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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post Op #2

Saw the doc for my second post op visit, but my vision with the "new" eye is still blurry.  Turns out that it is because I have an astigmatism.  So an adjustment with lasik is up next.  The second cataract surgery is postponed until the lasik can be done sometime in the next couple of months or so. 

The good news is that I am again doing handstands and headstands, weight training, etc.  It feels good to work out again.  The first thing I did was get into the swimming pool. 

I heard from old friends in Florida today.  So glad to get in touch with them.  She -- an old high school classmate; he -- her son whom I have known about 10 years.  We visited each other in our respective cities many years back, and then lost track of each other again.  Thanks to modern social media, we are in touch again.  Sometimes technology can be a pain, and then again it is great.  He is one of the technology field's professionals, and as soon as he got my message, he looked me up in other ways and found this blog.  Hi, Carole and Mike!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cataracts and Inversions

Day 2 - Returned to the doc's office for the "day after" post op visit.  No problems, just routine, but I took along a card with my list of questions:  When can I swim?  Can I bend over now?  Weight training?  Eye makeup and removal?  Inversions? 

I can swim and weight train again in one more week.  Gently apply and very gently remove eye makeup.  Yes to bending over.  Inversions?  No one had ever asked him that before.  He was amused and asked me to wait another week and we will discuss it then. 

As promised, I came home from the OR yesterday and got right back to my knitting, albeit with magnifiers balanced on the end of my nose.  As also promised, I have included the large-lemon sized cap for the NICU, as well as a few others that I have made over the last few days.  This has really turned into a fun thing to do with remnants (45-50 yards) from my stash.  I still look sadly on the tiny cap that is the size of the large lemon.  (Note: this is not what I would call a large lemon, but the only one in the refrigerator.)  Such a sick baby that will get this cap.  That is the only thing that bothers me about this project, but I trust that a little one will get better with a little something extra to keep him/her warm and growing. 

Now I am knitting without magnifiers, but with my glasses -- still have the other eye to go. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cataract Surgery and knitting

Cataract surgery has made amazing strides.  I was fully conscious.  The eye was anesthetized with drops, over in 8 minutes -- and that included the time to wheel me into the OR, and all the other preparation. 

I was anxious about not being able to knit during this time.  There is a big patch over the eye which keeps me from using my glasses and knitting one-eyed.  I found that a pair of magnifiers with straight ear pieces solved the problem somewhat.  I can knit, but I would be up a creek if I dropped a stitch or split the yarn.  Maybe I should stop . . . fat chance!  Pink baby cap here I come. 

Speaking of baby caps, I have 5 finished caps in the bag for the NICU, and the 6th is on the needles.  Needless to say, I have memorized the pattern.  Last night, I emailed my LYS to tell them what I was doing and asked them to select some appropriate yarns for me.  After the followup visit with the surgeon tomorrow, Husker and I will whip by there -- minus the eye patch -- to add some yarns to my NICU stash.  Last night, I made a lemon-sized cap in Panda Silk, a Crystal Palace yarn.  It came out beautifully, but it is so-o-o small.  Bless those babies.  I will include a picture later -- can't see well enough to do that just yet. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NICU to the Rescue

After making the newborn Tuva hats, I dug deeper into my stash and found quite a bit of fingering weight and/or baby yarn that I could turn into baby caps.  Then a light bulb went off.  I met someone during the summer who makes caps for preemies in her local hospital's NICU unit.  (NICU = Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  Having been in our local Cook's Children's Hospital -- including the NICU unit -- I decided to give them a call, and to my delight, they welcome cap donations.  The nurse told me right off that they needed to fit 3 sizes:  large lemon, orange, and grapefruit.  I discovered right off that my "preemie" Tuva would probably be somewhere between orange and grapefruit.

I have also made a navy and silver-grey boy's cap that will fit an orange.  It looks white in the photo, but trust me, it is pale grey.  Please note that the colors are for our local pro football team.  The Cowboys may be losers, but they are ours. 

This was CO 72 sts of Berroco Comfort DK Sport Weight, using #3 dpn.  Credit Karen Everitt for the basic pattern on Ravelry.  It took less than an ounce of yarn, and less time than it takes to watch a football game.  Well ... Husker watches and I knit 'n' listen. 

This has become a fun stash buster.  Maybe they will let me rock a baby when I make my first delivery. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Itchy Fingers

I am between projects, but my itchy fingers just will not stop.  I found some leftover Wondersoft by Stylecraft in colorway Blossom that I used over a year ago to make a newborn baby set.  I have made a Tuva hat for another newborn as well as socks, and I am now making another Tuva hat.

This is the third Tuva that I have made, and I made a big mistake this third time because I relied upon memory.  After a few rows, I had to frog back to the ribbing and correct myself with a new start on the lacy crown.  I was getting down to a precious small amount of yarn for another hat, so it has become a preemie size.

My first Tuva was made from Cascade 220 100% Peruvian Highland Wool and was made with US 7 needles.  Christmas red, of course. 
One of the nice things about the Tuva pattern is that you can change needle size, yarn type and get a completely different size from preemie to adult without changing anything in the process.  You still cast on 90 stitches, and you still follow the same directions except for how many inches you make the cap before decreasing.  By the way, it is 3.5" for a newborn and 3" for a preemie. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011


When my children were young, I was a full-time mommy, and had time to make bread regularly.  Whole wheat, sourdough, fruited breads, stollen, English muffins, whatever.  Once the children were a little older, I went back to school to finish up my degree and simultaneously went back to work.  There was no longer time for bread making.

Occasionally, I would throw together a loaf, and even added focaccia to my skill set, but regular bread baking went by the wayside. 

About 10 days ago, while Husker was out of town, the "mood" hit me.  I went into the kitchen -- and without a recipe -- I started putting together a loaf of 100% whole wheat bread.  Amazingly, it came out to be as delicious a large round loaf as I remembered from years before.  The feel of the bread as I kneaded it was the same and I still recognized the feel that told me that it was ready for the next step.  I have since been mulling over Malin Elmlid's Bread Exchange on Facebook.  The whole idea of trading bread for goods/services intrigues me.  Do I want to commit myself to baking a lot and hoping that someone will offer me something in exchange?  What would I be willing to trade for my bread?  Should I use Facebook to solicit offers?  I would dearly love to hear from others about this. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Knitting Vogue's Cropped Turtleneck

Sometimes you see a pattern you want to knit, and you are disappointed that it is not a top-down one-piece project.  Well, I encountered this when I looked through Vogue Knitting's Early Fall 2011 magazine.  Since I am a semi-beginner type of knitter, it was my first experience with converting to a one-piece top-down project.  Let me back up and say it was my first successful conversion.  I attempted a garter stitch cardigan a year or so ago, but finally gave up in frustration. 

This time, I was determined enough to frog it 3 times several inches into it.  Finally, I got it right and it flowed through to the finish and I am going to wear it to work tomorrow.  See page 60 of the magazine for a comparison. 

I used Spud & Chloe's sweater in colorway Toast.  Since I wear a small, I cast on 72 sts to begin the yoke.  I made my sleeves about an inch or two longer than the Vogue pattern called for, but otherwise tried to follow the original pattern exactly.  I especially like the detail of the yoke seams. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Crazy Girl

Dierks Bentley congratulates the Eli Young Band on their first #1 hit, Crazy Girl

Friday, October 21, 2011

Platinum Crazy Girl

It's official!  The Crazy Girl single has gone platinum.  The Eli Young Band has done it.  They have their first big hit and we could not be more excited.  Congratulations, guys. 

In addition, they performed their hit on David Letterman on November 3, 2011.

I feel like a groupie!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Next up - Letterman

We left Bryce  Canyon for Boise by way of the interstate, with a stopover in Cedar City, UT as well as Orem.

While in Orem, I left our hotel for a few necessities at a nearby Walmart.  While there, I passed the music department and could not resist looking through the CDs.  There was a prominent display entitled HOT and NEW, with a half dozen featured CDs.  In the center appeared LIFE AT BEST, the latest release of the Eli Young Band.  For those who are just now tuning in, the bass player is Husker's baby boy, Jon.  The release went to 3rd on the top country albums during its first full week and dropped to 5th during the second week.  Needless to say, we are excited.  The single release that came earlier, CRAZY GIRL, went gold and currently is nearing the platinum mark.  Their first bona fide hit.

Speaking of going gold, there is an official plaque that is distributed commemorating this.  Husker's son, Jon,  arranged for a customized (i.e., nameplate) plaque that recognizes Husker as the owner of that particular copy.  Husker is a very proud papa.

You can catch them November 4, 2011 on Dave Letterman.  

My knitting is about to get stupid ambitious shortly.  I am nearing the end of my current project, a cropped pullover, that I started as we left on our two-week odyssey to the Pacific Northwest, and frogged twice.  The band has a logo, and I want to make Jon a cap with the logo.  This is probably going to be frogged a few times, too, because the logo is very curvaceous and will require mucho trial-and-error.  The plan is to make it with this gray yarn with a gold (of course!) logo.  My first step will be to transfer the logo to graph paper after I do a gauge piece.  I am using sock yarn.  Pray for me . . . 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Where have all the bikers gone?

We have a couple of friends in Omaha who are bikers.  His and Hers.  Two or three years ago, he and one of his buddies rode to South America, intending to go all the way to Tierra del Fuego.  They got as far as Peru or Ecuador and the lead rider hit an oil slick as they went around a curve.  The trailing rider went down over the lead rider.  Both ended up flying home well banged up, one with a broken leg and the other a broken collar bone.

This summer, she went on a Komen Race for the Cure ride with her biker girlfriends to the Arctic Circle in Alaska.  Then she went down, had to be airlifted to Anchorage.  Fractured pelvis.  That was July and she is still on crutches.

Last week, as he was going home, a coyote ran out in front of him.  Broken collar bone - again, broken shoulder blade, 3 broken ribs.  Still hospitalized.

I was thinking about them today.  Husker likes the following, but is reluctant to send it to them.  What do you think? 

Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the bikers gone?
Coyotes spook them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the bikers gone?
Taken a short road every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the bikers gone?
Gone by ambulance every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the bikers gone?
Gone to O. R. every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the bikers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the bikers gone?
Gone with their dreams every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Albuquerque to Blanding, UT to Bryce Canyon

The hotel in Albuquerque had an indoor pool (yeah), but they did not bother to turn on the heat (booo).  I tried it for a few minutes, but could not work up enough body heat to counteract the frigid water, so I gave it up after 15 minutes of laps.  Short laps they were - I measured this pool to be 5-6 strokes across.  The lap pool at my local Y is a 26 stroke pool or about 1 stroke per meter.  I communicate the size of a pool by number of strokes because I am poor at visually estimating the length of a pool in feet, yards, or meters.  Husker is always considerate of my desire to get my exercise, so when he makes our reservations for any travel, he peruses the available information about the swimming pool.  It is amazing how different the pools can be when you actually get there. 

On Sunday, September 4th, we left Albuquerque behind and drove north to Colorado and west toward Blanding, Utah.  Along the way, we stopped at Mesa Verde NP near the Four Corners in southwestern Colorado.  The drive into the park is worth a trip all by itself.  The vistas are awesome.

Note the cinder cone in the center.  The vista is many miles into the distance.  I have been to Mesa Verde before, but this was Husker's first trip there. 

On Monday morning, we took a scenic byway out of Blanding toward Bryce Canyon.  It was a most fortuitous decision.  The drive was incredibly beautiful!  It looked like something out  of an old western movie.  

We even saw a little of Lake Powell, which surprised us because we were not expecting to see it.  This byway held lots of eye candy.  Note the tent of a camper.  Tents must be pitched on a rocky terrain.

We encountered something on this trip - at every national park - that was unexpected.  There were many German tourists.  We heard German speakers at hotels, in the parks, everywhere.  Welcome!

 Bryce Canyon awaited in all its glory!  And the Germans were there.  I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did. 

 It was an overcast day, and rained lightly for a while.  Rained and eroded the hoodoos some more. 
 This shot is through the light rain.  It appears hazy, but it is a light mist. 
Bryce was exceptional.  It is one thing to look at photos and anticipate what will be before your eyes, but to actually see it nevertheless left me speechless.  Such incredible erosion, the hoodoos, the slender roads along ridges to reach these impossible vistas . . .

We made one last stop before leaving Bryce, and were met by one of the locals who has become a little too accustomed to the human crowd.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Weeks on the Road

Husker and I have 2 big road trips on our bucket list, one to the Pacific Northwest and another to New England during leaf peeping time.  We elected to do the Pacific Northwest this fall and save New England for another fall.  Good thing we made that decision the way we did because of the storms that fell on New England -- indeed, the entire eastern seaboard -- and washed out roads, flooded communities, etc.

So on September 3, 2011 (Saturday before Labor Day), we departed Texas early of a morning and headed first to Albuquerque.  It was a long hard day of traveling, but we also knew that day and our anticipated last day would be the least interesting of the entire 2 weeks that we intended to be gone.  (For those who have not been there, west Texas and southeastern New Mexico are the least interesting places in the country for a long drive.  There is nothing scenic about it unless you like it hot, dry, and ugly.)

Neither of us like stopping at fast food places or greasy spoons that typically line the highways in small towns or along the interstates, so we take a cooler and picnic along the way.  This photo is of a picnic stop just over the border into New Mexico.  The only trees were planted, not native.  Almost no vegetation.  Windy.  Hot.  Dry.  Flat.

Driving northwest from Roswell, New Mexico, the scenery began to pick up as the foothills appeared.  Lincoln County, NM is definitely a good spot to drive through with some unexpected jewels along the road.  One of my favorites from about 20 years ago is an old stagecoach stop -- now delightful restaurant -- the Silver Dollar in Tinnie, NM. Very tiny community, but the restaurant thrives due to its ambiance and good food.  Haute Victorian atmosphere.

The altitude, cool breezes, laid back pace -- all reasons that this part of NM is also known as Texas' playground.  World's richest horse race in Ruidoso, Smoky-the-bear museum (he was a real bear) in Capitan, home of the Lincoln County Wars (think Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett) in Lincoln, and a short drive to the Space Museum and the White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo.  For your kiddos, White Sands is where the first atomic bomb was tested.

New Mexico is also home to a lot of black basalt lava beds.  So much so that I am glad I was not around NM a few hundred million years ago.  We saw a lot of this during our drive north to Albuquerque.  Hawaii is not the only state with scenes like this.  New Mexico has plenty of places like this should you want to check out the lava beds without threat of a volcanic explosion!

Yes, I took my knitting, but more about that later.  Actually, what I was working on was not making me happy, so I frogged it and started again.   I mostly knitted my way across west Texas, but not so much when we reached eye candy country. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

An awful summer nears its end

This has been one of our worst summers, weather-wise.  Over 60 100+ days and it isn't over yet.  Today is expected to be 107 degrees.  I plan to spend my afternoon at our local Y's indoor lap pool.  It is pretty bad when you get up at 6 a.m. and it is too hot to walk in the neighborhood.

However, we have had some fun things to do.  We went to Husker's high school reunion in Omaha (of course!)  This is the 4th reunion of his class that I have attended, and I am starting to know a few people.  Part of the weekend included a tour of their high school.  This is one item that I did not attend because I went to an Omaha Y to attend a kettlebell class.  This was my first experience with it and I think I want to find a class locally.  I am still practicing what I learned.  

In addition, I have worked quite a bit this summer.  That has cut into my workouts and my yoga classes.  I have also had two jury summons -- different court systems -- but did not have to serve.  Whew!

Knitting?  Of course.  I picked up Vogue Knitting's fall issue and I am making a cropped pullover that I hope to include herein in about a month.  It took me a while to get the yarn -- had to order it -- then had to pick it up when I could get into Big D.  I will be working all of next week, then be off for at least two weeks.  After that time, I should have something to show for it.  Currently, I am not scheduled to work again until October 10th, and frankly, glad of it.  Need a little break. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Busy spring

I looked at my posts and realized that I have been very negligent in writing and posting pix of the knitting projects.  Yes, I have been knitting right through spring, and now summer is upon us -- with a thud.  We began having 100 degree days while it was still spring!  Not a good sign.

I have been trying to use up a lot of stash and have ended up with a pair of Spud and Chloe mitts to use with my Spud and Chloe camp hoodie.  There is a heart motif to jazz up the appearance a little.  The mitts are colorway Watermelon to use the leftover trim yarn from my camp hoodie.  Pix will come later of the two of them together.  I received the zipper for the hoodie, but unfortunately, the sewing machine decided to fall apart.  So I have not been able to put in the zipper, yet. 

I also made a pair of sister summer sweaters for two nieces, Lily and Joey.  Husker and I went to Omaha for the Memorial Day weekend and left them with family for Lily and Joey's mom to pick up when she came back in town.  She facebooked me later to advise that they looked great.  However, I failed to photograph them, but I can tell you that they were based on the pattern "Chloe" designed by Alana Dakos,  I made this from a large stash of Cotton Ease in a rosy pink (no stripes) with a touch of Cotton Ease's bright green for trim, and used pink/green unmatched novelty buttons.

Speaking of  Spud and Chloe, I think I am getting some more yarn because Susan B. Anderson just published a preview of a darling shrug.  Gotta have it! 

Another item made with leftover yarn, again Cotton Ease, is a sweater shawl.  This is an easy knit with a ruffled trim.  I admit that I used all the available yarn, and had to go back to the store for one more skein.  I had almost 2 skeins, so that makes 3 skeins to complete it.  This is for  chilly fall and winter days when I want to snuggle into my chair and put a throw over my feet.  Now I don't have to wear a sweatshirt, too! 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Camp Hoodie - almost done

The camp hoodie has been done for a couple of weeks, but could not locate a separating zipper in the length and color needed, so I had to custom order it from Custom Zips.  Obviously, the zipper has not arrived, but here is a peek at the otherwise completed hoodie.  I really love it!  I planned this as alternate outerwear for my walks.  I am now looking forward to having winter return to North Texas.   I promise more pix when it has a zipper.   By the way, I used Spud and Chloe's colorways Chipmunk and Watermelon. 

The kangaroo pocket came out great!  I used the Wonderful Wallaby pattern as my inspiration for the pocket -- splitting it down the middle, of course.  Husker is suitably impressed with this project. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We Race for the Cure

Today was the Race for the Cure in west Fort Worth, a Komen race that serves 4 counties.  Husker and I showed up at 7 a.m. for our 8 a.m. family fun walk.  Since Husker is a polio survivor, we do the one-mile walk instead of the 5k.  It is unbelievable how big this Race for the Cure mentality has grown over the last 30 (?) years.  15,000 people showed up this morning! 

The crisp (low to mid 50s-60s) temperatures that start the event each year are just not warm enough for me.  This year was not too chilly (mid 60s), but many times I have needed a light jacket -- which I was ripping off by the end of the race.  Next year, Brenda is going to show up with her new pink arm warmers that she can strip off and store easily after the temperature starts to rise (which it does quickly!)  Why didn't I think of this before now?  I will model them on the arm warmers that I made for myself to wear during the crispy days of spring and fall on my neighborhood 4-mile walks.  The new pink arm warmers will come later, but here is a close-up of the spring-fall version that I already made.  These were knitted with double point needles, reversing to purl rows to create "bracelets" at the beginning, end, and on each side of the elbow bend.  I used Berroco Comfort yarn.

My thought for the pink arm warmers is to use a sock weight yarn in a silk blend so that they will not be too warm or too bulky.  I think these would be good for runners, too, on chilly days.  Suggestions from readers for yarn and style variations would be appreciated.  

Husker is about to leave for one of his volunteer gigs, and I am about to start a more rigorous and extensive walk through our very hilly neighborhood.  A one-mile stroll is okay for Husker, but it leaves me frustrated!  I gotta move like I mean it.  However, Husker has done something that I doubt I will ever do:   He has done the Race for the Cure in 8 states.   

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Field Lab's Olive Beer Bread

I have never purchased a can/bottle of beer in my life -- until today.  Do you have any idea how expensive it is?!  The price of wine is looking better, and that I should know about.  Mind you -- I have had a few sips of beer here and there -- not much because I don't really care for it.  So what brought about this turn of events . . .

I picked up on John Wells' adventure in sustainable living (aka "The Field Lab") in the Big Bend that first appeared in the New York Times, and was repeated the next day in some Texas newspapers, including our local paper.  Seems that John, a New Yorker, decided at mid-life that he was going to chuck it all to live off the grid in the middle of the far western desert of Texas.  The Big Bend is about equi-distant from Los Angeles and Dallas, so you can see that it is a long ways from anything, let alone New Yawk City.  Curious, I found his website, and was instantly entranced by his 3 year old experiment.  One of the things that quickly got my attention was his solar oven baking of beer bread.  I like to make bread occasionally, too, so I asked for his recipe, and he quickly obliged.

That meant that I must buy a 16 oz. can of Budweiser Chelada beer.  Did you know that you cannot buy just one beer?  I guess this means that I will make this bread 4 times:)  Or learn to like beer.  With clamato juice.   

I mixed the dry ingredients with the Kitchenaid Mixmaster, then added the chopped olives, and mixed it all together.  Finally, I began to pour in the beer, but should have stopped at about 3/4 of the can.  As a result, I had to throw in about a handful more of flour.  Much too wet for dough.  Finally, I put on the dough hook, and gave it a few spins.  Still too wet.  Poured it all out onto the pastry board and added another handful of flour.  I was finally able to handle it a bit although it was still very wet and sticky, but it was definitely too much for one bread pan, but not enough dough for a  2nd  bread pan, so I put the remainder into a bread pot.  For those who are unfamiliar with bread pots, these are for small loaves of bread, but a standard clay garden pot can be used.  Mine is a cute little bread pot that I found many years ago in my wanderings. 

John's recipe makes 1 standard loaf.  (I think I ended up with too much because I dumped all the beer into the batch without gauging the wetness of the dough.)  John cautioned me that his solar oven worked at 275 degrees and took 3 hours to bake.  I experimented at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  The results are very slightly underdone, so next I will try cooking it longer.  The house smells great, and the bread tastes delicious.  Thank you, John!

I have included a pix of the bread pot next to the beer can in order to give you a sense of the pot's diminutive size.  

By the way, John, are we supposed to drink the rest of the beer with the bread? 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Camp Hoodie knit-along

Although I am doing the Camp Hoodie knit-along sponsored by Spud & Chloe yarns, I suspect that I am going to be the last one finished.  Everyone else began before we left for Jamaica on January 28th.  I held off until we returned home.  I had to make the long drive to Dallas to get the Spud & Chloe yarn (Chipmunk colorway) from the Shabby Sheep.  I finally was able to start, but it has been slow going.  I kept getting tendonitis and would have to rest my hands, wrists for a couple of days and start again.  I am getting close to the end, now.  I have adjusted the pattern to use the zip-front version, and have added wallaby pockets.  The hood has about 3 inches to go, then I will add the rib trim to the armholes and along the front opening and hood.   Here is the progress to date: 

Jon & Sarah's wedding

We left for Jamaica for Jon and Sarah's wedding day of January 29, 2011.  We arrived on the evening before barely in time for the rehearsal dinner.  I have no idea why I am holding two drinks!

We spent the day of the wedding enjoying the beach, the breezes, and the ample food.  Sandals is like a cruise ship on land.  Everything is at your finger tips as though the staff has read your mind.  I swam in the ocean and the pool.  I swam a lot that day.  I am surprised that I had the energy to go to the 4 pm wedding on the beach.  I was in the pool early enough to avoid a crowd -- as you can see. 

After the wedding, the reception dinner was also on the beach.  A sudden shower blew in and we all (about 40 people) crammed under the roof of the beach bar.  The bartender adjusted the music to play "When it Rains" by the Eli Young Band.  How appropriate! 

We all ate, drank, and danced hard and had a good time.  You can catch the excitement at the wedding website.

Our chambermaid created this swan out of towels to set on our bed.  Amazing ...

We arrived back at DFW the evening before a big ice storm descended upon us.  The timing was fortunate.

Nevertheless, the next morning we took off over icy streets to pick up Jon and Sarah's two dogs at the kennels, took them back to their house where we dogsat for 3 more days while the newlyweds languished upon the beach at Negril, Jamaica.  The dogsitting is fun because the dogs are so affectionate and well behaved.  The dogs loved the snow.  (Note:  There is a 1/2 thick solid coat of ice under the snow.  We aren't in Jamaica anymore, mon.)   The dogs slept with us, and kept our laps and hearts warm. 

It was a great trip and we welcome Sarah to our family.  It was a day that all of us hoped would come to pass.

Summer Breeze in January

I have been negligent in my writing, but the knitting has gone on.  In January, I finished Summer Breeze by Amy Polcyn, published in the book, Knit on Down.  This sweater is basically a ribbed tube and is the perfect project for a beginner.

Knit on Down

It can also be worn with the top turned down just enough to form a portrait or cowl collar.  Wear it over a long-sleeved "T", or a cami, or tank top, too.

If you are interested in adding to the project, long sleeves can be added without much effort.  This is a versatile pattern concept.

The yarn is Berroco Comfort, knitted with #8, 24" cable needles.  Easy, easy to make. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Miss Joey's Ruffles

Husker's niece, Leslie, had a baby girl a few days after Thanksgiving, and I sent her a pink sweater set for Miss Joey Leanne.  Proud Papa Jason got busy with photos and here is the result:
 Isn't she a cutie? 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chuck's Turn

On Christmas, we went to my son's house.  Chuck will always be Chuckie to me.  Husker wore his green pullover that I made for him last spring, and Chuckie liked it.  He asked me to make one for him, so I have another project coming down.  We will be getting together for measurements and selecting yarn. 

Chuckie recently called me to recount his interesting visit to the dentist.  The hygienist was a New York transplant -- met a Texas fella -- and now lives here.  So he asked her if she had learned to like country music.  She was strongly in the affirmative, so he asked her if she had ever heard of the Eli Young Band.  She was very vocal about the band being her favorite, so Chuckie told her the family connection.  She was very excited about that, then said that her husband's favorite band was Deryl Dodd.  Chuckie followed up to tell her, "You won't believe this, but my cousin is the bass player for Deryl Dodd."  Lots of excitement ensued, so he is now her favorite patient, I am sure.  

Chuckie is one of those people who never met a stranger.  He can meet someone and become best friends in minutes.  He is such a warm and loving person.  I am blessed to have him as my son. 

Chuckie has another talent, but this one he learned.  He discovered his love of scuba diving a few years ago, and now he has so many certifications that I have lost count.  He dives to wrecks, into caves, and other places that I would never go.  I guess this passion of his is a result of my insistence that he learn to swim at an early age.  In scouting, he earned the one-mile-swim badge, and then repeated it the next year just to be sure he could still swim that far.  Overachiever! 

New Year's Eve

Don't know about yours, but our New Year's Eve was tops.  We started off going to Grace, the restaurant owned by Husker's son, Adam, for a glass of wine and to wish Adam and his beautiful wife, Caroline, a Happy New Year.  This was to be a short stop only because we were spending the midnight hour at Billy Bob's, World's Biggest Honky Tonk.  Husker's baby boy, Jon, is the bass guitarist for the Eli Young Band, the entertainment for the evening at Billy Bob's. 

Adam was happy to inform us that he was sold out for New Year's Eve, and that son, Jon, and fiancĂ©, Sarah, were in the dining room.  So we had a chance to visit with both of Husker's sons and their beautiful ladies before going on to Billy Bob's to see Jon and the boys play. 

Upon arriving at Billy Bob's, we picked up our complimentary tickets and backstage passes, and learned that they were likewise sold out (that means 6,000 tickets).  For a bar/honky tonk, that is a lot of people.  The green room walls are lined with the logos and signatures of lots of big names.  It is humbling and amazing for Husker to see the band's logo on the wall alongside Willie, Loretta, LeAnn, and so so many others.  Husker thinks it is a very nice payback for all those music lessons, violins and guitars.  We also have another tie to a logo on the green room wall at Billy Bob's.  My nephew, Kerry, is the bass player for the Deryl Dodd Band

The crowd was amazing.  They knew the words to all their songs and sang along.  Mike Eli, the lead singer, always acknowledges to the audience their contribution to the band's success.  I think recognizing the audience's ownership of Eli Young is part of the key to their loyal following.  Some pretty good songs don't hurt either!  Check out Jet Black and Jealous, their last CD.  The next CD is imminent, and they sang the number that they expect to be their next hit, Crazy Girl.  Stay tuned.

Jon and Sarah's mothers were there, too.  Sarah is the aunt of Zach, for whom I knitted the Wonderful Wallaby.  Sarah's mom, Sue, said the sweater fit, he liked it, and pix would be forthcoming.  Until then, I am attaching a shot of the finished product.  You didn't think that I would NOT have something knit-wise in this, did you!  Happy New Year and many beautiful projects.