The City of Crochet

Crocheting...an escape from everyday life in Europe as I face the perils of yarn shopping in a foreign country and dealing with all of the crazy looks I get for crocheting & knitting on the public transportation system.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Blog games......

I snatched this one from Jewels:

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble© Score is: 19.
What is your score? Get it here.


And this one came from Kari aka Norma Jean Carter lol
Your Hillbilly Name Is...

Norma Jean Tractor


And snagged by moi from the Blogthings site, here is my donut, which I must say IS one of my favorite doghnuts to be bought at the by Double D!
You Are a Powdered Devil's Food Donut

A total sweetheart on the outside, you love to fool people with your innocent image.
On the inside you're a little darker, richer, and more complex.
You're a hedonist who demands more than one pleasure at a time.
Decadent and daring, you test the limits of human indulgence.

Pre-Olympic Reporting

Just in from the news wires folks.....Kimberly has gone and done it again and decided to make the Craft Olympic Record Books....umm, okay, I'm sure I am not the only one who will be trying for this, but it will go into my personal record books!

Before I begin, just for the record, lets just say that I have always been the one to jump before I look...well, okay, I do look, but usually in that split second before I take the plunge and do something that often turns out to be really insane!

As you may remember I was torn trying to decide if I should join the Knitting Olympics as a first time knitter newbie going full out. Well, I decided to jump in on that little event, and will be doing warm up swatches on the two bags as I try to decide which one I will do in the official event....kinda like a figure skater working on perfecting her routine before the day of the event.....is the triple axle in or should it be the triple salchow.......ah the pain of decisions!

BUT....being the type of person that has to go into everything at twice the speed of life, I decided that performing in one Olympic event was not enough...I really had to let myself go hog wild and have decided to try for a double medal in two different events......thats right folks, I have also signed up for the Crochet Olympic events where I will be partaking in what I do believe will be a vintage doily ....I am still trying to determine what doily exactly it will be! I have several older books that I bought off of e-bay a while back, including one from the 40s that has a variety of Ruffled Doilies and a Pansy Doily in it...I love the pansy doily as pansies are my favorite flower, but at the same time the ruffled doily would be a totally new technique, although I am not so sure that I would be able to find the time to block that one!

So lets just put it all down to a case of insanity......I am going to be needing lots of cheering and encouragement during the events.....so grab a front row seat, a large bucket of popcorn, and sit back and watch me drive myself into insanity! (umm...okay, farther into insanity!)

Friday, January 27, 2006

I've been tagged!

Jen (aka SheCrochets) from Yarn Over tagged me for the Fours meme that has been floating around Blogger-land. (thanks Jen - I thought that I was going to get away without doing this one!)

Answer the four questions below and then name four taggees.

Four jobs you have held:
1. Manager - Burger King (NO you can not have it YOUR way)
2. Mail Worker (yup, I can go postal)
3. Resident Advisor (AAAAAhhhhhhhhhh)
4. Finance Guru

Four places you have lived:
1. Muskegon Michigan
2. Notre Dame Indiana
3. Dublin Ireland
4. Brussels Belgium

Four vacations you have taken:
1. Greece Cruise (Athens, several Island, Turkey)
2. 1 week skiing in the French Alps (Valmeinier / Valloir)
3. 2 week soujourn up the eastern seabord
4. Arizona - Phoenix, Tuscon, Sedona, Grand Canyon

Four vehicles you have owned:
1. 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
2. 2001 Oldsmobile Alero
Only two as I have spent the past 3 years on public transportation! I do drive a BMW 325d here in Europe right now, but that is company owned and technically leased to Kim and not moi!

Four bloggers you want to tag: (Wanna Play???)
Ahhh....who has not been tagged????
1. Consider yourself tagged if no one else has done it!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fur Socks?? Help!!

My sister has a slight problem that someone might be able to help us with! My 2 year old niece Megan is a very girly girl and has definite ideas about what she will and will not wear on any certain day.

She has fallen in love with a pair of purple fur socks. There are times when my sister can not get them off her, and she will refuse to wear anything else....Megan has inherited the stubbornness of her French-Canadian ancestors and will not budge....and she has inherited my "drama-queen" abilities with being able to turn on the water works and sob as if you had broken her heart....which in her mind you have if you don't let her wear / do / have what she wants.

My sister has decided that fighting over clothes is not a war she wants to win, so she usually lets Megan decide what to wear herself.

That all being said, my sister has not been able to find any additional pairs of the fur socks....does anyone know where we can buy some more? I've tried googling, but my google skills are not pulling anything up.

Before anyone gives me the smart idea of just making fur socks.... the thought of making socks, let alone FUR socks is enough to make me want to burn all of my needles AND hooks!

And I must say....I bought a pair of green fur socks for myself and I absolutely love them! I totally understand why Megan wants to wear hers all the time! They are super soft and keep my feet oh so toasty warm!

Phone calls and knitting

I made a phone call yesterday and shocked a fellow blogger! Jennifer made a comment about knitting and holding the yarn in the right hand, and I grabbed the phone and gave her a random call up! She picked up her phone and I went "We're supposed to hold the yarn in our right hand when we knit??" to which she gave a very confused "Errr Yes" I finally gave in and let her know that it was me...was she surprised! We had a great chat - I think that this is the first time that I have talked to a fellow crocheter from C'ville on the phone! What great fun! I did have second thoughts about the call afterwards, but she has assured me that she does not think that I am a stalker!

I am about half way done with my dishcloth and half way done with my shawl. The knitting is coming along slowly....I think that I am holding the needles and yarn all wrong....I might need to put it aside until I go to Florida when my mum can show me....or at least she can show me once I have cast on for her! (Love ya Mom!!) But if I do that I won't be able to do the Knitting Olympics....I have just about convinced myself to do a project in tandem with Jennifer - the thought right now is to do the French Market Bag.....Vera sent me a link to another bag called the Booga Bag that I think is adorable! Oh the decisions that need to be made! (can you tell I have convinced myself to do the knitting Olympics? everyone has to start at some time!)

New toy....

My blogs got a new toy! Over on the bottom of my side bar I put a Neotracker on. There are two versions - the first one says who is on my blog currently (where they are from) and the second keeps track of the different visitors and shows which countries in the world have been represented!

I did notice earlier while updating my blog that while I am logged in at work, I show up as a US visitor since my company's main network server is based in the US I think.

The tracker is free for a certain number of days and then I think that there is a small fee for it....did not really read all of the small print, and since they have not asked for any billing or credit card info, I am not going to worry about it until that day comes....cool gadget, but not so sure that I would want to pay for it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I am an Elm Tree

My cousin sent this to me in an e-mail! I think it is rather true that I am an elm, although I am not so sure on how noble-minded I actually am! What tree are you?

WHAT TREE DID YOU FALL FROM?

Find your birthday and then find your tree. Scroll down to find the description. Leave a comment so that all of us know what kind of tree you are!!

Dec 23 to Jan 01 - Apple Tree
Jan 01 to Jan 11 - Fir Tree
Jan 12 to Jan 24 - Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 - Cypress Tree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 - Poplar Tree
Feb 09 to Feb 18 - Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 - Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 - Weeping Willow Tree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 - Lime Tree
Mar 21 (only) -Oak Tree
Mar 22 to Mar 31 - Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 - Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 - Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 - Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 - Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 - Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 - Ash Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 - Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 - Fig Tree
Jun 24 (only) - Birch Tree
Jun 25 to Jul 04 - Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 - Fir Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 - Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 - Cypress Tree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 - Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 - Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 - Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 - Weeping Willow Tree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 - Lime Tree
Sep 23 (only) - Olive Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 - Hazelnut Tree
Oct 04 to Oct 13 - Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 - Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 - Walnut Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 - Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 - Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 - Hornbeam Tree
Dec 12 to Dec 21 - Fig Tree
Dec 22 (only) - Beech Tree

YOUR TREE (in alphabetical order)

Apple Tree(Love) -- quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal, attraction,pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous, sensitive,loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs affectionate partner.

Ash Tree (Ambition) -- extremely attractive, vivacious, impulsive,
demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart, demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.

Beech Tree (Creative) -- has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.)

Birch Tree (Inspiration) -- vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nture and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

Cedar Tree (Confidence) -- of rare strength, knows how to adapt, likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the le ast shy, tends to look down on others, self-confident, a great speaker, determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.

Chestnut Tree (Honesty) -- of unusual stature, impressive, well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels not understood at times, fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.

Cypress Tree (Faithfulness) -- strong, muscular, adaptable, takes that life has to give but doesn't necessarily like it, strives to be content,optimistic,wants to be financially independent,wants love and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and careless, loves to gain knowledge, needs to be needed.

Elm Tree (Noble-mindedness) -- pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.

Fig Tree (Sensibility) -- very strong minded, a bit self-willed honest, loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard worker when wants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and animals, great sense of humor, has artistic talent and great intelligence.

Fir tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable.

Hazelnut Tree (Extraordinary) -- charming, sense of humor, very demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics, popular, quite moody, honest, a perfectionist, has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.

Hornbeam Tree (Good Taste) -- of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egotistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.

Lime Tree (Doubt) - intelligent, hard working, accepts what life dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones, hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to use them, can become a complainer, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.

Maple Tree (Independence of Mind) -- no ordinary person, full of
imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

Oak Tree (Brave) -- robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.

Olive Tree (Wisdom) -- loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

Pine Tree (Peacemaker) -- loves agreeable company, craves peace and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls strongly in love but will leave if be! trayed or lied to, emotionally soft, low self esteem, needs affection and reassurance.

Poplar Tree (Uncertainty) -- looks very decorative, talented, not always self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings , very choosy, often lonely, great warmth, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, perfectionist, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) -- full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egotism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, extremely generous, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

Walnut Tree (Passion) -- unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, no compromise.

Weeping Willow (Melancholy) - likes to be stress free, loves family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition suffers in love until they find that one loyal, steadfast partner; loves to make others laugh.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Yarn Shops from Europe

I have been sadly negligent in my quest to find yarn shops and report back to my fellow yarn addicts. Regina has asked about yarn shops in Dublin, so I will be starting my postings of cities and their respective yarn shops over the next few days!

First up will be Dublin, and then I will start on Brussels.....I really need to find some more yarn shops here in Brussels.....there has to be more than the one by my apartment and the few chain shops that I know of.....what are the odds that I live next to one of the only specialty yarn shops in a major European city?

First Two Finished Objects of 2006

I almost forgot to post pictures of these!

Here are the two scarves that I finished while on the train to Switzerland last weekend:

The first scarf is a green scarf that I did in Miscel. Miscel is made in Italy, and is 95% Acrylic and 5% Polyester. While not sounding that soft, I had to buy it when I sat there in the store petting it! I walked out with 4 balls of pink, 2 green and 2 cream. The first ball in pink I used to make a scarf for my holiday exchange partner, Lynn. The two green went into my scarf with some left over. The three remaining pink are being worked into a shawl for me to use at work - I am done with the first ball and on the second. The cream are yet to be determined...perhaps another scarf like Lynns and a hat to match! I made this scarf to wear with my Chocolate Brown suede coat.....the brown and greens are great with my coloring, and the green scarf brings out the green in my eyes. My eyes are brown, but they will pull green and gold into them.....an eye doctor in Chicago that I went to see swore up and down that I had green eyes...I had to tell him he was wrong of course which did not endear me to him one iota!

The second ball was done with a fur yarn that I bought in Ireland. It is almost identical to the Bernat Boa yarn in that same colorway...I am assuming that they are made in the same place but sold in the different countries under different names! This scarf was made for Natalie, one of the little girls that I watched here in Belgium that has moved back to the US. I am still trying to decide what to make for her sister..had better hurry since her Dad will be here in Brussels this week and I should give him the gifts then!

I have also started working on the Frog Princess again (remember her?) I put her away when I realized after I had her whole leg done up and stuffed that I had made a color mistake on the top of her foot and would need to undo all of my work....in utter disgust with myself I put her into a bag in the bottom of my WIP crate. Guilt has caused me to pull her back out. I started working more on her skirt before I get the oomph up to tackle undoing her leg....but some progress is better than none right?

The weekend has been fairly boring. I went to dinner with a co-worker Friday night, came home and crocheted like mad on the shawl. Saturday consisted of going to do some shopping and of course I did not find what I wanted to buy! Instead I bought some more tea at my local tea shop - more of the Earl Grey Red Baron, the Christmas Tea, and a new one - Roobios Earl Grey which has the earl grey taste, but minus the caffeine.....kinda strange that I go for the non-caffeine one since I never have any issues with caffeine - I could drink a gallon of tea and still be able to go right to sleep. And just the other way, I could easily stop drinking it for days and not suffer and headaches or withdrawal symptoms.

I tried to buy more of the Miscel but the store I bought it at is being remodeled so they are closed, and another branch of that store only had a really ugly color with a limey green alternating with a forest green...typing makes it seem not that bad but in person it was icky! I also tried to buy an oil warmer....when I was home in the US I bought some oils from Bath and Body works to heat up and make my home smell purty....but of course I could not find one anywhere I went....might need to head out to Ikea one day!

I did meet up with some of my military friends who work at NATO here in Brussels for drinks last night. Had fun talking and even did some dancing. Met a few newcomers to Brussels, including a navy pilot....single....no sparks - darn! *grin*

Okay, I am off to get things ready for work tomorrow, and then I'll be heading to bed! Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Knitting Olympics

Some of you (probably a fair few of you) are aware of the hoopla that Stephanie (aka Yarnharlot) has stirred up with her 2006 Knitting Olympics challenge. Many many MANY folks are jumping on the knitting challenge bandwagon, and others are getting ready to bundle up and sit in the stands and cheer on their favorite athletes knitters as they try to complete in 16 days what they consider to be a challenging project for them.

I am sitting here debating to join the challenge. My issue is my natural competiveness and drive to finish what I start and to succeed in whatever I set out to do. I am not a strong knitter...I am a weak knitter wanna be. There I said it. I freely admit that I want to knit....teaching yourself to knit is sooooo much harder for me than it was to teach myself to crochet.

So I need to decide on which button made up by Jen and La I should use for the Olympics!

Here are the two I am debating between:

US Newbie Drunken Observer

Okay...I should probably have a combination button of the two...Drunken Newbie Knitter would work perfectly because I am sure to be driven to drink with all of the purls and knits and with me being me I would probably pick out an insanely difficult for a newbie project and go with a design with lots of cables or other challenges!

Well, I still have a fair few days left to decide what I should do.....I am thinking that I should just challenge myself to actually start a more complex knitting project than a fun fur scarf or the dishcloth that is on my needles right now! Yup, thats right, I am working on a knitting project this weekend - feeling the guilt over not continuing to learn to knit I did cast on a dishcloth Friday night.....I am on row number 16 of 46....but its progress!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

No pics from Zurich......

I've looked and I've looked and I've come to the realization that two of my favorite pictures are not in digital format.....and of course they are both ones that I took in Zurich! Which means that none of my Zurich prints are on the computer! I did not have a digital when I first moved here, and while I thought that I had all of my pictures put onto CDs, I can not find a CD with Zurich pictures on it!

So to make up for the lack of Zurich pictures, I thought to introduce you a little bit to my life here in Brussels and show you some pictures from here!

First off I would like to introduce you to the "Baxter Aqueduc Project"....what my fellow co-workers and I call the lovely building that we live in.....the projects because it is well....falling apart....or in my case falling down as I am waiting for the day the ceiling caves in on my when I am either sleeping or showering....since massive water damage cracks are above both places, either could happen! I live on the top floor - the corner window, two windows to the left and the one to the right are all in my living room / kitchen area and the section that sticks out a little bit is my bedroom. Take a look at my kitchen....notice the tiny fridge on the floor? Same size as a college dorm room fridge.....seems to be the norm here for apartments! (the kitchen picture is old...I'll try to take some new ones in the daylight of the rest of the apartment)

Next up....my neighborhood! First is the view of the lovely bar kitty (catty) corner from my apartment....I've been awoken many a night at 3 in the morning by screaming voices, police sirens and general pub uproar!

Feeling thirsty? Lets take a walk down Rue Bailli and stop at the Bank....no, we are not stopping for money, but for a pint of Guinness in an Irish bar that was once a bank....inside you will find the old safety deposit boxes still on the wall, and the bathrooms...well lets just say you'll take a walk downstairs and into the vault!

Next is a trip to my local yarn shop, Art et Fils - a fairly small store, but she has it fully stocked from floor to ceiling....be careful of your pocketbook though - her yarn tends to run as expensive as the rest of the yarn shops in Belgium!


Since walking always seems to make one hungry, how about we stop by La Piccola Mammas....my favorite local Italian restaurant. The waiter, Yussein, is extremely friendly, speaks English, and for the price and the size of the portions one can not go wrong! The pizzas are made in an Italian stone oven...yumm!! Even better, they do take-away (Emporter)!

Continuing on our sight seeing adventures, how about a quick look at one of the spectacular buildings in our market square - The Grand Place! As a note of interest, the Grand Place is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is the only listed site to host an annual beer festival!

Lets not forget to take a short walk off the Grand Place to see if our local statue has been dressed today! With over 600 costumes, this little guy has attire for every occasion! He is dressed on scheduled days, often to commemorate different groups, holidays and events! I present to you The Mannequin Pis!

And to sum up today's short guided tour, I leave you with the building that I spend more time in than my apartment.....my office!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bad blog friend...I admit it!

So sorry to everyone! I have been reading blogs....or at least trying to, but it has gotten hard now that I really can not do so at work! Well, I can, but without being able to see pictures, it often defeats the purpose of looking for those of you who are showing off your progress, projects etc etc etc. So I try to make reminders to do this at home, but with not getting home until 9, 10 at night I really do not want to look at my computer any longer! Yesterday consisted of doing 7 (yup, 7) loads of laundry. My apartment looks like a really trendy one of a kind boutique right now with clothes hanging on every available place drying. I dry some things (socks, towels and other non-shrinkables or things I don't care about if they shrink) but mainly I just throw everything in the dryer for 10 minutes to get the wet out and then let everything dry overnight by the radiators (I have 5 large radiators and one small one). I washed 7 pairs of jeans...I did not even know that I owned 7 pairs of wearable jeans, but they must have bred in my suitcase errr umm closet! lol

I am all settled into the new office. It is again a 3 person office with only me in it....the second desk is being shared by my friend Kim and co-worker Amelia who are both never here. Kim saw an apartment in Zurich that she really likes so she is hoping that she will be able to get it. It is really weird here in Europe. It is not about who offers first, but who the landlord wants to rent to!! You are basically (from what I can tell) competing with other rental candidates to present the most attractive renter profile, and the renter will meet everyone and decide who gets the right to pay them money to live in the apartment! Kinda crazy!

I have a large ball of yarn sitting on my coffee table screaming at me to be made into something but I can not decide what it wants to be! I keep thinking a shawl of some sort, but I can not find a pattern that shouts as being perfect for this yarn. And since I still have my shiny evening shawl yet to finish, I am not sure if I can really start another shawl without finishing the first...okay, I could, but how many WIPs and UFOs can one person have?

I am going to have to think long and hard about two different upcoming contests....one as a celebration for having over 10,000 visitors and a second one for my one year blogiversary which is scheduled to take place in April (okay, this is still a ways away, but I want to make sure that I have plenty of time in case I decide to make something as part of the pressie) There is always the leave a comment....or the answer a questions....hmmm....

I do believe that is all for right now......I am off to head home, catch up on some long overdue blog reading / commenting and of course putting away that laundry!

Cheers!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Zurich!

Well folks, I am back from my mad dash to Zurich for the weekend. I was suppsoed to fly there on Friday for a work meeting and then stay the weekend with my friend Kim. My meeting was cancelled so it looked like I would have to cancel my trip as I did not want to pay almost 800 dollars to fly there on my own dime (yes, it is a bit expensive to fly from Brussels to Zurich, and the 800 was with a company discount we have as the normal fare is around 1200 dollars!!) Instead I managed to arrange a train ride for under 200 so away I went on Thursday, chugging along through Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland on an 8 hour train journey!

Best part about 8 hours on a train? Lots of crocheting time! I finished two scarves, started two others and started on a new doily project! This was along with reading 3 novels and talking for 3 hours with a guy from Luxembourg! Fairly productive!

My time in Zurich was really nice except that it was freezing cold and foggy! I was not able to take any pictures, but if I can find them I'll try to post some from another trip I took to Zurich a few years back! Along with of course my scarves...A f.o. is a f.o. after all!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I have more power than I realize......

Had my review today, and my boss made a comment that stuck out in my head - "You have more power than you realize, and you are not using it" Woo hoo - I like power...just wish it was a super power! Like flying or mind reading.....now I just need to figure out what exactly all of my power is!

I'll have a little bit longer to do that.....According to my boss he would like to keep me here for the next 5 years, but he does realize that one will not happen. He did ask me to give him some advance notice before I decide to make the move back to the US as he wants to ensure that I return to a position that is right for me, and since my exposure is fairly wide and high-up, he does not see that as being a problem. I guess that the Europe President was extremely happy with the web report that I published in December....when he asked for it in November, he did not think that it would be possible for us to actually provide him with what he was looking for.....and me being me, I did exactly what he wanted! Go me! lol

My current data mining activities are kinda going to go bye bye...instead I am to focus on the process and set-up of these activities and let someone else do them...perfect! Also look into more automation of key business indicators.

A few downsides. I am too modest apparently, and I also need to be more proactive and start using my knowledge to position myself higher and in better jobs.

Date to move back to the US......still unknown....I would like to be back in the US before summer time though! Although, if I stay through the summer I'll be able to go to the Belgian Beer Festival in September, AND see the flower carpet in August once again....hmmm....tough decision to make!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Travelling & moving....

Well I am moving everyone.......offices that is! lol I am being moved into a new office spot (hopefully this one will have a door!) for what will be my 6th location in less than 3 years! They never seem to leave me in one place in this building for very long before they decide to shuffle me around!

I am off to Switzerland on Friday for a meeting in Zurich. I'll stay the weekend and help my friend Kim with some apartment hunting! Should be a fun time, as we will be sure to go out on the town on either Friday or Saturday!

No crocheting updates to be had....sad, I know! I am working on several little projects, but getting none of them done! I need to finish up a few scarves and get them mailed out, hopefully I'll have some finished items to share one of these days!

I hope that everyone is having a great week!!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Sevens Meme

Faye tagged me for the following little meme:

The "Seven" Meme
A. Seven things to do before I die

1. Buy a house
2. Visit every place on my Places to Go list
3. Ski (without breaking anything)a black run....in Europe
4. Go on a safari
5. Take an around the world cruise
6. Learn a second language....fluently
7. Take a pastry/baking course

B. Seven things I cannot do
1. Roll my tongue (thank Dad)
2. Speak a second language fluently (intermediate French and smatterings of others yes)
3. Bake fluffy light pastry
4. Walk in a straight line
5. Handstand
6. Golf
7. Avoid all of the Seven Deadly Sins (Lust, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Pride, Anger, Gluttony)

C. Seven things that attract me to ...
1. Reading: The ability to escape reality for a short amount of time
2. Traveling: The ability to find out what is around that next corner
3. My Family: Unconditional love
4. Skiing: The thrill of flying down a mountain
5. Pansies: Their happy little “faces”
6. Baking: The ability to make something from nothing
7. Dancing: the fun and joy of letting loose and kicking up my heels

D. Seven things I say most often
1. Are you smoking?????
2. Yeah……right
3. Ne touché pas
4. Pardon
5. Non, merci
6. I don’t know (as in when will I be moving back to the US)
7. Whatcha doin?

E. Seven books (or series or genres or topics) that I love
1. Les Miserables
2. The Witch of Blackbird Pond
3. The Ordinary Princess (have loved this book for years)
4. Nora Roberts trilogy books
5. The Guardian
6. Mary Higgins Clark books
7. Christine Feehan books

F. Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would if I had time)
1. The Princess Bride
2. Pretty Woman
3. Willie Wonka (the original)
4. Evita
5. The Breakfast Club
6. Sixteen Candles
7. Goonies

G. Seven people I want to join in, too.
I’ve been out of blog reading lately so I can not remember who has or has not done this! Consider yourself tagged if you have not already been *grin*

Yes, I am still alive!!!

Amazing eh? I know that it has been a while - sorry to worry everyone!

I arrived back in Brussels on Thursday, and have spent the past two days unpacking, catching up on work and cleaning since I neglected to do that before I left on holidays!

Speaking of holidays, my time in the US went by so quickly! I had a great time once again and was able to see tons of family and friends while home. I made a flying in and out visit to Ann Arbor inbetween Christmas parties to spend a day with my best friend Stormy. I had hoped to have time to visit with a few of my Crochetville friends, but since I was in Ann Arbor for less than 24 hours and racing back to Muskegon to go out on a date with my favorite man, time just was not available....hopefully next time!!

Here are a few pictures from the holidays:

Christmas morning saw the first presents of the day......my birthday presents!! Since I was not home back in July for my birthday, my mother gave it to me on Christmas instead since my birthday is on Christmas in July! The first present shows more undeniable proof that I am THE Princess in the house *grin*:


Here are a few family shots - me with my two sisters and with my Grandparents:


Here is a picture with my best friend Stormy and with my niece Megan:


Must not forget a picture of me with my three nieces and their Christmas presents from me - Cabbage Patch dolls that came wearing scarves that matched the ones I made them earlier in the year....a big hit!



Betcha been wondering who my date was with that I had to hurry home for right? Well, here he is, my little man, my nephew Andrew! The exciting date was to Chuckie Cheeses for pizza and fun!


I spent New Years with two of my cousins pictured here at the holiday party at their Moms house, and a picture of me all dolled up and ready to go out on New Years to a party at our friend Dan's house:


Many thanks go out to all of the wonderful elves who sent me little goodies while I was home - you are all amazing people! I am so lucky to have gotten to know all of you!

Hmmm.....I think that is about all for now! I am amazingly enough not suffering from any jet-lag this trip back to Europe! I wish that it could always be like this! I went out last night with my friend Kim and we had some drinks and dancing...I had fun dancing the night away with Kim and a few guys that we met up with. My friend Gornayl (aka G) met us out for a New Years drink, and it was great to see him! We bumped into the old UFO (Avni/Ben) which was fairly friendly. Also saw a few other people that we knew out, and met a few new folks. All in all, a good night, although way too much excitement as I am going to stay in tonight!

I have over 500 entries to read on bloglines - I promise to get to them as soon as I can - Faye - I will try as best as I can to get to the meme asap!