Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not Missing This!

Just checked the weather in Spokane...snow and down to -3 tonight.  Here in beautiful Roatan we are basking by the pool.  It's so nice here!  Our house is gorgeous, we are situated on a lovely bay, with a view out through a reef to the Atlantic Ocean.  I have mostly been knitting, reading and lounging by the pool, and that's perfectly fine with me.  Rumor has it that the more adventurous members of our party are going zip-lining today.  Those of us who are "gravity people" are trying to get out of it.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Pia, Katie and I arrived in gorgeous Roatan this afternoon and were met by Patty, Tony, Junior and Franklin (our home's caretaker and his grandson, great guys!)  The island and the house are as beautiful as we had dreamed, and we are already living la vida loca (no idea what that translates as, but you get my drift).  It's so warm here and it's so much fun to get to spend Christmas with my kids, Tony and Patty. Thanks all of you for making it possible for me to join you!  Happy Christmas, Santa is on his way!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Our trip is almost here!  I've thrown swimsuits, shorts, flip flops and underwear in  my suitcase, along with a rather pitiful pile of gifts (hard to pack a full load of Christmas presents in one suitcase):

I also threw in a jigsaw puzzle (Great Shipwrecks!) just in case Katie is completely housebound and we get bored.  The knitting projects are selected and yarn is ready to be wound into balls. 

I can't believe it's finally time to head to sunny Roatan (or Rwanda as my dear relatives insist on calling it)!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Getting Crafty

The gang and I went to a family night at the Y, where they had a bunch of tables set up for Christmas crafts.  Of course, we especially loved the ones that involved marshmallows.  We made Reindeer Chow and Snowmen using 'mallows, licorice whips and pretzels.  Those didn't make it home, but they made some very cute ornaments for their tree.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Once AGAIN, I am working on transferring my store to a new host.  It's a total PITA, and I find I need to learn a lot more about computer programming and codes and HTML language than I ever really wanted to know :-(

Hopefully, I'll get it all figured out before we leave on our trip and have the store & site up and running pronto.  Send strength and patience thoughts my way, I'm going to need plenty of both...

Monday, December 13, 2010

True Believers

Is there anything more grand than a child who still believes in Santa?  No, there really isn't.  And the boys are in various stages of 'true believing'. 

Mikey is still a T.B. at age 5 of course.  On our walk to school this morning, he asked if I believed.  I replied,  "YES. OF COURSE I DO."  We then had a discussion about what Santa is bringing and how many days left till the big day.  It's hard being a good boy right up to Xmas day!

The twins at 10 are wavering a bit.  The logical part of their brains knows that "Mom buys the presents", but they totes WANT to believe.  Liam told his mom that the Santa they saw this weekend wasn't the REAL Santa, his hair was too light. Real Santa is at the Mall.  And then he asked his mom "do the reindeer REALLY fly?"  Al is pretty sure Mom is Santa, but just in case he's believing.  You don't want to miss out on the really good presents by dissing Santy.

Riveria is 11 and totally over the whole Santa thing.  But trying to be a good big brother and not spill the beans.

I vote that we all endorse Santa 100%.  The world needs the jolly guy.

It's Official!

Christmas season is upon us!  We watched "White Christmas" last night (well, I watched an hour of it, then had to go to bed, but really I have the whole movie and all the songs and dialog memorized so it's okay).  Love this movie SO much: Bing! Rosemary!  Vera-Ellen's creepy tiny waist! Danny Kaye and everything he does!  Mary Wickes (the housekeeper)! 

And of course, my sister B & I do a mean version of "Sisters".

Once I've watched "It's a Wonderful Life" at least one time, I'll know it's time to get those presents wrapped!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Such a Dilemma!

The hardest part (for me) of packing for a trip is what knitting project to take?  I can throw clothes in a bag willy-nilly and I'm fine with it.  But I agonize over the knitting bag.  I need something that is going to keep me busy for the entire trip, but not be so difficult/have so many skeins of yarn involved that I have to carry a ginormous bag.

For our Roatan trip, I have to also consider how much I would enjoy sitting with a lapful of wool.  I was going to take a sweater project, but think that might be a bit too warm :-(  So I'm wavering between socks and a shawl called "Galadriel's Mirror", which is really pretty.  I have this yarn (Caper Sock in color "Alexandrite" from String Theory), so I'm all set to start knitting the shawl.  And I have tons of sock yarn, so I'm good with that, too.  What to take...maybe both!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oops She Did it Again

Here's the remnants of yet ANOTHER expensive Addi knitting needle that dear little Lucy decided made an excellent chew toy.  Along with my lace project.  Alas, the needles can't be salvaged, but the knitting project is back on new needles (and I've finally learned I need to put my knitting away!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's 80 in Roatan Today!

Just a couple more weeks until the Longi's head off to bask in the sun on Roatan!!!  I can't wait, especially after the crappy weather we've had here lately.

Poor Katie is stuck in her humongous knee brace for our entire vacation :-(  We will have to rig up a big floatie for her so she can at least lounge in the pool while we bring her drinks and fan her.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Sorry, I just can't say that name without shrieking :-)  Katie and I got to visit with Megan & Ryan in the hospital and meet Mr. Carson P.  And he is the cutest little bean. 

I know his mama was ill, based on the outfit that Cars was wearing: ratty diaper, hospital issue t-shirt and scrappy receiving blanket.  Were she up to par, he'd be decked out in his finest duds.  He was presh anyway.  And Auntie Lowdie got to snuggle and hold him for a long time, which was a treat.

BTW this boy has the fingers and toes of his mother; in other words, they are prehensile and I'm going to start calling both of them "My Left Foot" bc they can totes paint and do just about anything requiring opposable thumbs with those feet.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Sad Story of Pam's Christmas Gift

Here is my nearly finished (and super cute) Aggie Bear from "The Odd-Bod Knitted Bunch" book.  This was going to be Pam's Christmas present, until she started leaking 'pellets' at an alarming pace. 

Maybe I will make another one, but not before Christmas.  You're getting something else, Pammie!

Sitting Very, Very Close

We had a grand time at Logan's 4th birthday party!  She was a gracious hostess.  Hadley asked if she could help Loggie unwrap her gifts, and Logan said, "No, Hads, but you can hold the bows".  Hads was pretty happy with that, as she had already gotten the ixnay from her mama on 'present unwrapping help'.  She then asked if she could sit 'very, very close' to Logan, and her wish was granted.

We also got to meet and cuddle new baby CARSON, he's a doll.  Albeit a doll with ginormous feet.  He will never tip over.  Hope you are home and feeling better, Megs!

Friday, December 3, 2010


I'm working on a present for Loutie, and it has to be PERFECT, because 1. I love her and 2. she's a fabulous knitter and I would be ashamed to give her something that is less than fabulous.

I WAS nearly done with the gift, and it was looking very very cute.  Then I got the brills idea to stuff it with those little beads.  And ignored the package warning that says "make a lining".  ACK. ACK. ACK.  My adorable gift is leaking beads everywhere.

Prezzie is getting put down for the weekend while I consult with Susna on how to fix this mess...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This is why it takes us 45 minutes to walk to school

Mind you, the P's live about 5 blocks from school.  But there's just SO much to do on the way...This morning, Mike found a 'wormhole' in the snow and he just had to crawl in it and be a worm for a while.  Meanwhile, the brothers were busy pelting each other with snowballs.  All fun and games until snow gets down the back of your neck.  Then you cry.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poor Katie!

The day started out so well...Katie headed up to the slopes for her first ski outing of the year.

Here she is hours later, sitting in a wheelchair at Holy Family's ER. 

Hopefully, it's just a strained knee ligament.  She's on crutches for now. 

I'm trying to take the positive outlook: if her knee is blown, she can ride in a wheel chair through the airport and maybe we can get front row seats on the plane when we go to Roatan.  She's going to have a really weird tan line if she has to wear a knee brace though...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hats Hats Hats

I'm on a hat kick!  Must be the cold snowy weather here.  I have finished three hats this morning:

 This is "Skater Baby" for Carson.  Fast and easy!  I started it yesterday.  Can't wait to see it on a baby head, it should look much better than on my hand :0
 This is a colorful little hat for Sean & Beena's new baby girl, Brooklyn.  I like that the colors look very much from India, as Beena's family is from that country.
And this is my 'mystery hat', which is a slouchy beret style.  It is def. 'slouchy', and will fit on my large head no problem at all.

Mittens should be next, judging what the weather is doing...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

I just polished off a delish piece of pecan pie baked by our resident pastry chef (aka Pia).  Now I'm settling in for the "Man v. Food" marathon.  Hope you all enjoy an equally happy Thanksgiving!

Stuff I'm thankful for this year:

1. First, foremost and forever, my four fabulous children.  I don't know what I did to deserve such terrific kids, but they are THE BEST.

2. A long queue of knitting projects, enough to keep me knitting for years.  And if I have projects to knit and yarn, I won't die. Yay!

3. Sisters and nieces.  The greatest gals I know.

4. RJ, Liam, Alex and Mikey.  They keep me laughing (when I'm not yelling), plus they are such BOYS.  Which is a good thing.

5.  Books.  I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't read.  I've been doing it pretty much non-stop since I was six.

That's all I can think of for right now.  Oh, I'm thankful that P. left a whole pecan pie here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm a Published Designer!

So excited!  Three Irish Girls just sent me the news that my "Al Fresco" sock pattern is now available for sale on their website!  They look so cute in the picture!  I hope I sell a few patterns, it sure looks nice to have a professionally printed pattern :)

History Repeats Itself

Deja Vu All Over Again!  I was dressing Mike P. the other morning, it was cold out so I was thinking "layers".  I pulled a turtleneck out of his drawer and popped it on the little guy.

He IMMEDIATELY fell to the floor, clawing at his neck and gagging "I can't breathe...gasp...gasp...screech!  Get this OFF ME, Wowe!!!!"

I almost couldn't pull it off of him, I was laughing so hard.  Because this is EXACTLY what Katie did (and still does) every time a turtleneck gets near her throat.

We went with a Pokemon t-shirt, and the heart-stopping choking cleared up immediately :-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier

Years ago, I bought the boys these coonskin hats (faux of course), and I haven't seen them in ages.  Al decided to wear one to school last week.  The boy is not afraid to take a fashion risk, that's for sure.

7+ Pounds of Love

Here's the only pic we have so far of baby Carson (Pooh Bear, I can hear you now: CARSON! CARSON! POSE IN FRONT OF THE MONKEYS CARSON!)  No word yet on whether there's hair under that hat, but I'm guessing at most a little fuzz.  He looks just like big sister.  Zaide reported that he has his mama's "boats" -- his feet barely fit on the paper when they made footprints.

So happy for Megan, Ryan, Hads and all the grandparents.  This baby is going to be loved like crazy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Reason I Wish I Lived in England

Then I could say that people with red hair are "gingers".  Love that.

One More Day!

Tomorrow is the big day!  Our Megan goes to the hospital to have her c-section (that darn kid refuses to turn itself head-first, I don't think Megs tried my suggestion about inserting a Butterfinger candy bar in the appropriate orifice, which would have turned it around in a heartbeat). 

Cannot wait to meet our new great-niece/nephew!  Hurry hurry hurry Megs!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Pia, Katie and I went to see the New Harry Potter movie last night.  It was pretty good, I jumped about ten times, damn those scary parts.

I have read all of the HP books, but I can NEVER remember what happens; as soon as I finish one, the entire plot is erased from my memory.  The only thing I remembered from book 7 was the tent.  Don't ask me why.  But I guess that means the movie version is full of surprises.  The girls assured me that the film followed the book closely, so HP fans will be pleased.

Also, I noticed there are lots of cool sweaters in this movie. Yay for the HP costume designers!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Health Kick

I have finally gotten off the schneid and had a physical (everything checks out fine thus far, us Sundstroms evidently have healthy genes), gotten new specs, and went for a mammogram today.  I will be getting the dread colonoscopy sometime soon as well. 

Now if I can just get my ass in gear to lose some weight, I'll be ready for my golden years.

And in case you don't read Katie's blog, my deafness has been cured!  I thought I was ready for the hearing aid, but turns out my ear drum was totes covered with gunk.  Disgusting, but I can hear everything now!  Look out, no more talking smack about me if you stand on my right side...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Finally a royal wedding!!  I love me some Brit royals, so I'm already planning my party -- up at 3 am to watch the wedding, drinking champagne and wearing a big silly hat.  That is, if I don't fly over, just waiting for my invite :0

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Saga of Lois' Car

Since Cara asked...several months ago, us siblings got together and made some decisions about how we could best take care of our mom.  She's a feisty broad, but getting a little fuzzy on some stuff, like where she was going and where she came we thought it was the time for her to hang up the car keys.

We knew it would be a bitter pill for her, she's always been very independent and a good driver too.  Never had an accident in 70 years of driving.  But it was no longer a good idea for her to be out and about on her own.

The car went to sister Jamie's house (where she has a 15 1/2 year old who is itchin' to get behind the wheel).  And Mom has someone with her every day to take her where she wants or needs to go.  That hasn't made it any easier for her to accept the fact that her driving days are over.  And I totes understand that, it's a real symbol of one's independence to have a car.  Not that I wouldn't love to have a chauffeur.  But we keep reminding her that she forgets things so driving is not an option.  Of course, she forgets that we have told her this, so it's an ongoing dialogue. But we love her and we'll repeat the story as many times as she needs to hear it.  And then start all over again telling her where her car is the next day :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Seattle Weekend

Pia and I headed over for a quick weekend in Seattle.  Weather was pretty typical Seattle in November (gray) but no snow anywhere en route so that was good.

Some highlights:

1. Pia brought along a book on her Ipod for us to listen to: "The Help".  It is SOOO good.  And I'm trying to decide who is going to play the ladies in the movie version.  The trip was too short, we only got to chapter 9.  I'm dying to get back in the car.

2.  Pia was nice enough to stop at TWO thrift stores with me (I'm sure she posted humiliating pix on her Facebook page), plus go to Village Yarn and Tea's closing business sale and brave the huge crowd.  This was a small portion of the rabid knitters waiting to pay for their purchases.  If you look closely, you may see the man in the kilt with his knitting in a pouch at his side :0

3. Lois was much better this weekend, seemed a lot more 'with it' than last weekend.  My favorite moment:  She was (again!) griping about her car being taken away.  I attempted to change the subject and commented about how her young friend Mark and his wife are expecting a baby.  I said "isn't it nice that they are going to have a baby?".  Mimi looked at me and replied "A car would be better."  I give up Lo-bug, you will complain about that damn car until they haul you out feet first.

4. We got to attend a lovely memorial get-together for a wonderful person, Shirley Davis (what do you call your sister's mother in law? We all called her "The Lady").  I'll always remember her smile and her drawn-on eyebrows lol.  She was the world's best grandma hands down, and she will be missed.

AND I managed to complete a trip without leaving "pillowy" behind somewhere, probably a first.  I'm already sweating about our trip to Roatan at Christmas and leaving my beloved pillow on a Honduran island...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Oh My

Cara just sent me a link to ESPN, announcing that Dave Niehaus died today.   I can't imagine watching a Mariners game or listening to one on the radio without Dave announcing.  He will be missed.


I finished Mikey's "O'Dino" Sweater, and he was very excited to wear it to school today.  Pretty cute, I think.  The other boys are griping because I haven't knit them anything lately.  Liam has an order in for a LARGE WALRUS.  RJ wants another skull hat (the cool one I made for him got stolen the first day he wore it to school).  Alex hasn't requested anything special yet.  Better get those needles clicking!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lucy Gets in Trubs

Here's the remnants of my latest knitting project after Lucy Lou decided to chew it up :-(  I don't mind the yarn being chewed so much as the expensive Addi needles being destroyed.

Woofy, I agree the project was kind of fugly and I WAS going to rip it out.  I didn't need your help.

Skull and Bones Society

Mike wore the darling Pirate Sweater that Susna sent to him.  I think it's the last time he can squeeze into it though :-(

The Great White Hunter

After 2 seasons of claiming he was 'going hunting' and never bringin' home the bacon, Jon finally bagged himself an elk.  The boys were of course wild with excitement over the carcass:

And we had to get all the details of the stalking, the shooting, the dragging it out of a bog, the butchering, why didn't he bring the head or skin home etc. etc.

Mike and I made a book about it at the school book fair (where he had to do an emergency hand scrubbing after I noticed his paws were covered in elk blood:

And Sliver has been "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Butcher of Laurelhurst" all week, hacking those haunches up:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting Old = Not for Sissies

I'm winding down my weekend visit to see Mom.  It's been both eventful and in, I haven't really done much besides hang out with Lo-bug.  But that in itself is rather an exhausting experience.

First, I have even MORE love and appreciation for my sibs who are taking turns being with Mom on a daily basis.  This is a JOB, people. 

Her memory is definitely of the short-term variety (like about 2 minutes lol).  Friday afternoon, I spent a solid two hours explaining to her (over and over) where her car is, why she is no longer able to drive, how her kids are not 'imprisoning' her in her home, who comes to be with her every day, who lives with her.  She is 'stuck' on the car question, I guess it signifies a loss of independence/realization that she is indeed growing old.  I was in tears by the end of the two hours, it's so hard to see her completely unable to retain a thought for more than a couple of minutes.  Maybe she was just having a bad day :-(  and other times she's more with it.

I tried to get her to go for a walk but no dice.  If she can't go in her own car (and drive it), she ain't going.  She is sure it has been stolen, hopefully someone has alerted the Shoreline PD that they should disregard any missing car calls from her lol.

I head home today glad I came and hoping she enjoyed my visit.  But also to let my own kids know they should put me in the home the minute I can no longer do the New York Times crossword in ink.  Or just use the black needle on me, I'm fine with that. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

This is Darn Clever!

And a cheap way to spin yarn!  Cat Bordhi, who is an extremely innovative knitter, came up with this idea to spin yarn using rubber balls and rubber bands.  Katie, let's try it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dr. Evil and Mini-Me

I looked out the window and saw Jon and his little buddy Mike working on the garden.  Both of them are wearing matching camo pants.  They are so cute!  Jon is our local god, the boys are constantly saying "Jon says..." or "Jon told us..."  Mom and I carry no weight with this crew.  Of course, Jon has the power to put them on Death Row and administer the death penalty, which gives him a certain power.  All we can do is yell at them.


I've noticed when reading the obits lately that there are a LOT of dead guys named Robert, whose obituary always reads: Googleheim, Robert "Bob".  Now WHY does the family think we need to be told the guy went by Bob???  It's kind of a given in my world.  I can see the need if your name is say George but everyone knew you as "Crazy Larry" or something.

This led to a discussion between Jon and I this morning.  We agreed we want NO "nicknames" on our obits (in fact, Jon says he doesn't want people to find out he's dead).  UNLESS the family will print his obit as: Sundstrom, Jon "Pinkstapork"...

Mr. Green Jeans

Jon has obviously inherited the green thumb gene.  This is his Christmas Cactus (the buds are a gorgeous bright pink, I couldn't capture it).  My Xmas Cactus has maybe one bud a year. 

I'm Sure I Will be Watching This Show!

I'm pretty much over Dancing with the Stars, so I was pumped when I heard about SKATING WITH THE STARS

Friday, October 29, 2010


I finally got new glasses!  No more wonky patched together with epoxy glasses for me!  I am loving my totally retro cats-eye frames too.  I look a LOT like our dear old Nancy Rosaia!  And I can see better too, plus no glaucoma Susna.  Whew.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time Waster of the Day

Here's a great collection of animated .gif's you can steal and use on your blog!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Amazing Knitting!

Just in time for Halloween!  Check out this incredible knitted skeleton!  It's from an art exhibit called "Transcending the Material".

Another Great Show

Lately we've been watching a lot of eps of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia".  Love this show, it's so wrong in just about every way. 

The Leaf Peeper

Mikey told me this was his 'secret hideout', in the garden behind the sunflowers.  Every guy needs a secret hideout!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Books on the Ipod

I really love my Ipod.  Especially since I started downloading books on it.  I listen to books much more than I do music.  Right now, I am listening to an old favorite "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith.  I am pretty sure this is the first book I checked out of the "adult" section at the Bothell Library (as soon as Mrs. Corner decided I was old enough to read 'adult' books).  I loved it so much, even though I didn't understand some of the events in the book (I'm thinking of the scene where Francie and Neely played with the box of rubbers from Aunt Sissy's purse.  I had NO IDEA what those were). 

The book is still a great read, I'm really enjoying it.  Maybe I will download some Nancy Drew next...

A Typical Weekend...

Cara has requested more blog posts from us Spokanites, even though obvs we have nothing to say.  But bc I love her, here's a post.


1. try to sleep in
2. fail because Lucy comes in a climbs on my bed, leaving dirty paw prints all over my sheets.
3. Get up.
4. Make my standard breakfast: coffee and whole wheat bagel w melted extra-sharp cheddar cheese (I did mix it up today and used whole wheat bread.  Don't say I'm not exciting).
5. Read the paper.  This takes about 15 minutes nowadays bc the Spokesman-Review is 95% ads.
6. Do the New York Times Crossword puzzle on the computer.  LOVE.  It's the only puzzle I will deign to work.
7. Think about what I'm going to do today.  This takes about 30 seconds.
8. Either A. get up and throw some laundry in or B. start knitting and watching whatever Katie has on the TV.
9. Try to get Katie to let me watch "Hoarders". No dice.
10. Let Lucy out, then immediately let her back in.  Repeat x infinity.
11. Work on my website until I get sick of it.
12. Do a smidge of cleaning.  Am exhausted so sit back down with more coffee and a book or magazine.
13. Think about taking Lucy for a walk.  Remember that she yanks my broken arm out of the socket whenever I walk her, so ix-nay on that idea.
14. Check Ravelry about a dozen times daily for something interesting to read and/or knit.
15. Time for dinner.  Thank god I have the girls to cook, because by my age I am thoroughly sick of cooking meals.  Not of eating them, mind you.
16. Try to convince the girls that they would enjoy a program on PBS.  Ix-nay.  Plug in my Ipod while they watch Survivor (or whatevs is on Sunday night TV)
17. It's 9:30ish, think about whether I can stay up till 10 to watch Mad Men.  No, 5 am comes mighty early.
18. Bed! Ahhh.

And that is pretty much how most Sundays go around here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Love This Blog!

It's called "The Word Made Flesh" and it shows tattoos inspired by literature.  What would you get if you were going to inscribe a quote on yourself?  I'm torn between Scarlett O'Hara's "tomorrow is another day" and "It's a sin to kill a mockingbird".