Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer Countdown

School starts 2 weeks from today. I can't believe it.  So over the weekend we went school-clothes shopping with Daphne.  It went shockingly well.  She even got new shoes with nary an argument.  This (above) is going to be her First Day of School outfit.  Even though we were going directly to the Lucketts Fair after shopping, she insisted on changing into some of her new clothes in the mall bathroom.  I will never say no to Daphne REQUESTING to wear a dress and boots.

At the fair, she rode a horse, and got to pet some cool animals including a baby alpaca, a piglet, and a hedgehog.  There was also ice cream.  We spent EIGHTY DOLLARS, and all we came home with was a belly ache and a rubber band gun, but it was fun.

Last weekend, when we went to the lobster truck at the round-about, Kev left his rain jacket at the picnic table.  So I called to see if they had it and they said they did and would put it in the truck for me to pick up.  Sunday, I went to pick it up and the lobster man not only HAD Kev's jacket, but he was WEARING it.  When I got home, I noticed he left his pack of KOOL cigarettes in the pocket. I bet he wasn't too happy when he realized that.

While I was there, I got some lobster.  Duh.

I had to go to a pre-Girl-Scout-Camp meeting that afternoon, so Daphne and Kev made lobster corn chowder with the lobster.  All I had to do was eat it.  I am thankful for my nice family, for being nice and for knowing how to cook.

Camp started yesterday.  Daphne's having a great time.  I am enjoying it too, but it is exhausting.  We are both a little crazy by the end of the day.

At camp, there are no flush toilets.  Only big holes in the ground DISGUISED as toilets.  The smell is unimaginable and the littlest kids at camp get a little freaked out and hold it all day so they don't have to go in there.  This is not good, so they let each group decorate a Biffy (Bathroom In the Forest For You) to make it a more pleasant place, hoping this will make the little kids feel better.  This is Daphne's group's Biffy.  They are the Muppets.  It looks nice but it still smells like, well...you just have to smell it to know.  It can't be described.

The theme at camp is 80s.  So we get to wear REALLY cool clothes.  I love the 80s.

This morning I forgot I was dressed like this and went down to the street corner to wait for Jill to pick us up for camp.  I hope nobody I know drove by. 

Those pins on my shirt are genuine 80s relics:  Madonna, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Love and Rockets.  I had to put them on because I over-Flashdanced my shirt and I have to pin it to my tank top to keep it from falling down.  I have to wear this shirt every day this week.  By Friday, I might hate the 80s.

Next week is the last week before school starts and I am going to relax and do pretty much nothing.  I can not wait.  More tales from camp coming soon...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Stuff

People who are knitters have their own secret code.  For example, a LYS is a local yarn shop, a UFO is an unfinished object, and a KAL is a knit-along.  I have just invented a new knitter secret code word:  FOLD.  This stands for Finished Object Let-Down, which is what I am experiencing now.  I put so much blood, sweat, and tears into that sweater, and now it's all done.  Trust me, I'm GLAD it's done, but I'm still feeling the let-down.

Now I have to look for other things to distract me.  So I picked up a UFO - a scarf I started last summer in Ocean City - and have been working on that.  It's a very easy mindless pattern, which is a nice change from the owls.  Should finish it up quickly, and then I need to start the next sweater.  I bought the yarn and pattern in Maine, and it (the sweater pattern) is appropriately called Lobster Cove.

Anyway, I am going to try to get "FOLD" going among other knitters as part of their vernacular.

"Dude, I FOLDed after I finished that giant afghan."
"I know I am totally going to FOLD as soon as these tube socks are done."
"I'm FOLDing fast!  I need a new project!"

My little contribution to the knitting world.

In other news, today was the annual 9-11 motorcycle parade through town.  I think these bikers go to all the 9-11 crash sites during their ride.  Daphne watched it for the first time this year, and enjoyed it.  I had to explain a little bit about September 11, which wasn't a conversation I enjoyed.

Next week is Girl Scout Camp.  I am volunteering in the Arts and Crafts center again.  The theme this year is 80s, which I am excited about because I love the 80s.  Totally.

Daphne's group is called The Muppets this year, and their unit color is lavender.  So we waited until the last minute to make swaps and came up with these:

Pom poms + googley eyes + glue dots + safety pins = Easiest Swaps Ever.  And I think they are pretty dang cute.

So, that's done.  I have my own pre-camp jobs to do this weekend, prepping for one of the crafts.  Another example of waiting until the last minute, and now I'm scrambling a bit.  Camp is fun, but it's really really hard work.  I'll be glad when next Friday rolls around and it's all just a memory.

OK...Gonna go try to unFOLD now with my UFO.  (Too much?)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Only Have Eyes for (one of) You...

So, it's settled.  I chose my Great Grandma's buttons and sewed them on this morning.*  Only one owl will have eyes.  I am EXTREMELY happy with my sweater.

I am probably one of the coolest people you know.  And by "coolest people" I mean "biggest dorks."  Because this morning, I put on my new sweater with a skirt and my boots and made Daphne go outside and  take pictures of me with the iPad.  Can you tell I am proud of this thing?  I mean, I KNIT A WHOLE REAL SWEATER!  THAT FITS!

You can't really see it, but I am holding a photo of Bertha and her family.  I am so excited that her buttons are part of this.  Mom said this would make her happy.

Daphne isn't a bad photographer!  But you should see some of the deleted shots.  She thinks it's funny to cut off people's heads.  Someday, the sweater will be hers.  Whether she likes it or not.

*  Putting on the buttons was not without peril.  First, I sewed them on the BACK of the sweater.  So I had to take them off and move them to the front.  I was lucky that I used a contrasting colored thread, or I never would have been able to do it.  Also lucky I didn't rip any yarn in the process.  My next project is going to be an EASY one.

I am now finished talking about the owl sweater.  Different topics coming soon.  I swear.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Ones?

Six years ago, my mom gave me this jar of my Great Grandma's buttons.  I know this because I blogged a blog about it.  I have been waiting this whole time to find a special way to use them.  I think maybe those two are gonna be featured soon on a certain sweater...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Today I went to JoAnn's in search of the Perfect Button.  This is going to be more difficult than I thought!  I think the button choice is going to make or break this sweater, so I really want to choose wisely.  Here is the first problem, though.  You can't buy 44 of the same button at the craft store.  They have maybe 20, tops, of a single button design.  Secondly, unless I drag my sweater in there with me, I really can't know what works.  I bought a little 4-pack of the ones above, and didn't really love them once I got them home.

The quest continues...

Update:  After looking around at some of the 3000-something other Owl Sweaters people have posted on line, I noticed that many people chose to only sew eyes on ONE of the owls, in the front, over the heart...sort of like a brooch.  I like this idea!  And it would be a LOT easier.  A lot of other people made some really bad button choices and it brought their sweaters down a notch.  I have some thinking to do...


Yesterday, I finished knitting my owl sweater.  It actually fits.  This morning, I sewed up the underarms and weaved in all the ends.

I did it.  I climbed Mount Owl Sweater and survived.  

It's done except the button eyes.  Forty four button eyes need to be sewn on.  Then I am going to put on that sweater and never take it off.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Forty Five

Once a year, like it or not, I have a birthday.  This year was no exception.  As my cousin so thoughtfully pointed out, I am now half way to 90.  Thanks for that, Brad.

This was kind of a difficult birthday.  Not so much because I am half way to 90, although that didn't make it much easier, but because this is probably the last birthday I will have when my whole family is together.  That makes me sad.

That being said, everyone tried really really hard to make it a good birthday, and there were definitely some stand-out moments over the weekend.  First, we had lobster rolls.  From a truck.  On the side of the road at a round-about.   Last month, we drove all the way to MAINE for this, but Saturday, we drove 20 minutes down the road to Aldie.

This truck is always there, every weekend.  We've just never stopped until now.  I have decided that the lobster roll is the perfect food.

The only drawback to this one was that there was no way to toast the bun.  But it was still great.  Next time, I think we'll bring it home and toast the buns ourselves.

Another nice thing was that even though it's the middle of August, it was nice enough to sit and eat outside.  It wasn't hot at all.  I almost never get to spend time outdoors on my birthday, so it was a nice treat.  On the way home, we stopped by a new local winery, and while we sat outside, Daphne ran around and picked up walnuts to smash.  They remind me of Barn Owls.

 Virginia is really pretty.  And did I mention that it ISN'T HOT??!!

Saturday night, we had a sitter, and Kev and I went to see the Wolverine movie at the Alamo.  The Alamo is awesome.  The movie was good, not great, but better than Superman.  I have to admit I am a fan of the X-Men series of movies.  There were a few over-the-top silly scenes in Wolverine, but it was a fun movie, and it was nice to go hang out with Kev.

Sunday was my actual birthday,  and Daphne came running into my room dressed like an owl.  For my birthday, she had Kev take her to Plow and Hearth, where she used her own money to buy me a stuffed Great Horned Owl that hoots when you squeeze his belly.  She also made me two other owls out of empty toilet paper tubes.  She knows what I like.  I'm surprised she didn't go buy me some grits.

We went out to breakfast at Blue Ridge Grill with my family, which was nice.  My mom made me some good Gluten Free brownies, and they gave me a gift card to the sewing place, a nice frying pan, and a really good vacuum  cleaner, which may not sound exciting to you, but we really needed it.

The rest of the day was pretty low-key.  We played Rock Band, went to Sweet Frog, and I got to spend some time knitting.  Look!  Owls!!!!!

I put the buttons there so you could see what it will eventually look like.  I haven't picked out the actual buttons I'm going to use yet.  I am so close to finishing this sweater.  It has become a huge deal to me, finishing the sweater.  Like a quest.  I don't know why.  I just hope it fits.

Here is the zipper pouch that Daphne made at sewing camp and gave me for my birthday.  I love it.  I can't believe she can sew a zipper.  I fear the zipper.  That's why I never make clothes.  But if I can knit the owl sweater, I can sew a zipper.  So, I'm going to learn.

Daphne also gave me the painting she did at Art Station - an owl flying into a tree.  I love it too.  The colors make me happy.

I also got some cds, chocolate, iTunes money, and an IPAD!!!!!  So exciting!  Now I just need to figure out how to use it.  Last night, the keyboard somehow got changed to Cherokee.  I have no idea how THAT happened, but I was able to fix it, so that's good.  I shall not be defeated by technology.

Anyway, lots of nice gifts and things, and I had a good birthday in spite of myself.  So thanks, everybody.

Half way to 90.  Good grief.

Didn't get a chance to post a picture of Daphne wearing the shirt she made at sewing camp.  She was SO proud:

I love that kid.  She is awesome.

OK...birthday weekend is over, and it's back to real life now.  Laundry awaits, and a trip to the grocery store is necessary.  Off to plan some meals.  THEN maybe I can finish my sweater!  Woo-HOO!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I Want to be Seven

Daphne is in the middle of a three day sewing camp.  She has learned to thread a sewing machine and do the bobbin, and her teacher said she is improving her pedal control skills (which is good...she's a LEAD-FOOT!).  She made this tote bag, as well as a zipper pouch which I'm not allowed to see because she's giving it to me for my birthday.  She even got to use paint to "design" her fabric.  I will try to take a better picture of the fabric.  It looks like really cool abstract art.  I want to be seven.  I want to go to sewing camp.

Tomorrow, she gets to make a t-shirt.  I thought she was just going to get to paint or stamp a store-bought t-shirt, but she is actually going to sew one.  Very very cool.

While she was at sewing camp, our friend stopped by to drop off Daphne's dragon from the pottery class she took last week.  He turned out GREAT. 

Swimming, pottery, candles, paintings, sewing...and she hasn't even been to Girl Scout camp yet.  I totally want to be seven.

At least I can knit.  I have started to knit the owl cables on my sweater.  It's really fun, and not nearly as scary as attaching sleeves.  I think I am actually going to finish this thing in time for fall!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

My Wheels May be OFF...

But my sleeves are ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Owls coming soon...

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Low Key

The weekend has been pretty quiet.  I did some reading and some knitting.  The second sleeve is ready, and now it's time to attach everything and start the OWL cables.  Exciting and scary.  I'm not attaching anything until I have the house to myself for a few hours on Tuesday, as it will take total concentration.  My goal is to finish the whole thing before October 12, in time for the Girl Scout dog-sledding field trip.  I think I can, I think I can...

We all went to Dairy Queen last night, and Daphne went to a birthday party today.  She also practiced drums for a while.  She wants lessons.  I am in favor of that, but I fear the arguments when it's time to practice.  We'll see.  She's pretty good for a little kid. Perhaps she'll be the next Sheila E!  Sheila E is awesome.

This is my last week to be 44.  That's OK I guess.  I like odd numbers better anyway.  I will be celebrating with lobster at a roundabout and The Wolverine and brunch.  Daphne told me that on my birthday, I don't have to cook or clean or do any chores.  Sounds good to me. 

Thursday, August 01, 2013


The place where I am from is often referred to as Kentuckiana since it is an Indiana border town in the greater Louisville area.  We just went there over the last weekend, and this time, it was more like Indyucky.  It was a pretty unpleasant trip as it involved my parents going all around looking at houses that are NINE HOURS away from mine.  Plus, I fell down while I was there and landed on my knee, which is now all bruised.  So, I didn't have a lot of fun.  I did get to eat a Hot Brown, which was very tasty.  It's not something you should eat more than about once every five years unless you are trying to have a heart attack, but it's good.  You can't really go wrong with bread, cheesy sauce and bacon.

Also,  I got a pedicure, which was a nice treat.  Thanks, Kathy.

And I finally got to see my cousin Jeremy's band, which I have been wanting to do for years.  They are really really great, and I would listen to them all the time even if it wasn't my cousin.  You can go and listen to them here.  My favorite songs are Taxi and Howard Hughes, both of which they played at the show.  Thanks, Jeremy. 

I also got to spend time with my grandma, and she got to spend some time with Daphne.  Daphne is 7 and my grandma is 93, and it occurred to me that that adds up to 100.  Daphne enjoyed that fun fact.

Since we got back, we've been having Camp Mom.  I have been ignoring silly things like cleaning and cooking, and have been taking Daphne to do fun stuff like having lunch with Kev, and going to the Loudoun County Fair with friends:

If there were ever two words that were meant to be together, it's "Happy" and "Crepe."  Especially when your happy crepe is full of Nutella and strawberries.

Today, we went to the Art Station to make candles.  This was a really fun project.  Daphne was very proud of her candle, which has owls and dogs and things on it.  I love my candle too, which is all peaceful and sea-glassy:

While we waited for our candles to set, we got some lunch and then Daphne painted me a birthday picture, which I am not allowed to see for a couple weeks.

I will definitely be going back to an adult painting class with some of my friends in the near future...there are wine and chocolate tastings included. 

Next week, Daphne has swimming every day plus a sewing camp.  She has a very rough life.  It's so hard to be seven.

Guess what!  She finally ate some cheese!  We spent some time hanging out in the cheese section of Wegmans the other day, and I let her choose a cheese - ANY cheese - that she was willing to try.  She picked smoked gouda, and loved it.  She gave it a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10, and asked if I would pack it in her lunches this year.  We are on our way to Cheese City!  Woohoo!  It's the little things.

OK...time to step away from the internet.  Hope to have an owl sweater update soon...