Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday...Um, Nope.

 For the record, I'd like to state, I have not gone insane.  I also have not knit everything in the world I've wanted to knit nor having knit these projects should you assume I've run out of things to knit and now you may start suggesting projects for me.  Having said that, here's the story behind these gifts.  Yes, gifts.

My friend, Becky, in California was sharing with me her newest "grand pets" via texting a few weeks back.  She baby sits and helps out whenever she can.  When grand kids come on the scene, she'll be so ready.  She's the best wife and mom I know, so being best grandma is a given.  Anyway, I was fascinated with these creatures...a bearded dragon, Short Round and a blue tongued skink, Sallah.  I'm not used to reptile pets and I had a few questions; how big? what do they eat? When she sent a picture of Sallah, I may have said I was gonna have nightmares. Shes said, "Just imagine him with a cute hat." Me, "He'd be adorable with a cute knitted hat." Beck, "If you knit him one for him I'll be sure to get a pic of it on him haha!" Snowball from here.  I found out Shorty was sleeping wrapped in a washcloth.  Well, that will never do! Auntie Brenda is on it!!  And as any good Auntie (or Granny) will tell you, you can't give something to two of the three grand Rocco gets something to chew.  I thought of a knitted bone, but I know this dog is big and would destroy it in seconds.  So there's the back to my regular knitting projects.
I didn't get a picture of the finished blankie (dishcloth) so there's the pattern picture so you can see the lizard knitted on.  Cute, huh?
Ok, yes, infinitely cuter with a hat nightmares.  haha!
Don't you just want to scratch his belly?!

I really had fun making these projects. It's a blast to break from traditional projects and knit something that makes people scratch their heads...or think you've gone insane.  You should try it.

Or am I doing enough for all of us?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Icy Ten for Tuesday

On Sunday our whole world was covered in ice. Freezing rain.  This means that rain falls and freezes on contact to whatever it touches.  Trees, cars, plants, streets, bridges...the smallest to the biggest of things.  Covered.  In.  Ice!
It was surreal to see and touch.
 I touched a leaf on this plant and it was at least 1/2 inch thick with ice.

 The simplest of things turned in the works of art, courtesy of Mother Nature.
 Aunt Bea is a trooper, she wasn't even shivering.
 Maybe when this defrosts, I'll finally trim this rose.
 The berries were beyond beautiful.

 Where do birds go when the weather is like this?!  Poor babies!
 Even big leaves and branches were coated with ice.

So yesterday was a "snow day"...they really should consider changing the name.  This is the second snow day we've had due to ice (Ice Day?) and the 4th of 5 days allotted for snow days.  If we use more, they come off of Spring Break and/or are added to the end of the school year. Mike went to work late, after the roads had been treated and snowplows scraped up the ice.
Then the sun came out and melted it all.  That's when I ventured out for errands. I'm glad it melted so quick, well, if the sun hit it, it melted.  The houses across the street are still icy. I'm glad we face the afternoon sun, very glad.  Ice is very scary, you can't walk on it cuz it's so slippery, it's dangerous to drive on, it's heavy and it brings down tree branches and power lines.  Not good.  

Weather update...
Today is supposed to sleet/freezing rain around noon-ish, tomorrow just rain all day and Thursday morning, snow.  I think we'll see the sun on Friday, but it will be cold...mid 20s. I guess March is coming in like a Lion.  Will it go out as a Lamb? We'll see.

Friday, February 27, 2015

10 Moments

What 10 time periods would you visit if you had a Hot Tub Time Machine?

I saw this idea on a blog I follow and thought it would be a good idea for Ten for Tuesday.  Then I started thinking about it...and reading what other people had posted and comments on those posts. There were worries about going back in time to no indoor plumbing, no electricity and low (and no) tech stuff (creature comforts).  I'm thinking, "How long where you planning on staying in 1542?!"  And the more I thought about it the more I came up with my idea of Hot Tub Time Machine visits.

I'd like to stay in one place and see that particular spot at 10 different times in history.  This really sounds interesting to me now that we're living in an area that has so much history.  Annapolis has such a rich, full history, I wouldn't even have to leave town! I'd love to stand in historic Annapolis, in front of the State House on December 23, 1783 to watch General Washington walk up to steps on the way to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.  I've seen the actual letter in the State House and wondered what that day was like...I've read about it, but to actually see it would be cool.  I'm sure standing on that spot at different times in history, I would see a lot of things.  Annapolis has been around for 300 years, I'm sure I could find ten moments to visit. 

So I'll come up with another idea for Ten for Tuesday.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Favorite Thing!

I've decided that my new favorite thing to do in the world these days is poke my head in the room of my sleeping child and tell her, "It's a snow day today."

And I just got to do that!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ten on Tuesday


1. What is your cleaning style like?
Reluctant.  Is that a style?  I usually keep my house tidy, you know, picked up. When I "clean" I take it one floor at a time (usually on different days). I have long since thrown out the idea that my house needs to be spotless.  If you come over, you come to see me, not my house.

2. What is your favorite thing to add to an outfit to take it from casual to classy?
I rarely dress up these days but to feel dressed up I usually wear heels.  Or any kind of shoe that doesn't require a wool sock.  And I step up the jewelry, too.

3. Do you like stormy weather?
I LOVE stormy weather.  I lived in CA most of my life, the only weather we have is sunny.  Then in Florida we really got to see some the form of rain!  Now in MD, we get rain but it's usually a soft rain, not the torrential downpours of FL. And snow...we get that too.  Yeah!! The worst weather we've seen here in MD was super storm Sandy.  That was a little scary but in a thrilling kind of way.

4. What is your favorite cold treat on a hot day?
Iced coffee or iced chai tea latte (from Starbucks only...the chai that is, iced coffee is best from Dunkin or home made).

5. What is your favorite warm treat on a cold day?
I like a hot chai or a skinny vanilla latte.  And maybe a warm chocolate chip cookie right from the oven (did that yesterday).

6. Who is your favorite animated character?
Bugs Bunny.  Duh.

7. What do you keep your jewelry in?
I have a jewelry box that my Nana gave me many years ago and I keep most of my jewelry in that but I also have a shallow "dish" that Veronica made me out of yarn and plastic canvas and I keep my every everyday/wear all the time jewelry in there.

8. Do any of the rooms in your house have a theme?
No theme. Unless you count my corner of the living room, that's my "nest" with all my yarny endeavours.

9. Do you watch any interior design TV shows – if so, what is your favorite?
I used to watch a bunch of HGTV but now that we're renting for so long, I've lost interest.  When we sell our Florida home and start looking to buy up here, I'm sure my interest will ramp up again.  I used to really love Design on a Dime and Trading Spaces.

10. When was the last time you did something risk-taking?
I took a drawing class last semester at the local community college.  That was fun and a stretch for me to take a class at a new school. That took some nerve, for me.  I also plan on taking a class on how to run a craft business and plan on selling my hand dyed yarn on Etsy in the future (with any luck!).  It's not bungee jumping off a cliff, but it's risk-taking for me.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Waterless Weekend

Many of you heard about my weekend escapades with a burst pipe.  On Friday I went with my friend Dolly to the American Craft Council Show at the convention center in Baltimore.  We took the light rail into the city to avoid traffic, driving and parking costs.  The light rail was delightful! The price for me was $3.30 round trip (Dolly got the awesome senior discount and only paid $1.10), so affordable and easy.  Now I have to admit, there were some, um, well, kinda weird people on the train but you get that with just about every kind of public transportation, I think.  Anyway, easy-peasy...we hopped the train and made it to the convention center.   The weather by the way was extremely windy and very cold...we're talking negative numbers in wind chill.  Lucky for us we weren't in it very long.  At the convention center I saw something else I'd never seen at an event like winter...a coat check!  For $3 they held out coat so you didn't have to lug it around. Brilliant!  Now onto the show.  It was really amazing.  There was everything...ceramics, furniture, mixed media, jewelry, clothing, accessories, hats, etc.  We saw a lot of felted things...and cut up (recycled) cashmere sweaters made into mitts, sweaters, etc.  The jewelry was most impressive...every kind you can imagine.  We couldn't see it all, it was so huge.  We had a great time.  A very fun day.  I was inspired to start creating...something!!  So the train ride back, ride home and arrival home was all uneventful.  Until after about 15 minutes in the door and I hear Justine call from downstairs, "Um, Mom, you better come look at this."

The entire entry, hallway, and utility room was flooded.  Water soaking in to the carpet in the bedroom...water dripping from the recessed lighting in the entry ceiling, water stained and soaking into the ceiling and wall...and we discovered later, water leaking into the garage, too.  Luckily Mike was just two minutes from the house and quickly came home to shut the water off.  Of course I didn't even know where the shutoff valve was...I do now.

We soaked up the water with towels...dried them in the dryer...soaked up again, then dryer, repeat again and again.  Ok, so now we're waiting for the property management to get back to us.  Waiting...and waiting.  Finally, he calls.  The short story is a plumber finally came to fix our problem at 3pm on SUNDAY.  Many factors on the length of time it too for him to get here.  Part of the problem was (you're not gonna believe this), he showed up on Saturday morning and no one answered the door.  I was gone (knitting), Mike was at the grocery store (getting water) and Joey was asleep.  Too bad Gracie couldn't open the door and let him in! We didn't know he was even coming, of course, or Mike wouldn't have left.  Anyway, the weather was bad too.  Saturday we got another 5 inches or so of snow so travel was tough, then early Sunday morning was rain, so, ice. Anyway, all fixed now as far as the pipe goes.  Someone is coming out today to see the rest of the damage to the walls, garage, etc.  I'm catching up on all water related activities...laundry, dishes, cleaning, and blocking (you know there had to be a water related knit activity, right?).  I got a shower about 1.2 seconds after the water was turned on.  I offered the first shower to Mike, after all, he was the one pouring water from a bucket in the toilets to "flush" them...but he said I could go first.  He's so nice to me.

Here are a few observations I've made on life with running water...

A shower is very important for morale.  I showered on Thursday then didn't shower till Sunday.  I was feeling very depressed.  There's something about a shower that means your life is in order, you're ready for the day and you're, well, clean. I was extremely grateful this didn't happen in the Summer.  Of course, pipes generally don't break in the summer.

I was feeling kind of freaked out about not being able to wash my hands.  It felt weird. I didn't want any of us to get sick, you know.  No running water and sickness...that would really, really be depressing. I didn't want to cook...that meant dirty dishes...MORE dirty dishes.

Mike said, "Just pretend you're camping." No.  Camping had running water.  It may have been freezing cold and a 20 foot walk from your camper, but it was running water.

Anyway, I have a renewed gratefulness for running water, a hot shower, clean dishes and simply turning on the tap for a drink.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to 2003 and play dates with Sydney and Chloe! And Oma, too, of course!!  Those were fun days.  Sydney and Veronica are the same age, Chloe and Joey were the same age, then came little Justinie-weenie!
Joey was a little out numbered with all those girls but he had fun anyway. Elsie and I could hang out together, chat, tell stories, maybe a cry a little...maybe have a glass of wine or two.  Good times!  Wonderful memories.
These kids are so big now.  All but one are driving and in college.  It would be fun to recreate this photo.  Maybe someday.