Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nature in My Own Backyard

When looking out of the window this morning, I thought something looked a little weird.  I saw a bird, and it seemed huge.  I took a closer look, and in my Mrs. Kravitz voice, I croaked, "Honey, come look...there's a hawk in our backyard."

Apparently, we have a hawk nest nearby, because The Husb spied one flying right over his car one night when he was driving into the garage.

We have a lot of squirrels in backyard because we have big trees that are full of acorns for most of the year.

Unfortunately for our squirrel friends, hawks are hunters.

I opened the back door to see what would happen and the hawk took it's prey to the retaining wall.

MK out.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

If Yesterday Was the First Day of Spring...

...Why did I wake up to snow covering the trees, bushes and grass?  My mistake, I guess...Just because it is spring doesn't mean it can't snow.  It's just that it is an oddity here in the Big D area.  I think it started snowing lightly yesterday in the late afternoon, and it kept up the rest of the night.  Well, it was pretty anyway.  It was gone before lunchtime.

This time of year means Spring Break, and The Kid was home for the week.  We didn't go anywhere...just hung around and went to eat at favorite restaurants and went to a few games.  It's kind of sad, because he left this morning to go back to school.  I miss him already.

Spring also means Easter time.  My mom decided that since it is almost Easter - it's two weeks away, you know - it was time to make some Easter cookies.  She always has been one to plan and execute her plans ahead of time.  Even at this age, she is very disciplined.  I did not inherit this trait from her.  I struggle daily to keep it together.

I love mixing the butter and sugar together until it gets nice and creamy.

The dough is ready.

Here's the end result.  Yum!

MK out.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The January 2010 FOs*

Getting closer to being caught up with my project postings...

I made a hat for my youngest DGD at her request.  I adapted my stella hat pattern.  I used a skein of Encore DK that I had in the stash.

I had one ball of this discontinued yarn called Devotion by Reynolds.  It really is yummy feeling; so, I thought I would make a little cowl that would feel nice against my neck.  I couldn't find a pattern that didn't require more yarn than I had; so, I made one up.  The result is probably v.5 or v.6 - I reknitted this thing many times to get it just right and having enough yarn to do so.  I call it Holey Cowl!!!

This little orange sweater was made with a particular little girl in mind.  She is still incubating - don't remember her actual due date.  I used Berroco Comfort DK.  I enjoyed knitting with it, and it is easy care...a must for busy moms.  The fabric underneath will be used to make a little dress to go with the sweater. 

I don't really like the rose flowers on it, since the flowers on the fabric are different.  I found another flower I like, and I can use a little hot pink to pull out the hot pink in the fabric.

All the grandkids have a blanky made by Kay Kay.  Jackson got his for his first birthday this year.  I used two colors of the very durable Red Heart Super Saver Solids held together.  It's a great yarn for a mom with young kids...It wears like iron and washes well.

The Kid told me that the four other boys on the cheerleading squad liked the hat that I made him for graduation.  I made them all a hat in the CSU colors in Berroco Comfort - even another one for The Kid so the yarn would match on all.

I have two February FOs for which I don't have any pics.  One has already been gifted, but I'll see what I can do to chase that one down.  That post to follow...

MK out.
*FO = Finished Object

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's Springing!

I went for a walk earlier today and snapped a little picture.  It's a little chilly, but aside for a few days of clouds here and there, it has been beautiful!

In an effort to stay more caught up with my blogging, I am putting together a knitting post that will show the things I finished in January. 

In the meantime, here's a picture of some yummy yarn.  The colorway is Moorland and it is Madelinetosh Tosh DK.  I am almost finished with a sweater to wear to STARS games out of this lovely stuff.

I started a top out of this turquoise Cotton Ease yesterday.  I am a member of a Yahoo group that is currently reading the Maggie Sefton murder mystery knitting series.  We just started the second book and the pattern for the top is included in the book.

Talk soon...

MK out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hits and Misses

Whenever one sees many movies, one comes across some that aren't so great.  Here are three movies I've watched recently that fall into this category:

Savage Grace is a hard movie to watch. It is adapted from a novel that was based on true events. It tells of the murder of socialite Barbara Baekelund, played by Julianne Moore, by her own son. Seems that momma didn’t want her boy to be homosexual, and she set out to cure him herself. Literally…(Ew!) I didn’t really have a lot of sympathy for Barbara, and that boy of hers was no prize, either. It was weird.

Espen Klouman-Hoiner and Anders Danielsen Lie star in Reprise, a film about two friends who idolize the novelist Sten Egil Dahl. The movie is billed as a “comedy drama” but I failed to appreciate the humor. The two men dream of becoming writers. Each writes a novel, but only one of the books becomes published. The film follows the turns their lives take with their choices and consequences along the way. It’s in Norwegian with English subtitles. It was okay.

In The Wackness, there is this psychiatrist (Ben Kingsley) who is treating this teenager (Josh Peck) who happens to be paying the psychiatrist with pot in exchange for the therapy…Interesting barter system, eh? The good doctor has a stepdaughter who starts dating the teenager, adding a whole other layer to this dysfunctional arrangement. It had its moments, but it was nothing special.

MK out.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

MK's 2010 Oscar Picks...

...and (all together now)....NOT predictions!

I cannot believe it is already March 7th!  The night I've been waiting for since, I dunno...since forever!

I did not get to see The Messenger, so I honestly do not know how Woody Harrelson did in his role that was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but I can venture to say that I will be able to comfortably pick the guy I think most deserves the Oscar.

Before I get to all that, I have to review a few movies I've seen recently:

The September Issue – I rented this movie with preconceptions about Anna Wintour – the editor of Vogue magazine. I guess my opinion of her being a true beyotch was influenced by the movie The Devil Wears Prada. After watching it, I came to realize that, while fashion is pretty superficial, pretentious and face it – not the most important thing in life – Anna Wintour has a job to do, and she does it well. She isn’t quite as heavy handed as I thought. She takes her job seriously, and she’s very busy. She makes fearless decisions and goes forth. I really enjoyed this documentary.

In A Serious Man, the Coen Brothers serve up another one of their quirky, controversial movies. You either love them or you hate them. I love this one. It’s about a guy, Larry Gopnik (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) who is a physics professor. As he fills his blackboard with scientific fact and mathematical proofs, his private life is falling apart, and he cannot find any answers. It is not a laugh out loud movie, but it is so human and so real (in a sense) that I found myself wincing or celebrating its insights. I really liked it.

Invictus is directed by Clint Eastwood, and it’s about a rugby game that impacted history. Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela, who after being in jail in South Africa for 20-some years, becomes president. During his first term in office, the World Cup game is hosted by South Africa. Mandela used this underdog South American team – Springbok - with only one black player, to help bridge the gap that apartheid created. Matt Damon plays Francois Pienaar, the captain of the team. It was good.

In The Last Station, Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer star as Count Leo and Countess Sofya Tolstoy. The story takes place in the last year of Tolstoy’s life, when one of his faithful followers schemes to make Russia the beneficiary of Tolstoy’s fortune upon his death. His wife, who bore him thirteen children, begs to differ. She is actually pretty pissed about the whole thing. Both actors have been nominated for Oscars, and each do a very nice acting job of portraying their characters. Paul Giamati and James McAvoy also star. The movie was pretty good.

I happened to see four of the five movies that were nominated for Best Animated Feature Film:

Coraline is a dark, little animated feature with the voices of Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher about a little girl who gets stuck in an alternate reality of her world. She has to find her way back to her real life and save her family. It wasn’t what I would call a young children’s movie, but it was entertaining.

Up is about an older man who has longed to set out on a big adventure. One day, he finally gets his chance. He teams up with a wilderness ranger to go up against some really ferocious enemies. Two of the actors providing voices were Ed Asner and Christopher Plummer. It was pretty good, but it’s another animated feature that is not really a young children’s movie.

After seeing Fantastic Mr. Fox, I could tell that George Clooney provided the voice for Mr. Fox, but I couldn’t figure out to whom Mrs. Fox’s voice belonged. I had to wait for the credits to find out that it was Meryl Streep! There were many other famous voices in this film about a former thieving fox that stopped his dangerous ways for a time after finding out that his wife was pregnant. Years later, he resumed his less than credible activities, putting his family and the whole animal community at risk. It was different – and again – a little dark for younger kids.

The Princess and the Frog should win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. In it, Disney goes back to its old school roots – with singing and dancing, and princesses and villains, and no CGI. It was a cute story about a girl who dreams big, kisses a frog, becomes one herself and has to fight her way back to make her dreams come true. It was really good.

OK - now onto my picks.

Best Actress - Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia.  I stand by my opinion that Sandra Bullock did not deliver an Oscar worthy performance.  End of story.
Best Supporting Actress - Mo'Nique in Precious
Best Actor - Jeff Bridges in Crazy Hearts.  With the exception of George Clooney, all the nominated actors did really well in their roles, but I think Bridges was the standout.
Best Supporting Actor - I picked this catagory back in September when I reviewed Inglourious Basterds.  I had not seen any of the other movies in this category at that time, but did recognize someone who should have been nominated and he was.  Now, after seeing all but The Messenger, I think Christoph Waltz delivered a standout, outstanding, Oscar worthy performance.
Best Picture - The Hurt Locker.  I really do not understand why they expanded the nominees in this category to ten.  There are barely five good, Oscar worthy films in this nominated pool.  I understand that Avatar will likely win, and it is a really good, entertaining movie, but The Hurt Locker really told a good story and I thinks it's the best of the bunch.

Gotta go get ready to watch the show.

MK out.