Thursday, September 17, 2009

End of an Era

Sniff, sniff. Today we had a tried and true member of the family given it's last days. The minivan we bought when we bought our house has met it's match. We have finally reached the point of no return with car repair vs. car payment. We've had this one longer than we've had Younger Celting.

No more Pirates of the Caravan! No more green mom mobile. Instead it seems we will be following Laurie's lead and going for a Sienna. We looked at a few different minivans tonight, but the Sienna seemed far and above everything else. Good options, workable price, and comfortable. The worst drawback was that there aren't any decent colors except the red. Celtic Consort won't hear of red. He claims a jump in insurance. Instead it seems as though we will end up with a sand colored one.

The good news is that I'll finally have a brand new vehicle. While the car was new when we bought it, I didn't really get to call it mine. I don't drive it very often. The van was always mine. And this will REALLY be mine.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Okay I've been trying to keep the negativity to myself but I can't be quiet anymore. I'm tired of people jumping to the most horrific conclusions on the debates that are in the forefront of the news these days.

First, the smaller issue: Obama's address to schoolchildren. I feel I can comment here as I'm a parent of two school age children (Grades 2 and 6). Near as I can tell, our President decided to speak to our children about staying in school, working hard, and furthering their education. The benefits of which would be richer, fuller lives, opening multiple opportunities.

Now Celtic Consort and I are slightly off the beaten track. Neither of us hold a 4 year degree but are fairly self educated. While we both started off to get a 4 year degree, we both emerged on different paths and feel we are better for it. We don't hid that fact from the Celtings. We, in fact, encourage higher education but also recognize that one must forge their own path and not be a follower. Elder Celting is a perfect example, I can see a typical 4 year degree probably won't suit him. He will probably end up in some sort of art related training. Younger Celting is the one to chase a master's degree.

So will someone PLEASE tell me what is so horrific about the President telling kids to go to school to improve themselves? There are days I roll my eyes about Obama but I can't see what all the hubbub is about. Our school district recorded the address "for future review." What a crock! If you only feed your child's minds with one option, how are they supposed to tell good from bad later? How do they know how to discuss pros and cons and make a decision based on facts and not propaganda? I'm sick of national decisions based on sound bytes.

This brings me to my second topic: National Healthcare.
I'm in the thick of this one folks. I've spent almost my entire professional career working for health insurance companies. How I ended up doing IT there, I'm still not sure. However, it's kind of hard to back away when MY HEALTH COVERAGE is through my employer. Two young boys and a husband doing skilled labor is a big incentive to keep as many benefits as I can get. I know because I've also been on the other side of the fence; a single mom making $200 too much a year to be covered by Medicaid while I went to school full time and waited tables. I dreaded every sniffle. Imagine, I'm serving people food with goodness knows what kind of infection because I can't take the time off to get checked out, let alone pay for it. I've seen letters to the editor talking about how health coverage is a luxury like a cell phone or cable. That these "whiners" should pay for coverage before those items. Umm, yeah, I lived in my aunt's attic because I didn't have money for rent and yet I was "whining" because I couldn't see the doctor?

Get it straight folks PEOPLE DESERVE HEALTH COVERAGE. Not people like "us", EVERYONE. The same people bemoaning the proposed system and pointing to horror stories elseswhere are the same ones who are living in fear of swine flue. They are the same ones who expect antibiotics when they have a viral infection because they don't get that it won't help. They are the same ones who would shirk away if someone remotely ill looking came up to them. They are also the ones who would cry foul if they were caught up in the wrong side because they were sick too long or were bankrupted by medical bills caused by something beyond their control. It's not people not working, it's also the people getting cancer and losing their job because they are too sick to work. It's the folks who are hit by some drunk driver causing life long injuries which take their ability to work, their savings, and their homes.

You want to prevent a pandemic? Give people a chance to catch it early. How many people will die from a pandemic flu because they didn't go to the doctor when it was just an achy feeling due to lack of health care coverage?

You know what this reminds me of? In Tudor England during outbreaks of the "sweating sickness", people of the court would escape from London to their country estates to isolate themselves in order to avoid getting sick. The poor had no choice, they were stuck in the city. Guess who filled the body pits?

Do YOU want to be classified as "unworthy" of treatment?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Good News, Bad News

First the bad news. For the next month, I will be working an hour extra every day. So instead of an 8 hour day, I'll have a 9 hour day. Bleah. Why am I so blessed?

The good news, G20 summit is coming to the 'Burgh and working downtown will be WAY too difficult. The options given to our IT department were work from home risking a dropped connection, take personal time, or do make up hours for the three days and take the days off. I opted for the last one.

With my cousin getting married that Saturday and my crazy aunts (you know who you are :) ) coming in, it seemed like the best option. Just this time? Can you please give me a better Danny's hoagie heads up?

Tomorrow I'm going to try for pictures. Tonight seems risky as the lights are already flickering.

Monday, August 3, 2009

In Memoriam

Here's to a man who's life experience reads like a movie script, James Edward Clark (August 17, 1921 - August 3, 2009) . He's the man that the rest of the men in my life have to measure up to.

Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, a friend mentioned to him a wonderful woman who he might be interested in. She was a divorcee with 6 girls. Fortunately for us, he took that recommendation. He had the privelege of meeting these girls, along with me, shoved into a Volkswagen Bug. Somehow, this did not chase off this widower. We were the lucky ones. Many years of joy grew from that choice.

I spent my childhood looking for both his approval and his joy at my accomplishments. Nothing could've topped the moment he held each of my boys. The Celtings could not have enjoyed him more. There's something to be said for a man who, in this position, topped my own father for giving me away at my wedding.

While we are sad to lose this loving soul, we are glad that he no longer suffers. May he find joy in the Summer Land with his lost love. We may cry for our own loss, but rejoice in your reunion. We miss you, Pap-Pap.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tour de Fleece, Day 5

Day 5
Originally uploaded by
Well I finished the other bobbin and started this. Another Spunky Club in the appropriately named "New Day" colorway. I thought the yellow and red appropriate to my pace. Yellow because I win every day I spin. Red because I feel like I'm always bringing up the end in my less than prolific progress. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rough Day #4

First let me say that yes I did spin for Day 4 of Tour de Fleece. However, no exciting progress as I had bigger fish to fry tonight.

So I was just about to start my second day of my 30 day fitness challenge on Wii Active, when crying and sniffling noises came from the side door. Based on what I was hearing I was expecting a "EC hit me with a ball!" "Did not!" kind of conversation. Instead, I got YC with his face covered in blood and EC quickly trying to reassure me it was not his fault. The basic story was that they were playing on the back hill with the wagon. At some point, the wagon was going fast and started to list to one side. YC trying to recover, leaned the other way and promptly met face with tree.

After cleaning away the bloody mess, I could see that it all came from a nice gash style cut on his browbone. Not sure if it was stitch worthy, we took off to MedExpress. Turns out, no stitches, just surgical super glue and a steri strip. First true medical patch job on either of the Celtings. We've had breathing things, nursemaid's elbow, and the weedkiller scare, but nothing requiring some outside item to hold the body together.

Side note: I was pleasantly surprised how well this shot actually captured YC's eye color.

After coming home, I did get back and finish my second day's workout and I'm feeling it. But in a good way.

I then checked my email to see resolution in yesterday's Redbox debacle. Instead I got a reply telling me that emails get caught in spam filters and that it was too bad, so sad for me. I IMMEDIATELY called Redbox back where poor Shane answered my call. Shane was much more helpful than his coworkers. It only took me to almost screaming that I had bank records and that the machine I rented from wasn't even at it's location on the alleged rental date. He placed me on hold (probably to tell a supervisor that there was a raving madwoman on the phone). When Shane came back, he identified that the machine was the problem and they would be refunding my money FINALLY. I also received free rental codes for 3 movies. Apparently, my suggestion of the machine not being at the location prompted him to look into it's history. What he found were items being returned BEFORE they were rented, items which were rented before the machine was in service, and various other whacked out scenarios. If the woman I spoke with yesterday had not been so condescending, perhaps I wouldn't have almost jumped through the phone at poor Shane. I'm just glad that I check my receipts.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tour de Fleece, Day Three

Day Three
Originally uploaded by
Thanks to Elder Celting who did my entire photo shoot. I thought this one showed the fiber best. I'm surprised I could still spin after working all day and completing my first workout for my Wii Active 30 day challenge. We'll see how I am tomorrow.

BTW, fighting with Redbox right now. Usually I love them, but I was just charged for 17 extra days EACH for two videos I rented on July 3rd and returned on July 4. When reviewing my rental receipt again for the initial night, I found that the invoice was dated for JUNE 16TH. I had to forward the email and I included that I could provide bank records as well for the initial night charge. Almost $37 bucks in bogus charges because someone somewhere didn't set something right.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tour De Fleece, Day Two

Day 2
Originally uploaded by
Well, I made more progress today. But I think it will be next weekend that will make a dent for the stash. I just hope that I don't spin so much I injure myself. :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tour de Fleece 2009 Day One

Here's what I was doing while Lance was running his time trial

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

News but no pics

Okay I'm a blogging slacker. But you knew this already. I felt I should post given that there are a couple of things to share. First the Friday Night Knitters are celebrating four years as a group! Can you believe four years ago we called up B&N and started this mess? And look at all the fun people that have been drawn to us. You've made me a better person and helped me to expand my knowledge. THANKS!!!!

Second, Celtic Consort and I went out to Rockler to purchase his router table. This was the last tool he needed before starting in on sock blocker designs. While we were there, I checked out the very pretty woods they had there. My favorite was the curly waterfall bubinga, lots of ripply woodgrain that's gorgeous. Well that and the purpleheart. Anyhow, now he's off to get hardboard to make some jigs for this.

In discussion as what makes a good sock blocker, I mentioned things such as air vents instead of a solid piece for faster drying. I was thinking hearts, circles, stars, etc. He said no. He plans on Celtic Knots!!!!!!! I knew there was a reason I married him. :) So he just needs to figure out what patterns he's doing and I'll probably have some testing to do.

BTW here's my list of things I would want in a sock blocker:
  • Air vents
  • Hook for hanging
  • Available in knee high
  • Smooth non staining finishing
  • Beautiful woods

Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I came home to as Celtic Consort puts it my "crack fix." He insists that I get a package at least once a week. The truth is that I don't usually get packages. Just this week, I received my Spunky Club double bump and this lovely gem today. Miss Julia has outdone herself this time. The color is called Pansies at the Phipps. Truth is I can so see them in there. So yummy. And MDSW is just days away!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mojo Back

Okay so I lost my blogging mojo while working on some very cute baby gifts for Miss Heather's lovely girl. I didn't want to spoil the surprise and so I avoided posting. I did have some fun dyeing Easter eggs with the boys. If you look, there's a black one which the Celtic Consort did. And what did I do with the leftover dye? Well use my fiber from Julia to clean it up! Can't wait to figure out a project for it.

So now I'm working on some socks for me. Chevvy with Vesper Lovely Lollipop Sky. Totally quick and fun. I love how the heel stripes on the bottom. What do you think?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

As Seen on Oprah

Last night was The Cult Meeting. While I was on my way over to the cafe at Borders, I walked past the "As Seen On Oprah" end cap. You know all the books that are touchy feely or "We're better than you because we read this" kind of stuff. And there's what seems to be an empire era classic..... but not. Instead it was this book.

Total wacky funny premise. I couldn't resist buying it. I also bought the Twilight series and movie. Oh and Pints & Purls. Gotta love a knitting book that rates patterns by number of beers. So while I read on about zombies invading the world of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, I can keep my beers handing in a six pack carrier. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day

So while most people are excited to celebrate Irish roots or just a brush with Ireland, the Celtic Consort and I have a second reason to celebrate every year. This is the day that we officially began as a couple. And this year is special. This year, we have been together for TEN YEARS. A whole decade! How did that happen? It seems like yesterday that we were out celebrating the wearing of the green with friends for the first time. We were also trying to keep the togetherness on the down-low. I had met Celtic Consort while dating a friend of his (who was a beeeeeeeeeep). This friend and I had a terrible breakup and he did not want me hanging out with his friends. So see.... sometimes you do have to kiss a few frogs to find a prince. :)
(p.s. despite messing with it forever, Blogger refuses to orient this pic correctly)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I need a hug...

I'm having a crap week. About the only thing that is good is the secret knitting project. But even then, I feel like I'm behind. Back to needing a hug. Maybe Knit Knite will help me smile more. After all, Stacey is bringing Girl Scout cookies.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where oh where has my order gone?

Okay so when the winter issue of Interweave came out with the Spectrum Scarf & Tam, I HAD to do it! I mean look at it. It's gorgeous! I went out looking for the necessary colors of Kidsilk Haze and came up with four of them at Bloomin Yarns.

Now at the same time, I had been tempted by Julia's Fiddlehead Mittens. And what do you know, while looking for appropriate colors and yarns for my own pair I happened upon this site. One of the top links when I googled. Seemed very friendly and helpful in addition to having some reasonable prices.

I ordered several colors of Rowan Pure Wool for Fiddlehead in addition to my missing Kidsilk Haze. I also ordered some Kidsilk Haze for my Fiddlehead lining. I placed this order, dear blog, on January 1, 2009. January 8, I received an email confirming that the first half of my order shipped. YAY! It arrived on the 10th and I found 4 of 6 of the Pure Wool and 1 of my Kidsilk Haze colors. I did see, however, where I was charged for a Kidsilk Haze which was not included but received a quick response when I contacted the store that it would be credited on the second half of the order.

Now insert into this limbo, the fact that my credit card had to be closed due to fraudulent charges. As soon as I got things reported to the bank, I again , dear blog, contacted the yarn shop and gave them an updated number to use. I also made sure they had my phone number in case there were any issues arising from said situation.

Why is any of this relevant? Well, look, dear blog, at the date of this post. I have YET to receive the rest of my order. I was reassured as recently as February 5th, that "The backorder should ship within the next few days. I will email to confirm." I gave it a week and a half. I still have not heard anything. I'm pissed! I have not only been waiting for half of my order but I've already paid for a skein of it!!!! I can understand when things are back ordered. I can understand when things slip through. BUT CAN'T THESE PEOPLE NOT HAVE TO BE PROMPTED FOR A RESPONSE ON MY FRIGGIN' ORDER???????

Glad these projects were just for me. I'm also glad that I have more than enough knitting to fill the gap. Please note, however, I will never EVER order from there again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

On Hold

Well Postwar Mittens are on hold while I do some gifty knits. First I've started on Little Roxie Helga's Mystery Gift. I'd show you but we don't want Mom to see yet. :) Let's just say that those who HAVE seen it exclaimed over it. I knew it was nice but didn't expect that. I've also started on some Bib O' Loves. I got a rainbow of colors to start working them up. I just need buttons for closures. They will be distributed amongst all three prego ladies I know.

Second, I did my classic Babies & Bears for my cousin's first baby. Laurie did a Devan and both were totally adored.

I also did this lovely number for my mother for her birthday. It's from Luxury Yarn 101 One Skein Wonders. Silk Fountain Hood. I used 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. Totally divine to work with and it didn't break the budget either.

Speaking of budgets, I skipped the Pgh Knit & Crochet Festival as the Celtic Consort is currently waiting to hear if he'll still have a job. Kind of bad form to buy a TON of yarn (including Vesper Sock) when we may need to worry about buying food. Well maybe not that bad but still a tight budget.
Now I'm back to the surprise knit....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brightening Up Winter Greys!

Warning Sock Club Spoilers!!!!
For some odd reason, DPUTiger’s Postwar Mittens have created an obsession in me to make them. But not in the same way as everyone else. Despite the designer’s ingenuity to provide three different motifs to choose from in addition to three different colorways, two different thumbs per motif, and two different styles (pointy or blunt), giving a total of about 36 variations. I wanted something UNIQUE, so I’ve opted with a set of colors that will help chase the grey out of a Steeltown winter. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the colorways in the pattern were very pretty (the green especially). I needed more so I chose three very bright saturated tones of Baby Ull to liven things up: Cyclamen (which I keep calling raspberry), Tangerine, and Lagoon. I’ve decided that they make good trolley knitting despite being colorwork. This is because the pattern is simple and repetitive. It’s also very easy to look at my knitting and see where I am. I managed to work a few rows on the way in to work this morning. They must be nice because the woman who sat down next to me immediately said “That is gorgeous!” I like them and I think if my knitting pace keeps up, I should have a pair or most of a pair for Friday knitting.

Speaking of knitting, we had newbies come on out to see us. Katie and Katy joined us separately and we were glad to have them. They actually even seemed to like us and not be scared away. Always a good sign. Julia visited too and brought the latest installment of Vesper Sock Club. “Wanderlust” isn’t it divine? Both Laurie and I immediately thought of Leyburn. Saturday brought Spunky Club in “Twilight”. YUMMY! I really need to get spinning. I have a ton of fiber to spin up but I’m not practicing enough. Need to get at it.

Oh and my first RSC of 2009 came today. "My Blue Heaven" with a pattern from Sivia Harding which includes BEADS!!! I totally have to do them now but they need to get in line.

So all these things are driving me to finish London Calling, MS3, and Noro Moebius. Yes I’m still on the black hole of the sewn bind off for the moebius but I’m doing a chunk at a time so I don’t suddenly snap. I’m also on a schedule for MS3 to be sure it’s done on time despite my somewhat magpie like attention span. I also cast on for the first flame hat. Not much progress outside of working on the really nice cast on which Heather showed me. But I have hope and I also have a time frame that I’d like to have them for too. So once again, schedule.

Oh and I’m STILL waiting on the rest of my Fiddlehead yarn. It should be arriving shortly but at least I have Postwar to distract me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Younger Celting

Seven years ago, this trouble bubble came into the world. He has grown a bit since then but is more talkative now. Today is a bit subdued as both he and Elder Celting are grounded for their behavior this past weekend. Saturday we are doing cake and ice cream with the family. However, so that today is not a total bust, I made cupcakes for school and mint chocolate chip cookies for home. TASTY!

Now on to the knitting! In case you missed it, YC is wearing his Snowflake Saddle Hoodie. He wears it as soon as it comes out of the wash. Also any time he think I won't notice that it hasn't been washed yet. EC has been wearing his but I can't seem to get a decent shot where he's smiling.

First of all, since my moebius was lost, I started on this one. I just need to finish the sewn cast off and it's ready to wear. I'm also working on my Figgy Pudding Vesper socks on the trolley. Many admirers on the 47L. I personally can't wait to finish them just to wear them.

And I've cast on my London Calling. It's going fast so it should only be a little while.

Oh and my last color came for the Flame Hats. So I'm using Falk in black, neon orange, and burnt orange. Perfect BP colors. So once I get more done on MS3, I'm casting on. They may become my next trolley knitting project.

So I'm trying to entertain myself with our new tv to keep on knitting.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Can't Write, Knitting will Swallow Me

Okay somewhere in my deluded mind, I believed that after Xmas knitting that I would be able to breathe easy. Nope. I realized that I have a TON. OF. KNITTING. I'm still in process with Snowflake Hoodie for Elder Celting (on the hood should finish tonight). I've also got to work on my Noro moebius as I've lost the Fibonacci Moebius. :( In addition to these things, I'm working on my Figgy Pudding socks on the trolley. Plus I need to get cracking to complete the wing on MS3 for Heather. This one has a HARD deadline and it cannot be missed as it's way too important.

Now let's look at what else is going on. Elder Celting picked out this book for me as a present from Bloomin' Yarns and I lurve it! I plan on doing these socks from it. I also want to do flame hats for the 13 players of Elder Celtings soccer team, because I'm nuts like that. Not to mention, my yarn for London Calling is coming. As is the stuff for the Spectrum Tam and Scarf, plus my Fiddlehead Mittens (curse you Julia! :) ) Oh and did I mention I wanted to do my Triinu shawl for MDSW?

Can't write, knitting will swallow me.....
Can't write, knitting will swallow me.....
Can't write, knitting will swallow me.....
Can't write, knitting will swallow me.....
Can't write, knitting will swallow me.....
Can't write, knitting will swallow me.....

(p.s. pictures to come soon of all the yummy knit goodies)