Monday, December 29, 2014


It's taken a whole year, and I'm not to my "goal weight" yet, but I finally reached the 50 pounds lost milestone.  Thank you to Zaide for introducing us to the "Abascal Way", and to my 4 companions on the weight loss journey --- Pia, Cara, Katie and Tony have stuck with me for a year of eating nothing that was part of our previous diet (RIP pizza, fast food, sugar, flour).

This time last year, I honestly didn't believe I'd ever be able to lose a significant amount of weight.  While my knees are still achy and limit my exercise options, I am thrilled with my progress.


That's me 3rd from the left.  Sorry I don't have a better "before" picture, obviously I wasn't too eager to get my photo taken.


Oh, and the Rogaine is working!  My stylist couldn't believe how quickly my hair had grown in a month yay!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The B and Me

I have probably posted these photos before, but I came across them again today, and I love them so much I'm sharing them again:

I seem to have had a thing for plaid pants (that damn Sam Evans tore the ones in the top photo.  May he rot in hell 4EVER)  B-Z had a thing for "You Can Leave Your Hat On".

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The End

Mama and Dad say that today is the last day for the "bibi". Maybe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Exciting! Sssshhhh

At the jewelry store. Sisters have plenty of helpful advice and suggestions for brother. I'm just beyond happy to see this moment. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Glo-Lee is going to be celebrating her 80th birthday next month.  Peggy posted this darling picture of her on FB:

These twin travel beds look so much like her (maybe not obvious in these photos, but trust me, that nose, those eyes and those lips are exactly the same)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Boring Life

It's been a couple of weeks since I blogged.  That's mostly because I don't have anything interesting to say, but here's a little update.

Miss Colie keeps me entertained Monday through Friday mornings.  She's a pistol :-)  Right this moment, she has discovered the scoop for the dog food and is "doing her chore", very carefully carrying out 3 kibbles at a time for Wally.  He now considers her his bestie.

"Plaura", as we have dubbed Tony/Laura, are our little lovebirds.  She's a great gal, and of course it makes me happy in the extreme to see my son so happy!  They are starting the house shopping process, and we have found that it's a LOT more fun to look at houses in the 2 incomes price range than just 1 income lol.  They are off to Mexico next week for a little vacation -- maybe an engagement ring is forthcoming?  Fingers crossed!  I keep reminding them I'm not getting any younger, and my prime grandparenting days may be numbered...

The DIET!  It has been nearly 1 whole year since we embarked on our TQI diet.  I can't believe it!  I will do a big update in a couple of weeks when we get to that one year anniversary, hopefully with some "before and after" pix of the gang.  Today, I'm 47 pounds lighter and feeling much more healthy!  I'm very proud of all of us for sticking with the healthier eating and exercising plan for a year. This time last year we were stuffing our faces with pizza, candy, booze and chips.  RIP to that (though there are days when that diet sounds rather nice lol)

Work:  I now juggle 3 jobs: Grammy to Moochie in the mornings, my Vintage Knits store whenever I have a spare few minutes, and my yarn store job at Paradise Fibers.  I've been working every weekend, plus adding in afternoon shifts Tues-Friday.  Which doesn't leave a lot of free time, but I'm enjoying all of it.  It's fun to be the resident "expert knitter", and I'm trying not to add new yarn to the stash every week.  Moderately successful at that.

Fun Things About Getting Old: it kind of sucks :-)  My arthritis is ever-present but I'm trying to keep it at bay with the weight loss, exercise (though I'm a bit limited.  I can't bend my left wrist much or put any weight on it, so yoga poses and weight lifting are out.  My recumbent bike riding is my main exercise, plus water aerobics from time to time) and anti-inflammatories.

The other really stupid thing about getting old is that my hair has gotten really thin up front.  It was never super-thick but this is ridiculous.  So I've started Rogaine applications.  God.  I'm seeing some results.  We'll see if I have to resort to wearing turbans on a daily basis or not.

Reading: Sorry Zaide, we couldn't get past the first paragraphs of "Painted" ;-)  I have a number of books lined up to read.  Just finished the latest John Grisham, "Gray Mountain".  Eh, it was okay, not his best. Wait for it to come out in paperback.  I've just started Jodi Piccoult's latest "Leaving Time" and it's pretty good.  Also enjoyed "Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty.  I seem to be reading lots of fiction, not my usual thing.  In non-fiction, I have "The Romanov Sisters", "How to be a Victorian" and "One Summer: America 1927" by my fave Bill Bryson (thanks for the birthday gift, Katie!) in my queue.

Monday, October 27, 2014

We Hate Mondays

Miss Colie hates Mondays.  They require a hot bottsy and multiple episodes of Bubble Guppies to survive.

Fun Weekend

No pix of course, because I don't ever remember to take them (and when I do, they are terrible)

Pia and I headed out to Camp Lutherhaven on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene last weekend to meet up with Susna and the Knorthside Knitters for the annual knitting retreat.  And we had a great time.

This is a great group of ladies, of course Peeps was the youngest knitter (but not by much, you're no longer a teenager, P lol)  They meet every year for a weekend of knitting, eating, laughing and more knitting.  Susna is the queen of fixing everyone's projects and providing help.  She evidently owns Mary Poppins' carpetbag, because every time we needed something (from extension cords to iPod speakers, a rocking chair to extra knitting needles), she had it in her bag.  Amazing.  Plus she brought along show and tell projects that dazzled one and all.

I just brought myself and my various projects, but that was enough.  Everyone made me feel very welcome (and helped me overcome my phobia of social occasions) and had lots of compliments about my weight loss.  I finished Laura's Christmas stocking and started on a lovely sweater for ME.

Pia and I packed sensible snacks, and managed to eat pretty reasonably over the weekend.  A few handfuls of M&M's might have been consumed, but I resisted all the other goodies, including the Bundtinis Susna had me pick up from my nemesis, Nothing Bundt Cakes.  That's twice now I've had to buy cake there, despite my insistence it's the stupidest franchise ever and I was NEVER going to go there.  Must admit, they are good.  But still stupid.

I also managed to unload a bunch of yarn from my stash that I was never going to use.  Oddly enough, the stash wall doesn't look any less stuffed with yarn.  And I managed to come home with a new skein of yarn, how did that happen :-)

Looking forward to next year!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014


Colie is two now, which means she is developing her fashion sense. I love her pick for today: jorts, thermal shirt and patent leather Mary Janes 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Just A Little Update

Nothing super exciting to report. 

Our garden is yielding tomatoes but not much else. We failed at zucchini (we must be the only Gardeners ever who couldn't grow it), carrots were okay, got some potatoes, four green peppers, bunch of onions. Next year, more compost  

I've been on a weight loss plateau since July. Time to kick it up and lose the last 20 pounds

Putting in quite a few hours at the yarn store. And slowly learning the ins and outs of their computer system. Not intuitive at ALL. But it's fun, and I'm now the "knitting expert", so ego boost

Little Miss Moochie is learning so many words!  She has added Peppa Pig to the short list of favorite shows, so we are encouraging her to speak with an English accent. She's a joy, so cute!

Knitting various items, hoping my Crackerjack scarf project extends in the postseason. Go M's!

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Pia and I entered items in the South County Fair. Best in Show for my mittens hooray!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I received this book for my birthday from Zaide today (along with a cute knitting book):

So I'm thinking, "hmmm, okay I guess.  My sister wouldn't send me something bad to read."  OR WOULD SHE...

She teased me to solve the mystery of the cover.  I'm scared this is a 50 Shades thing and I'm going to have to read it because it's a birthday gift. 

Pore over the cover.  Is that girl a cartoon dog in real life?  Is there a weird threesome going on?  WHAT COULD IT BE.


So I cheated and googled it.  THE AUTHOR.  Our very own recorder playing, night walking niece and cousin Beth!

Pia, this is going directly into your classroom library.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'm a Mess, It's Official

My knee is finally somewhat under control. But now this

See those 8 separate bones in the wrist?  My X-ray looks like one solid clump. Which explains why my left wrist barely moves any more and hurts. My doc says there's not much I can do until the advent of wrist replacement surgery :-(. Keep it moving, rest and ice. No surprise there. Also starting on Celebrex to see if that helps. 

Geez, getting old sucks. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Favorite Teacher

It's back to school time, and that brought to mind my own school years.  Who was my favorite teacher?  Hands down, Mrs. Margaret Kelly.

Mrs. Kelly was beyond exotic to my 1960s suburban eyes: she wore stoles and big chunky jewelry! She had long red fingernails and wore blood-red lipstick! She wore her hair in a big bun with chopsticks skewered through it (at least in my memory there are chopsticks)
She loved all things Oriental, kept a box of “Ducklings” candy in her desk drawer (I’m sure she needed chocolate fixes during a day of dealing with a class of 40+ 3rd graders), and instilled in me a love of reading and drama. Casting me as the Goddess Kwan Yin in our class play was the high point of my drama career :-) and god knows what our parents thought of this play lol.
A larger than life, incredibly stylish and wonderful woman who recognized something special inside my super-shy little person and encouraged me in all things. All these years later, she remains in my heart as my favorite teacher (and every time I see Auntie Mame, I think of Mrs. Kelly)

I wish I had a picture to share.  Zaide, do you?  Who's your favorite teacher?

Friday, September 5, 2014


It was so nice out today I went for a walk through Manito Park rather than heading to the gym. The Rose Garden is still blooming:

Manito is such a lovely park!  It was designed by the Olmsteads, who also designed Central Park. 100+ years later it's still a gem. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Saying So Long to Summer

How did summer fly by so fast?  September is my favorite weather month but I'm a little sad that summer 2014 is done. Come on tomatoes, ripen!

We celebrated summer's end by going to the annual symphony concert at Comstock Park. Fun and not stuffy, they play light classical and movie themes. The gang was a little dumbfounded when I started singing "this is the cereal that's shot from guns!" During the 1812 Overture. I'm guessing my fellow Baby Boomers also do that whenever it's played. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Canning Queens

Cara, Pia and I spent a steamy day in the kitchen (Katie escaped by having to work). We dug out all of our canning supplies and jars, made three trips to the store for stuff we forgot, and got the floor incredibly sticky. But we ended up with lovely jars of pickles and peaches, and best off all, berry jam which included the blackberries we picked on Whidbey.

Here's Pia's pretty photo of our work

Next up:  pickled beets and fingers crossed that enough of our tomatoes ripen so that we can make marinara sauce!

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I never thought these two would become friends. Lucy remains implacably opposed to That Damn Baby. Even though TBD says "Wucy!" Every morning when she comes in the door.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Here's our first real haul of veg from the garden. Hooray!

Such a Great Week

Took zero photos of our Whidbey trip (but there's an album full on Facebook). I had such a great time and I'm so grateful to the kids for taking me to one of my fave places to celebrate my birthday. 

Here's a list of some of my personal highlights:

Picking blackberries and digging clams. Whoosh, it was 1964 again and my beloved grandparents and parents were right there in spirit. 

Terrible games. Cards Against Humanity should be outlawed. But so funny. 

Looking out at Puget Sound every day. Instant zen. 

Double Bluff beach. Great dog park!

Ferry rides. Never get old. 

Whidbey Island Coffee Tour 2014. Some good joe to be found. 

Buying a touristy sweatshirt at The Star Store. 

Mariners game. Fun to see the Davis gang, and fun that the Ms are good this year. But I really hate The Archer. 


Blackberry pie. 

A visit from Susna and Tate, with her pal Parker. Nothing sillier than 6th grade girls. Or sweeter. 

Knitting at a vacation house is extra relaxing. 

Deer in the yard. 

Mussels gathered on the beach, cooked w wine butter and garlic. Ambrosia. 

Getting to spend precious time with the people I love the most. That's priceless. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

This Gal

Happy birthday to my dear Cara Lee!  She was born early one hot August morning, with a full head of curly hair and a cute dimple on the top of her cheek.  Here she is a few months later, showing off two teeth and that dimple:

Years passed, but she always kept that smile and that big head of hair:

And her love of sports, starting with a five year old Cara playing soccer in fancy white shoes, through her inexplicable love of UNLV in middle school, and here she is in 6th grade posing with Jim Zorn (and baby brother Pooh), who came to her school for some reason:

This gal has been a ray of sunshine in my life since day 1.  The best, most fiercely loving and loyal friend, daughter, sister that anyone could ever have.  Love you so much, doll!  Happy birthday!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Happy BD

What a nice 60th birthday!  It started with coffee, breakfast and balloons and ended with a lovely dinner, cupcakes and gifts.

I got bottles of cherry juice and wine (the juice should help fend off the gout from drinking the wine), a massage appointment, comfy and cute shoes for work, a new game and a good book, a pretty skein of sock yarn, and this work of art from my little Moochie

I'm spoiled and lucky!  Thanks gang, for a perfect day!

Thursday, July 31, 2014


My "Circle gets the Square" pattern was just added to the Knitpicks website!  I'm very excited to be part of their Independent Designers Program!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Good Book!

If you liked The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, try this book:

The Son by Jo Nesbo. Another Scandinavian thriller, I'm turning the pages as fast as I can. 

And of course, you should read Outlander.  Katie kept telling me to read it, totes my kind of book and she was right. We are counting the days until the series starts!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Design in Fall 2014 Knitting Traditions

I'm excited to see another of my designs in print!  "Wellington Boot Liners" are in the Fall 2014 issue of Knitting Traditions.  You can buy it here

Monday, July 21, 2014

She's Back!

At last!  Miss Colie has been in Canada for a whole week. She headed straight to her hot bottsy, gulped it down in about 30 seconds, shoved the binks back in, settled down in my lap and watched three episodes of bubble gups. It's good to be home!

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Little Harvest

14 green beans and decided to thin the carrots


Mother/daughter bad hair.  Me during my Dorothy Hammill phase.  Katie, not sure what phase this was for you.  Scrap noodle?  But your dress is adorable!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

These Two

  1. Never stop yakking.  To each other, to the dog, to anyone who is in the room, or in the next room, or on the next story of the house.
  2. LOVE any sort of terrible Nickelodeon/Disney tween program.  And the one with the thumb in her mouth failed to mention she is not allowed to watch tween programs.
  3. That one also made herself a bottsy last night.  Even though you're approaching 5' in height, you can still enjoy a botts.
  4. Love a crafts project.  Grammy bought a beadazzler thing and shirts for them.  Logan channeled her inner Laverne De Fazio with a rhinestone "L" on her chest, and drew a pocket on the other side.  Not sure what Hads did, but there was a LOT of pounding involved.
  5. Love Lucy like you would not believe.  The dog has been thrown a tennis ball more times over the last 2 days than probably in her whole life.  Not to mention all the petting and talking to.  Walter just wishes everyone would get off his couch.
  6. Are always ready to put on a show.  What they lack in skill and talent they make up for with gusto.
  7. Were finally convinced to change their underwear and take a shower.  Even though they have suitcases stuffed with outfits, we've been seeing the same shorts and t-shirts quite a bit.  And by "they", I really mean Hadley.  Logan has her grammy here, so has to be a bit cleaner :-)
  8. Are still little girls.  They found George and Mary (Colie's ugly boy doll from Shopko and the hideous puppet doll we found in a closet when we moved in) and the toy stroller, and played house with what they could scrounge up.  And there's still thumb sucking, blankies and snuggling going on.  Which is delightful, I fainted when I saw the long legs and grown up airs.
  9. Are always up for an adventure.  Too bad it's 100 degrees here, and us olds get tuckered out fast.  We did make it to the YMCA pool yesterday.  Thank god for Pia and her experience with youth activities.  I'd have folded by now.
  10. Are pretty good eaters, though there's the obligatory "what is it, I don't like it" first.  And no great fondness for vegetables.
  11. Are the best (albeit messiest, loudest and hungriest) houseguests ever.  


My faithful little bean plant has produced a tiny crop!  You can't imagine how excited I am about this.  I've fretted over these damn plants for 3 months now, replanted them 3 times, had a fit when Walt trampled one of the three remaining plants and have checked them every single day.

I'll have to have a tiny little bean feast :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Olympic Team Members 2020?

probably not.  But these kids are nothing but confident.

The Hunyaks

The noise level has gone up considerably, we bought doughnuts and handed out quarters for the grocery store tattoo and ring machines, we've had a gymnastics show with multiple costume changes, Lucy has done more ball chasing than ever in her life, and Walter just wishes they'd go home. 

It's great having visitors!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Few Pix

Beauty Shots from the garden:

Grow, tiny tomato and pepper, grow!

The view from Jon and Lorraine's cabin window

The darling fireplace Jon built from rock he collected (basalt maybe? from the cliffs by his property)

Busy Bees

Well, busy for ME, usually I'm sitting around knitting and not much else :-)

No pix but here are some updates:

1. I reached my 40 pounds lost goal last week, hooray!  Then promptly celebrated by gaining 2 lbs. this week.  And had my first gout flare up in months when I foolishly drank 3 glasses of wine at our dinner party (Peggy and her partner Patricia came over, along with Tony's new gal Laura.  Lots of fun!)  Back on the diet horse this week.

2.  We love Laura!  Tony's new gal pal is perfect for him: cute, athletic, smart, lots of fun, a good cook who does paleo/gluten free, and just an all-around great person.  It makes me so happy to see my boy so happy.  And bonus, she's an occupational therapist so I'm set for those old lady needs like a walker and arthritis exercises.

3.  Visitors!  Susna is coming over for a couple of days, bringing Logan and Hadley.  Can't wait to see those three ladies!  I may be babysitting Katie's friend Sara's little girl.  So we will be taking a toddler with us on whatever adventures we go on.  But I figure Logie and Hads are a nanny's best friend so I'm confident we can keep little Sienna Miller (the baby not the movie actress) entertained.

4. Garden:  we have two peppers, four tomatoes at last count,  a bunch of onions, and lots of squash/zukes in various stages of growth.  I haven't checked today, but looking out the window it appears that the garden has gone crazy over the last couple of very hot days, so hoping for much more produce.

5. Camping:  Tony and I got our long-planned camping trip accomplished after 3 years of talking about it.  We (Tony, Laura, Cara and I) were hosted by Jon and Lorraine at "The Property" (it really needs a good name)  The weather and the lake were perfect.  The company was lots of fun -- Alex and I manned the pedal boat for a tour around the lake (little did I know that my 6 months of riding the recumbent bike were going to pay off -- no knee pain at all pedaling the boat for an hour).  Jon was his usual hilarious self.  And Cara and I survived a night in the tent.  Luckily, Pooh had purchased a cot for me, so no need to actually sleep on the ground :-)  The two of us had to cut the trip short after one night to go home and take care of the dogs plus my above-mentioned gout situation.  But hopefully we can go back soon, as we now have all kinds of camping gear

6. Knitting: (obligatory content)  I am working on a couple of pairs of socks (one pair for Liam, who requested "light green, thick socks" -- couldn't say no to that), my ongoing "Crackerjack" scarf with stripes knit after each Mariners game, color depending on home/road win/loss, plus a sample cowl for the yarn shop.  I have about a million things I'm itching to start and some ideas for new designs of my own, so I need to knit faster.

7.  Katie is away at Camp Cross this week, it's going to be kind of quiet around here.  And dinners are going to be dull.  I hate to cook and Cara isn't much better so we rely on Katie for imaginative cooking.  Come home fast before we starve Katie!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Throwback Sunday

I took this photo about 30 years ago. On the dock at the lake:

Caris took this photo of Colie yesterday, same spot:

Same saltwater sandals too!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Happy Fourth!

I headed up to Horseshoe Lake (aka The Property) to hang out with Jon, Lorraine and the three big boys for the day. Mike is spending July with his grandparents, currently taking sailing lessons.

Jon finished the tiny cabin and it's adorable

He built it all himself, mostly from recycled materials. I'm trying to talk him into building me a tiny house. 

Rando photos:

New pup Koda. Doesn't bark. I approve.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bad Blogger

It's hard to blog when one's life is devoid of interesting events. Mind you, I find my life fascinating but to an outside observer, it's watching paint dry. But here are some tidbits:

I'm one pound away from my 40 pounds lost milestone. I'm thrilled that I've come this far!  6 months ago, I was unhealthy and unhappy with it. While I still have a ways to go to reach my goal weight, I feel so much better and yesterday I had to toss my beloved plaid shorts. Which literally fell off my hips. 

Cortisone shot worked well on my knee and I'm fairly painless for now. Tony's lovely new girlfriend Laura is an occupational therapist, so I'm assured of getting hooked up with a walker when I need one lol. 

Too many knitting projects as usual. I have two patterns ready for publication at interweave. One will be in their next Downton Abbey issue and the other in the fall Knitting Traditions issue. I'm also finishing up a scarf pattern which will be available through Knitpicks' IDP (Independent Designers Program). I'm excited about that, it's a big potential customer base. 

Little miss Colie is growing so fast!  Each morning starts with opening all the apps on my iPad then we settle down with a hot bottsy and the Bubble Guppies. Words are slowly happening. Once those floodgates open, there will be no stopping her. I'm also putting in weekends at the yarn store. They haven't actually taught me how to do much (answer the phones or ring up an order) but I'm a pro at putting yarn on the shelves. Now I need to find a good pair of shoes for work. Suggestions welcome. 

Our garden is growing!  I have given up on the green beans after Walt trampled my healthy plant. But onions, potatoes, spaghetti squash, zucchini, tomatoes and carrots plus lettuce are all growing. And Katie and I have enjoyed a few raspberries off our bushes. 

That's about it. I continue to be blessed with the gift of having the worlds best kids, who love their mom and make a happy home for me. I'm so lucky I have those four people in my life!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Our little gal is getting big!  Not too many words yet, but when they come there will be no shutting her up :-). She is a master of all things Apple, works the iPad and iPhone like a pro. And kills us every day with her cuteness.