Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring has Sprung challenge - completed [Crochet]

Mikey at the Crochet Crowd issued out a "Spring has Sprung" challenge a few weeks ago.  I elected to create the crib afghan challenge using up some of the Rose Mist Vanna's Choice yarn I purchased last November during a Shopko $1.49 sale.  Couldn't go wrong at that price!

The stitch pattern was super repetitive, and therefore quick to pick up.  

The afghan finished off at about 40" x 44".  I used 4 skeins of the Rose Mist, and less than half of a skein from my leftovers from Coffee-n-Cream-(Drop in the Pond). (Super Saver Aran, Buff, Coffee).

I started searching the net yesterday to find who/when/where I could start donating crib afghans.  Project Linus kept popping up at the most common donation organization for crib/toddler/youth blankets/afghans/quilts.  The Northwestern Wisconsin Chapter will most likely be my newest organization for donations.  I just wish I could craft away ALL the time for ALL of my donation organizations: Quilts of Valor (QOV), Quilts for Kids (QFK) and now, Project Linus (PL).

This makes me curious:  Are there organizations you donate for?  I mostly have been a quilter for the past 14 years and have donated quilts to QOV and QFK, but now that crochet has CLEARLY become a craft consuming my crafting time, I'm definitely interested in donating where and when I can with afghans too.  

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ahhhh! Saturday!

March 29th, and we are FINALLY expecting a decent weekend of weather ahead of us.  Forecast:  FIFTIES (50s!) tomorrow!  

Thursday, March 27.  School parking lot.
However, with this being a state in the North, we have LOTS of potential winter left, and LOTS LOTS LOTS of snow to melt off before gardening can truly even HOPE to occur.   {{Did I say we have LOTS of snow out there???}} 

Saturday March 29.  But LOOK at that blue sky!

Typically, Memorial weekend is the planting weekend in these parts of the world.  BUT, the seedlings have broken ground.  Candace was just doing her saturday morning chore of watering plants, and she asked if she should water the seeds.  When she opened up the cover, I heard... "MOM!  COME QUICK!!!!!  They're GROWING!!!" 

Other goings-on around here --- the bats have made their presence known again.  We found a dead bat on the deck a couple of weeks ago, and the other night, we heard one flying around in the open space between our vaulted ceiling rafters and the roof.  Knowing that the bat I saw last summer flew into the area of the loft-lights (remember THAT post???? and then the Super-Heroin follow-up???), Paul brought out some filler-stuffy-stuff to seal off the spaces of possible 'living-space' entry for those lil' annoyances.

We have birthday parties to get to and pick up from, but other than that... today is a day of openness!  It's already 9:30, and I've puttered the morning away online.  I think a little breakfast is looming, and then I'll head down to see what status my quilting/sewing room is in.  It's been awhile :\

Happy Saturday

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Coffee-n-Cream; Drop in the Pond afghan completed [Crochet]

Suddenly, time is flying by again and I'm failing to keep my blog updated with all the life goings-on :\

Last weekend, my Drop in the Pond - Coffee -n- Cream afghan was completed.  

In the end, I stopped once it reached the size 52" x 65" -- a substantial throw size.
I'm sure I'll be making this again in different color combinations-- it came together quickly and has an amazing pattern for a geometric minded person! :)

AND, I finally bit the bullet and ordered my own copy of this book rather than hoarding it excessively from the Public Library!  LOL.  I must have renewed it three consecutive times (that'd be 3 months!).

NOT that I'm counting by any means.... but today, I needed to do some final Goal Calculations for some of my Intervention Math students.  TEN weeks of school left.  Whoa.  That equates to roughly SIX weeks before the AP Stats exam.  We are sitting SO good this year with the schedule despite losing 6 days of instruction due to weather related closings.  Two more chapters of material----about 3 more weeks of learning, and then MAJOR REVIEW TIME.  Whew.

Happy Tuesday everyone :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

2013 Running Log wrapup

Yes!  You read correctly.  I know it's March 17 of TWO-THOUSAND FOURTEEN already, but....
I never posted my 2013 running log wrapup.

After my knee problems nagging me in July and August, I hung up my running shoes for a few months.  There was a feeeeeble attempt to get back on the running wagon in December, but.... that lasted all but one day! ;}

Despite my knee issues, 2013 was an AWESOME AWESOME year for my running.  My mileage for the year was a new record;  my mileage in the month of March was also a new monthly record, and I hit a new PR in the Half-Marathon (Oshkosh Half-marathon).

Today was my first day back in 2014 -- watch my Running page for my 2014 numbers.

2013 Running Log WRAPUP
Totals: 487.8 miles

1/1/13:  2.00 miles on treadmill
1/2/13: 2.50 miles on treadmill
1/7/13: 5.00 miles on treadmill (power walk / run)
1/8/13: 1.75miles on treadmill
1/9/13: 1.75 miles on treadmill
1/10/13: 3.75 miles on treadmill (run/walk)
1/11/13: 3.00 PW on treadmill
1/13/13: 5.00 miles on treadmill EZ/long
1/14/13: 2.00 miles on treadmill PW
1/15/13: 2.50 miles on treadmill PW
1/16/13: 3.50 miles on treadmill
1/19/13: 2.50 miles on treadmill PW
1/20/13: 7.00 miles on treadmill L/EZ/PW
1/21/13: 2.25 miles on treadmill PW
1/24/13: 3.25 miles on treadmill PW
1/26/13: 2.25 miles on treadmill PW
1/27/13: 5.00 miles on treadmill PW/EZ
1/28/13: 4.00 miles on treadmill EZ
1/29/13: 2.50 miles on treadmill EZ
1/31/13: 2.50 miles on treadmill PW
2/2/13: 8.5 miles on treadmill EZ/L
2/3/13: 2.75 miles on treadmill PW
2/4/12: 3 miles on treadmill W
2/5/13: 2.38 miles (Brooke Dr-OUTSIDE!) 10:04/mile
2/7/13: 2.93 miles on treadmill
2/8/13: 3.01 on treadmill
2/9/13: 4.11 on treadmill
2/10/13: 4.79 outside
2/12/13: 3.01 miles on treadmill (tired legs!)
2/17/13: 3.1 miles on treamill
2/18/13: 5.00 miles (10:33/mile) EZ
2/21/13: 5.25 miles (10:01/mile) Tempo x4 miles
2/23/13: 3.14 miles (10:10/mile) Grantsburg Frigid 5K
2/24/13: 10.0 miles (10:50/mile) L
2/25/13: 1.83 miles (9:56/mile) T
2/26/134.04 miles (10:50/mile) EZ {{windy}}
3/7/13: 5.75 miles S; 3xmile@8:57
3/8/13: 2.00 miles (10:20/mile) EZ
3/9/13: 14.3 miles (11:17/mile) L
3/10/13: 1.81 miles (10:33/mile) EZ
3/12/13: 4.00 miles (9:58/mile) EZ/T
3/13/13: 5.07 miles (10:07/mile) EZ
3/16/13: 7.67 miles (10:25/mile) EZ L
3/18/13: 1.57 miles (10:12/mile) EZ
3/20/13: 3.00 miles (10:07/mile) EZ
3/23/13: 8.33 miles (10:31/mile) EZ
3/24/13: 15.02 miles (10:47/mile) L
3/25/13: 2.00 miles (10:23/mile) EZ
3/26/13: 3.11 miles (9:12/mile) T
3/27/13: 1.81 miles (9:45/mile) EZ
3/28/13: 3.14 miles (8:52/mile) S
3/29/13: 5.04 miles (10:19/mile) EZ
3/30/13: 17.3 miles (10:50/mile) L
4/2/13: 2.00 miles (9:55/mile) EZ
4/3/13: 2.01 miles (9:41/mile) EZ
4/4/13: 4.56 miles (9:29/mile) H(wind)
4/6/13: 8.9 miles (10:55/mile) L
4/8/13: 3.00 miles (9:58/mile) EZ
4/14/13: 5.00 miles (10:22/mile) EZ/L
4/14/13: 2.41 miles (10:12/mile)  EZ
4/15/13: 2.00 miles (9:48/mile) T
4/16/13: 6.59 miles (9:28/mile) RP
4/19/13: 2.00 miles  (10:13/mile) EZ
5/4/13: 9.21 miles (10:56/mile) EZ/L
5/6/13: 5.02 miles (9:28/mile) T/S
5/7/13: 1.27 miles (10:50/mile) EZ
5/11/13: 4.66 miles (9:47/mile) T
5/12/13: 9.02 miles (10:39/mile) L
5/14/13: 3.13 miles (10:20/mile) T
5/15/13: 3.98 miles (10:02/mile) S/T
5/17/13: 2.26 miles (10:03/mile) EZ
5/25/13: 1.85 miles (9:07/mile)
5/27/13: 3.26 miles (9:34/mile) T
5/28/13: 1.00 mile (10:12)
5/29/13: 4.00 miles (10:13) T
5/29/13: 1.01 miles (9:28) Cont 400s
5/30/13: 2.10 miles (9:08/mile) EZ
5/31/13: 3.26 miles (9:55/mile) EZ
6/4/133.00 miles (9:29/mile) Treadmill
6/8/13: 6.00 miles (9:57/mile)
6/12/13: 1.50 miles (9:20/mile)
6/13/13: 1.00 mile (8:52)
6/13/13: 2.00 miles (9:36/mile)
6/19/13: 3.01 miles (9:52/mile)
6/25/13: 2.00 miles (9:52/mile)
7/6/13: 3.00 miles (10:07/mile)
7/8/13: 1.80 miles (10:04/mile)
7/29/13: 1.82 miles (9:23/mile)
7/30/13: 1.84 miles (9:30/mile)
8/1/13: 3.27 miles (10:04/mile)
8/2/13: 1.82 miles (9:49/mile)
8/3/13: 4.01 miles (10:06/mile)
8/3/13: 0.50 miles (16:50/mile)
8/4/13: 1.62 miles (10:11/mile)
8/5/13: 2.48 miles (15:42/mile) Walk/Run w/Sis
8/6/13: 2.55 miles (9:30/mile)
8/8/13: 3.00 miles (13:38/mile) Run/Walk
8/11/13: 1.83 miles (10:00/mile)
8/18/13: 5.13 miles (13:53/mile) PW
8/19/13: 7.89 miles (13:01/mile)
8/20/13: 2.08 miles (11:22/mile)
8/21/13: 3.24 miles (12:09/mile)
8/25/13: 2.02 miles (11:19/mile)
8/28/13: 1.62 miles (9:35/mile)
8/28/13: 1.57 miles (11:24/mile)
9/11/13: 1.25 miles (10:48/mile)
12/1/13: 0.99 miles (12:26/mile)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Email education - a snafu

In the middle of the afternoon today, I found it odd that I hadn't received a SINGLE email since  yesterday afternoon, 3:15PM.


I troubleshooted.
Restarted.  Nothing.
Reinstalled Mail program.  Nothing.
It was when I checked my iPhone that I knew it was something bigger than a software glich, because even my phone didn't show any new emails since yesterday.
Oh, I'm not saying I'm all that popular, BUT I get ooodles of Quilting emails, and there were at least 4 of you who had commented on the TARDIS quilting.  But most importantly... I was awaiting an email from PayPal.  

So.  I dug online.
And (the short version, after a 20 minute online wait and another 20 minute online 'chat' conversation with ISP techie)...
My MAILBOX MEMORY was maxed out!  I didn't realize we were allowed {only} 1024 MB of space from our ISP.  And my mailbox was a mess!

SO, I spent the afternoon cleaning it up.  I was SUCH an email hoarder!  After about 10 minutes of sifting through "I should really keep this email" and "Ohhh, I never responded to him/her."......
I finally just selected ALL of the emails.......and TRASHED 'em!  **gasp**
As an email hoarder, the anxiety is STILL hanging over me.  

BUT, now I'm receiving emails again.  And THAT is what matters, right?? ;)
The bad news---any email sent from yesterday 3:15ish until 4:30ish today.....GONE FOREVER.  

I'm contemplating switching everything over to my Gmail account, but what a headache THAT will be too.  However, did you know that Gmail accounts allow for 30 GB??!??!!?  That's GIGABYTES, people!  

So, if you sent me a 'special' email from 3:30 PM (CST) yesterday to about 4:30 PM (CST) today... resend it?? ;)

Happy Sunday.

A 'Star Struck' finish

Four -and-a- half years in the making!!!  One of my oldest UFOs... (ONE of a few!....)

Star Struck (71" x 87")
 I am officially a quilter.  One who starts projects with some fastfire inspiration...
July 2, 2009 -- scraps pulled
...only to be stalled with a layout dilemma roadblock (July 9, 2009 post).
In 2010 and 2012, the blocks were pulled out again, and the stack of blocks grew....

And, finally, in January 2014, with the help of some inspiration by Angela (Andee) and Angela (SoScrappy), a top was pieced!!!

A flannel backing and some light Thinsulate batting were used to finish off the quilt.  I'm surprised I had enough flannel to have the backing all the same fabric!  A new pantograph "Fascination" was tried out....
And a UFO is finallllly checked off the list.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Kamryn's TARDIS (Dr. Who) quilt [Quilting]

Kamryn's TARDIS quilt was taken off the frame this afternoon.  104" x 108" -- she's a bigg'un.  

Kamryn requested the Fascination pantograph; the quilting is quite dense and took about 10 hours to complete, 7 of those hours being today.  My back is certainly letting me know that I stood for that long, too!

I remember watching Dr. Who as a child---LONG time ago!  I haven't watched it since then, however.

Kamryn is super excited to get this back into her hands.  First thing tomorrow morning, the binding will be completed (by machine), and then it'll get packaged up for the trip in the mail.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A sick day for Caitlyn ... new project for me

Everyone in the family has been mostly healthy ALL Flu-n-Bug season...
until this morning.
I was brushing my teeth, and Caitlyn came moping in by me saying, "Mom, I don't feel that great."
Naturally, with a super busy week of impromptu lessons to prepare for the ultimate PI day celebration tomorrow, I patted her head and said..."Let's try to make it through the day.  Okay, honey?"

Her response, "Okay Mom."

5 minutes later.....
"Mom, I really don't think I feel that great...."....[[holding her mouth]]

Me:  "Go! RUN!"

She made it to the bathroom.....just in time.

So, with some fanagling of schedules; Paul coming off of night shift and needing sleep; a new substitute called in to cover my class {big bummer};  running in to school to touch base with the sub once Paul got home; .......
*sigh*.... I was back home by 9:00, trying my best to let go of the control of my classroom.  Oh.... :|, I had such a fun impromptu lesson planned today "in my head"---I wasn't about to take over an hour to write up and explain it all to the sub.  So.... "boring worksheet" day for the kiddos, practicing how to find the area and circumference of circles. ;\  What'cha gonna do?

I knew I needed SOMETHING to take my mind off of things;  I do try my best to handle moments that require flexibility, but.... I was anxious all morning and it didn't subside after I arrived home.
So....a morning of Ravelry ensued.

In the end, I decided to dive into a new challenge being sponsored by The Crochet Crowd. 
Spring has Sprung Challenge - Crochet Crowd
And it worked.  The anxiety slowly left.... around 2:00 in the afternoon. :}
I have a whole drawer of the "Rose Mist" pink of Vanna's Choice that I need to use up.  At first, I contemplated making a small crib afghan JUST of the pink, but in the end, I decided to mix in some of the left over Aran, Buff and Coffee Red Heart supersaver from my Drop in the Pond - Coffee-n-Cream afghan.  I'm not completely sold on the mix of colors yet, but....  **shrug**... I'm going with it.

By 3:30, Cailtyn was feeling better.  So much so, that she even started nibbling her way through a piece of toast.

Buuuuut.  Sadly, at 6:00.....*sigh*.... she needed the bucket again.  And again.  Aaaaannnd....again just a few minutes ago.
My "just in case" plans are already set to go in the event she is still sick in the morning.  Tomorrow is PI day, and I have some amazing coworkers who will help out to start the morning, watching my kiddos and organizing the pies until I can get there after Paul arrives home at 8:00AM from work.  PI day is a tough day to miss out on, so.... everyone is helping out to make it happen.  My Principal has also given me the okay to leave at the early dismissal time (noon) in order for me to relieve Paul from sick-duty in order for him to get some sleep before his night shift tomorrow night.   It takes a village!

I think I'll keep plugging away at the new project to see if the color combination grows on me anymore.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Technical difficulties no more!

Yes, folks!  That lovely, lovely Daylight Savings "Spring Ahead".
Gotta love it, right?!??!

My parents were visiting this past weekend in order to cheer on Caitlyn and Cassie for their DI tournament.  While out shopping yesterday for some groceries for dinner, Paul and Gpa picked up a surprise Birthday cake for Gma!!!  Respecting a women's right to withhold age information, my mother turns .... "8-squared" next Sunday ;).  We celebrated a bit early with some yummy almond-flavored butter-cream frosted marble cake.  Yummmmo.   The cake topped off a meal of homemade pizza and eggrolls.   STUFFFFFED!

Paul. Oh, bless Paul.
He took care of some errands today;   my van was in major need for an oil change.   I received a text at 8:27 saying...."There was a big mouse nest on the engine."

Oh my.  

Additionally, Paul zoomed over to the ISP to pick up a replacement modem.
We are BACK in business folks :)  As much as I don't want to admit the necessity of having truly has become a part of life that makes things easier and more enjoyable!  

Yesterday, I made it through about 1/3 of the quilting on Kamryn's quilt before finally deciding to give my back a rest.  7 hours of quilting at the frame sufficed for the day.

Once the evening settled down, after saying our goodbyes to Gma and Gpa, and dinner table and dishes were taken care of, I pulled out my Coffee-n-Cream Drop-in-the-Pond afghan.  I need at least one more cream edge on the bottom, and then..... ??  I COULD be done if I wanted to be.  
I have enough yarn to make it one more ripple taller (top/bottom) and one more ripple wider on each side.  **Shrug**  Dunno. It might be one of those projects I add on to when the mood strikes.

For those of you affected by the time-change, I hope your Monday ran as smoothly as possible!!! ;)

Around here....the weather was B-E-A-U-TEEEEE-ful today!  (Not that I could enjoy it much!)  My windows at school are still snowed-in, so I couldn't open them.  But after school, it was still 53 degrees out.  WOW!  That temp was sooooo refreshing.
Therefore, here's to a wonderfully sunny day.  ((Too bad it's going back to cold, sleet and snow tomorrow)) :/

 Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Quilting -- Star Struck

Star Struck was wrapped up this morning in order to free up the quilting frame for a King sized quilt that my SIL's sister (Kamryn) wants me to finish up for her. 

Deadlines certainly make for finishes :D  
I didn't want to take Star Struck off the frame only to have to reload it again once I was finished with Kamryn's quilt.  So, I made quick work of it first thing this morning by wrapping up the second half while Kamryn's backing and binding fabrics were in the washer.   
I truly only loaded Star Struck in order to try out a new pantograph "Fascination" since Kamryn requested it as one of her final choices.  At the same time, Star Struck finallllly could see a finish;  one of my long-awaited UFOs nearing completion :)

Binding simply will need to wait just a bit longer since all of my time is now being devoted to my deadline quilt.
Happy Sunday

Technical Difficulties diagnosed...

Thank goodness for my husband, and for the fact that he didn't work on Friday.

All week was filled, and I simply never fit in time to call the Internet company in order to figure out our wifi problem.  I guess it says something that is hasn't been a top priority on the list of tasks.....???....
but I'm still HAPPY Paul was able to work with the ISP to get us back up-n-running [[almost]].
Diagnosis:  Faulty modem.
Prescription: Modem replacement.  However, Paul wasn't/isn't able to head down to HeadQuarters of our ISP until Monday.
Therefore, I'm crossing my fingers that the modem will give me enough time to get this post out to all of you.

By now, I'm sure all of you have been made aware of Kevin's QOV block drive.  If not, PLEASE check it out if you are interested in helping out QOV.  The blocks are truly manageable -- AND we have until JUNE to accomplish them! :)  Whew....

Between concerts and last-minute DI (Destination Imagination) practices, the week was booked, morning-to-night.  Yesterday was the Regional DI competition in Hudson, WI (2 hours away); which meant for a long day of competition AND waiting for awards.
This was Caitlyn's first year to compete, and wouldn't you know it-----with the craziness of the day, I NEVER got a picture of the whole team together!  [[Bad mom!!!!!]

I only have a picture of Cassie's DI team due to one of the other mom's who posted on FB.  

Neither of the teams will be advancing on to the State competition; one of our Middle School teams has though.  

Therefore, the after-school hours for the next couple of weeks should be CALM and OPEN! ....
Until Track season starts a few weeks down the pipe.

Today....I MUST get motivated to do some quilting.  I have a quilt on the frame that SHOULD have been off of it two weeks ago, and I have another that is on a strict deadline of next weekend.  And it's King size.

Therefore,...... Happy Sunday!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Technical difficulties...

Our wifi for the past week has been spotty. Just when we think it's back to working, it cuts out and we lose our connection.
I'm not a fan of writing posts using my iPhone, but I did want to at least check in with a quick Hiya!

I considered writing a quick post in the morning while at school before my day starts, but who am I kidding??! ;). As soon as I'm at school, the day begins and there is NO time for non-school thoughts until I leave the building in the afternoon.   Heck, there are many days where I am "bad mom" because I forget to contact the girls' teachers to touch base on changed afternoon plans (ie: bus home vs. going to the AfterSchool program.).

I'll TRY to remember to call the phone internet provider tomorrow during lunch break, but... That was also the game plan this whole past week. And we see how well that turned out.   And by the time I get home after school, after DI practice or Basketball practice or IEP (or other school-related) meetings....  It's either past 5:00, or I've completely forgotten about calling the company!

I have missed my blog reading this weekend, though. I don't care to read them thru my phone.

Anyway, I hope your weekend was super. I actually had the weekend "off."   Basketball is now officially done for both Cassie and Caitlyn. Life should slow down just a wee bit for the next couple of weeks. Although, Caitlyn has her DI competition next weekend.