Monday, December 27, 2004

oh-just one more!

I took the plunge (again) and ordered yarn. I will be receiving my 8 skeins of Noro Kujaku yarn from the boxing day sale. Here it is. It is because of me that colorway 18 is out of stock! Thanks to a tip from a favorite knitting friend-who I owe most of my skills to- well, at least the learning part!

One more post today...

I have been putting this off for a little while, I didn't want to get in a nasty mood after blogging about it, but I saw the Lemony Snicket movie, "A Series of Unfortunate Events". Ick. It made me crabby afterwards. I couldn't believe the adejective selected for the title was "unfortunate". Unfortunate is when they run out of red berry smoothie mix at your favorite coffeehouse. Or when they don't have hummus on the day that you came to eat the hummus sandwich. Or it sprinkles outside on a day that you forgot your umbrella.

In contrast, the events depicted in the movie would led me to switch "unfortunate" with malicious, shockingly horrific, or some other more suitable word. In all actuality, I told my husband who kindly listens to my psychological rants and raves, that this movie title experienced some cognitive reframing.

This is a technique where a thing that is seemingly negative may be ascribed a word that lessens its negativity. Here's an example, a child may appear to be out of control or hyperactive. Cognitive reframing or restructuring can be used to lessen the assumed negativity or stigma of such a title by stating that the child is simply "dramatic". In the situation of this movie, it appeared to me as though the "unfortunate events" were reframed from what would otherwise be highly traumatic experiences. This I believe was an attempt create a more palatable title for the average moviegoer. But alas, this movie was not for me. My husband stated following the flick, "I have never seen anyone with as much empathy for the characters in a moive than you". I decided to take that as a compliment- and as a warning- to watch out for what I see as my empathy continues in life and as I subject myself to the silver screen.

A Fabulous b-day, Christmas, and sweater time!

As you can see in the pic, I had a lovely B-day. I woke on Wed. planning to work on Troy's sweater, some work documentation, and other in-progress Christmas gifts. I noticed a sunnyness in the room, and the time on my cell/alarm clock! Troy- you are going ot be late for work! You'd better jump in the shower! Nonchalantly he left the room briefly, returning to crawl back into bed...and tell me that he took the day off for my birthday!!!

Sweet, I thought. Oops- that means I won't get my stuff done. OH- I wasn't supposed to get my stuff done on my birthday!

We visited Brueggers- herby turkey for me- and petmsmart with Buster to do his Christmas shopping. C'mon, when your dog's this cute, how could you not shop for him?!

We did all this while listening to my new car cd player/radio. My last one had long since gotten stuck on one radio station. It seemed like one day I entered my car and all the buttons but two ceased to function. I resolved myself to only listening to cds (in the order of the tracks mind you), and decided to deal with it like an adult. But was I ever surprised when I entered Electra - my Neon- and noticed a change in my car. The spot where the cd face went didn't look quite the same. That's 'cause it wasn't. And was I ever excited about that!

Fast forward through my b-day- my husband surprised me when his arm looped through mine led me to a super chic blue/silver/modern/and...Aveda salon spa, where I was to "endure" an hour-long massage. I eagerly signed my life away, as well as the hour that was blissful and made me look dreamy to the skilled massage therapist named Emily. I would reccomend her, she was really good. Deep massage, yet I didn't bruise this time. Plus, there's that yummy Aveda tea with the natural sweetener in it.

Later- when my flowers- Thanks Mom and Dad! came, I delighted in their gerbera daisy, iris, and lily beauty. This day commenced with a tasty but chilly dinner at Christos in St. Paul- 60 degrees or less (I saw the thermometer on my way out). And of course, time to eat Coldstone Creamery ice cream cake and open more gifts. What a treat- the whole day was wonderful! Thanks everyone who helped make it extra special!

Surprise! Hour long massage at uber chic Details Salon Spa, downtown St. Paul- love the butter yellow walls and cobalt blue lucite chairs!  Posted by Hello

I was so excited to give this to Troy!  Posted by Hello

Proscuitto chips with fried artichoke and caramelized onions, BBQ quesadillas with tropical fruit salsa, ciabatta bread with red pepper aioli, salmon mousse, basil poached shrimp, and a little smokie Posted by Hello

IKEA's kitchen- our inspiration-and soon to be ours Posted by Hello

Buster unwrapped Posted by Hello

Troy's sweater- my first Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

It's my Birthday!

Veintecinco! Troy surprised me by taking the day off! So far we are going to eat bagels with cream cheese at Bruegger's and bring Buster to PetSmart to do his Christmas shopping. Troy says he will forget by tomorrow what we bought him and it can be a big Buster surprise for him! OH- and Legacy chocolates to get a fresh Christmas present for someone. MMMM.

On the sweater front- it has been blocked, and I finished the neckband yesterday. Now I have to sew up the shoulders, sides, and sleeves seams- and voila- "Instant" sweater. :)

Have a great day everyone- I know I will!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Weaving tails and iceyness

Today- since I have gotten all of my homework (that is due tonight) done, I will have a day of weaving tails. I really dread this part of knitting, having to sit and weave in all the stray bits of yarn from when I started my knitting project, added another strand of yarn, and finished the project. Fortunately, I finished one scarf on Friday night, another on Sunday night, and I have since then woven in those tails. For the Christmas record, I still have 2 more knitted things in progress, and Troy's sweater- also in progress.

I slept in today, and my husband was still here when I woke up. Evidently we had experienced a nasty sleety freezing rain storm overnight- and everything was coated with a thick layer of ice. The ice layer caused my husband to leave later for work- but now he is there safe and sound. I am hoping the ice is melted or minimized before I go to my last day of class for the month tonight. If not, I just might not be there. I might be (to borrow and credit my friend Leslie for her term) snugly nestled in a "Creative Cocoon". Hmmm...I could handle that. I sometimes have so much creativity that I think I might burst!

Well, it is time for me to get back to my work and reading for school. I am about to make an artistic poster that says my motto, "If you can dream it, you can acheive it". Then I will send a picture of it to my new favorite Adler instructor Wes Wingett- just in time for the due date of today.

Ciao, and Happy holidays everybody!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Someone has been a very, very good boy this year...

You know you're super special if you are the recipient of my first sweater. (That's you Troy.)

Yesterday was my tentative goal date to finish the doing the knitting part of Troy's (DH's) sweater. I didn't quite make it, but that's okay 'cause I'm on the home stretch. I did just have to take a knitting break due to a sense of over-elation at the progress progresses. It was time for a Kodak (well, more accurately Fuji FinePix) moment, as I just finished the neckband part on the left side. I have the right side to go, and then the collar, then all the knitting stuff will be done. It will be time for blocking, seaming, and the dreaded task of weaving in the tails..
I could hardly share the joy enough though when I laid out all the pieces thus far, and all the measurements matched. The front is the same size as the back yay! The sleeves are the same too- I am in a place of knitter's bliss!

My first sweater! Posted by Hello

Big decision made last night

As I continue to persevere in my goal to meet Dr. Phil McGraw and his lovely wife Robin McGraw, new ideas to make this happen come frequently.

Such ideas include": Knitting Dr. Phil a scarf with his name on- cheesy, but a good way to practice embellishing a knitted material, and maybe it would work.

An e-mail a day to the show, to the point that the Dr. Phil team would want to blcok my e-mail- but hey, I have three different addresses, so that could go on awhile.

Telling everyone I know to e-mail him, for me. (hey, it might come down to this).
But the best idea (I think) so far, is to incorporate his philosophy/book Family First/things done or said on the show/etc to my MASTER'S THESIS.

Now, I am not afraid to work hard, but in this case I was going to select the least overwhelming paper to write, a 30 page integrative paper. But when it came down to it, I realized 30 pages wouldn't let me do what I want to do. Hence, the decision to "take the plunge" and opt for the medium option a 60 page thesis. I think I can do it, right? I mean, I'd be talking about Dr. Phil of all people in relation to Adlerian psychology.

I think I should make a plug for Adlerianism here. Adler believed in equality, and that an individual's mental health can be assessed by the degree of gemeinschaftsgefuhl one possesses. That big word is german for "social interest" or "community feeling". If one is involved in the community in a socially useful way, like in fostering genuine relationships, working to help others in some way shape or form, and working to get skilled at something not for the sake of being better than others but for the sheer desire of learning and cooperating, one's social interest is said to be high, aka a healthy person. If one is contributing to society in a socially useless way as in stealing, laziness, fearing all kinds of relationships, rebellion, or competing to be better than another person, one's social interest is said to be low.
So there ya go. This paper will be an ongoing work in progress type of thing, and probably the biggest thing that I hae accomplished academically. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Results are in!

Color 4- reddish, orangish, greenish 1 vote
Color 5- purples, 6 votes
Color 6- blues (my original choice) 2 votes
Color 7- earth tones, evergreen, brown, olive, 5 votes
Color 9- black/grey, 1 vote

Thank you for all the votes that I received!

Some people voted in my e-mail box, so not all the votes are on the blog- but the winner is...
Color Five- "What Fools These Mortals Be" will be the Shakespearean name of my sweater. Like Proverbs 31, I will be a woman in purple (on the days that I wear the sweater).

I also splurged and ordered a skein of the gray/black color (#9) named "Et Tu Brute?" to make a scarf. I don't have any scarves with black in them yet, only red-orange, green-blue, and pink yellow-aqua. It's time to make something "classic".

Now I just have to wait for my yarn to come. It has been shipped, but doesn't have a tracking number yet. When it comes, I will take a picture for the blog.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Hot bloggity- it's the first ever knitting corgis poll

Please all you diligent readers out there, visit this page and vote on a yarn color for a sweater for me. The yarn colors and the sweater pattern are here.
The sweater pattern is on the right side, below the yarn colors.
I was originally leaning toward color 06, but 05 is growing on me too. What do you think? Vote using the comment feature on my blog. Vote quickly, 'cause the yarn is on sale this week and I really want to buy it!

Tree in glass with IKEA gems-on silver star plate Posted by Hello

Alice in Wonderland with ostrich at Snow White Posted by Hello

The blue circle near Palomino's Posted by Hello

More holiday decorating fun Posted by Hello

Seasonal Sideboard Posted by Hello

Snow White's party at the Diamond Mine club scene Posted by Hello

My fish Posted by Hello

Troy's food  Posted by Hello

Christmas mantle Posted by Hello

Shoppin' the town

Minneapolis has this phrase, "do the town" that refers to shopping. You could say that on Friday and Saturday we "did the town".

Our shopping on Friday began with a trip to Selby Avenue's cooking/entertaining store, Savvy Host. Which evidently carries homeade pet food (but we didn't buy any). Then we went to a new chocolate store, that features Venezuelan chocolates. It just added another store from its base in Menomonie, WI. Virtually visit here. But do visit in person- they had samples even, and delectable treats with varying percentages of chocolate, so you could select dark, light, and anything in between. Plus, they make really good chocolate affordable, unlike some of the other chocolate stores.

On Hennepin Avenue we visited redlurered, Urban Outfitters, Gap, Borders, Kitchen Window, and a host of other places at which we "just looked". On Nicollet Mall, we visited Marshalls, William Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, and Jamba Juice.

For dinner we went to Basil's in the IDS Tower. OH- was our food good! I told Troy that it seemed like my food was just floating off my fork...into my mouth. I had Grilled Chilean Seabass with Citrus Butter, Lemon Scented Basmati Rice, Spinach, Red Chili Oil it was fabulous. Troy had Rib Eye Steak with Apple Wood Smoked Bacon Wrapped, Lemon Herb Oil,
Swiss Chard, Red Beet Reduction. This tasty food was eaten by us on the terrace over-looking polar bears (statues) that were meant to look as though they were swinging in the air, and the delightful Crystal Court Fountain. For dessert we had the "creme brulee sampler" which included vanilla creme, blueberry honey, and blackberry flavors of yes, creme brulee. Can we say Decadent?!
There will be pictures of the food on the blog soon.

While we were out on the town we walked everwhere, on the street and through the skyways. We were about to see the "Snow White" thing at Marshall Fields at 9pm- and then learned that the downtown Marshall Fields closes at 9. In our rush to reach the skyway before they closed their store doors we dashed out the wrong exit- and wandered further from our destination rather than nearer. It did yield in some good pictures though. I learned that the Palomino restaurant building has a great blue half circle thing painted on its ceiling- and I had a fun time photographing it while laying on a bench in the deserted courtyard. Getting "lost" was worth it in the end.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Shopping on Hennepin Avenue today

I am quite excited, Troy took a day off to go shopping on Hennepin and Nicollet Mall, and we are staying overnight in the Millenium Hotel. Just for fun- and well, to do some shopping of course.

I used to think shopping was overrated. Now I have succumbed to my formerly repressed desires to shop and today I will embrace those desires with passion!

We are getting ready for our fun day after having slept in and walking the dog together. What a treat.

We might even go to the yarn store by Midwest Mountaineering that I have yet to find. Whenever we go to the Fine Line I look for this infamous store, but so far it has remained hidden to my eyes. We'll have to see what else our day has in store for us- we are winging it- with a plan for a good dinner somewhere...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Lingonberry love and tree-hugging

I must confess my ongoing relationship with the store that has "our kitchen" to-be, IKEA. My friend Elzbieta and I had the fortune of being able to dine on IKEA breakfast, complete with lingonberry preserves and lingonberry drink. That drink is so tasty- a fresh cross between a cranberry-like tartness and a strawberry-like sweetness. Make a trip to IKEA if you haven't yet, at least to try the beverage. Yum.

Prior to this engagement, my parents announced the bulk of our Christmas gift- money to update our oh so dysfunctional kitchen. Limited counterspace, a countertop hogging microwave with some many crumbs under it you'd think we snacked there, an ugly fan light- which has a replacement in waiting- and just un-lovely laminate wood-grain wannabe cupboards, all located on one side of the kitchen to present an unattractive top heavey arrangement. The new kitchen is everything but that. It will be modern, airy, and contemporary. Delightful, and functional. With 2 pull-out pantrys for all the food goodies and healthy stuff, a fabulous long uninterrupted counter for my sous chef offering a great distance of prep space, IKEA's sliding stainless steel spice rack (also eagerly anticipating its introduction to the kitchen while doing time in the guest bedroom for now), and Varde cupboards, with a row of glass- fronted cabinets, then traveling up the wall space for pretty things, then. I should really put in a picture of our current kitchen. I am very excited for the overhaul- I can barely wait. It's very gratifying for me to just ooh and aah at the display kitchen in IKEA and visualize the drastic change that is coming...

So- tree-hugging. I was a tree-hugger on Friday in the dark alleys of the Menards "pick-up merchandise here" lot. I learned that first one must assess the height of the bundled up trees, and then give each one a hug. By hugging the trees one gets an idea about how big the tree with "foof" out once unbundled. My new method worked, and the result was a big fluffy balsam fir tree. Now the next project is to get it decorated to my liking.

I also decorated my mantle, which is a favorite pastime. It's like giving me a white sheet of paper and saying, go ahead, create. I will post a picture of that result soon. I was inspired by a workshop that I attended with Nadia Ramirez, and her suggestion to use old books for variety and height on the mantle. Well, we had one old book, so I ended up taking the paper jackets off nearly all our hardcover books, and pretending they are old. Some of the books on the shelf include: Walden by Thoreau (yes I read it and found it quite intriguing), Self Matters by Dr. Phil, and Troy's old book addition of a Nancy Drew.

Well, I just finished my Power Yoga with Denise Austin video. Buster is especially skilled at getting in the way while I exercise in-home, but, like many things he does, it is too cute to put him in the kitchen for the interruptions.