April Showers Bring…

Just another quick post, but we’re hoping that all these April “showers” and their violent winds that have ruined some of our potential May flowers are history and will give way to a lovely May.

We have a fairly busy weekend ahead, but we’re grateful for the sunshine and for having internet at home again.

Churros and chocolate courtesy of Wikipedia

I need your help!  I’m going to my first Cinco de Mayo party on Thursday.  Yes, I’m serious.  When I was a little girl, we had May Day parties and did the maypole dance.   I love Mexican food – and margaritas…  I’ll take mine on the rocks, please? – so I’m excited, but I want to bring a dessert.   My California-raised friend wants churros, but I’ve never had them, much less made them.

Really, I’d like a good local resource from my precious-few local readers.  Short of that, if you have an EASY recipe that I can make Wednesday night and it won’t be icky by Thursday, please share.  Really, I just need a little churro education!

What’s on your weekend agenda?

Joy in Mudville

March 2011 032I’m so glad I named Sissy Princess of Joy. Even on days like today, I still have Joy in my life! We have no internet at home still, we’re under a tornado watch and a flood warning, but we’re safe and sound and so are those we care about, so all is well.

… even though today, Flickr is fighting me.  It does appear that we have comments today, so feel free to pop over and see the brief post with the unedited photo Gretchen had me slam up for her… 

So, happy dogs on thursday, little friday and Thankful Thursday.  Paws crossed that the dangerous weather leaves you and yours alone too.

Not Just a Number

Rant ahead.   Apologies extended ahead of time.

Oh, to be a man. 

September 2010 004
September 2010 – Men in uniform!

No, not really.  I love being a woman.  I love dresses and heels and lipstick  Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm, but seriously?  The Knight NEVER tries clothes on unless he’s renting a tux or buying a suit.   He can buy shorts at WalMart or Belk, and regardless of the manufacturer, he wears the same flippin’ size.

Doesn’t that sound nice?  See, this rant was generated by my hubby’s very supportive suggestion yesterday that instead of racing home then back to town for a meeting, I should just head to town and shop for clothes that fit.  I was giddy; while he rarely fusses about my shopping sprees, it’s even rarer for him to send me forth to spend money on clothes. 

Old Navy Get Ruffled Look

HA!  Maybe he knew that just as I had found Saturday at Old Navy, I wouldn’t even know what sizes to take to the dressing room.  No, I’m not having body image issues.  I know where I’m trim and where I could still lose a bit, and I’m no longer trying to try on sizes that are what I wore before I lost weight. 

And yet still…  I had shopping FAIL after FAIL yesterday.   What the size charts say I should wear and what kinda’ fits aren’t the same, in some cases, not by a long shot. 

Don’t even type the words “vanity sizing” in the comments.  I take no solace in the fact that I’ve skimmed similar plights on fashion blogs, even heard a story about vanity sizing on the news earlier this week.  Something about the standard for men’s sizing originating with the military and uniforms, so it is – hem – uniform, while we chickadees tended to make our own clothes or have them made for us for longer, or some such bunk.

The elusive jean capris - Talbot's style

This most certainly is NOT a slam at my dear friends who sew their own clothes.  They have skills I lack, skills I don’t have time or inclination to acquire at this point in my life.  I insist I should be able to find clothes that fit, and evidently, I’m not alone.

I also don’t want to hear that I just need to try different manufacturers/stores, one after another, until I find brands/lines that fit ME.  True that, but honestly, with another third of what I’ve already lost yet to go, I can’t afford to stock up on Lilly P for the warm season and there just aren’t that many stores in podunk with more than two of any given size in any given item, and if you’ve been reading along, you can see that ordering four of an item in assorted sizes from an online retailer isn’t exactly practical either!

I think I am going to give up and wear the two skirts and three dresses that fit until they’re thread-bare or otherwise unfit for public.  Losing weight and getting a new wardrobe was supposed to be fun.

End rant.

***edited to add…  I didn’t mean to avoid comments.  To my fellow WordPress users, scroll below the post text area and click on “discussion” and allow comments, or you might not have comments either. 

*** edit to the edit.  I’ve clicked.  I’ve updated.  I’ve previewed, and STILL WordPress won’t allow me to have comments.  Sigh.  I do care what you have to say, so hang on…

***edit x 3.  Why WordPress, WHY?!  I like comments.  I want comments.  I click “allow comments” over and over, clicking update and preview in between…

Shoe reports

I don’t have on-foot photos, but Thursday, I donned my Target plaid wedges for an evening out.  I stood the entire time, walked from my on-street parking spot to and from the house, and my only comment is I want another pair!

It’s a 4″ heel, although I think that counts  the significant platform across the front too.   That’s a full inch higher than I have ever  worn before, but it worked!   I’m seriously buying more Target wedges.

I wore them with a navy sheath (I think I need this in every color or at least the PANK) and a dark red 3/4 sleeve cardi.

Sunday, I wore my Dankso Sissy sandals all day.  VERY comfortable, and they too have a platform-like sole.  I’d like more of their sandals too, although I’m still no fan of ankle straps.  I think they looked plenty cute with the plaid skort I had on, but I think they’ll be my only ankle strap casual sandals this summer. 

Does that make sense?  They were very comfy, and I’ll wear them lots, but for instance yesterday I wore my red Clarks slides (no longer available) because I had my annual physical, and who wants to stand there and unbuckle and rebuckle her sandals?

Now, I need some Gretchen sandals.  I did find a pair of nearly PANK wedges, but as much as I love Lilly, I don’t see it happening.  Let me know if you find PANK wedges or shoes called “Gretchen” will you?

What are your warm-weather go-to shoes?

Easter at the Beach


Monster tulips at cousin's house

Sigh.  No, we didn’t head to the Outer Banks for the weekend, but we still got to see water and something that passes for a beach.  See, my cousin has a new home in Colonial Beach, and that’s where we did Easter dinner. 

Now, Colonial Beach isn’t new to me, but I confess that I’ve never had time to be a tourist there before yesterday.  Yesterday’s little drive made me very curious!  Alexander Graham Bell maintained a vacation home there and the Bell House is now a bed & breakfast.   The house has quite a history, having been built by the son of the Civil War General Ambrose. 


The town of Colonial Beach even has a little fire boat after the big marina fire.   It is the first fire boat I’ve seen in person.  Yeah, that is the wee police boat to its left, and there was a State Police boat elsewhere in the marina too.  I suspect before long, those boats will be in the water!

Did you do anything special for Easter? 

Oh – and be sure to visit the girls’ blog for a fun Easter photo.

Green Day!

Happy Earth Day!   We’re quick to admit that we don’t “do green” as well as we could, but we’re working on it.   It helps to have the Blue Ridge Eco Shop close by, with a fellow Leaguer at the helm.

Instead of dwelling on the areas where there is room for improvement, I’m going to share a few “green” things I do pretty well.

  • Bamboo.  It’s a great renewable resource, and I use it in the kitchen, for entertaining, and for knitting.  (Note to the Easter Bunny – I’d love this bamboo compost pail.  Just call BRE…)
  • Re-usable shopping bags.  I have several for the grocery store, but my favorites came from specialty shops.  I even keep one in my handbag, in its own little pouch.
  • When we do get plastic or paper bags from a store, we re-use those too.
  • The dogs eat better than we do.  Sissy’s allergies demand limited ingredient, high-quality foods and treats, so no pesticides or by-products here!
  • They also like Planet Dog toys and treats, which are very earth-friendly.  
  • Compost and recycle.   Right now, my composting is very basic, but I aspire to a better system.  We’re also trying to figure out if we can still recycle plastic beverage bottles after the dogs crush them and preformate them in their current favorite toy.  (Can’t find it online…  I’ll have to confirm name and brand…  I know it’s brand new, coming straight from a trade show to Sissy’s mouth…)

How green are you?  What tips you do have for our pack?


Sissy-bunny, Easter 2010

If you’re celebrating Easter or Passover, we wish you peace and a meaningful moment or two with family and friends.

Daddy Would be Proud…

Happy Dogs on Thursday, little friday and Thankful Thursday!  The fur-girls have been at work with me this week, so be sure to catch more cute dogs at work photos on their blog


Only those of you who knew my father personally will know that his life revolved around what we know as Classic Coke and sweet – REALLY SWEET – tea.  One of the guys at work had a cool, metal bottle that Sissy was fascinated with, so of course, when he finished drinking the contents, the bottle was handed over. 


She isn’t REALLY chewing on it… while I didn’t get photos, what she mostly does it bat the bottle around, soccer style.

April 2011 006

Likewise, I don’t have any cute photos of Gretchen playing fetch, so just enjoy this attacking the bunny photo from earlier in the week.

My Thankful Thursday bit is having the girls at work with me.  They’ve matured just enough to truly be delightful.  They come in, greet everyone, and then settle down until they need a walk, then the settle back down until one/some of the guys wander in the office.  They’re still a little too excited by visitors, but that’s the whole point of this… we’re working on it.

What are you thankful for today?

Early Easter

A little Easter goodness arrived in The Woods earlier this week.

April 2011 003Of course, The Woods Customs Officials were on the job.   Yes, this is how we open packages at our house.  They’re quite certain that every parcel must have something for them within, and there are certain households whose scents they seem to recognize, and they get even more exicted! 

Yes, this was one of those households…  gMarie and Beauregard James (and the rest of that pack) are great about sending something for everyone, and this box was no exception.

April 2011 007Beau sent the pink bunny for the fur-girls, and they knew it!  However, the poor boy is still just hoping the Easter Bunny brings him a big, soft, stuffie bunny to love to pieces, so if you’re so inclined, pop over and plead his case with his Mama! 

Sis was trying hard to find the squeaky, but there wasn’t one.  Don’t worry…  Gretchen had a turn playing with the bunny too!

April 2011 010There were even Starburst Jellybeans for the Knight, which are one of his favorite varieties.  He discovered the Sweetart brand this year, and those are his most favorite at the moment.  I don’t care much for the plasticy wads of sugar, but different strokes for different folks, right? 

As you can see, the Easter Bunny knows I’d rather have yarn.  Yummy!  There was even more goodness in there, and we thank you, Beau and the Easter Bunny from the bottom of our hearts, G.

April 2011 012However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the latest love of my snack-life…   Orville Redenbacher’s Natural Lime + Salt popcorn.   Melt.  It’s not exactly Weight Watchers friendly at 6 points per serving, but luckily, I was busy yesterday at work and had points to spare on a luxurious afternoon snack.  I can assure you that this will pass for dinner once in a while!

As with the precious Lilly P animal crackers, I can’t find this in podunk, but I’m going to keep looking. 

I do feel a little guilty that I didn’t even get Easter cards out this year, so, um…  Happy Easter, y’all!   Do you celebrate Easter?  If so, what’s your favorite treat?

I’m still trying to convince the Knight that jewelry fits in eggs quite nicely.

Knitting Dusk

Ironically, I somehow started typing “Knitting Su…”  I can only assume “sucks” was coming out of my brain/fingers.  Crazy!!

After quite a long hiatus, we have a finished object.  May I present the Dusk Cotton Hat!


That’s the only photo you get because the hat is going to a chemo patient, and while I love having Sissy and flower pots model most things, I don’t play around with gifts for those with compromised immune systems.  In prayer shawl fashion, I knitted as much peace, hope and good wishes into that hat as possible.

Pattern:  Short-Rows Wavy Hat (non-Ravelry link so all can see) is knitted flat (note the kitchener ridge on the far left in my photo).   Normally, I avoid seams like the plague, but I loved this textured pattern and wanted to give it a try.  It was an easy to memorize pattern that traveled well.

Yarn:  I am in love with Universal Cotton Supreme.  It is so soft, and knitted flat on larger needles, it didn’t bother my hands at all.  The colorway was called Dusk.  I have a few more skeins of this in my stash, and believe me, it’s going to be the first cotton I reach for. 

Needles:  The flat part was knitted on #9s.  The tippy-top was finished off with #8 dpns.

Verdict:  I’d like to do this in a self-striping yarn.  It’s a GREAT little pattern… so great that the very long 30-some stitch kitchener didn’t upset me.

January 2011 009I’m still picking up the Argosy baby blanket.  It’s well past halfway, but it’s tedious.  I need to finish it by mid-May so I can give it to the mama before the baby goes to pre-school next time I see her.   Since I now know it’s a girl, I’ll be adding a pretty PANK single-crochet border and embroidering the same PANK flowers on some of the squares. 

Maybe.  Time is of the essence.  Hem.  Luckily, crochet is fast.

I’m getting ready to finish a garter scarf, and then I’m going to test knit some socks for gMarie so she’ll formally write up the pattern for the whole world to enjoy.  I’m not sure who is motivating whom here, but that’s where the phrase mutually beneficial comes from, no?

What are you working on?  Don’t tell me you don’t knit.  Most of you read, bake, sew or SOMETHING!!

Oh – and all yarn in these photos came from Dog House Yarns & More.   Yes, I am affiliated with said store, so let me know when you’re going to be there.

Fashionably Sweet

No dreary Mondays allowed this week!  It’s National Animal Crackers Day – and in the US, your last chance to either file an extension or get your Federal taxes submitted on time.   You can also check the girls’ blog for a last minute entry in a fun doggy contest!

Lilly P special edition animal crackers

 And seriously?  If you see these Lilly P special edition boxes, let me know!  Lilly doesn’t even know where the boxes are landing, so if you find them, please chart the location on their tracking map.   That way, all of us perhaps in need of therapy in search of them can find ’em too!  (They’ve been spotted in my county…  So exciting!)

I didn’t get to hunt for the Lilly P. boxes over the weekend.  We’re fine.  There was some damage from the storms to the west of us, including two lives lost because of flash flooding.  Folks, PLEASE remember that if it’s moving fast, even a few inches of water can be deadly!! 

Do note I didn’t say a thing about the Sissy shoes search being impacted by the weather.  Hem.  It’s a wonderful thing when one knows she ALWAYS wears a certain size in Dansko shoes.  With a Googled coupon code, I got them for around $64 from Sierra Trading Post, including shipping.  

How was your weekend?