Monday, December 10, 2007

Still Growing...

Did you miss me? Well, that's not easy to do these days...look at how HUGE my belly is! Bacon is taking up more and more room these days -- and now you can see him moving around from the outside, big bumps sliding around the top of my stomach. It is so cool!

Please forgive my absence from the blogosphere...I've been crazy busy and really tired, so any time I'm not trying to get everything done I'm napping (or trying to). But lots of fun stuff has been going on, too.

My mom and SIL Kerry (who is PG again -- making another cousin for Bacon, due in July, so the cousins will be so close in age) threw us a fabulous shower a few weeks ago. It was at my parents' house, and we had such a good time hanging out with family and friends. And we got tons of awesome presents -- Bacon will not be hurting for clothing at all! Sorry, I don't have any pics, because they are all on my mom's camera.

We finally completed the nursery and decorated it -- isn't it cute?

And we picked out and chopped down (well, Dave did the chopping, and it was more sawing that chopping, no axes involved) our Christmas tree and decorated our house. It is so fun to have a house at the holidays!

Our friends Amy and Matt had a baby girl named Cate last month, and we went to visit her a few weeks ago. She is so tiny and perfect!

Knitting and spinning have both been put completely on hold until after Bacon is born. I had all these visions of knitting little sweaters and hats and booties for our baby, and a nice organic cotton baby blanket to cuddle him in...but no! One of the more fun PG-related maladies is hand numbness -- my right hand is numb almost all the time! The dr said it's very common, but that doesn't make it very fun. I don't mind, though -- I really am loving being pregnant. And we can't believe there are less than 6 weeks until the due date!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Saturday was our 6th (and final) child-free anniversary! We celebrated by heading up to Newport on Friday. We ate at the Brick Alley Tavern (thanks to Jenn and her funny dad for reminding us of this place, really liked it) and then froze our butts off walking around town the next day. Seriously, it was COLD -- mostly because of the wind. But we couldn't even really walk near the beach without getting sand whipped at us, so we just popped in and out of shops and wandered around, drinking hot chocolate. It was a lovely weekend away.

The big news (to me, that is) is that we had a BEAR in our yard last week. I never believed my neighbor who told me that bears eat birdseed and would tear down bird feeders...but it's true. I was out in our side yard one evening, carrying a bucket of birdseed to fill up the feeder, when I heard this rustling coming from the woods in the back. Branches were snapping and I was looking in there, trying to see if there was a dog or cat or something...bigger. It was BIGGER! I wasn't quite sure if it was a human or a beast, but I turned and ran back inside and looked out the window. And there was a black bear rambling out of the woods. And yes he went to the bird feeder. And tore it down. And ate the seeds. Then he went to the front yard and took down that bird feeder too. Needless to say we've removed said bird feeders from our yard. Here's a pic but it was kind of dark so you can't really see the bear too well. It was kind of cool to watch this huge animal wandering around our yard, but also a little sad because I don't think he has that bright of a future if he's so calmly walking around populated areas.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Knitting Friends and Babies

Yesterday Dave and I headed into NYC in some glorious weather, and while Dave wandered the town I spent the day hanging out with Jenn, Claudine, Ruth and blogless Jill. You see, the fabulous Claudine (who is so money and she doesn't even know it) hosted an SnB baby shower for Bacon and me. It had been a very long time since I've been able to spend hours just chilling, knitting and chatting with my friends, and I really appreciated all the effort Claudine went to. She had fun knitting door prizes (I got a ladybug tape measure and a yarn snipping pendant), great snacks and she made me these adorable knitted dinosaurs for Bacon! Ruth gave me a kit of baby care items (which Dave & I were playing with on the train...teeny tiny nail clippers, really soft brush, awwww...) It was such a fun day and I felt really loved. Thanks, guys! I miss my NYC SnB girls so much! Whenever I get to go back to the Tuesday night gatherings, it reminds me of so many reasons why NYC is the best city in the world.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween from the Chicken-Head Cats!

Chicken Head Mango looks at the flying witch making her way across the sky on a broomstick, while Chicken Head Kingston licks his lips in anticipation of the chicken-flavored candy he'll be collecting tonight.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Booty Check

After John went wild over my bright orange booty and asked where I got it, I realized it's really good fiber blogger etiquette to ID your stash! Give props to the maker! So without further ado, here are the origins of the softness that now lives in my sheep closet:
Left to right, there is:
  • Pale blue with rainbow streaked merino top from Stony Mountain Fibers
  • Crazy colored wool from A Touch of Twist -- the label says "Screamer's", and I'm not sure if that's the color or another name for the company, but either way, it's appropriate!
  • Merino orange and red sunset brilliance from Spinners Hill
  • And the lonely skein of yarn on the top is 400 yds of Brook's Farm Solo -- I think this is merino, too, but the label just says "fine wool"

Monday, October 22, 2007


Mother Nature just keeps on giving, with the beautiful weather still holding today. And what a day she gave us for Rhinebeck! I drove over there on Saturday morning, with the sun hitting the trees in just the right way to create such brilliant shades of orange and yellow that I couldn't believe my eyes. I wandered around for a bit, and then ran into Sweetgirlknits. Together we wandered around fondling things until we it was time to meet up with the rest of the SnB gang. I got to see PassionKnitly's beautiful new tattoo, and then witnessed the beginning of the end for her -- she bought her first fiber and spindle! Oh there is no stopping that girl now, she's gonna spin! I also saw lots of other NYC friends, and not a few fibrous animals. The funniest thing I saw all day was a boy around 10 years old giving a mini lecture on alpacas and publicly re-affirming his humanity. We were gathered around one of the pens, petting the alpacas' lovely heads, and the boy was saying to everyone, "Now, if the alpacas weren't in pens, they wouldn't stand still to let us pet them. But I think that since they are in pens, they are getting comfort from us being here. But I don't know that for sure, because I'm not an alpaca."

I didn't go crazy buying stuff -- I was tempted by a pair of wool hand cards, but I think I'm going to put them on my Christmas list. I really, really need to wash and card that raw fleece I bought in Greencastle last year...but here at Rhinebeck,I mostly stuck to colorful fiber, really really soft fiber -- I think it's all merino. Even the one yarn purchase I made is merino. The soft stuff was really calling to me. I could have done a lot more damage, but after 4 hours my feet and hips were killing me and I just had no will to go on. Bacon was just trying to save me some money, I guess! Now, I just have to remind him that alpaca cria walk the very day they are born, none of this starting with crawling and then working your way up to bipedism...

All the fall beauty does mean one thing besides apple cider, pumpkin picking and leaf peeping -- time to rake leaves! The maple tree in our backyard has shed, BIG TIME. But isn't Dave doing a nice job of cleaning up after it? And doesn't Mango really blend into those colors?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The pumpkin hats, they just keep on coming

I wanted to share these cute pics from last weekend with you before RHINEBECK completely takes over my blog. And that's only 2 days away so I realized I was running out of time. Our friends Cherisse & Steve came to visit our "country house" from the great big city, along with their cute son Jack (who would not leave his hat on long enough to get a good shot of him in it!). We did lots of fall stuff like go on a hayride, pick out pumpkins and eat apple pie. Now I just need to carve up all of the pumpkins we have been hoarding for the last few months...because jack-o-lanterns are fun, and roasted pumpkin seeds are even better!

Totally off-topic -- does anyone watch Dirty Sexy Money? I DVR'd it to give it a try, and I am hooked. At first I was annoyed with Nate's constant honesty (ok I KNOW his name is Nick, but he'll always be Nate Fisher to me), but now I think it makes things interesting. We'll see.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

MUD's Crib

As promised, here are some inside photos.

First is the living room -- the inaugural lighting of the fireplace is getting closer as the weather FINALLY turns to real fall.

Attached to the living room is a little sun porch. The cats and plants like it for now, but it's not in very good shape and won't be a pleasant place when winter comes. We want to remodel it next year, so that we can hang out in it for all four seasons.

Here's the kitchen.

And the orange room -- the office/guest room. If anyone wants to come visit, this room will be your home away from home. Complete with double bed and internet access, yeah!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Several people have asked me to post some interior shots of the house. So here you go! The best part is the baby's room, because that just happened in the last 24 hours. My parents got us the crib and glider (and dresser but sadly it hasn't come in yet), and they were all disassembled last night. But when I woke up this morning, it was like Christmas -- Dave had put everything together! It's so cute even in this stark naked state of undress. And the carpet just came 20 minutes ago. Look at the window behind the glider -- we have a huge maple tree, and the leaves are really starting to change this week.

I love our living room, and bedroom too -- the only other rooms that have new furniture. Pics of those to come tomorrow, because they are both a mess right now.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Showing off

David & I finally got our house in order enough to invite some family members up for a fancy pizza dinner this weekend. My niece Sam and our friend Emily really got into the pumpkin hats I made for them, despite the fact that it was pushing 90 all day and we had to turn on the A/C to keep from melting. What is it with this weather, huh?

The next day, David & I took a drive through Litchfield County to check out the fall-ness. Not too much in the way of leaf-changing, but we did run into a fair where there was a spinning demonstration and bluegrass music! And a petting zoo with calves and baby pigs -- baby pigs! Here's me in front of the covered bridge in Cornwall, CT. Down below, this guy was walking his dogs, who seemed to prefer to swim -- they were having a GREAT time!

This weekend we also picked up some fall decorations in the form of pumpkins and mums, to go with our corn stalks. I think our home is looking nice and seasonal, don't you? Of course, it definitely needs a good power washing, but Bacon can do that in the spring...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So much to say

It's "only" been a month since my last post...yikes! I don't have any new pics of Bacon (don't worry, it's just a placeholder name until we can decide), but I know he's getting bigger because he has been kicking up a storm in there! We're a little nervous because we were hoping for a very chill baby, like my nephew Brady, who was very laid back in the womb, according to his mom. His adorable yet spirited sister Sam, on the other hand, was a jumping bean before she was born. I love to feel the kicks, though, even if it means less rest once the baby is born and he won't sit still.

That's a new picture of me, I think I'm starting to show! We went to the Big E last night -- so many sheep and llamas! And cows, too. This baby merino sheep was just 2 days old! But I think he was born with springs in his feet -- after walking away from his mom, he started jumping straight up and down into the air -- it was so cool and very Tigger-like.

I've finally picked up the knitting again, mostly hats for the fall. I've got to get several more pumpkin hats done before pickin' season starts in earnest, so I can outfit the kids in my life for their pumpkin patch adventures. The little blue one was a gift for Bacon from Mary at SnB last week. Thanks, Mary, his first hand-knitted gift! Speaking of SnB, I was so so happy to be able to go to a meet-up in NYC. I really missed the SnB ladies (and gentlemen -- there were a lot of guys there that night!), and I can't wait to see them again at Rhinebeck!!! I think my heart might still be in NYC, and I don't know if it's ever going to leave. Well, Bacon will probably have my heart the minute he's born, if he doesn't already, but geographically, it's in the Big Apple.

Last but not least, here's Kingston, guarding the rest of the pumpkin hat stash...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Home and family

So I truly owe you some knitting/spinning news, but I have not had much time to do any of that lately (unless you count the spinning lessons I gave to my 2-1/2 year old neighbor Emily -- well, she kind of just spun the wheel with her hands while shouting, "Look, mommy, I'm making yarn!") Hopefully I'll have more time for all of that once we get settled in our new house in the next few weeks -- yes I have to share more personal news, we are now homeowners! And here is Dave doing some "exterior beautification" (which is about the only thing we can work on right now, as the interior is having its floors stripped and refinished and its walls painted before we move any stuff in).

And, we saw our baby again yesterday afternoon. I asked the doctor why he/she wasn't jumping around in the u/s like last time, and he said, "Michelle, babies get to sleep too..." and then the little baby wiggled a little, like he/she was snuggling. Awww...Dave is convinced he sees a little penis, but I told him that if the Dr. couldn't tell at this point, neither could he. Anyway we should find out if it's a boy or a girl in about 2 weeks, at least if the little one is looking in the right direction at the time! And if it's a girl, she's still getting a blue bedroom -- I like blue, and I'm a girl!

Friday, July 27, 2007

I got my camera back!

Finally! Here are some pics of my hand-dyed wool (which I dyed about a month ago) -- I used the Easter Egg and sun-bake dying method, loosely following Vicki's instructions.

This first one is kind of a Stone Soup color -- you know, use whatever dye is left in the spray bottles and just cover all the wool and the result will be cool. I'm not sure what the spun up result is going to be -- right now the singles are looking a lot like peas and carrots...

This next one is much more of a colorway -- sort of a seashore at dusk kind of thing. I think this is going to look nice. These are both some wool that Janet gave me back when I hung with the Frog Pond gang.

Lastly, displayed by the lovely but often grumpy Mango, is some yarn that I spun out of some of the hand-dyed wool.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Time to Share a Picture We Are Proud of...

Yep yep yep, that's our baby! I am 13 weeks pregnant and due on January 18. We are so psyched and I am so happy to FINALLY be able to share the news with everyone! The ultrasound above was taken at about 9 weeks. We went to the dr. today but we didn't get any take home pics, although we did see the little jumping bean moving all around. It was really, really cool.

Happy news! Happy news!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Live Earth

If you were watching the concert last night -- did anyone besides me wonder why Ann Curry kept punching all of her guests during the interview? She punched Trudy Styler, she punched Anne Thompson and I swore she was going to punch Al Gore, too -- instead she kept grabbing his shoulder. She was way too animated, it was scary -- she was just coming at her victims with her arms flailing and face very very close to them. Ms. Curry is lucky Sting didn't knock her shiny shirt self down with his big bared arms after she punched his wife.

Also, didn't Jon Bon Jovi look a little crabby during his interview with Carson Daly? And Shakira was pretty awful...

And really, Phil Collins looked an awful lot like John Locke...are we sure Genesis doesn't have a new front man?

This is really random stuff but I felt like sharing my thoughts. I'm sure there were more Curry punches and bad performances but I fell asleep before it was over. It's a great cause, but I couldn't help being a bit snarky.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The un-illustrated post

I've been doing LOTS of stuff lately, and I've wanted to share it here. But my camera is broken! Stupid Cannon -- the lens won't retract. I have to find the warranty and get it fixed, because we haven't even owned it for a year. You all will have to settle for a textual description of my activities.

Over the weekend I dyed a bunch of roving using the Easter egg dying method that Vicki described. It was so fun! Now I'm spinning some of it up to see how it all comes together -- plying is my favorite part. It was kind of a colorful experiment -- there's not much rhyme or reason as to which colors are next to each other, but now that I know it works, next time the color combos can be more intentional. The colors came out nice and bright, even after rinsing, which I believe is due to the fact that I mixed the tablets with vinegar only, no water. And I left the roving out in the sun for 2 days before rinsing it. I can't wait to share pics!

Also, we had a little 4th of July party with my cousins, and it was so fun to see all the kids playing together! The fireworks display my brother loosely planned was postponed, since it was raining all afternoon. The weather and an incident with a sparkler and a 2-year-old were enough to make us not mind about the night light display cancellation.

David and I found a couple of houses that we like up in Simsbury, CT (aka the Nutmeg State, for all those who asked) and we're going back to take another looked this weekend. We could be homeowners by the end of the summer!

Now if I could only get my camera back in operation, this would all be so much more interesting to look at...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Guru's Wedding

This blog has been sorely lacking in knitting/spinning content lately, and there's a good reason for it -- I haven't been doing either of those 2 things at all! We've been so busy traveling around and now getting settled back at work, I haven't had any time to indulge in my favorite hobbies. But that will soon change, I promise -- because I owe the guru some handspun sock yarn as part of her wedding present, and I want to send it to her before she returns from her honeymoon next week. Let's see how far I get with that.

We were in DC this weekend for the aforementioned wedding. It was such a blast. I got to hang out with lots of college friends and lots of the guru's friends I knew from visiting her in various geographical locations (Nepal, DC and Jersey). We had yummy Lebanese food at the wedding, and since the guru is also a veg, the selection was GREAT!

Now we're looking for a house somewhere in the Nutmeg State. I want a big yard so we can have a garden, and Dave wants anything but a raised ranch. I grew up in a raised ranch! Hmmm...

By the way have you read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? It was really a delightful book, and I don't use that word lightly (or often...or ever). But that is seriously what it was, all about getting more in touch with where our food comes from and the reality of what we eat. I want this woman to be my friend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vacation continues

Here's where we are now -- one of my favorite places on earth, Hatteras Island, NC. We used to come here as a family every year when we were younger (my parents still come every summer for 3 weeks!), and I was glad to be able to bring Dave here now. One of his friends got married on the Outer Banks, so it was a perfect place for us to end our vacation. We're staying in Buxton at the Cape Hatteras Bed & Breakfast -- seriously the most wonderful, relaxing, perfectly located b & b I've ever stayed at. We were supposed to stay 3 nights, then we extended to 4, and now get the picture. But they're booked up after Friday so we have to leave then! 500 ft from the beach (which is too windy to lay on today, so you get a blog post!) Here's Dave & I on the soundside last night, waiting for a table at the Sandbar & Grille (used to be located down the road a bit in Hatteras but Hurricane Isabel destroyed it in 2003). And here's a shot of us strolling on the beach.

We also visited my cousins in Charleston, SC and had a great time playing with their young ones -- but neglected to take a single photo of them (oops!) Prior to SC, we stayed in New Orleans for a few nights. Such a beautiful city. But the areas that were hit by Katrina are extremely sad. I'll post some pics of the devestated homes, but not today, it's really depressing. You can look at Dave eating a beignet instead. Just know that the tourist areas (French Quarter, Garden District, etc.) are fine and welcoming visitors, and the city really, really needs it -- there are areas (like the lower 9th ward) where the houses are 90% uninhabited and almost every other yard has a FEMA trailer in it. If you can get yourself down there, do it, support the city. It's really beautiful.