Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve With Family

I am one happy Big Kid. My sister gave me a digital camera for Christmas. I will now be able to post more pictures on my blog. He are just a few. Above is a picture of the socks I knitted for my sister on her feet.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Secret Pal Package arrive via Jane

My secret pal really came through!!! I got tons of sock yarn, a vintage sock book, a journal, chai tea latte mix. I am so happy. I will try to get a picture to post for all to see.

Thank You Secret Pal

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Stolen From Jane

TEN random things you might not know about me.

1. I'm the tallest I've ever been in my entire life.

2. I love warm/hot weather and hate cold.

3. I like making gifts for people.

4. I like being outdoors.

5. I can ride a unicycle.

6. Molly, my dog, is my best ever friend.

7. At my first job out of college, three older married men made passes at me.

8. I like to work on cars.

9. I like to Iron.

10. I don't plan to live in PA forever.

NINE places I’ve visited :

1. New Orleans (before Katrina)

2. San Diego Zoo

3. Grand Canyon

4. Pikes Peak

6. Smokey Mountains

7. Upper Penisula of Michigan

8. Key West

9. DisneyLand

EIGHT ways to win my heart:

1. Tell me I'm lookin' good

2. Make me a home cooked meal

3. Love my pets

4. Take me camping

5. Listen to me

6. Leave my home without asking for a lint brush

7. Give me a $100 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

8. Knit me a sweater

SEVEN things I want to do before I die

1. Foster/Adopt an abused child

2. Build a floor to ceiling bookcase along one wall of my home, complete with sliding ladder

3. Run a Marathon

4. Move out West to a more open-minded and liberal area.

5. Figure out whether Jesus Christ really did rise from the dead and is the Son of God

6. Thru Hike the Appalacian Trail

7. Ride across America on Bicycle

SIX things I’m afraid of

1. The Dark

2. Dying a painful death

3. Getting Alzhemiers (It runs in the family)

4. Making some Big Catestrophic Mistake

5. Losing my mobility as I get older

6. Living In Poverty

FIVE things I don't like

1. Our Government

2. Selfish and self-centered people

3. People who intentionally hurt others, including when angry

4. Pollution

5. Urban development

FOUR ways to turn me off

1. Pass Gas in my personal space

2. Flaunt your wealth

3. Demand perfection out of me

4. Ask for a lint brush when leaving my home

THREE Things I do everyday

1. Read

2. Breathe

3. Pee

Two things that make me happy

1. Spending time in Nature

2. Listening to Music

ONE thing on my mind right now

1. What will I be doing one year from now?

It's Been Fun!!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's Thursday Night

and Pam's Christmas Socks are finished!!! Now I need to finish the coat scarf I started a while back and wait for yarn to arrive from

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thoughts From Today

I had a wonderful time knitting with my friends Sunday afternoon at Panera's sitting in front of the burning fireplace. Mathew, Yvonne's son, was just as good as he could be. Quizzing us on movie and book trivia. He was cute and fun.

Today I had breakfast with my dear old dad. It was nice. Afterwards, we walked 30 minutes at the Cranberry Municipal Building. This is my way of easing back into exercise.
Tonight I started A Good Yarn the sequel to The Shop On Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. The first chapter was a summary of the first book and the beginning of the new drama with Lydia's sister Margarette.

Having finished A Million Little Pieces I am eager to start James Frey's second book My Friend Leonard. First I'll finish A Good Yarn.

Hi Yvonne. Thanks for reading my Blog.

Knitting with Friends @ Panera's

Mathew was so well behaved while Yvonne, Jane & I knit Sunday afternoon at Panera's in Butler. Next to my nephew, Mathew is the sweetest boy I know.

Pam's Christmas Socks. I will definitely have them finished by Christmas Eve. Hopefully by Friday.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Radio City Music Hall Rockette Christmas Spectacular

Today I went with Mom, my sister and two nephews to the show. It was terrific. Afterwards my sister, mom, dad and I went out for dinner. I don't remember the last time just the four of us did anything together. It's probably been decades. It was nice. A family. The only family I have.

My sister's socks are almost finished. I tried taking a picture but it did not come out. Maybe I'll get a digital camera for Christmas. That would be lots of fun.

I have not yet heard back from my penpal from England. I hope I hear from her soon.

Tonight I went to B&N and read three Kids Chapter Books so when I recommend them to customers I know what I am talking about. I want to start doing more of this. Stopping by the kids department and reading for an hour or so. Chapter books are quick reads. I picked the most popular series.

I am still reading A Million Little Pieces. I love it. It gives me hope. I do not recommend it for everyone though. It is heavy. Many find it depressing. I don't. I find it encouraging. So many books, so little time.

I saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Thanksgiving Day. I enjoyed it. There were only a handful of patrons there. I'm ready to read book five now.

I ordered yarn from during there free shipping promotion. I hope I get my yarn in time to knit a couple of scarfs for christmas gifts. Next year I am going to knit vests and sweaters for gifts. I'm comfortable and confident knitting socks. I still enjoy them. AFter Christmas I plan to knit a pair of cable socks I saw in Interweave Knits. But then I am going to graduate from socks and try a vest or sweater. I'll probably start with a vest, it is a less expensive investment.

iF anyone knows of an inexpensive indoor pool where I could swim laps during the winter months please let me know. Or if anyone would like to be a walking or exercise buddy let me know. I'm miss exercising and want to get back into it. HELP WANTED.

Thank you to my Knitting buddies who have become my friends. Y'all mean a lot to me. I have a male friend who is a beautiful knitter. He put his needles away after his marriage ended and he no longer had anyone to knit for. I've seen his work. It is absolultely gorgeous. His mother taught him to knit when he was a young boy. He is/was a knitter without shame. I wish I could get him to join us at Barnes & Noble. He is not much for joining groups though.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Million Little Pieces

I've finished Pam's 1st sock and started the second sock.

I'm reading A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. I love reading it. I don't relate to his story of addiction but I do relate to the feelings of despair & hopelessness and the thin thread that he holds on to life with.

Work went well today. Christmas shopping is definitely in full swing.

I have 70 pages left of The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. It has not been a favorite. I'm reading it because it is a book club selection.

I had a piano lesson the other day. I felt such joy playing the piano again. I do want to keep up with it and hopefully improve significantly.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Today is a Gift

I'm almost finished with my sister's 1st sock. It will have taken me 4 days to complete one sock. It has been fun to work on. I spent two day at the Carnegie Library in Oakland knitting. If people can sleep there I can knit there. I'll get a picture of the sock as soon as I get access to a camera.

This morning I woke up to a phone message from mom telling me she wanted to take me shopping. How could I say No? It was wonderful. She bought me blazer, wool sweater, knits shirts to go with both, and a pair of jeans. Thank You mom. It definitely helped me feel much better. As I had been really in the dumps lately. That's a long story I never want told.

I went on an internet site and got a couple of penpals. The other day I received a letter from a penpal from England. She sounds like she has a wonderful bright spirit about her and a good sense of humor. I am looking forward to corresponding with her.

I'm in the process of boxing up another package for my secret pal. I've decided to change a few things from orignally planned. Hopefully I'll get it in the mail MOnday.

Today is definitely a Gift. I don't know if it is a gift from God because I don't even know if there is a God. But it is a blessed gift.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Today is another day

Knitting my sister's scarf is moving along slowly. It is kinda boring. Persistence is the key to many things.

I'm looking forward to Knitting night at Panera's in Butler Thursday.

It's Monday. As it was 3 hours ago when I went to bed. Sleep is a funny thing. Some days I sleep all day, others I'm good to get 3 hours. It's weird how our bodies adapt to life & stress.

I'm still reading The Time Traveler's Wife. Sometimes it takes me a while to get through a book because I'll have days when my concentration is so poor I can't read. But I persistent. Persistence will get you many things in life.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Current Work In Progress

This is my sister's Christmas Scarf in basket weave pattern.


I am currently reading The Time Traveler's Wife for my Booze-n-Books discussion group. The group is meeting Monday night at my place. I'm half way through the book. It's not a favorite, but it is interesting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Judy Needs...

I typed "Judy needs" into the Google search engine and came up with the following listings.

Judy Needs her morning coffee.

Judy Needs its Maintainer field correcting.

Judy Needs help.

Judy Needs to recognize she is not offering adequate medical care.

Judy Needs chiropractic very very much.

Judy Needs to exit the token, gossip column mentions, and start making serious news.

Judy Needs this resolved soon.

Judy Needs volunteers.

Judy Needs to tell us what US soap operas she watches.

Judy Needs an hour long massage (really, who doesn't).

Judy Needs all the prayers she can get right now for her salvation.

Judy Needs a new skirt, but she cannot find one in the entire mall that she likes.

Worked in Kids Tonight

I had a good time at Work tonight. I was in my own little world tonight working on a Big Project. I had to hussle to get it completed before the store closed. I also committed myself to running the Young Reader's Book Group. I am looking forward to it. I like working in the Children's Department and want to become more familiar with the literature. This will force me to do it. Two Adult Book Groups and the Children's book group is my limit for a month. Tomorrow I'll try to get a picture of the scarf I'm working on to post.

CranKnitters Last Night

I went to B&N last night thinking I had to work. Got there and I was not on the schedule. I consulted the master schedule and saw I was to work tonight and not last night. I had my knitting with me so I happily joined the CranKnitters for enjoyable stitchin & Bitchin. I no longer have the digital camera in my possession so I can't show you a picture of my newly started project. Instead of starting the socks for my sister I started a scarf in the basket weave pattern or square pattern. I'm making it in 100% wool, cream color.

Monday, October 10, 2005

My Sister's Yarn arrived today

My order from Lion Brand arrived today. I'll start the socks tomorrow.

Just finished reading The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. It was a cute story. A "and they lived happily ever after" book. Not anything like my life.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Martha, my cousin from IL, with Molly

I had a wonderful time with Martha over the last few days. I want to make a point of getting together with her more often. A 11 hour drive is not bad. I used to frequently drive 9 hours from NC to PA. Thank you Martha for coming for a visit.

Rosie & Sophie

Rosie is on top. I've had her for about 9 years. Sohie, the newest addition to my family, is on the bottom.

Did I Mention?

I finished a pair of socks I started two springs ago? The first sock came out too long. AFter completing the second sock I ripped out part of the first sock and reknit the toe to shorten it. I was pleased with how well it turned out. It was easier to pick up all the stitches and get them on the correct needles than I thought it would be. Now the two socks match! I'm still working on the Rag Wool socks--the only open sock project now. Lion Brand put my yarn order in the mail the other day. Soon I will be able to start my sister's Christmas Socks!!! Just the other day she asked what was becoming of her supposed scarve I was knitting. I declined to make any comment. I did not want to give away any secrets. Guess I'll have to knit an accessory scarf for her also. That will be easy. The yarn selection is what makes these types of scarves more so than the pattern. I'll have to visit the new yarn shop in Squirrel Hill.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Today Was My Birthday

Yes, I turned 46 today. I was very productive. Getting almost everything done I wanted to. The visit to the Dentist went well. He agreed my new crown was not done properly and is redoing it. My book group went well tonight. Bruce and Jennifer keep the discussion interesting. Having Drinks with Jennifer and Karen was fun. Karen gave me a very nice card and Beecher Bucks. She said my birthday present has not arrived yet. I can't imagine what it is. Jennifer bought me a set of four shot glasses from Pier 1 Imports. They are very nice. I think I will buy a bottle of Drambuie and Peppermint Schnopps for the Booze-n-Books Group meeting at my house this month. I only got 4 hours of sleep last night so I am pretty tired. Tomorrow will be another busy day. I want to Bathe Molly, clean the tub, finish cleaning out the car, iron,, meet my guests. Happy 46th Birthday, Judy!!!

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Day is Over

and I survived. I thrived while I was at work, but the rest of the time I just survived. Work is very good for me. It's the best job I've had as far as enjoyment is concerned, the worst job as far as pay is concerned.

I'm reading The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber.

Tomorrow is suppose to be a busy day if I do everything I need to do. Wed. the relatives arrive. Still trying to get ready for their arrival. I have not seen them in 10 years. Then only briefly. I don't know them very well. I am looking forward to spending time with them. I just wish I could relax and stop worrying about the way my home looks, the way my car looks, etc.

I need to weave in loose ends. Tomorrow I will give Karen her socks--at My Birthday celebration. Tomorrow I turn 46.


What the sock will look like

The sock on the far right side is knit in the yarn I purchased for my sister's Christmas Socks.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Finished The Quiet American

I finished The Quiet American today. It was pretty good. I'll probably watch the movie adaptation with Karen and Jennifer.

I worked today. The store was very busy. The day was ok. I spent a little time with my new neighbor out on the porch. Hudy invited me up for chili. He drinks too much. I was not interested. He seems like a nice guy, but he pounds the beers.

I have many worries today. By Wed. I will know if a few were justified. As if any worries are justified. Worry accomplishes nothing except ulsers, tense muslces and headaches. How little control it seems I have control of my worries. I wish this was different.

Wed. is Cranknitter's Night at Barnes & Noble. I will attend until my out-of-state guests arrive.

My apartment looks great. It feels so much better to be here.

Lion Brand Sock Yarn

Tonight I purchased the yarn for the Christmas socks I'll be making for my sister. I bought enough yarn to make myself a pair as well.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Quiet American & More

I'm currently reading The Quiet American by Grahame Greene for the Classics Book Group at Barnes & Noble that I facilitate. The book is a fictionalize story within the Vietnam War setting. Reading is one of my favorite things to do in my spare or not so spare time. I enjoy classics, contemporary fiction and mathematics and science literature. I like to broaden my reading material. I am also currently reading the Manga series Saiyuki, loaned to me by a co-worker at Barnes & Noble. This month's Classic Book Group meets Tuesday October 4th. I have a few more days to finish the book and prepare for the book discussion.

Mom and Dad came over today to help me clean my apartment. The three of us worked on my 2 bedroom, bath and a half apartment for 4 hours. That is 12 man hours. The apartment is still not all the way clean, but it sure looks and feels a lot better. Thank you mom and dad.

My aunt and cousin from Illinois are visiting this week. The primary reason the apartment was cleaned today. I have not seen them for about 10 years. I'm looking forward to spending time with them, especially my cousin, who I do not know very well.

I'm knitting another pair of socks. No surprise. They look like Rag Wool socks. I'm using the Railroad Rib pattern. Size 5 needles. I have a pair of tan pants which need a pair of matching socks to be worn with them. I'm eager to finish the pair and wear them.

I think I am safe to say this here. Last Christmas my sister told me she thought she'd get a pair of hand knitted socks from me. I decided the other day, to knit her a pair of socks for Christmas this year. I've picked out the yarn from Lion Brand online. I'll start on them soon so they will be finished by Christmas Eve, the day my family celebrates Christmas together.

Karen's Socks are Finished

Finished Karen's socks about a week ago. Just got around to taking a picture of them. Happy July 3rd Birthday, Karen.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Patches & Molly Taking a Nap

Molly & Patches(now deceased)

Patches (now deceased) grooming Molly. Patches died Father's Day June 2005 of old age. She is greatly missed by everyone in the family.

Kitchener Stitch Attempted...

I joined the Cran-Knitters at Barnes & Noble Wed. night. As Jane would say, "A good time was had by all." I finished the second sock of a pair today, except for the kitchener stitch. I closed the toe with an attempted kitchener stitch 5 times and took it out 5 times. Jane has offered to walk me through it one more time. Bless her.

What Soothes My Soul

Hiking @McConnell Mill State Park September 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

Booze-n-Books Book Group

Tonight I joined Jennifer and Karen at Jennifer's house for our Booze-n-Books group. We discussed My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I liked the book, except for a few unrealistic or too good to be true parts. I plan to read another book by Picoult. Next month we are reading The Time Traveler's Wife.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Night Knits @ Beecher's

Looking forward to knitting with Friends tonight at Beecher's. It is difficult to concentrate on knitting while talking with friends, but it is fun to get together with other knitters to pick up tips and tricks & get ideas and patterns.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

40 Things about myself

  1. I was born in Peoria, Illinois on October 4, 1959
  2. I raised in a very racist small town outside of Peoria, Ill. (I rarely admit this because I am ashamed to be from that town.) My high school mascots were "Chinks," a boy and girl dressed like people from China. We were the Pekin Chinks.
  3. I graduated from High School in 1977.
  4. I started college at Wheaton College in Chicago.
  5. My junior year I transferred to Bradley University in Peoria to pursue a computer science degree (not offered at Wheaton College at that time).
  6. I graduated from Bradley in 1982.
  7. I earned a second Bachelor Degree in Mathematics in 2003 from North Carolina Central University (A Historically Black College)
  8. I'm single.
  9. No children, except the four-legged variety.
  10. I love to read. (Not trashy or mindless novels)
  11. I love to hike
  12. I love to camp
  13. Nature soothes my soul
  14. I take piano lessons and am a beginner player.
  15. I like Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, soft rock and folk music.
  16. Music soothes my soul
  17. Brad Yoder is my favorite local musican
  18. I am quiet, but enjoy being with people.
  19. I enjoy being alone also
  20. Besides computers and math, I am very interested in physics.
  21. I'm 5' 0" tall.
  22. I want to run a marathon
  23. I want to thru-hike the appalacian trail
  24. I want to read everything C S Lewis ever wrote.
  25. I moved to PA in October 2004
  26. I love animals
  27. Molly, my dog, is my best friend
  28. I don't watch TV
  29. I'd rather read a book than go to a movie
  30. I am thrilled to be a part of a knitting circle
  31. I love my job at Barnes & Noble
  32. I don't like to shave my legs.
  33. I hate Bras.
  34. I've never attended a High School Reunion
  35. I'd like to attend a High School Reunion to see what people are like now and what they are doing.
  36. The price of gas is killing me
  37. I'd like to restore an old VW Camper Bus
  38. I'd like to travel the USA in a restored VW Camper Bus
  39. I want to become an accomplished pianist.
  40. I've found it easy to make friends in PA.

JamKnitter Knitting a sock as usual

I thought knitting Karen a pair of socks for her July 3rd birthday would be a nice gift. I started the socks at the beginning of June. Here I am knitting the first sock at Nora's Knitting Party. It is September 14 and I will finally complete the second sock in a few days. Poor Karen. I wonder if others have this same problem? Next time I knit a gift, I'll get an earlier start.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I'll work on getting pictures posted

I'll try to find some pictures of my "family." I'll have to borrow a camera to take pictures to download into the computer of finished projects and what I am working on now.

It is now 2:40AM. Too much on my mind to sleep. This Blog stuff is fun.

It is 1:30AM...I'm going to bed

I spent 4 hours tonight trying to figure out this blog stuff. I'm tired and need to get up in 6 hours. This reminds me of my computer programming days. Good-night.

SP Pittsburgh Questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I don't like Red Heart. I've used Lion Brand Wool Ease for socks and was happy with them. I'm not experienced enough to be a yarn snob, yet. I must admit, I did knit a scarf two years ago with Red Heart. Not my favorite.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I do not spin, but I do crochet. Or have in the past. I once crocheted a really nice Christmas Tree skirt, with crocheted applique pointsettas. I was very proud of it. I gave it to my mom (1988). But now I have it back.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

No Known allergies. But I am a non-smoker and am sensitive to cigarette smoke.

4. How long have you been knitting?

My mom taught me when I was about 5 years old. I knitted a little in middle school. Some in college. I became an avid knitter two years ago when a male friend started knitting.

5. Do you have an Amazon, Knitpicks or other online wish list?

Not yet. I will make a Knitpicks and Barnes & Noble wish list. Just give me time.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Not into bath products or candles (too dangerous for wandering cats).

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Unfortunately. I love Barnes & Noble Frappaccinos--Vanilla Bean and Tazo Chai my favorites.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I sew a little--curtains, valances, pillows, hem pants, ...I quilt a little.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like Jazz, Folk music, Bluegrass. My favorite local musican is Brad Yoder.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

Blue. No question about it.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Single. Three four-legged children: Molly, 12 year old pug; Rosie, 9 year old gray tabby & Sophie, 8 month old light gray tabby.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

Foster children removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect.
Thru-Hike the Appalacian Trail.
Run a Marathon.
Maintain my ideal weight.
Get and stay fit & trim.
Own a home
Learn to knit sweaters
Become a master knitter

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Wool. But that is because I like wearing wool socks. I don't like Fun Fur or Eyelash. I like the looks of ribbon yarn and Homespun, though I've never knitted anything with these yet.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I prefer not to knit with acrylics.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?


16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I love tube scarves. Socks. To be honest, that's all I've knitted in the last two years: scarves and socks.

17. What are you knitting right now?

I am currently working on three pairs of socks. Two pair for myself and one for a birthday present for a good friend.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

They make me look fat.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

Depends on the project.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

When I knit sock I use bamboo DPNs. Scarves plastic. I used bamboo circulars once and ended up with a nasty sore on my finger. Next time I'll try plastic circular.

21. Are you a sock knitter?

Yes. I took a sock class two years ago.

22. How did you learn to knit?

Mom taught me.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

Knitting - 18 months. Crocheting - decades.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

My favorite animals are Molly, Rosie and Sophie. And recently deceased Patches, a calico cat.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

??? New Years Day. Because there are No Party or Family obligations. It symbolizes a fresh start to life. A time to reflect upon my life and look at what I want to change or doing differently. A time to set new goals, or renew old one. It is a Bright Day.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Blank journals. Author autographed books. Baseball caps. I know I'm forgetting something. Let me think.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?


28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Check my wishlist at Barnes & Noble. I'll provide how in a future post (as soon I figure it out).

First Ever Blog Post

I learned to knit when I was about 5 years old. Mom taught me to knit, crotchet, embroider...all that good stuff. I did not become an avid knitter until two years ago when a guy at work taught himself to knit and started a knitting craze at work. Shortly after this time, I took a Sock Class in North Carolina, where I was living at the time. For my own socks, I prefer to knit with wool worsted weight yarn. I like heavy, hiking type socks. I plan to advance to knitting a sweater with the assistance of a good friend Jane from Cranknitters, a knitting group that meets at Barnes & Noble in Cranberry Township, PA.