"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

Wow, how did it get to be Wednesday already? The week has flown by so far. I did manage to get some essential items accomplished:

  • oil changed in Caliber
  • car-load of items donated to the Goodwill
  • dresser cleared of clothes I can no longer wear
  • guest/retreat closet clean out under way
  • planting of hybrid lilies in the front yard
Along the way, I did manage to find the local library and get my library card. While I was there, I checked out three books:

  1. The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook
  2. Classic Knits
  3. Twisted Whiskers
I am in love with the recipes in the cookbook! There are already at least 25 that I must make as quickly as possible....good thing that SF loves rice as much as I do. Bonus that I can renew the book two times....that is good for about six full weeks. I am also almost finished with Twisted Whiskers. I have learned a lot of helpful things abouts cats and behaviour modification. Now if I can only make some of them work for us.

The Classic Knits book is a whole different issue. I have been looking for a pattern for a shrug. I wanted something classic but not to lacy. I found the perfect pattern in this book. I am scouring the stash to see if I have the yarn needed to get started. If I don't have the exact yarn, I will have to make a few swatches from what I have to get this one made. I am excited, as I have a lot of sleeveless dresses that all could use a shrug like the one in the book so that I can wear them at work.

I am all jazzed up about Easter! I have a ton of stuff for Zoe. Weather permitting, I plan to get up there Sunday. She loves ducks and I have a stuffed duck for her. I also am knitting a duck washcloth and duck slippers.....pictures to follow....I have a bunch of them to download off the camera and up to Flickr....

Okay...off to get stuff done before the end of the day...Is everyone ready for April Fools?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Manic Monday

Okay, I have been officially bitten by the Spring Cleaning Bug!

Yesterday we went to Lowe's and bought 10 pieces of grass (sod), a new hose, a new hose reel, dirt and fertilizer. We also picked up five hybrid lilies. In between basketball games (March Madness) we laid out the sod and put all ten bags of soil down in the low spots. This week I will plant the lilies and finish weeding the beds.

We are lucky in the fact that the lawn service did most of the weeding pulling in February when the grass was low and they were able to spare the time. I love Mario and his crew! I miss doing the yard work sometimes but I love the fact that we can get up and leave on Saturdays and not have to spend any time wondering when we will get the yard work done. We do maintain the plants ourselves and only get Mario to help us with the limbs and branches we can't reach.

We have already trimmed up the Plumerias and thinned out the day lilies. I will also be working on a spot for roses and some other plants/flowers that will not get into the pool or cause the dogs any problems. I am going for low maintenance and care free so that we can enjoy the pool and the motorcycle without any challenges.

Last weekend I took a huge load (all the capacity the Caliber could handle) of cardboard to the recycling facility. This week I will be taking electronics and the remainder of the cardboard to them. I will also be taking three garbage bags (33 gallon bags) of clothes to the Goodwill, two garbage bags of coat hangers to a local dry cleaner and some boxes of books to a local retirement community. I also plan to go through the closet in the "retreat" again now that it has been almost a year to see what things in there can be discarded, donated or re-purposed. I figure that if I haven't pulled them out in a year then I really don't need them or they just aren't as important as I originally estimated. We'll see what happens.

I mentioned that I have been knitting again. SF is fascinated by the knitting and loves to see each project take formation and develop. I have been finishing up projects that I started while living in the apartment. I have two left from that year and then I will move back to the UFO's (Unfinished Objects) that go back many years. Some of them may get "frogged" or "ripped" but most will be finished.

I will be taking pictures over the next two weeks and will get them loaded to Ravelry and them I will will do a post about them. I do have a few to mention now. I finished a pair of socks for SF. I utilized the BMG's Footies pattern. I also made the January 2010 KAL by Kris. I also made a plain ole' garter stitch dish cloth from the band of a Lily Sugar'n Cream stripes ball in 21712 (Lime Stripes). I have started on the "Be My Dishcloth" in Lily Sugar'n Cream Solid 00095 (Red) for Megan. I am finishing a Pay-It-Forward pattern that will be finished and ready to mail within the next two weeks. I cannot post any other details about them yet but will do so as soon as I know that they have been received.

I am also going to make myself something. I decided to join the Sexy Knitter's Club 2010 Q2 KAL which is doing cardigans. I have an ancient Leisure Arts Leaflet # 215 (published in 1982) that features a Chanel Jacket that I have been wanting to make for years...almost 20 to be exact. I have the yarn as well. I have written the pattern up to make it in one piece (I hate seams) in lieu of the original three plus sleeves. I will most likely also pick up the stitches from the armholes and make the sleeves in that manner instead of knitting them solo and sewing them in. Did I mention that I HATE seams.

Okay...off to work I go....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Temptations

OK! I am ready to get some of these up for ya'll!

Today, I purchased this for our bedroom. We had discussed a storage bench before but the original one was discontinued, so I punted and found this one at Cost Plus World Market. It had the same dimensions but has shorter legs, which I believe is actually better than the original.

I ordered a things from JC Penney and when I can find the order info I'll update this with their pictures/links. I am slowly starting to think about Spring and dresses, so I wanted to get some affordable dresses for a Business Casual environment. That said, I want a few things from Coldwater Creek as well and will post about in next week's installment.

I bought this and this from Bed Bath a& Beyond yesterday and I can't wait to use them.

I bought this for the "retreat". My room had taken a back seat to the rest of the stuff that has been going on and I have begun to focus on getting it cleaned up, organized, and decorated. A future post will be devoted to the new elements that I will be introducing to the room. I have decided on a exotic floor lamp and I want to have some curtains made. I may get a twin size quilt and have the curtains made from it, as the window is short and small. Still pondering that one.

Knitting was prevalent this weekend, as I stayed close by since Eraser has not been well. I will post about that later this week. I have been trying to get a lot of WIPs done and converted to FOs, so hang tight.

That's all for now, as Windows wants to restart after uploading some updates....silly Microsoft....doesn't it know I'm busy?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lazy Saturday

Well, after this week I am really a bit glad that we have rain today. I spent the better part of the afternoon with Eraser at the vet again. She still has a bladder infection and we had to give her round two of all the medications again. The vet and are both hopeful that this will be the last round and we can rid her of the crud. It is tiring to come home at the end of the wirk day and have to clean up the office and wash the bath mats and mop the floors before I can even get dinner.

The rain provides me with a chance to get my laundry done and allows me to watch NCAA March Madness with SF. We have been watching the men and the women started today. Lady Vols advance, so we are both happy. I want the WVU men and women to advance as well. The TV time is allowing me to also get some lingering WIP's finished, so next week both Ravelry and the blog will get some FO pictures....

Back to knitting, TV and SF....

Monday, March 15, 2010

All Things Local Swap Questions and Answers

1. Are you a knitter or crocheter? I knit much more than I crochet but I have been making dish cloths and a lot of the lace ones have been crochet….so, anything goes
2. What is/are your favorite projects to create? At the moment, I am all about speed, so I am making cowls and socks. I have a few tops for Spring and Summer that are in my queue, so I will be getting to them soon.
3. What is your favorite yarn type (wool, cotton, etc?) Any yarns you don’t like to work with? I have fallen in love with Shibui! I made a clapotis with it and I am just dying to use it for more projects.
4. What is your favorite color? least favorite? favorite would be blues but I am learning that I look good in greens that have a blue base, so I am adding them when I can… least favorite would be “neutrals” and all orange except the University of Tennessee orange…side note…I am not really fond of pink, unless it is for Breast Cancer.

1. What is your favorite thing about the city you live in? I live in Pearland which is a suburb of Houston. We are such a diverse culture that you can literally find any kind of food, drink or entertainment that you want within a few minutes of your location. We have some of the most amazing artists and yarn stores. We are close to the beach and a few hours drive from the Hill Country.
2. What is your favorite thing to do when you visit a new place for the first time? Snap! I love to visit the local farmer’s market (weather permitting) and then head to the local yarn stores. Time permitting, I find the local Harley Davidson dealer and get a dealer specific charm for my mom and a tee-shirt for myself and my significant other. And I make the rounds to the best eats as time allows.
3. Do you have any other hobbies, besides fiber craft? I have been sewing since I was in the fifth grade and love making things for my grand-daughter. Does cooking count? I dabble in photography and that’s about all.
4. Do you collect anything? I do. I collect Hull Pottery and Pocket Dragons. I also collect vintage sewing patterns (1940’s and 1950’s) and buttons.
5. Do you like sweets? YES! I just don’t like nuts, except almonds…and NO Coconut….
6. What are your favorite scents? Patchouli, Vanilla, Lavender and Rose
7. What is your living situation (married, kids?) Do you have any pets? I am living with the love of my life in her house in Pearland. We have her two French Bulldogs, Frankie and Ambre, and my two cats, Eraser and Sassy. Eraser is half Maine Coon and Half American Bobtail and Sassy is half Burmese and half Siamese. I have two daughters that are out on their own and a grand-daughter that just turned one.
8. Is there anything important your pal needs to know (pet allergies, food allergies, etc?) only allergic to artificial sweeteners…gotta have real sugar….other than that, I don’t care for cigarette smoke.

Side note….please don’t pair me up with some one allergic to cats … impossible to do anything without them involved!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So, I have not been able to meet the original goal set out to get at least one post a week up...I see the light at the end of the tunnel...and that is good.

I have been looking back over some of the original reasons I wanted a blog and I think that they have grown as I have grown. There will be a lot of new things coming. I have them on the drawing board and that is good. Change is good and it is time for the blog to evolve.

I have also decided that SF needs a new name for posting purposes. I still haven't figured out what it will be, so suggestions are solicited.....

Today, we have divided and set out to conquer a lot of tasks. SF is doing front yard detail and then will give the Blue Flame a much needed wash, wax and chrome detail. I am on inside detail and I am okay with that. I am taking a little break at the moment, as my banana bread is almost ready to come out of the oven and I don't want to be in the middle of bathroom cleaning when the timer goes off.

We have been planning some day trips on the Blue Flame now that Spring is here. I think that this could very well be our first one, as I love home cooked food and it is relatively close to home. There are so many wonderful places to go on the Farm to Market roads of Texas. Another place that we have looked at is are the trips to the Piney Woods. We have been looking over the maps that Harley provides to see what they list as day trips as well.

On the pet front....we have been dealing with a bladder infection in Eraser. Poor thing had been utilizing the rugs to get out attention but it took a few weeks for the smell to get to us and for us to catch her in the act. It was so bad that the vet had to give her special food and two types of medication. We had to cage her during the day until today. It has been hard on me, as she has never had a bladder infection and I felt like a bad parent for not catching it sooner. The only remaining problem now that I have steam mopped all the floors is one 4' x 3' wool rug that I have to take to the cleaners to get cleaned.

Okay, more updates later.....I want to finish all the work before 3:00 PM CST so that I can rest a bit before our standard 8:00 PM CST bed-time....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Traveling this week

Well, far be it from me to complain about a trip paid for by the company; however, a trip to any place with snow that does not include skiing and hot butter rum is just not what I had in mind. In spite of that fact, I am in Columbus for training. The trip has an up side. My parents live close enough that they will be here today. They will get to spend a little time with me after class for dinner and perhaps a second evening if the weather will cooperate.

Just in case, I brought several projects to finish. I have a Pay-It-Forward that I finally located that will get some much needed attention. I have a cowl for a co-worker that has to travel to Scranton almost finished. And the just for fun project is the January 2010 KAL from KrisKnits. I have been on s dishcloth kick ever since I ran the Half Marathon. I needed something to knit after I finished SF's Lady Vols Socks and they just seemed to fill that need. They are fast and fun.

I have a Tuesday Temptations post that I started yesterday while I was traveling. I will try to get it finished today and posted. It is a fun one and I am looking forward to getting back into the regular posting of that feature as well as Thoughts on Thursday.

On a side note, it appears that our Governor's Race will be between Bill White and Rick Perry. That could be very interesting. Popular poll analysts say Perry will win because of the "hair" factor. Apparently, the "pretty" ones win and Bill White is not "pretty" even though he was an amazing Mayor. We'll see. I know he won't stoop to mud slinging. He never has.

Okay...off to breakfast and then to training! Stay warm and send warm thoughts my direction. We are expecting more snow here today.... I am SOOOOOO excited....