Friday, March 30, 2007

Miter Madness

Last year some time I started working on my Mitered Square blanket and I knit up about 4 squares before drifting off to another project. Then earlier this month, Cara began posting about her obsession with mitered squares and my interest was re-engergized.

Mitered Squares

And so I began knitting mitered squares again but then I realized that I was just grabbing at colors and I wanted to be more thoughtful in my color selection. So last night I took the wad of colors and began winding.

Unwound Yarn

A short time later, my yarn was wound up (I still need about 20 more skeins but what I had was done) and I could review yarn colors in a more thoughtful manner.

Wound Yarn

And some Friday Eye Candy for the dog lovers, here is Poochi posing with her ball for me.

Poochi

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hollywood as Theraphy

Gazing Ball

Last night I was on the phone with Mot and I told her I was obsessing (which I do quite well) about an issue we had previously discussed. After taking a deep nasally breath, Mot said, "What do YOU want to do?"

Now this is Mot's favorite line from The Notebook and one that resonates with both of us.

Blue Trees

So I told her want I wanted to do and she responded with, "DO it!" which is another of her favorite lines from the Starsky and Hutch movie with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

I started laughing when she said this which led her to defend her Hollywood Theraphy lines. We really started laughing at that but I do have to say that Mot was able to get me to say what I wanted and then encouraged me to DO it!

March 28, 2007

Mot -- This morning, I did it. I did what I wanted and it felt just right, just perfect.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Eyeball



I went to the eye doctor this morning for a check-up on the ole eyeball and I was so happy to hear that it is almost all better. Unfortunately the pressure in my eye is slightly elevated from the steroid eye drops as I am one of the 20% classified as steroid responders. The good news is that this is easily remedied. I will be weaned off the eye drops (MY DROPS! MY PRECIOUS!) and will have a final check-up in about a week. Also I still have excellent eyesight which is another fantastic thing!

Tonight...miter madness!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Leaving the Crazy at Home

This morning, I had an appointment out in Bellevue and as I prepared to leave, I went to grab my bag which carries all sorts of fun stuff from big books to yarn, clothing, food and pens (lots of pens which I can never find when I need them). As I reached down, I realized that I might need to leave the crazy at home.



My bag unfortunately reflects the state of my mind. If I am calm, it is neat and orderly. If I am feeling rushed and stressed, then it looks crowded and disorganized.

I must have been feeling a bit stressed on Thursday when I went to the doctor because the nurse told me that my bag was giving women a bad name and that I needed to tidy it up. I wanted to know if she had been speaking with my Mom!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Episcleritis or WOW My EYE REALLY HURTS

Yesterday morning I woke up and noticed that my eye hurt. I stumbled into the bathroom where I noticed my eye was RED but there weren't any other symptoms other than my eye hurting. I got dressed, left off the make-up and headed to work. Around 9 a.m. I started calling the doctors for an appointment. I got into my regular doctor at 4:40 p.m. where he told me I either had Conjuntivitis (Pink Eye) or Episcleritis (http://www.revoptom.com/handbook/sect2f.htm) and that I needed to see my eye doctor.

So I called my eye doctor and made an appointment for this morning where I learned that I have Episcleritis which luckily isn't contagious but unfortunately could be a symptom of an auto immune disease. My eye doctor told me not to worry about the auto immune disease possibility unless this showed up again. Of course I'm still worrying a bit (because of course I WORRY!) and I am due for my annual exam in a few weeks so I'm going to ask my regular doctor to check for this stuff to be safe.

So anyhoo, no photos of the eye because that would be mean and I'm staying at home today knitting, pouting and just staying off the computer (ok just a bit on the computer but now I'm off to knit and relax the eyeball).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Eating Cupcakes

Trophy Cupcakes

Last night after work, running around and feeding Roux, I headed over to Trophy Cupcakes in Wallingford Center.

Smashed Cupcakes

The shop is decorated in beautiful browns and aquas with the perfect touches placed everywhere. The staff was very friendly though a bit slow (in their defense I was feeling antsy since I had left the dog in the car, the dog that FREAKS OUT when left in the car alone). Regulars have already claimed the shop as their own and the phone was ringing off the hook for birthday party orders.

March 20, 2007

I left the shop with my cupcakes in hand and headed out to the car. My hazard lights were one and Roux had licked every window surface in my car. I wasn't bothered though since I had cupcakes. I haven't tried the actual cupcakes yet but I can tell you that my taste of the frosting was so delicious! I can't wait to have a cupcake for lunch today. That will be a fantastic treat.

P.S. I think I like Trophy Cupcakes more than other cupcake shops in the area because they actually have different flavors, like a real cupcake shop should.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cupcake Fever

I was crusing the bloglines when I read a post about a new cupcake shop in Wallingford where I just happen to be dog sitting.

I think we all know where you'll be able to find me after work -- Trophy Cupcakes in Wallingford Center!

Also I read about some disturbing news about Seattlites lack of Vitamin D. I may need a tropical vacation. It's a medical necessity!

For Jessica -- !!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

England - Week Two

My second week in England was a bit more relaxed with fewer moves around the country. I stayed with Louise and Mark in Chorley. Mark was kind enough to chauffeur me about the country and drop me off at various train stations with a schedule. Such a nice guy!

Relaxing Sheep

After dropping Darcy off at the train station in Preston, we headed up to the Lake District so I could finally see Beatrix Potter's house at Hilltop. Along the way, Mark stopped so I could take pictures of the sheep. The colored spots you see on them is branding from the farmers. The sheep often jump hedges and roam about so different farmer's sheep get mixed in with other farmer’s sheep. We actually saw three runaway sheep a few moments after taking this photo. They had a wild look in their eye and gave me the giggles for most of the afternoon.

Hawkshead Boats

We took the ferry across Lake Windermere at Hawkshead to Hilltop. The ferry is pulled across the lake via chain which was quite novel to me when I first saw it almost 10 years ago. Louise and I had a good laugh over the memories of that trip!

Louise and Mark

Louise, Mark and I were quite excited to be heading to Hilltop and I read to them from my guidebook. I told them all about Beatrix Potter and how I loved her stories as a child. My Great Aunt Marge had given me a collection of her books.

Hilltop

Sadly when we arrived at Hilltop, it was closed until April for Winter Cleaning. The gardens were open so we spent some time mopping outside the door and pretending that someone would let us in. I have given up on Hilltop. Every time I've tried to go, its' been closed. I guess it's not a place for me!

We did however visit Grasmere where I picked up some Grasmere Gingerbread for me and my Mum. It was the only thing she requested from England. Louise and I were also able to take Mark out for the very best Welsh Rarebit in the entire country. I think Mark loved it too.

February 26, 2007

The next day we went out for an Birthday Dinner at a lovely Indian restaurant. February is a busy birthday month for the family with Louise's Mum, Louise's Dad and Louise's husband all having birthdays within a few days of each other. That night I stayed with Louise's parents as we were going out on an adventure the next day.

In the morning, we went for a beach walk along the Southport shore before enjoying coffee which Ann had prepared for us that morning. Such a lovely Mum! After taking the dog back to their house, we headed up to Tatton Place for lunch and a chance to explore the old house. The Becki curse struck again! It was closed on Mondays until April! What is that? But never fear, Mr. W had a Plan B which was to visit Beeston Castle. Ann and I had a good laugh once we arrived there as Mr. W marched up the steep hill to the castle on his cell phone telling Mark about our day. We were nearly unable to walk! I always love a good laugh.

The next day I headed out to Leeds where I visited Waterstones and loaded up on books. I also visited a nice Starbucks in the center and sat down to read for a few hours. I was feeling a bit tired at this point and needed the rest.

February 28, 2007

Wednesday was Glasgow, Scotland. Due to a train derailment, I had some travel changes. I took the train from Wigan to Preston where I got on a coach (bus) and traveled up to Carlise where I got back on the train and went to Scotland. It was a cold, blustery day but I still had fun. I went out to the Cathedral and checked out the graveyard before finding a tour bus where I ensounced myself in warmth. Glasgow is a lovely city which I hope to visit again soon.

Richmond Castle View

On Thursday, Mark had a business trip and so he drove me up to Richmond so I could check out their castle. It was wonderful and the views were amazing. Sadly it was at this point that the batteries in my Nikon gave out. Luckily though my mini-digital camera had enough juice to take over photo duties. After a few hours of exploring Richmond, Mark came back from his meeting and picked me up.

March 1, 2007

He then dropped me off in York for the afternoon. Again he pressed a train schedule into my hands and told me where to meet him in Leeds. I decided to head over to the Minster since I do love that building. I had plenty of time and went on the two hour tour of the Cathedral. I learned quite a bit about the church and love it even more now.

Our tour guide mentioned that a protest was scheduled outside the Minister around 3 p.m. though he wasn't quite sure who or what was being protested. With that I left the minister and headed out for a bit to eat and a bit of shopping. I found a great rare book shop though I didn't buy anything. I did however set off their alarm upon entering the shop. After roaming around York for a bit, I decided to go back to the Minister to check out the protest especially since I was now seeing quite a few police officers around town.

I have to say this was the sadiest protest I've ever seen. There were only 3 protestors with many more media and police officers. I sat and watched for awhile but honestly I just felt bad for them. I still don't know what they were protesting.

After exploring York, it was time to head back to Louise and Mark's house. I had a delightful final evening with them and in the morning took a train back to London. I spent the night out by Heathrow since I had to be at the airport at 6:00 a.m. for my 8:30 a.m. flight. I did have time to make it to the British Museum but not much else.

I hopped my flight home and had a long, boring layover at JFK. I read the book, "The History of Love" which I'd highly recommend to anyone before eventually boarding my flight to Seattle. My parents met me at the airport and we chattered the entire way home filling in the other with our activities. It was nice to be home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

England - Week One

Note: This is a long post!

Once again I had a fantastic visit to England but this time I was able to bring along my friend Darcy. This was Darcy's first time overseas and it was fun to see England through her eyes. Oh we had some near disasters (no food at our terminal in JFK, exhausted temper tantrums in Covent Gardens, forgotten Credit Cards, tears over Left Luggage locations in Bath and drunken fights at a nearby table in a Dublin Bar) but the fun times created overwhelmingly fun memories.

Marble Arch

We arrived in London on Saturday morning at 7 a.m. but did not make it to our hotel until 10:30 a.m. After a nice shower and lunch, I left Darcy to the Beefeaters at the Tower of London and set off to explore London on my own (I've been to the Tower at least 3 times and I've seen it. It's great but I had other things to see!) I picked up our train tickets to Bath and set off to Oxford Street where I walked until I reached Regent Street where I turned and walked until I arrived at St. James Park. I love St. James Park. It's quite lovely. I then walked to Westminster Abbey where I was to meet Darcy. I was a bit early and after walking over to parliament and taking some photos decided to nip into the Abbey and then nip back out to meet the Darce. Unfortunately the Abbey was closed for services. So I decided to stand outside and await Darcy where I would apologize for the closure and tell her it was good to save something for next time. Unfortunately Darcy had gotten on a longer bus tour than she had planned so she ended up being a bit late. Not a problem! Except I was so worried that she was lost in London and that I was a bad friend and and and. Never fear! Darcy arrived and we set off to the National Gallery so I could see my Vermeer paintings. After that we tried to ride the London Eye before dinner but a 4 hour wait made us to decide to just have dinner which we did and it was first class! At this point though, Darcy was lagging. She was so tired and I just knew we had to make it home quickly. We couldn't find any cabs and took the tube back to our hotel where Darcy quickly got her stuff together and fell asleep. I took a shower and then fell into bed.

Rebecca and Jane Austen

The next morning it was off to Bath! We visited the Jane Austen museum for a friend, saw the Roman Baths and then went on my favorite tour of all, the Mayor's Walking Tour of Bath. This is a free 2 hour tour of Bath by volunteers. It is full of history, facts and beautiful views. After a pint and delicious cheese, we headed via train to Bristol where my friends, Jo and Andrew were putting us up for the next two nights.

I was excited to see Jo and Andrew. It had been four long years since I had last seen them. They had recently moved into an old Victorian house and it was wonderful. Jo made us our first homemade meal of the trip and I know Darcy really appreciated her good cooking.

Wells Kitty

After entertaining Jo and Andrew with our travel stories, we all settled in for the night. The next morning. they took us to Wells, Glastonbury, Cheddar Gorge (where the cheese comes from) and a small Cotswald village. We had such a good time and I fit in some good car naps even though I had bragged to Darcy on the plane trip over that I never nap which is true except it seems when I'm in England.

The next morning we had a bit of a lie in and then took the train up to Wigan. We arrived a few hours too early for my friend, Mark to pick us up which I said was no problem. We'll just grab some pints at a pub near the train station. Well I think we found the most Wigan of all Wigan pubs. It was smoky, full of really drunk people on a Tuesday afternoon and at the booth next to us appeared to be a kissing marathon. Darcy was most taken with the Wigan accent where she couldn't understand a single word. Well neither could I but I loved her expression!

Trinity Globe Statue

After an all too quick stay with Mark and Louise, we headed off to Dublin for three days of fun. We arrived in the city and quickly hopped on a tour bus. We made sure to see the Book of Kells, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Guiness and Phoenix Park. Darcy and I loved Dublin. It's a small walkable city with so much history and life. Darcy especially enjoyed the Guiness Storehouse.

Darcy and Her Pint

Darcy mentioned that there was a ghost tour at night and so we headed over to Traitor's Gate to await the tour. After waiting a good hour (since we had arrived quite early) and entertaining ourselves with nicknames for passerbys, we determined the tour was not to be and headed back to our hotel. We popped on into the hotel bar for some pints. Shortly into our second pint, there appeared to be an altercation at a nearby table. A man was yelling at his wife and threatening to throw a coat rack at her. I was surprised that no one appeared to be taking an action and started to think about what I could do. I almost got up myself and did something when the police arrived. Whew!

February 22, 2007

The next morning, we headed out on the Wild Wicklow tour which was absolutely fantastic. I loved Wicklow county and the tour was wonderful. Again thought I grabbed some Z's and Darcy said that I missed out on some beautiful scenery. I guess I shall have to go back!

St. Kevin's Kitchen

We visited a lovely monk's settlement called Glendalough where I lost my lens cap and spent the rest of the trip wearing one glove since the other one was being used for my lens cap! At least replacing a lens cap is cheap!

Dublin at Night

That night we went out to dinner in Temple Bar area and walked back to our hotel through the city. Dublin is beautiful at night.

Double Yellow Doors

The next day Darcy followed me as I took picture after picture of Dublin Doors before we headed out to Phoenix Park for a picnic in the rain. We had a delightful time as there was a covered shelter there.

After flying back to Manchester, Mark picked us up and whisked us over to Louise's parents house for a surprise dinner. I was just pleased that Darcy was able to meet Ann and Mr. W, my British parents! They are the most wonderful people and I wanted her to meet them so badly. We had a fantastic meal where Ann fed all of us too much and then made us have chocolate.

Sadly this was the end of Darcy's portion of the trip and on Saturday morning she boarded a train to London. Unfortunately for her, her trip home took over 40 hours due to weather conditions in Chicago. Our friend Meg was a the airport to pick her up though and get her the final few miles home.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Breaking News!

Did you see? Did you hear?

Eunny Jang is the new editor of Interweave Knits. While it will be sad to see Pam Allen go, I am just so excited to see what Eunny will bring to one of my favorite magazines.

Eunny's blog is one of the first ones I check every day. I dream about her patterns and how one day I am going to tackle them.

Today in honor of Eunny's new position, I ordered yarn for the Endpaper Mitts. These will be fun to make!
February and March Project Spectrum Photography

February.March Project Spectrum 2007

I love the idea of Project Spectrum and each month I like to go out on a photography walk where I take pictures on the specific colors for that month (or in this case months). I was lucky this month to travel to Ireland and England so I included some of those in my photography set. You can see the rest of my Project Spectrum photos if you click on the photo above.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Vacation Recovery

March 1, 2007

After spending an amazing two weeks in England, I've been in vacation recovery mode this week. I've gone straight home (well sorta as I was watching Hugo this week and so really I went straight to his home) every night after work and was asleep by 10:30 p.m. every night.

Richmond Castle View

In between work and sleep, I watched tv, played with Hugo, played some video games and tried to upload my 1000 billion photos to Flickr. It's been a good week.

Yorkie Sheet

But now I feel myself chaffing at the bit to get back into the regular routine of things, one of which includes posting on the blog! I promise to post some vacation stories soon. I just wanted another week to process them alone.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Home!

Big Ben and the London Eye

I'm home from England and Ireland where I had the most fantastic time.

There was beautiful yarn

Scottish Yarn

Tasty Pints

A Perfect Pint

Beautiful Scenery

Wicklow County Cliff View

and fun times with friends!

Rebecca and Darcy in Wicklow

I'm still recovering from all the fun and am busy uploading images to my flickr site. I seem to have an issue where I take a billion photos whenever I see something beautiful. All of England and Ireland was quite beautiful so there are many to sort from.

I also had the opportunity to see a few dear friends! It was so great to be able to spend time with them. Thank you Jo, Andrew, Louise and Mark for having me! I wish I could see each of you every single day!
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