Saturday, January 31, 2009

Small Projects

Yesterday I finished two small projects, one knitting one crochet.

The first one was these love birds, a pattern from Lion Brand. They will be part of my Valentine"s decoration this year.

And in the evening I knitted this penguin washcloth.

Monthly Goals - January 2009 - How did I do?

Setting monthly goals instead of making long term resolutions seems to work for me (so far). Here are my goals for the past month and how I did with reaching them.

Around the house:
Rearrange the pantry - done (and I am even brave enough to post before and after pictures ;) ).

Deep clean the stove - done, discovered a very sharp piece of metal in the back of the oven, ouch!

Crafty stuff:
Finish one UFO (any kind) - I finished the little crochet curtain for the pantry shelf, now I have to figure out a way to hang it.

Knit one item for charity - got a bit carried away with that ;)

Make a few blocks for my Dear Jane Quilt - I have one completely finished and three more are ready for hand applique, I just did not feel like hand sewing.

Books to read:
Dragonfly in Amber (very thick, will take longer than one month) - I am on page 244 (it is not quite as exciting the second time around but still very entertaining).
The Power of a Praying Wife - I did not like it at all and decided to abandon it and donate it to the church library.
finish Women's Voices from the Western Frontier - finished it, liked it a lot.

Keep daily quiet time (I plan this for morning after Del leaves) - I admit I am not doing it daily or at the same time every time, some days my mind is too full of other stuff in the morning and I need to work some of it off before I can settle down, but I am working on it.
Read more, spend less time on the computer (playing games) - I am doing okay with that.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I finished clue #3 for the Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise Knitalong. If you want to join the fun just click on the button in my sidebar, it will take you to the pattern.

Meal Planning

Our planned meals for next week:

Veggie Rice with Green Salad
Paprika Chicken with Noodles (I did not cook it this week, we had more leftover chili than I thought, I really need to use a smaller pot next time ;) )
Austrian Style Pancakes
Pizza with Ham
Thai Noodles
Pinto Beans

Money is a bit tight this week so I have to use pantry staples.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This and That

The purple scarf I knitted for my friend Anni in Vienna arrived exactly on her birthday, it took only five days to get there. My Christmas mail to Germany took a full month, go figure. And now that it has finally arrived I can actually post a picture of the gift here. ;)

I am itching to get back to sewing. I found a huge piece of upholstery fabric at the thrift store before Christmas and I plan to use some of it to re-upholster the little stool I use with my desk. It was left behind by the previous owners of the house and I like it. I plan to paint it white to match the desk (which was also left behind) and then cover the seat with the purple fabric.

I also picked up three skirts at the thrift store with plans for re-purposing them. I planned to turn one of them into an apron but at closer inspection I decided that it is too pretty and too well made to be cut up. It is a wrap skirt and too small for me, but when I turn it into a regular skirt it will fit. Sewing project no. 1. The other two are mini skirts, one is a soft corduroy and I really like the colors, the other one has lots of embroidery, I am not sure yet what they will become but they will be transformed into something else for sure.

Another thrift store find were these vases. I used the milk glass ones in my Christmas decorating.

Still Knitting

I got bitten by the knitting bug big time this month, must be the cold weather.
I finished the red scarf, made a purple hat and scarf (I plan to donate all these things to the local homeless shelter for Christmas this year) and I knitted the second clue for the Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise Knitalong.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Meal Planning

Here is our menu for next week:

Leftover Chili and Cornbread

Mushroom Fajitas

Monday - Friday
Pasta with Blue Cheese Sauce, Green Salad
Paprika Chicken with Noodles
Sweet Rice Casserole
Potato Soup with Garlic Bread

Friday, January 16, 2009

Meal Planning

Here is what I have planned to cook in the coming week:

Pasta with Cabbage (an Austrian dish)

Grilled Chicken, Butter Potatoes, Green Salad

Monday - Thursday
Thai Noodles
Pasta and Potatoes (another Austrian dish), Green Salad
Pizza with Ham and Pineapple
Chili with Cornbread

Friday we are invited to dinner with friends.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More Knitting

The purple scarf for my friend in Vienna is finished. It will probably arrive too late for her birthday but as far as I remember, February can still be very cold over there.

As a reward for actually finishing something I allowed myself to start a completely new project. I found this Knitalong on a friend's blog and decided to join in. I finished Clue 1 and this is what it looks like so far.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Day in My Life - January 14, 2009

Welcome to the 2009 edition of "A Day in My Life". Hop on over to Jenny to see a list of all participants for this month.

I got up at 6 am and worked through my daily morning routine of feeding the cats, packing lunch for Del and making breakfast. Del left around 7 am and I went to check my emails and read my favorite blogs. It was very cold but promised to be a sunny day which Miss Kitty will enjoy very much.
Then I got into a sorting, clearing, cleaning kind of mood and started to work on some of my STUFF. Have you ever noticed how one thing leads to another and you end up doing way more than you had planned? I found some stuff that I wanted to sell, so I had to write an email about that to one of my groups (in case anyone is interested I have several quilting programs that do not run on Del's computer, they run on Windows 95 and 98, if you would like to buy them, please email me), then I decided to clean out the bathroom cabinets and the linen closet. I took out all the trash and continued on more of my boxes. Somewhere in between I pinned the purple scarf to my bed to block it, then I fixed myself a cup of tea and had one of my chocolate cupcakes with it. After having worked through box after box after box I finally started to re-organize all my craft binders.
At 2 pm I had achieved quite a lot although all of it is invisible because it is hidden in one of the bookshelves in the small bedroom, but I really made progress and even got rid of one box.
The day did indeed become very sunny and Miss K. was happily sleeping at the window in the bedroom after spending the morning in the porch which faces east and was the first room to get enough sunshine to make a kitty happy.
Around 3 pm it was time for kitchen duty. I made pizza dough and fried some bacon for dinner, washed dishes and made a batch of granola.
Now I am going to spend some quality time with my knitting needles and tonight is movie night and I get to pick the movie. :)
I had quite a productive day and sometimes it is good to get away from the plan for the day and just do what comes to mind.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I reached one of my goals for January 2009 - knit at least one item for charity. I knitted two watch caps for Christmas at Sea and I have a scarf for the local homeless shelter on the needles.

I am also trying hard to finish this scarf and get it on it's merry way overseas although as slow as the mail seems to be (my Christmas present to Germany has still not arrived yet) I might be late anyway.

I signed up for Ravelry and hope that posting all my knitting UFOs there will actually inspire me to get them finished. In case you want to look for me there, you can find me as mariaknits1508.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Meal Planning and other stuff

No, I have not stopped blogging. ;) I have just been busy with a lot of things and trying to restrict my computer time. I normally don't get online before 9 or 10 am these days after all the chores are finished. I am doing pretty good in keeping my goals for this month. I have my quiet time between 7 and 8 am, then I wash dishes and clean whatever room is on the cleaning plan for the day and do laundry and other things around the house.
We had lots of rain recently and high winds but today is clear and sunny and I got a load of laundry hanging on the line and Miss K. laying in the sunshine in the porch. I have already washed dishes and dinner is the bean soup I made yesterday. I also changed the bed linens and now I am free to do whatever I want.
I already finished a knitted watch cap for Christmas at Sea and I am working on a second one, and I am trying hard to finish a scarf that is supposed to be a birthday present but it has a long journey ahead and I hope it will get there in time (unlike a Christmas present that I sent to Germany and that is still somewhere out there).
I plan a major makeover for the small bedroom that we use as hobby/computer room. Stay tuned for that (it involves a lot of Del's stuff and we really need to work on it together to get it done). ;)
So, here are my planned meals for the upcoming week:

Saturday - lunch:
Thai Noodles

Sunday - lunch:
Roast chicken, brown rice and either a green salad or mixed vegetables

Monday - Friday - dinner:
Spaghetti with bacon and tomato sauce with green salad
Confetti Rice Casserole with green salad
Pizza with bacon, pineapple and bbq sauce
Cabbage soup with homemade bread

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


True to my goals for January I started reading "The Power of a Praying Wife" and decided pretty quickly that I will donate it to the church library with a grateful heart that my life, my husband and my marriage are not anywhere near to what she describes in that book. Maybe some other woman will find help from it.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Menu Planning

I decided to do better this year with planning my menus for the week ahead. So, here we go.

Our breakfast is usually a choice of homemade granola, farina or bread with butter and jam, coffee and orange juice.

Lunches are usually sandwiches or wraps (tuna, egg, cheese, ham or roast beef, sometimes salami or cream cheese and veggies), a slice of whatever sweet bread I made (banana, cranberry, pumpkin) or homemade cookies, raw veggies, peanuts and fruit.

So, the only meals I need to think about are dinners. This is what I plan to cook next week:

Baked pasta with tuna and olives, green salad

Nachos with beans (mashed and seasoned instead of refried), salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Homemade pizza (either plain mozzarella or with tuna)

Bean soup and homemade bread

The rest of the bean soup with more homemade bread

Saturday and Sunday I plan on Friday before we go shopping.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Monthly Goals - January 2009

Instead of making long term plans for the whole year I am going to set myself some goals for each month and I hope I will achieve them. For January the list looks like that:

Around the house:
Rearrange the pantry
Deep clean the stove

Crafty stuff:
Finish one UFO (any kind)
Knit one item for charity
Make a few blocks for my Dear Jane Quilt

Books to read:
Dragonfly in Amber (very thick, will take longer than one month)
The Power of a Praying Wife
finish Women's Voices from the Western Frontier

Keep daily quiet time (I plan this for morning after Del leaves)
Read more, spend less time on the computer (playing games)

Happy New Year!

A happy and healthy New Year to everybody!