Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review: Plum Pudding Murder

Plum Pudding Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery, Book 12) Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Last February, when I started working at Barnes & Noble "Cream Puff Murder" (Hannah Swensen Mystery, Book 11) had just been released and we had it everywhere in the store. The cover was so pretty that I kept meaning to read it, but never took the plunge. Then, we got in the newest addition to the series and I had to pick it up. The series just looked like a nice fun entry into the mystery genre. I mean, really, even if the story itself hadn't been that great, you at least got all the fun recipes that the book is loaded with. Win, win, right?

I'm really glad that I picked up Plum Pudding Murder and I'm planning on getting the other books in the series soon. The bite-sized chapters make these easy to read books perfect to pick-up and breeze through while I'm on break at work or if I just have a few minutes here and there. Some of the lines that the characters use seem corny at times and slightly unrealistic for any actual person to use, but they really seem to fit Joanne Fluke's writing style so they don't feel too out of place.

All in all, I really enjoyed this as a nice break from some of the more serious reading that I've been doing lately and will be recommending the series to anyone who loves baking, coffee, and needs a quick break from time to time.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Review: Dracula

Dracula (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (B&N Classics Hardcover) Dracula by Bram Stoker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm kind of sad that it took me so long to read this classic. I really enjoyed it and I loved how it was written in the form of diaries and journals from the different characters. This made it so that you really got to know the characters personally without being told straight-out. This also provided several views of some of the same occurrences, but through different eyes so you could pick out facts that the first narrator may have missed.I really loved this book and have been urging everyone that I know to read it. ^_^

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Book Review: Knitting the Threads of Time

Knitting the Threads of Time: Casting Back to the Heart of Our Craft Knitting the Threads of Time: Casting Back to the Heart of Our Craft by Nora Murphy

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I actually just had to call it quits on this book. I couldn't stand reading it anymore because of the author's voice and personal views that are constantly re-hashed over and over throughout.

Nora Murphy did her homework on the history of textiles, but the way that she twines actual history with how she perceives the craft of knitting drove me crazy. Apparently, we have very different interpretations of the craft and the world around us and I just couldn't stand to pick up the book after the chapter about how much she enjoys and respects her period. Sorry, but I just don't get enjoyment out of reading about how she can link her monthly cycle to knitting and it's history. No thank you.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Book Review: The Last Song

The Last Song The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I actually really enjoyed this book which is something that I can't say about Sparks' other books that I've read. The unique method that is used to narrate the story kept things interesting and easily gave you a look into each character's mind. Immediately after finishing this book I thought of three different people who would love it so I'll probably be snatching up a few copies to give as Christmas gifts this year.

The story is very touching and easy to read, without being at all mushy (which is a huge plus in my book). I highly recommend this to anyone who has, is, or knows a teenager going through that rough time when it seems so important to rebel in order to establish your place in the world and create your own voice. This is a wonderful book about growing up and how what is and isn't said and done affects people other than just yourself.

I love it!! ^_^

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Book Review

Tale of Two Cities, A Tale of Two Cities, A by Charles Dickens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love the classics, they've been around this long for a good reason. A Tale of Two Cities is one that you hear of your whole life, but it's never discussed in great detail. Even the movies and shows that play off of the title rarely follow the actual vein that this book is written in.

At times, Dickens is hard to follow because of his long, flowery introductions of characters or scenes. Once you get to who or what he's talking about, it's much easier to follow the plot and imagine what he's just described, though. I highly recommend that everyone should read this book for no other reason than to see what things were like for both the upper and lower classes during the French Revolution. Books like this are wonderful history lessons and really bring the time periods to life.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Book Review

The Lace Makers of Glenmara The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This was one of the few books that I had to quit after reading three quarters of. The character development, and story were poorly constructed and, in my opinion, the writing-style was juvenile at best. Everything was rushed and lacked the detail that could have at least made it readable. In short, a complete waste of time and energy. Not a book that I will ever recommend for anyone.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Review

Little Women Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of those books that I've always meant to read, but I just never made the time for it. I got the audio-book, though, and have been listening to it while I clean and run errands. It really is a wonderful book that follows the journeys of the four March girls as they grow from children into women.

I really love the way that the book is written. Each chapter is it's own mini-story, but they all connect to form the big picture. The characters are very easy to relate to and I found myself loving them more and more the further I got. Also, there are a plethora of life lessons to learn from the little women's trials and triumphs. Even though this book was written over 100 years ago, the morals that the author included in it are very much still valid. I think that this book would be a great benefit to anyone who reads it because the good nature, kindnesss, and put-others-first attitude that the characters personify is very infectious and you can't help but be absorbed with wanting to be just as good.

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The Last Lecture The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The last 1/3 was very similar to the first 1/3 in that I couldn't wait to get through it because it was super boring. I kept hoping that there would be more experiences similar to the middle of the book, but no. It really just felt like the beginning and the end was just there as filler. Not a book that I would recommend buying, but it wouldn't hurt to borrow it from a friend or the library.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Want Some Free Knit Picks Zephyr Knitting Needles?

Ok, here's a head's up for everyone on a great contest that's going on over at

Knit Picks is letting them giveaway a whole set of the new Zephyr Options knitting needles (retailing at $45)!! These are super cool needles that are made from lightweight acrylic so they're smoother (read quicker) than wood, but not as heavy as metal making those large knitting projects even more enjoyable. Since they're part of the Options line, that means that you get pretty much any size/length circular needle you could wish for in one nice little kit which makes this a great set to take with you on trips. Plus, these needles just look so super cool that you'll automatically earn bonus points from all your knitting buddies. ^_-

Find out more on entering the contest at Things Mom's Like and learn more about the Zephyr Options Interchangeable Knitting Needles as well as all the other wonderful products that Knit Picks has to offer at

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Meet Ted...

I finally finished Ted at knitting tonight by making a rule that I could not work on my spinning until he was complete. I think that he turned out rather cute, don't you? Originally he was being made for one of Tina's boys, but I don't know if I'll be able to give him up. It just makes me happy to see him sitting on the trunk in my living room next to my favorite knitting spot.

On Sunday I fell in love with spinning. Nadiah and I went to a spinning group and were re-introduced to this fun craft. My "yarn" from Sunday sparked an idea for a fun series of projects that I'll fill you in on in the next few weeks as I get more pieces. I will tell you, however, that they are adorable and the second one in the series will be "Spumoni"...

Finally, a cute flower that I found in the grocery store parking lot tonight.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Quickie...

Sorry that I haven't been very active lately, I've been super busy with everything. So, here are the highlights:

This has basically been our summer around here: cold and cloudy. I really don't mind it, though, it's actually been kind of a nice change from our usual summer humidity. (I really really heart this pic, too and am super proud of it.)

Dan surprised me last week with a dozen roses for no reason other than the fact that I love roses. I think that I'll keep him around for awhile longer. ^_^

Pieces of stuffed animals with pins holding them together makes for a semi-morbid look at the status on these projects. (Elephant Panda) I'm super close to being done, just procrastinating on the actual sewing part.

This is a new knitting project: another baby blanket. However, this is for my friend Cathy who is expecting a baby girl in September. It's the Ruffled Blanket from Susan B. Anderson's Itty-Bitty Nursery.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yay For Pictures!!

I finally found the time to unload the pics from my camera and get them uploaded into a post for everyone...

First off is the finished pair of Spring Forward socks done in Sunshine Yarns' May Flowers colorway:

Originally, I started these for the Sunshine Yarns Spring KAL in April, but then life happened and they took a bit longer than expected. I love the way that they turned out, though, and have worn them a couple of times already and they're super comfy. I was worried that I had made the second one too big width-wise, but once they're on, you can't tell at all. I'm definitely investing in more of Dani's sock yarn, though. She's got awesome colors and the yarns that I already have are super squishy and delicious!!

Next are the finished March Socks (only a couple of months late...)

I love the colors in these, but the yarn is pilling really badly along the sole and heels of the socks. I'm sure that If I would just invest in a lint shaver it would help tremendously, but there are just so many more important things to buy right now. (Like that yummy new sock yarn that Athena's just got in last week... I promise that it looks exactly like a lilac bush and really needs to come home with me soon.) ^_^

Finally, Connor's Baby Blanket is still in the works:

I do have the last ball of yarn for it, though, and only have a few rows left to go on it so I should be binding-off tonight. I'll take pics of the finished (and blocked) product later this week. Also, I'm super close to finishing the Elephant for Connor's older brother, I just need to get more yarn... Who knew that one elephant would take over a skein of Red Heart?! I'm thinking that I'll just start on a Panda Bear for Connor's other brother at knitting tomorrow, though. Hopefully, I won't run out of yarn while I'm making that...

Monday, July 6, 2009


Pretty much every person that I know is having a baby right now. So, I decided that I should start making some baby stuff and have started by making the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Debbie Stoller's Stitch & Bitch. This is going to be for Tina's new baby, Connor, who was born a couple of weeks ago. So far I'm really liking mindless knitting aspect of it, because it's going really fast and I don't really need to pay attention to it. (Which was great because we watched Scarface last night so I got about 3 hours of knitting done while watching.)

Connor's Baby Blanket

I have finished the socks for the Sunshine Yarns Spring KAL (finally), and my tension was much looser on the second sock so it's a bit bigger than the first one. I'm now trying to decided if I'll just keep it as is or if I'm going to pull it out and start over. Either way, I've learned why I really need to keep working on a pair of socks and not just let them sit for a few months before finishing them.

Also, I did find my camera. It was being sneaky and hiding behind my computer monitor... -_-

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I'm going to attempt to make a return to blogging now that my life has slowed a bit. I don't have any pics to upload mainly because I just need these first couple posts after my hiatus to be simple. Start small, right?

I finished my March Socks (I promise that I'll post pics) a while ago and have been busy working on my project for the Sunshine Yarns Spring KAL. Yes, I do realize that I've slightly missed the deadline (April 30) for this Knit-A-Long. The pattern and the yarn is super fun, though, so I'm just enjoying making my socks. ^_^

I've been doing alot of reading for work lately, so I'm thinking that I'll start to include them in my posts. Don't worry, though, I won't give away any spoilers.

The other day I finished reading "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" by Katherine Howe. It was good, but not quite as good as I had hoped. It reminded me of "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen. A fun, quick read.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Socks Have Been Gifted!!

The shorty socks were finished yesterday and given to Michelle last night. (This is a pic of the second sock on its journey to the first which was already with Michelle.) I'm so excited that the stripes on them matched up. (Completely by accident!!) I'll finish sizing the pattern and should have it posted soon.

Day 5

After finishing Michelle's socks, I cast-on for my March Socks a month late. (Ooops!) The good news is, though, that after a fiddly beginning, they have been going really quickly. These are being worked toe-up on Conjoined Creations' Flat Feet and I absolutely adore them!! I am so happy to see them getting all stripy and it's so much fun to see where the next color will fall. (Yes, I am very easily entertained...) ^_^

Day 6

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Today was a day of don'ts for me. My response to doing anything was, "I don't really want to..." So, I didn't do very much aside from cleaning my kitchen and reading a bit. Then I went to work, got in a great mood and worked on Michelle's socks during break.

As a result of my lethargy today, the sock hasn't grown very much at all...

Day 4

*Sorry for the crappy lighting. Small apartment late at night and all.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Terrible At Keeping Secrets...

I really am, you know. I've only been working on Michelle's socks for three days and I was already busting at the seams to tell her about them. (Not to mention the fact that I've been blogging about them and have told pretty much everyone except her that I was making them.) So, tonight at knitting I passed around the completed sock and when it got to her and she was petting it, I let her know that it was hers to keep. She was so excited to get handmade socks, which made me feel wonderful.

Michelle, (for those who don't know) has decided to take a job in Boston and will be leaving any day now. I'm so very glad that I've gotten to spend so much time with her and I'm very jealous of that new knitting group that she's going to. She's the type of person who can make your day better just by walking into the room. We'll still talk on Ravelry and Twitter, I wanted to send something special with her, though. I've never given away any of my handmade socks and I knew that she would appreciate them so the green and brown Mini Moochi Shorty Socks are hers.

Now, I just need to finish the second one by Thursday...

Day 3

Monday, March 30, 2009

Knitting On Break...

Day 2:

I've been making some headway on these, however, they don't feel like they're going fast enough. I really need to start being more focused...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Watch It Grow...

I've decided that I am horrible at taking pictures of my WIPs until they're finished. That leaves me with only finished project pictures, which are nice, but I really like looking at other knitter's WIP pictures. So, to combat that, I'm going to take a picture of whatever I'm working on each day and post it. (Yeah, yeah, I know I'm jumping on the 365 bandwagon...)

Here's day 1:

Also, I have pictures of my finished S&S Socks. I adore them!! ^_^


I'm super excited because today when I was on break at work, I cast-on for a new top-secret project. Since I don't know who is reading the blog, I can't say anything here, but I will have an update by Wed.


Also, I finished my Sense & Sensibility Socks last night!! However, since I had to work today, I have no decent pics. I promise to post them tomorrow, though.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

And Now... A Pattern!!

I really enjoyed making this and will probably be making more in the future. This one was made out of some SWTC "Amaizing" corn-fiber yarn that I had in my stash. I really want to try making it in
Knit Picks' CotLin yarn, though, for myself. From what I've heard, the CotLin would be great for some nice shower cloths and would show-off the stitches well. I really want to try the Sprout, Pomegranate, Planetarium, and Blackberry colors. ^_^

Mom's Shower Cloth

The main stitch pattern that I used in this cloth was one that I learned while making my Sense and Sensibility socks and is a variation of Eye-Of-Partrige. I modified it so that you could make use of the purl-bump pattern that appeared on the inside of the socks because I really thought both sides looked nice and deserved some attention.

There are a couple of techniques worth explaining before you begin your knitting...
Sl 1 YiF: Bring your yarn to the front of your work and slip the next stitch knit-wise. Bring the yarn to the back of your work before continuing to the next stitch.
SL 1 YiB: Bring your yarn to the back of your work and slip the next stitch knit-wise. Bring the yarn to the front of your work before continuing to the next stitch.

Cast-on 54 stitches. Knit 6 rows in garter stitch.

Begin stitch pattern:
Row 1: Knit 3, *K 1, Sl 1 YiF (repeat from * 12 times), *Purl 1, Sl 1 YiB (repeat from * 12 times), K 3.
Row 2: K 3, K 24, P 24, K 3.
Row 3: K 3, *Sl 1 YiF, K 1 (repeat from * 12 times), *Sl 1 YiB, P 1 (repeat from * 12 times), K 3.
Row 4: K 3, K 24, P 24, K 3.
Continue in pattern for 11 repeats.

Begin next stitch pattern:
Row 1: K 3, *P 1, Sl 1 YiB (repeat from * 12 times), *K 1, Sl 1 YiF (repeat from * 12 times), K 3.
Row 2: K 3, P 24, K 24, K 3.
Row 3: K 3, *Sl 1 YiB, P 1 (repeat from * 12 times), *Sl 1 YiF, K 1 (repeat from * 12 times), K 3.
Row 4: K 3, P 24, K 24, K 3.
Continue in pattern for 10 repeats plus rows 1-3.

Knit 6 rows in garter stitch. Bind off and weave in ends.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Finally, some pictures...

These pictures (1 & 2) show-off the color much much better, but I wanted to get some pics before I gave the cloth away to my mom. However, the weather hasn't been cooperating for out-door pics so I had to settle for these.

I'll be adding the pattern to this post later tonight.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Something New of My Own Design


Here's a hint: It's made of corn.


*Actual content coming soon (and patterns!!)*

Monday, March 16, 2009

Update Coming

Sorry that there has been so little activity lately. I decided that I was spending far too much time surfing around online and wasn't doing anything of much importance so I've been trying to limit my time at the computer. Unfortunately, that means that I haven't been very good about updating the blog. However, I have lots of pics and stories of new projects that I'm going to be posting tomorrow.

Have a good night,

Ed ^_^

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Socks = Love!!

Yay!! My February Socks are now complete!

Here is what they look like all knit up and awaiting seaming.

These are what made this pair of socks so easy to work on everywhere: 6" Size 0 (US) DPNs with a couple of tiny rubber-bands wrapped around one end. Kind of a set of do-it-yourself mini straight needles.

I didn't encounter may problems with this pattern, but I do have a couple corrections:

Page 101, under "Upper Toe", step 3 should say:
3) Rep rows 1 & 2 until 14 (14, 16, 16, 18, 18) sts rem.

Page 102, under "Gusset Heel", step 2 should say:
2) Row 1 (RS): (star) sl 1, k1 (star), rep from (star) to (star) across

Page 103, under "Lower Toe", step 3 should say:
3) Rep rows 1 & 2 until 14 (14, 16, 16, 18, 18) sts rem.

The corrections to pages 101 & 103 are meant as clarification to the somewhat confusing directions. You're working over an even number of stitches and are instructed to use a 2-stitch decrease every-other row. For certain sizes, though, you are expected to reach an odd number of stitches before you switch to decreasing every row. I've just changed the stitch count to better mirror with the increased decreases in step 6 of the same sections.

Also, these corrections are of my own design and have yet to be approved by Laura Chau. Please be sure to check her official errata page for her corrections.

I've started another new project:

It looks very similar to another recent project, no? This one isn't for me, though. My mom's poor dog, Jaques, has been affected very much by they're recent move and is (in my opinion) in need of some comforting. Jaques is a tiny-toy-poodle who is about 8 years old and has only ever lived in one place since we got him. He is very much a home-body, who is content to just laze about on a pillow or someone's coat all day without the need for any attention. This all changed with the move. To me, he seems like he is very confussed and lost at the new place. He is always attached to somebody as though he doesn't want to be left alone in this strange new world of his.

I resolved to knit him a bed. Jaques loves to burrow and make little nests in whatever he is lying in. It needed to be something that could move around and allow for his "nesting", but wouldn't take up much space in the laundry room (aka: Jaques' room). Also, it had to be in a neutral color to placate my dad. I didn't want to spend a ton on the yarn since the bed will be for the dog and who knows what he'll do with it, so I'm using a ball of Caron One Pound on size 5 needles and just knitting around and around. I wanted it to be in the round because he should be less likely to snag his nails in the stitches with all the purl bumps inside the tube. It's kinda slow-going, but I don't mind all the knit stitches because I can watch movies at the same time very easily. I'll post the pattern once I have it finished.

I've got one last highlight for today (overdue, though, it is):

Friday, February 20, 2009

Re-evaluating the situation

I really need to get back to just two projects on the needles at one time. I've been trying to have 3-4 projects going at once, but it just ends with me getting stressed about my knitting. Not my goal. I always get so excited about each new project, but as I work my way around all the ones I have going, I slowly loose my enthusiasm for them. At that point, my knitting just becomes a chore. Something that I have to do that isn't even remotely fun. If I only have one project to work on at home and another to carry with me, I can see more progress and it's much more satisfying.

Another thought occurred to me this week: I suck at gift knitting.

I just recently was able to remember to buy a gift bag for Karen's Scarf. This particular gift was promised back in December & has actually been completed and sitting in my living room since February 9th. That's 10 days of me forgetting to put it in a gift bag and drop it by the store she works at. Soon, I swear it will be gifted soon.

Also, my dad's washcloth is back in time-out because 1.) I have many other projects that I would rather be working on, and 2.) I officially hate it. This time, I really don't have a good reason for hating it. I think that it has just crossed me one too many times in the past. I've finally gotten all the kinks worked-out in the chart (I think) and can work on it fairly smoothly. I really shouldn't have any problems with finishing it, right? No. Now, I only want to glare at it and make it burst into flames so I don't feel compelled to continue on.

Only good karma is being knit into this gift. -_-

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good Times

I am so super excited!!! At knitting tonight, Teresa (sp?) surprised me with an early birthday gift of roving and a drop spindle from herself and Rita. I've been wanting to try spinning ever since Rita had a demo for us at Athena's a few months back, but I just wasn't sure where to start. There are so many different kinds of spindles and types of roving out there, it was pretty overwhelming. I can't wait till tomorrow to play with everything. (I'm too tired to try anything new tonight.)

Also, I finished sewing the seams on my first February Sock tonight at B&N. Knitting socks flat is really a leap of faith. When you're knitting them in the round (whether toe-up or top-down) you can at least try them on as you go. By just knitting them flat, you really have no clue as to whether they will actually fit you or not until that last seam is in. I tried mine on as soon as I got home and all I can say is this:


This sock actually turned-out quite a bit better than my January Socks did. I managed to make my heel flap correctly. (I realized as I was starting the heel flap on this sock that I did the ones on my January Socks wrong. You do not, in fact, slip every-other stitch on each row, only on the right-side rows.) The pieces of the foot lined-up nicely as I was seaming them. I adore the way the stripes worked-out and, basically, these socks are going to be on my most-worn list.

(Sorry for the lack of pics. I'll post some soon.) ^_^

Monday, February 9, 2009

One Down, Nine To Go

On top of my Year-of-Socks project, I want to get rid of all the UFOs that are clogging-up my living room. (We have a very small apartment, I can't afford to have 1/5 of my living room covered in unfinished projects and half-attempted-ideas.) I've just finished the first of the nine projects that I found:

Next on the agenda for finishing is the hand-made portion of my dad's Christmas present. (Here is the drama surrounding this gift.) I ended-up just giving him the assortment of natural bar soaps that I had bought at the craft show last fall with the promise that he would get the bath cloth once I wasn't quite as mad at it. I think that a little over a month is a good enough length of time to make it sit in time-out...

I was finally able to get some decent pics of my yarn and the beginnings of my Just Enough Ruffles scarf (Laura Chau). At first, I wasn't sure if I liked the stripes, but now I'm glad that I kept at it. I love the colors together and the stripes are looking better and better as I work the short rows on the scarf. (I am using 3 skeins of the tan for the scarf, but the 3rd was already wound into a ball and being used to start the scarf when I took the pic.)

Plymouth Yarn Royal Llama Silk
Colorways: 1829 (tan) & 1841 (blue)

Close-up of the first few rows on my scarf.

The scarf thus far.

My February Socks have been moving right along. (Honestly, quite a bit quicker than I intended, I'm currently about 3 days ahead of schedule on them.) They're the most handy take-along project that I have, so it's hard not to always have them with me at my knit groups and my parents' house. The striping on these is turning-out very nicely so I'm glad that Michelle convinced me to keep working on them. When I thought that it might be a self-striping yarn, I almost switched to a more random colorway. Rita assured me, though, that this colorway was never intended to be self-striping and that I just lucked-out. I'm so happy with how they're looking, I just hope that they fit.

The front 1/2 of sock #1 is complete!!
The heel-flap, up close and personal.

The view from the back.

We had a fun adventure the other day. (By we, I mean my parents, myself, and my two youngest siblings.) As we were driving around town looking at houses (something that I'm sure you all do), we drove past the first house I lived in. Well, we drove past the lot, rather. Unfortunately, we believe that the people who bought it from us were making meth in the house. A couple years back, the house was torn down and the lot has just been sitting with a driveway and garage surrounded by trees since.

Recently, the lot was put-up for sale and I desperately wish that Dan and I could buy it. I always loved that house and neighborhood. Even if the original house is gone, I would still like to move back to where I grew-up. (Yes, I do still live in the same city, but this is different.) I'm normally not one to get super emotional, but driving past the old place still makes me sad. It made it even worse when my dad pulled in the driveway and we got out to look at the mark that I had left by the garage when I was one...