Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Whats on your needles

I can't tell you. ;-) Christmas is too close. Right now my main project is not on needles. I still have some gifts that need to be knit though. Right now, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. This is TOTALLY my fault. I have no excuses, I should have started sooner. I have had plenty of time. It will all get done, but I don't like the idea that until it is, every spare second is spent working on it. I will say that what I am working on is turning out pretty fabulous. I know some of the recipients will like them, others hard to say, but I don't really care. On an other stuff note...I had my eyes checked last week, and my new doctor disagreed with my previous doctor and said that I am able to have lasik surgery, or wear contacts. He gave me some contacts to try. I really want them to work, but I really don't know if they will. The first pair we tried didn't work at all. My vision was SUPER blurry. The second pair was better. I know that with my astigmatism, with contacts my vision will never be as crisp as with glasses. Now I need to decide if it is crisp enough. So far this is what I have learned, my eyes and contacts don't like florescent lights. For whatever reason, my eyes start freaking out in stores. My vision goes blurry and I can't focus on anything. It is totally crazy. Not sure if this will get better or not. Second thing, it is so much easier to drive at night with them in. I had anti glare on my glasses, but there is still a little glare, not with contacts. I like the freedom of putting on my favorite sunglasses. I sometimes feel like I am squinting when the contacts are in, not cool. My eyes have a hard time transitioning for far away to up close work. Sometimes I feel the contacts in my eyes, other times I don't. Sometimes it feels like my eyes are welling up with tears. I have no idea what the first contacts were (think they were Acuvue Oasys), but the second ones are Air Optix. My sister, who has never to my knowledge worn contacts, told me that I need to give them at least a week for my eyes to get used to them. She says your eyes change shape slightly to conform to the contacts. I have no idea. All I know is that I was able to wear them for about half a day yesterday and then could not get them to focus, so I took them out and put my glasses on. Today, I am wearing my glasses again, so that I can try and finish up my projects. Maybe tomorrow I will put on the contacts. The last thing I am going to blog about, I have wrestled with for a few days. I am frustrated and sad. I feel like I have no right to be, because the cause has nothing to do with me. However, I am a caring person, and I can't seem to block that. I am also feeling a bit selfish, and that makes me feel guilty. Sunday night my daughter and her boyfriend broke up. They had only been going out for a little over a month, but had been spending all of their free time together for almost 2. I got to know him and his family very well. They were kind enough to include us in their Thanksgiving and even Christmas Eve plans. For once since we moved here, I felt like I had made friends, and beginning to have a social life again. Now all of that has changed. He told her he loved her, she said she didn't feel the same and wasn't sure she ever would and she broke up with him. He is DEVASTATED. She doesn't seem to care. She says she needs space to figure out her feelings. He says he is lost without her. I feel like all I do is cry. I cry for his broken heart. I cry because I have lost friends. I cry because I feel guilty for feeling so emotional about this because all I want is for my daughter to be happy. She says she isn't sure she was happy with him. I am proud of her for having the strength to do what she thinks is right, but this sucks! I feel like I am not being the supportive mom I need to be. I know they had only been going out a short time, and that they are both young, but it still sucks! The last few days my relationship with her has felt broken. She knows I feel like she made a mistake, I have told her as much. I told her that love and relationships are not like what you see or read about in a Nicholas Sparks book/movie. Love isn't at first sight. It grows and changes as you get to know someone. She thinks her feelings will never catch up to his, and it is better to break up now than later when his feelings are even stronger. I feel like she hasn't given her feelings a chance. Maybe I am just forcing on her what I think is good for her, and honestly I know she knows best, but this sucks! So now my Christmas Eve plans have fallen apart, I have a gift to return as he doesn't want it because it will remind him to much of her, and I have lost the only friends I have made since I moved here. I really need a job to get me out of this house!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Needle Update and YUMMY recipe

After posting and looking through the house again, I finally found the missing needles. Since we moved, I have been trying to be a bit more organized. I usually know where things are, but not always. Part of this organization was to but all my straight needles in a box, all my dpn's in a box and all my circulars in a box. The boxes I am using are like the ones you see in all the craft stores. The best part is I get them for free. The grinding discs my husbands company uses come in them. They were just tossing them, so employees started taking them home. Yeah me! I wish I had more, but there are other people that one them too, so I take what I can get. I love how they have handles and latches and stack so nice and are clear so I can see what is in them. Sorry off on a tangent... So far it has worked pretty well. At one point I had them all in the same box, but was growing tired of digging through the kids of needles I didn't need for each project. This way is working better. The issue with the missing needles was, I never put them in the box, or my knitting bag, which right now has a stash of needles for the projects I am currently working on, or just finished. I bought these needles so my daughter could knit her boyfriend a beanie. I left them out for her. She then moved them, and the box they would go in into the office and then stacked a few books on top of them. I knew something was amiss when I couldn't find the box of dpn's. As soon as I found them I started on a beanie. The pattern I am using is called, "Cool Hats". It is from Better Homes and Garden Knit It, 2004, designed by Nancy Thomas. It is quick and easy. I knit it in a dark green with a pale yellow stripe in some Caron Simply Soft that I had left in my stash. Yesterday I worked in all the ends and started on one in the same green with a white stripe. I just need to work the decreases and work in the ends. Woo hoo two more hats done! I will try to have my son model one or both of them later. As promised I have a picture of Gwen in the slouchie beanie. Love it!
I am thinking I will knit this again. I may not make it quite as long, but we will see. Also, as a bonus to today's post, I am sharing a recipe. Yesterday my cousin Lisa Rangel, who shares my love for bacon posted a photo on facebook of some chocolate bacon cupcakes she had made. I immediately ask for the recipe, which she had frankensteined together for a few different recipes. Therefore, I am calling it her original creation. Here is the recipe...enjoy!
CHOCOLATE BACON CUPCAKES Ingredients ½ C Cocoa Powder 1 C Boiling hot water 1 1/3 C flour 2 tsp baking powder ? salt (the recipe she sent me said to add salt but not how much, we just added a dash. I have ask her to send me the amount. I will edit the recipe if she does.) ½ C butter, room temperature 1 C white sugar 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract ½ C chopped fried bacon Directions Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin cups In a small bowl, stir hot water and cocoa powder until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in vanilla. Mix in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour mixture and bacon and beat only till incorporated. Don’t over mix! Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool on a wire rack. CHOCOLATE CARAMEL FROSTING Ingredients 4 Tbsp butter ½ C packed brown sugar 2 Tbsp milk 1 ½ C powdered sugar 1 Tbsp cocoa powder 1 tsp vanilla extract Chopped bacon for garnish Directions In a saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then add milk. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Sift together cocoa and powdered sugar. Blend into butter mixture and add vanilla. If too thick, add more milk. Spread onto cooled cakes. Act fast as the frosting sets up quickly. Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top BEFORE the frosting cools… otherwise it rolls off!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's on Your Needles Wednesday #9

After posting last week I was surprised I got the WOYNW number right. I totally guessed. So, I am still working on my socks (grape twist), knitting a pair of a man in my life tbd later(could be Craig, could be Dad, suppose it could even be Cory). Yesterday finished up a cute slouchy beanie in an ivory Caron Simply Soft for my niece, Kassie. She doesn't read my blog, so I am safe talking about it. The pattern is from day nine of Caron's 12 days of Christmas. Each day for 12 days they sent a new pattern for gifting. I usually only like about half of them. Lots of hats and scarfs. I know everyone isn't like me, so I really don't give a lot of hats and scarves. I on the other hand love them, and could probably wear a different one every day. My husband and kids could too. Kassie loves fashion, and loves slouchy beanies. I knit her a cute cabled one for her birthday in hot pink simply soft. My sister suggested this one be more neutral so she could wear it with more. I LOVE how it turned out. My only dislike was the pattern was written to be knit flat and seamed. I believe things that are round like socks and hats, should be knit in the round. No problem right, just knit it in the round. Well, maybe I have mentioned before when it comes to knitting I don't like to think. If a pattern needs to be manipulated much, forget about. I know it is probably simple and I wouldn't have to think much, but I think it should have originally been written different. I liked the hat, as did my girls. I will probably knit it again, this time in the round and will have to think. UGH! So having finished the hat, I was prepared to start on a hat for one of my nephews, I grabbed some yarn and went to my bag for the size 8 circular and dpns I bought a week or so ago. They weren't there. Neither were the denim sewing machine needles I bought. I have now torn my house apart looking for them, and have even gone through the trash. YUCK! They are no where to be found. I am sick to my stomache. Money is TIGHT for us this year. Two house payments for 4 months and me not working are killing our bank balance. I can't afford to go buy these needles again, but as I need them to make my Christmas presents and save some money, I have no choice. DRAT, DRAT, DOUBLE DRAT!!! The next thing I need to work on(other than the hats with the missing needles) requires the denim needles, or wool yarn that is in the garage. It is COLD here. Clear and cold. Okay, so maybe 46 isn't cold, but when you have been in the 60-70's it is. I don't want to go out there and find it. Yes, this is me whinning. I know it isn't attractive, but I really don't care right now. I will try to add a picture of the slouchy hat when my daughter gets home. TTFN, Miki

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's on Your Needles Wednesday #8?

I have no idea what number WOYNW this is. I am still working on gifts so I really can't share. I have made a little progress on my socks, but not enough to need to take a picture. Everything else is top secret! Wish I could share, but I want it all to be a surprise. Monday was my 40th birthday. I was blessed with facebook notes, calls and cards from friends and family. It was a nice day. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the health of my family, that my husband has a job, that our house in Richmond has finally rented, and so many other things. We will be spending the day with Gwen's boyfriends family. We haven't had Thanksgiving with anyone else since we moved 7 years ago, so this should be interesting. We were told we didn't need to bring anything, but Jacque was having none of that. She insisted on making cranberry sauce and pink salad. She really wanted to make pumpkin rolls, but I was able to talk her out of it. We will make them for Christmas, or maybe just later this week. I did however, make 2 loaves of Snickerdoodle bread. Thanks Daysha and Val! It smelled wonderful cooking, and hopefully tastes good too. If you want the pumpkin dinner roll recipe, clink on the link. For the snickerdoodle bread you go. ‎2 1/2 cups FLOUR 2 teaspoons BAKING POWDER 1/2 teaspoon SALT 2 teaspoons CINNAMON 1 cup BUTTER, softened 2 cups SUGAR 3 EGGS 2 teaspoons VANILLA 1 cup SOUR CREAM 1 (10 oz.) pkg. CINNAMON CHIPS 1 Tablespoons FLOUR 2 Tablespoons TURBINADO SUGAR (aka Sugar In the Raw) 2 teaspoons CINNAMON Preheat oven to 350°. Grease loaf pans (I used 2 full-size, but you can also do this as 4 or 5 mini loaves.) Combine flour and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together butter, 2 cups of sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add eggs, beat well. Add vanilla and sour cream; mix well to combine. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Coat the cinnamon chips with the 1 Tablespoons of flour and stir into the batter. Divide the batter between the greased pans. In a small bowl, combine the turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture over each loaf. Bake 35-40 minutes for mini loaves and 60-70 minutes for full-size loaves, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan. TTFN, Miki

Friday, November 18, 2011

Super late What's on your needles, and some other stuff

I know once again my weekly knitting post is late. But it is late because I have been busy knitting. I am still working on those grape twist socks for me. It is really slow going. Not sure why. Maybe its the pattern, which isn't too complex. Maybe it's the needles, size 1 bamboo. I guess it could be the yarn. That being the case, I have moved onto other projects so I can finish up Christmas gifts. That being said, I cant really share what I am working on because I don't know who in my family is going to read this. I will say that some of what I have knit is fun and silly, and make not even be given as gifts. Some are firsts for me. I will share more about this later. Others are basic and I know will be loved. The best part is that I am stash busting. The worst part, a recurring theme, not having the right size needles. Seriously!!! I actually bought 3 new pairs of needles this week. UGH!!! I have looked at my needle chart and I am pretty close to owning every size, except the longer cable needles. If you are friends or family that still need to get me a birthday or Christmas gift, you can't go wrong with knitting needles. I would also love yarn from, or a gift certificate to knitivity I'm not picky about color. I seem to like everything he dyes. This is one of the reasons my stash is so large. Onto the other stuff. I had planned on writing a few different things, and now I have no idea what they were. Ooops. Monday I turn 40. I am feeling ok about this. Ask me on Monday or even Tuesday and my answer might be different. I am pretty much happy with my life. I love my husband and kids and feel I am where I am supposed to be. Couldnt ask for much more except maybe a job and I know that will come. Tomorrow we head to Richmond for some business stuff and a party for me. I am so excited to see my friends! I really need to get out more here. The last few days I haven't felt so good. Can't really put my finger on it aside from really bad reflux. Keep you up all night bad. Nothing is different, just reflux and stomache pain that medication isn't helping. This has left me tired and not wanting to do anything. I have worked out once this week. I did yoga. It felt great and I had every intention of doing it again, but I haven't. The day isn't over yet. On a good note, despite my not forcing myself to work out, I am still loosing weight. Still slowly. I guess that is just how I do it. Works for me, but I like to see results super quick! I will say I have lost 16lbs since August. I am wearing pants 2 sizes smaller and other than this stomache thing, feel better. My goal is to lost at least another 14-25. I think that is a good weight for me. I was happy at that weight and liked how my clothes fit. We will see how that works out. I will say though, that I don't have many pants that fit me now, and some of what I do have, hopefully won't fit for much longer. This sucks, because I don't want to buy in between clothes. I imagine I will be hitting some thrift stores soon. Well, I guess that is all I have to write for now. I do want to add that last week when writing my blog, my husband ask if anyone read it, or if it was just a sort of therapy for me. I have looked at my stats and see I am getting page views. They are mainly for Jacques adobe diorama. If you read this, could you please leave a comment. I would love to know who is reading, and if you have any suggestions to make it better, or add more readers. TTFN, Miki

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What's on your needles Wednesday #7

I have had a lot on my mind lately and have really wanted to blog, but none of it pertains to knitting, and while I do usually add other stuff it involves my kids and some personal trials we are working through as a family and I didn't feel comfortable sharing with everyone. Please pray for us that we find the wisdom to help them make the right choices.

As for the knitting, I have been working on a few things. First, I knit this awesome hat. The pattern is called simply, Men's ski hat. It is designed by Irina Dmitrieva. I prefer to call it Crazy Celtic Cables. I knit it for my hubby. I used some Caron Simply Soft in grey that I had in my stash. I LOVE how it turned out. Once I am pretty much done stash busting, I will probably knit one for myself in a winter white. I found some alpaca silk that I think would be perfect. I found this pattern on Ravelry and bought it there too. The pattern is not to tricky. I finished in about 2 days, and that was time I devoted to concentrated knitting. I saved the veg out stuff for wash cloths.

I am now once again stash busting. I am knitting a pair of socks for me. I am using some yummy Crystal Palace Panda Silk that my bff bought for me. The color is #4006, which is a pretty variegated purple. This pattern was also found on Ravelry. It is by Rachel M. Blaine and is called Redvine/Blackjack. I am knitting the redvine version. This pattern is pretty easy. It however has been challenging for me as it uses a picot edge cast on that I had not previously done. Also it is knit on size one needles. I normally knit my socks on a size 2. For whatever reason it just feels like I am knitting with toothpicks. Of course it doesn't help that the needles are bamboo also. I am making pretty good progress, but it is slower going than normal. For example it took me about 45 minutes to cast on. Ugh! The edge is pretty though. I can't wait till these are finished and I can wear them.

I have also been working on another beard hat. This time for Craig. I increased the edges a bit as I didn't like the fit of the first one. Also, he wanted it furry, so I added a strand of fun fur. Let me just say that this easy pattern is made harder when you can't see the stitches because of the not so fun fur. This is why, this is not done yet. I am also trying to figure out a way (possibly tiny buttons- thanks Sarah) to make it detachable. He wants it on his new ski hat, but I like the idea of being able to remove it. TTFN!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What's on your needles Wednesday #6

Here it is Wednesday again. I started another dish/wash cloth yesterday. It is actually called a spa cloth. I like the sound of that SO much better. It has a diamond pattern with eyelets in it. The odd thing is, I am on row two, I think I have made yet another mistake, and will need to rip it out again. I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I have frogged it. I am beginning to think I am not going to knit this.

Yesterday I went through all my knitting magazines. I looked at all the patterns and had to decide if they were ones I would ever knit or not. I think I got rid of about 1/4 of the magazines. I few of them, there were one or two patterns I might knit, so I just tore those out. No sense keeping the whole magazine right?

I spent most of last week, or at least it seems I did, on a simple crocheted beanie and beard for Cory. The first hat I made was so small. I used the right yarn, and the right hook. I don't know what the problem was, maybe I just hold my tension way to tight. I decided to go up 2 hook sizes. This hat is much better, but I wish it was a couple of rows longer. Plus, I guess I am just used to knit fabric. I don't care for the openness of the crochet. I can see where there are times it would be nice, but knitting makes a much more solid fabric. I still need to attach the beard, so once again no pictures. I really need to get caught up on pictures!

Gwen has decided she wants leg warmers. Lord knows this is not something I will buy, when I know I can make them. I looked up some patterns on Ravelry, and ask her last night what kind she wanted. Her answer was, "there is more than one kind?" Really, yes of course there is. She didn't look over the pictures, so I guess that is a project that we will be putting off.

I also pulled out a few mitten patterns yesterday. I think this is something I would like to try. Might be kind of fun. I just hope I don't get second mitten syndrome.

Another funny/odd thing I noticed yesterday when going through the magazines, I don't have the right yarn for the projects I want to do. Remember last week when I said I never seemed to have the right needles from my projects even though I have TONS of needles. Well, I also have TONS of yarn. Most of what I have is worsted. It is either wool, or acrylic. I also have a large box of sock yarn. Then I have miscellaneous yarns. I probably have 4-5 Rubbermaid tubs of yarn. However, yesterday it sure seemed like everything I looked at needed bulky yarns. Hats, mittens, sweaters, scarves, everything. Here I am trying to purge yarn, and would need to buy new yarn to knit what I want to. I do know that I could hold two strands together, but that gives a bit of a different look and requires me to think more(remember there are 2 strands for each stitch). I will probably just keep trying to figure out what to knit with what I have got. TTFN

Friday, October 28, 2011

What's on your needles Wednesday #5, late again

Yes, I know it is Friday not Wednesday. I finished the hat scarf. It is like a really long elf hat. My sister says snowboarders were them. I have no idea. I do know that it isn't easy to put on, and I am pretty sure the pattern had a BIG mistake in it. I made it work though. The two younger girls are fighting over it. I know I should make another, but you know me and my crafters ADD, I really don't want to. I tried to start one immediately with the boucle. But, I stopped as I remembered why I hadn't used it yet. I really don't like knitting with it. The other problem was that I was supposed to start it on size 9 circular needles 16". For some reason despite all the needles I do have, I NEVER seem to have the right ones for a new project. The first hat I started on size 9 dpn's. What a pain. I then went to the craft store to buy new ones. Of course they were out of them. Unbelievable! Because with the boucle you can't really see the stitches, I decided to make the pattern super simple, and leave out the decorative rib pattern. After about 5 rounds, I decided that I might just knit it on the machine and run a seam up the side. I have knit this yarn on the machine, and while it wasn't super fun, it would go a lot faster than by hand. The seam would take away from it a little, but because of the texture of the yarn, I don't think you would really notice it. Plus, I don't think the girls would mind.

Then I knit a simple hat/cap. I used yarn from my stash, Bernat camouflage in pink and grey. I was hoping to get the camo feel from it. I didn't really. It knit up in chuncks of the color, that pretty much stayed all on the same side. Basically if you wear the hat one way you see only grey and then if you turn around you see pink. Gwen thinks it looks tie dyed. No one has claimed it yet. Maybe I will donate it to charity. I have been planning on knitting up my stash of worsteds for charity anyway. Acutally I was hoping one of the girls would take the HUGE hints I have dropped and knit them up for one of the silver/gold awards. Maybe I need to drop a few more hints.

Then I knit another starfish wash cloth. I REALLY like this pattern. It is simple and quick. Plus it turns out pretty. I chose a Lily, Sugar and Cream in Mod Ombre. It is blue and greens with yellow. It reminds me of colors used in a beach house. Once again I am a sucker for blues and greens. Yesterday while I was knitting this I was thinking about what my favorite color was. If someone were to ask me my answer would be red. But if someone where to see the yarns I choose, or even the fabrics for my quilts(aside from the red and black one that spoke to me), they would think it was green or blue. There is just something about those colors and shades that I love. Maybe I am just kidding my self and those are my favorite colors, not red. Come to think of it I have more greens and blues in my closet than red too.

Right now I have nothing on my needles. I am hoping to attempt a crochet project. I learned to crochet when I was about 12. I made a granny square blanket and that was about it. I am going to attempt a hat with a beard attachment. You have to see a picture to truly understand it. Cory said he would like it, so I am going to try. Wish me luck. TTFN

Friday, October 21, 2011

Treadmills and other stuff

Today I jumped back on the treadmill after a week off. I was lacking motivation. Not sure why. I mean I am losing weight...slowly, but still losing. I feel better, and for the most part am sleeping better. I did lift nearly everyday this last week, and I also did some yoga. So at least I wasn't sitting around doing nothing. I will say that after a few days off, I was scared to go back. I was worried that I would tire quickly, and we super sore. I am happy to say that neither happened. It felt great and so do I. I may pay for it later but that is ok.

On a super happy note, Craig received a check for part of the settlement from his job at Qimonda. It took almost 3 years, and is not even close to what he is owed, but it is a start. As of right now, 2 more checks are expected. I have no idea how much they will be for.

Also, our house is finally leased!!!! Hooray! It leased for less than we wanted, and repairs are being done, so I am pretty sure when all the bills are done we will get no money to our November payment, but I am SO glad it is finally leased.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's on you needles Wednesday #4

Today I will finally post pictures of some of the projects I have finished up lately. As I said before it has mainly been wash/dish cloths. I am using up the cotton yarn that I have been able to find. This last weekend we pulled the Halloween stuff out of the garage and I located my other yarn. Happy Day!!!! Now I can knit hats and sweaters and socks and whatever else I want to knit. First up will be a hat scarf that I saw on Caron's site. I will NOT be using the 1lb yarn that it calls for. YUCK! I truly dislike how this feels. I will make the first one our of some Caron simply soft in a bright aqua color. Jacque really wants hers to be multi colored. In my stash I found a purple gradient boucle that I had purchased years ago. I am afraid that it will be too light weight for this hat, but I will probably try. Why not...I have all kinds of time on my hands and I already own the yarn. Hopefully next week I will have pictures of this new project to show you.
For now here are the pictures I have been promising.


Pile of projects

Lacey cloth

Chinese waves ( I used Peaches and Cream scents to knit this. It smells like lavender. I didn't know it was scented when I bought it. Jacque chose it because it was purple! Interesting to knit with, but not sure why you would want scented yarn. Wouldn't the scent wash out?)

Bee's Stitch

Lace again


Fabriknit hat

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Belated What's On Your Needles

Sorry, I just have not been in the mood to blog lately. I have been knitting. Lots of wash/dish cloths. I did not realize how much cotton yarn I had. And by cotton, for the most part I mean peaches and cream random balls. I will post pictures at another time. I have found a pattern I really like in that it is super simple and goes pretty fast. The pattern is called Bee's Stitch. Not sure why it is called that, but it essentially is a K,K1 in the stitch below, repeat, that is staggered with knit rows in between. I don't really have to think about anything while I am knitting and while I have made a mistake or two forgetting to stagger, the average person can't tell. LOVE that! I have also used up the ends of one ball on a scrubby or as the pattern calls it a "tawashi". It was simple and quick. I had to think a bit more on this one, but that is ok. In the end it was a little smaller than I had hoped, so I will probably need to increase the number of stitches, but all in all pretty good. Of course if I increase the stitches, it won't use up the end of a ball. Guess I should try it out before I go tinkering with the pattern.

I have a hat/scarf pattern that I really want to knit as I am really getting tired of wash cloths, but I don't know where my yarn stash is yet, so until I decided to finish unpacking the garage it will have to wait. TTFN

Friday, September 30, 2011

Kiss Dry Goodbye part 2

I am a blogging fool today. The workout is done, and I have now showered using the Biolage products from shespeaks. The shampoo is GREAT! It has a pleasant citrusy floral scent. It lathers really well. After using it my hair felt pretty dry, but of course I still needed to condition. I used the hair masque next. It also has a great scent. I don't know how I feel about the jar. It is a cream, so it comes in a jar, not a bottle. I have never used anything like this, so I was a little unsure how much to use. I took out what looked like about the same amount of conditioner that I normally use. I left it in at least 3 mins. The jar says 3-5, but I didn't bring a timer in with me. After rinsing my hair felt good. I toweled dried it and combed it out. Not tangles. I then used my blow dryer. Even after blow drying, it still feels soft. The masque says to use a few times a week. I will probably only use it once a week. I may also share these with my oldest daughter. Other than coloring and the occasional blow dry, I don't do a lot to damage my hair and dry it out. I realize just being dries it out. She on the other hand colors, blow drys, flat irons, curls etc. You know typical teen stuff. This may be just what her hair needs. I would recommend both of these products to people. These are items that can only be sold in a salon. I will keep you updated. TTFN

Kiss Dry Goodbye

Thanks to shespeaks, I went to a local salon, Hair Inc. and got a great new cut and color. I was also given a full size Biolage hydratherapie shampoo, and a Biolage Aqua Immersion Creme Masque to try at home.

At first I wasn't too sure about the salon. It is located inside Crabtree Valley Mall, by the food court no less. I however soon became impressed with my stylist Evelyn. She is very experienced in color mixing and worked for Aveda for a time. The prices with my cool shespeaks salon discount weren't bad, and I love my new cut and color. Take a look for yourself.



I will probably go back to the salon, because they are not just another mall salon. But, I do still miss Brandon at Ciao Bella.

I plan on using the shampoo and conditioner later today after my work out and will let you know what I think.

BTW, if you haven't checked out shespeaks yet, please do. They are very cool. They ask women their oppinion on various products and services. I have gotten all kinds of free stuff, and lets face it, every little bit counts right. TTFN

Scarf pictures

Okay so it took two days. The blocking was a little more time consuming than I would have liked. Then I had to wait for good light. The pictures do NOT do the color justice at all. When it was damp for blocking you could totally see the lavender in it. I love this scarf. It is light and airy and soft. I LOVE alpaca silk blends! I just wish I could afford to knit with them all the time.
Here is the before.

And the after.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's on your needles Wednesday #3

First let me say, has it really been a week since I last blogged. Wow! As of right now. I have nothing on needles. Kind of a strange feeling. I finished the scarf a little earlier today. I need to work in a couple of ends and block it. I will take before and after blocking pictures to share. Right now, unblocked it is kind of ruffly looking. I was going for more soft and drapey. I hope the blocking helps. I would really like to start a new pair of socks, but haven't unpacked the sock yarn yet. Before we moved I organized and regrouped all my yarns. Right now the only yarn I have unpacked is cotton. So I guess my next projects will be dishrags/wash cloths and can/bottle covers(koozies) Not terribly exciting, but will use my stash none the less. Of course, that may inspire me to finish unpacking the garage so I can find my sock yarns. I will take and hopefully post pictures tomorrow. I have way better light during the day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's on your needles Wednesday #2

Well, I still have the scarf on my needles. I have made pretty good progress and am over half way done. However, as it is a detailed lacey pattern, I have to focus when I am knitting. That apparently means I can't knit it while I am watching something interesting on tv like Dateline or 20/20. When I did that this weekend, I kept making mistakes and needing to tink back a row. And then try to figure out what row I was supposed to be on. It was really bad. There were even a few times that I knit a row instead of purling and vice versa. The strangest thing is usually I have a 3 mistakes and done for the night rule, and I totally exceeded that and just kept right on going. I really want to get this done. Of course then I would need to find my yarn as I have nothing to work on next. I will post pictures when it is done. Something to look forward to right? TTFN

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weekend and workouts

Early Saturday morning the kids and I piled into the car and drove to Richmond. Gwen had an orthodontist appointment. I know it seems strange to drive there after we have moved, but we have paid our portion and hopefully she is almost done, so a couple hour drive every few months doesn't seem too bad. Getting up at 5 on a Saturday made it feel like a poor decision. The best part was of course I could see my friends who I miss desperately. The kids all had friends to spend time with too. We only planned on staying Saturday and driving home on Sunday. That is what we did, but it was not nearly enough time. Visits with friends felt SUPER rushed. I really would have liked to have driven up on Friday, but the kids really wanted to go to the football game. Because I am a great mom, I let them. Next month I am going to push for driving down on Friday. It will be my birthday weekend and therefore I get my way. Right? I am sure two days will also not be enough time, but it will have to do.

Unfortunately I did not workout on either Saturday or Sunday. I had planned on hoping on the treadmill on Sunday, but didn't. Not to make excuses, but I slept poorly in a strange bed, and after a 3 hour drive I just wanted to put my pajamas on and climb in bed. So I did. I certainly paid for it on Monday. The workout was hard. I did realize when I was almost done that I had gone further, faster and burned more calories. I am beginning to push myself. My calves hurt and I tell myself this is a positive. Today was the same. Faster, further and more calories. Yeah! The bad, or maybe good part is that I have stared to talk to myself during the workout. I chant positive affirmations. I sure hope no one walks in while I am doing it. I am my own trainer. If it makes me stronger, healthier, thinner and sexier, I am all for it. One week in. No weight lost, none gained. Clothes don't fit any different and except for my calves and ankles hurting I don't feel different. I sure hope I see changes soon.

I have also signed up for a Self workout. It is designed to drop 8 lbs in a month (2 a week). I will not being doing the exact plan. My treadmill only has 2 inclines and I have to stop it to change it. I like the strength workout. I can't wait to try it tomorrow, or maybe even later today. Plus the pork chop recipe for dinner sounds pretty good. Bonus, I don't have to think about dinner! I may even get the ingredients for the black bean brownies and try to sneak them to my kids. TTFN

Friday, September 16, 2011

workout day 4

Yes I know I skipped day 3, but I did workout. Day 3 was so much easier than the previous 2. I think it was because of the fan. My girls have big fans mounted on the walls in their rooms. Not sure why but they are there. While walking I considered switching the office with Gwen's room so I could put the treadmill in front of the fan. My thinking was the little fan feels so good, wouldn't a big fan feel better? Craig vetoed the idea. He doesn't want to carry the treadmill upstairs. Plus, the office doesn't have a closet and Gwen needs a closet. Dang!

Today's workout was harder than yesterdays. But, I realized that I was walking faster today, than yesterday. Much faster in fact. So that would explain why it was harder. Right now I just want to go back to bed. I am so tired. But, I have much to do so I won't.

Tomorrow I have to get up early and drive to Richmond. Gwen has an orthodontist appointment at nine. Finding time to fit a workout in will be tough. Charlene and I may need to go for a walk like old times. Sunday we will drive home. Once again a workout will need to be snuck in there.

My trying to establish this habit has rubbed off on Craig. He got up yesterday and went for a run. He hasn't done that in awhile and paid for it the rest of the day. Apparantly his calf tightened up on him and bothered him the rest of the day. Of course he didnt stretch enough and didnt hydrate and refused to eat a banana. So I have little sympathy for him. I just hope he keeps it up. TTFN

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rosetta Stone

My kids are taking Spanish 2 this year. Gwen was supposed to be in Spanish 2 honors, but they don't offer that here. I think this is a good thing. You see she is behind what they expected her to know coming in. Gwen did REALLY well in Spanish last year. Right now she has a low C. Everyday is a struggle. I am also beginning to think her teacher isn't very good. I have tried to help her. My Spanish is super rusty, but I am better than nothing. I have shown her web sites that will help. I have offered to tape vocab all over the house for her. Right now the main problem is vocab and verb tenses. So, I bought Rosetta Stone. I bought versions 1-5 off of Craig's list. Brand new and for a great price. I messed around with it the first day. It seemed pretty good. I did have one complaint. Within the lessons is a section where you practice pronunciation. I can speak Spanish well. I have had native speakers compliment my accent. Rosetta Stone doesn't like it. This is VERY frustrating to me, and I know how to say the word. It is SUPER frustrating to my kids. Clarece is really the only one using it, and she has never taken Spanish. So far she has picked up a few words. I am impressed. Gwen hasn't even touched it. She has been busy though. Maybe this weekend.

Today I think I figured out how to make the pronunciation part work. You need to speak pretty slow for the computer to pick up the words and sometimes need to break the words into syllables. This is pretty hard for me to do as I don't speak Spanish slow like that. I do have a friend that ask me on facebook last night if we had problems with this part as her daughter did with her French one and hasn't touched it since. This brings me to a few questions. Has anyone else tried Rosetta Stone? What do you think of it? What problems/concerns did you have? TTFN

What's on your needles Wednesday #1

Lately my posts have not been about knitting or any kind of crafts. It seems the "other stuff" has taken over this blog. So, I decided to commit to at least one post a week on knitting and crafts. I am calling it "what's on your needles Wednesday". I will post what I am working on, and hope others will comment on what they are working on. Since my blogging hiatus during nursing school, I don't know if anyone is still reading this, but maybe this will get some people here.

I am currently knitting a scarf. The pattern is called Ocean Currents. It is from a book by Sheryl Thies called, Ocean Breezes. I have chosen to knit this in an alpaca silk blend that I purchased from Hermes Alpacas in Midlothian VA. In the move I seem to have misplaced the label, but I think I am knitting it in Twilight. However I am not sure. The color is sort of a pinkish purplish brown. Hard to explain and I don't think the picture does it justice. I LOVE this yarn. It is SO soft. The owner of the farm had knit this scarf up in a greenish color and had it on display at a craft fair I attended. This is why I chose this pattern and yarn combo. I think this yarn is making for a lacier version of this scarf. I started this scarf last December while finishing up my third semester of nursing school. I decided a few months ago that I was knitting it too tight. This is a "problem" of mine. Usually it doesn't matter, but in this case I think I was making it impossible to lay flat and blocking wouldn't have helped. I have restarted it. I am almost back to where I was before ripping it out. It has a light airy quality to it. I have no idea if it will lay flat, but I am not ripping it out again. I was thinking the other day that I may knit this scarf again in another yarn just to compare the two. Hopefully I will finish this scarf this week and have something new "on my needles" next week. Please let me know what you are working on. TTFN

Workout Day 2

I am one day closer to a new habit. I sure hope so. Today's workout went pretty good. I stayed on the treadmill longer than yesterday but not as long as I want. It is a baby step. I think it is better to set your goals high and work towards them than to make them completely manageable. The workout felt better than yesterday. I have a feeling today I will be sore though. My calves are killing me right now. No amount of stretching is helping. I am not concerned about the number on the scale. That will come in time. Right now I just want to build some stamina. I also need to find our fan. The treadmill is in the office, which has 2 huge windows with southern exposure. There is so much sun coming in that room even with the blinds down and the air on that room is warm. I really need a fan blowing on me like at the gym. That will be one goal for tomorrow. One that will hopefully be easy to achieve, hard to say though because my kids had it last. TTFN

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Starting a routine

So ever since the move, and my not being in school, I have been trying to lose the weight I should never have put back on again. I can give all kinds of excuses like moving into temporary housing and eating out made it hard to make good choices. However, they are just excuses. I knew full well how to make healthy choices from a menu. I know all about portion control. I have many tools at my disposal to work out, I just chose not too. I have heard and I am sure there are studies to back this up that to make a new routine a habit you need to do it for 30 days. That may be true, but I have also found that even a several year old habit of eating well, and excercising and be broken in just a couple days.

My husband tells me if I work out, I will feel better and sleep better. I'm not convinced. It never worked before. That being said, today after putting it off as long as I could, I hopped onto the treadmill. I will admit, I didnt stay on as long as I had planned. But at least I did it right? Tomorrow I will stay on longer.

I have been eating better. We almost never eat fast food, or out at all for that matter. I avoid box type dinners and try to make everything from scratch. I am loosing weight. Slowly. Research says that is the best way to loose it. I am hoping that my workouts kick it up a notch. They never have before, but I am holding out hope. When I initially lost this troublesome weight. I did it with weight watchers. I counted my points and measured everything. I didnt really work out. If I did, I didnt lose weight. I couldn't bank points, I had to use them. The problem was I wasn't hungry. So I was forcing myself to eat, and often times things that were not good for me(ice cream) to use up my excercise points so I could still lose that week. I kept that weight off for 2 years until we moved. No excuses, just bad choices. I worked at it and lost almost all of the weight again, and we moved again. When we first lived in Richmond, my friend Charlene and I walked nearly everyday, and the weight was starting to come back off. But, Charlene went back to work and we stopped walking. We both complained that we were gaining weight, but we never got back into it. Without that friend for motivation it didnt work. Craig suggested we join a gym. He was my motivation, or so I hoped. However, he quickly grew bored and stopped coming. I continued going, working out, 30 mins of cardio, 15 of weights almost everyday. I didnt lose any weight at all. I continued going hoping I was at a plateau and would soon break it. Then I got the flu...There was a point when I was sick that I wished I would die. I felt so bad. I was out of the gym for a week and lost 10 lbs.(not the way you want to). I could never get back into the routine of going. Then I started school. I didn't gain weight in school, but I sure didnt lose it either.

So now, I eat fresh food, fruits and veggies, and much smaller portions,and as of today I am working out again. Wish me luck! While I want to wear a smaller size, for me it is also about health. I want to be there for my family. I also want to be able to enjoy the time I have with them.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


It has been so long since I posted any knitting or craft project. I have been working on stuff, just not much. Lets see, I finished a quilt.
This picture is before it was quilted, but you get the idea. I have knit several pairs of socks. When my mom and dad came to visit in May, I learned to make a fabulous table runner. So, I made a few of them.

I also made a cupcake one for Valerie for her birthday,and a red and black floral one. I will try to post pictures of those later.
Most recently (yesterday) I finished a fabri Knit hat. I bought this in a kit several years ago(maybe while I was in Minnesota). The fabric looks sort of like a bandana. The pattern was a simple knit 3 purl 2. The hat turned out kind of cute. I wasn't too sure while I was working on it, but it worked out ok. The fabric wanted to twist and fold strangely. It was hard on my hands to knit as it really didnt want to slip like yarn would. I would need to knit a few rows and then rest, or the pain would almost be unbearable. It reminded me of when my tendonitis would flare up, and I couldn't type. Fortunately the hat is done. It will most likely turn out like many of my interesting medium projects and be a one and done. I can honestly say I prefer to knit with yarn.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Yesterday one of the bloggers I read (Jessica)had a post about issues she was having with her almost teenage daughter. I want to share it with you all as it is something I experience quite regularly. I am so tired of hearing the words but everyone else does/has. The last few weeks it has been concerning the dress code at their school. Apparently the dress codes is rather loosely enforced. The girls are supposed to wear shorts that are no shorter than finger tip length. No thin straps. No bra straps showing. No midriffs showing. You get the picture. Any of you that have tried to find shorts that are not too short know the challenge I have been up against for the last few years. Couple that with girls who have really long arms. Gwen practically has to wear Bermuda shorts to comply with the dress code. The first week she came home and told us that everyone wore short shorts and no one cared. After a week of this with both her and Clarece, I had to finally explain to them once again that I didn't care what everyone else did they would not. I explained that they signed a paper agreeing to a dress code and they would abide by it. I explained that I have never been swayed by what other parents do. Their father and I make decisions to raise them the way we see best. Often times it is contrary to what others do. I don't care. My kids don't have cell phones. Yes sometimes I think it would make things easier. Yes the older 2 who are 15 will soon have them. But honestly, I am not sure why so many kids have them. My kids do not get email or facebook until they are 13. That is the rule, no exceptions. When we were preparing to move, my youngest ask for an email to keep in contact with her friends. I told her to use mine. She followed with all her friends had one. Once again...I don't care. Please take a moment to read Jessica's blog. It is really good.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In the new house almost a month

So we have been in NC almost a month. Just about every box in the house is unpacked. Those that aren't I am not motivated to unpack. Part of me says I should just toss what is in them, but I can't because some of them are important files, and knitting books and yarn, and Mary Kay product. All of this I will use in some capacity sooner or later. I just don't want to find a home for it right now.

The kids have all started school. Gwen didn't get all the classes she wanted, but I think she is ok with that now. Cornell also didn't get a class he wanted, but he is taking two math classes so he can stay caught up. He thinks this will work out better and I agree. Jacque is complaining every day that math is entirely review. I have spoken with and then emailed the counselor regarding checking the curriculum against her math from last year and possibly advancing her. I have yet to hear back. She is in band and learning to play the clarinet. Her first choice was the saxophone, but her band director prefers to have them start with clarinet and then they can test in December to switch to Sax. So, that is what she is going to try to do. Clarece, is also taking band and playing clarinet. Her 3rd year. She has expressed a small interest in sax, but really likes her clarinet.

I am still looking for work. Looking for work is a total bummer. All of my friend who graduated with me have found jobs. I know that if we had stayed in Richmond, I too would have a job. Connections make all the difference. Not knowing anyone here, and not having precepted here makes it a lot harder. In the mean time, I am going a bit stir crazy. I am finishing some knitting projects, and will probably start on some projects for Christmas. I have a football themed table runner I still need to make, and I also have a quilt I can work on. I clean the house all the time. What else can I do? Please Lord, let me find some work soon!

Our house in Richmond still isn't rented. This will be month number two of two house payments. This sucks big time! I am not entirely thrilled with the property management company that is representing us. They came very highly recommended, but they are horrible about returning our calls and they don't seem to communicate with us well. After Hurricane Irene, we had to call them to make sure the house was ok. They hadn't even been by. Not cool! Makes me wonder if they are doing all they can to rent it. I may need to look into getting released from the contract and renting it ourselves or go with someone else.

I had planned on posting the knitting projects I am working on now, or had just finished, but I haven't taken the pictures yet, so that will be another post.

TTFN, Miki

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finally registered!

So I finally have all the kids registered for school. I was amazed at the class offerings the high school had. So much more than what we had at the last school. They won't know their schedules until Monday, but I think they are happy with all of their choices. Gwen has a lot of "learning class" and few fun classes. But, then again that is the type of kid she is. Cory made some very responsible choices, and I hope they work out for them. It is really interesting to me to see what each state thinks is important for graduation requirements. For example in order to receive a basic diploma in Virginia, you have to have 2 years of a language and I believe two years of health and PE. Here, you only have to have 2 years of a language for any diploma and only one year of PE. Only requiring the one year allowed them more class choices in their schedule. Gwen was able to request the athletic trainer program, and Cory requested a sports and entertainment marketing class. Both sound fun and interesting to me and will give them a taste of a career option while still in high school. Gwen also chose a class that had to do with business as a backup option. I think they did a marvelous job choosing this school, and in choosing their classes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's official!

Well, it will be when I actually have the license, but I passed my boards. Thank you God!!! This morning when I looked on the VA board website by my name it said no license and I wanted to puke. I almost cried. My son was so sweet. He rubbed my back and said. "I'm sorry mom, it will be ok though." Some girl will be so lucky to have such a caring compassionate man someday. I am so blessed! Will say also that my girls were all in Richmond the last few days, but each of them checked on me yesterday and told me they were proud of me and they were sure I rocked it. Again I am SO blessed! When I was in the midst of my panic about possibly not passing I called my sister. She too had a similar moment last year when her license wasn't showing up, and she couldn't re register for the test. She was able to calm me down until I could call the board and see what was going on. When I called the recording said my license was current, but had a hold. Not sure what that was about. The live person I spoke with said there was no hold and that my license was good, and she even gave me the number. Yea!!! It is such a relief to know that this phase of my life is over. I met some truly wonderful people that are now dear friends. I had exceptional instructors that I can now call colleagues. Without them and the awesome support of my family this would not have been possible. Thank you all!
-Mikalan M. Krause, R.N.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to life, or is it life after nursing school

So from the looks of things, it has been just over 2 years since I have wrote. Nursing school has a way of taking over your life. I am VERY happy to say I am done(for the time being). I graduated in May. My parents flew out from Oregon and surprised me the day of my final which also happened to be the day of my nursing school pining. They had actually been in town for a few days and were trying to avoid seeing me. They truly surprised me and all 4 of my kids. It was a WONDERFUL visit. I then began preparing to move. Yes you heard me right, move. And we are not talking a down the street, or across town move we are talking to a whole new state. Fortunately for us, it was a corporate move, so we had a moving company doing all the packing and lifting. That doesn't explain why I have bruises all over my arms and legs though. Also, I still can't find my toaster and various other items and it took me almost 2 weeks to find my bras and pajamas that while labeled right were in the living room not the master bedroom. LAZY movers! We have been here 2 weeks and I have only really unpacked the basics so I can get around the house, cook and dress. The kids have unpacked all of their stuff, except for a box or two that must be labeled wrong, or in the wrong room. We had one box labeled dining room glass that was actually ALL books from the living room. Again I say LAZY movers. Why have I not done more in two weeks do you ask? Well it is pretty simple. I needed to study for my boards. Those pesky little test that are required to license you. Like most tests I probably over studied, and freaked out a bunch. I took it today. The minimum number of questions you can get is 75, the maximum is 265. No matter how many questions you can get in the range you can pass or fail. The test has a maximum time of 6 hours, and they suggest about 1 min per question. I took the test in 75 questions and 1 hour and 15 mins. IT WAS HARD!!! I won't find out officially until tomorrow if I passed or not, but I tried the Pearson Vue trick and it won't let me re register. This is a good sign. Now I need to unpack, find a job, and begin my life after nursing school. Which I hope has more knitting and other stuff! BTW if you want to know which of the major companies moved us, message me and I will share my experience with you.-M