Friday, July 29, 2005

Project Storage - My Bread Buddy

I'm always on the lookout for clever project storage. One day I was looking for something to put my yarn in so that I could take my Clapotis outside by the pool and not worry about my yarn rolling away or getting wet. It just so happened that my son had eaten the last of the bread and my Bread Buddy was empty. Hmmmm...

Not only is it easy to carry but it held my yarn, my entire Clapotis (which was almost done), my needles and pattern sheets. It stayed upright next to my chair the entire time. Another cool way to use has four holes in the bottom for air circulation so what I could do is put my skein in the Bread Buddy, thread the yarn through one of the holes, put the lid back on and sit it on the floor on it's lid. This way my yarn will not roll around or get dirty (or chewed on by the dogs). Only bad thing is that if I do it this way, I'd have to have a bit of the yarn sticking out from the bottom back up to the top when I put my project away inside the container.

I found my Bread Buddy at Wal-Mart years ago...can't remember how much it cost though. I've seen them there recently.

Peace Out!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Trying to get back on track

It was really hard at work today. All people are talking about is the accident. What really irritates me is that everyone, no matter that they didn't know her, are speculating about what happened. I hope Dr. D and the kids can get through this in relative peace. I was so happy that I finally called the house and expressed my support. I just wanted them to know that I'll do whatever I can, whatever they need, when they need it. I wanted them to know that I love them and that the "girls" are here for them. All of Dr. D's girls, past and present, want to do something, anything. We found out that there will be no memorial service here in town and that she will be laid to rest in her home state on Friday. I completely understand because their families are all there.

Now...back to life...for now...

Got my new laptop yesterday. I came home late from our knitting meetup so I didn't even bother unpacking it because I knew I'd want to play all night. Well, guess what I'm doing right now?

Speaking of the knitting meetup, here we are!

From L to R, back to front: Kim, Sidra, Me, Mina, Brandy & Leah. Not a bad turnout. We had a great time. This was Mina's first meeting with us.

We also had our first secret gift exchange and I got a terrific gift! I got some recycled silk and a couple of balls of roving. Thanks Kim!

Oh, did I mention that it's frickin' hot? The weatherman said that this was the 10th straight day of record high temps. What's funny is that July is the start of monsoon season in Las Vegas. Bring it on! Actually, we're supposed to expect some storm activity and flash flood warnings by Friday & Saturday. This was the temp outside after I picked Chris up from preschool at 5:30 this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I'm in shock...utter shock.

This morning while at work I found out that the doctor that I've been working for for the past 10 years lost his wife in an automobile accident while she was coming home from their cabin in Utah. She was a wonderful, generous, caring, gentle woman. She was so down-to-earth and never snooty. She wasn't the boss' wife, she was our friend. She was in her late 40's and was just a bundle of energy.

The two of them knew eachother as kids and grew up together. She once told us a story about when they were 13 and she had cut her hair. He and his friends were out riding their bikes and when they rode past her house, he took one look at her and kept on riding. We had a good laugh at that one.

Their two children, now grown up, would make any parent proud. I'm sure she was very proud of them. They share the same characteristics as their mom and have become solid, upstanding adults. One is an attorney and the other is studying to be a doctor. She did an excellent job raising them. I'm sure it wasn't easy. She did most of it alone. She was the wife of a workaholic. However, she wasn't just a doctor's wife. She was a successful businesswoman in her own right. She was a computer guru who set up medical offices with practice management systems. I always wondered how she was able to accomplish all of that.

We lost our friend today but Heaven got another angel.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Africa Hot???

Whoever said that Africa is hot has obviously never been to Las Vegas in the summer. I was complaining to Bernie on Saturday that it was so frickin' hot that I couldn't stand it. I had to take Chris to soccer sign-ups, which just happened to be on the other side of town, and it was 119 degrees before noon! Bernie, who HAS to work in ungodly heat as a Las Vegas firefighter, came home from work and proceeded to clean the garage - from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. in this HEAT...oh yeah, but it's a DRY HEAT! When we went to dinner at 5:30 p.m. it was still 118 degrees.

I was curious as to how hot it actually is in Africa so I asked Jeeves:

"Komatipoort in Mpumalanga is one of the consistently hottest places in South Africa with an average summer temperature of around 33°c and a lovely 26.5°c in winter."

Now, for those of us who don't deal with Celsius vs Fahrenheit, I had to convert these readings. The temperature in one of the hottest places in S. Africa is a mere 33 degrees Celsius or 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

This afternoon as I got into my car to drive to Starbucks, it was F**KINGHOTTERTHANAFRICAHOT at 121 degrees Fahrenheit or 49.4444 degrees Celsius. The weatherman on our local channel 8 evening news said they put a thermometer in a car and when checked some time later, it read 151 degrees F. And people are still leaving their kids (and pets) in their cars to die...Don't get me started on this mess! I could rant until I pass out.

To cool me down, let me share a picture of the plastic cup o'lusciousness I got at Starbucks.
It is their Matcha Green Tea Frapuccino. We, on the US mainland, are so behind what my Asian/Hawaiian friends have been enjoying since forever. I ask you, will our beloved Spam ever get the respect it deserves?

Knit Picks order is on the way

Can't wait to get these items from Knit Picks. I ordered them on Friday. I ordered some Sock Garden in the Geranium colorway. and I also ordered some Wool of the Andes in Cranberry and Maple Syrup
that I'm going to make into a felted bag.

Oh, and lest I forget, I'm also awaiting delivery of a new laptop that Bernie bought me. I'm so excited and I'm sure he can't wait until I am back on my very own computer. I have the bad habit of moving things on his desk while I'm working there. I can't stand my work area looking so chaotic. He, of course, knows where everything is in this mess.

Has anyone else heard of Simply Audiobooks? Steph and I were discussing the new Harry Potter book and that it is available on audiobook, so while we were chatting I happened upon this site and decided to take their trial offer. I already belong to where I get 2 audiobooks to download every month for $20 no matter what the retail value of each book. Luckily, I'm able to listen while at work. I do have an MP3 player but it isn't compatible with Bernie's computer so for the past year I haven't been able to download anything to it and have to listen to my books while sitting at the computer. I'd like to take them with me in the car or to the park (or wherever) so I'm hoping that I'm going to like Simply Audiobooks. If you're familiar with Netflicks, this is the same premise. They mail you 2 (or more if you pay more) books at a time and when you're done you mail them back and they send you the next title on your list. I have until August 5th to try them out for free.

I can't believe it! I've been sitting here all day! Where does the time go? I'd better get off my ass and get things done.

Dishcloths are coming out of my ears!

No not really. It's just that with temps in the high hundred teens, I can't stand the idea of anything big on my lap. I've been bringing them with me everywhere I go and I can get 2-3 of them out of one ball of yarn, depending upon which brand I'm using. You can find the pattern I'm using here.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Homesick Blues

I'm sitting here knitting another dishcloth, listening to Hawaiian music and missing the Hell out of my family and friends back home. This internet radio station breaks for commercials and when they talk about all these places and events I can feel that tug on my heart and I feel like I've been punched in the abdomen. Funny thing is that some of the DJs are the same ones I remember from 14 years ago when I left Hawaii for Vegas.

I hope that nothing stops me from going home in December. I've found out, from the school district web site, that winter break begins December 19th. Unfortunately, the low airfares on Hawaiian Air end on December 15th and basically double after that. Since both of the boys will be in school (yes, Chris will be a Kindergartener this year!)I have to arrange our vacations accordingly.

I'm often asked why in the world would I leave Hawaii to live in Vegas (where it was 118 degrees in my neighborhood at 6:00 p.m. when I got home from work) and I tell them that we wanted a better life for our future family. Bernie and I were married only a year when he got out of the Army. He asked if I wanted to remain in Hawaii or move to the mainland. We knew what we wanted...a nice house, good jobs, kids, pets...but didn't want to have to work 2 jobs each to have them. We have been able to accomplish this here but that doesn't mean I don't miss my home...and Hawaii will always be my home no matter how long I'm away. Sure, there are a lot of locals (local Hawaiians, not Vegas locals) and I can have my "plate lunch" and other favorite foods here, but I sure miss the Aloha spirit and hospitality.

It's late and I bid you all, "Aloha kakou"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Friends & Hooters

Our friends Don & Noreen were here this past weekend and were able to celebrate Anthony's birthday at Hooters. Let me just say that I didn't think Hooters was all that special but Anthony had a blast. He didn't get his lapdance but the waitresses all lined up while he tried to do the hula hoop and then they all gave him big hugs. He was in Heaven. My husband thought that the whole Hooters experience should have been a "guys nite out" and banned all women from the party. Noreen and I showed up but stayed at our table out of sight in the front of the restaurant. I was able to see the hula hoop part while hiding next to a table of 6 guys. One of them heard the waitress call me to watch and gave me a thumbs up and said, "Way to go, Mom!" Bernie then took all the boys to the New York, New York and set them free in the arcade. They came home for cake and a slumber party where they played video games into the wee hours. All in all, I think it was a success. I wish I had pictures of the party but I forgot my camera...and forgot my phone had a camera. What a doofus!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Pat's Booga is done.

It's great learning new things! Like I posted previously, it was wonderful to see that I could crochet my straps. What a time saver! I also had a DUH moment this morning when adding the straps to the purse. I used to poke my holes in the bag and then struggle getting the straps in the holes before they closed up. Then I thought about the old safety pin trick used when adding cording or elastic through a sewn casing. It worked with this too! DUH! That's okay, it's not like I'm not going to make another Booga! In fact, after this one, I still owe Pat another, all black one, and I'm making myself an olive green one with a band of olive green fun fur near the top. Can't wait to get started on those.

They're coming!

My sister, Gina, and her daughter, Devan, are coming to visit me, from Hawaii, on July 31st. They'll be spending 2 weeks with me until Dev has to go back to school. I haven't seen them for 3 years. I haven't been back to Hawaii for almost 4 years! Can't believe it's been so long.

I'm hoping that David (my bestest guy friend ever!) will be able to join us as well. (Thanks Samiland for the link!) He works with the Hawaii Opera Theater doing costuming & makeup. Perfect for him as he is so creative! I wish I had pictures to post of his past Halloween costumes. I do have a pic of David but have to wait until I go back to work to post it.

I'd like for us all to get the Hell out of Hell (Las Vegas in the summer) as it was 113 degrees here today and it's only just beginning to get hot! I want us to take the kids down to San Diego and do the Sea World, SD Zoo thing. Most of all, I just want to see the ocean. I miss it! We'll have to stop in Corona on the way back and visit with one of our cousins. Gina also has a very good friend, Terri, who lives in SD as well as our nephew, Kawika, who is a student at UCSD. Yes, I think we MUST go there! None of us gamble so other than eat, there's not much keeping us in Vegas.

The coffee I've been sipping is not doing the trick. Almost 2:30 a.m. and I'm wilting. Until later!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm felting, I'm felting! (to be screeched in the wicked witch's voice from the Wizard of Oz)

Just got this one out of the washer. It's been sitting unfinished for a couple of weeks (okay, 3 weeks!) because I was just too damn lazy to do the million miles of i-cord required. Thanks to the felted bag KAL group on Yahoo I got the suggestion to crochet the cord on a size P hook. The suggestion was actually to crochet it with 4 strands of yarn held together but since I didn't have two skeins to use and didn't want to re-wind what I had, I just used 2 strands and chained the length I wanted and then slip stitched back to the beginning. Et voila! C'est finis! So simple! I sure wish I'd tried that trick earlier when I was doing the felted bags like crazy! Since this one is for a friend, I was compelled to finish it before I see her again in a couple of weeks at bunco.

I've also been busy beading again. I've done scissor fobs, stitch markers and more earrings. In fact, Thursday night I was up at 11:30 p.m. making a pair of earrings to wear to work the next day. I just wanted to wear the new Swarovski crystals I just bought. Can you say, "ADDICTED"? It's my personality. I'm addicted to everything I try except for dieting. It's hard to stay focused on one thing for long...must be my ADHD.

Speaking of dieting...yes, I'm on another one. I'm trying to cut down on my carbs (though not drastically, just cutting down on the bad ones) and that includes my arch nemesis...COKE. I'm a Coke fiend! I can do without food, as long as I have my Coke. My favorite way to start the workday? A can of Coke and a cup of coffee simultaneously. I can't (won't) drink diet Coke. I am very sensitive to artificial sweeteners and get headaches and nausea after using them. I also get an aftertaste from them that I can't stand. So far I'm down 4 pounds and have many, many more to go! I'd actually like to lose 50 pounds by Christmas when I go "home" to Hawaii on vacation. I'd like to surprise my Mom, who is always on my back about my weight, especially since she was diagnosed with diabetes. Now that I'm 40, overweight and have 2 parents with diabetes, I know it's only a matter of time before it bites me in the ass. Wish me luck!

As of next week, I'll be the mother of a teenager! Argh! I knew it was coming but I tried not to think about it. Actually, I have considered him a teenager for over a year now. Hard not to when my 12 year old son is 5'10 and over 200 pounds! I feel like I need to carry his birth certificate with me when we go places where kids 12 and under are given discounts. I don't expect people to just take my word for it.

Guess where my big boy wants to have his birthday party? HOOTERS! Guess who thinks it's a fabulous idea? DAD! Big surprise there! I told him he can have 5 of his friends accompany us. Thank God my husband is coming though. I don't know what I'd do at Hooters with 6 pubescent boys. At least he'll keep them in line. I wonder if Dad is inviting any of his friends to join us. Haha. If it weren't his birthday, I'd rather stay home and knit! "Just bring me some wings, Hon!"