Dec 10, 2012

Welcome

Welcome to the new blog. I'll be back in a few days with some knitting related posts. My stash is currently in storage here. I can't wait to get my own home so I can have easy access to all my stuff again.  :~)

Aug 17, 2012

Ack Arg Blah Tired of it all

I've started unfriending people on Facebook who have turned their walls and therefore mine into and never ending stream of political garbage. For the most part I believe that politics and religion are no no topics for me. I'm sick of seeing it and most of all I'm sick of watching it end friendships. I have enough stress in my life with out feeling like my "friends" are adding to it. Some of them have gone as far as send private messages with their political garbage. Um I hate to break it to everyone but both parties are lying to you. They don't give a flying rats ass about you and they most definitely don't have this country's best interests in mind. They have their own agenda and I can guaran-damn-tee it's not what they're telling everyone.

I'll be just fine no matter who takes control of the country. It does scare me a little when people want to tromp on my rights and some of these "new" republicans are scary as hell because if they had their way we would lose our freedom of religion, our freedom of choice, and a few other freedoms many soldiers, sailors and airmen have died protecting. I believe everyone has the right to practice/not practice religion, I believe everyone has the right to love, marry, and live anyway they want. My marriage is not threatened by two men or two women who obviously love each other getting married. I think this is the biggest reason why I refuse to go to church. I just can't believe that a God who is suppose to be so lIoving would say that being gay is wrong. I hate to admit it but I have a few people in my family who are so hateful but yet call themselves good Christians. Thankfully I was lucky enough to not grow up anywhere near these bigots and i proud to say that my kids are being raised right and if one of them turns out to be gay I will love them, support them and hope they find someone they can love and spend their life with.

I don't believe that Muslims are dangerous. I think some very bad people have used their religion as jumping point for some very bad things just like other religions have been wrongly used. Religious zealots are a scary lot no matter which religion they use. Um anyone heard of the Westboro baptist nuts? They use Christianity to sling their mud. They aren't causing bodily harm but what they do is dangerous and sick.

I don't find it hilarious to watch the republican party blame the democrats for all of the country's debt. Um sorry but there are a lovely list of republican presidents who helped contribute a sizable chunk to our national debt. Our current president just happens to hold the title for the most debt ever. I'm not saying I agree with him because I don't and I think hes made some really bad mistakes along the way. But I'm also not foolish enough to believe the drivel that Romney is spewing either and his running mate Ryan has some really scary ideas. It's a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. You cant win either way but a choice of which side do you think is going to screw you a little less.

 



Jun 12, 2012

Another Day, Another Dollar

Well school's out and I wonder where the time has gone. It seems like in was yesterday that I was taking Bree to her first day of school. Now my baby is a first grader. She excelled too. I'm a bit worried that she going to be bored with first grade. Kindergarten here in Montana is a bit more advanced then they are in Idaho. Bree's already reading at a second grade level.


I just found out that Boise doesn't have a ban on having chickens in your backyard. My goal is to have 2-3 hens for egg laying so it's nice to know I'll be able to do that. Here in Great Falls it is strictly prohibited which I think is completely assinine. I can understand banning roosters within city limits and wouldn't want one anyways. You don't need a rooster for the hens to lay eggs and the damn things can be wicked noisy. 


It's been a long time since my last post. I'm trying to get back into a schedule for posting and home to post at least 2-3 times a week. 


I finished my It's A Wrap.


image from www.flickr.com
The yarn is Miss Babs Yowza. This will definitely be nice for winter time. I doubt I'll ever wear it around my shoulders but it's large enough to pull over my head to protect my ears from the cold which will be nice for running from the car to the store. This picture was taken before I blocked it. It got a bit longer after it's bath.


I finished my cousins baby blanket.


image from www.flickr.com
The pattern is a mix of a few different patterns and the yarn is Knit Picks Comfy worsted in the Macaw colorway which I think has been discountinued. She loved the blanket and I do believe it's going to get a lot of use.


I finished my "on the go" socks. 


image from www.flickr.com
They are my basic toe up pattern with a short row heel. The yarn is Opal 6ply and the colorway is 1715. I managed to match up the stripes fairly well. There's enough left to knit a pair for Bree and add a square to my sock yarn blanket. 


Right now my free time has gone to finishing Bree's crochet blanket. 


image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
I'm cruising right along on this thing. I'm a few rows into the 16th stripe of 25. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.


My container garden is doing well this year.


image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
I have tomatoes on my Better Boy and Roma's. The cherry tomatoes are full of blooms so I'm figuring I should see some tomatoes soon.


My snap peas have produced a few peas so far.


image from www.flickr.com
I didn't realize I could have planted them a good month or two before I did. They love chilly weather and don't do well after it gets to hot so I might not see many off but these two were very yummy and I'm hoping for a few more. There are more blooms on the plant so I might get a yummy little snack out of this plant.


Hopefully Penny.


image from www.flickr.com
She's hoping that cute eyes will allow her into my lap. It's very difficult to crochet on a blanket with a 48 pound springer spaniel in your lap. 


I'll leave you with this picture of Georgie.


image from www.flickr.com
He's trying to decide the best course of action for getting to the rings on my fingers. 



Mar 14, 2012

Knitting, RA, and Other Ouchies

I think I remember posting awhile back that my RA meds weren't working anymore and that it feels like my joints are constantly trying to kill me. There have been quite a few mornings and many more nights where I wished they'd hurry up and finish the job already which led my doctor to give me Humira but my TB test came back positive which means nine months of TB meds and a swap to a new medication because I guess Humira is super dangerous to take while being treated for TB. How I managed to contract TB I have no idea. It's been in the last 11 years since my last TB test was in 2001 and it was negative. It's not like I make a habit of jotting off to third world countries or anything like that. I have almost 3 months of TB treatment done and 6 more to go. I finally got the approval from my insurance for the Enbrel and the foot doc gave me the green light to start. I was waiting on her because of the two toenails that I had removed. I took the first shot yesterday and so far so good. No serious reactions so now it's time to sit back and see if the meds help reduce some of my RA symptoms. This complicates our move a little more since I'll have to find a suitable way to keep the meds cold because they have to stay refridgerated. I did some research on how much this medication costs and from what I've found if you don't have insurance you're looking at $2,000 to $3000 per 30 days for most of the basic biologic meds, Humira, Enbrel, Orencia, etc. Makes me very thankful for the health insurance we have and will continue to receive after Shawn retires but also makes me sick thinking about the people who aren't getting the help they need because they don't have insurance. It's a rather scary thought. I don't know what Shawn and I would do if we didn't have insurance to cover my meds.


Moving day is happening 5 Sept. WooHoo!!! I'm not looking forward to the drive back and all the stuff I have to do to prep for the move but I'm so looking forward to being home again. MyiPod will be loaded with music and I need to find a good bluetooth headset for my iPhone. Budget gave us one hell of a deal for a moving van rental since we're military and they gave use 150 extra miles since we have to drive over a 95 miles to pick up the truck in Helena. A little over $300 for 5 days is an awesome deal and they frickin rock!! U-Hell wanted over double that. We've opted to move essential stuff that we need since we're living with my sister for awhile so most of our stuff will go in storage until we get our own place. Plus there are things I just don't trust the movers to pack and move, ie family photos, computers, my yarn, etc. I'm already in contact with a realistate agent. I've found several houses that I would absolutely love to have but buying isn't an option yet.


I've been working on a few things on the knitting front.


First up is my It's A Wrap shawl.


 


image from www.flickr.com

 


I'm using Miss Babs Yowza in the Tulipa colorway. Right now there is a knit along over in the Woolgirl group. You don't have to have the kit to participate in the KAL. The pattern is available for sale seperately. We're running the knit along through the month of March.


Second on the list is my Love Bug socks. 


image from www.flickr.com

These are knit using Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! and the colorway is Longhorn Beetle which is a drop dead gorgeous red!


 


Next is my knitting on the go socks.


image from www.flickr.com

Toe up socks knit with Opal 6 ply sock yarn. I think this one is called Lollipop. These are my basic toe up short row heel socks. Nothing fancy but they always fit great.


 


I'm working on a baby blanket for my cousin.


image from www.flickr.com

 


image from www.flickr.com

 This is actually a mish mash of patterns to get the look I want. The basic look and layout is a modified version of the Bedtime Story Afghan (ravelry)(non ravelry). The original pattern called for duplicate stitch to put the animal pictures on the blanket. Since I'd rather cut off my foot then work duplicate stitch I'm using a knit elephant dishcloth pattern (ravelry). I had to cut a couple of knit stitches on each end but all in all I think the elephant looks pretty damn good on this blanket. I'm alternating the elephants with the blanket blocks. I'm actually working on the 3rd row of elephants now. I think I need a total of 6 rows to hit the right size blanket.


I knit these lovely socks for my last TLE Swap partner.


image from www.flickr.com

The pattern is Twinkle Twinkle (ravelry)(non ravelry) and the yarn is Studio June Super Cash Sock. To add a little twinkle to the socks I used 6/0 Toho glass beads.


I finished my fingerless mitts and cowl for the TLE Q1 challenge.


image from www.flickr.com

The yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino in the London Sky colorway. I asked the fine folks at Malabrigo if they were going to be doing this colorway in their sock yarn base but sadly they are not. I think it's rather gorgeous and would love to make a shawl or socks with it in the sock yarn. The fingerless mitts pattern is Princess Mitts from The Knitters Book of Yarn (ravelry)(non ravelry). The cowl is Diamond Leaf Cowl (ravelry)(non ravelry).


Kaity has a new pair of socks.


image from www.flickr.com

These were knit from some ONline Supersocke that adopted  from someone who hated the way it looked. Kaity liked it so I paid for shipping and gave it a new home.


Bree has a new pair too.


image from www.flickr.com


It's just my basic toe up sock with some ribbing on the foot and cuff for a better fit. It's funny how much she loves her handknit socks.


I'll leave you with a shot of the boys in their new birdy McMansion.



image from www.flickr.com



image from www.flickr.com



This thing is super roomy. We went with PetCo's parrot cage. Between the sale, discount coupons, and free shipping it was the best deal over all the other cages around the same size. They have tons of room for toys, perches, etc. I have to very happy birdies now.


Until next time.....Happy Crafting!



Jan 23, 2012

Meandering, Babbling and General Craziness

Sounds like the title of a good book. It would definitely work as a great title for my memoirs. Note to self, must add that to my bucket list. I think I could sell all of maybe 5 books if I published it. Naw, scratch that my life has been rather boring and uneventful, well to me it hasn't been boring but to the everyday Joe my life would be rather dull so maybe unpublished memoirs would be the way to go for me.


Shawn's retirement is now official and he should be seeing his official orders here soon. Hard to believe it's all done in 226 days. He's started the job hunt and we've had a few nibbles but nothing to write home about. There are a handful more that would be great but now it's a frickin waiting game. We've start checklists and have a million and one things that need to be done. We're doing a partial move so that we have our clothing, beds, etc. The stuff we can't live without while we're living with my sister since we don't know for sure how long it will be before we get out own place. Uncle Sam will pay to move the rest and for a year of storage for our household goods so that gives us time to either buy a place or find a house to rent. My sister and I spent 3 hours on the phone talking about the move and getting all excited about us coming home.


I had a mini freak out moment when we signed the lease. I might also want to add that I was already upset because I found out my great uncle had passed away. Our base housing is going through the privatization process so we had to sign a lease with the company that's taking over and I started reading their stupid little booklet on responsibilities and such because I'm smart like that and I want to know what is going on before names are signed willy nilly. I get to the carpet replacement price and see that it starts at $1400 and goes up in price and my little mind starts chanting "oh shit oh shit oh shit". I have dogs, birds and kids plus my carpet has seen two other families besides mine so it's looking shabby and crappy. It's cheap carpet and even cheaper padding, Uncle Sammy only pays for the best for his military troops (must insert a lot of sarcasm here). Then I hit the next part that starts talking about how you have to pay to have your carpets professionally cleaned when you have pets in the house when you move out. Now I'm chanting "oh shit, oh crap, wtf are they "F"-in crazy" because it would cost in upwards of $700 to professionally clean the carpets in my house from top to  bottom. My house is frick huge and I live in a two story house. I have 14 stairs and it would cost me an additional $3 per stair....the prices are damn crazy if you ask me!!! Note to self, no I repeat no carpet in my house when we buy one!!! My mind was so not G rated that day. So I'm ranting and pissed and complaining about how in the hell they expect military people (who don't make that great of a paycheck to begin with) to pay for this crap. So of course I pissed Shawn off because apparently I'm not suppose to be pissed about having to come up with $700 we weren't counting on for the move. It's not as if the uHaul (they want over $900 for one of their crappy frickin vehicles) and house cleaning fees weren't bad enough. So Shawn's nonchalant, don't worry be happy, can't change it so why get pissed attitude pissed me off even more. His comment was like oh well guess we're going to have to use the income tax refund to pay for it. Nevermind that our income tax refund was for paying off some damn bills we really need to pay off. If I would have had a frying pan I may very well have walloped him on the head with it. Apparently he's not been paying attention over the last 13+ years of marriage that I need to rant and bitch which needs no response from him at all. It's not as if I was doing it standing there in a public place (something I would never do) we were in the car/at home. Anyways back to my freak out, all is well that ends well, after a nice chat with the military housing office and the new civilian company taking over, we are not responsible for the carpet at all because it's already past its 7 year life cycle. It's the original carpet that was put in the houses when they were built like 10 years ago so all we have to do is vacuum because they're ripping it out. So I guess Shawn's don't worry attitude would have been better but I vented my stress and anger so at least I know I won't explode now. When I internalize stress it never ends well.


Anyways on to knitting and other fun stuff.


I received my TLE #9 swap in the mail today.


 image from www.flickr.com


I love everything! I got stitch markers, hot cocoa, chocolate coffee, hot tamales, a lovely pair of socks made with Hazel Knits artisian sock yarn, Koigu Kersti, BFL/Seacell fiber, and an emergency fix key chain.


My It's a Wrap mini kit from Woolgirl.


 image from www.flickr.com


I test knit this a while back and I've been patiently waiting to post about it. I'm co-hosting a KAL with the designer. I can't wait to get started on this. The yarn is Miss Babs Yowza worsted weight which I absolutely adore. The colorway is Tulipa which is a lovely deep purple.


I knit a Darkside Cowl (ravelry) for Bree.


image from www.flickr.com


Of course it's warmed back up and now she doesn't need it but it's ready for when the temps drop again. The yarn is the Premier yarns serenity sock yarn that I picked up on sale at JoAnn's. I held it double stranded and let me say that I think I'm going to knit more of these double stranded with sock yarn. I just need to add more stitches for myself and Kaity. This is a great pattern and double stranded with sock yarn makes it extra squishy and warm.


Yarn for a baby blanket for my cousin M.


image from www.flickr.com

She's due this summer with her second child. I need to check with my aunt to see when little dude is due to join this world. The yarn is Knit Picks Comfy Worsted and the colorway is called Macaw which this does remind me of the green on some of the Macaws. Cousin M already has a blue baby blanket so I figured I'd change it up a bit and use a non standard baby color.


Finally I finished the first part of my 2012 Quarter one challenge from TLE.


image from www.flickr.com

The pattern is Malabrigo Silky Merino and the pattern is Princess Mitts (Ravelry)(non Ravelry) from The Knitter's Book of Yarn. It's also a free pattern. I think it was one of those patterns that Potters Craft released as a teaser for the release of the book. The pattern had a error in the thumb chart but by the time I noticed it it was too late and I was too lazy to rip and reknit. The error wasn't that big of a deal for me. Note to self, check for errata before starting to knit, bone head!!


I'll leave you with a shot of George and Bill hanging out and getting to know each other over pop corn.


image from www.flickr.com

 Bill is on the left and George is on the right pigging out on the popcorn. Bill and George will be getting separate big cages not because they don't get along because they're not to bad together it's because George absolutely hates Shawn and Shawn's afraid George is going to hurt himself if Shawn puts his hand in the cage to get Bill. George freaked out when Shawn uncovered him this morning and ended up rubbing his wing so hard it bled. So each birdie will be getting their own big, sturdy cage and Shawn will ignore George from here on out. I'm aggravated with the both of them.


Till next time......Happy Crafting!



Jan 6, 2012

Retirement Time!!!

Shawn submitted for approval to retire. Shawn hit 19 years of active duty Air Force service on 7 Dec 2012 so he submitted his eligibility check for retirement earlier this week. We're done and ready to move on with our lives. It's time to take control of our life back from the military. I can't begin to explain how much stress was relieved with that decision. So barring any unforseen issues we will heading back to Boise, ID on or around 5 Sept 2012. I can't believe we're down to the last 8 months. We were originally going to drop retirement papers in Sep/Oct of this year so we could move during the summer of 2013 but the AF dropped High Year Tenure (HYT) for Technical Sergeant (TSgt) from 22 years to 20 years which meant it was up in the air on if they would extend Shawn's time out from April of 2012 to Sept 2012. If they refused to extend him out it would have meant a move in the middle of Dec or Jan for us, something neither of us want to be doing so we decided to take the money and run.


Uncle Sammy and his cronies are really screwing with the lives of military members right now. You use to be able to retire from the Air Force as a Staff Sergeant (SSgt) with 20 years of military service. Now you can only do 15 years as a SSgt meaning you have to make TSgt to retire from the military. Add injury to insult that they also want to keep retiring military members from drawing their retirement pay right away. They want to make it to where we have to wait till we're 65. Screw that! The average american citizen doesn't have to pick up a gun and fight in a foriegn country to earn their retirement. They don't have to worry about if they are going to make it home safe and sound to their family. Just because you come home from a deployment without any external injuries doesn't mean you came home unharmed. PTSD is a very common and very serious problem. I can't tell you how many people I've personally seen flinch or flat out drop to the floor when they hear a car backfire, fireworks and other loud noises that sound like gunfire after spending time deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. I wonder how many military members wake up in the middle of the night to some nightmare of what they saw over there? Until ALL of Congress puts on full battle rattle (military protective gear), picks up an assult rifle, kisses their family goodbye, gets on a plane and spends 12-16 months away from their loved ones to stand on the front lines worrying about getting their asses shot off, not knowing who is the enemy and who needs help, they don't have the right to the decision to take away our armed services ability to draw our retirement until we're 65. There are only a few current members of congress who know what it's like to go to war. I know Sentors John McCain and Jim Webb both served in Vietnam. There are also a few that were cops so they know what it's like to put their butts on the line every day but the bulk majority of them have never went to war and have never even served in the armed forces so how can they make such important decisions about the military when they haven't walked a mile or two in our shoes. 


My sister and I are so excited about the move. She's in Boise and I can't wait to get home. I desperately miss my best friend and shopping buddy not to meantion my most trusted babysitter for the girls. I miss my family and this move will put me closer to them again.


Yes I know I know I'm rambling and I need to get to the knitting content. Lets me think for a moment....ah now I remember where I need to start my post.


I finished my Marilinda socks (ravelry)(non ravelry).


image from www.flickr.com
This is a CookieA pattern and can be bought as a seperate pattern or it's in the book Knit.Sock.Love which comes in a print or pdf version. The yarn is Wollmeise I picked up from a destash. The colorway is we're different Ruby Thursday. I love the red color but bought it more for the name since it has sentimental value to me. I love these socks. I'm only so so on the Wollmeise base. The base yarn is OK but her colors are what draw me in. There are indie dyers out there with much nicer base yarns in my opinion. Will I buy more Wollmeise? Yes I will but it will never be one of my favs. I'd love to get my hands on a skein of Wollmeise lace in the Ruby Thursday colorway for the next shawl I'm planning for my mom. I've seen a few being destashed but can't spend the money right now. With the move coming up the only way I could do it is someone was willing to trade and most people want to trade lace for lace. Oh well, maybe after we get settled after the move.


One of many candy cane ponies (ravelry)(non ravelry).


image from www.flickr.com
This is a quick and easy pattern. I really love these and have plans to make more this year for my cousins, nephews, my girls, and some other family members. I have wiggle eyes and ribbon for the next handful of ponies I plan to make.


I picked up some new to me sock yarn on sale at JoAnn's the other day.


image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
The yarn is Premier Yarn Serenity sock weight yarn. It's a merino/bamboo/nylon sock yarn. It's ├╝bercheap. I think it was like $3.99 per 50 gram skein. JoAnn's was having a buy one get one 50% off so I figured why not. It's the cheapest sock yarn I've found so far.


Finally I picked up some Malabrigo Silky Merino for the 1st Quarter TLE challenge.


image from www.flickr.com
The challenge is to knit something with yarn that has silk content. I'm planning on making fingerless mitts and a new cowl for myself. 


Until next time......Happy Crafting!