Feb 26, 2013

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Reasons Why You Are Ready for Winter To Be OVER

The ToT topic this week makes me laugh because it's really not me.  I know a few people who are really ready for Winter to be over even before it starts (and they know who they are) but I'm not one of them.  Truthfully, I'd really like one more good snow.  Please don't hate me for saying that.


That doesn't mean that I'm hoping for an endless Winter.  I do look forward to seeing the buds on the trees and the grass turning green. So here, a little less emphatically, is my list of 10 reasons why I am (mostly) ready for Winter to be over. 

  1. I'm sooooo not a fan of Winter coats
  2. All the salt from the roads looks nasty on my dark blue car
  3. I can't wait to see my bulbs start to push up through the soil.
  4. I really want to take Miss M to the park and watch her play on the swings.
  5. Softball!!!
  6. Flip flops - they go much better with pretty toes than sneakers do.
  7. Open up that sunroof!
  8. I'll be less nervous about my teen driver without icy roads.
  9. No more sniffles - I'm so tired of runny noses
  10. Cherry blossoms!
What are you looking forward to?

Feb 19, 2013

Powder Puff Camping

I can't really claim ownership of the title.  When we told one of the Troop moms about the lodge we stayed at this past weekend, that's what she called it and she's right.  What else do you call camping in a lodge with heat, a microwave, a dish washer (which we didn't use), and a washer (unused by us) and dryer (only used to dry tie dye shirts)?


We still got out and hiked as part of a service project. We still ate s'mores - but over a fireplace instead of a campfire.


And we got crafty. We made CD campfires, bath salts, t-shirts, henna and more.


It was girls being girls and it was great.  Best of all - it completes my camping obligation until next year.  Camping with scouts is fun but all the potential for bad things makes it really stressful.

Feb 15, 2013

ECF - You'd Think it Was Valentines Day Edition

Check out that red sky.  It would've been perfect for Valentines Day but it's actually from earlier in the week. I came home one night and Stinkette shouted as I walked in the door "quick, mom, grab your camera!"  I was happy to oblige.


 BTW, there was absolutely no post-processing at all on this one. It was really that red.

Feb 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

The best thing about having a little girl around on V-Day...

V-Day 3

is dressing her in cute outfits covered with hearts.  Later we'll add a bit of chocolate to the mix and it will be signifigantly less cute.

Feb 13, 2013

Bow Ties Are Cool

I don't know why but I can't stop obsessively checking the free pattern testers group on Ravelry.  I would be lying if I said that it was completely altruistic.  Helping a fellow knitter is a really good thing but you know what's even better... finding something cool and new.  The Bow Ties are Cool Cowl is cool.


This was such a fun and easy knit. Just keep casting on and casting off with a bunch of increases and decreases in between. 


The pattern may be the star of this show but the yarn was a very capable supporting player. Dream in Color makes some fabulous yarns - and my stash is full of them. This is Everlasting in a color called Crisp.  It was new to me and isn't it fantastic?  Look at the colors. The changes are so subtle and it has a colored pencil quality to it.  It feels really soft too.


Doesn't Stinkette look serious there? Where'd my giggly girl go?

Feb 12, 2013

ECF - Ten Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

My most memorable Valentines Day ever was in elementary school.  I opened my lunchbox at snack time and instead of my lunch, I found it filled with heart shaped sugar cookies to share with my class.  I will never forget that.  It was epic!

V-Day Crack

It would be hard to top a lunchbox full of cookies but I can try with this list of fun things to do on Valentines Day.

  1. Fondue - this is truly the first thing that popped into my head.  Mostly because I just love fondue but it is kind of perfect - shared chocolate. How romantic and fun!
  2. See a good movie - it is Oscar season after all
  3. Take a walk with someone you love - ideally on a beach at sunset but there are lots of great spots. Find one and get out there.
  4. Get sweet gifts for those that you love - chocolate is a good start. Jewelry works too.
  5. Send valentines - it sounds so juvenile... unless they're handmade.  Then they become something else entirely.
  6. Take a luxurious bath - candles and wine and bubbles...oh yes!
  7. Leave secret surprises for someone special. Make their day.
  8. Watch your favorite old movie - Yes, there are some fabulous movies out right now (see #2) but some of the most romantic or fun love stories are in black and white. And it's more private too. 
  9. Make a special dinner - if you're not having fondue that is.
  10. If all else fails - knit. It would certainly make me happy.
Of course, if you're a kid then it means schools parties so above is a treat Stinkette made last night.  We've made it before but this time we included red, heart-shaped, sweet tarts.

Feb 8, 2013

ECF - Watching the Snow Fall Edition

Last Sunday it snowed all day long And Miss M and I got to sit in the window seat and watch it fall.  That's exactly what it was built for.


Feb 6, 2013

Still Winter

I called this hat Suddenly it Got Cold because that's exactly what happened.  After a pretty mild start to yet another winter it turned cold.  Suddenly I felt the need to zip up my jacket and put on my gloves and my hat. It shouldn't have been a surprise but it was.


And I realized that my hat wasn't cutting it. It was a cute, slouchy hat that I made in 2009 and I like it but it's a very light hat.  It's kind of lacy and the yarn is Fibranatura Oak - merino, linen, and silk.  It's got a lovely hand but no body, no oomph.  I needed a hat that felt more substantial.


So this pattern was one I had my eye on for quite a while.  It's the Dragonflies Hat by Joji Locatelli and I have to say it is one of the clearest patterns I've ever followed.  It was a joy to knit from start to finish. It wasn't simple but it was so well-written that it was easy.  I would knit it again in a heartbeat.


So was it a success?  Is it warmer and more substantial than my other hat?  Well, thanks to some awesome Madeline Tosh Vintage it totally is.  I wanted to use a more variegated yarn but I looked at other versions and used my head instead of my heart and it wound up being the best decision.  Truly you can't go wrong when shopping for yarn in your own stash - you must have liked it when you bought it! And so it is with this luscious, green yarn.

I adore this yarn and this pattern and the hat it became.

Feb 5, 2013

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Things You Miss From Your Childhood

It snowed off and on all weekend and through most of it I played inside with Miss M.  We rough-housed, we played with toys, we played hide and seek, and we read books.  At the end of the weekend the snow had totally disappeared and my sweet girl and I were worn out. It feels a little like I'm experiencing a second childhood through her and it makes me a little wistful sometimes.


To be clear, I am a reasonably happy adult and I have no desire to go back.  However, I do miss some things. Here are a few of them.

  1. The carefree way that we used to roam on weekends and afternoons.  - We'd tell our parents that we were going out to a friends house and they wouldn't see or hear from us for hours...without worrying much.
  2. The ice cream man - they're still around but it's not quite the same somehow.  You could hear the Mr. Softee music from blocks away and all the kids would come running.  It was a big thing for my grandfather and I. 
  3. Kickball - I was the queen of the kickball diamond in elementary school. Not anymore.
  4. Saturday morning cartoons - we would sneak downstairs and watch for hours while our parents slept.
  5. Making forts - we would do it in the den with blankets and overturned chairs and whatever else we could find.
  6. Climbing trees - I lived in the trees as a kid.  Really!  I would go up there and read or get into mischief or just chill. Awesomeness!
  7. Big family gatherings - we would have all kinds of relatives around the table for holidays.  I've tried to recreate this for my girls but it was different as a kid and different with relatives rather than close friends.
  8. Summer - it was so awesome that last day of school. There was that amazing feeling of freedom as you walked out of the school and knew that there was no homework to be done, no tests to study for, no teacher to answer to. Just fun and relaxation for the foreseeable future
  9. Family vacations at the lake - for many years my family, my grandparents, and my uncles family would rent cabins at a place in upstate NY. They were so rustic and you could hear the rain on the roof. You could swim out to the dock in the lake. There were bats in the rafters in the game room where we'd play nok hockey. In a word - fabulous!