Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 Books

10 on Tuesday made me realize that I definitely need to read more, and hopefully the Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge will help in 2015.  Being part of a book club for the first time has certainly helped me get some reading mojo, but it was still difficult reading anything more than the book for that club meeting's discussion.  Here's my list of pretty much everything I did manage to read.  I enjoyed most of them, and there were a couple that were not that great.  The duds did generate a lot of discussion which I'm totally okay with-

10.  Written in my Own Heart's Blood-the recent tome by Diana Gabaldon
  9.  Lost Lake-Sarah Addison Allen
  8.  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  7.  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  6.  The Body in the Boudoir by Katherine Hall Page
  5.  The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
  4.  Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
  3.  Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  2.  Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  1. Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

10 things still to do.

Carole's prompt has made me a little hungry.  Most of things left on my to do list aren't in preparation for Christmas Eve/Day, but things that just need to get done.

10.  Weave in ends and wrap Mom's Christmas socks (they are due on the 27th)
  9.  Buy one more gift-the wine shop was closed by the time I got there yesterday.
  8.  Waiting on one more gift to arrive and wrap.
  7.  Finish my Happiness beret-down to about 40 stitches now-deadline is the 25th so I can wear it on the 26th.
  6.  Clear out our guest room-need to move stuff into the basement for post-Christmas sorting for storage, donation or trash.
 5.  Watch a Christmas movie from start to finish-have only seen parts so far.
 4.  Address Christmas cards-they haven't arrived from Shutterfly yet-I'm getting a little worried.
 3.  Attend Christmas Eve service-pray it's not raining between 10:30 and midnight.  Hate when it's dark, cold and wet.
  2.  Attend one more family-ish gathering on the 27th.
  1.  Make to do list for after Christmas!

I was feeling a little stressed about the things that were on my Christmas to do list for a while there-several stops that had to be made on my way home from work.  I pretty much never wait until the week of Christmas to wrap gifts, but you know what?  That's okay, it got done, and it's all good.

Wishing EVERYONE a very Merry Christmas [or whatever holiday you celebrate].


Monday, December 15, 2014

A few days of (non) holiday fun

While my calendar last week was full of things to do, and there is still much to still be done, I managed some non-holiday activities that helped to re-charge my batteries. This is a good thing considering the contents of my bottom kitchen cabinets are now scattered around the dining and living rooms, and the kitchen table. Although the cookies are baked there is a bit of housework that really needs to be done.  I got an email about the Main Street Coffee's Wednesday Ladies wine tasting-a local wine store turned wine bar turned wine-coffee-gelato bar.  I re-arranged a couple thing so I could go-am very glad I did.  This place is very cozy with over stuffed chairs-low-ish tables and bar stools.  They feature Honeysuckle gelato, and while the flavors sounded delicious I didn't try any this time!  I did purchase a bottle of wine for my boss as a Christmas gift and a bottle to try at our family get together on Sunday.  I'm hoping to visit this place more often in 2015.
Thursday night was book club-a lovely bottle of wine, a very weird book, great company and conversation.  I'm really glad we didn't skip this month-not because of the book, but all the rest!
Friday night was my night to host quilt club.  It was a short night, but a lot of fun getting caught up with the girls.  Sophie was a BIG help with Kathy's quilt-she finally decided that she was more useful OFF the quilt!
Sunday I took my brother to the Falcons vs Steelers game, it was the first time he'd been to an NFL game, and he was like a little kid.  It would have been much nicer if we'd come away with a win, but what are you gonna do.  I did sit next to 4 of the cutest little boys who tried their best to help me understand the game.
The next few days are going to be crazy-dog grooming, appliance delivery, annual luncheon for 100 + at the office that I'm in charge of, counter-top installation, serious house cleaning, a pub crawl and a day with family-whew-is it Christmas yet?!  I think I need a vacation too

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

House 2.5| the granite

Maybe now that we're downsizing and purging, I'll have more to share on the blog.  I'm considering this phase of my life as House 2.5 cause it's the same house, with just some changes.  Not really sure when/where/what House 3.0 will be, so for now this is where we are at.  Yesterday I picked out the granite for the kitchen counters, there should be enough leftover to install a new sink in the guest bathroom downstairs which will add a little something there.  The granite is Saint Cecilia light, I wanted to go with something that would compliment the stainless appliances, sink, and faucet.  I love the Saint Cecilia classic, but was afraid it was too warm for the stainless.  It was a bit nerve wracking thinking that it had to work, and there was no turning back once I placed the order.  There was another slab I liked better, but since I feel like I'm purchasing this for a stranger I felt it best to stick with a more neutral piece.  I've taken before photos of the kitchen and will post them along with the after photos once this is installed which should be in a couple weeks.  Stay tuned-more to come!

Lunchtime shuffle

Since I mostly listen to my iphone music when I walk at lunchtime my10 on Tuesday list doesn't include ANY Christmas music.  Fortunately, a local radio station plays Christmas music from Thanksgiving until Christmas day, so there is no need to have those tunes on my phone.  A couple of years ago, I posted on Facebook that I was strolling down Peachtree Street listening to the Bee Gee's Stayin' Alive-which seemed strangely appropriate at the time, and my son and UK cousin found it hilarious that I was channeling my inner Tony Manero-it was really hard NOT to! Here's what's I've got-

10.  After the Disco-Broken Bells, I have no idea how this came to be on my iphone.
  9. All Summer Long-I like the Kid Rock version better, and don't know why there are 2 versions here.
 8.  Also sprach Zarathurstra-this is the theme song from 2001 Space Odyssey.  I used this when I put together a video for our graduating seniors a few years ago-clearly this gets skipped when I am walking!
  7.  Any Way you Want it-Journey
  6.  Ask the Lonely-Journey
  5. Au Font Du Lac-Feufollet- a group that Garden and Gun magazine recommended.  I really like their sound.  Reminds me of New Orleans.
  4. Au milieu des loups-Nourith Sibony-from my French music fixation
  3.  Aupres de mon arbre-Georges Brassens (see #4)
  2.  Babel-Nortec-I heard this sound track at a restaurant near my office.  They are a group out of Tijuana.  No vocals, and I love the sound.
  1.  Barcarolle-Charlotte Church

Clearly I need to update my iPhone tunes-it can be such a pain, and honestly, I skip most of these when I'm walking-depends on my mood.  Carole DID say the first 10 that popped up, so there you go, can't wait to see what others have posted.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Getting inspired and overwhelmed-

the recent Southern Living has been sitting on my desk for a while, and I've just now gotten around to looking it over.  I usually skim through the first bit and then head to the recipes.  I'm inspired to try these 2 recipes, I do love a good cake.  The Hot Bourbon Orange Tea Toddy look perfect for the cold winter nights that I'm sure are just around the corner.  Actually, I'm inspired to cook a lot more that's in this month's issue, but of course, that would be impossible.
We are also making plans to ready our house to sell-not that we're going to try to do everything now-certainly not with Christmas just a few weeks away, but some upgrades to the kitchen are already in the works.   These 2 will be delivered in a couple weeks, the cook top won't go in until the granite counter tops are installed, but I'm sorta looking forward to having a new oven and microwave.

After walking around the house with a realtor last night, the realization of what we need to do is starting to feel a bit overwhelming.  Especially when I think about all the stuff that's in our basement-some serious de-cluttering is going to have to happen sooner rather than later. 
I also keep thinking about all the holiday activities that are still on the calendar or to do list-sigh
I'll just have to keep reminding myself- it'll get done just take baby steps.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Musicians I'd resurrect.

As we get closer to the Christmas season Carole's prompt seems appropriate. I don't know anyone who doesn't like some type of music.  I love-love instrumentals, and I'm a devotee to all things 80s [a product of my youth!].  So here's my list in no particular order, and I had to include some composers as well.  My list was tough cause most of my favorites are still alive.  As I perusing the internet for help jogging my memory the deaths of so many musicians due to their life style or violence was staggering and sad.

10. Beethoven
  9.  Elvis-I'd like to have a talk to him about his diet ;-)
  8.  David-from the Old Testament
  7.  Patsy Kline
  6.  Billy Holiday-I'd love to hear her in person
  5.  Chopin
  4.  Mozart
  3. Frank Sinatra
  2. Whitney Houston
  1. Michael Jackson

1&2 really influenced the music I listened to as a teenager not to mention music videos-sigh I really miss my MTV!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Not sure I'm ready to hear. . .

 "I think I met a girl"- followed by-who likes French.  Just a bit of my conversation with PJ today, whew not sure I'm ready for that!  I did ask if she wore shoes [PJ either wears no shoes or flip flops, so it was important to ask see?] and get this she wears-----cowboy boots!!  Oh goodness-so weird :-)

On another note, there must be something about cold weather that makes you walk faster-the past 2 walks I've had my fastest time in a while.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

power of the puffy jacket.

The weather has certainly changed in Atlanta the last couple days.  I kept going back and forth about whether I'd have enough layers to take my lunchtime walk I do NOT like to be cold.  I have book club tonight, so I really needed to get out a move a bit.  Finally, the light bulb went off-there's no reason why I couldn't wear my jacket that I wore into work today right?-duh.  So armed with tights, leggings, t-shirt, light jacket and my puffy jacket I had a wonderful walk despite the gray skies and the breeze!  Tomorrow, I will be more prepared.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bits and pieces

I've collected several things over the years, and sometimes when my Mom knew I "liked" something it meant that I had to have EVERYTHING that had whatever on it.  As I get older I realize that the more I collect, the more I'll most likely have to dust, so I choose my collections carefully.

10. Sunflowers- I love sunflowers so there was a point when I HAD everything with sunflowers, even a pair of tights [now that was going to far]
  9.  Books-do you ever really stop collecting them-art history, museum guides from exhibits we've seen, etc.
  8.  Gone with the Wind "memorabilia" I have received everything from t-shirts to music boxes.  It's one of my favorite movies in terms of the cinematography rather than what the movie was supposed to represent-hey I was born in downtown Atlanta.
  6.  Yarn aka a stash-you have to be prepared for those long waits at the doctor's office, DMV, etc or when you get snowed in!
 5.  Fabric-see #6
 4.  Cookbooks-I've gotten rid of several over the years, and I kinda wished I hadn't, but when you run out of space, sometimes you have to cull the herd.
 3.  Magazines-I have some favorites, but like #4 sometimes you have to make choices on what you really want to keep.
 2. Knitting patterns and books-yep same problem.
 1. Pens- I love a nice writing pen

I'm sure there are other things I have that might be considered collections, but these are the ones that come to mind right now.

So what's collecting on your shelf?

Monday, November 10, 2014

tis the season.

We started a tradition in my office a few years ago of providing breakfast for our veterans thanking them for their service. Of course, we have to do it the day before since the day of is a holiday for our office. I picked up bagels from Einsteins [which has opened right around the corner-yeah!], and when I was setting up, I noticed they were already using Christmas-y packaging.  At first I was like-geez really, it's not even Thanksgiving-I'm not ready for winter-y colors-I'm still enjoying the golds, reds and browns.  Anyway, the message on the boxes got me thinking and is a reminder to keep a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances- share the warmth and be joyful and bright.  Thank you Einsteins for inspiring me on a Monday morning.
Also, I had planned to do a weekend lens blog post, but couldn't get a good photo of my new haircut, or the knitted tunic that I finally got to wear.  I did take a photo of the gorgeous sky that I got to enjoy while running errands.  I should have taken a photo of the wonderful white chicken chili we had on Saturday and the gumbo we had on Sunday, but the bowl was empty before the thought crossed my mind.  I think the medication I've been on for shingles has made me more tired and sluggish-not sure.
How about I share a photo of, Sophie who has developed her own language for letting me know what she wants-lately she barks to go outside, not to do her business, but to play-she is so like a human child!  She much prefers the cooler temps since she has her own fur coat, and has begun spending a lot more time outside in the recent days-hunting and chasing chipmunks-hence the dirty nose.  Yesterday just before dark she insisted on chasing the ball, so I got the golf club and hit the same 2 balls back and forth for about 20 minutes, and she had the best time-she slept REALLY good last night!
I mean that face-it just gets me.

Friday, November 7, 2014

5 on Friday

1. Saw this cool retro bike on my walk this afternoon, of course, had to stop and get a photo or 2.  The light from the sidewalk wasn't quite right, so I had to take it from the street.

2.  I am much further into my Sommer Sleevless Tank than I though, so my knitting bag will be empty very soon.  Time to think about the small knits.

3.  Am so looking forward to my first full weekend as a true emptynester. This whole week since my mother has moved has felt very weird.  I'm doing my best to embrace this change, and not get shackled by guilt. Not easy!

4.  Just bought this book, but don't think I was in time to get the goodie bag :-(-the patterns look lovely don't they?).

5.  I am also looking forward to getting a new do and highlights tomorrow-haven't done anything other than a cut in a very long time.  Photos will definitely be posted.

Happy Friday-the weather here is getting crisp making it perfect for a fire, pizza, and a glass of red wine.  Yes, it's back to being pizza on Fridays!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Knitting has been moving along at a good pace.  I had a lot of nervous energy the past week or so because of my mother's move, but I didn't want to tackle anything that required a lot of focus.  There has been significant progress on my aperture cardigan.  I am almost finished with the body, and hope to start the sleeves this weekend. The knitting on my parabola and the seaming of the staccato layer are complete, but I need to seam the silk cloud layer and block.  I don't want to rush through this part, so I've put it off and hope to tackle it on Saturday.  Still in the WIP stages are the Falcons socks-need to try to work on them during the next televised game on Sunday [if I can bear to watch!], The Sommer Sleeveless Tank has seen NO love in quite a while.  It'll probably languish until the spring when it'll be the right weather to wear it.  While I have finished the blocks for Week 1 of the Kaffe Fassett Pure Wool Worsted Knit Along, I have done nothing with Weeks 2-4.  I will be ordering the yarn I need for these blocks today.  Maybe there will be some progress on these this weekend if I get parabola completed.  These blocks are perfect for TV knitting.  I did finish my purple socks, they need blocking-just plain vanilla.  My goal for the next few months is to knit from my stash, and only work on small projects [hats, gloves, socks, etc.].  I want to really enjoy the holidays and not get overwhelmed with anything that requires a lot of thinking or deadlines.  Knitting has definitely been my therapy the last few weeks.  I also have some quilting projects I'd like to tackle before 2014 ends so we'll see how that goes!  What's on your needles?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

10 on Tuesday-Book Series

I've always been an avid reader-as a kid it was not unusual for me to walk home from the library while reading a book at the same time.  Thankfully, I never veered off into traffic!  Here's my list in no particular order, because if you had to ask me my favorite book/series of all time, I'd be hard pressed to give you just one. 

10.  Outlander series-I began reading this series since it first came out and I'm on the most recent release-mere pages from the end-I have a feeling this is not the last book!
 9.  44 Scotland Street and The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith-so love him and my niece and I went to an author signing several years ago-he is a hoot!  I just saw on his website where he'll be in Atlanta THIS Friday-don't think I can work out the logistics to make it to this event on short notice :-(
 8.  Agatha Christie Mysteries-whether it's Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple-I could read these books over and over again.
 7.  The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
 6.  PD James and her detective Adam Dalgleish-what is it about the Brits and their mysteries?!
 5.  Elizabeth George and her Inspector Lynley series-there is only one of these books that I did not like, but over all-love-love these books.
  4.  Carol O'Connell's Mallory series-my boss got me hooked on these books-we anxiously await the release of her books to see what Mallory has gotten into-set in NYC I can't get enough of the characters in these books.
 3. Edward Rutherford-even though he doesn't write series-his books follow the same pattern.  Love his books Sarum, New York, and London.  Historical fiction is another genre I can really get into.
 2. Miss Julia by Ann B. Ross-these are just fun-quick reads.  Miss Julia is always getting into trouble!
 1. The Lincoln Ryme series by Jeffery Deaver-great if you are into suspense thrillers and NYC-which I am.
I don't know what I want to do more in my spare time read or knit-I need to get some audible books so I can do both!

Monday, November 3, 2014

October has come and gone.

Lots of different views this month.

~Celebrating Sophie's birthday, of course, she makes several appearances throughout the month.
~Knitting/knitwear was featured 6 times (the Falcons project bag contains a WIP)
~Football was prominent-Georgia Tech and Atlanta Falcons-at least logos were there.
~Highlights from my trip to visit my inlaws
~2 film stars made an appearance on the 7th, Chevy Chase and Ed Helms-in the area filming the      next Vacation movie.  I also saw Beverly DeAngelo.
~several pictures of looking up down and forward-none looking back!
 Looks like I also got to spend quite a bit of time outside.  We had some lovely weather this month.  I believe winter is right around the corner based upon this past weekends weather.

Hope October had some lovely highlights for you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Focus on the Positive

Carole's prompt this week is a timely one.  With my Mom's upcoming move from our house there is still quite a bit of negative energy, and underlying tension.  Focusing on what's going well is where I need to put my mind right now.

10.  Early voting after work yesterday-one less thing to do.
  9.  Our weather during the last several days-have LOVED sitting on the deck with my knitting
  8.  Watching Sophie chase chipmunks in the back yard-she's quick, but not quick enough. She has also enjoyed spending lots of time outside just handing out.
  7.  The support I've received regarding changes within our household-am trying to remember to breathe through this process.  I don't think I'll be able to exhale until November 2.
  6.  A new blog, and being able to express my true thoughts and feelings.
  5.  My knitting, projects are moving along at a good pace-it has truly been my therapy.
  4.  Learning how to change my bike tire and general maintenance-I FINALLY took a class last week at a local bike shop.
  3. Book Club-am hosting in November, and I picked Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh-am enjoying this re-read.
  2.  My job-very low stress and an amazing boss-really goes far when your personal life has "bumps".
  1.  Lunchtime walks-see #5

Whew-feels good to write this down.