Friday, October 30, 2009

The day that wasn't

Well, this is what happen when a person goes off in a blog post and brags about how they've never needed a lifeline, and how easy a project has been for said knitter (who will remain unnamed) and then that knitter gets 15 rows into the blanket today and happens to look down and realize that the entire day's worth of knitting has to be ripped because there was a dropped stitch somewhere along the way and it's turned into a giant hole that can't be fixed by any other method than ripping it out. So this knitter takes a 4mm circular and weaves it into the stitches of the row about 3 rows below this mess, and then rips. it. all. out... And then I (I mean She) still had to tink back two more rows to fix the error in the pattern that was just below that other mess, and it's just now back in order.

I've remembered that I actually do have another blog over here on blogger...the one about church stuff...and so if you feel like reading about Dante's Temple trip, follow the link.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finally, I caved to the pressure

This is the start of the baby blanket for Jim's newest grandchild. This is actually the back side, but I felt like it showed the pattern better than the front (pre-blocking). This is the Faux Russian Stole by Meg Swanson and I've been wanting to knit this for a few years. I've decided to omit the lace border in favor of a plain garter stitch edge and I think that this change, along with the color, will keep it boyish enough. It's a really fun knit, made much easier by my breaking the pattern up into three sections and using post-it's and stitch markers to keep track of what's going on in them. If you have never knit lace before, let me tell you something that a wise woman once told me...use stitch markers to keep track of the pattern repeats. I know!'s simple. Why didn't I think of that?...I'm not really sure, but I do know that if you do that, and count the stitches between those markers on every row, you can't screw it up too badly. And then if you're still not sure, you can use a "life line" which is when you thread a scrap piece of yarn through the last row that you knit (and are certain that it's correct), which allows you to rip back to a section that you know is free from error if you mess it up too badly. Thus endeth Cambria's Words-O-Wisdom on lace knitting.

Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be taking Dante up for his first trip to the Temple. I'm excited for this and I think he is too (but you never can tell with Dante). Hopefully I won't embarrass him with my excitedness. Then Saturday I have a lunch date with my friend from my last job, then the boys have a Halloween party at the Nielson's (while Aaron will be taking the Providence ghost tour with his mom and friends), and then it's back home for Dante to go out. If Alex does well at the party, we'll take him out too but if he's too tired it will just be The Boy. I'd like to bake something tomorrow for Halloween, but I've already baked an apple pie (yesterday) and a huge batch of molasses spice cookies (today) from a recipe I found on a great blog I just discovered the other day. The pie came out alright...I guess not all apples work out in pies. I bought a bag-o-apples at the market and didn't realize that I should have got a specific variety (according to the Big Book of Food (my name for it) from America's Test Kitchens, or that crusts could vary so much. Dante peeled, and cored/sliced the apples with a combo slicer-corer. Then he mixed everything up and I put the crust on, then into the oven it went. It looked pretty till I cut into it and found out that the mound of apples collapsed onto itself and the crust was hollow when I cut into it. It just sunk right down, and the apples were pretty mushy, but over all it tasted good. We're going to try it again, only this time I'll make the crust ahead of time and we'll get the right apples. As far as the cookies go...(again, learning from mistakes) they were too puffy and needed more sugar for my taste. It's nothing against the recipe, I just happened to have bread flour in the pantry and never realized that my flour combined with the leveners in the dough would make big, puffy cookies instead of the normal flat, cracked, sugar crusted ones from the photo. And I like a sweeter cookie so I'll make this again with all purpose flour and some white sugar. The boys like them so I guess that's what counts. Now I want to try the recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin cookies I found here, and see how that works out.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sock Wars V- Iron Knitter!

Who's ready to do battle against Dirty Mittens?! Yes my friends...its that time again. (I only heard about this a year ago, but just pretend that I've known all along, and you have too.) Sock Wars V, Iron Knitter gets underway in January and sign-ups are happening now. Now it's my understanding that the war works like so:
  1. you sign up to be a warrior, and when the war starts you get info with you target's sock size and color preference. Begin knitting your weapon!
  2. you finish said weapon before your target does (hopefully), mail said weapon to the target whereupon they receive it in their mailbox and are summarily killed dead.
  3. zombie targets (because they're dead) mail you their weapon-in-progress, and you finish it off and then mail it to the next target on the list, killing them dead too (you're a knitting fiend!).
  4. keep killing targets, and taking names till you're the last knitter standing! "carnage candy!" (Randy from Scream...pause here while I go put on Scream)
I've signed up for the sock war, but opted not to go for Iron Knitter as this is my first sock war and with school and 3 year-olds, and preteens with Young Men's activities, and husbands who like to eat (off of clean dishes no less!)...there just isn't time for that. I *did* sign up for The Last East Coast Knitter Standing portion of the competition in hopes of insuring that I can win a prize, which is sock yarn from Cocoa Beach Yarn Company. The winner gets 20 skeins! Knitter with the most kills gets 15, last East Coast knitter standing (this happens to be my category but it's the same where ever you live) wins 5, and the people who were killed by the winner, or the knitter with the most kills gets 1 skein! Way to go! That really takes the sting out of being dead, not to mention that you get a lovely pair of socks out of it when the dust settles. If you knit socks (and you know who you are...) go sign up so we can knock each other off!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We have a working printer!!

My husband and I have been gifted two printers, neither of which work with our Mac for some unknown reason. The Lexmark (which is a copier too and works as a copier but not a printer) won't work on either the Mac or the laptop. Well I finally decided to ask my husband to try the other printer (gifted by Kelly and Jason) on the laptop and I'm excited to say that it works! I didn't have to go all the way out to the library in the storm to print out my sharing time lesson from Now I just have to get a ream of paper because we only have a little bit.

In knitting news, I've hit a really complicated part of my vest and I'm not enjoying it as much as I was. I have to keep track of neck shaping, while simultaneously tracking shoulder decreases and keeping track of the chart, and making sure that I have the new "start of round" marked correctly as well as the start of the pattern after each decrease area, and this magnetic board isn't so great when you get near the fold of the board because there's some issue going on with reverse polarity that causes my magnets to jump a few rows forward or backward when I'm trying to use them. Overall, they're still better than my post-it method but it's a pain when I have to keep track of so many things at once. So here is the latest progress shot, when I realized that I was supposed to be working the neck shaping but I hadn't started it yet, and decided to try it on so see if I needed to yank back, and realized that I was okay after all.

As I sit here typing this, I realize that I have three babies to knit for and I'm not sure who will be born when, and I really need to get cracking, and I might have to put the vest down...(breathing deeply). This photo helps me to really see the vest, and I think it's lovely despite my issues with not being able to properly choose three colors in dark, medium, and light shades to go together. The colors aren't quite true to life, but I can see that it's coming together really well and I think I'm going to love wearing it (not finishing it...every color change has two four threads to be woven in!!). Now to stay focused.

And did I mention the sudden desire to make stitch markers? I got a lovely set from my friend Rain, and I realized that I love having these and I should try my hand at them. These could be gifts for my knitterly friends, or maybe the start of a small little side job that might just pay for itself, and some yarn too. I'm trying to plan for when I no longer work and my husband does, and I want to buy yarn without having to justify why I need it. I'll be taking a spin over to Michael's and to my local bead shop to see what I can find in the next few day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rhinebeck part 2

So, finally here is the long awaited final chapter of the Rhinebeck story. Where did I leave off?

Sunday morning we woke up and went to the Ihop on the way to the fair grounds (as everyone else apparently did) and got pumpkin pancakes, eggs, and hash browns. This prompted me to come home and attempt to make some pumpkin pancakes of my own, and that's when I realized that I should have put some sugar in the batter...because the pancakes just weren't good with all those spices in the batter and no sugar. Anyway, after loading up on protein and carbs, we got back on the road to Rhinebeck, getting a better look at the sights and wondering why I wasn't taking any pictures from the car to show how pretty Upstate NY is in the fall.

We got to the fair and started about 10:30am, looking for vendors that we missed the first day and with hopes for knitting on the Big Sock again (didn't happen). We spent more time with the larger commercial companies this time, and finally found the authors tent where I had my copy of The Big Book of Yarn signed by Clara Parkes (in the pink sweater, right next to Lily Chin in the purple sweater) who has to be the nicest person I've ever met! She graciously agreed to sign my copy, but only if I would take my coat off and show her the FLS I was wearing, lol. So I did, and she complemented me on the color (which those of you in my knitting group will know I was concerned about). She was so cool that I bought her new book, The Big Book of Wool which she also signed, and tossed in a butterfly of yarn for good luck! She was sitting right next to Lily Chin, and on the other side of the hall was Veronik Avery who I stood right in front of (under the auspices of looking through her book) and was too afraid to speak to her. Idiot. So instead, I took stalker photos of the authors from afar.
We made it over to the booths and I picked up a copy of the Fantasy Thigh-High Stockings by Diane Kostecki, and drooled over everything else (see yesterday's comments on the glass "don't-drop spindles"). I also bought two skeins of Socks That Rock: Shadow in medium weight, and Muckity Muck in light weight (which is much more of a shiny deep burnt orange/rust that is looks online). I also bought a signed copy of The Enchanted Sole by Janel Laidman from the same booth. I picked up a glass shawl pin from the Moving Mud booth, a skein of wool/alpaca sock yarn from Oasis Farm Fiber Mill in burgundy, 4 oz of Surino roving in Sage from Flaggy Meadow Fiber Works (70% Suri Alpaca/30% Merino) and 4 oz of 100% Cormo roving from Foxhill Farm (located in Lee, MA) in the natural dark chocolate brown, a skein of Beaches sock yarn from Creatively Dyed in Cardiff (gorgeous black/red), and a skein of Malabrigo Sock in Abril (very bottom left).

At lunch time we went to the Ravelry lunch meet-up again, and this time I met Patti who came up and chatted with me about how I was the only person who was actually knitting, and we got to be friends in no time. Next thing we know, we're standing right next to Jess (Mama Rav), Mary Heather (Do-Gooder), Sara (Hostess with the Mostest), and Ysolda Teague (in the yellow hat over my left shoulder). I found an opening this time and we chatted for a bit, then I worked in the photo op (and was told that they don't let people just take their photos...people have to be in the photo with them, that was some kind of punishment or something.) So we got a great photo, and a few not so good ones due to back-lighting issues, but that just meant that I got to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with greatness for longer than necessary. It was then and there that I decided that Ravelry is not only the best place on Earth for knitters, but that I had to have a Vivian or I'd die (see earlier post about how they were everywhere, and looked great on everyone).

We went through some more of the barns where I got my basket from a great little farm where they make organic goat milk soaps, and I threw out my receipt so I can't tell you who it was but they were the cutest little things ever.

Finally, after a long weekend of walking all over God's creation, Heather and I were spent. She was tired and fought through being sick, and my back had had enough so we called it and headed back through the sea of vehicles to find her little black Honda and get on the road. We decided to head further North and see what would happen, and were pleased to see that we could get home two hours faster than we got there. We went through the Adirondacks and came down through Massachusetts, into Rhode Island by way of Woonsocket on 146 till we got back into our neck of the woods at about 6:45pm. I was beat, excited about my new stuff, and couldn't wait to show my husband my photos but that all had to wait because I had a baby waiting for me at the door when I got home. Aaron let him stay up and wait for me to come home because he missed Momma, and I haven't been able to peel him off of me since.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Return from Upstate NY

In an effort to keep this from being a 15 page-long post, I think I'll split the two days.

So I meet up with my friend and traveling companion Heather, and we get on the road about 4:30pm Friday afternoon. We almost had to go back for my phone (which I found) but we finally got underway and the drive was pretty smooth. We drove up through Connecticut and stopped for dinner and a pit stop at this great little Mexican restaurant called La Boca (which actually had vegetarian options on their menu marked by a little V. I ordered the cheese enchiladas with a cream cilantro sauce, refried beans and rice. There was so much food we had to take it with us and we didn't have room for desert. Then we got back on the road and pulled into our motel at about 9:30pm. The room was pretty big, the beds were big and mostly comfortable, the heater worked almost too well (which resulted in my getting up several times the first night to turn it on and off as we couldn't figure out how to make it kick off on its own). Heather wasn't feeling well and I didn't want to freeze her out or sweat her to death.
We got up the next morning and Heather got into a hot shower and dosed herself to the gills with cold meds to be able to go with me (what a good friend!). We decided to hit Micky D's for breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and o.j.... what we didn't count on was a colorful and not-so-entertaining story from the table next to us about Eddie and the girl having a baby in the hospital..."Didn't you know...she's having the baby in the hospital right now". Then after a quick pit stop, we hit Route 9 North toward Rhinebeck which took us through Hyde Park where the FDR Presidential Library and the FDR Home is located, along with the Vanderbilt Mansion. Then it was into Rhinebeck which is a pretty little town, especially in the fall. We got to the fair grounds, where I discovered that I left my ticket to the fair at home in my wallet and I'd have to pay for entry again. Nice. But two-day admission was cheap enough so I ponied over my 17 bucks and we went on in. There were tents and open barns everywhere with stables stuffed full of fiber, animals, spinning wheels, spindles (I bought one), roving, batt, top, yarn of every type and color including several luxury blends like yak, bison, cashmere, and qiviut. There was a giant slide and a carousel, a magic show, a tent with workshops (like the beginning hand spinning class that I took and got hooked on), and a pavilion with some of the larger producers of yarn carrying Socks That Rock, Orenburg shawls and books, glass knitting needles and spindles, and an "author's tent" where I met Clara Parkes, saw Veronik Avery, and Laura Cho (who I met at the Ravelry lunch time meet-up and took a photo with).

We didn't eat anything at the fair because we were high on fiber fumes and didn't want to waste any money on food that could be put to fiber, lol. I must have blown through 2/3 of my budget that first day! We stayed till the place closed on the first day, and decided not to go to the Ravelry party afterward because we were both tired from walking all over the place, cold, and hungry, and partly because our first interaction with a large group of Ravelers was a bit awkward. Other than meeting Laura, taking pictures with Bob, and having Laura volunteer to take a photo of Heather and I with Bob (how awesome is that!!), it was really sort of intimidating and felt funny. We did end up in the front row of the big photo though! And I did meet some cool people in the spinning class like Gretchen and her mom who made me feel a whole lot better about my Central Park Hoodie. She had on the prettiest hoodie ever and I'm wanting to knit one for myself...except that I'm not nearly as slim and it might not look so good on me, lol.

As far a knits in the wild...I saw tons of FLS's, tams and berets as far as the eye could see, cowls and Ishbel's everywhere, about 8 different Vivians including the ones that Jess and Mary Heather were in. Jess was wearing the very same one from the photo shoot! but more on that tomorrow as that's day 2 stuff. I also saw Rosie in her Clasica Coat, walked past Anne and stared like an idiot because I couldn't believe I was seeing her, gawked at Joe when he walked into a booth right next to me, and was asked if anyone had ever told me that I looked like Lisa by the famous Yarn Harlot stalker lol when I went to knit on the Big Sock.

At the end of the day we followed Beth, our ever patient spinning instructor out toward the parking lot where she told Heather that she was her favorite student ever because we'd asked Amy (of Spunky Ecletic) if she needed any help carrying her new spinning wheel out to her car when Heather said that we didn't say we were offering any help...just asking if she needed it, lol. When we found our car amid the sea of other cars, and got on our way back to the motel we planned to eat at Olive Garden which I guess everyone else planned too because there was not a single parking space and people were standing in the foyer waiting to be seated. We decided to try the nice little Italian place that shared a parking lot with the Super 8 and Holiday Inn. I got the quiche and salad, and we skipped desert for the second night in a row. Then it was back to our rooms where we dumped our haul on the beds and played in it like kids at Halloween till Heather dropped off to sleep surrounded by yarn and I knit on a sock watching Tyler Perry movies on TBS till 10pm when I, too, passed out for the night.

Tomorrow...part two of Rhinebeck!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rhinebeck, here I come!

This is being typed right now as my partner in crime is driving home from work on the way to pick me up so we can leave for Rhinebeck oh my gosh I'm so excited that I seem to have forgotten where my punctuation keys are

I have the GPS, the camera, my phone with charger, travel toiletries, the Beetlejuice sock, my book for the book signing, two sweaters and the sexy vesty, two pairs of knitted socks and my boots, jeans, long sleeve t-shirts, snacks, makeup, cash, a Nalgen water bottle, and freshly waxed eyebrows with me. Most of my school work for this week is finished. My baby is fed and happy. (Stitches heeling nicely...I'll have to thrill you with the tale after Rhinebeck if I remember...remind me.) I'm feeling antsy and excited, and like I'll miss Alex because I haven't left him overnight before.

I have two mini-loaves of whole wheat bread that I bakes fresh yesterday, all sliced up and bagged for sandwiches. I got individual serving peanut-butter, dried pineapple, granola bars, and some travel packed tea and cocoa for back at the hotel. (I wonder if they have a microwave in the room?)

I packed my neck warmer and hand warmers, found my mittens and ear warmers, and my umbrella. I'll grab my winter coat on the way out. (That seems strange for mid-October.) I've packed and repacked my stuff about three times now. I'm sitting here with bouncy legs just waiting to hear from Heather so I can bolt, but worried about leaving Alex. He's really been a good boy today and I want to throw him in the car and take him with me (except that I would not be able to do any of the stuff I wanted to do and it's just too far for him to go). Thankfully, I'm not working right now so I can sit with him on the couch all day long on Monday if he wants to. I think I'll just call at night and check on him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy happy, joy joy

I know this is supposed to be a knitting blog, and there should be pictures and projects and finished objects and stuff, but right now life is more than my knitting (a sad realization) and that's what I've been feeling the need to write about. So that being was a really great day!! I had a friend's little boy over to babysit for a few hours and it was so much fun for Alex. He loves playing with his friend (even if he still doesn't share very well) and they had a great time watching PBS and playing with Alex's toys. Just as I was getting them both settled in for lunch, Mom came to get him and I was a little sad that she'd gotten back so fast. I was looking forward to seeing how excited he was about having dinosaur sandwiches with Alex.

Later, we all got in the car and went up the Lincoln to pick up Dante's other prescription. Then it was off to Sam's Club for milk and lunch meat, which turned into a $60 trip (as these things usually do). We got home and Dante produced his progress report which was excellent! Every class shows his behavior, effort, and grades as good-excellent, and his math grade at the half way point is 75%! Not bad considering he shouldn't have passed math last year. My friend Melissa (who tutored him this summer) gets all the credit. I had him call her and leave her a message letting her know that he did so well, because I thought she'd like that. I have a meeting on the 23rd with his teachers and I'm feeling much better about the way everything is going so far.

Class started today for me. My biology class has video lectures and the text, but the text is really just a supplement to the lectures and chapter 1 was only five pages so I was able to get caught up on the reading right away. I'll even be able to make it to knitting on the weeks when it falls on a Thursday because my seminar is from 7-8pm, and knitting is at 8. This is a far cry better than last term when I thought I'd never survive. And to add to my excitement...I got a call from a wonderful gentleman from the State of RI dept of labor and training, informing me that he's processed my claim for unemployment and I can file a claim on Sunday so there's going to be no interruption in my pay. I was so excited that I could have jumped up and down (if my back could have taken it). Now I can look for a better job, and concentrate on school and getting my boys settled. Maybe I'll even get lucky and Aaron will find something before my benefits run out and I can stay home till I finish school!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On procrastination and lunacy

Today I went out and tried to pick up Dante's prescription only to find out that I couldn't do that because I forgot to call Rite Share and let them know that I don't have a primary care insurance anymore. I called them for an hour and a half before I was finally able to get through (apparently, the State of RI can just leave their out of office message on until after noon the day after a holiday, thereby extending the holiday). After I got a hold of a person, I was told that it would take 24 hours to update so I'm still without meds for Dante until tomorrow...afternoon. I picked up groceries for this weeks dinners, and tried to get my Adecco office to fax something to my managers office stating that I've been laid off but apparently they can't do that because of some corporate policy. They won't accept anything by mail either. My office has to call their company income verification line, only they won't call anyone because they can't verify who they're speaking to so that leaves me hanging in limbo. I called the managers office and told them that Adecco won't deal so they must call, and now I have to follow up with them tomorrow to see what they plan on doing. I also called the pediatrician's office to let them know that I never received the 18mg script and they put one out for me today, which I'll pick up tomorrow because I can't get his meds till then anyway and that way I don't have to worry about driving all the way up to Lincoln only to find out that my doctor hasn't had a chance to sign it. I let the school know that he's without medication (he's testing so they need to be aware in case they need to allow him to take his tests in the resource room). I had an appointment with the school today, which should have been the only one other than the review of the IEP, but it turned out that I only got to meet with his guidance counselor and it seems as though they didn't remember that I had a scheduled appointment because she squeezed me in for about 10 minutes before having to kick me out because one of the kids was testing in her office. Good thing I'm not working, because I told them that I couldn't afford to take time away from work to attend multiple meetings this year. So if Aaron can get that part time job, and I get my unemployment again, I'll be in a good place to get his schooling on track.

So most of the above was the lunacy, and I should be reading my Biology book and trying to finish the Ivy league Vest for Friday but instead I'm randomly surfing the web, catching up on my bloglines reading, and watching Cars with Alex. But I did get my dishes done...all my dishes. Now I'm planning to bake some pumpkin shaped sugar cookies and put orange sprinkles on them because I saw those in the market and wanted them but realized that I had everything at home already to bake them and that I could save some money, which is important when I haven't got my unemployment paperwork yet and I'm not sure if I'll get it again. We do have a small cushion, and my trip is being funded by a check that I got from Sovereign a month or so ago from the proceeds of my employee stock purchase plan (which I didn't know I was enrolled in) so that won't touch the house money. Speaking of my trip, I need to figure out my snacks and get them together. I'll probably bring some pumpkin muffins and I have plans to pack some of the pumpkin cookies, but I need something more than sweets to keep me going if there's nothing sans-meat at the fairgrounds. Thankfully, breakfast is easy and I can probably find something for dinner at one of the local restaurants, so that just leaves lunch at the fair. Maybe there'll be a Domino's Pizza near by.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Slightly used kids for sale

Boy, I'm really feeling the consequences of being away at work for 10 weeks. Alex is growing more defiant every day (a product of being 3) and Dante decided tonight that he couldn't sleep so it would be okay to play his DS in bed until I heard him giggling at 10pm. He has school and NCAP testing tomorrow, plus he's out of meds. I called in for his prescription a week ago and I have it but I didn't look at it because I didn't need it yet but I when I did today, I found that it was only one of the two prescriptions that he takes. It's only 27mgs and he takes 45 mgs (in two pills because they don't make one at 45 mgs) so tomorrow, even when he gets his pills, it won't be the correct dose. So I took the DS away and I don't think I'm giving it back till the end of the year.

I had to go get a nap today and I slept for 4 hours. I'm just really tired from all the nonsense and I don't have much patience for my boys today. I need to clean my house, plan meals for the week and do some shopping, and my Dracula: Prince of Darkness DVD skipped right through the last two chapters of the movie so I couldn't see them kill Christopher Lee off!! My allergies kicked in this weekend and I have to buy some Zyrtec so that I can make it through the weekend surrounded by animals and hay and other non-familiar pollens and plants.

I finished Dan Brown's newest book The Lost Symbol and I enjoyed it over all but I think I'm not fully satisfied with the ending. There was definitely a twist at the end that I didn't see coming until right before they revealed it, which was good, but I thought that one part relating to the main character was a little far fetched, but I ran with it (without giving away any details for people reading that book). Now, after I go to UPS and throw a fit about how I still don't have my text book even though I spoke to them just under a week ago about redelivering it because my address was indeed correct, I will start reading chapter 1 for my class starting on Thursday. Biology... this should be fun.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The second scariest day of my life

To continue with my tough day or two, Alex really had a hard time in nursery today and he got tossed out three times. I put him in the corner twice. So after a rough day trying to plan how things out so Rachel can survive without us for her first ever sharing time, I went to my in-laws so that I could tell my MIL about my assignment being ended. Things were fine until it was time to go home and Alex was going down their stairs with Dante when he decided to break free from Dante and try to run down the stairs...which results in him falling down 8 steps and landing in a heap at the bottom. It was the worst sound I've ever heard and I jumped up and ran down to find him screaming and Dante trying to help him up. I had to holler at Dante to keep him from trying to pick Alex up until I could get an idea if his neck or back was hurt, and then I picked him up and took him back up stairs to check over the damage. I was really ticked off that my father-in-law who was sitting on the couch right next to the base of the stairs didn't get up at all to see if Alex was alright...not until I'd already gotten down the stairs and picked him up. I called his pediatrician and he said that it sounded like Alex is fine. The stairs are carpeted and there wasn't any swelling, bruising, confusion, loss of range-of-motion, or anything out of character for Alex so I could just watch him but he was most likely fine. And he is fine. But I'm not so fine. I was just so scared and the only time I've been this scared was when Dante's day care told my husband that I had already picked him up when I hadn't, because they hadn't bothered to check the kids against their roll.

On much more fun topics, I've chosen my pattern to shop for at Rhinebeck... Oblique. I'll be shopping for 1200 yds of aran weight yarn, preferably a wool-alpaca blend like the called for yarn. I'm also planning on some roving since I'm taking a spinning class, but not too much. just enough to knit a pair of hand warmers or something. And there's going to be some book signings, and my class, and a chance to knit on the worlds longest scarf, and The Big Sock, along with the Ravelry meet-ups going on. So. Much. Fun. Now my only worry is whether or not the fair will have any vegetarian-friendly foods as I gather that I won't be able to bring food in with me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

When God closes a door...

Yesterday, all the drama surrounding my new job came to a head. I had my first one-on-one with my manager and she told me that there had been another complaint about me from one of the girls. I had to give my side of the discussion on an embarrassing issue that happened a few days before (that two of the girls were helping me figure out and advising me on) and then I was questioned about a customer who would not allow me to assist her like I did something wrong. Add that to the two errors that I'd made that day (easily fixed but frustrating) and it was all I could do not to burst into tears at my station. I mean, one of the girls was trying to joke with me and I couldn't look at her or speak because I was that close to losing control of my emotions (and we'd just had a training about how crying at work reduces your credibility so I wasn't going to have that). After I got control again, the girl came over to apologize to me and I let her know that she hadn't done anything wrong but I was just really frustrated because the learning curve is so steep there and there's no formal policy to tell a person how to do things when they don't go exactly according to plan. I told them how I was frustrated because I was new, the system is so outdated and it can't do things that the systems at my other two banks could do, how I felt like I was trying to fit in and still wasn't, and it just got to me. The girl told me that it took her five month to learn what I'd learned in only a few weeks, and that maybe they forgot that we don't know this stuff and were holding us accountable for things that we couldn't do. they hadn't thought of it before. It took them seeing me that upset to start making an effort to make me feel like I was a part of that team, speaking to me without my first having to speak to them and trying to make me feel better...only it was to little, too late because when I got home the recruiter from the temp agency called and told me that the manager decided to end the assignment. Perfect ending to a perfectly horrible day. I was not told exactly why, but after I explained to the recruiter what I was dealing with there, she said that it didn't sound like a very good fit and that I was welcome to go into the local Adecco office to see if they can place me in another assignment. I'm going to speak to a friend of the family who worked in unemployment for years about my options because I would really like to take advantage of the offer I got earlier that I could continue to collect my benefits while I was in school.

You know, it's not that the assignment is over that bothers me. I really didn't care for the job and I knew that it wasn't working out but I was giving it my best effort. My issue is that I believe I know why she decided to end the assignment and it was for no fault of my own. My coworkers threw me under the bus because they were suspicious of me, and they were suspicious because of the way that she brought me onboard. They sabotaged me, and that's the part that upsets me. So after the tears yesterday over this whole Union Federal saga, I started to think about the other options for me. If I can get into this program, I can concentrate on school and continue to collect unemployment until it runs out. Aaron had an interview with Douglas Liquors yesterday for a part time job and they really liked him. They told him that it was between him and three others for a second interview. He told me that this is a blessing in disguise, and I know that it is because I trust my Heavenly Father but I don't know what I was supposed to learn or what my purpose was in this experiment. Maybe it was to show the group how their behavior affects other people. I'm not sure how they are going to take it when they find out this morning that I'm not there (I'm supposed to work first Saturday). But on the good side, I can spend more time with Alex again, and I can collect until Adecco finds an assignment for me, and I have a better chance to finish my vest for Rhinebeck, which is next weekend. I'm going to knit something, and bake something, and clean something today...because I can.

P.S. on an awkward note, I have to bring my keys for the bank to the Adecco office, and I have to send my husband up to collect my personal things because it's clear that she doesn't want me to go back in there. I guess she is afraid that I'll cause a scene. I guess she never got to know me at all.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The results are in!

It's been a while since I had time to post, but I wanted to circle back (as my boss would say) and let everyone know that I passed my finals and I'm on vacation!! I got a 4.0 in my Honor's Cognitive Psychology class, finishing up with 1000 out of a possible 1000 points. My paper was good (or so I'm told) and I did a "great powerpoint". And in Algebra...I got a 90.6!! Sweet! It took four hours to take the final but I passed with a B, and I finished the class with an A so I couldn't be happier. Now I'm off for a week and my new book shipped so if things work out, I'll get that book in a few days (instead of having it delivered to a neighbors house until I gets rerouted to me only one day before classes start) and I'll be able to get started on my chapter for unit 1. This term, there's no psych. Biology, and College Comp II (I believe I'll be learning to write a persuasive essay this time).

Tomorrow, I have my knitting group and then Wednesday my friend Heather and I will attempt to teach the Young Women's group to knit. Heather made knitting needles out of 3/16 dowels, and Kelly's got the yarn covered so I guess I'll be there to interfere and get in the way, lol. Heather and I are both left-handed but she knits Continental and I knit "whatever-the-heck-is-the-opposite-of-that" (or right-handed) so we've got all bases covered for this...or at least that's what we're telling ourselves. It ought to be interesting.

Next Tuesday I have a meeting at Dante's school with his team to discuss the reevaluation they are doing to see if he still requires an IEP and needs additional services. I let them know that I didn't have a great experience last year, and that I would be getting a second opinion based on the results of the evaluation from the pediatrician. My friend Melissa is also going to take a look at it for me (my lovely it were) to see if the findings agree with what she saw in Dante from tutoring him this year. I've met his math teacher and this resource teacher, and I feel good about them but I'm going to make it clear that I'm not joking around this year and that I can't afford to come down there all the time to deal with this stuff so it needs to be done right the first time. Dante is going to homework club this year, starting right at the beginning of the school year, and it's being run by his resource teacher so I can trust that she knows how to assist him if he's having trouble. She let me know that she has him for homeroom and that they spend the first 20 minutes minimum on math every day, plus she told me that any kids who don't do well on the weeks test gets extra instruction from her in the study org class. Dante passed his first test and she said that he seems to be enjoying himself and he's excited about classes so that makes me feel much better. All the work and stress and prayers this summer are coming together now.

And now...I'm off to read Dan Brown's latest book, and try to get in a B-movie on online. They have the schedule up for Frightfest '09 and they have another list of some spectacularly bad B-movies that you can watch online. I recommend the black & white 1950's Italian vampire movies. Hilarious.