Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mary wonders what I thought of IKEA.

I thought it was great! And I managed to get out of there only spending $13 (plus my lunch cost.)

I wanted to look at dining room chairs since ours are mostly broken. Funny how you can have furniture for 8 years and it remains fairly intact until your children are old enough to start abusing it and then it falls to pieces. We've had an oak dining room set that we bought in 1990. 3 of the 4 chairs are now broken and the fourth has gotten mighty wobbley. We've tightened all that can be tightened. Time to get some new chairs.

And at IKEA you can find some fairly decent ones starting at only $20 a piece. They aren't really big, but they would be better than folding chairs, which is what we're using now. So I went to *look* at them. In fact, the friend who went with me drives a Mustang, so I asked if she minded driving since we wouldn't be able to buy anything big at IKEA since her car is so dinky! I just wanted to *look*, then I planned on coming home, consulting the catalog again and making a list to come back with.

I found a couch I really liked...again, I *looked* at it. Not bought, looked. And I *looked* at a lot of stuff. It was quite overwhelming, but not as bad as I feared. It would be easy to get lost in there, but they do provide maps and since I don't have that chromosone that prevents my asking for directions, I didn't.

We had lunch at the little restaurant in there and it was quite delicious (roast beef & potato salad.) In the end I walked out with some kiddy cups, little bowls to match, and a jar of lingonberries for my friend, Mary, who had asked me to pick some up. Like I said, I *looked*.

Why all this emphasis on *looking*? Well, I got home and talked to Dan about what I had found. Immediately, he assumed that a) I was itching to buy everything I liked immediately and that b) I had not really properly considered the kind of chair we should buy. He got online and proceeded to show me all kinds of ridiculously overpriced chairs that were no better than the ones I had *looked* at at IKEA for a lot less money. Grrr...

He is always telling me we should wait to buy anything nice until the kids have moved out. So this was my solution: cheap chairs from IKEA that will last long enough to get our kids out of the house. And if they break, they are only $20 to $40 to replace! And IKEA stuff DOES last a long time; I have a friend who has been furnishing her house from IKEA for years and she has 6 kids and the stuff has held up!

Now he tells me we should buy something nice that will last. I'm neck is sore from being whipped back and forth watching that tennis ball...and they say women can't make up their minds...

I definitely am going back out there and I will go for the cinnamon roll next time, Mary!

On the knitting front, I have worked a bit at the Celtic Cabled sock...I'm gonna have to suck it up and reprint the Jaywalker pattern, since I still can't find it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All woods must end....

I think that's the verse in the song that Frodo sings in the Old Forest in the Fellowhsip of the Ring...the one that the trees don't like...

But it's what I thought about as I worked on the Mitered Square Baby blanket on Saturday. My kids school parish had their annual festival and I got to work at the Tin Can Raffle booth selling tickets. Natch, I brought along my knitting bag and decided that turning a heel on That Sock was probably a very bad idea. Better to knit on something easy to pick up and put down. So the blanket got the nod.

I managed about to add about 4 or 5 squares and honestly...the project is at that stage where it doesn't look like anything has been done to it AT ALL despite all kinds of progress. I apologize for the crummy photo. Like Saturday, where it practically PEED rain, today is grey and gloomy again. I tried taking a picture in natural light and all I got was blurry pictures. So I ended up using the flash and making it look flat.

OF course, KIPping got the usual questions, "Is that crochet or knitting?" and comments, "I don't have enough patience for that." Give me strength. Lucky thing I have patience to deal with that patience comment...otherwise more people would be walking around with knitting needles sticking out of them than there are now.

I kept looking at this thing and thinking, "When is it going to be DONE already?!" Well, never if I don't get down to it and try to seriously finish it already! When I think this was supposed to be my Olympic knitting project. Gar! And my darling, darling daughter, Laurel, had to pipe up with, "When are you going to knit me my poncho?!!?!?" I love my children, I love my children, I love my children.....

Diane asks where I got the pattern; it's a Plymouth pattern which I got from my LYS...the pattern number is P263.

Along with the work on that, I also took a bash at my second Celtic Cable sock while waiting in the car for my kids yesterday; I had forgotten to bring my book, so I had to do SOMETHING. I got a few rows in before I discovered when it was time to turn the cables that I had not put the cable needle in this particular knitting bag. I know there is a way of doing without, but I had never done it and didn't feel like figuring it out on the spot.

I admit it, I'm rather cranky this month. My business has really fallen off this month, so I've had a ton of free time, which I've occupied by trying to learn to play the piano better than I do. I had about 1 year of lesson in high school, but I do play other instruments. Our organist died last year and now that I finally have two ladies who are taking on lay reading, I've been playing organ on the days when we have morning prayer and our regular organist does not do those Sundays. I can play simple chords and the melody and I do okay. But I've had to change a few keys to accomodate my limited abilities to play keys that have lots of flats or sharps.

I'm coming along...slowly. My hands are finally starting to work together instead of being separate entities with their own agenda. Amazingly, it's a lot like knitting, playing the piano is. If you get your hands to work together instead of trying to do their own thing, you can produce something really beautiful. But unlike piano playing, you get to keep that beautiful thing around; music instead dies slowly away and you are left with a memory of it.

My other mountain that I've been climbing with this is trying to overcome my performance anxiety. I've had problems with this just forever. I used to have a problem with speaking in front of people, something that God took away when I started to read the bible in church. And it's carried over into my SU! business, for which I am grateful. But for some reason known only to Him, God has seen fit NOT to remove it for organ playing. So that I shake dreadfully at times and make tons of mistakes. Despite the fact that I've TOLD Him that I am really quite humble about my abilities as an organ player and my only desire is to be competent, He has allowed this thorn to remain in my side. I finally bought some anti-anxiety herbal supplements that did help a lot last Sunday. Maybe once I get used to playing, I won't need them anymore. And they didn't make me sleepy, which is what I really worried about! I had visions of everyone hearing a thud and looking over at me lying on the floor next to the organ, fast asleep.

Well, time to hop in the shower. A friend and I are going to IKEA for the first time...should be a blast!