Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lordy, Lordy, I Ain't Even Forty...

It all started in September, when our family doctor closed his practice. Well, I suppose if you're a "big picture" person, it all started sometime in 1968... but whatever.

Anyway, in September, our family doctor closed his practice. My "new" doctor told me I needed to have a baseline mammogram. Okay. No prob. Bill's new doctor introduced himself with a digital rectal exam of his prostate. Okay. Starting to feel impending age creeping in now.

Then I went to get my eyes checked yesterday, and much to my combined dismay and relief... I need bifocals when knitting. I've had some eyestrain for a while, and have used those little half-glasses you buy for ten bucks at the drug store off and on, but over my "real" glasses I feel like an ass. Now, here I am, on the cusp of 39 (really! I'll be 39 at the new year!) and needing bifocals. Not for everyday wear, but when knitting, crocheting, reading, etc.


(Go Red Sox!)


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Brother Sweaters

Holy Heck! I finished something! I finished TWO somethings! Here are H and Harris Bear in their "brother sweaters"--a pair of button-front hoodies.

The last time I knit a sweater for Harris (a beautiful "Superman Blue" cable front sweater) the bear wouldn't wear it because "it itched" him. It was done in Wool-Ease worsted. THIS time I went for a really cool-looking blue Bernat Camoflage, all... acrylic. I got the yarn during a New Year's run to Patternworks with my Homegirls. My Knitting Sisters, MJ & Sherri. Started the sweater in the winter. Finished in the fall. Not bad for me! The bigger sweater, for those interested, is from The Yarn Girls' kids book, for ages 4-12. The pattern is called "Supersize Me" and is designed for 2 strands of Koigu, which not only is expensive (although amazing) but would have ended up covered in yogurt, mud, ketchup and shrunk down to fit a baby doll after accidentally ending up in the washer (not that it's happened before or anything... I still mourn you, purple mohair cardi...)

Harris' was an afterthought. I whipped it up last Sunday during the Patriots' game. I hate football, but it's good knitting time. The boys agreed that they'd think it was cool to have matching sweaters, and that in the Camoflage, even Harris would wear it. H has never been a sweater kid, which is kinda tragic, but maybe my fortunes are about to change, he's been really interested and accommodating with this one, even when I've dragged him away from Bionicle mayhem for fittings.

Saturday we're doing the Walk for the Animals for the Conway Area Humane Society. Harris is coming. Hopefully we won't have any trouble with his new Baldness Ray powers with all those dogs around. Harris doesn't like dogs. Maybe I should get him some shades like Cyclops in the X-Men has...

Ta, I'm very tired tonight and now I'm gibbering.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Bionicle Thermopylae

So my baby brother and his family came to visit recently, and the discussion inevitably came round to movies. Since four of us were parents of Kindergarten-aged children, most of the films we see are on DVD. I mentioned that I had really liked "300" and my sister-in-law showed great concern that the film was horrifically violent.

Actually, I found "Braveheart" to be infinitely more violent. "300" is set up like its origin--the graphic novel--and although it is about a brutal, ancient battle, I didn't find it too violent at all... don't get me wrong, there is a fair amount of heads flying, but it's so thrillingly beautiful to watch, so visually amazing that it didn't prevent me from watching the film, utterly engrossed, to the very end. Of course, it could have been the buff abs of Gerard Butler and the tiny leather skivvies, too. Totally worth it.

We continued our discussion of films, moving on to H's most recent epic Bionicle battle. One of the plusses of having a daddy who's a videographer is that your childhood games can be caught forever on the miracle of DVD. H went into detail of the most recent battle, how Hewki did this and Jaller did that and who got limbs removed with a flying laser crossbow... My brother, who is in as difficult a position as I am, only in reverse--he has a 5-year-old daughter who would most like not appreciate his collection of Star Wars action figures in the same way H doesn't appreciate my Barbie collection-- asked if we yet had enough Bionicles in the house to do a re-creation of the battle of Thermopylae.

Hmmm. I thought. Interesting idea.

Unfortunately, H doesn't follow ancient, documented battle plans. But I must admit that some of his battles do resemble Thermopylae in some respects. A large army facing down a much smaller one, underdogs who fight like the odds weren't against them... in one of these pictures, you can see that even Harris the Bear has joined in, and yes, he was armed with both a squid launcher and a sword in addition to his usual superpowers--the laser beams that shoot from his eyes, his ability to control insects, and his newest superpower, the Baldness Ray (more on that another day).

Sadly, Bionicles don't have abs like Gerard Butler.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Baby Caps By The Dozen!

Okay, so, I love babies. Big babies, little babies, brand new babies, ugly babies, cute babies. Doesn't matter. Something my boy has inherited from me. Now that I'm working in the local hospital (albeit in a purely clerical sense) I walk by the birthing center twice a day on my way in and out of work.

Unfortunately, they don't let you just walk in and make goo-goo eyes at the babies anymore, something about security, blah blah. So, in my own way, to show my love of little ones, I've been making baby caps by the dozens and just dropping them off at the birthing center. That way the new parents can take the cap home, I use up little bits of leftover yarn (baby yarn, that is) and I get the satisfaction of occasionally seeing one of my caps bobbing along the hallway in one of those bucket carriers, on the way to a doctor's visit. It just kills me, though, to know those poor babes are about to get dozens of shots. Necessary, I know, but it drove me mental when they were doing it to my own little peanut... oh, to hear him cry! But, truly, it is way better than having to watch your kid suffer with whooping cough or diptheria.

Anyway, in the interest passing on my love of babies and their cute little heads, ears, fingers, bellies, and tootsies, here's my baby cap by the dozens pattern. It's sized for newborns, and CROCHETED. Go down a hook size for preemie, up a hook size for a jumbo (I made one for a coworker's sister--then she had a baby in excess of 9 1/2 pounds, so I re-did it with a G hook and it fit fine).

SOFT acrylic baby/sport yarn (not fingering) I like Bernat's Softee Baby or Red Heart Soft Baby, because they're fairly nice to work with and washable. Sirdar Snuggly DK is also really, really super nice if you can find it.
Size F crochet hook

Round 1: Chain 2. Work 6 half-double crochets (hdc) in the second chain from hook, join with a slip stitch.
Round 2: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc). 3 hdc in first hdc. 4 hdc in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.
Round 3: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc). 2 hdc in each stitch around.
Round 4: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc). Work 1 hdc in each stitch around.

Repeat Round 4 until hat measures 6" from beginning. Fasten off. Weave in beginning tail. Fold up edge about 1". Voila! A super-cute baby cap! Model on nearest newborn and make endless googy noises (or, if you're from Maine or NH, cluck your tongue and state, "Oh, gorrie, ain't that cunnin'!").


Please check out some of the new links, my crazy, super-creative, talented family has been hard at work. I'm so proud of them all!


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Don't Fingerprint Me, It's For Sinus Trouble, Really!

Well, the boys both have tremendous head colds. The H-Bomb is doing okay, because he doesn't really have any comprehension of what "being sick" is. He's really boogie, has a headache, and his face is all chapped. Otherwise, he says he's fine.

Bill, well, he's suffering. Headache, cough, lots of boogers, run down, achy... the works. He sounds awful. Can't sleep, etc. So, in a state of mercy, I went to Wal-Mart to get him some meds.

So, let's have a chat about Sudafed. It's the only thing that works. Quite frankly, the pseudo-Sudafed they're selling now over the counter is utterly useless. Bill's been taking it all week, and he's as stuffed up as he ever was. I have allergies. The kind that manifest in sinus headaches, post nasal drip and non-stop congestion. I take Allegra-D, but it's an expensive prescription. Works really well.

This morning, I went into Wal-Mart. Quite frankly, I think it's probably a hell of a lot easier to buy a gun there than Sudafed. I went up to the pharmacy counter (because the hard stuff is not available on store shelves anymore), and told the woman I wanted the Tylenol Severe Cold and Cough tablets (non-drowsy daytime) and a bottle of the store brand Nyquil (with actual Sudafed in it). They only had that in a tw0-bottle value pack. I said fine, thinking that one bottle upstairs and one bottle downstairs would cut down on the inevitable ransacking the house in the middle of the night with no glasses on, stepping on Ben 10 toys barefoot part of being sick.

The lady asked me if I'd ever bought Sudafed there before. "Yes, but it was before it was moved behind the pharmacy counter."

"I'm going to need to see your ID." They don't even card me in the state liquor store anymore. ID?? She then entered about three pages worth of data into the computer system, and commented that "they may not even let you buy this much stuff," indicating the two bottles of Nyquil and the Tylenol Cold and Cough. Even though one is clearly for nighttime, and the other clearly marked for daytime. After about 5 or 10 minutes of her punching info into the computer, I had to sign a document stating that I was aware I was buying products with pseudeoephedrine in it, and that I was aware of the liabilities, blah blah blah.

I looked at the woman and said, "You know, in New Zealand, you can buy Tylenol with codeine over the counter." She said her husband had been to France, and there they have way more over the counter options. After signing twice and paying at the pharmacy counter, I went straight to the paper product aisle and bought a ton of Kleenex. I hope store security saw that.


What a world we live in. The picture shows my barely-legal contraband, and all the stuff I'm going to bring with me next time I buy Sudafed at Wal-Mart. Passport, birth certificate, license, immunization records, I've got to remember to also get a note from my mom and three character references, just in case.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mixed Nuts

Of news, that is. It's been so long since I last posted I hardly know where to start. For Christmas, H became obsessed (and I mean OBSESSED) with Bionicles. We now have about eight hundred of them. No, seriously, they keep multiplying. The good thing is that he now spends hours setting up battles between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys. Some of the Bad Guys are so cool-looking that they are often Good Guys because we can't bear to have the really cool-looking ones be Bad.
* * *
My Other Half and I have been having deep troubles lately, so a lot of our time has been superceded by long intense talks and therapy sessions. We're doing better, I think, but it's a long road ahead. By "doing better" I mean, "I'm not crying so much." Which is good, because I think I was becoming dehydrated and it was further addling my perspective. He's a good guy, and I love him dearly. But, financially, we're skint, and it's my doing, and it's only understandable that he's resentful. Keep us in your thoughts.
* * *
Last night, I was reading a dinosaur book to H, and he told me he was very worried about meteors. What if one hit the earth again and destroyed all life? I told him that we now have telescopes and satellites and all sorts of outer-space search things, and that we'd know long in advance if a giant meteor was headed our way. Then we'd blow it out of the sky. Not to worry.

But, then I told him that meteorites hit the earth all the time, that they're usually just space rocks, and most of the time they burn up in our outer atmosphere. We call them "shooting stars," and when you see one, you're supposed to make a wish and kiss the person nearest you. He was quiet for a minute, then said what he'd wish for was to always be with Momma and Daddy, and to have all the Bionicles in the world.

Funny, that was the same as my wish, except for the damned Bionicle part.
* * *
Driving home from the supermarket tonight, I got to thinking about Contrails, only because I saw one overhead. We are nowhere near a major airport (Portland, ME is over sixty miles away) so a Contrail is a rare thing. Not unusual, but nonetheless, rare. I was out with the H-Bomb a while back, driving to Portland, coincidentally, when seemingly out of nowhere, he said "Momma!! I see Superman! And Supergirl, too!" I thought it was more of his imagination running wild, and after further commentary of the sort, realized that he was referring to a couple of Contrails.

Having grown up in a house with a NWS Meteorologist, I learned at a very early age what a Contrail was, what caused thunderstorms, about jetstreams, etc. If my son wants to think it's Superman, I won't deny him that right now. There's time enough for discussion of jet propulsion and water vapor in the atmosphere.

And when he was 5, Dad probably thought they were Superman, too.

Ta for now. I'll try to put some pictures up of my Philospher's Wool Traditions sweater later this week, if I don't have to tear it back again.