Aug 31, 2006

Be Prepared to be Grossed Out

I need to share with all of you Brian's kickin' case of poison ivy. Here's a prime patch on his leg.

Why do I love poison ivy so much? Because I have an excuse to sing my favorite Coasters song!

"It's gonna take an ocean of calamine lotion." "Late at night while you're sleeping poison ivy will be creeping around." The patients just love it when I do that.

Aug 29, 2006

Tuesday Craft Project

Today's mission was cushions for the bench seat in the dining room. I dragged Brian to JoAnn's on Sunday to get 3" foam cushions. The bench measures a whopping 92" - so that was a lot of cushion.

I chose a rugged black denim, which should hide any red wine stain from a party goer, as well as match the yellow-black thing we have going on in that room.

After a phone consult with Patty Ann, I decided to wash, dry and iron the denim to avoid any unexpected shrinkage on a future wash. We also discussed the possibility of scrapping the sewing idea and just wrapping the fabric around the foam like it was a present. This is a good idea - but not perfectionist enough for me.

While the fabric was washing, I cut squares of tissue paper into the size of my fabric pieces. Although tedious, this part was a no-brainer. I allowed a 1/2" seam for each panel. The tissue paper was extremely helpful in cutting uniform pieces of fabric.

After pinning and sewing my first seams, I realized I was going to need to double-check my future pinning. I had sewn the wrong side of the fabric up for the main surface - argh! Good thing for seam rippers. I was covered with black thread and fuzzies by the time I got those undone. I looked like there were ants all over my shorts.

After a few seams, I was getting the hang of it.

I was nervous about the actual seams that form the three dimensional shape - I felt like I was going to accidentally sew over something I didn't want to, or leave a gaping hole at the corners. In the end - it worked out.

Unfortunately, they're not done. I left a seam along the middle of the bottom side open for a zipper. I've never sewn in a zipper before, so I'm getting Patty Ann's help this weekend. I'm pleased with the end result, custom cushions on a Dave Ramsey budget. Now I'm ready for that housewarming party!

Aug 28, 2006

Miss Dashwood

Until I have some more knitting pics to post -here's a pic of Shari's latest project, courtesy of her daughter Amber. This is the Miss Dashwood hat from Of course, it's in progress and has stitch markers along the top...but it's adorable!!! I want to see the finished product with a cute baby (girl) modeling it. No Amber, this is one hat Nolan probably wouldn't be adorable in. Wait until you pop out a girl.

Aug 27, 2006

Back from Michigan's Adventure Land

We had a better-than-expected time in Munising last week. After 8 lighthouses, a 10 mile hike, 11 mile kayak, and 20 mile mountain bike - I have to tell you I have officially decided I have no idea how to just relax! We had so much fun though. We stayed at the Munising City Park. For $1.00 you're allowed a 10 minute hot shower - glorious! The rustic tent sites are within 10 feet of the beach.

That means each night I got to knit while watching the sunset from our campsite. How great is that?! Great thing about vacation - not only time to knit (I finished a baby hat and kept working on the black hole of a baby blanket) I also finished the book "Pope Joan" and read "Freakonomics." I recommend both. I thought "Pope Joan" was entirely fiction - until I got to the end of the book where they explained facts supporting the actual existence of a female pope in the 9th century. Crazy! "Freakonomics" was enlightening. I've always enjoyed arguments with a true logic support - this book does an outstanding job with that. I wanted to use it for my first blog book club - but now that I already finished it, perhaps it is too late.

Well, back to camping. Brian posted all our pics on Flickr and I'd love for you to check them out. We saw many waterfalls, Munising, Miner, Chapel, Mosquito, Upper and Lower Tahquemenon. We even got to wade through Lower Tahquemenon.

Of course, we took the Pictured Rocks Boat Tour. Even if it's touristy - it's well worth it to view the formations from the water. This is Indian Head - I hope you can see it. He even has a headdress.

Another great tour - the Shipwreck Boat Tour. The wreck of the Bermuda was literally 6' from the viewing window and totally intact. Ghostly.

And if you're a lighthouse enthusiast like we are - there are an abundance of them in the U.P. There were actually 500 shipwrecks on Lake Superior. It's amazing to think that on any given day in the early 20th century the skyline was studded with ships. We went to the museum at Whitefish Point and learned a lot about the Edmund Fitzgerald. The fact that amazed me most - so many shipwrecks were actually caused by collision with another ship - I always thought it was the weather. This is the restored East Point Light on Grand Island.

Well - time to hand the computer back to Brian. More posts coming soon!

Aug 19, 2006

Why God created hangovers

It is a good thing for hangovers. Without them, I would be drunk 24/7. Payback is a be-otch.
Last night was my manager, Theresa's, bachelorette party. We had a riot. We took a limo to Saugatuck and bar-hopped for hours.

I managed to create quite a party in my stomach too. Jagermeister was shaking hands with Stoli. Berry Weiss was dancing with lemon drop to a Tequila Rose sunset. Corona made it to the party too. What a mess.

At any rate, Theresa is a beautiful bride to be (Brian calls her a "hot mom" while she prefers "MILF") and I'm excited for her wedding next week.

Today was Fiber Festival. Besides wanting to pull over and bury my head in a bush on the way was loads of fun. Here's my stash addition.

Linda joined me. She's always fun to yarn shop with because she knows so much about what the yarn would be best suited for. I did a little damage to my "blow" fund at the festival - but Linda says I can stretch it by saying some are for future gifts. I was so exited to buy some "Socks that Rock" yarn. The display was gorgeous. So many bright colorways.

It's always nice to take time to pet the alpaca and angora rabbits too. I may become a future rabbit owner because they were sooooo cute! Hopefully Squishy won't get jealous. When Linda pet this alpaca below he freaked out just a bit. I'd say he was a little sheepish - hahaha. (My boss would appreciate that joke - Mary why don't you share it with him?)

I'm off on vacation for a week now. So, much to my dismay, I won't be posting until I return. I'll talk to you all soon.

Aug 15, 2006

My Tuesday Project

Today was a beautiful sunny day off- and I spent my dining room table!

Here are the prior bathroom curtains we had to deal with. Yech.

Here's the finished results so far - main bathroom and our closet:

And I know what a lot of you are thinking right now - crafty Ang. But before you think too fondly of me - see what I did.

Dumb Ang - where will the rod go? I won't show you how I fixed it!

Aug 14, 2006

Knitters Unite

I hope all nearby Michiganders find time for the Fiber Festival this weekend at the Allegan Co. Fairgrounds. I'll be there early Saturday AM - beating down the gate (with a slight hangover from Friday night's bachelorette party festivities). I have no crafting mission in mind - but will definitely look to buy some sock yarn. Beyond that, if I find any inspiring wool - I may pick some up for a future sweater project. As far as I know, Linda plans on being there. Shari - hope you can make a trip down from GH.

If you're looking for me - I hope to be wearing this new shirt that I ordered from CafePress. The mailman should have it here before Saturday.

Aug 13, 2006

Driver, Move that Bus!

My parents stopped by Holland this weekend after a week of fine Lake Michigan camping. Not exactly "roughing it" in this R.V., but fun no less.

We took to Saugatuck Saturday AM. What a fantastic town. Of course, parking is close to nil since everybody and their uncle goes there on weekends. There's a good reason for it's popularity - unique clothing, wine tasting rooms, delicious food, fudge, and yarn!

I treated myself to a special gift that I've wanted for an eternity - a ballwinder and swift. Poor Brian is sick of being a human swift, and I'm sick of my roley-poley yarn balls.

Even though we were stuffed, we still forced Captain Sundae on my family before they left town. Captain Sundae is a true treat. They have the most creative sundaes I've ever seen. My personal favorite is the Salty Dog. It's topped with pretzels, peanut butter cup, and hot fudge. Yum!

Well, as I'm writing this, Brian's working on spraying down a hornet's nest. I better stand by in case he needs me to bring in the paramedics! It sounds like our neighbor is helping him instead - I'll let them bond while they risk their lives.

Aug 12, 2006

Thanks Mugsy!

I'm not quite sure who Mugsy is, but he/she sent me this, courtesy of YouTube.

If you like dancing, swing, sparkly costumes, or anything cool - be sure to watch this video.

I, unfortunately, did not get to vote for my favorite dancer Wednesday night. They're making us wait a whole week for the reveal. I can't decide who I think should win though. Travis is so genuine about loving to be there. Benji is so charismatic. They're both fantastic. I'm torn!

Aug 8, 2006


Today was an interesting day. I went to my doctor for a simple procedure - resecting an ingrown toenail.

(This is where I was going to insert a diagram of an ingrowing nail. I wanted to spare you having to see my foot. However, blogger is being temperamental.)

The 2-3 other times I've had this done it was perfect. Today, a few things were less than perfect. Let me paint the picture. The doctor started with the digital block, two shots of lidocaine were injected at either side of the base of the toe. The trick is that it numbs the nerve on either side so you feel nothing but pressure when the nail is lifted and cut. The doctor says to me "I don't find that digital blocks work all that well." I would usually disagree, I think they work fine. But he's right, for him they don't. I don't know if it's his technique or the potency of medication he uses. My toe was not getting numb. I told him to give me some time to just dangle my foot and let it kick in. He actually gave me permission to inject more myself if I wanted. In fact he used the phrase "go for it" and then left to attend to another patient. So I did. It was definitely surreal injecting myself, but not painful because that area of skin was already numb.

When he came back, I thought maybe things were better, but the inflamed portion of the toe was still sore - so he shot some medicine there too. Next came the cutting. I could feel it....definitely. It wasn't outrageous, so I just let him keep going. Now the worst part - he used a cautery tool which he place at the root to burn it and hopefully destroy forever. I could feel some warmth and pain, but again, decided it was bearable. That wasn't good enough for him because there was still some bleeding. So, he reached over and turned UP the juice. That's when I spoke up - I said "Oh no." But I obviously didn't use enough emphasis on the "no" because he still went for it. Walking (limping) to my car, I decided the numbness had all regressed by then. I was feeling plenty of pain at that time. I described it to Brian as someone stepping on my ingrown toenail with high heels. Luckily, Tylenol ES was waiting on my console. Good thing I'm waiting a little while for children still - I'm a little concerned about my overall pain tolerance.

Aug 6, 2006

Be Our Guest

I am wiped out. I literally dragged myself off of the couch after an hour nap to post. Why am I wiped out you ask? Chris and Ben came to visit this weekend (my sister and brother-in-law) along with their pooch, Cayman.

I dragged them to a number of activities around West Michigan. We had lunch at the Blue Moon in Douglas. This restaurant was decorated beautifully and had a delicious, eclectic menu. I think it would have been more fun at night, so I'll have to go back. I took them to our favorite local winery, Fenn Valley, and we came home with some of this. That just screams "Summer," doesn't it?

Other sights of the day, downtown Holland, the 8th Street Farmer's Market, and of course - Big Red. We Krawczyk's have a thing for lighthouses.

Another thing big sis Krawczyk enjoys - tourism. She did her job in supporting the local shops this weekend.

Sunday we'd planned on a beach day (which would've been far more relaxing) but a cloudy sky forced a change in plans. That's okay, because it forced me to find a few Holland walking trails. They were beautiful. For sand, forest and killer thigh workout, check out the Sanctuary Woods Preserve.

For the sweet smell of wildflowers and an easy, meandering walk, try VanRaalte Farm Park.

Now I know I should be unpacking boxes or picking weeds from our growing jungle outdoors, but I think the best I'll do for the rest of today is lift a pair of knitting needles.

How was everyone else's weekend?

Aug 3, 2006


Why can't grocery shopping be a pleasant experience? Lately I've taken to wearing my iPod in the grocery store. Then I can listen to Dave Ramsey, Brenda Dayne, or Ebert and Roeper fill my head with happiness. Tonight I forgot my iPod and, instead, spent time forming a list of the most annoying things I have to deal with at Meijer.

1) Senior citizens who treat grocery shopping like their outing for the month.
2) Parents who don't disclipine, or worse yet, parents who discipline by dragging their child by their arm while they flail and fight their way back to the Penny Pony.
3) Raisins are with produce. They are apparently not fresh fruit, so why they are there is beyond me. Of course, there are no employees around to tell me this until I've walked the snack and baking aisles three times.
4) Road hogs. They ought to put lanes down the aisles, particularly one for passing.
5) A cashier wearing large hoop earrings that say "sexy." Anyone who has to announce this, whether it be on their sweat pants or too small tank top, is obviously far from it.


Aug 1, 2006

Modern Technology has graced our house.

Woo-HOo! I'm back on line. Thank you oh kind Comcast man. Hopefully you treat me better than Charter.
I know many of you read Brian's post - so I'll try not to be redundant. The move was fantastic. We have a few rituals with moves. The first is the ever loved bacon/egg/cheese McGriddle.

Look ma, no hands (while driving Dad's car). Brian has no fear when he's behind the wheel of a Suburban.

Our second food tradition, which I was not aware of, is that we must enjoy a bowl of M&M's as a reward.

I love living in our house. Despite the fact that the upstairs is 100 degrees, the garbage disposal is absolutely broken, my fugly garden is being overtaken by creeping ivy, and a squirrel decided to eat the bulbs from my potted bulb garden. He acted like it was Thanksgiving. I moved the garden up to the BBQ now. If he makes it up there, then I guess he deserves his treat.

I can't say I'll ever be bored! I would say Squishy loves the new house too. He has a lot more flying space for sure.

I have gotten about 1/5 of my baby blanket done amidst all the moving chaos. What else is there to do but knit when you have no cable/internet?