Yoga and

I feel badly about not posting yesterday, but by the time I got home I was too exhausted to go on the computer. A friend of mine recently got certified as a yoga instructor and she's been having classes Monday nights at her house... and yesterday was the first week I could make it. The class was fun! I'm not so into Yoga and especially not into fuzzy stuff, but we did fun stuff like stand in a Trees circle and putting our knees on our elbows, balancing on our hands and trying not to fall on our heads. I didn't fall asleep or on my ass, so I think it was a success. At the end though it kinda sucked to be all post-Yoga relaxed and have to jump on my bicycle and ride over a mile to get home, but it was definitely the best workout I've had in a while and it felt great :-)

Today was a really intense day at work, I was working on a project with a coworker who can be very fun when we go out but pretty difficult and annoying to work with. He's very good at sports and very bright, but he is also condescending when we're working together. It's annoying because I have such a good working relationship with my other coworkers. The others are about 26, 30, and 38 years old yet treat me as a respected equal, whereas this guy, at only one year older than me, thinks I am beneath him. Although, come to thing of it, he does the same to the 30 yr old guy so I guess it's neither ageism nor sexism. And he's a nice guy otherwise, although sometimes inconsiderate. Oh well, at least we only work on this project a couple times a month.

After work I paid my LNS a visit, so that turned my day right around. I signed up for an exchange called Fair Squares, where I stitch a 50x50 pattern for a partner who stitches one for me. Well we're also supposed to send a second square with our names stitched on them, and when I bought the stuff for my square last week I completely forgot to get the extra fabric. Well just my luck I couldn't get more of the same fabric without ordering, and then the dye lot will probably be all wonky... so I bought new fabric and I'm going to stitch it again. Which kinda sucks but it's not too bad, since I liked the pattern and was planning to eventually also stitch it for myself. I just have to finish the darn thing asap & mail it out - don't want to wait until the deadline.

Tonight's a busy night, I have a TON of work to do from work (boo homework), plus I need to neaten up because practically my mom's whole family is sleeping over for the holiday, from tomorrow night 'til Saturday night. C's sleeping in my room, and although she is so messy she couldn't possibly complain about anyone else my mother will defenestrate me if my space isn't spotless. Sigh.

So it's off to clean up and then hopefully start my square.



Some fun weekend

Yom Kippur started Friday night. We had an early dinner Friday since the fast began around 6:30 and we had to be in shul by then. Mom cooked a lot: there was gefilte fish, chicken soup, and then of course the main dinner course - it was a LOT of food overall. I'm not such a fan of chicken soup, but luckily Sky is :)

Yom Kippur davening is always long but it seemes to take forever Friday night. My mom was schmoozing with her friends to I sat with my aunt E... My cousin, her eldest son, got engaged recently to a girl who went to the same HS as him and myself, but since were all in different grades I never crossed paths with her there. Neither did he - they met in college. Anyway, point is that other then a very brief hello at the L'Chaim (= mini engagement party immediately after the engagement) we haven't spoken. Not only did the long service give me plenty of opportunity to get wedding/fiance details from my aunt, but I also got invited to lunch on Sukkot. The fiance and my other cousin's girlfriend are going to be by AE's for Sukkot, so I get to check them both out in person! My cousins only have 1 female cousin in this hemisphere, so I need to watch out for them and make sure the girls are good enough for them. Although I don't think I have any recourse if they are deemed unworthy. So I'll be keeping my mouth shut until I'm asked. And besides, my aunt has plenty to say on the subject, as I found out Friday night :)

Finally after about 3 hours davening was over and we got to go home... I fell asleep early and woke up early, but really didn't feel like getting out of bed so I read most of the day. Went back to shul for Mincha & Neilah, the last 2 services of the day, at around 5:45 with my parents. For the first time ever I think I stood for the entire hour-long Neilah service. I think my dieting and drinking more water during the past year made me better prepared for the fast this time around, it seemed much easier than previous years. I'm going to skim over the dead car battery and how we hitched a ride home with my mom's friend and get to the good part, break fast at my neighbor's.

After 25 hours of fasting, not showering, not brushing your teeth, and davening a lot, the last thing I want to do is go to a big break fast party and see people I actually know. That's what's so great about going to my neighbors'. They invite about 50 people, and they all seem very nice but since we just know my neighbors I'm under no obligation to make onerous small talk or linger very long. This year we had the same bagels, cream cheese, lox and tomatoes as every year, but the desserts were great - petite madelines and a cheesecake my mom made. After about 30 minutes my brothers and I thank our hosts and wander back across the street. Then a week later we always have these neighbors over to dinner in our sukkah, since they don't build one anymore.

This morning I finished stitching a kit I bought last Thursday at my LNS - definitely my quickest finish ever :-) It's kosher, don't worry - the finished product is a gift, which is clearly defined as an exception to the no-new-charts rule from a few posts ago. Since it's a gift though I'm gonna have to post pictures later, so for now you get my Lizzie Kate dog blocks - enjoy :)

These other pictures are of the sukkah. We put it up last Sunday but decorated today. Mom did the walls, I did the christmas lights, and then she did the chains. We did the hanging decorations together, and mom has a great system. We took out all the decorations and divided them into 4 pretty-much-equal piles. Then each pile went to a quarter of the sukkah. It's genius, saved a LOT of time since we didn't have to stop and squint at the ceiling every time we had something new to hang to figure out where it should go.

Exterior shot of the Sukkah

Interior shot of the sukkah - like the decorations?

This is my favorite decoration: the bee trap.

Yup, along with the more-traditional apples, oranges, bananas, pears and grapes we also have asparagus decorations.

There was some sort of street festival in town, so I called up a friend from the neighborhood & we checked it out. There were a lot of nice classic cars and two gorgeous motorcycles, but other than that it was just a lot of people at a block party. Not our scene, and we had stuff to do, so it was a short visit.

Sky and I went to the 5PM walk at the park but we got there 10 minutes late due to festival-related traffic, but apparently no one else made it either - the parking lot was empty. I felt bad taking her and then not going, Sky wouldn't have understood, so we went for a walk anyway. I was worried about taking her around off-leash without other dogs around, in case she decided to take off, but, as always, she was an angel and I worried for nothing. We had a great 30 minute walk, although I feel bad, she didn't want to run in the water much since there were no dogs to play with her.

I'd better go feed her. TTFN!



Stitchers rock!

I just got back from the LNS about an hour ago - yes at 10pm. The Lazy Daisy Stitchery had a stitch in night where you could bring your work in progress and work on it there, and also pick up supplies. There were about 15 people and it was filled to capacity. The shop is smallish, very long and narrow but it's laid out extremely well, not many stands or pieces of furniture so it wasn't too tight a tight fit. One woman next to me was working on the Village of Hawks Run Hollow, which I'd seen on the internet and other peoples' blogs so it was cool to see it in person finally. And she was working it over one thread! It's coming out very small but it is gorgeous, I hope she brings it to next months' stitch in so I can see the progress :) Another person was working on an enormous project with a submarine and animals, I never got to see the front but from the back it looked very nice ;)

I tried working on the Bent Creek month snappers but I'd forgotten my scissors so it was v. frustrating, so I switched to LK's February blocks and did the foliage on the tree. I didn't go too crazy with the shopping, just picked up the patterns of the 3 months I'm missing from the BC snappers, then some threads and fabric for a couple of stash patterns (and they're on my list so it's okay). I also got a really nice kit to make for my exchange partner at Fair and Square, and not that she or anybody actually reads this blog but I'm not posting pics or more info until I mail the thing out.

This is going to be a relatively short post. I wasn't feeling to well today (until I went to the LDS of course) so I'm going to get some sleep and hope for the best. I have an interview tomorrow, and I also REALLY REALLY don't want to feel sick on Yom Kippur, that is the worst. Good night all.



Blechy Day

Today has been a very blechy day, mostly for three reasons. First, I got about 2.5 hours of sleep last night so I'm waaaay overtired, plus I don't feel so good (unrelated to the fatigue). Despite not sleeping much I got very little stitching done last night - curses to you Spider Solitaire! Second, my commute was, shall we say, less than ideal. When I finally dragged my butt to the train this morning I couldn't find any seat except in the middle of one of the 6-person seating arrangements on the LIRR - I was much too tired to stand for the whole ride. And since I'd definitely forget anythings I left in the overhead compartments, I sat with my knapsack and everything on my lap. Worst of all, it seemed like everyone on the train, including the people to my left and right, had colds or sniffles... so I hope I didn't catch anything!

The trifecta occured when I got to work and saw an email from my coworker... I'll spare you the details of the silly argument I had with my coworker, but I feel badly about it and it really tainted my whole day.

On to happier musings: things that will make my afternoon/evening wonderful, or just less blechy:

1) I am going to stop at a new shopping find, The City Quilter, on my way home to pick up some fabric so that I can *try* to finish some of my stitched pieces. I brought some of my individually-stitched BC monthly snappers to match fabric for *practice* finishing on.

2) I found the form to apply for an LIRR bike permit! So tonight on my way through Penn Station I'm gonna apply, and then maybe Thursday I can take the train to PW and then bike a mostly downhill route to work that also uses much less-trafficy. Getting home will suck though.

3) My evening bike ride

4) Sky!

5) Stitching and crocheting, of course.

And on that more-positive note, I'd better get going.



Woo hoo!

My new computer arrived yesterday!!! To make a boring story short, I am such a technophile and my old computer needed to be reformatted 2 years ago and replaced about 1 year ago... And then my brother got a job working for a big computer company, so I waited about six months for him to graduate college and start his job so I could use his employee discount... which is also the only reason that I didn't get a Mac. Anyways, this computer has been greatly anticipated, and I can't wait to get started on all sorts of fun computer projects!

After my bike ride yesterday I spent most of the evening setting up the new computer, and it is GREAT. Windows Vista is weird and definitely takes some getting used to, but I think once I get all my settings in it will be no worse than good old XP (= yup that's Mac envy for ya). I love that new-computer feeling: clean keyboard, fast processor... okay I'm going to stop gushing now. Still trying to think of a new name for my computer though (the old one is Steve, btw). If you have any suggestions, let me know :)

Now that I'm on the shiny new computer it seems time to start posting some pictures. First up is a picture of Sky. She's part Great Dane, part Lab, and we're not sure what else but probably something huge since she's enormous. She's the sweetest dog ever and very graceful; unfortunately people tend to freak out when they see an enormous black dog racing up to greet & jump on them & freak out, but she's really a sweetheart. Oh well, she'll grow out of the puppy phase soon enough, and until then it's a great way to find out who my real friends are ;)

This is a recent finish, I forget what the pattern's called but it's by SamSarah. They make really cute designs! I changed the color of the text because I didn't like the pale white-ish color they had, and I ended up with a GAST purple that's just a tad too close in color to the purple of the fabric... in good light (and good flash) you can read it clearly, but in poor light the purples fade together a bit. Oh well, I like it anyways, I'll just be careful where I put it right?

This is as far as I've gotten on LK's February blocks. I really really like the colors, which of course you can't see in this photo so just trust me on that one.

Sorry for the super long post but I was just so happy to have pictures to post! Enjoy,



Reality Check

Good thing I went for a practice ride on my bicycle when I got home from work today! I went for a 30 minute ride around my neighborhood and realized that a) the seat is very uncomfortable and b) I am totally out of shape. So I think I need to practice a little more before attempting the long ride to work.

Very exciting news, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow. What a tease!
Til later,

Fall fell

I walked to the train, and then from Penn to work this morning, and it was so nice and cold out! Fall finally fell on New York on Saturday, and I plan to live it up as much as possible before winter crashes my party. To that end, I think I'm going to ride my bike to work in PW tomorrow. It's an ambitious 5.4 mile ride but I can always leave my bike at the office and take the train home if it's too much...

Hmm, maybe I'll go for a ride around the neighborhood when I get home tonight, just to practice.


happy new year!

Happy new year! Whew, these 3-day holidays are draining. My friend J and her brother spent Rosh Hashanah with my family, which was perfect because I get bored of seeing just my family for 3 whole days ;) But that means entertaining for three whole days... I can sort of see why my mom doesn't want to have the entire family for sukkot this year, but we have them every year, so it'd be really depressing to not have everyone around for the holiday.

Speaking of sukkot, we built the sukkah today. We've had it forever so everyone's pretty used to the routine of putting it together. We usually have a 5-man crew, more than enough help, but my brother went back to college in the morning, so it was down to 4... and then we lost one to a Giants game. Luckily Sky stepped into the fourth spot, but she was more interested in running off and running laps around the front yard and the neighbor's house than actually assisting. And someone who wasn't much help decided to teach her how to punch the gate open, so she kinda knows how to escape the backyard now if you don't close the gate 100%... I can't wait until tonight, because there's nothing more fun than chasing a huge black dog down the street in the dark. Luckily we don't get many cars on our street or we'd really kill my brother for this one.

So today's a pretty sad Sunday, because aside from building the sukkah and doing some stitching I have to work today. I have to take 6 vacation days for the holidays this year, and I really don't want to lose 1/3 of my vacation time when I'm not even going on vacation, so my boss lets me work Sundays to make up the time off. But I still hate working Sundays, it means I have a very busy week!

I did manage to get a lot of stitching done yesterday and today... I'm practically finished with Fat Cat, just need to finish up the backstitching and find one last color for the nose. I started LK's February blocks flip it, and probably finished 40% already. I'm not in love with all the LK monthly flip it blocks, but the colors are so much fun that I'm stitching them anyway, and hopefully I can find someone to give them to when I've finished.

I also started one of my biggest projects to date, the Bent Creek snappers of all 12 months on one piece of fabric. Some random Friday in June I was googling for a LNS to go pick up some overdyed flosses since I had the afternoon off, and I was sooo pleasantly surprised to find that a new shop had opened up on Long Island! Finally, something within a reasonable driving distance - previously I was driving up to Connecticut if you could believe that! So it was a happy, happy day when I found the Lazy Daisy Stitchery in Rockville Center. Even though it's a half-hour away for me that's not so bad!

Anyways, the BC snapper months are all stitched up nice & pretty on one looong piece of fabric behind the counter at the Lazy Daisy, and I really liked it. I'd previously stitched a bunch of them as solo pieces but didn't love them as individuals... all together though they look stunning, so I (somewhat foolishly) decided to stitch them all as one big piece. Of course this was back in June or July but I didn't start until this morning, right? But I'm going to a Sit & Stitch at the shop on Thursday, so my goal is to at least finish July before then so I'll have 1 month done.

I've got plenty of stitching to do, so I'm off. Stitch on!



New Year's Resolutions

My new year's resolutions for the new year (tomorrow! OMG I'm so not ready) are:
1. To keep writing this blog, posting at least 3 times a week
2. To be more helpful, in general
3. To finish more or the same amount of projects that I start

To that end, I'm going to borrow from another blog and list my xs wips and stash and set a goal to finish 20 of them by Tu B'Shvat (aka January 22) and to not buy any new charts or kits until I do. I'm going to make an exception for Chanukah and wedding gifts, since it's too far in advance to start planning them now. One caveat - if a project requires multiple charts, such as the Bent Creek month snappers, I'm counting them as more than 1 project. However there is no partial credit, so I'm counting them only after I've finished the whole 12 charts.

So here's my list:
1 - 12. BC month snappers (started 9/16 - 3 months done 2 in progress)
13 - 16. BC winter snapperland (in progress)
17 - 20. BC spring snapperland (in progress)
21. E&E&F Fat Cat (completed!)
22. Trilogy Spring Lineup (completed 12/02)
23. Trilogy Summer Lineup (in progress)
24. JBW French Country Pear (in progress)
25. JBW French Country Pumpkin (in progress)
26. HIH Dog sampler (in progress)
27. LK Official Snow Guide
28. BC The Lighthouse
29. BC Good Morning
30. LK Flip it November blocks
31. LK Flip it October blocks
32. LK Flip it February blocks (started 9/16)
33. BC SW peace be with you (in progress)
34. BC Happy Independance Day
35. BC Happy Thanksgiving
36. Simply Heritage Dogs Spanner
37. Something in Common Woodland Sampler
38. BC Redbird Sampler
39. Sam Sarah Inspire
40. Lavender Wings Dreamer's High
41. BC Blue Moon
42. S&BF Fall Sampler
43. BC Bee of good cheer
44. S&BF Fruit Sampler - Apple (in progress)
45. LHN Rose Sampler (completed)
46. Brittercup Touch of the Wilderness
47. SamSarah Explore
48. DKDS Challah Cover
49. Shepherd's Bush Thankful Sheep (completed twice)

I might add to that list later, because I just know that as soon as I hit post I'll remember something to add.

Edited to include status updates: 10 WIPs and 4 completed.


I found a new bead shop on my way home yesterday! I was walking up Broadway to Penn Station, and I'm not sure of the exact street but I think it was 29th street. Don't ask me the name, there's a scaffolding out front blocking their awning. They have a lot of the crystal beads I like to use as sparkly filler, and I found 2 strands of gemstones that I really liked, and both were in the sale area - :-) I'm proud to report that I only purchased materials for 2 necklaces that will go well with some new work tops I bought labor day Sunday. So my bead stash isn't too much bigger.

Last night I was very restrained, and instead of trying out my new purchases I buckled down and worked on Fat Cat. between yesterday and today I finished most of the Cat aspect, now I have the outlining, eyes and nose to finish. Oh and the Smyrna stitches over the background. In the model you can see where the thread was carried across from Smyrna to Smyrna, quite clearly! I'm going to try to avoid a similar effect on my piece, because otherwise I'd rather just leave out the stitches and avoid the messy look.

Today after work my dad & I went to the dentist. I like our dentist because he was a friend of the family long before we started having a more professional relationship. I think dentists are the only kind of doctor where I wouldn't mind going to someone who is a good friend, and was a friend before they were my doctor. I had a pretty fun time sitting in the waiting area, watching tv and working on JBW pumpkin. The other fun thing about going to the dentist is that we always bring Dr. B a bottle of scotch :)

Since it's a 5 minute drive from the dentist office to my grandparents' my mom sent some things for us to drop off there too. I also brought them a thank you gift - they have a bungalow in the Catskills, and every summer I spend a couple weekends there - as do my cousins, a couple of aunts, and one uncle. Anyways, I found a relatively inexpensive DVD player at Target and thought I'd get them one, since they like watching the movies in the Casino at the bungalow colony and my aunt said they didn't have one. My dad, who usually avoids interacting with his in-laws by using my siblings and me as a buffer, was drafted to set up the box when I got stuck. Of course I was responsible for training on the new system, and I'm half expecting grandma to call my cell at 1 am asking how to fix something. I wrote out & went over instructions on using each remote, so hopefully she'll be okay.

Okay, back to stitching on Fat Cat in the hopes that I might finish sometime before Sukkot. Good night all,


Falafel finds and finishing fiends

Today's adventure was trying a new restaurant for lunch. To preface this: usually I work in the HQ of my company, which is a sprawling building about 15 minutes (by car) from my home, but every so often I get very bored of my suburb and schlep into the Manhattan office. Lucky me - my boss doesn't care where I work as long as the work gets done. Today one of my coworkers happened to also be working from the NYC office, and he suggested trying this new vegetarian falafel place by Union Square. Sometimes fried foods aren't kosher-friendly since they could be friend in animal-based products, but I figured a vegetarian place wouldn't use animal products so I'd be safe. Happily when we got there, a framed Teudat Kashrut was prominently displayed beside the door. I was so happy that I could order whatever I wanted guilt free! Cheap falafel has the potential to be either amazing or terrible, but luckily this place makes delicious, and really good side salads too. So now I have my new go-to lunch spot in the city - yay!

I got a lot of stitching done over the weekend - well Sunday really - as there was a Kim Possible marathon... I'm working on Fat Cat by Ewe & Eye & Friends, and I've finished the whole top alphabet part, and now just have to finish up the cat that takes up the bottom half. I'm not sure why I got this pattern in the first place, since I'm such a dog person. Also I'm using the recommended DMC colors and in bad lighting (well the lighting I stitch under) it looks like lots of different browns - and I hate brown. One of the two bulbs in my light fixture burned out, and I've been meaning to replace them both with the new CFL bulbs I bought, so I wonder if that added light will be enough to improve the color quality. If not I'll find someone with a cat to gift it to :)

Next up will probably be Bent Creek's month snappers, I've done most of them on Aida but after seeing them stitched on one long piece of Linen at The Lazy Daisy Stitchery, my LNS, I ordered a large piece of Linen and plan to do them again. What the heck, they were quick the first time around! I figure if I switch between that and the JBW pumpkin and pear designs I'm stitching, the sense of accomplishment from the smaller finishes will keep be from giving up on the big project. Plus the JBW ones are very season appropriate, especially for Sukkot. Actually, it would be really good if I could finish the JBW by Sukkot - my grandma's coming to stay by us for the first days of the holiday, and she's seen me stitching the pear over the summer so she'd probably enjoy seeing me finish it finally.