April 29, 2016

Just To Mess With My Husband

He claimed last night that I rarely blog any more and that, when I do, it's all stuff he knows about already. SO, just to mess with him:  I am NOT going to post the picture he predicted I would post today.  Or that other picture he probably thinks I'm going to post.  Or even the cool black and white one I forgot to post last week.

Instead, I give you my new favorite descriptor:  "blurrily plaintive"

Also, dare I jinx myself by uttering it aloud?  I think...I think...I think the knitting mojo might be back because I have An IDEA(tm).

I do, however, promise to post pictures next week of him officiating his co-worker's wedding this Sunday.  After all, how often will I get to do THAT?  (Plus, he'll probably ditch the ZZ Top beard after the wedding.)

April 27, 2016

Still No Knitting To Show...

...but here's some spinning progress:

FINALLY finished spindle spinning the 8oz of
Bee Mice Elf fiber I started in 2014
for Tour de Fleece.
Now, to decide whether I'm going to ply it
on the spindle (more control) or
the wheel (faster, can fit a lot on just one bobbin).

Found a bobbin of self-dyed, wheel-spun Rambouillet.
I divided it in half as accuratley as I could,
then started plying - in public, even!

It became 135 yards of nubby DK-Worsted yarn
(10-12 wpi)

I may need to kick-start my knitting by cranking out a couple of dishcloths just to get going.

...Speaking of knitting, WENDY'S NEW BOOK IS OUT.  Zip over to Amazon and order one or ten copies.  I only buy knitting reference books these days, and I've found her first stitch dictionary to be quite helpful and inspiring.  As soon as it was listed on Amazon for pre-order, I pretty much begged to get it for Mother's Day.  A week and a half away, I can barely wait for it!

April 26, 2016

CraftLit Crafty Chat - April 26 for Episode 415 on April 29, 2016

Join Heather, Dawn, and me for Crafty Chat at 10:30 Pacific today.  If you can't join us live in the chat room, you can just watch the raw video here.  (Audio will be edited down to the best bits and added to this Friday's CraftLit episode.)

April 19, 2016

Crafty Chat - April 19, 2016 for Episode 414 of CraftLit on April 22, 2016

Come join Heather, Dawn, and me for this week's CraftLit Crafty Chat, which will go live at 10:30am Pacific:

April 18, 2016

A Small Assortment

He:  You couldn't do it?
She:  No.
He (smiling):  That's because you're a girl, not a boy.
She:  I don't have the right gonads.
He:  What IS a gonad, anyway?
She:  Come here, and I'll show you.

It's hard to get a good selfie with
a wiggly newborn!


Addendum to my review of Google Express:  I would be over the moon if they were somehow able to add Trader Joe's to their list of participating stores.  It'll never happen, but I'd love it.  Still using the heck out of my free three months.  Why, I may have even ordered my mom's Mother's Day gift from there, LOL.

CRAFTING:  My knitting mojo/excitement is shot.  I don't think I've knit in three or four weeks.  I have, however, been spindle spinning and doing a little miscellaneous crafting.  To see some of it, check out last week's Crafty Chat and tomorrow's Crafty Chat for an update.  What do YOU do when your mojo seems to have left you temporarily?  I've got five WIPs lying around here in various states of completion, but I'm starting to think the key to getting excited again might be...casting on something new.  I've misplaced my Mesherchief, and I'd re-knit it, but I don't have the same blue yarn and can't justify buying any at the moment.  Maybe another Erin's Star?  A Fangirl?  Just make something up as I go along?  What do ya'll think?  Input appreciated; leave a comment.

April 14, 2016

Various AND Sundry

Last night, the kids watched "A Doll's House" and then "Scarface".  You can't say their tastes aren't eclectic.

So, THIS happened.  There is now NO denying
that I am middle-aged
(not that I was denying it).

As part of our "watching our pennies", I've been buying the big 2.5lb bags of coffee beans from Costco.  This is great, except that if I'm ordering through Google Express*, they arrive at my house as whole beans, not ground.  With our "classic wedding gift" coffee grinder, circa 1995, this takes forever and makes quite a mess (especially if I'm the one doing it).  I am NOT one to grind my beans every day.  I'm just not.  Andrew and I had been discussing the most efficient method, and he decided that we just needed a bigger coffee grinder.  For only $20, he found this on Craigslist (used).

My New Best Friend
No, it does NOT live on my kitchen counter
It lives in the garage, to be pulled out
when needed.

* I had a "try it for three months for free" promo code, so I signed up for Google Express.

What I love about it:
  • the wide range of stores participating
  • the same-day delivery, even if you order in the afternoon (I'm sure there's a cut-off time, but I have yet to hit it.)
  • being able to "go to Target" or "go to Costco", getting ONLY what's on my list, instead of going, seeing all the other cool stuff, and being tempted to over-buy
  • only having to buy $15 worth of stuff to get free delivery
  • amassing a good-sized collection of paper grocery bags to use when needed in our 4yo - kindergarten kids' class at church
  • not having to sign for delivery, so I don't have to sit at home, waiting for the delivery
What I don't love about it;
  • not being able to buy perishables (I'm sure this is a function of the last item on the above list.)
  • having to buy $15 worth of stuff to get free delivery (When I've needed < $15 of stuff from one store, I may have succumbed once or twice to the temptation to pad the purchase up to $15 just so I could avoid having to go to that store in person.)
Overall, I love Google Express.  I can see how it would be a total godsend for couples who both work.  Why waste your little free time running around when you could get the same stuff for the same price delivered to your door for free?  I don't know that I would pay $10/month for the privilege, but if I were in that position, the $10/month would be worth every penny!

What I'd love to see:
  • some way of being able to buy perishables (Maybe a second tier of membership or something?)
  • having the $15 limit be total combined purchases, not per store (This is probably a pipedream and not practical, but a gal can dream.  Me, I just need to wait until I have $15 worth of stuff to get, and if I REALLY need less than that RIGHT NOW, drag my butt to the store.)
Safeway, do you want to stay competitive as Google Express grows?  Then give me more ways to get free delivery - and no "fuel surcharge"!  The convenience is fabulous, but not enough to add that much to the purchase price.  (I did, however, recently score enough promo codes to save MORE than the cost of delivery & fuel surcharge, so was able to justify placing an order.)


HOW could have I forgotten to mention this?  Big News:  We paid off our debt!  Yupp, we paid off that second mortgage, and we have been consistently zeroing out our credit card.  This is HUGE.  It took basically all of Andrew's bonus and our tax return to get the last bit of it knocked out, but we did it.  We have vowed that (barring unforeseen weird emergencies) this is the last time we will use the bonus and return to pay off debt instead of saving or enjoying them.  Sure, we have other concerns (house needs to be painted, will need to replace the Civic soon, etc.), but this is a giant load off our minds.  Now, to stay on-track....

April 13, 2016

Crafty Chat - April 12, 2016 for Episode 413 of CraftLit on April 15, 2016

My apologies for the late post.  I was having issues with the laptop that rendered it unusable; things are better now.

April 6, 2016

Spring Break Recap

So, the kids were off school last week, and Andrew took the week off, partially to hang out with us, partially to go turkey hunting.  We had a good mix of doing stuff and doing nothing.

Thing Two's hectic couple of months caught up to her, and she was sick for the first few days, so only Thing One and I headed up to Sonoma on Easter, had dinner, and spent the night.  Once we got home, all four of us hit the theater to see "Zootopia".  THUMBS UP on this movie (even Andrew, who is so hard to please).  The message was a little heavy-handed, but the movie was really funny and definitely better than I had anticipated. Afterwards, I attempted to surprise Andrew with a kid-free night at a local hotel, but gmail ruined my surprise by seeing the reservation confirmation email and automatically putting it in our Google calendar.  Thanks, Google!  (We had a nice, relaxing time and a great dinner at Copper Chimney, though.)

Tuesday, our favorite Brits (and their local family, our good friends) came over for the annual barbecue at our house.  Much lamb was eaten, many hearty laughs were had - a good time was had by all.  We had too much fun to remember to get pictures of anything other than the cake, which was declared by one teenager to be "Easter in one picture".

Wednesday, on his first day out, Andrew got a turkey!  That evening, I went with a large crowd of women from church to see "Miracles From Heaven".  It was good, but not great.  I don't regret seeing it, but I would have preferred to pay the matinee price or wait for Netflix.  It wasn't as cheesy as I had assumed it would be, so I enjoyed it more than I had expected to.

Thursday, Thing Two and I hopped on BART and trekked over to Berkeley to spend the afternoon on and around the Cal campus.  We didn't see The Bubble Lady or Orange Man or Naked Guy, but we had a ball, and Thing Two was even more inspired about possibly going to school there one day (she says the campus is "friendlier" than the Stanford campus).  Her other reasons for going were to take pictures with her new camera and to buy a Cal sweatshirt.  Both these were accomplished, so the day was considered a success, even though she didn't want to eat at Blondie's (she did get something from Yogurt Park, though).  While I was thrilled to see that King Pin is still in business, I was proud of myself for not getting one of their precious buttermilk donuts.  No turkey Thursday.

Friday, April came with a minimum of  FOOLish shenanigans.  No turkey, but Andrew got to reconnect with his hunting buddy Pat, so it was a day well spent.

Saturday, after one last bout of sleeping in, we headed over to Hercules to celebrate our twin nephews' eleventh birthday.  Hard to believe these guys are in the fifth grade!  Wasn't it just yesterday that we were sitting in Children's Hospital while one of them was getting stomach surgery as a newborn??

Sunday, Crazy Teacher Andrew and Teacher Erica returned to teaching the 4-K class at church.  A couple of my little buddies happened not to be there that day, but we had a great time.  I wonder how long it will be before one of the little girls asks me to braid Andrew's beard for them, LOL?

Oh, and because of our overnighter, I took Tuesday off from Crafty Chat, but here's the link for that week's YouTube video.  I don't think did any more than a little bit of car knitting on the never-ending socks, but I spindle spun. A lot.

Why, yes, those ARE bendy straws holding
my singles between the spindle and getting
wound onto storage bobbins.

April 5, 2016

Crafty Chat - April 5, 2015 for Episode 412 of CraftLit on Aprill 8, 2016

Here you go!  Once we start broadcasting, you'll be able to view it.  I'm really looking forward to getting back in the saddle after missing last week (though Spring Break was great)!

March 21, 2016

Crafty Chat - March 22, 2016 for Episode 410 of CraftLit

ETA:  A thousand pardons for the audio issues in this broadcast. The problem is a known issue with Google Hangouts, not on Heather's side of things. We believe we've found a solution.

Join us for the livestream Tuesday morning at 10:30am PDT.  Participate in the chat room or just lurk if you like.

Once we've started recording, the video will automatically post below.

Have a question to ask or a topic you'd like us to cover in a future episode?  Let us know right here!