Monday, April 30, 2007

When Knitting is the Only Solution

On Saturday, the Wy-Guy had the opportunity to play a football game at the L.A. Staples Center (home to the Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Avengers). It was great fun to watch him play on the little arena football field, especially since we got to sit right down front. My son plays Center on the yellow team. He's in, well, the center of the picture taken from my front row view.
When it was over, we had a 2 1/2 hour break before the professional game started. It was some special first Saturday night home game event with "fun activities". Said activities included very, very loud pulsating music, a couple of players and cheerleaders signing autographs, a nearby Indian casino giving away cheap bead necklaces and mobs of people. Whew! It was hard to know where to start!

I stood there waiting for DH, who was hiking to our parked car to store football pads, with a headache developing in proportion to the pounding music, while 5 boys (4 mine, 1 friend) bombarded me with chatter.

"I'm hungry!" "I'm thirsty!" (I don't care.) "Bye Mom, I see a friend." (Stop! Don't move!) "Wow! What's that, I'll be right back!" (Hold it! I'll never find you again! Please wait for your father.) "I'm just going to go in there and watch the basketball game." (You can't just hang out in there... it's a restaurant.)

Finally, I whipped all of their tickets out of my purse, handed them out and said (possibly screamed), "Here! Go! Do whatever you want! Then I won't have to buy your food or listen to you whine. Just don't lose your ticket or you will have to sit out here and wait for us during the game. I'll see you inside in 2 hours. I hope you remember where the car is parked." I totally expected them to take off, but the oddest thing happened... the likes of which I've never seen before. I ended up with 5 completely silent boys stuck to me like glue.

I cast on 64 stitches for a sock.

DH returns, "You're knitting?" to which I respond, "Honey, this is why knitting was invented!" (Yes, it must be that arena football has been around that long!)

After watching the boys inhale 1/2 pound burgers, it was finally time to take our seats for the professional arena football game. Are you feeling my enthusiasm?? Here's the view of the field (and sock progress) from our seats...

I'm told they were playing football down there. One of the really nice (?) features of the Staples Center is that it's constructed so even if you are sitting up high, you are not too far away from the field. They accomplished this by stacking exceedingly steep tiers right on top of each other. We were in the second to last row at about a 95 degree angle from the bottom... with 5 boys... "Mom, look it's plexiglass... I can lean on it (or run down the steep stairs into it) and it won't break!" Yeah, it was that fun. And you know what's really cool when your sitting at the top of an arena full of about 20,000 people? Indoor fireworks! This just didn't seem right. It's enough to think about earthquakes when in such a place... but to worry about a fire too... well, from where I was sitting (above said fireworks) this just seemed unnecessary. (Hey Julie - Ask John... How do they get permits for this stuff??)

Anyway, I knit.

Aside from that, I have been completely loyal to Something Red for an entire week and should have finished pictures soon. Then I can go back to my meandering, multiple wip, getting nothing done self.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Well, the time has come. I've officially run out of room. Not a single hank, skein or ball can be squeezed into my bins and there's absolutely, positively no room in my house for overflow.

So... with a heavy heart, I am starting to clear out some of my stash. I'm starting with my sock yarns since I will never, ever knit all the sock yarn I have. I've been collecting sock yarns since before I even knit my first sock but as much as I love it all I know most of it is destined to sit in a bin when it should be on somebody's feet! Besides, if I don't make room, I won't be able to buy any more.

Sock yarns on sale include Regia, Lorna's Laces, Opal, Socks That Rock, and more. There will be a lot more yarn to come as I sort through the rest of my bins. You can see the sock yarns here.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

On Guidelines and Baseball

As I mentioned, the good doctor gave me some dietary guidelines a couple of days ago and I have not been neglectful of them. I have actually spent an enormous amount of time thinking about and being affected by his guidelines. I've decided that I actually like guidelines because, unlike deadlines, property lines, or base lines, guidelines are not definitive... they simply serve to guide you... like good advice or suggestions. So, after about 2 hours of wandering around in a useless fog with a splitting headache Wednesday morning, I decided that a major reduction in caffeine would be a good first step to consider (I mean really, why attempt drastic measures when they may not be necessary?) so I permitted myself to have a small(er) cup of coffee.

Ah, much better. I have also eliminated all other caffeine from my day. Guidelines... a very flexible term in my opinion.

But I tell ya, who needs caffeine on a night like tonight? What better stimulation can you think of than pony baseball? Two games, none the less. JoJo loves it too... can't you just feel our enthusiasm?

I Only Have Eyes for Red

I'm hooked, totally and completely, in a way that rarely possesses me, to knit, knit, knit Something Red. I don't know if it's the color, the classy simplicity of the knit, or my strong desire to wear it right now! If I could knit the ribbing while I was wearing it around town, I would!

And the yarn... I said before that Blue Sky Cotton wasn't my favorite to knit with and I want to clarify that. It is 100% cotton so it can be a bit tiring on my hands, but it is so soft and the resulting fabric is something that I just want to wrap myself in, so in the end it is worth it.

No more time to blog... gotta go knit while I have a few minutes!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

No What?!?

I rarely go to the doctor. Not only does it take time out of my busy day, but they always end up telling me something I don't want to hear. I have never had a doctor tell me to exercise less, eat more junk food, and stay up later. And once I've actually paid for their advice, it seems wasteful to just ignore it (besides which, my DH gets a bit frustrated with me as well).

However, I have a history of some sort of never-formally-diagnosed ulcer/stomach problem and the pain was so bad this time I actually rushed to the doctor today since my near overdose levels of Zantac and Mylanta were not helping at all. He did give me a prescription (which seems to be helping a bit already) but then he gave me "dietary guidelines".

Dietary guidelines... and do we remember the reason I avoid the doctor to begin with?

Doc: "Do you drink a lot of caffeine?"

Me: Blank stare (I'm thinking... what do you mean by "a lot")

Doc: "I'll take that as a yes."

Me: Slowly start nodding with my eyes glazing over, thinking I should've had my afternoon Diet Pepsi before I came.

Doc: "No caffeine for 2 weeks."

No. Caffeine. Is this even possible? How will I get anything done? How will I get a grip on my patience in the morning? How will I stay awake past noon?

No caffeine means, not only no coffee (gasp), but no Diet Pepsi, no chocolate and no Excedrin. How am I going to get rid of the migraine I'll surely suffer from caffeine deprivation? I'll have to think about this carefully... how bad does it really hurt? ...what if it starts feeling better tomorrow? Still no caffeine? If his next step wasn't some sort of evasive scope thingy, I imagine I'd end up being a very poor patient... but internal scope? Shudder. There were quite a few other things on his list too, but all were truly irrelevent compared to the loss of caffeine.

Anyway... I did get to cast on for Something Red last night which I am loving!

The Blue Sky Cotton isn't my favorite yarn to knit with but the result is so worth it and the color (a very deep, yet bright rusty red - not as orange as in the picture) is wonderful. I'm excited about it too... I want to wear it now! Could it be the first to reach the finish line? No... Embossed Leaves are almost there. Maybe the 2nd? We'll see.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

As It Turns Out...

My 2nd Time Cotton, as lovely as it is, does not want to be a cardigan... I'm pretty sure it wants to be a simple, cool summer tee.

And, although I love the Debbie Bliss Cathay, the looser gauge that Tahoe calls for concerns me considering the amount of time my sweaters are so neglectfully tossed aside by the boy creatures I share a home and car with. But to my delight, I discovered that on size 6 needles it will make a wonderful "Basic Shell". I pulled out a Knitting Pure & Simple pattern I happened to have (did I ever mention I collect patterns as well as yarn?) and cast on. Cathay is a dream to knit with and the shell is knit in the round from the bottom up so it's the perfect book reading knit. Ahhhh... I feel much better now.

But my peace was short lived because I just saw Kaity's blog and she mentioned Wendy's Something Red. That's on my list... and I even have the yarn. You know when something gets in your head and you just can't shake it? You know when you feel like you just gotta get something done (ie. cast on) but you just have to wait? You know when you just need something red?? You know what I mean? Well, in a grand display of self control, I'm going to go to bed and make Something Red wait another day. I think I'll just pull the red Blue Sky Cotton out of it's bin on my way upstairs. Then it will be handy for tomorrow.... yeah, that's all...

BTW - I do realize that a knitting blog is more interesting if one actually posts pictures of finished knits on occasion rather than ramblings about yarn, life, and the various side effects of knitting. But what can I say... when would I blog if I actually knit?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Little Progress

Bonita is coming along. I finally got to the point where I separated for the front and back. I'm just struggling a bit to keep gauge with the fine cotton yarn on the purl rows, but it's getting better... and I just love decreasing!!

I started the "Napa Valley on Top" with SWTC Oasis Soy Silk last week. I like the stitch but it hasn't really grabbed me yet.

What I really need on the needles about now though is a simple knit-in-the-dark project for reading and movie going. Not that I go to a lot of movies but I did go to 2 in one week before I left for Mexico (making 2 total movie theater trips this year) and what if I want to go to another one?

What did I see, you ask? Well, I saw "Meet the Robinsons" which is a rare gem of a true G rated family film... no innuendos, no adult jokes... just very creative, playful, and entertaining fun. Next I saw "Blades of Glory" which, I must admit, was not so wholesome... but a great laugh. I took my 14 & 13 yo sons to see it (yes, I'm hanging my head in shame) the day everyone left for Mexico without me. I wasn't planning to let them see it, but what can I say... I was depressed, I wanted to laugh, and I didn't want to go alone. It was actually fun to grab them and do something with just them... and we left the theater laughing together while I made them swear not to repeat any lines at home. At the risk of causing irreparable damage to your opinion of me, I must admit that Will Farrell, although often a bit too lewd and crude, cracks me up. Sorry, but it's true.

Anyway, back to knitting... I'm just trying to figure out what my simple, portable project will be. While I'm unlikely to go to a theater again soon, I do have a stack of good books to read.

I'm thinking of starting this cardigan... it would be great for summer.

Or, I could start Knitty's Tahoe with the Cathay and Koigu pictured.
Hmmm... it is long sleeves, but I do love the yarn and colors. I guess tonight will be a Pay-Per-View movie and swatching.

Speaking of PPV, we watched "Stranger than Fiction" last night... great movie. It was a totally different role for Will Farrell, and Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman were outstanding in their roles. (At least per my humble, uneducated movie-watching opinion.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

When Am I Knitting?

Is blogging knitting? I mean if I were to actually write about knitting... is that knitting? How about knit blog surfing? You know... getting ideas, admiring the labor of others, learning new techniques... knitting? What about gazing and daydreaming over knitting books and magazines... marking the pages... checking your stash for comparable yarn substitutions? Isn't this all a part of knitting?

I'm prone to purchase most knitting mags when they come out whether I'm likely to knit anything from them or not. (I can tell you right now, I'm not.) I can barely stand the excitement of waiting for my quarterly Interweave magazine (btw - their Summer Preview is up for admiring now) and I even have a collection of patterns purchased and downloaded from the internet that I have yet to knit... as if they'll disappear into cyberspace before I'm actually ready to knit. And honestly, once I've made that pattern purchase, just a dash of my enthusiasm begins to wane.

I swung by the LYS today looking for yarn for a top my mom has taken a fancy to (and since I am sitting right in between her birthday and Mother's Day it seems like a good time to start) and glanced through the latest Knitter's Universe. It's not one of my favorites but it did have this hemp tank in it and I do have some hemp that needs knitted so... I had to grab it.

This, btw, was obviously of great concern to a lady knitting at the table because even though she assured me that she did not intend to buy it, she felt the need to twice inform me that she was pretty certain it was the shop's only copy... and I had to wait (with kids in tow) for her to look through it cover to cover... and, "No" she didn't want it but it was "the store's only copy"... again. A kinder person may have just left it but I can get a bit oppositional (heh) at times so I scooped it up once she was done... which coincidentally was about the time the 3rd kid came in from the car to see, "What's taking so long???" If I broke some unknown knitter's rule of only magazine etiquette here, please let me know.

Anyway, it actually has a quite a few cute tanks, etc. Coincidentally, I happen to have yarn and patterns already on hand for quite a few cute tanks (etc.) but that seemed irrelevant (as it did a couple of weeks ago when I bought some Rowan 4-Ply Cotton on sale for Knitty's Isabella).

But is anything getting knit? No!

But darn it, I feel like I'm knitting. Afterall, it's almost all I read, write or think about... and I'm pretty sure that the browsing, reading, and planning (read daydreaming) are part of the knitting experience. But sadly, I'm finding that it doesn't produce a lot of results... just a dent in the wallet and a bad case of frustration.

BTW - I bet she's wearing an Old Navy t-shirt under this shawl. I so wish I could pull off that look... but I would just look like a, well, like a woman in an Old Navy t-shirt and shawl... how odd would that be?!

Focus... I need to focus... and knit... really knit... with the yarn in my hands. Yeah... that's what I need to do... knit.

I am working on my 2nd Embossed Leaves sock! I'm enjoying this pattern so much that I was actually anxious to cast on. But what's going on with the colors in that 2nd hank of Koigu? I'm going to ignore it... I must... any other option (ie. frogging and alternating hanks) is just too painful to consider.

PS... I bet you have no idea how easy it is to mess up a gourmet frozen dinner! Especially one that starts by telling you to pre-heat the oven, then "pull the perforated tab at the short end of the box to open". Laughing at their silliness, I didn't even stop to consider that I'd already opened it at the wrong end. No that, of course, didn't ruin the dinner... it was the obviously way too technical timer instructions that threw me.

Focus Tammy, focus!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When Life Imitates Art...

Or, When It's Time to Throw in the Towel (or knitting as the case may be)

It was a front center diamond on Bonita... and it was off-center.

I imagine a sneaky little ssk here, a k2tog there, and a wee yo would've cleverly disguised the basically unnoticeable miscount. Heck, I could've even made the front the back. But no... I had to go for the proper fix.

Not too bad.

But it left this sort of awkward gappiness alongside the fixed diamond area. True, it would never have even caught one's eye once the sweater was done and blocked... but, really... could I just leave it. *Big Sigh* No.

Long story short... Lots of tangles, lots of gaps, 4AM!!

Up at 7:30 for the cable guy who was here all afternoon yesterday and supposed to be back at 8 (got here at 11:30)... back to work on tangles... refuse to frog... determination sets in...

Anyway, ultimately I can no longer avoid the inevitable (or, more accurately, I am unwilling to accept the in-hindsight-not-looking-so-bad results) and start to frog.

BTW... I have a theory about IQ tests. Gauging by the ones I've taken, I think that in reality they do a much better job of measuring one's patience and determination at solving a puzzle than one's actual intelligence. I say this based on several things including my own rather high score because clearly a person of even moderate intelligence would not spend the better part of 12 hours trying avoid doing what they knew they were going to ultimately have to do all along. Determination... tenacity... yes. Intelligence... you tell me.

I try to use a smaller size 3 needle as a sort of safety line as suggested in my new book When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters, but with all the ssks, k2togs, and yos... well, I had a big snarled mess... more frogging...

Doorbell... animal control... our neighbors (yes, those neighbors) have filed a complaint. BTW - our other neighbors continue to assure us they have no problem. Animal control gal agreed it was big wooden fence time.

Tangles... knots... cable guy in and out... reading, math... more frogging...

Loud scream... "Tick!!"... son has a tick on his stomach (we live near the mountains so any hiking, biking or playing outside poses this risk but I've never actually seen one)...

Being good homeschooled students, brothers run for a magnifying glass and chase horrified victim around the house for a closer look... Being a blogger, I run for my camera... both of our requests are vehemently denied. DH comes home to the rescue... son takes a one hour shower and the rest of us start feeling itchy just because.

More tinking (stitch by tiny stitch)... cable guy finally (finally) gets new box to work properly and leaves... I finally get Bonita back in good form on needles (although about 4 inches shorter) and place it in hiding for a yet to be determined amount of time.

Crocodile Hunter sounds like some good science about now... but wait... the new box isn't working... we're only getting a few channels... one of which, oddly enough, is the Nascar network... Whew, sure would hate to live without that!?!

Okay... "A Fish Out of Water" and geography await. Still waiting for 10 yo to find his geography notebook... but there is hope... older son just found a bag of Hershey kisses that Grandpa left behind.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


No knitting in this post... But I did want to share some pictures of our trip for my friends and family and this is the easiest way to share.

The first picture is the front door to La Casa Lucerne in Manzanilla. The 2nd picture is inside the villa looking up at the front door. The bedrooms, kitchen, and one TV room were the only rooms that were technically "inside".

This was our "living area/game room"....

Which was conveniently located next to this...

The view from our bedroom...

And, of course, no trip is complete without a couple of pet monkeys. They were funny, playful, and affectionate. (I wonder if they're still laughing at our silly antics as we ran around getting them to play?)

We enjoyed incredible Mexican cuisine prepared by Marta who was one of the staff of four (4!) that took care of us for the week. I'm not sure if I mentioned but my mom put together this trip and we were all her guests in honor of my dad's 60th birthday. (in other words... for us the trip was free!) Thanks Mom!

Mi familia...

I'm still not crazy about travel (just hate being stuck on a plane)... but I would have to say, this was most definitely worth it!

I guess the only thing missing was the chance to relax with a cocktail and a view... oh, wait... nevermind...

There and Back Again

Whew... I survived. It was a great family trip and I'm so glad I was able to make it. It's amazing how easy it is to do absolutely nothing for a few days... I did a bit of reading and knitting, but spent a lot of time just visiting with my family, laying in the sun, eating incredible food, and playing Cranium (fun game - highly recommend it). I think it ended up being the perfect length too... any longer and I would've really been missing my kids. The casa we stayed at was spectacular and I'll share some pictures as soon as I can get them downloaded from my husband's camera.

Yes, it was a relaxing trip... and my husband was so kind to pose with my Embossed Leaves sock.

Here's a picture of my family waiting for our delayed flight at the Manzanilla airport which had a total of 4 gates and could take 2 planes at a time (a far cry from the chaos of LAX).

Oddly enough, my youngest brother, Pete, and I were hardly bothered at all by the delay... yeah, we won't talk about that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good News... Bad News??

I'm still here. With my passport MIA, Julie rescued me from the anxiety and stress of late with a sight/yarn-seeing trip to L.A. I had finally settled into a state of acceptance and contentment (mostly sealed by a comment my DH made about bug nets over the beds) and was feeling pretty good gazing at the wall of Koigu. While trying to select a color, I was interrupted with "the call". The call I've been waiting for... the call I've cried for... the call I never thought would come... yet somehow... the call I've been dreading. (Don't ask... I don't get it either.)

My passport expedition agent was holding my passport. Okay... but there's only one flight out tomorrow and I would need to leave my house by 8:00 am to catch it... and my passport is in Houston. No problem, the agent informs me... it will be at my house by 10:30 tonight! (Same day shipping... can you believe it?!!) I make a phone call to Mexico, my mom books my flight, and everything is set. I'm going to Mexico... Mexico... one thing goes through my mind and it's not cerveza or Margarita... it's panic... sheer, nerve shaking panic.

Remember how I didn't want to go to begin with (I have a travel "thing")? But then, as it approached, I really wanted to go and was really bummed that I couldn't? Well, as it turns out... I think I was right before. The following shortness of breath and waves of nausea didn't seem to be normal joyful reactions.

Okay, I'm in a yarn store, I'm panicking... quick... what can I do... YARN! Grab yarn. Julie has made her purchase and settled down to knit. Okay, I follow suit. I make a Koigu purchase, as planned, and try to sit... but I can't... I pace.

We leave with an idea of getting some lunch but I inform Julie that I'm not hungry (read: I don't think I can sit still for, nor ingest, a meal) so we head to the next yarn shop. Julie sits to knit and I pace... and pace... and touch... and grab... and grab. Let me tell you friends that pacing a yarn store in a mild (ha!) state of panic is a dangerous thing.

But it sure felt good!

This last yarn is an amazing Rio de la Plata Merino DK.

I can't even begin to capture the rich colors... the label says "evergreen - black - Indial teal - rabbit - forest green" It's super soft and comes in hanks of 220 yds. I'm think a simple ribbed scarf or maybe a vest.

BTW: Remind me sometime to share with you my very scientific observations on the relationship between boys (of all ages) and the remote control. Oy!

Adios Amigos!

ETA: 10:45 - Still no passport. Apparently there was a delay at the airport... no... really?! Yawn.

ETA: 11:45 - I. Have. A. Passport! Deep breath.

Monday, April 09, 2007

In Limbo

Would you believe... after being on and off the phone since 4:30 am pacific time... I now know that my passport was mailed to the expedition agency in OHIO! I'm in California... this is not good. I also know that there was no mail pick up on Saturday so it is still in the mail room in Houston and can quite possibly be retrieved... spark of hope... no wait... it was mailed on Saturday... ohhh... but may end up in a PO box in Houston... weak flicker of hope quickly dimmed by the realization that, although these people all sound very nice and concerned, they don't know any more than I do about my passport!

On the bright side, God has granted me a measure of peace and acceptance that is finally settling in... one way or another. (And the Margaritas here in So Cal don't have tainted ice!)

Now, I'm going to go vacuum and knit... then knit some more.

PS... I'm really think I need to change the label for these posts to "Not Travelling".

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I'm Embossing

This morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and Easter egg hunt hosted by some dear friends.

This afternoon, I did some work on the Koigu Embossed Leaves socks I started late last night...

I love the pattern, the color and texture of the yarn, and the new cast-on and ribbing I learned! I love learning new knitting things!

Then I was wandering around Borders Bookstore this afternoon waiting for my son to pick out a CD and, for some reason, this book in particular caught my eye...

I'm still looking for the chapter on missing passports but it does seem to include a lot of helpful knitting tips.

BTW: Late news reached me last night that my passport has been mAilEd (mailed!!) from Houston yesterday and I should have it "on or about 4/11". That would be Wednesday... my flight is tomorrow morning at 10:30... or was. So I sit... and wait... some more. Oh well, at least I'm waiting with Koigu.

Happy Easter Friends! He is risen indeed!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sitting and Waiting

At the coffee shop: "That's a beautiful necklace!" Compliments the gal.

"Thank you!" I reply. "My husband gave it to me. Hopefully it draws attention away from my eye, " I laugh, then realize how that sounds so I keep going, "for our anniversary...he gave it to me for our anniversary... today is our anniversary... 17 years." (It really is).

She smiles at me and has moved onto the next customer but I can't just leave it like that... "The black eye... it's from my 4 year old." They both look at me. "He was swinging a jacket and the zipper got me just like that," I snap my fingers. I don't think they really cared... or believed me... but I couldn't stop talking. I hate it when that happens.

Anyway, I do have a passport now... it's in Houston... but that's all I know. I have no idea when I will have it but I do know that I will not be flying to Mexico on Monday with my family.

I spent many hours on the phone today and threw myself a roaring pity party... all for a trip that I didn't even want to go on until I couldn't. Geez - Talk about rebellious! Not to mention the fact that it's completely out of my hands at this point... yeah, control issues too.

I've been so upset that I haven't even knit in 2 days.

*Big Sigh* Oh well... since there's nothing I can do, I'm determined to let go and let God. As for my part... I might as well knit!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Passport Black Hole

I woke up a little late this morning and began my passport phone calls at 8:30. The people at the expedition service we are using are extremely friendly and assured me they were hard at work on getting my passport pushed through so it could be shipped today.

Staying optimistic, I printed out the to-do list I had typed and e-mailed myself last night (can't lose it that way) and set out to run all my various get-ready-to-go type of errands.

Haircuts at 2:30 were followed by a phone call from the "expedition service's rep" at 3:30 telling me that, in spite of never having this type of thing happen before, he was informed by the passport agency that my passport would not be ready until next "Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday". In other words, I was screwed.

So, near - very near - okay, possibly in - tears, I ran my last couple of errands one of which was at the kids' pediatrician's office where, upon noticing my black eye, I was informed that I should really go get a stitch. Yeah... I'd just put that my list...

I return home, retreat to my bedroom and continue to fume... then I start to wonder... then I make a direct phone call to the passport agency itself. After waiting on hold for over an hour, a very nice gentleman named Tim was kind enough to inform that my passport was completed at 12:38 today and ready for the "3:45-5:00" pick up. He's unsure if it's been mailed or picked up, but it was completed.

At this point I slowly begin to face the realization that the gentleman at the expedition service was either very confused about his job or not very forthcoming with me. This was a mistake. They have not returned my phone call(s) or e-mail at this point (it might have just been after-hours) but either way... Mexico is not looking too likely... and, of course, I had finally started looking forward to it. So I am frustrated, quite sad, and increasingly angry... but hopefully by writing some of this down and can leave some of frustration with it.

And anyone who is willing can pray for a miracle delivery of my passport tomorrow.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Some Days...

I woke up early this morning, checked on the status of my passport (still no word... "the people" are very busy), and proceeded to the shower. Now our shower has not been working quite right lately. And by that I mean, for the last few weeks, it wouldn't produce hot water. At first, my DH matter-of-factly informed me that I just needed to let it run a while then flush the toilet. Okay... hot water. But this only worked for a few days until it then became necessary to turn on the downstairs water which somehow triggered the upstairs water valve to "flip". Yeah. In a gradual decline we finally had to resort to a series of water running and flushing upstairs and down until hot water was released. (And yes, I did say "the last few weeks")

Well, DH finally had a chance to take the shower doohickey apart last weekend and was able to locate the problem and adjust the valve so we could get hot water... but only hot water. He was going to have to order a part to completely repair the valve. However, and here's the good news, with a flush of the toilet, all the cosmic laws of toilet flushing and it's effect on hot running showers are reversed and cold water joins the hot water stream producing a perfectly warm shower... until today. Today the water would only stay warm while the toilet was flushing but became steaming hot as soon as the flush was over. I kid you not... I actually had to jump in and out of the shower and flush the toilet every minute or so to maintain a tolerable temperature. I hate to waste water so today I managed to keep it to a 4 flush shower.

Considering the black eye I'm sporting from the zipper of a sweater swung in my direction by my youngest (during a baseball game -ugh - I might add), the infection that's returning to my other eye following an obviously too brief stint on antibiotics (I'm not a good patient), and the missing passport... I really can't imagine my day starting any other way. And I'm telling you right now, one way or another, this is all related to my upcoming trip. No doubt.

But, before the day could totally defeat me, I got an e-mail from Wendy mentioning a sale at the LYS.

40% Off Everything!

The healing power of a couple of hours at the LYS with friends (and shelves of 40% off yarn) is really quite remarkable! And heck, I can knit with or without a passport so no worries here (almost).

Bonita is coming along... I was concerned about knitting a whole top with such fine cotton but it's really an enjoyable knit. (And now that I've gotten the pattern down, I'm not wasting time fixing so many mistakes.) Sitting on top is a ball of the Debbie Bliss Cathay that I picked up today to make Knitty's Tahoe... I'll be knitting this one along with Julie.

BTW - Charity, the third book in yesterday's picture is Daughter of Silk by Linda Chaikin. She writes historical fiction usually involving romance and a bit of mystery. I always really enjoy her books (in spite of the cheesy romance novel type covers which I'm always trying to hide).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Taking Deep Breaths

The problem with denial, aside from the long term psychological damage, is the slow period of awakening during which I realize that the inevitable can no longer be denied. This awakening usually begins about a week before D-Day with a variety of emotional and physical churnings which can range from mild tension and nausea to sudden emotional outbursts, fits of temper, and waves of panic. It's usually a very gradual onset and since I am so good at denial, I'm usually baffled by my rising stress level and, given my age, tend to believe that I have no doubt entered menopause.

You would think that the whole passport (or lack thereof) would be increasing my stress level, but it is actually making it much easier to ignore the inevitable because it can't become reality without the passport (which didn't ship today, leaving only 2 possible days, Friday or Saturday, for it to arrive). In my mind, this is not a problem... only a longer stay in denial.

So all's going well, but then comes a twist. Due to some changes in family plans, it now turns out that only my sister and new sister-in-law will be flying out Saturday and the rest of the family has had to switch flights and will be travelling with DH and me on Monday... leaving me the opportunity to switch flights and fly out sooner. I really want to do this! I know it doesn't make sense but spending time with my sisters sounds like fun and, mainly, the less time I have for anxiety to build up, the less explosive my anxiety will be, right?

It's like in the movie Hunt for Red October when the only way the sub can defend itself against the incoming missile is to turn and drive/float/glide (whatever they do) at top speed straight into the oncoming missile, thereby hitting it before it has time to arm itself and destroy them. Instead of a huge explosion, it was just a matter of knocking the unarmed missile out of the way.

See? If I can leave sooner, there will not be enough time for the anxiety ticking inside me to go nuclear. Very reasonable really. Of course this would mean a longer stay in Mexico but I can think about that later...

However this brings me back to what was ironically my saving grace... I have NO passport. Let the stress begin.

So how does one deal with that growing tension within? Buy yarn? Yep, did that... still stressed. Start speaking between clenched teeth to those I share a home with? Trying very hard not to do that...

Ugh! Well, just in case it does work out for me to leave early, I figure I'd better start planning what knitting and reading I should take with me (I was one step ahead of you Laura). The books are easy... fun, light-hearted paperbacks. (3 because I don't know what I'll feel like reading)

The knitting is a bit more difficult because I have to take into consideration things like needles (what's best for airplanes... will they take my Knit Picks circulars? They are fairly pointy. How about short bamboo dpns... they should be okay. etc.), the amount of yarn required (nothing requiring a dozen skeins of yarn... whether or not I would need that much in 5 days is irrelevant), the climate (requires lightweight yarn), and the color. See, I would love to take Bonita for the plane ride but what if someone sitting near me happens to have a Bloody Mary on the plane (you know, people do that... some people... I've heard)? I wouldn't want to ruin 400 yards of fingering weight white cotton that's been knit into half of a top. Nope... too risky.

So... I think I'll bring Clementine, a SWTC tank knit with Oasis Soy Silk (only 3 small balls) from my Stash (I even checked gauge today... sadly the yarn prefers bamboo but maybe these will be more airplane friendly), Koigu for IK Embossed Leaves Socks, Bonita, STR Harlotry socks for mindless knitting, and, probably an extra ball of sock yarn (just for the heck of it). Yes, it's probably overboard but I have to have whatever I might feel like knitting. I'm sure you understand... and these projects add up to a very manageable, light load.

There, I feel better already.

No, not really...