Saturday, August 30, 2008


The problem with making things for yourself is that it takes so much longer than it does to make things for babies or toddlers. While I was making headway on my Apres Surf Hoodie (ravelry link), the Olympics made it hard to concentrate on the shaping decreases and the lace pattern. I think I might have messed things up. So, to pick things up a bit (and the fact that Leah is getting bigger and bigger everyday), I decided to knit up a few things for my nieces (aka, really quick knits).

I have a few friends having babies at the moment, so I made a couple lacy February Baby Sweaters for them. They are pretty quick knits. My sister really like them, so I cast on and made one for Leah in periwinkle, but made it a little longer so she could grow into it. Instead of making booties, I made her a little hat to go w/ the sweater. To top it off, I added these cute little daisy buttons.
Here's a picture of the finished product:

It's not the best picture (I will post a better one later once my sister sends it), but my sister put the outfit on Leah right away and texted me a picture of Leah in it. Here it is:

Not to leave Alex out, I had to make her a sweater too. Now, I recently got these books: Miss Bea's Playtime, Miss Bea's Colors, and Miss Bea's Dressing-Up (I love the sweater on this cover). I swear, these have got to be both the cutest and quickest knits out there for toddlers. Problem is, the patterns only go up to 4 years old and Alex is 3 1/2. I'll have to figure out a way to modify the patterns and make them bigger b/c they are just so darn cute.

Anyway, here's a picture of Alex's sweater:

Can you tell I was in a purple mood? Actually, purple is Alex's favorite color, so it works out great for her. Plus, it will be perfect for running around at school or at daycare. Her sweater is made in royal lilac w/ lime green stripes. I'll also post of picture of Alex wearing this. I first have to send it to them on Tuesday.

Both sweaters were knit in Crystal Palace Bunny Hop, which is an acrylic mix with 8% angora. It's machine washable, which is even better!

Six degrees (or only 1-2 degrees)

Back in the day, I was a environmental organizer for the PIRGs. I worked in Massachusetts, New Jersey, a stint in Maine and Pennsylvania, Maryland, and a bit in Colorado. Yes, I know, I got around a lot. This past week I was nominated by my supervisor to take a training called Stepping up to Supervision. It was a course designed to give folks a glimpse into what supervision is about since EPA is expecting a huge turnover in the next few years as people finally begin to retire. At first, I was confused about the training, actually expecting to be trained instead of discussing what it's like to be a leader. I began talking about how discussing is great, but really it's all about roleplaying, something I learned ad nauseum from my time w/ the PIRGs. We roleplayed and then we roleplayed and then we roleplayed some more. We also talked about how it's hard to deliver criticism, which I also learned to accept w/ open arms from the PIRGs. Every roleplay, every evaluation was a structured strength/improvement. Every improvement was paired w/ a strength. It definitely helped you take criticism and accept it.

So, throughout the discussion I'm telling folks about all of this stuff and after one of our breaks, this guy comes up to me. Now mind you, EPA is quite large. We cover 16 floors in our regional office, so it's no surprise that I don't know everyone. So, this guy asks who I organized for - I told him. Turns out, he was hired by CalPIRG back in '96 and was at organizer training w/ me in Boston. After further reflection (the next day), he told me that I did look familiar (amazing since I had long, straight, hippie-like hair and dress at the time). Makes sense since I was leading breakouts and such by that time. Funny how your past mixes w/ your future.

I thought this was interesting. As part of that training we had to do this 360 evaluation where folks evaluated you as a leader and in your job in general. Much of it was to be expected. All of the people oriented questions had high marks. At the end, folks could add their own anonymous comments. One commenter wrote, something about "when will Robin figure out what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that she has to, but I was just wondering." Too funny! Do I have to grow up? I don't want to, that's for sure. I like that my life and my career are constantly changing. Most folks have 5 careers in their life. I'm all about where life takes me. Of all the comments I received, that had to be the best one. Thanks!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sucked into the void

That's how I feel right now. I got home at close to 5pm. It is now 8pm. What have I been doing w/ my time you might ask? I've been putzing around on facebook. Seriously, like I need yet another computer thing to suck my time away. I must say, it is wild seeing names and pictures of folks I haven't seen in, well, a long time. Aside from friending my "current" friends (if that's the right term), I found law school friends, college friends (including my college roommate), high school and grammar school friends, former organizers and coworkers, etc. Really wild. I admit, I did try typing in a few old boyfriends' names. I'm telling you, so much for getting anything done.

My sister got my baby sweater/hat set in the mail today and texted me the cutest picture of Leah in it. Now that she has it, I think I might post pictures of it tomorrow along w/ a sweater for Alex that I'm finishing tonight. Alex's sweater doesn't need to be a surprise.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Progress has been made! I just got back from my first 35+ mile ride for the season (a little behind on my training schedule). Seems I had been maxing out at 35 and just couldn't go any further. Well, after hopping on my new bike this morning, I had no problem making it happen. Ended up riding the Schuylkill River Trail from my place by the Art Museum in Center City all the way out past Valley Forge to the end of the paved portion of the Lower Perkiomen Valley Trail. Although I forgot to buy an odometer for my new bike (duh), I believe I rode somewhere b/w 53 and 55 miles.

And what a gorgeous day for a ride! Clear skies, 80 degrees, no humidity -- absolutely fabulous!

Now, I am going to grab a quick bite and probably crash. Even w/ no humidity, the heat did get to me. I had some nausea from dehydration, but I took care of it. By the end, I was so wiped from the heat, the length of the ride, and the fact that I haven't been sleeping well due to the Olympics, I was tempted to close my eyes on my bike! Can you image? Falling asleep at the . . . handle bars? Too funny!

Sittin' on the edge of the bay

I drove down to Lewes, DE today to visit a friend of mine from my organizing days. She and her family have been vacationing down in Lewes for the week and I just popped in for a relaxing day at the beach. My friend Dannielle was staying more along the Delaware Bay, which was a great place for kids since the water is very calm. Her daughter Lily was in heaven running all over the place.

I didn't really take any pictures during the day, but I did manage to catch a beautiful sunset along the canal before grabbing some homemade ice cream in town w/ Dannielle and her family and heading home. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Here!!!!!!

My new bike, that is. I picked it up this afternoon after work. I am so happy! As I mentioned in my last post, I got the Specialized Vita Sport. It's a women's specific road bike w/ flat handle bars, as opposed to the drop handle bars.

The picture isn't all that great b/c it's taken inside w/ a flash, but you get the gist of it. The nice thing about the women's frame is it is proportioned for a woman's unique fit. The distance between the seat and handle bars is less since our arms are shorter. Also, the bike comes with a women's specific seat (the ones w/ the hole in it to lessen the "pressure"). I like these new bikes.

The only thing I don't like about the women's model is the girly details. It's less obvious on this bike than on others, but as you can see, there are cheesy little butterflies on the bike.

Serioulsy, just b/c it's a women's bike, does it have to be all girly? Since that's all they had and the fit worked, I have to deal w/ the girly details.

I am so excited to try it out! I will probably have to wait until Saturday to ride it since I'm going to Lewes, DE tomorrow to visit a friend for the day. Doesn't make sense to bring my bike if they aren't riding too.

All I have left to say is YIPPEE!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Holding Pattern

I feel like everything seems to be on hold at the moment. Well, not as much as it was last week, but it will hopefully all be over soon.

I was first on a holding pattern while I waited to hear about a job in DC. It kind of just fell into my lap and figured I had to give it a shot or I'd always wonder, what if? Plus, moving to DC would have meant I'd be closer to my sister and my 2 gorgeous little nieces. It also would not have hurt to be near my hair dresser too, but I digress. Turns out I didn't get it. I'm perfectly fine w/ that since I do love Philly and I love my job. Sure, it would have been nice to be near the girls, but in Philly I'm a day trip from DC and evening trip to NYC and the rest of my family.

So now, I'm in a holding pattern of sorts while I figure out if I can negotiate language in my lease renewal that will allow me to break a lease if I buy a place. I want to start looking, but my lease is up at the end of October. No way I will close that quickly. Plus, I leave for China on Nov. 2. No way I could deal w/ closing, moving and packing for an international vacation. So that's holding pattern #2.

Finally, my last holding pattern is waiting for my new bike to arrive. I've been having a lot of issues w/ my current bike and finally found a new road bike that should be perfect for my century ride in seven weeks!!!! B/c my old bike sucked so much, I haven't gotten above 35 miles in my training. It's very frustrating!

So, there's my whiny post, which explains why I haven't posted in a while. What's there to post about when you are in a holding pattern?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stormy Sunday

What a rollercoaster day. First it's nice out. Then it's storming. It stops. The sun peaks out. It rains again. It stops. It pours buckets. The sun peaks thru again. The sky is so dark it looks like it's 8pm, but it's 6pm. Then, I can't see the building across the street it is raining so hard and the lightning and thunder are almost in sync. Then, the sun peaks thru again. Phew!

I had plans w/ Marissa to go try out some bikes in Jersey, but that was foiled when a thunderstorm was moving thru and the weatherman clued me in that it wasn't going to be just a passing storm.

I really need to find a bike. I attempted to do a 45-mile ride yesterday and stopped at 25 miles b/c my knees (outisdes) were bugging me. This is getting to be very frustrating! I am vacillating b/w a traditional road bike and a flat bar road bike. After watching the men's and women's cycling races this weekend, the drop bars make sense. Now, I have to wait until Tuesday before I have time to go back and look at bikes.

Instead of making a very large purchase today, I attempted to organize my belongings. I cleaned out my walk-in closet and put together a couple bags of trash. I went and bought some under-bed storage compartments, hoping that will solve some of my problems. All of a sudden, I seem to have a lot of bags/purses (odd since I'm no fashionista) taking up space, as well as my new found addition -- yarn. I have all of these projects in my head that I want to make so I keep buying yarn for them. Only problem is I work full time. I don't have time to do all of this.

Still, with all that in mind, I managed to finish a shell I had started down the shore and had pretty much finished over a week ago. Ok, I had finished it, only to find that I seamed the shoulders wrong and took out one too many lace repeats. So, tonight I finally took out the seams and added another lace repeat. Here is the finished product:

It's more of a coral color. It's not as orange in person as it is in this picture. Not sure how much I like it b/c the gauge shows any little mistake. Still, it's another finished project.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A meme . . . whatever that means

Ok, this was going around a while ago, but I never bothered to jump on. Trying to avoid doing work, I decided to resurrect it and answer the questions:

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

I quit smoking!!!!

I was living in the DC metro area and had just changed jobs, leaving the PIRGs (having worked for them for many years) to go work for the Endangered Species Coalition. I was also getting ready to move out of my dumpy apartment in Hyattsville, MD to live w/ a great group of gals in Chevy Chase, DC. Also at this time I was studying for the LSATs after having determined that I needed a law degree to be a lobbyist for one of the DC enviro groups (as you can see, I went a slight different route).

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?

Clean my apartment
Do laundry
Doctor's appointment
Test ride road bikes
Work on my apres surf hoodie

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Trader Joe's Sweet & Savory Trail Mix
String Cheese

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Pay off my student loans
Work for a public interest environmental law firm or advocacy group
Put money aside for my nieces' college tuition

5) Places I’ve lived:

How much room do you have???? In order to save space, I have condensed some of the places, not bothering to list situations where I moved back and forth from different places (i.e., Cape Cod 2 summers, Washington, DC before and during law school). That's what made my government clearance document a nightmare to put together.

Johnstown, PA (10 years)
Haworth, NJ (7 years)
Boston, MA
New Brunswick, NJ
Boulder, CO (2.5 years)
Williamstown, MA
Pittsburgh, PA
Sunderland, MA
Westport, MA
South Yarmouth, MA
College Park, MD
Portland, ME
Hyattsville, MD (1 year)
Washington, DC (~3 years)
South Royalton, VT (3 years)
Brighton, MA (1 year)
Philadelphia, PA (5 years)

6) Six people I would like to tag are:

anyone who wants to play!

Monday, August 4, 2008

CITS of 87 Reunion

For the 2nd year in a row, my camp friends and I have gotten together for a mini reunion. This year, we gathered outisde of Baltimore for a cookout at a local park. It was great to catch up with folks, especially since it's as if no time has passed. Folks also brought their kids and spouses, which was great to meet them.

This picture looks just like one of our old formal CIT pictures. I'd load it here, but I must have that picture back home.

It may be 21 years, but we look just like we did at 15 as opposed to, well, what we are now . . . 25, right?

Gotta love that hair!