Thursday, November 30, 2017

Three on Thursday

I'm So happy to report that this is the final NaBloPoMo post.  It's been fun and I'm proud of myself for not missing a single day but... For someone who doesn't have all that much to say and doesn't knit all that fast, it's also been a little stressful.  But no matter.  Yay!  I survived! And Double Yay!  It's over!

Because I'm obviously running out of things to talk about and it's Three on Thursday list day today, and I just happen to have three DVD's laying on my desk, waiting to be watched, I thought I'd list them.

1.  Outlander, Season 1.  I know!  I'm like the only person in the world who hasn't watched the series.  I feel like I have.  I've watched hours and hours of clips on YouTube, but I've never seen the actual show.

2.  In the Heart of the Sea.  Sarah bought it for me because my 'boyfriend' (Chris Hemsworth) is in it. I'm rather excited about it because, well, Chris Hemsworth!  But also because I love a good tragedy at sea story.

3.  The Conjuring.  Another I know! moment.  I should have watched this in October but....  I found it in the $3.00 bin at Walmart the other day so what the heck.  A little pre-Christmas terror.

So, those are the movies I plan to knit to this week. Or more like, today.  (Wow! Today is November 30th.  Looks like I'll be getting lots of knitting time in today!)  I gotta watch them today because tomorrow is December 1st.  December 1st means non-stop Christmas movies!

To see others' Three on Thursday lists, head over to Carole's place.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A lesson in swatching

Oops!

Yesterday's 'large project' got frogged.  Once again, I got that hard slap to the face that often results from a lack of proper swatching.

Due to swatch error, I had to rip this baby blanket out and start over.   Shhh... it's a secret Christmas gift.
Frogged the secret project

For the record, I did swatch.  Sort of.  Can I count ten stitches and six or seven rows as a swatch?  My mini swatch seemed perfectly fine but.... As we all know, mini swatches tend to lie, sometimes even more than no swatches.  Although the mini swatch seemed fine, it ended up producing stiff as cardboard fabric that was waaaaaaaay bigger than anticipated.

Will I ever learn?

In any event, it got frogged and has been cast back onto the needles.  Larger needles and with about half as many stitches.

On a different note, only one more day of NaBloPoMo to go!  I'm very proud of myself this year.  I haven't missed a single day! 

Join me over at Kat's for today's #Unraveled link-up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Not what I expected

Knitting a baby blanket for a Christmas gift.
Another large project

Another large project was not what I expected to be knitting today.

My red VW stitch marker is happy to be helping me knit this baby blanket.
Volkswagen stitch marker

But my Volkswagen stitch marker is awfully happy to be involved.

(Sorry folks.  Bear with me.  Only two more days of this NaBloPoMo nonsense to go.  And thank goodness for it!  I'm seriously running out of things to talk about.)

Join me over at Frontier Dreams for the #CraftingOn link-up.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Makers' Monday

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists and creatives of all types.  

Normally on Makers' Monday, I blather on about an artist, designer, or creator that I have stumbled across but I thought it was time to try something a little different.  Now, instead of me telling you about one particular artist, I thought we could all share what we are creating.  In other words, Makers' Monday will now be a blog link-up party!  So, please share your current creative project by leaving a current link to your blog below. 

(And let's pray this works.  Please bear with me if it doesn't.  I've never hosted a blog party before so....)

Little red hat for little hats, big hearts non-profit program
Little Hats, Big Hearts

Although I have several knitting projects on the needles, I'm sharing another little red hat today.  My goal is to knit two or more per week from now until the end of the year, which should be doable.  Perfectly doable, as long as the Christmas Panic doesn't set in.



Sunday, November 26, 2017

Just one more row

Just one more row....

How many times have I said that?

Just one more row of knitting before I bind off shawl or blanket scarf
Ocean Stripes

Well, this time I mean it!  One more row and I'll be binding off.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

On the needles

Today on the needles...

OTN.  Hand knitted hat for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
On the needles

I'm knitting a hat for the shop or for a Christmas gift.  At the moment, it's anyone's guess.

And on a side note, today is Small Business Saturday so don't forget to #shopsmall!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was great.  Weird, but great.  Neither of my kids were in attendance.  One was sick and the other had to work.  But despite their absence, we enjoyed a fabulous meal with good company and safe travels.  And I think I gained 15 pounds.

Black Friday crowds, black friday shopping
Black Friday Shoppers, photo courtesy of hooplanow.com

And now it's Black Friday and I'm happy to be tucked securely in my home with absolutely no plans to leave the house.  I realize that some people enjoy the craziness of Black Friday shopping but I am definitely not some people.  There is absolutely Nothing that I need or want bad enough to fight the mall crowds today.  I get irritated when there's two people in front of me in line at Walmart.  If I ever attempted to Black Friday shop, I'd end up being carried off, either by the 'men in white coats' or by the police.  Nope, Black Friday shopping is definitely NOT for me!

So how about you?  Are you a Black Friday mall shopper or will you be enjoying a calm and quiet day at home, in your pj's with your knitting at hand?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Traffic

Instead of knitting yesterday, I

photo courtesy of wtop.com
photo courtesy of wtop.com

sat

photo courtesy of wtvr.com
photo courtesy of wtvr.com

in

photo courtesy of reddit.com
photo courtesy of reddit.com
traffic.

I mean, good grief!  It was like something straight out of Office Space.

I mean, really!  Did all the airports decide to shut down for the Thanksgiving holiday, or something?

Good grief!

I am SO thankful that I will be spending today at home, baking and not out on the roads.

(Can you tell that if it wasn't for NaBloPoMo, I wouldn't be posting today?  So far, I haven't missed a day and didn't want to blow it this close to the finish line.)

If you'd like to see some actual knitting being done, head over to Kat's #Unraveled link-up.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

On the Needles

On the needles today, and in Very bad light....

Ocean Stripes, a multicolored, striped blanket shawl, OTN
On the needles

When I finished Sarah's orange blanket the other day, I grabbed Ocean Stripes out of the UFO pile.  


It's currently measuring about 19 inches wide/tall (depending on how you look at it) and my goal is for it to be at least 24 inches.  I'd really like it to be wider than 24 but... 

I have plenty of yarn.  Actually, I have enough yarn I could probably knit it 48 inches wide but....  

There's another project out there that I'm dying to start and I'm determined this one will be finished before I start something else.  At least before I start something else big.

To see what others are knitting, join me over at Frontier Dreams for today's #CraftingOn link-up.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Makers' Monday - Beach Stone Bling

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives of all types. 

Today I'm talking about Io Kikka Design and I'm so happy that this day has finally come!  Several months ago, I impulse purchased a pair of earrings for my daughter for Christmas and I've been waiting, not so patiently, to tell you about them.  Thankfully, I realized that Sarah had a November birthday and I didn't have to wait until Christmas to give them to her.  Yay!


unique, one of a kind jewelry
Beach Stone Earrings from IoKikkaDesign

I really, really hope I don't offend the artist when I call the earrings weird.  (She describes her art as unusual.  'Weird' isn't that different from 'unusual,' right?)  Anyway, I just LOVE the weirdness of blinged up rocks.  Okay, they are really made from beach stones, Adriatic shore beach stones to be exact but....  In our household, any kind of stone, pebble, gravel.... is a rock.  It goes back to Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin and the "I got a rock." quote.  Yes, we are a weird family.  Just go with it, okay?


inexpensive jewelry from Io Kikka Design
handmade, unique, one of a kind jewelry

Anyway,

These earrings are fantastic!  Besides the uniqueness of blinged up beach stones, they are super lightweight.  Sarah put them on in the morning and didn't take them off until bedtime and they never pulled on her ears at all - and she's picky about earring weight, so for her not to complain/remove them...   It says a lot.  


earring bling from IoKikkaDesign

They also look great on her.  They are the perfect length, they are a neutral color so they'll go with any and every thing and there's just that little bit of sparkle that catches the eye from across the room. 

 They also did not turn Sarah's skin green.  Sarah's skin is super sensitive to "cheap" metals and she tends to look like the Grinch after wearing "cheap" jewelry for more than 15 minutes.  (And by "cheap"  I mean anything other than real gold.)

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about ordering from Io Kikka Design,  They are a new shop on Etsy and I was the first to purchase anything from them.  They were located in a foreign country (Slovenia,) and didn't have any kind of a track record.  The transaction went smoothly and proved that I had nothing to fear however.  


inexpensive, unique, one of a kind jewelry
Beach stone necklace from IoKikkaDesign

The shipping was crazy fast (it takes packages longer to reach me from California than it did from Slovenia!) and the earrings arrived, not only packaged securely, but in a very cute and giftable way.  I was very impressed!

So, if you think you might be interested in unique, inexpensive, one of a kind jewelry, definitely check out Kristina's shop, Io Kikka Design.   Her designs would make great Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers.  Or birthday gifts.  Or an 'I finished a never ending knitting project and deserve a new pair of earrings!' gift.  Or what about a gift for showing self control and not buying that gorgeous, but crazy expensive cashmere yarn I saw....?


beach stone jewelry from IoKikkaDesign
Beach Pebble Pendant, IoKikkaDesign

Hmmm..... I did just finish knitting that never ending orange blanket.  I think I deserve at least one of those pendants.  Maybe both of them.  And since I was a good girl and wove the ends in on the same day I bound the blanket off, I might even deserve both pendants and a pair of earrings!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Little Hats, Big Hearts

First, I'd like to wish my daughter a very happy birthday.  I can not believe that my little, baby girl turned 21 today.  Twenty-one!  Where have the years gone?

Okay, gotta change the subject so I don't get all sentimental.

Little hats...

knitting small red hats for Little Hats, Big Hearts program; American Heart Association
little red hat (in bad lighting)

I finished the giant, orange blanket, got all the loose ends woven in, ran it through the washer and dryer (yay for acrylic yarn!) and now I'm busy knitting little hats.  Little, red hats for Little Hats, Big Hearts

In celebration of American Heart Month (February,) the American Heart Association collects hand knit (and crocheted) hats and delivers them to area hospitals to distribute to babies born in the month of February.  You can read more about it here.

If you're interested in joining in the fun, simply go to the Little Hats, Big Hearts website and type in your state.  The site will provide you with the name and address of your state's coordinator.  Simply knit little (preemie to newborn sized) red (they must be red) hats (plain hats, NO buttons or bows) in acrylic and/or cotton blends (no wool) and ship them off so that your state's coordinator receives them by the first week of January.  Besides doing a good deed, doing a good deed by knitting (even better!) and using up those little bits of stashed red acrylic yarn, the best part of the project is....  The coordinator deals with washing them.  All you have to do is knit little, red hats!

If by chance you'd like to knit for Little Hats, Big Hearts but your state doesn't participate, you are more than welcome to mail them to me and I'll turn yours in with mine.  Just get in touch and I'll give you my address.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Pumpkin Cookies

In keeping with my recent tradition of sharing a Thanksgiving dessert recipe each Saturday....

Pumpkin Cookies 

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
3 cups + 2 TBSP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add pumpkin.  Sift all other dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.  Add vanilla.  Drop on parchment paper lined (or greased) cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool slightly (or completely) before icing.

Icing:

1/4 cup orange juice
1 TBSP butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix ingredients together until smooth then spoon over cookies.

Yields 3 dozen cookies.


Traditional Thanksgiving dessert; fall, autumn desert pumpkin cookies
Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Friday, November 17, 2017

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

....Way up in the sky..... 

Sorry.  But now we both have that Christmas carol stuck in our heads.

But seriously,

I'm finally binding off Sarah's knitted orange blanket.
Bind Off

Do you see what I see?

Yes!!  We have bind off!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Three on Thursday

I'm down to the wire on Sarah's blanket so today's Three on Thursday list will be short and sweet.  And perhaps helpful for me to get the knitting done.

My Top Three Favorite Shows to Binge Watch While Binge Knitting:


What's not to love about Buffy?  She's a strong, independent teen aged girl.  She's nice, she's funny, and she's sarcastic. The show has action, comedy, romance and did I mention the sarcasm?  I Love the sarcasm.


Another fun show with nice, funny, strong, intelligent, coffee drinking sarcastic women.

3.  Okay, I'm cheating with Number 3.  Number 3 is a tie between three shows.  In no particular order because I love them all equally,

3A.  The Tudors

Henry Cavill is in it.  Need I say more?  But the story is good too and it's historical.  I can pretend I'm being educated when I watch it.

3B.  True Blood

Once again, a show with a strong female lead and loads of sarcasm.  And let's not forget Eric Northman and Lafayette.  Lafayette just may be my all time favorite movie character ever.

3C.  Weeds

Yet another strong, independent, sarcastic, coffee drinking female lead.  While the idea of mother & young kids growing and dealing illegal drugs together makes me cringe, I have to admit, I admire Nancy Botwin.  Life continually knocks her down and she continually gets back up and soldiers on.  Again, I don't always agree with her decisions, but I admire her strength and tenacity.  

To read others' Three on Thursday lists, join me over at Carole Knits.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Call an Uber

I'm still knitting Sarah's blanket.  I have four days and six inches to go.  I should be fine.  Ahh, actually, I decided to strike that comment from the record.  I don't want to jinx myself.

I'm also not getting much reading done.  I'm still reading Abducted and I probably will be for a while.  I've only been reading a few minutes before bed each night.  Instead, I've been catching up on American Horror Story.  I was hooked on the show when it first came out but stopped watching when they had the clown season.  I just don't do clowns.  Honestly, I'd forgotten about the show but Netflix reminded me that I was several seasons behind and I've been binge watching ever since. 


Call an Uber, American Horror Story, Roanoke, the Lost Colony, Croatoan
American Horror, Roanoke

I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but over the last six days, I've watched Hotel (season 5) and all but one episode of season 6, Roanoke.  I am absolutely Loving Roanoke although it's got me completely wigged out.  I've even let out a couple of girly squeals of terror.  

Between living so close to the Lost Colony and having an archaeologist for a father who was slightly obsessed with what happened to the colonists, Roanoke was a big part of my youth.  We studied it frequently throughout my school years, we took countless field trips, and I remember my dad's excitement when they thought they'd found evidence of the colonists.  (They hadn't.)  Add in my love of horror stories (not the gore but the thrill of a good scare) and it's no wonder I'm loving Roanoke so much.  But what I'm Really loving about it...  is the Uber driver.

Join me for over at Kat's for #Unraveled Wednesday to see what others are knitting and hopefully reading, not watching.  Looks like there's no #Unraveled link up today, but you can still visit Kat to see what she's up to.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2018 Plans

Christmas day can not get here fast enough! I love Christmas and I've been fighting the  urge to listen to Christmas carols and decorate, specially since we've been experiencing an unusually cold cold-snap for the last few days.  I've been in the 'Forget Thanksgiving, let's be Christmassy' mood for several days now.  But, as excited as I am/was for Christmas, now, I'm just excited for December 25th.  I know, I know.  Ordinarily December 25th would mean Christmas, but this year, Christmas is being outshined by....

2018 Strickplanner http://strickmich.frischetexte.de/en/strickplaner/
Orange blanket and a Strickplaner
.
The start of my new Strickplaner.  It starts on week 52 of 2017, which just happens to be, December 25th.

Have you heard of the Strickplaner?  Oh my!  You MUST check it out if you are a knitter or crocheter.  I first heard about it from Wendy Knits.  Her Meh post was the most exciting thing I've come across on the web in a long, long time.  First, Wendy announced that I'd won Knit Mitts and then she proceeded to introduce me to the Strickplaner.  Before I even finished reading Wendy's post, I went to the Strickplaner site & purchased a 2018 planner.

Strickplaner is german for knitting planner and let me tell you, this little book is THE perfect planner for knitters!  I haven't taken pictures of the inside of mine because the Strickplaner website does a great job of showing you the details.  But please, take a look.  They have both photos and a couple of short videos. 

If you are a knitter (or crocheter) and use any kind of a planner, this just may be THE planner for you.  The planner is great for all knitters (& crocheters) but it is simply Fantastic for knitters who make money (or wish they made money) from their knitting.  

Besides a normal weekly calendar with space for appointments and to-do lists, the Strickplaner has goal setting and tracking pages and a bullet journal styled section for keeping up with patterns, yarn purchases, projects, contacts, lists and blank grid styled pages.

Oh, and did I mention, there's a Free pattern for a knitted book cover that comes with it?  

Is it any wonder I'm practically pee-my-pants excited for December 25th?

And nope, I'm not affiliated with Strickplaner in any way, other than that I am the proud owner of one and can not wait until December 25th to begin using it.  And you can bet, if I ever finish knitting Sarah's orange blanket (which I'm starting to wonder about,) the very next thing I begin knitting will be a cover for my Strickplaner.  I can't wait!

As a side note, after typing this post, I will forever be confused about how to spell 'planner' correctly.  

Join me over at Frontier Dreams for today's #CraftingOn linkup.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Makers' Monday

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives of all types.  

Today, I'm talking about stickers from Nicole Kelly Creations.  

Do you decorate your planner?  Do you even have a planner?  I couldn't survive without my planner.  I joke that I'm so dependent on it, I wouldn't be able to find my way to the bathroom without my planner.  But honestly... it might be the truth!  I'm so dependent on it that if I don't write down what I plan to fix for dinner, I won't ever start fixing dinner.  It will be 9 p.m. and I'll be wondering why I'm so hungry while checking my planner for the next task on the to-do list.

stickers for Happy Planner, Erin Condrin or Bullet Journaling
planner stickers 

And since I  spend so much time with my planner, I like for it to be cute or pretty... or at least colorful.  I'll admit, I don't begin to get into decorating my planner like some folks do but...  I do enjoy channeling my inner artistic child which means, I slap on fun, motivational stickers and write with colored pens.

cute planner stickers for Happy Planner or Erin Condrin
stickers from Nicole Kelly Creations

Recently I discovered Nicole Kelly Creations on Etsy and have purchased from her several times now.  Nicole has so many cute things listed in her shop, I could easily purchase 40 more times.  I mean, come on!  Look at those clothesline stickers.  Aren't they adorable? They make me actually want to do the laundry!

planner stickers from https://www.etsy.com/shop/NicoleKellyCreations?ref=l2-shopheader-name
birthday gift sticker

I also love their size.  They are perfect!  Big enough to see, small enough to use both on the monthly calendar and to have room to write beside on the weekly spread.

Now, I wonder if she has any 'Momma needs a drink because her baby is turning 21' stickers.  Yikes! How is that even possible?  How on earth is my baby turning 21?  I'm only 28 for goodness sakes!

Okay, okay.  Let's ignore the mini nervous breakdown and focus on planner stickers.

If you're in need of some motivation to tackle Mount Laundry, or if you know someone obsessively attached to their planner, make sure you check out Nicole Kelly Creations.  Her stickers and washi tapes would make great gifts or stocking stuffers.

(Sorry!  I know I'm talking Christmas when Thanksgiving is still a couple of weeks away but....  It got really cold here the other day.  Like, really, really cold and I've caught a bad case of Christmas-itis.)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Apples!

Remember a while back, Sarah & I were planning to go apple picking but the car wouldn't start so we postponed the trip?  I never mentioned it, but we made new plans to go.... and Sarah went to Florida instead.  She came back, and we made a new new plan to go apple picking... and it rained.  And rained and rained and rained.

Finally, the weatherman said the rain would stop.... but it was going to be 40 degrees and dropping into the low 20's by evening.  I wasn't exactly thrilled about going in such cold weather.  I'm weather phobic (I tend to get a little panicky if the temperature goes above 72 or below 65) and I assumed that if it was 40 degrees here at home, it would probably be about 6,000 degrees below zero on top of the mountain.  (The apples are grown on a mountain.)

The scenic route

Well, despite Mr. Weatherman's prediction, off we went (we took the scenic route and stayed off the interstate) and as it turns out, I wasn't too far off on my guestimate of the mountain's temperature.  It was FREEZING!  The wind was just .... just unspeakable.  

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Carter Mountain Orchard
There's a reason they're called The Blue Ridge Mountains

We arrived at Carter Mountain Orchard which starts off on the side of the mountain.  We checked in, got out apple picking bags and the instructions on where we were supposed to go and up the mountain and into the orchard we hiked. Thankfully, once we reached the actual orchard and got lost among the rows of trees, there was no wind at all.  Just gloriously warm sunshine.

apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville, VA
apple picking

Sarah and I each filled our bags with apples and had a good time laughing at my lack of coordination.  The paths between the rows of trees were pretty muddy in places and let's not forget, we were on the side of a mountain.  And I'll admit, I was looking up at the apples on the trees, not at the ground so I kept stepping on apples.  It really is a miracle I didn't break a bone, but at the same time, I imagine my slips and slides were probably YouTube worthy.

apple picking, Carter Mountain, Charlottesville, VA
View from Carter Mountain Orchard's deck

After filling our bags with apples, we made our way back down to the barn where there was plenty of delicious hot apple cider and apple cider donuts awaiting us.

apples picked at Carter Mountain Orchard 11/10/17
apples

And now we're home.  Home, wondering what the heck are we going to do with a bushel and a half of apples?


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pecan Pie

I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie.
When Harry Met Sally

I'm showing my age here, but I can not say "pecan pie" without saying it When Harry Met Sally style.

Anyway....

Earlier this month I shared a list of our family's traditional Thanksgiving deserts and I promised to share the recipes.  Last Saturday I shared a link to my chocolate pie recipe.  Today, it's Pecan Pie's turn.


Traditional Thanksgiving recipes; recipe for pecan pie
pecan pie recipe

PECAN PIE

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup corn syrup (light syrup works but dark is Much better)
1 cup sugar
2TBSP butter, softened
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile in a large bowl, stir together the first 5 ingredients until well blended.  Stir in nuts.  Pour into the pie shell and bake in at 350 degrees for 50 - 55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Road Trip

Remember last month when I drove to Florida to pick up my daughter and drove back home the next day?  Well, I thought I'd document the trip.

I'd worked all weekend, got home around 6 a.m., slept a few hours, got up, washed a load of laundry (so I'd have a clean uniform when I got back,) packed my bag and hit the road around 3 p.m.  I only drove for about three hours before the combination of rain, dusk and sleep deprivation hit me.  Good grief!  I didn't even make it a full state a way.

I pulled into a Super 8 hotel, and let me tell you - there was Nothing super about the place.  By 7 p.m., I was asleep.  Around 8:30 a massive thunderstorm woke me up and I couldn't go back to sleep.  Admittedly, besides the storm thundering outside, I was also a little hungry.  I ate a giant bag of chips and tried to read myself back to sleep.  I wasn't helping that my book of choice was about a serial killer who was snatching girls off the side of the road.

Around 11 p.m., I was finally sleepy enough again to shut the Kindle off.  Around 1 a.m., there was loud banging on my door and someone shouting "It's me, Alejandros" over and over again.   Needless to say, the banging startled me awake.  Of course I didn't open the door but after a few minutes of the banging and shouting, I got up and yelled back at the guy.  I might not have yelled politely.  

The guy went away but came back two more times before 3:30 a.m.
I was definitely not polite the second and third time.  I had no luck calling the front desk because he'd go away before I could get them on the phone.  By 3:30 a.m., after being woken up by the thunderstorm (not the motel's fault, I know) and the jerk (to put it nicely) three times, I finally gave up trying to sleep and decided to get up and get an early start.  I could always sleep in a rest area if necessary.

I got out of bed to discover that the sink was so stopped up that my teeth brushing water from the night before was still in the sink.  Great.  I went to take a shower and while the water turned on, it didn't get hot and then the handle that turned the shower on fell off in my hand.  Let me just say, I will never, ever stay in a Super 8 ever, ever again.

I got back on the road, still sleep deprived, still hungry and it was still raining and near white-out foggy.  Nothing to do but stick the nose of my car to the tail end of a large truck and crank the music.

I made it to the Florida line and had a mini celebration - until I remembered, I was at the Florida state line.  I was only half way there.  Egads!


Vero Beach, Florida
Beach closed due to riptides

I finally made it to my destination and still had time to walk on the beach. (The sun had come out.)



Atlantic ocean, Vero Beach, FLoirda
The Atlantic

florida
The Atlantic Coastline


surfing in Florida
 Lifeguard surfing, despite the Red Flag warnings

And see some local wild life.

sand crabs in florida
Sand flea crabs
A surf fisherman was very proud to show us his 'sand fleas' he'd caught to use as bait.  I've always called them sand crabs.  What do you call them?


Is it a lizard?



Or a baby gator??


Okay, so this is just a squirrel, but it's a Floridian squirrel.  Apparently, Florida squirrels are Much friendlier than Virginia squirrels.  Or at least this one was.  He was happy to eat out of my hand and I thought he was going to try to get in the car with us.



We drove on my all time favorite road.  And I may have sung Jimmy Buffet songs to Sarah, much to her dismay.

Mulligans in Vero Beach, Florida
ocean front dining

And we watched the sun set while eating dinner on the deck at Mulligans, a wonderful ocean front restaurant.  

The next morning, we got up and started the drive back north.  Of course, we saw more sights.


Besides friendly squirrels, Florida also has strange vehicles.


You know you're in the south when every bridge and culvert pipe warrants an ice warning sign.


I thought I wanted to move to Frog Level, Virginia but Coosawhatchie sounds like it might be an even more fun place to live.


And of course, there's always the South of the Border signs to see and be entertained by.


And in case you've been on the road so long you forget you're in America...

Lumberton, NC water tower

We made it back home safely, just in time to sleep a few hours before going back to work for the last weekend of the season.

Despite the rough start and long hours spent in the car, all in all, it was a fun trip.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Three on Thursday - Chaos

Y'all know how I love to celebrate weird holidays, right?  Well, today is Chaos Never Dies Day.  The idea is that there will always be chaos in the world & instead of loosing your mind over the chaos in your own life, do some small thing to make it better. 

So, today's Three on Thursday post is a list of three things or areas that I desperately need to organize so that my life can run a little smoother.  Here goes -

1.  My closet.  Good grief, do I need to organize my closet!

2.  My craft supplies.  My closet is spotless and minimalist compared to my craft supplies area.

3.  My desk.  My desk is currently so junked up, I'm not even sure the desk is still there.  As I sit here typing this, with the keyboard in my lap because there's no room for it on the desk....  I look around and ....  Good grief!  Besides the normal junk a crafter/book lover/office supply junkie tends to collect, there are two bottles of sunscreen, 6 half-drunk bottles of water, some dog medicine, 3 different forms of human cold medicine (although I haven't had a cold in months) 3 light bulbs, an assortment of batteries, 4 phone chargers (all with different ends on them,) a jar of peanut butter and a can of soup. Good grief!

Hope your life is a little less chaotic!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Red, White and Blue

Yesterday was a red, white and blue kind of day.  


photo courtesy of thetab.com


I gave blood.


photo courtesy of thecitizen.co.tz

It rained so hard it was like a rainy white-out all day.  


photo courtesy of zazzle.com

And I voted.

Notice what's missing?  Yep, you got it.  There was no knitting or reading accomplished.  But if I had knit, I would have knit on my daughter's orange blanket.  And if I'd read, I would have read more of Abducted by T. R. Ragan.

To hear more about what others are knitting and reading, join me over at Kat's place for #Unraveled Wednesday.