Sunday, December 27, 2009

I had this thought for a minute and immediately abandoned it. I know of knitters who keep track of everything they knit in a year. Quilters too. And people who sew ( I don't want to call them sewers, or maybe seamstress?). Anyhoo, they take pictures, keep track of dates started and dates finished, keep a diary maybe, a scrapbook of some sort, patterns used, type of yarn, needles, yada, yada, yada. You know what I mean.

Anyway, oooohhh, that would be wonderful and so organized! hmmmm.

I shudder at the thought. If I had to do that, I will not enjoy knitting anymore. I'd be so obsessed with keeping track of so many stuff that knitting won't be as fun.

Like I said, it entered my mind for a minute. No way, Jose.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I do believe that Jesus is the reason for the season.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

I am listening to books on tape! Books are downloaded from the local library onto my MP3 player. I can knit and work on the computer and listen at the same time. It makes me exercise too. Walking on the treadmill is no longer boring. today, I walked a mile while listening to Carl Hiaasen's "Scat".

Hiaasen is funny! The first book of his that I read was Nature Girl. Actually read it with my own two eyes. Then, Skinny Dip, on tape. Another author I like is Tess Gerritsen. She writes these mystery/suspense books about a female cop and a female coroner. She can sometimes get a little gory. Okay, a lot. I think she used to be a doctor before she started writing.

I wanted to be a doctor too until I started blacking out at the sight of blood. Oh well.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I have this aunt...

My dad came from a big family. He has 3 brothers and 4 sisters. One of the sisters is upset with me. My aunt, this aunt, is different. They all grew up in the Philippines (and so did I) and migrated to the US at different stages of their lives. Some came in the 60s, we came in the 80s, my aunt came just recently, about 4 or so years ago.

She is always helpful and I know she means well. But she has this habit of getting into other people's business without an ounce of tact. I cringe when she opens her mouth.

So, just recently, she mentions that she wants to stay and live with my parents. She mentions it to me and to my mom and dad and to several other people. I know I'm not imagining it. She has kids but I'm not sure if they want her with them or not ( I guess it's "or not").

My mom is getting stressed out over it, and I think my dad too. This is not something my mom needs right now. So, my sister and I emailed our cousins (her kids) and told them no way is that going to happen.

SO, my aunt is upset with me. I can handle that. Just don't stress out my mom and dad.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It is cold and dreary and cold. All the leaves have fallen and I haven't seen the sun in days. I'm posting this picture of our front yard taken one early summer morning, when the grass was still dewy and the sun just peaking from the rooftops.

I am going back to knitting and finish these mitts.

Friday, December 11, 2009


The socks I knitted as part of the KAL with Through the Loops, designed by Kirsten Kapur.
I joined a sock KAL sponsored by the Knitter's Brewing Co., starting Jan 15th. I ordered the sock kit, which happily comes with the first clue. This is what I knitted so far:

I like these kinds of KAL (knit along). I just finished one with Through the Loops.
And for the life of me, I can't post this picture. Something wrong with the mouse.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Today, my mom and I met with a new pulmonary specialist. She was wonderful. She did some tests, asked many questions, explained a lot and answered our questions. She has some options and is willing to work with us. Again, there are no definitive answers but we explained to her what we wanted, or hoped to accomplish. It's really simple. We want my mom to be able to breathe easier or achieve some kind of normalcy, cancer or no cancer. And most of all, this doctor was respectful. And she mentioned her own mom. There you go.

which makes me wonder: I wonder how jerk doctor treats his own mom?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sometimes, I just hate doctors. You get good news and you get bad news. Take my mom's case. Dr. said no cancer. A few weeks later, there is cancer. One says chemo won't work. Now they say, chemo might work. My mom has a great throat doctor who has been with her since they discovered her thyroid cancer in 2000. Nine years later, they say the cancer is back.

Some doctors, good they may be, shouldn't be in that line of work at all if they can't be tactful or respectful enough of their patients. This one horrible pulmonologist at Kaiser So. Sacramento needs to be trained in dealing with patients. Or maybe he should just work in a lab in some basement or locked away somewhere where he doesn't have to deal with humans. What a jerk.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh yes, I'm spinning again. I am the type of person who has to work on several items at a time. I get bored easily. Working on one item and finishing it before I start a new one is NOT ME. I work on what makes me happy. So there.

My Louet spinning wheel, a real work horse. I don't have to worry that it might break, etc etc. My kids spin on this one.

This is 100 gms of Merino/Silk blend roving from Ashford. I'm spinning it fine, for a sport weight yarn. I could have gone for laceweight but I don't have enough patience.

Monday, November 16, 2009

As usual, I'm knitting several items at the same time. I have startitis, I know. But I finish some too. Here they are:

This is Mystery shawl Knit-Along, designed by Monika Eckert, a German designer. She designs in German with English translations, charted and very easy to follow. After clue #1, this is what we have. Clues 2 and 3 are forthcoming.

This is a finished item, a textured/lace sock designed by Kristen Kapur of Through the Loops blog.

This is one of my own designs which will be offered for free through this blog. I bought 100 gms of Merino roving from It was so soft and I spun it into singles since the yardage is very small. After setting the twist, I wound it into a ball and started knitting. Unfortunately, I didn't measure the yardage. So, here we go, with the unknown yardage cowl.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What do you do when somebody blasts you on their blog??

The first thing that happened was all the blood in my body rushed to my head.

I got angry.

Then, the doubts came. Did I really make those mistakes while writing a pattern?

Next thing, I pulled out some yarn, needles and feverishly started re-knitting said pattern. Well, I didn't find any mistakes. Plus, 14 other knitters have knitted my pattern and I didn't get any error-feedback.

So, what do you do?

I vented with my husband. Poor thing. He loves me, I know and is willing to put up with me.

Now, knowing that the pattern is fine, I'm moving on. But not after I wrote a comment on the perpetrator's, I mean, the knitter's blog. I was nice. I wasn't rude. Who knows. She might become one of my best friends yet.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

This sock is missing a pair. For the life of me, I can't find the leftover half of the yarn I used to knit this one. And the yarn was handpainted by me. Impossible to duplicate. Oh well.

I finally finished the watermelon socks I started knitting about 2 years ago. I simply can't make myself to wear this one. I handpainted the yarn to make it stripe like this. It's a very tedious process, one I don't want to do again. In the past, I have received orders on this kind of yarn, orders that I was not able to fill. Maybe sometime in the future but I just can't force myself to do something I don't enjoy. Life is too short.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yes, about time I posted.

I am still knitting. I recently visited Rumpelstiltskin in Sacramento. I haven't visited any yarn store in a long long time. Well, Joann's doesn't count. It was nice to reminisce about old times with Judy. Rumpels will always be one of my fave yarn stores. Linda was the very first person to buy my patterns and she still orders from me regularly.

There are so many different sock yarns now, all of them so soft. Too soft to use for socks, IMHO. I use them for shawlettes.

I might also go back to quilting. I just hope I can do them at the same time. I go in cycles.

My sister is in Germany and will bring me some sock yarns. Yumm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What do you do when life sucks? You knit, and knit, and knit. It will keep you sane. Works for me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I am working on not one, but three shawls.

This is Clothilde in lace by the Knitting Kninja.

This one is the Daybreak shawl by Stephen West. Not sure if they still make this yarn but it is Cestari by Chester Farms. 75% cotton and 25% wool, sportweight.

This one is Damson, by Ysolda Teague.

Oh yes, I am working on 3 shawls, at the same time. Love it!

Friday, September 11, 2009


It dawned on me last night that my younger kids don't know a lot about 9-11. Matthew was almost 5 and Emily, only 10 months old, when it all happened. They did not know about the 4 planes and most of what happened that day. Last night, I told them the story, and the heroism of the men and women on the last plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. They were stunned and quiet and just absorbed all of it.

I hope that that's what they remember, the heroism, not the hate, not the terror although it's all part of it, but remember the men and women who perished, those who helped save some, the firefighters, the police, the port authorities, brave souls, all of them, who were just doing their jobs but gave the best gift ever.

God bless America.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New handpaints going up on Ebay: some Superwash Merino/bamboo/nylon blend and some superwash BFL sock yarns.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Milkweed shawl knitted in garter stitch lace. Very easy to knit and turned out pretty too. The yarn was hand dyed by me, a superwash Merino/bamboo/nylon blend yarn, too pretty to use on socks.

And here it is being modeled by Emily, a fullsized shawl on her and a shawlette on me, the way I like it. Too big shawls make me feel like I have an afghan on.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

some new knitting:

another Ishbel shawlette that I finished.

Elegantly simple lace shawl, a feather and fan version, designed by Jackie E-S. Here's a closeup:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The family hasn't taken a vacation in years and it seems that this year is the time to take one... or two. After San Diego and Vegas, we headed for a day to Yosemite. What a truly beautiful place.

Entering Yosemite, this is the kind of view you see along the winding zig-zag road.

The beautiful Bridalveil Falls as seen from a distance.

My kids beside the creek.

more to come

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

This is what I'm currently knitting, a lace stole (rectangular shawl) for me made with 100% cotton yarn, great for cool summer evenings out.

A picture of the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, where my friend's wedding was held last Saturday. Glad to be home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Carlsbad, California

Arrived here yesterday after a really bad traffic jam in LA (Sacramento traffic is tame compared to it). A little cold in Carlsbad, cloudy, foggy, and cooold. Hope it lifts up.

On the way here, I've taken some pictures of the beautiful San Fernando Valley, and the reservoir, Vista Del Lago.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

We're back from a day trip to San Francisco. Like always, we stopped by Emeryville, at the International market and food court. Ever since Joel took us here years ago, we never fail to stop by for a nice meal. International, I say. I always get Vietnamese spring rolls. Emily goes for the shrimp Udon. It is so amazing since that's what I used to eat when I was pregnant with her. Shrimp Udon was the only one I can hold down when I suffered through morning sickness the entire 9 months of pregnancy with Em.

We headed up to Ghirardelli Square for some chocolates and the wonderful Kara's cupcakes. Her's is the best tasting in California. Spent an hour at the Marina eating the cakes, took some pictures. As always, I forgot my digital camera and used Joel's old one.

Some knitting done but not much. Came home and played Farmtown on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


These are images of my latest finished project, the Ishbel shawl, a design by Ysolda Teague. Like what other knitters have stated, this was a very enjoyable knit and very hard to put down. I already gave this one to my mom. I'm off to knit another one for me, out of superwash wool and bamboo blend. yumm.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

the 40th day

May 22nd was the 40th day after my Uncle Romy died. My Catholic relatives celebrate this day because they believe that on this day, the soul finally goes up to heaven, after staying here on earth. Or maybe,they believe that the soul of the departed goes to Purgatory, where it's sins are forgiven through prayers of its loved ones still living. Kinda like being given a second chance.

Being a Christian, my beliefs are different. The Bible says that when a Christian dies, "absent from the body, present with the Lord". I have believed all along that Uncle Romy's soul is with my Lord and Savior the very day he died.

We went and visited the cemetery, took some pictures, and just enjoyed the peace and quiet, except for the cemetery workers who decided to have a race with their little golf carts carrying tools, zooming around the tombstones. Total disrespect.

Beside this tall monument and inside the enclosure is my uncle's gravesite.

That's my sister, Nerie, on the left, and me with my kids.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In connection to the Twilight theme, these are what I have been knitting:

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Ooh, I got bit by the Twilight bug. I've seen the movie a while ago. My daughter has all 4 books. I figured, why not read them. Of course, I started with the first one and finished it in one day. Could be because I already knew what was going to happen.

Next comes the second one, New Moon. I finished it by day 2. This one was my favorite. Very hard to put down. I fell in love with Edward.

Day three and I'm off to reading book three, Eclipse. I liked this one too but not as much as New Moon. Bella's being wishy-washy. Still madly, deeply in love with Edward, I am.

Book four, Breaking Dawn, and finished it by day 4. By this time, my teenage image of Edward and Bella is gone. I can't picture Rod Pattinson as Edward anymore. I don't know how they can make this into a movie with a PG13 rating. No way.

SO, off I went and saw the DVD again with a more critical eye.

I am so looking forward to watching New Moon when it comes out in Nov '09. I might go see it with my teenager.

As you can tell, I didn't get any knitting, cooking, sleeping or computer time done the past 4 days.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I am knitting again but too tired to do anything else. The weekend after the funeral, I caught a bad cold (sore throat, coughing, fever, the works). I was getting worried about the swine flu. Went and saw the doctor, of course. Not swine flu, not strep, just the common cold. Plenty of rest, liquids, yada, yada, yada.

Here are some token pictures to make this post a little less boring:

Windmill dishcloth

Some tawashis I've been crocheting

Picture of me and some of my cousins from all over. Our kids are here too. My uncle brought us closer together more now that he's gone than when he was alive. We took lots of things for granted. Not anymore. I hug and kiss my mom and dad more now. I'm not shy to say I Love You anymore. And I think I might have lost my stage fright.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Romeo Bautista DeCastro

Visitation for my uncle was last night and again today. I'm totally amazed at the number of people who were there last night, some family whom I haven't seen in a long long time and hundreds of friends. The place/chapel was overflowing.

I'm also bothered at how superstitious beliefs can rule one's life. One of the long removed aunts refused to let Christian music be played during viewing even after my cousins and aunt requested it. It had to be one of those sad wailing Catholic music that only depressed everybody. We explained to her that we wanted to celebrate Uncle Romy's life and that he would not have wanted us to grieve so much.

She's also the one who won't let the family bring home some of the leftover food that was brought to the chapel. She also can't explain why. Most of the food had to be thrown out.

I was once a Catholic before I became a Christian. I prayed the Rosary before and attended Catholic church. But my relationship with my Savior now is more personal. Last night, they prayed the rosary not once but twice. The second time, they changed the words. It appeared to be more of chanting, more of repeating one kind of prayer over and over, prayed by people who probably did not even know my uncle.

When it was the Christian chaplain's turn to pray, I noticed the total disrespect of the Catholic ladies present. They started talking and laughing amongst each other while the chaplain was speaking and reading from the Bible. Unbelievable.

Tonight, I will have a chance to speak my eulogy. Hopefully, people will listen. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My favorite uncle in the whole world, Uncle Romy De Castro, passed away yesterday morning at 6:34 am. I know he's with the Lord now, body whole, no more pain, no more suffering. But we will miss him sooo much. I won't say goodbye. I know it's a temporary separation. We will see him again, someday, in heaven.

You are home now, Tito Romy! Welcome home.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here are some pictures from last Winter Camp at Sierra Pines. It was a church sponsored event for our 5th and 6th graders. It was a fun time even though I realized that I am truly a tropical person. We stayed in rustic cabins, well, maybe not so rustic, since we had heat, toilets, running hot and cold water, and bunk beds. From our cabins, we walked up this road to get to the lodge for meals and assembly.

I didn't account for elevation and the road's steepness. After a few minutes, I was totally out of breath and woozy. I got the hang of it by the 3rd day.

We had to cross a tiny covered bridge to cross this tiny creek.

I didn't realize how high the snow was until I saw this picture.

And this is what we saw on the way down the mountain, on El Dorado Hills, when the snow turned to rain.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My current obsession is knitting dishcloths and washcloths. Others ridicule the art of knitting dishcloths. What's the purpose, they say? You can buy washcloths at Walmart at $3.00 a dozen. Sure. But have you ever used a handknit dishcloth to dry off your dishes or wipe off your counter or even use a washcloth in the shower? You can't compare them to those puffy nylon tulle fuzzballs. I am definitely a walking ad for washcloths.

There are so many free and for sale patterns on line. Most designers will let you knit their patterns and sell the finished item. And let me emphasize, only the FINISHED item, not the pattern itself. When in doubt, ask the designer. Knitters, crocheters and crafters are very generous people.

One of my fave dishcloth designers is Knits by Rachel. She has lots of freebies and for sale patterns. Another one is Maile Mauch. Her website has lots of freebies. A third one is Designs by Emily.

Now, with this obsession of mine, I have knitted over 20 dishcloths so far.

baby washcloths

I packaged them into these:

with some of my handmade glycerine soap, tied them with a neat ribbon, with tags and instructions and they SOLD! My sister-in-law, Flynn, bought them all. (Did I mention she's one of my favorites? ;-)