Monday, December 31, 2012

Veronica's Visit

I trust you had a nice Christmas?  We did too.  In fact, Joey declared it was the best Christmas yet.  Certainly it was for him, he got a drum set...yup, 5 drums, all the hardware and 3 cymbals.  Yes it's very loud but so far, no complaints from the neighbors.  Mike came through with some fabulous knitting stuff for me...a kit from Brooklyn Tweed, a book and some lovely light pink sock yarn.  Then my dad, who had be in the gift exchange, got me a gift certificate for my LYS.  So I'll be yarn shopping soon, as soon as I can make up my mind which sweater(s) to knit.  But it really was a nice Christmas, the best part was having Veronica back home! 

We did alot of hanging out, cooking, baking, playing and just enjoying having the family all together.  We did venture out to see some of the sights around town, too!

We drove into Washington DC and mostly walked around, enjoying the city and freezing our Florida tails. 
 We also went to see Fort McHenry in Baltimore.  It's where Francis Scott Key saw the American Flag and was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner.  The wind was blowing and it was very cold, but we made it from building to building and walked out to the water to see the grounds.  Burr!

The best thing was that it snowed while Veronica was here!  Not a white Christmas but wonderful all the same. Last Saturday it snowed all morning. It was the perfect amount of snow, enough to throw snow balls and play in...then it was all gone by late afternoon. All fun and no trouble.

Maybe I should buy Gracie a winter coat?

Our dock...just look how wintry it is on the river!
Our Florida baby bundled from head to toe!

Happy New Year everyone! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Stuff

This year's tree...chuck full of ornaments! Now there are presents under the tree...I did some wrapping last night!  woohoo!  
Mike and Justine after her Winter Concert this week.  She's missing her bow tie and cumber bun. The concert included Jazz Band, Concert Band and Symphonic Band.  Justine plays trumpet in Jazz and Symphonic Bands.  The really sounded good...for a Middle School Band that is.  ha-ha
Anyone know what these orange sticks are for?  I didn't.  I saw them all through our neighborhood, mostly on corners.  Mike, who as skied before, knew exactly what there were.  They're to guide snow plows and cars when the ground is covered with snow.  Right! Cuz when every thing is covered with the white stuff, you can't see curbs etc.  Duh.  It's a whole new world, this state called Maryland.

By the sign of snow in the near future.  Keeping fingers crossed for a White Christmas anyway.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Wonderful Day!

Yesterday was such a wonderful day!

It started with everyone up early, and by early I mean the kids were up and dressed before ten. Justine had a date with some friends from school to meet so one of them could use the others as subjects in her science fair project.  Nothing sinister...listening to music and take pulse rates.  In the end, Justine thought her pulse rate was highest while listening to country music, "Because I hate that music!"  But I digress.  So we dropped her and a friend and their friend's house and Mike and I were on our way to Christmas shop.  Well, mostly.  We made a quick trip to Target.  "A quick trip to Target" during the holidays?!  I told you it was a good day.  Then we went to Joann's; Mike in search of felt for a Christmas project and me in search of buttons for my newly finished cardigan Miss BB. I'll probably sew them on today and take pictures. Then we were off to do some department store shopping, which we both despise.  BUT we found the perfect gifts in the shortest amount of time and exited the store before the crush of shoppers dampened our Christmas spirit.  Mike suggested we get some lunch, always a great suggestion in my book.  We ate lunch at Baja Fresh. They have a wonderful salsa verde...yum!  The weather was nice, too.  Temperatures in the mid-50's so just enough for a sweater, not a big coat.  I wore my warmest sweater, which I haven't worn in a couple years due to the non-winter we had last year (even in Florida).  It's a sage green cardigan type coat with a wonderful lattice stitch, pockets and shawl collar to keep the cold off my neck.  Very comfy and cozy...but not so hot I need to peel it off every time I step into a store.

Anyway, back to pick up the girls, drop off Justine's friend and home to get Joey.  We need to hurry because we're going to see a play.  The Colonial Players of Annapolis' production of A Christmas Carol.  This tiny theater just off the State Circle in historic Annapolis is in the round.  The production was a musical too (which probably bummed Joey out, but who cares). It was a lot of fun to watch...the gentleman who played Scrooge was so good.  I have to admit, I liked him better before his "transformation".  He has the best scowl I've ever seen!  haha

After the play we did some shopping in town.  A quick stop in Starbucks for some hot drinks then a walk along the City Dock to see the boats preparing for the light parade that night.  It was late afternoon so the lights were on and we could see them in all their glory.  One was "A Christmas Story" themed!  Too funny!!  I giant "major award" leg lamp with lights spelling out: FRAGILE! I think that's Italian!  haha  And another panel of lights, which alternated between yellow and red lights spelling out "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!" and "I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU!"   Another boat had a mermaid made of lights about 30 feet in the air, attached to the mast.  Cool!

We then went home.  I made my amazing Potato Chowder for dinner and we ended the day by watching two episodes of Haven.  It really was a fun day.

Today is starting with rain and fog.  I can hear the fog horn going (somewhere on the Chesapeake).  It's cold, too.  Colder than yesterday.  Gracie isn't moving...she's curled up on the couch and has made no attempt to tell me, "Let's go out so I can go!"  Oh well, I don't blame her one bit!  I think it'll be a good day...lots of football and knitting.

Hope your day is wonderful and your Christmas Spirit is with you.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

Here in the US, today is Thanksgiving!  In my family we usually start the day with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (watching it on TV...but someday we may go to NY and see it in person, who knows?).  Super fun to watch, especially now that we're closer to the action. And watching football...and football pools.  I'm so happy that our family is still included in my Dad's football makes football watching so much more fun.  And we all feel more connected to our family far away in California.

Then there's the question of the day, "When are we gonna eat?"  Because today is mostly about EATING!

Ok, yes, it's a day to be thankful too.  I'm thankful for many list probably looks a lot like yours.  It's my favorite holiday because it's about family and just being presents, no crazy prepping (except food shopping) and hanging out.

Well, I'm not sitting and knitting all day...I'm cooking!  It's really an easy meal to make, I think.  We eat the basics...turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, croissant rolls, green beans and a salad.  Pies for dessert...I made a chocolate one and bought an apple pie.  One glitch though...the turkey is still a bit frozen.  I've had it in the fridge since Sunday and it's only a 14 pounder...should be ready to roll but still a little frozen.  It's in the sink in some water to help it along right now. I'll do some defrosting and as long as it's in the oven (stuffed) by 9am we should be eating around 2 or 3pm.  I have a cheese ball and crackers to feed the family while they're waiting.

Joey asked me yesterday what the hardest part of cooking Thanksgiving Dinner was....I told him, "Getting everything to come out at the same time."  No problem!

I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful.

Oh, almost forgot!  Today is my favorite day of the year to take a walk.  I have many memories of Thanksgiving Day and being out walking around my it La Mesa, Pacific Beach, Fleming Island or Annapolis, it's a special day for looking at the world.  Go check it out for yourselves.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Godzilla Strikes...again!

So we had some stormy weather overnight last night.  I woke in the middle of the night to Mike's alarm clock flashing...then noticed mine doing the same thing (his is much brighter and lights up the room).  So I got my running watch and tried to reset my clock to the time on the watch in the dark.  Fail.  Mike wakes up and says, "Oh, did the power go off?" "Yeah, the time is 3:52." I say.  Turned on the lights so I could SEE to reset the clocks. So we reset the clocks and when back to sleep.

You know where this is going, right?

I realized after I woke up (jeez, I'm so tired this morning...) and after I woke up Joey (had to shake him awake instead of just call to him...) and saw how dark it was outside (that's unusual, it's so dark outside...).  Yup.  Forgot to change the time on my running watch (haven't been running much lately, can you tell).

And Mike is at work an hour early again too.

Godzilla strikes, again.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Godzilla Strikes

It's Monday.  Kissed Mike goodbye as he left for work, the alarm for me goes off at 6 am, I get up, get dressed, and go wake up Joey for school.  Two minutes later he comes down stairs (I'm making lunches) and says, "Mom, it's only 5:15."


Forgot to switch the bedroom alarm clocks.  Apparently Mike did too.  Godzilla strikes.

I guess it was a good thing I went to bed a little early at 9:30 pm last night, oh, um....I guess it was really 8:30 pm.


Sunday, November 4, 2012


Al and Mary Lou came for a visit last month.  It was so fun to have family here...we really miss them so much!  The weather was perfect!  We finally have a proper guest room (Veronica's room) for them!  And they have their own half-bath, too.  They got to see Joey in his field show competition and in a parade.
There he is, in all his tenor-playing glory!!  

We also took a cruise in Annapolis harbor! It was only a little cool on the boat, weather-wise, and the sun was shining! 

We also did some hiking at Quiet Waters Park.  It's a county park in Annapolis with tons of hiking/biking/walking trails, water views, picnic areas, a visitor's center...and an ice skating rink!

 How cool is this outdoor ice skating rink?!  I've never skated outdoors before (nor will I ever, having broken my elbow the last time I did ice ice skating days are over) and neither have the kids.  Can't wait for the chance for them to experience it!  I'll sit on the sidelines with my blanket, hot chocolate and knitting, thank you very much.

We visited Ellicott City...cuz it's just so darn cute!  We had a nice lunch, walked around and shopped a bit, too!

We also visited Baltimore's Inner Harbor.  We walked up and down, then had a lovely lunch in Little Italy.
 Outside the aquarium.
 We found an interactive park with musical instruments and had to try the marimbas in honor of Veronica!

It was a great visit.  When they come back we'll do an harbor cruise at the Inner Harbor.  So on the day they left, Mike left too.  He went to South Africa on business.  Then the next day we heard about Hurricane Sandy coming to visit on Monday.  Holy Crap!

I'm quite proud of myself for getting all the necessities ready for the hurricane.  At the time, we didn't know if she was coming directly for us or further North.  Guess we all know the outcome, eh?  Those poor folks in New York and New Jersey.  We really lucked out here, the damage was minimal.  We lost power for about 16 hours, had lots of rain and wind but really, not too bad.  
Mike's return flight was overnight on Sunday, arriving in Atlanta on Monday morning.  He thought Sandy wasn't going to be any big deal...well, that all changed when he arrived in Atlanta!  His flight was cancelled and the hotels were all taken (duh).  He got a rental car and drove to Macon, stayed there two nights and got a flight for home on Wednesday.  We were so happy to see him!!  He felt so bad about having not been here for the storm.  He felt so bad, in fact, that he did some yarn shopping for me!  He got me this wonderful denim colored sock yarn made by Copper Corgi...a Savannah yarn company!  Sweet!  What a guy!

I think you're caught up now.

Been Busy Knitting

Happy Sunday everyone!  I've been absent for a while, I know...but a lot has been happening!

Knitting first!

I finished a few shawls, socks and hats.  I even finished a pair of mittens!  Here's what some of them look like:
 Stripe Study...all garter stitch and short rows.
 Skinny Fit Mitts out of left over Cascade 220.
 Charlize out of Jitterbug.  
Hat for Mike.  My own pattern.

This lovely is Mormorio which I knit with a bunch a folks on Ravelry.  The designer sponsored a KAL with a drawing for knitting goodies on December 1st...keep your fingers crossed for me!  I never win anything...

I also started an ambitious project called Sock Yarn Blankie.  That's right a blankie knit with sock yarn, but before you hurt yourself rolling your eyes too much, let me explain.  It's small mitered squares (3") knit with leftover sock yarn.  You pick up from the sides of each square to knit a new one so there's no sewing.  There are a few ends for weaving in but I'm doing them every couple rows to stay caught up.  Still scratching your head?  Well, I'm making this entire blanket with my sock scraps...of which I have TONS!!!  So no yarn buying (it's a miracle!). I've knit 70 squares and I have yet to repeat a color.  It's really pretty, very patch workie.  This is a long term project...hopefully shorter term than my last blankie which took 14 years...that I'm sure will take a couple years.  When the weather warms in the spring, I'll put it away till Fall then start up again. I'll post a pic in another month or so.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall is here.

Musing from my walk with Gracie...

The temperature is 55 degrees and the air is cool and crisp.  Leaves crunch underfoot and fall from the trees. The street is lined with leaves, except where the cars drive where they're swept clean.  In the sun, it's nice and warm...I wonder if I'll be too warm in my hoodie, then we turn the corner and the tree lined streets are only dappled with sun.  Soon I appreciate the warmth of my hoodie again.  Squirrels scold us from the trees with their "tsk-tsk" sounds.  Gracie stops every so often and sniffs.  She pops her head up and stares into the trees and I wonder what her doggie eyes see that my human eyes can't...even with my new glasses.  Most people are at work, occasionally someone walks past us and says, "Hello."  No tap-tap of Gracie's toenails, she's just been to the groomer this morning and they clipped her nails.  Crows caw, hawks screech...we make our way back home.  Lunchtime!  And maybe some knit-time, too.  Fall is most definitely here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Historic Annapolis Bike Tour...kinda

Mike and I drove to this park, mounted our bikes and rode to Historic Annapolis!

View from the bridge that goes over the Severn River to the Naval Academy.  The day was a cool and crisp Fall day...really nice.

First we explored this trail that went through Germantown.  When the trail stopped, so did we...turned around and headed back to the historic area of the city.
 We happened upon this cute park in the middle of a neighborhood.  There were duck statues in the park, families walking around, a dad and son playing baseball (I was praying that the kid didn't hit the ball my way and knock me off my bike...hey! it could happen) and had a boardwalk next to a dock on the river.
 On the boardwalk.
By the river.

 Then we rode to the historic dock on the Chesapeake River where all the great restaurants are...crab cake central!
 Then we rode to the government buildings and found these statues...
 by the...
 House of Delegates
On our way back over the bridge...until next time!

The Band!!

The Broadneck Bruins Marching Band had their first competition on Saturday night.  The scores were for feedback trophies.  The band sounded good and looked great but they only had the first three parts of the show done.  It was the shortest show of the night.  At the end there was an exhibition show from a college band from Tennessee...there were so awesome!  

I'm pretty sure you can spot Joey...he's the tenor (looks like he's carrying a table of drums) on the left third of the photo, about half way down.

Next competition is this Saturday at the Navy!

Monday, September 10, 2012


For the first time in 5 years I slept with the AC off and the windows September!  It was lovely!  This morning when I walked Gracie it was cool....could have thrown on a sweater, but I didn't so I could enjoy the chill in the air.  Temps should stay the same for a while...I like to call it San Diego weather...highs in the mid to high 70s and lows in the low 60s.  Is this heaven?  No...just not the South!

You know what's coming the months to come, right?

But we won't think about this...just yet, ok?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gator Boy and Girl

I swiped this from Facebook for those of you who aren't on know who you are!

And yes, that's a Gator t-shirt on my child...God help us!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


 The weather called for rain, so when we headed out to Patapsco State Park, we didn't expect to do much hiking.  Luckily, the rain just sprinkled a bit and we did get to do some walking around.  We found the cutest visitor center, where we expected to buy a park pass and maps.  The building (which I didn't get a pic of) is an old stone house, the only remaining house from the 1868 flood.  Water rose 45 feet in the valley on that occasion.  YIKES!  Anyway, we decided to wait one more month on the yearly park pass so it would be good through the end of 2013 and, just our luck, they were out of maps. So we asked directions from the volunteer in the center and tried to find the "tunnel' and the trail heads.
 We had a beautiful walk down this road (wrong one to the tunnel, but pretty nonetheless). We saw a millipede!  It was about three inches long and moving pretty fast on all those feet!
 Then...we found the tunnel!!  But the trail heads are not through the tunnel, they're past the tunnel.  Found them, but by the time we did we were hungry and wanted lunch.
 I loved this sign!  There is a lake...not the water you see here, but behind this area.  It was full of families fishing and picnicking.  There were a bunch of off road bikers in the park, apparently they have many trails for bicycles to ride on, off road.  We did a lot of walking around and never stepped foot on a dirt trail...all paved!  I hope once the real trails start there is plenty of dirt and more "woodsy" trails.  Oh well, more to explore on another day.

While Mike was working in the garage, this little turtle came wondering in to visit.
 We put him in the back yard, hopefully he will travel toward the river instead of the street.

That rain I mentioned at the beginning of the post?  Well, it arrived this morning!  It's early on Sunday and there's a soft rain storm going on...lightening and thunder, too!  Not cold though...still a bit warm and steamy.