Sep 30, 2006

Lazy Saturday

Brian went to the MSU game today. What does that leave me to do? No surprise here. I'm knitting. And of course, I'm knitting socks.

Don't think I'm lazy, I did my chores and exercise. But then I sat my butt on the couch for 3 hours and knit. I have to be lazy while I still can. Maybe some day/month/year soon, we'll have children that won't allow that.

The above sock is made with KnitPicks Simple Stripes Superwash wool yarn. Once again, I used the Widdershins pattern, but this time took out the cables. They go so much faster without cables!!

Sep 28, 2006

Under the Big Top

Do you remember your last trip to the circus? I do! Brian's company gave us tickets to the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus at VanAndel Arena. I was impressed and I laughed a lot. Who needs kids?

They had 10 elephants, 6 tigers, 3 camels, 5 zebras and plenty o' horses. One of the more impressive things I saw was a toilet trained elephant. Seriously, he waited til he got a pat on the butt to dump 10 gallons of urine in a bucket. Now my question is, how did they know he needed to go?

The pic above is the elephant gingerly stepping over circus women. Don't underestimate this, he weighs 9,000 pounds!

Here are some performers from Mongolia doing their pole climb. They had amazing strength. They kind of reminded me of the pesky black squirrels in my yard.

I have to say the trapeze artists were fairly lame. They dropped the spinner about 50% of the time. Also, we think they jipped us on the cannon. The program bragged about a cannon, but it was all a farce. The clowns were mediocre. The funniest guy was Bello, a clown/daredevil. He did a bit on a trampoline that had me holding my gut with laughter. It really is the best medicine I think.

Otherwise - the Socktoberfest is already in full swing for me. I know it's not October yet, but I need to get a running start.

Sep 26, 2006


Who wants to be part of the coolest knit-a-long on the internet?! Join me in the Socktoberfest!

For those of you who say "Nah, I don't know how to knit socks" - this is your chance to learn. The other knitters will be happy to answer your questions on the blog. And if the sock knitting process just pisses you off - go ahead and have a beer. Because what would an October Fest be without a nice pale ale in hand?

No real big projects today. I had to go shopping for something to wear to Brian's 10 year class reunion. I had a hard time. #1, I don't really enjoy shopping because I hate to part with the money. #2, I despise shopping alone because I really need another person's opinion...and I need it to be someone who isn't earning a commission. #3, what look should I be going for? I'd love to go sultry - but I can't pull it off. I can't be a hot mom, seeing as how I'm not one. I want to look professional, but not like a bore. I tried on a number of dresses at Macy's, but the one I liked most was navy blue. I didn't have the shoes to go with it and was not going to splurge on those too. So, I settled with a brown skirt that is cut on a bias with a lacy sleeveless top. Now here's hoping it doesn't snow on October 14th.

Also, I forgot to show you all a couple of skeins I bought last week. The colors are what grabbed my attention for sure. This is a soy and wool blend by Patons. It's ultra soft and has a nice sheen to it. I'm picturing a short and wide scarf that would go beautifully with my khaki colored winter coat - or any neutral coat for that matter. Does anyone have a pattern they recommend?

Also - be sure to check Knitty this month. There are some beautiful free sweater patterns in this issue.

Sep 21, 2006

A call for help

A call to the creative folks out there - I need your help with a contest. Brian's friends have always had fun with Haikus. I have always been severely lacking in that creativity department.

Cara at January One blog is offering me beautiful yarn if I can impress her with my yarny Haiku. Plus, I'd just like to see your crazy ideas.

"How to win: WRITE A HAIKU. But not just any haiku. YOU MUST USE AT LEAST THREE OF THE FOLLOWING WORDS IN YOUR HAIKU: january, one, rock(s), jet, fall, sheep, wool, feet (or foot), knit, yarn, pirate, fest, dude, fantastic, worm (that is WORM. With an O. My 5.5 yr old nephew gave me that one.) AND EVERY HAIKU MUST USE THE WORD SOCK. (So that means FOUR REQUIRED WORDS.)"

Here is my first attempt:

searching for clean socks
the pirate stands alone cold
dude you have one leg

No resisting.

For two seasons I managed to avoid Grey's. I just knew I would become addicted in a Denny Bukett heartbeat. TiVo did me no favors this summer when it started "suggesting" I watch the show by recording it for me. It's a fantastic show! Good TiVo.

For all of you fellow Grey's watchers - I saw the season finale last night. I'm so excited for the premiere tonight. I went to bed pondering who Meredith will choose - Finn or Dr. McDreamy. I choose Finn. What about you?

Hey, see my sidebar too for a new little Grey's pic.

Sep 19, 2006

Tuesday Outing

No craft project today...too bad. I still plan to cast on a sock tonight during Dancing with the Stars though.
Instead, I spent today with the wonderful Georgia boy, Nolan James, and his gorgeous Grand Haven grown mom, Amber.

Nolan is modeling a hat knit by mom and a sweater knit (and designed by Grandma Shari). Awesome. He's ready for his close-up.

For all who didn't know, it's "Talk Like a Pirate Day." For those who don't have the guts, you may also Knit Like a Pirate. That's right at the bottom of my to do list.

Also - want an early idea for a Christmas present for me? Check this out.

Sep 17, 2006

The House Has Been Warmed.

We had a tremendous time at our housewarming party this weekend. Thanks to all of those who made the trip and thanks for the unexpected and terrific gifts too. We had visitors from Midland, Jackson, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Chicago, and even Georgia! I stressed beforehand - made entirely too much potato salad and baked beans and discovered we should not leave food unattended in our yard as our squirrels are demon rodents.
I, once again, had a little too much fun as my hangover and upset stomach lasted well until 3 pm the next day. Damn that flip cup game and damn Skippy's too. I hope I don't ever get morning sickness like that because I cannot function when I am nauseated. Poor Brian cleaned up the yard and prepared breakfast for our guests with no help from me.

Here's a few pics from the day.

The Burch clan - can you see the resemblance?

My fellow knitter Amber - missing her cutie son Nolan.

Chicago-ans enjoying a little country fun - croquet.

My fool proof way of guaranteeing drunkenness and a hangover - flip cup.

Sep 14, 2006

This is it!

To quote Brian "Kenny - your voice... it's so smooth!" It is late right now - but I have to tell you all how fantabulous the Kenny Loggins concert was at Meijer Gardens tonight. I had no idea I knew so many of his songs - to list a few:

  • Footloose
  • Danger Zone
  • This Is It
  • I'm Alright (Caddy Shack theme)
  • Your Mama Don't Dance

And we were groovin'! Brian and I with Patty and the Chuck. Loggins got us all off our feet and dancing. And when Brian stopped, I called him Harry Hamlin. That got him shaking his tush again, because who wants to be compared to that snoozer?!

Chuck's favorite, Danny's Song, a Loggins and Messina tune, the one that goes "even though we ain't got money, I'm so in looove with ya honey..." Pretty sure that's going to be playing on the old vinyl 45 tomorrow night.

Brian's fav, "This Is It," as he would say "obvs!" Brian said Loggins wrote it with Michael McDonald. I'm pretty sure he was also hoping for "What a Fool Believes" too. But we'll probably have to hit a Doobie Brothers show for that one.

Images to come, our friends Roger and LuAnn had seats practically on stage so we'll be borrowing their pics.

Sep 12, 2006

Be There!

Tonight is the night. Get your popcorn and your cozy p.j.'s. Dancing with the Stars begins tonight on ABC at 8 pm. Unfortunately, I have a Junior League meeting, but thanks to TiVo, I will watch the premiere at my convenience (and speed right past commercials). As for predictions - I can't make any just yet. I expect Mario Lopez and Harry Hamlin to do well, but I don't think either of them will be the favorite for their personalities. We'll see.

Brian and I were discussing the new line up. We're interested in our old favorites - Lost, House, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, CSI and ER. We fell in love with Grey's Anatomy after watching reruns this summer. New shows on our list to check out - Studio 60 and Heroes. I know what you're thinking and yes, we are addicted to TV. However, with TiVo we get the pleasure of watching it when we want - which makes it the greatest invention ever...well maybe not the greatest but you know.

Thanks for your anniversary well wishes. Brian surprised me with a beautiful bouquet. Till Midnight turned out to be a fantastic restaurant with unique and delicious foods. It stood up to the classy restaurants of Chicago at a fraction of the price. I hope to go back soon.

Sep 10, 2006

Two Years and Just Getting Started

Monday, 9/11, is our 2nd anniversary. Yeah for us! We plan to celebrate with a nice dinner at one of the Holland restaurants we have yet to explore - Till Midnight.

This weekend I became close friends with three marvel inventions....Old English, the microfiber cloth, and the shop vac. All are tops in my book. Our carpet installer had told me to pick up a bottle of the Old English for our moldings. I didn't pull it out until this weekend in my attempts to do everything I can to beautify this house in 7 days. That stuff is freaking amazing! It has calmed down my thoughts about needing to sand and strip all the wood. It fills in the scratches so nicely. Now the doors look more weathered then bratty-kids-before-us-had-no-respect-for-anything-material. And it smells good. I used the shop vac to suck all the spider webs out of the basement ceiling, and other random items, like a kids race car I found under the work bench.

Our larger project was this room.

I don't want to spoil the end result - but I'll show you the color. It looks so good, I wanted to drink it out of the can like a Starbucks Frappuccino. It's Martha Stewart - "coffee."

The painting is going well except the underlying wallpaper, which we didn't realize was there, is bubbling a little. Also, the sconces which match our dining room light are no longer available. Bugger.

And for all of my wonderful knitters out there - I'm 50% done with Widdershins. I tried the picot edge bind off because no matter how loose I try to do the traditional bind off, it's always uncomfortably tight on an edge that I need to have a give. Although the crinkles look a little funny on the edge, it pays to have a cuff with some give. I love them.

Sep 9, 2006

Project Weekend

Brian and I are neck deep in a project weekend...what is it? You'll see soon. We have to have this house ready for the haus-warming next weekend!!

Sep 6, 2006

Baby Blanket Blues

I've finished my first blanket. I have completed shawls before, but never a blanket. I don't imagine I would ever do an adult size because these sure do become monotonous. I really like the lace-like pattern in this one, though. It kept me on my toes. I hope it keeps the baby cozy and warm. I don't want to say who it's for because I have yet to gift it!

Sep 5, 2006

I love Labor Day

I truly had a wonderful weekend. I was discussing with Brian last night that Memorial Day and Labor Day are fantastic holidays because we have the opportunity to spend time with family with no pretenses like other holidays. Saturday and Sunday we spent with my family, including Chris, Ben and Meagan. We had a bonfire, ate wonderful food, and even had a chance to see my grandfather. My grandpa wasn't much up to having visitors - understandably so. But it was still nice to make sure my grandma is hanging in there because that "caregiver stress" must be enormous. We visited Brian's grandma too, she's in the hospital with pneumonia and the doctor's say her recovery is poor. She's always been so kind to me, so I hope she recovers. But we also know she's struggled with her COPD for a while and she deserves to finally rest.

The only pain about visiting my parents is I only brought 4 #2 double pointed needles and I needed 5 for Widdershins. Brian understood my woe - so he took me to two Michaels craft stores, Walmart, and a knitting store in Brooklyn. Apparently nobody knits with these because no one carried them. Ridiculous! We got home late Sunday so I started my socks first thing Monday.

I LOVE the yarn. The colorway is my style - so many pastels (maybe a little heavy on the yellow). The yarn is fantastic. It's Blue Moon "Socks that Rock" in the color "Barney Rubble." It is a mediumweight superwash merino. It's very soft (but doesn't seem like it will pill easily) and so shiny. The pattern is going fine now - I had to frog the beginning about 4 times. But I got this much done in about 4 hours.

Monday was spent at the Burch cottage on Whitefish Lake. The immediate family was there along with Jacqueline, Jeffrey's long term girlfriend. Jacqueline and I both went skiing. It was her first time and she did great. She inspired me to go for the first time this year.

(I know the pic is hard to see, but I'm back there!) It was exhilarating, scary, and hard work. I decided to work up the guts to cut outside the wake, and when I did it was so worth it. I've never skied on a glassy surface like that. It was AWESOME! My parents lake was always too choppy, unless I wanted to ski at 6 thank you. Now getting behind the wake is where I bit it, oh well.

We ended the night with a great lobster dinner. Delicious!

Usually this is just a Christmas Eve treat, but Chuck said he was so happy to have us all together and proud of everyone being so successful - so it was his treat to us. Thanks Chuck! I have to say, it felt weird to eat such a fancy meal in bathingsuits at a picnic table. My tastebuds won't soon forget. Brian says we had true "surf and turf" this weekend because my parents fed us delicious steaks. We are so spoiled!

Anyone else have a weekend report? Kim's niece, Abby, was born last week. Congrats to her and Yvonne!