Has it been a week already?

I can't believe it's been a week since I've last posted. However, looking back at the last few posts, I sure feel like I've accomplished something. A while ago, I promised that I would take care of some things before I moved on to other stuff. Let's take a moment to check in on progress.

1. BSJ - crochet hooks found and it's been assembled and all ends woven in. Two of five buttons sewn on (they look cute!) so I'll call this 99.9% there. Finish tonight.

2. Mystery Stole - knitting done and it's ready for blocking. My blocking board isn't large enough to hold the FO, so I'll need to use the bed this weekend. On the "to do" list for Sunday.

3. Bella Blouse - no progress. I really need to decide if I'm going to finish this thing or set it aside for the next long holiday. It may really be Thanksgiving before this gets done because I need a solid block of time.

4. The Bag - some progress here in that I've sourced the lining material and I think I have a plan for how to do this. Again, it might be Thanksgiving for this one because of the time pressure, but who knows. Weekends are just a nightmare with soccer in full swing and me trying to finish my upgrades. If only I didn't have to work so much ... (ok, make that "at all" and it's more accurate)

Separately, I'm almost done with 1/2 of a Christmas present (short row ribbed scarf) - I just need more of the SWTC Karaoke for the matching mittens.

Back to the salt mines ...

Tell me again why I do this?

I like to spend time before a solid weekend of refereeing to read up on soccer news, referee chatter and generally turn off the "tech" side of my brain and turn on the "referee" side. Ok, so the sides part is in no way meant to mean the Left Brain and Right Brain; rather, it's meant to say that I have to put a different set of rules and guidelines into active circulation. I change the pace of my decision making, I turn in to much more of a manager/politician and I also get up to a more heightened state of consciousness.

During my sifting and sorting on the web, I stumbled on to this post. It basically is a laundry list of outrageous assaults on referees all over the world - from Africa to Canada - and all age groups (including a 13-year-old girl!). It's just downright depressing. A good chuck of my refereeing C.V. is made up of games where I volunteered. That's right, I gave freely of my time to help kids play soccer and for me to learn. I think it was a fair deal, but the level of abuse that came with it was legendary. Ask me some time why we don't keep standings at the U10 level for my local rec-league.

Over the years, as I've moved up to higher level games, the conduct of coaches and players and fans has also changed. The polarity is greater. Rather than a constant level of griping/nice folks there's a HUGE swing. From threats of bodily harm to very nice kids that wished me "happy mother's day". (I'm not even a mom.)

Anyway, tonight I will do a match at almost the highest level I can hope to reach. I'll be running the line on a NCAA Division 1 match with a Number 1-ranked team. It don't get much better than that. I've been obsessing all week - reviewing Laws, keeping fit, (mostly) eating right and now it's time to go get suited up. Standing under those lights and being a part of that game will remind me why I do this - it's fun and I get one of the best seats in the house. I will be challenged both mentally and physically and I will strive to do my very best. I will not be perfect, but I will give it everything. There are few things left in this world that coax this level of dedication and performance out of me - and tonight I get to do it again.

We're people, folks. We will make mistakes. But you know, it's only a game. No one's going to get killed if something goes wrong. Or maybe not. Peace. And good soccer.

My heart skipped a beat ...

because I clearly have a new "impulse buy" threshold - at least for knitting. I knew it was getting higher but I'm clearly over the top. Clearly.

Take a look at the new button at the top of my Knitting Links section. See that? The Year of Lace. Now wait. Now think. Now IMAGINE what that's going to be like. Want the details? Follow the button. I'm in. I'm SO in. Then again, I think I'm already a year behind.

Cleaning my plate

When I was little, my parents (good German WWII survivors) made a big deal about always finishing what I had begun before starting something new. Maybe that's why I've got a permanent case of "startitis" and like to have lots of projects lying around. However, given that I've got either an impending remodel OR an impending move coming up, I really, Really, REALLY need to get my collective sh*t together and kill off some of these knitting projects.

The siren song of a new shawl, a new sweater, a new pair of socks continues to sing in my ears, but I have got to do something! And soon! So, to that end, I declare a moratorium on all new projects until I get the old ones either ripped back or finished.

In order of importance:

1. BSJ. All it needs is finishing but I can't seem to find my crochet hooks. They've been AWOL for a little while and that's just fishy. I can sew it up and wait for the hooks to do the trim around the neck.

2. Mystery Stole. I started on Clue 6 last night and got quite a bit done. Now that it's down to the feathers it goes fast - FAST! The pattern repeat is easy to remember and there are not a lot of beads. Should be able to finish this week or next.

3. Bella Blouse. The cold weather is coming (so sayeth the Weather Man) so I need to kill this one before the season is totally gone! It'd be a shame to be this close and then never wear it. A little ripping and then it can be finished lickety-split.

4. The Bag. At least washed and ready for lining. It's completely done being knit, I just need to put it in the darned washing machine and let it do it's things. Darks are on the laundry menu for this week, so in it goes.

Whew. That's about all I can stand for now. If I manage that, I'm doing well.

Oh, and don't tell my Better Half that I'm off to the Mendocino Wool Festival on Saturday. While he's busy drinking with car guys in Sacramento, I'll be fondling fiber. Dude - I'm so going. And I'm bringing my credit card.

Granola Recipe

Found today on one of my favorite food blogs, Slashfood:

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup peanuts or toasted almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut (I always use unsweetened, but you can go for the sweetened kind if you'd like)
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (I often omit this ingredient, as I tend to forget to buy it)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried fruit (dried apricots, craisins and dried apple are all delicious choices)
scant 1/4 cup cooking oil (not olive)
1/2 cup honey

Mix the oat, nuts and grains in a large bowl. Measure oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring into bowl. Then measure out the honey in the same, unwashed cup. The oil will help the honey exit the cup. Toss everything together until evenly coated and then pour out into a baking pan. I use a large roasting pan, as it keeps everything contained. A cookie sheet with a lip also works, but you have to stir it slightly more carefully if you use that. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, turning it with a spatula every ten minutes or so. You want everything to be an even golden brown. When it is finished cooking, returned the baked granola to the mixing bowl, add the raisins and fruit and stir to combine. Stir gently several times as it cooks, so that it doesn't clump together too much. Enjoy!

Looks like a real keeper - something to try out over the weekend, perhaps!