Out With The Old...

And in with the new.  

I will be working for the rest of the week but wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a very happy and healthy 2013! 

I am grateful for each and every one of you in this big blog world.  I've only been blogging for a little over a year but have enjoyed getting to know the peeps who I've "met" in the blogosphere!  


Happy Christmas!

Christmas Eve day was oddly calm.  Bryan worked.  Corrine played and napped.  I wrapped the last minute gifts, baked for the Christmas Eve dinner and was even able to steal an hour to knit.  Christmas eve is always at my aunts house.  We started a white elephant exchange a few years back which makes the gift giving a hoot.  (This year I ended up with a yogurt maker which I'm excited about!).  Mrs. Claus always makes a visit.  It's always a low key night with family.

Christmas Day was chaotic and stressful.  Don't get me wrong, it was a good day to spend with family and friends, but I felt as if we were rushing from house to house to visit with everyone in a single day.  Very tiring.

We woke to a cold and snow filled day!  We opened presents at our house then rushed to get ready to head to my parents house (they live super close).  We had breakfast there and then opened presents.  The G's gave Corrine a baby doll.  My mom refinished the cradle that was mine when I was little.  She also re-did the fabric pad to it.  They had to buy a matching high chair because mine was loaned out ages ago and never returned.  Thank goodness for Ebay!
We rushed from The G's to head up to the mountains to Bryan's dad's house for Christmas dinner.  Luckily it was an hour and half drive because that was all the nap Corrine was to get.  Dinner and presents there.  Then just down the street to visit my bestie and her fam.  On our way home we stopped to visit good friends who are basically extended family.  Four different families in one day was a little too much.  I think in the future our house will be the base of operations and the peeps can come visit us!   Our house looks like a tornado hit it.  There are gift bags and paper everywhere.   I know that is pretty typical of Christmas with kids and if I was at home I'm sure I wouldn't have minded.  But I hated to be gone all day and come home to that.

I certainly enjoyed spending the two days with family and friends.  And I don't think Corrine was overwhelmed by all of the festivities nor was she inundated with presents.  I hope your holiday was as fun filled and generous as ours and that your day was filled with the love of family and friends!

Solstice Soup Swap

Solstice Soup Party.  Or End of the World Soup Consumption Extravaganza.  However you want to look at it, we are celebrating the Solstice with soup.

Bryan has been busy stringing lights on the gazebo frame.  The plan is to put the fire pit in the middle of the patio.  We are going to have hot drinks- hot spiced wine and hot cocoa with schnapps (maybe some hot buttered rum).  Everyone who is coming will bring a pot of their favorite soup.  We will have mugs to eat from so people can sample all the different offerings.  I'm making cream of broccoli and some sort of biscuit.

We wanted a low key evening to celebrate the solstice with family and friends.  The kids can play in the snow or in the basement.  The peeps can take a break from their last minute shopping.  Or in my case from the rush of starting to shop.  And for a bit of fun we thought why not go out with a bang with those we love most.  Who knows? This could be the start of a long and wonderful tradition.

Happy Friday.  Happy Solstice.  Happy Winter.  Have a great weekend.

2012 Stash Busting Challenge Update

A couple of weeks ago I went through my stash because I was looking for a new yarn color for the Log Cabin Blanket.  I realized that I should have gone through my stash at the beginning back in January when I signed up for this challenge.  I kind of did.  I organized the yarn by color and put it back in the tub.

Fast forward almost a year and it is clear to me that I put a small dent in the stash.  But if you were to look at my stash on Ravelry you would not get the same picture.   The big problem here, is that I did not put my stash on Ravelry back in January.  I did it about 3 weeks ago.  It was a cold, snowy day and Corrine and I hung out in the basement.  She played and I puttered about with my stash and my computer.  It's kind of nice to have the yarn organized.  There are 36 yarns in my stash and it shows I've used 3.

I made the Radiating Star Blanket and that used 6 skeins of yarns.  I made two Miranda hats and that used a skein each (both were partials anyway).  I crocheted the crib blanket using all scrap baby yarn.  I should be able to make another baby blanket with all the yarn left over.  I'm working on the log cabin blanket and that is using more yarn as it gets bigger.  And I should be able to finish it without using any color twice.  There are some that are close in color, but not the exact same.  I've probably used ten skeins of yarn in my challenge.

I didn't buy any yarn until the end of my challenge.  And that is mostly because I wanted nicer yarn to make some presents and make the vest for Corrine.  I will continue to use the stash yarn to make blankets for Project Linus.  But I'm excited to move on to other projects and use yarn that I buy specifically for those projects!

Where'd My Post Go?

So.  On Saturday I had today's post all written in my head.  At least I think so.  For the life of me I can't remember what it was.  Not even the subject.  So now I'm thinking I dreamt it.  It's possible.  I was dragging tired Friday night.  It was all I could do to stay awake until 8PM (and that was east coast time).  I went to bed and never rolled over all night.   It could have had something to do with our quick trip to Fort Lauderdale.  Surely I would have remembered that.
This cool looking fish was on the beach in Fort Lauderdale.  It's made of styrafoam and plastic bottles.  Hundreds of plastic bottles.  

On a more serious note, Friday there was a lady on the plane who was very distraught.  She had been watching the news (as we all were).  To make it worse for her, she had been at the mall in Oregon only 20 minutes before that shooting broke out.  And then to have to watch what was going on in Connecticut... My heart aches for the parents, the teachers and the first responders.  I can't even begin to imagine sending your kid to school and never picking them up again.  Nor can I imagine the horror of being a first responder and witnessing the inside of the school.  When I got home on Saturday, I gave Corrine an extra big hug and kiss.  

Happy Monday.  

This Moment

This Moment.
A Friday ritual.
A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week.
A single extra ordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and that means it's time for the weekly Yarn Along.  I'm joining with Ginny and others to share what projects we are working on and what books we are reading.  First off, I ran out of yarn for The Summit, so it's sitting quietly until I can go the LYS to buy some more yarn.  This past Saturday, due to a mechanical delay, saw a lot of sitting and waiting.  A lot of knitting got done before we flew home from Newport News, VA.  And even more was finished on the flight home.  I just have to consult YouTube to figure the Kitchener Stitch and then I can add the trim and a button and Corrine's Benedick & Beatrice vest is finished.  

I finished Ice Trap.  I thought it an okay book.  It really held my attention until I figured out the "whodoneit."  Not to say it didn't hold my attention til the end, it did.  I just thought it was such an abrupt ending that I couldn't believe it was over.  I'm still reading Ice Storm, but I've also got a library book to finish.  (The book has made the rounds in my family and now it's my turn before it's due.  Again.).  It's Margaret Coel's Buffalo Bill's Dead Now.  Her books take place on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.  The books are very similar to the mystery books that Tony Hillerman wrote about the Navajo Reservation.  I didn't like her stand alone books, but very much enjoy the Wind River books.  The main characters are Father John O'Malley the Jesuit priest on the reservation and Vicky Holden, an Arapahoe Indian who is an attorney in nearby Lander.   If you like a good mystery, I would suggest these.  You don't really need to read them in order, but if you're OCD in that way (like me), you will.
Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!  

A Sticky Mess!

I tried to make Divinity today.  I'm not sure why.  I'm most certainly not a good candy  maker.  Cake, pies and cookies are my best.  I used Paula Deen's recipe.  Mine looks nothing like hers.   I'm not sure where I messed up.  Most likely it is the altitude.  Or it could just be my impatience.  Or it could be a faulty candy thermometer.  The sugar boiled for a good 20 minutes and it never got hotter than 225 degrees.

I have four cookie sheets of round white oozing circles of sweetness.
Looks like someone was on the counter that shouldn't have been.  I didn't necessarily catch her, but I know it was Winston.  She was the one licking her paws!  

There's a reason I let others make Christmas candy.

Have a great day!

The Weekend

Saturday was a huge disappointment.  I had to work until 11:30.  Piece of cake right?  Not so fast.  I didn't get home until 7PM.  Not that we had plans other than to decorate the tree, but still I wanted to spend time with the family.  We were on a mechanical delay and ended up ferrying (no passengers) the plane back to Denver.  It was a day of sitting around.  We waited for the decision to be made to cancel the flight.  We waited to get the ferry permit.  It was a long flight.  The two bright spots...I was able to go to Barnes and Noble (while waiting) to buy a Christmas present.  And I got A LOT of knitting done.  Woo Hoo.

It got cold and windy Saturday night.  It was supposed to snow and be miserable on Sunday.  It was cold all day on Sunday, but we only got a trace of snow.  Corrine and I were homebodies all day and we hung out in our sweats.  She colored, watched a bit of Sprout TV and napped.  I cleaned and decorated and then knit while she napped.  I pulled some Senate Bean Soup out of the freezer for dinner.  When Bryan gets home from work we'll finally decorate the tree!
Holiday Ducks

It was nice to just hang out with no obligations today.  Hope you enjoyed the weekend!  Have a great week.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it time for the weekly Yarn Along.  I'm joining with Ginny and others for the weekly update of yarn and books.  Two of my favorite things, but I'm not sure I got much knitting or reading done this week.

I got a row and a half done on The Summit.  There are 12 repeats of each the left and right sides.  I have finished seven on each side.  I'm plugging away, but now I'll post pictures when I've finished it.  I joined a square swap on Ravelry.  The premise is there are 13 members who once a month knit a square for that months member and that person gets 12 12x12 squares.  I thought it would be a nice way to get some squares to put together for a blanket for Project Linus.  And I thought it a nice way to use up some of my stash yarn!  If you've got any suggestions for a pattern to use for a 12x12 I'm all ears!  I've got a couple of new stitches that I'd like to try out and this could be a good way to experiment.  Plus it is small enough to fit in my suitcase!  Or there is still room to join the second group if you're at all interested.

Last week I was reading a book I just couldn't get into.  I tried for two days to read it and it just didn't hold my attention.  Luckily we have a bookshelf in the lounge at work, so I traded.  I just noticed that it is an ice theme.  I'm reading Ice Trap.  It's a psychological thriller that takes place in the Northwest Territories of Canada up by the Arctic Circle.  I've only read one chapter of Ice Storm so far so the jury is still out on that one.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Buying Yarn

I've been perusing Ravelry again and have several sweaters in my queue.  I'd like to start one of them for myself after the holidays.  I've never knit myself a sweater and I'd say it high time I do so.  The one I'd like to make is called Sylvi.  It's really more of a sweater jacket that I would wear outside in the fall or spring.  Or on the unseasonably warm winter days.   It calls for bulky yarn.

 I've recently logged onto Webs to looks at yarn.  I'm not sure I can buy yarn on the internet.  I like to touch it first.  My dilemma is this...my yarn budget is not huge.  The yarn I like and I think would make a spectacular jacket is Malabrigo Chunky in the color lettuce.  But if I buy it, it would cost me over $200 to make this jacket because there are only 104 yards per skein and I would need 17 skeins.  Yikes.  (I could probably get by with 16, but I'd like to play it safe).  And with buttons and the circulars size I'd need, would be closer to $250.  I know you would probably pay that in the store for a similar jacket.

I've also found some Cascade Soft Spun that is 100% Peruvian wool.  It's a heavy worsted.  It would cost about $60.00.  There are 197 yards per skein.  I'm also sure I could go to the local JoAnn Fabric and find some Lion Brand chunky in a wool/acrylic blend for less money and more yardage.

I've got time to figure it out.   I've got more projects going now than I've ever had at one time.  But I'm curious.  How do you buy yarn?  On the internet or at your LYS.  Is cost an issue?  How about yarn content?  What are you looking for when you buy yarn?

Thanks for your help.  You know I appreciate it!

The Weekend

In holiday months I tend to cram my work schedule together so I can have a nice chunk of time off during the holiday.  So this was another busy weekend with little sleep.  Friday morning's wake up call was equivalent to 2AM Denver time.  Bed time was 11:30PM followed by a 4AM alarm.  I'm too old for that little sleep!

Friday night we dropped Corrine off at The G's and we went to see the new Bond flick.  (I liked it).  On the way out of the theatre my brother called from Japan to Face Time, so I chatted with him for a while which was why it was so late when I went to bed.

Our alarm was set to go off at 4AM because we wanted to be in line for a CD.  The radio station we listen to puts out a CD every year in time for the holidays.  Various artists play live on the radio during the year and the CD is from those live radio performances.  All the proceeds from the sale of the CD go to benefit the Food Bank of the Rockies and the Boulder County Aides Project.  This was volume 24.  my brother has all of them.  I have most of them.  We can't miss it.  I'd rather stand in line from 5-8AM (when it goes on sale) and know I'll get one rather than chance it selling out.

After the CD purchase I ran home, changed out of my long underwear and headed Fabric Bliss for the December food swap.  Fabric Bliss is my new favorite store.  They've got yarn and fabric and all the supplies I could need.  Plus they do classes and have tech support!  I did exercise my will power and did not purchase any yarn.  I'm really trying to finish my current projects before I cast on a sweater for myself.

The outside of the house got decorated.  You can tell the extent of my reach with the ladder.  The tree is up inside.  It's got lights, but nothing else.  We ran out of time.  There's a lot of furniture rearranging that must be done.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time once again for the weekly Yarn Along.  I'm joining with Ginny and the others to share books and knitting.  Two of my favorite things.  I've been doing more knitting this week than reading.  In fact, since I finished my book last week, I've yet to start a new one.  What? How can that be?  I was listening to Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell in the car, but I've even finished that one.  

Knitting has been busy this week.  I've worked on The Summit- the pink shawlette for my sister in law.   This past weekend was beautiful here in Colorado and I was able to sit on the patio and knit on my Log Cabin blanket.  It's getting big enough where it will cover my lap so it kept me warm in the breeze.  I've been listening to the Craft Lit podcast of Jane Eyre while sitting outside.  I'm not sure why I've never read Jane Eyre before, I'm loving listening to it.

I also started a new project (because the ones I have going aren't enough?).   I cast on a Benedick and Beatrice Vest for Corrine.  She picked the colors.  I held up two different skeins of yarn- the purple and pink variegated in the picture and a pinky color- and she pointed to the purple/pink yarn, so that was the one I bought.  I wanted something easy, small and portable to take to the basketball tournament I went to last Friday and Saturday nights.  The Summit is small enough still to make it portable, but I think it requires a little more concentration than the simple stockinette stitch of the vest.  I'm not sure if I'll finish in time for Christmas.  Her birthday is in January, but I'm not even thinking of making it a birthday present.  I'll just knit it and put it in her closet.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Dancing Queen

You are in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance
You are the dancing queen...

Corrine dancing to the Thomas the Train theme song.

I think dance lessons are in our future.

The Weekend

What a busy weekend!  But aren't they always?  Thursday was spent cooking and then eating with family and then again with friends.  A day to catch up with those near and far.  Plus a little Face Time with my brother and his family in Japan.  They had already had their Thanksgiving (it was 8AM on FR in Japan when we chatted).

I avoided the stores like the plague on Friday.  I'm a last minute shopper anyway.  I've got ages to go until I begin my shopping.  Friday evening was spent with friends for dinner.  Then Bryan and I took Corrine to a basketball tournament.  My parents and I have season tickets for women's basketball at the University of Colorado.  Corrine didn't last too long into the second game before we left.

Bryan and Corrine decorated some of the outside on Saturday morning while I was off for some craft shopping.  There was quilt fabric on sale at JoAnn Fabric.  I know it's probably not the best quality fabric, but I'm a beginner, so I don't want to mess up expensive fabric.  But I've got a quilt in mind for Corrine so we'll see if I can make it work out.  While we were at friends on turkey day, I noticed a felt banner hanging in her dining room.  I admired it and she told me she got the idea from the Pottery Barn catalog.  The one in Pottery Barn was about $90.00.  She made hers for less than $10.00.  Who pays $90.00?  I bought supplies at JoAnn for a Christmas banner and spent about two hours on SA putting it together.  The hardest part was cutting out the letters.   The white felt had a sticky backing to make for easier letter placement.
Not too shabby huh?  And it did indeed cost $10.00 to make.  I may make more for some gifts.

Today was a gorgeous day in Colorado.  While Corrine was napping I was able to sit on the patio and knit in the sun while listening to a podcast.  I'm fairly certain it can't get any better than that!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and has an awesome week!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that  means it's time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone for books and knitting!  Two of my favorite things.  I finished the Sweet Memories Cowl for my friends birthday (that was October 2nd).  Good thing too because I'll see her next week.  After I had to rip it back to row 4, once I got going, it was a fast, easy knit.  The only problem I had was I almost ran out of yarn!  Luckily I had the same color going on my Log Cabin Blanket.  I quickly finished that section and used the leftover yarn to finish the cowl.  Whew.  Otherwise I would have had to improvise.  I just need to block it and I'm good to go.
I just finished the book Bringing Up BeBe.  It's written by an American woman, married to a British man, living in Paris.  She compares French parenting to American parenting.   Her kids are an interesting blend of French and American cultures.  She talks about how French kids eat just about everything rather than the American staples of Mac n Cheese, chicken nuggets, and other starchy staples.  The kids will eat each course as it is set out which they learn in pre-school!  She also talks about how American parents are helicopter parents and how French parents are strict about certain things, but kids have their freedoms too.  I find it interesting.  I see kids on the airplane who run their parents ragged and basically are the boss of the family.  I'd like to think we have a good blend of both French and American parenting (and we weren't even trying) with Corrine.  Plus it was a funny read as she pokes fun of being an American in Paris.
Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Gratitude, Grateful and Thanksgiving

I've been reading a lot of posts on blogs and on Facebook about the things everyone is grateful for.  It got me thinking about the things I'm grateful for.  I've never really thought about it and yet I just assume gratefulness.

There are many things I am grateful for but these few top my list this week.

::I am most thankful for my daughter Corrine.  After a rocky and early start she is a blessing in our lives. I can't imagine life without her.  She makes me laugh everyday.

::My husband Bryan.  He puts up with me and my weirdness.  I say weirdness because it encompasses a lot.  And I can't imagine life without him either.

::My family and friends.

::My job and the flexibility it gives to me to stay home when I want/need.  Even with the uncertainty of the airline world I wouldn't change it at all.  Plus I get paid to travel.

::Milk delivery.

::A roof over our heads and good food in our bellies.  Because I know not everyone has this.

::I am most certainly grateful for all of the help with have in taking care of Corrine.  Without our most wonderful babysitter who watches her during the day a couple of times a week and The G's who take her for the overnight stays it would be very difficult to work.

I know there is a lot more out there to be thankful for.  We really are blessed and we know it.  I'm off to brave the masses at the market.   I hope everyone has a safe, fun filled, hearty Thanksgiving!

25 Random Things

25 random things about me.  I was cleaning up my notes on Facebook, found this and thought I would share. 

1. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes a week before I turned 34. What a great birthday present. I've been living with this disease for almost 10 years. I find it an inconvenient and mildly annoying disease. But in the grand scheme of auto immune diseases, at least it is livable and virtually pain free. I just have to take care of myself.

2. All of our animals are named after musicians. The cats are named after new age musicians (Jim) Brickman and (George) Winston. The dogs are named after (Jimmy) Buffett and (Don) Henley. Plus we've got a list of names for many more pets.

3. I'm a HUGE believe in Karma. What goes around comes around.

4. I love to run. Currently I'm getting over a bad attitude about it because I've missed it. I don't really like to run with other people because I always feel like I hold them back. I'm not fast at all.

5. I'm the one who wanted to run away to get married and then come back and tell everyone "oh by the way...we got married while we were on vacation." However, I am glad that we actually had a ceremony (read huge party).

6. I hate reality TV. Can't stand it.

7. I love my job. Where else can you work 3 days a week? This way I can still work and still be at home with C. Plus my parents would be very angry if they couldn't just walk up to the plane and go some place! And my list of places to go is very, very long.

8. I love college basketball. It doesn't get any better than March Madness. I've been to the Women's Final Four six times. Thanks Bob!

9. I hate feet. Mine and others. I don't like touching feet. Especially others. Mine, not so much,  (I do have to put lotion on them). I have a cute picture of Corrine's feet when she was a new baby. They were virgin feet...had never touched the ground!

10. I was never very sure of having kids.  I didn't know thing one about them.  But now that I have one, I can't imagine life without her.  

11. I am a member of the Walnut Mug Club (Rock Bottom Brewery). I have my mug on the wall . Space #359!

12. I drive Bryan crazy with my piles of stuff. He is anally clean and I'm just mostly clean. I have a pile of paper on my computer desk. But I know where everything is.

13. I am trying not to be an obsessive-compulsive vacuumer. I'm trying to get by with the Swiffer on most days and only vacuum 2 or 3 times a week. It's kind of a pain to drag it out every day, but we've got A LOT of dog hair. I vacuumed everyday while Corrine was crawling.

14. I love to garden. I love dirt and digging in the dirt. I have a compost bin in the back yard in which goes all of my food scraps and grass clippings. I had horrible clay soil when I bought my house. Compost has helped garden produce some wonderful veggies!

15. I have a beautiful rose garden. I tend to them with loving care and rose food. They all have names. I didn't give them the names. All roses are named. They have plaques in the ground at the base of the rose and I call them by name. "Hello George Vancouver, what beautiful flowers you have today." I'm sure it's why I have lots of flowers.

16. I would like to have honey bees. I'm researching it right now.  I also want chickens.

17.  I love to knit.  I'm finally broadening my knitting comfort zone and branching out.  I'd also like to be a better sewer, so I can make quilts (another expensive hobby!).    

18. Bryan and I have hiked eight 14ers. Buffett has done all eight with us. We'll do more this year. We won't do them all. I'm too chicken to do the technical ones.

19. I love rubber duckies. I used to have a bathroom that was entirely rubber ducky motif. It's all in boxes now except for a select few. We use the holiday ducks as decorations.  And Corrine plays with some in the tub.

20. I have no decorator sense at all. I wish I did. I love to go to open houses and look at how they've decorated. I don't like granite and stainless kitchens. In 30 years it's going to be like the avocado green of the 70's.

21. I've only owned Volkswagens. I may research and test drive other cars, but I go back to the VW.

22. I like to travel the back roads of new places to explore. My friend Bob and I always take the back roads. You can see so much more of America that way.

23. I listed to books on CD in my car. That way I can kill two birds with one stone. My list of books to read is way too long for me to ever get them all finished, so if I can listen to them occasionally then I can cross them off the list.

24. I love to read. I usually am reading 2 or 3 books at a time. And I can sit in a book store for hours. Tattered Cover especially.

25. I hyphenated my last name because everyone knows me as Jen Fey. Not Jen or Jennifer. It's Jen Fey. And this way I still be Jen Fey. With a Miller thrown on the end!  Plus it keeps everyone guessing!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for the Yarn Along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share what I've been knitting and reading.  I should be much farther along in my Sweet Memories Cowl but after knitting rows 15-20 I realized that these rows didn't look anything like rows 5-10.  I'm not sure what I did wrong on rows 5-10, it had something to do with the YO, but I couldn't recreate it, so I ripped it back to row 4 and started again.  Ugh.  I hate that.  But I have time.  I won't see my friend until the beginning of December.  That should give me plenty of time.
I've also been working on my Summit shawl for my sister in law.  It's just a slow and steady project.  Since I have to mail it to Japan I need to get busy so I can avoid the Fed Ex charges this year.  (I'm notorious for last minute gifting, but international makes it that much more difficult).
I found a vest pattern that I'd love to make for Corrine.  However, the directions are in Norwegian.  Not to worry, I have a friend and co-worker who happens to be from Norway.  No problem right?  I sent her the Ravelry link and she laughed and said the directions were in Danish.  Dang it.  So I found another vest.  I'm resisting casting on just yet.  I've got to finish the Summit first.  

On the book front, I'm reading the new Nora Roberts book, The Perfect Hope.  I also have the newest Margaret Coel book, Buffalo Bill's Dead Now.  Both are library books, but I won't be able to renew the NR books, so I'm putting off the Coel book for now.  So many books, so little time.

Thank you to everyone who made suggestions on what to knit for a friends baby.  The couple is planning on finding out the sex at the 20 week ultra sound.  I'm going to decide what to make when i know what color yarn to buy.  That should give me approximately 20 weeks to finish the project.  And since it is another pilot/flight attendant couple, next fall I'll make an Aviatrix.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday.

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stone may break my bones, but your words will never hurt me.  That's great in theory.  Maybe if I had thicker skin?

I got my haircut last week.  It was getting long (longer than I've ever had it) and tangled.  The ends were a mess and the curl was getting weighed down so it was just easier to pull it up.   The stylist cut off about 4 inches.  It was styled very cutely and I loved it.  Of course I have not been able to duplicate what she did.
Saturday night a close family member (not hubby) told me they had a mop that looked better than my haircut did.  What?!  My mama always told me if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all.  Well now, I'm questioning my haircut.  I'm regretting having her cut so much.  I can still pull it back, but it's got more layers in it, so it doesn't stay as well.

Ugh.  OK.  Thanks.  I just needed to vent.  I'll buy more styling product and experiment.  After all it is just hair.  It will grow back.

The Weekend

Why is it that weekends go by SO fast?  Well I worked the actual weekend.  But on our (hubby's and mine) weekend- that would be WE-FR- we were busy.  There was:

::Yard work before the incoming 40+ temperature drop.
::Date night on Wednesday night.  Date night actually was dinner and a Warren Miller ski movie with good friends.
::Getting a stern talking to by my doctor because my blood glucose is too high (I'm working on that).
::A new haircut for mama.
::Baking down the New England Pumpkin Pie pumpkins from the garden to puree for some home baked goodies.  My plan is to make chocolate chip pumpkin muffins for a play date on Monday.  Bryan and I don't like pumpkin anything so the muffins will be for Corrine and her friend A.  If they turn out decent I'll post the recipe.
In all I baked 7 little pumpkins totaling 14 cups of pumpkin puree.  Some pumpkin lovers will be very happy.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

This Moment

This Moment.
A Friday ritual.
A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week.
A single, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment to pause, savour and remember.
Joining with SouleMama and others.


We are lucky in that my job is very flexible so we can arrange babysitting fairly easily.  My parents are always on hand to watch Corrine whenever we need them.  And they do the overnight care too, when we both have to be at the airport early.  I am careful, though, because they are retired and want to do their own thing too, so I don't want to schedule them too often (because they can't say no!).

We also have a babysitter who used to be our next door neighbor.  She is a stay at home mom with a seven year old.  Her daughter is one of the most well adjusted kids I've ever met and she loved playing with Corrine.  They watch Corrine on the non-overnight days.

The problem we are having right now is that we need a babysitter at our house for short jobs...like date night.  We are going out with some friends on WE night to dinner and the new Warren Miller ski flick.  Corrine is going over to The G's and will spend the night since we won't be home until after 10:00.  I've looked on-line to find a sitter and there are several sites to find a babysitter.  That's fine, but I'm having a hard time paying a fee (like $35/month or a one time fee of $59.99) just to find a babysitter.  I'm sure it is worth it.  But in my head I want to find "the one" that we can use all the time and I think it is ridiculous to pay money and then pay a sitter her hourly rate on top of it.  That makes for an expensive date night.

So where do I find a babysitter?  Word of mouth?  The local high school?  We need someone who has their own transportation so friends kids are out, they aren't old enough to drive yet.  And in this day and age, finding someone trustworthy is HUGE!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for the weekly yarn along.  Books and knitting, two of my favorite things.  I've been working on my Summit wrap that I'm making for a Christmas present.  But I also started the Sweet Memories Cowl designed by Jacinta over at Embracing It All.  A good friend had her birthday at the beginning of October.  About the middle of October I decided that an easy knit giftie was in order.  This weekend I finally got around to casting on the cowl with some soft stash yarn.  However, I'm not knitting as fast as I thought I would.
I'm reading Devil's Highway.  A friend read the book and gave it to me and it's been in my pile of books for ages.  It is follows a group of men from Mexico who pay money to a coyote to smuggle them across the border in Arizona.  All of them are looking to make money to send it back to their families in Mexico.  From what I've read, they were looking for money, not to stay in the United States.  They all had plans to go home to their families.  Basically the guide gets lost and most of the men die of heat stroke.  The author pieces the story together from border patrol reports, survivor interviews, family stories and legal reports from INS.  It's actually a pretty fascinating read.

I'm also in need of some help.  A good friend is having a baby in April and I'd like to knit a baby present.  I usually make blankets.  But after having a baby and being inundated with blankets I think I'd like to branch out.  What are your favorite knitted baby gifts?

Thank you.  Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Mom Brain

They are not kidding about this mom brain thing.  If I don't write it down, it's not happening.  I've got my little notebook with my lists and to-do's.  I've always had the notebook for jotting down things, but I've become quite reliant on it.  It's quite frustrating.

For example: Corrine's 2011 Halloween costume was a duck.  I had planned on taking it to the consignment store.  At the beginning of October when we were getting down the boxes of Halloween decorations I was sure the duck costume was in the box with all of the yard lights.  Nope.  Not there.  Couldn't find it anywhere.  Bryan kept asking if I'd looked in certain places and while I was sure I had looked, I looked again.  Driving.  Me.  Crazy.

Two weeks ago some friends came to visit with their nine month old.  I've been giving them Corrine's clothes that don't fit and we had a box ready for pick up.  We were sitting around the living room and I asked them what Ruth Ann was going to be for Halloween.  They replied, "the chicken costume that you gave us."  I said, "oh the duck" and in my head I said, "well, $hit."  After they left I called Bryan and I told him I found the costume.  I had no idea that I'd given it to them.  Oh well.  I'm glad Ruth Ann will wear it.

People keep telling me it gets worse as the kids get older.  I'm already at a disadvantage since I'm an old mom.  I'm in trouble.

The Weekend

There wasn't really a weekend for me this week since I worked Saturday and Sunday.  There were snipets of family time though.

On Friday-
*a friend was in town and we got together with other friends who we don't see nearly often enough.

On Saturday (before I left for work)-
*we took Corrine down to the neighborhood shops for trick or treating.  (She doesn't eat candy, it's for us!)  She is Abby Cadabby the fairy from Sesame Street.
She wasn't sure what we were doing putting wings on her back and poofs in her hair.

On Sunday-
*dropped Corrine off at The G's on my way to work.  I'm having some mommy time in a hotel in Portland Oregon.
This is the view from my room.  As you can see, it's a typical Pacific Northwest kind of day.  I'm kind of grateful because now I don't feel guilty for hanging out in my hotel room playing on the computer, listening to Pandora, knitting and getting ready to watch The Sound of Music.  My kind of relaxing Sunday afternoon.  (Although later, I will turn on the TV to watch some football before bed).

Have a good week!

Techincal Difficulties

I've been having techinical difficulites with the wireless modem at our house.  I first noticed it back in July when it seemed to take forever to load certain web pages.  Facebook, for example, could take up to five mintues to fully load the log in page.  I would enter a website and then go do something else in the house and come back a few minutes later.  I'm on my computer more than hubby is on his because I'm home more.  He said his speed was fine and that is must be my ancient iBook G4. 

I fully believe it until the beginning of August when I took my computer on the road with me to do some on line training for work.  The second I signed in to the Hyatt wireless every pages I visited loaded in seconds. I was able to surf to my hearts content.  That clued me in that it was not my computer.  I got around to calling Century Link (Qwest) for some help.  The very nice lady fiddled with a few settings, I fiddled with some web pages and we declared it a fix.  I enjoyed some faster speeds than I had been used to (although not lightening fast) and had some quality computer time. 

When we returned from Europe, I noticed the speeds had again dropped to less than dial up fast.  So I called again and spoke to a not very nice, condescending, jerk of a customer service rep.  He did not help me and basically told me that it was a my problem and not theirs. 

Bryan finally had some work to do on his computer that required him to sit there and he realized it was going slowly.  He called Century Link on Monday.  The tech agent called me and we reset some settings.  Turns out our modem is bad.  My inside voice said some not very nice things (since I've been dealing with this for months) and my outside voice said "thank you very much for helping me get to the bottom of this." 

Hopefully our new modem has arrive and is set up. 

The post coming to you from the computer in the lobby of the Milwaukee Sheraton. 

This Moment

This Moment.
A Friday ritual.
A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week.
A single, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want pause, savour, and remember.

Yarn Along

Welcome to Wednesday!  It's time once again for the weekly yarn along.  Books and knitting.  Two of my favorite things.  I'm moving along quite nicely on the Log Cabin Blanket.  I'm now on color block 16 which is this bright watermelon color.  I'm trying to not repeat any colors (although towards the end that may be impossible) so I have to use this color.  I know it looks orange in this picture, but it is really a bright pink.  I tried inside, outside, flash, no flash to take this picture and it just doesn't convey the true color.
I also finished a crochet project I've been working on.  It's a crib size baby blanket made entirely out of scrap yarn from many years of baby blanket projects.  My plan is to donate this blanket to the Linus Project.
I just yesterday finished The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo.  I highly recommend  this book.  It was a great story that was told from the perspective of five generations of women.   I can now read another library book that has just been sitting by the bedside, waiting patiently... It is Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

It's Done!!!!

I'm calling it finished!  I have been crocheting this baby blanket out of scrap yarn from years of baby blankets that I made for all of my friends.  I made up the pattern.  Really there is no pattern.  It is a single crochet row of color.  The tails at each end make fringe.  I put the colors together however I felt like it.
There is no more than four rows of the same color at any given time.  Typically I put two rows together.  It fits perfectly in Corrine's crib.  That is why I decided it was done.   There is a lot of baby yarn left over so I'm certain that a new charity project will be on the hook or needles soon.  I am donating this to the Linus Project.

Actually one of authors I love to read, Debbie Macomber, has a charity project that she collects knit and crochet projects for.  It's called Knit 1, Bless 2.  She collects completed projects that her readers send to her and she donates them to three different charities and the Linus Project is one.  I signed up to donate several projects last year since I had so much yarn and was at home for the first three months of the year.  But having a new baby and trying to knit did not go so well together.  That is why I'm excited to be able to send her two blankets this year. 

The Weekend

Yay for the four day weekend.  Bryan works 12 hour days.  Three days one week and four days the following week.  So we actually have a four day weekend every other week.  We try to actually have the "weekend" together as a family so we can play, but sometimes it is just easier for me to work on his days off to save on day care.  Not so on this weekend.  We played.  We-

  • went to the mountains and hiked for two days... (and left before the snow came in on FR!).
  • made apple pie
  • raked leaf piles and played in said piles
  • threw leaves for Buffett to chase and laughed till we cried
  • took Henley in for his quarterly blood donation
  • swapped homemade goodness at the October food swap
  • knit and crocheted the evenings away
  • happy hour on Friday with good friends 

Have a great week!

Apple Impromptu

Corrine and I took the boys for a walk the other day.  One of the neighbors was giving away bags of apples.  Corrine very excitedly said "apple.  apple"  She does love her apples.  Anyhoo, we've gone through all of our apples, so now we'll work on the neighbors apples.

I made an apple impromptu.  I think it is kind of like an apple cobbler except the topping isn't a biscuit topping it's more of a batter.  The recipe is from The Pillsbury Family Cook Book.  I think the book is from the 60's.  It was my  moms.  The cookbook has definite seen better days.  It is a binder type of book and the pages are all dog eared and falling out.  She gave it to me when she found the same cookbook is practically mint condition at an indoor antique mall.  One of these days I'll sit down and put the pages in order with the little hole stickies to keep them from ripping out again.

Apple Impromptu-
4 C peeled, sliced apples
3/4 C sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1 T butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 t vanilla
1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 400.  Place apples in a well greased 8 or 9 inch baking dish.  Combine 1/4 C sugar with the cinnamon, sprinkle over apples.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cream butter and gradually add the remaining 1/2 C sugar.  Blend in egg and vanilla.  Add flour and baking powder.  Spread over apples in pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.

We always make a double batch of the topping.  Goes well warmed with vanilla ice cream.

Obviously this batch is not a 9 inch pan.  My 9 inch baking dish had brownies in it and feeling lazy I just added some more apples and tripled the batter portion of the recipe.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for the weekly yarn along.  Books and knitting.  Two of my favorite things.  I think it was a very productive week for both.

I'm more than half way through The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo.  The story is five generations of women basically living in the same house.  They are being studied by a geneticist because the matriarch is 112 and he thinks since she has lived so long and so well she may hold the key to aging.  But she has a secret.  I think I know what it is, but it hasn't been revealed yet.  We'll see if I'm right.  The story is told in sections- each woman has her own section- and by flashbacks and what is currently happening.  I think it is a very good first novel.

I was able to get lots of knitting done.  I worked on my Log Cabin Blanket which was nice because it is keeping me warm while knitting.  I've also been working on the shawl for my sister in law.  The pattern is called Summit.  Now that I'm in the rhythm of the pattern, it's actually pretty easy.  The hardest part is dropping the stitch to unravel to create the link between the sections.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Indian Summer

Last week it was 80 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday.  By Friday it was in the 30's.  Saturday saw rain in the morning and spitting snow in the afternoon.  Monday it was back in the 70's.  I love October!

I was out of town and had hubby cover the tomatoes and peppers that I hadn't had a chance to pick.  When I got home I bundled up and picked the ripe ones in the cold and wet.  I recovered the plants in the hopes they would be okay.  They weren't.  I pulled the plants today.  I'm bummed but I think we got plenty of goodness anyway.

I love the warm days and cool nights.  I love snuggling under the warm blankets with the kitties (because according to Bryan we have to wait until November to put the down comforter on the bed).   The dogs are loving the days because it isn't too hot for them.  We are getting back into a routine of afternoon walks.
I wish we had more red trees, but they are not as common here as they are on the east coast.  We do have beautiful yellow/gold aspen groves.  Word is that because of hot dry summer the leaves won't last as long and won't be as pretty.  What I'm not loving about the leaves is Henley bringing them into the house on his fur.

Hope you are having a fabulous Indian Summer too!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time again for the weekly yarn along.  I look forward to Wednesdays to see what every is knitting and reading.  Besides it keeps me on task with my own projects.

Books and knitting.  Two of my most favorite things!  This past week I checked out two books at the library even though I was already reading two books.  New library books trump the "already sitting on a shelf forever books that looked good at the time."  I read Debbie Macombers new book, the Inn at Rose Harbor.  A nice easy read, but a good escape.  I feel like the characters in her books are my friends and I'm anxious to find out what happens next.   This week I checked out the Roots of the Olive Tree.  I read about this book from Cassie.  It was written by a friend of hers.  I haven't started it yet, it's in my tote bag for work tomorrow.
This past week I also started the shawl for my sister in law for Christmas.   Once I got in the rhythm of the pattern it was easy enough.  It was getting to that point that I found difficult.  Thank goodness for you tube!  
I also worked a bit on my log cabin blanket.  I need to go through my tub of scrap yarn to find some more colors for the blanket.  I'm on color block 14 of 22 and I'd like to make it all the way without duplicating colors.  I'm not sure if that is possible or not.  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!  

Chickens and Bees

Chickens and Bees!  I don't have either.  I want both.  I've got room for both.  I've got a site to place bees all picked out.  I think it would be perfect.  I'm considering a site for chickens.  Both would make my little homesteading in the city a bit easier.

I fully expect to have bees next spring.  Chickens are a whole other story.

I just read Keeping Chickens by Ashley English.  And we recently visited a friend of my parents who has chickens.  Corrine could hear the chickens as we walked through the backyard, but the look on her face as we walked through the chicken coop was priceless.  Too bad I was carrying her and didn't have my camera out.

I have a list in my head of pros and cons of keeping chickens.  The top of my list of course is eating eggs that I know exactly where they came from.  And the eggs don't get any fresher than walking out the back door and gathering them.  I like the idea of being self sufficient (although we aren't nor will we be), but this is a step in that direction.  Actually if I am honest eating fresh eggs is the only pro on my list.

There are two cons on my list and they are equally big ones.   We have two big dogs.  As Bryan questioned what would I do if Buffett got to the chickens?  He said (and probably true) I'd cry like a baby.  The other important consideration to take in is my  job.  Who's going to take care of my chickies when I'm on an overnight trip?  And we do love to travel.  It's one thing to have a pet sitter for the fur kids, but would she take care of the feathered ones as well?

I've given the care issue a little thought.  A type of chicken co-op.  I think work in exchange for eggs is a good deal.  Corrine's babysitter grew up on a farm and is familiar with that type of work.   I should discuss it with her first before I go ahead making plans.    That leaves the dog issue.

In the meantime we are getting fresh eggs from a co-worker of Bryan's.

This Moment

This Moment.
A Friday ritual.
A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week.
A single, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.

A single, dee-lish, mama only moment.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for the weekly yarn along.  I feel like I got a bit accomplished this week.  I finished my second Miranda hat.  I worked on my Linus Project blankets.  And I got sucked into Ravelry.  I decided to knit my sister in law a cowl for Christmas.  I found a shaw pattern instead.  Of course I had to run right out to the yarn shop to find the perfect yarn.  I did.  But it was $30 and I needed two skeins of it.  $60 is a bit out of my budget right now.   I even went to JoAnn Fabric to find some cheaper yarn but nothing jumped out at me.  On Saturday I went to a different yarn shop with out the munchkin so I would have uninterrupted yarn time.  I did find some nice pink wool silk fingering yarn.   I plan on packing this yarn and starting tomorrow on my first layover.
This is my finished Miranda hat.  (I tried to get creative like Tracey over at Clover, but it just didn't work).

Tuesdays is baby story time at the library and since we got there early I had to time to peruse the bookshelves.  I found two books to read which is silly, really, since I'm already reading two books.  Now I'll have to put those to the side since the library books are new and not renewable.
Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

A Foster Failure?

This past weekend while running errands I saw a sign at PetSmet that foster families were needed.  I was once a foster parent for a little black kitty.

It was 2001 and I had just moved into an apartment that allowed pets with a small deposit.  Being a flight attendant I am not home enough to have a pet.  But I really, really wanted a cat.  I had seen a sign that the Denver Dumb Friends League needed foster parents.  I immediately signed up.  I had to have an interview and a home visit.  I fibbed a little when I told the lady I was home everyday.   But it worked I was approved to be a foster parent.

A week later I received a six month old all black kitty.  She had just had a litter of kittens and had gotten fixed.  She followed me around the house and I named her Shadow.  She lived with me for one month which was the assigned time.  I wrote up a little blurb to put on her kennel at PetSmart .  I wrote it from Shadow's point of view.  I met the coordinator from the DDFL at the PetSmart location that had room for kitties up for adoption.  And I cried like a baby.

It was very hard to give up Shadow even though she wasn't my kitty to begin with.  I knew that.  I guess I could have applied to adopt her, but I just wasn't home enough for a single kitty.  (When I bought my house I did adopt two kitties who I still have).   I've never given up an animal that I owned and I hope to never experience that feeling again.   I felt responsible for her and I felt like I was letting her down.  

The coordinator walked me to my car, gave me a hug and basically told me that I should reconsider being a foster home.  In fact I should find an entirely different avenue of volunteering.   To this day every time I go to PetSmart I stop in and visit the kitties up for adoption and tell them I would take them home if I could.  I don't volunteer in any capacity at the shelter, but I do take in pet food occasionally.

The Garden Today

Happy first day of Autumn!

I love this time of year.  At night there is a chill in the air.  We've turned off the AC and opened the windows and doors.  It does warms up quite nicely during the day and when it does warm up, I've been slowly putting the garden to bed.  The poor garden was a bit neglected this summer.  The lettuce went to seed, there were weeds everywhere and only three onions grew.  I picked the last (giant) zucchini, looked for any cucumbers worth picking and pulled up those plants.  

There are a gazillion tomatoes but half of them are not ripe yet.  This is the time of year to keep an eye on the weather.  It hasn't gotten cold enough yet to freeze, but in Colorado anything is possible.  Even though I don't like tomatoes, I've got plans for them!  Salsa, tomato sauce....mmmmmm....dee-lish!  

We've eaten a lot out of the garden this summer.  We've given away bags of produce to a couple of friends who make juice.  However.  If we were to make many meals out of the potatoes, we'd starve.  
This is my potato harvest.  And this is DOUBLE the amount of potatoes that grew last year.  Now I totally understand why my Irish ancestors starved during the famine.  OK.  OK.  I know it's not the same thing at all.  Better luck next year is all I can say!!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for the Yarn Along.  Books and knitting.  Two of my favorite things.  I didn't get much time to read this week.  I got a little bit of knitting time last week when we got home from vacation.  It was a rainy day and we were suffering from jet lag.  I started another Miranda hat.  The Miranda is a baby size.  I finished the birthday aviatrix.
I'm using stash yarn for the Miranda.  This is white cotton that I used to make a baby blanket many moons ago.
Corrine is modeling the birthday Aviatrix.  Orange is not her color, but I think it turned out pretty cute.  We'll wrap it up and deliver it this week.

I've been reading A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber.  I've been reading it for several weeks and I'm only on chapter four.  Let's just say that by the time I get to bed I am asleep so there is no reading.

This Moment

This  Moment

A Friday ritual.
A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week.
A single, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Joining with SouleMama.


I had every intention of blogging while we were on vacation.  I paid for the global data plan on my phone so I could blog.  Or at least post photos.  I even had a partial blog composed in my head.   Never even got around to opening the blogger app.

Switzerland was amazing.  And very expensive.  (We went to Burger King in the Zurich airport for coffee- the cheapest value meal was 15 CHF and the franc is stronger than the dollar!).  I bought us a Swiss Pass before we left the states.  It was a four day pass and we made good use of it.  Two days of travel to and from the Zurich airport.  One day of fun travel in the area we stayed.  And one day from Interlaken to Lucerne, plus a boat trip on Lake Lucerne.

We stayed in Wengen Switzerland which is in the Berner Oberland.  Wengen is on a hillside above Lauterbrunnen.  You can only get to Wengen by the train.  There are cars there, but mostly for the hotels to shuttle guests to and from the train.  There are carts to shuttle cargo and golf carts, but most everyone walks.  It's not hard, it's a small village.  We walked a lot.  We hiked a lot.  My feet hurt.
This is the view from our dinner table at the hotel we stayed at.  The mountain is the Jungfrau.  
This is the North Face of the Eiger.  For a long time the mountain was thought to be impossible to climb.  We are in Kleine Scheidegg.  That day just happened to be the Jungfrau Marathon.  The last 13 miles are uphill.  No thanks!  We hiked around on this side of the valley for a day.  
On the second night we were there, they had the Wengen Folk Evening.  It didn't start until 9PM, which was late for us since we had hiked all day and we were pretty jet lagged.  But we are glad we went.  Fascinating evening.  They had yodelers, dancers, bell players, and the big horn.
The big horn makes such beautiful music.  
It was a fast week.  We hiked for four days, spend a day in Lucern where we did a lake cruise and then traveled for 24 hours (between flights and layovers) to get home.  Corrine did amazingly well traveling that far for that long.  She's flown a lot, but that was the longest trip she's done. 
This is Corrine riding the train from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken.  She was the welcoming committee on the trains.  She said hi and bye to everyone who got on or off the train.  

As much as I love to travel and experience other cultures, there is nothing like coming home.  Home Sweet Home.  


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