Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Its been a hellish few days in my world.  My mom has been in and out of the hospital since Saturday.  She's potentially looking at some major surgery of the female sort in the next few days and definitely in the next few weeks.  Its been a scary/stressful/I don't want to play any more time in life.  Keep her in your prayers for me, if you would...  

I'm off to NYC tomorrow for a few days.  And hoping the snow they are predicting isn't too bad for my drive.  I get to see C, as he'll be playing MSG.  We're planning on turning his hotel room into a beach for the night...  as both of us just need to escape.  Paper umbrellas in our sodas and white sands around a blow up pool while it snows outside.  Might be kind of fun, no?  He wants to see Ground Zero as well.  And then I'll spend the rest of the weekend with my girlfriends.  A quiet night of dinner and wine bar on Friday, and then dinner and drinks on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone that I haven't seen in several months.  And spending some time in the city.  I think I might try to hit the Met...  and definitely some of the yarn stores...  I'm hoping to find some buttons for my sweater and something fun for my swap partner.  

I'm not sure I'll be back before my return home on Sunday night.  I'm thinking not, as I'm not planning to travel with the computer for this trip.  For the cocoa swap week #3 topic, I like my cocoa naked for the most part.  Unless I'm splurging on it at Starbucks, and then I get it with the whipped cream.  Or someone else has set out marshmallows for me.  I'm much too lazy to go find them myself, and they go stale before I am able to use them all, so I rarely keep them on hand.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I want to go HERE!

Doesn't it look like fun?  Knitting in the Alps.  Who wants to join me?  I think I'm going to start saving.  Maybe I'll go next year...  as a graduation present to myself.  

I made croissants tonight.  From scratch.  I have to work on my dough rolling skills, but other than that, I am quite impressed with myself.  They are doughy and flaky all at the same time.  

Although we do have lots of them to eat in the next day (I've had four already!).  Butter overload!  (there is an entire pound in the recipe!)

I'm also making great progress on my FLS sweater.  I'm so happy with the yarn and the look of it as it knits up.  
I'm glad I marked off the lace in sections...  I've had a couple instances of forgetting a yarn over, but luckily with the markings I did, I can catch it close to where it was missed and its not obvious in the pattern.  I think I've got about 10-12 lace repeats before I get to the bottom of the body.  I need to start looking for some cool buttons.  

In the more personal saga updates...  C and I have finally talked, and things are better.  Not all the way better, but on their way.  For some reason, just after visits together, something gets out of whack with us.  He starts thinking of the future a bit too much...  and that always creates issues.  So hopefully, he'll stop thinking, and we can just enjoy what we have...  which is pretty darn good.  

And now I return to my boring Friday night at home.  May your Friday nights be more exciting than mine.  

Hot Cocoa, My way...

I missed the topic of the week for the first week...  Mostly cause I procrastinated too long.  So, here's this weeks topic...  Hot Cocoa, my way...

2 ounces strong espresso
1 quantity of your favorite hot chocolate mix (homemade mix up or packet)
3 to 4 ounces vanilla silk soy milk

Dissolve the hot chocolate mix in the espresso.  Add the soy milk and steam to desired temperature and frothiness.  Enjoy with marshmallows or whipped cream or other topping of your choice.  If you want a bit more flavor, add in a splash of Torani syrup in your favorite flavor.  

Enjoy in a thick mug...  preferably while not running around like a mad woman making sure there is no mess on any tables and no one has dropped food on the chafers while serving themselves lunch and that there is enough soda and water in the fridge and napkins in the basket.  (yes, I am scared from work...  Its so nice to have the time to enjoy hot beverages curled up with my knitting or a good book now!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another day at home

Its been a fairly productive day for me.  I got most of my application put together for culinary school.  I wrote the main essay about something that had influenced me.  I wrote about my paternal grandmother and paternal great grandmother.  Neither of whom I had the chance to meet, but who managed to influence me.  My great grandmother with a love of cooking - she had a room in her house dedicated to raviolis, and my grandmother with her love of knitting.  I have to do some final editing work on the personal statement about work experience and previous school experience...  but the plan is to get that done tonight so I can mail it all off tomorrow.  I've been told I'll know the results in less than two weeks.  

I've still not heard a word from C.  Its been since Saturday night on the way to the airport that we had a conversation.  I don't know what's going on.  My email and texts have been ignored.  I'm confused and curious.  Does silence speak volumes or is no news good news?  Now my life is a country song and a cliche....  

I need to get back into my knitting.  I want to get my sweater done.  Its been sitting since Friday.  I just can't seem to focus enough to pick up the needles.  I also need to get my blah buster done for my swap partner.  I've found the pattern I'm going to use, and it shouldn't take me long once I get started on it.  Maybe during Top Chef tonight...  I have several hours of catch up to accomplish before tonight's episode.  Prime time for knitting.  And hopefully not too much thinking.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Up and Running again, kind of...

On Thursday night, I turned off my computer in preparation for my early morning flight on Friday. I went to turn it on a few hours later when we began to wonder about changing my flight to a day or two later. Alas, it didn't respond. (And using my phone, we found that it would cost more than the original price to change the ticket.)

In the end I did end up staying an extra day, due to complications due to the bitter cold weather that was Friday. My plane was delayed several times, and apparently if this happens, they'll let you change your flight to something the next day. The extra day was great... I got knitting done, due to the lack of computer access and got to spend an extra night curled up and being held tightly.

I returned to MA on Saturday night, to falling snow. And it didn't stop until late on Sunday. There is well over a foot of snow outside at the moment. It's strange seeing so much snow. Its been years since it snowed so much... at least that I can remember. Monday I dropped my computer off at Apple in hopes that they would figure out why it wasn't turning on any longer. And on the way home from that, my car started making odd noises... which turned out to just be a screw that loosened up from the recent repairs. (but took a trip 20 minutes away to drop it off for less than an hour and then back again to pick it up). When I returned to apple on Monday night, thinking I was getting my computer back in working order (and with power), I found out that they only thought they had fixed it. It once again wouldn't turn on for me. So, in the spirit of great customer service, apple transfered my hard drive to a new (brand new!) MacBook. Its great... its an upgrade from my former model, the keys are back lit, the case is all metal... I love it!

In other good news, my rental application was approved. So now I just have to write the application essays and get accepted to culinary school. And then Chicago here I come!

Although, I'm a bit conflicted due to the confusion that is mounting in my relationship. I'm hoping that the thoughts are just in my head, and what is in his head isn't about us. Although, I may have jeopardized that with text messages and emails... Its kind of like the Faith Hill song right now...
Baby tell me where'd you ever learn 
to fight without saying a word?
Then waltz back into my life
like it's all gonna be alright...
Don't you know how much it hurts...

When we don't talk,
when we don't touch,
when it doesn't feel like we're even in love.

it matters to me

when i dont know what to say
don't know what to do
don't know of it really even matters to you
how can i make you see
it matters to me

My life really is a country song!  And I feel like my writing is completely disjointed.  Sorry about that... 

Thursday, January 15, 2009


According to the weather application on my phone, it is -10 degrees here in Chicago. That was 30 minutes ago. I'm sure its colder now. And doesn't take into account the windchill. I walked 10 feet outside the front door today to get to the laundry room and my damp hair froze. And I'm moving here? ACK!

I went to see my future apartment yesterday. I love it. Its got huge expanses of windows in both the living and dining rooms. Yes, it has a separate living and dining room. A nice sized bedroom that will fit my bed, dresser and maybe even some other furniture. The living room is enough to fit a couch and love seat and chair.... and desk and bookcase and tv/stand. And still have lots of space. So now I need to find Chicago-land friends, as I actually have enough space to host dinner parties! The kitchen is a bit small, but its bigger than the one in NYC and I made that work out just fine. I'm going to talk to dad about maybe building a counter top unit to put into the dining room to use as a chopping/prep area, plus storage for the appliances like the toaster and the coffee pot.

I also went to visit the future school too. I loved the facility they have... everything is new and recently remodeled. The admissions counselor was the perfect match for me too... he had formerly been on tour and he was wearing his cowboy boots too. Anyone believe in signs? Now I just have to write two essays for the application part. One about something or someone that has been an influence on me... And then a personal statement. I had no luck today on getting those accomplished. I think it was too cold to think.

I have made progress on my FLS. I have the sleeves separated off and have gotten through two repeats of the lace pattern. Its moving along quite well, and I'm really happy with it. Purling was tough to get back into a rhythm with, it felt so awkward after so much time doing the knit stitch. But the rhythm is coming back the more stitches I get done. There are a couple of mistakes in the lace pattern, but I'm hoping those won't stand out in the finished project. I think I forgot a yarn over here or there. Nothing major though.

Other lesson of the last few days... don't use preshredded cheese in homemade mac and cheese. It leaves the distinctive taste of uncooked flour behind. The boys didn't seem to mind though.

Ok, now I'm going to go find a fire to warm my toes by... ok, not really. I don't think Crash or his landlord will like me very much if I burn down the building...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Missing my camera

Today was one of those days I constantly asked myself why did I not bring my camera with me on this trip? I didn't bring it because I packed as economically as possible, and there just wasn't room for it, but today I saw so many things I wished I could have caught on film. I drove out into the country side of outer Chicagoland to visit a friend from my years in college. We hadn't seen each other since our graduation in 2000 (and discussed how it was one year until our 10 year reunion!) and it was great to catch up. She has two adorable little girls, who were much fun and added laughs to my afternoon.

On the drive out, there was a coating of snow across the corn fields, and several older worn barns. The colors were vivid against the blue sky and white snow as today was the first day that I had seen the sun in so many days. I wish I had had the ability to pull over and catch some of the images that are still in my head. Hopefully there will be similar conditions on a future trip out that way.

I'm making progress on the sweater. I've finished the increases, and am a couple of rows away from starting the lace and separating the sleeves. Unfortunately, I am having issues counting. The last attempt at this had to be removed due to a wrong count, (granted I hadn't counted at all) and I don't want this to end the same way. Hopefully the next count will give me the desired number of stitches. I have gotten the count right on once... so hopefully its there. I am planning on tossing in some stitch markers once I get going on the lace repeats so that I can tell immediately if something goes wrong with my counts. I figure every 14 or 21 stitches so I don't have to tink back too much if a mistake is made and or found.

Tomorrow I head downtown (baring blizzard like conditions) to check out my future home here. I hope its everything I am hoping for. And I'm planning to stop by the college where I'm thinking I'll take classes to get a bit more information about the program and how it would work.

Stay warm everyone. Its -1 here right now...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Post ND ramblings

I made it home from the last of ND on Friday afternoon. It was a fun last bit of the run. Between New Year's Parties, and unexpected dinners, and the end of tour party... I'm still recovering from lack of sleep. the last night I managed to score a total of 2 hours of sleep before my flight home. And all attempts at sleep on the plane were thwarted by utter exhaustion - seems contradictory, doesn't it?

It is nice to be home for a bit. I've been crashed at Crash's all weekend and will remain here til Friday morning. We spent the weekend watching movies and watching it snow. I've done a bunch of cooking, despite the lack of a working oven. He's off at work, leaving me curled up on the couch knitting and reading and enjoying the fact I don't have to go to work. Tomorrow, unless the next snow storm stops me, I'm heading out to visit an old college friend and her two little girls. And Wednesday I will head downtown to see the apartment I am going to rent here, and maybe catch up with an old student of mine (from my one summer of teaching back in 2002... she was in high school at the time, and now she's a grad school student!). I am definitely enjoying the lack of schedule, the chance to do ordinary every day things (like the laundry!), and the ability to sleep in. I'm hoping the snow doesn't stop my plans for the next few days though, cause I think being house bound might drive me crazy.

Crash was quite happy with his scarf. I'm happy with the finished project.
I managed to finish it on the last flight into Portland. Now I'm on to my sweater, and figuring out a Blah Buster for my swap partner. And maybe a pair of fingerless mitts to join in KM's Fingerless Mitt KAL. Seeing as the only yarn I have with me here is for the sweater, I'll work on that for the next few days, and hopefully get into the lace portion. And then we'll see what happens when I get home to MA and the rest of my stash. I really want to get started on the somewhat cowl. And perhaps a hat that fits me and I won't lose less than hours after I've made it.

I can't believe that another year, and another tour are over. I'm torn about not going back on the road right now. I keep thinking of sending an email to my contact at the lighting company. I probably should, as I do have all this spare time between now and when I would start school. And with living here in Chicago, perhaps I'll be able to do some work there to make money while I am in school. I'm still unsure of what I will be doing to fund my life while I am in school. I will need something to support my cooking habits and my yarn habits. Plus all those day to day life expense of rent and electricity... :). That seems to be my latest worry. And the only uncertainty I am having about this upcoming move. Which I suppose it good.

I am toying with updating my web address too... I can't very well be starting over in NYC when I am in the windy city. I'll have to see how to do that but keep all of the posts I have here. I'm thinking I'll just remove the NYC and replace it with a ?... Lord knows I'll be starting over somewhere else before long. I know I have to do some updates on the format, and the other blogs I read section. All sorts of projects for this time off I'm about to enjoy.

And now to return to the knitting. And the mindless tv watching.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cocoa Swap Questionaire

Once again, I've signed up for the Hot Cocoa Swap this year. And finally gotten around to answering all the questions for it. More to come on life post Neil Diamond when I've slept a bit more.

The Yarn…
1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both?
I knit

2. What is your favorite one-skein project? What item do you find you knit the most of?
I don't really have one at this point. I get bored easily, so I don't tend to repeat things too often.

3. Do you like using a particular type of needle or hook? (wood, metal, straight, circular) Is there something you’ve been wanting to try, or a particular size you always seem to be short on?
metal circulars. I just got knitpicks options needles for Christmas, and am loving them. I also have lots of Addi Turbos.

4. What’s on your needles\hook right now? What’s your oldest UFO (unfinished object)?
A felted bag for mom and a sweater for me. And two unfinished socks. Both have mistakes, and I got discouraged after I messed up. Ask me again next week, and there will be more. The bag is the oldest UFO.

5. What are your favorite types of yarns? Are you allergic to any yarns, or just hate working with something? Anything type/brand of yarn you’ve been dying to try?
I like natural fibers and will spend money on those rather than acrylics. I like soft and smooshy things (who doesn't though?)

7. What are your favorite colors? Brights? Pastels? More muted colors? Variegated? Are there that make you want to stab yourself in the eye with your needles?
I'm definitely a bright person. I love blues and browns and purples. I'm not a big fan of drastic color changes... and tend to only use color changing yarns in socks.

8. What is your favorite knit accessory, your fancy needles? stitch markers? your yarn cutter? What do you have TOO many of? What do you wish you had?
I don't really have favorites of anything at this point. I'm still in the new to this stage of the game. I just got a swift and ball winder for Christmas though, and can't wait to use them.

The Chocolate
1. Do you prefer boxed/packets, or something homemade?
I tend to like the chocolate shavings that you melt into milk. Something rich and creamy and good quality chocolate flavor.

2. Marshmallows or whipped cream?

3. Do you use any ‘add ins’?
Occasionally I'll add some Bailey's

4. Are you a year round cocoa drinker or just in the winter months?
Just in the winter

5. Do you like flavored cocoas or are you just a ’straight chocolate’ kind of person?
Straight chocolate kind of person. I do love my mochas though.

6. Do you enjoy cocoa from restaurants or shops like Starbucks? What are some of your favorites?
Starbuck's is good. But their salted caramel one was disappointing.

7. You’ve just made the perfect cup of cocoa - is it in a thick mug, or a thinner cup? Where would you sit to drink it?
Thick mug, curled up on the couch, in front of the fire.

8. You’re enjoying that perfect cup, what treats will you enjoy with it? Are they sweet or salty? Crunchy? Soft and flaky?
It’s all YOU!
salty and crunchy -- chocolate covered pretzels, tortitos, but usually I'm just a cup of cocoa and no sides kind of person.

1. Do you have other hobbies like spinning or scrapbooking?
cooking and baking, reading

2. Do you collect anything?
yarn for future projects

3. What is your favorite part of Winter?
the snowy days

4. What sort of scents do you enjoy? Any difference in what you like for your house versus what you like for your body?
vanilla, spiced apples, fresh baked goods, citrus -- all for the home... not a fan of scented things for the body

5. Are you allergic to anything?
smoke, pine oils, dates

6. Are you on Ravelry? What’s your ID?
yes, Sarahknits28

7. How would you spend an ideal winter afternoon/day?
on a comfy couch with my knitting and reading and laptop and a great movie on tv

8. What’s your favorite animal?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Only 2 shows left!

It seems so odd that I only have two days of work left before my tour ends. I know I've bitched and complained about it so much, and can't wait for it to be over, yet I'm oddly apprehensive about it ending. I am going to miss people that have become a family. I've spent more time with my coworkers than with anyone else this year. And most of them I won't cross paths with again. Its an odd feeling. I'm going to miss certain ones. A lot. Others, well... you know.

Its been a crazy run so far this leg. We've had the fun of new year's eve. It ended up being a fabulous night. We took over the balcony of our hotel and drank champagne. I had almost a whole bottle myself, and was as bubbly as the drink itself. It was one of the best celebrations I've been to. It was followed by the travel day from hell, that ended up with a 7 hour bus ride, and me having no time to enjoy my former home of Vegas. I did manage to avoid the ex I didn't really want to interact with on the trip. I knew I would see him, but due to work constraints, the conversation ended up only being about 1 minute long and me recounting the travel day misery.

I'm almost done with Crash's scarf. I've got three more color changes to go to finish up the stripes. Its exciting. I hope he likes it and wears it. I'm nervous he won't like it, or won't be a scarf person (even though he asked for it). I'm hoping to get most of it finished on the bus ride I am about to embark upon. And then I can get back to my FLS sweater. I am looking forward to my time off so I can engross myself in a few sweaters. I received the knitpicks options metal needles for Christmas, and now have the needles I need to make a few of the other sweaters in my stash. I also got a home made swift (yay for dad working with wood! Although its not the umbrella swift he remembers his mom having. Apparently I get my love of knitting from his mom, who used to make knit hats - and iron them on her soup pots! I never had a change to know my Me-mere, but I apparently get my love of shoes and my love of knitting from her.... according to the stories i hear. It was cool to hear my dad tell of her knitting.) I also got a ball winder, and Knitting Lingerie Style (which apparently disturbed the bookseller and my mom.... them not realizing there were socks and sweaters inside... and wondering who would want knit panties?)

Here's hoping I have free internet at my next stop too. I have some more to catch up on here. I feel like I need to do a recap and look forward. I think my brain needs the release of that sort of post right now. But for now, Its a 2.5 hour bus ride to Bakersfield...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009! I can't believe another year has gone by. Yeah, I know, we all always say that. But so much has happened, and at times things have moved so slowly along. But, once again, here we are at the start of a new year. Crazy!

I did a bit of celebrating last night. We took over a hallway at the hotel here in Fresno, and toasted with champagne, and laughed and had a very fun and low key time. One of the best new year's I have ever had.

I'm getting excited for the changes that 2009 will bring. I'm excited to move to Chicago and be back on my own and meet people there. I'm excited to see what other adventures the world has in store for me too.

But for now, I must go wait for a bus to an airport so I can get to Vegas and be one day closer to the end of this tour.