Monday, March 31, 2008

One Of These Feet...

is not like the other. Can you tell the difference? That's right! I have the first of my swirl socks done and it feels amazing. Now to just cast on the second sock and get that done so my other foot can be happy! (And no, I'm not standing on Sumo. He just likes to be at my feet when I'm sitting on the couch!)

I went on a mini get-away this past weekend to Galena with a couple of friends. We had a great time. (Stayed up way too late and ate way too much junk food!!) We also spent a little time in Galena shopping and going to one of the newer restaurants, Durty Gurts. When this first opened I fell in love with their Shrimp Po'boy sandwich and steak fries. Yum. Then they replaced the steak fries with regular fries. I didn't like it, but I suffered. Now they have taken the Shrimp Po'boy off the menu. Bummer. I hate when that happens. Am I the only one that gets attached to one menu item?

We are slowing down at work and actually got fairly caught up by the time I left last Friday. I emailed my friend who I work for and told her I was bringing my knitting today. She thought I was joking..... (Won't she be surprised when I take out my knitting needles????)

Steve went to see A on Saturday and share his Antartica excitement. (I think he was also trying to weasel a 'chaperone' spot on the trip as well!) It still is mind boggling to think that he will be in Antartica. Not many people can say that.

We've had some warmer weather and the snow is just about gone. Steve got quite a bit of yard work done this weekend as well and it looks nice. Now just to wait for things to start popping up.

Sumo is loving the warmer weather and spends big chunks of time outside. When he does, he sports his Dogwatch collar. We live on 10 acres and 5 of them are 'enclosed' with an underground dog fence which has been one of our best investments. (We've had it for almost 11 years and it still works great!) Sumo tends to 'wander' when we don't put it on. Besides, he looks very handsome in it!

Off to work. Hope you all have a great day and a great week. I will spend a good part of the day trying to figure out how I can 'fool' Steve tomorrow. It's tradition. Some years I have gotten him really good!! I'll let you know.

Until Next Time....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Snowing Again....

Well, it's hard to get excited about Spring and warm weather when this is what you wake up to. Yep, it's snowing yet again. And as I look out the window right now, it is really coming down. After this Winter, I think we get to be snow-exempt next year!! I'm sure we won't get 16 inches today like they had in my parent's hometown last Friday, but it's white enough!

I got a nasty cold over the weekend, and am finally feeling better. I even called in sick Monday to work. Slept part of the day and also did some knitting. I am working on my Swirl sock by Monica and it is my new favorite sock pattern. It's one that came with The Loopy Ewe Sock Club, so I don't think it will be available for purchase until next year (if I understand correctly), but it's definitely one I recommend when it does become available.
I have to say, I don't know how some people get so many pairs of socks done. I must be extremely slow!! There is a gal that Sheri interviewed in The Loopy Limelight who does 3 pair a week!!! She must knit in her sleep!

I purchased a new book last week which is full of fun patterns using cables. (I LOVE cables!) I heard about it from Monica who actually has 2 of her patterns in the book!! Congratulations to Monica!! Lots of patterns I want to try in the future. Just need more knitting time!

Well, less than 3 weeks left until April 15th and the end of tax season! Yeah! I will be ready to be done. Hopefully I'll have more time for knitting, spinning, cooking etc...

Until Next Time....

PS - BIG news from our son, A last night. He applied and was accepted into a class next Fall which includes a 2 week trip to Antartica in December! There were only 14 students chosen and he was one of them. He is VERY excited to say the least. (And Steve is VERY jealous to say the least!) Way to go, A!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

Just want to wish everyone a Happy Easter! We are enjoying having family around. Spending part of today getting ready for the big Easter feast tomorrow. K volunteered to make a cake, and it turned out so cute!!

She used a sunflower cake pan I had and then put large Giradelli chocolate chips in the middle and Peep chicks around the edge to make a sunflower.

There are games being played...

Books being read....

And lesson plans being written. (M starts her teaching job on Monday!)

K's been knitting on her Leaf Aghan and making good progress. She sewed three of the strips together and has finished a 4th and started on a 5th. It is going to be a gorgeous wedding gift!!

I hit the jackpot today with my swap package from Jessica for the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling Swap. 2 packages of her home roasted coffee beans; a pair of Shibui yarn knit socks (which are on my feet at this very moment!); Kansas City BBQ sauce; Restoration Hardware hand cream and Pucker Brush Farm Roving. I'm looking forward to meeting Jessica next month at the Spring Fling!!

And Sumo? Well, he just takes his little naps while waiting for someone, anyone, to feel like going for a walk. So far no luck. But he never gives up hope. Just yesterday K took him down to the lakes and on a nice long walk around them. It could happen again. It could.

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Break, Birthdays and Bowling....

Well, we are half way through Spring Break and it is wonderful to have the kids around again! K and I have been doing some knitting, which has been nice. I finished and felted the Lucy bag. I really like the two color combinations and will be casting on a black/gray one soon. This is on it's way to a secret destination later this week.

K has been knitting up some Fetching Fingerless gloves for some friends. It was the first time for her doing cables and knitting on 2 circular needles. I think the ease of cables surprised her. They do look much trickier than they really are. She has the purple pair done and is almost done with the green pair. Here is Sumo with the gloves and meeting Little Loopy for the first time.

As for me, I've made some progress on my Dream in Color Sleepwalker socks. I'm now turning the heel. I love the look of this pattern but it's a slow knit for me. The yarn feels wonderful, though, and I can't wait to have the pair finished.

I also cast on the new Loopy Ewe Sock Club socks that came in the mail last week. I've just got the cuff done but I think the pattern looks like it will be a fast knit. And I LOVE the look of it. I can see I will be doing this pattern by Monica many times. I also want to cast on my Loopy Legends colorway. Allison has cast on Monkey socks with it and I think I will have to follow suit.

We've also been busy celebrating birthdays!! Last Thursday it was M's birthday and yesterday we celebrated A's. Some of us had to work for half the day, but we got a lot packed into the afternoon and evening! We started with lunch at Applebees and then went to see a movie. Came home and opened gifts and played a big game of Hand and Feet. Topped off the evening with bowling at quartermania! Phew! I haven't bowled in years!! I'm sure I'll be sore today!

A few highlights from the day:

Steve and A actually have to read the directions to figure out how to get the batteries in A's new headphones after trying for some time to figure it out on their own. (It was tricky!)

A & K at the bowling alley ready to roll a strike!

R & M watch while they wait for their turn. I think we ended up bowling 3-4 games. My best game was the last one when I broke 150! I was on a roll! I think we may have to go again sometime. It was fun!

Well, off to work. My parent's are coming tomorrow for Easter weekend. It will be fun to have them here. I've decided to try making prime rib again for Easter dinner. I've only done it once before and it was delicious!

Until Next Time....

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Yes, it is officially Spring Break. The kids are home and we are looking forward to having the next 10 days together. And although there is still snow on the ground, there are signs that Spring is coming. In fact, I saw my first Robin yesterday, which is always a highlight. Sumo says the biggest advantage for him has been the thawing of the snow and the revealing of all of his lost bones! Look at the ones he has found and been collecting on his bed. Sumo doesn't really care to chew the bones, he just likes to hold them in his mouth and parade around with them and look macho. And I do think he looks quite proud of his collection.

I don't know if you are aware, but if you click on any of the pictures on my blog, they will be enlarged. For example,when you click on this picture of Steve in his office, you will see the near-empty jar of M&M's on his back file cabinet. But the thing that really makes me laugh about this picture is the laptop that is on Steve's desk. As many of you know, Steve is a Macintosh man through and through, and the laptop is really a PC with a MAC sticker on it! Every time I see it, it makes me laugh. And speaking of Mac laptops, our daughter-in-law got a full time substitute teaching job yesterday which will go until the end of the school year. For the job she was given a laptop, and, you guessed it, it's a Mac!! (Steve was so happy!) I think that made her feel even more a part of our family than actually marrying our son!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the first installment of year 2 of The Loopy Ewe Sock Club. These are the fun goodies that came in it. A pattern called 'Swirls' by Monca; Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn named 'Wind in the Willows'; a large Loopy Ewe Sock Club tote; a bag of Loopy kisses and a large kiss as well. At first glance, one would think the large kiss is chocolate and I know of at least one person who took a large bite of it, only to discover that it is bath salt. Yum! (Not!)

Well, off to finish up some laundry and pack for a quick get away to Galena. My blue/brown Lucy Bag is ready to felt and K and I have some serious knitting we want to get done. And then there are games to play. Will share more when we return.

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Ribbon Cutting.

Well, today was the big day for Steve. They had the 'ribbon cutting' to officially open the new clinic. I was able to sneak away from work to attend. I found him in his new office enjoying his space.

His dad and stepmom were also able to attend. It was a nice event with a few speakers and then a catered lunch and tours of the new office.

Of course they actually did cut a ribbon! The local newspaper was there taking pictures for a story. I'll have to keep my eyes out for it.

After work we went out to eat with R & M for her birthday dinner. (Which is today!) They had gone out to lunch today to a local restaurant called Galleria De Paco where an artist has spray painted the Sistene Chapel onto the ceiling of the restaurant. I guess it is amazing. And they said the food was excellent as well. Now who didn't think that Iowa was an exciting place to visit??

Still no spinning or knitting to show. I did get the first installment of The Loopy Ewe sock club and I LOVE the yarn and the pattern, which was written by my friend Monica. I won't share pictures quite yet, so I don't ruin the surprise of those still waiting for their package. I'll be casting them on this weekend for sure.

The kids' Spring break starts this Friday so A & K will be coming home for over a week. I can't wait to have them home for awhile.

Until Next Time....

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gone To My Happy Place....

Yes, I am still here in the middle of Iowa physically, but in my mind this is where I spend a good deal of time these days!! On a sunny warm beach in the middle of the Caribbean. Would you like to join me?

Actually, things are warming up a bit and there are signs of Spring here and there. In fact, the forecast is suppose to be the upper 40's for Wednesday. Wow. A heat wave! Our road is actually now down to pavement and I'm starting to see a little gravel poking through our driveway. It will be nice not to be driving on ice anymore! I think, however, that Sumo will miss the snow when it's gone. He thinks that it is delicious!

We had a busy weekend getting Steve settled into his new office. He's never had his own office before, so it was fun to put up some pictures and personalize it a bit. They have a ribbon-cutting ceremony this Wednesday that I hope to be able to go to. So far the response has been very positive from everyone and Steve says it is a very pleasant place to work.

I did do a little spinning and a little knitting, but not enough to show. Maybe by my next post.

Until Next Time......

Thursday, March 06, 2008

40 More Days...

until April 15th and the end of tax season. But who's counting? (Ok, I confess!!) The combination of the winter we are having with having to file tax returns has made for some grumpy people coming into the office this year. And then if they owe.... watch out!! At least we should have some warmer weather by the time April 15th does roll around!!

Not much new to report in the knitting arena. I did want to show you the final version of the Lucy bag that I made for Sheri of The Loopy Ewe. (It was her birthday last week).

I found someone on Etsy who made the cutest sheep pins, so I asked her to make one that looked like Sheri's Loopy. Isn't he cute?

I came home from this past weekend determined to keep plugging away on my photo albums in between knitting; spinning and working etc.. I was inspired to buy a new toy after this past weekend. It is a Cricut and it cuts out letters and shapes from colored paper. It is very cool. I won't even begin to list all the ways I justified buying it. I know it will get used alot!!

As promised , here is the pasta salad that we had this past weekend.. complete with frogs!!
My B.F.F. Cheryl was so kind to share her recipe!!

D’Mico & Sons Pasta Salad

1 lb. Rotini noodles (cook according to box, rinse in cold water and chill)
1-1/2 to 2 cups cooked turkey breast (cut into pieces)
1 cup Craisins
1 medium yellow onion diced
4 diced celery stalks

All of the above can be mixed together and chilled. I add the following dressing about ½ hour before serving and add the toasted almonds last (so they stay crunchy).

1 cup whole toasted almonds (read package for directions on toasting)

¼ cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar (fine white vinegar is probably okay)
2 cups Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons cold water
2 Tablespoons Poppy Seed
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

Whisk dressing to combine. Add to pasta and toss. Add toasted almonds.

You can garnish for holidays as follows:
Leap Year – plastic frogs
Easter – plastic bunnies or eggs
Fourth of July – American Flags
Deer Hunting Opener…..that will remain a mystery…..until then ;)
Just use your imagination…..I assure you that some people might not “get it,” or even appreciate it, but it’s worth a good laugh!!!!!!

Yes, that's right. The frogs were added because she served it on February 29th. Our next scrapbooking weekend is during deer hunting seaon, and we are all just a little worried!

Well, I smell fresh Monster Cookies coming out of the oven so I better check it out.

Until Next Time....

Monday, March 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Sumo!

Yes, today is the day. Sumo's birthday. Thanks to everyone who took the time to leave a comment and a special memory of a pet. It was fun to read all of them! Isn't it amazing how much they become an important part of our lives? I decided that I would use the number 33 (Since Sumo was born on 3/3) to chose who the winner will be.... and it is Knittinghawkeye! It's fun because she is a college student who attends the same University that K goes to!

I had a GREAT weekend away this past weekend with my friends working on scrapbooks. (I did sneak in some knitting!!) We did lots of laughing; lots of eating and had lots of time to talk and catch up with each other. I am so blessed with good friends!! (Even if some of them are a bit strange!) (Note my friend Renae who just HAD to tilt her head to the right, even though we said to the left!!)

We had our share of excitement this weekend! Especially when a squirrel decided to join us in the lodge. Pretty much everyone jumped up onto a chair and starting screaming. I finally realized that the squirrel had made its way into the kitchen, so I trapped him in there and then opened the outside door to freedom. (He fled in a hurry!!)

But came back often to look in on us.

The weekend was over far too quickly and we were packing up and heading for home. It is AMAZING how much stuff we had to haul in for a few days of scrapbooking. Fortunately they had a cart that we could use to go back and forth from the cars.

It's embarrassing to say how many cart loads we had between the 13 of us. All I know is that if everyone took up knitting there would be a lot less that needed hauling!!!

Speaking of knitting, I did get some more done on my 2-tone Lucy bag. I just need to finish up the straps and it will be ready to felt. I then have a black/gray one to make (for my B.F.F. Cheryl) before I move on to another bag pattern. (Which I promise I will!)

Off to spend some time with the birthday boy! Maybe I'll even allow him a rawhide inside! Now that would be a special treat!

Until Next Time..... (when I'll be sharing one of the yummy recipes (that had FROGS in it!) that we had from this past weekend!)