Oct 31, 2006

The Last Knit

I had thought the Grand Canyon would be a nice place to knit.

Happy Halloween!

I am a party pooper with no costume today. Here is a pumpkin courtesy of Frank and Patty. Mom - I would guess this is Dad's?! He's always been the most enthusiastic family member when it comes to carving pumpkins.

I'd like to hear from everyone about their most favorite Halloween costume. The one I remember most is the California Raisin. This wasn't any store bought cheesey thing. My mom constructed a gi-normous velvety costume with a little hole for my face. All of the wrinkles were painstakingly sewn. I had a painted paper towel tube with a silver foam ball for a microphone. The costume was perfect down to the Hamburger Helper gloves. The most creative costume I ever thought of on my own was 6th grade when I had a very short haircut - I was a pregnant man.

Speaking of holidays - I received a belated birthday present from Amber. Yes, I consider my birthday a holiday!

The card is a riot. No Amber, I love the rectal exams!
I am looking forward to reading the book because I've heard lots of great reviews on knitting podcasts. I have a few projects picked out to start knitting.

This baby kimono is adorable.

Dishcloths would be a nice change from washcloths.. if I can find some nicer cotton to work with.

The nightgown I'm not so sure about. Brian humors my knitting, but I don't think he finds it sexy.

Oct 29, 2006

On the road..

This weekend was a lot of fun for me because I got to have some quality girl time AND meet a new knitting friend-Shauna. She's a "capital K" knitter because she has knit much more than scarves. I drove to Grand Blanc to try on bridesmaid's dresses for my friend, Meredith's, 6/07 wedding. She was so kind to let each of us chose the dress that flattered us the most. I think we're all going to look great with an assortment of strapless, tea length, and full length teal gowns. Kim and I fought over our favorite - but came to an agreement to just have one go long and one short length.

After that, we had coffee and then back to Meredith's for cocktails and her dad's signature Swiss steak.

The group of us were quite impressive. As I looked around me, I saw successful teachers, an engineer, a lawyer, and a budding recording artist - Chelsea Carter. Remember that name! Meredith-suggest to Chelsea that she put some of her songs on the Podsafe Music Network. Then I'll pass her name around to some podcasters who will plug her music on their shows.

Finished projects this week:

My last socks for Socktoberfest...I now have a new favorite sock yarn - Koigu.

Our KAL breast cancer awareness washcloth. Of course, this color is not what the designer intended. Oh well, it's just going to be used for dirty dishes anyhow.

Our very scary pumpkin. He now sits on our porch - about as festive as our house will be this year.

I also have some great Halloween costumes to share. The boys of Action-Squad have outdone themselves once again.

Oct 26, 2006

Happy to be me

I received an excellent treat in the mail today... a little taste of Christmas.

You see, when I worked at KCMS, I grew used to a certain Christmas tradition. Not everyone was privey to this delight - this delicacy known as "Linda's caramels." Linda is not only a fabulous knitter, but a marvelous caramel artist. Caramels used to get stolen from co-workers desks. Receiving a caramel almost became a popularity contest. Leaving that job, I thought I may have also lost this privilege, but a little pleading and I get my own supply mailed to my door...bubble wrapped.

Thanks Linda!! I owe you.

Hope everyone is having fun with the dishcloth knitalong. I must say, mine is nice, but does not exactly par with the breast cancer theme since it is variegated with orange, pink, and yellow. Oh well.

For those of you who will be carving a pumpkin soon, Martha has a few ideas to share. I haven't quite figured out my plan, but I'll let you know when I do. As for a costume, we are not going to any parties this year. But I sure wish I could answer the door wearing this.

Maybe next year.

Oct 24, 2006

This Old House

We have a new addition to our home!

Now I hope our little guy is as cute as that and not actually a big oily rat. We found three opened bags of chips in our basement this weekend. Now I'm having flashbacks of my days in my college rental house. After a trip to Meijer, the traps and bait are in place.

Hopefully there will be a dead mouse to show you next. No, I'm not that grotesque. I don't think I'll post a picture of a dead rodent. This event leaves me wondering why these mice are so repulsive. If I just situated my food so that they can't get to it, what harm is it for them to be in my basement?

I was also a little bit amused by a story I saw on the news last night. We've seen it a hundred times, a deer is struggling in a river or lake. 50 people including firemen and cops spend hours working out a plan to save it. The deer then probably runs to the forest and is shot by a hunter, which is legal. So why do we work so hard to save that deer?!

Anyway, I'm off to bake a maple cake. The recipe is in this month's issue of Everyday Food. I have some fresh maple syrup my mom brought back from the U.P. Cheers for baked goods!

Oct 22, 2006


Now I can't see my own ear drum of course - but if I could, I'm sure it would look something like this. After three weeks of stacked viral illnesses, my body is giving up. BUT - for all of those antibiotic lovers out there - I still have not taken any!! I do practice what I preach. Unless my ear stays red for >48 hours or the fluid becomes cloudy, I have no reason to break the guidelines.

But, having an earache won't stop me from knitting! I had two occasions to see old friends and co-workers in Kalamazoo this week. I finally got to gift the baby blanket to the appropriate owner.

Kristin is due on 12/22 and feeling like she may end up having a 10 pound baby. She already has two adorable daughters, this will be #3. As for three girls, her husband's already thinking about attempting #4. She's a PA part time too. I'm thinking I might have to make her some cozy knitted socks next to nurse her sore feet.

Yesterday I met this young fellow.

Logan is the 8 week old of Emily, a nurse I formerly worked with at KCMS. In my arms he felt more like a 3 month old - I need to build up some strength before I get a baby of my own.

As for knitting, I'm still working on my brown Koigu socks. I also started a new scarf from Knitty. It's fun to have side projects just for a change of pace.

Now back to the couch to watch Lord of the Rings and the Detroit Tigers. My parents are going to the game tonight, lucky.

Oct 19, 2006


I was so excited to return to my house after 13 hours away today to see our new garage door. Whoever thought I would be so excited for a garage door? But I really was! Keyless entry. My own electric opener. No snow on my car in the winter. Brian and I even closely examined garage doors in subdivisions to decide which we liked best.

We were unanimous - long panels, prairie windows. That is specifically what we ordered.

What did we get? We got short panels. Not even panels, a bunch of tiny squares. And tiny prairie windows.

I'm ticked.

Oct 17, 2006

A Decade of Success

Brian's 10 yr reunion was very nice. They put a lot of work into table decorations, a program, buffet dinner and a band. We joked that it was as nice as a wedding reception.

The boys all took the opportunity to "suit up!"

I am fortunate to know 7 of his friends really well, so I had plenty of people to talk to and look out for me when Brian was busy with helping run the show.

The band was the Nick Ayoub trio, same as our wedding, but this time Brian didn't sing with them. We had fun dancing and trying to recall our ballroom moves. The problem with ballroom dancing is that it intimidates others and they don't want to join us on the dance floor. Come on guys! We only know the basics. Really, we're worse than Sara Evans on the floor.

Speaking of....I hope you've all heard the news by now, Sara Evans dropped out of Dancing with the Stars last week due to personal issues. She is divorcing her husband on claims of adultery, verbal abusiveness, alcohol use, and porn abuse. She wants to be home to look out for her children. That's all fine and good, but why in the world didn't she announce that Wednesday before they booted my girl Willa?!

Sunday we had the pleasure of dinner guests. An old school friend of mine (also our mortgage broker), his wife, and nine month old joined us. We made recipes from Everyday Food: pork tenderloin with roasted onions and apples, buttermilk mashed potatoes, green beans. Dessert was apple crisp from Crane's Orchard. We love the excuse to cook up a big meal. Perhaps that is why Thanksgiving is Brian's favorite holiday. Dinner was fine, but the conversation was even better. It is amusing to me how married couples seem to have to "date" other married couples. I usually feel like Monica and Chandler when they stalked that married couple they met on their honeymoon. We want to expand our group of friends so that there is always someone to call for weekend plans. And it's often difficult to find a couple in which you both enjoy the others. With Mike and Kate, it's a good match.

In knitting news - I finished my scarf. It's short, so really is more of a neck warmer. I love the fall colors in it. I'm having difficulty with my second Koigu sock. I think I blended patterns on the first sock for some idiotic reason. Now I'm having trouble figuring out how to make them the same size.

Linda - did you note the earrings?!

Oct 14, 2006

And I thought I was obsessed.

Shouldn't there be a designated crosswalk for knitted socks? Conveniently, there is a sock pattern so nicely named Jaywalkers. I have made a pair and it's probably my favorite sock pattern yet.

If anyone is interested, check out the Flickr group with all of the Socktoberfest entries. I love looking at the pictures. I just wish more people would tell me what pattern they used.

Here are a few more of my favorite pics from the group.

Brian's 10 yr reunion is tonight. I got a pedicure this AM in honor of the event (any excuse for a little spa treatment, right?).

Oct 10, 2006

A couch potato's dream

I'm going to take advantage of the internet now since it only works about 50% of the time. It's a real mystery.

I found a new site that is leading to drool on my keyboard. Check out the Junk Food Blog. I just bought some dark chocolate M&M's for only 33 cents at Meijer. I can't wait to rip open the bag. Dark chocolate is good for us anyway due to the antioxidants in the cocoa. Looking at this site, I'm wondering where I can get my hands on more delicious chocolate treats. The mocha and caramel Kit Kats look great. I don't know so much about crackers in my icecream. Maybe if I were pregnant...

I also found a link to this. I know some people who would use this - and I'm so glad I'm not that way.

Amber sent me some pics of her recently finished projects.

She completed the basketweave washcloth from Knitty as well as a baby hat in a very soft Lion Brand yarn. I can't remember which yarn it is exactly - Amber, help us out. They turned out great. Now tell the cow to get off the couch and wash some dishes.

I have started a new pair of socks - no surprise there. I picked up my Koigu yarn and cast on some more toe-up socks. There are spiraling yarn-overs in my pattern, but they aren't as prominent as I'd hoped. It just makes a subtle diagonal look to the sock.

Oct 8, 2006

An Apple a Day gives me a Bellyache.

(hope my pics show - Blogger is misbehaving)
Yesterday's weather was so perfect that we had to take the time to explore Crane Orchards in Fennville.

The trees were bursting with apples. We tasted Ida Reds, Empires and Jonagolds. The Honey Crisps were almost wiped out, but we managed to scout out a few. The Golden Delicious are some of my favorites.

We could've picked apples all day, but knew we only had use for a few dozen.

After all of that hard work, we had to stop by the restaurant/bakery for a quick treat. Brian had apple streusel and I had my fav - apple crisp with apple butter Palazzolo icecream. Delicious! They even had frozen pies to take home...and of course - cider and donuts.

That inspired me to go home and make three batches of apple crisp. I intend to take one over to my neighbor's, because I'm still trying to adopt her as my new friend.

Beyond apples, I have cast on a new sock with my Koigu yarn. I'm trying a pattern with spiraling yarn overs, but they seem to get lost in the yarn, so I'm not sure my extra work will get recognized.

We also saw "Last Kiss" with Zach Braff. Has anyone else seen this? It's a fantastic movie with a great soundtrack. It really drove some discussion between me and Brian because of it's negative view on marriage. Brian says the movies just reinforced his monogamy to me because he knew I would go after him with a knife much like Jenna in the movie. Good thing I have those sharp Miracle Blades. jk.

Oct 5, 2006

Wrap Me UP!

I love so many of the sweaters in the current issue of Knitty. I have a giant phobia of sweaters because I hate to spend all of the time and money to result in a too thick or too baggy mess. 2 out of 3 of my sweaters have been failures so far. I have to beg Brian to wear the one I made him, and he'll do so only in the confines of our house. The top I made my mother was definitely my success.

Anyway, I think Ivy and Serrano are both beautiful. The men's jacket, Avast, is nice, but stockinette can get so boring. I don't know that I'd ever make a knitted skirt - at least not for an adult. Stretched out yarn over the junk in your trunk is not so becoming.

Besides that - I need to say how thrilled I was that Vivica left Dancing with the Stars last night! Good riddance! She's a little too confident my for my likes. I especially loved how she was quoted just that evening saying she was sure she wouldn't get voted off as she has such a "loyal following." Sure. I hope that spike heel doesn't hurt too much when your foot inserts itself into your mouth. My favorites - Joey, Mario and Willa. I'd love to see Willa and Joey dance together.

Off to watch (and knit with) Grey's! Brian's in Chicago tonight with co-workers. Way to live up my bachelorette-hood, right?!

Oct 3, 2006

Fall Weather = Knitting Perfection

There's nothing like 60 degree weather for knitting. The yarn isn't sticky. The yarn colors remind me of the changing leaves.

These are some of the colors we saw (already) while we were driving to Lansing on Sunday.

I know I'm supposed to be committed to socks this month. But I could not resist starting this scarf.

This is the "Miss Priss Drop It and Love It Scarf" from 9/26 of the Knitting Calendar Pattern-a-Day. The dropped stitches create wonderful little windows.

Plenty of entertaining Monday night t.v. time (How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, and Studio 60) gave me time to start my next sock too. When the sock is at this point, it reminds me of the Eye of God that every child makes at summer camp.

I hope everyone has a perfect Tuesday!

Oct 2, 2006

They Say It's Your Birthday!

Happy 49th birthday to my dad. I can't say he looks a day over 39...except I'm 27, so that would be pretty amazing if he wasn't.

My father is a man of quiet confidence. He's a respected businessman and a loyal volunteer. He is forgiving and patient. He is many wonderful things. I love him and wish him a very happy birthday.