Friday, December 28, 2007

A Gift For You

I'm signing off for a few days - Happy New Year, All!

Here's the latest favorite YouTube offering from my family to yours. The kids and I have watched these guys several times in the last few weeks. (If your kids haven't heard Africa by Toto, have them check out this video, too. Makes the choir even more impressive.)

Adding Insult to Injury

Me: "I'm calling to see if my car is ready."

Car Mechanic: "Yes, it's all fixed. I changed your spark plugs, put in new wires, and then you still had that misfire problem, so I put in a new coil. Now it runs great."

Me: "Great!"

Car Mechanic: "There are a few things you should consider fixing in the next few months. You have a small hole in an exhaust tube and that should be replaced. Also, one of the sensor wires in the blah de blah (at this point, the technical aspects of the fine workings of the oxygen filter and heating thingie went right over my head) and should be changed. I'll write those up for you so you can see what they will cost."

Me: "Okay."

Car Mechanic: "And there's one more thing."

(Are you holding your breath?)

(Wait for it - it's worth it.)

Car Mechanic: "You need to get your pest problem eliminated. I found mouse droppings on your engine. Those mice love to chew on wires. You need some poison or something."

@#$%&* mice. This means war.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Knit Bit: Log Cabin Update

Knit Bit: Sally's New Hat

Knitty's Coronet pattern, Fantasy Naturale 100% cotton yarn, color: spearmint. (Sweater in progress, too)


"Oh yeah! It's Christmas!" (Please note the window: still dark outside. 6:45 am.)

The largest gift of the year: a Spiderman bike for Samuel from Santa. He got a Transformers helmet, too. ("Sweet!")

This one cracks me up. Samuel's eyes are closed, Sally is wearing her new Christmas outfit, and look outside: the sun is coming up.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I finished Sally's hat on Saturday night. Because I cannot keep a secret well at all, and because I was excited to give it to her, I decided to give it to her on Sunday. I called her in to my room and sat down on the bed with her. Samuel came in, too. I told her I made her something and I couldn't wait two more days to give it to her. "Yeah, and it's a hat!" Samuel told her. He's worse than me. It fits and she loves it.

The other super secret knitting gift is not finished. I blame the vicodin and the flu. (I am passing the blame to things that cannot argue that they are not to be blamed. This is sad, I know, but still I am doing it.) I was making socks for my husband. (Surprise, honey!) I am still making them for him, but one of these days he'll ask me what I'm making and then I'll tell him they are for him. Hopefully they will be done before his birthday. In May. (I don't knit socks fast at all.)

I'm signing off for the holidays. I might get a photo post or two, but no promises.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

(If you haven't seen the latest Harley commercial about the Naughty List, watch it here. It's funny. This is Samuel's comment after watching it on TV the other night.)

Samuel: "That's just silly. Everyone knows that motorsidles can't fly."

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Knock knock"
Mom: "Who's there?"
Samuel: "Orange"
Mom: "Orange who?"

Samuel: "Knock knock"
Mom: (starts to laugh because he has no idea that he is doing the joke wrong) "Who's there?"
Samuel: (starts to laugh because his mom is laughing) "Orange"
Mom: "Orange who?"

Samuel: "Knock knock"
Mom: (laughing harder now) "Who's there?"
Samuel: "Orange"
Mom: "Orange who?"

Samuel: (barely able to talk because he's laughing so hard) "Knock knock"
Mom: "Who's there?"
Samuel: "Banana"
Mom: (barely breathing because she has no idea how this will end) "Banana who?"
Samuel: "Baa . . . . " (reallizes he messed up the joke and quickly regroups) "Bet you're glad I didn't say orange!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good Tidings of Great Chaos

Now that I've caught up on my sleep, I'm a whirlwind of productivity. I'm even impressing myself over here. First, the photos to appease the masses:

The kids in front of the Christmas tree.
And one more of the tree:
I put on the lights, and let them decorate away. My only rule was heavy (translation: pricy) ornaments go up high. (Stu's only rule is no flocking. We don't like flocking over here. Also not a real fan of tinsel, but I didn't get any this year. I digress.)

The stockings.
Also under the children's responsibility. They arranged them boy/girl/boy/girl, starting with Dad. (They ARE just like me - thanks for the compliment!)

The kitchen shelves.
These are above the sink - they had some flowers and other stuff on them, which I took off, threw half of it away, cleaned the rest, cleaned the shelves, (get up off the floor, Mom - I do sometimes clean) and put up Christmas fun. The red tealight holders are new this year. (Red and gold are my Christmas colors, by the way. I decided a few years ago that I will only buy new Christmas items if they are (a) on sale, and (b) red or gold. I need rules. It helps me.)

And now, since she doesn't read the blog, here's the secret Christmas knitting:
It's a hat for Sally. Well, it's the band for a hat for Sally. I'm almost done with the band (just 14 more rows) and then I can start on the body, which will go very fast. The band is a braided cable, which means that I knit it pretty slow, because I'm still new to the cabling, and I have to stop and keep track of which row that I'm on (that's the chart in the background - I like charts better than those plastic row counters) since when I made this hat for me I lost track, crossed some of the cables wrong, and had to rip it out and start over. Anyways, the body is just plain knitting, around and around. Goes very fast. I think I'll make it.

The Christmas cards go out tomorrow. Sally helped me with the stamping yesterday. They are all ready today, but she has a few notes she wants to write, so I told her I'd wait to mail them on Friday. One more day won't hurt. (update: She also sealed most of them tonight. Such a good helper!)

Thanks for all the good wishes in the comments and the emails and most of all for the prayers for my eye and my health. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Saturday night I got the flu. Can you even believe that? I couldn't.

The cornea looks good. Everything else over here is a wreck. Six days until Christmas? Yikes.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Holy cricket - is it that close to Christmas? SOOO not ready.

I've been busy growing a new cornea over here. It's exhausting work. I spent two days strung out on vicodin, laying on the couch and eating whatever random thing was placed in front of me and sleeping on the couch. (I've grown very fond of that couch.) I'd get up only when the drugs wore off, pacing until the new one started working. It felt like someone scraped a big hole in my eye with a hot poker. It hurt bad.

The contact is now out and I've been growing a nice new cornea. Hopefully it will be happy and stick on tight so I don't have to go through this ever again. One of the optomitrists at the practice watched my procedure and told all the nurses that I was the bravest woman he'd ever seen - that he was in pain just watching me sit there and have this procedure done. He didn't know how I did it. I told the nurse that I had lots of people praying for me, that I'm not really very brave at all.

I'm now in the Extra Strength Tylonol and eye drops every hour phase of recovery. We watched Transformers. It was awesome. (That could be the drugs still in my system. Hard to tell.) And I don't like to go outside because the light hurts my eye. The really awful part of the recovery (besides the pain) is that I couldn't even knit. I was too sleepy to concentrate.

Now I think I have a cold. Can you believe that?

And I found the pringles lid. It was in the driveway this whole time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Went To The Dr

and got my eye scraped

which was probably a good thing because Dr.K kept saying "wow - i'm just barely touching it and it's just flaking off - it's more damaged than I thought - just a few more minutes"

not things you want to hear about your cornea. no, not really.

but it didn't hurt - was just very mentally exhausting. Nice kind Dr.K gave me a vicodin before I left his office, and I've been on the couch all morning. I just took my second dose. Thank God for vicodin.

stephenee is the bestest friend a girl could have. she said nice things and got me my pills and fed me lunch. and she didn't even get mad at me that I lost the pringles lid whilst eating in the grocery store. isn't she the BEST?!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

kid photos to distract you

Here they are, goofing off in the front of our house. They've been riding scooters in between rainy days (which have been frequent for us over the past two weeks).

Here they are in our front yard with the bear named Buttons. He keeps falling over because the wind is so strong. "Silly Buttons!" we all shout to him. We are a bit crazy.
I go in tomorrow to see my eye doctor and I am most likely going to have the lovely scraping procedure I've been dreading. Although, I was in so much pain at 4 am on Monday that I almost scraped it out myself, so maybe the scraping thing won't be so bad after all. Maybe it will be like therapy, some kind of punishment for my eye, justice for causing me pain.
Yeah right. I'll let you know.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Grumbling & Gratitude


My eye is hurting again. I go to the doctor next week.

Grey's Anatomy was all bloody this week. It was like ER. I don't like ER - I like crazy doctors complaining about their lives and making bad choices about their personal relationships. I don't like the blood.

I'm working on a secret knitting gift project and I found two mistakes on Thursday. I tried to fix it - actually I did fix it - but I wasn't happy with the results so I had to rip back about and inch and a half of knitting. (This is approx. 2-3 hours of work) Problem is now fixed and I'm going to be very careful.


There was a new Psych on last night which we all watched together. (This is Sally and my favorite show!)

I made some homemade breakfast sandwiches (even homemade oatmeal whole wheat rolls) and they turned out great. Recipes to come next week.

We are going to go get our Christmas tree today.

We have ordered new carpet for the living room, which means (are you ready for it?) that the year-long living room redecorating project is nearing the end.

Christmas is coming soon! I love December. I just wish that it could last a few more weeks.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Look at that Mom! That's for the Wii. I totally want that game."
Me: (smirking because we bought it last month to give to the kids from Santa) "Really?"
Samuel: "Yeah. It looks cool."
Stuart: (in on the Santa conspiracy) "Maybe you should ask Santa for it."
Samuel: (very concerned) "Do you really think the elves can make a cd?"

Sunday, December 02, 2007


We had a great weekend. We actually started on Thursday night by getting dinner and eating it in the car while driving through our favorite Christmas lights neighborhood. And, lest you think this is strange, let me tell you that this is THE neighborhood to see, and if you live near me, email me and I'll tell you where it is. It's fantastic. Not everyone was ready with their decor, so we will have to go back again in a few weeks. Not a sacrifice - we have decided that it is one of our favorite things to do in December.

We listen to Christmas music, too, and I just love the lyrics of Christmas songs. Especially the second or third verses of traditional hymns. Like the third verse of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing:"

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

I love carefully chosen words like these. It's a delight to the ears and the mind.

Friday our plans were rained out (Sally had a soccer game) so we were all able to go to Samuel's Christmas program at his school. Always fun. He couldn't have been more bummed about their first song - he didn't sing, didn't smile, and did about half of the motions - but he came alive for the finale, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" - the whole song, complete with the figgy pudding verse. (Now he wants to try figgy pudding. That kid.)

Saturday we had a sleepover with some friends here, and Sunday was church then watching the football game with friends. I got to do some baking and some knitting, which makes everything just about perfect. (Pumpkin muffins and chocolate chip cookies, in case you were wondering.)

New Stuff on the Side

Hi everyone! I wanted to call attention to some new goodies on the sidebar - some stuff for knitters, and a new business that I want to promote - Pressed Ink, a friend's business. If you like quality note cards, go check them out. Pink & brown and light blue & brown - in polka dots and stripes. So lovely.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

My favorite of his latest mispronunciations:

"Calipitter" for caterpillar

It took me a few moments to catch it, which is why I'm charmed by it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Harvest Fruits Dessert

I baked two of our pumpkins yesterday (for those who garden, they did turn orange off of the vine - I was worried that they wouldn't) and they were very good.I got the idea for this baked dessert from the internet, but I can't remember where. The fancy name is all me.
Directions: Cut the lid off of the pumpkin and clean it out. Rinse and salt lightly. In a bowl, combine cut apples, pears, and raisins. (I left the skin on the fruit and cut into bite sized pieces.) I also added dried cranberries. Add brown sugar and toss to coat; add other spices if desired. (Cinnamon and nutmeg are good.) Fill the pumpkin with the fruit mixture, place it on a jelly roll pan (or other pan with sides) and into a 350 oven for one hour to one and a half hours. Remove fruit with a big spoon, scraping the sides of the pumpkin as you go. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Knit Bit: Log Cabin Technique

For the knitters out there: After doing a lot of searching on the internet about how to properly pick up stitches on the log cabin blanket, I came up with a few assorted gems that I put together to get the look I wanted. Here's the front: And here's the lovely, pretty much flat, back:
Here's how I did it: First off, watch this video on picking up stitches (scroll down the page to find it). The only thing I do differently is that I only pick up one strand of yarn to pull the new yarn through, not two strands. Start with the front side facing up, with the edge that you are going to knit at the top. Pick up the first edge stitch on the far right corner with your needle, wrap the yarn around to knit, and pull it through. Now there is one stitch on your needle. Here's a picture of the needle in the fourth stitch - I'll wrap the yarn around (as to knit) and pull it through.
After you pick up the stitches across the row, then you knit back (which will be a wrong side row) and voila! A pretty (and pretty flat) seam!And here's what it looks like on the back:
It looks like I just changed colors in a row, instead of what I actually did, which was: bind off, turn the work, pick up stitches, and knit in a different direction.

A note on the numbers: For this blanket, I cast on 20 stitches and knit enough rows so that one side had 20 ridges and the other had 19 ridges. I then bound off, making the 20th ridge on the back side. I picked up 20 stitches (some people like to pick up 21 - it's a matter of preference and how tight you knit) and knit 10 ridges. The next time I picked up 30 stitches, and knit 10 ridges. I'm liking the look.

And one piece of advice: weave in the ends as you go. You'll be happier when you are done. Trust me.

Knit Bit: Baby Blankets

I am finishing up a baby blanket for a friend who had a boy in October. I'm almost done sewing on the backing. (Back fabric is a cotton quilting fabric; yarn is Bernat Cotton Tots)

And for my sister, who wanted to see a picture of the back, this is the girl blanket that I made last month. I don't have a baby girl to give it to yet - I'm waiting to see who arrives first (I have five pregnant women in my life!). (Back fabric is a thick fleece fabric; yarn is Bernat Cotton Tots)

For the knitters: these are knit in the log cabin style, a la Mason Dixon Log Cabin. I started with the pattern for the Moderne Baby Blanket and adjusted it to my size preference. I am not very happy with the way I picked up the stitches, which is why I put a backing on them. I did some research and experimenting, and now I'm working on another one with Cotton-Ease yarn. I'll put up a post about how I figured out how to pick up the stitches for a smooth back to the blanket. I'm way loving the log cabin blankets.

Thanksgiving Pies

My husband did all of the cooking for Thanksgiving (except the potatoes, which I did, but I used his new recipe for it). Here are the pies he made. They were delicious.That's two pumpkin and one blueberry (click for the recipes). The blueberry pie was for Samuel, who saw a recent episode of his favorite cooking show, Good Eats, and wanted to have some blueberry pie. (Mom, it was really good and not runny at all. He used fresh blueberries and we baked it the day before we ate it, so it had lots of time to cool down. It was so so good.)

A Keeper

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thank You

I left for my doctor appointment this morning wearing my lucky self-knit socks, thinking a happy thought, and in the company of my best friend/designated driver (who had been instructed to say Nice Things like "it will be fine" and "you're doing great").

I sat in the doctor's chair while the assistant gave me two rounds of numbing drops (two!) and tried to keep calm while my dear friend made funny small talk with me.

When my doctor came in and looked at my eye and said, "It looks really good - much better than last time - I'm really surprised" I just held my breath because I couldn't breathe. When he said that he didn't think it was necessary to do the debridement today, I opened and closed my mouth, and then my friend did the nicest thing - she said out loud the thing I was thinking.

Prayers have been answered!

I go back in one month. I'm so so thankful. Thank you, Dr. K. To everyone sending prayers my way, thank you. To my husband and kids who prayed over me this morning, I love you guys. To the God who keeps me in His hands, thank you for your work in my eye and my life.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Recommended Website

If you like to buy stuff on the internet, and you drink coffee, you should try CoffeeForLess. I have a Melitte One:One (which, by the by, I love it and would recommend it - it's a pod coffee machine that makes one cup at a time) and I get our coffee pods at this website. Anyway, I was ordering up a new batch of coffee and noticed that on my account information, there was a section called "Loyalty Program". Turns out, I've been racking up points everytime I order. I used my points to order myself a gift card (you can send them to other people, too) and I got $20 off my order. I love stuff like that.

This is not an endorsement for money or profit. I was excited about saving so much money on something that I found at a low price and I would have ordered anyway. Happy coffe drinking. (They have teas, too.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

How many?

I just deleted 972 old emails from my inbox. Seriously, how did I let that happen? 972!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is that the time?

This week is Thanksgiving. Seriously? It seems like Halloween was just yesterday. Today Sally and I started prepariations for the exterior illumination festivities that will take place on Friday. We got down the lights that we got on sale last year and the polar bear (with red bow and moving head). He required assembly, and we have named him Buttons. We figured out where we will put the spiral light tree and the mini forest (three two-foot trees). I crafted up our mini pond (with rope lights and cardboard and tinfoil) while Sally drew some schematics (color coded, of course). We are excited. The breakfast menu is still under debate, as I will probably be having some eye recovery issues because I have an appointment on Wednesday and my doctor told me to expect to have my eye debridement done that day. As in, bring a driver because you'll need one. I am attempting to deal with my unnecessary panic regarding this event by telling everyone I know about it and saying out loud that it probably won't be so bad and that I'll get good drugs, and by knitting myself a comfy "my eyes hurt but as least I have this blanket" blanket. These two things seem to be working. Stuart is busy prepairing for the Thanksgiving Feast (he always cooks the big meals) so if I can't see out of the one eye for the holiday, I think we'll get through it fine.

The kids and I watched Mission: Impossible tonight and I was trying to explain to them who the bad guys are and who is really a good guy but everyone thinks he's a bad guy and who is a bad guy but is pretending to be a good guy . . . it's all very confusing. Sally kept trying to figure it out, but Samuel just wanted more action scenes.

Now I'm off to bed. I'm going to try to have everything in order here before Wednesday morning so if I'm unable to deal with life for a few days, my family won't suffer too much because of it. Considering the normal state of things, putting everything in order is going to take alot of work. However, I have to keep my mind busy so I don't have time to be worried about my doctor gently scraping my eye cells off. (See? Now I'm telling random people in yet another attempt to calm myself. Sad, isn't it?) If I don't get back here before Thursday, have a Happy Thanksgiving. Put some extra cool whip on your pumpkin pie and think of me!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Good Mail

I had a busy day. Dropped Samuel at school, went to Sally's teacher conference, took Sally to IKEA where we happily picked out and measured furniture for her room (no purchases yet - planning continues), picked up Samuel, drove to ToysRUs only to remember that that one is closed, drove to the other ToysRUS . . . and that's the highlights! So on the way home, I was feeling very tired and said out loud that I hoped that I had some good mail waiting at home. I didn't. My kids ran off to play, only to come out awhile later to hand me two folded notes. On the front: "Good mail" Inside: "Dear Mom, Want mail? Well, here is good mail. I love you and you are a good mom. Love Sally." Aaawwww! The other one said: "Dear Mom, I hope your eye feels better. Love Samuel." That one had the letters dotted by Sally and then written over by Samuel, except for his name, which he did all by himself. The best mail I've ever had!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Knit Bit: Hat!

Here's what happens when knitting is your method of self-soothing - you finish stuff pretty fast. :) I had most of this hat finished last night while I was watching The Bourne Idenity on TV, but left the last decreases at the top for today. (I don't trust myself with the double-pointed needles late at night.)It's the Coronet pattern from knitty. I used Lion Cotton-Ease yarn in taupe and berry. I am planning on making a sweater (Alice) with this yarn, so I wanted to do a smaller project to make sure I like it. Here is a picture of the swatches I made to figure out which colors I liked together. I really like the lime and purple, but those colors just don't work with my coloring.

I'll have to make something for Sally with them, because I love the way they look together. But first I'm making a sweater for Sally with some other cotton yarn that I have, and I'm also making some slippers that have to be felted in the washing machine (that means that I wash them in hot to shrink them on purpose. Doesn't that sound like fun? The kids are planning on watching me do it. I'll have lots of pictures!). I'm also almost done with a blanket for a baby boy that was born last month (congratulations to J & T!).
Thanks to everyone for all your nice comments and good wishes for my eye. It doesn't hurt at all today, which is a huge relief to me and everyone who lives with me. Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2007


So I went back to the doctor today because the pain in my eye is back. It's actually gotten worse, which I think is not a good sign, so I went in and he took the contact out. Thankfully he numbed up my eye (all the best of God's blessings on the person who invented those numbing eye drops - seriously great stuff) and then he tried to move it, only to discover that it was a little stuck on my eye, and oh yeah, I could still feel his finger on my eye. More numbing drops and out it came - SUCH a relief. I'm on to other drops (they are salt based) because the small injury is getting better - slowly - and he's hoping he doesn't have to do a procedure called "debris-ment" which involves (stop reading if you are squemish) gently scraping the topmost layer of my eye off. I'm hoping the more times I say that out loud, the easier it will be for me to face it. (So far, no luck. I'm now thinking good thoughts about my cornea and talking to my eye in hopes that it will keep healing all by itself. Good cornea, you are looking so nice and healthy today. Yes, I'm grasping at straws. I know this.) I'm just so thankful that for tonight, I am pain free.

What with all this eye drama, I haven't been to the library to get a new book. So I'm reading Little Women. Can you believe that I have never read it? Me neither. It's such a sweet book. I'm enjoying it alot.

In other news, the kids are fine. Samuel went ice skating for the first time on Saturday. He's not very good, but he had fun. Sally is a fair skater. They were surprised that I knew how to skate. The husband is fine, too. My dad is doing really well and is feeling better and better all the time. The mice that were living in our back yard left and never came back. (I don't count the stuffed mouse that my best friend left for me to find, OR the candy mice that she lovingly gave me last week. They don't count, but they made me laugh.) So, if it weren't for the bad eye, things would be pretty great around here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


So today was a bummer. I stumbled through the morning, my eye feeling between mildly irritated to moderately painful. It is still better than the blinding pain that I was having on some mornings, so that is good, but three or four hours of varying levels of pain can really wear you down. (Highlight of the day was lunch with my friend Vivian. Thanks for listening to me!) I realized that my body was tense and that my breathing was irregular, so I put in some more drops and decided to knit. (It was that or hit the ice cream or look for something stronger. Since I took an Aleve - and it was early afternoon - I thought knitting was the best choice.) I've been working on this hat - I started it yesterday because I needed something to get my mind off the whole eroding eye issue. Anyway, today I took a look at my progress and noticed two mistakes. Two. I tried to convince myself that nobody would notice but me, but I stared at the thing for a few minutes, then I lied down and closed my eyes for a few minutes, then I quickly ripped the whole thing out. Quickly so I couldn't change my mind. I knew it would bother me every time I'd wear that hat, and I needed more distraction today anyway. So I've been working on it while making dinner, helping Sally with her homework, and watching some akito reality show with Stuart. I'm back to where I was before I ripped it out - and no mistakes!
If you see a mistake, DO NOT TELL ME. My eye is feeling much much better tonight, and it's not necessary to distract me because I need a good night's sleep. (Knitters, it's Lion Cotton Ease yarn in Taupe on US7 needles.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Remember that I said you shouldn't use the internet to self-diagnose?

Remember this?

Well, I have it. I went to the opthamologist today and he gave me a contact lens to wear for a week while my cornea heals and some drops so it doesn't get infected.

This totally messes up my practical wise advice. I'm kinda bummed about that.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

frequently overheard at our house

Samuel: "Mommy, I love you forty two."
Me: "I love you forty five!"
Samuel: "I love you a hundred and a googolen*."

*One day I explained to the kids that there is no such thing as the biggest number, but a very large number is called a googol (which is a '1' with 100 zeros behind it). They frequently throw around this knowledge, but almost never get the word 'googol' right.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

Happy Day

While running some errands, I stopped at Staples and picked up the 2008 calendar pages for my organizer. It makes me so happy.

In other news, I was walking in a parking lot this morning and some guy had on Eternity cologne. That always makes me think of this guy from college - he wore way too much of the stuff every single day, but he was a good guy - and it got me to thinking how smell is so closely linked to certain memories for me. I think I've mused on this before - vinegar reminds me of Easter, chocolate chip cookies of my mom, and playdough of my uncle (we used to play playdough whenever he would come over for a visit). Today, I was thinking about what smell will make my kids think of me. (My guess is vanilla. Samuel always asks to smell the vanilla when we bake, and my perfume is a vanilla scent.)

I'm off. I have some laundry to fold, some bills to pay, and some yarn to knit. Have a great weekend, Internet!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Three Things Thursday

(1) I like the first day of the month because I like organizing my calendar. (ok, calendarS)

(2) I don't like the first day of the month because the bills are due. (hate those bills)

(3) Since I live in crazy southern California, I will spend part of this first day of November replanting my morning glories into the ground. They are growing like crazy and totally too big for the pot I planted them in. We are STILL getting tomatoes, and there are a few pumpkins that I am holding out hope for them to turn orange. I want to try this recipe I found for a baked pumpkin dessert - you clean out the pumpkin, put in some cut fruit and brown sugar and spices, and pop the lid back on and bake it for 1-2 hours. Sounds yummy and fun, right? I'll let you know.

Ready for Treats!

Here they are! We went to a local church that hosted a Trunk or Treat and had a blast! We didn't even make it around to all the cars before the kids told me they were done - their buckets were full and heavy. (Samuel is Scooby Doo - his costume from the past two years. He loves it. Sally wanted to be a Chinese girl (which she is . . . .) but we couldn't find a red high necked dress like she wanted, so we found this and went for Asian girl. (I know it's Japanese, but she doesn't. The red hair chopsticks were included with the dress.) )

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Month Gone

Happy Halloween, Internet.

Tomorrow - photos of the kiddos.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Conversations with the Husband

Me: "Did you help the kids with their waffles?"

Him: "Yes. Did you know that there was a piece of cheese bread in the back of the toaster oven?"

Me: "Nope."

Inside my head: Note to self - you really must have a coffee before using the kitchen appliances.

Favorite Foto Friday

(late, I know)
This was the sun last week. With all of the fires, the sun was red. The moon looked dirty. It was a pretty surreal week. We stayed inside, huddled together in the family room, all of our activities cancelled.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Knit Bit: Beret

Well, kids, this is one of the fastest knits ever. I call it Raspberry Beret (of course - what else?) and I used one strand of blue and one strand of purple held together.
It matches the fingerless gloves I made in the spring.Both were knit with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, available on-line from The beret is from a pattern in a book and the gloves are from a pattern on-line.

In other knitting news, I found a pattern for that bamboo yarn - it's a Diamond Shawl.

It turns out to be a great deal on that yarn, because it will take me pretty much forever to finish knitting it. (The diamond shawl pattern is free on-line from

Three Things Thursday

Fun internet links day!

(1) It's Pumpkin Muffin time! I'm still getting comments on this post - two years later! There is even a recipe for the Big Can (if you can't find the small can of cooked pumpkin). I'd love ideas for another varation. Thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

(2) The biggest yarn stash that I've ever seen - go see it here. Seriously. Is that amazing or awful? You be the judge.

(3) Evidence that you should NOT self-diagnose with the internet. A few weeks ago I was waking up in the middle of the night with eye pain. It felt just like I had an eyelash in my eye. I wasn't too concerned because I had just been to the eye doctor last month, but stupidly I did a little search and came across this article. I got a bit concerned, but my level-headed husband told me to NOT self-diagnose with the internet, to use the eyedrops that the eye doctor recommended, and see what happens. Guess what happened? My eye doesn't hurt anymore. (The good eyedrops? Systane. Excellent drops.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

Upon waking, with a smile on his face:

Samuel: "I'm so happy. I had seven dreams - in three of them I had cake!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The car lives! Turns out the battery was going out, but we checked the water (low), turned off the interior light (BOY!!!), and charged her up. Good to go. (I'm watching it closely, parental types, because I know the time is short on this one.) Got a flu shot today. Had lunch with the hubby. The pumpkins are starting to turn orange (just in time) and I have an hour of freedom before I go pick up the girl. Coming soon - new knitting stuff to show you.

Monday, October 22, 2007


My car wouldn't start this morning. Usually I'd embrace such a day, so I'm trying to by doing some laundry, catching up on email, made the boy and me some eggs for breakfast, and I'm going to do a little knitting and a little cooking. I don't know what's up with me, though, because all I can do is think about things I think I "need" to do, but really don't need to do them at all. I actually don't "need" to go anywhere with a car (the store is within walking distance!) until Wednesday. I think I needed today. My mind is having trouble slowing down.

And the wind! Yesterday the wind was CRAZY, blowing all kinds of problems around southern california. We walked the girl to school on a carpet of evergreen and leaves. It was surreal.

I'm completely smitten with Ravelry. I'm switching my blogging time to Ravelry time, so the posting may be choppy. Also, the holidays. Boy, this time of year just rushes past me. Even when I try and do some things to slow it down, it still goes so fast.

The boy and I are off to the grocery for supplies for dinner. I thought I'd celebrate the non-working car by making some homemade bread. This one. Yum.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Go check your bookshelf!

Hey - did you know that this book is worth this much? I had no idea. If you come across one at a yard sale or at your mom's house, hold on to it! (Or sell it - but get your money's worth!)

Conversations with Sally

(While filling out some personal information in a calendar)
Sally: "What's my blood type?"
Me: "I don't know. It's probably O or B."
Sally: "Oh. I thought it was 'Warm'."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Left or Right?

For many years now, I have considered myself to be an INTJ left-brained smarty pants. (Painful, but true.) But twice in the past two weeks I have tested to be right-brained. The first time was when my friend, Mary-LUE, asked me to fold my hands and look at which thumb was on top. It was my left, meaning that I am right-brained. No, I thought. I put my right thumb on top, and it just felt wrong. Clearly, I am left thumb on top, meaning right-brained.

Today I get this in my email. At first, no matter what I do, I can only see her turn clockwise. Meaning right-brained. After concentrating very hard, I saw her turn counterclockwise, too, but each time I walk away and come back, she's clockwise.

What if all this time I was wrong? What if I wanted to be left-brained, so I outsmarted the tests, but all the while, I'm really right-brained?

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

Doesn't this change everything?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Quoteable Samuel

While camping, we went on a walk through an area that has poison oak. We gave the kids a strong warning about this, which kind of got through.

Samuel: "Don't touch those bushes with the greeen on it. They're bad. They'll give you ashes."

Check this out!

Hey internet - got a gift for you. Go see this website. (Especially you, Sherry. And if you are still lurking around, Karleen, you too.) This is the new website of my college friend - one who was in my wedding, for all the family reading this, you may remember her. Anyway, she's got a book coming out next year and I'm so proud of her! New mommies, this link is for you too :)


So, as you already know, I finished knitting my first pair of socks. I'll knit another pair, but the one thing that bothers me about sock knitting is the double pointed needles. Not that they are pokey - that bothers the husband, not me - but that the stitches could fall off the ends. I found these fun needle holders and set out to make my own. Behold - the sock needle holders:
Fun, easy, cheap, and very useful. (OK, so useful to me - maybe not for everyone out there.) Thanks, Robyn!

And just for Julia, because I know you'll laugh, I found the AntiCraft.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Conversations With The Kids

(This conversation won't make much sense to you if you haven't seen the movie, Night at the Museum. The kids are referring to a scene from that movie.)

While in the car -

Me: "Samuel, you can't have a t.v. in your room, but I'll tell you what. Daddy and I will think about getting you your own clock with a cd player in it, like Sally's, for your room. How about that?"
Samuel: "Ok!"
Sally: "Yeah, but I need a new one because mine keeps, you know, skipping on the cd's."
Stuart: "It does what?"
Me: "It skips sometimes, but that's because she plays it too loud." (pause, with no reply from the girl) "That, and their cd's are scratched up because they keep manhandling them."
Sally: "Manhandling!" (laughs) " 'I don't like to be manhandled!' "
Samuel: " 'It makes me feel small.' "
(everyone laughs)
Me: (to Stuart) "I love our kids."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

Our pumpkins - I'm really hoping they will start to turn orange before the end of the month! We have about five or six of them on the vines now, and we also have beans!

Our little garden has been so much fun for the kids and we are all excited for next year and have big plans for the planting (less cucumbers, bigger tomatoes, some squash). Samuel and I will be making two more planter boxes, too. (Yes, put that on my very long, never-ending to do list.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Three Things Thursday

(1) Target has this cereal called Blueberry Granola with Flax (Archer Farms brand) and it is the best. It has these blueberries that I think are freeze-dried, but they have a crunchy texture that is a little like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms. I am eating it with vanilla yogurt for breakfast.

(2) My Ravelry invitation arrived on Sunday, but I didn't find it until Monday night. It is the coolest thing. It's an on-line knitting and crocheting community and you can keep track of what you knit, what you knit it with, and who else knit that pattern and what yarn they used, or if you like a yarn, you can check out all the stuff people knit with it. It's super fun for me. Oh, and it automatically links to Blogger and Flikr and merges stuff for you. (Ok, so I could go on and on, but I'll stop now.)

(3) I am in the middle of the latest Jasper Fforde book, First Among Sequels. As always, it is so clever that I am delighted by something every few pages.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Conversations With The Kids

The Scene: Walking to school this morning, the boy is in the stroller.

Me: "Samuel, don't pick your nose."
Sally: (looks down to check it out) "Ew. Caterpillar number two."
Me: "What???"
Sally: "Caterpillar poop. It looks like caterpillar poop."
Me: (laughs)
Sally: (laughs) "I've seen it! It looks like little yellow balls! I saw caterpillar poop last year!"
Me: "So you're saying Samuel's boogers look like caterpillar poop."
Sally: "Yeah."
(we both laugh and laugh)
Sally: "It's funny 'cause it's true."

Monday, October 08, 2007


I should have known I was in for an interesting day when I found a dead mouse in the pool last Thursday. It was a long day - a long story - one in which I look like a scared little girl or, even worse, the beginnings of a crazy person. You know, the crazy lady with crooked lipstick because she's so nervous and has the shakes all the time, the lady who puts out some birdseed for the birds and then stands at her kitchen window to watch the birds, only the mice come and then she gets out her handgun and lets off a few rounds . . . . so, long story short, the mice are gone. I found the one in the pool already dead, and I accidentally killed another one (he got wet from the hose and couldn't dry in time to run away, so he laid down and died), and then I euthanized two baby ones (they were abandoned and would have died anyway, so don't look at me like that). In my defense, I didn't shoot anything. (I don't even own a gun.)

Today, we are doing homework and playing Monopoly (10 minutes each until the homework is gone) and Sally is currently beating me. She's wicked good at Monopoly. I'm helping with homework, cleaning the kitchen, starting dinner, and writing this. Multitasking I am good at - staying calm in the face of mice, not so much.

And the highlight of my inbox today: my Ravelry invitation arrived. If I get a nice bout of insomnia, I'll be online.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Another Fun Time Waster

This is the coolest thing! Check it out:

I am fully excited that this website (that I know nothing about) thinks I look like Carol Burnett! Oh Mary-LUE, you find the BEST stuff ever!

Three Things Thursday

(1) Private Practice is becoming my new favorite show.

(2) I still love music by Rick Springfield.

(3) I made cookies yesterday with the kids. Every time I make cookies, I call my mom. Making cookies and my mom will always go together in my mind. (They are Monster Cookies - if you are in the area, you should really stop by after school. Monster Cookies are made with oats and peanut butter and chocolate chips and m&ms (no flour). We made these with Halloween m&m's.)

For Alison: This is the recipe I use for Monster Cookies, but I use 3 cups of peanut butter and one cup of chocolate chips and one cup of m&ms. Also, I don't mix in the m&ms but put them on top right before baking. It makes the cookies prettier. I also make half a batch, as it makes A LOT of cookies. If you have the freezer space and the time to bake them all, they do freeze great and my mom and dad like to eat them right out of the freezer.

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Hey Mom - guess what my phone number's gonna be when I get big?"

Me: "Um, I don't know. What?"

Samuel: "9-1-1"

Me: (laughing) "You can't have that one! That's for an emergency!"

Samuel: "But I've already memorized it."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Knit Bit: Socks!

Well, I finally finished knitting my first pair of socks. Just under a year, too (actually, nine months. Hmmm. Don't read too much into that one.)
For the knitters, the yarn is Lion Magic Stripes “Purple” (a discontinued color) and I used US 3 (3.25 mm) double pointed needles. The pattern is straight out of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitting Rules! I got the gague right so took off following her numbers and it worked great. Look here - I was even able to match the stripe pattern pretty well!
So, I'm glad they are done. I have another sock pattern that I am thinking about knitting, but I am not smitten with sock knitting. (Good thing, as I understand it can be very addicting) And, in other knitting news, I am only 2,567 people away from my Ravelry invitation. (And, in case you were wondering, 14,014 people are in line after me.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Works Every Time

I don't know which ad genius thought of the McDonalds Monopoly promotion, or who decided to make it an annual thing, but I am helpless against it. (And I only need to find Ventor Avenue and I win $25,000!)

Stupid fast food gimmick. I fall for it every time.

Conversations with Samuel

Thanks to guest blogger Auntie Stephanie for this one!

After a walk where we checked out the fountain and the hummingbirds, I was pushing Samuel back to the house when he pointed to the bushes:

Samuel: Dose are blueberries.
Me: What's that?
Samuel: Dose are blueberries, but they're bad.
Me: Why are they bad?
Samuel: Cus if you eat them, they will make you sick.
Me: Ahhh yes, those are bad blueberries.

(After turning the corner and pushing the stroller up the driveway, Samuel points at my car)

Samuel: You're car is dirty. It's bad like the blueberries.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Family Camp

This past weekend we went camping. It was really really fun. We went to Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu, and it was a really nice campground within walking distance to the beach. At low tide, there were tidepools with hermit crabs and starfish and all sorts of things that Sally found fascinating. We got a chance to talk to people who we just saw on Sunday mornings, and that is always lots of fun. At night, we sat around the campfire, eating smores and signing praise songs and talking and laughing. I can't post most of my pictures, because they have lots of kids from church in them and I don't know how people feel about their kids' photos posted on the internet (I guess I live on the edge) but here are some favorites of my kids:

Camp Cooking

We took a camp stove and a cast iron dutch oven camping. That is about the best combo ever. (And a kettle for hot water - got to have coffee & hot chocolate in the morning.) I came up with this recipe for chicken tacos, and it tasted so good that I thought I'd share.

Chicken Tacos

2-3 cans cooked chicken
1-2 packets taco seasoning
1 can tomatoes (I used plain diced)
1 can beans
1 can corn

Put some oil in your pan and heat it up. Add the chicken and any spices you have and cook, chopping up the chicken. Add all the other cans of stuff and let it simmer for 20-40 minutes. Serve with tortillas and shredded cheese and anything else you have around. Also great as a topping for nachos. I wish I had some leftover rice to add to the mix - it would have been so good. Pack some ziplock bags for any leftovers!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Three Things Thursday

(1) YouTube Funny Video of my day: This one - the William Tell Overture for Moms. Thanks, Aunt Chris! Very funny!

(2) Bad thing of the day: the cheeky mice that have been coming over at night to eat the dog's leftover food have found the birdseed bag and chewed a big hole in it. Good thing it was outside. Bad thing I got up before they left - I let the dog out and three of those little $%&@ mice ran out of the seed bag and over the wall. The worthless dog didn't even see them. Really. Good thing he barks at strangers. I decided today was eviction day for their little lair in my pile of broken bricks (note to self: those bricks need to get out of here. Next week. ASAP.) so I took a big three-pronged rake and moved bricks around and then hosed down the pile until the big guy (he's a mouse that has been living on dog food - he's big) went over the wall. I screamed and ran in the house. (No, I did not even attempt to use the rake to kill the thing, as then I would have a dead mouse to deal with, and that would be worse.) Now I have the heebie jeebies and am going to clean something. For a few hours. For the record, I hate all vermin. Mice, rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs included. Sorry, all you animal lovers. I'm from a rural area where the only nice animals are the ones good for milk, eggs, or killing and eating. (Yes, that does make me a bit freakish. I don't care. I like me this way.)

(3) In all the insanity of my life, I managed to finish the second sock. Pictures next week.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I'm home again. I've been gone for the past few days, out to my parent's house to visit with my mom and dad. They are now home, and trying to take it easy and rest and recover. Not easy things for my parent's to do - they are usually busy all the time. While I was gone, Stu's cousin, Stephanie (Auntie Steph to the kids) came over to hold down the fort here. She took the kids to school and made sure they did their homework and all that. She's fantastic! (Shouts out to you, Stephanie!) My BFF Stephenee (yeah, I see the irony there) also helped out with Samuel (shouts out to you too, Stephenee!) and I am so grateful to the people in my life who told me they would drop everything to help my family out if I needed to leave for a while. (To those of you who offered and I didn't call, don't worry - you are on my list. The next big crisis, you're up!)

My dad is doing much better. It is amazing. I went in to give him a hug, forgetting that he had CPR administered by an Air Force Sergeant and has a few cracked ribs, forgetting that his incisions are still healing. But he can play cards - he remembered how to play and was even beating my mom and me at our favorite family card game (Liverpool Rummy, if you were wondering). We didn't finish the game because we were all tired, so we watched an old movie and went to bed early.

I read a book, and listened to another one in the car on the way there and back, so check the Bookshelf in a few days for some new posts. Oh, and I'm almost done knitting those socks :) Sally and I found some yarn that we both like for me to knit her a sweater, and I'm deciding on a pattern that I like. I'm thinking about this sweater . But for now, it's time for an after school snack and homework.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Three Things Thursday

(1) The Girl Soccer Player
(2) The Boy Soccer Player

(3) This is one of the reasons I love my kids playing soccer - they wear uniforms. They are a part of a team. They belong. They make new friends. They run and laugh and sweat and love it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Knit Bit: Project Rundown

I've been looking at the new Knitty that is up, and dreaming about knitting my own Mr. Greenjeans - subbing the yarn with a KnitPicks yarn, dreaming about what color I would pick. Yum. I also keep thinking about knitting my own Harry Potter-esque v-neck school sweater, but I can't decide to go with Gryffindor colors (scarlet & gold) or Ravenclaw (blue & bronze). I've been working on trying to finish some projects, like the first pair of socks:
I'm very close to being done. I've finished the gusset decreases and now I'm just knitting around and around the toe part. I'm inspired to finish because I want to knit some of these socks next. Here's a Christmas project I'm working on for my dad:
I figure that he probably isn't getting any computer time right now, and if he sees it, he may forget about it. (And that's not USC colors, it's Marine Corps colors. Sepmer Fi!)
Here's the Baby Moderne Log Cabin progress:
Of course, I am already off pattern, and doing my own thing. But isn't that the beauty of the log cabin? You can do your own thing and it still looks good. I am thinking I may buy some flannel fabric for the back and do a little hand quilt action. And here's the colors I am using for the boy version:
Yes, dear pregnant friends. First girl and first boy out gets these beauties. Aren't you so lucky to have me as your friend? (The answer is Yes, yes you are!)