Foolish pride

;) – Just walk on by

Ladies! Do you remember these?

Its official! I got my Webs catalog today when the mailman delivered everything the post office had been holding while we were on vacation and I saw THIS! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

You can now buy the pattern from Webs, this is too cool!

Webs Link (scroll down), Ravelry Link

Toots

Inspired by gravity

;) - that little spot on the ground is my hometown

We had a really great trip, the girls were tough but relatively good for being in totally unfamiliar territory, we were housed and fed  well and enjoyed the time with family we almost never get to see. We left home last Saturday morning happy with the state of the house – aforementioned clean sheets, empty sink and breakfast for when we returned ready to go -  and looking forward to the trip. Our drive to the airport was without event as was our walk through security, nice visit with the TSA, that, and we sat quietly awaiting our time to board. The girls had books to read, new crayons and coloring books, beloved stuffed animals, and Mp3 players packed with their favorite songs. Our changeover in Charlotte went off without a hitch – love those moving sidewalks -  and we were in Pensacola faster than you can say antidisestablishmentarianism. Considering this was the first time in an airplane for both girls I was pleasntly surprised that they handled it so well, having my in-laws along certainly helped! Saeb sat with Patrick’s Mom, I sat with Aurelia and Pat and his Dad chatted the day away across the aisle on both flights.

We arrived to a quick drive over to Mobile and a lazy afternoon to recover from the travel. Sunday was the big surprise birthday party for Pat’s Grandmother – 90 SHOULD be celebrated. She took the continual shock of new and completely unexpected party guests very well, I think it took about an hour before we stopped surprising her with po-up relatives. I was truly happy to help out Patrick’s Aunt with the cake prepearations, it came out beautifully. I got to reconnect with some of Pat’s cousins that I hadn’t seen in 13 years and to see my girls meet their Great-Grandma.

On Monday we all, almost everyone that was at the party Sunday, hung out at Pat’s Aunts house and got to look through the family photo albums – amazing stuff in there (more on Flicker) there’s a diary/Jounal from the birthday girl’s grandfather, J. A. Dillinger. (Turns out Patrick is not related to the infamous Dillingers, s’alright) He talks about traveling to Nashville during the civil war, kept track of all his business dealings, debts owed and paid, some of it was in purple pencil – crazy. I snapped pics of some of my favorite photos. My favorite pic of Pat’s Mom – I wish you could see the freckles, Pat’s Mom’s Mom in her teen years, and his Mom’s Dad. he looks like Brad Pitt! (Brad’s new movietotally going to see this one)

In the later afternoon we drove the girls out to Dauphin Island to hang out at Fort Gaines, they loved it. Over two acres of open yard, tunnels, stairs, a rabbits warren of rooms and hallways – a latrine!, cannons and a giant anchor? even 90 degree heat couldn’t keep them still.

Tuesday we went out to see the USS Alabama. When we were driving into town on Saturday afternoon we had driven past the sign for Battleship Park – where the ship is docked – and Aurelia very excitedly asked if that meant there was a REAL battleship nearby. You can see the thing from I-10 so I pointed it out to her and both the girls said they really wanted to go. Saebra loved the inside of the ship – rabbit warrens again but didn’t like that we had to keep telling her to stay in sight. Aurelia loved being up on deck and checking out the guns and “deck stuff” but by then Saebra was done so she and I headed back to the gift shop and snackbar to wait out her Dad and sis in airconditioned Bliss. We met another knitter there, Elanor, she was making socks for her DIL while the rest of her family,  “clamored around in the boat”. Unfortunatly, Under Siege was filmed on board and Patrick says that we have to see it now, it just makes me laugh. Later that evening we were treated to a ride on the Dog river and one of its tributaries, Rabbit Creek, by Pat’s cousin Jill and her husband Trey. We went looking for rumoured Manatees but never saw any. The girls had a great time (Re FREAKED! when she first stepped on the boat and it took getting off and having Jill and myself talk to her a bit about what fun she night miss if she didn’t give it a try) they both got to steer the boat for a bit and we tooled around in the bay at sunset before docking and heading in for the night.

Wednesday the girls stayed with Grandma and her sister – they went to the Explorium and then swimming while Pat and I took off with his youngest brother and fiancee to have a look around downtown. We hit the Mardi Gras museum, someday you can ask me about the Kool-aid references, we found a cute little park, had some good sushi, excellent ice cream and chocolate and decided that we should find a movie theater for the evening. We ended up doing a double feature, The Happening – seriously!?! I paid for this? and the new Indiana Jones flick, eh – it was fun and we had a nice dinner inbetween.

Thursday I headed out in the morning with Jill and her two munchikins – peanut and truck :) – to Hobby Lobby for some seriously discounted yarn – 99 cents!, we had lunch, said our goodbyes and headed back to the airport. My Swiss Army knife was confiscated – it was in the checked bag on the way down but ended up in my purse for the trip back – argh!!!!! Our plane boarded 20 minutes late because of a maintenance issue with the wheel – yup, makes ya feel good and confident – and then we sat on the tarmac for 35 minutes while the Charlotte airport decided whether or not to let us fly in. Our flight took and extra 20 minutes because the pilot, graciously, flew around a bunch of thunderstorms (Did you know that they are shaped like anvils? – that’s my picture in the last post, three thunderheads that the pilot was steering around) and by the time we landed our connecting flight had departed, of course we didn’t know that till we raced over to our gate. The airline had booked us on the next flight, leaving in 2 hours so we grabbed a bite to eat and by the time we go tto our gate, the wind was blowing and the rain was falling sideways, then our gate changed, then the flight was delayed, then it was delayed again. Then our gate changed again and our flight was further delayed. Then our flight was delayed again to midnight. Then I saw my Stepmother’s brother and I went over to say hi – he was flying home to New Orleans from a funeral and was just as stuck as we were. Eventually we boarded, waited 30 more minutes while every other plane that had been grounded took off and made it home at 3:30, thats am.

Friday, we did nothing. I didn’t even unpack till yesterday. It was great to know that I had no laundry to do (did that Thursday before we left), no dishes or clothes waiting for me. Breakfast was bacon and fench toast with the cinnamon bread I made before we left and Pat grabbed us an early KFC style dinner from the grocery store, easy peasy.

Yesterday was the Delaney family picnic with all of Pat’s Dad’s brothers and sistersand offspring. It was an almost 2 hour drive, it was hot and due to some communication issues, we didn’t know that it wasn’t a potluck like years before but a pay by the plate thing. We let the kids play in the pool and Pat’s Mom offered to pay for our meals but she had just paid for our trip to Alabama – that’s right! Pat’s parents footed the bill for our trip. There’s no way we could have afforded that his year, So I wasn’t going to drain her bank account any further. We said hello’s to a few cousins, got new contact info from them and headed off to my Mom and Sis’ place for an impromptu meal. I fell asleep on my sister kitchen couch, yes she has a loveseat in her kitchen, and woke up long enough to eat dinner and fall back asleep. I hadnt realized how worn out I was by the trip home.

Today we did a bit of house work, dishes, garden, new kitchen light bulbs and Patrick is very excited about his acquisition of an “Action Hoe” mm hmm. We’ve just about got the girls back to a regular sleep schedule, they’re only 1/2 hour or so off still. Pat is asleep now because he goes back to work tomorrwo and wants to be well rested before he sees aht kind of damage a week of his abscence has wrought.

Oh, yeah, yarn! Ha! I made two sun hats for the girls – no pics yet, started socks for my sister, started a bamboo scarf – not sure what I’ll do with it, made a sun hat for Jill’s daughter, and played around with a couple crochet stitch patterns that I have a better idea how I’ll use now. My next Crochet 1 class begins on Wednesday – so soon, I need to go pack up my class things again. I’ll have more crafty pics soon. I promised Pat I wouldn’t say this again but I can type it, I’m glad to be home.

Toots

Sweet Home (from) Alabama

;)Can I see you and shake your hand

Man I need to decompress. It was a good trip, lots of family time. Last night we got stuck in Charlotte, on the way home, for almost 5 hours. Not so great with 2 little kids. We climbed in bed, shut off the light, and said good-night to each other at 4am. As soon as I closed my eyes…the birds started chirping. I’ll hit you with “The Post that ate Chicago” later this week.

Toots

Up to the highest heights

;) - up through the atmosphere

Tomorrow we leave for Alabama. My MIL’s family moved down there when she was a little girl and her Mom is turning 90 so the whole family – and I mean everyone ( her family is from and is still mostly in Ohio and they are coming, I’m hoping to figure out exactly how it is that my husband is related to John Dillinger so I can go see this with a smug smile on my face) – is converging on the Mobile area to help celebrate. Pat’s Mom and Dad are flying down with the four of us and flying back as well, my two BiL’s and SiL’s are meeting us there along with a plethora of aunts uncles and cousins galore. We come back next Thursday night and that weekend is the annual family reunion for my Fil’s family – tis the week of massive familyness.

I decided that I wanted to have a nice breakfast of cinnamon french toast the morning after we get back…so I made cinnamon swirl bread. We already devoured one loaf but the other is safely stored in the freezer awaiting our return. Nothing like coming home to a clean house, fresh linens on your bed and a good homemade meal.

I’ll be stitching away while we’re away so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to show you upon my return. Have a good week my little chickadees!

Toots

He turns the seasons around

;) – and so she changes her gown

This is one of the most adorable things ever.

We baked banana bread this morning and the girls rode their bikes in time trials up and down the road – almost 4 miles before they were done – averaging 1 minute per mile. Then we went and picked strawberries (pics over on Flickr) but the best part. The Best! After arriving home with two large baskets full of berries and sitting down to a celebratory slice of now cooled chocolate chip banana bread…

Saebra passed out mid slice.

toots

It’s like a book elegantly bound

;) – How I wish you could see the potential

My Mom asked my sister and I last week how it was that we became such good cooks. We both laughed and I jokingly answered that it was because I wanted to eat good food. I wasn’t trying to imply that Mom’s cooking wasn’t good. She’s a good cook. Her “throw togethers” – the crockpots full of god-knows-what that she cobbles together from the fridge and pantry – those are always DEElicious, but as Eliza and I were growing up she had a pretty limited repertoire. She would admit it. She was only 19 when I arrived and hadn’t had too much time on her own to discover food and all the wonderful (and horrible) ways that you can combine ingredients and we lived close to poverty level sometimes so a fully stocked pantry wasn’t really an option. She always did her best to put a full meal on the table and to this day a box of mac n’ cheese mixed with a can of tunafish and a cup of peas is total comfort food for me.

But her question got me to thinking about my cooking. I had Patrick laughing when I brought up one of the meals I used to make weekly when we first moved in together – Shake n’ Bake pork cutlets and diced potatoes, tossed in italian dressing and roasted with a side of frozen corn or peas. Yep, I made it every week. That same first year we were together I got my first subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine. I discovered a bone deep need to make food that tasted as good as the meals on those glossy pages looked. Of course I also discovered that I would need to double my income before I could afford half the ingredients and required cookware for most of the recipes on those glossy pages – and that good looking food does not always taste as good as it looks.

I think I had been interested in food since childhood – I was designated “potato peeler”and “carrot curl maker” at my Nanny’s house until I was promoted to “salad maker/tosser” and “baking dry ingredients sifter”. I wrote before about my Betty Crocker Cookbook for Kids and I started collecting recipes when I was about 12 but I never organized them or really made any of the ones I had collected until that first year we were together.

We lived in Georgia at the time, Athens – home of UGA and the 1996 Women’s Olympic Soccer games, and a year after we moved down I took a quick homesick trip back up to Massachusetts to see my Mom and Sister. While I was there we hit the salvation army and I found these great little metal boxes that would fit 4×6 index cards. i caused a bit of a snafu at the airport when I want home because I had put them in my carry on bag and they x-ray couldn’t see inside them. I was pulled over by security and they went through my bag and pockets, I was terrified, of what I don’t know. This was in 1996 – WAY before all the crazy stuff you have to go through at airports now.

I still have these little boxes and use them all the time, they had happy little divider cards for all sorts of different categories of food. I’m contemplating a recipe clean out soon because they are so full and I’m always adding new bits and pieces. Both boxes are green and for the first few months I had a hard time remembering which box I had put what recipes in until I decided that “Light is for Lunches” and “Dark is for Desserts” I’ve never been confused since. My latest entry, in the salads section, is one of my absolute favorite things that my Mother-in-Law makes and I’ll share it with you to put in your own recipe box.

Copper Carrots or Copper Coins

2 Cups Carrots, sliced and cooked till just done and still firm 2/3 Cup Vinegar

1 Lrg Onion, chopped 1 Cup Sugar

1 Green Pepper, chopper 1/2 Cup oil

1 can Tomato Soup 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

dash of garlic salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and let marinate for 24 hours. Serve cold. I have found that using rice wine vinegar allows you to cut back the sugar to 1/2 cup without ant appreciable difference in flavor. Enjoy!

Where do you keep you recipes?

Toots

Someday love will find you

;) -  Here we stand

Dear God! What is that thing!?!

As you wish.

It will be a shawl. Trust me it will. I know, I know. It looks like a pile of yarn slag but that’s because its all folded up since I have to keep it in my little purse to keep attaching new motifs as I complete them.

Think stacked coasters – there you go. Now think that they’re all linked in two columns and they will have additional happy little motifs worked in the in between spaces in a buttery pale yellow and a lovely little border. Now think that I should have this done by the weekend – go ahead.

Thank you, I’ll get right on that.

toots

a flibbity-gibbit, a will-o-the-wisp, a clown

;) – how do you keep a wave upon the sand?

As I have told you before, Saebra, dearest Saebra, likes to cut her hair. I have always been at a loss as how to impress upon her that she shouldn’t do it again and quite obviously I have failed to impress upon her that she shouldn’t do it again because she has, again. A very large chunk of hair at the top of her head was noticeably half its regular length last night. The usual explanation was forthcoming – she felt like it. I hope that she will have learned her lesson this time because I’m not sure that I could put myself through the loss of those 6 inches again.

She is worried that she will: A.) be embarrassed at school tomorrow, B.) that she will look like a boy or       C.) that she will be the cutest thing anyone has ever seen. I’m going with choice C.

Toots

In peace we sleep entwined…

;) - Quiet fills the room

How do I hate my F hook? Let me count the ways

One Onethousand, Two Onethousand, Three Onethousand…

Ppppbbbbbbbbbleeeeeeaaaaase Eddie!

Alright, seriously, I can’t stand my F hook. It’s baleen and too flexible and the tip of the head is too sharp and I keep splitting my yarn and its taking me twice as long to make each stitch because I’m being SO careful and I don’t have the time this week to go grab another and I already started this blanket project for the Crochet 2 class I’m teaching this fall and I’m loath to change hooks midway through – change of gauge and all. How is it that I have every size from a  1.75 steel up to a ginormous blue plastic S and in the middle there I have 8! G’s but I only have this one stinkin’ F?

Next week I’m getting one of these. I have every other size.

Ah well, this past week saw all kinds of crazy yarn moving over my needles and hooks. I made a pair of Pocketbook Slippers and an Acorn project bag for my sister’s birthday – I’m also working on a shawl for her, but considering she still hasn’t gotten the skirt that I made for her birthday 4 years ago – its all good.

I also started an acorn for me :) from some crazy rough and prickly yarn that I got for free at the Webs tent sale like 3 years ago, its working up great. I might make a market bag with this stuff, I’ve got 2 cones left. um, uh, yeah, I already started one of those with jute that I found during last weeks clean out. yeah.

I’m going to go back to sitting in front of the fan now. i think I may actually be melting.

Toots