Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday = Made It!

30 days and 30 posts to go with them. This time around, it wasn't even that difficult. I nearly forgot once, but I managed. I even managed to post while on travel and I posted many long-overdue pictures of finished objects.

To go with the theme of "made it," here is another finished object.

Project: Rivendell Sock by Janel Laidman (published in The Eclectic Sole: Socks for Adventurous Knitters)
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Sock Yarn
Needles: US 1 (again)

Notes: These were the socks that convinced me that I had to have this book. They were a bit more challenging than my usual socks and a lot of fun to complete. To make it even more fun, Young Man and I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy this year.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Curl Up With a Book Sunday

Outliers Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hate raving over books, but this one is really good. Seriously, you need to go out and read this book. It doesn't answer every question in the universe or explain every success, but it does make some excellent connections and help to understand some parts of the world in which we live and in which it isn't always clear why some well-qualified people don't quite make it when other equally-qualified people do extremely well. It helps a lot that I can personally identify with the premise as I am, most assuredly, an Outlier. You see, I am the first in my immediate family to attend college and break away from the patterns of the past, so to speak. I do have some cousins on one side who attended college and some further out relatives on the other, but I am definitely the only one in my immediate circle to have made the change.

While it would be easy to say that I was the smartest or the one who worked the hardest, that wouldn't have been true. My sister doesn't believe me, but she is every bit as smart as me. It pains me to admit that my brother is also just as smart, but it is true. When it came to figuring out careers, my brother always knew that he wanted to be a farmer just like our parents, so he never considered college or a career off the farm. My sister and I, however, both knew that our futures would not include farming. To answer my aunts' incredulous response to this, my sister gave out the best advice I heard: don't date a farmer and you won't fall in love with one. Words to live by. No offense meant to farmers, mind you. I have great respect for the profession and many fond memories of growing up on the farm. I also have many less fond memories of the long hours, back-breaking labor, and constant shortages of funds. It just wasn't the life for me or my sister.

Both of us attended the same schools and we both graduated in the top 10 of our respective classes with similar GPAs and we both had the same kindly, but clueless guidance counselor. So, why did my sister head to a dissatisfying stint with vocational school while I went to college? It wasn't grades or guidance and it wasn't smarts. The big difference was timing. My sister graduated in 1970 and there were no Pell Grants or Guaranteed Student Loan programs. There was the expectation that a girl would get married and have children and maybe have some small job for pin money (ewwwww, how I hate that phrase). No one ever told my sister that she was good enough to get into a college and there wouldn't have been any money for it even if she had.

I graduated in 1981. Our sweet guidance counselor still wasn't much help, but I was already convinced that I would go to college thanks to a course I took in seventh grade. I took a short course on careers and played with several quizzes designed to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. I didn't decide, but I did quickly see the pattern that every single career in which I had interest required at least a four year degree. The next happy change came my junior year when most of the class took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. I didn't get a scholarship out of it, but I did do well enough that suddently I had colleges looking for me. Letters and flyers and big, glossy brochures started filling our lonely mailbox and I learned about that most glorious of things, Financial Aid. I still got far less help that my male classmates when it came to looking for scholarships (the assumption was that farm kids would get big grants - unfortunately, that wasn't correct in our case). Still, I was able to qualify for some grants and lots of loans, and I found a public university that wasn't ridiculously expensive.

No, it wasn't easy. Yes, I made missteps along the way and still had to work hard. However, the timing of my birth and subsequent graduation had a lot to do with me being in the right place so that hard work could pay off in a way that it didn't for my sister.

There is more, much more, but now it is time for you to go out and read this book and discover your own Outliers.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Sky - Not So Wet Edition

We were promised rain. The weather people kept hyping storm watch and all that other nonsense that they proclaim whenever there is a hint of a front coming through. I guess they get bored. I certainly would if all I really had to say each day was, "Haven't you figured it out by now? Today will be pretty much like yesterday. Let's go to Sports, shall we?" It's hard to pull in the big bucks when that is all the weather forecasting you really have to do. So our weather people make a big deal out of every barometric change. This one was a bust. Young Man claims that he got hit by a couple of sprinkles as he dashed back from the neighbors', but that was it. I didn't even see any drops on the patio. All we had were a few clouds that raced through in the afternoon. Pretty disappointing actually.

In much more interesting news, we had our second Thanksgiving dinner today. Even though we went out on Thursday, we still picked up all the dinner ingredients. Mr. Engineer roasted the turkey and made gravy and turkey broth on Friday and I made stuffing and a delicious sweet potato recipe today. I also made pumpkin pies for desert. We think we will make mashed potatoes tomorrow and invite the neighbors over so that they can have another feast.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Not So Black Day

We studiously avoided the "Black Friday" madness that seems to have taken hold here. I have no idea if people were actually buying anything today, but the stores were hyping the savings and the doorbusters and that got people waiting in line to get into store openings at 4 a.m. Obviously, the stores were not targeting me because there was nothing in those ads that would have convinced me to crawl out of a warm bed to wait in line with nutcases to go shopping. Mr. Engineer and I decided that we might be tempted if they were offering free bars of gold (Young Man's suggestion), but even that would be a big maybe.

Instead, we had a nice, light breakfast (we were still a bit full from Thursday) and decided to go out for coffee. We did have a momentary lapse of sanity when we thought about going to a local camera store to look at a new lens over which I have been lusting. Then we saw the line stretching out the door (at 10:30 a.m.) and we came to our senses. Instead of elbowing our way into the store, we drove around the area checking out some newly constructed streets and found a coffee shop near a donut shop (Young Man isn't into coffee). Then we headed up to a BevMo! to pick up some assorted soda pops and a 12-pack of Sam Adams Winter Lager. After that we had a nice, quiet lunch and went to see Planet 51. It wasn't the best movie we've seen lately, but it wasn't bad at all. We giggled through it and then headed home.

All in all, it was a nice, quiet, family day. So, I hope all the shoppers had fun. We wouldn't have if we had been shopping, but we really enjoyed our time together.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thanksgiving

Today is the big day and I am thankful for many things. At the top of my list is, as always, my family. Mr. Engineer is nodding off in a chair while we watch The Princess Bride. Young Man is playing away on Runescape. We are all happy and content.

I am also very thankful for wonderful neighbors who are also friends. Our next door neighbors are part of the family we have chosen as our extended family. We enjoy holidays together and share our fellowship.

For the first time, I am thankful for restaurants who serve Thanksgiving dinner. Our usual host is recovering from surgery and neither we nor our neighbors felt up to cooking the feast. Instead we went to Marie Callender's and enjoyed a delicious meal and left the dishes to others.

Tonight or tomorrow we will roast the turkey that is thawing in the refrigerator (hey, they are on sale, we couldn't pass up the leftovers) and cook up some of our favorite T-day dishes (stuffing, green beans, gravy, pumpkin pie).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Now, With More Socks!

Okay, so the socks yesterday were kind of eh. These are a bit better. They are a gift for a friend who doesn't read this blog. They are sparkly and fun and I hope they lift her spirits. The picture really doesn't do them justice.

Yarn: Berocco Comfort Metallic
Needles: US 1 dpns (what else is there?)

Notes: These are knit toe up and that is not really in my usual comfort zone. Still, these turned out pretty good. It was a bit challenging to find a pattern that worked with this yarn, but this pattern definitely breaks up any pooling and the metallic sparkes are just plain fun. The photo looks like the legs are much bigger than the feet. Actually, these fit quite well. The slipped stiches and patterning actually pull in the fabric so there are more stiches around than would normally be used. All in all, this was a quick gift knit and I'm using the pattern again on another yarn that has seemed determined to pool.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Toes on Tuesday

Finally! More photos and more finished objects.

Project: Basic Socks with short-row heels and twisted rib cuffs
Yarn: Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Socka Mit Bambou (with Bamboo)
Needles: US 1 dpns

Notes: Would you believe that it took me over a year to knit these socks? There were a few mitigating circumstances. Originally, they were going to be Monkeys, but the colors just didn't work, so I ripped back to the twisted rib cuff. Then I tried some other pattern, but that didn't work either. Finally, I just went with a basic stockinette. That worked as long as I kept my tension not too tight. Unfortunately, I lost the project part way through the first sock. I searched, then got distracted, then searched again. Finally, they reappeared and I was able to finish! The yarn is nice, but a bit busy. Still, they are good, basic socks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Madness

Another thing for which I am thankful is that Young Man, who is already (!) 12 years old, still enjoys spending time with his parents. More specifically, he still enjoys spending the day with me. Okay, so there is the minor caveat that I cannot embarass him too much. So far, I haven't quite ascertained where that boundry lies. I am working on it and I'll let you know when I surpass it.

Today we took advantage of the fact that Young Man is still 12 and that we had a free ticket for Legoland lying around. Legoland is one of the few amusement parks that determines price by age and not height. Child tickets are for young people between 3 and 12. Thank goodness! That plus a AAA 10% discount (and that free ticket) made the day not ridiculously expensive. We did have a good time wandering around and riding rides. It was a bittersweet day because it might be nearly our last trip. Young Man really is outgrowing the park and Legos. I haven't outgrown Legos yet, but I am tiring of the rides. Still, it was a very nice day spent together and two nice drives (Legoland is an hour from our house).

Oh, and you may be wondering where the pictures are from this excursion? Well, um, I set the camera on the table to remember it and it was still safe and sound on the table when we returned. Of course, I did edit the earlier paragraph to add in the possibility of a return - another free ticket arrived in the mail today!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Curl Up With a Book Sunday

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Revised and Expanded Edition) Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I tried not to like this book. This is not because I didn't agree with the authors' premise. On the contrary, I am a skeptic and do not buy what passes for conventional wisdom. Instead, I was too cool to show that I was impressed by the revelations. This was easy at the beginning. Part of that is because I had heard some of the first stories years ago. I was well aware that the crime rate is generally untouched by new policing policies and is far more accurately predicted by looking at the numbers of youth in the age range that typically commit crimes. Still, after several more case studies, I was impressed. Yes, the book is a bit sensationalized and some of the connections are a bit more of a stretch than others. The thing to remember when reading any book like this is that correlation (even really tight correlations) do not prove causality.

All in all, this is a very good book and should be read (with an open mind) by any and all. If you are sure you know all the answers about how the world works, you absolutely must read this one. Knowledge really is power.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Sky

Today with clouds! The local weather-people are having a great time whipping us into a frenzy about the potential storm watch. Right. If we are lucky we will get a few raindrops. Personnally, I'm betting that we see bupkis. Still, it is nice to have an interesting sky to view for a change.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sweater #6

This is the year of nakniswemodo09 (Ravelry link). What is that, you ask? It is the National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecathon. Yes, 12 sweaters in 12 months. Insane? Probably. Fun? Definitely. So far, I have completed 8 of the 12 and am ~30% finished with #9. I think I'll finish 10 in the year. I'm okay with that. I'll have 9 gorgeous sweaters and a whole new set of knitting skills. I'm learning a lot. One of the things I learned with Sweater #6 is that I need to pay closer attention when the designer gives an option for a slightly higher neckline. This one is very nearly indecent. I have found a cami that looks okay underneath, but I dearly wish I had made the other option. Also, if I had held out just two more months, I would have had the new and improved version of the pattern.

Project: Buttercup, by Heidi Kirrmaier
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton & Silk DK
Needles: US 4 and US 5

Notes: I added waist shaping, knit four repeats of lace pattern at bottom, lengthened the sleeves, knit four repeats of lace pattern at bottom of sleeves, but used multiple of 5 instead of 6 for the patterning.

If I were to make it again, I would cast on fewer stitches for the back of the neck and do more shaping. To get the neck to fit without gaping, I had to snug in the edging a lot. I picked up one stitch for every two on the neck. The back of the neck fits, but the upper back has a funky puff. It sort of looks intentional.

Love the yarn! It feels great and isn’t splitty at all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Even though I sometimes complain about work, I really do like my job. Today I am thankful that I have an interesting, challenging job that gives me very good benefits and pays me well enough that I can afford toys, books, and yarn (lots and lots of books and yarn). I work with bright, dedicated people who make every day an adventure and an interesting journey. Tomorrow they may drive me crazy, but it will be an exciting trip.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is It Really Only Wednesday?

One of my co-workers remarked today that he spent the entire day thinking that it was Thursday. I paused and then realized that I had been thinking the same thing. Just as well that it wasn't, there is way too much to be done before Friday! This Friday is the first parent-teacher conference of the school year. We will hear all about what Young Man is doing and then will try to figure out what to do with the other 20 minutes of the meeting. I know, these are problems that are good to have. Mr. Engineer has Friday off so he and Young Man get most of the day together (until lacrosse practice, of course).

I am in the surprising position of being able to take off the entire week before Thanksgiving. I don't think that I have ever been able to do this and I am quite excited. So far, I haven't made any specific plans for these days, but Young Man and I must be able to come up with something fun.

Oh, and those choices from yesterday? The Book Club made some excellent choices:

January - Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie
February - An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, by P.D. James
March - Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry
April - off month - we share our must read lists
May - The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan
June - Freezer Burn, by Gayle Carline

Expect to see all of these in my reading list in the months to come. Several of us are already reading Freezer Burn. This is because Gayle Carline used to work at our company, her husband is in the book club, and this is her first published book. We are all very excited for her and made sure to go to her recent book signing at a local chain bookstore.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Sometimes we are faced with an embarassment of riches from which to choose. My book club is about to select books for the first half of 2010. For January alone, I have to choose between the following classics:

Little Women
O! Pioneers
Peter Pan
Wuthering Heights
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Hard Times
Scarlet Pimpernel
Lord of the Flies

I mean, seriously, who can choose from that list? It just gets worse (or better) as the months go on. It is wonderful to be in a book club made up of people who find interesting titles, but I have no idea how I will decide!

In other decisions, we are getting closer to the time when we have to decide where Young Man will go for high school. Now that is a decision that seemed a long way off when he started school! My parents certainly had it easier when I was heading to high school. There was one in the town; choice made!

We won't even begin to dicuss knitting choices! I went to a local yarn store on Saturday and everyone there understood me when I said that I just needed to come visit a different stash. This is not to say that I didn't add to mine, but I did score some deliciously soft Ultra Alpaca Fine from which a pair of socks are rapidly forming. As much as I wanted to make my 12 sweaters this year, I do not want to disappoint those who look forward to hand knit socks under the tree. Again, finding the perfect pattern was a challenge, but Nancy Bush came to my rescue (again).

Once decision area that has been simplified in our house is television. We haven't had cable for a week now. We are getting used to this, but we all agree that we miss History and Discovery. It is definitely easier to leave the set off without all the channels of temptation. We will get our temptation back at some point. For now we are deciding between cable and AT&T U-verse. More decisions!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another Finished Item, Perhaps?

I really do need to take more pictures. I could also use a few better pictures. This one is rather pathetic. The sweater is gorgeous, trust me.

Project: Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang, published in Fall 2007 Interweave Knits

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

Needles: US 3 and US 4

Notes: It took me a couple of tries to get gauge on this one, but it was well worth the effort. I knit the sleeves in the round and enjoyed the entire process to get to a sweater I love.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Curl Up With a Book Sunday

Bone Volume 1: Out From Boneville Bone Volume 1: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I was a kid I liked comic books, but then I set those aside (with a few exceptions like Calvin & Hobbes and Opus). My son never really seemed interested in either comics or graphic novels until he saw this one. A recent Scholastic book form had deal on this first volume. Now I almost wish I had popped for the entire set. This is a fun book and the artwork is incredible. It isn't for the young children, but my tween enjoyed it immensely. He also now wants all the rest of the set. Unfortunately, $10 per volume is a bit more than I like to spend for books that Young Man finishes in one day! There are other options (a full set of the 13 issues is in one volume as long as we don't mind black & white).

For those of you who haven't run across the Bone books, this is an adventure of three cousins, Fone, Phoney, and Smiley Bone. Phoney seems rotten to the core, Smiley can't pass up a bet, and Fone tries to help everyone. They get run out of Boneville and are trying to find a way back when they get separated and encounter rat creatures, a dragon and the gorgeous Thorn. It is a fun ride and I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Do

Sometimes you need a little change.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Views of Last Season

Young Man is practicing hard to get ready for the new season. Mr. Engineer says that he had wings during the end of practice sprints today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am profoundly thankful for all the wonderful teachers I have had in my life. Those who inspired me and kept me interested, those who wondered about that quiet girl who got straight As, and those who challenged me when they knew I was slacking all helped make me who I am today. You are probably not reading this, but I wish you knew that I think of one of you almost every day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Wednesday

As suspected, it was a day out of the office, but it wasn't even close to a day off. I spent much of the day on teleconferences (I do love our speakerphone!) and when I wasn't listening intently to the calls, I was pondering an update to the staffing plan. As Young Man would say, "Is that all you do all day???" Yes, sweetie, welcome to my world.

Holding a book club meeting via teleconference isn't ideal, but it is better than nothing. We read The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke this month. Our November selection is either Humor or Young Adult and it is nice to end the year with an easy read. This was my second reading of The Thief Lord and I enjoyed it even more than the first.

Young Man had practice, but I really don't know why they bothered. They heard a pep talk from Kyle Harrison and another big lacrosse name and then had a bit of a practice. Then the coaches ended practice early because of the holiday. That would be great if the parents had known about it. So the boys without cell phones lined up with the parent on watch to call for rides home. I hope the parent on duty didn't have to wait the full time, but I suspect that she did.

The good thing about hanging out for practice is that I finished knitting a beanie for one of Young Man's classmates. I hope she likes it. Two girls found out that I knit hats and asked very nicely for one neon pink and one bright blue (aqua). I found the perfect colors in Caron Simply Soft. I really do not like knitting with acrylic, but the hats are pretty cute.

Brownies take the edge off the final intense battle scenes of Lord of the Rings. This is a good thing.

Tomorrow is another day at the office. It's a good thing that I like my office.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When Is a Day Off Not a Vacation?

Oh, that's an easy one - when you have to work, of course! Wednesday is a day to honor veterans. It is also a day to appreciate teachers for those of us who are suddenly scrambling to cover a day without school. Yes, this happens every year; you would think we would catch on by now. Anyway, I didn't figure out until Monday that leaving Young Man home along really wasn't going to work. We are in that phase where he is old enough to be alone for a while, but an entire day is pushing it. Learning that lacrosse practice was still on was the final straw. Young Man might be able to stay home, but he wouldn't be able to get to practice. So, I'll be plugged in to work with my biggest fan wondering just when will I get offline so that we can play. Okay, so it was a little fun to watch the faces at work when I reminded them that I wouldn't be in the office tomorrow. I'm evil that way.

At least I can sit and knit during practice. I will get part of the day off and I'll have an excellent lunch companion.

Monday, November 09, 2009

More For Monday

Let's continue with the catching up, shall we?

Project: Soleil Tank, by Alexandra Virgiel
Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa in Dusk (5.5 skeins)
Needles: US 5

Notes: This was what I got for going to a knit nite at a local yarn shop when they were having a pre-moving inventory reduction sale. The really good news was that I finished this one in eight days! I very much like this tank. I made it a bit longer than the pattern (as always), but that was my only modification.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Curl Up With a Book Sunday

(or not)

The Children of Húrin The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
First, a disclaimer: I have been a J.R.R. Tolkien fan ever since my wonderful fifth grade homeroom teacher read us The Hobbit over winter lunch hours when it was far too cold to play outside. I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy more times than I can remember. I do recall viewing the library copies my senior year and seeing my name on the checkout card several times. I read The Silmarillion at least twice and revelled in its intricacies.

Still, after that history, I had no wish to read this book when it came out in 2007. This was my book club's October selection, so I finally went out and read it. I can say that this is not the worst book I have ever read, but it is far from the best. I can also see why J.R.R. didn't publish it, but I wonder why Christopher Tolkien did. This is a very dark and depressing read. There is little joy between these covers and the backstory is impressively dense. Yes, that is typical for Tolkien, but to cram so much backstory into such a small book was difficult even for him. The plot twists and the constant name changes were a challenge to track. In the end, this is not so much a novel as a cautionary fable: Trust the wisdom of those around you and occasionally hold your temper and things will go better for you and those you love. Of course, if Turin had learned any of those lessons, there wouldn't have been a book. That might not have been a bad thing.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Saturday Sky With Persimmons

Friday, November 06, 2009

Plum Happy

Yes, I am feeling rather punny today, why do you ask?

Project: Prosperous Plum, by Joanna Cohen (free Ravelry download)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Plum Patina
Needles: US 6 and US 8

Notes: I made this pretty much straight to the pattern except that I made the body a bit longer. I'm definitely not one for the bare midriff thing. I do wish that I hadn't followed the pattern to graft the shoulders. It looked nice at first, but they are already stretching. I may have to snip and seam. That will muck up the nice crocheted neckline and arm holes, but it will be worth it. I wear this with a black cami and it is adorable. Okay, so I like how I feel in it and I have even managed to venture out without covering it all up with a blouse. I finished this one in May and it was number 5 in my 12 sweater challenge. This little baby only took 11 days to knit! I could get used to projects like that.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Even I can handle a once a week meme for a month and I really do have a lot for which to be thankful. Thank you to Carole for the great idea.

Today I am very thankful to be home. It was fun to travel, but it feels really good to be back.

I am very, very thankful for my wonderful husband, Mr. Engineer, who kept everything going while I was gone and keeps me sane always (or close to it).

Many thanks go to Young Man for all the hugs and unconditional love. I am one lucky mom to have a great son.

My whole family makes me thankful. Even when they drive me crazy, I am very thankful to have a family who can make me crazy.

I am profoundly thankful for all of my chosen family with whom I don't share DNA, but who have my back and I am happy to back up each and every one.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Still In Texas

It's my last night in Texas. The next challenge will be to get a seat on my flight out tomorrow afternoon. I don't have a seat assignment and American Airlines wouldn't let me get a seat assignment tonight. Their website told me to sign in on the day of my flight to get a seat. This could be interesting. So, what are the odds that I'll get bumped to first class if I wait until I get to the airport to check in? Hey, it could happen! I know this because it has happened to me, but I was only that lucky once. It was a flight from LAX to Washington-Dulles and it was full of schoolchildren on their way to D.C. I won!

Tonight's dining adventure was a team dinner at Saltgrass Steak House in McKinney. It was quite good. My steak was cooked perfectly and the baked sweet potato was delicious! Unfortunately, I was completely spoiled by last night's dining adventure so the bar was raised quite high. Still, it is always nice to dine with good company (even if one of them is a Yankees fan).

Business travel isn't bad, but it will be very nice to get back home. Young Man misses me. He is getting back into the routine of lacrosse practices and wasn't even too unhappy that they had to run sprints today. He was rather surprised to discover that some of the workouts seem easier than they did last year. Growing and staying strong and in shape between seasons is paying off.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Foodie Alert: Dallas Area

Okay, if you are a foodie and you are in the North Dallas/Plano area, you need to get yourself over to Jasper's. there are actually four restaurants, but we went to the Plano location tonight. Oh, my! I met up with a friend and it was worth the drive (okay, ride for me, but I think she would agree about the driving). The food is fabulous and the whole ambiance was just right. We managed to make our server laugh out loud when we ordered identical meals and then paid with almost identical corporate cards. What can we say? Great minds were thinking alike. The soup of the day was a delicious tomato bisque. It had a little kick, but not too much and was served with a bit of Gouda. Yum! The Texas barbecue pork loin was fabulous and the cheesecake... Well, let's just say that I may need to skip the box lunch at my training class tomorrow, but it will be worth it!

And for another recommendation, S, this is the kidlit blog I told you about: A Fuse #8 Production. The author, Elizabeth Bird is a genius and is also a prolific reviewer on Goodreads and Amazon. She has never steered me wrong.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Best Laid Plans

It is November and that means it's time for blogging every day. I'm already enjoying the resurgence of activity on my favorite blogs. I had great intentions of posting most days (maybe even every day). Then today came. It's only the second day of the month and already my resolve is fading. I believe that is because I spent the day flying to Dallas. A bit after halfway on the journey, I felt odd and then managed to mostly faint in my seat. I feel much better now and am sure that it was a blood sugar thing. I am now in my hotel room readying myself for a class. Tomorrow will be a better day, I'm sure.

The day wasn't completely awful. There were some good things: Young Man had his first lacrosse practice of the season and came home happy. He was worried about the season. I get that. It is always hard to get started with a new phase and each year the competition gets tougher. The other good thing is that I am wearing the sweater I posted yesterday. I still love it!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

November, Already?

Oh, my! I don't quite know where the time went. I have several books to review and many, many pictures of knitting to post. As you can see from the list of finished knits, I have been busy.

Here is one that was finished in March! Yes, I have been a lazy poster. I blame Ravelry and Facebook. Please excuse the dirty mirror.

Project: Minimalist Cardigan, by Ruthie Nussbaum (published in the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits)
Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca
Notes: This was a very quick and easy knit. I thought the vast regions of moss stitch would be boring, but it wasn't bad at all. The final result is soft and cozy and is great to throw over a T and jeans. The only negative is that I have now learned that alpaca loosens when washed. After the first washing, the sleeves are now a bit longer than I had planned, but I still love the sweater.