Archive | May, 2011

Another Great Day

26 May

It’s shaping up to be another great day! The weather is crappy but everything else is going my way! 🙂

1.  My son, Cory, is home from Afghanistan!  He is on his way here now.  He gets to stay through Monday.  He only has 40-50 days of Army life left and then he’s done!

2.  My Mother’s Day gift came in today…

It’s charging now so I am very anxiously waiting to try it!

3.  I lost weight again at the Weight Watchers meeting this morning.  BOTH my daughter and I reached our first goal (5 pounds) so we get to go get pedicures on Saturday!  We made a deal that for each 5 pounds we lose, we’re going to reward ourselves.  But we both have to meet the goal before the reward happens.  Next 5 pound loss = shopping trip.  🙂

4.  I started a new decorative scarf.  It’s a fast knit so far.

It’s called “Foreign Correspondent’s Scarf”.  The yarn is Knit Picks Gloss – 70% merino and 30% silk.  It is so soft!  I absolutely love working with it!

5.  Clue #3 comes out today on the Mystery Shawl around 4:30pm (ish… I hope she’s early with the post).  I know I said I can’t work on two projects at once but I had to start the above scarf yesterday.  The pattern is so easy that I should be able to pick it back up again after Clue #3 is completed.

Life is good!

Clue #2 Finished

24 May

Very interesting knitting!  Clue #1 was 12 rows; and clue #2 was 12 rows.  Both were very complicated patterns but I think I got them right.  This kind of reminds me of the doilies my mom used to crochet.  A shawl is kind of a half doily come to think of it.  (Now that’s a word you don’t spell every day – doily.  I had to have spell check help me on that one!)

Which brings me to the question:  How does one wear a shawl (or shawlette in this case)?  I’ve seen them worn backwards and crisscrossed across the front like a bandanna.   Is it appropriate for summer wearing?  I wouldn’t think so…

The next clue has 72 rows so it must be a long boring section that makes up the majority of  the shawl.  This Wendy Knits is a smart cookie.  She’s been cranking out shawl patterns like crazy the last couple of months.  I’ve been following her website and they look beautiful but complicated. So when she offered this free mystery shawl, I thought, “Why not try it?  What have I got to lose?”  That’s where she’s a smart cookie.  Now she has over 1000 of us hooked on her technique of bottom up shawls.  We will go out and purchase one of her other patterns because it’s so addicting.  Plus it’s easier than it looks.  I know I’m going to purchase one now that I know that I can do it.

Today’s agenda:  Flower planting…. (the next clue doesn’t come out for two days so I won’t be wasting this good weather knitting inside.)

But first a massage from my lovely daughter.

Summer Is Here

23 May

Summer is officially here at the Elias house because we spent the weekend opening the hot tub and pool!  I had Dan take pictures because some of you were wondering if *I* ever do any work or if I just have Dan and the kids do everything while I sit around and take pictures (and knit).

Gianna and I are power washing the pool cover. Look how dirty that water is!

The water chemicals are good.  We haven’t turned on the heater yet but will for the weekend.  The hot tub is heating as I write this and will be ready tomorrow probably.

Hawk wasn’t much of a help but he did enjoy all the time outside.

DJ couldn’t resist threatening his dad with the power washer.  🙂

On to the knitting projects…

I finished and blocked my Strangling Vine Scarf.  It turned out to be 7″ x 75″.  I love it!

I wasn’t sure how the Cascades Heritage sock yarn would block up since it’s superwash wool.  But it blocked beautifully!  It was a boring project but I really like how it turned out.

I started a new knitting project (surprise, surprise)!  It’s a triangular shawl knit from the bottom up.  It’s a free mystery shawl pattern from Wendy Knits.  “Mystery” means that I don’t know how it’s going to turn out.  She releases a “clue” which is the next knitting step every few days.  I was behind on the start because I was working on the scarf above and I’ve already stated here that I can only work on one knitting project at a time.  But I only missed the setup and the first clue.  Both were simple to do in one night’s worth of knitting.

I kind of blocked it out with a few pins so you can see the lace pattern.  Next picture will be on a dark background so you can see it better.  I chose a Knit Picks sock yarn in a light gray called “Dove Heather”.  It’s very pretty.

I went into work for 1.5 hours this morning but then decided it was time to come home and walk the dog.  I have my priorities after all…  Today will consist of weeding the flower beds and doing a bit of sewing downstairs.  We have another softball game tonight but it may get rained out.


21 May

I go from hardly doing anything all winter to a busy spring!  My body aches and I’m just beat.

Yesterday I was “Field Trip Mom” for my daughter’s class trip.  They went to the Wildlife Prairie Park about an hour away.  I drove separately because school buses with no air conditioning and screaming 10 year olds make me car sick!  🙂  We left at 8:30am and returned at 3:00pm.  We had three solid hours of hiking.  I only had four girls in my group.  All were well behaved and had fun.  *You can have BOTH, you know… *

After coming home from driving and hiking, we rested for a couple hours then went to a softball game.  Gianna caught and played first base.  She walked and struck out.  She scored once.  We were beat 11-6.  I think that was the score.  I’m finding out that the umpires in the these neighboring towns all have different rules.  Our main coach was given a rule book, but I’m not sure if he’s read it.  I’m going to ask to borrow it and see what’s actually in it and what’s being made up as we play!

Today it was a shopping trip to get some plants and then groceries.  We came home and cut the grass and planted the vegetable garden.

DJ and I split pushing the grass and riding the lawn mower.  He was beat afterwards too.

When I was riding the lawn mower, Hawk would run along side me like I had a leash on him.  It was so cute!  He’s got to be the greatest dog!

All Positive

19 May

Man, it’s been a great day!


DJ received a plaque today at a breakfast celebration.  He won his school’s Young Author’s Award for his fiction story.  This is the third year in a row!  Great job for a science/math geek!  He can write too – who knew?  🙂


Cory has all his paperwork in order and should be home on MONDAY!  MONDAY!!!!!  It’s almost here…

Weight Watchers

I lost weight for my first week.  Yippee huh?  My daughter lost weight too (my mom did too but she’s a lifer so she’s used to good news at the WW meetings).  I thought I’d go hog wild with eating today but I was really pumped about losing and stayed on it today.  Plus I took Hawk on a 40 minute walk this afternoon since the weather was so wonderful outside.


I have a lab assistant who only needs one class to graduate with his certificate.  He’s an older student with a family.  He had a very troubled youth, dropped out of high school then went back to get his GED.  His computer skills are GREAT but his English and math are so poor that he can’t get through the general education requirements. With a certificate, he doesn’t need the “gen eds”.  His last class is an internship this summer.  Financial aid won’t cover the cost of the class because of “rules” they have. So I called our school scholarship office and pled his case.  I asked if they had any way to help him.  Earlier today, the scholarship office called me and said they found someone who will pay his tuition!  I’m so happy!  Now, keep in mind that I’ve sewed and donated many quilts to help raise money for this scholarship office in past years.  But I never mentioned that… 🙂  I love it when people do the right thing!


18 May

Nope – this is not a post about Arnold Swarzenegger.  🙂  It’s a post about knitting!

I’m a monogamous knitter.  Even though I can work on a gazillion quilting projects at one time, I can’t seem to do the same with knitting.  I have to stick to one project and finish it before I can begin another.  That’s so unlike my ADD, multitasking self!   I’ve tried… I’ve set up guidelines like, “I’ll work on the sock project in the mornings and the sweater project at night.”  But it never works out.

Hence the reason my knitting posts are so dang boring!

Above is the case in point.  I’ve been working on this scarf… forever… I think.  I have good progress.  But I want to start something else for Pete’s sake!  PLUS Wendy Johnson is starting a mystery shawl project on her website and I really want to  join in!  I must get this stinkin’ scarf finished!  NOW!

In other news…

I sewed yesterday.  I have hunger binges from 2-4pm each day.  So those are the times I need to be away from the kitchen. Right smack dab in the middle of that is when the kids come home from school so it’s not like I can take off and not be home during that time.  So I went down the basement and sewed yesterday.  I made a t-shirt.  A pink one.  I need to hem the bottom and sleeves today and then I’ll post pictures.  I bought different knit this time from Denver Fabrics.  It was thinner and silkier and much harder to sew with.

Gianna had her first softball game yesterday.  We won… She caught most of the game then played third base.  She did very well for her first time catching.  Her BFF pitched.  Gianna is the only one who can catch her BFF because she throws so hard!  Gianna got a hit and walked twice.  She was thrown out once at the plate; scored; and was left stranded.   I’m glad I’m only assistant coaching this year because I don’t know all the rules of the new league.  I kept “the book” because the other guys CLAIM they don’t know how to do it.  Really?  There are samples in the inside cover.  We were taught how do to it when we were young (Thanks Dad).  It keeps me occupied so my nerves don’t get the best of me.  🙂  If I were the head coach, I would be studying that book today reliving every play.  This is why I don’t sleep!  I do enjoy Gianna’s playing and she claims to love it.

Even though work is done, I have to make up NEXT spring semester’s schedule today.  Also on the agenda is to clean my pig sty car.

Weight Watchers

12 May

My daughter and I joined Weight Watchers today.  It was very confusing… there needs to be a betters system for newbies!  Signage like “START AT THIS TABLE” would have been extremely helpful.  But we muttled our way through it and stayed for the talk.  I think it’s a totally doable program but I’m wary about whether or not I’ll actually lose weight!  All fruits and vegies that I can eat?  Hmmm….  I ate a 1/2 a cantaloupe for lunch with my T.V. dinner and I feel stuffed.  Can this work?  🙂  Time will tell…

My daughter is 21 (almost 22).  We went to the meeting on a Thursday morning and the average age was probably late 50s/early 60s.  Mia is not used to that age range.  She was cracking me up!

After we left, Mia turns to me and says, “I’m lost… I still don’t understand what I can and can’t eat.  Where do I start?”  Now, I’m no expert.  But I did sit down with my mom, the expert, this weekend and she gave me the literature ahead of time and explained a bit about the program.  I also found a free calculator on line here and have been kind of tracking my points this week.  So we went to McDonald’s (okay… stop laughing… yes, we just came from a Weight Watcher’s meeting and went directly to McDonalds!) to have some OATMEAL because that’s nutritious right?  PLUS, I have maple and brown sugar oatmeal at home and it’s only 3 points so we’re okay.  We each get an oatmeal and coffee… and why not add cream because it’s only one point and that still leaves us plenty for the day.

So as the blind (moi) is leading the blind (Mia), we get a “placemat” or whatever that paper thing is that they put on the tray and we flip it over to see the nutritional information.  Mia bought a handy, dandy points calculator for $6 from the meeting (SIDEBAR:  They must make millions from the products alone that they sell at the meetings).  I show her how to use the thing and we punch in the numbers for oatmeal.



Crapola!  Now instead of having five points (which is their recommended amount for breakfast), we are having eight!  Instead of starting off on a good foot, we are already behind.   Talk about a bubble buster!


My son has begun his journey home.  I believe he’s now at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.  He’s escorting another soldier home.  I have no idea when he’ll actually be state-side.  I’m guessing it will be any time between two days to two weeks.  I’m so happy to have his tour ending!

I continue to knit the scarf.  It’s slow going because I’m busy with finals and softball.  Plus the weather is nice so the yarn sticks to my fingers and doesn’t slide nicely through them.  I’ve got about 30″ done – about a third of the way done!

Good News

11 May

It appears that my son is on a helicopter as I’m posting this.  He’s leaving his FOB (Forward Operating Base) in Afghanistan and on his way HOME!



Well, kinda for good.  He’s not technically finished with his 4-year Army contract until July.  But hopefully no one will be shooting at him here in the states!

Playing Outside

7 May

FINALLY, a nice day!  Jiminy Crickets – it’s been cold and raining for the entire spring here it seems.  We enjoyed the afternoon time together.

Hawk is practicing his hula hoop jumping skills

Sadie had to get in on the action. She can't jump as high though.

My BIL loves to play catch with Hawk. He needs a "Hawk" of his own.

My sister is coming over to show off her archery skills.

Gianna takes her shot...

DJ shoots the bow...

We were aiming at this pizza box and hit it most/some of the time.

But my sister wants you to see the hot shot archerer that she is!

The box flipped on its side before my sister shot.  She wanted us to fix it but I said, “Just aim for the THANK YOU!  What’s the problem?”  And she hit it!  🙂

Heading Into Finals Week

7 May

We begin finals week on Monday.  I have two exams yet to make up but those aren’t given until Thursday and Friday so I’m pretty set to go. I have some prep for the two hands on finals that I have to do first thing in the morning on Monday.  If I have time to go in today or Sunday, I’ll prep then.

Yesterday was a pretty relaxing day so I got quite a bit of knitting on my scarf done.  I’m up to about 18″ – enough to lay on my thigh lengthwise to see the stitches.

It’s a very easy pattern but I continue to mess it up now and then just to keep things interesting I guess.  Sheesh… But the good news is that each row is only 42 stitches so I don’t have to do too much backtracking to find my mistake.  The last scarf/shawl had 105 stitch rows so unknitting those rows was a PITA.

Lots of shopping is on the schedule today.  No softball since the coach’s daughter has a traveling team game today (and every weekend pretty much).  Gianna sure misses spending her weekends with her BFF that’s for sure.

DJ had video game night here last night.  Four boys showed up which is a good number for playing most games I’m told.  The boys are well behaved, only stay for about 2 hours, and rotate whose house the game night will be at each time.  You can’t ask for more than that from a bunch of 12 year olds I say!