31 August 2011

I finally found it!

My granny square blanket color palette.
The perfect car pick up line activity - my granny square blanket!  Since I joined Gingerbread Girl's One A Day project group, I thought I would give the squares a test run today.  I have about an hour wait and if I'm knitting in the middle of a row when the line moves, I'm holding people up - yes, it's true that there are people who don't understand the importance of finishing the row!

So today, I gathered up all my supplies for my granny square blanket and headed out the door.  I got to my usual spot in the line and had roughly 45 minutes until school got out, time to get cracking.  I grabbed my hook and started a square.  I only did a solid pink one since I wasn't entirely sure I remembered how to even properly make a granny square, much less do a color change!

I am happy to report that not only did I remember but I can get exactly one square done with 2 minutes to spare.  It is the perfect car pick up project.  It made the time fly, completes my quota for the group and is very relaxing.  I have finally found the perfect craft for the school year.

30 August 2011

Thanks for the reminder

For as much as today really stunk, I was given a little reminder that I shouldn't sweat the small stuff and to find the beauty in the moment.  While Hobbit and I were tidying up the living room, I looked out the front window and witnessed the most beautiful sight - so I grabbed my camera to share it with you.

The view that caught my eye

How can anyone remember ickiness with these gorgeous colors on display?

Sometimes, I forget that I live in a postcard part of the world.

Thanks for the reminder... I'll do better not to forget.

Tuesday Tunes ~ Peanut's first day edition

It's Peanut's first day of classes out at DSU so this edition of Tuesday Tunes is dedicated to her - Eye of the Tiger, baby girl!  You'll do great and remember that I love you.

28 August 2011

Q is for...


  1. Today is Peanut's first day of college.  The air is crisp and the weather is apparently perfect for going outside and not return indoors until the light has left the sky.
  2. Today is my first day of volunteering at Hobbit's school library.  The air is still and the weather is nowhere near as beautiful as it is in Peanut's part of the world.
  3. I wish I was in Peanut's part of the world - for many reasons.
Many things about this day and my mood are extravagantly visionary, wildly romantic and completely impractical... and yet, my Quixote-esque mood persists.  C'est la vie.

Want to join in the fun - click here.

Sunday Snaps

It has been raining off and on all week.

Hobbit started 1st grade in her new school - and it's been great!

Car line has proven an exercise in patience - this is my rear view and I'm an hour early!

I have white hair... do you see it... right there.. Santa Claus snow white hair - it's been quite a summer.

My 1st baby is now all the way in South Dakota, set up in her dorm and ready to start class on Monday.
My mama (on the right) and my daddy (behind the camera) got Peanut all set up - I wish I could have been there.
It has been quite the week - full of firsts and discoveries and adventures.  I am worn out, both physically and mentally.  I honestly was looking forward to the weekend but it has flown by too quickly.  On the up side, I get to start my volunteer spot tomorrow at Hobbit's school so hopefully it will be as wonderful as I have imagined it.

I'm not one to wish my life away, but I sure do hope that the next 112 days don't drag on and as soon as Peanut comes back through that front door, time stands still... that's not too much to ask - is it?

27 August 2011

Me... over-extend myself... naaaaah

Gingerbread Girl is talking about doing a "one a day" CAL/KAL and I'm thinking of joining in. I've got a very beautiful granny square blanket that I started when my folks were down for Peanut's graduation which is currently sitting in hibernation under my end table because the thought of completing an entire blanket got to be too daunting.

Her ingenious idea is to simply do "one a day" and we check in once a week with our progress. It works with knitting as well, you could do a blanket of attached items (squares, colored rows, etc) so don't think that just because you might not crochet yet (yep, I said yet... we all wander over sooner or later... lol) that you can't participate.

She's thinking of setting up a Ravelry group to help everyone check in and such, as well as progress posts on her blog. Would y'all like to join in too?

Here are a few knitted options to mull over ~

1. Spring Squares Blanket
2. Patchwork Blanket
3. Hearts and Flowers Blanket
4. Quilt Look Blanket

(here are the search results if you want to browse all 42 pages)


You could simply learn to make a granny square, the most addictive crochet item in the universe! Just watch this...

So what do you say ~ will you join in too?

26 August 2011

I don't mean to sound unsympathetic but...

The rain, rain, rain came
down, down, down...
I am so over hearing about this "hurricane" that is going to "slam" into the Northeast US.  Let's get a few things clear - by the time it reaches y'all, it's going to simply be a Tropical Storm (possibly a very weak Category 1)... a scary name for large rain storm with a couple of gusty winds. It won't do any more damage than a typical summer thunderstorm.

I blame the media for all the hype, I really do.  Making this storm out to be more than it is in their typical sensationalistic way is just not good for anyone.  I know people who are honestly panicking about batteries or water or having their money out of the bank because it's practically Armageddon headed straight toward them!!!

Now perhaps the fact that I have been living through hurricanes since I was thirteen years old - that makes 25 years for anyone keeping count - has made me a bit relaxed over the whole thing...  Perhaps it's the fact that we constantly have a prepared generator, emergency kit and water on hand... or perhaps it's simply my old age (I found three white hairs while waiting in the pick up line yesterday).  Whatever it is, I would simply like to say this ~

Get a grip, stop fretting and enjoy your weekend. 

25 August 2011

A new adventure

Do y'all remember me filling out the paperwork to be a volunteer at Hobbit's school this year?  No?  Did I not share that with you?  Oh well, I thought I had - anyway, I did and I was approved so I called the school to let them know I had received my approval email and suggest where I would like to be placed - if possible... because subtlety is not my strong suit.

Yesterday afternoon, I received a call.  It was the librarian (aka Media Center Director - same job, fancier sounding title) at Hobbit's school.  She had received the note that I wanted to help out in the library (aka Media Center - same thing, fancier sounding location).  The woman on the other end of the line, Mrs. H, sounded so tickled that I honestly just smiled through the conversation.  She said that I was the best news she had all day... when she found out that I was available all day (except on Pokey's weekend), then she said I was the best news all week.  It's heartwarming to be someones "best news".

I start on Monday and I have no clue what I will be doing - I just know that I will be there all school day and making someone very happy... and isn't that the essence of volunteering?

24 August 2011

Wow, next time I'll spend the extra dollar

Doctored the photo, just like the sauce
I have been working on keeping our food budget in check since it is one of the biggest bills we have every month.  With prices constantly increasing but our income being stagnant (or decreasing - the life of commissioned sales), I have been looking for ways to save a penny here and there... but this one really wasn't worth it at all.  I honestly think that there are some things that are worth the little extra you pay because of what you get.

Now, my husband will work himself into a tizzy trying to defend a $6 jar of pasta sauce.  I don't want to go there, even though he is reading over my shoulder nodding with "that look" on his face.  I am just going to talk about the can (yes, that's right - can) of sauce I picked up because it was a dollar.  It was twice the size of the jar I was going to get and almost $2 less.  I thought to myself "why not - that extra money is a package of snack cakes for school lunches" and so I did it.  Man, that was a big mistake.  It is currently simmering on my cook top with a truck load of spices that were necessary in order to make it taste... well... edible. 

In the future, I think I'll simply spend the little bit extra and get something I know will taste like sauce.  This stuff was so sweet, it pulled my face funny.  I can make up the difference in other areas - like Pokey's *"snacks".

What values have you been pleasantly surprised with - either in the kitchen or elsewhere?

I won't.. I just said that because he's still reading over my shoulder and I'm being snarky.

23 August 2011

Tuesday Tunes

I've been working on a few Christmas knits and planning out a few more. I just wanted to get everyone else in the mood with one of my favorite Christmas songs. I remember playing this so much when it came out because Peanut, who was about 5 at the time, was a huge fan and I loved their harmonies too. We would put this CD on and hit repeat, letting it play all day long.

I think that was the year my family was glad when we left... oh well, it still makes me smile and if Peanut is reading this then I bet she is smiling (and dancing) too.

So what Christmas knits do you have planned this year?

22 August 2011

Family tradition - revamped

Every year, when I was a little girl, my mama would make us a Back to School cake. Daddy loved that time of year because there was such a long span of time between my brother’s birthday (July 19th) and my birthday (Dec 15th) so cake in between was rare - except for September when we went back to school.

Welp, I carried on the tradition of making a cake when Peanut went to school but last year was the last time I would make a Back to School cake . This is because, with my folks so far away now, we don’t have any help in eating the cake - add to that the fact that Peanut is now away at college so we’re down a good cake-eater too. This left me with only one thing to do - revamp the tradition.

Would you like one too?
Hobbit loves jumbo muffins. She thinks that she is getting a super treat when I make them so I decided that this year, I would make jumbo muffins for her Back to School treat. The recipe only yields 6 when I make them jumbo instead of conventional sized so they are sure to get eaten - twice - by all of us… well, someone will get three probably but I don’t think she’ll mind.

What kinds of family Back to School traditions do you have?

A day full of firsts

She looks so grown up!
Today is our first day of First Grade in our brand new school.  Hobbit put on her brand new skirt and top, her brand new shoes and socks and even accessorized with her brand new headband.  She grabbed her brand new backpack with attached matching lunch box and begged me to leave - and we still had over an hour before we actually had to go!

As a kid, I always loved the first day of school.  I admit to being a nerd because I loved school - all grades, all years, all the time.  To this day, if I could be a professional student, I would.  I would major in culinary arts and photography.  Then I would major in French.  Then I would major in literature and textile art.  I could go on but you get the idea - just to earn those aforementioned degrees, I would be in school until Hobbit graduated and joined me.

Here's to hoping that the excitement of today cares throughout the year - wishing everyone a very Happy School Year!

21 August 2011

It's that time of year again...


This is the first school night of the year - wish us luck that she can sleep because tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day ~ new school, new grade, new friends ~ and I would like for her to have a fabulous first day.  Hobbit usually starts to lose steam around the time that school is getting out so this is going to be a bit of a transition for us.  Her school is starting an hour later, which is great, but it also means that she gets out an hour later too... right around her fussy, whiny, tired time.

I hope she does well.  I hope she makes friends.  I hope she behaves.  I hope that everything continues to be as smooth and enjoyable as this past week's registration has been.  Hobbit is excited to go tomorrow and I want that excitement to stay for as long as possible.  Last year, it was gone by the end of the first day which should have told me that that particular school was not a good fit for her.

So her outfit is laid out and pressed.  Her pumps have been polished.  Her backpack is ready and the lunch has been decided... fingers crossed we get some sleep and tomorrow goes off without a hitch.

P is for...


Yep, you read that right... Prat... like a Smurf but completely different.  I have had my fair share of dealing with Prats this past week.  The "Know It All" Prat.  The "Passive Aggressive" Prat.  The "Drama Mama" Prat.  The "Hypochondriac" Prat.  The "Superior" Prat.  Oh yes, it was week full of Prats.  I am hoping that this week will be better... and it will, because I choose for it to be better.

The first two Prats were reported to the proper authorities for harassment and general neerdowell behavior.  The next two were removed from my family's inner circle of friends and confidants and the last one was a passing annoyance that hopefully will not have to be dealt with on a regular basis.

Depending on your mood, Prats can be great fun to laugh at but generally they are merely angry little souls with low self-esteem who can only feel better about themselves through the constant onslaught of ill will towards others.  If you yourself are a Prat, please realize that perhaps you would have a better outlook on life in general if you removed the obvious object from your Nether Region - it's difficult to be pleasant with something so large shoved up there.  Plus, it makes you walk funny.

I hope your upcoming week will be Prat-free but if it isn't ~

Source: etsy.com via Amy on Pinterest

... and you choose if you are going to have that happy life, nobody chooses for you. 

The best way that I have found to be happy when your world is full of Prats ~ make your own little space in the world, pull out your project and simply stitch your cares away.  I know that is what I do when it seems as though all the Prats of the universe have decided to congregate on my front stoop.  There is nothing that says I have to respond to the Prats and their constant yammering.  In fact, it's better if you don't because if you don't feed into it then they don't have their negative behavior reinforced.

So grab a nice cuppa joe, a couple of sticks and some luxurious string - enjoy your moment in self created Paradise because it is most definitely a Prat Free Zone.

Want to join in the fun - click here.

Sunday Snaps

We had a most eventful week, full of excitement and sorrow.  Not many photographs were shot this week but what I did take may have already been shared so please, forgive me.  This week, we...

Learned a new trick to try on Monday for removing the odors from this yarn - one word, Dawn!

Met Montague

Spent time outside in mid-90 degree heat working a bulky weight sweater while Hobbit played

Continued our journey through the 100 Acre Wood - and realized that perhaps I do need my bifocals back

Finished Mykaela's Thumbkin Cover and made cookies - you've seen the cookies, here's the cover

Spent a wonderful final week of summer vacation with my gorgeous, witty, intelligent and sprightly 1st grader
So that was our week.  Come tomorrow we embark on a new adventure - 1st grade and PTO!  We're both going to relearn how to play nicely with others... wish us luck - one of us is going to need it.

20 August 2011

Just sitting around... daydreaming

Pokey surprised Hobbit by taking the day off today.  They are currently on their way to their favorite fishing hole.  I love the fact that they have a fun little "Daddy/Daughter" hobby to share and build their own private memories on.  The bonus, is that I get a chance to sit around on a lazy weekend day and daydream because I don't have to think  of ways to entertain Hobbit... and this is where my daydreaming has gone...

I want to live in the pink house, on the end with a garden that has a gorgeous tree and ivy covered fence.
I want to make this sweater for me.
This saying is so very true and one I should remember more often.
Why do sexy camera bags have to be so expensive?
I'm going to do this next week.
I must find a pattern for this skirt.
I guess I should stop daydreaming and go start knitting - after all, like the quote said...

19 August 2011

Wrapping things up

Hobbit enjoying her special treat.
That's what we did today... and it was good because it helped us keep ourselves busy and not stare at the oddly blank corner by the movie shelves.

Hobbit and I had to visit her school today to finish up a few things before the term starts on Monday.  We took in her doctor approval note so that she could carry her inhaler on her person.  I swear, compared to all the nastiness that we ran into from the last school, this school operates like a dream.  They are helpful, insightful and actually there for us.  I am honestly over the moon with how wonderful the staff at this school is thus far.  We also had to drop off all of her supplies from the teacher's list so that Hobbit wasn't carrying them in on the first day.  She is now all set.

I finished up my Volunteer paperwork and PTO paperwork.  I took the "2 Hour Pledge" but I know that if they are honestly this fabulous, I'll do more than just 2 hours.  I signed up to help out in the Media Center and to work with the PTO on their Fall Festival and their Family Holiday Night.  I had to giggle when I reread my response to their question about having any unique talents that I wanted to share.  I put down that I am an avid photographer, computer savvy and a former Disney Leader so I can make magic.  It's true - I can.  It was a job requirement... ask anyone.

I can't believe she's in 1st grade... Where did the time go?
Since Hobbit was so fabulous, we had a nice little treat of splitting a slice of pizza at the mall - their slices are crazy huge - and a root beer.  Little outings like that are such a big deal to her.  We had to hunt for her a drawstring backpack so she had something to carry her inhaler to PE in and not worry.  I always look forward to the first day of school - because I can get so much done and the house is usually spotless for five hours - but this year, I am looking forward to Monday for a whole different set of reasons. 

I really think we may have found the perfect elementary school for us... and my house will stay clean between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., weekdays only.

18 August 2011

Sadness... and just a touch of relief

I know you'll be fine and I'll always love you
Tonight has been a night full of sadness and relief. Sadness over the fact that I came to the heartbreaking conclusion that Ramsay would be a better fit in someone else's home. Relief over the fact that my house would no longer have a stressful and negative energy in it.

Hobbit and I had a long, tearful discussion about how our family is just not the right one for him - he needs a family with someone who doesn't have little people toys (and panties and socks and shoes and blankets and books and papers and pencils and crayons) too tempting to chew and someone with a lap that he can curl up in for hours on end. A house where he wouldn't constantly be in his crate because of all the aforementioned chewing and where he was the center of attention... and that house wasn't ours.

We tried working with Ramsay since day one, and while he was better he still wasn't "good" - at least for the standards of this house. A responsible pet owner cares for their pets but they also have to be responsible enough to acknowledge that they are not the right family for that animal... and it was time for me. So while I have shed a great many tears tonight, I must remind myself that this is not all about me.

Ironically, Hobbit brought up an old fortune from long past cookie and wanted to know what it said, so I read it to her... "Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens." I have no doubt that Ramsay will find a better home tomorrow and while I do love that little guy, I know that I wasn't a good fit for him... I was an unnecessary burden.

Pokey has taken Ramsay for me, so I wouldn't have to do it myself. Hobbit has come to terms that he needs a different environment where he isn't always in Time Out. I still feel like the most wretched, heartless person in the universe... and I am full of sadness - and just a touch of relief.

I bake...

just so I can work on my food photography...

The Rainbow Candy Cookies have to cool before they go in my cookie jar.

Obviously now, they are cool enough to be put away.

Except these three... they need to be QA'd by Hobbit, Pokey and me.
Oh yeah... see - I worked on my food photography too.
It's my story and I'm sticking to it!

17 August 2011

Quack, quack!

I am very tickled at how well today went.  Our experience with our previous elementary school on orientation day was less than stellar.  I was quietly hoping that today would be smooth, friendly, inviting and captivating - a nice start to the school year.  I wasn't holding my breath but I still couldn't resist wishing with all my might... and I'm pleased to say that it was all I had hoped for and more!

We were greeted by warm, smiling facing and soothing tones.  Helpful people were at every turn and words of welcome came from every direction.  We filled out her proper beginning year paperwork, we paid her school fees, we met her teacher, spoke with the school nurse and I even joined the PTO!  I was even in and out of the Dr.'s office with Hobbit and her paperwork - zipped through the pharmacy so now I can say that our all school ducks are in a row and we're ready to go come Monday morning!

Oh, this is going to be a wonderful school year.  I just know it!

16 August 2011

By all means, go back

Hobbit and I went to the pool this afternoon after lunch.  It was a beautiful day and most people tend to get their 'baking' done and are gone by the time we arrive.  When we got there, there was one single solitary woman, lazily floating in the deep end - using the ledge as a pillow and enjoying the peaceful lull of the water.

Hobbit and I stay in the shallow area because she doesn't swim fabulously yet.  We spun and jumped and giggled and floated and raced and danced - we just played.  It was shaping up to be a wonderful afternoon.. at least, it was until they showed up... the Sanctimommies.  I know that not all Sanctimommies come from the New England area but the ones that live here do.  They are loud, obnoxious, rude and basically void of any level of decorum.

So, in they march with their misbehaving, foul mouthed, disgusting brood - basically miniature versions of them.  The other lady, the one from the deep end, looked up and when she saw who it was she smiled at us and left the pool.  Those two sat on the ledge of the pool in their age/body type inappropriate bikinis with their hair twisted up, Foster Grants on and wreaking of suntan oil (which is not allowed in our pool).  Their perfectly manicured hands waving about as they spoke through their noses, once again proclaiming that New England is the only place worth living.

After a few moments of Hobbit and I playing at the other side of the pool, fending off the splashes, spits and slaps of their minions, the Sanctimommies proclaimed that they would love to go back to their New England home because they can't stand to be surrounded by all these "fat, lazy, ignorant Southerners who don't have an ounce of class".  At this point, I'm working really hard not to take this personally - I am a Southerner and I am the only other person at the pool.

While they may believe that we Southerners are below them - I simply asked Hobbit to get out of the pool because it was very obviously time to go home.  There is no need for my child to have to listen to their bile.  I was not the one sitting there, too pretentious to get my hair wet or play with my own child.  I was not the one insulting others simply to make myself feel better.  My child wasn't the one running and jumping on other kids in the pool.

I'll tell you what, dear Sanctimommies - if you believe New England to be the greatest place in the universe, by all means, go back... I'll help you pack.  We Southerners are always there to lend a hand to a neighbor in need... oh, and then you can kiss my G.R.I.T.S!

Typical summer morning...

You're tired too now, aren't you.  She wears me out - but in a good way.

Cracked the code... at least for this week.


plus this...

equals this.

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