Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happiness is...

an emptied out storage room! WOOHOO! My vacation last week was well spent. We cleaned out the basement on Tuesday, then Thursday and Friday cleaned out the storage room. That's $100/month back in our pockets. Of course, now we need to clean out the basement again - but we got a good start on that last night. It's amazing the things that I had saved. There were some found treasures and there were some "what was I thinking" items. I am, by nature, a pack rat. I think I did a good job chucking stuff last week and last night though. I'm learning that, in decorating, less is more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Photos

Five years ago today...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Intarsia. Insane or Brave?

I decided that I wanted to make myself a small UCONN blanket for football games when it gets colder. I decided that it needed to have a C in the middle - something akin to the UCONN football logo if I could manage it. So, I graphed out a C. It's close. It's not perfect. The logo has more rounded top and bottom than I can do in stitches, given the space I've allotted for my C. The C will be blue on a white background. Next, I tried to decide what would go around the C. Bring out the colored pencils and the graph paper. Do I do a bunch of blocks? I could do mitered blocks - never done them, but something I've been wanting to try. I could do striped mitered blocks even. I could do a log cabin blanket. I could do the courthouse steps version of a log cabin blanket. I could do just plain old stripes. I could do a blue section around the C block, then a bigger white section around that. Really - tons of possibilities. I decided that some of them would be just too busy. The courthouse steps blanket I sketched had blue horizontal stripes going out from center and white strips going out vertically - the winner. But, hmmm, aren't those best done in garter stitch? Truthfully, I suppose you could do it in stockinette, but I wanted to do it in garter. Can you do intarsia in garter stitch? Yes, the wonders of the web assured me, it could be done. So here I am, the C is half done. It's not so hard as I would have imagined. The garter stitch is squishing my C a bit, so I'm not following my little graph exactly - going to go more by proportions and I think I will have to do a little embroidery in some areas to help form the angles/curves of the C. It won't be a blanket that will win a blue ribbon, but for a first attempt at designing something in intarsia - I'm pretty dang proud! I'm using yarn that was purchased based on washability - I am, after all, planning to bring this blanket to tailgates and football games. I think it will be quite cool - and hopefully quite warm!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happiness is....

football season! WOOHOO! I love football. We had our first UCONN tailgate on Saturday. It rained, but we had the tent. UCONN ended up losing the game in sad fashion - a holding penalty in the end zone gave UNC a safety. But, they did play better than people expected, given the losses to graduation. Then the Giants beat the 'Skins on Sunday - awesome! If only the Giants on my fantasy football team had scored me a few more points! I think part of why I love football is the weather - at least at the beginning of the season. By the end - ooh it's cold. I'm going to start knitting a little UCONN lap throw to bring to the games at the end of the season. It will be my first attempt at intarsia. Eeek!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Starting the week off right

Let's start the week with pictures. We have a shawl I knit, garden shots and, of course, Boomer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

8 years ago today

Time goes on, wounds heal - but we must never forget what happened eight years ago today. I know that I never will. It is up to us to remember, to teach the next generation. We need to tell them about the horror that was visited upon us day. But we also need to tell them about the heroes who went running into the building trying to save thousands - and many were saved. We need to tell them about the passengers who fought back on the fourth plane and in doing so, saved the lives of many. We need to tell them how every day Americans lined up to give blood for the injured. We need to tell them how volunteers came from all over to donate their time, their money, their property to help with the recovery effort. We need to tell them how people donated fire trucks to the city who lost so many of their own. And how 4 years later, when New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the FDNY gave back to the people of the city that had given to them in their time of need. We need to tell them how Americans came together in prayer and in patriotism. We need to tell them that we were bowed, but unbroken, that though the Twin Towers fell, the Statue of Liberty stood tall. Terrorists struck at the heart of America, but America has a bigger heart than they could have imagined. We must never forget.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Happiness is....

....good sleeping weather. I love it when the nights start turning cold. I can turn off the a/c and open the windows and sleep comfortably. I'm not really ready for summer to be over - so give me more hot days, but keep my nights cool. I want this kind of weather year round. Is there such a place? I could go for a three season area. Spring, with its warming weather and promise of summer. Summer with the warmth and sunshine. And I love fall - the crisp air, the cool nights - except for that it means winter is coming.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Childless v Childfree

There's a difference you know. One involves a choice. One does not. One implies wanting, longing, sadness and despair. One declares a kind of liberation, freedom, happiness. For the childfree, there are the luxuries of not having children. For the childless, there are the sorrows of not having children. I am childless. It was not a choice. (see note below)

I do not deny that I have said things like "if we are not going to be able to have kids, then I want the benefits of not having kids." But I did not seek those benefits. So don't tell me they are a luxury. They are only a pitiful attempt at a salve for the wound of childlessness. Those benefits will never replace the joy of a child. I would trade the agonies of temper tantrums, sleepless nights, dirty diapers, teething, interrupted errands, endless laundry - all of it - all of the down side of parenting - all of it - over the benefits of not having children any day. A childfree person would not do that. A childless person would. I would.

Don't ever tell me how lucky I am to be able to sleep in because I don't have kids. Or be able to afford a nice car because I don't have kids. Or go on vacation because I don't have kids. Or go where I want, when I want and spend as much time as I want doing it because I don't have kids. I know I can. But I didn't want it that way. Saying that stuff is like pouring salt in my wound. That implies I made a choice instead of being handed a diagnosis. I will live with my wound. I will have a happy life despite my wound. But still, it is there. I am childless, not childfree. There is a difference.

(Side note - We can not have children naturally, we can not afford to adopt. I don't want to hear the "why don't you just adopt" response because that comes from ignorance of just what it takes to adopt both emotionally and financially.)

Celebrating a Friend

Yesterday I played golf. It was a tournament in honor of my friend Patrick who died last fall. It was a fun day, well attended by his friends and colleagues. Proceeds from the tournament will go towards scholarships in his memory. The day started off a little chilly. I was glad I thought to bring a fleece. It warmed up though and turned into a gorgeous, late summer day. I was playing with friends, so there was lots of laughter. There was a golf-housing development along side the course - I couldn't live there. In one section, every house was the same. The design, the color - everything. The only thing that changed was which side the garage was on. Not for me. My old boss was there. I once respected his drive as mayor. Now I look at him and think - what a doofus. I think he's trying to hard to be the youthful, energetic, cheerful guy - and it's just ringing false. There was another mayor there - one who is likely going to jail or at least on trial. I'm thinking that keeping a low profile would be the thing - but that's just me. Anyway, I had a fun day, despite not playing my best golf. But - as they say - a bad day at golf is better than a good day at work.

For my reader friends - yes, I did get a cheesecake as a birthday cake this year. It was from my staff. The one who bought the cake - well - I'll just say I'm not surprised by it. But, I shouldn't complain because it was thoughtful of her to get it for me. And all I have heard on the spirit squad v. cheerleader thing so far is that the spirit squad will not be doing the gymnastic type stuff but will "connect" more with fans, leading them in cheers. Huh? Like the cheerleaders didn't do that? And we enjoyed the gymnastic stuff and the pyramids and all. So, I'm still on my bring back the cheerleaders kick.