Thursday, August 6, 2009

Finally...a FINAL post!!

So, with the whole Google update/upgrade thing...I have been able to log into my Google account but not my blog, since last week!!! Now, finally, after days of trying...I can access my blog to tell you..................................................I have MOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please find new fabulousness here.
And thanks for reading :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Vacation-Part 1

So.....we went on our vacation, and here we are two weeks later and I still haven't mentioned much about it. The problem is both my laptop and desktop and having issues and I can't download my pictures! ARG, driving me crazy!! But I'm determined to comandeer Terry's computer SOON to remedy this situation! In the meantime, I figured I can at least start to tell about where we went. We went to the fabulous southern region of the Kingdom of Spain!!

On this map of Andalucia, I've starred all the cities we visited while there. What prompted this trip?? Terry's mom is in the Navy Nurse Corp and was transferred to the Naval Hospital in Rota Spain. She is commanding officer there now, so we went for the ceremony where she assumes command. So, we stayed on-base in Rota, a fabulous little coastal town with a gorgeus beach!!!

It was my first trip to Europe and was quite the adventure. First we flew through London Heathrow. I've heard stories about Heathrow, but WOW are they true! It's an awful airport!! A maze to get through and (not kidding) every flight we connected through there was delayed. Anyway, we arrived safely and started our adventures!! I think I'll do a post about each day trip we took to the cities starred above, but here are a few things I learned while we were there:

-Sunflower farms! I never really thought about farming for seeds and oil, but WOW, how gorgeus to see miles of bright yellow sunflowers!

-Don't assume that someone will speak english. We are very spoiled as Americans and just assume that most of the world has accepted and learned our language. Not the case, but you can get by with some good basic spanish and lots of pointing!

-We are behind the 'green' curve. I was shocked at how earth-friendly Spain was. You see wind farms in the distance behind the sunflowers and I think it is a beautiful sight to see....all those windmills spinning. I heard from someone that 30% of the power in that region is wind-power. I think that is awesome. It's a quite rural and poor area of Spain, so if they can do it, why not here?? Oh right...I remember a debate about how the windmills would mess up the 'view' of some areas and affect tourism. I don't think so.

-Roundabouts. In New England they are called rotaries. In other areas they are traffic circles. They are scary and they are EVERYWHERE!!


-Extra long days. It was the sun up and everything, until about 10pm every night. Now, of course that is seasonal. but WOW! It was great!! You could get off of work at 5 and still have time to hit the beach!!

So that was my initial thoughts. Look forward to hearing more and (hopefully) seeing some pictures.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Books 27 &28

I think! I really have not been keeping up with my book list or my Goodreads account, so I've kinda lost track. But I know I read Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts right before vacation.
Then it took me a couple of weeks, but I read Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey. This is the start of a second trilogy and it was LONG!! But it was very good and I enjoyed it almost as much as the books of the first trilogy. I'm so busy that I'm not running out to get the next one, but I'll definitely finish this series at some point.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Puppy Momma, part deux

So everyone knows we got our sweet puppy Jasper just a little over 2 months ago. I can't believe how much he has grown!!! He has more than doubled in size and little pup is growing up! Definitely, the hardest part about going on vacation was leaving him :( Fortunately we found a great doggy daycare with overnight sitting and our regular dogwalkers do overnight sitting, so we were covered, but we definitely missed our little dude. Jasper had a great time while we were away and made lots of new was like puppy summer camp! He did so well, we decided our little guy could do with some company at home. So...........::Drumroll please::.......................

We got Mickey!!!!

We got Mickey at the same place that we got Jasper. They are actually only a week apart in age and Mickey was there when we adopted Jasper, but amazingly was still looking for a home when we went back 2 months later!!! He is a pure-bred Yorkie, so I'm currently reading up on Yorkies. He is one tiny little brother with big attitude and personality!!

So far Jasper and Mickey are getting along well, especially considering they are both super excited little puppies!! They share toys pretty well and want to play with each other, but we have to be careful because of the size difference between them. As they get more used to each other and the excitement wears off, I think we'll be all set.

On another exciting puppy note, Jasper starts his first round of training classes this weekend! We are very much looking forward to this because while we have taught him 'sit' and 'down' he is still a crazy puppy and we have a hard time controlling him when he gets excited or need him to sit still (like, for grooming).

Oh that reminds me!! How does Mickey look? When we brought him home his hair was super long, having never been cut. I think the idea was to grow it out into the traditional Yorkie 'cut'....super long with a topknot/bow:

I personally think this looks silly. Before we could decide about grooming, our little Mick, who has no potty-training experience to speak of, pooped in his crate during the night, laid in it and woke up with matted poop hair!! So, we cleaned him up and whipped out the scissors!! For no experience and no guide, just clipping where we thought it made sense, I think we did good! I don't have any before pictures to compare to. But I think we're going to keep Mickey in the hipper 'modified' yorkie cut...more like this:It's so much more handsome!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'm Baaaackkkk!

Yep, back from vacation and getting into the groove of things back home. I'll post more about vacation later, but WOW, I was shocked at how much Jasper grew while we were gone! He looks so tall and grown up now! He's definitely growing up fast....losing his baby teeth this week!! We'll be starting obedience training with him in a couple of weeks, so I'm sure that will be a whole new adventure for us!

Also, wanted to post that my LSU baby sweater/hat set I made for my cousin's baby shower is being featured on the designer's blog, YAY!! It was an honor to be asked to conribute to her site!

So that's it here for the moment. I'll be posting a lot in the near future to tell everyone about my fabulous vacation! Also, now with vacation over, we'll be getting back to our house projects!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book 26 & VACATION BABY!!!

Book 26: High Noon by Nora RobertsA pretty typical Nora Roberts book. Definitely a good little read, this was a great way to start off my 'light' summer reading. Checking in on my "52 in 52" progress....the year is half over and I'm halfway through my 52, so I think I'm right on track :)

Now on to the good stuff!!!!

Baby, I'm LEAVING....ON A JET PLANE! That's right, July is vacation time for me!! This month hubby and I will be enjoying a very nice vacation. I'm super excited, but keeping the details to myself for now. This means of course that I will disappear from the blogosphere (though given the number of posts lately, you may not really realize it!) then hopefully reappear with fun stories and pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the knitting world, I've finished 2 big projects, FINALLY!! I finished the Cable Comfort Afghan and the triangle shawl I've been working on for a while now. Both of these projects were for gift packages that will be posted in the mail on Friday, WOO-HOO!! I can check those off my list on Friday!

Now is my big dilemma for this vacation, which is....what should I bring as my plane/travel knitting/crochet project(s)?? I'm working on a granny square baby blanket that I think will be coming along since the squares are very portable and don't get bulky as it progresses. I'm trying to decide if that is enough to keep me occupied, or if I want to bring something else in case I get bored to tears by the squares. I'm considering bringing sock yarn and a pattern for my first sock attempt, but a little intimidated by being stranded on a plane and not able to look up help on the internet if I have trouble. So, that remains to be decided.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Quick Update!

I'm still busy busy being a puppy-mama. I can't believe how FAST Jasper is growing!!! He already needs a haircut! He's getting much better with his biting, but still has a love of our socks and feet for whatever reason.

But on to a few updates. First a couple of weeks ago my in-laws were visiting and they helped us out with cleaning up our quickly-becoming-out-of-control garden in the back yard. I can not believe how great it turned out!! We still have more plans for it in the near future, but here is what it looks like now:
Lastly, I have been seriously lacking in my knitting and crocheting time. Jasper just LOVES the yarn, and now that he can get on the couch by himself I just can't have it out unless he is asleep or in his crate, etc, etc, which means I haven't gotten much done! I did manage to whip up this little sweater and hat set for my cousins baby shower. This was kinda last minute, but I love how it came out. I'm definitely book-marking this pattern for future reference!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Books 23-25

OK, long overdue update here. I've been too busy to check my email regularly (sorry to everyone who has sent emails that I haven't replied to!), so the blog is WAY behind! Here is a super quickie book update:
#23 - The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

#24 - 21: Bringing Down the House - this is the book that the movie 21 is based on. Took me a while to get into it, but SO COOL to think that these MIT students were able to make a 'business' out of blackjack. I really enjoyed this and it made me want to go to Vegas!

#25-Deception Point by Dan Brown - this was GREAT! It reminded me of a good old Michael Criton (sp?) book. I actually liked this BETTER than Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. I know, I know, but I'm a scientist.....sorry but this was just cool!

I tried to read The Light Fantastic, which is Book 1 of the Discworld Series by Terry Prachett. It's a totally famous serious, well known and loved by many (included many of my friends!) wasn't for me. I quit a little over halfway through. It's very humorous, but there's no goal or problem to solve, so I just couldn't stay into it. Before I quit reading it I was over 200 pages in, so I'm considering this book #25.5

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

May Goals-RESULTS!

1-Finish Sonny's blanket. I did work on this but didn't finish.
2-Finish my "wrapped in hugs" shawl. I'm so close to finishing!
3-Organize home improvement receipts and documents. DONE!
4-Bathroom redo. DONE!! Just needs finishing touches and pictures!
5-Make shades & tie-backs for dining room windows. Did not get done!
6-Finish painting touchups and trimwork in hallway. Did not get done!
7-Finish painting touchups and trimwork in kitchen. Did not get done!
8-Start crocheting next baby gift. HA!! Made a whole baby gift set AND started yet another one!

Wow, I finished 3 of 8....not too good. But with the puppy distraction, not terrible either!

MIA in May

Yep, I disappeared. I had a life altering weekend several weeks ago and have been busy being a puppy momma since! That's right, PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the story for my friends who haven't heard. My husband and I LOVE dogs! We have wanted one for years but couldn't get one because of school, then because we were in an apartment that didn't allow them, etc, etc. Since buying our house one of the HUGE topics of conversation has been getting a dog. We were serious too! We commute into Boston everyday for work, so we started researching dog walkers and doggie
daycares. We found a dog walker that was accepting new clients, we're now pretty settled into the house, so we knew the time was right! Our timing was strategic so that we would be able to spend our 4-day Memorial day weekend bonding. So, we went to the local shelter. This is where everything goes horribly wrong!!

I will give you the short version here. They were awful. Well, the 'adoption counselor' was awful anyway. After almost an hour walking around the puppy pens and stopping to play by the gate, we asked to visit in a play room with a puppy and had to talk to the counselor first. Well she started asking us questions and asked who would be home
with the puppy. We told her we both work, but had already contracted a dog walker. She was appalled! Here is our converstion...with mean lady:
You can't leave a puppy home alone for 10 hours a day!!!
Um, we're not, we have a dogwalker.
Well, even so, you can't leave a puppy home for 5 hours a day, you'll never get her housetrained. It will take upwards of 2 years!!
Well, our awesome dogwalker has a puppy program where they stop by 3 times a day.
That must be expensive. You don't want to pay for that.
::thinking to do you know how much $ I can afford to spend?!::
And you know some people get home after a long day at work and commuting and don't realize the puppy needs to go for a walk and to play....
::thinking to myself....are you telling me I wouldn't walk my dog?!::
No, absolutely no way we can adopt a puppy to you. You need a mature dog that is already house trained.
OK, anything come to mind.
Sure, let's walk around and see who we have.
Then mean lady proceeded to tell us all the reasons none of the adult dogs were a good fit for our schedule and how she wouldn't feel comfortable adopting any of them to us either. In the end, mean lady took all our contact info and said she would let us know when they had a dog that would 'fit our needs' like we're 'special' people or something.

I was in tears when we left the shelter. My husband and I have both had dogs and his last dog was rescued from an abusive home. We understand that shelter dogs often need a little more attention, etc. But this was ridiculous. We couldn't adopt a dog because we work?! When did that become a criteria? I guess she'll curse us the day we have a child/children and ::horrified gasp!:: PUT THEM IN DAYCARE!!!!!!!

We talked to the dogwalker and he was shocked at the way we were treated. He was great and made some suggestions. In the end, we ended up privately purchasing Jasper, a wirehaired fox terrier who has us wrapped around his little paw!
We are totally in love! He is better than an alarm clock at waking us up between 5 and 5:30am to go for his morning walk. So, we are a bit sleep deprived!! We are currently working on exercises to 'help' through the biting puppy phase. But....I'm happy to say his house training is going quite well! For the last 3-4 days we've only had 1-2 accidents per day. On days we work! Not bad!!! Eat that mean shelter lady....two years, come on!

I'm so grateful to have Jasper and how things worked out for us to get him, but I must say I am SO disappointed in the shelter. The counselor was plain rude and talked down to us the entire time. She made me feel like I was an awful person for wanting a I was certainly going to neglect any dog I got. I don't feel sorry for them anymore. I always thought....oh the poor doggies and no one wants them. Nope. Now I know people want them, but the fanatics running the place are ridiculous about their requirements for owners. They missed out on a great set of doggie parents here!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Books 21 & 22!

#21: A Good Yarn by Debbie MacomberThis was a great book! I was prompted to get/read this book about a week or so ago when I got an update from Debbie Macomber in the mail about the release of the 4th and latest book in the Blossom Street series. I had read the first one, but that was all. It was a great 'feel good' book and this one lived up to that reputation. Again, the characters consist of women in all stages of their life. I think this is clever because then any woman can relate to at least one of characters, if not more! I enjoyed the sporadic 'appearances' of the other characters from the first book and knowing where they are and how their situations are turning out in the long term. I think I'll definitely be getting the 3rd book in this series and then continuing on to the 4th book!

Book #22: Portrait in Death by JD Robb
I think this is one of my favorites in this series!!! So, the formula still works here, as it has for the whole series: Eve consumed by murder investigation + hunky Irish husband Roarke (grr!) and their crazy insane love = DRAMA!!! But I think this is one of my favorites because we finally see Roarke lose it in this book. He deals with some surprise personal stuff that kinda crops up out of the blue and you really see that wild side of his not just peek through, but come all the way out! Fun read!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekend project - Shed

Our shed entryway had these really cool pieces of slate forming a so:

While we loved the slate...we felt this curvy pathway was kinda like the road to nowhere. It so well defined but then it just stopped. There's also the messy grass growing up....which was actually covering a significant amount of some of the stones. We've wondered what to do about it.

Then this weekend while Terry was working in the yard and cutting grass, he peeked under one of the stones and discovered that underneath this beautiful slate, was one BIG MEGA ant nest. We're talking....a complex. Not just any complex, a complex complete with a roof deck (that would be the spillovers coming up between the slate pieces) and love den penthouses (that would be the rocks underneath which we found many many eggs, YUCK!).

Enter the pesticide. I'm all about being earth friendly, but I don't want to be chewed alive by ants. So after an hour reading the backs of pesticide bottles in the home improvement store, we opted for a pesticide which seems like it will work well enough to help out with the ants, but won't harm the grass or wildlife (i.e. cat that frequents our backyard). Terry also decided since we had to pull up all the slate, this was an excellent opportunity for a redesign!!!!

After my weeks of watching HGTV and DIY network, we have learned a few things. Thanks to some episodes of Yard Crashers and Desperate Landscapes, coupled with a little research, we had a strategy of resetting the stones in a way that will (hopefully) minimize grass regrowth and insect burrowing.

First we planned our new design...a little more symetrical and intentionally less defined:

Then we got to work!! Terry dug out the ground a few inches so we could lay drainage gravel, packing sand, and then mini marble chips (white top layer). This is kinda the technique you use when laying a paver walkway or driveway. Then we set the slate in the marble rock bed. After some jumping and wiggling the stones, and wetting them down a few times to help everything pack, we were done!!!
What do you think??

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To all the Mom's out there....

I will be honest, I am just really starting my day. At 11am. This is totally not normal for me, but I started taking Zyrtec last week and while it does my allergies totally wipes me out!

I'm having a fun weekend, but today I'm trying to conquer 'my room' Ugh, you should see it! This is the tiny bedroom that is acting as my closet/office/craft space. I can barely walk or find anything. If you don't hear from me again it's because I've been swallowed by the stuff!! I'm trying to clean out and I'm going to try hard to follow these rules of disengagement from orgjunkie's latest post:

1. If it-the thing, the belief or conviction, the memory, the job, even the person-weighs you down, clogs you up, or just plain makes you feel bad about yourself, throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it go, move on.

2. If it (see above!) just sits there, taking up room and contributing nothing positive to your life, throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it go, move on. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward. Thowing out what’s negative helps you rediscover what’s positive.

3. Don’t make the decision-whether to toss it or keep it-a hard one. If you have to weigh the pros and cons for too long or agonize about the right thing to do, throw it out.

4. Don’t be afraid. This is your life we’re talking about. The only one you’ve got for sure. You don’t have the time, energy, or room for physical or psychic waste.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Book 20: Divided in Death

I got hooked on the "In Death" series several years ago and read about the first 15 books in order. After that I kinda dropped off it for a while, but reading Remember When last week reminded why I love this series. The main character is homocide cop/detective Eve Dallas. She kicks serious booty. She is married to super-hottie complete with Irish accent, Roarke. They have an interesting relationship, which often adds to the plot line. All of these books are set in the future in New York City, which is also a fun see how JD Robb (Nora Roberts) portrays the future.
Definitely a good read, and I plan to read a few more recent ones in this series!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May Goals

I'm jumping on the goal-posting wagon. I figure this will not only help me remember to blog about things...but remember to do them as well. So here are my goals for this month:

1-Finish Sonny's blanket. This is for a care-package a group of on-line knitters is putting together for blues singer Sonny Rhodes, who is having some serious health issues lately. He is most widely-known for recording the theme song to "Firefly" aka the best show on earth that Fox ruined by screwing up their airing and then cancelled due to bad polling. Said show ironically went on to win awards for its one and only season DVD set and has the hugest cult following ever (really, I'm not bitter).
Sadly, this package has been held up by the recent move. The good news is that the panels for the blanket are all made and just have to be blocked and assembled.

2-Finish my "wrapped in hugs" shawl. Made for a wonderful friend...yet another care package I'll be working on.

3-Organize home improvement receipts and documents. I really want to make some kind of binder for this. Any suggestions for a template or example?

4-Bathroom redo. I need to order a new exhaust fan, otherwise we have everything we need for this and just have to get the time. Weekend Warriors are we!

5-Make shades & tie-backs for dining room windows.

6-Finish painting touchups and trimwork in hallway. Main walls and ceiling are done, just need to do trim and touchup around the ceiling.

7-Finish painting touchups and trimwork in kitchen. More extensive here because of louvered doors in front of laundry closet that need a fresh coat.

8-Start crocheting next baby gift.

I could SO keep going here, but really, who has this much time already?? We'll see at the end of the month how much gets done.

Friday, May 1, 2009


So sorry I have been MIA! I'm not only keeping SO busy with the house, not to mention work has been CRAZY, but my Mom and Uncle drove my husband's car up to Boston from Louisiana this week! They arrived last night and I had the day off today and again on Monday to visit. They love the house and the area so far and we are having a blast! I've hardly had time to check my email lately, so blogging has been a far reach, but I promise to return soon!

In the meantime:
Book 18: Remember When by Nora Roberts/JD Robb - GREAT book! So much fun to read! The first half is a typical Nora Roberts current-day intrigue/romance and the second half is a futuristic murder mystery by her other pen name, JD Robb. The cool thing is that the second book picks up way in the future but with a story that is kind of an extension of the first book. It was super fun to see her take one great plot and play it out multiple ways.

Book 19: Just One Look - another murder/mystery novel that was also very good, especially for a beginning author.

Oh! One more thing!! I got mail from Debbie Macomber's website yesterday! Her new Blossom Street book came out this week and she sent out a coupon, bookmark, calendar stickers, and my fav....a knitting pattern! More to come soon!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Finally, closet pics!!!

OK, here they are as promised. I misplaced my camera Sunday while we were picking up and just found it today, so the pics are later then expected, but here nonetheless!!
Creepy Cat Closet - BEFORE:
This 'before' picture is actually 'after' we cleaned this under the stairs storage closet as best we could (vacuumed, disinfecting wipes, etc) so it doesn't really do justice to the true scariness we first found! But, check out that sad linoleum floor (yea, it's actual flooring looking that bad).
Despite our best cleaning efforts, the closet still smelled like cat pee. This is obviously where the previous owners kept the litter box for their 2 cats. As I started sniffing it out (admittedly gross, but hey, you have to investigate these things) I wasn't surprised to find the smell engrained in the flooring. So our super quick closet cleaning turned into a weekend project!!!
Before tackling the closet, I thought I would document some of the DIY brilliance (please detect major sarcasm here) we have found in various areas of our little house. For instance the shelves:
Obviously constructed with materials on-hand, which I'm totally cool with. But really, do you need that many screws on the makeshift brackets? And what you can't see is that the shelf is 2 piece of scrap wood being held together underneath with a metal light switch plate?
Next, check out this antique paneling, with the collection of nails randomly sticking out:
And honestly, I don't even want to think about what would make those stains on the walls!\
Here is a picture, post shelf removal and linoleum removal. That old glue from the flooring was a pain to get off!!
We used a planer, orbital sander, and chiseled the corners. Look, there's wood underneath!!!
And here is the same closet that night after affordable stick-on tiling!!!

My poor hubby asked me what I thought and I said something along the lines of...the floor looks AWESOME, and now the walls REALLY look crappy, LOL! Another project for another day.

We also got a new door for the closet, but I'm in the process of repainting the doorframe, so it's not hung yet. The walls here will have to wait a while...not high on the priority list. Next on our project list is to start our bathroom redo. We bought the hardware we needed at Lowe's this weekend, so hopefully we'll get started on that soon!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Work in progress!

We are making some progress! Don't worry I'm taking pictures, so hopefully I can post them tomorrow evening. This weekend we are tackling the "CREEPY CAT CLOSET" This is the closet underneath the stairs where the previous owners kept their cats litter boxes, food bowls, etc. After the nice warm weather we had in Boston Friday, the cat smell was back in the house with a vengeance! But no more I say!! We are taking care of business!!

We also bought most of the hardware we need for our bathroom update. I still have to order a new exhaust fan online (we have a special size wall exhaust, so no one stocks it locally) but hopefully we can start the bathroom next weekend. Woo-Hoo! Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So, it begins.....

The Hubs and I are now the proud parents of a 1947 Cape Cod home!!

Homeownership is already proving to be exciting and interesting! Nothing is quite what it seems and there is always a surprise around the corner!
View of house from the backyard with our awesome 2-level deck!
I've discovered that you can learn a lot of people by the state of their house when they move out. I've decided that our home's previous owner's were a bit on the lazy side (hope they are not reading this! Seems unlikely!). For instance, I spent 5 or 6 hours cleaning out the refrigerator! I shop-vac'ed the shelves before taking them out to scrub them, SERIOUSLY!! I mean, if you spill something, clean it up!!! While cleaning the fridge out, I started to have allergy issues and when I pulled the grill off the front of the fridge, I vacuumed out about 2 inches of cathair, EWWWW! But now my fridge looks brand-spanking new and I love it!
With continuous cleaning we are starting to get the cat smell out. We still have boxes everywhere because we are cleaning out the closets and attic space before utilizing any of them. We also have some weird furniture issues, like our bed didn't fit up the stairs to the master bedroom and our sofa/loveseat & ancient entertainment center don't really fit in the living room. So, since we're getting new, we haven't unpacked the boxes of DVDs and VHS tapes that go in the entertainment center.
Anyway, it will take a while, but I know it will be perfect and worth the work. When things are a bit more picked up and less embarrassing, I'll be sure to post more pics!

Book 17: Pandora

Aaahhh, the vampires. I think I have loved vampire books my entire life, for whatever reason. Before Edward and Bella, before Anita Blake and Jean Claude, there was the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles. I read them forever ago and I was happy when the 'new' vampire chronicles were published...what 10-12 years ago now? I was always interested in some of the 'side' characters that made cameos in the Lestat stories, so I bought the Pandora hardback long ago from a discount rack and then it promptly moved into my bookshelf where it waited patiently for about 10 years. Finally, I grabbed it this week and finished it today!!

I've always liked Pandora because she was really the only 'old' and powerful female vampire and she just seemed spunky! I loved reading her history and I was totally riveted and gained a new respect for Marius, who she knew both before and after they became vampires. Really the book was overall quite good, but I wasn't too jazzed about the ending. The demise of Pandora and Marius' relationship is totally random and I hated it. Then, the book just kinda ends. So, the overall story was quite good, but the end was very anti-climactic.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Books 15 & 16!

Book numero 15 was Kushiel's Avatar, the last of this trilogy. I really sad to see this series end, so I may have to read the other followup trilogy. I must say that I think this book was my favorite of this set. It takes place 10 years after the 2nd book and I LOVED discovering the changes in the characters and their relationships. Joscelin really became the 'perfect companion' for Phedre, but kept enough of his 'fire' to keep things interesting. I loved seeing their interactions with Imriel which was unexpected and dynamic. Of course their adventures were non-stop as usual. I think I may have to keep these books for a while so I can reread from time to time.

Book number 16 was The Last of the Honky-Tonk Angels and I loved this one also! Quite a change after Phedre's story!! This one is about a Southern widow named Lucy who is dating/living with a local country singer. One day after sleeping in a strange woman knocks on their door and leaves his mysterious daughter there and takes off. The rest of the book is about relationships and how they all go about discovering each other and themselves along the way. It's what I would classify a 'feel good' book but with enough heartbreak and intrigue to keep you turning pages.
So, what's next? I have no idea. But, I'm on my way to a relaxing hot bath, which will only be complete with a book to read. My strategy will be to randomly pick one off my shelf and see what happens!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moving on up!

Ah, moving. The big adventure. That is where I have been for the last week, in 'move-land' that place where your sanity gets tossed out the window, you get to touch every piece of anything you've ever owned and forgot about and toss it into a box, and then wonder how you ever accumulated so much stuff to begin with.
So where does this leave us? Well, we are totally moved into our little house. For days I have walked around with the old country song in my head "Love grows best in little houses, with just a few walls to separate where you, eat and sleep so much together, you can't help but communicate..." Yep, that's us, me and hubs. Good thing we love each other so much (only married a year, so as newlyweds we can still be gooey).

Anyway, so, the big did it go? The closing was fine. A few hours with the lawyer going over paperwork and signing papers and that was that. Since then we have done some painting, just a fresh couple of coats in the hallway, living room and kitchen. We wanted to paint the bathroom as well, but that's a whole 'nother story/blog post that I'm sure you'll get to read in the near future. So, once the painting was done, we could move. We took Friday off of work and rented a UHaul for the weekend. Thank goodness for my husband's friend, who helped us without a single complaint and served as entertainment all weekend. I really don't think there is any way we would have finished without him.

So we're moved but no way near organized. Unfortunately we have hit several snags that will require new furniture. We wanted to start getting some new furniture anyway, so not a big deal, but I didn't think we'd have to right away. The biggest thing is that our bed can't get to our bedroom. While we got the mattress up there, the box spring couldn't make it up the stairs and into the room, so we are downstairs for now. Since our queen size bed is in the guestroom, I couldn't put our love seat in there as I had planned, because our sofa/loveseat doesn't quite fit into our living room....not really due to size limitations, but the layout of the living/dining space.

Anyways, cable got connected yesterday, so we're back online! Now you'll get to hear all about our home adventures! Aren't you excited?! I am!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

You spin me

You spin me right round, baby
right round like a record, baby
Right round round round!

HA!! Now you can have song stuck in your head with me! Why? Cuz I've been spinning and I have pictures to prove it! I've just started spinning but I can see how it can become addictive very quickly. I think I'm getting better, but I still have a long way to go. But anyways, let me show you my progress!
So, I decided to start with my sunset meadow wool that I dyed last weekend. I'm going to describe the process here for non-fiber addicted friends. You can see the dyed wool on the top of this picture:
In the middle is a piece of that wool peeled off (think of string you pull off chunks of it) and then drafted. Drafting is when you take the wool and gently pull it to make a longer but thinner piece. You can tell by how it's all curled up that it's much longer after it's drafted. You have to be careful when drafting that you don't just pull it apart. The thinner you draft it, the thinner your yarn will be when you spin. This is where I still need work. My yarn tends to vary quite a bit in size with a few really skinny spots where I overdrafted. Once I spin it and realize
'Darn, that's too thin' I don't know that you can really fix it, so I just keep going and figure I'll just use this yarn for something where gauge is not too critical. In the bottom of the picture is some of the spun wool on my spindle, but you can see more of that below:

I've spun a bit more since this picture and I was doing better with being consistent with size there than the 2nd night I worked on it. I think part of it is that I get into a different day = different groove. I maybe would do better if I sat and spun it all at one time.
That's all for now!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

And I thought dying Easter eggs was fun!!!

Dying wool!!! Along with my fabulous spindle order that came in Friday, I got an extra goodie, dye tablets and 2 samples of undyed wool as a Thank You for being patient while my spindle was make (it took longer than usual because of a bad batch of paint). Oh my gosh, this was SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is my sopping wet 'artistic' shot:

Here is my finished products:
Like every good 'fiber artist' I'm naming my colorways here. On the left is Cottoncandy Dreams, a combo of blue, purple and various shades of pink!! On the right is Meadow Sunset, for obvious reasons, bright greens, yellw and orange.

This was loads of fun! I can't wait to spin them up and see what my yarn looks like!!!!!!!

St. Pat's Cookies!

I finally posting the cookies I made last weekend to celebrate St. Patrick's day!! I used my Pampered Chef cookie press to make shamrock shaped butter spritz cookies (yes, they ARE as evil as the sound!) and covered them with green sprinkles!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Oh, the yarny goodness....

I am supposed to pack for the upcoming move this weekend, clean, pay bills, work on setting up the utility transfers, grocery shop, work on the charity blanket I really need to finish, make the last hat for my coworkers order, etc etc etc. Anyone want to take dibs on what in that list is NOT getting done because of this:

My very own custom-ordered drop spindle:

SOLI sock yarn (this pic is not my actual yarn, but mine looks the same but with a few hints of purple blended in):

SOLI Sock is a luxurious merino/silk blend sock yarn, dyed in unique water-inspired colourways. One skein is 440 yards (402 metres)....more than enough for a pair of socks (even for those of us with "well endowed" feet).50% of the proceeds of SOLI sock sales go to Streams of Life International (SOLI), a non-profit which brings hope to communities in Africa by partnering with community leaders to build wells and sanitation facilities, refurbish local hospitals and provide essential medical equipment, supplies and health education. For more information on SOLI, visit
I got all this fabulousness from The Cupcake Factory (one of the fabulous Phat Fiber vendors!).
Also, taking mercy on my new spinner-ness and in appreciation of my patience while she made my spindle, she also sent me some undyed wool samples and dye tablets to play with. YAY!!!!!!! I know what I'm doing tomorrow! Or, maybe tonight, hmmmm...gotta run!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book 14: Kushiel's Chosen

AAAaaaaaaaahhhhhh, the saga continues!! If it's possible, I may love this one even more than the first book of this series! Phedre's adventures continue and her nerve and intellect are put to the test once more. Being the sappy romantic who LOVES troubled boys (not for real, but fun in fictional setting) I was happy with the traumatic progress of the Phedre-Joscelin relationship. (That sounds pretty sick, but the people who have read this book KNOW what I mean and I don't want to post details that will ruin it for anyone who wants to read it!) I really love the few times that Phedre says, "really with some things he is an idiot." Ah, the "Perfect Companion" so innocent...but not really :) There were shocking moments in this one and I'll admit....I flipped through later pages in the book to see if the names popped up again so I would have a clue as to the resolution. I know, I'm terrible, but I hate waiting!
I've already started the last book of this trilogy, so you can expect to hear about that one in the next week or so.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sending hugs & prayers to TN!

So, I don't have much on the knitting/crafting front to update on at the moment. But, I did want to post a shoutout to one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met online, my good friend Dolli:
That is Dolli and her gorgeus hubby Ken on their wedding day, just over a year ago. They have always been to me a true picture of happiness in all facets of life, optimistic, soulful, just beautiful to witness, even in the face of adversity. You would never know by that picture that Ken was fighting a life-threatening disease the last few years. It saddens me say, that all signs indicate that Ken lost his battle with colon cancer yesterday. Our close group of online friends are still waiting patiently for more information. I'm sure Dolli knows that our prayers are with her and their families, but please take a moment to send some happy thoughts up to the Big Guy for this fabulous lady. I know she could use them.