Thursday, November 29, 2007

The crazy life I live...

I've actually gotten work done today! It's not easy getting back into the pace of things, but it's happening. This project will get done!

So this whole Ravelry thing....oh my could spend all day entering in information. I have a feeling that once you get going it's not so bad, but it's going to take a serious chunk of time to get everything entered in there! I don't know how everyone else has done it!

I have some beautiful yarn that's turquoise with a thin black thread of what might be mohair or something else fuzzy in it. Let's face it, I'm not a fiber expert and the yarn doesn't have a label. Looks like there might be as much as 300 grams or so and it's about 2 ply. I think it would make gorgeous socks, but there's so much of it that I think I might be able to do something else. I'm hereby asking for suggestions! If you know of a pattern please post it to me! I will take the wool to River Knits tomorrow to see how much of it there is and will post that later. I'll post a photo too. Please though....give me your suggestions!

Another addiction I have is dishes. I love dishes. I said I don't collect anything in my questionnaire, but I lied....I collect dishes. I'm only 27 and i don't even have my own place to live and I have at least 7 sets of dishes. They're all nice too. I've been collecting the white milk glass with the grape pattern on it since I was probably 6 years old. I have trunk fulls of the stuff. Ok, trunks and boxes and tubs and bins! I LOVE Fiastaware! Have a combination of new and old. Most of my dinner plates are and green. But I have dessert plates and tumblers and serving dishes in all the other colors! I have Christmas dishes (maybe two sets, so I suppose one set is going to my big sister). I bought dishes in Ireland that I think are from the Basque country. Can't wait to have a tapas party with thouse! Mom had a set of awesome retro dishes with concentric circles in orange and yellow and brown. Trust me, they're cool! and I finally fell in love with a China pattern. It's Grace China Formal Garden Pattern. I bought a set at an antique store. Actually my mom's my Christmas present! So there you have it....I confess...I love dishes!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blogging from the back room...

Annie is nice and is letting me use the internet. Yeah! I just got my hair cut today. I love that feeling...knowing that all the nasty dead ends are gone and of course it always looks better when someone else styles your hair! Yeah for Tim Deeter!

(well, now I'm back at Cafe Vienna)

I really missed knitting club tonight. I like the routine of going and the social outlet and all the laughs. Instead, I went with my mom to her English class at Purdue. It's the class all first year university students are required to take. Most of them had an exam tonight, so mom took them pizza and I had to carry the drinks. It's always kind of fun meeting her students. I've been going to class with her since I was a few weeks old, so it's not new to me! It was cool, because I went back to the car at 5 o'clock and the Hail Purdue was ringing from the bell tower! I want to go to school again at Purdue, but I realize that it just might not work out and I'm preparing myself for that. I'd do just about anything to do my PhD there though. I'd be absolutely thrilled to do research at Purdue and live close to home and be close to friends. Fingers are crossed!

I don't know that there's anything else to report. Maybe something exciting will happen another day!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Three Currencies...

I had lunch with my dear friend, Dana today at Qudoba! I LOVE Qudoba. I always get the same thing...Queso burrito with chicken please! I went to get money to pay and realized I had money in three different currencies in my wallet. That was a funny sight to see! Czech crowns, Euro and Dollars.

There's a guy here at the coffee shop who I recognize because he used to always be here when I lived here a long time ago. So I'm he a PhD student? Professor? Post Doc? Has he failed out several times? Then I thought, oh dear! What if he's looking at me thinking the same? What is that girl doing here still? Shouldn't she have graduated by now?

I'm glad to be home, but some things are a little overwhelming. Like the grocery store. I went to the new Payless and didn't make it through even half the store before I had to get out. The isles are so long that they are split in half. There's a dividing isle perpendicular to all the main isles. Probably because if there weren't, it would be some kind of fire hazard! How nuts is that? I'm going to have to sneak some photos to post...seeing is believing!

Well, time to get some serious work done. This thesis isn't going to write itself!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Getting Settled In...

This is the first I've gotten to check my email since Thursday morning. Funny how attached we are to technology. I don't even have a cell phone right now. I'm going to remedy that situation though here in a little bit. I'm enjoying a lovely cup of coffee at Cafe favorite coffee shop at home! The only thing is the side area is under renovation. They have these dumb murals of sea side scenes. I dont' like it. It looks...well....dumb and it doesn't fit with what I think of when I think of any coffee shop. Maybe a tacky Italian restaurant, but not a coffee shop.

Exciting news....I GOT RAVELRY! I don't have time tonight to get things set up, but I'm excited about getting that going one day in the not so distant future.

I also have been raiding my mom's stash. She has some really beautiful yarn. I found some Irish wool....maybe 800 grams of orange (a bright, but pretty orange) and about 500 grams of blue. There's some other lovely wool yarn, but not in large quantities. Enough for scarves and mittens and hats and things like that though. I also got to look through all her needles that have been picked up at thrift stores here and there over the years. I found a new set of bamboo double points that are a nice brand. I just can't remember the brand right now. Ah, man....I can't remember the brand of the other beautiful wooden needles I found either. Drat! The most special needles I found were dark wood with decoratively carved tops. Turns out they were my Great Aunts! I love having a pair of really special needles!

Mom and I went to River City Knits...the local yarn store. They have a beautiful selection. I'm looking forward to going back to find a special yarn for my sock pal. I saw some that I think I want to get for her. I'm excited! Speaking of my sock pal...I've almost finished a pair of socks for fun/slash practice! Good news! They're going to fit me! I was worried I'd mess something up and they wouldn't, but they will!

I've got to go sort out the cell phone situation so that I can be in the communicating world again.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's thanksgiving....

Another sock swap contest...I have to blog 10 things I'm thankful for. Seeing as I'm fairly fresh off the airplane I have a light hearted list of things to be thankful.

1. That I didn't break my knee when I fell down the stairs at the airport.
2. That the USDA didn't find anything in my bags when I went through customs. (for the record I had a vanilla bean from Mexico)
3. That Aurio decided we can be friends. (he's not always happy for people other than his mommy to hold him)
4. That my sister's 130 pound dog didn't wake me up by whaking me with her tail or head butting me this morning. (she's getting old...that's was my saving grace!)
5. That my sister makes a lovely cup of morning coffee.
6. ;ll;,k <----Aurelio is thanksful for his new Radio Flier Rocket and I am thankful it has an on/off switch.
7. It's snowing big beautiful fluffy snowflakes in Chicago!
8. That my sister and I are the same size and that she let me have clean clothes to wear so I don't have to unpack yet (poor planning of my part...should have had an outfit ready).
9. That I can sleep during the 3 hour car ride from my sister's place to my mom's. (I was up at 7 and suffering some serious jet lag).
10. Mostly I'm thankful that I get to see my entire family very very soon!

More airplane blogging...

This was the hardest it’s ever been to leave Dublin. It’s weird because I’m coming back in just 8 weeks, but I think the problem is that it made everyone realize that this adventure is coming to an end. It’s the first any of us have really had to admit it. Last night I was clearing out my room so Alma can move in. It’s always strange to see your personal space to bare and naked. I won’t see Alma again in Doublin probably. Especially strange because I’ve only known her since September, but she’s become a very special friend to me. She gave me an organic vanilla bean from Mexico and a precious little woven keepsake box. Inside the box was a beautiful necklace made of the tiniest little snail shells. It’s gorgeous! Katharine cried last night which made things a little hard at the time because it hadn’t really hit me so much yet. It’s strange knowing we won’t be roommates in a few months. She’s been a good roommate. I must have hugged Taryna 5 times this morning before I really left. I’m so glad to have her for a friend. I mean who else am I going to sit and knit with and watch Oprah?!?! Kevin took me to the airport this morning which was extra sweet…bitter sweet though. But it was a comfort to have such a good friend to keep me smiling on my way out there.

I ended up on a great flight! Ok, that’s not the right word….a great plane. Flight was annoying like long flights are. The plane is an Airbus 330-300 so four seats in the middle and two on either side. No one sat next to me…love that! I don’t know if it’s a new plane or what, but it has personal on-demand TV and movies! Woohoo! I had all these grand intentions to watch movies the entire time, but I didn’t. Ended up just watching Hairspray and Over the Hedge. So here’s my big dork moment…I’m always curious if planes have GE engines. Upon take off I could tell the plane has GE engines. GE engines have a wine to them when they get fired up. (Thanks John) So then later during the flight I felt silly because when I looked out the window there was a big GE logo on the engine casing. Guess I could have figured it out a lot earlier if I had bothered to look out the window. Oh well, I was too buys watching movies.

I managed to knit a little cell phone/iPod case during the flight. It’s cabled, so I had to get a little creative. I had the cute little wooden needles that can double as hair sticks. No scissors and no cable needle though. I used a bobby pin for cabling and the knife from my lunch to cut the yarn when I needed it. Oh, and the bobby pin also doubled as a needle for doing a mattress stitch seam and for picking up stitches for the flap. Innovative knitting 101, I suppose.

This flight seems like it’s never going to end. Captain says we lost time due to strong head winds, so I’ve officially been on the plane 8 hours. As far as I’m concerned that’s about 5 hours too long. I’m ready to get off this plane!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sock it to me questionnaire...

I'm doing my first sock swap and I have to answer theses questions.
  1. How long have you been knitting? Do you consider yourself beginner, intermediate, advanced? My mom taught me to knit a few years ago. The only reason I thought it was cool was because I found out Julia Roberts knit sweaters on the movie sets. Mom came over to Ireland to visit me this July and I relearned. She dragged me to knitting club and I'm hooked now for good. I'd say I'm intermediate. Definitely not advanced yet, but past the beginner stages I think.
  2. How long have you been knitting socks? I've not been knitting socks long. I've done a lot of practicing. I've started the toe several times. I can't say much about the socks I'm knitting now or else some one's Christmas present wont' be a surprise. Any of you who are I hope she's not knitting my socks...relax...I promise I will send you a great pair of socks!
  3. What are your favorite fibers to work with? I like to work with wool or wool blends. I suppose I'm an amature when it comes to fibers.
  4. What is your favorite color? I like the colors of, orange, yellow, brown. I also really like pink. I'm going to cut to the chase on this though...I think we're basically saying what color socks we want by saying our favorite color. I love surprises and will be happy with whatever you choose! I like wearing rich colors. Not really into pastels all that much. Still...I can't imagine being disappointed with anything you pick.
  5. What are your current WIPs (works in progress)? Currently I'm knitting something small for my new niece. I can't say exactly what it is since sometimes her mommy and daddy read my blog!
  6. Name your favorite yarns, (brand, fibers, colors, etc.). I knit a sweater with Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in a taupe color with raspberry accents. It was lovely to work with. I would like to knit sometime out of a naturally died, hand spun yarn. Sounds so elegant!
  7. What are some yarns/fibers that you stay away from. Anything that feels like it's been made of recycled soda pop bottles! I don't really like the trendy eye lashy stuff either.
  8. What is your family situation? (Married, kids, pets?) Baxter is the most wonderful dog in the world! He's the real man in my life. Ha Ha! I have a wonderful family, but no husband and no children of my own. I had a cat - Jack - who my mom adopted when I moved to Ireland.
  9. Name some of your hobbies. I really enjoy outdoor sports and activities. I like cooking and eating good food. Wine has become more of an interest and I like trying different beers too. I also enjoy board games. I'm moving back home on Wednesday and look forward to hanging out with my dog more than just about anything. He's my pride and joy!
  10. Name some of your favorite movies? Little Miss Sunshine, You've Got Mail, Once
  11. Do you like to read? I wish I enjoyed reading. I try to read books on occasion, but I can't remember the last book I actually finished. Magazines are nice because you don't need a long attention span for them!
  12. Do you collect anything? That's actually kind of a hard question to answer. I suppose I'd say no, but my guess is other people might disagree. I like kitchen gadgets. Especially if they are red. My yarn collection is growing. I suppose I have lots of stuff that could be categorized as a collection, but I still don't count it as one.
  13. Do you own an iPod or mp3 player? I'm an ipod nano girl.
  14. What are your favorite type of knitting needles? I have a set of Addi turbo circular needles that I find delightful to work with. I like the colorful nylon/plastic needles though. They're so cheerful!
  15. What knitting notion could you not live without? Stitch markers. On one surf trip, I forgot stitch markers and ended up ripping a receipt into little strips and twisting them around my needles.
  16. Who are some of your favorite designers? I have to say....I really like Joelle Hoverson's patterns in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I don't know that I have enough experience to give all the designers out there a fair chance though.
  17. Do you subscribe to any magazines? (Knitting or otherwise.) I don't subscribe to any knitting magazines, but I do subscibe to Outdoor Magazine. Before I moved to Ireland I had Cooking Light. That's a great magazine!
  18. When is your birthday? August 25
  19. Do you have a "wishlist", (on Ravelry, Froogle, or Amazon)? wish lists.
  20. Do you have a Ravelry ID? According to antsy....I signed up on November 1, 2007,I am #51769 on the list, 1897 people are ahead of me in line, 7966 people are behind me in line, 83% of the list has been invited so far.
  21. If you had a sheep, what would you name it? A boy sheep....Arnold. A girl sheep...Ilene. Those seem like nice sheep names.

Nearing the end of an era...

I've just boarded my plane in the Netherlands and in about 2 hours will be back in Dublin. This is the 44th plane I've been on in the last 435 days and marks a sad closing of sorts. It was my last eruo-trip with Big John. We've had at least 16 trips covering more than 12 cities in 8 countries. Ironically, we've nevber really hung out in our home town together. Another fun stat...I have only 4 more spaces for stamps left in my passport. So, in less than 48 hours, I'll only have 3 stamp spots left in the passport and I'll be boarding flight number 45.....home sweet home!

(just a note: I wrote that on the plane and posted it when I got home. The dumb guy at passport control in Dublin used a whole new stamp spot to stamp me back into Dublin. That was annoying since they usually just stamp on the Visa page. So now I have 2 real spots left and another place where a stamp could fit even though there are already 4 on the page. 3 Spots left. it's only really a little over 24 hours till I'll be on my way home sweet home.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Things I'm going to miss about Dublin...

I am just dying to go home, but getting sentimental about leaving at the same time. I've had a running list of things in my mind that I'm going to miss and figure I'll jot them no specific order of course...

Aldi Bio-detergent capsules, random surf weekends, Zach - the neighbor's dog, the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street, Patagonia gear sales, knitting club, Taryna yelling at her computer, being within walking/biking distance of anything and everything, weekend trips all over Europe with John, the fireplace, digestive biscuits, chats over a cup of hot chocolate with Kevin, sharing dinners with Alma and Taryna, pubs, the Cake Cafe, (list to be continued as thing come to mind)

And here are the random things I'm looking forward to when I get home...
Baxter, Seeing Anja Louise, celebrating Aurelio's first birthday, Arni's junior salad, going to the River, going through Mom's yarn stash, taking walks down town, Cafe Vienna, Mom's cooking, seeing old friends, seeing if Tide Coldwater is as good as Aldi bio capsules, sleeping in my own bed, the Goodwill, McCord's strawberry coke with real strawberries, (list to be continued as things come to mind)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Random things happen sometimes that turn out to be fantastic. I signed up for Facebook a few weeks ago thinking I was going to get 5 free itunes. That didn't happen, but it did put me in touch with some old friends. I suppose that's the purpose of Facebook and MySpace and such. Anyway, turns out this guy, Scarpacci, is in Prague. So we were able to get in touch and met up in Prague while I was there. Ended up being the most fun hanging out with him.

I can see why people love Prague. It's gorgeous! The food is really good. Well, except I had one strange meal. Not bad, but really strange. A chicken breast with apples, caramel sauce and melted cheese. The caramel sauce looked for all the world like brown gravy. It was a mind game every time I took a bite! "This is going to taste like rice and caramel" take a bite..."Ooh, yeah that's not brown gravy. That tastes like caramel." It was an exhausting experience for my taste buds. The only bad thing about Prague is that despite the small size of the city, it's remarkably easy to get lost! I don't know how many times we walked in circles or just entirely in the wrong direction for 5 minutes before we realized we didn't know where we were. Oh well, got to see more of the city that way, I suppose!

When I'm flying I almost inevitably get so bored that I start reading the airline magazine. I try to save it till I'm really bored though. So when I reached this point on my way home from Prague, I grabbed it from the seat pocket. Usually I've already read it, but I haven't flown Aer Lingus for over 2 months, so this issue was new material for me. Then it clicked and I frantically flipped to the movie listing pages! Guess what flight are on my flight home next week! Hairspray and Transformers. I've seen Hairspray, but I'm excited to see it again. It will be hard to control myself from singing along with all the great songs. I haven't seen Transformers, but everyone said it's pretty good. Woohoo! Exactly 7 more days till I'll be on my way home to see my family, my dog, my friends and hey....I'll have good movies to watch on the way!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We did it!

Harriet - quite possibly the nicest Welsh girl in all of the world - taught me and Mary to crochet tonight. We are quite proud of our granny squares. I'd say my square is more of a rhomboid! I'm going to miss knitting club a lot when I'm gone.

I'm pretty homesick today. I think it has to do with a beautiful little girl who I'm dying to get to see! I keep looking at all the photos of Anja Louise. The last time I was home was when I found out Annie was pregnant. That puts it into perspective for me!

Plus, I got lots of photos from AnnLaura yesterday too. Aurelio is getting so big! He's going to be doing pull-ups soon which should make his daddy proud.

I'm ready to go home and see everyone. Very ready....

She's Here!

Anja Louise Schap - 5 lb 13 oz and measured 18 inches

I was in Prague for the weekend and had a wonderful time. Even more wonderful though is the birthday of my new niece! She's absolutely beautiful in the photos! Now I'm even more excited about going home and seeing her for myself! Now I can go crazy with girly colors! So exciting! Congratulations to Martin and Annie!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tim Deeter

Tim Deeter is the best hair stylest in Lafayette, Indiana. Possibly even in the world! My sister-in-law just got her first Deeter-cut and loves it! I ended up getting my haircut in Dublin and was not thrilled at all. Tim would have never let me walk out looking like that! So this reminds me, I need to get an appointment to get my hair cut soon after I get home. Tim works at the Design Team. If you decide to go for a new style, let him know I sent you! He should know someone is telling the world how fabulous he is!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wine & Wonder

The Cake Cafe is quite possibly the best cafe in all of Dublin! The have amazing sandwiches and they serve things on and in mismatched antique dishes. Even Wedgwood! Recently there was a wine tasting series. Last night Kevin and I got to go the Wines of the Mediterranean class! Now, I've got a developing passion for wine since living in Europe. My first influence were the vineyards near Toulouse in the south of France. Then, living in Portugal for 6 weeks and studying wine there really taught me a lot. Unfortunately, I know more about the chemistry than the tastes of wine. I'm starting to be able to pick out scents like floral and spicy. My shining moment last night was when I thought the wine smelled kind of like pie filling and the expert later told us he thought it smelled like preserved berries! There was a lovely mix of people - younger and older - and everyone interacted throughout the evening. The wine was good. I can't say anything really stood out at me as a top notch wine, but having the chance to try wines from an area I'm unfamiliar with was great. We tried 3 from Greece, 2 from Italy and 2 from Spain. The funny things was that at the end, we were asked first to vote for our favorite. Then, we had to guess the prices. As it turns out my favorite wine was also the most expensive wine! What can I say...I have expensive taste! There will be another series of classes after Christmas, so for all of you in Dublin - contact the Cake Cafe for more details!

Tonight is knitting group and alas...I don't have a project suitable to take. I'm thinking it's about time to start either a pair of convertible mittens or a pair of wrist warmers. I started socks the other night, but that's going to take way too much concentration. I've got my Irish Hiking Scarf that I should be working on. Maybe that's the best bet. It needs to be done by Christmas for a certain beautiful friend of mine back home!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fun Games Fun Times...

Well, first off...the Honey Show yesterday was a bust. Harriet and I had so many wonderful knit things to sell and no one to sell them to. It was the wrong audience. Thanks to Miriam for buying one of my hats. I hope it looks cute on your grandson!

I've discovered a few new games. Zigity and Dicewords. Zigity is right up my alley! It's a card game and it takes very few brain cells to play! It's made by the same company as Cranium - another great game! Dicewords is well...not a good game for me. You have to be able to think of words and spell them. It's kind of combination of Scrabble and Boggle. I know some people who would kill me in this game! Mostly Martin, Annie and my friend Kristy. Last night there were four of us playing Dicewords...two native English speakers and two non-native. My housemate Taryna from Malaysia was blowing us out of the water! I don't know how she does it, but she can thing of all kinds of words! Alma, from Mexico was doing great too! Kevin and I were struggling a bit. Kevin won though becuase he had one word worth over 100 points. 'Bouquet' was his last word that put the rest of us out of the competition. Kind of anyway. He was thinking bouque might be a word, but I helped him and told him to put the T on the end. So really it was my word and he should have won. On the other hand the game was lasting forever and we were all ready for it to end.

I've started thinking about doing a PhD. My adviser here is talking to me about it and my adviser from Purdue has a few projects I might like too. I have to get a lot more details on all fronts before I get too excited. If I go to Purdue, the GRE is in my near future. Ugh. Who wants to have to take the GRE at this stage? Or ever for that matter? If I do a project here, I need to know where I might live. Can I mostly live back home and travel back and forth? What's the funding like? Can I do it through Trinity or UCD instead of DIT? Do I even want to do a PhD? If I did it at home, where would I live? Apartment? House? Lafayette? West Lafayette? And here, I thought I'd just be going home to find a nice cushy job. Now I have all kinds of complications.

For now though, this thesis project needs to get done. Only 6 more weeks! How scary is that? Right....back to work!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Entirely Frustrated!

Oh my gosh! So I have to use the school computer lab to do SPSS (statistics) stuff.
I'm at Kevin St and getting more and more frustrated by the minute.
First off, this college houses a decently large number of students and
only 12 computers in the lab. They are pretty much always full, so
it's not like they aren't being used ya know? More would get used if
there were more available. 2 of the 12 computers won't let anyone log
in right now. A third computer is connected to the scanner and you're
not to use it unless you're using the scanner. So really there are only
9. More complaints...The tables in here are ridiculously high for the
height of the chairs. I have to raise my shoulder AND fold my leg
underneath my bum and sit on it to be an a comfortable height to type
and let me tell you...this is not a comfortable way to sit! And X controller is turned off and you need it to run gmail
properly, so I'm looking at my gmail in HTML view. Then, because
everything is jacked up, the system won't let me open the SPSS data
base that I started the other day. It was an email attachment and they
said I don't have permission to open attachments. Are you kidding? I
mean these are all simple things that a school of technology should be
able to handle.

It's going to take more than one bar of chocolate to get through today!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Knit & Stitch Show

Today was the first day of the Knit and Stitch Show at the RDS here in Dublin. Talk about a little slice of heaven! I'm not sure how I managed to walk out of there without buying any new wool. Well I do...poor student budget and plenty of yarn in the stash! My one little splurge was to take a workshop on spinning silk. Ruth MacGregor taught the class. Lucky for me, I'd used a drop spindle when I was little so it wasn't so new to me. The top-whorl spindle is a bit different though. So now I have a few meters of lime green silk yarn! I bought some more in red and purple. She says if I spin it and then ply it, I'll have enough for a scarf or mittens. I'm thinking mittens. Really bold, colorful mittens!

I haven't talked about my thesis much if at all, but for anyone wondering if I do anything for school...I DO! My literature review is basically done and I'm working on setting up my statistics data base. Joy. I'm still collecting data...I'm the obnoxious person who calls at dinner time to ask if you will participate in my survey. Well, only if you're a breast feeding counselor in Dublin. I'd say most of you are safe from my call! I have two calls to make tonight. Maybe a few more if I'm lucky.