Sunday, September 28, 2008

Computer Malfunction and Back To Work Monday

Two bad news items! My computer bit the dust on Friday. I'm back on line after purchasing a replacement. I'm ticked that all the programs I bought and paid for on the old 'puter couldn't be moved over to the new one. I took the old laptop to the Geek Squad. They moved my files, so I was able to save a boatload of patterns that I paid for and downloaded. They saved my photos too. I'm glad about that. But why couldn't they move Microsoft Office over, when I paid for that, too? Well, I'm not paying for it again. I downloaded Open Office for free from the internet. It opens Office documents, spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations. Check here if you're interested in downloading: http://www.openoffice.org/

I'm back to work tomorrow - wish me luck. I haven't been in touch with them very much, except to keep them apprised of my expected return to work date. I guess it wasn't very nice, but I specifically asked my boss not to call me at home. Last time I was out, I kept getting phone calls - "Where do I find..." "How do I..." Sorry, but I'm not on call 24/7! Physical therapy tomorrow as well. It will indeed be a busy day.

I've been busy, too, working on another Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness afghan. I bought some Caron one-pounders in a pretty rose shade, and I have a little more than 4 out of the 5 panels finished. I will post photos when it's done.

Crochetville announced an ornament exchange, and I signed up. My swap partner sent me a lovely pair of cat ornaments, along with a hand-crocheted gift bag, a little doll-sized round ripple, a great coffee cozy with the Pink Ribbon on it, a pen shaped like a lipstick and a crocheted gift bag to hold it all. Here's a photo:


Didn't she do a great job on everything? I can't wait for Christmas! I love handmade ornaments! I'll post photos of my ornaments for my partner, once I hear she has received them. I should be able to mail this week. In the photo you can see the Pink Ribbon afghan, serving as a background to my new ornaments!

I guess that's all I have for now. Have a good night, all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Surprise Trip to Amish Country

We took a surprise overnight trip to the Lancaster area. DH and I started out Monday morning for a day trip to the Rockvale Outlet stores in Lancaster. I went in search of new dinnerware. I had a Corelle pattern in mind, and there is an outlet store there. I had hoped to get a good deal. I did pick out a nice pattern called Cherry Blossom, but it wasn't a deal. It was pretty much the same price in the outlet store as you can find it online at Amazon. We went to a few other stores in the center - one of those was the Carter baby outlet. I picked up a handful of items for our yet-to-be-born grandson. I couldn't resist it. We visited the Vanity Fair store and a couple of other little stores. Let me tell you, I was quite achy after all that shopping. My knee was swollen and my back hurt! Wayne suggested that we find a place to stay and go home the following day. It sounded like a good idea to me. We stopped in a meat market on Tuesday morning and I bought homemade vegetable sausage, some ham hocks for soup, homemade bacon, smoked kielbasa, baked beans and one or two other items.

DS Tom's birthday was yesterday. He's 22. My baby is 22...where is the time going? He's such a good kid!

Well, it's a little early in the morning for posting, but the 4-legged "boys" woke me up this morning. They ate their breakfast and now they are all curled up again, going back to sleep. Maybe I will try to catch a little shut-eye again before having to head out for physical therapy. Sounds like a plan.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Update on Funky Round Ripple

Updated photo:

As you can see, that little blanket is lying much flatter since it's been washed. The problem is definitely in the combination of yarns I'm using. I think I'll finish this off and give it to my friend to give to her granddaughter as a doll blanket. I don't know why I didn't pick up on the differences earlier. But the blanket tends to pull in wherever the yellow and multicolored yarns are coming in. They are thinner yarns and therefore the stitches must be smaller. I might be able to use these yarns, with a larger hook for the colored yarns than the size G hook I'm using for the white.

It's a nice day out. My little min-pin buddy is curled up alongside me right now. What a good friend he is!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wedding Anniversary

Today is the 28th anniversary for DH and me. I got a surprise text message from him this morning saying "Happy Anniversary". For my husband to go to the trouble of texting (he's somewhat technologically challenged), it's as good as if he'd spent hours in the store picking out a Hallmark card!

It's a beautiful sunny day out, but very warm. DS Tom and I had Chinese food for lunch. No special plans for the day, except some laundry and other household chores. Fun, fun, fun!

I've taken a second crack at a round ripple afghan for the NICU unit. I was so upset with the first attempt that I tossed the 12 completed rows in the garbage! I know it's wasteful, but I was really upset with it. I've made a number of these round ripples as you can see in my album slideshows, but for some reason this one is giving me a handful of problems! It doesn't seem to want to lie flat at all. Attached is a photo of the current attempt. Again, the same problem. I'm wondering if the yarns aren't compatible - one thicker than the other. They are both worsted weight, but I can feel a difference when crocheting with them. Perhaps the thinner-feeling yarn is working up too tightly and making the outer rows too tight. I've stopped working on this second attempt, and I'm going to wash it to see what happens to it. Perhaps if it softens up, it will lie flatter.

I'll update when it's washed. Maybe if it doesn't fix the problem, I'll just keep going with it and use it as a cozy for my coffee maker! LOL! Sorry it's not a very good photo.

UPDATE: Hubby returned from work and brought me a very pretty flower arrangement - pretty orange lilies, daisy mums and baby's breath. Gorgeous!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Musings on a Rainy Friday

This is the kind of weather I like - it's a nice steady light rain out right now. My windows are open (at least on the side of the house where the rain won't come in!) and it's such a lovely cool breeze blowing through. This is perfect. I enjoy days like this, as well as those lovely summer days when it's not too hot, the sun is bright, the sky is blue and scattered with clouds. Fall days, with the rich colors of the changing leaves, are also quite enjoyable.

My son brought home some ultrasound photos of his baby. I'm amazed at the clarity of the pictures they take now. You can almost see his little face as if it were an actual photograph. I remember looking at ultrasounds of my son and not knowing which direction to hold it in ("This is a baby? Are we looking at it right?") LOL! I can't help but think that my son and his girlfriend will have a difficult road ahead of them - child-rearing isn't easy. But I'm looking forward to a new little angel in the family. It wasn't easy for me or my husband when we started out, but we had 3 years as a married couple to get ready for a family. You always want things to be better for your kids than they were for you. I just want them to know that we will be there for them.

I watched the movie "The Bucket List" yesterday. I thought it was very good, and found the ending to be sad and happy at the same time. I'm not a Jack Nicholson fan, but I do enjoy the work of Morgan Freeman. However, I even liked Jack in this film. No spoilers, but I recommend renting this movie. Also saw another of my favorites yesterday - "Defending Your Life". I love movies with happy endings - the kind that bring tears to your eyes.

I have about two more weeks before I have to return to work. Enough time for a few more crochet projects. I ordered a quilt kit - the kind you embroider following a stamped pattern - for the new baby. I'll take it to work with me and leave it there, to work on daily at lunch time.

I was awake most of the night with severe acid reflux (ugh!). Long about 3 a.m., there were sirens going off very close by, so I looked out the window to see if I could see anything. There were flashing lights at the bottom of the hill - the small strip mall down the road from us was burning down. I didn't find out until 6 this morning exactly what all the commotion was about. I think the news report said that 7 stores suffered extensive damage. Our favorite pizza shop, Amato's, is completely gutted. I'll miss it. I hope that everyone was insured.

Well, I think I'll get back to crochet and have a cup of coffee. Enjoy your evening, everyone!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Evening and a New Round Ripple Project

Yaaaaaayy! We have some siding on our house. The guy didn't make it here yesterday, with the heavy rain and wind we had. But he did get here today and has some of the siding on the back of the house. It looks very good. The house had pale yellow aluminum siding before. We are having a light green vinyl siding put on this time. We've owned the house for 27 years. It was time for a change! It was hard to pick a new color. We just kind of took a look up and down our street. Most homes are gray or white, so we decided to go with either pale blue or green. There were more blue homes than green, so we chose green. I guess that's a silly way to choose siding! But it looks good.

Wayne didn't have a very productive day yesterday in Dutch Springs - they were all rained out around 3:00 pm. He was working with a couple of novice divers today. One of them was the daughter of an experienced diver, and Wayne said it was obvious that the girl really didn't want to be there. It's a shame. I know how she feels though. I would not be a happy camper if I was expected to take the same interest in scuba diving as DH does. It's just not my thing. I like to stay above water, thanks! Snorkeling is about as adventurous as I get. Although...on one cruise we did, I did try the BOB excursion in St. Thomas. They don't call it the BOB anymore (Breathing Observation Bubble). It's now call Boss - Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter. It's basically riding a motorized scooter underwater with a helmet filled with air over your head. I did enjoy that excursion. The worst part was that you needed to go completely underwater in order to put your head inside the helmet. Once inside, you could breathe unrestricted, and you could talk if you wanted to. I still can't believe I did that one! But scuba - Uh-uh! I don't think so.

I started a new pink and white round ripple baby afghan which will go to the NICU unit. Photo to follow when I get a little farther into it.

Here's a photo of hubby underwater:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Finished Baby Sweater

Today was a rainy and windy day! Hurricane Hanna's kiss for the Delaware Valley. The rain started about 1:00 and steadily increased throughout the afternoon, along with the winds. It seems to have stopped now. I do hope that the rain will bring back the grass and the trees - everything's been looking a little brown.

The baby sweater is finished. It turned out really well. I think my brother will be pleased with it, as he would like to give it to a co-worker later this month.

Anyway, here is a photo of the baby sweater:



I'm happy with the way it turned out and it was a fairly easy pattern to work. I might make another to put away for the Grange Fair next year.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Good News

We had a scare - DH went for his annual physical recently, and they ordered a stress test. The results of that stress test said that his heart was not functioning at full strength. We were very worried due to the fact that his family has a history of heart disease. The doctor ordered an echocardiogram and called yesterday with the results. Upon reviewing both test results, they feel that the original stress test was inaccurate. His heart is indeed functioning as it should. Thank God!

The guy we hired to put siding on the house was finally here to work on it today. He made good progress in the back of the house. He promises to return on Saturday, rain or shine. It will probably be rain, as the weatherman says that Hurricane Hannah will be working its way up the east coast this weekend. If that's the case, the siding guy will be working in the carport where it's dry. It may put a damper on Wayne's scuba diving this weekend. They are calling for thunderstorms in the Bethlehem PA area on Saturday.

I did not make the progress I anticipated on the baby sweater. It's okay, though. It isn't a priority project. My brother would like it to present to a coworker who will be having a baby boy later this month. So I've got plenty of time to finish it up.

I received an order I placed with Elann for yarn. I was reading a post on crochetville wherein someone mentioned looking for a cover - sort of a sock - for someone who has lost a limb. Another poster answered that an item like that would probably have to be customized for size. It made me wonder if there is an elastic yarn on the market that would work, and from there my mind wandered to the possibility of a good stretchy yarn which would be suitable for wearables. I found a nice elastic yarn on Elann called Esprit. It came in a decent selection of colors. I ordered some to see if it would be suitable for a baby sweater or other wearable. It arrived today and I'm anxious to try out a pattern to see how it works. I must finish up the baby sweater in progress though. Discipline, discipline, discipline. No UFO's!

(Don't tell anyone but I worked up a little swatch with the new yarn - it was very easy to work with!) I must restrain myself...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Holiday - Labor Day 2008

I can't believe the summer has reached its end. The kids are going back to school, the weather will be turning cool and crisp and the leaves will be falling soon.

Early autumn is one of my favorite seasons (spring is my very favorite season). I love the rich reds, greens, golds and browns in the trees and the cool mornings and evenings. Now that my knee has been replaced I hope to be able to get out and take advantage of the nicer weather to get some walking in. It will take some time yet, as I'm not able to stay on my feet for too long, and need more therapy to strengthen the muscles supporting the knee.

I'm visiting with my sister at her home in South Jersey and it was a looooooong ride down! I did bring my project with me to work on. My youngest brother was good enough to drive. We always have a good time when we get together. My brother is very clever and funny and a lot of laughs!

We took a short ride to Cape May Wicker today and I picked up a few holiday items. They have some nice things at reasonable prices there. I got a cute wall hanging for my cubicle for October. They had some nice little standing geese decorated for Christmas as well - I got one of those to add to my Christmas decorations. I found some small wooden Santa and snowman face ornaments at 39 cents each! They're just what I need for my tree this year.

Updating this post with a photo of my work in process - the baby sweater now has one sleeve completed. I should be able to complete it by Tuesday night.