Monday, January 29, 2007

Holding out for a Hero....

Ah, Mondays. Heroes has returned! I'm not a fan of 24, but Joe and Eric are. So since the boys all have Scouting commitments on Mondays, our DVR works overtime at 8, taping both 24 and Heroes. Alex is the only one that doesn't really 'watch' Heroes; but he follows the plotlines. I love this show. Don't know why, but I am addicted. I felt stupid, though, when it took me forever to figure out why the actress portraying Nikki was familiar to me: she's the defendant in Legally Blonde. Anyhow, I even signed off our Christmas letter with "Save the cheerleader. Save the world." And who couldn't fall in love with Hiro? I wish they hadn't killed off Charlie. I really liked her sweet character. Hopefully tonight we'll learn more about Claire's parentage.

It's cold today, so it's meatloaf tonight. With smashed potatoes and green beans in honey-cashew sauce (recipe below). Sounds good to me!

Still hoping for the house-cleaning mojo to return.....

Green Beans in Honey Cashew Sauce

Frozen green beans
about 4 T. butter
about 4 T. honey
about 1 cup chopped cashews

Cook the beans about halfway...they will finish in the sauce. Heat butter in skillet over low to medium heat, add cashews to brown. Add in honey and warm through well. Add beans and toss in sauce to coat and finish cooking beans.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Someone stole my mojo....

and hasn't sent a ransom note.

I can't seem to get anything finished. But I know that this too shall pass.

In the meantime, some knitting content:

I've been making socks for a while now, and just can't get enough of it. I started with Regia selfstriping yarn and size 3 needles. I used the"56 Stitch 56 Row" Pattern. All stockinette. Love that. Easy-peezie.

Since then I've tried different patterns and yarns, and have come to 2 fall-back patterns: Broadripple and Jaywalker. Broadripple is nicely lacy, and is so wonderful with yarn from Sweet Georgia Yarns. Once I finally realized the correct way to do a centered double decrease in the Jaywalker (I was slipping the stitches wrong), I fell in love with this pattern, too. It works wonderfully with my Vesper Yarns and Yarn Pirate Yarns.

I also enjoyed Mata Hari and Anastasia, but on both I reversed the swirling pattern for the second sock. It's not hard to do on the pattern, and I liked the mirror image in the pairs. Hedera was the perfect pattern for some yarn I was struggling with, and thanks to Sue Ann at my LYS Bluebonnet Yarn Shop, who was making Hedera with the very same yarn one Chicks with Sticks night, I completed that pair. I've also done a few other patterns, and need to get photos of the completed socks for my flickr site.

So much for patterns. On to yarns:

The first handpainted yarn I bought was from Felicia at Sweet Georgia Yarns. Yum-O! wonderful yarn, so soft, and beautiful colorways. Sadly, she is no longer selling direct from her site, but The Loopy Ewe carries her yarn.

Since then I have bought Yarn Pirate and Vesper. Both have great colorways. The Pirate yarn has short color changes, while the Vesper has very long color stretches. Both make for great socks, simply a different look. I have found joining knots in the Vesper, in every skein so far, that I have to work into the inside of a stitch, which is not so fun.

I also found white spots in the yarns, which I could understand as undyed spots at colorchange points, but these two were only about 6 inches apart in the same color stretch:

I can't seem to get Blogger to take photo uploads right now, or I would show you.

The Vesper is highly coveted, and typically sells out in less than 30 minutes. Get on her mailing list to find out about her restocking of the store. Yarn Pirate is available at the etsy site and also at The Loopy Ewe.

I would still like to try some of Scout's yarn, and some of the Hill Country Yarns Sweet Feet.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Catching up....

Jackie's mother passed away Thursday afternoon. It was quick, yes. Click on her name to get to her blog...she wrote some lovely entries about Rina. I can't even imagine what she's feeling. But my job as friend is to just be there. And I am standing 'on deck' for whatever they need.

On other fronts, the weather today (very cold, wet rain, etc) dictated a day of knitting and scrapping...surprise!

I have some 'kits' started for 6x6 albums for Alex and Grace...just personality albums. Based on the one I did for Eric that I called 'Eric at 14', even though it reminds me of that afterschool special. I worked on assembling the kits some more, and finished the layout from Eric's 15th (gulp!) birthday dinner at Chuy's with the Gallops. You see, Eric was born on Elvis' birthday, and every year Chuy's has a big celebration for Elvis' birthday...this year they had an impersonator also. Way fun.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What a week it's been....

The good stuff:

  • A great weekend, with all kinds of time to myself! Joe and the boys were at a Youth Group event at church, and Grace spent one night at a friend's. I got some scrapping stuff organized, did quite a few layouts, watched movies of my own choosing, and knitted.

  • Monday was a holiday from school, and since all homework was completed on Sunday, we just laid around like slugs. And watched the impending weather...we don't usually get snowstorms and ice here in Austin, but dang if it hasn't happened nearly every year we've lived here! The predictions were dire...and the weathercasters visibly excited about something interesting to report on!

  • School was cancelled for Tuesday! A snow day! And yes, we had snow....lovely large flakes, and enough accumulation for snowballs, icicle-sucking, and fun. Warm blankets and cocoa were the routine of the day. Love days like that. Took photos of everyone and what they were doing at about 2 pm...for a layout called "Scenes from a Snow Day". Very Ali Edwards inspired. Like this one. She did one that I have printed out a hard copy, called '10 am', but I can't seem to find it online. Oh well.Even Joe was home from work...the whole city shut down for the ice and snow. We watched weather all day...hoping for another day off!

  • And today we are off again! Joe had over 1/4 of an inch of ice on his car (yowza) but did go in for a few hours. I might even scrap again today. And I now have 3 WIP(works in progress) of knitting...that's the first time I've been unfaithful to a project and started another before finishing! 2 pairs of socks and a cute vest from Knitty are all on the needles.

The bad stuff:

  • My friend's family member took a bad turn...very bad. I have her permission to link to her blog, here. Please, please pray for everyone. Such a difficult time for the family.

So at the 'humpday' of this week, I am trying to concoct some sort of dinner (I know that there are tater tots and fishsticks around here) so that I can put off my trip to Target until hopefully Friday, when the weather will be warmer (=no ice) but probably still rainy. Then I can start making dinners for the freezer for my friend and her family. I have to be able to do something. And I have to start walking again! Iced in here at the house, we are eating and not burning any calories. Scary.

Oh, and last week I finally went to the doctor to see about my 'ick,' since it had been something like 3 weeks. They were able to rule out the really bad stuff with simple blood etc testing. The next step was an ultrasound to rule out masses. Since I thought maybe they'd want to do something with me, I held off eating anything that day, so I was able to get in for an abdominal ultrasound right away the same day! Unheard of, I know. Now I am just waiting for the radiologist to read it and send the results to the doctor, and for the doc to call me..with this weather, who knows how fast that will happen, since so many offices are still closed. If all is OK, then the diagnosis will be IBS, and I will start taking Zelnorm. More than you wanted to know? Sorry. I often tend to wax medical. Here is a treat to put something entirely different in your head, and this won't leave your brain!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm a winner!.....

I rarely win anything. I enter blog contests all the time - you know, the ones where you just post in the comments and the randomly chosen winner gets something (in these cases, since they are knitting blogs, the prizes are typically highly-coveted yarn!)

In 4th grade I DID win something: a DJ from the AM station in St Paul came to our school, and held a drawing (I have no memory of what he talked about). I won an LP! Johnny Whittaker's album. It even had the theme song from Sigmund and the Sea Monsters on it. That was cool.

A short while back Joe won a green Ipod nano from a vendor event at work. Yowza! And a friend of mine won a Nintendo DS from an entry at a convention.

But rarely do I win. Not even door prizes.

Until now! The magazine Simple Scrapbooks has a blog now that you need to check out. The managing editor writes the blog, and it's fun to read. She gives 'behind the scenes' for the issues, too. And she held a 'tell me where you're from' contest in the comments...I was winner #5 of 5! I can't wait to get my package! Here is what was on the blog, and a photo of what is coming:

Congratulations to our fifth winner, "Kris in TX" from Cedar Park, Texas (just outside beautiful Austin). Kris in TX has won a whole mess of Bazzill Basics buttons, plus two jars of Bazzill blossoms, plus FIVE doodling templates from Chatterbox. Yay!

So color me happy, and ready to scrap this weekend. Well, and break in to some more knitting. I need to get photos of the socks I've done, so that I can share about the patterns and the yarns. Most of the yarns I use are from sites on the Web, and are hand-dyed in amazing colorways. Just gotta get that done.

Oh, lastly, my friend's family member's health issue is resolving VERY well, thanks to a great surgeon and prayers! Thanks to those of you who prayed for them.

I'm off to do a lttle knittin', do some BSF (SO nice to be back into that again after a break for the holidays...I really missed it), and maybe watch some Creating Keepsakes on QVC tonight.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Best laid plans....

So I didn't walk today. Lots of excuses and reasons. Nothing that should count for anything though. Just being a slug. But at least I did get up, cleaned up, and did a lot of laundry. I guess I am distracted by a friend's situation: her mom is facing a very difficult health issue, and it is stressful for all. I want to do something for them, but there's nothing I can do right now. I am a do-er. So if you are prayer-inclined, please do so. They all need prayers for healing and for peace and courage. Thanks.

On a far lighter note....fifteen years ago I became a Mama for the first time. Eric was born at 36 1/2 weeks, at 6 pounds and ready for the world. What a handsome feller he is becoming. He is smart, funny, witty, thoughtful, caring....all the good stuff. I love this kid!

So Heidi Swapp got what I wanted for Christmas...a pink fridge for her cropping room! Click on her name and check out today's entry on her blog. Isn't it cute? I want one so bad! Covetous me. I have the page from Pottery Barn Teens bookmarked, and I 'visit' it every once in a while. Sigh. Someday. After we are done with the Dave Ramsey thing. Then it will be without guilt!

So Happy FIFTEEN to my first baby. You make me so proud. Rock on, Guitar Hero! (tee hee!)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Still plugging along....

So even though I am not into setting and shooting for goals, I did decide to start tracking my mileage walked at the gym. I stumbled across this blog, and liked the idea enough that even though I don't think I'll make the 100 miles, I'll still know how far I walked. Here's the button if you want to grab it for yourself:

So yesterday I walked 2 miles, which for me is good..I haven't been to Fitness 19 in a while. And I increased my speed so I'd be done with the 2 miles sooner, and as a result got my heart rate into a nice zone. This morning, however, I only made 1.5 shins were killing me and I had to quit. I've not had that happen in a long time, and don't really know what to do about it. I won't be back on the treadmill til Monday, so hopefully the rest will do my shins good.

Here's another little fun thing I found:
LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Kind of neat to think that I'm the only one!

It's a lovely day here in Texas, the kind of day that'll sell anyone on living here: low 70's, bright sunshine, a little light chill if you are in the shade...just wonderful. Yeah, we'll be colder this weekend, and in the 60's next week, but still I love this weather. I think I'll open a window (don't be shocked, honey, if you are reading this!....[I never open windows!]).

Loving that it's Friday!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resolutions? not here....

A new year. Resolutions? I got none. I’ve never really been one for resolutions. Shoot, I don’t even set goals. Remember the job interviews with the standard HR questions like: ‘Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?’ I never knew what to say. I probably came up with something that was more glib or flip than profound and focused. You just never know, ya know? Who can say what can come up in the next five years that will alter your chosen career path?

For me resolutions are lofty goals, and easy for me to break.

So I don’t make resolutions for New Years. I do, some years, take the time to sit and think about where things are in my life, and where I think they should be going. Like this year. Although I know I will have a continuing time of reflection, I do know that I want to:

Choose joy even more often. Where did I see this first? Was is Stacy or Stacy? I’m not sure, but I DO know that I am enjoying life more now that I am concentrating on laughing more and finding the positive in situations. It can drive other people nuts, but I will still look for the silver lining in your cloud. You’re welcome.

Take the high road. Even when I want to scream. Make decisions that I can look back on and say yes, that was the right thing to do or say. I want to hear ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’ Encourage my kids to do the same. It’s hard to take the high road. But He never said it would be easy.

Reflect on why my personal prayer time is what it is (pretty nonexistent). It would be easy to say ‘I will start a daily quiet time,’ but for me it’s important to realize what the problem is before I start stabbing the situation with antibiotics that might not work. Maybe I am becoming more contemplative, or am more process-oriented. Regardless, I need to find out why it’s broken, before I can determine what will fix it.

Continue with the food thing. We haven’t had a bathroom scale in months. Our old one broke and I just never bought a new one. Weird, since I practically live at our local Target Greatland. I think I have been losing a little weight, but if I did get a scale and I haven’t lost anything, that would bum me out. Ok, I hear you: silver lining, good outlook girl….get a scale and deal with it! I will buy a scale this week and let you know. But about the food…my portions have grown smaller (is that an oxymoron?), and we’ve not had Blue Bell ice cream in the house in months. It feels good. And so do my pants. Even my bra feels big in the band size. So the food thing/adjustments will stay. Even when it’s hard. Even when I pout.

Get my rear to Fitness 19 again and stop paying them for nothing. There was a couple of weeks there where I was going 3-4 days a week, and it was starting to feel really good. I don’t remember why I stopped. Back onto that wagon again. No set goals, just get there. And keep going. Loading up the Ipod mini (pink, of course) with more knitting podcasts and I’m good to go.

So there you have my New Year’s reflections.

Blog news! Cathy Zielske is back from a hiatus! So excited to see her blogging again. Love her style, love her writing. And she lives in the Twin Cities, so her references to locales there are fun for me to read.

So I’m knitting socks, still, but also started a scarf. I am using Rowan Calmer…holy cow it’s so so so soft! The colors are coffee and an oatmeal type shade, and I am using the mistake rib. I started using the Cashmere Scarf pattern from the Yarn Girls, but after reading so many comments online that it curled in on itself, I switched to the mistake rib. It will be random wide stripes at the ends, with mostly the coffee color, and solid coffee in the middle.

The kiddos start school again tomorrow, so it’s back to the morning schedule. Better get the coffee pot loaded up for tomorrow…..

See ya!