Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Ice-Storm Cometh

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. It would take too long to fill you in on the love/hate relationship most Americans have with this holiday or how some people go totally over-board with it but here are a few example of things you'll often hear this time of year: "it's too commercial", "I'm a loser if I'm alone on Valentine's day", "it's hollow", "if he forgets Valentine's day it means he doesn't love me"..... it just gets silly. Me personally, I like to give a card or some candy or whatever to that special someone just to say "hey, you know I love you but I also know you love ______" and fill in the blank with the token of their choice. As most of my friends know I can't resist a reason to give them crap so this holiday works for me in that sense. This year I was psyched to find that the boxes of Valentine's that are standard among all grade schoolers now come in candy form, so it was Fun Dip for everyone!

But I digress.

What I really wanted to share was the kick-ass ice storm that happened yesterday. When I first woke up I thought for sure I was heading out to work because upon first glance out the window it looked like a simple dusting of snow. It wasn't long before I found out how icey and treacherous it really was. SNOW DAY!!!!

I stayed home and cleaned, knit, watched some old episodes of Lost and listened to all the trees come crashing down in my yard and through-out the neighborhood. We lucked out and got to keep our power but much of the area is still without. The weight of the ice brought the lines down even if the falling branches didn't.

The grey sky spewed icey slush all day turning the whole yard into an ice-skating rink.

I had to go out to park the cars between the houses to protect them from all the falling lumber. I got hit in the head with a pine cone or a chunk of ice while scrapping the windows down and as I looked up to see what it was a couple of yards away a giant branch came crashing down onto the garage. I took that as my cue from God to hustle my bustle.

The top of one of the pine trees came tumbling down in huge chunks all over ours and the neighbors yard. One side of the tree is pretty much completely bare from branches being snapped off as it fell.

You can see how close my brothers car was to getting squished. I actually pulled that one branch off of his bumper but luckily there was not even a scratch on it.

Late last night Papa was out cleaning off the cars because they once again had to be moved and he started getting all excited because he had seen a blue glowing light in the distance and thought maybe one of the transformers blew up. (Yes, we are those people who get excited when stuff blows up). Anyhoo, A few minutes later I saw it too and came to the conclusion that it was sparks or fire or whatever coming off of the passing trains. It was really friggin' cool! Anyway, we check the schedule for the next train and bring Luke out to see it too. Of course he comes out in a light sweatshirt and has to run back in for a coat. In a flash he's back outside in this.

Yes, that's mom's coat! It was apparently the first one he grabbed and thought it was dad's but no such luck. What must the neighbors think when they see my family standing on the porch in the middle of an ice storm, brother in mom's coat, in desperately searching for fire in the sky?

This morning, all that ice is nothing more than a thousand photo opportunities.

Everything looks pretty when glistening with ice.

Mail 'N' Such

1-29-07 (It was in the draft folder but I really have no idea why)

This weekend I mailed out my last package for SP9, the Revenge Blanket to Project Linus and a few scarves for the Red Scarf Project. I really can't believe I didn't get more scarves done. I'm disappointed in myself considering I had a year, but I kept putting it off thinking "it's just a few scarves, they don't take much time at all." Yes, this is true to an extent, but between all the holiday knitting, and personal knitting I failed to do much charity knitting at all. So I've decided that I should make a belated New Years Resolution to do three things....

This is going to be very hard since I've become quite the little shopper lately (it's the change of the season bargains, I'm a sucker for a deal). I have to remind myself that if I buy $50 worth of stuff on sale, it's still $50 out of my pocket even if the stuff in the bag is worth three times that amount.

2. I will try to make sure I knit at least one charity item a month for the year. I should really make that two, and make one item always be a red scarf, but I will start small and practical and if I go above and beyond then great. I will also pick a place and mail out the 3 or 4 items I have on hand that have been waiting for a loving home by the end of this week.

3. If I can't use it for me or give-away then it's going on Ebay or to the local grammar school, nursing home, shelter etc. I bought quite a butt-load of crappy yarn over the years (at the time having a plan for it) but now it's just taking up room and there's no way I'll ever get a chance to knit it up nor will any of my knitting gal pals touch it, so out it goes! [update: I bought a big bin last weekend and filled it with "keepers", everything else must go!]

I know these sound like pretty reasonable things to do right? Number one may be the hardest but I'll try, really I will.

These are the scarves I sent out...

The front label had a cute little penguin with a red scarf and hat on it but (love clip-art!) but showing you that side doesn't really let you see the final product. I know that two out of three aren't red but they wanted unisex scarves and in looking at their blog quite a few are very lacy and/or shades of pink and purple. I figured these colors say "dude" and will be easy to sort from the group.

Friday, February 09, 2007

For 2007, stir-up pants tucked into boots and belts about the waist are back, as are manly men

Why is it so hard to find a real man who's not afraid to be a tad fancy?

Here's a good example of the kind of guy that I've been looking for. Someone who I could be proud to bring with me to Thanksgiving diner. Won't grandma be so happy?

And what's in his hand? Some sort of Brave New World futuristic cigarette?

This is by far my favorite picture - - possibly ever.
Swimming in sweaters? HELL YES! And those shorts and hairy man legs, can you say YUM!

Good God he's so pretty!

Thank you Stitchy for making me, while totally alone, loudly snort and giggle once again. I hope she doesn't mind me borrowing her wonderful finds but they were too good not to share.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

SP 9 Pal Revealed!

Today I was home sick again still recovering from that awful stomach flu that was going around. You know it's bad when you can't keep water down. Water? Water should NEVER be to much for your stomach to handle!
I was home mostly just making up for some much needed rest, so today wasn't all that bad, especially once the mailman got here. Not only did I get disk 3 of season one of Lost, I'm playing catch up (sorry Chris, you'll have to catch up before our next viewing I just couldn't wait) - but I also got my final package from my secret pal!

Mmmm, yummy chocolates to make up for eating nothing but chicken broth and bread for the last couple of days and a great new hat. I'm excited about the hat because it fits, unlike the one I knit for myself last year which is way too tight. I don't remember if I originally made it for someone else, put it away because it was tight or if I've just gotten a big head over the past year but it was cutting off the blood to my brain which I thought may not be the best quality in a hat.

Oh, and the pretty felted flower decoration also doubles as a ring.

Let me apologize now to my SP if I ever implied that you were a woman. The weirdest thing is that when I got my first package I wrote a whole long blurb about maybe you were a man, maybe a woman and how I should make no assumptions yada, yada, yada and then I cut it out because it sounded like dribble that went nowhere (much like all my posts). And low and behold I got a diamond in the rough - - a man not afraid to knit and with great taste to boot, what a gem! Thanks again Chris for being such a great Pal, I hope you also had a great SP9 experience!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Before/ After/ After the After

I call this the, You don't know what you got 'til it's gone" hair color session:

This is my natural color. I took this picture because I wanted to go 1 or 2 shades lighter and I needed to be able to see what I was working with.

I bought the hair dye after an extended period of pondering in the isle reading boxes looking for just the right "cool" "ash" shade so that it wouldn't turn out brassy. But ultimately, I chickened out about doing it myself because I knew I may end up turning it red and this time I wanted light brown. While I actually have a pretty extensive knowledge base on the whole world of dyed hair, especially the red family (see Tracy circa 1990-2000) I know that the red shade in general, like natural red-heads, will do what it wants.

Anyway, I ended up going and getting it "professionally" done. Let me just say, had the hairdresser just been honest and said yes, it did turn out red and offered to help me fix it I would have been fine. But instead she lied and kept telling me I was wrong and that it was brown with "golden" highlights. Then blamed the lighting and finally said we all see color differently, implying that I was seeing color wrong. Apparently, she and the guy working next to her are the ONLY people who see color correctly because not one person who noticed my new hair told me it looked brown.
I should have gotten a shot in natural light for the full effect but you get the point.

So I did crazy planning for the fix, cutting at least half a dozen chunks of hair for strand tests - which I think I've done them as often as I've checked my gauge over the years - buying multiple shades and spending a lot of time playing mad-scientist with the Pyrex dishes. Ultimately, it was Nice N' Easy (the first brand I ever used, how sweet) that was my salvation.

In less than a week, with 3 boxes of hair dye un-returnable and 3 back at the store, and having spent far too much money at the hair-dresser to end up doing it myself, I present to you "back to my original (almost) hair color".

Sigh. These things happen, I suppose, but now all is well.

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