Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Soon there will be new addition

No, I'm not pregnant. (Thank God!) I meant a new addition to my sidebar. Remember how I said that I wasn't going to knit Christmas presents this year? Well, I've been making exceptions to that rule, and now the list has grown big enough to make my joining the Holiday Gift KAL inevitable. Here's my list:

1. Mike's sweater
2. A hat for my niece Dorothy
3. & 4. 2 scarves for Hayden's autism therapists (I figured that Hayden and I can dye some yarn with Kool-Aid together, then I can whip out -- hee hee, I said "whip out" -- some garter stitch scarves on big needles. That way they'll be things we made together. Awwww. How cute.)
5. Secret Present for Secret Person

That's not too bad, huh? The only thing that's time consuming is the sweater, and it's fun (so far), so I don't mind.

On the Greek Pullover front, I took it to my LYS yesterday and checked out the ruffle ribbon Habu yarn that people had suggested I use for the ruffle (instead of the chiffon the pattern calls for). It looked cool, and it'd alleviate potential headache-inducing steps needed to make a chiffon ruffle, so I got some. It's a pewter grey color. I'm going to sew it on the sweater this weekend, so I should have some pictures to show off Sunday night or Monday.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

New Sunday tradition

Tradition is not really the word I want to use, but it's Sunday so therefore my brain isn't working that well and tradition is all I could come up with. Anyway, what I've decided to do is list my goals for the week every Sunday evening on my blog so that I'll be held more accountable to them. I have a trainer that writes out a workout schedule for me every Sunday for the upcoming week, and I have yet to do everything that's been on the schedule. The first week I hurt my neck really badly and couldn't exercise much (figured out how to knit while laying flat on my back, though!). Other excuses have included: husband out of town for the weekend; tornado warnings keeping me at home; Thanksgiving and the travel that goes along with that (more on that later). My anal personality hates the fact that I'm not doing all the workouts on my schedule, even though those are all legitimate reasons to skip a workout. (Plus, I have to keep reminding myself that I am in the off-season and therefore it's not horrible if I don't go to the pool now and then.) And I don't want my trainer to think that I can't handle the load he's giving me. I can, but I've just not been able to this past month. So, without further ado, here are my goals for the upcoming week:

1. Do all workouts listed on my training schedule for the week.
2. Complete the Memphis 1/2 marathon in 2 hours or less. (My best time is 1:46:27, but I haven't been running fast lately, so I'll be happy with anything under 2:00.)
3. Finish my Fluffly Lace Cowl.
4. Get past the armholes on the back of Mike's sweater.
5. Start my niece's hat that's going to be part of her Christmas present.
6. Don't get angry at Hayden's teacher for being the silly person that she is.

I had to put that sixth goal on there because I got really annoyed at his teacher last Tuesday, and I just need to get over it b/c we're stuck with her the rest of the year, and the more annoyed I stay at her, the worse the rest of the year will be. She's just very abrasive with me, and she's a Close Talker (Seinfeld reference), and when an abrasive person is a Close Talker, it's super annoying.

Notice that there's not goal related to my Greek Pullover on the list? That's because she's done, minus the ruffles. I finished her this morning and she's lovely. I don't have a picture because today is a dreary Sunday, so I never got dressed for the day until I went to the gym to swim. I've had bedhead or goggle eyes all day, and neither of those make for a good sweater model. Plus, I guess since she's missing her ruffles, she's not completely done. Some of my knitting friends were recommending using this funky Habu yarn that our LYS sells rather than making chiffon ruffles, so I'm going to check it out tomorrow. It sounds cool, so hopefully it'll work. There's supposedly a grey color that they think will look good with the red of the Kid Classic. Red and grey will be a neat combination, I think.

We went to Memphis for Thanksgiving. My parents live right outside of Memphis, so we got to see all 3 of my sisters, my grandparents, one sister's boyfriend, another sister's husband and daughter, an aunt, her son (is that my cousin? they're blood-related to my stepdad, so I've never really figured out the relation totally), and my stepdad's cousin. It was nice to see everyone, but I always overeat at my parents' house. We have to have dessert after every meal - breakfast, dessert, lunch, dessert, snack, dinner, dessert, then dessert. It's crazy. Everyone except us left on Friday. Friday I spent shopping with my mother, and eating lunch at a sushi restaurant. (Shopping wore me out. WTF? I can do an Ironman triathlon, but I die after spending an afternoon at an antique mall.) I have yet to go to a traditional sushi restaurant in Memphis. The first time I ate sushi, we picked it up from a gas station. The second time, we had it at a Chinese restaurant that also serves french fries. This last time, we were at a Japanese restaurant, but the sushi chefs were Mexican. I don't get it. Nothing's wrong with any of those deviations from what you think of when you think of eating sushi (except maybe the gas station - yikes!), but it's just not the norm. My husband said, "It sounds to me like you're becoming a sushi snob, just like you're a yarn snob." Does Memphis have any Japanese restaurants that have Japanese sushi chefs? That'll be my mission the next time we go to Memphis: to find a Japanese sushi chef in Memphis. (Well, maybe not the next time we go. We're going back this coming Friday night to run the Memphis 1/2 Marathon on Saturday, then coming home that evening. No time for sushi.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fra-gi-le! Must be from Italy!

(The above title is a reference to "A Christmas Story" for those of you who don't know. TBS plays it for 24 hours starting on Christmas Eve, and I try to watch it at least twice every year.)

Saturday my Grand Prize from the You Knit What? Halloween contest came in the mail. I was at my knitting retreat, so I made my poor husband open the box and tell me about its contents:

3 skeins of Lily Chin Gramercy yarn in a very pretty light blue, 1 skein of Regia sock yarn, 1 skein of some colorful merino wool from Fleece Artist (it's very pretty so it might become something other than a pair of socks - scarf, maybe?), 2 sock patterns, a sample of Simply Sock Yarn yarn, and a set of 6 inch size 2 bamboo double pointed needles, all in a YKW? tote.

And mail never stops coming! Yesterday my Patternworks order came so that I can start my Gryffindor scarf. The total yarn snob in me wouldn't let me do it out of Encore (what with the acrylic and all), so I had to order some Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted.

I'm going to make myself finish my Greek Pullover and my lace mohair cowl before I start it. (I should probably do my niece's hat also since it's a Christmas present, but whatever.) I'm very close to finishing my Greek Pullover (thanks to sitting my butt on a hotel room couch from Friday night to Sunday morning, with a break on Saturday for a 12-mile run), though. See?

I do have one more picture that I'd love to show you but won't for fear of getting in trouble. Husband took a picture of Hayden yesterday wearing nothing but the red long sleeved shirt he sleeps in and my knee-high, high-heeled brown suede boots. He paraded around the house for at least 30 minutes and didn't stumble one time. Much better than me, little snot.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wha' happened?

As today is the opening day of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hayden went to school looking like this:

(Actually, he had a coat on as well because it was something like 20 degrees at 7am. Crazy, especially since it was in the 60s at 7am 3 days ago.)

When I picked him up from school, he looked like this:

WHAT?!? I did NOT knit that sweater and cuss under my breath while duplicate stitching to have it be something he carries around like a blankie! His teacher (whom I'm not very fond of) had brought him out since his assistant had taken the day off, and when I asked him why he wasn't wearing his sweater, she hesitantly said, "Well, we were in the very warm Nashville Children's Theatre." (They saw "Seussical" today. Unfortunately, they didn't need any chaperones to accompany them. Dammit. And she had to answer for him because the only words out of his mouth when leaving school for the day are the words to the "Hi Ho" song from Snow White.) Well, then, take the down jacket off and keep him in the obviously handmade sweater! Part of me thinks that she's against Harry Potter and therefore did not want him wearing the sweater. Husband thinks I'm nuts, but I could be right. There are some very religious people out there who think HP is bad, and she is a very religious person. (How do I know that? Because she's constantly wearing t-shirts to school that advertize her church.) But maybe Husband was right. Or maybe they were doing art activities and she didn't want it to get messed up. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm having those anti-HP thoughts just because I don't like her. But still, I wanted him to be wearing the sweater. As soon as she walked back into the building, I took his jacket off and put the sweater back on, and we skipped all the way home, singing "Hi Ho."

I'm off to a knitting retreat this weekend - yippee! Some of my friends and I thought it'd be fun to stay in a hotel here in town just to get away from the fam and have some guilt-free knitting time. Last time I went on a knitting retreat, I knitted for 15 hours straight. Let's see how long I can go this time!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Trying to fit a size 16 butt into size 10 jeans

We've all done it - laid down across the bed, sucked it in, and yanked on the zipper with all our might. Then we stand up (if we're able to), look at ourselves in the mirror, and think, "Do these look too tight?" I was getting that feeling when I had to switch to size 8 needles on my husband's sweater. The only 8s laying around were 16" circulars, so the poor 23" back of the sweater was scrunched:

I do own longer 8s, but they're in use on my Greek Pullover:

I'm tired of this problem. So what did I do? (You all know the answer to this quesiton, I'm sure!) I sent my husband to my LYS to pick up a set of interchangeable Denise needles! (I called ahead and had them reserve some for him because although he tries to act interested in my knitting, he wouldn't have had any clue what he was looking for.) My mother was going to buy a set for me for Christmas, but she said I could go ahead and buy them early and she'll pay me for them. Plus, I'd rather buy them because my LYS would be getting the money, not her LYS, and I love my LYS dearly. Everyone I know who has Denise needles swears by them, so I'm anxious to get this poor scrunched sweater on them to see if they live up to their reputation. I'll also be using the size 10s on this:

Lace knitting in fluffy mohair is tough to do when you have blunt-tip bamboos. Blunts are good if you're a smoker, I guess, but not when you're a knitter working on lace mohair.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

You can tell by the many princesses (and 2 Teletubbies, unfortunately) on the chair that he's not into Harry Potter, but I am!

"Mom, I'm trying to watch TV. If I smile nicely, will you stop taking pictures and get of my way? Thank you very much."

The H took longer to duplicate stitch on than I thought it would, and it doesn't look as good as I wanted it to (which is why the closest picture I'm taking of it is this):

I told my SP5 pal Kel that I now know how Neville Longbottom feels when he can't get his curses done as quickly or as accurately as his classmates. I started the H twice and thought about ripping it out and starting it a third time, but then I decided that no matter how many times I do it, it'll still look the same. Which is why I really need to learn intarsia. So many people know how to do it, so I should. I even took a class from Sasha Kagan, for pete's sake! Oh well. The sweater is still cute, especially when worn by The Cutest Boy on the Face of the Earth. I do realize that it's not as oversized as Ron's is, but Hayden is so tall and thin that oversized garments don't look that great on him. I'll just have to make him another one next year, I guess! I won't mind - I LOVE Alison's pattern. I did the body in the round, then picked up stitches for the sleeves and worked them down to the cuff in the round. This is a great, super-easy sweater pattern. You will definitely see this on Hayden in the future - different yarns maybe, stripes perhaps...the possibilities are endless!

And whatever happened to my craving for a Gryffindor scarf, you ask? I gave in. I had to. My LYS carries Encore, and they had the right colors, but I just couldn't do Encore - after doing that fugly top for my friend, I have turned into a complete and total yarn snob. No acrylic for me for a while, I tell you! It's like shying away from a certain food after you've puked from eating it. (Just like me and M&Ms when I became a lifetime Weight Watchers member!) I ordered some Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted today from Patternworks. 100% wool and $6/ball. Allright!!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

(Not so) Weasley weekend

Okay, I did end up going to sleep on Saturday, so I did not finish Hayden's sweater. He and I had a blast, though. First, we went on a hike:

That was my choice, so the next activity was his. He wanted to slide down the slide head first:

then put dirt on his face:

That night, I took him to see a local theatre company's production of "Beauty & the Beast." The minute Belle was on stage and they started singing, he was the happiest kid in the world. After the play was over, the cast lined up outside the door so you could meet them on your way out. Hayden got to meet Gaston and the prince, and he got to hug Belle. I had my camera with me, but stupidly didn't think about taking a picture until we got to the car. Oh well. We're going to Disneyworld in January, so there will be lots of opportunities to take pictures of Hayden with Belle and Jasmine and Snow White and Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Ariel and...

I did get to work on the sweater a lot on Sunday, but I didn't quite get it done. It'll be done tonight, though, so pictures will be coming soon. I'm really getting the itch to do a Gryffindor scarf for myself, but I just don't know if I can add one more project to my ever-growing list. It's a stockinette stitch tube that's sewn together at each end, so it's be a perfect mindless, "I've got 30 seconds at this stoplight so let me knit a couple of stitches" project. However, before Christmas, I have to:

1. Knit my husband's sweater. It's a Rebecca pattern and it's got cables, so you know it won't come without its own set of heartaches.

2. Finish my Greek Pullover. It's actually not a requirement that I finish it before Christmas, but I've already started it and it's red, so I really feel like I should.

3. Knit a hat for my 2-year old niece. She's 2, though, so that won't take long.

4. Knit the Fluffly Lace Cowl from Weekend Knitting out of my Compa Secreta mohair. Again, this isn't a must-do before December 25th, but I've already given into temptation and cast on for it. Bad deadline-oriented knitter, bad!!!

I want to add a fifth item to my list, but the sane part of my brain tells me not to. Every year I knit a new sweater for Hayden. It's not a Christmas present; it's just a cute sweater to wear on Christmas that nobody ever compliments me on because they're too busy opening up their gifts to notice. I have a pattern and some yarn already, but if I can convince myself that if I don't have this done by Christmas the world won't fall apart around me, things will be so much better and less stressful in our household. ("I can't go to sleep tonight! I have to get this sleeve done!!!") But the over-achieving, have-to-make-my-son-the-best-dressed-in-the-room side of me really wants to do it. Ah, the dilemma of too many things to knit and not enough time to knit them in lives on. Will the madness ever stop???

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sorry for my outburst.

I apologize for last night's rantings. Sometimes I just let my emotions get the best of me. I found out that a)the Farrelly brothers (of "There's Something About Mary" fame) are behind the movie, which totally makes sense b/c Mary had a mentally challenged brother who was the butt of jokes in that movie (which, by the way, I didn't like, even before Hayden was around), and b)Special Olympics gave them permission to use their name and footage from some real events. I don't really understand that, but I guess that means there must be some kind of feel-good message in the movie. That, however, does not change my opinions of it, Johnny Knoxville, or the Farrelly brothers, and I will still not support it. And that's the last thing I'm saying about that.

On a happier note, I just finished 1 sleeve of Hayden's Harry Potter sweater, and it fits him perfectly. (And, of course, it's adorable, but you already knew that.) I've been trying it on him periodically to make sure I get a good fit, but the other night a friend of mine said that it's bad luck for the recipient of a knitted gift to try their present on, both for the knitter and for the recipient. I've never heard that. Of course I've heard of the boyfriend curse, but not this one. Has anyone else heard that? I hope there's no truth behind it. Anyway, my goal is to have the entire sweater finished before I go to bed tonight. My husband left 3 hours ago for Huntingon, West Virginia to run a marathon tomorrow, and it's an absolutely gorgeous day outside, and Hayden and I are going to see "Beauty and the Beast" tonight, so I figure the only way I'm going to meet this deadline is to not go to sleep.

And speaking of Harry Potter, yesterday I was watching TRL on MTV (yes, I do realize I'm 34 and not 13, but I do have a crazy obsession with MTV) and Daniel Radcliffe was on. They showed a couple of scenes from the movie, and it was so exciting! Then later, ET on MTV was totally dedicated to the new movie. It was great. We won't be able to see it until next Sunday, unfortunately, because I'll be at a knitting retreat all weekend. But believe me, I am so psyched!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005


My husband, Hayden and I went to the movies today to see "Chicken Little." (Sorta cute, but definitely not worth the price of movie admission.) While waiting in line to buy popcorn, I saw something that made my blood boil: a big poster for the movie, "The Ringer." I read about this 2 years ago in Time magazine, and I was hoping that it just kinda went away. Johnny Knoxville plays a guy who pretends he's handicapped in some sort of way so that he can participate in the Special Olympics. Why on earth would anyone with the littlest ounce of a brain think that is funny? I absolutely HATE EVERYTHING about this movie. I am a parent of an autistic child, and more than likely, we will be doing Special Olympics things when he is old enough. To have an entire movie dedicated to poking fun at these kids has got to be one of the most disgusting, evil ideas anyone can have. Do they not realize that there are people out there, like myself, who are extremely offended by this? This is so hurtful. Hayden is the joy of my life, he makes me smile and laugh, but sometimes I get really sad when I stop and think about the likelihood of him not being able to go to a regular school as he gets older (he's in a typical kindergarten class but he has an assistant with him almost all day), or to speak normally, or to go to college, or to do triathlons ... I could go on, but I'm not trying to make this into a pity party. I don't know who the director of this movie is, but I will never see a movie of his EVER, I will never watch another thing Johnny Knoxville is in EVER, and I will urge everyone I know to do the same. I know you people out there who read my blog really don't know me, but I hope you'll support me in this. For all the parents out there like me who love their children and do everything they can to make the world a better place for them (which includes sheilding them from the nastiness that unfortunately exists in our world, like some ass who would make a movie so that people can laugh for an hour and a half at special needs kids), join me in the boycott of this movie. Please.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Being a mom is hard sometimes.

Why do nurses make you feel like a total idiot when you're concerned about something? Just because the thing you're concerned about is no big deal to them, that doesn't mean it's not a big deal to you. Two nights ago my husband was brushing Hayden's teeth (he somewhat does it by himself, but to ensure a good cleaning, we have to help him out), and he called me into the bathroom. There, right behind his two front bottom teeth, are some more teeth coming in. They look like they're forming a second row of teeth. His baby teeth aren't the least bit loose right now, so we got a little concerned. Hey, we're first-time parents, we don't know anything. And to us, when you get your permanent teeth, your baby teeth fall out first, not the other way around. I called the dentist yesterday morning but had to leave a message with the answering service because they're closed on Wednesdays. (Oh, to be a dentist and have a day off in the middle of the week!) A nurse actually called me back yesterday during the 5 minutes that I was away from my cellphone and left me a message to just wiggle the baby teeth out so the permanent teeth can take their place. That response wasn't good enough for me because his baby teeth aren't the least bit loose, just like I said before. So I called again this morning and spoke to another nurse. She took this snotty attitude with me, like "You dumb lady, this is so totally normal," and told me that I could bring him in for Dr. Adams to look at, but that I just need to feed Hayden apples and corn and wiggle his teeth until they fall out. The only thing I need to be concerned about is if they come all the way in (and she enunciated "all the way in" about 5 times, just to make sure I understood - I gotcha the first time, b*tch) and his baby teeth are still there. Sorry if I was a concerned mom. Sorry that I made you talk to me on the phone for 2 minutes. Sorry if this seems backwards to me. Grrr.

Onto more pleasant things: I think I've discovered The Perfect Project for This Beautiful Mohair: the cowl that goes with the Fluffly (that's not a typo on my part; that's how it's spelled in the book) Lace Camisole with Pull-Off Cowl in Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. (Her last name always makes me laugh!) If you have the book, go take a look at the picture. If you don't have the book, make a trip to your LYS and take a look at the picture. The pattern calls for Kidsilk Haze, which I think is the same weight as the mohair I have. They don't say how much is needed for the cowl, but the entire pattern calls for 2 balls, so I think I'm safe. Plus, it's a cowl, much like a scarf - if I seem to be running out of yarn, I'll just stop. I got so excited about this last night that I wanted to not work on the Harry Potter sweater sleeve and roll my yarn so I could start it. But I withstood the temptation, just like a good knitter who is up against self-imposed crazy deadlines. This morning the mohair beckoned to me again and I almost wound it before leaving for work so I could start it this morning, but again, I didn't give in. Wow - what willpower! If only I could exhibit the same willpower when those little snack-size Butterfingers in Hayden's Halloween candy call my name!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It's 82 degrees outside, so I think I'll knit a scarf.

This is My So-Called Scarf, done in some Outback Wool that I got at a sale a couple of years ago. My hairdresser is organizing some fundraiser this weekend and asked me to donate something for the silent auction, so I whipped this up. Actually, I shouldn't say "whipped up" because that stitch is not the quickest thing in the world. It's cool looking, but it eats yarn like I ate food while I was Ironman training over the summer, and it takes a while to do. It also creates a somewhat stiff piece of fabric. I went up 3 needle sizes from what the yarn gauge called for, and I still had to concentrate on knitting loosely. Because of all of that, this is not my favorite thing I've knit. But it's not for me, and it's not for anyone I know (well, I guess someone I know could bid on it), so I'm okay with that.

Here's a closeup shot so you can see the detail of the stitch. I like the look of the stitch. I think I read somewhere it's like a sideways herringbone stitch.

On the Harry Potter front, the sleeve in progress is now in progress on double pointed needles - yuck. I just have to keep reminding myself that I won't have any seams to sew, and I'm almost to the end. One more sleeve and an orange H, and I'm done!

And here's a question: what should I do with 300 yards of handpainted mohair? My Compa Secreta sent some lovely purple-y/blue-y mohair to me that she handpainted herself, and it's beautiful, and I'm trying to come up with The Perfect Project for This Beautiful Mohair. I feel like it needs to be by itself, as opposed to being held with something else, so that the colors don't get "lost." I feel like it should be something lacy, like a scarf or wrap, and not something simple like garter stitch on big needles. I haven't knit with it yet, so I don't know the gauge, but it looks like it'll be close to Kidsilk Haze. (Compa Secreta, am I right?) Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I love mohair and I love the colors she chose for me, so it deserves to be something scrumptious.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What's missing?

Yeah, you got it - an H. This is Hayden's Weasley sweater, on which I was going to do an H in intarsia (in the round, no less). I went to my LYS and got some help, and I understand the concept behind intarsia in the round (lots of slipped stitches is all I have to say!), but that doesn't help the fact that my intarsia, in the round or not, sucks. It doesn't just suck a little, it sucks a lot. So, almost halfway up the H, I decided that the suckiness just wasn't going to block out and Hayden would be wearing a sweater that looked like crap if I didn't rip it out. I'm taking the wimpy way out and doing the H with duplicate stitch. Oh well. I guess I should perfect my intarsia technique before deciding to do it on a sweater. The sweater still looks adorable (even though Hayden is being silly - he was watching something on TV and I couldn't get him to smile for camera to save my life), and will be even cuter when the sleeves are done and the H is on. (This pattern is great, by the way - you should check it out on Alison's blog.)

And gracias, Compa Secreta, for the subscription to Bark! Rudy is excited to take a look at it and see if he can find any cute female Jack Russells. (Pardon Rudy's glowing eyes. If I didn't take the picture quickly, he wouldn't have been sitting there.) Gracie's excited about it too, but since she's a 1-year old German Shorthaired Pointer, she won't sit still for ANYTHING, so I can't take her picture.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Uh-oh - here we go again.

Registration opened this morning for the 2006 Ironman Florida triathlon. So what did I do? I went for an 8 mile run, came home, and immediately got on the computer to sign up for the race. Next July will start another round of 13+ hour training weeks, 90-100 mile bike rides on Saturdays, hours in the pool, tiredness, soreness, endless hunger ...

I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Big honkin' post!

Okay, lots of things to show and tell:

1. It's still sinking in that I won the You Knit What?? Halloween contest. I was 150% sure that I'd win, but when I saw myself in that silly dance pose on their blog, it was a shocker. How fun is that? And everyone leaving comments on that post have been very supportive and congratulatory, which I really appreciate. I had a moment of panic last night that I was going to get blasted by knitbloggers all over the country, but I'm glad that I was wrong. I haven't told the recipient of the top about all of this, nor do I intend to. It might really hurt her feelings. I of course don't want that to happen, so I probably shouldn't have entered it, but I couldn't help it. It's dog-butt-fugly.

2. I finally finished my Union Square Market Pullover and have the pictures to prove it:

This is my Eunny pose. I don't look as endowed as she does, though - probably because I'm not.

This is my rendition of the cover of Interweave Knits. Holding your hands in that position while maintaining a pretentious smirk on your face is not the easiest thing in the world to do!

Here's a closeup of the shoulder buttons (along with a smidge of purple bra and a smattering of neck freckles). Pretty, huh? Wow - I guess I never realized how freckly I am! I mean, I know I have freckles, but to see them up close sheds a different light on their multitude!

I love the sweater and am anxiously waiting for it to get cold (and stay cold) enough to wear it. It was cold enough all last week, but I didn't have it finished then. Now it's back up to 70 degrees this week - figures.

3. My Compa Secreta sent me a package yesterday - yippee! Here's a picture of the goodies inside the bag inside the bag inside the bag inside the bag inside the box that I found waiting on my doorstep when I got home (she had it packed very creatively because her post office ran out of the right sized box):

Skeins of purple yarn that I envision growing up to be some pretty springtime top; a skein of wonderfully yummy handpainted mohair (I think she did that herself - did you, Compa Secreta?); 2 Lucinda Williams CDs (we share a fondness for Dwight Yoakam, and she says Lucinda is the female version of Dwight); a James Dean postcard; and 3 yummy bars of dark chocolate. Husband and I broke into the one with the raisins and pecans last night - delish!

She also included prezzies for Hayden - a Snow White keychain/candy thing and a Cinderella toothbrush that came with toothpaste and a mini-CD. (Pardon the glare on the CD. The plastic covering's not off yet.) As soon as we opened them last night, he wouldn't let them go. She's a very thoughtful Compa Secreta. Yes, I do realize the I have a son and not a daughter, but he is REALLY into Disney princesses. He's either already realized how hot princesses with rockin' bodies are, or he's in touch with his feminine side.

4. We made trick-or-treating a family affair last night: I was Snow White, Hayden was Dopey, and, much to my surprise, Husband was the Evil Queen. He had borrowed a costume from a coworker and kept it a secret until he came out of the bathroom with it on! It was quite a hoot. Bet you didn't know that the Evil Queen had a soul patch on her chin!

Snow White (with some scary hair) and an extremely cute Dopey getting ready to pilfer candy from unsuspecting neighbors (just kidding - we asked for it first).

Snow White, Dopey, and the Evil (Drag) Queen. Happy Halloween, y'all!