Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Couple of WIPs

On the way home from work today, I stopped at the Giant food store to pick up a few things. While there, I saw an elderly man pushing his shopping cart down the aisle and my heart broke a little. He looked very much like my dad, who passed away about a year ago. I miss my dad and wish that I could have the chance again to tell him he was loved.

I have a few "Works in Progress" right now. I finished the hat and the sweater and started the pants for the little outfit for my grandson Justin. I got 7 rows into it, and needed elastic for the waistband. I didn't have any in the house, so I put the pants aside and started work on the Sweetheart Ripple afghan.

I chose Cherry Red and Aran in Red Heart Super Savers, and I've gotten a few rows into it. I'm not sure if I've got it quite right yet. The placement of the slanted treble crochets is confusing. I've frogged it once, and I'm inclined to frog it again. I'm going to join the Crochet Along on Crochetville, and will post some photos there. Maybe someone can tell me if I'm on the right track with it. I definitely love the reversible look of the afghan, with hearts on one side and ripple stripes on the other. Kudos to Kim Guzman, the designer!

At Giant, I located the elastic I needed, and so I will probably lay the afghan aside for a bit and finish the baby outfit.

DS Tom just called to say he is on the way home, so I'll have to go pick him up at the train station.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Baby Sweater Update

The baby's sweater is finished. I have sewn the buttons on it. But I was worried that it might be too small. So I improvised with a couple of extra rows on the right side of the placket. It's not as crooked as I was afraid it would be.

I'll probably be starting the hat tonight, if I don't head over to DS Dan's apartment, to sit with the baby. Dan and Nicole are having a rough time of it, with the baby not sleeping well at night. How well I remember those days! I recall sitting up at 2:00 am watching Phillies games being replayed on Prism, a cable channel in the Philadelphia area. Watching the game and rocking my baby at the same time. I know they are tired and frustrated, but that will all pass, when the baby finds his schedule. If they can just hang in there - everything will get better.

Hubby got me a new digital camera for my birthday. My other camera quit on me. This is a nice little Olympus, and I used it to take the picture above.

Well, I guess I'll give the kids a call and see if they want me to stop by this evening. I told them I'd do the night shift and stay so that they can get some sleep.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mom and Baby Come Home Tomorrow

I have been to the hospital every day since the baby was born, and I just can't get enough of seeing him and holding him. What an amazing little baby he is! And dear Nicole - she is such a good mom! I watched her with him this afternoon, and she coos and talks to him, and has really bonded with her baby. I wish them all the best when their little family gets home, and hope that little Justin is as good as gold for them!

I made homemade chicken soup for dinner tonight. It was excellent. There is enough left over to send some over for Dan and Nicole, if they want it. I will be going to their apartment tomorrow, when they come home from the hospital. I bought a beef roast, and I'll make it, along with some potatoes and carrots and gravy. That way, they won't have to worry about making dinner for themselves.

Well, the Eagles lost. I really thought that this would be their year. Too bad!

Still one more day off - I love these 3 day weekends. Back to finishing up the baby sweater. I hope to post a photo when I have a chance.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh, Happy Day!

This is Justin Daniel - isn't he a beautiful baby! He was born at 8:25 this morning, and weighs 8 pounds, 15 ounces - 21 inches long! He's a big boy! He slept most of the day as all of the aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents vied for a chance to hold him.

I waited anxiously in the hospital hallway this morning, until the nurse brought him out to meet his grandparents. I think that Nicole's mom was as bad as me. I had tears in my eyes and my hands shook when I first saw him.

We gathered in Nicole's room later, and I got my chance to hold Justin. I could have sat there all day just gazing at his angelic countenance. I was holding my firstborn son's firstborn son. I already love him with all my heart!

He slept most of the day, but this evening, he was awake and looking around. I couldn't get over how alert he was - he didn't miss a thing!

Isn't life wonderful?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tomorrow's the Big Day! Grandson Arrives!

DS Dan called me yesterday to say that his girlfriend's obstetrician has decided to deliver the baby via C-section. They said he is a big boy, and may be too big for her to deliver naturally. They are guess-timating his weight at 8 lbs 10 oz. I am praying that all goes well tomorrow. I'll take the day off from work to be at the hospital waiting. Please say a prayer for us!

This was a tough day to get up and get going this morning. I really hate this frigid weather. I want to live somewhere warm! But I've made a New Year's resolution to not take sick days off unless absolutely unavoidable. I really really wanted to call out this morning, but didn't. Glad it's over!

We are in for even colder weather this coming Friday. Ugh!

DH made meatballs and spaghetti sauce with macaroni for dinner tonight. I really appreciate it when I can walk in after work and find dinner ready! He's a sweetie! He goes back to work on 1/26. He's getting around a lot better since the knee replacement but still has a noticeable limp. Additional therapy ought to be able to help him with that.

I think I'll go make a cup of coffee - have a good night!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles on a Roll!

The Eagles beat the Giants today, to move onward to the Conference Championship. I sure hope they make it to the Superbowl.

It was a quiet day today. I am really bummed that the winter storm we were supposed to get yesterday fizzled. As much as I don't care for the winter, an occasional snowfall is nice. Again, it passed us by. Oh, well.

We stopped to see Dan and Nicole to see the baby's room. Nicole said she hopes the baby will be born this week - poor girl is tired! The room is adorable, with a jungle theme. We can't wait for the new grandson.

I don't think I'll be finishing the baby set before the baby is born. I'm making progress on the sweater, but it's worked from one side only all the way across the sweater. Then you finish off and start the next row on the same (right) side. For some reason, the sweater front is slanting to the right. I'm hoping that it will look a lot better when the sweater front and buttonholes go on. Photo attached. You can see the slant in the photo. I'm not too happy with it so far, but I'll finish to see what it looks like completed.

I also took a shot at trying a small swatch of the "Sweetheart Ripple" afghan, to see if it's something I can do. I can see that I will have to be careful with the front-post treble crochet/ single crochet stitch placements - a couple of them are not where they are supposed to be. But I think this is doable. I just need to decide what colors I want to make this. I think I like the dark hearts instead of the light ones in my sample.

I guess I'll pick up where I left off with the baby sweater and see if I can't make a little more progress on it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Lots of rain today - cold, but a steady rain. I don't mind rainy days, even though I had a few errands to run. I was going to run to AC Moore to pick out some yarn colors, but I got an e-mail that Joann's online had RH SS on sale. I checked out the site and ordered a light blue, light yellow, light green and light plum for the baby outfit - there was free shipping on RHSS! I also ordered a couple of other skeins to make the afghan on the cover of the February 2009 Crochet World magazine. I haven't received it yet in the mail, but I've seen it discussed on Crochetville and the Crochet World website has a photo of it. It's a beautiful ripple afghan on one side, and hearts on the other, designed by Kim Guzman. I can't wait to try it.

As I stated before, I'm not really a football fan, but the game coming up this weekend between the Eagles and the Giants is an important one. I'm hoping the Eagles win, but I had a dream that they lost. Hope that doesn't come true. I'd like to see them go to the Superbowl again, and win this time. My dad would have been so thrilled to see the Phillies win the Series, and an Eagles victory would have had him over the moon! Let's win these last games for my dad!

DS Dan stopped by today to pick up something he had stored in our freezer. He's looking good and it's nice to see him visit! His girlfriend is getting closer to her due date. My family members are starting a pool! She is due on 1/18, but I'm hoping she has the baby on 1/16. My dad passed away on the 16th a year ago, and it would be nice to have a happy connection with that date - to look forward to a birthday rather than remember it only as a sad day. I have to contact my dad's church to have some masses said for him and for my mom.

I wore my crocheted headband out today while running errands. It kept my ears warm and it looks really cute with short hair! I think I'll make a couple more in different colors.

I think I'll light up the tree tonight, and enjoy it a bit more before taking it down this weekend.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Long-Avoided Test Completed

I like to keep my blog up-to-date with every day goings-on and crochet photos. Sort of an online journal. I just want to share my feelings about some medical testing I had done today.

I've been seeing our primary care physician for years now. He's never mentioned scheduling me for a colonoscopy. And of course, I've never volunteered for one! Who would? LOL! With my GERD history, endoscopies are a regular test for me. This time around, a new gastroenterologist suggested a colonoscopy and endoscopy done at the same time. I agreed to do it, not looking forward to the experience. I won't go into details, except to say that I asked the anesthesiologist to make sure I was asleep, as I didn't want to wake halfway through the testing. She told me that the hardest part of the test was already over - the preparations the day before. And she reminded me that Katie Couric did this awake and in front of a TV camera, but she said she would take care of it and she did. One minute I was awake, being prepared for the test, and the next thing I knew I was waking after the test was over.

Happily, both the tests went fine. I need to await results of the routine biopsies done, but the doctor assured me that everything looks good, even said that the Barrett's Esophagus caused by the acid reflux may have regressed. That was a big relief to me.

If you are like I was, and avoiding this vital test, please go ahead and schedule it. It's not going to be as bad as you imagine and it may save your life. Do it as a favor to your loved ones!

On a crochet note, I still haven't decided on the colors to use for the baby set I'm making. I'm still working with the white yarn on the body of the sweater, so I have time. Maybe tomorrow I'll stop in at AC Moore to pick something out. Maybe put a few shades of blue together...

There's an interesting show on TV about the Hubble Space Telescope. I did some Googling and found their website and there are a lot of neat things here. You can use some of their photos as wallpaper for your computer. I wonder if I can get this at work.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Baby Item

I've decided to make another baby item for our anxiously-awaited grandson. Isn't this the cutest little baby set? The picture is from the crochet booklet Rainbow Wear for Baby - not the finished item! It's made with worsted weight yarn, which I love to work with. He will look cute as a button in this. I'm debating whether or not to add the pink (not that there is anything wrong with pink). Instead of 4 colors maybe 3 - green, blue and yellow. Or I might change the pink to a peach color. I'll make up my mind as I go along. I'm off to a good start with it, having finished the ribbed border and started the body of the sweater. I hope to have this finished by the time the baby arrives - due date is 1/18. I won't make the afghan, as he already has several hand-crocheted afghans, from me and from his maternal great-grandmother.

Back to work tomorrow - those 5 days off flew by!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday and a Small Crochet Project - Something for Me!

Well, I've been through numerous pattern books and I've decided on a small item for me that doesn't require a pattern. It's been soooooo cold lately and I'm running around without a hat. So my new crochet project will be something to keep my ears warm - a simple band done in the back loop of each stitch only. I have some nice Red Heart SS Dark Thyme yarn and an H hook (my favorites - the bamboo handled ones from Susan Bates). It's a simple 10 stitches wide, and each row is single crocheted in the back loop only. Once it's the size I need to fit my noggin, I stitch one end to the other. It's really all I need, as I tend to get earaches in very cold weather. To make - ch 11, sc in second ch from hook and each ch across - 10 stitches. Then turn, ch 1, sc in each sc across in the back loop only. Repeat this row until it is long enough to fit your head snugly, then finish off - I made this one 57 rows long. Sew the short ends together and weave in the ends, and you've got a nice little band to keep you warm!

DH and I traveled upstate on New Year's Day to visit his siblings. We had lunch with one SIL, visited with another SIL on the way back to stay overnight with the third SIL. BIL stopped up to visit on the morning of the second, before we headed home. It was nice to be able to see everyone. It was extremely cold, hence the need for some headwear to keep the ears warm - LOL! I should fashion some mittens too. I had bought myself a pair of gloves before Christmas, but ended up gifting them to my son's sweet girlfriend.

I made a pot of homemade vegetable soup yesterday, using the left-over ham. It was delicious, and we are using the last of it today.

My fish are doing well. I'm surprised that all of the fish rescued from the "Great Aquarium Collapse" have survived. Two of them are gouramis, and so are capable of breathing air. I was sure they would make it. But a swordtail and a skirted tetra were questionable in their temporary quarters in a large plastic bowl. The tetra in fact kept listing to the side and I was sure he would be a goner by the end of Christmas day. But he is quite healthy and happy in his new home - a 5 gallon acrylic hexagon aquarium - back on the coffee table. This time, I had my husband use his brand-new level to make sure that things were going to be even enough to support the little tank. In the photo you can see one of the gouramis and the swordtail (looks like two - just a reflection), the skirted tetra to the side, and at the bottom right is a white betta, new to the neighborhood. The other gourami is hiding.

I do believe our beagle thinks the Christmas tree has been up long enough. He's been a one-dog dismantling crew, removing ornaments anywhere he can reach them. He carries them off and chews on them. Luckily, I keep indestructible ornaments, no glass or fragile items. I have a lot of home-made ornaments on the tree, some crocheted by me and some made by my older sister, who does fabulous things with plastic canvas and yarn. I manage to catch the beagley-boy before he does any damage to his contraband. He's too funny!

Not much on TV tonight - I'm not a football fan, so maybe I'll pop a movie in the DVD player. Good night, all!