Friday, December 23, 2005

OK, I'm a bad mom. My daughter will spend CHRISTmas in a cast, but that's not why I'm a bad mom. See, the kid was playing basketball last week and fell, putting her hands out to stop herself. Yeah, that didn't work so well! She cracked one of the little bones in her wrist. This particular little bone is attached to the same tendon that is attached to the elbow, so she's now in a cast up to her shoulder....

Still, that's not what makes me the bad mom of the day. It was waiting 3 days to take her to the doctor!!! The kid never got swollen, never bruised. I really thought it was just a "good" sprain (if there is such a thing).

But don't worry! She's milking it for all it's worth!!

I still feel bad, though!!!

Finished the lovely HP scarf my daughter wanted. OK, so I really hated making this one. First, did she have to pick green and gray (silver)? Slitherin colors....

The second thing that got me on this scarf was that it was plain boring!!! Knit One, Purl One for more than 6 feet!! Change colors every 24 rows... Not the most exciting pattern, but she likes it, so it's all good!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Made some really cute hats for Christmas gifts.

My daughter is a Job's Daughter ( and one of the ladies made all the girls hard candy. She put them all in babyfood jars and I made some little stocking caps to go over them. This was the first project I ever did without a pattern!!! May sound silly, but I'm pretty excited!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

You are interchangeable.
Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every
eventuality covered and every opportunity just
has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and
every day is a new beginning. You are good at
so many things, it's amazing, but you can
easily lose your place and forget to show up.
They have row counters for people like you!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I did it!!! I got to 50,000 words in 30 days! Now back to my regularly scheduled life....

Monday, November 28, 2005

OK, so I've done a lot more than write my 50,000 words this month.

I'm giving this set for a Christmas exchange. The rules were $5 or homemade so I decided to do the soap saver and washcloths that I found on the Internet. I actually made these for my mom last mother's day, too, so it was really easy for me to whip them out. To be honest, these are probably my favorite things to crochet just because they come together so dang quickly!
Would you believe I decided to start ANOTHER project? This time I pulled out my embroidery machine and made some holiday placemat and napkins. I bought the ornament pattern and loaded it in. My machine has 2 fonts already loaded, so that part was easy. The whole thing was done on some old tablecloths that I was given with batting stuck in the middle. Then I surged the edges. And I STILL am less than 5,000 words away from completing NaNoWriMo! So I know that's good. I am hoping to finish by Tuesday at the latest.....

Time to go back and add a few hundred more words!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Do you ever wonder where the time goes? It seems like just yesterday my daughter was so little. She actually let me pick out her clothes. Now she has purple-ish hair and bell-bottom jeans. (Of course, my own mother says I have little room to talk, but what does she know? *smile* )

Time rushes by and November seems to be the worst of it. Obviously, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo (see previous posts!) and that makes for a bit of a time strap this month. I must have been crazy to think I could write 50,000 words in a month!!! But I'm still plugging away at that and have more than 34,000 words written and nine days to go. Notice I didn't say they were GOOD words, but they are on the page, so to speak.

Add to that the holiday hype -- yes, I've started CHRISTmas shopping already -- and November seems to be almost over before the Halloween candy is gone!

Ah well, I suppose that's the way it has always been and no amount of complaining will change it.

But since time is so short, I must go and hug the daughter (she does still allow that, although not where her friends might see!) and get back to writing. I'll be glad when November is over!

Friday, November 11, 2005

OK, so I haven't been JUST writing for NaNoWriMo. (Although the current word count is clost to 17,000 and I hope to hit 20,000 today, although I don't think that will really happen.... it's nice to have goals!)

I did finish my crochet bag, though. I'm really liking this! It took awhile, and I'm pretty sure I messed up the bottom of it, since it didn't mesh quite the way I had planned on. But this will be really cute to carry library books or even as a shower bag next time we go camping.

It was made with 5 balls of Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in the "denim blue" color. You can't tell very well in the picture, but it is a tan colored yarn with flecks of blue.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

NaNoWriMo goal to date: 10,002 words
NaNoWriMo words written: 10,006 words

Friday, November 04, 2005

NaNoWriMo goal to date: 6,668 words
NaNoWriMo words written: 6,693

Thursday, November 03, 2005

NaNoWriMo goal to date: 5,001 words
NaNoWriMo words written: 5,075
Not sure I totally agree with this one either, but the quizes are fun!

Your Element is Earth

Your power color: yellow

Your energy: balancing

Your season: changing of seasons

Dedicated and responsible, you are a rock to your friends.
You are skilled at working out even the most difficult problems.
Low key and calm, you are happiest when you are around loved ones.
Ambitious and goal oriented, you have long term plans to be successful.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

NaNoWriMo goal of the day: 1,667 words
NaNoWriMo words written: 1,682

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Interesting week. I've been fighing a migrane all week, and it doesn't look like it will be much better tomorrow. I'm on deadline with one web site (that's my "real job") and a directory that I still don't have all the ads for. Yeah, like that will be ready for print a week from now!

The little one went to a theatrical make-up class. She was the only one there!! I think that's just crazy! But she had a good time. Can you tell?

Tuesday NaNoWriMo kicks off, so I'll be writing my 50,000 words -- I hope! This is the first year I'll be participating. Hope to do it. I've been doing research on my characters and at least one set of problems that I know she's going to face. I plan to post my word totals here at least once a week.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Finished the Magic Stripes socks last night. Now on to the HP scarf. The scarf is a K1, P1 pattern for the ENTIRE THING! I just hope I don't lose count!

I really think I want to crochet some slippers at the same time. Or maybe the bag I saw the other day. I also want to try the Getaway satchel from the Fall 2005 Interweave Knits magazine. A knitting list I'm on is doing that as an exchange, but I don't think I'll participate. Too much other stuff going on to knit on a deadline right now.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Trucked the little out in some really yucky weather to do a few geocaches today. One of the best things about home schooling is going all year long, I think. Then I don't feel bad about taking a "slack day" like today. Although, we did get a work out! We did a ton of walking to find the 2 caches. And the weather STUNK. It was cold and rainy in the Black Hills. Welcome to October in South Dakota.

On the knitting front, I'm finishing my magic stripes socks (See October 9 post). One is totally done and I've turned the heel on the other. I'll probably have it finished this weekend. I guess I'll do that scraf next.

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo next month. I'll keep a tab of word count on here if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Next knitting project? A scarf for my daughter. She wants it in "Slytherin" colors. Why? Because she wants a HP scarf that is different from everyone else's and that you have to KNOW is a Harry Potter one. She decided that only those who KNOW the books or movies would get the color scheme. Odd child! ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Well, I'm back! Spent the week at the state OES Grand Chapter. Very interesting. Did manage to finish one sock and got a really good start on the other one. Didn't get much "real work" done, though.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Spent most of yesterday morning adding old home school stuff to e-bay. It took most of the morning. I have 3 auctions going right now and 11 more starting on Saturday. Man, that took a long time! Almost every one has a picture of the book I'm selling, which I know took more time, but wow!!! Anyway, you can check out my auctions. My e-bay ID is "jenbin822".

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hey, I thought this was pretty interesting! I'm not sure I would call myself a "Guru" though. I still think of myself as a beginner, but the rest of it may be true!

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Thought I'd share this cool yarn with you. It's called "Magic Stripes" by Lion Brand. Very thin, but it knits up beautifully, as you can see in the second picture. I'm doing a pair of socks for myself. It amazes me that the yarn can look like that to start with and honestly knit up in rows!

Anyway, the socks will be a bit thin, but that's OK. I still think they'll be pretty!

We had a game night at our house last week. We actually try to do that once a month. Hey, my daughter is already 12. She won't be in my home forever! I need -- and want -- to make the most of the little time we have now!

Anyway, we played the Harry Potter version of Scene It! The Scene It! games are so much fun! They are movie-based, DVD and board games. You answer questions related to movie clips (in this case, all Harry Potter movies) or about the sets, actors, directors... movie stuff. Now, reading the books doesn't help at all. As you can see, I got stomped. Yep, my daughter beat the socks off me!!!

I guess I'll have to watch the movies more often!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Well, after knitting that huge heavy sweater -- which got done just in time, it turns out! -- I wanted a quick project. So, I took the same pattern book ("Campus Knits" by Leisure Arts) and found this cell phone cover. It's made with Lion Brand's Homespun yarn and is so soft.

The most trouble I had with it was the buttons. I had to find some that looked good, but had holes large enough for the yarn needle to pass through. I guess that button collection my darling hubby has been eyeing suspiciously is good for something!
It came! There's snow on the ground. Looks pretty, except I have to drive in it today.... Oh well! Hey, at least there isn't a LOT of snow, just a mild dusting.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hey, I finally finished my hoodie!!! I'm so glad. I think it came out really well. And we're supposed to have like 3 inches of snow by the time we wake up in the morning. One nice, WARM sweater will come in handy then! So here are a couple of pictures of my new sweater! Yeah!!

If you're interested, the pattern came from Leisure Arts "Campus Knits" book and was done in Lion Brand's Thick and Quick Wool Ease yarn. And yes, blue is my favorite color, followed by green -- hence the color choice for this one.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ok, I'm still venting! Do you have any idea how many times I've been told "You? Got a tattoo?" Do these people really think they know me? Geez. To me, the funniest part is that these people who are telling me this really don't know me. They may know ONE part of my life, but these aren't the people who talk to me regularly. These aren't the people who ask about my life. They are the ones who talk to me once or twice a year because they must.

If you want to know someone, ASK about them! Find out what books they like. What kind of pizza do they prefer? How often do they change their hair color or the ring tones on their cell phones? Don't assume that because you share some DNA that you know them. Or because they married someone you share DNA with. Don't think that just because you send a birthday card once a year you can imagine what that person thinks.

I spent a long time being a mom. I'm not regreting a moment of it!! But I did put a lot of my own wants and desires aside to be the best mom I could. That included curbing some of my "party girl" ways so that I could be a good example for my daughter. Now that she's older, I'm able to do some of the things I often thought "what if"... like get a tattoo on my ankle.

And even more important then actually getting to know someone? Simple. If you can't be polite, just shut up.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Dang! What is with spammers??? Not even a blog is safe. Grrrrrrrrrr..........
Hmm... so my family of origin isn't sure if I'm kidding about my new body art or not. Interesting. I was told that I was more "Jesus Crunchy" than my sister. I think I'll take that as a compliment!

The tattoo was my big excitement for this weekend. I hope to get some more geocaching done this week. I have found most of the clues to a multi-cache on Dinosaur Hill in Rapid City and just have to go do the last one to find it. My daughter isn't excited about it, so either I'll have to drag her along or go alone. The problem is finding a TIME to go alone what with gas the price it is. We try to make as few trips as possible!

Oh, read a great book the other day. "The Kitchen Boy" was some fantastic historical fiction about the death of Russia's last czar. Very good reading!

Have finished the sleeves on my hoodie. Will start the "hood" tonight or tomorrow. I should have the thing done by next week if all goes well and I don't have to frog much.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Well, I did it.... I can't believe it, but I did. I went in for a price quote and left with 2 dolphins and a cross. I really like it. I'm a little nervous still. What if I regret it later? Oh well, not much I can do about that NOW, is there?
Writing update: only about 53,000 more words until my first novel is done!!! YIKES! (That will get me to about 65,000 words, which is an average-length novel.)

I am planning on writing a mystery for National Novel Writers Month. That's 50,000 words in the month of November. I think I have the gist of the mystery down. Now to decide how to write 1,667 words every day!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Don't ya hate big decisions? I have been playing around with the idea of a tattoo for awhile. At first I wasn't going to, but after a lot of prayer, I think it's OK. Now I have the problem of WHAT kind to get. I've been thinking about a dolphin (they symbolize "communication" and I'm trying to be an author) or a cross because of my Christian beliefs. I also saw a "fish" with a flower that was very cool. I'm leaning toward something on my ankle, but I could do the hip. I'm stuck on what to get....

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'm STILL working on that hoodie for me. Cold weather hasn't hit the upper Midwest yet, so I have a little time still.

I did make my daughter a pair of flannel PJ pants the other day. It was a very easy pattern, so I actually whipped up 2 pairs in about an hour. One has a cute frog and dragonfly pattern. The other has a Bugs Bunny pattern -- actually that pair is a T-shirt weight, but still very cute.

Also went geocaching this weekend. Well, not really.... Went to a writer's conference in Deadwood, South Dakota, and knew of a virtual cache right there. Great excuse to see the final resting place of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane!

As for the writer's conference -- officially known as the "South Dakota Festival of the Book" -- it was wonderful! I heard some great speakers and have been playing around with a mystery. One of the best things I learned was that I was looking at the murder-mystery all wrong. I sort of know the amateur detective character, and I know some things about the victim, BUT I KNOW NOTHING about the murderer! So now I've decided that if I learn about my murderer, the motive will come. May not work, but right now I have a dead body, no suspects and no motive, so I'll give this a shot! (Hey, anyone with ideas about WHY someone would be pushed off a building, let me know!)

Well, off to homeschool the little one!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Oh my gosh! My daughter loves Harry Potter. She really enjoys well-writen fantasy books, so this is right up her alley! I'm thinking of making her a HP sweater for Christmas. (Great pattern at I'm so glad I found it! I'm a little nervous about making it on the sly, though. Too bad I don't have Mrs. Weasley's needles!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I hate frogging projects! I'm trying to knit a hoddie for me -- one of the few projects JUST for me! -- and was having a heck of a time with the neckline. I have the back finished and am working on the front. I think I finally got it. This is the first project I've done with two balls of yarn at the same time, so that was a bit of a challenge, as well.

Oh, I did get some Magic Stripes yarn from Lion Brand that I'm going to make ME some socks with. The last pair of socks I made was for the pre-teen and now she's begging for another pair. Since she's gotten the first crocheted blanket, many scarfs, a hat and now socks, she can wait, don't you think? She's also asking for a Christmas sweater a la "Harry Potter" complete with her initial on the front. Too bad I don't have Mrs. Weasley's magic knitting needles for that!

Haven't done much geocaching this week. The weather has been great for it, but I just haven't had time with music lessons and school and meetings and even a bake sale on Saturday. I did get some writing done and hope to enter a short story in a contest later this year. Since my "real name" is already in use by a romance author, I have a pen name lined up and am trying to get used to that.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Went Geocaching the other day at a local college. Had a blast. If you've never done a cache, you really must! We have a cheap GPS we use and have a good time on the "treasure hunt!"

Monday, September 12, 2005

Do you know what to do with that left-over yarn? I didn't. Until I got the "Stitch N Bitch Nation" book. There was the answer to my problem! Page 226 has .... CAT TOYS!!! We have 3 cats, so I knitted a couple of mice with yarn left over from various projects. Little Jo, the grey tabby, just loves her red mouse. Made with some left over Lambs Pride 100% wool yarn, it collects "dust bunnies" like nobody's business, but what the heck.... the cats are happy!

The other picture here is of Little Jo actually playing with the mouse. She will carry it all over the house. If you throw it, she will play fetch. Odd cat! (What do you expect from a cat named after a Bonanza character AND a Little Women character?)

The mice don't take much yarn at all. I think the next one I do will have some catnip inside it... that should make them even more fun!
OK, I did it! I'm jumping on the "blog bandwagon!" This is where I'll post my craft projects (I just learned to knit and crochet!), my home education challenges (check out my "serious" blog at, geocaching, even a bit about my journey to become a published author. Mostly about the craft stuff, though!

For starters, here is a "Third-Eye Chullo" hat I knitted for my daughter. But since she didn't like the "Third-eye", I did a moon for her instead. The pattern was from "Knit Wit : 30 Easy and Hip Projects" by Amy Singer. Even though she doesn't look it, my daughter really was glad to get the hat.... gotta love pre-teens!