Friday, November 30, 2007

friday fill-in.

1. When my blog is broken, I might not notice for a days, or if I did notice, would probably take it as a sign I needed a blogging break.
2. I saw the most amazing Julia Roberts-crazy person video on the Today Show this morning! (and so much less enjoyable than the awesome sunrise I saw on Tuesday's drive into work or the happy faces at Starbucks yesterday)
3. Enchanted, August Rush and Love in the Time of Cholera is/are (sorry I couldn't pick just one) the new movies I'm most looking forward to seeing.
4. Work: Necessary and often enjoyable. And I'm lucky that most days I look forward to it!
5. Of all the new tv shows, I enjoy Gossip Girl the most. (not because I've actually seen it, but listening to Sara watch it is a real trip!)
6. If only I'd managed to organize my holiday scrapbook stuff so I was really ready for the first prompt of this very cool project...tomorrow!.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to making a few lists so I know just how far behind I really am, tomorrow my plans include coffee with Katie, Jo, and football with the Bauers and Sunday, I want to get inspired for some holiday stamping projects with Sharon!

thanks to Mary Lynn for sharing this fun site!

blessings.

...Lydia's been doing it for a while and I'm finally catching on, I guess. Stopping to really appreciate the seemingly "ordinary" bits and pieces that make up your life. Saw this and this, and then heard this story on the way to work yesterday. And when things come in threes like that, I try to pay attention! So I'm going to be conscious about saying thank you more.

From yesterday:
♥Marc called me at work - he was very excited about a lunch he'd had with a business contact (this one counts for two - love getting a call from Marc and love that he had something to be excited about)
♥Gave three performance reviews and I think they went well
♥Sitting at Hair Elite - which means no more gray hair and an hour of knitting time
♥Lange Winery called to say they're shipping my holiday wine on Monday

Saturday, November 24, 2007

getting into the season.

...with holiday decorating, a bit of baking and the Johnny Mathis concert.
the "big" tree - our first live one. because the lights on the artificial one decided not to work this year. love how it's already spreading a lovely fresh greenery smell in the house

making ornaments for our version of ali's beautiful idea on our "little" tree

the "little" tree all decorated

yummy cranberry bread, freshly baked by sara

pre-concert dinner at baraonda (of course!), mary, katie, polly

karen and mary

at the concert, karen, polly, roy

the concert stage (no flash :-)


so glad the trees are up, a few decorations are out, favorite holiday songs loaded to my ipod. looking forward to enjoying all of that, and the time with my family. (go jackets!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

plenty to be thankful for.

...lunch out with my parents, twice in three days (first at Pastis and then at Bistro VG, with Sara)
...cooking with Sara, unbelieveable how much faster Thanksgiving comes together with two cooks, especially one who loves to make all the desserts
...making the biggest mess, and then cleaning it up, and not feeling at all guilty about doing no more dishes all day.
...both daughters home for dinner.
...two beautiful, smiling faces I don't get to see nearly as often as I'd like (Daddy and Katie).
...and so many other things - Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

family brunch.

...our second annual brunch - the sunday before thanksgiving. first opportunity for everyone to see Polly & Roy, who arrived on friday, and are spending the week at karen's.

lots of yummy food. laughter. talking. catching up. browsing new books and yarn. and picture taking (not that you can tell from what's posted here!)

sara and I opened more birthday gifts. this one was a huge hit with sara (and she says to tell katie, no, she can't borrow them!)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

a(nother) perfect day.

Secret of the Stole - hint #5 (and 2 rows of #6) finished! I actually finished on Tuesday, but didn't have a photo op til yesterday.

Sara and I went to MAC at Nordstrom for makeovers. What fun! And I love that Sara loves her new look. We both purchased a few new products...hoping we can recreate that makeup artist magic on our own. Perimeter Mall is all decked out for Christmas. Glad I'm embracing the season, otherwise I might be a little weirded out to have a decorated tree in my birthday photo :-)

Then brunch at Murphys. Definitely our new favorite spot (along with about what seemed like half of Atlanta - the place was packed - even at 2 pm).

And Knitch - the 3rd stop on the Shop Hop tour (I also had a very fun time at Cast on Cottage earlier in the week, but no pictures!) Found a gorgeous deep purple to make the Logan River wrap. And as we were leaving, I told Sara that I was hoping all the time she was spending in yarn stores might rub off. And she said maybe I could teach her to knit tonight. But we didn't buy you any yarn... So we had an excuse to visit a 4th stop on the tour.

Why Not Knit. Located in Buckhead right next door to Marc's office. Sara found a beautiful, soft gray alpaca to make a modified version of the garter rib scarf from Jo Sharp's knit 3. She caught on fast (she says I showed her knitting a few years ago - funny, not sure I remember, but good that she does) and finished her swatch, then got a first inch of the real scarf done. She said that was her birthday present to me. I told her I thought it made a better present for herself. Wonder if it will stick this time?!

So I ended up with 4 stamps (really 3 stamps and some initials) on my passport - one more than I planned. And I had a ball visiting all the shops. I hope this becomes an annual event.
Then Marc made a yummy dinner, and dessert. Perfectly lovely. And thank you to everyone for birthday wishes - cards, phone calls, even text messages. A very happy birthday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

deja vu all over again.

beautiful birthday flowers from Katie (maybe I'll get Sara to take my picture with them later).

The post title is what I used on my email when I sent an update to my team at work on Thursday...after another trip to resurgens orthopaedics. this time for my neck. preliminary diagnosis is a herniated disc. glad my foot is finally better, but still no running!

We have a good day planned. Shopping, make-up, lunch, knitch, knitting. Does it get any better than that?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thanksgiving: Top 10

First off: Happy Birthday, Mom! I know for a fact you'll be reading this tomorrow morning, likely before the sun comes up and/or all that dumb paid programming ends on cable television (you know, that kind that I used to watch, and will therefore never live down, since you and Dad just looooove to bring it up? Yeah, that kind.), so that means it is your birthday.

That aside, I'd like to, er, blog, about this holiday season that is quickly approaching (okay, it's already approached, but let's try not to get too technical, okay?). That's right, it is already November and almost December and this side of next week, our Christmas tree and decorations will be up. (Yes, because apparently the Rogovin family is really getting into this year. Like, putting up the tree more than a month before the actual holiday. My mom even asked me if we should put up lights this year. "You mean, like, on our house?" [Well, duh, where else?] We decided to go the "no" route. Not for lack of holiday spirit, but rather for lack of unlaziness, on my part at least. Because if we put them up, we have to take them down. We can't be like the people down the street that have, for the past few years, never taken down the Christmas lights that hang so festively from a giant tree in their yard but are only actually lit 30 or so days out of the year.) I mean, gosh, it's already "Let's Talk Turkey" time on the Food Network (one of my new favorite channels. The other new favortie channel? Food Networkd HD. Don't make fun!), and it has been for quite some time.

So, with all this mindless, uncontrolled rambling about how the holiday season is upon us, let's count down (although not in order; I tend to have trouble ranking lists) my favorite things about Thanksgiving!

10. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade! A note about Meredith Viera: Where was this lady during the reign of Katie Couric? Who cares if she duked it out (or, rather, didn't) with the best of them on The View? Not only does she seem more sympathetic when they do those sad stories where they play the slow, often inappropiately-chosen songs, she's also more fun! Meredith laughs unintentionally more than Katie Couric ever does. So, Ms. Couric, how is CBS? The last time I saw you was not on your Nightly News broadcast, but rather in People magazine with your daughter.
9. Stuffing, cranberry conserve, dessert. Repeat. Yummy. My newly-rediscovered love for cooking and watching cooking should come in handy this year. I'm making all the desserts!
8. All these ridiculous-looking colors! It only happens once a year, but when it does, it is pretty beautiful. I'm amazed by the colors of the leaves (I'm not a wax paper kind of gal, but I still marvel), and also how just this week they've started to fall. Perhaps I've just never noticed, but does it always take this long for the leaves to fall off the trees?
7. The cold weather. As most may know, I feel most comfortable in running shorts and a t-shirt (no "Sunday best" jokes, mom!), but I probably feel even more comfortable in sweats. And I also have some wonderful new coats and winter weather-ware to brave the crazy wind chill in, so it's all good.
6. Miracle on 34th Street. (Laughs. Everyone knows where this is going.) Crazily, the 1994 version was on a few Sundays ago (I think it was my birthday), and there's no escaping its airing on Thanksgiving, probably on AMC or TMC or some channel like that. But that's the 1994 version. What about the old one? You know, when that lady goes "Santy Claus can come and stay with us." Or, the Mary Rogovin interpretation: "Uddy boody boo beedy boody." (It's a complicated spelling, so I did my best.)
5. New traditions: The newest this year will be The OC Thanksgiving episodes. First, we'll start off with "The Homecoming," a wonderful little uplifting episode. Then we'll (luckily) be on a nice emotional high with JJ Philbin and Mr. Schwartz decide to yank (not pull) at our heartstrings, leaving us as weeping little babies. It's a great time for all. (If time, allow for "The End's Not Near, It's Here." After "The Cold Turkey," we'll all be emotional wrecks, and weeping for 45 more minutes will make no difference.)
4. Desserts. Okay, this would make a top-10 list on any of my lists, but it's just more special for T-giving, because it's multiplied by three! (Three!) That's right, first a pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust, then an old-fashioned pecan (puh-CAHN? PEE-can? I go with the former) pie with a whole wheat crust (watching the caloric intake here, people), and then an apple and cranberry crisp with yummy oatmeal topping.
3. Jackets versus D-o-g-s. Okay, I know, I know, it's been, like, a bagillion years since we've beaten them, but somehow I always end up looking forward to this stupid game. I always say, "Maybe this will be the year." I feel more hopeless than a Chicago Cubs fan (okay, maybe not that extreme, but, depending on your knowledge of the history of baseball, you get the point). Still, I end up getting sucked back in to the craziness of the annual game. It's like the Braves. Hard to not watch.
2. A break. Okay, so even though I think 5 days is not nearly enough time off for America's first and most tradition-rich holiday, 5 days is better than none. So this year, I'll be relishing the relaxing days and lack of work.... Oh, wait! I forgot that my teachers apparently forgot that some people have lives and would not like to finish a book and answer questions about it. When we come back the following Monday morning and ask you if you've graded the tests we took a month ago, don't look surprised. You're not the only one that was expected to do work over a break when you should be spending time with your family and eating till you feel you will explode.
1. Friends episodes! Since Friends always came on on Thursdays, it made a habit of making its annual Thanksgiving episode memorable. Some of the best moments:
-Everyone plays football for a "troll doll nailed to a 2x4."
-Rachel wasn't supposed to put beef in the trifle.
-Chandler stays in a box, for reasons that are "three-fold."
-Ross can't name all fifty states and Joey thinks that New England is one.
-Monica chops off Chandler's toe, then puts a turkey on her head.
-Brad Pitt used to hate Jennifer Aniston. Well, their on-screen characters did. Not sure about real life now.

So, everyone, what are your favorite things about Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

shop hop stop #1.

...Only Ewe and Cotton Two. Open til 9:00 pm on Tuesdays, so the logical stop after work today. The shop hop requirement is to spend $10 in each store. I thought booties for baby Brooke (nextdoor neighbor Holly's baby due in early December) would be a great idea. And Cat had many inspiring patterns. But the yarn I found that matched the gauge was really just so-so.
And then I saw these "shi bui booties" at the counter and fell in love. So I purchased everything to make those, including my 2nd size 5 circular needle to try the "2 circ" method for socks.

I also have plans to visit Cast on Cottage and Knitch for stops #2 and #3, but nowhere near all 10 shops. I love the idea though and if it repeats, will definitely plan to participate more actively next year!

Monday, November 12, 2007

we're making it an extra long season this year.

...yup, the longest on record in our house. We're planning to put up our tree and other Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving - November 23. I've been inspired by Ali's blog and by Katie to just go for it. And figure once the tree is up, that's all the more time to enjoy it. We always take it down before New Years Eve, so it's really only about 5 weeks. Seems like not that much time, really! (and way better than the too-short time we had Katie's first year in college - when I decided I wasn't going to put up a tree, HUH??!!, so she put it up by herself when she got home from finals, and told me just recently she cried the whole time - can I blame her, what a scrooge I was!)

I ever-so-casually clue'd Marc into my plan this morning. I think the combined factors of 1) this means we won't be shopping that day; and 2) we won't be asking for his help made it a non-issue. His only input - when we get ready to take everything down, he wants to help us reorganize the storage closet. Sure, no problem!

With the girls getting older, this is my time to make sure we establish the foundation of traditions they can build on with their families. And this year it will be all about time...me taking the time to enjoy the season, sharing the baking with the girls, and the holiday movies and corny tv shows, creating photos and albums, and many memories of just being us... we've made a great start with Thanksgiving these past few years, so I love Ali's idea to let the two holidays merge into one longer season filled with family, love and laughter.

Diana Krall's Christmas CD is playing in my car, soon to be joined by the Charlie Brown Christmas (those are the only two I found in the house - they must've missed last year's packing up) and once we decorate to be followed by many more - my favorites: Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Elvis, Kenny G, A Merry Affair, the Pottery Barn holiday collection and the "hip" mix that Sara made last year [I'm sure there are many more - we have several dozen CDs! - but those are the ones I'm remembering now] ...would love to know - what are your favorite holiday CDs?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

two of my favorite things...

...Starbucks and knitting! Starbucks has the holiday spirit already! Christmas Blend coffee and the absolutely (I hope for them in my stocking) delicious gingerbread biscotti. Had for breakfast both days this weekend. And know I will not be tired of them by Christmas!

I met up with Shari this morning at Starbucks of course to continue the knitting lesson. She's making great progress for only knitting 8 days! She got started on the scarf today - no more swatching. And the pattern is a twisted rib and very satisfying to see the pattern after only a few rows. I won't see Shari again til bookclub after Thanksgiving, and I'm thinking she'll have lots done by then.

A closing cool shot - the back wall at the Starbucks where we met.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

making me happy.

♥*happy sigh*...another proud parenthood moment. Sara was inducted into the National Beta Club tonight. That's her in the front blur brown slacks and purple top (I know likely the very worst photo ever taken, but that's what I get with no flash photo in a dark auditorium).
♥a not-rushed phonecall this afternoon wtih both my parents, individually. So much better conversation one on one! Looking forward to their Thanksgiving visit and the tradition routine we've created (fried calamari whenever, brunch at my house, mexican, no-turkey Wednesday, Ga vs GT at the Sheffields) combined with good quality time, car shopping ??!! and some holiday preparations.
this on-line class. I signed up this morning and can't wait for the first e-mail!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

a perfect day.

...from this...
...to this...
...to this...and very cool that we happened to be seated next to the owner at Murphy's, and had a delightful conversation with him and his organic produce supplier and I hope they do expand their organic offerings and I'm very excited about going back with Sara (and Katie) for lunch (and/or dinner, brunch, dessert).

...anyone still think I'll be bored when I retire?

socks!


...for seven hours yesterday, I knit socks. With Cat Bordhi. The author of this fabulous book (and a few others). And it opened my eyes to so many new ideas, not only about socks, but about knitting in general.

Honestly, I think I "missed the memo" about what to expect/prepare. I wasn't entirely sure what that seven hours would bring, but it promised learning about socks from the ground up and that was plenty good. What I found out at 11:15 (yes, traffic was bad and I was late) was that the teacher was a famous person, who'd published multiple books about knitting and socks and was there to share her knowledge with us. And that we should've knit the two "baby socks" from the book to prepare. Ooops - so I'm late and completely unprepared. I didn't even know about the book, let alone the homework. (like that recurring dream I have about college finals??!!) But I do have a few good knitting skills and I kept up and had fun and learned.

A new technique for heels - all short rows - yeah, I finally think I "get it". And the result is so cool - and so much easier than the flap and the picked up stitches. This is Cat demonstrating, and her finished product.
A toe-up cast-on. The fourth time was the charm and I got it to work. The finished sock in this photo is the cuff-down one I knit first. You can see by the (lack of) progress on the other sock that three false starts set me back a bit!

Knitch does a great job with classes - the logistics were smooth, even down to fresh coffee about 3pm - very welcome! (and kudos to Kim for posting about us, but not so much about catching me in full profile in that last shot!)

Two circular needles (instead of double pointed needles - dpn - to make the "circle"). So I saw lots of great examples with the circs (do you even see anyone in the picture using dpn's?), but I'm not sold yet. I think I'm going to finish the 2nd baby/sample sock on dpn's and then see. I really like dpn's ... but boy the folks who used those two circs just ripped along. And Cat the expert recommends and that definitely counts for A LOT!

I'm looking forward to trying out more of Cat's patterns (after I finish that 2nd baby/sample). And getting a few steps closer to my life-list item to design a sock pattern.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

sweet sixteen.

...Sara with her birthday flowers (thank you, Katie!)

Lots of good food and good company - loved that Katie came home for the day.

And we ended with a very yummy cranberry cheesecake (that Sara made herself - I did try to help, but she shoo'd me out of the kitchen).

Sunday, November 4, 2007

make a wish.

Happy sweet sixteen, Sara!

We have a fun day planned...tennis, a visit from Katie, lunch, Marie Antoinette, spaghetti, cheesecake and likely a few phone calls. Much to celebrate!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

a new knitter.

...yes, I'm converting my friend Shari! I haven't really taught anyone to knit (the knitting lesson a few weeks ago was more like a refresher course...they'd both knitted before) in a long time. Fortunately, Shari is a quick study. I suggested the easy version of this scarf - figuring it's always best to knit something you like, not just something that's super easy. And our LYS had the recommended yarn; Shari picked the pretty light pink color. We took over the back table and I showed her knitting, purling and ribbing. She took home a 20 stitch swatch to keep practicing. And we planned to meet again next Sunday to cast on the scarf. And learn a twisted rib.

So imagine my surprise when I saw Shari again today at the LYS (while I was there with Karen, slightly helping her finish up the knitting on the itty bitty bag). She'd boo-boo'd the swatch last night and no way was she going to wait another week to get it fixed! Quick fix, she's got her swatch again :-)

[and sorry, no pics from the outing with Karen - sad face, because it was lots of fun - yarn purchases, gorgeous pre-felted fabric, shrimp ceviche and margaritas at Ceviche...]

signs of fall.

...I've been looking for them daily - and temperatures in the 70's (even 80's) make it seem like summer is just not going to leave. But this week, temperatures dipped into the 40's and we finally saw some definite signs:

1. suede boots ... fall!, 2. japanese maple branch, 3. crepe myrtle fall colors, 4. quilted jacket, 5. fall centerpiece, 6. fall camelia