Finally Done

no show men's/boy's sock

no-show mens/boys sock

Womens no-show sock / Peds

womens/girls no-show sock / Peds

I’m finally done with those dratted no-show wool-blend, socks that I’ve been trying to knit up for my son per his request. Trying to take notes and making up a pattern is no fun but now that I’m done, I feel very accomplished. One more thing I can knock off my list! In my mind, it shouldn’t have been so complicated but with everything in the world to distract me and all the unravelling I did… I’m just glad I’m done with the pair.

I also included some pictures of a pair of no-show socks for women that I completed some time ago for my daughter but I think I’m going to rework the pattern so that the toe is smoother like my son’s. Here we go again…

When do I get a pair for myself? I guess after I do the family’s first. ha-ha-ha…

womens/girls no-show sock / Peds, view of heel

view of the heel of the no-show sock / Peds


Our Pets

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my two lovely ladies, Alice and Olivia

I love animals and I love watching animal videos on YouTube. Both my daughter and son are the same way. My husband on the other hand, is not an animal lover and does not care for the cute animal vids at all. So the three of us will snicker and giggle and then, overwhelmed with curiosity, he deigns to look over, only to find us crowded over my iPhone over another animal vid. Hahaha.

What’s funnier about this is that somehow we got this man to agree to letting us have not one but TWO dogs! Admittedly, before we got Alice and Olivia, we had our Choochie (AKA Akuma) a sweet, adorable yet feisty Malti-Poo who had died and left a huge and gaping hole in our hearts, even in the heart of the one non-lover. Even my husband was won over by that little guy.

Six months after his death, somehow we ended up with two puppies. Two, little puppies, I thought I was crazy but our 70ish neighbor didn’t want the two split up. They were sisters and he insisted they stay together. And the kids, they really needed the dogs, something to love that would love them back.

When my son was very young, he was deathly afraid of dogs. In my opinion, a child should never be that afraid of animals. So I started working on my husband when my son was about two about the need to have a dog and when he turned eight, we finally got our Choochinator (AKA Choochie, AKA Akuma -he was only six pounds, by the way). That was a huge stepping stone for our son. He quickly got over his fear of dogs and now, he is crazy for any kind of dog/animal just like his mom and sister.

So now it’s been about a year and a half since we got the two girls and we are all, and by all I mean all four of us, in love with the girls. Alice is the feisty runner, and Olivia is the obedient, bundle of nerves and I would not have it any other way.


My Sewing Kit

When we think of a sewing kit often we think of that little complimentary thing you get at a hotel or even a big box of needles, thread and all kinds of paraphernalia.

complimentary "mending kit" from a hotel

complimentary “mending kit” from a hotel

However, I’ve found that the complimentary thing from hotel rooms is incomplete and for obvious reasons, we can’t carry around a big box of sewing/crafting necessities in our purses or carry-ons when traveling.  And because I’ve always got a project in my purse, I’m always in need of a stitch marker or needles or a thimble or something of the sort.

I’m always on the look out for anything cute or small that will serve more than one purpose. In particular, I’m constantly looking around for a tin with a lid on a hinge and most importantly, a see through top.  I was using Altoid tins, both big and small, but the problem was that I could never tell what was inside so I would have to go through each one to see what it contained.  Very frustrating

my purse sized sewing kit

my purse sized sewing kit

particularly when you have more than one. Also, as nice a size as it might be, it’s really still too large to be truly compact enough to be carrying around in my purse.

Then one day I came across the perfect mint tin at Trader Joe’s.  Unfortunately the company has since downsized their product so the new tin is smaller and can no longer accomodate the bobbin the way you see it in my photo but you can still get it to fit in laying on it’s side.  Enjoy the pictures!

unpacking the kit

unpacking the kit


All Those Little things.

This morning my daughter asked me when I was going to get around to hemming the two pair of jeans she got 3, yes, THREE, months ago. Okay, today is that day. The little things always get you hung up. For the last three months I told her to tuck her jeans into her UGGS but I can’t get away with that anymore. It’s warm now so into the closet went her boots and out come my scissors. I need to get more coffee…

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Oh Frustration

As you might have guessed it was Glorious Spring Break for the kids. Oh joy. From my perspective however, it was more like endless dishes, endless clutter, endless boredom and endless

the start of the toe

the start of the toe

chauffeuring. I adore my kids but I am SO glad that school is back in session and that someone else can be bothered with the buggers! Ummm, if you don’t have kids, don’t listen to this. Kids are great… you should have them… yeah… definitely, I think… yeah…

The down side of all this (did I make it sound like there was no upside? hehehe) was that unfortunately, I could only really devote half my attention at any given time to my little sock project.  When I began the week last Monday, I was about half way done with a no-show sock that I started, at the request of my son, in a wool blend, sock-weight yarn.  But with the advent of Spring Break, I pretty much ended up one week later, exactly where I had started – half way done with the sock. Don’t get me wrong, I did enough knitting to have knitted that sock at least three times over!  Ugh. I just could

a little over half a sock

a little over half a sock

not get it right.  I even thought I had finished the thing and was one row away from binding off when I looked at my work and realized I had to unravel the blasted thing right back to where I had started.

So by yesterday, Monday again, I was a woman on a mission. I was determined to finish what I was beginning to think was a jinxed sock. By the afternoon, my mission was accomplished, even after having worked the thing twice over, again. Done, done, done, I can’t say it enough! Although, I do have to say, it isn’t exactly right, meaning that I think the back of the sock comes up a little too high for my liking, but my son thinks it’s fine.  For this pair, I’m leaving the pattern the way it is. For the next set, I’m gonna fix the pattern. Pictures you ask? Absolutely!  Pictures with the foot model (aka my son) to follow.

finished sock with the beginning of it's mate

finished sock with the beginning of it’s mate


Forlorn Teapot

Well, this morning I got up after not being able to fall back asleep and started to clean up yesterday’s clutter from the sleepover. Yes, kids mean sleepovers, means tired mom, means “I can’t wait for Spring Break to be over”… 🙂

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I saw the teapot that I’ve seen everyday now for the last year, sitting forlorn on the kitchen window sill after the kids broke the lid about a year ago. I didn’t throw the thing out because with or without the lid, it’s still so pretty. Plus, it was from my mom; you know, sentimental value and all.

I went to throw the trash out, saw my rose bush in full bloom, thought to myself, “I’ve got to cut those roses off soon” and went back into the house and stared once again at that sad teapot as I washed a couple dishes.

Right then, I decided to wash the pot, ran outside to cut a few (granted not as many as the bush needed) roses and put said roses in the teapot. No more forlorn teapot and a slightly happier rose bush!

My day is much improved. Especially since I had been thinking I needed more flowers in the house. Happy me, now to finish cleaning the house…


Catching Up

So last I checked in, I was living in Austin, TX. I suppose you might say that I was on a 13 month vacation in the middle of the country. It was a great experience and I feel that we all grew during that time. But I have to say, there is nothing in the world like living in Los Angeles, California. I LOVE LA!!!

We’ve been through a lot since having moved back in the middle of October 2011.

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The kids started school here in our old neighborhood. Garrett rocketed up to the most popular kid in his school and Faith became super popular with the boys in her new middle school. I started and stopped working in a completely messed up high school that had very nearly cured me of wanting to watch any TV as that workplace provided me with PLENTY of drama to last me a few years.

..

In any case, I’ve taken up knitting and crochet again with a vengeance and I wanted to show you one of the first of THREE, yes, three shawls that I crocheted. Well, three of the exact same shawl, to be clear. I wore the thing out while I was at my parent’s house in SF and my mom took it right off my shoulders and so I started work on a new one which my friend claimed. I then started a third one which I’ve managed to keep now for a few months and now that I’ve worn it so many times, I’m definitely not giving that one away…

I recently got a request for a new one, so I’ve started that one just a few days ago. You can see a picture of the shawl in it’s early stages.

It really is a beautiful shawl and it goes with practically EVERYTHING. I’ve actually been wearing it under a leather jacket as well and it looks fantastic! It’s very feminine. You can see that it has a very pretty design. I love the way it drapes and the frilly edges. The added bonus is that you can wear it during spring and even in the summer here in California when the evening gets a bit chilly. The shawl is surprisingly warm even though it has a very loose design.

This shawl pattern can be found in Crochet So Fine, but I only followed the first 25 rows and everything beyond

IMG_4714that I just made up as I went along. I didn’t follow the pattern from that point forward at all so my shawl came out differently than the one pictured in the book. To boot, I used Patons Lace in Patina, a very different kind of yarn than the one recommended.


The Ups and Downs of Austin Living and Eating

So being in Austin, Texas has had many ups and downs. Definitely one of the downsides, particularly right now as we speak, is the crazy, triple digit weather we’ve been having for the last 70 long, miserable days.  There are no words to describe my misery and there seems to be no end in sight as Hurricane Irene won’t even come our way to relieve this heat! Austin is, at least until the start of this crazy weather, it was, a very beautiful place. Surprisingly, it’s not the tumbleweeds and flat lands out of the Westerns that I imagined it to be. It’s hilly, beautifully green, there’s usually water everywhere and the lakes are just gorgeous. When we first got here last August, I thought I had stepped back to Costa Rica. And Hamilton Pool… it was breath taking (The pictures are from my iPhone, just to give you an idea). It’s something I would have imagined was more Mexico or South America. But it’s here in Austin, Texas. Who knew?

One of the other perks is that there are so many different activities for the two kids to do here. Our 12 year-old daughter is in rowing with the Austin Rowing Club and our 10 year-old son is able to pursue his passion, motocross. The best part is that it is all very affordable not to mention physically close. We don’t have to drive hours away so that they can participate in these obscure activities, which are not the standard sports that Asian-y kids normally do. No violin lessons, no golf, no basketball or football for these kids, nooooo… (And did I mention that it was close?) So it’s been really fun.

The down side is the food. Oh boy do we miss the food. *moan* Though we can get some of our favorite comfort foods, like rice cakes, mochi, Chinese pork buns or even Korean Wang Man-Doo (왕만두), it’s just not the same. And you can just forget about a good bowl of any of our favorite noodles like udon or ramen or neng-myun ( 냉면). Oh, Lordy do we miss those. So out of necessity, I’ve been forced to make some of these from scratch, at home. Not surprisingly, these have turned out better than what I remember picking up at the markets or eating at a café/deli back home in LA. Some things I would still rather have the luxury of eating at a restaurant or deli, but out of necessity, I may have to start making these at home as well.

The other thing about food in general, is that 9 times out of 10, it’s always healthier to eat a home version than a restaurant/packaged version anyway. Over the last year, we’ve acquired a taste for a Texas institution called a Kolache. I decided to try my hand at one of these and my god they’re so tasty! Literally, I couldn’t stop eating, not to toot my own horn or anything!

I have recipes for everything I’ve made so those will follow. I have pictures of the end products and hopefully soon I’ll have step-by-step pictures to accompany the recipes as well. I just got a new camera, so cross your fingers! So that’s in the works. For the time being, I’ll post up the recipes and just go from there.


My Mental Korean Dramas

I’ve always known I was a little egocentric, but the other day, I surprised even myself.  They all say that there can only be one Queen in the house and if there’s another girl in that said house, there’s gonna be a fight for first, and let me tell you right now, it’s true.  I really do try to be a good mother to both my daughter and son, but it’s so hard!  And not in the way you’re thinking either!  The girl is a ‘tween…  need I say more?  I’m soooo annoyed even now, just thinking about it!  LOL!  I really shouldn’t be because she’s Just-Like-Me, but that’s exactly why I think I’m so annoyed!!  But that’s just a little theory I have about my “condition”.

So here’s the story…  We were all at my cousin’s house after dinner when as soon as our asses touched down around the coffee table, she (my daughter) just started in on an endless stream of chatter about nothing in particular (in my very supreme opinion, that is) and would not shut up nor would she stop hogging center stage!  I seriously could not get two words in before she’d cut me off mid-breath and start again!  Oh… My… God, that got my blood pumpin’ hard!  I started getting annoyed and began to give her my “death ray” expression hoping that would silence the non-stop chatter but NO, she noted, then Ignored my look and kept right on going, totally undeterred!  (I think I may need to work on Laser Eyes instead, I may have heard that it works better…)  My mental conversation to myself conducted in a high-pitched, highly offended tone was, “But I’m Queen Bee, and I’m always Queen Bee where ever I go!!!  What the hell is going on?  I’m so confused!  Why the hell is she not shuttin’ up?  I have such interesting things to say and this girl is not letting me say all those witty little tid-bits I have to bestow on my public’s listening ears!!!”  I was getting more and more frustrated when I forced myself to get a grip and take a mental step back.  I had to laugh, I was competing with my own daughter for the spotlight!  Oh geez…  I’m trying sooo hard to hang on to my position as Queen F’ing Bee but I think soon, it may be ripped forcefully from my Aged Hands.  Why can’t I just be asked to Gracefully hand over the scepter?  I’m thinking I may have to make some plans to oust the Junior Just-Like-Me Bee…  hehe…he…he…  No, really, I might just have to do that….  ^^ !


Traveling Woes

Because of my “FBI status” and the inconveniences we suffer when traveling together, amongst my friends, I’m known as their “little terrorist”.  Let me explain.  As a freelancer I had the opportunity to work long term with a national Japanese news agency.  And that was the beginning of all my traveling woes.  Well, only in so much that I can never check in to my flights online anymore.

One of the more memorable set of projects, and the cause of all my traveling pains, was related to news coming out about Iran and the controversy surrounding their nuclear energy site, which many believed was being surreptitiously used to make weapons-grade uranium.

The whole world was obviously freaked out by this development in Iran but the Japanese were really concerned.  They themselves are banned from possessing an army or weapons of this nature and it is an even more disconcerting situation when they are dependent on the United States for their national security.  (Just think about that one, Iran, US, not friendly…)  Also, the upcoming switch in administration (Bush to Obama) caused anxiety because of the uncertainty a new administration with potentially different ideas might have negative affects on their national security.  Incidentally, the man responsible for putting me on this series of projects was Jewish, and he was approached by his activist Jewish friends with ties to the Israeli intelligence agency, to “donate” a copy of particular interviews (with terrorists) for analysis, which he denied.  So crazy!

So what does any of this have to do with my traveling problems?  Well imagine me, hunched over my computer late at night doing research on the internet looking up nuclear energy building sites, machinery, processes involving uranium, weapons grade, non-weapons grade, schematics… blah, blah, blah…  I might as well have been looking up “How To Build A Nuclear Bomb”!  So if you ever think, “No one knows what I’m searching or looking up on the net…”  I’m here to tell you otherwise!

So now, I am basically never allowed to check-in online when traveling by plane because they always want to see my mug in person.  When I asked the ticketing counter what the problem was, she paused… then said I was on the FBI Watch List?!?!  Yikes!  I didn’t bother to mention that I was probably legitimately on that list!  Even as I did my research, I had a feeling that Uncle Sam might be watching and that I might get flagged but the research had to be done and I needed the money.  Was it worth it?  Too late now!

The take home message is, be careful what you search for on the internet because Uncle Sam is just waiting to put the kibosh on your ease of traveling… at least by air!


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