Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

We went to see Sherlock Holmes on Christmas day. The movie was fun. I know I laughed a lot.

Ross and I only had one complaint. There is a scene where Sherlock Holmes and the bad guy kind of have a telepathic conversation. If the bad guy had just said his line out loud it would have been better. I was generous with my suspension of disbelief--everyone seems to survive everything.

Robert Downey, Jr. was great and so was Jude Law. The homage to the Joker made me laugh. I highly recommend the movie.

West Virginia

We spent the weekend at Cider Mill House in West Virginia. We'd been there before, and it was just as good as I remember. The owners tried to kill us with food at breakfast. Saturday morning we had: pumpkin bread, juice, tea, breakfast potatoes, crescent rolls, vegetarian sausage, and a zucchini and cheese frittata. Then there was dessert! We had a pear, poached in sugar water and rum, with the liquid over it as sauce, and a cranberry-whipped cream fluff. Holy cow. We didn't have lunch--on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday because the breakfasts were so hearty.  Every morning we had a feast. 

Critter spotting in West Virginia: pygmy goats, guinea hens, chickens, fox squirrels, grey squirrels, various birds, horses, dogs, cats, a donkey, a miniature pony, llamas, and buffalo!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bailey's Hanukkah Presents

Bailey has gotten two Hanukkah presents so far.

My mom sent a package last week and when I pulled out the packing paper I told Bailey that her first Hanukkah present had arrived. She loves it.
The last time I was at Petsmart I got this red rat for Bailey. She used to have two of these--a white one and a grey-brown one. She liked them, but they always creeped me out. I'd see one out of the corner of my eye and think it was real.This red rat is the perfect solution. When we gave it to her she was so excited that she kept picking it up by the tail and throwing it into the air. Then she would jump over it. We'd never seen her play like that. She was so excited that I think she forgot we were her and just went nuts. Of course when we pulled out the camera she pretty much just sat there and stared at us like we were crazy and refused to play with the rat. Typical cat.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Goodbye Madison

My skin had gotten really thin over my piercing, and I had decided to take it out at the end of the month. Then I got a follicular cyst on the top end and my skin swelled up and a hard lump formed. I moved my "quit date" per say, up to the 22d, but I couldn't last until then. The lump hadn't gone away and it was hurting last night. As soon as I got home today I took it out. It sort of hurt, and got stuck right under where the lump is. I think scar tissue has started forming. So hopefully some vitamin E and other skin treatments will help soften the skin and make the lump go away.

I'm a little sad. Bye Bye Bling.

I originally got the piercing when I lost weight. Since then I've gained weight. My plan is to lose the weight, let my neck heal, then get it re-pierced in a year or two. I'm going to miss my Madison Piercing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Locks of Love .... Grrrr

I don't like Locks of Love. I just saw a guy on a makeover show try to convince a girl to cut her hair because it would go to Locks of Love. Her hair is dyed. It can't be used by Locks of Love to make a wig. He said two wigs will be made from her hair. No. It takes a lot more hair than from one hair cut to make a wig. He also said that the wigs would go to kids with cancer. No. Locks of Love makes wigs for children with alopecia areata and other medical reasons for hair loss. Most children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment are not eligible for a wig through Locks of Love. According to one website the organization received enough hair to make 10,000 wigs in one year, yet made less than 200.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths has distributed 2,000 wigs since 2006. Just as many as Locks of Love has made since 1996.

It makes me angry that everyone encourages donations to such a poorly run organization. Part of the problem is that people do not understand the requirements for hair donation. But I think another problem is that Locks of Love does not make the requirements clear, nor does it make clear who is eligible for the wigs. Still, celebrities chop off their hair and encourage others to do so so that they can feel good about themselves. In the end -- if you cut your hair and send it to locks of love -- it will most likely be sold to a wig making company or thrown out.

If you are going to cut your hair and want to donate it please do some research. Make sure your hair meets the requirements and will be used to make a wig.

I've ranted about this before. I'll go back to doing laundry now.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What I Call My Baby

There are all sorts of nicknames that I have for Bailey.
Kiki--what I called her when she was really little. It didn't stick
Bailey Bear--what we call her most of the time
Sugar Muffin--what I call her when I'm coming up the stairs and I can hear her crying
Bay-lee-lee--Tiffany started this one
Jerk--what I call her when she won't sit with me

I really like nicknames and sometimes call people by some name I made up for them and refuse to call them their name. Bailey doesn't seem to care what I call her--but to her credit she does know what her name is.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pineapple Stuffed French Toast

The girls at work keep talking about pumpkin stuffed French toast. I decided to make pineapple stuffed French toast this morning for Ross's birthday. He liked it.

Pineapple Stuffed French Toast

French Toast (I used some funky bread that we got at Costco)

Pineapple Filling
Crushed pineapple
Light agave nectar
Cream cheese (I used one package of the lower fat kind)
Powdered sugar

Yoghurt (I used pineapple Chobani)

Whipped cream

1. Whip together filling ingredients with hand mixer. I probably used 1/4 cup pineapple.
2. Put stuffing into freezer to help it firm up.
3. Make French toast.
4. Make a sandwich with the French toast and the filling.
5. Cut the sandwich in half.
6. Put a dollop of yoghurt on the toast.
7. Top off with some whipped cream.
8. Nom. Nom. Nom.

Pumpkin Smoothie

Yesterday I decided to have a pumpkin smoothie for lunch. It was yummy, and it made the kitchen smell like a pumpkin pie. Then I wanted pie, but there was none.

Pumpkin Smoothie

1/1 cup pumpkin puree (from a can)
whey powder
dark agave nectar

Add all ingredients to blender and mix well. Enjoy.

Sock Reinforcements

I finished knitting Ross's socks a while ago, but before he could wear them I had to reinforce them. Based on the almost-holes in some of his socks I reinforced the heels, toes, and ball of the foot area. I am finally done with the reinforcements. Now hopefully his socks will last longer.

This is step 1 of reinforcing the sock: I turned the sock inside out and put a piece of cardboard in the sock to stretch it out a little bit. I wove the same color yarn into the purl bumps--every other one.
 The second step: I then wove the yarn across the first layer of woven yarn.
 This photo shows what it looks like when it is completely done: The heel area (maroon) has been woven twice.
The great thing is that when you turn the sock right side out you can't tell at all that there is a bunch of weaving on the inside! The heels and toes are bulkier, and a bit stiffer, but you can't tell from looking at them.

Now Ross can wear his socks snowboarding or whenever and I don't have to worry about them having a hole after the first wash.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Time to Say Goodbye?

My piercing has been giving me trouble since this Summer. This week I noticed that the skin over the bar has become very thin. There isn't really anything I can do about that. I need to take out the piercing before the skin breaks open. I was thinking of taking it out at the end of the year, but I don't know if it will last that long. I'm really sad to see it go. Maybe I will take it out and have it pierced again later. After I get back to my goal weight and hold it for at least 3 months. So sad. I don't want to take it out.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Busy Weekend

On Saturday I went shopping in Pennsylvania with Elizabeth. We went to some outlet malls and the King of Prussia Mall, which is the second largest mall in the country. It was a busy day and although I got some good deals, I don't feel the need to ever go back. I was specifically going shopping for some boots, and I was disappointed to come home without any.

After all the shopping I met Valerie and the girls for dinner at Chick Fil-A. We then headed over to Ulta to buy makeup for Evelyn. Yes, Evelyn. She will be dancing in the Nutcracker and needs her own make up set.  Thank goodness the ballet company gave Valerie a list of approved products. It took us a while to find everything and make our choices. With no guidance we would have been there forever.

Saturday night Bailey had claimed the inflatable bed and didn't run away when the girls got into bed! She even stayed for part of their bedtime story. The girls were great with Bailey and she was really comfortable around them, even laying on her back!

After the girls fell asleep Valerie and I ran to Wal Mart for a makeup case and some other things. I finally got to bed around midnight--the second night in a row of late nights.
Sunday morning we labelled all of Evelyn's make up and Julia gave Valerie and me makeovers with all the new make up. We went to the Dairy for lunch. Even though I told them I only wanted a little bit of ice cream they double packed the first flavor and I had to tell them to stop scooping on the second flavor--and I still couldn't finish it all. I got pumpkin and gingersnap. I really like the gingersnap.

Julia really didn't want to leave. I tried to explain that she had to go back so that she could go to preschool and stuff, but she wasn't having it. When it was time to say goodbye she refused to hug us and said she didn't want to go to preschool.

After lunch I went to a couple of stores and ran out of steam pretty quickly. I took a nap as soon as we got back home. I'm still a little worn out. I'm not used to being so busy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On My Nerves

I'm going to rant a bit about things that have been getting on my nerves.

1. The way people drive here.

It doesn't matter how fast you go, or if the next lane is open, people have to be all up in your trunk. Sometimes they are so close I can't see their license plates or headlights. The tailgating is bad. Scary bad.

2. When people say two thousand and seven.

And means there is a decimal point. The more educated the person, the more it gets on my nerves. This is a thing that has only recently started to annoy me, but man it makes my skin crawl.

3. Sucky websites.

Man, sometimes I really want to buy something, but the vendor's website sucks so much that I give up. Buy it on ebay. Sometimes the pages are just really really old and they no longer even sell what I'm seeing on the page. Jerks.

4. People using Coach as a title.

I was at a meeting recently and a man was introduced as Dr. Brown. He got up and said, "Actually, I'm Coach Brian." What the hell? And he introduced someone else as Coach Jim. Even though Jim had introduced himself without using the Coach title. We weren't talking about anything sports related. I was confused. Coach is not a title, and using a title with a first name is just dumb. Ross refuses to answer to Mr. Ross, and hates being introduced that way.

I know there are more things that have been annoying me, but that is all I can think of at the moment.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boot Socks for Ross

It took me about 3 weeks to knit these boot socks for Ross. The idea is that he can wear them with his snowboard boots. He likes them. 

I pretty much improvised the pattern. I cast on 20 stitches using Judy's Cast on and then increased to 40. I knit them with a 3x2 rib and increased on the sides (to 5x3) for the calf. The heel is a short row heel. I don't know if I did it correctly, but it looks okay. I used Jen's super stretchy bind off. Now I'm working on reinforcing the toes, heels, and feet. He can't wear them at all until I do that because he can wear out the toe of a sock the first time he wears it. 

The socks look ridiculous off. They look like they are made for someone with a very skinny leg.

I've decided that I really like knitting two at a time toe up. Ross was able to try the socks on as I knitted them and both socks were done at the same time. If I did it over again I'd make the maroon stripes a little thicker. other than that, I think they turned out well.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5 L

Yesterday I drank at least 5 liters of water. Yes. Five. Yes, I peed a lot.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Every Halloween I try to put on false eyelashes. I end up with a bunch of glue all over my eyelids and in the corner of my eyes. All I've managed to do is cut the corners of the eyelashes off and just glue those on. Yesterday while Ross was in class I managed to glue the right eyelash on with very few problems. The left one on the other hand took at least 10 tries. I wore them around the house, and to Wal-Mart, but by the time we were ready for ice cream my eyes had had enough and I took them off. I don't think you can tell in the photo--but these eyelashes were spotted feathers.

Pumpkin Carving 2011

Last night we had our annual pumpkin carving gathering. I made some butternut squash soup and Texas garlic toast. We (mainly me) also munched on jalapeno poppers. Monica and Ainsmar joined us. We missed  having Richard. Everyone's pumpkins turned out nicely. Ainsmar carved the Mummy. Monica carved the Great Pumpkin. I carved the Bats, and Ross carved Mike. After pumpkin carving and photos Ainsmar, Ross and I went to the Dairy for ice cream. They had pumpkin ice cream. Perfect! Ross and Ainsmar had the pumpkin sundaes (with a snickerdoodle, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin butter, caramel, and cinammon crunchies) and I had plain pumpkin ice cream. I think a good time was had by all.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Puss in Boots

I decided yesterday that I wanted to go to the movies. That's pretty rare for me. I wanted to see Puss in Boots. It was playing at the drive-in, but I didn't think I had the stamina to sit through more than one movie, and it was cold out last night. So we went to see Puss in Boots at the regular theater. I'd seen a couple of trailers. I was worried that the theater would be packed with little kids, but the theater wasn't packed at all. Why? We went to see it in 2-D. There was only one overly-enthusiastic child was shouting and hooting and hollering through the first part of the movie.

Ross and I were happy that they hadn't shown the whole movie in the previews. In fact, we had no idea what the plot was or what other characters were in the movie. It wasn't the best movie ever, but we laughed our butts off a couple of times. There was a great dance scene and I think Ross and I were laughing harder than anyone else in the theater. There were also a couple of adult jokes that cracked us up.

I'm glad we went. It was good to get out of the house and have a good laugh. Now we're wondering if they are going to have a Donkey movie.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Yesterday I watched a David Attenborough show on deep sea creatures and it gave me nightmares. The animals that live at the bottom of the ocean are scary. I was dreaming about mollusk covered train cars and three-fanged worms. The angler fish was crazy icky. I'm surprised I didn't see any of them in my nightmares.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oops, I Did It Again

I gave into temptation and bought this tiny orchid at Trader Joe's this weekend. I love the color of the tiny little flowers. I put Penny in the guest room. I'm hoping the cooler air in there will make her bloom. In the meantime I'll enjoy my new orchid. I think I'll call her Maggie.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Obsessed, but Unfocused

I'm obsessed with knitting lately. I even dream about it. I'm knitting a pair of socks for Ross to wear while snowboarding, and they are coming along nicely. The thing is, I spend a lot of time looking at knitting things on the web instead of actually knitting. I start thinking about what I'm going to knit next. What I'm going to knit for whom, and looking for patterns. I'd be a lot further on these socks if I just focused. I think I'll knit a longha (muffin top) warmer next. That will be easy, mindless knitting, so it should go quickly--if I can stay focused. My list of things I want to knit keeps growing, but I have a strong policy of only working on one project at a time. Otherwise I'd have a pile of half-knitted things. So I'm going to try and focus a bit more on these socks, then I'll decide what's next.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Me Want Afro

Okay, squint your eyes a little so that it doesn't look like such a fake photo. How do I look?

I'm at a kind of transitional place right now with my hair. I don't know if I want to cut it off or grow it out. Lately I want an afro. I met a woman with a great afro this week and it made me just want to chop up my hair and see if I could get it to stand up like that. 

I don't know what to do with my hair, but right now I just don't like this in between length.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Leather and Cashmere

I go to the Nearly New Sale at GBMC twice a year with my friend Amy. It is the perfect place to find great deals on clothes and things for the house. I usually go with Amy on Sunday afternoons, but we decided to go yesterday morning. Wow. The place was a madhouse. We could barely walk around and didn't even see half of the place before we called it quits. We went back again today, and there was hardly anyone there. It was so much nicer.  All in all I spent less than 50 dollars and came home with:

a pair of black leather pants that I will probably wear to Ross's company Christmas party
a black cashmere sweater (Bailey and I loooooove cashmere.)
a jenaer glas cappuccino cup that I'll be using as a bowl
a small, really cute depression glass pitcher
a metal pitcher
a new powdered sugar shaker for Ross (We can't get our old one open to add more sugar!)
a Japanese tea set for two
a tie for Ross
a pink ball of yarn
a set of yarn for darning
a white designer purse--it had pen marks on it, but I've already cleaned it up and it looks great
a ceramic pot for my imaginary ginkgo bonsai
thigh high stockings

Recent Knits

 I've gotten back into knitting again recently. It has been helping me stay away from ebay I guess. I decided to knit up a scarf with the leftover yarn from my knitted bonnet. I wanted an interesting texture, but not anything I'd really have to concentrate on.  Ross loves hexes, and I like them too. I found this pattern in an online stitch dictionary. It is very easy. I just knitted along until I ran out of yarn.
I decided to use some 100% angora yarn that I bought at an estate sale in Texas to make a kerchief. Just a little something to keep warm. In the end Ross said I looked like Jeff Goldblum in Buckaroo Banzai. Nice.

The kerchief turned out to be a pretty easy knit. I even added beads, but they are hard to see with the fuzziness of the yarn. The pinkish yarn fibers get everywhere. They are worse than cat hair. I still have a lot of yarn left over, I have no idea what I'm going to make with it.

Next up: socks for Ross. I'm going to try two at a time toe-up. That way he can try them on as I make them and I can knit until I run out of yarn. I've already got the yarn, and I have gotten some new circular needles---I just have to figure out what I'm going to knit. I found a pattern that I like, but it is for a size 12 foot, and Ross is closer to a size 10. So I'm not sure if I'm going to try and knit it on smaller needles or subtract some stitches or what.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Collection: Ginkgo Leaves

I started collecting leaves in 2005 and taping them to my plain vanilla lamp shade to kind of spruce it up. I collected all sorts of leaves, but I'm especially attracted to ginkgo leaves and I still collect those. I love the shapes. I like how some of them are split, and some aren't. They also aren't necessarily symmetrical. I really, really want a gingko tree. I want to get a small one and see if I can turn it into a ginkgo bonsai. Maybe I can grow one from seed.

My ginko collection is mostly on the sewing machine under a sheet of glass. I've thought of scanning them in to make a pattern that I could embroider on something. I'm not good at embroidery though. I even have a ginkgo leaf that I picked up in NYC in a frame with a picture of me and my mom at the Statue of Liberty. The sewing machine is getting full. I'm thinking maybe I should start putting the leaves in a book and label them with the place and date I picked them up. All OCD like.

Unlike my shoe collection and my hanky collection my ginkgo leaves are pretty much useless. Maybe I can get a couple of small leaves and shellac them and make earrings out of them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NYC: Quick Trip

Valerie and I took a quick trip to New York City this past weekend. It was a whirlwind trip. We were there about 24 hours.

Our first stop was to get some food at Peels. Valerie had the shrimp and grits and I had the gobblecado sandwich. We both enjoyed our food. We also had drinks. Valerie went with the traditional Bellini and I had the Jasmine Cooler--very refreshing.

I wanted to go the Crafts on Columbus street fair, so we headed uptown. We took a walk across Central Park--and that is when the rain started. It came down really hard. Despite our umbrellas we were pretty wet. My purse (huge purse) was sticking out, so it was soaked. We waited under some scaffolding for a while, then walked to a couple of stores. The rain eventually let up and we went back to the craft fair. I didn't see the vendor I was specifically looking for--lots of vendors left early because of the rain. I did find some really nice earrings made from Victorian spoon handles. I bought them. The same vendor also had really neat bracelets made from old typewriter keys.

After changing our hotelroom--the first one reeked so badly of smoke I was crying--we dragged ourselves out to dinner in Little Italy. Of course we got some dessert across the street at La Bella Ferrara. We headed up to Times Square, where I guess we spent a long time, because we didn't get back to our hotel until after midnight!

On Sunday we slept in and then went to Ess-a-Bagel for breakfast. We ended up standing in line for 45 minutes and just got (bagel) sandwiches to go--it was almost lunch time. The bagels were huge! We made our way down to the bus stop, and that was the end of our trip. I was able to sleep both ways on the bus. I credit my noise cancelling headphones. I love them. This was a great trip. It makes me want to go back for another quickie trip.

Two new things that I'm obsessed with: getting a bigger, better umbrella, and finding some cool tights. Lots of ladies were sporting fancy tights around the city.

Oh yeah, we walked 5.6 miles!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Catnip Fortune Cookie

I needed a quick little project to keep myself occupied, so I knit up a little circle to make this fortune cookie. I hand fulled (felted) it because I didn't feel like running the washing machine and waiting to see what it turned out like. -- I knit a circle before this one and nothing happened to it when I washed it.--

I sewed up the cookie and just before I it was completely closed I poured some catnip in. I gave it to Bailey yesterday afternoon, and her first reaction was to try to dive into the center of it. I'm not sure she loves it, but she likes it enough to babysit it. This morning I saw her sitting on it, guarding it.


This morning the sun was actually shining for the first time in what seems like forever. The clouds looked so nice---and non-threatening. This photo doesn't really capture it all.

Photo Month: Day 30: Italy: Il Duomo

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photo Month: Day 29: Fireworks

Cinnamon Rolls

I recently decided I wanted to make cinnamon rolls. I finally found a recipe that I thought would work. I didn't put any frosting on them, and I think they turned out awesome. Of course they were best when they first came out of the oven. I've been eating them as dessert--heated up and a la mode. I cut these thinner than the recipe directed. That was a lame attempt to shrink the serving size. Amazingly enough, there are still some in the house (I cooked them on Sunday.) I think these are worth the effort and I think next time I'll make them thick just to see how they turn out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Photo Month: Day 27: Torture Museum: The Pear

The oral, anal, vaginal pear that is.

Morning Haiku

Brake lights, classic rock.
Grey mist unfurls overhead.
Passing yellow fields.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Photo Month: Day 25: Bailey and the Quilt

I love this photo. It shows Bailey in our quilt before it was finished. You can see the pins along the edge above her head. Good times. Ross says if I ever try to quilt again he'll divorce me. He's serious. I guess if I ever want another quilt I'll have to go buy one in Amish country or have one commissioned.