Saturday, May 31, 2008

Busy busy!

This past week has just simply flown by. I realized about 1am on Monday night/Tuesday morning that our wedding is just over two months away! While I'm SUPER excited, the anxiety also kicked in. Not about the marriage mind you - just about the wedding. So many details to attend to, and so little time left. We've been engaged for so long that the wedding has always been far away. Not any more!

This week I've also been busy knitting - I hope to have some finished objects to show soon. I got to meet up with a bunch of my knitting friends several times this week. I've also been working (a little bit - just yesterday). All that leaves very little time for packing. Yes, I'm leaving for LA tomorrow morning for the final pre-wedding trip. The next week will see me getting fitted for my dress, having the final meeting with the florist and the venue, getting our marriage license, getting Wes measured for his tux, and seeing friends, knitting and attending Stitch 'n Pitch on Monday night!

As today is our last day together for a bit (Wes won't join me in LA until later next week) we decided to enjoy the day together. As you can see above, some people thought it might be a good day for ballooning. We opted to kayak instead. We headed out to a little lake near us and spent a few hours paddling around the lake, seeing birds and wildlife up close, and peacefully kayaking in grassy and tree-filled areas. This is my favorite picture that I shot today.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Forgot to mention...

When Wes and I found this apartment we discussed (as all couples do) where to put things. We had seen two potential configurations for the living room - one put the sofa against the long wall, and the other used the sofa as a room divider leaving the wall free for an entertainment center. Wes favored the second option. The problem: we don't have an entertainment center. So I told him we could do the second configuration if we didn't stare at a white wall for more than 6 months. And what do you know? Here it is less than 5 months later and here we are:

This furniture was all designed and built by Wes (with some help from his lovely assistant). It's beautiful and everything we wanted. Our house is starting to feel like a home!

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Holiday Weekend - Parte Deux

For the rest of the Holiday weekend Wes and I have been relaxing and enjoying ourselves. Yesterday we got a late start and decided to take the bike out and explore around the area. We went about 25 or 30 miles due south to visit the Louisburg Lake and scout out kayaking opportunities.

Since it was Memorial Day weekend there were plenty of campers down at this quiet little fishing lake, but it was still beautiful. By the time we got there, the sky was almost cloudless and a really pretty blue (of course on the way there Wes and I got caught under the ONE raincloud in the entire blue sky!) The day was gorgeous - warm and humid, but not too hot in the shade. It was a totally peaceful ride out and back.

Then we hit up a new restaurant (new to us that is), Amor de Brazil. It is a Brazilian churrascaria. Basically you come in and visit the salad bar and then you have your choice of 15 cuts of meat. Gauchos wander in and out of the dining rooms with fresh meat on the rotisserie spits, just waiting to cut slices for you. We tried leg of lamb, top sirloin, chicken wrapped in bacon, pork loin and a few others. There were also amazing sides - garlic mashed potatoes, polenta, lightly fried bananas, cheese bread and grilled cinnamon spiced pineapple. It was absolutely amazing. It's a little on the pricey side, but if you're up for a treat, you should check this out!

Lastly, I finished the tank I've been working on. The inspiration from this came from the wonderful colors of SWTC's Tofutsies yarn. I've been wanting to make myself a tank top out of it for quite a while. When I was A Mano in April I mentioned that and they suggested I make a sample!

The Pattern: I loosely based this on Grumperina's Picovoli - but once I got the original stitch count going, I kind of worked it on my own.

The Yarn: SWTC's Tofutsies in Colorway 728

The Needles: Addi US 2's

The Verdict: This is a beautiful summer tank that took only 1 1/3 balls of Tofutsies. A steal, PLUS a pair of socks with your leftovers! I love this and can't wait to remake it for me!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Patriotic Geocaching

Wes and I decided that we wanted to geocache at least once on our 3-day holiday weekend. So we set out this morning in search of some fountains. Kansas City is actually known as the city of fountains - the only city in the world with more fountains is Rome! Now some enterprising geocacher decided that many of the fountains needed geocaches, and I thought it would be a great way for us to see the city. So today, I selected 4 fountains for us to go see.

The first two were in the old part of town, on the scenic Ward Parkway. What I didn't realize when I selected the fountains I did was that we were going to take a little patriotic tour. The first fountain we visited was the Meyer Circle Fountain, which is the start of the Avenue of Trees, a greenway that was planted in honor of the men who died in the second World War. The fountain itself was beautiful, the geocache was found and a patriotic sight was seen. These eagles appeared atop walls across the street from the fountain that bore plaques honoring those killed in World War II.

The second fountain we visited was just up the street, the Mirror Fountain. This was a beautiful pool of water, and a slightly tricky cache to find. However we got to sit and enjoy the view of duck butt while we were waiting.

Next we headed downtown to the Crown Center Fountain. As it turned out Crown Center was not really the place to be today - the entire plaza and fountain was taken over by a family fest for the Memorial Day Weekend. So much for caching there! But, we got to visit both Union Station and the Liberty Memorial. The Liberty Memorial was erected for World War I Veterans. Today we got to mill about and watch them set up for the spectacle tomorrow - a concert, fireworks, and a speech by the only known remaining surviving veteran of World War I.

We grabbed lunch in Union Station and wandered the shops and then meandered through the elevated walkways to Crown Center and the Hyatt Crown Center. Wes really wanted to show me the amazing lobby sculpture. The pictures don't do it justice really.

So that was how we spent our first day off. Here's to more fun before the weekend is over!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Proving Kansas Isn't Flat

The picture to the right was taken on my camera phone after I turned the wrong way today and ended up in a beautiful hilly farmland area not far from where I live. Who knew Kansas wasn't flat and brown?

In other news, I FINALLY registered my car today. I say finally because I really began this process at the beginning of last week when I got in my car and drove to the VIN inspection department and they told me that I couldn't even get inspected, much less registered, without my title. Problem: I don't have the title to my car - I still owe a bit more money on it (side note - I will actually own my baby in October for a mere ~$1000 more!). So I called Toyota, who told me I had to fax them something directly from the state of Kansas. So I faxed them instructions from the state of Kansas which dictated that Toyota should FAX the title directly to them. Toyota then mailed the title to me via snail mail. Gotta love the system!

Anyway, title in hand today, I went to get inspected, got all turned around in farm country, and made it to the DMV to pay my property taxes, registration and to arrange for my call sign plates. A few weeks more and the Kansas call sign plates will be mine - and they were only $1.50! WHEW!

Must commence to knitting...


Monday, May 19, 2008

Hunny Bear

The latest installment in my Winnie the Pooh blanket series. Tigger is here.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Weekend Report

This weekend was full of sun, fun in the water and family. On Friday night Wes and I headed down to my in-laws for a belated Mother's Day weekend, and to pick up his motorcycle and kayak a little. Well ok, kayak a lot!

Saturday morning we got up at 6am and headed out to the Kansas River. That early in the morning it was cool, and breathtakingly beautiful. After sa slightly rough hike down to the water's edge, we set into the river. Although I had been a little nervous about rapid-flowing deep river water, I was wrong on both accounts. The water did move along, but it wasn't super quickly, and in most places you could feel the sandbars beneath your paddle if you set it in too far. We lazily floated and paddled down the river about 5 or 6 miles, rescuing two duck decoys along the way.

It was around mile 6 that I started to get a little anxious about when we might be finishing. You see, for those of you that know me, you know that I was born tragically devoid of the sports gene. It's genetic and it's definitely inherited. After about 6 miles, the sun was out and it was warmer, the gnats and flies were enjoying us and my arms were getting a little tired. Unfortunately, Wes informed me that we were only half way there. Well we would have been halfway there if the map hadn't lied... when all was said and done we kayaked 15 miles! (OK Wes towed me for a few of those but I did at least 10 miles myself!)

All in all it was a good trip, although I bowed out of doing it a second time this morning and let Wes and his mom make the trek. We saw lots of interesting things on the river. Wes and his mom even rescued an abandoned canoe this morning. But nothing amused us more than this "redneck fishing boat" moored at the side of the river.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Knotty News

So I've been doing a lot of knitting in the past few days. I have a feeling it might correspond with not working, but since I really should be doing more of the latter, I'll just enjoy this for a bit! I managed to finish off a few projects that have been on the needles for a few weeks.

The first are Zombie Socks for my dear Light:

The Pattern: Zombie Socks

The Yarn: SWTC Pure, 100% Soysilk for those allergic to any animal fibers!

The Needles: Size 0's

The Verdict: This one was a little bit of a frustrating knit. I needed to use something yummy, but with no animal fiber because my dear Light is very allergic. I LOVE the Pure - it's so silky soft, but it's not exactly the right gauge for socks. After a few false starts, and a little guidance from my friendly LYS maven I was on my way. I like how they came out and I can't wait to see how they fit on Light's feetsies!

The second project I have had on the needles is a sweet little summer tee for A Mano:

The Pattern: Textured Tee from Knitscene, Summer 2008

The Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic, Mint Green

The Needles: US 6

The Verdict: This was a fast, easy knit with great results. It mixes seed stitch and what it calls a broken stitch and it's a nice cool summer tee. I hope the yarn shop likes it.

The final project I've been working on is the sock I'm test knitting for CookieA. It's called Ornette after the jazz musician and I'm loving the sock. This particular picture doesn't display the true color of the yarn I'm using, but it does show the awesome stitches. Can't wait to finish this one!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Deep thoughts for the day.

From my favorite AWAD:

It is better to have loafed and lost than never to have loafed at all.

-James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)

And from the illustrious Huffington Post:

And The Biggest Procrastinators Are...usually the most sophisticated, sensitive, creative and intelligent people.

Nailed you, did I? Well, I assume you're in the sophisticated, creative and intelligent category. (I'm guessing that there are only a very few thick dullards who cruise this site.) That probably means you have large numbers of things stuck in your mind, in your briefcase, and on your desk about which things are not moving forward quite as consistently as they could be.

Major reason: the precise next physical visible activity (next action) has probably not been decided on the to-do's. The bright people usually have some sort of reminders about their projects and things to do on lists, in piles, or lying around, so they won't forget to think about their commitments. Bully. But every time they catch the briefest glimpse of any of them, they instantly race forward in their mind, rapidly and intelligently creating images of all the possible pieces that have to fit together and all the things that might have to be involved in getting them to happen and all the possible negative consequences if any one of them slips (and all the things that they might be forgetting in all this!) Whew. Freaked themselves right out. I'd quit, too.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Home again home again.

We just got back from a weekend in at my inlaws. Unfortunately the weather just did not cooperate for kayaking, but we did get Wes'bike to the shop and my bridal veil is now in progress.

As many of you know (but some don't), this past week I ended my time at the job I'd been at. It was a temporary to permanent position, but it didn't work out well so I've got the temp agency looking for more work for me. Tomorrow I'm heading back to a place I've been before and like, so that should be good.

Not working every day, however, has led to some great knitting time. In the past few weeks I've almost knocked out a pair of birthday socks for my friend Light, a cotton summer sweater for A Mano, and some test socks for Cookie A! I was picked as one of her test knitters for her beautiful Ornette sock and I'm super excited. I'm using some Smooshy in a beautiful colorway called Ruby River and I can't wait to get more into it. I'm posting a picture of rows 1-16 here. More progress photos soon!

Finally, things have been growing around here. We now have the basil that took over St. Louis.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

A quick funny.

Found this in Target the other day. Thought my bacon-loving friends would appreciate it. $9.99 at Target in Overland Park for those who can't live without a sunny egg and bacon smile.

Off in the thunderstorms of Kansas this weekend. Will return on Monday!


Monday, May 05, 2008


Today I turn the big three-oh. We can quibble about whether or not the new decade starts at 30 or 31, however, what is clear is that I'm no longer a twenty-something. Surprisingly enough, I'm ok with this.

When I turned 25 a few years ago I had a profund sense of disappointment. I was disappointed I hadn't done MORE since college, and that I still had no idea who or what I wanted to be when I grew up. Sure I started having more fun by my 25th, but I still felt so incomplete and unfinished.

At 30, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But this has already been such a great year, and promises to be even better in the coming months. In August I'm going to marry my best friend and the love of my life, and we're going to take a blissful week-long honeymoon. We've already started living together this year, and begun what I hope will be a long, happy life together. Today I don't feel unfinished, I feel complete and happy.

And thankful. I'm so thankful for so many things this year: my wonderful fiance, my family, my new soon-to-be family, my friends (both the gang on the West Coast and the wonderful Midwesterners who have adopted me here), for a roof over my head, and food to eat, and of course, last but DEFINITELY not least, for yarn.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Gone Kayaking

We spent this weekend down at my inlaw's, sleeping late, relaxing and of course, kayaking (now that it's spring and warming up). I got almost no knitting done, but I got to spend lots of time with my sweetie and get to enjoy one of his favorite things to do. The lake was beautiful, the weather was warm and my arms are tired. But it was a good trip.

Wes contemplates a snack at picnic table.

And no road trip would be complete without one of these. Wes calls this "Oh my effen ugly!"

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Siren Song of .... well.... Sirens.

Howdy folks. I'm sitting here while the tornado sirens wail, the lightening flashes, the thunder rolls and the rain pours down. What we have here is a good old fashioned midwestern electrical storm and (minus the tornadoes) I'm kind of enjoying it. I really don't have tons to report since life is crazy on a variety of fronts.

The past two days I've made negative progress on knitting - that is I've knit and I've tinked back and I've knit and I've frogged. More than once on the same pair of socks. It's frustrating and maddening. I love being a knitter but I hate that I keep having to rip, especially now that my time is much more limited.

The job is getting better. Slowly I'm starting to learn more and get things better organized. I don't know yet whether or not it will be a good permanent fit, but for now it's a good source of steady income.

Lastly, I seem to have fallen into a slight Facebook addiction. Man some of those applications are EVIL but fun. They also make the day go by faster when things get slow at the job.

More news and pictures when I get something fit to print (we're kayaking this weekend and there should be birthday pics soon too - Cinco De Mayo is Monday BABY!)

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