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December 2008
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February 2009

Winter is dead to me

On my morning drive today, I passed a couple of time-and-temperature signs.  I had my choice of +2F or -6F.  I pondered that as I kept rolling toward my destination and then Elinor's words from a comment she left yesterday popped into my head:  Winter is very much dead to me!  That's had me smiling all morning, whenever I think of it; it even makes me feel warmer (or maybe that's the bowl of hot oatmeal).  I tried to share it with the FedEx guy this morning, but my delivery didn't go as well as his; I'll try again later when UPS arrives.

*ETA:  Haha, I'm reading** this later and it sounds like I tried to share my oatmeal with the FedEx guy, so now I'm really laughing!!

**Through Google Reader, not through Bloglines.  After many fits and starts over the years, I finally bit the bullet and signed off of Bloglines -- it, too, is dead to me -- and committed to using Google Reader.  It's been a week and there are some features I miss, but timeliness is everything.

Here's another thing that makes me smile, unofficial Eye Candy:


SPJ09 Have a happy weekend!  Keep smiling -- and keep your jammies on!  It's Super International Pajama Day on Sunday -- ALL DAY!!  Celia knows how to throw a Pajama Party, and I am definitely there.  Well, not THERE there -- would if I could -- but in spirit-with-pajamas-on, I am so there!!  If it's all new to you, you'll find countdown tips and inspiration -- everything you need to know for a successful Pajama Day -- at the International Pajama Day blog.

Looking ahead...

I'm in the mood for spring, how about you?  In only three more months...

Bloodroot 3 of 3

Dutchman's Breeches 2

...April!  Birthdays, Bloodroot, Dutchman's Breeches, Midwest Master's Seminar!

And a sneak-peek, just because:

Can you see me now?

The main focus was this one's baby brother, but she's a cutie-pie... a faster-than-a-speeding-bullet, camera-loving, cutie-pie princess -- unlike her older brother, who greeted me upon arrival and then promptly disappeared into the basement workshop.  There's lots of stuff wrong with this photo, but there's more than enough that's right!

More FOs

Can you stand it?  I think I've posted more FOs in the last week than I did all of last year.  Well, maybe not... but very nearly.

Hat/Vintage Button I

This is the Robin's Egg Blue Hat (in Black) that I started on Monday night while watching House and catching up on 2-of-24 hours.  I used Karabella Margrite Bulky from kpixie -- just a little bit over one ball.  It's so, so soft!!  And that's good.  It's intended for my sister if she needs it.


And the Ridged Lace Cowl that I finished a while back but never posted!  I was wearing my nightgown this morning when I took the photos and I did NOT want to take the cowl off!  But I did... I washed my face, got dressed, put it right back on -- and I've been wearing it all day!  It's been out on a few errands and will debut at book club tonight; I've never even washed or blocked it.  I used two balls of Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Aran and knit 'til I ran out (so I think it's a bit longer than the pattern); I believe I acquired the yarn a while back during one of Norma's stash sales!

Eight Babies!! (...and a Double Chin)

In honor of the OCTUPLETS born yesterday, eight random things (in about 5 minutes):

1. A palm reader might be able to do a reading from that photo... hm.

2. I had my palm read by a coworker once... I think there was something about three children, but I could be wrong. Can you imagine eight at once? Once they're home and everything, when do you suppose the next truly quiet moment in that household will occur? I'm thinkin' years. Or a full night's sleep? One of my neighbors has five kids -- three surviving quadruplets sandwiched between an eldest and a youngest -- and I know what it was like for her. I hope they have lots of support and a warehouse for the diapers!

3. I am a little bit fascinated by palm reading, fortune telling, psychic readings, astrology.

4. My car had a new catalytic converter installed yesterday -- and has much more vim and vigor!

5. Katie has not only opened an Etsy shop, she's blogging, too!

6. I started knitting a Robin's Egg Blue Hat last night in black. I'm using Karabella Margrite Bulky, purchased on sale recently at kpixie, and I'm hoping to find a suitable vintage button in Grandma's collection. This will be for my sister, if she needs it; otherwise, it'll be for someone else.

7. I haven't been on the elliptical machine in a week -- kinda lost it there about mid-week -- but I have been flossing! And I will try again with the e-machine. It's just so hard at o'dark-thirty on a cold cold cold winter morning. Did I mention that I've been flossing? (I'll take my victories, even if they're little.)

8. I'm doin' my darnedest to keep my chin up... both of 'em! Thank you!!

My best FO ever!



God I love this thing.  I can't wait to give it away!

I started this blanket last April, heeding a call put out by Rete after the raid of the religious compound in Texas and all those traumatized kids.  Okay.  All I'm going to say about that is that if the kids weren't traumatized before the raid, they certainly were during that whole ordeal.

I'd stopped at my LYS, Iris Fine Yarns in Appleton, to find some suitable, washable, sale yarn and came away with a bagful of donated Classic Elite "Bubbles" in the most fun and happy colors.

I started knitting with a Log Cabin design in mind.  I was too lazy to find an actual pattern, so cast on and started knitting what I remembered from some previous attempts.  You can see that I made it around laying logs a few times and then grew bored -- and I was also outgrowing my preferred straight needles.  It needed to be much bigger, so I decided to knit on a border using the same rotation of colors in sequence, starting with 12 rows of each, then 18, then 24.

I grew bored again about mid-summer and tried to convince myself that it was done after knitting the border on two sides.  It was also, um, mid-summer -- it was hot and I was cranky -- not really blanket knitting weather, so I put the whole thing in the marinating chamber for a while.

I pulled it out recently with an aim to knit along at least one more side -- and to finish!  In the end it became a little bit of a hodge-podge to use up the odd several yards in some different colors, but the third side was definitely the charm!  It is intended as a donation to a local domestic abuse shelter.

Peter Pan does Dr. Seuss

Morning puzzle time

Peter Pan meets Dr. Seuss

It was nice to get away.  I wasn't gone for long, but it was fun to hang with the kids.  These photos were taken this morning -- ny nephew -- wearing his big brother's Peter Pan cap -- doing the "Green Eggs and Ham" floor puzzle that Ali gave them at Christmas for the fifth or sixth time.  His mom is 6 years younger than me and I read that book to her so many times when I could read and she couldn't -- over and over and over and over -- that I wouldn't even LOOK at it for years.  I don't think I ever read it to my own kids.  Hop on Pop... no problem.  Cat in the Hat... bring it.  Green Eggs and Ham... not here, not there, not anywhere!!

The ridiculous absurdities of life


I'm looking rather grim and it's an accurate reflection.  I sat at my desk this morning trying not to lose it, trying not to go mad with worry and uncertainty -- happy to be there for the distraction it affords, but also wishing I could get away (Hello, Southwest Airlines, someplace warm?) and wishing there was more -- much, much, much, much MORE work and distraction.  Please keep me busy!  I am not busy enough.

I found myself this morning actually thinking that I wished that I still smoked (that's different than wishing) -- it worked so well all those many years to stave off madness, relieve stress, redirect my focus.  It's the most ridiculous thought, on so many levels, not the least of which is that one of the main reasons for today's angst is that my sister had a full set of appointments with an oncologist and radiologist this morning -- for as best a diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan for lung cancer that they can come up with.  I haven't smoked -- and I most certainly, definitely, will not smoke -- but how absurdly ridiculously stupid is that thought?

It's Stage 3B; chemo and radiation will start within the next two weeks.  I have cashmere and I know how to use it.

Speaking of ridiculous, if I hear ONE more person declare that they've chosen not to participate in this recession, I truly will go beserk.  What the fuck ARE they participating in?  Participate in something, will ya!?

Sorry.  I know.  It'll get better -- and worse -- and keep going like that.  That's how life is.  It just really sucks that there are so MANY "worse" things right now.  Seems like.  (I bet my biorhythms are WAY low.)

TGIF.  The weekend will offer some distraction in that I have a 3-month photo shoot tomorrow of a sweet little baby boy that I had the pleasure of photographing as a newborn.  That prospect alone brings a little smile.  From his house, I'll be heading to Madison and spending some time with my wonderful nephews so their mom can celebrate her birthday with their dad.  Happy Birthday, Annie!

Kate & Al -- feet on a sidewalk

I keep forgetting to change the camera setting from remote/timer to single/continuous shooting. Then, like yesterday afternoon, when I pressed the shutter button nothing happened. I pressed again and again and still nothing, so I turned the camera around and saw the flashing light. *Whack on the head!* Turned the camera back around and here's my shot.

It pretty much sums up my world and how I'm feeling right now -- off-kilter, out of balance, slippery in spots.

I've been knitting a little. Possibly by this evening, but definitely by the weekend, I will be finished knitting the charity kid blanket! I started it last April, originally spurred by the raid on the religious compound in Texas. My intention was to send it to Texas, too, but I have decided that there are plenty of children in my own back yard that would benefit from such a blanket so I'm going to donate it to a local domestic abuse shelter -- which, I feel, is in perfect tune with the spirit of the call from Texas. I have agonized over this a little bit, but it feels right. I can't wait to show you -- I hope I can photograph it properly -- it's a real hodge-podgey mish-mash that I started without any real plan, and I just love how it's turned out!

Um. Yeah.

Not only THAT (which is, in part, about THIS)...  I just learned that one of the oldest and best from-scratch bakeries around just closed!  It's where we always got our birthday donuts for work, our "It's Monday (or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday)" donuts for work and, later, also our "It's Saturday (or Sunday)" donuts when I worked at a different place that was closer, as well as (back in the day) all of our hangover donuts.  They made the best chocolate-covered, chocolate-filled, chocolate donuts ever and set the standard by which all others are measured... and tasted.

Some Flickr Faves 1/19/09

1. M A R C Y, 2. Just going through old files, 3. clothes on line, 4. mittentree, 5. Loops!: thinking about the next step, 6. festive pup (C365:322), 7. krtek, 8. 365-221 (One more Xmas knit finished), 9. 365.341, 10. Snowballs in whiskers, 11. Surrounded, 12. the park, 13. Christmas gifts are underway, 14. Happy Holidays!, 15. Seems normal, 16. I think he's got his eye on me!, 17. Happy Humpday, 18. Untitled, 19. Do Not Pass GO, 20. argosy1, 21. Warmth of the sun, 22. It's raining Bokeh...hallelujah, 23. .last of summer., 24. my fortune for the day..., 25. Sun catchers, 26. Tigerwalkers, 27. Starburst, 28. baby bunny...., 29. mud-104-Edit copy, 30. Protectors, 31. First Christmas WIP, 32. Flowers for Evan 2, 33. The kids, 34. Little Sandy Feet (3), 35. knitting hands, 36. ruby

It was an okay weekend. Mostly home-bound, I did a fair bit of tossing, cleaning, and organizing. There's more to do, of course; never a shortage of stuff to toss, clean, and organize. It's good, ya know? Keeps the mind engaged just enough.

E7 (10 by the end of the week?)

3rd Saturday: 3 Images

Garage gable and snowy sky

This is what it's been doing ever since I got up this morning.  That means it's warmed up around here!


Doesn't she look positively regal parked amongst the various toy vehicles?  This is on a portion of the windowsill in hubs' studio.

Dreaming of summer

This is another part.

Toasty toes...

Because I'd thrown my beloved Bass shoes (purchased with Cara at a shoe warehouse in NJ prior to attending my very first Rhinebeck) in the trash last spring after three wonderful, faithful years of service, I was in need of a new winter shoe this year.

I am probably the exact opposite of Immelda Marcos in that I have, at any one time, hardly more than a half-dozen pairs of shoes -- that includes boots, sandals, dress shoes, tennies (what else is there?). My shoes are very personal and very important!!

You wouldn't think it would be so hard, but in an entire warehouse full of shoes, this pair of Merrells emerged as the only real contenders. There were plenty of others that I liked on the shelf, but not on my foot, or they looked great but the fit was totally off (there are many brands of really great shoes that are just never gonna work for me... Born, I'm talking to you), or they just weren't practical for winter in Wisconsin.

I had very real doubts about these... sure, that lining is soft and it looks nice and warm, but would it hold up, would it get yucky, would it STINK after a while? I'll admit, I was a little creeped out about it. The insole is both removable and washable, though, so that helped. And boy oh boy, are these babies warm -- sometimes TOO warm.

I waited for it this morning when my alarm went off... "It feels like -32."

Guess what I'm wearing!



Oh, how I love me some blue snow.

I don't think there's a school in the area that's open today due to brutally cold temperatures.

Many, many closures were already announced last night.

That's unusual.

Maddy was positively giddy at the news.

Tomorrow is to be even colder, I think.

Smell a 4-day weekend?

Not for me... I'm at work today... and will be tomorrow.

That's okay. I have stuff to do. And tomorrow the cat will be away.

I need recommendations... What's your best advice/favorite pattern for a chemo cap for someone loathe to wear hats?

ETA:  I forgot!  E6.0!!

Darn it!

Not really what you want in your mitten when the forecast for the week is for the coldest temperatures we've had all year.

The first thing I heard when the alarm went off this morning: "It feels like 17(F) below!"

Finally, you know it's bad when "a high of 18(F)" on the weekend sounds good.

That's all I have to say about the weather.

I'll have to dig around for some scraps to darn this hole. I don't think I'll have to be all that choosy about color.

E6.0, F1

Mixing bread dough

I baked the last loaf from the first batch of dough yesterday and mixed up another. Upon reflection -- and observation of the second batch -- methinks that something was terribly amiss with the first, most likely a mismeasurement (not enough) flour. The first loaves were all very small and quite dense. Um. Very, very dense. They all were devoured within minutes of baking, so it was hard to get a good overall read.

I can already tell that the results from the second batch will be much different -- the dough rose more, looked "fluffier," and I could feel the good warm energy when I put my dough box into the fridge. I purposefully measured out the flour into a separate bowl this time before I began mixing, rather than measuring and counting while mixing. I can't wait to bake a loaf from the new batch!

One of the great things about baking bread right now is the added warmth from the oven. According to the weatherman, it's all downhill from here in terms of temperature this week. This might be the week to shoot for Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day... everyday!

Knitting update: I might have finished the Ridged Lace Cowl last night if I hadn't done so much Golden Globe star gazing.

Saturday: F1 / Sunday: E5.5, F1 / Monday: E5.0

January 11, 2009
Flustered With Family
Scorpio Daily Horoscope

You may be feeling disconcerted about family matters that have you flustered today. The tension you feel could have you feeling unsettled as you seek the best possible resolution, but find it beyond your grasp. Such instances may require that approach the situation from a different perspective. Try to imagine what the other members of your family may be thinking, and what their motivation might be. By putting yourself in another’s place, you may gain some insight into what is happening. If you feel that someone is acting inappropriately, you may want to ask yourself if it is something you have ever done. Using your family as a mirror may help you to bring up issues for healing that can help you and help your family. Today by looking at your family tensions in a new light, you may be able to gain the information necessary to work toward resolution.

It may be that the light we need to illuminate our frustrations is acceptance. Once we can accept our families for who they are rather than struggling against them, we can often begin to see what we thought were weaknesses as strengths. In this world of dualities, everything we experience has two sides. But what may seem bad in one context may be good in another. By taking away labels and looking at characteristics today, you can stop trying to use a hammer to paint a picture, and instead find the right place for the right attributes so that you can heal rifts and build something beautiful together.

My DailyOm for today.  It couldn't have hit my in-box more squarely.


I started a new project last night -- one that wasn't even on the radar. I'd run into a couple of balls of Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Aran the other night and they stuck in my mind... lovely color, beautiful yarn, warm... sounded like the ingredients for a nice neckwarmer.

This will be a Ridged Lace Cowl from Exercise Before Knitting.

Fixin' and finishin'

My "Larger Than Life" bag was unearthed last night, along with an unfinished Baby Surprise, a cute little baby hat that needs only ends woven in, a mini Clapotis that I don't like, some lovely cashmere knitted into a piece that it doesn't really want to be, and a few odds and ends -- not to mention some yarn.

It seems I ran into the pile that needs fixin' and finishin' -- or rippin' and a do-over.

I love my Larger Than Life bag and loved the idea I stole from Margene, I think, to use drapery tie-backs for the handles, but the bag is HUGE and, because I made it from cotton, it's HEAVY. Taking it to the farmers' market on Saturday and loading it up with veggies, without so much as a dry run to the library, well, you can see the outcome.

I'm finally over the disappointment. It'll make a perfect bag for larger knitting projects -- I think I even made some pockets when I sewed the lining -- so I sat down with it last night to see what I could do. Two of the tie-backs pulled apart completely, the other two are just fine. I removed them all (having sewn them on like there's no tomorrow, this was a little easier than expected) and am in the process of contemplating the options -- with and without tie-backs.

E5, F1

As The Elliptical Turns, or Has Vicki Flossed Her Teeth Today?

Heheheh.  I amuse myself, but I won't torture you any longer!  Except to say -- one more time -- that YES, despite tossing, turning, getting up, freezing my ass off in the middle of the night, going back to bed to toss and turn some more, AND hitting snooze twice this morning, I did get up and put in 5 on the elliptical machine, had time for a shower AND flossed my teeth.

From now on, I will just write a little code to myself -- E5, F1 -- kind of like playing BINGO (...or BENFO), or doing a crossword.  I need to hold myself accountable and public is good, but I don't need to write the words "elliptical" and "floss" every single day and neither do you want to read it.  It's only been little over a week and I'm already sick of writing/reading it myself.

I tried to start a knitting project last night but a dozen rows in, I just wasn't feelin' it.  I think the problem is part inability to focus, and part mismanagement of stash. The yarn is scattered all over!  It's in various places in the living room, the laundry room, and even in the studio.  There are a few projects I'd like to start, but I'm just grabbing what's handy, even if it's not right or I don't even like the yarn because I don't feel like yarn hunting.  Cripes, not that I've got much of a stash -- a couple balls of this, a little of that, mostly small-project stash -- but the weight of all the little stuff is almost more to bear than a few big things.  I feel a purge coming on -- and about a dozen balls of Cotton Ease is at the top of the list.  I don't know why I don't like that yarn -- I've knit with lots of cotton over the years -- but I just don't.

I'd better get something started soon, though!

Artisan Bread (GONE) In 5 Minutes A Day

It's been a very busy day. I got a head start in the neighborhood of 3 a.m. when I couldn't sleep. I went downstairs and wrapped a scarf around my neck and a shawl around my shoulders, but I have the heat turned down so low in the middle of the night that I really needed a blanket. Or a bigger shawl.

I read blogs for a bit, maybe commented on one or two but maybe not. I crawled back into bed, frozen to the core, and tried in vain to warm up. I even pulled another small down comforter up around my shoulders. One must be careful, as it could easily -- instantly -- go the other way and I'd be hot and sweaty. I finally fell back asleep and was sleeping soundly at 7 a.m. when DH woke me up. Ali was here and I was to accompany her to a meeting at 8:30.

It's been go-go-go since then -- and it's good, I got a LOT of stuff done. And I baked bread!! Homemade Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day today!! It was lovely, too, but the only shots I have are close-ups -- it may take 5 minutes to make, but far less than 5 to devour. I didn't even need to read the part about how to store it. It was delicious, too. I can't wait to bake another loaf!

And Katie made supper! She made chili just like she used to have at the Chili Pepper, which isn't open anymore, but their seasonings and recipes are still available!

So, no elliptical today. I'll go to bed at a good time tonight and get up to do it again tomorrow. I did take the time to floss this morning. ; ) Eventually it'll all come together!

T is for...

...random Tuesday mutterings. Going with the flow. There's a bunch of stuff rolling around in my head today, none of it coming together with any clarity, so random it is!

My sister is undergoing outpatient surgery as we speak (perhaps it's even over already) to remove a lymph node for further diagnostics. I hope that some sort of diagnosis can be reached; it will take a week, I guess. So far, she's been a bit of a medical mystery. Cancer, yes. All the other associated questions, unanswered. One must know what one is treating in order to treat effectively, no? So, yeah, on my mind... and no wonder my thoughts are scattered.

Barista down! Katie is no longer slinging the java; alas, there are only two in the family now.

Unrelated, I've begun to drink ever so slightly more tea.

Thanks to the 365 self-portrait project on Flickr, I should always have at least a photo of myself to post on the blog this year.

The knitting (FO-wise, particularly) really suffered in 2008 and, so far, 2009 is worse. Knit night is tonight and I didn't bring anything with me this morning -- because there's NOTHING on the needles. Well, if you don't count Cromarty. Or Bayerische. Heh. Or, not letting technicalities get in the way, the three (at least) sweaters that are off the needles but awaiting seaming.

I think I want to get something stealthy and new started, though. ; )

I was supposed to have a hair appointment on Saturday. The stylist needed to reschedule and I opted for two weeks out instead of one. I hate my hair so much more than I love it lately (might have something to do with the above-mentioned self portraits and how often I've actually had to look at it from various angles). I think most of it has to do with length. I want it long... longer, at least... again.

I did my morning five, with one burst and one break, but I forgot to floss.

No rest for the wicked

I didn't want to do it.  The alarm went off at 5:15 this morning, as it does every workday morning, and I hit snooze (as I also do most workday mornings).  When it went off the second time, I rolled over and turned on the light, then turned off the alarm.  I grabbed my robe and towels with the notion that I'd hit the shower, then put them down on the bed.  I pulled off my nightgown and put on my workout "outfit" -- an old pair of flannel pants and a favorite old shirt -- tied on my tennies and started a quick stretch.  I jumped... um, as much as one jumps before dawn... on the elliptical machine and started to watch the clock tick up to 5 minutes.  I only took two short rests in those 5 minutes, and also did two quick bursts.

That's a huge hurdle what with it being Monday and all, the first day back after holiday hoopla, icy and cold and dark outside, and having skipped yesterday.  I don't mind saying that I'm very proud of myself.

I'm still flossing, too.

I know!

A day of "rest"

Okay.  So I did not work out on the elliptical machine today.  I did get the tree taken care of and vacuumed up the mess; took down, washed, and put back up the living room curtains as long as the path was clear (which involved some up-down on the ladder and clenching of certain muscles while wrangling with curtains and rods while perched atop said ladder, etc.); rearranged the furniture a bit; and dusted.

I also helped Alison with her business plan -- a trimmed version that will be entered in a contest for which she could win oodles of money.  Well, perhaps not "oodles," but some -- more than a little, almost a bunch, any amount sure would help.  We will be meeting with a banker, um, as soon as one calls her back.  Holidays schmolidays.

I worked on my own books, too.  I wasn't intending to get as far as I did, but it feels GREAT.  I guess.

I'm sure I did other stuff -- rearranged a small stack of recently downloaded/printed knitting patterns, wondering what I'm in the mood for, not really minding the break (my fingers, wrist, elbow and shoulders all thanking me and reminding me with the occasional tingle that rest is good).

We'll see what tomorrow brings... besides the trek back to the salt mine.

Snack break


Before we hit the mall yesterday, we had a little photo shoot... with crackers and milk.  Yum.

I forgot to mention that I managed 5 whole minutes on the elliptical machine yesterday -- and today, too!  It is absolutely pathetic that I have to stop a few times to "rest," but it's just killing my thighs, and yesterday I stretched out/writhed around on the bed (not in a "good" way) 'til my body recovered.  Then I had to hold on for dear life as I descended the stairs.  Today was better.  I still did only 5 minutes, but I think I took fewer breaks, definitely didn't have to "take to my bed" afterwards, and it wasn't so hard going down the stairs.


Well, 5 minutes is 5 minutes and, so far, I've done 15 minutes on the elliptical machine this year that I didn't do last year -- and wouldn't have done this year, either, if I'd approached it any other way (pushed too hard, hurt myself, continued thinking that 5 minutes doesn't matter).  Next week, I'll work up to 6, or 5 with no breaks, and/or with the tension turned up.  It'll get easier, I know it will.  I also need to get some sort of TV/movie watching setup set up because watching the clock tick up to 5 minutes does nothing but make me want to puke by about 4:57.

I flossed yesterday, too, but I forgot to this morning.  I will before bed.

The ornaments are off the tree!!  I broke two -- one vintage ornament, WWII era, judging from the colors and design, and another plain glass ball -- taking the toll up to three casualties this year, I believe.  I don't know what my problem was.  The tree is still up, because it got late and dark and there's also freezing rain coming down on everything tonight, so we'll do that tomorrow.  The ornaments are all packed up, though, and Katie even wrapped and packed up hers and her sisters' for me, and that feels great.

Speaking of WWII and Katie, we went to see Valkyrie last night and both liked it a lot.  The theater schedule changed without notice, so the movie had already begun by the time we were seated -- I don't think we missed much, but I always enjoy the previews.  I read some criticism somewhere of Tom C. for not speaking his role with a German accent, but NO ONE spoke with a German accent in that movie unless they were truly German!  It was a bit of a language smorgasbord, really.  I didn't mind at all -- in fact, it kind of bothers me when people fake an accent.  I hadn't read much about the rest of the cast beforehand, so seeing Kenneth Branagh and Tom Wilkinson was a nice surprise.  I also think Tom did a good job not over-acting in a role that could so easily have been.  Anyway, two thumbs up from over here for Valkyrie.

Things to do at the mall

I found myself at the mall today. I can't remember the last time I was there -- it sure wasn't for any Christmas shopping!

While I was there, I exchanged a J.Jill shirt that Katie had given me (too big) for a sweater (with the sale prices and discounts, it was an even exchange) and also bought another shirt on sale.

I was mad that I forgot the Williams Sonoma gift card I also received at Christmas because I want/need a baking stone for bread! I am so anxious to try Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day after all the wonderful things I've read.

I find I'm becoming more and more particular about the food I eat -- not even so much that it's "good for me," though there's been some more of that lately, but mostly that it's just plain GOOD. Good to eat. Food made fresh, with real ingredients, quality stuff that tastes good and is worth the effort to make or the money to buy. I use to LOVE going to McDonald's -- loved their french fries and fish sandwiches -- but everything is made so far ahead now, it sits there, is nuked, is yucky. I'm not willing to spend my money or waste a well-earned "treat" on crap like that.

Woo. Didn't mean to go off on all that. Best get that baking stone soon, eh?

Anyway, my nephews had a great time in the mall's play area. This is me entertaining Mack on our way out, keeping him busy at the tall/skinny and short/fat mirrors while the people we were with completed their last transactions (or made a last bathroom stop).

More happy

Happy 2 Play with Lights Again

Maddy's not usually so willing a model, so I wouldn't hold my breath thinking you'll see her here tomorrow for the Happy Trifecta.  I had Katie modeling an FO this evening, though, and I shot a few of just her -- one of the three best WIPs that I never tire of tweaking (there's less and less of that).

Anyway... It's a Turn A Square:


There are a few details on the Flickr pages and also on Ravelry.

I had a great New Year's Day -- I was very deliberate about most of the things I did today.  I "worked out," I flossed my teeth, I spent time with people I love, I laughed, I hugged, I took a nap with a baby, I played, I ate well, I finished one knitting project and will likely have another tomorrow.  It was a very good way to spend the day that starts a new year.

I'm not too late to wish my friend Cara a Happy Birthday, either!!