Thursday, August 6, 2009
Posted by KellieBelle at 8:47 PM
Saturday, July 25, 2009
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 daylight....like 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.
Posted by KellieBelle at 10:29 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009
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.
Posted by KellieBelle at 11:26 PM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
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 weight....my 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 friends....it 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!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by KellieBelle at 10:13 PM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
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!!
Posted by KellieBelle at 8:27 PM
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
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.
Posted by KellieBelle at 11:07 PM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
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!!
Posted by KellieBelle at 6:43 PM
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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!) but.....it 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
Posted by KellieBelle at 10:10 PM
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
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!
Posted by KellieBelle at 10:03 PM
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 myself...how 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 dog....like 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!
Posted by KellieBelle at 9:24 PM
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Book #22: Portrait in Death by JD Robb
Posted by KellieBelle at 10:37 PM
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Our shed entryway had these really cool pieces of slate forming a walking....like so:
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??
Posted by KellieBelle at 10:16 PM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
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 good...it 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.
Posted by KellieBelle at 11:12 AM
Friday, May 8, 2009
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 twist...to 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!
Posted by KellieBelle at 11:07 PM
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
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.
Posted by KellieBelle at 7:57 PM
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!
Posted by KellieBelle at 7:48 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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!
Posted by KellieBelle at 8:15 PM
Saturday, April 18, 2009
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!
Posted by KellieBelle at 9:48 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Hubs and I are now the proud parents of a 1947 Cape Cod home!!
Posted by KellieBelle at 9:22 PM
Posted by KellieBelle at 8:57 PM
Friday, April 10, 2009
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.
Posted by KellieBelle at 7:55 PM
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
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 question...how 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!
Posted by KellieBelle at 8:50 PM
Sunday, March 29, 2009
'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 groove...so different day = different groove. I maybe would do better if I sat and spun it all at one time.
Posted by KellieBelle at 4:29 PM
Sunday, March 22, 2009
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!!!!!!!
Posted by KellieBelle at 3:34 PM
Posted by KellieBelle at 3:29 PM
Friday, March 20, 2009
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:
Posted by KellieBelle at 9:13 PM
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Posted by KellieBelle at 7:49 PM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Posted by KellieBelle at 9:36 PM