Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

a post on the fun Christmas loot coming in the next couple days...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

i love lists

i'm not going to feel apologetic or guilty for blogging in the list-style because it's not the cool bloggy thing to do. i love lists and i'll list as much as i want. especially considering i'm pretty sure my sister is the only dedicated reader and i know she loves lists too. it quite runs in the family.

so today i'm listing while cleaning at work.
because you can only conquer so many piles before you need to step back and reassess.

1. i'm starting to really look forward to christmas. i wasn't feeling it for a while there and i thought maybe i'd unknowingly moved to the dark "too grown up for christmas warm fuzzies" side of life, but i think it's just delayed longer than it used to be because, let's face it, grey rainy 40-50 degree days don't feel like christmas. bundling up and shoveling snow and pink noses and ears and wrapping presents feels like christmas. but now that we've actually had a bit of snow (last weekend, it didn't stick around), and hub and i have purchased all our presents and the "need to wrap" pile on the dining room table is getting bigger, and my sister and i are emailing planny details back and forth, and it's only 7 days until we drive to maine, i'm getting christmas delirium.

2. i'm getting my hair cut this afternoon. i'm very excited about this. it's been a while. we're being very restrained (for us) in terms of christmas gifting this year - and so it fits in budget-wise. what i'm looking forward to most? taking a shower tomorrow morning and washing my shorter hair - i love that.

3. this week i'm filling a hat order i got at the show i did on dec. 5. the yarn came in on saturday and i hope to have the hats done and delivered sometime on saturday. i'm done 3 of 6. left to do: 12-18 month thick earflap hat with stripes, 3 1/2 year old thick earflap hat with fair isle snowflakes, 5 1/2 year old basic hat with fair isle snowflakes. i have this afternoon off and should be able to get #4 done easily while watching (for the second time) episodes of Ballykissangel on Netflix.

4. i also have other crafting (of the christmas variety) that needs to get done this week too, so it's nose to the grindstone (is that even how the saying goes? that sounds awful.) i keep telling myself it would be okay to spend some time christmas crafting now - and work on hats later - but my brain says THAT'S CRAZY - WHAT IF YOU RUN OUT OF TIME AND THE HATS DON'T GET DONE?!?! i'm listening to my brain. fill the order first, hope to have enough time for the gifty stuff after, clean the house MAYBE.

5. that's the other thing. we hired a very nice couple to clean our house every other wednesday and i can't even express how happy that makes me. they're AMAZING. if i can just keep the place tidy it's pretty ideal. they're coming tomorrow and we won't see them again until after christmas - and i'm trying to figure out what i should gift them for the holiday.

6. so january is going to be a light month for me. my job at Again & Again will be on pause for the entire month. my other jobs (nannying and working at Helen Parker Textiles in Rockport) will have a break from Jan. 15-25 when my "family" goes to Florida for their own vacation. i'm mostly happy about the break. mostly because i don't get paid time off, i don't usually splurge and give myself a free day. it'll be nice to have a month of not needing to be out the door by 8. it'll be nice to have time to follow whatever inspiration hits me. i hope to spend some time spinning for sure. the only bummer is much less income for that month. we've looked at the budget and we should be able to handle it just fine. but i think it'll mean much more dedicated meal planning and budget grocery shopping. and you never know when a car'll break down. let's cross our fingers, eh?

i think that's it for now. happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

my rainbow...

Your rainbow is shaded blue.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are a tranquil person. You appreciate friends who get along with one another. You share hobbies with friends and like trying to fit into their routines.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

today

it's the third rainy day in a row and this is what i'm up to.

1. button bands and seaming on Central Park Cardi.
2. block Central Park Cardi.
3. make Pumpkin Cranberry Bread.
4. watch You've Got Mail.
5. print and cut business cards.
6. wash dishes.
7. finish planning trip to maine.
8. load of blankets at laundromat across the street?
9. trip out: pharmacy (i'm out of Tums), Green Life (to see if my knitting is on display), pick up loaf of bread for bruschetta for dinner.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

what do you think?

oh bama

several happy things...and it's not even noon yet

1. the chill of autumn has started to creep in...the start of my very favorite season fills me with anticipation...
2. convincing myself to relax a little - i've got a huge knitting order that i've got to fill by the end of next week, and i've been knitting like crazy, but my hands are sore and instead of freaking out because i have to slow down, i took the morning to do some finishing (i-cord, buttons, seams) and really enjoyed the break...
3. beautiful sky-blue skies and deep clear blue ocean...the horizon line being so distinct - it looks like that's where the ocean ends - just right there - sailboats, lobster boats, low tide, i love where we live.
4. freshly mown grass smell
5. no line at the bank to make a deposit - it's one of those days where the smallest things make me grateful - today i'm grateful to be making a deposit - to have a little extra money - that we can afford to pay our bills...we're very fortunate.
6. splurging on a yummy lunch at The Last Stop
7. plenty of time - i left early so i had plenty of time to drive the long way to work, to slow down to let the bicyclists turn, to let someone cross the street...i hate it when i'm rushed and i get crabby - not rushed today.
8. looking forward to the end of the day and hanging out with hubby - sure this happens most days - but today i'm specially happy about it.

i love this time of year.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

the best macaroni & cheese i've ever made...

so it's been pretty fall-like the past few days around here. so i'm wanting fall-like foods. and i'm also wanting to cook dishes that will last a couple days - because heaven knows i don't feel like cooking every night.

so monday night i made chili. yum.

and last night i made macaroni & cheese. it...was...AWESOME. so i'm posting the recipe. i made lots of adjustments to the recipe i found on allrecipes.com, so here we go...

INGREDIENTS:
-1 lb. box elbows
-1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
-1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
-1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
-1 cup shredded Muenster cheese
-8 oz. Velveeta, tiny cubes
-2 cups half & half
-1 stick of butter
-garlic powder
-salt & pepper
-Ritz crackers

1. Boil elbows to al dente. Mine took seven minutes. Rinse in cold water and return to cooking pot.
2. Combine all shredded cheeses in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Set aside 1/2-3/4 cup cheese for sprinkling on top.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish.
4. In medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
5. When butter is all melted, mix in the half & half and heat until steaming.
6. Stir in the Velveeta and stir continuously until completely melted.
7. Stir in shredded cheese and stir until all melted. Shake in some garlic powder (not too much) and season with salt & pepper.
8. Mix cheesy goodness with noodles, and pour all into the prepared casserole.
9. Sprinkle reserved shredded cheese evenly over the top. Crush up Ritz crackers (I think I used about half a sleeve) and sprinkle over top.
10. Bake in preheated oven until browned and bubbly, 25-30 minutes.
11. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

This stuff reheats really well - only takes 1:30 in my microwave. YUM. I'd say a batch this size could easily serve 8 - 10 people. ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Anne Lamott on Beauty

"This culture's pursuit of beauty is a crazy, sick, losing game, for women, men, teenagers, and with the need to increase advertising revenues, now for pre-adolescents, too. We're starting to see more and more anorexic eight- and nine-year-olds. It's a game we cannot win. Every time we agree to play another round, and step out onto the court to try again, we've already lost. The only way to win is to stay off the court. No matter how much of our time is spent in pursuit of physical beauty, even to great success, the Mirror on the Wall will always say, "Snow White lives," and this is in fact a lie - Snow White is a fairy tale. Lies cannot nourish or protect you. Only freedom from fear, freedom from lies, can make us beautiful, and keep us safe. There is a line I try to live by, spoken at the end of each Vedanta service: "And may the free make others free.""

"I have a friend who has a big pancake face and feathery brown hair, with patches of scalp showing. She has peasanty potato features, and she's too tall, and totally inelegant. But she loves her life. She's chosen a life of prayer, service, and travel. She's always in a sort of infuriating state of wonder, of appreciating what is, instead of fretting about what she wishes she was. But she's great-looking - everyone thinks so - because of the expressions on her face and the way she looks at you.
She is radiant with spirituality and humor; she was dealt the same basic cards we all were, but somehow she could see that the cards were marked, so she put them down and refused to play. You can't win with marked cards. Refusing to play has left her with hands free to do what really matters to her, what her heart longs to do in thie life. Doing these things has made her beautiful."
-Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually) - Thoughts on Faith

Thanks Anne.

Monday, August 4, 2008

+ my sister spontaneously came down for a visit saturday to sunday - i didn't know i needed sister time so badly
+ seeing a butterfly while driving around - it's like a quick reminder that not everything is mundane
+ driving on a road where the trees on either side meet in the middle above you - and the sun is shining perfectly, illuminating the happiest green arbor
+ making chili for dinner (because it was cheap and i knew it would last a couple days) and hubby really appreciating it
+ hearing Libby say "Lisa" but still call me "Ee-Aa" because that's how she rolls
+ playing with a new idea for a design
+ getting an email from a potential seller of my knitted goods
+ wearing new earrings
+ i totally ate a candy bar today - guilty indulgence
+ ordered a new cell phone last night - really hoping it works okay cause today i read "no returns accepted" - eek
+ The Wailin' Jennys make me so happy

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

my new desktop wallpaper

Noro Silver Thaw Scarf

(Scarf knit with Noro Silver Thaw)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

a meme

because i don't feel like taking a shower right this second

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

wanted ASAP: extra patience...less frustration

so what's up with my lack of patience lately? the smallest thing is enough to make me grit my teeth and fight back tears. suddenly i want to give up on something right away because it is immediately overwhelming and i can't handle it.
today's example: the sewing machine at work - i don't know what the diagnosis is, but the symptom is breaking thread. granted i haven't used this machine much, and i don't think i've ever been shown the proper way to put in a bobbin (it's totally backward from other machines i use on a regular basis), but even threading the needle makes me want to lose my mind and wrend my garments.
sunday's example: dropping stitches in my knitting. my knitter friends will understand how frustrating it is to drop a stitch and it runs down several rows in a LACE pattern. they will also understand how the frustration multiplies after taking the time to rip back a couple rows to catch said stitch, one manages to drop TWO sts just a few rows later. i don't know if i've ever felt like such a knitting idiot. and boy oh boy did i have a hissy fit. my poor husband had to talk me down. "honey - give me the knitting..."
i can't find the card reader for the camera's flash card and there are pictures i've been wanting to share. i've looked here & there for it for a few days now, and i've decided that instead of letting it frustrate me any further i'm going to RadioShack after work to buy a new one. if we find the other one, great. one will live with me in my tote, and one will live in the office at home.
i hate how slowly these summer days go for me. my favorite months just disappear but july & august drag on forever. i miss sleeves.

in other, less cranky and whiny news...i got a manicure & pedicure last friday evening. hub made plans with some friends to go out to a movie and i didn't feel like sitting at home alone, so i made a quick appointment and it was so worth it. then i went and bought the newest Anne Lamott book Grace (Eventually): Further Thoughts on Faith and started it while eating a salad at Panera. it was such a self-indulgent evening, i really enjoyed it. i don't often give myself permission to spend on myself, but it was fun for one day. okay - two days. i got a haircut on saturday (necessary). that was nice too, but the stylist was SO chatty and she put some seriously potent product in my hair. i don't know what it was but the smell didn't go away until two shampoos later.

anyway - that's the update. i hope my boss comes in soon and she can fix the sewing machine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

cookies and rest

COOKIES!

this heat and humidity really really really takes it me out me. i hate to be a complainer because this is one of those things i have absolutely zero control over - but geez. why does this kind of weather even exist? i'm so grateful for air conditioning. i would be a puddle of nothing without it.

today i went to work at 6:00 and was done by 10:00. the earlier i go, the cooler it is, in theory, and i get the one fan all to myself. i sewed five bags and was out of there. tuesdays and thursdays, in general, i get the rest of the day to myself after i sew in the morning. the alone time to do whatever keeps me sane. today all i had to do was figure out what dessert to make for dinner tonight and execute the plan. i decided to make homemade ice cream sandwiches, so i ran to the grocery store and got the ingredients and baked away. it was nice to take refuge in the AC in the bedroom while things were in the oven.

after the baking was done, and most of the cleaning finished, i had a considerably (necessarily) lazy day. i've been watching Ballykissangel through Netflix online. (We just signed up for Netflix this week and I'm completely obsessed). it's moderately enjoyable, something nice to have on in the background while i knit or nap.

so tonight we're having dinner with our friends/my employers Frank & Helen (and sweet Libby). i'm really excited about it because life has been seriously dramatic lately and i know we're going to have a nice peaceful enjoyable normal time with nice peaceful enjoyable people. also - how great someone else is cooking for us!! :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

work work work

so - Dec. 2006 i up and quit my job because i couldn't stand the cubicle life anymore. it was too mundane, and not creative enough.
i spent 8 hours a day here:
cube

a year and a half later my work life is split three ways.

libby

Helen Parker Textiles, Rockport, MA

Again & Again

now, one day is never the same as the one before, and i'm so privileged to be doing things that i love. sewing, creating, playing.

i'm still tired at the end of the day, maybe even more, but i don't miss my old office job at all.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

hungry

so the past few days i've been getting super hungry right at bedtime.
stomach growling drive me crazy hungry.
but it's bedtime, and i'm already tucked in and nearly asleep.
so i don't eat.
and then in the morning i wake up STARVING.
my eating habits haven't changed at all. what the heck? maybe the hot weather makes your body digest more quickly? argh.

Monday, June 30, 2008

testing testing - anyone still checking in on my blog?

Stolen from sassenach. :)

Ask me seven questions. Not just any seven questions though. No, to keep it interesting, use the seven questions as per below - just copy and paste the following, replace the blanks with something you want to know/ask (e.g., 3. Donkeys or sandcastles and why?), anything you want, personal, silly, surreal or deep, comment away and I’ll answer honestly as I can! Then post this on your own blog and see what kind of things people want to ask you!

1. What do you think of _____________?

2. When did you last ____________?

3. __________ or ___________ and why?

4. What did you ______________?

5. What’s your favorite ______________?

6. How would you ______________?

7. Who would you most like to ________?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

just feel like it i guess...

just felt like blogging this morning. i have about 25 minutes before i have to head out the door for work, and instead of washing the dishes (the kitchen is a disaster) i thought i'd blog instead. i'm back home shortly after 1 - and i'm pretty sure the dishes can wait until then.

so we'll talk what's new in my favorite list format.

1. i had two whole days off this weekend, sunday & monday. (usually sunday is the only full day i get) it was nice nice nice not to worry about when i had to wake up. mostly the weekend was fine. and some of it wasn't fine. but i'm fine and taking everything in stride. very adult-ish of me.

2. i bought yarn and a new knitting book over the weekend. LYS was having a sale, so i bought 8 skeins of Misti Pima Cotton & Silk, 2 each of 4 different colors, thinking it's a good seasonal yarn to knit things for the shop in Rockport. i'm starting with a baby blanket. i'm interested to see if it will sell (and also to see how long the knitting takes me). the book i got is The Knitter's Book of Yarn which is very textbook-like and is so down my alley in that sense. so informative, pretty patterns, and written by a chick who lives in Maine. doesn't get any better than that. needless to say, it was fun to buy yarn, even if it isn't necessarily for me in the end.

3. also managed to find the newest Harry Potter movie at Best Buy for only 12.99, so i bought that too. we have all the others, so we "needed" to get this one, too.

4. i think hub is going out with some friends for a bday celebration tonight so i'm getting my fill of alone time today which is honestly heavenly. i think i'll splurge and get a big subway sub for my lunch & dinner. and i think also i will try to block a couple projects today. it would be good to get them into the 'no seriously it's completely finished' category.

5. i'm counting points again. i've decided to be a serious stickler on weekdays and take it easier on the weekends. i'm interested to see how it goes the first couple weeks, if i lose any poundage that way. the way i figure, WW is supposed to help you figure out how to eat healthfully and balanced...and if my habits are to mostly be eating great and sometimes not, that's normal, right? kind of balanced? we'll see. my body is actually really happy to be eating every couple of hours...and the biggest change (it's been a week) isn't really adding in fruits & veggies & whole grains & whatnot (those habits stuck from when i've done WW in the past), it's getting rid of the cookies & chips & bad foods that i LOVE SO MUCH. the second day of counting points last week i found myself COMPLETELY BORED because i wasn't chewing on anything. how lame is that? hub's been kind enough to abstain from buying snacks to help me stay on track.

6. i have to go pack my snacks for the morning at work now. and pack up a load of laundry to take with me. adios.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

i was tagged

for this meme by my brother-in-law Marc...

so why not break out the old blog and do it between nose-blows and sneezes and chest rattling coughs?

Here is what I am supposed to do:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The nearest book is Atonement by Ian McEwan (I haven't read it yet - I hope these few sentences don't ruin it for me).

Here are the appropriate three sentences:

No one could know the extent of their disappointment.
"There, you see," Leon said. "Briony's hot headed decision."

Wow - intriguing.
(Wow - the sarcasm emanating from me right now...)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

back

back to blogging.
i haven't looked, but i think it's been since december??
well - there's no real excuse.
ebbs & flows of interest i suppose.

but here i am now, and what better reason to blog than not wanting to get up and take care of the things on the list (kitty litter, vacuuming, thank you notes).

so what's new with me. not so much really. hub and i have this way of plodding through our days with nothing seriously remarkable happening. i think we're both waiting for an opportunity to do something exciting. but exciting things seem to cost more money than we have.

number one item of interest: bff hannah is pregnant again and she and chuck are expecting baby #2 in september, same week sweet penelope was born, on hannah's birthday.

in knitting news: i'm avoiding finishing things. what else is new? i have a big basket of items started, or nearly finished, or somewhere in the middle. but this week i started and finished a pair of socks. that's new. i haven't knit a whole pair of socks in a couple of years. they're nothing super special - basic toe-up with 2x2 ribbing for the cuff. i just need to weave ends and they're offically completed. and just now i finished a swatch for another pair of socks. maybe socks will get me back on track to finishing things. i've been kind of uninspired lately, i think because my stash is dwindling, but so is cash so no new yarn for lisa. maybe in the next couple weeks.

in spinning news: no spinning. no excuses there.

in work news: i'm back to working two (sort of three) jobs. and i'm almost at 40 hours a week. so far i'm doing okay with keeping up with housework and other things. i hope i can keep that going. i feel really lucky because a lot of babysitting time is free time because the baby naps while i'm there - so i get to use that time for knitting or what ever else.

in day to day life news: got my oil changed this morning. they told me i have an oil leak somewhere, and to check my oil levels every couple of weeks. at this point (mileage is at 194,000) it's not really worth fixing.

(i think i'm a really boring blogger.)
i'll try to post pictures of something (anything) tomorrow.