Work Week

Ever have one of those days where you are working around the clock to keep up with a schedule to the minute? How about two weeks of non stop working around the clock?

That’s what’s going on in Casa de AJ.

  • I started school last Tuesday. I am still on the waitlist for my Western Civilization history class. (It’s a very long story. I won’t bore you with the details.) But I am enjoying my classes. It’s a lot more work than I ever remembered. Then again it’s been six years since my last graduation.
  • I also restarted my sewing classes last week. My machine and I don’t have much of a love affair right now. I’m currently working on a turquoise mini tunic dress. I’m hoping I’ll have it finished tomorrow. And then it’s on to Scout’s Easter dress.
  • I am sticking with my gym work outs. Since last month I’ve lost about 10 pounds. I have to say that I feel so much better now that I’m eating better. I’m still sore with the work outs but I really enjoy it. (How many people can say that?)  Plus I can go swimming in a pool that’s actually heated. (Our apartment building boasts a heated pool but Shawn and I joke that the pool is actually “solar heated”.)
  • Slowly, but surely, I’ve been working on my embroidery. Nothing to show you right now though.
  • I finished reading Wicked and Someone Knows My Name. I’m currently reading The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
  • I’d like to say that I was actually knitting but my Minimalist Cardigan has been sitting by the wayside. I am working on the sleeves. Slowly. And my Ravelympics projects? Well, I have the yarn. Now if I could find the time.

{Sundara Fingering Cashmere Merino in “Sardinia”.}

Just Another Manic Monday

Rogue and I took a nice little walk this morning. The sky was blue, the wind was at a minimal, and you could actually hear some birds twittering among themselves in the trees up above. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love dark and dreary days. But this morning was a nice change of pace. I attribute feeling better, physically, to it as well.

I have been keeping busy today

  • Laundry, both washing and folding
  • Dishes, still drying in the dishwasher
  • Picking up toys (they are never ending)
  • Making banana bread
  • Writing the meal plan for the week (tonight is Chicken Parmigiano Strips with Spaghetti Marinara)
  • Organizing various projects
  • Organizing the closets

I should be working on my love notes card for Shawn, for Valentine’s Day. I need to do some 1/8″ stitching around the envelope before I can embroider the card.

I should also be doing some embroidery after investing in a hand painted canvas on supplies. I decided to delve into the world of embroidery on my second visit to Queen Anne’s Stitches. It was a perfect activity while the rain poured on and on in the afternoon. Of course, I saw this and just had to join.

I should be working on my Minimalist Cardigan considering the Ravelympics start on the 12th and I really don’t want to start a second sweater without finishing the first one. I guess we’ll see what happens in the next few days. I am in three groups for the Ravelympics. What was I thinking?

I should be going to the gym. Right now. I finally joined a gym and need to go check it out so I know where everything is and to get a class schedule. I did very well last month with our new healthy living. Until I got food poisoning. I know that whatever weight I lost in January I gained right back this past week. So I need to get some exercise to help shed those pesky cottage cheese thighs.

I should also be very pleased with myself because my Littlest Pet Shop Special Edition Platypus came in the mail the other day. But you have to see what I had to buy to get the Platypus because she’s just so damn cute:

I should also try to calm myself down. All weekend I’ve been up in the air. Flitting about from one thing to the next. You see, school starts tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow. My schedule?

  • 8-9:20 History 102: Western Civilization
  • 9:30-10:50 Political Science 1
  • 11:10-12:30 Sociology 200: Women’s Studies

My days are just getting busier and busier and I don’t know where to find the time to do all the things I should be doing. How does one do it?

Loss For Words

The past couple of days I’ve been at a loss for words. I’ve been waking up with these hideous headaches and absolutely no motivation to do anything. Of course, the dishes get washed and the laundry gets folded. But for the most part the wonderful wet rain has gotten me in a lazy mood.

It takes a little bit longer to wake up in the morning. I lay in bed, under cover, and listen to the drip, drip, drip of the rain as it hits the puddles outside our bedroom window.

I find that my afternoons have been filled with warming up in an oversized blanket and laying around the couch. I’ve even been known to fall asleep with Scout laying in my arms. Her light snoring is like a metronome. Spellbinding. Rythmic.

In the evenings I tend to come to life. It’s dinner time and the household is on edge. What will it be tonight? Chicken Parmigiano Strips with Spaghetti. Brown Butter and Balsamic Tortellini. Or maybe some Navy Bean Soup. It all depends.

And then for no known reason I’m off to bed at 8:30. I get back under cover and flick on the table lamp and I begin reading. Right now it’s Daphne. I slowly fall asleep thinking of Morgan and Luna, characters in a short story that I’ve been formulating.

Next thing I know it’s morning all over again.

But with this laziness comes a bit of a hidden depression. Maybe because the rain inhibits me from getting all the things done that I need to do. Like walk Rogue. She’s completely and utterly afraid of falling water. Or getting to the library to pick up some books for Scout (we read two to three at nap time and I’d completely ran out for three days straight). Or even getting to the grocery store because I completely forgot to buy some flat parsley.

Whatever it is I believe Shawn saw through it. So he treated me to a drive in the rain and I small shopping spree at the not so local LYS.

I’d decided to get some yarn for the Cedar Leaf Shawlette that I fell in love with. I mean, look at those little leaves!

{Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend}

I’d also perused the shop to see if there was anything I could do about substituting yarn for the Sabbatical Cardigan in this issue of Twist Collective. I didn’t quite find what I was looking for so I’m going to keep searching until I find the most perfect yarn for this gorgeous sweater. So instead, I decided on just one more skein of SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock because…well, because. I also snuck in a copy of the new KnitScene and the new Debbie Bliss Magazine because…well, again, because.

{SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock in Mist}

And just to prove to you that I haven’t been completely lazy, I have been using my sewing machine.

You’ll just have to wait to see what this is all about.

Til then: Stay Dry and Stay Warm.

Party On

I can’t believe it’s been one year since the last party at Unwind.This year I was invited to the “preview” party and I have to say that we had so. much. fun!

Jem and I had dinner together at Porto’s Bakery. As always it was delicious. I had a Medianoche Sandwich (slow roasted pork, ham, swiss, butter and relish on homemade bread) and an Apple Turnover. I swear that their turnover pastry has the flakiest crust I’ve ever had. It was soooo good.

The we walked down Hollywood Way with a quick detour to the sports card shop and threw the shopkeeper a measly bit of business. Slowly we walked down the street peeking through the windows of other shops. There’s a pet shop I’ve never noticed and a Jelly Bean Factory!

I can only inundate you all with some fiberlicious pictures in the end. The party was a great success but photo ops were limited by all the human traffic in the shop. I had a great time chatting it up with Kelly and Dawn from Namaste. They make it difficult to not purchase new swag. Their bags are awesome. I am still in ♥ with my peacock Malibu that I got from them last year. I also met someone I had swapped with a few years back when I was hosting the “Sock It To Me” sock swaps. Totally neat! I got some very nice compliments on my “Stella” beret (which I realized I never showed you):

And then I stocked up on yarn. Because you know I really needed to.

No, really.

My first sweater of 2010 is going to be “Elsewhere” by Amy Swenson. So I just had to buy some Manos del Uruguay Rittenhouse Merino. I bought every hank in this colorway:

And then I realized I would need some new sock yarn because they just stocked up on Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock. I knew that if I didn’t grab it now I’d be waiting a while to get my hands on it again. I am in ♥ with Riptide:

I also grabbed a skein of her Merino Silk Aran in Espresso so I could finish up my “Snapdragon Tam” by Ysolda Teague.

I hope that Ravelry, Manos del Uruguay, Namaste and all the other sponsors will come back to Southern California next year for their third year! The party was just a lot of fun. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a good, yarny, fun time now that our LYS’ have closed their doors.

So now I’m off to go pet my yarn. Ooops. My dog. I meant my dog. {Insert sneaky chuckle.}

The. End.

Technically the end is tomorrow, but this will be my farewell to 2009 post. I wish that I could come up with this profound post that will put good thoughts in your heads and your hearts.

The truth is that life has been somewhat lackluster and dull here. No really. The most drama we’ve had here is having to deal with snot nosed teenagers and irresponsible dog owners. That and a cold from hell. I’ve been off balance with a headache, my jaw is tightened up by my TMJ, I have sneezing fits that make my throat sore…

You get the idea.

I’d like to say that the end of the year was wrapped up nice and neat like a gift under the Christmas tree, but the past week has been nothing more than a readjustment to being depressed, ill, and isolated with two children who are always bored.

But there has been good. Honestly.

Like the yummalicious yarn that I received from Sundara. (Even though I need to admit there has been little to no knitting lately. I seem to be on a self imposed break.)

Rogue has been getting bigger and healthier. She knows her “sit” and “stay” commands now. And she still likes to nibble.

And of course, I have plans for 2010. I don’t want to call them Resolutions, as the tradition would go. They are plans. Real plans.

  • I have joined the NaKniSweMoDo group on Ravelry. I plan on having twelve brand new sweaters this year. All handknit for me. (And one for Shawn.)
  • I am participating in round two of the 52 Books in 52 Weeks group on Ravelry. I was only able to crank out forty one books this year (my goal was forty eight). In 2010 my plan is to crank out forty five books. I’ll be starting with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
  • I will be starting the Spring semester at College of the Canyons in February.
  • I plan on making me and Shawn a quilt. For us. Only us.
  • I plan on going to the 2010 Ravelry party at Unwind in January. (Last years party was awesome so I can only assume it will be even more so now that Namaste, Kristin Porter and the girls from Manos del Uruguay will be there.)
  • I plan on buying a bike. And using it.
  • I plan on customizing my first Blythe. Linkin and Celeste will stay stock, but Bailey is getting a full makeover.
  • I am going to start taking sewing classes again, hopefully starting in February.

So while so things are coming to an end, some things are going to be a new beginning. And even though the rest of my day is only going to consist of “Golden Girl” reruns, Campbell’s Bean and Bacon soup with some Saltines and finishing up “The Abstinence Teacher”, I can’t imagine a better way to end the year.

I hope to see you all here next year!

Til then, party one!

In Real Life

In real life there are no commercial breaks or retakes. The most break time I get is when Scout might take a nap or when I’m reading into the wee hours of the night because the Ambien hasn’t kicked in yet.

In real life relationships are quite complicated. They are not the fairy tale stories of Disney where there’s always a happy ending. Relationships take a lot of work, effort and time. Sometimes they flourish into a loving marriage. Other times they are destroyed by the alcohol that one is addicted to.

In real life there are endless hours of being on the phone, making appointments, dropping off library books, football practice, laundry, taking the dog for a walk, grabbing the mail, going to the grocery store, and on, and on, and on.

In real life there are those rare moments. Late at night the rain is still dripping from the palm tree fronds onto the puddles that have pooled outside our bedroom window. I trace Scout’s shadow and tell her how very much I love her. I tell her how things will be ok. I tell her that I will always be there for her. I even talk to Dalton. Some nights I find myself petting the bed where he used to lay in the crook of my arm purring ever so gently to rock me back to sleep.

Yes, there are those moments when life ceases to exsist if only for a moment and I can just be. There are accomplishments, heartbreaks, bouts of laughter, shaking my hips to imaginary music, dreams, inspirations. A plethora.

I think of all of these things as I watch Scout twirl around in her big girl birthday dress, pressed and pleated.

I think of these things as I carefully make the stitches that bring a present together, something I hope the kids will enjoy unwrapping on Christmas morning.

I think of all of these things when I pet Rogue and realize she’s gotten so big in the past three weeks that we’ve had to adjust her collar one notch and start walking her with a choke chain.

It’s in everything I do.


Like everyone else in the country that is battling this H1N1 swine flu epidemic I have finally succumbed. There’s been snotty noses, vomitting, Kleenex balls, Halls cough drops (citrus flavored only), sneezing fits, hacking up a lung type coughing…

Shawn and I cut our night short yesterday. Instead of dinner we did lunch that I thoroughly was delighted with. We don’t go out to dinner, at least not just the two of us. The best we can do for the four of us is Souplantation. But instead we went to one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Buca di Beppo.  And then we spent some time at the R/C racetrack where Shawn races his truck. I fell asleep in the car, the iPod still in my mittened hans.

So instead of bowling we ordered a pizza (and a Cinnapie) from Papa John’s and spent the rest of the night home. We watched movies under a blanket and ate the pizza right from the box. All of that seemed fine.

Until it hit me.

I’ve slept most of the day. The other part of the day has been spent wrapped up in my King size microfleece blanket, sitting as comfortably as possible, watching “Perry Mason” movies, and trying to focus on the little tweedy stitches of a new yarn (and a new pattern).

And that’s all she wrote.

As for the giveaway the winner is: Raina. And just because I decided to give out another owl. The second winner is: Abby! Will both of you please email me at iknit (dot) ipurl (at) yahoo (dot) com. I need your mailing addresses and your color preference. Thanks for playing along everyone!

One Weekend

In one weekend you can…

…go to the park twice.

…decorate the house with paper garlands and glittered snowflakes.

…organize my stash of felt.

…go out to eat at one of our favorite burger joints.

…tickle each other and make funny faces.


…finish one book and start a new one.

…clean out my wardrobe.

…put up 150 Christmas lights.

…watch the kids make a creative mess.


…fall asleep to the sounds of the gusting winds.

…go out to dinner with the family.

…knit 5 repeats on a blanket that will be cherished forever.

…try a new recipe with a new twist.
Balsamic Chicken

In one weekend you can just be.


There’s something about waking up at six in the morning.

There’s something about letting my hair go curly today.

There’s something about the mottled white clouds in a tern gray sky.

There’s somethingabout the scalding hot water while washing last night’s dishes.

There’s something about Scout’s laugh when she’s watching “Snoopy”.

There’s something about folding the laundry, piece by piece.

There’s something about catching a glance at the fresh flowers Shawn brought home.

There’s something about the way Scout turns a stuffed white bunny into a “kitty cat”.

There’s something about reading a book that just won’t end.

There’s something about simplicity.

There’s something about making a gift for a loved one.

There’s always something.