Sunday, November 11, 2007

Female Carrier Type

It has been quite the roller coaster ride over the past couple of months.

During August, Mr. CrazyCat and I dropped off his freshman twins at their respective colleges. I wish I could say that the experiences of dropping off each child went really well. Mr. CrazyCat and I did our best to make their move as easy as possible, however their mother really went out of her way to make the experience as miserable as possible. Being the eternal optimist, I hope next year's move will go a bit better.

Less than a week after dropping off the last child at school, Mr. CrazyCat and I took a holiday trip up to the CrazyCat family farm. During the trip I had sneaking suspicion that life as I new it was going to change forever. After returning from the trip I used a rudimentary chemistry set (cup, dropper & test strip), took my results to Mr. CrazyCat and announced that I was pregnant.

Good Grief!

This certainly wasn't something that we were trying to accomplish, however we weren't exactly trying to prevent it from happening either. The results certainly took us by surprise. So my next step was to make an appointment with my OB/GYN to confirm the pregnancy. To my surprise, a positive home-pregnancy test means you're really pregnant. I had no idea. I learned it is the negative result that one must be leery of.

That evening Mr. CrazyCat and I, armed with the lone test result, made the rounds to the grandparents-to-be and made our announcement. I'll admit, telling my parents that I was pregnant was really exciting - much more so than when we announced our engagement. Mom had been in ill-health since the beginning of the year - bacterial pneumonia which lead to a diagnosis of lung cancer which lead to her treatment of radiation & chemo. To tell her that she was going to be a grandma was probably the best news she received all year. Sadly though she would not survive to meet her grandchild as she passed away on October 8. Being pregnant for the first time and coping with the loss of my mother hasn't been easy. I thought for sure that she'd be around to help me register for the baby shower, be there to answer my frantic 'first-time-mom' phone calls and to enjoy being a grandmother to my child. I wonder if she had many of the same thoughts after she and dad adopted me as she lost her father just two weeks before I was born. It's strange how life has the habit of repeating itself.

Many of our friends have asked us if we were going to the learn the sex of the baby prior to the birth. It was a no-brainer - we wanted to wait for the surprise. Recently I called the OB's office to receive the results of my CVS test. The nurse ruffled through a bit of paperwork to find my file and then proudly announced...

Nurse: "The results are normal for a female carrier type. "
Me: "umm... ok.... What is a female carrier type?"
Nurse: "A female carrier... female sex... you're having a girl."
Me: "Oh! Oh. Thanks."

So there you have it....I'm having a female carrier type.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Couple of Nerds

While watching a training DVD with my step-daughter, she says..."I must really be a nerd. I really enjoy watching this!"

She vocalized my exact thoughts.

Progress of Direct Home Sales

I have been an official consultant for a body care/skin care company for just about two weeks. Since then, I have been absolutely mad in organizing my business. I think I've nearly killed a tree with all paper I've printed up.

The Company recommends that new consultants host a "business launch" within 7-10 days of starting the biz. This is mostly to keep you motivated and to help start placing parties on your calendar. The idea is that you invite your friends & family, pamper them a bit with some product, they fall in love with the product, they purchase some product, they schedule a party & if you're lucky someone decides that they want to become a consultant as well. Well.....I scheduled my business launch, invited my friends and no-one attended. Several did respond that they could not make it, however I harbored the secret thought that someone wouldn't officially RSVP and would just show up. Silly I know. Time to start over. In the mean time, I've been planting seeds (sometimes not so delicately) with friends that they should hostess a party. It will eventually all come together.

On a positive note, I have recruited my first consultant. Haven't even had a party yet I've managed to recruit someone. For recruiting someone within my first 3 months, I receive $75.00 in free product or kit building materials! Yahoo! That someone happens to be my step-daughter. She's as mad about The Company products as I am. This will be a fantastic job for her - especially since she is headed off to college in the fall. We think she'll do really well on campus!

Time to watch an instructional DVD. The training materials are actually pretty good!

As for "The Company" - if you'd like to know the name, then you'll need to email me for the answer. I will leave them nameless for now. I will tell you that it is not Mary Kay. Those women give me the creeps. (Sorry BlkShadowRider & Fancy!)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Out Of The Comfort Zone

Every year I try to push my boundaries a little bit. Never in such a way which is personally dangerous or causes me to spiral out of control. Just something which pushes the comfort zone. This blog for example was an experiment. I'm not sure that it is going exceedingly well, but it's my little ole blog and I'm happy with it.

Last week while cleaning the house before a family get-together I found a postcard which I had tossed to the side. After pondering for a bit, I told Mr. CrazyCat that I wanted to attend a meeting to explore direct home sales for a company that I just love. He was extremely supportive (he is Mr. Entrepreneur himself) but had some questions just to ensure that it was a good business venture.

While at the meeting, I was excited and hesitant all at the same time. I asked my questions and wanted to share with Mr. CrazyCat. He, of course, could not be reached during my time of need - so I made an executive decision and signed up! I'm much more impulsive by nature so it didn't surprise him to learn that I joined. I was super excited when I called him - but he had question after question. It kinda squashed my excitement, but I know he was looking out for my best interest. (for the record - he is still super supportive and encouraging!)

The next morning I woke up and I wondered, "What the hell did I just do?" I felt so overwhelmed ... I need to schedule my business launch, I need to start booking parties, I need training, I don't know the entire product line, I don't even know what to say at the parties, I don't want to be that pushy sales lady with my friends...GACK!

While at work, I shared my new business with a friend. She was very excited for me, but not familiar with the product. I told her that I'd love to go over to her house and show her the product. Which is totally true. She gets to try product and I get to work out the kinks. win-win!

This might not be so bad after all!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Garage Sale Discoveries

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had purchased a bit of yarn at a garage sale recently. I know quite well that there wasn't any rational reason to go to the garage sale and purchase yarn - especially when I have over three totes full of yarn which have yet been touched. None-the-less I could not help myself from driving over and perusing the stash which was on sale. I ended up with yarns from around the world...

#1 - Cotton Twist - 100% cotton, 3.5 oz, actual yardage is unknown, made in France. The color is more of a light brown versus the mushroom shown in the picture.

#2 - Twiggy Tweed - 100% wool, 3.5 oz, 380 yards, made in France

#3 - "Focus on Cotton" by Patons , Cotton, Mohair, Acrylic & Nylon, 25 grams, made in Great Britain (purchased 4 - 5 of these)

#4 - "The Ritz" by Olareve for Tahki. Viscose, Mohair, Polyamide, Lamb's wool & Polyester. 80 yards, made in France. (I bought three of these)

#5 - "Dusty" - Cotton & Linen, 220 yards, made in Holland

#6 - "Fable", Pima cotton & Silk, ~ 184 yards, made in Peru

All of this just for $20.00 USD!! I'm not quite sure what I'll do with all of it. I thought perhaps I'd make items for an upcoming craft faire where I'll be donating a part of my proceeds to my local chapter of NOW. I've already made two scarves and have a third in progress. Yippee!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Holiday Recovery

Memorial Day 2007 has come and gone. Summer has unofficially started. Where did the first 5 months of the year go? Good grief!

Well, Mr. CrazyCat and I took the girl up to the farm for the holiday. There we met the rest of Mr. CrazyCat's family. There was much fun, relaxing, eating, drinking, recovering, CatchPhrasing and sleeping. That 'eating', though, can get you into trouble...and I don't mean overeating. Food poisoning is more like it. Yep, yours truly caught yet another case of food poisoning. Of course the day I started feeling crappy was the day that I convinced the family to make a trip over to Bayfield, WI. Everyone was excited to actually get out and "do something" - except me. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to go but I wasn't as excited as I had expected to be. At the time, I wasn't quite sure was wrong but I knew that I didn't want to be far from a bathroom. Sad. While I may not have been feeling up-to-par, I still managed to spend time in the yarn shop and purchased two patterns. I might just give this needle knitting thing a chance.

During the weekend, I did manage to knit up two scarves from yarn I purchased at a garage sale.

#1 - The Neckwarmer
I was really intrigued by this yarn. Silvery, metallic-y, mohairy, French yarn.

The result is a beautiful, lacey neckwarmer. I used the mock-crochet stitch on the blue round knifty knitter loom. 12 - 14 stitches wide (I don't remember and am too lazy to walk downstairs to count). Not sure about the length. I used just shy of 65 yards of yarn. I know - I'm a wealth of knowledge.

#2 - The Scarf
I used the mock crochet stitch on the small blue round knifty knitter loom for this scarf as well. This scarf is just 8 stitches wide. The length is unknown, but long enough for you to wrap around your neck once and still have plenty of length left on the ends. The color is so delicate - light peach with medium rose slubs spun in sporadically.

I really love the way this stitch create a bobble finished edge. I wish I could wear mohair - I would love to wear this scarf out-and-about. Instead I am resigned to sell it at a craft fair in August.

Friday, April 6, 2007

This and That

WOW! It has been quite a while since my last post. I can't say that I have a good excuse. Laziness would be my best justification.

I finally finished my "Valentine" knitting project. I made an afgan for my momma. It's stunning if I must say so myself. :) Since then I've been trying to make a baby blanket. I purchased some yarn, and created a pattern in my head. Yeah...that didn't work out so much. Then I looked around at different patterns and tried again. Strike two. I decided the problem was the yarn so I return the unused yarn and bought new yarn. Ok, so the new yarn is working out pretty well until I'm about 3/4's of the way done and realized that due to the stitch I used, the yarn pulls pretty easily. It occured to me that if the yarn is pulling on me, it will pull on the new mother. And who wants to deal with that. Time to frog the project, return unused yarn and buy more...again! Now I'm armed with new yarn & a new pattern. It was working beautifully. The pattern is very lacy and the yarn is very light yet warm for the baby. I'm going along and am almost finished when I realized that I dropped a stich 10 rows back. ARRGGHHHHH!! This baby blanket is not meant to be.

While Mr. CrazyCat & I have been married for about a year and a half, we still had not merged cell phone plans. We did so this week - yes it really is love. We stayed with T-Mobile. (Shout out to Nicole & Kris at the T-Mobile store at Gurnee Mills. If you need a new phone - go and see Nicole. She know's her business.) Getting back to the story... a new phone plan means getting a new phone! Much to the dismay of my coworkers I retired the "stripper" phone and replaced it with a pink Motorola RAZR with a cherry blossom tatoo design. YIPPEEEE!! I have the ultimate in gurly phones.

Which is the "stripper phone"? Take a guess - I dare you.

I'll admit, that's all I have for now.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"If we were like Jesus, think of the money we could save!"

No truer words could have been uttered by my wildly drunken friend whilst gazing upon the empties which had accumulated on the counter. Three bottles of port and one bottle of wine consumed in the matter of just a couple of hours. At least the dog was sober.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Well the weather outside is frightful

I've just come inside from taking the trash out. The trash remains in the garage as the garbage cans were knocked over by the wind and I was not properly dressed to monkey around in this cold weather. Oh my goddess - it is freaking cold outside! reports it is -3 degrees F. ...and I'm walking around in my pj's and a sweatshirt. I'll admit, I'm not the brightest ray of sunshine at times.

I had previously blogged that I had completed all of my holiday 2006 gifts. I was feeling pretty good until I started thinking that I had wanted to give scarves (in addition to their hats) to my girlfriend and niece. Now of course they wouldn't know the difference that I cheated them out of a scarf, but I would and I was feeling terribly guilty. Needless to say, I made the scarves. I am now guilt free.

I actually had quite a bit of fun making the scarves. The purple scarf, in particular, is a favorite of mine due to to randomness of the pattern and the deconstructive look. I was inspired by a scarf my boss wore the other day. The pictures do not do the scarf justice. I should remember to take pictures during the day rather than at night. The lighting in our house is really poor.

I've learned that pom-poms take forever to create. Of course I make them like my great-grandma taught me - wrapping yarn around a piece of cardboard. Each one was a struggle. Now I could go out an purchase a pom-pom maker - but where is the struggle in that??

I made both scarves on my Knifty Knitter board. My knitting board is presently occupied by my next project which is due on Valentines Day - but not for Mr. CrazyCat. More about that project later.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I've got tooo much time on my hands...

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm pretty busy. Work, political & feminist activism & family, and not necessarily in that order. It's a wonder how I manage to have any time for knitting. I think this is one reason why I enjoy winter so much. Activist activities slow down dramatically. Who really wants to attend a protest when it is 20 degrees F outside? I've done it. I'm sure I'll do it again, but I'd prefer to sit fireside with a glass of wine, Mr. CrazyCat and my knitting.

I promised Mr. CrazyCat that I'd make him a hat. Since I've made hats for just about everyone else, he had a point that he deserved one too. He picked out his colors and left the design up to me. Using my knitting board, I weaved using a rib stitch for the entire hat. Here is his hat modeled my by fabulous step-daughter. The hat is a little big on her, but just right on her dad.

For a couple of months, I had been eyeing a yarn at a local big-box craft store. It was a bit on the pricey side, so I decided to wait until it either went on sale or I broke down and bought it at full price. After receiving a new winter coat from my parents, I decided that I must have a new hat/scarf/mitten set. The stars must have been aligned as the matching yarn of my desire went on sale the following week. Yippee!

I decided to try something a little different. I wanted to make a beanie, using my knitting board, rather than my typical fold over brim hat. I wanted to have a k2 p2 band at the bottom, and use the stockinette stitch for the body of the hat. When it came time to create the band, my execution did not work as expected. Instead I decreased by one stitch on each side and used a rib stitch. Viola! My hat. The yarn is a bit fuzzy, so you really cannot see the detail of the stitches. I am really please that it turned out this well. Next time I think I'll make the band a bit shorter.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Well, that's a huge noggin. That's a virtual planetoid.

I've finally finished my last "holiday" gift. I wanted to use my knitting board again, but was lacking in creativity so I decided to purchase a pattern. I thought, "This is gonna be so easy, just follow the pattern and I'll be done." The end result? A hat which doesn't even fit the largest headed man I know. This hat is HUGE! I cannot tell you how many times I check the pattern to make sure I was reading it correctly. I was so disappointed. So disappointed that I couldn't even frog it to start over. I left it as is and started with a new skein of yarn.

I mustered the last bit of creativity I had and redesigned my hat. The result? A hat for normal sized heads. Yahoo!!

Now it is time to wrap up the hats and ship them off!

The pressure of the holidays is finally over.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

What? I'm a knitter?

I picked up a pack of Knifty Knitter round knitting looms back in September or October, 2006. I have since developed a passion - perhaps obsession - for loom knitting. My hubby purchased knitting boards (from Knifty Knitter as well as Knitting Board) for my birthday & for Christmas.

Needless to say, I've been making crafts for everyone. Mostly hats. One scarf. One half knitted shawl/wrap (work in progress.) Here are a couple of hats I finished during my last trip up nort' at the farm...

The red and black hat was made on my green KK round loom. The crazy hat with earflaps was made on my knitting board. I'm pretty pleased with the crazy hat as it was my first attempt using the knitting board. I used a pattern and was a little disappointed with how big around the hat turned out, so I decided to cinch up the top and magikly it fits!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Post #1

In creating my new blog I've come to realize that I will actually have to post messages. This is obviously the point of having a blog, but not easy for one who has a fear of sounding like an idiot.

Those who know me, know that I haven't any problems vocalizing what I think...but to sit and actually type out those thoughts...good mind becomes an empty slate. I like to push my various boundaries and comfort zone on occasion. Looks like I'm off to a good start.