Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weekend Trip To Iowa

Because of the "unusual" weather that I mentioned in my last post, Grace and I were able to drive to Iowa for a quick catch-up with good friends.

Who would have thought that I would even consider driving to Iowa in January? I am not a crazy, risk taking woman. I hate even the thought of driving in snow or ice, but with temperatures above freezing, the risks seemed pretty manageable.

We left last Thursday and our first stop was Jacqueline's for an amazing dinner of the best African food ever. We got to visit with her for a while and then another good friend, Michelle stopped by to say hello.

Grace spent the weekend visiting with her bestest friend Audrey and I spent the weekend with some of my favorite quilting friends sewing up a storm at the Common Threads Sew In.

This is one of my favorite sewing events and last year due to the move and new job I was not able to attend.
I'm so glad that it all worked out this year so that I could be there.

We had a blast! Lots of sewing, laughing, girl talk and yummy food. I spent the entire weekend putting my Block of the Month quilt together. I still have one more border to add on and then I'll show you how it turned out.
You know when you are about half-way to your destination and you realize what you forgot to pack? Well, silly me forgot my camera. Thanks for the pictures Jorge, I'd be lost without you.

It felt so good to spend time with old friends. Barb, Kandy, Kathy, Betty, Mary, Jackie, Peg and the list goes on... This is easily a weekend that I could repeat over and over again. Except for that darn 8 hour drive.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some Very Unusual Weather

I'm going to start this post off by saying that I'm really not complaining at all., it's just that the weather here in Louisville has been very odd this month.

I took these pictures Tuesday afternoon. the sun was shining and it was something like 50 degrees.

I don't know if you heard, but last week there were 7 tornado's in our area. Tornado's in January.

All of our trees and plants are just as confused. The Daffodils are starting to poke up all over the yard, and the pansies that I planted back in the early fall are showing signs of rejuvenation too.

What does all of this mean. Is it global warming, or is winter just not here yet?

It makes me a little nervous to think about what February will bring.

I wouldn't mind if we just skipped winter this year and went straight into spring.

What I really don't want to happen is to have all of my lovelies popping out and then get hit with some Major snow/ice storm that freezes them all to death. That would make me very sad.

I even found this mint starting to regrow in the garden. Now I know that it's darn near impossible to "kill" mint, but I promise you that 2 weeks ago there was no green to be seen.

I will be needing this mint come Derby time, so maybe I had better think about covering it up to keep it safe.

the 10 day forecast is predicting more 50 degree temperatures, so who knows what's going....


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Pinterest Problem

I have finally discovered Pinterest and it's making me crazy. I find myself spending way too much time searching for "pins". If you are already a Pinterest fan, than I'm assuming you can relate to my problem. If you have no idea what Pinterest is, you can just save yourself the grief or, if you are curious you can click on the little red "Follow me on Pinterest" button on the right side of my Blog and check out my boards. I don't have everything organized exactly how I want it, but I'm working on it. Pinterest is just a virtual bulletin board where you can "stick" ideas that you find while surfing that interest you. Everything you "pin" is linked back to it's original site, so that when you click on the picture later it will take you to the product, or the directions, or the recipe that you are looking for. It's the coolest thing since sliced bread. I just wish it weren't so addictive. Here are a few of my most recent "pins".


Monday, January 23, 2012

Learning to Spin (Part 2)

Yesterday I mentioned that Grace ended up buying her very own spinning wheel after we took our class. She fell in love with the Ashford Traditional single treadle wheel made in New Zealand.

The wheel that I think I'm interested in is out of stock until March. I'm just going to keep using Grace's since she will be heading back to Spain in a couple of weeks and then decided what to do. The one I think I want is a double treadle, which means that you use both of your feet, but after using the single treadle I'm just not so sure anymore.

The guy at the Wool Shop told Grace that it would take her about half a day to put her wheel together. He sure doesn't know Grace very well. She was determined to put it together as soon as we got home. With a little help from Alan and I she was spinning by 7:00. It really is a pretty wheel and she is already making some very pretty yarn with it.

This morning she let me give it a try and honestly I can't describe how much fun it is. Like I said before, there is a learning curve for sure and it's going to take quite a bit of practice to be able to spin the kind of finished product that I'm hoping for, but even the practice yarn looks nice. They call it "Home Spun". All of the thin and thick parts are what make it "homemade".

Grace spun late into the night and then started all over again Sunday morning. She finally took a break to knit for a while. I think it's because she ran out of fluff to spin.

Here is a picture of the yarn that I made. I'm pretty darn proud of myself. I can't wait to finish spinning this white practice wool so I can start on something with a bit more pizazz.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Learning to Spin (Part 1)

We Did It!!!

Grace and I got up early Saturday morning and drove to Frankfort KY, it's about an hour away. We were both very excited and nervous about taking our first spinning class.

I think that we wanted to like it so much that we were a little worried that just maybe once we tried it it wouldn't be all that we wanted it to be. Does that make any sense?

It doesn't matter, because we loved it!

I have to admit that there is a steep learning curve for sure. You have to be able to do several things all at once.

The class lasted from 10:00-3:00 and boy did that time fly. I could have used one more hour just to make sure that I really had the hang of it, but then that didn't matter either, because one of us actually purchased a spinning wheel (and it wasn't me) so now we can practice all we want.

These spindles are holding several previous classes attempts, but if you look closely, the blue yarn is what Grace spun and the green is mine.

Our teacher's name was Nancy and she was really great. She brings her boxer Helga with her to class and I think that's a great idea. Helga was so sweet and just sort of helped calm everyone down. You have to be calm in order to spin happy yarn.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Tea of the Week

I have not done a "Tea of the Week" post in quite a while, so I decided that I should catch you up on what we have been seeping here lately. Some of you may know that Grace is a pretty serious tea drinker. She likes her coffee too, but tea especially during the winter is more her thing.

We have a new Tea Shop at our local mall called Teavana. The company is new to us, so we made it a priority to check it out.

It probably would have been better for all involved if we had just kept on walking. The place is too cool for words. They really do carry everything "tea" and they give you samples. You have to love a place with samples.

Our current favorite is Youthberry and Wild Orange Blossom. They sweeten their teas with German Rock Sugar, so I'm pretty much loving that stuff too.

The loose tea is sold by weight and we have learned the hard way that a little goes a long way.

I showed you my fancy new tea making cup last week. All I do is add a couple of teaspoons of tea, and a half teaspoon rock sugar to the cup, fill it with almost boiling water, let it seep a few minutes and gently press the screen plunger down. This thing works so well and keeps my tea toasty warm for a pretty long time. It's even dishwasher safe. I got ours at the Fresh Market, but you can get one here.

Grace and I are taking our first "How to spin on a spinning wheel" class tomorrow. Hopefully I'll remember to take some pictures.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rainy Days and Monday's and Tuesdays....

We had a wonderfully relaxing weekend. The weather was cold and snowy, so we basically stayed inside in our comfy clothes watching movies and football. We did get caught up on some of those household chores that I'd prefer to never have to do.

If you have known me for a while, then you probably know that I have issues with small appliances. In this category I include: hair dryers, coffee makers, vacuum cleaners and last but not least irons.
I don't know what the problem is exactly, but for whatever reason I go through small appliances like other people go through bags of chips. Really.

The iron that you see above is the third iron that I have "killed" since we moved into this house. You heard me right, third.

The first one was a pretty expensive Black and Decker, the second one was the one that Alan had when he was living on his own, and the one above was a cheapo that one of the kids used in the dorm.

Right before Christmas I was ironing away when all of a sudden major smoke started pouring out of it there were even sparks. I unplugged that baby and there she sits.

I wish that I could have just left well enough alone and said "that's it. No more ironing... EVER".

But then I wouldn't be able to tell you all about my NEW, beautiful, blue Rowenta.

Right after Christmas I used my 20% off coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond and splurged on a "real" iron. I don't think that I've ever really felt this way about an iron before, but this one just makes me happy. It's everything an iron should be. It's on the heavy side, holds tons of water and makes more steam than I ever thought possible.

Here are some pictures of the amazing steam action.
Before the steam it does a really good job of getting out "set it wrinkles".

But after the steam.... There are just no words to describe.

This is not one of my usual "fuzzy" pictures. What you are seeing here is some serious steam, just about enough to give yourself a mini facial with each impressive burst.

You may all think that I'm nuts, but keep in mind that this is iron #4 in a little over a years time. I know my irons, and this one is hopefully, fingers crossed going to be with me for a long, long time. I'm hoping for at least a year or two. Happy ironing!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Off To Lexington

Despite the freezing, cold, snowy, weather, we all hopped in the car and drove to Lexington this morning. Grace had an appointment to meet with her advisor and then we went apartment shopping.
Come August, Grace will be a resident of the Newtown Crossing apartment complex. She's decided to start off with an efficiency that comes fully furnished with a dishwasher and washer and dryer. The place passed both Alan's and my inspection with flying colors.

Filling out all of the paperwork took a while and then we were off to P.F. Chang's for lunch. YUMMY!

While Grace met with her advisor, Alan and I hung out at the university bookstore. We came home with cute little UK coozy shirts to keep our Jamaican Me Happy drinks "COOL".

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's A SNOW Day!

Just the mention of a little bit of snow, or a winter weather advisory around here and pretty much everything shuts down.

I was pretty sure yesterday when I heard the news that I would not be going it to work today.

What to do? What to do?

I'll tell you what I've been doing. First I took Grace to the yarn store so that she could restock her supply. We stopped by the Fresh Market, because 6 pieces of Sushi is only 6 points and that sounded like a good lunch to us. The rest of the afternoon has been spent cutting out fabric, watching Rom Com's and drinking Tea. Not a bad way to spend a snowy stay home day.

I'm cutting out all of this fabric in the hopes that I will be able to attend a weekend "Sew In" in Iowa at the end of the month. Of course if the weather is like it is today I'll be upstairs having my own little bitty one person sew in.

I've made the move back to tea. I admit it was a reluctant move, but I'm pretty sure that all of those Starbucks Pumpkin, Gingerbread and Vanilla Lattes that I've consumed since September have added to my need to hop on the Weight Watchers train. Tea pretty much has 0 calories, so that means it has 0 points.

This is my new tea drinking mug/cup thing. I gave one to Grace for Christmas and she loves hers. It's a travel mug with a plunger/screen thing in it. You add your loose tea, pour in the water, let it seep and then push the plunger thing down and all the tea leaves get mashed on the bottom. It really works and it makes a great cuppa plus it's a travel mug, so you can take it on the go. Since it's snowing today, I'm not actually going any where with my tea, but you get the idea. I hope that whatever your weather is doing today, you are making the best of it.


Monday, January 9, 2012

A Puzzle Problem

All my life I've had this problem. If there is an open jigsaw puzzle in the house I'm working on it.

I'm working on it until it's done. I just can't help it. I try to set limits. I tell myself "30 minutes and then go do the laundry". It never works. I find one piece that fits and then I have to find another. I'm afraid that poor Grace has inherited this problem. She might even have it worse than I do. I'm not sure that's possible, but considering that we opened this cute 1000 piece puzzle Saturday afternoon about 3ish and had it completely put together before 11:00 and that was with a quick break for dinner. she is well on her way.

Needless to say we were pretty proud of ourselves. Besides, that left all of Sunday to be productive....


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Field Trip

For Christmas I was given some very lovely soap and lotion by one of my little clients and his mom. I loved it so much, I asked her where it was from.

Yesterday, Alan, Grace and I took a field tip to Butchertown, another one of the cute little neighborhoods of Louisville.

Inside this big brick building are some very nice shops, including the one that makes the soap and lotion.

The shop is called Moss Hill and they make

all of their products right there.

We left with a few goodies that I'm looking forward to sharing.

Our weather has continued to be beautiful all weekend. Maybe even a little too beautiful. Some of our bushes are starting to bud. The poor things are very confused


Friday, January 6, 2012

Going For A Spin

It's going to be 65 degrees here in Louisville today. Hard to imagine that we are not going to be breaking any records. I should be going for a "spin" on my bike, but that is not in my plan for the day. If time permits, I "might" take the dog for a walk, but otherwise I am going to be spinning this beautiful basket full of fluff. It came in the mail yesterday while I was at work. I love to come home to those kind of surprises. All of the colors came in a pack called Summer Bouquet from Knit Picks. I wish you could feel how soft this roving is. It's really soft.

Last night while we were watching When Harry Met Sally because Grace had never seen it, I did a little pre-drafting of the wool so that it would be all ready to spin. I'm trying to spin it so that when I get around to knitting the yarn I'll have stripes. So far so good. Either I'm getting better with the drop spindle, or this wool is super easy to spin. The problem that I'm faced with now is that my house is a mess and all I want to do is SPIN!

I think I need help...

Do you all have any exciting weekend plans? Hope you are having the same beautiful weather that we have been blessed with. It's a little scary. I don't even want to think about what we are in store for in February.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The main goal on my to-do list today was to rejoin Weight Watchers. When I mentioned to David that I was thinking about doing it, his response was "again?" Honestly, that's pretty much how I feel about it too. I don't even know how many times I have been a member. I tired to figure it out today and stopped counting when I got to 8 because I know I'm missing a few. Becoming a Life Time Member is on my bucket list. I have been going along with the idea that some how, some way the weight would just fall off and when I only had about 10 lbs to go until I reached my goal, then I would rejoin. "How's that plan working for you?" you may be asking. Obviously not so well. So, today was the day. I talked Grace into joining with me (all that wine she drank in Spain kind of added up). The first weigh-in is always a big kick in the pants, but now we are official and learning how to count points. The program has changed a bit since my last go round, but the good news is that since I'm older I get more points. Yahoo, more points! I'm not going to turn this into a weight loss blog, but I will keep you posted on how things are progressing. The key word for this week is "BELIEVE" the word of the week in a book I'm reading is "POSSIBILITIES". I'm choosing to put the two together and Believe in the Possibilities.


So, yesterday was January 2nd. Most people in the world had the day off. There was no mail, public schools were still closed, but not my clinic, so off to work I went, but not before hitting the fitness center so that I could at least start off the new year keeping one of my resolutions. I decided to try a new class just to mix things up a bit. I'm sure that I was one of the youngest in the class and I'm not kidding when I say that I had to work hard to keep up.

So January 2nd ~ workout ~ check!

Winter weather also showed up here in Louisville yesterday. We had snow flurries most of the day with the coldest temperatures of the season so far. It was a perfect night for a fire and a little knitting.

I've wanted a "yarn bowl" for a while now, so when I saw this one on Etsy I snatched it up and gave it to myself for Christmas. I love it. See that little curly cue cut out? It helps feed out your yarn without tangling. I've started a new pair of socks. I'll share them with you under my projects tab eventually.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Were you able to stay up to ring in the New Year?

We just barely made it.

A movie followed by a few games of Scrabble helped to pass the time.

I think the Gingerbread Latte that I drank at 4:00 helped too.

We all slept in this morning and that felt very good.

Right now there is football on the TV and Good Luck Bean Soup on the stove.

I hope that your 2012 has gotten off to a great start too.