Saturday, January 28, 2012

I'm A Machine

A machine quilter! Hahaha Grandma Dotty, of the North Fresno Quilters, gave me some quilt tops to free motion quilt. I'm quite pleased with the results.

And the back:

Here's the other one. It's made with batik's. Tanya found the perfect variegated thread!

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Happy Hatter

I've had hats on the brain as of late.
Out of appreciation...

Out of precious inspiration and special yarn:

Out of fun!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gold Star Sort of Day

What a wonderful day!!
So far, I have made it to my test.  (An accomplishment on its own as many of you know.)
I was there on time. (There was some discrepancy on the printed admit slip. They said Report at 8 in big bold letters, and then in tiny letters said to get there 30 minutes early. Contradictory? I think so.
Anyway, I took all the sections, almost fell asleep, and PASSED! With flying colors. Like seriously, the margin between my scores and the pass number made me smug. Very smug.

Then I went and picked up some Jamba for me and two very deserving mothers (one just became a mother and the other a grandmother to her first grand daughter!) (Who also sometimes read my blog and never comment. But I like them anyway!) I also am in love with that afore mentioned daughter/granddaughter! She is so tiny and precious! And Cah-yoooooote! Oh she is so cute! With the most elegant long fingers! Anyway yah. I told her mom, "thank you for having a fabulous baby so that I don't have to." In other words, Luke and I are  very much enjoying enjoying other peoples babies (shout out to Gabriel and Mackenzie too!) for the next ten years! ;)

Then I tromped around at Fresno State making sure I have all of my ducks in a row and I have an advising appointment as well. I don't even think class tonight will phase me.

And when I'm done, I'm going to go to the gym. Without complaining. Because after, I'm totally getting some chicken nuggets to celebrate my faaaaaabulous day! The only thing better would be heading home to Lukiepoo after. Alas, cake and eating too? Haha. You can't stomp on my mood.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Got home from my first day of placement. It was cold so I got in bed because bed was warm. Big mistake. I needed to go to the gym. My body got mad at me for being a slug. On the verge of sleep. Almost dozed. Jolted out of bed, said forget Zumba, I'll never make it til 6:30. Went and am ellipticaling.

Now, all I can think of is dinner (wanting something soooo not good for me) and sleep. Ugh. Big tests tomorrow. At least I know I'll go to bed early. Now what for dinner.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

In the Zone

I'm in my laaaaaast seminar of the week. I'm zoning.

Things I'm thinking about:
-How happy that picture on my planner makes me.
-I love Luke.
-I'm hungry.
-but not stomach hungry, or even energy hungry. Mouth hungry. For flavors.
-I'm really not sure what flavors I want.
-dinner possibilities. Pizza? It's Friday. Isn't Friday dinner supposed to be indulgent.
-I probably shouldn't eat the amazing Costco Mac and Cheese two nights in a row. Cheese, lactose intolerance meh
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Cheers and Sneers

Cheer: Fresh clean flannel sheets and a neatly made bed.
Sneer: My Thursday night class that goes til 9:50, therefore keeping me from said bed and sheets.
Cheer: a super enthusiastic professor with similar ideas to me.
Cheer: Useful seminars pre student teaching.
Sneer: We have to worry about children getting abused and therefore attend a seminar on mandated reporting.
Cheer: Having nice things to put on my resume.
Sneer: assembling said resume.
Sneer: Beginning of the semester parking mess.
Cheer: Tomorrow is Friday.
Sneer: I will still have to pry myself out of bed.
Cheer: I made an apt to have my car worked on Saturday.
Sneer: Those things often cost more than tests and cameras.
Cheer: They usually vacuum and wash my car after maintenance.
Cheer: I will be teaching knitting on Saturday morning at 9 am at the new Starbucks. All are welcome. Even other crafts.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cameras Worth of Tests

Ooof. What a beast of a day. Hiring-ish seminar in the morning, quick trip to to bookstore, afternoon seminar on PE. I didn't even have time to get my medical excuse. Ok it wasn't too bad, and I only pretended to have a question to get out of group jump roping.
Another quick break and it was time for my Wednesday night class. Ooof.
My prof recently moved here from Eugene, OR. I had done a little hand wave of yay and she's like "Did you live there?"
I said "no but they have great yarn shops and this fantastic calzone place." She seemed a bit taken by surprise. She'll get to know me soon enough.
When I got home I registered for some of my last tests. By some I mean 6. Next Wednesday I begin my Praxis tests which are the tests Id need for Colorado and Idaho.
Really, the most depressing thing is that for these blasted tests in all the subject areas for two states I will have handed over the money equivalent of a really. Really. Really. Nice camera. And lens. And class. Alas. Someday. Hopefully, in May, I will be allowed to pay more money to ask "them" to let me teach.

I love the kids. I live for the aha moment. Sharing a love for learning is priceless...

Speaking of the kids. This semester they will not be Jr. Highers as requested. Boo. However, they will be 5th graders. At least I know I'll like them. Or for sure enjoy the subject matter.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sauronistic Semester

Blecharrrggh. My day. I'd been in so much denial about leaving it didn't hit me until last night. We had watched Lord of the Rings on mute while he recited most of the lines and described what was happening and what was left out/the movie didn't flat out say. Speaking of which, is the blog title appropriate or did i butcher that which is LOTR. Baby steps folks. That movie is a plain example of the power of music. Anyway. We finished the movie and Luke said "You should probably pack tonight." Gasp, ugh, noooooo. Reality was upon me. It was especially not pretty at 5:00 AM. Mountain Time. It had snowed and was still snowing a bit when we left. I got to the airport at 7ish. It was stinking cold outside and totally cramped on my mushy sentimental goodbye. Reality of departure and therefore separation set in. My flight was late. I missed my connection. I spent way too many hours in airport chairs. I missed Luke. I just about finished a delicious project made with scrumptious yarn(merino wool and alpaca). Yep I use food words for good yarn.
I tried to deal with some school issues from another state away.
I may or may not have teared up a couple times.
12 hours later I was away from airport and airplane.
Fresno is cold and wet and I haven't seen it in the day yet but I'm pretty sure it's gray too.
My school semester looks like doom and gloom.
I will be on campus tomorrow from 8 am-10 pm. Don't worry. We get 30 minutes for lunch.
One of my seminars tomorrow is on PE. I haven't had time to get a doctor note.
I want to go back.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Phantom Canyon So Gouda

We're still on our restaurant exploring kick. After church we went to Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. downtown. It's a repeater. The menu was a bit limited but it was a good lunch and somewhere I'd take beer interested people like my dad, Uncle Jim, or Luke's friend Kyle, or some New Years beer tasters I know. Anyway the point is, it's right up a lot of people's alleys.

Luke had a 1/2 lb buffalo burger with fries on a pretzel bun. He also happens to be a mustard fan and really enjoyed adding some of this Rail Yard Beer Mustard.

I tried two of the soups. The soup of the day was a Zucchini soup that had a bit of spice. Very yummy! The other was one of their specialties and was a Gouda and Pale Ale soup. It had some potato as well. The flavor was amazing and very rich. So rich in fact that I had some trouble finishing. I may have over stepped some boundaries as I suggested to the server that it be served with a small side of grapes or apple slices.
We finished off with a house rootbeer float. Yum yum!
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A Fun Hat This Is

One of my buddies Levi has recently gotten pretty interested in Star Wars. I had seen a cool Yoda hat pattern on Ravelry (Facebook for knitters) and post it noted that in my brain to e made for him. Well apparently the Star Wars trend extends to young people everywhere as all the first and kindergarten kiddo were referencing it left and right. It was high time I educated my self in Star Wars. I'd seen bits and pieces but not all 6 all the way through.
So Luke and I began watching the movies and I began Levi's hat.

I think it turned out quite well, don't you? It's felted which means I knit it real big and wash it in hot and cold water to make the fabric more dense and a different texture. Essentially this is what happens when you accidentally put wool sweaters in the wash. Here are some pictures of the process. This is the swatch I used to see what would happen to different kinds of stitches.

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Bronco Baby, Niners Win, Wounded Warriors

I have a new baby cousin! A darling baby girl was born last Monday. Her family is a Bronco supporting family and so in honor of the Broncos win the day before her birth I began work on this oversized granny square baby blanket.

Unfortunately the Broncos lost their last game but I'm sure her family was so busy looking at her it didn't matter. She's real cute folks.
And let's be honest were just happy the 49ers made it one more round. Luke has been a fan since he was a kid. His mom went and found his old Jerry Rice jersey. He wore it almost every day one summer. I'm excited because we think it will fit me!

The squares in the top of the picture are squares I made for the Afghans for Wounded Warriors Project. I used up all of the yarn exactly! It was perfect!

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

One In Every Color-Soup, Zipper, ice cream, cereal

One of my previous years Camp Keola co-workers Kara made this fabulous one in every color food creation. I spied it on Facebook and had to ask of I could blog it!

Rainbow Soup

From l-r it has 1/2 a purple turnip, 2 purple carrots, 1 handful of snap peas, 1 broccoli stem, 4-5 small yellow and orange carrots, 1/3 orange bell pepper, and 1/2 red bell pepper.

For the rest of the soup she added 1/2 lb Wizzard Blend Rainbow pasta, and 1 shredded chicken breast.

For the broth:
1 onion, 4 celery stalks, a handful of rosemary, oregano, thyme, a big pinch of salt and pepper, cumin)

What a great one in every color idea! Thanks for sharing Kara!

Some one in every color recents slurped from other places.

Left: From Val's boyfriend of like 10 years. Can I just call him my Brother in Law yet? It's basically like a common law marriage.
Upper Right: Conversation between me and Luke
Me:woah! Where do you think they got that? I wonder what flavors it is?
Luke: It's play dough.
Me: oh.
It's by pink_explosion on instagram.
Lower Right: just makes me happy. We don't buy fruit loops so I never get the chance to make happy art. Oh well. I'll enjoy hmilazzo's instagram picture.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy New Year

Disclaimer: Old computer kaput. New computer purchased on year end sale. Took a bit to get the letter together and out. Took a bit to catch the blog up. All caught up. Those of you who sent us your Christmas card have been put on "the list" and got a hard copy of the letter. Those of you who "follow" get a digital copy. Should you want a hard copy, send us your picture next year!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good Eats, Watches, Read, Project

Luke and I are trying to be more purposeful about exploring local restaurants. Our location is a hop skip and a jump from down town and old town so you'd think we'd have been more on top of that. Today, we used the Urban Spoon app spinner and went for it. We ended up Down Town at a place called Nosh on the bottom floors of one of the big buildings right by the Pioneer Museum. We loved it! The flavors were amazing!

Luke had a spicy bison sandwich (top), I had a mushroom Swiss burger with rosemary potato chips and for dessert we got a trio that included a Black Cherry Orange Labna Parfait, Chocolate Pudding with seasonal fruit purée and chocolate pop rocks and my personal favorite Caramel Oreo Cheesecake Pop. So. Good.

Then we went and picked up IV, V, and VI so I could watch 1-6 all the way through. I needed a comprehensive understanding as the bits and pieces I've seen and know are no longer enough for forging academic connections. Let's call it part of the teaching credential process. Speaking of which, I recently finished another Andrew Clements book. He wrote Frindle and is super funny. This one is about a kid who explores a vow of science after researching "some dude named" Ghandi. His class has been dubbed the unshushables. Anyway, doesn't get any better than that. It's a bit slow going at first, but sets you up for the super funny end. And it's a kid level book. Quick, light read.

Sorry the pic is upside down. My phone sometimes rotates images. The backdrop for the book is a project I'm working on for my second cousin's new baby girl. I figured I'd go with Bronco's colors as they're pretty big fans and well their game closest to her birth was a pretty big success! I can't show you the whole picture yet just in case they're non commenting readers! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cable Mitts and Game Day Church

This morning I finished my fingerless mitts!

I looooove them! Worth every size 6 stitch and cable! Even worth the other thumb re-do. This evening we checked out a new church! Amazingly there were people there. (The town gets pretty empty on Bronco Game Days, we thought a playoff day would be even more so.) Turns out they had a TV on in one of the side rooms and the service started about 10 min later. We enjoyed the service and plan to check out the first service next Sunday as Luke has the day off. The irony: they were doing a shoe donation and it was Luke's first day wearing his good for his feet Christmas work shoes and I was wearing my Danskos. Sigh. So selfish. Actually not too bad though because Luke's boss coordinates the program so our goes go to them anyway! I'll let you know how next Sunday goes. We may have found our home church! Say a little prayer! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Phase 4

Wow. This break has really been what I needed. Break didn't really start 'til after Christmas because my brain was still working. And really, it is kind of rude to the fam to begin my recovery process during the holidays. First, I slept a lot. A lot people. Then, I knit and watched TV. Pawn Stars, Disney Channel's Jessie, and Celtic Woman. I watched that last one several times. It was fantastic. Luke only had to watch it once. I'm now officially rooting for Chloe Agnew(Celtic Woman) and Rory Mcllroy (Northern Irish Professional Golfer) to get married and have happy, accent speaking, singing, golfing babies. Now.... How to introduce them. Anyway, phase three commenced in full force and consists of reading a nice pleasant sort of book. Debbie Macomber's A Good Yarn was just that. Luke and I went on a hike, ate brunch at The Olive Branch, and came home and read. It was way cozy and happy and I finished my book Phase three and four overlapped a bit. Phase 4 has required yeast. A lot of it. And has produced some excellent results.

Homemade pizza. So good. All Recipes "Pizza Dough I" Prego traditional sauce, minced fresh garlic (2 cloves), pepperoni, Lindsay organic olives from Costco hand sliced, and skinny slices of provolone. We both called that a repeater. Next came pumpkin cinnamon rolls from Good Life Eats website. These were recommended to me by Marcy B. I let half rise overnight for the next morning and panned, covered and froze the other half and we enjoyed them today. (Take them out of the freezer after dinner and let them thaw and rise over night.) Between myself, eggplant knitter, Luke and one of his co-workers we all say this is a repeater. Thanks Marcy B! Most recently was today's adventure with Zwiebach! While on a hunt for the Camp Keola I received two recipes and googled another. Wouldn't you know a recipe I came upon while googling was "Grandma Net's". Funny how the Internet makes this world a little smaller. The recipe was posted by Katie at Raindrops on Roses! I sort of blended the recipes and the four of us who dubbed the cinnamon rolls a repeater did the same for zwiebach.

Also, my peppernut stash is getting dangerously low. Hmmmm should I make more? Which leads me to the fact that phase four is not over. But our tummies are full...and lets face it...a bit squishy. How to make the most of this phase without making ourselves sick...or squishy. For those of you waiting to hear from me, please be patient. I think getting my business together will be phase 6? - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Dreamed a Dream

Ugh! I am so mad at my dreams! You know those dreams where you don't want to wake up there so good? Mine are not like that. Mine are so WEIRD! They stress me out, and touch nerves and emotions. Yuck. They have also been mixing and combining the weirdest places. Take one of the bizarre ones from last night. Setting: Horse races, hospital care facility, church parking lot My mom was there, I was visiting her to take her out to lunch. We had to sign her out. To sign out she had to tear a tab of this tape tab bracelet. I noticed her skin by the tape was raw and scabby, and she said " My doctors told them I need another kind of bracelet." I said I know. We got to the church parking lot and found our car. No specific make or model. She got in the drivers seat and I got in the passenger seat. There was a white car like the Oldsmobile my parents bought in 1986 parked fairly close and at an angle. Mom wasn't turning the steering wheel hard enough so I kept saying "Stop! Just stop." She looked at me as if surprised and having a realization. Then she started crying and I was just holding her and she was child size and frail and crying. All the while my friend from high school and his dad who we were meeting for lunch (really weird in itself) were standing there by their truck flabbergasted. Then I woke up. Tell me, what do I do with that?! To top it off when I woke up, and woke Luke up to try to tell him, he told me he dreamed he shot me in the toe and his first thought was: "Oh man, I'm never going to hear the end of this from Jess." At which point I laughed out loud. Then I relaxed enough to fall asleep and have more weird dreams. Ugh sleep is way too much work. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

How Ornamental

I've wanted to come up with a good anual Christmas tradition but last year I was stumped. I knew I had better decide on something this year or it would be hard to call it a tradition started from the very beginning. After hearing and remembering so many special things about the ornaments my mom made for all the cousins every year, I decided that I would pick up the tradition for my own two person family. Sorry cousins. There are a lot of you. Anyway. For the retro done first Christmas ornament I joined Luke's bouteniere and my hair clip from our wedding attire. I took off the clips of course,

And embroidered them onto a dark gray background.

In silver thread I stitched in the words Just Married, 2010, and my initials JHN as kind of a tribute to how my mom would always put SFH. In sorting through ornaments recently I realized how special and important it was that I have my moms initials and the date. If you're making ornaments be sure to include them! This years ornament was a silhouette of Mickey Mouses head, in honor of our special trip to Disneyland.

Dark gray wool felt again, with black pearl cotton blanket stitch along the edge. I made the Mickey shape with the bottom of a jello cup size gladware and the bottom of a shot glass. On the back of the ears are my initials and the year 2011.

I made one more ornament because a Christmas tree isn't a Christmas tree without one. (Ps. We weren't even going to get a tree but one of Luke's co-workers moved and gave us his nice 7.5 foot one, and Luke had it all set up and decorated when I got here!) Anyway, the necessary ornament:

The pickle! Please tell me your family plays that game too! Anyway, our tree now has a pickle and I have an embroidered wool felt ornament tradition! You can be sure that every ornament will have the year and my initials too! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

The Stockings Were Hung

I knew I was going to be making stockings this year, but what they would look like was a big dilemma! Should they have names? Be multi-color? One in every color? Be the same shape with different designs? Many of you weighed in on the debate and here's what came to be:

On Christmas Morning:

Santa brought us two of these! He used to bring them to my mom and she made sure to let him know it'd be special if we got them as kids (and adults) too!

Eventually mine got finished!

And they are sooooo happy together! This way they can have names:

Or not:

I kept some things the same but like the interest the variations add. I now know any kids names will have 7 letters or fewer, and I have all the time in the world to fret over whether their stockings will be blue snowflakish and yellow stars or red white and green or red for boys and green for girls.........

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I'm No Mrs. Weasley

I got the bug for these mini Mrs. Weasley sweaters.

Which turned into:

Which turned into:

The funnest Christmas ornament/gift tag/Harry Potter nic nac. They're going to live at John and Neola's for a while I think. They look happier on a tree all together!

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A Jolly Sort of Visit

Val was in Fresno for a brief time before Christmas and it made for some quick quality visits for traditions sake! We had a fun breakfast at Batter Up with Destinie and Deb before one of my sub jobs. We had lots of laughs, flash backs, and squees!

And we were quite the Jolly Quilters (yes we sipped the beverage by that name as well) on Friday! Man oh man we've sure missed quilting night! We almost busted out a whole quilt top!

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