Monthly Archives: March 2014

Weekly Craft Update – March 31, 2014

Big update for you guys this week. Lots of craft related stuff I wanted to show off today. I’ve been snapping pictures like mad the past 15 minutes so I can show it all off to you.

First, is a book I picked up at Walmart a few weeks ago. Amigurumi is something that has fascinated me for a while now, and I already have the supplies for a HUGE project I will tackle eventually, but, I also wanted some practice with some scrap yarn, and this seemed perfect for that.

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Next is the second scarf from the first Hook and Needle club kit I received. I haven’t started it yet, but will probably pick a weekend and just whip it together.

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In the mail today, I got the next kit. “Learn a stitch dishcloths”. I’m excited about this one. I’ve made some hand towels already from cotton yarn before, and want to slowly replace store bought towels and things with my handmade ones, so this will get me moving in the right direction.

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I also picked up some magazines this weekend. Love of Crochet, Spring 2014; Crochet Today February/March 2014; and Crochet World “Fun with color in thread” Spring 2014.

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Loads of things I'm excited for in these, but these three are probably the top:

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Now, my favorite secret crochet tool, I got this years ago, and now that I am wanting to learn lace and tatting, there is a similar set with the smaller steel hooks. Two handles, multiple tips and even a loom knitting tool all in one handy zippered case.

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Last but not least, the moment you have all been waiting for… The progress on my cross stitch. I have found a way to made it more portable, but also, since it was a cold and wet weekend here I had a lot of time I could sit and stitch. I’m really pleased with the progress this week, I hope you enjoy looking and thanks for putting up with such a long winded post! Smile everyone!

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Star Trek: DS9 Review

All seasons (yes I’m a binge watcher) of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, my review

Okies, so as I’ve mentioned before, I got addicted to Netflix last year. *hangs head* But, I’m also slightly OCD about my addictions. I will typically only watch ONE show at a time, straight through, in order. So, last year, starting with TNG, I worked my way through all the Star Trek series. I am slowly but surely posting my reviews of all of them. In the order I watched them. Which if you’re curious, I didn’t go in order per se, but it went a bit more like this, TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Original, then all the movies, except for the two most modern. Yes, that’s a lot of Star Trek. No, I won’t tell you how long it took me. Yes, I am fully aware that I am a nerd. No, I don’t care.

Moving on.

DS9 was a SLOW starter for me. Really, it took me the better part of the first two seasons to really fully get into it. Once Worf (Michael Dorn) became part of the cast, Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks) got made Captain, the Dominion actually became a threat and the Defiant was dropped off for them to use, THAT’S when it got good. Now, I’ll do my usual. Sisko (Brooks) really developed throughout this series. He went from being the bitter single dad, to a really fun guy, even if the Bajorans thought he was some kind of god. lol I loved Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) back in his TNG days, and he’s much better in DS9, and I’m glad we got to watch his and Keiko (Rosalind Chao) go through the “married couple” stuff and watch their daughter grow up (once WAY too fast). Can’t forget Odo (Rene Auberjonois), the stiff, formal, security guy that turns to goo once a day. The last season with all that happens really shows a different side of him. Quark (Armin Shimerman) is amazing as always, I really can’t think of a role of his I haven’t loved. Major Kira (Nana Visitor) grows a lot as well throughout the show, really learning to stop being bitter and embrace her Bajoran side. I could go on and on, but you get my drift. Loads of character development, lots of great secondary stories that carry throughout the entire series (and even some from TNG with Worf, Miles and lots of other ST regulars making appearances.

I’ve heard from a lot of people they didn’t like this one, or they never got into it, but really, give it a shot, past the first couple of seasons, and it is worth it. It also really helps tie into the beginning of my favorite series, Voyager. All in all though, I will give it a 4 out of 5, as it is a slow starter and some of the themes get a little redundant.

Smile!


Weekly Craft Update – March 25, 2014

Busy weekend as DS has his latest show with the ballet company this weekend, but amazingly that actually afforded me some extra stitching time this week since he wasn’t on stage until Act II. Lovely time was had with the other parents as well. Two of which are also crafters, so we sat, chatted and crafted while we waited.

Here is this week’s update 🙂

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Enjoy! Smile! And more posts coming soon!


Weekly Craft Update – March 20, 2014

Late again this week, but things always seem to get busier and busier this time of year. Between school things for both the kiddos and dance season getting busy as it comes to an end for DS, projects and performances for DD, you get the idea. But, I have had some time to stitch this week, and so here’s the progress 🙂

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Enjoy! 🙂


Innocence Review

Innocence by Dean Koontz.

Okay, first off, put Dean Koontz in the category with Stephen King. I LOVE HIM. I have read nearly everything he has written, that I have been able to get my hands on so far. (Again, google play books gift cards are ALWAYS welcome *giggles*)

I do have my favorite by him, In the Corner of His Eye, and when I drag it out for the semi-annual re-read, I’ll post a review. It is such a complex and interwoven story, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice without a fresh read on my mind.

Anyway…

So, hubby surprised me with this one. I had zipped through the latest book for my book club in a couple of days, so, I get a message, “check google play books.” I’ll admit, I squealed like a little girl. *blush* Okay, onto my thoughts, and as usual SPOILER ALERT!!

I will actually say, Mr. Koontz confused me a bit on this one. I couldn’t quite figure out where we were going with our two main characters, Addison and Gwyneth, for a good chunk of the book. It’s a very fast paced story, going back and forth between Addison’s past and what was currently going on. Several interesting twists and turns throughout tho. Is it his best? No, but like I said, I already have a favorite. But, since I typically always do this, especially with newer works by any of my favorites, when I read in the letter from the author that the story was inspired by someone who wrote him after reading In the Corner of His Eye that gave me a bigger appreciation. I think as it typical with most Dean Koontz (or really any author) you either love it or you hate it. I still put it in the love category, and still give it my personal 5 stars, but I think if you’re reading Dean Koontz for the first time, choosing a different book to start is a better option. Go try the Odd series (which I still need to catch up on, again, play books please? giggles)

Onward to more reviews and post! Thank you for reading! Smile!


Teenagers…

*deep breath*

Training up teenagers is NOT easy. It is probably one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Ever.

Teenagers are moody. Teenagers are sensitive. Teenagers are unreasonable. Teenagers make NO sense a lot of the time. Teenagers test every nerve and bit of patience you have. Having a teenager is one of the many things that keeps me awake at night worrying.

BUT

My teenager (16 going on 17… admit it, you sang it along with me), is actually a pretty cool kid. She is an artsy type. Loves theater, art, musicals, Greek mythology, Batman, Dr. Who, and all kinds of stuff. She has a pretty decent head on her shoulders, is fairly mature for her age, but still loves a good Disney movie once in a while, (hey we watched her favorite “Hercules” ON her 16th birthday, and yes, her obsession with all things Greek Myth related started at age 2). She loves to read, and will devour just about anything you put in front of her. I started her on Little House books like I did, then she moved on to the Narnia series. She hasn’t stopped since. In fact, as punishment for lack of chore-doing or homework missing, we’ve had to take the books AWAY so she doesn’t sit in “her” spot on the love seat with the little dog and her book lol.

I don’t typically give parenting advice, unless I’m asked. Mostly because when people realize how young *I* am to have a 16 year old, most of them think I don’t have a clue, so they don’t ask. So, first things first, let’s go ahead and get this out there. Yes, I am 35. Yes, you did your math correctly, I was 19 when I had her. I don’t regret a thing. (Hey I’ll be 37 when she graduates high school! Which ironically enough, will be exactly 20 years after I did lol). Do I recommend starting that early for everybody? No. It takes a certain amount of maturity to be able to handle all things parenting related at that age. But, I grew up fast. I worked, paid for my own health insurance, took myself to my doctor’s appointments (and later took DD), moved out on my own, etc etc etc.

That being said. DH and I work VERY hard to make sure that both kids, but especially DD now, take a slightly different path than we did. I want her to go to college (and finish). Even if it’s online from home to get her core stuff out of the way first. I want her to find a career and work hard at it. We are strict parents. We know what we got into as teenagers, and don’t want our kids to follow that path. So yes, gatherings with friends either happen at home, or at a friend’s house with parents in attendance, or somewhere very public, with me there somewhere, (ie walking around the mall). Now, before you think I’m completely neurotic. Yes, DD has a “boyfriend”. He’s actually a great kid, they’ve been friends since day one of their freshman year, and are really great close friends. His parents are of like mind as us. And he has a younger sibling too. Which, by they way, make GREAT chaperones, they LOVE to tattle on older siblings lol.

Recently tho, we found out that one of DD’s friends wasn’t exactly making the best choices in life for a not quite 16 year old (she’s a few months younger than DD). I had noticed, that it seemed to me anyway, that DD was pulling away from said friend, who’s life seems to just be one problem, mass of drama, after another. So, in one of our car rides home, I asked a few questions. Heard about various incidents, both in school and out, and suggested that maybe it was time to pull back a little and not spend as much time with this person. Which I explained, if these are the things that are happening in her life, it’s probably best to keep a distance. Don’t need the “birds of a feather” to become an issue for her. Now, scroll back up to where I said, “Teenagers test every nerve and bit of patience you have”. Read that a few more times lol. Because, not the best decision in this situation, DD told her friend that I said it was best to not spend as much time together. *cue … um… poop and fan please*

*facedesk*

This led to two days of angry phone calls, texts, accusations, insults, etc. Among various things, I now know, well, first and foremost, I most definitely made the right decision. I also know, apparently *cough sarcastically* my daughter will never have any friends if she picks them by their grades, O.o , I’m a horrible mother for taking my DD away during such a tough time, (tough time being that apparently there is stalking by an ex of the “friend” and um… I want my daughter near that WHY?!?), and that people think I can be manipulated by a crying teenager on the phone. O.o again, I’ve been at this for 16 years, plus I have two nieces, two sisters, and have been around kids most of my life of various ages. C’mon I was a theater kid my WHOLE life. (not to mention, I’m just not one of those overly emotional chicks. I’m more likely to cry when I’m pissed off than I am at a book or movie. Sorry ladies, but I just don’t deal with tears well, I’m more likely to tell you to suck it up and fix it lol)

Now, yes I mentioned we are strict. And I’m not kidding. Lets go ahead and be blunt. There’s really only one reason two teenagers want to spend time alone. And well. We all know what THAT can get you. So, yes, although I trust that we have taught DD well the consequences of sex, I don’t trust two hormonal teenagers to necessarily make the right decision. And so, yes, I am going to suggest that it’s not a good thing for my DD to spend a lot of time with someone who not only is consummating her relationship with a boyfriend, but being allowed to have sleep overs with said person. *facedesk* Sorry, but I will judge you on how you parent. I won’t tell you how to parent your child, we all have different styles. And if it works for you and your kids GREAT. But don’t come crying to me when they drop out of school, tell you they hate you, run away, get pregnant, or whatever, and ask me “What happened?!?”. Mostly because you won’t like it when I tell you it’s because you were too worried about being their friend to actually be their PARENT.

*begin rant*

You are the parent. You are in charge. You are NOT their friend. Yes, they have feelings, and those feelings are valid, but sometimes you are going to hurt those feelings. Teenagers need to hear “no” just as often as a 2 year old. Allowing your child to make all their own decisions and force your hand on giving into them are just manipulating you. I’ve heard it before “they’ll run away”. Okay, fine, call the cops, worry, pace, freak out, but let the cops find them and bring them home. “They’ll hate me”. You have NO idea how mean I thought my dad was when I was a teenager. Looking back, he was just doing it all to protect me. If you’re really worried about them hurting themselves, that’s what therapy is for (or just having them admitted, you again are the parent and can have them put on a suicide watch if you are that concerned). If you are really worried about them hurting someone else, be careful, but be ready to call the police. Let them realize that there are consequences to acting that way. That’s the BIGGEST problem I see today. Too many parents want to be friends with their kids, and don’t force them to realize there are consequences to their actions. You are not here to be their friend. Not now. Once they have turned into functioning adults, sure no problem, but not as teenagers (or younger).

*end rant*… ish

I am going to end this with one of my favorite pictures I’ve used on Facebook lately when seeing posts about teenagers. It’s great, and some day I will either find this or make this. lol

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Going to end this here for today. Just remember. Parenting is HARD, parenting is WORK, but parenting is the MOST rewarding job out there. Smile everybody!


Music

This could potentially be a very VERY long post…

I am a huge music buff. I have a rather broad taste, ranging from Classical to Heavy Metal. Literally. I’m not kidding! Thankfully my dad has an awesome taste in music, plus my history of theater, and then the things I found myself, etc etc. You get the idea.

I’ll give you an example, I have a rather eclectic list on my iPod right now, so let me shuffle and give you a random list.

  1. Nirvana – Lake of Fire
  2. P.O.D – Youth of the Nation
  3. Muse – Plug In Baby
  4. Skillet – Hero
  5. The East Village Opera Company – Overture (Le Nozze Di Figaro) [Redux]
  6. Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
  7. Epica – Adagio
  8. Les Miserables: International Cast – At The End of the Day
  9. Halestorm – Out Ta Get Me
  10. Muse – Uprising
  11. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Fur Elise
  12. Sirenia – The Other Side
  13. Volbeat – The Mirror And The Ripper
  14. Love Spit Love – How Soon Is Now
  15. Avenged Sevenfold – Scream
  16. Chicago (Soundtrack) – Nowadays
  17. Apocalyptica – Not Strong Enough
  18. Mamma Mia! (Soundtrack) – Mamma Mia
  19. Epica – The Last Crusade
  20. System of a Down – Toxicity
  21. Volbeat – Still Counting
  22. Garbage – #1 Crush
  23. D’Oyly Carte Opera Company (HMS Pinafore Soundtrack) – Can I Survive the Overbearing
  24. Coal Chamber – Loco
  25. Rob Zombie – Dragula

So, as you can see, listening to my iPod if you don’t know what you’re getting into is probably like dealing with an ADHD DJ on speed… I currently have almost 500 songs on it right now, and the whole thing is like that. Pop, Rock, Heavy Metal, Musicals, etc etc. I like what I like.

The funny thing is. You have a LOT of musical purist out there. I’m not “enough” of a metal head because I listen to other stuff. I’m not a “real” theater buff because I don’t know every word to every musical (and will openly admit there are some I’ve either never heard or don’t care for). I’m not good enough for pop because except for rare exceptions I don’t like most of it. It better be unique and not so mainstream for me to actually be willing to listen. And I get strange looks being from and living in the south, and my dislike of a most Country music. Then I’m just weird because I like a lot of European hard rock and metal. (See Epica above, but what you don’t see on the list is the Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation to mention a few).

I guess the point to this randomness today is this. Don’t lock yourself into a particular genre of music. Music is such an amazing thing, full of emotions and meanings and everything like that. Keep yourself open to different styles, bands, genres, all of that. It’s worth it. Trust me. I still find things new to me almost every week. Do I have favorites? Yup. Do I have certain things I listen to when I’m in a particular type of mood? Yup. Do I love to share my love of music with others? OH most definitely.

Keeping smiling, singing, rocking out, whatever! 😀


Weekly Craft Update – March 12, 2014

A little late this week, I usually do this on Monday, but it has been a busy weekend followed by a crazy week so far!

I did want to post quickly and show progress on the cross stitch as well as a cute little scarf I made while I travelled this past weekend.

Here is the scarf:

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Just a cute ruffled scarf crocheted in a nice fingering weight white yarn.

And cross stitch progress this week:

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Keep smiling everybody!!


Television/Commercials and How it’s Killing the Men

Probably my last post for the day, but this is one that has been bugging me for a WHILE now, so I need to get it out.

I don’t watch too much live TV these days. I’m rather addicted to “binge watching” on NetFlix or Amazon Prime. But, with my sports addicted DH there are plenty of times that “regular” TV is on. Plus, I am plenty guilty of just hitting the button on my way by, and half listening to whatever is on while I craft, clean, etc. (and we are not discussing my addiction to Days of Our Lives, we’re just not, okay?)

Now, that being said, I have my opinions on what the extreme feminist movement has done to the world, but THAT is for a different post. It is one I will address at some point, but it is not what I want to talk about here.

What I want to talk about here is, when did all the men in the world become bumbling idiots that can’t cook, clean, diaper a baby or generally function without something ridiculous happening?

Why do I ask? Well, have you watched “regular” TV lately? Most, and when I say most I mean close to 95%, of commercials, sitcoms, and even movies today portray men as something just evolved above neanderthal, maybe early Cro-Magnon man. They are either nothing but sexually charged idiots that chase anything with boobs, or so inept around the house they are congratulated for not burning the house down. *facedesk*

First off. I was raised by a stay at home DAD. Yes, my daddy is the one that was home with me from my birth until I was almost 8. Even after that he was the “primary parent” for lack of a better term. My dad is the one that taught me how to cook, how to do laundry, how to clean, and who is still the best soother for any fussy baby I have ever seen.

Secondly, I am married to man that cooks better than I do (now I can out bake him, no problem, but day to day cooking, he’s got me beat), cleans without complaint (and very well, he’s a lil OCD *giggles*) and although I don’t let him touch the laundry (I’m strangely picky about how laundry is done, but I have clothes in great shape that are more than 10 years old, so it’s for a reason) he would do laundry in a heartbeat if I needed help. He has been up in the middle of the night with fussy and sick kids, been with me at the hospital (even if he hates hospitals with a passion) when our son was born and when he had surgery. We co-parent. Because we are both parents. I did not magically get pregnant and have children. Not that I am by any stretch dissing single parents, so please don’t think I am, but it takes two people. At least! My dad helps, my in-laws help, I have close friends and we all gladly share advice, babysitting, teenager wrangling, etc.

Anyway, I digress.

Why do we consistently emasculate men on TV and in Movies, and then expect them to stand up and be men? Maybe I’m old fashioned. But in my book, men are supposed to hold open doors, do the heavy lifting and be MEN. Do I think my dad is any less of a man because he stayed home with us? Absolutely not. I completely understand the situation and why they chose to do things the way they did. But seriously, how do we expect to portray them as incapable of something as simple as making pigs in a blanket, but then expect them to stand up and be manly. Last time I checked, wrapping little hot dogs in crescent rolls and sticking them in an oven doesn’t not take a genius IQ, nor does it make anyone less of a man.

Just in case you aren’t quite sure, I copied the Bing dictionary definition of emasculate:

  • e·mas·cu·late
  1. castrate somebody: to remove the testicles of a male human being or animal
  2. weaken somebody or something: to deprive somebody or something of effectiveness, spirit, or force
  3. remove stamens from flower: to remove the male reproductive organs stamens from a flower, e.g. to prevent self-pollination

The second definition is the one that truly speaks to me here. Men want to feel manly. Ladies, let them hold open the doors, take the car for an oil change (or change it themselves), and do various home repairs. Or whatever they want to do. It’s okay for them to get into sports and yell at the TV when their team is losing, it’s what they do. Don’t like it? Tough, get a hobby or learn to like sports. It’s okay for them to drool over the hot chick in the latest Bond flick. Guess what, he’s just drooling, you know who’s bed he gets into every night, deal with it and stop being so insecure. Men are men. They like women (and yes I’m speaking about straight men before any of my gay friends get huffy). They like sports (most of the time). They like cars, or action movies, or radio controlled stuff, or video games. Most men, in some way, are nothing more than grown up 13 year old boys. And that’s okay! It’s what they are! We love them. But, love doesn’t mean change.

Does it drive me nuts sometimes when DH is watching sports and yelling/cheering at the TV and it makes me jump? Yeah sometimes, but it’s something he loves and is passionate about. So, put in the earbuds or go in the other room, there is no rule that I have to sit through every game he wants to watch, just like he doesn’t have to sit through a single episode of Cutthroat Kitchen with me. Is it okay that even all these years later DH still has the hots for Alyssa Milano? Of course, he doesn’t say a word while I’m drooling away over Christian Kane, or Chris Hemsworth or um.. anyway lol. Because again, I am married to HIM he is married to ME. I am secure in our relationship. As is he.

So, stop being insecure. Stop thinking you have to have a man to be a woman. Stop worrying all the time that you’re going to lose him because he looks at a girls butt or boobs when he sees them. Deal with it. I’m not saying deal with it if he’s a cheater, but that’s NOT what I’m talking about. I’m talking about men being men. Let them be men. Being independent is great, but there is also nothing wrong with leaning on your man either.

Anyway, I’ll stop the ramble here. Think about it tho, if you want a man, treat him as one! Smile!! It will make your day better, and just might make it better for someone else too!


Sexy Evil Genius Review

Normally, I am not a watcher of indie films. Yes, I know to some people that makes me a horrible person. But, I’m picky, so sue me.

A friend of DH’s suggested this movie to us, and we were intrigued. We are both big Seth Green fans. I love Michelle Trachtenberg from her Buffy days. William Baldwin (one of the lesser known Baldwin brothers, but only because he’s not an idiot to the media all the time lol) does an amazing job. Anthony Michael Hall has been in so many movies and shows that I love, even with only a small part, he shines. Katee Sackhoff is proving to be a more versatile actress than I originally thought (I did watch the first few episodes of the modern version of Battlestar Galactica, even tho I never finished the series). Last but not least, my favorite, Harold Perrineau. I fell in love with him as Mercutio in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet years ago, and STILL see him screaming out his soliloquy at Romeo on the beach.

SPOILER ALERT, you know the drill, don’t go past here unless you’re okay with a few spoilers.

This movie takes place, probably 95% of it, around a table in a small bar. It starts off with Zachary (Seth Green) and Miranda (Michelle Trachtenberg) realizing that they have been called to the same place by Nikki (Katee Sackhoff). A mutual ex girlfriend of both of theirs. Then, Marvin (Harold Perrineau) shows up, and the three reminisce about Nikki. Eventually Nikki herself shows up, and more suspicion and stories are shared, when Bert (William Baldwin) comes in and is introduced as Nikki’s fiance. Lots of stories from the past, ensue, including learning why Nikki was in a mental facility. I won’t give away too much, but the ending has a crazy twist!

It’s only 90 minutes! No, it’s not the most cinematically (not a word according to WP lol) challenging movie, BUT, it sucks you into the story because most of the time you are sitting wondering why Nikki has brought all of these people together. I give 5 stars, mostly because of the all star cast of actors I love.


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