Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Wrap Up

This time last year I was so excited about digging into my stash and knitting a good chunk of it up. And I had 12 brown bags, each filled with a small project, stapled up and ready for each month of the year. I was ready for the challenge of not buying yarn, too.

Now that the year's almost over, I'm trying to assess how it went. I opened up each brown bag and as of today, only have two projects that are still in the works. One is the April project, my Good and Plenty mitts and the other is the December project, Wanida socks for me. I'm feeling no pressure to try and finish these by year's end, believe me.

As far as knitting down my stash. I did knit it down...but not a lot. I have tons of yarn for sweaters and I only knit a few sweaters last year. I knit a lot of socks and small projects. I've totally changed my sock knitting, now I no longer knit K2,P2 rib socks but rather, patterns that are fun and even a challenge, too. This change made me want to knit socks, socks, socks! I have knit the Diagonal Rib sock at least 8 times, so maybe that can be called my new K2, P2. It's a pattern that I have memorized so it's the easy project that follows me everywhere. I even did a test knit this year for Picnicknits. I'll continue to knit socks and more socks next year...I can't help it!

Next year I only have two goals:
1. Knit socks from the toe up.
2. Knit more sweaters.

I better get clicking!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Merry Christmas! I hope you're having a fun day...opening presents, visiting with family and friends, relaxing and enjoying the day.
We're having a great time!
Check out those socks...ho ho ho!
Santa brought the kids a basketball hoop! Joey helps Mike put it together.

B-ball time!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Secret Santa

Sunday we had our knitting group Christmas Party. We did a Secret Santa gift exchange and lookie what I got from my Secret Santa, Tracy!! My first ever skein of Malabrigo Sock!! The pictures just don't do the color justice...they are so rich and yummy. The yarn is not gonna end up on my feet though...I'm going to make Picnicknits' Gaenor (another gift from Tracy). Isn't it adorable?! I love it!! I just started another mini shawl so Gaenor will have be wait a little bit. But I'm knitting as fast as I can, so it won't be long!


Tracy, who is also LOVES animals, got Gracie and Jake gifts, too!! She's so sweet. She knit a catnip mousie that is so cute, but once we gave it to Jake, he hid it away. He probably thinks we're going to give it to that dog or something.

Gracie went absolutely nuts over her little ducky. Within 24 hours she had that thing shredded...there was duck guts (stuffing, for you non-dog owners) all over the house! She carries it around everywhere and sleeps with it under her head.
Ducky has taken a beating, but he (and Tracy) sure made our little dog happy!
Thanks Secret Santa!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cherry Mistmas!

Another great Holiday Recipe for you to try:
Patron Christmas Cookies

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup or brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Patron Silver Tequila

Sample the Patron to check quality.
Take a large bowl,
check the Patron again, to be sure it is of the highest quality,
pour one level cup and drink.
Turn on the electric mixer.
Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add one peastoon of sugar.
Beat again.
At this point it's best to make sure the Patron is still ok, try another cup just in case.
Turn off the mixerer thingy.
Break 2 leggs
and add to the bowl and
chuck in the cup
of dried fruit.
Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.
Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry
it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the Patron to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.
Who geevesa sheet.
Check the Patron.
Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table.
Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.
Whatever you canfind.
Greash the oven.
Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fallover.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window,
finish the Patron
and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.

Cherry Mistmas!
(Thanks for this recipe, Spidwy!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crack Pretzels

Ok, here's a Holiday Recipe that is so easy and so good...you're gonna love it! A couple years ago BadJen gave these out to us knitters at Christmastime and they've been a huge hit ever since. You can find the recipe here. BadJen named them "Crack Pretzels" because, well, you know how addictive they say the drug "crack" is...enough said.

You need the square pretzels (I found them at Target), kisses (I used dark and milk chocolate) and M&Ms.
Lay the pretzels on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment and put a kiss on top of each. Yeah, you have to peel the kisses. (Um, sorry about the photo, it didn't look good at any angle.)

After you've cooked them at 170 degrees for about 5 minutes, take them out and put an M&M on top of each one and press gently down. This takes a bit of dexterity to get it centered and not pushed down too hard. Don't fret; you can do it!

Viola! Put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set. I usually let them harden on the counter for a few hours then put them in ziplock baggies.



If you haven't already, put this on your Christmas list to Santa: "Please bring me an Aunt Barb and Uncle Mark." Not everyone is lucky enough to have one...but we do!
Presents for the kids...for me...and tons of Sees Candy!!
How did they know I was whining about not having any Sees Candy?
Maybe they're really Mr. & Mrs. Claus....

Monday, December 14, 2009

You just never know...

Looks like I made the homepage of the Amelia Runners Club...oh brother! We were doing a warm up routine before our Reindeer Run 5K. I saw the guy taking the video...you just never know where a random video will show up. I'll have to learn to be more careful in the future.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

USPS Here I Come!!

I finished all my shopping for presents that needed to be mailed, got the Christmas cards done and ready for mailing...so I'm off the the Post Office in the morning.
Ya think there will be a line?

C is for Cookie

Veronica made Christmas cookies...you know, the sugar kind for decorating. She did everything all by herself! She also organized my cookie cutters...you gotta love that!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Concert Night

We had to divide and conquer last night because both concerts were on the same night. Both were a huge success!

Joey gave his trumpet a bath and polished it up...look at that baby shine!

Please don't try to adjust your computer screen...that is Veronica in a dress.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I know Christmas is inching closer...and not because every morning Justine bounces out of her bedroom and announces how many days left until Christmas...I know because...

...I still have a pile of Christmas cards sitting on my table. Half are addressed, none are written in, I have no return address labels (have to have cute, Christmas ones of course) and I have three stamps in my position (none of which I can use because I need the Madonna stamps instead). I remember the days when I would have the cards out before Thanksgiving weekend was up. Those days are LONG gone.

...My closet is filling up with plastic bags full of presents for my family. That's the hiding place...it's ok, if you know, everyone knows (and they know to stay out, if they want their presents).

...I made my first batch of Almond Roca on Tuesday. I also have enough ingredients to make another 7 batches in my pantry. Gee, I hope that's enough.

...I'm knitting at a feverish pace to make sure CERTAIN things get done.

...I'm wondering what to get for the 5 people I work with....any ideas?

...I got an email from my mom giving me the wish list for my niece and nephews. Crap, I coulda got them stuff when I was at the mall yesterday. Back to the mall, I suppose.

...I have got to make it to the one See's Candy kiosk in all of Jacksonville to get goodies for the family (um...and me). I liked San Diego better, there was a See's Candy STORE in every mall...even one at the airport!

...I'm getting a hankerin' to drive around and look at Christmas lights! I'm even excited about going downtown and seeing the big tree at the Landing do it's little show of lights and music (hokey, but good family fun).

Gotta go...Christmas is coming!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good Grief

Remember the Mike tree?
Well, it died...
Now we have a "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree"!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jacksonville Aboretum & Gardens

Al and Mike on one of the bridges along Jones Creek Trail.
Resurrection ferns...I think they're so pretty!

Watch your step!

We went to the Jacksonville Arboretum yesterday. It was so nice walking in the cold through the woods and we didn't have to drive far at all! This lovely sight is right in the middle of the city. If you live in Jax and haven't seen it...go!! You can hike around Lake Ray and take all three of the trail off-shoots. We didn't see any wildlife...rarely do we with three noisy kids in tow. The three trails are very short (the longest one is .5 miles) so bring the whole family and have a great time!
By the end of the hike, the girls were calling Joey "Wolfman" and calling for him with howls.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you take a minute (or longer) today to look at those around you and truly appreciate them. Appreciate your life. Appreciate this beautiful world we live in and the people in it. Appreciate those who work hard to make it as safe as possible.
Enjoy your family, friends and turkey with all the trimmings. Eat dessert today, too...it's good for the soul (you can think about your thighs tomorrow).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rainy Day

It's been raining since early this morning, started just after midnight, I think. I love it. It's a soft rain not a hard downpour that makes you wonder how it's even possible so much water can come out of the sky. Soft and musical. The pool is a constant dribble of rain drops and water rings. The water collects on the top of the pool screen and looks like stars. I love this rain.

Yesterday we took our in-laws out to lunch at The Skyline. It's a cafeteria type restaurant on the 42nd floor of the BofA building in downtown Jax. Now if it wasn't cloudy, foggy day, the view would have been amazing! It was still pretty cool. Take note, any of you people who are brave enough to come visit us...you'll get to see it, too. We're making it a regular stop on the tour.

Today, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I'm making a sweet potato casserole and a chocolate pie. The rest can wait until tomorrow.

The rainy day calls for hot chocolate, games, movies and knitting! Enjoy your day too.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Someone asked me at knit group the other day if I'd knit my stash down like I wanted to this year. Yeah, some, but not as much as I'd anticipated. Why? Hmmm...I think part of the reason is I've been knitting mostly socks (about 20 pair this year) and my stash is made up of a lot of sweater yarns. I got so much sock yarn around my b-day that I've been concentrating on that and knitting very few sweaters. I'm thinking a switch needs to happen next year if I'm gonna get to all those sweaters I've been dreaming about.

I did find a vest pattern the other day that I think I'm gonna do next. It's called Swaddle, a freebie on the Rowan website. Never knew about their site, let alone that they offered free patterns. I've always loved the Rowan style...clean, tailored lines...really lovely. But expensive! Anyway, I have some deep blue yarn that I think will make a pretty vest, it's a little on the scratchy side, so a next-to-the-skin pattern is out of the question. I usually don't have a scratch issue with any yarn (well, mohair I do) so I've been hanging on to the yarn for the right pattern to come along. Hello Swaddle!

Tonight we go to the airport and pick up my in-laws! We're all so excited! Especially me, I love my in-laws!! And my wonderful husband is taking the week off! The house is just about ready...today I need to hit the grocery store, take Gracie for a fluff-n-fold, and get the laundry done. I'm sure I'll find time to work on my socks, too. There's always time to knit. Always.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas on Walnut Street

The JaxKnits Christmas Tree!!
Decorating in action...everyone is enjoying themselves (some more than others)!
Our tree topper is a star made of knitting needles.

Here we are! Our knit group made all the ornaments, including an i-cord garland and knitted Christmas lights (You go Christine!). You can visit our tree at the Green Cove Springs Christmas on Walnut Street (Spring Park) any day between now and the first week in January.
Great job JaxKnits!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stink...and totally unrelated: Sweet Potatoes

Yesterday I got to work, walk in the office......wait. You need a little more information. I work at a church that is set back off the road around a very wooded area. We have tortoises nesting behind the church office (caught them doin' the wild thing a couple times...lol), squirrels all around, birds, etc. It's beautiful, alot like being in the mountains, without the elevation...giant oak trees, etc. In other words...it ain't no industrial park! Ok, back to my story...

I walk in the office and there's a smell. I'm standing there making a face and my co-worker walks in and says, "You smell that? Something died under the building." Eewwwww!!! It was pretty bad in my office, but her office was so bad it made your eyes water. At lunch I ran home and got one of those Yankee Candles...super strong smell (the good kind) and an air-freshener thingie. I put the candle in my office and the air-freshener in her office and in 10 minutes it was SO much better. Her office, on the other hand, was still awful! She finally went home to do her work, she couldn't stand it anymore. I don't know who's job description this would fall under for clean up, but I guessing no one because no one is doing anything about it. I'm dreading going to work today.

Oh...lol! While I'm home at lunchtime, I'm thinking maybe I might start stinking myself after sitting in the office all morning....so I ask Joey, "Smell me. Do I stink?" He gives me a sniff and says, "No more than usual." Nice.

RECIPE TIME! Here's my sweet potato recipe. Give it a try, it's easy and super yummy!

Sweet Potato Surprise
4 sweet potatoes, baked and mashed
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine, melted (I always use butter)
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup grated unsweetened coconut, dried or fresh (This is when I thought 'What? Are you nuts?!" I couldn't find unsweetened coconut anywhere in San Diego and I wasn't about to buy a coconut and grate my own...this is Thanksgiving not Survivor! I think it's easier to find here in Florida. I just used regular sweetened, grated coconut you get in the bag on the baking isle and it was great.)
1 cup pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup margarine (Butter!!)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes, sugar, margarine, milk, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined. Transfer the mixture into a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

In a separate bowl, combine the topping ingredients with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until crumbly. Distribute the topping over the sweet potatoes. Then bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serves 6-8. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sesame Street turns 40

I know you've probably heard that Sesame Street turned 40 this week. I remember it from when I was a kid and then got to enjoy it all over again when my kids were little...sweet! In today's Times-Union, there's an article on the cover of the "Life" section that lists 40 fun facts about Sesame Street. Fact #27 had Mike and I laughing so hard, I just had to share it with you. Here it is:

27. Regarding Bert and Ernie, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell said, "They are not gay, they are not straight, they are puppets. They don't exist below the waist." Sesame Workshop also released a statement in 1993 saying the friends are not gay.

Enjoy you day!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Veronica's pumpkin looks so sweet...she was a little crunched for time because she was still putting together her costume at 4 o'clock on Halloween day. She usually gets more elaborate in her carving. She made a poodle costume this year...gray, of course, just like Gracie. Unfortunately, I didn't get a single picture of it because she was waiting till she got to her friend's house to put it on, and when she got home she was too tired (and hot) to put it back on. Bummer, I bet she looked adorable.

Justine's pumpkin...she carved it herself! She was so proud. Her style is more traditional.

The dads took the girls around this year. It was so HOT Halloween night, they stopped in a few times to cool off in the AC and get a re-fill on their ice water.
Justine is a witch, Katie is Red Riding Hood. The dad's outfits go together great...a pirate and a sea captain!

How do ya like Joey's pumpkin this year? Clever, huh? He went out with his buddies across the street, dressed as a football player.

Needless to say, there is enough candy around the house to feed a small nation. Yesterday I was a bit under the weather, so my candy intake was minimal. Feeling much better today...watch out candy!! Most of you who know me, know I have I terrible sweet tooth. My favorites are tootsie rolls, Baby Ruths, dark chocolate of any kind, 3 Musketeers, Skittles, um....and everything else.

On a non-Halloween note...

I finished a Small Project of the Month that's been hanging around a while.

My Small Project for June! The gloves are a little roomy (REALLY roomy on Justine lol, they're adult sized), but I'm hoping that a good wash/dry will shrink them up a bit. It's just sock yarn, so they'll get the usual wash treatment.
A little crazy to knit gloves for life here in Florida, but I like the fun of knitting all different things, not just practical things I can use everyday. The glove fingers were a bit fiddly on double points, but that's the nature of the glove.
I have another Small Project from April that is still on the needles and the October Small Project that I haven't started yet, but on a positive note...
I'm already DONE with the November SP. I knit it in two days! I'm waiting to take a picture before I post about it....is the suspense killing you?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Triathlete speaking...

That was how I answered my phone all day yesterday: "Triathlete Speaking!"

Jen and I showing off our tri muscles.

We got to the festival too late the day before the race for our corndogs and funnel cakes.
In case you haven't figured it out...a cooter is a turtle.

Brennee's boo-boo.

We had such a great time at our Triathlon yesterday!!
The air temperature in the morning was a cold 56 degrees so we were scared to death that the lake would be freezing. Turns out that the temp of the lake was 77 degrees. Not bad at all, really. My wave (that's the group of people you're racing with) went in the water at 8:08 am. Official race start was 8:00 a.m. I was so scared...and excited! I couldn't do one stroke of freestyle, my breathing was so hard. So I swam the back stroke and side stroke...and even dog paddle! Whatever it took to get it done. Jen started four minutes after me, caught up with me and we exited the water together! I hit my toe on something under the water and got a gash under my left big toe. I thought it was a "cyprus knee" but after talking with Jen's husband, he thought it was probably a rock because cyprus knees are usually smooth on top. What ever it was, it hurt. I didn't let that stop me. Are you kidding!? I made it through the swim...I can do anything now!
The bike was just great...beautiful course! It was through neighborhoods and on a Rail Trail (that's an old rail line that's been turned into a walking/biking/running path). We both thought we'd freeze on our bikes with the air temp being so cold, but neither one of us was cold at all. Nice! On the exit of the bike, you have to dismount and walk/run your bike into transition. There was a crowd of people cheering the racers on...so great, really lifted my spirits even higher and gave me energy to keep racing. The truth is, I was so happy to finish the swim, I could have climbed Mt. Everest! I had a stupid grin on my face for the entire race.
Then the run came last...I ran the entire thing!! My best time for a 5K yet. I was still damp, but the sun was shinning and I was so happy...I felt so comfortable. Even with that cut on my toe! I was keeping my eye out for her on the run, knowing that she would already be out there because she would have beat me on the bike. She found me...I didn't realize it was her because of the shirt she was wearing. We crossed each other just after she had turned at the half way point. Then I finally caught up with her just before the finish line and
My time: 1:46:22
Jen's time: 1:42:22
Can you tell I still have that silly grin on my face?
I couldn't have done it without Jen and Becky.
And the support of my family.
I'd also like to thank the Academy...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Curl Girl Saves the Day!

This is homecoming week at V's school and every day the kids can dress up, depending on the theme. The theme for today is "Super Heroes vs. Villains". Veronica and her friend made their costumes last night. They are: Curl Girls...Saving the World, One Curl at a Time!

ETA: I was told by V after school today that her Super Hero name is Curl Girl (not Curly Girl). She also said her partner is The Pretender (she has a perm, and therefore not a "true" Curl Girl). LOL.

Monday, October 12, 2009

False Alarm

Ok, remember what I said about Fall being here? False alarm. It's so miserable around here, super hot and humid, like um, summer. I'm gonna give it till Halloween, and if it's not cooler, I'm really gonna start complaining.

Training update: All going well. No more falls on the bike. My left calve is a bit tender, but I've been icing it and giving it plenty of rest between runs and that seems to have helped quite a bit. After the swim lesson, I feel like I have the knowledge to improve my swimming. Actually applying it while swimming is another thing. I'm taking Jen's advise and working on one thing at a time. Right now I'm working on keeping my head down and my feet up. If I can do this, I can really reduce my energy use and drag I'm producing in the water. The tri is less than two weeks away!! I'm really getting excited!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Last night I made Tuna Casserole for dinner.

Veronica was at drumline practice so I only had two complainers at the table.

Justine was hesitant at first, but when I told her those brown things were french fried onions, she gobbled it down. She's decided she loves onions. Now a days when I'm browning onions on the stove she always comes up and says how good it smells. Gotta love that.

Joey says to me, when I ask him how he likes the casserole, "It's not very, very, very bad." No kidding, three "verys". High praise indeed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Here! It's Here!

I think Fall is finally here!! I just opened the front door to say goodbye to V and it's cold outside! (6:45 a.m.) Looked it up and the temperature is 50 degrees. Quite a change from waking up to temps in the high 70's low 80's. Sure it'll warm up later, to 80 something....wonderful!

Just in case you're shaking your head, thinking that 50 degrees isn't cold, remember I'm from Southern California, now living in Florida...anything under 70 is cold for me. LOL!

Now I get to go pick out a sweater to wear to work! Yippee!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

St. Simons Island

The kids on the beach at St. Simons Island, Georgia. The water was so warm!!

Mike and Justine standing in the surf. When we first got to the beach the tide was very high. The steps leading down to the beach lead right into the water. Then after lunch it looked like this in the photo. How cool is that?!
On the top of the lighthouse at St. Simons Island. We LOVE lighthouses! This one was only about 127 steps to the top. The view was lovely. You can kinda see the water park below...beautiful pools, mini golf, play grounds and picnic areas. Looks brand new, too. We didn't have time to spend there yesterday, but we'll keep it in mind for the future.
Mike and the kids by the lighthouse.
We woke up Sunday morning....everyone was kinda grumpy about having to do chores. I mean everyone, even Mike and me (laundry, cleaning and mowing the grass). So in the spur of the moment, we packed up the car with food, etc. and left our obligations behind and drove to St. Simons Island in Georgia. It was a great day to get away, see something new and spend some time together.

Don't Try This at Home

Went for a bike ride today.


At the busiest intersection in town. In the street. In front of God and everyone...possibly my neighbors, friends, people from work/church and maybe Joey's school bus. Ugh.

Didn't get hurt. Well, my ego did.

Godzilla strikes again.

Cooter Tri

I have two friends (BFFs) that did something extraordinary for me yesterday that I have to tell you about. I'm still reeling from their generosity and thoughtfulness.

Since Jen and I participated in a relay team at the Danskin Sprint Tri in May, we've been training do to a Sprint Triathlon as an individual participant. We were both planning on doing the third in the JaxTri Series in August, but I had some dehydration difficulties and couldn't participate. Jen did, and kicked butt. So the next tri we have for our goal is the Cooter Tri in Inverness, Florida. I hit another glitch, this one financial. September/October are heavy months financially speaking for anyone with kids, especially kids in band and 8th graders who want to go to DC in the spring. Between those expenses, the new car, etc. I just couldn't justify spending money on just me. If your a mom, you get this. These kind of sacrifices just come with the territory.

It broke my heart to tell Jen I would have to pass up on the Tri and shoot for the Spring. Tri Season starts in the Spring and ends early Fall (this Cooter Tri is one of the last ones).

BUT little did I know that my too friends were scheming this wonderful surprise for me, you probably guessed already...they picked up the tab for the entire Tri (entry fees, goodies...even a cool outfit to race in!). I start to cry every time I think about it. I hope they realize how grateful I am for this gift and their friendship. I don't know what I did to deserve such good friends. I'm so extremely motivated to work hard, finish my training and do my absolute best at the race.

So get out your pom-poms and start cheering...I'M GOING TO THE COOTER TRI!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Need a laugh?

Every Fall my BFF, Becky, and I discuss the new shows, what we'll be watching and what we should avoid. We both love Survivor, House, Amazing Race and Lost. I love Fringe, Bones and Wherehouse 13. She loves Dancing With The Stars. I haven't seen it since that guy from Seinfeld was on, but when I heard that this year Donny Osmond was gonna be on, I got curious. So Becky, being the wonderful friend she is, sent me a rundown of all the participants this year. PLEASE NOTE: This list is for fun and not intended to be taken seriously, if you are offended by any comments...maybe you should get a life.

This year's DWTS line-up:

Aaron Carter (singer, quick! name one song he did!)
Ashley Hamilton (like father like son, only paler)
Chuck Liddell (UFC fighter...now we'll see if he's really as tough as he thinks he is!)
Debi Mazar (actress, quick! name one thing she was in)
Donny Osmond (....sigh.....)
Joanna Krupa (model slash actress, aren't they all?)
Kathy Ireland (see above, but at least Kathy built a retail empire!)
Kelly Osborne (yes,Ozzy's daughter, but she looks fabulous)
Louie Vito (professional snowboarder, maybe you caught him in the X-games? Me neither)
Macy Gray (singer, probably should stick to what she does best)
Mark Dacascos (host of Iron Chef America, he may be out of his element here)
Melissa Hart (Sabrina's back, trying to escape from the ABC Family channel!)
Michael Irvin (another football player, come on! Emmitt did it best, now leave it alone!)
Mya (singer, hey if Lil' Kim can do it, so can she. Yeah, we'll see)
Natalie Coughlin (another Olympic athlete, oooh bring back Apollo! Pleez!)
Tom Delay (Politician, O..M..G...kiss of death for Cheryl is all I can say)

Around the House

Right at our house: All three kids are making a concoction out of corn starch and water (and food coloring). It's solid while you're working it with your hands, but the second you stop, it starts to turn into a liquid. Very cool. The kitchen is a wreck, but the kids are happy.
Jake is a lot bigger than the last time I blogged about him. He's so cute...when he comes in the house (always a very short visit) he turns over on his back so we can scratch his tummy. Gracie just loves him, she's always trying to play with him. They are both pretty gentle with each other. It's sweet.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Remember doing this?

Originally uploaded by brenda.pirie

I bet most of you did this at one time during your childhood. I remember doing this and also growing the tops of carrots in a jar lid. It was fun watching them grow...remember?

Justine...my "green" girl.

Band Fans, this is for you!

Fleming Island High School Band
Veronica in her uniform...the show name Elton John Side Two!

Thought all you band fans would like to see V in action. She absolutely LOVES the uniforms and the music. Mike saw the show at the football game last week and I got next week to check it out. He said it was great...I can't wait to see it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alice is in the House

Oh Happy Day!!! I got my Starmore book today! Finally.
And yes, I knit the vest in the back ground. Several years ago it was the class project in our Knitting Workshop class. I had never knit with such tiny yarn before and had to learn to knit Continental in order to get the job done. My mom made an entire sweater for her project, sleeves and all! I thought she was so amazing to take on a whole sweater.
Enough blogging...I gotta go read my new knitting book!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bad Brenda

I went on a great bike ride this morning. First I went to Black Creek then through Eagle Harbor to Doctor's Lake. The lake was so pretty. I was hoping to see a manatee, but only jumping fish were entertaining me. I made my way home and as I turned into my neighborhood, things went bad.

We have a neighbor who's dogs are ALWAYS off leash and wandering about, well, today the little one was out. It's small, probably a shitz shu. It took off after me, barking and growling. The owner was out front and didn't even call it back! So after a few seconds, I unhooked a foot and gave it a swift kick in the face! It stopped chasing me after that.

If their other dog gets out and chases me, I'm up the proverbial creek...it's a St. Bernard.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Justine's socks!
Turtle Trotters!

Today was the Turtle Trot in Fernandina Beach! I ran the 5K and finished in 36 min. 53 sec. Mike, Justine, Jen, Christine and her family were all there...it was a great time! The weather was very nice, not too hot and some cloud cover. The hardest part was waking up at 5am so we could take the hour drive to Fernandina, getting there about 6:15am. Ugh.

I also finished Justine's socks today. Yeah!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Never Say Never

I did something I said I would never do here in Florida. I went to Walmart. I needed a black ink cartridge for my printer ASAP, and Target was out, and Radio Shack didn't open until 10:00 a.m. Ok, from now on....I'm not ever going to shop at Walmart. Call it a 'do over'.

Please. I really hate Walmart.

A Perfect Day

Yesterday Mike took the day off and after sending the kids off to school, we drove to St. Augustine to play! Having recently purchased the Entertainment Book from Justine's school, and armed with coupons galore, we thought we'd go visit the Lightner Museum. Well, we got distracted and short on time and never made it to the museum BUT....here's what we did instead:

Mike thought it would be a good idea to check in at the Visitor's Center to see what they suggest and possibly get a map. He LOVES maps. We ended up buying the St. Augustine's Historic Points of Interest Walking Tour map. Best $3.13 we ever spent. It contains 5 short and easy walking tours all around the Historic area of St. Augustine. Now, you should know we've been to St. Augustine many, many times. But, we usually do about the same thing (with friends & family from San Diego) and lots of times things are closed or we have the kids with us. Today was all ours to do something new and learn more about this city we've fallen in love with.

We did the Flagler Buildings Tour #3. The most exciting things we saw were the Alcazar Hotel Swimming Pool and the Memorial Presbyterian Church. The pool was the largest indoor swimming pool in the world at the time, but is now an antique mall and restaurant. Click on the link for the pool so you can see it...it filled the entire bottom of the room and measured 50' x 120' with a private area for the ladies at one end. It was so cool to walk down the stairs into the actual pool area and imagine it filled with water and everyone cooling off in the spring water. Spring water is typically 72 degrees. The restaurant down there looked adorable and the prices were very reasonable. We didn't eat there because it was mid-morning and we weren't hungry yet. We were the ONLY people walking around inside there, too. In the photo, you can see a man on the steps...we walked up those steps to the next level and walked around, too. Many of the rooms on that floor are now for conferences, meetings, etc. The architecture of the building inside and out is fantastic!

We walked around some more...a bunch of college students (Flagler College) wandering around, sitting in the heat at bus stops, or waiting in line at various buildings could be seen. I don't know if school had started yet for them. The day was beautiful, but it was getting very warm for walking around. I told Mike that I'd always wanted to see inside this church by the college. I'd seen it many times on the trolley tours and heard about the beautiful marble, stained glass and best of all...the Flagler mausoleum. We walked over to the Memorial Presbyterian Church and went INSIDE! We took ourselves on the self guided tour and learned alot about this beautiful building. Flagler built the church in 1889 as a memorial to his only daughter who died at sea en route to St. Augustine. It was modeled after St. Mark's in Venice, Italy. The stained glass, carved mahogany, mosaics and marble inside are breathtaking. Go see it if you're in town...they only ask for a $1 donation. A very unique, budget friendly way to spend your time.

After walking some more, we just were too darn hot and sweaty to continue. We stopped at Harry's Bar & Grille for lunch. They have a beautiful patio (fully shaded) for eating outside, and it wouldn't have been too hot to eat outside...but we'd been walking in the heat and needed to get out of it for a bit. After lunch, we drove across the temporary bridge to check on the progress of the Lion's Bridge that's being renovated. Everything is coming along beautifully...MaryLou and Al, you're gonna be amazed at how different it looks. Then we went to pick up the kids at school.

Um, after getting the kids, we took them to Dairy Queen for an ice cream.

You didn't think we could have a perfect day without ice cream did you?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Double Digits

Justine celebrated her 10th Birthday on the 28th, and her party was a slumber party last night here at the house. Only two friends, but the three of them made enough noise for 10 girls! They had a great time. We were very happy to have Donna and Danny (the boyfriend, not the hurricane) join us for dinner! We sung Happy Birthday, ate Birthday cake, shared stories and laughed a lot!

Justine's cake....it's a hippo.