Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a great holiday!!!

Also who is excited for the Doctor Who Christmas Special "The Snowmen"???

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I am becoming a very bad blogger.  I keep forgetting to update.  I have been very busy with other end of the semester and Christmas things.

I did read this...

Don't let the quote by Sherman Alexie (author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) on the cover throw you off.  He writes "This is a SCARY funny book OR a FUNNY scary book. In either case it is a GREAT book.  I LOVE IT." Alexie is correct it is funny, but I am not sure it is "scary."  It is suspenseful, but nothing scared me.  Maybe I am desensitized or I just think Sherman Alexie loves his opinions.

A very interesting read; a guy finds out he is a necromancer after being protected from the paranormal world his whole life.  It is written through a male point-of-view and no heavy romance. I really needed this change.

Apparently, it is a series so now I need to read...

Everything in YA seems to be a series.  What are you feeling on series?  Are they getting out of hand?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fever 1793

So long time no post...anyway.

I read Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson.  I knew it would be a good book because Anderson is an amazing author.  I loved Wintergirls.  I hope to read more of her work.

This is a sad and gripping story of 14 year old Mattie living in Philadelphia during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793. To say much more would give away a lot of spoilers.  Let's just assume the main character doesn't die.  That is all I can say.

Fever 1793 was very well written.  I learned a lot about the time period without too much preachiness. As my good friend says, historical fiction is the preachiest of the genres.

This completes my historical fiction challenge for 2012.  And there was much rejoicing!  I really enjoyed all the historical fiction that I read this year and I hope to continue to work it into my reading schedule.  There is just so much good fantasy and dystopia right now, it is hard to make room.

What should my 2013 reading challenge be?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Historical Fiction Update

I barely read over Thanksgiving break but I did finish reading A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson.

I love watching Downton Abbey and this book was recommended to me because the setting is very similar to the show, the English countryside at a manor after WWI.

Apparently the late teens and 1920s in England was a crazy time. End of the first World War and the end of the Russian empire probably would do that.  It just seems that the people were extra crazy and had fantastical ideas. Maybe people will think that about us when historical fiction is written about our time period.  I try not to be too judgy.

A Countess Below Stairs is about Anna, a countess, that fled Russia, with her family, to be penniless in England.  She goes into service as a maid.  She meets the Earl and they fall in love even though he is to marry someone else, a very horrible someone else.  Crazy hi-jinxes ensue on the wedding day. It was pretty predictabl,e but very enjoyable.  A bit long winded, but the details were nice.

4/5 stars

I highly recommend this one for other fellow lovers of Downton Abbey.

I have now read 4 of 5 Historical Fiction books for my 2012 challenge.  What should I read next?  I have five weeks to get it read.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Shopping

My family loves to shop and we love a good deal so we love Black Friday shopping.  This year is different though.  My grandmother is in the hospital and  my parents went up to South Dakota to see her.  (She had a really bad prognosis, but now is doing better and will survive.)  My mom is the glue that holds Black Friday shopping together for my sister and me.  Without her, is it just not he same.

My sister and I did manage to go out Thursday night before my sister had to go to work at 10 PM.  My mother-in-law came too.  I got a few things for D and something very special for me....

All three seasons of The Vampire Diaries!!!!! I am so, so happy.  I love this show.  I have to wait another week for the next new episode.  It is torture.  Season 4 is amazing.

This morning, the actual Black Friday, my husband and father-in-law are out shopping and I am home (well not my home, my in-law's home) with the little girl and dogs.

I am excited for Small Business Saturday tomorrow.  I am going to a yarn store in Bettendorf, IA called Knit & Knot to buy some yarn for a sweater. (I wish I could shop The Fiber Universe, but we will not be in Peoria.)

I am going to make this...
Rocky Coast Cardigan 

It is from the book Coastal Knits.  I love Hannah Fettig; she designs great things.  She was the designer of my first sweater, the Yoked Cardigan. Two other knitters I know have made it and it looks pretty fabulous in-person.  Not sure when I will actually get to the knitting of this cardigan, but it is good to be prepared.

What are you shopping for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I remade the Calorimetry...

It is so much better is time around.  Last time, not so good. Plus, I think I figured out why my knitting was so loose; it was my tension.  I am now holding my tension differently and things are working much better.  I still don't know why my swatches and finished projects didn't match up, but I don't think that will be a problem with my new tension holding.  I can't even say it is a new way of holding my tension.  I used to always hold my yarn that way but them migrated to the loosey-goosey way.  Well I am back and it is great.  I re-knit on the same size needles with the new/old tension way and it turned out pretty great.

I loved using the Malabrigo Worsted yarn.  Such heavenly stuff to work with.  It didn't even get tangly or weird being re-knit. 5 star yarn!

This will be going to a lovely person for Christmas.  I hope they love it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Adventures

We had a great weekend.  We had nothing planned.  No one was coming to visit.  Just a weekend.

My husband decided it was time he cleaned out all his old teaching stuff from the attic.  You know, since he hasn't been a teacher since we moved to Peoria and never wants to be a teacher ever again.  We now have lots of space in the attic for...more junk?

He also decided it as time to clean out D's room and rearrange it for her new bed.

He made her this bed last month.

I am not the only crafty one in this family.

The problem with this bed is that it takes up a lot of room.  We need to figure out how to get her dresser and bookshelves back in.  Oh and all the toys.  So many, many toys.  This girl may be spoiled.

Besides all this hard work, I got tons of knitting done and finished several Christmas gifts. 

Today, I am off work again because I had to take D to the hospital for an out-patient procedure.  They needed to test her pooping muscles and see if she had anything wrong that is causing her constipation woes. 

Luckily, the test went well and there is nothing physically wrong with her, she just uses her muscles wrong and so can not fully void her bowels.  She will need physical therapy but she should get better.  I am so thankful she will get better without surgery.

Because today is a special day, D dressed herself.

She does have a very unique sense of style.  All the hospital staff loved it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Yarn

I finally got around to spinning another yarn. 

This is 112 yards of 100% Merino Superwash in a nice pretty brown.

I tried to ply this one tighter than my previous yarns and I think I did better.  This is my 6th yarn.  I still need a lot more practice and probably some lessons (Hint: Christmas gift idea!!)

So what should I make it into?  I have yet to make any of my handspun into any finished object.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Loose Knitter

Recently I developed a problem, I knit a bit too loosely.  I am not sure how it came to this.  I used to knit near to gauge or down just one needle size.  Then over the past summer, it was two needle sizes.  Now this fall, going down two needle sizes is not enough.

This is Calorimetry, an ear warmer pattern.

Image by Kathryn Schoendorf on Raverly

Great pattern, super easy to remember the turns and count.  No stupid flower on top.

I used the best yarn ever.  New to The Fiber Universe last week was Malabrigo Worsted!!! This might be my new favorite yarn.  Gorgeous colorways and so soft.

This is Stonechat.  I got another color of the Malabrigo Worsted for another project.  I can barely wait to start.

I finished and then realized that normal people don't have the size head required for this thing.  Maybe Stewie Griffin or some other fictional character.

I went down two needle sizes. I swatched.  And yet, huge ear warmer.  Not suitable for a Christmas gift, as I had hoped.

So I frogged it. I am pretty proud of myself for frogging it (or ripping it all our to the layperson.)  It takes a lot to get to the point in your knitting journey to get to where you will just rip out hours and hours of work instead of rationalizing that the item is fine (when it is obviously not).  It is now a ball of wool waiting for me to try again.

I need to figure out this loose knitting problem.  The socks I spent much of this year knitting and then hiding away only to knit again, also turned out to be a bit loose even through I swatched.  The swatches are lying to me!!! Or maybe I can't count right.  I might need to start holding the tension in my yarn differntly.  Or maybe I am doomed to keep going down and down in needle size.

Any suggestions?

Monday, November 12, 2012


I ran a 5k on Saturday.  It was nice to only run 3 miles, but I was also stressed because this race was on "home" turf.  My employer held their first race, Run 101 with 5k and 15k options.  I knew a lot of people at this race. In fact, I knew a majority of  the runners, and I wanted to beat them.

I placed 3rd in my age group and 27th overall!  I thought I would place because of the small number of runners, but I wasn't sure.  It feels pretty good to be 3rd best in 20-29 y/o females.

I barely had time to get home and shower after the race before my in-laws showed up.  They came to take down a dead tree in our backyard and to haul the wood away.  I am so thankful for their visit!  (Especially since on Sunday it was so windy the tree could have lost more branches and caused some major damage on our house or out neighbor's.)

While everyone was hard at work with the tree,  I got to sneak away to my favorite store, The Fiber Universe.  It was their 1 year anniversary.  I had to celebrate with a bit of shopping and knitting.

I have good knitted things to show you later this week!

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I have two rumbles going on.

1. The daylight savings time change has me all messed up.  I am hungry and sleepy at all the wrong times.  I know I have gone through this time change business twice a year for the past 29 years, but it still messes with my internal time clock, I think more than my daughter's.  She seems to be fine and on a good schedule.  I, however, seem to have a perpetual "rumbly in my tumbly". I now better understand Pooh and his plight to get honey in an attempt satiate his rumbly.  I often feel as though a bee hive wouldn't stop me.

2. Election day was on Tuesday.  I voted early so, I didn't have to wait in line or worry about making it to the polls on time.  It was my first time voting in Illinois, and for the first time I knew that my presidential vote would be for the same person as the state's electoral votes.  My past two votes for president have been located in Iowa (swing state and in 2004 swung the way of not-my-vote) and in Tennessee (not a swing state, always the way of not-my-vote).  2012 was different for me, the media "called" Illinois  for President Obama with 0% of the precincts reporting.  A few hours later, President Obama was named the winner of the election.  This is causing quite the rumble.  I know a lot of people happy and unhappy with this outcome.  Personally, I am very happy, which should not be shocking to my friends and family.  What is shocking is the horrible stuff being passed around on blogs, talk radio and social media.  People saying things and really hurting other's feelings.  It is just not right.  It is more vicious than ever.  This is coming from a lady who owns a "the only bush I trust is my own" t-shirt. (That was just plain funny and a bit oppositional.)  It was a hard fought election and very emotional on all sides.  Discussion and arguments over politics is fine, but it needs to be done respectfully.  Something I think we have all forgotten.  Something everyone needs to work on.

I am really proud of America and the amazing new senators and representatives at the state and national level. (And that a local library bond finally passed!)  I am happy that in a country where women make up half of the population, we can have more female congresspersons.  The diversity of the newly-elected officials is something to celebrate: openly gay, disabled, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian-American, etc.  When there are more representatives like this, I feel that our country's government is better because it actually represents the amazing diversity throughout the nation.  A representational government should represent the population.

I am also excited that four states voted for marriage equality.  I know this is another hotly contested issue.  I personally think that all Americans have the right to marry another person.  In Tennessee in 2006, I voted No on a constitutional amendments banning gay marriage.  It passed anyway by a large majority. I am glad to see, 6 years later, people and states are saying no to banning gay marriage.   I again hope that Americans can be civil toward one another and accept other people's convictions on this matter.  Diversity is something that makes America so great.  We are united in our diversity.

Now that the election is over, it is time to move forward with the future of our country.  It is time to get along with each other and not fight...for a least a few years.....

If you read this and agree or disagree, please leave respectful comments. I usually don't get a lot of comments and they are always very nice, but when talking politics, you never know.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Money is one of those impolite topics to discuss, but I am am going to discuss it.  Today, we paid off the balance on our credit card!!!!  It has been a long, long road.  I never thought we would have credit card debt.  We were married for four-and-a -half years without credit card debt so, I really did not see why we would ever need to carry a balance, until I got this job, three years ago this month.

Now getting a job you would think would be the opposite of going into credit card debt, but not for us.  Me getting this job meant paying for us to quickly move to another state, paying rent at an apartment and the mortgage on our house in Nashville, my husband unemployed without unemployment benefits, and my education loans coming out of deferment. D was 18 months old and we had to pay for diapers and tons of clothes as she seems to be growing much faster than an average child. Oh and both our cars needed repairs.

About 6 months after moving to Peoria, my husband got a job, low-paying compared to his job before  but a job.  We also sold our house in Nashville, but lost all of our equity, our savings, and had to borrow $6000 from my parents to sell it.  At least we didn't have the mortgage to pay anymore.

We started to recover, but those months left us with credit card debt.  People told us, you are young, you'll recover.  But it didn't feel that way.

Three years later, we finally paid off the credit card balance!!!!  We still owe money to both of our parents, but we are making monthly payments and have made a good dent in the total that we owe them. Plus they don't charge interest or change our credit score.

I am so thankful that I had good credit and could have a credit card to help us out through a very difficult time in our lives.  I am now so thankful that the debt is gone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Knitting is like that

Part of my 2012 challenge for The Fiber Universe is to knit gloves...

Done and done.   I decided to make child size for D. 

The yarn is Jojoland Baritone (loved this wool! first time using it.) and the pattern is Gloves for Kids.

Only there is one problem...

They are not the same size.  I seem to have forgotten some important step in the palm area on the second one making it smaller.  Knitting is like that, very unforgiving if you, you know, forget to do something.

I have enough yarn to make a thrid.  Maybe then I will get a matching pair.  Or maybe I will just throw these in the pile of knitted objects never to be used.

Still on a teal kick....

Next project might still be teal.  But after that no teal..........


Sunday, October 21, 2012


It is not secret, we are a football family.  My husband has turned my daughter into a Packer fan which is just horrible for his Vikings fan.  

Anyway, when I saw this pattern from Knit Picks on Pinterest. I had to buy it and make it.

The pattern is Faster Football Hat.

The yarn is ???

Again, my model either does this or won't let me take her picture at all.

What is your football team?  Or do you not care?

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Trick

This is my newest trick:

This warn was white when I started.  There are three shades of green/ teal in the skein now.  I am on a teal kick.

I took a class at The Fiber Universe and learned to dye yarn with things around the house like food coloring or Kool-Aid and a Crock-Pot.

I am so excited to try it at home soon.

What colors do you think I should try?  I need something not teal.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another KAL

I may or may not subscribe to a variety of knitting and crochet magazines.  One of my favorites is Knit Simple. 

The new holiday issue just came out.  One of the regular columns is Vickie Howell's knit-a-long (KAL).  

I don't know waht it is about a quick and simple KAL, but I can't resist.

The pattern is Happy Cowliday.

The yarn is Teal Heather- Cascade Pacific. I am on a huge teal kick.

I even got D to model for me.  She is such a ham.

She is trouble.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Purple Yarn or Number 5

Spinning yarn is a crazy thing.  I start out with a ball of fluff and end up with this.

This is 100% Superwash Merino Wool about 8 oz.  I love this purple; there are beautiful shades of red and blue throughout.

It took a long time for me to make this. It is my fifth yarn ever.  Not sure on the yardage.  I forgot to get an accurate count on my niddy-noddy.  I tried to spin a thinly as I could.  I am starting to get the hang of spinning, but I think I need a few lessons to get better.

I am now working on spinning a much chunkier brown yarn.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Candy Corn

A few months ago, a friend from my book club asked me to make her this

I had no pattern.  Just his picture.

I had a tough time finding the fun fur/eyelash yarn/fuzzy yarn.  I ended  up getting that yarn from two different stores plus eBay. 

I just cast on and made a bit of a sack with arm holes. I was doing great, then I somehow lost one of the orange eyelash yarns and had to order another on eBay, adding a 5 day wait to finish the project.

But here it is. 

I am sending it out today.

What do you think?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Catching up

I have been home for the past three weekends.  Three whole weekends in a row.  Now this may not sound like a long time, but for me it is.  I don't know that last time we have been home three weekends in a row.

Since we moved to central Illinois (nearly 3 years ago) we are only about 100 miles away from both my parents and my husband's.  This was a huge change from a 9-10 hour drive when we lived in Nashville, to now under 2 hours.  This has been great because D has spend a lot of time with her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  But it has also meant that we are gone a lot of weekends.

It is hard to build a life in a new town when we are gone a lot of weekends.  It is hard to get things done around the house when you are away from the house.  It is very stressful for me to be gone so much and fall so far behind with housework and relaxation.

After these past few weekends home, I feel energized and I am starting to get caught up with my long to-do list.

I finally got to play with my Cricut.  My parents gave it to me for my birthday, in May.   The box has been sitting out on a chair in the dinning room for a long time.

I packed up all the too small clothes for D.  She grew 1.5 inches in the past 6 weeks so it was a perfect time to get fall/winter clothes out.  I switched out my closet for fall while at it.  It is like shopping with things I already own. 

I did some mending, knit a lot and did some yard work, despite the rain.  I picked up, cleaned, organized and took care of the things I just leave for another day.  I cooked meals. I played with D.  We had a nice evening going out to dinner at Chili's.

For church today, I dryed my hair and straightened it.  I even put make up on.  I haven't even felt like doing that in weeks.

I have tons to do at work tomorrow and papers to grade for my class, but that is tomorrow.  Right now, I feel caught up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Judging a Book By Its Cover

So, which one did you think I would like?


both images via Goodreads
Here is the deal... 
Something Like Normal is an amazing book but a horrible, HORRIBLE cover.   I can totally see why a boy wouldn't want to read this, but it is a boy book.  Or at least it has a male protagonist and it is all about his experiences as a Marine being deployed to Afghanistan at 18 years old and his first time on leave.  I have no idea what the publisher was thinking on this one.  YA books are known for really embarrassing covers and this one might be the king of all embarrassing covers.  But the story, is so amazing.  Travis is suffering from undiagnosed PTSD and on his first leave at home is having trouble coping with home life.  He has nightmares and visions of his dead best friend. Travis story is one of figuring out how to cope (and a few make-out sessions, but not enough to warrant the cover of the book.) It is the story of hundreds of men and women returning from war at the age of 19.  It is manly and touching at the same time.

A Discovery of Witches, on the other hand, is an adult book with whiny teenage overtones.  The protagonist, Diana, started out pretty cool.  Independent woman, scholar, tenured at Yale, runner, rower, witch, all-around pretty awesome woman from my academic librarian standpoint.  But then she falls in love with a vampire and becomes a total crazy person.  When teens fall in love with vampires and become crazy, that makes sense because teens are a bit crazy.  They are new at the whole love and hormone thing.  But Dianna is late-30-something, super-educated and independent woman who, as a witch herself, falls in love with a vampire.  This is Edward and Bella on adult steroids and I really don't like to compare every vampire story to Twilight. Diana knows very little about this Matthew and is head over heels nearly immediately.  Anyway, the book was way too long and drawn out.  I see why some people really liked it and why it was a best-seller but, I won't be reading more of this series.  I have no desire to see what happens next.  But great cover!

So which one would you have liked?

Monday, October 8, 2012

2 Books

I finished reading two books over the weekend.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Image from Goodreads

Something like Normal by Trish Doller

Image from Goodreads.

One I loved, the other I did not.  Any guesses?  No peaking at my Goodreads reviews.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Blogging was so much easier in the summer.  Since school began, I have barely any time to reflect or compose my thoughts.  I hope to do better in the coming weeks, so bare with me, my 5 loyal readers.  October looks to be a bit less hectic that September (hope, hope, hope).  I have books to review and fabulous items to show off.  I will find more time to do this, right? After I finish grading essays, right?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Twin Stockings

Over the weekend, I did nothing I didn't want to do.  My schedule has been pretty crazy lately so I really needed a relaxing weekend.

On Saturday I read a lot (A Discovery of Witches) and watched a disc of Grimm's first season.  I am so happy we have Netflix.  Life is so much better with it.    I finished one stocking and started another. On Sunday, I watched the movie Serenity and, beside crying when Wash died, I finished the other stocking.

They are for my cousin's twins.  I just have to stitch the names in.

The pattern was cut from a magazine by my aunt so I decided to go with that pattern for her grandbabies.  The pattern is "Christmas Stocking with Swirls" (sans swirls) by Galina Carroll and I used Deborah Norville's Serenity Chunky Weight yarn.

So now, in the past few weeks, I have made four stockings and D still has a store bought one.  I guess that is life.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Third time's a charm?

I ran my third half-marathon yesterday.  The Quad Cities Marathon started when I was in high school.  The inaugural year, some of the girls cross country team and I ran the 5 person relay.  15 years later, I was back to run half of it.

The weather was cool and brisk, my favorite running weather.  The course was scenic, right long the Mississippi River for a good majority.  The amenities along the race course and volunteers were great (except for the one water/Gatorade station that was out, that sucked).

The morning started out okay.  I didn't feel as crappy as I did the night before.  After battling some bridge traffic and trying to find parking, I parked (next to my childhood dentist, she recognized me before I recognized her) and made it to the starting area with enough time to work almost up to my pace group and hear the national anthem.  The starting cannon went off and we were running. Yes, not a starting gun, a cannon.  It was loud and surprising.  My beginning mile times were not bad, I reached the first mile in 9:12, but by then I had also stepped in two potholes and hence twisted my ankle twice.  I skipped the first water station and when I got water at the second, I choked on it.  Then around the 4 mile mark my foot went numb.  And on it went for 9 more miles, weird running problems, one after another.  I didn't have to stop to go to the bathroom or throw up, though, so maybe I should just focus on those positives.

I ran 13.1 miles in 2:07:50 which is about 9:46/mile.  Not my best, in fact it is my worst, but I finished.  I did finish before the first marathon finisher so that is something. I was the 975th person to cross the line.

From the beginning this race seemed doomed.  My training was poor.  I had random bouts of illness.  I was  home sick from work last Friday.  So all in all, I gave it a good effort for what I had and finished.

Today I am sore head-to-toe.  But I am moving and that is what matters.

Friday, September 21, 2012

TV Creations

This week is going by way to fast for me.  I barely have time to tell you all about the great things I made during my TV binge over last weekend.

I crocheted two baby blankets:

Yes, two whole blankets done.  They are both about 30" X30".   They are the same exact pattern.  Just a big granny square until you run out of yarn.  My type of pattern.  I love how they both turned out.  I did not plan for the second one to look like a watermelon, but it does!  Very cool random occurrence.  Now I have to ship them off to the pretty babies I have never met.

I knitted several bibs:

Two are not pictured.  I sometimes forget to take pictures of what I make. Bad blogger.

And I finished my second waldo stocking:

(This photo will not rotate and I am too tired to keep working on it, argh.)
I also finished making a pretty purple yarn, but more on that later.

Also, happy 30th birthday to my husband!!!!

I am running my third half-marathon this weekend so I will tell you all about it next week.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TVD + Yarn

Do you watch The Vampire Diaries?  No?  I do.  I love it.  I randomly picked it out on Netflix earlier this year and got hooked.  I quickly watched the first two season and then all summer I had to wait for the next season to become available.  Season three just became available last week and I had to watch the whole season before season four starts on October 11.  So naturally, I just finished a three day bender of watching all 22 episodes of the third season.  I am discovering that the CM is like YA books on TV.  Love it!

Image via TVD's Pinterest

It was an amazing season--lots of action and unexpected plot twists.  I cried through most of episodes 21 and 22. Why am I so emotionally attached to fantasy characters?  Nothing that happens in any episode could possibly ever be true, but I still feel emotionally attached.  Worried. Gripped.  Maybe it is because I always hoped for supernatural things as a child and never really grew out of that.

Also, I have to admit, I love a love triangle.  I am rooting for Damon because he is much more interesting, amazing and of course attractive.  Ian Somerhalder is amazing!  Who wouldn't root for him as Damon, even if he is technically playing a villain.

Image via Wikipedia

Such a good looking man and I love his acting.  My inner-14-year-old-girl wants posters of him all over my bedroom.  I was am so crushed that his character Damon and Elena (played by Nina Dobrev) are not a couple (yet????) in TVD.  But I found out, in real life, they are a couple and that makes me happy. I rooting for you Ian and Nina!  

The librarian in me thinks I need to read the books the series is based on (The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith), but I am not sure.  I have so much to read as it is.  I think I will just love the show for what it is for now, but I have suspicion I will end up reading the books.

With my watching bender comes a whole host of finished objects.  I crocheted two baby blankets.  Knitted a few baby bibs and finished another Waldo stocking. Not too shabby.  More to to share with you all throughout the week.

Who is your TV heart-throb? Any other great shows I should be watching?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I am a knitting machine.

Here is yet another finished project....

Gaptastic Cowl in Cascade Pacific Chunky.  Lovely and quick.  I highly recommend the pattern and the yarn.

This too is for my co-worker.  I also made another scarf for her, but forgot to take photos before sending it off.  Such a rookie blogger mistake.  Well maybe just a blogger mistake, I think I will forever be a rookie at this blogging thing.

I am making good progress on the stocking too so I have almost completed her order.  The order that I thought would take me months not a few weeks to fulfill.  I guess you don't know until you try and are motivated by actually making money.

Soon I will have to turn my attention to baby items as I am behind in making things for the FOUR babies born to family and friends this year.

So you feel like everyone you know is pregnant or has a new born?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Two Hats

I made these hats sometime in the past month but forgot to show them off on the blog.

Robin's Egg Blue Hat  in Cascade Pacific Chunky


Regular Guy Beanie in Cascade Pacific.

There is a Cascade Pacific theme, if you couldn't tell.  It is such a soft and shiny yarn.  Not to say it doesn't have problems.  It tends to have knots and it splits very easily, but the more I work with it the more I am willing to forgive those faults.  I have been in a forgiving mood lately...for yarn.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Things I Should Know

Today I ran my last really long run (10 miles) before my half marathon race in two weeks.  This is my third time training for a half marathon, but I think this is my worst go at it.  I just can't get a rhythm.  I am not finishing the whole distance I planned to cover or not running at all.  I feel just so pitiful.

Anyway by now I should really know some things about running.  I read three running magazines. I read running books.  I follow professional runners on Facebook and Twitter.  I have friends that are runners.  I would think I would not set myself up for pain and bad runs.  But I do.

First mistake: I slept in instead of getting a good, cool start.  It was actually nice to sleep.  I couldn't get the run in early because  my husband told me last night that he had an eye doctor appointment in the morning so that nixed my plans for an early run.

Second mistake: I went with my family to the farmer's market and then to Five Guys for lunch...followed by going to Berry Cherry for frozen yogurt.  Bad idea for running.  Such a bad idea.  I usually have to run on an empty/nearly empty stomach to not get sick. A giant burger, fries and frozen yogurt is the opposite of a empty stomach.

Third mistake: landscaping- well this actually happened first since it happened yesterday.  I volunteered with my employer to go to the United Way Day of Caring.  The ICC group went to the Urban League to paint and landscape.  I may have over done it with the weeding and mulching because my hamstrings are so, so sore today.

There is a whole host of other mistakes I have made today and in the past few days, but they all led to a pretty un-stellar run today. 1:40-10 minute miles. I felt horrible and sore and I still feel that way a few hours later. But I finished.  I am running the Pumpkin Classic 10k next weekend and the QC Half Marathon the following.  And then maybe I can rest a bit.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Waldo's Stocking

I made a stocking last week.  This is for a co-worker's nephew.

It went together much faster than I thought and with less yarn.  This is my first stocking so I really didn't know what to expect. 

I use the pattern Striped Holiday Stocking by Red Heart.  I added a few rows and changed-up the color changes.  I used I Love this Yarn from Hobby Lobby.  Until I got to the heel, it had a real Where's Waldo feeling.  I still think it gives a good Waldo vibe.

I have three more stockings to make: one more for my co-worker and two for my cousin's twins.  My daughter doesn't have a handmade stocking from me so, maybe I should make one for her too.  I really like her store bought one though...it has sparkles.

This stocking only took about a week to make. I feel I am in good shape to get the others made as long as I don't get second-sock syndrome.  What's that, you say?  Second-sock syndrome happens when a knitter makes one sock but can't find the will to finish the pair.  It is a real problem among knitters.  I am currently having some second-sock syndrome with a pair of socks I started in the spring...only I am making them two-at-a-time so, I am just stuck on the foot of both.  I think that totally counts as second-sock syndrome.

With these stockings under way, I now think I have to start thinking about Christmas knitting and what I will be making, but for now, it is the beginning of September and I am just trying to make it through the week.  This fall semester is crazy.  I have 20 students in my online class and it is so hard for me to keep up.

Have you begun to think about holiday gifts?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Matchy Sweater Complete

I finished D's sweater that "matches" mine.

It just barely fits her.  I think it should last through most of this winter.  She is growing so fast.  She isn't even 4 1/2 yet and wearing size 6 or 6x clothes.  We even bought one pair of size 7 jeans just to be prepared (and they were awesome stone wash purple jeans.).

The weather looks to be on a cooling trend this week, but it will be awhile before it is sweater season.  I have made three sweaters in the past two months and I have weeks to wait until sweater season.  I just doesn't seem fair.

Are you looking forward to a fall cool down?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


My hat was mentioned and shown on Vickie Howell's blog!!!


That is my hat!  She called me Michell523 but I am Michelle523.  Whatever, I am so excited!!!!!


Greatest Show on Earth

We took D to see the circus this weekend. 

I took D to see a small circus at Adventureland earlier this year, but it was not a very good circus so, I am going to count this as her first "real" circus experience.  The Adventureland circus didn't have animals so, I really don't think that counts. Right?

We went with D's cousins, my mom, sister and brother-in-law.  The girls got fun hair with cotton candy and my nephew was spoiled by his other Aunt and got a sword.

We saw death defying acts...

Amazing animals...

And one really cool guy on the tallest stilts ever....


It was a great show for children of all ages.

Do you like the circus?  What is your favorite part?