Rhinebeck 2009 Countdown

Monday, January 26, 2009

Warm Ewe Up Bi-Weekly Blog Question #3

What is your favorite way to keep warm when it’s snowing outside? (And if you live in a warm weather climate, what would you do to stay warm and cozy while it’s snowing?)

Although we don't always get snow, it can get significantly COLD here in the Northeastern US. So, when it gets REALLY cold outside, I like to make myself a cup of tea, put on a pair of soft, fuzzy socks and cuddle up under a fleece blanket. The only thing that would make it better, would be if we had a fireplace.

Realistically, my DH and I have realized that a warmer climate would be better, health-wise, for both of us.....we're just getting OLD, I guess......

Saturday, January 17, 2009

And that was the week that was.......

Wow, another week in the history books......the beginning of the week started things off quite......until Thursday night.
Here in the Northeast (specifically in the suburban Philadelphia region) the temps have gotten progressively colder as the ARCTIC cold has set in. Thursday was my new day "off" from work, so I wrote out bills, ran errands and just relaxed. Around 11pm-ish, I went downstairs to deal with some laundry, and I noticed that the heater sounded like it was constantly cycling ON & OFF......DH came down and we discoved a MAJOR problem--the fan was running constantly and the burner kept trying to fire, but was not igniting. That meant NO HEAT!!! By now it was around midnight, so I called our landlord and he got right on it.....calling the repair people, who in turn called us. Sadly, they do not have 24hr service, so the soonest they could be at our house would be sometime Friday morning. Ok, things are out of control, but I stayed calm and basically said---we'll just deal with the cold tonight. DH, on the other hand, was NOT happy (Usually I am the one that gets irrational, but we apparently traded personalities that night)......it was COLD......I had on socks, pajama bottoms with sweatpants overtop of them, tank top, long sleeve thermal, fleece jacket,scarf and fingerless gloves + I cocooned myself up in my quilt. My DH said that when he got up at one point in the middle of the night, the thermostat was reading 53degrees in the house, and that was with the space heaters on.
Since someone needed to be here for the heating repair, I ended up calling off from work. The heater guy (lets call him JOE ) gets there, has bunches of attitude and proceeds to not want to communicate with me at all. Luckily, my landlord comes over and they discuss the issues---corroded gas valve and electronics due to faulty venting (in laymans terms----the vending system from the heat in dripping condensation back down the outside of the metal vent tubes and back down into the heater---WTF !!!! So, they did the repairs, which took most of the day, and we now have a chimney specialist coming on Monday to look at the venting system. Only one day without heat (and on the COLDEST 24hours for our area in the last FOUR years!!!). We are again toasty!!!
Lots of packages arrived this week. First, I received my first Warm Ewe Up package from my partner, we'll call her KNITWIT. Knitwit is all about the spoilage, which is apparrent from the first package:

2-beautiful skeins of Claudia’s Hand Painted (Fingering 55) in Teal Party, a pair of Addi Turbo circs in size 1, a set of cute tropical flower magnets, a PACIFICA soy travel candle in Hawaiian Ruby Guava, and a rockin’ tea set from Tazo…it’s a bamboo box filled with six flavors of Tazo teabags.

Some close-ups of the package--the bamboo box–SO COOL!!! When empty, it will be used for some of my perfume oil bottle storage.

And the beautiful yarn-----I see some socks with this yarn!

Another swap package arrived this week too---this one was for the Winter of Trading Favorites (W.T.F.----lol, I just LOVE this acronym). My parner, lisarn9 (from Ravelry) gets the award for the BIGGEST swap box I've ever received!! It was HUGE (Kona's in the background for a visual reference)

The theme of the swap was our favorite things about winter. We had the following questions to answer:

What does winter mean to you?: Hybernation and dormancy to rest and recoup for rebirth in the spring…..also, a reason to cuddle up with the one you love for
warmth (LOL)
What are you favorite things about winter?:
cocoa, snow,state of emergency declarations (so that I don’t have to go to work), watching my fluff-puppy play in the snow (she loves it!!)
What is your favorite winter scent?: cocoa, pomegranate, spearmint
What is your favorite winter treat to eat?: cocoa, hot cinnamon rolls (direct from the oven), banana-stuffed french toast, pomegranate juice
What is your favorite winter color?: clear, icy blue and silver…..like a snowflake!

Based on these answer and the many emails that Lisa and I traded back and forth, she created this pleathora of gifts:

A warm, cuddly fleece throw, is a beautiful Teal Blue color;packs of hot cocoa and Chicken Soup mix; a snowflake-patterned tin filled with blue and silver stitch markers; a pomegranate-scented candle; a pack of Blueberry Frost bath fizzy tablets; a pack of blue snowflake patterned notecards; a spiral-bound notepad with a pretty silver filigree design on the cover; this AMAZING tea ball (it’s ceramic and comes with it’s own little cup….too CUTE!); a tin of GROG-flavored Pirate Mints (AAARRGGGHHHH); a copy of the Yarn Harlot’s KNITTING RULES! ; a package of Hawaii-themed stickers; a BARK-bar (a candy bar for my dog-Kona…..no chocolate, but she LOVES peanut butter); a Almond-Joy candy bar for me (my fav!!); a fun pair of cherry-flavored wax vampire fangs; a ALOHA hibiscus stamp; a pretty beaded snowflake and a true BEAUTY–a skein of Cascade Jewel Paints in this lucious colorway of blues/purples & grey—it reminds me of the sky at twilight on a cold winter’s evening! I am TRULY spoiled!!!

A closeup of the tea ball & cup

And the beautiful yarn.....very soft and cuddly!

I also received som random yarn purchases in last couple of weeks---finally got them pictured so I could list them in my stash.

First, a skein of Spunky Eclectic Tough Socks in colorway-Ravelry

And, since I finished TWILIGHT (and am preparing to start reading the next book, New Moon), I've been searching for Twilight-inspired yarns. I found that Sunshine Yarns had some beautiful interpretations, and still had a few available, so I bought this one, which is called "FORKS" which is the town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, where the series takes place.

It's still BITTER cold outside. Lots of hub-bub in town as the Oboma/Biden whistle stop train goes through town today, on its way to our nation's capitol for a historic event on Tuesday. Too cold for me to be standing outside, so I'll just watch it on the news channels later, and instead I'm heading to my LYS for some fiber therapy!!!

Oh, and thanks Walter (Cronkite) for my post title---you ROCK!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Warm Ewe Up Bi-Weekly Blog Question #2

#2 - If you could only knit or crochet with one brand of yarn for the rest of the year, what would it be and why?

Well, it tough to choose just ONE brand......there are some brands out there that I haven't even tried yet. I love sock yarns, and I love soft wools and alpacas. Bamboo yarns are so soft too. Well if I had to choose just one BRAND, based on the variety of yarns available from said brand, then I would have to say BLUE MOON FIBER ARTS. I can use almost everything they offer (except the Geisha and the Silkmo, since they both have Mohair---keep it AWAY from me, if you want me to stay alive.....). My backup choice would be Malabrigo, because again....the variety (I am coveting some Malabrigo Lace yarn in Applegreen or Blue Surf colorways.....YUMMMMMMY!!!!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And the "HITS" keep on comin'......

I'm sure you've ALL heard it......the US economy is in the toilet, run for the hills !!!!

Well, it's apparently found my house. My company (retail internet sales) has had declining business over the past quarter, so to prevent full-blown layoffs, another plan was put into effect today. Starting Monday.......every employee will be working an ammended schedule-a reduction of 20% of our work hours. Great, lovely......hey, over here--just moved into a new house PEOPLE......I got bills to pay!!! The reduction of hours means that my bi-weekly paychecks will now be thinner by more than $200! YAY

So, no Mexico trip, No Sock Summit, No Woolgirl Sock Club......I gotta cut corners wherever possible. Ooddles of Noodles and I are gonna become BEST BUDS!!!

Is Obama in office yet?? I need this economy-thing to turn around something QUICK!!

Pray for me......

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year = Better than Last

Well 2008 came and went in a hurry....thank goodness. I spent most of last week still home, under Dr's orders....hopped up on Vicodin. Driving myself to the Dr's office on NYE was scary---especially since there was a brief snow squall while I was at the office and I was fearful I would end up in a ditch because of the brief white-out conditions and the high winds. By the time I got home the snow was gone, but the winds stayed all through NYE night. DH and I have kept a NYE tradition of having a feast of Chinese food while watching the Ball Drop from NYC on tv. This year was no exception, other than we did NOT have the usual bottle of wine (since I am still on meds) and DH missed the ball drop as he was doing something on the computer (and the time was mis-set on the computer, so he was off by about 8 minutes).....oh well, we almost followed tradition.

New Years day was lazy......we slept in, stayed in jammies until early afternoon. Since there was really nothing I could do but sit, I started reading 'Twilight', and read six chapters in one day. We had the annual family dinner with my parents and sister's family of Ham & Cabbage. My nephew received an iPod-iTouch for Christmas, and one the the apps he got for it was i-Bowl, which I am now addicted to. I must replace my iPod with an iTouch (if DH is generous.......my birthday is in April.......start saving now!!)

I have dubbed 2009 as the "Year of Better than Last". Here are the things I plan to make better:
  • My relationships (with my husband, my family, my friends.......)
  • My financial stability (bills paid; functional savings, maybe even a new car.......)
  • My home decor (we need new EVERYTHING.....furniture, a new tv, organizational storage, etc.....)


oh yeah.......my knitting.....which right now is in a "hold" pattern. Since I am still "on the mend" with my foot, my knitting stash and supplies remain in the "infinate vortex of totes" which is my craft room. So for now, I am forced to play on Ravelry and find more yarny goodness and projects for my queue. Like that's HARD to do........

Great news on the yarny front--I am joining the Woolgirl 2009 Sock Club !!! Between that and my Yarn Pirate shipments, I should be good with clubs for a while. I also have several Ravelry Swaps going on this quarter....Warm Ewe Up, Winter of Trading Favorites, Love Bites, Random Holiday-Let's Celebrate Spring and Round 2:Fave Things.....lots of shopping for me!!!

I went back to work on January 2nd. As predicted, my area of work is hoppin.......lots of engagements over the holidays means BUSINESS for me.....lots of weddings to plan--people do need their invitations! Hopefully the volume will continue. My foot is getting better...the swelling is almost completely down, I am better able to walk on it (I am still using the cane, for balance purposes), and the bruising is starting to go away (I'll get a current pic this weekend). My Dr. says that I should be able to put my full weight on it by next Friday, Jan 9th. Fingers crossed.

We still have had no considerable snow here in Delaware.....come ON.....can I get some snow here?!? SERIOUSLY ?!?!?!?! I'm not asking for Iowa or Nebraska snows, but 10-12 inches would be AWESOME!!!

Well, off to read more of 'Twilight'.............