Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the great outdoors.

This week's prompt from Carole, one of my favorite places to be-outside.  I love being outside especially on a nice day, which hopefully we'll have more of on a regular basis.  Here's my list in no particular order of importance.

10. Read-so peaceful in the early morning hours when the sun is peaking over the horizon and the birds are singing.
 9.  Listen to music
 8. Going for a walk

 7. Cooking on the grill
 6. Eating-love to eat on the deck or go for a picnic.
 5. Drinking-whatever it is-coffee-wine-cocktail
 4. Knitting, of course.  However, with the pollen we've had recently it can be a challenge
 3. Cycling
 2. Hanging out with friends-especially when 6, 5 and 4 are included in the mix
 1. Visiting gardens
I'd love to hear what other thing people do outside.                            

Friday, April 11, 2014

it's a first.

a neighborhood book club.  It's something new for me, and the response to starting this was awesome.  We had our first meeting last night, and everyone who committed to being there showed up.  We had a yummy chocolate mousse cake from costco-so good, some lovely cheeses, crackers, and fruit.  I brought the last bottle of red wine and Ann's champagne rounded out our feast.  Our discussion was just as good as the food, and I'm so glad we took the steps to make this happen.  I'm really looking forward to next month, we'll be discussing my selection Death of Bees.  Even though I just finished it a few weeks ago, our discussion about Lost Lake reminded me that I should do another re-read so I'm more prepared.  We are utilizing our clubhouse [it's such a homey setting], and we hope to be able to sit outside this summer.  Our clubhouse is so under used, and the back porch which overlooks the pool is such a nice spot and shaded.  I got to meet one new person, and I had more face time with someone I see when we are out walking our dogs.  The starting of this book club is good timing for me as I'm looking for more "me" things to do away from work and home.  Also, I don't have to drive-BONUS!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

cause that's how i like to do it.

with regular spring weather upon us, i got to thinking about outside bike rides.  I've really missed them, but what I don't miss about them is how time consuming they can be-1+ hour to drive round trip, load and unload bikes, then 2+ hours for the ride.  The good side is that if Steve is driving, I get to knit while he drives.  It got me thinking about my routine.  I'll admit I like my  routine,and I don't like it messed with-I know there are times when things have to be re-arranged, but to just approach each day without some sort of plan makes me twitchy.  While thinking about the timesuckthatisoutdoorcycling, I also realized that my extra pair of hands won't be home this summer.  So I made a list of the things I have to do each week along with a list of things I want to do-grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning, exercise, knitting, sewing, etc. Along with my need to have a routing, I'm of the camp that you do your chores first then you play, so with game plan in place, my goal for the next few months is to "work" Sunday AM-Wednesday, so I can play Thursday-Saturday, and Sunday afternoon.  Some of these shifts will include doing my house work Sunday mornings while everyone is asleep.  I have a pretty good routine for this, so it only takes about 45 minutes-without vacuuming- that will have to wait til after church.  I'm going to use Wednesday as my grocery shopping, and weekend prep day-cutting/washing/prepping veggies, marinades, dressings, etc.  Anything that can be made ahead of time.  Our dinners are going to be more thematic as well.  Friday-snack or leftovers-am looking forward to sitting on the deck with a glass of wine, my knitting and food that only requires me to put it on my plate.  Saturday will be pizza/stromboli night-think my family can cope with the change?!  Sunday after church lunch a simple one dish meal that'll fill us up, and then we can have snacks again for dinner.  Monday-Thursday will be a combination of leftover and anything that can be made into a quesadilla. Am hoping this will work, and provide me with the sense of balance, accomplishment, and not lose my sanity.  Hopefully there will be more blog fodder too.  Am making great progress on my current WIPs, so hopefully I'll have something to share in a week or so.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Good together

This week's 10 on Tuesday prompt is a good one-cause it involves food!
10. Peanut butter and-apple, or on a bagel or a sandwich with jelly.  Jiff Natural is my favorite only a few ingredients, and it's got much more nutritional punch than cream cheese.

 9. Dark chocolate and dried fruit or nuts
 8. Fresh veggies and hummus (or bean dip)
 7. Cheese and crackers or with fruit or with bread
 6. Pizza and beer
 5. Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich
 4. Cake or pie with ice cream
 3.  Bacon, lettuce and tomato on a sandwich
 2. Red beans and rice
 1. Shrimp and grits

My philosophy is you can't go wrong with melted cheese and  [insert food here]. . . fresh bread is so worth the calories.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

adios march.

a few highlights from March-some I've already blogged about:  Alton Brown live at the Fox
A rare photo opportunity with Andrew-there's always something good cookin' when he's home.
Trunk Show at Cast on Cottage featuring Claudia of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns.

A new coat of paint in the dining room-very happy with the results, Andrew was a huge help with this project.  I've already decided on a window treatment and chair covers, just need to find the fabric that is in my head!  Aside from that I still need to put the artwork back on the walls, but I want to move things around so it might be this summer before the room is totally complete.
A few days off from work to do some sewing-enjoyed 2 sessions at Cottontail Quilts and I hosted Quilt Club this month-ALWAYS a good time, and I need to capture THAT in a photo.
There were some truly glorious days, and I tried to take advantage of them when I could.
Sophie did too!

Dinner out with these girls-friends from my KSU days.
Plans for April include finishing up the last of my cold weather knitting, finish 8 blocks for the Needle and Gun Quilt Club annual block exchange, tidy up closets.  Plan spring/summer knitting and enjoy the warm weather.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


my willard pullover is blocked and ready to wear now that our temperatures are expected to be in the 80s. had i tried this on the first time i knit it, i'd have been able to wear it a couple times before storing it away for next year.  will i ever learn-let's hope so.
it is however exactly what i was hoping for in a pullover soft-drapy-warm cozy yarn and a basic design. i plan to do the basic round yoked cardigan in the fall.  the problem i had with this pattern is that i held the contrasting color too tight in the yoke.  i shouldn't have this problem in the basic round yoke since there will not be any contrasting color.  i have 2 more pullovers on the needles that i hope to finish by the end of April, so that they can be blocked in the warm sun and ready for fall wearing.  i plan to experiment with summer-y yarns and breezy drapy patterns next, especially pieces i can wear over a t-shirt-something i haven't done in quite a while. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The most recent 10

Until I went through my Good Reads list, I didn't realize how few books I've actually read in the last year.  In light of that I'm tweaking my list for Carol's prompt this week.  Some of the books I read were pretty long, so maybe that's why my list is so spartan.  I'm hoping that our yet-to-meet-new neighborhood book club will help in  getting more books on my "read" shelf.

10. Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen-first book for book club and really loved this book.  Finished in a day and a half.  Can't wait to discuss it in a couple weeks.
  9.  Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George.  I read a lot of books in a series and this was George's latest, and I love it too.  Half of the book takes place in Italy, and I enjoyed looking up real "things" that she mentions. 
 8.  It Happens in the Dark by Carol O'Connell-another series that I enjoy.  Love the characters in the book.
 7.  740 Park by Michael Gross-this book is really for those who like history and reading about architecture and NYC.  I enjoyed it, and spent a lot of time looking up the people and places mentioned.
 6.  Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Windspear-Maisie Dobbs series-love this character and the the book's time period.
 5. Solomon's Puzzle by Loris Nebbia-I included this book as a "don't read".  It taught me how to consider a books merit and a writer's style, and that all books can't/aren't great.  It was too long, had a lot of unnecessary parts, odd characters, but could have been a good book if it had been better edited.  I bought the book when I went to Annapolis for a friend as a birthday gift.  It had won an award and was a local author.  My friend had the same reaction, and the reviews proved to be spot on, for once.
 4. The Greater Journey:  Americans in Paris by David McCullough-really enjoyed this book.  I found reading about the history of Paris very interesting.  I passed this book onto my son who enjoyed it as well.  It is really only for those who like history and Paris-see #7
 3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton-audio book-really like listening to this book, and would like to actually read the print form at some point.
 2. (current read) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell- another audio book.  I have read Wives and Daughters so when this book came up for Craft-Lit, I was excited to read another Gaskell piece.  Am enjoying it so far.
 1. (current read) The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell-this is for the May reading for book club.  It was a recommendation by 2 Knit Lit Chicks.  I'm not sure about this book yet, and I'm not so sure the ladies in my book club are going to want to read it.  A lot of really course language which I can only tolerate in small doses, but I'm plugging away.

The photo represents 2 recent magazines that I've gotten, and have yet found time to read.  Maybe it's time to re-evaluate how I'm spending my time.