Monday, June 30, 2008

Sit and Spin...

That is what I am about to do. I am going to pull the plied yarn off my wheel and spin til I can't see straight.

For those of you that aren't sure what I am babbling about--I'm going to sit at my spinning wheel and get stupid! I love to spin and I have SEVERAL pounds of roving that I got from Wool2Dye4 a while back. It is beautiful and really smooth to spin. At some point this week I am going to have a dyeing day and just dye up everything I've spun this summer. Since that is not a whole heck of a lot so far, I'd better get busy.

I made an interesting discovery today. I started to set up my new swift to wind off a couple bobbins, only to discover that all my surfaces have ledges with curved lips that won't allow the swift to attach to the counter. I tried surfaces all over my house, guess what. They are all the same. I have to say I probably have one of the coolest husbands--he was watching me try (EVERY) different edge in the house, then offered to just hold the skein winder while I wound a bazillion yards of yarn. The yarn is currently soaking in the tub, then I'll hang it to set the twist. I plied this skein pretty tight so I will probably use it for a hat. Later this month I am going to learn to Navajo ply. I've seen some really neat yarns plied this way and have decided I have to learn it! I need to get a table with an even edge so hubby's good nature won't get tested.

I took my mother to Tulsa this weekend to run an errand. I enjoy going to Tulsa. There are some really neat places to shop and eat there. One of my sons went with us so I got to show him some of the places we used to hang out at and where we lived when they were born (he's a twin). He likes to travel more than his twin (who looked at me like I was from Mars when I asked if he wanted to go), so it was nice to have him around and to share the sights with him. I know eventually he will be at the age where it is not cool to hang with the old lady--I'm taking all the time with him that he'll put up with.

After Tulsa, we went back to Stillwater and drove around for a while. My Mom and I both like to just get in the car and drive. I think that has been the hardest thing about the rising gas prices. Going for drives can be pretty darn expensive. I was really surprised at how much things have changed in my little town. I like all the new stores and shopping/eating options, but the new housing and all the changes on campus really surprised me. The new stadium is a little overkill. Actually it is a LOT overkill. And I understand the college really screwed residents around it when they bought up the property. Sometimes big entities can lose focus on what matters. I know T. Boone Pickens gave a TON of money to the college --(no, not to education, to sports)--but let's not forget that the the university does not run the town. I remember several occasions where the university "powers that be" have misappropriated student funds for the sports programs when I went there, so this is a sticking point for me. My kids are both athletes, but I don't want to compromise their education in order for the sports program in order to try to one up OU.... Priorities, people.

Ok, off the soapbox...

I did pick up some really neat beads at The Bead Merchant in Tulsa. They were probably more expensive than I can get wholesale, but they were really cute. One is a strand of penguins and the other is a strand of kitten faces. I think they would make really cute stitch markers but I'm not so sure they are going to be something I can sell at a decent price point, so they may just be for me and gifts. I'll still keep an eye out for something that I can use that are similar since these would really be cute.

I guess I have to figure out what I am going to bake for the July 4th party in our old neighborhood. We stayed home last year since we were still pretty tired from moving into the new house. This year we are going to hang out with the old neighbors. I am hoping that next year we will be able to host our normal big event at our new house. Usually we have a really big party with several neighbors. I do miss the tightness of the old neighborhood, but I guess next year I will host something for the old and new neighborhood.

What are you doing for the 4th?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fried day...

The kids and I just got home from a little grocery shopping and I had them let the dogs out. Two of the dogs appeared at the door and waited to be let in. The beagle didn't. I thought maybe he was on the side of the house--he likes to get lost in the moment and often just stands for a LONG time looking up into the air. Don't ask me why, I guess he's just "in the moment".

After 15 minutes, I figured something was wrong.

Turns out someone had left the gate open and Buddy slipped out. The other dogs stick close to home, Buddy tends to run. Sometimes he gets so excited about not being in his back yard that he fries out. He weaves back and forth, to and fro, like his little sniffer is making his brain explode. And GOD FORBID a rabbit or a squirrel cross his path.

I jumped in the car and saw some women talking at their mailboxes. Turned out that one of them just got home and saw a beagle running "like he had no brains" a couple blocks away.

I high tailed it over to that area and saw a teenager on the street. Turns out her mom caught Buddy and put him in their backyard to keep him from getting hit since he acted like he didn't know what he was doing. She figured someone would come looking for him "since he looked like he's been pampered". I am so thankful that people in our little town will do that. I've done it in the past, and now I'm the beneficiary of the same kindness. I really don't know what we'd do without Buddy!

Everyone is getting micro-chipped. Except for our really old dog. And that might include the kids....only kidding. A little.... We are putting locks on the inside of the gate to keep anyone from opening it from the outside. This was too close of a call. We live near a really busy main street and I shudder to think of what would have happened it he went to the left a couple blocks instead of the right when he got out. It took him a full half hour to stop panting once he got home and drank water, so I'm pretty sure he would have had big trouble if someone had not caught him.

Other than that little bit of excitement, today has been reasonably calm. I have to run to Stillwater in the morning so I can take my mother to Tulsa for some errands. I'm hoping to run a couple places while I'm in Tulsa. I am planning to come home that evening, but we'll see how I am feeling and what is going on. I'd like to drop in and see my Mom-in-law/Dad in law while I'm in the area but I'm not sure what kind of time I will have.

I also need to talk to my nephew to be able to make a final decision on whether we are going to adopt his 1 year old son. There are a lot of issues and a lot of things that we need to consider. Skylar is currently in foster care and we are going to be relative placement since my nephew has indicated he wants hubby and I to adopt him. Skylar has really good foster parents that have indicated they would like to adopt him, so we are trying to make that important decision. This situation has been going on for a while, but I haven't posted about it since we were really trying to weigh what is going to be in his best interest. I do feel good about the fact that he does have foster parents that really care for him. It's just REALLY hard to know what is the right thing to do.

I know the post today was pretty dry. I've been really tired the past couple days--the heat seems to really get to me. I guess I should be thankful I'm not in the deep South with the double fisted heat and staggering humidity.

At some point this summer I am flying to Atlanta again to visit my friend Marita and to go to Mexico for a weekend trip with her. I am in the process of getting my passport so I can get into Mexico. I know the reputation Mexico has one gringo's digestive systems, so I'm a little apprehensive. However, not enough to keep me from going. I've always wanted to go to Mexico and since I have a really good opportunity to go at a really good price, I am going!
Well, I'd better sign off and go back to work on Son's fair isle mitten. I have frogged this mitten three times while playing with the gauge gods. So far they have been totally kicking my arse! However, I think I have finally found the needle size that will work even when my stitches get tight. FINALLY!
Good coffee and great friends to you and yours.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I will survive..really, I will

Yep, those of you who know me, know by now I have a really smart a** streak, also known as sarcastic streak.

Well, I have been vindicated.

It appears that sarcasm is a very important evolutionary skill. Really, it is. Click this link, read it and weep!

All said, the article fails to recognize that sarcasm in a dictatorship can be a reverse evolutionary trait. For example, if I were to get a little nippy with Stalin, my family line would have stopped (rather abruptly) at that very moment. OK, maybe in the time it would have taken to get the firing squad assembled.

See, I'm not SARCASTIC, I am EVOLVED..

Not buying it I see.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A LITTLE Tension in the Air...

In the artfully arranged photo above, you see the Nordic mitten I was working on for one of the boys. Notice there are no needles holding the top stitches together?

Well, let me tell you a little story.

Once there was this mother who knew how to knit. And she had a burning desire to knit a pair of mittens for her children in their favorite college team colors. Two of the children liked the colors of the mother and father's Alma mater: Oklahoma State University. However, the last child went astray somewhere. His stubborn choice, was Oklahoma University colors.

Where did they go wrong the parents asked themselves.

Grudgingly the mother bought the cream and maroon colors of the OTHER team and started a set of mittens for the wayward child. But something went wrong there also.

OK, story time over.

Other than the fact they are in OU colors, everything was going along fine. I did a gauge swatch on circulars and came out perfect. So I cast on and started knitting away in the pattern I had sketched out. The ribbing went along without a hitch. The first couple rows of ribbing and the first inch of straight stitching went fine. Then I noticed that my mitten seemed to be getting pretty narrow. I mean REALLY NARROW!

So I did a gauge count and realized I went from 6 stitches to the inch to 60 bazillion stitches to the inch..HMMM. That's not going to work unless I have a pocket with a chain saw worked into the mitten... try explaining that to airport security.

So off I went to Twist to buy a set of double pointed needles. Actually I bought a set one size larger and a set TWO sizes larger. Wanna bet I end up needing the largest size--if not larger?!

Apparently I have a little problem with tight knitting. Think so?

So here I go again. Darn it (does that compensate for the potty mouth typing yesterday?).

I don't want to live these colors any longer than I have to.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Getting their Knit together

Last Saturday was worldwide knit in public day. While there were a variety of knitting activities going on around the world, here in Wichita we sat outside and inside while doing our part for the cause. Did I accomplish any knitting?

Ummm. Not so much.

But I was with them in form and spirit.

Today I helped man the KIP booth at the quilt show here in town. I was really proud of myself for not buying anything. Actually the only time I wandered to any booth was a bead booth. The strange thing was after talking to the owner for a couple minutes, she mentioned she was from Stillwater--my home town in Oklahoma. WOW. Next time I am in town I am going to have to see what she offers as far as classes. Part of what kept me from buying was the fact that I have been trying to rein in the budget so we can save for some big ticket purchases next year for the house and the fact that I work at The Beadery every Wednesday, so there really isn't anything I can't find or learn to make there. All said, I didn't crash the budget at all.

I did discover a little fact about myself while sitting and knitting for the 5 blissful hours I was helping at the booth: I am a FREAKING TIGHT KNITTER. Not just tight--FREAKING TIGHT!
I am working on a Nordic mitten for one of my sons and realized my stitches were really tight. It may not even come close to fitting the kid without assistance from a medical team. I could easily go into the tourniquet business with this mitten. So, even after getting 20 rows of colorwork done, I may have to face the inevitable and frog it. It's be cheaper than finding a therapist to treat an extreme phobia of Nordic mittens that occurred from a bad teenage experience. However it does remind me of the sock incident that my friend Cindy experienced. She actually had to cut a sock off!

Maybe I should only do colorwork with a glass of wine in hand. Actually since I hold the yarn with both hands, I would have to search for a really long straw or one of those beer hats that are so common on college campuses.

Yeah, that would look redneck classy.

But then again, it might be an effective recruitment tool for snaring knitters on college campuses. This way when Mom and Dad call Buffy at school and ask what she is doing, she can say "Knitting" and not be telling a fib. She just doesn't have to include the multitasking drinking part.

Or that she took the gold medal in the shit faced knitting Olympics.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

No rain---YEAH!

We didn't get the forecasted rain last night or this morning.


I know we may get some this evening, but I am hoping it will hold off. Hubby, kids and I are supposed to go to a Cessna event at the zoo this evening with friends and I would love for it to not rain so we can actually have fun.

It would also be great to have a couple rain free days so the wheat fields can dry out a little and the farmers can finally harvest before it's too late. We have several fields around our town that are really needing to be harvested but the water that is standing not only keeps the grain to moist to harvest, it makes it darn near impossible to get the equipment in the fields. I love seeing fields of wheat--it is one of the best things about living where we do--but I also hate seeing crops go unharvested. There are to many farmers that need a good year.

I was looking at Noni handbag patterns yesterday when I was at The Beadery. I found several that I REALLY liked, but I think I am going to wait until I finally finish the Lucy bag that I have had a pattern and yarn already. I love the Lucy bag, but it has been a part of my stash for WAY too long now. Time to get crackin' on it so I can reduce my stash over the next two months I am doing "Mamas on the Compact". That starts in July and runs until the end of August. I will extend it as I see fit, but the 2 months is a good first time goal. I am hoping to learn a little creativity when faced with the need to buy something. It's something I could stand to learn. I have a huge stash of lots of things and really need to used up what I have.

After I pick the boys up, I go to Twist for part of the day to hang out with Shelly. It is nice to have her back in town after she went to the Estes Park Wool Market with Angelique. It sounds like she was having fun. The temperatures at Estes Park run quite a bit cooler that it does here in Wichita, so I'm sure it was hard to part. She brought me back some REALLY neat top in just my colors. What are my colors? Just envision Mardi Gra throwing up..Yep, nice visuals, right? OK. Envision really bright, outrageous colors. Now put blocks of them together. Reds, purples, greens, electric blues, yellows etc--on steroids. Those would be my colors. L-O-V-E-D the top! By now Shelly knows whenever we get yarn that is "HOLY CRAP bright" I will probably hoard it.

I guess I'd better sign off for now since I just heard little feet hitting the floor. That would be the thump of cats jumping off the kitchen table.

The kitchen table they are NOT supposed to be on.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Slogging through...

the mud and rain...It rained buckets full this morning and guess what? It's supposed to rain again tonight. Oh Yipee.

Did I miss a memo or am I supposed to be looking up the building plans for an Ark?

I guess I could use that as an excuse to acquire the 2 of every animal, starting with any wool bearing little animal...But my question is: Do I have to take 2 of every animal? 'Cause I'm just not feeling it for the spiders..Maybe I can get an exemption from the Big Dude. What do 'ya think? Maybe if I agree to take all the snakes, the spiders can find their own way..Sound fair? I guess I'd better watch being Mrs. Smartie Pants--especially after the lightning storm we got after I made a naughty nun joke last time. I learn lessons slowly. VERY SLOWLY........

For some time I have been growing out my grey hair and have finally got it to the point where I really like it. I am actually hoping it turns white like the women on my Mom's side. Today I saw a picture of Emmylou Harris and thought "THAT'S IT! That's the color I want my hair to be!" I really like the fact that not only am I not exposing myself to the chemical in hair dye, I am also saving a ton of money by not having it done. The funny thing is the mixed reaction I got initially. Luckily there were quite a few women encouraging me to do this. There were a few friends that were really disturbed that I would chose grey hair because it would make me "look old".
I am old as far as chronological age. 43 years old to be exact, and I love being this age! I honestly think I have become more like the person I always thought I wanted to be like. I probably need to work a little on the wild child mouth I have, but I didn't say I was an angel (Believe me, I am not going there with all the lightning in the area right now!). What do you think on the grey hair subject?

Today was an awesome day. I went to The Newton Beadery and hung out with Julie . I love going up there since I usually end up doing something with beads and wire, and I get to play with all the yarn. Last time I was there I made stitch markers for the shop. Today I made earrings, but I liked them so much I ended up buying them. I was also blessed with the most spectacular strand of red coral--it is breathtaking! I had seen this strand weeks ago and it stayed on my mind the whole time. I was just REALLY drawn to it and could not get it out of my mind. I've actually carried around the strand this evening -- it just feels good. Strange, I know. It just brings me a great deal of happiness. I am going to have to make some really spectacular things with it--after I can deal with taking the strand apart. I'm thinking I will do sterling wirework and some other natural stones --possibly turquoise, but that is a pretty common combination. We'll have to see when the time comes. I'll post a picture of the coral tomorrow when the sun is out and you can see the beautiful form of the strand. Absolutely breathtaking!!

I did learn that I should not lay back down while waiting to pick the boys up from weight training camp in the mornings. This morning I laid down to "read" and fell asleep. I have to pick the boys up at 10:00. I woke up at 9:55.


I did the fastest "get dressed and get out the door" dance the dogs have ever seen. So tomorrow, no laying down to read! Ideally I will get the house cleaned in the two hours the boys are in training.We'll see how that works out.

Notice I'm not putting money down?

At some point this week I really need to get to the studio to throw some pots. I haven't produced anything in two weeks. Not good. I am hoping to get to the studio for most of the day Friday and a little on Saturday. This has not been the best week for anything creative or expressive. That included the general ability to speak. I have been tired, so writing and speaking has been a challenge! So all of you that tried to have a real conversation with me at Twist on Tuesday or last week, that's my defense.

And I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008



With Age Comes Wisdom

A friend of mine sent me this-it tickled me so I thought I'd share:

A guy is 70 years old and loves to fish. He was sitting in his boat the other day when he heard a voice say, "Pick me up".

He looked around and couldn't see any one. He thought he was dreaming when he heard the voice say a gain,"Pick me up." He looked in the water and there, floating on the top, was a frog.

The man said, "Are you talking to me?"

The frog said, "Yes, I'm talking to you. Pick me up then, kiss me and I'll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. I'll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous because I will be your bride!"

The man looked at the frog for a short time, reached over, picked it up carefully, and placed it in his front breast pocket.Then the frog said, "What, are you nuts? Didn't you hear what I said? I said kiss me and I will be your beautiful bride." The man opened his pocket, looked at the frog and said, "Nah, at my age I'd rather have a talking frog."

I'm sure there are days my hubby wishes he'd settled for a good book..LOL.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Little Goals for the week...

I fixed an awesome paella for dinner tonight. It was one of the recipes from the class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City when I took the Quick and Healthy Cooking class last week, and it was really good. Since I can't follow a recipe exactly to save my life, I made a couple little tweaks. It was REALLY good and REALLY easy. Even picky-eater son liked it (although I had to take out the shrimp on his portion). Non picky eater son and hubby inhaled it, so I'm assuming it passed.

I made a cream cheese pound cake also. However I think the fudge frosting I put on it was overkill. I will make another one tomorrow and just keep it simple with just a dusting of confectioners sugar or a simple vanilla glaze. My goal this week is to make one to send to son in Iowa. The great thing about a cream cheese poundcake is that it freezes beautifully and just waits for company. I will be making cinnamon rolls and homemade pizza on Friday so I can teach the boys how to make them too. One of my goals this summer is to get the boys in the kitchen with me and participating more in their food prep. I love baking yeast breads--there is something really satisfying about pulling a fresh yeast loaf out of the oven and knowing you made it. I'm trying to focus on reining in our spending by eating in a little more than we have in the past. A lot of things--especially pizza--can be made at home for a fraction of the cost of eating out. I'll post a pizza dough and pizza sauce recipe tomorrow. Try it, you'll like it!

A friend of mine from Atlanta emailed me this evening and asked me if I wanted to go to Mexico with her. I am going to get the passport application completed and sent in by next week so I can finally get a passport and travel with her to see her new husband. I have always told her I would go to Mexico with her, so now it is time I made good on that promise.

As far as knitting, I am working on getting some mittens done for one of the boys. I am using a generic Norwegian mittens chart by Hello Yarn and designing a set just for him. I have never knit this type of mitten from a chart, so it is slow going. I should have the hang of it by the time I take the fiddlehead mitten class at Twist in July. I think July is a great month to start mittens. You can make a whole bunch of them by the time Christmas rolls around and even have a couple pairs stockpiled for last minute gifts.

Some of you that know me also know I am trying to focus on budgeting and simplifying here at Casa Crazylife. Cooking at home and making handmade gifts is right in line with that goal. From time to time I will blog a little on those efforts and the efforts to construct and maintain a budget. The reason for this is not a cash crunch, instead I want to learn to slow down and appreciate the many gifts that I have been given. With gas prices going through the roof, I want to really focus on how I use my resources and cash in general. Our grandparents "used it up, made do, or did without". I tend to just buy what I need and contribute to the consumer mind think. I want to change that part of my life and focus on saving both money and resources. That being said, since hubby nixed the idea of getting an alpaca for the backyard, yarn is negotiable..All work and no yarn make for a very cranky girl.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We've all met this guy, haven't we.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday Posting

I'm hanging out waiting for the final tumble on the dryer so I can get ready to run some errands before heading into Twist. At some point to day I have to run by Smoky Hill Winery to add a couple bottles to our cellar. They are having 20% off today, so I've got to get at least one more bottle. They really have some good wines. I was hoping to hit a winery or two in KC when we were up there, but it was pretty busy as it was, so I may have to do that in the Fall. There is a sushi class that one of the boys wants to take, so we'll be going back up there in August, maybe sooner.

I am getting hyped about the mittens class that will be taught at Twist in July. Jen is going to be teaching the fiddle head mittens pattern by Hello Yarns. They are completely yummy. I am glad she is doing this in July. That will give me a chance to get a jump on Christmas. There is also going to be a mittens of the month class at Twist. I am looking forward to that. I am planning to do quite a few mittens this season. I am pretty certain I am going to design my own colorwork mittens by the end of the winter just to have something of my own. There are a couple templates floating around that seem to make it pretty easy.

I got the rest of my wire order yesterday so I am planning to crank out some stitch markers at some point this weekend. It will be nice to have a little down time and just hang out. I actually have a few books I am digging into, so hopefully I will get a little reading done this weekend too. I am not a big fiction reader, but I just picked up "Friday Night Knitting Club" and am hoping to make a little dent in it this weekend.

I am hoping to get to Stillwater to see my new great niece soon. Anna Gabriella was born Wednesday evening. One of my goals this season is to actually get to visit family more. I am planning a trip to Iowa soon to see our oldest son and his girlfriend. We haven't gone there since he moved--and that was a year ago! Time to just do it!

My coffee is ready and I REALLY need a cup, so I'm outta here!

Great coffee and good friends to you and yours!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Gummy Bear Song

I have this darn song stuck in my head! And the bad thing is I heard it in Japanese first!!

Flyin' past Dorothy and Toto

OK--I am OFFICIALLY tired of anything wet falling from the sky. Especially if it is accompanied by tornado sirens and hail.

This evening after the Stitch and Bitch at Twist, I was heading home in the rain--quite unworried by the rain. Once I got out of the downtown area, the rain picked up.

Not worried.

Once I got closer to Haysville, I couldn't see to drive. HMMM.

Somewhat Worried.

So I pulled over and went inside a Quik Trip convenience store to wait out the storm. I called home and hubby said "Get out of there, there are tornadoes in that area". Well, let's see honey... It's raining cats, dogs and an assortment of other small mammals--I can't see 2 feet in front of me---and there's a tornado IN THE VICINITY of my wimpy little compact car?...HMMM.

Pretty darn worried.

My arse is staying planted right where I am.

I wasn't sure whether Hubby telling me to get out of the tornado area was a vote of confidence in my superb driving skills (um...not so much) or he was feeling pretty confident that the sheer volume and dead weight of my human rear end would keep the car on course if a tornado of epic proportions tried to suck the car off the highway.

For his sake, the answer to that better be : confidence in my superb driving skills!

The humorous thing is that before I ran into Quik Trip, I had apparently hit the radio button and changed the radio station. When I got back in the car, the radio was belting out some really obnoxious song in Spanish. And I sat there thinking "Holy Shit-we just got blown to Mexico!"

Now I know how Dorothy and Toto felt.

I was afraid to check under my car for a body that might be sporting ruby slippers.

I was pretty darn miffed at myself for not bringing my knitting into the store while waiting out the storms. I know, WHAT KIND OF KNITTER WOULD DO THAT?!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Marshmallow Brains

OK people--it's official. My brain has turned to marshmallow.

It happened quite suddenly. Here I was reading the news from the Internet and a little blurb (GOSSIP) about an actress caught my eye.

So I clicked.

I'm not proud of it, but I clicked.

And from that moment on, I lost the ability to reason.

I read that blurb, then clicked next. And read the next gossip blurb. And the next. If these little blurbs were potato chips, my butt would have molded to the side of the chair. Instead, I continued to read while little pieces of my brain melted and oozed out of my head.

Now all I need are graham crackers and chocolate and I could have brain s'mores. Or should that be brain s'less?

This is your brain. This is your brain on Gossip.

GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ! (Actually I just wrote that to flip out spell check. It's a sadistic little joy of mine. Yep, I need a life..)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Back from KC

The Chef helping some of the students in the choux pastry class. Lot of hands on and incredible food sampling. Totally yummy!
I really liked the dome on this building in the Plaza. Unfortunately the bus was blocking the view down the street. It was REALLY crowded, however there was a free parking garage right next to the Unity church, which is where Eden Alley is contained. We did notice you could sit outside of the cafe also. They have a really nice patio area where you can sit and people watch. I think that is a nice option when the weather is nice. Their bread with agave butter is outrageously good! Staci has to eat gluten free so I had to eat her bread. Torture, I tell you...NOT!!! I could make a meal out of that delicious bread alone! I don't know if they make it there at the cafe, but it is worth the trip to the cafe alone..I had not had agave butter spread until then, it was also delicious. Much like honey butter spread.
The view from the parking garage. This is actually a little side street, but the dwellings had a definite English Tudor style to them. Very charming.

The classes at the Culinary Center were fantastic as usual. Staci and I shopped a lot and got to eat at some really interesting places. The choux pastry class and the healthy cooking class gave me new recipes and inspiration. I am going to make the paella we learned in class this week. All the recipes in the Healthy cooking class were based on the Mediterranean diet and can be made in under 30 minutes. Very easy and very tasty.

One of the most interesting places was Eden Alley. It is a vegetarian cafe in the basement of the Unity church at The Plaza. We had no idea it was actually located at The Plaza until we got there. Staci had found it on a website and we navigated the directions from our hotel thanks to Yahoo maps. It did take us a little bit to find Eden Alley from the direction we came from. They didn't say in their ad that they were in the church. It wasn't until we were turning around that we saw the banner on the side of the church. Well hidden, but worth the trip.
I love the architecture in that area! It is stunning. A lot of the apartment buildings are going through re-gentrification and turning into higher priced housing, but they are keeping details of the buildings from the 20's, 30's and right up to current architecture. And the Plaza has a ton of stores, most of them designer stores.
Although we did not shop, we did go to the cafe and had a really good meal. I can see myself going back to Eden Alley again, even though I am not a vegetarian. One funny thing about KC, each time I got "french toast", it was actually more like bread pudding. To me, french toast is a slice of bread dipped in egg and cooked. In KC I got cubed bread, in a sauce. That is what I know as bread pudding. It's good either way. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to..

Since there was a fridge in the room, we picked up some provisions at Whole Foods and ate some of our meals at the motel to save a little cash. I adore Whole Foods Market. Since we don't have one of them here, I bought some things that I can only find there or at the Wild Oats Market in Tulsa. I did pick up some semolina flour from the bulk bins so I can teach the boys how to make fresh pasta.
The biggest bang on the checkbook was the trips to Half Priced Books. We actually went to one in Overland Park and another in Olathe and found goodies in both. I love this chain. I always find really good books every time I go to the one in Overland Park. This is the first time we've been to the one in Olathe, but not the last!
As much fun as we had, it was still nice to be home.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hump Day

It is 9:30 p.m and I finally stopped long enough to catch my breath. It has been a long but good day. I was hanging out at The Beadery all day today and made quite a few stitch markers for the shop. I love getting to do creative stuff. Next time I am in Newton, Julie is going to teach me how to do an awesome right angle weave bracelet I've fallen in love with at the shop. I adore Swaroski crystals and this bracelet is stunning. Actually there are quite a few really wonderful jewelry pieces at the shop. Julie can teach you how to bead and make just about any kind of bling. Starting this summer she will be having one hour technique classes in both the bead part of the store and the yarn part. I will be teaching a stitch marker class at some point. I have to see what my schedule is like so we can coordinate this.

On the yarn part of the world, Jen is teaching a mittens class at Twist in July. I am really excited about these mittens since I have seen Jen's completed set in person. They are stunning!!
I'm not sure what the dates are (you can click on the Twist link and check out the July schedule for more info), but you can BET I am going to be there!

On my way home from Newton today I was thinking about how really blessed I am to be able to volunteer at both Twist in Wichita and The Beadery in Newton. Both places give me a lot of creative inspiration and are owned by totally rockin' women. If you are in the area, stop in and visit these shops. They are really good places to be. There is no way you will leave without being inspired and itching to create something.

I should have a large batch of stitch markers for sale at Twist within the next week or two. I got my wire today and they sent regular gold base metal wire instead of non tarnish base metal. Since I want to make sure the markers don't tarnish and rub off on your yarn, I won't use any base metal that is not non tarnish. Eventually I will have some sterling silver markers made up, but I am going to order the newest sterling blend on the market. It uses a different alloy than regular sterling and is harder to tarnish. It is the same silver formulation, it just uses a different alloy than regular silver so it can be labeled as sterling.

I'm getting excited about my trip to Kansas City. Staci and I leave Friday morning. The classes are Saturday and Sunday, but we have a full itinerary of stuff we are going to see. On place I am psyched about going to is Urban Arts and Crafts. I have to give full credit for the addiction to this shop to Jackie, who introduced me to the wonderfulness of Urban Arts and Crafts.

I know this post is not full of the regular tartness and all around cheeky comments, but I am really tired and I have typed the same sentence three times, so I am going to sign off.

Good coffee and great friends to you and yours!

Word for the day:

hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia --
the fear of long words. No kidding!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Is it Monday?

Last night I was feeling cheeky for getting clothes washed and in the dryer for today. Notice what I left out? I didn't until this morning. To get them washed and PUT IN THE DRYER does not mean I will REMEMBER TO TURN ON THE DRYER.


So I wander downstairs to retrieve my dry clothes only to find--no surprise--they are not dry. I'm sure the whole scenario would have played out completely different had I TURNED ON THE DRYER. Notice a theme?


OK, please tell me it only gets better from here. I am going to Twist after my clothes are done since going buck naked is not an option Shelly would probably agree with. Intense counseling will have to go with that visualization, I'm sure.... Maybe being around the yarn will bring the mood of the day upward.

I just looked at the July classes at Twist and discovered Jen is teaching a mittens class. I am soooooooooo stoked about this! I completely drooled over her mittens and have been obsessed with them ever since. However I have not made mittens like this and was completely too intimidated to start. The fact she is offering a class makes my day!!

I have decided we have entirely too much cat hair around this house. I vacuumed up what I thought was a cat yesterday only to discover it was just a bunch of hair. And the bad thing is that I vacuumed before I went to bed and woke up to more hair. Is there a party while we sleep and some cat forgets to put all his/her clothes back on? If it were a sheep, at least I could spin it, but no, it is short and slick. Not wheel friendly at all. For those of you grossing out about the last comment, you have to be a spinner to understand the lure of potential spinning fiber yet undiscovered.. Not that having a partying flock of wild naked sheep in my house would be appreciated by any of the other inhabitants of this house...


Spell check dings me every time.

Is it bad to want a glass of wine before 11 a.m? If the tone of this day continues as it is going right now, I may need the whole damn bottle. Now. And I'm not even a big lush. But the day has not yet started so there is always room to spiral downward from here. I'll put a bottle in the fridge before I leave for the day.

I know, it's sounds like Ms. Pissy is present and accounted for today.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Just another Manic Monday...

OK, maybe not. However it is 12:30 and I can honestly say I haven't accomplished much of anything. The ideal would be that the dirty dishes are happily whirling away in the dishwasher that is sitting happily on a floor that has been freshly mopped. I'll have to get right on that.

Um..not so much.

However I fully intend to actually make some progress getting control of the box population today. The boys don't have football camp or weight training camp, so they are home and happy to pitch in.

Um....not so much.

But since I"M THE MOM, they will (at some point) realize that resistance is futile and will give in an get things done. I'll let you know how that turns out. Much bitching to ensue, I am sure.

I am really getting excited about my road trip with a friend at the end of the week. Staci and I are going to Kansas City to take cooking classes at the Kansas City Culinary Center. We have taken a couple classes there and love that place. Originally we had signed up for a gluten free cooking class. Staci has Celiacs disease which makes gluten and gluten products toxic to her. I never realized how much gluten (wheat) is in just about everything we eat. I am not allergic to gluten, but am always game to learn new stuff so I told her I'd take the class with her.Unfortunately, after we made the hotel reservations and all the other plans, the Center called and said they had to change the date of the class. The new date didn't work. Staci had already asked for time off from work, made the hotel reservation and all the other things involved with gittin' outta Dodge...We are taking the pate choux class (think eclairs, creme puffs, etc) even though Staci can't consume them--and we got placed in a healthy cooking class. So I guess it is all good. I would have loved to take the gluten free class though.

While we are in KC, we are planning to hit the Half Price book stores in both Olathe and Overland Park, peruse the Whole Foods chain in Overland Park, eat at cool places and generally spend time decompressing and relaxing. Staci and I have taken several really neat roadtrips together in the past and just have a natural rhythm that we fall into. We took a roadtrip to Tow, Texas once because I wanted to learn how to make handmade soap. Yep, she's that kind of friend. Not a lot of people would drive from Kansas to Tow, Texas to take a class on SOAP just because their friend thought it sounded fun.

We are leaving Friday morning -- OK, we are leaving when we feel like it--and driving to Overland Park to stay at White Haven hotel. It is a third generation Mom and Pop motel that I stay at when I go to KC. It just has a lot more personality than a national chain. The daughter runs the front desk and is always fun to talk to. It has been several years since I stayed there so I am hoping it is still as great as it was in the past. The classes aren't until Saturday and Sunday, so we will have a good amount of time to run around and explore the town. There used to be a fabric outlet in Overland Park and I am hoping it is still there. The last time I was there, they had huge amounts over home decorating fabric that I have seen at $20+ a yard here in Wichita for $10 a yard. I plan to start getting cutains made and finally personalizing the house this summer.

Can you tell I'm excited and ready to go?!