Friday, September 11, 2009

The official end of my summer vacation - I have a job!

I had a few calls and a few interviews over the summer, but nothing substantial. I was enjoying all the spare time, but the lack of $$ and the annoying things like filing unemployment each week and trying to find cheap health insurance were getting old fast. Then Scott had a great idea. Why not call Raymond and see if he knows anyone looking for a Technical Designer? I mean, all the childrenswear company owners know each other, so he might know somebody. I figured what could I lose?

He actually responded with a name and phone # for me. I called and left a message, but wasn't really expecting a call back.

Then I got a call back. Had one interview on a Thursday, a second one on Monday where they offered me the job and I started a week later. Same industry, same job, same building! I'm just one floor lower than I was before - hey, shorter commute!

Anyway, I've been here a month and a half, I really like it and everyone is really nice. Not quite the $$ I wanted, but better benefits - like getting out at 5:15 instead of 6:00. It makes a HUGE difference! And I have a former co-worker here as well.

So being laid off all summer had some positives:

- I got shit done!

- I started riding my bike every morning. The rides are shorter during the week now that I'm working again, but I make up for it on the weekends, like climbing up the great hill of suck on Call Hollow Road.

- It made me budget. I leave the credit cards at home now. And we cook at home more. I've also started a savings account because if this ever does happen again, I want to be ready.

What I did on my summer vacation - Part 5 - Hanging with friends

I have the best hairdresser in the world. Srsly. And it's not just because she's been my BFF since we were little hellions. She dyes my hair BLUE!!! It doesn't get much cooler than that.

So hair appointments are basically social visits. She does my hair for two hours, I go extract Scott from Harbor Freight, and then the four - or sometimes five, or six - of us go out to dinner, laugh our asses off, entertain the wait staff and annoy everyone else in the restaurant until the place closes.

What I did on my summer vacation part 4 - projects

Besides the garden, I finally finished pinstriping the halllway - yay! But I haven't taken any pics yet. Don't worry - I'll post pics when my little sports shrine is complete.

I also worked on some little decorative rocks for the garden:

Dawn from Spin City-NY started an Aeolian shawl spin-a-long/knit-a-long. I'm waaaay behind on it, but I did manage to get my swatches done:

The swatch on the left is shetland and the one on the right is ramboulliet. While I like the color of the rambo better, the yarn has too much recovery for a lace pattern - the pattern keeps getting lost as the fibers scrunch together. It would make some nice socks though.

I've actually finished spinning and plying all my shetland - the biiiiiiig garbage bag of shetland I bought at MDSW a few years ago. It's on a bobbin waiting to be skeined and have the yardage counted. I sure hope I have enough to knit the friggin thing!

I also managed to finish a lot of stuff from my WIP box. I'm now down to only 2 drop spindles with fiber still to be spun, a felted bag that I have to finish the i-cord handle for, and a jacket I'm knitting. Pics are on my Rav page.

What I did on my summer vacation Part 3 - Knoebel's

On July fourth we went to Knoebel's with Mom, my brother and his wife and my nephews, and my SIL's family. This place is the best kept secret in PA - it's a small, clean, fun amusement park with lots of rides, not too crowded, and you don't have a bunch of rude bussed-in kids with no manners who think it's their job to cut line all day. Kind of like Dorney was when we were little.

It was fun riding the rides with Drew - that kids has no fear. I felt bad though when I took him on the one ride he didn't like.

One of these summers we'll have to go for a weekend and get a cabin there.

What I did on my Summer Vacation - Part 2 - My Little Boy's Birthday!

My little fuzzbutt turned six on June 18! He shared a carrot and apple salad with the hot white chick who's always giving him the eye.

Can you stand the cute?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation - Part 1

Yeah, it's been a while. Now that I have non-crashing internet access again, I'll post - but it will have to be in spurts - new job and all. Thus, the "Part 1".

So, as I said in my last post, I got laid off. Freelance gig with them ended when they closed their doors and the few people remaining merged with another company. I got the flu - for two weeks, car got hit by a deer. Fun stuff. But at least I got to work on the garden.

I planted snap peas, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, collard greens and cucumbers. And then the deer snacked. >:( Re-planted the tomatoes, peppers, collard greens and cucumbers. Plants are smaller than they should be at this point, but we'll see what happens. I also fixed the fence and bought a gallon of Deer-0ff. So now, only invited guests in the garden.

I also got to spend some time with the local wildlife:

More later in Part 2.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

End of May - yay.

So, I'm officially unemployed one week as of today. But I'm back here in the office working for about half of what I should be making. Because it's money. And I need it. Besides - I can job hunt online at work.

The OMGwhenwillIhave$$comingin? is still scary, but I can get used to sleeping in, working when I want, and getting things done at home. The garden looks great, I found lots of new little critters in the pond, and stuff is getting done at home.

I'll be back here at work again Monday. After that who knows? Time to hit the pavement. But first, another three-day weekend. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's about ready!

The garden, that is. We spent the weekend weeding and measuring and digging and putting down weed block and the garden is almost ready for plants. We just need to finish the fence. Damn deer took it out last summer. We have a silt fence up around the lower half - we just have to secure the posts and string twine for the upper part and then Mr. bunny has to put the door on. He built this great door frame for the corner of the garden - now it will be so much easier to get in and out. For us, not the deer. They have to stay out.

I'm planning to get plants and put them in this weekend. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and collard greens. Plus seeds for peas and lettuce. And flowers, but I don't know which kind yet until I see them.

We've added two new bird feeders - a finch feeder and a hummingbird feeder. Hopefully we'll attract some new birdies this weekend.

Mr. B. came up with a cute name for the lone goose who's been hanging around - "Slappy Feet" - because of the way his feet slap when he walks around. He knows we feed him now - we bring bread out for him almost every morning - so when he sees the front door open he comes running. He was a gosling last summer and the neighbor's dog got hold of him and tore his wing. He wasn't able to fly south, so he's been hanging out all winter. You can still see that his wing is damaged, but he's done all right for himself.

We also have two goose couples in the yard - one childless couple and another couple with two babies. They're so cute! I'm going to try to get some pictures this weekend if they don't run away from me too fast.


So Mr. Bunny was unsure as to whether or not to go to his nephew's graduation until I reminded him of how much Mark busted ass to get his degree. So we drove up.

It didn't take as long as I expected - only about 3 1/2 hours. Saw lots of fishermen on the way. I drove until just past Binghamton and then he took over.

It was fun to see everyone, especially since it was a happy event. It was nice to see Mark walk across the stage at the convocation. We walked around campus afterwards and took pictures, none of which I have downloaded yet.

Mr. B and I went to the mall and had dinner and then went back to our hotel. I got a kick out of the "No fish or hip waiters allowed in hotel" sign. That and the fact that there was a duty-free shop across the street, we were that close to Canuckistan.

Sunday was COLD! We had breakfast at Mark's apartment and then walked to the dome for graduation. Joe Biden was the guest speaker - I thought they'd have much more security than they did. I've had a tougher time bringing a bag into Yankee Stadium. The ceremony was nice, but long. We went out to brunch afterwards and then back to Mark's for a nap. We went to the mall later with Lisa, Debbie and big Mark and shopped until they closed. I got some nice magazines at Borders.

We had originally planned to leave before dinner, but Mr. B was having fun with his family, so I said we could stay if he drove home. The restaurant was great and we had such fun with the family! It was worth the late night just to hear Linda make fun of Paul with his ipod by saying "If that thing had a vagina he'd marry it!"

I think we got home around 2. Or something. Anyway I can't believe he graduated already. Seems like it was only last year he was starting out as a freshman.


Fifth one! This is how it all started five years ago. Lisa and I went to MDSW in 2004 and I saw a woman spinning wool on a drop spindle. I bought my first spindle - a Louet student spindle - and she gave me some wool with it. I thought it would be fun to keep on the end table and spin once in a while. Now look what happened.

Five years later I'm teaching two spinning classes, running a spinning meetup group and can no longer walk in my "walk in" closet for all the fiber and yarn in there. And yet I'm off to buy more.

I took the train to Philly Friday night where Lisa picked me up and we went to an awesome restaurant for dinner. Best butternut squash ravioli ever!

The next morning, Sheba and her new BF Ranxez picked us up (after I gave them the wrong address - oops!) and we went down to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Yeah, I know I was just at CTSW last weekend - never mind that. It was raining on the way down, but it stopped once we parked the car and didn't rain the rest of the day.

We got in the tee shirt line first since I figured the selection would be better earlier. I taught a woman how to ply-on-the-fly while we were waiting in line.

I stopped by the Ravelry party and the first person I met was GrimReaper and her husband - an LSGer from Philly. We finally found the LSG crowd and I got to meet a whole lot of cool bitches I chat online with regularly, like PoorLuci, Lizardsmells and Eudyptula.
I left the Rav party and shopped for a while before catching up with Lisa again. I went to Retroknit's book signing and got her book - Vintage Baby Knits - which is awesome! The Lisa and I split for a bit and I caught up to Sheba and Ranxez (who is incredibly nice, BTW) and Sheba's friend Dan came by. We've stayed at Dan & Marni's house in previous years, since they're only 20 minutes from the fairgrounds. I ended up giving another spinning lesson to a little girl and her mom while were were just hanging out talking.

We stayed not quite until the end. I didn't photograph my stash enhancements, but I did get:
- some purple Paca-Peds sock yard
- multicolor dyed mohair roving
- Noro Kureyon (to make the Fake Isle hat I saw the girl making at CTSW)
- a 40" size 4 addi turbo to do my Socks That Rock on magic loop (some of you have no idea what that means)
- some beautiful brown suri-boo (suri alpaca and bamboo)
- Some brown and purple cormo roving

Note I did not buy the OMGSOFUCKINGCUTE baby angora bunnies that I had to go back and pet three times. That's because they were all sold already.

We left the fair and dropped Lisa back at her house and Ranxez insisted on driving me home. To Rockland. Even though they would have to turn around and drive an hour south again to go home. Super nice guy. I'm really happy for Sheba!

Well, that's it for the fiber fairs until fall.


We've been hearing them for days when we get home at night - chirp chirp chirp - out by the pond. So on Sunday we took a walk around the pond. First we spotted a baby turtle sitting on one of the fallen trees. He was tiny!

As we continued around the pond and into the woods it got muddy. We had to keep walking farther out from the pond to avoid the mud and we kept hearing them sing in the heat - it sounded like a loose fan belt on a rainy day - just a continuous squeak.

And then we found the other pond. It was a small pond off of a secondary pond off of the big pond. And it had about 30 frogs in it - swimming around, hopping up on rocks and playing. Some of them were puffing out their necks to attract the ladies. We sat and watched them for close to an hour. Sorry, no pics. :(

Connecticut Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival

I picked up Dawn and Cathy at the Darien train station and we drove up to Vernon, CT for the CT Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival. It was small, but I've decided that's a good thing. For one, you could actually get into a booth and look at stuff because it wasn't crowded. No long lines for food or bathrooms either. And we were able to see the whole thing before noon.

The other plus of a fair this size is you don't break the bank because there aren't as many places to spend your $$ as in a big fair. :)
This baby goat was adorable! They had him behind the counter in a rubbermaid container. His sweater was a sleeve that was cut off of a sweatshirt.

So here's what I scored:
- the last red CTSW tee shirt
- Some purple/Teal dyed silk caps
- Purple/pink merino/tencel
- Grey Icelandic
- Seafoam alpaca/angelina (although the label says "mauve" 0_O)
- White cormo/alpaca/bunny
- a wooden bunny diz (see it on top of the silk caps?)

Also not pictured is a grey cotswold/barbados fleece I purchased for $8 and dropped at a mill to process into batts for another $12. I'll probably get it back in time for Rhinebeck in the fall. It's a short staple, but I had to try the Barbados, since that was the sheep that wandered into my yard in Spring Valley on Christmas Eve 5 years ago.

Cathy scored a dye kit and some yummy suri!

Dawn wins, having scored the most stuff! Including some new Goldings and a beautiful cormo/alpaca fleece that is almost pure white.

Here's a close up of the fleece, which she was nice enough to share with Cathy and me. :)

We decided to bring the group back next year - we'll do the fair in the AM and then hit WEBS in the afternoon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

First Game at the New Stadium

Sunday, April 19

Finally! My first game at the new stadium! While I still think the Steinbrenners are asshats for moving out of the House That Ruth Built, I have to admit the new ball park is nice. There are so many more escalators/concession stands/bathrooms that there are hardly lines for anything.

But $9 for a fucking Coors Light? Really? I asked the beer vendor loudly "Aren't you gonna kiss me first?" I've since learned that Beers Around the World is right near my seats on the grandstand level and it's so worth the extra $2 for a Guinness instead.

The guys who have the seats next to mine - Angel and Kevin - are pretty cool. We had some good laughs - especially about how the premium seats are mostly empty while the grandstand and bleachers are packed. It shows where the real fans are.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NY Auto Show - 4/18/09

We went to the NY Auto show at the Javits Center last Saturday. I brought my knitting and spinning along in case I got bored. That didn't happen. It was so much fun! I sat in a lot of cars and went over my 3-point checklist:

1. Quality of cupholders
2. Lighted makeup mirror on the visor?
3. Radio controls on the wheel?

I know, all the important stuff. I liked the Hyundai, the Honda and of course, the new 2010 Camaro. Check out the pics.

There were about 10 ShamWow vendors upstairs. We didn't buy one. We did, however, get sucked into buying jewelry cleaner, a Squirmle, and those things that sand the hair off your legs.

After the show we went to Brother Jimmy's for dinner before taking the train home.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Red Bull Snow Scrapers

This was so cool! Literally. More like it was fucking freezing. I was so sure I had frostbite that I didn't even stay to see Anthrax (which I'm sure kicked major ass) or even until the end of the snowboarding. But it was AWESOME! I got snow-sprayed by Shaun White. Sweet.

I took some craptastic pictures. I have this really awesome camera with a high-speed shutter for sporting events. Fat lot of good it did me sitting at home. So I had to take pics with the iphone, which I am still trying to figure out.

The vertical drop - nine stories - yikes!
Pretty pathetic photography, I know.

So glad I went!