Monday, December 31, 2012

Sky scarf 2012...

 
From this on January 1, 2012...






...






to this on December 31, 2012...


This is it hot off the needles...no blocking or woven-in ends yet.  It finished out at a little over seven feet long...stockinette stitch, with garter stitch borders.  As of now, the two ends are still separate from each other, but I think that I will join them into a mobius, and wear it looped over like it is in the photo.  Not sure yet.  I think I'll decide after blocking.

I am really happy with it!  I ended up adding in a couple of additional grays than I started out with.

The key works out something like this:
solid white = fog
light blue = clear skies
light blue with white = partly cloudy
bright blue = temperature in excess of 100 degrees
    (you can't really see that since it's mostly behind my neck in this photo)
light gray = cloudy and/or light rain
charcoal = thunderstorms

Depending on how my mood or my impression of the sky struck me on a given day, I would knit two colors together or just knit a single color.  I think I will take one of the colors, and stitch in "2012" at one end. (Original post and credit to creator here.)

I am really, really excited to have it DONE! 
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






I made these ornaments our very first year together.  Our initials...awwwww.



These two were made in probably the late '70s.

 


...also the '70s.

 




This one came to our tree while we lived on Hummingbird Lane.
 



Purchased this Drummer Boy while Jared was in the percussion section...and the disco ball is in honor of his sister...my little disco baby.

 



This one came the year we had a precious foster baby who moved his arms and legs just like this Santa's.

 



This one reminds us of former jobs. that we are glad are behind us.



This one was a souvenier from the best vacation ever.



Some I get for others to take home, and they forget to, so I keep them.



I bought this year, thinking Caitlyn would like it.
 



But she chose this spun-glass angel instead.



And a mantel snow village that commemorates our favorite Christmas movie.



"A Christmas Story" 's Chop Suey Palace on the left, the Parker's house above with the major award showing in the front window, and the school yard's frozen flag pole.



But these are always the most beautiful parts of my home at Christmas time or any other.  Can you believe that Diego (there in the middle) is embarrassed by those gorgeous dimples?!  He doesn't like to smile for pictures.  Just wait a few years, Diego.  When the girls start finding them irresistable, you'll appreciate them!

And poor little Caitlyn didn't get those two front teeth for Christmas, after all.

 

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Planning ahead...


I know.  I KNOW.  I said, "No new commitments!"  But that does not mean that I don't need a plan and some goals.

My friend over at The Frugal Trenches is a good example in SO many ways.  Her post today reminded me that having a plan and listing your goals is a much surer way of accomplishing them than just thinking about them and keeping them at the back of your mind.  Announcing them to the world, and revisiting them regularly and publicly goes a long way toward keeping yourself honest and accountable.

PERSONAL GOALS
  • Lose 25 pounds (that is just a baby step, but I don't want to be overwhelmed)
  • Turn computer off by 9:00 pm on work nights
  • Begin bedtime routine by 9:15 pm on work nights
  • Get back to a more Paleo eating plan
  • Make my iced coffees instead of buying them 4 times a week...I only drink coffee on my way to work, and I only work 4 days a week
  • Take my lunch to work twice a week
  • Cook twenty meals at home per month
  • Cook / freeze two meals per month
  • Stretch for ten minutes 15 times a month
  • Walk for fifteen minutes 15 times a month
  • Visit one new church a month until we find a new church home
  • Complete one Bible study
  • Organize home office / craft room
  • Organize photos
  • Paint cabinets in guest powder room
  • Reorganize laundry room
  • Paint laundry room cabinets
  • Complete the 2013 Reading Challenge
  • blog 20 times a month
  • have one or more of the kidlets overnight once a month

GIVING GOALS
  • Knit 12 hats to donate
  • Donate 12 boxfuls of household goods / clothes to Goodwill
  • Donate 12 books to the library
  • Donate to two good causes

FINANCIAL GOALS
  • Be more deliberately mindful of finances
  • Contribute maximum to our IRAs
  • Add $100 to each of the five college funds
  • Build / finish the garage apartment
  • Price / plan future kitchen remodel
CREATIVE GOALS
  • Hand quilt Rita May's quilt top
  • Make 52 cards
  • Knit 6 dishcloths
  • Sew 2 hot pads
  • Knit 1 cowl
  • Make 6 Pinterest projects
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 Book Awards


I am shamelessly ripping off Caroline's 2012 Book Awards, but I loved it so much, I had to.  I guess I have the Oscars on my mind, because this is what popped into my mind when I was trying to decide how to lay out this post.

I think I've only read thirty-nine books this year...some pure escapism, but a lot have been really challenging.  What follows are some of the memorable reads from this year.


Best Character in a Leading Role... 


Runner by Thomas Perry

I love the character of Jane Whitefield.  Thomas Perry has written quite a few novels over the years featuring this strong, smart, Native American woman who helps people disappear when their lives are in danger.


Best Supporting Character...












The Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna

I just really liked the characters in this one.


Best Actress in a New Role...
When It Happens to You by Molly Ringwald

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this work by former Brat Pack actress, Molly Ringwald.









 


















Remember her?













Best Remake...

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
















Not that Jane Eyre needed to be rewritten, but this was an interesting updating of the classic novel.



Best Foreign Topic...




 
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka











This was different, as the whole thing was written in the third person.  But really interesting.



Best Read of the Year...

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

















I am so glad I read this early in the year.  It really brought to life the people and locale of ancient Israel for me.  And that has been really handy as I work my way through the One Year Bible.


And my apologies for the ridiculous formatting of this post.  Thanks a lot Blogger.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What am I reading Wednesday...

An Echo In The Bone by Diana Gabaldon
 
Absolutely loved the first book in this series.  Each successive story I have found a little less engaging, so I don't have high hopes for this one (which is probably why it has been languishing on my shelf for years, and in my 2012 Reading Challenge stack till practically the last possible moment).  Not sure I really have time to finish it before the end of the year, what with the holidays and company coming and all. 
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Whoosh...


I love contrail weather.  I could happily watch the jet art all day long.  Like the marks a figure skater leaves on the ice, they are trails of grace.  (Please don't tell me it's not good for the environment.) 

There's something about watching a jet cutting a path through the sky that leaves me feeling slightly breathless and waiting, wishing for a sonic boom...one of the joy-filled memories of growing up near a naval air station.
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'm committed...or maybe I should be...


In 2011 I undertook the 52 weeks/52 letters Challenge and successfully completed it.  I felt so great about that, that I decided to stretch a little more.

Last year I took on the 2012 Reading Challenge, and one of my reading selections was The One Year Bible which was a year-long project all on its own.  I also began a Sky Scarf.  AND I continued trying to mail 52 letters in 52 weeks.

These have taken a LOT of focus and determination.  It seemed so easy at the start of the year...but back then I wasn't expecting the increase to my work schedule.  I am really, really happy to say that I am up to date on both The One Year Bible and my Sky Scarf (and I am really, really happy that the completion date for each is nigh!)  I'm pretty sure that I'm still on target for the 52 letters...I haven't tallied up the stats lately.

I do believe that I will continue my endeavor to send a handwritten letter to someone each week in 2013...it's really very rewarding.  And today I shopped my bookshelves for a 2013 Reading Challenge stack (photo above)...twelve selections and two alternates.  It has really felt great this year to donate the books to the library's used book sale as I've finished them...better on their shelves than mine.

But that's it!  No new additions for next year!  Because if I were to take on one more commitment, it would be true cause for a commitment of another kind for me!Photobucket

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another helpful tip found on Pinterest...

Found this tip on cleaning your bathtub jets from wikihow.com.
 
Run HOT water until it is about two inches above the hightest jets.  Pour in about 1/2 cup of bleach and 1 Tablespoon of powdered dishwashing detergent.
 
 
Turn on the jets for 15 minutes
 
 
At the end of the 15 minutes  turn off the jets and observe the gunk.  Hey!  They promised gunk.  I got no gunk!  Oh well.  Drain tub.
 
 
Refill the tub with COLD water, and turn the jets back on for another 10 minutes to rinse all cleaner and residue from the jets..
 
 
At the end of the 10 minutes, empty the water from the tub, and clean the interior if it needs it.
 
I suppose I should be HAPPY that there was no gunk.  That means I haven't been bathing in a dirty tub, right?  I never really wanted a jetted tub for the very reason that the jets might be filled with hidden ickiness.  Knowing an easy way to clean them occassionally makes me feel a tad better.  Which is good, because I have become addicted to this here tub. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Bat Mobile revisited...

October brought us the Bat Mobile...
 
 
And with November came the autumn leaves...
 
 
And now as we head into the holidays, I present...
the Snow Mobile!
 
 
Way to recycle a cheap craft project, huh?  But this is its last incarnation.  We are growing a bit tired of it.  Or rather, Carey is growing a bit tired of moving all the furniture and setting up the ladder to change it for me.  :)    He's such a good sport to have hung in there with me this long! 
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday...

photo credit: amazon.com
 
Such a Lovely Couple by Linda Yellin
 
Confession:  I'm a quarter of the way through this book, and until just now I did not realize it was a novel.  Since I'm reading it on my Kindle, I needed an image of the cover to put in this post, and that's when I realized that the author's name was not the name of the main character. 
 
Great writing.  It has had me laughing out loud.  I love that in a book.
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's been ages...

...since I've done a bit of Sunday Stealing.  So here goes.

1.  Where was your profile picture taken?
     At Kasey & Beau's wedding.

2.  Name someone who made you laugh today.
     No one yet.  But it will happen.  A day without laughter is like a day without breathing  for me.

3.  Do you believe exes can be friends. 
     Some of them.

4.  How do you feel about Dr. Pepper? 
     I could really go for one right now...I haven't had a soft drink in days.  And I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, we're a Pepper...wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?

5.  Who was the last person you took a picture of?
     I'm kind of mortified to admit this, but I am the last person I took a picture of...but I had a good reason! 
 
It was for a text message for a friend's birthday...and it's not being texted till tomorrow, so I hope she's not reading this today!
 
6.  Are you upset about anything? 
     Mildly upset that I squandered a four-day weekend nursing a bad back instead of scratching things off of my to-do list.  But, hey, there's still time, right?
 
7.  Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? 
     I think relationships are ALWAYS really worth it!  Even the bad ones are learning experiences.
 
8.  Are you a bad influence? 
     Well, I TRY not to be, but...
 
9.  Night out or night in? 
     IN...definitely in.
 
10.  Has anyone ever called you perfect before?  
     I suppose a long time ago, there may have been a poor misguided soul or two.
 
11.  What song is stuck in your head? 
     That really awful Dr. Pepper jingle, thank you very much.
 
12.  Someone knocks on your window at 2 a.m., who do you want it to be. 
     Well, it BETTER be a paramedic, because if someone knocks on my window at 2 a.m., I'm going to have a coronary.
 
13.  Do you smile a lot? 
     Absolutely!  It's the quickest, cheapest, most painless facelift there is.
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