31 October 2013

Dear Lady from North Dakota...

There is something bothering me and I want to take a moment to get it off my chest.  I understand if you would rather just smile, nod and move on - no worries and I'll see you tomorrow with some cute pictures from tonight's events.  Stay safe and have fun if you're going out.  Mwah!

Now, for those who have stuck around, have some coffee and let's chat.  I'm sure many of you have seen the news article that has started circulating about some woman who will be handing out letters to some children instead of candy because she has deemed those children to be "moderately obese".  She goes on to state her disdain for these children and their parents by saying that she hopes these parents will "step up" and "not allow your children to continue with their unhealthy eating habits".

Excuse me?!?!  Those of you who have been around these past three years know about the challenges we've had with how people have treated Hobbit.  She is a big girl - 90th percentile for height and weight - but she is healthy.  She is taller and weighs more than 90% of her class so when she stands next to little Suzie who is only 3'5" and weighs maybe 40 pounds, my 4'3" and 100 pound girl looks big.  As a mother who has raised both "willowy" and "fluffy" children, both body types are healthy.

For this woman to take it upon herself and judge a child by their physical appearance is absolutely asinine.  To make such ignorant assumptions about what we do or do not feed our children is foolish... especially when you know that our tiniest weight child eats like a horse and our heaviest child eats like a bird.  Our tiniest child eats a bunch of junk and our heaviest child eats healthy food.  Both were raised the exact same way and fed the exact same things - both have different metabolisms and body types.

Perhaps instead of this woman attempting to be the village that educates the masses, we should educate this particular village since it is all too apparent how ignorant she truly is in her position.  You can't tell how healthy a child - or adult for that matter - is by simply looking at them... what you can do is hurt them.  You can tear them down, belittle their self-worth and make them feel horrible about themselves.  You can do irreversible damage on what may already be wobbly self image.

So my 'open letter' to this woman is to simply turn off her porch light and do not participate.  Go to the movies or out to supper but in no way, shape, or form should you interact with children tonight.  Shred your letters, have a piece of chocolate and instead of insulting innocent children by gazing at them through your judgmental and hateful eyes, take a moment to really look at the children.  They are laughing, smiling and excited.  They are feeling like a million bucks because for one night, they are living out their fantasy of being a super hero or a princess or their idol.

If you can not look upon a child with love and respect, do us all a favor and simply stay inside tonight... because your message of ignorance and hate is not needed.  We have enough of that in the world already.

30 October 2013

A brief reprieve

Yep, that's right.  I've given my chevron lace cardigan a brief reprieve from it's exile to try again with the whole "soldiering through" because the yarn will get better with time and age.  I'm working off of promises from friends so here's hoping they love me enough not to lie to me.  I need a bit of motivation - or public shaming since this is my last piece to my OWL - so here is where I am as of today...

I stopped mid-row at the dentist office this morning, that's why it's uneven looking at the moment.
Now, my goal, is that in a week's time, I will have gotten to the arm hole shaping and worked at least 4 inches past.  I'm stating this here so that I may better hold myself accountable.  I just can't fail my OWL when I've put so much effort into the other two bits, which I dearly love and use to this day... this sweater resides in the bag I made!

Onward - for the glory of Slytherin and my first ever sweater!!

29 October 2013

Just jammin'

I'm going to be spending the day watching some good movies while I recoup from yesterday and prepare for working tonight. I need to work some yardage on my OWL sweater. I've not touched it for a while because I don't like the yarn but I have been told by a lot of crafters that it will be fabulous once I'm done because it softens up with wear and washing. I hope they're right because honestly, I am really hating working with it. It's the last piece to my OWL though and I've gotten the rest done so for the sake of not failing, I will press on... for the glory of Slytherin!!

28 October 2013

Not today...

The tummy... it is unhappy.  Armed with ginger ale and crackers, I will conquer it - or at least tame it.

27 October 2013

Sunday Snaps

We're carving the pumpkin this afternoon, once our chores are done.

I am going to be making more bobbies for the garland and I decided to write up the entire pattern to share.

Yesterday we went to a little Fall Festival that was sponsored by one of the local churches by Pokey's work.

Hobbit immediately wanted her face painted...

After she had already started it, I learned they were regular crafter paints... we now have a rash like a butterfly.

So close to dunking the girl... I love how girly her stance is after she threw it - look at the hands!

She tried walking on stilts.. and immediately stopped because it was "too wobbly".

We played Toss Across and she blocked Pokey on a move which she was very proud of...

As you can see by the gloating going on right here... silly girl.

Practicing for the Three Legged Race.. looking good!

Sizing up the competition - look at the focus on her face!

They came in second place - those two ladies on the right were hyper competitive and cut everyone off.

Then we rode in a 1950s Fire Truck - rang the bell, flashed the lights and played the siren too.

It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

26 October 2013

Friday night at the office

Look at all my pretty little bobbles all lined up in a row!
You know what the best part about working from home is?  Nope, not coming back from break in your pjs.  It's that your craft closet is within arms reach of your desk!!  Remember all the yarn on my desk from yesterday?  Yeah, this is what I made during my shift last night.

All of these are part of an advent garland that I'm making for Hobbit.  I finished the stocking for the 24th first because it was going to be a bit bigger than everything else - because it's Christmas Eve and the calendars that I used to get as a kid had the biggest piece of chocolate under that door.  I may or may not have eaten that piece within the first week and just lodged the door closed...

Anywho, the stocking was laying over in the corner of Wednesday's Wound-Up shot.  Do you remember seeing this ~

See it up there on the left... that little green and white strip thing?  Yeah, that's it - looking down now...

It came out super cute, huh!  I'm writing up the pattern to share because it was easy.
That stocking, so you can get an idea of how big it is, can probably hold a full sized Snickers and a Starbucks gift card... and who knows, that just may be what is found inside on Christmas Eve!!  I hope to have the pattern finished and ready for y'all soon.  I'm debating between the entire garland or just the stocking... which would you prefer?

The other bobbles have openings too but they'll hold things like costume jewelry, tiny wrapped candies and "get out of chores free" cards.  Just little things to make the day brighter as we work our way towards my most favorite holiday. 

25 October 2013

Plan to get tangled up

Welcome to my office - the crafty side of things.  This is my weekend in a nutshell - juice and strings.
Y'all know that my pediatrician is the bee's knees but did you know that my doctor rocked too?  Oh yeah, she totally does.  I wrote her last night about symptoms that cropped up the other day and asked if she could send in a Rx for an antibiotic since I knew what it was and was just in the office on Monday... and she totally agreed with my webmd degree'd analysis and sent the prescription in this morning.  How is that for aces?  The hardest part is pounding cranapple juice and/or water instead of constant coffee but it's a small price to pay.

I am in Christmas ornament and decorations mode around here too.  Lots of ideas and some are working out well, some need a bit of tweaking.  I have to make 23 other things to go with the one item that I made the other day.  I've decided on an advent garland for Hobbit and so I made the final bit first - the stocking - because it has to be a bit bigger than the other pieces.  I was thinking about making 23 little envelopes but they aren't turning out as I hoped but now I have another idea that might work that I want to try before beating my head on the desktop repeatedly.

We've decided to go to a fall festival that is being sponsored by a local church.  Pokey found a flyer for it and really wanted to go.  Plus, with his new schedule we can finally get back to church as a family so we're hunting for one that fits our family.  Hobbit has been asking to go for forever and I don't like to go meet a bunch of strangers alone so we kept pushing it off until he was off on Sundays.  There are a few on our list that we want to check out so this is our first stop.

That's our weekend - relaxing and recharging.  How about you, anything fun planned?

23 October 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

A fully caffeinated mind and quiet time is a terrible thing to waste.
I could show the sweater that I haven't touched or the bag that has been in holding for forever... but instead, I decided to share this - or I guess I should these! I was designing a stocking pattern when it dawned on me that I needed to make a cup cozy.. then it dawned on me that there was a specific kind of cozy that I saw once on Pinterest but it was knit and I wanted it crocheted... then it dawned on me that I'm a pretty smart cookie and I could figure it out... so then I got to it.

A bit of a giving a mouse a cookie but hey, it works!  I'll be back soon with free patterns which means it's really a gift for everyone... so yay for cookies... or mice... or both!!

22 October 2013

One of "those" people

Yepperdoodle, I just spent the morning watching this and I wanted to share... it just makes me happy.

21 October 2013

General silliness

That's the order of the day.  Hobbit is off today but I have to work, plus I had a doctor's appointment this morning.  My blood work was all perfect and I lost 4 pounds since my last visit - celebrating by eating Halloween candy... oh yeah.

I finished the hat I was working on but something happened in the single crochet final rounds and it wound up too tight for me.  I blocked it and everything but it was just a little too snug.  Oh well, I think I found someone who will enjoy it...

Not too bad for my first animated gif... lol.

20 October 2013

Enjoying the quiet

Hobbit went and spent the weekend with my mama, starting on Friday after school, so Pokey and I have been enjoying the quiet.  Yesterday afternoon, we had a "How I Met Your Mother" marathon... I'm talking seven hours of episodes, getting caught up to current day.  We were excited and sad all at the same time because now we have to wait for actual air dates instead of watching them on Netflix.  After that, we played our current favorite online video game for a few hours.  It's nice to just be able to geek out with your spouse and not have to worry about the kids.  I know a lot of couples worry about what they'll do or how they'll readjust to life without kids - we aren't one of them.  We'll miss them, like any parent, but we started out with kids so it will be fun to actually be alone for a while.

This week was a blur, if I'm going to be honest.  I wrote and scheduled all my posts on Monday because I knew that I was going to be busy so here is all I have on the photo front that y'all haven't seen...

See what I did there... yeah... have a great rest of your day!

17 October 2013

Why wait?

Seriously, who can beat $5 to feed a family... twice over!
Y'all know that I love a good bird, especially one that can get me several meals.  Last shopping trip, we got a beautiful turkey because we love it and figured why wait for the holidays when we can eat it whenever.  So we made a delicious bird that weekend and from that beautiful beastie, we got another 6.5 lbs of meat which gave us six more initial suppers, of which we were able to get another six full suppers.  Breaking it down just for this bird - that $27 fed us for half of the month at 13 full meals, plus a few lunches for my husband.  Oh yeah, I love me some roaster birds!

Today, I'm taking one of those bags of leftover meat and making Turkey Alfredo.  It's a super simple recipe that anyone can make.  Sure, I have the ability to make the sauce from scratch but that's for times when we aren't attempting to squeeze blood from our pennies, so I went the super frugal route.  I can tell you that this entire meal cost me a grand total of $5.  Yep, seriously - and we'll get two full meals out of it so that would be $2.50 to feed my family tonight.  The bird breakdown at $2, the sauce was a bogo at $2 a jar and the noodles were just under $1.

It's great for nights when I have to work or just don't feel like "cooking" cooking.  You boil the noodles, heat the sauce, toss in the turkey because it's already been cooked so it just needs warming.  Once the noodles are done and drained, mix the sauce over it and you could call it done.  I like to put it in a casserole dish and cover it with Parmesan cheese and parsley, letting it bake in a 350* oven for about 20 minutes to give it nice crispy topping.

Just showing proof that I'm honestly & actually doing it.
Walla.   The three of us get nice full bellies and there is usually at least three servings left over, sometimes four.  I swear, just because it's frugal doesn't mean that it's nasty... I'm not talking Hamburger Helper, which would have actually cost me more and not gone as far.  When things get back to being more fluid, we'll go back to making our own sauces but for now, I'm not turning my nose at a jar because it tastes great and they're just as happy.

I'm happy to report that I have finished my book and I absolutely loved it.  It left me sad that I didn't have the second installment of the series to immediately dive into and that is an awesome feeling.  I can, with confidence, recommend "Beautiful Creatures" to anyone who enjoys a story about finding that one soul that you can truly connect with on every level possible.  A story about finding yourself and your capacity to love when you never thought it possible.  A story about strength, compassion and vulnerability with characters who are developed fully and that you can completely relate to on several different levels.  It is a wonderful story - it's not heavy but it doesn't pander either... it is simply engaging, captivating and intelligent.  I'm picking up the second in the series on Friday... if not, I may die too!

16 October 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

I'm focusing on these three projects right now because they have deadlines...

I've hit that section of this project where I feel like I'm sloughing along.  I need to bust through it and focus...

I've taken this one out of time out and have decided what I am going to do with the pattern - fingers crossed, it works.

This has been stealing my attention since I started it and so my reward for putting time in the others, is time with this.

15 October 2013

La, la, la, la... ooohhh yeah.

This has been running through my head since yesterday so I had to share - besides, James Taylor is just a musical genius and he should be shared, and shared as often as possible. Have a fabulous day!!

14 October 2013

Getting pumped up

When I needed to be pumped up - a quote from Walt always does the trick!
Crazy week ahead.  Lots of things need to get done and it's lots of things that I don't necessarily want to do which means it requires extra motivation.  Conversations with people I don't much care for but must plaster a smile onto my voice, conversations with people I do care for but subject matters that I don't, and praying that each day goes well so that I can - very selfishly motivated - have some quiet days in the not so distance future.

These are the things that need to happen this week, none of them easy.  The first place I go looking when things are not easy is to one of my greatest heroes - Mr. Walter Elias Disney.  Whenever things get super tough or the days just seem like they will beat the stuffin' out of me, this quote pops into my head.  It reminds me of "Self-fulfilling Prophecy" - you know, whatever you expect to happen will happen because you've influenced the situation either advertently or inadvertently.  The power of positive thinking is more than a catchy slogan, my friends.

So this week, all I am going to do is envision the outcome I want to have - conversations void of snark, other conversations full of hope and promise, and days that end with smiles.  This is how I am going to picture it, with all my heart and soul.

I hope y'all have a week with dreams coming true because honestly, if you can dream it then you can do it.  Just have to believe in it... all of it.  Yourself included.

13 October 2013

Sunday Snaps

I have been consumed with making African Flower squares at the expense of all other projects - and I love it!

Hobbit spent all weekend on the loveseat crocheting this chain - which is going to be the garland on our new tree this year!
It has been an interesting week around here, the final few days especially.  Here's to a calmer week ahead - though we do have a meeting set up with Hobbit's teacher on Wednesday so hopefully it will be better than what we are anticipating.  I do find it amazing that once we set up the meeting, she spent the rest of the week with stellar behavior.  Several factors did come into play - she moved her desk so she is her own little island and we had a discussion about taking responsibility for your actions/reactions... you know, to "own it".  Even when I had to pick her up early on Friday, she was still on pink (which one below perfection and one above expected average).  As soon as we set the meeting she spent the final three days of the week on pink so we're aren't sure what the change was but we are praying that it wasn't a fluke and stays for the rest of the year.  Getting poor behavior reports hasn't been the norm in almost 2 years so we are doing our best to nip it in the bud.

I hope to finish my book and my hippo this week - then I'll go back to focusing on my sweater and the original design.  Probably in that order too... but first, enjoying the final relaxing day of the weekend - complete with making my Turkey Corn Soup for supper tonight.  I love tricking my brain into Autumn with food.

09 October 2013

Project Monogamy

Two pretty bags with two pretty amazing projects stashed inside!
I seem to have been hit with a severe case of project monogamy lately.  I'm usually all over the place with several projects going at once but for the past two or three months, it makes me crazy to have more than one thing going at a time.  I've got several larger items that I've been working knocking out but nothing little or modular - until now.

I went stash shopping and realized that I have enough of Knit Picks Swish DK left over from Peanut's Temperature Shawl that I made for her birthday to join it with the two shades of green I have leftover from a bag sale in order to make a happypotamus... and that makes me very happy indeed.

So I will be breaking my monogamy and working on my sweater while I knock out some gorgeous African Flower squares to make this hippo for Hobbit for Christmas.  It's okay, she doesn't read my blog so I can say that... it's the other Christmas present plans that I have to keep under wraps but rest assured, they will be epic.  Let the fun begin!

08 October 2013

Jazzing it up a bit

Just the perfect groove for the day. If you don't know Rumer, may I suggest you take a few to listen to this because her voice is so captivating. You will be bobbing and swaying along, I promise. Good stuff - just what today needs.

07 October 2013

It's in the air

Monday Inspiration Board 18

I love this time of year.  It's crisp and refreshing.  It makes everything wonderful and homey.  The skies get a little grey but I love it.  It's a beautiful color and the coolness that comes with it just makes my heart sing.  It makes me think of snuggling in with my favorite folks, having a blast over a cup of coffee or tea or cocoa.  Wearing long sleeves or pants and a favorite hat.

One day we will again live where the leaves change and you can smell of someone burning them - one of my most favorite smells of all - while you walk and your cheeks get a ruddy glow that feels so wonderful.  The sounds of nature crunching under your boot wrapped feet make the moment complete.

I may not get all of that down here but I have some wonderful memories of it all and they carry me through until we can get back to an area that will make them a reality once more.  Many of my friends are hustling about, grumbling because they have to 'get ready for winter' but instead of all that what they really should be doing is rejoicing in the beauty of the season at hand.  One of my most favorite quotes about Autumn makes comment about how every leaf is a flower and it's so true.  The changes are beautiful and breathtaking and bountiful.

Enjoy the moments of the day - better yet, make a moment in the day - because those are the moments that matter.  Those are the moments that you'll remember forever.

06 October 2013

Sunday Snaps

Wowzers, what an end to the week!  Lots of things going on - some good, some freakishly awesome, and then some not so good.  Spent yesterday up at my folks' house, hanging out with my mama.  We all went to supper and watched a bit of TV, nothing earth-shattering but it was awfully nice to spend time with her.  I worry about her being alone all the time until my daddy retires (47 days!) and comes home from Texas for good.  I know I love to be alone and enjoy the stillness but after a while, it's just too quiet and too still.  Even I, with my hermit tendencies, need people every now and again.

I'm reaching the exciting conclusion to my book and I must say, it's definitely exciting.  Lena's birthday is in five days and I can't wait to see what happens.  Will she figure out what those clues mean?  Will she and Ethan be able to stay together?  What is his power and what does 'claim yourself' really mean?  I know once I'm done that I'll want to start into the second book.

I got a new set up for work and I'm excited about using it.  The headset is super comfy so that right there makes it all worth it.  By the end of my shifts lately, my head hurts so badly because the headset would squish my glasses earpiece into my head - making a dent!  There is the added bonus of being able to stop the bill for the work dedicated phone line so that's another plus.  Granted, it's only $16 a month but that's almost $200 a year back in my budget - that makes me happy.

I didn't take a lot of pictures this week.  You can always tell how busy my week has been by how many pictures I've taken... and I have nothing new for you!  All the images I shot last week were on Wednesday and so you've seen them all.  I know, sad stuff.  I'll leave you with a favorite from a while back - every time I see this shot, I honestly bust into giggles...

Hehehe... silly girl!

02 October 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

A new design, a child's dream, an exciting challenge, and an old faithful are all in the works right now.
I've got several things going at the moment... one of which I'm fixin' to start this afternoon so I'm a tad excited.  They're all on my Ravelry project pages if you want to nose around and get all the details but the gist is that I've got four very different projects in the works.

My original design is on a brief pause while I noodle through longevity options.  I've almost got it figured out to a point that makes me happy.  Francis of Flagler is coming along, slowly but surely.  We're at the point where we have miles of just knitting ahead but at least I can feel progress being made with the color changes.  I am going to start my lace cardigan today, just as soon as Pokey calls on his break so I can go for it without being interrupted.  I'm a little scared but it's the good kind of scared.  I also still have that epic granny bag that just has stopped showing signs of growth but we're barely past the halfway mark so it's coming along like the tortoise I knew it would be.

I'm now on the hunt for little boy things to knit or crochet and I have to say, the market is rather disappointing in this area.  How am I supposed to make my grandson something fabulous if I can't find something fabulous to make?  I've spent my life making girly things so this is unfamiliar territory but I will persevere and find a way to make it so, so help me.  If you stumble on anything cute in the 6-12 month range, I'd love to hear about it.

Alrighty, time to get cracking... and I'm hungry so I know as soon as I find something to eat, Pokey will call - he always does... and that means I can start my sweater!  We had a quick start to the morning since our alarms didn't go off but now all that adrenaline has worn off and left me so tired.  Thankfully, all ended well enough so we'll probably be hitting the hay early tonight.

01 October 2013

Wow... what?

I'm sorry for being MIA yesterday but I have a very good reason... at least, I think it is a very good reason.  We had a bit of a surprise yesterday and I'm still trying to get my head around it, honestly.  I guess the best way to put it is to blurt it out and then work backwards - Pokey and I are grandparents.

It seems as though our eldest son and his girlfriend of almost two years were blessed with a son back in May.  We had no clue until she wrote Pokey a message via a most popular social networking site to tell him.  I'll be honest and let you know that we were elated over the blessing of a baby to the family and heartbroken that our own son never told us.  We're learning that adult children are completely whackadoodle sometimes and so much harder than younger ones.

I did write her back and told her that we were overjoyed at the news of his arrival and how we couldn't wait to meet them both.  I gave her our phone number, just in case she didn't have it, and asked if I could make him something.  I've yet to hear back but hopefully she will say yes.

So there you have it - at the ripe old age of 40, I have a grandchild.  Mind.  Blown.

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