What the what?

June 15, 2015

I was cruising Craigslist recently and came across this beauty.

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I couldn’t help but wonder, is that hole there in case of a need to go to the bathroom?


Cat Box #1

June 6, 2015

Having two cats means we also have litter boxes.  And having two dogs means needing to find ways to keep them from searching out “snacks”. Our solution so far has been to use covered litter boxes. But that resulted in two problems.

One box has been in the living room and we’ve used a tall piece of cardboard with  a small hole cut out to keep the dogs out. The second box is in the bathroom and we’ve attempted to use a small garbage can to block it.

Because the garbage can doesn’t really work that well, and cardboard may screams awesome decorating, we’ve been thinking of other options.  Buying something to hold a litter box in is pricey. J found a toy box on Craigslist for pretty cheap.  And out of that we created a cat box.

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The first thing we needed to do was paint the inside to seal and protect the wood  (because cats can be assholes at times). A trip to our local Lowe’s Depot resulted in a $3 quart of tan paint. Because this was the inside of the box, I didn’t care a whole lot about the color, which means we were able to browse the “oops” paints. 

Once that was painted (which probably should have been step 2) J got to play with his power tools. A hole was cut into the side so the cats can actually get in and use it.  Then some holes were drilled on the opposite side so for a filter. The piece that was removed from the door area was then used as a holder for the filter.

And finally, I painted the box. I had a couple general colors in mind when we went to Ace Hardware, but the color I used was the only one color chip I picked up. I knew that it was the color I wanted as soon as I saw it. The color I used is “almost sapphire” (it could also be “nearly sapphire”).

I love the final result and eventually I plan on adding a cushion.  This box will do double duty as a place to sit and put shoes on. And I think the cats are very happy with it as well. They’ve thankfully been using it.


Spring Has Sprung

April 14, 2015

And we’re definitely taking advantage of the gorgeous weather. Tonight that meant an almost 12 mile bike ride while we prepare for the MS 150.  We weren’t the only ones enjoying the beautiful weather either. Our little trailway was packed with people walking, running, and riding. And while I loved seeing all of the people, there was also some frustrations. So, a letter to all of those people.

Dear People on the Trail,

It’s great that you’re out taking advantage of the beautiful weather and the miles of trails provided to us. But, seriously, use some common sense!

1. Don’t crowd the walkway. It’s great that you’re walking/running/riding with your friends/family. But you’re NOT the only ones out and about. Leave room for others to pass.

2. Dog people stop letting your dogs wander all over the trail, especially if you’re using a retractable leash! When I walk Ciera and Duncan I do my best to ensure they are close in to me, or if they will be at the full extent of the leash, then they are either right in front of me or off to the side on the grass. There’s nothing like actually having some decent speed, come around a corner and surprise! There’s a dog on a retractable leash stretched across the trail.

3. Bikers (and really, anyone else who has decided to take a break) when you take a break on the bridge to look down at the water, look around before you get back on your bike and start to ride again. Make sure there isn’t anyone else in the immediate vicinity that might have to make a sudden adjustment because you decided to start riding again just as that other person approaches; especially if your method of starting out involves swerving back and forth across the entire trail.

4. Bikers, I know there’s a lot of other bikers out there. But be kind and let me know when you’re passing. While I would love it if I was notified while walking the dogs (because, oddly, Duncan reacts to anything moving faster than us as it passes, except cars), at the very least you should be notifying other bikers when passing them. It’s polite. And obviously not something practiced much here.

Much appreciation for having consideration of those sharing the trails.


Sweetheart Ripple

March 24, 2015

A few years ago I subscribed to Crochet World magazine and one of the February issues had this pretty pattern in it.

Sweetheart Ripple side 1 The original pattern was in pinks because, well, Valentine’s Day. I wanted to do one in purple. I had no plans for this afghan, other than it’s a pretty pattern that I wanted to make. I knew that this one wasn’t for me, even though purple is my favorite color, and this turned out fantastically, this wasn’t for me. It didn’t take long for me to realize who it belonged to, one of my closes friends Jewel.  Her birthday is coming up and what better gift than one of these? She especially loved the other side.

Sweetheart Ripple side 2 Surprise! It has hearts, which is where the name comes from.

This was made using Caron Pounds and an L hook. I made it wider and longer than it called for so Jewel has plenty of afghan to cuddle up under.


I must have lost my ever lovin’ mind!

January 6, 2015

Why? Because this past Saturday I signed up for the National MS Society Upper Midwest Chapters MS 150.  150, as in one hundred and fifty miles.  Why did I think that was a good idea?

The Upper Midwest Chapter covers Minnesota, the Dakotas and Iowa and puts on three bike events in Minnesota alone. One is the Trek and is a week long (5 days I believe) trip that’s usually across Minnesota.  The other, the one I was really considering and probably should have signed up for, is around the Twin Cities.  That one offers three different mileage options; 15, 25 and 50. I really should have signed up for that one. Instead I decided to try the 150.  After all, this is Minnesota and not Florida, it should be easier, right?

Why do I think it’d be easier? Well for one, it takes place in Minnesota in June. The Mid-Florida Citrus Tour takes place in April or May and by then it’s already incredibly hot. Minnesota in June usually is pretty decent and not too hot. Also the Minnesota MS 150 goes from Duluth to the Twin Cities; that’s mostly downhill (I hope!) so there shouldn’t be a whole lot of hills for me to worry about.  And Minnesota is full of amazing bike/walking/hiking trails. The MS 150 is supposed to be on one of those trails for the majority of the ride. So hopefully the scenery will be much prettier than orange trees that don’t provide any shade.

While I’m a bit apprehensive, I’m also looking forward to this. I enjoy participating in Bike MS in any way I can. Now I just have to get ready for this. Last month I signed back up at the gym; I decided that currently I’m NOT an outdoor runner in the winter. Nope, I just can’t convince myself to do that. So back to the gym I went. And while it’s not ideal, the gym at least has stationary bikes so I can use those to train while waiting on it to warm up and the snow to melt some.  In the meantime, I also need to work on fundraising. The minimum to participate is $300; I set my goal at $500, but honestly I would love to actually raise $1,000. I want the jersey that comes with being a VIP fundraiser.  Go here to help me meet my goal.


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

December 23, 2014

This is my first Christmas in Minnesota since 1999 and sadly it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a white Christmas. The only snow I’m going to see for Christmas is probably the flakes I just made.

Snowflakes

Sorry about the glare; these are still drying after being “painted” with a glue mixture to stiffen them. All four patterns are from Snowcatcher’s blog. Not only does she create beautiful snowflake patterns, but she also quilts, sews and takes amazing pictures. I think the one in the upper right was my favorite of these four to make; although it wasn’t until I was pinning it that I noticed an oops. And it was too late to fix it. Oh well.

Enjoy the “snow” and have a very Merry Christmas!


Care Bear Stare

December 12, 2014

All parties have received their bears so I can share.

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Two Good Luck bears and a Cheer Bear. 

Good Luck Bear was made using Red Heart Classics Spring Green. I used an I hook for this one. 

Cheer Bear was made with Vanna ‘ s Choice in Dusty Rose.  The body was crouched crocheted using a J hook and the white was done with an I hook. 

And because no Care Bear is complete without its heart. ..

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Recent Projects

December 7, 2014

Wow it’s almost been a year! These past few months have absolutely flown by and I’ve regained my crocheting desire. So here a couple recent projects that I can share. There are some others, but they are on their way to the lucky recipients so until then, you’ll just have to wait.

IMG_1749 IMG_1751 First is this little guy. This is a Baby Cthulhu, which is some mythic sea God/creature/thing. The pattern is a free one from here and I used Caron Pounds, both shades of green I already had on hand. In an attempt to make it a little bit bigger, I also used a J hook. This little guy went to one of my invisible friends (a friend on Facebook who I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting in person) for her little one who is due any minute now. Another invisible friend loved it so much that I am currently in the process of making a second one; the only change I’m making to the second one is using a K hook.

2014-12-07 12.59.49 2014-12-07 13.00.37 Another invisible friend is getting these, both are patterns from Snowcatcher who not only designs gorgeous snowflake patterns, but also quilts and takes amazing pictures. Her blog is worth following just to see all the pretty things she does. I’m in a group on FB and we do a gift exchange each year. These are part of the package sent to my invisible friend and sadly the pictures did not turn out that great.


Christmas 2013

December 27, 2013

This was a good year. After relocating to Minnesota two months ago I was able to come back to Florida to spend time with J and our families.  The best part was surprising J and my godmother.  First was J. I told him I was flying in on Sunday but I actually arrived on Saturday.

My godmother and her husband didn’t know I was in town. So when J and I went to my parents for Christmas I called when we arrived. Dad gave the phone to godmother who said they were waiting on some guests. That’s when I walked in and said ” yeah, you’re waiting on me.” Her expression was perfect!

I got a beautiful necklace from J and my parents got us tickets to see Alton Brown. I got warm gloves from both sets of parents and an alpaca scarf from J’s parents. 
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I made an afghan for J’s mom.
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It’s the Barghello pattern from “Best Loved Afghans” using Caron pounds in black, light pink, rose, light green and sage green and a K hook.


And suddenly, there it was….

November 5, 2013

An address, a house I knew.  One I wasn’t expecting to see.  One that provided an emotional sock to the gut.  I was messing around on Trulia the other day and the house I saw, the house that is going to be auctioned with a starting bid of $20,000 is Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  The same house that Mom and her brother grew up in.  I can still remember attempting my first ever sleeping somewhere other than my room and my bed there.  It didn’t go well.  I remember making cookies with Grandma, and playing around with her carpet sweeper.  The dinner we had in the basement when Mom finally decided that the stupid special diet the doctor’s had me on wasn’t making a difference and I could eat whatever.  I remember when Grandma said I should give up Bobby, and to this day I still have that raggedy, one-eyed teddy bear.  Going over with Mom and just visiting.  Playing on the swingset and not eating the crab apples because they aren’t good for us.  Grandma growing corn and my brother and I playing around outside.

I also remember after Grandma died, Grandpa got together with a friend of theirs who had lost her husband several years prior.  And eventually she moved in with Grandpa.  Yet nothing in the house really changed.  Sure Ladyfriend brought her own furniture, so some of that changed.  The back bedroom became more Ladyfriend’s room with her jewelry and stuff (and to this day, I can remember thinking that it was some gaudy jewelry).  But the bones of the house never changed.  The decor stayed the same.  We always walked in the side door and into the kitchen.  They always had the little table in the dining area and I was never quite sure how four people managed to eat in that tiny spot; even though I’ve experienced it myself.  And when Grandpa and Ladyfriend got a place in Florida and became snowbirds, I stayed at the house my senior year of high school and still, nothing changed.

Until it got sold.  I was shocked to see the listing and I couldn’t resist going through the pictures.  I know that when people move into a house they want to make it their own, they want paint colors they like or to knock out a wall here, replace the kitchen, make over the bathroom.  I understand that, yet I wasn’t prepared to see all of the changes that were revealed in the pictures.  I was surprised to see almost all of the kitchen re-done with a sliding door in place of the window that used to hold Grandma’s suncatcher.  And suddenly there’s a doorway leading into the living room.  The bathroom isn’t the same anymore, and the basement has new walls.  I think a part of me somehow thought that no matter what, Grandma and Grandpa’s place would never change.


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