Byte Size Blog #6

Friday, December 14, 2012

Good Morning. Today I bring you Byte Size Blog #6 to catch you up on what's been happening. Since I'm leaving town in an hour and I'm not ready to go nor is anyone else awake, it ought to be a quick one...
  • The dogs got their Christmas presents - new beds - early. My living room is no longer a playground of stuffing and fluff from the old bed. An unexpected development: daily games of Musical Beds. Very amusing.
  • Christmas cards have been mailed and gingerbread baking has begun. I've also decorated the house and will not do anything else to make things look festive. Except get a Christmas tree. We'll do that on Sunday.
  • Off to the City today with Mr. A. to finish up our Christmas/Birthday shopping. As we only have a little bit of shopping to do this year, it's more like a date.
  • Christmas knitting continues. One Holden Shawlette is done and blocked. The second Holden is on the needles. This is a very gift-worthy knit. Today, two hours of driving for Mr. A. equals two hours of knitting time for me. I'm thinking of adding a knitted hat for my dad to the Christmas knitting list (which really wasn't very extensive to begin with...)
  • School work with the kids continues. I had planned to be done today, break for almost a month and then start up again the second week of January. However, since I am a sloth and it takes me forever to insist that the kids finish things...we'll be continuing throughout the coming week. I am encouraged as The Boy Child has actually finished a project and The Girl is tackling some task writing - not happily and under direct supervision, but she's doing it.
  • Because I am a grown up, I went to the doctor's this week and updated my tetanus. On purpose, before I had to due to injury...which has been the case in the past. What was I thinking!? Two days after and I still can't lift my arm above shoulder height and I feel like I've been hit by a truck. Perhaps I didn't notice the effects of this vaccination before because I was laid out on the couch dealing with what I thought was injury recovery.
Byte Size Blog #6 is now concluded...I'm off to get everyone up and out of the house - a novelty for those of us who homeschool and work from home.

Mrs. A.


My Weekend In Pictures

Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday: The 'Before' - kitchen is cleaned out in praparation for a new countertop, long awaited and long overdue.

Friday: During - coffee station is fully operational throughout the entire countertop replacement procedure. And my kitchen has been emptied into the dining room.

Friday: Still During - At this point, the children and I left for holiday festivities and Mr. A supervised Fred the Countertop Replacement Man.

Friday: After - Other than the sink being replaced front-to-back, the replacement was a great success and we now sport a lovely new, non-rotting, firmly attached countertop. But you may notice the cupboard doors are missing...

Saturday: After the After - since we had to caulk the edges (Fred was lacking the caulking and said he'd return 'next week'...I grew up with an extended family of contractors; I know what that means) we went to Home Depot for caulking. $100 later....

Sunday: Still After the After - a very calming neutral bluey-grey called 'Horizon'. And our new faucet! See how it's not leaky?! You may notice the lovely 20th century design feature of the single lever rather than the two taps. I can now touch raw meat without contaminating my entire kitchen!

Sunday: About When Mr. A Started To Get Annoyed - The Blue Eyed Bandit has 'helped' with the cupboard doors.

Sunday: About When Mr. A Was Definitely Annoyed: Photo Bomb by The Boy Child.

Sunday: The Final After - Coffee is ready to go. The yellow under the stove hood is the glow of the light.

Sunday: The Fnal After - I will miss the old cheery yellow. But it definitely had to go. It was old and dirty and clashed with the rest of the main living area.

Sunday: The Final After - The new colour is calm and quiet, much like the colour we painted the main living area last year.
Mrs. A.


Byte Size Blog #5

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Today is Byte Size Blog #5, with photo so as not to create feelings of awkwardness.
  • Today I bring you evidence that Christmas is approaching in our house! I have broken out the Christmas coffee. A friendly neighbour was so kind as to bring over some homemade Christmas biscotti which is lovely when dipped in your Christmas coffee.
  • Today we are off to the local homeschoolers' Christmas party. The Girl Child has created a playlist as she has been asked to provide some music and I have crockpot meatballs cooking. I know, not a very Christmas-y contribution to the pot luck Christmas lunch, but my kids wanted something they liked to eat and something warm. Meatballs it is.
  • Today is day#3 of Backyard Cat Watch. A cat in the window well in the backyard will make your blue-eyed husky very determined to spend all day outside staring into the - now empty - window well. When not allowed outside, the determined blue-eyed husky can be found camping on the backyard door mat, waiting until she is allowed out again. The determination with which the blue-eyed husky stares into the window well will not be diminished even when the bigger, braver, brown-eyed husky jumps into the window well and digs up the leaves to prove to the blue-eyed husky that the cat is truly and completely gone. I know, a picture of this would be much more interesting than my Christmas coffee, but have I mentioned how much I enjoy my coffee?
  • Today my extended family is off to the Family Christmas Party in my mom's home town, four hours away. I am the party pooper who is not going. Again. I average attendance once every five years. My grandmother, the kids' great-grandmother, even made an unprecedented visit to my house last week. I was given the what-for, like a guilty ten-year-old, about not attending. Still, we're not going. I regret the time missed with my two grandmas, but I don't regret missing the Christmas Party. I should tell the whole story to the Internet one day. The Internets love drama and idiosyncrasy.
  • Cristina would like to see the new Canadian bills. I say bills because if you're curious to see the $20 bill, then I can only assume that the $50 and $100 would be equally as interesting. If I ever have any money ever again in these denominations, I will be sure to blog photos. So far, the bills are sticky and hard to count quickly. Very difficult to be discreet about your wad of cash at the cashier. They don't fold very nicely making your wallet unwieldy and wanting to flop open all the time. However, they do seem to launder nicely (an accidental experiment) and they seem to be impossible to rip (a not-so-accidental experiment).
  • Knitting on the first Holden Shawlette has begun. The black hole of increasing-every-row stockinette has begun to open. I suspect I will need to bring this project along with me every where I go in order to be done in time for Christmas gifting. My goal is to have one Holden done and the other well under way by the time of my next Knit Night, Dec. 18. Stay tuned for future updates.
This concludes the fourth edition of Clip Blog, brought to you by the break-dancing Blue-Eyed Bandit at my Backdoor as well as The Kids Are Up and Ready For The Day And I'm Still In My Robe.

Mrs. A.


Adventures in Knitting

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's here! My Cyber Monday Sale order! I'm a little excited.

I ordered on Cyber Monday (that was November 26) and my box of goodies arrived at its final destination on the 30th (that was last Friday). I didn't dash out to the depot to get it as we are waiting on another package. Not yarn, but important nonetheless.

Yesterday (Monday...a whole WEEK after I ordered!) my mom stopped by to visit (very uncharacteristic of her) and during our conversation, I learned she was headed to the UPS depot where my box of yarny goodness was languishing. So, details in hand, off she went to pick up both her packages and mine.

Hours and hours later, mom arrived at my knit night to deliver my Knitpicks box. It seems that most of northern New York State and a everyone in south eastern Ontario has had packages shipped to this particular UPS depot. The lineup to get your package is two hours long. People were wrapped around the building into the parking lot. In the rain. And according to the UPS employee, the lineup looks the same at 7am as it does at 10am as it does at 4pm. Mom, with my sister, waited in this two hour long lineup for four packages. They were damp and hungry when they got back.

At knit night is the best time to open a big box of awesome. Yarn was passed around the table and squished and fawned over. I may have converted a new knitter or two in the process. We'll see.

Just in case you're interested (and even if you're not) here's what I got. (Pretend it's an Eye Spy game...)
  • Set of Sunstruck Interchangeable needles for The Girl Child for Christmas
  • 3 Harmony (purple!!) circular needles so I can finally get going on my Rams & Yowes
  • Chroma Fingering in Grey and Midwinter for Deep In The Woods mittens
  • 2 Stroll Tonal in Thunderhead (grey) which will be 2 pair of socks at some point
  • 1 special buy Stonewashed (also Stroll tonal)
  • 2 Shimmer Lace in the colour 'Spice' which will hopefully be Holden Shawlettes by the 24th
  • 7 Shadow Lace in Garnet Heather with a skein of Shimmer in 'Sherry' for the Classic Lines Cardigan. For me. For Christmas. So I can't play with it yet.
I'm all motivated to knit. First up is the Holden Shawlette (more like a scarf). Mr. A and I wound the first ball of Shimmer lace last night and as I cast on, I realized I've never knit a triangle lace thing yet. I hope it works out...

After the Christmas knitting will be Rams & Yowes and a pair of the grey socks for The Girl Child once she chooses a pattern. The mittens and my socks will wait.

There is talk of a spring Knitpicks sale on the Ravelry forums. Why did I not know of this? A sale is a very motivating force. I will hope to knit up a good portion of this newly arrived box by spring. I might definitely will need sock yarn by the spring...don't you think?

Mrs. A.


Street Faire Success!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

After a month of preparations, our Street Faire experience was a success. (Please excuse my shoddy photography skills - it was busy and I was a little stressed. Really, the table looked lovely.) We sold glitter snowflakes, puzzle piece gingerbread men and knitted gnomes.

I'm quite pleased with how all our ornaments turned out. I think the kids were happy that all the work we did resulted in a nice table with lots of sales. Our knitted gnomes were $2 each and the other ornaments were $1 each. The kids insisted on this pricing as I was wanted to charge $.50 for the snowflakes and gingerbread men. It turns out that this pricing strategy was perfect. I'm glad I listened to the kids.

We sold cider for $.50 a cup. The Boy Child was in charge of this and he did a really good job. Before the sale, the class in the hall ran late cutting severely into set-up time for the vendors. The Boy had to do all the prep and set-up for cider on his own as The Girl Child and I were frantically busy with getting the table ready.

We had a little helper all day. She is very cute and very fond of my big kids. She was responsible for hanging all the ornaments and helping with pouring the cider.

As far as the business end of things went, we spent a little over $30 in supplies. Our profit was a little over $40 after we covered our supply cost. We sold about $80 worth of ornaments and cider. There was a little deal-making and bartering that went on which accounts for our difference.
Sales were good, but I prepared many ornaments and now have all that I need as gift toppers and for family. Amazingly, that means I planned ahead and got a Christmas project out of the way in November. I love it when I surprise myself with being organized!
Mrs. A.


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