Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Haiku for Me!

I work with an interesting bunch of people. I guess we can all say that, right? Sometimes the word interesting could be interpreted different ways. I work with an English teacher named Phil. Phil's very smart. He went to amazing schools. He's a lawyer but he's teaching English. He also is an insane Red Sox fan so of course he is subjected to lots of verbal sparring with the Yankee fans in the building. (The school is in the Bronx, need I say more?)Phil also writes a Red Sox haiku each day. He has amassed over 1000 of them. I told him to get them made into one of those Haiku-a-day calendar for Red Sox fans. You know how us knitters have those type of calendars? Phil has joked around with me and has asked me to make him an Irish Fisherman's sweater for years. Unfortunately, I can't. One reason is that it takes too much time and the second is that I can't find a pattern that will fit him. Phil is a large man who is finally going to take care of his health. He has been absent for a long time due to an infection in his leg and is now on bed rest. We say hi to each other via Facebook. I wrote to say how I'm getting very discouraged with my students and the state of education in my school. Phil came back with this great haiku just for me:

Robin knits away,
Problems fade into nothing:
But where's my sweater?

I love it!

Get bettter real soon, Phil! I'm sorry but this hipknitta is a Yankees fan.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

And You and I...A Thank You To My First Boyfriend

This month my dear, funny, loving husband and I will be married 20 years. My longest relationship evah! But lately, I've been thinking of the person who started me off on a long and sometimes rocky road of romance. My first boyfriend. The reason why I was brought back to my 16 year old self (and he was 17) is because my 17 year old son is now dating. He is dating a sweet girl from the city. He is realizing the monetary cost of this first love when he goes into the city to visit her. Parking at the train station, the train ticket, going out for something to eat or some coffee. It adds up and he doesn't have a job. (Yes, we are supplementing the romance!) I told him that it is perfectly acceptable for his girlfriend to pay half since she is in the same financial situation. As I said this, I had a flashback to my first boyfriend.

He was from Queens and I lived in the Bronx. He drove a van and crossed that bridge twice every time he came to see me. Gas was much cheaper way back then but for a high school student who didn't have a part-time job, it cost money. I never thought of paying him for gas. I can't even remember if I picked up my half of the cost of our dates. This bothered me so much, so many years later, that I need to say, "Thank you, Bob!" You were a great first love. Our relationship probably helped make me the person I am now: in a loving, successful marriage. Thank you for going the distance, literally, to see me. I can only hope that you have good memories of me.

As for the song, "And You and I" by Yes, I heard it this evening. It brought tears to my eyes because it is so beautiful and sent me back to my high school years. We use to listen to Yes. It was the '70's. They were great. Neal sat in listened with me and was moved by the music as well. Life was great then. It's great now.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years After

It's been 10 years since our nation was attacked. Everyone asks, "Do you remember where you were when you heard the news?" I do. I was at work in room 225. I wasn't teaching. I was working on paperwork in the office. One of the women, Marie, just got off the phone from her son who was near the World Trade Center. She said he saw a plane hit the building. I looked at her and said, "No way! He's playing an April Fool's joke on you!" I don't know why I said that. I had to look at the calendar to make sure what day it was because that news was so unbelievable. Up in the library, the librarians set up a TV in one of the back rooms. I made it up there after teaching a resource room class. I couldn't believe what I saw. It was so unreal. Staff members were sitting around the screen crying. I had to leave to go back to teach. At this point, the principal made an announcement about what was going on. I entered my classroom and right away one of my girls told me that her mother worked in Manhattan. I asked where and she said she didn't know. (This wasn't unusual that the kids didn't know where the parents worked especially if it was a new job). I allowed her to call a relative. The next thing I heard was the principal start to announce names of children to come down to the office. I later found out that parents starting to swarm into the building to pick up their children. When I had a free period, I went down to the lobby and saw mostly mothers begging for their children to be released from class. I can still see these women crying and yelling at the security guards.

My friend Ellen called me to tell me that she was picking up Alexandra and my Elijah from daycare. Our older ones, Ben and Matthew were being dismissed early from their schools. I wasn't allowed to leave until my day was over which was around 2:15.

When I left the school, the first thing I noticed was the silence. There weren't any planes in the sky except from the military and that was weird. It jolted me to the realization that this was event was really bad. Manhattan was closed off so as I traveled north on my parkways, I noticed that the only traffic going south were military vehicles. There weren't any civilian cars. I remember my heart racing seeing this. I knew our lives were changing forever.

We all made it home safe and sound. Ben understood the magnitude of what had happened. Elijah knew that some buildings fell down and that a lot of people were hurt and killed. Neal and I understood that as long as we are together, we are safe. How can we explain to our children that there are people in the world who hate what our country represents?

The next day I went to work and out of the window of my 4th floor classroom, there were the thick, black plumes of smoke from the World Trade Center. Only one student showed up for the class and we looked out the window and talked about what had happened. My asshole of a principal walked by and yelled at me to get away from that window. I just looked at him and refused. (My school is in the North Bronx and we were far away from the tip of Manhattan). I'll never forget that moment because of how angry this so-called educator made me feel.

Ten years later...I still work in the same building. Elijah totally understands what has happened. Ben has become more worldly and has a hard time realizing that people can hate you for what you represent, not for who you are. We just watched the memorial service of the names being read and I shed quite a few tears which surprised me. I thought I was over it. I now realize that I'll never be over it and it's okay to grieve for the lives lost that day. I hope the families know that we share their loss and even though we are strangers, we are united as humans.


Monday, September 05, 2011

I'm Not Going To Whine

Labor Day weekend isn't my favorite weekend. I'm been off all summer and it is the signal that I have to go back to work. I'm not whining! I'm grateful that I have a job that allows me this time off to recharge my batteries but it's a downer. But I'm not going to whine.

I knitted my ass off this summer making up for lost time. My job sucked the knitting out of me. I plan on making knitting dates with myself (and exercise dates, no really! I swear!)I have to work my butt off again but I'm not whining!

I seem to be having difficulties with some relationships in my life. I'm becoming more bitchy? I guess that filter in my brain has broken. I need to work on that or become a loner, alone with my knitting. I don't think it's only me. If I have treaded on toes or seemed abrupt, then I apologize. Don't make me 100% responsible for your misery. I'm not whining! I'm yelling!

There's always room for improvement, right? I'm so not going to whine about it. I'm going to have wine!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Knitter Was Born Today

The telephone rings. It's my son's friend's mother.
"Can I ask you a favor?" she asked.
"Sure!" I said. I figured it was about my son taking care of her son's pets because they're going away or a school-related question because they're on the same team at school.
"Cathy is trying to teach herself to knit and is having a problem. Can she see you?"
"Of course! Tell her to come on down!" (We live down the hill from them. Cathy is the older sister)

Cathy walks in. She found a book of dog patterns and had these knitting needles with little dogs at the ends of them. It was a set.

She showed me how she cast on a lot of stitches using a method she found on the internet. Kudos to her for doing that but they were so bunched up. She thought that the knitting would only be as long as the needles. I ripped out those stitches and showed her the long tail cast on. I made her cast on 20 stitches just to practice and she got it right away. She then proceeded to knit and like a beginner she was a bit tight but she got it! She was so proud of herself! A new knitter was born in my kitchen!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Dog Pooped Out On Me!

In my effort to move more, I've been trying to walk 30 minutes a day and what better way to do it then with my sweet dog Shadow P. Freiman! (The P is for Poodle!) I missed Thursday but jumped at the chance to walk again on Friday. I take the pups out so he can do his business and then grabbed the leash in such a way that he would know it's time for my business. As we walked passed our house, Shadow sat down in the road and looked toward the door. He wanted to go home. I took him in the house and told my family, "See you later!" I did the walk by myself and talked on the phone. It was great! I am very proud of myself.

Now back to our regularly scheduled show!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Day Was Going Well Until...

I had a nice day. The evening didn't go as well. Both of my boys are now home. Okay, I don't mind doing the laundry. It's one of those things that has a beginning and an end. It gets done. I visited one of my mother's friends to get some boxes from her that my mother sent in her car. They had her old china which goes well with my china, baseball cards and figurines for my younger son and some great t-shirts she bought for me. That's a good thing, right? Then Elijah and I donated the games that made up the centerpieces from his bar mitzvah. That's a good thing. Then I donated the boys' old soccer jerseys to a organization that helps girls in Cameroon get involved in soccer to help prevent the spread of AIDS. Good, right? Right!

Our knit-out was wonderful! Lots of women, good food and drink (free coffee!). Beautiful fiber flying off the needles. Some bad news. One of our ladies has a suspicious spot on her lung. We're sending good thoughts and prayers her way. That wasn't good. It was a bit upsetting because she is such a sweet lady. Then yesterday I heard rumors that my principal was retiring. No way! I really like this person! My spies told me it wouldn't be until January. Okay. I can deal with that. Tonight I got the letter from her that she will be retiring in September. No! She's a major knitter! I really like this person! How often can one say that about their boss? I'm really bummed.

I'm off to knit my blues away.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just For the Record...

Today I did another 30 minute walk with Shadow. It was great. It was effortless. I don't know why I waited this long to do it. Hopefully, my heart will thank me for it by not beating so fast when I exert myself. (The doctor told me that it does) Hopefully, this exercise will help me make more healthy choices during the rest of the day. Hopefully, I will do this for 21 days straight to make it into a habit.

Just for the is recorded. I am becoming accountable for my actions.

P.S. I'm not in Paris right now; just in case you were wondering!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Do You Mean Knitting Is Not A Cardiovascular Exercise?

Am I the only one who goes for an annual physical and gets anxious because I didn't do what I was suppose to do the previous year to stay healthy? When I walk out of the doctor's office, it's like New Year's Day for me. I walk out making resolutions or promises to exercise more, maintain a healthy weight, sleep more than 5 hours, and so on. You all know what I mean.

This year was no different. I was hoping that I would have to sit and wait for a while so I could knit but this office is so efficient that they called my name the minute my butt hit the chair. I didn't even have a moment to take my knitting out. Since the weigh-in was first, I just closed my eyes while she moved those weights on the balance. I think that's the worse part. I would rather have them give me shots in lieu of that weigh in. (I guess when one is at one's perfect weight, one doesn't stress like this, does one?) Blood pressure was great! My overall health, EKG: great. My sweet doctor, who is buff, asks me about exercise. My eyes glazed over. I hung my head down and decided to blame it on the dog. "I can't walk with him. He stops and sniffs a thousand times! I had no time. I started a new job that took up all of my time. I was sleep deprived! Yada, yada, yada." I felt like a teenager who doesn't accept responsibility for their own actions. I sucked in my breath and said, "You're right! I just didn't make time for me." We went over last year's blood work and he told me it really wasn't bad. The cholesterol was slightly high.

We had a very pleasant dog conversation. He has a Boerboel. I was sent down to the lab to give blood and urine. I was able to knit and think there. The big question was how does it feel to go to the doctor's and not make excuses and to be at my correct weight? It's New Year's Day all over again.

That was last week. Today, I put on my walking outfit, tied my sneakers on and grabbed the dog. He could tell by my walking pace that I meant business. He did his business and then we walked for 30 minutes. It felt great. I thought if I wrote it down, then I would be accountable to myself. I would write it down everytime I walk. Who knows? Maybe next year I'll jump on that old scale and say, "Move those weights to the left, please!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Never Knit Late at Night Unless You're a Night Owl

I have said it once and I have said it again: Never knit late at night. Did I listen to my own advice? Nope! Am I paying the price? Yep! I started to stay up later and later. I don't know why. It's not as if there's amazing stuff on TV but there's a piece of me that feels like a little kid when I stay up late. I'm talking staying up past 2 AM! I'm also knitting when I do this. I have woken up from a little snooze with the needles in my hands midstitch! Instead of going to bed, I would keep on knitting. There was that nagging thought in my brain telling me that I should go to bed and stop knitting. Eventually, I would.

The next day: I pick up my project and start knitting where I left off. Wait. Something doesn't look right. It's an easy lace pattern for a baby blanket in worsted weight. The yarn overs aren't where their suppose to be. I have two stitches at the end of the row instead of three. Damn! I have to rip out row by row. That's where I am now-in the middle of ripping out the rows. I learned my lesson. That's why I'm writing this. Learn from my mistakes, people. It will save you a lot of time. And go to bed earlier. I'm starting to.

Peace out!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Me? A Designer? Not Yet...

I got it into my head that I could design a simple baby sweater. I had this amazing yarn and the shape of the sweater materialized in front of my eyes. I used a familiar pattern as a template and was constantly recalculating the gauge since the yarn I was using was 2 stitches/inch and my template was 5 stitches/inch. I decided to make this sweater in one piece and then pick up the stitches for the sleeves from the shoulders. I completed the second sleeve, held up the sweater and then it hit me. I didn't make a big enough neck and babies have the cutest and chubbiest necks.

I just finished frogging the second sleeve and am in the process of frogging the two front panels. Back to the drawing board.

Me? A Designer? So not yet...

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Random Thoughts and Musings About Cleaning My Son's Room

It's an annual event. My children go away to sleep away camp and I get to clean their rooms. They looked forward to their event. I dread it. If my children learned to put things away when they are done with them, it wouldn't be a dreaded chore. I did my 13 year old's room first. It was pretty easy. He's neater than his 17 year old brother. Today I started that room. I'm not giving myself a lot of time to complete it because he'll be home in about 13 days. He even told me not to clean it up but how could I let my son come home to a condemned area?

I started by picking up the garbage. This kid, who's a pretty decent shooter in basketball, missed his garbage can. His floor was littered with wrappers, tags from clothing, pieces of paper and money! I found $2.56 so far! I found water bottles, seltzer bottles, clothes all over the place. I also found things that cracked me up and I will not list them so I don't embarrass my son.

Shadow, the wonder poodle, had the best time in that room. I watched him come in, worried that he would pick something up, eat it and then die in front of me. He ran over to the bed and started to go under it. He was definitely after something. He slid back out with his red rubber bone! Oh the joy on my pup's face. But wait! There's more! I went under the bed and found his squeaky dumbbell. Some canine was having a great day! He grabbed that toy and squeaked his way to our bedroom. He was so happy. So was I.

After spending another 30 minutes in the room, I decided I had enough. I made a small dent. I could see carpeting where there once was garbage and clothes. The clothes were thrown on the bed. There were broken headphones and plastic hangars. Garbage! I've got a ways to go but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, was it?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

What Happened to July?

I ignored my blog. I pushed it to the far recesses of my mind. I didn't want to sit down and write when I could have been knitting instead. My new job sucked the knitting out of me and I had to replenish myself. Replenish! Now that's a word from my past. I'm thinking 1976, Ferry Point Park, Whitestone Bridge and Son of Sam!

I've been knitting like my life depended upon it. Socks for Neal. Poor man. His gout is killing him but my socks keep his feet warm and from cramping up, even in the summer! Then my knit-out group decided to do our first knit-a-long. We decided in May to do Jared Flood's Juneberry scarf. Since we were in the middle of various projects, we made the first Thursday in June to start the Juneberry. Get it? June? Juneberry? We called ourselves the Juneberry Sisters. I was Sister Robin Juneberry. I was the first one done which was unusual. I loved knitting this pattern! In fact I want to make another one. Here's a picture of it:

Sister Carol, Sister Edie and Sister Toni all finished theirs. We're just waiting for Sister Ilene to finish hers.

Then visiting day for the boys' camp arrived. That meant making a pilgrimage to WEBS. I didn't buy as much because I didn't go in with a shopping list of what I needed. I let Neal pick out sock yarn. He told me that I didn't have to make them so long in the ankle so he picked out a lot of On Your Toes which are about 375 yds. I also bought some yarn to make a pair for a friend of mine. She once asked if I would knit her a pair. She just happens to live 3 minutes away from WEBS and I told her to get in there and buy any sock yarn she liked and I would knit it for her. Well, I beat her to the punch. Hopefully, they will be ready for her birthday this month.

Finally, I started Victoria's Lace Shawl for my mother made from ArtYarns Cashmere 1. I was having a little problem with the pattern but as of today, I am off and knitting. My mother said, "Don't cock (mess) it up!" Whoa! Demanding, aren't we? Did I mention that my mother taught me how to knit?

On a nonknitting note, Shadow and I are enrolled in school. We have a great instructor who is so good. She said Shadow picks things up quickly because he is a poodle. I'm the one who messes up. I'm not a poodle! But we are having fun and he is doing really, really well. Who knows? Maybe we'll make it to agility training? If so, this hipknitta is going to have to get a sports bra!

Peace out!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Where is the hipknitta?

She's here. She's been very busy with her new job, her son's bar mitzvah and just life in general. Her house is a mouse and her knitting is almost nonexistent. Reading? Ha! What's a book? BUT...

This hipknitta will be back with a vengeance. She will have so much time on her hands that all she'll want to do is write about it. She will knit so much that her hand will cry "Uncle". She will be reading so much that she will move into the library.

See you soon!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thank You to Nick and Zach!

Thanks to Nick and Zach for driving Ben home from track practice. Since you won't accept any gas money, here are some hats to keep your heads warm in Rebels' colors! Hope you like them!

From Ben's grateful mother, aka hipknitta!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Three Day Weekend Starts Today

I am in a very relaxed state of mind. I don't feel the need to rush around because I have an extra day off. Monday is Martin Luther King's Day and the schools are closed. I don't have to jam everything in on Saturday when I know I have 2 extra days to do so. Yes, this can backfire on me and by Monday I could be rushing around because I felt too laid back, but right now, in this moment in time, I am breathing easy and am glad to find the time to write this entry. Most of all, I will definitely program in some major knitting time.

What has this hipknitta been up to? Not much. A little knitting here. A little knitting there. I'm working on my third pair of socks. This pair took me quite a while to decide what pattern to use. I finally found one and am probably 4 inches done on the leg part.

Here's the last pair I finished. I'm actually wearing them today, on this very cold and cloudy day. We had another snowstorm on Wednesday (yes, I stayed home) and it's just too white out there. I am sick of the snow. This was our third storm in three weeks! I heard there's more snow on the way next week. Winter sucks!

I would love to smell some sunscreen and see a beautiful palm tree right about now!