Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Things have been fairly quiet on the home front with the exception of a very loud, very late (but fun) night hosting the church Youth for a candy making night on December 12th. I learned a dishcloth pattern and have made a set for each of my grandmothers for Christmas. Nana gets the yellow and Nanny's is a light blue to go with her blueberry themed kitchen. I finished the last one yesterday. Now I'm focusing on a scarf or two and finishing up my shawl.

My adult Sabbath School programs for the month have gone well. I'm happy to say that at least one person each week makes a point to say that they enjoyed the program and got something out of it. That is what I work towards. I get anywhere from 10-30 people for the 9:30-9:45a program. Since there was some resistance to the idea of doing a sanctuary program before breaking out for the lesson, I'm pleased with the turnout. I try to make the programs unique and put my spin on ideas when I can. And I do love visual aids and handouts.

On December 5th I talked about family traditions and brought in some Shabbat candles and a Challah recipe so that anyone who wanted to start a new Friday night tradition could. (As a result of my research, I've actually started lighting two Shabbat candles and say a short prayer when I get home from work on Friday nights--I leave just before sunset, so it's already Sabbath when I get home--to set the mood for Sabbath.)

The next week I spoke about the commercialism of Christmas and how we should focus on family and quality time instead of presents and money and shopping. I handed out the following Christmas Pledge: “Believing in the true spirit of Christmas, I commit myself to: Remember those who truly need my gifts. Express my love in more direct ways than gifts. Examine my holiday activities in light of my deepest values. Be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends. Rededicate myself to spiritual growth.” --Unplug the Christmas Machine by William Morrow

Last week I dealt with our responsibility to show compassion and tangible care to those in need. My theme was based on James 1:27 and Ezekiel 34:8 and dealt mostly with shut-ins, sick, aged, widow(er)s, and single parent families. I brought some blank cards so that those who wanted to could write a short note of encouragement to someone who may be feeling forgotten.

I'm thankful to have the next two weeks off to recharge and think of some more topics. I'm hoping to find some inspiration from my parents' church and the antics of my nephews.

Monday, November 30, 2009


This is it. My final post for November. I made my goal of 30 posts in the 30 days of November. Now I can go to bed each night and not try to stay awake to post. I'm not sure what December holds (except a trip to the auto shop to possibly get a new alternator), but I do plan on putting up my nativity tomorrow. I'm not doing a tree this year since I won't be around for Christmas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Stitch in Time

I spent a good part of the day learning a new knitting style: intarsia knitting. There were about eleven of us at Yarniverse. Our teacher was an amazingly patient woman named Charlotte who used to work for Vogue Knitting Magazine. She wasn't fond of my loop cast on (as it can result in very loose row) and showed me a knitting cast on. It took a couple of tries but I finally got it. I only got about two-thirds of the way through the first group of colors before class ended. But once I got home I was able to take what I learned and add on the final 3 colors. Here is what the completed project is supposed to look like: And here is what I've done so far. I'm not sure how long it's going to take, but I hope it will go quickly since it's on size 15 needles. The finished shawl is supposed to be 60". (I'm just over ten percent done with 7" so far.) I don't know if I'll be able to give this one away.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day of Rest

This morning I woke up early and was able to take my time getting ready. (As this is not usually the case since the snooze button and I are really close, it was a treat.) This set the tone for the day. I was able to fit in my devotion book reading and some Bible reading while eating breakfast this morning. For the joint Sabbath School I gave the history of the hymn "Now Thank We All Our God" and then opened it up for people to share their sentiments of thanks. I was grateful to see that most everyone had something to share. There were only two kids that showed up for Earliteens and they offered to join with the small Junior class so that I could hit up the adult lesson. What a nice change. After church I went over to check in on Ti-Ti who I am cat sitting. We had our Sabbath dinner together then snuggled while I worked on my circular knitting project for Christmas and watched Dave Salmoni and his work with the African Lions. I think Ti-Ti was into the show as she made sure she could see the TV when she was balled up in my lap. I rather enjoy hanging out with Ti-Ti as she is much more affectionate than either of my girls. There was one strange thing that happened both last week and this. Both weeks, right before going in to the sanctuary for the joint Sabbath school I had someone (a different person each week) exclaim, "I didn't think you'd be here today." You would think the fact that my name was in the bulletin both weeks for announcements should have been a clue. I know that I usually go away for Thanksgiving, but I'm always here the Sabbath before Thanksgiving. And I told anyone who asked that I wasn't going out of town this year for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that people think I would bail or not get coverage for those tasks I'm responsible for. I take my commitments and responsibilities very seriously. The only time that I've had to miss Sabbath school was when I was sitting in Urgent Care and even then I made it to church. Having people flake on their responsibilities is one of my pet peeves. I hope that I would never do anything so selfish, inconsiderate and rude. It borders on insulting that some think I would do such a thing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Did It

After a couple of weeks of debating, I decided it was time to dye my hair. It's been about three years since I last colored my hair. I'm not ready to commit to a permanent color, so I went with a 28 wash one. I couldn't find the right shade of dark reddish auburn that I have used in the past (or as Nanny calls it "Street Walker Red"), so I went with the next best thing: Midnight. I had forgotten how nice freshly dyed hair feels. I'm thinking this color will go over better than the pink spray in I sported back in October for a couple days. Then again, my mom told me that she thinks black is in poor taste and just looks fake. I disagree since I have dark eyebrows and brown eyes. Wonder if I'll miss my greys?

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Since I had a solo Thanksgiving I decided a taste test was in order. The two vegan loaves up for the challenge were the Field Roast Grain Meat Co.'s celebration roast and the Quorn Turk'y roast. Here they are in all of their packaged glory.

I decided to bake the Quorn loaf and to cut a couple of slices of the Field Roast to heat on the stove top. The Quorn loaf reminded me of a roll of chickettes when I placed it in the oven. It browned up a little and cut easily once the protective film was removed. (You are supposed to cook it with the film on. I only got a small fingertip burn taking it off.) Honestly, I was not fond of the taste or texture of the Turk'y loaf at all. I could barely eat one slice when it was drowning in mushroom gravy. You may be surprised to know that the reason I disliked it was because the taste and texture reminded me too much of meat. I'm going to see if my former meat eating friends would like the rest of it. (I'm a vegetarian since birth and really dislike the texture of meat. I want my fake meat to taste fake! It should be it's own dish.)

The Field Roast was stuffed with a sausage-style mixture. This was more flavorful than the Quorn loaf. But again, I found it tasted and had a texture a bit too much like meat. I was able to get through one and a half slices with mushroom gravy; two full slices was a bit much. I will keep the leftovers and see if they work in a sandwich tomorrow.. I'm not sure that I would buy it again for myself, but could deal with it if someone had bought it to serve at a dinner I went to.

The highlight of the meal was my mashed sweet potatoes (just a little salt & butter) and the Martinelli's. I ended up not making the stuffing as I didn't notice until I got it home that it listed cooked chicken and chicken stock in the ingredients.

So the results are in: Quorn Turk'y Roast - I don't think you could pay me to eat it again. Field Roast Celebration Roast - It's ok and I could eat it again, but it's not something I would rush out to buy again. Cream Cheese Patties - I should've just bit the bullet and made a batch; by far the best Thanksgiving entree out there.

To the Nines

After I finished Thanksgiving dinner I spent the rest of the day watching the James Bond movie marathon on TV and finishing up scarf #9. I decided not to use the whole skein and make it a bit on the shorter side because I really wanted to be finished before heading to my knitting class on Sunday. The pattern is the American Moss Stitch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting Ready

Tomorrow is not just Thanksgiving. It is the second Thanksgiving that I've ever spent without my family (the first was during college and it was with my sister-in-law's family) and my first ever solo Thanksgiving. I've done many Christmases and Easters by myself but never Turkey Day. Since it's just me and knowing that this will be the menu next month for Christmas dinner, I'm forgoing the standard Cream Cheese Patties w/ McKay's homemade chicken gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, mashed rutabaga, mom's stuffing and pumpkin pie. Instead I'll be making some Stove Top stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, with some canned whole cranberry sauce (I can't stand that jelly stuff) and pumpkin pie ice cream. And I'll be having two entrees. Since we've always made our own Thanksgiving entree, I've never tried any of the pre-made loaves that are available. I've heard less than stellar reports about the Tofurkey version, so I'm trying the Field Roast Celebration Roast (1 pound) and the Quorn Turk'y Roast. I'll be sure to let you know tomorrow which one I preferred and which one had to be slathered in gravy. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Picture Perfect

Last month the city installed some fancy schmancy red light cameras at a few choice intersections. I've driven in other cities with them, but was never bothered by them. These cameras take two pictures each time they are triggered and are set up to showcase the rear license plate. I see the point of trying to reduce the number of cars running red lights. Most people who speak about the dangers of red light cameras bring up increased accidents due to fear of being ticketed and shorted yellow light times. But what is really getting to me is the brightness of the camera flash--it's distracting in the daylight and blinding at night. The lights don't take in to account the legality of right turns on red and so the blinding camera double-flash goes off often. The flash is distracting it doesn't matter if it is for your right light or the line of cars that you are passing. Now, I understand that I have an increased sensitivity to bright light as a result of my Lasik. So my question is: Is it just me or does anyone else find the red light cameras distracting?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Change of View

With all of the Twilight madness going on, it got me thinking. I have no desire to read the books or watch the movies, but that would not have always been the case. Growing up I was all about R. L. Stine's Fear Street series and Christopher Pike books. The few times my brother and I got along was when we were watching scary movies--Nightmare on Elm Street marathons, Alligator. When high school rolled around, I was reading V.C. Andrews and Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Then I got hooked on Buffy, Angel, and Charmed on TV. But over the past several years things have changed. While still a fan of sci-fi (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Stargate), it's the alien and "future tech" shows that grab my attention--with the small exception of Harry Potter. I'm no longer sucked in by the vampire, demon, or otherwise undead variety. Scary movies only appeal to me if they are of the mystery/thriller genre. I don't have the stomach for horror or slasher movies anymore (even if they have a young, smoking hot Johnny Depp in them). I barely have the stomach for CSI and have had to take Criminal Minds off the DVR list. I still like police shows like Castle and CSI:NY. They seem more character driven and less gruesome. Does this mean that I'm growing up or growing soft?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wish It Was a Sunday

Today was a rather low key day. Instead of marking any items off of my "to do" list, I lounged with the girls. I made some nutmeg and cinnamon pancakes (Daly was excited to get a small piece with peanut butter on it) and settled in for a day of DVR watching, knitting and having my lap be a cat bed. As you can see below, Daly was a big helper. I'm about half way done with my ninth scarf--a Christmas present. In the next couple of weeks I hope to learn to make some dish clothes from my friend J.


I missed posting yesterday, but had a nice Sabbath rest and Saturday night just hanging out. I wanted to share a poem that my friend read yesterday while she was leading out the joint Sabbath School for me. Hope it speaks to you, too. Waiting Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried. Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied. I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate, And the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait!” “Wait? You say, wait!” my indignant reply. “Lord, I need answers, I need to know why! Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heard? By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming Your Word. “My future and all to which I can relate Hangs in the balance, and You tell me to WAIT? I’m needing a yes, a go-ahead sign, Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign. “And Lord, You promised that if we believe We need but to ask, and we shall receive. And Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry: I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!” Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.” So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting…for what?” He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine, And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign. I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun. I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run. “All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be, You would have what you want—but, you wouldn’t know ME. You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint; You’d not know the power that I give to the faint; “You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair; You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there; You’d not know the joy of resting in Me When darkness and silence were all you could see. “You’d never experience the fullness of love As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove; You’d know that I give and I save… (for a start) But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart. “The glow of My comfort late into the night, The faith that I give when you walk without sight. The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST. “You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee, What it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would come true, But, oh the loss! If I lost what I’m doing in you! “So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see THAT THE GREATEST OF GIFTS IS TO GET TO KNOW ME. And though oft may my answers seem terribly late, My wisest of answers is still but to WAIT.” --Author Unknown Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shorabat Addas

I like to try different kinds of ethnic foods. I credit my dad for this since as a submariner he was always sure to hit up the local food joints when he visited a port. He refused to go into the touristy restaurants, often eating from street vendor carts. Even in his retirement, my parents frequent the "Mom and Pop" style Thai, Indian, Mexican, Ethiopian, and Mediterranean restaurants. So when I passed a bag of red lentils in the store, I had to take it home with me. (I don't have a lot of experience cooking with lentils; just a lentil soup or two. Someday I'll learn to make a yummy lentil loaf.) Tonight was the night to try the red lentils. I decided to play it safe and use the recipe on the back of the bag. I halved the recipe since it's just me and I wasn't sure how I'd like them. I should've done a full batch. Here's the recipe. It's really simple. Shorabat Addas (Lentil Soup) 2 cups dry red lentils
8 cups water or broth (I used water)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric or paprika (I used turmeric)
1 large onion diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon
2 bouillon cube of choice (I used G Washington Golden packets)
Wash lentils. Combine with water (or broth) and bring to a boil. Cover for 20-30 minutes, sirring occasionally. When lentils are tender, add dry spices and bouillon to the pot. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Then add to soup mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add lemon juice and stir. Garnish bowls with parsley and paprika. Serve with lemon wedges on the side (if available). Serves 6.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wisdom of Meerkats

Back before I downgraded my satellite service I used to watch Meerkat Manor on Animal Plant. Very often I would call my mother on Friday nights and we would share our take on Flower's daily dramas. So it was only a little surprising to find the book Wisdom of Meerkats in the package my mom sent me this week. Nestled between two Styrofoam boxes containing new pieces for my Irish Nativity was this little book full of meerkat photos and inspiring quotes from a vast array of people--Mother Theresa, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Tori Amos, William Shakespeare, etc. Here are some that stood out to me: "Sleep is the best mediation."--Dalai Lama "Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest."--Mark Twain "Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was." --Dag Hammarskjöld "Minds are like parachutes; they only function when open." --Thomas Dewar "A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart."--Goethe "The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character." --Margaret Chase Smith "Waste not fresh tears over old griefs."--Euripides (The picture in this post is one I took at the Memphis Zoo during my birthday trip this summer.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Always the Case

I don't know what it is about me but I have the worst luck when it comes to picking checkout lines. If I am in what appears to be the shortest line there is usually a "special" situation with the person in front of me. It could be that the customer is untrustworthy and has to double check the 80 item receipt after checking out and then disputing the can of tomatoes that rang up as $3.99 and not the $3.98 that is on the sticker. I'm also often behind a check writer. I don't understand why you can't already have the check made out--minus the total--while being checked out. Tonight I was behind the girl who left her credit card in her car and had to send her friend out to get it. Does that ever happen to you?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cirque Dreamin'

Tonight I went out on the town for dinner and a show. If you are ever planning to see a show in Downtown Memphis, try eating at The Majestic Grille. They have a great selection and are reasonably priced. They even have a special pre-Theatre dinner menu that of course I could not order from. I got a wonderful flatbread pizza and their key lime pie shooter for dessert (it's pie served in a shot glass and it was nice and tart). My only complaint was that my flatbred was the one with "Artichokes, leaf spinach, garlic olive oil, feta, mozzarella". Apparently, it also came with surprise chunks of chicken. Thankfully they were large enough to pick out. Next time I'll be sure to ask for my vegetarian dishes to be meat free. After dinner we made our way to the beautiful Memphis Orpheum. I've seen several live events there (theatre productions, ballet, concerts) and am always awed by it's beauty.

Thanks to the chill in the air I was able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy "Cirque Dreams Holidaze" which is their Christmas show. It's premise is familiar--ornaments come to life and dance, do acrobatics, swing from ropes and ribbons, juggle. But don't dismiss it just because you've seen that other "things come to life when someone dreams" live performance. There is really no comparison. Except that they both feature some good looking men in tights (tight tights!). I recommend seeing them both as often as you can. You can never go wrong with a Cirque show. If one is in your town, please consider changing whatever plans interfere and have a babysitter on standby. If there is not one in your town start looking for flights. There is always one in Vegas.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Tonight I finally finished the Crafting for Charity scarf I started November 8th. It's blocks of red and light grey with sections of both colors in between. It's the first time I worked with colors separately and I don't really like how it turned out. It's also a pain in the neck to weave in all of those ends. It will be awhile before I would a dual color pattern like this again.

I also finally got the first of my two post days!


I didn't realize just how boring (uneventful) my life was until I committed to NaBloWriMo. Finding something to write about every day for 30 days is becoming quite difficult. Since I'm a single girl living alone with two cats (not enough to be a crazy cat lady--I checked) I don't have any roommate, boyfriend, or children drama. I live too far away from my family to get caught up in their drama. My work as an accountant is rather boring to most people (and sometimes to me). Maybe I need to pick up some more social activities. There is no way I'd do anything like speed dating although I'm sure a wealth of blog writing opportunities would open up if I did. Any thoughts on things I could do to spice up my blog? I still have 16 posts to go. I'm going to see Cirque Dreams tomorrow night. That's a start.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Today was a do-nothing day. I successfully did one load of laundry and got an uninvited wasp to leave the house. I was not able to get rid of yesterday's headache. Hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Because I Said I Would

I don't feel like blogging today, but since I committed to NaBloWriMo I guess I have to. The reason I'm feeling out of it is because I had another ocular migraine (mine are of the one-eye varity) today during Sabbath School that morphed into a headache migraine during church. It is still lingering 8 hours (and one nap) later. I got my first ocular migraine just after my 30th birthday and then went a whole year before my next one. And now I've had two in the last 2 months. If you've never had an ocular migraine, know that they aren't painful, just annoying. It's the blind spots (kinda like when you stare up at the sun), and wavy lines that really get to me. My dad's mother said that she gets them every time she gets a migraine. Mine aren't that predictable. Sometimes they bring migraines, sometimes it stops with the vision disruptions. Today it brought a headache. And now I'm going to bed with a nice damp washcloth for my forehead in the hopes that I will wake up migraine free. (Note: I did see a retina specialist during my first ocular migraine and go back on an annual basis. At this point in time medication is not recommended. I also have a history of severe stress headaches going back 15+ years that has not been able to be treated with medication--I have a high tolerance to most pain medication (also genetic). I'm stuck with "grin and bear it" for now. If it gets worse or the frequency continues to increase dramatically, I'll get it checked out again.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tastes Like Fall

One of my family's favorite fall meals is corn chowder with cornbread made from scratch. After hearing from my mom that corn chowder was on her menu last week, I just knew it needed to me on mine this week. When I got home this evening I set to work chopping and measuring. The chowder was finished and the cornbread out of the oven just in time for me to head out to the very last Extreme Faith nightly meeting. I left the cornbread on the counter with some foil on top, covered the soup and left it on the stove so it would be ready to eat when I got back. When I got home two hours later I realized that I had left the burner on medium! Thankfully it only thickened up the chowder (the recipe--listed below--does say to simmer before serving) and didn't burn down the house. Here is the super simple delicious recipe I use.
Corn Chowder (from Nanny, Mom, Nana Johnson)
Serves 4-6 people
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 potatoes, diced
salt to taste
2 cans cream style corn
1 1/2 cans evaporated milk (soy milk and/or coconut milk also work if you want to go vegan)
Saute onions in oil. Add potatoes and cover with water just to the tops. Add salt. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add corn and evaporated milk. Add a pat of butter if desired (it's always desired by me). Simmer and serve!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Made That

Last month I ventured into the world of stamping and card making. Stamp Club meets once a month and at my first class we made two cards (I can't show pics since they've been sent out already.) Tonight was my second class. We made holiday gift tags. I had fun learning to emboss and even tried a bit of coloring in on the black embossed postal stamp tags. Here's a look at my handiwork.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Making A Difference

Many companies these days are having annual Make A Difference Days. Mine is no exception. In the nine years I've been with the company each market has done their own project. Some of the ones I've done are organizing books for a prison library mail program, cleaning up various parks and zoo gardens, and sorting toys for a local charity. This year we teamed up with the Wolf River Conservancy and worked to clear privet in some of the protected areas around the Walnut Grove Lake area. It was fun and rewarding. (It also was a reminder that I do not like yard work.) Here are some pics from yesterday's MADD.

Beware of Radio employees wielding sharp tools

This is Lovett Lake where my group was working. We had to cross this little bridge to get to the privet.
Deer tracks from the night before

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Tonight I'm exhausted. I spent the morning at our annual Make A Difference Day (I'll update on that later, too tired now) and had to rush home after work to shower before heading to the Extreme Faith meeting. After the meeting I taught a woman how to knit and chatted with the Pastor and his wife for about an hour. But since I'm committed to NaBloWriMo I knew I had to write something tonight. So I dug up a couple pictures from earlier this year. This is about the closest my girls get to each other and only on the rarest occasions.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Almost Christmas?

I'm sure that you, like me, have seen all of the Christmas decorations that have been filling the stores since September. The fact that Christmas is one of my least favorite holidays doesn't help matters. Don't get me wrong, I like gifting and getting gifts and get the whole "Christ"mas idea. But I dislike most Christmas music (some radio stations have already gone to 24 hour Christmas music), the big tacky decorations, the mobbed stores, crazy traffic, traveling, and the cold weather that usually signals the Christmas season. This may be due in part to the fact that Christmas has never been a big holiday for our family. We usually get together at Thanksgiving and New Year's. Since too much family in too short a time can be a bad thing, Christmas is usually a more quiet, non-extended family time. I've spent many a Christmas curled up on a couch alone watching the Godfather trilogy or sleeping in. This December 25th I'll be navigating airports. How about you? Do you like the thrill of the season?
That being said, I have started my Christmas shopping. I always try to get a few things in October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. So far I've purchased some beautiful handmade cards to send out (I don't think that I'll have a photo in my cards this year as the girls won't sit still anywhere near each other without an outbreak of claws and hissing.) and a few presents. I have my gifting list started and am waiting to get some of the items. I'm working with a cash budget again this year and don't think I'll have a problem sticking to it. But that means I have to wait for paydays to buy things. I've started my knitted gifts (1 down, many more to go) but need to work on my melt-and-mold soaps and chocolates pretty soon. What's your Christmas plan?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Latest and Greatest

I know that most of my last few posts have been about my knitting. Sorry to disappoint, but this one is too (I don't have much else going on). I started two scarfs this weekend. One is for a Christmas present and is a fun new stitch. The second is my try at knitting with blocks of colors. At our knitting group today I got some pointers and discovered that because of the colors I'm using (the same dark red and light grey as the scarf I finished last week) I need to have a transition section at the color changes. I'm also still working to get the stitches count working so the transition section isn't wider than the rest of the scarf. Here is my little one Daly modeling today's progress.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

One more down

Today was a pleasant Sabbath. The joint Sabbath School trivia was a hit and there was only one student in Earlieens so we did some more trivia. After church I came home, watched the Contemporary Christian music channel while I ate and took a short nap (2 hours is short) on the couch with O'Malley. For some reason she won't come up on the bed at night, but has to be on my lap downstairs. It was worth napping on the couch to cuddle up with her. Tonight I worked the sound for the Extreme Faith meetings and finished my seventh scarf. This one is made with double yarn--dark red and light grey--and a random pattern (is that an oxymoron?) of knits, purls, stockinette and reverse stockinette stitches. This one is going to the church Crafting for Charity project. I'm hoping to learn how to knit in blocks of two colors tomorrow. One of these days I'll start on the scarfs I need to make for Christmas gifts.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Same Ol' Same Ol'

I'm not sure why, but things have been feeling monotonous lately. It seems like all I do is get up, go to work, go to one of the Extreme Faith meetings at the church, knit, watch about an hour of TV to wind down, read for a bit (just finished a collection of short stories) and go to bed. I don't remember the last time I had a social event to go to or spent a chunk of time just socializing. I did go play games at a friend's house last Saturday night, but I got there late (had to hit up the Extreme Faith meeting first) and was so worn out from the week that I only stayed for about an hour and a half. I've been feeling the itch for one of those all night girls nights out at a club or diner. But since my clubbing and bar days are pretty much behind me and the majority of my friends are worn out at the end of the day themselves (kids, pregnancy, school, family, work, and husbands can really take a toll--or so I've been told), I don't know when it would happen. The fact that I am not comfortable in party settings--I don't talk to strangers--doesn't help matters. As a self-proclaimed homebody, I'm usually quite content to sit at home and chill. But these days being a carefree single gal with a vacant social calendar just isn't what it used to be.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Night Cap

Today was one of those slow moving days that drags on as you stare at the computer screen with aching eyes for hours. Thankfully it was also a rather productive day (a necessity since it was the last day of the month end close). But the best part of the day is right now--curled up on the couch in my PJs with a fleece blanket sipping a vanilla-soy-milk-based hot chocolate having my lap act as a cat bed for O'Malley and Daly sitting nearby waiting her turn for my lap-bed.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Crafting for Charity

As I've mentioned before the Women's Ministry department of my church is making scarfs and blankets to give out at various shelters and halfway houses in the Memphis area. Our goal is to make a total of 65 scarfs. The last count, back in October, was 30 completed scarfs and I know that a few of the ladies have finished scarfs at home that just need to be added to our stock. This means that we are about halfway finished. That's pretty good if you ask me considering that we started in July. To help motivate us to get knitting or crocheting we've displayed them on the baptistery wall. It's an amazing sight.
Section 1 close up.
Section 2 close up
Section 3 close up
And here is the scarf I finished Sunday morning. It's my 5th scarf for Crafting for Charity but my 6th scarf ever. I'm currently working on scarf #7 which is also for the church project. The rest of the scarfs that I'll be making for Christmas will probably be started sometime around Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Some of you may know that November is National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo.) You will also know that I am not nearly ambitious enough to even think of attempting to write a novel in 30 days. Heck, I probably couldn't write a novel in 30 years. But today I saw something that I think I could accomplish: NaBloWriMo. The idea behind NaBloWriMo (National Blog Writing Month) is to post a blog entry every day of the 30 days of November. Thankfully there is no blog length requirement. If you look over to your calendar you will notice that I am getting a late start (then again, I've always been a bit of a procrastinator) so I will try to make up for the two days I've missed with a couple of two blog post days to keep with the 30 blog entries in 30 days. If you think that this is something that you might be interested in, head over to their website and sign up. Who knows; it might just be fun. (And yes, this counts as post #1.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Since I've been back from vacation for three weeks now, it's about time for me to update the blog with some of the trip details. I was able to spend 5 days in Casablanca, Morocco with my mother's parents. Nanny & Poppy and I had a wonderful time. The long plane rides (about 11 hours from Boston to Morocco via Paris) were broken up a bit with movies, sleeping, and reading. Needless to say we were a bit cranky when we arrived and were waiting in line to pass through customs.
From Morocco
The innumerable people returning home from their Ramadan pilgrimages to Mecca that morning added to our frustration. After what felt like ages but was probably only two hours, we were met at the airport by our friendly taxi driver and headed to the hotel for some Welcome Tea and a nap.
From Morocco
Thankfully we adjusted fairly quickly to the four hour time difference (5 hours for me) and were able to enjoy all of the sights and sounds Casablanca has to offer for those in their late 70s and their granddaughters. The first day was full of browsing in the Old Medina and bazaar and getting our bearings. We also made plans to visit the Hassan II Mosque (the 3rd largest in the world) the next day (Friday, the Muslim Holy day). What a beautiful place! I wish that we had worked out our timing a bit better so we could've gone inside--it's an open mosque, both women and non-Muslims can tour it--for one of the scheduled tours.
From Morocco
Next we took a taxi across town to the El-Hud lighthouse. It is not a tourist attraction, but it was one of the most peaceful places that I think we went to. Then again, there was so much calm and beauty in the country that the entire trip was peaceful. (The leisurely meals and daily naps didn't hurt either.) I had to take this pic for my lighthouse obsessed mother.
From Morocco
On Sabbath we walked down to the post office to mail some postcards and hung out at the local park. The afternoon was full of people watching and soaking in the sun. I also started to notice the stray cat population. As much as it pained me I held back and only took photos. I didn't want to run the risk of bringing back some Moroccan Cat Sickness to my girls.
From Morocco
Sunday we took the train to Kenita and Rabat. My grandparents used to live just outside of Kenita so it was a nice homecoming for them. A lot had changed, but the downtown streets were still recognizable 58 years later.
From Morocco
We spent most of the day in Kenita and by the time we got to the King's Palace in Rabat it was closed! Thankfully we had one day left and once again boarded the train to Rabat on Monday morning. We were able to walk to the Palace and take some pictures, but since it is a functioning government building we couldn't go in.
From Morocco
The last time my grandparents had been to the Palace the Sultan was receiving his annual payments from the Berber tribes. The Palace at that time was in the middle of the desert. My how times have changed. I didn't even see any sand! We also took some time to see the Unfinished Mosque and the Mausoleum of Mohammad V. Unfortunately, our luck held and the mausoleum was closed in preparation for the King's visit.
From Morocco
All three of us stayed in the same hotel room for the duration of the trip and as was to be expected we had our frustrations with each other.
From Morocco
But all in all we had a wonderful trip. I would go again in an instant!
From Morocco
To check out all of the wonder pics, (if you haven't already done so on my FB page) just click on the this pic to take you to them.
From Morocco

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Quote of the Day

"He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart.” --C.S. Lewis

Thursday, September 03, 2009


September is gearing up to be a very busy month for me. Thankfully I have Monday off to work around the house. This weekend I'm going to be going through all of my clothes and seeing what I will be taking with me to Morocco. That's right, I no longer have to be jealous of my grandparents. I'm going with them! But before I go, I will have to find a way to fit in everything else that is going on this month: leading out the joint adult SS program & teaching the earliteen SS this week, hosting the Young Adult Bible Study on the 11th, leading out in the joint SS program (one of our new members is giving his testimony, so there won't be too much work for me on that one) & teaching earliteens on the 12th, hosting the earliteen/youth movie night on the 12th, participating in the school fundraising Putt-Putt game on the 13th, Church board on the 14th, School Board on the 17th, drive several hours up to and chaperon for the Young Women's Retreat weekend. That of course doesn't include the regular Wednesday night prayer meetings & church sign changing, packing for both the retreat and the Morocco trip which includes a night's stay in Boston each way, work or naps. Don't worry I'll take lots of pictures on both trips and am looking forward to the vacation portion of the month. I've already got a few books set aside for the flights. Wonder if I can bring my knitting needles on board?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Ghost River Trail Video

The Wolf River Ghost River Trail

Growing up my family loved to go canoeing. We spent countless Sabbath afternoons floating down the Hampton River in Virginia looking for wildlife. Just about every summer we would make the trip up to the family camp in Maine where all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins canoed down the Little Androscoggin River with our grandparents. I’ve been in Memphis for four years and still go up to Maine every summer for a father-daughter camp & canoe weekend. But I’ve never been canoeing in Memphis and being a transplant never thought that the two went together. So when my co-worker, Classic Hits 94.1 FM WKQK’s Brad Carson, invited me to join him for the Wolf River Conservancy’s Media Canoe Trip down the Ghost River Trail, I jumped at the chance. The WRC works to conserve and enhance the Wolf River corridor and its watershed as a sustainable natural resource. Believe it or not, the Memphis Sands—located on the Wolf River—are the source of Memphis’s drinking water. We met up at the Bateman Road Bridge parking area and were then shuttled to our special launch point. The standard Ghost River trip is a 9 mile ride from La Grange to the Bateman Road Bridge. But in their infinite wisdom, the WRC let us launch from their private site which cut the trip down to 4 miles and would take us through several different eco-systems including swamp, lake, and marshland sections. According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s website “The Ghost River section of the Wolf River received its name from the loss of river current as the water ‘flows’ through open marshes and bald cypress-water tupelo swamps. Blue trail markers show the way for paddlers through the disorienting maze of willow, cypress, tupelos, and stunted pumpkin ash.”

Bateman Road Bridge Bateman Road Landing Site--This was our meeting place and where we finished. Brad is ready to go!

The entrance to the Ghost River Trail didn’t look like much and if it were not for the blue markers I would’ve sworn we were going the wrong way and a dead end was just around the corner. There were some tight turns, but Brad and I made it through into the marsh and swamp areas. We made several pit stops along the way to learn the history of the Wolf River. Since I hope that someday you will take a guided trip on the Wolf River, I won’t spoil the stories for you but will tell you that Davy Crockett pops up. One of the most beautiful sections of the trail was Spirit Lake. It is here that you realize the vastness of nature. We could have spent hours just taking it all in. But since we were in a group—near the back, but still with the group—we trekked on to our dinner spot on the beach. A veggie wrap perked me up while Brad enjoyed the sesame chicken. We both thought a second helping of the brownies was just what we needed to finish up the final mile of the trip.
If I was on my own, I probably would've gone to the right and wrote this off as a dead end. Now I know better.
These little blue markers were a big help. They were on almost every tree when you first enter the Ghost River Canoe Trail.
The last mile was a little bit tricky as the current was much swifter than we had seen all day. But watching the sun just beginning to set and paint the bottom of the blue sky in shades of pink is not something I will forget anytime soon.
I'm ready for my next trip down the Wolf River.