Sunday, September 25, 2011

Here I go again...

 All I can say is wow.  Where have I been?   What have I been doing?  Where does the time go? To be honest I don't really know.  Life seems to be so hectic and at the same time dull.  I have no real reason or explanation of my whereabouts.  That is a little disturbing to me and sad at the same time.  I love my blog and I love to write on this silly little thing.  I don't know if any one really gets anything from it, but I do enjoy it so.  Seems lately though that a lot of things that I love have been pushed away and left to sit and wait.  Again, I really don't know why.  So much has happened that I haven't told you about and then when I think about it all nothing really happened or changed.  I just knew a few months back when I made the grand announcement that I was back I would feel better about things (don't really know what things) and the funk I was in was on its way out the door.  Unfortunately the funk seemed to have latched on tighter, not wanting to leave and burrowed itself in way deep. 

Recently I have been thinking (scary I know) about a lot of things, really big picture kind of things.  Maybe this is a sign of my age, the condition of world, my faith walk, or just wanting/needing to make a difference.  Not sure about any of that but I do know it's time for me to be back here and I want to be back. 

If there is anyone out there who reads this or checks in from time to time I want to tell you how much I appreciate it.  I know how precious time is and I thank you for sharing yours with me. 

So with all of that crazy talk and things said  I will again announce that I am back.  I really am this time.  Check in on me again and hold me to it.   I need to be accountable for what I've told you - make me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm still here.....

I never really went away.  I guess I've been on a break.  I hope you all haven't given up on me.  The slump hit hard and there may still be some of it lingering about but I am going to push through.  I am sitting here at work, hating the piles of files on my desk and dreading to do anything.  That's not good.  Work is just wearing me down. It will get better, I know it will, it has to.  I am so thankful to have a job.  (I am blogging during my break time.)  I have missed you all so much.  What can I tell you about?  It seems like so much has happened, but then it seems like things are normal as usual.  Easter was wonderful, Mothers Day was great, I had another birthday,  my kids are great, grandbaby is awesome and life in general is good. I'm still not crafting much.  I think I'm looking for something new to try.  I don't know what it will be but when I find it look out.  I do need to work on a couple of prayer shawls for graduates and a couple of baby gifts.  That might be what I need to get me kick started.  

So enough about work and the slump and whine, whine, whine.  Here is the newest addition to our home.

Hubby finished the keezer.   Isn't it gorgeous!  I can't imagine the hours he has put into building this masterpiece.  Lots of late nights in the garage.  Yes, hubby has skills!  I love the cherry wood he made the cabinet from.  The color is so nice.  I love the 4 kegs of home brew it holds too. :-)  Yes, this sits in my dining room and is probably the nicest piece of "furniture" we have.  It really is nice.  Hubby still has a couple of things to do to it before he considers it complete.   I will show you an updated picture when he gets that done.   

Thanks for waiting out the slump with me and checking in.  It means alot.   

Monday, April 4, 2011

For Doris

Just Enough Light
By Stormie O’Martian

Sometimes only the step I’m on,
or the very next one ahead,
is all that is illuminated for me.

God gives just the amount of light I need
for the exact moment I need it.

At those times I walk in surrender to faith,
unable to see the future
and not fully comprehending the past.

And because it is God who has given me
what light I have,
I know I must reject fear and doubt
that threatens to overtake me.

I must determine to be content where I am,
and allow God to get me where I need to go.

I walk forward,
one step at a time,
fully trusting that the light God sheds
is absolutely sufficient.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tulips and The Slump

Happy Spring!  I made this pot of Blow Pop tulips for the staff of Little Girl's school recently.  I thought it would be a nice surprise and a way to say thank you for all they do.  It was a hit.  I thought you might enjoy seeing the one and only creative thing I've done in a long time.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  I guess I'm in a slump.  If you are a crafter I think you would understand.  Sometimes the creative juices just aren't flowing or seem like they have completely dried up.  I think that is where I am right now.  I'm not worried though, something somewhere will catch my eye and I will be inspired to the point of being obsessed and that is all I will talk about and do until something else grabs my attention.  I do have this one little idea that has been tumbling around in my brain for a while.  It seems to roll around more often lately so I may be creating something new soon.  No promises, but I might. 

I think this creative slump is also why the blog has been neglected over the past few weeks.  The slump and work are probably to blame.  The atmosphere at work has been very intense lately with mountains of work to do.  To be honest, after spending all day on the computer at work I don't even want to look at one when I get home.  I realized recently that I haven't even been checking home emails.  I do sneak a peek at the blogs I follow on my lunch break, just so I don't miss out on anything, but that's about it.  I know and you know this is just part of a cycle and things will get back around to "normal".  Until then I hope you will bear with me and keep checking in on me.  I will try harder.  I do have some things to blog about - seems like it is mostly beer stuff, but that's okay too. 

Thanks for hanging out with me and I appreciate you checking in!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Southern Hockey

John Deere Zamboni - it's a southern thang.

We were fortunate enough this week to score some free tickets to a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game.  Thank goodness for good friends who think of us often.  We had a blast.   Of course we always have a good time when we get to go to a game - win or lose.  We lost in overtime - pooh.   I would love to be lucky enough to get to ride on the Zamboni and do my best parade wave.  Wouldn't that be fun?

We've had a busy week.  Monday night we went to our weekly trivia game, I have to tell you about that sometime.  Tuesday I went shopping with my little girl, it was fun but exhausting.  Wednesday night we went to the hockey game - GO CANES!  Thursday we had to run some errands after work and last night I had to catch up on my house work.  Today we will be going to a home brew competition and see how well Hubby's brews manage.  It will be exciting and fun with a little anxiety in the mix.  I'll let you know how he does. 

The weather is suppose to nice here this weekend.  I hope it is in your little part of the world.
Enjoy your Saturday. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Brewmasters Bar and Grill

Oak City Flight -
Lonerider Dead Eye Jack, Big Boss Bad Penny,
Roth Raleigh Red and Carolina Pale Ale.

 Good food!

 Sweet potato beer - unique
 Irish Cream Ale - yum

That rowdy bunch from Roth Brewing!

Friday night Hubby and I decided to treat ourselves and went to the new Brewmasters Bar and Grill in downtown Raleigh.  Love it!!!  This is the place to be if you enjoy beer - real beer - not yellow water.  They do have some of that yellow water stuff but if you like beer, are a homebrewer, enjoy good food and good folks this is the place.  It was crazy Friday night.  Our friend Mark from American Brewmaster (the brew shop) has stake in this place and has worked hard to make it awesome.  We think it is going to be the next big thing.  This place is like 5 minutes from where I work and I can see it being a pit stop on Friday nights before heading home.

We enjoyed beers from several Raleigh breweries and then some that we haven't heard of before.  They have 66 beers on tap - crazy choices.  The atmosphere was great.  There were some local breweries there giving samples of their beers including one of my favorites - Roth.  Oh how I love those boys!  Fullsteam and Big Boss were also in the house and have some great beers.  It really was fun and we even ran into some of Hubby's brew buddies.  A great time was had by all. 
Treat yourself and enjoy a good beer this weekend.  It will make you smile.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Yalentine Day!

Yes, I said Yalentine - with a "Y".
 Look real close and you'll see.  
Happy Yalentine Day! 
This little bear was won playing the claw game.  You know the game that you put 50 cents into the machine and maneuver this huge claw thing around and try to pick up a prize.  Imagine how lucky the winner felt when she realized she had won a Yalentine bear on Valentine's day - or maybe not.  We assumed it was a reject in a foreign factory somewhere in a land far far away that got dumped into a box meant to be trashed.  Then we thought it could have been a special production run for Yale University - but that just seems silly.  It could be that "V" translates as "Y" in some foreign, possibly exotic, language.  Maybe it could be something as simple as a typo.  I did check the keyboard and only "G" seems to separate the two.  Who knows!  It doesn't really matter anyway because this little misfit bear has earned his keep.  He has made more folks smile and laugh than he ever would have if he were just a simple Valentine bear. 

Hope you and yours had a very special Yalentine Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oh Sir Walter Wally

I decided to take a walk downtown during lunch today to check out the big Groundhog Day celebration.  We have our own version of Punxsutawney Phil known as Sir Walter Wally.   It was a big deal and there was a huge crowd.  I had to push some little kids out of the way to get a better view (not really, but I thought about it).  I took a couple of pictures with my cheap little phone just so you could get an idea of what it was like.  Sorry the photography isn't that great, but you get the idea, right?  Can you see Wally there being held up in the air? 

The crowd was getting a little anxious because we had to wait until high noon for Wally to strut about and check for his shadow.  We waited patiently as groundhog poems were read, the history of groundhog day was explained, we learned about groundhog life and there was even a groundhog song!  Good grief!  I just needed to know if he was going to see his shadow because I'm getting kind of tired of winter.  (I really should be ashamed to say that because we had one of our crazy 70 degree days again today.)    Anyway he finally got to come out and do whatever it is he does and then we were told that Sir Walter Wally saw his stinking shadow!!!  Nooooo!  Oh Sir Walter Wally how could you do this to us - six more weeks of winter?!?!  The crowd booed.  I left disappointed.
(Poor Wally hiding his face from the crowd.)

I heard that Punxsutawney Phil predicted the complete opposite but he had to be dug out of a blizzard to make his prediction.  Supposedly Sir Walter Wally has a accuracy rating of 70%.  That's pretty darn good for a groundhog, but I hope he's wrong this time. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brewing with Ants and Flowers

This past Sunday was one of those special days we get in the dead of winter in NC. We reached over 70 degrees and it was amazing! We have had one of the coldest winters on record and it has not been pleasant. To have temperatures in the 70's was a wonderful treat but also a mean tease. Of course it is cold again. That one day of bliss is almost like a dream now. Oh how I long for spring.  Of course with weather like that we had to have a brew day.  What a great day to sit in the driveway enjoying the sun, brewing, and partaking of a few of Hubby's home made specialities.  My sis came over and sat in the driveway with us.  What a great day! 

You know I usually take advantage of our brew time and knit or crochet a little something while sitting in driveway.  Above is a little flower scrubby I made while supervising brewing.  I've seen things like this in the past and thought I would give it a try.  It was quick and simple and I made it up as I went.   I really like the way it turned out.  It will be perfect for dishes.   Just another thing to add to my great day.

Sitting in the sun, brewing, crocheting, enjoying  family and a good beer - what could possibly mess this up?

I absolutely hate fire ants.  We had a terrible time with them this past summer.  We were hoping the crazy cold weather we have been having would be enough to do them all in.  Guess we were wrong.  We spotted these devils scurrying on their mounds Sunday while it was so warm.  I got as close as I could stand to the mounds to take these pictures.  If you've ever been bitten by a fire ant you don't want to again.  It is ugly.  I guess the warm weather we had Sunday got them excited and they decided to come to the surface and warm themselves.  I cannot imagine how many thousands of these evil little ants live in these mounds.  These pictures are of two separate mounds close to the house.  We have another nest right by the front door that was fully active also.  There are several more mounds scattered throughout our lot.  Hubby worked on getting rid of them Sunday.   I can only hope he was successful.

We did enjoy our Sunday, ants and all.   I hope there will be more nice days like that in the NEAR future. I guess we'll just have to see what the ground hog tells us tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday Night Beer Review - Lizard Style

It has been way too long since I've done a Friday Night Beer Review -so here we go.   This is not a retail beer but - yep - you guessed it - a home brew!  This is one of the Lizard Lick Brewhaus' specialties. This is an attempt to clone a beer we tried at one of our favorite breweries - Roth Brewery - love those boys!  They make an amazing Cinnamon Porter (along with some other delicious beers) that I cannot get enough of.  We tried this beer when they hosted the Piedmont Brewers Cup a while back and I fell in love with it.  We even went back one night for this beer and the place is 34 miles, one way,  from home.  That's a long way to go for a beer, but so worth it!  I have worried my personal brew master (Hubby) to pieces to make us a cinnamon porter and I must say for a first try he did pretty darn good. I guess that is why we have to refer to him as "Award Winning Brew Master"!  This is a great warming beer.  It is dark and rich and has just a hint of spice on the back side.  I am very pleased with Hubby's version and know that it will be one that he will have to make over and over.  

What do you think about the pint glasses that Hubby got for Christmas?  It was a bit of work but we pulled it off and surprised him.  Every brewer needs pint glasses with his brewery logo! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Roses and Toes

This week Little Girl celebrated her Sweet 16!  Can you believe it!  I tell you time really flies.  It wasn't that long ago she was just a baby (she always will be to me).  She got her licenses on her birthday and I have cried every time she has left the house to drive on her own.  I don't know why really.  I think maybe reality is sinking in that the baby in the family is growing up and will be flying from the nest before we know it.  

We had a great celebration and made the day as awesome as it should be.  Little Girl commented that things were "marvelous".    Above are the orange roses her big sis got for her.  Little Girl loves the color orange.  We had a great family dinner and we all tried Sushi.  That was a really big deal but lots of fun.

Me and the girls decided we would have a special "girl time" and the three of us went to get pedicures today.  Earlier in the week when we talked about it we were discussing what color we would each have our nails polished.  I told Little Girl in honor of her birthday I would let her choose the color for my nails.  Big Girl said I was crazy.  Little Girl got her nails french, Big Girl got a beautiful shade of pink called "Cajun Shrimp". 
Guess what I got.......

Yep  - ORANGE (with glitter). 

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Wrap

The Good, the Ugly and the Bad Wrap

I don't think it is any of those things, but that is what my dear Hubby named it because of the style and colors.  He says it reminds him of the poncho Clint Eastwood wore in the movie.  He even whistles the theme song when he sees me in it.  I do love him.  And I love Clint Eastwood too - he is still good looking even after all these years.   
This is the wrap I started working on last week during our ice mess.  I really like the colors and the weight of it. I decided to add a couple of buttons to the front so I could close it and let it just hang. I really do like it. It is different and unique and it is mine. I was telling my Auntie J about it the other day and she was surprised I was knitting something for myself. I don't think knitters do that often. We get so much satisfaction from knitting for others. Any way I do like it and wore it out last night and plan to wear it again today.  I can't wait to wear it to work to see what some of my knitting buds think.  I know it is different, you don't have to be shy in telling me that, but I would like to know what you think. 

Remember the hat I knitted a few weeks back?  You know The Midnight Suns Hat pattern that my friend Kathy Rollins designed - it is on KnitPicks.  She is so excited and I am for her!  Go check it out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Icy Day for Knitting

Well the great NC weather that I am always talking about has struck again.  Last night we got a good coating of sleet and freezing rain at our house.  There is a thin sheet of ice on everything.  This is the back deck at 12:45 this afternoon.  It's not going to warm up too much today so the ice will be here for a while.  When we have this kind of weather I learned a long, long time ago to stay home.  If you wreck enough cars and climb out of ditches enough you eventually quit trying to make it in to the job on days like this.  Sometimes it's just not worth it. 

I made sure to put out plenty of bird food before the weather got bad.  It has been interesting watching the birds slide across the deck railing.  Poor things.  They are very persistant.  I wish I had pictures.

I started a knitting project last night in anticipation of a knitting day today.  I went through my stash and found some yarns that I thought would knit up quick.  I have been wanting a wrap/shawl to have at work for those days it is freezing in my office (which is often).  I really like these colors and thought I would just knit a simple basic shawl. You know one of those knitting projects that is nothing fancy, kind of mindless, but productive.  This is what little I got done last night.  I am planning on sitting down with it in just a little bit to see how far I get.  I'll let you know how it progresses.

I hope you are warm and snuggly and enjoying all that winter has to offer.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year - Happy Blogiversary (is that a word?)

December 31, 2010

January 1, 2011
Happy New Year!

Yes I'm eating a bowl of blackeye peas while I blog.  All good southerners know you have to have blackeye peas, collard greens and pork on New Year's day for good luck.  The peas are done, collards are on the stove and the pork loin is on the grill.  I will fry some cornbread to go with it all for supper tonight -can't wait - one of my favorite meals!

Well I told you I would update you on all I had accomplished on my week off.  I did finish my knitting project - love it! Pictures are below.  I did a little cleaning (should have done more), watched a bunch of movies, watched the Wolfpack play and win the Champs Bowl - GO WOLFPACK, ate way too much and talked on the phone to family and friends.  Oh, almost forgot - drank some beer.   Pretty much a good week!  Not exactly what I had intended, but good anyway.

A friend of mine, Katherine Rollins, asked me to test a knit pattern she has written, "Midnight Suns". It will be available on KnitPicks soon so keep an eye out for it.  This was my first try at knitting from a chart.  I will admit I was a little intimidated but it was simple.  The pattern is awesome and makes a great looking hat.  Katherine has designed several patterns that are great!  I am glad I get to share this with you all. 

 I can't believe it has been a year already that I began this crazy blogging adventure.  I read my first post last night and laughed, yes I'm still crazy!  Thank you to all of you who read and check in on me from time to time.  I hope you will continue.  It means a lot that you are interested in seeing what goes on in my small part of the world.  I wish you all a prosperous and crazy happy new year.  May it be filled with love and happiness for us all.