Sunday, July 29, 2007

Google!

Kelly told me this interesting fact today. If you search for ERP BPA in Google, about half way down, you find my blog profile! I'm greatly amused by this! Go search for it! (I want to see if we can make my results higher on the list *grin*)

Now, since the reason she found this out is because she was trying to figure out what in the world I do... I've decided to add a quick explanation.

ERP = enterprise resource planning. Wikipedia explains better than I could.
BPA = business process architect. Basically working to map out and improve processes within my company. I am one of many erpbeepas in the company.

knitting note: my mom got me sweater yarn in a different dye lot so I'll be starting it over. I wasn't very far anyway since we did no knitting during vacation. (well, a tiny bit on plane to Vegas but that was it) originally I only had 10 skeins of yarn and I figure I need at least 14 and there was no way to get the extra 4 in the same lot, so she ordered a whole batch so now I have what I need in a single lot. She also got me yarn for a christmas present for son.

and promised picture of geodes, the one on the left is half of the fractured one. The other half went to my mom from my son. The story is that it cracked during compression, mineral waters got into it and then it finished compressing. The other two halves go together, they have white "phantoms". The one has a pencil cross-hairs because the woman was explaining how to polish them and she said when you've removed the pencil, you know you got all the quadrants.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Future member of the family...

These are pictures of "Tiger", the future member of our family. We spent the day making the apartment more kitty-safe. I wish we could get a face picture, gorgeous face!!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

2000 miles on a rental Mazda....

Disclaimer: This is a very long post and aside from pretty stitch markers, there is no knitting in this post. Also if font is too large, I apologize, with so much text, the tiny text was hard for me to read and I knew what it said.

Thursday, July 19th
Morning was spent in a relaxing manner, did some final clean-up and laundry so it wouldn't be waiting when we got back. Flight was in the early evening and everything was very smooth. No issues at all, they didn't even take my knitting away. We rented a digeplayer and watched Firehouse Dog. Not a movie I would watch normally but it was a pleasant way to pass the time with son. I have to say though, the Vegas airport is interesting. The
post by Yarn Harlot about the slots in the airport had not prepared me to actually see them everywhere. There is no doubt you are in Vegas! Took a shuttle to the car rental and once we were on our way, it was about two hours to Mojave Sis. Greeted her and finally got to see those cute kittens! Went out to dinner and vaguely wondered where my keys went.

Friday, July 20th
Not in a hurry to leave, we hung around Sis' apartment for a bit (kitties are quite the distraction). Sis gave me my birthday present, three sets of stitch markers that she made especially for me. Aren't they beautiful?? Detailed pictures at the bottom of post.

We scoured the apartment for my keys and realized they were nowhere in sight. This starts the beginning of panic. Now, on my key ring were car key (the only one I have) and two keys for apartment. apartment keys not too bad to lose as Sis has a set of those, but the car key... it's the only one and my car is in an airport parking garage!! So here's the thing... honestly I thought I had them when I got to the apartment but I have no true memory of them. the last time I positively know that I had them was going through airport security. But since I thought I had them along the way, we spend the first hour of the morning back-tracking to the rest stop that son and I had stopped at before reaching Sis. Luckily for me, the superintendent of the rest stop cleaning crew was there and she could check the office and lost & found for me. Unfortunately, no keys were there.

Well, we still have plans and I'll worry about the keys later. It's on to Sequoia and then to Fallon, Nevada. On the way into Sequoia we pulled over by this little river/creek thing (Lake Kaweah - Slick Rock Recreation in the Sequoia Foothills). Son had an absolute blast there. The water was the perfect temperature, not hot and not cold. The rocks warmed in the sun and kept the water wonderful. We all played a bit although son was soaked! Whatever else we did this vacation, he holds that this was the best part!





We went to Sequoia, we knew we couldn't spend all day there but we did stop and see the Sentinel, General Sherman and Big Trees Trail. While walking the trail, we saw a buck right in the middle, really close and totally unconcerned about the humans all standing around staring. Sis tried to get some pictures although it was hard because he was antler deep in vegetation. Haven't seen her pictures so not sure if any came out.




Now, we knew that going through Sequoia would add travel time to Fallon, Nevada. If we had taken a straight route, it should have been about a 9 hour trip with stops. By map distance, we judged it would take another 3-4 hours. Boy, this was not a good guesstimate. We never accounted for the fact that curvy roads (especially at night) are traveled at about 25mph. more like 15mph when it's 3am and there are deer jumping out at you on Sonora Pass. Now, I have to say, I bet Sonora Pass is beautiful in the daylight. That whole country is, however, at 3am, it's super dark, curvy, with rock faces coming at you when the headlights hit them.... basically, rather scary at that time.

We did not get to Fallon until 5:30am Saturday morning. Now we had spoken to the night desk representative (Holiday Inn Express in Fallon) a couple times, including when we were 15 minutes away to get directions. When we arrived we were totally exhausted. The person at the desk was wonderful. (I've since found out her name is Lori) She had everything ready to go, got us signed in super quickly, put a "do not disturb" on our room and sent us off to go get some sleep. We were incredibly grateful for this and we've told everyone along the way. After being home, one of the first things I did was send an email to the hotel manager saying how much we appreciated this.


Saturday, July 21st
Ok, now only a couple people know the purpose of this trip. I was meeting members of my biological family for the first time in ~30 years, this included my biological father. There was a family reunion at bio-aunt's house and that's where we were headed. I wouldn't even state this except that Saturday makes little sense if you don't know that. About 8am, I woke up in a severe panic attack, heart pounding and my whole body was shaking and I felt ready to throw up any instant. I tried to get some more sleep. Later with every intention of going to reunion, I got ready and realized we had no directions to the house. Also, I didn't have a single cell phone number. Between this and the panic, I chickened out. I did not go to that reunion. Instead, Sis, son and I went to Reno. No gambling (Sis and I just aren't into it, neither of us have money to spare). We walked around and eventually hung out at Truckee Creek. It runs through the middle of town and on a hot day, everyone was playing in it. Of course again, son got soaking wet but was thrilled. During this time, I made numerous phone calls to the airports and airline trying to find my keys. No luck at all. Getting in quite the panic about them! I mean, when we fly back, we land at midnight... I don't know anyone that likes me that much to ask them to do a pick-up at that hour.

Saturday night, a meeting with one cousin. She called my room worried about me and I felt that I did need to let people know I was safe. Regardless of how I scared I am/was, they cared and deserved to know I was ok. Now, there were a few people I really did want to meet and she convinced me to have breakfast with those few. Ok... breakfast is less intimidating than an all-day reunion and it is my one shot. My son, god love him, gave me a hug when she left and asked "are you ok mom?" He's a sweetheart who really cares and he's going to be a wonderful adult someday. (I try to remember this on the days he makes me want to rip out my hair *grin*)

Sunday, July 22nd
Woke up to a letter under the door from bio-father and wife. Having finally gotten some sleep, I feel a little better and decide I should meet them too. Cousin invites them to breakfast. Breakfast now includes 9 bio-family members. Without going into details it went better than I had anticipated or worried about. and being breakfast, it was short, I got to meet people, see photo albums and about the time it was overwhelming, it was time to leave. Of course they have a million pictures amongst them from this breakfast and I have none at the moment.

Time to leave and we are taking the shorter way back to Sis' place. We plan to go into Yosemite on the way but we never quite go that far. On Hwy 120 there are plenty of scenic places to stop without going all the way into Yosemite. Primarily, Inyo National Park and Ellery Lake (maybe the lake is in the forest, I'm not sure at the moment). We walked a short but pretty trail, we stopped to take pictures, we saw some creatures (maybe beavers) by the Ellery Lake dam. It was a nice stop. However, I must admit that again, we misgauged travel time a bit. This time due to the "loss" of 100 miles when Sis was doing some mental calculating on the map. So we didn't get to her place until midnight-ish.


















Monday, July 23rd
Plan is to go to Knott's Berry Farm and then have dinner with a family friend. (she's been a friend of the family FOREVER and I've been wanting her to meet son). Due to all the late nights, and the very cute kittens, we get a late start but it's ok with us, we aren't really in a hurry. We spent most of the afternoon at Knott's and had a good time. No pictures though. Son got some cool geodes though. He actually ended up with two because the first one had a fracture and they gave it to him free. We thought it looked cool anyway. Will post picture later, he's chosen to give one to his grandmother and although she knows it's coming, I don't want to post until she gets hers. Throughout the day, a good friend of mine helped me find possible numbers to rental cars or a shuttle to go home and let me know that if all else failed, he would come and pick us up. Figure if I can get home, rent a car, maybe I can go to the dealer and get a new car key made. I am very grateful for his help and offer. Unfortunately, I am unable to really book anything from Knott's and by the time we got home, it was too late. Figure I'll be asking him to make the drive to the airport (although as he says, I didn't ask, he offered)

Dinner went very well, son was well-behaved and loved getting toppled by friend's dogs who followed him around. Got back to Sis' well after midnight.


Tuesday, July 24th
Packing up from scratch. hoping that if I empty everything completely, we'll find the keys in some pocket even though I've looked in all the pockets about a zillion times. In between, playing with kittens. We've picked out the one we want. An absolutely beautiful one with stripes and the most gorgeous little face. We're calling it Tiger. Son says that since I always call him "tiger", he likes that one. It has extra toes, in fact, all of them seem to have extra toes. Polydactyl cats, a whole clan of them with 6-7 toes on each front paw. Anyway, I can't wait for Tiger to come home to us Labor Day weekend. So as everyone is getting settled, Sis decides to strip and make her bed(s). She recently acquired two twin beds from a friend and she has them pushed together as a king. And guess what?!?!?! The keys are in between the two mattresses!!! I was right that I had them with me. And the cats are all living under the bed... so when we got there Thursday night, I had been lying on the bed to see them and taken them out of my pocket and they fell between. I am so happy that she chose that moment to change them or I would have left without them!

After getting to Vegas through pouring rain. Yes, rain. Guy on the radio said in the 9 years he lived there this was the second time he had seen real rain. (people not used to rain, don't drive fast in it either... it's like newbies and the first snow fall) Traveling home once we were at the airport went pretty much without a hitch. (although I'm annoyed at the people going through security that can't read signs that say no liquids or lighters allowed! They find one thing on you and they have to stop the whole line to totally search bags, I agree it's a dumb rule, but it's still a well-posted rule) Anyway, flight home was smooth, we rented another digeplayer and this time watched TMNT. We get off plane, luggage is found right away and we go to the car.

and the car.... won't start!!! Ok, note to everyone, and you might be smarter than I was, but if you have a car charger plugged into your car, even if it's not charging anything, it's sucking power. We have one for son's DS player. Everything else in the car was off but that was plugged into a non-moving car for 5 days and killed the battery power. Luckily the airport garage is used to this and got us jumped and on our way.... until I killed it right as we were going to pay our parking fee. (I drove an automatic rental all weekend and when I got back to my car, I forgot to put in the clutch when I braked, what do you want? I was tired) and the car, now dead, wouldn't start. I called the garage dispatch again and they sent someone to jump the car again. But by this time I had lost it. I was tired, it was late, it had been an exhausting trip and I started crying right there. Called my mother (yes, it was 12:45am but she was up) and cried. Now this time, there were two guys, one jumped the car, the other one put cones around me, said it would be ok and to just sit there for awhile until the car got a chance to fully charge and he would check on me. and he did, he came back a couple times to make sure I was ok and he got the number of a 24-hour towing company, just in case something happened on the way around the block. (I live on the exact opposite side of the airport, it was frustrating to be 10 minutes from home and not able to get there). The car stayed running, apparently it just needed a long charge and we got home about 1:30am.

Wednesday.... I slept and slept and slept some more!!! (did you notice that we didn't "land" anywhere until after midnight every night?) Whew, I think that's enough! thank goodness I'm not going back to work until Monday because I need a vacation from the vacation.

Here's detailed pictures of those stitch markers from Mojave Sis. (I had to keep you reading, didn't I?) Happy Knitting!


-Dfly



P.S. while HP7 arrived with mail on Wednesday (I had hold on mail), I've barely started it. No time today and yesterday every time I started to read, I crashed out. So please, no spoilers, I'm begging! I feel like the last interested person who hasn't finished it!!




Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sis and kitties soon!

weird week so far. Picked up son on Monday and realized he was really sick. He didn't want to bother me so he didn't call me at work. Temp of 102, headache, vomiting by Tuesday. Worked from home on Tuesday (thank god, they let me do that). But then today at work I realized that I left something important on the computer at home. Came home to fetch it, picked up son and realized he was having mild asthma attack.

Somehow though, we're good. work that needed to be done before vacation, got done. straightening of the apartment so I don't come back to mess, got done. Son being sick, getting asthma meds, got done. Packing for vacation, got done. Whew! I need the vacation now!

So, I planned to post a WIP picture of the sweater, but with everything it's not very far. and more importantly, I realized, I already packed the camera! So I'll have to take picture at another time.

Tomorrow son and I fly out to see Mojave Sis. she and I will have to fight over who gets to blog about what! Looking forward to seeing her and her kitties.

I don't think I'll blog until I get back next Wednesday. We'll see how things go.

In the meantime, happy knitting, quilting or store painting!

-DFly

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fetching complete

Fetching gloves are done.

Spent part of today finishing them up and then packing for upcoming trip. Having mixed feelings about the trip. Very excited to see my sister and her new kitties. But there is a personal reason for the trip that's making me a bit uneasy. Plus I get to be a nervous wreck before vacations anyway. It's not logical but I'm packing several days in advance with an extensive list and I'm still convinced I'm forgetting something! So lately I'm going to pictures sis sent and reminding myself that there are kittens on the other end. (and places like Walmart)

Oh, and I think I've figured out my next project, the sweater. Planning on doing a ribbed version. I knit up several inches and found something I really like the look of. Found some needles today that are theoretically airport friendly.

Very tired today... so sad, son is away, and I'm planning to spend my Saturday evening sleeping soon!

Happy Knitting to all and to all a Good Night... - Dfly

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Knitting, Carpal Tunnel and Kitties....

Working on the second fetching. past the wrist and working on the hand. Got distracted today trying to plan out what I want to do for a sweater for myself with the yarn mom got me for bday (after I screwed up the Stitch n' Bitch book). I want to make the sweater on the cover of Melissa Leapman's Knitting Beyond Scarves. However, I don't want it to be striped or garter stitch. (does that make me a real Knitter? changing it up but saying that's what I'm knitting?) I just like the shape of it and the book has the pattern drawn out with measurements and I am going from there with my own stitch pattern. Or at least that's the plan so I was trying out some stitch patterns today and figuring out my gauge (and which stitch patterns nicely divide into my gauge...) Anyway, most of knitting time was spent playing with the swatch.

Also, I've got a Florida friend who crochets but has carpal tunnel issues so had to stop. She's thinking of taking up knitting but worried it would aggravate it. Anyone got any ideas or experience with this?

In other news.... Mojave Sis just got herself kittens out of her tiny stray cat. Sis did not even know cat was pregnant until this past Saturday (that's on blog) and now she's got mama and baby kitties! I won't spoil and tell how many... I'm sure she'll post on the blog and hopefully with pictures! Luckily for all felines, Mojave Sis was taking excellent care of pretty Misty and so everyone seems to be healthy.

Night everyone!

-DFly

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Fetching and fairies....

Quick update today. Birthday yesterday was good. Got a great view of the fireworks, yummy cake and presents. My mom may disown me for buying another one of the books on my wish list right before my birthday. (She knew I bought Charmed Knits and then we found out during the unwrapping that I had done the same with Stitch N' Bitch) But I got some others that I like, very excited about Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee. Also World of Knitted Toys by Kath Dalmeny which has a bunch of cute things. And mom let me trade Stitch N' Bitch for yarn so that's all good!!

I finished the left-hand fetching glove. Super soft! Cables are not fully visible with the fuzzy yarn (and fuzzy camera). I was scared about removing the waste yarn and picking up the stitches. I had crazy visions of the whole thing unraveling. So I took a picture right before removing so I could prove I got that far if it did explode or something.















I took a tiny break and made a fairy. When the bead show was in town I bought a fairy kit from Glass Garden Beads. I bought and made the coral one the same day. Well, my mom and son decided that it was lonely so I got the blue kit as a present from son. Made that one today after fetching. I apologize for the fuzzy picture. They are little and zoom only works so far.


Second fetching glove is cast on and started. although if I finish it as fast as the first one, I'm going to need another "plane security appropriate" project. hmmmm....

Good night and happy knitting!

-Dragonfly

Friday, July 6, 2007

Birthday & Fetching Update...

I'll go with topics today

Birthday !
My birthday is kind of extended this year. On Tuesday I brought fruit to work, most people loved (one person wanted donuts) and then the team took me out to lunch. Aside from two badly rendered versions of "Happy Birthday" (one in the office and one at restaurant) it was very cool! (ok, the singing was kind of nice too, cuz I felt special but shh! ). On Wednesday (actual birthday) we went to Six Flags, just me and my son which was a good day to me. On Saturday, I'll celebrate with family and get cake, presents and fireworks! *grin*

Six Flags
We had a blast! Amazingly, for the fact that it was beautiful out and most people had the day off, there were very small lines. Superman (which is still one of the newer rides) had a 40 minute line but the rest were in the 10-15 minute range. At least the ones we went on. There are a few rides that son won't brave yet. We got to go on everything we wanted to and more than once if we desired. We even got to see a couple shows. It would have been perfect if it weren't for the . . .

Sunburn
ok, I'm a mom and I'm fair skinned. I totally understand the purpose and wonderfulness of sunscreen. Really! However, the sunscreen we had was the goopy lotion kind and I didn't want to put that on and then drive with leather seats for over an hour. So I thought "no problem, we'll put on when we get there". After being in the gates "crud, forgot the sunscreen in the car, alright we'll get it at lunch time, it's not that sunny should be fine". Went to car at lunch time, went back to park and I bet you can guess... forgot it again! At this point I'm feeling lazy, I don't want to hike to the car again. I'll look for some inside the park. I mean, after all, people fry here every day, they could really mark-up sunscreen. Nope, none in the park. Well, it's getting to evening and I'm already burnt, I'll just tough it out. (this is the point when obviously I didn't really remember how bad it would feel) So by the time we leave at 7:30pm, I'm fried on arms, chest and neck/back. Thursday, I felt very sick and actually went home early from work because I was nauseous. After a lot of water and gatorade, I'm doing much better now.

Fetching
I know this is the part you were really waiting for! It's pretty fast considering I haven't been knitting long (none on the 4th, only a little on the 5th) and I did frog it completely once. (when the big-gap beginning aggravated me). First time doing cables and there was quite the panic when I dropped a bunch of stitches while doing one. Still not sure if I fixed it correctly but I think I faked it ok since I can't figure out anymore which cable it was. The nice thing is that the yarn is just fuzzy enough that it's forgiving on the details. Here's a picture in progress...


Happy Knitting!

-Dfly

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Fetching....

Ok, started Fetching today, it's a knitty pattern that I was lead to by Chelsea I'm working with a very soft cotton Crayon from Knit Picks (thanks to Cami letting me know that there was a sale!!)

Did a geeky thing (although I didn't do a full 4 inches high, hopefully that won't bite me) My son has decided it's really soft and snagged it and I have no idea what he did with it now. Had to frog because my first stitch in the round was too loose but then I found this tip online: cast on an extra stitch, then pass the first stitch on left needle to the needle with the last cast. Pass the last cast stitch over that first stitch and then move the first stitch back to the left needle where it belongs. Then start knitting. It worked, I don't have a huge weird gappy loopy thing there.

First time doing cables and I suspect (now that I realized it) that I twisted at least one of my cables, I'm going to go a few rounds to see if it screwed it up or not. And in the meantime, I color coded one end of the cable needle with nail polish to help give me a hint for next time.

Tomorrow we have plans for the day (going to Six Flags, assuming it doesn't downpour... I really hope not since I pre-bought the tickets and we've been looking forward to this for over a month!) anyway, unless we get totally rained out, I suspect very little knitting will happen tomorrow. It's storming right now and I'm hoping that Mother Nature will get it all out of her system!

Good night, happy 4th!

-DFly

Monday, July 2, 2007

White Flag.....

Let me start with... I tried, I had the best of intentions.

I generally get about 20 minutes a day to read. The 20 minutes before bed and often it's a very interrupted time with my son wanting to tell me something or the cat wanting attention. So in my life there have been many times when I've given up on a book because it was not moving along in the time that I have to read. (I love Lord of the Rings but I'm not going to spend 2 weeks reading forest description).

The invisibility shawl has been sort of like one of those books for me. I've worked on it a little bit every day and it's just not going anywhere. And it feels more like a chore than something I want to do, more of a chore than something I'm putting love into. I kept thinking of the projects that I wanted to make for other people instead of the shawl. I've been mad at it when I lose my place and have to count the stitches to figure out where I'm at. (I finally made a chart). And yesterday after this happened for the 5th time in about 2 hours and calling it the "stupid @*!@! shawl", my son asked "mom, if you don't like it, why don't you just stop? no one is making you do it" This very simple 10yo logic made sense. I was feeling guilty about having to leave the KAL if I quit, that I'm going to disappoint Cami, that I'm less of a Knitter because I don't want to continue. Yet this simple logic "no one is making you do it" wins ultimately.

So I finished the pattern, and then I did the last garter rows. I thread a scrap piece of yarn through the active stitches and blocked it. This was what it looked like this morning. Tiny, but pretty.

Ok... so I figured, I'll bind it off and at least it will be complete. Sort of. Well, it's not as easy to get those stitches back on the needle from a scrap piece. That took quite awhile and several unknitterly words. I was glad son was not there.

Next, I realized when I photocopied the pages for my knitting bag, I did not include the instructions for SSK BO. Ok, I'm not home but I'm near Borders. They can't fault me for looking at a book I already own, right? The instructions sound weird to me and are different than what I see for the same named bind-off in another book. But, the author must know best, and I did save more than the 60" of tail. So begins my worst bind-off ever. I started with the way the author said. And to be honest, it is the prettiest and most flexible of the bind-offs I used. yes, plural, because as I got about 1/3 of the way I realized that there was no way I had enough tail to bind off the rest. So I switched to the other kind of SSK BO (which really is slip, slip, knit decrease all the way). this used less tail but was much tighter. (and not as pretty). But even that was going to run out so at the end, I did something. I don't think it has a name, it shouldn't. but it finished the edge and tied off the corner and I just don't care anymore. And I refuse to do the other edge because I know I don't have enough tail there either.

So here's my white flag, I surrender. I'm taking it as a strategic decision to save my sanity rather than an all-out failure. I did learn things. I learned that if I want to, I can create pretty lace. I learned how to do the provisional cast-on. and I learned from my son, that no one is making me knit.

On to other things tomorrow... I think some fingerless gloves for a friend who always freezes. They involves cables, something new for me. Plus knitting something with the goal of a smile at the end, makes it worth it, even during the tough parts.

Happy Knitting! -Dragonfly

P.S. It is the perfect Barbie sized evening shawl though....