Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One More Day!

So I'm in a bit more of a frenzy today than I was in yesterday.  In about 24 hours I will be boarding the plane for Las Vegas.  Guess what? It is snowing like mad here today.  Really?? It's Spring.  No snow allowed.  When I came to school this morning, the car of a teacher who lives in a neighboring county had two inches of snow on it.  One of my students said he fell in his driveway this morning. UGGGHHH.  This has to stop before tomorrow.  I really don't want my flight to be cancelled.  I've been down that road before too.

The last minute items that need packing are still hanging over my head.  I have created a list so that when I get home I can just gather these things up and throw them in the suitcase.  I have to be completely packed before I leave the house in the morning because I'm leaving for the airport straight from school at 2:45.  I won't have a chance to go home and get any forgotten things. There's still a bit of laundry to catch up and one last run of the dishwasher.  It seems never ending, but will be completely worth it once I arrive and leave all the worries behind.

I probably won't post again until I get back.  I will give all the details and pictures then.  Remember to comment if you want to do a sock knit-a-long this summer.  I've got lots of new yarn to try out, and I'm going to create a fairly easy pattern to use.  It would be fun, so let's do it!

Hope everyone has a nice week, and for any of you on Spring Break next week, ENJOY!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Question for Sock Knitters!

I forgot all about asking this question to all you sock knitters in my earlier blog today.  Would anyone be interested in doing a sock knit-a-long sometime this summer? If so, just leave a comment, and we can vote on a pattern and go from there.  I can't really do it until school is out, but I would love to begin in early summer! Let me know!

Did it!

I did it! I actually accomplished the goals that I had set for the weekend.  My clothes are patiently waiting in my suitcase for their departure to Vegas on Wednesday.  All I need to pack are the last minute things.  Aren't those the worst though?  Ugh.  I always forget something, but as long as I have an extra pair of contacts and my glasses, I can purchase anything I need at Walgreens, which just happens to be right across the street from Treasure Island.  I've looked at the weather forecast, which is in the high 70's with 0% chance of rain.  It all sounds too good to be true.  Here, a "wintry mix" is predicted.  Will Spring ever arrive?

I am still planning to knit the scarf while on the journey.  I have some scrap yarn for some mug cozies if i get bored with the mundane pattern of the scarf.  The book I mentioned in my last post is called The Sock Knitter's Handbook by Beth Parrott.  It really does have some great tips, and has some stitch patterns that are great for socks.  I'm not really all about fancy patterns in my socks.  I knit socks for relaxation, not to be stressed by a complicated pattern.  I have done some simple cables, but lace knitting is not my fave.  I do it often, but don't really have a love affair with yarn overs.  LOL.

I will post before the trip, and plan to take tons of pics to post on here after the return!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

I am not a person that stresses very easily.  As a teacher, you just can't be that way or you would definitely drive yourself crazy.  Flying by the seat of your pants must become a daily event.  I love my vacations.  I count down the days until they arrive.  I actually "X" them off of my calendar like I would if I was in jail.  Then....the days get closer....and closer.  Oh my gosh, I have to pack.  I need to know what the weather will be like so I know what to take along.  Oh dear, the weather is warm in the day and cool at night.  I need to take winter and summer clothes.  I need a new suitcase to fit all these clothes into.  My summer clothes are still packed in crates in the attic.  I need to get them down.  I need to get ready to miss work for two days and plan for a sub.  The list never ends.

It really did seem like a good idea when we planned this in January, and I know it will be wonderful once we arrive, but the getting ready seems to take forever. I typically feel this same way about all my trips. I have accomplished a few things so far.  I do have plans ready for my substitute teacher that will be coming next Thursday and Friday.  It has taken me four hours to plan to be out.  Ugghh.  The perils of being a math teacher.  Ha!

This weekend, I must get the clothes out of storage and see what still fits, which is a whole different issue I don't want to talk about.  This means lots of laundry, and probably a bit of shopping to replace things that have "shrunk" while in storage.  Isn't it funny how that happens?

I'm taking on the notion that I can only do one thing at a time.  Tomorrow morning, clothes come out, and things going on the trip get washed.  Tomorrow afternoon I will shop for necessities. (This could get interesting.  What are "necessities"? :))  Wash the necessities upon return home.  O
n Sunday I will begin packing.  We shall see how it goes.  Currently I am making a list and I am not really a list person.  The older I get the more lists I need (another one of those mathematical positive correlations!).

On a side note, I got a new sock knitting book that I'm going to look over tonight. If you paid attention above, you made note that I did not have Vegas planning on the agenda for tonight.  If it is a worthy resource, I will write about it in my next blog.  I also got new sock yarn, and it is very lively!
Soooo exciting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Vegas Here We Come!

I have a goal of getting back on track with my posting.  It is so easy to put it aside for a day, then another and another and before you know it, it has been weeks.  Time sure does fly.  I am loving the warmer spring weather.  It is getting into the 60's here in East Tennessee, and honestly, that is probably my favorite temperature.  Not too hot and not too cold.  As spring arrives, so does spring break for all of us teachers (and students too :)).  This is an especially exciting break because my daughter and I are going to Las Vegas.  It is just the two of us and we will be leaving on the March 26th and returning on April 1st.  This is certainly not our first trip.  Actually we have been so many times I have lost count.  We typically go around Christmas time, but this year we decided to change it up a bit and go to a cabin on the top of the mountain in Gatlinburg.  It was very different, but nice.  We definitely have that feeling of missing Vegas.  Despite its fast pace and craziness, it is a place that we truly enjoy.  None of us are really big gamblers.  We enjoy playing slots a bit and making an occasional bet in the sports book room, but that's about it. So what is the drawing card? One big perk is the shopping.  It is fantastic. Very New York-like.  They have all the designer stores (which I enjoy looking in), some unique gift shops and an incredible outlet mall that usually offers deals much better than here at home.  They also have outlet stores that we don't see in Tennessee.  Here is a picture of the stash from one of our past trips.  As you can see, knitting socks isn't the only addiction I have.  Ha!

It's always fun planning the trip.  The question of where to stay is always the first dilemna.  We research for weeks to find the best deal in the best location.  I love being mid-strip so it is quicker to walk to either end of the strip.  We have stayed many places.  My two favorites are Mirage and Paris.  The ambiance of both is wonderful.  Mirage has the most gorgeous, tropical pool area that is completely relaxing.  Paris has beautiful decor, and walking down the hallways past the casino is like being on a street in Paris.  There are sidewalk cafes that serve delicious crepes, and several other specialty shops that make it a delight. We rarely go to Vegas in March, so we weren't quite prepared for the room prices.  December is a down time, so room rates are extremely low everywhere and choices are broad when it comes to where to stay.  Not so on this trip.  We quickly discovered that no place was going to be a fabulous deal.  The best deal ended up being at Treasure Island, which is next to Mirage and has a walkway to the Fashion Show Mall (always a plus).  We have stayed there a couple of times before, and they win the award for most comfy beds and pillows, which is also a huge plus.  After a day filled with walking and shopping, the bed is a most welcomed site.

This will be my daughter's first trip since turning 21.  She is anxious to try her hand at the slots and enjoy other amenities that Vegas offers adults.  I sure hope she has better luck than me!  Now the only decision left is what to knit on the plane.  Hopefully my needles will make it past security as they have in the past.  I'm thinking it may be a scarf I'm planning to knit for a friend who is retiring (lucky gal).  I'm open to any suggestions anyone wants to offer!

Hopefully our plane will stay on the radar and it will be a safe trip.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oh, Henry!

It has definitely been a while since my last post.  I have been incredibly busy with work and remodeling the kitchen (which, by the way, is almost done!).  Pictures and a post all about this adventure will follow soon, I promise.  Other news is that the red sock reappeared, along with another sock that I had knitted and had forgotten about.  I was so excited.  I finished the matching sock to the forgotten one, and am almost done with the second red one.  The pink pair that I had a picture of in a previous blog is done and has been gifted to a dear, dear friend.  She actually got two pairs of my socks because she is generously allowing me to use her lakeside cabin for a week after school is out.  I am very excited about this week of vacation. What could be better than a week of knitting by the lake? You can see that my knitting hasn't really slowed down at all.  In fact, I made a trip to Asheville, NC last week to one of my favorite yarn stores and bought several skeins of Indulgence yarn for more socks.  It is such a great, soft yarn for cozy socks.

I promised last time I would talk about Henry the dog.  I left you with this sweet little picture of a precious puppy.  Over time, Henry has grown up and is now a whopping nine pounds of one year old Havanese.  He is so much more than any of us bargained for.  All of the books and articles describe Havanese as calm, smart, non-yappy lap dogs.  He has none of these traits.  He is a tornado, only smart on occasions (like when he wants something he isn't supposed to have) and barks at anything that moves...or doesn't.  He won't be still long enough to stay in your lap.  We think he inherited the traits of our West Highland Terrier, Max, his forever BFF.

He loves to play in the water and the snow, and doesn't mind if he is wet or cold.  I honestly think he could survive in the Alaskan wild.

He adores his toys, but does not care a bit about sharing.  They are all HIS toys, and he hoards them all in his bed or behind the couch.


 His favorite thing of all time is definitely yarn.  I can't even begin to count the times that he has destroyed one or more skeins of yarn because he has gotten into a basket or tote bag, or even gotten on top of a table to capture a treasure.  He takes the greatest joy in destroying the skein.  One time we came home to find him completely tangled up and attached to the end table in the den.  I really want to kill him, but he is so cute I just can't.

I just don't know how people live without doggies.  Ours are just like having two little boys in the house, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Though they fight like brothers, in the end they will always be the best of friends.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Doggies - Part I

Today's post, as promised, is dedicated to two of my doggies. (Tomorrow will be all about my daughter's dog.  Both she and the dog live with us, and we are so happy that they do.  He totally deserves his own personal post.)  If you are not a dog fan, you may want to come back another day.  I have always been a dog lover, and can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have a dog to love.  For years, our family had a lovable English Bulldog named Rocky, and a feisty Yorkshire Terrier named Millie.  They never really cared much for each other and she was very snappy with him.


Our world changed a bit when one day, five years ago, my son was working at his part time job at a local golf course.  He came upon a small white dog wandering around.  He was in a golf cart, and this dog jumped right in with him.  It wasn't long until I got a call from him, asking if he could bring this dog home.  Of course you can't.  We have two older dogs (9 and 10 years old) and another dog would disrupt everything in our house.  Well, you can guess what happened.  He brought the dog home (he was initially only staying the night in the garage) and he is still here.  As soon as the car pulled into the driveway and I saw the sweet face of that precious West Highland Terrier, I knew he wasn't going anywhere.  We washed him, fed him and bought him a leash and a collar.  He slept in my daughter's bed the very first night.  We looked for his owners (sort of), but noone ever claimed the little guy, and for that we are very thankful.  He really did turn our world a bit upside down.  After a trip to the vet, we determined that he was still a puppy, and boy did he act like a puppy.


Those older dogs didn't appreciate his playfullness at all. They were old and tired, and I get it.  :).  Rocky died three years ago at the ripe old age of 12.  This is quite old for a bulldog. They have lots of health problems and are not known for longevity.  It was a sad time at our house.  We still have pictures out and talk about him often.

Max, the Westie, and Millie learned how to cohabitate.  They didn't care much for each other.  Max always wanted her to play, and at her age she wasn't the playful sort.  He is a very needy dog, and such a lap dog.  He loves to be near people, and must be touching them.  He believes every visitor to our home is there to see him and him only.  We have just enjoyed him so very much, and his personality is so unique and fun. He meets each of us at the door everyday when we get home and acts like he hasn't seen us in weeks when it has really only been a few hours.

So the family lived happily with the two terriers until......the daughter decides she needs a dog of her own.  Exactly one year ago, all 1.4 pounds of Henry the Havanese came to live with us.  Oh my, what a whirlwind this has been.  More about this tomorrow, because, as I said, he gets a post all to himself.  Don't be deceived.  Yes, he's the cutest thing ever, but.....