january accounting

‘Tis the end of the month, and while I have not yet closed out the books, per se, I can say that my diligence to keeping a budget this month has gone very well. As of right now, I have a little over $200 sitting in my checking account, which means that I didn’t spend everything that I brought home. Yey! This allows me to pay a little extra to my credit card and that I was able to keep savings in savings and add to it. Yey, yey on both accounts. Gee, I guess there really is something to this whole budgeting thing!

So, on to month #2!

In far more interesting news, I’ve done 4 more rows on the Mystery Shawlette (the blue lace one) and a few more rows on the Whipporwill (the brown thing).


new weekend…new chance at redemption

I, Tonja D. Brice, hereby vow to keeping a reasonable routine on the weekend. I will not: stay up until 4AM watching TV nor I will not purchase whole seasons of TV shows with the intent of staying up until 4AM to watch them.

I also solemnly swear that I will complete the task of laundry that has been ignored eluded me this entire week. In addition to said laundry detail, cleaning the bathroom and dining rooms will be punishment from last weekend’s foibles.

The penalty for breaking this contract will be death starvation no knitting with Kate on Saturday night when we are going to bake a pizza together and knit the night away.

I hereby solemnly swear to keep these promises.

Tonja D. Brice, Knitter and Irresponsible Housekeeper

work in progress

Here is the progress I’ve made on the Summer Mystery Shawlette. I can’t show you what it should look like when I’m finished (until I’m finished) because it is a mystery. But this is what it looks like so far (as always click to embiggen):

Lace is one of those things that until you block it (stretch it out essentially) it doesn’t look like much. This shawl will “grow” considerably once it is blocked and the lace will be beautiful. Here is a close up.

And here is the Whipporwill in progress. This is the one that has over 500 stitches on the needles right now.

Those two “yellowey” things on the left mark the center of the shawl. This measures about 14 inches right now and will grow to around 20-22, which means there’s gonna be a whole heck of a lot more stitches on them thar needles (said with a bad po’ southern accent) before I’m finished. It’s a good thing that I am in no rush to get this done.

And just because today’s lake scene was interesting, I bring you this:

The lake peeks through the center just a bit. What made this interesting this morning was the cloud cover. It wasn’t really cloud cover as much as it was some type of cloud fog/mist. The sun was very hazy and it was hard to distinguish the water from the sky.

Well, until next time.

self deprecation

Have you ever done something stupid which totally sounded good at the time and then days later you realize the fallacy of your thoughts? Of course you have – you’re human, right?

Well, this weekend was one of those for me. I decided to chuck the whole budget thing (sorry Dad) and purchased season 2 of Warehouse 13 on Friday (which only cose $20, so the budget, while blown, is not overly so), downloaded all the shows and then went home on Friday AND WATCHED EVERY S.I.N.G.L.E. O.N.E!. I think I rolled into bed at 4 AM. Do you know when the last time I stayed up until 4 AM was? No? ME EITHER! Let us safely assume that it was not in this century, which means that I was at least 12 years younger than I am now and which also means that my body was far more capable of handling such silliness from my brain’s inept decisions.

The trickle down effect has been horrendous. I can’t usually stay in bed past 9 AM, so I got about 5 hours of sleep before my body woke itself up. I did take a 3 hour nap on Saturday, but then I didn’t sleep very well Saturday night because I had just spent 3 hours in bed sleeping. Then I decided to go to a BAR and watch the 49ers lose and I didn’t get home until 9:30, and because I was so wound up from the game I couldn’t get to sleep right away…which means another night with bad sleep.

I also neglected my homework (couldn’t keep the eyes open for some odd reason), and the shopping for the week, and the cooking/food preparation for the week, and laundry. I think I’m going to starve this week and smell bad while I do it.

On the positive side of things, I did knit 3 rows on my shawl, and before you think “*phew*, only 3 rows”, I might add that each row now has 530 stitches on it.

Yes, this is going to be a rough week.

And, this is my 351st blog post.


This week was my first “no down time” week – which occurs every 1st and 3rd week of the month. These are the weeks where I basically have to carry my house with me. But this is Thursday night, I have 1 more event to go, and guess what? I’m still here and I’m still sane.

Here are some of my highlights:

  1. I made it through the week without ANY fast food. YEY! This means that a) menu planning worked, and b) fiscal responsibilities won out over hunger on the day that I didn’t bring dinner.
  2. I survived my first Greek quiz (got a 90%, which is not fantabulous but it is respectable since I’ve not seen greek for nearly 2 years).
  3. My Greek TA doesn’t mind if I knit during class, which means that those socks that are on my “2012 Goals” list – just might get done by May.
  4. No one showed up for bible study on Wednesday (they all had excuses, and they were good ones) which means that a) I actually had time to do the Greek homework that was due today and b) next week’s lesson is already prepared. Double bonus!
  5. I’ve decided that Fridays are OFF LIMITS for anything other than my day job – which means that come 5:00 PM tomorrow – I’m on “ME” time.

i need a sven

Do you remember the AT&T commercials that aired a few years ago featuring Sven?

I have often remarked that I need a Sven…running my life just gets too complicated sometimes. Too many things to remember…too many things to do. Case in point: today. I have knitting at noon with Kate..so I had to remember my knitting, which is good because tonight I also have knitting group at church – killed 2 birds with that stone, thankfully. But then I had to remember my lunch…and dinner…and snacks – this is so that I can maintain some semblance to keeping a budget (*ahemdadahem*) and not spend waste money eating out. That’s a lot of food to carry around. Plus I had to remember my work out clothes so that after work and before knitting group I can try to work out. Plus I have a vocabulary quiz tomorrow and so I had to remember to bring my words with me so that while I’m working out I can study words. Plus, to even attempt to remember to do anything I have to keep a calendar…so I had to remember to bring that as well. I wish houses were portable…oh, wait, they can be, can’t they? Hm…perhaps I should sell my house and buy an RV. That’s a thought.

Anyway, this week is my first real test as to how I am going to do attempting to manage my life without Sven. Wish me luck!

the absence of color

I’ve heard it said that white is not a color, it is actually the absence of color. What seems marvelous to me is that when the world is coated with snow, which is white, every other color is more profound. The sky is bluer, the lake is bluer, the trees are browner and all of this fantasy of color just makes the world pop. Scenes from Dr. Zhivago come to mind – vast lands of snow with vibrant pops of color in the buildings (mainly the churches) and the clothing.

A Russian Orthodox church faithfull walks in front a church, as she assists  in a monastery Optina Pustyn near the town of Kozelsk, Kaluga region some 260 km south-west of Moscow, Russia, 03 January 2010. Optina pustyn monastery was the most important spiritual centre of Russia in 19th century. 

Photo copyright by EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV.

Such was the world that I woke up to this morning. Vast amounts of snow blanketing my world. (Okay, maybe not “vast” but everything was covered by at least 2 inches.) It gave me the opportunity to use my wonderful snow blower. It took about 45 minutes to do my 70-foot driveway, font sidewalk, path to my door and the front steps, the walk along the side of my house + the walk along the side of my neighbor’s house and the walkway back to my garage. It was slow but boy did it save my back.

I also made a profound realization this morning. There is a lot of pressure in owning a home…and I’m not just talking about financial pressure – I’m talking more about keeping up appearances. As I was out doing the font part of my property, I was comparing my efforts to those of my neighbors. Am I doing as much of the sidewalk as everyone else? Am I doing it in a timely manner? Is my snow blower too loud?

These thoughts become more insidious in the spring and summer when my yard looks absolutely pathetic. Gardening and such is NOT my forte, as anyone who knows me well can attest. I really need to make a decent effort to have some positive changes made to my yard this year…I certainly don’t want to be the “ugly house on the block”.

Anyway, I digress. Snow has been dumped, the world is white and winter is finally here. Happy Friday the 13th!