Monday, June 29, 2009


And almost more amazing than blackberries is Matilda.

Sock Count- 9.33

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I *heart* blackberries

so you can imagine my joy and surprise when I found some in my backyard. It's amazing what you can discover when it's not 95 degrees with 95% humidity (Cindy- if I had known the weather was going to be like this I would have sent out an invitation)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

but wait there's more

The good news is that uncle seems "back to normal." Aunt is positive. Others are waiting for the dr.'s report. That everything happened so quickly is a sign that medication could have been involved. Also the internets tells me that depressive episodes and hydrocephalus can create such symptoms. We are not sure but for now Aunt is relieved, I am home and on call, and there is more NYC sharing to be had.

As I said, BT spent a good bit of time being more "Teen" than "Boy." However, there was a moment as the train approached the station that I clearly heard him slightly squeal "I get to ride on a Train!"

GT's most favorite moment was definitely Madame Tussaud's. She took a photograph of every single wax figure. At the end of the tour she got the wax hand. She spent the rest of the evening in awe repeatedly stating- "I can't believe I have my hand in wax."

This was said even as we finished milkshakes in one of the parks near Broadway and her head slipped down and she nearly fell asleep practically on her feet. This was likely caused by the fact that they both played PS2 and Wii until 3:00 am at our house the night before.

Here we are at Giovanni's in Little Italy. You'll notice the cokes on the table. The waiter asked if we wanted Pellegrino. I was all in favor. They didn't know what was going on. He came, poured it into crystal water glasses- it all looked very upscale. They took a sip of theirs and simultaneously "thphphtted." They wanted none of it.

They were, however, in favor of the footlong confetti poppers found in Chinatown. They were especially pleased to pop one out the window of the hotel and onto a nearby roof.

Here they are on the streets of NY- this was before the hoodie so you don't really get the full effect. GT's second favorite moment was when we found a soccer store in Little Italy. She's wearing "John Terry's" number with his name on the back- Even more appropriate given that Terry is the last name at House of Sophanne.

BT said "all we need are pants and we'll have a whole new outlook." (I think he meant look- but the mispeak really said more.)

GT, at the train station said," I was afraid when I saw those dogs (police dogs.) They probably think this box in my luggage is a bomb."

Seems to me that 14 is a lot like 2- balancing between kid and adult-trying out new identities-laughing and shouting "again! again!" when the music teacher races them down the hallway of the hotel. You can't directly tell them what you want them to know.

Me: Mr. Sophanne says to count the seconds between mile markers to see how fast you're going once you leave Philadelphia.

GT/BT: Ha Ha- we can't count to five.

Later BT: We're going faster now.
GT: We're passing the cars.
BT: yeah, and they're going 70, 80 90 at the most.

They want little or no part of anyone obviously pointing out how the world sometimes works- instead let them figure it out by either watching or trying.

It was indeed an experience for everyone.

Responsible Adult Resides Here.

We have returned from the bright lights big city. All in one piece. So much to observe.

Mr. Sophanne and I were at a NJ beach with his grandson (then aged 3) about 5 years ago. Every now and then, Little Levi would walk ahead of the family unit with some other group of people as if he were "trying out" other families just to see what it was like. He was always safe and never wandered too far away.

This is what BT (boyteen) did for about 60% of the NY trip. He bought an oversized NY ball cap- very loud even for black and white, a Billabong hoodie, and some mirrored sunglasses. Most of the time walking in the city, he played "gangsta" with himself. He had gotten a new pair of pants before going to the city which included plastic chains hanging from them. He lost one of these chains when it got caught on a seat on the train.

A trip to the city with "redneck" (they referred to themselves as this) teenagers is full of memorable moments. In sharing them I hope you get a chuckle and realize that I am not really laughing at them, only enjoying the learning moments of the trip.

"I can't believe we ate at Red Lobster. The nicest restaurant I've ever been to is Eat-N-Park."

"They have cloth napkins."

As we prepared to go to our 4th floor room, one pointed to elevator #4 assuming it was the one we had to use.

While dining at the Hard Rock Cafe, both of them (dressed in varying degrees of their perception of gangsta attire) ordered non-alcoholic "drinks." BT ordered a second. GT (girl teen) just one. As the waitress brought our check she said, "You guys have had a few too many. We're going to have to roll you up the steps." They thought this was hysterical. Upon finding out the receipt in their hands entitled them to complimentary glasses, they started to walk out with the glasses they had been drinking out of and some explanation was required to convince them that they would get new, clean, boxed glasses.

The trip was a sine wave of silliness, exhaustion, interest, and identity searching. We won't talk about the near nervous breakdown I had on the way there on the train in Philadelphia when I sat there wondering WTF AM I DOING? (fortunately they were oblivious to this moment of panic)

In other news, not so good, when I returned I found out that my uncle is in the hospital with what is believed to be advanced stages of Alzheimer's. The belief is that he was doing a fairly good job of hiding it (with my aunt's help-although I'm not sure she was admitting there was anything wrong.) That's the only way I can explain the fast progression of the disease although they are still testing him and the possible interactions of the various medications he's been on.

I have read all of my Google reader posts. It is a joy to have friends such as you to come home to. I may be out of touch for a while but please know I'm reading your blogs to keep that sense of normalcy-or that shared sense of "we're all in this thing called life" together.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sock Total = 7

Sock Details: size 2 dpn- 60 stitches pictured below from left to right a mystery skein purchased in Florida in Summer of 06, Regia from Marc at Knit Night (Summer 09), Happiest Girl from Abundant Yarns in Portland OR(summer 08), and Regia from a destash bin at Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber(Spring 09),

Those 2 kids come tomorrow evening and we pick up the train on Monday morning. Travel treats include an EasyShare camera, a blank journal with appropriate stickers, rechargable batteries, a map of Manhattan, and a deck of cards.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

gratuitous mirror image

First knits often get the gratuitous mirror shot so this will be the token sewing mirror image.

For as badly as this went while I was doing it, (I clearly need more practice and patience when it comes to gathering) I believe this will be a wearable and comfortable garment. Go Figure.

There are elastic issues at the top-as in the elastic sneaks up past the top hem. I won't be wearing anything tucked in with it but that wasn't the plan anyway.

For a first go-round I am pleased with the effort. There is still some finishing to do. Maybe when it's done Mr. Sophanne will take the "money shot."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

flummoxed part deux

A list of things done in the last 24 hours.

1. Test the sewing machine. All is well.

2. Read the pattern about 15 times. I think I've got it.

3. Pick up plenty of fabric at Joanne's.

4. Wash, dry AND IRON said fabric. No short cuts here. I'm doing this one right.

5. Cut the pieces according to the directions- oh the thrill/anxiety/freedom of cutting without a pattern. It only took until the fourth piece to let my math skills work for me.

6. Retest the sewing machine. Holy crap! The stitches are the right width and the right tension. That NEVER happens.

7. Load up the bobbin.

8. Begin to sew pieces together only to find that my sewing machine prefers reverse no matter where the little switchy knob thing is.

9. Take a shower and call it a day.

I put it in "reverse" to wind the bobbin. It never came back. Also the foot pedal randomly snaps down although I haven't caught my fingers yet. Damn.

I wanted to be one of those people who declared the greatness of their 20 year old sewing machine.

Most of me wants to go visit that place that sells stuff cheap and pick one up on Monday (waiting so that Mr. Sophanne doesn't worry that I'm obsessing about it.) Part of me says quit while I can.

Friday, June 12, 2009


That describes the dog with me home all day. I think she may be secretly disappointed not to be able to greet me in the afternoons. We've kept to our walk in the a.m. regimen, beating the rain on several occasions.

The makings of the Karma Throw. Who knew Mission Falls made cotton yarn asked the girl assuming it would be wool. It's a very interesting textury sort of fiber and while it's maybe not my favorite thing to knit with, I believe I will be pleased with the washable results.

Sock Count- I'm up to three. I have a working theory on using stash yarn. I'm not sure if we are psychologically disposed to use it as we should. The stripey yarn came as a destash prize from knitnight Marc. I had no problems ripping it open and laying down a sock. As I ponder using yarn that I purchased and have marinating, I am less inclined to do so. What's up with that? Is it the "what if the perfect pattern comes along and I've used that yarn already?" syndrome. As if more yarn could never be gotten. Like I said, it's a working theory. No conclusions yet.

I've been googling peasant skirts and believe that they are the most perfect article of summer clothing for my buddha belly and not always perfectly shorn legs. The link is a "how-to" without messing around with those pesky patterns. That may be next week's goal. I can only hope that the fabrics at Joanne's are more appealing than the yarns.

Also- note to self. Spices make food taste better. We whimsically picked up chicken seasoning and miraculously ate food last night that, as Mr. Sophanne put it, "didn't taste like you were eating it because it was good for you." All Hail Chicken Seasoning.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Whiz Bang of a Finish

So, I stopped in my Michael Scott's office to get the final "you're done for the year" signature and attempting to make conversation said something trite like- "another good year."

To which Michael replied- "It was a pissy year."

I said, "At least it's over."

Is it any wonder that we're first in line for the "Why Do You Have More Stickie Notes Than I Do-How to Improve your Work Climate" seminars?

Summer Vacation Day One- Dog walk, nap, yarn sorting, clutter rearranging, laundry, defrost the chicken kind of day.

Sock #3 is on the needles.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Can someone please tell me how to make the advertisements that appear when I click my "next" button for google reader disappear?

I click along thinking I'm going to get wisdom from Rosemary, a decent cakewreck, a captioned LOLcat, or chickenlips displaying her wares on her Etsy site and am suddenly held hostage by teeth whitening "blogs."

In knitting news... I'm working on the hood of the Central Park Hoodie- version bunny. It should be done within the week. The seaming doesn't bother me but I may balk a little at the ribbed edging stitches that will have to be picked up and knitted.

I'm waiting for this kit to arrive from Canada so while cph was blocking I cast on a plain vanilla sock. I'm wondering how many plain vanilla socks I can knit in one summer. Mr. Sophanne says 28. I might try to knit through my sock stash since a dog we all know has done a number on my earliest socks.

So what is your guess on the number of socks an attention deficit knitter can knit in 2 months? (one at a time on dpns)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Today is brought to you by

... the llama song.

I woke up with it in my head. None of the words. Just llama over and over and I couldn't remember the punchline (duck.) I kept thinking llama llama goat.

At one point (6:30ish)in the I'm never really fully awake until 10:00 am morning I found myself wandering my home, searching for a bra to wear with nothing in it's place, with the llama song in my head. (Half nekkid girl wandering the house with the llama song in her head) As the search got longer- the song went faster. I was sure I was going to find it at the same time as the punchline in the song- didn't happen. Support was found under some clothes. The song continued. I remembered the word "duck." At the same moment I looked on the kitchen table and saw another bra- just hanging out on the kitchen table. Apparently I'm not so coherent in the post-knit night hours after 9:00 pm. Seriuosly- I crack me up.

What was so distracting? All I can figure is that I was still basking in the pleasant aura of a really nice knit night.

I've had a little cold and thought about skipping another week but something (probably KNQDebbie) pushed me onward. When I got there, Marc was passing out some free Reggia sock yarn that he was trying to destash.

Ruth gave me a present-a "Global Monopoly" -the electonic/travel edition (with ATM cards instead of money) to play with the kids on the train

Judy asked KNQD what she was knitting and Debbie said "a chicken." That just makes me laugh. When explaining how she was knitting it in the round and then going to steek it to stuff it I suggested that her chicken was going to get an episiotomy. Her daughter recently built a chicken house and therre were stories of chickens and eggs as well.

Joyce said "I wouldn't win a lottery if I was the only one entered."

The thing about knit night is when you're feeling less than perfect, your friends come, hang out with you, and laugh at your stupid comments. Then you feel a little less less than perfect.