Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Received my first SP8 package today. My SP is a doll...she has been sending me e-mails to let me know the package was coming. And what nice things were inside: 2 skeins Cash Iroha Noro yarn in a beautiful shade of blue and so soft; 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino yarn, pale yellow - gender non-specific (to make something for my coming grandchild); a keychain from my SP's city's Mayfest - which, form the logo, appears to be the same as Sunfest here in S. Florida (Palm Beach); and a TANGLE - a twisty/turn it toy to occupy me when I am doing nothing, or at the computer, etc. Thank you so much SP8 - GREAT choices...and the yarn will certainly be put to good use (the twisty toy will come in handy as I will be working on another certification and it will keep me from pulling my hair out).

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Gerry and I went to see the NY Mets play the Florida Marlins last night. It rained hard on our way there, but the rain stopped and, except for a little drizzle later on, the weather was very comfortable. The Marlins no longer have a very good following...I think there were more Mets fans last night than Marlin fans. We are not really Mets fans....GO NY YANKEES!!!...but it is a NY team, after all. The stands were not even half filled....very sad! But the Marlins did beat the Mets in the end. We were so tired we left after the middle of the 8th inning.

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Yesterday was the last day of school. This year we have a wonderful 10 weeks off. In our county we usually have 9 weeks but for the past two years they took a week away from our summer to move up the starting date. Well, now these morons the county decided that we need to start a week LATER, so they added the week to our vacation. For those of you who say, "Those teachers.....they are so lucky! They get a whole summer off," come walk a mile in MY shoes (or better yet, in the shoes of upper grade teachers) and put up with 22 different personalities, learning styles, sets of problems, parents, plus administrators (thank goodness mine are great), school board policies that constantly change, etc, etc. This is a MUCH needed respite.

We had our End of the Year Luncheon yesterday at a restaurant called Buca di Beppo in Fort Lauderdale. The food was very good and the service was, too. This was also a send off to our wonderful principal Olivia, who was AP for 2 years and principal for 11. Given no say in the matter, she and another principal (from a school with poor academic rating) were given a last minute switch of schools. No one is happy about this, especially the two principals, but the superintendent, in his infinite wisdom, has deemed it a done deal. As Olivia says, "Our school had Camelot, now it will have Cama - little!" With Olivia goes many of our good upper grade teachers,almost our entire office staff, plus many teachers are either retiring, moving away or transferring out. Olivia told me to stay where I am until she gets that school into better shape, and I'm fine with that. In fact, I was now elected to be the new co-shop steward to our union. OY!

I gave my school SP her gifts on Wed,but could only give her one sock from the pair I am making her. I sat up until 1AM on Tuesday so I could finish at least this one sock, done in Knit Picks Landscape yarn, color Cape Cod, in the broadripple pattern. Then I searched ALL over my little house for the second skein of yarn so I could make the other sock. Today I found it where I had already looked twice. I need a vacation? You bet I do!!

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Two happy things to end my blog with: First, Alison is doing very well with her pregnancy. She saw the dr last Monday and the baby is moving fiercely, and has a very strong/fast heartbeat. Alison is feeling better each day, and can now feel the baby moving (tiny as it is). Each day I am so thankful that everything is going along well. Second: my cousin Ann and her husband Ray just returned from Russia last night, where they had gone to see the baby they will be adopting. They married two years ago. Ann is in her 40's and Ray just turned 50. With 3 children, Ray didn't want any more, but he loves Ann so much he thought and thought and decided that it was what he wanted too. Unfortunately, he had had a vasectomy, but he went for a reversal. Still, she didn't become pregnant. They tried in vitro twice, with no success. They had already started adoption proceedings, and after almost a year and a half and several delays, they finally got a picture and were told to fly to Russia. The baby is everything they hoped for and more. She is 16 months old, adorable, healthy and has a great personality. Ann said she took to them immediately. They only got to see her for 2 or 3 days. Now they are home, and they should get a court date by the end of the week. Then they will fly back to Russia and bring Genia Ann home with them (they were going to give them a name that they had chosen, but they felt that the baby is used to her name, so they added the middle name to the one she already has). The amazing thing is that when I look at the picture of Ann & Ray with Genia, it's as if this baby always was theirs. I can't wait until they bring her home. Have to get moving on making a sweater or two for this wonderful new addition to our family.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Can't Help Myself

I KNOW it's REALLY grandchild isn't due till November, but I couldn't help myself. I was in Tuesday Morning on Saturday and was just looking around...really I was...and I saw this cute little bib & burp cloth. So I said to myself, "Self....this is quite inexpensive, you should buy it." So I picked it up and instead of being smart & walking out looked some more, and I found this beautiful, soft, absolutely have to have blanket. After all, Alison DID mention that she MIGHT make the baby's room blue and green, and I DID try to call her and ask her opinion, but she wasn't answering her phones, soooo....! I can already tell that I will have a MAJOR addiction when it comes to items for the baby. But after all, isn't that what Grandmas are supposed to be like?

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Saturday night Gerry took Mom and I to dinner and then to see The DaVinci Code. Just to be safe, I purchased the tix earlier in the day. The movie was good. I won't lie and say it's the best movie I have ever seen, but I really enjoyed it. I read the book several years ago and didn't remember the ins and outs of the story, which made the movie even better as I was surprised by some of the twists and turns of the plot and characters. All this hype and religious outcrying is ridiculous, though.'s a NOVEL!!!! It's a MOVIE!!!! not a documentary. Sheesh!!

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As for knitting....I am trying to get it in. Still working on the broadripple sock for my friend. I really hope to get at least one finished by Wednesday, and I will "owe" her the other one.

OH, oh, oh...almost forgot....BIG excitement here Friday night. We heard lots of sirens going by our corner and thought nothing of it. Then we heard helicopters overhead. When we went outside you could smell something, as if a pot handle was burning. So we threw on shoes and walked to the corner...4 police cars were driving down the street. We turned the corner and were stunned at all the police cars from here and neighboring towns, troopers cars, lights flashing, helicopter circling. We walked as far we we could (another two blocks) up to the yellow police tape. Seems there was a high speed shootout on the interstate b/t the police and the perpetrators, with bullets flying while they were speeding along. The perps got off at the exit just above my house, came down the street at our corner, followed by the police, and finally crashed into a hedge about 4 blocks from my house. The perp opened fire and the police returned the fire, eventually killing the perp. WOW!!!! Lot's of excitement for this part of the neighborhood, which is usually very quiet. Luckily the perp didn't end up 5 more blocks down the street, where our downtown area is, complete with people dining out, going into shops, etc. The Avenue is a very popular spot for nightlife.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Tonight we saw a very, very funny movie. We had planned to see Mission Impossible 3, but while checking movie times I came across this movie, read the synopsis and watched the video trailer. Since it is Mother's Day, Gerry said it was my call, and went along with it though fully expecting to be bored. It was so good, he now wants to own it. Unfortunately, I just read a review that wasn't good, and I can't agree with the writer at all. I think this movie has appeal to many people. Of course, Jewish people (especially those who have made a bar/bat mitzvah or wedding) should immediately identify with it, but Gerry isn't Jewish and still found it really funny.

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The rest of the evening I am going to iron - yuck - and then work on the broadripple socks that I hope to have done by a week from Wednesday, for my school secret pal.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bad Start to a Good Weekend

We teachers all look forward to Fridays, especially at this time of year. With just two more weeks to our school term, we are inundated with record keeping, filing, paperwork, packing up, end of the year festivities and more. We can't wait to get out and go home to enjoy whatever it is we do on the weekend (hopefully, not school related). This weekend is a special one, too, being Mother's Day (although I'll probably still do laundry). So when they called a meeting right after school on Friday, we were a bit miffed. Then we supposed it was to do something special for us, for Teacher Appreciation Week (since we had only received a few little token items in our mailboxes this week...address book, keychain, drink cozy). The entire staff was called in. First our APDr. Rosina greeted us with "Happy Teacher Appreciation Week" and her nice words for all we have done. Then the requisite words re: report cards, test scores, etc. Then Mrs. Vega, our principal, took the floor. Now I have to stop here and tell all who are reading that I LOVE our administrators. They are wonderful women, different in personalities and approach to life, but equally fair, caring, great educators and more. Ok - back to the meeing...Just as Mrs. V was about to speak, my good friend Lily came and sat by me. Lily and I worked together in NY for 6 years and here in Florida for 10 (she got me the initial interview with Mrs. V when I arrived in town). Then, Mrs. V spoke...she was being transferred to another school and that school's principal was being sent to us. I cannot tell you the feeling of shock that went through me and everyone else. I couldn't believe it. I knew that in 5 years she would retire and that for the following 5 (as I have 10 left) I would hope for the best, but I never thought she's leave while still working. I began to cry, turned to Lily who was crying too, along with about 2/3 of those present. I have never seen Dr. R cry, but her nose and eyes were red. I immediately thought, "Well, then I will transfer and go with Mrs. V," as she had stated that each principal was taking some staff with them. But Lily said to me, "You don't want to go to _______school. There is a reason why they are an "F" school!" (We brought ourselves up from an "F" to an "A" school over the past 5 years). When I mentioned this to Mrs. V, she agreed with me. But I was and still am stunned. My second thought was that I would stay the year and if I am unhappy, I can apply for a transfer to a school closer to home, as I now drive 30 miles each way to work. I have since learned that this incoming principal will only be with us for one year and then she retires, that she isn't a very nice person, she has definite prejudices against some groups of people (we have several teachers on our staff who left that school because of her). Other factors affecting any decisions I make are that I am going to be working on a very intense program for a certification, and since several other teachers on our staff are too, it would be best for me to stay and work with them. PLUS....we are a Title One school, which means that IF I am lucky enough to pass the certification, I would get twice the amount of money that I would get in a non-Title One school. So for now I will maintain the status quo, stay put, hope for the best, and try to get over this pain in my heart. Mrs. V is more than a boss...she has become family, friend and mentor not just to me, but to most of those on our staff. Oh, I am just SOOOO sad!!!

New Way to Go

I LOVE knitting top down. I don't think I will make many more baby/toddler sweaters where I have to sew the sleeves in and the front to the back....I HATE hand sewing. For Xmas I finally got Top Down For Toddlers by Lynda & Deb Gemmell. I really think that ALL sweaters should be made this way. So...I found another pattern book...New Directions in Knitting purchased on Amazon. This book offers patterns knitted using unusual techniques such as cuff to cuff, diagonally from corner to corner, knit a cable that goes from cuff to cuff and pick up stitches to knit up and down along the cable, and yes, top down.While some of the patterns are a little dated, many are traditional or can be adapted easily to a more modern look. I am looking forward to trying some of them soon.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I Really Should Play the Lottery

A few weeks ago, as I had written, I went to the Delray Affair (annual street happening in my city) and put my name into each of two boxes for contests. I only did so in waiting to speak to someone...I didn't have any strong desire to win the prizes....just killing time! And I WON two FABULOUS tickets to see Cirque du Soleil's Delerium show the next evening. Today I came home from work and there was a message for me: I had WON the other contest: a Spa Package to the Paradise Spa here in Delray Beach...Full makeup, manicure/pedicure, haircut, $50 GC to their jewelry store and $10 to the cafe. I couldn't believe it!!!! Now, I have my regular manicurist and hair cutter,but what the heck...I am NOT going to pass THIS up!!! Guess I had better start putting my luck to even bigger things....LOTTO!!!

I was contacted by my SP8 spoiler. She sounds really nice. Tonight I received the name of who I am to spoil. It's so much fun shopping for someone who you don't know, trying to please them as much as you can without truly knowing them. Let the games begin!!

Hell Froze Over...Pigs Flew...

Ya know how you think something is NEVER going to happen, and then it actually DOES happen?

This weekend was amazing. To youngest daughter Rebecca graduated from UCF (University of Central Florida) on Friday. Now, I knew she would, but when it became official, it was a wonderful feeling. Becca worked very hard, beginning with community college, on-line courses, and senior college. While going to school, she also worked full time. Lucky for her, she has a WONDERFUL husband, Phil, who was very supportive, loving, patient and helpful. Gerry, Mom and I drove to Orlando Thursday night and checked into the only available hotel I could get (booked only last week)....The Days Inn UCF. Now I will admit it was clean (mostly) and had a great shower, but Gerry swears it was a hotbed for drug deals. I poo-poo'd the idea Thursday night, but in the light of day on Friday...ooooh, yea!!!! So we didn't hang around, but left early for the graduation. Luckily, Phil had gotten there early, with Becca's dad (Hank) and his wife (Penny). The seats were really good. We watched the processional....poor Becca was in the last row to enter - but at least we could see her the whole time. The one speaker was very good, and the ceremony was well organized and not boring at all.

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Becca and her proud Grandma
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Becca and hubby Phil

Afterward, we waited downstairs for Phil to find Becca. And that's when it happened....hell froze over!!!! Becca's father has not spoken to me in almost 6 years (bad divorce and all that). His wife and I have had nice conversations, but he just wasn't ready. However, on Friday, as I was talking to his wife Penny, I turned and included him in the conversation, and he responded (in nice way), and that was all it took. Oh, we didn't say too many words, but all were civil, and I was happy with that.

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I did invite them to join us for lunch, but they were hosting the party for Becca the next day and said that they had lots to do. They did meet us back at the den of inequity hotel and picked up the cookies I had brought from S. Florida.

Mom, Gerry and I took Becca and Phil to the Cheesecake Factory (Becca's choice) in the Millenium Mall for lunch. Then we stopped at Tiffany's so Becca could redeem the GC that we gave her as a gift. She added my mom's gift to her and picked a beautiful necklace, earrings and ring by Paloma Picasso. We then went back to their house in Ocala to relax for the rest of the night.

Saturday the party was at the Ocala Hilton. The room was lovely, the food was great. A quick hello to Hank at first, but as the day wore on we spoke more and more. Eventually, he was my "new best friend." I am so happy that the animosity is finally gone, especially for Becca's sake, and all those around us. It's such an uncomfortable feeling for friends and family when there is dissention among people you like. I don't like people to have to "choose sides." I know this wasn't easy for Hank, and I am really proud of his coming to terms with his feelings. Now when there is a family function in Ocala, no one has to worry that there will be "icicles" in the room, ill feelings, etc. And being the Pollyanna that I am, I want everyone to get along. We left Ocala happy, proud of Becca, full of good fattening food, and a new feeling of ease!

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Me at the party

SP 8 Survey

It's time for Secret Pal Eight, and so once again I am posting the SP survey. So - heeeere's ME:
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I am becoming a little bit of a snob. I don't like acrylic foo-foo yarns, regular acrylics or most Red Heart yarns (though I DO like Caron's Simply Soft and Bernat Babee (sp) yarns for baby items. I do like Lion Brand Wool-Ease and Cotton Ease, as well as better quality and natural fibers (if soft).
2. Do you spin? Crochet? Crochet - yes. Spin - no - too much involved.
3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? A box in the closet!! I carry my Denise needles everywhere I go. And my dpns are in a lovely "roll" that my daughter made.
4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting since my early teens. I am an intermediate/advanced knitter.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? - No.
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I like Vanilla, and do NOT like anything sweet (except for Sugar Cookie candles). My favorite colognes are all from VictoriaSecret: Dream Angels Heavenly; Rapture; Breathless.
7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I don't have a sweet tooth. However, my favorite candy is dark chocolate covered raspberry jelly rings.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? While I used to "do 'em all" I just concentrate on knitting and sometimes crocheting.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD). I like light pop, some country (Shania, Garth, Faith), and plays all, car only plays regular CD's. I have a new iPod Nano to which I download music and audio books.
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? No psychedelic colors, not partial to orange. I like to wear black, blue (love denim), white and beige.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Married almost 3 yrs to a wonderful man. We have 3 dogs...his, mine and ours.
12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I live in S. Florida, so usually - no! And definitely not ponchos.
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Optimum by SWTC; Plymouth Encore; Bamboo by Crystal Palace; 100% Merino from Knitpicks (nice for baby sweaters).
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Most acrylics (see above), and "foo-foos," and anything scratchy ( do not like knitting with chenille).
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Knitting "top-down."
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Baby and toddler sweaters and first grandchild is due in November.
17. What are you knitting right now? Socks for a friend and something for the coming grandbaby (sshh - don't tell Alison)
18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? yes, but unless someone really knows me, I prefer NOT to get sweaters as they might not fit (all that work for nothing).
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? circular or short straight needles.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Bamboo ( but I do like my Denise circs), and I LOVE Addi Turbos.
21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes
22. How did you learn to knit? I believe my Aunt Pearl taught me. My daughter Alison now teaches me things I haven't learned before.
23. How old is your oldest UFO? 1 year- needs to be sewn together.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? No favorite dogs.
25. What is your favorite holiday? Xmas/Hanukkah
26. Is there anything that you collect? I seem to collect yarn!27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?Creative Knitting; Family Circle Knitting.
28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?Sorry - no.
29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Knitting socks on two circs....just ordered book to teach myself how.
30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? yes, I enjoy knitting socks. 8" circumfrance; 9" heel to toe.
31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) - June 21 (first day of summer)