Sunday, June 27, 2010

Out of practice

Larry and I are dusting off our suitcases (not sure they qualify as luggage) and planning our first trip in eleven years! We had been fantasizing about visiting Kauai, but we're starting a little closer to home.
Part of the reason we never go anywhere is pictured above. We love to swim in our own backyard, even though it takes 300 laps to swim a mile. LOL.

Our destination of Saugatuck, Michigan comes with a delightful bonus. We will be driving near our blog friend Daisy's hometown, and finally get to meet this charming gal!

What do you think I should pack? Swimsuit - check. Books - check. Knitting - check. Sewing project - check. Chocolate - check. Oh, do you think I should take a few changes of clothes and a toothbrush? Okay.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The best book for the job.

I just discovered this book at the library. It turns out that this is one of a series covering every subject you might want to teach yourself. There are countless editions on computer use and programs to learn, as well as yoga, weight lifting, sewing and quilting, of course, and many other topics. Besides not assuming I'm a "dummy" or a "complete idiot" as some books do, it explains things so even someone completely stuck by the word "turn" can figure out what comes next. Imagine knitting along happily on the heel, using 32 stitches. Suddenly the instructions say: K18, K2tog, K1, turn. Whoa! Turn? How can I turn when I've only used 21 of my 32 stitches? Turn left? Turn right? What, what , what??? This fine book says, "turn work without finishing row". That was helpful, but Dorrit on YouTube was even more helpful. She said, "Turn the work right around without finishing the row," and did so while demonstrating. If the book had gone on to say, " the needle that was in your left hand is now in your right hand and vice versa," I would really have gotten it. Of course I should have just taken a sock class, but I don't know of a place closer than 12 miles away that teaches sock knitting. After work I'm just too tired to drive 12 miles, knit for two hours, and drive 12 miles home.
See?? I have a successfully turned heel. My next challenge will be to graft the toe.

My apologies to those of you not the least bit interested in knitting. I wasn't either until a few months ago. It's funny how it sneaks up on you. It was those January snowmen that got me hooked. :>}

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I hope Larry's dad isn't getting tired of pillows for Father's Day. This must be the fourth year in a row that I've made one for him. Like guitars, you can never have too many pillows. :>}
We certainly appreciate the fact that our Christmas cactus finally decided to bloom.
But we don't get quite as excited about it as we would in December, when we don't have all these other lovely flowers in bloom. :>}
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Two more days until the Summer Solstice! It's my favorite day of the year, with daylight from 5:20 a.m. to 9:40 p.m. It really doesn't get better than that!

Monday, June 14, 2010

small miracles

It's been ever so much fun watching the peas grow. First small green leaves, then little tendrils, then blossoms, then a tiny flat pod emerging from the blossom. Pretty soon the pod gets longer, then puffs out, and . . .
we have peas to eat! Yummy! I ate one of these before Larry suggested I take its photo. Our peas will never make it to the cooking pot. We love to eat them raw. Mmmm - so tasty!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sewing is my hobby, not my job.

I had some time for my hobby this weekend. :>} Thanks to Suzanne I have a new mantra. Sewing is my hobby, not my job. I replaced the last zipper I ever plan to replace for anyone outside the family. After that was finished, whoo-eee!One of my co-workers just graduated from nursing school. She had a really tough way to go, having to postpone her dreams for many years due to serious family illness.
Her name isn't really Clara Barton, I think she deserves her privacy. Look at the cute buttons my sister sent. So perfect for this project! When I finished this one Larry liked the color combination so well I made the one above for him, complete with a charming black cat.
My mother-in-law gave me this beautiful sweatshirt. I love the colors, which didn't come out as well on camera as it really is. I've always been fond of lighthouses, and cool summer evenings are more comfortable with a cozy sweatshirt. Of course I plan to wear it all fall and winter as well. :>}

Saturday, June 12, 2010


This self striping yarn is awesome! I love knitting along and seeing what will happen next. The only problem is that it's hard to stop. This is my very first sock. Ever. In my life. I trust Mr. You Tube will be a big help when it's time to turn the heel, and again when it's time to graft the toe. :>

Just a really tiny venting memo. Why do people think that just because I sew I am available to alter their suits, replace their zippers, and modify their hoodies? One time someone I barely knew said, "How much would you charge to make a wedding dress?" The answer, "Nothing, because I wouldn't do it." I tell you they were just stunned. As though, you sew, of course you'd do it. This vent does not include family - I am happy to do my family's sewing - that's part of being a family. Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Clock Diet

I haven't done much crafting of late. The Stitch Clique is having its monthly meeting at the library this evening, and I would really like to go and work on a project. I so enjoyed hand quilting Lisa's Baby Honu pattern, but I don't have anything else ready to hand quilt just yet. Perhaps I'll finally start knitting socks!

Since my sister kindly mentioned the word "skinny" in her comment, I thought I'd share a diet I made up. I keep a food journal and try not to eat more than 2200 calories in a day. That sounds like a lot, I know, but I often have even more. AAK! If I don't write it down who knows how high I could go? I eat breakfast around 6:30 (after exercising for an hour), and cannot go over 650 calories, because it's only six and a half hours into the day. On work days I have lunch at 1:00, 1300 hours in military time. In diet time it's 1300 calories for the day by the time I finish lunch. Or I can save some calories for later. I always need a snack around 4:00, by which time my blood sugar level has dropped to my toes, or thereabouts.

I usually go to bed before 10, or 2200 calories for the day. Some days I'm already up to 1800 or 1900 BEFORE dinner, so we have to have a really light supper! We have two favorites for these occasions. Sweet potatoes are very nourishing and delicious, and conveniently low in calories. They're quick and easy for a busy day. Just microwave until soft, add a dollop of cottage cheese, a big plate of fresh spinach, and you have a guilt free dinner! Our other favorite is a big salad made up primarily of fresh spinach. You can have an enormous plate of spinach for only 40 calories. We usually add some walnuts for protein, which are very high in calories, but also very good for you. We add a few carrots, maybe some cheese or chicken, and presto! Another low calorie easy dinner.

There's only one problem with this diet. What happens when you wake up hungry and find yourself eating buttered toast and ice cream at 3:00 a.m.? Which is what I'm doing now. LOL.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Good times

Larry and I went to the Memorial Day parade yesterday in the town where I grew up. Bagpipes are the best part of any parade! See the little piper towards the back? What a cutie! I heard his mother tell someone he is three.
This is my friend, Jane Babinsky. She is a marvelous piper!
I don't know who this young piper is, but he surely charmed everyone watching the parade. He's getting a little help from his mom here. He's not used to dealing with a kilt.
I stopped at the library on my way home from work today. This book should be a big help!
Inquiry: Do you suppose the library staff prefer patrons to use the self checkout, or wait for a staff member to do it? I know the cashiers at the grocery store don't care for self check out, because it is a way of eliminating one more job. The staff at the library always seem like they have plenty to do, so I usually check out the books myself.