All Rev’d up…

… and not sure where to go.  (Please.  Cue the Meatloaf! WARNING – not necessarily meant for little ears.)  There’s music that never fails to energize me, and that entire album does it… even the slow, sad songs.  It reminds me of college and three exceptionally dear girlfriends (two of whom I’m still in touch with)… and so much more.

March 2012 001

Baby sock bounty from gMarie

But I digress – as usual.  The title really speaks to something I’ve been working on in my analysis paralysis fashion for over a year.  See…  Chanknits just isn’t me anymore.  Chan is still a knitter, even a very part-time knitting instructor, but it in no way speaks to who I really am.  Just typing my blog address makes me feel guilty because I haven’t knitted in well over a week, and all those babies await handknits!  (Never mind that only one has arrived, and he got two hats and a pair of the generous gMarie‘s baby socks…)

So, I’ve been fiddling around with potential blog names, blog hosts, and I was all set to move, maybe even today…

And then Blogger happened.  See…  I was going to move back to Blogger because WordPress is being mean to some of my friends.  Seems if you’ve EVER had a WP account, they intend to MAKE YOU leave a comment under that identity, whether it is relevant, whether you remember your name or password or not.  Likewise, at least one of those gal-pals has done similar battle with OpenID.  Her email is linked to an account for which she no longer remembers… anything, so she can’t reset her password because she can’t remember her OpenID … ID.

All of that made Blogger look good, along with the little line they’ve slapped at the bottom of the trial blog I created long ago that says all content belongs to me.  Then yesterday, another friend pointed out a proprietary problem she and Google+ are having.  Pause and insert cause for concern.  Then this morning, I’ve been unable to leave comments on SOME Blogspot (aka: Blogger) blogs.  I get an error code and told to copy said code and go to some user’s group… no thanks. 

The point of all this is I guess that leaves Typepad.  I think they have a free version, but I’ve been advised to explore their … for hire version.  It gripes me to pay for something I could get for free, but at this point, I’m so tired of Blogger and WordPress doing crazy bunk without warning and of not being able to comment or receive comments…

Stay tuned.  Maybe I’ll have a new place soon… maybe I won’t.  All input is appreciated.

What’s up for your weekend?

Totes on Thorsday

March 2012 003Never fear, fans of Dogs on Thursday… Gretchen posed in many of the photos for this post.  Also, you can click over to their blog for more dog photos and my findings on something called Dudley nose, or why Sissy’s nose isn’t as dark as it used to be.

So, happy Thorsday, little friday, Thankful Thursday and … anything else we might celebrate today.

Last month, a friend had a Thirty-One party.  I couldn’t attend, but ordered online with her “show”.   I settled on a Metro Retro bag (link is to another blogger’s review, as 31 doesn’t seem to want to show their products except in the online catalog, which I find difficult to navigate) in a very dark (read: black?) denim.

March 2012 004

That’s “MR” on the right, with embroidery.  We haven’t bonded, despite her having my name “tattooed” across her front.  Why?  Let me count the ways.

  1.   Because she looks like she’s slept in her clothes for all of her life.  She’s very wrinkled and frumpy, and letting her “hang out” and try to relax in my home for about two weeks hasn’t helped.
  2. What was I thinking, putting my full name on a bag I originally intended to use as my “handbag” when I fly?!  I’ve had a bad experience (in New Orleans last year) when I was wearing a name tag and inadvertently gave a stranger too much power, simply by being able to act as though he knew me, because he knew my name.
  3. That tag?  It reads that the dark, unwashed fabric will stain my clothes.  Really 31?  Those long handles mean women will toss that bag over their shoulders.  Hrmph.
  4. No closure.  No magnet, no zipper… no way to secure the contents within from pickpockets, a bumpy flight that might jostle things around, etc.
  5. I now know I prefer, even DEMAND that my bags can sit up properly, not flop and sag all over itself.

Yes, I can say buyer’s remorse.   It’s hardly the first time, especially in bag world, but still.

March 2012 001

Cindy left, Metro Retro right

Now, there IS Cindy.  She’s on the left.  She has a synthetic leather-like bottom and handles, but her body is also that unwashed denim.   I’m still a little hesitant to travel with her, but maybe I’ll wear a jean jacket and not sweat it.  (That pun’s for you, Alison.)

Cindy is an even larger bag, but she’s more structured and has a zippered top.  Both have drop-in pockets for the cell phone, which is a must for me… but a source of serious concern in MR, due to the lack of any kind of closure across the top!

March 2012 002

I’m not sure the angle makes it clear, but Cindy is larger than my tote on the left, and large enough that I could just drop my whole beloved green handbag right in and still have room for my iPad and a notebook, with room for a cardigan on top.

You might have noticed I didn’t say I purchased Cindy.  She’s here on a trial basis.  Another friend attended another 31 party about the same time, and while Cindy was closer to what we both like in a bag, she’s pretty sure she’ll never actually use Cindy.  So, there’s my thankful…  I’m thankful for my incredible friends, especially the like-minded women I’ve met blogging!

What are you thankful for today?

6pm Volley

6pm Dansko Volley

Sometimes a deal’s too good to keep to yourself.  gMarie first introduced me to Dansko’s Volley maybe a year or so ago.   We’ve coveted and chatted about them for a while, but this morning, thanks to a GREAT deal, we both pulled the trigger.  I’d been bogged down with my analysis paralysis, trying to settle on on a color, but luckily only the navy was more than 50% off.  (Other colors are on sale though, including a cute floral print and many other Dansko styles are also marked way, way down.  Ebates members, don’t forget to log in through Ebates and get your 3.5% cash back just for bothering to click through and shop!)

Given the back pain I had all weekend after being on my feet on the concrete at Kids in the Kitchen, I’m feeling perfectly justified in adding another pair of Danskos to my feet fleet, especially since this pair is canvas and thus – in theory – more of a warm-weather shoe than the wool or leather pairs I already own.  Hem.  That’s my story anyway, should the Knight roll his eyes and say something smart…

Francesca's Tiny Dots Skirt

Likewise, the darling Blond Duck gets yet another gold star for alerting me to Francesca’s DARLING red tiny dots skirt.  I don’t know if you can see the dots, but trust me… they’re in there.  I can’t wait to sport it with my red flats and a white oxford now, and then with a white linen blouse and sandals in the summer, and then with my denim shirt and maybe my cream boots…

Oh!  And of course, a white tee and my denim cropped jacket and navy peep toed flats…  Or how ’bout with a 3/4 sleeve tee and my Volleys? 

Are they here yet?! 

Lookie…  I can shop online with girlfriends while sitting at work.  (I had typed “while working” but clearly that is open for debate.)  The internet is a wonderful thing!

February 2011 018

Mama's blister is thiiis big... or not

Now, I need a pair of flexible, for a high instep, trail running shoes.  New Balance quit making my tried and true WT 460s, and nothing their fit consultants have suggested makes me remotely happy.  I now have a blister the size of Gretchen’s paw (honest… for a change I’m not exaggerating… much) on my right heel and seriously took off my shoe for part of the walk back home yesterday, after cutting our route short because I was miserable. 

Don’t feel too sorry for me though.  My cute Nine West flats hit well below the massive blister and even its magic healing pad.  Plus, see above…  I’ve scored seriously cute wardrobe builders, AND am just plain having a fabulously happy day.  I hope you are too!


Christopher & Banks

I don’t know why, but I’ve had a thing for dots for a long while.   They seem to be en vogue this “summer” so I’m having a hard time not going nuts! 

There’s this versitile number from Christopher & Banks.  Why yes, it IS navy.  So what?!  I have a blue problem, but navy’s a great neutral… especially in the summer, right?  Especially in a summer when nautical things prevail?

My new rule for myself is that I have to be able to create at least 3 looks with an item before I even put it in an online cart, much less click “buy”.  I can see this with a white tee and sandals, or my sequin tee and silver sandals for a little glamor, or a red tee and shoes for Flag Day, 4th of July, or anytime – see that nautical thing going on this summer?  But it would also be happy with my green oxford, my coral cardi… 

Coldwater Creek

Why yes, this might be navy and have dashes instead of dots, but let’s not get hung up on the details.   It wants to live at my house and trot out with my tan capris, my white jeans, or my chambray skirt. 

Clearly, I don’t have quite as strong of a case for this blouse, so it’s not even in a cart, even though it meets the three rule… just barely.  Now, if I could find a kickin’ coral or red mini-skirt… 

Land's End

Not all dots are navy, not even in my world.  How ’bout this toffee number?  It would be happy with a red cardi and red flats now, or the white cropped cardi and brown sandals in the heat of summer, or even a jean jacket and boots into the fall.   Problem is, I already have a great brown dress!  Guess this one is not coming to live in the woods.

I’m still looking for red dots, probably in a blouse.  You know… very much like the Dashing blouse above, only in a nice, true red?  Has anyone seen such?  I love this NorthStyle red bandana top, but I’m looking for something more tailored…

How do you feel about dots?

Hey Bud!

I just love the JLC.   Due to a different set of statistics, I can’t for sure say we had more people attend Kids in the Kitchen than last year, but it seems likely.  Just the same, it’s always inspiring to be there and see what our newest members do each year with “their” signature event.  

The fun run was rained out.  Boo!!  But the event coordinators improvised, and the awesome UVA student athletes held court in the “small gym” (not to be confused with the proper gymnasium), entertaining and exercising the little visitors anyway.  I really enjoyed watching a very young lady in a princess “gown” play kickball…

Why do I love the League so?  Because it’s full of talented, inspiring women who want to make a difference.   Because I love starting a conversation with an incoming leader, only to find out what I hoped I might ask her to look into is already on her radar, in a bigger, better fashion than I had dared to dream.  Because together, we can affect change in our communities and even the world at large…


Transition season in the League is underway, and evidently, Mother Nature loves the JLC too.  The fields are getting green, the trees are in bloom and…  my apologies to the allergy sufferers, but it sure is a beautiful time to walk in the woods!  Within a few days, those white buds-in-transition will be the same pretty dogwood that graces the JLC logo.  Pity we can’t keep the flowers longer, but the green leaves will be pretty too.

In other news, we had another noteworthy aftershock (3.1) last night.  At least we then knew why Gretchen had been just short of a neurotic mess for over an hour.   Once it ended, I was able to settle her down very quickly and then, we called it a night.  I have to tell you…  I’m not a fan of the vibrating earth.

How was your weekend?

Come See Me!

I’m taking a quick break from all of my “welcome new leaders!” stuff with the League to invite all the locals to come to our Kids in the Kitchen event tomorrow.  More information HERE

Since most of you aren’t local, click HERE to find a Kids in the Kitchen event in your area.

Remembering to Remember

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday.  The girls have a very special post up today; Gretchen in particular is honored to host the FiveSibes blog tour. 

Now… we’re always up for supporting our doggy bloggy friends or any good cause, but canine epilepsy has touched my life too.  When I was ten, I awoke one Sunday morning to my cocker spanial in the throes of a grand mal seizure.   Thankfully, my father had been a medic and my mother, a pediatric nurse, so they quickly managed the crisis and we were soon at our vet’s, even though they didn’t offer Sunday or emergency hours.  Hem. 

Sadly, our aged pet’s body wasn’t up for a big fight and given that the story is set in 1980, medicine – human and pet – hadn’t made all the strides it has today.  She lived in relative comfort for a few more months, and I learned about hospice first-hand; my parents and I were both there when the end came. 

Gulp… moving on…

December 2011 018

Gretchen, the thinker...

Gretchen also hinted that I might explain today why we made the change from Dogs on Thursday to Thorsday when the great gentledog giant crossed the bridge, and I think that’s a fabulous idea.  Given that I’m still a little wrapped up in Nevernever and many of the twists on faerie lore within, I’m going to paraphrase something I read in one of those books.

There’s a notion that Puck (yes, from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream) and the Wolf (we know him as the Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and more) and other immortal residents of Nevernever (or Faerie, or whatever you might know it as) live on because we keep talking about them.  When they fall from popular conversation, they begin to fade and when they cease to exist in pop culture, they … cease to exist.

Now, being a fan of Shakespeare and fantasy and faeries, I’m pretty sure that isn’t a new concept, but this is the first time I’ve really “chewed” on that concept.  I certainly didn’t have any such deep philosophy in mind when I was moved to rename Dogs on Thursday as Thorsday; it just seemed obvious.  (In case not everyone is a little obsessed with myths and trivia, Thor is a god of yore and Thursday is indeed named after him.)  Never mind that all of this also happened around the time that Dogs on Thursday languished.  (Disclaimer:  I am also a former administrator of DoT.  There just aren’t enough hours in a day, and I mean no disrespect at all.)

January 2012 007

Sissy the Serious?

So, there you have it.  I’ll likely blog about dogs on Thursdays for as long as I blog, and given the Thor/Thursday thing, it is forever Thorsday for me.   I know Thor is gentledog enough that he shares his remembrance day with my own Fred, Mugsy, Soot, Mopsy (the seizure-sufferer), Stinger… and all of the other dogs dear to me and to you whom have crossed the bridge already.

Thankful Thursday?  I’m thankful for books and friends who make me think.   I did major in philosophy, but I’ve been fascinated by myths since elementary school.  (I seriously wish I had a photo of 4th grade Athena at Halloween for you…)  I love stumbling across things that make me go “hmmm…” in unexpected places, although I shouldn’t be surprised anymore than I find powerful themes in Harry Potter or evidently, even in a Harlequin Teen series.

What has left you thinking lately?

Do you know Mio?

Courtesy of Walgreens

From time to time, I ponder sharing products I love with you.  I always get busy and/or distracted.  However today, I’m going to introduce you to Mio.  (Small rant…  if products want bloggers and such to share them with friends, maybe they shouldn’t use Flashplayer and fix it so one can’t pull an image from their website… hem.)

I’ve now used several of the flavors, including the two teas and the Green Thunder energy variety.  You control how strong the flavor is by how much you squeeze into your water, and I tend to squeeze lightly and quickly into a very large glass of water. 

I like water just fine, but sometimes I want something with a little flavor to it without drinking tea or a soda.  For some reason, my system reacts badly to a no-calorie crystalized beverage enhancer a lot of people use, so I’m grateful that the Knight found Mio and insisted I should give it a whirl.  It’s increased my liquid intake by at least 24 oz. per day, and I no longer have that dehydrated on the weekends thing going on.

Part of my problem is I’m really water-picky.  I cannot STAND chlorinated, “city” water.  We’re on a well, but out in public, I always order lemon with my water to try to offset that chlorine and/or metallic taste.  No more; Mio is portable!

(No, I wasn’t compensated in any way for this post.  I’ll also note that I’ve never felt the tiniest bit energized after using the Green Thunder formula, but again… small squeeze, big glass…)

Do you drink enough water?

Is less more?

March 2012 004Happy first day of spring!  (My apologies to those with allergies who are now muttering and swearing…)

I’m going to jump right in on the subject of today’s post.  Now, this isn’t about downsizing or a minimalist attitude…  It’s about over-marketing…  I think.

Long-time readers know I look forward to the release of the new Vera Bradley patterns.   Seasoned Vera fans will remember when that only happened a couple of times a year, with maybe only a couple of new prints, depending on how many older prints were being retired.  However, these days, Vera rolls out four new “signature” prints every season, not counting any limited edition collections they might toss in there too.

I think Vera has gotten carried away with herself.  All of the patterns are starting to remind me of former patterns, and honestly, I think they missed the boat with their colors for “summer”.  Where’s the tangerine?  PANK?  Nautical feel? 

Courtesy of Inside Stitch

Lime’s Up.  Now… if you know me “in real life” you probably know I adore lime, both as a flavor and as a color.  So it breaks my heart to give this color/pattern a big ol’ raspberry. 

I will be watching for anything done in the secondary pattern…  I like that much, MUCH better than the attempted wood block stamped flower stuff all over the primary pattern.   Ironic, since I enjoy stamping as a craft, but evidently, not as a technique on a potential handbag.

Courtesy of Inside Stitch

Priscilla Pink.  Nearly PANK, so you’d think I’d love it, right?  Wrong.  Nope…  Something about this combo just leaves me flat.   

Now, to be fair, my inner preppy likes the hue pairings just fine, so maybe the splash of greens and whites in there will grow on me.   But just as with the pattern above, it’s hardly fresh.  Vera has done so much with pink and green and blue/green/yellow so if they’re going to stick with those tried and true combos, they really have to get creative and make sure they’re fresh. 


Courtesy of Inside Stitch

Summer Cottage is actually my favorite of the new offerings.  The contrast fabric does have that navy ‘n white nautical thing, right?  But as with the other fabrics this season, it reminds me of another Vera pattern, one of my all-time favorites, Hope Garden (scroll on down to Spring ’09).  I do love the very clearly identifiable daisies!

And yet… it’s too floral for me.  Fickle creature, am I?  Maybe.  But I know that while I like the print, I wouldn’t want it as my handbag.  A glasses case or something maybe, but not as the “show the world” fabric on my shoulder.


Courtesy of Inside Stitch

Doodle Daisy is more of the same.  More blues and greens, but somehow, it IS that fresher approach that makes me not grumpy about it.   I’m pretty sure I won’t rush out and buy it either, but I give the Vera team props for this one.

Before you tsk, tsk me and call me two-faced, I *DO* realize that most of my warm-weather wardrobe is blue and/or green.  I have already noted on this blog that I can’t seem to stop buying blue Lilly P dresses, even though I admire their splashes of color in many, many hues.    However, I do hold international industries to a different standard…  They need to think about more than what I have in my closet and what looks great with my eyes and my ever-blonder hair.  (Hem.  Don’t judge.  I’ve embraced a line a friend shared and I’m not going grey; I’m returning to the blonde of my childhood.)

So, Vera fan or not, weigh in.  What do you think of these patterns?  I *DO* think there are some great baby bag options there for the 147 friends of mine with a wee one on the way.

And how do you feel about what’s feeling like too much, too often from Vera?  It’s odd, because with Lilly P, I love that they roll out a new, few patterns every couple of days (or so it feels), and I pout when a new fabric I adore doesn’t come in an item I’d wear.   But then, I change outfits at least daily (usually a few times per day… nightie to work, work to workout, workout to evening meeting…) and believe it or not folks, I’ve been carrying the same bag for several months now. 

What say you?

World Cancer Day?

Several blogs I follow have sported this powerful badge today.

I can’t find the origins, and THIS website says the date was last month.  Whatever.  I don’t think we can talk enough about cancer, promote awareness, or fight for a cure.

I’m totally copying Sue’s spin on this post.

Gold – for Angel Princess Hope


Scope it Out 5k - find one near you!

Blue for my grandmother and aunt






May is HWC Month with Pampered Chef

Pink for a family friend fighting the fight, my sister’s friend and co-worker, friends who have fought the fight… and for my physician

Gosh, there are so many.  This is SO hard… there’s someone for nearly every ribbon…





Teal for the Knight’s aunt



MRM Fred Sit upSkin cancer, thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin’s large cell lymphoma…  The list really is unending and at this point, I fear I’ll accidentally omit someone important to me, like our own Fred and all the other sweet, sweet dogs this awful disease has taken from us…

So you see, it doesn’t matter that some big non-profit “celebrated” this day last month.  There’s never a wrong time to talk about cancer, to promote awareness, to mourn those taken from us, but don’t forget to celebrate the survivors.  As heart-breaking as the losses are, there are the celebrations of life for the conquerors.   One day, there will be more celebrations.