Saturday, April 30, 2011

the wedding party.

...I'm not even going to promise this will be my last royal wedding-related post - it was beautiful and inspiring and and so obviously filled with love...everything a wedding should be. I had a great time watching it...four times yesterday! I watched the today show's live coverage, then the BBC (twice - once at martha's viewing party and once again with marc) and then katie couric's recap on CBS. have to say that the BBC did the best job capturing the ceremony, and I loved matt and meredith's coverage of the balcony kiss(es!!). and katie did a great job summing up the highlights in her hour. that is honestly the most tv I've watched in one day since I can remember!

for the record, I think I got all the right answers to kathy's questions - although she says she thinks william cried. I didn't see that. did you? and there wasn't a question about the worst hat, but that prize clearly goes to beatrice.

wow, I still can't believe I watched it four times yesterday! but the second time, at martha's, was definitely the most fun (click the photos to see maybe more details in flickr).

there was plenty of delicious food.

and hats.

and champagne.

pretty flowers.

a chance to re-wear bridesmaid dresses (and a veil!).

and photo opportunities. taking them.

and smiling for them!

the party was a great idea...I wish I'd had it myself, but I'm really very glad I have the kind of friend who did! thanks, martha!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

more on the wedding.

...yes, it's still thursday and yes, this means I'm posting twice in one day! I couldn't resist when I read kathy's blog today; she posed ten questions that I thought it would be fun to answer...and pass along:

  1. Are any of you planning to watch the royal wedding  tomorrow? yes!
  2. What time are you getting up? 4 am (ET)
  3. Will you be watching alone, having a pajama party, meeting up with friends? I'll be watching alone (with holly :-) for the live event, but then going to a wedding party later in the morning to watch it again. btw - I'm going to watch the today show version live, and I'm recording the BBC version.
  4. Are you having ‘tea and scones’ or just a bowl of cereal? coffee with the live viewing and a full-blown tea for the party (my contributions are maple-pecan scones, crudite with feta dip and champagne)
  5. What do you think her dress will look like? hummm...form fitting, with a long train, but not as long as diana's
  6. What color will Kate’s mom be wearing? blue
  7. Guess how many hats we will see on the royal family. not sure who counts here as royal family, but I'm going to guess they'll all be wearing hats. I'm planning to wear mine!
  8. Will William cry? no
  9. Will Kate stumble on her words as Diana did? no
  10. Which prince would you marry if you could? ... a fun question but I can't imagine myself marrying either of them. but if I "must", then I'd pick william - he's smart, fun, athletic and the older brother, which I think that means he'd be the more responsible one

the royal wedding.

...not quite what I hope to be watching this time tomorrow, but definitely entertaining! my favorites are the little corgi and the queen.

(and a big thank you to my favorite electric sheep podcast for the link!)

I also really enjoyed this lovely and informative article on tiaras. thanks to this is glamorous.

are you planning to watch the wedding tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

10 ways to save at the grocery store.

sara's herb garden, summer 2008 (see #4 below)
....a different kind of blog topic for me, for sure! but I'm thinking it could be time to take some of this good advice and put it into action. money saved at the grocery store = money for yarn!

1. buy what's on sale. stock up if you have room (our freezer isn't very big, but when chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound, or frozen vegetables are 10 for $10, we buy a lot!)

2. use coupons. my mom taught me this. she told me the sunday paper more than paid for itself if you used the coupons. we stopped getting the paper last year, but we still get coupons from kroger and from costco in the mail.

3. buy produce that's in season. not only is it cheaper and tastier, but it's better for the environment when we don't have to ship food around the world.

4. grow your own. oh my, homegrown vegetables are the best! sadly, I barely manage to keep rosemary and basil growing, but that helps a little bit.

5. plan your meals, make a shopping list, and stick to it. those one-off trips to the store for an item or two really add up.

6. buy just what you need...and can eat. it's been a real lesson for me this past year to get used to shopping for two, and often one. I'm embarrassed by what I've had to throw out some weeks.

7. buy the store brand. (except for paper towels and toilet paper :-)

8. make your own spaghetti sauce. cheaper and tastes much better!

9. bring your own bags. another one that's good for the environment too.

10. buy personal items like shampoo and lotion someplace other than than the grocery store; I'm not sure why, but they're always more expensive there.

I'm looking forward to seeing tips from everyone else this week. I'm sure I'll learn a few things!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 things I love about my family.

us on christmas day, 2010
1. we have fun together...just being us.

2. separately we each have our own talents and abilities and together I think we can do just about anything.  (seriously, I can't think of another three people I'd choose to be stranded on an island with - we'd not only survive, we'd get rescued)

3. everyone talks to everyone. I am so thankful for cell phones and text messages and especially skype - we choose to connect with each other individually, and we had a very cool four-way conference call for katie's birthday back in january

4. shared memories of the past fifteen years (I'm only guessing sara doesn't remember farther back than 1995....) - this makes us practically unbeatable in taboo!

5. our georgia tech tradition, now solidly three generations old!

6. everyone has a one syllable name/nickname. marc, mare (aka "mere"), kate, sare and holls. I don't think it's because we're lazy, just comfortable with each other

7. the holiday traditions we've created...borrowing bits and pieces from marc's and my childhoods, blending with new things that make it ours

8. we're dog people

9. no one demands handknits, but they appreciate them

10. they know me...and they love me
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Monday, April 18, 2011

currents*.

flowers from beth and the strawberry cake I was thinking about...
listening: a new playlist, with the best of the best inspiration, thanks to the suggestions of many friends!

eating: strawberry cake

drinking: lady grey tea (with half a packet of splenda)

wearing: once in a blue moon (aka "cherry vanilla")...just finished

feeling: thankful that I had a wonderful hour-plus long skype conversation with katie yesterday afternoon about haircuts, books, resumes, gin cocktails, travel plans...just catching up

weather: about 75 degrees, clear blue sunny skies. fabulous!

wanting: to finish this lovely alpaca silk cardigan for easter. still haven't separated the sleeves (but I'm close), so this might be a stretch!

needing: one more trip to the grocery before we leave on wednesday - a roasted chicken and diet tonic (see gin cocktails above :-)

thinking: I've stopped coloring my hair (for now?) and the gray that is coming in - rapidly now, it seems! - is a pretty silvery color... I hope it lasts

enjoying: my deck...all cleaned up!

wondering: which of my many(!!!!) hibernating projects I'll revive to knit while I'm away...suggestions welcome!

*inspired by http://lifelovepaper.typepad.com/just_a_girl_who_likes_pap/

Friday, April 15, 2011

focus friday. note to self.

...ali's april prompt is to write a letter to our future - one year from now - self. her template includes a section to capture where we are today...and where we hope we'll be next april. I had a lot of fun with this one. and maybe it's a good thing, but I find myself hoping that not much has changed about my life by this time next year. I felt like I could say "I hope you're still loving live the same way you are today". but I didn't. instead I spelled out what it is that I'm loving. and since ali shared her letter with the thousands of students signed up for her class, I figure I can share mine, too. and there's nothing like this blog for giving me a sense of accountability!
the title page (shown at the top of this post) fits into the back of the top 5x5 square from march. the bottom 5x5 square will hold a photo. I think I'm going to use this one.
I really like the obvious parallels to the beginning photo I chose for january's entry. knitting with holly in my lap, a big smile on my face. and yet feeling so different now than I did four months ago. wow, has it really been four months....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the chore(s) & the reward.

...another week, another to-do list and another "focus chore". this week it was cleaning out my desk, and, because the weather has been glorious and I really do want to get outside, also cleaning up the deck. I was ruthless. a heaping trashcan full of junk. in the spirit of last week's confessions, I admit to still having markers from when the girls did science fair projects (what, ten years ago?) and enough office supplies to open up a store (but none that I could see myself using in my lifetime - although I did keep the mega box of manila file folders...I'm sure there are going to be a few filing and organizing chores where I'll be glad I have them!). and then I was on a roll, so I also packed up two boxes of books to donate. the resulting free space feels so good.
my desk, after. I never would've dreamed to photograph those open doors before!
...and the deck cleanup? obviously its own reward.
knitting the cecily's lace cardigan in the suggested alpaca & silk, colorway 102 (raisin). lovely!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

my 10 favorite snacks.

...from dictionary.com. I was interested to see that "snack" could include a drink, or a light meal, if eaten between regular meals. I think this means I live by snacking most of the week! (of course I'm sure this doesn't surprise anyone who knows my eating habits!) so here goes:

1. graham crackers - I always have one with my morning cup of coffee (yes, just one square - I like to have something in my stomach to absorb the coffee)

2. pretzels - my favorites are the little twists or the waffle style.

3. nuts, especially almonds, pecans and cashews.

4. popcorn.

5. cheese.

6. carrots.

7. green & blacks chocolate - currently loving the ginger and the dark 70%.

8. starbucks latte - this is a special treat (and right now I'm just a few more regular coffees away from another free drink coupon!)

9. quaker chewy granola bars.

10. salsa and chips (or carrots) - it's really just about the salsa!

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Monday, April 11, 2011

a lesson in aging.

...from tulips.

as pretty as they are cut fresh from the garden (I have been oohing and aahing over jane brocket's harvest - start here and work backwards to see what I mean!), I think they get even prettier as they age.

I love the way their stems bend and twist - and as delicate as those stems look, they're sturdy.
these are the same tulips I shared last week... now about ten days old
the flowers seem to come alive - so open and expressive - as the petals spread, and then one by one, fall.

this is how I want to age - keeping my limbs strong even as they're bent and hard to straighten...my face expressive and open...

Friday, April 8, 2011

focus friday. the yarn and knitting edition.

...this month, continuing my new to-do list habit, I've started putting one chore on the list each week. this week it was "clean my yarn room" and it was planned for thursday.

the good news is that, with a little help, I finished it.

I have (re-)confirmed that despite a concerted effort to knit from stash (I'm counting two finished projects and two works-in-progress for 2011 from stash) I still have a lot of yarn to knit (which is good news if you are marc, and bad news if you are me, or theresa :-)
this is the yarn stash I have out in the open
but I was surprised to find (well, once I'd cleaned up!) an entire shelf of hibernating projects - aka "works-in-progress".
...and what I keep behind closed doors
really, this shouldn't be a surprise to me since I've logged every single one of them into ravelry as "hibernating". but oh my, are there really that many??!

and I keep my active projects - of which ravelry reports there are four - in project bags. I realized I had a problem when I couldn't remember what one of those bags contained.

it was that lakedale shawl. yep, I'd forgotten about it.

too bad I don't count knitting as a chore...then I could devote a whole afternoon (or two?) next week working on the backlog. but no, I'm going to stay honest (and focused!) and clean out my desk instead. I can't imagine what I'll find...but I doubt it will be as good as lots (and lots!!) of yarn....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

still smitten.

how it looks right now - desktop background from shanna murray
...it's been 10 days since I got my macbook and yes, I am still smitten.

my favorite things:

  1. it wakes up faster than I do (as in "immediately") no matter how long it's been asleep and it goes right back to where we left off
  2. the icons on the dock (the strip of icons across the bottom of the desktop) jump up and down when you click them - I picture them like little kids jumping on the bed, excited to be playing
  3. the music quality from itunes or grooveshark is amazing. I don't need to plug my ipod into the TV any more to get great sound
  4. the calendar and notes synch with my iphone. I may finally be able to get away from a paper calendar
  5. it's fast
  6. it's weighs a lot less than holly (she weighs 7-1/2 pounds) - in fact I'm thinking holly and the mac probably weigh less than the old laptop :-)
  7. stuff just works
I used martha's PC yesterday, and I knew I was converted when I

  1. tried to scroll the page with two fingers on her touchpad; and
  2. looked for the CMD key

So yeah, I've pretty much moved in and now it's just a matter of getting settled. like getting used to the delete key being a backspace key. and not having to close out applications when you're done using them (old habits die hard). I have decided to use iphoto for organizing my photos, but PSE for editing them (I'm a few days into my trial period with PSE9 and I signed up for Kim K's class that starts later this month to learn the mac and v9). Most of my photos and a few of my documents from the old PC are still on the external hard drive. I'm not sure I need to take up space here to store them. I do need to find a backup solution - the latest costco coupons include a 750 gb external drive for $69.99 and I'm tempted. feedback on time machine (the built-in mac backup utility) is welcome....

many thanks to katie and sara and all of you mac-lovers who offered advice and support. I think we're going to have a long term relationship!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

currents*.

tulips from virginia
listening: chris tomlin

eating: apple cinnamon oatmeal

drinking: lady grey tea (with half a packet of splenda)

wearing: cassis - yay! finished just in time!! (see "weather" below :-)

feeling: energized by the longer days

weather: tremendous storms last night left cool temps for today (44 degrees now and a high of only 60), but clear blue skies and a promise of sunshine once the sun comes up

wanting: to firm up plans for next week (who's driving which car and is holly coming with us)

needing: a pedicure

thinking: what to bake when lydia and virginia come over saturday (maybe this?)

enjoying: the tulips virginia brought over on friday

wondering: how this blog fits into my big picture...maybe simply as a way to keep in touch and connect?

*inspired by http://lifelovepaper.typepad.com/just_a_girl_who_likes_pap/

Monday, April 4, 2011

holly visited the groomer.

...and had her first haircut since I've had her.  thanks to a new dog food and a vet-prescribed supplement, her coat had gotten pretty shaggy. she almost didn't look like a schnauzer anymore!

(wow, I didn't realize how shaggy til I compared these photos to the ones from december.)

I did research on yelp and found fuzzy dawg. I'm really pleased with the after look. even if holly is still shy about looking into the camera for a photo!
the coat is from my friend martha - completely makes the look, doesn't it?!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

more good food.

...from shrimp nachos to lunch at bistro vg with francie yesterday. and today it's lunch at anis with sara.

ha! I remember when sara teased me about this being a knitting blog. I think it might be turning into a food blog!
francie had mussels and frites and I had - of course! - the spinach and fontina pizza
and we used the "face self-timer" feature on my new point & shoot to take a parting photo - smile!