Friday, March 17, 2017

Funny Friday - Old School Surgery

You have to be a certain age, I think, to get this one.

Happy St. Patrick's Day !

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cold Spring

Even though it has been 27 degrees the past few mornings and the wind is pretty unbearable and freezing cold....the flowers still think it is spring so they've been putting on quite a show.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

Good sister-in-law loved her slouchy hat that I mentioned last week and liked receiving a surprise in her mailbox.  I am so glad.  I wasn't sure of the color but she loved it - yea!!

Also, last week, I mentioned that I crocheted a ski hat for Bev's Country Cottage.  As a result of that, I had a LOT of leftover baby yarn.  I wanted to do something productive with it and started thinking about my friend's daughter that is expecting a baby in August.

I really hadn't planned on making her a baby afghan because (a) the mom-to-be and I are not all that close and (b) the mom-to-be is 17 years old and I didn't think she would appreciate it - it seems that the most millennials just don't appreciate or want "home-made" gifts.  If it isn't something you can't purchase with an app or they didn't see on Facebook or Pinterest, they are not interested.  (I speak in general terms).

Plus...after the bad experience I had in giving a time consuming, and what I thought, a beautiful afghan to my 2nd cousin (another millennial), I just didn't want to waste my time making a lovely baby afghan for someone who would just toss it aside like wet newspapers.  (Can you tell that I am still a bit miffed about that and I still haven't gotten a thank you card and the baby is now 4 months old?), but I digress.

So, at any rate, even though I do not know if it will be appreciated, I had all this left over yarn so decided to use it to make my friend's daughter a basic granny square afghan.  I really like how the colors are coming out so far.

I do hope that it will be appreciated and loved but I can't control what other people do.  I found out yesterday that her aunt is also making her a granny square baby afghan but it is different - she is making one large granny square in a baby blue color (similar to the one below), so they will be a bit different. 

The good thing about granny squares is they work up fast.  The other good thing about the one I am doing is I am joining as I go, so no sewing them together at the end.  The only drawback is all the colors, while pretty, it slows me down each time I have to stop and change the color, which is a lot!!

I'll be out of commission next week - having a small surgical procedure to remove my one of my parathyroid glads so not sure if I will be up to finishing this next week but hopefully so...we shall see.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

Happy Hump Day y'all.

I hope you are having a good week so far.  I have done a little bit of crocheting over the weekend (not this cute camel though).

First, Beverly, who owns and operates the website Bev's Country Cottage, asked me to make this hat for her to post on her website.  She has tons of great and FREE patterns so be sure you check her out.  She found one pattern that was missing a photo so I made this hat for her to post with the pattern.

 At first I didn't think I would like the color combo but I used the guidelines for the pattern (although I used a different yarn) and found that the colors were actually quite cute in the end.  However, I had a bunch of yarn left I decided to start making little granny squares and will end up piecing together for a small baby blanket.  Perhaps to give to a friend's daughter, who is due in August.  (Photos to come).

Also, my sister-in-law had mentioned a few times that she would like a slouchy hat.  Not sure how serious she was or what she had in mind exactly but I saw some pretty Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable Waves yarn at Hobby Lobby one day and thought it would make a nice slouchy hat so I picked up a couple of skeins (glad I got 2 because it took about 1.25 skeins).  I don't care for slouchy hats for myself (they look awful on me) but I hope my sister-in-law likes it.  Then again she might think "why in the world did she make this for me?"  😆  The color is called Lakehouse (how nice is that?!) 

Although the yarn was not all that easy to work with (it goes from being super chunky, to being baby fine in a split second and does that throughout), I did like the end result and the colors.   I had never made a hat with this type of brim before - it was different and I kind of like how it worked up.  I switched to a smaller hook for the brim and wonder if I should have gone done 2 hook sizes but it is done now.

I guess for now, I will finish up the unintended baby granny square blanket (which I never expected to do but want to use up that nice baby yarn).  After that, I will start a knitted shawl that I plan to give to my mom for mother's day (I knit slow so wish me luck with that).

Until next time...happy hooking!!

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

February 2017 Movies

Generally, I wait until the month is over before posting the list of movies I saw this month, but I decided to post this since the Oscars are tonight.

Here are movies I watched in February.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back - as you know...I am a BIG Tom Cruise fan.  I loved the first Jack Reacher.  This one was really good too but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one, which surprised me.  I was rather tired though when I was watching it so maybe that had something to do with it.

Bridget Jones' Baby - I have read all the Bridget Jones books and have seen all the movies.  This one wasn't actually a book first, which was a bit different than the previous movies.  However, it was still a great movie and true to the story and character.  Funny, sweet, and it ended just like I wanted it to end.  Great movie for a girl's night.  PS:  I love Renee Zellweger too and wish she made more movies.

Each year, I try to see all the best picture nominated movies but I hadn't seen any this year so I was happy when Regal Cinemas had an "Oscar Film Festival" and I got to see these movies for one low price.  It was awesome!!

Lion - this movie was so good!! The first half of the movie is subtitled because it takes place in India when a young boy, Saroo, finds himself separated from his family and 1,600 kilometers (roughly 1,000 miles) from home.  He basically takes care of himself and lives on the streets of Calcutta for 2 years before he is adopted by a family from Tazmania.  After college, memories of his life in India haunt him and he does what he can to try to find out where he is from and to find his family.  This is based on a true story - very, very good!!  So glad I saw this.

La La Land - while this movie takes place in the modern day, it has an "old Hollywood" kind of feel.  It is a musical, which use to be so popular in the 1940s and 1950s but you don't hear of them anymore.  In a nutshell, it is about a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, who fall in love.  Besides the great music and beautiful story, I loved the colors - the cast wore all solid colors, no prints - just solids and all the colors of the clothes, cars, murals, etc were just so colorful and bright!  It is pleasing to the eye and pleasing to the ears and pleasing to the heart and soul.  Great movie and I hope it wins best picture!!

Moonlight - This is told about the same man, in 3 different stories.  Part I when he is a young boy, we find out that dad isn't in the picture, mom is a crack-head, he gets bullied at school (even his own mom calls him a homo-sexual but she doesn't use a nice word for it) and an adult male and his girlfriend take an interest in him and kind of become parent figures for him.  Part II occurs when he is a teenager - still getting bullied, but worse.  His mom's drug use has gotten worse and he often gets kicked out of his own home and goes to say with his parent figures.  Something happens between him and his long time friend (his only friend) both sexually and then later in a situation with the bully, that ends up sending him to jail for a period of time.  In Part III, we see him a an adult, his mom is now in rehab and trying to get her life together.  He has modeled himself after his father figure but isn't in the best line of work.  He gets a call from his old friend and decides to drive to see him.  One thing I didn't like is that the movie just kind of ended abruptly.  Just - black screen and it was over.  Another thing that I didn't like is that the male characters constantly called each other the "n" word.  Do black guys really do this in real life?  I sure hope not but after seeing this movie (and another one), I wonder if they do.  I did like the story line and the acting was very good but at times, I just wanted the story to move along a bit faster.  It was good overall and I am glad I saw it.

Arrival - This movie was really good.  Amy Adams was excellent.  It had me on the edge of my seat pretty much from the beginning and through the whole thing - it wasn't a thriller, but you could just put yourself in the place of the characters and can imagine how scared you would be if you had to face what they were facing.  It had a plot twist that was reveled towards the end of the movie but it was reveled quickly and in a bit of a strange way.  Many people left the movie crying.  I didn't.  There was a group of people sitting in front of me talking about "why didn't the aliens do this if they knew that" and they had some good points.  The ending just felt rushed and forced and didn't answer a lot of questions but the overall message of the movie was good and the acting and special effects were excellent.  Glad I saw this too.

Fences - The acting was good, most of the time but Denzel Washington's acting was just over-the-top at times.  There was a LOT of dialogue.  About 85% of the move takes place in the family's back yard.  Basically is it about a crotchety middle aged man who is a bit of a of S.O.B. and his relationships with the people in his family.  It takes place in 1956 and the main character is a WW II survivor.  For most of the film, I felt like I was watching a play instead of a movie.  It just had that "play feel" to it and when the credit rolled, I understood why - it was based on a play - no wonder!  It was a good movie, good story but some over the top acting and had the feel of a play.  I am glad I saw it but it isn't anything that I would watch again.  Once again, the male characters (especially the main one) used the "n" word about a thousand times.  Really? Do black men talk to each other this way?  Did they do that in the 1950s?  How can they use this word when the great civil right leaders fought so hard for them so that no one called them that word anymore.  It made me a bit sad that they were using that word for each other without even a little thought as to what they were saying.  Viola Davis was super good in this movie (she always is anyway) but I didn't like one scene when she had on an apron AND was holding a dish towel, yet she had snot streaming down her nose - really, woman, wipe your nose/face (she finally did but with her hand - what was that about?).

Mancester by the Sea -very good movie but depressing as all get out.  I am not normally a Casey Affleck fan - he is a good actor, but I generally don't care for his movies (mainly because I know that it is going to be FULL of the "F" word).  This movie was an exception though, in terms that I did like it (although it WAS still fully of the "F" word).  He really did a great job in this movie - very believable and you felt for him.  Good story.  I know he is from New England so his accent probably wasn't much of a stretch but the other actors did great with their accents.  Good movie but sad.  F-word count by the was 84 (unless I missed a few) - also several "s"-words, GDs and using the Lord's name in vein in various ways.  It is a shame, the movie didn't need all that but I excepted it considering the lead actor.

Hacksaw Ridge -great movie - great!  I loved it.  I general do not care for "war" movies but this was much more than that.  I was surprised the Vince Vaughn was in this movie too - different kind of role for him and he was super good.  I tell you - this movie makes you REALLY appreciate the military and all those men who died for our freedom.  It is sad how much we take our freedom for granted but so many sacrificed so much for our country and I know they do every single day!  It was gory, during the war scenes, of course but...war is gory - it really is and I think this was a true depiction of that.  Great acting and amazing story about a true hero.  This was based on a true story and at the end just before the credits, it showed the real people talking - loved that they included that.  This is very close 2nd to me for best picture. 

Hidden Figures - also based on a true story (third one - along with Lion and Hacksaw Ridge).  It is funny because I watch the show Timeless and heard about Katherine Johnson back in November 2016, when they did an episode involving her.  I never knew about her and the other "colored" women (as they were referred to back in the 1960s) that worked on the space program.  I read up about her because of the show Timeless and then low and behold, 2 months later, a movie comes out about her.  What a fascinating woman she was - a genius.  The other women were too - an engineer and another that basically taught herself how to write computer programs using Fortran and the first IBM computer - which took up a huge room.  I just can't help but wonder what these women would have accomplished if they didn't live in a segregated and sexist world and were able to be like the women of today - wow!  They were incredible.  Loved this movie, loved the fashion, the sets, and the cars too.  Thank the Lord for these woman and what they did for our country and for NASA.

Hell or High Water -everyone kept saying "oh, that western movie" when I mentioned this movie, but is is NOT a western, I guess the title sounds like it would be and it takes place in Texas so maybe that is why they think that.  However, it was a story about 2 brothers that rob banks in an effort to get money to save the family ranch.  One is a divorced father of 2 boys, the other is a career criminal who was released from prison.  It was a good movie, a little predicable but pretty good.  Not one I would have seen and personally not Oscar-worthy to me (which I think the other 8 were and deserve their nominations). I wouldn't watch it again but I am glad I saw it.


This isn't necessarily who I think will or should win but this is the ranking of movies in the order that I liked them, personally.

1. La La Land - Old Hollywood feel, great music, dancing and colors!
2. Hacksaw Ridge - Makes you grateful to be an American and appreciate our military
3. Hidden Figures - Amazing story, great acting, makes you realize how far we've all come.
4. Lion - Beautiful story, happy ending, touching.
5. Mancester by the Sea - while sad and tragic and too much foul language, still a good movie
6. Arrival - great effects but the message of this movie has stayed with me and I can't stop thinking about the message of it, which left such an unexpected impact on me. Really makes me think about life and loss, love and loss.  I can honestly say, the message of this movie, has made me re-evaluate many things.  Who would have thought an "alien" movie could do that?  Not me, that is for sure.
7. Moonlight - well told trilogy, great acting - I almost ranked this 6 because I thought the movie was better overall than Arrival, but the message of Arrival struck me so, which is why I made this #7 instead of #6)
8. Fences - good story, a of a downer. I would have loved to have seen this as a play (which Denzel won a Tony for) but as a movie, it just felt like a play and seemed a bit over-acted.
9. Hell or Highwater - just because it is last on my list, doesn't mean it wasn't a good movie.  It was, but it isn't my particular favorite genre of movies.  It was good, but just don't see why it was nominated for an Oscar.

Did you see any of these movies?  What did you think?  Who do you think will win the Oscar?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

I finished knitting my sister's "Kitty Kap" last week but wasn't able to give it to her until over the weekend.  I also made her cat a little tiny one.  But I think it will be a 2 man job to get a photo of him wearing it - LOL!!  Despite what the Dr. Seuss book says, cats generally do not like to wear hats.

It came out a tiny bit too big (my sister's hat - not worried if her cat's hat fits).  I think the needle size was fine, I just probably should have casted on 40 - 44 stitches instead of 50 as the pattern states.  I was just happy to finish a knitting project without making mistakes and having to frog and re-do part of it - I made it all the way through.  It was a pretty easy pattern though.

I think my sister looks pretty cute in her pink hat.  

Hopefully, I can get over to her house soon and we can attempt to take a quick photo of her kitty wearing his kitty kap.   If you see me walking around with scratches on my arm, you will probably figure out that I tried at least.

I thought I would be done with hats sister-in-law has mentioned a few times that she would like a slouchy hat.  I don't care for slouchy hats, for myself, but I ran across some pretty yarn at Hobby Lobby this past weekend and it had a Charming Slouchy Hat pattern on the ball band and it said it only required 1 skein so I thought...why not?   I just started it this morning (before work) so don't really have photos to post yet.  So I will just post a stock photo of the yarn...Red Heart Unforgettable Waves, in the colorway "Lakehouse".  Pretty, huh?

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