Monday, December 28, 2009

Focus word for the New Year

Ali Edwards, one of the superstars of the scrapbooking world, picks a word to focus on for the new year. In 2007, it was peace. In 2009 it was nurture. But in 2008, it was vitality. She says:


Vitality is the state of being strong and active; energy.
Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Creatively.
Here's to moving forward. To fullness of life. To you and yours.


I looked up the word vitality at dictionary.com:

1. exuberant physical strength or mental vigor: a person of great vitality.
2. capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence: the vitality of an institution.
3. power to live or grow: the vitality of a language.
4. vital force or principle


I especially like #2: "capacity. . .for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence."
But I also like #1. "exuberant physical strength or mental vigor."
I like #3: power to live or grow.
I like Ali's term--"fullness of life".

Vitality. Yeah, I like it.

That blows my skirt up. Takes my breath away. Inspires me.

Vitality.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Finish-Up Week

Per the Holiday Grand Plan, it is Finish-Up Week. I'm certainly not finished up, but I'm confident I will be finished soon.

I had to reschedule at work to Wednesday, which is going to screw up my shopping/decorating/baking/sewing/sending out Xmas cards plans this week, but DearHusband is extra busy at work and probably will not be able to take off any time to shop/decorate/bake/sew/send out Xmas cards with me anyway.

Making a plan and sticking to it is going to be very important in the next two weeks.

SHOPPING
I can get started on my shopping easily. I have some gift lists from my kids to get started from, and I will start making phone calls to chat with others. YoungGirl is going to be hard, she hates gift cards and won't make a list. EasyOnTheEyes will be pretty easy; gift cards for restaurants. #1DIL is easy. I could give her anything and she will LOVE it. (God bless her mother. I LOVE my DIL.)

DECORATING
Decorating inside is nearly finished. Thanks to not working last night, I was able to get most of the decorating finished. Hopefully it will be sunny today and I can take some pictures and post them.
Decorating outside hasn't even begun. Dear Husband has a lot on his plate. I'm just not sure it's going to happen.

BAKING
I had every intention of baking cookies, etc. ahead of time but everything magically disappeared as it was baked. Even the cookies I froze somehow disappeared.
I will make some cookies for this Friday's Xmas Tree Decorating Party, and I'll throw the rest in the freezer with warning tags--DO NOT EAT--on them.
I need to plan the menu for the party this Friday (gosh, that's SOON!)

SEWING/CRAFTING
I know I said I wanted to sew some linens for the dining room, but with the change in schedule, it just may not happen.
I've been working on a stocking for Gbuddy. Go look at it here.
And, oh, as an aside, the Adult Tomten jacket is nearly finished.

XMAS CARDS
This. I'm just not confident this will happen. DearHusband insisted that he would write a newsletter this year. He hasn't started.

Edited to add: Geez, I sound bleak. I really don't feel that way.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Decorating for Xmas

It's the middle of the night and I'd like to be finishing up the Xmas decorating, but can't make a lot of racket for fear of waking DH. Instead I will do some virtual decorating.

The Entry:

Last Year:

Other than being boring, the felt around the bottom of the trees looks BAD! And the trees look bad. I remember playing around with the limbs for about an hour, trying to get them to look good. That'll be a must again this year. I will cut the felt into thinner strips and put little white lights in and among the felt strips to try to wow it up a bit. I have some small figurines, carolers and a skier, etc., which I will place at the base of the tree. I think I will buy some big premade white paper snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling over the little trees.
**************************************************************************************

I will place a large poinsettia or christmas cactus or other xmas-y plant in the planter. This area will look very different, due to the new lamps I bought over the summer for my beloved red table.

The Dining Room:
**************************************************************************************

I do like the silver on the buffet, but the pinecones/dried roses in the crystal bowl are too monochromatic. I need a big bright plant or an eye-catching floral arrangement. I bought a large glass apothecary jar over the summer to use at the wedding reception, and I will fill it with red, green and gold glass balls instead of the trifle bowl I used last year.
I would like to find some shades with more bling for the buffet lamps and add shades/garland to the chandelier. I think I have some black shades with gold interiors in storage.
**************************************************************************************

The cactus will have its cactus lights as usual.
**************************************************************************************

I am hoping to make the linens for the table out of this beautiful Buchanan tartan fabric.
**************************************************************************************

I also want to make kidney pillow for each host chair of the maroonish velvet and machine embroider each one with a big black S.

And now I'm sleepy. Night, night.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This week

This week the is Decor Week, according to the Holiday Grand Plan. But dear husband and I have planned to take off a few days from work and do all of our decorating and send out holiday cards (newsletter) and ready for our Christmas Tree Decorating party, which will happen next Friday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The older I get, the faster time flies by.

And how.

I "missed" posting last week, so I will only mention that last week was supposed to be attic and storage week, but I am behind a few weeks, and it is really family room week for slow ol' me. That is perfect, as I want the family room to be the cleanest room in the house. I will also do dining room week this week, so that my dining room is also clean, clean, clean. This sounds like a lot, but it's really not, as I am off work Monday through Thursday. Everyone is bringing something for dinner, and all I have to cook is the meat and dressing and cranberries. Hubby will be responsible for the meat, so my part is easy-peasy. Clean, cook a couple things and decorate.

Um, yeah. Decorate. I haven't even thought about that. I've done a few things, but not nearly "enough". I'll have to get on that. You know, like wash and iron linens and make sure I have enough dishes and silverware and serving dishes and flowers and such.

And I skipped over the Garage/Storage and Attic/Storage Areas, due to being ill, but it worked out perfect because the husband wants to hit these areas hard. We are trying to close down the storage facility and get rid of/use the stuff we have there and in the attic and garage as well. We have a plan for the cabinets we want to install in the garage, where we will be able to store the tables/chairs/other seasonal items such as tablecloths/napkins/serving dishes, etc. I'm also hoping to get the seasonal decorating items out of the attic and into cabinets in the garage where they will be much more accessible to me. (I'm terrified of carrying totes up and down those attic pull-down stairs.)

So much has happened over the last few weeks, illnesses and a death in the family, and changes at work. Which leads me to "the older I get" part I alluded to in the title of this post. Yup. Feelin' old. I ended up in the ER a couple weeks ago. Yeah, me, a first. Stomach virus ----> electrolyte imbalance ----> totally cramped up and couldn't voluntarily move my arms and legs and PAIN!! After some IV fluids and antiemetic/pain medicine, I was ready for home, but the recuperation was slow. As in old and slow. I went back to work four days later, but was sorry I did. That was one miserable shift. Two days later I felt normal about eight hours, and the next day I felt completely normal.

Subsequent to that illness, I had my annual blood work done, and got some "off" results. I was still so demoralized from the virus I didn't even do my usual arguing with the doctor about starting an antihypertensive and thyroid medication. I've had low thyroid levels for years but had not really felt like I was symptomatic, and although I always have an elevated blood pressure at the doctor's office, I'd never been able to get an elevated one at home or work. He had been encouraging me to take the meds for several years and when he said, "It's time", I just rolled over and said "ok". I was waiting to hear the thump of him falling off his chair, but he must have been bracing himself.

I've been taking the thyroid for about a week now, the only difference I've noticed so far is that I feel much less foggy when I wake up. I don't have hours and yes, days of brain fog. This week I'll start the antihypertensive when I am home as I am worried about the side effects. I don't want to miss work.

I'll post later about other going-ons--gotta go pay attention to the husband.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh, I'm posting a little late for a preview of the activities for the week to come, work was tiring, and I spent a luxurious evening watching episodes from Season Three of "Lost", and knitting on the blanket edging for the soon-to-be-here baby. I promise I will take pictures of the knitting projects I've completed to date and post a ton SOON!

This week--OH MY! I just realized I MISSED AN ENTIRE WEEK of the Holiday Grand Plan! Not only did I do a pisspoor job of the kitchen (I told you I was dreading it), I totally missed doing the pantry and closets. Although I hate doing hours and hours of cleaning, I think I really will just buckle down and clean the kitchen AND the pantry and closets! It's okay, a little penance is good for the soul.

It doesn't really surprise me that I missed a whole week, as I babysat Gbuddy an additional day due to his babysitter being sick, DearDaughter had an eye infection (she is better now, but not 100%), which kept us on the phone a lot, I was in charge or in admit at work as well, which takes a lot out of me. There is a lot of stress going on at work as well, and I'm beginning to weigh the pros and cons of this job.

So here it is--the list--
KITCHEN:
Wipe out cabinets and drawers
Clean microwave, stove top and oven
Clean appliances (except refrigerator, which I DID do last week)
Clean decorative items
PANTRY:
Clean shelves and floor
CLOSETS:
Straighten and wipe shelves and floors
GENERAL:
Put Halloween decorations away and add some more fall/Thanksgiving type decorations
Choose Xmas newsletter graphics/pictures and have husband begin writing Xmas newsletter
Add Anne's newlywed recipe book pages to website--as much as I have and TRY to finish the rest of the pages--I think there are about ten more pages to go.
BAKING/COOKING:
Make a Xmas goodie or two--and add to recipe pages
Make a freezer dish or two with chicken--and add my favorite chicken dishes to the recipe pages

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baby Blanket Edging

I am knitting a genderless baby blanket in spring green, and the color makes me very happy. Gbuddy went with me to "pick out" yarn, and when I held up different colors, he picked the green too. It is Lion Brand Jiffy, and I think it is a good choice as it is washer friendly. I started by casting on one stitch with doubled yarn and increased at the beginning of each edge by knitting in the first stitch twice. I knit till I finished those first two balls, then began decreasing at the beginning of the edge with k1, k1, k1, pass 2nd stitch over the 3rd stitch. I know, I could have slipped the second stitch, but I like the look of this decrease.

I know this is a very plain, plain body, but my plan is to acknowledge the Irish background of the father of the baby, (who is very special to our family) and make a cabled edge. I am envisioning a separate edging in a simple cable such as in the Irish Hiking Scarf, and attach it as I go. What I will do when I get to the corners remains to be seen. I anticipate many tries on that first corner until I either conquer it or it conquers me.

The blanket body is a tad over half done, and I anticipate I will need another three to four hours to finish the body. The edging, I am sure, will take at least that much time. And it has to be finished by the end of the month. And this is October 25. I am having a good laugh at myself, as I am often heard complaining at work about families who haven't picked out a name yet for their baby, what have they been doing for the last nine months? And here I am not ready with the avalanche of presents I envision for this new babylove.

Gotta get to work--

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oh, good news! Daddy is still cancer-less, and can do his bloodwork every three months here in town. We will go back to Houston in one year. We are humbly counting our blessings.

This week is a busy one, trying to coordinate working out, eating well, cleaning and getting ready for the holidays in addition to that necessary evil, work, without losing my mind.

Working out: I've been looking at some new ways to work out, and just can't seem to get interested in anything new, right now the tried and true appeals to me. And so that means that I will be doing my 12 x 12 or Body For Life weights workout, with a goal of three times this week. I plan on doing those workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, watching TV. And I will also do three aerobic workouts, walking/jogging, etc., for about 40 minutes each workout, three times this week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Wednesday and Friday I will take Gbuddy with me. I'm hoping to do some yoga/pilates this week, when, I don't know, right now there doesn't seem to be time to fit it in, but it could be used in lieu of an aerobic workout if the weather is bad or before I go to bed on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday morning or before Gbuddy gets here on Wednesday and Friday.
I did have a lovely walk around and through Hermann Park. I wish I had known that it was there, as I would have walked it as often as possible. I walked for an hour and a half, and what a delightful surprise the Japanese Garden and the Promenade were. Walking in the downtown area was also delightful. There were several lovely parks with water features and beautiful plantings along Holcomb. I am looking forward to exploring the area on our next visit.

Eating/Cooking/Baking: I so enjoyed eating out last week, and I am afraid to stand on the scale this morning. (edited to add: I lost a pound over the last two weeks.) We ate very well at our hotel, the Rotary House International. The breakfast buffet was marvelous, and I fulfilled my intention of eating meat and veggies and fruit quite well. I also observed how different I felt (not good) when I did not eat well. It's such a no-brainer. Eat well, feel good, think clearly.
I made my menu plan for this week, and I don't need to buy anything for a few days, and then I will just need to buy a few things such as milk.
Right now I don't have plans to do a frozen meal, but that may change. I will try to find time to bake and freeze some holiday goodies, but I may focus on some Halloween goodies.
Freezing some meals ahead came in very handy last week, and Dear Husband enjoyed the lasagna and corn cheese rice casserole. All the salad makings and veggies are gone, which hopefully means he ate them and not that he threw them away.

Knitting: I am "almost" finished with the Peter Easy vest. Just about three more rounds of ribbing! I also knitted Gbuddy a pumpkin hat, oh, boy, is it the cutest! I knit a plain hat with a row of purl every ten stitches and then decreased every other row after the purl row. I then knitted up a leaf, using this pattern.

I am ready to knit the last sleeve on the Adult Tomten, especially since the weather is getting so cool, but find that I am needing to knit a few baby items. I will be digging in the stash today.

Cleaning: This week the Holiday Grand Plan calls for Kitchen Week, the week I've been dreading. I will do the best I can, but my kitchen is BIG! Right now I don't have plans to do a frozen meal, but that may change. I will finish up with the Halloween/fall decorating.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Slow week ahead

Well, maybe not a slow week--slow for cleaning house and cooking/baking/sewing maybe. This week I'll be out of town taking Daddy to Houston for his checkup. Actually, it's okay that it is a slow week for cleaning as this is "guest room" week and DD is living in the guest room, and she is doing her own cleaning for now. There is still plenty of time to do all the things I want to do before the holidays.
Today will be busy, trying to get things in order before I go, packing and cleaning and washing and making sure DH has enough to eat.
Knitting is moving along well; I have several things (Gbuddy's pumpkin hat, gaiter for a friend) almost finished.
I am about to finish the ribbing on the second armhole of the Peter Easy Vest. I will take it with me to Houston and I'm hoping to finish it this week. I am still trying to come up with a solution for the waistband. The vest is too short and I originally planned to make a straight bottom and knitted one inch, then a purl row, then straight knitting for the body. So far I can think of several options. Number one would be to pick up stitches so that it looks as if I have another row of purl bumps, knit as many stitches as I did for the turned-back hem portion and then another purl bump, etc., till it is as long as needed, then hem. The second option would be to pick up stitches and knit in ribbing to the desired length. This would match the armholes and neck ribbing, but I'm afraid the purl bump would look odd. The third option is to pick up stitches, knit around for an inch, purl a row for another purl bump, knit an inch, then knit ribbing for as long as needed. This option would potentially be too long. The fourth option would be to pick up stitches, knit a few inches of patterning, then finish with ribbing or a straight hem.
I will leave the Adult Tomten at home. It is just too heavy and bulky now, but oh, how I would love to finish it.
Instead, I will take some small projects with me such as hats and mittens.
I am reading some wonderful books. I finished reading "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith and enjoyed it very much. I will watch the movie as well, and have it in my Netflix queue. I also plan on watching "Ghost", "In the Garden of Good and Evil", "Gosford Park", "I Served the King of England", and "The Stranger".
I'm looking forward to having some quiet time waiting at the hospital to complete DD's recipe book. By the way, check out this blog post about favorite and classic casseroles, courtesy of edible distractions.
I've researched some walking trails, and not knowing Houston and I'll be doing some of that as well as working out in the fitness center while we are there. I'm going to pack my yoga and pilates dvd's too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crafty Doin's

I have a few things finished, a few things working--

Peter Easy--working on the second armhole ribbing.
Adult Tomten--working on the second sleeve.
I started a gaiter as a thank you for a friend. It is nearly finished.
I have also finished a few dishcloths. They are so handy, I just love them to death.
I made two pillows for the living room.

And if the sun ever shines again, I will take pictures and post them.

I am hoping to get some little things such as hats and mittens and socks/leggings made for Gbuddy, as the weather is getting quite cold.
I would also like to make some machine embroidered pillows for the dining room host chairs, and a seasonal table topper for the dining room table.
I am wanting to knit some seasonal dishcloths for the kitchen--pumpkin, turkey, etc.

DD's recipe book is nearly finished; I think I have just six more recipes to scrap. I plan to post them on my website as a .pdf with just the recipes, and as separate pages as I have scrapbooked them.

Kids' Rooms Week

This week is Kids' Rooms. For me, that will be the workout room and the cra(p)ft room.

The other things on the list that I will do for this week are:
* Make two batches of Holiday Goodies. (Since I missed doing one last week.)
* Make one extra meal for freezer again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL.

Halloween is on my mind. I want to knit Gbuddy a pumpkin hat and decorate the house for Fall/Halloween. I will try to get DH to retrieve the appropriate box from the attic today.

DIL says that Gbuddy wants some hats. I'm looking at the Toasty Topper, this Anime Character Bonnet, a Lil' Devil Hat, a Little Monkey Baby Hat, and some plainish cable or fair isle hats.

And of course he needs mittens and socks and maybe even a sweater. I need to get a move on!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Catch-Up Post for Last Week

*I made rice corn and cheese casserole and froze some lasagna.
*Last week was bathroom week--I deep cleaned the bathroom except for the floors, which I will do this week.

The Grandbaby had the flu and his mom was too sick to care for him, so I had him on Monday and took him to the doctor on Tuesday. I made sure I did all my chores before I went to work on Wednesday, and it was a good thing, because I came down with the flu on Thursday. I was sick on Friday, too, but luckily had it only two days and was able to go back to work on Saturday/Sunday. Poor Hubby has had it for almost a week now, he has had it BAAAD.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How My Day Really Turned Out

9-10: dress, prepare for day--did that
10-11: daily chores, dinner prep, laundry, hit the hot spots--did that, too
11-12: errands--grocery--and that.
12-1: lunch, rest, tv and knitting, look over budget book, laundry, hot spots--umm, this is where it fell apart. I didn't knit. I did look over the budget and do some laundry. And then I napped. Till 1:30.
1-2: clean house--umm, no. From 1:30 to 3:00 I straightened the house and cleaned out my bedroom closet. I got a bunch of stuff out of there that will never fit me, and I'll let my daughter look at it before I give it up to charity.
2-3: walk dog, lift weights, core work. I actually did this from 3:00-4:30. With a little bit of emailing thrown in.
3-4: clean house--well, this didn't get done either.
4-5: sewing--play with machine embroidery; and neither did this, but I did clean house from 430-530
5-6: make corn/cheese/rice, dough for calzones, dough for cookies; chat with Chip; did no cooking, but I'll do it tomorrow.
6-7: make dinner; eat, p.m. chores; Dear Husband brought home burgers for dinner, and I did my p.m. chores.
7-8: clean bedroom closet, dust/polish in bedroom--I did this from 2:30-3:00, and from 4:30 to 5:00. From 7-8:30 I had a massage, and took an Epsom salts bath.
8-9: tv/added recipes to website (corn/cheese/rice, cookies, calzones).
9-10: worked on anne's cookbook

Restless

I'm feeling so restless. I want to go in so many different directions--cooking/baking/scrapbooking/sewing/knitting/exercising/reading/tv. When what I need to do is clean my house. And that's definitely not what I want to do. So today I will be good to myself and do both. A little of this, a little of "that".

So here is what my Today's Ideal Schedule looks like:
9-10: dress, prepare for day
10-11: daily chores, dinner prep, laundry, hit the hot spots.
11-12: errands--grocery
12-1: lunch, rest, tv and knitting, look over budget book, laundry, hot spots
1-2: clean house
2-3: walk dog, lift weights, core work
3-4: clean house
4-5: sewing--play with machine embroidery
5-6: make corn/cheese/rice, dough for calzones, dough for cookies; chat with Chip
6-7: make dinner; eat, p.m. chores
7-8: clean bedroom closet, dust/polish in bedroom
8-9: tv/add recipes to website (corn/cheese/rice, cookies, calzones)
9-10: work on anne's cookbook

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week Four of the Holiday Grand Plan

This week, the master bedroom and closet get a good cleaning. Last week, because the weather cooled so much, I put all the really summery clothes in the storage area of my closet, and pulled a few items from the storage area into the "currently used" area. I wasn't ready to toss stuff yet, but I know there are many things I don't wear that need to go to charity. I have plenty of shopping/business casual clothes to wear for the fall; I worked up at least six outfits. I could use a new dressy outfit, and a couple of workout/at home outfits.

Holiday Prep:

* Make one batch of Holiday Goodies. Dear Husband has asked for the sandwich cookies, so I will make that this week.
* Make one extra meal for freezer. I will make a large batch of one of our favorites, Corn-Cheese-Rice, eat some this week, and freeze the rest.
* Make list of any table and bathroom linens that need replacing before the holidays, and pick up a few each week. I need to pull out the table linens we have and figure out what I need. I have plenty of pretty hand towels for the holidays. But I would like to make some with my new embroidery machine anyway. I'd love to do some Thanksgiving and Christmas embroidered linens.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Last Week's Holiday Grand Plan Summary

From the long-term shopping list--I bought flour and sugar, and bought an eight cup clear glass serving bowl.

Cleaned the entry. The living room was cleaned the week before I started the plan and the rain has kept me from cleaning the front entry outside.

Bought extra flour and sugar; I have plenty of shortening for now.

Make an extra meal for the freezer. Today I made 12 cups of tomato sauce in the crockpot. I added the recipe to the main dish recipe page on my website--scroll to the bottom of that page. I'll serve this on pasta, as a sauce over calzone, and for pizza sauce.
I also had a roast, some of which Dear Husband cut into stew meat. I put it all in a crockpot with a can of Progresso cream of mushroom soup and a couple of teaspoonfuls of Worcestershire sauce, about half cup of red cooking wine, and a couple shakes of smoky hot sauce. I served the roast with potatoes and carrots. The stew meat got the predominance of the sauce, and I served it over egg noodles, with a green salad on the side. I made extra potatoes, and they ended up as mashed potatoes, which I served with a crockpot pork loin.

I made return address labels and I'm working on a Christmas card address list. Dear Husband wants to write a holiday letter.. For the return address labels, I went to the Microsoft Office Template page and searched for return address labels. This is what I picked, and after I downloaded it, I opened the file and added our return address. All I have to do is buy the blanks and print them out.

I printed out the Grand Plan checklists for weeks 1, 2, 3, and put together my notebook. And no, it wasn't a fancy schmancy one. I do enjoy looking at all the cute things other people have made, but the one I made for myself is very plain and very me.

Make batch of Holiday Goodies. I made a double batch of Snickerdoodles)

Buy supplies for homemade gifts. We want to make home made goodies of some kind to give. A few years ago we bought several dozen jelly jars and put red and green M&Ms in them. We put the M&M jars plus a few other goodies in brown paper sacks. I stenciled the sacks, folded the tops over, used a hole punch and punched a couple holes in the top, and tied them closed with a length of ribbon. I'm hoping to score some jelly jars off of craigslist.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Betsy McCall

For those of you who are of "my" age group, the name alone gives you the shiver. McCall's magazine had a pull-out page or two of paper dolls each month for many years. They gave me so many hours of pleasure during my childhood. I'd beg my mom to buy the magazine, but durn if she wasn't a "Woman's Day" and "Family Circle" kind of gal. One of her friends did take the McCall's magazine and would save me the pages occasionally. Take a look. There are pages for download. I downloaded the full size printable pages for my birth year, and I'm thinking of framing them to hang as a grouping in my cra(p)ft room.
I can't believe the excited and happy response this link elicited in me; for a woman would wouldn't give you two cents for a doll, I am finding myself unable to stop looking!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Holiday Planning

This is from organizedchristmas.com, some of them I linked to before, but this is the home page with LOTS of planners. Here. Aren't they CUTE?!

Today I downloaded my xmas files from our old computer and organized them on my Mac.

I downloaded all the Holiday Grand Plan files from the organizedchristmas.com site and put them in a notebook. Plain and utilitarian.

Later this evening the hubby and I will sit down and look at the checklists of things we need to do and lists to make.
Computerize the xmas card list.
Decide if we're going to write a holiday letter or design a holiday card.
Visits we'll make for the holidays.
Parties to give over the holidays.
Menus for the parties.
Goodies for sharing/gifts.
Favorite meals for freezing ahead.
Long-term shopping list, so we don't have TONS of stuff to buy right at the holidays; on this list will be perishables as well as canned goods, linens/dishes, decorations.

According to the lists, I'll need to:
Clean the front porch, entry and living room. And apparently the front yard as well, which will include freshening plantings as needed.
Plan for decorating these areas during the holidays--that will include Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Expect to see a coat closet organization post.
Expect to see a post about sewing pillows for the living room.
Buy extra flour, sugar, shortening.
Make an extra meal for the freezer. (Expect to see a post about this.)
Develop ideas for gifts and decorations. (Expect to see a post about this.)
Order Xmas cards and address labels.
Print out checklists for weeks 1, 2, 3.
Make batch of Holiday Goodies. (Expect to see a post about this.)
Buy supplies for homemade gifts. (Expect to see a post about this.)
Buy extra battery for camera.



So, join me! I may not do it in order, and I may not do every week. Heck, I may even do two weeks at once, depending on how much work and other life things allow me. For me, doing this plan is an opportunity to clean my house and get it all organized for the New Year. Even though we just moved in a little over a year ago, there are still things I want to do organizational wise. And heaven knows, everything in my house could be CLEANER!

I can't decide if I want to do the CEO six week plan. It is the plan I usually do every year. And it may be too much to do both plans, work, take care of Hank and, well, etcetera. But I'm at least going to give the Grand Plan a stab.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Is it time yet?

To start thinking about Christmas? Well, yes it is! In fact, according to my favorite Christmas organizing website, it's a lil' late! (Shoulda started the last week of August!) Luckily, I have the "bones", that is, the notebook, organized, and a basic knowledge of how the program is run. It really isn't too late to start, though, as the program only has you do small bites each week, so catching up on the first few weeks is not a problem. If you are just starting, I'd suggest you sit down and do the notebook and the paper planning and budgeting all in one fell swoop, over one week instead of 2-3 weeks.
This year I am going to follow the longer and more involved Holiday Grand Plan. I usually just do the six week "CEO Christmas Countdown", but this year I feel like I need to do the more detailed program.
I have been following the Holiday Grand Plan for as many years as it has been going, and that would make it seventeen years. I don't always follow it to the "T", but I use it to help me plan for Christmas shopping/cooking/decorating and getting my house cleaned. Making the notebook is about as fun as it gets; I even created some divider pages from my own graphics. There are plenty of printables on the organized christmas site, which make creating the notebook fast and easy.
This weekend I plan to update my notebook, and do all the paper planning and budgeting. I have a long weekend free, free, free from work, and hubby and I were intending to work on the budget this weekend anyway.
I will take pictures of my notebook when I've completed it and post so you can see what I've done. In the meantime, look at these planners:
Mission Inkpossible
The Inspiration Institute
Christmas Planner--don't miss this link--there are some really cute ideas here!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Goals for the rest of the week of September 7

Since I didn't do anything on Sunday/Monday due to work, I'll try to do a bit of catch-up as well.

Sunday: Family Day, Gardening
Monday: Scrapbooking Day
Tuesday: Knitting Day
Wednesday: Sewing Day, Anti-procrastination Day, Gbuddy Day
Thursday: Website/Blog Day
Friday: Weekly Home Blessing/Decorating, Gbuddy Day
Saturday: DH Day, Gardening

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Gardening: clean up garden, trim, plant as needed

Scrapbooking: work on Daddy's album, finish DD recipe book

Knitting: finish yellow vest, pick up sleeve stitches on jacket

Sewing: work on Chris's quilt, sew pillows

Website/blog: make plan for website, add articles: digital supplies 2, greeting cards, clay, cork, fibers; redo recipe pages--add page for DD recipe book

Decorating: go through pictures, decide what to hang on family wall

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Exercise Plan for This Week

Depending on energy level, basic EVERYDAY workout is a “walk” with George of at least 45 minutes and either Pilates or weights

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Eating Plan:
Weight Watchers points and eat as Paleo as possible

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Organizing

I did some organizing in my closet a few weeks back and never posted about it due to the wedding celebration parties. So here are some before and afters--

I have a great closet that I share with my husband, and he graciously gave me the larger set of built-in shelves. I piled things in there kind of willy-nilly, but with a semblance of organization, making do with what containers I had on hand. I had my undies in a few rattan containers, and I got so annoyed with that situation that I replaced them with some cute fabric boxes that I found at Lowe's.
So I don't have a real before, but here is the after with a few items redone:


Then one Sunday afternoon, I got the organizing bug, and finished the shelves. This is the before and after of the top two shelves.





I used a kitchen pots and pans rack to organize the purses. Hey, it works.

The second shelf originally held I dunno what, jewelry and socks and panties and bras I think. And now it holds undies, separated nicely and easy to access, and not in view or falling all over the place. It looks just like the top shelf with the fabric boxes, so I won't bore you with that.

The next section down functions a whole lot better. This is the before:


And the afters. I used the larger left hand side for jewelry and a mirror which remains to be hung. I lined the side walls with cork and hung my necklaces from little pokepins. The right hand side has adjustable shelf racks for a couple of shelves to place my shoes.

Left side:



And Right Side--



I can't tell you how much better I like these areas. I can see all my shoes with ease. I can find my jewelry much easier. Woot!

The bottom shelf was treated in much the same way as the right side of the above area was treated, so I won't bore you with those photos.

All together I spent about $150 dollars to gain a ton of functionality.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Gardening

Weather's been too hot to do any planting, but with the weather cooling, and September here, I hope to do some planting soon! According to my handy-dandy Texas A&M fall seeding guide, I should plant the following (I only included the ones I'm interested in) in September:

September 1: bush beans, cucumber
September 10: summer squash
September 20: transplant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts

Simple enough.

It's getting to be time to transplant my fall flowers, among them, pinks, shasta daisies and snapdragons. And maybe a few alyssums.

TV stuff

Okay, so why didn't anyone tell me about "Lost" before this? Thanks to Andy mentioning it a few weeks ago, I added it to my Roku list, and finally got bored one day and watched the first episode. Chip was watching in passing, then stopped cold in his tracks and watched, as enraptured as myself, till the very end. Then he whispered, "I have to see the first part--REPLAY IT!" We've been trying to catch an episode a couple of times a week. Rotating with "24" and "Mad Men", of course.

"All Creatures Great and Small" has fallen by the wayside, Season 4 is just too boring. Poop.

I'll start watching "Elliotts" again soon.

And how in heckfire did the release of Season 3 of "Dexter" to Netflix pass me by?

Funny but true story. I figured out that Dexter Season 3 had released when I added a new movie for the hubby yesterday. And this morning, I was talking to Anne, and she asked me if we had every watched/heard of Dexter. Ummm, had we ever! She and J had just finished watching Season 2. Perfect timing, eh?

And, have you been watching Project Runway? LOVE. IT. As well as Top Chef Masters--go Rick Bayless! And Next Top Chef. And HGTV Design Star. Biggest Loser starts in two weeks--September 15. And Amazing Race starts September 27. Football regular season starts soon, and hockey starts in a month. Good for knitting.

Cough, cough, oh.

Cough, cough, cough. Oh. I can't breathe, either. Stuffy nose. Missed work. Oh. Oh. Oh. Cough, cough. Can't breathe. Oh.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Engagement and wedding pictures

The link to the wedding photos is here. Ya gotta know their last name to get in.

Engagement pictures on this page.

I'm back, I think!

I have no excuse for not writing except a wedding, a couple smallish get-togethers of less than 20 people, helping to put together a post-wedding party of about 125 people, babysitting the grandson, parents needing attention, which entailed a three-day trip to Houston, some massive housecleaning for the above mentioned parties, work, work meetings, annual skills checkoffs at work, getting a tooth pulled, which turned out to be infected--shocker, and, daughter moving back home! And, other things I've either forgotten or blotted out of my mind to save my sanity.

So now that you know that I have no excuses for not writing, let's dive in and try to do some catchup!

I took some pictures of the dresses I chose for the wedding and sent them to my daughter, oh yes, this was way back in mid July. (I told you we had some catching up to do!) These pictures were the beginning inspiration to rejoin Weight Watchers--how did I get so BIG!?







Really, hitting 150 on the scales took my breath away! And how is 148 or 149 any different? So, there you have it--denial is a (grumble, grumble) wonderful thing.
The day I joined Weight Watchers, I weighed 148, and I lost 8 pounds the first month. (Hubby also lost 8 pounds.)

Then we had the big post wedding party, my boss messed up my schedule totally (so what's new?) and said I had to fix it myself, which took up hours and hours of time figuring it out and calling people, during which one of my coworkers agreed to switch with me and then she realized she'd switched with someone else which caused me twice as much work for the most complicated switch. Lesson learned, sometimes the people who are always so willing to make changes say yes to everyone and can't remember who they've said yes to. I worked four days in a row so that I could be free for the days I needed to (and had requested paid time off for months ago) so I could be at the party and run hours and hours of errands for the party and babysit my grandson as well. So I've taken a weight loss hiatus. And I'm slowly getting back to Weight Watchers, Monday I'll start back in earnest, counting points.

I'm telling you, counting those points is what works for me. I get 20 points a day, and I can eat really well if I'm careful. I still eat ice cream in the form of fat-free frozen yogurt and have a glass of wine several times a week. Fast food and eating out are very hard. If we are going to eat out, we plan ahead at the beginning of the week and use our extra points to eat guilt-free. Even so, after a week of eating mostly meat and veggies and working SO HARD to be GOOOOOD, we were still very careful in choosing our foods. Because after all, weigh-in day is Monday.

Who knew bread really really tasted THAT GOOD!

So I'll be resuming Weight Watchers on September 1, and the goal for the month is to lose another 8 pounds.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Creative Energy Level--HIGH!!

Dearest Daughter is moving back in on Tuesday, and emptying/organizing her room has sparked some new projects around the house. Out of respect for her, I'm not showing her room, but decorated with her stuff, it is just durn CUTE!

I found these little hooks in one of the drawers I was cleaning. I placed them in my cra(p)ft room near the closet



I hung two of my baby hats on one of the hooks and placed a picture of my grandmother in it because she made me the pink sunbonnet.



I hung one of my favorite baby dresses on the other hook, and printed out a picture of myself on my first birthday. It wasn't until I was putting the picture in the holder that I realized I was wearing the same dress as in the picture! Howdoyalikedat?

My Dad's Family Scrapbook

I don't think I've shown the Buchanan family scrapbook pages I've been working on. I'm trying to make an album for my dad. It's slow work, trying to get the pictures scanned and then fix the pictures, then scrapbook them, then get Daddy's comments on the pages.

This is a picture of my dad when he was about 4 years of age:



This is his mother, when she graduated from high school:



Daddy's sister:



This is a picture of Daddy's favorite grandmother, the one who delivered him in the little log cabin:



This is a page with a picture of her parents:



And a picture of my dad's maternal family at a family reunion:



I have more pictures, many awaiting comments by my dad, but those are the finished ones for now.

Getting Close to August

And, wow, the temperature when I got up this a.m. was 69 degrees.

Seriously.

This is Texas.

But the cool and wet weather is making me think of gardening. And it's the first of the month, when I am supposed to be thinking of these things and planning to plant for the month. My handy-dandy planting guide for the fall, courtesy of our beloved Texas A&M, says I am to plant the following for August:

August 1: southern peas, pumpkin; transplant Shasta daisies
August 10: winter squash
August 20: lima beans (bush), sweet corn

DH has been hankering for some Shasta daisies, so I'll start looking for those, and I'm sure we have some pumpkin and winter squash seeds around. I've been wanting DH to plow some beds against the fence, and he's been wanting to build some pretty lattice too, so I'll see if I can't get him excited about doing that for the winter squashes.

Planting the pumpkins would be a great opportunity to prepare the flower beds for planting in the spring. I could dig out a bed for the pumpkin hills and mulch them heavily, and as the plants grow, I'll continue to dig out the grass and mulch. When I get enough dug out for DH to place edging, I'll ask him to install some.

I'm not too interested in doing any of the other vegetables, but I'll confer with DH and see if he is interested in any of them.

Fall is for Herbs, according to this article. I have been dreaming of starting the herb garden since we did our original planning of the garden last year. The round bed will be centered on the dining room windows, and the curved vegetable beds will then make sense.

This is a picture of the vegetable garden, taken in June. The bed will be in front of the curved vegetable beds.



I hear DH moving around. Time to finish this post and pay attention to my sweetie. Oh, and tell him of the plans I have for him.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Woohoo! Getting things done!

Lost my goal of 2% weight this week!
And got back into using the DayTimer--it's sitting on my ironing board right now for handy perusing!
I read my Daily Lit and about.com entries for about an hour today--"Paranoia", "Huckleberry Finn", and some various and sundry things.
I purchased and installed new printer cartridges and made myself an album.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Goals for week of July 26-August 1

Yes, yes, it has been crazy busy with the wedding and work and all. I just need to get back to planning ahead and sticking to a plan! So sad, hardly any changes for the list, I've just been so darn busy!

In mid-August I'll start babysitting Gbuddy two mornings a week. I hope to incorporate some fun things for the two of us to do. Also I'm looking into working out at our local recreation centers, maybe doing some Pilates, Yoga, or a personal trainer.

Sewing:
1) make sofa pillows and dining room chair pillows.
2) fix serger.
3) attempt to machine embroider using downloaded .pes files.

Scrapbook:
1) work on Daddy's scrapbook.
2) finalize Gbuddy's photo album and get it printed this week.
3) make photo albums for me and my mom.

Knit:
1) pick up stitches on one sleeve of the Adult Tomten.
2) finish the back of the Peter Easy vest.

Quilt:
1) sew at least one hour on Chris's quilt. This has definitely stalled.

Garden:
1) fill in "holes", weed. Continue planting the border garden as I buy plants.

Read and learn:
1) read one hour on email books--well, not an hour a day, but I've read several hours this week.
2) Spanish 15 minutes a day and watch a couple of the photography vodcasts.

Exercise:
1) exercise at least five hours this week. Use a variety of modes--jog, walk, bicycle, Pilates, Yoga, weight-lifting, crossfit.
2) stick to Weight Watchers for diet. Goal of 2% weight loss per week.

Computer:
1) update website--spend one hour making changes.
2) change desktop layout. maybe make one for a freebie, with matching blog goods.

Organizing:
1) get back to using the big DayTimer book.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

This week!

This week I have several things I'd like to accomplish, and as I have not heard from the DIL about baby-sitting the grandbaby, I should be able to get some things accomplished.

Sewing:
1) make 4 small blankets out of 1 large one
2) finish the white Tshirt
3) alter the brown blouse

Scrapbook:
1) this week's pictures
2) review Daddy's family pictures, and make a plan to finish them
3) talk to Bubby about Gbuddy's hospital pics and finish album.
4) make photo albums for me and my mom

Knit:
nothing special, just continue with what I have started--the Adult Tomten, and the Peter Easy vest.

Quilt:
1) sew at least one hour on Chris's quilt

Garden:
1) fill in "holes"

Read and learn:
1) Spanish--15 minutes EVERY DAY. Read ALL of the "Spanish Basics in One Week" course from about.com.
2) Photography 101 vodcast--watch one
3) Retirement Planning vodcast--watch one
4) Rent house dvds--watch one with DH
5) read one hour on email books--finish Wizard of Oz, and read "Tess" and "Little Dorritt" through May 4th (yes, I'm terrifically behind)
6) watch all of the "Caring for Your Parents" vodcasts.

I'd also like to get started on Christmas projects. I may or may not get that started.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Renewing Resolutions at the Half Year!

Hey, I'm not doing so bad. . .50% of my goals are excellent, and the rest could use some work! Keep plugging, I say!

Well-Intended Intentions for 2009:

Career/Education
*Read books relating to work for one hour per week.
*Work on improving my Spanish by studying for 15 minutes per day.

Financial
* Keep all credit cards at or near zero.
* Increase net worth.
* Decrease unnecessary spending by evaluating each expenditure as a "need" or "want".
* Increase liquid cash and retirement funds. Keep monthly record.
* Save at least $500 a month for wedding.

Health/Fitness
* Walk/jog/run/ride bike at least 3 x per week, at least 30 minutes per session.
* Complete 3 Body for Life challenges. (Lift weights 3x per week, about 45 minutes per session.)
* Yoga and Pilates each at least 2x per week, at least 30 minutes per session.
* Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day and continue to drink eight glasses of water per day.
* Actively pursue eating locally, and growing our own food.

Hobbies/Interests
* Begin knitting hats for Coats for Kids? Or hats for the homeless in Allen, or hats for newborns for Collin County hospital?
* Continue working on scrapbooks.
* Host regular monthly social events (possibly host Crafternoons for the girls)
* Expand garden area. Plant some fruits.
* Sew more!

Personal/Love Interests
* Continue communication and regular get-togethers with close friends and family.

Now that it's June

Now that it IS June, I should try to make some kind of statement about the goals I have for the month.
Other than seriously losing some weight, (certainly not the 20 pounds that I should be loosing) about ten pounds, I do have some crafty goals for the month.

Scrapbooking:

1) finish up Grandbuddy's first days book and have printed out for parents--I decided to add some pics if I can get Bubbie to send me her pics!
2) take lots of pictures and keep up with scrapbooking them!
3) make some small kits for Father's Day, Summer, Flag Day and Weddings.
4) attempt a desktop layout.
5) start planning of Christmas projects

Knitting:

1) finish the Tomten jacket?
2) finish Peter Easy vest?
3) start something new and exciting
4) start a new pair of socks
5) start planning of Christmas projects

Sewing:

1) make white Tshirt
2) make blue paisley skirt
3) make dining room linens from Buchanan tartan
4) make dining room kidney pillows for hostess chairs
5) alter brown and aqua top
5) start planning of Christmas projects

Quilting:

1) make one entire "string" of Chris's quilt
2) start blue, gold and rust quilt
3) start planning of Christmas projects

Gardening:

1) keep up with the weeding and fertilizing
2) plant some fruits
3) start the herb garden
4) expand the perennial bed

Charity:

1) knitted hats for charity, to complement the Rotary "Coats for Kids"

Reading and Learning:
I have so many things I want to learn! This I will flesh out later, just because there is so much and I need to create some FOCUS! Now it's work reading and Spanish and Latin and beading and crochet and, yeah, I need to focus on just a few!

Cooking:

1) freeze some crops as they come, as well as some from the Farmer's Market
2) pickle and can some simple things--jam, jelly, pickles, salsa, tomatoes. And WATERMELON PICKLES--YES!
3) begin plan to move toward a paleo diet. I know. None of the things itemized in #2 are paleo. I know.

Sewing Machine Meme from "Sew, Mama, Sew"

What brand and model do you have?
1) Sears. old. 30+ years old.
2) Brother. Innov-is 1200. sewing and embroidery machine.

How long have you had it?
1) 30+ years
2) less than a month

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
1) $350 brand new, 30 years ago.
2) $ an embarrassing amount.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I sew everything. I quilt, make handbags, sew my own curtains, pillows, drapes, duvet covers, kitchen goods. I make clothes. I embroider. I even use it to sew paper crafts.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I don't sew a LOT, maybe four hours a week.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
1) I like/love/hate my machine because it goes forward and backward. No name given, but she thinks her name is "Da**it!)
2) What's not to love? No hate yet. Her name is Precious.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
1) what works well for me--what always has, it goes forward and backward.
2) embroidery. I am so looking forward to embroidering with this machine.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
1) I can't find a good sewing machine repairman to fix it.
2) There's SO MUCH TO LEARN!

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
1) bit me on the index finger.
2) I'm looking forward to the great stories with my new baby

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
1) no, not unless you are married to a sewing machine repairman.
2) yes. yes. yes

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

Do you have a dream machine?
yes, (2)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

End of the Month and what I Finished

Scrapbooking:

1) finish up Grandbuddy's first days book and have printed out for parents--I decided to add some pics if I can get Bubbie to send me her pics!

2) finish layouts for April and May--


(elements from the shabby princess happy go lucky kit)



(green background from Saxon Holt Designs, the May Freebie from SBE, Last Day of School, clear photo corners and swing set chain, my designs. fonts are arial and fatty.)






(elements from the SBE May Freebie, Saxon Holt Designs, Last Day of Summer, font tweed and stamped something or other)


(background my own design, the scroll is from somewhere, font tweed.
**************************************************************************************

Knitting:


1) a dishcloth--finished that one and almost another.





2) the back of the Tomten, with shaping--finished, finished the collar also

3) socks--finished
**************************************************************************************

Sewing:

1) summer T-shirt dress--finished



*isn't this fabric the cutest?*



2) some coasters, my first machine embroidery project--finished



3) alter aqua/brown shirt--I hate changing the thread, just not good at it yet.

And I was taking a picture of the lil' quilted pics and corkboard that I added in my craf(p)t room to show you and realized I hadn't talked about my new machine--it is a Brother, an Innov--and not only sews like a dream, but embroiders as well. I'm having a ball learning how to use it, wish I had time to take the classes, but learning a little slower is okay with me, too.




**************************************************************************************
Garden:

1) finish dividing/transplanting--this will never be finished--who was I kidding? But I did fertilize the back yard.

2) weed garden--finished. for now. . . .

I'll post pics from the garden later. Too many to include here.
**************************************************************************************

House:
1) Figure out guest bedroom/grandbuddy set up--husband busy with yard work.

2) finish hanging pictures on long hallway (1-2 hours)--this is so much more work than I thought, but here is what it looks like for now!

Friday, May 29, 2009

End of the Month and Finishing Up

Got a few things to finish up for the end of the month.

Scrapbooking:
1) finish up Grandbuddy's first days book and have printed out for parents (2 hours)
2) finish layouts for April and May (2 hours)

Knitting:
1) a dishcloth (12 more rows, another hour or so)
2) the back of the Tomten, with shaping (28 more rows, at least an evening)
3) finish work on socks (5 minutes)

Sewing:
1) the swim cover-up, nightgown, summer T-shirt dress (just sleeves and hem, 1-2 hours)
2) some coasters, my first machine embroidery project! (1-2 hours)
3) alter aqua/brown shirt (1 hour)

Garden:
1) finish dividing/transplanting (4-6 hours)
2) weed garden (2 hours)

House:
1) Figure out guest bedroom/grandbuddy set up. (1-2 hours)
2) finish hanging pictures on long hallway (1-2 hours)

Well, that's 26 hours of work! Seriously, this isn't going to happen over the next three days! In fact, it's kind of funny! Funny that I have so much to do and so little time to do it! I really should have started at the beginning of the week, shouldn't I?
I am first up to be canceled for work Saturday, and if I'm not, I'll probably be canceled on Sunday. Either way, it's extra hours for me to craft!

Over the next three days, I'll be planning my June projects, too! I have lots of exciting things rolling around in my brain!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's true, so true!

I linked to a little test from "Sew Intriguing"'s blog, just for a lark. When I saw the results, I melted--it's so, so true of me!




Your Word is "Love"



You see life as possibility to form deep connections with a few people.

Relationships are the center of your world, and you always take time to bond with those you love.



You are caring and giving. You enjoy helping those you love.

And when it comes to romantic love, you feel passionately ... even in a very long term relationship.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Knitting

It's Tuesday, and knitting is on the schedule. I started a simple washcloth in a lovely aqua cotton, with a seed stitch border and a simple stockinette center--from the Wedding Washcloths by Purl Bee. Just what I need, a very simple and quick and mindless knit.

I also decided I needed to go through my stash and repurpose the yarn I no longer loved. I intended to do this on my birthday, but the birth day was a chaotic day, one I'd not like to repeat. The rest of the week was no better. (I've heard that what happens on your birthday will be a foretelling of what the rest of the year will bring; please tell me this can't be so.) Today I needed some calmness and a quiet project such as going through my stash sounded perfect. I was surprised that I only dumped three skeins--REALLY, THREE SKEINS. I truly thought I would find at least twenty skeins, at least in my head there were that many, but when I actually fondled all of them, I just couldn't toss many of them. Three out of 150 or so. If decreasing my stash was the purpose, I failed. But if finding love for yarn I thought I hated, and dumping those three skeins that I really HATED was the purpose, I succeeded. In spades.

I need to start another pair of socks for my purse project. Hmm. I do have a few leftover skeins, maybe I'll try a couple pairs on two needles for Grandbuddy.

The Tomten is getting heavy and too hot to knit. This week has been fairly cool in the evening, but I can foresee that it will go in the projects closet soon, till it cools down a bit, that is. I am within a couple of rows of beginning the sleeves, which might delay this project from going into the closet.

Peter Easy Vest is moving along, getting close to the splitting at the underarm. I'm considering doing a pattern from just below the underarm through the rest of the vest, because it is just so BORING. I'll talk to hubby and see how he feels, as he DID ask for a totally plain vest.

Grandbuddy's mittens
are on the back burner. I don't like how the one is turning out. I need to restart them, do them on two needles, and rework the cuffs.

In re-reading this post, I see that I'm needing a simple and plain plan now, but that I am readying myself in the near future for a little bit more excitement. Yeah. That sounds right.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Scrapbooking Monday

Did a lil' scrapbooking this a.m. before I worked out.
We had a lovely Mother's Day. Unfortunately, I had worked the night before, and I had to go to work that night, but the most wonderful husband in the world made dinner and invited the family over. The visit was much too short, but it was wonderful to have the whole family together.



Grandbuddy is growing so fast! He weighs nearly 18 pounds at nearly 4 months! He is so bright and smiley, just like his daddy! This layout "commemorates" eating solid food!



He had a visit with some old friends, and enjoyed standing, reportedly a LONG time, to watch the older kids play with their Brio trains.



Is he cute or what?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm an addict.

A caffeine addict. Oh, and how.

I'd slept fitfully off and on all day, just tired from the Houston trip, working three nights in a row, and mostly from this hanger-on of a virus. The headache that I'd had all day woke me an hour after I went to sleep, despite taking Ibuprofen two hours previously. And it was a humdinger. I tried to lie quietly and sort things out. I had been good about my fluid intake, I didn't have a fever, or neck stiffness, or vomiting, and my eyesight wasn't altered. Oh. Oh. I hadn't had my coffee today, because I wanted to sleep well. Oh, my. Could caffeine be causing my head to HURT THIS MUCH?

I got up and tiptoed into the kitchen, then stood there, thinking, I don't want to wake DH with making coffee. Ah, I'll just down some Diet Coke. I poured a glass and chugged it, went and lay down on the bed. If it's caffeine, we'll just see how fast this stuff works in my system.

Ten minutes later, the headache was gone.

Now, is that sad or what?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Waiting, Reading, Knitting

I have had a ton of time to read and knit due to being in Houston with my Dad at M. D. Anderson to get a second opinion about his cancer treatment. Lots and lots of waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

I finished the first Blossom Street book by Debbie Macomber, "The Shop on Blossom Street". Loved it. Not very deep, not much more than a romance novel, but it was perfect reading for the day. I picked up "Twenty Wishes", and am looking forward to zipping through it as well.

I finished "The Country Village Doctor" by Patrick Kelley. Lovely. Just lovely. I'll be looking for the third one in the series, the Christmas book.

And I finished reading "The Secret Garden" through DailyLit and loved it as usual. It is my favorite book, bet I've read it ten times. I read "Benjamin Button" through DailyLit, too and it was a bizarre but enjoyable little short story.

I'm working on "I Can Make You Thin" by Paul whatever. I'm not terrifically motivated to read it, I'll work on myself when we get home. I need to concentrate on my Dad now.

I finished the second sock. And I forgot the mitten book, so no progress on the mitten. But Peter Easy vest is moving along well.

Tomorrow we drive home. I'll spend lots of time listening to Dad's stories about growing up in Central Texas in the 1920's and 1930's and the rest of the time listening to my iPod. I loaded a bunch of stories by The Classic Tales Podcast, as well as some of regular favorites, such as Annie Smith--Quilting Stash, The Splendid Table, Cast On, CogKNITive, Classic Tales, CraftyPod, CraftLit, This American Life, Sew Forth Now, Ready Set Knit, Knitmoregirls, KnitPicks, etc.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grandbuddy--some more April pics

Some Grandbuddy pics--





Sewing Fun--a purse and the queue

I made a purse and I'm so tickled with it!





I especially love the red bias binding that covers the seams.




I also made an eyeglass case--I could make a million of these--so cute and so easy!



I had a cutting out session on Sunday in which I cut out a swim coverup, which is nearly finished, just the sleeves and sleeve hems to finish.



a skirt, McCall's 5431,



and a white knit T, view D of Simplicity 4076. No picture, too boring.

One success, or rather two, the purse and eyeglass case, definitely spurred me on to sew a bit more, and hopefully will lead to some more successes.