What would be one of the worse things to happen to a knitter during prime knitting gifting season...getting sick over and over again.
This is the hardest time of year for me, being a retail manager my life belongs to my store and all my friends and family know how difficult my schedule becomes. I really don't enjoy Christmas as much as I use to but I make do. I make every effort to stay healthy and rested, I really hate being ill. So as the fates would have it I got hit hard early this year. Since I felt it coming, I paid an early visit to my doctor, but this infection, virus, flu...this evil thing wanted to make me miserable. I was a infected, congested, coughing, nose blowing, no voice having mess.
So just as I was starting to feel better, and the colorful phlegm was coming up and I didn't need to bathe myself in vapor rub at night ( you all know that Vicks is the Puerto Rican cure all), I got hit with a lovely dental infection. It seems that my lovely illness infected a wisdom tooth which has been bothering me, so it had to come out yesterday. So now I have stitches on the right side of my mouth, I am on antibiotics for a week and I look like a lopsided chipmunk.
Just a few of the goodies from my pharmacy...and the really good ones get shared with the BFF.
I am really just tired of being sick, I am trying so hard just to make it through this week now.
And to add to my misery, I really have had no desire to knit at all. Nothing nada ...zippo. It's bad when people who work with me ask me "why aren't you doing any of that yarning thing?" Skeins and skeins of yarn on my floor and they all just have gathered dust. So finally the only thing that I have been able to finish with enthusiasm have been these socks. Made with Carons Tweed yarn and a simple and fast pattern from the Lion Brand Just Socks book. This is the Moss on the Mountain pattern made on #4's circulars ... so fast and fun to make. They were just what I needed to get me back into the knitting groove.
If anyone is looking for some easy and quick socks..both knit and crochet patterns this book is perfect. Nothing better than making some Bulky booties for quick gifts. I have been trying to use up a lot of stash yarn for these socks and send them to happy homes were they will be worn with love.
If I don't get a chance to say it later ..........HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE !!!
With the week almost over, I return to work again tomorrow morning but not before I give you all a little Rhinebeck recap.
Yes I did come home a day early just to go to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival here in NY. Many think that it was insane and obsessive of me to leave the sunshine of Florida to come back just for a sheep and wool festival, but these are the same people who want hand knit goodies from me. This was my last vacation week before the holidays start and then I have no life...my store will be busy and hectic. I spent the last week in Orlando visiting Shamu and Mickey Mouse, chasing after five beautiful but exhausting kids, so my reward was a being surrounded by hand dyed yarn and the wonderful aroma of warm apple crisp.
Just a few of the ladies sharing our love for yarn, the sunshine and of course each other. I headed up to Rhinebeck with the BFF Nancy and her lovely family. While her hubby watched her youngest son and did some scouting for us, she and I did some damage to the budget and loaded up on a few goodies.
Knowing that I am sock knitter, and just a little obsessed with sock yarn I stocked up. Nancy came across a booth selling some of the most amazing sock yarn at the most outrageous prices.
These hanks are from The Oasis Yarn Company, this Aussi Sock yarn is 400 yards of super wash Australian Merino wool for only $13.00. Now I know that Australians are supposed to be kind and generous people but damn this was outrageous. The colors are great and so soft, and more than enough for a great pair of socks. I came home with four hanks in the Peach Cobbler, Sahara Desert, Faded Valentine, and Spanish Fiesta color ways. I cannot wait to get some socks started, especially some colorful socks for my mami in the Spanish Fiesta colorway.
And miracle of miracles there was some Socks that Rock when we got there. I have not knitted with this infamous yarn, so I just bought two hanks. I got the Gibson and Stormy Weather colors.
I feel like I just became part of the sock knitters of America club with this purchase.
The purchase of the day was the one that I blame on my god son Avery and his holding this yarn in front of me until I gave in.
This is Briar Rose Fibers yarn in the Fourth of July color way. I bought two hanks, each of 550 yards to make their lacy cable shrug. The colors on this computer cannot do it justice, their colors are amazing and they probably were cleaned out of all their stock by the end of the weekend.
I have been looking forward to making myself something special besides my socks and this shrug is just perfect for me. Yippee !!!
As a recap:
Then there is the famous baby kimono and some bloomers made with yarn stash.
I would like to thank everyone for all the lovely messages and thoughts on the passing of my cousin Robert last week. He was an amazing man who was loved by everyone who knew him and he will be missed. Another angel to protect the whole family ...
So am in Florida again... this time Orlando with my family. Sea World, Disney, and lots of time with all the great nieces and nephews this week.
I did no knitting ... but I have two new recruits into the knitting universe, one being my niece Nina. Only for her would I cut the plastic cord of my circular clover needles so she would be comfortable with creating the stitches.
I have tons of pictures to share with you all.
The highlight was taking all the great grand kids to the portrait studio to get a group shot for my mom for the holidays. She will love it ...
There is so much more that I could be blogging about at the moment...so late on a Sunday night. All the projects completed and those planned. Then there was the great time I had at the Spin Out in Central Park yesterday.. just spending the time with everyone.
But this is the most important project that I have completed in one day. Its not perfect and it might be too big but all that matters is who it is for.
My cousin Robert is very ill, he and our whole family are praying every moment that he can be blessed with a needed liver transplant. So yesterday when visiting him at the hospital, I started knitting on a baby sweater for a friend, and he asked me if I could make him a hat.. something like a ski cap to help keep him warm in the hospital at night.
There wasn't a question of whether I would make the hat, I started scrolling through my yarn stash in my head and thinking of a pattern. I measured his head and told him that I would do anything for him.
So here is a off white cap, like I said it might be too big and I am not thrilled with the edge but all that matters is that it will keep him warm during these hard days and that all my love and prayers are are in every knit and purl.
With all my love and prayers ... for my fearless cousin Robert.
So I survived Boston even with every single Red Soxs fan following me around the city. Getting in and out of my hotel room was rough with all those people but all I had to do was flash my Bronx t-shirt and they all ran away.
News on my trip later except for the yarn crawl. Of course going to a new city means new yarn stores. I found three stores within the city limits and since they were within our paths along the city, it didn't take too much to convince my friend Heather to just simply go by the stores.
I really did not need to buy any more yarn at this moment, I am trying to be good until Rhinebeck, but yarn purchased on vacations doesn't count.
I was not fond of the two fancy stores on Newbury Street. I am not going to shop in any store where I don't even get a hello when I walk in, overpriced because of the address and then when the store is full of more needlepoint stuff than good yarn ... I walk out empty handed.
After our tour of Harvard and having some coffee I saw a geeky looking guy with two bags. One full of comic books and the other with yarn...shame he was just too geeky for me. I scared him in the coffee shop when I asked him where did he get the yarn, and after five minutes of confusing directions I was headed to Woolcott & Co. Three blocks from Harvard Square the place was nice. The young girls working on socks in the store were friendly and since they knew that I really was in my element they just smiled, offered help and kept knitting. Most of the stuff in the store was familiar and lovely. I just picked up two balls of Regia Silk which I haven't had the pleasure of knitting with yet and some bamboo circular needles which are plane and Magic Loop friendly.
I promised pictures of the infamous ( they took me forever ) Koigu Groovy Socks. I am not totally thrilled with them but they are not going to be unraveled again. I will wear them proudly and as a reminder of my short row heel hardship.
Then in the continuing baby gifts saga I had decided that I was going to make the Anouk from Knitty.com, I had all the yarn stash colors picked out and I starting knitting immediately. I finished the whole back piece in three days.
Doesn't it look good so far. Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in coral and red...so pretty.
After ... love that ball winder.
I just wasn't happy with the piece I had completed and how it was going to hang. I knew that the gift would be loved, but at this point in my knitting skill I could be better. So I unraveled it and it didn't hurt. That is the true sign for me, if it doesn't hurt as you take it apart then it needs to be redone. I found a new pattern in a Vogue baby book and it will be a simple jumper in the same fabulous colors.
Oh by the way... RAVELRY has called upon me to join the other lovers of the knit and stitch. I have answered the call and give me a few days to get all my stuff rolling and pretty.
For those of you who don't know me ... there is only one baseball team that matters to me... the Bronx Bombers ... those who have won 26 World Championships ... The New York Yankees.
I grew up two blocks from the stadium, playing in and around the stadium and once in a while seeing a player or two.
So where is the last place I should go ...
Boston... and there is where I am going this weekend. With my good friend Heather we are heading to Beantown to see its grandeur and historical wonders. I am a lover of history and that is what I am looking forward to seeing the most.
The one place I can't go near is Fenway Park. Now I am not going to do anything stupid, mami did not raise a fool, but I have maintain my loyalty.
I have scouted out a few yarn/crafts stores in the area and hopefully they won't be hard to find, and I won't be caught without a sock in my bag for the bus ride up there. I am on the foot of a Lorna's Laces sock in the Bittersweet colorway, a fast and simple pattern from the new Easy Knitted Socks book, the one on the cover. I just needed a super fast pattern that wasn't all stockinette stitch.
So if you live in NYC there is nothing worse that the heat at the moment. It seems that August decided to come in with a major heat wave. Now I expect it to happen since it is the summer and all, but damn.
You know its bad when I did no knitting at home unless my portable air conditioner was sitting right in front of me or only at work in the cold a.c. So for this reason I have yet to finish my first koigu "groovy" socks. I am close and hopefully I will have them done by tomorrow night and ready to share with everyone.
But I have been able to finish a baby ensemble for a co-worker, it is so adorable. These are the times I wish I had a baby of my own to knit for....but until then, someone else gets my knitted goodies.
Now .. what happens when you just take some time to browse through Etsy. Another beautiful purchase from White Oak Studios. I am of big fans of two televsion shows with the initals GG. One the Golden Girls and the second being the Gilmore Girls. I am still in mourning for the loss of the Gilmore Girls this past June. So when I was on Etsy, I took a look at this vendors site again and there was her sock yarn in the Gilmore Girls colorway. She has a whole line of tv inspired colorways. I had bought the Buffy the Vampire Slayer for Nancy for her birthday.
Isn't it just perfect. It has the brown for all their coffee consumption and the best blue for the color of their eyes and of course girlie pink. This yarn is going to make me an amazing pair of socks. I was recommended to do the RPM's from Knitty.com
One of the benefits of being a knitter is when you are lucky enough to get goodies from someones family. One of my dearest friends Jeff lost a family member and I was lucky to get all her knitting and crocheting stash. I was blessed to receive yarn which I shared with my knitting group. Needles and markers and holders, most of which ended up in my knitting cube and again I shared the wealth. I kept the booklets and some amazing lace weight yarn with no labels. The best part is this bag with embroidered stitching saying "Knitting is my Bag".. its adorable and all mine now.
Thank you Jeff, Wayne and Maria for all my new goodies.
So for now I am still in baby clothes making mode, I am still using up some yarn stash to make a jumper and some baby bibs. The petal bib from One Skein Knitting is so much fun to make and so easy and quick. I made one in less than two hours this morning.
And as a PSA ... if anyone need to recover from any illness or needs some TLC ... I highly recommend Nancy's house. I was so under the weather last weekend and Nancy took care of me for the day. It meant the world to me and its what I really needed.
One of the best parts of going on vacation is getting souvenirs, but getting goodies moves up to a different level when you stay home and you get goodies from the best friend.
Nancy and her family went on vacation this past week to Virginia, and while they all frolicked in water parks and experienced history at Colonial Williamsbridge, I had house checking duty. Of course I don't mind making sure that her home is safe and checking on the animals because I do get rewarded in many ways.
I got my very own Virginia goodies bag which included an apple spice cake mix ( anything apple related belongs to me... appleholic here ), a replacement copy of the Magic Loop booklet since someone can't find my copy in her house and some amazing yarn. The hank of Claudia Hand Painted Merino yarn in the carousel colorway. I am thinking of making myself some funky gloves for the early winter. Nancy went to what seemed to be a lovely store called Knitting Sisters and she got some amazing things herself.
So... while I was at Michael's this past week looking for some gift basket stuff for the Harry Potter # 7 release party at my store, I came across a knitters best friend ... a clearance sale! The large 600 plus yard Lily's Sugar n' Cream was on sale for $4 per skein. I quickly put away the small balls I had in my basket and picked up three in various colors. I really want to make some of the washcloths from Weekend Knitting and some baby bibs as gifts. The colors are perfect for what I to do this summer.
One of my first short rows socks is finished, I am just having typical second sock syndrome. I am happy how it came out considering that I took it apart 4 times before some success.
Baby Kimono and hat are done but I am adding some easy bloomers from the Cozy Knits book to make a set and to use up the rest of the stash yarn.
Easy Bernat baby blanket done in two nights, hey I am good but it was only garter stitch but I really want to want to loop some ribbon in the eyelets to make it look fancier.
Pics will follow when all is finished.
So who else is watching General Hospital: Night Shift on SoapNet?. After not watching GH for over 15+ years I started watching it again last year, and now I have more chances to drool over Steve Burton.
When you type "knitting blogs" in Google, you get over 3 million hits. There are any number of blogs in the universe, every topic, subject and preference you can imagine.
So why is it that everyone I know, well except those in the knitting community are shocked or surprised when I tell them that I have a knitting related blog.
Is it really that hard to understand or comprehend?
Yes it is true that I am obsessive knitter .. could be worse, I could be addicted making those fan dancer doll toilet paper cozies. You can often see me either reading or knitting on the subway...or when waiting for someone. I have a number of knitting podcasts on my Ipod, but there is also tons of great music on it as well. I have way too many knitting books and yarn in my apartment ... but not as much as some others I know but I don't have a spinning wheel. People don't complain about my knitting when they get a hand knit scarf or hat for the winter or when I make their baby a special hand knit doll or sweater set.
So why then is it that I am constantly being told to join Myspace?
Simple...I have the time for only one online journal and this is it. If you want to find me, then it will be here. If you want to know how I am and what I have been up to you can call or email me or check here weekly.
So ... be fearful my dear friends...you ALL at some point might end up on my blog and I have lots of embarrassing pictures of you all.
Besides all the hunky men in t-shirts, another great thing about NYC in the summer are all the free concerts and events. The top one on my list is Shakespeare in the Park. Waking up at 5 in the morning after closing my store the night before, waiting on line in Central Park for six hours and then having to come back seven hours later for the show is worth it. This year the first show is Romeo and Juliet and it was fabulous. There is nothing better than seeing handsome Romeo dueling hunky Tybalt in a pool of water, and why is it that no matter the production, Mercutio is always HOT!
Well back to the knitting ...
After two different patterns and four false starts, I have finally appeased the sock knitting gods and I am progressing well on my new sock.
Koigu is my yarn of choice and the pattern is a new one from SockPixie called Groovy Sock. I got the link from the podcast Socks in the City. It is the easiest repeat and it knits up quickly, so I recommend it to anyone who has had a small battle with the sock gods and just needs to redeem themselves. Of course I agree with Dharmafey and all others who say that sock knitting will live forever and who really needs all those shawls anyway.
Now to redeem myself to others ... I will do the short row heel on this sock. Yes I will try it and since I will be able to carefully measure the heel this time it might work out better for my precious little foot. Now let me state right now for the record, if I don't like the way it looks...back to my loyal heel flap I go !
I can feel free to leave my home now and not be attached to my cell phone if she called.
After 23 days of not cleaning my apartment are over.. I will be able to see my floor now.
After 23 of not fulfilling any erotic fantasies are over...now I just have to find an gorgeous Australian bungee jumper who dances salsa and enjoys peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I will be able to knit for fun and not to push away the tears from flowing freely on the train as I read headlines from newspapers.
I will be able to stand proudly and wear my new Jimmy Choo shoes and my Free Paris t-shirt.
Paris is free ... Paris is free.
Yeah right...who said membership doesn't have its privileges.
I will celebrate when those falsely accused are released from jail and they all should run into their moms SUV after waving to hundreds of photographers and getting paid millions for a television interview.
Those who know me well know that I am a natural born klutz, I can see the something clearly and then still crash into it. So when I decided to try toe up socks my biggest concern was the short rows. I have not had much luck with them . So after much boo hooing and complaining I broke down and tried them. The toe was easier than I thought and then the foot was cool. With help from some great knitters I did the short rows and the heel was working well. But...that is where it ends. No matter how much measuring I did and fitting and refitting, this sock does not look or feel right to me.
After... I did not like the heel .. even after the third time working the short rows and the heel flap. I was not happy with the fit and the look of the cuff at all.
I would like to thank the ladies who gave me all their wisdom and attention this weekend with this sock....Ann(you were so right), Nancy and Chante. I would like to thank the makers of Koigu for giving me the only pleasure while making this sock. I would like to thank my booksellers who just listen to me vent and bitch about this sock today at work. And I would like to tell the knitting gods that someday I will try toe up socks again, but until then give me a cuff first...anytime.
No Ann... it is not what you think, but it is partially how I spent my week's vacation. I started off the week celebrating my beautiful heritage with the Puerto Rican Day Parade and I ended it crashing on my futon watching old Nancy Drew movies I had on the DVR.
Let me explain.
I have been blessed to have some amazing friends in my life, those people who I turn to on the daily basis for support and love. Nancy and I have been friends since the sixth grade and that is over 27 years now.
Frances and I have been friends since our Holy Communion and we were next door neighbors on Gerard Avenue near Yankee Stadium, and that is close to 26 years. Frances and I had special signals on the wall which was between our apartments. Knocking by the window meant look out the window, and series of knocks by the door meant its time to hang out in the hallway. Our weekends were spent roller skating, reading, playing games and causing trouble in the large hallway in front of our apartments. The doors were open and our parents knew where we were and we were safe. Frances and her family moved to Florida years later but we constantly kept in touch. Tons of letters and phone calls and I still go on a yearly trip to wherever she is. Frances has been blessed with an amazing family. A loving husband Alain who I consider to be a brother, and four beautiful kids. I am still in awe on how both Frances and Nancy juggle their busy lives, and still remain strong women and I am just their to support them both as much as I can.
So this week Frances and her husband came to the Big Apple. They have not been in the city in over 9 years and medical conference came in just in time for some pizza and cute FDNY.
We hit four out of five boroughs, the best restaurant in Little Italy, Chinatown (twice), the South Street Seaport, WTC, The Staten Island ferry, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Rockefeller Center and of course the Bronx.
I found a Hooters in the city for a t-shirt for Frances and of course any one who grew up in NYC has some fond memories and connection to Mr. Softee ice cream, always with rainbow sprinkles and we shared many many margaritas and pizza slices before the weekend was over.
I am officially the best tour guide in the city !!! Since Alain had a medical conference on Friday evening and all day Saturday, Frances and I had the city to ourselves for most of the time. It was great, and this time she was on my turf. There was another trip to Chinatown for some goodies shopping and some Chinese food before Frances and Alain had dinner reservations and tickets for Lion King. By Saturday afternoon Frances was barely holding on while waiting for the 'R' train on Canal Street.
Frances and hubby left on Sunday morning, braving a wild ride to the airport and carrying tons of goodies for the family and lots of great memories.
So by Sunday I was exhausted. I bonded with my futon and I was so tired that I could not even knit on stitch.
Can't wait till next year when they plan on returning.
I revived up my sock knitting skills and finally finished my pair of Hedera socks. The first one was a piece of cake...chocolate cake (my favorite). Like any simple lace pattern, it was easy to memorized and then I was good to go. Until I hit the wall, the dreaded second sock syndrome wall. It was a shock to me, I love making lacy socks and now that I have found a grafting technique that is easy to do, I have no issues...yeah right. It took me a bit of time but they were finished this weekend. The last home stretch was made at Nancy's house sitting on her deck as her hubby grilled some turkey burgers. But the one main lesson to be learned here was the fact that Coronas and Lace do not go well together. I realized as I was almost to the last three rounds of the pattern that I had ignored the last 9 sts in the pattern. So with some discreet ktog and some psso I was able to fix the boo boo and it is barely visible. Heck the socks are mine and no one is going to be able to see the sock that low near my toes.
Even though it looks good, I think this yarn is better for a rib or just plain st st, I wasn't thrilled with the way the lace sts hold up. I have started a new pair of stocks as well as the famous Baby Kimono, but that will come later.
So I have become a little Etsy obsessed. All I really try to do these days is just look and drool, but I broke down bought something. Now before you all say that I was not supposed to buy any yarn, this is sock yarn and it was an orphan. It seems that the original intended buyer never came through, so I was able to get this yarn for a steal.
The yarn was hand dyed by WhiteWillow on Etsy and its in the Lichen colorway. It is 440 yards of merino wool for only $10.00. Now you see why I had to adopt it and give it a good home. The colors are deeper than they look here but I used the natural light on my fire escape instead of my apt. I have also been looking around for someones birthday gift. I wonder what I might find...hmmm
This beautiful flag is over 100 years old, created in 1895 as part of the new revolution to gain independence from Spain.
The flag became the national symbol for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 1952.
Red Stripes for the three branches of government.
White Stripes for liberty and rights kept in balance by the legislature.
Blue Triangle for "republican" representation of government in the three branches.
White Star is the symbol for the Commonwealth.
Over the years the flags meaning has changed from the spirit of revolution for independence from Spain to the similarity in color hues to the flag of the US in the tradition of "Old Glory" as Puerto Rico became property of the US as a Commonwealth.
Here is what I know from my heart.
This flag is a symbol of my parents and island from where they came.
I adore and cherish its history and power.
I do not need t-shirts or hats to prove that I am Boricua
I do not go to parade yearly to prove that I am a proud Puerto Rican woman. I carry myself every day the way my mami taught me ... a strong and smart woman.
It angers me when my "people" choose to be ignorant and stereotypical
I know my history
I know my language
I know my music and food
but don't get it twisted ... YO SOY BORICUA ... PA QUE LO SEPA !
So every year we celebrate in NYC by having the largest parade. The National Puerto Rican Day Parade is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and I will be there. There are times when I just get that urge, the need to be part of the celebration, to be loud and proud. Yes it has had its controveries, and too many floats and too many dancers shaking their booties up 5th avenue and too many just being crazy. But there is nothing better than seeing a proud parent with their child waving the flag, a old timer jibaro in his guayabera and straw hat still dancing and singing. The music and the pagentry... but its worth it, for as loud and crazy as it can be, and for the panic on the faces of the money makers on 5th avenue and for the chance to scream at the top of my lungs with mami
QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO !!!
Yo sé lo que son los encantos de mi borinquen hermosa por eso la quiero yo tanto por siempre la llamaré Preciosa yo sé de sus hembras trigueñas sé del olor de sus rosas por eso a mi tierra riqueña por siempre la llamaré Preciosa...
porque ahora es que comprendo porque ahora es que comprendo que aunque pase lo que pase yo seré puertoriqueño yo seré puertoriqueño por donde quiera que ande, ooohhh por que lo llevo en la sangre por herencia de mis padres y con orgullo repito yo te quiero Puerto Rico yo te quiero Puerto Rico
I know what's enchanting about my beautiful Borinquen That's why I love her so much And I'll always call her Precious
I know about her dark-skinned women I know about the smell of her roses That's why to my rich country I'll always call her Precious
Because it's now that I understand Because it's now that I understand that regardless of what happens I will always be Puerto Rican I will always be Puerto Rican Because wherever I walk, oooohhhh Because I carry it in my blood Because of my parent's heritage And with pride I repeat I love you Puerto Rico I love you Puerto Rico
One of the many advantages of living in the Bronx instead of any other place is that even the one bedroom apartments are not too small. My building is a post WW 2 walk up and the space is descent size for one person. But I have way too much stuff for a one person, but I am working on changing that little by little.
Of course is doesn't help that I have a yarn addiction that has taken over my living room. I had to desperately clean up the corner of the room so that I could actually get to the window. So after some searching, four day wait...a cab ride to the Bronx and the hauling up the stairs...I have this. This comes from Target.com and it serves me well. I needed something that would look good and that wouldn't take up too much space. Trust me .. it did not take me too long to fill it up.
I barely found space for the last four skeins of sock yarn. The first shelf is full of sock yarn, I have way too much Regia sock yarn.
All the Debbie Bliss yarn will be used up soon, I have to start working on some cute baby items and that will use up a lot of the baby cashmerino I have been hoarding. Now I have to find something to do with the eleven skeins of Lambs Pride I bought last year for a sweater which I still haven't used and don't know if I like anymore.
So who is getting addicted to Etsy? I am blaming Chante for my new found addiction to Etsy.
So there is this tagging thing going on these days...sharing about share 7 to 8 things about yourself and then sending it to other people and so on. So I will do the random things about myself but I really don't have that many people to tag ... so I am flying solo.
1. Something that took me awhile to realize is that I am the youngest of nine kids, not 5 as I grew up with. I have four brothers on my mom side who I grew up with and then there are the kids my dad had a long long time before I came around. Those other siblings weren't a part of my life. My dad didn't make the effort to have us know each other, so my new found connection with another brother and sister did not happen until my dad's passing.
2. I secretly have always wanted to be a backup singer. One of those standing behind a mic stand doing the ohhs and ahhs. Just enjoying the singing and the touring but the one problem is that I cannot sing. One chance to sing backup for a salsa band is all I need ... lol
3. Remember all those Freddy films and Chucky movies, those infamous horror films that came out in the 80's and 90's ... haven't seen any of them and I never will.
4. Someday I will get on that hot air balloon. Almost did it in San Diego but my mom would have had a heart attack if I went up in the air.
5. In my closet I still have my Donny and Marie dolls. There were a Christmas gift and they are still in good condition. I loved watching the Donny and Marie shows and all those variety shows in the 1970's. My Donny doll was heavily involved with my Barbie doll for a bit there.
6. It is ironic that out of most of my friends I am the one who is still single and with no kids. Trust me is not from wanting or the looking for 'mr right' but I was always the one who was domestic and should have been settled down by now.
7. I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES ... enough said
8. I was once totally obsessed Montgomery Clift and I even found the brownstone that he lived at in 60's. I still have issues with his friendship with Liz Taylor.
One of the best parts of my trip to New Orleans is hanging out with my friend Cindy and her family. Even though Cindy now lives in North Carolina, she travels to her family in New Orleans. This amazing lady is Dot..or Grandma to everyone else. Dot has officially renamed me Caramel and I love it...but she is the only one who can call me that. At 85 and standing strong, Dot is still independent as she is the matriarch of the family and it is beautiful to see how everyone rallies around her. The whole family welcomed me to the city...and that is a big family.
Cindy made every effort to make the city come alive for me. From taking to the Garden District and showing me all the beautiful homes to all the parts which are still struggling years after Hurricane Katrina. It is amazing to think of the hardship that everyone is still dealing with on the daily basis. Even in the oldest areas, the old "money", the homes are not the same. There is that feeling of total frustration and fear of flooding happening again.
There is an underlying amount of love and warmth in this city but it is still clouded with fear and uncertainty.
My last night in New Orleans was all about Bourbon Street. Starting with an amazing dinner to too many margaritas and lots & lots of dancing. Cindy and I had a fantastic time strutting our butts down Bourbon Street..and we were not the only ones.
Lets just say...what happens on Bourbon Street stays on Bourbon Street.
Brunch of course was at Brennan's ... Bananas Foster enough said..( which was created by Cindy's husbands grandfather) .
All I know is that I have to back to New Orleans. The beautiful and lovely people, they were helpful and grateful for all the visitors and on top of all that...the are still so proud of their home.
The four days that I spent New Orleans were just enough and then again not nearly enough time to enjoy this wonderful city. I spent the first day on my own walking around the French Quarter but then on Friday I met up with Cindy.
Cindy flew in to Baton Rouge from North Carolina and she drove to meet up with me. The skies decided to open up and let the rain come down. I have never seen rain like that in my life, but we were not letting that stop us at all. We headed to the Central Market to have my first muffaletta... yes I did try all the food that was to be had. I had to make a stop at the oldest voodoo shop in the Quarter...weird for a good Catholic girl like me.
Of course I would choose to go to NOLA during Jazz Fest. Since it rained on Friday, the festival was packed on Saturday and the heat was amazing. I have never felt that kind of heat in such a short period of time and I am still dealing with the sunburn a week later. Cindy wanted me to get the full Jazz Fest experience from all the food to the Southern Comfort hurricanes, but when the sun decided to beam on me and her daughter Kaitlin, we decided that it was time to go. The event was amazing and the people plan there year around this week long festival.
The beauty of the city was enhanced for me when Cindy drove me around the town. All the plantation style homes, the oldest homes in Louisiana and of course Anne Rice's home which is beautiful and now it belongs to the city again. The St. Charles trolley is not running yet which was so disappointing. Cindy took me to some of the oldest parts of the city, along with seeing Tulane and Loyola Universities. The hardest parts of the city to see where those that were still dealing with the after effects of Hurricane Katrina. I can't even express the how hard it was to see those homes with water lines where the water settled, and those 'x' marks made by the rescue teams. The canals that overflowed and the walls that broke. The water had no where to go...I can't even imagine living and trying to survive those days.
So of course I had to make the effort to find a yarn store in New Orleans. The one I ended up going to was not the one I was looking for but it was quick find and on the corner of Jackson Square. The ladies at the Visitor's Center wasn't surprised when I told her I was looking for a knitting store....hmmm
I found this sweet store called The Quarter Stitch. Now this a new store and they specialize in needlepoint and they have a lot of novelty yarns but they had the one thing that made me stop and shop...KOIGU. So I found myself some of the coolest purple sock yarn but this is how they wrapped the yarn.
I DON'T WANT TO OPEN UP THIS PACKAGE...THE KOIGU IS INSIDE........HELP ME !!!
The ladies at the shop were hilarious, telling me stories of working at the New Orleans Zoo and their amazing gorillas.
Boricua Bronx girl born and bred. Bookstore manager for too many years to mention. Lover of books, baseball and football, and keeping my life simple and drama free. Lover of my fantastic city and my family and friends.