Saturday Scramble

Oh, the things we’ll do to avoid doing the taxes…

And yes, I realize I’ve put them off about as long as I dare.  Just as soon as I finish this post, I’ll go update the software, walk the dogs and then buckle down.  The taxes are just a symbol of how life is going right now.  If it isn’t on fire or otherwise an emergency, it isn’t getting my attention.

 The girls are peering up under the bridge across the little creek, and that’s a good image for how it goes in the woods of late.  I ran hurdles in high school track, and that’s how I’m managing things right now.  Eyes forward, leap while the brain is calculating when the next leap has to happen…

I do have a few things to report though, and for another photo of the girls in the water and an update on them, click here.

Firstly, coconut milk “creamer” doesn’t cut it.  I can do plain cream and an artificial sweetener or flavored syrup, but the vegan “creams” don’t come close.  I’d rather just do 2% milk and sweetener, to give you some idea?  I am drinking less coffee and more green tea though, so I figure my reduced consumption of “fake creamer” that way is perhaps win enough.

Relay Foods is my new friend.   There’s a pick-up location nearly every weekday that is close enough to on my way home that going to the grocery store is a thing of the past.  See above; I need time-savers and stress reducers, and I find the Knight’s turn down every aisle at strolling speed version of grocery shopping just about the most stressful thing EVER.

Do you Relay?  If so, please share your favorite finds.  Locally, they partner with Whole Foods, so I have a good idea of what’s available, but they also partner with local small businesses – like the tea source I didn’t have a clue about that I walk past regularly when I’m downtown.

1948054_10152302295495792_1403944811_nNext…  I’m pondering a return to nearly natural hair coloring.  I thought I wanted to go blonde instead of grey, but the most recent photos of me are too brassy, and I have a great colorist, use filtered water and quality hair products to wash…

Granted, I know I look awful in black and the lighting is horrible in this photo, but you get the idea.   Am I tilting at windmills?  Should I just use one of those cover the grey temporary colors that’s closer to my natural, medium-to-dark brown?

(And that cutie was Kids in the Kitchen vice chair.  She really is so petite that I am a few inches taller!  I’m looking forward to watching her develop as a JLC leader.  She’s smart, direct and a very hard worker… and always has that big smile on her face.)

Okay.  This isn’t taking care of the taxes or the dog walk.  How goes it in your part of the world?

 

 

Wahoo-wah!

Okay, so I *AM* a closet UVA fan, especially for basketball, and if you aren’t a college basketball fan, you might not know we’re having a banner year.   One lucky, expectant UVA friend will receive this FO (finished object) this week.

Oh — and UVA fans are Wahoos.  I’m really not sure why, but evidently, I’m not the only person in podunk who makes up words and then inserts them into her vocabulary.

UntitledProject: UVA Kickbag.  This is the second time I’ve done this pattern, and the third kickbag I’ve done.  One friend has already asked for a second bag for …B3 (her second child, and I won’t explain why I’m calling it B3 for privacy’s sake), so evidently, these sacks are functional, so they’re my new go-to-knit for my fertile friends.

Pattern: Kicking Bag for Babies is a very straight-forward, simple pattern.  I love the baby cables in the ribbed top, and after that, it’s mindless knitting in the round with a three-needle bind-off.  I’ve only done this pattern with self-striping/patterned yarns, so it wasn’t mind-numbing.

Yarn:  Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Team Spirit, from The Loopy Ewe.  Yummy goodness, and machine washable too.

Needles:  Knitpicks #3 Rainbow (wood) fixed circular in 16″ length.  (Anyone have the Caspian version?  I need more needles like a hole in the head, but this nature-lover is also a blue-green lover!)

Verdict:  I’m wondering how quickly I could do some for the TWO friends expecting TWINS in the next 45 days or so…  which is to say I really like this pattern.  It’s going to keep a little Wahoo snug as a bug this chilly spring at her first baseball games!  (I’m pretty sure her mom doesn’t read my blog and doesn’t have time right now even if she normally does…)

Now, if  you’ll excuse me I do have TWO baby blankets to finish/start, so back to the knitting.

Parading Literacy

UntitledSaturday was one of my favorite moments in the JLC year, the Downtown Holiday Parade.  It was a little early this year, but that’s okay.  We had fun!

Sorry there’s no photo of me in my pajamas in public.  Seriously…  I waited 24+ hours to compose this post so that I could share one of our group photos with you.  The theme was The Polar Express.   It took a little education on my part.  First, a co-worker had to correct me and let me know it is The POLAR EXPRESS, not the polar bear express as I inaccurately called it.  Then, another co-worker took pity on me and asked me if I knew about the Coors Light train.  Yeah…  Well, that’s how the Polar Express works, only with little kids from bed to the North Pole.

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Got it!  I even swallowed my pride and wore pajamas in public while handing out candy canes.  Other Leaguers were handing out cute little scrolls that were a Polar Express reading challenge, tied with ribbon, a bow and the rather popular little quote about bells and believing.

I’m amazed yet again by the talent and vision our members possess.   They turned a golf cart into a train engine in just a few hours,  and still other members showed up with their own children (and sadly, no photos of the pair of BEAUTIFUL Goldens, representing the 4-footed kid crowd) and spouses and more to represent the JLC.

UntitledAnd while I loved the theme this year and the connection to our new literacy focus, it was a dream come true to have BROOD – Basset Rescue of the Old Dominion – following us in the parade!  Have you ever seen a cuter Mrs. Claus!?

(Oh look!  There’s one of “our” Goldens in the far, far back right…  I think it’s Bonnie.  Brody is a BIG “yearling” who is already 95 lbs. and I’m quite sure that if he fills out to match his head and feet, he’ll weigh about 11o or better.)

Are you in the holiday spirit yet?

Clearly I’m not quite there yet, despite an order to decorate at work (the interior is done) and the festive parade.  I’m still undecided on the card problem.  There are no perfect photos, and I’ve yet to find the right charitable card either…

 

Wine and …

I’m settling into a new routine, but evidently, it doesn’t include much blogging, keeping up with emails or much of anything other than work, dog walks and the musts in my datebook.  One of those included a Wine and Design mini-fundraiser for the League, even though I kept trying to tell everyone I can’t even draw a stick figure.

Before I share precisely how untalented I am, I do suggest you check out Wine and Design if there’s a location near you.  It was a lot of fun, and while I’m still arguing with the co-worker whose wife and mother had done it before, who assured me I couldn’t fail, I highly recommend it.  Before I show off my un-art, I will say it turned out better than I expected, and it was great fun, especially with other Leaguers and a guest or two.  (Turns out the local W&D owner went to school with a new JLC member AND said member’s sister inlaw, who was there to paint too.  I keep telling everyone… we’re all so very connected here.)

And I’d love to go back for the paint your pet session.  Wonder if the Knight would go with me so both girls could be immortalized badly  ?

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Well, there you go.   I don’t love it, but in all fairness, I don’t like yellow much, and the art just isn’t my style.  I should have taken a photo of the sample, but I didn’t, so … just imagine what it might look like if someone who knew what she was doing had painted it.  

Did I mention that Wine & Design handed me a check for the JLC before the session started?  So it was more than worth it, even if I have no idea what we’ll do with this canvas.  I had joked that I was going to give it to my mother inlaw for her birthday, but I really do love her and it won’t work anywhere in her house either.

Have you tried a new craft lately?

Exceeded Expectations

motivational_mileSo much for attitude and intentions.  Last year, I had great expectations and basically hated the race.  This year, I was worn out before I started, but improved my time by almost 3 minutes and can seriously say I had plenty left at the end.

Oh.

I should clarify that I’m talking about my 2nd Women’s 4-miler experience.

Even as the race started, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to run (vs. walk), but I lined up with a friend, and as we crossed the starting line, we kinda’ decided why not?!   I wogged…  I don’t call myself a runner.  To protect my back, I do a kinda’ low-impact shuffle that is part walk, part jog, and nothing like the sprinting or cross-country running I did long, long ago.  A seemingly bloggless friend coined the term, and it fits.

I didn’t push myself.  I could have done better, and am already toying with the idea of actually training for the race next year.  We’ll see.  This year, it was enough to just give the race – and myself – a second chance.  I didn’t hate it.  I still prefer wogging with the fur-girls, but there’s something to be said for 3,500 women taking to the road to raise funds for local breast healthcare.

There’s also something to be said for proper footwear.  Last year, I wore my favorite shoes… trail running shoes.  The course is 100% paved road.  This year, I bought a pair of not-trail running shoes and broke them in on the short walks where the girls and I  never leave the pavement, except for our driveway.  (The girls find excuses to off-road, even on our shortest walks.)  I’ve also accepted that while I love cotton socks, natural fibers are not my running friends.  Oddly, while I love a little negative ease (snug-fitting socks for the not-sock-knitters), I DO NOT like compression socks.  In fact, they make my arches hurt.

And no, there is no group photo.  We planned our gathering for about the time line-up starts.  Next year… maybe?

So happy Labor Day, America.  I’m celebrating with the girls, a long walk, some yoga, a book and lots of general relaxation.

 

Because I Can

Well, despite all of my moaning and groaning post-race last year, tomorrow morning, I will do my second Charlottesville Women’s 4-Miler.   Myself and I really had a firm debate just before the sign-ups went live.  (I’m not sure where Me was; she didn’t engage.) 

I asked Myself, “Are you signing up just because it’s the thing to do?”

Myself answered, “Um… maybe?  But we walk 20+ miles a week, and do at least two walks over 4 miles every single week, so … why wouldn’t we sign up?”

So… we did.  I made a stab at rounding up a JLC team, but …  the start of a busy League year isn’t the time for the President to play team captain for a non-League event.  The fab Newsletter Editor is coordinating a group photo, so maybe I’ll remember to hand someone my phone too, or I’ll steal a photo from our members-only Facebook page.

I am not excited about the race.  Despite doing Cross Country and Track in my teens, I don’t love races.  I thoroughly enjoy wogging – walking, running, whatever – with the fur-girls, but dogs aren’t welcome at this event.  I’ve had a long week, haven’t eaten, hydrated or trained the way I would if I took racing seriously, but I’m showing up tomorrow anyway, because I can.

Just about everyone I know has someone close to them fighting a battle.  So many people I know have health care cost concerns, above and beyond any medical issues.  I’m healthy and can cover 4 miles at some respectable enough speed (even if I just walk), and my entry – and presence – will make a difference to a local breast care program.  So tomorrow, I’ll be there, and I’m counting on the dynamic, energetic, delightful women of the JLC who are also showing up in the morning to get me started on the right foot.

And then, I’ll stop and get an egg, ham and cheddar on a raisin bagel for breakfast.  If it’s not too hot when I get home, the girls and I will do another cool-down “lap” and if it is, I’ll let them drag me back out again near dusk.

What’s on your weekend agenda?

(Sorry… the old work computer and WordPress aren’t playing well together today, so no photos.)

 

 

Gold Toast

The regular readers out there won’t be shocked; I all but forgot to take photos last night, despite toting my phone around the whole time.  So, while there are no photos of me or any other people, I did remember to snap a couple of shots of the theater itself, from the balcony.

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Beautiful, eh?  It was a special treat to get a tour of the facilities, including the not-public-access halls to the dressing rooms, green room, etc., which were filled with the signatures from the artists who have performed there. 

UntitledHere’s a slightly different angle from the same spot in the balcony.  I actually took this photo first, then realized a perspective that included the stage might be nice.  The ceiling really might be my favorite part of the grand, golden room.

Our event was held in a room just off the main lobby, and then we watched the “sorting” into advisor groups right there IN the lobby.  It was great fun, and I’m quite excited about this year’s newest members. 

Many thanks to The Paramount for hosting us, and to the fabulous Provisional Committee for planning such a fun, festive kickoff event!