May 31, 2006

Almost finished...

Here's the progress on my socks after my last knitting class. The instructions for turning the heel seemed a bit overwhelming at first. I have never done a "wrap" before and as the teacher kept explaining it, I was just thinking "I'm sure this will all make sense in the end." And it did! It's funny how knitting patterns can be that way. It's all Greek until you've done it sucessfully once.

Here's a closer pic of the heel turn for anyone who is interested.

Otherwise, I've been spending tonight working on the toast for Kim and Gary's wedding.

I need to practice it in front of Brian, but am nervous he'll find it awful and I don't want to rewrite it. He could lie and say it's great, but I know him too well for that. It's hard to find a good blend of funny and thoughtful. The best advice I probably found online is to keep it short, because no one's ever heard a toast end and thought, "I wish that wasn't over."

My last item to share with you all....

Ha ha. Haven't you all wanted to see my toes on a blog?! My co-workers and I went out for pedicures after work tonight. I have never been to one of those stereo-typical Asian owned nail places, but I have to say, it was fun! (and inexpensive - just my style). I know the pic is a little blurry, but I have a flower painted on my big toe with a little pink "diamond" in the center. The lady had practically an entire canvas to paint on with as big as my feet are. I was so worried that my bandage would wash off my ankle and the lady would freak out about my healing gape of a hole from my old "removed the stitches too early" wound. I tipped her extra for not getting grossed out.

Well, I won't be back for a few days as I am off to Detroit for the wedding. Have a great weekend everyone.

May 30, 2006

Let's have a Tee-Party

I don't know who caught Martha's show last Wednesday with Felicity Huffman, but I'll tell you, (don't be amazed by this) I have picked up a new craft.

Megan Nicolay was on the show demonstrating a t-shirt redesign. I couldn't wait. As soon as I got home from my knitting class, I took a WIDR shirt and hacked away.

First, I had to remove the sleeves and slice it straight up along both sides. Then, at least 2" of the hem is cut off, bringing it to waist level.

Using some sharp scissors, I snipped small holes down each side, making sure to cut through the back side of the shirt as well.

This is the best part. The scraps from the hem are cut into 1" strips and then pulled to make a rope. My rope is grey, because I cut it off another shirt. I wanted the drama of contrasting color. Then, simply attach each end to a safety pin and start lacing.


The finished piece. I wish I had a pic of me modeling it, but no one's home to take my picture. Only 107 more ways to transform my t-shirts! Interestingly, there is a pattern for a t-shirt quilt, which is something I started on about 1 1/2 years ago, maybe now I may have some inspiration to finish it!

May 29, 2006

Big Mouth Billy

What a great weekend I had hanging out with core family! We enjoyed barbeque, sunning, eating at the Irish Hills Dairy Bar, and fishing! I have to say this was the most eventful fishing I have ever had on Wampler's Lake. Of course, the second night, I caught not a one. The first night I caught a few "medium" size fish. I say it in quotes, because in this picture this fish looks like a minnow.

I didn't even catch it by the mouth, I got it by the poop chute.
Chris, Meagan, and mom were the real champs. Mom caught the big bass, it was amazing how it was jumping in and out of the water as she reeled it in. Although she wants to grill him up, she definitely didn't want to touch him.

I think Cayman enjoyed fishing most of all.

Of course, I did find some time to steal away and lounge on the porch to knit, listen to podcasts, and drink some yummy Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon. I started some socks with a K3P1 rib using my hand-dyed Koolaid yarn. The color definition is much more impressive in person (if I say so myself). I was worried this yarn would be scratchy as it was a rather inexpensive yarn from KnitPicks, the dye-your-own line. But, I am pleased to say it's pleasantly soft. And so far, even in 90 degree whether, the Koolaid is steadfast.

May 27, 2006

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I'll be on hiatus at my old stompin' grounds, Wampler's Lake. I'm looking forward to a three day weekend of rest and relaxation with the family. I plan on knitting, fishing, maybe a little sunning (with 30 spf) and some beer drinking. Woo-hoo! It's not often that we get an 80 degree Memorial Day.

I hope you all enjoy yourself equally as well. I'll see you next week.

P.S. Check the pic above. I pulled it off of google images. It's probably from the 70s, the view is from Hayes State Park on Wampler's. It just makes me smile.

May 24, 2006

My Crystal Ball

I stand on my soap box and declare that Taylor is the next American Idol. Take note that I am posting this prior to the finale, so no one can call me a cheat.
I think he will win for a few reasons:
1) I couldn't get through to vote for him.
2) Girls hate Kat because of her wonderful body.
3) We love his silver locks.
4) We've all heard Kat's album before, it's any popular female pop album on the market.

Also - watch Martha on Thursday. I expect to be the winner of her $10K contest so I can throw a kick ass housewarming party!!

May 22, 2006

One Night of Magic

I never thought I would have another chance to attend a prom, but a tutoring program in Chicago, 826Chicago, gave me the perfect opportunity. This is a not for profit writing center for children, found in most of the major cities. It is pretty awesome because each center has a normal storefront where they sell themed items, like pirate notions or lumberjack supplies. Volunteers, like our friend Mark, help create writing workshops to inspire the kids.

We were asked to wear "second hand formal" to the prom. My dress was $4.99 at the Salvation Army. Brian had an old three piece suit from when he played Henry Higgins in high school (he was pretty gosh-darned proud that it still fit). His glasses were a $0.49 buy and he loved them - they completed his Napoleon Dynamite look. Look at this guy, a face only a mom and wife could love.

The prom actually took place in a gymnasium with a d.j. spinning the 80s records all night long. Now, of course, 80s music doesn't take me back to my prom days. I could've used a little Boyz II Men and Celine Dion. We had several friends with us, and as you can see, one outfit was as crazy as the next.

The other girl in pink, Sue, was actually wearing her mother in law's prom dress from 1965. How great is that?!

Now, just so you don't feel knitting deprived - a shot of my completed Dublin Bay socks...

May 19, 2006

You've got to have Faith

I had the opportunity to watch a few Oprah episodes on TiVo tonight because Brian was busy on the computer. I seem to just let the episodes pile up and neglect to watch them. I don't know why, because every time I watch an episode, I am so happy that I did. I learned about domestic abuse and heard the story of a lady who's ex-husband doused her with gasoline and burned her alive. She is so strong and speaks about her beauty from within. I learned of the genocide in Sudan and cried for the children who walk two hours at night so that they can hide from the rebel army who will capture them and turn them into killers. I also learned of miracles. This dog named Faith was born with only two legs. Her family took time to coax her to stand with peanut butter as motivation. She now walks just like a human.

As I sat there on my couch knitting, I remembered all of the reasons why I am blessed, and I am reminded to share my blessings with others...

May 17, 2006

Little Elves

My socks are moving along fine now. I had to increase until the point when the sock covers the tip of my pinkie toe, now I just knit straight until I'm within an inch of my heel.

I'm a little displeased with the pointiness of the toes. Once I put the sock on my foot, it feels fine. It's just that when I show them to people on the needles, it appears I may be knitting these for my elvin friends. Also, I wanted to have the perfection of matching socks. Word to the wise, don't pull from the outside and inside of the ball simultaneously if you want this. What I have instead now, is a perfect opposite of each sock. Fantastic.

And Patty Ann, fyi, your sweater should be handwashed in mild soap and cold water. Lay flat to dry. Enjoy! Can't wait to see you wear it.

May 16, 2006

No Longer the Teacher's Pet

I had my first class today for knitting two socks on once circular from the toe up. Mind you, I have tried to teach myself this before with a packet of instructions about twenty pages long.... I couldn't get past the cast on. It took about 15 minutes for the teacher to help the three of us cast on today. They should've included wine with the class to calm us all down after that. We went along learning how to knit around and increase stitches. I thought I was the star student. I wasn't asking too many questions and seemed to be doing things right the first time around. One of the other students, an older lady, started making some comment about always knowing when to increase by having the lesser amount of stitches on the lower needle. (I know this doesn't make much sense to all of you, but just stick with me.) Turns out, she was only increasing on one side of the sock, which was going to result in a triangular shaped sock. I laughed heartily and said "Too bad your foot isn't shaped like a triangle." I then laid back and went back to my knitting. For some reason I decided at that point to count my stitches and discovered I had been doing the same thing!! Argh!! I had to take apart the entire project and start from square one. At least I got to practice my cast on again. The third student had done it perfectly, so she was then allowed the last laugh.

And even though I already had to buy some Addi Turbo needles, taking me over my allowance for the month....I had to grab some great Saucy cotton yarn that was on sale. This is the yarn I used to knit my mom's sweater for mother's day. Maybe I'll make one for myself too.

May 13, 2006

I told you so

Sorry it has been so long since I posted....I've been thinking about it, just not so much acting on my thoughts. This week we had our home inspection and it passed. So, the process moves on. I'm ashamed to say, that our first expenses on the house resulted in an overdrawn checking account. Our mortgage company decided to hold on to our depost and cash it at will. Bouncing a check makes me feel like such a child. Just goes to show how expensive having a house can be!!

Other words of wisdom from this week...listen to your doctor, no matter how much you think you know yourself. I had a few moles biopsied from my legs. The doctor advised leaving the stitches in for two weeks. I thought, what does he know, you only have to leave them in for 10 days on legs. The wounds looked good, so I went ahead and removed the stitches myself. Following that, I went to the gym. In the simple act of pulling up my sock, I split the wound at my ankle wide open. Brian ran into me at the front desk as I hobbled out to go take care of my bleeding wound and all he could say was "I told you so." Someone needs to remove that phrase from the English language.

Lastly, in one of the few sunny days this week, I made it to the Tulip Festival to see my Dutch dancing. The Klompen dancers are area highschool students who volunteer to dance. They were entertaining and even provided a fashion show at the end. They did a rockette kick line in their big ole' wooden shoes. Pretty cool, but I learned, not authentic at all. They really just do it for the tourists.

May 9, 2006

Who Knew?

I would've never known there were so many kinds of tulips!! Brian and I ventured to Veldheer Farms this weekend. We thought we were entering a tourist trap. There were wooden shoe makers, Dutch boy hats, and even wooden shoe pencil holders!

The treasure was the tulip fields. It was a $6 entry fee and well worth it. They brag that they plant 5.5 million tulips each year. This was something both Brian and I questioned. We thought tulips were perennials and therefore, lower maintenance. Now I'm finding out they you are supposed to dig up the bulbs once the blooms are gone and store in a cool place until you plant again in the fall. How many other perennials are like that?

Here are a few of the varieties we enjoyed.

Lily mix

Peony mix


I still have to find some Klompen dancers. The best I've found so far was some belly dancers...Coincidentally they were dancing at the children's area. I found it a bit racey for children, especially since one lady was only wearing a bra for a top.

May 7, 2006

Tulip Time!

It's officially here, the Holland Tulip Festival.

The town really just comes alive for this festival. Schools let out early. My boss is even letting us have a 2 hour lunch Thursday so we can check out the festivities (and junk food trailers).
Brian and I ventured out yesterday to check out the craft fair. The booths were mediocre really. I suppose I was more interested in getting a corn dog than buying crafts.

We saw a few people walking about in their official Holland garb, right down to the wooden shoes. There was also a town crier yelling something I couldn't quite make out. Brian's determined that he will enter the town crier contest next year. Here's a cute group we found singing in the park.

I have to make time to see some Klompen dancers later this week. Until then, enjoy, yet another, tulip pic!

May 5, 2006


Being in medicine, I understand a lot about genetics and inheritance. But why, oh why, didn't I inherit my mother's green thumb?

These are her Rembrandt tulips. I think they're gorgeous. I'm so excited to start my own flower garden when we get settled in our house. But one thing I promise you all, is that no matter how involved I get in my garden, I will NOT stop knitting! Anyway, if I don't master the art of growing tulips, I might get shunned right out of Holland.

Dublin Bay sock. One down, one to go! My feet are gi-normous, aren't they?

May 3, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Brian and I are proud to announce that we have picked our first home! I know we haven't been looking for too long, just a few months, but it seems we've seen hundreds if you count the online searches, open houses, and the countless houses we drug are poor realtor through. We bid on two prior to this, but perhaps they weren't meant to be. We are so excited about this house! We have a walkthrough bedroom that I can't wait to make into a walk in closet. I get to pull out my sewing machine and make a nice cushion for an awesome bench seat in the dining room. There is a wonderful four season porch that would look really classy with some nice furniture pieces. And until we have any babies, there is enough space for a guest bedroom that won't be forced to double as an office/craft room!

The house still has to pass home inspection, but we are fairly sure it will. Of course, it was built in 1920!! Think there are any ghosts?

May 2, 2006

Rainy Day

It's such a gloomy day. I know we need rain, but why can't it be on a day when I work? I decided to share a pic with you of a great "chillin' spot." This is the orchid garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens. I could hang out there for hours and knit, but my hair would frizz to the point of no return with all that humidity.