Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Friday, November 19, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I did on My Birthday

I'll just skip right to the end of the day: Dan took me to a Wizards' game, floor seats, row C behind the bench. This is what I saw:

Javale MaGee in the top two, Gilbert Arenas in the bottom one.

I ended up taking 160+ pictures of the game. It was fun to be that close, the game seemed to fly by faster than when I'm in Dan's usual upper level seats.

I gotta get ready for work, maybe I'll get to post more later.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Knitting a Moebius Scarf

This is the moëbius scarf Fern and I are working on.

To make this, provisionally cast-on 150 or more stitches on a 36" circular needle, size 9-13, with worsted weight yarn. Knit across in your desired pattern (seed stitch, lace pattern, etc.). Now, remove the provisional cast-on and keep knitting your pattern. You will have 300+ stitches on the needle and the circular needle cable will loop around. The first few rows are the hardest because there's no give yet. As you keep going, your piece will get wider and wider. Cast off when you get bored or run out of yarn.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Pair of Socks

I finished these the other day. I love using the worsted weight yarn, the socks knit up so quickly.

Now Fern and I are working on a knitted Möbius strip scarf. The hard way. The easy way is to knit a flat strip and when you're done twist it once and join the ends. The hard way is to knit all at once on extra long circular needles. I'll have to take a picture of it. It's not hard once you get it started. I'm making her work on it too, so it'll be hers when it's done.


Friday, October 08, 2010

I'm knitting again...

These are scrap yarn footies made from the left-overs from all those socks I knitted for Christmas presents three or four years ago. After Fern shrunk the wool+bamboo pair I just finished (to a size a four-year-old could wear), I had to make another pair with a blend that won't shrink.

These are the first socks I've made toe-up. I used a provisional cast-on and a short-row toe, both firsts for me. I like learning new things, keeps me young. Right? My daughter's ice skating coach thought I was 39. Love her.

I have too many unfinished quilts to be back into knitting. Oh well. I'll get tired of this soon.

Probably right before that large ebay order of yarn arrives. Right?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Yesterday was the first really chilly day so far this fall and when I got in the car to go home the tire pressure light had come on. It seems to come on every year on the first chilly day of the fall. So, today, I wore a jacket to work and put air in my tires.

When I took the girls to the beach a couple weeks ago I bought a ball of wool+bamboo yarn and knit up a pair of socks. I hadn't been in a knitting mood for quite a while and when I finished with that pair I managed to buy two new sock knitting books. One of the books had several patterns using two or more colors of yarn. I've never done anything with more than one color so I tried it out:

I got through one iteration of the pattern and stopped. Knitting with two colors was easier than I expected, but it was also harder. Controlling the two different yarns wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, but the knitted fabric doesn't stretch like pieces made with one color do. I need to relax the yarn that's not being used at the moment, if it's too tight, the piece doesn't give. It's hard to pull on socks that don't give. Next time I consider a sock pattern I won't shy away from the two-color ones.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Weekend Stuff

The weekend ended with more rain. We had gotten 5.12 inches from Wednesday evening to Friday morning. Saturday and Sunday were pretty, but the rain started right after I filled the tank on the ride back from Winchester and the rain gauge collected another half inch over night.

Fern and her boyfriend and I went out to Winchester for my mom's art show reception. She didn't know we were coming, it was a nice surprise. My mom has been a member of the Blandy Sketch Group (not just for sketchers) for several years now and they have an annual show of members works.

Something has happened to Fern. I'm not complaining, I've just noticed. I think maybe her "terrible teens" years are over, or in remission. She's been pleasant, I've been getting hugs, she's not defiant, and she wanted to go to see her grandmother, whereas in the past, no way, "Grandma's weird…do we have to?" And, she wanted to take the BF with us. When we got home she said he had a good time and wanted to go back.

The rest of the weekend was boring, I got 5½ loads of laundry done (the other half load is still in the dryer). I got caught up on some of my shows on the DVR, but now have Amazing Race from last night to watch. I did watch a lot of the Ryder Cup over the weekend, too. Oh, speaking of golf, I bought a new set of woman's irons last weekend and tried them out on Saturday. Not good. I need to break them in before I play with them.

Maybe I'll try to post more often, work is in my busy season so no promises.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hold on to Your Hats

I'm posting again.

Somehow, many months ago I got hooked on Gilmore Girls. In the early seasons the shows focused on Lorelai parenting a teenaged daughter. I have a teenaged daughter, I watched, got hooked.

Funny thing happened, Dan got hooked too. It's shown on the ABC Family channel every weekday at 5:00. On the Tuesday after labor day the series rolled around again to the beginning and now it's a thing, we get home from work and watch The Girls, then at 6:00, Friday Night Lights is on the same channel. Go Panthers. Dan will still flip to Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption during the commercials, but he always returns to the Girls. (FNL is a good show to get obsessed about, too.)

I've seen all the GG episodes at least once now, and still enjoy them. Dan asked me how we missed the show when it was first on and I said "Survivor." The Girls were on in the same time slot. I've read different, conflicting things about why they stopped after seven seasons and I may never know the real truth.

Anyway, after I went through the series, either on TV or on DVD, I felt a sense of loss, just as if I had been watching weekly since 2000. Silly me. Now where do I turn? A quick trip to IMDB told me Lauren Graham, the former Lorelai Gilmore, is now starring in Parenthood on NBC and I had just "missed" the premier season. However, thanks to the Internet, I was able to catch up this summer.

Parenthood is a show about a large dysfunctional family, Mom and Dad, with four grown children and their own families. What appealed to me about Parenthood, besides Lauren Graham, is one of the grandchildren, Max, is newly diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and watching a "perfect" TV family deal with the complexities this disorder is of interest. Another thing that is appealing is there are two teenage girls on the show, again, something of interest to me.

As a side note, it was interesting to me to notice how long it took Lauren Graham to morph from Lorelai Gilmore into Sarah Braverman.

Season two of Parenthood premiered Tuesday night at 10:00. I think Dan would like the show too, but he's only seen last season's finale, which didn't introduce the characters well or show why I like it. Dan liked the Gilmore Girls by osmosis so I'll just have to be patient while he warms up to my new obsession just like I warmed up to FNL. But then again, Kyle Chandler isn't difficult to warm up to, at all.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Bits of Info

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted.

It's my busy season at work, I've got three huge surveys going live in January and I'm trying to make sure that'll happen. I've got oodles of developing to get done and I hope none of my clients throw a wrench into the process.

For Fern's birthday in July we gave her a weekend at the beach for her and two of her friends. This past weekend was it, I took the girls to Ocean City. It was a lesson in patience. It takes about an hour for three teenage girls to wake up in the morning and to cycle through the bathroom for showers after beach time. I tried to give the girls their space at the same time as being the parent on duty. I think everyone had a good time.

I've finished the rush of Girl Scout vests that were dumped on me during the summer. My in-box is empty, but I still have many other projects that require attention. Like the new pair of socks I'm knitting, because I just had to have a new ball of yarn from that shop on the boardwalk.

Long-time readers of this blog may have noticed I haven't posted anything about my Mendoza line in quite a while. That's because I've been over my I-shall-never-be-over-this-weight weight for almost two years. I was successful losing some weight last spring in preparation for our 10-day cruise so I could get into summer clothes. After we got back, I gained it all back and then some. It would have been very easy to just throw up my hands and change my Mendoza line, but I didn't want to, I didn't want to settle for that. I was past the edge where I should buy the next size larger clothes. I didn't want to go up that next size, I didn't want to discard what's in my closed (again) for new, bigger stuff. Dan's been doing Weight Watchers now and has lost some weight. I was watching what I was eating and lost a little, but wasn't really getting significantly nearer my Mendoza line. Now I'm doing WW with Dan and all I can say is "Wow!" First of all, I never realized how much I was eating until I started writing it down and assigning points to it. Secondly, when I started eating within my points range, the weight started to really fall off. The "just one more" mentality does make a difference. I didn't need just one more. It's getting easier to retrain that part of my brain that wants to snack all evening to a) eat a smaller snack serving, 2) eat a healthier snack, and iii) skip the snack altogether. I'm still above my line, but it's within sight, and I'm very excited about that.

I got called a "good mom" by a woman who was about to get her nipples re-pierced.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Kevin Behind the Wheel

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Before and After: Removing a Snow Damaged Shrub

Back to School Night

Met all of Fern's teachers, most of them are decent. None will accept late work. She will have three HSAs in the spring and possibly one AP exam in Spanish. Her Spanish class is a combo 4/5AP class. The AP kids will get more work through out the year and will have to take the AP test. If the Spanish 4 kids want, they can take the AP test too. If they pass, they will retroactively get credit for Spanish 5/AP (which is worth more GPA points).

Dan met Kevin's new teacher. He has the same classroom aid as he did last year, which is good. She'll help the new teacher get to know the students and will provide some continuity to the kids.

I know, fun stuff here at Anne's House. Back to school night, oooh, fun. On the other hand, we're heading to the beach for the weekend, regardless of what hurricane Earl does. That, will be fun.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy New Year!

Both kids were up and ready for school today, one with a peanut butter and strawberry sandwich, the other with a bag of last-year's pencils.

I hope they have a good day!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Anacostia River - guess we got a smidge of rain this morning.

I took this video with my phone of the Anacostia where it goes under 38th Avenue in Brentwood, MD.

While I was there I saw a large log float downstream with no effort at all. Maybe float isn't the best word, maybe fly would be better.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Glint in the Sun

Today I found a dime in the grass just outside the 5 Guys. Before I was even half-way down to pick it up, I remembered something from my childhood.

It was summertime, in the evening, I was about 5 or 6, and we were living in Guyan Estates. The ice cream truck came by in the evenings and when my parents were feeling generous, they would give us 11 cents to buy a treat from the truck, 10 cents plus a penny for something called tax. We would listen for the beacon, the tinny music, announcing its impending arrival.

This particular evening I had my two coins in hand waiting, playing in the mean time. The adults were gathered in the yard too, my parents and the neighbors, chatting. Then I noticed my dime was gone, I'd dropped it in the grass somewhere. I tried to find it but I couldn't, and I had to hurry because the ice cream truck would be there any minute. Any minute. The adults helped me look too to no avail. After what seemed like an hour of panic, the neighbor pulled a dime out of his pocket and gave it to me, for which I was ever so greatful, still after all these years. I was all set again to obtain my long awaited fudgesicle.

The ice cream truck never came that night.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Went North

I am struggling to get back into the swing of things after being on vacation last week. There is so much to do, laundry, and the yard needs some attention. Dan mowed it on Sunday, but the weeds have really encroached the periphery, some of them are quite tall.

The central reason for vacationing in New England was for Fern to attend and compete in the ISI Worlds championship in Boston (really Marlborough, but whatever). She did quite well: of four individual events she got two firsts (FS4 solo compulsories & artistic), a second (FS4 interp) and a third (freestyle silver). She had at least five and as many as seven in her flights so I was extremely pleased with the results, especially after placing last out of three or four several times at local competitons in the spring.

Fern skated Monday and Tuesday and her team events were on Saturday. I thought the Bowie's production team event went well, but we got third out of four. The team that won had a "Sesame Street" themed show, big family appeal, but the skating was sloppy, in my opinion, and I thought they should have gotten third and Bowie should have gotten second. The second place team, the one I had placed first, skated a very clean, choreographed program, but the music was eerie and was lower on the family appeal scale.

In the interim, we went up to New Hampshire for a few days at the beach and took a five-hour whale-watching trip. The journey out to the Jeffery Ledge, 30 miles off shore, took about an hour and a half. This ledge is a mountain range in the New England Gulf where the fish (plankton, etc.) whales eat are plentiful. (See that wide high place in the map below.) We got to see a pair of humpback whales and a pair of north atlantic right whales. The right whales are very rare, only about 420 in existence. This pair was a mom and her calf. I saw another animal breech the surface and splash down about 500 yards away from the boat but our guide only saw the splash and couldn't tell me what it was. It could have been a minke whale or a white-sided dolphin.

View Larger Map

We had good food, luscious lobstah rolls (lobster salad, like tuna salad, but with huge hunks of lobster meat on a hot dog roll) were prevalent but Kevin stuck to his cheeseburger addiction.

I've posted some pictures from the trip from my phone. I took the "big" camera too, but it'll be a while before I can download them. I got maybe a hundred shots of the whales but I won't know if they are any good until I can see them on a larger screen.

We also fit a couple days in Boston taking in a Ducks tour where Fern got to "drive" down the Charles River, the Blue Man Group, and the Museum of Science where Kevin spent three or four hours watching George Rhoads's Audiokinetic sculpture, Archimedian Excogitation. I watched too. I want one of my own.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Blooming! and other discoveries

When I got into the office this morning I was delighted to find my oncidium orchid (Sweet Ears 'Pacific Gold') had started to bloom.

Apparently, I have an accent. Saturday, I went to my niece's house warming party. One of her other guests asked me where I was from, that I didn't have the typical 'Maryland' accent and couldn't place what accent I did have. I was kinda flabbergasted. I don't have an accent. Moi?

A couple of trees in our yard sustained damage from the seven feet of snow we got this past winter. I finally called a tree company to take care of the damage. $1475 to remove two trees and trim some branches! Yikes. Seems high to me so I called another company and they'll be out tonight.

I have nineteen Girl Scout vests in queue to be worked on before school starts. I'm ignoring them and have been. I'm out of glue sticks and have been waiting for the stores to start with their back-to-school sales so I can stock up. I use the glue to hold the badges in place while I sew them down. I've also been procrastinating on the badge work because I want to take July off, and because I need to get other projects worked on, like the baby quilt I posted blocks for the other day.

No way I have an accent.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Embedded Links

It's been so long since I posted anything of substance.

I'm not sure the following could be considered "substance" or not, however.

Friday 7/9, Kevin, with his Special Olympics swim team, were honored at the Bowie Baysox game. They got a pre-game introduction, two guys got to throw out the first pitches, and many team members got to run out to the bases with the team. Kevin got to run out to second base. He stood there during the National Anthem, then sauntered back while the rest of the kids ran. That's my boy.

All the fertile office co-worker's wives have given birth and I'm still working on the last baby quilt. I have 10% of the blocks done (of 20) so I have a long way to go.

I'm trying to stay on top of the laundry instead of leaving something in the washer for a couple days or having two or three baskets of things that never got folded while warm and now need to be re-fluffed.

The kids have been back from camp for over a week now and I'm almost done with their laundry. The Boy brought back some clothes with someone else's name written inside. I still need to put them in the post.

I've been listening to BBC/Radio 1 a lot via the Internet and satellite radio in the new car. The Internet plays in real time, but Sirius time-delay's the show by five hours. Kinda messes with the mind a bit.

Wednesday 7/7 was our twentieth anniversary. Dan and I took the day off from work and played golf, then had dinner at Cityzen downtown at the Mandarin Hotel. Yum.

I took a golf lesson Saturday morning from Troy Beck. I'd totally lost the ability to hit fairway woods from the fairway and wasn't getting any real distance from my longer irons. She said I was standing up too soon because I was off balance, and that I was crowding my hands/arms. She had me stand farther back from the ball and gave me drills to practice keeping balanced. By the end of the lesson I was getting 125 yards out of my 7 wood!

It rained 1.38" on Saturday.

Back in June I went to Columbus/OSU for a Perl conference. Perl is a programming language, not a misspelled adornment. I was born and went to college not an hour away from Columbus in Urbana. Some of my college friends were still in the area so I had an opportunity to catch up with some of them. I had lunch with Piper who had lived in the dorm room across the hall from me and is now working in Columbus.

One night I drove out to Urbana and met up with Martha and David at the college. It's really a university now, but I'm having a hard time changing the name in my mind. We walked around campus remarking on all the changes made in the last thirty years and reminiscing about fellow students. My grandmother taught biology and botany there and had her lab/classroom and office in a lovely old building, Barkley-Baily Hall, which since has been turned in to plain classrooms, probably in the English department. The college built a new science/math building in which my grandmother is supposed to have a memorial classroom, but Martha hadn't seen it on a previous visit and I didn't look for it myself. While I was in town, I also drove past my grandparents old house and visited them at the cemetery.

I was supposed to meet up with another friend, but she didn't make it back into town in time. I was bummed. I hadn't seen her in years.

Fern went to ice skating camp for a week and came back pretty jazzed to skate at Worlds in Boston at the end of the month. Now she has a week to cram in all the lessons she can before she competes. Most of her events have seven girls in them. I sure hope she does better than last, I don't want her to be devastated and quit skating. She's so beautiful when she skates and I'm thrilled she has an activity she enjoys. She's been working at the snack bar at the pool and loves having a paycheck. She hates her bank because they are never open when I can get her there to cash the check. Should I let her get an ATM card?

I tried three times to get the new iPhone software to download before it was successful. The download took over 75 minutes each time and process would die with 5 minutes to go. I don't have the new iPhone 4 but I got many of the new features on my 3Gs with this download. Some of the new features are quirky and I'm still trying to figure them out. Oh well. I'd love to be a product test for Apple.

My brother and Roseanne finally opened their yarn shop in Culpeper, VA. I guess I need to visit sometime, huh?

Oh, that's enough rambling for now.

Friday, June 18, 2010

See how much it's grown!

Last week:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This What Happens When

...the carefully cut pieces for our bee swap quilt block get all jumbled up. Now, to make sense of it and get it put together in time for my bee meeting.


Ta Da!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Will Be in the News on Thursday

The news last week of Abby Sunderland sailing around the world solo reminded me of another sailor who will be in the news this week.

According to his blog, Reid Stow has been sailing around the world solo without stopping, without resupplying for the past three years, and he is scheduled to be sailing home under the Verrazano Bridge Thursday, June 17th having been at sea for 1151 days. I am amazed by this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Games

The Special Olympic summer games were held at Towson University again this year over the weekend. Kevin and I headed out of town Friday afternoon. I went the "wrong" way going up I-97 instead of my usual way of the BW Parkway. Turns out, it was the better route and traffic was horrible the other way.

PG County athletes waiting to enter the arena for the parade of athletes into the opening ceremonies. Too bad we couldn't hear what they said when they announced us. Since I was a chaperone, I walked in the the teams. Cameras and lights everywhere.

Kevin is a couple rows in front of me. PG county had about 100 folks in the contingent of athletes, coaches and chaperones.

The calm before the storm.

Kevin in lane 5 for the 25 yard freestyle race.

We had tickets for an all-ages They Might Be Giants concert (packed with tots!) Saturday afternoon and made it down there after Kevin's 4x25 relay race. The team ended up getting DQ'd because one swimmer left early but two swimmers got staged out of order and he was confused. This is the audience area of the Ramshead Live in Baltimore during the show with the confetti machine blowing full blast. The kids loved it.

Last year Kevin didn't have any races Saturday afternoon so Dan met us at the zoo. The problem was, Kevin didn't want to go back to the Olympic village afterward, he wanted to stay with Daddy. We ended up sleeping in Bowie, then driving up early for his races on Sunday. This year I managed some heavy bribing and he went back to Towson without a lot of protest and with a burger from Five Guys in his belly.

Kevin in the staging chairs for his last race, the 241st race of the weekend.

Kevin with his bronze medal for that race.

Kevin with all his medals.