Friday, February 28, 2014


Hopefully the first of many long conversations...

Joining Mamabyrd in her weekly "Impressions" post.  Feel free to add your own, here, or there.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Warm Weather Sweater


     I've been asking around about a knitting club, guild, anything that will bring me in contact with people who love yarn as much as I do.  I'm relatively new to this hobby myself, but I desperately miss the chatting, the admiring, the "oohing" and "ahhing" over someone's new project, and yes, even the gossip, that happens during the knitting nights in our previous city.  I miss the trouble shooting and the helpful hints shared, but mostly I miss the friendship of a community of women interested in the same thing.  I really hadn't touched my needles in a while because, as someone told me, "there's really no need to knit when it doesn't get cold".  
     Well, this "winter" proved to be one of the coldest on record in the South and I decided to stop making excuses.  I needed a sweater that would take us through a visit to Utah in the Spring and hopefully still fit if it gets cold-ish here in the fall.  I stumbled upon this pattern from Ravelry.  I scored some Superwash Merino Cashmere at Tuesday Morning for a steal.   It's Lion Brand.  The color is Limoncello.  I couldn't be more pleased with the result.

 Adorable, runny nose and all

      There are supposed to be three buttons, and there will be, eventually.  I have enough yarn to make it a tad longer if I decide to and I can add the buttons then, but I really liked this metal white one with the sweater and I only had one.  It's just the right degree of warmness when it rarely drops below 40.  I have big plans for this sweater.  Maybe one in a dusty pink for my Sadie, and a gift for a dear friend in a new state with the same weather conditions. The best part about this sweater is that it caused two people to stop me at church and ask if I knit.  I thought I had exhausted all my options of forming a group, but it looks like there might be knitters in Alabama after all.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's a Girl Thing

     Proof that the braid existed!  It didn't stay in long, in fact, I don't think it lasted through Sacrament Meeting, but it was there.  I play with her hair any chance I get just to get her used to me touching it.  For now,  it's enough knowing she happily let me do it, with a bow and everything!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Going once, going twice, SOLD...

      I braved the crowds yesterday to attend the Library Auction Sale.  They're tearing it down on Wednesday and I had my eye on a few things.  We got our number and the bidding commenced.  It was my first auction experience and I was full of nervous energy.  Part of me was actually worried that I would accidentally bid on something I didn't want. Alan desperately wanted to hold the number, but we had been warned several times that all bids counted, even mistakes, so I held tight to #65.

     My nemesis, the Lady in the pink sweatshirt.  She out bid me on everything,  She's a dealer and I just couldn't compete with her seemingly unlimited funds and tax exempt status.

The orange stools I desperately wanted for the boys dual desk we are planning on building.  When Pinky snagged them I almost cried.

The chairs I ended up getting for significantly less money when I was out bid on the orange beauties.  Not nearly as cool, but vintage and fun in their own way.

     The wooden card catalog that sold for more than the "buy as is" price of $350 the day before.  That's the trouble with auctions, maybe you'll get a bargain and maybe you won't.

    My treasures from the  Friday pre-sale...

Them - "The clock on the wall, Ma'm, you want to buy the clock on the wall!?"
Me - "Um, yes please, but only if it's $5"

     A new computer desk, so desperately needed at our house.  The sweet little drawer even had three new typewriter ribbons in it...BONUS!

Knobs and buttons, clunky and boxy.  Not at all sleek and modern, but look at the detail of the heat lamp's pedestal, beautiful.

     I have been looking for one of these everywhere.  An OLD tape player with a record button and a place to plug in earphones, and a variable speed control (we always called it the "chipmunk switch").  I wanted one for Christmas for the boys to listen to all our tapes with, but they have a hefty price tag on e-bay.  Imagine my glee when I found TWO sitting in the "throw away" pile.  Happy Dance!

     Two drawers from an old wooden card catalog.  Probably the closest I'll ever come to owning a full one.   So glad these two loners were available.

     Upon entering the Library Friday, I was immediately disappointed when I saw that an antique's dealer had been called in to manage the sale.  My heart sunk when I saw the quirky yellow Eames Chairs marked at $150 each and the antique drop-leaf dining table for over $200.  I quickly turned towards the books thinking they would be more in my price range.  On my way to the children's section I passed the "store room".  The door was open and the lights were on and the sign out front said "everything for sale" so I took them at their word and snagged the TWO wooden ladders, a forgotten bookcase, the turquoise wheelbarrow, the radio,  and the heat lamp.  Nothing was priced, so I was able to do some bargaining. They quickly wanted to know where I had found my stash and when I showed them the store room the dealer laughed and said if I was brave enough to dig through the storage closet he would give me the bargain I was asking for.  Lesson learned...go for the dirty, junky stuff everyone overlooks and you'll score every time.  Won't that wheelbarrow be so adorable with blankets and soft toys stacked in it in Sadie's room?

     The art prints are Untitled by Winslow Homer.   They remind me of El Salvador and the beach we've grown so fond of here.  They were a matched set of four, but I left the other two pricier ones behind with my finger's crossed they'd still be there at auction.  Later the same day I was talking with the YW's Pres. from our ward and she told me about some "great beach prints" she scored at the Library sale.  We had a good laugh when we realized we have mutual taste.

     The Seth Thomas clock again. I just can't get enough of it's lovely face.  I actually went back and took the second one down from the wall just as I heard someone ask if there were any more "old school clocks".  We're going to be keeping time in style around here.

    I'll leave you with one of my favorites...This lovely poster.  This week the Library was "Bama's #1 Bargain. I don't know that it saved me time or energy, but it was a good haul.  Something I've been missing and honestly didn't think I'd find here.  Glad to know I was wrong.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Impressions: Books of a Certain Age

They built a new library. I guess these just weren't good enough.  100 book for $25.  We couldn't count fast enough.  Six hands searching through well-loved titles.  They smell delicious!

I'm joining my dear friend Mamabyrd in her beautiful weekly "Impressions" posts.  She's opening up this part of her blog to anyone who would like to participate.  Just leave a link to your blog or website in the comments.  If something in your week left an impression on you, feel free to share it here or there.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blue and Gold

     I didn't realize the Blue and gold Banquet was such a big deal.  I don't remember much from attending scouts with my brothers.  Crazy, I know, growing up with three brothers I probably should have picked up a lot more scouting knowledge than I possess.  Thank goodness for Dean.  He's already read through the Wolf handbook and has Ben well on his way to becoming a Bobcat and he's only had his uniform a week.

Hooray for uniforms, and neckerchiefs, and patches, and pocket knifes.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Everything is awesome"... when you're eight!

     Happy Birthday, Benjamin!  It's great to be eight!  Ben, the special valentine Dean and I both share.  He came into this world reluctantly on a stormy afternoon eight years ago. His reluctance has turned into a steadiness that I envy.  Of all the holidays to celebrate your special day on, this one seems to have a perfect balance of being just special enough to set you apart and make people say, "oh, a valentine's birthday", and giving everyone else the chance to feel special and celebrate too.  It fits Ben, a pleaser to the max, (unless it's his parents) making him feel special, but letting him celebrate everyone else too.  There is always added thought that goes into his class valentines and he makes sure we have a special treat for the School Valentine Party that coordinates with his birthday theme. Pretzel rod lightsabers in Kinder, last year, glazed doughnuts (rings) for The Hobbit, and this year, Lego face cupcakes.  I'm not exaggerating, he comes up with this stuff himself. 

     He refused to deviate from our standard Friday fare, so pizza it was.  Heart shaped, of course. We've tried going out, but it is impossible to take Ben to dinner., the crowds are insane and no one believes it's his birthday.  They all think we're trying to score a free dessert for V-day.

It's supposed to be a giant Lego head.  At least Ben knew what it was.

     Perhaps the ultimate gift.  A pocket knife smuggled secretly through the mail from Utah.  The very one he had begged and begged Dean for this past summer. Of course it's his favorite gift, what eight year old boy doesn't want his own pocket knife?  I believe his actual words were, "Dad, this is the best gift ever, EVER!"

Ben at eight:  
Favorite color - gold
Favorite hobby/toy - Legos, the Golden Ninja
Favorite food - chicken nuggets
Favorite books - The Hobbit and Harry Potter
When I grow up I want to be a - scientist, so I can build a shrink ray
I want to serve a mission in - Utah!...or Hawaii
Favorite birthday present - pocket knife
Best Friends - Byrdie and Henry in Ut, Tucker in Al
Favorite school subject - math and recess

     Ready to watch the Lego Movie.  Five new friends went with us to see what Ben has dubbed, "the awesomest movie ever".  He was really torn up about not having three very cherished friends from Ogden there to celebrate with him.  We're learning there can be room for new friends even though we wish we were still with the old ones.  Dean and I came away with the knowledge that the questionable behavior and quirkiness we've noticed recently in Ben is TOTALLY normal as evidenced by Ben's birthday guests and their conversations too and from the theater. He's gonna be just fine!

     As we settle into eight, I'm optimistic.  There are lot's of new responsibilities and privileges that come with eight.  An upcoming baptism and a baseball season that required a "tryout" are just some of the new exciting things for this birthday boy.  He's got a pocket knife and 364 more days of being eight, so watch out!
Everything really is AWESOME!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Birthday Sneak Peek

     When the release of the new Lego Movie coincides with your big day, your birthday party pretty much plans itself...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Upscale Resale

     Sis and I had ourselves a "girls day" today.  Well, sort-of.  It started out as a "let's go find Benjamin a suit for his Baptism" day and evolved into a girls day with two boys in tow.  The flyer came home, "Upscale Resale, from one well dressed child to another."  Thinking this might be the perfect opportunity to score a blazer for Ben's big event, I piled everyone into the car even though Dean is on-call this weekend and that usually means we stay put.

     It's held at the Houston County Farm Center and I really wish I'd remembered my camera.  It's a large metal warehouse with rows of double hung children's clothes.  Imagine an industrial version of Kid to Kid.  Mostly little girl stuff, I can't quite figure out what people do with all their boy clothes in this city?  The thrift stores here have much more girl stuff than boy stuff too.  Speaking of thrift stores, I now know why the only clothing I find there have Faded Glory labels.  Because everyone saves their stuff for this event.  A tad overpriced for my taste, and all that smocking! (I know we're in Alabama, but little girls can wear an un-smocked dress.)  But we did score some sweet additions to our Summer wardrobe.   Mostly from the shoe department.

     I have not forgotten the sweaty baby feet, and their smell, from last summer.  I'm hopeful these will take us through 2015.  Gold and white, they'll go with everything.  I'm not sure how well picked over the shoes had been.   Today was the last day and some items were marked 1/2 price.  The cashier did comment that she was glad these "well loved" shoes had found a home.  Who cares how loved they are if they're leather and less than $5!
     And, we may not have found a blazer, seriously, moms of older boys, where do you find these things for a reasonable price?, but we did purchase the only shoes for a child older than 5.  A pair of handsome brown dress shoes for Ben.  At least his feet will look nice for the baptism.

     One last thing I took away from today?  The compliments I got on sweet Sadie's outfit.  Imagine my surprise when four different women stopped me to ask where I had gotten her leggings? sweater?  "Did you find that outfit at the mall? I love it!".  I honestly didn't know what to tell them.  The only thing purchased at retail price is the zebra print tunic still in use well after it's 9 mo tag.  The sweater pants, handmade.   Personally,  I always think she looks a little haphazard.  I try to imitate the beautifully mis-matched outfits I see in the Boden catalogs, but I always feel I come up short.  Anyway, today I left feeling satisfied that maybe the "well loved" shoes we purchased won't look so "used" when they're paired with a sweet thrifted sundress and a hand knit vest I have in mind.  

Thanks, Mom

     My sweet mom still sends me a Valentine.  Even now, pushing 36, I got a Valentine from her yesterday in the mail.  It's silly, but it's bulk pizza dough from Win-CO, and it's EXACTLY what I wanted!!  Thanks, mom.  I love you bunches.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

100 Days


     I'm not sure if you can see the tears, but Alan was one grumpy old man when he headed to school for his "100 Days" celebration.  He was convinced that no one else would be dressed up and then when we arrived and he realized I was right, he was even more unhappy.  

     They both went to school in tears.  Ben, upset because his class wasn't dressing up and Alan, because his was.  Two very different boys, both equally as stubborn when they really want or don't want something.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Groundhog Predictions

    We've celebrated our Groundhog weekend with short sleeves and lots of outdoor play during a very mild weekend.  We went from 25* on Thursday to 72* by Sunday.  Needless to say the yard and garden are in desperate need of some attention, but we shirked our duty Saturday morning and went to art class instead.  The boys practiced "art made from repeating shapes" as featured in the framed piece behind them.   The heart stamp was cleverly made from a toilet paper roll.  

     We hope our days get longer and warmer as we head into February.  
"Did the Groundhog see his shadow?" Ben asked this morning.  
"Um, I don't know, should we go check the internet?"  I answered.   
"No, it doesn't really matter because it's almost Spring here" said Ben, and Alan asked, 
"What's a Grindhug?'
 We don't know what Punxsutawney Phil the "Grindhug" did or didn't see , we were too busy enjoying what feels like an early Spring.  Either way, we'll soak up the warmth while we can.