Monday, July 20, 2009

The "Gift"...Are You Kidding Me?

Today was move day at the office. If someone could only get the license plate number on my forehead of the Mack truck who hit me today, it would be most helpful!

In recent weeks I have noticed that fast food chains are removing their trash cans in the parking lots. Yet they promote "supersize" meals, etc.

The owner of my apartment building has also "downsized" the trash dumpster leaving us with no place to dump trash the last two days of the week before pickup day.

Last week I arrived at work to find this little "gift" on my desk.

It's a mini trash can with a note inside!!!!! Everyone had the same "gift" on their desk. You are probably getting curious as to why I would have the word gift in quotes.

Don't strain to read what the pic below states. It is merely important information regarding my office custodial service change.

Zooming in on the note you will notice that is says "this is probably all you will need".

However, you will notice in the first picture that the "note" doesn't even fit in the trash can, allowing the owner to secure the lid.
So to compare..........
the bin on the left is my trash, the bin on the right is my recycle and the bin in the middle is my new trash can.
We now have to transport our trash to a central location for pickup. We do have the option of keeping the current trash cans. So someone earning over $100,000/yr. is going to transport his/her trash? Will they ask their assistant to do this task? Cost effective? I think not.
However, on the positive side, it really has me thinking as to what to print, what to discard because I better darn well be able to carry it all.

Isn't this hilarious!!!

The office...the new office is beginning to look nice. I will miss being able to look outside while working.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

BSJ-Sherbet Is Done!

This pattern for the Baby Surprise Jacket, designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman, can be found at "Schoolhouse Press". It was knit using a sportweight yarn and size 6 needles.

I forgot to take a picture before seaming the shoulders (the only seam to the sweater) but it looks like a piece of origami that you fold and.....voila!!!! have a sweater. There is currently a KAL (knit-a-long) on Ravelry. It's a classic pattern dating back to the '50's.

A back view............
Buttons can "make or break" how I feel about a project.
I finished the sweater using an
I-cord Kitchener bind off. The buttons I originally selected just didn't work in the end so I purchased those shown instead. Cute as they are, they get caught in the yarn when trying to button the sweater, etc.

I file this particular BSJ in the "deflated balloon" category. I was so happy with it when I started this 3rd BSJ. I was on vacation, not paying as close attention, had to frog back some, and not happy with the yarn used as a border. The buttonholes are not my best work either. There may also be something wrong with the neckline as it looks awfully narrow. So, in the end, it was like a deflated balloon and happy to have finally finished it and move on to another project.
Buttons were on sale (like in discontinued sale) at Jo'Ann's. I have a thing for buttons so I went a little wild in the department. I found this article,
"Great-Aunt Belle's Buttons", very interesting.

You all know that I want to learn how to tat. Look at these absolutely gorgeous
tatted buttons. I want six of those.

Need to use up leftover walnut size balls of fingering sock yarn? Check this out....
knitted/quilted greeting cards.

Ivoryblushroses is a blog I faithfully read. Of particular interest is the current ocean theme exchange. I wish those blocks were mine. They do inspire me greatly. Check here also. If you go back in time on this person's blog you will see the wonderful things she makes with Altoid tin boxes.

Great day at the lake today. Lots of knitting done and rested and relaxed for my big office move tomorrow.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tatting Give Away by Tatting Chic!!!

I daily read many, many blogs. Though I don't know how to tat, Tatting Chic is one of my favorites and is having a wonderful giveaway in celebration of having reached the 50,000 visitor mark. She is giving away a beautiful "learn to tat" book, shuttle, thread and a beautiful tatted heart that she tatted 16 years ago. Her button is in my sidebar on the right and you can click that as well to get to the site to sign up for the giveaway.

Now, I really, really want to win her giveaway but am willing to share the link to her blog in hopes that if I don't win, someone who reads my blog will.

I learned to knit from my Aunt Rita who also tatted but I never learned how. So, I contacted Tatting Chic for some guidance on how to get started. As busy as she is, she has been most helpful. Tatting will be my "new monthly thing" for August.

Good luck to you and me!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wedding and Butterflies!!!

Originally posted on my Yahoo 360 Blog on July 9, 2007

Joansie, Daughter Emily, Son-In-Law Lance (9/5/03)
(Emily is Jakob’s mom)

Memories were evoked yesterday after reading “The Sand Pit” (Renate) and the distress she was experiencing that her neighbor mowed down the milkweed that attracted butterflies. However, my memories were pleasant ones.

My father-in-law raised monarch butterflies and would bring them to area schools to educate the children. He was deeply loved by my daughters. He never tired of spending quality time with them as children. He passed away over 20 years ago at a relatively young age from a diseased heart.

When my younger daughter married almost 4 years ago she wanted to remember and honor her grandfather. She purchased 20 monarch butterflies to be released at her oceanside wedding with the help of her grandmother. One of the butterflies flew off and returned and landed in my daughter’s hair. We decided it was a message saying that her grandfather was looking after her.

I do see monarch butterflies in Vermont but not in the numbers I see in R.I. Their migration path flows through that area and is difficult to avoid them when driving down the highway at certain times of the year.

So, Renate, your neighbor is not “stopping to smell the roses”. How sad that he would mow down the milkweed on what was “Earth Day” around the world.

Just a side note. I loved my dress that I wore that day. It was a $250 dress marked down to $30. It was exactly the style and color I was looking for.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Maine Vacation Report

Had a grand time! Will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Getting ready to leave on a Casco (Portland) Bay cruise with Cousin Willie..but first....

I can tell I'm getting close to home when I see a sign like this! Love those prices!

My morning can't tell in the picture by the ocean can be seen on the horizon.

A lunchtime picnic at Portland Head Light. The 2nd oldest lighthouse in the U.S. and the most photographed. It was commissioned by President George Washington. The poet, Longfellow, came here to write some of his poems.

The cruise boat in the harbor!
This gal knew how to wait for the cruise boat!One of the many lighthouses I saw from Casco Bay!

People watching! This dude with the kilt must have been from Texas judging by the hat!
He continued on his way disregarding all the "turned heads"!

This owner is a card-carrying member of "the haves"!

DeMillo's, Maine's largest restaurant...and a floating one. I was dining there many years ago when President George Bush (the father) was also dining there with his entourage in a private dining room!
Multi-million dollar condos in the bay!

These three live lobsters, one blue, one multi-color and one orange (yes, live). You can calculate their age by their weight which is five years for each pound. There are right-handed as well as left-handed claw lobsters.

I helped deplete the little neck clam population! I brought these beauties home at $2.99/lb. Soaking the clams in cornmeal for an hour cleanses the clams of sand and grit.

Many more pictures were taken but there is a problem with the disk that is being looked at.

The weather was perfect, absolutely perfect! I spent time with various family members and shared lots of seafood from clams and haddock to salmon pie and more. I'm putting the scale away for a little while.

I have over 200 blog posts in my Google Reader. Lots of catching up to do.

Next post..........knitting progress.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

BSJ - Sherbert

Ok, I know, I'm addicted to this pattern. Rarely do I knit a pattern more than once, perhaps twice but never three times and this is my third Baby Surprise Jacket.

I love the colorway. This one is in a sport weight and easier to knit and kinder to my hands.
By the time you read this, I will be away on vacation. I'm behind in blog reading and comments. I'll catch up when I return.

Happy Knitting!!

BSJ - Got Worms?

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket
Yarn: Plymouth Encore (2 skeins)
Needles: Denise Size 7

This is my 2nd BSJ. It is an addictive pattern. I joined the Ravelry KAL and instead of doing the number of rows for the first of five weeks. I just kept going. I've started another one that I'll show you tomorrow.
Don't you just love these fish buttons! When I sew on the buttons I also sew a clear button on the back to reinforce that section of knitting from the possible pull on that area.

I finished the edge with an I-cord. Though time-consuming a finish, it adds a special touch.
I added my label to the bottom edge. I usually sew it on the neck edge but I didn't want it to feel scratchy to a newborn's skin.

Happy Knitting!!!!

Michael Jackson

No matter what you thought of Michael Jackson, let his death remind us that life is so short, sometimes cut short. So today........

Forgive Someone.
Tell someone you are sorry if you have hurt them.
Tell someone you love them.
Show compassion toward someone.
Hug someone.
Do something nice for someone without expecting recognition.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Baby Surprise Jacket - Got Worms?

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann "Baby Surprise Jacket"
Needles: Size 7 (or is it 8?)
Yarn: Encore

Just a sneak peek! I thought I was going to be able to finish this Elizabeth Zimmerman "Baby Surprise Jacket" this evening and show you but........first, don't you just love those fish buttons. They make a statement of "let's play, let's have fun!

The reason this sweater won't be finish this evening is that I need to frog back about six rows which is really frustrating at this point. Those two garter rows probably needed to be in yellow yarn. I haven't frogged back yet but this will bug me if I don't.

Today, I drove to my favorite knitting spot called "The Sand Bar". The weather was perfect with a slight breeze and no bugs. It was a little taste of paradise!

In the background are the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of New York! Lake Champlain is 250 miles long and we are currently celebrating the 400th anniversary of its discovery by Samuel de Champlain.
More of what I was seeing today!

This friendly couple were beside me and look at..........

what they caught. These two bass had a date with the grill this evening. (weep)

I'm on vacation this week and will be home for a couple more days before I head out to...well, I'll tell you later in pictures. In the meantime, I don't mind being in Vermont as I'm so fortunate to live in such a beautiful state.
Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hunter's New Baby Sweater

Pattern: My own
Needles: Size 7
Yarn: Red Heart So Soft

In due July 21st. I started this little sweater for Hunter. My former boss, Felicia, is expecting her first child. I've always thougth the world of Felicia and missed her terribly when she returned to Maryland.

It's always so much fun experiencing the pregnancy and birth of someone's first child.

(Sorry, the picture is a little blurry.)

I have the back, one front and one sleeve done. The sleeve also has a cable down the center. It’s a size 1 so there’s plenty of time to get this to Hunter. The buttons are not yet sewn on but just placed for you to see. Now, “Backwards Joan” should have purchased the buttons first and figured out how wide the button band needed to be.

The sweater will also have a hood. I’ve been hesitating knitting the buttonhole front because I’m undecided on the approach. I used to do finishing knitting work years ago when my daughters were babies. I sewed grosgrain ribbon on the inside of the bands and then made machine buttonholes. I guess you could say I was in the steeking family before I knew what it was called.

I have three other sweaters almost completed along with a neckwarmer. It’s just a question of getting to them before I cast on something else which will be Saturday for the Ravelry Baby Surprise KAL (knit-a-long).

Does anyone have a solution for the above problem? My buttonbands always seem to "shrink vertically". I suppose, in the future, I could just pick up the stitches and then knit the band but I'm not especially found of picking up stitches.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Who Is Your Angel?

Robert Chambers

Woohoooooooo! My guardian angel, my hero, was one of six people honored at the White House yesterday by President Obama for creating an innovative program that is transforming communities.

I want to tell you about my angel. He may not even realize the impact he has had on my life. He may not even recognize my name because he has helped over 1,200 people.

A few short years ago, I experienced a job layoff and was unemployed for five months though I was out there every day looking for a job. Being over 50 years old made it that much more difficult. It had a huge impact on my finances and affected my credit. When I returned to work it was at a $15,000/yr. pay cut. Times were tough.

I found myself with a car that was constantly breaking down. I spent $1,200 on car repairs only to have it break down again the following week. A car loan was next to impossible, though I was never late with my previous car loan. My credit score suffered during my unemployment so the interest rate was going to be high.

I was watching local TV one evening. Surely, you've heard the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, well, it is". Not in this case.

They were portraying Robert Chambers who is president and co-founder of Bonnie CLAC. There was a write-up on him in "Time Magazine". Surely, this had to be reputable.

His experience working at an automobile dealership, watching low to medium-income individuals forced to pay high interest rates when they purchased cars, led him to form the organization. Headquartered in New Hampshire, Bonnie CLAC is an award-winning not-for-profit organization that helps people from all walks of life acquire fuel-efficient, affordable and reliable vehicles. They also reach out to people in Southern Maine and Vermont.

Bonnie CLAC's program helps clients build creditworthiness and provides car selection and purchase assistance (no money involved) to help low-and moderate-income individuals, create savings, improve their access to health care, and reduce carbon emissions into the environment. Since its founding in 2001, Bonnie CLAC has guaranteed over $12 million in loans for more than 1,200 clients, most of whom fall below HUD low-income guidelines.

I traveled to their office with my orange "check engine" light on. The trip was an hour away. I held my breath and prayed along the way. God doesn't allow the birds to go hungry. Surely He would help me keep my independence, allow me to have a reliable car so that I could get to work.

Besides the above, they require that you save the equivalent of a car payment each month for six months. If, during that time your car dies, they will loan you a car. For me, they reduced the waiting period to three months because I had already met many of the requirements.

I was able to select the new car that I wanted (within reason, of course) and was given a list of available colors. I selected a new Toyota Corolla.

That was three years ago. I don't know what I would have done without Bonnie CLAC's help during a difficult time in my life.

And here I am with my new car in the parking lot at work the day after I received it.

There was a time I was embarrassed to say I needed help. I am no longer embarrassed to tell you this story. If this story helps someone else in New England, it will make me very happy.

By the way, things have improved greatly since those days with the helping hand of this gentleman.

Won't you share your "guardian angel" with me and others!