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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Monday, January 29, 2007

Weekend working...

I spent the weekend working on a few different projects. I finished a thread angel for my Grandma - now I need to find the right size ribbon to finish her off.

I also am half way through a doily, my WIP project is almsot finished - I worked on it yesterday while watching a few movies on my new DVD player. After living here for 4 years I decided it was time to buy one, and I managed to buy one that will play both my US and European DVDs on it....bonus!

My boss is coming in this week to do my review which should be interesting. I know that I've done a fine job of working my arse off the past year, but I also know that there are areas in which I need to improve, including time management and being realistic in what I can and can not do.....as I like to say, there is only one of me and only so many hours in the day!

I am also starting to try to lose weight again. I was at the doctor over Christmas and almost chocked when she said my weight. I've since lost 5 pounds, but I need to get more active....minimizing what I eat is not enough, I need to start going again to the health club - I lost 25 lbs when I did that after I first moved to Belgium. OKay, that weight lose was a combination of borderline depression, not eating and working out. I can skip the depression this time around....my only issue is that when I am stressed, I like to eat and munch.....I did buy carrots this weekend so hopefully those can be my munchy stress food!

Have a wonderful week everyone! Hopefully I'll have some finished works of art to show off soon!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Argentina.....part Dos

(Part Two of my Argentina Vacation)

Plans were being made to meet Vik. We decided to meet in the food court of a mall by Vik's apartment in B.A. Vik joined me and Zori as we were just finishing eating and joined us for coffee where we began talking like we had all known each others for years! Our first 10 minutes were the same as our last 10 minutes together...full of laughter!

We ventured out to the yarn district where all three of us looked for bargains! I spent way more than planned and picked up some gorgeous wool, silk, and custom blended yarn! I was in yarn heaven - the colors were amazing and Vik of course showed us to all of the good shops to visit!

We went to dinner that night, and had a few drinks. As we were all having such a great time together, plans were made to meet together the next day to go shopping....and to go out on the town dancing!

I spent a small fortune shopping the next day as well! Ooops! The clothes were way too cute and it seemed that the stores were running specials....how could I turn down bargains?

We met again that night and went to a dance bar for an evening of fun with the three of us, along with a friend of Zori's from work, Pablo! Great fun was had by all, lots of laughter and memories......as the Argentinian guy who tried to steal my pizza found out, don't mess with an American and her food when she is starving!



Friday evening was spent going to dinner with Zori, Vik and one of Zori's friends. More laughter and good food!

My last day was spent very quitely....too many nights out on the town I fear! Vik joined us at Zori's apartment from where we left to take me to the airport. One perk of flying so much is that I am in the members program of American, so I was able to check in the Business line which saved a lot of time! This left us time to go and grab something to drink.

Amazingly enough we found out while sitting there that all three of us love the Sound of Music......the guy at the table next to ours was highly entertained with our musical performance of our Favorite Things! =)

It was very sad to leave, but we promised (with a very solemn and 100% binding three-way Pinky Swear) that we would all meet again....whether it be in Argentina or somewhere else!

Great times were had and wonderful friendships were formed.

My sincere thank yous to both Zori and Vik for taking time from both of your schedules to show me Buenos Aries. I had an amazing time and I really can not wait to go back again!

Now to get busy making something with my yarn purchase!

Argentina.....part Uno

Okay, I finally have some time to write about my trip, but of course I am sure that I will not be able to give the trip the justice it deserves as it was an AMAZING vacation! I wish that I had been able to spend more time in Argentina and see more besides Buenos Aries....next visit, and yes, there will be a next visit!

After a fun quick visit to New York....where I went and visited Smileys Yarn, Rockefeller Center, and Barnes and Nobles (I ran out of reading material on the plane to the US). New York had lots of neat Christmas decorations around the town.





But of course Argentina had their decorations up....although for a Michigan girl, it seemed very strange to be seeing a Christmas tree when it was 90+ degrees outside and sunny!

Zori picked me up at the airport and after dropping off my suitcase....and taking a little nap, we ventured out for a walk along a river canal and my first (of what was to be many) tastes of Argentinian beef! Yumm yumm! We ended the first night in an internet cafe where Zori had to finish some work, so I sat and watched the movie CARS with no sound and Spanish subtitles....I learned what our grandparents / great-grandparents knew.....that one really does not need to hear (or read) to enjoy moving pictures! =)

The next morning was filled with sightseeing, including a visit to the cemetery where Evita is buried. I was briefly confused as to where I was while talking on the telephone...its seems oddly enough like I was in the UK, but the heat and sunshine quickly told me that I was not!

Lunch and the afternoon was spent at the Baxter Argentina Christmas party! The local team was kind enough to allow me to attend their party where we had a yummy lunch and then lots of dancing! I was able to meet several people that I have worked with in the past, but had never had the opportunity to meet in person! What great fun it was! We ended the evening going to a restaurant for drinks, appetizers and deserts with several colleagues.

While the days passed, plans were made for Tuesday....the yarn district and meeting Vik!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Frustrations and pictures part two!

Lets just say yee haw. I arrive this morning to Zürich, only to find out that my all day meeting tomorrow which was the main reason I was coming to Zürich has been cancelled....very frustrating! So now I'm stuck here, but luckily I have other things that I can work on these next 3 days.

To continue, here are more pictures from my trip to the US.......

A picture of me with my two nieces, their cabbage patch kids (Christmas present from 2005) wearing the outfits I bought them for Christmas this year!

En garde!! Santa Claus was very generous and brought not only my nephew a present but also a present for Grandpa....matching foam swords! While watching these two fight was entertaining, seeing my niece Megan take a go at sword fighting was hilarious - utterly ruthless showing excellent form and no mercy!

A snapshot of me and my really good friend Stormy.

Me and my sister Becky (the mother of my niece and nephew)

Last but not least, packing to go home.....I did not manage to fit everything in, although I probably could have as the airline did not bother to weigh my suitcases!

Next post.......Argentina!!

Here we go again....

I don't think that I've really talked much about my upcoming schedule.

My co-manager has quit, so we are in the process of recruiting for a newbie. Being Europe, it should take 2-3 months until we get someone in and trained. In the meantime, life is going to get a bit stressed out for me again. I've still not caught up from last years stress time.

I am off tomorrow morning to Zürich for 3 days for meetings, meetings and some more meetings, including a 10.5 hour meeting on Tuesday! Talk about a long day!

Spent the weekend being lazy. Some crocheting done - worked on a new doily as well as on my old WIP. Also read 3 books. I should have saved them for my trip, but I still have 2 others floating around to read, so I'll throw them in my suitcase.

I'm also going to be eventually moving my blog to my own site. This has been in the works for a while now, and while I've gotten the site ( www.cityofcrochet.com ) I've not found the time to start thinking about building the pages. One of these days I'll start. Don't expect it anytime soon though! =)

Okay, I hope that everyone has a great week!

Oops! Before I forget..... GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Better late than never (part 1)

Okay, I have 2 minutes before I need to skedaddle for a few and find something to eat. I've spent the day shopping, reading and *gasp* crocheting! I've started a New Years Resolution today to finish some of my WIPs, including a VERY old one which many will remember once its finished!

So, anywho, here are some pictures from my trip home.....Argentina and the story is still to come.....yeah yeah, I'll get to it! =)

Whats a kid to do with his present while waiting for the go-ahead to open them? Utilizing them as building blocks seems and excellent thing to do!

Ah, rest and relaxation for a few minutes with my Mom as I work on finishing a Birthday present for my niece Gracie (she was born on the 26th). I finished a granny square blanket that I made with yarn purchased in Spain. I've been working on this blanket (sorry forgot to take a picture of the final - oops!) for over a year before I finished it. I started it in Europe, took it to Michigan, left it there. My parents brought it to Florida I worked on it some more. Back to MI it went where I worked on it this past August and FINALLY finished it just after Christmas! She loved it - its perfect for her Cabbage Patch kid that I gave her last year!

The only Christmas present scarf that I managed to finish this year went to my niece Megan. Lets just say that it was a HUGE hit. She refuses to take it off and even wants to sleep with it! Yup, its one of those fancy fur scarves, but shes 3, and loves soft fuzzy things, so I caved and made her another one.

Gee Grandpa....whats that I see? Wine? Ah! Lets just say I know where I get my love of alcohol from and I show the appreciation for that love every year at Christmas! My Grandfather said one year when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas "Save your money and buy alcohol" Well I took those words to heart and have followed his advice every year faithfully! Last year was a bottle of Calvados from Normandy.....they call it a digestive, but I think its really Rocket Fuel in disguise! This year was 2 bottles of Chianti Classico from Italy - yummm!

I once again tried to find a few minutes to spend with my niece Bekky on teaching her Crochet. I wish that I was closer and could spend more time as she really wants to learn! She is coming along nicely though!

Band wagon jumping....

Did your mother give you what seems to be an age old line "Because everybody is doing it??? If everyone was jumping off a bridge would you want to do that to???"?

Well, I caved in this time. I jumped on the band wagon that is being driven through blog land called Snap A cool little code that you add into your blog code and it allows the reader of the blog to see a pop up snap shot of the link when they scroll over it....no more uncertanty on just where you will end up when you click a link on my blog!

So lets get down the whos who of bridge jumpers so far. Wendy jumped on first, and then like little sheepies we all followed.....Su, Deneen, Mimi, Sara

I am sure that there are more out there in blogland but these are the ones I've stumbled upon so far......

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Haunted by a book......

And not just any book, but a bubblegum romance novel that I last read probably back around 1994 / 95 when I was 16 or 17. Hows that for long term on the mind book?

Yes, I read the Harlequin books for pure stress relief. No thinking necessary, plots are all pretty similar, you know in the end the girl gets her man (or realizes shes in love with the one she already has) and life goes on. No need to really think and read, you occasionally learn some interesting facts, and when its done, its done.

I'm a serious book re-reader. I've re-read at least once practically every book that I own. For sure, I've re-read all of the books that I have here in Belgium. I'll get in a mood to want to read a book, and off I'll go to find it, hoping that I've not taken it back to the states for my mom, sister, aunt or cousins to read......I buy them, they read them. Seems to work well that way.

Anywho, back around 1994 / 1995 I let a friend borrow a selection of books, the missing one included. All came back, except that one. It was a favorite at the time so thats why the loss is memorable. And now, the darn book haunts me. But of course, the name and author of the darn book is long lost into the archives of my mind.

Nothing much is special about this book. It was probably one of the first romance novels that I ever read, and was probably published in the mid to late 80s or so.

The plot and characters you ask? Simple. Canadian girl named Allison. Lives with her parents and is engaged to be married. She turns down a job as the horse counselor at a kids camp. Then her finance ups and marries her sister. The camp owner, Clint happens to stop by the ranch to see if he can convince her to go for the job, of course she jumps and is whisked away by this man.

They arrive at the camp and it seems to Allison that Clint is involved with the Camp Shrink (I think Vicky or Victoria). Shucks for Alison. But theres always the poor little camper, Timmy, to keep her occupied, whose parents were in a car wreck and horse therapy seems the way to revive his spirits.

A bunch of drama, a trail ride with rattlesnakes spooking the horse that Timmy is on, a late night pool session or two, a hike to an abandoned cabin with Clint, and of course the moment when she realizes she is in love and goes to tell Clint on the day after camp has ended. What do you know, she catches Clint and Victoria in an embrace and goes running for home. She arrives and all is quiet.

What? He did not come after her?

Lo and behold, a telephone call about an accident and the fact that Clint is unconscious and has only mumbled her name. Away she goes tearing back to the hospital. Where she confesses her love to the unconscious Clint only to find out that he has been faking it in hopes that someone would call her. Victoria is explained as a hug with a friend who had passed her grad exams and had a great new job ahead. Life is rosey and they live happily ever after. The end.

Yup, I have a fairly good photographic memory and could probably re-write the darn book myself. It continues to haunt me seems that it will until the end of my days. *sigh*

I had hoped that writing about it might get it out of my head....will see what happens!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Hello!!

Happy New Year!

I am back to Belgium - it has been a very hectic and fast 2 weeks in the US...heck 4 weeks for my whole trip.

I will be posting some updates and pictures as soon as I can, along with a few overdue thankyous for a Stitch Marker swap that I was in, as well as the details of my Argentina trip. I've also decided not to submit my scarf pattern for submission, so I will be posting that one on my blog soon hopefully.

My jet lag is almost zero this time around - amazing enough! When I came back in August it took me over a week to re-adjust and yet this time it has taken me less than 1 day. Will see how I am doing after the weekend though!