Monday, March 31, 2008

Pictures From Sensei's Test

His empty hand kata: Wansu.

His bo kata: Tokumine no kun

Receiving his promotion to 5th degree black belt:

The black belts in attendance:

Yes, I am in that picture. That means I didn't take it. Hence the poor quality. Not to mention the light wasn't all that great in the gym.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

And The Winner Is....

But first off, the answers. This was actually kind of hard to pull together. I had a hard time finding celebrities with brown eyes. You would think, with brown eyes being the dominant gene, there would be more of them around, but no. Even the ones I thought surely would have brown eyes, didn't. Nicholas Cage, for example. I thought surely with his dark hair and complexion, he'd have brown eyes. Not so. His eyes are blue.

Anyway, to put you out of your misery, here are the answers:

1. Robert Sean Leonard
2. Brad Paisley
3. Howie Mandel
4. Tony Romo
5. Keanu Reeves
6. Tim McGraw
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for. The winner is:

Congratulations, Sharon. You have been e-mailed.

It's a lot of fun to host contests. I want to do one at least quarterly. I know knitting looms weren't the most popular of prized, but I did want them to go to a good home. Next time, the prize will be yarn of some sort.

Ta ta for now. I'm off to rack my brain for more contest ideas.


Don't forget to enter my contest!!!

Only two more days. Remember, you don't have to get the answers right to enter.

It can be found here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Sky

From Greenville MS:

Today has been a long and tiring day, but a good one. Sensei tested, and was promoted to 5th degree black belt. I didn't get digital video of his kata, but I got some still pictures. I'll try to do a AAR of the seminar soon, but tonight I'm just too tired.

This is another one of those sheer, dumb luck shots. I don't know what it is about it, but I like this picture.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Jumping On The Bandwagon

This meme has been going around for a while, and I figured it was time for me to jump on in. Here are the rules:

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

Got it? Here's my quotes:

1. Don't leave me here alone. Don't go where I can't follow.

2. They don't belong to the state they belong to ME! When they were babies I never saw the state comin' around here with a spare tit! Shenandoah--Robin

3. It's the world, dear. Did you expect it to be small?

4. My sons were better men. The Patriot--Robin

5. You mistake me, my dear. I have the utmost respect for your nerves. They've been my constant companion these twenty years. Pride and Prejudice--Tiffany

6. This is no time to talk about time. We don't have the time!

7. There's way too much estrogen on television these days.

8. No buts about it... I'm dealing with enough butts as it is.

9. I don't know where we're goin', but there's no sense bein' late.

10. The dead remember our indifference. The dead remember our silence.

No prizes this time, it's just for fun.

In other news, I saw Sensei in the court house today when I went to pay my taxes on the house. He said they'd called him last night and he will be testing for his go-dan tomorrow! That's 5th degree black belt for those of you not up on your Japanese terminology. I promptly went to the store and bought three blank video tapes to film the test, and now I've got camera batteries charging everywhere. I'm taking the new camera, but I'm also taking the point and shoot because it does movies. Maybe if sensei doesn't mind, I can post a video of him doing a kata.

So I was on my way to town to pay my taxes and do my grocery shopping when I saw a medium sized speckled king snake in the road. I could have kicked myself for not grabbing my P&S on the way out the door. I actually reached for it, but then didn't pick it up. My first wild snake spotting of the year, and I'm camera-less. I slammed on my brakes, got out of Jimmy and ran back and shooed the snake off of the road so it wouldn't get squished. The neighbor was looking at me as if I were a bit odd, but no--I'm 80% normal. (Ya have to read the comments to get it.) He doesn't have much of a right to talk. He was out there burning his momma's yard.

Baudelaire is coming along nicely, as long as I don't let my mind wander too much. The pattern isn't that difficult, but for some reason I keep having problems with the first decrease/yarn over row. One of the holes in the lace pattern always seems to come out grotesquely large. I think I've figured out what I am doing wrong, so hopefully I can truck along rather quickly now.

Today's Photo:

Fig Leaf budding. My back yard. Today.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tis Late

Yeah, I'm up late tonight because I don't have to go to work tomorrow. It doesn't make any sense though, because I still have to get Cody up at the same time.

I actually had a topic to post about, but dog gone it if I can't remember what it is right now. It's been one of those kinds of days.

I taught most of karate tonight. Sensei was working with Brad in the back room, so I led the main class through basics and stances. Once we were done with that, we paired up to do various drills. There were 13 students in the class, so I was the one without a partner. Shortly after we started, sensei and Brad came back in, and I asked Brad if he wanted to do the drills with me. We started off doing three step kicks, then two step kicks, then one step kicks--which are exactly how they sound. One person kicks the other three times--any kicks--focusing on form and targets. Then the other person kicks three times. After several minutes, we do two kicks, then one kick.

After the kicking drills, we did some blocking drills. The last one we did was against a sucker punch--sometimes called a haymaker or roundhouse punch. The defense for that is to block the punch, then step behind the attacker and throw him. It's kind of hard to describe. Anyway, Brad was having trouble with this because he is used to doing it the TKD way. (He is a second degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do.) I asked him to show me how they did it in TKD, and he did. They put a lot more hip into it, so that he was actually throwing me over his hip. It was actually kind of fun.

Saturday is Black Belt day in Greenville. That means tomorrow will be spent charging batteries and making sure I have enough blank video tape. It's going to be fun. I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March Knitting Update

At this point, it doesn't look like I'm going to get anything else finished before the end of the month, so I'll go ahead and post my update. I got three projects done in March. The first one was this headband. It is a simple K2P2 rib knit with remnants of yarn left over from another project.

The big project for the month was Cody's socks. They seemed to take forever!

The pattern is K2P2 rib with a plain stockinette foot. They used 2 50g balls of Knitpicks Essential sock yarn.

Finally, just tonight I finished this scarf for charity. The pattern is simple garter stitch, and the yarn is Moda Dea Tutu in Pear Green. This scarf took 2 50g balls.

My totals for March are 100g of sock yarn, and 100g of novelty yarn.

I've knit a bit more on my Baudelaire socks, but haven't taken a picture of them. These are only my second attempt at toe up socks, and I'm not so sure I like this technique. The toes are too pointy for me.

I do have a picture of my Trekking is for Necking scarf. I can't believe I'm knitting an entire scarf out of sock yarn! The pattern is pretty simple, so I suspect this will be the one I turn to for mindless knitting. On the other hand, I do still have some more novelty yarn that I will use for charity scarves. Garter stitch is pretty mindless, too.

The color is a little washed out due to the flash. It took a pic without the flash and it looked too orangey. I suppose I could fiddle with the white balance, but I'm too lazy tonight.

Cody and I worked in the yard yesterday, so I've gotten behind on my blog reading. Don't worry, I've read yours. It's the ones I read that never reciprocate that tend to get skipped in these situations. I'll get caught up soon. But tonight, I'm going to bed early.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Move Along, Folks, Nothing To See Here

Turns out that yesterday's fire was a controlled burn. Nothing exciting--unless it suddenly becomes uncontrolled. But as that didn't happen, nothing to see here.

Really, nothing to see.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Them Ain't Clouds, Folks

Something's burning.

I first spotted the smoke on the way to karate. By the time we got home, it was worse. Thick and billowing. Cody said he saw flames there above the trees. Not to worry, though. It's not as close as it appears to be.

Sensei wasn't at class. When I got there, his daughter said he was on the way, and we should go work out on our own until he got there. It was just Barrett, Chad, Cody, and me there. We went over kata for a while, then taught Chad and Cody bo vs. bo kumite. I know the attacking position and Barrett knows the defending position, so we spent a few moments teaching each other the opposite position. Barrett and I went over two man basics a couple of times, then finished the hour walking Chad through kusanku bunkai. Sensei still hadn't arrived by the time class was over, so we just bowed out and left.

Rylea chewed all of her stitches out, so Cody and J took her back up to the vet today while I was at work. He put staples in her, and so far they are holding. She's got one that looks like she's about to get out, but he put enough in there that even if she gets one out, the wound won't gape open. The danger is, if she figures out how to get one out, she may go ahead and pull them all out, then we're right back where we started.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Yesterday's wheel, from a different angle.

Wildflowers in the yard.
You know, I really enjoy taking pictures. What I don't like is all the fiddling you have to do with them in your computer after you take them. So I don't do that. I'll sometimes crop an image, but that's about it. How they come out of the camera is basically how you get them.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Strangeness

Ok, there really isn't anything strange about it, but--well, you'll know why I chose that title in a minute. But first, your Saturday Sky photo.

Those are pear blossoms. Not Bradford Pear, but the kind that actually bears fruit that you can eat. We haven't had any pears in a few years. J says it's because it's been so dry. That is probably part of it, but I think also that he hasn't pruned them since they've moved into their house some 15 years ago. They also have a bunch of plum trees that don't bear fruit any more. (Yesterday's photo was a plum blossom.) He hasn't pruned them either. His idea of pruning is to cut the tree down to the ground and let it grow back from scratch. I keep saying I'm going to get out there and prune them, but I never think about it when it's time to do so.

After finishing Cody's socks, I picked back up this charity scarf that I'd started a month ago. It's mindless knitting, and I've gotten quite a bit done these last couple of days. It won't take long to finish.

I also started a new pair of socks for me. The pattern is Baudelaire, and the yarn is Knitpicks Essential in Burgundy. It is darker than it appears in the photo.

And I finally got to try out my Spindolyn. The biggest thing for me is not having that tension on the fiber as I spin it the way I would with a drop spindle. Also, mine doesn't appear to spin as well as the one in the video on the site. The instructions say that a drop of machine oil will help that, but I don't have any and forgot to get some when I shopped yesterday. So I"ll just plug along until I can get to the store.

Rylea is back from the vet, safe and sound--other than having had major surgery, that is. She is not happy about having to stay on the leash, either, but must be done. You know, I never intended to breed her, so getting her spayed was a necessity. Still, when I brought her home, I felt just a little bit of sadness that she would never have puppies.

Now for the strangeness...Some of you remember last fall when Cody said I take some strange and ironic photos. Well, here's another one:

It's an old metal wheel. I have no idea what it went to. It's been sitting out in the back yard for months now.

This one will be going on the wall.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

Because it's late and I took some Benadryl. Besides that, you got three posts on Wednesday. I'm running a little dry now.

Oh, and I forgot to say, Happy Spring!

P.S. I know the picture isn't quite in focus. I took this the day after I got my new camera and was experimenting with stuff.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I was a bit frazzled when I wrote my first post about Joel. He was actually in the accident Monday morning, and passed away from injuries Monday night. It was just today that I found out, though. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

I'm sure they'd appreciate your prayers.

The Bigfoot Socks

otherwise known as the socks from ****, are finished! Finally. I tell you something, if I ever get married again, whoever he is had better have tiny feet!

They haven't been washed and blocked yet, but Cody just had to try them on.

"I'm trying to make the socks smile," he says.

More good news: my spindolyn finally arrived. I haven't had the chance to try it out yet, but hope to get to this weekend.

Rylea is safely ensconced at the vet's office awaiting her surgery, which will take place first thing in the morning. I mentioned to a co-worker that I was taking her to get her spayed, and she asked me which vet I was taking her to. I told her and she said, "He's high! You ought to take her to Dr. So-and So in [two towns down the road--about a 30 minute drive]." When I replied that it probably wouldn't be worth the added cost in gas to save a few dollars, she said, "Oh, it'll be more than just a few dollars!" I asked her how much he charges for a spay, and she replied that she didn't know. I'm thinking that if you don't know how much he charges, how do you know he'll be cheaper. She then told me that she had taken her dog to Dr. [my vet] and he charged her two hundred and sixty seven dollars to treat the dog for "Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever", plus getting all his shots. That actually sounds pretty reasonable to me. She said, "I guess it's not so much the money, but he didn't even give me the choice whether I wanted to put the dog to sleep or not." Well, that's wrong, too because you always have the choice. You just have to make it.

I don't know what bee got into sensei's bonnet, but he worked the bajeebers out of us in class this evening. At break time, I told him, "I know I said I wanted to get back into shape, but I didn't mean all at once!"

"Oh," he replied, feigning innocence.

I think I'll go browse Ravelry sock patterns, then head for bed. The kids are out of school tomorrow, but I still have to work.

Cody finds that incredibly amusing. I don't.

Now I Know

You know, I'd always wondered how I'd react if something happened to one of my online friends. Those of you I've never met in person. Those of you I only know through your blogs or a message board.

Would I be upset? Would I cry for you? Would you seem real to me? Or would you be like one of those movie stars who, though saddened by their death, I wouldn't really miss them.

I just found out that one of my Ravelry buddies was killed in a car accident this morning.

I'm sitting here with that sick feeling in my stomach, my throat choking up, and tears in my eyes. Now I know. I'd never met Joel. I'd only communicated with him online. But his loss is leaving an emptiness inside me that I'd never expected.

Online friends, you are as real to me as anyone I've ever met face to face. You are as important to me as those I see in person every day. You are as special to me as anyone I've ever known. If anything happened to you, I'd be devastated. Take care of yourselves.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NFL Nicknames

Matthew J. Darnell, a blogger for Yahoo sports, writes on his blog we are at an all time low for nicknames in sports. That is one thing I've noticed these last couple of seasons--the lack of nicknames. I'd even mentally composed an entire blog post on the subject, but never got around to typing it out.

There just aren't as many nicknames in pro football as there used to be. Gone are the days of Bullet Bob Hayes, Mercury Morris, White Shoes Johnson, Hollywood Henderson, and The Dodger. Most nicknames today, as Mr. Darnell points out are simply adaptations of a player's name--A-Rod, LT, TO, and the like. In an attempt to reverse this trend, Mr. Darnell has started a series of posts in which he highlights or assigns one player nickname per team, in hopes that a few of them will catch on.

The first post in the series covered the AFC East, and was posted yesterday. Today's post covers the AFC South. Do drop by and read the original posts. Here, I will just list the nicknames and offer my opinion of a few of them.

AFC East:

Doo Doo Brown, Koolaid Maroney, Dusty Rhodes, Beast Mode Lynch.

AFC South:

Meathooks Johnson, Junkyard Jones-Drew, Mount Haynesworth, Sawed-Off Sanders

I gotta admit, some of them are pretty lame. I mean Doo Doo? Koolaid? Come on! Are you serious? Beast Mode? That one would have been better if he'd just left it at Beast, but by making it Beast Mode, it just sounds corny.

Incidentally, The Beast was the mental nickname I gave to Mt. Vesuvius when I was stationed in Naples. You could see the volcano from just about anywhere in the surrounding area, where it was not obscured by buildings. It always made me think of a beast, crouching silently over the city, waiting to spring. Thus, The Beast. But I digress....Cody says my mind is starting to wander. One of those Old Age things. And now I've gone and digressed from my digression. Back to my original subject: NFL Nicknames.

When the entire series is complete, I will let you know what my favorite NFL nickname is, and why I like it so much. (Current players, that is.)

Not Just Yet

I was ready to get up this morning and type up a post entitled Summer Already. It was 70' when I woke up. It was still raining pretty hard, too. We escaped the worst of the storms, as they passed well to the North of us. But we did get some pretty hard rain. I know some of you out West wish you had some of our rain, and I wish I could send it to you. My yard is a sodden mess. In Texas, we described this kind of mud as "Too thick to drink, too thin to plow." And the humidity! the time I got home from work, the temperature had dropped 20' and is right now sitting at 50, and expected to drop even lower. So it's not summer after all. Not just yet.

But it makes for great knitting weather. I'm almost done with Cody's second sock. Just under 2" of foot to go before I start the toe decreases. I got another DVD of Magnum P.I. from Netflix yesterday, and spent the afternoon watching and knitting. In this second season of shows, it seems like in every single show some lucky woman gets to kiss him. Ya wanna talk about some hot those are some hot kisses. I kind of feel sorry for the girls of today. I don't know who the current heart throb is, but I got to grow up drooling over Tom Selleck. Leonardo, Brad, Ashton, you name him... he pales in comparison.

And you know I love my Tony, but as much as I hate to say it, even he can't hold a candle to Tom.

Incidentally, I was over at Yahoo Sports Football page catching up on the free agency news. As I scrolled down the page, I saw the tiny little thumbnail pictures they have over to the left. I mean, these things are like an inch square. I was without my glasses to boot, which means I'm blind as a bat. Anyway, one of these microscopic photos caught my eye, and for some reason I zeroed in on it like a duck on a june bug. I click to enlarge it, and low and behold....

DALLAS - MARCH 18: Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys looks on as the Dallas Mavericks play against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 18, 2008 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

And now, back to reality...

Rylea is in heat. I'd thought she was in heat once before. Her *ahem* was kind of swollen and pinkish, but this time she is..uh...dribbling...uh, you know. If you've ever had a female dog who's come into heat, you know what I'm talking about. I've already called the vet, and I'm taking her in tomorrow.

For your Photo Of The Day...not Tom Selleck I'm sorry to say. Feeding a hippo at the Memphis Zoo.

Fine Martial Fiber

What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with
You scored as Art

You should be an Art major! How bohemian!





























I've posted this quiz before, but it's been a while. I tried to find it, but couldn't, though I know it's there somewhere. Anyway, my top result was the same both times. I should have been an art major. I actually was for a little while, but changed it. I got really discouraged because the other students seemed so much more advanced than I was. I'd never had an art lesson in my life at the time, and they all seemed to know what they were doing, whereas I was floundering along, just wanting to be able to draw and paint.

Even my adviser tried to talk me out of changing my major. I wish I'd listened. As it is, I changed my major to Psychology. You see how low that ranks on the list. I got a Bachelor of Behavioral Science in Psychology, but once I graduated I realized that I really didn't want to work in that field. So now, I work in a factory.

I've thought about going back to school and getting my art degree, or maybe a photography degree, but right now I can't afford it. Maybe once I've gotten Cody out of school.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Storms A Coming

We've got storms heading this way, possibly severe. Tornado watches and all that, too. I'm going to shut down and unplug the computer, just to be on the safe side.

In the meantime, I'll leave the light on for ya.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A New Black Belt

We have a new black belt in the dojo. This is Chad, and we tested him for his jr. black belt tonight.

It would seem that we no longer have a black belt class. The student who was promoted to Ik-kyu a couple of weeks ago is now attending the class formerly known as black belt class. The entire focus of the class seems to have shifted away from our continuing to grow as black belts. The class now concentrates on getting brown belts ready to test for their black belts.

Cody's been an Ik-Kyu since October. I wonder when sensei is going to let him start coming to "Black Belt Prep" class.

St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Stroll

It was too pretty a day to stay inside. I just had to get out in it. So I put on my walking shoes, gathered my dogs, grabbed the camera and off I went.

This is a Bradford Pear tree. They are all over around here, as they were widely planted for the beautiful white flowers that come out each spring. Thanks to my allergy medication, I can finally enjoy them, too.

This is Rylea's first big girl walk with Mommy.

Sharp eyed readers--and those of you with a good memory--will notice which back leg is standing on. Yes, she is finally beginning to walk on the leg she had injured so badly last November. She still hops most of the time, but she is beginning to use the leg more and more.

This is my view as I look off to the West as I am walking.

I've always had a thing for rocks. It's a wonder I'm not a geologist. For as long as I can remember, I've loved rocks.

This one, when the sun hit it just right, seemed to glow with its own light from within.

I spent much of the rest of the day working on Cody's socks. I've gotten past the heel turn, and am about halfway through the gusset decreases. I also cast on a new scarf. I must be crazy knitting an entire scarf out of fingering weight yarn. No pictures yet. I've only done one pattern repeat, since my priority is getting Cody's socks done.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Dreary Sky

It looked like this all day.

I waited and waited hoping it would clear off a bit, but it only got worse. So I did the next best thing. I watched Tom Selleck on DVD and knit on Cody's black socks.

When I came in here to blog, I caught Sunny shedding. I thought he looked so cute with just his little nose peeking out of his old skin. I just couldn't resist.

"Mom! Can I have a little privacy?"

That reminds me of a story. When Cody was about 3 years old, I began teaching him that grownups like privacy when they are in the bathroom. They like to be by themselves when they are taking a bath or *ahem* using the potty.

I was getting ready to go to work one afternoon--back then I worked the 3-11 PM shift. I was in my bathroom putting on my makeup when Cody marched in and announced...

"I have to poop and I want some privacy!"

He'd kill me if he knew I'd posted that.


Brown Eyes

You know, I've never understood why everyone goes so crazy over blue eyes. Don't get me wrong, blue eyes can be beautiful, but I've preferred brown eyes for as long as I can remember. To me, they just seem so much richer, deeper, more soulful. I can get lost in a pair of brown eyes in a way that I never could in blue eyes. According to this, I should have brown eyes myself. But I was born with blue eyes, and that's what I'll have to live with.

A while back, I bought a set of knitting looms. I thought it'd be a great, quick way to use up some of my stash. I'd only made it through about half of a hat when I realized that loom knitting just wasn't my thing. I've decided that I will give this set of looms away.

It has four round looms, a looming tool, and plastic tapestry needle. I've lost the instruction booklet, but if I find it before mailing this out, I'll be sure to enclose it. It wasn't that great anyway, and I'm sure you could find better looming instructions online or in a loom pattern book.

Interested? Perhaps you want to try loom knitting yourself, but don't want to spend a bunch of money if you're not sure you will like it. This will be your perfect opportunity to try it at no cost to you. I'll even throw in some yarn for you.

Perhaps you are one of those people who is fascinated with knitting, but it just seems too complicated. Here's a chance for you to turn out beautiful knitted items without having to juggle those needles and that yarn, and at no cost to you, I might add.

Perhaps you already enjoy looming, but like needles, you can never have enough looms. Here's your opportunity to get a spare set at no cost to you.

Perhaps you aren't interested at all, but you have children or grandchildren that you think might like it. Here is a chance for you to get a brand new, almost completely unused set of looms to give to them, at no cost to you. (I made half a hat with the red loom. The others haven't even been touched.)

So, how do I obtain this beautiful, nearly new set of looms, you ask?

That is the fun part. Remember the opening bit about me preferring brown eyes? All you have to do is to guess to whom these 6 pair of beautiful brown eyes belong.

Here's how: Send an e-mail with your guesses to DO NOT leave guesses in the comments. All comments including guesses will be deleted. Please leave me some way of contacting you--an e-mail address or Ravelry ID is preferred. If I have no way of contacting you, I'll have no way of letting you know you've won, will I?

The winner will be chosen by a random drawing, but here's how you can increase your odds. All entries will get you your name in the hat once. Seriously, all you gotta do is show up and say they are 6 of the 7 dwarves, and you will get your name in the hat. Each answer you guess correctly will get your name in the hat an additional time. If you guess all 6 correctly, that will net you a total of 7 entries.

Also, post about me on your blog or forum. Anyone and everyone who mentions your name will get your name into the hat an additional time.

The contest will run for two weeks, until Sunday March 30th. When I've gotten home from church, I will reveal the answers and draw the winner.

Ready? Let the guessing begin:


Hard? Here's a hint: They are all men. They are all fairly well known. Yeah, some of them are more well known than others, but none of them are obscure.

There are: 3 actors/TV personalities, 2 Country music singers, and 1 professional athlete (that one should be a gimmie if you've read my blog for more than a week--but you still gotta put his name with the right pair of eyes!), but no partridge in a pear tree.

Good luck and happy guessing!!

P. S. Tom Selleck isn't one of them. He has blue eyes. Sigh. We can't all be perfect.


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