Thursday, January 31, 2008

Baby Socks

Here are the baby socks I finished yesterday. The purple is a little washed out and these were fun and fast to knit. I also saw this pattern in a sock book as a practice sock to get started and familiarize oneself with the anatomy of the sock.
Hector joked that they look like 'peanut' feet (whatever). I'm sure my friend's baby will enjoy them as much as a 9 month can enjoy. She'll be the envy of all the mommys she encounters! :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

finding a rhythm

After being out of sync, I decided to try and get back to straightening up around the house. At least I put the Christmas decorations away in containers...hey, our Christmas lights are still up but they're not on. Yesterday I had to sort through piles of mail to find the registration letter from the DMV for my car. Of course I found every other vehicle's registration and it made me stop to count all our vehicles. 4 cars and 3 motorcycles to register which used to keep pretty busy going back and forth to AAA because we were late. Now we can pay online which simplifies my life so much. I just need something to sort socks.

I often joke that our house has a black hole because I know for sure a particular item is in our house but can't find it! The most recent lost items is a certain book(s) that went MIA but Hector found them...phew! :) Then I couldn't find my video iPod and it wasn't in the usual places but today for some reason I happened to see it on top of the arcade machine. The closest place where I set it down but now I remember putting it up there to get it out way of baby's hands.

I am excited about sock knitting again but just have to realize that it will take time because of the yarn's thickness. I used a baby sock pattern to get me going and I'm really happy with the results. I'm including it with a baby sweater & hat for my friend in San Jose. I'll post pics later.

Just when I'm on a roll, I have to pick up Tyler from school then he starts his baseball practice tonight. We meet at batting cages so he is excited to try that out. I'll have to put off folding the rest of the laundry till tomorrow. Both kids are off school on Friday so Sherri and I have plans for our kids that day...hopefully it won't rain.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lazy Days

Everyone seemed to be sick on some level this weekend. Tyler finally came down with the cold that the rest of us have while Josh had another fever one day which seemed to wipe him out. We laid around the house and didn't do too much beyond watch TV, play video games and knit. I finally was able to get out of my sock knitting funk to start up the second sock for my MIL. I finished the heel, turn and gusset and I'm in the home stretch with the foot. The end is getting closer. So this started me up on another pair of socks that I'm attempting to knit 2 socks at a time on 2 circulars. Of course when I started the legs were no problem until I reached the heels. I had no references what to do next so recently I ordered some books to solve my problem. I ended up separating the socks and knit the heel and heel turn one at a time then put them back together for the foot portion. I do enjoy knitting this way since both socks end up looking the same unlike my first pair of socks where the 1st sock has a leg noticeably larger than the 2nd sock. Hmmm...this pair is for my MIL so hopefully she won't be bothered by this since she can wear them in bed.

The rain this past week has been contributing to our lazy feeling this weekend. I'm just glad we got rid of those skunks when we did because even now I can get a strong whiff of skunk when I get near the trap we used by the trash cans. I think the rain enhances the skunk smell and revived it even though the skunk incidents was about 2 weeks ago.

Anyway, I was revived in the sock knitting realm so maybe I'll attempt another pair soon once these other ones are done. I have some pretty sock yarn stashed away that makes me eager to see how they turn out. Some blues blended with purple which look very pretty. I also spent lots of time last week browsing free patterns for hats, purses and scarves and I found some doozys! I found a R2D2 hat which Josh would love if I can accomplish the pattern. I will have to feel ambitious for that one. So much to do and only one pair of hands!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ooh, Pretty

On Thursday morning the skies cleared up enough to produce this spectacular rainbow. Tyler noticed it when we were driving to school so I had to rush home afterwards to grab my camera. The picture doesn't do the rainbow justice because this rainbow was huge and so clear. I'm just happy that I was able to get some pictures of it because a few minutes later, the rainbow disappeared.

Freeway Face-Off

Yes, this the name someone came up with for the cross town rivalry between the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks. Kat and Brandon braved the rainy weather and 405 to meet up with us before heading to Staples Center. As usual, there were lots of Ducks fans who can get pretty rowdy and obnoxious but then so can Kings fans. Since the Kings are in absolute LAST place in the NHL, we weren't expecting too much but it turned out to be a favorable game for the Kings who scored a sweet shot that bounced over Gigure's head in slow motion to lead the game 1-0. The Ducks managed to score a goal too in the last seconds of the 1st period but after reviewing the goal, it was disallowed because time had run out! Whew!

The Kings scored 2 more goals in the 2nd period to make the game 3-0 so we were hoping for a shut-out but the Ducks scored a goal in the 3rd to make the final score 3-1. Oh, did I mention the fights? The rivalry gets really heated and it seemed that a fight broke out every period. Plus a fight broke out after the game our row. No, neither one of us was involved but we were front and center when a rabid fan from each team started yelling at one another. The Ducks fan was some skinny dude that began the taunting when a Kings fan yelled back. Neither one was backing down while the Ducks dude backed up towards us so I grab my camera in case something happens. Of course, Hector is blocking my view and is way too close to these guys. Next thing that happens, the Ducks dude throws his drink in the other guy's face then all hell breaks loose. The Kings fan was bigger than the Ducks dude so he went down fast and they both wrestled for about 30 seconds before security burst it and the Kings guy & his friends took off. Hector sticks around to talk to security since he is an 'eyewitness'. I didn't get all the details from him but we saw another fight on the way out with more obnoxious fans yelling at each other.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

for something different than skunks

although the items are black and whitish but definitely not stinky. I finished some projects but hadn't posted pictures yet.

First, is a black bracelet bag for my SIL by request.

Second, a black beanie for a friend's son also by request. He is about Tyler's age and didn't want anything too cutesy or girly. Just a basic hat.

Now we get to a bigger project which involved a little more work than the usual knitting. I got this free pattern off the KnitPicks site so here is the chunky cable purse. After knitting and sewing up the seams, the bag sat around before I got myself to Joann's (I've been under the weather & now Josh is too). We made the trek to to Joann's on this gloomy and rainy day to find a canvas tote that would fit inside the purse as a liner and some bamboo handles. It took me a while to trim the tote to fit inside and sew down the edges to the proper size. Next was putting on the magnetic snaps which do not come with instructions but armed with a hammer I soon had that done too. I had to spend considerable time sewing the liner to the knit purse since the only tote that would fit is dark brown and the purse is off white...what color thread to use? Well, I used white and had to maneuver the sewing so the thread wouldn't show on either side. I'm quite proud of myself that I accomplished that! :) Almost through, I had to sew the handles on with thread then again with yarn and voila! My cute handbag.
A very useful size that is approximately 9 x 7 x 3 inches.

Had to show my handiwork, inside and out.

Now, who shall I give this too?? I have a couple in mind and now that I've done one, I can make some more. It's best shown in lighter colors to maximize the pretty cables and twists. Okay, I can pat myself on the back now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Can't Believe This

Okay, this is weird...I was on the phone with Hector (at work) when I got a whiff of skunk. I got up and walked around the house a bit to see if the odor was back. I opened the front door because the stink was pretty strong there earlier today. Sniff. No stinkiness but I notice something at the end of the driveway by the sidewalk. Wait a second! I take a step out onto the porch and I realize it's a skunk. At our house. The 4th one I've seen in about 5 days. Hopefully it wasn't one of the skunks we released in the last few days but GEEZ. Anyway, it (the skunk) turns around and walks away.

There must be some invisible skunk sign that says, "Welcome, come on in!" because it seemed like the skunk just knew to come into our driveway and probably would have gone into the backyard looking for its friends. Ugh....

What now?

The current skunk count is now a grand total of 3. Yes, we had 3 skunks living under our house. The third and hopefully last skunk was caught last night. Luckily Hector was off this morning to release it somewhere along his way to work. This skunk was just as pissed as the 2nd one so our house is enveloped in a fresh cloud of stink. Ugh, this has gotten so old! To top off our skunk problem, my toilet began leaking and so is our water heater. People say things happen in threes so we reached our quota.

It's Friday and I'd like to have a pleasant weekend with absolutely no drama. Wouldn't that be something??

Beach Bums

A week or so ago before the 'big' rains we had a family outing to the beach. We are fortunate enough to live about 4 miles from the ocean but never get there as much as we should. It was fun to see the kids run around and play while I spent time taking pictures of them and the scenery while Hector rested (for about 2 minutes). He had been on call overnight the night before and was a good sport in going with us even though he was very tired.

Tyler doing his ostrich impression.

Josh frolicking at the beach.

One of Tyler's many seashells.

Hector grabbing a few zzzzzz's.

Even Torchic had a nice day at the beach!

Please God No

This morning Hector informed me that he heard scratching from inside the walls of our house. Yes, the same walls where we heard our unwanted skunks earlier. The question now is...Are there still more skunks? Okay, as of now, we have caught and released 2 skunks that we trapped because they were squatting underneath our home. If there are more that would be insane. We are not setting up a shelter for homeless skunks!

After last night's trapping, our house and the neighboring area REEKED of nasty skunkiness. That 2nd skunk was pissed off and didn't mind showing how much it hated us. The smell is starting to fade away but it some areas of the yard the stench is still strong. My neighbor stopped me today to inquire of our skunk problem since her house is right next to ours with their master bedroom facing our driveway. They got hit with the stink pretty bad too.

So tonight we set up the trap again to see if we catch any more. I am hoping that there aren't any more but I do want all these varmits gone!!!

When I Say Jump...

you say how high? Then you say, "Hey, this is fun! I'll jump whenever I can!"

Catch and Release

Last night Hector arrived home around 7pm and I made a delicious rib roast in my Baby George Forman rotisserie so we ate dinner before tackling the skunk problem. Skunk #1 spent the day in his cage until Hector got home with a big cardboard box to cover the cage. We do not want any more spraying or skunk smell for a long, long time. I won't bore you with the details but Hector loaded the pest in the truck and took him about 7 miles away to the seaside cliffs of Palos Verdes where there is lots of open land and horse property for the skunk to roam and live.

Hector said that he opened the trap and the skunk took off for the bushes. Now we needed to set up the trap again to catch the 2nd skunk. When we went to bed last night the trap was still empty but this morning we have another stinky guest in the cage. Yay!! Tonight this critter will be released into the same area as the first one so they can be reunited and live free. Just not under our house, please!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Good News and Bad News

okay, the good news is that we caught the skunk last night. I guess they do like chocolate. Hector came home around 10:30pm and heard a thunk noise and lo, a skunk! The bad news is there are 2 skunks so we have one more to catch. Right now the trapped one is in the cage waiting to be released far away into the wetlands area so it can roam about. Hopefully we can catch the other one soon so it can join their buddy. I'll load pictures later but we have a nice striped skunk.

Monday, January 14, 2008


So here is the latest baby sweater and hat....too cute!


Last night we left the grate off in hopes that the skunk AKA unwelcome guest will go elsewhere. I woke up some time in the middle of the night smelling that skunk odor which really bothered me for a long time in falling asleep. Today Hector called animal control to see how we can get rid of the skunk and we ended up buying any animal trap.

It is set up for tonight and hopefully we can catch it to take it far away and release it. I am so tired of this stink.

Also some sad of Tyler's goldfish kicked the bucket sometime last night. Maybe the skunk smell killed the poor fish! Anyway the fish didn't looked so good because it was practically laying on the bottom of the fish tank. The good news is that Tyler doesn't even know enough to even notice so he won't be heartbroken.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Last night I woke up at 3:30am to a strange sound. A sort of scuffling, scraping sound. It wasn't windy outside so it couldn't be that. The noise came from the back of our house (the same side as our bedroom) so I checked downstairs and the sound was louder! Oh great, something animal is trapped underneath our house. Whatever it was it was scrabbling trying to get out. I wanted to go outside to see what it was but it was cold dark and it smelled faintly of skunk. Also plenty of other stuff was blocking the grate like the hose reel box and a big stump that I use to chop wood (yes, I'm a mountain woman) so moving all that to get potentially sprayed? No thanks. Of course Hector was gone overnight so I was left on my own to hear the dramatic scratching of our trapped skunk. I turned on the outside patio light and opened up our very loud sliding door and the noise stopped.

I wasn't about to do anything so I went back to bed but it took me a while to get back to sleep.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

nothing new to report

Today Hector looked under the crawl space to see if we had an unwelcome visitor. We couldn't see any signs of life or death and it didn't smell of skunk so he just sealed it up tight. We figured that if there was a skunk underneath then it should smell too like the house and also the skunky smell only lasted for the morning and it didn't return. You know like when you drive past a dead skunk on the road and it smells for days.

The Kings had an early afternoon game which we watched on TV. It was a close score through the whole game and had to go into overtime then eventually a shootout which the Kings won!! Yeah. We kept turning in to see the Packers game and they were down 14-0 which changed into a big win for the Packers. Kat is super hyped up since they're her team.

It's funny how this week and I had 2 requests for a knitted item. Becky my SIL asked for a bracelet bag and Kat asked for a felted doggie coat. The purse was no problem but the dog one might involve some math and calculations. It doesn't help that Bobbie is a large Rottweiler/shepherd mix so I might have to start with a small prototype for Kat's little Pomeranian (sp?) Cece since she is just a wee thing.

Hector is on call tonight so it's just me and the kidlets...I better get used to it because Hector is getting all the details completed on his 5th (?) annual Tahoe snow trip. There should be plenty of snow by the time they head up there in late February.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Unwelcome Guest

This morning when I woke up and went through my normal routine. Josh came in and we went into his room where his dresser is and I smelled a skunky odor. As we went through our daily rituals, I kept smelling that skunk odor. Today is trash day and I went outside to bring the trash out to the curb and I didn't smell anything that suggested that a skunk was by our house last night. We have a marsh area about 3 blocks from our house so we occasionally see skunks, opossums and raccoons roaming around.
Well I took the Tyler to school and came back to our stinky house. There is an opening to the crawl space under the house and recently it was detached so I propped the hose reel unit against it not thinking anything of it that maybe something was in there. A couple of days ago I was in the backyard chopping wood (sounds funny, huh?) for my fireplace and the grate was dislodged a bit again. I thought with the recent storms the wind might have blown the hose thingy a bit. But then I called Hector if he noticed the smell this morning and he said yes. Plus he heard some scratching noise while in the computer room that sounded like it was in the walls. Great, we most likely have a skunk trapped under the house! I used a flashlight at the opening to peek in and see if I could see the critter. Of course, I couldn't since I didn't actually go in there because I don't want to be sprayed and it's dark and dirty down there. Maybe I can lure it out with some food and then Hector can fasten the grate on securely so we won't have this happen again.


It took me a while but I'm getting more pictures uploaded. Knitting has taken over all my free time and now I've put knitting aside briefly to update. The above pic is a bracelet purse that I knit about 4 of these purses for Christmas to put gift cards in them for girls & women. I bought several size bangle bracelets which you can wear as a bracelet purse or just carry. It's the perfect size for parties or for occasions when you just need a purse to carry the bare essentials. This particular purse is the most outrageous from the bunch with the furry yarn. It was lots of fun to do and I plan to make one for myself.

Here is Kat and her friend Brandon at Kiraku Saturday night before the hockey game. If you follow this blog or really know her, Kat's natural hair color is brown and for the last year or two she switched to blond. Well, she shows up at my house with a VERY VIBRANT shade of red which hovers on the border of fuschia. Kat requested the red that Gillian Anderson has on X-Files and this is what she got. After my initial shock, it is a pretty color but we're waiting for the color to fade just a tad. ;-)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I am outside in this chilly weather watching Ty ride his bike. We (mostly me) decided to get more active. He can do his homework later and the hour in between Josh's bus will be spent doing some physical activity. The trick is to find the activity that we both enjoy. I was active in doing our massive loads of laundry which involves carrying several loads up & down the stairs to the garage then folding most of it. All of our socks are in one basket waiting to be sorted. Well Tyler is done for now after 20 minutes of riding. Baby steps.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

This is a test

I am attempting to blog from my ipod. So far so good and it is slow going trying to type.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Since the holidays, I've lost track of which day it is but not we're back in sync as we get ready for winter break to end and school to start! Tyler is slightly bummed that he has to go back to school but he misses his friends. It'll be nice to have the kids out of the house soon.

Yesterday Hector had the day off and there is a big storm rolling in (supposedly) so I thought we could head to the beach and see if there were any big waves. The sky was overcast but rain never appeared at all. The boys had a blast running around in the sand and playing with their Cosmic Catch while I tried to take pictures. Hopefully I'll upload those later today if I'm lucky. The waves weren't any bigger than usual and a handful of surfers were out trying to catch a ride. Oh well.

The house next door For Sale/Lease is now officially occupied. We met the couple a few days ago after they moved in. They are renting for now to see how the school district works for them but they seem nice. This house had been on the market for a while mostly because of the price but leasing seemed to be a good option for both parties. We shall see how that goes. It's not even 9am and some kid is already in the backyard yelling and playing basketball.

I definitely need to hit the grocery store today and stock up on food. For some reason Tyler is very excited about this errand so go figure. I had to hustle out of bed at 8am because I heard the trash truck rumbling outside and drag the containers out to the curb. I thought it was the recycling truck but no it was trash which is a bummer because I didn't have a chance to empty our trashcans inside the house! Grrrrr.

Tonight is my very first Laker game. I will be going with my SIL Lupe and we're going to have a fun girls night out. I don't know what to expect but it probably won't be as cold as a hockey game. The seats are in the same section as our hockey tickets but 4 rows closer to the action. It'll be fun to try to spot the celebrities since more attend basketball games.

If I have time I'm going to buy some more K-cups for my Keurig single cup coffee maker. Kat gave me a gift card so I used it to buy the coffee maker. I used to get my caffeine from sodas but that didn't seem to cut it anymore and with the colder weather, cold sodas weren't helping stay warm. I didn't need more than a cup so this machine seemed the best option for me. It came with an 18 cup starter variety pack which I've enjoyed all the ones I had so far. I'm happy that it has worked out well for me and Josh even asks for his hot chocolate too.

I used my Borders gift card to buy another knitting book (shocking, isn't it?) and it's about wraps. It is a little ambitious for me but one day I will gather up enough really nice yarn and knit one for myself. By that time, the styles will be obsolete but who cares? There are lots of cute patterns that could stand the test of fashion time (I think) that look just a tad different than a standard poncho or wrap. Of course, I still need to knit that second sock still while I'm currently knitting a baby sweater. More procrastination!

This weekend will be pretty busy. Another hockey game Saturday night and this time Kat & Brandon will be joining us too. We plan to have a nice dinner at Kiraku and head out to the game. Sunday is dinner with my aunt and her family. I think we will be having sukiyaki where we cook everything in a broth at the table. Should be lots of fun....gotta go now.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A New Year

Happy New Year!!!
We spent a quiet evening at home with the kids. He-man and She-ra came over earlier to allow She-ra and I to run to the mall while He-man watched my kids play video games. I spent some major time at Barnes and Noble trying to find a certain sock knitting book but I couldn't find it on the shelves. I hate that...I had check online to see if that store had it and they said it was in stock. Grrr. Oh well, I still managed to find a nice reference guide and a book on knitted gifts. It should come in really handy.

We also went to Joann's where I picked up some more red yarn for a project that I keep getting sidetracked on because I need a lot of concentration while knitting it and that is just not possible most of the time. :) She-ra picked out some purple yarn so I can knit her little sis a hat but I ran out late last night so I want to head out and pick up one more skein today.

I've been busy at itunes scouring that site for something to add to my collection. And here is what I bought:
  1. 1234 - Feist. You probably know this song from the itunes commercial but it's very catchy.
  2. The Pretender - Foo Fighters. This song just rocks!
  3. Life in Cartoon Motion - MIKA. I bought the entire far I like Grace Kelly and have to listen to it a few more times to get the feel for it but has kinda Queen/70's vibe to it.
  4. Version - Mark Ronson. His version of some songs like Britney Spears and Coldplay.
  5. Radikal Techno 6. A collection of techno songs....gotta have my techno!
  6. The Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese - Richard Cheese. Very funny guy who puts his lounge singer spin on some popular hits like Nirvana, Radiohead, U2 and The Clash.
  7. Chicago - I loved this movie when it first came out so I had to have it and it was only $9.99!
  8. Rat Race - I remember renting this movie because Kat told me it was hilarious and it was. So I got it at the $9.99 bargain bin too.

Boy I think that was enough shopping at itunes. I still have about $50 for future purchases.

Oh, back to our new year's eve night...Hector brought some Woody's BBQ for dinner which is always awesome. we have plenty of leftovers for the week. He-man and She-ra pooped out after dinner and went home around 10:30pm. Earlier in the day, Hector's Zelda game got erased so he had to start over again. It was cute that both Hector and Tyler were playing side by side and helping each other out when they got stuck. Josh helped me with Guitar Hero by wearing one of our extra PS2 guitars while I played the latest game on the Wii. Lots of fun. By 11pm, Josh had fallen asleep on the sofa but Tyler had no problems staying up until midnight.

At midnight Tyler and Hector went out to join the other neighbors in lighting fireworks to celebrate and then we went to bed. Yep, it was another normal night at our house. :)