31 January 2012

Tuesday Tunes

Tonight, at midnight, Tournament 4, Round 1 begins - I think this is most appropriate.

30 January 2012

Oh holy wow, it's early

I love my husband and I love his new shift that started this weekend.  He gets home at a time when we can all have supper together, enjoy the evening as a family and it's more inline with Hobbit's daily routine... but I really am disliking the fact that it's almost 7 a.m. here and I've been up for two hours already this morning.

Sure I could be super productive and have all the laundry for the day done, the house cleaned and life in order but there are catches to that - the washer and drier are just outside Hobbit's door so I would scare the bejeezus out of her if I were to start them up now, same for the vacuum so all I can do is drink my coffee or read my forums and blogs.  That is my current mood and position on this situation - and I'm going to change it, right now.

I get to spend almost two whole hours alone with my husband in the morning - even the majority of the world is asleep so it's peaceful.  At night, I get spend it enjoying my entire family and then another few hours of just the two of us before we turn in for the night but the morning hours are different.  They are veiled in a slower, dreamier state which is a far cry different than the sleepy evening state because nothing has tainted the day yet.  No one has gotten in trouble.  No messes have been made.  No challenges have crept up.  Life is perfect during those wee hours, even the sun is still asleep but all is right in my world.

Coffee & knitting - a great start to any day
Once Pokey leaves for work, I've got another entire hour to myself.  I can get ready at a leisurely pace and continue to enjoy the stillness before my little tsunami wakes up.  I can plan out my day in peace and carry the calm mood over to Hobbit in hopes that she will be more agreeable in the morning too.  No feelings of being rushed at all - and once she's off to class, then I can begin my chores and enjoy my spotless surroundings for the six hours while she is gone.

Yes, I'm not a morning person but learning to find the little blessings in the day is what needs to be done.  Finding the pearls of life through all the gritty, grimy irritating things is what makes all the difference.  As the saying goes, "If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get you always got"... I have always hated mornings and in turn, mornings have always been horrible - so now, I'm going to embrace them and make them the time to get centered and focused for the day, keeping them calm and easy so that the rest of my day will hopefully follow suit.

To put it simply, I'm choosing to make it the best part of the day so that if I decide it to be so, the reality will be that it honestly is... I influence more than just me so why not influence everything in a more positive direction.

29 January 2012

Sunday Snaps

I created a new hat pattern...

I created a new recipe...

and my birthday present finally arrived.
It's been a rather low key week.  I spent a great deal of it working on a new hat pattern that still needs a few tweaks.  I also have been playing in the kitchen but only one creation was noteworthy.  My 480 yds of Three Irish Girls goodness arrived in the post this week too - I need to figure out what I'm going to make with it.  The base is Wexford Merino Silk and the colorway is Bellini - it's gorgeous.

I just got a note from a dear friend that she might be able to pop by on Tuesday for a visit, which makes me giddy.  I haven't seen her in a few months and she's just the sweetest soul.  I hope she brings her knitting - I'll make some coffee and we can just gab and knit and sip and laugh.  Fingers crossed our schedules still hold true - we've had the worst luck when we plan to get together.

Hobbit's allergies have been off the charts this week so to currently hear her singing in her room while she's cleaning makes me smile.  When she's miserable, we're all miserable - sometimes she's just pathetic and it breaks our hearts, others it's just her spreading her misery with us... I prefer this much more.  Now if I could only get her to actual clean up her room instead of creative pile making, that would be heavenly.

The next three days are going to drag on - I know this is true because I've lived it before.  I need to find a simple project to occupy my time for the next three days because I also know that at midnight, on February 1st, I will cast on at least one new project and work until it's completed at some time later in the afternoon that same day.  Do you know why?  It will be my first completed project for Tournament 4 of Nerd Wars - and my first ever completed project as a Team Captain.  The rosters were announced yesterday and I just know that we're going to have a blast for the next three months.  If you missed sign-ups, no worries because you can always play as Ninja... and play for the glory!

So that's been my week - I hope yours was equally as low key and relaxing.

27 January 2012

Weekend Wonderment ~ 1/27 - 1/29

I will be spending some quality time with my yarn stash this weekend - getting things gathered and ready for Tournament 4... final touches and all.  Teams will be announced in the next hour or so - everyone is jazzed and having a hard time not bouncing off the virtual walls!

In the meantime, why not stop by Doodlebug Yarns to gather up your supplies too.  They are partnering with Peppermint Mocha Mama to give y'all $5 off any purchase of $25 or more.  Wasn't that sweet of them - just click on the link right over there in the side bar and use the code "Peppermint" to claim your discount.  They carry some of my favorite brands:  Three Irish Girls, Malabrigo and so much more.  The accessories section will leave you weak in the knees too so be sure to take a trip over there and don't forget your discount code - you'll be glad you did.

26 January 2012

It all begins tomorrow

Club 33 - for all things Disney
Well, part of it beings tomorrow - it doesn't actually begin until the first of the month... but still an epic moment.  What am I talking about - Nerd Wars and the team roster announcements.  Today is the last day to sign up and become a part of the nerdiest, most fun and challenging game on Ravelry.  There is a team for everyone - seriously, just click for the listings - so there really is no reason why you shouldn't join in the fun.

Sign ups close at 11:59 p.m. EST so come on, have some fun and join the jamboree... and choose Club 33 for Tournament 4 of Ravelry's Nerd Wars!!  I hear the team captain is a real hoot.

Now, about our other fun adventure that ends on the first of the month - our Rise to the Challenge contest.  How is everyone doing?  Are you going to make it?  Don't forget to submit your entries either via our Ravelry group, Facebook page or through email to me.  I can't wait to see what all you have created and read about your adventures during this project.

So many exciting things happening this coming week - I can hardly stand it!

23 January 2012

California Cheeseburger Pie

I was struck by inspiration today and I have to say, it was a home run in this house!  It was fast, simple and oh so delicious.  Now, y'all know that I am a foodie but in no way, shape or form am I food blogger so bear with me while I muddle through how to recreate this tasty sensation.  Here goes:

1 lb ground beef, minced onions, course chopped parsley, garlic, mustard powder, salt, pepper, 1 egg, oats and Worcestershire sauce
Mix ingredients and then form into a 9" pie dish - bake for 15 minutes at 350F
While beef is browning, cook your frozen California Medley mix.
Drain any fat and layer California Medley on top of ground beef pie.  Cook for 50 minutes more.
Then, add cheese to top and replace in oven for roughly 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.
There you have it - California Cheeseburger Pie.

No matter what

This movie comes to mind, every time.
Do you ever feel like with certain people no matter what you do or say, it's wrong?  I have a few folks in one of my little circles that fall into this category.  It's a passive aggressive thing too which I find lacks any sorts of strength or conviction from those who do it.  I even attempted to address it once and I swear, the locker room scene from Top Gun where Iceman called Maverick dangerous played out in my head.  It was so over-the-top ridiculous and out of left field that I just deemed it not worth my time.

Don't get me wrong - if I have done or said something inappropriate or incorrect, then please let me know.  I appreciate being made aware so that I can remedy it... but if my answer is still correct and sound but clearly states that I am not completely sure but I will find out - where is the harm in that?  I let the person who asked know that someone heard their question... and as one who is often ignored or overlooked within that group, I know I would appreciate if someone acknowledged that my inquiry was seen and someone is looking into it.

Apparently, I was wrong (again).  There are few things in this world that I can't shrug off - passive aggressive elitist snobs just happen to be one of them.  I know what y'all are thinking, "just quit" but that isn't my nature.  If those few want to think that they have somehow flexed their muscle and whatnot, have at it.  No skin off my nose.  I've made note of what they're saying for future reference that note would be - do nothing within 'their realm' and that is exactly what I will do from now on.  I am good at what I do, I enjoy those with whom I interact with on a more immediate and intimate level and that is where I will focus my energies... because those are the people from that circle that matter.

The bottom line is this - they can be as passive aggressive as they wish, I don't care.  Nothing will dampen my spirit or my desire to do the best job possible... and in the end, the truth will shine through.  People are realizing and seeing the behavior, the bullying... so the only thing that they are accomplishing is making themselves look like fools and I refuse to stoop to their level.

Head up, shoulders squared and face everything head on.  I choose my mood and my reaction - therefore, I choose to rise above them.  I will continue to participate and have a good time.  I will encourage and educate those around me, guide and lead them with a kind and gentle hand.  I will not demean, bully or insult anyone - I'll leave those underhanded tactics to the professionals.  I will lift up the people in my group, not tear them down.  I will celebrate accomplishments and lend a hand to fix failures.  I will stay positive and upbeat because I would rather have people feed off of that energy than a negative one.

So thanks passive aggressive elitist snobs - you've simply encouraged me to do my best.  Sorry it backfired for you but I appreciate the passion... if only you'd put it to better use.

22 January 2012

An inadvertent rise

That's all I had left with about three more inches to go!
Y'all know I was working on my hat this weekend because I wanted to finish it.  Well, then I had that unfortunate situation where I was running out of yarn to actually complete it... and we still have our Rise to Challenge contest going on, right?  Y'all remember all that stuff... well, I inadvertently rose to the challenge this weekend.

Initially, I was going to work on color working since I had not done it... and running out of yarn forced me to learn.  When my spindle arrived I was going to use that as my challenge but I am such a spastic monkey when it comes to working with it that I haven't done anything that I would consider an accomplishment yet.  I'm still learning and I practice with it several times a week when my shoulder and neck cooperate.

Anywho, here is my entry (even though obviously I can't win my own contest no matter how badly I want a Crafter's Tool Butler).  This photo is unblocked and as soon as it's dry, I promise to get a few really good shots to share.  The color change wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be - partly because it was during the decreasing and changing from circulars to dpns so my mind was in overdrive at that point.  I think it's a pretty clean transition and nothing went wonky on me... and I'm proud to say that it doesn't look like a bad attempt at a watermelon homage either.  All in all, I'm pretty tickled with the results.  My favorite parts are the pompom and the buttons... you'll see, once it's dry.

Not bad for a "straight off the needles" shot.  Better ones post blocking are forthcoming, I promise.

Sunday Snaps

This week was spent completely focused on one thing...

My little hat and yarnny goodness in general.

I'm thinking daisies are the best choice but not totally sold just yet...

We had Florida's version of snow because it too brings colder temperatures - it was wonderful.

My secret swap box is coming along nicely, very nicely indeed.  I'm very excited about sending it soon.

Yesterday, I worked my hat - today I'll be spinning and working the slipper.  I love weekends like this.
There is a little bit of fun coming down the pike with my gorgeous pink hat - I'm running out of yarn!  I started my figuring when I should begin my decrease repeats and realized that my little ball was too little.  A bit of creative manipulation at work and I still think I'm not going to make it.  I have a plan but I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed... only in the inaccurate yardage though.  The yarn itself has been a dream.  I love how it runs a little thick and thin, the color has definite highs and lows and the texture is so squishy soft.  I would definitely buy this yarn, even at $11-20 a hank, but now I know that they run short so I would simply purchase an extra hank for any project.  Oh and yes, I did check my gauge and it was spot on so either it was a fluke with this particular hank that I won or they run short.  It doesn't matter, I love the yarn and I'm not upset... besides, it could be just the challenge that takes my hat from ordinary to extraordinary... a very serendipitous moment.

Now to the bigger challenge - to pompom or not to pompom... that is the question.

20 January 2012

Weekend Wonderment ~ 1/20 - 1/22

It's a wonderfully woolly weekend, that's for sure!
  1. I am going to work on my spinning.  I plan on devoting a lot of time tonight getting knee deep in this project and figuring it out!
  2. My KAL hat is almost done so I'm going to keep plugging away on it.
  3. I was 'gently reminded' by Hobbit that she has yet to receive her Bunny Slippers - yes dear, subtle nudge acknowledged.
That's it, nothing more and nothing less than complete and utter relaxation will be taking place at Casa PMM.  I refuse to clean anything or launder anything.  I am going to play... all weekend long!

What about y'all - are you playing all weekend too?  Don't forget to make time for your challenge projects too - we're at the halfway mark!

19 January 2012

Suspense, well, stinks.

Isn't it lovely?  I know but it's still kinda cool looking.
I'm the world's worst gift giver.  Let me rephrase that - I'm the world's worst gift "hanger-oner until it's the proper time to give it" gift giver.  As soon as I have something that I just know someone else will love, I want to rush over and deliver it.  The joy and appreciation are always worth it... but now, I can't do that because of this whole "Secret Swap" stuff.

I want to share my box of goodies that are going to be headed out the door next Friday, but I can't.  I want to tell you about the treasures and goodies I packed inside, but I can't.  I want so show you the faboulousness and the wonderment of all smooshy, yummy goodnesses, but I can't.

So this is why suspense, well, stinks... don't you agree?

18 January 2012


This is my weather... unfortunately, I had PT today so my mood matches it...

I organized my Ravelry lists and found this Cable Flower Hat...
And this super sweet Birdie Backpack pattern...
I have everything to make him but just haven't started yet...
And I'd like to make this for Hobbit but she's been a bit of a poop lately...
All of which makes me want to crawl back in here and holler "Do Over"!!

17 January 2012

I completely forgot...

What... it's how we have to do
snow angels in Florida.
I was going to participate in this week's Ten on Tuesday because it sounded interesting to me - what to do when it's too cold outside.  Living in Florida, we rarely have this issue but lately, it's been chillier than normal.  I love it this way because my asthma takes a break and I don't melt but Pokey... well... he's a horse of a different color.  He shivers like we're under subzero temperatures once it dips below 75.  It's funny to watch, at least to me.  I bet if you ask him the answer would be completely different though.  So grab a warm drink, a snugly blanket and settle in ~ here is my list of things to do when it's "cold" outside...
  1. Actually go outside and enjoy it since it won't last long.
  2. Grab knitting and coffee to sit on porch and enjoy it, since it won't last long.
  3. Take Hobbit to the park for a picnic to enjoy the weather, since it won't last long.
  4. Go on a photo walk, since this fabulous weather won't last long.
  5. Wonder why you don't live in such a climate year round.
  6. Make homemade soup because it's perfect for this weather that won't last long.
  7. Wear my favorite sweatpants because the opportunity won't last long.
  8. Drive with my sunroof open since I won't melt.
  9. Take Buddy for longer play outings since he won't overheat.
  10. Grab a blanket, a book and my coffee and enjoy the rare opportunity to be outside and not die of heat.
I'm willing to bet that my list is going to be vastly different from the large majority of participants today... what do you think?

Tuesday Tunes

Nothing beats Josh Groban and he really doesn't need to have a 'reason' for today... he just, I don't know, "fits" today.  Lots going on but nothing exciting - typical "Monday on a Tuesday" kind of day.  Laundry, cleaning, cooking and knitting.  Lack of sleep that will remedied tonight and one small child with attitude out the ears that is grounded through tonight - it all makes for a Josh Groban kind of day, you know?

16 January 2012

Motivational Monday ~ 1/16

After a couple of bad days in a row, it's easy to get sucked into a funk of negativity so instead of giving in to the whole "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, that's why I eat worms" mentality, I sit down and think of ten things that make me happy.  Big things, little things, random strange things that only I would find delightful which end up making me chuckle and by the time the list is done, I'm right as rain.  I've had a couple bad days this weekend and I thought that I would share my "Funk Busting List" with y'all.
  1. When someone else changes the toilet paper roll.
  2. The garbage mysteriously gets taken out.
  3. The kitchen fairy does the dishes.
  4. I never have to get my own cup of coffee if Pokey is home.
  5. Making a wish and having a geek grant it. (I'll explain soon)
  6. Hobbit unloading the dishwasher without being asked.
  7. The house being still long enough for me to watch anything.
  8. Listening to Hobbit laugh while she's outside playing.
  9. The feeling of yarn while I work.
  10. The fact that Buddy the Wonder Mutt thinks I'm perfect.
There, I feel better already.  So the next time you are feeling like you fell into a pile a poo and life just isn't handing you lemons but pelting you in the face with them - stop, take a breathe and then make a list like this... you'll feel better, I promise.

15 January 2012

Sunday Snaps

Pokey surprised us with a day off and we had a picnic in the park...

Nerd Warriors proved that they are the sweetest people...

I finished my hat that I was working on...

I have been practicing as much as I can with my new toy...

Badges were given out and I got a nice collection for Tournament 3...

This was my mantra for the week...

Hobbit created "Sissy Asabox" and yes, she sleeps with it...

Swatches are done, dissertation draft complete & Pokey made me a program for calculating color combos!
And... today is Nerd Wars sign ups.  Click here to join me at Club 33 for some fun!

14 January 2012

Today I will...

Did she honestly?
  1. Do laundry.  Yippee.
  2. Put said laundry away after each load.  No really, I will.
  3. In between the flips & folds, I will recharge.
  4. I will knit.
  5. I will crochet.
  6. I will read.
  7. I will bake brownies for dessert tonight.
  8. Get set for Round 1, Tournament 4 of Nerd Wars.
Most importantly - I won't be sitting here obsessing over an idiotic line drawn in the sand by an insignificant spec on a power trip who believes they can bully others simply because they don't like them - they don't know them but they don't like them or what they stand for... simply put, they are an unintelligent rectal opening with 'little man syndrome' dealing with 'roid rage.  Nope, I will simply walk away smiling, thankful that I am not them.

I will do what I've always done - make the most out of what I have because ultimately, I will always have enough because I choose to have enough.  A person makes the choice to be happy, sad, annoyed, petty, rude or behave like an anal dwelling butt monkey.

I usually chose to be happy... and today I will.

13 January 2012

Weekend Wonderment ~ 1/13 - 1/15

This is my dissertation basket but it's a good representation of what I'll be doing all weekend...

Knitting and doing a last minute push for our Nerd Wars team ~ Club 33 which represents all things Disney
I can't wait until Tournament 4 because that means I can dive into that yummy goodness in that bag but for now, I'll be working on my Rise to Challenge project.

What about you?  How are you Challenge projects coming?

12 January 2012

What'll I do now?!?

Ravelry is currently down.  I'm lost.  I have a routine, you see, and now it's got a super huge adorable puppywrench thrown into it.  I get up, get dressed, have coffee, deal with Hobbit's morning issues, rouse Pokey, pull out supper and sit down with coffee to browse Ravelry for the few minutes before we have to leave to get Hobbit to school... but now, I can't do the fun part of my morning.

I hope they get it up and running soon because I've got things to make!  I'm doing Shannon's KAL for her luvinthemommyhood group, I'm thinking about doing another swap present for Julie and Carli's Simply Notable group and I've to browse for back up dissertation projects.  I need to check in on my Nerd Wars group and the team I've created for this upcoming tournament (sign ups are this Sunday, the 15th if you're interested).  My whole world is now going to be unhinged because I can't sit here and enjoy my yarnie friends.

Sigh... guess I'll go clean something.  So not as much fun as Ravelry... wait... it's back up!  That was a close one...

11 January 2012

Coffee and crafting cure everything

It's Wednesday and that marks the halfway point in the week - unless you're in my house.  Today isn't Wednesday... for some it is Saturday and for others it is Tuesday... it's anything but Wednesday.  A point that is punctuated by my cranky pants mood due to lack of sleep - I was still awake past 3 a.m. and the alarm goes off at 7 a.m.  Add to that the fact that it's raining, making it a perfect stay at home day and I'm in a state, let me tell you.

I don't like waking up crabby.  My family would laugh and ask if I ever wake up any other way - yeah, well unless there is coffee involved the answer is a resounding no.  It's okay though because I know the cure - besides coffee.  It's crafting... so that is what I'm going to do today.  I spent last night planning and playing around.  Would you like to see what I've been up to?  Okay, I'll share ~

Each Nerd Wars tournament has an optional category called a dissertation.  That is a project which would take the entire three month tournament to create.  I am going to submit a proposal for a dissertation for Tournament 4!  I know, crazy but I have it all scheduled out and even have the perfect pattern.  It's called "Granny's A Square" and I love it.  I was gifted some gorgeous yarn by Cathy a few months back that I was saving for a special project... this would be that special project and here is my color palette, with white for the joining and border ~

All Caron Simply Soft yarns, including White.
I really love how it looks on my screen but I realize that it might be different in person.  The colors always seem a tad off from each other.  I will take snippets of the three I have (Strawberry, Persimmon and Sunshine) and match them up with the other colors before I buy them on Friday.  I am going to need 4400 yards so I'm happy that I can Stash Shop some of this.  After some serious planning in the car pick up line yesterday afternoon, I came to the realization that 64 small squares (3 rounds), 16 medium squares (6 rounds) and 9 large squares (12 rounds) isn't so daunting a task after all.  All I need to do over that three month time frame is make 1.2 small squares a day, 1.7 medium squares a week and 1 large square a week with seaming done as I go along.  Oh yeah, being an anal retentive overachieving uber-organized nerd has it's privileges.

I also worked on my technique for spinning last night.  I read this really great tutorial on plying yarn that tempted me to give it a shot and I must say, it came out pretty cool.  I really like it and I can't wait to figure out what to do with the tiny amount that I have drying in the kitchen.  I didn't want to 'waste' any more roving since I'd like to be able to say "Yes, I did spin this yarn first" and I love the colors in it too.  I still have a "drafting issue" but I'm learning.  I got my tension and consistency to a good place by doing this tutorial and here is the end result ~

What, where else would you dry it but from the hooks on the pot rack?
So today I am going to swatch for my dissertation and play with my drop spindle... but first, I have to go to Physical Therapy and get beaten up.  Joy.

I think I'll break in my Christmas present when it's over... my Starbucks gift card... because coffee and crafting really do cure everything.

10 January 2012

Tuesday Tunes ~ Revelation edition

After this weekend, I think this is a good song for this edition on a lot of different levels. Some serious and some playful but the truth remains that Rascal Flatts is always appropriate. 

While I don't like every decision I came to, I've learned to let it go.  The bigger picture was more important so I'm going to move on with certain aspects of life and let them morph into whatever they will become instead of slowly strangling them to death by attempting to hold on to the past.  I will always be here - no matter what - and sooner or later you just have to trust that that particular fact is known.

On other news, I attempted to spin last night.  It was pathetic, nerve-wracking and slightly frustrating... and I loved every minute of it.  Want to see my hot mess of a finished first attempt?

There are two options - learn and move on or not.  I chose to learn and carry on.

09 January 2012

Motivational Monday ~ 1/9

R. A. K. ~ Nerd War style
 A random comment.  A random act of kindness.  You see it, read about or hear of it every day but how often do you receive it?  I'm a firm believer that you get what you give out of this life.  If you spend your life miserable and upset over that which you have not, I honestly don't believe you will have that which you desire... because you've done nothing to earn it.  Does that make sense?

Earning things can be done in a wide variety of different ways.  You can do things to earn funds, trust, compassion and good deeds.  By doing these good things, good things will be returned to you... you just have to be able to see them.  After working very diligently since I hurt my neck and shoulder, my husband took the day off yesterday and spoiled me - he cooked and cleaned and took us on an outing to the park.  I am constantly creating charity items and sending them off to their respective destinations or teaching others how to do crafty things... all the while, expecting nothing in return but joy - joy found in the act of doing these things and joy from the recipients of those acts.

Dye Kit for Silk
I have a friend who always says "sooner or later, the universe is going to catch up with you" and I always giggle.  She makes it sound like a threat and I guess if you had a gloomy outlook on life, it would be but I don't.  I work hard to find the sunshine in things because I would much rather spend my time on this earth being full of joy instead of sorrow... creating happiness instead of headaches... making people feel loved instead of lousy.

So today, I think the universe caught up with me.  I don't know her at all.  We simply share a common passion for all things nerdy and fiber related.  I made a simple random comment asking for guidance and she answered with the kindest gesture of them all.

Thank you, Mrs. Lisa - you're my fairy godknitter and I appreciate you so very much.
A spindle, roving and a sample bag to dye my own silk - all from a simple question in a Nerd Wars thread.
So I bet you can guess how I'm going to Rise to the Challenge now...
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