I Stream…

No, that’s not a typo.  Any of you who have exchanged more than pleasantries with me probably have realized that I have a rather stream of consciousness style of writing, thinking and conversing. 

photo.JPGHere’s the unvarnished truth.  One of the fur-girls needed to patrol the perimeter in the wee hours of the morning.  I obliged.  They came back in – why yes, only one awakened me but they’re a dynamic duo – and were fast asleep before I settled in.  Three hours later, my mind finally let go and let me sleep for a bit…

… and I was late to work because I over-slept.  I’m not at all sure that dry shampoo stuff works, and it gummed up my hairbrush.  Has anyone else tried it?  (But my hair looked nice last night.  Thanks rain and humidity, for respecting the need for good meeting hair.) 

Anyway, I lack the ability to be cohesive today, so you get the whole jumble of thoughts tumbling around in my sleep-deprived, not such a good hair day head.

Happy birthday, Grace!!   You’re but one of the women I’ll have with me in spirit when I hit the Fall Fiber Festival this weekend.   I’m looking forward to hanging out with Amy on Sunday, having a cider donut, doing some stash enhancing and some gift shopping.  You know… souveniers for some friends who couldn’t join me? 

Let me know if you’re going to be there Sunday too.  I have no idea what I’ll be wearing and if you haven’t seen me in the last couple of months…  I hope you’ll recognize me.  My hair is lighter and so am I.  Maybe I’ll get photos up one of these days, but don’t hold your breath.  I don’t mean to be hard to get along with…  it just goes against my nature to say, “Take a picture of me, will you?!”  I’m too busy hugging, giggling, and letting my stream of consciousness spill all over the place to let you know what I look like these days…

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Waistband inside out... before it was tacked down

More streaming.  Lanesplitter (a knitted skirt) is done, but needs a bath and blocking.  I still have two insanely special, wonderful gifts I need to get photos of so you can ooh and ahhh over them too. 

Last night’s meeting was “the best ever”.  Those aren’t my words, but I heard them enough after the meeting that I believe it.  I get no credit at all; my powerpoint show was prepared by someone else and I simply presented on the historian’s behalf, and the bylaws changes were approved painlessly because I read from the script my dear friend, our stellar president, had prepared for me… with my “parts” highlighted in PANK.   The first meeting of the year really is like a homecoming.  We get to catch up, there’s much hugging, and it’s truly a fun, happy evening.   I am truly blessed to be a part of such a dynamic, powerful group of women, and it is a real honor to be part of the leadership team.

What’s on your weekend agenda?

Purple Cheetah Eater

Happy Thorsday, little friday, first general membership meeting of the JL year, thankful thursday and more!  The girls have their own post up already, and are looking for some feedback on how you handle visitors at your house… 

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Those cuties are the fur-girls’ pressies from Baltimore.  Digital Cheetah is our website designer, and they always have cute stuffies for us to take home.   I’ve never taken one, so I didn’t feel guilty about taking two this time. 

September 2011 008Of course, the purple one was for Sis.  Yes, it’s smaller than the other, but ironically, the girls found the tan one in my bag and Gretchen is the one I caught with it, sitting in the middle of our bed! 

Then, as you can see here, Sis went right for the purple one when I set both of them out for the photo session.   So much for the theory that dogs are color blind.  Mine routinely seek out purple/blues (Sissy) and PANK (Gretchen)!

September 2011 007Do note the slime layer atop Gretchen’s head.  Poor gal.  She’s just the right height to serve as Sissy’s napkin too often, and it annoys her to no end. 

As for Thankful Thursday, well… the sun is shining.  The sky is blue.  I have a fabulous husband and these adogable pups to come home to day after day. 

But what I’m really thankful for today is another League year.  It’s our 30th anniversary as a Junior League, and I’ve never been prouder to be affiliated with this organization.  We have 80 energetic new members, a few transfers in to broaden our horizons too, and well over 200 of our other members chose to renew their memberships as well.  Can’t wait for tonight’s meeting!!

What are you looking forward to today?


MJ is big on pressies, also known as sweet little souveniers.  Why yes, I am rather spoiled!

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That’s the new Vera wristlet in Rhythm & Blues.  My iPhone does fit, as you can see.   I do like that I can actually clip that strap AROUND things – like in a grocery cart, into a larger tote, etc. – because that’s one thing I don’t love about the Spartina wristlet; the leather loop is fixed, and while it can be removed, that’s about it!  After I’ve used this wristlet for a while, I’ll compare and contrast and let you know which one wins the long-term use prize.

September 2011 009I love this little hillbilly hound MJ brought back for the Knight.  I’m quite sure this is the kind of boy Sissy would bring home if she had such options…

Why yes, he does have his foot on a jug.  Given where they were vacationing, my guess is that it’s either moonshine or whiskey.  Hem.  Leave it Sissy, LEAVE IT!  

Do you snag little pressies for the folks back home when you travel?  I try to…  I’ll share the girls’ gifts from Baltimore tomorrow.  The Knight?  Well, I copped out there.  The host League generally does a welcome “swag bag”, and this one included a pecan nougut roll.  Since neither the president nor I care for such…  hem.  The Knight was happy enough, and since AJLI doesn’t have hubby gifts in their boutique, what’s a girl to do!?


Over the weather

No, I’m not ill.  I’m just totally over all of this rain.  We did have a few minutes of sunshine yesterday, but in general, it’s been cloudy and/or raining for most of the past week.


Fall OBX 2009

I think we all just need beach time.  In the past, I’ve said that a rainy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at work.  That’s generally true, but what I’d really like is a few sunny, warm days at the beach.

No, we aren’t heading down there this weekend, but thanks for asking.  Soon though… it won’t be as long as it has been.

Thanks for reading my pout out loud.  I know I’m not the only one ready for the sun!


Photo courtesy of Edmunds

So… Thursday night, I headed out of town to a conference.   My trusty, beloved car decided to have issues, so on the outskirts of town, I had to turn around, head home, and then the Knight drove me to the airport to get a rental car.  He selected a Ford Focus for me, since we were operating on the League’s dime.  I admired his fiscal awareness, but was NOT amused.

Mea culpa – both to the Knight and to Ford.  No, I wasn’t so taken with the little red ride that I’m ready to downsize, but I can say it definitely exceeded my expectations.  

  • It was roomier than I thought a “compact” would be.
  • The firm, flat, vinyl seats weren’t too uncomfortable — and were heated! 
  • It handled well.
  • The sound system was greatly appreciated on the ride up – when I was alone.
  • I’m still shocked that ANY fuel tank can be filled (albeit from about 3/4 of a tank?) for $35, and that’s all I used for the whole trip.

I also have to give a shout-out to the local Avis place at the airport.  Both women I spoke with were pleasant, the rates were more than fair, and frankly, I was shocked the Knight found a rental car in podunk, even at the airport, after 9pm.  Customer service is not dead after all!

How was your weekend?  Did you have any pleasant surprises?  I’ll tell you more about the rest of my trip another day…



Winter Already?!

I’m still working on a fall wardrobe and Vera Bradley has gone straight to winter.  I suppose in reality, that’s helpful, because while I strive to not be stuffy and outdated, I’m hardly a fashionista.  I don’t know too much about what’s hot for fall or winter, so Vera’s season-ahead releases give me a hint…

Unlike a lot of yarn companies who don’t seem to get how critical it is to my silly spender mind, Vera seems to have a great team working on the NAMES of the new patterns.  Go, Vera!!  That’s but a small part of why you’re a lasting classic.

Note:  All four color swatch images are from Inside Stitch.

Floral Nightingale.  Vera always takes care of you passionate for purple people – and DIVA dogs, Sissy.   It’s not my favorite, but it’s not objectionable either. 

What say you, bird watchers?  A lot of artistic license with the nightingale, eh?  I think it’s the violet I don’t like, because I love navy and gray.  

Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be a favorite for many…

If that was for Sissy, Tea Garden is for Gretchen.   Love those PANK hues, and yes, this is the new breast cancer color from Vera.  I’m not sure about it…  yet again, I seem to prefer the coordinating pattern over the main one.  Dunno.  One of the fun things about Vera colors is they always look different in person and in the different styles and products.

Suzani is a bit bold for me.   I like most of the colors as individuals, but the combined impact is overwhelming for me.  I’m betting a couple of you love it though…  I’m not going to call anyone out, but I have in mind someone who loves jewel tones and another of you who prefers a lively pattern in a bag…

And note, I didn’t say a darned thing about the orange setting me off.  How ’bout that?! 

Last but definitely not least is Rhythm & Blues.  It has called to me from the first second I saw it.  Okay, okay…  I’ll admit that I’m generally quick to bash Vera for releasing a color too similar to something from the past, and there are probably no fewer than a dozen colorways from the past that are very close kin to R&B. 

Sue me.  I like what I like, and I love me some blue and green.   It says water and woods, two of my favorite places on earth.  Heck, even my own eyes can’t choose to be blue or green, but have a ring of each.  Grass and sky…

Not that I am in the market for more Vera.  I’m not.  Well, unless I get a headwarmer… 

What speaks to you?  Are these colors on trend?

And what’s up for the weekend?  I have a full one ahead, but more on that later!

Dog Tired


Happy Thorsday to you!  The fur girls have been coming to work with us all week, and last Friday too.  Whew.  This working girl routine wears both of them out, but it’s also great for me…  It’s a great stress-buster to go walk the dogs, and Gretchen has a special knack for knowing when I need a little distraction in the name of fetch.

Before I get lost in the joys of having the girls at work, pop over and read Gretchen’s little post on Moos.  Walking with them is never dull!!

photo.JPGGretchen really is a pampered little princess.  What a hoot!  No, no one staged that photo or urged her to pose on the pillow; she just doesn’t like to rest upon bare anything.  She requires a blanket or a lap vs. the leather sofa at home, and if you REALLY want to tick her off, as her to sit on a bare floor…

Thankful Thursday is easy.  I’m so thankful for the love and joy these two dogs bring to our lives.  It’s an honor to care for them, and it’s delightful to watch them continue to evolve as they mature. 

And no…  Gretchen doesn’t SLEEP at work.  Sissy does, but Gretchen is afraid she’ll miss something.  She does conk out when we get home, after the walk of course!!

What are you thankful for today?

Summer bags wrap-up

As is so often the case, I’ve tried out quite a few bags in the last few months.  Now that I’ve lived with them for a while, I thought I’d report back.


(Not my pattern, but pretty!)

The Spartina won the “constant companion” spot.  Whoda’ thunkit’?!  It’s the smallest of the batch, and yet, it perfectly holds my trusty iPhone, lip stuff, all the shouldn’t be without ’em cards, cash and a few coins, with room left over to stow my car fob when necessary.

I had to make one lifestyle modification for this to work, and the Knight gets a HUGE assist.  We switched from carrying all those key cards for all those stores to an iPhone app called Key Ring.  I’m sure it annoys some cashiers, because sometimes the bar codes scan, and sometimes, they have to key in my number manually.  Sorry, but I suppose the same could happen with their corporate-issued cards, right?

July 2011 001Winner of the tried & true category is the Seacoast Baby tote.  Sadly, it’s very summery, so it’s been retired already and I haven’t found its perfect replacement yet.  I could have another made by the same crafter, but honestly, I haven’t had time to track her down and see if that really is an option.

Not a single modification was required for this successful union.  It happily stored my Spartina wristlet and the larger runner up below, along with my sunglasses, Sissy’s emergency kit, and a few other odds and ends!

Mine is tan...

First runner up is definitely the Tignanello wallet.  It would have been a bulky winner if I hadn’t been given the Spartina, which did the same thing, only in a wristlet rather than as a very awkward crossbody. 

I love the pebble leather, but my iPhone didn’t fit into that pocket you see without a fight, and the snap wouldn’t always stay snapped.  The big drawback was that it is really an accordian style wallet in a zip-around suit, with a really ugly, stiff, unadjustable but removable long strap.  However, if you always need a checkbook with you, I still heartily recommend this item…

I sincerely thank Ruth, Grace, Nichole and gMarie for their thoughtful gifts.   I am no longer a big bag lady, and my back thanks you for that!

Of course, I want to know what you’re carrying for fall too…


Some of you know I love words.  I enjoy learning the origins of a word, and in these parts, far more time than I care to admit has been passed seeing who can articulate the difference between p-e-n and p-i-n.  I hear they’re NOT really homophones, and had Mrs. Dent not spent three hours on diction and pronunciation in junior high, I wouldn’t be able to even pretend I know better, much less attempt to pull off making them SOUND different at all.

Anyway, a few email exchanges over the last few weeks led to this post.   I feel I should lead off with a disclaimer of sorts… after all, any dork from Central Virginia whose mouth cannot pronounce pen and pin differently enough for her ears to hear it, without sounding like a she’s drunk AND talking in slow motion is no expert on what to call what or when.  So, weigh in, correct me, and let’s enjoy seeing how where we live – and have lived – and maybe even the “when” part of life – influence our choice of words!

What I have in mind when I say "jumper"

Jumper, the fashion version.   When I use it, I mean the skirted thing.  However, I also realize that my Brit-like friends immediately see what I call a pullover


Hoodie.  Heck, I don’t even know if I’m spelling that one right, but I mean any sweatshirt or sweater with a hood.  In my wardrobe, it’s most often a sweatshirt, pullover or zippered.

Yoga pants

Yoga pants.  Again, I’m not sure what the rest of the world means, but I use those words to mean any straight legged to boot-cut, probably mid-calf to ankle length knit pants, to be worn by yours truly around the house, to walk the dogs and/or to work out.

Now… there are also words I don’t use consistently.  What do you call Pepsi, Coke, Dr. Pepper, etc?  I generally order a “diet”, so…  I don’t use soda or pop much at all. 

What do you call athletic shoes?  I played tennis, basketball, ran track, cross-country and now I walk, so as above…  I state what I need.  I’ve heard people say “tennis shoes” when they’re wearing a running-style shoe… what do you say?

Feel free to add to the list.  Are there words or terms that you feel are specific to a particular region or country?  For instance, if you see/hear me use Kiwi, I mean my New Zealand relatives, not that hair fruit that too often tastes like dirt for me to like it…

When housebound…

… learn a new knitting technique.

October 2010 018My weekend went NOTHING like the plan.  In the last hours of Friday, I came down with a stomach virus, so no retreat for me.  In fact, I didn’t leave the house  – except to walk the dogs, because, well…  Sissy is persuasive – until last night. 

I FROZE on our Saturday morning walk.  I bundled up, complete with a knitted hat, and still, my ears were cold.  So when I got back to the house, a braincell fired, and I remembered I wanted to learn to double knit. 

**Note:  Hat works better when I pull it down over my ears and let the extra “height” collapse against the back of my head.  It’s never going to be my favorite hat though.

I happened to have a double knit headband in my Ravelry queue, so I grabbed two washable wool blends from my stash and cast on.

September 2011 003

Main color side

Project:  Double Knit #1

Pattern:  Simple Double Knit Headband is a great introduction to double knitting.  It’s very straight-forward and yields a truly functional headband.

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Contrast color side

Yarn:  Main color – Lion Brand Wool-Ease in natural heather.  Contrast color – Valley Yarns Sugarloaf in blue-green.  Again, I will be using this regularly on walks to keep my delicate ears warm, so it’s machine washable.  I also wanted two yarns with serious contrast for my first project.

Needles:  Addi Clicks, #6, 24″ cord.  Note to self:  Order the longer and shorter cords already!  I do plan to size down to #5 for the next one.

September 2011 007Verdict:   It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for who it’s for – me!  I do need to work on even tension, and I’d like to ask those with double knitting experience, do you hold both yarns in the same hand and just pick accordingly or do you run one color through one hand and the other, through the other hand – as with color work?

And no, there is no photo of me wearing it.   The Knight wasn’t home when I was doing photos and I’m not very good at self portraits!

How was your weekend?