Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer pleasures (with no guilt)

Hi there,
Summer has definitely hit North Carolina! We're suffering through record-breaking highs, the heat has been brutal, and it is so dry. We desperately need rain. However, we've had other summers similar to this, and the rain will come.

Look how brown our grass is! Steve loves his yard, but it would be impossible to keep the lawn watered enough to stay green. Even neighbors with sprinkler systems are letting theirs turn brown because of the high water bills, although no restrictions are in place as of now. Leaves are falling off the trees making it look like autumn.

I was thinking this morning about how much I enjoy summer. It is very quiet on campus, even though there is lots of construction and campers around.

When I'm in summer mode, there are plenty of things that I take off the to-do list. Like vacuuming, cooking, really household projects of any sort. And there are things I add to my weekly grind for sheer enjoyment and to feel like a perpetual teenager.

Sunday morning, June 21

My #1 favorite thing is lying by the swimming pool with an occasional dip to stay cool. Neighborhood pools are extremely common in Charlotte. Ours is just perfect. It is small, impeccably clean, has friendly college-age lifeguards, and if you time it right it is hardly ever busy. Sunday morning I almost had the pool to myself. Two hours of pure bliss. Beverage, snack, Kindle Paperwhite . . . with leather cover in Persimmon.

Other favorite things:

  • Streaming Netflix (just started watching Parks and Recreation from the beginning)
  • Watching reality TV of all sorts (like you don't do this?!)
  • June Weddings Hallmark movies

Frosted Lemonade

  • Knitting socks
  • Knitting dishcloths
  • Reading magazines

  • Listening to 70s on 7 on SiriusXM radio while driving Charlotte -- junior high/high school music! Karen Carpenter (I can't think of anyone past or present who has a lovelier voice)! Disco! Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds (1975's Baby Baby Fallin' in Love, first slow dance in 9th grade with my crush, who later became my husband)!
  • Dining al fresco (that means outside, not nekked) at our favorite local restaurants
  • Flipping channels to find a Red Sox game at Boston's Fenway Park (where we went on vacation last summer)
  • Scanning through knitting blogs, following along as Karen knits her daughter's wedding shawl!
  • Time with granddog Bear
  • Wearing pjs on the deck after dark with a glass of chilled Riesling
  • My secret chocolate stash

And my new discovery!!!! Coloring books for adults paired with colored pencils! I just found out about these! It's supposed to be a huge stress reliever. Certain yarn shops are selling them online, but after researching, I can tell you that they are cheaper on

That's everything I can think of at the moment, but I'd love to know what you find especially joyful in the summer.

xoxo Tammy 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Weather Graduation

Photo by Stormin Steve

Hi there,
May I present to you the graduates of the Class of 2015 SKYWARN® storm spotters online training course. These seven brave classmates and two administrators will forever after be known as the Super SKYWARN® Spotter Squad (SSSS). As Principal and Chief Administrator, I would like to announce the awards bestowed upon each participant by me, and thank them for their loyalty and dedication to the mission. Each accomplished member of the Squad received a frame-able 8x10 certificate and bragging rights to all things pertaining to SSSS.

Doppler Dave - Co-Class President & Founder is hereby awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Severe Thunderstorm Critical Detection and PT Deployment.

Stormin Steve - Co-Class President & Founder is hereby awarded First Honors for Love of Learning and Analytics.

Altocumulus Alexa - Valedictorian, graduates summa cum laude for her valiant scholarship in all things Weather.

Arctic Enema Allen - Salutatorian, graduates magna cum laude (for being married to the Valedictorian) and for his tunnel funnel vision.

All Hail Adam - is hereby awarded the Citizenship Award for exhibiting qualities and characteristics of good sportsmanship and an overall spirit representative of the event.

Ben Breezy - is hereby awarded the Perfect Attendance Award for being present from start to finish.

Stephanie Sunshine - is hereby awarded the Best Overall Award for her academic performance, community service, and exemplary leadership demonstrated by bringing the best snack!

Sue-nami - Vice Principal & Chief Weather Officer is hereby awarded an Honorable Shout-out for her hostessing extraordinaire, specializing in serving dishes.

Typhoon Tammy - Principal & Chief Administrator

If you and your weather peeps are interested in establishing a similar squad, please visit: for more information. The main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. Your community could use this valuable human resource to form the first line of defense against severe weather.

And it's a great excuse for a weather party with nicknames and snacks!

xoxo Tammy 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

It's Cashmere!

Hi there,
Seriously, we went to the dealership on Saturday airquotes just to look airquotes.

I knew later this summer I would be shopping for a new vehicle, but I wanted to wait until the 2016's came out. If I was going to suffer the pain of the expense of a new vehicle, then it was going to be the newest of the new! And I was pretty sure to make it easy, I was just going to get an updated model of my current vehicle.

I had been driving a black Chevy Equinox for ten years. While it still had low mileage, it was starting to have some "issues":

  • I could not go through the car wash because in that situation the sun roof leaked. A lot! And I didn't even like the car enough to keep it clean, it was only transportation to and from work.
  • There was a day recently when I parked at work, and the key would not come out of the ignition. I could not turn the key to start or remove it. I got so flustered that I just walked away, went into my office, and prayed that someone would come by and steal it while it sat there unlocked! Later in the day when I tried again, after a few wiggles it was fine. But now with every stop at the grocery store, dry cleaners, etc., I held my breath re: that key.
  • Oh and the radio. When the engine is shut off and the driver's door is opened, the radio should stop playing, right? Well, it didn't for at least 10 minutes unless I opened and closed the rear door. Sometimes I'd forget during a Target run, to return to hear CCR still blaring from 95.7 fm as I approached. Quite embarrassing. 

But then I went online and got just a little bit enchanted with a different make/model. Why? Because I read the name of the vehicle's paint color . . . Cashmere Pearl. What knitter wouldn't love to drive a vehicle with that paint color name?!

Americans love their cars. We should be IN LOVE with our cars, right?

Please meet Charlotte. She's a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I love her.

xoxo Tammy 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Flip-Flops On

Hi there,
It's hard to believe that the local K-12 public schools are still in session until next week. It has felt like summer here for weeks now. I'm in favor of schools dismissing after Memorial Day, especially here in the South.


Here's some random info as we head into the weekend -- yaaaayy!!

I knit ONE ROW of the Theresa Gaffey Stole this week (that's 360 stitches, though). At this rate, I'll be 90 before it's finished! My knitting is really boring now so there's not much to share.

I love reading Dorothea Benton Frank's books in the summer. I'm currently reading on my Kindle her latest that came out in paperback, The Hurricane Sisters, and I pre-ordered her new one, All the Single Ladies, which comes out June 9.

I've downloaded the first chapters of quite a few other summer books, and I probably won't be able to get to them all. Another author I like is Sarah Pekkanen, and her new one is Things You Won't Say. I follow both of these authors on Twitter, and I've found that authors write interesting tweets!

I usually like to read at least one memoir over the summer, but I haven't identified that one yet. If someone has a suggestion, please share. I tend to like to read about contemporary people or celebrities. Why, I could not tell you!

My family and a few close friends are gathering at our house one evening this coming week so they can all take an online Weather course from the National Weather Service to become Official Storm Spotters. It's free, and they are all weather geeks. They have each come up with a weather nickname, and the event is instigated by Stormin Steve and Doppler Dave. I'm just going to be the weather snack girl, ha!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'd love to hear what you are knitting/reading this weekend and any recommendations you have for summer books.

xoxo Tammy