Sunday, October 26, 2014

Building Block #10

2014 is just melting away and soon I will have all 12 blocks of my knit along with Natalie done.  Block #10 was all about the slip, slip knit stitch or SSK.  Both of us knew this stitch well from the Clapotis pattern (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2009/09/clapotis-anyone.html), but it is nice to use the stitch to knit such a pretty block.  Unlike last month's block, I really enjoyed knitting this one and the end result was a lovely block in purple. 

The only negative thing I will say about the SSK is that it truly is a booger to tink out. (Tink is to unknit your stitch to fix a mistake).  If anyone has any suggestions or tips on how to do this successfully, I would be most grateful.  MOST.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Marriage Equality Wins

 
What an amazing week it was, same-sex marriage keeps sweeping the nation.  By letting the lower courts decisions stand 11 states were released to begin same sex marriage.  It has not been smooth, but it is happening.  Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wisconsin, Indiana, West Virginia,  Virginia, and North Carolina are either performing marriages or getting ready to.  Allowing equality is still a struggle in Wyoming, Kansas, and South Carolina, but it is coming.  A court in Alaska has also said the states same sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.   Again it is coming.
 
I am happy for all the gains, but still wish the U.S. Supreme Court had taken the cases and made marriage equality the law of the land.  Still waiting for Missouri to not just recognize marriage licenses from other states, but to overturn the ban on same sex marriages, again it is coming.  Looking forward to equality.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Today We Bought a House

Our New Place
Today we bought a house.  I say that, but it is not like we went to the house store, picked one out, paid for it, and brought it home.  Several months ago we started looking at houses.  We looked at big one, small ones, new ones, rehabbed ones, expensive ones, cheap ones, brick ones, and more brick ones.  In the end we chose the one with the big yard, because that is truly what my wife wanted.  I had hoped to have a new home which didn't need a bunch of work, but again we went with the house with the big yard, so some work will be needed.

We went through the painstaking process of getting a loan on the new house.  It was not that we weren't loan worthy, it was that we kept having to produce the same pieces of paper over and over to the bank.  It was a nightmare.  However, today everything was in order and we met at the title company and signed our names dozens and dozens of time.  And then after all the papers and signatures we had a new home. 

We are lucky, Natalie owns Casa de California.  We will be able to take our time to get the new place in order and move at our pace.  I am not loving the idea of moving my fiestaware and my whole life, but eventually I will say goodbye to the casa and hello to the new place.  I keep telling myself today was a good day.

P.S. The State of Missouri's Attorney General did not put a stay on recognition of same sex marriage licenses from other states, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear same sex marriage rulings which had already struck down marriage bands.  Several states started marrying same sex couples (Virginia, Colorado, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma).  Today was a very good day.

An Iconic Vacation to Chicagoland

My beautiful wife and I went to Chicago for a 4 day, 3 night vacation.  Those 4 days were filled with many wonderous and iconic things.  First we had a nice drive and meet up with some of our dear friends for a good visit and dinner.  Selena and her mother were their normal gracious hosts basking us in their warmth and hospitality.

After leaving our friends we checked into our hotel, perfectly situated in the posh Gold Coast area of North Chicago.  We settled in for our stay.  Wednesday was more time with good friends, gambling the day away.  We even managed to squeeze in a yarn store called Knit Nirvana (http://knitnirvana.com/).  I bought some Wicked Madelinetosh and had a good time with the owner, Sue.  Our friends even took us out to eat at a Czech restaurant, Czech Plaza in Berwyn (http://www.czechplaza.com/).  We had a great meal with liver dumpling soup and delicious pork tenderloin.  It is always hard to say goodbye to our friends, Bob and Greg, needing many hugs.



Thursday found us at the Contemporary Art Museum (http://www.mcachicago.org/) looking to have a meeting with David Bowie.  What a meeting it was.  The 90 minute multi-media exhibition of Bowie was amazing.  The costumes and the music alone were stunning.  I also got a kick out of all the crazy shoes, too.  It was an unexpected way to spend our Thursday.  We also got to see 2 Frieda Kahlo paintings, and wonder why the museum had a Fiat mounted on the wall.  We left happy that Sue at Knit Nirvana had suggest we go.  We also squeezed in another yarn store, Loopy Yarns (http://www.loopyyarns.com/).  Again another great yarn store with helpful people.

Thursday night was the main event, Fleetwood Mac in concert.  When I heard the classic line-up of Fleetwood Mac was going to be on tour, I knew I would kick myself if I missed it.  Sadly, St. Louis was not on the list of tour cities.  I did some hard thinking and decided, I only need one kidney, and bought the tickets.  I am so glad I did.  The group performed for over 2 and half hours.  They rocked and rolled.  The band gave their all for a great evening of the music I love.  Big Sigh!  After the concert it took us awhile to get a taxi and it started to rain, but all I could do was glow all the way back to the hotel.

We capped our vacation with a stop over at IKEA on the way out of town where we spent some dollars on Swedish design.  My car is still full of a kitchen island and a bathroom cabinet.  In all our vacation was full of icons and IKEA, Big Sigh!  Oh well in another year and a half I will get to go on vacation again.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Same-sex Marriage Moves Forward in Missouri..

And so it goes the  court today said same-sex marriages performed in other states have to be accepted in Missouri.  I, of course, was in a different state when the ruling was handed down.  Home now, so until the stay gets put in place, I am legally wed in my home state.  Tears of joy were shed

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bluebells and Crochet Hooks

Like a mad woman, I signed up for a year long crochet block class.  My crochet skills leave something to be desired.  I am trying to get better at crochet, trying I say.  The first block I am working on is called textured bluebells.  It has not been the easiest thing I have ever done, but I am soldiering on.

One of the hardest things has been figuring out what size crochet hook to use with the yarn.  I ended up making 3 blocks with 3 different size crochet hooks, G, H, and J.  The ball band said to use a J, but I didn't have enough yarn to make 8 blocks on the J hooks.  I tried the G hook, but it was too tight.  Finally, I tried the H hook.  On the H I will have enough yarn and the fabric had some give.  So yay for the H hook. 

3 Hooks, 3 Size Squares

I want this project to turn out well.  The end result will be an afghan called, Blue Horizons, utilizing 4 different squares.  I will also be able to crochet something more than a chain.  Hoping for a win.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Summer Caking

This summer I spent much of my evenings and weekends looking for the St Louis 250 Birthday Cakes.  I traveled long and far to collect photographs of these crazy cakes.  It became this quest which required a list, google maps, instagram, and gas.  Good thing I drive a Prius. 
 
What started as just taking a few photographs of the cakes close to my house became an obsession which drove some of my friends on facebook crazy.  In the process I re-discovered my city, found parks I never knew existed, and drove to the ends of the St Louis metropolitan area and then some.  I found 252 cakes and even made a silly little video.  I enjoyed myself and regret nothing.

The Venice Café Cake is my favorite.



The Daniel Boone House Cake is one of the prettiest designs.
 
 
 
The Aerie's Winery Cake has the best view.
 
 
The Malcolm Martin Cake is the most surprising location with its geyser and pristine park.
 

One of my favorite details is the Elephant on the Eads Bridge Cake.

 
 
And my favorite photograph at the St Charles Heritage Site is the one with my dear friend, Kim, who inspired me to start cake hunting.
 
 
My summer was full of cakes, and in the end finding them made me happy and I regret nothing.