the second I signed up, and let me tell you- I was NOT disappointed!! The ladies in the class were all awesome, and we all had a blast!
First, we started off using Kool Aid to dye with. Here's me painting my first skein. I used Iced blue raspberry and grape. It really smelled good in the studio after we broke into the koolaid! It really reminded me of my childhood.

Then, we used Wilton dyes, which I had tried before. I did 2 skeins using this stuff, one in burgandy and blue, and the other in violet and black. It was funky when I was squirting the color on- the black actually broke to green, and halo'd it. When it came out of the microwave, it was more eggplant than black, but I really love how it came out!!

After that, we had an amazing lunch, all catered by MamaE's wonderful husband D- Thanks again! The food and wine were awesome! After lunch, we went back up and started using the Acid dyes. This was my favorite part! The colors are pretty true to what they're supposed to be. It's a little more predictable, and I had a blast playing with them. I did 4 bumps of roving (from Crown Mountain Farms), and 3 skeins of sock yarn. I am in love with them all! It was so hard to decide which to skein up, wind to a ball and use first. It ended up being the turquoise, navy and lilac, and I started a sock wtih it the other night at Knit nite over in Columbia.

If anyone wants to really learn how to dye, I highly recommend MamaE's class! She's a truly wonderful teacher, and made the class what we needed it to be. Couldn't ask for a better way to spend a Saturday! the other pics are still on the camera and the cleaning ladies were here today so I can't find my cable...I'll upload later!

Friday, January 19, 2007


I thought I'd finally post a pic of the squirrel damage...
Here you go!

1st hole:

2nd hole:
And these aren't even as bad as the third, which I don't have a picture of. We called a wildlife trapping service, who will come in and trap the hungry squirrels, and remove them to a place where they won't eat our house anymore.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

stash enhancements

Well! I just realized that I never posted about my christmas gifts, and other enhancements I've made recently!

First- Christmas gifts:
My mom (who is also a knitter) sent me a ballwinder and wood swift!! I knew what it was, and had been tortured not to open the boxes, but I waited a whole week past christmas so I could open it when my mom was down visiting. She also sent me my favorite Origins hand cream- it is one of the only ones that helps my cracked hands in the winter. Thanks Mom!!

My husband, I mean daughter, got me the KnitPicks Options needle set! I was beyond excited, because my husband swore he was not going to get me anything knitting related. He didn' daughter did! Yay!

My mother-in-law sent me a great project knitting bag. It's got a huge compartment for several projects, and pockets with gromits on the top to put yarn in so you can knit while the yarn is in the pocket. Way cool!!

My father, sent me cash. Which immediately went to Crownmountain farms and Bonkers Fiber. Both boxes arrived before Christmas! Yay!

I've been really good about not buying any yarn lately, because I'm saving my cash for my trip to Las Vegas in just over a week. I did, however, buy a membership to the STR sock club. And when I was in Buffalo this weekend, I had to go to Have Ewe Any Wool? and pick up some Encore worsted weight for an afghan I want to start soon. Other than that, I've been incredibly well behaved. I really have wanted to hit Woolwinders because they are having a great sale this month, but I've managed to stay away.

More on my trip to Buffalo, and miscellaneous other things in my next post!

Friday, January 12, 2007

when it pours.

First estimate...was for $29,000. Thank goodness we got a second estimate! A similar product (thought not quite as nice as the first), will be $17,200. Sold! All we have to do is get it approved by the HOA, and then we'll be set to start.

Last night on my way to my SnB, I noticed a rattling sound in my car. Now, it's only a 2002, and it's in pretty good shape so it surprised me a bit. I took it to a dealer this morning, so we'll see how it goes. I'm hoping it's under the warrenty. Cross fingers please!

And of course, my car is in the shop on the day we leave to head up to Buffalo. So now we'll have to driv eup there in Nathan's little civic. It's a great car, but it doesn't quite have the room as my CR-V. I'm going to take the afternoon off, and take a nap. Hopefully this will help my mood a bit because right now I'm just bummed.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I really dislike giant squirrels...

So, I'm home. I just finished my Panang beef from Tara Thai, we went there on Saturday and I enjoyed the leftovers as much as the originals. YUM!

I'm waiting for Nathan to get home so we can attempt to fix the siding where the Gianormous squirrel ate a hole through our siding. I'll post a pic later- it's a big hole! He actually thought he was going to do it himself, while I was at work. NO WAY! If he fell, he'd be laying on the ground for hours before anyone noticed. And he doesn't like heights, which makes it even worse for him. Thankfully, it should be fixed by tonight.

We're having the first of 2 estimates come through for the replacement of the siding. It's a quiet season here, so they can get us in pretty much immediately if we decide to do it. Honestly though, we'll probably wait a bit, and let the sticker shock of how much it's really going to cost us sink in. I have no idea...could be anywhere form 10K to 25K. If it's more than that, I'm running away form home. ;) Any guesses???

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy New Year!

Only a week late...but Happy New Years to all of you!! I hope you had a great holiday! Mine was nice and low key- we hung out at home, played Monopoly (got my butt kicked), and were in bed by 10:30. It was really a perfect night!

Here are my New Years Resolutions:
1. Eat healthier- lose weight....which will hopefully lead to me getting pregnant. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!
2. Take 1 night for myself a week. I told Nathan when he started his second job that I wanted 1 night a week. He agreed, but it's just a matter of me actually taking it. And I will now! I actually went to my SnB this week, and I plan to go next week too!
3. Be neater- I have a tendancy to let the house get cluttered up really badly. No more!
4. Spend less money. This does include on yarn- while I'm not going to join the "Knit from your stash 2007" thing, I do plan to try to use what I have. This should leave me with lots of play money for MS&W and Stitches East.
5. Explore more! We've been living in the DC area for nearly 5 years, and we hardly get into DC or Baltimore. I want to start seeing more, and doing more. Especially now that Celia is old enough to really enjoy things like the Zoo, and the Aquarium.
6. Eat out less. I love food, and love to cook. But I get lazy and we end up eating out a lot, and we end up spending way too much. Kids meals are cheap, but they certainly aren't free!

As for knitting:
1. Complete a lace shawl
2. Make at least 6 pairs of socks
3. Make an afghan
4. Get better at with my wheel more (as soon as I can find that lazy kate with my extra bobbins! It's here somewhere!)

I leave you with a few pics of WIPs form the last few months.
Here is Celia in her legwarmers!! Too cute, and she loves them!

And here is the scarf I made for her teacher. I made an identical one for my SIL, which I forgot to take a pic of first. Both were out of Brooks Farm FourPlay. Pattern is feather and fan.