Thursday, December 24, 2009
...of a white Christmas.
Alas, yesterday, it was 75 and the trees were quite autumnal.
It got cloudy for a little while and quite windy...the threat of the impending cold front.
Then, the sun came out again.
But today, I think my dream came true.
Merry Christmas to all!!!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Not much movie watching or knitting has been going on. When Debbie leaves, there is homework to be done - inventorying the charity donations, delivering the bags, clearing out bins of things that have an identified place, more decrapifying on my own, and general picking up.
Then, there's that Christmas thing. I did remember how to print labels. Christmas is saved! The Husb purchased a prelit tree before his deadline on Friday. We picked it up Saturday. He put it together Sunday. (Technically, he missed his deadline, but he's so cute, I couldn't get too mad about it.) The ornaments are not on it yet. (That's my part. I've got to get busy, but please refer to previous paragraph.) I do have two of the three parcels I have to mail for Christmas in the post. I've started wrapping presents.
I think I will make it after all.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
These cuttings sitting in a bucket in the laundry room sink are the only thing close to a Christmas tree in this house at the present time. I was thinking about putting them on the mantle in some form or fashion this year.* I went to my local Wally World the other night looking for fresh garland, but they didn't get any this year; so the sales person offered me the cuttings he was taking off the bottom of a tree he had just sold.
The Husb has a deadline of this Friday to either get our tree up and the lights on, purchase a pre-lit tree, or move into the doghouse on the patio. Last year, I think the lights were finally on the tree around the twelfth of the month. Quite frankly, I was over it by then. I put on the least amount of ornaments with which I could get away. I was not very happy.
We went pre-lit Christmas tree shopping last night. Of course, I liked the priciest one. Of course, they didn't have the nine foot one. They have a seven and a half foot one - with which I would be very happy. They also have a ten foot one that is twice the cost. The Husb is on a mission to find that nine foot tree; so, he could be happy.
Parting shot...We woke up to snow this morning. It was gone by lunch time.
*If you can think of a good way for me to display them, please chime up!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thanks to a friend and business contact of The Husb's, we scored 4 great seats to the Cowboy's game yesterday. I haven't been to the new stadium yet; so, I was excited about going.
I put on my rhinestone jeans and I was ready to go.
Here's a shot of The Boss Hog Bowl, aka The Death Star, aka Cowboy Stadium. It's what a billion dollars looks like.
Sitting on the balcony of the Founders Club.
The Miller Lite Club at field level.
Another Miller Lite Club shot.
BJ Thomas sang the national anthem.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
It hasn't looked this good in years.
*Anything that we came across in clearing out the other rooms upstairs that didn't belong in them was put into The Kid's room.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Before: A chest of drawers being used as a catch all.
After - The chest is ready to be utilized in a more efficient manner.
Before - The desk area in disarray.
After - More efficient use of space.
Monday, November 16, 2009
In the meantime, I'll tell you about a few movies I've seen recently. There aren't that many, as my focus is on decrapification right now.
Remember when I wrote about Grey Gardens, the documentary about Jackie Kennedy’s aunt and cousin (Big and Little Edie Beale) from the 1970s? Oh, I may not have reviewed that movie here, but these women ended up living in squalor in their dilapidated home in East Hampton. They were living with feral cats and raccoons. It was quite the interesting look at humanity. The documentary film makers told their story in Grey Gardens, and then with more footage in The Beales of Grey Gardens. Well…now there is Grey Gardens, the HBO movie, starring Jessica Lange as Big Edie and Drew Barrymore as Little Edie. Some references about their past in the documentary were researched and fleshed out to allow the writers to imagine events in the lives of these two women that give us all insight into how their unique situation came to be. It was really good. Lange and Barrymore did outstanding jobs in recreating the mother and daughter. It’s a must see, even if you have not seen the documentary, but try to see the documentary too.
The Class is a cute movie in French with English subtitles. It is a character driven film about the interactions of a French teacher and his students in a tough school. It was good.
Even if you are not a Michael Jackson fan per se, but you used to dance to “Billie Jean” or “Don’t Stop” at Tango, Confetti, Annabelle’s or a similar hot spot in the early 1980s, you should see This Is It. It is filled with the music to which you used to dance, and it gives you a little glimpse of MJ away from the limelight. If nothing else, the man was very, very talented. I liked it.
Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meany and Jim Broadbent star in The Damned United, based on true events about the Leeds United football team in the 1970s. Sheen plays the team’s new coach, Brian Clough – who has publically criticized the outgoing coach, Don Revie (Meany), and the way the team plays. Clough believes the champions didn’t deserve to win all those games, because they played dirty; so, he is going to change all that. Unfortunately, his methods don’t produce wins and much friction and conflict abounds. It was pretty good.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I start to decrapify, make a bigger mess - because you have to sort of do that when you are, say, cleaning out a closet...everything has to come out before the stuff you will keep goes back in - and then say an inner "Yuck!" and the rest of the energy is spent making that area look nice again. It is emotionally d.r.a.i.n.i.n.g.
I used to be uber organized. I would clean out drawers and closets two or three times a year - donating the good stuff to the women's shelter and trashing the unusable stuff. Then, I went to PA school, and this cleaning phenomenon came to a halt.
I have tried doing stuff a little at a time, and I have gotten nowhere. I have tried tackling an entire room, but all I do is make that bigger mess and walk away. I have plenty of excuses why I don't want to devote precious time and energy to clear out ten years of accumulated clutter, but the bottom line is that it has gotten to be an overwhelming task and drastic measures must be taken.
I've watched those shows like Clean House and always wished for cleaning fairies like that to come to my house and help me clean it in one fell swoop (or at least after a few sessions). That would be heaven to me. That would be the best birthday present e.v.e.r!
So, by chance, I met Debbie of Organizing101. She's coming over today for our first session.
I'm so excited I could pop!
And for the record - I have a cleaning lady who comes once a week. We are talking c.l.u.t.t.e.r here, and overflowing closets and drawers...not dirt, although that's a little suspect around here, but that's a story for another time...
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I have seen a few DVDs in the last week or so:
Lemon Tree is a really good movie about a Palestinian widow living on the West Bank. She has a lemon grove from which she eeks out a living. The Isreali defense minister moves in next door and decides that her lemon trees have to go, in the name of national security. Actually, his paranoid underlings think it would be easier to protect his behind without the lemon trees providing potential hiding places for his potential assassins. So, the widow takes the Defense Minister and the Isreali government to court. I really liked it.
Earth is a cute Disney documentary following three animal families - polar bears, elephants and humpback whales - in their struggle for survival on our planet. It was really we done and intersting to watch. James Earl Jones narrated the movie. Apparently, this dvd is a condensed version of the miniseries Planet Earth. Very good!!!
In Daisy Kenyon, Joan Crawford, Dana Andres and Henry Fonda are pitted in a love triangle between an enterprising commercial artist and her two men - one is married and one is not. It's a 1940s movie, but it is really good. They don't make 'em like they used to! I liked it.
Away We Go follows the journey of a couple about to have a baby. They travel to different locales, trying to find the best place to live as a family. It was a little quirky, but a whole lot of cute. I liked it.
I saw An Education in the theater. It is about a school girl, Jenny, who starts a relationship with an older man, David. He, with his friends Danny and Helen, wine and dine her and show her the "good" life. Emma Thompson, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike and Carey Mulligan star in this cute movie based on the memoirs of Lynn Barber - a British journalist. The film is set in Englund in the early 1960s. It was very good.
Until next time...
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Can I tell you how riveted to the television I was, watching this show?
And guess what?...They remade it and the series starts tonight.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I have seen a few flicks, though:
In The Life Before Her Eyes, Evan Rachel Wood and Eva Amurri play two best friends who are involved in a school shooting. Uma Thurman plays the grown guilt-ridden survivor. The movie is very good, and well done. At a certain point, things seem to go a little awry, but there's a major twist at the end that puts it all in place. I really liked it.
The Counterfeiters is another WWII/Nazi movie...I seem to gravitate towards WWII/Nazi movies, don't I? In this one, Jewish prisoners are recruited to produce counterfeit money to fund the war effort and to destabilize the economies of the allied powers. It was good.
Darfur Now is a documentary about the genocide that the Sudanese government refuses to acknowledge. It is sad but relevant subject matter.
Nia Vardalos and Richard Dreyfuss star in My Life in Ruins. It is a total fluff piece about a woman who follows a man to Greece. He dumps her, and she is stuck in a foreign country trying to make her way. She ends up working as a tour guide, while applying for university teaching jobs. She's lost her passion, until she meets an unlikely match. It was okay.
Remember how warm and nurturing Hogwarts was in the first Harry Potter movie? In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Hogwarts is darker and more mysterious. The Dark Lord is a looming threat and even Hogwarts cannot protect Harry. The book was quite more involved, but I think it was adapted well to the big screen. I loved it.
I better get busy now...
MK out...but will return with more.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Been gone awhile, People. We went on a trip. As we were driving from Washington to Colorado, a trucker stopped us to let us know that the trim over the front left tire was flapping in the wind.
The Husby was panicked. Of course, it could have been that way the whole trip, and we were two weeks in at that point. He needed some nylon string to tie it up and try to keep it together until we got home. We weren't exactly in a shopping mecca at that point.
I continued working on a tank top that I am making myself out of Berroco Suede, and it hit me....The yarn is 100% nylon! I offered it up to The Husby. At first, he thought I was crazy - Yarn? Seriously? I reminded him we didn't know where the nearest establishment that might have nylon string was, and that the yarn could possibly hold it until we found such place...
So, he used it. Later that day, we found an Ace Hardware store and he bought some nylon string and tied up his RV, but he left the yarn on too.
This picture was taken a week later, after many hundreds of miles more, and besides being dirty, the nylon yarn is still holding strong.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
After Sock Summit, I got home and thought about all the neat things that I saw. There were only two things that I figured I could not live without.
First, I tried on some Dansko's that I liked, but they didn't have my size in black. I searched the web and found some in stock and ordered a pair. I am looking forward to knitting up some pretty socks to show off in these pretty shoes.
Secondly, I really wanted some BMFA Socks that Rock in the Sock Summit themed colorway, Sockgate. I went to the website and saw that it, along with ST-1 and ST-2 were listed and in stock; so, I added all three to my shopping cart. Then, I checked out the Knitters Without Borders colorway that I have long admired. They did not bring that one to the show, but I feel that 1. it's pretty and 2. I support the cause; so, badda-bing! A skein was added to my shopping cart as well.
From left to right - Sockgate, ST-2, ST-1 and Knitters Without Borders.
That's all folks!
I had to buy a skein of Skinnamarink that Amy dyed for the Sock Summit Dye for Glory contest. She got honorable mention in the Watercolors category. Go Amy! I also bought a tape measure from the Loopy Ewe.
All in all, I think anyone would agree that I didn't do too much damage to the wallet.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Surprisingly, I restrained myself.
Clockwise from the top, a sweater's worth of Valley Yarns Goshen from Webs, a skein of Buffalo Gold #3 for a reduced price in exchange for a skein of yarn from my stash, a pair of triangular wooden needles from Laurel Hill,* two sets of Signature size 0 double-pointed needles in Stilleto, a skein of quiviut** from Village Spinning and Weaving, and an Addi Lace size 4 circular needle from Webs again.
There are two more things that didn't make the picture...Tune in tomorrow.
*I am such a needle ho - I don't even like working with straight needles anymore, but I bought them because they were pretty. I can always display them...Yeah, that's it...
**I bought a skein of quiviut in the brownish tone five years ago in Alaska and gave it to a friend for her birthday. I have been wanting to buy a skein for myself ever since and never did, until Sock Summit, when I found a skein in black! Woo Hoo!!!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? was written by Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame. He and his wife are expecting a baby, and he wants to find Osama Bin Laden in an effort to make the world a safer place. He travels to the Middle East looking for Bin Laden and in his various stops, he interviews ordinary citizens about their views of the 9/11 tragedy and how it impacted their lives. It was really interesting, because the overwhelming theme is that most people want to live in peace, be able to educate their young and have their basic needs met. It was good.
Gypsy Caravan: When the Road Bends is a documentary chronicling the 6-week concert with five gypsy bands from four countries playing flamenco, Indian folk, Romanian violin, Raga and jazz. It was really interesting. I liked learning more about the Rom people.
Confessions of a Shopaholic is a cute, little chick flick. Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Joan Cusack and John Goodman star in this movie about a girl who shops compulsively. She wants to work for a fashion magazine, but ends up working for a financial magazine instead. She writes a popular article giving practicle financial advice, while in real life, she is in plastic debt heaven. It was funny. I liked it.
I Love You, Man is crude comedy at its best...crude, crude dialogue, but funny, funny movie. A couple becomes engaged and the groom soon discovers that he doesn't have any friends from whom to choose his best man. He goes on a friend-making spree. After a few false starts, he meets someone he really likes in an unexpected situation. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel star in this movie. I liked it.
I managed to catch a few in theaters: In Inglourious Basterds, Brad Pitt plays a Jewish American soldier who brings together a group of men whose main focus is to kill Hitler and as many Nazis as it takes along the way. Melanie Laurent plays Shosanna, a Jewish girl who witnesses the murder of her family at the hands of a cruel Nazi and vows her revenge against the Nazis. That officer was played by Christoph Waltz. Look for his name come Oscar time, because if he doesn't get nominated for that role, it will be a shame. He was fantastic. It's a Quentin Tarantino film; so, get ready for the graphic violence and blood. I managed to like this movie, despite the gore.
Julie and Julia is based on the autobiographical film by Julie Powell, which tells about the year she spent cooking 524 of Julia Child's recipes and blogged about it. Julie is played well by Amy Adams, but the real jewel in this film is Meryl Streep as Julia Child. She gave an over-the-top performance that captured her essence without trying to imitate her exactly. Streep was right on!It was magical. Stanley Tucci played Julia's husband, Paul, and did a great job. I really liked this movie.
I really did not like The Time Traveler's Wife. Eric Bana plays a guy with a genetic condition that causes him to travel through time when he is stressed in some way. Most of the time, I did not feel the stress that caused him to travel. The romantic interest is played by Rachel McAdams. I did not feel any chemistry between the two of them. A friend pointed out that she thought the movie was trying to show how bittersweet and fleeting life is. I guess I appreciate that part about it. I also thought the two little girls in the movie played their parts well, but otherwise...not impressed.
The season is getting ready to crank...I can't wait!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I bought some swag before the event. That silver thing on top that looks like a little SS Enterprise - It's a little book light that clips on your book or papers, allowing you to knit in the dark!
Monday, August 17, 2009
This one turned out to be my breakfast, but I couldn't finish it. It got sweeter with every bite. Voodoo Donuts are famous for their Bacon Maple Bars. I'll have to try those next time.
I left for the airport before lunch and took the MAX to the airport. The flight home was uneventful, too. Yay! No waiting on the tarmac for six hours for me.
I'm going to be out of pocket for a week, but hope to flash the goods I purchased at Sock Summit next time.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Barbara Walker's line was the longest. I got my copy of her book signed first. Then, I had Stephanie sign a book for me. While I was waiting in Cat Bordhi's line, I took a picture of Lucy Neatby and Barbara Walker signing books.
Then, onto Friday night with the Sock Hop held at Portland's Art Museum. Some people wore poodle skirts! It was a fun time.
I really need to figure out how to use my camera in low level light.
Here's part of Team Ravelry - Jess and Mary Heather are acting all good girl/bad girl.
There was dancing.
Amy and I went back to the hotel and I got all packed and organized for the next day. I was kind of sad about having to leave early.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
On August 7, 2009, at the Sock Summit held in the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon...
Part of the crowd...
Stephanie running by as she gets things ready...
Stephanie and Tina explain the rules, as the Guinness officials and other dignitaries watch over the crowd...
Although it is not official yet, the Australian record has been beaten. I heard that something to the tune of 935 people were knitting simultaneously in that ballroom...
I liked the class. It was fun - and definitely prepared me to start my foray into embellishing my knitting. I think I'm ready to be a big girl and to knit a shawl out of laceweight yarn....I think.
Here's a picture of Sivia and me. She is wearing a pretty beaded shawl that she designed.
After the class, the marketplace opened for students only. You would have thought it contained the very last skeins of yarn and fiber and related goodies in the universe. It was like a yarn grab. There was singing (100 skeins of yarn on the wall...) and cheering when the doors opened.
I was helping Amy in the Madelinetosh informational booth. We were selling only her Limited Edition Dye for Glory entry - the Skinnamarink colorway. It was the runner up in the watercolor division. I didn't take a picture, of course, but it is a pretty colorway. We spent the rest of the time directing people to the vendors who were carrying her yarns and doing a little bit of knitting. It was great fun meeting people - some of whom I have only interacted with online.
Since Amy and I were bushed, we went straight to our hotel, dropped our stuff and went to dinner. I missed the opening ceremonies, but they've been discussed so much on Ravelry and the blogs, that I felt as if I were there.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Oh - if on June 27th, y'all happened to have seen the sunbeams coming through the clouds and heard the collective voices of angels singing, "Ahhhhhhhh," it was because I finished the June 2008 socks. They are cute, and pictures in the knitting post. This one is about movies.
It's not really movie season for me...I tend to gear up after that back-to-school time of year starts, but there are quite a few DVDs on my Blockbuster list, and I have been trying to work through it.
I did see one movie at the theater last week, with some of the mothers of the boys who received those hats that I made: In The Proposal, Sandra Bullock plays a hard-driving boss who happens to be a Canadian citizen with an expired visa. Ryan Reynolds plays her executive assistant, who happens to be the unlucky guy she picks in which to enter into a marriage of convenience in order to avoid deportation – mostly because he just happened to be standing there. Betty White, Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson also star. It is definitely a chick flick and the funniest one I’ve seen in a while. Definitely a must see.
In Mama’s Boy, Jon Heder plays a guy whose father died when he was a young teen. He is now in his late twenties, and is still living at home looking out for his mama (Diane Keeton). Mama is more than ready to move on with her life, and starts dating a nice man (Jeff Daniels). Baby boy is not too pleased…Cute movie.
In The Walker, Woody Harrelson plays Carter Page, an overly gay son of a former senator who earns his way by escorting Washington’s grand dames around town when they need a date. One of his ladies (Kristen Scott Thomas) finds her lover murdered in his home, and Carter does what he can to protect her and her husband from any media investigation. If the plot sounds a little like American Gigolo, it’s because both movies were written by the same person.
In The Other Boleyn Girl, Scarlett Johanssen and Natalie Portman play the Boleyn sisters, who compete for the attentions of King Henry VIII (Eric Bana) to ensure their family’s place in the royal hierarchy. It was pretty good. I liked the costumes, too.
In The Hunting Party, Richard Gere plays a reporter and Terrence Howard plays a photographer who covered the war in Bosnia. Years later, Gere hatches a plan to capture Bosnia’s most wanted war criminal. It was a good movie.
Phoebe in Wonderland is about mental illness. Felicity Huffman and her husband are writers who have two imaginative daughters. The oldest one (Elle Fanning – Dakota’s little sister) exhibits bizarre behavior that concerns her mother, as well as her drama teacher (Patricia Clarkson). It is a really good movie that captures the struggle of dealing with a mentally ill family member. That Elle Fanning is a good little actress, and Patricia Clarkson was wonderful as always.
In Smart People, Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker play a widowed professor who starts dating his former student. They meet again after he is involved in an accident and she is his emergency department physician. His adopted brother, a rather ne’er-do-well (played by Thomas Haden Church) enters the picture when Quaid’s daughter calls him in to help with the carpooling. The daughter (Ellen Page) is quite academically bright, but rather lacking in the friends and fun department. It was pretty good.
Helen Hunt wrote, directed and stars in Then She Found Me, about a woman in her late thirties who wants to have a baby desperately. She was adopted and has a brother who is the biological child of her parents and doesn’t want to adopt. After a series of life changing events, her birth mother (Bette Midler) comes looking for her. It was pretty good.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Here's The Kid's sweater that I finished back in March. It took a whole year to complete, because other things came up along the way.
Here's a beret I designed for MadelineTosh. It's a free pattern.
I also designed these for MadelineTosh, but made this pair in my favorite colors for me. It can be purchased on the website.
I finished the Gathered Pullover! I used Brooks Farm Yarn Mac Acero. My sewing dress form is modeling it, and you cannot tell by looking at it, but it fits me well.
I made the Mara Shawl (another free pattern) by MadelineTosh using a skein of MadelineTosh Tosh Worsted in each of the Carmen and the Oak colorways. It is currently blocking. I hope to wear it soon.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
1. Accompany a friend or a family member to a big city university hospital while he or she undergoes a special test that takes about 5 hours from start to finish.
You may not necessarily spend the whole five hours knitting, but you end up with this:
2. Knit a hat on a day that is full of errands and tasks.
It is not as effective as the first method, and the probability of ending with a finished hat by the end of the day is lower, but...
I gathered the materials.
Then I made a little breakfast, ate it and tidied up the kitchen. On the agenda today is to steam clean the grout in the kitchen only - That shouldn't take too long.
For those of you who have known me for a long time, this grout cleaning thing - been going on for y.e.a.r.s. Kind of like the decrapification thing. I'm all into it for about the first day, and then realize how monumental the task is, and the enthusiasm fizzles. It's just not fun!
I tidied up the den.
I cast on and started the first row.
I went for a three-mile power walk in the neighborhood.
I came home and it was about time for lunch; so, I made a little something, ate it and tidied up the kitchen.
The Kid needed a ride to drop his truck off to get some speakers added to his stereo system and then he needed to be dropped off to school for a mandatory graduation practice.
I got home and pulled ot the steam machine.
I started in on the grout. I'm ashamed to show you how gross it was.
I steamed and scrubbed for about an hour, and cleaned a 4-feet by 6-feet section of the kitchen floor. I was tired and put away my cleaning supplies.
I knitted some more on the hat, and realized that I was inadvertently knitting a mobius.
I tinked back, untwisted the stitches and started in on the hat again.
It was about 3:30 by then, and I still had errands to run. I took a shower and got dressed.
Before I got home, I picked up supper at Pei Wei. Yum!
After supper, I went to get my knitting, and discovered that my mom had found it and had knitted to the second red stripe while I was gone before supper.*
The hat was finished by me at a leisurely pace by 10:30ish.
*There was still a chance that the hat would have been finished by me before midnight had she not done that, but less likely. Thanks Mom!