Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas in California

I love the Crochet Cafe in Temecula. Cute shop. Surrounded by yarn. Lots of friendly people stop in...and more than adequate opportunities to do people watching in the little courtyard that serves the little shops surrounding the Old Temecula Jail.

Which leads me to yet another observation of Christmas traditions in So Cal. I can't tell you how many families troop down to the jail to take their Christmas photos. It's usually about 80 degrees out, and Mom, Dad, and the 2 1/2 kids are decked out in holiday sweaters (red appears to win the popularity vote).

Now, there is a certain prettiness to the courtyard. Flowering vines cover the stone walls and climb over the iron bars on the doors. But, it strikes me funny that so many families choose that at their holiday photo backdrop. It's a jail cell! Maybe the cemetery wasn't available. ;-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We're Fine

Once again, I'm watching hours and hours and hours of fire footage. And I thank God that I'm not numb to it. It's hard to believe the devestation.

But, we're OK. The fires are still quite a bit North of us...though very familiar. The "Freeway" fires hit all of the roads that we normally take going to Hollywood for shows or to Dave's dad's house. The toll roads that burned are the ones that I used to take in to our Irvine office.

More later...

Hope everyone is safe and well.

Friday, October 31, 2008

1 for you. 2 for me.

Hi! A person can eat a remarkable amount of candy by "restricting" their intake. My rules:

1) I can only eat fun-size candy. (Who cares if it takes 4 bites to eat it.)
2) I can't buy candy for myself. (Not a problem. I'll buy for the store in case trick-or-treaters come.)
3) I can only eat candy if trick-or-treaters are in sight. (Come here, little children...)
4) Oops, I shouldn't eat candy in front of people. That's rude. (Go away, little children...)
5) Nope. Rule 3 is better. Repeat.
6) I can only eat candy if I'm willing to watch my blood sugar level. (No problem, that gives me 2 hours...from the next piece of candy)
7) I can only eat Halloween candy on Halloween. (Oh, CRUEL RULE-WRITER!!! How can you be so mean....and wise.)

Well, I better go to the door. I think I see costumes. ;-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tortoise and the Hare

I just celebrated my 40th birthday...something I've been excited about for many years now. Not sure why I was so excited....but it was definitely a day I was looking forward to. Dave surprised me with gorgeous flowers.

A couple weeks ago Megan and I had a ton of fun creating Modge Podge birdhouses. I'm still laughing at our totally different approaches. She loves color and playing fast. In 2 seconds her project was totally transformed from its original state...and then she layered, built up, tore down, and joyfully transformed it 20 more times. Apparently, I'm a more ...hmmmm....methodical crafter. The white birdhouse stayed white for an hour as I selected papers, organized shapes, twisted trellises. I wouldn't make any changes until I was reasonably sure they'd be permanent. And it turned out exactly as I hoped it would. I love it!!! But our approaches sure make me laugh. I think that there's a psych experiment in there somewhere. :-)

I think my approach will probably help me in my next project...getting my newly diagnosed diabetes under control. After YEARS of trying to lose weight with varying degrees of intensity...but always with a high carb/low fat/low calorie plan, I had almost zero success. I'd maintain my weight within a few pounds...but the pounds were usually creeping up, and I've been significantly overweight most of my adult life. Drove me crazy because I knew what I was supposed to be eating.

When I was diagnosed, my doc told me that my diet approach simply wouldn't work because the diabetes wasn't allowing me to process the sugars up up up I'd go. He asked me to get some exercise in and try to lose about 50 pounds with a reduced carb/low fat/low calorie plan.

I've already lost 6 pounds. And my headaches are gone. And I feel more alert. And my feet aren't purple. Eureka! And, yes, I do eat carbs...but healthier ones. I can't believe that one little switch made such a difference. Bottom line is that my doctor now thinks that I'll probably be able to lose the medications within a year...if I keep it going. And I know I can. I think I've been building my house for a long time. :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In Context...

I had a really great chat with Debra's son, Noah. We were talking about the power of prayer...and he said that he believes that even if we're going through tough times, there's always Someone who's stronger. Then he said that Debra could have/should have died when she first became sick...but she was blessed and lived for 2 1/2 years!

Honest to God, I felt like someone grabbed my shoulders and spun me around. In my reality, Debra was "fine" until Christmas and died a few very short months later. It shocked me that her family saw it as an extra 2 1/2 years that they were able to spend together. An extra 2 1/2 years to turn dreams like the store into reality. An extra 2 1/2 years to grow family and friendships. An extra 2 1/2 years to try to reach people with the love of God that she felt.

I think my friend would have called this a "God Shot."

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

So, sometimes I have story idea pop into my head...almost like a daydream. This is one of them...

It's one of Oprah's "Best of" shows. This time it's the best green toys on the market. The format of the show brings the vendor/manufacturer/celebrity endorser out to demo the product. Then a gaggle of cute kids swarm the stage and get to play with the toys 'til the end of the show. The audience members ooh and aah when they realize that they'll also receive the goodies.

The first guest is a major toy manufacturer like Milton Bradley. The president comes out and explains that they've got the same great toys with 70% less packaging and all pieces made of recycled goods. Crowd goes wild. Kids are happy.

The next guest has remote control cars that are totally solar powered. No batteries required at all. Kids go wild. Drop the board games. Play with cars.

DRUM ROLL!!! Who could it be??? What's next... OMG!!! It's AL!!! Mr. Gore himeself!! Oprah congratulates him on all his awards. They show a little video again about global warming. And he talks about the little changes that a family can make that will save the world.

"Tipper, and my kids always had a favorite toy....and now I've made it earth friendly. I introduce the new and improved ....EASY BAKE OVEN. This low-watt bulb will last for years!"

Oprah - "But, Al..."

Al, "And, it's much safer for child-ren".

Oprah - "But, Al..."

Flash to the kids excited putting little tins of cake batter in the ovens. And waiting... And waiting...and waiting.

End of Show....Oprah off camera, "Somebody go and get me a cupcake."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mutiny of the Bounty

The pomegranates are preparing to be something delicious. The peaches were prepared to be something delicious. In fact, that would be about 16 pints of peach salsa. So far, we've had it with tortillas, mixed it with baked beans, and used it as a marinade for beef. Yummy. We call it the earthquake blend. About three weeks ago, we had a shaker that forced our decision to "do something" with the peaches.

Believe it or not...we actually thinned these trees out....a LOT.

I've also made strawberry jelly and the most beautiful plum jelly from our Santa Rosa plum tree.

Can you guess what this is???

I'm now working on new knitting projects, too. This one is gorgeous and a really fun pattern called Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights. The color is much more accurate when it's displayed on the lamp...but the other shot shows the stitch definition better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hello! My Name is...

Wow! I didn't realize quite how long I'd been away from blogging. The last couple months have been eventful...pretty stunning actually when you think of how much has changed for bad and for good, but I'm still here.


My friend, Debra, lost her fight with cancer last month. It's actually sometimes harder now because I have over a month of stuff that I want to tell her about. :-) But, I was able to see her a couple days before she died, and that meant a lot. Her funeral was nice, and I've had one analogy that has been in my head now ever since. Someone said, "to me, I'm always surprised that people get upset about the death of their physical bodies. I think of it like losing baby teeth. Nobody cries about losing baby teeth. Instead people congratulate you and say, Wow! You're growing up. Good for you! Now you'll get your permanent teeth! I think of dying the same way. You lose your temporary self but you gain your permanent self!"
Anyway, I like the way she put it.

I still miss Debra, though.


My brother-in-law just went through a scary medical thing. The fabulous thing is that he's doing much much better now. Thank God! Get well this minute, Greg! Love You!!!!


Oh, boy, do I have some pretty yarns right now! And actual projects. I forgot to post some finish photos of Leda.
I'm also working on the Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights stole. I'm having so much fun with it, but I don't have photos quite yet. Soon, though!


I have lots of real live fruits and vegetables in the garden now. Blackberries are going nuts and are ready now. I'll take more photos of the plums, peaches, apples, pomegranate, etc. And now I've got squash, peas, tomatoes galore, arugula, and lots of flowers. We also had this cool bee swarm that showed up for 48 hours and then disappeared as if they had never been here before...

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm getting Edgy

I haven't been blogging lately because I've become a knitting fiend. Hee! Well, not quite a fiend, but I've been making all kinds of progress. I've officially finished one edge, removed a whole batch of lifelines, and I'm hoping to finish the last bit of edging on Leda. Hurray!!! Then I just have to block it. I did try it on, though, when I finished the first edge, and I was super excited. It really is beautiful.

Mom and Dad came out for a week, and we had a really great time. Cruised around PCH, had some wonderful meals (LOVE the Longboarder in Oceanside), checked out the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, and Dad stomped over us at pool. So much fun, and we miss them already!!!

I still need to get pictures posted....but thought it would be a good idea to let folks know that I'm still here! :-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Knitting in Pennsylvania

Well, I'm winding down on Leda's Dream now. I have about 15 rows before I start all of the edgings. But I'm wound up about starting Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights now. I'll put in the links in my next post when I have my camera. I've got the yarn and beads now, and I'm excited to start.

I had a chance to go to a knitting night at Yarnings in Skippack, PA. What a wonderful store!!! And, a great group. I had a really nice time...and couldn't believe how quickly 3 hours went. The owner was pretty excited when I told her that I found the store on Ravelry. Isn't that neat, though! I live over a 1000 miles away and still found them. Yeah!

Take care everyone. More on my trip later...when it's not 1:00 AM. ;-)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Am a Knitting Reader

Soon to be an official knitter. :-) Lately, I've been reading a lot about knitting. I love Ravelry. I love the discussion groups. But, very often, Leda sits by the sidelines while I go and visit with friends. Not necessarily a bad thing...just something to be aware of. I don't have a ton of things to say tonight. I can't sleep, and I'm annoyed by that, so I figured it was better to type than to stew. Same old thing where my joints just hurt. No idea just seems to get worse at night.

And Mom and Dad, if you're reading this, I AM going to the Dr. on Monday about this. Who knows, may I have a case of RBS. (Restless Body Syndrome.) :-)

Monday, March 10, 2008


OK...I've got this horrible feeling that anyone reading my last entry thinks that I'm a sad, pain-riddled, angst-ridden person. I would be dead wrong letting anyone think that. In fact, it's the exact opposite. When I said, "it doesn't matter", I simply meant that I knew that it was temporary.

Who I am now...

I'm happy. I dance. I play pool. I dance more (sometimes like I have a pool stick up my butt....Sometimes like I'm a muppet. ) Spinal surgeons have a WICKED sense of humor. :-)

I have friends that appreciate my sense of humor...usually.
I am a worker that would make most bosses shout with glee.
I am a friend.

I guess sometimes I just wish that I could easily share my experiences when I had all of my surgeries. Unfortunately, I know that I don't. And I wish that I did. I have so many people that I love that could have benefitted by my being there for them when they went through medical crap. And I wasn't, but I am now.

The beauty of "no name" blogs

Today, I'm glad that I don't have 100 people waiting for every word...because my words don't make sense. I'm writing in that area of anxiety between what I know is truth and what I remember as truth.

The area that I know is truth is this...

My friend is going to have brain surgery in the a.m. She will have a ton of extremely competent people on her side the whole time. It will hurt like hell. She'll be drugged and won't remember that part of it. Like any other pain, it will go away...sometimes even though we try our best to hold on to it. It will go away. I guarantee that there have been times when I've wanted to dwell and say, "Ouch! let pain be my excuse to do "xxx". Invariably, I start feeling better. I can't help dancing. I can't help playing. I can't help being hopeful. I can't help being happy. So my plans to stay down fail miserably. Big Thanks for that to...Dave? God? Family? Friends? Work? Bunnies? Birds?

The area that I remember as truth is this....

I have tubes. It doesn't matter.
I look different. It doesn't matter.
I don't feel good now. It doesn't matter.
This is new. It doesn't matter.
I don't know the outcome. It doesn't matter.
I'm not in control. It doesn't matter.
It's getting late. They might not have Diet Coke in the fridge. It DOES matter. :-)

God, I have a friend that needs to know this, and I can't figure out how to say this.

She knows.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Time Flies...When You're Knitting

No pictures today (of Leda), but I am officially and happily back to my previous spot. All-in-all an enjoyable 10 days.

I've been thinking of my friends lately...a couple very close friends are going through some really difficult medical situations. And once again I can't help but marvel how crafts are such a Godsend. The built-in friendships that occur when you create your projects, rip them out, look forward to the next ones. The built-in activity that keeps you company when you can't sleep, works as a built in watchdog that lets you escape into a project if you just want to be by yourself, keeps your mind busy enough to pass the time while waiting for a phone call or a office visit.

On Monday, Dave and I went to the 3rd Annual WesFest concert. A benefit to fund the Berklee College of Music's endowed scholarship for students of the bass guitar. Wes Wehmiller is the inspiration for the scholarship, and every year I wish more and more that I had known him well. Based on my love for his family and friends, I know that he was truly someone special.

The show was unbelievable. Fantastic music with musicians that I love and respect...all of them surpassing every high expectation that I had for them. This was the first time that I had ever seen legendary gospel bassist, Andrew Gouche, and he and his band were truly amazing. And of course, Mike Keneally, Muther Eff, Kira Small, Danny Mo....WOW! I still haven't come down from the experience. The website has links to all of their bands...and I think you'll be amazed!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Time Flies When You're Ripping

I have nothing. No update pictures. No rows. Just a very pretty yarn ball (no tangles, thank you) that once was Rows 9 - 39 of Motif 4. Grrrrr..... It's a good thing that I'm doing this for fun. ;-) The funny thing is that I still don't exactly know how I managed to rip out all of those stitches in such an ugly way. I just know that I had my knitting on my footrest right next to my laptop. I got up (quickly) and was carrying my laptop so that I could answer my work phone. 15 minutes later I had one ugly tangled mess. Needles out and yarn wound tightly around the cord on my computer. OK, I lied....I guess I know exactly how this happened. So, here's a picture of the prize. Again - total rights/acknowledgements to Melanie from Pink Lemon Twist for the beautiful pattern.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What did you knit today??

You know what I did with my knitting today? Work on Leda's Dream? No. Start my sock? No. The Wedding Cake afghan? Nope.

I used my knitting bag as a footrest. A nice comfy footrest. Oh, and I cracked a pistachio shell with one of my old knitting needles. I promise I didn't bend it. I just needed the leverage.

And then I watched movies...all day long. Lots and lots of movies.

First I got sucked in by Shadowlands . I really like it a lot, and it makes me cry every time I see it. I don't think that it is out on DVD yet, but they've been showing it lately on Ovation, so maybe it is coming out soon.

Then Who Framed Roger Rabbit? came on. I have the DVD, and it still sucked me in again. It's just clever and funny.

War Games was next with a very very young Matthew Broderick. I was in high school when that came out, so I actually remember it as a theater release.

And now I'm watching Surf's Up. Very cute so far.

Later, dudes.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Leda's Dream - No Nightmare

Boy, I thought that my "Leda's Dream" stole was going to turn into "Leda's Nightmare". I had set it aside for a couple months because I was working on Christmas and Birthday gifts. But, I love this project and picked it up again, thought to myself, "should I put in a lifeline?", and promptly didn't. I was fine for 4.5 seconds, when I realized that I had flipped my charts when I converted them to my new chart board. Oops. Tink. Tink. Tink.
BTW, I'm actually about 4 times further than this photo. It's a little too dark to take a new one, though.

The funny thing is that I used to be a little bit intimated by going back. This time, I looked at it like a puzzle, and I was able to go down a couple rows to correct the yarn overs, etc. I spent almost an hour getting it fixed...but I did it. I'm pretty pleased.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Comet Wall Ornament Finished

I really like this one a lot.

Fun to crochet and the thread just shines...especially when it catches the sunlight. I used DMC 5 and a US8 Boye hook. I can't wait to make one for myself, but I sure hope that my mom-in-law likes this for her birthday.

It's surprising durable, too. I've had to manhandle it a bit, and it has travelled in wind and rain with absolutely no harm to it. Good thing, since it's home will be in snowland. :-)

This is my first post directly into blogger. I'm officially switching over to it from Live Journal. There's a lot that I like about Live Journal...especially the additional templates, editing tools, etc. but Blogger has 3 huge selling points for me.

  1. You can post video.
  2. More people have Blogger accounts, so I might get more comments. (Please)
  3. I can have buttons somewhere other than my profile. Hurray!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Magic Crochet is Magic

My superfantastic uncle Rich gave me a great box of Crochet and Knit books from his Mom, Doreen. Many years ago, Doreen and Art, graciously let me and Mom stay with them when I was recovering from surgery. We spent many many hours going through all of her craft books. In fact, I still have some photocopies of afghan patterns that she gave me. Long story longer...after she moved from her house, the books went to Rich...and then to me. And I LOVE them! So far, I've completed the Santa stocking. And now, (please don't be reading this Mom-in-law!), I'm making this really pretty Wall Ornament from a Magic Crochet magazine. It's so much fun to do. I don't really know what the heck I'm doing. (That's a little bit of a lie, but not too far from the truth.) Anyway, I'm really enjoying it, and I've already completed the center floral motif. More later.

I did complete another one of the San Diego Fire Blankets.

Honest, It's Finished

Dave was a little shy about having his picture taken, so I decided to model his hat. (BTW, it does look great on him.)

On another note, I'm pretty excited. I checked Ravelry so that I could add the Director's Hat as a project. I had a message and was asked if my Santa Stocking could be used as the photo for the pattern author. :-) That just made my day.

Dave did offer to pose with our pet tumbleweed. Believe it or not, this thing jumped over our fence.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dave's Hat - Finished!

Happy New Year!!! I finished Dave's director's hat/beret. We almost gave up on it 300 times before I finished it. ;-) The pattern that I had was actually kid's size...though it said it was for an adult. So I had to adjust the pattern a LOT. And I was using a very fine sock yarn, so I had to mess with it a lot before I found a gauge that I liked. Otherwise it was turning out like lace. Not exactly preferred for a man's hat. After many many starts and enough frogging to cause the yarn to self-knit, I finally got it! And as of 2:00 PM, Dave had a cool enough hat that he said he could wear to the NAMM convention this year. Yeah!!! Pictures soon.