Saturday, June 28, 2008

12 Shopping Days.

For those who are curious, here's a list of things I would like to have in my possession on or around July 11th.

Happy Shopping :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Old McDeaneold.

Here is the latest addition to our farm family. Brewster the Rooster joined us last week, when he almost met his fate as some (horrible) woman was dropping him off in the "woods" near our house. Knowing he would make his way to a major road in a matter of minutes, Deane scooped him up and fashioned him a nice coop (it's amazing the amount of coop-making materials we have scattered throughout our TWO huge sheds). Brewster enjoyed his regular feedings of tap water and grass clippings for a few days before he flew the coop, quite literally. With no fences or fence parts restraining him, I thought he'd hightail it out of here, but so far he has not left our property. The cats and dogs pretty much ignore him as he clucks around contentedly. No loud wake up calls yet, but I did see him perched atop the fence at 5:00 this morning, meekly attempting a noise that sounded something like, "EEEHHH EH EH A DOOOOOO!" He's got a long way to go.

Since Brewster's cockadoodling wasn't quite up to wakeup par this morning, I needed some help getting going. The OTG list has been updated to songs that are girly and fun to sing at the top of your lungs. I'd recommend it -- better than a 5 hour energy shot chased with a sugar free RedBull.

In knitting-related news (isn't that what this blog is supposed to be about?), I am a v. difficult ten rows deep on Anakin's Linus replica blankie. I think I'm about out of the woods, though. Will post pics as soon as pattern is established.

I hope I end up blogging about some running by the end of this week. Think I might ask for an (air-conditioned) gym membership for my birthday.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Linus love.

I need to pick up the yarn for Anakin's blanket tomorrow to get started this weekend. I want to use baby boucle, which is a bit bulky, but I am worried about larger stitches and little ones trying to put tiny adorable fingers through the holes. Sport weight yarn will take soooooo long to knit, and history has proven that I am not a deadline knitter. I think the worry will win out, however, and I will go with the more lightweight, closer knit yarn. The good news is, I am trying to make a Linus replica, so the pattern is going to be pretty mindless. I am thinking a garter stitch border with a simple moss stich pattern throughout. I might make it up on my own, simply because I cannot possible wade through the options -- my ravelry search produced 843 pattern results. The one thing I know is, I do not want to end up saying, "I wish I had splurged on better yarn" when I am halfway through this project. Only the best for my new nephew... I might even ignore the clearance yarns!

On an unrealted note, I purchased the "Legally Blond" Original Broadway Cast Recording this morning, and I am in love. I forgot what a fan of musical theatre I am! If you love to sing at the top of your lungs, and if "Legally Blond" is within your top 15 favorite movies of all time, you will die for this soundtrack. If you are lucky enough to have a music-sharing relationship with me, I can send you a copy.

Beer Tour Round 2 tonight at Mellow! Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I must preface this story by saying -- if you told it to me, I wouldn't believe you. This is the stuff Disney movies are made of.

This morning, I left heinously early for work as I do 4 days a week. Around 6 am, I went out to my truck, DC in one hand, keys in the other. The kittens have taken to using the truck as their own personal jungle gym, and we have recently caught them playing in and around the tires on several occasions. This morning was no exception. In addition to honking profusely and revving the engine in neutral, I woke up Deane and he jumped up and down on the tailgate until all kittens were scared out from underneath. Just to be safe, I drove v. slowly down our road, giving them ample time to jump out and return to the safety of their yard.

I drive to work as I usually do (obeying the speed limit as I think to be reasonable, etc.). Around noon, I drove over to the bank to pick up a change order. When I had my window rolled down in the drive thru lane, I heard a series of squeaking noises. I was pretty sure something was wrong with the truck, so when I got back to the store, I listened again. More squeaking. Huh. I dropped the money off at the back door and then looked under my truck to see if I could tell what was going on (like I would actually be able to diagnose any sort of problem). Before my very eyes, meowing up a storm, was Baby Grey, perched atop my spare tire! I started screaming and crying hysterically, and one of the guys at work crawled under the truck and retrieved the crying baby. He (the kitten, not the guy) and I hightailed it across the street to PetSmart for Purina and Aquafina, me apologizing and crooning the entire time, cranking the AC as high as possible. Lots of horrible people in PetSmart thought I was a negligent mother and wanted to charge my 9 bucks for a cardboard box. I hated them all. I took Grey back to my office where he would have nothing to do with my (free, from my own stockroom) cardboard box, instead deciding to chow a ton of food, purr fanatically, and climb up my (once tweed, now destroyed) pants. I left him alone in their while I ran a quick errand to a neighboring store. He had a lot of fun when I was gone, and ended up sitting on my desk by the time I got back. All he wanted to do was purr and be pet, and he eventually settled down for a nap in a ball under my desk.

No one could believe this tiny creature had survived a 52 mile journey with speeds upwards of 80 mph, in addition to braving the insanely hot weather. It made me love him so much more (he was my favorite already...!) for making the trip -- I thought he really did want to spend the day with me at work! A few people at the store had expressed interest in having one of the new kittens, so I called one of my employees who lived nearby and I knew loved cats. She came in right away and picked up Grey. She has 2 indoor cats already, and they have millions of toys, beds, scratching pots, cat condos, and the like. I let her take Grey home to add to her cat club... reluctantly, but happily. I know he will live the good life as an inside cat. She even said she might name him Beall :)

Good luck in your new home, Baby Grey! We miss you already!

New Stuff!

I have been holding off on adding some new sidebars to the blog, thinking that eventually I would know how to do cool stuff like embed pictures of album covers. Sadly, I realized this talent is just not one I possess, so I just added plain boring text.

"On the needles..." is the same. Works in progress, or WIPs. This is about the only thing knitting-related.

"On the go..." The "On The Go" playlist feature is my favorite thing about my iPod. My On The Go lists always have to be 10 songs long; no more, no less. I'm really going out on a limb here and admitting to the world the contents of my iTunes library. My On The Go playlist changes pretty often, and while I'd like to say it is a recent, logical, themed depiction of my current mood and/or state of mind, it is usually a random collection of songs I forgot I have, but LOVE.

"On the web..." Duh. These are the websites I visit daily. You should, too.

I also want to add "On the bookshelf..." to tell y'all what I'm reading, but I refuse to do that until I know how to make the list be a picture of the book covers.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Aunt Sis!

Yesterday I received some fabulous news that will take my knitting to a place it has never been before... BABY STUFF :)

My brother Michael and his girlfriend Kimberly will be welcoming Anakin Leonard Linus Smock on or around July 30th (Michael and I already dominate the month of July with birthdays, so I'm hoping he can hold off until August 1st...!)

I am so excited to be an AUNT and just as excited to know that Michael, Kimberly, Cloƫ (her daughter), and Anakin will be settling in Lexington, KY. This means more visits to the midwest, more DLO reunions, country concerts, wedding detail planning, and new nephew spoiling. Hurrah for multi-purpose trips!

I'm really suppressing the urge to post a sonogram picture, but I refuse to be that girl. I wouldn't even go there if this child was my own, as I can recall many a catty comment made (by me) regarding people who post pre-baby pics. I will assure you, however, that I can already tell he is utterly adorable.

My two brothers have always refered to me as "Sis", so of course Anakin will refer to me as "Aunt Sis" (according to Michael). I am knitting away furiously to finish my Colts square so I can start his blankie (a Peanuts-inspired Linus replica). Joey has already purchased him two hilarious t-shirts (my favorite reads, "Now that I'm safe... I'm pro-choice!"). This kid is going to have it all :)

Can't wait for you to get here, Anakin! And congratulations, Michael and Kimberly!

Planet Green.

This new network premiered on June 4th, and so far, I have been a fan of the majority of its programming (even though I'm not peddling a bicycle to power my TV). One of the greatest things about it has been its advertising campaign, and this commercial, featuring Tommy Lee and Ludacris, is by far my favorite.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dresses, decorating, Dad's Day...

First of all, I apologize for the lack of activity on the blog. You can tell by the history that I am always v. motivated at the start of the week (almost always a Monday post), and then I really don't post again until the weekend. I realize this error and will attempt to create more witty communication throughout the week.

This past week led up to Father's Day, a holiday that means little to nothing to me, but a lot to the amount of work I have to do. The day before is one of the "6 business critical days" of the retail year, which means for the past 2 weeks, I have worked a looooooong 6 day week. The weather agreed with my exhaustion today and drizzled from morning til night, meaning it is now 9:30 pm and I have been awake for a total of 2.5 hours today. Luckily, I am off tomorrow as well, so I can catch up on blogging/knitting/cleaning/kissing the dogs/organizing my yarn stash.

In addition to business of the work week, a few really fun things have happened. First off, Emily found her bridesmaid's dresses, and I was happy to take a quick trip to Anthro on Thursday to pick mine up (and even happier when the size 8 zipped up easily, thanks Hungry Girl!!) The only problem (if it can be called that) about the trip was that Anthro in snuggled into the most troublesome trifecta of retailers at St. John's Town Center. Betsey, Juicy, and Coach sit in a triangle of tantalizing spending opportunity, anchoring the greatest street ever, which now also features Lacoste, Puma, Urban, Arden B, and Bare Escentuals (to name a few). I made a visit to all of the Big 3, but left with only my (most gorgeous) bridesmaid dress and a (v. affordable) pair of recently marked down Coach sandals in gold (a must for this summer).

Also this week, I was commissioned by Deane's sister-in-law to create a "Pirate Elmo" birthday cake for his nephew's birthday party (Lorenzo turns 2 on June 22nd; Felipe turned 4 on June 10th). She was purchasing a pirate ship cake for Felipe, but Lorenzo's only words for a week had been "PIRATE ELMO", and she was unable to locate a cake. Although I really doubt my skills in this department, I channelled my inner Ace of Cakes and threw any worried of trademark infringement to the wind. Here's the finished product:

Sadly, I was unable to attend the afternoon party at the beach, but Saturday night, everyone in Deane's family assured me that my cake was more adorable and delicious than the one they ordered and paid for. Lorenzo thanked me with a big hug and kiss, which made the investment in 2 $10.99 round cake pans totally worth it.

We spent the remainder of the weekend hanging out with Deane's brother and sister-in-law, who were visiting from Deerfield Beach, and generally being lazy. Some exciting family news will soon be shared in another post...!

Have a great week!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Since you asked...

I couldn't believe that, of all the things to comment on on my last post, neither Em nor Linds recognized the new Lacoste hoodie. They did, however, both request pics of my hideous surfing injuries. For your viewing pleasure, here they are.

My cut up finger has healed a lot, but it's still questionable if the flap of finger skin will fuse back onto the finger itself:

And here is my really fun leg bruise. I think it might turn into a lot of different colors over the coming days.

And hey, as long as I'm posting pictures of my bare thighs on the Internet, I figured one of me in a bikini wouldn't hurt (I must also mention here that Deane and I hit up 2 for 1 earlier this evening, so judgement may be slightly impaired...). Here is a pic of me with my (then new!) Mike Dolsey last summer.

You can see the finger injury, although much better than anticipated, is not lending itself to knitting, and I have only finished the bottom 2 rows on my Colts horseshow intarsia square. I hope it heals soon so I can get back to it!

Back to Nashville Star...!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Beer, breakers, and bruises...

This weekend started with a fun Friday night debarkation on the Mellow Mushroom World Beer Tour. This pizza restaurant in Fleming Island has 31 types of microbrew on tap. The tour is simple -- sign up, drink 'em all, get a free t-shirt. Now, I will do damn near anything for a free t-shirt (see below post). Andrea and I started off with all the wheat beers and made plans for a one night a week, 8 week completion of the tour. It was a blast to taste some new and different beers and catch up with a great friend. I am quite certain our plan to knock out one category of brew on each visit will play out nicely.
Today I hit the water with Deane for the first time this summer! I am not a REAL surfer by any means, but I was excited last year to learn the ins and outs of paddling, sitting up on my board, balancing, and actually standing up. I can even do a liiiiiiiiiiiiittle turning action when the elements agree.

It didn't look good when I went to get my (still fairly new) 7'6" epoxy Mike Dolsey (I love his logo -- the M with the wave looks much like an MA!) out of its board bag. The zipper was corroded closed with crusted salt and unidentified gooiness. Luckily, Deane managed to work it out with cutting the board bag to pieces (as I was about to do). We waxed it up, applied SPF 45 (UV index 10, burn time 12-15 minutes!) and hit the beach.

The waves were nice small rollers, 2-3 feet about 8 seconds apart, with hardly any wind. I was really excited when I got out into the water (not freezing cold, tolerable and refreshing) and seemed to retain the majority of what I had learned last year. Deane has been surfing since he could walk, so he definitely shows me up on a regular (me and every other surfer in the water), but he is patient and wonderful about helping me pick waves, hollering when I should pop up, and understanding when my arms feel like total butter and cannot withstand one more paddle.

I had forgotten what a total body workout this sport is, and an hour in, I was wiped. My arms hurt, my abs hurt, my back and shoulders hurt, but I was having a really fun time. I decided to take it in for a few and lay on the beach. This was the first incident. I sort of forgot I had a leash on, and when I wiped out, tried to pull my board back to me so I could carry it up the shore. It ended up flipping and the fins whacked the hellllllll out of my leg, then my side, then my back. It hurt (a *lot*), but there were no cuts, so I figured I was ok. I sat for a few, then went back out for a bit more. Second wave deep, I went to recover my board (upside down, again, these fins HATE me) when an oncoming wave sucked it out and the fin cut my finger, gashing it pretty deep. Deane saw me and came in as well, and there were people GAWKING at us walking up the beach. When I set my board down and looked at my hand, it was a gushing bloody mess. After careful inspection, we decided it didn't need stitches, but we did need to end the surfing for the day.

Deane has been a total champ nursing my cut finger and waiting on me hand and foot, as well as changing my bandages (don't worry Mom, I swear it is FINE), and my earlier run-in with the fins has left me with a softball-sized purple and red bruise on my thigh, but all in all, it was a fun day in the water. The only bad thing is I can't really bend the injured finger (index, right hand, most important digit) and haven't been able to knit all day, which I planned on doing while spending some QT with the DVR.

Hopefully, my finger will heal pretty quickly, and I can make some knitting progress this week, so we can get back to what this blog is supposed to be about!

Welcome to Moe's!

I love contests. I have every radio station's phone number in my phone and will try consistently to win tickets to great country concerts, Jordin Sparks and Jesse McCartney, or even a movie premiere of something I hardly care about seeing. Free stuff is SO great!

When I saw that a new Moe's Southwest Grill was opening across the street from my store, I couldn't contain my excitement. I drove by every day to check on the construction status (I have also recently included ChikFilA's new location in this loop). It went up in no time, opened the beginning of last week, and Moo Moo Mr. Cow is now a part of my regular weekly lunch schedule. The greatest thing of all about Moe's was that I knew they would do their "Free Burritos for a Year" giveaway during their grand opening (officially held Saturday June 7th). When Moe's opened its doors Saturday morning at 11 am, the first 100 customers would receive free burritos for a year!! Sadly, I could not participate due to a work conflict. However, I could not go without recognizing 2 individuals who were setting up camp when I went to Moe's on Friday at 1:30 pm for lunch. It was 103 degrees outside, and they had lawn chairs on pavement as near to the door as possible. They were also unloading a grill, several coolers, and a lot of tailgating paraphernalia. This scene really made my day, knowing that someone's priorities were in order... free burritos above all else. I was even happier when I saw their Indiana University front license plate. I should have known this behavior would come from Bloomington!

I'm hoping to see these gentlemen again in a few weeks when ChilFilA has their grand opening, complete with their "Free Value Meals for a Year" for the first 100 customers.

If there's anything I love more than fajita bars, it's burrito enthusiasts from Indiana.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kittens in bowls.

I am officially turning into a crazy cat lady. Could not resist posting these pics (which, I swear, were completely natural and required no coercing by Pounces of any kind).

Monday, June 2, 2008


Since I began knitting, it has been a goal of mine to learn fair isle and intarsia (knitting a pattern within a block of color). I have been dreaming of the day I can crank out a hoodie with deer and snowflakes, convinced that I can reinvent the old Grandma sweater into something new and hip (this particular discovery has yet to happen). Turns out, fair isle is pretty easy. Intarsia, not so much. I have been working through my yarn stash on a series of small projects, mostly ones to just get me started learning new techniques. Intarsia has been the hardest. I always end up with tangled balls of colors, puckered knit pieces, and misinterpreted patterns. Even though Vickie Howell walked me through many a color lesson (thank GOD for DVR), I was still having issues.

Last weekend, I was browsing miscellaneous Colts news bits online, when I thought (can you believe it took me this long??) to type "Indianapolis Colts" into the search option on ravelry. God bless the woman who had graphed the perfect horseshoe and logo pattern. I am v. particular about specific lettering, and I would settle for no less than the perfect Colts blocks.

If anything was going to fuel my desire to learn this technique, it would be my love for the boys in blue. Much like the magic of any Colts victory, perfect stitches flew off my needles like a Manning 40 yarder to Harrison (Em -- I even thought about wearing receiver's gloves while knitting). Check out this beauty so far:
I couldn't commit to anything other than learning the pattern, so it's basically a huge white square with a blue border. I'm thinking, however, it will be the first of many Colts blocks, which will eventually fashion themselves into the greatest afghan ever created. As I count down the days until August 3rd, I will continue to crank out some Colts-themed squares. I'm thinking lots of player numbers intermixed with blue and white patterned blocks.