Sunday, December 3, 2017

5th Annual GCGSW!

Oops, I thought it was #6, but it's just #5. So this year we added Edith, who's a prolific knitter, but we missed Katrina, who couldn't make it. And Nancy and Edith couldn't stay Saturday night, so they came Friday night to start the festivities early! And, no, once that bottle was open, there was no sewing, just talking on the porch until 1:30 AM! (There may have been a second bottle involved.)

We all woke up without headaches, and everyone else arrived, and the big new dish this year was Heidi's Thai chicken salad, which was a-MAZ-ing! Here's just the vegetable noodles made with a Spiralizer, which I shall be buying forthwith.

And here's with the yummy sauce and chicken added. We ate every bit of it.

On to crafting, Nancy made tassels, and Heidi's perusing her tassel-making tool in the background.

Heidi brought her loom and showed us how it worked. She's weaving pieces to sew together for a top!

Nancy contemplates the vintage bell-pull she was working on with crewel work.

Yaffa and Robbie discuss deep issues, while Edith knits and Becky sews.

This is some jewelry Yaffa made using polymer clay...

and beads, sadly out of focus but stunning in person.

Yaffa nearly finished this doll outfit,

and Robbie cut out a top then worked on her Alabama Chanin dress.

And this is Becky's paper-pieced project, with a tutorial she shared.

I finished a dishcloth and started a sweater that may or may not work out, but I'm not worried about it, because I had a relaxing weekend with cool friends who do fascinating crafts, and cook really good food. Thanks to everybody for bringing all the food and doing all the cooking! Katrina, we definitely missed your signature cocktails! Hopefully you can make it next time, and Pam, I fully expect you next year! Let me know if you're planning a Gulf Coast trip!

Fall Update of Family Stuff

So September is the month that Lucas went viral with his YouTube channel taking silly pictures like this (of him, not me) and making an 8-second video at the Battleship. Want to remember this moment when he hits it big.

And Drew brought Camille home for a 3-day weekend, which made me feel special, because when your kids choose to spend time with you at this age, it means a lot.

I went to Chicago with my college roommates for our big 50th birthday weekend. Everybody arranged one outing or meal, so we did some diverse things like touring a famous recording studio where the Rolling Stones and I think Muddy Waters worked.

This was our view from the apartment we rented...

and we did Bobby's Bike Hike to the zoo and around a bunch of neighborhoods.

Let's pause for a beautiful dress my friend wore hosting the Greekfest Gala. I love it - it's like confetti on ice cream!

And Drew showed up on TV when Auburn played somebody - Jake even started barking at him when I yelled, "There's Drew!"

So in October my mom and I flew up to Fort Knox to see my sister Tracey and BIL Joe.

Apparently there are deer all over the base that come out at dusk.

Would you believe there are 4 deer in this picture?!

And Joe took us for a ride in his cool convertible.

One other thing we did was groove with Misty Tripoli's CD's I brought. Mother declined to participate, but did provide video evidence of the shimmying.

Then it was back to work, bleh, and we were Snow White and the Seven Dwarves for Halloween...well, just 5 dwarves, but we walked all over the building asking people if they'd seen the other 2 - such a hoot! ("I think Queasy's in the lab.")

Next up was that I knit a sweater using a book of edgings to make hearts around the sleeves and bottom.

Wore it one day and laid on the couch against something sharp, which cut an actual hole in my yarn - arghhhhh!!!!

So then Drew turned 21 and we went to Auburn to see the Georgia game and take him out for a birthday dinner.

It was an amazing game, if you watched it, and we had great seats in the end zone.

And this is what we found when we finished dinner and walked down to Toomer's Corner.

Finally up is Thanksgiving with everybody coming here. Tracey tried out some new hardware on my hair.

Yes, lovely!

And Camille provided beautiful flowers for a centerpiece, plus she and Drew polished all the silver - yay! Tracey made place cards with "fun facts" on the back about each person, most of which were outright lies, but were funny.

Dean made his signature shrimp remoulade.

Here's a little bit of the spread.

We played some game that I forgot the name of, plus had a fire in the backyard, and lots of good times practicing for a big Dr. Fun performance at the hospital. Thanks to all the teenagers drafted to dance with me...and Joe, who danced briefly!

So that was our Fall roundup, and next up will be the 6th annual GCGSW - stay tuned!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August Update...and My New Mission from God

Random shot of downtown Mobile at night - police patrol on horseback! Very cool.

We also went to the Journey concert at The Wharf in Orange Beach with friends, and this is in the ladies' restroom at a cigar bar - love it!

Since Drew had a job as a waiter all summer (thank you, God), we didn't take a big vacation, but did do a deep sea fishing trip out of Orange Beach. This is Drew and his girlfriend, Camille...

and this is Camille's sad face when the guide told her she couldn't keep her triggerfish because it wasn't big enough.

I love that you can tell these are brothers, and not just by their haircuts and faces. I took them to Academy to get fishing shirts, and they chose the same style.

Here's the entire haul - yum!

Also, Lucas turned 15 and wanted to take friends to Owa, so there he is just above the camera with legs flying around. I loved that place, but wait for the trees to mature or the weather to cool off one, because it is HOT! Nobody passed out, though, and the rides rival Six Flags over Georgia.

And now, the piece de resistance! This is the Silken Straw Summer Sweater that I found yarn for last year during our Grand Canyon trip when we stopped in Flagstaff at a fiber festival. It took me 5 months to do it, but I finished it this weekend. Let's have a look...what a beautiful fabric it makes!

But a wee bit snugger than I was hoping for. Oh well, everybody on Ravelry says it grows, so I'm optimistic.

Well yessiree, they were right! Ignore the mad face, I just make that a lot now that I'm 50. I do wish it wasn't that long, but I'll make it work with better bottoms...because Lucas said it looked "bad" with these pants.

So here's the unblocked neckline, and I visited Heidi at Mobile Yarn because it said to line the neck and arms with I-cord, but I couldn't do it, so she showed me a crab stitch, which is single crochet going backwards (to the right). That finishes it neatly and keeps the opening from growing like the length does.

And here's that after blocking - what a difference!

So yeah, it perfectly matches Dean's most-hated pair of pants I own, so I'll wear these out to dinner with the ladies at some point.

And it's perfect with my CVS leggings! Now to find some leggings I can wear with it in public, since I stopped in Target tonight to get an appropriate camisole, as it is indeed see-through. And I have to be more careful with my blocking, as one side sags more than the other to the point that it looks asymmetric on purpose.

We break for an artistic potato chip dropped in the sand during Dean's birthday beach cookout at Fort McRae near Pensacola.

And these are 7 of those ugly dolls that my MIL made in 2 weeks - yes, mine took me a month, and she made 7 in 2 weeks.

Okay, if you're still here, then I'll tell you about my mission from God. I had a patient who was waiting in the hospital almost 3 months for a heart transplant, and her mom said she could use a smile. I immediately thought about Lucas's videos, but they're a little violent, so I figured we could make a happy video instead, which also would mean starting a new YouTube channel to put it on. I asked for her favorite song, and enlisted Lucas to film my office staff dancing to it (Bruno Mars 24K Magic, if you can believe that). We did it in one take with no prior planning, and only one person knew the words, so that was rough, but I was happy with our effort. The evening after we filmed it I had to drive across the Bayway to go to a work function, and I got this sudden feeling that my patient wasn't going to make it. I mean I even started crying, but then it occurred to me that other kids might be stuck in the hospital and might like to see their own doctors dancing and being silly. This whole plan unfolded over the next 30 minutes or so, and I realized we could even film dances to encourage sedentary kids to get up and dance while they're watching the videos on their phones, and the patients could even request certain songs or doctors, etc.

So that was a very weird thing, but I texted Lucas that I'd pay him extra to get the thing edited and uploaded before he went to bed so I could send it to my patient's mom that night. The next day at 10 AM, a doctor from the hospital called to tell me my patient's heart stopped, but they were working on her. That's when I knew that God put that whole plan in my head. She ended up living with the help of machines for another week before she died. And that's all I have to say about that.

So we've made 4 videos with a 5th one due out next week, and this is the biggest one so far that we filmed at the hospital. Pretty good work for a 15-year-old with an iPhone camera, I think, and his editing is superb! Feel free to share it with anybody who could use a smile.