Grillin’ Out and Walking This Way…

I was thinking of the Aerosmith song and not Monty Python. I was also thinking that we have a really long hike to the bathroom in our new office digs. I used my pedometer yesterday and it’s a 0.07 mile round trip, so I could get an entire mile in if I make fourteen bathroom trips in a day. Unfortunately, that would both impair my efficiency and make people think I have a serious problem, so I think I’ll have to take the loss on that one.

I’ve gotten a couple of requests from friends who are interested in my weight loss/general health success to know what I’m eating, so I’m going to document tomorrow and post everything Thursday. I would today, but we’re low on groceries, so today isn’t very pretty. I’m working on a larger post about the gluten free thing, but I will go ahead and tell you that I’ve lost TWENTY POUNDS. I’ve experienced a host of other improvements, but I want to devote an entire post to that topic, so suffice it to say that gluten free is definitely for me!

We’ve been cooking outside a good bit lately…our air conditioner is on its last legs, so we’re trying to avoid heating the house any more than necessary. Plus, we can keep Indy outside and wear her out some so she’s not quite such a terrorist in the house. Last week, we did some pretty righteous burgers and grilled corn…


We used the Udi’s gluten free buns…they were extremely dense. It was nice to have something that resembled a traditional cheeseburger, but I’m not sure it was worth it, so I don’t know that we’ll bother with buns when it’s just us eating at home.

Yesterday, we made sausage with cabbage and onions (German food!)…no specific recipe. We bought some turkey sausage links at Aldi, so we sauteed those with onions in butter and then added a bag of shredded cabbage and cooked it all down until the cabbage was tender. We used a half cup or so of chicken stock to deglaze the pan and enjoyed it al fresco while watching the puppy get stuck in the bushes and pee in the yard.



It ain’t pretty, but it was good. The after-effects? Not quite as good.

Also, yesterday was Shelli’s seventh adoptiversary. I can’t believe it’s been seven years. I still love her so much that it hurts. She’ll always be my first child. Joey got her a pressed catnip cigar, and she totally cracked out on it for half an hour or so until she decided that Indy’s toys were more interesting.


I’ve started getting the itch to knit again…I’m lusting over yarn and project photos on my favorite knitting blogs. It’s time to pull something out to work on. I have a scarf that I started in March…I think I’ll finish that up and (finally) learn how to block. I’m also slowly working myself up to being brave enough to try socks.

I know. I’m a rebel.

I Am Camping My Butt Off!

We are enjoying our final camping “hurrah” of the year; I always take the week of Thanksgiving off from work for several reasons…it’s Joey’s and my anniversary week, it only requires three vacation days rather than the full five, and most of my coworkers like to take time off at Christmas and I like Thansgiving better anyway.

Joey and I usually try to plan a vacation of some sort during that week, ever since our honeymoon in 2002; it’s funny…we planned our wedding around Thanksgiving break since we were both still in college and needed to plan it around school vacation:).  We’ve always been practical, I suppose.

Anyway, with as much stress as we’ve had lately, between my recovery of the “mental holocaust” of 2011 and our various work-and-school related deadlines and drama, Joey and I really haven’t gotten any time to just rest.  So, we’ve packed up the camper and gone to Black Mountain for a little R&R.

Here’s my attempt at looking thuggish in my newly knitted Slouchy Hipster Hat which is a fantastic free pattern from one of my favorite knit-bloggers, Crazy Aunt Purl.  It’s a little big on me, so I’ll probably knit another one with smaller needles, but it’s very cute, and it has come in very handy with how chilly it’s been up here.


A nighttime fire pic, as I take on every trip.  Everything smells like campfire right now, my clothes, my hair, the inside of the camper…everything, and it’s wonderful.  It’s like a little piece of heaven.


From this morning, while we were getting the fire started back up to cook breakfast:


Chef Joseph and the bacon:


And a plate of goodness:  3 strips of bacon (I pulled off the fatty parts and tossed them in the fire), hash browns, two scrambled eggs, one piece of rye toast, and some coffee.  Food tastes better when cooked over an open fire.


Yesterday, we found a funky local diner to have breakfast, it was called “Louise’s,” and it was definitely hipster-y grungy cool, but the food kind of sucked and the coffee came out of a pump caraffe, which is sign number one that the service and coffee are both going to be lackluster.  I’m not sure how much we spent, but I’m relatively sure it was too much.  But, it’s all good because that’s part of the adventure…finding little hole-in-the-wall places and new experiences.

I’m also bummed that we don’t have Ingle’s at home because it’s so much nicer than Harris Teeter.  We’re going to have to make our way out today because, among other things we’ve got to get, I forgot a hairbrush.  Yep.  a hairbrush.  The hat has gotten very liberal use as a result.

Now for a little chilling and doing this:


Chuck Norris Meets Dante’s Inferno…

The highlight of my week?


It doesn’t take much, eh?  I’ve been having to use a stupid infrared optical mouse for the last week or so because my old trackball died.  My new one finally came.

In other news, Joey is capable of doing PhD work while serving as a cat-nap surface.


It’s been a strange week….lots of fires to put out at work (not literal ones.  Dad.), and I haven’t been very successful at it.  In happier news, the weather has finally cooled down enough that I can go down to the car and nap during lunch again:).

Or knit.

What I’m currently knitting:


I LOVE this yarn color…it’s actually Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn! in some sort of autumny self-striping colorway.  Pretty sweet.

Progressively, I’ve been able to get myself back out to the outer rings of Hell, at least (hence the Dante comment)…as I definitely hit the Eighth Circle somewhere between Tuesday and Yesterday.  I’m currently sitting between the First and Second now, which I’ll accept.  Don’t worry…it’s all because of the afore-mentioned fires at work.

I wish Chuck Norris came in a pocket-sized version.  I’d love to take him with me wherever I go, to have him just in case I needed an impromptu can of WhoopAss to be opened.

Shelli’s Electra Complex…

I swear, I think I could drop dead right in front of her, and as long as daddeh was there, she wouldn’t care.  The sad part was that his hip has been bothering him (from his motorcycle accident ten years ago), and he really wasn’t comfortable with her laying on him.  And I was on the couch with a perfectly snuggly quilt, but she was noticeably disinterested.

Wingate is hosting the 2011 World’s Strongest Man Competition, and we went today to catch some of the fun.  We saw our US guy, Derek Poundstone, set a new world record in the metal block press.  He was great to watch…hamming it up for the crowd and everything.  We missed the Atlas stones, which is my favorite event, but it was still really cool.  One of the things that impresses me so much about an event like this is how “small” it is, for lack of a better term. Don’t get me wrong, there was a huge crowd, but we were standing right next to one of the British competitor’s wife, and the guys behind us were speaking some kind of slavic language and were definitly with another of the teams.  The Austrailian guy was out there with us all signing autographs.  I like that…these guys aren’t kept away from the crowds on a pedestal…they’re normal guys .  Derek is a cop in CT.  Anyway, here’s a pic of him making a new world record:

So, that was my day.  Now, I’m knitting something for a special Curly-Whirly friend of mine:)

Knitted Yarmulke, Baby Gifts, Camping Pictures, and Sob-Inducing Books

I knitted a yarmulke the other day.  It’s kind of awesome.


I also finally finished my knitted gifts for my favorite blogger, Heather of Heather Eats Almond Butter.  I wanted to wait until I knew she’d gotten them before I posted pics of the finished objects.



The Sleep Sack is Comfort Wool’s Owlie Sleep Sack.  It was my second attempt at cables, and it was amazingly easy…this is a great beginner pattern for someone looking to try their hand at cables…the cabled portion is short and sweet, just enough to push you out of your comfort zone, followed by ten inches of mindless stockinette, during which time you can silently rejoice over your conquering of the dreaded cable needle;).  The owls blocked out really well.  I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton, which was insanely soft.  I’m totally going back to spend some green papers on more of that to make myself a sweater sometime in the near future.

And here are some camping pics…I intended to post these earlier but somehow didn’t feel like posting during my recent bout with the plague (come on, freaking left ear….pop already).  Here’s the campsite


It was fabulous…secluded, wooded, spacious.  There was an elevated pad for the tent, which was nice…it rained on us Sunday, and if it had poured, the tent pad would have kept us from getting flooded.  Check out this fire ring…


It was HUGE.  We could have put a whole tree trunk in there…Joey actually had a little trouble managing to fit the cooking grate in it.  You’re looking at our breakfast Saturday (9/25)…potatoes, leftover chili, and hot coffee.  Food is better cooked over a fire.  I don’t know why.  It’s just that way.

I’m leaving for NYC on Friday, to sing with the choir at this concert at Carnegie Hall.  My voice is starting to go (for some reason, that’s always the last thing to happen when I contract the plague.  Once, I lost my voice for three weeks).  I’m hopeful that I won’t end up lip-syncing during what’ll probably be my most outrageous singing experience ever (of course, I’ve said that before and here I am heading to NYC). 

I’ve re-discovered how much I hate shopping.  Before leaving, I needed:  a bag to carry around the city, a duffel bag for packing, a black top for the concert, new black shoes for the concert, and jeans (I only have one pair that I can get in right now).  I have been to EVERY (affordable) store in Charlotte.  And I hate it.  I’m a mercenary shopper…I run in, attack the racks, try things on in an insane frenzy of elbows and hair, sweating and ripping things back off and half-putting them on the hanger right.  But I’m finally done…four pairs of jeans from Goodwill, a bag from Burlington, black top from Belk (in the south, it’s “Belk’s”), and Aigner shoes from The Shoe Dept (on clearance for fifteen bucks!).  I don’t want to shop again for the rest of the year.

So, I’ve watched Criminal Minds, Joey’s watching a show on PBS about the Moral Majority and abortion…they totally just showed a clip from the 80s where Jerry Falwell was giving a speech about abortion and got a pie thrown at him.  Wow.  And I wish that I had remembered to get a decaf latte at Caribou when I met my parents after work.

Oh, and this week’s book for class, Our House in the Last World, by Oscar Hijuelos, reduced me to a snot-dripping, crying, basket case for half an hour this evening.  It’s a great book, but for once, I’d like to read one that doesn’t make me cry and wonder what’s happened to my life.  It also makes me want to write things that are that important.  But I don’t know if I really have anything that important to say.

Here’s the baby…sleeping soundly on Vellux.


Love to all…

Knitting Frustration

Here’s a pic of Shelli mid-bath.  Tonight has been a little frustrating.  The freaking Droid will not sync with Picasa, so I’m having to email my pictures to it so that I can get them on my netbook.  Seriously.  Bleh.

And, I’ve been knitting this incredibly cute baby “blanket buddy” for an upcoming baby shower, but I’m using Hobby Lobby’s Lambie Pie, which is nearly impossible to knit with and not nearly as soft as it feels at first blush (but it will be soft for the baby…just not for the poor fingers that are trying to WEDGE the needles together to knit the freaking thing).  I changed the pattern when I got to the shaping of the head because the pattern seemed like it was going to make the character’s head look like a giant SQUARE.  So, I switched and started knitting in the round and now my fingers are super sore.  Balls.

Anyway, the next baby project I’m working on will be with natural cotton, so I won’t have the same problem in a few short days:).

There are other things brewing, but nothing bloggable at this point.  That is all:).

Getting There…It’s a Process

How about a ghostly silhouette of Shelli taken a couple of hours ago before I promptly fell out into nap-bliss.  Shelli has wrought havoc, snuggled, and has now returned to the windowsill behind the towel, enjoying views of the outside and the birds.  And, hopefully, not the Tomcat that seems to have decided that Shelli is hot stuff.  Two nights ago, he tormented her…Joey had to scare him off twice and he brought a “present” for us, which Joey was able to ascertain was the leg of a bird.  Thanks, Tom.  It’s a wonder that Shelli hasn’t peed EVERYWHERE, but I’ve been doing lots of encouraging and loving and reminding her that she’s our little princess and no stupid Tomcat can take her place.  Unfortunately, she got sick while we were out on our breakfast/Hobby Lobby excursion today, so we came home to puke piles in a few places all over the living room.  She’s been a little puny, so I hope it’s just a little bug or something that’ll work itself out.

Life has much turmoil right now; that, and letting Joey use my netbook for his paper are why I haven’t blogged much in the last two weeks.  Nothing bloggable at this point, unfortunately, so I’ll just be praying and seeing what happens and then we’ll go from there.  However, I will say that I am more positive than I have been in a long time in life’s direction and regaining my creativity and a sense of purpose.

On the knitting front, I’ve finished my cabled scarf that I was working on during our Ohio trip a couple of weeks ago!  And, I bought some yarn for a baby gift that I’m working on for my favorite HEAB‘s forthcoming HEABlet.

So, all in all, things are pretty good.  Joey is working on his final paper, which I’ll proofread next Friday, and then next Saturday, we’re going HIKING!!  Yay!!  This’ll be my first hiking trip since I sprained my ankle last year.  I don’t think I’ll need to wrap my ankles, and I’m really excited to try hiking in my Vibram Fivefingers:).  I think that’ll be interesting and hopefully it’ll help me to have better contact with the trail.

Stay tuned for further updates:).

FO: Knitted Poop

Pattern:  Sweatshop of Love’s Knitted Happy/Sad Poo Pattern

Yarn:  All kinds; whatever I had around

I made this for my friend James who’s currently serving in Iraq until this summer.  We are kindred spirits in poop humor, so I knew this would be a total hit.  He finally got the box this week, so now I can post pictures of my first (successful) stuffed “animal” (or…excrement).