2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.



Carrying Stuff

I like purses.  I like big purses and I like them red.  Proof is in this post.

So back in August, I surprised myself by buying a purple Medium Cafe Bag from Tom Bihn.  I wanted something light weight to carry around and I got it in time to take on my Hot Air Balloon Ride.  Yes, it is purple.  The actual color name is Plum.


I didn’t give up the red completely though, the inside is cayenne. :)

Phone Pocket

I did not like how everything in the Cafe Bag fell to the bottom and it was hard to root around in there looking for things.  Someone suggested I buy a Side Effect to use as a big wallet of sorts.

That is the reason I order the the Steel/Wasabi SE. It was just to organize the things in a bigger bag.

After a few days walking around Charlotte, NC carrying the Cafe Bag with the Side Effect inside, along with candy and bottles of water, my shoulders got sore.  I ditched the Cafe Bag and used only the SE.  I did not continue to carry the water, because we didn’t even drink it until we got back to the truck anyways.

I love the SE.  I still continue to carry it almost daily.  I know, I am shocked myself.  It isn’t even RED!  Here is a photo of the inside and how I have everything located.


My keys, TB wallet, TB small dyneema pouch in Ultraviolet, card holder, and a mini-padded pouch that holds my earbuds.  Also have clip-ons, mini altoids, a second set of keys, and ultrasuede cloth for my glasses.  Since my smartie fun phone does not fit in the side pocket, I put Werther’s candies in there.  I think that is really what those little pockets are for.  Seriously.


My wallet and card holder are attached to key straps that are attached to o-rings on the inside of the SE.  It’s handy-dandy!

My smartie fun phone, fits perfectly in the outside zipper pocket.  And look! It totally matches the color of the SE.  I didn’t even realized that until I had the SE for a couple of weeks.  So glad I requested the color change.


In the Thank You box I showed you yesterday was a medium plum colored organizer pouch.  I am now using that to hold the current knitting pattern.  A 8×11 inch paper folded in half fits perfectly in there.  This size pouch fits better in my Swift than the large clear pouch.

The black padded pouch you saw in yesterday’s post is a mystery to me.   I have no idea what to put in it.  I want something in it that I will need every day, so I can see the lovely gift with the lovely red ribbon on it.  :-D  I thought of using it as a Mom’s Med-kit.  I’ll have to think on that a while.

I am not the only one in this family carrying TB products now.

The husband has gone through three or four shoulder bags and rolling bags in the past couple of years.  I went on a savings spree and bought him the Empire Builder with Wasabi inside.  This is an early Christmas gift.  He is very pleased with it.

Are these things expensive.  You bet, but not any more than other good quality products.  These are American made and best of all, they will last a life time.


When I am able to, I plan on purchasing another Side Effect. The exterior is their U.S. made, high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon. In black.  BUT…the interior is  ultralight 200d Dyneema®/200d nylon ripstop fabric. In Iberian (RED).  Yep, same red as the inside of my Swift.  See, the black/iberian Side Effect has to come home to me.

Quick to Complain…Slow to Give Thanks

Many years ago, a friend told me she heard a sermon on how we are quick to complain and slow to give thanks.  We should go out of our way to give thanks for even the smallest things.  

I do complain and I do forget to give thanks.  It is a selfish part of me.  When I remember what my friend said, I try very hard to give thanks and give it often.  In return I get a few smiles and that makes me happy. People appreciate being appreciated.  :)

Just recently I experienced a Thank You in return that was way more than a smile.  It was so overwhelming to me, I shut down for a day and didn’t say anything to anyone.  I didn’t even tell my husband or a week!

It all started back in September.  I placed and order with Tom Bihn company. I ordered a Side Effect in Steel/Wasabi, but after the order went through and I had paid, I realized I ordered Steel/Steel color.  I contact Customer Service  and asked for a change if it wasn’t too much trouble.  The answer I got back was, “No problem! Already taken care of”.

Let me tell you, I did not expect this answer. Other companies I know of do not let you change your order after placing it.   I enjoy the high quality of Tom Bihn’s products and would have been happy with the steel/steel color, but I really wanted the steel/wasabi. So, for them to make the change was very cool.

I was so impressed and so thankful, I sent them a very small (and I mean very small) gift card for cupcakes from Cupcake Royale.   Yes, I said cupcakes.  Wouldn’t you love a cupcake as a thank you?

My Side Effect in steel/wasabi was mailed in time for me to take it to the mountains for ten days!  Love, love, love, the Side Effect.  So easy to carry while sight-seeing. More on this tomorrow.



When we arrived back home there was a Tom Bihn package on the table.  I could not remember ordering anything from them.  Then I got worried that I was getting really old and forgetting purchases I made.  Which is a very bad thing.  So I opened it thinking I will just return it, since I know I didn’t order it. Really, can anyone actually forget about purchases from Tom Bihn? No.

This is what was inside:


I was speechless!  A thank you for the thank you.  The purple pouch is a Medium Clear Organizer Pouch  and the black pouch is a small (I think) Padded Organizer Pouch.  More on those tomorrow, too.

See the cardboard cupcake?  It was signed on the back by the employees and owner.  


The card made me smile.  The pouches made me happy.  I love small businesses!

But that isn’t all of the story.  Nope.  I am a member on Ravelry.  My username on there is Appliejuice.  Surprise!  I am giving my name just in case there are knitters and crocheters out there that want to be my friend.  Back to Ravelry.  Ravelry has groups.  Lots and lots of groups.  One of those groups is Tom Bihn Knitting Bags.  

On October 23rd,  I open the group and found The Cupcake Day Inspired by Appliejuice.  I don’t know if anyone can see the post, but it is filled with people eating cupcakes.  

That put a huge smile on my face.  The husband saw it and asked what I was smiling about and I had to fess up.   I told him it was just a very small thank you and I don’t know what to do about all of this.  The pouches were still in the box!  :)  He said, “You let someone know you appreciate them and that made them happy.  Enjoy your gifts.  You have been blessed”.

Yes, I have been blessed.

Go thank someone today.

Black Rock Mountain and Knitting

We drove up to the lookout point on Black Rock Mountain.  We didn’t get to do any hiking, because one of the girls was not feeling well after the curvy drive up.  We didn’t know she was in the back seat playing games on the Nook.  lol  Poor thing.

The daughter rested while the rest of us enjoyed the view.


And against my better judgement, I had a picture taken with Pea #2.  Look at her and not me, ok?


Just a little ways up the mountain we cross the Eastern Continental Divide.  I decided we needed a family photo to memorialize this momentous occasion.  I set the camera on the back of our truck, set the timer, and hauled butt back to the sign.  It worked great!  See?


We drove to the place we wanted to see.  It is a small hike from the road up to some rocks and an awesome view.  Except the view wasn’t so awesome this time due to over growth.  Still a very fine place to be.

The violinist doesn’t look so green now. :)


I love the rocks around this place.  So fun to climb and explore.


Now on to knitting!

In Franklin, NC is a yarn shop called Silver Threads and Golden Needles.  It is a very nice clean and bright store.  I walk in and there is a bin full of yummy yarns called PEAKS.  I was told that these yarns are hand-dyed by one of the owners.  What makes these special?  They are named after the mountains in the area and the color represents them.  The fun part is the color number is the Elevation of the mountain.  Isn’t that creative?   So, I had to get two skeins of Blackrock Knob, Elevation 4500.  Color is black and gray.


My goal is to use the yarn for the Caroline Ave. Shawl, on Ravelry.  As of right now, I should be able to start knitting after Christmas and finish just in time to pack it away for the summer.  Then pull it out the next 2 days of winter in Florida. :D

Tallulah Gorge

One of our favorite spots to visit and camp is at Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia. We camped there last year in Phil and this year we camped in Ivan.  First thing we do is head down the trail to the overlooks.   Here are my girls sporting their new knitted hats by me.  It really wasn’t cold enough for hats, which was a shame.  The days were a beautiful mid 70′s and the nights were in the 60′s.  I was hoping for 40′s.  Maybe next year.


This area is called Hawthorne Pool.  The colors were not as colorful as they were last year.  I think we missed the peak season by one week. Still beautiful, though.


Another view.  Sir Husband and I walked down this way during a full moon.  It was amazing.


Some more views.  Really, who would get tired of looking at this?


Sir Husband at an overlook.


And The Violinist at another overlook.


Yep, I’d like to live near here.  :)

It’s a Privilege


We are making some changes around here.



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