Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Band Concert

But you don't get any videos because YouTube is down for maintenance. I'll get them up soon, though.

That's what I had planned on posting today, but life has a way of foiling our plans. Here's a photo to keep you happy:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Good Grade

Cody got a 99 on his presentation on Italy. He said he got the most applause of anybody in the class. Also the highest grade. Of course, he did have an unfair advantage by having a real Italian bank note and a necklace made from the lava of Mt. Vesuvius as visual aids.

I thought you might like to see the photos he used as well.

The Temple of Jupiter in Rome.

The Coliseum from the inside.

The Coliseum from the outside.

The amphitheater in the ruins of Pompeii.

The Temple of Apollo in the ruins of Pompeii.

A plaster cast of one of the persons who died in Pompeii in 79 A.D. The ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius settled around the bodies and hardened. The bodies then decayed away, leaving a hollow in the hardened ash. When Pompeii was found and began to be excavated, these hollows made perfectly detailed molds of these people. In some of them, you can even see the folds in their clothing.

Some of the ruins of Pompeii.

Venice. What was really cool is that they have police boats, taxi boats, bus boats, all the types of vehicles you would find in any city, except in Venice, they are boats.

A hotel right on a canal in Venice.

A gondola. These are mostly there for the tourist trade, as they use motor boats for transportation.

I hope you've enjoyed this brief, virtual tour of Italy. I'm sure there will be more in the future. Thank you for traveling with FineMartialFiber imaginations.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blocking Woes

Since Saturday is the day I normally wash my sheets, I decided to take advantage of the empty bed and try to block my Mystic Waters shawl.

I wasn't too sure about this. I thought the bed would be too small to fit the shawl on there. Sure enough, I hadn't been pinning very long when I realized my suspicions were right. The bed wasn't big enough, even pinning the shawl diagonally.

Still, I pinned it out as best I could, even though one corner hung limply off the side of the bed.

When I unpinned it, the unblocked corner wasn't all that noticable, but I think I will save up for some blocking wires and blocking boards and re-do it. The shawl turned out big, and surprisingly warm for something so light and airy looking.

I'm sitting here seriously trying to think of something I can wear to church tomorrow.

Something this shawl will go with.

In other news, I received some donations for the blankie!

I was able to get a few more squares done, and add some mini-skeins to the bouncing bag I started. Right now, there's only three people signed up for it, but maybe I'll get a few new yarns out of the deal.

My T.O. jerseys arrived the same day the yarn did.

Real jerseys. Not the cheap Wal-Mart version.

They were on clearance for only $13.00. I got one that will be traveling to Hawaii soon. It should be in the mail on Monday.

And finally, your Photo of The Day:

Iris, my back yard. March 24, 2009

Human Achievement Hour

Tonight at 8:30. I'll be there.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm Back

Didja miss me?

I've missed posting for the last two days because my computer got commandeered by a teenager with a research project to do for school. They were doing reports on countries, and Cody was so excited that he was able to do his report on Italy. He was born there, you know.

They had to do one of those presentation boards--like for science fair projects-- so we spent the last two days scanning photos I'd taken while I was there, researching online, and tearing the house up looking for the Italian money I'd brought back.

And while he was typing it all up, I finished reading Monster, by Frank Peretti.

As it turns out, he didn't have time to give his presentation today, so he will do it Monday. That'll give me more time to find that darn money! It's actually Italian lire, which they no longer use since they went to the Euro.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get caught up tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this little video that I found to be totally hilarious:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quick Update

Some of you have asked about the blue Trekking scarf I was working on. It is now back on the needles and will be moving along shortly.

I've been working on my Express Lane socks, but have hit a snag.

I don't really like the heel that is in the pattern, and want to substitute it with a different heel. Now I've got to research different toe up heels and decide which one I want to use. I really liked the heel that Cookie A used in the Baudelaire socks, so I think I will probably go with that.

Right now, though, I am going to bed. I woke up at least 5 times during the night last night, so I'm not totally comprehensible right now.

Before I go, though, I will leave you with photos of the first iris:

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Dog Park

It's funny. As soon as people find out that you are single, every one of them seems determined to get you married off. I have a co-worker who has made this her life's mission. I often get advice from well meaning, but clueless people--just trying to help.

Lots of people, especially those I only know over the internet, don't seem to realize how small this town is and how limited one's resources are. People often tell me I should hang out in hardware stores. We only have two here, and folks, they ain't Lowes or Home Depots. They are small, and locally owned. The owners don't want you to browse. They want you to buy.

Another friend suggested that since I like to read, I should hang out in the local library. Number one, this town is filled with farmers and factory workers. They don't hang out at the library. Number two, the library here closes at 5:30. By the time I got home from work and made myself presentable, it would be closed anyway.

Someone else suggested that since I like dogs, I should take my dogs down to the local dog park. I guffawed aloud when I read that! We don't even have a people park, much less a dog park.

Folks, this is my local dog park:

It's the cow pasture behind my house. See, there are my dogs out there in it. Can't see them? Here, I zoomed in:

There's Rylea, and Katie. Well, at least they found a friend.
I guess I'll be looking a little while longer, though.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Barefoot In The Park

I was sitting inside, watching TV and knitting

this square for the Glenn Beck afghan some of us are making, when all of the sudden, I got the irresistible urge to go walk barefoot in the back yard.

Since my normal state around the house is barefoot anyway, it was a simple task to grab the camera and go. Won't you kick off your shoes and join me?

You'd think since I run barefoot, my feet wouldn't be quite so blindingly white, but hey, that's what Scandinavian ancestors are good for.

Look around. There is a whole world springing to life. The fig trees are starting to bud.

The blueberries are in full bloom.

Come back in June. There will be more berries than you can I could possibly eat.

The pear and plum trees have finished blooming, and have fully leafed out, but look, there is one lonely little pear blossom left.

It will be September before the pears are ready. Mmmm, I can hardly wait!

Just a few daffodils remain, most of them having bloomed and died back weeks ago.

The few that were left got mowed down by an over enthusiastic teenager.

At least he missed the iris.

I hope you've enjoyed this stroll through my back yard, and the soft, cool grass beneath your feet. We must do it again sometime.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Sky and Scarves

I woke up to a partly cloudy sky. I waited and waited to see if it would clear off, but it only got cloudier.

It never rained, but all in all, it was a good day for knitting. I have a what? Yes an actual FO to report! Boy it's been a long time since I've done this!

My Trekking scarf #1 is completed:

A close up of the pattern:

Pattern: Trekking Is For Necking
Yarn: Trekking XXL
Color: I don't remember. It just had a number anyway
Needles: US 3

Cody just found out today that the Cowboys cut T.O. "The Cowboys cut Terrell Owens?" he said. "That wasn't a very smart thing to do."

My next door neighbor is moving. She and her husband got divorced, and she realized that she just couldn't keep that big old house up by herself. So, she is moving into a double wide up the highway, and the house will be put up for sale. It always makes me nervous when new people move in. What are they going to be like? Will they have noisy kids? Will they complain about my dogs? We've all lived out here for quite a while now, and have gotten used to each other. Well, the really cute Brown Truck guy and his family moved in up the street a few months ago and so far, they've been ok. Hmmm, I wonder if I selected UPS shipping when I ordered my T.O. jersey (on clearance for $12.99)? I sure hope so. I haven't gotten to sigh over him in a while.

I keep hoping that one day, a really cute, really rich, really single guy will move into one of these houses, but so far, it hasn't happened.

I'm going to go read a bit on Atlas Shrugged before bed. I've made it through chapter 3. I just don't read like I used to.

I'm trying to start again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Steelers To Lose Super Bowl Trophies

Steelers to lose Super Bowl Trophies

Pittsburgh, PA

The Super Bowl XLIII Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the only team to win six titles, will soon be losing half of those trophies. After a meeting between NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell and President Barack Obama, Obama decided to redistribute half of their Super Bowl victories and trophies to less fortunate teams in the league.

"We live everyday in the country that invented the Super Bowl." said Obama "We are not about to lose this Great American tradition in the wake of these difficult times." Obama’s plan calls for the Steelers, who are a successful NFL team, to give half of their Super Bowl trophies to teams that are not successful or have not been as successful as the Steelers. "The Detroit Lions are just as much a part of the same fiber of the NFL as the Steelers and they should, no rather will, be entitled to a Super Bowl Trophy as well." Obama explains in his plan that he has imposed on Goodell and the NFL.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who by virtue of hard work, excellent team play, stellar draft choices, responsible investing of free agents, careful hiring of coaches and excellent community service and commitment to their fans, have prospered greatly during the past 30 years and have won six Super Bowl Trophies. But President Barack Obama’s plan calls for the Pittsburgh Steelers to carry the larger burden of the NFL’s less successful teams. Obama went on to further proclaim, "In these difficult times we are all in this to work together. We must reclaim the NFL Championship Dream for every team, for every city and for every fan."

"My plan will not affect 31 of the 32 teams in the league." Obama assures. That’s over 95 percent of the teams in the NFL will not have to worry about losing any Super Bowl Trophies. "The worst teams in the NFL and the teams that can’t seem to get a break and win a championship will no longer have to worry about going without a title." Obama promises. "We are a country and league of hope. We all need to make a change. It does not matter the color of the teams uniforms, the personal decisions that the teams make or their performance but rather if they are a member of this great American league."

The Super Bowl XLIII trophy will be redistributed to the 0-16 Detroit Lions. Through no fault of their own incompetence, the Lions could not manage a victory all season and this trophy will help ease the pain of their lack of performance and give them hope once again.

The redistribution of Super Bowl XL trophy will go directly to the Steelers’ division rival the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals who also have fallen on hard times have never won a Super Bowl. This victory will bring a smile to hundreds of Bengal fans all over the world as they can now celebrate. Finally, one of the Steelers’ two Super Bowl victories over the Dallas Cowboys will go back to the Cowboys since the league needs to provide hope in the face of difficulty and provide hope in the face of uncertainty. This is a heavy burden for the Steelers but together we can all prosper.

All hope is not lost for Pittsburgh fans; Barack Obama has another plan in place. Obama has met with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig on a similar plan. The New York Yankees will redistribute two of their World Series trophies to the Pittsburgh Pirates as a supplement to their 16 straight and counting losing seasons. This plan will help stimulate the Pirates and enable them to regain the American Dream. Barack Obama will be meeting with the NHL and Michael Phelps in the upcoming weeks as this issue is high on his agenda for "Hope and Change."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Mama! Get off that computer and pay attention to me!

A lot has been going on lately, so blogging has been kind of sparse. I'll try to get caught up soon.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patricks Day

I'm not Irish, and have outgrown the pinching stage, so it's not a big deal around here, but Happy St Patty's Day to all those who celebrate!

Happy St. Patty's Day Shamrock Kiss Shamrock St. Patty's Day Kick

Monday, March 16, 2009

Conversations With Cody

Me: Katie is my dog now.

Cody: Why do you say that?

Me: Because you won't take care of her. You won't feed her. You won't even get up to let her in the house.

Cody: Well, technically, she's your dog anyway because I'm not old enough to legally own anything.


Sunday, March 15, 2009


I've always wanted to learn to play the guitar. It was one of my dreams from childhood. I spent long hours imagining myself sitting there, strumming away, getting lost in the music I was making. About 10 or 11 years ago, I even bought myself a guitar, and a Learn To Play Guitar book. I was going to live out my dream. But alas, it was not to be. For two years I struggled to learn to play. I struggled my way all the way through that book, but when I got to the end, I was not any better than I was when I started. Away into the closet went the guitar, to sit forgotten for the last 9 years.

Just over a year ago, Cody got an electric guitar for Christmas. When he started playing, he began saying that I needed to take my guitar back up. Like a dutiful mother, I got the thing out of the closet, put new strings on it, and began struggling my way through that Learn To Play book again. I got about half way through, and came to the conclusion that the guitar just wasn't meant for me. Away into the closet it went again.

Last week, Cody again took up the cause. "You ought to get your guitar out and start playing again," he says. "Oh, Cody." says I. " I can't play that thing. I just can't learn. I've tried and tried, and I just can't do it." He says, "You can learn to play online easy." So I tell him to get my guitar out of the closet and put it into my office. Maybe if I see it every day, I'll be motivated to start playing. For two days, it sat there untouched.

I tell Cody that he needs to teach me something to play. Instead he gives me a URL. Go to this website, he says. They've got real good lessons there he says. I go to the website, and start reading through the lessons. The first one is pretty much the standard these are the parts of the guitar and this is how you hold it kind of stuff. All well and good.

I get to the second lesson and it's explaining what chords are and it's all going way over my head. Then about halfway down, there are chord exercises. Play these chords, the lesson says and lists a bunch of letters that I'm assuming are meant to be chords: CM Eb and I can't remember what the rest of them are. It says practice these chords until you can move from one to the other smoothly and easily.

But nowhere in the lesson does it say how to play those chords!

Thinking I missed something, I read back over the lesson and still, no where did it say how to play chords. Now, you would think since I struggled through that book that I would know how to play chords, but no. That book didn't teach chords. It taught notes. I looked through the lesson a third time, no chord instructions. Anywhere. I get back to the part that says play these chords, but I have no idea how to play those chords. How am I supposed to practice when I have no clue how to even play the stupid chord?

Back into the closet the guitar has gone. Probably for good, this time.

At least I can take a picture of the stupid thing.

Even if I am too stupid to learn how to play it.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Sky

This was my sky today. Dull gray and depressing. It must have depressed me as well because I didn't do anything today. Seriously. Not a thing. Knit. Watch TV. Play on the computer. That's it.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Stuff In The Mail

A couple of weeks ago, a really generous person on the Ravelry blankie group offered to send leftover bits of yarn to anyone who signed up. Sign up I did. Yesterday, I got this in the mail:

Very nice, but unfortunately, I couldn't use any of it in my blankie. The ones on the top and bottom--the rainbow colored ones-- are cotton blends, and I'm using wool blends for this blankie. The two mini skeins on the left were too short for me to make a square out of, and the one on the right --the kind of brownish looking one-- is the exact same yarn as I bought last Saturday. Since I am trying not to duplicate yarns, I put this one into a swap bag.

And what this all means is that until one of my swap bags gets here, production on the blankie has come to a screeching halt. To pass the time, I picked back up on one of my Trekking scarves.

I had been doing them both at once, but when I borrowed the needles I was knitting them with for the Machosauce project, I decided to go back to doing them one at a time. Doing both at once just seemed a bit too tedious.

Today, I got these in the mail:

Handy dandy pocket Constitutions! I've been wanting to get some of these for years, and the way things are going, I decided that this would be a good time to take the plunge. I got 5, but have already given Cody his.

Speaking of Cody, he has been bugging me to start playing my guitar again. I've tried and tried to learn to play that thing, but with no success. I guess I'll try again.

Funny thing, I've been getting the urge to take up my drawing again, too. I haven't drawn anything since I've moved into this house, mainly because I have no table. Still, I've been getting that itch again. Well, yesterday, I was sitting at my computer, and I said, "I really ought to get up from here and do something. I think I'll go watch TV."

Cody answered, "That's not doing something."

"Yeah," I agreed. "I guess I could unload the dishwasher."

"Or you could draw something," Cody said. What's funny about that is that I haven't mentioned wanting to start drawing again. He just said that out of the blue.

I guess it's a sign.


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