Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who, me?

I know, I know. I haven't been here for you. And you're upset. You're sad. You're feeling empty. Alone. Disappointed. Well, you shouldn't rely on a blog to give you so much reassurance for crying out loud. Ok really, I'm sorry. I know I've been MIA, and the truth is that I don't even have a good excuse. I've just been....BLAH. Truth is, I think I've come down with a bad case of the S.A.D. You know, the Seasonal Affective Disorder. And even that, though honest, is not a good excuse because the weather here hasn't been awful. It's been OK. A little chilly, a few days with some ice on my car, but let's face it. I don't have it bad compared to those poor bastards I call "family" who live in Michigan and have to deal with snow every other day and temperatures that drop below 0 and stay there for a few days in a row.

So really, what I'm trying to say is, I'm lazy. I didn't have anything to blog about and even if I did, I didn't feel like blogging. But just so you don't feel left out of the loop of my life, here is a quick run-down of the goings-on for the past few weeks. This is in no particular order.

- signed up for a sewing class

- signed up for a book club

- got my hair done (and my hairdresser did NOT talk to me about politics this time, thank you very much)

- bought some clearance shoes at Target for $6.00

- had a huge, painful zit on my chin and asked God why the zits couldn't end when my adolescence did

- ate an ice cream sandwich for breakfast

- tried a new dinner at Taco Night (Enchiladas Blancas) and regretted it.....for a long time.....later that evening.....

- knitted the same scarf for the past 4 weeks; seriously, a simple garter stitch scarf; am totally burnt out on knitting

- went to a wine store/tasting with a friend and her 6 month old baby; got looked at funny.

- ate at the new Carl's Jr. restaurant by our house 3 times

- fell out of a folding chair while cleaning a book shelf; bruise leg bad; hurt to walk for several days

So as you can see, you haven't missed much.

Now here's the good news. I always start my new year's resolutions on February 1st. I don't really feel like explaining WHY right now, but it has to do with the fact that January 1st is when everyone else does it, and there's so much pressure on that date, and I just don't like it. So....... that means several things. First, my sweater, obviously. I made a trip to the yarn store today, and it was not very productive. Details to follow in another blog.

Second, a new weekly feature I will have on my blog pertaining to......drum roll please.....American Idol!!!! I'm not ashamed. I love it. And Hollywood week is upon us, and then the finals, which I love. So every week I will give my Weekly Recap of All Things Idol. This is a carry over from an Idol e-mail group that I started several years ago that consists of some friends and family members who all enjoy the Idol. This way, I figure, everyone can enjoy my witty observations.

I have to go now. Writing this blog has really taken it out of me. But I promise to be here more for you now, in the days ahead.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Knitting Help!

I had about 3 more "Michigan" blogs in my head that I intended to write, but I will be honest with you. I'm lazy. I got sick. I started a new job. And I just don't feel like it. I realized I needed to blog, and this is what I wanted to blog about, so here it is.

For Christmas, The Cowboy bought me a $50 gift certificate to my LYS, and it's been burning a hole in my pocket. I've had it for about 3 weeks now and that's the longest any gift certificate (yarn or otherwise) has gone without being spent. I can't take it any more!!!

The reason for my restraint is a good one, though. One of my new year's resolutions (ok, really, my only new year's resolution) is to.........drum roll please......knit...........myself..........a.......... sweater!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Given the number of (!) exclamation points above, I'm sure you can sense my enthusiasm, and realize that this will in fact be my first sweater, and really my first "big" project (unless you count socks, which of course are not big in size, but are no small feat to knit).

And so, with my yarn store gift certificate, my resolve to knit a sweater, AND the fact that my mom bought me a box of sweater patterns for Christmas, the deed is upon me, and I need your help.

I've narrowed down the sweaters in the pattern box (which included one heinous Cosby-esque sweater that I kind of want to knit for fun out of Red Heart or something) to 5, which I will now present to you via photograph, and I will ask that you, oh faithful and loyal readers of my blog, help me decide which sweater to knit. For actual knitters, I ask that you take into consideration the fact that I've never knit a sweater (seems), and my budget when buying yarn (the gift certificate, plus I can throw in maybe $30 of my own money). For all you non-knitters, you can use any criteria you want when judging. I don't care.

Just weigh in, let me know which one you think I should do and why, and then I will decide, buy the yarn, and be on my way.

Let's meet the contestants. (and yes I know the picture quality isn't the greatest, just roll with me people)

The "Graceful Shell". A bit dressy, looks like a shimmery sort of yarn. No cables or anything too difficult looking, and a nice scoop neck.

The "Braided Shell" with a big cable in the front, ribbing at the sleeves and a turtle neck.
The "Grape Seed Jacket" which, were I to make it, would be another color besides grape. With a pointed color, seed stitch pattern and pockets. Also, is this a little teacher/spinster librarian/old ladyish? Or does anyone else love it like I do?

The "Summer Sun Tank". Pretty basic, very simple, and honestly, probably would be the easiest one for me to knit. But do I love it? I don't know.

The "Pockets and Ribs" - hey the name says it all here, eh? Except that I would definitely use another color. Pink and I do not see eye to eye.
So there you have them. Which one do you like? Once I make my decision I will let you guys know, and post my progress on the blog so you can all share in my victory, or defeat, of my First Sweater! Thanks for your input!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Yes, I realize it's long past Christmas. And technically, here in Austin, today it's 75 degrees. But since a week ago I was freezing my butt off in Michigan, and I haven't blogged in nearly 2 weeks, I reserve the right to use the above title.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all that jazz. I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Mine was great. I feel like I don't even know where to begin to blog in order to try and catch everyone up with what's been going on. And then I decided I don't really care, I'm just gonna go for it. So up first is all the winter fun The Cowboy and I had in Michigan.

Let me begin by saying that we drove up in 1 day - 22 hours to be exact - only stopping to eat, pee, and get gas. Sometimes all in one stop. The Cowboy, God Bless him, drove all but 5 hours of that journey, and those 5 hours really wiped me out. I'm a wimp. Anyway, we didn't have ANY inclement weather or bad weather on the journey up (or home, for that matter). It was a completely uneventful trip, except that I was actually able to knit for quite sometime and ordinarily, I can't knit (or read) in a moving vehicle. So that was quite an accomplishment for me.

I digress. We didn't hit snow until about Toledo, which is about 40 minutes from my mom's house. Now let me tell you that the way my mom, my aunts, cousins and friends were talking, I was expecting to hit blizzards in Kentucky. Not so much. A little dusting of snow in Dayton, OH, but otherwise no snow until we hit Michigan for the most part.

But then, when we hit Michigan,.....oh boy.
Snow galore. Inches and inches of it.

Here's Lloyd, atop a mound of snow on a table on my mom's deck.

And it continued to snow the day we got there. The roads were awful. Snow was everywhere. What do you do when you're from Texas and you go up to Michigan and you are surrounded by more snow than you've ever seen before?

Why, you build a snowman. Of course.

I've never seen The Cowboy so excited. Me? Eh. I could take it or leave it. It was fun for 10 minutes. But The Cowboy, being from Texas, had to have a BIG GIANT Snowman. Because everything is bigger in Texas, and he wanted that rule to apply to his snowman. I got bored. Fast. And cold.
So I took lots of breaks.
But The Cowboy's snowman-shaping technique was sloppy, so I had to step in and assist.

Lloyd, I'd like to mention, was no help whatsoever. He was busy making snow-gnome-angels.
We both look like idiots in this one.

Our efforts paid off. Introducing......
Arnold. I don't know why we named him that, but we did, and it stuck. Arnold and Lloyd.
The whole fam.

I loved Arnold. He was a great and loyal snowman. For 3 days. And then, tragedy struck.

Ah, what are you gonna do?