Showing posts from 2010

Not Home For The Holidays

It's the end of the year, practically, and I'm in a horrible mood.  My dream of home ownership for 2010 is unattainable, and I don't feel that things are promising for 2011.  Typical me, I want to blame someone for this.  When I'm angry or hurt or slighted, I must direct my emotions to someone.  I feel better doing this.  The person solely receiving all the blame this time is my realtor.  Around the time of my birthday, the middle of December, the promise of closing on a house fell apart.

On that day, my birthday, my realtor called me and told me to contact my mortgage broker because I had to close before the end of the year.  So, on December 13, with approximately 12 working days left until the end of the year, I had to get my loan originated, underwritten, approved, and closed.  I told my realtor this was nearly impossible.

The house I was purchasing was a short sale, and I knew that my loan officer would need to see the short sale approvals as a part of the loan p…

Future Impatient

My sweater wrap is off the needles but it needs to be blocked.  What worries me a bit is there appears to be some pulled stitches and I don't know if blocking will take care of that.

I bought mats and pins for blocking, so I'm really going to try to do this correctly.  This means I'll be back on the Internet, researching blocking procedures.  I think I'll go to the store and get some Wool-lite because I'm hoping that will fix the problems with the pulled stitches.

I started another cat blanket in order to use up some of my stash yarn and to practice knitting stripes.  The blanket is coming along great (it's so easy - all knit stitch) but I messed up by running out of a color in the middle of a row.  I'm not sure how to fix it and, of course, this glaring error almost ruins the blanket for me.  Then I remember, it's for the cats.  I'm going to have a bigger problem getting them to actually use it.  I'm just going to look at the error as a lesson l…

Does Walking to the Mailbox Count As Exercise?

I am so lazy on the weekends, or at least that's what it seems like.  Actually, I think it is more accurate to describe my weekends as "a body in rest, stays in rest; a body in motion, stays in motion".  Today, I am definitely in motion.  It's not that I did anything extraordinary, and actually it is a rainy, overcast day, but I managed to prepare two casseroles, one for the husband and one for a co-worker who just had surgery, complete the laundry, clean the kitchen, and make chicken for stir-fry tonight.

After I finish this blog post, I'm going to go back to knitting my sweater wrap, which has been on my needles since forever (February of 2010).  I have about 12 inches left to knit on it but it feels like I have a mile to go.

I also finished my thank-you cards from the wedding.  I have two left to do, and they are for my bosses at work.  Of course, I only had a few stamps on hand but I'm sure I have a few extras in my purse.  In fact, I found a stamp stuck…

I Now Pronounce You Crazy Cat Couple

I made vegetable soup today.  Nothing fancy, just a bunch of vegetables I bought at the Farmer's Market this morning.  My goal was to make something very weight watchers-friendly.  It's not exactly zero points (I added chicken stock and whole-wheat rotini) but it's still relatively okay for my new eating plan.

I have not lost any weight this week.  I've splurged too much and I'm afraid to get on the scale.  I have to get out tomorrow and do some exercise, just to justify the extra intake.

Back to the soup, the good news is that it smells really good.  I'm having a bowl of it right now, but it's too hot to eat so the verdict will have to wait.  I made it in the slow cooker and you really can't screw up crockpot food.

Macy and Delilah have exciting news.  Two members of their staff, the ones who provide Delilah and Macy with food and water and love, got married on Thursday, November 11.  Yes, we are very happy.  We are now Mr. and Mrs. Grumpbump.

We ha…

Happy With Less

I'm working on another pair of socks.  This pattern is knit 3, purl 1 rib.  It goes well with the variegated yarn of blues and browns.  The sock is rather large on me (as usual).  I could not get a decent photo of it on my foot so here it is on display:

The second of the pair on the needles but I'm slow going on it.  I have been busy lately.
I have lost 10.6 pounds since September 22!  Slow and steady - about 1.5 lbs per week on Weight Watchers.   I've not had a week where I didn't lose weight, although I had one week where I only lost .2 lbs.  Seriously.  What is that?  However, I rebounded the next week with over 2 lbs.  Weight Watchers has really helped me with portion control and eating smarter.  My vegetable and fiber intake has dramatically increased. Now I actually eat vegetables with pleasure.  I have finally reached adulthood!
I'm still waiting for an answer on the short sale offer on two houses.  I would love to have a definite answer from the seller's b…

Covering Up

I finished my socks. They are unremarkable and I'm hoping to improve on this new short-row heel technique I've learned.

These socks were knit with size 2 dpns, which are easily my favorite size.  I just cast on 64 stitches and knitted a cuff of 12 rows of K1, P1 (but you knit through the back loop of the knit stitch).  The foot and leg are simple knit stitch all the way around.  The socks don't have a good fit, probably because the garter stitch does not have very much give.

I've started a new pair of socks, but this time I'm going to do the leg and cuff in a rib pattern, to (hopefully) insure that the fit is more snug.  The color pattern of this yarn is also variegated - this time it is greens and browns and gray and turquoise.  I'm planning to knit more of a knee sock.  We will see how this first sock goes.

I have completely given up on trying to do cable patterns in my socks.  I used to love knitting cables, but with socks, I find it too aggravating.  I tri…

Typing This Post Is Distracting Me From Snacking

I finished Sock One of the variegated sock yarn.  Of course, true to my knitting prowess, it's a bit on the big side.  What makes this one special, to me, is that I learned a new heel technique called short row heel.  While I'm not sure that I applied it correctly to this sock, I'm going to knit the second of the pair and then do a search on the internet to see if I did make a mistake.  The wonderful thing for me is that I actually learned this strictly by reading!  I didn't cheat by watching a video, which is not technically cheating, but I feel smarter being able to read and understand knitting instructions.

I knit socks on double-pointed needles, top-down.  The generic heel pattern is one in which you knit a heel flap, and then knit back and forth on it with a short row technique that causes the flap to take a cupped shape, and then that gets connected back to the sock itself by you picking up stitches.  When this technique is done, there is a clear delineation bet…

Living Up To The Grumpbump Name

I am so hungry.  I started Weight Watchers on Wednesday, September 22.  My plan is to use the Weight Watchers online tools to help monitor my weight and eating, not this blog.  However, I will make sure celebrate any success I have with the program here without getting too specific.

I never realized how poorly I ate and how I have developed the worst eating habits, regardless of my weight.  I know I should have made the connection but I am really good at justifying my behavior to myself.   No crisis of conscience for me when there is a brownie in my sights.   This past week I have really adhered to the program and recorded everything I've eaten.  I've also turned my food intake upside down - I now eat more vegetables than anything else (thanks to a visit to the Farmer's Market on Saturday).  I'm trying hard to incorporate more fruit as well.

One of my worst traits is my quick submission to my cravings and weekends bring out the worst in me.  I added as many vegetables…

Hoping For A House

I finished the second sock!  It took me no time to get that one done, even though I realized my notes from the first one were not as complete as I needed them to be.  So I did a lot of holding up the first sock to compare it to the second one in progress.

I am joining Weight Watchers starting Wednesday.  I am not looking forward to this, but when the commercials for Jenny Craig and NutriSystem actually start to look promising, I know it's time to do something about this problem.   I started exercising in the mornings - not of my own free will and not even because Steve has been on my case.  It is because the cats start screaming at me for food starting around 6:15 a.m.   After making sure that Delilah and Macy are eating (separately) and they have clean food and litter, I turn on the television and look up the OnDemand exercise channel.   The selection is varied but I've only been doing the cardio workout.  
I wish I had good news about my house purchase, but everything dealing …

I Actually Did Things This Weekend

I completed two projects this weekend.  The aforementioned patchwork cat blanket and now, Sock One of Two, which was started more than a month ago.  Here's hoping that I can get Sock Two on the needles tonight.  It always seems that the second sock of a pair goes quicker than the first.

I still have fit issues. I understand the mechanics of sock knitting but do not have the patience or the fortitude to adjust the pattern for my feet.  Instead, I just strictly knit the pattern as-is.  Although, this pattern calls for size 1 needles, but I just could not get those to work for me.   This sock was knitted on size 2 needles. (Hint:  If you click on the pictures, you can get a closer look.)

I have a ton of sock yarn in this colorway (deep solid purples, blues, and pinks, with variegated versions too).   I'm leery to do a cable pattern because I have problems with knitting cables on such small needles and cable patterns are a lot of damn work!  Socks can be nice when they are a quic…

Things That Distracted Me

I missed a whole month of posting due to my  preoccupation with (i) work; (ii) my favorite television show, Mad Men, and the newest season; (iii) knitting; and (iv) everything else that interferes with sitting in front of the laptop.

As you know, I adopted another cat.  I have promised myself  that I will stop at two.  No more pets; I haven't even told my mom about Macy yet (she's severely allergic and Delilah was not a welcome addition for her).  Macy is doing better these days - we've had her since July 30 and now, almost 7 weeks later, we see definite improvements with her.  She is much more relaxed around us and she frequently joins me on the couch.  Also, she is much more playful than Delilah Bug and I try to make a habit of engaging Macy with one of those cat teaser toys.  Macy also gets a kick out of messing with me while I'm knitting.  The movement of the yarn makes her jump at it and that's when the cat teaser comes out so I can distract her from my yarn.  

Room Enough For Two

While I have been honest about my-less-than-satisfying relationship with Delilah (hereinafter "Delilah Bug"), I was usually just teasing about getting another cat (specifically one who likes me).  My tendency was towards a kitten, presuming that Delilah would tolerate the addition of a kitten without much threat.  But that is not what happened.

Macy Grey f/k/a Gypsy is what happened.

She was a stray hanging around a friend's house (because she was getting fed).  Macy is actually on as Gypsy and you can read her short little bio there.  My friend suggested that Macy might be a suitable second cat for us.  I considered that Delilah would never be able to accept a full grown cat in her house, but I agreed to give Macy at least a two-week trial.
Today is Day Eight of Macy in our household.   Because our apartment is small, we have arranged the cats to limit their interaction unless we are in the house with them.   Macy is usually confided to the bedroom and bathr…

And This Is Only Part of My Friday Story

All kinds of drama in my house, but I'll write about that later.

For now, I will just share with you the randomness that was Friday.  Friday was payday and I headed to the bank at lunch to deposit my paycheck (side note: I have been procrastinating signing up for direct deposit).  I decide to get in the drive-through at the bank, and pull up behind a car in one of the lanes.  I notice that the vehicle next to me has not fully pulled forward to the speaker.  I am not sure of what they are doing until the car in front of me moves on and I see this:

It's 1:00 p.m. in Florida in July and it's hot as hell and there are cars circling her, idling while she breathes in the car exhaust and fumes.  And, I checked, this bank has handicap access to the lobby of the bank.  Why would she not just go inside?  It's so random.

After a long day at work, I head home, a bit anxious about things, and Steve greets me at the door.  He points to the outdoor table we have on the patio-area of o…

Sock Story

I've started on a new pair of socks, and I'm happy with the pattern.  It's easy to do but looks complicated.  I usually knit after dinner and can manage to get in a few rounds while watching television.  At the end of the night, I will just deposit the knitting next to the couch.   mean, it's not really exciting.  Actually, it is sort of boring and sad, but that's my life.  The cat who lives in my house, Delilah, just ignores my yarn stash and my knitting in general.

However, yesterday evening, while I was trying to fall asleep, Delilah cat was in some kind of mood.  Steve had coated a toy with catnip earlier in the evening and typically that high only lasts about 30 minutes.  But, here it was, about 11:00 p.m., and I can still hear Delilah batting the toy around the front room.  I ignored it until Delilah came into the bedroom and jumped up on the bed, ending up behind me outside of my line of sight.  She was meowing so I reached behind to move her to my front and…

Not So Simple Socks

I finished my "first socks of 2010".  I sent them to my brother, but upon inspection of the photo he sent, I see that they are way too big around the leg, which was the same problem Steven had with them.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but if you look at the leg, you can see how loose they are.

So, I immediately started on a new pair of socks, this time aiming for a more feminine look (for me).  I pulled out my stash of sock yarn from KnitPicks and my size 1 double-pointed needles and started K2P2 rib stitch.  I knitted ten rows (about 1 inch) and then started a stitch pattern called braid.  This stitch pattern is so cute and a really easy cable pattern.  But, on size 1 dpns, I was having a bitch of a time with the cable and not to mention that the size of my cable needle was twice that of the knitting needles.  Also, it seemed like my knitting was really tight.  I managed about four rows of the cable pattern and then frogged the whole thing.  Basically, all the work I…

Starbucks Has Been Replaced

I like the new blogger format because it automatically resizes pictures for me.  Just another extra step I don't have to worry about.

I have already finished one sock and, true to my knitting skills, it's way too big for me.  So I immediately looked to my left to the gentleman with the size 9 1/2 shoe, and he is the lucky recipient of my as-yet-unfinished socks.    He still has room to grow, especially around the ankle, but I am satisfied with the outcome.
You know how I complain about my job?  And before you think it, yes, I end up complaining about every single job I've held (since I moved to Orlando).  Today, I received some "friendly advice" not to trust everyone because I could end up on the wrong side of a "power player" and this person offering said advice has seen people lose their jobs over this.   As if losing my job scares me, that doesn't scare me; you scare me by saying I did a lousy job or my work product sucks.  But to scare me by sayi…

Not Wasting Time

I have one of those energy-efficient light bulbs in the lamp over my dining table.   You know what I mean, it's in the shape of a curly-q.  Tonight, a small moth got into the house, and while I sit here at the table, I am watching this little moth fly in circles up to the light and then down from the light, like it's caught in a tornado.

I finished the baby blanket today.  I ended up using the full two skeins of yarn because I was not under a time crunch with this one.  The finished project is 28" x 40".   The mom who requested the baby specifically wanted white only.  I did not double-strand the yarn so it's a very thin blanket, which is not a problem because it's ridiculously hot and humid here.

Delilah does not enjoy the fireworks tonight; she's taken to her favorite hiding space under the bed.  I'm happy with that, as long as she's in the house.

Even though she has greatly increased the amount of time she spends indoors, when I assuming has a …


It's almost the end of June and I've not blogged once this month.  I have good intentions.  I open up a new browser window.  I log into Blogger.  I even start a New Post.  And it sits blank.  That has happened at least four times in the last three weeks.

I'm on the home stretch of my second baby blanket.  I'll post a picture of the finished object when it's off the needles.  I also started a new pair of socks, using Lions Brand sock yarn that I've had in my yarn basket for a while now.  After this baby blanket is finished, I'm going to really concentrate on working on socks.   With this second blanket, I'm not under a time crunch, so I will have time to appropriately block and dry the blanket.  I have noticed a few odd-sized stitches in my knitting, and I'm hoping that blocking will get rid of those odd spots.

I'm focusing more on my knitting because my stress level at work is out of control.  I am so tense and anxious during the day.  The 30-mi…

When It Rains, I Knit

I've been busy lately.  I am working full-time and also took on a three-week part-time assignment transcribing podcasts.  In the middle of doing that, I got a call from my friend whose baby shower I attended last month.  She had her baby girl and we talked for a while about her birth (this was her first baby).  For my shower gift, I made a baby blanket, which my friend said she loves.  In fact, she loves it so much, she asked me to make another one!  So, today, I went to the store and purchased some more baby yarn.

Steve wanted to know why I couldn't use the yarn piled high in my yarn basket.  After rolling my eyes at him, I explained that I needed baby yarn, which I don't stockpile in my basket.  He reluctantly agreed that I should go purchase yarn for this project but made me swear not to buy any more yarn until I make a dent in my stash.  I promised him I would not, knowing that I had already ordered some more sock yarn from KnitPicks.  I'm going to start knitting …

No Cat Hair On Me

I have a huge complex because my cat, Delilah, hates me.  She no longer sits in my lap in the evenings and when I try to pick her up, she immediately goes into her "there-is-another-cat-in-territory" growl.   I feed this cat and I want her to love me so badly.  I guess she senses my (increasing) desperation and she just retreats.

She responds to Steve rather obediently (for a cat) by voluntarily getting into his lap and sitting contentedly.  She also will sleep next to him in the bed when he gets home in the morning.   But with me, when I try to pick her up, she immediately voices her displeasure.  To add insult to injury, she even runs and hides under the bed to get away from me, when I want to hold her and squeeze her and love her.

Steve got her to come out from her safe spot with a billion treats.  Now she's sitting by the window and I'm crushed.  I can no longer call her "my cat" - she's just the cat that lives with me and barely tolerates me.

The Work Weak

My work days consist of me trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible, but somehow ending up looking like a dumbass.   Look!  It's Debbie Dumbass.

I will have to get back with you if this ever gets better.

Appreciation for Learning

Before I met Steve, I was in a relationship with a man that defined my life (and not in a good way). My life during this period revolved around said man. All of my free time was spent on him. And I spent six years with him. I voluntarily gave up 2,190 days to benefit someone else. I had no hobbies because everything centered around him.

After extricating myself from the sickness and dependence of that nightmare, I realized part of the recovery would be to get involved with something outside of work that could occupy my time. It was hard for me to figure out what I should do; I've always been a reader but reading did not give a sense of accomplishment or encourage my creativity.

I met Steve and was very impressed with his artistry in painting. I could see Steve's personality in his paintings - devotion, straightforwardness, and positivity. I envied his ability to create something. At the time, I had no tangible evidence of my creativity. Pointing to a pile of books …

Come In Quietly

I made a delicious lunch today. Sunday is the one day of the week that Steve and I share as a day off. Of course, he was a grumpbump when I woke him up to eat lunch. I made ham and green beans and homemade mashed potatoes. I was feeling pretty good, thanks to my three glasses of Sangria I downed while cooking.
It has rained most of the day, but I was good enough to get my weekly shopping done early today, so I could enjoy the afternoon. However, I did not plan accordingly and ended up at Publix. I spent $100 for a week's worth of groceries. I paid more because I determined it was too inconvenient to go to Aldi's, which is further away from me. Even though I am working again, and perhaps Publix is now in my budget, I really appreciate that Aldi's can save me so much money.
I've been knitting dishcloths lately. They are a very weird shape and it is my fault because I did not check my gauge before knitting. I hate knitting gauge squares and refuse to do it. …

Story In Three Pictures

(Please suspend any dislike of me allowing my cat outdoors until the end of the story)
A few nights ago, Delilah and I went outside; Delilah to do her business and me to enjoy the cool breeze and fresh air.
I could hear rustling in the grassy area across the parking lot from our apartment. After my eyes adjusted, I could see the movement in the leaves. I walked up closer to see what was making the noises and saw it was an armadillo. Man, he was ferociously hunting through the leaves and grass for bugs.

I watched him for a while and he never even acknowledged my presence or looked up at me. He was a man on a mission.

I heard a noise behind me and found it was Delilah, back at the apartment, calling me to come home. I guess I needed to pay attention to her, so I politely took her picture from across the parking lot.
When I saw the picture preview on the camera, I was not sure I wanted to head home with spooky kitty eyes glowing at me. Lucky for me the real-life version of this picture…

Knitting Till My Hands Fall Off

You have no idea how much my hands ache.  I finally finished my baby blanket today, with minutes to spare.  I had to knit for 5 hours straight to complete it.  The finished product was about 35 inches long (I was shooting for 36).
This picture shows the blanket folded over (with a close up of the basket weave pattern).

The following picture shows the entire blanket as laid out on the bed.

In a perfect world, I would have blocked it so the edges were straight, but when you get the finished product off your needles at 12:45 p.m., and  the baby shower starts at 2:00 p.m., there is no option but to just wrap it up.
As luck would have it, my gift was the last one opened at the shower.  When the mother-to-be unwrapped it, I got emotional because this is my first true knitted gift and it was for such a wonderful woman and the baby she always dreamed about.   When she held it up, I was surprised by how nice it really looked (close up I can see all of my mistakes).  
I learned a few things while kn…