Sunday, June 26, 2005

Summer Knitting

A Thoughtful Unexpected Present

Hubby went out shopping for computer stuff and was there before the store opened so he stopped at the book store to kill some time. When he got home he had a big grin on his face and told me he got me something. He brought the bag over and handed me this book.

The look on his face I could tell he was proud of himself. I tried to keep my expression in a non readable one. At first glance I thought to myself, am I that bad of a knitter. Maybe I have let too many four letter words slip from my lips while knitting in the presents of my husband. But then one more look at Hubby’s excited face I new it was a gift from the heart. It does say on the cover for new knitters and THOSE THAT WANT TO LEARN MORE. Maybe there would be some stuff in there that would teach me an easier way to do something. Also hubby was thinking of me while he was out and about and thought it was something I would like. More and more I was so pleased with him for taking the time to bring me home something to do with the hobby that I have grown to love. I thanked him several times.

Later that day I was sitting in front of the computer and was thinking about him and the gift he bought. Then I started to LOL picturing him buying the book titled Knitting for Dummies which he purchased with a car magazine. I wonder what the cashier was thinking. I wonder how that conversation went. I still giggle thinking about it. I am so lucky to have such a great guy that thinks of me and brings me home a present out of the blue.

Finished Object

I found this free pattern titled Yvonne’s Double Flower Cloth. It is knit on double pointed needles. In the pattern she prefers using 5 needles. I used 4 because it is easier for me to control them when they are in a triangle. Either way it works out fine. It knit up quickly. There are only 35 rows. In the pattern it shows the flower cloth in a white worsted weight cotton. I had a ball of Tahki Shannon in color 14 in my stash and decided to use it for the flower cloth. I thought the flower kind of looked like a poinsettia. So I thought I would use it as a doily around the Holidays. It might be cute as a wash cloth done in chenille. Here is a photo of the flower cloth on a window to show the detail.

You can find the pattern here.

New on the Needles

I cast on for the Moira Bag from Rowan Book 27

It does not look like much but I did start it twice. The pattern calls to make two sides, one for the back and one for the front. I originally cast on with regular needles for the front and got through about 7 rows of the pattern, when I realized after I finished one side it would take a lot for me to make another one. So I decide to do the whole thing at once using circular needles. Now I can do the front and the back at the same time. In case you missed it in my earlier post here is what it should look like when I am done.

I hope to finish this one in time for a little vacation I am taking at the end of August with my best friend, my Mom and her friend. I am sure I will need to line this bag due to the Fair Isle design and having so many running strands of yarn on the inside. This is going to be a labor of love. I love the look of this bag although it is going to be time consuming and I will need to be careful to follow the Fair Isle pattern.

Update on the Air Cardi

I am still moving along on the right front. Every time I pick this back up after not working on it for awhile I am always amazed at how much I love working this pattern and can’t believe I put it down for several days. Me and this Cardi go together like peas and carrots. Well I don’t like veggies so I will say we go together like cookies and milk. I love the “calmer” yarn. I definitely will use this yarn again.

That is about where I am at for my summer knitting. I am still also working on the lace scarf. I like having a couple of projects on the needles. I never understood before when I would read other people whom had several projects going on. I like to be able to knit as to how I am feeling at the time. Some times you just want to do mindless knitting and other times you might have the time and the patients to work on something more intricate and detailed.

A Look into my Garden

As you know I live in the desert. It surprises me that anything can bloom at this time of year with temperature around 100 everyday.

This is one of my crepe myrtles. The blooms kind of remind me of lilacs.

Here is one of my Rose of Sharon. It is starting to bloom. I think they are also known as Hibiscus.

This is a Lantana. This plant always attracts lots of bees to pollinate my flowers and also attracts humming birds.

This is an Ivy Geranium. It has come back 3 years now. I leave it outside all year round. It gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

Hope everyone has a good week. Can’t wait for the long 4th of July weekend coming up.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Summer of Good Movies

I have been looking forward to this summer for awhile. Finally there are plenty of good movies to look forward to. Of course it was an early start with Star Wars Episode III. Last weekend I went and saw Batman Begins.

I loved it. It was done so well I can not wait for the sequel. They did an excellent job bringing the Batman Franchise BACK! My favorite actor whom has played Batman was Michael Keaton. He was in the 1992 Bateman Returns movie directed by Tim Burton. I love Tim Burton’s work so no wonder this was my favorite Batman. In this new one “Batman Begins” has an excellent cast including Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, & Liam Neeson. The story line was so rich one could not help but get involved in the movie.

I save all of my movie tickets. Here are my tickets for 1994.

This was a great year for movies. Here is a list of the movies I went to in 1994.
Mrs. Doubtfire
City Slickers
Forest Gump
Schindlers List
Lion King
Star Trek VII
True Lies
Miracle On 34th St (remake)
Adams Family Values
Love Affair
Road to Wellville

So many great movies came out that year. This summer I think is going to be the year for Movies. This weekend they are releasing

Bewitched & Herbie Fully Loaded

Here is a list of the Movies still to come this summer that I am looking forward to.
War of the Worlds
Fantastic Four
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Dukes of Hazards

Corpse Bride

You are probably least familiar with the last two. Corpse Bride is an animated movie done by Tim Burton.
The animation is going to be like one of my favorite movies Nightmare before Christmas. Being a fan of Tim Burton, it is a must see for me.

The very last movie on the list is Flightplan. You probably have heard nothing about this movie. I am excited because it stars one of my favorite actors, Jodi Foster. She is number one in my book. Unfortunately she does not do many movies anymore. She does do some producing but I prefer her in the movie instead of behind the scenes. The last movie she was in was Panic Room which came out in 2002.

Flightplan looks like it is going to be good. The tagline for the movie is: “If Someone Took Everything You Live For…How Far Would You Go To Get It Back?

Here is the Plot Summary: (found on the internet movie data base)

Flying at 40,000 feet from Berlin to New York, Kyle Pratt faces every mother's worst nightmare when her young daughter Julia vanishes mid-flight. Already emotionally devastated by the unexpected death of her husband, Kyle desperately struggles to prove her sanity to the disbelieving flight crew and passengers, while facing the very real possibility that she may be losing her mind. Though neither Captain Rich, nor Air Marshal Gene Carson want to doubt the bereaved widow, all evidence indicates that her daughter was never on board, resulting in paranoia and doubt among the passengers and crew of the plane. Desperately alone, Kyle can only rely on her own wits to solve the mystery and save her daughter.”

One of the good things about the Movie Summer line up is that there is a variety of movies to watch. So there should be at least one you want to see. Or if you are like me you have your summer planned out as to what movie you are going to next.
Next Post Knitting update I promise!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

photo by Rachael Hale

For many years of my life I have had mixed emotions about Father’s Day. So many years I have gone to the hallmark store to find a card for my Dad and left with out one due to the fact none of them fit the relationship I had with him. In the end always taking the easiest way out and getting a card with humor to avoid any of the drippy sappy stuff that just did not apply.

My Dad was awarded custody of me at age 2 and I was raised by my Father until I was 17 and moved out on my own. While taking many psych classes in college I definitely learned a lot about myself and my Dad. In away it was therapy. A couple of years ago my Dad had a heart attack. For the first time in forever my Dad reached out to me and me to him. We began to talk and mend our relationship. I am happy to say he is in better health. Our relationship is in a good place. We can talk on the phone for hours about anything and every thing. We do not talk very often due to both having busy lives and live several states away from each other, but when we do talk we pick up where we left off.

I called him today and we had a good Father, Daughter talk. I ended the call with a smile and an I Love You Dad.

History of Father’s Day

Webshots photo

Found at
“Father’s Day, 3rd Sunday in June. The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, Henry Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courages, selfless, and loving man. Sonora’s father was born on the 19th of June.

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Roses are the Father’s Day flowers: red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has died.”

Friday, June 17, 2005

New Mascot

I found a new mascot at the Disney Store.

It is Briar Rabbit.
Originally from Disney’s “Song of the South” movie adapted from “Uncle Remus folk tales” by Joe Harris. Later to be depicted in a ride called Splash Mountain at the Disney Theme Parks.

Brer definition – Brer is an alternate version of "Br'er", which is an abbreviation for "Brother". Brother and Sister are Christian terms of kinship especially prevalent in the South.

On July 20, 1879 the Atlanta Constitution published a copy of Joe Harris’s “Story of Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox as told by Uncle Remus.” The first Uncle Remus book was published in November of 1880.

Of Course we can not forget Disney’s Splash Mountain. A wonderful ride that brings you through the Briar Patch and depicts Briar Rabbit, Briar Bear, Briar Fox and the whole gang with their crazy antics.

Laughing Place
It is all about finding your LAUGHING PLACE. My blog to me is a special place where I can be me and a sort of journal for what is going on in my life. Of course my title of my blog comes from the song “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”. I love this song. I am a true optimist and always look for the sunshine.

I will leave you with the lyrics so kick up your heels and have a Wonderful Day!

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my what a wonderful day!
Plenty of sunshine heading my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Mister Bluebird on my shoulder
It's the truth, it's actch'll
Ev'rything is satisfactch'll
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Albuquerque - A Day and a Half

webshots photo

I was dragged kicking and screaming to Albuquerque for a boring Dental conference. Hubby did not want to go alone and forced me to go with him. We sent our dental assistants, hygienists & office manger also to get some continued education credits.

Last time I went to Albuquerque I had a bad experience. We stayed at the Double Tree right next to the conference center. When I was in the shower the first night I had soap in my eyes and I turned to rinse off the soap and knocked my temple smack on a porcelain soap holder that was right at my head level. WTF! At first I thought I was going to pass out, then I thought I might be sick. Chris must have heard the bang of my head hitting the hard surface because he came into the bathroom and said “Are you alright?” I started to sob and said please bring me 4 Advil. I finished the scary shower and then lay down. I promised myself I would never come back to Albuquerque and I sure as hell would never stay at another Double Tree Hotel.

Ok back to the present time. I had to go back to Albuquerque. We stayed at the Residence Inn. It was on the East side about 4 miles to the conference center. We arrived in Albuquerque Wednesday night after working a full day at the dental practice. We took the employees out to dinner the first night to P. F. Chang’s. I think I have already mentioned this restaurant before. It is a great place and everyone enjoyed it.

The next day I dropped hubby off at the conference and then went back to the room to knit for two hours until the stores started to open. I brought the lace scarf to work on that my secret pal had given me. I know this scarf is taking me forever but I am still new to lace work. It does not look like much but I have been keeping track and I have done 73 repeats of the pattern which makes a total of 292 rows. I am almost finished with the first skein of yarn.

Finally 10am rolled around and I ran out the door heading for Village Wools, the LYS in Albuquerque. I had heard from other bloggers that this was a good shop. I was prepared I had called ahead of time to see what kind of yarns they carried and had a list of future projects I was planning on making with the yarn requirements. This shop was unbelievable. It was Wednesday around 10:15am and the place was buzzing. Several shoppers and many employees wondering around. The even had a dog, that was walking around looking to be pet and have her belly rubbed. I was blown away at the selection they had. It was four times as big as my LYS and they carried all the name brand yarns. I spent at least two hours that morning wondering around with a wicker basket tossing in yarns and pattern books. I also even went back the next morning for an hour looking through their pattern books. Here is what I got:

Rowan Cashsoft Dk in color Bella Donna 502

For “Hudson” from the Rowan classic Café book

Rowan Cashsoft DK in colors lime 509 & crush 506

For “Jersey” from Rowan classic Café book

Rowan Cotton Glace in colors: Ecru 725, Sky 749, Hyacinth 787, shoot 814, & Glee 799

For one of these “Moira Bags” from Rowan book 27

Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool Silk (6 ounces)

For this “Flirty Ruffles Shawl” It is a Fiddlesticks Knitting Pattern
I found the pattern at the shop. This is very ambitious. Don’t plan on ever seeing me finish this one. The ruffle alone will probably take me two years. I just really love the pattern and new that if I did not buy it I would be searching for one like it for years to come. I will give myself at least 5 years to make this one.

3 Noro skeins in color 147 & 2 Lorna’s Laces in shepherd sock weight in color Desert Flower. These will probably be a felted Booga Bag & a pair of socks.

I also picked up two Dale of Norway pattern books #132 & #138.
The book in the middle is Westminster Patchwork and Quilting Book #3. This one is a hard one to find. These Patchwork books are wonderful pattern books for making quilts.

If you do not know Kaffe Fassett, Let me tell you he is one of my favorite artistic quilt makers. He is definitely an artist he quilts, paints, knits, does needlepoint & mosaics. I especially love his quilting books. So talented, check out his website here.

As you can see I broke the bank and will need to skip a few meals after the amount of money I spent at Village Wools. I could lose some weight anyway. 8)

I would say the yarn shop was the best thing about Albuquerque. Other than that it was uneventful. Chris and I did find a great Cajun seafood restaurant called Pappadeux. If you like good Cajun crawdads and like fried gator, a good gumbo, and frog legs. Get in line behind me because this restaurant was the BOMB! So good. Here is there website.

Well I am back home again and this summer sure is turning out to be a busy one.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Little Bunny Foo Foo

First a warning this post is not for the weak stomached person whom is casually dropping by for a cheery post.

It all started last weekend. I found a baby bunny in my living room. It was not alive. No one was talking.

It was sad. On occasion we have found dead birds that Haley must have caught and placed inside our house. But a dead bunny is very sad. Life went on as usual until I went out Sunday morning to grab some coffee and some pumpkin scones at Starbucks. I came home and the dogs were locked up in the laundry room. Hubby said he found another bunny and it was still barely alive. It was on the counter wrapped in a towel. He said there must be a nest and we would need to find it before the dogs got the rest of them. My heart was racing at this point. We grabbed a card board box and put a towel in it and put some gloves on. While outside we found another dead baby bunny. The horror. I was truly sick to my stomach. We went from bush to bush looking for a nest. Finally Chris spotted a baby bunny. I quickly scooped him up and placed him in the box and covered him with some of the leaves from under the bush. Then we found where the nest was but there was not anymore bunnies in it. What happened was when we were gone to Las Vegas the Mother bunny laid her babies in our back yard. The dogs were not home so she probably thought it was a safe place.

So I went to the front yard and dug a hole behind one of the bushes and placed the baby bunny in it. Then I covered him with some leaves from the bunny nest. I went back to check on him several hours later and here is what I saw.

He was up and feeling frisky. He even made a hop towards me. I was happy to see him so vibrant and alive. I have left him alone since and I keep track of him through my windows. He pretty much stays in the corner of my front court yard. He hops from bush to bush. I have seen him nibble on one of my bushes so I am glad he is eating. He also has dug himself a new rabbit hole. I hope he makes it. He is so cute. It is very hard not to buy a cage and keep him all to myself. I have to keep reminding myself that he is a wild animal and should be left wild to live out his life as he was born to do. I am sad about the loss of his litter mates but so glad that we were able to save at least one.

Next post - A short trip to Albuquerque.
We took our employees up to Albuquerque for the dental conference. I found my way to the local yarn shop and spent hours there wondering through the maze of yarn and pattern books.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Three Nights in Vegas

What a weekend. Sure glad to be home. We had a wonderful time in Vegas but three nights is about all we can handle. We stayed at the Bellagio. You know the one with the musical fountains out front. Here are some postcards of the hotel. Way better than any photo I can take.

This is the front of the hotel

This is a picture of the ceiling in the lobby

This is one of the pools

Here are a couple of photos I took in the hotel

Our view from our window in the room. We had a great view of Paris across the street. Also we could see the fountains from our room. At night it was weird because when the fountains went off our tub would drip water.

Here are two of the flower arrangements. There were hundreds of different ones all over the hotel. Simply Gorgeous.

Here is a photo of the tallest chocolate fountain. I know why it is behind glass. The temptation to stick your finger into the chocolate is very great.

The Bellagio also has it’s own botanical garden. Here is a picture of a giant eagle nest. It is replicated to the actual size of one that was found. Inside the nest they put two animatronic baby eagles. They screeched and made noises. Very Cool.

The first morning we ate breakfast in an outside café near the pool. Here is my Eggs Benedict. Tasty.


Hubby and I walked to MGM to see Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Here are some photos.

Me & Siegfried & Roy.

Chia Cat

We also went to Star Trek the Experience at the Hilton.

This was pretty cool. It was a museum with two rides, a restaurant, and gift shop. I would have taken more photos but hubby took me on the Klingon Encounter ride first. This is one of those motion movement rides that make you want to puke your guts out. I was a little green after the ride. The other ride Borg Invasion was just a 3-D show that was pretty cool. Although while waiting in line to get into our seats some dude was dressed like one of the Borg and was scaring the hell out of all of us grown ups. Overall it was worth the ride on the shuttle all the way to the Hilton.

The Shows


We went to two shows while we were in Vegas. The first one we went to was hubby’s pick “Zumanity”. It is one of the Cirque du Soleil shows. It is a bit riska. There is nudity. Also it was mainly about sexuality and had sexual content. The show was very artisticly done. This is the second cirque show I have seen and there is just no words to describe the experience. AMAZING! I bought a program and was trying to find a photo to scan in to show you but their was not one I thought I would not get comments about. Here is a postcard that one of the cast handed to me. He was playing a character that was a player. He handed it to me and mouthed the words. “Call Me”. It was very funny. He was doing it to all the ladies.

Also if you are going to the show and planning to get a drink. I recommend the Zumanitini. It is a whopper of a drink. 8)

Momma Mia

The second choice was mine. I had heard such great things about Momma Mia and I am a big fan of ABBA’s music. I know I am a dork.

This show was Soooooo much FUN. It is a great show to bring a couple of your girlfriends, or a couple of your gay male friends. My husband even enjoyed it and he does not know most of the songs. I loved this show. I would see it again.

The Bar

We went to The Nine Fine Irishmen Pub in New York-New York before one of the shows. It is a great little Irish Pub. It is a two story bar with two bars and also dinning space. We sat at the bar several hours enjoying a few appetizers and several drinks. This is when the bartender and I invented my new favorite martini. He made one with Mandarin Vodka & Midori. It tastes like sweet tarts. It was delicious. When we were leaving around 9:30pm the bar was just getting warmed up and several gentleman were starting to sing songs down stairs. I am sure it would have been fun to stay and watch everyone get smashed. (just a side note if you are going to sit at the bar for several hours be sure to tip according to the time you sat in the seat) This was great bar, I recommend it.

The Art

Of course I could not go to Las Vegas without going to an art Gallery. I was so lucky that The Bellagio was featuring “Monet” in their Fine Art Gallery. I have not seen Monet paintings before in person. This gallery gave you one of those ear recorder things as you went in and all the paintings were numbered. When you were in front of one of the paintings you would hit the number of the painting on the recorder number pad and a voice would tell you about the painting and some back ground on Monet as well. I was in there probably over a half hour. There were around 21 paintings dated from 1864 to 1900. It was a very moving experience. I almost cried but was afraid to bother the other people around me. Here is two of the painting I saw at the Gallery.

This one is titled “Fisherman’s Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville” 1882 oil on canvas.

This one is titled “Grainstack (Sunset)” 1891 oil on canvas.

I love his work not only because most of it is with flowers and gardens but because of how he use’s the light to capture the moment.

There was a giftshop outside the Gallery. I picked up the book on the work shown in the Bellagio Gallery and also found this amazing book.

Japanese Prints by Gabriele Fahr-Becker
I am so in love with this style of prints. I love the muted colors, and yet so much detail. I could stare at these prints for long periods of time and still find something that I did not notice before. One day I plan to make a quilt using fabric to depict a print like some of the Japanese artwork I have seen. Maybe in 20 years when I become older and wiser I will be able to master such a thing.

The Shopping

Finally the shopping. Here is a photo I got off the Casers website of the Forum Shops.

Casers shops was right next door to the Bellagio. Lucky Lucky Girl! When hubby took a nap during the day I ran over to the shops. I had been saving money for this trip for several months just to go shopping. I am getting excited just thinking about it.
Anyway here are some of my great finds.
Of course the first place I ran to was Anthropologie. My favorite store.

I found this great crocheted necklace/belt. I found this in the clearance room for only $14. I know what you are thinking I probably could have made something like this. But not for that price if I had to buy all the different colored yarn plus there is little jeweled beads glued into the center of each flower. Also I have not crocheted in years.

I found these earrings. I love the colors. They are kind of heavy but they look awesome on.

I also picked up two skirts. One in the clearance room and one off the rack. I could not find a picture of them on the website.

I went into the Coach store and treated myself to an overpriced wallet.

I really like this line they have come out with for the season. I am saving up for a bag to match. I am hoping it will be at the outlets by the end of summer for a price break.

Great Weekend

Well overall it was a wonderful weekend. The only thing I would change is probably to book the shows earlier. Both shows were after 10pm and we are both morning people. It was kind of late for us. You might be wondering if I gambled at all. I didn’t. Hubby did a couple of times and as fast as his money went away I was not in any hurry to throw my shopping funds away. I love Las Vegas for the Restaurants and the Shows. It is like NY for me but with warmer weather.

When we got home we noticed that one of the wild rabbits got very comfy in our back yard. Here he is a couple feet from the back door.

Here is Cosmo a little perturbed and looking at the bunny in his back yard. Cosmo being house bound was unable to handle the situation himself. He did however grin and whisper to the bunny “wait till my sisters Brandy & Haley come home and run you off the property”

I can report that is exactly what happened. The moment we brought the girls home. They spent most of their first day home sniffing the back yard trying to find another bunny to chase.

Was this post long enough or What? Hope you enjoyed it.