Saturday, July 26, 2008

What - summer is half over?

Where in the world does the time go? Its been a very busy week here in the Quality Chick household. I cannot believe July is almost over. Sigh. its so depressing to see school supplies in the stores. 

Last weekend we had a wonderful time at the Coco Key Water Park at the Sheraton in Danvers, MA. The hotel is about a 30 minute drive from the house making it quite handy. We booked one night on one of the hottest days of the summer. It was perfect. I have to rave for a few minutes here about the hotel and water park. Everyone at the hotel was super nice. We were even able to get our room when we arrived at 11am - well before standard 4pm check in time. When you book a night you two full days access to the water park. The rooms were quite impressive and even had a small kitchenette. Its obviously a great family hotel. After we settled in we headed over to the indoor water park. Its not as big as an outdoor water resort but still big! It had a kiddie pool with slides, a medium sized multi-slide area, and a big monster slide area, along with a small pool and a lazy river. Young one, being short, was able to go on all but the big monster slides. We all had a ball getting wet and trying to avoid the big bucket water drop. It was even fun just sitting in the kid pool watching Young one make friends and slide the little slide.  We ended the evening at the arcade playing skee ball and other fun games for tickets. The next day it was back to the water park and more wet fun. I honestly have to say this was one of the Master Card moments -you know - room $200, food $40, watching your little guy grin ear to ear as he splashes with you and you sit having a great family weekend -priceless! Truly worth every dime. I would highly recommend this hotel for a local staycation. In fact, we are making plans to go again this winter.

But, Monday things came crashing down. Monday was DH's birthday. We had planned dinner and all that but Young one came down with a cold (we knew it was coming on) which true to form turned into an ear infection. He is like me - ear infections come on quick and hard. Sure enough, in the time it took for DH to drive Young one home from school, the infection hit. Fortunately we have a great pediatrician and we had Young one in the dr within hours. The good news is that none of this was caused by the water play. It would have happened regardless, which we figured. We were also finally able to get a referral to a specialist to have Young one's ears looked at to try and sort these out for good. I have a long history of ear infections that we finally attributed to allergies. Since starting allergy shots I have been ear infection free. That may not be the cause for Young one, but it is nice that we have finally established enough of a trend to get him into my ENT specialist. So now we wait a week and start the whole process of finding out how to get rid of the routine ear infections. So, needless to say, DH did not get a birthday dinner. 

The rest of the week has been work and trying to make sure Young one gets his medicine. He is good about it but apparently this stuff is yucky. It is a small battle twice a day but we manage. Work has also been crazy busy. I found out I probably have to go back to Hawaii in September for 2-3 weeks. I love going to our worksite in Hawaii but I am not looking forward to being away from my family for that long - especially as I will leave right after they get back from their three week trip to California. And even though I will be in Hawaii, it is not a Hawaiian vacation. These trips are hard work, 12 hour days and lots of walking and climbing in steel toe boots. This trip I have to climb the high stairs which I couldn't master last trip. They are scary - about 80 feet up on open grate. I think I am going to a hypnotist before the trip. 

In my free time (what is that) I am trying to actually finish knitting some socks for our friends birthday. Hopefully I will make it. I also am staring at the gorgeous Cormo fleece I got from Cormo farms. I need to post the pictures soon. Not sure when I will start cleaning that up! Maybe that will keep me busy while the family is gone. All I know is I am all set for winter spinning. I have started spinning up my cleaned Cormo but it is slow going. I am combing the locks and spinning from the locks. I think I will do about three skeins this way before going to the drum carder. It takes a while to prep the fiber like this but it is turning out soft and pretty. 

Well enough for now!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Starbucks Swap Scavenger Hunt

In Your Blend:

· What U.S. state has the most folks in your Blend?
o Gold Coast Maryland
· What is the most popular Ravatar choice, i.e., self portrait, child, pet, yarn, etc. Gold Coast - self portrait
· Find someone with over 100 posts. (Bonus if it's not a blend hostess.) Kelly P
· Who is the oldest Raveler in the group, i.e., Ravelry membership, not age! Tara K – Hostess. Non-Hostess would be Shelby B – June 15 2007
· Who is the newest Raveler in the group? Michelle R
· Find a sock knitter. Carole C
· Find a spinner. Sandi 0
· Find two people with the same favorite drink. Amber W and Gracie B – Mocha Frap
· Find two bloggers. Barb M Marian P
· Find two non-bloggers. Lydia B Carole C
Outside Your Blend:

· Find two people who dye yarn. Linda B and Rosemary D
· Find two people with the same favorite color(s). Linda B and Lamira F (Red)
· Find two people with the same favorite fragrance. Tracie S and Julie B (Vanilla)
· Find two people with the same favorite yarn(s). Christy D and Julie B (Malabrigo)
· Find someone with more than four kids. (Bonus if you find more than one.) Laura I, Jenean W
· Find three people who live outside the U.S. Lynn J, Rosemary D, Anita L
· Find someone with an unusual pet. Leta T - Alpacas
· Find someone with at least three pets. Rosemary D, Leta T,
· Find two people with birthdays in the same week. Sharon S and Stephanie K
Find two people with the same favorite curse word. Karla M and Laura M

Friday, July 18, 2008


I am having a hard time adjusting to the fact that today is only Friday. See, I have a great work schedule where I get to do my 80 hours in 9 days so I technically get every other Friday off from work. However, very rarely do I seem to be able to actually take the day off. Normally 9/80 translates work 9 days and then work really hard on the 10th day. But the fates aligned and I took the day off. I only worked about an hour in the afternoon to catch up on some loose ends. At any rate, it was strange. All day I thought it was Saturday. its pretty cool knowing that tomorrow I will get up and it will only be Saturday. I love it.

We have big plans for the weekend. Today was errand running - the young one needed new shorts. He is growing so fast! But tomorrow I booked us into the Sheraton Ferncroft with CocoKeys Waterpark. Since it is supposed to be in the high 90s tomorrow this is ideal. We can get in the water park at 11 and then our hotel room at 4. We have full use of the water park both Saturday and Sunday. Its indoors and climate controlled. Best of all its 30 minutes from home. Its a little mini "staycation". Well worth it for the fun and the indoor coolness on this very hot weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quidditch Round 3 Bonus

(Extra 5 pts - What movie will Robert Patterson star in this December?)

I believe this is supposed to be Robert Pattinson who will be playing Edward Cullen in Twilight slated for release in December.

Quidditch Round 3 Pictures

Padma PatilHannah Abbott
Dumbledore's Army
Cedric Diggory

Quidditch Round 3

Quidditch ~ Round Three

1. When Hagrid returns to Hogwarts after being sent to see the giants with Madame Maxime, Professor Umbridge questions him on his late return to school. She suspects that Hagrid had been to the mountains, but where does he tell her he has been?

d. South of France

2. Professor Umbridge comes to Hagrid's Hut and searches his cabin one evening (as she believes Harry, Ron and Hermione are there visiting him at night when they are not supposed to). When she walks past the place where Harry, Ron and Hermione are hiding under the Invisibility Cloak, Harry holds his breath. True or false?
b. False

3. A stately-looking witch in an emerald green shawl is one of the members of the Advance Guard who rescues Harry from Privet Drive. What is her name?
a. Emmeline Vance

4. What is the name of the witch who was killed two weeks after the photo of the original Order of the Phoenix was taken?
b. Marlene McKinnon

5. Which two fifth year Ravenclaw students does Dumbledore choose to be prefects?
d. Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil

6. Which house was Rose Zeller sorted into?

d. Hufflepuff

7. What is the color of Murtlap's essence?
c. Yellow

8. Name the Ravenclaw girl who became prefect in Harry's fifth year.
b. Padma Patil

9. According to a healer's portrait at St. Mungo's hospital, which disease was Ron suffering from?
d. Spattergroit

10. Which book did Harry give Hermione for Christmas?
a. "New Theory of Numberology"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Books Books Books

One of my absolute passions is reading. I love to read and do so voraciously. I cannot imagine a day without reading. I remember as a child desperately wanting to learn to read. I would take books and circle the words I could read - and, the - the simple ones. I also very clearly remember the day I learned to read at school and how much I loved sitting at the table reading books aloud that year. I never lost that passion. Its strange because I don't come from a family of readers, which is probably why they never picked up on my desire to learn to read. I was always the odd one out with my nose in a book all the time. As I got older I would carry a book at all times and read during class under my desk. This confused my teachers a bit because I was always paying attention and could answer any question so they couldn't fault me there and they couldn't really fault me because I was actually reading - again something most kids didn't do voluntarily. I could live without knitting but not without books. 

One of the drawbacks is I read very quickly. In fact, just out of curiousity I took a few of the online tests to see if a speed reading course would be helpful and they all came back "no" in that I already have that skill mastered. I cruise through books at a normal rate of 2-3 per week provided I am not too tired. I love all books but have to admit since having my son I no longer am able to enjoy anything too gruesome or scary. I used to be a big Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Patricia Cornwall fan but really have to be in a mood in order to read these authors anymore. Something weird happened when I became a mom and I can't handle the scary stuff. Maybe because I have my own scary stuff to deal with in real life now. For the most part I read lighter fiction now, especially chick lit. Nothing to heavy or depressing for now. Again - something about momhood makes me shun anything to sad. I also love childrens books. I love to read to my son but I also love to read children's and preteen books for my own pleasure. My favorites are Narnia, Madeline L'engle, Meg Cabot and, obviously, J.K. Rowling. And I love Fairy Tales. I have several books of fairy tales from different cultures. Its amazing how similar they are and how you can always find the same stories in every culture. I am also amazed at how prevalent Cinderella is as a plot line in books and movies. Its my favorite fairy tale, although I must admit I like the Pretty Woman ending best where she walks away from the Prince until it is on her terms. Gosh, am I rambling here or what! I told you - books are my passion!!!!

So I decided I wanted to start tracking what I read. I am adding a bookshelf to my blog and I will start putting up the books I am reading. I am interested in seeing just how many I actually read in a year. It should be interesting. I just finished re-reading the Harry Potter series.  I started the books right after the HSKS5 swap started and finished a week ago. That series is brilliant and no matter how many times I read it I am always finding something new. But I am starting post HP this year. So up on my shelf is Twilight which has been referred to me now by several people. I finally broke down and bought it and Darn It - I loved it!!!! It sucked me in (oh - love that play on words!) and I finished it in a few days. Now I have to go get the next three books. In the meantime, until that happens I have some fluffy romance novels my husband found free for me. Those are always my fallback books. I know, romance novels are sometimes the literary equivalent of Wonder bread, so tasty but completely empty of any nutritional value. But I enjoy them because they are generally entertaining. I do tend to be picky about my romance novel authors knowing that my favorites tend to try to craft an interesting story beyond the standard romance novel plotline. But I also will take any free book and give it a shot. So on my bookshelf you will see variety! And trust me - when I find something I love and want to share I will make note of it! 

Monday, July 14, 2008

A portkey out of town

Well, I decided I needed some supplies and a little foray out of Hogwarts so I took a portkey across the pond to the American witch city of Salem. It was a lovely day spent by myself looking through all the shops. Did you know that Salem has an official witch? Her store was really nice and she even sells wands now. Of course the town was also filled with muggles - its strange how they are able to keep their town and stores out in the open and just confound the muggles by offering "haunted tours" and cheesy witch museums. I was able to buy some needed herbs, a new book, and some pretty stones. But mostly I enjoyed just wandering on my own for awhile. It was unusual though in that I must have had a "talk to me" vibe, or maybe I didn't look like a muggle tourist, because all the shopkeepers wanted to talk to me. I had interesting conversations with so many people! The most interesting was in one of the "real" shops the shopkeeper stopped me to ask a question and prefaced it with "I am sure you wont know but I am going to ask anyways". He wanted to know where he could buy a chicken - as in a live chicken - because he wanted to keep a pet chicken, like he had as a child. Ok - not what I expected but you know something, I do know where to buy chickens. So I told him where he can find chickens. Turns out he also does divination. Got me thinking how did he know out of all the tourist customers in his store that I would know where to get a chicken. hmmmmm - makes you think! 

Friday, July 11, 2008

I think this will qualify as a favorite summertime memory!

So there is a little contest in the Summer of Love Yarn Swap: 
For this contest, I want you to blog about your favorite Summer time memory. It can be from this year, years past, or from your childhood. You can even include a picture!!!

I have many wonderful summer memories. I loved summer! Mostly because every summer my dad would take four weeks off work in August and we would get in the camper/motorhome and drive. We went all over the country and I was lucky enough to see so many places and experience so much! Not to mention just the good quality family time.  This year my dad is taking my son for his first motorhome trip.  I am so very glad for both my dad and my son that they get to share this experience - although its going to be so very hard for me to be away from my son for two whole weeks! I will post for consoling when the time comes. 

But I added a new summertime memory last night. It was a perfect summer night - not too hot or humid. So we were outside and my son was playing with his best friend who is our neighbor. My husband decided to water the lawn ...... so the boys of course decided to run in the sprinklers! It was such a joy to watch!

Are those not happy faces! I remember running in the sprinkler. It was a nice reminder that as a child we had that kind of complete joy from such simple things. Hmmmm - I think I need to go run in the sprinklers!  This is going down as a favorite summertime memory!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Socks Won

Ok - I tried to do the dream swatch head scarf but just didn't love it. But I do love the socks I am working on so guess what - the socks won! I love the Noro stripes and the pattern is so easy. It is Fluke. I was wandering around outside while the kids played knitting away - it was that easy!
Its not the best picture - I took it with the built in Mac camera - but it does show that this is going to be a very pretty sock! Thank you Summer of Yarn Love Swap Spoiler!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hufflepuff Homework

Boy - more Homework!!! Enough!

1) What is a Chimaera? A vicious, bloodthirsty creature with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a dragon's tail.

2) Name 3 of the 4 breeds of Winged Horses.
Abraxan - palomino
Aethonan - chestnut, popular in Britain and Ireland
Granian - grey, fast
thestral - black, but see specific entry regarding visibility

3) What are Yeti afraid of? fire

4) How does a wizard rid a farm of a Nogtail? chased off the farm by a pure white dog

5) Why are Fwoopers sold with a silencing charm? A Fwooper's song will drive the listener insane

6) Where are Erklings found? Germany

7) Name the only spell known to repel a Lethifold. Patronus Charm
(Bonus if you can name the wizard who survived a Lethifold attack) Flavius Belby

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hogwarts Knit A Long

So I actually did cast on for the Knit A Long of the Dream Swatch Head Scarf but I gotta admit I don't love it. 
Actually, I do like the pattern but it is much to wide for me to use for my hair. And I love the way the yarn is striping - this is my own Kool Aid dyed handspun. I think I may frog it and redo it in half the width. The colors do rock though. I may save this skein for a hat or a scarf. I have some leftover pink that I just finished spinning which I will probably use instead although I am not so sure about pink with my henna red hair. I am so indecisive. But I also have so much to do anyways.  I am knitting Fluke socks out of my Noro I got in the Summer of Love Yarn Swap but hubby really likes the pattern and wants me to knit a pair that he can take to our friend in San Diego when he visits in August, so now I need to finish the sock on my needle, then make a pair out of my skein of Maui Sunset Sereknity. Considering my track record for FOs ........ well if they are for someone else on a deadline I can usually get it done. Oh well, I will just have to decide........later!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Well - I am a chick after all

And we gals like changing things around sometime. Right? So I played around with my template and picked a new one. I actually wish I had the time to really do things right with my blog - you know not just rely on the premade templates and items Google provides - but with my life its just not going to happen. So until I get really inspired and have lots of free time when I don't feel like knitting or spinning then I will just play with what Google blogger provides.

So last night I actually went to the LYS for knitting group. Its rare that I can make it and I was stoked to see our hostess, the fabulous designer SleepyEyes, ws going to open the store just for the group on the holiday. So off I went and had a fabulous time. Being surrounded by men all the time both at home and at work it was nice to be just girls for a few hours. I am going to try to move this activity higher up in my priority list because it was a much needed break from testosterone. I didn't get home until 10 and into bed until 11 - which for me is unheard of to be up so late. So when I woke up this morning and looked at the clock and saw 7:45 I about fell out of bed! I usually am up by 5 to get in a few minutes of quiet time before the boys get up. But since I slept so late DH was already getting my son dressed to take along on DH's usual Saturday morning garage sale search. So this means a few hours of complete alone time in my own house! So mind you I just realized I am sitting here drinking my coffee with Clifford the Big Red Dog on the tv. Shows how much I pay attention to tv and how much I am used to having PBS as background noise in my life. I am also sitting here thinking "what to do with my time" but sadly I am also remembering I need to do some cleaning and I have to put in a couple hours of work to get some documents reviewed before Monday. Well - that is so waiting until they return. I am so not wasting some peaceful spinning time. Oh and I can wash more wool!

Speaking of wool - so after my experience cleaning my Cormo I caved and bought another fleece. I bought Kathy2 from Cormo Sheep and Wool Farm. I am well set now for wool for quite some time. Seriously, though, I really am enjoying the process of cleaning the Cormo. So different from the other fleece. I am doing small batches but it is so easy that I don't mind doing a little bit each day and I expect to finish the first fleece this month. I also think I may be able to start spinning some tomorrow as I expect to finish my current skein today. I am trying to maintain spinning monogamy otherwise I will have half-spun bobbins everywhere. I can't wait to see the Cormo spun up!

Well - time to enjoy my coffee and my quiet morning!

Friday, July 4, 2008

FIbery Goodness Swap Questionnaire

Ravelry Name: Chloecat2262

Match desired: International, USA only (please note, if you’re outside of the US you may have to do an international swap): Either

Would you be an angel if needed?: If needed for fiber, not for handspun! I am still a newbie and I am not confident I could make two skeins in the necessary time and of good enough quality to send to someone.

Do you also Knit, Crochet?: I have been a knitter for the past twentysome years.

How would you rate your spinning experience: (beginner, intermediate, advanced)?: Beginner - I started a few months ago.

What is your favorite fiber to spin?: I have only spun wool so far. No favorites yet

What is your least favorite fiber to spin?: Same thing - havent spun enough to not like something

Are there any fibers you do not like/are allergic to?: Nope

Any particular fiber you’re dying to try?: BFL

What is/are your favorite color(s)?: purples, blues, greens, pinks - but I love all colors

What is/are your least favorite color(s)?: 1970s avocado green, burnt orange and 70s brown

Do you like: Coffee? Tea? Sweets? Lotions? Candles?: I love coffee, tea and sweets. I like lotion but have been given so much over the years that I have a lifetime supply. I love candles with fresh scents - not to overpowering.

Is there any spinning related item you are desperate to get your hands on?: Because I am so new there is still much to learn and acquire.

Do you have any allergies?: Nothing of note

Do you have pets? Do you smoke?: I have one dog, soon to get a second. No smoking.

Anything else your swap partner should know about you?: I am a newbie to spinning but I think I am learning - best of all is I am wide open to everything right now because I am a newbie.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Starbucks Swap Questionnaire

1. Full name (prefer not to post on blog)
2. Ravelry ID Chloecat262
3. Email address (also prefer not to post on blog)
4. Blog address (if you have one) here you are so look in the address bar :)
5. Handmade item you desire in the swap (bag, cup cozy, etc.) Surprise me!
6. Starbucks item you desire (gift card, mug, beans, etc.) A mug if possible - I am collecting the City mugs. I have NYC and Waikiki
7. Favorite Starbucks beverage/bean - Venti Nonfat Latte
8. Favorite snack food - Chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, nuts, fruit, cheese
9. Favorite color(s) - purples and blues, pink - oh heck I like em all!
10. Favorite fragrance - Samsara by Guerlein
11. What types of things do you like to knit? lace, socks, bags
12. Do you spin? yes - I am addictd
13. Do you dye your own yarn? - yes - also addicted
14. Favorite yarns - I am having fun exploring yarns - honestly altough I have knit since I was 16 I only recently discovered real yarn!
15. Favorite needles - I love my harmonies and my Addi's
16. Do you have any allergies? nothing of any concern except guinea pig. I can't share a building with guinea pigs for more than 20 minutes before I start having trouble breathing. I know, its weird. However, unless they now make guinea pig yarn I don't think this is an issue. But really, I probably shouldn't ever have guinea pig yarn.
17. Would you be willing to prepare an angel kit if necessary? Yep
18. Do you have any special requests? Yes please - a postcard! We are collecting Postcards from friends we havent met yet.
19. Do you have any pets? Yep, one dog now, another probably coming in a few weeks.
20. Is your home smoking or nonsmoking? nonsmoking

Hogwarts Happenings

Its Emma here - just thought I would drop a post about the happenings at Hogwarts. its been quiet since Quidditch - but then again I have been so busy with all my homework! Well, tomorrow is a day off thankfully. I am going to look at my stash to see if I have anything to use for the knit along. It sounds FUN. 
Happy Fourth everyone - apparently this is some kind of muggle holiday with lots of good fireworks. I hope they have some of the Weasley fireworks - they are the best!