Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Sky

After a couple of miserably rainy days, we are cool and sunny again.

The rugrats were going to have an outdoor activity planned on Friday so I decided to make this for Baby Girl.

She likes to tuck her hair in the back so the hat is a bit more rastafarian instead of your typical rolled brim hat. This was the same yarn I used on Delaney's hat, just in a bigger size. The pattern I used was for an adult, but as you can tell it fits her perfectly. It's too small for me.

Here are the stats:

Baby Girl Rolled Brim Hat
Date start: 1/28/09
Date end: 1/29/09
Total project time: 2 days
Knit Picks Andrean Silk
c/o 72sts using size 9 needles. Knit stst for 7.5" before decreases.

Oh and the outdoor activity? The one that I was knitting this for?!!? It was rained out. However she has worn it all day today. She loves it and has informed me to give away her other hats, they are WAY too small.

And remember this sweater?

It's now back in the ball stage. I'm not enjoying the project at all so out it came. I really like the yarn, but not for that project. Not sure what I'm going to use it for. It will sit and marinate for a bit. So all I have left on the needles are my 2nd sock and my scarf. I just need to get in the groove for that sock if I have any hopes in wearing it this winter.

What else have I done? I got my hair cut. I'm sick of constantly pulling it back in barrettes or a pony tail and really like the way it came out. See?

It's a lot straighter than it normally is, but that's my hair when it's cold. It will be back to the frizzy curls once the humidity kicks back in. I'm not sure abt the length of my "bangs". I wanted it shorter around my face, but it looks good the way it is. We'll have to see if I can keep it laying back nicely like that or if I need to go back and have more hacked off.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

MUCH Better!

Last week = Tierra Del Freezo

This wknd = MUCH BETTER

Now that the weather is no longer an issue, I can move on to more important things, like a meme from Dee. Here are the rules --- Dee gave me a letter. My letter is 'B'. I need to find ten things I like that begin with the letter 'B'.

1. Baby Girl

2. Brownies

3. Banana Muffins

4. Ballerinas

5. Buying yarn

6. Brainiac husbands

7. Beboping to old 70s & 80s music (which is now played on the *oldies* station)

8. Basking in the sun on a white sandy Beach (back in the day it would be on a towel with me covered in SPF 2 tanning oil; today its under an umbrella on a beach chair covered in SPF 50)

9. Buttered popcorn

10. Being with my family

If you want to play, just let me know in the comments section and I'll give you a letter. I promise I won't give you an obscure letter like X or Q.

And speaking of back in the day and oldies radio stations, the DJ had a back in the day memory.

Back in the day, families had only one telephone with a cord that was 100ft long.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What happened to my veranda?

Boy do I miss my time at the Herlong Mansion. It's been nuts here ever since. My last update was that Hemi had broken his hip and he needed surgery. Of course the same weekend I'm nursing him back to health, Baby Girl gets sick. She gets better but I decide to keep her home one more day. Monday night #1 Son starts with the cough and by Tues night we are in the ER getting a supply of steroids since the albuterol wasn't working. Wednesday we see a new dr who only takes cash, his prescription pad was printed by Bill's Prestige Printing (I kid you not) and one of the meds was discontinued back in Nov. Meanwhile my pharmacy lost then found one of the prescriptions. It was an eventful evening. The scary thing is that the kids are under a state insurance and THIS is the dr they assigned #1 Son to. Needless to say I will be making phone calls tomorrow and we WON'T be going back.

Add to the fact that we've been literally freezing here the past 3 nights. We've had hard freezes (into the 20s one night) and depending on the damage, you might be getting your orange juice from California for awhile. Florida houses really aren't equipt to handle this kind of cold. A lot of us have heat pumps that warm the houses, but it doesnt make them toasty warm. At night we've been bundled up, sleeping under 3 blankets last night to keep warm. Tonight I ended up making chili for dinner (on a bed of rice covered in cheese and a bit of sour cream) and baking brownies. Nothing like comfort food and a warm oven to warm the house and the body.

The silver lining in all of this? Lots of stitching time. My snowman is looking good, and Ariel's hair is almost complete. I hope to go to JoAnn's to get the missing color. And we'll be back in the 70s by Saturday.

Can I still sleep in the buggy after it warms up?!?

Monday, January 19, 2009

On a Roll

Last Thursday I met up with my stitching friends and I brought Ariel out to play. I started this back in the summer, but I really wasn't enjoying it. I'm not crazy abt the colors, the pattern has a ton of 3/4 stitches (some of which I do, others I don't), and I also didn't make a working copy of it so I could cross out as I go along. Then I lost the pattern. I finally found it, made a working copy and now that I can cross out what I've done, it seems to make a difference. Here is my before and after pictures.

I also put it in a proper ziploc bag instead of rolling it back up into the tube it came in. I am missing one color, which annoys me to no end since there was a time I was determined to collect every color of DMC (see, each hobby entails not just the project, but the collecting of said supplies). I'll have to pick it up during the week.

As I was pulling out projects, I came across my snowman and put in a few more rows of white for his body. Here is a before and after of him.

If I can finish off the body, the rest of this project will go quickly since it's mostly backstitching and big blocks of snowflakes. That will be another project done. I'm getting to the point where I've reached my maximum on-going projects and I want to get some completed. That will leave me with only big projects left, but I already have a small(ish) one that I want to start once these two others are done.

Some knitting has been accomplished as well. Here is the scarf I finished off on Saturday.

I still need to weave in the ends and block it, but you get the idea. Stats for this project are:
Date start: 12/15/08
Date complete: 1/17/09
Project time: One month
C/O 30sts with a size 7 needle using Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf
Finished size: 4"x57"
Yarn used: KFI Cashmereno 55% merino, 33% microfiber, 12% cashmere
Color 24
3 skeins
Total yarn used weight: 3.5 oz**

I have another one started,

but I think it will be the last of the scarves for awhile. I'm getting a bit sick of them. Plus I need to change to a different pattern.

And remember this guy?

I've got a whole 2.5" done for the cuff. WOOHOO, it's just flying off the needles! I'm getting a bit sick of this sock, esp when I have Malabrigo sitting in the same basket. Maybe that's why so much stitching is getting done, the sock is leaving me uninspired. I may have to cast on for a cat blanket to have a good mindless project I can work on with some interesting bulky acrylic that I got on clearance at Wal-Mart.

**I started keeping track of the weight used to see how much I go thru in a year. I joined Stash Knit Down 2009 on Ravelry, and while they keep track of yards, I find it easier to keep track of weight. Anyway, what I find interesting is that I used 3 skeins of yarn for this scarf which weigh 50g, yet the total finished weight of this scarf is 3.5oz, abt 100g or only TWO skeins. Makes me wonder what the skeins originally weighed...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Recouperating Saturday

Baby it's COLD out there!

This is what we are.

Yes, that FORTY-SIX!

And our sky.

I took it looking thru my living room window because I'm too cold to go outside.

Even with the house feeling cold and being partially shaved, Hemi decided to move around the house a bit today.

The dr said to encourage him to get back up and moving, it will help him in the long run, but to not expect him to use that leg much yet. Well he's using it as much as he did before the surgery! Animals truly amaze me.

My stitching is still in the car and since I'm too cold to go out to get it (yes I know, I've already been called a wuss by my friend living in NJ) so updated pictures will have to wait. I am ALMOST done with my sil's scarf so hopefully I will be able to block it out later today and add fringe to the other one. Hopefully this will all translate into some January finished objects.

Friday, January 16, 2009

At least I can fix him

On the last day of 2008, I noticed that Hemi was limping. I was trying to figure out what he could have done to hurt himself. Did he get in a cat fight? Did he fall off the fence while spying on the neighborhood dogs? I didn't know and since he didn't seem to have too much of a problem when I was messing with it, I figured I'd give it a couple of days. The following week I *thought* it was doing better but by Thursday night, he was really favoring that leg. I took him to the vet on Monday (Friday was booked up solid) and after an x-ray was taken, was told that he broke his hip.



Apparently part of the ball that attaches the leg to the hip didn't develop really well so it broke off. The dr said he could have landed wrong from a jump that made it snap, the bone in that area was really weak. He had surgery on Thursday to remove the broken part and the hip would be able to heal well enough that in time we would be hard pressed to know which one was the injured one. We picked him up today and the poor cat looks like he's been thru the wringer. They shaved most of his leg and the stitches are abt 3" long. He slept most of the day, and eventually came out to cuddle with me a bit. He's eating and grooming himself so I know he's doing ok, but he really looks like he's been thru a lot. If you want to see what he looks like, click here. I didn't want to post it automatically since some of you might be a bit squeamish with that kind of stuff. I warn you, it ain't pretty.

Along with this, my week consisted of getting #1 Son to school 45 min earlier since he has joined the Music Club, a PTA meeting, a SAC meeting (student advisory board that I got suckered into), a meeting with the School Board regarding new zoning areas, ballet, and work. Oh yeah and do laundry, cook and grocery shop so we'd have food and clothing to wear. Thankfully after I dropped off Hemi yesterday for his surgery, I got to meet up with my stitching group for a bit of R&R. I worked on Ariel and will be posting an updated picture of her either tomorrow or Sunday. I haven't been making much progress on anything lately and I'm really starting to feel it. I need to make some time tomorrow just to knit.

Hope everybody is staying warm and cozy inside while wearing/working on their hand knits.

The heat from the VCR can really keep you toasty!

Monday, January 12, 2009

You Are Chocolate Chip Pancakes

You prefer sweet and rich foods.

You shy away from anything that's overly bland or unnaturally fat free.

It's not likely that someone would find low fat cheese or sugar free cookies in your kitchen.

Instead, someone might find a pan of brownies baking in the oven or warm popcorn covered in real butter.

Wow. While I don't like anything in my pancakes (just butter and Log Cabin syrup please) the rest of it is right on!!! The only diet food I like is Diet Coke and I just made a batch of brownies last night!! LOL I got this from Lovin Comfort Knits.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Travel Log Day 3

After 2 days of limestone, coral rock and children, it's time to slow the pace down a bit and enjoy the end of the vacation in style. This is why we drive up to Micanopy, a small town just south of Gainesville. As you walk thru main street, you will notice the street and houses used in the movie Doc Hollywood. While big box stores have tried to build on Main Street, the townspeople have kept them at bay to keep their town charming.

We will be staying at the Herlong Mansion. This is a beautiful bed and breakfast and your time is your own. Feel free to roam the gardens or relax on the veranda.

Every person's time here is different and we leave you to find your own. Have no fear, the owner of this blog will recount her experiences at the mansion. Thank you for using Happy Trails Virtual Vacation. We hope you remember us the next time you consider a virtual vacation. Have a nice day.


Ok I figured you all have been patient with the 3rd person blogging and since I'll be sharing my stay at the Herlong, I figured I needed to be me instead of a tour guide. If you've stuck with me this far, thanks. I've tried to make it somewhat interesting, but I may have only entertained myself. If you are sick of my travels, just scroll down to look at pictures, including some anniversary yarn (can you say malabrigo?)

So as you can tell, we've been quite the Florida globe trotters this past week. I live in Central Florida and yet I was as far south as Islamorada and as far north as St Augustine, a total of over 1000 miles travelled in a matter of 6 days. Between all the packing and unpacking, it was a bit hectic between trips, especially St Augustine and Micanopy since those were back to back day trips, so by the time we got to Micanopy, I was ready for some down time.

We arrived around 3:45pm,

(I got this one off of their website)

just in time for their afternoon wine and cheese platter. They also had teas and cookies out as well. Since we wanted to take a walk I put my wine in a plastic cup along with some Ritz and Colby Jack. (I'm such a class act). The town is small, abt two or three long blocks on both sides mostly made up of antique shops. Since it was almost 5pm, most of them were starting to close up shop, but a few stayed open for us.

Since Micanopy has only 2 restaurants, we went into Gainesville to eat. If you are ever in the area and want a fantastic steak dinner, go to MT Chop House. It was GOOD! How good? You only needed a butter knife to cut your steak, including the rib eye I got. It was a bit pricey and I don't recommend this place for kids, but its a nice place to go to for a special occasion. The location is a bit weird, in a strip mall off of a state road, but once you are in it, it is a classy place. Plus they have an outdoor area secluded with trees so you don't realize there are residential neighborhoods behind you. As usual we made friends with the waitress and closed the place down. Don't we look happy?

The next morning the IO didn't feel that great so while he slept in, I went into the main house for breakfast, bringing my book, my camera and my knitting with me. We stayed in the Pump House, which is one of their cottages off the main house.

(another picture off their web site)

Here is the dining room

with what's for breakfast posted outside.

The food was very good and so was the coffee. I would have taken a picture of it if I wasn't by myself. The owners were a bit quirky, but I enjoyed myself watching them and the other guests. Once I had eaten and the rest of the guests went on with their day, I decided that I would explore the house and take some pictures. Unfortunately my batteries died so if you'd like to see more house pictures, visit their web site. (the majority of pictures on this post are mine, except when I credit the Herlong website)

Instead I perched myself on the 2nd floor veranda where I thought up this post. I sat there for a full hour just watching people walk by and listening to nature with this as my view.




As I sat there I thought how I could actually live there. Of course I'd have to be able to afford servants to keep up the place, esp if I wanted to sit on the veranda and watch squirrels scamper in the trees. I also thought how this would be a wonderful place for a retreat. They provided breakfast in the AM and wine and cheese around 4pm. They leave out cookies, tea and coffee all day and while we could go out for lunch at one of the local places, they offer a catered dinner if you so choose. Of course I'm not thinking of how much it would cost to do all of this, but price is never discussed in my quilting and knitting books when they go off on retreat. Only how much fun they have, even if there is the occasional murder.

After awhile it was time to wake up the IO and check out. We had lunch at Old Florida Cafe (it's for sale if anybody's interested)

for some yummy soup and sandwiches (meat stacked high on some homemade bread) and did more shopping. The IO got an old book by Frank Lloyd Wright, some old glass mugs he plans on using and I got some tea cups.

Royal Albert bone china, Rosemary on the left and Lavender Rose on the right.

One of my goals for 2009 is to entertain more and in the back of my mind I want to host an afternoon tea. I have a couple tea cup sets, but I wanted a couple more plus a pretty plate for all the yummy sweet cakes I plan on making. Do you see what staying at a bed and breakfast does to me?!?

Since Gainesville is only abt 10 min away, I knew I wanted to visit Hank's before we left. We get there and the IO said, see you in an hour. THIS is why we've been married for 23 years!! He looked in some of the surrounding shops and then got a magazine and waited for me in the car. What a guy. Meanwhile I can't decide what to get. They had Lorna's Laces, Jitterbug, Malabrigo, Cherry Tree Hill, and one other sock yarn all in front. Then in the back they had more wools and blends of cottons and silks. It was a really nice store with VERY helpful, friendly owners. While I was there they had an S&B going on that they had to start moving in the back because they were running out of couch and chair space. I think there were abt 10+ people just sitting around knitting, telling funny stories and just enjoying each other's company. If I had more time I would have brought in my knitting from the car and joined them, but alas all good things must come to an end and we needed to start heading home. So what did I get?

From the left, 2 Jitterbug and 3 malagrigo sock yarns. More than I was expecting, but it was my anniversary so I splurged. The IO and I don't exchange gifts on our anniversary, we learned a long time ago that doesn't go well. Instead we take trips and buy souveniers. These were my souveniers.

Thanks for sticking with me these past few days. Now that we are home and back in our normal routines, I'm hoping to have more to show you knitwise. I've got 2 scarves on the needles along with that poor sock. Hopefully I'll have some FOs to show off soon......

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Travel Log Day 2

Good Morning! Today we drive up to St. Augustine. We have a two hour drive ahead of us so make sure you bring something to do.

Once we arrive, we will stop for a yummy lunch

and head on over to Castillo de San Marcos

a fort built in 1672 to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World. We will see reinactments of the canon being shot off using real gun powder by soldiers wearing REAL wool uniforms

and another with imaginary gun powder (notice #1 Son's acting abilities of being shot by a canon)

Make sure to look around at the scenery from the top walls, it really is beautiful.

Once we go thru the fort itself [ANOTHER place not made for comfort, but what do you expect from something built out of Coquina (a soft limestone made up of broken shells)]

we will take a much needed break for snacks (try the Kilwin's Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream Shop) and shopping.

Later we will meet up here.

While our schools lack in a lot of ways today, this place will make you appreciate what we've got now.

The boy in the dunce cap was actually a slow learner.

The misbehaving ones were stuck in the *dungeon*, the small hole in the wall with the closed and LOCKED door behind us (not pictured for those that consider it a bit TOO barbaric).

However for those who ever thought of becoming a teacher, here are the rule of the school back in 1872 (click to make it bigger)

I still haven't figured out why going to get a shave at a barbershop would make a man's integrity come into question. Any thoughts?

After another stroll thru town for dinner and even more shopping, head back to the buses to head home. Tomorrow we will leave the children home and head out to Micanopy for some well deserved R & R.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Travel Log Day 1

Welcome to Happy Trails Travel Agency, your #1 choice in Virtual Vacations. You have chosen the Florida Road Trip package with various destinations around the state. Fabulous choice! I will be your travel director and hope to make your trip a fun one.

We have started out at the southern end of the state and work our way up. I hope you have enjoyed your time in the Florida Keys. It's quite beautiful there; very relaxing and it's always 5:00 somewhere! Now it's time to work our way a bit north to Homestead to visit Coral Castle.

Coral Castle

was made by Ed Leedskalnin,

a 5 foot 100 pound man from Latvia. He was engaged to be married to a 16 y/o girl who left him the day before they were to wed. He was heartbroken and decided to build her a home.

Out of coral rock (maybe his first mistake).

He was an amazing man, able to move and carve and design an outdoor home out of coral.

He had a front gate that weighed 3 tons, but was easy enough for a child to open.

He made a sundial that not only told time but could tell you the month and season as well.

All the chairs either rocked or reclined.

(actually a lot more comfortable than you'd think!)

and he even made a table in honor of the state he lived in.

Since he knew things the average person didn't, they felt he was either an alien or used some kind of magic to do the things he did. Feel free to visit the gift shop where you can buy drawings from the man who assisted him and other various items.

There have been engineers who have come to the home to check out his designs, some of which they can't explain. However our resident inventor (aka the Insane One) was rather disappointed by the simplicity of how he did many things. (then again, there is no solid proof that the IO is NOT an alien himself). He did agree that the man was ahead of his time and is still fascinated by the place. This travel guide finds the place VERY interesting; what a man would do for the love of his life and still prove that a man hasn't a clue abt certain creature comforts.

After a quick stop for dinner and a drive thru Miami, we will include one more stop before we head to the hotel.

Tomorrow we'll work our way up the state to St. Augustine. Get a good night's sleep because tomorrow we do a LOT of walking.