Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's Piling Up

The weather's getting bad tonight in any case. 3-5" of snow expected.

Well, we ended up getting about 8" of snow instead. All the schools in the area were canceled yesterday, except of course for homeschoolers and school-at-homes, mwa ha ha ha. They're running out of places to put the snow in parking lots and on smaller streets. We have a narrow strip of grass in front of our place, and the snow is going to overflow onto our front walk soon. As others have said, this is the coldest, snowiest winter I can remember in a while.

I have a bunch of knitting projects planned, which means a pile of yarn. I also need to get into the sewing, but I've been under the weather for a few days, so knitting has been more conducive to how I feel. This also means the big cleaning and sorting project has been set aside for a few days as well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

She's Here

My new niece decided she was ready to make her appearance today! She is 6 pounds 5 ounces and 19 inches long. Wish we could go visit her sooner than this weekend or this Friday. The weather's getting bad tonight in any case. 3-5" of snow expected. Yeah.

Monday, January 26, 2009


My depression must have lifted -- I'm accomplishing quite a bit today. The place where we live is too small for us and has always been a little too small for us, but at the time it was the best we could do. Since we're hoping to move soon, I'm packing things up we don't need at the moment, and trying to sort out things we don't need at all. It's a lot of hard work, but will be so rewarding when it is done!

For those keeping up with the Equestrienne's horse adventures, she jumped on Wednesday. She was thrilled that she could communicate to the horse what she wanted him to do.

My thoughts are not flowing too clearly today onto the screen, so I'll stop for now. I feel like getting back to work anyway.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mental and Physical

I think I've been depressed the past few days. The chemical kind of depression, the it's more than just your feelings kind. Dark My Road has inspired me to be more open with my struggles on this front; it's a health problem just like so many others. I am getting good care for my mental issues, so I ought to be able to weather this temporary down time, with the help of God and the means He has given here on earth. I was very busy being out today, and I think that was helpful. Too much, and I get stressed. It's a balance thing.

I finished the dishcloth today. It's hard to see the pattern very well with the variegated yarn, although I think variegated yarn is excellent for the novice knitter, as it makes it easier to tell stitches apart. It also needs to be straightened out, or blocked, if one can use that word for a simple cotton dishcloth. I was planning on washing it anyway before I used it. For some odd reason, cat hair seems to get into my knitting. (Charity, your dishcloth was freshly washed also!)
I had to completely unravel the baby bib. The left strap, which was pinned off while work was done with the right strap, with Marie's assistance, had the first stitch end up far too loose, and I couldn't tighten it up, since I bound off the next stitches down that row and went on with the right strap. I hope that all makes sense, at least to other knitters! I'm philosophical about it; I'll just make it better this time. :) I'm not in a hurry either; I'd like to get it done before my niece comes, but she won't need it for several months anyway.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I was feeling awfully blue yesterday. So much so that I burst into tears last night. I think only having one car is really wearing on me. We were going to take Mr. BTEG's car in to be repaired, but would you believe that a place with "Auto Body and Frame" in its title doesn't, actually, work on frames? Now we have to find someplace else who will take on the job.

We're hoping to move in late spring, but I don't know where we're going to move, and that wears on me also. Of course there's still a lot of time ahead, but I like having things planned and settled out. Also, it may not be practical to stay in this area, and I love it here. I've lived most of my life on the west side of Cleveland, and I'm very attached to it. I'm sure if we move, we'll find someplace nice, but I don't enjoy the uncertainty of having nothing specific to plan for and look forward to.

The Dancer, especially, misses our cat, Champ. She had more of a bond to him than any other cat in our household. He had a special bond with the rest of us as well. Losing a pet is always hard, but we didn't expect to lose him at such a relatively young age.

I'm trying to soak up as much sunlight as I can. I think it's been an unusually sunny winter, albeit also unusually cold and snowy. I'm trying anything I can to keep my spirits up.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Now and Then

I forgot to mention that while watching Brides the other night, Mr. BTEG and I tried to point out to the Dancer how the singing and dancing was just as good (if not better) as in the musicals she knows, such as High School Musical and Cheetah Girls: One World. We all noticed a lot of ballet influence, but then Jacques d'Amboise, who played Ephraim Pontipee, was borrowed from the New York City Ballet. The Dancer was not impressed with Jane Powell's coloratura performance in "Wonderful Day", even though we tried to explain to her how difficult it actually was. It was fun to watch the movie with her.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January, Higher Still

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was on television last night, and I really empathized with the scenes where the girls were singing about all the months of cold and snow. The weather has gotten warmer (relatively) here, but that just meant that it became warm enough for us to get a few more inches of snow. The roads were not so great driving to church this morning; we came very close to being involved in an accident with other cars. As in, I think the cars ahead of us were braking because an SUV was sliding across three lanes of traffic kind of close. As in the drivers were just getting out of their cars as we drove by kind of close.

I'm working on a knitted bib for my niece, but I got kind of stuck on that and so I got tired of it for awhile. I'm knitting a striped dishcloth from this book, still trying to knit that fluffy scarf, and considering what else I can knit.

I haven't been doing sewing as I'd like to do. It's easier to knit; I can do it while watching television or while the Dancer is at dance class. Sewing takes up bigger pockets of time, even if I only do a step or two at a time. Plus, it's easier for me to get interrupted in the middle of knitting, and with two girls at home all day, interruptions happen. Mr. BTEG's car is going into the shop this week, so hopefully I won't be driving him to work much longer, which hopefully will free up more time for me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


The Arctic temperatures make me want to curl up in bed and hibernate. I don't want to go out and do anything, even stuff I should be doing. Especially stuff I should be doing. I'm getting bored with everything in the house. I hope this ultra-cold weather goes away soon. I feel frozen.

Book Giveaway!

Principled Discovery is giving away a copy of Exploring Creation with Biology, Second Edition, by Apologia. It includes the Solutions and Tests. It retails $105 total, so I'd love to win it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Snow Go

The weather was very pretty today, but not good for driving -- heavy snow for hours. If I hadn't needed to pick Mr. BTEG up from work, I wouldn't have gone on the freeway. On the other hand, we never got over 45 miles per hour, and went for quite a bit of time at 20 MPH, so everybody was taking it very easy.

The Equestrienne is very excited, because she gets to start jumping next week in her horseback riding lessons. Of course, she'll start small, jumping over poles on the ground. Still, she's been looking forward to this for a while.

I should go to bed. I have to drive Mr. BTEG to work tomorrow. Goodness knows what the roads will be like.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Burn Out

We had a good time at my sister-in-law's shower yesterday. She received a lot of nice things for her long-awaited daughter. However, I have been worn out all day today. Am I just getting old? It was a very dull day. Even the knitting I attempted did not go well. I have some very fluffy yarn that I have attempted several times to start a scarf out with. However, every time I get to about the second row, I find I have picked up an extra stitch. I have knitted with fluffy yarn before but that yarn wasn't quite as fluffy and I had an easier time telling the strands apart. I have a hard time getting started anyway so perhaps the curve is just steeper here. The first few rows are usually the hardest for me. Although...

I have also worked and worked on a dishcloth on which I have made absolutely no progress. The idea is to create a lacy effect around the edge by doing a yarn over at the beginning of every row. However careful I am to make sure I start the row with that yarn over I get close to halfway through, look back and see places where the "hole" is not there. And my perfectionist self won't let me just go on. I'm sure every time I used the dishcloth my eyes would seek out the mistakes. I did make one successfully for my sister-in-law, but it seems beyond me this time.

And while I'm on the subject of burn out, I am becoming less and less enthusiastic about homeschooling. This even though I am only schooling one. I'm not sure I'm actually soliciting advice here, because I think one would have to actually know my daughter and I for any advice that would suit us. I will say that my goal in homeschooling is to get her through a high school degree. Also to make sure she can get into college if she decides she wants to go. And that her interests are dancing and bunnies. We have a book about ballet that she has been reading out loud to me to practice and improve her reading skills, which I thought would be great to feed into her interest, but to tell the truth, *I'm* getting bored with it. I'm bored with all this stuff she's supposed to be learning, because it has nothing to do with what *I'm* interested in. I guess I'm tired of teaching grade school. Is that terrible?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

This Time I Mean It

Today we really *are* snowed in. The white stuff has been falling steadily since last night, making it hard to keep the roads clear. Not that I don't think they couldn't have been doing a better job. We were headed for confirmation class this morning, skidded a little a few times on the road (at slow speeds), saw that the freeway wasn't looking much better, and called Pastor to say we weren't coming. Since the grocery story was less than a mile away, we did stop there and stock up on essentials. Now we're safely ensconced in our warm home, thankful to be comfortable and out of the snowstorm.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I Hate American Girl

Not only has American Girl completely retired my beloved Samantha and all her furniture and accessories, but now they've gotten rid of one of the pets for the Just Like You girls, the cat named Licorice. And, of course, guess which pet the Dancer wanted for her American Girl doll. Now it's only on eBay, at exorbitant prices. And I don't think there was any notice that Licorice was going away. I don't see why they had to retire this cat, even though they've come out with a new cat and new dogs. More to buy. :P

I can also see why they retired Samantha, since the new Girl of the Year has not one, but two friend dolls! The new doll has a lame storyline about bullying. Not that bullying and cliquishness doesn't go on in school, but the happily-ever-after story seems highly unrealistic, and the whole stand-up-against-bullies plot like an old After School Special. Plus, there are two books and DVD with the Girl of the Year, where there used to be just one book. Yet another way to make money, money, money. I kind of liked the idea of creating the friend doll for some of the American Girls, allowing more play value, but it's just getting to be too much. Especially at the cost of the dolls. Since they're made in China now instead of Germany I don't see why they should be priced much more than the kind you can buy at Target. I guess the only reason is that girls prefer American Girl dolls to the Target kind. I do think they're prettier myself, but the prices!

The Dancer also wants an American Girl dance set of outfits for her doll. I may see if I can just make them myself. I wonder if the founder of Pleasant Company is sorry when she sees what Mattel is doing with her creations, or if she's just enjoying the millions she cashed in for. :P

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Snowed In

Road conditions are probably not at their best. The snow is falling fairly heavily and staying inside is looking a lot nicer than going outside and braving the weather. I really wish we had garage space to keep our car in at the moment. Our car, the one that's currently drivable, hates the cold. And I'm not enjoying watching it get buried under the snow. We do have a two-car garage, but it's currently full of stuff, both woodworking stuff and things packed away from our last move.

People talk about McMansions and how bad it is that the garage is featured so front and center in many homes. My take on the garage thing is that the closer the garage is to the road, the shorter the driveway and the less snow to shovel! Seriously, I don't mind the garage-next-to-the-house plan, although the garage-behind-the-house might be nice to have. The garage must be attached, however, in my mind. I'm starting to wish we could enter our home through the garage, to avoid coats and shoes piling up at the front door. I used to completely dislike the idea of coming in through the garage, as some people dislike the garage-shoved-to-the-front of a house plan. But if you're using the garage as your everyday entryway you may prefer it that way.

Mr. BTEG is snowed in here with us. He stayed home from work today, because he is still getting his Crohn's medication sorted out, and he was not feeling at all well last night and most of today. I offered to teach him to knit to give him something to do, but he declined. The gastroenterology office adjusted his meds this afternoon, so hopefully this will improve things.

Speaking of knitting, I am working on a cell phone sock for myself. I'm using wool, for the first time, and I'm noticing the yarn seems to be thinning itself out as I pull it off the skein and use it. It's noticeably thicker on the tail than what I'm putting on my needles. Does this "stretching out" happen with wool, or is the wool I'm using just not up to the highest standard or what? I don't think I'm pulling on it overly hard.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Thoughts on a Church Sign

Today I saw a church sign that read "Wanting Nothing But Christ and Him Glorified in 2009". But that's not how the Bible verse reads, is it, kids? It's "Christ and Him crucified". A little theology of glory instead of theology of the cross? Let us not forget that we cannot have Easter without Good Friday, cannot have the crown of gold without the crown of thorns. Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word.

A Small Request

The Equestrienne, otherwise known as the Horse-Crazy, Animal Loving Girl, is running a poll on her blog and she'd love to get some more voters. So go on over and give your thoughts on New Year's Resolutions!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Making It Work

I've got another project in the "done" list, a cell phone sock for the Dancer. Her previous cell phone had an extended leave of absence -- outside. I'm hoping the cell phone sock will help keep her current phone protected.

I'm hoping I'm not coming down with something, since I've had a sore throat on and off the past couple days. I'm also afraid Mr. BTEG is having a bit of a hard time transitioning from his proton pump inhibitor medicine to his Crohn's medication.

School starts tomorrow!! :O Or at least it should. Maybe we'll have a transition back?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Achievements for 2009

If you've read this blog long enough, you know that my husband (and our family, to a certain extent) are big fans of LEGO building blocks. We had the pleasure on Thursday of giving our great-nephew his very first LEGO set, DUPLO specifically, since he is not quite two.
I know my sister-in-law reads my blog, so this may sound like sucking up ;), but we had a really great time at her house. Even if I had to drag myself out of bed to kiss Mr. BTEG at midnight on New Year's Eve. She's an excellent hostess, which I think she inherits from her grandmother.

I also finished a project I should have done ages ago. I made a Christmas dishcloth for the Hen as part of a pay-it-forward blog contest from all the way back in April. I started with another project; you may notice I said the things I made would be sewn. I ran into all kinds of roadblocks on the project I was working on, such as losing the floss I was using, twice! Since I have improved my knitting skills, I ended up knitting dishcloths for both people to whom I had to give a project. I hope Charity doesn't mind getting hers so late.