aka: Shannon's Shananigan's (Since there seems to be less & less knitting and more Shananigan-ing going on as of late and well, let's face it, she's just going to always be a techygeekgirl!!)

Monday, January 30, 2006

From The Artistic End Of The Gene Pool....

Just wanted to give some "props" to my youngest brother Matt (or Matty) who is finishing up his last year in college at DePaul in Chicago.

Here is his website.

As you can see, he got ALL the artistic genes in the family....

(Good job Matt....Love the work! You still need to paint something for my house...)

Sunday, January 29, 2006


First of all, thanks to all who commented on my last entry. I am doing better, though still working everyting out. I think writing it down and really taking a hard look at all that's going on right now is good... That and Anna said that there was something SERIOUSLY wrong with the Universe that day and all sorts of WACKY (that's putting it lightly!) things were happening to otherwise normal people all over the place that day, so I was not alone in what I was feeling...and it wasn't even a full moon or the 13th or anything!.....Ok, and that's all I'm going to say about that...

(Oh, and Crazy Aunt Purl used the same title for her blog entry yesterday that I had...but for the record, I used it FIRST!)

So yesterday I took a little road trip with Bill & Cherie to Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston, MO.

It was about a 2 hour trip and Bill drove, so I got some quality knitting in. We got there at the right time, as we didn't have to wait and sat right down. The food was wonderful! (Cracker Barrel has NOTHING on them....Southern Fried, real butter, accents, bow ties, throwed rolls and everything!) Yep, it's the home of the "Throwed Rolls" and we got caught in the crossfire, even though we were seated next to the wall. We decided that the "JV" Roll Throwing Team was on duty, as they couldn't hit any of their "targets" and I ended up with two hitting my feet and one skipping across my plate of mashed potatoes, then Cherie's plate, then hitting the wall! I didn't know a roll would EXPLODE like that! The workers were rather entertaining too, especially since we ended up sitting there for almost an hour after we ate...Hey it was a 2 hour drive...we were going to savor the atmosphere!

Since I am all for multi-tasking, I was able to ride in the back of the van and knit, while listening to good comedy CDs and enjoying good conversation....SHEEP 1 is complete except for the eyes...need to fine a place that sells cute black button eyes. Somehow one of the front legs were HUGE, but it turned out OK. As I have always said...."Felting cures all knitting mistakes..."

The pattern for the sheep is called "baa...baa...baa..." by Bev Galeskas from the book Encyclopedia of Knitting by Donna Kooler.

I can't find the tag from the brown/offwhite yarn, but the hooves & nose are Plymouth Galway Highland Heather in color #704. I may make the next one in a white, which is a Cascade 220 in natural...but I haven't decided yet. I made the body single ply, which I probably should have doubled it, but it turned out OK.

Before Felting:

After Felting & Stuffing:

Still haven't even printed out my pattern for the Knitting Olympics. I do still need to settle on a yarn too. I may "scuba" the stash and see what I come up with before committing myself to a LYS run. Not that I don't like to go, but...

My swim kids have a fun meet this weekend which should be interesting. They only run places and don't take times. This non-competitive, competitive swimming is crazy! It's definitely not a Rockwood or Parkway program out here! (though trying to recruit swimmers for Dad's team at Ursuline!)

Many more road trips are in discussion...I want to go to Chicago to see my girlies when it gets warmer and I have a standing invitation to visit my aunt & uncle in Davenport, IA. I'd like to go when my uncle's band The Bureaucats is playing, so I'll have to check the schedule. Plus, Cherie & Bill are talking about other places to go in MO to eat...(Keep swimming!) Then Anna is talking about road trips to yarn & spinning stores in MO....Sounds like the Spring & Summer are going to be busy....All I can say is:


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Do you remember when you were young and went away to camp or something and came back and felt like everything has changed....but realized that you had changed and everything else is still the same??

I feel like that right now. Actually I've been feeling like this since around Christmas.

I'm not quite sure what has triggered it, but I have been feeling like I've been in a state of "flux" for awhile now. I'm not sure what I want to do, who I want to talk to, what I want to spend my time doing, volunteering for what, etc....It's really kind of disturbing for a person who is a compulsive planner and knows what is going on 24/7!

They say that every person changes every 7 years...I'm about 5 years into my latest change....perhaps it's related!

So, any of you out there that I relate to on a regular basis....If I'm a little off, you now know's not you....apparently it's me!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Geez...Alright I'll Post Already!

I know I've been a slacker on my blog the last couple of weeks...But I've had good excuses!

Actually today is the first day I have actually had to sit down for a few minutes, yet I still have stuff to do today too! Since Jan 5, I have:

Made cards for my CTMH Open House
Held a CTMH Open House

Attended Dinner at my boss's house
Coached Swim Team
Practiced Master's Swimming (and swam or run/walked other times too!)
Set Up for the SJG Benefit Crop
Worked/Cleaned up the SJG Benefit Crop

Drove with MA & Mom to south Chicago (9 hours driving in 1 day!) to visit the Outlet mall (I get to navigate next time, as we really didn't have to see downtown Aurora on the way!)
Attended a Parish Council Meeting
Attended a DG Meeting
Attended a Tulsa Alumni Cocktail Party
Held a Scrapbooking crop at my house
Held a Gathering at a customer's house in Troy, Mo (first $1000 gathering!)
Started my CTMH website

Ok, so I know more people out there are busier than I am (but I don't have kids!) , but I rank right up there...

So, that being said though...that means that I haven't even TOUCHED my knitting in a couple of weeks...not good! The sheep has been started, but still has a bit to go.
(This is the "tooshie" end... the clip is where the tail will go) I would love to have them both done by the PBR on Feb. 25th, but I think that's going to be pushing it, with the Knitting Olympics coming up. Rodeo season starts March or April, so I have some time...

"The Knitting Olympics?" you say...Oh, yes, the Knitting Olympics!!! I've always DREAMED of being an Olympian and Lord knows I'll never make it there swimming. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee put out the challenge to all knitters to complete a project during the 16 Days of Glory, AKA The Winter Olympic Games. The project must be something challenging to each individual and completed during that time frame. Since I'm always up for a challenge, I joined in. I decided I would knit my first pair of socks. Of course Anna had to chime in that I could already knit in the round and have technically done socks before, so I needed to knit Cabled Socks. The pattern I came up with this pattern - Cable Twist Socks. (As if Cabled Socks weren't enough...I had to throw in the TWIST...I think I get extra degree of difficulty points in snowboarding!)

So, that will be my February (at least from Feb 10 - Feb. 26). Apparently I am going to have to break the knitting speed barrier and figure out how to get them done. I haven't crossed that "knitting during meetings" line, but I'm starting to figure out ways to justify it...I think I can wrangle it, if I get creative!

Wish me luck and I welcome sponsors of my team - mainly chocolate and wine - they are legal in the competition!

PS - As for the picture...I'll see what I can come up with for a replacement...Right now I don't have many "self-portraits" that are good, so I may post the pups instead...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's Been One Year...

Since my divorce was final.

It feels strange to say that, especially since I never thought I would have made it to 1 week, let alone one year!

My life completely changed that day. Especially my name!

Sometimes it seems like it was for the worse, but most days I KNOW it was for the better.

I've learned a lot, done a lot, met a lot of people, cried some, laughed alot, partied maybe too much, grew up a bunch and cheered over everything.

It's been one HELL of a year.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Confessions Of A Swimming Princess

I admit it....I am a swimming princess. Or as my parents like to say - "An oldest child that thinks that she's the ONLY child!" (yeah,whatever!) Anyway, I would call myself a swimming Diva, but I'm not that fast, so I'll settle for princess. Why, you ask, am I a self proclaimed princess? Because I prefer to swim in a lane by myself, or with other swimmers who can keep up AND know how to "circle swim" or share a lane. If they cannot do that, then I admit that I get a little crabby with them...I don't mean to, it's just that I don't like to work out longer than I have to and would like to get a decent workout!

With that being said, I started my Master's swimming program tonight. It was Ok, though I need to figure out a more challenging workout. (I was lapping the other 2 guys in the program...) I think I went around 2200 yards tonight, but I lost count in the middle of it. It was the 3rd time I swam this week , but I had run/walked last night and worked on shoulder weights, so I was a little sore. It's amazing what different muscle groups are used for swimming and running.

So I've been able to parlay another "hobby" into a job...or at least get my Y membership paid for. I was asked by the Aquatic director at the Y to coach kids competitive swimming on Weds nights from 6:45 to 8pm and it will get my membership paid for. Um, Yeah, hello, how can I say no to that? There are 2 high school kids that "coach" them now, but they need a little "adult" guidance to help them. It will be challenging, but fun! (I've already called Dad to get some advice on setting up workouts....)

This weekend is my Spring Catalog open house for Close To My Heart. I don't know how many people will be coming - I invited around 50 and I know a bunch will be by to see everything. I still have to make my sample cards and set up my display boards, but that's a project for tomorrow night. The ideas for cards/pages are "floating" around in my head...I just have to actually put them on paper! There are some really cool items out there, so the product really sells itself. The turn out should be good.

Oh yeah, and the knitting...I am still working on the Irish Hiking Scarf for Ali's boyfriend Jim. It's a tan Worsted Misti Alpaca (100% Baby Alpaca) and my first attempt at cabling. (It's much easier than I thought!) I only have 3 sets of stitches finished, but I see the cables, so that's a good sign! Only another 5 feet to go!!

My other project right now are the Fiber Trends Snow Country Felted Mittens in Outback Wool from Plymouth. The first one is complete and I have some of the ribbing of the cuff for the second one finished. They should be very cute when I felt them. Anna has finished her pair and they are cute. She had some advice on the thumbs which was good...thanks!

I had my neighbor Kara ask me to teach her to knit the other day. While I feel comfortable that I know what I am doing, I don't feel like I'm good enough to teach someone else how to - I've only been doing this since the end of July '05 and Robin, who's been doing this for YEARS taught me to start, then I took a class at Knitorious in August. (In knitting, I'm a serious Princess in where close to DIVA!) Anyway, Anna told me that I would be Ok teaching because 1: I have made a purse, 3 ribbed scarfs, fuzzy feet, mittens, a cabled scarf and hats 2: I just walked her husband Wayne through a majorly screwed up Excel worksheet AND he understands it (for the most part...if he doesn't touch anything!) and 3:I am actually employed as a training manager, so I have some "training" experience. It will be Ok and we'll have fun, or at the very least a very good excuse to get together over bottles of wine (like we need good excuses...please!)

Sometimes it's good to be the princess of some things...Now I must get some "beauty" rest....Ok, actually rest my sore body...

Briefcase Watch...Day 29

I got a call yesterday that Dave's briefcase ended up in St. Paul, MN without a label on it. Sure, that's similar to Sullivan, MO! Anyway, they are going to treat it as a lost package and send it back to LL Bean.

The replacement shipped 12/29 and should be delivered to Dave's (in U. City) today or tomorrow, Lord willing!

I did get a $2o GC out of the deal, so I ordered a pair of snowflake slippers. Unfortunately they were shipped FedEx Smart Post to Sullivan, we'll see how long it takes for them to get here....

Poor little slippers....hope they packed a could be a long trip!

Monday, January 02, 2006

And So It Begins....

Welcome to 2006. I feel it's going to be a good year for started out with a bang (I'll post some pictures soon...) and I see nothing but good things happening in the year to come!

As promised, I will post my lists of Resolutions (More Like Goals) and of Pet Peeves, just for Anna. (Ok, so it didn't take long to come up with those...) I like lists and like to thing the world is a bit more organized with there is a list involved.

So, here is my list of Resolutions, Or Rather Goals For 2006....

1. Be a better sister. (The phone works 2 ways, you know!)
2. Be a better friend. (I realized how much I was slacking in this dept. about 1/2 way through the year...I have come a long way, but still have a little bit to go.)
3. Be more patient. (This gets tougher as you get older...)
4. Exercise more & Eat better. (Those 20 lbs. aren't just going to fall off)
5. Pray more. (This seems to calm me and it's good for me too!)
6. Learn to knit a sweater. (I may only get a baby sweater done, but at least it will have sleeves!)
7. Know when I reach my limit on activities & commitments and choose the ones that I want to do. (NO is NOT a "bad" word... when used correctly)
8. Get to know ME better. (There's still some things I need to get comfortable with...)
9. Give more of myself to my work. (I feel like I've been holding back and I don't have any excuses not to anymore...this week off has revitalized me...I hope!)
10. Not rush into another relationship. (The holidays were TOUGH and I missed having someone around, but I need to be patient for the RIGHT someone. While Christmas was tough, New Year's was a BLAST because I was around great friends, who didn't care that I was single. I need to be totally comfortable with that before I do anything else. I am close, but need to be less anxious....BUT, I AM ready to start MEETING people, if the opportunity comes up!!)

Here is my list of Pet Peeves:

1. Bad Drivers (This encompasses alot and could be its own list)
2. Rude sales people/restaurant servers
3. Too many commercials on the radio
4. One-sided Media Reporting (Hey, some of us really are Conservative!)
5. Being hit on by married men
6. Being thought of as incompetent or haven't a clue because of my age/blonde hair/being female. (This is at work (sometimes) and in the "real world" - especially at Lowe's!)
7. Reality Television (why is your "real life" more exciting than mine??)
8. Telemarketers (Hello, do you know what the No Call List Is??)
9. Dogs in the back of pick-up trucks on city streets (slow on the farm is OK...zipping down Hwy 100...not so cool!)
10. High gas prices (There is no reason for oil companies to be making THAT much money!)

Here is to 2005 being better than 2006!