Friday, January 30, 2015

Is it spring?

Possibly-other than Monday, the weather here has been pretty nice.  I've been able to spend 30 minutes or so with Sophie in the backyard after work.  Fun for us both, me with a glass of wine, and she get's to run around chasing the tennis ball.  Yesterday I only had to wear a fleece jacket to stay warm, and I grilled chicken for our dinner.  This time last year we were under a blanket of snow, or at least by Atlanta standards it was a blanket!  Am making the most of days like this cause I know February, March and April can be pretty unpredictable in our area.  The next couple weekends will be jammed packed, so I'm trying to use my days during the work to do the un-fun things like cleaning and laundry.  How're things in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Weekend Lens

Now that I've released myself from Project Life, I hope to be a better blogger. I'm also going to make a concerted effort to use my digital camera a lot more. I managed some pretty good photos on both the digital camera and my I-phone. I also got LOTS of things done, but I did fall short on finishing 2 things that I was sure I could make happen. I guess I really can't knit in my sleep! Saturday included the final bit of cutting before sewing some exchange blocks together-trying to use the self timer!

Fresh baked bread on Saturday AND Sunday, I love this book, and I FINALLY realized a couple things I was doing wrong in my baking. The stone goes on the very bottom, and the broiler pan that holds the water goes above the bread-duh. It is actually in the baking instructions how'd I miss that?! Also, the oven has to be at 450 degrees for 20 minutes before the baking begins- yea that was in the instructions too. Am feeling really inspired now to try more of the recipes in the book.  Also, made some chocolate chip cookies-there is nothing better than fresh baked goodies.
I got some deep cleaning accomplished, laundry, and rode my bike indoors for my exercise.  Looking forward to warmer weather so I can ride outdoors-so different and very invigorating.

I dropped off what I hope is the final load of stuff at Goodwill until we actually put our house on the market, and need to do a final purge.

Moved all my knitting books and patterns to my side of the office, and dropped off 79 books at the library.  It felt really good having completed this task.  The basement warehouse is much more empty than it was a couple months ago.

Sewing blocks for the exchange-ended exactly where I wanted, but realized I may be missing the squares for another club members blocks-ugh!

I started this hat which I actually hoped I'd finish, but I took advantage of the daylight to work on Aperture-I'm only about 1/2 way through the short rows on the collar, then I still need to weave in the ends and block-will this project EVER be finished?!

Sunday was church, sewing, knitting, grilling, and spending some time with Sophie in the back yard.  It was on the cool side, but so nice to be outside.  

I also finished The Light Between the Oceans and LOVED it!  I started Daughter of Fortune, and am pleased that I'm making serious headway on my Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge.  I'm looking forward to a pretty simple week, with activities planned for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  One of my goals for 2015 is to keep my schedule simple and open, and enjoy the right now.

Fab-Fun Footwear

This week's prompt takes me back to my shoe fixation in high school.  There was a shoe store I adored call Wild Pair-you could get the craziest shoes on sale for as little as $5.  I had stilettos in all kinds of colors and styles, and one of my favorite finds was a pair of flat white boots with gold and silver moon and stars on them-great fun for dancing!  Oh, those were the days! When I had my car accident [almost 22 years ago] I broke my ankle and had a knee injury that has prevented me from wearing any shoes with a skinny heel.  Makes me glad that chunky heels and wedges are in style, but on the odd occasion I have a lovely pair of purple suede pumps I'll wear as long as I'm not doing too much standing or walking.  I really miss the days of sky high shoes; I'm 5'1" so I could easily get away with the extra height.  Today my footwear is much different from the big hair and high heels of the 80s, and yes I did sometimes wear ankle socks with lace even though I was 15-18 years old at the time!

10.  Wool hand knit socks-my feet get cold, and these are the best.  They are also fun knitting projects that are very portable.  I think these totally count.
  9.  Flats in assorted colors-love them and can wear them nearly year round here in the South.
  8.  Black Mary Janes-perfect for #10
  6.  Black Clogs-see #6
  5.  New Balance running shoes
  4.  Sandals-so close to being bare-foot
  3.  Clark's riding [style] boots-LOVE LOVE them
  2. No lace Pumas I use for riding my bike indoors.
  1.  Cowboys boots-I only have two pairs, but would like to have more.  They are soooo comfortable, and they make people smile.

Friday, January 23, 2015

5 on Friday

A few things I'm looking forward to this weekend, and I'm loving the idea that I don't have to leave the house until Sunday for church, and I really have a short to-do list this week!

1.  Casting on, knitting and finishing a hat-totally doable right!
2.  Only one real chore-moving books to new locations in the house-really shouldn't take that long.
3.  Knitting-hopefully LOTS including the last bit of work on my Aperture cardigan
4.  Pizza and the season premiere of Justified.
5.  Try another bread recipe to go with leftover soup and bake chocolate chip cookies.

I'm sure I'll add more things to my list mentally, but would love to keep it simple this weekend.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Being in a happy place

This week's prompt is such a good reminder to focus on the good around me-so what's making me happy?

10.  The sky is so blue, and the sun is shining-60+ degrees today!
  9.  Being extra productive during the last 6 days
  8.  Plowing through the block for this year's block exchange, am anxious to move onto other things, but can't til these are done.
  7.  Sophie coming home exhausted from her time at doggie day care-helped make #9 possible.
  6.  The wonderful and supportive women in my life right now.
  5.  Getting a chance to hang out with my sewing friends
  4.  Getting a chance to hang out with my knitting friends
  3.  The books I've read and am currently reading for the Book Riots Read Harder Challenge.
  2.  The deep purging of stuff over the last couple weeks.
  1.  being almost done with ALL THAT attached I-cord on my Aperture cardigan!

I'm sure I could list tons more, but I think these are definitely the top 10!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Battling the winter blahs

the 10 on Tuesday prompt was appropriated considering what greeted me when I landed in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon.  Honestly, winter in the south is generally not to bad-unless we several inches of snow dumped on us every 3-4 years! Last year's snow jam made us the laughing stock of the rest of the country.  The hotel I stayed in has proven to be very cozy and homey,  but I am looking forward to getting back home.  Some of the things I do-
10. Knit-winter is the perfect time to for quick cozy knits like hats, mittens and cowls.  Doing these projects in bright colors makes me happy.
  9.  Enjoying a spicy and hot beverage or one with some zing
  8.  Having a fire going in the fireplace
  7.  Making sure the blinds/curtains are always open-especially when the sun is shining!
  6.  Go for a walk-like #7 especially when the sun is shining-i like the idea of banking the good days to off set the gloomy days.
  5.  Work on quilts in bright colors-nothing better than cheery sunny fabrics
  4.  Indulge in a margarita! mmmm lime
  3.  Read a book set in a warm/sunny place or the beach
  2.  Listen to upbeat music
  1.  Remind myself that every day of winter brings me closer to spring!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rising to the challenge

I decided to accept the Book Riots Read Harder Challenge for 2015 that Mary suggested cause she always has such good ones!  I started January 1 with Jane Austen's Mansfield Park cause it was really the only book I had on hand that qualified for one of the 24 tasks.  Since then I've gotten books from the library and have begun a list of other books that qualify for the challenge.  I think it's going to be a lot of fun, and give me a chance to read some new authors.  So far I'm currently reading-

A book written before 1850-Austen's Mansfield Park
A microhistory-The Widow Clicquot by Tilar Mazzio-it's about champagne, pretty good so far

Written by an author before they were 25- The Mysteries of Pittsburgh-Michael Chabon-an interesting book, and was written in 1988 so it takes me back to my younger days.  Still not sure of the point of the book.

Recommended by another person-The Light Between the Oceans by ML Stedman.  This is also a book club read so that's a win-win for me!

What I've decided to read for the other tasks include:

A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65-Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)- - Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ- The Importance of Being Earnest or The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

A book by a person whose gender is different from your own- Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson

There is an active group on Good Reads which has really helped in getting ideas about what books to choose.  Here's to a year full of great books.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Plans, goals and intentions

 Being inspired by today's prompt and Mary's post I've got a lot going on inside my head about what 2015 is going to be like for me.  I'm trying to be positive and optimistic for 2015 since we are wanting to sell our house and downsize this year, but I still feel weighted down due to my constant fear that we'll have to move my mother back in with us.  I think having clearly defined goals and a precise focus will hopefully keep things from being too stressful.

10.  Knitting-finish what's on the needles and knit from stash-patterns and yarn.
  9.  Breath in AND out
  8.  Stay healthy-mentally, physically and emotionally
  7.  Purge, purge all that unnecessary STUFF
  6.  Complete the Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge
  5. Move, bend and stretch
  4. Smile more
  3.  Pray more
  2.  Learn to filter and respond to circumstances better
  1.  Live more simply

Check back with me in about 6 months and we'll see how all this is going?