Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I attended a Colbie Caillat concert

I recieved a pair of tickets to tonight’s concert for Colbie Caillat as a gift.  My mom happened to have won them from a radio station and then in turn unloaded them on me.

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I’ll confess…I cannot declare myself a Caillat fan.  Sure, I know her music and thanks to my freakish lyric loving brain, I can sing her pop songs pretty much through.  Her music though, runs a bit girlie for my taste.  Girlie music has it’s place: new love in which Mr. Wonderful walks on water, broken hearts – the tearful phase (opt for some Linkin Park for the rage phase) and last but never least, bad hair days..the kind where Medusa looks like a Pantene model.

Still yet, even a less than thrilling concert trumps my typical Friday nights: a double date with my couch and Netflix.  And free happens to be my favorite price.

Lesson of the night: Never rely on the concert time reported on a performer’s Facebook page.  The event said 7 pm straight from CC’s page.  I ran quite the marathon between getting off work, running errands, taking care of my pups and household things and freshening up myself to avoid the “mistaken for Medusa” look.  I scarfed down a bean burrito while en route thinking it was my only fast supper option.  When I arrived, the parking garage looked oddly empty which prompted me to finally consult the ticket only to discover I arrived 1.5 hours before the opening act. Doh!

Since I had some time on my hands my imagination kicked in and offered up an idea.  While this may not have been my dream concert, surly it’s someones. And maybe that someone will land on this post and wish they could have been in my lucky ducky shoes.  So, in my best effort I’ll recreate the concert.

Kate Voegele opened the concert.

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She sung:

World Stopped Spinning
Just Watch Me
Angel
It’s Only Life
Manhattan From the Sky
No Sleep (couldn’t find this song)
Keep Hollywood (couldn’t find this song)
Kindly Unspoken

After a quick reworking of the stage, Colbie Caillat came out…

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And played:

Falling for You
I Do
Realize
Lucky
Shadow
Begin Again
Magic
Make it Rain
If You Love Me Let Me Go
Favorite Song
Fearless
Hold On
Bubbly
I Never Told You
Try
Never Gonna Let You Down
Brighter Than The Sun
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(More after the pictures)

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I loved being in the absolute center of the stage.  Call me Sheldon but all felt right with the universe in that spot :)

But who stays seated the WHOLE concert?! For me, concerts are about being IN the music.  The music plays loud to envelop you…the bass drills through your core…the lights, the energy, the whole scene draws you into the music to the point your body has to respond…suddenly work, family, stress, cares, they all fall away…the “you” falls away…

The singer begins belting out a song, a song he wrote in 5 minutes while traveling on a tour bus or over a drink at a bar… but the sum of those words somehow describe exactly what you’ve been holding in your heart, describes to a T what you’re experiencing.  How did he DO that?!

Music magic baby!!

Not only does your body respond but now the singer has just put words to your soul.  You surrender…you’re now the music.  The guy next to you who sloshed his beer on you or the fact that your bubble (personal space) resembles more of a pancake…that junk no longer matters!! During this 2-3 hour bracket of life we are the best of buds…we all are the same…because we all are the music.

THAT’s a concert going experience!!  Well, at least in my humble opinion.

And seats have their place.  I love movies and broadway shows/operas.  I couldn’t imagine standing through Phantom or Sweeney Todd.  Seat please, extra cushy!!

Tonight, the crowd read more subdued.  The music, more subdued.  The music experience was more toe tapping than bootie shaking.  The guy next to me didn’t slosh his beer or squash my bubble.  His head kept bobbing as he could barely stay awake.  Safe to say, he was NOT the music…The chick behind me who kept screaming “I LOVE YOU COLBIE!!”…Now she WAS the music :)

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Today I made brown sugar

Happy Star Wars Day!!

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In celebration, I decided to make Wookie Cookies.  I’ve had this Star Wars cookbook since 1998.  I attended the 20th Anniversary of Star Wars exhibit at the Smithsonian in DC and purchased it as a souvenir.

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Surprisingly I’ve never made the infamous Wookie Cookies.

I prepped all the ingredients only to discover my brown sugar had all dried up.  It also stubbornly wouldn’t budge from the container.

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Does it look like terrain that an Imperial Walker would traverse?!

I thought my half prepped cookie dough would find its doom in the trash can BUT I did a quick Yahoo search and found I could just make my own.

Brown Sugar recipe
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 tbsp molasses

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Mix together and there you have it…fresh brown sugar!

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In my excitement for saving the universe…err, the cookie dough I forgot to take a picture of the blended sugar.  But the picture above provides and example of what it looked like.

By the time I put everything together the clock read 10 pm and suddenly the force was no longer with me.

So the Wookie Cookies will be contined tomorrow…today is Part 6…tomorrow will be Part 1.

Happy May the 4th be with you!

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Today I cleaned the Keurig

Today our area got a taste of spring…bright, sunny day in the 70s.

What’s the best way to spend a freebie spring day?!  Spring Cleaning!!

And to fuel this spring cleaning, I need coffee!

I brewed up my energy in a cup and as I took the first sip, I thought about it….I’ve owned this machine for a year now, but have never cleaned it…Well, there ya go!  My first spring cleaning project!

But how do you clean this contraption?!  Do you dismantle the whole machine to it’s innards?

First stop, youtube!  Surly someone else has tackled this before.  Sure enough, Cusinart actually provides a video on exactly how to do it.

Come to find out you clean the Keurig just like you would have an archaic coffee machine…just run vinegar through it.

I followed the instructions:

  1. Empty water reservoir
  2. Remove filter
  3. Refill reservoir with white vinegar
  4. Place a large mug under spout
  5. Run vinegar through the machine using the 12 oz cup size and Hot Water option.  Discard mug contents* and repeat process until the message “Add Water” appears (6 run throughs).
  6. Now, let the machine sit with the remaining vinegar for 4 hours
  7. At 4 hours and 1 minute, empty water reservoir, rinse well and refill with water
  8. Place the large mug under spout
  9. Run water through the machine using the 12 oz cup size and Hot Water option.  Discard mug contents and repeat process until the message “Add Water” appears (6 run throughs).

Now…here are my variations to the instructions..

Step 0…Scrub the outside of the machine.  No sense in cleaning the inside of the machine before cleaning the outside of the machine.
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At step 5, I did NOT discard the heated vinegar.  Heated vinegar makes for THE best cleaner!  Why would you just pour it down the sink?!  Wasted gold I tell ya…wasted gold.
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(By the way, you may be wise NOT to stand very close to the vinegar steam during this process…steamed vinegar can be quite potent…NOT that I learned this the hard way or anything…NOT that I was scrubbing the counter behind the machine while the vinegar was brewing…NOT that I got such a large whiff my eyes instantly teared and I looked like I had watched Beaches twelve times…NOT that Bette Midler singing Wind Beneath My Wings played incessantly in my head all…day…long.  Yeah, no…not from experience…)

I reclaimed the “gold” in a bucket and used it to clean the fireplace brick that can be seen in the kitchen.  Well, this heated vinegar works so well, it stripped some of the paint from the fireplace ledge!!  Man, this heated vinegar makes Mr. Clean look like Wimpy from Popeye.
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No worries…nothing a little wine can’t take care of…
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Step 9…I did twice.  I’d rather not have vinegary-coffee. If once is good, twice has to be better!

Step 10…take whatever parts that can be removed and run through the dishwasher.

Now my keurig is all prepared for making tomorrow’s warm treat.  Tomorrow’s weather: Temps in the 30s with snow and freezing rain!!

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Today I bought kinder meat

Effective December 1, I’m vegetarian.

I’ve gone to the veggie side :)
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I’ve flirted with vegetarianism before but it never seemed to stick.  I’ll admit, I like meat.  I’ll take a hot, juicy hamburger over broccoli any day.  ANY day.  But November 30 I finished watching Vegucated, while chowing down on Fiesta Chicken no less, and realized my morals didn’t align with my actions.

You see, I don’t think it’s wrong to eat meat.  I believe animals were put on this earth for our use.  And biologically, we were designed to be omnivores, to give us options for survival.  Meat offers us nutrition un-duplicatable by veggies.   And lastly, there is bacon.  Bacon…enough said.

As such, I cannot be a PETA supporting fanatic. Then again, who can these days?!

My issue is the meat industry.  The documentary touched on this topic in a very PG fashion, but any research shows it to be more along the lines of an underground, unrated horror film.  It’s one thing to raise an animal in it’s natural surroundings, to live out it’s life naturally, kill it in a respectful, humane way and then use it for consumption.  It’s another thing to thoroughly abuse the animal to the point that death is a welcomed end to the torture.

So, for me, I can no longer partake in the meat industry. BUT, I still live with and entertain those who chose to eat meat. I would never force my choice on them so I needed to find a more conscious source of meat that I could comfortably serve.

Ideally, I would love to find a local farm that I could visit to see the animals’ treatment for myself.

If we are talking about ideal… most ideally I would like the animals to live skipping around on rainbows and when they perish, they just topple over, their spirits hand you knives and forks and wave goodbye as they rise to heaven.  Totally ideal, right?!

I asked around to some of my paleo/nutrition conscious friends but no one knew of such a farm around my area.

The closest source that most closely met my close to heart requirements is a farm about 100 miles away. Good news: They deliver!!… in 100 lb increments. Bad news: I have a 20 lb max freezer. I probably will drive out there one day (and blog about it) to scope the farm out and see if it could be worth the investment of a deep freezer. In the mean time, I needed something more convenient.

I then thought of my beloved Whole Foods. Surely they have this animal welfare concerned meat thing solved. And surely they do!

I found they label their meat on a scale of 1-5 of animal welfare…5+ being the rainbow skipping treatment.  Visit their website using this link to learn more about their rating system.
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In my Whole Foods (yes, I have taken possession of my local store), most of the variation in grading can be found in the beef.
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All the chicken fell in the 2 category “Enriched Environment”. Suddenly I felt uncomfortable for it to be rated on the “lower end”. Of course, their treatment surely surpassed my typical Walmart inhumane chicken…still yet, I couldn’t buy it.
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I opted for number 4 beef.
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I expected grotesque, hugely inflated prices. Overall, sure the prices were higher than my normal military commissary/big box store prices, but nothing bank breaking. No pints of blood or promise of the rights to my first born required. Thank heaven!

Again, I’m not here to convince you to give up meat (although I hear, every time a person converts, a vegan earns their wings), I would kindly urge you to consider what you are supporting when you buy meat. Preferably, please practice compassionate consumerism…if not, please practice awareness in your consumerism.

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Today I made Snowman Soup

I like to put together cute goodies to give to my coworkers in lieu of Christmas cards.  In year’s past, I have given the candy cane meaning and the M&M Christmas Story.  This year I found Snowman Soup!

Snowman Soup couldn’t be easier.  All you need is hot chocolate packets, your favorite chocolates, candy canes, marshmallows and goodie bags.

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To put together just insert each ingredient in the baggies.  I used a loaf pan to keep them upright as I loaded the baggies.

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Now…in all the posts I saw about Snowman Soup, the marshmallows just laid mingled with everything else in the baggie.  I couldn’t do it.  I’m sure no one worries about the sanitation of marshmallow…no one except me.  I felt compelled to wrap each marshmallow in cling wrap before putting them in the bags.

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Here’s a close up of the goodies…

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And here’s a close up of the tag I used.

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And the final Snowman Soup!  Happy Future Snow Days!!

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Today I tangled with a Mad Elf

Y’all should feel sorry for this Mad Elf.  He’s been locked away in the bottom drawer of the fridge for almost a month.  The bottom drawer has been used for “unclean” or “limited” foods while I have been on the Clean Eating Challenge.  He’s been face down somewhere between the 3 alarm habenero pepper cheese and some kielbasa I’m saving to make jambalaya with.

I found this beer at Whole Foods during one of my trips a few weeks ago.  The description of the beer on the sign sold me.  Cherries…Honey…Chocolate.  Yes, yes and oh yeah!!

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I scooped up a pint to try one evening after the challenge ended.

Tonight is the night.

I’ve had a Christmas kinda day.  I’ve done holiday shopping, dropped some gifts off at the post office, played Santa delivering some toys to a charity and other holiday errands.  Now it’s time to settle in to crochet on my grandad’s Christmas gift and watch a holiday favorite…The Walking Dead.

Ok, so maybe the latter isn’t so “ho ho ho”…

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I poured the beer in the glass.  It has a reddish brown color…quite festive!! With the first sip, I clearly tasted the cherries and chocolate.  I cannot taste the honey as much but overall it’s a sweet beer so maybe that’s the honey’ s contribution.  This beer is brewed in Hershey, PA…the chocolate capital!!

Final verdict: A delicious seasonal treat!!  Gives ya a warm tingle all over!!  I totally see Santa sipping this after a long evening on the 25th.

I’ll take this Mad Elf over some small, creepy guy hanging out on a shelf any day!

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Today I solved my check engine light

There I was…driving along this afternoon when I heard my vehicle *ding*.

Usually it dings if I need to feed it gas…no biggie.  I mentally started to rearrange my errand list to include a gas station.

I looked down though and saw a horrifying sight!!  The “Check Engine” light…aka the “OMG!  The truck is going to explode and I’m going to breakdown and be left on the side of the cold, dark road!!” light was lit.  See, that would be too long (though accurate) of a label for this light, so the auto industry just settled on the kind, gentle (yet deceptive) “Please check your engine at your earliest convenience” light.

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I’ve had past interactions with this light.  A few years ago, while driving down the interstate, at oh about 65 mph, the steering decided to take a siesta…then the electrical system went out and then the truck decided I didn’t need brakes…and then my panic started…and as I struggle to get off at the nearest exit, THAT’s when the check engine light decided to appear.

How nice.

But I hadn’t heard anything from said light since that incident and I figured we were back to being friends.

The good news…nothing started breaking or smoking or sounding weird.  I still had full control over the vehicle, which I like and see as kind of an important thing.  Maybe it’s just a fluke.  But yeah…my trust is quite weak when it comes to this light so I’m not falling for any of it’s trickery.

I remembered hearing a commercial that one of the local auto stores will check the “OMG! TTIGTEAIGTBABLOTSOTCDR” light…(see, even an acronym wouldn’t work for the title of the light) if it comes on.  Well, you know, granted that the vehicle hasn’t exploded on you or anything.  An awesome peep of a coworker confirmed that I hadn’t dreamt that up and told me she had used them as well.

So after work I restarted the truck…holding my breath, wondering if cracks, hisses or kabooms would start emitting from the truck.  I drove to the Advanced Auto, which luckily is just down the road.

When I arrived, one of the guys behind the desk asked me how he could help me and I explained my “OMG!  The truck is going to explode and I’m going to breakdown and be left on the side of the cold, dark road!!” light was lit.

Yes, I said it just like that to him.

He nodded and grabbed a square unit with several wires.  He asked me several questions as we walked out to the truck.  “How long had the light been on?  Have I heard any strange noises?  Is the truck still driving ok?  How many times have I been stranded on the side of the road (I guess my experience showed)?  How long did it take me to come up with that name of the light?”…you know, the usual auto store questions.

And then here is where my mechanical ignorance shows.  I figured I would act like I knew something about vehicles…so I offered to pop the hood for him…because of course everything of importance is concealed nicely under the hood.  He laughed and said he actually needed access to the cab.  I hung my head in embarrassment, handed him the keys and stood in silence as he plugged in his magical device and waited for it to compute or something.

Unfortunately, today I didn’t dress in my 24 layers of clothes to keep myself warm and within seconds of being outside, I quickly became chilled to the bone.  So much so, my teeth actually chatter.  Believe me, I try to control it but I can only clinch my jaw muscles for so long.  I think he actually heard my chattering and offered that I could stand in the store while he finished up.  And I sure did take him up on his offer!

After a few moments he came in and rattled off some auto lingo that my ears are deaf to.  Something to do with some sensor near the gas tank.  I probably looked alarmed as my face always shows my thoughts…such betrayal!!  He assured me the truck would not explode and leave me broke down on the side of the cold, dark road and handed me the code written on a piece of receipt paper with the homework to google the code.

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Yep, I was quite impressed he remembered the true name of the light. It further cements my theory that calling the light a “Check Engine” light is an industry cover up that Snowden is probably about to reveal {Hi CIA…thanks for stopping by my blog! :)}.

So I searched the code on Yahoo! and came across this explanation:  This indicates that a part of the EVAP control system is no longer functioning correctly. The EVAP system consists of many parts, including (but not limited to) the gas cap, fuel lines, carbon canister, purge valve, and other hoses.

Then I read over the possible solutions:

With a P0441 OBD-II trouble code, diagnosis can be tricky at times. Here are some things to try:

  • Common Chrysler fix – Replace Leak Detection Pump / LDP
  • Repair damaged EVAP lines or canister
  • Repair open or short in voltage feed circuit to Purge Solenoid
  • Repair open in PCM purge command circuit
  • Replace purge Solenoid
  • Replace vacuum switch
  • Repair restriction in Evap line or canister or solenoid
  • Repair resistance in purge connector
  • Replace PCM

Oh yeah…that totally made sense to me.  As much as reading War and Peace in Pali.  This junk is all Greek to me.

It sounds like the truck is irreverably broke.

And there is only one solution.

Head to the dealer…

and buy a Buick Enclave….white opal exterior, gray interior (just in case Santa is reading too!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today I crocheted by flashlight

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, which means I’m one of those millions that are traveling over the river and through the woods heading to an awesome Thanksgiving feast.

But in my travels, I have encountered a problem.

As you know, I have this practically impossible crafting project underway with a tight deadline…it must be wrapped, with a bow, and under the Christmas tree by December 24th…midnight at the latest.  As such, I have grand plans to crank out some stitches on this long weekend.  Right now it looks like a placemat…my goal is for it to look more like a bath towel by the weekends’ end.  I planned to accomplish much of its growth while traveling.

Unfortunately, with this winter time change, my crafting light, aka the sun, disappears around 5 pm.  Which means lost productivity!!!

Nah Nah I say…I got keep the yarn ball rolling!

But I cannot use the car light, because that would blind the driver.   So I tried a small flashlight.  It had a clip that I attached to my shirt so that the light shone down on my work.

Now, this solution failed to be fool proof.  Every bump in the road moved the light off my work.  I also had to sit just a certain way for the light angel to be right so I could determine if I was double crocheting (correct) or octuple crocheting (very not correct).  I would adjust the light to perfectly illuminate my work and could crochet for a bit.  Then the vehicle would hit a bump in the road.  I would arch my back and be able to crochet a bit more…then *bump bump*…arch my back some more (my chiropractor would kill me if he knew)…ok, back in business…*curve* oh crud…now I’m trying to crochet but also move my work to follow the light… *bump bump*…St Louis Arch has nothing on me…*pothole* Holly Fazollis…

But I crocheted a couple more rows so I’ll call it a win :)

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Today I walked the Million Bulb Walk (and Cuddle Duds)

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens creates a beautiful light display in celebration of the holiday season called the Million Bulb Walk.  This is the first year I’ve visited the display.  Normally, you would enjoy the lights from the comfort of your car however for a short period of time they open it for visitors to walk through the one mile path.

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Gingerbread peeps and candy confections welcome you into the gardens.

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Flowers and rainbows begin the light tour.

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No light display could ever be without fireworks!

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Caterpillars, mushrooms, butterflies and daisies…

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Close up…

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A rose…

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A sunflower…

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This Christmas tree was just one of several that was synchronized to the Linus song and Trans Syberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve/Sarajevo.

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I love shooting stars! :)

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A cutiepie elf!

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A busy elf.

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Wow…what a walk!  I started in Norfolk but ended up in the North Pole!

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Beautiful trees!!

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More beautiful trees!

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Happy Holidays!! :)

After reading this, you may feel like you’ve seen the whole show.  No worries…there’s still a ton for you to see!

P.S.  I did not see one bulb burnt out…I looked…obsessively…believe me, you would have gotten a picture!!

Side Something New:
I knew tonight would be in the 30s and despite my plan to wear jeans and a sweater I also knew I’d be freezing my bootie off.  Earlier I found Cuddle Duds at Walmart and decided  tonight would be a great test of their worth.

Cuddle Duds are new fangled long johns.  No longer do you have to suffer the old timey, waffle fabric long johns.  Now they use microfiber as insulation.  The advantage is a less bulky, more effective method to hold your body heat.

I purchased both the top and the bottoms for $20.  As I opted for the black pair, with just them on, I look like cat woman!!! lol. Meow…I then put my jeans and sweater on.  Immediately I felt warmer and loved that I didn’t feel like the Michelin Man like you do when you have on so many layers.

Overall, they kept me toasty on a fridged walk.  Definately a great investment!!  As I’m losing weight (down 36 lbs!!) I tend to get cold easily.  I’m truly pondering an whole wardrobe of these to get through winter!!  Or Bradley Cooper…either one would probably keep me equally warm ;)

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Today I began a crocheted bedspread

In my family, we draw names for Christmas.  I reached into the hat, chanting “someone easy…someone easy”….and drew my grandad.  Bummer!!  Love him dearly…but what do you give a man who wants for nothing?

I’ve mulled it over for weeks.  I tossed ideas around like a basketball game warm up.  Everything I thought of, I ended up talking myself out of.

We just celebrated his birthday in October and I completely struck out.  He used to like John Wayne westerns and I thought an easy to use, portable DVD player would reignite his love for those movies.  And if it worked out, it would make future gift giving easier.  The family could give additional movies, headphones, etc.  So I found a super easy player…just one button to operate.   I even found a John Wayne movie with 2 movies!  I charged the player up and prepped it with the movie ready to go.  When he opened the gift, he could just press play and see John Wayne shooting his gun, taking the bad guys down, and riding off into the sunset with the little lady.  I knew giving this kind of gift was a gamble…but if it worked, it would be perfect for him!

Yeah…not so much.

He was as kind about it as he could be but inevitably he told me he didn’t want it.  Luckily, I had cooked him a double batch of jambalaya and baked a pie my grandmother used to make for him.  He was just as happy with those as anything he recieved and needless to say, the only part of those returned to me were the empty dishes.

So my gift to him has to be something special and something that serves a purpose.  If I don’t pick the right thing this time, I know it will end up like all the others…living in the same box it originally came in and collecting dust for an eternity.

I mulled all these factors over and decided on a handmade, crocheted bedspread.  My grandmother always made hand work so I know he’ll understand the love and time that goes into it.  Hopefully that alone will encourage him to keep and use the gift.  And winter is coming (think Game of Thrones)…so a cozy blanket will keep him warm on cold, blistery nights at the Wall where he’s ready to ward off beasts and creatures that threaten…oh wait…sorry, kinda got swept away…

Anyhoo, let me throw in a few disclaimers.  I’m first and foremost a tatter…then a knitter…then a cross stitcher…then a crocheter.  So crocheting isn’t my strong suit.  Second,  the largest crafting project I have completed is a scarf (knitted).  The longest (timewise) project I have completed is a tatted doily (30+ non consecutive hours).

So…of course I would decide to take on crocheting a twin size bedspread the month before Christmas.  Piece of fruitcake, right?!

Today I researched different stitch styles.  There’s a whole slew of crochet stitches…probably as many as there are elves in Santa’s workshop.

I settled on the granny square stitch (pun a happy accident) but found a video that converts the end product from square to rectangle, ideal for bedspreads.  Youtube rocks!!!

I acquired the yarn a few nights ago…I just happened to be in the craft store…I kinda go there some…ok, frequently….well, practically nightly.

I love this yarn! It’s truly simply soft…
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The video I found seemed easy to follow however the instructor assumed the viewer had experience in the granny stitch.   Luckily I did.

First step: Chain 58 stitches.  This took me 8 tries.

Try 1…I’m rusty at crocheting but remembered I liked a particular hook brand.  I have both Boye and Susan Bates but couldn’t remember which I preferred.  Of course, I started with the Boye and realized it’s not that one.

Now, reader beware…I’m about to get all craftastic-nerdy on ya.  The Boye hooks are great…I love them for thicker yarns as the hook shape allows for more room.  They also just look like a traditional crochet hook and probably my first so definitely a sentimental favorite.  The Susan Bates hook has a sharper, more narrow head which seems to grip the yarn better.  My chain stitches come out more even with the Susan Bates and in the end, the whole foundation of your project is the chain…so even is key.  I’ve tried the Addi hooks.  Love their looks but they seemed too bulky in my hands.  I guess I’m an old fashioned, steel hook girl.
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Once I found my preferred hook, I reworked the chain only to realize I didn’t count (Try 3).  I recrocheted the chain but had split the yarn (downside of using Susan Bates hooks) early on so had to take it out (Try 4).  I then reworked the chain only to not be happy with the tension (Try 5).  I redid the chain concentrating on the tension and the yarn, but forgot to count again (Try 6).

Ok…gonna focus on it all and make this work.
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Try 7 looked great.  *happy dance*  I figured I could move on to Step 2, begin row 2 which is the granny square stitch.  As I added the granny square sttiches, I realized my tension was too tight.  Ugh!! *not so happy dance*  I always knit and crochet tight.  So I took the whole row out, started again and finally recrocheted it to slight perfection.

Finally!!  The first row :)
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And second!
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I worked on the blanket all afternoon and evening…
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Geez…seeing as this is my largest crafting undertaking,  I envisioned it going faster than this.  You know, like I’d be done by now.

And I thought if this worked out well, I have a few other difficult to buy for peeps on my list that could use an Erica-made cozy blanket.  But at this rate, my grandad might have it by next Christmas!!  And the thought of doing others seems laughable now!!

I’m thinking with the holiday next week I can get pretty far on it.  I’ll keep ya up to date on the progress here. :)

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