It’s a 10!

Several of you know my hair had fallen into an almost wild state while yet again, I waffled on what to do about a new stylist.  Fate intervened, and I happened upon Salon Cielo.  I didn’t even know the name of the stylist with whom I had an appointment, but I do now, and I already have another date with Kim in July.

How did she get my mop so sleek and straight?  It’s a leave-in product called It’s a 10.   I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned a haircare product here before, but this stuff is the bomb!!  Saturday was HUMID and beyond hot, so I was skeptical when Kim told me this stuff would hold strong and there would be no frizzies or funky waves.  That photo was taken more than two hours after I walked out of the salon, and in between, I’d run errands, unloaded the car, and played with the fur-girls on the deck. 

How was your weekend?  We’re still weekending, so I’ll share more details tomorrow when we return to our normal routine.



It’s Memorial Day here in the US, and as the daughter of a Marine and friend of some deployed military folks, it’s a day to pause, give thanks, and remember.   That’s my personal favorite way to see Old Glory fly, hoisted between two different fire trucks’ raised ladders.  That grand old flag was gifted to Charlottesville Fire Department, and it flew on a carrier that was deployed in the Middle East. 

I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.  I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.  We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.  ~Benjamin Harrison

Freedom isn’t free, and I send up a special prayer for those serving today.  In my mind, that includes not just the men and women in the military, but their families who carry on without them here at home.  I’ll be raising a glass at my father’s photo, at Pop’s and at Dae’s later this evening, and we’re certainly enjoying the day off from work!

Any special plans for you today?

Edited to add – The fur-girls did their own post for Memorial Day.

Celebrate Beautiful

Before I forget, today’s the last day to enter Ally’s contest.   Do tell her I sent you!

My beautiful Scilla Fairy Batt

This week has been an “oooh shiny!” one for me.  Know what I mean?  No?   I’ve been so easily distracted in everything I do, especially blogging.  I think the resulting posts have been better ones than what I was planning, but still…  I feel like a bird-brain  little birdy, hopping around, grabbing at sparkly trash rather than food or more practical nesting materials.

I follow a rather ecletic mix of blogs.  There are food blogs, knitting blogs, dog blogs, and now, to my great surprise, a fashion blog even.    The Bon Bon Rose Girls are inspiring.   I’m sure if we shopped together, they’d push my comfortable, traditional limits, and the results would be glamorous.  Today, they have a guest blogger who kinda’ hit me between the eyes.

But hold that thought.  They did a guest blogger swap, and I think instead of finding joy the rest of 2010, I’m going to try to live up to this quote –  So, why not take  a cue from the fabulous Ms. Bennett and “dress like you want it or stay home”?   You’ll just have to follow the link and read the post for the rest of the story.

Three of my beautiful friends from fall 2009

Now, back to THEIR guest blogger, and her thoughts on what it takes to feel beautiful.   This post falls right in line with what I said yesterday.   It’s up to us as women (and kind men) to remind each other that we’re beautiful, regardless of whether we’re wearing the size clothes we want to wear, or whether the scales say what we think would be ideal.

My alway fabu cousin and me spring 2007

I’m not saying I’ll start wearing frocks and heels to work.  I am committing to making regular hair appointments and pedicures a priority, rather than trying to bend the salon’s schedule to my last-minute NEEDS.   I am very visually oriented, so just as I crave sunshine for a happy day, I need to like what I see in the mirror when I walk past.   Since I can’t be that tiny little fitness freak I was 20 years ago, I can at least purdy up what I have so she doesn’t mutter “Frumpy!” when we meet in the mirror.

Love the one you’re with.  That goes for me, myself and I too, and you, yourself and you as well.

The "she don't know she's beautiful" girl who is quite self-assured anyway

So, who is having a long weekend?   Gretchen hasn’t seen anything about Memorial Day as far as I know, so I felt a little guilty when she bounced up and down this morning as I promised her that if she wanted, Dadaw and I would stay home most of the weekend and even Monday too.  Oh well.  The four of us are going to have a wonderful time hanging out, and with a bit of luck, moving stuff into the shed-mahal.

From the "old wheel"

Anyone have more exciting plans than that?  Oh – and I do plan to ply that blue handspun with beaded cotton and aspire to finish spinning up my tie-dyed looking fiber too…


This week, Thankful Thursday needs its own post, not just a paragraph in my regular Thursday stuff. 

In a nutshell, I’m thankful for all the supportive friendships I have in my life.  More than one has played out in a grand fashion this week, and I am well aware that I am blessed.

Y’all saw the lovely blankie Gmarie sent to save me from myself.   It allowed me to give a promised gift to a family, without hand pain or the guilt that I think a lot of us have when we realize a craft project isn’t working out. 

Many of you know that I’m on an uphill climb to regain the fitness I took for granted earlier in my life.   It’s hard to go from power lifting firefighter to an out of shape bookkeeper.  Again, I’m blessed with supportive, kind friends.  A local, blogless friend also struggles with proper nutrition, also needs a higher protein diet, not that you’d know it to look at her. 

Both of us have tried – and tried – to catch the Greek yogurt wave, but we were stopped by the strong, chalky taste.   I didn’t doubt her but headed to the grocery store when she told me she’d FINALLY found a creamy, tasty Greek yogurt.  Dannon does Greek yogurt a little differently.  My friend swears by the honey and vanilla, while I was forced to try the strawberry and blueberry, because that’s all that I saw on the shelf.   If you see me in the store this weekend, don’t get between me and the Dannon Greek; I’ll be stocking up and making it my go-to breakfast with some granola sprinkled on top.

Of course, what would Thankful Thursday be without mentioning my new wheel?!  It’s a Majacraft tradition to sign the base of each wheel and number it.  Owen is the husband half of the owner team, and that four on the end?  Not that there was any doubt, but 4 has been my favorite number since I started playing sports and wearing uniforms.  My first track jersey made me #14, and the rest is history. 

I’m also thankful for each of you, even those lurkers who swing by and I don’t even know your names.   I started blogging just because I wanted to swap and it was a requirement, but now, some of the women I chat with most came into my life through blogging!

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Scrap what I was going to post today, or pop over to see Sissy’s take on the same topic.   Gmarie posted something I find a lot more interesting than Sissy’s antics with ALL the dog bowls in the house.

G and I have very regular conversations about our conversations with our dogs.   All of my dogs have been and are master communicators.   All have had distinct voices.  Those of you who have followed this blog for a while, and certainly those who follow Don’t Mess with my Tutu probably have your own notions about how my fur-girls would sound, and I’d love to hear what you hear as you read their posts.

I can’t do this post without hoping in the wayback machine and talking about the boy dogs.   While I’m sure some of you think I’m daft, at least I know I’m not alone.  A local, blogless friend  announced one night that the boys had middle names in her world.  What’s interesting is the names she had come up with fit really well with the humanization I’d already conceived…

Fred Aloysius was the canine embodiment of an old Confederate officer, but ironically, I always heard him as James Earl Jones.   Usually calm and stoic, Fred was also capable of great rage (directed only at Mugsy and strangers perceived as uninvited guests) and had a deep “ah-wooh” that could literally rattle windows.  He was also an imposing physical presence, despite the short legs.

photo by Michelle

Mugsy Cornelius was also a southern gent, and I think he would have gladly claimed the famous Vanderbilt as his namesake.   He was a bit of a scoundrel and a scamp, an endearing bad boy to the end.   I heard something like Josh Lucas in Sweet Home Alabama when he talked to me.   He was truly a Jack of all trades; he was my sweet boy, his daddy’s fierce hunter, and never met a stranger.

Sissy Joy is a redneck DIVA.  Her theme songs are all by Gretchen Wilson, but Ms. Wilson isn’t sweet or DIVA enough to do Sissy’s voice.   I hear Heidi Newfield of Trick Pony when Sissy talks.  A little sass, incapable of completing a sentence without laughing, but sweet enough to want a love like Johnny & June

Gretchen Greer is our lady.  She’s refined and kind, but she still has that terrier spunk.   I hear Sasha Alexander as Caitlin Todd of NCIS fame when Gretchen speaks.  Kate was classy, but she also bested her male counterparts on the sparring mat.   Gretchie manages to be completely sure of herself without being arrogant or demanding, but she always get her way… always.

Do tell me who would do your pet’s voices, and if you hear something different when my girrls speak!

Happy Dogs on Thursday and little friday.  I’ll be doing a separate Thankful Thursday post in a bit.

Making Time

Isn’t it interesting how we carve out time for the things that matter most to us?   When I first began hanging out with the rude jerk inside my Wii Fit, I hated the knitting time I was losing.  Last night, I was two minutes late for the NCIS season finale because I was boxing. 

Of course, you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve found a few minutes to spin every day since Saturday either.   Two ounces of Corridale, most likely to be plied with some crochet cotton with beads strung on it…

I’m an addict.  I’ve known this about myself for years.  I think reading was my first addiction; I devoured books and was reading long before I ever went to school.  I don’t know what came next, but I’ve been obsessed with horses, running, the oboe, tennis, roosters, Winnie the Pooh, weight lifting, baking, dark chocolate, craisins, candy coated sunflower seeds, loose tea, key limes, alfredo, pesto, cookbooks, knitting, spinning, scrapbooking, stamping, photography, dogs, fire trucks, fancy dresses, pearls, charm bracelets, teddy bears, wine with bubbles, shoes, Vera Bradley, history, The Civil War, fine china, antique flatware…

You get the point.  I tend to go overboard when I get into something.  Sometimes, I outgrow the phase – teddy bears are a great example.  Once I packed up my college dorm room, I think the urge to collect novel bears faded pretty quickly.  However, most of the time, I remain at least kinda’ interested in the former rabid fascinations.  But there are only so many hours in a day, so when something new tickles my fancy, something has to give.

I don't mean to be greedy, but I hope I have more than the one bloom this year!

As I look forward to having the current study move into another room and become a hobby room, I’m going to have to make some hard choices.  (Personally, I think a huge addition with a room for each of my obsessions would be the ideal solution, but then the Knight would want space for his hobbies too, so…)  I know some of you are naturally minimalists, and I envy you.  I know some of you have downsized, and still others have had to make room for new additions to your household.

What do you do with old collections that house gifts from special people?  What do you do with all the supplies from one crafting category when another catches your eye?   

Oh – and if you see my knitting mojo, tell it to enjoy the vacation, but at some point, I will want to actually DO something with all this yarn I’m spinning… 

… like knit socks from the new book by the woman who finally wrote instructions I could follow to do two socks at the same time.  Nichole is giving a copy of said book away, so be sure to say I sent you!

Cherished Friends

I’m so blessed to have the best friends in the world.    When I realized I couldn’t finish the baby blanket, Gmarie volunteered her services.   The box arrived yesterday, complete with goodies for me and for the fur-girls.

It’s much larger and lighter weight than what I was working on.    That makes it much more practical!

There’s the close-up of the embroidery.  Isn’t it darling!?   Willow’s mother and I grew up with Raggedy Ann, so that’s such a touching element to tie us all together.

You just have to see these earrings.  They’re my new favorites.  I have to find more outfits to wear them with!  They’re by Anna Perrone.   

Thanks so very much, G.   Everything is truly perfect.

I’ve found several new, fun Etsy shops of late.  (Ms. Perrone has one too, so this does all tie together, thank you…)  That, and several of my friends, bloggy and local, are talented ladies, so do share your favorite indie crafters with me!

Well!  I’ve spent nearly 30 minutes fighting with WordPress, so here are simple text links to three new to me vendors on Etsy.  Sorry for the lack of photos, but for whatever reason, WordPress freaked out…

Jennie the Potter

Hound Tracks

Made from Coins

Bloom Moon

What will all the stuff going on, I haven’t had a chance to show you some pretties. 

I continue to be amazed at the thoughtful generosity of the women in the Junior League.   I don’t know that any of us took photos Thursday night at our annual meeting, which is a shame, because the room was such a happy, colorful place!  We met in the clubhouse at Old Trail, and dinner was catered by The Shebeen, the official caterer of the JLC for the second year running.   There were several different solid-colored tablecloths, mixed about, and each table had a pretty little pot of Gerber Daisies as a centerpiece.  Again, I was honored to have one put in my hands to take home.   (And no, they won’t be planted in the garden as the deer have eaten the others!)

Friday night sure didn’t have a happy ending, but Gretchen spilled her guts about that on their blog

Remember Teddy Mag, the Teddybear Magnolia I got for my birthday?   When I headed out Saturday to buy my whel, I saw a bloom!   I almost stopped then to get a photo, but I crossed my fingers and hoped the rain would hold off until I got home so I could walk up and get photos.  The showers came and went, but I got lucky and it wasn’t raining when I got home, so I unloaded my new wheel and got it safely inside, and then I got both fur-girls on their leashes and we went to visit Teddy.

Gretchen was bouncing around too much for a photo, but my poor, starved, steroid girl was moving slow enough for a photo. 

How was your weekend?

The One I Want

Okay, so the most accurate statement is one of my searches is over.  The Knight is back to insisting I’d be happiest with a sedan, but that’s another story…

The Bellus on the right with its new sister

I was bound and determined to buy a new wheel yesterday, whether we bonded or not.  I was tired of shopping and not sitting down to that magical feeling that THIS is THE wheel, and I was becoming distracted by the weaknesses in my stalwart little BellusAnita sweetly assured me she had a good feeling about my shopping agenda, and while I am often oblivious to my own intuition, I honor everyone else’s.  With all of that going for me, I headed to Stony Mountain Fibers  with my mad money in hand.

Does she look familiar?  She should.  I had a feeling it was fortuitous to get to spin on the Majacraft Aura before her North American debut, but it wasn’t love at first sight.  I liked her, but I think there were several factors at play that distracted me that day.   Nevertheless, yesterday we hit it right off.

Barbara had some great, older pop ‘n rock music playing in the shop.  I’ve always loved soundtracks and musicals, but Grease was the first one that I found on my own, so to speak, so it was more than a little ironic that at one point, You’re the One that I Want caught my ear.   Maybe I’ll name the new wheel Sandra Dee or Honey. 

She’s Majacraft’s Aura.   Part of what won me over on this, our second introduction, is that what is now MY wheel was put through her paces at Maryland Sheep & Wool by Glynis, half of the owner/director team for Majacraft.  All that was left to do was to figure out which bobbin ratio made everything perfect for me.   I was able to spin yarn so fine it was scary, which might also read that as soon as I was comfortable with this beauty, she gladly produced a single that would be a fine laceweight when plied.

I learned to spin on a Fricke S-160 DT, so I suppose it’s natural for me to prefer a delta orifice.  (The place on the right where the yarn meets the wheel, if any non-spinners are following along.)  A true delta orifice lacks that curlycue in the front, which Majacraft sweetly calls the halo ring.  Rightly so, because this wheel is heaven-sent.

See that white cord?  That’s unique on a Majacraft wheel, and simply put, it is double drive in a fashion we can all understand.   I’ve linked to the Mechanics page that came with my wheel, because there’s no way I can explain it better than they do.  Dear Barbara read it to me while I was spinning, and helped me figure out what fine adjustments were needed to make this wheel truly my own.   No more feeling as though my wheel is snatching the yarn from me!

Just so you know, that pale orange was spun at MDSW, and the bright coral is what I spun at the shop.  I’ve since stripped that from the wheel and have some blue Cormo on there.  Some of you who know me well will appreciate that I fell in love with a wheel that came home with a bobbin dressed in shades of orange.

That’s specifically for Anita.   Top, the huge Aura bamboo (drive wheel and bobbins are bamboo, one of my favorite renewable resources), and bottom, the seemingly limitless Heavenly Handspinning bobbin we love so dearly.  I think that while they are shaped very differently, the Aura bobbin will still hold all I care to spin onto it, with the advantage of double drive and its ability to stay the course as a bobbins fills.

I could write for days, but that only takes away from my spinning time.  Oh – and the silly Knight wanted to know why I didn’t trade the Siren (aka: Bellus) in.  In case anyone else is wondering, here’s a little list of whys:

  1. He is my first wheel. 
  2. Anita has his sister or cousin or something, and we’ve plied new layers of friendship in learning to spin together.  (Okay, I tempted her into spinning, she learned and then helped me take spinning out of the classroom and into my life.)
  3. I might still want to ply on the Bellus, because plying has always delighted me, and Irish tension plies like nothing else.
  4. It’s a novelty.   You can’t walk into your local (or nearest) spinning shop and find one.
  5. At least two of my friends have hinted that Siren can live with them if he needs to relocate.
  6. It is lighter and more forgiving of banging around, should I ever opt to take a wheel to the beach or something.
  7. It’s arguably the best beginner’s wheel out there, because of price and its very simple design.  I don’t know that I would have ever figured out all the parts to a wheel had I started with anything fancier.

For the record “everyone” was right.  I did sit down with the Aura yesterday and everything clicked.  I wasn’t distracted by a single treadle Matchless at a bargain price, and there was no Lendrum that was almost as nice at a much cheaper price.  I never even spun on anything else in the shop, and I am quite certain that while I will continue to enjoy trying out other wheels, I’ll walk away shrugging it off because MY wheel and I just fit.  There are no extra flyers or different bobbins for lace to buy.  If I don’t ply with the Bellus, I’ll need a lazy kate (hint, hint to the Knight for my birthday), and truly, that’s it. 

And yes, I paid dearly for that bond and the limitless potential for art yarn, chunky yarn, and other things I might never want to spin.  However, the Aura also did what I wanted in my next wheel flawlessly, and that was all that mattered.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go spin.


That’s what I have planned for my weeked – the three Rs…

Rest, relaxation and retail therapy. 

It’s been a long, full week.  The fur-girls aren’t particularly happy about all the time we’ve spent away from them, but you can read about that for yourself on their blog

I’m hoping to spend some time knitting too.  That’s the cashmere scarf I’ve started.  One repeat down and 21 to go!

I also owe the fur-girls lots of snuggels and play time, so that’s on the agenda too.  What’s on your weekend agenda?