Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Day At The Zoo

This is something we have been promising Willow for some time now. But, with looking for houses, me travelling on business, and Andrew's class and homework schedule we just were not able to manage it... but, this weekend was free, the weather forecast *seemed* promising (grumble, grumble) so off we went to the Philadelphia Zoo.

This zoo has marble and bronze statues throughout - mostly life-sized, so you can get a good idea of how tall you would be next to the animal. Here is Andrew and Willow in front of the elephants:

Here is Willow as a baboon. Not much of a stretch ;)

The zoo was celebrating its 'Fall Beastival' this weekend. Local farmers donate their extra fall produce to the zoo for the animals, and almost everywhere we went today we saw animals eating pumpkin. I can't think raw pumpkin tastes very good, but these tortises were going nuts over it - it is the fastest I have ever seen them move!

Andrew and the pouty baboon. Three minutes prior there were about 10 kids climbing all over this statue in front of the new big cats exhibit... and one of the zoo workers came and yelled at them (and their parents) that this was dangerous. Willow was upset because she wanted to climb up there like all the other kids.

This was the best photo op - this juvenile gorilla was right up against the glass looking at Willow, but Willow freaked out and didn't want to get anywhere near the gorilla. The only way she would even sit this close is if Daddy held her:

But then she was more then willing to sidle up to the bronze gorilla outside the primate house:

She liked the bears as well:

Our zoo trip was cut short when it started raining... on a day that the weather was forecasted to be 65'F and sunny!!! We went quickly through the big cats exhibit and promised Willow we would be back to take a more in-depth look at a later date.

And now for the close-ups on the finished Christmas presents...

No guesses because I won't confirm or deny anyway!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Christmas Present #2 Finished!

I'm on a roll now! I think I will take Cristi's suggestion and post macros shots of the yarn and stitches later and not show the actual object.

Yay me!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blogstalking - Books and More (Library!)

Our Blogstalking task for last week was to take pictures of our books/bookshelves/library - something like that, to show off. Well, for starters, in out 780 square foot apartment (yes, I had warned you before it was small) there are two bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 dining room (ha! glorified hallway, really), 1 living room... and 7 bookshelves. And that doesn't count the books that are stacked up on the floor, beside sofas, or in the car. There is virtually no organization to these shelves, other than Willow has the bottom shelf on the big bookcase, and the bookshelf closest to where I knit has my knitting books.

I'm not taking pictures of them all because I am just not in a cleaning and dusting mood right now, so I present to you Bookshelf #1:

This is the first bookshelf you see when you enter our apartment, and since it is sort of out of the living area, it has the books we want to keep but don't read on a regular basic... like the Riverside Shakespeare, the Bible, War and Peace. I seem to have cut off the magazine boxes at the top - but that is where all my knitting magazines live.

And now, Bookshelf #2:

This one is in the living room and the most commonly used bookshelf. The bottom, as you can see, is mostly Willow's books and the top shelf is mostly mass market paperbacks that we have bought with the intent to read but haven't got around to it yet. As for the middle, it looks like a mixture of hardcover novels and large paperbacks that wouldn't fit anywhere else - and unlike the top shelf, we have read nearly all the books in the middle. The three canisters on the top shelf is our change piggy banks - pennies in Big Ben, dimes in the British post box, and nickels in the globe.

On another subject altogether, there is knitting going on around here... But precious little of it I can show you!

Whew - this is hard. I know I am not going to get something made for everyone for Christmas, but I am trying my damnedest. In the meantime, the various in-process projects (and I think I have 6 going on right now) have to stay off the blog. I wish I had something non-Christmas-present intended to show off because I feel like a slacker with the lack of knitting pictures lately.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Drowning Here...

Ever have one of those days when you know you already have too much on your plate and you are struggling with it as it is and then someone adds a few other things to the pile and you can't say no? Don't worry - I'm not being a pushover - it's a work thing. And it isn't even *extra* stuff - my normal quarterly tasks - but in this quarter it seems that everything is due within the same 3 day period. And I will be in class three days next week (Foundation in Accounting and Statistics then Introduction to Pharmaceutical Marketing). And I'm not exaggerating about the 3 day span - usually I have 2-3 weeks to knock all this stuff back.


I love my job. Who knew that someone as artsy-fartsy as I am with a degree in Applied Linguistics and a background in teaching would get such a kick out of accounting, spreadsheets gloriola, and the sociological aspects of my industry? This is something I want people in college and university to know - that just because you are inclined to study one discipline does not mean you cannot excel in another discipline altogether.

I repeat, I love my job. Just right now I wish things were spread out a bit more.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Happy Belated Anniversary to Us

Okay, so I don't take very clear self-portraits early on a Sunday morning after the house imp has denied us sleep.

Look at the pretty sparkly things in my ears :) Yesterday was my and Andrew's 9th anniversary. The anniversary of our marriage, not our wedding. You may remember back in June I said we were celebrating our anniversary - that was our wedding anniversary. We were married in City Hall in Sakura City, Japan in September 1997 and then had a wedding service with all our friends and family in June 1998 when we returned to North America.

Anywho, the pretty things in my ears...

I am a horrible person to buy presents for - Andrew will attest to that. He asks me what I want and my most common response is, "I don't know." I mean, there are little knitting-related things I would like, but never in a million years would Andrew get something like that for me. I think he thinks I spend to much time knitting anyway (go figure). The problem with this time of year is our anniversary is in September, my birthday is in November, and then Christmas slams into you before you know it. I just can't think of that many things I want! So, after a minor argument about this the other day, I started thinking about presents, and I decided that I really wanted a pair of nice earrings that I could wear all the time and not even know they were there.

So, after celebrating our anniversary with a joint Platelet Pheresis donation, and a lunch at Don Pablo's (where I inadverantly blew my points for the day - who knew a bowl of chicken soup could have 580 calories and 38 grams of fat?!!?), we went to the Macy's, where they were having a huge jewelry sale (50% off, then an extra 20% off if you donated $5 to their heart health charity drive)... and after perusing many pairs of gold hoops, I was enchanted with the ones I'm wearing - very small hoops with even smaller diamonds in them.

I feel so pretty!

And better yet, I can't even feel that they are there!

Thank you, Andrew.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Oh, the Agony of it All!

I have a real, live finished object...

And I can't post a picture of it because it is a Christmas and the person it is intended for sometimes reads my blog and I don't want this person to see his/her present! However, here is a shot of the leftover wool so you can see what it was made of:

Lovely soft Malabrigo in shades of blue. Wait a second... I just thought of something... it isn't even the middle of September and I have a Christmas present finished! Yay me! I cast on for the next Christmas present about three minutes after I wove in the ends on the first present.

I had to take a picture of the three of us for two reasons - one because Willow needed a picture for school, and two because our former employer in Japan needed a picture for their 30th anniversary publication... so here you go:

Yeah... she looks like her Daddy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Back from the Mile High City... and Celebrities I Have Seen: Blogstalking

Jet-lagged once again... hopefully I will get over this one quicker - the time difference was only two hours rather than three hours this time. I haven't been to Denver since 2001 when Andrew and I moved from Boulder, CO back to the East Coast... and truthfully, we were more in Littleton than Denver... but I digress. I was at an industry conference and had an interesting time - ate way too much good food (and had a stomach ache for the last half of the trip), had a whopper of a margarita, and got to see Garden of the Gods and a mini-rodeo at The Flying W Ranch.

I'm afraid this edition of Blogstalking will be picture-less... because the odd time I have come across a celebrity I have not had a camera with me. Let's see... the only celebrity who has ever spoken to me is Jon Voight. It was back in 97/98 - somewhere around there. I was LAX, suffering through a 4 hour layover on my trip home from Tokyo to Vancouver. There was nowhere to sit downstairs, so I went upstairs to the luxury/club area. I didn't go in - I'm not that brazen! There were benches near the entrance and no one was up there, so I sat down, had turned on my laptop and was trying to keep myself awake and entertained before I had to catch my connecting flight. Apparently this didn't work because I fell asleep. I was woken up by Mr. Voight, who informed me I was about to drop my computer on the floor. I recognized him right away but didn't make a big deal out of it because I kind of feel celebrities deserve their privacy and he was being nice to me.

My sister Teri, lucky duck that she is, met this beautiful man way up in the Yukon... sigh...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

With the wind and rain and branches everywhere...

Ernesto is on his way out, and while we hardly even got a glancing blow out of him, the yard outside is a mess. I would take a picture, but the rain is still coming down at such a pace that the picture would just be a grey blur. There are branches everywhere and I am sure the garden is a big mudpie right now... We had about 4 inches of rain in the last two days of August and at least 2 inches in the last 24 hours. It feels like autumn already - I don't believe it temperature even made it to 65'F yesterday.

I wanted to have some bright and colourful yarn pics to show off but apparently the gloominess is affecting my camera as well. Here is some of the yarn I bought at KnitPurl in Portland, OR last week:

Mmm... more Koigu! Unfortunately this pic is not doing justice to the colours at all. I did ask to have the stuff wound at the store - but Koigu looks its prettiest when it is still in its skein. They are sort of a turquoise-y green with a dab of purple thrown in. These will be socks for *ME* someday - probably sometime after Christmas because there are too many other things that need to get completed before now and then.

Cashsoft Aran in a soft dark blue - this stuff really lives up to its soft name! This is destined to be made into someone's Christmas present, so I can't get much more into it. I have a feeling I am going to love working with this...

I did buy something else at KnitPurl, but it went directly into my Colorswap partner's package - so I will have to post a link when she posts them on her blog.

And for all you blogstalkers, here is my addition to the "Feets Up" category. I have had a pedicure recently so my feet don't look so bad. They were definitely tired toesies by the time this pic was taken. The colours of the Koigu look a bit better here:

Psst... don't tell my mother-in-law that my feet were on the table. She'll yell at me! I did throw the table cloth in the wash right afterward - partly because of the feet and partly because the darling progeny had decided to paint with raspberries earlier in the day. I love Tide-to-Go sticks!

Someone asked me what I am knitting right now since there haven't been any current project pics up in a while. I have a navy blue Malabrigo hat going right now, a washcloth (the quick 'throw-in-the-suitcase' project), and Andrew's cabled sweater. Since the weather has been cooler I have been more inclined toward the sweater - I'm almost at the point where I have to decrease for the armholes on the back.... so maybe 20% finished?