Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bad Kitty!

Just thought you might want to know what Lyra's been up to lately.

Family Traits

There's something about Mike's family that compels them to photograph people while they're eating. Really annoying, especially when you've got a mouth full of food! I think the trait has kicked in in my own kids! They took these photos...

Justine about to shovel food in...

Oops...caught you, Mary Lou!

This was just before we sat down to eat. Everything turned out great. It was touch and go for a while, and here's why: I didn't have a turkey baster!! Ok, if you've never cooked a turkey, you probably don't know that this kitchen tool is essential for taking out the turkey "juices" and adding them to a pot to be used later for gravy. I guess I forgot I threw my old one out.
I was struggling to spoon out the juices (and not very successfully, I might add). Then, I called my mom to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving and told her about not having a baster. She says, "Tell your driving teenager to go to Walmart and get you a baster!" So I did. It was smooth sailing from then see, you're never too old to get advice from your mother.

Here's my helper in the kitchen!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I miss my California family, but I'm so grateful to have Mike's folks here to celebrate with us. Hi to everyone at mom's house today...we miss you guys so much!!

Are you going shopping on Black Friday? If you are, please be careful! Drink plenty of coffee so you're wide awake for those bargains you couldn't live without at 3am in the morning. Yeah, did you see that...Kohl's is opening up at 3am! Good grief!

I'm not shopping on Black Friday...not sure what we're doing. We're probably start on our Christmas decorating. The kids have a football game that night, a play-0ff game. We probably won't go because it's supposed to rain. The weather is supposed to cool off, too. Highs going down to the 60s and lows into the 30s...oh good! Bring on the wool!!

Have a fun, safe holiday!

Wonderful Wednesday!

We celebrated Al's 77th Birthday last night!
Wednesday's dinner was chicken tacos!!

We went to Green Cove Springs and walked around Spring Park. The weather was beautiful...the sun was shining and the water was sparkling!

So what do you think...would this make a good Christmas card or what?!

MaryLou and Al enjoying their vacation!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Playing and Knitting

Mike's folks arrived safe and sound Monday evening. Tuesday we just hung out at home, playing games, knitting, eating a lovely lunch on the patio and just catching up.

Mary Lou said she got pulled aside at the SD airport for a "pat down". She had surgery on her knee a couple years ago and it always sets off the machine. Anyway, she said the gal was very polite, explained everything she was gonna do before she did it and for the most part it wasn't all together totally unpleasant. She didn't think it was any big deal. Good to know. I hope it never happens to me though.

These pictures were taken at our local park. Lucky for us, we have a park within walking distance of the neighborhood. If we lived in the city of Jacksonville, this would be a non-issue. Jacksonville has the largest urban park system in the country. Want to see how many? Go here.

I knit a sock yesterday:

This is Anastasia.

Kelly have me the pattern and I finally gave it a try. It has a short-row toe and heel (toe up sock). I did a regular toe (Turkish cast on and inc around). I tried something new though, I did the short-row heel! It took a couple tries, but I had my Wendy Toe Up book close at hand, and that really helped. On the second half of the heel, when you knit/purl the double wraps...ugh! What a pain. I had the crochet hook out for help on that one. It looks pretty good, but I will probably stick with the slip-stitch heel in the future. The pattern on this sock wraps around the leg...very cool! It's easy to memorize, too. I love the look of the pattern with the subtle striping of the yarn. The yarn is Knit Picks Tonal.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sabado Gigante!

Saturday was great!
Veronica and Joey had their last band competition of the year, Championships in Tampa. They made 5th place in their class in prelims (drumline got 2nd) which qualified them for finals! They were so excited about just making it to finals that they were totally unprepared for the rush of joy when the band placed FIRST in their class and 5th over all in the State of Florida!!!!!!! They can't stop talking about it. They had a great season.

Now they're looking forward to Winter Drumline aka VELOCITY!!

Mike, Jen and I did the McKenzie RUN. There were over 2,000 participants. I couldn't believe the amount of people! It was difficult to run; I usually enjoy the scenery when I'm out for a run, but this crazy race...I spent the whole time dodging people (mostly walkers). My finish time was just over 35 minutes, which was great for me. I ran almost the entire time, which was also good for me. Mike had a great time, and got just over 30 minutes!!

Here we are before the race!

Um, it must be the camera or lighting, cuz I swear, my legs aren't that white!

Friday, November 19, 2010

What's Happening

This week has been very busy. I didn't even post my Wednesday dinner! Yikes! We're getting everything ready for MaryLou and Al (in-laws) to visit. The house is kinda torn apart for the carpets to finish drying. I get a bit frazzled when my little world isn't in order, but I'm coping. Today I cleaned the fridge and pantry. The BIG CLEAN will happen this weekend. Now, I know if my MIL, MaryLou reads this, she'll say, "Oh, don't go to all that trouble." I love her. It's because I do that I clean for her! Oh, and Al, too. haha
Here's the latest on the computer: Mike got us a new version of Windows xp and now we're back on the old computer. Good thing, the temporary one was attacked by a virus...pretty nasty stuff. Um, not nasty-nasty, just extremely invasive. Anyway, we're still waiting for him put the old files back on the computer, but that may take a while. Hey, it's been since July, so I know how to be patient.

Here's a goofy pic of me with the beret I knit for Charlotte's mom who is going through chemo. A head with no hair needs a soft hat, don't you think? Here's the pattern if you're interested...another wonderful freebie on Ravelry. Thanks for the photo, Jen!!
I just finished another one, for me, of course. It's blocking but if you want to see the pattern go here. It's red! I used "Vintage" from Berocco...a wool/acrylic blend. Very soft.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Velocity Update

Veronica and Joey had Velocity (winter drumline) tryouts on Saturday. They got the results yesterday. Veronica will be in the "pit" again and will either play vibes or marimba, apparently she won't know till she gets her music. Joey is playing cymbals. There are 20 kids total.

The music is going to be songs you know...the kids couldn't remember them all, but one is Dream On. I guess it's going to take on a "darker" theme, in contrast to last years "Love in Suspension" theme. The first practice is the first Monday back after Thanksgiving. They're super excited! Me too!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Mama

I had some company knitting today. No kidding...they wanted to knit without any prompting from me. Sweet...a knitting mom's dream come true!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's for Dinner Wednesday!

I actually had a couple requests for last weeks dinner recipe, Tuna Broccoli here it is. It's just a guideline, but don't panic, it's really hard to mess up.

Tuna Broccoli Casserole

1 can tuna, drained

broccoli (about 2 cups chopped, fresh or frozen...fresh is better cuz you get the crunch, but frozen works, too)

Elbow pasta...or any kind of small pasta (not spag noodles, in other words) about 1.5 cups uncooked

1 can cream of mushroom soup

french fried onions

2 cups grated cheese (cheddar or jack)


Cook the pasta just under al dente (it'll finish cooking in the casserole). While the pasta is cooking throw the chopped broccoli, tuna, soup, cheese and about a cup of the ffonions in a bowl. When the pasta is done, drain it and throw it in the bowl with the other stuff. Mix it together...add some milk to this, maybe 3/4 a cup, you want it moist, but not runny. Pour it in a 2 quart casserole dish (Spray it with Pam for easy cleanup, but you probably do this automatically, huh?). Top with more ffonions...or if you're not a fan of those, cheese. I usually bake it at 350 degrees for about 1/2 hour. It's weird, but oh, so good!

Ok, now onto tonight's meal!

Black Bean Soup

This is a recipe I got out of a Cooking Light Magazine and have been cooking since 1997.

Here's the recipe:

Black Bean Soup

1 tbl. oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained (I usually get the low-sodium.)

1/2 c. water

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 (14.5 oz ) stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped

1 (10.5 oz) can chicken broth (I just pour out a cup or so from one of those box thingies.)

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, undrained

1 tbl. lemon juice

plain low-fat yogurt

Saute onion and garlic in the oil till tender. Add 1 cup of the beans and mash with a potato masher. Add remaining beans, water and next 5 ingredients; stir well. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and summer 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt.

This is real quick to throw together and tastes super good. The soup is tangy and that dollop of yogurt is kinda sweet...great combo. The knit group is meeting at Panera you know this is good if I'm passing up Panera soup for this! I do wish I had some of their bread to go with this...hmmm...I might have to make a quick stop for some bread after I go to Target. That's the ticket!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Off

So today is my day off. I'm not doing a whole bunch. It's cold outside today, for Florida anyway. I think the high today will be 63 degrees. It was in the 40s this morning and tonight and tomorrow night promise to get in the mid 30s. Burrr. Good knitted sock weather though... :D!

I cleaned out a few drawers (I had Justine cracking up this morning when I told her I was going to clean out my drawers.), gave clothes to the Goodwill and threw a bunch of old stuff away. I now have expanded my sock drawer to two drawers. I pairs of hand knit socks. I didn't knit them all...Jen knit two for me. I was curious how many 2x2 rib socks I had compared to how many non-2x2 socks. Twenty-two 2x2. (Weird.)

Anyway, I'm doing some knitting today, it is after all, my day off. I'm working on Meret (lacy beret) for Charlotte's mom, who's going through chemo and will need to keep her hairless head warm in the months to come. I need to weave in the ends on a pair of socks I just finished (they're going into the Christmas pile, so they don't count toward the sock stats). I really wonder; just how many socks have I knit? You know, all together, over the years. Hmmm. I really do need to get to work on the last of my Bridgewater shawl...that lace around the perimeter is going to take a while, but it'll take much, much longer if I don't get crackin! Um, I mean clickin!

Hope you're having a good day, too!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Next Race...bummer

The Mallrat Duathlon has been cancelled!
Due to a scheduling conflict with the mall, the November 21st date was
cancelled and with limited time to find an alternate date for the event,
we are unable to reschedule the duathlon for the remainder of this year .
Those athletes that had signed up for the event will be receiving a full refund
and an email within the next week or they can email
We apologize for any inconvenience.
We look forward to bringing this event to Jacksonville in 2011.
(This is what was posted on the DRC website.)
Jen, Mike and I are so bummed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's For Dinner Wednesday

A long time ago, when I was a young bride, my husband used to cook for me. Oh what sweet days those were. Ok, he cooks now, but only if it's on the BBQ. When we were both working (before kids) we used to take turns cooking dinner. His speciality was "Tuna Broccoli Roll-Ups". Sounds gross, but it's really good. Then the kids came along and I started making this dish. You make a filling, use flour tortillas, fill them, line a 9x13 pan, make a sauce to cover, add grated's a bit of work. I have since modified the recipe to suit my busy working-mom lifestyle. Now, I mix everything up in a casserole (substitute pasta for flour tortillas...for that comfort food feeling), top with cheese and french fried onions. Here's the ingredients for "Tuna Broccoli Casserole":

Here's the casserole after cooking:

It's so yummy...crunchy onions on top with pasta, cheese and broccoli (with a little crunch still in them). It's weird, but really, really good.
Gotta go eat now...

Happy Halloween!

Justine and Veronica's pumpkins.
Justine and Katie go trick or treating!

Joey interference.

V in her awesome skull socks from Aunt Barb & Uncle Mark.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Race Times

Here is my time for the triathlon I did on Sunday. Not much of an improvement from last year. The swim really didn't improve at all. I swallowed so much water that breathing during the run was difficult. Today is Tuesday and I'm finally able to take a deep breath without any tightness in my chest. I've been swimming since Spring, but I just can't seem to relax enough to get a good swim in during a race. My breathing is so rapid, adrenalin rushing, etc. I can't get my face in the water to swim freestyle. Panic,'s tough on the nerves and no fun. So I made a decision to switch to Duathlons instead of Triathlons and forgo the swim portion. I love to swim laps in the pool, so I'll continue this for cross training. But no more race swimming. I'm hoping Jen and I can find race venues with both race options. I'm doing all the exercise to get in shape and have fun. Sunday's race would have been alot more fun for me if I didn't have to swim. Anyway...I digress.

Here are my times:
Overall: 1:43:56 (last year: 1:46:22)
Swim: 15:51 (15:42)
Bike: 47:19 (48:55)
Run: 36:29 (34:35)

No big improvement, but I did it! I realize it's a big accomplishment to even enter and finish, so I'm not complaining. You're probably shaking your head thinking you could never do this kind of race; that's exactly what I used to think. I'm capable of more than I thought. You probably are too.

Pep talk over.
Go enjoy your day!
And don't forget to VOTE!!