Sunday, December 14, 2014

Getting Ready for Christmas....

We picked up the Christmas tree a little earlier than usual, because I've been feeling like Christmas since 2 weeks before Thanksgiving for some reason. I made sure to snap some pictures since this is the last year Drew will be helping us decorate, probably, unless we wait for him to come home from college next year.


The lights took about 3 days to get right, what with broken bulbs, electrical shorts, etc, but we finally got it up to Lucas' standards.


I found it helpful to look at past Christmas blog posts to figure out the furniture re-arranging, by the way, which goes to my point about this blog being so I'll remember family stuff...wish I could change the name to Dr. Fun and Her Mad Cow. (Shout-out to Joann for 60% off holiday decor, including nutcrackers!)


So at the top, we've got an ornament from my parents' first Christmas tree in 1963 (they were married the day after President Kennedy was shot - makes for some serious wedding pictures), my Dad in an ornament, and a famous saying of my grandfather's that Tracey stitched up - "You don't like turkey!" It was one of those annoying things to say that drove us crazy at the time, but is our most-quoted line at Thanksgiving.


Jake high-5'ed Drew for his awesome work hanging the high ornaments.


Okay, on to cowls. If you're related to me, I've just decided to go ahead and divulge all but one that's still being blocked for my Mom. If you see one you like in particular, let me know and I can rearrange what I'm giving to whom....and yes, all the females in the family are getting these - sorry! This is my first "Holey Cowl" and possibly my favorite, since it goes with anything and could be worn to work.


This one is a smidge longer.


This is a super bulky yarn that is one size thicker than called for, but I like how it turned out - it's my second favorite.


Maybe I'll keep it....


This is also a super bulky, but I didn't pay attention to the yardage, which wasn't enough to get the length I wanted, so it's tighter around the neck. I don't think it'll go over the recipient's head because her hair's a whole lot thicker than mine, so maybe I'll keep THIS one!



And this one was for you, Tracey, because it's thick with a solid pattern with no holes, and you can pull it over your nose, but you can pick another one if you like....did I mention I bought more yarn today?


And since I already knitted my office staff little gifts a few months ago, I bought them all gift baskets from a friend who sells Perfectly Posh. They've got a huge bar of soap (that stuff lathers up like crazy), lip balm, hand cream, and a holiday washcloth - precious!


Okay, back to knitting....dangit, wasn't I going to run today?!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

What a nice week! My office closed Wednesday after the last patient and took Black Friday off - nice little vacation! So I fixed my dish Wednesday to take to the in-laws, and Thursday morning Lucas started working on his blueberry cobbler. (Drew's just fixing his coffee - that boy didn't cook NOTHING!)


He's been wanting to make one for awhile, so we looked through the cookbooks, and Dean found Pioneer Woman's recipe for Blueberry Crumb Cake, which fit the bill nicely. (Dean did a rootbeer-glazed ham - Tom Fitzmorris' recipe.)


The only thing I did was operate the hand-mixer, since we don't have a fancy Kitchenaid one that Lucas could operate by himself without spraying flour everywhere.


He measured and stirred and chopped up butter with cinnamon, etc., and was very proud of his final product....which I forgot to record on camera - doh! It was pretty and delicious, and looked just like the one on Pioneer Woman's blog.


This was my MIL's delicious pasta salad - complete with boiled eggs, cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, etc - delicious!


And my FIL's Caesar salad topped with sweet tomatoes.


And a pic of the spread...well, they're still cooking so this is not the whole thing.


So that was Thanksgiving day, and then I avoided Black Friday shopping, despite the fact that Lucas was begging to go to Best Buy for a microphone or headphones - they're on SALE! I convinced him to wait for Christmas when they will possibly be GIFTED to him by Santa Parent, and I actually went upstairs to reacquaint myself with my sewing room. Now this rings a bell! Last year I went to the Sewing Expo with Robbie and started sewing a couple of bags. Well, I FINISHED this one on Friday - woohoo! Here's a link if you want to buy the pattern for it. (I seriously need to monetize the blog with all the links I've provided tonight.)


Okay, and this won't ruin anybody's Christmas, but I'm a fan of this cowl I have on my Ravelry project page (that WILL ruin your Christmas if you're a relative, so don't go), but I ran out of yarn before this one got long enough. Now you knit a big long rectangle, then sew the ends together, but they tell you to offset them by an inch or so, but I can't figure out why. So I know how I look, I knitted this at 6:30 Saturday morning before a shower or clothes, but can somebody tell me why you wouldn't sew the cowl in a perfect circle? The part sticking up on my cheek and hanging down on my neck are the offset parts, which I don't really find fashionable. I think I'll undo it and sew it together evenly...


And here's that lacy shrug I was working on - just one front to go if I can ever get back to it...


And here's a peek at another Christmas present. This is my first real pattern with any complexity to it, and I've had to backtrack so many times I've lost count. But it's so pretty!


Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too....now back to knitting!

Monday, November 24, 2014

My First 5K!

Well, I wish I could talk about the knitting projects I started this weekend, but they're gifts, so no peeky! Let's just say I have 3 projects on needles - one is the shrug I need to finish for myself, and 2 are gifts. By the way, have you ever knit with size 15 needles? I couldn't find circular ones, so I had to buy the metal sticks, and those come in extra short or extra long - weird! But since I can't talk about that, let's talk about my first 5K!


So I downloaded the C25K app from iTunes (it stands for "couch to 5K"), which Dean and I have been using it since August. And buddy, I can run 28 minutes without stopping! Now at the Airbus 5K on the Runway, I did stop every so often for a short walk break of 30-60 seconds, and I was not totally exhausted at the end, so that was nice.


It was also cool to run on an actual runway, and they had vintage planes parked on the side. At the end of the runway, you turned into the assembly line area and ran between hangars, then when I crossed the finish line they actually flew some vintage planes overhead (just for me, I know it).


Now Dean and Drew are old hats at running with dangerous, muddy obstacles, so they found this kind of boring, but I was delighted that my official 5K time was 36:30. And if you do the math, out of almost 700 people, I came in at 58% - not bad for somebody who used to get short of breath and a stitch in her side in PE, followed by vomiting and dizziness with any amount of heat. You go, my body! (Would you believe that the overall female winner was an 8-year-old girl who came in at 23 minutes? And she had run in another 5K at 8 that morning? With a time of 22 minutes? Some people are so obsessed...)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

And the Men Do the Spartan Sprint....

You've heard of this thing, right? Four and a half miles running with muddy obstacles along the way? Dean and Drew signed up for one, and that's what started the whole running and fitness thing we're into now. (I'm on week 7 of my Couch to 5K program - woohoo!)


They start with a speech about how they're Spartans - AROO! (This speech is more exciting on TV - this group wasn't really into shouting for some reason.) They release a new group every 15 minutes.



So they went 2 miles where we couldn't see them (some of that involved wading through a muddy creek where you can't see the bottom and crawling under 50 yards of barbed wire - why didn't I sign up for this?), then they came back in view at the rope climb. There were some Army guys in full gear running for "Special Ops Survivors" - very cool!


There was quite a line to jump on the ropes - I don't know how nobody was killed by people slipping off...

But Drew made it all the way to the bell - he's on the far right.



I love this picture because they look like twins, down to their shoes.


Here are a couple of the Army guys going through the final barbed wire - after that they leap over a fire and get their medals.


Dean was even more covered in mud, if you can believe it.


This is where everybody showered before going in a changing tent to put on clean clothes. I missed the guy that stuck the hose down his shorts.


Can I just say that after washing their clothes, I had to VACUUM the dryer and lint filter because of all the leaves and rocks that were in their pockets. Good times...maybe I'll give it a shot next year....NOT!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Camping, Not Sewing

But FIRST, a sample of Mary Kay's wonderful Virtual Makeover! I had to do screen shots with my phone, so forgive the quality - you'll still get the gist. This is an unmade-up face that I took a couple of months ago, with the chosen Mary Kay look to the left. Before:


After: Bahahahaha!


This one actually looked really good - it looks like I'm really wearing that makeup!


Enough pre-show entertainment - go do one for yourself! On to the camping. I got a wild hair to camp in this chilly awesome weather, so we went to Prairie Creek Campground halfway between Selma and Montgomery on the Alabama River - gorgeous!


Lucas set about collecting sticks to make a "platform" with some rope lashings.


Very industrious, that one. Drew set about catching up on his sleep with an afternoon nap.


Nice sunset...


And I got mesmerized by the hot coals of our campfire. May have to blow this up and frame it.


So after the nearby Auburn fans quit yelling and went to sleep, their dogs started up....till the coyotes threatened to eat them. And I think a coyote DID eat a heron or something around 3 AM - thought it was a woman screaming at first - creepy! And it got down to 35 degrees, so I slept about 30 minutes total, what with putting on long johns inside the sleeping bag and keeping the top pinched shut to keep out the cold. This was steam coming off the river in the morning.


Lucas strapped his "platform" to 2 trees and it became a bench.


Quality work - it holds a grown woman!


Lucas demonstrated his Boy Scout skills at cooking pancakes...


And Dean demonstated his skill at flipping eggs in a pan without breaking the yolks - should've done an action shot.


And finally, here's the nearby lock and dam - very cool! Lucas asked if we could come back and take a tour like we did at Lake Martin's dam.


Alright, wasn't I trying to exercise or run every other day? Two weeks left in my Couch to 5K program - anybody else tried that yet? Oh wait - you're all SEWING! Maybe I'll get back to that, too.....

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gulf Coast Girls' Sewing Weekend 2014

It was very technical! Here's the set-up:


Three of us decided to work on drafting a bodice sloper, so one of the engineers (I just like saying that) showed me how to connect the HDMI cable from the pediatrician's laptop to my TV, and using her Wifi hotspot, we streamed the Craftsy bodice sloper class (doesn't that sound like a funny joke: 3 doctors and 2 engineers walk into a sewing class - ba-dum-bum!). Let me just say that we 3 were wearing camisoles and leggings because of the very precise measurements to be taken, and adhesive dots were also employed to mark strategic spots such as base of the neck, shoulder points, belly button, high hip, low hip, etc. This picture was actually taken before any imbibery began, but my head was spinning with calculations involving fractions, thus the stupid look on my face.


After the imbibery began, the calculations went all to hell, but you can see how intense the work was - nary a sewing machine was heard at our table.


BUT, Robbie was productive with her hand-smocking of dresses for little girls, and Yaffa was the grand-prize winner, finishing an ENTIRE PURSE, complete with ribbon, piping, and magnetic snap closure!


So it was very educational, and we balanced the caloric intake of the yummy pina coladas with the fiber of Katrina's chicken Caesar salad and Yaffa's Kale Mary salad. (Yaffa doesn't have a blog yet, but maybe she'll comment with the recipe - it was delicious and involved exotic things like quinoa!)

So, that's it on the sewing front - still haven't unpacked anything sewing-wise. On the family front, here's a little sample of Drew's bass-playing. He's doing the end of the year talent show at school, and guess what song he's doing? DURAN DURAN's Box Full of Honey. (Exposed him to my favorite band a couple of years ago against everyone's better judgment: You're welcome!) Of course, there'll be another kid on guitar, a vocalist, and a drummer, but they haven't practiced together yet. This video reminds me of the year the poor guy did a 7th grade talent show by playing his French horn along with a record. He got behind and had to start over again a couple of times - very embarrassing. Hopefully Drew will be more successful with the live version...or it could be worse...I'll shut up now.