25 June 2010

Friday Factoids

1.  In six months, it will be Christmas. 
2.  And also a lot cooler.
3.  I have Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Summer weather seriously depresses me.
4.  I am really not any sorrier now than I was a year ago when Michael Jackson died.  Sorry.
5.  But I am getting annoyed that it has become The Only News today.
6.  Being a sucker for a little kid in glasses, I feel especially terrible about the little boy who is missing in Oregon.
7.  For the first time in a LONG time, I have finished most of the knitting projects I had going.
8.  Except for the Pickle Cardigan, which I need to put together so I can knit the neck and buttonbands and finish it.
9.  I'm really looking forward to seeing a lot of my family tomorrow in Baltimore.
10.  I'm also looking forward to a three-day weekend next weekend with no plans at all.
11.  Why does that girl in the "Twilight" movies always look so miserable?
12.  I really really really hate that old man in the Six Flags commercials.
13.  I've just started reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell; so far, I really like it.
14.  Just when I figured out how to work things so I could pay bills according to when we each got paid, The Tim's pay schedule has been changed dramatically.
15.   OK, that's if for now.  Have a good weekend!

22 June 2010

Rhineland's a Fine Land Once More!

"And now it's Springtime for Hitler and Germany,
Rhineland's a fine land once more!"
(from "The Producers" - lyrics by Mel Brooks)

I never got around to seeing the stage version, but "The Producers" is one of my favorite movies.  Ordinarily, I can't think of something related to knitting that might remind me of not just the movie, but this song in particular. 

That is, until I started - and finally finished - this project:

I love this pattern, "Springtime in Philadelphia," and have wanted to make it for a while.  I got it in my head that I would use this yarn for it.  For all of the yarn's "issues," I have to say that the color variegation covers up a lot of mistakes, so for that reason, I'm really pleased with the finished item.

I originally bought this yarn because the colorway is called Brookland, and that is the neighborhood in DC where The Catholic University of America is located, which is where I went to library school.  The colors appealed to me as well, and the fiber content (spun silk) is so soft and shiny, I thought it just really needed to come home with me.

Never never ever ever again will I buy this yarn.  Not. Ever.

It all started when I went to wind the yarn.  I was at Rosie's one Sunday, and had brought it with me, figuring I would wind it there, saving me the process of getting my swift out, clearing a table to use it, etc.  Almost immediately, it started tangling from the skein while I was trying to wind it!  My co-worker, Andrea, offered to try and untangle it, saying that she enjoyed that activity.  Well, yeah, until she met this yarn ...

Splitty, sticky, knotty - those adjectives don't even begin to describe it.  Ugh.  And thus it became my very own "Springtime for Hitler" beret ...

Pattern:  Springtime in Philadelphia, by Kate Gagnon Osborn
Yarn:  Penthouse Spun Silk, by Neighborhood Fiber Company, colorway "Brookland"
Needles:  US 2 and US 0 (circular)
Started:  May 3, 2010
Finished:  June 20, 2010
Comments:  Love, love, love the pattern!  Hate the yarn.  Pleased with the end result, though, and it actually fits my humongous head, which is nice.  I will definitely try this again with a solid yarn, which will also be nice because now I "get" the pattern, so there won't be as many times that I need to rip back (at least in theory).  Part of the reason it took so long is because there was more than one occasion that I had to rip back quite a bit and re-knit it. 

And - I finished it on June 20, which was the last day of spring!  You remember spring - the season that used to come between winter and summer?  Yes, beautiful days, cool nights, occasional rainy days.  Good times ...

19 June 2010

Wedding Bells

A week ago today, The Tim and I got into our little blue car, and headed north, to Highland, New York (not far from Poughkeepsie).  That evening we attended the wedding of his middle brother Patrick.  It was a beautiful setting, and even though it was hot and humid and there were bugs, it was still well worth the trip.

Patrick and his now-wife, Erika, live in NYC during the week, but on the weekends, they head north to a house that Erika designed and built a few years ago.  It's a fabulous house, which leaves no question that she likes to cook (oh that kitchen!) and the back patio has an absolutely breathtaking view of the Hudson River and lots of forest area around it.  Which I now realize that none of the pictures show, so you'll have to trust me on this one.

Anyway, here are the best pictures that were in my camera from that day, some actually taken by me, some by The Tim, who is much more willing to step in front of people for a picture than I am ...

The setting: the meadow to the side of the house

Here is Katey walking her father down the aisle (so to speak)

The bride, Erika, being walked down the aisle by her son, Ian (who is cropped out of the picture so I could show you all of her dress)

The wedding vows

Exchanging wedding rings (showing Ian, who was cropped out of the other picture above)

The families after the ceremony

(Back row, left to right: Logan (Katey's boyfriend), Katey, Will and Rachel (Erika's daughter and her husband), and Ian)

Only one of The Tim's siblings couldn't make it (his oldest sister Sheila. She and her husband Dave live in Indianapolis).  But here's a shot of everyone else:

(Left to right:  Patrick, Kathy, Bob, The Tim)

We also learned that The Tim's oldest brother Bob is engaged too.  Here's The Tim congratulating his next sister-in-law-to-be, Monica

Monica is from Argentina originally, and she is hi-larious!  She recently started doing her own morning talk show on a Spanish cable channel.  (Which she told us she films at night, so she doesn't have to get up early.  So does that mean it's a morning show, or a show that is on in the morning???)

This last picture is one of my very favorites from the day.  The Tim's sister Kathy and her family live in Virginia Beach, and we had the chance to see them a few years back when we visited there, but otherwise, we seldom get to see them.  This is my niece and nephew from Virginia Beach, Erin and her brother Ryan. 

I like the picture, but what I like most of all is that Kathy said, "Wow.  They never stand that close to each other."  But I guess they were feeling generous towards the elderly, 'cause they were willing to do it for me. 

We had hoped to do a little bit of investigating of the area on Sunday, before heading home, but it was extremely foggy, so sightseeing would have been kind of a bust.  Which is too bad, since Poughkeepsie is on my list of towns with amusing names that I would like to see (for instance, I've already visited Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo, both in Michigan).  We had a lovely ride home, though, and even stopped at a yarn store! 

It seems to me that any trip that ends with  a yarn store visit is a good one, right?

16 June 2010


Happy Birthday, Molly Bloom.  We miss you.

14 June 2010

Health for Horses (now with pictures!)

How's that for a post title?  I finally got the pictures from our visit to the New Bolton Center uploaded, sorted, edited, etc. and wanted to show them to you.  For those of you not interested in the James Moran Critical Care Center (a) I may have left out an initial there, and b) ????!!!), I'll be back with knitting and other pictures later. 

Before going any further, we had a nice trip to NY state for the wedding this past weekend, and it was a very nice event, and we saw just about all of The Tim's family.  (The Tim after the wedding: "I thought people who were married before weren't supposed to wear white wedding dresses when they got married again."  (Me (in my brain):  "Oh you poor dear.  Someday the latter 20th-century will catch up with you, and there will be sooo many surprises in store!")

But I digress.

Two Saturdays ago, we headed out to Kennett Square, PA, which is the home of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine New Bolton Large Animal Center.  This is where horses, cows, pigs, and countless other large animals receive care, from one of the very best veterinary schools in the country.  They were hosting an open house for the public to see the new critical care center for horses that had been recently completed.

The Center is about 45 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, though it is a world away in other ways:

Rolling hills, farmland, lots of old trees and houses.  Beautiful!

They wanted to replace the previous critical care center (above), with one that was more state-of-the-art, but also one where the operating theatre and the recovery stalls were together, thereby assuring a more fluid recovery for the patients.

The new building is in a square U-shape, with one wing of isolation cells, and another wing for horses recovering from severe cases of colic, which can actually kill them.

The tour was fascinating.  We learned not just about the purposes of the various rooms, but all about colic in horses, and other medical issues that can be incredibly challenging, given their size and anatomy.
Isolation stall entrance from the hospital hallway

Isolation unit pharmacy

Isolation stall outside exercise area (post-op/recovery)

Across in the other wing, this is a stall for a mare and her foal.

We got to see the surgical prep room (above), and the operating room

This contraption is where the horse is placed for surgery.  There is a rotating plate placed on one side, to move the horse to the necessary position, depending on the surgical procedure taking place.

Afterwards the horse is placed in a clean stall for recovery, with this set-up (sorry the photo was from behind glass) so that they can "get back on their feet" so to speak.  (Yeah, for a brief moment I thought this was a real horse ...)

The hospital even has its own laundry facilities!

This building, which is still in use, was the original one on the site.  Now it is mainly administrative offices.

And finally, especially for Kim, the Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center.  This is where some of Barbaro's treatments took place, and where his doctors have their offices. 

We really enjoyed this whole day - the trip, the grounds, the new building, the people.  Everyone at New Bolton - veterinarians, nurses, and veterinary students - is caring and enthusiastic about doing the best they can for their patients, and that makes me happy whenever I am visiting the place.

It was interesting to see how similar it all was to a human hospital, but also how they were able to make the necessary adaptations to be sure that any horse who came through the doors would be given the best chance available.

Hopefully now that this building has been completed, they will go back to having their Fall Open House, where more of the buildings are open for tours, and there are a lot of other activities so that you can easily make a day of it.  I know if they do have it this year, we'll be there!

11 June 2010

Right Place, Wrong Time ...

To quote Lisa, le sigh.  We are headed to the same area of NY state this weekend where the Rhinebeck festival is during late October.  The Tim's brother is getting married (just one in a series of weddings for him, apparently), and since it gives us a chance to go someplace we haven't been, it seemed like a good time to go and do some exploring.  However, I find it most inconsiderate of them to choose this weekend - a hot one in June - when they could have chosen a lovely, cool, autumn-colorful wedding in late October that would just coincidentally mean I could go to the fiber festival.  God, people are so inconsiderate these days ...

You may have noticed that I did not post the pictures from our visit to the New Bolton Center last Saturday (see previous post).  Well, those are just one of many things I didn't get to this week.  It wasn't a terrible week, just a frustrating one in that no matter what plans I had (at home or at work) were completely decimated.  Now, for all I know, none of the pictures from last weekend turned out anyway, but we'll all just have to wait a little bit longer to find out.

For those of you who may have left a comment, and then felt it took too long for me to approve it for posting, I am sorry, but I only get a chance to sit at the computer and check in with the blog after I get home from work in the evenings.   So please do not feel that I am ignoring you.  Evenings are not always my most energetic time.  (As in ... never.)  But I do enjoy reading them and approving them once I have the chance. 

Oh, and Carrie - to answer your question, I'm not exactly sure what language I do want the lewd comments to be.  Maybe Esperanto?**

**When I was in about the third and fourth grades, our teachers would always tell us how, in the "future" (you know, 2000 or so), the U.S. would be part of just one big global happy family.  Part of this would mean that 1) we would be totally converted to the metric system, 2) we would be living in a paperless society, and 3) everyone, everywhere, would be speaking Esperanto.  I am pretty sure we would be doing all of this while zipping around in our personal jetpacks.

06 June 2010

Promises, Promises

I do really try to keep my promises.  Lots of time, though, to be honest, I completely forget that I promised anything to anyone, and then feel even worse when they ask me something about it ...

But, if you will recall, in the previous post, I mentioned that I blocked something besides the Lacy Garter Shawl (Ravelry link), and would save it for the next post.  And I have actually remembered that I said that, so here you are:

Yep, the Pickle Cardigan is now blocked! 
(I sure hope you were sitting down for that one ...)

Now, to sew it together, and knit the neck and buttonbands.  This will be a challenge for me on several levels: 1) My finishing skills suck, but I am determined to sew this together in a manner that looks, well, if not professional, like someone beyond the level of rank amateur; 2) I've never done a buttonband or buttonholes.  However, I think I will try to do the Tulips Buttonhole from a recent Knitting Daily post; and, 3) Er, looking at it, I'm now not so sure it will fit.  But I shall carry on, as I have not spent all of this time on it for nothing.  If I have to, I'll gift it to someone, and that would be OK too.

I must say that I am pleased with how nicely the pattern shows up when the pieces are blocked. 

In other news, yesterday we went to an open house at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine New Bolton Campus.  (Those of you who are horse-racing fans may remember that it is the place where Barbaro was taken after he was injured in the Preakness a few years back.)  Anyway, they wanted to show off a new facility for treatment of colic and other conditions of horses where they need extremely specialized care and isolation from other horses and animals.  It was really something, and I took some pictures.  If they turn out at all, I'll share them in another post down the road.  I love going out to New Bolton.  It's about 50 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, and is in a beautiful setting.  I like knowing that there is a place that takes the care of large animals - whether farm, show, or just pets - to heart, and will do what they can to help.  (I wish I could have become a veterinarian.  But when you barely pass basic science courses, you begin to realize pretty quickly that it just is.not.happening!)

Finally, much to my dismay and annoyance, I've decided to enable comment moderation here on Ye Olde Blogge.  I'm sick of getting comments in Chinese script with the occasional lewd term or sexual reference included in English.  This is not to say that a) I do not like Chinese script, or b) I want the whole lewd/sexual thing to be in English.  No, I'm going to do it, at least for a while, so I don't have to put up with it.  I really only seldom delete comments, and the times I've done it have usually been when it was clear that they were spam, or they were just obnoxiously rude for me to read, much less to subject anyone else to reading! 

And that's it.  Say goodnight, Gracie.

02 June 2010

What I Did Over the Holiday Weekend

Ah, Memorial Day weekend!  The only bad part was the heat and humidity, but otherwise it was quite enjoyable.  First of all, THREE DAYS OFF!  Then, I took the time to renovate the blog (what do you think?), and posted my 500th post (the one previous to this).  Of course, there were other activities as well.

For instance, look who was visiting for the weekend:


We had a great time, in spite of the fact that both of us thought it was too hot  ...

"This is the best spot - next to the fan, and the kitty bed.  I wonder where those kitties are?"

One of our walks was to the Farmer's Market, where we bought rhubarb and strawberries.  We came home and baked this:

Strawberry Rhubarb Sour Cherry Pie - YUM!

Also, there was finally available room for blocking finished items!  I managed to block this Lace Garter Shawl, that I started back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!

The weeked after this one, we are going to The Tim's brother's 400th wedding (OK, it's his 3rd wedding, but between him and his older brother, it feels like the 400th ...).  I am hoping to wear this at some point during that weekend, and if so, will try to get an action shot.  If you are absolutely dying to know the details, I'll update the Ravelry page for this in the next couple of days.

Once that was blocked and dry, I also blocked something else.  But that's for another post ...