Sunday, April 28, 2013


I know you are all (and by "all" I mean the two of you who read this) (Hi Mom) on the edges of your proverbial seats wondering if there was any knitting this weekend.  You'll get your answer, but first...

We started the weekend with a trip to the Farmer's Market for breakfast at the deli.  We brought the wagon so we could carry home these herbs, which I planted in my new boxes and greatly increased the happiness factor of the back patio.

There is even an orange owl:

Daphne did a little gardening too.  She planted some tomato and pepper plants.

While we were at the Farmer's Market, we were talking to a lady vendor who spins yarn.  It was beautiful natural brownish wool - super soft for sheep's wool - and Daphne was begging for some, and asking me when I was going to teach her to knit.  So, we started with a little finger-knitting on Saturday afternoon:

She picked it up pretty quickly and made herself a cute necklace which she hasn't taken off since, except to sleep.

Meanwhile, Kev and I took a little bike excursion to the winery down the trail while Daphne played with a friend.  It was an excellent day to ride our bikes and sit outside.  (I was reminded that the last time we rode our bikes to the winery was last year, the day before my eye went all crazy.  I'm happy to report that things are almost completely back to normal on that front. Hooray for Dr. Melamud!)

We picked up food from Melt for dinner and ate outside in the back yard.  Except for the early appearance of the Virginia Gnats (horrible evil pests), it was perfect.

But there was no knitting on Saturday.

This morning, I was determined.  But first, I had to go to Wegmans.  And then, I had to take Daphne to help deliver Girl Scout cookies to the animal shelter.  And then, when I finally sat down to knit, I had to Phone a Friend to help me with the pattern.  Then, Daphne had a lot of questions, so I decided to attempt to teach her to cast on.  And much to my amazement, she got the hang of it right away!

Look at my little girl!  Knitting!  Well, almost...

(Note the finger-knit necklace she made yesterday around her neck.  She's planning to wear it to school tomorrow.)

When I finally started knitting, I struggled.  I had to start my second sleeve over three times.  Kev is awesome because he sensed my frustration, and knowing life is better for everyone when I have my groove, he offered to make dinner so I could get a few rounds under my belt.  Hooray for Kev!  And dinner was great!

I made some progress, although I somehow messed up my rib in a couple of spots, but the bottom line is, I KNITTED THIS WEEKEND!  I can now face the upcoming (crazy busy) week with confidence.  This week will be the opposite of slow, but as long as nobody gets sick, we will get though it.

Speaking of sick, my brother has pneumonia AND the flu, and was so dehydrated he ended up at the hospital today!  Fortunately, he is home now and doing better, but good grief!  Scary stuff. So glad he is OK.

Daphne, still wearing her necklace, helped with dinner.  She asked if she could make a "Daphne Sample," which turned out to be baby spinach with toasted pine nuts and lime juice.  It was great, and she was proud.  I think Daphne is getting her groove back too.

Here's the beginning of sleeve number two.  It isn't much, but it's a start.  I am going to finish this sweater before the fall. 

I am. 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Took a Walk

Part of getting my groove back is going for morning strolls.  We used to go for a lot of evening strolls, but now it's too late by the time we finish dinner.  Maybe in the summer we can do that more often.  But for now, I am re-introducing the morning stroll to my routine.

Today I brought my camera so I could show you around my little town.  That is some phlox above.  It's pretty and it smells really good.  Which is nice because yesterday my whole neighborhood smelled like startled skunk.

This is the window of the pottery shop up the street. There is always good stuff in that window.  Right now I am obsessed with the knitted chevron blanket down in the corner.  If I ever finish When I finish my owl sweater, I am going to look for a pattern so I can make one.

This sign is for a new restaurant that is coming soon.  I can't wait.

This used to be a tattoo shop. Now it's "For Lease."  I guess there isn't much of a tattoo market in Leesburg these days.  What Leesburg really needs is a YARN shop.  I could totally make this into a cool yarn shop.  I'm just waiting for Emily to move up here and Jill to quit her job so we can get this thing underway.  There could be coffee and couches so that people could sit around and knit chevron blankets. Wednesday night you could bring your own wine and the shop would stay open late.  I would paint the shutters and door a pretty color and put up window boxes filled with flowers.  Then I would think of a clever name for the shop, or call it Wirth Street Wool or something.  Because it's on Wirth Street.  It would be a happy place.

Speaking of happy places, Shoes is coming back!  This sign was in the window.  So that's something to look forward to.

This is the court house.  I thought it looked pretty this morning.

Here is the Cajun place.  I used to love the Cajun place.  They have awesome gumbo and beignets, and they added a brunch which I haven't tried yet, but there are grits on the menu.  But now, I'm mad at the Cajun place because they have this policy where they make a big deal of inviting people to come in there with their guns.  No matter where you fall on the gun control spectrum, encouraging people to carry guns at a family restaurant where alcohol is served is a stupid idea.  They are getting a lot of publicity, but they have lost me as a customer, and probably others as well.  I'm sad.  I really wanted to try those grits.

My last stop was South Street Under for coffee and a breakfast ciabatta.  You can't go wrong with that.

So, now, since I have some momentum, I am going to go clean my bathrooms even though it's only Thursday.  Because I am determined to have my act together by the weekend so I can sit down and knit.  Knitting is the sign that I am TRULY 100% back in a groove.  Wish me luck.

UPDATE:  The bathrooms are clean, plus I swept the floors and cleaned the dining room.  There is laundry going.  I feel some knitting coming on...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Step One: Complete


It has occurred to me that my desk wasn't really in THAT much disarray.  It has definitely been worse.  However, it feels good to have order restored, and the fresh flowers are really making me happy right now.  Those are the ones from my troop.  I just noticed that there are eleven - one for each Daisy.  I told you I have the best girls and moms.

Flowery Weekend

Our weekend revolved around the Flower and Garden Festival and being outside.  The weather was nice this year...sunny and a little chilly, which is better than cold and rainy like last year.  We got some herb planters which I can't wait to use.  We ate a lot of junk food.  We took a bike ride and played at the park.  Daphne got to spend some time with G-Ma and G-Pa, and Kev and I had a little time to work on our 10th anniversary vacation planning.

Last Thursday after school, Daphne went to the Relay Recess for the American Cancer Society.  She did 10 laps (2 1/2 miles!) and had a lot of fun with the other kids, and like last year, it inspired some good discussions.

Yesterday, it was back to school.  We had plans to meet a friend at the park after school to play, but when we got there, my whole Daisy troop (and moms) were there to surprise me with flowers and a card and gift certificate for GS Leader Appreciation Day.  I was totally surprised, which was so nice because when you are my age, you don't get a lot of (good) surprises.  I have the BEST group of moms and kids, and I appreciate them, too.  I wish I could give them all surprises and cards and gifts and things.  It was a really fun afternoon, and I was so happy that I didn't even get mad at Daphne when she went onto the baseball infield and rolled around in the dirt ("Look Mom!  I'm all brown!").

The best part of all of this is that Daphne seems to be feeling so much better, and she is eating again and acting like herself again (see "rolled around in the dirt" above).  I really hope we have reached the end of all the various ailments for a while. 

I have no errands or meetings or volunteer gigs on my agenda today, so I'm going to finally get back to my groove.  Step one: clean this desk.  If we can make it through this day without a call from Nurse Rodney, then life is good.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Groove, Interrupted

Well, yesterday started out great.  I went to Pilates, then walked 2 1/2 miles with good friends, and then ran a couple of errands that were way overdue.  I came home, ready to start getting my house in shape and catching up on some Girl Scout stuff, and then the phone rang.  You can probably guess it was the school nurse.  Long story short, I spent the afternoon in doctor's offices, x-ray labs, and pharmacies instead of taking care of business at home.  Daphne's ear infection is back, more antibiotics are on the way, and my groove was derailed once again.  However, when I watch TV or listen to the radio or check the internet news, I know that my "problems" are not really worth complaining about, and if cleaning my desk has to wait a couple of days, that's OK.

Plus, I have this tree right outside my kitchen window.  Seriously, it is the best tree in the history of trees.

So it's all good.

A couple of quick funny stories. 

Sometimes, usually at dinner, Daphne will ask the most random questions.  The other night, she suddenly said, "What is gorgonzola?"  I told her it was a kind of cheese.  She sat there for a minute processing this information.  She looked really puzzled, so I asked why she wanted to know.  She said some boys at school were talking about gorgonzola, and she thought it was a big lizard monster who eats buildings.  Um, Daph...that's GODZILLA.

Then, a couple of days later, she asked me if college is the place where people go and live in gnomes.

It's so confusing to be 6 and three-quarters sometimes.

Off to the pharmacy!  But not letting it get me down!
The groove must go on.

Monday, April 15, 2013

We Went Outside

We gardened, jumped rope, got dirty, made s'mores, hiked, grilled, made fairy houses, sat upon our sit-upons, and had the best weekend so far of 2013.  Spring is good.

Plus, Kev and I went out to dinner Friday night to finally celebrate our anniversary.  Mushroom Strudel and Lobster and Shrimp Pasta at Lightfoot.  Heck yeah.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Groove

Daphne is on her last 2 days of medicine.  The weather has been delightful.  The flowers are blooming.  And I am getting my groove back.

Signs of the groove:
  • Making time for hanging out with friends
  • Spending time on the porch
  • Going for walks
  • Returning to my Pilates class
  • Eating less bad food
These things have all happened this week.  Tonight, I am going out to dinner with Kev.  If I can just get my house cleaned up and start knitting again and get some Girl Scout stuff done, I will be in full on Groove.

Baby steps.

Meanwhile, my mood has improved 100%.  This is the cherry tree in my back yard:

And the one in the side yard is about to burst forth into pink greatness:

It is easier to be in a good mood in the spring.  I am choosing to just appreciate that, and not dwell on the impending summer.  (And apparently the impending return of the 17 year cicadas). 

The weekend looks promising.  Temps in the 60s, no plans on Saturday, and a day at the Girl Scout Camp on Sunday where there will be hiking and s'mores.  As long as no one gets sick, my groove is in good shape.

I hope I didn't just jinx myself.
Stay tuned...

Friday, April 05, 2013


Today is our 10th anniversary.  And our second Squirreliversary, but that's another story. Our wedding was a lot of fun in spite of the fact that there were NO TABLECLOTHS.  (Only my mom will get that.  But it's funny, trust me.  I mean, WE WERE PROMISED TABLECLOTHS!)

Good grief, look how young we were in that picture.  Today, I don't feel so young.  I am beaten down because all three of us are in various stages of sick.  I'm almost over a cold, Kev is smack in the middle of one, and Daphne has pneumonia.  Pneumonia!  She had to get a chest x-ray and everything.  So, we probably won't be doing much celebrating today.  But we have big plans for later that may or may not include NANTUCKET, so I can wait to celebrate.  And all things considered, Kev would probably rather have a cold than to have to get squirrels out of the wall today.  We'll just make this whole year our Tenth Anniversary Year.  Once we all get well.

Anyway, it has been a good ten years.  There have been some highs and lows, but I can't complain.  I'm feeling pretty lucky.  Looking forward to the next ten!  Happy Anniversary Kev!

My Owl is Here!

Here is the finished owl I made at the pottery place.  He is awesome and shiny and blue.  One foot is slightly raised and his wings are flared out and he looks like he is ready to break into a tap dance.  He makes me happy every time I look at him.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Sprink Break in Pictures

Spring Break started off great.  Everyone was healthy for once.  Kev and I went to school on Friday to surprise Daphne at lunch, then we told her to go ahead and get her stuff and we'd go home early.  In the car, she noticed her sleeping bag, and after a couple of clues, she realized we were going to GREAT WOLF LODGE.   Pulling off this surprise was definitely worth all the planning and secrecy.  She literally (and I'm literally using the word "literally"here as it's meant to be used) squealed with delight when she figured it out.

We swam, we went down big scary water slides, we ate in tents, we went to the arcade, we did the whole magic wand wizardy thing, we howled -

It was really really fun.  That place is expensive, but it was like a dream come true for Daphne.  We will never have to go to Disney.  Woohoo!

On our way home, we spent about an hour in Colonial Williamsburg, which was also really cool.

So, for two days, things were great.  Then, when we got home, Daphne woke up crying in the middle of the night with what turned out to be an ear infection and high fever just in time for our house guests - Kev's mom and dad, sister, and two of our nephews. We had big plans for our time with them, but ended up doing pretty much nothing because all three kids were sick.  Still, it was a nice visit, and the kids got to play, Kev got to record some stuff with his dad and sister, and the Easter eggs got colored:

By Easter, Daphne was feeling better.  The Easter bunny was good to her and brought many Lindor Truffles and a Lego Star Wars game for the Wii among other things.  My Easter basket contained wine and chocolate and flower seeds and a kick-a$$ rolling pin from one of Ye Olde Williamsburg Shoppes.  Thanks, Easter bunny!  Kev got beer and a Star Trek shirt and some snacks and things.  We had a great Easter Brunch in Manassas, and we got to play with Scout.

Yesterday was Monday, and the kids had an extra day off, so I decided to take Daphne into DC for a final little field trip.  We met Uncle Jeff for lunch at the Good Stuff Eatery, and the toasted marshmallow shakes did not disappoint.

After lunch, Daphne and I walked around Capitol Hill, and visited the American Indian Museum.

Finally, we took in a planetarium show at the Air and Space Museum. 

It was a good day out.  But by the end of it, the nice warm sunny day turned cold and windy, and by the time we got home, I was full blown sick.  Again.  I swear to you that our family is keeping the good people of Kleenex in business.  I bet we went through at least 25 boxes of tissues in the month of March.  On the way home from DC, I stopped and bought six more.  We'll see how long those last, because now Kev says his throat kinda hurts.  Just in time for our tenth anniversary, which is Friday.

Supposedly, this has been one of the worst cold and flu seasons on record, and I believe it.  I think Spring is finally here now, though, so hopefully this is the last round of sick.  Because I have had it.  I don't like to complain, because I know things could be so much worse, but this winter has seriously been the opposite of fun in almost every way. My groove keeps getting derailed and I can't get anything done.

I hope that wherever you are, you are healthy and enjoying the beginning of spring.  Get ready for pictures of tulips and things!