Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tired, Tired, Tired

Once again, I'm leaving for work in less than an hour. There has been absolutely NO knitting at chez Knitting At Night this week. There hasn't been much of anything else, either. Although, in keeping with my New Year's Resolutions, I have managed to get on the treadmill for at least thirty minutes three times this week. I did slack off on that one for two weeks, and then I was sick for a week, but I feel guilty, and am back on track, so to speak.

I am going to start a new project tomorrow. It isn't knitting or crocheting, but it's related to Easter, so I need to get my butt in gear on this one. I should be able to post a few pictures on Saturday or Sunday.

And, on the industrious squirrel front we have this:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Almost Forgot

To post today, that is. I have to leave for work in 30 minutes, so this is going to be a short one. I have a four day workweek this week - that is, four 12-hour shifts in a row. I'm halfway through right now. However, that leaves me a nice long stretch of non-work days next week.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Unfrozen, And Saved By The Bell

We had snow earlier this week, but are thawing out big time today. Rain, warm temperatures make for a soggy, muddy, slippery yard. I can't use the path to the front door; it's like quicksand.

While on the treadmill yesterday, I spotted the box of Dale Heilo yarn. Uh-oh. I started to get that itch again - the one I get when I think "I just want to see what that yarn looks like then it's knitted, so maybe I'll cast on and just see". I was totally ignoring the fact I have a Philosopher's wool sweater on the needles, Clapotis, a scarf, AND a crochet afghan in the works. Fortunately, I was saved by the bell. I was called into work last night, which makes four very busy nights in a row. And, bery little crocheting or knitting on new or old projects.

Oh, yes, today is Spay or Neuter today. If your cat goes outside, please make sure that he or she is neutered. There are way too many beautiful cats in shelters already, and way too many of those are euthanized for lack of space. This is so important! If you've ever volunteered at a shelter or adoption agency, you know what I mean. It breaks my heart every year when the amount of kittens starts to swell at the agencies, and foster homes are strained to breaking. Not only that, but cute as kittens are, many lovely adult cats languish in shelters, too, because everyone wants a kitten, and looks right past the adults. Do yourself a favor, if you are looking for a cat, please consider an adult. Or, if you don't want a pet on a constant basis, please consider fostering. I have fostered both adult cats and litters of kittens in my home. Fostering just consists of having a litter of kittens, or mom and the kittens in your home while they are growing up enough to be adopted. You provide the home, food, love, and transportation to the adoption center. Vet bills are usually paid for by the agency.

I have also fostered adult cats who were in desperate need of a little "R & R". Usually, they've been in a cage for a couple of months in Petsmart or somewhere else waiting to be adopted; and desperately need to spend a few weeks in a "normal" environment, i.e. a home with loving people, a soft place to sleep, and just generally get out of the cage mentality. You won't be sorry if you do this.

Monday, February 25, 2008

""D" Is For...

Dunkin' Donuts, my favorite coffee, ever.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Well, this is my new reading material for the next few weeks. I have to take this course and pass it in March. This will be taking up a fair amount of time; there's a lot to cover, and understand, in this book. Just reading the pre-test made me feel faint. It just goes to show what I don't know. I don't usually deal with very ill infants in my job; 99% of the time, I'm dealing with reasonably healthy newborns. I am looking forward to taking this course; it's another step up for me.

Nice blue sky today, and slightly warmer temperatures made for some melting. Not a lot; we still have a lot of snow. My daffodils are coming up, a sure sign that spring is on the way. And for all I know, my crocus are blooming under the snow. I think my hellebore is still frozen to the ground.
Melting icicles over my garage.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Sky

It's still cold, but things are thawing a little bit.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Camera!! No Tripod!! Frozen Fingers!!

Remember when I said all I was going to do last night was watch American Idol and crochet some more motifs? Well, I lied. Why did I lie?? Because of this:

I forgot there was an eclipse last night. And, wonder of wonders, the predicted clouds had evaporated, and it was clear and cold! And cold! Did I mention it was cold? Anyhoo, for the last several months I have been moving a tripod around in my bedroom. It's been in the way, so I moved it to an out-of-the-way spot. In the closet, I thought. Went running in to get it last night, tore the room apart, couldn't find it. No tripod. Crap. Back outside, braced myself against my son's car. Not working. By this time, I was freezing my fingers off. I've only had this camera for a week, and haven't really had time to get far into the manual. It has a 12x optical zoom, but a longer digital zoom. There were a few times that I had a beautiful shot showing up on the LCD, but when I pressed the button to focus, all I got was blur. Clearly, or blurrily, I have more homework to do on this camera. Anyway, the eclipse was fantastic, and I did take a picture at the height of it: but that was the last, as my fingers were too cold to stand any more out there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New! New! New!

For anyone who has read this blog even semi-regularly, they'll know that I love chocolate. I found this little goodie today while picking up milk at my local WaWa (think 7-11 or Quickie Mart). it's a TastyCake Chocolate Lover's Pie. For anyone not in the Philadelphia region, Tastycake makes cupcakes, Butterscotch Krimpets, and a host of other not-very-good-for-you stuff. Maybe not so good for you, but necessary all the same. This is a chocolate crust, filled with dark chocolate filling, and slathered with chocolate icing. Enough chocolate for you? How good is this? Not bad, actually. Now, I have to go get on my treadmill for a while, because this was 350 calories.

I didn't get as many of my crochet motifs done last night as I thought I would. I did a few, and then picked up my Philosopher's wool sweater. After a round or two, my left index finger started to hurt. A closer look revealed a small slit on the tip of my finger. I looked at the tip of the needles and saw a bit of the coating had come loose, and was sticking up just a millimeter or two, just enough to put a small slice into the tip of my finger. I need to get new needles in this size before I do any more on this sweater, and give my aching finger a day or two to recover.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Let's Hear It For Technical Support

Wow. I'm so impressed. I got on the phone today with Canon Technical Support, and after spending a half hour with a very patient, knowledgeable young man named Matt, both of my cameras are speaking to my computer. You have no idea how happy I am, and how accomplished that I feel that I could actually follow his instructions and go into parts of my computer that I had no idea existed. Right click, left click, bring this up, close that, let's try this - I did it all! I realize for most of you this is not a big deal, but computers are not my area. Hand me a non-breathing baby, and I know how to resusitate it, but my computer and I are another story. On the other hand, some of the other nurses think I'm a god because I know how to reboot their computers when they freeze.

Anyway, I'm really impressed with Canon cameras and technical service. Having used technical support from other companies, I can honestly say this was one of the best experiences I've ever had.

So, now that I've finished my post-Valentine's Day love fest, let's get down to business. I have pictures!!!

I just got off two nights in a row at work. Two nights that were as different as, well, night and day. First night, terrific patient load - not too heavy. I had time to offer lots of support and teaching to new moms, and do the little "extras" that I don't always have time for. Last night - another story entirely. Nursery was very busy, lots of births, and babies with difficulties - mostly transitional, fortunately. However, transition can be six hours, and when you have several babies making slow transitions, it makes for a very busy environment. They need closer watching and more complicated care than a regular newborn, so it went that way all night. However, when all is said and done, I really love my job, and feel fortunate that I landed this one. I'm there two years now, and ready to go for my certification, and am working on a step up in neonatal infant care.

So, what was all that leading up to? I didn't have time to knit or crochet for the last couple of days, but I am really zipping along with my motifs. And, being that all I plan to do tonight is watch American Idol (don't roll your eyes - it's my guilty pleasure - we all have at least one!), and I hope Jericho is on tonight, so I plan on cranking out more of these motifs. I watched as much of that show as I could the first year it was on, and loved it, and then it disappeared. I heard it wasn't being renewed, and then the famous Nut Campaign to get it back on, which apparently worked. It's a great show, and I don't really watch that much tv.

Stacks of motifs on my coffee table. What you don't see in this picture is several cats all trying to climb up and sit on them.

Close up.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fahrenheit 64

This winter is totally crazy. I don't even know what to expect anymore. We seem to go from one extreme to the other. Either warm, or very cold. No middle ground. As I type, it';s 65 degrees out; once again the windows are open, the cats are stuffed into the window, the birds are chirping, the sun is out (sort of), Tomorrow?? Heh. 40 degrees, snow flurries, and by the end of the week, a "wintry mess", according to the weatherman. No wonder everyone is sick.

I've knitted over 60 of the motifs for the afghan. That means only 103 to go. It works up pretty fast, although I work again tonight, and may be on call Thursday night, which I need.

"Make the world go away"

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Still No Luck

Eric and I spent a bit of time yesterday trying to uninstall and reinstall the software for my new camera. Still no luck. I can install it on his computer, though, so we know it works.

I'm not sure what the problem is, but I'm wondering if it doesn't have something to do with the old Canon software that was on for my first camera. Trouble is, neither one is working now. I can't upload anything right now, and since I have to go to work tonight and tomorrow night, I don't have any more time to fiddle with this.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

No Saturday Sky For You

Well, there's one outside, but I don't have pictures of it. And it's too bad, because it was a nice one. It's cold outside today, but the sun is warm. You can tell we're on our way out of winter.

I crocheted my little heart out last night. I may have to change the name of my blog. It's amazing how fast I've gotten at crochet. I can bang out about five of those motifs an hour. That is, if I'm not drifting over to the computer or out to the kitchen or refereeing a cat squabble. I seem to be suffering from a short attention span this week. I put it down to the fact that I'm still stuffy, and my head feels like it's filled with styrofoam peanuts. I guess I'm lucky I'm getting anything done at all. And, I get to go back to work tomorrow.

I leave you with a picture taken a few days ago of my cats enjoying some new cat treats I got for them. I'm lucky I still have ten fingers.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Communication Breakdown

My computer is still not talking to either one of my cameras, so for the time being, until Eric gets some time to figure this out for me, there are no new pictures. I have actually crocheted almost 30 of the motifs for the afghan, and I do have a picture of them but can't get it on the computer. Oh, well. I'm still feeling crappy, and not sure that I feel like doing Fair Isle tonight, so I will probably continue to work on the motifs instead. Rats. I had hoped to be steeking away on armholes by this time.

One of our very acrobatic squirrels raiding one of my feeders earlier in the week.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crochet and Computers That Won't Talk To Cameras

That ought to be enough "C"'s for anyone. I feel pretty frickin' frustrated right now.

I've been crocheting a lot this week due to the fact that I've been sick and didn't feel like handling a large, bulky project like my Philospher's Wool sweater, and just because I felt like it. Today is the first day I've felt remotely human; my vacation has just two more days, and I didn't accomplish anything I thought I would.

Just to add to the frustration, Eric installed the software from my new camera on the computer, and now the computer will not talk to either camera. I can't load anything, not even from my old camera, and the loading process from my old camera seems to have disappeared. They are both Canon cameras, so I don't even know if I can use the same for both, or if the computer is confused, or what.

Alex, keeping clean. We don't call him Fluffypuff for nothing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"C" Week Continues...

My new camera. I ordered this on Monday night, and it arrived this afternoon. i didn't even pay for fast shipping. I ordered 7-10 day delivery! I've been very happy with this place. I've ordered cameras from them before, and the customer service is super, delivery is super-fast, and the whole experience is painless.

I've been wanting a new camera for a while. Basically, I was looking for a better zoom than I have on my Powershot 540, which is 4x, and 6 mp. This camera is 8mp, and 12x zoom. I've already been taking pictures from inside the house, and managed to catch some nice bird pix. I can't go outside today because a) I'm still sick, and b) we've pretty much ran the gamut in weather in the last 24 hours. Snow yesterday afternoon, an ice storm last night, and today, torrential rains. We have flooded roads, accidents everywhere, and a giant mess. I'm not sure how much traffic is actually moving in NJ right now.

I was also looking at a Nikon D40, which my brother wanted me to get, but it wasn't really in my budget. Sigh. Maybe next year, or the next.

And, of course, chocolate. I love Lindor truffles. Trouble is, so do my sons. I've been looking for these all day, and I think those munchmouths ate them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday

To my middle son, Jon, who is 25 today! And true to form, it's snowing. Most years, we have snow on or near his birthday. Today is no exception, although we have less than an inch right now, and it looks like it's stopping.

When I went into labor with Jon 25 years ago, in the early morning, we had 29 inches of snow from a blizzard during the night. Most roads were only partially plowed, if at all, and we had a huge drift covering our front door. My car was buried up to the roof rack in snow, and my husband's car was stuck at the fire department. It was still snowing, and when I told my husband the baby was coming his reaction was "you have got to be kidding!" Um, no, I wasn't. We called the EMT's, who came out with the police and fire department and dug us out of the mess so we could get to the hospital. We did not take our car; we rode in the ambulance. Although it took us over an hour to make a 20 minute drive, I did make it to the hospital. Jon was born around 9 am, weighing in at 10 lbs., 5 ounces, and measuring 23 inches long. And, no, I didn't have a c-section.

Monday, February 11, 2008


For the few knitters who don't know what that means, it refers to "Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy". Unless I live to be 300, I guess that is pretty accurate.

I'm on my second day of vacation this week - I'm not going anywhere, though. The original intent was to "get myself organized". Oh, and to "finish that Philosopher's Wool Sweater". I didn't count on the fact that I would come down with whatever has been decimating the nurses on my floor. Everyone's been sick, and I thought I had escaped it. Silly me. It was just waiting until I had a week off. So, what does one do when one is a knitter, and feels like she has been run over by a bus?? She hauls herself out the door, with a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts for an industrial-sized coffee, so she doesn't die in pursuit of her goal. What goal is that, you ask? Yarn. New yarn. New project. For some reason, when I'm sick, I don't feel like working on the tried and true. So I hauled my sorry behind out to Michaels to get this:

So I can get started on this:

Never mind that I already have at least three afghans in various stages of completion lurking in my room. And yes, I am well aware that this is (gasp!) acrylic yarn!! I don't give a rat's a**. I have five sons, a large, klutzy, not-terribly-bright golden retriever, and a small herd of cats. I am not spending $185.00 for a Colinette wool afghan that my dog will most likely nibble on, and will definitely shed on, and let's not even talk about the 100% possiblity that one or more of the cats will yak up something unspeakable on it at some point in time. It needs to go into the washer on occasion. I have afghans that I knitted 30 years ago out of Red Heart yarn (which I used for everything, including sweaters, before I knew better). And also, this is a crocheted afghan, not a knitted one. I want to do a little crochet for some reason, and I don't like crocheted sweaters, especially not acrylic, so this fits the bill.

Anyway, the picture at the top of the post was another project for today. Filling the birdfeeders. It's 15 degrees out there, and the birds are feeding like there's no tomorrow. There are a million of them out there, all chirping away to each other as I fill the feeders. It's like jungle drums or something. I look out, see the feeders are empty, mush out with the food. There's not a peep out there as I walk out the door, but as soon as I start opening the feeders and filling them, more and more birds start cheeping away, and fly into the yard. They wait on the tree branches, and some of the more adventurous chickadees will land on the feeder while I'm filling it. I guess they want to bne first in line. Anyway, I'm dressed like Nanook of New Jersey - turtleneck, sweater, coat, lined hat - but no gloves! Boy, did I pay for that! I was only out for a few minutes, but it was so cold my fingers were frozen and sore when I got back in.

Oh, and notice that there Is No Snow. Even though we are in the second week of February, and this is traditionally the snowiest week of the year for us, there is not a flake of snow to be seen. That may change tomorrow. It's my son's birthday. He was born at the end of a raging blizzard, and more often than not, there is snow on his birthday every year.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cold And Windy, And Yay For Flannel Sheets

I was so tired when I got home this morning. I worked 4 12-hour shifts in a row; and we were very busy. Driving home this morning was something of an adventure, too, one that I didn't really need in the state of mind I was in. We had a bit of precipitation last night, and the roads were somewhat slick this morning. I could feel my wheels slipping every now and then. Normally, driving home on Sunday morning is a pleasure. I'm usually fighting crowds heading for the train station, but on Sunday, nada. Alexander Road was completely empty. I think I saw one other car. Anyway, I got home in one piece, and crashed into bed. We're having high winds today, and combined with the cold temperature outside, and the fact that I have the thermostat turned down inside, it was pretty brisk. I love jumping into bed, snuggling into those flannel sheets, and pulling a couple of blankets over me. Combine that with Gremlin curled up around my head, or next to me, and that's as close to heaven as I need in the morning.

Another "C" picture - Coffee in my Christmas Cat mug. Yeah, I know Christmas was six weeks ago, but hey, this is the biggest mug I have, and I really need coffee, and lots of it right now.

I'm off from work this week, so I'm hoping to put a serious dent in my sweater. I'd love to finish the body, and get ready to put the button bands on.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I'm Craving Junk Food So Bad...

Here it is 2 am, and I want some junk food. I don't care what, just as long as it's not good for me. I have good, healthy stuff with me, I need chocolate! Ah, the joys of working nights.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Yum! What could be better than cookies? No, not the computer kind, but any kind of cookie - especially Chocolate Chip Cookies. Plus, there's lots of "C"'s there, perfect for "C" week of the ABC Along.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"C" Is For...

Cats, computers, and coffee. Coffee is one of the major food groups; another will show up in a few days on another "C" picture.

NOTE: If you are one of my three readers, and you think you saw this post earlier in the week, you're not crazy. It was written ahead of time, as I have to work tonight, and I have limited time. However, in my caffeine-deprived state, I forgot to change the date and this post showed up. Ooops!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Where Did Winter Go?

I may regret asking that question at some time in the near future, but today, it seems that winter has taken a powder. It's 71 degrees outside. I have the heat off, the windows open, and the cats are loving it. The only thing missing is sunshine. It's cloudy and murky outside, and we are forecast for thunderstorms, but it's still spring-like outside. It's not going to last. It will be 20 degrees cooler tomorrow, and by Sunday, it's only supposed to be in the 20's.

Yesterday was super Tuesday. Did your state hold its primary? Did you vote? I did. I forgot it was primary day, but my oldest son called me up (twice), and reminded me, and then called later in the evening to see if I voted. Yes, I did. I am not registered as one of the major parties, and I thought that might cause some problems, but it was easy. I was in and out of there in less than three minutes. My youngest son voted in the primary for the first time, too. Unfortunately, my candidate did not win my state. However, having said that, I'm not crazy about any of the candidates running.

I work tonight, so there will be no knitting tonight at chez Knitting At Night, but I did manage to make some progress with only minor ripping last night. Inching up on that armhole!

"Yes, I did vote. "

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Inching Along

Well, I made some progress last night. I'm up to 13 1/2 inches now, which means I have 4-6 inches before I steek the armhole. I'll probably opt for the 6 inches, because I like my sweaters longer.

My sheepy tape measure. This cute little item was $10.00, which is a ridiculous amount for a tape measure, but I couldn't resist.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Getting Dragged Into The 21st Century

I got a new cell phone for Christmas. Before this, I was using a Go phone, pay as you go with no bells or whistles on it at all. Just make and receive calls. My new phone does everything but babysit, and since I don't have anyone to babysit, that's not a problem.

Now, I can text, get my email, get the weather, news, whatever. I can get music. I can take and store pictures. Wow! It's been a lot of fun figuring out this phone , and all I can do. And, if you saw yesterdays post, you know that I can now blog from my phone. This is all so amazing to me.

It would most likely be amazing to my late father-in-law, too. He started a cell phone company in the 70's and built it into one of the largest companies of its type in the U.S. before selling it. He was a visionary, but I don't know if he envisioned all that cell phones can do now.

On the knitting front, I have good news, and bad news. The good news is that I got in a few hours knitting last night during the Superbowl. The bad news is I had trouble counting again, and wound up ripping twice, so I didn't make as much progress as I thought I would. And further bad news is that I had thought I was further along on this sweater - I thought I was just a few rows from the armholes, and would be ready to start a steek stitch for them. Wrong!! I was actually several inches away, and I don't think I'll be hitting the armholes tonight.

Calvin on the couch, taking a bath, and practicing his gymnastics at the same time. I couldn't begin to tell you what belong where in this photo.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Mobile blogging

Sent from AT&T's Wireless network using Mobile Email

Edited to add: Whoops! I didn't know that this would made a separate post. I was setting up mobile blogging in my new phone, which I will post about later this week.

Pass The Dramamine, Please

Since I've never had motion sickness, I didn't know what all the hype was about. I can read a book in a moving car, and never feel a twinge. I didn't even know that was supposed to be a problem until I was in my late 20's. I was in a car on a long ride to Florida, and was reading a book to pass the time (and to keep me from thinking about Florida. I didn't like living there.), and another passenger asked me why I didn't feel queasy. Huh? He explained to me that reading a book in a car was supposed to make people sick. Not me. Where am I going with this seemingly pointless story? My youngest son, his girlfriend and I went to see "Cloverfield" last night. About 30 minutes into in story, when things were really starting to pick up, I noticed I had to close my eyes every now and then to regain my sense of balance. At the same time, my son's girlfriend whispered she was feeling slightly nauseous. Eric just kind of snickered at the two of us. We had gone to a late show, the audience seemed to be mostly guys, so I don't know if anyone else was having that problem, but we did get to the end of the movie. It was an interesting movie. The first part of it made me think of 9/11 a lot.

I did do some knitting yesterday, but real life intruded. I really do have to do laundry, dusting, food shopping once in a while. Oh, yeah, that reminds me, I learned another of life's little lessons yesterday: Don't Go Anywhere Near A Grocery Store On The Day Before SuperBowl. What a nuthouse. It was worse than the day before Thanksgiving. I just grabbed a few things I was out of and left, after waiting in a very long line. I guess I should have been tipped of by the stuffed parking lot, and all the cars circling it, waiting for a parking spot. Yes, I will watch the game tonight, but I will be knitting during the game and watching the commercials.

I'm back to working on the Philosopher's Wool black and blue sweater. Since each row is 260 stitches, it takes a while to make appreciable progress - i.e., worth photographing. So, while I've made progress, I'm going to wait a day or two to post a picture.

Seagull line up on top of the Blockbuster store in Hamilton Township, NJ yesterday afternoon.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Saturday Sky

Saturday sky, taken from my side yard early this afternoon. I love the way trees look in the winter. This sky reminds me more of early spring than mid-winter.

Friday, February 01, 2008


That's what gas was today. I found myself thinking, "hmmm, that's not bad." It's amazing how fast you can get used to things like getting gouged for gas. I drove a Chevrolet Suburban for several years (Best. Car. Ever! I loved that truck. I miss it more than I miss my ex.) Gas was 79 cents a gallon. Yup, that's right. 79 cents. No other number in front of the 7. What year was this, you ask? 1998. No that long ago. The Suburban had a 42 gallon gas tank. I filled it up for less than $40. Nowadays, filling my 20 gallon gas tank is in the neighborhood of $60.00. Sheesh.

Not much knitting going on here, except for a row or two. I have NOT started any more projects, and if I don't go see Cloverfield tonight, I will put in a few more rows, most likely on the black and blue sweater I've been working on. I don't go back to work til next Wednesday, so I might be able to put a serious dent in getting the body done.

Meggie the heat-seeker, trying for some warmth under the desk lamp.