Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Those of you with young children will be surprised that I didn't know the meaning of this word until today:
Word of the Day 7:
otitis media n.
Inflammation of the middle ear, occurring commonly in children as a result of infection and often causing pain and temporary hearing loss.
[New Latin : otitis + Latin media, feminine of medius, middle.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Willow has been a bit snotty for a few days now, and after I left for work this morning Willow complained to Andrew that her ear hurt. This was the first I had heard of it - so he gave her a decongestant and some Motrin. Flash forward a few hours, and we are in the law offices waiting to sign our names to a zillion documents and my cell phone rings. It is Willow's teacher saying Willow is crying and saying her ears hurt whenever she moves. My in-laws thankfully went to pick her up and my father-in-law diagnosed her with a mild ear infection. Willow certainly didn't think it was mild!
But as I mentioned above, I didn't know what this word was until today. Willow is nearly 5 years old and this is her first experience with an ear infection. Um, lucky me?
I've decided to host a contest concerning all these new blogs that I have been viewing each day - I haven't ironed out all the details yet, but I will let you know when I do. Suffice to say, those of you new people who have found me because I have visited your blog, it may be worth your while to check in periodically. I have finished 60 of my planned 100 blog visits...
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Word of the Day 6:
n. An ambush.
tr.v. ambuscaded, ambuscading, ambuscades
To attack suddenly and without warning from a concealed
[French embuscade (from Old French embuschier, to ambush)
and Old Italian imboscata (from feminine past participle of
imboscare, to ambush), both from Frankish *boscu, bush,
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
This wasn't quite what I was looking for when I was searching for a new word today. I was looking for a synonym for 'acceptance' or 'resolute' as these are both things I am feeling or am at the moment. The settlement on our new house is tomorrow. Wish us luck!
Monday, February 26, 2007
The yarn is Paton's something in 'High Intensity' - odd that I should remember the name of the colour but not of the yarn. Here's a top view:
Word of the Day 5:
chapfallen [chop-faw-luhn, chap-]
dispirited; chagrined; dejected.
[Origin: 1590–1600; chap3 + fallen]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
Why this word? I was looking up for a synonym for 'frustrated.' My child's eating habits drive me bonkers. Don't get me wrong - she loves to eat... but takes absolutely forever to do it! We only have so much time when we get home. Most days I am lucky if we get home around 5pm, and she is usually in bed by 7:30 - 8pm. I hate the fact that I get angry and am trying to rush her along so she can finish her dinner, have a bath, do homework, get a story, and then get to bed all before 8pm.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
|You Are Chinese Food|
Exotic yet ordinary.
People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.
–verb (used without object), -nat·ed, -nat·ing. to laugh loudly or immoderately.
[Origin: 1815–25; <>
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
I love finding words that I have never heard of before!
I know I promised a better picture of the baby sweater, but the truth of it is we have had craptacular weather today so I wasn't able to take a good picture in natural light. It started snowing sometime around 1:30pm and has been coming down steadily since then. The weatherman is predicting 4 - 6 inches of snow by tomorrow morning.
Incidentally - my favourite Chinese food is Sesame Chicken - and I've got to have an eggroll. I'm also partial to Cashew Chicken. I don't like seafood in Chinese food, though - unless they are deep-fried prawns. How about you?
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The pattern is Daisy from Knitty but I made some changes to the structure. I absolutely detest having to sew pieces together afterward, so I knit the sleeves to the point of the raglan shaping, joined them to the main body, and continued to knit in the round with the raglan shaping. I think it makes for a much neater work... and I have only 5 stitches under each arm to sew up when finished. The yarn is one of the new fair-isle Plymouth Encore skeins, and I really could have got away with one skein for the entire sweater (I made the smallest size), but it was easier to have two skeins so I could work on the sleeves without cutting the yarn from the body. There is enough yarn leftover to probably make a matching hat and booties.
Now here is the delicate thing... the yarn smells a bit. I noticed it when I brought it home - but the yarn store said they had just received it from their supplier, and I live in a no pets non-smoking house. The smell - well, it reminds me a bit of burned hair or wet dog. It's fainter now that I have washed the sweater, and I don't know if at this point if I am just being sensitive about it or not. Before I washed the sweater, my mother-in-law said it reminded her of wet wool - and Encore does have a smidge (about 25%) of wool in it. I asked Willow if she smelled anything and she said it smelled like sunshine (oo-kay...) Does anyone know of anyway I can de-smell the sweater before I finally give it to Teri?
Word of the Day 4:
Pronunciation -[adj. plahy-keyt, -kit; v. plahy-keyt]
Also, pli·cat·ed. folded like a fan; pleated. –verb (used with object)
Surgery. to perform plication on.
[Origin: 1690–1700; < size="1">
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
I found this word when I was looking for a synonym for 'knit.' It isn't exact, but I liked it anyway. I assume that the word 'complicate' is connected to this as well.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Word of the Day 3:
Pronunciation [heb-i-tood, -tyood]
the state of being dull; lethargy.
Related forms : hebetudinous [adjective]
[Origin: 1615-25; <>
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
It looks like I am building a fortress from Boise paper boxes in my living room. I get these boxes free from work and they are nice because they are sturdy and you can only put so much into them so they can't get too heavy. But I am sick to death of looking at them! Green is normally one of my favourite colours and that Tudor green on the boxes is starting to make my stomach clench.
I'm coasting along in my experiment of commenting in 5 new blogs every day to see what kind of response I get from people. The segues that take you from blog to blog are very interesting - Pagan Knitters to Midwest Knitters to Queer Knitters to SAHM knitters to Sexy Knitters to Bad Ass Knitters. I have been primarily using the webrings to find new places. I have been keeping track of all the blogs I have been frequenting and I will post the list of 100 when I am done for everyone to see.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Word of the Day 2:
cor·y·ban·tic [kawr-uh-ban-tik, kor-] -adjective
1. frenzied; agitated; unrestrained.
2. (initial capital letter ) Also, Cor·y·ban·tian [kawr-uh-ban-tin, -tahyn, kor-] of or pertaining to a Corybant (Greek Mythology: A priest of the Phrygian goddess Cybele whose rites were celebrated with music and ecstatic dances.) .
[Origin: 1635-45; Corybant -> Corybant + -ic ]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
Less than a week until our settlement day. I am frazzled. I think I need a spa day. Honey, we haven't had Valentine's Day yet...
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I love to read.
I love using unusual words and foisting them on unsuspecting people. One of my co-workers loved the word 'imbibe' after I used it a few weeks ago that she went around the entire day using it instead of the word 'drink.' My Mom has long maintained that she thinks Sesame Street taught me how to read, because she didn't do it (although she is an amazingly prolific reader herself) and I was reading by the time I was 3 years old. Do you remember the V.C. Andrews "Flowers in the Attic" series? I read them in the third grade. My reading habits now spread through many genres from ancient poetry to alternative history, and I will admit to an unhealthy propensity toward paranormal romance. I especially love books in series because they give you plenty of time to immerse yourself in characters; the downside of this is there really is a distinct sense of loss when the series inevitably concludes.
As I mentioned in my last blog entry, coming up with a new word every day will not be a hardship for me. I found today's word in a Jeopardy question calendar my manager gave me for Christmas:
Word of the Day 1:
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a fear of God
Etymology: Greek theos 'god'
Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.6)Copyright © 2003-2006 Lexico Publishing Group, LLC
What struck me about this word is that it really isn't a synonym for the idiom 'fear of God.' You wouldn't say, "My father put the theophobia into me when I was young." It is a condition - to have a fear of God. Interestingly enough - I couldn't find what should be the technical opposite ('theophilia' - love of God) in any of the dictionaries I looked in.
Back to knitting... I am about 50% finished my Daisy sweater for my friend Teri who will be having a baby girl in a few short months. And since I always need a mindless project around, there is another hat on the needles. Pictures to come soon!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Here is February's Significant Finished Object (Not a Hat!) © :
This is a baby blanket I crocheted for my friend Lisa, who will be having a little boy in May. The whole blanket is crocheted in moss stitch out of Plymouth Encore. I used 6 skeins altogether, and had about 2 - 3 yards leftover for Willow to play with. The striping was created completely by the yarn with no effort on my part (just the way I like it!) I will be putting it in the mail this week, Lisa (you didn't look, did you?!!?)
Here's a close up of the blanket and the lovely cake of sock yarn that came in the mail today from Jen from 144 Inches of I-Cord for confessing I had it bad for John Taylor from Duran Duran and Jason Patric when I was a teenager:
Totoro just couldn't leave the sock yarn alone! It is Opal Sock Yarn and the colour is called "Happy Knitting!" - How apropos!
Tomorrow is Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / Pancake Tuesday, so I know what we will be having for dinner. Lent starts the next day, and some of you might remember what I did last year for Lent. I loved doing that, and wanted to think of something similar for this year - but the truth of it is with moving and all I know I won't have the time to dedicate to that sort of resolution. So, I am going to learn a word a day instead. My degree is in linguistics and I love etymology so this isn't really any hardship.
Edited to add: Woo-hoo! I forgot to say this qualifies as a Project Spectrum Finished Object! Yay me!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Here you are, Dad - your birthday hat:
Dad's hat is knit from Malabrigo in Rojo Vivo and I still have about a third of a skein leftover (and the leftover goes into my Dulaan hat pile stash). Dad requested this wool without even knowing what it was - I had brought bags of leftovers with me up to Canada for our Christmas vacation last year and when Dad said he wanted his hat knit "from that really soft stuff," I knew exactly which one he meant. I *love* knitting with Malabrigo - it's so smooth and not tight and the colours are beautiful.
Now, as the title points out, there are some inherent problems with taking pictures of yourself after midnight... as you can see from the above picture, I look like death warmed over (appropriate since I was having my own personal CSI catch-up marathon while finishing the hat). Also, since I have to prop the camera up to take the picture on a timer, there is no one to tell you if you are actually in the viewfinder or not:
Actually, I like that picture above - it did catch how the colour spirals around just like I was attempting to do. After that attempt, I appropriated one of Willow's balls and put the hat on it to try and catch the colour swirl:
I'm in the picture in this next one, but it turned out rather dark:
And the most embarrassing of all, the "I accidentally clicked the picture button without setting up the timer first" picture that gives you an un-needed close up of my lately ungroomed eyebrows...
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Andrew and I went off to Ikea this afternoon to get some ideas of what do with all the space we will have in our new home. Specifically, while large on room space, the bedrooms are skimpy on closet space - so we needed to look into armoires and wardrobes. I say 'and' because Andrew seems to think I am speaking French when I say 'armoire', and his Dad said he thinks they are actually different things. In any case, we will be needing more closet space in the new place. The first happy surprise was that we ran into my friend Asami, her husband Gara, and their cute-as-a-bug son Ray. This was a neat coincidence - both of us in the same (huge) place at the same time on the same day in a town that is not where either of us live.
We only came home with $15 worth of tools and some small stuff for Willow - but with lots of ideas. I want to get a bookcase or shelving unit to put all my knitting supplies and wool in to keep them in somewhat neat and orderly condition. We had a good look at the dishes and kitchen supplies as well - I know we will need new dishes (as one broke so we are down to 3 dinner plates). My Mom has one of those hanging do-hickies in her kitchen to hold all her pots and pans and I would like to get one of those, too.
And the next to best part (after the ideas, of course!)... I got to knit all the way to and back from Conshohocken and am about 30 minutes away from finishing my Dad's birthday hat. Um, yeah... Dad's birthday was at the beginning of January...
Friday, February 16, 2007
Willow has croup. She woke us up a little after midnight with sounds that sort of sounded like coughing/choking. I won't get into the body fluids part of it all, but suffice to say there were some. She couldn't breathe back in after coughing and was getting frantic so we whisked her down to A. I. DuPont Children's Hospital, which incidentally is the closest hospital to us anyway. She had a fever and the triage nurse diagnosed her right away as having croup. They gave her some tylenol and pedialyte popsicles, and we had to wait until nearly 4am to see one of the doctors. I understand the point of triage and children more sick and/or injured than Willow were coming in... but we were bloody exhausted by the time we got out of there. The doctor gave her a steroid dose and sent us home with instructions on how to deal with croup. It's interesting - if she is having a coughing episode, they said the best immediate thing to do is change her environment - either take outside into the cold air or put her in a steamy shower. So, we are dealing on less than 4 hours of sleep today - that kid better damn well go down for a nap.
I am going to conduct an experiment. I have been a little disappointed in the number of comments of late - thank you so much for those of you who leave comments - I must say I wonder sometimes what compels people to comment. I know I don't have (and am not attempting to recruit) some of the numbers that other more popular blogs have, but it's bewildering sometimes. I will write something I feel comment-worthy and no one leaves a comment - and then I write something fleeting and flippant and ten people feel the need to say something. I put in a site meter a few weeks back (you can click on the link on the lower right side of this page) and I was really surprised at the numbers of people who read my blog and where they come from. On the flip side, I know even though there are about 50 blogs that I track and read, there are only about 10 that I comment on regularly. So, what I propose to do is surf a bit more (yeah, my husband is going to love that) and leave comments on at least five people's blogs everday. Let me clarify - five people who I have never commented on before. Maybe I will find some fun new blogs to read... and maybe a new reader or two of my own.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Valentine's Day morning I work up to an odd dinging/pinging sound. After I came to, I realized it was ice hitting the windows. Not just sleet - but mini hail balls of ice. The top half of my bedroom window had about a half-inch of ice on it and it was like looking out of bathroom window glass. At 6:30am Andrew went out to try and clear off our cars and I hooked up my computer to the broadband (thank you!) and started to work. After about an hour Andrew came back in, having broken the teeth off all of our ice scrapers and breaking one of my taillights in an attempt to break off the ice... The roads were just too dangerous to drive on so Willow and Andrew had an ice day and I plugged away on my reports at the dining room table. I didn't go out all that day - Andrew and I decided we had to postpone Valentine's Day until the weather is a bit more amiable. The system had cleared through by this morning, so I took my computer outside to show you a bit of what had happened the day before.
This is a tree in our back courtyard:
A close-up of the poor frozen pine cones:
And an icy rhododendron in my in-laws' front yard:
I had to get to the office - but I saw many neat things along the way that I would have loved to take pictures of. With the sun coming up in the morning everything looked as if it were gilded in gold.
I will have a finished object soon - and keeping with my New Year's resolution of one significant project a month, it is not just a hat ;)
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Directions: If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?
1. Open your mp3 library
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press Play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the Next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.
7. Don't skip songs.
1. Opening credits: Girl Next Door – Saving Jane
2. Waking up: Funky Blues – Charlie Parker
3. First day of school: Eleanor Rigby – the Beatles
4. Fight song: Into the Fire – Sarah McLachlan
5. Breaking up: Baby – Iggy Pop
6. Happiness: Blown Away – the Pixies
7. Life's okay: Supernova – Liz Phair
8. Mental breakdown: Why Should I Love You – Kate Bush
9. Driving: Lightning Crashes - Live
10. Flashback: I’ll Do The Driving – Fountains of Wayne
11. Getting back together: How Strong Do You Think I Am – Alexz Johnson
12. Wedding song: Hooked on Polkas – Weird Al Yankovic
13. Birth of first child: I Can Hear You – They Might Be Giants
14. Final battle scene: Jimmy Neutron Theme Song – Bowling for Soup
15. Death scene: King of the Mountain – Midnight Oil
16. Funeral song: Love is a Battlefield – Pat Benatar
17. End credits: Mystify - INXS
I did have to fudge mine a little bit because we have audiobook files on our list as well, and it didn't feel quite right when Chapter Something or Other from a Shelby Foote book came up - so I just skipped it until a song came up. And I will admit that a full third of these songs were Andrew's additions to the music library and I am not familiar with them at all...
Sunday, February 11, 2007
From New Mexico, no less... that through me off :) Enclosed were 3 skeins of Big Mexiko socks yarn (thank you - quick sock satisfaction here I come!), a blue striped vinyl box (which I will be taking to work to put all my various post-it pads in), a bag of white chocolate Hugs (yum!), a Chibi needle set (I've always wanted one of those), some size 7 bamboo dpns (no doubt for those socks!), some on-th-needle stitch counters, and a Bunny sticker set for Willow. I'm saving the stickers for this afternoon for her to play with as we pack - thank you for thinking of her, too! The funny thing about the stitch counters is that I almost bought some yesterday but then reconsidered it because I was in dire need of a nap. Thank you, SP!
Look, Mom! My bed was made!
Friday, February 09, 2007
Why was I going through my yarn? Well, the dreaded packing has begun. I have three 18-gallon tubs of wool, a smaller tote-able tub of wool, and an ottoman with storage within... with, um, more yarn. Andrew, to his credit, did not say a single word when I started hauling this out of the closet of mystery. My husband is a saint. Mom, there is another box of yarn coming your way.
In the midst of all of this I did manager to finish two small things for Willow. One is a chullo-hat pattern with a hole in the back for her ponytail. I didn't use a pattern for this - just sort of made it up as I went along. The yarn is Malabrigo Chunky stuff I bought at Handpainted Yarn last year some time. I think the colourway is Paris Night, but don't quote me on it.
My original thought was to just make a normal toque-type hat for her, but when that part of that hat was done and she tried it on, I realized it was much too short on her head, so I added the ear flaps. I simply marked on either side of her head with stitch markers how wide the ear flaps needed to be to cover her ears and then some, then did single crochet rows until I ran out of yarn. It has a very rustic look to it - I am thinking of adding a crocheted edging in a different colour just to make the front and back a bit deeper on her head.
This lucky girl also scored herself a Calorimetry this week:
She admired mine greatly and wanted to claim it like she did the Nippertail hat but I put my foot down. After she and I had a screaming match at each other last night (me hormonally charged, she nap-less), I put her to bed and started knitting her the Calorimetry. It's a little snug on her - I think I am going to re-position the button to give it a bit more ease. Willow's Calorimetry is knit from TLC Essentials in the Surf N Turf colourway. I love how the aqua and browns move together here, and there is still plenty left on the skein, so I will undoubtedly get a Dulaan hat or two out of the remaining yarn. To size this down I only cast on 80 stitches on size 6 needles, and did 10 repeats of row 5 and 12 repeats of row 7. I may fudge this a bit and add an inch or two on each end as an afterthought to extend the band if Willow complains about it being too tight.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday mornin' you gave me no warnin' of what was to be
~ Mamas and the Papas
Yesterday started out well enough. Yes, Andrew and I argued about whose turn it was to take Willow to school and it was so frakin' freezing outside that my tires went thunk-thunk-thunk for the first few hundred yards on the road. It didn't seem like a bad day.
I arrived at work and Andrew called to say Willow's school bag had been in my car, not his, so I would need to drop it off at her school sometime that morning. My morning meetings finished around 10am and I left to bring Willow her bag. I returned to the office about 10 minutes later, and while I was taking off my coat, my co-worker Ruth told me that our entire group had been pulled into a meeting to let them know our previous manager had died of cancer the night before.
We knew Esther had been sick - in fact, she had been out of the office since last spring recuperating - but it was still a shock. Esther had hired me into my present group back in 2003 - I started out as a temp employee. She was a champion for those she saw promise in, and before long she convinced me to apply for a permanent (and higher level) position within the group. Esther was a character - she was a lady. In the nearly 4 years I knew her, I do not believe I ever saw her without make-up on - especially red lipstick. She never wanted anyone to see her looking casual; I remember a photo had been taken of her at a team-building event wearing sneakers and she stole the picture and ripped it up so no one could see her wear sneakers. She unabashedly told people that she had a big fancy kitchen and yet had never turned the oven on. I asked her once what her husband thought about that - her response was that he knew what he was getting into when he married her. People referred to her as "The Queen" and she liked that.
Esther did not have children of her own, but she loved and indulged other people's children, especially little girls - especially my daughter. Courtesy of Esther, my daughter had clothes from Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus before I had ever even stepped into one of these stores! Willow has since grown out of these fancy togs, but still one of her favourite stuffed animals is a soft yellow duck that she lovingly calls "Esther Duck."
Willow still asks about Esther, even though Esther hasn't been in my group since 2005, so I felt I had to tell her that Esther had passed away. I hadn't reacted until that moment. It seemed a little unreal at work, perhaps because I had been informed by one person rather than hearing it as a part of a group. With Willow's first question, "What is cancer?" I broke down. Esther is the first person Willow has known who has died and I don't know how real it is to her.
I was a wreck for the rest of the night. Andrew came home early and I spent the rest of the night weepy and pensive in turns. I thought about how I didn't mail her Christmas card to her house - I left it in her office mail, assuming that someone would come pick up her stuff. No one did and the card is still in that pile of mail.
I stayed up after Andrew and Willow had gone to bed, trying to numb myself with television. My Mom called to inform me that Death wasn't finished today. One of my second cousins and his girlfriend had been killed in a car accident that morning. They were crossing at a crosswalk, walked in front of a stopped bus and a car in the next lane ran them down. They were killed instantly.
Monday, Monday, can't trust that day
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Wait a second! That article says lemmings do not all throw themselves off cliffs... way to ruin my entire metaphor, Wikipedia.
Anyway - here is my Calorimetry:
I knit it from a skein of Berroco's Foliage in Japanese Maple I bought up in Duncan, BC over Christmas. As you can see, the colour is redder than the shade card leads you to believe. The pattern was a very quick knit - I started about 8:30pm last night and was finished after lunch today. The button is courtesy of my mother-in-law's tin of buttons. I had to go down to size 6 needles to get gauge, but other than that, everything was knit as per the pattern.
I had intended to wait until tomorrow when I was a bit more gussied up for the picture - but I was so happy with how it turned out that I had Andrew take a picture of me wearing it... unbrushed, napped-in hair and all:
Maybe I will have him take a better picture tomorrow for posterity...
Friday, February 02, 2007
How Poems Get Written
at the shoulders,
I gave her -
a wedding gift.
I tap out
on her hip bone.