Sunday, December 28, 2008

2009 around the corner...

Which has me thinking about changes I would like to make in 2009. Not resolutions, as we all know those are impossible to keep, but real changes.

I want to be a better wife. Keep the house cleaner, actually make dinner more regularly, not leave the laundry in the dryer until it's time to do more laundry.

I want to be a better mom. Not constantly nitpick at the little things, but support and praise the good things. Play Guitar Hero with him when he wants me to. Listen when he talks.

I want to be better to my dogs. Walk them every day instead of every day that I feel like it. And when it's too hot to walk them, be sure that I can take them swimming at least once, for a long time. They are Border Collies and they love to be outside doing something.

Be a more patient, kind person. Not snapping at the other drivers on the freeway or the snowbirds in the stores.

Spend less money. Stop bringing needless, frivolous things into the house on a regular basis. How much crap do we really need anyway?

Pray regularly. Not when I'm in a dire "Oh God I need this help now" moment, but to reflect and say thanks for what I have every day.

Smile more. Life is good. I shouldn't complain. A smile can make such a difference.

I am hoping that you will be happy and healthy in your new years as well. I will say a prayer for you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Almost Christmas...

Are you ready? I'm not. Not even close. Poor Kyle has so few presents under the tree. It's tough when the kids get older and everything they want is so expensive. Means fewer things. And I'm still waiting for one thing to arrive via mail. Eeek. I hope it gets here.

We've had a lot of rain. Joe hasn't been happy. He doesn't like weather much. He'd prefer it be sunny all the time. Good thing we live in AZ. Snoopy is doing well. About 6 pounds overweight, so he's on a diet. Diet food anyway. He had his titers for Valley Fever tested last month. After 4 months on the anti-fungal meds, he's still the same. We'll test again in 4 months and see if they've budged at all.

Kyle is on winter break. Two weeks without having to worry about getting up in time to make the bus. I'm loving it already. The dark mornings have put my body into winter hibernation, so getting up is a challenge. Eventually I do roll out of bed and take the dogs out for their walk/run, but it's pretty late compared to earlier in the fall.

We've got rain that is forecast to continue through the week. Rainy Christmas. Not snow, but closer than usual. Should be nice.

Merry merry & happy happy and all that stuff. Blessings to everyone this holiday season.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Poop on your head?

"Merde a votre tete" used to be one of my favorite phrases in French which literally translates to "poop on your head."

The reason for this random thought? Last night I came home from the store grand opening (another long story that needn't be told here) and felt that Joe's neck was kind of crusty. Last time I felt something like that was where Snoopy had bit him. I turned on the light and it looked kind of brownish like dried blood. Asked Kyle (since he was still awake and Ron was snoring loudly) and Kyle said that Ron said that Joe rolled in poop. Nice. It appeared that Ron may have attempted to clean it up but had been largely unsuccessful. I cleaned him up and went to bed.

Turns out not only Joe had poop on him, but Snoopy as well. Both boys got baths today, and are now very clean and smell wonderful. It won't last.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday after Thanksgiving

It's Sunday. We just finished up another hockey tournament. We are now at 9 (or 10) finals made in tournaments, and 9 (or 10) wins. We don't do it easily, and it's often not pretty, but it's done. Another banner for the barn and another medal for the kid.

5-4 over the Phoenix Polar Bears in regulation time (thank goodness not OT or a shootout.) Took a shootout win over Peoria Roadrunners last night to get to today. Like I said, we don't do it easily.

We're back into regular season play until after Christmas - then the Coyote Cup tournament here in town. It's hockey hockey hockey from now until March.

And now I need a nap. I'm getting old watching these close games.

Monday, November 10, 2008

News from the front....

Front of what, I don't know. It's Monday, November 10, 2008. We survived yet another presidential election. This time coming out on the right side of things, although there are those that would disagree. Please don't. We have all had enough disagreements for this year. This was by far the most volatile presidential election I can remember in my lifetime. Let's all take a deep breath and let it go.

Kyle's hockey team is struggling. After a successful trip to Dallas, they've fallen into the regular season doldrums. We have a player out with a broken arm, another with a broken collarbone. One more player moved back to Colorado. Another has had the flu. Two games later, we've been outscored 12-1. Ouch. But there are lessons to be learned about working hard and working as a team. The season will continue to march on either way.

My girlfriends & I are planning a trip to Banff in September of 2009 to run in Melissa's Road Race. Someone (I believe named Shannon) brought it up during our "Girls Spa Night" facials. Sounded like a good idea while scrubbing faces & drinking wine. Now this morning, after my run/walk with the doogie beasts (my whopping 3 miles,) I wonder. Hmmmm. Running 6.2 miles uphill at 5000ft elevation. Well, at least I have almost a year to prepare. Any suggestions?

In other exciting news.... on second thought, there is no other exciting news.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How many zeros in a billion?

(I received this in an email and wanted to share.)

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective into one of its releases.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were
living in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

A billion dollars ago was only
8 hours and 20 minutes,
at the rate our government
is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain... let's take a look at New Orleans. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

A Louisiana Senator has asked Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number... what does it mean?

Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans
(every man, woman, and child)
you each get$516,528.

Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans,
your home gets$1,329,787.

Or... if you are a family of four...
your family gets$2,066,012.

"Washington, D. C, HELLO! Are all your calculators broken??"

Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax (Fed)
Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration T ax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
(And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes)


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago... and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt... We had the largest middle class in the world... and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!'

And I still have to press '1' for English.

What the heck happened?????

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Realizing I haven't blogged in a while,

and then wondering if anyone actually reads this stuff? Or is it just to entertain my own brain?

Kyle's team went to the Silver Stick regional tourney in Dallas this past weekend. Ended up losing in the semis to the Phoenix Coyotes Bantam 95 team. Nothing like traveling 2 hours by air to lose to a team we can play any old day here in Phoenix. They went on to win the whole thing. Second year in a row for them.

Kyle did score two goals in one game. He looked good. Had a good tourney. Didn't play much in the 3rd of the last game (did he play at all in the 3rd?) which he was rather peeved about. Can't blame him. He worked hard and played well. No reward there.

The dogs spent the weekend with Karen, our wonderful petsitter, as Ron was on a trip. Don't know if they ate at all. Wouldn't hurt Noo to lose a couple of pounds. They were very happy when we returned late Monday. Ron was home on Sunday.

I got one whole inch of Ron's Bearfoot socks knit over the weekend. And that was all accomplished on the flight there! I've almost finished the seamen's scarf. Need to get both hat & scarf finished over the next 2 weeks. Have to order more yarn for Ron's socks. Didn't figure the yardage right.

Am thrilled that the whole election period is coming to a close. I am a blue island in a sea of red around here. Not at home, where finally, after 20 years, Ron & I are actually agreeing during an election, but in my town & state. It was far easier to live in Los Angeles where the islands are red, not blue.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Geez, I'm slacking here.

No new knitting projects to share. Nothing really exciting to share.

Kyle has skated all week. Two practices, one game. He seems to be doing okay, though he thinks he took a puck in the skate in the game yesterday and it caused him some pain. He's not back in the boot today though. Yet.

The team lost yesterday. 1-0. The team we played will be playing in the B tourney in Dallas, we're playing in A. What does that say?

Nana moved into her new house yesterday. It looks great with her furniture in there. I hope she'll be very happy there.

Kyle & I leave for Dallas on Friday morning. Preliminary games - 2 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday. We won't play Monday unless we make the finals - top 4 teams out of 12 make it. Last year we didn't anticipate being in the final 2, but we were. Never know what will happen until you get there.

The puppies are fine. Joe got his staple out, finally. Snoopy is acting like a terrible teenage boy, bullying his brother. Fortunately this hasn't resulted in any more trips to the vet.

I'm just enduring the pre-election hoopla. It's tough to be an island.

Til next time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Foot update

We saw the orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday. He said that he didn't find a break, yet with avulsion fractures, sometimes the breaks won't appear immediately. He felt Kyle was fine. Keep the boot on until Saturday, regular shoes Saturday & Sunday, no PE for two weeks, but he can skate on Monday night if he has no pain. Very good news. If he has pain, though, we're back in there next week. So fingers crossed that it's all better.

On other news fronts...

I finished a scarf on Wednesday. Need to wash & block it. Almost am finished with the knitting portion of a felted box. Finished the big bag (now a big purse after felting.) Have the lining done, but not sewn in yet. Am working on the handles before I get the lining in there. Frogged Ron's black socks, again. Ugh. It's a frustrating go with those black socks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kyle's Broken Foot

Saturday night was our team party for hockey. A way to kick off the new season. It was hosted by the Caravella's at their new house. In the backyard they have an area that the boys have turned into their own personal skatepark with rails & ramps. Kyle apparently was skating, landed wrong, rolled his foot and voila, now he has a broken bone in his left foot. (and oops, I photographed the xray backwards, so it really is his left foot, not his right.)Kyle's broken foot 9/22/08

I didn't take him to urgent care that night - after all it was Saturday night and he wasn't dying. He wasn't even crying. So I waited until yesterday to take him to his regular pediatrician. The ped ordered xrays and the xrays were inconclusive, but the ped felt that if he pressed on that exact spot and it hurt, that indicated an injury. The radiologist called it an avulsion fracture.

Tomorrow we're off to the orthopedic surgeon to get a firm diagnosis. Meanwhile, Kyle is in a walking boot, not allowed to do PE, skateboard or ice skate. Not great at the beginning of the season with a tournament looming in two weeks. He's pretty bummed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Joe's booboo

Thursday afternoon, the boys must have had one heck of a fight, because Thursday night I noticed a crusty spot on Joe's side. It was a perfectly formed tunnel through his side. Not much blood, but it definitely needed looking at. Joe & I made a trip to the ER and shortly thereafter, he had a staple in his side. Joe's wound 9/19/08
The actual hole measured approximately 1cm, so the doc cleaned it up and stapled it. Joe can't play outside for 14 days, he's on drugs, and he can't swim. He's not a happy camper. Try keeping a Border Collie down!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bantam A wins!

Kyle's team took first in the Made in the USA Labor Day tournament here in Chandler last weekend. It was an exciting win. They tied the CAHA-95 team 1-1 after 3 periods, played a 5 minute OT with no goals, went to a 5 man shootout. Our 4th & 5th shooters scored to win it. Their overall record for the tournament was 3-0-1. Not bad for the first time out, though the competition will be tougher outside the state.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cutest model ever?

Snoopy's scarf
Is he? When I posted this pic on Ravelry for my FO, that was the response I got. He is pretty darn cute, in my opinion. Even cuter in my newly finished ruffled scarf!

Also recently finished, chunky mittens to match the scarf. They are a bit long in the hand portion. But they'll do nicely for hockey.

On the needles? Still working on Christmas stuff - gifts, gifts, gifts. And for mindless knitting time, I'm working on another bag. Might be a gift. Might be for me.

Other than knitting talk...

Kyle is finishing up his second full week of high school. So far it's going okay. PE is a bear. Some nights he has no homework, other nights it seems the teachers all conspire to send homework home. Last night he had oodles. He has been riding the bus, and while he doesn't love it, I think it's not so bad. His 14th birthday is rapidly approaching. Next Wednesday.

Had his first hockey scrimmage last Saturday. He did well. Had a couple of great shots. Was able to keep up with the competition - thanks Gayle! Have two more scrimmages this weekend, then Labor Day weekend we play in a local tournament.

Ron will be bringing Nana back here on Sunday. She's had a nice stay in California but is ready to be back in AZ. Her house is scheduled to be finished and keys in her hand on October 2nd.

Me? Just plugging along....

Monday, August 11, 2008

First week down

So Kyle finished his first "week" of high school. He said it was mostly boring. Rules, paperwork, all that kind of stuff. PE on Friday was the first time he dressed out. When we went to open house, the PE instructors warned that this was "not a regular boys PE class" and that it would be "physically & mentally challenging." Between PE Friday, off-ice training & practice on Saturday, Kyle had a tough time walking on Sunday. And he gets to do PE 5 times this week!

He likes his biology teacher best. His English teacher plays hockey. His math teacher is brand new and very cute (he didn't say that, but I'm sure he's thinking it.) French is French. He's enjoying drawing in Art.

Rode the bus to school on Friday after mom drove the first two days, sat in horrible traffic, and refused to drive ever again. He said the bus is okay. Hot. Ron drove him this morning, but he's bussing it home.

In other news, I finished up another pair of socks. Yay! That's 3 complete pairs now. I'm so proud. I bought yarn to make Ron 3 pair of socks for Christmas. Problem is he has to wear black to work, so I have to knit 3 pair of all black socks. Ugh.

Snoopy is hanging in there. His nose seems to be cooler, but he's still got the labored breathing thing going. I'm really hoping we'll see some improvement with that soon.

Oh yeah, and I go back to work for Storables on 8/21. Exciting stuff!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

First day of school

Today my baby went off to high school. It's funny cause I never cried when he started kindergarten, didn't cry when he finished grade school or started junior high. Almost cried at his junior high promotion, just knowing that today was coming. But high school blew me away. Just the realization that his time with me is almost over. Soon he'll be off to college and on his own. The last 14 years at times have seemed like they crawled, but today, I felt like they had blown by me.

I watched my little boy walk off into that big school and I just wanted to cry. He's not a little boy anymore.

Friday, August 01, 2008

10 days later...

hahaha I've got a theme going here.

Okay, so red/white socks finished. Started another pair doing the two socks on two circs method in the book Knitting Circles Around Socks I'm doing the basic worsted socks in Wool-ease wheat. It's a nice natural looking color. Might be gift socks. Haven't decided yet.

I'm also knitting tree ornaments for gifts.

Snoopy is doing okay. We've noticed that his nose will cool off now and again. His breathing is pretty rapid still. I contacted the Valley Fever Center for Excellence in Tucson (at U of A) and they recommended that we continue these meds for a month, and if we see no improvement to talk to the vet about a med switch. But it's a long road ahead for Mr. Noo.

Hockey is winding up. Practice every Saturday from now until next April. We'll start weeknight practices later in the month. First tournament is Labor Day weekend!!! Then we're off to Dallas in October.

High school starts next Wednesday. Wow. Very strange to imagine Kyle in high school. Blink and it's over.

Still hot here. Beastly. Last night Phoenix set a record for the highest "low" temperature on that date. Really, we don't need to be setting any records. I'm more than ready for summer to be over.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Today is 7 days

so I feel like I really should post something. But what? Hasn't been a very exciting 7 days, I suppose.

Got my car back. Good to have it. Just about brand new from the windshield forward.

Snoopy is on itraconazole, 125mg, twice a day. So far, no real signs of improvement, but it hasn't been a week yet. I'm going to give him the month and then talk to the vet.

Joe is still skinny and loving swimming. He can't get enough.

I'm almost done with my red/white socks, and the felted bag is done. No casting on any new projects until I start on some xmas stuff. But can't talk about that here, can I?

See, 7 days, very boring.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Mac is back

My iMac took a little vacation to the Apple Store for the last week. Turns out it was having a bit of trouble with its logic board, which needed replacement. I get it. My logic board has been on the fritz for years.

In the meantime, I finished knitting my newest felted bag and it's ready to go. I just need to get the pics uploaded. I also knitted a wallet, and am on the 2nd sock of my red/white socks. Boy that 2nd sock is tough.

My car is STILL in the shop. They said Friday or Monday (today) at the latest. Still no news.

Took Snoopy in for bloodwork to prove to Ron that I really am a crazy dog owner. Unfortunately, I'm not just a crazy dog owner. Snoopy has Valley Fever. His titers are in the mid-range from the vet's message. I won't know more until I talk to the vet tomorrow. Fortunately, all his other blood work was perfect. As the vet said, he'd like to have such a great lab report!

We're on the 3 week countdown to high school. 3 more weeks of vacation for Mr. Kyle (who has done nothing since coming home from camp except skateboard and play Guitar Hero.) Hard to believe the summer is almost over. Harder still to believe I'm old enough to have a kid going to high school. Damn I'm old.

So pics will follow, as will updates on the Baby Noo.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bad things in 3s??? or more???

So it was a bad week. A really bad week. Started out good enough. Came home from my trip. Spent great time with my family & dogs. Monday, picked up Kyle's friend to spend the night. Blah, blah, blah.

One of the things we found out this week was that the airline will be laying off 170 pilots out here in the west. Fortunately, Ron has oodles of pilots below him, so he'll still have a job. Unfortunately, he falls 10 pilots short of keeping his captain's position. The only good thing is he's at the tail end of the list, and they're laying off about 10 a month, so he should be safe for a while, and you never know what will happen above him. We just have to wait, and hope, and pray.

Monday, Kyle & I drove over to pick up a friend of his to spend the night. All was fine until about midnight, when Kyle woke me to tell me Jimmy was sick and had called his dad to pick him up. Poor Jimmy. He was sick. He went home, but his dad called the next morning to ask if he could come back, since now he was fine. Okay...

We were taking the boat out for the first time all summer. When it's miserably hot here, there's not much better than being out on the lake. So we loaded up and headed out. I pulled the boat off the trailer and heard it making a funny noise. Got out of the no-wake zone & up to speed and the noise went away. Still, when I went back to the dock to pick up Ron, I made sure he listened. Sounded like a belt, so we headed out into the lake.

We stopped in a cove for the boys to swim. The water was a bit ucky since the algae had just recently bloomed, but it was cool. We blew up the tube and took Jimmy for a ride. While Jimmy was riding, Kyle noticed some smoke coming out the rear of the boat. Hmmm. Exhaust? A few minutes later we noticed a burning rubber smell. Definitely not exhaust. Tried to open the engine cover but smoke poured out. Closed the engine cover, got out the fire extinguisher and waited.

Eventually the smoke cleared, we were able to limp the boat to the middle of the lake, and flag a wonderful family down to tow us back to the launch. Ron did a brilliant job of threading the trailer right onto the boat and we returned home. Needless to say the boat needs a bit of work.

Snoopy is still having butt issues, so back to the vet we went. It seems he's developed an infection of some sort (staph? yeast?) but the vet doesn't think it's serious. He's on antibiotics for a week. Still, I am worried about him because his breathing seems so shallow & rapid. Odds are he's fine, but of course, I worry too much.

The rest of the week seemed to be okay, until Friday. Friday I took Kyle for his weekly hockey lesson. Two of Kyle's teammates wanted him to stay after his lesson to play pond hockey, but Kyle didn't want to stay. We were entering the freeway on-ramp when I rear-ended another SUV. Thankfully all are okay (well, the humans anyway) but my little Pilot is definitely in need of some serious repair (radiator, side panels, hood...) And I think I scared the hell out of Kyle (and myself.) The highway patrolman was very kind. He reminded me that's why we carry insurance. Accidents happen. And no one was hurt. Only property. So while I am Pilot-less for a while, I am fortunate that both Kyle & I are fine and everything will be fixed with time.

With all this in mind, take care, please drive safely, and enjoy your summer!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just got back from my trip to drop Nana in Palm Springs and on to Los Angeles. It was a short stay but quite busy! I arrived in LA mid-afternoon on Monday (thankfully, I missed the crazy traffic.) There was quite a stoppage in front of the Beverly Hills Courthouse, however. Turns out they were going to be starting the first of the legal gay marriages that night.

Monday night was spent with my wonderful family. Everyone came to dinner at Hamlet on Sunset. Uncle Jay, Aunt Judy, Uncle Aron, Gary (crazy Gary,) Howard and his wife Nancy (who is incredible, BTW.) Gary kept us in stitches during the evening. It was so much fun to be with everyone. Thank you for taking the time to spend with me.

Tuesday, I walked around Beverly Hills while my Aunt Judy got her hair done at Umbertos (yes, very chic!) Visited Roots & other assorted stores. Laughed at all the people riding the open air tourbuses down Rodeo drive. The weather was great for walking around.

Nancy came over to Aunt Judy's and the 3 of us went to The Grove for shopping and lunch. We walked around to all the stores and ate at Marmalade Cafe (yummy!) I am so glad that I finally got to spend some time getting to know Nancy. She's great & we have lots of stuff in common. It was fun to hang out for the day with her.

Tuesday night Aunt Judy, Uncle Aron & I went to Sunset Plaza and had dinner at Le Petit Four. The weather couldn't have been better for my trip. Eating in open air restaurants was a blast. My aunt & uncle spoiled me rotten. I hated to leave.

But Wednesday rolled around and it was time for me to see Ms. Andrea. My oldest, dearest friend and I hadn't spent time together since roughly the year 2001. Way too long. We met at John O'Groats for breakfast and then headed back to her house where I had the pleasure of meeting her adorable Wheaten Coco. Andrea had just sent her daughter Kate off to camp for 3 weeks and Josh, her son, was with his dad for the weekend.

My dear friend indulged my yarning and took me to 3 LYS. (she's the best) The first was A Mano Yarn Center. We walked in to a crammed-to-the-gills store with a large table teeming with women from every walk of life. It had such a wonderful feeling. My friend has limited use of her right hand and a woman at the table told her to come by anytime, she'd teach her to continental knit. They had a great assortment of yarns and supplies, but most of all it was such a comfortable place to be. Great store. I'd highly recommend you visit if you're ever in LA.

The second store was on Montana Ave in Santa Monica. If you've ever seen photos of stars sipping drinks or eating at outdoor patios, they're probably on Montana. The store was L'Atelier and while it was lovely, no one said hi and I wasn't crazy about their selection of yarns. They did have a section filled with every imaginable cashmere known to man and some Canadian Arctic Musk Ox yarn that was lovely. It's worth a stop in just to pet the expensive yarns.

The last store was incredible. Wildfiber is a huge space. I've never seen such a huge selection of yarns. I think they had every possible color of Koigu on one wall. They had a great selection of Malabrigo and some handspuns that were amazing. There was a handspun that was $164 for 58 yards. OUCH! But it was such amazing yarn. My friend couldn't put it down, but eventually did. The yarn was made by Tanglewood Fibers. I bought some 9" Hiya Hiya circs to try to knit socks. The owner said that she switched over the short circs a long time ago and finds it much easier.

After the extensive yarning, we went back to her house to hang and chat. Finally around 7 we went to dinner at Versailles, Ron told me I couldn't leave LA without having had their famous Garlic Chicken. Ron & I lived around the corner from the original Versailles on La Cienega. We used to eat there all the time.

Full from dinner we went back to An's and talked and laughed until 1am. Honestly, I haven't laughed that hard or had that much fun in ages. It's good to hang with old friends. Andrea is wonderful and has done so well with what's been thrown at her. I love you friend.

A too long drive home on Thursday and here I am, back in hell. Could it be hotter here in AZ? I miss the ocean breezes. But I must say, I missed my family & my dogs. It's always good to be home.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mr. Stinky Butt

This blog was originally conceived as a way to document the first year of my life with our new puppies, Snoopy & Joe. Any person crazy enough to bring home Border Collie littermates, 7 weeks old, should know better than to think she'd have time to write about them regularly. But I did, and I do, well, not as often anymore. But since this blog was originally about them, here is a post dedicated to Snoopy, aka Mr. Stinky Butt.

Snoopy is a butt dragger (or butt surfer as my friend Kim calls it.) Once or twice a day, Snoopy will be seen scooting along the floor (carpeted, of course) on his butt. With reminders that our carpet is not his personal toilet paper, Snoopy continues to butt drag.

Friday his butt dragging reached a feverish pitch as he was doing it constantly. When he wasn't dragging, he was sitting on it. And as quickly as possible. This can only mean a couple of things, a) he's got something stuck to his butt or b) his butt itches. Fortunately for me, it wasn't a. When checked it was pretty darn red, so I put some ointment on it (a dog mom will do anything for her fur kids) and hoped for the best. Also let Ron know that if the scooting continued, he was to take Noo to the vet while I was gone this week.

But Saturday morning dawned, and Snoopy's butt was still red and still irritated. On the chance that this might be the one Saturday a month that the vet was in the office, I called. Sure enough they were there but booked solid all day. AAAGGGHHH. Holly must have sensed the panic in my voice, because she said, "If you can get here quickly, we'll squeeze you in now." I was in the car in 5 minutes and there in fewer than 10.

Nothing seriously wrong with Mr. Noo other than needing his anal glands (aka marking glands, yes like a skunks) expressed. Given that they're like a skunks, you can only imagine what this must smell like. The vet was kind enough to ask if I was interested in learning how to do it myself. hahahahhaaha Oh, no, thanks. I'll gladly pay you to do it!

Snoopy actually seemed to enjoy the process and is now scooting-free! Not a scoot in 2 days. Of course, I think the back of my car still stinks a bit.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Knitting fool

Kyle left for camp last Sunday. A whole week at Woodward West with his hockey teammates - 5 of them, Michael C, Tyler K, Josh D & Jimmy C. He and Jimmy flew together, alone, up to Bakersfield where the camp picked them up. They've had a week of skateboarding, bowling, no sleeping, no showering, eating whatever they want when they want, no moms telling them what to do. However, they must shower tonight before trying to board the airplane tomorrow. That was the deal.

Talked to him today for only the 2nd time all week. He sounded exhausted. But he has the rest of the summer to recover.

I did miss him. It's funny when he's here I might not even cross paths with him for hours at a time, but I know when he's gone. It will be good to give him a hug tomorrow when he gets off the plane (provided he has showered as agreed upon.)

While he's been away, I've been a knitting fool. I'm going to LA next week (after I drop Nana in Palm Springs for her extended stay) and decided I needed to come with gifts. Only two, but I had to brainstorm for two knitted gifts that wouldn't take long to knit, but would be useful and liked. I think I came up with two good ones for the two people I'm seeing. I would post now, but you never know if they'll be looking. I'll post when I get home. For those of you with Ravelry, you can check them out on my projects page. I should have pictures posted later today.

Kim M (Kim-kitty) and I went up to Jessica Knits yesterday for the first time. What a great store! So much stuff and so well organized and labeled. It was a treat. I bought some Rowan Big Wool - for what, I don't know - and some Filatura sock yarn. Oh, and a skein of Noro for one of the gifts, which after knitting I decided I will keep, as I don't think the colorway suits the giftee.

Then we stopped at Tempe Yarn & Fiber to pick up yarn for my next big project, a new purse. I'm hoping I can cast-on before I leave, so it will give me something to work on in LA. If not, I'll take my current socks. Anyway, TY&F was a blast as usual. Everyone helping me choose my yarns and offering wonderful advice.

So, I did take a bit of advantage of no kid for the week.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

First Pair of Socks

So they're done. The very first (after a bunch of tries) socks I've completed. Took me about two weeks to do two socks, but still not bad! They aren't perfect, but they're done!

Now to the next pair....

I was just browsing through dogs available on the AZ Border Collie Rescue site. Sigh. There are two females, about a year old, that I would love to bring home. One is a red/white, one is a piebald face (1/2 white, 1/2 black.) They are both precious. Like we need another BC around here. Two aren't enough. LOL

Which brings me to Snoopy. Snoopy has developed a problem with his rear left (rear right?) leg. Occasionally after lying down for a while, when he gets up it gets stuck up. He can't seem to lower it or put weight on it (don't really know which.) I worry that it might be OCD again, like his shoulder when he was 9 months old. His front leg used to get stuck all funny when the joint would stick. I'm keeping an eye on it and hoping it's nothing, but he does tend to limp pretty severely after playing hard as well. Not a good sign for a young boy.

Joe is good. Happy to be swimming daily! Skinny as ever though. He likes pretending he's Super Joe now.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday, still in jammies, recap

Have I ever mentioned that I have foot-in-mouth syndrome? Just always seems that I happen to say the wrong thing to the wrong person (or would that be the wrong thing to the right person?) Thought I'd mention here and hope that for all of you out there that I happen to do this to, I apologize. I tend to say too much sometimes, but I really don't mean any harm. Okay, sometimes I do, but you'll know if I do.

So, we got my mother-in-law all moved out of her house and into ours, temporarily. In a few weeks, I'll drive Nana out to Palm Springs for a nice stay with Aunt Shirley. I will continue on to Los Angeles, for the first time in 8 years. Been too long, and too many people to try to see in just a few days. If you read this, know I'm coming, and get in touch with me!

Joe has recovered completely from his dental cleaning. His teeth are so beautiful now, they make Snoopy's look awful. Just need to come up with another $350 for Snoopy to have a pretty smile too. Both boys are doing great, swimming everyday.

Kyle is now officially no longer an 8th grader. He had a promotion ceremony and received a certificate to allow him to attend high school. His report card came yesterday, and we were happy to see he did just fine. (There was some question earlier in the semester.) While he's not a NJHS student, I think he's doing great.

He's deep into summer hockey - lessons with Gayle, pond hockey at Arcadia, and occasional practices with his team. He's also been spending as much time as possible at the skate park. On June 8th he'll fly to Bakersfield, CA to spend a week at Woodward West. Woodward is every X-Games kid's dream. Hopefully he'll remember to shower at least once this year.

We're still in airline hell. But the paychecks keep coming, so we don't complain too much.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sock frustration, part two

Well, the era of sweats didn't last long. Back into the 90s today and closing the house up and putting the a/c back on. Waaa. I was so enjoying the nice, cool nights.

After casting on socks 3 times this past weekend. And ripping out as many times. I am frustrated beyond belief. I can't understand what is so complicated about knitting a pair of socks. Something about the DPNs just isn't clicking for me. Maybe a sock class is in order.

I tried 2 different patterns for basic socks, and I even tried a circ pattern. No luck. I figure I'll give it one last try today, if I can find some quiet time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Daypack complete!

Finished!!! The felted daypack is finished and stuffed and in use. I'm very proud of my bag, even though at times it was frustrating as all get out. Even the felting was a challenge. But now that it's assembled (with loads of changes to the original pattern) I'm very happy to be using it.

Have moved on to new and exciting projects from here. Frogged the socks I'd started. Found a single strand pattern, using worsted, that I will be casting on this weekend.

Am in the midst of doing a swiffer cover, in moss stitch, to wrap from front to back on the swiffer, rather than side to side. Will post when it's finished, I'm about 1/4 there right now.

It's been raining here since yesterday morning. Kyle had 8th grade promotion ceremonies at 8:30am yesterday, and the rain was kind enough to hold off until they were done. He is now officially finished with 8th grade. He did very well on all his finals and finished up with a high B average. Next stop, high school. Eeek.

So now we're on summer break. No early mornings (unless we want.) No schedule. He'll be off to summer camp at Woodward West in just a couple of weeks.

Nana's house should close escrow on 6/5, which means she's moving in here on 5/30 when the movers come to take all her stuff to storage. They still haven't broken ground on her new house, so it's unknown how long she's be "homeless" right now. She has plans to head out to Palm Springs as soon as she can, to stay with Aunt Shirley for the duration of the building process.

I'm just glad it's May & I'm in sweats. It's the little things I enjoy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Knitting socks & other frustrations

Before I get out my sock frustrations, let me say that Kyle had hockey tryouts last weekend, and yes he made the team again. No extra yarn money for me, but another exciting season of Bantam hockey down the road.

Now on to socks. Last weekend I braved it and started a pair of socks (Joan's Socks from the Lion Brand website.) After a time knitting, I noticed something looked wrong, and Kristin, bless her heart, took the time to figure out my mess & fix it.

So today Val & I went knitting (crocheting for Val) at the Agritopia Coffee House (if you haven't been there, you must. It's cute & has great food.) I worked on my socks. I finally got finished with the ribbing and was on to the stockinette. Figured out a few rows into it that I was inside out on the stitching. After some frustration, I also figured out that not only was I knitting in the wrong direction, but was holding the knitting wrong, hence the inside out. Not a problem, I could always turn them at some point, right? Then I remembered that I still had to decrease (since somehow I had ended up with too many stitches.) Somehow in the decrease I ended up with too many stitches on the wrong needles, etc etc. At that point it was time to come home.

Here I am with my sock nightmare, trying to decide whether to rip & start again with a different pattern, or to simply figure out where I went wrong and go on. Such decisions.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pseudo-Swiffer Cover finished!

Finished my pseudo-swiffer (my swiffer is not really a swiffer) cover yesterday. It was a fairly easy pattern to follow. I like the way it turned out, though one will never be enough. I bought some yarn yesterday during hockey to knit another two (still have yarn left from the first to knit another in the opposite pattern.) If you try it, let me know what you think!

(if you click on the word pattern above, it will take you directly to the pattern for this cover)

Going green, a bit at a time

So I swore off plastic grocery bags last week. No more. I bought a set of bags at Costco to add to my set from Trader Joes, and I am trying to remember to bring my bags in to every store. Problem is I keep forgetting. I guess in some ways this is good, as the exercise of walking back to my car to get them is always helpful. But in some it's bad, because if I'm in Petco for one or two little things, I'm not going back to my car to get a huge grocery bag. There's the dilemma. When do you accept the awful plastic bag and when do you walk?

I'm in Safeway yesterday and I've forgotten my bags. Which means I have a cart full of groceries about to be taken home in plastic (the horror!!!) or I can walk back to my car to get my bags. I chose the second option. Would you believe the store clerk gave me hell because they weren't the SAFEWAY brand bags? I know he was only kidding around, but really. Here I am trying to do my part, he could at least be supportive. I guess it didn't help that the woman behind me was enraptured with my Costco generic bags. He told her where the Safeway ones were and she told him she wanted the Costco ones. oops.

I survived a bout with some sort of stomach virus this week. 3 days of hell, but 6 pounds lost! I'm trying to find the silver lining. I also decided to turn over a new leaf with the new stomach lining and try to eat better. Cook dinner every night and no more salami sandwiches (the last thing eaten prior to the virus taking hold.) Any good, healthy, easy recipes? Shove them my way.

Joe got his teeth cleaned and they are spectacular. Shiny and white and his breath even smells good. Not dog like at all. I highly recommend this procedure for happy companionship. Except now Snoopy's teeth look like hell in comparison and his breath is less than pleasant. Guess he's next.

Kyle has two more weeks of school. Then he's off to high school. When did this happen?

Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Knitting in the hockey bar

So, now that I'm knitting furiously again, I'm taking my knitting with me to the Icehouse Tavern at the Arcadia rink. It's pretty funny to sit in a dark tavern, drinking a Molson, watching hockey, and knitting. But it's a great way to get a lot accomplished.

I'm currently obsessing with my felted daypack. It requires knitting in the round forever. Or nearly forever. It feels like forever and I'm about a third of the way through the body. Then straps, flap, pockets... It's one of those projects I want finished tomorrow, and hopefully will finish rather quickly. At least knitting in the round goes very quickly. I love my KnitPicks Harmony circs. They are awesome. So smooth & fast. And the cable is so nice.

Kyle is currently playing pond hockey and taking powerskating lessons in anticipation of Bantam hockey next season. Our tryouts are coming up pretty quickly here - May 10. He's still not grown the foot we need him to grow. Any suggestions? The rack?

It's hot here, already. 90+ today and climbing. I think the a/c will have to go on tomorrow. Yuck. Knitting wool and 90+ degrees. Fun stuff.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fear of circular knitting...

I admit it. I am utterly terrified of trying to learn to knit in the round. It's some kind of mental block, but I see people holding 3, 4 or 5 needles at one time and it freaks me out. I think I like circs better, as you're only holding 2 needles and you simply keep knitting round and round. I promised that I'd try to get brave enough to start a sock by next weekend. Ha.

So today I began attempting the crochet-chain provisional cast-on for my felted daypack (pattern is on Ravelry - KimBnAZ, or on my Facebook page.) I found that I couldn't make my crochet stitches even enough to start. My MIL is coming over shortly, so I'm thinking maybe I can get her to make my chain to start. Not the best way to learn, but HEY, at least it will get me going.

Other than knitting???? Kyle started pond-hockey yesterday. Sounds like it was fun, except it was all mites there (7 & 8 year olds.) At least he had Steven & David, his teammates from last season there as well. He also had a lesson, and Gayle said he is vastly improved from day one.

Nana is packing up the house and had 4 showings today. That's incredibly exciting since last time I think she had 4 showings in 6 months. Ron spent the day there yesterday doing yardwork and getting it ready for show. Never know, she might be packing up for good, sooner than we think.

Snoopy and Joe are SnooJoe. Wild and crazy as ever. Joe is currently jumping on and off the chairs in the living room while Kyle is outside shooting pucks. Snoopy is lying on my feet as I type.

Hope you're having a great weekend. I'm getting off this time sucker and knitting!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Coffee Cup Cozy & SnB

Went to the Mesa SnB yesterday. Had reinforcements in Kim M. We got there a bit after 10, which is the start time for this weekly SnB (meets at Wildflower Bakery on Baseline in Gilbert, if you're interested - click here) Turns out other than Kim & me, there was only one regular group knitter. She was great though, and we had fun knitting and chatting.

I started on a coffee cup sleeve (see photo) and nearly finished it. Very simple and fun project. This is the unfinished product. Still needs to be seamed and cute little embellishments added. Pattern is on Canadian Living

Watching hockey is a great time to knit. Boston College won decisively over Notre Dame last night to take their 3rd NCAA championship. NHL playoffs are going on as well, watched Dallas spank Anaheim. Still weeks left of NHL hockey to get lots of knitting done.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

No hockey & lots of knitting

Felt it was time to check in without hockey news. Kyle is taking a break. Tryouts in May. He is taking some private skating lessons with Gayle Shalloo. We think it will probably help him.

The puppies are swimming daily again. The pine trees are dropping all their pods in the pool. The mockingbirds are kicking eggs out of the nest again. It's supposed to be in the mid 90s here this weekend. Yuck. Time to close up the windows and turn on the a/c until October.

I'm in the midst of 3 knitting projects that can be seen on Facebook or Ravelry. Slippers for around the house, a scarf/hat/mitten project that needs to be finished for a xmas gift, and soon to start a lovely felted backpack. (Thanks to Tempe Yarn & Fiber for patiently watching me try to pick yarns and then winding the skeins for me!) I just ordered a circular needle set for the backpack, as I couldn't see adding another individual circ needle when the beautiful KnitPicks Harmony set exists.

I'm sure my ramblings about my felted backpack project will be fun to follow. Never have done a crochet cast-on. Double YO? What's that? Should be a hair puller.

Keep checking in.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Final tally

Yesterday the boys played their final game of the 2007-8 hockey season.  They made it to the final 4 of the playoffs, dropping the last game 5-2 to the Ozzie Bears.  All in all no complaints.  They finished league play in 6th place, but the playoffs in 4th!  

Now the kids get a well deserved break until tryouts in May.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

4 B tourneys, 4 banners

The boys did it again this weekend - this time missing their head coach & a forward!!! They went to the Cal State Games and won 4 straight games to take the title. Congrats Mustangs!

The weekend in San Diego was great. Good weather. We spend Friday evening at Adam & Kristine's house for dinner (excellent carne asada) - Ryan & Eileen came to eat with us. Taylor and Brooke are wonderful and growing so fast. Saturday was a hockey day for Kim & Kyle, but Ron got to golf with his two nephews. Sunday we spent the entire day with the Fergusons - breakfast at Pipes in Cardiff, Kyle & Jimmy went skateboarding at the Encinitas Y, and dinner at Eileen's house. Yummy!!! Monday found us with a championship game (and banner) and the long drive home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Arizona Rubber Magazine

Click here to access the Arizona Rubber Magazine past issues online. The team is on the cover of the Feb 2008 issue and there is also an article inside. Check it out!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

15 minutes of fame....

The Valley Sports Ledger also wrote an article. Click here

Read about the Mustangs in the Tribune

Billye Jill Paulson wrote a wonderful article about our Mustangs stellar win in the Silver Sticks. You can read it here

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Silver Stick A/E Tier II Champions

Yes it's true. The boys flew clear across the country and prevailed to win the Tier II Championship. It wasn't an easy win, and the pool games could have defeated the kids, but they hung in there. Amazing. It was very exciting!

When all the finals are complete, a plaque will be placed in the Hockey Hall of Fame listing every champion for 2008. The Phoenix Mustangs will have a spot on that plaque!

Links to info about the kids:
Pelham Standings & Scores
Phoenix Coyotes Website

I will continue to update the links as I get them! And post a picture as soon as I have it.

Silver Stick A/E Champions 2008