Knitting This Week

It is Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly Yarn Along.  I am joining Ginny and everyone to share books and yarn.

I started this Hufflepuff bag on the airplane to Europe the week before Thanksgiving.  It is for my niece as a Christmas present.  I am planning on lining it so that the stranded knitting doesn't get snagged.  I wanted to make a Gryffindor bag, but she is a Hufflepuff fan!  I found this pattern on Ravelry and it has charts for all four houses at Hogwarts!
About ten days ago I found out that my nephew wants a scarf from Harry Potter in the Ravenclaw house colors.  That was information I could have used a month ago as I am not a fast knitter.  But some sit time on Saturday at work allowed me to get about a foot done and then with some unexpected time at home on MO I was able to get another foot or so finished.  I probably won't do as many repeats as the pattern calls for.  I"m on a pretty tight timeline right now!

I just finished reading The Guilty by David Baldacci.  It's a good murder suspense novel.  I am trying to read all of his books in order (it's one of my obsessions) and this is his newest one with the Will Robie/ Jessica Reel characters.

I had set my Goodreads challenge for 2016 to read 75 books.  I am not quite going to make it.  Again. I didn't read to my goal of 100 books last year so I lowered it to 75 and I still fell short.  I have read 61 out of 75.  I am listening to one in my car  so I can add one more.  But still...

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday again and and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books! I"m in the swing of Christmas knitting.  I'm a little late to the game, but I have got the Christmas knitting bug late! 

Lisa from Happy in Dole Valley just released Pacifica.   I got to do a test knit.  It was my first one!  I used this gorgeous hand dyed yellow fingering from our Yarn Along hostess, Ginny.  As it was my first test knit, I wanted it to turn out perfectly so I used lifelines for when my counts came our wrong. The pattern is super easy and it is also easy to remember.  Plus it's got a tally mark box!  That is so me (it's like she made that just for me!).  I would definitely make this again for Christmas presents.  I debated gifting it, but fell in love with it so I'm keeping it.

This purple and green cowl is called Handbrake.  It's going to be a teacher gift.  The yarn is Abuelita and I got it at Goodwill for $2.00!  It's been in my stash for a year.  But when I was surfing Ravelry in search of a quick, easy cowl for teacher gift this came up as a yarn suggestion!  Perfect.  I love de-stashing.  

I am reading a knitting mystery, A Killer Stitch.  They are local to Colorado.   The author is Maggie  Sefton.  She uses Fort Collins as the base of the story though she calls it Fort Connor.  Quite frankly I have almost put the book down several times.  The characters are shallow and reading their dialogue drives me crazy.  I'm not sure I"ll pick up another one.  This one is book 4 in the series. 

Goodbye Henley

It's been almost two weeks now since we said goodbye to this shedding, drooling, goofy Newfie.  Henley had just turned ten which is pretty old for a giant dog.   But he had a huge mass in his belly.  It ultimately grew to the point it was pressing on his diaphragm and stomach.  He was having a hard time breathing and he couldn't eat much.  He weighed 150lbs last December and had shrunk to 123lbs.  He also had hip dysplasia and could not get up the stairs very easily.

We got Henley as a six month old pup.  We called him our sale dog.  The ad said "Newf pups.  Make offer."  We called and inquired why the ad.  The breeder said that they were older pups and he couldn't get his original asking price.  It was a good point since Henley weighed 75lbs when we got him.  He was born and raised in a barn.  He had no social skills and was not house broken.

But with love and training he became the wonderful, lovable, dog we knew he could be.  He was the most social dog and loved everyone (dog or human) he encountered.  Along came Corrine.  Henley became super protective of the baby.  We could put her in the pack and play in the yard and he would lay next to it where ever we moved it.

Corrine said her goodbyes before she left for school.  She hugged him, loved him and took pictures of him.  At the vets office I sat on the floor with him and loved him, stroking his head and ears telling him how much we loved him.  Thanking him for being a part of our family, telling him it was ok that he leave us.

Our house has a huge emptiness to it.  A physical emptiness as well as a loss of his energy.  He was larger than life in many ways.  He is in a better place, we know that.  It doesn't make it easier for those of us left behind.

Knitting This Week...

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along!  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books!

I've finished two quick projects this past week.  The first project is a striped cowl for one of C's kindy teachers.  The yarn was from a Yarn Box a couple of months ago.  They are not my favorite colors for myself but they are perfect for Mrs. S.

The second project is the cute little cup cozy with a pocket for the cup stopper!  I am hoping to make a few of these for the teacher assistants and staff at her school.  They are a easy and quick knit.  Perfect for last minute gifts.

I knit four hats for hats for the Christmas at Sea program.  These are hats for mariners.  I learned of the program from Steph at WoolyThyme.  These were great projects for stash busting (hence the stripes).  The hats have been packed and shipped!

The bottom picture is my latest Yarn Box yarn!  I'm in love with it.  It's a bulky weight yarn in a gorgeous color.  There is only 282 yards so I'm not sure what to make with it.  At the beginning of the month the overstock yarn will go on sale and I'm hoping to buy more to make something bigger than a cowl or hat!  I'm taking suggestions!

I finished Manitou Canyon by William Kent Krueger.   I'm currently finishing A Fountain Filled With Blood that I was reading last week.  Reading is slow since I'm on vacation...Too many things going on!

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Knitting This Week

Oh.  My.  It's been several months since I've participated in the weekly Yarn Along.  The Yarn Along.  It's every Wednesday.  It's hosted by Ginny.  Everyone who plays along shares their yarn and books.

This current project is called Pretty Palette.  It's a cowl for one of C's teachers (she has two) for Christmas.  I am using yarn from my last YarnBox subscription.  Not my favorite colors, but I think they would perfect for Mrs. S.

I have so many books that I'm reading right now.  Or not reading.  I've been on vacation since October 7th and I just don't seem to have any time to read.  Part of that is while I've been at home, I find to many things to do during the day and feel guilty for sitting around to read.  Oh. the pressure.

I have been reading A Fountain Filled With Blood on my ipad before bedtime.  It's by Julia Spencer-Fleming.  The two main characters are ex Army helicopter pilot, Reverend Claire Ferguson and Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne.  This is the second book in the series (you know, it's my obsessive behavior to starts series at the beginning).  The series takes place in Upstate New York.

I'm excited to read all of what has been happening while I've been gone.
Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

It's been a while...

I know, it's been forever since I've been in this space.  I was having doubts about blogging.  I wasn't sure of the direction I wanted to go with my blog.  I thought about changing formats and trying to monetize (because people can make pretty good money and I wanted in on that action), but according to all the "experts" one, must have something to teach.  I can't teach you anything that isn't already out there on the world wide web!

I love the friendships that I have made with other bloggers.  I love sharing my days with you (if, in fact, you are interested) and I love reading about your days as well.  So while I still waffle back and forth on changing my format, I decided I'm still going to play here.  In my little corner of the blog world.

Another thing the "experts" say when one wants to start a blog is to pick a subject that you know.  I don't know one thing really well.  (Like I am not a really great DIYer).  But I do a lot of things.  I knit.  I crochet.  I am a craft hack.  I cook and bake.  I read.  I garden.  I raise chickens.  I have a family.  I am a mompreneur.  I am in debt and would like to not be.   I talk in run on sentences and that is how I write.

I missed you.

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I am joining Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  Yesterday I ripped back my Funky Grandpa to the shoulder saddles because apparently I can not count and my stripes were off.  I was having a hard time keeping track of the neckline increases, the armhole shaping and the stripe counting.  I decided to start that section over.  It wasn't that much to do and it will be easier to do than try to "fix" it.

So in the meantime, I've been working on hats.  They are easy and portable.  A few months back, Stephanie from Woolythyme mentioned Christmas at Sea.  They donate hats to mariners.  I can do hats and I have stash!
Last week I started a book by Tim Green...The Letter of the Law.  The plot line is just enough to keep me interested, but I don't think I'll run out and get another of his books.   I recently found a Lee Child "Jack Reacher" book on the airplane.  That book was really good.  Now his books will go in my GoodReads queue and I"ll start with book #1.  

What are you working on?  Reading?

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday.  

Knitting This Week

It is Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly Yarn Along.  I am joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.   Considering how cold and rainy/snowy it was here in Colorado this past weekend, I sure didn't get much knitting or reading done.

Once again, I am working on several projects at the same time.  I pulled Sylvi out of the storage bag and dusted off the pattern.  The cables are so intricate that I can only do two rows a night before I'm ready to pull my hair out.  The way I look at it, slow and steady knits the sweater... it's better than the sweater in hibernation.

Last week I cast on Funky Grandpa with the O-Wool yarn I bought at Rhinebeck.  The yarn colors are called Black Bear, Porcupine, and Trillium.   I'm only a couple of inches into the pattern, but I like an easy knit after working on cables!

The crafting club that I knit with (AKA The Dragon Club) is going to do a KAL using a gradient kit.  We haven't decided on a pattern at this point, but one of our members mentioned that Yarn Box, the subscription yarn service, is sending out a gradient collection in May.  I've signed up for the monthly subscription but may end up changing it to the every other month since I don't knit that fast.  I'll be checking my mailbox religiously after the 18th (the box ships on the 15th)!
 I was at the library yesterday checking out library books for Miss C and found this lovely little book on display as I walked to the children's section.  I have not opened it yet, but I'm hoping that I find a couple of recipes to try this summer!
What are you working on?  Reading?

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday! 

Yarn Along

It is Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly Yarn Along.  I am joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  This week saw no knitting rather a lot of time was spent on Ravelry for a new knit project.  I'm not sure why I wasted so much time.  I have two projects on the needles and one of them has been there FOREVER!  I am working on the back of Sylvi and it is not a talk at crafting or watch TV at night kind of knit.  But I am determined to finish it this summer so I can wear it next fall!

Today is Ginny's virtual baby shower.  I love baby knits because I feel like I have accomplished something.  I made a little washcloth out of very soft cotton.  Together Miss C and I picked out the kitty with the heart for the sweet new baby.

I have been reading a lot of travel books in the past week.  I had checked out books on Iceland, Croatia and Budapest.  I check out books from the library and then when we decide, I'll buy a travel book we can write in.  We are trying to decide where to go on vacation in October.  My list of places I want to visit is very, very, long.  But we have to consider places that are kid friendly and we've narrowed down our decision to Croatia.  In the next couple of months we'll make a basic plan of what we want to see and do while we are there.

Random Thoughts on Thursday

It's late, I realize, but it is still Thursday!

*  Bryan had knee surgery this morning.  It was a quick scope to clean up some torn meniscus.  In and out of surgery in about 30 minutes.  We were in the surgery center for just about 3 hours.  I knew he was going to be fine when he wanted to go to Starbucks on the way home.
Funny side story to this surgery...the back story... he had ankle surgery seven years ago.  That was his first experience with anesthesia and it was funny.  In the recovery room he kept telling every person who walked by his bed that he and his good friend had been out drinking the night before and he drank five bottles of wine all by himself.  It cracked me up.

So today the anesthesiologist was talking to Bryan about the procedure and what to expect when he was in the recovery room.  He made mention that he would feel like he had a couple of glasses of wine.  And that sent me into hysterics.

*  Spring in Colorado is coming.  Bushes and trees are flowering, tulips and daffodils are blooming.  And it is supposed to snow this weekend.  And depending on who you listen to, we can expect anywhere from 8-40" of snow.  The 40" may be more in the foothills.   My mom's birthday is April 17th and she was born in a blizzard.  So it's nothing new for us, except today it was 70 degrees and gorgeous.  Just wait a day and it will change!

Happy Thursday!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly Yarn Along.  I am joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  WooHoo!  I am so excited.  I finally finished the stitch block cowl!  I just looked at my ravelry page...I started this cowl as a KAL with the mamas at crafting on April 18, 2015!  I put this cowl aside so often to work on other projects.  First I had to finish my Hitofude for Rhinebeck.  Then I had to work on the sweater for the school fundraiser.  And I've made eleven (ELEVEN!!!) Colorado hats.
I was so excited to finish and photograph it that i didn't even weave in the ends.  I took some quick pictures before leaving for work yesterday.  There are three blocks and I"ll tell you, that second block kicked my butt!  I learned to use a lot of lifelines!  Every repeat I used a lifeline.  And there are still several mistakes that I think are quite noticeable.  I'm fairly certain though, that there will be one more snow this spring that will enable me to wear my coat and new cowl!   My stitch block cowl was made using Quince & Co Osprey in Bark, Nasturtium, and Egret.

Block one

Block two 

Block three

I have enough yarn left in the nasturtium and bark and a tiny bit left in egret, but it should all be enough to make a hat or maybe some mittens.

In the book department, I feel like my book reading is slow.  I finished a book by Lisa Jackson called Unspoken which I thought was just "meh" (although to be fair, I did put it down to finish two library books.  I also listened to the Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (or JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame).  I thought it was a great book and immediately checked out the second book, The Silkworm.  I am also reading The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown but have not made much progress.  

What projects are you working on?  Any books I need to put in my Goodreads queue?  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday my yarny peeps!


We spent our weekend in Steamboat for the last weekend of skiing.  The last day to ski Steamboat was today.  There are some areas here in Colorado that will be open longer, thanks to a lot of late season snow, but for us ski season has come to a close.  Bryan will have knee surgery on Thursday.  He chose to have it in between ski season and mountain bike season.  One must have their priorities.

Miss C had one last ski lesson for the season.  She has progressed so much this year.  Next year she'll be saying to me "Come on Mom, keep up."  She was skiing easy blue runs with us on Saturday.  Makes this mama very proud.  Watch for her in the Olympics.

Saturday after skiing there was a free concert at the base of the mountain.  Ozomatli played and we danced our tired legs for over an hour.  There was good food, abundant drink and great friends.  A new tradition has been born to celebrate the end of winter.

How was your weekend?

Mama's New Toy

Mama got a new toy this past weekend!
It's a dual barrel spinning compost bin! I've had a upright bin for many, many years.  It's warped from the sun so the lid no longer fits.  It is hard to stir the compost all the way through.  The bottom door no longer lifts up to get to the beautiful black gold at the bottom.

Costco had these bins last week so I jumped on it as soon as I saw them.  Bryan and I put it together.  We decided to put the bin in the garden.  I didn't want to lose the space, but it will be easier to just dump it onto the ground.  We put it so the latches can be opened from outside the fence so I can dump the mini bin from the kitchen without going into the garden.

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours transferring the compost from the old bin to the new bins.   Toward the bottom of the bin was this beautiful black gold.  I spread it in the garden and will turn it in later this week.  
I'm getting excited to start gardening.  I have begun to uncover the things I mulched last fall... The raspberries are peaking through and so are the strawberries.  It makes me nervous to start uncovering the mulch in case they get frozen in the next six weeks.  It's happened before.  

What are you going to plant in your garden?

My Path To Debt

My path to debt started when I was 20. It was my junior year at college and I had just bought textbooks for the spring semester. In each of those textbooks came credit card applications. I had never had a credit card before so I filled out an application. That credit card came about two weeks before spring break. 

So my boyfriend (at that time) and I did what any normal college students (who had been living in the snow and bitter cold for four months) would do. We road tripped to California.  And put the whole trip on my brand-new credit card. I was a little on the materialistic side in those days.  It was all about brand names and designers.  While we were in Southern California we made a side trip to Beverly Hills.  I just had to have a Louis Vuitton handbag. And while I still have the bag I don't carry it often. That is just about the only thing I can remember buying with that credit card. My brand-new credit card was maxed out fairly quickly. 

But because I made the payments on time every month I kept getting offers for new credit cards in the mail. I filled them out and send them in.   A couple of weeks later I would have a brand-new credit card in my hands. By the time I graduated I had three maxed out credit cards.  Now I was going to have student loan debt to pay off as well. It was all I could do to make the minimum payments for the credit cards and my student loans. But because I was still trying to keep up with the Joneses I applied for another credit card. I was denied. 

I worked my tail off to pay off those cards.  I worked my regular 8 to 5 job and babysat nights and weekends. It took several years but I did pay those credit cards off.  And I canceled them. But my behavior did not change. I got two more credit cards and quickly maxed them out as well. Again I had to work my butt off to pay them down. I got tired of working so much overtime that I felt like I was living at work. I paid those two credit cards off about seven years ago. 
I still have one credit card and it is not maxed out. I don't pay it off every month though. I don't use it often except to book a hotel or rent a car. My behavior is changing. I attended the Dave Ramsey financial peace University class and am determined to get out of debt. If you follow Dave Ramsey's principles you know to pay with cash for everything and use your debit card.  Dave says no credit cards. Now when I go shopping I hear Dave's voice in my head asking do you really need that.

If you think you really need a credit chard check out Credit Card Insider.  It is an unbiased look at which credit card option would be best for your circumstances.  But, please be smart about it.  Don't learn the hard way like I did! 

Springtime in Colorado

This time of year Mother Nature is bi-polar.  Tuesday it was 70 degrees and yesterday it wasn't.  March is the snowiest month in Colorado.  Last week we got six inches of snow.  And it was pretty much gone two days later.  Yesterday we had a crazy spring blizzard and got sixteen inches of snow at our house on the west side of Denver.

Denver International Airport was delayed from the get go.  The power was out and they couldn't fuel or deice the airplanes!  It just never got better.  The wind was gusting so much that the visibility dropped to zero and nothing moved.  The road to and from the airport was closed.  Needless to say I did not have to go to work!

Bryan played with his snowblower pretty much all day.  Our driveway is clear.  All the sidewalks are clear.  The elderly neighbors sidewalks are clear.

Oh.  And it's supposed to snow next week too.   Happy Spring to you!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  Mmmmmmmmm.  Guinness Cake.  Yesterday we made Guinness cake for today.   So.  Funny story.  At least it is funny now.  It wasn't yesterday.  Yesterday morning I fed the sourdough starter to make sourdough biscuits for dinner.  I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and placed it in the oven.  I"m not sure why except that is where I put all of my doughs to rest or rise.  Except I turned on the oven to bake the Guinness cake.  The plastic wrap melted all over the bowl and into the starter.  The starter baked into the bowl.  Maybe I'm not meant to be baking with sourdough...

*  My parents dug up and thinned their rhubarb plant.  They had 20 little rhubarb plants and they brought them to my house!  I already have a ginormous rhubarb plant that probably needs to be thinned as well.  I posted on Facebook and got a few hits.  But then I posted it on and it got cleaned out within a few hours.  It's pretty hardy stock, it was in their backyard when they bought their house.  My parents bought their house 20 years ago and they bought the house from the estate of the people who built the house.  It was funny how excited people were to get rhubarb.   Apparently I've been taking it for granted!

Happy St. Patricks Day my friends.  Be safe!

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  Once again this week I have been working on Colorado Hats.  I have started the second to last order.  But that doesn't mean I'm done...I need to make one for my brother and Miss C.

I have also been experimenting with a headband.  This one I single crocheted and chained 110 because I'm going to attach velcro closures on it.  I made the "C" a little bit flowery so it will be a more feminine.  I also plan to experiment with headbands that are just one circular piece as well.
I am also working on a little something for our Yarn Along host, Ginny.  Tracey is hosting a virtual baby shower.  Let's just say it's in white cotton yarn.

I finished the last audiobook of the Cousins O'Dwyer trilogy by Nora Roberts.  While I love Nora Roberts books this series was a lot predictable and redundant.  I am now listening to The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (who is also JK Rowling).  I am really enjoying it so far.  It's a lot better than her book The Casual Vacancy (which I thought was horrible).  In actual book form, I just started reading The Hour Game by David Baldacci.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

The Weekend

Saturday was BUSY!  First up.  The St. Patricks Day parade at Union Station.  We took light rail down to the station and watched the parade from across the street.  We thought it was only going to be a couple of hours and then we could get along with our day.  Nope.  The parade was 4 hours.  The first half of the parade took over 2 hours.  We left a quarter of the way through the second half of the parade.

Next on the agenda...a food swap.  I met with my foodie friends and exchange homemade goodness.  I took eggs and in return I got a steak & Guinness pie, granola, vegetarian green chili (that burned my mouth it was so spicy- Bryan will love it), apple crisp and some lovely spelt sourdough!

After the food swap I raced home to change clothes and pick up the fam so we could  go to Miss C's school fundraiser.  This is an annual fundraiser we do for scholarships and school supplies.  It was mass chaos with kids running around getting their faces painted and pictures taken!  There was also a balloon guy making what looked a gazillion balloon swords for the boys.   The food was delicious and I might have gone back for a second BBQ brisket sammie if I hadn't wanted to save room for dessert.

And then we lost an hour and I was tired yesterday.  After I got home from work I couldn't sleep and then overslept this morning.

Happy Monday my friends.


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My Path To Debt

My path to debt started when I was 20. It was my junior year at college and I had just bought textbooks for the spring semester. In each ...