Quiet Time

Sometimes we just need it, so I went outside today and fed the birds.

Monday's Fruity Goodness

I haven't done much crafting today. I did manage to put a few more rows onto that scarf I'm working on for the April swap. Ran some errands. Getting prepared for this boating field trip this Thursday - it's an ocean studies trip. Yep, just got my Dramamine patch. :-) Cooked some dinner for the week - good old liver and onions in gravy. I also bought a lot of fresh fruit, so if you have some easy recipes (especially for healthy drinks) please post them. I like fruit somewhat but I struggle to eat it like I should. I'm hoping that by making drinks that I can get the proper fruit intake without having to eat all that fruit.

Tonight I modified a recipe and made a strawberry-banana smoothie.

Click on the image to link to the recipe on my Flickr page.

Even though it's just one serving, it's way too much of a serving for me at night. I was just experimenting. My main goal is to have something healthy to drink and eat for breakfast. I'm getting tired of cold cereal on those days that I'm running out of time and I don't like too many sweet things at breakfast either. (I know this is usually the stuff I post on my other blog, but I thought my crafting friends might could help me out!) :-)

Day 1

When I finally got home, I decided to make today "Day 1" in the 5k jogging plan. So, I have just come in from completing that. It feels like deja vu because I did this plan starting last June 2008, but I can say that I noticed a difference between this time and the last time. It was much easier this time. It felt good to clear my head and I noticed that I was smiling while jogging/walking. It really felt good.

Now I know I should be eating earlier, but I really couldn't help it today. Tonight's dinner is liver and onions, mashed potatoes, and cabbage. I think I'll make a fruit smoothie for dessert. Those strawberries are looking mighty fine. :-)

Nope, couldn't finish this smoothie tonight. Way too much!
Hopefully it will keep at least til tomorrow morning.

Good night! zzzz

30 Days

I went to the doctor today and she said, "you're in good health, but I'm giving you 30 days to keep track of this one area. Manage your stress levels and start back exercising. That could only help. Other than that, it's just genetic and I'll have to put you on medication." WOW.

So, here we are again, about to start on a very specific health kick. I will try hard not to have that "New Years Resolution" syndrome where you try to do everything at once. I will sit down a little later and figure up a workable plan based on my needs.

My first area of target is to include fruits in my "diet". And not just any fruits, but fruits that have a specific purpose. I've been doing a little research on superfoods and benefits of certain fruits. One of the reasons that I generally don't eat fruit is because I like only certain ones at specific times and usually it goes bad or gets overripe. But I've now discovered juicing, so I think that will be a good way for me to go. So after my appointment, I stopped by the grocery store. Good thing they were having a sale on much of the fruit. Sadly, they didn't have any papaya.

I purchased a pineapple, some lemons, mangos, strawberries, a canteloupe, and a piece of ginger root. Let the juicing begin! I also have to start back with walking/jogging. I guess I use the same program as before: "The Couch to 5K running plan."

Today I went to another birthday party for a little kid. She just turned 5 years old. The food was great - some kind of marinated beef, rice, and homemade corn tortillas. The cake was out of this world. It was a very moist layer cake with slices of peaches in the middle of the layers. The icing was whipped and not very sweet. Anyways, after I left there, I checked my Ravelry account and received a message from one of my groups - Friends with Yarn, to join an April swap. This is new for me, but I decided that I would do it. Plus, I saw one of my friends from the traveling scarf group in that swap, so it made me more willing to try this. The moderator is requesting 12 participants by tomorrow and right now there are only 7, so if you're interested, please join. The theme is "Spring."

I looked at the March swap and saw that when you swap you can purchase or make things that fit with the theme, but there is a limit to the amount you can spend. I decided that I will go ahead and try and make something now that way I can fulfill my need to crochet each day and I can be working towards this swap. I found a new pattern for a skinny scarf and I looked at my yarn stash and saw that lavender Caron's Simply Soft yarn calling my name, so I had to choose it. I have 30 inches done already, but now it is time for me to go to bed.

I don't have any pictures for today, but I promise to post some later unless of course one of you decides to participate in this swap and you end up being my partner, then I can't spoil the surprise.

Good night! :-)

Another Celebration of Life

Today, in spite of the rain, I went to another Latina birthday party. This time without my camera because I didn't know the family; I was just going with a friend of mine. This time the party was for a 5 year old girl.

I don't know if it was because of the rain, but the party was indoors. The family was so nice and I had the opportunity to practice a little more Spanish, although most of what I heard was too fast for my brain. :-) When we arrived, the first family that was coming too was actually a family that I knew. I tell you, we just keep running into each other at these events. I was glad to see them because I have taught three of their four sons (the youngest son is only three, so we'll see for later). Their oldest son is graduating and recently was awarded the same teaching scholarship that I had to attend college. You could hear the pride in their voice to have a son who is the first to attend a university. I also felt good to know that one more student is furthering his education.

When we all got inside, we realized that we were early although we were actually late (according to the invitation time). I knew that I could have waited longer before coming, but my friend likes to operate on standard time (in as much as possible).

The food was great! Beef and rice with homemade corn tortillas. Very simple, but very flavorful. We went on and ate, even though the birthday girl had yet to arrive to her party. You know where she was? At the hairdresser. :-) By the time that she arrived, we had already eaten some of her birthday cake. To be honest, there were two cakes, so we were eating one of the tiers of her cake. It was so good and moist. I don't know the official name for this cake, so I will try to describe it. It is a very moist white layer cake. In between the layers, there is some icing and fresh fruit - peaches. Then the two layers are iced and decorated. Neither the icing nor the cake is very sweet, and the icing seems to be whipped so it is very light. Oh, for another piece of that cake.

We stayed for a little while longer and then left because it was starting to get dark and more people had started to arrive. I really like learning about other cultures and my hope is that my Spanish will improve enough so that I can effectively communicate in any setting. (Just don't hold your breath. It might take a while!)

Friday Night Crafting


After dinner I started working on my plans for next week so that I wouldn't have to do them on Saturday. Really I was trying to justify catching up on the past few weeks of Grey's Anatomy that I've been missing and forgetting to record. The server was down so I was unable to watch those episodes on the Internet, so I ended up watching the last half of one of my favorite movies, "Pride and Prejudice" for the umpteenth time.

While watching the movie and I was able to make a dishcloth from a new pattern I saw online. I think one use of that pattern will be enough for me, although I'm tempted to make the matching potholder from this same pattern so that I will have a matching set. We'll see.

I am thankful for this opportunity to make something totally new, especially since I mailed off the traveling scarf today. I just wish I could have had just one piece of Kar's tasty treats, that she mentioned on her blog today, while I was crocheting. :-)

My Part is Complete!


Today in the car, I completed my portion of this traveling scarf that began its journey in PA. I finally settled on this popcorn stitch pattern, after having taken out my stitches about four times trying to find the perfect match. I can see how this project is beneficial in increasing your skill because you have to learn how to stitch behind someone else, which isn't all that easy because everyone has a different tension. Also, you have to do your best to match yarns and colors and patterns that won't clash. The funniest thing is that my best contribution will probably be on my own scarf that I will receive last because by then I will have learned more skill! If only I could go back and fix that first traveling scarf. Humm....

Well, on this scarf, the first person did a "grit" stitch, the second person used the "diamond" stitch, and I used the "popcorn" stitch. The color I chose was "natural" from Caron's Simply Soft.

After I finished mine, I bordered it with scs on both sides to make the edging look more finished. (The real truth is that I wanted to cover up some mistakes. hee hee hee). Shhhh, don't tell. Here's my part at the top:

I am excited to get this scarf in the mail so that it can go to the next person in OH. Then I will patiently wait for the next scarf to come to me from Switzerland in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I will catch up on some other crafting projects (especially now that I've finally filed my taxes). Whooo hooo!!!

Crafting + Kids

My class is in on the "traveling scarf." They think it's so cool. I bring it to school and make up word problems or quick math reviews out of the patterns. For example, "Class if I have 26 stitches, can I use a pattern that says to use a multiple of 12 + 6 chains? Tell me why or why not? What are the closest amount of chains that could be used?" They crack me up! lol

I have completed 4 of the required 8 inches. :-)

+ some

So today my coworker was back to work and I was able to give her the poncho for her niece. When she paid me, she included an extra five dollars and said, "I don't need anything back." What??? I was happy, not even because of the five dollars, but I think more because she thought that my time spent and the product she requested was worthy of anything outside of what I asked for.

And then on top of that, a friend of mine sent me an email yesterday that included this note: "First let me say that I think that you're work is gorgeous.. and that you've got some serious skills." Then he went on to encourage me to keep doing this.

In both of those moments, I really can't describe how those acts of kindness made me feel, but it was a good feeling.

Most of my life I've struggled with "finding my place" in the world, I guess. Partly the sign of perfectionism - a blessing and a curse. :-) I always felt that I had talent. I knew I could do a lot of things (that's what made it extremely hard to choose a profession and makes it hard to focus sometimes), but I always met people who were just way better at everything that I could do, so I sort of went into this inner shell. Then within the last year or so I've begun to realize that some people have gifts and some have talents, but both of them have to be worked on and both are given by God. I also have begun to realize that I don't have to be "the best" or better than anyone else at what I do. And you know what, just figuring that out has made me enjoy all my "pieces of talents" more. It has also helped me to better appreciate the work of others as well. You guys rock! :-)

So I Started on the Traveling Scarf....

My crochet time tonight was spent adding on to the traveling scarf (instead of making the flower pin - I'd forgotten about the scarf). Anyways, I found this cool stitch online and wanted to try it. The scarf has 26 stitches, but the pattern is based on 28 and I thought I could modify it to make it fit. I think one of the problems is that the yarn that I'm attaching to is made of viscose and it draws tight and the other is that I'm not able to modify these stitches with my yarn choice to make the scarf not look like it's stretching out of proportion. Tomorrow I'll look into trying a different stitch that is really for 26 stitches - I'll check my stitch book.

Here's what I had. I think I'll use this stitch on something else later. I'll put it in the "file." :-)

Good night!

I Finally Made it Back into the Kitchen...


After work today, I decided that I needed to cook up a few meals for the week and now I'm exhausted! I cooked a pot of Caribbean black bean soup. I got the recipe from Allrecipes.com. I've made several black bean soups before, but this one is a new one for me. I also made ensalada de cebollas (Onion Salad) - basically just thinly sliced onions and tomatoes, some cilantro, lime juice, and a little salt. I made some chicken and rice with mixed vegetables and topped with chopped cilantro, parsley, and green onions. And then I made a small pan of cornbread. This will last all week long and maybe a little more.

Last night I also made a list of the things that I have obligated myself to make and I put them on a timeline so that I won't run out of time and have to rush. I'm going to try really hard to stick to that plan.

Now, on to relaxation time!

Cooking up a Storm and more


After work today, I decided that I needed to cook up a few meals for the week and now I'm exhausted! I cooked a pot of Caribbean black bean soup. I got the recipe from Allrecipes.com. I've made several black bean soups before, but this one is a new one for me. I also made ensalada de cebollas (Onion Salad) - basically just thinly sliced onions and tomatoes, some cilantro, lime juice, and a little salt. I made some chicken and rice with mixed vegetables and topped with chopped cilantro, parsley, and green onions. And then I made a small pan of cornbread. This will last all week long and maybe a little more.

When the season finally of "Secret Life of the American Teenager" came on, I was almost too tired to watch it. I spent it nibbling on my dinner - nothing of which I cooked tonight. It was actually leftover from the Sunday meal I ate with my mom. This new show came on that I'll watch or let watch me and if I can muster up enough strength I will crochet something - even if it's just a small flower for a Mother's Day pin. I'm making 10 Mother's Day pins for the moms at my church - our church is small. :-) Last night I made a new pattern, but used a different yarn than that that was suggested and it was what my mom would call "a hot mess!" The yarn I used wasn't bulky enough, so I will just go back to my other pattern.

Last night I also made a list of the things that I have obligated myself to make and I put them on a timeline so that I won't run out of time and have to rush. I'm going to try really hard to stick to that plan.

Oh yeah, I showed my coworker the poncho and she loved it. I brought it back home to wrap like I wanted (you know, you've got to have presentation) and because she only dropped into work for a minute because her kid was sick. She'll get the poncho tomorrow.

Now, on to relaxation time!

Celebrate Life


Today (on Saturday - I say this because it will be Sunday by the time I finish this post) I had the opportunity to attend a birthday party for a 8 year old. It was just amazing to observe through my lens the level of fun and interaction small kids have with each other. I don't even think that the kids all knew each other. They didn't all speak the same language, they had different backgrounds, yet they were all having a blast! Maybe we really should learn from some lessons from "our" children.

Before I attended this party, I knew that I wanted to be able to photograph there. The little boy's mom didn't ask me, she just wanted me to be there. But I figured, it would be my gift to them, and I'm glad I brought my camera because I saw very little picture-taking action. I was also glad to have my camera because I've missed it. I've been spending so much time crafting lately that I have forsaken my camera, but now that it's officially spring, I feel in my spirit that the photography hobby will be revived. Now, back to the story about the party.

The food was great! The boy's parents wanted to make sure that the guests were equally satisfied so they had "American" food on one table and Mexican food on the other. You don't even have to take long to guess which table I headed to. Yes, you're right. I headed to the table with the rice, carne polaca (it was a dish with cabbage, chipotle peppers, beef and chicken - usually it's pork, but not this time), refried beans, mole chicken.... Most of the kids ate the pizza (of course), little sandwiches, and potato chips.

There was so much food too. Everytime a new guest arrived, a new dish was placed on the table. If we (adults) were smart, we would have been on that merry-go-round and running around like the kids were in between each serving. Man, those kids have high energy! It seemed like by the time I finished one serving of one item (and admittedly, I eat slow), all the kids had two bites of a hot dog and were outside again running around and yelling and smiling. You know, being kids.

When the kids came in (to the little club building) to play games, they played "Musical Chairs" which is always fun to watch. They also played a game that I wasn't familiar with. It's is sort of like musical chairs, but someone calls out a number and that number of kids tries to hug each other. The one that can't get into the hug is out. The number always decreases until there are two winners. That was hilarious too. All these kids hugged up to get a prize! Then there was a balloon popping game. I don't think the kids cared about a prize there - just getting able to pop a balloon without a parent telling you to stop was prize enough.

Somewhere in the time frame that I was at this party a little yellow duck piƱata was hung from a tree and the kids tried so hard to break it. I mean, they really tried hard, but some of them were so tiny that they didn't have the arm strength to break that thing. Tap Tap Tap was all I heard for a while, until finally a bigger kid whacked that thing so hard and all the candies came flying out. Then the kids ran back to that merry-go-round.

I was at the party for at least three hours I know and the actual birthday cake had yet to be served and the presents hadn't been open, but that didn't stop me from getting about 150 pictures and it didn't stop me from enjoying myself.

One of my friends went to this party with me. She is from Brazil. As we all talked she told us how many times when children are born, the parents, family, and friends start celebrating the life of that child from the moment that the announcement is made that the mother is pregnant. She said she's been to celebrations for when the baby was one month in the womb, two months, three months, and so on until the actual delivery. Then after the child is born, their life continues to be celebrated by a host of family and friends. There are sometimes more adults than children at these celebrations because they too are just celebrating life.

Celebrating life. That will probably put a whole new spin on birthdays for me. Why mope around on that special day or have a mid-life crisis because you hit a magical number? Just celebrate life and be grateful to God to be here.

Celebrate life. :-)

Craft Friday!


I am all smiles right now because thankfully I was able to complete two projects today. After work, I went to get my hair braided again. The lady that sometimes braids my hair works super fast as a braider. I knew that I would be out of there within two hours, and I was right.

While sitting in the chair, with crochet bag in lap, I completed the second piece of the poncho. I even stitched it together on one seam, but I realized I would have to take it out when I got home. I do my best seaming for the poncho (since it's on an angle) on the coffee table. The hair braider still had a little ways to go so that she could create the fancy bun that I like in the back of my head, so I pulled out a remnant skein of red Red Heart yarn to begin one of the beanie hats that I promised my "kids." I was able to almost make the entire hat. The only thing lacking was the last two rows of scs.

So you can imagine that I was super excited to get home - still in the daylight - with enough energy to complete these projects. I first completed the beanie because I only had a few stitches left. Snapped my pictures, then I was off to finish the poncho. I got sucked into these crazy Lifetime Movie Channel pictures, but I still made sure to work on the poncho. I thought I'd get away with using some of the light pink Softee Baby yarn I had left over from the pink poncho instead of opening the new skein of the Baby Soft, but I didn't have such luck. The Softee yarn is 100% acrylic and the Baby Soft is an acrylic/nylon blend and I didn't think they looked good together. The sheen was different too, so I had to open up that new skein. [Secretly I'd been planning to take back that skein and the extra one I bought in cream and exchange it for some other colors for a future project. Oh well.]

I added the shell edging on the poncho and then looked in my stash for a butterfly pattern. I talked with the customer today and she mentioned that her neice was in love with butterflies. Great, because I didn't want every poncho I made to look exactly the same. I found the pattern I was satisified with and made one butterfly. The smaller ones weren't as cute, so that's why I chose the larger one. Found some leftover pistachio green yarn from my cousin's baby blanket and made some antennaes. So, for now, I'm finished with this poncho. I didn't attach the butterfly yet because I want to ask the customer if she wants it to be a pin or permanently attached.

Thanks for traveling on this poncho journey with me! Now, on to more projects!!! :-)

Don't Knock It Until You've Tried It:


Ok, so some days I am a big kid - a big 32 year old kid! If you try this, you will just eat one spoonful of ice cream with the popcorn. Do as I say, not as I did. Otherwise you'll end up with soggy popcorn and that is not the goal here. Um, delish....

If you're nice, maybe I'll show other food concoctions from the late 80s.

The Letter L

I just saw this on Alessandra's blog and I thought I'd give it a try.

Rules: Use the first letter of your name to answer each question. They have to be real places, names etc. Try to use different answers if you have the same initial as someone who has already done this. You cannot use you own name for the boy/girl question.

1. What is your name? Libby
2. A four letter word? Love
3. A boy's name? Lucas :-)
4. A girl's name? Lauren
5. An occupation? Librarian
6. A colour? Lavender
7. Something you wear? Leg warmers
8. A beverage? Lemon Ginger Tea
9. A food? Licorice
10. Something found in the bathroom? Lemon-scented Pine Sol
11. A place? London

Play along if you want!


This is a short and simple post. Here's tonight's dinner:

Plus, I just wanted to use my camera for something today. :-)

So This Is What Happened

I set my goal for tonight in order for me to be able to crochet. And this is how it's going so far.
  1. I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes (trying to get back to my jogging that I started last summer).
  2. Washed the dishes.
  3. Cleaned the bathroom. Oh it smells so nice - all lemony!
  4. Straightened up my room.
  5. Started doing the invitations. The printer got crazy, but it still works and I got some done.
  6. Browsed on Flickr.
  7. Cooked rice to go with my dinner.
By the time I was ready to eat, my t.v. show was on, so I spent that time eating and watching the episode, which by the way wasn't the season finale. Apparently that's next Monday. :-) After I ate, I crocheted a little and then made myself go back to the computer and finish printing those envelopes to go with the invitations.

Now that the invitations are all done, I will get ready for work tomorrow and for bed and then I'll crochet some more. So far the second piece of the poncho is 7 1/2 inches long, so I only have 9 1/2 inches left to go. Then I can assemble and embellish it, but I won't get ahead of myself.

Running to the Poncho!

Thanks for your understanding comments on yesterday's post. :-) Today, interestingly enough, my work day was sort of crazed and you know what.....I was so glad to get my hands on that poncho! I carry my crochet bag almost everywhere, you know, just in case you have to wait somewhere terribly long or maybe not even that long, but you want to craft while you wait. Thankfully I had my crochet bag with me today when I remembered that I needed to get my allergy shots. (Yes, folks, I "discovered" that I had year-round allergies since I've been teaching and now I get two allergy shots every two weeks. Thank goodness for the PPO. So you southwesterners be thankful. When I went to New Mexico it was glorious - no allergies.)

Anyways, getting back on subject, I went to get my allergy shots today and had to wait probably 15 or 20 minutes in the doctor's office so I pulled out that poncho and it was so welcomed in my hands. I feel like today will be "hump day" - the day when I cross that magical threshold and get that burst of energy that pushes me to finish this project soon; not because I want to be finished with it, but because I enjoy working on it every chance I get.

Right now I'm sipping on some hot peppermint tea (oh, that's some good, relaxing tea) and listening to a good, uplifting gospel cd. I've told myself that AFTER I finish cleaning the kitchen and finish up the invitations to the upcoming Beta Club induction ceremony that I can crochet. I think tonight is the season finale for that show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." I don't know why I watch that show, but I do. At any rate, I'm looking forward to it!

So folks, that's my day so far.

Crocheting Freely

Well, I've procrastinated long enough and I finally got started on the other baby poncho - you know the one that I was searching down the yarns for? Well, today while riding home from an out-of-town church service, I completed one of the two pieces needed to make the poncho. I will start on the second piece tonight to motivate me to go ahead and finish this project.

What I've learned about myself is that I like to crochet freely; meaning, I like to crochet whatever, whenever and not be too beholding to others about when I get finished. When I feel like someone's waiting for me to finish, it then begins feeling like real work. I'm also learning that I've been a bit A.D.H.D. concerning crocheting too. As soon as I see a pattern that I really like, I've just got to try it. When I need to finish a project for someone else I can't fulfill that urge to do the new project. So more power to those business owners who do custom orders. I don't think that I could do that at this time. I think that if I actually start an Etsy shop or sell at the local craft fair, I can only manage selling items that I've already predesigned/premade, especially due to the demands of my regular job(s).

That being said, here's the poncho piece that I finished. Even after my expressions above, please note that when I complete the second piece of this poncho and embellish it, I will be full of smiles because I will like the final creation and only imagine a cute baby girl wearing this item. I will also be equally excited to present it to my co-worker. Please do not feel that I do not want to make this item. I'm just a bit antsy to get it done. It doesn't help that today I saw a really cute ponchette for an adult that caught my eye. And that adult might just be me because I never make things like that for myself.... :-)

Fellowship is Good


My church is fairly small and so when opportunities arise to fellowship with others, it is welcomed. A few months back some of the ladies of my church met with some ladies at another church at the local Fatz restaurant. Remember those pictures? Well, from that luncheon, it was decided that we should get together at least every quarter to celebrate the birthdays that fell in those 3 months. So today, we are traveling to the town where the other ladies live and eating dinner at some local Italian restaurant.

There are three birthdays in March so those ladies will receive a small gift bag of little items and the other ladies will contribute to pay for the meals of the "birthday girls!" The highest priced meal at this restaurant is $9.00, so it won't be too taxing on anyone. I took on the responsibility of making the gift bags, so all the ladies have been sending me small items like chapstick, small packages of peanuts, chewing gum, bookmarks, Kleenex, and such. Then I get to decide what goes in each bag. They will continue to send me things all year so that the bags don't have to have the same items in there.

I'm really looking forward to this fellowship and I'm sure that I'm not alone in this.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

Suggestions Welcomed


These are the skeins of Vanna Baby yarn that I purchased blindly online. The colors are lamb (off white), bluebell, pink poodle, duckie, and sweet pea. I actually have two skeins of lamb, but since I'd started using it, I didn't put it in the picture.

It's a thick yarn, but the colors are so spring-like. I'm open for suggestions on something I can make out of these yarns that won't make me regret this purchase. Remember, I am a crocheter. I do not knit. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Sizing Heads


Today at work I had a few minutes to measure my kids' heads to see what beanie size would be appropriate for them. The good news is is that out of all the kids who want a beanie, one of them needs the small beanie (which is created by following the directions exactly), all the rest except for two others need the medium beanie (which is created by adding one extra row in the middle of the pattern). Now my challenge is to create a beanie for those other two kids that have larger heads. I'll study the pattern more to see what the sequence is for making a wider crown. I think I'll also have those two kids try the hat on as I make it. That will probably be safest.

You know the teacher in me is going to create some fancy word problems surrounding these beanies:

Ms. H can make one beanie in one hour, but she will not make
more than two beanies a day. How many days will it take Ms. H
to create enough beanies for the students who have requested them?

Qs. 1: What is the relevant information?
Qs. 2: What is the irrelevant information?
Qs. 3: Is there enough information to solve this problem?
If not, what additional information is needed to solve this problem?

Ok, it's officially the weekend. My teacher hat is off (temporarily because I still have lesson plans to do for next week). It's time to clean the house and then relax....after I finish eating this delicious Chinese food. Yum. Yum.

Image source: http://www.aquariumlife.net/images/measuring-tape.jpg

I Couldn't Resist


Ok, I know it's way past my bedtime, but I couldn't resist finishing up this hat. This hat is made from the leftover Bernat Softee Chunky and Softee Chunky Twist yarn I used earlier this year to make that V-stitch scarf and taupe toboggan. Remember? Well, I used the same beanie pattern I've used for the past couple of days to make this hat. I like the roominess of this hat that was created simply by using a chunkier yarn. I also reversed the color pattern for the main color and the change color. It makes for a bigger stripe. This hat definitely won't be a springtime hat where I live, but that's okay. I love the way it pairs with that V-stitch scarf too.

Now I'm done and hope that I can manage these few hours of sleep before going to work in the real morning. Good thing it's Friday! :-)

Another Hat to the Pile and more....


Seriously, you guys should see my guest bed. Right now I'm a little scared to show you because I can't see the cover. It's covered in mini piles of yarn on most ends and the other parts have stacks of things I've been making for -.

Well today I made another beanie. This one is white with 3 royal blue stripes. I'm trying so hard to get rid of that Red Heart yarn. (Nothing against you Red Heart fans, but since that's the only yarn I knew about for so long, I have lots of it. Now that I'm learning more about different yarns, I realize that there's more to life than Red Heart.) I can make a beanie within an hour and so right now that seems to be the quickest way to destash the Red Heart pile. I'm saving some of the green, red, and white because I have two students who would like me to make them a small blanket to represent the Mexican flag - or at least the colors.

I think I mentioned that in an earlier post. I told my students at school that I would make them one item for the end of the year, but the deal is that all work must be completed for the entire year and they must show effort on their annual exam. These are fifth graders so they can handle this. Plus I only have 15 students - 5 have moved away!!! Anyways, they wrote down what they wanted - most wanted a beanie; that's why I'm practicing making them in different styles and sizes. One wanted a crocheted rose, one wanted gloves??? ("for next winter," he said) and two wanted a Mexican flag blanket. I'm thinking more of a lapghan, than a blanket. Tomorrow the kids will be sized for their beanies.


After work, I went to the post office and I was glad to see my next package of the traveling scarf. Now on this piece, two people have worked on it. I will be the third. I'm really impressed by the yarn selection and the patterns that have been chosen. I will have to refer to my little stitch book to see what will go with this. I think that I will have a much better time adding to this scarf than I did to the last one because the final row of stitches is a chain instead of loops. Wish me well!

I love that top stitch especially! How beautiful!!!

Another Hat Down, And the Stash Increases...


You know I've been on a mission to use up all of my old yarn stash before venturing out to purchase new yarns. But it seems that even though I'm managing to create things out of my stash, somehow a new Michael's bag or a new small skein of yarn enters into the stash. Am I just spinning wheels?

Well, I started this hat in the doctor's office today and thought it would be a shame not to finish it before bedtime. So I've used up some of that Red Heart yarn that I'm so desperately trying to rid myself of. But, I must admit that I finally found the right shade and texture of yarn to make that other Easter baby poncho that my co-worker requested. That will be my next project. Maybe I'll do a couple of rows of that tonight, but I really should get a descent night's sleep for a change.

~ From the "Trying to be a reformed Night Owl" ~

You Have to Appreciate a Soup You Can Eat with a Fork


Haven't been cooking much lately, but enough is enough. I looked at my face in the mirror and said, "yaaahh, you need to eat!" So I dug through the freezer, through the pantry, and in my printed out recipe stash to see what I could make with little to no effort, but with flavor. I decided upon a Peruvian soup called Aguadito de Pollo.

You should already know that I didn't make the recipe as written. I used what I had in the house and made some modifications.

To serve 4, here is the recipe:

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut in half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons seeded, minced serrano chile
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, and serrano chili; cook until the onion has softened, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cilantro, peas, corn, and red pepper; cook for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken broth, potatoes, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is opaque and the potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.
I will say that I did have some boneless, skinless chicken tenders in the freezer, so I thawed them and chopped them into cubes. I seasoned my chicken with Lawry's seasoning salt and black pepper. I sauteed the onions and garlic in oil and added, not serrano chiles, but green chiles. Green chiles are so very mild and I wasn't going out to buy a pepper, that's for sure. Plus today I wasn't in the mood for spicy.

My fresh cilantro had gone bad, so I had to settle for the dried kind (you do what you must). I added the last of my frozen green peas, no corn and no red pepper. I also didn't add any potatoes. That alone probably scratches what I ended up making off the list of being "Peruvian". Peruvians have potatoes with almost everything! I did add some basmati rice, so there, I have a starch.

I let the "soup" boil and then simmered for about 30 minutes. Oh, I almost forgot that I added sliced carrots to add color. When the soup was done, it smelled so good. The reason why mine is not really soupy is because I cut the recipe short by 2 cups of broth. One reason is because I didn't have all those potatoes in there. The other reason is because, does every soup have to be slurpy? I'm not in the mood to slurp today. :-)

I couldn't find any crackers, so I served plain corn tortilla chips with my "soup" or as Rachael Ray would call it, "stoup" - a cross betweeen a soup and a stew!

I will say that this dish is quite tasty. I would like to try the real Peruvian dish one day, but as you can see, I need to go grocery shopping first. :-)

If you try this dish, I'd love to hear how yours turned out.

Buen Provecho!

One More Beanie


I'm trying to catch up on my baby gifts that are past due, so today I purchased a small skein of blue and white jaquard yarn to make a beanie for a baby. I don't want to reveal too much info in case his mom decides to read this blog before I can deliver the beanie. I'm wrapping it up now and getting ready to send it off. I hope they like it. He's such a cute kid!

Sing Joann!


Caitlyn's Lacey Cap


I made another one of the rose lacey caps. This time I made it with two extra rows because I made it for another three year old that tends to wear puffy ponytails. Today she had her hair in braids with beads so this might be the perfect time for her to try on this cap. I hope to see her mom maybe on Thursday, if not I'll give it to her on Sunday.

I also organized my IKeep bookmark account. If you don't have one of those or something like it, you're really missing out. You can place all of your bookmarks there so that if you're away from your computer, you can view your bookmarks from any computer online. An account can either be made private or public. If it's public, other people may use your bookmarks.

The Inspiration

Here is the skirt that I got my inspiration from to make the brown beanie. The top of the skirt is olive green, the bottom of the skirt is trimmed with this pattern. When I've worn this skirt in the past, I have either worn it with a brown top or a white top with a dark denim jacket.

Brown Beanie - Complete


I paused for a minute on the poncho just because I'm still unsure about making such a thick poncho this time of year. Already it's been 78* and higher the past few days, so thick is out. I'm still trying my hand at the beanie hats and I decided to make one of the beginner patterns that I had stored on my computer. It was a really quick project. This time the hat is a little long for my head. I think I will delete about two of the repeated rows if I make this for myself. I have a really cute olive green and brown skirt that inspired me to put these colors together, so maybe I will take out two rows so that I can wear this hat for myself.

All of the yarn used in this project is from the yarn stash - leftovers from other projects. The original pattern calls for much thicker yarn, yarn that would be worn in the dead of winter. Also the flower in the original pattern is felted. I just used an acrylic yarn and did not felt the flower. I think I like the flower the most!

Well, I really should be in bed now since we just lost an hour to Daylight Savings Time....