Thursday, May 31, 2007

Squishy Boob Day

Last week I had my regular check up with my doctor, and we joked about how I am getting old - and he told me that since I will be 35 this fall I needed to have a baseline mammogram done. So, the appointment was set up. My friends from work were all telling me stories about the varying levels of pain involved - and just this morning I thought to myself that I had the worst luck to have my mammogram scheduled for the hottest day of the year so far - a day where you can't wear deodorant, powder, or perfume.

Now I think maybe I have the best luck, because they found something.

I had the mammogram and then was shuttled off to have a more in-depth ultrasound . It turns out there is something in my left breast above and under my nipple. What freaks me out is even *I* could make it out on the screen. The doctor told me that it is not a cyst. I have to see a surgeon and have a biopsy done and I hope to get this done very soon.

Incidentally, the mammogram didn't hurt. It was more awkward than anything else to contort myself so they could take the pictures.


Forgive me - I can't remember who I stole this from today:

You Are An

The Executive

You are a natural leader - with confidence and strength
that inspires others.
Driven to succeed, you are always looking for ways to gain,
power, knowledge, and expertise.
Sometimes you aren't the most considerate person,
especially to those who are a bit slow.
You are not easily intimidated - and you have a commanding,
awe-inspiring presence.

You would make a great CEO, entrepreneur, or
The funny thing is that this is me in spades...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Someone Is Conspiring Against Me... make sure I don't get any sleep. The name of this evil entity? My local public library. It really is good timing, I suppose - when else am I going to have a chance to read doorstop-weight books through all hours of the night and not have it effect my work? Earlier this week these three books were waiting for me:

1. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris. Sookie is one of my favourite characters - a genre heroine who hasn't fallen into the 'have sex with everyone she meets' ditch. Don't get me wrong - I still read those other books by that other author as soon as they come out, but I like the fact that Sookie still thinks about things and um, has a storyline. Enough said. I had also listened to Grave Surprise by the same author on audio CD earlier in the week.

2. 1634: The Baltic War by Eric Flint and David Weber. I think I read these books as a matter of course because I did enjoy the first book (1632) and enjoyed it so much. Somewhere along the way, however, these became more war (and gazillions pages of battle scenes) writing and less about the up-time people making their way in a new world. Authors, the finger-waving thing you accuse nearly every single female character of doing is very off-putting - repetitive and unoriginal. I did like Eddie Cantrell's part of the story, though.

3. For A Few Demons More by Kim Harrison. Don't have anything to say about this one yet because I haven't even cracked the spine yet... but that is going to happen as soon as I have my morning coffee...

Are you all getting an idea of my preferred reading material? It's funny - I grew up with parents who read escapist fiction - sci-fi/fantasy on my Mom's part and spy novels on my Dad's - so I don't think anyone can blame me for seeking similar escapes. In any case, I hope that the next book that comes my way is The Walker Papers:Coyote Dreams by C.E. Murphy.

But don't worry - reading wasn't the only thing I accomplished this weekend! I finally put the last three remaining bookshelves together in the sunroom (two 6-feet tall and one 4-feet tall) so we can start unloading all the (multitudes of) books we have and start using the sunroom for its intended purpose - a reading room. Although I am sure some knitting will happen there as well...

Andrew and I also managed to catch a double feature on Saturday (Oh, I love three day weekends!) - we saw Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Spiderman 3. I really couldn't get into Spiderman - Andrew asked why, and the only thing I can think of us that I don't find either the male or female leads attractive and so I wasn't all that invested in the storyline. I liked Pirates of the Caribbean but it had some weird surreal scenes in it. I'm curious how many of the tattoos they were showing in Johnny Depp's shirtless scenes were his own and which were movie artwork.


Here is a picture of one of the flowers that didn't make it into the last batch - I like the gold in the middle of this rhododendron:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Really, Are Any of You Surprised?

Stolen from Trillian:

Josephine --


A lewd street

'How will you be
defined in the dictionary?'


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Think of the Pretty Flowers... not the Crazy Zoo Day

I better get this on the blog toute de suite before another person tags me!

Nell tagged me for a meme, so here we go:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves.
Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as
well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others
and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those
you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know
that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

Yeah... I'm not doing that last part...

Here are my facts:

1. I really don't like talking on the telephone - I would rather email to communicate.

2. I love bing cherries - actually paid an exhorbitant amount for them this morning - relatively speaking. I grew up in an area where you can buy them on the side of the road for $2 for a 2 pound bag. Let's just say ACME was charging more than $1/pound.

3. I don't swear much. That doesn't mean that blue language doesn't pass through my lips - but I'm more likely to say 'bugger off' or 'bloody hell.' I blame my dad for this - who in turn had picked it up from his British parents.

4. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 26 years old, and didn't drive regularly until I was 28 - but I love to drive now. Just not on I-95 here in Delaware.

5. I like doing laundry. Or maybe I just like the process of having clean clothes.

6. I will gladly (and regularly) forgo sleep to read a good book.

7. I love to go swimming and being in the water - but hate what it does to my hair. I *can't* wash it every day or it would break apart - so in the summer I frequently smell of chlorine.

If you weren't tagged but would like to play, feel free to snag the rules and post on your blog. I figure by this point almost everyone and his/her dog has been tagged... but if you haven't, steal away.


The following azalea is my all-time favourite in my father-in-law's garden. Tonight he told me it is called a Ben Morrison azalea. I love how it has a distinct tri-colour shading to it:

Here are some other azaleas and rhododendrons I caught in bloom tonight (there are more, but I having some problems publishing them all):

And just so you don't think we are only about the azaleas and rhododendrons at Casa In-Law, here is a picture of one of the clematis vines blooming on the dog run fence:

Remember you can click on any of these flower pic to see the full-size version!

Now, is the title of this blog post confusing you yet? Yesterday I accompanied my daughter on her class' field trip to the Philadelphia Zoo. Yes, you have every reason to question my sanity here. The thing is that Willow is very familiar with the zoo and will run around from exhibit to exhibit because she knows where all of her favourite animals are - and I just didn't trust her in the care of another adult. Notice my wording... not that I wouldn't trust another adult - I don't trust Willow! There must have been other parents who felt the same way, because there was about one adult for every 1.5 children. In any case, I was mentally exhausted after walking around the zoo for 5 hours with two four year olds - and Willow was not listening, pouting when I would lift up the other girl first to see exhibits, trying to climb up on all the exhibit fences... I was so happy to truss her up in her school bus harness and walk to the back of the bus and bury my head in a book. I didn't care if the bus driver was going a zillion miles an hour on 1-95 with no discernible shock absorbers... I NEEDED A BREAK!

Anyway, here is a picture of the two girls before they drove me batty:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sneakin' in

Ever have those days where you feel you are living in a fishbowl?

Really - I am alive. Andrew's organic chemistry final is coming soon and my time on the computer has been limited to about 10 minutes a day for the last few days. I cannot wait for this class to be over - I love you, honey - but this class has made you a beast. The above picture was taken on Mother's Day at the nursery where we bought my MIL's hanging basket. I love these garden balls - I may just have to get one for my very own garden.

Speaking of gardens, here is a picture of Willow looking very blissed out in her grandfather's flower garden:

And you know I took plenty of pictures of the azaleas and rhododendrons... click on the pictures to see the full size. These were also taken on Mother's Day - I need to get back there with the camera to take more - my favourite cherry-pink-red one is blooming right now.

Aren't they beautiful? Last weekend some of the local teenagers took their prom shots in my in-laws' garden with these flowers as a backdrop.

This past weekend my friend Asami swooped in and rescued me and Willow - and spared Andrew so he could study for his final in peace. Asami, Gara, Ray, Willow, and I went into Philadelphia where we first had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant. I was a little worried about Willow because she can be a little iffy around new foods - but she took the the noodle dish like a pro and was slurping with the best of them. After lunch we went to the Please Touch Museum. I had not been to one of these since I lived in Colorado and the one I remembered in Boulder was much smaller than this one. I was impressed with all the life-sized story boards they have - like from "Where The Wild Things Are":
and "Alice in Wonderland":
Willow had an absolute ball and I know she would love to go back. Thank you Asami for taking us out there! We even stopped in Chinatown on our way home to get some bubble tea (well, in my case I had bubble iced coffee), but this is something I hadn't had since we lived in Japan and it brought back some great memories - natsukashi!
And of course, there has been some knitting going on - very little, but some. Here's is Andrew's bicycle helmet liner:
He had mentioned a few weeks back (when the weather was cooler, of course!) that his head was getting cold from the vent holes in his bicycle helmet. This pattern is one of the free patterns on Royal Yarns' website and is a basic 2X2 ribbed hat. I made the length about an inch longer than it said before decreasing because it just looked too short, and I am glad I did. The yarn is Riata I bought at Stitches East last fall - and I easily have enough left over for another hat - it was really nice to work with - definitely has some weight to it without being bulky - probably the silk in it.
Some other things - Nell - I am still working on the meme. Bengel - you are so sweet - thank you for the compliment.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Public Service Announcement and an Editorial

Knitting after a few glasses of wine and whilst watching "The Best of Jimmy Fallon" on DVD is not the best idea.

I'm a little afraid to go downstairs and look at my ribbed hat in progress...

That all being said, I miss Jimmy Fallon. I love how he smiles through sketches and is on the verge of losing control most of the time. He needs to be in more romantic comedies. I think I am going to add Fever Pitch to my Netflix queue so I can watch it (again).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wilmington Flower Market

I am a cruel woman. Yes, you have heard me say this before, but here is utter proof:

The above picture was taken from a ferris wheel! My husband hates ferris wheels, yet every year he climbs into one of those 'baskets o'doom' so I can look out among the festivities at the Wilmington Flower Market - this even after how I told him once how my sister Jaime and I once got stuck on a ferris wheel that broke and had to get manually turned around so the people could get let off. Isn't it a nice picture, though? It was a hot and sunny day and there were more people there than I have ever seen before.

We went to the Wilmington Flower Market with our friends Asami and Ray:

No - he isn't choking - he really likes his strawberries. Willow wants to play with Ray so bad - he is still a little shy right now each time he meets her, but end up warming up to her to the point of them wrestling. She has 3 years on him, so I think she is afraid of hurting him sometimes, but he is a very energetic boy.

Oh yeah - back to me being cruel:

That was a very squished Andrew (see his knees?) and consequently even more squished Willow on the Orient Express roller coaster. In my defense, I did offer to take Andrew's place on this ride, but he declined. He said if he couldn't fit in there then surely I couldn't... but you know, he is over a foot taller than me. I think just perhaps I could have fit in...

The day ended with Willow's usual fair activity - riding the ponies. The last few years she has ridden a pony named Friendly, but he was out of rotation resting when we arrived, so she ended up riding on one of Friendly's stablemates - Doodlebug. Who names these ponies?!?!

The flower market is called such because there is an abundance of seedlings and full-grown plants available for people to buy as a fundraiser, and we left with a yellow tomato seedling to plant in out backyard.


I was in Orlando, Florida the last few days on a business trip and while I didn't get to see the fires first hand, you could definitely smell it in the air. This is rather thick of me, but when we first landed I thought it smelled like the inside of a wood heat sauna - that cooked cedar smell. It literally took me a day to connect that smell to the the fact that there were fires nearby. I can't even blame jet lag for this because I didn't even leave my time zone!

Monday, May 07, 2007

More Thoughts on MDSW and Knitty SP Package #3!

First off... I have said time and time again that my child is mercurial. Extremely so. I really don't know where she gets that from... (Jo tries to look angelic), but trust me when I say it took her all of 5 minutes to go from this:

Sad Willow

to this

Trying to Pout Willow

to this

Happy Willow

FIVE MINUTES, PEOPLE! I forsee hell in eight years when she becomes a teenager! Okay, in her defense she had walked into the corner of the desk just as I was trying to take a picture of her with the stuffed llama I bought her at MDSW... but still!

And on the topic of MDSW, there were a few things that I forgot to mention yesterday. They fall more into the category of 'Lessons Learned' (something we always have to go through after completing a project at work):
  1. You can dress me up but you can't take me out. I ordered a yummy grilled lamb pita sandwich for lunch (not sure it justified the $12 cost, but that is another issue), and managed to spill all the lamb juices down my pant leg with the first bite. At least it wasn't deposited on my normal messy space. Um, the frontal shelf area.
  2. Bring a bottle of water next time so you don't have to pay $3 for a limeade and also to wash your hands after using the port-o-potties (which had no water in the wash stations!). Seriously - ick - think of all the people who heeded the call of nature then touched all the stuff in the shops that you touched. Maybe bring hand sanitizer, too.
  3. It's a good thing other people drive to these places (thank you, Kathy!) because if I am not driving I fall asleep in the car. And I don't drive on highways.
  4. I'm going to have to research what kind of spinning wheel I would like to buy - I must have seen at least 5 different shapes, and I am sure there are infinite varieties within that number. Recommendations are welcome.
  5. I felt sorry for the shopkeepers who had no people in their stalls.

So, I will be back next year... with wet wipes, bottled water, hand sanitizer, a list of wheels to try out, and a PB&J sandwich to tide me over (good idea, Michelle!)...

My mother-in-law called me as I was picking up Willow this afternoon to tell me there was a package waiting for me at her house, so I rushed over and found my Knitty SP package #3! A while back my SP had asked me what I was thinking about making, and I said I wanted to knit a hat with sunset colours. SP said she would see what she could spin up for me, and this is what came today:

Mountain Sunset and Boise Yarn

Isn't it pretty? She called it "Mountain Sunset" and there is easily enough wool there for two hats. Next to it in the lovely rustic wicker basket is a scarlet skein of Karabella Boise - it is so baby soft I just wanted to cuddle it like a kitten. But that wasn't all!

SP had knit Willow a scarf:

SP's scarf for WIllow

I just can't tell you how happy Willow is when she also gets presents in my SP packages - sometimes I think she is more excited about the packages coming than me!

And just a few more pictures - I love my new camera! My father-in-law's flower garden has started to bloom - the backyard looks like a fairyland:

A pink dogwood:
Pink dogwood

A pink rhododendron:
Pink rhododendron

A mauve redbud tree. I think this one is really cool - I had never seen one before moving to Delaware:
Redbud tree

And lastly, a peach azalea:
Peach Azalea

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Oh, What a day!

Wow - what a day! Yesterday my friends Kathy, Michelle, Patti, and I all went down to West Friendship (love that name!) to participate in the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time. First, I was absolutely baffled at the sheer numbers of people there. It was so much larger than Stitches East - I told Kathy that the only thing I could think to compare it to was the PNE that I used to go to growing up in British Columbia. Except it was all sheep. And llamas. And rabbits. Okay, and maybe some goats, too. It was amazing! I tried to get a picture of all the people on the hill near the entrance and the multitudes of cars parked on the opposite field, but this idjit in the red shirt parked himself right in my view and wouldn't move. So, here is Michelle in front of the idjit blocking my view:

And some sheared llamas:

I'm not sure if these guys were full-grown or not - they were only about my height (about 5 feet tall) and were pretty tame. A teenage girl took them on occasional walks through the crowds so people could pet them.

There were so many people in this place that I didn't have much of an opportunity to snap pictures in many stalls, but in the main exhibition center there was a man who had some gorgeous carved spinning wheels - like this one with the sheeps heads all around it:

I am so going to get myself a spinning wheel! As soon as I manage to save up $600 that doesn't need to be used somewhere else... sigh. It just looked so cool! There were a few vendors that allowed people to test-drive the wheels, but there were such long lines that I didn't get a chance. And Dad, I did find some plans for hand-making wheels, but quite honestly, they might as well have been printed in Ancient Chinese for all the sense they made. I'll see what else I can find you...

And I got to meet bloggers! Cristi of Turtlegirl76, Pam of Katydidknits and I managed to exchange cell numbers beforehand and meet up on the grassy area outside the main exhibition hall in the afternoon.

I met Stariel as well and it was funny - she didn't recognize me (or my name) despite being someone who has commented on my blog a few times. It's amusing to still have that unexpected level of anonymity. It was also odd to introduce youself to people as 'Wildpeculiarjoy' - I guess if I identify as anything, it is as my Knitty name, not my blog name. And Frecklegirl came by as well to promote her new community website, Ravelry. I had a wonderful time - and I can't wait until next year!

I did have some bad (tee hee hee) news later that day - my digital camera finally died! Yay! Oh, wait - did I say that out loud? This was the last picture taken with that camera:

Forgive me - I had consumed a very large margarita by this point. It was Cinquo de Mayo, you know!

Anyway, all subsequent pics have been taken with the new camera - a Nikon Coolpix L10 - still not an expensive camera, but with definitely more bells and whistles than the Vivitar 3915 we had. And now to the goodies! Kathy, Michelle, and I all bought the same drop spindle - we figure we are all going to sink or swim together on this project. Underneath my new spindle is the oh-so soft Merino roving I bought to play with:

You know there are going be some trials and errors with a new camera - this next picture is a better representation of the colour:

And sock yarn! I saw the line up for the Socks That Rock booth and decided I had other things I wanted to look at. That line nearly rivalled that of the one for the festival t-shirts. And why on Earth are people standing in line for hours to pay $25 for a bloody t-shirt? Is there some status thing I am just not getting? I did get some sock yarn - this from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. I can definitely see myself buying more of her stuff in the future.

I'm going to have to edit this post later - this next bunch is some merino/cotton blend stuff that will be nice for a baby sweater. The two large hanks were 2 for $12, and the little bits were $2/ounce and I have about 250 - 300 yards of chunky stuff altogether:

This lime-green stuff is some Brown sheep merino/mohair blend that I see for a "can't lose me in a snowstorm" hat - and it is lovely soft to boot:


Oh, and before I forget... Bezzie won my Second Blogiversary contest! Bezzie, if you will shoot me an email or PM on Knitty, I will get some Claudia Handpaints sock yarn off to you quickly!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy Almost Blogiversary to Me :) (and a contest!)

Remember this photo?

Two years ago tomorrow I started this blog with this photo - and I can't believe how much bigger my baby is! She has begged me to teach her how to knit for the last two years (actually, starting not too long from when I staged this picture). We have tried the odd time, but either she or I get frustrated with the project -knitting just isn't as freeform as colouring with crayons.

Anyway - why am I posting this today as opposed to my real blogiversary? Well, since I will be down at some little event in Maryland I probably won't be able to write a blog entry tomorrow. However, I wanted to announce in advance my...

Blogiversary Contest

Come on, feed my ego! Tell me in a comment why you like to read my blog - and please leave your email or some other way for me to get in touch with you. I will take all the entries I receive by sometime on Sunday and randomly draw a name. The prize? Well, I'm sure there will be some shopping at that little festival tomorrow...