Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Random musings....

Haven't blogged in a while, and it's not because nothing's been goin' on. Lots has. Life has. Just haven't sat down to blog.

Went to Hill Country Weavers last week. (See, I got downtown way early for a haircut, and I've never been to HCW before, and it's on South Congress, which I never get to, so I drove down South Congress, and found the crack house that is HCW, and discovered I am an addict.) Yeah, I was bad. Way bad. Evidence:

What you see: brown Regia (socks for Joe, maybe gloves!), patterned Regia (currently becoming my first pair of mittens, for Joe...and these were on sale!), some Koigu for Joe in an amazing black/grey colorway, Austermann Stepp socks (these are already done, in this photo they were only one sock and the start of #2), another Austermann, then the lovely second row, all for me! ....Koigu! Koigu! And 2 colorways of Claudia....I've not knit with either the Koigu or the Claudia, but I am excited to start. Grumperina lauds the Koigu.

Grace's birthday party finally happened...bowling at Main Event. Fun was had by all!

I am off this weekend to Farmerville Louisiana, with Jackie, for a scrapping retreat. It's gonna be nice to get away for a bit, and spend time with just the girls. It's a group from ScrapShare, and I am really looking forward to it. A 7+ hour drive, but it'll be worth it. We girls just seem to need the time with other girls, don't we?

So with that, I will see y'all later. Ciao!

Monday, February 19, 2007

But they were burning a hole in my purse....

see, I get the ad for Michaels early. When there will be an ad in the Sunday paper, I get the ad in my Wednesday junk mail the week prior. And then I also get it in the Sunday paper. It's nice to know what will be on sale, you know....for planning purposes. Planning is good. Very good.

Today is Presidents' Day, and although the kiddos still have school, Michaels finds it in their corporate hearts to have sales on holidays. The ad contained one coupon valid Sunday and Monday only for 50% off any one item, as well as a 40% off coupon valid the rest of the week. So I had TWO coupons for 50% off, that are, no were, in my purse.

Scrapbook Crossing honors Michaels coupons on Mondays only.

What's a girl to do? Head out to the store! After all, I have two scrapbooking retreats coming up, so I can at least stock up on adhesive refills at 50% off. I like the Hermafix dotto repositionable. And the Xyron Cheetah.

Since I plan on completing a 6x6 album for both Alex and Grace, I picked up the albums themselves (using one of the coupons. They only let you use one per person. feh.). And a few little things I knew I'd use. Then I stopped by Michaels (hey, I still had that other 50% off coupon, and at least there's adhesive, right?). I ended up getting a few little things, yes including the dotto refill and some word stickers for pages a la Ali Edwards....and got the Fiskars craft drill. Hey, it was a FIFTY PERCENT OFF coupon, people! Can't beat that with a stick. And now I can drill through the chipboard I have for mini albums.

And get this: I still have the 2 40% off coupons for Michaels for the rest of the week, 2 40% off coupons for Hobby Lobby (one from the paper and one from the website), and a 30% off coupon for Scrapbook Crossing! Appears I'll be having another field trip this week, over to the Hobby Lobby on Lamar.

Sigh. Such work, this saving money.

Can I get credit for the 4 of 5 laudry loads I have done, the clean carpet I have, and the dinner planned already? Please? Thanks.

Friday, February 16, 2007

FPU rocks!

We've been doing the Dave Ramsey thing since this past fall. We took Financial Peace University at Hill Country Bible Church, and have been rocking the bills. It's awesome. We've been on cash only since credit cards anymore! I got an email from Joe today that we hit another milestone in our plan, and we are so very psyched! We've set another timeline goal, and it's an aggresive one. Give Dave a listen online, or get his book. Even better, take FPU or see him in person! Like he says, Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.

On the knitting front, I picked up the new Interweave Knits Spring 2007. Check out those patterns! Too many that I like. Which? Well, the Green Tea Raglan, the Dollar and a Half Cardigan, the Cable-Down Raglan (check out the shaping with the cables!), and the Ruffled Surplice. Just gorgeous. So now to calculate which gets to be made first, by checking out yarn prices on the recommended weights. Might have to make my first order via KnitPicks (they have great prices on yarns).

Also, I have reached critical mass!! Or maybe the lack a black hole. I am currently on the toe decrease of sock #1....on the last skein of sock yarn in the hizzouse! Quite scary. I have no sock yarn stash! I do have a WIP (work in progress) that I can work on...and I really need to get it done. It's the unravelled yarn from two, yes TWO, attempts at a sweater from....cough cough.....a long time ago. It's current incarnation is a vest, from Knitty. But have no stash. I'm nearly frightened enough to put off the completion of the socks, so that I don't end up without something to carry around! I seem to have a sock going with me wherever I go now, and I like it.

We'll be busy this weekend with a Faith Alive event at church. I'm looking forward to it; it's been 10 years since our last one, and it was amazing then. Anticipating a great weekend. So I may not be 'seeing' you for a bit....take care!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Gracie-girl...

Eleven years old, today. And I remember it so well! When you were born, your face was just so 'girlie' different from your brothers'. My birthday wish for you is health, happiness, and love. We love you so much!

Catching some rays on the boat in Silver Lake.

Riding in the car, three days from Texas to Michigan. Great fun!

A girl after my own heart...Blue Bell right out of the container!

Oh, and since Blogger doesn't like the size of the photo of Joe in the alps, here's one Jackie took last year in Silver Lake, on the boat, of Joe and I. Vacation Hair is not my best look, but the photo does show how stinking happy we are!

Off to have ice cream with the birthday girl......

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy "Van Allen-tine's" Day....

Just love to say that.

We don't do anything for Valentine's Day. Not even cards. I'd rather have the $ from the card for a latte, to be quite honest. And no flowers. If anything, Joe can get me a plant (the flowers just die, and it's not rose season. Well, tulips are my fave, so that is nice if he does that). But still, no biggie. When I was at Target this week I grabbed a bag of Dove chocolates, and told him he got them for me. I'm happy! I tell Joe he can brag to his friends at work that he gets off easy for holidays, even our anniversary.

So we are dog sitting for my sister for a few days, with her new Great Pyrenees. She's adorable, and named Holly. Well, Merry Holly to be exact (she got Holly from a shelter over Christmas break). so I have four dogs, and couldn't be happier. She's just precious. I even got her up on the couch with me tonight...she thinks she's a lap dog.

And later I got the other 3 up on the couch with me. Pardon the Winnie the Pooh jammies and the lovely no-makeup's after 5 and that's what you get here.

Tomorrow my baby turns 11. Yes, ELEVEN. Wow. I'll have lunch with her at school, but her party won't be until next weekend, due to a very busy weekend already at church. The current plan is to take some of her friends to go see Bridge to Terabithia friday night, then cake and ice cream. Grace is my little valentine, one day late. (It's a busy month for birthdays: yesterday was my dad's, today is my mother-in-law's, and my mom's is the 28th!)

So Happy Van Allentine's Day...I hope you know how much you are loved! I surely do. Here's my honey, Joe, in the Alps a few years ago. Love you, babe! We're closing in on TWENTY YEARS, and I can't imagine itwithout you. {{ugh....blogger hates me and won't let me upload the photo. I'll try again later.}}

Monday, February 12, 2007

Back in the saddle again....

Ah, I am finally on the mend! The coughing has subsided, so I am trying to catch up from being out of commission for a week. Dang the house can get dirty! Did a giant trip to Target today...success! I took an inventory of the meats I had in the freezer, wrote up meals for each, and came up with a shopping list for those meals and the necessities of every month. And shoot, with coupons galore I was able to save $11.90! I was pumped. Can you believe that? And I didn't use to clip coupons.

The Grammy awards last night got us in a music mood again. The Police opening the show was those guys. Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts did a great tribute to the Eagles. Happy to see the Dixie Chicks win awards (sorry Jackie! not really, though), I just love their sassiness. And the songwriting of theirs is good too. I don't have a good memory anymore, but thanks to the movie Jezebel, I do remember that it was Voltaire who famously said, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". (great flick, and I love Bette Davis as the spoiled southern belle Julie). And can I just say that Blades of Glory, the newest Will Ferrell movie, looks so, so funny? It reminds me of the bit from SNL, years ago, about the brothers who are syncronized swimmers, and have Christopher Guest as their 'over the top' coach, with Martin Short as the brother who can't swim. Dang funny. Click and enjoy a good laugh.

Hoping to get caught up today, so I am off to clean some more. Later dudes...

Friday, February 09, 2007

There is cheese available to go with this whine....

Shoot, I am from Wisconsin...there is always cheese available.

Man, I am a horrible patient. So whiney. Cripes. Still feeling icky, but at least my voice is back. I was all over the place from the Peter Brady cracking voice to the Suzanne Pleschett husky voice.

I did get out yesterday, and got to play with my best friend! Jackie and I went to Scrapbook Crossing, to see if they were getting CHA winter releases yet, and they've already started to arrive! We stopped at the Railyard Grill for lunch...hadn't been there in a while, and they make great sandwiches. I couldn't believe how good it tasted: I had a ham & turkey club, and get this...I ate the tomato! If you didn't know, I really dislike raw 'em cooked. but I've been getting into them lately on sandwiches, but even more so on bruschetta. Antioxidents, yippee!

On another note: yep I called it. Kudos to me! We finally got around to watching Heroes, in fact we watched 2 in a row which is of course way, way better. I guessed who Claire's daddy is! Can't wait to see how this all plays out. Know what gets me though? The woman who portrays Nathan's wife (in the wheelchair) on Heroes also plays Graem's wife on 24. There goes my ability to consider Heroes as reality TV. Dang. Still, without that little revelation with Claire, and Skylar getting loose, these episodes were a little slow for me. I wanna know who is Linderman??? Hopefully soon that will all tie in also.

Hoping for more good college basketball tonight....

Monday, February 05, 2007

Superbowl Fever...

I got to watch the game by myself last night. Joe and the boys were at a Superbowl Party for the Youth Group and Grace was enjoying playing in her room after 2 nights of sleepovers at a friend's house.

The first quarter was far more exciting than the rest of the game, but the high number of turnovers did keep me looking back up from my knitting.

And the halftime show....Prince....what more can you say? I though his voice was better now than 20 years ago, and loved that he mixed all the Purple Rain music in with some Tina Turner, Hendrix and Foo Fighters ('course, Eric was the one to point out Foo...he's so good with music). Love me the old Prince. We realized later that we have his 1999 on CD now, but the Purple Rain soundtrack is still in the LPs. Gotta get that on CD too. Great workout music, eh?

The only bummer was that my voice is going, and I started running a little fever. It's weird for me to run a fever, since I typically run only about 97 degrees (does that mean I'm cold blooded?). There was a time that I considered tossing the kids in the car for a little getaway during their school break, just to get outta Dodge, but then Alex had a band clinic scheduled during the break. In retrospect, good call. Wouldn't wanna be driving all day with a fever.

So although the weather is amazing, I'm inside whining. I'm so thankful that the kids are all old enough to feed themselves, play outside, do homework, etc. And the schnauzers are more than happy to make sure I stay put on the couch today. Maybe I'll get sock #2 done today in between Advils.

Signing off with a whiney sigh...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ah, holiday....

Yeppers, the kids are off school for 3 days next week; our school district is the only one in the area that does this 'clumping' of inservice days into a long weekend, but I sure do like it. And I know that the kids are ready for a few days off. Even if Eric did get loaded down with homework. Ick.

I am hoping that I feel better soon...I just woke up this morning feeling cruddy. It's probably just a simple cold or allergies. Not much accomplished today other than knitting, coughing and clearing of the throat.

I did get socks finished for Joe. I used Austermann Step, the one with the Aloe and Jojoba in it. The yarn is so soft to work with, and he says they are very comfortable. And the cool thing is that even though I didn't pay attention to where I cast on in the color change sequence, assuming I would just get some 'fraternal twin' socks, they ended up being pretty much identical twins! Cool beans.

Yes, they are the same length, they just aren't pulled up to the same height on the legs. I used a K2, P2 rib at the top and a simple K6 P1 around the leg and down the top of the foot. That's with a cast on of 56. I liked this because it was just a little more snug than plain stockinette on the leg but nothing really fancy. I'll do this again, for sure.

So in a previous post I was talking about yarns, and some issues I ran into, but was unable to post photos. Evidently I can post photos again, so here is what I was talking about with the Vesper Yarns...Here is one of the joining knots I encountered in the skeins:

And here is an example of the white spots within a color:

So, yeah, not really excited about all that.

Go check out Ali Edwards' blog (click on her nake in my sidebar) to see how she's now raising money for Autism Awareness. Kevin Bacon has a deal he's doing with matching funds, and it's called Six Degrees. You know that old 'Kevin Bacon game'? I just love it when celebs are able to laugh at themselves. And the fact that he's doing it with philanthropy just makes me smile.

There's a meme going around asking for a list of six weird things about yourself. I can think of a couple, but really, aren't we all a little weird? I'll see if I can come up with just six to share in a future post.

It's time for more Tylenol and perhaps an early bedtime tonight. I'm not a very good patient. I get pretty whiney. It's best I just go to bed!

Later, dudes...