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WIP Wednesday

Greetings!

This has been a busy week, but it looks like I don’t have much in the way of knitting and crocheting done. I’m completed 1/2 of the 4 Christmas presents I’ve been working on, so that is good. I can’t post pictures of those until after the New Year.

The other project I completed this week is the dinosaur hat for my son’s godson. He hasn’t modeled it yet but i am super excited to see him in it.

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I am going to start working on another Christmas present this week, so no pictures of that either.

Tonight is our knitting group, so I’ll have updates and info on any tips that may help you.

Last, but not least, I found a great new blog about sheep and yarn: Wovember.com (http://wovember.com/2015/11/10/many-hands-collaborating-in-wool/). There are great posts and pictures and links to farms to purchase yarn straight from the shepherds. I’ll be sure and post the pictures of the yarn I ordered as soon as it arrives. 🙂

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Filed under Christmas, Crocheting, Knitting, knitting group, NaBloPoMo, WIP Wednesday

More than Just a Pretty Face

Do you ever click on the Google doodle when the browser opens up? I like to check it out because it is a great place to learn fun, fast facts. Just little bits about someone or something that we thought we knew about. But that knowledge suddenly dims in the light of new information that is even more interesting.

Today would have been Hedy Lamarr’s 101st birthday. If you know who she was (forgiveness to all that are too young to remember her) a young Hollywood star more that likely pops into your head.

hedy lamar

She was a movie star from 1930 – 1985. But she was much, much more. Per her official website: “Hedy patented an idea that later became the crutch of both secure military communications and mobile phone technology“. (http://www2.hedylamarr.com/about/biography.html). She was a brilliant woman who wasn’t afraid to use her brain even though she could have be satisfied by standing by her leading man and smiling for the camera and audiences that loved her.

Check out her official website here: http://www2.hedylamarr.com/about/

Or just Google her – I’m sure info will pop up like meerkats on patrol.

meerkats

And think about this Hollywood Star when you make a cell call, or text, or are reading this on your computer using WiFi.

She was a woman before her time – the following quote says it all:

“The world isn’t getting any easier. With all these new inventions I believe that people are hurried more and pushed more… The hurried way is not the right way; you need time for everything – time to work, time to play, time to rest.” Hedy Lamarr

(tks Google for the info and the images used in this post)

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Filed under blogher, Google, Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood, Inventor, Movie Star, NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo – A Walk Down Memory Lane

I was reading some of the blog posts for NaBloPoMo   and came across this one by Cyn Donnelly about old photographs. ( http://www.blogher.com/myprofile/cynd ). She got me thinking about the boxes of old photos I have of my grandparents on both sides as well as most of my parent’s pictures. They are not as organized as I would like, but we have spent a few nostalgic afternoons with my aunts and dad making sure names, places and events are on the back of them so that the next generation will know who is in each of them.

I thought I’d take a look on my laptop to see what pics I have and one of the oldest is this one:

Weston st

It was taken out in front of the house we lived in from the time I was 3 until I got married. My little brother was six years younger than me, so I assume I was eleven and he was five here. I know by my hair (I know, it looks like an old lady by I was growing out a short cut!) that was wasn’t in middle school yet.

I have no idea why we were dressed up and wearing corsages. It had to be summer because the canna lily behind us is in full bloom. My grandma gave mom the bulbs to plant, so whenever I see them I think of her.

If you look closely in the screen of the porch you can see the porch swing that my dad made. I’ve talked about it before, so sorry if this is repetitive so some. I love, love, love this swing. Many summer afternoons and evenings were spent on it while reading or talking to friends. My dad gave it to me and it is still my favorite spot to sit outside to read, relax or knit.

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Thanks Cyn for the walk down memory lane.

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Filed under family, NaBloPoMo

Thanksgiving = Family & Tradition

I have to get a plan together. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away and there is so much to do!

The most important part of Thanksgiving in our house is family. Yeah, they want some turkey, and “fixin’s” and dessert. And more dessert…but the most important part of the holiday (or any day in my opinion) is spending time and making memories with family and a few close friends.

This year I am super excited because our son and daughter-in-law are flying in on Monday and staying until Saturday. When they come in for Thanksgiving, we like to go into Chicago and visit Christkindlesmarket at Daley Plaza. It is usually cold (and last year it was rainy) but it is a wonderland of German food and gifts. Go to their website to get all the info http://www.christkindlmarket.com/

Christkindlmarket Christkindlmarket 2

We also get a live Christmas tree and will do that before they leave to go back to home. When the boys were little, they loved going to cut down the Christmas tree. Tromping through a snowy or muddy field depending upon our fickle weather. They used to argue over who was going to cut it down. Now they argue over who HAS to cut it down. But they are good sons and don’t complain too much when I look at a dozen trees before going back to the first one :} And when in a hurry, we just go to Home Depot to get the tree. It doesn’t matter to me as long as we are spending time together.

getting the tree again getting the tree

Another yearly event, which takes much more planning than dinner or where we are getting the Christmas tree is the annual Christmas Craft. When other families are napping or watching football after Thanksgiving dinner, we clear the table of everything except the veggie dip because you have to keep your strength up when crafting.

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I’ve blogged about the craft before, because I write about what is close to me and what I love and our family getting together to do traditional things like the Christmas Craft and Christkindlmarket and cutting down a Christmas tree together.

I’ll post more once I have an idea for the craft, which is kept secret until Thanksgiving day – but I’ll share when I can. And how the Christmas tree hunt turns out.

No worries about Thanksgiving dinner though. We’ll have the traditional foods we do most every year. They are just the fixin’s that go with the main event of spending time with family 🙂

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Filed under Christmas, family, Thanksgiving

Rockin’ the Year: Foo Fighters Sonic Highway Tour DC

We don’t go to many live concerts. It isn’t that we don’t like them, in fact we LOVE them, but you know how life can get in the way and before you know it the band or person you wanted to see came to a venue near you and left before you get around to checking on tickets.

But THIS year, became the year we went to more concerts than ever before. It all began with getting tickets for our Daughter-in-law for her birthday for the Foo Fighters tour.

I was not a huge fan, but really got hooked on the Sonic Highway HBO series where Dave Grohl digs deep into the influential music in cities like Seattle, Chicago and Nashville. He is an amazing artist and was even more amazing in concert with the rest of the band, all of whom are talented musicians and showmen.

They were coming to Chicago, but since my son and DIL live in MD, we got tickets for the first show on the U.S. leg of the tour. July 4, 2015 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

Prior to the concert Grohl broke his leg. Not a minor break, but one requiring surgery. He explained all about it during the concert, demoing the crazy chair his road crew built so that he could rock. Here is a Google pic of the chair and Grohl in action.

see original photo here: ( aptopix-foo-fighters-concert-washington.jpg November 5, 2015)
I am getting ahead of myself and the concert. It began at 1 P.M. and lasted until almost 11:00 PM. Bands that were featured on the Sonic Highways Tour started the day off and played non-stop (except during a rain delay) until the Foo Fighters took the stage around 9.
We were rocking to the sounds of Heart, Buddy Guy, Joan Jett, L.L. Cool J an others. It was an amazing mix of music and styles across the years and nation. From blues to rap, there was something for everyone.
The concert goers were young, old and everything in between. Everyone was on their feet when the music ended and they treated us all to a fireworks show.
Here are a couple of pictures we took on cell phones. We sang, clapped and screamed along with the rest of the stadium. For a few hours it was like being the other side of 50 again. I wouldn’t want to live there – but it was a fun place to visit for a few hours. I highly recommend it. 🙂
Waiting for the Foo Fighters to Start
Foo Fighter Concert 7.4.15
Dave Grohl
Jumbotron Dave Grohl

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Filed under Blues, Chicago, music, Washington DC

WIP Wednesday – Chuggin’ Along

Here is it Wednesday again. I don’t know about all of you, but daylight savings time is kicking my butt. I was ok the first day, but by Monday I was ready for a nap when I got home from work. I decided that was not a good plan but I sure hope I adjust quick.

The pumpkin hats were delivered safe and sound. Hopefully they will all be useful and enjoyed. I need to start planning for Christmas hats for the NICU. The bear hats are always popular, so I might do a mix of them and Santa or elf hats. I also saw a cute pattern for a snowman, which may be in the lineup also. I probably won’t start them until after Thanksgiving, so I have tons of time to decide.

I started on the dinosaur hat for my son’s godson, but the gauge on the pattern is off. The toddler size fit my head. So I frogged the whole hat and searched Ravelry for a new pattern. I found one that is not a dinosaur, but can easily be made into one. I’ve used part of the 2 patterns had have and am almost ready to get the spikes done.

dino hat 1

I’m working on ear warmers, and loving the pattern. Jessika Cates is spot on with her pattern. It works up  beautifully. The only thing I changed on this second one is I am doing a provisional cast on (you can see how it is done here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T7OwOpC6CY ) so that I can do a three needle bind off instead of seaming the ends. Here is the pic of my WIP and the link to the pattern. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/braided-cabled-ear-warmer

Ear warmer_2

My projects are calling – until next week, happy knitting 🙂

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Filed under Crocheting, Knitting, WIP Wednesday

Book Review: Wabanaki Blues by Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel – Magnificent YA Mystery

Wabanaki Blues

Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel

327 pages

Wabanaki BluesMona Lisa LaPierre is a complex teen. She is the daughter of a Native American mother, who has turned her back on tradition and her family. Mona’s father is older than her mother, is ignorant or oblivious to Mona’s needs, other than basic food and shelter.

The teen retreats into her music. She is a talented guitarist and blues singer, writing her own music, drawing from her own experiences. These experiences include hearing her dead grandmother’s voice advising her and seeing  a girl that was murdered years ago in her high school.

Mona is shipped up to New Hampshire to stay in a cabin with her grandfather, appropriately named Grumps while her parents go to an archaeological dig in Russia. Not only does she miss her high school graduation, but Grumps lives off the grid. No cell phone, no electricity, no Beetle (a guy she would love to spend more time with) and no one to talk to except Grumps. This is not how Mona planned to spend the summer after her high school graduation.

Things begin to look up for her when she meets Del, a guy her age. He plays in a band and asks her to jam with them, and surprisingly Grumps encourages them to hang out together.  When she discovers he is the son of the dead girl that has been urging her to bring her killer to justice, Mona becomes obsessed with the case. And she might just be falling for Del.

Danger lurks in the woods and in unlikely places that would normally be considered safe. Mona has angered people by uncovering long buried secrets. The deeper she digs the more help she needs from Grumps and her extended Native American family.

Zobel created one of the most memorable characters I’ve read about in a long time. Mona develops from a snarky teen to a mature young woman over the course of this novel – but she still has rough edges. She learns about herself while digging into her family’s history and culture.

This Young Adult Mystery was so much more than a “whodunit”. The mystery of the murder developed along with the characters, making Zobel’s novel fast paced and interesting. I loved the rich history and tradition that I learned along with Mona.  This is the first book in a trilogy, and I can’t wait to read the next two books.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Filed under Blues, Book Review, Mystery, Native American, YA