Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Got Lemons

Just when you think it's safe to go back into the water, something hits you and you lose your footing and swallow a lot of water. You make it back to the shore, coughing, spitting, and a little shook up by the whole experience. You know the next time you step foot in the water, you'll have a few seconds of doubt but you'll overcome that. Something like that happened to me at work.

I'm not going to go into details because it's not worth the space but this little incident woke me up. I have my same position but I am now on a late session. I've always been on the earliest session so I can get home early for the kids. I think I amazed myself that I was able to put a positive spin on this. I got lemons but I'm making some lemonade.

First, DS#1 is going to high school this year. He has to be up very early. I'll now be there to make sure he is ready. We can actually leave at the same time. That took a lot of pressure off of DH.

Second, I can cover an extra class in the morning if the situation arises. I calculated that if I do this three times a week, I paid for 2 weeks worth of gasoline. Unfortunately, these times require that I think like this since I do have a long commute to work and not the most fuel-efficient car.

Third, I'll be in the administrator's face in a good way to show her that I am a valued member of the faculty. This was the wake-up call. I already wrote two issues of a parent newsletter for my students that she needs to see and approve. I think she'll like it.

Fourth, I may be able to fit walking into my day if I can wake up at my usual time. Plus the fact that the parking around my school sucks this will be part of the routine as well.

I'm not 100% happy. There will be issues like getting DS#1 and DS#2 to their after school activities but I'll have to ask people to help. We'll adjust, I hope. If not, you'll hear it here first!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting Ready for the Grange Fair

Yesterday at our local knit out, we had a discussion about whether we should enter some of our knitting into the Grange Fair. Yes, I am talking about the local agricultural event that happens around here every September. Look, I'm a kid from the Bronx. When we first moved up here I had to get over the shock that I had to drive EVERYWHERE! Once I got over that and after we had our first son, we decided to go to the Grange Fair. I swear to God if I didn't think I was in some farming community in Iowa (or any other place that has farms). There were kids who belonged to a 4-H club, baking competitions, pie-eating contests, floral arrangements, animals (cows, horses, pigs, sheep) and those gross carny people who manned the rides. (There's obviously no dental plan for these folks and if there was, they would put their money into adding more tattoos to their bodies...Okay, this is mean but it's my blog and I can state an opinion every now and then! Please, no flaming!) I asked DH where the hell did we move to? He's from Long Island. We're only an hour away from NYC and here we are in Hooterville! (Petticoat Junction/Green Acres reference for those of you who are younger than me)

We would go every so often. One year I actually entered a baby blanket into the needlework competition and won a blue ribbon. Should I mention that I was the only entry in that category so it was a no-brainer blue ribbon. But still I was very proud! When I gave that blanket to the person it was intended for (washed of course, but now we don't even speak...don't ask why), I proudly showed her the blue ribbon it won. Now that I think about it, do you think she threw out that blanket since we're not friends anymore? Oh well. It's not mine anymore.

Back to our Thursday night knit-out. I thought it would be a hoot (yes, I used that word) if a bunch of us from the group would enter things into the Grange Fair. What publicity! What a rush! What a cheap thrill! I can see us winning because we have some great knitters who have produced some wonderful things. The question is what should we enter? First we thought about all entering in separate categories so that we won't compete against each other. Then we decided what the hell. Just enter. I may be entering my clapotis. I would love to enter my Karen's Water Turtles Shawl but I haven't blocked it yet and there may be a little error that I fudged over. I'm also working on the Butterflies n Bees socks from Six Sox KAL. These are my first toe up socks and I am loving this pattern. I think I'll need to get those sock blocks to make them look a little better. I think they look better on a foot than without.

When my boys found out that I may be entering stuff into the Grange Fair, what do you think their first response was? "Gee, Mom. That's so great. We're so proud of you!" NO! It was, "Does that mean we get to go to the Grange Fair?" What do you expect from a 14 year old and a 10 year old?

The title is a direct link to the fair. You should check this out. This Bronx girl can't make this stuff up!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Boys Are Back In Town!

My boys came home from sleep away camp on Sunday. They were away for 7 weeks. We saw them once on visiting day in July and there were weekly phone calls from my younger one, occasional letters from the older one (actually, we were questioning whether he went to that camp at all because he hardly appeared in the pictures on the internet and barely called. The very rare letter that appeared in our mailbox from him assured us that he was there.)

When you have a 14 year old boy, you have to worry about the "embarrassment factor". Do you hug and kiss him in public? Do you wait for him to come to you? How do you suppress the urge to squeeze him to death even though he's 4" taller than you? These questions ran through my mind as I walked towards him with DS#2. They were on separate buses and this kid yelled out "Mom" and ran into my arms. Thank God. Well, the problem was solved. DS#1 came over and we hugged tightly. I even got a kiss on the cheek! The bottom line was that I think he wanted a mom hug.

Since the buses let the kids off near one of our favorite restaurants, we decided to have a quick lunch there. I have 2 boys; they're always hungry. It was a good neutral place for them to start to decompress. What more did we need at that moment than good food, good company and good conversation (done totally by the boys!) We then headed home and all I knew was that I had to start doing some laundry before their duffel bags arrived. They were expected by Wednesday.

While they were gone, their bedrooms were cleaned, their bathroom was spotless, everything was in its place. We told the boys that they would be expected to keep it that way. Please, why did we bother? In less than 2 hours, DS#1, the place I have referred to as hell, was not as pristine as I had left it that morning. I should have taken a picture. But, I will give him until the end of this week to start getting it together. He had to make up for loss computer and cell phone time.

Now DS#2 had a more difficult time switching from camp mode to home mode. That first night all he did was ask what time it was and upon finding out, he would announce what he would be doing if he was in camp. I offered to play games with him but it wasn't what he wanted. I then asked if he wanted to ride his scooter while I went for a walk. That he agreed to do. I figured I would walk towards one of his friends house and hopefully they would be out and he could hook up. It worked! Except I didn't finish my walk and he came back in 20 minutes because he was tired.

Well, it is so nice to hear their voices, whether they are fooling around or arguing with each other, around the house. The evenings were difficult for me because of the quietness of the house. Their duffel bags arrived on Tuesday, to my dismay, (I thought I would have one more day of no laundry) so after countless loads, the laundry is done. I plan on packing all the linens and towels away in a big plastic container to make my life easier for next year. My food bill has doubled in one week! (God bless their hungry little bellies and damn those growth spurts!)

I just want you all to know that the song by Thin Lizzie, "The Boys are Back in Town" was playing in my head while I wrote this.

What does this have to do with my knitting? Well, I haven't had much time to knit! My boys are back!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Clapotis!

For those of you who have not joined Ravelry, here is a picture of my Clapotis in Noro Sakura. Yes, it's draped over my mailbox.

I never thought that I would make this scarf/shawl but I am so happy with the way it came out. I can't wait to wear it to work and any other place I feel the need to wear it to. The pattern is from If you are a member of Ravelry, you can look for it in pattern search and you'll be directed to the pattern there as well. That way you can see all the different yarns other knitters have used.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Know. It's Been a While!

I've gotten some flak about how I'm not posting my blogs. I find it amazing how I have done anything since December but I did find 2 drafts from April which I don't feel very comfortable posting right now. Maybe some day.

On the knitting front, I've finished my Karen's Water Turtles Shawl which needs to be blocked. Once that was out of the way, I made a Clapotis from Noro Sakura which I bought in a store in Mont Clair, NJ when DS#1 went to a bar mitzvah there. I had to occupy myself for over 4 hours and that town happened to have 3 knitting stores within 2 blocks of each other. It was a wonderful day for me. I remember the first time I heard about the Clapotis. I thought it was pronounced Clap-o-tis and thought it referred to a STD but someone on KnitTalk made a point of correcting me. Some people on that list don't have a sense of humor. I usually stay away from items that everyone knits and I guess it took me a while to realize that this yarn would be great for that pattern. No, let me correct myself. When I was in that store in NJ, I was first introduced to Ravelry and that's where I saw Sakura being used for a Clapotis. That's also where my mouth hung open and realized what a wonderful thing Ravelry is which led me to neglect my hipknitta blog. But I'm a woman and I can multitask.

On the home front, DS#1 & DS#2 are away at sleepaway camp. It was very weird at first because DS#2 went to day camp and was home with me but he felt ready to go. So, a year-at-college-tuition later, we said goodbye to them as they drove off into the sunset 6 weeks ago. I truly felt lost without my little guy but everytime we spoke to him, he sounded so happy. When we went to the camp for visiting day, he was thrilled. I was thrilled because he kept putting my arm around him and actually holding my hand. There were tons of pictures of him and a few of DS#1 on the camp's website. (which made up wonder if DS#1 actually went there but he's 14 and probably felt too cool to pose. The few of him are great shots!)

DH and I went on our first cruise to Canada and we had a wonderful time. It was a 5 day trip and we loved every minute of it. We would definitely go on a cruise again, without kids! I, of course, felt the need to buy a skein of sock yarn in Halifax, which I felt made a great souvenir. We met the nicest people and just heard from one of the couples.

Now my boys are coming back next Sunday and I have to clean DS#1's room. It is so disgusting. I actually felt sorry for him even though he did it to himself. We nicknamed the room "Hell". So, I'm going to hell now and in my house it's upstairs. Even though I truly missed the boys, I loved the time to myself and the time DH and I had alone. I rediscovered what a funny guy he is!