Friday, June 29, 2007

They Walk (Ride) Among Us

Lookie, Logan made the news!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Letting Go

That was the hardest thing I think I have ever done. It feels as though a previously unknown knife has been removed from my heart. But now I can go on and do the things that I need to do, and not need to dwell on the pain.

I had a wonderful time though. I met his friends and they were so good to me. We spent a day in the city, and I took loads of photos and had a great time. Some of my trip is already becoming a blur, so I'll do my best to get it all right.

It all started with my harrowing drive to the Salt Lake airport. Traffic was heavy, and I had drunk too much diet Coke so I kept having to stop. I was afraid of not having enough time to get through security, so I left my house at 6am for a 10:45am flight. I made it, it was all fine. I got to Chicago, and was told to call a phone number to meet my ride. It was a white stretch limo! In the spirit of Stephanie, I took a picture of the sock enjoying the limo ride. It took about 45 minutes or so to reach the suburb of Aurora, where I stayed. His friend MMC (not to be confused with him, as he is MCM) and her sister PC were my lovely hostesses. PC has two very sweet children (LilBoy and LilGurl) and they pretty much accompanied us wherever we went. MMC is the BEST auntie I have ever met in my life. When she built her house, she included bedrooms for these two lil ones, and her garage was stuffed full of their outside toys. I hope I can be like her when I grow up.

We went out to a local Italian place for dinner. I had fried calamari for the first time in my life. I think if you didn't know the difference, you would think you were just eating onion rings. I'm not sure I'd like it prepared any other way though.

The next day was June 14, his birthday. MMC worked half the day, so PC took me with her to run her errands. She dropped me off at Fringe where I browsed for awhile. After the huge brouhaha over at Alison's blog a couple of weeks ago, I am going to be very careful about what I say. The staff was very nice, I didn't feel ignored or hovered over. They have a lovely selection of books and yarn and accessories. There is a huge table where you can sit and browse a book, or knit, or chat. If you buy yarn that is in a hank, they will wind it into a cake for you (I asked). However, there wasn't a very big selection of sock yarn, and all their other yarns were arranged by colour. It makes for a very beautiful and striking display, but it is very difficult to find what you want. I bought 100 gr of dark green sock yarn to make a second pair of socks for the VIP, as well as a house-brand needle gauge.

MMC met us for lunch at a soup/sandwich place in the mall, and then she and I went on to the cemetery. She stopped at a grocery store so I could get some flowers to bring. I chose some pink gerbera daisies, and some green fluffy things that are kind of like chrysanthemums. I liked them, and the colour went well with the salmon pink daisies. After I laid them out, I added my LiveStrong wristband. I know it all won't stay forever, but I feel better now.

To cheer us up, we went to Trader Joe's. I bought chocolate. Lots of it. It is very good, and if any of my readers have a Trader Joe's nearby and wish to supply me with chocolate, we can definitely work something out.

The next day was Friday, and our adventure in the city! We started out by walking to the shores of Lake Michigan, then we went to the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park. The kids splashed in the reflecting pool and I enjoyed watching the faces change on the glass towers. Then we walked over to the Cloud Gate sculpture, which is more affectionately known as "The Bean". I absolutely LOVE this thing. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it. If I lived there, I would go all the time. I would play in the fountains, too. Then we caught a cab and went over to Navy Pier. I made sure I got my pressed penny and my caramel corn from the Popcorn Palace. I am not a huge popcorn fan, but I could eat loads of this stuff every day. I am going to have to see about mail-order because it is so yummy! There is a lot to see at Navy Pier, but as we had the two lil ones with us, we didn't want to drag it out too much. So we grabbed another cab and hopped over to the American Girl Place. MMC collects dolls, and LilGurl has a birthday in a couple of weeks. My DD has never expressed interest in American Girl stuff, so I didn't get her anything there. Of course, now I am sure she will tell me she just LOVES it all and why didn't I get her anything there??? Mleah. And across the way from there is a Hershey's store. I bought chocolate. And then we walked. It seems like we walked for miles and miles, but I'll bet it was actually less than one mile. By chance we decided to have dinner at a place right across the street from the AMA building, where he worked. That was hard for a couple of minutes, but I was able to put it aside and enjoy the company. A friend joined us for dinner, and it was good to get to know her. Then we walked a whole lot more, across the Chicago River, past the Chicago Theater, and back to the parking garage. It was a long day, but so much fun. I want to go back and do it all over again!

Saturday dawned, and I slept in, resting my aching bones. The kids and MMC were up and playing in the water in the backyard. It was a really low-key day, which was very nice. That afternoon, PC came by and she took me into Downers Grove to Knitche. Now that is a way cute shop. Again, the staff were friendly and helpful, but not hovering. They had a nice selection of Lorna's Laces and Cherry Tree Hill, but as for the "regular" sock yarn, only Opal and Regia. I was a bit disappointed about that, and bought just 50 gr of Regia. But if I lived there, I would definitely shop there. Then we took the long way home, and I asked her to stop at Target so I could grab a couple of necessities. Like chocolate.

That evening, MCM's former long-time girlfriend RK came by. I would just like to say that I admire her so much. I didn't feel weird or anything, she made me feel so comfortable. The more we chatted, the more I liked her. I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet her. We ordered Chicago-style pizza, and while it was yummy, I find I prefer the thin crust rather than the deep-dish. But I am glad that I tried it.

Sunday was church. Being of Irish heritage, my hostesses are very definitely Catholic! I requested to attend church with them, and I had a lovely time. The church is HUGE! You could hold Stake Conference in there and not need any overflow rooms at all. There are beautiful stained-glass windows all around, which I was informed had been reclaimed from a church in the city that had been demolished. As I love to sing, I was hoping I would be able to follow along with the hymns. To my surprise, the opening hymn was "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" but with different words. I really miss that hymn, as it's not in our current hymnbook. And then there was a lovely sermon, and a darling little girl had her first communion. The closing hymn was set to that old familiar Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts". Afterwards, I asked MMC to take me to greet the pianist. He was amazing, and his playing really set the tone for the meeting.

I had a wonderful trip, and I am so glad that I went. My greatest thanks to MMC and PC, and RK. I don't know if I will ever get back to Chicago, but I enjoyed my time there. For some reason, MMC wound up with all of MCM's family photos. She allowed me to paw through the boxes (out of six boxes, I only had stamina to go through two) and I chose a few photos to keep. I'd love to have more, but just going through those two boxes took so much psychic energy.

Here are some photos. Clickety Biggety!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On My Way

Doing my last-minute packing and cleaning. I haven't been sleeping well the past few nights, so I've been coming home from work and crashing for an hour or three. I had a scary experience last night, and I know that's why I wasn't able to sleep. As for the other days, I'm not sure. I finished two more pairs of socks, including the ones for my doctor. Yesterday I cast on for another pair, and finished the first one this morning at work. These are just shortie socks, but I am feeling a great sense of accomplishment because I am using leftovers from other socks to make them. My KnitPicks 24" size 1 circulars broke yesterday. Right at the join. I called them today, and she was so incredibly apologetic about it. Is sending out a replacement posthaste. She said they are guaranteed "forever", and I said they are my favourite needles, because they truly are. I love everything about them except the fact that they aren't in stores.

My emotions are running all over the place tonight. Sadness, depression, despondency, despair, mixed with a bit of apathy. My flight leaves at 10:45 am, so I am leaving for the airport at 6am. I have this fear of missing my flight, and of course I can entertain myself by knitting. Maybe I should run up to Beto's and grab something to eat. I don't remember eating today, so it's probably safe to say that I haven't.

See you when I get back from Chi-town!

PS Go read KnittyOtter's post. She said basically how I feel.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

FOs and Presents

1, 2 & 3 -- The VIP socks and the Time-Out socks. Note the tons of ends I had to weave in.
4 -- Socks made from the scraps of the two pair of wool/alpaca socks I made last year and loved to death. Note the short-row garter heels. Jury is still out on how I feel about those.
5 -- Above-mentioned socks.
6 -- The blue socks made from the leftovers of what I made MCM's socks from, along with the remainders of a pair my friend made, augmented by some stuff I had in stash. Kind of amazing how they all go together so well.
7 -- Another Moebius. Made from BFL, edged in mohair. I had 2 feet of yarn left over. I like when that happens!
8 -- A present from my friend BT when she accompanied her son to NYC for a concert at Carnegie Hall. She knows I love me the M&Ms!!
9 & 10 --The best birthday present I've gotten in a long time. I don't know its provenance exactly, but as far as I know, it's official and vintage. And if you still had any doubts that I am the YesGirl, all doubt has now been removed! (ETA ~~ The VIP informs me that he got it at Wembley Stadium during the YesSongs tour, right?)

I went down to Ogden last night to fetch the DD so that she could come home and finish cleaning her room. I was invited to swim, and since the water temperature is only up to 77*, the best thing to do is just jump in all at once! We had a lovely supper outside on the deck, and Aggie attached the license plate onto the front of my car. Now maybe I'll quit getting pulled over!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Feeling Uninspired

I haven't photographed any FO's, I'm just going to tell you that straight off. But the pink time-out socks are done, the blue scrappy socks are done (no I never did talk about those, I will when I photograph/post them) and of course the VIP socks are done. I also finished a Moebius, and bought another skein of yarn to start another one. It's not cast-on yet. I'm working on the second sock for my doctor, but there's no hurry because I can't get into see her before my trip to Chicago anyway. I'm halfway done with the foot of the second wool/alpaca sock that I am making with leftovers from the first two pair that I literally loved to death. That stuff is much harder to work with, and so I tend to put it down after five rows or so. My LYSO dyed some sock yarn in preparation for Snake River, and I bought one of those skeins. It's not pink, it's shades of blue and purple. She had one that had pink in it, and I may get it after I finish these socks.

School is out for my DD, so she is spending lots of time with Nana down in Ogden. I took her down on Friday. She will be going to Uprising with them, while I go to Chicago. I miss her, but it's good she wasn't here this weekend. I didn't do a thing. Okay well Saturday I did do a load of laundry, and I picked up a few things. But today I have done nothing but sleep on the couch, watch TV and knit. And eat. I didn't even go to church. I got up and I got ready, but I didn't actually go. I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself I guess. I didn't have anyone yesterday to ring up and say "Let's go do something". If I had been in Idaho, I have half a dozen girlfriends to go do stuff with. And it's obvious nobody in my ward here is the least bit concerned about me. I guess I should be bigger than this, but it's hurtful.

And I'd once again like to express my hatred for Utah law enforcement. I got pulled over twice in 72 hours for not having the front license plate attached to my car. It's not on there because the holes don't match! One was a USU campus cop, and the other was USP. Both out of their jurisdiction, I might add. And yet, there is STILL a meth lab operating next door to me.

Training at work is excruciating. Our trainer is doing her best, and she only learned this stuff a week before she had to teach it. I didn't used to like her at all, in fact I quite hated her. But this week hasn't been so bad. I hope I still like her after this is all over. But the training is too much info trying to be stuffed into our heads far too quickly. I think we get 6 days of training and then we are on the phones. It's an entirely new product, with different packages and prices, depending on what market you're in. And the computer systems are foreign and while they aren't necessarily more difficult, they ARE new and will take time to learn. The Powers That Be seem to think we will be able to hack it, and I want to show them that I can, but this is adding exponentially to my freak-out factor.

I leave for Chicago in 10 days. I've got the addresses of 2 yarn shops I've heard nice things about, and I bought a travel book at Borders last night with my 25% off coupon. I have all kinds of socks to knit on the plane, and I found a suitcase in the storage unit last weekend. I've been looking forward to this trip for months, and now that it's upon me, I'm scared.

So since I slept basically all day, of course I'm not sleepy now. I'm blog-surfing, and knitting, and listening to Stevie Nicks on my desktop iTunes. I've got all the windows open, trying to cool off the house, as it's still 80* upstairs at nearly 11pm.

After getting the storage shed all mucked out, now I need to do my house. First up is to weed through the books I'll never read again, and ship them off to Granny Mindy. I used to date her son, but that was a long time ago. She and Grampy Bob live in the middle of an Ozarks forest (talk about a magical place) and they have very very little. Whenever I weed out my books, I always send them to her. She reads them, she shares them with her friends, then she donates them to her local library so others can enjoy them. If you'd ever like to make someone's day for not much money, let me know and I'll send you her address. I wish I lived closer to her, I love her very much. I should ring her up; she stays up late.