Tuesday, December 23, 2008
And I have been VERY distracted. I reached level 80 in WoW and my time has suddenly switched from being consumed by crafting to playing that silly game! There suddenly is a whole other realm to play when you reach 80...there's heroic dungeons to run, there's gear to be had, there's achievements to accomplish...so MUCH! But it's down for maintenance today, so I figured I'd catch up on a few other things...like posting about my kit!!!
WOW!!! I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for my HSKS6 kit to come in the mail, and DH brought it in one day and said, "Oh yeah, this came, like, 4 or 5 days ago. I just kept forgetting to bring it in from the car." And I was in the middle of a dungeon! So I had to wait to open it. The box was taunting me. LOL Sitting there, looking at me, saying "I'm here! I'm here! And you can't open me yet because you've got other people depending on you in this dungeon!" Ugh! But get the kit I did, and I opened it as soon as I was out of that instance! Here are the fantastic pictures:
My GORGEOUS new bag!!!:
I absolutely love the rich colors of the bag!!! It's gorgeous!!!
The lining and pockets on the side have origami swans! (She's in Japan...) How cute is that?!:
Super pretty sock pattern (Faux Cable Socks):
VERY yummy and soft Ravenclaw sock yarn and my first set of wood dpn's (Knit Picks, size 2):
I can't wait to make my faux cable socks with my new needles and delicious yarn! I was "oo-ing" and "ah-ing" over the yarn and petting it and commenting over and over how it was so pretty and soft....and my husband has the nerve to say "so you're using that yarn to make my socks, right?" HA!!!!! AS IF!!! This is SO for me! And like I would reward his late delivery of my kit to begin with... ;)
A little bit of Japan...chopsticks, a wine bottle holder and Japanese candy:
The wine bottle holder being "modeled":
Owl note cards, a beautiful wallet, and a fridge notepad:
The whole kit together!:
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Jade!!! I love my kit! With no heat and no WoW, I may actually get to starting my socks today... ;) LOL (ETA: There was also a blue tape measure in there, but it somehow got out of being in the pictures...must not be very photogenic...) ;)
Then a day or two ago, my husband brought me in another package...it was my bookmark "kit"! Thank you, Antonio, I love it!
Bookmarks and tea:
I'm typically not a tea drinker, but I'm really looking forward to trying the vanilla chai...I've heard chai is pretty fantastic stuff, but haven't yet tried it. (Silly me...what a perfectly warming drink! I should go brew it...)
I'm a bit of a superhero fan, so the Wonder Woman thing was very much appreciated! :) (Someone did their homework....and even between terms! I may have a little bit of a crush...LOL)
And on the back of the bookmarks is a picture of Ron and two quotes:
"Aren't you ever going to read Hogwarts, A History?"
"That's what Hermione does. When in doubt, go to the library."
Love, love, love it, Antonio! Thank you!!! I still have to make Emma's...I could get that done today! Yay!
In other crafting news....I had intended to make 3 scarves for the Special Olympics, but have yet to even finish the first one! I don't know what days my husband has off this week (I've heard he's working Christmas Eve) :( but if he's home, I'm sure I could just tell him I'm not allowed to play WoW until I finish a project a day! LOL That wouldn't really be too challenging, really, as it only takes me 2-3 hours to crochet something up. As it is, he's even commented at how unnatural it is for me to be neglecting my crafting for video games! I've slowed way down on the cancer caps, which is not cool, especially considering there's still new requests coming in and I still have several others to complete. Hmmm. Maybe I should tell the hubby to only allow me 2-3 hours of play time per project finished...that might be a little more productive...We'll see what happens, I guess! I'm sure I won't be posting again before Christmas, so Happy Holidays to all, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even none of the above! Stay warm!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
It was interesting to try and take pictures on a moving vehicle, and I didn't get nearly as many as I wanted. I really was wanting to share the beauty of all I got to see even on the way to Salzburg, but you can't have it all, right? We were on the bus for 2 hours before stopping for breakfast at a very picturesque little place.
They had the best fresh squeezed orange juice! If I had access to that juice, I would drink it every day! And I got to have my very first European croissant! Ooooooooooh, it was soooooooooooooooo goooooooooooood!!! So much better than the American version! It was after breakfast, when we were back on the road that I started to finally doze. When I opened my eyes, all I could see out of the window was white!!! It was snowing! I grew up in Colorado. I've had far more than my fair share of snow. And I think it's beautiful, but only from a distance. Like capping the mountains in a distant range. To actually be in the snow...I have to admit, I don't like it. By the time we got to Salzburg, though, it wasn't too bad. There weren't blizzard conditions or anything, and it was very cold, but I was too excited to see everything to care much! Besides, we were inside for stretches, too, and that made it easier to admire the snow from a warm place indoors. :)
Kristin and I were very happy to find that we got there at about 10:30, which meant that since the Glockenspiel played every day at 11am and 6 pm (we were scheduled to leave at 5:45pm), we would get to hear it! We hung out at the Christmas Market for a little bit to catch it playing, before heading off to the tourism info center. I was able to get some of it on video, but not all of it. I wasn't sure it was working at first and stopped the recording before starting it up again, which makes the video pretty short. :( But it was so awesome!
While we were hanging around the Christmas Market (which was really the whole reason behind the trip, and they had some incredibly beautiful merchandise there!), we grabbed some potato wedges which were phenomenal, and I got a picture of Kristin being silly. :)
(Don't worry, you'll see a picture of me being silly later on, I promise.) :) First we went to the Salzburg Museum, which was so incredibly amazing...there aren't even words enough for the special exhibit they had there this year. This is the 190th anniversary of the carol "Silent Night, Holy Night," and they had the original manuscript on display!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously had tears in my eyes. If not for the fact of how crunched for time we were (you can't see as much of Salzburg as you'd like in only 5 hours!!!), I'd have lingered there longer.
I seriously was moved to tears at the sight of it. Oh, and for those of you that don't know, I suppose this would be an appropriate time to share the fact that I am a complete and total music freak/geek. Concert and Marching Bands all four years of high school, Band Council and Jazz Band assistant my senior year and Pep Band for my sophomore through senior years. Music is something that is very important and dear to me, and I'm not just talking about the pop and hip-hop stuff made today that people always claim as their lives. I mean real music. Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and on and on. So to see something in person that was composed nearly 200 years ago...it totally blew me away. I was able to buy a replica of my own from the gift shop. :)
After looking around the Salzburg Museum, we went over to the Panorama Museum for their "cribs" exhibit. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, but once I saw it, it made sense! LOL There were soooooooo many nativity scenes! This one here was my favorite:
It's made of porcelain!
Oh yeah, and my silly picture (which was taken in the Salzburg Museum):
I'm holding (and pointing to) Mozart Balls. Evidently, if you go to Salzburg, you have to try them...Kristin and I weren't too impressed, actually. I wonder if there are other flavors, and maybe that would change my mind. But these ones had chocolate on the outside, and on the inside, was filled with hazelnut praline, pistachio marzipan and marzipan. I'm thinking it was the whole pistachio part I didn't really like. But I tried it! :)
After the museums, we wandered around the Market a little more, did a little buying, and headed towards Festung Hohensalzburg, or "High Salzburg Fortress." The history of that place is absolutely astounding. We didn't get to really see much of it. We were both pretty worn out by that point, and were hauling Collin's big ol' stroller up and down the steps there. Plus, it was super windy and cold up there! It sits up above the rest of Salzburg.
We were able to get some amazing pictures of Salzburg from up there, though.
After we took our pictures and fed Collin, we headed back down the funicular (such a fun word to say! Seriously! Try to say it!) to find Mozart's birthplace.
I was seriously disappointed that they wouldn't allow any pictures inside. There were some amazing exhibits that I would have loved to share! I even had a moment where I wanted to take some anyway, but Kristin convinced me to behave. ;) I wonder how much more is at the museum of Mozart's residence. We didn't make it over there. Or to the Mirabell Gardens. And, of course, we didn't have the time to do any of the Sound of Music tours. :( But Kristin and I figure we can just go back during warmer weather. hopefully on our own, without the ITT people, so that we can stay however long we want, and maybe go see a concert!
I absolutely loved visiting Salzburg! The people there were so warm, and friendly. It was a very hospitable culture! I guess Italians are too, in their own way. I can't quite pinpoint the difference, but there is a very noticeable one. But I think my husband would like the computer back, so I think I'll sign off for now!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I've still been making lots of hats, but seem to be losing my steam! (Maybe if I keep yarn in my hands at all times, A will next say that he loves yarn...heeheehee!) I finished 3 more hats and started a fourth, but just have a hard time keeping at it. I'm not sure why. I almost wondered a little bit if it was because I messed it up. I changed needle size on the Claudia hat sooner than I was supposed to, and didn't feel like frogging back to where I messed up, so I just kept going. I have a hard time continuing with a project I know isn't my best work, but I really don't feel like undoing it all! That's so much knitting! It doesn't look bad. In fact, if you didn't know I made that mistake, you probably wouldn't even notice that the trellis work is going to poof out a little bit. I even started a 5th hat (crochet...the 4th is knit) to see if maybe it was the speed of the craft that made me less inclined to pick it back up, but I'm not feeling pushed to finish that one, either. I will keep at it, though. I've got people waiting on these hats! As it is, the last set that was supposed to be mailed out a week ago may have finally just been sent out today. We had to wait for payday. I can't believe that I've made so many, though! I'm sending them out in groups, so I've not really seen it as getting so many done, but the first set I sent out was 7 hats and the second set was 9, and I've finished 3 hats of the 3rd set....that's 19 hats!!! And a in pretty short amount of time, too!
In other news...Ravenclaw did not catch the snitch last night. It's very sad. I want to congratulate the 'Puffs for getting it (especially since they prevented Slytherin from getting it, lol), but I'm not done moping yet. We were so close to getting it!!! ::sigh::
But on a (much) happier note....I'M GOING TO SALZBURG!!!!!!!!!! It's not until this weekend, but I am soooooooooo excited! Kristin and I are going to the Christmas Market there and hopefully do some sightseeing, like Mozart's birthplace. If we had enough time (which I was told we likely wouldn't, unfortunately), we could even go see where parts of The Sound of Music was filmed. That would be beyond awesome! I grew up watching that musical! And after that trip, I've got Thanksgiving plans to really put into play! We're having Kristin and Collin, the Fishers, Karl and Natasha, and Dan all over for dinner! That's 7 adults and 4 kids (that eat table foods...Collin and Riley don't yet...)! And I've got to have a clean house and everything lined up to clarify who's bringing what! It's going to be FUN! So I certainly have enough to keep me busy! Now I'm off to make myself finish that "Claudia" hat...
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
In the time I was offline (and chafing at the fact that I was so out of the loop with the swap) I was able to make a second set of cancer caps to send out. (I just have to wait to send them out until payday...*sigh*) I'm actually quite proud of the results!
I definitely prefer to crochet the hats, as it goes soooooooo much faster, but I love the look of the knit hats a lot, plus knitting takes a lot less yarn than crocheting. Only one of the hats in the last set was knit (the black one).
Here's the first set:
That set has 3 knit hats (the middle row), but to be honest, the middle hat (which, yes, is a Gryffindor House Hat) didn't go out because it was insanely and comically large. It was my first ever knit hat, and I didn't know how big to make it, so I went with the large size. Yeah, it came out large alright! LOL I still have a few more on my to-do list to make...
In other news...my boys are driving me batty! They're constantly fighting and screaming and throwing tantrums. I just wish they had an off switch. Or, better yet, that I had a Vanishing Cabinet so that I could toss them inside it for a few hours at least, to give myself some peace and quiet where I could actually craft without being interrupted for having to break up a fight or settle a sharing dispute. I guess that it's just one of the many "perks" of motherhood. I'll be very relieved when they pass out of their current stages. Especially the 2-year-old.
I was able to send my package for Draco off by the early deadline, last Friday, the 7th. :) I really can't wait until he gets it and I hear about how much he likes it! Or at least, I hope he likes it...lol I haven't been able to really do many projects as of late. I made the tree skirt for the US troops that are deployed at the front lines, Draco's handmade item(s), and hats. Lots and lots and lots of hats. In fact, my husband asked me how many I was going to make. LOL I have even told him that I'm making them for cancer patients going through chemotherapy, and he asks "how many?"...the male mind, I guess. It's not like there's a set number of people that are going through chemo. But right now it's time to feed my boys. Hopefully a little lunch will put them in a better mood...
Now playing: Jessica Simpson - A Little Bit
Thursday, November 6, 2008
There was a blip on Monday (after I borrowed a friend's computer on Sunday to play catch up) where I was online. Checked my e-mail, started my "sites" (in the order of least going on to most...myspace, facebook, cafemom and then ravelry)...got partway into Facebook and got booted back off again. That was maybe a five minute reprieve. I was so mad when I got kicked back off that I actually wanted to break something. I crocheted instead. :) So today I'm at another friend's house (whose computer is compatible with my portable hard drive so I could post my back blogs about Halloween preparation and my trick-or-treat swap spoiling) posting while I can for this week's credit in case I don't get another chance before the week is up. *sigh* I hate this. I am SO out of the loop in the swap and SO behind on quizzes and reading blogs and threads on the Ravelry group....I HATE it!!! Grrr!!! I HATE that Italians are so flipping LAZY about this kind of thing! (And they really are!)
I haven't even really been productive with this time I've been offline. I was the first couple of days, but now I'm just too busy moping and griping about the whole situation to do much of anything. lol I think my boys have rubbed off on me...I'm sulking. LOL Even my productivity rate for knitting and crocheting has taken a plummet! You would think that with all the time I've not been online, I'd at least be cranking out the hats, but that's not even the case! Sure, I've made a few, but it's nowhere near my usual caliber. *double sigh* Here's hopping that I have my Internet back a home soon and get back into the groove of things!!!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wow! Today certainly has not calmed my fear of owls! I received a package today from Bevin Rae that took multiple owls to carry it! I nearly ran away in fright at the sight of all those birds winging their way toward me, but once Rowena and Ophelia C. assured me they carried something for me and were not merely erratic birds (nor were they as over-excited as the bunch of owls that landed me in St. Mungo’s), I relaxed. A little bit, anyhow. :)
The package was for our in-House Trick-or-Treat swap, and I was blown away at how much there was inside! At first I couldn’t believe it was for that swap, as Olive said to use a bubbled envelope. I thought she meant a small one. I almost feel bad for how small and simple mine was that went out. Bevin used a bubbled envelope, but it was a large one.
I got a knit sock pattern, a crochet scarf pattern, a kit to make a Halloween garland, a witch pez dispenser, a post card from California, a candy corn candy holder STUFFED with candy (I don’t know how she got it all in there!), 4 pairs of plastic vampire teeth, and some Ravenclaw blue ink that I used with my quill tonight. :D On top of all that, there was also another envelope in there stuffed with fun craft goodies from her kiddos to mine!
My boys were very excited to see it all and were quite upset with me when I told them it was too late for them to get into it tonight. (I didn’t get the package until my husband got home.) They seemed to be pacified, though, with a sticker each and to each play with a set of the fangs. Tomorrow we’ll be crafty. :)
I’ve been keeping myself quite busy with S.P.E.W. as of late. I still haven’t heard anything about anything officially this term for it, so I’ve kind of just gone my own way and done my own chapter of it, if you will. As October is breast cancer awareness month, I’ve been making free beanie-style hats, some knit and some crochet, for cancer patients losing their hair because of going through chemotherapy. The first 7 I made are long gone, and I’ve got another 15 to send out yet. Over the past couple of days, I’ve finished 3 of those needed 15, and am working on the 4th.
I am really not happy with the fact that our Internet is down again. I had started to get back into playing WoW, and was actively leveling my paladin, trying to prepare for the expansion by making level 70 before the release on November 13th. The other night, I got up to two bars away from making level 66 and was in the midst of getting the seasonal achievements for Hallow’s End…and I got booted offline. I’m trying to give the Italians the benefit of the doubt that it was caused by the massive storm that we’ve had going on over the span of the past couple of days, even though it stormed the whole day before it cut off that night and that it was clear out today and we’re still not back online, but given that they’ve shut us off twice in the last 8 months, it’s hard. They had better not have disconnected us again. (The Italians will shut off your Internet without any cause, just so they can charge you the reconnect fee to get a little extra money, and it ticks me off! They get away with it!) If they did, they’d better hope it’s my husband dealing with them, because I’ll have no patience with them. Especially since we’ve been back online from the last time for maybe a month! I guess only time will tell, though…
Tomorrow (Halloween), there’s a carnival going on at the base in the afternoon, so I’m hoping I can get my boys to actually wear their costumes (they wouldn’t the other night) and get some pictures. Here’s hoping!
So, thank you, Bevin Rae for the spectacular trick-or-treat package! I absolutely love it! I feel quite spoiled!
Now playing: Eberhard Kraus - Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
Monday, October 27, 2008
What a fun night! The Husband got a brand new video game (Fable II for the Xbox 360) and he wanted a few hours to play without the interruption of the boys, so he “kicked us out” of the house for the day. Not that I was sad to go! We spent the day at Kristin’s. When we first got there, we carved pumpkins. I’ve never carved a pumpkin before! The most I’d ever done was draw a face on it with permanent marker. Kristin had a pumpkin carving kit, but she couldn’t find it anywhere, so we had to use the “medieval” tools of knives and spoons. LOL I actually think they turned out quite well, considering I’d never before done it and had to use, what I hear is, such “primitive” pumpkin carving tools. I picked up two pumpkins from the commissary the night prior, so that there would be one for each of the boys. A really got excited about it and got into scooping all the insides out with his spoons and dumping it into a bag. It didn’t quite smell like what I expected…I guess I just thought it’d smell like pumpkin pie. LOL It most definitely did not! On A’s pumpkin, I did two spiders, and on C’s, I did a ghost. Kristin carved a cat and stars on hers.
One of Kristin’s other friends, Liz, came over as well with her 2 month old baby girl. We all ended up going over to the base to try and take the kids to the Trunk-or-Treat and the non-scary hours for the Haunted House. Unfortunately for me, neither of the boys would wear their costumes. I went through all the trouble of getting A a Halloween costume (Spiderman!), and he refused to wear it. I didn’t think of costumes ahead of time enough to order any online or ask my in-laws to send us some, and the options at the BX were little to none. They had infant and adult costumes and pretty mush nothing in between. So I was going to let C decide between his and A’s costumes from last year, James or Thomas, but he didn’t want either. Kristin's son looked really cute in his skeleton jumper, though! If we get to make it to the Halloween carnival on base on Halloween day, maybe I can convince them to dress up then. Or maybe The Husband can. He seems to have that touch.
When we got to base and around to where the line was for the trunk-or-treat, it really ended up not being worth the wait. The line was waaaaaaaaaay too long to stand in with 4 kids aged 2 months through 3 years. It was a little nippy as well, and not good for the littlest ones to be out in. So instead, we went to the food court inside and the boys got pizza. That made them happy. The food vendors also had some candy set out for the kids, so we got a little (and I mean very little) bit anyhow. While I was there, I had to run and grab some diapers (I ran out in the diaper bag before we even got to base!) and picked up a little thing of Snickers bars as well, just so that A could say “trick or treat!” and get some candy in his bucket. I let him hold on to the bucket for the trip back to Kristin’s. That turned out to be a mistake.
Kristin and I were talking in the front, when all of the sudden, an aroma caught my olfactory attention. And we’re not talking about stinky diaper aroma, either. I could smell chocolate. I asked Kristin if A had gotten into the candy, and sure enough, he already had half of the bar gone! (They weren’t the mini-sized…probably about the size of the ones you see at the check-out counter.) I didn’t even know he could open packages like that! Needless to say, he didn’t get to hold the bucket for the rest of the trip. I guess the chocolate-y mess could have been significantly worse than it was, but I was just too miffed (and amused, really) that he’d even gotten it open to fully appreciate that. He got some on his socks and some on his shirt. (He was pant-less due to a wetting accident, just before getting in the car.) No chocolate, seemingly, on his car seat or anywhere on the car’s upholstery, thank goodness! We went back to Kristin’s and baked some cookies. Yum! A was very excited about using the cookie cutter to help make Halloween sugar cookies! In fact, when I turned my back (I know, I know, foolish me!) to put one on the cookie sheet, A helped himself to using another cookie cutter, smack dab in the middle of the rolled out dough! He even had pulled it up and set it aside, with the dough caught inside the cutter! He’s getting awfully sneaky and very independent. He makes his own choices on what he wants to do and acts on it.
After the cookies were all in the oven, the boys played their little hearts out while Kristin and I chatted and crocheted. (I’m teaching her how to make the round ripple afghan!) She and I got to decorate the cookies, too. At first we thought about letting the boys try to do it, but then this mental image of A squeezing the icing tube as hard as he could and making a huge mess just wouldn’t get out of my head! So we had fun with it instead. I looked at the clock at about 10p, and thought that I should start to get the boys ready to go. I really try to not keep them out too late. When they started getting inexplicably cranky, though, was when I finally got around to getting us out the door. Guess why they were so cranky….it was because it was two in the morning!!! I can’t believe we stayed that late! I have no idea how 10-30 minutes turned into four more hours! I still can’t believe that was four hours!
I got home and the boys in bed, and went downstairs to apologize to The Husband for us getting home so late, and I asked him if he enjoyed his 13 kid-free, gaming hours, and you know what he said? “It wasn’t long enough.” *eye roll* Gamers. ;) LOL So today I was going to return Kristin’s cell phone to her (she accidentally left it in the car last night), and he suggested that I take the boys and a movie and that the boys and I stay over there for an hour or two…or five. LOL We ended up getting to have some yummy pumpkin pasta dish that Kristin had never made before. It was quite tasty! Much to The Husband’s dismay, though, the boys and I didn’t stay nearly as late this time around. LOL All in all, I had a fantastic weekend!
Friday, October 24, 2008
You can't tell from the pictures, very well, but the middle red, green and white section is done with the Red Heart Holiday Yarn...it's got silver sparkles in it...never again will I buy that yarn! It's too painful!!! The overall effect once it's done is nice, but in my opinion, not really worth it. My finger felt like steel wool was being rubbed across it. Ouch!
But as of this morning, it went off to join the other donations for the deployed troops on the front range. I didn't make it very large, but that's because their tree is only 4.5' tall...I hope they like it!
In other news, I finished another hat!
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I've still not heard anything about S.P.E.W. through HSKS for this term, I've decided to do my own little chapter of S.P.E.W. I'm making hats free for cancer patients undergoing chemo, and I am also going to sell some on eBay, with the proceeds going to cancer research. Here are all the hats I've finished so far:
I also got my Trick or Treat package sent off to my Ravenclaw "spoilee" yesterday morning. My owl, Sylus, took off dutifully and purposefully. I hope they get it quickly!!! :) I can't wait to hear the reaction to my trick...it's absolutely priceless!
So now I'm just down to working on the Special Olympics scarves and finishing up on Draco's package! Yay! ::scampers off to work on said projects::
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
On top of all that, I have requests from a family member to do some research for the Italian-themed Christmas they're having this year (in honor of us being here) and to find a sock monkey pattern to make them for my nieces. :) And I found a free crochet pattern that I'm going to use. I'm definitely going to have to tweak it a bit...it definitely needs longer arms and legs, and I may have to adjust the rest accordingly...in the meantime, I smell a surprise from one of my two boys. I'd better go and locate the source and get it taken care of, and then I'm off to work more on my Transfiguration and S.P.E.W. awareness. I swear that campaign never rests...::sigh::
Saturday, October 18, 2008
WOW!!! If I could sum up my birthday trip to Venice in one word, that would be it. WOW!!! I couldn't stop saying that over and over when we got to St. Marco's (St. Mark's) Square. I literally got tears in my eyes when I walked into that piazza! And if I teared up over that, I imagine I'll be in hysterics when I actually get to go to Paris...lol
We didn't actually get to spend literally all day in Venice, since we had to make a necessary run to base in the morning first, but we caught the 1pm train out. I got to actually ride on a train. Since I don't count the time I took A on the "A Day out with Thomas" train ride (it was a very short ride), nor do I count the little amusement park trains, this was my first train ride!!!
Me with my adorable traveling companion, Collin
Everything on the trip went amazingly well! After we got our train tickets and a were waiting for our train, another one going to Venice came in that was half an hour late, so we went on that one instead. It was awesome because we didn't have to worry about being stuck with standing room only space, like we probably would have on the train we were going for.
When we got into Venice a little more than an hour later, which included being on train tracks over a body of water that's larger than Lake Erie (which, until yesterday was the largest body of water I've ever seen), we stopped to use the bathroom at the train station so we didn't have to deal with the "squatter" toilets. (And wouldn't you know I forgot to take a picture of one...) Just outside the train station, there were pigeons everywhere! It made me think of Bert from Sesame Street and his "Walk Like a Pigeon" song I grew up listening to. LOL And those birds have no fear of humans! Well, okay, there's some fear, since they fly away if you charge at them screaming, but they are the boldest birds I have ever seen! It actually reminded me of the movie Just Married with Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy in the scene where he's going nuts over the pigeons while she ooo's and ahh's over the art and architecture. Brave, brave birds.
One of the brave pigeons
We walked around and saw all kinds of things on our way to St. Marco's (St. Mark's) Square. I took over 200 pictures yesterday!!! A lot of them, though, are of the same or similar things....pictures taken of buildings from different angles. pictures of waterways and bridges, pictures of the different colored building faces...The waterways are basically their roads there. You can't drive on those roads, so there's a lot of walking involved! And the bridges aren't sloped. They've got stairs. So Kristin and I got a great work out! LOL
One of the water roadways
It was just so amazing to see all that I did! To be in those streets that have been there longer than America has been a country...it blows my mind! And when I walked into St. Marco's Square.....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was almost overwhelming! To see in real life what I've only before seen in pictures and movies....I can't even put it into words! It was all so beautiful! The Basilica, Doge's Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the gondolas...all of it! It was just one of those moments where it really hit home that I am living in Europe!!! So many people look at places like Venice and just see an old, dirty city that has little to offer, but I just don't understand how they can think that way! There's such a trove of history and art and culture and just...beauty!!!
Me taking one of many pictures
We didn't get to actually go into the museums or anything because I was just too wrapped up in seeing everything and taking pictures and drinking it in. So that just means we'll have to take another trip when we can see even more! ;) Kristin thinks (and I agree!) that she and I should go near Carnivale. Oh, that would be an experience!!! And we're planning to go see an opera in Venice sometime, probably next summer. I mentioned that to The Husband and he said we couldn't go to the opera without him...LOL
Sorry if my thoughts seem a bit random and choppy today. Yesterday's trip put me in the mindset of watching Casanova with Heath Ledger, and I keep seeing places pop up on the screen that I saw in person just yesterday!!!
I got some gelato yesterday, and I felt so proud of myself, or as I said to Kristin yesterday, I felt like "such a big girl" to order my own gelato in Italian! Kristin had had to tell me what to say, and I'm fairly certain the person in the gelaterie knew English enough that I could have ordered it in my native tongue, especially as she was smiling at me as means of encouraging my attempts at Italian, but it was just so cool to do it in Italian! :D I got two scoops so I could have my strawberry and try a new flavor. I went for vanilla. It was sooooooooooooo good!
Trash can outside one of the gelateries
I also spent my birthday money from my in-laws on something I have wanted for years....I bought a quill! :) It looks so awesome! And I was blown away by the shop owner that I bought it from! There were two other couples in the shop when I went in. The first of them was Italian, and they were, of course, chatting away in their own language. The next couple was French. I recognized a few words here and there. The shop owner went from Italian to fluent French without seemingly a second thought, and then turned around and spoke English to me!!! I was floored! I wonder how many languages he does know! He was an older gentlemen...not quite as old as my grandparents, but definitely older than my parents.
The detail on my quill. Isn't it gorgeous?!
Then, of course, I only took a bunch of pictures in St. Marco's Piazza. How could I not?! I wish I had room to post all of the pictures I took, but I don't want to overwhelm everyone! LOL Facebook has a limit of 60 pictures per album, so I did a pick and choose of the best pictures. Here's the link to the album so that you can all see it at your leisure. :)
On the way back to the train station, a little while after my "big girl" moment, Kristin and I stopped in at McDonald's and ordered Happy Meals! LOL
McDonald's in Venice! :)
It was a long afternoon full of walking and window shopping. I also did some actual shopping, but I don't want to post all the pictures of what I bought yet, since some of the things I bought are gifts for others! :) We got back to the train station about 10 minutes before the next train we needed departed, and we got seats on that train, too!
As soon as I got home (after 11 pm!), I went to go have some of my birthday pumpkin pie that The Husband bought for me...unfortunately, it was not a pie that, like he thought it was when he bought it, a frozen pie that just needed to be thawed and eaten. It was a pie that was supposed to remain frozen until you bake it. I tried to make sure it was thawed for my eating it, so it had been sitting in the fridge. I was more than a bit surprised when I opened the box and gooey stuff went everywhere! LOL I did bake it, though, and while the crust is burnt and the filling isn't 100% cooked, it's still got that pumpkin taste that I love so much. ;) I may just have to buy another one. ;) LOL All in all, it was one of my best birthdays ever. :) A day without my boys to see Venice and have some adult time and end it with some pumpkin pie! On top of that, The Husband has had nearly a full week off from work and he's taking me out to dinner tomorrow night! :)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
And in other news from Italy...while I was offline for a week (and that was one of the longest weeks of my life!) I got to hang out a lot with Kristin which was tons of fun, and we went to the bazaar on base (which reminded me a lot of "Affair of the Heart" that I went to in Oklahoma with my mother- and sister-in-law last year, except with European products) and I even convinced The Husband to go with me the next day to do some Christmas shopping! :D Then Kristin and I went to a sort of festival that was going on in downtown Sacile. I took a few pictures, but they were mostly of the buildings around town and the boys having fun. It seemed to be a wine and cheese festival, or so Kristin figured, given that there were wine and cheese vendor stands everywhere and little else. And on that glorious day....I got my first taste of gelato!!! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH my GOSH is that stuff GOOD! I've been craving it ever since! It's a MILLION times better than ice cream! Maybe I'll be able to get some this week since I'll have access to the car... :) I really want to try another flavor, but that strawberry was soooooooooooo good! Maybe I'll have to splurge and get TWO scoops... ;)
A loving the waterfall
The boys and me out and about at the festival:
And my first taste of gelato!:
But I need to get going...I'll likely be cleaning today so that I don't have to do it while The Husband is home. I'd rather relax and knit or crochet and enjoy his time off. :) Later!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Then the discussion of the hat bracket came up in the dueling club. A few of the crocheters were surprised to discover that the last round in the bracket is knit, even though I know that our coordinator specified that on more than one occasion. But their concern reminded me that I'm still pretty new to knitting. I've only just finished my first knit hat. So I've come to the decision that after I finish the hat for the present duel, I'm also going to do the knit one for the practice. Just in case I make it to the last bracket. I'd rather be prepared for it and not make it than to make it and then be in trouble with my less-than-stellar knitting abilities! I've decided that I'm going to send the hats to my own small part of S.P.E.W. October is breast cancer awareness month, so I think that all the excess hats I make I'm going to find people that have lost their hair due to chemotherapy to send them to. The first hat has cables, and that's something I've never tried before. I was a little nervous at first, but I watched a tutorial on knittinghelp.com, and WOW! I laughed at my apprehension. It's so easy. It's definitely slow going, due to both my lack of knitting experience and my two little boys that aren't content unless they're causing trouble...but if I make it to the knitting of hats in the duels, I may have a fighting chance...so long as the boys aren't anywhere around...lol
And on a happier note, I'm am very pleased to say that my owl stepped up to the plate and took off with his package for Miss Elladora...here's hoping my hat gets there before hers gets to me!!! ::crosses fingers::
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Now playing: Maroon 5 - This Love
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The term has just started, but I was still already up all night with my nose in a book...I've heard that Potions can be a killer subject. But there I was, falling asleep on my book, when I saw what turned out to be our very own house elf! At first I was indignant that we had our own elf, but Haxal seemed quite content to be so subservient. I guess being one in a long line of house elves would brainwash anyone. Not to mention that she's been at it a few years. Maybe I could get an inside view of the house elves' oppression to make for a stronger argument for S.P.E.W. Hmmm...we'll have to see.
In other news, I was nearly overwhelmed by owls today! I feel like I"ve been spoiled already! I was bombarded with not one, not even two, but THREE packages! :D Granted, two of them are because of things (mainly yarn) that I ordered online, but I still love it when they come in! The third package was my prize for completing the most projects in the Ravelympics in Team Hogwarts. :)
They're my first *ever* stitch markers! I *love* them! :D Nearly all of my muggle friends think I'm off my rocker for getting so excited over this stuff...LOL THANK YOU for my package! :D
Now I think that since the homework assigned from my first day is done, I'll set about learning how to enchant some needles so I can make so hats for S.P.E.W.! :)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I really enjoy working with cotton yarn...it's so soft! And I'm loving the bamboo needles! I can't seem to get the cast on tension to be the same as the cast off, unfortunately, which makes for some...interesting...shapes. I wonder if there's a secret to that...Anyway, I stumbled across the pattern for this dishcloth while I was looking around The Leaky Cauldron for ideas and resources for the sock swap...there's one row that looks a little strange, but that's because I had to frog some of it due to a mis-count and when I put the stitches back on the needle, I accidentally twisted them. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it until I was almost done. :( So this dishcloth will have to stay imperfect, which also means I can't give it as a gift. And yes, I am that anal. LOL I changed the border to the dishcloth just because I liked the border on the snitch dishcloth better, and I also added a few extra rows to make it taller. And for some reason, I can't find my crochet hooks! They seem to have gone AWOL on me, and that is not good! Therefore, I've not yet been able to weave in the ends...nor can I start on the ear flap hats that I wanted to for my boys! Double :( . Maybe I'll try my first ever socks instead...
Saturday, September 6, 2008
In other news....I had a "Super mommy" moment tonight. :D Today had been one of those days, where every little thing was irritating, the boys got into everything they weren't supposed to (including ransacking my craft room....which I still have yet to pick up....crafting stuff is everywhere) and so on. Well, I didn't get the e-mail to my husband in time to tell him we were out of diapers (minus the 6 in the diaper bag), nor did I call him in time, so he came home empty-handed. (Well, almost empty-handed....he did bring me my package. :D ) So instead of getting to run the dungeon I wanted to on WoW, I got to drive all the way back to base to get them and picked up a few other things we were out of while I was at it. By the time I got back home (which was a long and frustrating affair, what with the Italian traffic and all), I didn't feel like making the spaghetti I'd been planning to. Instead, I opted for the quick-fix mac & cheese with hot dogs. I set the pasta on to boil, took out the garbage and washed some dishes while it boiled. I go to pull out the other things I need before I drain the noodles, and lo and behold....I HADN'T BOUGHT ANY MILK!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! I took a moment to tell my boys they could get out of time-out (they'd been jumping on the couch), and ran away to lay down before I lost it. As I lay on my bed, berating myself for being so dumb as to forget that I needed milk to make the mac & cheese and for being at the commissary and forgetting to buy any, I was hit with an idea: goulash! I hadn't had goulash in a loooooooooooooong time, and it was one of my favorite things to eat as a kid. I didn't have any ground beef thawed out, but I had chicken (which was what was going to be for the spaghetti), so I ran back upstairs and fried the meat and added the spaghetti sauce, and voila! Not only had I salvaged dinner, but I had created something good, and on an impulse! If you don't know me that well, let me tell you that the genius in the kitchen is my husband, not me. Not by a long shot. And I managed to throw something together like that and it was delicious! My husband even thought so! Not only did he say it was "really good" (instead of the usual, "it's not bad"), but he went back for seconds, so I know that he really liked it! C also enjoyed it (as his sauce-y face and hands attested), and he and I both had seconds too. A didn't want to even try it, but I think I won out. :) 3 vs. 1! It's hard to accommodate all four of our tastes, so the fact that 3 or us liked it is a pretty big deal. Go team me! *happy, happy* *dance, dance*
And now I'm off to knit away the time remaining until I can sign up to get into Ravenclaw for the kit swap.....
Friday, September 5, 2008
For someone that's been crocheting as long as I have, you'd think that I'd experimented with many yarns, but the truth is, I hadn't. Red Heart was the cheapest, easiest stuff to get my hand on. Only since learning to knit and joining Ravelry have I really discovered how many kids of yarn there are out there. Wool, acrylic, cotton...fingering weight, sport weight, chunky.....it's amazing! A whole new world has opened up! Before this past month, I've not touched more than Red Heart's super saver, soft, and once light and lofty yarns and Caron's soft yarn. Now I've toyed with cotton yarn (which I must admit I love) and now get to play with more cotton and now sock yarn! I also got a book on knitting socks! :D Now it's just a waiting game until my first ever circular knitting needles come home....YAY!!! I'm on my yarn high!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I still haven't figured out how to post a pattern to this blog effectively, even with platformnine trying to help me. I'm just not getting what she's saying, for some reason. :( I added that Lordearon chart a couple months back, but the lines on it are all blurry and it's so small and hard to see. *sigh* Of course, I might figure it out if I were to spend more time trying to get it, too. But instead, since HSKS will be taking top priority (well, top priority in my hobbies, at any rate, certainly not over my boys....but I'm sure I can squeeze it in above housework...Heehee) in a couple of days, I'm trying to level my Paladin on WoW.
I've been grinding the heck out of that thing. I want to (ideally) be a well-geared (or at least decently-geared) level 70 with an epic flyer before the expansion comes out this fall/winter. Sadly, had I not lost the other WoW account, I would already (most likely) have had my epic flyer and be working on the gear issue. I'm not really sure who's more to blame for my loss of that toon: my husband or his friend. DH because when he "bought" the account, he didn't actually buy the account....he left it in his friend's name but took over the payments. His friend because he was the creep who decided he wasn't done with WoW and wanted the account back so that he didn't have to start over from scratch. So "lucky me" got to instead. All of the hard work I put into that level 70, just gone. With only 1200 gold and some odds and ends (like heavy netherweave bandages and a couple of pieces of fair armor that I hadn't equipped) to show for it. *sigh* So since I'm not sure whose fault it is, I'm just going to forget about placing the blame and level the heck out of my "new" toon. I'm up to level 57! Three more levels and I can finally start questing for my epic mount and head to the Outlands to level faster! Wahoo! LOL
But it looks like I need to start my day with giving my boys attention...they've really become little delinquents lately. Already! And they're only toddlers! *sigh* Off to play with the kids....maybe read a book (to share my love of being a bookworm) or color together (gotta get those creative juices flowing!). I will most likely blog on Saturday, once I know what House I got into! :)
Monday, August 25, 2008
Yes, I finished the Dark Mark Illusion Scarf! Yay! :) I decided to not put fringe on it, as it's for my brother, who is not a fringe-y person. LOL I have yet to figure out, though, why the marks aren't lined up....I followed the pattern, recounted the rows, and all things pointed to having done it correctly....Maybe one side is stitched looser than the other....*sigh* Oh well. Too late now! LOL It still looks decent. :) Now I can prepare and practice knitting for the sock kit swap! :D
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Speedy the Turtle:
I've never done amigurumi before, so I'm actually quite pleased with the end result of Speedy, even if I did accidentally make him a little front-heavy by my lack of planning on the head and leg placement....but I'm not too worried about it....judging from my boys' reactions, I'll be getting plenty of amigurumi practice in soon! Now my sole goal in the Ravelympics is to finish the Dark Mark Illusion scarf....if I can do that, I will be happy....