Thursday, May 31, 2007

9.5 more miles down

I got up at 4:50 AM this morning EXCITED about my bike ride. I went 9.5 miles in 45 min -- which is really SUCKY time (about 12 mph or 5 min per mile), but I'm still happy I did it. I even went to bed last night nearly giddy about the ride. It's really fun, and the morning is beautiful.

I finished a sock! Boy, anklets are easy to knit. I'm not so happy with how loose the sock is, especially the heel and ankle. I'll probably rip and reknit it a bit tighter.

Work is really really really busy, so I'm dashing.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Me! I'm a whopping 34 years old today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I did it!

Day 2 of working out at home, not just on vacation! Today I did the second half of yesterday's weight routine -- lower body. Funny thing is that at my peak fitness, I would do this particular video twice in a row. I'd add sets. I'd up the weight. Today I did the video as designed with minimal weights, and I'm about to fall over my legs are so shakey. So goes the flubbery. ;)

I will *happily* post DD's feet in her socks! Both pairs! Maybe pairs mixed: one on one foot and another on the other.

So far the online sock yarn in this bobby sock/anklet is knitting up big on my 2.5mm needles. I'll keep this pair for myself and knit my DGM (dear Grandma) a trimmer pair on 1mm (she wears a narrow sock/shoe). I've been wanting to use the 1mm needles since I bought them last year and haven't yet, so this will be good. I actually LOVE the small needles. 4mm feel like tree branches in my hands. LOL.

OK, back to work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My daughter is forever the apple of my eye

because tonight she yelled out to me at the top of her lungs that her "feet are cold and [she] needs her rainbow socks!!!!" Meaning her handknit socks in Netter's Cake yarn. The rainbow socks are dirty, so I put on her new STR that I finished yesterday. Just in the nick of time. Now I have to come up with a name for them.

Weekend high

I'm living off my weekend high. I'm at work, and I know the seconds are ticking down before I have to return to real life. But DH, DD, and I had a terrific holiday weekend, and I'm living off every second of its memory that I can. Here are some highlights:

* DH and I biked about 52 miles all weekend. I love my new bike -- it's FUN. There's nothing WORK about getting a bike workout. It really did feel like the equivalent of playing a game or having fun. I'm sad I'm not on the bike now. ;) And for a beginner rider, I can't believe I biked that many miles and didn't collapse!! Can you believe it? 52 miles!! Go me! (This picture is of DH on his bike, not of me. It's a crummy cell picture, but it conveys the spirit all the same.)

* I enjoyed getting some much-needed activity so much this weekend I actually did workout this morning. It was only 30' of upper body strength, but I did it and feel great. I plan to a modest 30' lower body strength workout tomorrow morning, and maybe a bike ride the morning after. We'll see.

* I have an FO from this weekend and another FO to report that I finished just prior to the weekend. I knit some jaywalkers for my sister, and I knit DD some toe-up socks in simple rib with the remaining yarn. I had about 12" of yarn left over after DD's socks; I'm glad I knit them toe-up. I also tried a new heel -- a traditional eye of partridge heel on a toe-up sock. It worked great and looks fabulous (I much prefer the traditional heel with a gusset over a short-row heel). The only tricky part is the math -- with a short row heel, I don't have to think at all. But with a gusset, I have to think and do the math. Luckily I found instructions that used the same exact number of stitches I used for my sock, but I won't be that lucky in the future. I need ot play around with it, but I'm not good at manipulating the numbers. I'm good at math; I just lack confidence in my ability to translate my math to knitting that actually fits. ;)

* I got some great new yarn this weekend with a gift certificate from my mom. I picked up 2 skeins of Trekking sock yarn and 2 (or 3?) skeins of Online Supersocke Beach yarn, a cotton sock yarn that I have a new love for. I CO for a pair of ankle socks for my grandmother. She has very hot feet and tends not to wear socks, but she likes little cotton socks that have the pompom on the backs. This yarn is perfect for her in so many ways: it creates a light fabric that doesn't seem hot at all; it's beach colors (she lives 3 miles from the beach); and it'll make a great addition to her regular socks.

OK, I have to get back to reality. I *do so* want to hold on to the sense of balance I have from this weekend. I know it's fleeting and allusive, but I love how I feel. Wish this feeling was the norm and not the exception. I'll see if -- just for this week -- I can make it the norm. I'll have to set some boundaries with work, which I'm not good at doing, but I *should* do it.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

For fun
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Let's hope there's at least one person in the country with my name, or else I don't exist. Now there's a concept for solving my work stress.... ~grin~
Onward with the meme. I think I'm up to number 2.

2. I love music but never buy my own music. I mooch off of others. Always have, ever since middle school when I really discovered music for the first time. It started because I was a kid and never had any money to buy music, so I'd just tape the cassettes my friends had. In college a guy I dated (for a long time, the "first" guy) accused me of dating him to get music from him. Which wasn't really true. Only partially true. I dated him because I liked him up until the point that he got annoying. Then I did date him for music (he worked at a radio station), but I dumped him quickly after that. So it doesn't really count, does it? ;)

3. It freaks me out to take pictures of DD naked. My parents have all these cute butt pictures of me when i was a baby (because my current butt pictures sure aren't cute). But maybe because of the internet or the general uptightness of our society, I feel really weird taking pictures of DD when she's naked. Tonight she got a package from my sister that had styrofoam peanuts in it. She LOVES the peanuts and will strip, climb into the box with the peanuts, and play *literally* for over an hour by herself. So she did tonight. And I took a few pics of her naked, but I felt really weird doing it. All of them were butt shots; no front shots. But still, I felt somehow bad doing it, as if I was a pervert.

Why oh why are baby butts so cute? Really now, they're just so cute. Maybe because they have no dimples. Or hair. Or warts or anything else on them. They're just cute.

OK, really, I don't have a butt fetish.

I'm on the internet; I shouldn't joke about such things. But it is all one big joke.


OK, I'm out of meme stuff. Really. I'm really boring. I swear.

Work today was so-so. Not as bad as I expected, but I am so wound up I'm about to break. I really need to rediscover exercise to slough off the day's irritations. I've been drinking a lot more (a lot more as in two beers a night, not a 6-pack in the parking lot of work at 7 AM as my ex-stepfather used to do). Anyway, it's summer. I need to get out and enjoy the pretty weather instead of simmer and suffer in my misery.

eh, maybe tomorrow.... ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I wanna play with ...

So those of you with kiddies I'm sure can relate to this post. I'm tired. I have chores to do before going to bed. I have to get up early, and I was home from work very late tonight. But I have to post this.

Last night was "my night" taking care of DD. She'll be 3 in July, so she's getting to be a big girl. After playing last night, DD asked to take a bath (a rare thing). She started it a full hour before bedtime, so she had plenty of time to play.

While in her bath, DH came home. He joined us in the bathroom for a little family bonding time. What family hasn't corralled around the toilet for a little update about the day? So it goes with our family.

Anyway, DH and I are chatting while DD takes her bath, all of us in the bathroom, mind you. When DH looks at DD and stops talking. Then I quickly look over, and she's pooping in the tub! A full out grunt. Red faced, squatting, grunting girl.

Swoop comes mom, lifts her out, but not before a little nugget falls in the water. Plop. Just as if it were toilet water.

DD did finish the job in the proper place, thankfully, but we still had the little nugget to contend with. However, DD had different plans ... off the toilet she slides and starts to climb back in the tub because

"I wanna play with the poop, Mommy!"

Loudly. I bet our neighbors heard it.

She did not play with the poop. She brushed her teeth and read stories in bed, instead. And I got to scoop the poop out with a trash bag over my hand.

Anyway, I am so stressed about my work right now that I have the awful OCD hand-to-mouth disease. I have the most delicious trail mix that is calling my name, and I'm resisting it. I had enough to day. At least it's not M&Ms or other such delights. Really, it's not about the food. It's about shoving something in my mouth to quell the awful anxiety I have about work. This is my 9th week in the job, and this morning I dreamt my boss detested me. I dreamt he viciously hated me and was out to get me at every turn. I think there's a little anxiety there.

I know the meme is going around, and Cathy pinged me for it. A few of the posts have prompted me to think about similar situations in my own life, so here goes...

  • I only failed one course in my life, and it was high school typing. Cathy made it through hers, but I decided to play chess every day of typing class instead of learning how to type. I would make a chess board on notebook paper and would make my own pieces out of little notebook paper circles. A friend and I would play. Currently I'm a pretty fast typer. I actually haven't met a person who can type faster than I can. But I certainly didn't get it from typing class.

  • I swear I have the most boring life in the world. I can't think of another thing to write, and the clock is ticking.

    Can I complete the meme over several posts??? ;)

    Back later.
  • Friday, May 18, 2007


    I couldn't come up with a better title.

    It's been a long time since I posted. Sorry to be gone so long ... I've been really wrapped up in work. I have had good knitting progress; I just haven't had much time to post or even read. This weekend should be a nice time to catch up.

    I'm a bit diverted at the moment by some ice cream that is calling my name. So, I'll post more tomorrow after I enjoy. ;)

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Dear Mrs. Henshaw

    Yesterday I had the strangest call of my entire life. I noticed around 2 or so that someone had called my cell. They didn't leave a message, and I didn't recognize the number at all. I quickly forgot about it.

    Later in the day as I was getting on the train at 5, my cell rang. It was the same number. I thought twice about answering; if I don't recognize the number, I normally just skip it. I'm even not opposed to letting the phone go to VM for numbers I do recognize -- even for family members. However, I decided to answer.

    I normally answer, "Hello, this is Rae" because I'm in work-mode, but because I didn't recognize the number, I just said, "Hello." A woman's voice came though, but she was hard to hear. Her first words also threw me -- when you say, "Hello" to someone calling you, you expect a "Hello, this is so-and-so" or something like that. But, she didn't start out that way. And, the train was loud, it was a cell connection (even the good ones suck), and her voice was thin and wiry.

    MH: Do you know Tim Her..s,e....?

    Me: What? Hello?

    MH: Do you know Heck Twimekw...?

    Me: Sorry. I think you have the wrong number.

    MH: Chuck Henw.eere.w.e?

    Me: Tim Hecksun?


    Me: Um, Chuck. Chuck. Um, no. Don't think so. You have the wrong number.

    MH: NO, I don't think I do. Chuck Henshaw. Your number was in his cell phone. He's called you and you have called him. You must know him.

    Me: Look lady, I don't know Chuck Henshaw. I don't know what you're talking about.

    MH: I think you do know what I'm talking about. Your number is in his cell.

    Me: Are you sure you dialed the right number? I don't know this guy.

    MH: Oh, I'm sure I did. You know him. Your number is here in his phone. He lives in Virginia?

    Me: I don't live in Virginia. I don't know who you're talking about.

    MH: Well, you should know he's married. Has a wife, kids. You should stay away.

    Me: LOOK Lady! I don't know what's up, but I don't know who this guy is. I'm happily married, monogamous, have a family. I don't even live in Virginia.

    MH: Yeah, uh-huh.

    Me: I'm telling you lady, you have the wrong person. I don't know how my number got in his phone, but I've never talked to a Chuck Henshaw in my life.

    MH: Well, just stay away.

    Me: Good luck, lady. You have a lot to work out. Good luck.


    I don't know how long our exchange ... I can't call it a conversation ... went on. Not long. But long enough for 20 questions, growing defensiveness, and weirdness.

    Interesting about my own reaction to this. As I write this about 14 hours later, I'm shaking. Isn't that weird? I guess I feel somehow attacked -- and wrongly so -- so my body has some adrenaline going through it. But I'm completely innocent of her accusations, so I shouldn't be upset.

    This particular reaction aside, I had two post-call responses:

    1. Snarky
    Oh Chuck?!? How is he? Hey, did that bout of herpes clear up for him?

    Oh Chuck?!? That smarmy-ass dude? Geez lady, you should run as fast as you can.

    Chuck. Chuck. Oh yeah, I remember. He has the best dick in town.

    Chuck? Yeah! Hey, is he coming back to the Swingers Club anytime soon? Don and Mike were asking about him. They miss our foursome.

    2. Compassionate
    Wait lady, calm down a bit. Honestly, I don't know who your husband is, but I am so sorry you're going through this. This is a horrible thing to deal with, and I am so sorry -- from one human to another -- that you are wrestling with these horrible happenings.

    Listen, you really need to take this up with him. His phone might be filled with a slew of other women's numbers, and you can call each one. But what's the point of calling them? The issue is with your husband, not with them. Deal with him and with yourself and leave the others to figure it out on their own. What do you care about them? Focus on him and on working this out.

    ...And this morning I have my own thoughts.

    I think affairs spell a crisis not only in the life of a marriage but also in each individual's life. I can't think of an instance when an affair isn't about the marriage and BOTH spouses. The adulterer can say it's all about him or her, that it has nothing to do with the spouse, etc, but it undeniably has everything to do with the spouse. Maybe a person can be truly troubled, in which case an affair might not have anything to do with a spouse - the person has a real mental problem. Or they have a different definition of marriage than others. But I really think that scenario is rare.

    If a marriage is truly functioning -- if both people are fulfilled, have the individual space they need (which varies for each person), are fulfilled in the balance between work and home, have a fulfilling romantic life along with a fulfilling friendship, then why would one spouse have an affair? What need would compel them to seek the company of someone outside the marriage?

    Unless it were an agreement between the couple (in which case an affair wouldn't be a problem), I can't see how an affair is just about one person.

    And when it does happen, it marks a tremendous rift in everyone's life. A time when your guts open up and are ripped from your body by an outstretched, groping, yearning hand in search for something it doesn't have. It's a time when you must confront yourself in the mirror and find out who you are. A time when you find out what you are made of, what motivates you, what scares you, what angers you. You spend weeks, months figuring out all the things that have made you into the awful, deceitful, cunning, lying, cheating, slug that you are. You dredge the depths of your soul to surface all the rotting, evil, festering garbage that has cluttered your mind, being, life, and you lay it all out to bear.

    And then, if you are strong enough and lucky enough, you start to fix it. You let the rot decay completely. You air it. You let the sun dry it out and the wind flake it away. And you start to replace the rot with things that are good. Like a scab that starts to unpeel, you expose raw, sensitive, but new parts of you underneath. Parts of you that impact who you are at home, at work, with your kids, with your friends, with your foes. You find your compassion, humility, humanity. You find your voice has changed, your posture has changed, your chest has changed. You're not as puffed up. You're not as defensive. You don't walk around with a chip on your shoulder, with your armor up.

    Instead, you're like the fresh green shoots that rise up from the shit patties left in a barren field. Shoots that are tender and wet with dew. That can be crushed in an instance.

    And you wonder how you can operate so fresh and green and raw. How can you make it in the monster workplace where you're foes outnumber your friends and will eat you for a mid-morning snack?

    You let them eat you...for a time.

    Because you have to lose that sense of invincibility and of righteousness that affairs bring. You have to give up that anger that precedes the affair, the anger about your marriage, your spouse, your kids, your life, yourself.

    And if you're lucky ... if you are so undeservedly lucky, but lucky all the same, then your spouse is going through all of this with you. With you, against you, in opposition to you, hating you, and loving you all the same. And you both emerge scathed and scarred but stronger.

    Mrs. Henshaw, I am so sorry for the pain you're feeling. With all sincerity, good luck.

    Monday, May 07, 2007

    Calling all moms

    Do you get your toddler's hair cut at a salon or do you cut it yourself?

    When DH convinced me to cut DD's hair for the first time, I decided to do it myself.

    Clarification: I decided DH and I would do it, particularly after I noticed that my cut was WAY crooked. DH did an excellent job of evening it up. It actually looked so pretty. But then I found one little spot that I said, "Just a nip there," and 20 min later she had been butchered.

    So, this last time we decided to take her to a kids cuts place. You know, one of those places that spells the words wrong, like Kidz Kutz. Makes me think "Klutz" which was my dad's nickname for me. Anyhoo, it has seats out of kids toys (DD sat in the Barbie car). They play videos for the kids. It's completely kid-themed.

    At $20 for the cut I thought it a little expensive, but I figured all those toys had to add up, even if they did look like they were bought from a dumpster diver's yard sale. Anyway, DD got her first real haircut (and I, the slacker parent, have no pics of it to show you).

    Anyway, she got the do. We paid. And then she had ice cream.

    But I noticed her hair was crooked. Her bangs were crooked. The back was obviously crooked, as in there was a noticeable "corner" in her hair where one angle went one way only to be met by a severe alternate angle going another way.


    DH saved the day by saying, "Well, we paid $20 to learn how to cut her hair ourselves. Dora! to the rescue."

    Cursed yarn


    I swear this STR yarn is cursed. I've tried to knit it maybe 5 times and have ripped each time. Then I cast on for a toe-up jaywalker. The toe-up part is working perfectly. I made ONE mistake by not slipping the st next to the kfb, but that's forgivable.

    The problem, you ask?


    And not only that, but I'm halfway through the second sock before I realized the first was too small. I didn't try it on before CO for the second. Tonight I finished the heel and up to the ankle of the second sock. I tried it on for fit, and it seemed a bit looser than the first. So I took the first off the stitch holders onto some dormant circs and ... it was so tight it was as if I was trying to shove my fat ass into my old size 8s. It wasn't happening. At least not without some major damage to the sock or my foot.

    Poof. Phooey! All that knitting. WAAAHHHH.

    OK, whine over. Time to get back to it. Interestingly, I think it's a gauge thing. The second sock really does seem to fit fine. In fact, the foot is actually a little big around. But the first sock is tight. Tight tight tight. Maybe I'll continue on the second and rip the first when I'm done. Who doesn't like a little extra knitting practice. ;) It is, after all, train knitting.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Knitting opinions!

    Knittech asked if I could comment on translating a top-down sock into a toe-up sock. I'll happily explain my logic, but there are a lot of disclaimers!

    I've knit 6 pairs of socks in my life. 4 top-down, 2 toe-up. I'm certainly no expert! I don't know if I would try to knit a top-down sock in reverse (toe-up) if I hadn't yet knit the sock the way it was supposed to be knit. Maybe I'll try it one day, but I'm not confident enough yet to try to revise a pattern without first knitting it the way it was written.

    For some reason, I resisted learning toe-up for a very long time. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, which gets me in trouble. If I think that something is hard, or if I think I'll make mistakes, then I'm likely to skip trying all together because I hate failure. That's the down side of being a perfectionist.

    BUT, I found two great resources to help me learn toe-up:

    First, the provisional cast-on. The written instructions just didn't cut it for me. I kept trying it, only to really mess it up. Finally, I found this video ( I watched it over and over and over again. Then I grabbed my materials and worked while watching the video, pausing it, replaying it, rewinding, etc. It was magic! Now I can do a provisional CO in my sleep, and I love it. I don't need any instructions at all.

    Next I learned the toe-up knitting method using these instructions (pdf) ( These were so helpful!

    I admit that I knit and ripped the toe about 5 times before actually continuing with the sock pattern. It was fun! and I really liked how easy it was. Again, I can now do it in my sleep!!

    So, armed with those basics, I knit two pairs of simple ribbed socks. As I knit, I realized that I like the how easy toe-up socks are, but I didn't want to be restricted to patterns that only provided toe-up. There were lots of top-down socks that I wanted to knit even though I wanted to use the toe-up method.

    So, I started with a top-down pattern that I knew -- Jaywalkers. The pattern is so easy. I knew that the bottom of the foot needed to be St st, and the top of the foot needed to be in pattern. I knew I could do a heel easily, and then the leg would be in pattern all the way around. I also agree with Grumperina that it's best to add a few rows to the heel so that it doesn't look stubby. (I can't find the exact post she made or else I'd link to it.)

    Anyway, I need to experiment with other patterns, ones that are more lacy. Again, I think if there's not calf shaping, it should be relatively easy to knit the pattern. My thought is to simply knit the lace pattern as written -- if there are 10 rows in the lace pattern, I would start with row 1 and work to row 10 even though I was going UP the sock instead of down the sock. Does that make sense? The lace would simply be in reverse (vertically).

    I look forward to experimenting!!

    Oh, and a couple of personal opinions about toe-up socks.

    First, even though toe-up are so easy to knit, I actually like the look of top-down heels with heel flaps. I think they're more visually appealing. Toe-up socks are straight St st and are rather boring to look at.

    Also, I like the more technical aspects of a heel flap. I like picking up stitches along the gusset. I like knitting eye of partridge heels. I like counting and short rows. However, toe-up socks (and heels) let me leave the instructions at home and carry less stuff with me on the train.

    Finally, the real cincher with toe-up socks I that I don't have to know EXACTLY how much yarn I have for the sock. I'm not very good at measuring and calculating yardage & need. I've tried, but it ends up being a guessing game for me, and I feel foolish trying to figure out how many yards I need for two socks. With toe-up, I can knit until I'm halfway through the yarn and stop. I've knit the essential part, the foot, and the leg length can be as long or short as the yarn will allow. With toe-up, I don't have the problem of top down where I realize I'm halfway through my yarn but still have 2 more inches to knit for the toes.