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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
Topping: 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!
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.
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?