Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to You, Karen

Yep, another birthday in the family-sister in law #2 (only because of birth order :-) ). So in keeping with tradition, a few things to thank Karen for-
♥(she and Ron) helping us move, lugging boxes, unpacking, moving stuff to the basement, getting us settled in- a lot of muscle was involved
♥being the Sheffield representative when my dad passed away-many many thanks
♥being there when I had my car accident, the meals, visits, and in general getting us through the whole thing.
Karen has shared her love of wine, food, books, gardening, classic movies and many other things with me. She's back into knitting, and is doing socks- way cool! She isn't afraid to get her hands dirty, and has been known to play a couple innings of baseball when the kids were little (at Callaway Gardens). Being there to cheer for the boys at their baseball games. Sharing her daughters with me, NYC here we come! She has helped me understand the importance of family, and that turning 40-not so bad! Karen is very easy going, loves to laugh, not afraid to cry, shares in the joys, and is that strong shoulder to lean on, loves life and lives it to its fullest. I am fortunate to her in my life. She's very supportive, compassionate, genuine, hard working, fun-loving, smart, witty, creative and just a great person.

I hate to use the same words over and over, but I am very lucky to have the women in my life that I do, as we grow older, we have grown more together, and I think we learn more about each other as time goes by- I've come to realize their importance, and I need to take the time to let them know it.

so it's Karen's special day, so raise your cup o'joe, beer mug, or wine glass, whichever you have in your hand, and let's celebrate Karen on her special day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

new things

this year is all about "new things" which will bring "new" challenges as well
sooooo one of the new things was a service project at church we had over 30 ladies, young and old, got together to make fleece blankets for cobb pregnancy center, we made over 30 blankets which we'll deliver in a couple weeks. it was a lot of fun and easy- love that!

these blankets are made from fleece, and are very simple- square off the fabric, make fringe, and make a small hole and loop through- piece of cake! here's us are at work,

next i went with kathy to the red hen fabrics so i can get started with quilting like i need another hobby, when i saw the william morris print i was totally hooked, can't wait, so here's what i bought,

the wm fabric (at the top) will be for a quilt for the living room, the "fun with dick and jane" print remember those books?! for a special someone, and the kit for the january block for the block fo the month quilt (those are the thin strips), kathy has promised to guide me every step of the way-

here's Kathy and me! first less on was on monday, so hopefully by the weekend, i'll have a finished square to show you-

i'm excited about this new "hobby", and hope i can make quilts to pass along to those wonderful people in my life!, now if i could only find a hobby that i can do in my sleep . . .

also on the docket for this weekend is a "grandmother shower" for Debbie, who is celebrating with her daughter and son in law, the adoption of isabelle! i nearly have her socks done, but since i don't, she's getting these books, they are special to me and i hope they will become special to isabelle:

PJ got these books as a baby we still have them!
"goodnight moon" from Mary, "the very hungry caterpillar" a gift from steve's friends from college, and "good dog carl", marc got us hooked this series since once upon a time we had a rottweiler, so we always loved these books. always glad to pass the love of books onto others.

trying to finish up clue #2, and this is really easy, so far.

think i'm improving in the photography area, don't you agree?


opportunity to give back to the community

Sunday, January 27, 2008

21 candles. . .

Today is the 21st birthday, of another special woman in my life, Katie. Hard to believe she is 21, I've been part of her life for 18 years, and she is a real gem. Some of the things I admire most about Katie is that she is very giving, compassionate, smart, witty, creative, artistic, and beautiful, inside and out. I count her among the women who most influence my life. She studies hard, and gives it her best. I've watched her grown and change over the years, becoming her own person. I'm very proud of the woman she has become. I can't wait to see what she does with her life, and hope I can continue to play an active role.

This one's for you Katie, hugs and kisses from me, may you continue to be richly blessed, and may others be blessed by knowing you. Wishing you the very, very best on this special day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

it wasn't on the list

on friday, i made a complete list of what "had" to be done over the 3 day weekend, so like me, this list included chores, errands, and projects that i really wanted to complete, i did not read any blogs or post to my own, because it wasn't on THE LIST I did check Mary's, 'cause i wanted to make sure she got to HHI okay. . .

sooo with the exception of the knitting group being cancelled due to weather and Gina being under the weather, i am please to report that everything got ticked off. i knew that this week would be hectic and that i'd only have tiny chunks of time to manage much beyond sleeping, eating and exercise, so i used my time off wisely. i do have a couple straggler things, but nothing that can't be done between bites of dinner!

we had a smashing good time at the Maile's party to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau.

lots of wonderful nibbles, and many bottles of beajolais nouveau! and even better we only had to walk across the street, always a good thing!

Amy, Steve and Barry- i know blurry, but don't you get a warm fuzzy feeling?!

saturday was neat, i had a few "must-do" errands, and managed to get them all finished despite the snow that was falling, even went to the grocery store for a very few items-it was hysterical watching folks load up their carts- grabbing the last whatever, i should have taken a photo of the empty milk case- of course i find it all ridiculously funny because i'd already done "that" shopping on wedneday!

enjoyed watching the snow continue to fall while i did tons of cooking-managed to get a few things done ahead for this week's dinners, and made an extra pot of soup for our sunday school teacher and his wife, she broke her foot a couple weeks ago :-(.

will deliver that along with some bread and salad tonight. made some birthday cards, and put all the christmas decor boxes up where they needed to go- still need to get a better handle on this, but figure i can do that when the weather is nasty, and i got nothing else to do!

a couple of the things i really wanted to accomplish included these two knitting projects:

clue #1 for the sotsii, this represents about 6 hours of knitting or approx $90 in labor and multiply that by 9 clues-$1620, plus time for re-dos,

that's one expensive stole! i love it, the pattern at least began much easier than the sotsi, and the yarn is divine! and the carpet was perfect for laying this thing out- must remember for next time!

also finished Mom's shawl,

her Christmas gift, just a tad late, i plan to do one in taupe for myself- love how it blocked out, this wool is very warm, so she'll enjoy having something to wrap around her shoulders. i'll post a photo of her wearing it another time

need to go on a sock knitting frenzy as i have lots of that yarn weight, and need to put it to use, although since i'm always cold at work, i just had a thought that i'd make myself some fingerless gloves so my hands will stay warm, and i can still type! maybe this weekend i'll go that . . .

there will be more- i promise, know it's hard to believe, but dinner, sewing projects, meetings, etc.!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

a perfect day . .

not only is it now 8:15, and ALL my chores are done, cleaning AND grocery shopping, but we got some of this stuff . .

and because Mary is sooooo on the ball, i can tag her blog, and you can get more of this stuff-'cause those of us living in Atlanta know-it's not going to last so enjoy it while you can.

leaving work a couple hours early today certainly paid off for me, and i got to visit with my grandmother which was a lot of fun as well. . . .

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow--
i have lots of knitting to do . . you know!

p.s. i♥ being old enough to get away with this kind of nutty stuff!

All boxed up . . .

as promised, here's the dish on my Memory boxes. I've been doing this for about 5 years (consistently that is, I had to get caught up so there are a few boxes that are multi year)
I used to throw away cards, movie tickets, and other "mementos" that as teenagers we probably saved like they were gold. Then I read the Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood. the scenes where the daughter is looking through the scrapbook changed my whole perspective on what to "save", now I save programs from concerts, movie tickets, balloons, and other momentos that don't fit neatly into a photo scrapbook, yea I know I could xerox and color copy stuff, but there's a certain something about actually holding a memory.

totally love my box I found for 2008, which is one of Mary's favorite phrases . . .

and the first few things that go into it for 2008 is wonderful letter that Mary sent through snail mail, thanks Mary some very kinds words indeed, and loved getting a letter this way! It included a photo of Katie and I from Christmas. . . thinking that'll go in a frame for my desk, now I just need photos of the other "girls" in my life- maybe at next dinner?!

So here's alll the memory boxes . . .

one of my many sourveniers from the book signing at the Margaret Mitchell House-

in another box there's a newspaper article about the teenager in our church who was seriously injured in a car accident, and made a remarkable recovery. my program from the Nutcracker Ballet at the Fabulous Fox! 2nd row center seats- awesome!

more bits, buttons made from the baseball pictures (PJ and Andrew) a "flower" made by Andrew, and on and on.

grant it these are things that "I" treasure, but I hope at some point the boys will pull things out, and remember some of the things we did together, and perhaps get a better glimpse of the "person" i was, wouldn't it be cool to share these with my grandchildren?! here's the lyrics to a funny song that goes along with this, sort of, it's about boys finding a box of photos of their mama in her "younger" days! thanks for letting me share!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Patriotism not politics

this will be a long rambling, but it's my blog, and sometimes you just need to say it-

i consider myself pretty patriotic, maybe not to the same extent as some, but nonetheless, i'm one who can't sing the national anthem at ball games because i start tearing up, and i want to smack the guys who refuse to remove their hats, and please don't play taps, as that really starts the water going- all that to say regardless of your politics and your voting preferences, or how you feel about "the war", when it comes to our military they deserve nothing but our support and a hearty thank you, grant it there are some "bad apples", but that can be said about any profession or group, and hey, we live in a country where we can say just about anything we want about the government, and get away with it- so this diatribe leads me to the reason for this post. . .

an email went out from a neighbor informing us of a send off celebration for a marine being deployed, and we were invited to watch-thought it would be pretty cool since the escorting was being provided by the Patriot Guard Riders (motorcycles)♥, so Thursday evening i was thinking about this, and was glad that my saturday was open so i could see this, i do love a cool motorcycle! . .

so while thinking about this marine who was heading out, i recalled a college class i took "history of the war in vietnam", and the paper i wrote- PTSD in Vietnam Nurses, this paper required us to use primary sources, and i remember being up late reading one autobiography and the nurse talked about her treatment when she returned, people spitting on her in the airport, calling her a baby killer, etc., you've heard the stories, i spent most of my time bawling while i read the book, so this recall got me all teary eyed again,

then i watched some of , Heartbreak Ridge featuring my favorite action "hero", Clint Eastwood, in this he portrays a hard core, God-Corps-Country, semper fi (always faithful), rip your head off and spit down your neck, I'll make a man out of you, gunnery sergeant- go Clint! Love this movie, he tells the men that he is supposed to train them to survive, and to make sure they come out alive! isn't that what we wish for the folks heading "over there?" so start to feel okay, a bit pumped up even, i'm sure we've got some clint types watching our boys and girls, right?

and i thought i was finally doing okay, with whole thing until friday morning on my way to work, i'm sitting at the stop light, it's still dark, and right in front of me is this huge American flag, with the spot light on it, gently blowing in the breeze, and then Tim McGraw's ,If you're Reading This -comes on the radio-- it was all i could do to keep from being a mascara mess before it get to the bus stop-wow emotions are running high now,

then saturday comes along, and it's another emotional experience. seeing the marine standing tall and proud with his wife and daughter, other folks coming out to support him, people who don't even know him! most of the Patriot Guard Riders are war vets themselves, one member had lost her son "over there", and some have family currently serving- but the biggest thing was- they were showing their support- not for the war, but for the men and women who are serving and have served- here are some scenes from Saturday's escorting Patriot Guard Riders - the motorcycles were totally cool!!! this was one of the best things i've ever been a part of- and silly me thought if i waited to do the post, the emotional part would be easier,

then i looked at the link on this email that came from a friend, and it all came back- my heart always constricts when i seem these men and women at the airport getting ready to head out-

soooo, i guess the bottom line is, like the video clip says, say a simply thank you when you see some in uniform it's the least you can do-

Fun and games . . .

fun times this week, and some productivity thrown in for good measure- always leaves me with a good feeling!

Got a much needed haircut, here's a great picture of Robin, not so great of me, but the hair looks good! Love this place de Spa on 6th street, close enough that i can get a haircut on my lunch hour, and still have time for a quick bite- how cool is that- we discussed doing some coppery highlights that are a bit more concealed than regular highlights- must consider this for the spring/summer season!

friday night: choir post-Christmas, pot luck dinner and games- total fun,
here's a glimpse, i didn't play any games,

but i knitted and finished mom's socks-

saturday- patriot guard riders- this was an awesome event more later

sunday-theatre in the square (marietta) Room Service, this was fun because it was the DBE/Lions and Eagles group, but the play was just "okay", great actors with a mediocre script.

put away all the C.mas ornaments and packed away the trees- although i didn't get the "warehouse" fully organized the way i'd like-that will be one of those things that will be done sooner or later, but at least i don't have to look at it!

nearly done with spicy sock #1-- jury is still out about using 2 circular needles. i like doing the pattern portion on 1 circular, so think next go around i'll do a combination of 2 dpn and 1 circular when it comes to the gusset shaping, don't know if all the switchero will be worth it or not, but i will definitely give a report. ♥

♥memory box and PGR post to follow:

thoughts of spring
fresh coffee

Thursday, January 10, 2008


personally i like a strict (fairly) routine ; not because i'm overly anal (which i can be) but because it keeps me on track and level (balanced) which provides me with a calm existence. also by sticking with a routine i can finish my "chores" as planned, and then i can reward myself with small things, like sleeping an extra 45 minutes on Friday morning, taking an hour or so at Starbucks to relax, knit, or read, or watch a TV show.
some of my routine requirements include: exercise Saturday-Thursday, getting the grocery shopping and my laundry done by Thursday, and cleaning the house on Wednesday. if i do all this then the goal is that i'll have the weekend to do some fun things.


since i've met the above requirements the goals for this weekend include completing the WOC scrapbook, going to the theatre with Mom and the DBE/Lions & Eagles group, watching the Patriot Guard Patrol come through our neighborhood (a post on this later), and putting away the Christmas stuff, and a party Friday night-hope to finish Mom's shawl, I've run into a HUGE glitch, and can't seem to figure it out, and i really don't want to rip it out.

since i've ridden the bus for most of the week, i'm nearly done with Mom's socks- just in time for warm weather, how about that! i'm making headway on my Spicy socks, except at lunch i dropped a stitch or something, so i'm having to rip back on that, and with the 12 row pattern, not sure if i'll be able to get back on track with that- ugh!

found the clip art on


rain and the forecast of rain
getting to go to NY next month

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Day with the Dude

Today was full of "must-dos", and what started out as a list of just a couple stops turned out to be tons- what else is new. Here he is at Target's (Mom you look like a tourist- like I care!),

PJ needed bedding for his new bed so that was the main goal, and since he's not too picky we found the black comforter in like no time, did some other stuff, and then had a sit down lunch at Henry's, (check out his website, cool music and photos)

PJ had two restaurant choices, and if he wanted something else, he'd have to submit a list of places that had a wine list. He made a good choice-I tried the Camelot Merlot- delish!

and his catfish po'boy, yes, that's a lot of food, and he left part of the bread and some of the fries- yummy good,
and some kind soul who saw us struggling with the long arm shot took our picture!

We enjoyed the day together, and I think PJ got a glimpse of the other kind of "work" adults have to do on the weekends, and why we often just want to veg!

Another stop was at Total Wine, a huge, I mean HUGE wine and spirits store on Barrett Parkway, I loaded up my wine fridge with a variety of new wines. I also found the Merlot I had at lunch, and was happy to see it so reasonby priced, less than $7, but it cost me $5 per glass? what's up with that Henry? I only made it through about a quarter of the store- can't wait to go back. I left PJ in the car with his MP3, and the conversation was a bit like this-

Mom- I'm leaving the key in the car with you, don't let anyone get you-
PJ- okay
Mom- if anyone tries to steal the Tahoe, let them have it, but be sure to take the Longaberger basket and rescue the knitting!
PJ- got it I think there was a salute in there somewhere as well!

I got some lovely double sided paper at Michael's and some embellishments that were on clearance. On the home front I did manage to get the Christmas decor (not the tree stuff) down into the basement to be sorted and put away, and got the drafting table cleared up so I can do some cards on Sunday. Figured I'd get the C.mas stuff in it's proper place soon enough, at least it's corralled in the "warehouse". Looking forward to some down time tomorrow before another week at work!


a short work week

heat at home- since I don't have any at work near my desk- something's gotta give
time with PJ

Friday, January 4, 2008

K1, P2, K2tog, YO, SKP

trying to make headway on the various WIPs, while trying to convince myself not to buy more sock yarn, or cast on another project. It's really difficult with the yarn thing 'cause when I read other blogs, they show their treasures, and I begin to covet them-must remain CALM, and go hug my stash! Here's some updates and few photos for now:

Jean's shawl, (the photo is old) one more row, then the lace edging, and blocking. This was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but was never able to make progress on it at work, so I brought it home to work on over the holidays, and shebang, I'm on a roll. It's not going to be as long as I'd like since I was limited to the 3 skeins of Noro that Mom brought me from England. It will keep her warm though- that's the key

Moss (Jo Sharp), haven't touched since November, will start again once the above mentioned is finished.

Swatch completed for the SOTSii, think I'm hooked on the Lacey Lamb, and will need some in a palest pink around June for a Secret Sister Christmas gift, let me know if anyone finds any, will probably need 3-4 balls.

Victorian Lace- coming along, nearly to the point where I'll have to pick up stitches from the side, and continue in another direction- egads!

"Spicy" socks on 2 circ. needles-after realizing that the design pattern I had picked out is not evenly distributed over 48 sts, have frogged back to the ribbing- details, details should've read the handy notes in the book before hand-no?!

Isabelle's socks-finished one variegated sock, and have not cast on the other yet, soon though, these are a tad big so she can't wear them now anyway!

Jean's sock- finished 1st one, and am nearly done with the leg of #2

I think that's everything, unless I unearth something I've left in another part of the house! I'll be storing and sorting Christmas decor this weekend, and tidying up my craft area so I can get to making cards.

I plan to use the "nymph" colorway from Lotus Yarns, need to wind it first, for when I teach my sock knitting class for the ladies at church in February- have 2 students so far, one is Mom.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Word for the year . . .

Calm --almost or utterly motionless, (totally not me!) not excited or agitated, composed, absence or cessation of motion; serenity, peace. Synonyms: peaceful placid serene tranquil

This will be what I strive for in 2008, and I hope Ali will continue to inspire me throughout the year. Maybe I can become a bit more creative with the paper, pens, pencils, and other crafty bits I have at home, this will certainly help me both use up some old stuff thus helping the old wallet! Also, having visuals of what it means to be calm will help ( i hope) remind and encourage me in this endeavor. Other words that were left in the comments for Ali's "word" post included breathe-focus-simplicity, all are important for a well balanced life.

Some things I've already been able to use to bring "calm" into my day- my new Diana Krall CD loaded on my computer at work, and I've had about 45 minutes at the beginning of each work day (between home and) to knit-no rushing, just taking it one stitch at a time!

I'm on my road to journaling, Mary and Katie got me a Cavallini calendar, (the NY one), I plan to jot down things either daily or weekly, no strict plans on this project, want it to be something I look forward to doing rather than an obligation.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

it's all about 2008

because this will be a big year for me (I'll turn 40 in 224 days-- now I've said it-- will probably need to repeat it several times, but oh well!) so everything will be about 2008, and "do something great" rhymes, but whether I'll do anything great is probably unlikely, but maybe I can do some random things that may make someone else feel great-that's doable.

Mary asked if I had come up with a theme word for the year inspired by Ali Edwards. I'll have to think on that one- perhaps "grow", "reflect", it should probably be "slow down". I'll give myself until the weekend to decide.

Of course New Year's Day is the time to make resolutions, and I usually keep the one's I make, this year they are a bit more "categorical"

Life goals:

take delight in the joys of others (even if they don't make sense to me)
participate more in the boy's life experiences (rather than be a spectator)
notice the needs of others and take action
be more family focused

Knitting goals:

♥give 3 knitting gifts (non-birthday, and non-holiday)
♥patterned socks
♥lace knitting in it's various forms (and textures)
♥challenge myself
♥do more for charity
♥reduce my stash!

Other goals:

watch the birds (more)
learn to quilt
maintain current level of fitness-improve endurance
maintain good health
love the (seemingly) unlovable
take better pictures for the blog
skip through most of my days, rather than run
strive always to improve myself and learn
entertain in my home more often keeping in mind that a cup of coffee is just as inviting to a friend or neighbor, as a gourmet meal.
simply say "thank you" when given a compliment
get to know my neighbors better

This time of year is also a time to reflect on what the previous year has been like so. . .

learned how to knit socks, lace, and use beads
learned to blog-taught me a new way to "look at " and "listen to" what's around me
kept my resolution to speak to a certain (not family) person everyday-regardless of what grunt or response I received
maintained my weight and good health
said "no" to additional responsibilities and projects (non-work related)
finally feel really "settled" in our home

I guess that's about it, so here's to wishing you and yours a very happy, prosperous, productive and joyful New Year! Maybe YOU can do something great in 2008?!