Friday, July 20, 2007

Decisions, Decisions...

I had a plan for this evening. It was a simple plan, but a good one. I was going to kill the proverbial two birds with this plan. You see, sometimes, I like to work late on Friday nights. Everybody else is always quick to get out of the office on Friday so it’s quiet. No interruptions, and I don’t have to get up early the next morning, so it’s perfect. When I do this, I’ll usually stay till about 10:00 – 11:00 – get some of the backlog from the week out of the way then get the train and go home.

My plan for tonight was to work until about 10:30 then head across the street to Borders, shop until midnight (bookstores and yarn stores are about the only places that I can shop for two hours with no problem. Anyplace else, I’m in and out as quickly as possible.) pick up Harry Potter, get the 12:50 train and read on the way home. The 12:50 gets me home a little before 2:00 AM, but I don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow, so fine.

Small glitch in the plan. The 12:50 was the train that I ended up on last night due to some unforeseen problems with a file that was scheduled to close at 9:00 this morning. So, I was in the office until twenty minutes to 1:00 last night – or rather this morning – home at a quarter to 2:00 and back on the train to come in again before 8:00 AM. I’ve been mainlining coffee this morning but I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it to midnight.

I don’t know what to do. Should I stay in the city, attempt to force myself to stay awake and get the book before I go home? Should I go home, take a nap for a couple of hours and then go out around 11:00PM to be at a store on the Island at midnight? (The one drawback to that plan is that I have a feeling that the bookstore in the suburbs might be a bit more packed with overexcited children than the one upstairs from Penn Station. I was going to go to the store near my office specifically because this isn’t a residential neighborhood and I’m hoping it will be less crowded.)
Or, should I just go home, fall into bed and get up early to go get it in the morning?

Adding to my dilemma is the fact that I’m a clue behind on the Mystery Stole. Clue 4 is out today and I’ve only just started Clue 3. What I need to do this weekend is figure out a way to sleep, read and knit all at the same time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Into the Woods

A highly successful Mother/Daughter camping trip went off pretty well all around. We went to Harriman State Park, which is pretty convenient ot the city and we're familiar with the area. It's normally a 1 1/2 - 2 hour drive, but we got a slightly later start than we planned and got caught in the Friday evening rush hour, so it ended up taking about 4 1/2 hours. Bit of a bummer, but we got there okay eventually.

We got in, got the tent up, got everything in. I got the fire going (1 match- 3 minutes to full campfire glory) I put dinner on, Mom and I sat down to play a game of Scrabble while it was cooking - and then the thunder started. Of course.

So we go rushing around, getting everything either into the tent or stowed in the car, hurried to get the food cooked and everything into the tent. The whole time the wind is picking up and lightning is flashing and the thunder is coming closer and closer. We just made it into the tent as the first drops of rain started – and it sprinkled for about five minutes. Nothing was actually even wet. It actually ended up being gorgeous all weekend. Sunny, not too hot, nice breeze.

We hadn’t been to this campground before and we had sort of mixed feelings about it. The campsites were way too close together. Actually the people on the next site were literally right on top of us. I now know more about some of their relatives than I know about some of mine. The swimming area was much too small and barely hip deep. Okay, I’m 5’10”, but still, three feet of water is hardly a refreshing swim.

On the other hand, it was kept clean and the rules and quiet hours were actually enforced. Unlike the campground we went to the year before last where the bathrooms weren’t cleaned for three days, the trash was never picked up and the idiots across the road spent the entire weekend drinking and playing the 80’s Power Ballad Collection at top volume until 3:00 AM every night.

Saturday evening after dinner I was sitting, working on my Mystery Shawl, mom was working on the afghan she’s making for my aunt, it was just about twilight and I looked up and over to my left and there was a buck about ten or twelve feet away, just standing there looking at us. He just wandered by, nibbling on things and then I looked over to the right and there was a doe following right along behind him.

Definitely a high point of the trip – and, of course, the batteries in the camera had died about fifteen minutes earlier.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


It's been a very long but very fast week. Aside from the usual busy-ness at work, my evenings have been busy getting ready for my annual camping trip with my mom.

Now, my brother and I have always loved camping. My brother and sister-in-law actually went camping for thier honeymoon and I was a counselor at a Girl Scout camp through college (I still miss having my bed outside all summer). My mother's idea of roughing it however, pretty much meant anything less than three stars. So imagine my surprise when I talked her into going tent camping a few years ago and she loved it.

Keep in mind, now, I'm talking about "go to a campground with flush toilets and showers, where you drive into a site and unload your stuff onto the spot where you'll be living for the next few days," camping as opposed to "hike up a mountain carrying everything you need to survive on your back" camping. Let's be real. But she took to it pretty enthusiastically and now we go at least once or twice every summer. Last year, we got her to camp in North Carolina for an entire week and we also got her to do this:

That's her in the front. Can't wait to see what we can get her to do next. For now, though, I need to pick what knitting projects I'm going to take with me and get some sleep.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I am Weak

You would think that someone as stubborn as I am would be a bit more strong willed. Well, strong willed I've never had trouble with, but I crumble in the face of yarn.

Despite my - well, let's call it ranting - of just four days ago about how I can't stand all the clutter and the unfinished projects lurking around the house I have in fact, started two new projects.

I have no explaination.

Well, actually, one project is within the rules. It's a cute little baby blanket that I'm making entirely out of stash yarn. No real problem there unless you count working up from the bottom of the list, but I think we can all let that slide. Right? Say right, you know you want to.

The other project, which technically hasn't been started yet, I'm having a little more trouble rationalizing. But come on along with me while I try. Here's why it's not my fault.

You see, I've been seeing mention of the MS3 project on various blogs for the past few weeks. I resisted. I think I resisted pretty admirably. But then it was mentioned yesterday that today would be the last day to sign up. I thought, I've never done a knit along before. I'll miss it. I'll never know how it comes out. How could I live with that? I decided that I couldn't and right over the edge I went. Like a Lemming. Apparently I'm a joiner. Who knew?

The problem was that if I do have any laceweight in the stash, and I'm pretty sure that I do - pink is coming to mind - I have no idea where it is. (See Monday's post) So I had to find some laceweight and wouldn't you know, they had some at Habu, which is an entirely too convenient 1 1/2 blocks from my office making it way too easy to get there at lunchtime.

There you go then, perfectly reasonable. For my penance, I will find frames for the finished pieces this weekend and finish the blue butterfly cross stitch that only needs one wing filled in to be done. Then I can start the mystery stole.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The "D" Word

I'm going on a stash diet.

This is not a decision that I've reached lightly. I know it won't be easy, but it must be done.

I did a little bit of straightening in the basement this weekend and I found at least half a dozen more of these.

This discovery has led me to an inevitable and frightening conclusion.

I have too much stuff.

And a short attention span, so I'm not really confident that the stash diet will last very long, but I digress.

I seem to have more unfinished or unstarted projects than I have finished ones. My discovery in the basement led me to start checking the rest of the hiding places, I mean closets. Please to enjoy - a small sampling of the things that I unearthed.

There's this

It's a half quilted map of the globe. I don't remember buying it. I don't remember why I would have bought it. It really doesn't go with my decor.

But I apparently did a fair amount of work on it before it crawled away to hide.

Let's see then, there's this.

I found it in a antique store in New Jersey. Every single piece in this quilt top was sewn together by hand. They wanted $40.00 for it. It was filthy and needed some repair and I actually didn't buy it when I first saw it. I kicked myself the entire week and spent two hours driving back the following Saturday hoping that it was still there. I was so happy to see it I didn't even try to haggle, and that's half the fun. I repaired it and washed it, by hand. And then folded it up and put it in a drawer.

There's this stuff. These are pieces that I've either started and put down and not picked up again or just haven't even opened yet. I must have liked these things and wanted them. (This isn't everything)

Then there are the books, the leaflets and the magazines. Who knows when I'll get to any of these.

And yet I keep buying more. Never ending, never thinking about it. There were about half a dozen things that I found duplicates of. That means that on at least six different occasions I forgot that I already had something and went out and bought another one.

I can't even explain these. They're all finished pieces. They were folded up in a box. I have no words.

So, in the next few days I will be making an inventory. I will be putting things into a rotation. Things that are almost finished will go to the top of the list. Things that are started will go next. Then I start working my way through the rest of the stash. It may not last long (remember the thing about the short attention span), but if nothing else, I'll at least have made room for more stuff.