Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PHILLIES - WORLD SERIES CHAMPS!

Oh, how I wish my Dad were here to see this! He was such a devoted fan - or should I say "Phan". He followed them through high and low and I'm sure he's been whispering in the manager's ear! Game 5 was certain a strange one, with a 46-hour rain delay. I can't express how happy I am that they were able to win this one at home. Kudos to Jamie Moyer for helping to lift the team to a world championship at the age of 46. Very happy for Pat Burrell, who has had his ups and downs and deserves to feel like a champ! A few firecrackers going off here in the neighborhood - the dogs are going crazy! I couldn't help but cheer myself to see the team members rushing onto the field and jumping into a huge pile of jubilant players. I think Lidge and Ruiz were on the bottom of the pile - I hope they're okay! I'm getting a kick out of the kids they are interviewing - they are so ecstatic! Gotta get a championship shirt!

I was hoping to be able to make a trip to the shore to visit with my sister, but still not feeling up to it yet. That lousy bug has still got a stranglehold on us. Wayne broke down and went to the doctor today for medication. I went to physical therapy again, and really took it easy today, doing just a few stretching exercises and some light bike riding. I'm going to try to get another doctor's appointment for myself. DS Tom is doing okay - no relapses for him so far.

Tom may be taking off from school on Tuesday. This will be his first chance to vote in an election and I think he's very anxious!

The 2009 holiday schedule came out at work - time to start planning next year's time off. We get another bonus day because of the fact that New Year's Day is a Thursday. We get Friday off as well. Next year, I think we'll plan some long weekends, instead of a straight 7 day stretch. With 22 vacation days I'll get more "bang for the buck".

I finished a couple of ornaments while the game was on. Just need to tack down the elf's mouth with a bit of hot glue. I think I might also use larger eyes on the snowman.
I may have to order the eyes online. My favorite stores don't seem to carry any doll eyes except wiggle eyes now. I hate wiggle eyes! Good thing there are places online like www.bjcraftsupplies.com for the supplies I need.

Again - WAY TO GO, PHILS!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

At Home in "The Infirmary"


DH Wayne is sick today. Same bug that's made the rounds through the household. He was supposed to work today, but woke up feeling so awful that he said he felt like he'd been run over by a truck. I know how he feels - in fact, I think I used the same phrase myself. This is a wicked malady and I can't wait to see the back of it!

I'm feeling much better myself, even though the fatigue and the cough are hanging on still. I managed to accomplish a few things today. I've made a trip to the grocery store, done a load of dishes, two loads of laundry and made a huge pot of chicken pot pie. This is the soup-type pot pie, similar to that made by the Amish in Lancaster County. It turned out great! I don't know about you, but when I'm under the weather, nothing is as good as homemade chicken soup of any kind! Chicken noodle, chicken rice, chicken pot pie - Yumm! There is plenty of research to show that chicken soup does have some medicinal qualities . How do you like my square bowls? I purchased this set of Corelle and love the square dishes and bowls! They fit so nicely in the cabinet and in the dishwasher.

DS Dan dropped in today, and I didn't invite him to stay too long (bad mom!), but did send him home with some sausage and spaghetti sauce (good mom?). I wish we could have visited with him a while, but I really don't want to take the chance that he would be exposed to this illness and take it home with him. His girlfriend is pregnant and due in January. I'll have to call him later to apologize for not asking him to sit down and talk a while.

The weather is a little funky today. It doesn't seem to know whether it wants to rain or not. We get light mist, light rain, light wind, some sun and start the cycle again. I mentioned to DS Tom as we were driving home from his piano lesson that we won't have the beautiful fall colors this year. The leaves are dropping off before they even have a chance to change completely. I wonder if they'll get game 3 of the Series in tonight in Philly? It's 1-1 so far, but the Phils play on their home field for the next three games. Wouldn't it be great to win the Series on home turf? What a celebration that would be!

DH is watching college football right now, so I think I'll treat myself to some crochet time! I hope to finish the round ripple today, and then get back to making Christmas ornaments. Off to find my "G" hook!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Update on Round Ripple


I've been home from work for the last 3 days - nasty germ bug going around! I'm wondering if it's the flu. It's aggravated my asthma. Medication is helping, so I hope that I can return to work tomorrow. When I'm not sleeping, I'm working on the round ripple I started last week. I love the way it's turning out. I've added several more rounds to it, and want to keep going a bit more until it will fit across the back of a couch. In the photo, it's folded in half and you can see our beagle and a min pin in the photo as well. They love blankets. And yes, I will wash it before gifting the afghan! LOL!

It's been chilly out in the mornings, and it won't be long until we have a good frost, I guess. They are calling for rain this Saturday, which may interfere with the third game of the World Series (Yay Phillies!!). I wanted to see the game on Wednesday, but kept falling asleep. I did wake in time to see the last out and the win for Philadelphia. I hope that this is their year!

DS Tom was inducted into the International English Honor Society (Sigma Tau Delta) yesterday. I wish I could have been there to see it.

On Tuesday, I took the Pink Ribbon Afghan to work in order to arrange it nicely and photograph it. However, I was so sick that I left after about a half-hour at my desk and left the afghan on the chair in my cubicle. I will try to get a better photo of it next week.

Well, time for medicine and a little more crochet. I hope to be able to watch the game tonight. Go Phils!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Round Ripple Started


I got started on a new round ripple afghan. I'm thinking of making it large enough to present to my friend's daughter for a wedding gift. I personally like the color combination. I hope she does. It's made with Bernat Super Value in Natural, Caron One Pounder in Jonquil, and TLC Essentials in Taupe. I may make another just like it for myself once I finish this one.

This afternoon my brother Mike stopped by. He wanted me to go with him to a couple of open houses in the area. He's been renting an apartment for ages, and has decided to take the plunge and purchase a home. He's looking at condos, as he works a 12 hour shift for the county and hasn't got a lot of spare time to mow the lawn, etc. It was a nice afternoon out and I got to spend some time with my baby brother! It's been a while since he stopped by, as he's been working a lot of overtime at his job. I was finally able to send the baby sweater home with him. He had wanted it to give to a friend at work who had a baby boy in September. I washed it the other night, and it was so nice and soft!
After viewing the first open house, we stopped at Wegmans to shop. It's the first time I've been in a Wegmans - WOW! Everything looked so good in their bakery and their cafe area! I couldn't stay too long as I'm still trying to get over the flu bug, but I picked up the essentials for crockpot lasagna and threw that together when I got home. It turned out great! I used the no-boil lasagna noodles, broken up into pieces and they got very tender when cooked on the high setting for 4 hours.

Time to get back to work on the round ripple. They are fun to do!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Me and My Big Mouth!

I was just bragging last week about not having a cold for about 5 years now. Unfortunately, I have the same bug my DS Tom was suffering from last week. I tried to be careful, washing my hands as much as possible, but I caught it anyway. I'm still congested and have a headache this morning. Missed two days from work with it.

We are definitely having fall weather! It's chilly out this morning. The min pins don't stay out too long! It's only 4 am and I've been up for a little while now. I just saw Wayne off - he's heading upstate to his sister's place to do some hunting. I don't know how he does it. He sits for hours in the cold and dark. I was never a winter-time sports fan. My idea of a cold-weather sport is the 3 yard dash to the closet for another comforter for the bed! You can keep your ice-skating and skiing. Brrrrrr!

I finished up the Pink Ribbon afghan I was working on. I washed and dried it and will take it to work on Monday for storage until we are ready for the fundraising auction. Photo attached

I am working on more Christmas ornaments but the animal noses I ordered haven't come in yet. The next project will be another round ripple afghan. I have one here to send to the NICU unit.


Found the cutest little onesie for the anxiously-awaited grandson! I think I'll wrap it up as a gift from his granddad. Wayne's eyes lit up when he saw it! It says "Take me diving or I start wailing!"

I think I'll go warm up my coffee again and watch "Independence Day". I think I've seen it 50 times already, but I can't resist a movie with a happy ending!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Environment

I am fascinated with trains in general, freight trains in particular. My son rides the local passenger line back and forth to school every day. I know that freight trains are the bane of drivers everywhere, especially when you are stuck sitting at a railroad crossing when you wish you were home already. But I savored the time it took this afternoon for a HUGE freight train to cross in front of us, as I was headed home with my son. It's been a long time since I've seen such a long train - easily 160 railroad cars. I was wondering how much more economical, if at all, it is to transport goods via the railways instead of the highways. I'm sure there are varying opinions, but it seems to me that there must be benefits such as less congestion on the highways and savings in fuel and emissions.
According to this article trains carrying double-stacked containers would result in impressive savings in fuel and reduction in carbon emissions.

At this point, I am worried about whether or not our great-grandchildren will have much of an environment when we get through with it. The ice caps are disappearing so fast that polar bears will soon be an endangered species, if they aren't already. Can you honestly watch the Polar Bear SOS commercial and not be moved?

I'm guilty as can be - I drive a gas-guzzling SUV. We purchased it in 2002 when gas prices weren't as frightening. Although I can't afford a new vehicle yet, my plan is to purchase a gas-efficient hybrid vehicle as soon as I am able. In the meantime, I am trying to make a few improvements in my habits, such as running multiple errands when I'm out in the car. If I only need one thing from the store, my son is always willing to walk to the store for me. (Did I tell you what a good kid he is???) I am also choosing reusable shopping bags over paper or plastic. Any plastic bags I do come home with are turned in for recycling at the store. The company I work for is sponsoring a plastic cap recycling program. We all turn in our plastic lids from soda bottles, milk jugs, pill bottles, etc for recycling, and the company uses that recycled plastic to make new bottles for hair care products. The siding we just had installed on the house should help this winter to keep heat in and cold out, allowing us to keep the thermostat lowered. We installed new energy-efficient windows as well.

I am 100% in favor of putting more money into alternative fuels, and less into the pockets of the oil moguls. You can drill all you want - there is probably only enough oil to last us 50 years! And that's at the rate we use it today. Continue putting more trucks and cars on the highways, and building more homes that need to be heated, and see how many years we can shave off that estimate. What will our descendents do?

Isn't it funny how, 1 month before the elections, gas prices are dropping like the proverbial lead balloon! Take advantage now, because no matter who makes it into office, prices will skyrocket again once the results are in. Time to stop giving these moneygrubbing oil pigs those ridiculous bonuses and retirement packages, and give the little guy a break!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wakey, Wakey, Eggs and Bakey!

The house was permeated with the aroma of bacon this morning. Yum! I took out the last of the Amish farm market bacon and threw it in the pan for breakfast. It was delicious. At the first hint of bacon, my DS Tom rolled out of bed and wandered in to the kitchen. Better than an alarm clock!

Wayne called me last night - his class is going well. The siding guy was here yesterday and he's back today. I'm happy to say that the front of the house is sided (still need the front door framed out) and he's working on the carport area, and putting in a window. I am so pleased with his work so far. Although it's taken quite a while to finish up, I can't fault him for that. We were aware when we hired him that he would be working in his spare time. It's okay. It was a very slow start, but it is so worth it. I told him yesterday that I would recommend him to others. The house looks great!

My DS Dan stopped by today. He seems so much happier now! He put in a mailbox for us, and worked on my husband's truck. I gave him two packages of venison hamburger to take home with him. My "good" hamburger! I was so happy to hear that Wayne had bagged a deer last week. I've been out of good hamburger for so long. Store-bought hamburger is the pits. So much fat! Venison burger is so extremely lean. You need to use Pam or add some sort of fat to the pan to fry it. And tasty!

Well, I accomplished the project I was working on. I wrote down my pattern for the mouse (figurine, ornament, cat toy) that I've been making for years now. I sold a couple of the mice on Etsy and had people ask me for the pattern. It was probably the hardest thing I've done in a while. I've been making them for years, and each one was a little different from the one before. I just crocheted it to look like a mouse. One might have been a little taller than the one before - one a little chunkier than the next... To come up with a pattern for one standard mouse wasn't easy. The pattern is finished and I submitted it to the Crochet Pattern a Day Calendar to consider for publication. I would like to see it accepted. I chose that venue in order to retain the rights to the pattern myself. Submitting it to a crochet magazine or leaflet would mean giving up the rights. I didn't want to do that. I have to mail the actual mouse to the calendar people so that they can photograph it if they choose it for publication. I sent a photo but it may not be good enough. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Early Saturday Morning

It's an early post today - I just got back from dropping Wayne off at the dive shop this morning. The crew is on their way to Dutch Springs again this morning, where Wayne should be finishing up his assistant instructor course. The dive shop is anxious for him to become certified as an AI so that he can help teach diving to a "seal" class - a group of 8-10 year olds kids who want to scuba dive.

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I am so proud of my husband! At 53, he has found a hobby that brings him as much joy in his life as crochet does to mine! He is fascinated by the underwater world and truly enjoys working with students to show them what the scuba experience is like. If you check out the MASC website, that is my DH looking at you in the section labeled Scuba Classes! Isn't he handsome? LOL!

But at last, DH can relate to my everlasting fascination with yarns of different textures and colors, and the desire to take that yarn and fashion it into works of art. Please don't think I'm bragging - I'm not really. I believe it is why they call crochet one of the "needle arts". For anyone to be able to take a skein of yarn and make a hat, a scarf, an afghan or a toy is very much like an artist taking a bit of paint and canvas and producing a masterpiece. Take a look on the internet and see some of the fantastic knitted and crocheted items out there. Here's one: a knitted Ferrari with crocheted trim. Or another:crocheted meerkats! These are truly artistic! Be sure to explore the Roman Sock website extensively. Pure genius! I am but a novice...

I will be working on a project this weekend. If I finish, I will post a photo a little later on.

Time for a little coffee and "Cash in the Attic". Love to see what kind of treasures people find in their houses.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ornament Photos


I finally have photos of the ornaments I sent to my swap partner Cyndi. I love making these little bears. They are lightweight and perfect for hanging on the tree. They are from a pattern leaflet called "The Faces of Christmas". In addition to the teddy bear ornaments, you can make an angel, Santa, Mrs. Claus, an elf, Rudolph, and more. I hope to be able to make enough of these ornaments to give to family members for Christmas. I'd especially like to have some for Dan and Nicole, since this will be their first Christmas together.

I've been thinking about how it will be with a new baby in the family. I can't believe how excited I am that we will have a grandchild. I can't picture my oldest as a dad. I don't think he's even held a baby since his younger brother was born. And to think he'll be changing diapers, too! Will wonders never cease? LOL!

Speaking of the expected baby - it's time to think about baby-proofing the house. I have a confession to make. I am a bona fide packrat. I save everything, thinking I may need it some day. It's finally dawned on me that I need to mend my ways and start weeding out my "stuff". So it's my end-of-the-year resolution to start throwing away at least 3 things each day. It should help me get my clutter under control!

It's Thursday and in one more day, I'll have 2 weeks back at work. Things are going okay, but I will need to wear my sneakers to work for a while yet. It's been hard to make the transition to dressier shoes (we have a dress code at the office) and the last couple days of physical therapy for my knee were difficult. The therapist suggested that wearing sneakers would offer more shock absorbency and cause less pain for me. My boss gave me the okay to wear the sneaks, so I'll give it a try. I pedaled the stationary bike at PT for 15 minutes and did 2.5 miles! I'm proud of myself! It's only been 11 weeks since surgery!

I have a big project in mind - and I may be biting off more than I can chew! I want to paint the kitchen walls and cabinets. It's been quite a while since we put in the cabinets and paneling, and my kitchen really needs a makeover! After putting three paint samples on the wall, I still haven't made up my mind!

I hear the laundry calling me - I'd better get busy...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Nice Sunday Afternoon at Babies R Us

It's Sunday and I can't believe that it's already time to go back to work. I have physical therapy 3 times this week again. I'm trying to get around without my cane as much as possible this weekend, in order to try to strengthen my right leg.

This was a very busy day for us. Wayne and I took a trip to Lowe's early this morning and bought some mums. They had a cartful of them for 69 cents a piece, so I got 10 of them and Wayne planted them for me on the side of the house where the siding is finished. The siding guy was here again today and started on the front. Yay! He really is doing a great job on the siding - it's just taking so long as he's working on the house in his off hours. I can't wait until it's finished.

Wayne also got some lawn work done at my dad's house, and put up a new ceiling fan. He planted my mums while I met DS Dan and Nicole at Babies R Us so that they can register there. I had hoped Nicole's mother would be able to go as well, but she wasn't. I would have liked to have met her. The kids picked out a lot of very nice items for the new baby and put them on their wish list. I also talked Nicole into putting a glider rocker onto her wish list too! I remember how much I enjoyed rocking the boys on the one I had when I was younger. I can't believe how expensive everything is! Holy moley! I told my DH that he and I will have to take on second jobs in order to afford the shower gifts! LOL!

The baby's room will have a jungle theme, and I already know what I want to make for them. I found a pattern on www.freepatterns.com to make a giraffe pillow. I also purchased a pattern on another website for a stuffed leopard and a stuffed lion.

Saturday was a busy day too. I was able to mail out my ornaments to my swap partner yesterday. I want to post a photo, but I will update the blog with a photo once I know she has received them. I hope she likes the package I put together for her. She sent me some nice handmade items, and I wish I had sent her more handmade items in return.

My doctor's appointment on Friday went well, and with some changes to my medication schedule, I actually had a good night last night! Thank you, Lord!

Time to finish up some chores for the evening. I'm working on more ornaments so that I have some to give as Christmas gifts this year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Husband's in a Quandary This Evening

Poor Wayne. He is taking a course to become an assistant instructor for the dive shop. He is working on a presentation this evening, and is stumped on one of the segments of his lesson plan form. I wish I could help him, but I'm totally lost by this stuff. He's put a call out for help to his instructor, but hasn't heard anything back yet. It's not helping matters that the three mutts are vying for his attention and won't leave him alone.

On a lighter note, the Phillies have won game one of the best of five series against the Brewers. They are playing game two this evening, and the Phils are ahead 5-2 at the seventh inning. I hope they win.

It's Thursday and I've got most of my first week back at work under my belt. It hasn't been too bad. I've gotten back into the normal "rut" and I've taken back some of my tasks that were reassigned during my absence. The HR person who took over from Brandi said she is happy to see me back. I think she was overwhelmed. In my absence, someone accidentally deleted 8 months worth of attendance entries for 20% of our employees. Another employee tried to help fix the error, but the fact of the matter is that about 180 of the employees' entries are still missing, and I've got to clean things up.

I wish I could sleep. My GERD is wreaking havoc at the moment. I see a doctor about that tomorrow morning. I hope they have a solution.

Eighth inning - the Phils are still ahead and they're bringing in a relief pitcher.

My sister and her husband are vacationing in Florida. I envy her. I had a great time when Wayne and I were in the Keys in March. They are in New Smyrna Beach and the condo they're staying in is on a beach where the baby sea turtles are hatching. So they can't go on the beach at night, and have to keep their curtains closed and lights off on the side of the condo facing the beach. It's to keep the baby turtles from becoming confused and heading toward the road instead of the water. She is having a great time, going to yard sales and looking for craft items. She does a lot of crafting for her church. She is part of a group of ladies making items for their Christmas bazaar. Barb makes the loveliest plastic canvas items. It is always a pleasure to receive her handmade ornaments for the Christmas tree.

Speaking of ornaments, I've finished my swap ornaments and I'll mail them out on Saturday. I also picked up a few extra little items to include in the box as well. I hope my swap partner likes them, as they are my absolute favorite ornaments to make. No pictures yet, until I hear that she has received her items. I don't want to ruin the surprise.

PHILLIES WON! YIPPEE!

Well, I've got some chores to do here. Laundry, and then some crocheting. Guess I'd better get busy!