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Preview: Liz's brag sheet

Liz's brag sheet

We now live in Americus, Georgia. Our family story begins in Washington State, and moves through Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia and soon to be South Dakota. This site is a family site designed to show off ourselves, our kids, and all our coll

Updated: 2018-01-27T01:05:37.313-05:00


Bound For South Dakota


I still don't use this much anymore, but Hey, maybe I have a couple of readers left after so much neglect. After more than four years in Georgia, we're moving to South Dakota where Eric will be the new superintendent of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. We don't have specifics yet, but I have a realtor coming to put the house on the market tomorrow.
Kids are still in gifted, still precocious. I've now been in two plays with Sumter Players, and will be in a third next week. I'm enjoying the experience and have learned so much!
I'm still cleaning and carding the mystery fleece given to me by Eric's parents. I've spun and knit a few pounds of it into hats and various things. The dark brown is much softer than the cream. Both are more closely related to down wools I think - the sheep were raised for meat production, and they saved the fleece for me after slaughter. The cream does take dye fantastically though. I'm playing with almost flicking the locks rather than carding, and still want to try creating a batt and pulling it into roving.

Living Within My Means - Austerity Style


Lately we've been streamlining our finances in an attempt to get our debt load under control. We live in a low cost of living area, and we do not live in an extravagant neighborhood. Eric found a budgeting software called You Need A Budget, aka YNAB, and named our budget "Leonard Budget, Austerity Style". We may eat out more often than we should, but the kids have everything they need. **Need versus Want discussions do happen often in our house. We want a new TV because ours is broken. We don't need one. I keep trying to save up for a new one but something inevitably comes up that needs the money more. I did spend $20 on a used 12" screen TV. Eric thinks our laptop and ipad are sufficient viewing devices, but there's no family movie night. Also I feel this must be qualified by the fact that we canceled our cable subscription many months ago after they tripled the pricing as our contract had run out, and no, they weren't about to offer us the same lower rates or anything approaching reasonable. I don't think the sales guy with whom I discussed our options with could fully comprehend that we'd lived a very full life pre-cable, and that we could most certainly live without it. You see, we only got the cable because we needed internet service, and it was $25 more to add in a home phone and a seriously large cable package. I think Eric had cable when he lived in the Trailer of Despair, but otherwise, we've never bothered with it. We own a ton of DVDs and now Bluray movies and entire series of TV shows. We subscribe to Netflix. I digress, and I think I've made my point.So Austerity Style does reflect our new style. I'm used to immediate gratification. Want a new TV, well, charge it to the Sears Card during a sale! Want a new set of knitting needles because I need something longer for magic-looping or the Evenstar shawl that I'm plugging away at somewhere in the 3rd chart and it looks like I'm knitting a lacy shopping bag - Pull out the little credit card and order them from Knitpicks! Almost out of fiber for spinning? (I'm halfway through the 16oz of Corriedale, and then I'm out. I don't have much of a fiber stash) Etsy has some wonderful fiber sellers in lovely smooshy colorways like Fire Walk With Me, Captain Tightpants, and Bad Wolf, all of which I would love to spin in various fiber types. It is very easy for me to justify a want into a need, and then spend money on something that isn't a priority.So now we account for every single dollar we spend. We plan out what our bills are, and if there's anything left over, then we plan out gas and groceries. I go shopping with a specific list, and often use a calculator to make sure I don't go over the budgeted amount. Sam really likes using the calculator while we're shopping. Sometimes there's a little left over for fun stuff like the occasional movie (about 3 times per year, if there's something out we care about) or some new clothes to replace something that's worn out.I am trying to build up an inventory for an etsy store I want to open. I have been making stitch markers and abacus bracelets and spindles. The spindles aren't really sale-quality though, and wouldn't survive the shipping process. I've been inventing different types of project bags as well. Mostly none of it's good enough to sell, but perfectly usable for personal stuff. Also, that market is saturated with every other knitter and spinner wanting to have a sideline.We eat most of our meals at home, and they are frequently simple and have parts that can be recycled into another meal. Leftovers become our lunches, or if there isn't enough, I keep a box of instant oatmeal in my locker at work. I've let a couple of my co-workers in on my oatmeal stash, because I can't stand the thought of anyone not having a lunch or breakfast, and I'm not the only one who sees it as impracticable to order fast food or take-out or delivery on minimum wages.It's hard to complain though, because we do have each other. I would say misery loves company, but we aren't too miserable. First world problems, to quot[...]



Sam and Awyn show off their knitted presents. I gave out quite a few knitted objects. Still have a couple that I need to mail out!



My new needle case! Pretty Pinwheels from a charm pack I cannibalized from another project. All of my DPN's are nicely sorted by size in their own little pockets.



I'm trying to figure out the new settings on this. It's been so long since I updated my blog!
For my birthday this year I made myself a DPN holder. For non-knitters, I made a quilted folding/rolling organizer with pockets to put my double-pointed knitting needles in. There's even room for my crochet hooks and a couple of other things.

For Christmas I made the kids some knitted things. I currently have three lace projects underway, the third of which was recently gifted to me by a very generous fellow knitter.

I'm still working part-time at PetCareRx, Eric is still Chief Ranger at Andersonville National Historic Site, Sam's in 4th grade, gifted, special ed, and still dances with Americus Dance Experience. Awyn's in 2nd grade, gifted, and also still dances. Sam's in Boy Scouts, and I'm the troup leader for Awyn's Girl Scout troop. Technically she's a Brownie. Yes, it's cookie season, the most stressful part of Scouting.

Awyn's birthday was a good one...



She helped me decorate the blue kitty cake.

Hello, Mr. President


Sam and Awyn got to meet President Theodore Roosevelt. He was delightful and knowledgeable.

Poor Mojo


We had Mojo groomed into his summer cut early because of the trauma involved in brushing him. He's been shivering without all his fur. I knitted this sweater for him and it's too big and funny-shaped. I'm going to pull it apart and try again.

My family


Thanksgiving Battleship


Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had family and friends and more food than we could eat. We were very thankful and blessed to be in such company.

A boy and his legos and cat (who steals legos)


Khristmas Kitteh!


Jim likes the tree. Mostly she naps under it, but sometimes something shiny catches her eye (and paw). Mojo ignores it.

My guys...


Eric took the kids to Okmulgee the last weekend to help celebrate that park's anniversary. They had cake and a wonderful time.

Awyn has a flower...


Sam's first Camporee


Eric and Sam went to Sam's first cub scout camporee, and I think they had fun. Sam enjoyed the activities and meeting new friends.

Jumping off the board...


The diving board is popular, although we don't allow actual diving. The depth becomes shallow too fast for that. Notice the landscaping in progress around Eric and Sam. We love the palm tree, the crepe myrtles need trimming, and we don't care for the junk trees that have been growing around the pool dropping leaves in all the time.

Pool Fun


Awyn is wearing her lifejacket for an unknown reason. She really can swim, when she chooses to.

New Job!


I've started a new job. I'm hoping it will remain family friendly. Right now it seems like the perfect fit for me for scheduling. I will be selling petcare products over the phone. I am enjoying the company so far, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Awyn started the gifted program, so now both kids are in the gifted program. I am very proud of both of them. Dance continues as well, and they are rehearsing The Nutcracker. This year it's a beach theme, so it will be a lot of fun. In the Spring they'll be performing in Alice in Wonderland. (I hope I got that right!)

Now I'm going to hunt down some pictures. If I have time before work.

Ten Years Ago


When asked where I was 10 years ago on 9/11/2001, I have two answers. One is flippant and snarky, and the other is so honest it takes too long to tell. Out of respect, I’ll try not to use the snark that lurks even in the honest answer.
I first heard about what was believed to be a small, private aircraft accidentally bumping into the World Trade Center while I was in my car, driving to my morning class. It was one of those morning radio shows that is obnoxious but helped to keep me awake. I am not a morning person. My commute was an hour long, and I must have been at least halfway there, running late as usual. The announcers were laughing about the pilot needing a guiding light, etc. Then there were rumors that it might be an attack, but I didn’t believe it. In fact, I thought the whole thing was a morning show prank. I parked in the student lot, caught the bus up to campus, and went to class, and somewhere in there the second plane hit the other tower.

At this point, I have to say my class was in Middle Eastern Studies, specifically Israel and Palestine. There were Arabs, Jews, Palestinians, and more typical Arkansas natives in the class. The topic of the towers went strong and the teacher, a graduate student, finally gave up and let us go about halfway through class. It was interesting in how we were fairly united in horror at the idea of it possibly being a terrorist attack. We went back and forth whether or not it was domestic in origin, or an anti-US faction from another country.

I wandered over to the student union, to the glassy bridge where there was sure to be a giant TV turned on. There were students of all types in there, from all over the world. We all whispered together, to each other, sharing the same worry and fear about such an awful thing.

Here’s where I confess to my inner snark requesting a voice – at that point, I still didn’t think it was serious. Really. I didn’t see why people didn’t just vacate the building. I mean, sheesh, there was smoke and flame, but I was certain I would have gotten out. I couldn’t believe my eyes, seeing the specks falling from the towers that were people jumping. It was so awful that I couldn’t grasp the reality and let the snarky part of my brain take over.

Then the first tower collapsed. Suddenly, as if someone were standing on a podium directing, everyone started separating into little insular groups. The women with hijabs, the men, the women, all moved into little pockets that could have represented each culture, country, race. I was shocked at how complete the separation was. People were glaring at each other. It was very quiet in the room, and it felt hostile and full of fear.

The second tower fell, and I realized I was standing all alone.

Carters and Leonards


We went to Sunday School at President Carter's church. Jimmy Carter is a wonderful Sunday school teacher, very charismatic. The service was nice and the kids had a blast. If you go to Sunday school and stay through the service the Carters will pose for a picture with you. You get one take.

Skip To My Lou


Can't you just see his moves? He had fun with this song and number.

Tornado scene


Isn't this rather trippy? Eric was manning the camera here. I like how artistic it is.

Sam's turn in The Lollipop Guild


It had a long way to go...


And here is the nearly empty pool that needed filling. It took two full days to fill.

Front door of Harrold House


Awyn posed for us as we ran to check the level of the pool that we were filling. You can almost tell how flourescent her pants were. The tiara was a gift from Daddy for a show well danced. They were selling them in the lobby and she really wanted one.