"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

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stealth post....

Okay, so I missed Thursday.  I have a great excuse.  SF had the day off and I didn't know until she didn't set the alarm and I realized I was running late...

No problems....I also managed to sneak by the newest yarn store in the area, Sugar Land Yarn Company.  I LOVE the shop and need to return when I have more time and more money....I will post about what I did purchase later.

Today we went on our first MVP ride and I will also post about that later....

Off to bed now...we have been up since 6:30 AM and I am pooped....

Friday Fill-Ins #178

1. Potato Salad -- the best food to take on a picnic.
2. Summer and swimming.
3. Blew out my flip flops.
4. To love someone is the best feeling one can have, ever.
5. When I am angry, I take a long hike.
6. When I crave food, it's usually CHOCOLATE.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a special date (so says SF), tomorrow my plans include our first MVP ride to the Backwoods Bar and Grill and Sunday, I want to swim with SF, alone!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

First....I blame Chuck on this strange addiction to 80's music this morning.  I was checking my FaceBook account this morning and he had "like" for "YOU".  I clicked it and it was Rick Astley.....one of my all time favorites for dance music from the 80's.  Sad but true, I even have several of his albums in my collection.  So now I am sitting here with Rhapsody playing his Platinum and Gold collection while I compose this post....

I signed up for the Organic Cotton Swap over on Ravelry with the Lion Brand Swaps. The  swap mistress, Kelli, paired me up with Donna.  I received the most wonderful package from her Monday in the mail.

Whew....picture heavy I know.  I was amazed by all the goodies packed into the box.  They were all wrapped up by the yummiest scarf of Pistachio and Strawberry.  I can't wait to be able to wear it, even though summer is in full swing here.  She had no way of knowing that the Shasta Daisy is one of my all time favorites.  My mother had beds of them all over our back yard in Memphis and they remind me of those days.  I will find a special spot in the landscaping for these.  Her husband makes wonderful items from wood and she sent me a wonderful tic-tac-toe game that he made.  She also sent me some wonderful note cards from Lion Brand.  Each one has a pattern associated with the picture on it as well.  Bonus for anyone I send them to that knits!  She sent me a book to read with Zoe and I was touched by that.  I can hardly wait till Christmas to read it to her.  Maybe I'll be able to pass on this crazy love for knitting and crocheting on to her since my own daughters don't seem too keen on it yet.  Of course, no swap is complete without receiving yarn.  She sent me three skeins of the Organic Cotton.  I wish I didn't have five projects already in progress.  I need to get on the sticks (hehe) and get at least three of them finished so I can start one with this wonderful yarn.  The post card was a treat too.  It is Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer....gotta love Missouri (the Show-Me State)!

Now, conversely, I am her partner so I cannot share what I am sending out in the mail today.  I promise to post some pictures as soon as I am certain that she has it safely in her possession....I love swaps!  And to this, I also have knitting to share but some of it is in the swap package so I still cannot share the FO's, le sigh.

Okay, back to work....and then to the Post Office.....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Temptations

Bet you thought I would forget about this post since it is so late in the afternoon.  Not a chance.  I have been doing a little purging the last couple of days.  No, not food related.  I have been getting rid of things from the past that I no longer need and it feels GREAT!

I did come across this picture of Sassy and I in the pool from  a few years back, July 16, 2006 to be exact.  I kept it simply because it shows how much Sassy loves the pool.  She and Eraser would take turns sitting in my lap.  When Eraser was in my lap, she would put her paws in the water when she got hot.  I am still looking for the picture of her and I in the pool.

The temptations for today are really quite simple.  Our neighbor is in the midst of purging his pantry and kitchen of foods that he should not be eating.  He is trying to get his blood sugar down so that he will not become a full blown diabetic.  So, he brought me a goodie basket, like I really need that.  Inside I found these and this.

The orange slices bring back so many memories.  They go all the way back to when I was in the eighth grade.  My dad had just been hospitalized with his second collapsed lung from smoking.  The doctor told him if he wanted to see me graduate from high school he had to quit smoking NOW.  He did, cold turkey.  He did it by keeping a baby aspirin bottle full of toothpicks in his pocket, some gum that wouldn't stick to his partial (I can't recall the brand any longer) and by having bags of orange slices all over the house.  We weren't supposed to eat them but how could we resist.  We probably should have owned stock in the companies that made them because for a year he went through a whole bunch of them.  To this day, I still recall how scared we all were and how this simple candy helped save his life.

That got me to thinking about the candy that I loved as a kid and I discovered that I can still get some of it on the interwebzs today.  I can get these at almost any store now.  It seems that they have become quite popular again.  I wish that we could get the Brach's version of this year round.  I can eat my body weight in these any time I buy them.  And I love these in every size.  I got hooked on this when I was pregnant with Megan.  It is the ONLY time that I will eat Brazil nuts - PERIOD!  You can call me baby anytime as long as you are supplying me with these. And even though I have never smoked, I loved these as a kid.  Made my mom furious with them. And I laugh every time I see these because my sister actually wore them as necklaces and ate off them all day....yuk. I made my self sick off these one day but I still eat them when I can find them.  And I wish I had some of these right now.  I am old enough to remember when this candy first came into being.  And I got the sensation from these alright.

What did you like as a kid?  Is it still available?  Funny what memories candy triggers.

Knitting has been a huge part of relaxation for me as of late.  I have been making quick projects again and dishcloths have taken over my WIP basket.  Tomorrow will be all about knitting and a special swap package I received.  Ready to bail and get ready to fix dinner and watch DWTS and the WNBA game.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"...Monday, monday, can't trust that day..."

Well, it is Monday indeed.  Why is it that two days seem to blur by so much faster that the rest of the days seem to?  Perception is most likely the key to this age old question.  We tend to gear ourselves up for these two days of R&R and thus they fly by.  I guess as long as we work this will continue to be the Monday mantra.

So, Friday was a very long day working off so little sleep.  I was never so happy to get home and get into my comfy, go no where and see no one clothes.  SF had left-overs from a big lunch with co-workers, so I had left-overs too.  We settled down for our Friday night shows and had a really difficult time staying awake through "Medium".  Thankfully, we had no place to be Saturday, so we slept in.  Around here, sleeping in is 8:00 AM since we normally get up at 4:00 AM.  SF has been on a fried-egg sandwich kick and made us each one while we discussed the route for the motorcycle ride.  I normally have little input, as SF knows which routes she is more comfortable using.  Traffic in Houston and the metro are is so strange and there are places that are nor safe in a car let alone on a motorcycle.

We knew that we needed to go by two different dealerships to get the MVP membership card and then test ride a Street Glide.  She had previously tested out a Road Glide and wanted to "feel" the difference.  And, yes there is a different "feel" to each and every model.  Baggers are meant to be more comfortable for longer rides and then there are bikes for speed and others for show.  The Blue Flame is a combination of show, muscle and speed.  SF has been contemplating the fact that we may need a bagger in the future, the distant future, for longer trips, as the Blue Flame cannot really carry a load (over-night) stuff due to the fact that she was not designed to accommodate saddle bags.  Even when I do get my own, it will not have enough capacity to carry both of our gear unless it is only for one night away.  She was not pleased with the test ride.  Her overall thoughts on the bike were that it was too light and had no muscle.  She is very particular about what she wants and the Street Glide was not the answer.  Back to the test drives...

One of the other reasons for the planning of the route was to make certain that we ended up at Pappas BBQ for the all you can eat ribs at the location in The Woodlands.  It was worth the drive and a great Saturday afternoon lunch treat.  The route home was uneventful but we did make one wee tiny stop at Dairy Queen in Stafford.  I had a Raspberry Truffle Blizzard and SF had a Chocolate Covered Cherries Blizzard.  The perfect way to end a trip on the road!

We also managed to watch the San Antonio Silver Stars beat the LA Sparks.  It was great to see Chamique Holdsclaw and Michelle Snow playing with such talent.  And bonus for us, San Antonio is not that far away.  We are already discussing getting tickets and spending a weekend in San Antonio.  We really miss the Comets, especially since that is how we met in the first place.

Speaking of meeting.  Sunday, the 23rd, was the anniversary of my moving in with SF.  One year ago I left the apartment with a U-Haul loaded with all the belongings that SWCNLBN had "allowed" me to have in the apartment and started this new chapter in my life.  It has been a year of growing and learning.  We have seen so many things change for both if us and we are stronger now as a team than we were before we met.  She still doesn't always get my sense of humor and I don't always understand her moods but that is what makes each and every day new.

I also finished the Swap surprise.

I loved everything about this yarn and plan on getting some more to make my mother one.  She doesn't like wool and I think that this cotton is just the answer.  It will keep her warm on the bike behind my dad and warmer in the car when they have put the motorcycle in storage for the winter.

Okay, back to work.....is this day over yet?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #177

1. Pictures of Zoe are the one thing that never fails to make me smile.
2. I'm looking forward to swimming this weekend.
3. The sound of the laundry washing and tumbling in the dryer is what I'm listening to right now.
4. Potato salad must have Durkee Famous Sandwich and Salad Sauce in it!
5. A fried egg sandwich with pepper jack cheese on a Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Round was the best thing I ate today.
6. Today was hard to start after only 4.5 hours of sleep.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting to bed early to make up for lost sleep last night, tomorrow my plans include an extra long motorcycle ride with SF to a destination unknown as of yet and Sunday, I want to SWIM!

Whew, I'm glad that it is Friday!

This has been a long and strange week.  I have been busy with domestic stuff, such as: cat bathing and brushing, pool opening final stages, clearing out closets, making trips to donate and/or recycle stuff and some long over-due ironing of some winter stuff.

Eraser moments after her bath was finished

Eraser almost dry enough to begin the 2.5 hours needed to brush out all the winter coat

Sassy moments after her bath was finished

Sassy moments before her 1.5 hours of brushing

Now, if four solid hours of brushing cat hair doesn't sound like fun....really it was okay until about two hours into brushing out Eraser.  I was getting tired and hungry and she was just plain tired.  I brushed for another half hour and should have brushed her for a full three hours but when she tried to bite me I knew we both had reached the breaking point.  I wish I had thought about getting a picture of all the hair that came off both of them but I was too pooped and the trash has already been picked up.  Just to give you and idea, I filled up one entire Wal-Mart bag with hair from Eraser and a half on a separate bag for Sassy.

Now, I know I have been posting about the pool for a few weeks now.  Rightly so, as the temps here have exceeded the 90 degree mark and we are officially in Summer as far as I am concerned.  Feeling like I could conquer the world...I also brushed the pool walls, used the net to scoop palm leaves out, ran the eater, added purple stuff and added a 50 pound bag of salt.  All of this after cat grooming.  I grabbed a glass of ice water, sat down in a lawn chair and leaned back after drinking half the glass.  Guess what....I fell asleep and when I awoke, it was almost 5:00 PM and I was sunburned...my eyelids even got sunburned.  Not a really bad burn but enough to be a little hot and uncomfortable.  SF reminded me that I needed to soak in a tub of warm water with one cup of white vinegar in it.  It removes the sting and burn and actually helps with the healing process.  Gotta love old fashioned remedies.  I have been putting really good lotions with vitamin E and aloe in them on the afflicted areas and they are actually starting to transform to a tan.  So, this weekend we are officially opening the pool for ourselves and after the Memorial Day Weekend we will look at having folks over for pool parties and such.

Yesterday we also took the day off to get a few things done and to attend the Jimmy Buffett concert at this venue.  We had seats 24 and 25 in section 105.  I forgot my camera but these are a few examples of what we saw.

Jimmy performs EVERY show barefoot and in shorts and a tee shirt

Women dress as all sorts of items from his songs...Margaritas anyone?

And men dress as women
Complete with hula skirts....very impressive
...I think...or maybe after a few adult beverages they do look pretty good...

This is the bag that our tee shirts were placed in....mmmmm, Land Shark

The front of the 2010 Concert Tee

Back of same Tee

As you can see, this was a bit of sensory overload.  I have NEVER been to any concert quite like this.  These people are all about the chill factor and the fun.  I can see why SF was a member of the Parrot Head Club for so long (before she met me).....

Funny how just when you think life is done with some of the sucker punches, you get one when you least expect it.  SF and I were sitting in our seats while the opening act was performing when a couple passed in the row in front of us.  As soon as I saw them I recognized them and immediately advised SF.  She was fine when I explained that the couple was the Realtor that SWCNLBN has used for all of her home purchases since moving to Houston from NY.  I made no attempts to speak with them and they seemed oblivious to my presence.  I cannot say of either of them recognized me, and I really don't care.  I just wanted to make SF aware that the potential for some small talk did exist.

We enjoyed the concert and left art 10:45 PM, with Jimmy still performing in the encore set.  It took us one full hour to get home from The Woodlands but the ride was uneventful on a school night.  We only got 4.5 hours of sleep, so today is going to drag and I plan on getting to bed early to catch up on the lost sleep.  Even though I know that really doesn't work.

One last thing....I have been working on a stealth item for a swap....here is a sneak peak:

That's all for now!  Have a GREAT weekend!

Stephanie's Mother's Day Calais

This post is long overdue.  I finished Stephanie's made to order Calais for Mother's Day on May 16th.  Details can be found on my Ravelry Project Page.  The more I work with this pattern the more I love it.  The two charts are super easy to memorize and the sock yarn that I used for this one was a super fun way to use one skein of yarn on something other than socks.  Not that I don't love making socks, I just love to see what else I can make out of the yummy yarns that are available for socks.


The finished object.....

Trying to get a close up.... not so good this time

A few rows into Chart A

Colinette Jitterbug in Bright Charcoal

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Temptations

As promised, this edition of Temptations will be all about the pool, entertaining by the pool or simply water related.

As many of you know, I am a Cancer and we are generally ruled by two things:
  1. Water
  2. The Moon 
Because of these things, I am drawn to water and it is most certainly one of the best ways for me to rid myself of stress.  I can accomplish that in the garden tub, the shower, the pool or the ocean.  As long as I can remember I have always used water to help me sort things out.  A hot shower helps me relax and let things that trouble me dissolve and disappear down the drain.  A soak in the garden tub allows me to float off and concentrate on dreams or ideas.  The pool lets me escape or imagine, depending on what I need.  I think that is half from the water and half from the sun.  The ocean marries me back to the moon because of the tides.

    As many of you may also know, I have been working diligently to get the pool ready to "open" for the season.  We have a salt water pool and having had both types I can say that I prefer salt water over traditional chlorine pools.  There were a lot of things for me to learn this past year but I am a fast study and I enjoy the work because I know that I can swim if the pool is maintained and ready.  SF has been a very patient teacher and we are fast becoming a finely tuned machine when it comes to the pool.

    I have been looking at the poolside space this past year trying to decide what we need to do.  At present, SF's decoration of this area is spartan to say the least.  There is a table that seats six, complete with an umbrella.  There is also a side table with two additional chairs.  She also has a pub style table that seats four still in the box in the garage.  The furniture is functional but does not scream "use me".  I know that part of that stems from the fact that she does not view this as "living space".  We have begun to discuss it a little more, so when I get the chance, I show her things I would love to see us purchase.

    Now, some of what I want is not practical, but it does have a romance feature and I'm all for adding romance where ever I can.  I mean, why not?  There are no children that live with us, so what the heck?  One such item would have to be this five-piece lounger. The canopy is a bonus that lends itself to privacy from the neighbors and the fact that it can be one whole unit or pulled apart for entertaining is a bonus as well.  Of course, I would also love this lounger.  It lacks the privacy factor but looks of so inviting.  Of course I be a lot less subtle and just get this.  I'm just sayin', it is a queen bed for heavens sake.....water, sun, adult beverages and a pool-side queen-sized bed.....oh my.

    Now, I would also be remiss if I didn't show my outdoor living space idea that I have been pitching.  I think that a seating arrangement like this would be beautiful for the space.  With the weather that we have in Texas, minus hurricanes, we can entertain outdoors a lot longer than many parts of the country.  An arrangement such as this would allow us to enjoy the outdoors so much more.  If we were to add one of these or one of these, we would have no real excuse not to be out there a lot more.  Of course if I add this to the mix, then I would never have any issues.  We could watch sports or whatever from the comfort of the outdoors and never miss a beat.

    All women will agree that sitting on the side of the pool with our legs in the water would be great if the surface of the outside didn't snag out suits, leaving our buts looking less than sleek.  Poolside has now gotten a lot nicer since I discovered these.   And you can bet that two sets (blue) will be ordered post haste.  Of course you can't be in a pool for long without wanting a float to rest upon.  We have to that are still fine, but why wouldn't I want these instead?  Adult beverage recipes included..... I would also accept these as alternatives, should SF frown upon the other suggestion.  Of course we could also get these or these but they are so plain.  We also need this to store them properly.

    Now, I would be remiss if I didn't also include that I am looking at ways to make the master bathroom fell more like a spa.  With the one year anniversary of my moving in approaching, I felt that I needed to begin to make some more impressions in other rooms.  There is a fine line between SF's existing style and what I can change or add.  So much of what is here was specifically purchased when the house was designed and built.  The basic floor plan is still similar to the original; however, SF made numerous changes that make it different than any other house in the subdivision.  So my changes aren't earth shattering.  I would like to see a basket on the back of the garden tub filled with bath bombs, bubble bars, bath salts, luxury bar soaps and luxury bubble bath products.  Candles are the least of my worries, as I have lots of them and SF loves candles.  We have some luxurious towels already but we could both use a spa quality bath robe.  I haven't found any yet that suit the bill, so if you have a favorite, please let me know.

    Ok, that's all for today.  By the end of this day I will have given both Sassy and Eraser their first baths outside of the year and brushed them.  All in addition to the daily job.  Have a great Tuesday!

    Monday, May 17, 2010


    Okay, so it is Monday once again.  The weekend went by way too fast.  Friday started off good!  SF decided that we needed a break from reality and wanted to go see a movie.

    So, what did she have in mind?  She wanted to see Robin Hood.  Now keep in mind that I am not a huge fan of Russell Crowe but I do love the story behind Robin Hood, so I acquiesced.  It was 9:45 AM CST when she made her proclamation to attend the 11:25 AM CST show, so we had to finish breakfast in a hurry and shower.  We arrived at the cinema at 11:05 AM CST.  Just in time to get the tickets, get popcorn and water and locate seats.  The show was PACKED!  The movie was a bit slow at times but overall I like this version.  It was more about how Robin Hood came to be and that was a different twist.  It was a great way to start off the day!

    The rest of the day was lazy and we didn't get much done with the drizzle that started in the afternoon.  We did manage to get the pool all situated.  As soon as the water temp is favorable, you can bet that I will be reaping the rewards of getting her primed and ready.  I love having a pool right outside my bedroom door!  Saturday was sluggish.  The rain storms over the course of the night had left me exhausted, as the dogs were afraid of all the thunder and lightening and they kept trying to get into the bedroom and that woke me up.  We decided to get our errands done so that we could watch the first WNBA game and then get ready for the Flamingo Party.

    Picture is for Joe!  This is what we see every year when we pull up in front of the house.  This is just a SMALL taste of what the rest of the house looks like.  I never knew that there was so much stuff made in the Flamingo theme.  They even have toilet paper....  The rain forced the hosts to have all the food set up in the garage but it was no big deal.  We always enjoy the company and I had fun this year messing with the younger crowd.  The host couple has kids that range from 23 to 28 and they are easy to trip up because they are trying to watch themselves around the older folks.  I think the ZiegenBock made it easier to talk with them, as the "adults" were drinking "Ritas" and wine....

    Sunday was completely lazy.  We slept in, seriously...10:00 AM CST.  We had a lazy breakfast and went grocery shopping.  We decided that we were too tired to cook, so we went to KFC and got the Komen dinner deal.  We got home just in time to get our food and plop down to watch another WNBA game.  I got to see my gal play....GO LIBERTY!

    I also managed to finish Stephanie's Calais and it is all pinned out drying today.  Pictures will be taken later today or tomorrow and I will post them.  I cannot say how much I love this pattern.  It is a simple one and I will be making at least two more.  I need to make one for Megan and I also want to make one for my mom.

    Okay, off to do real work....this will be a fast week...Wednesday night we will be going to see Patrice Pike.  Thursday night we will be going to the Jimmy Buffett concert.  Friday night is wide open at the moment but that too could change.  Saturday we have hair cuts at 8:30 AM CST.....Sunday we had better be sleeping in....Before I forget.  Tuesday's temptations will be all about the pool and pool related stuff....

    Have a GREAT MONDAY!

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Friday Fill-Ins #176

    1. I just had Mexican Food for lunch at a new place in town and I was not impressed.
    2. Love is.
    3. The third sentence on the 7th page of the book I'm reading: unimportant to the rest of my readers.
    4. Champagne with strawberries tickles my fancy.
    5. I was walking to the mail box when I saw a family of Mockingbirds.
    6. The way the pets interact makes me laugh!
    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to rain and our regular TV shows, tomorrow my plans include The Preakness, the start of the WNBA and attending the Flamingo Party and Sunday, I want to do nothing unless I change my mind!

    Have a great weekend!  Enjoy life and do something nice for your self!

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Wonderful Wednesday

    Well, we have made it to Wednesday.  This has been a busy day at Chez RubyRingz.

    Last night the modem for the Internet decided to act up, so SF called the carrier and scheduled service.  Good thing I have the flexibility to be here to wait for them to show up.  Our appointed window was between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM  Was I ever pleased when the technician showed up at 2:30 PM.  He tested the modem, replaced it with a new one and replaced the coaxial cable as well.  He was finished and gone by 2:50 PM.  WOW!

    I have also been assisting with the pool preparations.  After the pool sat all winter, we had some general maintenance that we needed to begin in order to allow us to have it ready for swimmers.  Salt water pools are fairly easy to up keep and I have been learning all about them.  We have added the acids, the hardeners and now the stabilizers.  Next we add some purple stuff (to prevent scale and black mold) and then we add two BIG bags of salt.  Once all of this is added and the filters have processed it for about two days we have the water tested again.  If it all reads okay, we then double shock her and she will be ready for swimming to commence.  I can't wait!

    I have also been knitting in the evenings while we watch TV.  I am almost ready for Chart B on Stephanie's Calais and sock two of the RPM's is done to the heel flap.  I will be posting pictures later of Stephanie's Calais but the RPM pictures will have to wait until I am certain that they have been received by their intended recipient.

    I also just learned that a new yarn store opened up in Sugar Land.  Aptly named Sugar Land Yarn Company.  I plan on getting by there before the end of the week to check it out and meet the staff.  It will actually be the closest LYS to me, since Yarns 2 Ewe is up in the big city....seriously, it isn't that far but the difference in a 35 minute drive and a 20 minute drive in this town can add up, especially if there is traffic and/or an accident.  I will have a full report later on what transpires.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Tuesday Temptations

    Okay, I promised that I had been busy getting this post together, so here goes!

    We get our fair share of catalogs at Chez RubyRingz.  Some of them are due in part to the fact that one of us has ordered something from the place before.  Some, we know are due in part to the relationships other places have to ones we shop with.

    One of my favorite catalogs has always been Solutions.   The stuff that you see in their catalogs and the stuff that is on the web site is sometimes just too much and other times it is the perfect answer.  Case in point.  We all know (or you should if you follow along) that my birthday is a National Holiday and that I avoid all theme related party suggestions.  However, I may have to make one teeny tiny exception this year.  I think I want this for the kitchen window.  Not too flashy and I can use it for many other holidays like Memorial Day and Flag Day.  I also saw this and almost choked on my dinner.  The possibilities are endless and I bet Zoe would love it since she can hold a hot dog bun but a hamburger bun is a little harder on her hands.

    I have been on an organizing tirade as of late and I want this NOW.  I have the perfect wall in the office where it can live and with all of the CDs and DVDs that SF and I own collectively, it should be the best of all solutions.  Funny, when you begin the process to remove the yours and mine barriers, organization becomes much easier to tackle and tame.  In that vein, I would also like to get this for the bedroom seating arrangement.  It will hold the remotes and I should be able to put a basket with knitting on that bottom shelf.

    Now, this is the part that just makes me scratch my head and wonder WTF.  I saw this product and  all kind of evil thoughts came to mind.  But I ended up just wanting to know who thought about this long enough to produce it and would I ever meet someone that actually bought it.  Seriously, if I lived with someone that purchased this I would need to have a serious Come To Jesus discussion with them.  I got about four pages further in the catalog only to find this one.  There is nothing else I can say about this, so I won't.  I also want to know how they can sell this, this this, this, this and this.  Seriously, how can I go from home organization and outdoor entertainment to this.....

    Okay, enough of that.  I wish I had looked at the recent sales paper from Ulta before Mother's Day.  They have this and it is one of Stephanie's all time favorites.  There was also an insert discussing hair cuts that was informative and helped me refine the cut and look I am growing this mane out to become.

    I know that I have an oval face and that I wanted something classic but I also need it to express confidence and a certain amount of sass.  We also get Rouge in the mail.  It is chocked full of all sorts of beauty and fashion tidbits.  After the bout with the eye infection this past November, when I couldn't wear make up for five weeks.  I was told to toss ALL of my make up and start over.  The Spring issue has an article, tidy, tally, toss that discusses the why's and when's of your beauty kit.  You can download this list to post as a reminder.

    I'm not a fan of Neiman Marcus; however, I would make one exception.  I saw this Pearland Living Magazine and was totally mesmerized.  I'm not sure if I would ever utilize it for jewelry, but I think it is a beautiful modern piece.  An excellent way to balance the traditional feel of my antiques with the clean and contemporary lines that SF adores.

    Knitting does actually take place around here and when new catalogs come, I immediately scan then for the sweaters.  That was no exception when the latest Eddie Bauer one showed up.  After I got past the initial urge to immediately order the Lightweight Lawn Tunic in Orchid I saw the Shawl Collar Cardigan.  I hate their site because it is impossible to link individual items but if you click on Sweaters and Cardigans you will see it and it is offered in Dark Navy, Chambray Blue, Ivory and Currant.  They want $59.50 for it and say that it is knit from a linen/cotton yarn.  You can bet that I will be scouring the Ravelry pattern pages.  I'm fairly certain that I saw this in a thread some where....  Best of all, in the catalog I finally found the summer weight cotton dresses that I have been looking for to wear with my cowboy boots.  Look out SF!  I will be ready for those Friday Night dates at the Mucky Duck on the deck!

    Okay!  Enough for this week.  Let me know what you think....what you can't live without now, and what I should get first....

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    It Must Be Monday

    First, Happy Mother's Day to everyone that I left out yesterday.  Chez RubyRingz has been a little hectic as of late and I have been a little stressed, but SF has reminded me of what is important in life and I am calming down a bit.

    The weekend was super jam packed with activity.  Friday was low key.  We had an early dinner at Gringo's and then home to watch our regular TV shows (Ghost Whisperer and Medium).  The house smelled yummy, as I had baked a batch of brownies just before SF got home.  They were cooling while we were at dinner....YUM!

    No time to sleep in either on Saturday, as we were registered to participate in the Bikers Against Breast Cancer to benefit The Rose.  I can tell you that if you have never ridden in a fund raiser with a police escort, please find one and support them.  This was a first class ride.  I can't tell you the flood of emotions that poured out as we headed up the highway towards the Fred Hartman Bridge and all you can see in front of you is an endless column of riders, two by two, and the same behind you, all in support of raising money to find a cure to this awful disease.  SF and I rode in honor of my mom, a six year survivor, and also in memory of a few of our joint relatives that were not so fortunate.  The route was so much fun and not having to stop for traffic lights and having the freeway to ourselves was a rare treat indeed.

    The riders (more than 300 bikes strong) left San Jacinto Harley-Davidson at 10:30 AM CST and we returned to the Pasadena Hooter's location around 12:30 PM CST.  The company was amazing and the food and beer were excellent (what else do you expect from Hooters?).  We saw old friends and made new ones too.  After the event wrapped up, we did a little shopping at SJHD and then agreed to accompany some of our new friends to the Starbucks in Kemha.  When we got to the Boardwalk, we agreed that we needed some food before coffee, so we ate at Landry's.  What an enjoyable afternoon.  We ended up at home at 7:30 PM CST.  Another wonderful day on the bike with good people.  We showered, fed the babies and watched a little TV to calm down and fell into bed at 10:45 PM CST after watching the Betty White "Dusty Muffin" sketch.

    Sunday was Mother's Day and we had Stephanie, Jack, Zoe, Pandora and Megan over for an afternoon of cooking out and catching up.  SF made some amazing hamburgers with French Onion Dip, Garlic Powder and A1 mixed into the meat.  Stephanie made some of the best guacamole I have ever eaten and we had corn on the cob as well.  Dessert was a hodge podge of Red Velvet Cake, German Chocolate Cake and Strawberry Cream Cheese Pudding Cake.  Pandora is the new puppy and she was a doll.  I didn't get any pictures but Megan will get me some of hers.  Ms. Zoe is walking, no running, and was a hoot.  She is chattering up a storm with only a few words that we can actually decipher.  SF loved holding her and talking with her.  Zoe is totally enamored with "CC".

    Special treats included a preview of a leather purse that Stephanie is making for me.  She has learned leather work and has been making things and selling them.  She has also learned how to make chain maille.  She showed me several options and I had to make some hard choices so that she could finish the purse.  It is actually a pouch for me to wear when I am on the bike.  It will attached to the belt loops of the jeans and has some specific design elements that are very special to me, including a beautiful abalone rose piece that she will be applying to the front flap.  Megan also has a piece that is still under construction that will be delivered soon.  I was just as bad, as the Calais Shawl I wanted to finish for Stephanie was not ready.  I realized that I need to see if she wanted the shawlette version like mine or the full size version as laid out in the pattern.  She wants the full blown one, so I will get cracking on it again this week and should be finished by the weekend.

    So, I hope that every one's Monday gets off to a smooth start and that the week goes quickly.  I actually have a draft of Tuesday's post started, as I have been stockpiling catalogs and such and need to get them all in the recycle bin this week, so they are all duly recorded in the post....until tomorrow!

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Friday Fill-Ins #175

    1. Salsa and chips are the perfect snack around our house.
    Hamburgers fresh off the grill are perfect and you've even got mustard.
    3. By the time I get home
    it will be the perfect time to lay out by the pool and get a little head start on the bathing suit tan.
    The free samples that HEB has out for everyone is what I look forward to most when grocery shopping.
    5. And I was dreaming
    of a little retirement place in the mountains in Tennessee near the Lady Vols.
    Being in love with your best friend and knowing that they feel the same way about you ...is there anything else better?!
    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to
    dinner with SF and a "real" date, tomorrow my plans include participating in the Bikers Against Breast Cancer ride and the festivities afterward and Sunday, I want to celebrate Mother's Day with Stephanie, Jack, Zoe, Megan and SF.  With plans to call my Mother to celebrate her as well!

    Calais the Night Away

    So, I finally finished the Calais that I was making for myself.  I will admit, I should have used bigger needles than I did.  I used US size 4 needles.  It ended up more as a shawlette than a shawl, but here in Texas that is actually a good thing.  I guess I could have added more rows in the body (Chart A) and then more rows in the edge (Chart B), but I decided to make it as written this go-round.

    I needed two cold water soaks to get her to stop bleeding color, but that was okay by me.  If I had been thinking clearly, I would have taken pictures of her soaking.  She did morph from a glob of stitches into the wrap as she laid in the bottom of the garden tub.  I rolled her in a navy towel just to be safe and them pinned her out on the guest bed to dry overnight.  I was so pleased this morning when I saw her all dry and I removed the pins.  She is soft and looks wonderful on my shoulders as well.  No, I do not do self-portraits, so unless SF catches me without the camera in my hands, chances of getting to see me wearing her are slim and none and I like it that way.  Although I might acquiesce when Stephanie is here for Mother's Day since I am making her a Calais as well.

    I was trying to show off the wonderful yarn when I was taking the pictures.  I thought that the rocks that make up the waterfall and surround the landscaping of the pool were the perfect shades to offset the blue....who knows.  And I couldn't resist the fact that the Calais looked like water for the fish in the hallway.  The colors in them are almost a direct mirror of those in the yarn.  I believe that I have enough yarn left to make me a pair of BMG's Footies too, so I may cast on for them after I get some of my other WIP's finished.

    I can't wait to get the perfect evening to wear her....maybe the upcoming Flamingo Party....depends on what I decide to wear.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    All Things Local Swap - 2010

    My dear friend Amy held a swap that I just couldn't say no to. It was All Things Local.  The rules were simple:

    Swap package price limit is $30 - NOT including shipping.  Swap package must contain : one skein of yarn that local to you (this can be city or state. Etsy has a lot of great resources for shopping local!), one food item that is local to your city or state, one extra item that is local to you city or state (is your town famous for something?  Does your pal collect shot glasses or postcards? Have another idea for something handmade that is local, that you can send? The possibilities are endless.)

    Amy and the other moderator, Karen,  did a great job pairing the participants.  It was a secret swap and that made it all the more fun.  We had to "stalk" our partner and then send the goodies.  They were to be delivered by Monday, May 3rd.  Life happens and several people posted that they were late, so I waited.

    The picture below represent the contents of the package that Jessica sent me.  She did a great job!  The contents smelled good long before I got them all unwrapped.  The two pint glasses from Iron Hill Brewery will be a great addition to the collection that SF and I have been building since we first met.  Jessica had no way of knowing that we collected them because I forget to mention it in the answers to the "What do you collect" piece of the questionnaire every time.  The soap, "Hocus Pocus" from a local soap maker smells decadent and will bring a whole new meaning to date night.  The yarn is beyond words.  If you look at the picture on my flickr page you can get the details.  Knitting Nysssa is on Ravelry as well.  Now I will have to pet the yarn a while until it tells me what it wants to be.  I think lace but I'm not sure.  The colors just draw me in and I will let them speak to me some more.

    Over all, I loved the whole swap.  Getting to see what items people included also helped me with ideas for future swaps contents.  Like a tee shirt from your state.  Heaven knows that there are plenty of shirts from Texas and about Texas.

    My partner was Sharon in NJ.  This is what I sent to her from TX.  I got a lovely thank you card from her today as well.  I can't wait to see what the Mama Llama yarn decides to become.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Tuesday Temptations

    Yes, it is indeed Tuesday once again.  After a long weekend with SF, it is time to get back into the swing of things.  What all did we do while she was off?

    Well, Thursday we decided to take the Blue Flame to San Jacinto Harley-Davidson to get the brake pedal replaced (warranty issue).  While we were there, my cap had come in.  This was wonderful news, as there is nothing worse than helmet hair with no cap to cover it.  I look silly in most caps any way, as I have a peanut head.  All the hair makes it appear I have a good sized skull under there, but no, it is small.  We always look around at their shirts while we are there, as Celina has the best stuff.  SF is a huge Looney Tunes fan and she found another new shirt and had to have it.  I didn't see anything that jumped out at me, so I wasn't going to get anything until they showed me the new tank top.  It is just a basic white wife-beater with a five point start in a silver-gray color with red, white and blue lettering.  Perfect for my birthday, so it came home as well.  We also had to get some brackets replaced (warranty work), so we were there a while.

    After all the bike work was finished we had to get the stitches removed from the incision that the dermatologist had made to removed a few weeks prior.  In and out with a follow up in late July.  And the afternoon was ours.  The weather was perfect, so we headed out for more riding.  No place in particular but any time on the bike is well worth it.

    Friday was a bad weather day, so we spent the day getting caught up on household items and planning for the next few weeks.  Now that we are part of the Hou-Tex Chapter, there are a lot events to keep track of and our calendar is an important accessory.  We did venture out to Don Carlos for a late lunch.  Some how lunch at 3:30 PM is more like an early dinner but either way we were ready for beer.  We shared mixed fajitas and the chips ad salsa kept coming.  Perfect way to spend a rainy and gloomy afternoon.  When we got home we settled in for the 6:00 PM news and then our Friday night shows.  I'm getting quite fond of our laid back home life.  We watched Ghost Whisperer, Medium and then Miami Medical.  You should know that almost any thing that Jerry Bruckheimer touches will be good and Miami Medical is no slouch.

    Saturday got off to an odd start.  It looked overcast and that would cancel any ride on the motorcycle.  The yard crew showed up at 8:30 AM (really early for them) and SF was able to get them to pull out the cacti that had died over the winter.  They were huge and had three inch thorns.  They also trimmed the palms in the front yard with their special saw.  I showered while she was working with them, as I didn't really think that we would be riding.  Wrong, try again.  While I was in the shower, the bad weather moved to the north and missed us.  We suited up and headed to Resoft Park for the Chapter BBQ.

    Mama duck and her babies

    Mama duck and her babies

    Chapter President

    Washers Contest

    There was BBQ from a local cooker.  We had brisket, chicken and sausage for meat choices and there was cole slaw, potato salad, beans, onions, pickles, jalapenos and bread.  The ladies had also brought desserts and there were chocolate cupcakes....enough said.  After we were finished eating, I wandered around looking at the wild life.  There was a nutria swimming about that had the ladies a little upset.  You see, it looks like a cross between a beaver and a very large rat.  They generally stay away from humans, even when food is involved.  I couldn't get a good picture of it but I did manage to get the mam duck and her four babies.  She had three yellow ones and one black one.  They were adorable!  While I was busy with wild life, SF got rooked into a game of washers.  Little did she know it was a tournament.  She and her partner one their first match and then their second.  It was looking like it was going to be a long afternoon when they lost the third game 15 to 12....They had been playing for about two hours.  After a pit stop and good byes to the group we headed home.

    Sunday was the best ride.  We got up early (7:30 AM) and after a good breakfast we headed to Carlos TX.  If you take a look at this map, you will see Pearland in the bottom of the map and Carols (A marks the spot) up at the top near Huntsville.  Huntsville is where Stephanie, jack and Zoe reside.  It is also home to Sam Houston State University.  For those of you that have no clue about biker hang outs, you would love this place.  They serve one of the best hamburgers I have ever eaten and the onion rings were beyond description.  Not to mention that 16 oz. draft Shiner was $2.75.  Perfect for a Sunday afternoon.  There was a band (Leannasaurus Rex) and the lead singer was really good.  It was the perfect way to spend the day.  Just the two of us, the open roads and the motorcycle.  We got home around 6:00 PM and hung out by the pool for a while so that the dogs could get outside.  All in all, a wonderful weekend with the woman I love.

    Temptaions will be short this week.  I am working on the Calais Shawl and I couldn't be happier with it.  I am using some hand-dyed yarn that I received in a swap several years ago.  The pattern has two simple charts and is works up quickly.  I have been looking for patterns in particular that utilize sock yarn and I will be organizing them ion my Ravelry queue soon.  That will be a post all to itself...

    I will post more about this project this week, as I plan on getting her finished as well as one of the lingering Pay-It-Forward gifts that was in the UFOs pile for way too long.

    ETA: I added the link to the Sock It To Me Twice Swap from 2008, after Jen C was kind enough to jog my memory.  Jen - I have been looking at both of these beautiful skeins that you sent waiting for them to talk to me and the multi-hued blues just kept saying "Lace".  When I saw the Calais pattern I knew I had the right combo.  I have about twenty-two rows left before I can bind off and block...More pictures will follow!  Now if I can only decide what the solid blue skein keeps whispering...perhaps it needs to shout.