12.26.2008

Waiting

Things are changing around here. Check back in a day or so to see what I've come up with ;)

11.14.2008

Busy week!

It was Lily's birthday this week - I can't believe she's one!!!So, of course, I made her a monster:

And what's a birthday without some super duper special cupcakes?


Like the look of those devil's food cupcakes? Send me a message and I'll tell you how to get some.

11.04.2008

Kat's Fabrics and Fiction

(fluff)Friends - create, share and enjoy a world of fluffy fun!

11.02.2008

Open for holiday orders!

Johnnycakes’ Pies and Pastries
Holiday Menu 2008

Using the highest quality organic, fair trade and/or locally grown ingredients.

Pies
Caramel apple crumb
Pumpkin – toasted homemade marshmallow topping
Classic coconut custard
Banoffee pie – banana-toffee custard, biscuit crust
10 inches - $14.00

Cakes
New York style cheesecake
Flourless chocolate cake
Oatmeal spice with coconut-brown sugar glaze
10 inches - $20

Cookies and brownies – variety of brownies, chocolate chip, ginger, and oatmeal cookies.
Breakfast box – variety of muffins, scones and a bag of homemade granola
Small (feeds 6-8) $15
Medium (feeds 10-12) $20
Large (feeds 15-20) $25

Italian neapolitan/rainbow cookies
Biscotti
$10/lb
Special requests always welcome!

Please send a message to place an order! We can ship certain items, but will deliver to Northern NJ and some parts of PA.

10.30.2008

Making Friends, continued

Here is the finished monster! What do you think?




In other news, my husband and I got to carve pumpkins and we decorated one with our daugher for her first Halloween!
Wanna see? OK

10.16.2008

Making Friends!





I bought Craft magazine ages ago - volume 6, with the attention of making monsters. Well, I've finally begun.... here are some pics of my progress.

10.12.2008

Apple Picking!

Last weekend, the Lupo grandkids went to Nonna & Nonno's house and Nonno's apple tree had some yummy ripe apples; here are some photos!





9.26.2008

Baking!

Today, I baked & did laundry. Yes, I spent all day doing this. It was a lot of cookies & a lot of laundry!
I'm not going to write about my laundry, though, I promise. I won't even mention the "l" word again. I decided that my little girl goes through a LOT of those crunchy little finger food cookies that I buy. She loves them. I decided I would make some for her. I found a recipe for "vanilla wafers". They're basically a sugar cookie, but with less sugar and a moister dough so that they are nice and crunchy when you bake them off.

Here are some photos:







Fiction updates

Megan

I was shouting. At a priest. At my priest. I was pissed. Fifteen years old and there was a whole lot about the world that I was learning and fast. Things that fifteen year olds aren’t supposed to think about, never mind deal with. I needed to shout, wondered why my grams wasn’t shouting. I knew, from that moment on, there was no salvation for my soul – that I would go to Hell. But I didn’t care; I wasn’t worried about my soul, I was worried about my father’s. “What do you mean he isn’t going to have a Catholic burial? He was at church every Sunday; he was here last Sunday! You’ll do it, even if I have to write to the Pope myself!” The priest sat there, hands folded while I screamed at him, and looked straight at Grams, who then took my hot sweaty palm with her icy fingers. I sat down and realized that I had been standing, yelling and pointing at the priest. I was going to Hell for sure. I didn’t want to stop yelling, Grams should have joined me, should have stood and left. How could she sit there and a man do this to her son? Excommunicate him when he was so faithful? Clearly he was sick, there was something wrong with him; he never leave me, never leave his little girl. They sat in silence.
The priest threw his hands up. “I can ask the deacon to perform the ceremony. He’s liberal.” He got up and left through the door behind his desk. And that was it. Grams looked at me, nodding her head slightly. I wasn’t sure if she was appreciative or admonishing. I was exhausted; longed to go home, sleep, wake up ten years from now or ten years ago. It would be better.
Two hours later, I woke up in my bedroom; my father let me decorate it any way I liked ten years ago. It was bubble gum pink and “icing blue,” known to the rest of the world as teal. Looking at the room, at the stuffed animals that I hadn’t played with in years but wasn’t ready to part with, I forgot about the events of the days before. He really was gone; that had become the worst part of sleeping, my whole life I was afraid of my dreams and now I was afraid of my reality. I shut my eyes again, didn’t want to face Grams’ well-meaning friends and her stoic face, which was a mystery to me. She seemed to have no reaction to her son’s death. I was only 15, but knew it must be awful for your son to die before you, that’s what it said O magazine; burying your child is the worst thing ever.
I looked in the mirror across from my bed, horrified by the face staring back. I grabbed my Teddy, retreated under my fluffy covers, tried to force the memory from my brain, and failed.


I awoke, head on my desk, neck cramped; the corner of the notebook was imprinted on my forehead and drool smeared my class notes, startled by the noise, waited, listening. I heard it again, stumbled from bed. It was definitely in the house. A minute later, no more bangs, but shouting, pounding footsteps. I was afraid, knew what it was but refused to believe it. Where would he have gotten a gun anyway?
Slowly, clinging to the wall, I hobbled towards the stairs. The sound hadn’t come from upstairs; it was too muffled. My face was frozen; tried to move her mouth, to call out, just to prove it still worked. It didn’t. I managed to breathe, though, and did, without fully catching my breath, gasps of air that made me feel even more breathless. I gripped the railing, stepping carefully on each stair. Voices grew louder. The cleaning woman, the cook we mumbling, shouting, something about an ambulance, police. I couldn’t understand them, even though were only a few feet away. I was still at the base of the stairs when Grams rushed in, escorting the paramedics to the dining room. An eternity later, the stretcher, which had been rolled in empty, was rolled back out, occupied. They hadn’t even tried to bring him back. He was gone.

Three days later, at the foot of the freshly dug hole, covered with a cloth, I stared at the casket, on that special stretcher that is only used funerals, I wanted to wait until they lowered him into the ground. All the people, Grams’ friends. It never seemed odd to me then, but my Dad didn’t seem to have any friends. I was his friend. I couldn’t let go, had no interest in going home and eating food, seeing drinks and appetizers passed around, mourning but celebrating, too. Grams took my arm and led me away. She still hadn’t cried in front of anyone, and said nothing to me. I couldn’t hear anything, anyway.
At the house, I didn’t eat. I didn’t talk to people. People spoke, put there hands on my arm, shook their heads. I nodded, sometimes smiled. The sounds around me were muffled and unintelligible. People spoke to me, I nodded, Grams led me around. Everything around me was a TV left on after you fall asleep: fuzzy picture and white noise.
The weeks after the funeral, I stayed in bed. Bed was nice, it was comforting, familiar. It was pink sheets and white headboard and happy, it was years of nothing bad happening. It was safe from the sadness in the house. So much of the outside world was unfamiliar now. Grams went to work redecorating right after the funeral, and the entire house was foreign. Well, not the entire house, but outside my room, all the pictures of us were now pictures of Grams and me. She took the photos of my dad growing up, which had been all in order – from birth to adulthood – off of the wall going down the stairs. She replaced them with replicas of Renaissance paintings. The large photo of him and I from my fifth Christmas (the one where I got every Cabbage Patch Kid Robert Xavier made) was no longer above the mantle in the living room. After seeing that, I didn’t leave my room. I hated Grams for doing that and couldn’t yell at her, I couldn’t even talk to her.
I didn’t see her most of the day, but I heard her scurrying around the house, making sure things are just right. She had visitors and gave the help their orders. She even watched a little television, something I had never seen her do. She had dinners sent up to me and for the first time in my life, I saw what she liked to eat. Or maybe it was what she thought I’d like. She always had had the cook make dinners that Dad loved, but now, it was her food. And it was awful. Cheese plates that smelled worse than my socks after a long field hockey practice, salads with little bits of strange vegetables in them (I think they were vegetables, they were vegetable colored) and vile looking fish. I didn’t even want to look at them. The cook would smile at me as I shook my head when she tried to set a little table for me at my desk and later, when Grams was in bed, the cook would return with a bowl of cereal or macaroni and cheese.
Grams would sneak into my room every Sunday and put a church outfit on my bed while I was in the shower. We didn’t talk all week, wouldn’t talk on Sunday, but I knew how important it was to her that I keep going to church, so I went. I put on the outfits that were too girly for a teenager, the pink jumpers, the babydoll dresses and tights, and pretended that I was still her little granddaughter and I cared about church. I don’t remember thinking anything, feeling anything, it was all just quiet and emptiness and pretend. I sat through the sermons, the singing, the praying. I made the motions of the cross; I took the Eucharist in my hand and sipped the sour wine. When I got home, I read books, listened to music, but I don’t remember what books, what music. It was a month silence and fog.
One Monday morning, Grams knocked on my door. “The bus will be here in twenty minutes,” she said. It had been enough time, then. Any longer and I would appear strange. I’d hate to appear strange. She would hate for me to appear strange. The school had made many exceptions, under the circumstances. They knew that I would need time, my classmates would need time, to forget I was now an orphan. I found a black tee shirt and a pair of almost clean jeans, got dressed and left my room.

Miranda

"Grandma is such a witch." My daughter, who has just left her Grandmother after a morning of church and bagels, is sitting at the kitchen table, pushing her Oreos around.
"That's not very nice - think of all the good witches out there who you just insulted." We both laugh. At five, she is too bright and quick-witted for her own good. She's still not eating her cookies; Oreos are her favorite. "What's the matter, sweetie?"
"Can I stay home with you next Sunday?" She asks, her head directed at the Oreos, the question directed at me. She knows the answer.
"No, I'm sorry." I wish she could. "Your grandmother is who she is and she loves you." Half of you, anyway, the half that looks like her precious son. She's still staring at her cookies. "Did something happen?" I ask her, kneeling down next to her chair so she can look me directly in the eyes. It's a habit of hers - one that alarms many grown ups. One that I love. I've seen her get on chairs to get at someone's eye level. Of course, she's not "allowed" to do that – her father's rules.
"Well, she tried to say something bad about you." She looks down and asks her Oreos, "Why would she do that?"
Hm. Yes. Why? Because she's a small minded bitch... "What exactly did she say to you?"
"I don't want to tell you." She stares straight into my eyes, into me, searching for something. Her eyes are hungry for whatever knowledge she is looking for. I want her to find it.
"Megs," I say, moving to my seat at the table, keeping our eyes connected, "it's not much of a secret that your grandmother and I don't get along. You shouldn't be carrying whatever burden she's placed on you. It was wrong of her to do that to you. You don't have to tell me about it, but you should tell someone. Maybe Ted." Her bear is her largest confidante. "Then you won't have to think about it anymore."
She thinks hard about it and says, "Grams says you're going to hell." She pouts.
"Did she tell you why she thinks that?" Wouldn't that be interesting?
"No. She just said that you were bad and you are going to hell. But I know it's not true. I think Grams is bad and she will go to hell." She looked down at her Oreos for the last half of the sentence. She didn't mean it; she was trying to make me feel better.
I pause, not really sure what to say to her. I decide on the truth, for the first time in seven years. "I don't think anyone goes to hell."
She looks up, eyebrows furrowed in utter confusion. "You don't? Father Terrence says that when you die you go to heaven or hell. He wouldn't lie."
"I know, but there are a lot of ideas about that - no one really knows what happens after we die. We just believe. Your Grams and Father Terrence really believe people go to hell. I don't."
"Oh," she says, staring into the table in front of her, trying to make sense of it.
"Since I don't believe in hell; neither me nor Grams will have to go there. Isn't that nice?"
"I guess," she says, pokes at her Oreos.
I like being honest with her. I make a decision that I know will change our lives, one way or another. "Can you keep a secret?" She nods, fervently - what little girl doesn't like a secret? "It's a big one." She nods again, says "yes" in a way that leaves the "S" to trail off into the silence, matching the whirr of the ceiling fan.
"I promise," she takes a bite of cookie, sips her milk, and wipes her face.
I get up, say, "come with me," and lead her out of the kitchen and into my bedroom. She's very quiet - I can feel her anticipation, as well as a little fear. I close the door behind us. Bob won't be back from Church for another hour, but I still need to be extra cautious.
"Mom," she now has her miss knowitall face on, "I have snooped - I mean, been, in your room lots of times, there's nothing here that's a secret."
I smile and push my nightstand away from the bed, lift a floor board and pull out a box. "Are you sure?" I ask, smiling as she gasps.
She beams right back at me and comes bounding across the room. There is a shout in the hallway. My mother in law opens the bedroom door, holding Megan's overnight bag - "Miranda," she is saying as she enters the room (without knocking), "Meg is going to n--" She stops, sees the box in my lap and says, dramatically and triumphantly just above a whisper, "I knew it."
My heart sinks. I wonder how I got here; hiding myself from the one person who matters anymore, the one person I gladly gave everything up for, my daughter. Megan is staring at Grams, I can feel the hatred. Grams has ruined our secret. She is about to ruin our lives. I know it. She grabs Megan by the arm, Megan starts to scream. I can't move. I can't talk. I want to. I want to scream and yell and take Megan and run away. I'm paralyzed. The box falls from my lap. There is no point in fighting. I know it is all over when I hear the sirens.

Megan

Sirens make me shiver. My apartment is high enough above the street so I don’t hear them too loudly, but I still hear them when the place is quiet; when I have just gotten home or when I am about to go to bed, before I fall asleep, after I turn the TV off. Growing up, we rarely heard sirens and I only remember the sirens on the day my dad killed himself. I guess that’s why I get chills. Right now, the sirens are going away when the phone rings. I’ve just gotten home and I haven’t even taken my jacket off so it’s natural that I don’t pick it up and let it ring through to voicemail. I go through my usual routine of changing from work clothes to lounge around the house clothes, watering the plants, and am about to cook dinner before I remember to check the voicemail, seeing the red bulb on the phone in the kitchen blinking. Most people call my cell phone, except telemarketers. They don’t usually leave voicemail, though. Prompted by a recording of a British woman, I enter my code. It’s a hospital in Washington, NJ, my hometown. Grams, they say (everyone in the town calls her Grams), has checked in. They don’t expect her to be there long. They don’t expect her to be anywhere long. The phone drops out of my hand. I have no idea what to do. Grams and I talked on the phone every few weeks. She visited me at Christmas; she went to mass at St. Patrick’s, I picked up donuts. We don’t have other family. There will be no one at the hospital when I get there, no one will beat me there. No one will make me feel guilty for not answering the phone immediately. Just me, maybe Grams, if she can speak. I don’t know what’s wrong with her. Did the voice on the phone say? Did I miss it? Did the phone drop from my hand before I could hear? Was I paying attention?
It’s 5:30 and it will take forever to get to New Jersey, but I leave. While stuck in traffic, I think that I probably could have made dinner and watched the 6:00 news before leaving and would have arrived at the same time. My brain shuts off the rest of the way there, and I drive to the hospital automatically, even though I haven’t been to my hometown in six years and I haven’t been to the hospital in eleven years.





This is where I have left off... I'm still brainstorming this last section and it may change a lot in subsequent revisions.
Let me know what you think!!!

8.27.2008

HAT!

I made my friend, Jen, a hat for Christmas. Well, actually, I made her about 3 hats... but none of them actually worked out. UNTIL now (yes, I know , Christmas was a long time ago, but after so many failed attempts, I needed a break!) What's that? You want to see what it looks like? OK!




8.22.2008

Fiction, but from a different POV

So, I decided to change up the POV on my fiction. Here's the first 3 pages. Please comment to let me know what you think about the switch. To see the original, scroll down and look for older posts. Thanks in advance!

----------------


I was shouting. At a priest. At my priest. I was pissed. Fifteen years old and there was a whole lot about the world that I was learning and fast. Things that fifteen year olds aren’t supposed to think about, never mind deal with. I needed to shout, wondered why my grams wasn’t shouting. I knew, from that moment on, there was no salvation for my soul – that I would go to Hell. But I didn’t care; I wasn’t worried about my soul, I was worried about my father’s. “What do you mean he isn’t going to have a Catholic burial? He was at church every Sunday; he was here last Sunday! You’ll do it, even if I have to write to the Pope myself!” The priest sat there, hands folded while I screamed at him, and looked straight at Grams, who then took my hand. I sat down and realized that I had been standing, yelling and pointing at the priest. I was going to Hell for sure. I didn’t want to stop yelling, Grams should have joined me, should have stood and left. How could she sit there and a man do this to her son? Excommunicate him when he was so faithful? Clearly he was sick, there was something wrong with him; he never leave me, never leave his little girl. They sat in silence.
The priest threw his hands up. “I can ask the deacon to perform the ceremony. He’s liberal.” He got up and left through the door behind his desk. And that was it. Grams looked at me, nodding her head slightly. I wasn’t sure if she was appreciative or admonishing. I was exhausted; longed to go home, sleep, wake up ten years from now or ten years ago. It would be better.
Two hours later, I woke up in my bedroom; my father let me decorate it any way I liked ten years ago. It was bubble gum pink and “icing blue,” known to the rest of the world as teal. Looking at the room, at the stuffed animals that I hadn’t played with in years but wasn’t ready to part with, I forgot about the events of the days before. He really was gone; that had become the worst part of sleeping, my whole life I was afraid of my dreams and now I was afraid of my reality. I shut my eyes again, didn’t want to face Grams’ well-meaning friends and her stoic face, which was a mystery to me. She seemed to have no reaction to her son’s death. I was only 15, but knew it must be awful for your son to die before you, that’s what it said O magazine; burying your child is the worst thing ever.
I looked in the mirror across from my bed, horrified by the face staring back. I grabbed my Teddy, retreated under my fluffy covers, tried to force the memory from my brain, and failed.

She awoke, startled by the noise. She heard it again, and stumbled from bed. It was definitely in the house. She waited a minute, listening. No more bangs, but shouting, pounding footsteps. She was afraid, knew what it was but refused to believe it. Where would he have gotten a gun anyway?
Slowly she slinked along the wall in the hallway, towards the stairs. The sound hadn’t come from upstairs; it was too muffled. Her face was frozen; she tried to move her mouth, to call out, just to prove that she could. She couldn’t. She managed to breathe, though, and did, without fully catching her breath. She gripped the railing stepping carefully on each stair. Voices grew louder. The cleaning woman, the cook we mumbling, shouting, something about an ambulance, police. She couldn’t understand them, even if they were only a few feet away. She was still at the base of the stairs when Grams rushed in, escorting the paramedics to the dining room. And eternity later, the stretcher, which had been rolled in empty, was rolled back out, occupied. They hadn’t even tried to bring him back. He was gone.

Three days later, at the foot of the freshly dug hole, covered with a cloth, I stared at the casket, on that special stretcher that is only used funerals, I wanted to wait until they lowered him into the ground. Grams finally grabbed my arm and pulled me away, she still hadn’t cried in front of anyone, and said nothing to me. I couldn’t hear anything, anyway. The sounds around me were muffled and still unintelligible. People spoke to me, I nodded, Grams led me around. I understood nothing.

8.21.2008

Foodie Meme

I saw this at Lyndsey-Jane's site, My Knitting and Me and had to join. Basic rules are bold what you’ve eaten and strikethrough those you wouldn’t eat on a bet.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp

9. Borscht (beetroot makes me heave)

10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari - Love love love this!
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio Ice Cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese - that's a NO, but I don't know how to strike through
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - um, no, I don't think I'd ever intentionally eat that
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters - deathly allergic to shellfish
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - how I found out I'm allergic to clams

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - sounds pretty nice
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips ew
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst - sounds yummy!
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake yum, yum, yum, yum, yum
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill - I don't think I'd eat this.
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict MY FAVORITE
83. Pocky (or something similar).
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef - It's illegal to have Kobe beef in America
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab I SO wish I wasn't suddenly allergic!!
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake


FUN FUN MEME

8.13.2008

When youcan't write, work

Tom E. Kennedy, my mentor, quoted that title many times while we met at my residency at FDU. Of course, I've already forgotten who'd originally said it (Whitman?) Please feel free to leave the answer in a comment and I'll fix this...
But, wow, I always hated revising and I'm so happy to have someone as talented as Tom line edit my work, this time it's incredibly grueling. Good, and I'm sure my prose is benefiting to a GREAT degree. I just hope I get to the end of the revisions and get a little kick of inspiration!
So far, I've added about 3 pages... I hope they're good pages, but we'll see what happens when I move on and resubmit in a few weeks. Wish me luck and lots of interesting verbs!

8.10.2008

Returns and beginnings

I'm back from my first residency at graduate school & there is a lot to do! Not only do I have to get ready for the Fall semester with the classes I'm teaching, but I also have to write a lot of fiction (including revisions) and do two annotations of novels (and read some others that I'm not annotating).
It's crazy!
I'm ready, though, and I'm really excited to get things going. Of course, I'll have to start cleaning and cooking again, too. I have to say, as meager as the accommodations were and as awful as the food was at some times, I really enjoyed not being responsible for the cooking and cleaning!

More writing coming soon! I'm also putting the finishing touches on a hat for my friend Jen; it has a few more inches to be finished and then I'll be knitting some little ears for it!!! Photos coming soon.

8.06.2008

Creative Non Fiction, Untitled

I don’t know why I checked my voicemail during work; I was diligent, my phone stayed off and in my bag. But that day I was desperate to check it. I excused myself from from copyediting copyright pages (my only job as an intern) and ran down the hall to the bathroom. Still silenced, I pressed the number 1 on my phone and held it down until it dialed my voicemailbox.
“You have one new message. Press 1 to hear your new messages.”
I drew a breath and it echoed in the large office bathroom. A foot shuffled in one of the stalls.
“Hello, Katherine, this is X with Random House. It was really nice to meet you and we’d love to welcome you aboard. Please call me back to discuss the particulars.”
I pressed 9 to save the message, as my voicemailbox narrator suggested. I checked the time: 4:35. Twenty five minutes. I would twenty five wonderful, intimidating minutes, but it was mine. Editorial Assistant at Random House. The hallway beamed from my glowing smile as I passed Brie’s desk on the way back to my corner. Sure, she got to intern with Arthur, and edit pages of Harry Potter (a book she had never heard of), while I was stuck copyediting copyright pages, but I was offered a job at Random House. I would be a hip writer. I would work in Manhattan. I would work late some nights, sure, but I would to bars and restaurants with agents, editors and authors. I had arrived.
At 4:58 I was on the elevator. I didn’t even look at the book bin, filled with new printing of children’s book, free to any one who happened to pass it. As soon my feet hit the street, I turned a hard left, avoiding the sunglass sellers, and walked into Kate’s Paperie. It was the perfect place to make this phone call, quiet and filled with inspiring papers. I dialed the number I had written in my notebook more than a week ago.
“This is X.”
“Hi, it’s Katherine Lupo; you called.”
“Yes, so happy you called….”
I listened eagerly for the details of my glamorous job but instead I heard a lot of words that didn’t make sense and some that stuck out like a knife, hot from being in the dishwasher; twenty six thousand, 12 hours a day, weekends. The lights seemed to get brighter in the paper shop, which suddenly smelled of that glue that kept old books from falling apart.
“Wow, thanks,” I said from a voice I could not recognize, “I’ll let you know in a couple of days.” I had been prepared to say “yes, of course, see you Monday!” but something like reason and disappointment snuck up on me. I couldn’t say yes to that. I had to think about that. Math. I had to do math. Numbers came into my head – bus pass - $200/month. Rent - $400/month. Numbers numbers numbers. The ½ hour bus ride to New Jersey was a torture device of numbers dripping into my head cruelly, slowly, killing the self I had just met a few hours before.
I would have to choose. I didn’t have to do the math. I knew. Publishing or writing. The door to the apartment was open; my roommate was still alive, but hadn’t moved from the floor of his bedroom.
Everything was wrong. I couldn’t… I wanted to be a writer. I was a writer and the apartment, halfway between the city and home made the decision for me. There was no decision. I’m moving home, I told him, still lying on the floor.

7.29.2008

Finally, an FO!!!!


Here's a photo of Julie's leg warmers, which should be arriving any day now, that I finished last week! It's been a bit slow. I hope you like it!

In other news, I've completely botched up the sock that I've been working on for the past, um, 5 months? Yeah, that's right, one sock. It's only been intermittent, so....

I'm working on Jen's hat right now, promised to her at xmas time and I'm about to embarq on a hat for someone special that I've found through Wish Upon a Hero

That's all for now!!

7.03.2008

Busy times!

Summer is officially here & times have gotten, as always, busier.
Lily & I went to California in June to visit Julie, who graduated with her MFA in choreography (GO JULIE!!!). While there, Lily was awed by the dancers:































Of course, while we were so close to Anaheim, we HAD to go
to Disneyland!


Lily had a great time....

This month, Lily learned how to CRAWL, wave, clap, and hold her own bottle. Truly, this is way too much to learn in just one month! She's getting to be such a big girl now.

In other busy news, my friend, Joanna, who lives outside Manchester, England, came to visit us!
While she was here, we had a blast and we miss her now (especially Stella.) We went to the Bronx Zoo with her and visited their newest exhibit, Madagascar - Joanna has been to the real Madagascar and she showed us just where she'd been:

Some other photos from the Zoo:

We saw some CRAZY things at the zoo.

Oh and for my brother in law and all other fans of the Disney movie, Madagascar, we saw this:


I didn't see it, but poo had been flung.
Go Gorillas! You tell those people who's boss!

6.19.2008

Back!

Sorry for the hiatus!
Lots has been going on!
I'm still knitting the leg warmers for my friend, but she did like the one I presented to her for her graduation.
In other news, I'm back writing and have several projects on the brain. I'm also back teaching in a few weeks, so there may be a slow down in my posting as I will be juggling that, starting my MFA and, most importantly, raising my little Lily!
She growing by leaps and bounds! She's now crawling AND sitting up. It's incredible!!

6.14.2008

I'm Back!

I'm back & will be posting about California with photos soon!!!

6.04.2008

Away

I'll be away & not blogging for about a week!

5.30.2008

It's MINE It's MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got some great news in the mail today:

I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED FOR THE GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP FOR FDU'S MFA IN CREATIVE WRITING!!!

Now this is a HUGE deal, because at least as far as I know, there is only ONE assistantship available!

John & I are SO going out to celebrate!!!!!

5.29.2008

5 Things Meme

I got tagged by Lyndsey-Jane to do this meme, and I don't know what meme means or how it's pronounced! I've never been tagged for anything like this before, but I think it might be fun!

Here we go:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago
10 years ago, I was finishing up my first year of college and I did horribly! But I was also learning a lot about myself. It was the year I became a writer. A very important year, I wouldn't change a thing, not even my horrible GPA!

2. What 5 things are on my to-do list today (in no particular order)
Ha, this is pretty funny, my to-do list today is LONG. I should cook some meals so that my poor hubby doesn't starve when I'm gone next week, I need to fold laundry and vacuum and I need to finish Julie's graduation gift. What am I actually doing? The knitting. But it's only 2pm, who knows what streak of motivation might hit!

3. Snacks I Enjoy
Another laughable one! I like lots. I don't snack, per se, but I do like my sweets after meals. Cookies, ice cream, brownies... I'm not big on salty things, but anything chocolate is a big OH YES. Lately, I've been trying to have a decaf coffee as a snack as it's flavorful, but low in calories and fills me up quite a bit as it's liquid. How does it work? Great, when I think of it!

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire
Well, wouldn't I do? I would buy up houses for my family, I would travel, I would just live my life & not worry. Would I work? Maybe. Maybe not. I'd have more children. And then I'd have some plastic surgery and a personal trainer so it didn't look like I had ANY kids!!!

5. Places I have lived
Lots of places!
1. Flushing, NY
2. Vernon, NJ
3. Montclair, NJ
4. Surrey, UK
5. Newton, NJ
6. Manchester, UK
7. Clifton, NJ
8. Caldwell, NJ
9. Oxford, NJ

I don't have anyone to tag for this, but it was kind of fun filling out!

5.22.2008

Progress = Progress, even if it's slow

FAIRY TALE, the beginning:

“Your majesty,” she ran through the hall, blonde hair flying wildly behind her, twigs and leaves stuck to her long, blue dress and straggled through her knotted mane, and threw herself, face first, at the King’s feet. “The princess has been kidnapped!”

“Please, get up, my child,” the King stroked his long, red beard, apparently in thought, as he waited for the princess’ hand maiden to rise and attempt to smooth her long, frizzy hair. “I think this must be tragic,” the King said slowly. He raised a hand to beckon his chief steward. “Don’t let the people know of this; they will react strongly.”

“I’m afraid,” the portly steward paused, “the people are already aware of the event.” He pulled back the gold curtain that shielded the hall from the streets of X, just as he had done sixteen years before. Then, he had revealed to the joyous masses the new baby princess, Ariadne. Today, just as they had long ago, the people of X were dancing, singing and otherwise occupied in jubilation. They no longer need worry about the noxious ways of the horrible princess, the only heir to the kingdom, and the most miserable wretch of a girl that ever existed in the peaceful kingdom of X.

There was one small, somber individual in the crowd, though: Rabbit. Rabbit was not an animal, though, but an unfortunate decision by his parents to let his older sister, at the age of 3, name him. He was tiny, yes, but not particularly furry or long eared, he could frequently be long winded, but his employer, Izmella, helped him to keep this in mind. He wore a special pendant that glowed green and tingled slightly whenever he spoke for longer than a minute or so. Right now, he was feel the sting of it, as he muttered quietly, excitedly, “it’s happened, it’s finally happened, it’s happened, what now, what now,” as the people in the streets rejoiced. He pushed his way through the crowd, ever mumbling, and headed towards Izmella’s cottage.

Izmella was a typical witch: sharp-eyed and tall, with a curvaceous figure. The green of her almond eyes matched the emerald of Rabbit’s pendant and was framed by the dark ringlets that fell to her waist. “Rabbit, please, you’re disturbing me, either speak out load or don’t speak at all,” she said quickly, not looking up from her crystal globe as Rabbit walked through the door.

“Sorry, mistress, but there’s big news: it finally happened, the princess has been abducted.”

“I know,” Izmella repied coolly, pointing to her globe.

“Yes, right, of course.” Rabbit shifted his weight a few times and looked erratically around the room, as if looking for something that did not exist. His eyes finally rested at a crack in the floorboards, just in front of his feet.

“This is good, not only does the town get a reprieve from the wretch, but we won’t have to wait too much longer to see the prophecy realized.”

“I haven’t been waiting that long, miss, only about 20 years.”

“WELL,” Izmella rarely raised her voice, but she didn’t need to, she had a certain way of putting emphasis on just the right syllables to make anyone feel like he might wet himself. The knowledge that she could turn one into any sort of insect didn’t help, either. “I’ve been waiting just a little longer than that; 200 or so years longer. I had hoped this was the princess of the prophecy, but do you know how many nasty princesses there have been in the past 250 years? It’s appalling!” Rabbit nodded, not at all able to comprehend 200 years of obnoxious princesses. “At least that should all be done with now. You’ll have to go and spread the word to the surrounding kingdoms, the king will put out a notice to all able knights and we want the right sort of knight volunteering for this job.”

“Yes, I can do that,” Rabbit said, finally lifting his gaze from the crack in the floor. Izmella was not looking at him, still intent on the visions in the globe. Rabbit had often peered into the crystal when he was tidying up for her and he never saw anything there.

“Now would be soon enough.”

“Oh, uh, yes, but -” Rabbit stuttered.

“I know, there is only one knight who can do the job, so to speak, but we can’t just go and tell the king who to get, can we? We have to let everything play out. So go tell the surrounding kingdoms and do what you can to guide the king.”

“Yes, but -”

“I know you’re small and a little feeble minded, but the king isn’t too bright either, I’m sure you’ll come up with something.”

“I’m hungry!”

“Well I didn’t say you couldn’t eat anything on your way.” Rabbit could hear her eyes rolling, but he had to be cautious; at times, when she says to do something, she means right now, and at other times, she means, at your leisure and after nearly 10 years as her servant, he still could not tell the difference.

“I will report to you tomorrow.”

“Rabbit, there is no need.” Izmella rose, gesturing to the crystal globe, “take care and I believe there is some food in the refrigerator. I must go and check on a few things; I think the woodsmith has finished repairing my broom.”

“Yes, mistress, I’m glad to hear it, my back hurt sweeping the floor with your old hair brush.”

“I know, Rabbit, you’re a good helper. I’ll see you when the king has found a worthy knight.” Izmella threw her gray shawl over her shoulder and strode out the door. Rabbit was flustered, touched by one of the few compliments Izmella had ever bestowed on him. She must truly be happy that this day has come, he thought.

Izmella was not the most beautiful woman in the town, but she kept men and women alike intrigued with her timelessness. Know one knew quite how she was – 200, maybe 300 years old? It was impossible to tell, she aged so well. Most believed there was some witchery involved, but none dared question her, some thought it was her sheer meanness that kept her skin so tight, while other women her age looked more withered than a leather sheaf straight off the battle field.

As Izmella went through the town taking care of her errands, Rabbit left town, taking care of his.


---------
For Sara: And they lived happily ever after.

5.21.2008

Shoes & Yarn Always Fit

I love buying shoes & yarn (not necessarily together) because they always fit, they come in gorgeous colors & they make you feel good. Shoes make your legs look sexy, or feel comfortable, and when most of us who buy yarn buy yarn, it's usually with someone in mind for a gift. Gifting always feels good. The occasional time when we see yarn and have a project in mind for ourselves feels even better.
What does not feel good is clothes shopping. One year ago, roughly, I had no problem clothes shopping. I am now having to deal with the hardest thing I've ever dealt with. More difficult than being sick for 9 months, more difficult than birthing without any pain medication (not my first choice), and certainly worse than a root canal: my post-partum body. It vaguely resembles my body, it certainly feels like it belongs to me. However, when I am fully dressed and glance in the mirror, I do not recognize the body attached to my face. My clothes don't even begin to fit and even the same clothing, the same fit, in a larger size, doesnt fit. I have to discover an entirely different style of clothing that still feels like me. I have to shop in stores I hadn't considered before, sifting through rags that lack my personality.
I have to "do the best with what I have." And it feels horrible.

5.15.2008

I got stuff!!!

I came home from lunch with my sister and newly stitched niece (she fell on the playground :( ) to find a package at my door!!! Thank you, Krystle!!! I love my hand painted mug, organic coffee, french vanilla coffee, the cookies (which I already tried and they are scrummy!!!) and, of course, the GORGEOUS lime green yarn which is AMAZINGLY soft! I can't wait to knit with it!! Oh and there were some fun stickers in there - how did you know I love stickers?

Here's a photo of my goodies:
Tonight, I plan on brewing some of that decaf french vanilla, sitting back, watching some yummy doctors and knitting some awesome leggings for my ballerina who is graduating with her MFA in June!!

Happy day!

5.09.2008

Lots of stuff

Last weekend, John & I went out to the movies! Nonna watched all of her grandkids so that we could go out with my sister and brother in law. Of course, John & I checked out Target for some movie theater snacks; we picked out a few things for us & called the other "kids" to see if they had any requests. My sister, of course, requested Junior Mints, her all time favorite movie food.
WELL, they only had one size: comically large -




















After Made of Honor was over (and it was AWESOME, by the way), I went a round with Kung Fu Panda and managed to remain standing, despite his enormity, although I was worse for the wear.

And in crafty news, I finished my Coffee Swap Package and the relaxing, post coffee lavender scented mini pillow and can ship it off to its new owner soon. Not today, though, as I am stuck waiting for the furnace man... But here's a photo of the doo-hicky I made.

5.05.2008

Spring Fling Final Topic of the Week

Well, I've missed a few, but here's the last topic:



We'll go free form this week - Post about your WIPs, post about your package, post about the weather where you are - just be sure to include that the post is for the Spring Fling Weekly Topic somewhere inside it when you tell us it's there! I'd lovhin to hear how folks are enjoying the goodies they received, if they have, or how much fun you had shopping for your pal!


So here it is... my current WIP is a sock! Thank you, Lindsey-Jane for the yarn & the inspiration. It's coming together very quickly, considering what little time I have to knit! The next project up is a pair of legwarmers for a certain friend who is accomplishing something big this June.

As for the swap, I had a BLAST shopping for my pal and have had to cut myself off just so I can pay the bills! It should be out in the mail tomorrow as I almost have the hand made portion finished - I was going to just buy something but then, I had an idea and HAD to go with it. Of course, that idea changed from one thing (too hard) to something else, but I think it's gonna be good. I'm going to get the package together tomorrow and see if it needs anything else before I send it out.

OK that's all!!!!

5.04.2008

Such a big girl!


Lily sure is growing!
Here's a photo from today's session.
I have some funny things to post about last night's romp at the movies, but have to be quick now...

5.02.2008

Life

I haven't posted in a while. I have no idea if anyone reads this, but if you do, I apologize for not posting. Life has been stressful lately and I'd rather not get into it.
Let's talk about some positive things. I finished my sheep and it should be arriving at its new owner's house soon. I'll post pics soon, too.

Lily is now 6 months old and eating pretty well!!! She has her appointment on May 13th.

John's two weeks of hell at work are over tomorrow night - he's actually got two days off this week! As of tomorrow night, I get to spend time with him until Tuesday morning. It's a Christmas miracle.

Will post some more interesting stuff soon.

4.19.2008

Introducing the Tooth Gnome

Unrelated to the familiar Tooth Fairy, this is one of the least known gnomes. That is to say, he is completely unknown to the childless and forgotten in a post-traumatic stress syndrome frenzy by those whose children have a full set of adult teeth. To those just meeting him, those who have blocked his memory and those who may one day meet him, I introduce to you the Tooth Gnome:






It is unfortunate that he is very, very, tiny and you can not see him with the naked eye, but trust me, that IS an exact likeness! If you were to enhance that picture, say, one billion times, you may get a glimpse of his nefarious visage.
Most humans are familiar with the most common, and largest gnome, the Garden Gnome. However, unlike the helpful and faithful Garden Gnome (despite his tendency to become lost in foreign gardens), the Tooth Gnome is not a nice fellow. He takes pleasure in the pain and suffering of others, especially small children, whose size and intelligence he is, frankly, jealous of. He is not bothered by fully grown humans as they are known to be quite stupid and waste their time causing themselves pain anyway. Children, though, he feels are quite vile. The side effect of tormenting parents with their screams (especially in the middle of the night), explosive diarrhea, diaper rashes, and spit up (to name a few) is merely a bonus to this evil little guy.

4.15.2008

Topic of the Week!!!

Tell us how you started drinking coffee. Were you in high school or college and making it through all nighters? Did you get it from a family member? What drives your love of the bean?


I started drinking coffee in college. Not the usual way, not to stay up for all night study sessions. When my father would pick me up for holidays or other breaks in Montclair, we would take a detour into Jersey City. We would visit my aunt sometimes, but usually we would travel into a Hispanic neighborhood so he could buy his favorite cigars. We'd then stop into a coffee shop and he would order me a cafe con leche. It was yummy. I was hooked.

4.11.2008

SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I JUST GOT MY LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE FROM FAIRLEGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY!!! I'M IN!!!!
WOO HOO!!!!!

SPRING!!!!

Spring Fling Coffee and Yarn Swap Question of the Week #2...

Since some of us is beginning to see glimpse of Spring, while others are still getting snow have you change what projects are working on? Have you put away the hats, scarfs and mittens, and brought out the cute tank top sweater projects and lacy wraps? Have you change yarn to something more lighter and cooler, not so heavy and bulky?

I always like to work on small, quicker projects, so I guess it doesn't really apply... I'm not knitting winter hats anymore. I'm glad of that! Currently on the needles are: a springy ribbon scarf, a stuffy, and a pair of socks. So I guess I have been changing my projects!

In very exciting news, my garden is BLOOMING!

4.06.2008

How does a week go by so quickly?

Wasn't it just Monday? For that matter, wasn't it just Easter? My house still hasn't recovered from the Easter/application madness. I have a LOT of laundry! I think I need a wife ;) I also am far behind on my knitting and haven't even THOUGHT of writing anything, since the rush of getting 15 pages out last week.
I would like to tell you all about something: Modern Yarn, in Montclair is going to start doing Knit A Longs! I can't join the first one, time and budget wise, it's just not realistic. The people there are really nice, though and the first project is the Brighton Bag from the latest Knitty! It's gorgeous! I wish all KALers there the best with the project and if you happen to be anywhere near Montclair, NJ, go and join in for me! Here's the MY blog.

I hope to blog about more fun things soon - I have some good crafty ideas!!

3.31.2008

Anxiety

Have you ever had the feeling that SOMETHING is going to happen but you have no idea what? You just feel like you're waiting and waiting.... Well, that's what I'm feeling tonight. I'm sure you don't care.
Might you like to know that I sent the application out? Would you like to read some of what FDU is getting? Here you go, I hope you like it and I hope FDU likes it even more! Let me know what you think!



The heat climbs the subway stairs and meets her near the top. She pushes her coarse blond hair off her face, revealing smudged eyeliner and red eyes. She can’t believe she had stayed there; it is even harder to believe that her conscience woke her up before dawn and got her out of his apartment before he woke.
She curses the unreliable 6 train; reaches into her purse for her Ipod. At least she will have good music. She chooses the playlist he made for her two years ago; the only one that was never off of her Ipod. She remembers feeling nostalgic the night before. The chords that felt so fulfilling and uplifting last night as she made this journey in reverse seem dissonant and dark this morning, she can hardly believe it was the same music.
Two songs later, a train finally arrives. The song is upbeat, but hardly uplifting. She sits in the empty car, closes her eyes and loses herself in the whirling guitar as the singer’s voice bounces between her ears.
She forgets where she is coming from, where she is going, and most importantly, what this song felt like 2 years ago. The song is new again; the words are familiar, but have new meaning. Her mind runs with the melody of the song and she doesn’t notice when a group of boys get on at the next stop until they nearly fall in her lap walking across to the other end of the subway car. High school boys breaking rules, she thinks; they speak loud and drunkenly. She turns the volume up and sinks further down into the hard, plastic orange seat, wrapping her scarf tighter around her neck.
She hears yelling, and, not caring, she decides to turn the volume dial all the way up. She doesn’t hear the gun fire. She feels it, though. She feels the sliver of metal enter her chest. She feels the heartless, gloating grin of the boy who shot her. She sees the twinkle in his eye; it reeks of relief. He was looking for someone to shoot, he felt a need to do this tonight. She smiles back, she knows she won’t see the next stop on the train, closes her eyes as the song ends and melts into the next.

3.30.2008

Spring Fling Coffee and Yarn Swap Topic of the Week

Browse around some of the other blogs of participants, and find one person who enjoys a similar roast coffee to you - share something interesting about them that you find on THEIR blog, and tell us what you've been working on knitting or crochet-wise this week!

Finally! I found someone who enjoys non-leaded (I think I read that correctly)...
Jan B. enjoys a decaf with lots of body AND she likes to try new things (as do I). Something interesting about Jan B is that she seems to really enjoy her swaps - swap on, Jan! (Ok that was really lame, sorry...)

I have been working on a nice and easy scarf made with ribbon (for spring time) and I'm starting another toy, but I have to find the right pattern first!

3.23.2008

Updates

the co-written fairy tale has been, as the knitting world would put it, frogged. My co-author was very excited about the project and it took a different turn than expected, so he is now working independently. I wish him the best and am very glad he has discovered the great joy in writing because the story demands to be written and not for other people. Check out his blog here

As for myself, I will be working on my application to the MFA creative writing program due 4/1

Look for more pages of my own fairy tale after that and of course my knitting will be posted here as soon as I start working on a new project!

3.20.2008

Coffee and Yarn Swap Questionaire

Coffee

1. What is your preference? Whole beans or ground?
I don't really have a preference!

2. What kind of coffees do you enjoy? A rich, bold roast; a light, fresh one, or something in between? Leaded or non?
Lately I've had to go unleaded, but I do like the occasional leaded. I really like a robust coffee, my favorite is Kona coffee!

3. If you were headed out right now to buy some coffee for the house, what would you be picking up?
Probably Dunkin Decaf (Costco has large bags of it)

4. Do you drink for caffeine, pleasure, or both?
Both! Caffeine before noon, pleasure after.

5. Do you enjoy flavored coffees? How about add-ins or flavored creamers?
I do like flavored coffees, but not Irish Cream flavored or nutty.

6. A large, lovely mug or a small, dainty cup?
LARGE mug!!!

7. Describe your perfect cup - not JUST the coffee, but how you'd enjoy it!
It's a warm day, but not too hot - maybe 70 degrees... sunny but with some big white fluffy clouds... I'm sitting with some friends and we're just talking, Lily is sleeping and/or silently playing with a toy, I have nice, cold, ice vanilla or caramel latte (big one WITH whipped cream), am having a big chewy chocolate chip cookie and just relaxing. Pretty simple, really!

8. You're sitting down to enjoy a nice cup in the local coffee shop, knitting bag in hand, iPod all tuned up - or maybe you're there with a few friends for knit night! What treat do you pick up to enjoy with your coffee? A sweet, rich brownie, or something more healthy? How about a salty treat? What goes best with that great cup and company?
I would pick a chewy, moist cookie or a rich, dark brownie. Occasionally, I'm in the mood for coffee cake or shortbread to dunk.

Yarn

1. Do you knit or crochet?
Knit

2. What are your favorite types of yarns to work with?
I love baby alpaca and really any nice, soft yarn. I don't like anything with funky textures.

3. What do you have on the needles (or hook!) right now?
Right now, I'm making a bunny for my neice from the Middle Sized Monster pattern (was supposed to be a monster for my nephew, but apparently he's too old for stuffed animals - how sad!)

4. What are your favorite colors in yarns? What about those that you'd never find in your stash?
I love all colors! I have a lot of blue right now; I wouldn't mind having some nice, rich jewel tones in reds or greens or purples. You will not find yellow, unless someone wants something yellow and I've decided to knit it for them.

5. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using? Any you just detest?
I love my lantern moons! I also just got a pair of knitpicks DPNs and they're lovely. I'm not big on circular needles, but I like metal and wood needles for different projects.

6. Are there any particular notions you absolute do NOT need? Some of us swap a lot - are you sure that you have enough tape measures to last your lifetime? Enough stitch markers to mark every stitch of a 10 foot wide afghan?
I haven't been swapping long and I haven't been knitting long, so I don't really have a lot of notions; having said that, I really don't need anything, but I do love fun stuff...

7. You walk into the yarn shop and have exactly and only enough money to purchase 2 skeins of yarn in their 2 for 20 special they have going..The choices are a soft, thick cotton/viscose blend in your favorite colors, slightly variegated..a beautiful sock yarn that's just squishy and sproingy in your hands.. a soft, worsted weight wool like malabrigo.. and a lovely bamboo blend with colors to just die for. Which do you walk out the door with?
Bamboo blend!

Spring

1. We're starting sign-ups on the first day of Spring - is it already truly Spring-like where you are?
It's getting there! My tulips are coming up and the daffodils have buds!!!

2. What's your favorite spring flower? Do you have one?
I love all spring flowers! Tulips are probably my faves (pink)

3. What do you most look forward to about springtime?
I look forward to things blooming and fresh food; nice weather - I love 65 degrees, it's perfect for me!

4. They've predicted a gorgeous day tomorrow - Sunny and about 65 with a nice breeze - how do you spend your day?
I take my daughter and puppy on a walk, and maybe go to the Iris garden in Montclair.

5. The day after, it's going to be cooler and pouring down rain - does that impact your mood? How do you spend that day? what helps cheer you up?
I would spend the day hanging out with Lily, in PJs. A nice hot drink and a yummy sweet treat would cheer me up!

Odds n Ends

1. Do you collect anything BESIDES yarn and needles?
No, I'm really not a collector. I like pens.

2. Are you allergic to anything?
Yes, cats and other small animals. Shellfish, too, but I don't think that's a concern.

3. Do you have pets?
Yes, a Yorkie/Westie mix, Stella!

4. Is this your first swap, or are you an old pro? What are the last 2 swaps you participated in?
I've only been in 2 swaps before - SP11 and the Hot Cocoa Swap

5. List 3 of your favorite blogs - craft related or not - and tell us why you love them.
Mr. Modes Wild Ride - It's my friend's blog and we're co-writing a story.
I really am new to the blog world and sort of randomly surf and read blogs of people I know.
Oh! I read Lime and Violet, now that last swap pal introduced me to it.

3.17.2008

New Swap! New FO!

I can't WAIT for signups for the Spring Fling Coffee and Yarn Swap!!!
It sounds like lots of fun and who doesn't LOVE coffee!!

I've finished Lily's bunny, just in time for Easter! I'm now working on a monster for my nephew (for Easter) and I think I'll do another bunny for my niece! I've got until Sunday, but I have a light week so I think I can get it done!
Here's the bunny:


As far as the story goes, you can find Chapters 2 and 4 at Nick's blog (link in a post below) but I'll have the rest of Chapter 1 this week!

Oh and HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY! Kiss someone Irish for me ;)

3.14.2008

Please take this survey!




3.09.2008

Creativity works in mysterious ways

So, I have been a bit stuck on the story. Creativity works in odd ways, though, so I think I'm going to hold off on Chapter 1, and move ahead to Chapter 3. Look out for that in the next few days! You can read ahead to Chapter 2 HERE and get caught up as I write Chapter 3.

While the story has been brewing in my mind, I've been knitting. The latest project is a bunny for Lily for easter. Here's a photo of the body:




I have knitted the ears and one arm and hope to finish the limbs tonight and have an FO tomorrow!

In other news, my husband, baby and I are going on a little trip down memory lane tomorrow, which I'm very excited about. We're going first to Stork's bakery in Whitestone, NY. Stork's is a bakery my parents used to go to when we lived in Flushing, NY. One of my strongest memories of Springtime was getting easter cookies from this bakery! I can't wait to share the memories with my niece and nephew (I think my daughter is a little too young yet!) as well as with you all! I'll be uploading photos of the goodies ASAP!
After that, we're going to The Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ, the site of one of our first dates as well as absolutely DELICIOUS hamburgers - can't wait!

3.06.2008

sometimes

2.27.2008

Can't wait for more of the story?

While I'm still writing Section 1, you can go here and read Chapter 2. Don't worry, it won't spoil anything.

2.24.2008

Fiction II

There was one small, somber individual in the crowd, though: Rabbit. Rabbit was not an animal, though, but an unfortunate decision by his parents to let his older sister, at the age of 3, name him. He was tiny, yes, but not particularly furry or long eared, he could frequently be long winded, but his employer, Izmella, helped him to keep this in mind. He wore a special pendant that glowed green and tingled slightly whenever he spoke for longer than a minute or so. Right now, he was feel the sting of it, as he muttered quietly, excitedly, “it’s happened, it’s finally happened, it’s happened, what now, what now,” as the people in the streets rejoiced. He pushed his way through the crowd, ever mumbling, and headed towards Izmella’s cottage.

Izmella was a typical witch: beautiful, tall, with a curvaceous feminine figure. The green of her perfect almond eyes matched the emerald of Rabbit’s pendant and was framed by the dark ringlets that fell to her waist. “Rabbit, please, you’re disturbing me, either speak out load or don’t speak at all,” she said quickly, not looking up from her crystal globe as Rabbit walked through the door.
“Sorry, mistress, but there’s big news: it finally happened, the princess has been abducted.”

“I know,” Izmella repied coolly, pointing to her globe.

“Yes, right, of course.” Rabbit shifted his weight a few times and looked erratically around the room, as if looking for something that did not exist. His eyes finally rested at a crack in the floorboards, just in front of his feet.

“This is good, not only does the town get a reprieve from the wretch, but we won’t have to wait too much longer to see the prophecy realized.”

“I haven’t been waiting that long, miss, only about 20 years.”

“WELL,” Izmella rarely raised her voice, but she didn’t need to, she had a certain way of putting emphasis on just the right syllables to make anyone feel like he might wet himself. The knowledge that she could turn one into any sort of insect didn’t help, either. “I’ve been waiting just a little longer than that; 200 or so years longer. I had hoped this was the princess of the prophecy, but do you know how many nasty princesses there have been in the past 250 years? It’s apalling!” Rabbit nodded, not at all able to comprehend 200 years of obnoxoius princesses. “At least that should all be done with now. You’ll have to go and spread the word to the surrounding kingdoms, the king will put out a notice to all able knights and we want the right sort of knight volunteering for this job.”

“Yes, I can do that,” Rabbit said, finally lifting his gaze from the crack in the floor. Izmella was not looking at him, still intent on the visions in the globe. Rabbit had often peered into the crystal when he was tidying up for her and he never saw anything there.

“Now would be soon enough.”

“Oh, uh, yes, but -” Rabbit stuttered.

“I know, there is only one knight who can do the job, so to speak, but we can’t just go and tell the king who to get, can we? We have to let everything play out. So go tell the surrounding kingdoms and do what you can to guide the king.”

“Yes, but -”

“I know you’re small and a little feeble minded, but the king isn’t too bright either, I’m sure you’ll come up with something.”

“I’m hungry!”

“Well I didn’t say you couldn’t eat anything on your way.” Rabbit could hear her eyes rolling, but he had to be cautious; at times, when she says to do something, she means right now, and at other times, she means, at your leisure and after nearly 10 years as her servant, he still could not tell the difference.

“I will report to you tomorrow.”

“Rabbit, there is no need.” Izmella rose, gesturing to the crystal globe, “take care and I believe there is some food in the refrigerator. I must go and check on a few things; I think the woodsmith has finished repairing my broom.”

“Yes, mistress, I’m glad to hear it, my back hurt sweeping the floor with your old hair brush.”

“I know, Rabbit, you’re a good helper. I’ll see you when the king has found a worthy knight.” Izmella threw her gray shawl over her shoulder and strode out the door. Rabbit was flustered, touched by one of the few compliments Izmella had ever bestowed on him. She must truly be happy that this day has come, he thought.

2.23.2008

A Little of Everything

I tried something new today! I made Honey-Wheat Bread, from the Panera Bread Cookbook and while it could be prettier, it's pretty yummy!!
I've started knitted up the sock yarn & pattern that my cocoa swap pal, Lyndsay, sent me, it's coming along (a whole inch or so!) but I don't have any photos of it yet!
I DO have photos of the sweater and hat set she made for my daughter, though:I know she doesn't look happy, but she LOVES it! Thanks again, Lyndsay!!! (PS Sorry if I've spelled your name wrong!)



Here, she's looking a bit happier snuggling Miss Bean. How she got it away from me, I'll never know!! It's almost as snuggly as she is!