Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hard to believe the year is almost over!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I took the day off to relax, relate and release! My hubby is sick, so we will take it easy today and celebrate next week.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Finished objects!

So, I have been knitting, sewing and beading. Here are a few of my FOs

This is a garter stitched rectangle, folded in half and seamed. Made with JOANN'S BOUCLE. I sort of made up the pattern. And, the cool thing is that I did not even use an entire ball of this yarn! And, I have gotten a ton a compliments on it.

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Not the greatest picture of me, but you can see the shawl very well.

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The only problem I am having with this is that the wide arms keep getting caught on everything. I am now making a crocheted version and am planning to modify the arms so that they aren't to wide.

I have also been beading. Check out some of my earrings.

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These are some of my first efforts and I am still learning. But, I really like them. I am planning to make some for some of my girls for christmas.

And speaking of Christmas, I finally got my tree up. See the poinsettia ornaments? Made those too. About 4 years ago.

Dang, I'm crafty!

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WEll, thats all for now. I will show some of my sewing projects next goround. I am almost finished with a dress I hope to wear to church next sunday, but I am having a devil of a time with the zipper! Any tips? Let me know.

Until next time.......

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I am back!

Its been a while! I have been swamped with adoption stuff. Its going well. We had to move to a larger place and thats always stressful. We found a great new apt and are really enjoying the extra elbow room. We do realized that once we get the baby, our new found space will rapidly disappear! Anyway, now we have a mound of paperwork to complete and unfortunately in the midst of all this, we lost my mother-in-law. Very sudden. Its been hard on my husband but he is hanging in there.

Though I have not been blogging I have been knitting and SEWING! I will be updating with pics of my FOs over the weekend.

I just perused Knitty Winter! OMG! So many cute things. These are my faves:




I have decided that I need to challenge myself in my knitting, so I am am going to finally try a sweater! These three are strong contendors!

Updates with pics next week!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quilting Progress

Well, I have finished 9 squares. This is a free form quilt but I think mine is a little too free form! The squares are odd sizes but I plan to make them uniform. This has been a lot of fun to do. I have always wanted to do this but have never gotten this far. I attempted one about 2 years ago but got frustrated trying to keep everything straight and gave up. But making this one, combined with everything I am learning in my sewing class has me looking forward to my next attempt. This quilt is special because I made it as a symbol of my faith that I will be a mother one day. I decided that I needed something tangible to look at when I think about being a mother to help me stay focused on the goal and not on the challenges of the journey to the goal. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the challenges of the journey and I really want to give up. Some days, in my mind, it seems like it would be easier to give up and to stop hoping. But I cannot imagine living my life without hope. Its always easier on me emotionally when I have something that I am looking forward to. But, like a lot of us, I can totally forget that when the pain and frustration overwhelm me. But if I keep my eyes focused on the end of the journey to motherhood, I can make it through all the challenges that I meet along the way.

About a month ago I heard this about James Stockdale:

In a book by James C. Collins called Good To Great, Collins relates how Stockdale described his coping strategy during his eight years in the Vietnamese POW camp.[1]

"I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."

This spoke to me. Dealing with infertility and loss is absolutely a very very challenging experience (to say the least), and though I cannot say that I would not trade it, I know it has changed me in ways that maybe I would not have changed otherwise. These are changes that I value. And like Mr. Stockdale, I refuse to lose faith in the end of the story.

Since I do not know what I will end up with, I am making 2 quilts: one with a boy theme and one with a girl theme. And hey, who knows, we might end up with one of each! This is obviously the one for the boy.

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We are making progress slowly with the adoption process and hope to start the homestudy process very soon!

There has been some knitting progress, but more about that in my next post.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Knitting and Crochet today with My Guild.

Today was knitting guild meeting day. As you know from previous posts, we have been working on a charity project. We were all to make various squares and the squares were to be knitted together to form lap blankets. The lap blankets are going to be donated to a convalescent home here in the South Bay. THe group met in August and knit together the squares. Some were taken home by different members to knit together. Today, they were all brought back in completed/

Well, I was having a hard time making all of my 10x10 squares actually all be 10x10Q Thus, the giant granny square!

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One of the girls called it Pink Lemonade, which is exactly what I thought of as I was making it!

We collected 21 blankets in all and they turned out beautifully! For great pictures of all of the blankets check out our guild webstite. I am not sure when they will be posted but check back often!

Slipt Stitchers

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This was such a great project that I am going to attempt to complete my these and make another one:

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Our guild meeting always includes a class. Today we had a quick lesson on converting knitting patterns to crochet. It was very informative. It was taught by one of our guild members, Joyce Renee Wyatt. She is a designer and she specializes in converting knitting patterns to crocet. She teaches for Stitches. We are so blessed to have someone of this caliber in our group giving us lessons. Here is one of her designs. She actually brought this one to class:

Joyce Wyatt Design

This was a fantastic class. She is a great teacher and encouraged us to convert a knitted sweater pattern to crochet. I think I will try this with a scarf patter before I tackle a sweater!

Last but not least, I have to post a picture of what I received from my swap partner. I joined the Knit Happy Swap on Swapbot. For the month of August we had to create a knitted item for hour partners. This is what I got from my partner:

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Its the cutest little felted bag. And the pin is removable and made by another person on Swapbot. Swapping is fun. I have done about 4 of them so far and its turned out great!

Well, thats all for now.Stay tuned for a new charity project that my guild is participating in! Plus an updated photo on the baby sweater.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Summer Wrap up and Beginning a New Craft!

Labor Day weekend turned out to be fantastic. My dh and I spent Saturday in San Diego with some of our best friends and we had a great time. I was relaxed and really enjoyed spending time with my friends. I have found that in the past I have spent way to much time focusing on what I do not have and allowing those thoughts to drag me down. But I have made a concerted effort to make 2007 a better year, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. In doing that, I have realized that the most important thing in my life is love. And I get that all kinds of ways. Being in Chicago made me realized how much I am loved by family and friends alike. When I look at my dh I realize how blessed I am. I waited what seems like a long time for him to me. But he was totally worth the wait! And, days like this past saturday solidified the fact that I am rich. Rich in Love. I am truly grateful for my friends and my family. For sure they have been there for me and I feel blessed to be able to be there for them. Emotionally, I have been able to give back this year, because my heart is full. Physically, I have managed to lose about 17 pounds, though I still have a ways to go, I am a lot better off now than I was last year this time. Spiritually, I have definately been more connected to God and this is truly very important to me. I believe its because of this, that all the other things in my life are much better. I have a measure of peace that I did not have this time last year. So, I am better off mentally as well. Plus, I have knitted a lot more this year and we all know that knitting is the new yoga, so hey, I am batting a thousand. And I get to live in a place that is gorgeous most of the time! Check out San Diego:

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This is a star fish!!! A real one!

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Me and my hubby:

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My friends enjoying the sunset:

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It was a great way to close out the summer.

I spent Monday crafting amongst other things!Check out my free form quilt project. This is perfect for me because I really don't know how to sew yet. (i start my class next week!) This actually called for the stitches to be sort of off. Bingo! Perfect first project. I made three squares so far:

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I am really enjoying this project. I got the pattern from DIY Network featured on an episode of Uncommon Threads.

I am so excited to be trying something new. Check back for more updates on my projects. Knitting update this weekend.

Talk back later!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Summer Reading (and a tiny bit of Crochet Content)

Between knitting, traveling and reading this has to be one of my most productive summers ever!. You have read about my traveling and my knitting( there is more of that to come, btw), but I have said very little about my reading.

This is a list of all the books I have read since June 1, 2007:

Bel Canto

The Other Boleyn Girl

Family Tree


The Victory of Surrender

Funny In Farsi

Mt Sister's Keeper


I also listened to the Friday Night Knitting Club on cd!

Whew! How did I manage that? Well, I joined a reading group last year and 3 of these books were read within that group. Its a great motivator. But, I also turned off the TV a lot. I realized that I am just way too familiar with and even attached to tons of TV shows. So, when the seasons ended for some of the shows I was devoted to, I decided not to find a summer substitute and to spend more time reading. I really love to read anyway, so this was not hard to do.

The books I read this summer were really great. I love a good story and I must say, all of these were winners.

So, when I look back on this wonderful summer, I can really say that I thouroughly enjoyed myself and accomplished a lot of the things I wanted to do. Lots of knitting, lots of reading and great great fellowship with family and friends. I will post a summer wrap up next and include some more knitting content!

Oh, just to throw in a little bit of knitting content:

My Granny Square Throw

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I am waiting for some more white yarn so that I can finish this. But it will be finished soon!

Toodles for now!

PS: If you are like me and you like to read, like to knit and even like to read stories with characters who knit, these books are for you:

Family Tree
Friday Night Knitting Club

And bonus! I read somewhere that there are some patterns based on the projects the characters "Family Tree" knit.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vacation Wrap Up (Including knitting content!)

So, as I was saying Chicago was fantastic! We had a blast. Spending time with friends and family is always good. We drove around Chicago on our first night and I was so mesmerized. I thought, I could move back here! Then, I remembered the winter. But, I talked about that already.

So, my mother gave a us an awesome backyard BBQ! Friends and Family were there in abundance and so was the food. Darn, I should have taken a picture of the food! Ya'll would have been salivatin'! Anyway, my mother THROUGH DOWN!!!!!!! We had: barbecued ribs, hot links, chicken and Italian sausage and some rib tips, spaghetti, greens, potato salad (courtesy of me!) and an incredible peach/pineapple cobbler!!!
All I can say is "mmmm mmmm GOOD. (Diet was out the window!). There was so much food that my husband thought that we would be eating leftovers for days! But, boy oh boy was he WRONG! There was none left! Not even a bone. I am telling you that the pots looked like someone had liked them clean. And as good as her sauce was, i would not be surprised if someone did. Really though, as the old folks used to say, My mother Put her FOOT in that food! (that means it was exceptionally good for those of you not familiar with the saying)My husband thinks she should come to Cali and open up a place and sell her BBQ. We have yet to find anything here that comes close to what we get at home. To top it all, she used an old grill, one those made out of the old fashioned garbage can barrels. It was so old,that the bottom was just about completely out of it. She just put some of those aluminum pans in it and kept right on cooking. WE had to throw it out afterwards though. It lived a good life. RIP Good Grill.......

Anyway, you know you are getting old when the kid's are teaching you how to do the latest dance. This is me, trying to the the Cupid Shuffle:

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it was dark already in the yard. that's me in the white shorts. Notice the concentrated look on my face. I have always been slow to pick up the latest dances. But I go this one!

We really enjoyed spending one full day downtown. We saw Millennium Park for the first time. Check us out at the BEAN. This is a picture of me taking a picture of our reflection in the bean:

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Here is the bean from a distance. I cannot recall the real name of this piece, but you can see why everyone in Chicago calls is THE BEAN.

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And this is a great shot of the Water feature they have there. See the face. The image continuously changes. The faces are of Chicago Citizens. My sister's brother in law is one of the faces. apparently they just walk up to different people on the street and ask if they can take their picture for this art piece. In person, you can see that the image is behind clear glass bricks with water running down it continuously. Its really cool.

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I will end my vacation talk for now. I will blog later about my weekend in Palm Springs. But for now I have one word: HOT! I was a bit miserable.


This is where I am at:

For my swap partner:

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Mandy's Candy Bag pattern was written by

Amanda. She is running a contest and this is my entry!

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Not to bad for my first one! Amanda has a great blog. Check her out when you get a chance.

Oh, and I got this yellow yarn at the yarn shop in Long Grove, Illinois.

I made this pretty quickly:

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its from this pattern:

baby hat

This was so cute and quick to knit up that i started another one:

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Oh, and I am making this sweater to match the lavender hat:

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There is more but this is already way too long. Check back for more knitting content.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vacation Part 1

Well, we had a lot of fun in Chicago. The only slightly disappointing thing was that i did not make it to Stitches Midwest. Bummer. But there were so many friends and family to see and so many things to do that I just could not get there. But, lucky for me Stitches West will be here the beginning of next year. Can you believe that the year is already 3/4 of the way over?!!?

Any, since I did not get to go to Stitches Midwest, I made my way to two LYS.

I bought some yarn for an upcoming swap and a nice pattern I will show you later. I am planning to knit this one for my BFF in Chicago. This is the shop:

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This shop is in Long Grove, Illinois. Its a great little town. Check it out:

The Village of Long Grove.

Its such a girly place with cute little shops and nice restaurants. My great friend and I spent the day there until it started pouring down rain! Oh well, at least I got my yarn!

This shop is in downtown Chicago and I bought a little yarn from there as well.

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I did not catch the graffiti on the door until after I saw the pic. Well, its sort on on the low end of downtown Chicago. But the shop and the people were very nice. I would say a good time was had by all because I had my husband, sister, neice, neice's friend, another friend and her son with me. While I was at the yarn shop, they were all eating pizza next door, accept for my hubby and my sister, they hung out with me at the yarn shop.

Here is their site:

Loopy Yarn

This was a fun filled day spent downtown. There is so much to blog about this trip so I will stop here and post again soon with more news or the trip and some knitting progress reports as well.

have a great weekend! thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


legacy: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor

Well, I am back from my vacation. It was a great visit. My husband and I are originally from Chicago, so we spent the last week there seeing family and friends and just falling in love with the city again. We have never gone back in the summer since we moved to LA, only at Christmas. And if you know anything about Chicago, you know that the weather is CRAZY in the winter time. So, we never go anywhere when we are there. This is what its like:

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So you can understand why we pretty much stay in the house when we go in December.

But summer is another story. We had a blast. My mother had a backyard bar-b-que and many friends and family came over to see us. Well, you know how it is when you get around family. You get to hear all the great stories and family lore. Sometimes you learn something surprising. As I was looking through an old photo album that belonged to my grandmother, I noticed a small clipping taped to the front. Mind you, I have looked at this same album a million times over the last 3 decades and have never noticed this clipping. The clipping revealed to me that my great aunt, Janie L. Lester had earned a Bachelor's Degree from Spelman College and a MA from the University of Wisconsin. It also stated that she was the head of the Language Arts Dept, but it did not say at what institution. When I asked my mother about it, she said that she was the Dean of Women at Georgia State College, now Savannah State University. I was floored. I have heard countless stories over my life time, lots of them funny, some of them sad, but all of them interesting. But I had never ever heard this one. If you have read my blog before, you know that I am an African American. To have a great aunt accomplish something like this in the time in which she did it is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a story that my family needs to tell. But to tell it, we must know it. So, I started researching and have not come up with a lot, but I did find this:

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This is a photo of a dorm named in her honor on the campus of Savannah State University. Unfortunately, the dorm has since been torn down. All the same, this is my family's legacy, our heritage. I was proud to be a part of my family anyway. I come from a long line of strong women. It just warms my heart to know that I was not the first to go to college and get a degree, and I am confident that there will be many more to do so in the future. My great aunt has given us this legacy to inspire us to look toward an incredible future as a family.

There is lots more to tell and pictures to post but I wanted this story to have its own place. Check back for more vacation stories soon!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

July Knitting Wrap Up

So, I did not get anything blocked or anything, but here is where I am at with my knitting projects:

Summer Tank: Finished but need to weave in the ends and block. It came out ok for my first try at an adult garment:

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I made 6 out of my 8 square goal, only to realize that I am going to miss my monthly meeting with my group. we are planning to piece these together to make lap blankies. I am still trying to figure out how to get my squares turned in. Again, they have not been blocked nor are the ends woven in:

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In order to make a 40x40 lap blanket, we need 16 10x10 squares. Since i did not complete enough of them to make an entire blanket I started crocheting a giant granny square. I will finish this in no time. This will be my contribution to my group's charity efforts. Hopefully, someone will get some good use out of it:

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Other than knitting, my vacation in oklahoma went well. we had a great time with my mother in law. Its always hard to leave family so it was a little emotional at the end. I will be off next week to Chicago! I will definately be spending a little time at Stitches Midwest. I did not sign up for any classes but I hope to walk around and visit lots of vendors!

This weekend, my hubby and I went to The Getty Villa Art Musemn in Malibu. The place is gorgeous! Here are a few pix:

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And me in one of the Gardens:

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After the Getty we had dinner and saw the Bourne Ultimatim! It was great!

I am planning to visit some LYS in Chicago. I don't thing I will do much knitting while I am there but I do plan to bring back some goodies!

Friday, August 3, 2007


My hubby and I are about to begin an incredible journey. We are pursuing adoption!!!! We have had a lot of fertility issues and its been very very hard. But we have drawn a line in the sand after much prayer and many tears and are moving forward. And guess what? I AM TOTALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT!!! I just want to ask for the prayers of anyone who reads my blog. Its a process and its expensive but I believe there is a child out there for us. Maybe even 2! WE are at the very beginning of this journey. I just printed out the application and will spend time during the second leg of my vacation completing it. It has taken me a long time to get to this point. I have always wanted to adopt, but dealing with infertility is super difficult and I up to now, i was not sure I was ready to pursue adoption. But something happened to me today as I was looking over a website my husband found. I saw all the descriptions of birth moms and babies and I just got this surge of excitement in my heart. I want to do this. I want to welcome one of these little ones into my heart and into my home. SO, pray for us. This is only the beginning!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Off on the First Leg Of My Summer Vacation

Hi All! I am leaving tomorrow for McAlester, OK! Tiny Tiny town with the nearest Yarn shop about 60 miles away! I am still going to ask my hubby to take me there. Anyway, I am taking tons of knitting, movies and audiobooks and reading materials. It should be a very relaxing time. It will be great just to get away and spend time with my mother-in-law. So, when I get back I should have lots to share about progress on my knitting projects. Hopefully I will finish the summer tank and the squares. My goal is eight squares.

Tank: finished back and progress on the front:

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4.5 out of eight squares:

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You can see the patterns on the squares better on this one:

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Not as much going this weekend as last, but I did go to my monthly knitting guild meeting. Here I am during the Show and Share portion of our time together:

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You know, I usually hate taking pictures. But I am forcing myself to do it this year. I figure that I will not live forever and one day, someone is going to want to see pictures of me. So, I am doing it. I look at this picture and am so proud of myself for taking it and posting it. I am also proud because I have lost about 15 pounds since May 1! So, even though I still have a lot more to lose, I can see in this picture that I have made obvious progress. You know how it is. It takes a longer time for you to see yourself change that for others to see it. People who know me have been commenting about my weight loss, but this week was the first time that I could really see it! I have been doing the southbeach diet and it truly works well for me.

Alright, I am off. See you all when I get back!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ravelry! I am In!!!!!

USERNAME: pettiskimknits

I am excited to see how this all works!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Weekend in Review

Well, my hubby and I had a great weekend. It was one of those weekends that was full of peace and relaxation and really enjoying one another. We live in Southern California. There are pluses and minuses to living here. One of the greatest things about living here is the beautiful weather. This weekend was very very nice. The other great thing about this place is that there is always something cool to do. In the summer, there are tons of free concerts to go to. When I got off work on Friday my husband picked me up from work. Usually, I feel super tired after work and what I want to do is go home and sit on the couch and read, watch tv and/or knit. My husband is a teacher so he is off in the summer. He spends his days pursuing his passion: screen writing. Usually after work I am all tapped out, but he is all reved up. But at the start of this weekend I was feeling energetic so we went to The Grove and ate at the Farmers Market.

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We got to eat outside and listen to some free music by The Front Porch Band. It was great, very relaxing. Saturday, a friend and I went out to a lawn sale in Malibu. The drive was great and Malibu is beautiful. Plus, I got a great needlework book for $5.00!

Saturday Evening, we packed up our bags with books and my knitting and headed down to Plaua Del Rey. We sat out on the beach in our chairs and read and I knitted and we watched the Sunset. We had a couple of sandwiches and our evening was golden!

On Sunday, we went to see our friends renew their wedding vows in celebration of their 20th Wedding anniversary! THe ceremony was beautiful.

The weekend was perfect......until............we went grocery shopping. The shopping part was great. It was only about the 2nd time that we actually shopped together in our 5.5 years of marriage. But, we did not fight and we got everything we needed, including my new favorite healthy dessert: sugar free popsicles! So, what went wrong?

When we got into the car to go home, the car was DEAD! And guess who had not renewed their AAA membership? thats right! US! Well, we decided to remain calm. We prayed, called AAA anyway and they allowed us, on a Sunday evening, to renew our membership over the phone and they sent us some help! The guy was there in less than half an hour! He gave us a jump and we got home just in time to put my popsicles in the freezer! They survived and we survived. Guess what I did while waiting on the AAA guy? KNITTED!!!!!!!! Check out my progress:

Me knitting in Playa Del Rey, on the beach!:

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The Sunset:

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oops, a little bit of my husband's arm got in the picture!

Oh, forgot to mention that on Thursday night, we went to one of the many outdoor malls to enjoy another free concert:

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Thanks for Stopping by!