Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wonderful DH and Unsung Heroes

Last night was definitely a "Monday after work" kind of night. By the time I got home I literally headed straight to my bed and was sound asleep before 6:00. My beloved woke me up with dinner in bed, which is one of the many reasons that I love this man. He even sat on the bed with me watching tv while I ate. Good times....

Of course, when it was 7:55 I went into the living room with my knitting and sat my fine self on the sofa to watch Heroes. Lynne' brought her knitting and sat next to me, while Keith put a pan of brownies in the oven. This fabulous man even served us a plate of brownies and cold glass of milk when it was done! Now really, can an evening possibly be any better than this? (And as an aside, when I saw the previews for next weeks episode of Heroes it just got me all excited - looks to be a really good one!)

Unsung Heroes
Cool segue!

This morning I couldn't help it...I pulled into the McD drive thru for breakfast on the way to work. When I got to the pickup window, the gal inside and I exchanged some pleasantries and off I went. It hit me several blocks later that I still had a big grin on my face from the conversation I'd just had and that got me to thinking. We hear so much about the "big" heroes - you know the kind...the 12 year old girl that gets with her friends, sets up a lemonade stand and next thing you know she's on the news presenting a $3 million check to her favorite charity (story exaggerated just because I can).

But what about the people going about their everyday business that bless others just by doing their everyday business? This gal put a smile on my face and a spring in my step to start my day. The way I see it, she is a very big hero. And I think I might start sharing stories of these people on my blog as a reminder to myself. Even little things can sometimes make a very large impact on others.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A Knitty Daughter

I have exciting knitting news - my daughter is knitting - woohoo! She's 21 and just was not interested, though my mom taught her many moons ago. Last night she was at one of her friends' apartment and a bunch of them apparently pulled out their knitting. Daughter mentioned she used to know how and they got her started again. She came home and asked if I "had some needles and yarn that I wouldn't mind if she used." I zoomed down the hall to the magic closet and showed her several options, giggling inside the whole time. She settled on size 15 needles cause that's about what she used with her friends and some pink yarn. Amazingly, this child isn't normally fond of pink!!! But she said she wanted to do a scarf to get the knit stitch down pat and I did mention that if she did it in pink and didn't want it afterwards she could donate it to the pink scarf project and that appealed to her greatly.

I cast on for her and she started knitting while I sat next to her reveling in the moment. She struggled at first and it's certainly not second nature to her yet. Halfway through the first row I said "See, isn't knitting relaxing?" and we both burst out laughing! When she got up this morning she showed me the five rows she'd completed and it really does look good. I'm happier than a tick on a hound dog that she's doing this!

And as you can see from the picture, Meeko enjoys it when she knits as well.

Smile Card

Phrase and smiley face stamps by Stampin Up (Smile) and background stamps are by Stamps By Judith.

Joan's Socks

Knit with 2 strands of Natural Heather Wool-Ease - these will be used more as house socks than socks with shoes. Pattern can be found here.

1 on 2 Socks

Friday night Dawn taught me to knit socks on two circs and here's my progress as of Sunday afternoon. Since I'm still learning the method I decided to just use a straight ss pattern for the socks and let the yarn do the talking. This is Lorna's Lace Vera and is in my current favorite colors - pink and brown! I'm using size 3 Addi's and getting a perfect 8 stitches to the inch.

Friday Night Frivolities

I am finding that the adjustment to working full-time with an autoimmune problem is a lot more taxing than I thought it would be. Most nights I pretty much come home from work, eat dinner, clean the kitchen and go to bed. And that's one of the reasons that last Friday night was special to me.

Dawn came over, heaving a big bag filled with stuff. She had warned me that she would probably wear her pajamas and sure enough she did! This shows just how comfortable it was. :) First we set up my winder and swift and started winding yarn. The picture above was at the end of the night and shows just how beautiful all the yarns were. Each yarn cake that came off the winder was sufficiently oo'd and ah'd over before setting aside. Let's see if I can remember what they are: Upper left is Candy Corn by an Etsy vendor (I'll look it up later); under that is Violet's Pink Ribbon by Lisa Souza (soooo worth the wait!); very top center and top right is Lorna's Lace Ice House; middle center is Socks That Rock Fairgrounds; bottom center is something wonderful from an Etsy vendor; bottom far right is a Sunshine Yarn from Etsy. And I am so not telling how many of them are mine and which are Dawn's!!!

Next she pulled out some beading supplies and off we went. The clever girl had looked up a stitch marker tutorial online and made a couple at home and that was all it took! She shared this knowledge with me and I really enjoyed it. I would say that I hope I don't have another hobby in the making, but need to add that I did notice that Hobby Lobby has their jewelry making things and beads on sale half price this week. I'm not sure I'll be able to resist all week. I do know that other friend Dawn makes jewelry, so if I do go to the dark side at least I'll have somebody to play with - LOL!

After the stitch markers Dawn showed me how to knit socks on 2 circs! I don't know if I'm ready to give up my beloved Lantern Moon dpn's, but I do enjoy learning new methods.

Joe started out the evening underfoot and in the middle of everything we did. And he happily dispensed wet doggy kisses to Dawn, though I'm not sure she really appreciated it much! But as the picture clearly shows, by the end of the evening he was pretty bored with us. :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Grandbabies and God's Plans

Yesterday was such a red letter day for me - I got to watch my grandbaby for the first time! The kids had a doctor appointment first thing in the morning and when they got to work they not only had pictures, but also a DVD! It was such a miraculous, awe-inspiring moment to watch the baby move its little arms and legs, open and close its mouth and watch its little heart beating. It truly took my breath away.

Then last night when I got home Keith and I had dinner together, cleaned up the kitchen and then took Joe for a walk. I realized that this is really the way I prefer to spend my evenings and that's quite a lightbulb moment for me since I enjoy eating out so much. Now I'm going to have to rethink a few things!

For the day to have left such good memories for me is surprising because I started the day off with a big pity party before leaving for work. There's a lot going on right now, and not a bit of it is all consuming, but sometimes lots of little things can just sap the strength right out of you. But driving to work yesterday in my quiet car (I will admit that usually I don't have the radio on as I love the quiet) it hit me that maybe music would help lift my mood. My car is always tuned to one of two Christian stations and the one that came on is a program in the mornings called The Journey. He was talking about what a small speck we are in the big cosmic picture and the way he said it and the verses he quoted were so helpful in putting things into perspective for me. (I just looked it up online so I could link to it and discovered that the programs are available online and via podcast - click here to find them.) I was only able to listen to about ten minutes of the program yesterday, but it was enough to jolt me out of the mood.

Then it got me to thinking about the "speck" business. While I know that my piddly problems are nothing in the big scheme of things, it's also comforting to know that God knows everything always and has a plan for it. One of the best examples of this to me came about when petting the cat one day (sorry Joe!). While petting him I started really looking at his face and noticed all the different hairs he had. Different colors, different lengths and growing in different directions. How cool to think that God has a plan for every single hair on the cat's head! If He cares enough about cat hairs, imagine how much He cares about us. I find this very comforting. And especially exciting when I think of my grandbaby forming even as we speak.

~ Elizabeth

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

LSSK Square #1

What an exciting mail day I had yesterday! I am in an online knitting group for the state of Texas and one of our traditions is to knit a square for all expecting moms and grandmas, then we can sew all the squares together to make a baby blanket. I received my first one yesterday!!! The picture is funny because this square is really more of a lime green, but you know cameras can be funny. Right now there are three of us grandma-to-be's - Theresa and I are expecting our first grandbaby and I think this is Vicki's third (maybe 4th???). So much fun and I had this square with me a lot last night loving it and petting it and imaging a little baby on a blanket made from these squares. Oh and I almost forgot to mention - this beauty and my very first square is from Enid, who is such a good little mama. Hard to believe how much knitting she gets done with how busy she is homeschooling her kids. Thanks dear! :)
Now I need to get going on mine! I have one square knitted, but no ends woven in yet and one more square to begin.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cake Information

Here's the cake I made yesterday. I will confess that the first bite I took I was a little disappointed as this is a very dense cake, unlike the light and fluffy box mixes. But the more I ate the more I loved it and my beloved agreed - this cake actually has FLAVOR...unlike the box mixes! This will be the yellow cake I make over and over.

The recipe can be found here if you'd like to try it. And in fact I highly recommend this cooking blog as every recipe I've tried from there is great. She shows the recipe with a fluffy white frosting, but Lynne' and I weren't in the mood for that, so I found a chocolate frosting recipe here and used the cream she suggested. We prefer a 'harder' frosting, but this one has such good flavor that it's ok. And we liked the recipe enough that we plan on trying it with the Godiva liqueur once we acquire some.

And let me just add that a piece of cake and glass of milk has made a wonderful breakfast today! ;)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Arctic Blast

Today has been COLD here in the Dallas area! The news station has even made a graphic announcing the Arctic Winter Blast or Ice Storm depending on which channel you are watching. So far it's not too bad, but they are saying that overnight is when the really big ice storm will hit.

So I have spent the day knitting, doing laundry and baking. There is something about really cold weather that makes a woman want to bake! Of course I'll have pictures and links shortly. :) We also made a big pot of chili and I enjoyed a frito pie for dinner tonight. All of these things seem to herald in the winter in my mind.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

January Is UFO to FO Month

You know how January rolls around and people start thinking about organization? Stores have storage bins on sale and my eyes glisten at the sight of all that beautiful plastic just waiting to be filled with stuff. Well step one in organization is getting things OUT of the bins!

Some of the gals in my knitting groups have decided to "knit from our stash" - with a few exceptions of course - and turn our UFO's (unfinished objects) into FO's (finished objects - did you see that one coming?).

The photo shows the projects that made the cut for me. Many projects showed up for the audition, but not everybody can win.
  • The far left is an olive green Fetching glove. I guess I should mention that this pair of gloves was destined to be a Christmas gift, but luckily the recipient didn't know that. ;) Need to do another glove.
  • Next up is a pair of Joan's Socks. This was the first sock I ever did and my mom showed me how. It's Wool Ease yarn and size big needles. These are just for me to wear around the house and they've been like a monkey on my back every time I cast on for pretty socks.
  • A scarf out of Eros yarn - also a Christmas present
  • A scarf for the Red Scarf Project that I dearly love and that's what I'm working on most right now.

Last night was knit night and we first met at a restaurant to celebrate one gal's birthday. I tasted a friend's tofu and for the first time ever I actually loved it and plan on ordering it next time we go there - who knew?!?!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just Some Ramblings....

Joe says "Hey...who stole my toy?" Dopey dog this morning was having a grand time playing with his stuffed fish until he sat on it and couldn't find it. Love the dog toys at the Target Dollar Spot!

Last night was such a relaxing evening. Keith and I made fajitas for dinner and then had the best time cleaning the kitchen. I know that sounds strange, but we were laughing and cutting up and before you know it all the work was done. Isn't it funny how something as mundane as cleaning the kitchen can stand out in my memory as one of the best things that happened last night? These are the best of times.

After cleaning I spent some time on the phone - since that's what I do best - with a couple of people and that also gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Life is just so good. :)

Then I sat myself down in front of the tv and knit for about an hour. I'm doing a scarf for the Red Scarf Project and am actually doing it on metal straight needles. The clacking of needles is such a soothing sound. I will admit to staying up too late though because I kept doing the "just one more row!" I took a picture of my progress this morning, but it turned out terrible - I'll try again tonight!

And that's all I've got today. Sorry for the humdrum post, but really I prefer this to any drama!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Candy Corn Sock Yarn

And in knitting news - I received this yarn last week and am in love! I bought it here and it was even marked down in price. The colorway is called Candy Corn and that pretty much clinched the deal for me as it's one of my very favorite candies.

As always, there is a story attached. :) Many years ago, in a land far away, I worked midshift when the kids were younger. The gal that worked with me is the one that got me hooked on candy corn and I was elated when we discovered they have a pastel version for Easter. If you've ever worked midshift then I'm sure you can understand the allure of a candy that is basically all sugar.

Back to the yarn - I can't wait to knit socks out of this. I figure if I start soon then surely I can get it done in time for the fall season!

Happy New Year!

WOW - it's been quite some time since I've been on here! Quite unlike me as I dearly love to talk - LOL!

We've started off the New Year by doing more cooking at home. This meal was last night and for those that have heard me talking about it - I finally made this meal that's been on the list since Christmas Eve weekend! I will say that we won't repeat this exact meal as it probably clogged our veins something fierce. ;)

The creamed corn recipe is supposed to copy that found at Rudy's BBQ. We didn't think it was exact, but it was awesome nonetheless! Lynne' ate a tiny bit as she declared it too rich, but I think it would be great in a crockpot during next year's potluck season.

The other is White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes in Taste of Home magazine. It was very good, but really no better than our regular scalloped potatoes. This one had added cheese, cream of mushroom soup and sour cream, thereby raising the calories, fat grams and sodium content, so in the future we'll use our old recipe. But the meal was oh so good!

The only other thing really accomplished at home this weekend was replacing the shower head in the main bathroom. Some might think that's no big deal, but at one point during Christmas I did have to use that shower and discovered there was a problem. If you're a Seinfeld fan you might remember the episode where the shower heads in their apartments were replaced with low flow heads. And you might remember what their hair looked like. Yes, I walked around that day with Seinfeld hair and I did NOT love it! So I'm quite pleased to have that little problem taken care of!

Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions. - Ecclesiastes 7:10