Sunday, January 11, 2015

Pretty Bird!

But first, the shrug. I upsized it length-wise to make it longer, and I finally understood the button band, so it actually looks like the model picture. This is how I seamed it - under the machine with a narrow zig-zag.

From the back, it now comes down just past my waist.

The sleeves are a little large for me, and I'm going to stretch them longer when I block it, but this is much better-looking than my first attempt.

And now to the most interesting thing! This is what I started with last night:

Here are the pieces laid out...

And since I could barely see anything without bright sunlight, I waited till this morning. The boys both took turns working on it - it's fun!

So precious. Lucas said he could see me as a crazy old lady sitting alone working on these things.

But I won't be alone, because Tracey, I bought one for you, too! (It's called Cat and Kitten - you'll love it!)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Puzzles, Angelina Jolie, and George Strait

I'm having a really nice weekend before call starts on Monday, so I thought I'd share some things I've learned in the past 24 hours. Number one is, you should buy this puzzle - it's my new Mad Cow Antidote.

I bought it for Lucas at Books-a-Million for a stocking stuffer, and he showed absolutely no interest in it whatsoever....until I started putting it together myself this morning. Getting that first piece to fit created an addiction, and as soon as I told him to take a look, he was hooked. The two of us finished it in a couple of hours, and I'm heading back to get some more this evening. Once you get the hang of 3D puzzle pieces, it goes a little quicker, and this one even has a working key and lid - brilliant!

Another thing I learned was that Unbroken may be a great book I need to read, but they were lying when they said the movie was great. And I guess only the studio was lying, because after we saw it, Dean told me the reviews weren't great. Sure enough, they all said Angelina Jolie was "a skillful director," but the movie stunk. There was almost zero emotion in it. I'm telling you that I didn't even tear up in this movie once. You may say, what does that prove?

Well, can I tell you that at lunch today, George Strait's "Love Without End Amen" came on and attacked me. I don't know that I've ever heard it before, but I instantly started crying. (Very embarrassing to be dabbing your eyes and wiping your nose in the middle of a restaurant, but the boys got a kick out of it.) Now with sensitivity like that, any emotional scene in a movie will get me going, but there was not a drop in Unbroken. Drew says it's because we don't get to know any of the characters, and I totally agree. No offense if you saw it and loved it, I just think I need to read the book.

Alrighty, just wanted to get that off my chest. Off to buy some more puzzles, and hopefully I'll also break out the sewing machine tonight to stitch up that knitted shrug that cost me my circular bamboos on the airplane. My goal will be to show you that tomorrow. Have a great Saturday night!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Commencing Travel Blog

So of course there's been about zero sewing the past few months, but I do have that knitted shrug finished except for seaming....which I want to do on the sewing machine - DOH! I'll show you that this week hopefully. What I'd like to talk about today is traveling, specifically flying. This would be a picture of the plane we had to disembark from due to being diverted for weather. I'm taking the picture from the bus we were put on for the 2.5 hour drive to our intended airport - bleh.

This was the beginning of our Planes, Trains, and Automobiles adventure.

Drew summed it up nicely: "We were diverted, delayed, cancelled, and our bags didn't make it." Everything that could go wrong did, but we're all nice and healthy, so I consider it more of an adventure than adversity. Now here's a funny story on the aforementioned plane. The flight attendants (I typed stewardesses first, and even said that on the plane - DOH!) made an announcement shortly after takeoff that they were having an emergency and needed any medical personnel to ring their buttons. Dean and I dutifully put down our wine and rang our bells. A few minutes later they made an announcement for everybody to stay seated (so we didn't get up to investigate) and they needed to trade the victim out of the exit row for another forward row. We picked up our wine again.

A little while later the head flight attendant came by, and Dean mentioned we had rung our bells because we were doctors, but didn't need anything. She immediately said she'd like one of us to come talk to the victim if possible, since an orthodontist was the closest thing they had at this point. The victim had apparently been very sweaty and gripping his armrests so hard they couldn't remove his hands, with his eyes rolling back in his head. He seemed very disoriented and wouldn't tell her his full name or age, but did say he'd taken a diuretic to prevent altitude sickness. Dean volunteered me to go, and when she and I approached the guy, he muttered "bitch." She introduced me, and you could tell this guy was PISSED off, so I said, "Apparently they think you had a seizure or something, so they just wanted me to check you out." He immediately said his best buddy was a cardiologist and the head of our national organization, and dropped a hospital name that I didn't recognize, so I could tell he was doubting my credentials. The stranger sitting next to him vouched for me since he was from Mobile, even though he had no idea who I was. The guy across the aisle offered to trade seats with me so I could sit and talk to the guy, but I told him I left my husband and my wine there, and tried to lighten things up a little bit....while implying that I hadn't DRUNK the wine yet....ooh, this was a fine line to walk!

So the "patient" tells me that it's very embarrassing, but he'd been watching a video about what terrorists do to Americans, and it made him very upset and sick. He asked me if I knew what they did, and then said he didn't want to talk about it. It was a very weird conversation, but he obviously wasn't physically sick, so I told him to call me if he needed CPR....see that little cardiology humor?

So then the stewardess asks me to talk to the co-pilot and tell them whether we should land or keep going. They gave me the very special phone, but when I said "Hello," I got an echo back. I asked them how to operate the phone, then I realized the co-pilot was a woman! How sexist am I, that I think a woman saying hello back to me is just my own echo - very self-illuminating. (Wouldn't it be funny if she thought she was hearing an echo too, since she'd expected the doctor to be a man - hilarious!)

Now what I learned from that interaction and overhearing more of the stewardesses' conversations is that they are like policemen, to be treated with the utmost respect and deference. They have total control. That guy could've avoided the whole scene if he'd just cooperated with her. They also were talking about a family with 3 little blonde girls, and said, "that is Dad, but that is definitely not Mom. Their Mom has to be blonde. And she's drunk - she's had 3 drinks so far. She hasn't passed out yet, though...." Flight attendants are watching us like hawks, people, so mind your manners.

Now we'll take a little break for some shots of Snowmass, Colorado. They do really nice lights in most of the trees.

Gondola-selfie! Should've waited till we were way high up for a better background.

Lucas said he looked like a "juggernaut" with his snowmobiling helmet on, and I thought that was either a misuse of the word or terribly clever, but apparently it's a character from some video game.

Those are the Maroon Bells in the background, apparently the most-photographed mountains in North America according to the guidebook - cool! (I feel stupid that I didn't recognize them.)

And finally, the tiny little 8-lane bowling alley that opened in Snowmass last year - how quaint! This was a great thing to do after you're done skiing and don't want to sit around watching football all afternoon (not that there's anything wrong with that).

One last story about flying with your knitting. I finished the shrug and removed the circular bamboo needles I'd been using, but just put them on my lap while I secured the last stitch. They promptly slid off my lap and went between my window seat and the wall of the airplane. Well, someone brilliantly designed a gap between the wall and a large metal plate, and when I tried to retrieve them from there, they disappeared from view, supposedly sliding right down to the underbelly of the plane. Dean said if the landing gear didn't come down, it was all my fault. Let's imagine the mechanic's face when he finds them, and pray right now that nothing ever happens to that plane. I do not want to be responsible for the banning of knitting needles on future flights.

Thanks for reading - perhaps I'll get back to sewing soon!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas 2

Part 2: some of the ladies modeling their cowls:

Gametime with my SIL and niece...

More exercise after the Christmas dinner...

Even MORE never stopped!

And the best way to avoid the post-Christmas blues is to go on vacation....Drew's trying out snowboarding for the first time.

So happy New Year to you all, and I'll see you in 2015!


Sorry this is all done from the iPhone, but I'm couldn't end the year without some quick pics! We had a fabulous holiday with the family. First (I think) is one last cowl.

And the other theme this Christmas was EXERCISE!!!

Also some cooking....

More exercise....

And a nice hug from between I guess.

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, back to knitting!