When life gives you Lemons, make Lemoncello.

Biglemons

Big, mutha lemons that is….

Oh Italy, where can I begin?  Alluraa… It was such a mixture of emotions.  Wows and "you’ve got to be kidding me’s", buzzes and soberiety, heat and chills, health and sickness all with not one stitch of my knitting done.

It all started with the two our delay on the tarmac at JFK airport.  Something BA called, "evening out the gas tanks".  This delay caused a domino effect that wouldn’t end for the next two weeks… Our connecting flight out of Heathrow did not think it best to wait for the 53 passengers that were on our flight.  Instead, re-booking 53 (46 teenagers mind you) on 3 different flights seemed to work best for them.   I happened to be on a flight that didn’t leave Heathrow until 10 hours later…

Once in Rome, 29 of the 53 people in my group did not receive their luggage. One of which was me.   If you’ve ever lived  in Italy or are familiar with Italian customer service then perhaps knowing that I didn’t get my luggage until a week later wouldn’t be a surprise to you.  All others, yes the shock hit me hard too.  Though, if you were to talk to my parents and boyfriend and friends you would know that I had the best possible attitude ever.  I mean how could I be any less in front of 17 year old girls who were also waiting for their luggage and they were the ones who paid for the trip. I was just the hired chaperone.  I needed to be the positive reinforcer!  I washed clothes in the sinks of my hotel bathrooms and dried them with their handy automatic hair dryer.   

I must not say though that the entire trip was spoiled due to this because it truly wasn’t… Italy is stunningly gorgeous and no words can truly express how I was moved by the sights we saw… I cannot wait to return there and I solidifed that with the coin over my left shoulder at the Trevi Fountian.  But for now, the photos – just a few of the hundreds I took.

the Vatican – Sistine Chapel, oops, i didn’t think my camera was on 😉
Sistinechapel

St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church. Simply wow.
Stpeterpaul

some interesting "street signs" in Pompeii
Pompeiip

Beautiful Capri

Capri

Amalfi

Almafi

At the Four Corners in Old Palermo, Sicily

Lamppostpalermo

Me and the ladybugs on Mt. Etna, Sicily

Mtetnabug

No lost piece of Luggage was gonna bring me down! A little bit of that lemoncello does help though as does the many glasses of local vino I drank.

It just feels so good to be home – to blow the dust and dirt off my knitting needles and to do my own thing.

Ciao Italia. Can’t wait until next time.

and i miss you

like the deserts miss the rain… (did anyone else imagine the girl singing that song looking WAY different than what she really looks like?)

I just wanted to check in since I’m still in the moving process.  I’ve come to realize that although moving all your stuff in one day is a pain in the neck and probably very tiresome it’s still means that your stuff is moved in One Day.

I have done my move gradually and without movers. I still have 20% left to go which I hope will be done by the weekend.  (More importantly done before I go to the NCAA Elite 8 game!) I sold my couch, I called all my bill companies, packed everything in pretty little boxes… all that’s left is the man power to move such things as my bed and large TV.

My knitting has super suffered and I miss it.  I have my Cherie sleeves 95% done, just a few more decrease rows and I’ll be seaming it! But now with spring in the air do I really have the Uumph to finish a wool sweater??  I must prevail!

So for now this is me just checking in! I will soon be back to super blog status soon. (I have an Easter Break coming up soon, another week of nothing but knits – what can be accomplished then?? Only my dreams can tell. But over at Cathy’s I was introduced to Wallace and Gromit TOY patterns!!?? Where can I obtain those!?  Toys I deem will be the theme for April.)

snow way

Yesterday I was granted one more vacation day when at around 5:30am I recieved the call that my school was indeed closed for snow.  I got up all excited and continued the phone chain and looked out my window expecting to see cars buried in the whiteness – but no, the snow was a bit slushy and in my mind didn’t grant the snow day (but did I complain, oh hells no.)

I went back to sleep and in the end woke up around 8:30, got a little breakfast and did a little knitting.  Sure, I thought – I have this extra day, I should do something productive!  Work out? (ahem, no.) Laundry? (maybe tomorrow).  After wrestling with a few other ingenious ideas I decided that I could do a little apartment research – no pressure. 

My lease is up in my current apt on 3/31 and I have to get a move on as my building is being sold.  I have been lurking on rental websites and real estate sites and tso far nothing really sparked my fancy.

So with bowl of cereal in hand, I did a little clicking and there it was.  A one bedroom right off the main street with a pretty little rent (heat included!).  I grabbed my phone and dialed the number and reached the nice realtor who was happy to show it to me that very afternoon.  A jump in the shower and comb of the hair and I was on my way, excited but with no expectations.

Well my dear friends, I signed the lease to that apartment that very night in the company of my BF and wonderful mother.  It was mine, allll mine and such a complete surprise. It had a lovely big kitchen and big living room – a very tiny bedroom that yells "you’re only sleeping in here, hon!" and a bathtub that reminded me of the Money Pit movie (minus the breaking through the floor and Hanks’ seal laugh).

All I kept thinking that night and today was: No snow and no apartment. Snow and I’ve got a place to call my own for one more year in this fabulous Sinatra town.

silent blogger poetry reading

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein

seen @ cara’s via roots down

indulgences

One resolution I did not make this year was one that involved no new purchases to the stash.  I know I need to budget regardless. Not to mention I have a nice collection of yarns that are yearning for my attention before new major yarn purchases are made.  But when the BF asks you to make a hat… You make him a hat. 

Blue Sky Alpaca

My west-coaster friend Sarah led me on to this cool hat site: Coal Headwear, which features hand knit and machine knit hats.  Her favorite is The Nels (unisex hats – beanies) which includes a separate neck warmer that is buttoned to the top.  It provides multiple wearing options!  I don’t plan on making both pieces just yet. I simply  like the reverse stockinette stitching and will be using that as my frame of reference for the BF’s hat.

Of course a trip to my LYS for the BF also meant that I would fetch a little something for myself, too.

fetching

I must have done something really well at work that day because I was also happily spoiled by the owner as well!  Patricia was in San Diego at the TNNA all weekend and so generously brought me back some goodies!

a gift from san diego

Koigu mill ends! (the brain is storming over what to make with them!) with a signed copy of the Painters Palette by the dyers themselves.  The book is filled with gorgeous patterns made of the KPPPM and Kersti yarns.  Not to mention the history of their business which makes knitting with their yarn so much more meaningful than before.  I also got a signed copy of the The Friday Night Knitting Club book that Julia Roberts is bringing to the big screen.  I cannot say enough how thrilled I am that she and her husband thought of me. 

I’m happily smitten at home tonight with all the knits and gifts.  The Monkey socks and Hoodie are still both coming along. I’m finally on the sleeves and hope to do a good deal of them this weekend so that I can start the hood.  As for the monkey, one foot down – one more to go.

Central Park Hoodie        Monkey Socks

My posting might be a bit sporadic the next two weeks as it’s Super Courting Mode at my school.  This is the time of year when our acceptances and registration happens for the class of 2011.  It kills me to say that so naturally… Twenty Eleven.  I can barely think of tomorrow, let alone 4 years from now.  I have multiple nights in the next two weeks (6 to be exact) that will require me to schmooze parents and daughters alike.  I’m in my full sales mode.  The only thing I’m looking forward to is the downtime I will have in the afternoons between school and Schmooze Night to knit! (plus the TiVoed hours of 24 and Grey’s).

the pen is mighter than the keyboard

the letter 

Way long before I was obsessed with knitting I had this fond loving for all things paper.  You name it, I bought it.  Journals, accordian folders, note cards, stationary, scrapbooks – I wanted them ALL… I frequented stores like the Paper Source and Kate’s Paperie walking around with a serious case of attention defcit disorder.  I wanted everything I saw.

Recently due to the knit-love, I haven’t been as obsessive over my precious paper goods.  Of course next to all the yarn I’ve managed to buy in my short stint as a knitter sits boxes of different note cards, journals, and pads. 

When I was younger, I always pretended that I would have this fantastic long distance frienship that required boxes of letter stationary.   I even signed up through the post office for an international pen pal.  Her name was Heli from Finland. I can remember how excited when her first letter came.  I loved how she wrote her H’s.  I wished then that my name would have begun with an H.  Funny now with the BF that childhood wish might come true one day.  We maybe wrote once or twice but soon that was taken over by basketball practices and piano lessons.

I then tried to start up a new letter writing relationship with a girl I had met while vacationing on LBI.  I felt like Bette Midler in Beaches fanticizing about this long term deep relationship with a girl I just met swimming.  Much like the first this ended in a three to four letter writing relationship.  Soon high school came and then computers, beepers, cell phones, and the boxes of note cards and stationary collected dust.

In college, my letter writing would get a bit of a resurrection.  I went on a retreat my sophomore year which included a surprise component of letters from friends, classmates and family.  A full envelopes of sheer affirmation.  My love for letters was reborn.  I of course paid it foward by writing to other friends and aquaintances who went on this retreat and letting them know how much they really mattered.  It was a great letter-loving sharing time!

Since then that letter writing hasn’t had much of an opportunity to shine.  Much of what we tell people is said through phone or emails, never really hand written anymore. This year I hope to write one person a month a good letter of love and appreciation.  How often to we truly get to say how others  effect our lives.  When I write a letter I sit there thinking of each word instead of the email which seams more stream of concious than a cohesive sentiment.

So I tack on one more margaux-lution – spreading the love by letters. I mean what else can be better to join bills or catalouges than a stamped envelope of love?

happy birthday popi

Dad, Popi, Coach, Mi Amore, My inspiration, My life,

if all that i owned was a rainbow
i’d share that rainbow with you
if all that i owned was a moonbeam
i’d share that moonbeam with you
if all that goes past was a rosebud
i’d share each petal with you
if all that goes past was a dew drop
i’d share that dew drop with you

i offer no fame or fortune we can’t all be millionares
but little things are big things
when you share them with someone who cares

if all that goes by was this moment
i’d share this moment with you
and if all that i had was one heart beat.
i’d share that heart beat with you.

Popi and Me

I love you.  Always.
M

keepin’ myself together

it’s the season of keeping secrets.  mine of course have to be kept so underwraps that i won’t even speak of them here for fear one of it’s recipients may read.  it would give me so much pleasure to blurt to everyone what their secret is but then that absolutly ruins the fun.  i almost have to keep careful track of whos secret belongs to whom.  i’ve caught myself so many times almost letting the cat out of the bag…so tonight i’m happy to be alone enjoying a few romantic movies on cable, my knitting needles and a bottle of pino noir.

i’ve decided tonight that it’s really a possibility that i have A.D.D.  knitting/craft A.D.D that is.  everytime i think of making one thing… i concentrate on it for a bit (and when i say concentrate i really mean obsess) and then something new and glorious comes around and then I want to do THAT instead… there’s just too many options!  the internets allow a plethora (yes, El Guapo, I do know what a plethora is) of craft ideas that  simply encourage attention deficit.  there’s just too much to do and not enough me/hands/time to do it!

This Add has caused me to change up the Christmas knits a bit.  Instead of hats I’m doing a scarf and some wire votives.  I figured that they could be made up in a weeks time… (someone just say yes)  I’m also really into the glass etching for a few presents.  I have always wanted to try it out and having seen them over at Ellie‘s it’s pretty much a done deal.  And those koriesse people are too much!

I am very close to finishing Andrew’s scarf (about an egg’s size left!). I may be pulling an all nighter tonight.  I really want to move on to the other projects and show you all!

I will be helping at the shop this weekend so if you’re around Hoboken… pop on by!

thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving!!  Nothing like Turkey, naps, and football.

I stupidly left my camera at my office so no pics until Monday! It stinks too because I finished the Shetland Shawl for my mother and am dying to show it to you all!   Plus, I finished another mitten… who knew that the whole increase every 3 rounds meant: 1, 2, increase on 3… rather than 1, 2, 3, increase.  Does anyone else have those problems?? I never know when I read directions like that what exactly it means.  My wonderful friend Patricia set me straight. 

I kinda felt like I was in Lethal Weapon when Briggs asks Murtagh whether they go on 3 as in 1, 2, 3, then go OR 1, 2, GO.  But it seems to me in my case it was 1, 2, GO! That’s what I did with the first mitten and it is so much clearer to me!

I am on my way home tonight.  I love my parents house. It’s clean and comfy and there’s a full refrigerator.

With the shawl done I’m one step closer to finishing the Christmas Knits.  I am still awaiting the yarn for my brother’s scarf but this allows time for me to knit other things.  A hat and perhaps another shawl for good measure.  I’m not going to kill myself this year but figure that whatever gets knit, gets knit.

I’m going to try to post this weekend, perhaps I’ll hijack a camera from a friend.

On a totally random note: There’s a TEEERIBLE movie right now on Starz called BloodRayne.  Seriously, where do they get funding for these movies??  What movie exec thinks this is a good idea?  The acting is AWFUL!   It stars Michael Madsen who always gets confused with Tom Sizemore.  Dude  Sir Ben Kingsley is in it, he probably fired his agent after this one.  Sorry for the movie rant.

Eat lots of Turkey, ya’ll!