Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Better Late Than Never I know it's not last night.....I know I'm late....FYI.....I'm ALWAYS late.  But I eventually get there and always do what I say I'm going to do....slowly but surely.

This was my Sunday morning.  It was a rainy dreary day, and the week has continued to be that way. In case some of you aren't from "around here,"  I'll tell you what I served up that morning.  Bacon and scrambles eggs - duh - with some cheese in the eggs.  I love cheese almost as much as butter.  Those lumpy looking things on the plate are cranberry scones....yum!  With butter (of course) and home made strawberry and fig jam.  My Mom's best friend Brenda donated the jam.  She's another amazing woman and pretty much my other mom....but that's another story for another day.  Let's just say that she's always there....Love her!!  And now for the fun stuff....that white weird looking stuff in the pot on the back burner are grits.  Ever heard of them?  This is a distinctly southern food.  Kind of like cream of wheat.  Some people call it hominy.  It's made from ground up corn and you serve it with butter (another duh) and salt.  Do not ruin grits by putting anything sweat in it, like milk and sugar - YUK!!!  It is kind of like cream of wheat in texture, but not in taste.  The best way to have grits is with Country Ham and Red Eye Gravy....again, another story for another day.

Anyway, that is what I wish I had this morning instead of a slice of toast and coffee.  Course, I also wish I could have stayed home so I could work on this:

This is the ripple blanket I mentioned before.  It's very subtle because it's a gift and the receivers aren't flashy color people.  It will look beautiful in their home.  Car Guy helped pick out the colors.  The yarn is Lion Brand Home Spun in Herb.  It's a soft variegated yarn.  I'll have to take a close up picture so you can see the variations in the color better.  It makes me think of fall and leaves changing.  I'm about a third of the way done.  The weather needs to get a little cooler because, now that the blanket is getting larger, it really does warm me up when I'm working on it.

This is a sweater that I just finished.  It needs to be blocked again because it draws up funny.  I also need to find the perfect button.  The pin is just something I put there so that it would stay on the hanger for the picture.  I'm looking for something unique, but not to flashy.  Again, this one is a gift and the receiver leans towards more subdued colors.  It's made out of a cotton linen blend yarn, so it's really soft....and hand...but at least it doesn't have to be dry cleaned, which was my main goal.

And finally, the granny square purse I'm working on.  This is a gift also and this person LOVES color and lots of it.  If you look at the bottom right of the picture, you'll see that the top of the purse is going to be a zigzag shape. And that bright, crazy material behind it?  That's going to be the lining.  This is still a work in process because there are a lot of technicalities that I've got to work out.  Thank goodness my Mom is here to help.  I think we might work on it this week end.

Well, now you know what I've been up to. Couple all this with work, my boys being back in school, keeping up with Car Guy and I've been pretty busy.

You also may have noticed that I've changed my blog picture to a more seasonally appropriate one.  Fall is finally getting here.  Soon the leaves will be changing and I'll be testing some of my photography skills so that you can see how beautiful my part of the world is. The new picture actually doesn't do North Carolina justice.  When the leaves start changing, I'll take you all with me to the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains.  Some of the views are so spectacular, they will take you breath away.

It's time for me to get back to work.  the world is knocking at my door and won't be ignored.  Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


OK.  I've been slack.  I know it.  I have pictures and tons of stuff to talk about and the real world has kept me too busy to get to it.  Sorry!  I've read all your comments and I REALLY appreciate them.  By the way, my mom is  Super Woman....just in case you didn't know.....or is she Wonder Woman......either way, I know that she's amazing and I'm one of the luckiest people in the world to have her.

So tonight, I will get the pictures together and we'll catch up. I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I don't feel. Thanks Mom!

When I was little and wasn't feeling well, I'd say to my sainted Mother "I don't feel, Mommy."  I guess I didn't know that I was supposed to tell her that I didn't feel good.  But Mom always knew if I said I didn't feel, that I was getting sick. It's funny how these odd little things carry through life.  I am now 42 years old.  I am the mother of two and wife of one, but here's how the phone conversation went Saturday:

Mom: "Hey Honey, how do you feel?"
Me: "I don't"
Mom: "Do you need anything?"

See?!  Sainted Mother.  I am old enough to take care of myself and I have a husband that can help.  I have two strapping teenage boys that can help too.  But one phone call from my mom when I'm feeling poorly and I revert back to that little girl with the pouty lip sticking out, telling her Mommy she doesn't feel and she's asking me if I need anything.  Here's how the conversation went Sunday evening:

Mom: "Hey Honey, how do you feel?"
Me: "I feel"
Mom: "Well that's better.  Do you need anything?"

Again, she picked up on the dynamic of the conversation and that I feel.  I might feel like crap, but I feel, which means that I will eventually be back amongst the living. And I am.  Sort of.  I'm going to work and taking care of my sick son and hopefully working towards being a "Sainted Mom."

Here we are.  She's the beautiful woman on the right.  She's amazing, so I have a lot to live up to. She's gone through hell (three time cancer survivor) and NEVER cried in front of me or my sister about it.  She thought it was very important that we never think she was defeated by anything.  She told us "I have cancer, it DOESN'T have me."  Then she promptly kicked cancer's butt.  She's my biggest fan.  I know this because she's told and she's always there cheering me on.  I am lucky to say that my Mom is my best friend and mean it.  Thanks Mom!

Now I'm off to make ginger tea for my sick one.  He doesn't feel.  Poor thing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Long Weekend

I must say that I so enjoyed my long week-end.  Going back to work was very tough.  Why wasn't I born rich so that I could be a lady of leisure?  Oh well.

The weekend started by going to the my sons' High School football game. Neither one of them play football, but it is always fun to go to the games and visit with friend....and hold my friend Sue's hand when her son takes the field. As all mom's do, she gets quite nervous when he plays.

Saturday was crazy busy.  Car Guy wanted to go to the car show at Old Salem (a historic community that still looks and functions as a colonial town)  It was really neat to see all the "modern machines" amongst the old buildings. After the car show we met my dad for a late lunch and visited with him and my step mom for a bit. Then we had to take our boys over to my in-laws so that they could take the boys to the Elon football game.  By the time we got home, Car Guy and I were so tired that we had a very quiet evening.

We went to a coffee shop and had amazing crumb cake and cafe lattes, then went home and fell asleep watching the boring are we?

Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast and went for a pleasant ride in the car.  Then we went home so we could watch the Formula One race - which translates to Car Guy watched the race and I took a nap.  I did manage to finish the sweater I was working on and begin the granny squares for a bag I'm making.

I took Monday and Tuesday off, so on Monday I worked on the various projects I'm in the middle of. I started blocking items that I've made, but have been to lazy to block.....I hate blocking.  It's so frustrating.  I was working on the sweater and because it is a lace stitch, it keeps stretching in funny ways.  I finished the granny squares and put them together and blocked them.  Now I just have to make the strap and line the bag and it will be done!  Yea!  And because I didn't have anything else going on, I started a ripple afghan that will be a Christmas present....not saying for who.... : )

I must say, though, that Tuesday was the BEST.  I haven't enjoyed a day like that in a long time.  You see, it was my birthday and I spent the majority of my day with my dear college friend Linda.  She is one of those crazy, funny people that just make you happy by being around them.  We lost touch with each other and reunited on Facebook and met yesterday for 11:30 am.  I didn't get home until 5:30 pm.  We ate at an amazing restaurant called Green Valley Grill and I had the Crispy Risotto Cake Napoleon.  It's a Risotto cake with herbed goat cheese, grilled portabello mushroom, creamy marinara and wilted spinach.  HOLY COW!!! That was amazing.  I do believe I dreamed about it last night along with the Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée with raspberry coulis.  All this was enjoyed with a yummy Argentinian Malbec from the Don Gascon Vineyard.  We decided that since we were shirking responsibility for the day we could have wine with lunch....with dessert....and after lunch..... Then we went over to one of my all time favorite stores in the world, Anthropologie.

And the great day continued when we got there because there was the pocket book I wanted and it was on sale - 60% off!! I mean, seriously, how cute is this?  Embroidered leather and it will go with everything!

After we shopped/drooled over all the amazing stuff at Anthropologie, we went back to Linda's house for a bit.  Of course the time slipped by way too quickly, and I had to leave because my mother was cooking me dinner for my birthday.  She fixed Salmon and Caesar Salad....Yum.....Are you notice a repeating theme of food here?  I'm beginning to think that I'm something of a food whore.....Of course there was yummy chocolate cake.  I received some crochet hooks and a crochet project bag from my Mom.  Some money from my Step Dad and some lovely crochet books from Car Guy and my boys.  It was a truly wonderful day and I know it was because  I was able to spend it with people I love.

The other thing that I got for my birthday, which I could REALLY do without, was Car Guy's cold.  Really?!  I love that he wants to share everything with me, but there are some things he should just keep to himself!

I know I keep promising photos, and I really will get some taken.  The problem is that I am probably the WORST photographer known to man...and woman.  My hands shake so pictures aren't always clear.  I'm getting better, but I'm just not quite there yet.  I think I may have to invest in a tripod. Hopefully, when I get over the stuffy head I'll feel more like working on it.  Right now I'm just doing good to get to work on time.  I'm off to play catch up and see what everyone has been up to.  I'm afraid that between all the activities and the cold, I've fallen a bit behind. I can't wait to see what everyone has been up to!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well, this week has flown by.  I've been busily working, crocheting and taking care of Car Guy and two very active teenage boys.  There never seems to be enough time in the day.  I've tried staying up later, but it just makes me grouchy and I just want to bury my head when I grouchy.

Then I walk around looking like this and that just scares people.  Anyway, I've decided to take a break, so I'm taking Monday and Tuesday off of work next week.  Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up on all my projects, take lots of pictures and basically liven things up.

I've so enjoyed reading every one's blogs and comments.  I am very new to this, so all the support I've been getting from my "new" friends is very encouraging.  I hope that you've enjoyed this as much as I have.  So until next time...Enjoy every moment you have, they are very precious!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Holiday Week-End

This Monday is Labor Day, so we have off from work and the banks and government offices will be closed.  The boys will be out of school, even thought they've only been back in for a week and a half.  I don't know what the week-end will bring, but I'm pretty sure that Car Guy and I will be running all over the place and I won't be around the computer, so I thought I'd leave you with something pretty to look at over the week-end.
This beautiful kitty is Smokey, my other fat, happy and superior cat. He and Oreo helped me lick my wounds when the bunny tried to kill me - I am truly a lucky human to have two beautiful cats that allow me to share their house....even though they don't make the payments.

Have a wonderful week-end!  I'm sure I'll have lots to "talk" about on Monday.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bless your heart.....

This post is for my new friend Alice.  In my last blog she said that she'd replace butter with crochet on a list of gifts from God.  Crocheting is definitely a gift, but I guess I think of it a little differently.  Crochet is something that I LOVE.  It is a creative outlet and I MUST have a creative outlet of some sort.  It's just how I am.  It's in my DNA.  I couldn't get away from it if I tried.  You see, my mother is an artist...she paints, draws, etc.  Then there is my sister.  She is a professional make-up artist.  She also draws, paints, etc.  Then there is me.  I take after my dad in that I'm very logical.  I have an artistic nature with a mathematical lean.  I often call myself a frustrated artist because I would love to do all the amazing things my mother and sister can do, but it's just not all there.  It's in my DNA, but a key component was left out.....the talent.  So I crochet, make jewelry, cook, whatever I can to be creative.  It's just there.  It's who I am so I really don't think about it, I just do it.

Now, about butter.  This is something else that is in my DNA.  I am a southern woman.  I grew up in the southern state of North Carolina with biscuits, gravy, fried food, sweet tea, hot humid weather and slow talking.  As a Southerner, I have great pride in my heritage.  All Southerners do.  We can all trace our ancestry back to the Motherland, which for me is Scotland, Ireland, England, and Norway.  This makes me very verbose and I talk with my hands.  And...I cook with butter.  LOTS of butter.  Actually, for health reasons, I use mostly olive oil with some butter mixed in.  But butter makes everything taste better.  It can and does improve any recipe.  Make 2 cakes.  Use margarine/oleo in one and butter in the other.  The one with butter will taste 10 times better. The texture and moistness of the butter cake is actually noticeable compared to the non-butter cake.  And speaking of cake.  Make icing/frosting for that same cake.  It would be a sin to use anything other than butter.  It's creamy goodness is what dreams are made of.  Also, as a Southerner, we take our food VERY seriously.  We women are judged based on our cooking. "She's a pretty little thing, but she can't cook to save her life....Bless her heart."

That's another uniquely Southern "thing."  The expression "Bless your heart."  Here is a quick break down:
  • Said out loud : "Bless your heart, honey. Don't do that..."continuation in our head, "You don't have the good sense God gave a billy goat." In other words, you are not a very smart person.
  • Said out loud : "Bless your heart, that is the cutest dress"...continuation in our head, "You ought not be wearing that."  In other words, it doesn't look good on you or is actually the ugliest dress ever seen
  • Said out loud : "Oh no dear, bless your heart..."continuation in our head, "Not a snowball's chance in Hell."
  • Said out loud : "Bless your heart..." All by itself, it means "Let it disappear up your fundamental aperture." (my personal favorite) In other words - Shove it.  
You get the picture. By using this expression, we are always being mindful of our manners - another southern "must." But any Southerner knows that there is an insult in there somewhere.  In fact, they will spend the rest of the day, week, or month trying to figure out what that insult is.

Now that you've learned how this works, try it some time. You'll feel better and the recipient is none the wiser. Just be sure to deliver it with a sugary sweet, simpering smile.

Oh!  I almost are some pictures!

This is my granny square shaw (Elizabeth Cat, I'm not.)  Car Guy calls me granny when I wear it.  He thinks he's being funny.  He also calls me granny when I'm sitting on the sofa crocheting.  He claims I'm going to crochet him into a corner.  On some days, that's not a bad idea - He He!

This scarf and hat set was made last winter to sell in a friend's store.  I'm almost glad it didn't sell because I've considered keeping it for myself.  That's still an option.
More hats and scarves for my friend's store. Most of what I make for her are for younger children. And of course there are lots of flowers.  They are so cheerful. 
I'm not a great photographer, so please bear with me while I learn.  Hopefully, I'll get better and share some more.  Have a great evening!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gifts from God

There are a few things in life that make me really happy. They aren't major things, but I think, for the most part, they are universal. So here goes:

1. Butter. This is truly one of God's greatest gifts...It makes anything taste better.  The smell of buttered toast makes me feel at home. Yum.
2. Coffee.  It gives me a needed kick in the morning, warms me on a cold day...or night, laced with some good Irish, and smells amazing.
3. Chocolate.  'Nuff said.  I could rhapsodize about this topic ad nauseum.
4. Babies. The smell, the feel, everything about babies makes me happy...except the vomit, poo poo diapers, crying at 3 am...That's why I love OTHER people's babies.
5. Warm Fuzzy Things. A yummy, hand made sweater or blanket, a cute killer bunny laughing at you as you fall on your face, a sweet cuddly kitty that snuggled with you after the fall....
6. Hugs From Children.  The pure joy a child puts into a hug is amazing. The total abandonment, the love.  We should NEVER loose that.  If you're going to hug someone, mean it.
7. Having one of your teenagers say "I love you, Mom." out of the blue.  Not the obligatory phrase right before going to bed or leaving the house, but the one that's said for no reason other than they wanted to say it.  WOW!  That one just kills me and makes me teary eyed.
8. Still getting "that" look from my husband...after being together for 20 years, even though I'm not that 135 lb hottie he met way back when. That's a nice little rush.
9. Receiving a Hand Made Gift.  Just knowing that someone took the time to make something for me. That they were willing to put that much time into it and they think I'm special enough to appreciate it.  Heads up - if you receive a hand made gift, that person REALLY cares about you.  Remember the ones from your children when they were little? Go ahead and melt a little bit.
10.  Puppies, Kittens, Dogs & Cats...or pets in general.  Whenever I have a bad day, I know I can go home and snuggle with my kitties and I'll feel better.  There's just something about a pet's love that can warm a person's heart.
11. Laughter.  I don't care if it's a child's or adult's laughter.  I hear laughter, especially a good belly laugh with no restraints,  and I smile.
12. A Completed Job, Well Done.  I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I complete something, especially if it works out.  I think this is why I like to crochet and make jewelry.  I might "fuss & cuss" during the process, but once it's completed, I'm usually pretty pleased with myself and am big enough to admit that.

I'm sure that I could think of several more things but I'll leave you with one last thing that makes me happy:

That's me and Car Guy.  This picture makes me happy every time I see it.  It's one of the best pictures ever taken of us.  I swear it's because of the people we were with - very dear friends of my husband's that he's known since childhood.

And that's one more thing that makes me happy...Old Friends.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  The ones you don't have to explain things to because they just understand.  Ones that you can go for months at a time without seeing them, but it doesn't matter because you know they are always there and when you do see them again, it's like you saw them just yesterday.  You can never have too many of those, so here's hoping your new friends turn into those wonderful "old friends" because that truly is a wonderful gift from God.