Wednesday, December 31, 2008
- Lose 40 lbs. Seriously, since I had Matthew 3 1/2 years ago, I've put on a lot of weight which I really am fed up with carrying round. I'll break this down into a pretty achievable 1lb per week. I just stood on the scale and am weighing in at 173lbs.
- Get my lazy ass to the gym for a one-hour session at least once every week. I remember the days of 5 times a week, but I do want these goals to be realistic.
- Drink less than 14 units of alcohol per week. That's the 'safe' number (apparently). This might be my toughest challenge, but I really need to address how much I drink.
- Have this house sold and be living in the cold by next fall.
- Knit everyone in my family matching hat, scarf and mittens for no.4 :0) I don't mean we'll all match each other, just that each person's set will be matched ;0)
- Switch off my computer when I'm not using it. Or at least every night.
- Get a proper job, after achieving no.4
- Knit 12 Hats for alex- a very achievable 1 per month.
- Read 20 books. That's my 12 bookclub books, plus a few. I sometimes don't like the bookclub selections and miss making my own choices. I really need to make more time to read.
- Procrastinate less. This clearly also needs a lot of work - I started this post yesterday and it's taken me til late afternoon to put it up on the blog!
Happy New Year :0)
Monday, December 29, 2008
I'm glad we did wait - they both LOVED it. As did Mom, Dad, Nanny and Pepe.Our first stop was Disney's Hollywood Studios to meet the guys favourite characters. Kachow!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
On Monday, I forgot it was Matthew's snack day at school. No biggy - they have some reserves for situations like this and on Tuesday I bought replacements and even remembered to send them in with him on Wednesday. I don't always remember these things - one week I sent him twice without his packed lunch!!!
Then on Wednesday, after my lunch, I sat down on the sofa with my knitting and the CNN news. Next thing I know, it's 2.20pm and his school is on the phone asking why I haven't picked up him and his buddy (we carpool - they pick up Matt in the morning to drop him at school, I pick them up from school and bring them home). Even worse, the friend always asks to come to our house after I pick them up. That day I'd asked his mom if that was ok, and she agreed as long as he was back home by 3pm to go to gymnastics.
Well, we pulled onto their drive at 3.05pm, and obviously there was no playtime. Luckily the parents have a sense of humour and laughed when I said I was napping!!!
So Thursday, I had promised to take my boys along with Teddy's girlfriend, who we also carpool with, to the "Orange Juice Factory" after I collected them all from school. Of course, I forgot that the boys had a dentist appointment that afternoon.
I called girlfriend's mom in the morning to tell her and she said that girlfriend had been talking non-stop about the trip. Doh!!! So, we're going tomorrow morning instead.
Hopefully my final infraction, of this week, anyway, was at the dentist. Poor Teddy has to have 3 cavities filled. This is on top of the 2 he already has filled. And there are another two they're going to 'keep an eye on'. Bad mommy needs to make sure teeth are brushed AND flossed and juice is off the menu.
Ack!!! At least we're all still alive.
Onto a much prettier subject. Y'all were right about two of the paintings in my living room being Van Gogh's Starry Night and Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. But the prize goes to Beverley who guessed at this painting by Monet. It's called The Thames Below Westminster and is, appropriately, housed at the National Gallery in London.
Beverley, something will wing its way to you real soon :0)
I've been really lucky to have seen some of the most amazing paintings in the world at some of the most beautiful galleries in the world. Mona Lisa at the Louvre, a bunch of Goya's, including Saturn eating his Son, at the Prado in Madrid. My all time favourite, Van Gogh's Starry Night at MOMA in New York.
London has my favourite gallery of all though. Tate Modern on the South Bank. It looks over the river directly at St Paul's Cathedral, houses some of the best and most controversial 'modern art' and most incredibly.....it's free.
So, here's a question for you "Best Art?". Discuss/Blog
Have a fabulous weekend :0)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...
Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.
16 Impressionist, 7 Islamic, -2 Ukiyo-e, -21 Cubist, -15 Abstract and 2 Renaissance!
Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.
People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.
I really liked this quiz, seen on Jo's blog. It's true, I LOVE impressionist paintings. My living room has three framed posters to prove the point. Here's a quiz for YOU. The paintings feature a night sky, a London waterfront and a day in the park. Can you guess the three artists? I'll send a little something in the mail to anyone who can guess.......
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I'm pleased that Barack Obama was voted in. Who knows whether 'change' will happen or not. We can always hope (whilst remembering that he's a politician, after all).
And yesterday was Veteran's Day. We don't have that holiday in the UK. We have Remembrance Sunday, the 2nd Sunday of November. Otherwise known as Poppy Day.
To segue nicely into knitting, here's a photo of the afghan I hurriedly made up for a Joann's class I'm hoping to teach this month and next. Doesn't it look great in our leather chair with the Old Glory pillow? They call it a holiday afghan and the pattern calls for four balls of Lion Brand Homespun. I already had a couple of balls of red, so bought another couple in green, to make it VERY holiday-like.The class is called Knitting 303, but the pattern is SO freaking easy and only a few lines long. Don't know how Joann's came up with that. But I do know that this yarn was amazingly soft and the afghan itself is unbelievably cosy. I never thought I'd say it, but I'm thinking another one for home might be nice. It took only about 4 days to make, so was quick too.
Now, do you remember how our 'office'/spare room looked earlier this year? Thought not. Here's a quick pic to remind you. Gross, or what! Well, one advantage of having your house on the market is that you have to clean it out.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Doing a whole lot of stuff actually.
I went to the UK to visit my very sick Grandfather. The Welsh for Grandfather is Taid ( pronounced like Tide). He's an awesome guy who served in the merchant navy in the 2nd World War. Afterwards he was a monumental mason, making gravestones and other memorials. You might remember my Nan passed earlier this year, so when I heard he was ill, I dashed over there as soon as I could.
Turns out, after a nasty scare involving pancreatitus, diabetes and "old age" he's still as strong as an ox. Go Taid. It was great to see him and great to spend some time with some other members of my family.
In knitting news, I've almost finished my Kureyon blanket. Here are all the squares I have laid out. And to give them some sort of scale, here are my boys........
Four of these 'strips' of squares are now sewn together, but two remain. I thought I had 20 squares, but alas, not. I've bargained for the final ball of Kureyon and await it's arrival before I place the final 10 balls into the last two strips.
Bigger news involves our family moving up to North Carolina. Charlotte to be exact. My DH's younger, younger sister already lives there. We've visited a few times and LOVED it. Not to mention it's home to the Turtlegirl. My in-laws who currently live closeby will also be moving there. Exciting times. Let's hope someone buys our house soon. Or at least by Florida's "season's" end anyway.
More catchup soon, but for now, let's make-do.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The strawberries are from this pattern. I used red Wool-Ease and green Cascade 220.
Both quick and easy patterns.
Unlike the dishes they're sitting on.
The china was given to us by my in-laws. It belonged to my FIL's grandmother, so it's fairly old. Made by Theodore Haviland, Limoges, France, it is a large dinner set, around 12 place settings, along with assorted serving dishes. There are some pieces missing from the place settings and I've wondered for a while now what it would cost to buy replacements.
So today, I started surfing the web for info on the manufacturer and their patterns. My initial findings are that this manufacturer made THOUSANDS of different patterns. Someone catalogued them and there are volumes and volumes!!!
Maybe we'll just pass the set onto our grandchildren one day, and let them do the research!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
On my first trip there, I went to the observation deck at the World Trade Center. It was so freaking awesome. I have three views of the buildings in my mind. The first: I was so proud of myself, because I sat right by the window and looked straight down. Second: I also stood right next to one of the buildings at the bottom and looked straight up - unbelievable how tall those towers were. And third: the massive chandeliers in the lobbies. Beautiful.
I visited with a friend over New Year 97/98 and we had a blast. Our last night there was my birthday and we went out to celebrate. We met a group of guys (as you do) and girls who worked down-town as bond traders. They brought cupcakes into the bar we were in and sang Happy Birthday to me - that was my best birthday ever ('cause my birth date is just about as bad as Christmas Day) :0) So, I joked around with this one guy that he might work at the bond traders, but he was probably the janitor!!!
Long story short, we kept in touch and used to go out whenever I was in the City. He was just about the most fun person I've ever known.
So, that bond trader worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked into the gym for a lunchtime training session on Sept 11th 2001 and every screen in the place was showing the World Trade Center ablaze.
Not long after that day, I met my husband. He also knew a Cantor employee. The brother of one of his best friends at college. He had two small sons who probably won't remember the precious few years he was in their lives. A year or so later I met their mom and dad. She still looked like a broken woman.
Today is a special day in our family.
God bless everyone who passed on that day, and their families and friends who still grieve them.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Why, wait for it to go on sale, of course :0)
I also snagged some other black/grey Debbie Mumm yarn that will be made into squares to flesh out the blanket. And I'll be on the lookout for some knock-down priced black or grey yarn for the border.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The Fulled Lopi Tote. Known at Chez Disco as the Fulled WOTA Tote.
Colours used, all from stash I might add, Fern (main colour), Avocado, Asparagus & Evergreen (for stripes). Yarn was held doubled throughout.
I have enough of this yarn leftover to make another felted bag. Or maybe even a couple of these.
I have 6 teacher gifts to make. A book club gift. My boys. Their 8 cousins. A mother and a MIL. Hubbs and her boys.
That's actually quite a lot of knitting. So I'd better get on that if everything's to be completed in time.
This is the first of the stash of gifts. I'll decide nearer the time who the recipient will be. Most likely a teacher. Or my mom.The main body of the bag is made with Brunswick Yarns' "Germantown Knitting Worsted". A yarn that a friend gave me a while ago - she had inherited it from an aunt with a stash the size of Brunswick!. I have a good 8 skeins of this stuff. You can tell it's old - there are lots of breaks in the yarn, especially where the ballband has rubbed against it.
Trying to be more positive about life, I saw this as more of an opportunity than a disaster. I learned to spit-splice. I had very recently seen an old episode of Knitty Gritty where Vicki Howell demonstrated how to do this. I had read about it previously, but never attempted. She made is look so easy. And it was. I must have spit in a good thirty or forty inches of yarn used in this bag. I guess I can really say I put a lot of myself into this project ;0) Lovely!
I was really looking forward to 'fulling' the bag. I believe that term means 'felt slightly'. So I put it on a gentle/warm cycle. Apparently, this wool washes well - it hadn't felted in the slightest. So I tried another cycle! The wool washed really well! Then I just decided to put it in with some towels I had to wash anyway, on a hot cycle. Of course, then I got to doing something more interesting, like vacuuming, or cleaning a toilet and completely forgot to check on the bag.
So here's the fully-felted end result. I have to say, although the stitches aren't discernable, I still love the effect. The stitching round the cables still makes them stand out.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I completed her gift a week or so ago and got it in the mail, so I hope she's received it in time. Anyway, here it is, the Provincial Waistcoat from Interweave Knits Winter 2006.
It is about 4 inches wide, but is VERY stretchy - it'll need to be - the family disco has some girth, let me tell you! It's meant to be fitted, so I hope it's gonna look good on her.
The yarn is Brooks Farm Mas Acero - it was lovely to work with, really soft, and the finished product is nice and squishy. My mam does like a little bit of sparkle, so these buttons were perfect, they have glitter around the edges. Not that you'll be able to tell from my photography!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The Omnivore’s Hundred
Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.
Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding - as a child we ate this every Saturday for lunch with runny yolked fried eggs. SO tasty. Now I know what black pudding is though I'm not sure I can eat it again.
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras - I don't know how to cross out, but, er, no thanks.
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - also a no thank you.
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float - Root beer? Gross!
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - do I get a half point for the cognac?
37. Clotted cream tea - naturally!
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O - surprisingly not!
41. Curried goat - at the Notting Hill Carnival
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal - I like curry but phaal, no.
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - not a whisky drinker
47. Chicken tikka masala - favourite curry of all time. And my first dinner whenever I go back home
48. Eel - freak me out, no!
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
62. Sweetbreads - big crossing out. Can't bear offal. Double gross.
64. Currywurst - curry and sausages - of course!
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - No, NEVER
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe - Yes :0)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
I've tried just less than half. Gotta get working on that :0)
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
On the way home after pick up this afternoon, he spontaneously said he liked kindergarten. Yay! Can I have a picture of one cutie, without the other?
Here's baby brother, Matt, bowling for real this weekend. It was our first family trip to the bowling alley. Mucho fun was had by all. I just love his stance :0)
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I am starting to think of Christmas gifts already. We only really buy gifts for the children of the family. I would love to make each of them something to wear (from stash, of course) - probably hats, and buy each of them something handmade from Etsy. So, what are your favourite child hat patterns? - I have various ages to knit for, from 1 year to 10 years old.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
If not, then we'll call Christmas knitting begun :0)
A little titbit I heard is that the Chinese consider August 8th a lucky day this year. 08.08.08
Well, it sure was a lucky mail day for disco :0)
First package courtesy of the very generous Bezzie. A contribution to my Kureyon Log Cabin. Along with another random gift - some of her handmade book plates. Thank you so much Bezzie, the yarn is already on my needles and two parts completed.
Next package, from my lovely knitting buddy, Irishgirlie. Her recent trip to BMFA yielded a couple of green skeins of Heavyweight for my next Log Cabin blanket - yes, ANOTHER one :0) Thank you Carrie, you are a doll and I'm so lucky to have you as my friend.
Have a lovely weekend watching the Olympics. USA already has a medal for ladies fencing. Go USA (and UK).
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Look what I found in the stash. A bunch of Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, in beautifully co-ordinating shades of green (to my eye, anyway). I only have one ball of the green in the centre of this square, so I see a bit (more) of ravelry yarn trawling in my future, to ensure I have a decent amount of each - I have 4 or 5 of each of the other colours. Bought last year at the PurlSoho sale, for less than $4 each.So another Log Cabin goes on the needles. You see, I know what I like.
It's also true, I like what I know.....
Here are a couple of other tried and true things I like, that have resurfaced in my life this week.