My 1 Million Row Challenge

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How to Make Eric's Bibs

OK, as promised here are the directions to make Eric's bibs along with pictures. Essentially they are made the same way for baby to adult sized bibs. The only thing that is different is the supplies. So as with any good craft project here are the supplies needed by size of the bib.

Supplies

Makes 2 bibs.
Baby bibs - 2 wash cloths, 1 bandanna, matching thread
Toddler through early elementary school - 1 kitchen towel, 1 bandanna, matching thread , bias tape
Pre Teen - 2 kitchen towels, 1 bandanna, matching thread
Adult - 2 Hand towels, 1 bandanna, matching thread

For all bibs - a Sharp scissors, a sewing machine and a nice thing for the toddler bibs is a surger but you can also use the bias tape which is less expensive than buying a surger.

Step One

For all the bib sizes take your bandanna and cut corner to corner so that you have 2 triangles. Fold the raw edge over and and sew a 1/4 inch seam. Fold over 1 more time and sew a 1/4 inch seam. This is what the first part will look like when finished. You can see how both the front and the back are suppose to look.

Step Two only for the Toddler Bib

Fold the Kitchen towel in half so that the bottom and top of the towel are lined up.  Be very brave and cut the towel along the fold.  Now you either surge the edge or cover the cut edge with bias tape. I have made them both ways and they both hold up well to repeated washings.





Step Three

Along the top edge of the towel position the bandanna so it is centered and both of the upper corners of the towel are covered. Pin into place.  I like to start pinning at the top center and work my way out to ensure a smooth wrinkle free bib. Next pin the bottom center and work your way out again.

The first seam will go along the top edge. When you get to the other side leave you needle down and turn your work to do the first side. When you get to the tip of the bandanna leave the needle in the down position and turn to go across the last side of the triangle. I like to sew the bandanna as close to the edge as I can. I find that the bibs tend to last longer that way. 

Then using the seam line as a guide I then do any personalization to the bib.  In a school or day care environment it is perfectly OK to add the persons name in block letters. Most sewing machines have at least 1 alphabet now a days. To make the bib last longer I have found it necessary to do a bit of machine quilting inside the triangle. You may either do a grid or free form it is up to you.

Now its time to clip all those loose threads and run it through the washing machine before use.

This pattern is for personal use only.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Enjoying My Holidays

I am enjoying my holidays with everyone home. Yesterday we went to see Disney's new movie Tron, which was pretty good, not much knitting got done. My only 2 request to the movie makers are better fitting 3-D movie glasses to fit over my glasses and to come up with a way to do 3-D that does not leave me with a blazing headache. I personally feel a headache does distract from the overall movie experience.

After the movie we went for dim sum at China Phoenix. As usual the food and service were great. Sarah did her best to make sure we left with full tummies. Then it was home to relax and watch some TV.

Today after a late start I took the kids to Beyond Bread for lunch. Teri and I split the Avi's Avo for lunch. Avi's Avo is a turkey and avocado sandwich that is wonderful, and is one of our favorites.  I then sent Teri ahead to one of our local favorites a really wonderful book store called Bookmans Used Book Store. This gave me time to finish feeding Eric. There was not much that I needed at Bookmans so after perusing the store Eric I relaxed at the section of the store with tables and I worked on my latest charity project. Teri meanwhile pick out a full bag of books to read.

We ended the day by leaving the guys at home and going to Mayco's for their wonderful chicken taco's. It was good to have a girls night out. Teri does have a request from the family that runs Mayco's, please bring Mayco's to the Silicon Valley.

Check back in this blog during the next 2 weeks for some of our favorite Tucson spots. Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Friday, December 24, 2010

We Are All Together

We have been having great family time. We have Teri home with us for a few weeks between terms at school. Eric has been enjoying having Teri at home.

I managed to finish a new pair of mittens for Eric on the ride down and finished a wool hat which promptly went on my head to keep it warm. My new cowl was perfect for the cold wet weather.

We took the kids to Disneyland and had a great time even through the rain. Some highlights included the Winnie the Pooh Ride, It's a Small World, Buzz Light Year,Toy Story Arcade Ride. The guys were better then Teri and I at the arcade games. The Grand Californian Hotel was a very nice hotel with great staff who went out of their way to make our stay wonderful. Due to the rain we did not get any pictures. Looking back I am wondering if we went at the right time.  It was so wet the Disneyland did not even let Mini and Mickey out...so what were we doing?

My mom, older sister and niece even drove down to have dinner with us one night. The food at the Story Teller Cafe was wonderful.  Both kids seemed to wind down after 2 days with rain and fun. We found out what a code V was and no I am not going to tell you.. this you will have to find out on your own.

With the weather getting worse and both kids under the weather we left a day early. We did drive through the rain on the way home but got out of the worst of it before the Governor of California declared a state of emergency due to the rain. Both kids are feeling better and we plan to have a great time for the rest of Teri's time at home.

Well I need to get the day going. So have fun and enjoy your families.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bibs

This is what I have been busy working on this week. This is what 3 dozen new bibs looks like.  Enough to fill a laundry basket.

If you would like a picture tutorial on how to make your own bibs let me know and I will find time to do it in January 2011.

Teri is home for winter break so I must spend time with her. Teri time is a very precious commodity around here. So have a nice evening and enjoy your families.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sewing No - Knitting Yes

Not a stitch of sewing got done today. But things did get done in the craft room. 3 boxes of recyclables made it out of the room. The closet got reorganized. No big deal except that there was a pile of stuff that had to be gone through before I could get to the door. I have found all the small presents for my knitting friends. So all in all the room is cleaner.

I did almost empty the finishing basket and found charity projects that I had forgotten that I had knit. Does this happen to anyone else. So 2 hats and scarfs are ready for Privermira women's shelter. 1 scarf is ready for the guild project for next October. I must admit that I left the poncho in the finishing basket because I did not want to do that much sewing today.

I did do some knitting today, so far about 1/2 a skein of yarn. The further I get into the skein the more I think it may be hand spun yarn that was spun and plied but Soak was not used on it. So my plan for the scarf on the needles is to finish it and use some soak on it. If it softens up it will turn into a gift. Other wise it will go out with a batch of charity knitting. I am quite partial to hand spun made from mohair or top roving. This just does not feel like either to me.

Eric will be home with me until Monday. If he is feeling better I just might take him out for a little bit; but after a long week at home I don't want to get him sick again

Well my wonderful husband just drove up with dinner so it is time to end this blog. Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So What Day of the Week is This?

After a long night with Eric, we went to the doctors today. The good news is that he has the crud that is going around. The bad news is that he will be home for at least 1 more day. My sincere hope is that with the grace from heaven above that he will sleep through the night tonight. And would it be asking too much for him to go to sleep by 10 pm?

On the bib front I was able to slip out of the house to look for bandanna's. The bad news is that I could not find any brown or tan bandanna's at the two stores I went too. Not even brown or tan fabric that was suitable was available. Not having a whole lot of time I came home empty handed. Thank goodness for Amazon they had just what I needed. So I will start the other bibs while I wait for the brown and tan ones.

A whole lot of knitting is getting done. I just need to do some finishing work so I can get my friend Nancy the hats and scarfs I have promised her for her work with Primavera Shelter for Women here in Tucson. I had promised 2 hats and scarfs which are done.  Being disorganized as I can get I also have one more scarf on the needles right now for her and I am positive that she won't mind the extra scarf. I will let you know later if I was wrong.

I think that I will go set up my bib production line now. Maybe just maybe my boss will let me have a little time to make some bibs for him during the day tomorrow. So have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beef Stew

You might have guessed we are having beef stew for dinner so I will share the recipe.

Beef Stew

1 pound stew meat
salt and pepper to taste
1 large sweet onion peeled and roughly chopped
3 ears of corn broken in half
1 pound of carrots peeled and sliced
2 medium potatoes washed and cubed
2 medium tomatoes washed and cut in eights
1 cup of water
6 large stalks of celery roughly chopped
1 pound green beans washed de-vined and sliced into 1 inch pieces

In your soup pot spray the bottom of your pan with non stick cooking spray. Add the stew meat salt and pepper and brown the meat on a medium heat. Add the onion and stir in and cook for a few minutes. Then layer in the corn, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, celery and green beans. pour water over the mixture. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 2 hours.

This recipe can also be made in the crock pot by following the same layering plan as above. Cook on low heat 8 to 10 hours. If you put this in the crock pot in the morning before work it should be ready for dinner.

This will serve 4 to six people. You may substitute chicken that has been cubed for the beef. I have no Vegetarian or vegan suggestions other than to leave out the meat and have stewed vegetables.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been up to my ears in busy since Wednesday. In no particular order two Holiday parties Friday and Saturday night. I am very glad that I am not a drinker, fruit juice spritzers most of the way.  The end result is no hangover and nothing to worry about they next day.

I did learn a lot about my new sewing machine in between the parties. Taking a class on 4 hours of sleep was certainly interesting and not to be tried again. Eric's new bibs go into production next week. He needs between 2 and 3 dozen at about an hour per bib so if you can't find me next week I will be holed up in the craft room. There will be some design changes so I will make the first bib and see how whats in my mind translates into the fabric.

We had a lot of sick days and long nights I am I hoping for a much better week although it looks like I have a boy who will be home tomorrow but an over night miracle will not be turned down.

Not much left the needles last week,but a lot of yarn decided to hopped on the needles so I am up to an uncountable number of UFOs. Which means I really don't want to know how many projects I have going, that would mean sitting and finishing things.

I am glad that my friend Nancy is recovering well from surgery so well. I am also glad that she was gracious enough to let me bring lunch and knit with her for a while.

Well it is time to start the dryer and head to bed. So enjoy your families and have a great week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chicken Casserole

Chicken Casserole

2 chicken legs and thighs washed
salt and pepper
1 pound mire poix mix from Trader Joe's or mix 1/3 pound each of diced carrots, onions and celery
10 ounces mushrooms
1 pound small potatoes
1/2 cup of water.

In a small oven proof covered casserole dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray, Layer the ingredients in the order given. Cover the casserole and bake for one hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If your are using a glass casserole dish lower the oven temperature to 325 and cook for 1 hour15 minutes for the cooking.

For a change of pace you can add some raw biscuit dough to the casserole in the last 20 minutes of baking to make quick dumplings. When I do this I use the plain Pillsbury biscuits. You can also use Bisquick or any biscuit recipe from the Internet. Just make sure it is a basic flour and shorting mix with no added chilies or cheese.

After you wash the chicken make sure you clean out the sink with a cleaner like Comet before you wash the vegetables to avoid cross contamination.

This recipe serves 2 to 4 people and there is no vegetarian or vegan replacement for the chicken that I have tried.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why I Should Never Plan

Why do I even try to plan my life? Sometimes it just get thrown into a blender. Take yesterday for instance. I was suppose to get the men out of the house and then go through my long end of the year to do list and a little bit of shopping for my self, a trip to the post office. A little knitting thrown in for just the heck of it. It sounded perfectly reasonable to me.

Well here is how my day actually went. Sunday night Eric started eyrping and continued to do so until 3 am Monday morning. I got Eric settled by 3:30 am. To tired to change and not wanting to wake John up I fell asleep in the guest room. Yes I was even too tired to bother to turn out the lights too.

The day started at 5:30 am with a quick shower and it did not even remotely wake me up. Eric's morning aide agreed to skip the gym and watch Eric for me while I took a much needed nap. I did get to nap until 1 pm.. I woke up to eat a very late breakfast and just in time for Eric to spike a fever. Which meant that Eric earned another day at home for Tuesday. Did I mention that going to sleep with very wet hair meant a bad hair day to boot. We had a great time watching TV and I did some knitting. Then made a very fast dinner with the end of the leftover turkey.

I am thankful that Eric slept most of Monday night and only woke up at 4 am with his fever. I settled him down by 5 am in time for a short nap before the day started again at you guessed it 5:30 am. I managed to get Eric's aide to stay until 2pm today and got my errands done. The trip to the post office which turned into a teaching experience. The Postal workers had never heard of stitch markers so this being post the latest scare the box was opened and inspected. I then explained what the markers were used for, which was very easy as when I have to wait in line I always have a small knitting project with me. Before it was repacked they told me it would be shipped the same way to New Zealand but putting it in a priority mail box would be more expensive. So into a readdressed padded envelope they went, I did not even have to fill out a new customs declaration. By the way our post office employees are great that way.

It was 42 degrees Fahrenheit when I pulled into Starbucks to get my iced tea, in deference to the cold I had them go light on the ice. I was still to tired to try a hot beverage. Then off to Goodwill with the latest overflowing box. Then it was time to drive across town to pick up some clothes that I had put on hold. I can not believe that the store put the order under my first name instead of my last which meant it took 20 minutes to find the order.

I don't know about you but when I am cold and over tired I crave yeasty sweet things. I managed to drive past my favorite bakery not just once but twice with out stopping. Being just a few pounds lighter than last year I found it easier to find clothes and want to keep the trend going and maybe loose another dress size by the end of next year. I did a quick stop at Trader Joe's to pick up things for dinner. I also managed to skip the goodies there too.

I had time for a quick lunch and then it was time for the aide to leave. So Eric and I watched a little TV and I did some knitting. I do feel a small flare up coming so I did manage to take a short nap before I made dinner. The chicken casserole will be tomorrows blog just in case you want the recipe.

I think I also managed to break a few fences that need to be mended before the week is out. I do hate broken fences. So now it is time to put the finishing touches on tonight's dinner. So have a good evening and enjoy your families.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Another Day of Fun and Cleaning.

I did set a new house record for the Wii Island Free Cycle of over 10 Wii miles in 30 minutes. I hope that all the Wii fit I have been doing is contributing to the slightly smaller me. The thing I really think is unfair about exercising is that it takes about an hour to burn 250 calories but I can consume those same calories in minutes. Such is life in the big city.

I did some clothes shopping today. Nothing to dramatic. I have lost enough inches to get into a brand that I have wanted to try but in the past there has been a little too much me. In my usual brands I am down one size from last year. To make room for the smaller items, I filled one box for Goodwill and plan on adding some more items to the Goodwill drop off pile tomorrow.

I got a lot of ganga's* today. most of the items were 40 to 70% off the original prices. Plus the store was having a buy so much get $10 dollars off your next purchase. So I had the sales lady ring it up in 5 different transactions. I don't think that is what the store was planing but it did help to bring the cost of everything down just a bit more.

After a nice lunch at Sweet Tomatoes we came home and did some more work around the house. There is always laundry to catch up on and this time of year the junk mail is enough to comfortably fill the large blue recycle barrel every week. I also packaged 50 sample bags of stitch markers for a sample box. Look for details later.

After dinner we caught up on Haven, which is a cool new show on the Syfy network. If you have not seen it catch up on Hulu it is a terrific new show. Yes I would love to have it come back for another season. well I think our boy has finally gone to sleep so it is now my turn. Goodnight and enjoy your families.

*Ganga - Tucson speak for a great deal

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Very Busy Week

It has been a very busy week since I last blogged. John had the week off so we got a lot done around the house. The craft room was semi cleaned and the 2 old machines, manuals and parts went to our Local Goodwill for their program. They will be cleaned and refurbished for someone else to use. So 2 more boxes out the door.

I also picked up my new sewing machine. I practice on some pillows for some small dogs. They are filled with scrap yarn, old clean rags, sewing scraps and poly fill picked up from the thrift store. The fabric is left over from other projects.  They are a real up-cycle project. I still need to fiddle and play with the machine before I start making some new bibs for Eric. But so far so good.

Eric finished one of his favorite holiday projects. He gets to choose some toys that he thinks that other kids will like. He then gets to deliver them to a Toy for Tots drop off location. I really think that he enjoys this more than the people collecting the gifts for the kids.

We landed up with an extra turkey for Thanksgiving. Don't ask. So John made a mad dash to the Tucson Community Food Bank with a frozen turkey in the back of his car. It was all the way across town in the middle of rush hour and dropped it off 2 minutes before the food bank closed. We really hope that this will make someones X-mas meal a little better.

John and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner together. John sliced and diced.  I mixed everything together. Since it was just the two of us we skipped making a pie and sweet potatoes. The rest of the day was a just hang around the house day. We did get to talk to Teri who spent Thanksgiving with a classmates family. It was just to much for us to ask her to fly home in the middle of finals for a few days.

After a very slow start to today we did manage to do some clothes shopping and sneak out to our last dinner out for this vacation. Well it has been a long busy week and I think my closet is next on the cleaning agenda.

 I almost forgot. I am thankful for all my family and friends. So have a good weekend and enjoy your friends and families.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday

Wonders of wonders, we actually got out of the house two days in a row. Yes we did see a movie today. Eric and I saw Morning Glory.  The movie was so good that not a lot of knitting got done after the first fifteen minutes or so. I did not even notice that I lost a stitch marker during the movie. Oh well I will just have to make myself some more. John saw Skylight which he said was good but not for Eric. I landed up eating almost a whole small bag of popcorn during the movie and landed up skipping lunch. A little shopping later and it was time to head home.

We came home and made chicken soup together. I did something totally different today. I took my tea strainer to de gunk the pot and get all the small floaters out of the soup. The plus side to using my tea strainer is that the mesh was so small I was able to get most of the chicken fat out of the soup without leaving in in the fridge over night. I am really not a big fan of fatty chicken soup.

I am almost finished with a few projects and hope to show off some on the blog this week. I have a full day tomorrow so it is time for me to turn in.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday

OK, we actually got out of the house with Eric today. We took Eric to see the new Harry Potter movie. He is a big Harry Potter fan and dress up like Harry every Halloween. This is the best Harry Potter film yet and the special effects are awesome. No I am not going to tell you anything more, but if you are going to knit during this movie I recommend a very light yarn. I am no spoiler. But I will say that if Teri does not find time during finals to see this movie I will go see it again. Enough said.

Here is one spoiler that I am willing to give away. I just picked up the November copy of Simply Knitting and I will be making the blue shrug on the cover for Teri and I. I will let Teri pick her yarn out when she is home for winter break. The cowl on the front cover looks cool too.

As you can tell from this blog I did get a full nights sleep and Eric is doing much better. A lot of knitting got done today but I have so many projects going on at one time that nothing got finished. I guess knitting is like reading, I have to have a couple of books going at one time too.

Well it is time to do some more knitting.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things I Dislike

Okay, I am normally a very up beat person; but, I do dislike it when Eric gets sick. What mother does not. So yesterday my day started at 4 am with a boy who did not feel well. Eyrping and 4 loads of laundry were soon to follow. I spent the day with Eric taking care of all his needs and was the official TV channel changer.

I did get a lot of knitting done so I really should not bulk much. I think I got 3 whole repeats done on a green shawl being made with hand spun yarn by Kathy at http://www.uniquedesignsbykathy.com/. I really do love her yarn. I even got to got outside for a little while,while Eric's afternoon aide was here.

I was thinking about Teri also, but since it is finals time I let her make the calls when it is convenient for her. I got a wonderful call while I was outside. It is just so nice to see how well she handles herself. I am just so lucky that she is in my life.

After a full day of feeling yucky and getting a low grade fever I thought that Eric would be tired enough to sleep through the night. Boy was I ever wrong. I finally got Eric to sleep at 4:30 am, did I mention my day normally starts at 5:30 am. After a 24.5 hour day I got an hour of sleep before today started.  After Eric's aide got here this morning I managed to get out and drop food and a check to the annual stuff the Mayflower event hosted by 94.9MixFM. Then I splurged and went to Einsteins to get some bagels and Starbucks for some much needed caffeine.

Nancy and Caroline stopped off after the guild meeting to drop off some yarn goodies. The yarn is just perfect for some scarfs for the shelter ladies that Nancy works with. They did not leave empty handed, I sent some small storage bins with Nancy, but I forgot to give her 2 scarfs for the shelter ladies, sigh, I just get so forgetful when I am tired.

Luckily we both zonked out at the same time from 10 am to 3pm. I think the Venti glass of tea must have worn off around 10 am. I really think Eric was ticked at his body for not letting him sleep longer. He woke up coughing and even managed to get to his yellow zone. I managed to get him back to his green zone. So I just sat there propping him up for a while. Then it was off to grab a bag of knitting to make sure he did not do any funny stuff.

When his afternoon aide got here I did manage to sneak out of the house for a little over an hour for dinner. I just did not want a third bagel meal for the day and leftover fish and chips just did not sound as good as they did last night. So one Mayco's taco later it was time to blog.

I have declared this a very successful day because everyone made it though the day. It is time to say good night as I still have to get the trash out. Enjoy your families and join  me in hoping that Eric has a better night. Enjoy your families and have a wonderful night or day if you are reading this earlier in the day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Driving Around Town

Today I spent part of the day driving around town doing errands. About half way through my errands I realized how easy having a car makes all this possible. I also started to wonder weather all this would be possible without the use of modern transportation.

When I stopped by the Post Office I could not find a parking place, not a good sign. So I went and made my next stop at Goodwill, 2 large bags and 1 box to charity. Yes a little less clutter in the house. Then I was passing another Post Office, yes there was room to park my car so the Halloween candy went off to Operation Gratitude, 1 more box out of the house. Things are getting better, less clutter. I found a unique way to lighten my purse. I dropped off the change in my wallet at the bank, $5.00 in change gone did make my purse lighter. I did not realize how heavy $5.00 of change is.

Then it was off to World Care to drop off new and used medical supplies. Now this is truly an organization that would be hard pressed to operate without modern transportation. These wonderful people keep used medical equipment out of the landfill. When equipment is used in this country we generally do not reuse it, crutches, braces, wheel chairs can all be refurbished and sent to disaster zones and third world countries where these items are very scarce and are always needed. 1 more box out of the house and hopefully a new home for some ankle foot orthoics.

Then I made a little time to test drive a new sewing machine, 2 more brands to test drive. I was way out on the east side of town and had just under an hour before Eric arrives at home. So off to Trader Joe's to get things for dinner and then to Sunflower to get the things I needed that Trader Joe's does not carry. 

Hulling 2 large bags and 3 boxes would be very hard with out a car. So would my 20 plus miles of driving be hard to do without a car. I do love our modern age and my car.

I just got the frozen food put away when the school bus came.  Eric and I, with Joe's(Eric's afternoon aide) help filled another box for Operation Gratitude with a lot of small beanie baby toys. This means 1 more box will be gone tomorrow. I hope I can get into the parking lot of the Post Office tomorrow.

With dinner cooking it is time to work on tomorrow's to do list. Yes I know that this will make me look like an over achiever today, but I never know what tonight or tomorrow will bring. Have a good evening and enjoy your families.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Meeting Yumiko Alexander

Last Saturday at the Tucson Wool Festival I meet the most charming and delightful Yumiko Alexander. Yes that Yumiko Alexander the very lovely pattern designer. Her booth was right next to mine. When things did slow down we had a chance to sit and knit. Since we had very easy patterns we were working on we had time to talk.  I would love the free time to drive to Phoenix to have more time to chat but Eric does keep me very busy.

Yumiko was born in Japan and was a knitting designer there before moving with her husband to the United States. Her company is called Dan Doh translated into English it means warm earth which is also the title of her new book. Warm Earth is available from Universal Yarn at the following link: http://www.universalyarn.com/book_pages.php?book=10 . I am sure you could also persuade your local yarn shop into getting it for you also. I was lucky enough to snag a singed copy* and can not wait to knit the cover sweater. You may also find her patterns on Raverly http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#view=captioned_thumbs&designer=Yumiko%20Alexander&ravelry-designer=yes&page=1&sort=created. .

Yumiko also has a blog http://dandoh.blogspot.com/. I was already a fan of her blog when I meet her. She does not update it often but when she does it is worth while to read.

So despite very slow sales I had a great time and meet a new friend. Well it is time to make dinner and straighten the house. Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

*I purchased the book.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What Do Stay at Home Moms Do - Part 2

Today was filled with a couple of sessions on Wii.  A trip to the doctors for Eric for his annual physical. John and I are doing a good job at keeping him well. Can you believe his last visit to his PCP was 6 months ago, (you may insert a round of applause here). Dropping Eric off at school and wondering why drivers who do not need the ramp spaces take them any way? Yes I did park in the school bus zone, but really there was no where else to deploy the ramp. The High School security is usually cool with this when the blue spots are all gone.

While I was driving this morning a warning light went off on the dash board so there was an unscheduled trip to the dealership. Thank goodness it was a minor problem and there was no charge. Apparently when the weather takes a sudden turn to cold, the tires and sensors do not like it.

When I got home it was time to schedule next weeks appointments and order the feeding supplies that Eric will need over the holidays. Yes this did include over a half hour on hold with one company that I will never get back. Apparently everything gets moved up a week in November and December to accommodate the holidays.

A highlight of my day was a few minutes tweeting and then talking with Teri. I am just so lucky that she is my daughter. I did find a little time to knit and don't know quite what is going to be on the dinner table tonight. I am not one of those plan a week or month in advance people. I think some kind of sandwich with last nights left over chicken will be the plan.

Well have a good night and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Do Stay At Home Moms Do?

I wonder what most people think stay at home moms do all day? Today was just one of those days. With Eric in school I went to a class stopped for lunch and picked up some chicken for dinner. Just in case you are wondering what the chicken is for, check my past blog posts for a recipe called pina colada chicken, yummy. Served with brown rice.

Well when I got home mind you I was only gone for 3 hours there were 7 messages on the answering machine. 4 of them being for the same cell phone that was dropped in my driveway this morning. Did I mention that as soon as I got into the door the phone started ringing and the caller had said that I was remiss in returning the calls of this morning that I had not had time to even play back yet. Let it be known that if you drop your cell phone in my driveway I will go about my day as planned and will not wait around the house for your call. My free time during the day tends to be erratic so I do take advantage and get as much as possible done.

Since I stayed up past 11pm with Eric yes I did skip some chores and take a nap. In my opinion a nap of equal time of missed sleep at night just does not make up for sleep at night. I am still tired and foggy and I hope that Eric does go to sleep by 10 pm. tonight.  I know that I made a lot of progress on my new scarf for me with the yarn that Spazzyyarn had hand spun for me. A very yummy yarn.

Well my taller half is now home so it is time to put the finishing touches on dinner. Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tucson Wool Festival

I had a great time at the Tucson Wool Festival and meet a lot of great people, but I am way too tired to write much now more will be written in the days to come.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your families.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Getting Ready

Today was spent getting ready for the Tucson Wool Festival. Yes I did go to knitting today but spent the morning working with lovely hand spun yarn that Kathy Withers not only grew with the help of her lovely farm friends. She also processed, colored and spun the yarn herself, now how cool is that? If you would like some of Kathy's yummy yarn or finished items, here is a link to Kathy's Etsy shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/uniquedesignsbykathy?page=1

I think various shows are just another way to get craft  people to clean up and organize their work spaces. I spent the afternoon organizing and packing what I will need for tomorrow. Some how between this wool festival and the last I misplaced the 96 quart box with all my bags and some of my display materials. How I did that, well those of you who know me well will know, but please explain it to me. I just know it has nothing to do with my motto "I will get it done promptly no matter how long it takes".  I know that I am not the most organized person in the world but..

I have a strong hunch that next week should really be the start of a fall cleaning spree. I promise to be very grumpy by next Friday if I get all the work that needs to be done finished. So please put up with me as I get this work done.

That lovely scarf that I knit this morning and of course the stitch markers I have been working on will be available for purchase tomorrow at the Tucson Wool Festival at 4010 West Palo Seco From 9 am to 3 pm. . There will be farm tours at 9 am and noon. If you have ever wondered what a sheep looks like after a hair cut this is the place to go. I hope to see you there.

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crash and Nap

We everyone who knows me knew it had to happen soon. After a very busy week of getting a lot done I had more big plans for today. I was going to spend the whole day doing paper work, making stitch markers, knitting, frogging and cleaning.

My body was on the very tired side today, but I had plans so after getting Eric out the door this morning I thought I could slip in a 20 minute nap and get on with my day. Three and one half hours later still groggy and half asleep I decided to try to salvage what I could from the day.

With my hands being very stiff as of now I have only made a dozen sets of stitch markers. When my hands get stiff , they get very clumsy and I tend to drop everything which might be a good thing for the rest of my body. Everything that is dropped must be picked up, so a lot of bending was going on today.

I picked up one of my favorites for a very late lunch (starting to eat lunch at 2:30 pm is a very late lunch in my humble opinion) from
Samurai
3912 N. Oracle Road #100
293-1963
I had the Teri-Chicken Bento with very light sauce. Which is served with potato salad, fresh veggies, sunomono and rice. The meal was decorated with a very nice slice of apple that had been very nicely carved. Not bad for a quick lunch.

By the time I finished lunch it was time to get Eric off the bus. We sat and I talked to Eric about my day, while Eric held the yarn for my current knitting project.

I might have made a mistake by going for a walk outside tonight. The wind did really kick up a bunch of junk that is now hanging in the air. I hate sniffy noses.

Well it is time to get more done today. So enjoy your families and have a great evening.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Getting Ready

I have been busy getting ready for the Tucson Wool Festival at the Withers Ranch this Saturday. Just in case you need more information. the location is The Withers’ Ranch 4010 W Palo Seco. It is from 9 am to 3 pm. with farm tours at 9 am and noon. Even if you are not a fibre person this is a great learning experience for the family. There will be all kinds of fibre demonstrations. and a lot of one of a kind items for sale. There is no cost to come to the Tucson Wool Festival. There will be a charity raffle and various vendors.


 I have been making stitch markers like mad. I hope to have at least 1 more gallon zip lock bag filled with finished products by late Friday. I have also been knitting a few items to show case using wonderful hand spun wools and mohair. The great thing about buying a handmade item from hand spun yarn is that you can sometimes track the wool or mohair back to the ranch were the yarn is produced. In this case I will have a number of items ready that are totally local. Kathy Withers raised the animals, had them sheared, processed the fiber, dyed the fiber and spun the yarn. How lucky am I to be able to say that I actually got some of this fabulous yarn to knit with.

In case you can not make it to the Tucson Wool Festival I will include a link to Kathy's Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/uniquedesignsbykathy

Well I have to get back to the stitch markers. Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Candy

As of this morning I had still not bought the Halloween candy to pass out to the kids in the neighborhood. The house was not festooned with the usual Halloween decorations. All this had Eric very concerned. So John and I went and got the decorations out and got them ready for placement tomorrow.

While we were out we did finally get some candy. The good news was that it was half price the day before Halloween. I will have to remember this for next year. They even had coupons at the store for some of the candy.  The even better news was that they had sold out of the candy that I liked so that there is less chance that I will be eating any of it.

OK we are ready bring on Halloween.

So have a safe Halloween with your families. Please remember to be safe and wear bright colors. Bring your flashlights. Only go to houses with the lights on. But most importantly inspect your child's candy and throw away anything that looks odd or is opened. Feel free to buy back your child's excess candy, most children don't want all that candy and like a little extra money.



This year we are doing something different with the left over Halloween candy. We are sending it to Operation Gratitude to go into care packages for our service members. You can find out more about Operation Gratitude at the following web site http://www.opgratitude.com/index.php .

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life As We Know It

I had one of those humours moments yesterday. We are planning a surprise for Eric. No I can not divulge much to you except to say it involves a lot of planning. I was talking to the reservation clerk telling her what we needed to make the surprise happen for Eric.

To me it is normal to travel with an IV Pole, feeding pump, percussion vest/machine, nebulizer and assorted medical supplies. After all aren't we know for packing the entire house for any excursion. Clothes are usually an after thought and packed in over night bags no matter how long we are gone. Well I think I heard her jaw drop as she tried to regain her composer after we started discussing beds and bed rails. I tend to forget not everyone has a real hospital bed in their child's room. No, the surprise place has no hospital beds available for guests. Really!

But that lead to a very funny dinner conversation with John about what we consider normal living with Eric and what the rest of the world must think of us. After all doesn't every one take a car full of medical equipment and extension cords on vacation?

It has also occurred to me this morning that Teri and I had a very similar conversation this summer. Doesn't everyone plan their trips around where there are children's hospitals? And that I might actually inadvertently be scaring people with young and healthy children.

I find it amazing how we can get caught up in our own lives and forget that the rest of the world does not live just like us. Well it is time to get my day started. Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tucson Wool Festival 2010

The great news is that another Tucson Wool Festival is coming up on November 6. From 9 am to 3 pm.

The Withers Ranch will once again be open to the public for shearing and all sorts of fiber related demonstrations. Vendors from the southwest will be showing their craft and hopefully developing new fiber addicts.

Raffle Shawl 2010

A Freeform Shawl spun, woven, knitted, and crocheted with a more scientific slant will be raffled off with the proceeds going to the Casa Maria Kitchen.

The Withers’ Ranch

4010 W Palo Seco

(520) 572-3758/401-6117

Make sure you fill out an entry form to get in the drawing for great prizes. There will be one for knitters & crocheters, one for spinners, and one finished item to give away.
ONGOING EVENTS

TOURS of the animals will be given at 9 A.M. and 12:00 P.M.

Shearer: Danny Smith will be coming from Missouri to shear. If you are a breeder in the southwestern part of Arizona, he is willing to add you and your animals to his list to do around the November 6, 2010

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AND SHEPHERDS

Rae's Wood, harryrae@vtc.net

Inkle looms, regular size and mini's, stick and inkle shuttles, pick up sticks, niddy noddys, loom benches, inkled items like hatbands and shoelaces, and bowls.

Campe Verde Llamas: Chris and Nancy Wilson, spinllama@msn.com, will have llama, alpaca, and Shetland sheep rovings from their animals. They will also have blends of llama and soy silk, alpaca and soy silk, llama blended with Shetland wool and mohair, and alpaca blended with Shetland wool and Firestar. Other items include books, knitting and crocheting patterns, Eucalan wool wash, Gaywool dyes, and the new bamboo carbon top from Southwest Trading Company.
Sara Sacks: Woolies - hats, kids sweaters and toys, and shawls. www.woolies.etsy.com

Alpacazona Farm: Claudia and Brian Klaus, www.alpacazonafarm.com. Fiber from start to finish. Alpaca fleece, roving, and yarn. Exotic fibers including cashmere, yak, camel, silk, and silk blends. Both commercial and hand spun yarns. A wide variety of finished products: commercial and hand woven.

Canyon Wren Ranch: Cathy Gorman will be selling fleeces, rovings and yarns from her Natural Churro Sheep. cgorman@wildblue.net

Acres of Blessings: The Smiths from Missouri will have raw fiber, rovings and yarns from their Merino and Romney and sheep crosses. Danny will be shearing. He also makes and sells drop spindles.

Karen Herhold designs - Artistic Fibers and Felting

kherholdtucson@aol.com

Chamomile Connection - Lynnae Mcconaha, specializing in organic cotton and silk, spinning fibers, handpainted sliver and yarns, http://www.chamomileconnection.com/

Handmade~by~Sheri - Me - I will have a large selection of stitch markers  in all price ranges.

Rita Blocksom - wet and needle felting artist. Demonstrations throughout the day and mini classes. www.ritablocksom.com

9:30 Making Cosmic Spirals

11:00 Creating Silk Paper for Embellishment

12:30 Beads, Baubles and Bling

2:00 Crazy Felt

Karen Samson: Feltings Karensamondesigns.com

Celestial Designs Fiber Art from Minnesota: custom carded batts, original patterns, needle felting kits, hand spun yarns, and handmade knitting bags. Books, looms, and other fiber accessories. celestialdesigns@charter.net

Dove Mountain Alpacas: Donna Smith with Suri and Huacaya alpaca products.

WORKSHOPS

Drop spindling: Amy Shimel of Electric Sheep Fiber Arts will be giving mini lessons throughout the day.

Nuno felting with Karen Herhold - make a small scarf that can be used as a
hair bow or belt. $25 includes the cost of all supplies. Class will begin at
approximately 10 a.m.

DEMOS

Rectangle Loom Weaving: Judith Segel will demonstrate the continuous strand weaving technique to make a woven rectangle. The continuous strand weaving method means you do not have to "dress a loom."

Please stop by and show support for Kathy and the other fiber artists.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Weekend

This weekend was fun but busy filled with cleaning. Laundry - when is there not laundry? Knitting. Shopping for new glasses for me they should be in sometime in the next 10 to 14 days. I also made time to work on stitch markers for the special packages of stitch markers that I will have at the Tucson Wool Festival on November 6  from 9 am to 3:00 pm at the Withers Ranch.

Well its getting late so I will write more tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yesterday

I had a great day yesterday. After bagels and coffee with some good friends I ran my errands and then came home to have lunch and take a nap. I have a valid excuse for the nap, Eric was up until 12:30 am and I was tired.

The new blanket pattern is taking on a life of its own. I am 27 rows into the new design and the yarn did something very unexpected. I had envisioned the pattern going in more of a tumbling block pattern, but the yarn is taking me in a totally new direction. In about 120 more rows the 1st half of the blanket should be done and the other half will be a mirror image of the 1st half.

The creative juices did not stop there yesterday. I hit the beads and came up with over a dozen one of a kind stitch markers that will be unveiled on November 6th at the Tucson Wool Festival. I will be there from 9 am to 3 pm at Wither's Ranch located at 4010 W Palo Seco in Tucson. The Withers Ranch will once again be open to the public for shearing and all sorts of fiber related demonstrations. Vendors from the southwest will be showing their craft. I will add a post later to give a map and all the details of the day.



I am happy to say that Eric got to sleep at a decent hour last night so today should be more productive. Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Breif Catch Up

I did not think that John paid much attention to my knitting or yarn in general, but I was wrong. Over the weekend when I started winding some yarn for hats his comment was that he hoped that the yarn was for charity hats and not for my Art Fire Studio. Yes the next batch will be charity hats. I still have a lot of hats in my studio.

I also found 4 sets of knitting needles on Friday as I was digging out a knitting bag for a new knitter. I wonder how many sets of knitting needles I would have if I had finished all my work in progress projects. When I went into the tub to pull out the empty bag I also pulled out 4 projects that were still on the needles that I had not worked on since before the remodel. Everything was gathered and put in 96 quart containers to get them out of the way and out of the construction dust.

I have also started writing out the baby blanket with mixed blocks that is knit in one piece. This also includes the boarder being knit as you go so the little ones can't rip apart the squares. The pattern will be in my studio after I finish writing it up.  The blanket has been spoken for already but the pattern should be here soon. So you have something to look forward to.

Well I have to get back to my to do list. Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Buddy's Grill

Today we had lunch at an old favorite that we have not been to in awhile. Buddy's Grill at 4821 E Grant just east of Swan. Lunch was just amazing. I can't not believe that there was not a line out the door, it must be the economy because the food and service were outstanding.

The server offer drinks as soon as we sat down. The flavored tea was excellent. While we were waiting for our order the waiter brought out fresh, hot bread and muffins. More bread was served when the salad came and that was a nice complement to the salad.

I had the Grilled Chicken Salad for $10.50. The salad came covered with freshly grilled chicken  that was juicy, moist and thinly sliced. One half of a sliced avocado which was soft creamy and delicious, tomatoes, olives and artichoke hearts. The salad was fresh and crisp with romaine lettuce. The  toppings were plentiful.  It came with a choice of salad dressing and I went with my old stand-by a side of mayo and ketchup which I mix at the table. The salad was so flavorful that it would be a push if a whole tablespoon of dressing made it on to the salad.

John had the Turkey Breast and Canadian Bacon Sandwich for $9.50. The sandwich was served on marble rye bread and filled to the brim with Turkey, Canadian bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and tarragon mayonnaise. The sandwich came on a dinner plate with the sandwich taking up half of the plate. The other half was covered with fresh from the fryer french fries with just the right amount of salt. John said his sandwich was very good and not a bite remained on his plate by the end of the meal.

I have to admit that I trade most of my artichoke hearts with John for 3 or 4 french fries. It was well worth the trade. They were cooked just right crisp on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. With just the right amount of salt. It was a push as to who got the better deal in the swap with each of us declaring victory.

As for the restaurant, the parking was plentiful. The atmosphere was calm and relaxing. Eric enjoyed there music selection very much and the volume was just right. This is a perfect place to take out of town guest. It also has the right atmosphere for family dinners. John and I plan on going back soon. After all there is a full menu to try out that includes sandwiches, gourmet Angus burgers, pasta, fresh seafood and more.

In case you want to call ahead for reservations the Grant at Swan location telephone number is (520)795-2226. You can also check out their web site at http://www.buddysgrill.com for menu selection, specials, events and other locations.

Well it has been a very good and long day so have a great evening and enjoy your families.

*Buddy's Grill did not provide any compensation for this blog. John and I paid for our own meal. The opinions express here are my own. Menu pricing is subject to fluctuation's so the prices are apt to change.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yarn and Things

Well I have done it. I finally wound the last 18 skeins of wool boucle yarn that Nancy gave me for charity knitting 3 years ago. Just in case you were not in on that yarning  Nancy gave me a 33 gallon trash bag, yes one of those big black ones filled to the brim with it. To make warmer winter outer wear I blended it with worsted weight white yarn. Which I have rededicated, the white yarn was meant for 2 white wool blankets to donate to sick children; well being a mother of a sick child I know a white wool blanket is the very last thing that Eric would need or that I would want to do the upkeep on. So I mixed 9 skeins of white yarn with 18 skeins of boucle to come up with a warm colorful warm blends of 100% wool yarn that can be knit on US size 13 knitting needles. Yes it does make the projects go faster. The good news is that the bright orange yarn that the kids love is almost gone 1 or 2 ponchos at the most ( can you tell I am tired of bright orange yarn), then on to the red and yellow.

From that white wool yarn I am also rededicating 2 strips that were meant for a very complicated crochet pattern which was not included with the blanket but I was suppose to figure out on my own. I figure that once they are finished thay will make great scarfs , gifts for the shelter ladies that Nancy works with.

Today I also got some more organizing done. Since Eric had the day off from school we finally found the time to bring in the tabs that he and his friends from Taglit collected over the summer. He proudly carried in over 9 pounds of tabs to help the kids at the Tucson Ronald McDonald house. So If you have any tabs send them our way, this is a year round charity project for Eric.

Well John just got home so it is time to think about dinner. So have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Very Busy Day

Today really started out last night. Eric just had that look and choose pedilyte instead of formula. Which was just as well because shortly after 8 pm he did his first of many eyrps for the night. John graciously brought me my knitting and he knew just which projects to give me. Yes mindless knitting of rectangles to turn into ponchos.

I started on poncho last night and just about finished the first panel today. That was the bright orange one on size 13 needles. I also alternated to a brown, poncho on size 7 needles just to break things up. I am almost halfway through the first panel of that one.

In between knitting, running to the store before the morning aide left, napping sitting with Eric and doing 5 loads of laundry only 4 of which were Eric's eyrpy loads. I did manage to find 58 minutes to myself to do some Wii Fit plus. This was the longest session since dad died. I think I am finally getting back on track.

We it is time to empty the dishwasher and make a fruit salad for dinner. Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Lastest Charity Projects

Today was spent doing some knitting and not much else. I did not manage to get out of the house today. I was up with Eric until after midnight again so I spent part of the day catching up on sleep.  I have noticed that since I gave up diet soda I need my sleep.

I finally got to my finishing basket today. Freshly sewn together, ends woven in and miscellaneous finishing work done are 2 ponchos, 2 hats and 1 scarf for the OPK Guild winter charity projects.

I still do have some room in my XXL Ziploc bag so I have started a few more projects. I don't know if they will be finished in time but there is always next year.

Well some more knitting tonight and maybe a few minutes on the tread mill. Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This Weekend

We have had a very enjoyable weekend. Yesterday Eric, Natalie, Nancy and I went to Tucson Meet Yourself in it's new expanded format. The food was great. We caught one Motown cover group. I was a shame that they did not have a CD or I would have had 1 less gift to buy for Eric. We seemed to walk forever and it still amazes me that people will cut off a wheelchair thinking I can stop on a dime and not hit them by accident. Look at it this way if you can not stop your car on a dime what chance do I have pushing a 80+ pound wheelchair with and 80+ pound boy and all the mobile equipment we take every where. A good time was had by all, but a little more shade would have been great. We did stop by a local favorite Eegee's for their signature slush's on the way home. It was a nice treat from Nancy.  Nancy and Natalie enjoy the flavor of the month black raspberry and I stuck with my standby pina colada.

I have to admit after pushing Eric up and down ramps, bridges and all over Tucson Meet Yourself I did take a nap when we got home. Eric also did not want to unwind from such a fun day. So we were up till all hours and I did cheat on today's chores. I started the laundry while I was waiting for Eric to go to sleep. I got 2 loads done, but I would have rather had the sleep.

Today was a very kick back day with brunch at China Phoenix for Dim Sum (Chinese dishes that involves small individual portions of food) at Oracle and Ina in the Safeway shopping center. The food was good as usual. As usual we ordered way too much and took some home for tomorrow. I think I really did plan on taking some home, I just hoped that we would have a few more footballs to take home.

Since it was right there I went to Safeway while John stayed and helped Eric finish his lunch. The timing worked out perfectly. I had finished most of my shopping by the time the guys caught up with me. Eric and I then spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the great out doors. 

Yes I did spend some time knitting this weekend and even finished 3 projects. Well I hear the rest of the laundry calling me. So have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dawn in the Desert

After a very long night with Eric, I spent a few minutes enjoying the first light of dawn in the desert this morning. Yes it was chilly in the mid 60's but the view was incredible. The colors were soft the saguaro's majestic. Yes the birds were very active today and chattering between themselves. I am very thankful for the beautiful desert that I am able to enjoy on a daily basis.

I don't know which was better the view or being outside with out a hat and sun glasses to shield me from the sun. I hope that the few minutes of peace and tranquility will follow me through today. Have a great day and take a few minutes today to count your blessings today.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday

I had grand plans for today. Getting out of the house, a lot of shopping, lunch with a friend, and of course knitting. But I am sad to say that after getting roomba started I made the mistake of sitting down on the couch in a very quiet house. Two hours later I woke up from an apparently much needed nap.

I did try clothes shopping today but my body just was not into it. I did however find a new bath mat that was on sale for 50% off and used a coupon for an additional $10 off. So for less then the cost of lunch out we have a new bath mat to replace the one that is a little past its prime. I am sure that I can find a dog who will love our old bath mat and not mind the frayed edges.

I also decided that it was time in Tucson for hot cocoa and marshmallow's after all the temperature has fallen in to the low 80's during the day and it is very cloudy with a good chance of rain. So while at the grocery store I pick up the fixings and plan on having some today.

I still will get in some Wii and knitting. have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday

It was a very busy weekend which settled into a very busy Monday. Since Eric was home sick I made a long to do list which is 3/4 finished. I can actually say that I am caught up on laundry for the moment. We all know that I will have at least 2 full loads tomorrow. Such is life when Eric feels that it is one of his chores to make the most laundry possible. He is usually good for 10 to 12 loads of laundry by himself per week. I do have the market cornered on Tide and Downy. Now if I could just get him to fold and put his own laundry away. Yes I know that will never happen.

My roomba decided to go on robot strike this weekend. It was more like I am just going to sit here in one spot and spin.  John did do his best to fix roomba and politely ignored Teri's comment ;" but did he add a flame thrower, the roombas not really fixed until you add a flame thrower :P".  As this is a right to work state we went right out and got the latest model of Roomba that Costco had, the 550-1. I have to say that the new model is a little different but even easier to use. Roomba actually talks and tells me what it wants. Plus it runs very quietly. I am able to get 2 full cleaning cycles out of it per day. I tend to vacuum a little more during change of seasons because of all the dust.

I am currently in a clean and throw mode so if it is not nailed down it will be tossed, go to charity, recycled or put away. Now that I have a burst of energy back I will go back to my to do list. I hope that you are having a great Monday too.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What to Knit

Like many other knitters I struggle with what to knit next. There is just so much lovely yarn. So many good causes for those in need. There are projects for family and friends. Of course there is Project Gratitude for our wonderful service members. Also the feeling that if I just come up with the right thing sales in my Art Fire Studio would take off, by the way the link is http://www.tinyurl.com/handmadebysheri . There are also a lot of patterns that I would like to make for myself.

I know that I should not feel guilty for knitting for myself, but I always seem to be the last on my list of projects to start or finish. I would like to know how other people deal with this dilemma. Please leave your comments below. The winner will be picked by a random number generator on October 15, 2010. Oh yes the prize will be some one of a kind stitch markers.

Thank you for your input. I look forward to your solutions. Have a great weekend and enjoy your families.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Five Guys Burgers & Fries

I had a late lunch at Five Guys Burgers and Fries at 2802 N. Campbell Avenue today. Just in case you are wondering the cross street is Glenn.  This is a very easy to find sorta of fast food restaurant.

When I arrived the line to place my order was lined with peanut oil, peanuts to snack on while you wait and lots of bags of fresh potatoes. The menu was very basic and everything is cooked to order so it will take a while after you place your order to get your food but it will be very hot off the grill and hot out of the fryer.

I ordered the regular hamburger with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, mustard, ketchup and pickles. I also ordered a small order of french fries. Since I had my drink glass with me and I don't drink anything with high fructose corn syrup I asked if I could add some ice to my tea and they said that was fine. Lunch with tax came to $8.16. They also sold bottled water which is very nice.

Since the music was very, very loud and the restaurant was crowded even at 1 pm I opted to take my food outside and sit in the shade. The outdoor seating is very comfortable and there was a nice breeze, so the feel like temperature was probably about mid 90's even though it was over 100 at 1 pm.

They placed the burger at the bottom of the bag buried under in my opinion was a very large order of fries which made it hard to get to the very massive hamburger under the pile of fries. There was so much stuffing in the hamburger that I opted to eat it burrito style with the wrapping around the burger. Everything was fresh and tasty on the burger, but next time I will order the small burger. The burger was so large that I opted to skip my afternoon snack today. The hamburger was just so wonderful that now I know why at 1 pm there was a line almost out the door for burgers.

I don't know if any of you are old enough to remember when McDonald's used to use freshly peeled  and sliced potatoes in their french fries back in the 1960's ; but, I have to tell you that these fries are one step better. Not only are the potatoes fresh they leave the skin on and fry them in peanut oil. With a little bit of salt they did not even need the ketchup. The small order of french fries dwarfed the very large hamburger. They were so hot and fresh out of the fryer that I had to let them cool down a bit before I could eat them. They were cooked to perfection with just the right amount of crisp outside and soft cooked to perfection inside. By the way they are also good cold from the fridge which is good because the order was so massive. I did take about half of the fries home.

I would eat here again and plan to take John and Teri here. The one and only down side was the high volume of the music. But I do plan on eating outside again.  I would not take Eric here unless the volume of the music dropped by 50% or more. I have been to concerts that were not as loud as the restaurant was today.

So to recap. The food and restaurant were excellent. The music was way too loud.

*This is not a paid review. The opinions in this review are my own. I paid for my own lunch.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The New Cable Works

I let John use my camera cable for the greater good and was very nervous about using the new one he got for me. The good news it that the cable appears to work just as well as the old one.  So without further ado here are some of the new pictures of my knitting.

Barbara is our Guilds Chairwoman for Project Gratitude. She is modeling 4 out of the six scarfs I have made for members of the military this year.
Barbara M. With 4 of My Project Gratitude scarfs.

Have A great Evening and enjoy your families.

4 hats for Charity , 1 Project Gratitude Scarf, 1 Charity scarf.




Monday, September 27, 2010

The Snow Birds Have Arrived

Well it is that time of year again when we get our lovely snow birds. Most I have to say are pretty nice and lovely to have around. They give our local economy a boost which is great in the midst of a recession. Yes I know the recession has been declared over but in my humble opinion we are still in the midst of it.

But there are a few my northern neighbors are probably glad some of their neighbors are gone for a while. Take for instance the ones that feel that they must decide what belongs in my shopping cart. No you do not get to decide what I feed my family or publicly lecture me on what I have in my cart. Or how much I buy.

We don't get to many of these each year but please remember that Tucson is not the wild west we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 million people in Pima County. This means that we would really appreciate it if you do drive while you are here please have a drivers license and insurance. We do seem to get a few accidents every year in which an unlicensed driver or one with a revoked license careens into another car and comes up with the same old story: "I thought that this was the wild west and anything goes, you really don't need a drivers license or insurance to drive here".

This goes with creative driving also. Right turns from the left hand turn bays are generally frowned upon. This also applies to left turns from the right hand lane. We really don't mind if you want to drive 25 miles per hour under the speed limit but please do so from the slow lane, you know the one on the right hand side of the road. Not the fast lane on the left side of the road. A lot of people who live here year round have things to do and places to be.

Please feel free to take hikes in our many local National parks; but, please know your limits and bring plenty of water and a cell phone when you go out. Also do not hike alone and by all means let some one know when you will be back. I just hate watching the helicopters circling the Santa Catalina's looking for a lost or injured hiker.

Please feel free to visit all our museums and take part in the pelortha of winter actives after all this is why you came here. So you would not be snowed in all winter; but please don't laugh at us when we start serving soup when the temperature drops below 100 or we are bundled in our winter clothes when it hits the 70's. After all you did decide to skip summer which is the best time of the year in Tucson.

Enjoy your visit to Tucson tell your friends about the great weather and people. Enjoy our plays, musicals and other forms entertainment while in Tucson.

Please remember that we expect you to be on good behavior. We try to be a very polite city so it is expected that you open doors for mothers with strollers or people in wheelchairs. Please remember to wear your sun screen, burns are no fun and take away from play time.

So enjoy your time in the sun and play nicely. By all means invite your families for a break from the snow.  The more the merrier.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Week.

I have neglected my blog this week. I plead sick child as an excuse. Eric got sick Friday and was not able to go to school until Wednesday. As usual the days were long but he is feeling better and that's all that matters. This was on humdinger of a cold. It started off as a very runny nose followed by the requisite cough with a twist of projectile eyrping just to spice things up a bit. We were able to keep it out of his chest and for that I am grateful.  It is my sincere wish that this bug passes over your houses.

Yesterday I played hooky all day starting with knitting at Starbucks followed by an hour walk around the Tucson Mall and a little shopping. It was a wonderful idea to play hooky yesterday as today Eric's cold caught up with me. I don't mind being tired and the runny nose but the spinning head is another thing.

I have been doing a lot of knitting this week trying to finish UFOs but my attention span is short and I keep jumping from one project to the next without finishing anything.  I have spent over 10 hours knitting this week but as of yet have failed to add anything to my finishing basket.

It is time for another quick nap before we start Eric's routine for the night. Have a great weekend and enjoy your families.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Life's Unexpected Lessons

Power failures are never fun, but at least if they happen in the middle of the night you would think that every one would sleep through it. Well last night the power went out a little after 10 pm and it woke Eric up. Not only did the battery back up on the computer start to beep but Eric became very fussy.

It took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to turn off the power interrupt alarm.  However in the dark it was hard to figure out and I was turning it every which way to find the button that was on the front with the bell. I plan on putting a bright sticker on the front for the next time it happens.

After calling the power company and finding we were not in the main area of the power outage and sending the report in the nice automated voice said it would be about 4 hours before power was restored. So on to the cranky Eric.

I tried to explain to Eric that the power was not necessary to sleep. That his kangaroo had enough power to last until the power went back on. That the house was nice and quiet enough to sleep. I also explained that Tucson Electric Power would get everything working by morning before he had to go to school.

I held his hand, rocked him the best I could, held him but nothing seemed to work. At around 2 am the power came back on and he went straight to sleep. The worst part of the whole 4 hours is that everything I had cast on my knitting needles was in dark colored yarn, which I am sure you know is not great to knit with in moonlit rooms.

But this also got me thinking why I could not get Eric to sleep in the almost total quiet while John slept through the whole thing. After mulling it over for quiet a while it dawned on me that with no sight and relying totally on his hearing the hums of the motors and other electric gadgets were his "visual" world. As we rely on sight he relies on his hearing to give him the most accurate assessment of his surroundings. Even being safe in bed without the ambient noise that we tune out his world was turned upside down.

Eric did stay home today not because of the lost sleep but because we are dealing with the cold de jour and the eyrping that seems to go along with it. Now it is time to go do  a little cleaning before the nurse leaves for the day.

Have a nice evening and enjoy your families.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

t-sac

I like to use loose teas sometimes but I hate to clean up the mess of the tea leaves in the filter. Not to mention the mess it leaves in the sink during clean up. Or the small bits of tea that escape the plastic filter in the tea pot and land in my tea cup. If you like small floaters of tea leaves in your tea you can stop reading right here.

OK so I decided to try the t-sac's that Teri left at home when she went away to law school. She bought the size 1 filters which are designed for a single cup of tea. I found that each bag can comfortably hold 1 tablespoon of tea, so I use 2 bags for a 4 cup pot of tea. They work very well at containing the tea leaves and I could not tell the difference in the flavor of the tea. Best of all there were no floaters left in the tea. Clear tea at last for loose leaf tea. Did I mention that the clean up was very easy.

For the environmentalist they are chlorine free and compostable/recyclable according to the package. They come in 4 sizes with size 1 meant for a single cup of tea to size 4 designed for 12 cups of tea. The price is nominal. The ease of use is great including a very fast clean up.

*Disclaimer: I did not buy the t-sac's, my daughter left them at home when she went to school. This is not a paid review. The opinions are my own. If you decide to use the link to order the t-sac's Amazon will pay me a nominal advertising fee.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

La Shana Tova

As this year of 5770 draws to a close it is time for introspection in my life. It has been a year of very high highs and some lows. The hours have been long and unpredictable. Some of the things I have learned along the way have enhanced my life while conversely some of the time I spent "learning" I will never get that time back.

Some of the most important things I have learned include that it is not necessary to use an 8 to 10 quart pot every time I make soup. Yes I have conquered the 4 quart soup pot. I can also now make a 9 by 9 inch pan of kugle (noodle pudding) and the world has not come to an end. Learning to cook for just 2 of us has taken a while. Eric does not eat much of my cooking anymore, which is fine with me although I don't mind using the magic bullet when he wants what we are eating.

It is really OK not to be a pack rat. It is easier to keep the house clean with less junk. This has been a long process for me as I come from a long line of pack rats on both sides of my family. The less accumulation of just stuff is very hard to do; but after having to clean some houses of a life time of clutter I want to make the process easier for Teri.  So I am starting the process while I am still young enough to do most of the work myself. It does really feel good to de-clutter. Just don't tell that to John.  But it is still a very hard process for me.

I have learned that if I don't like a particular yarn I do not have to knit with it no matter what. I can still find a good home for it. It is also OK to knit for me. Everything does not have to be for charity or for sale.

The things I need to work on for 5771 is to have more patience when I am tired. That it is OK to say no. It is OK to have me time. To find more couple time with John. To continue the work of 5770 by de-cluttering more. I also hope to be more available to Teri and to try to understand her new life better.

I hope everyone will join me in putting family first.  They are our very core. Keep in close contact with good friends and try to make amends for past failures.

I know in my heart that world peace will not come easily as we need to over come many millennium of hatred and miss understandings. I hope for a year of more understanding, education and corporation in the world.

I leave you this year with wishes of health and a good life.  May you have a sweet year. La Shana Tova.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Concert Benefiting Karla Ember

I am very sad to have received this e-mail today. Karla has been such an important part of our lives and has brought much joy to Eric with her wonderful voice. I ask that if you can not attend the concert to consider making a contribution to help her family with expenses and medical bills. Cantonial soloist do not have large incomes and do their job with the love of G'd in their hearts.

Please include Karla in your prayer's of healing.

Sheri.

This is the e-mail that I received.


A MESSAGE FROM CANTOR JANECE COHEN
Last Friday night, my dear friend Karla Ember, beloved Cantorial soloist of Congregation Chaverim and longtime musician of the Tucson Jewish Community was violently attacked and gravely wounded. She is now in intensive care fighting for her life.
Members of our Jewish Community are trying to help Karla and her family by raising funds to help with medical and living expenses during this dif­ficult time. We invite you to join us for a CONCERT OF HEALING AND HOPE to take place this Sunday night, September 12th, at 7 p.m. at the JCC, proceeds of which will assist Karla's family. Make checks payable to Congregation Or Chadash, with Karla in the memo line. Thank you so very much for your support and compassion.

Cantor Janece E. Cohen
Congregation Or Chadash
3939 N. Alvernon Way
Tucson, AZ 85718
(520) 512-8500 Phone


as one voice lies still...
a thousand take flight

A Concert of Healing and Hope
a benefit for and tribute to

KARLA EMBER

Sunday September 12, 2010
7:00 pm
at the Jewish Community Center
River and Dodge
suggested donation of $36.00

Performers Include:
Tucson Jewish Youth Choir
Jewish Community Choir
Shirim
Congregation Or Chadash Choir
On Broadway
Klezmerkaba

Organized by Cantor Janece Cohen and friends
please make check payable to:
Congregation Or Chadash

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dead Sewing Machine

Well I took the sewing machine into the shop today to try and get it fixed. They said it could not be fixed.  Since they said it was beyond repair in their opinion, but I could pay them $200.00 to look at it!  I might just tear the dang thing apart myself and see if I can fix it. After all they said it was to broke to fix, so how much worse could I make it?

So they said they had a new Brother sewing machine for $700.00 which is a bit pricey in my book  They seemed down right mad that I would just not hand them $700.00 plus tax with out consulting my hubby. Well for that boo boo on there part if I do get a new machine it will be through e-bay, a local pawn shop or thrift store. I just don't see why sales people need to talk down to their customers, after all we are their paychecks, our purchases fuel their jobs. By the way the same sewing machine on e-bay was at least $200.00 less.

Well I am off to look at the product reviews to see if the machine is even worth the asking price on e-bay. Now if I can just get someone to carry in the machine from the car so I can fiddle with it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We Have a Winner

We have a winner. Teri like this idea the best.

Laura said...


How about Almond butter with craisins? Similar to a pb&j, yet different a taste.

So Laura please send me your mailing address.

On the knitting front a lot of knitting is getting done, but nothing is getting close to being finished. My work in progress list includes 2 shawls for me. 1 blanket for Teri. 1 charity hat. 1 charity scarf. 1 pair of socks. 1 baby blanket. 2 ponchos for the guild out reach program. I think I envy those very few knitters that can sit down and finish 1 project at a time, but that just is not me.

Well John is home so it is time to wrap things up for the night. Have a good evening and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It is Still Tuesday

It is still Tuesday. By only 28 minutes left in the day as I begin to write this. After an hour of hiccups I thought Eric would be tired enough to go to sleep; but I guess not. The hiccups ended over an hour ago, and boy is  still fussy.

I found some time for errands today although they got cut short by a beautiful afternoon rain shower that left over 1/2 in of rain in the rain gauge, had some spectacular lighting strikes and cooled it off out side. I am sure my plants enjoyed it very much. I am not big on watering and tend to leave all my desert plants to fend for themselves as nature intended.

It is getting very quiet so I hope that I can call it a day soon. Have a good what ever time of day it is when you read this and enjoy your families.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday, Monday

Not a lot got done today. I was up until 2:30 am with Eric. And are we not surprised back up at 5:30 am to start the day. Just a very fussy night. So aside from accomplishing  5 out of 7 on my chore list and a little bit of knitting it was a very slow day.

Here is to a very quiet night.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Love Small Knitting Projects

I love small knitting projects. They make me feel like I have accomplished something. With laundry and child care that never ends it feels like I am doing something concrete with my life. The hat I started yesterday was finished today. Then another hat was started. I have a lot of odd balls of yarn left over from other projects.  I try to blend the colors and yarn weights together to come up with unique colorways. I love to do hats with odds and ends of yarn I just never know what I will end up with. Since my Art Fire Studio is full stocked with hats I will be sending them off to kids in colder climates.

We had a nice slow day today. By the way did I mention I got some knitting done?  The weather was cool for this time of year only in the mid 80's but the humidity was near 30% all day. We were graced with a very small down pour tonight and a nice show of lighting.

We it is time to go put Eric to bed so have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Recpie

I was up with Eric until 2:30 am and was up again to start the day at 6 am, a big yuck in my book. Eric managed to spend most of the day sleeping ; but sleep eluded me. I spent the day doing laundry, puttering and knitting. On the knitting front I was too tired to concentrate so I started a hat with the hat pattern I gave everyone yesterday. I made it through the brim and 6 rows into the stripes.

Just before lunch I came up with a brilliant idea, at least I thought so. Iced Moroccan Mint Tea with Boba a kinda of east meets another part of the middle east. Boba are large tapioca balls that are found in the Asian section of some stores or the Vietnamese section of speciality Asian stores.

Make the Moroccan Mint tea as per package directions on the stronger side.

Make the Boba according to package directions. Drain. The link on the side of the page is for the type of Boba I used. The directions were very clear but I only cooked 1/2 cup of dried Boba which is enough for 4 drinks. Some people do use special wide straws but I forgot to pick them up and did just fine anyway.

In a heat proof glass add 1/4 cup of cooked Boba. Fill the glass to the top with ice. Pour the Moroccan Mint Tea over the ice and Boba. Let the ice do it magic and sit back and enjoy. Total prep to serving time less than 15 minutes.

This is not a sweet drink but it is a very refreshing drink. Personally I had almost a full tea pot of this this afternoon. Some Boba will come to the top when the glass is tilted but you will need a spoon to get all the goodness out of the glass.

I would like to remind everyone that Teri and I still have a contest going on. We only have 4 entries so your chances of winning a prize are good. check the past blog entry for all the details.

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The World has not Ended

I have done the finishing work in my basket to day and the world did not end. There are a total of 5 scarfs and 1 hat just off the needles today.

Because I love this hat so much I thought I would throw in a pattern today.

Supplies
Size 6 circular needles
size 6 dpn's
Scrap yarn

This hat can be made in 2 sizes small and large. The small one is for a child the large for a teen or adult.

Cast on 81 stitches for the small (place a stitch marker every 20 stitches) and 101 for the large(place a stitch marker every 25 stitches).

For the 1st stitch knit together the first and last cast on stitch, knit 1, purl 2 * knit 1 purl 2* for rounds 1 through 15.
*Added the second color and knit 2 rounds. be sure to twist the yarn on the inside for a more sturdy hat.
Go back to the first color for 2 rounds.* repeat these 4 rows until you have knit 32 rows of stockinette.
The crown is very easy. You will do a *ssk (slip,slip,knit) after each stitch marker and knit to the next stitch marker* repeat until you have 4 or 5 stitches on the needle.  Cut a tail and pick up the remaining stitches on the  darning needle go around once. Weave in the ends on the wrong side of the hat. About half way through the crown you will need to knit the stitches on to the dpn's. I divide the stitches by the stitch markers on to 3 dpns, this is not even but it works for me. The crown can either be done in a solid color or stripping every other row. I have done it both ways and both are easy and look good.

Have a good evening and enjoy your families.

PS let me know if you need clarification on the pattern. Please use this pattern for personal or charity use. If you make this pattern for profit please donate 15% of the money to a charity for children or to your local community food bank. This is the honor system.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A New Contest

I am having a new contest. Teri is very tired of PB&J sandwiches. I need to give Teri lunch suggestions that do not have to be refrigerated. They must also be Dairy Free - milk and milk products. Mayonnaise, chicken and eggs are fine. They must also be fast to make and hold up well. And most of all not drip on her books while she is studying.

The rules are very simple.

1. Follow my blog.

2. Leave a recipe for each entry. Also a way to contact you.

The Prize is a very large over sized Elizabeth Arden tote bag in pink.

You have until midnight Sunday August 22 to submit your entries. The contest will be judged by Teri, myself and whom ever we can rope in to read the recipes.

Good luck and have a great day.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This Weekend

I was so hopeful after summer camp when Eric managed to make it through the whole summer and missing less than 1 week of camp due to illness. The school year is not going as well. Eric had 2 days of school last week and missed the second one due to being sick. Well so much for our summer streak. I might just have to go to school and shadow him for a day to figure this out.

We have had a very busy weekend getting Eric back on his feet but I think we just might make it. He did manage to sleep through the night. After a full 6 hours of sleep for me, a lot has gotten done around the house this morning.

On the bright side I have knit just over a skein of yarn a day this weekend. Most of it was charity knitting, but I have come to the conclusion that I need to do more knitting for me and learn to be a bit more selfish with my time. Yes I know the need for warm weather items is going to be great this year, but I have all this nice yarn and so many patterns lined up for me. There are only so many hours in a day.

I only have a few minutes left of quiet before I need to get everyone going this morning so have a great day and enjoy your families.