Six months in 500 words or less

May 1st?? May freakin’ first?!!! Wow, someone needs to kick my ass. Let’s see if I can summarize the past holy-wow-six months.

May:
TroubleBad news first: My cat Trouble died. It was a terrible terrible thing, and I still blame myself for being too busy to take her to the vet sooner. She spent almost a week in the vet hospital before she passed, and I visited her every day. I wasn’t with her when she died, arriving about 30 minutes too late. 🙁

June:
Was the “official” photographer for a meet and greet fan event with Nick Brendon.

IMG_6450Got a new friend for Jack–this is Dr. Zeva Tinycat, although she’s no longer quite this tiny, as she eats like the shelter cat she was. She’s two and a half, loves string and meowing a lot, doesn’t like people food, and bounces on the stomachs of my houseguests when they sleep on the couch.

Started seeing a therapist. She’s cool, albeit expensive. The expense adds a little to my stress, but I feel it’s the one thing I can’t really talk about with her.

July:
Spot of my perfect momentDrove out to Zion National Park in Utah by myself and spent a couple of days hiking. It was an incredible experience. The park was beautiful, and being on my own and beholden to none was very freeing. Next time, though, I’d rather share the beauty with someone–and the little travelled trail I’d discovered.

August:
For my birthday I got my first ever kidney stone. Yeah, it sucked donkey balls. It hit two days before, at work. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, where my boss hung out with me until I was released (and it was *his* birthday). Spent the rest of the week on my couch in much pain. Bonus, I still have two more stones hanging out in my kidneys that could drop at any time. Yay.

September:
IMG_8398Spent nine days at Disney World with nine friends and relatives to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday. We had a BLAST! Seriously, one of my best vacations ever.

October:
Work project kicked into high gear and the stress became the center of my life. Not the greatest month ever. However, I did make it to Carnaval in West Hollywood for the first time in about seven years, so that was cool. It’s still just as fun and crazy as I remember. And I spent four hours on a Saturday helping to assemble holiday boxes to send to troops in I believe Afghanistan. That was cool.

So now it’s November. The work project is still in progress and still stressful, but should be launching in a week and a half. Unfortunately it coincides with a Fitness Challenge being held at the work-site gym, where eight teams of eight are competing to lose the most (percentage-wise) in seven weeks. I’m blogging my progress with that little event over here, but I must say, not being able to eat chocolate when I’m stressed is doing bad things to my general disposition.

I’ve been crocheting this whole time. All summer I’d work on granny squares–boring, basic squares, each made from a full ball of Plymouth Encore. I now have 20 squares that need to be joined into a blanket. Don’t know when that’ll be happening. I also made one ginormous granny square blanket for my sister’s birthday.

IMG_8734

So that’s the past six months in a nutshell. Hopefully it won’t be another six months before my next update. 🙂

As time goes by

Wow, have I been lax! My most sincere apologies for not updating for two freakin’ months. I tend to forget that I actually do have some readers.

The last time I posted, I mentioned the horror of finding out the yarn I was using–Bernat Satin in Palm green–had been discontinued. Well, Decherd Needleworks sent me their last four skeins, and right quick too, so they are ROCK STARS. Unfortunately (through no fault of theirs!) I’ve become distracted from the star afghan and have instead been making puffy slouchy hats, as they are easier to carry around now that the afghan is so big, and the pattern is easy to remember. I made one in variegated pinks and reds with the puff-stitch rows in cream and another a solid bright red. (No pics yet, but soon!)

Another “unfortunately” is that I couldn’t get my act together enough this season to make something for the annual charity auction at the company holiday party (it was last night). And from what I saw, many of the usual knitters and crocheters that donate each year also had a hard time coming up with something this time, as the pickings were slim for yarn items (fortunately the slack was covered by the paint-inclined artists).

Things are sucking all over this time around, not a great way to end 2008. Is it too early for new year’s resolutions? ‘Cause I’m thinking 2009 needs to have more knitting, more crocheting, and more blogging. And maybe a site redesign–the pink is starting to wear thin.

And as for the past two months, allow me to nutshell that for ya: painted a wall in the living room; went to a wedding on Jekyll Island, GA, and had a great time; psyched about the results of the presidential election; bought a laptop (green! I named it Lorne); went to D.C. for a conference and had a great time; knee is healing slowly but steadily; cats stopped like their food and we’ve been taste-testing for the past month; had a great Thanksgiving with lots of bourbon-flavored sides; and I intend to have a great Christmas. And to post more. 🙂

Starting, finishing, and frogging, plus an update on the donated Cookie Monster bag

So obviously, I get a complete FAIL at that whole “trying to post every day after NaBloPoMo” thing. Oops? I blame the holidays, and the accompanying freakout.

I have been knitting and crocheting my way through the stress, although I haven’t finished anymore bags.  Weird, huh? I have a red and white 80/20 booga bag (decreased the stitch count by 20%) that’s been languishing on the needles with only about five rows to go, and the mustard beaded bag is finished except for the icord, which is about a foot too short still.

Paula, Kathie, Steve and BenInstead of finishing those, last weekend I started four–four!–scarves. One is crocheted alpaca (the defunct Lana D’Oro that I’ve been saving for a special occasion for about three years now) and will be a gift for a family friend. One is the much lauded “My So-Called Scarf,” which called to me one night in such a way that I had to start it–it’s currently six inches long, but it’s a beautiful stitch.  The third scarf was intended to accompany my mostly red outfit for my company’s holiday party on Monday, and was made of a very white, very sparkly chunky Wool-Ease.  I used a spiral crochet pattern, and I hated it when it was done–it looked like I was wearing an Elizabethan ruffle, and it was waaaaay too long.  That was Saturday. On Sunday I frogged it and started the fourth scarf of the weekend,  a dc-crocheted scarf of a much more reasonable length. I crocheted up both sides of the starting chain, so it folds a bit; then I sc’d twice in each dc along all four edges in a bright green, which gave it a slight spiral that was much less pronounced than the first one. (That’s me and my scarf in the picture, on the left.) It’s now further adorned with a touch or two of red wine, but it’s barely noticeable.

But! In bag news! Remember the sparkly blue bag that I made for the silent auction at the holiday party? Well, thanks to my boss, and to the other people that got into a bidding war, the bag finally sold for $100! More than any of my other donations have ever made! It went to my boss, who was out of town at the time so I had to bid for him (which was a little weird). He brought it home when he got back to town, walked in his front door with it slung over his shoulder, and his little two year old daughter took one look at it and reached out her hands while declaring, “Mine!” to the shiny bag.  So!cute! I saw her yesterday at the department holiday party, and sure enough, she had it slung over her own shoulder where it was carrying her treasures. Best spent $100 ever, if you ask me. 🙂