Friday, July 30, 2010


My first lace attempt.  Just finished the leg - waiting to start the heel until tomorrow.  I fixed the color as best I could (John took the picture with his cell phone), but, sadly, I really am about that pale.

The bobbin is just the excess from the long tail cast on (I either make my tail WAY too long, or just a bit too short), I just haven't cut it yet.  I'm hoping I have enough yarn.  I have two 50g balls of KnitPicks Essential in Grasshopper Kettle Hand-Dyed, and it seems like I'm cranking through the first ball really fast.

Pattern: Lace Rib Socks from The Little Box of Socks by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott.  More pictures when more progress.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Letters from Camp 2010

We've gotten a couple letters from Rachel and William at camp.  Actually, we've gotten a couple of letters from Rachel.  She's mentioned a new friend and some funny incidents at dinner, and that she hasn't liked the food much (no surprise there).

We have gotten one (1) letter from William.  It says, in its entirety:

"To mom, hi.  blah blah blah blah blah. from will"

Apparently John told him he should write at least a 10 word letter.  So he did.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Library Love

We don't use our library as much as I mean to (and yes, I do chronically incur fines for not returning things on time, but a friend described overdue fines as a donation to the library.  Guess I'm doing my part).

But I do love the library, and I loved this article I came across.  Libraries as the next big trend?  Sweet!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Free As a Bird

As I was walking back to the common area to give Rachel and William their almost-forgotten water bottles, I passed a mother dancing (yes, dancing) towards the parking lot.  As I passed her, she practically sang, "I'm free for a month!  Free for a month!"

You know?  Much as I love my kids, I'm a bit jealous.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Flown the Coop

Two of my little chicks have flown the coop.  We dropped off Rachel and William for 2 weeks of camp today.


I can't believe my youngest is going to be gone for two weeks.  It's one thing to have JC gone for a couple of weeks - no offense, but he's 15.  I missed him, but I didn't particularly worry about him.  I had faith that he has some basic common sense, nightmares were not an issue, he'd remember to brush his teeth and maintain basic hygiene (well, he's a teenage boy.  Mostly basic hygiene.).  William?  I am sure the counselors will have him brushing his teeth and at least walking through the shower periodically, they tend to do those things as a cabin.  But his common sense is still developing, and not even a week ago he showed up in our room in the middle of the night after a nightmare.  And William is still cuddly with Mom.  JC, not so much.

But he was very much, "bye, see you later" when we left.  No weeping with that one. 

Even Rachel, who's entered the moody and sometimes oddly clingy pre-teen years, gave me an "aren't you gone yet?" when I went back to give her the water bottle she'd left in the car.

I'm quite sure William will be fine, it's just weird that he's older than I think he is.  Hazard of the youngest child, I guess.

Friday, July 16, 2010

And There Was Much Rejoicing!

I unplugged the dryer, plugged it back in, still nothing.
I unplugged the dryer, shimmy-ed it out a bit, tried to get the front panel off (felt like it should come right off, but it didn't), moved it out some more and looked at the back to see if that was easier (not), shimmy-ed it back into place, plugged it back in...

It worked!  I'm thinking there's a loose wire or connector (ALWAYS check for loose connectors first, that's John's first rule).  But I don't really care, it's working now and I've got the important loads done for camp.

And JC's home, just fine.  All my chicks safe in the nest.

For now.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One Thing After Another

Warning - There may be a bit of "woe is me" in this post.  Nothing serious, just accumulating.

The dryer has died.  I'm hoping John's right and it's just a belt, but he's diagnosing from work and I haven't dragged myself back down there to open it up and check.  We're in the middle of washing all of Rachel and William's clothes so they can pack for camp, and I was a bit behind on laundry from the weekend camping, so this is a serious crimp in our packing.

We're packing for camp.  Everything - EVERYTHING - needs to have their name on it.  Some things are labeled from last year, but the new underwear and socks we bought yesterday (to make it through 14 days of camp) are not, and they are in the washer (see above).  Along with most of the shorts they both own, which are a size larger than last year.  I'm starting to see an all-nighter with the laundry marker in my future, not helped by the fact that I am royally procrastinating this task.  Because I love it so much, you know!

We did get the brakes on the Suburban fixed.  Yay, credit cards?  Pile this expense on top of vacation bills and hopefully NOT new appliances.  Budget, smudget.  Actually, the real killer is the property tax bill due beginning of August.  We just LOVE New Jersey!

And there's a couple of other things going on, just adding a little joy stress to my day.

On the bright side?  JC is on the plane, winging his way to Houston and thence Newark, right now.  I can't wait to hear all about his adventures with Grandma.  Yes, we've talked on the phone -he's much more voluble in person.  Just keeping my fingers crossed that his connection is smooth.

All right.  Time to go dissect a dryer.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Crisis Averted

As you may have gathered from the extended silence, we have been away for a while.  The day after school let out, we left for Idaho to celebrate my mother's birthday.  All my siblings and their families came, we had a great time and a lot of fun.  The trip deserves its own post.

This is about what DIDN'T happen.  You see, we flew home Wednesday with the intention of turning right around and going camping with friends over the 4th of July weekend.  Thursday, we got the trailer out of storage, de-winterized, bought groceries, and did laundry.  Friday morning, we packed the food and linens.  John took our truck out to get the oil changed, I stayed home with the kids and was about to get clothes packed.

John called.  The Suburban had lost all brakes.  After I stopped hyperventilating, he went on to explain that after the oil change, he'd gotten in to start it in the parking lot, and the brake pedal went clear to the floor.  And he got out and saw that the truck had discharged all of its brake fluid in a puddle in the parking lot.

Um.  That's not right.  He limped it slowly to a Chevy dealer that was just down the road (thank goodness!), and after a few nasty carefully chosen words ("can you get me the number of a towing company so I can take my truck to a mechanic who cares?), got them to actually take a look at it that day.  Turns out, one of the brake lines had rusted out, and the rest were in the process.  Changing one probably would break another, etc.  No, it was too big a job to fix by this afternoon or even the next morning.

We didn't go camping this weekend.

We also didn't cause a massive pile-up or any fatalities by losing our brakes on the road while towing the trailer.  Of course, that meant we didn't make the evening news.

Strangely, I'm ok with that.