Monday, June 30, 2008

Local Goodness

Every town has its oddities. Every town also has its local greasy spoon that people either love or hate. My hometown has Krekels, which manages to combine both categories.

Krekels has been around since at least the 1950's, if not a little earlier, and is known for its thin hamburgers (very much like those at Steak 'N Shake) and soft-serve ice cream cones, particularly the lemon flavor (though my favorite is chocolate). The owner of Krekels was known for running a very tight ship. I remember going there as a little girl and hearing him bark out orders and get on his employees for not going fast enough.

Mr. Krekel, however, was also known for this:
I believe there are at least two of them, perhaps more now. You always knew he was there if you saw the chicken car. Of course, you also knew where he was, regardless. The chicken car is not subtle.

I've been told Bobbie's Dairy Dip is a great local place here in Nashville for a good burger, but we haven't been yet. It certainly has the same vibe as Krekels, minus the chicken car.

What sort of local establishments do you like to indulge in?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ragamuffintop Challenge: Week 5

Ragamuffintop Challenge: Week 5 from Julie Persinger on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where's My Seatbelt?

I've mentioned before that my family is going to Michigan on July 11 to spend a week at family camp. Needless to say, this event is looked on with great anticipation by all of us. Last night, though, life through us a curve ball. A good one, but a curve ball nonetheless.

Now, instead of having the next 16 days to leisurely get ready for our trip, it seems we are also going to Missouri and California BEFORE we go to Michigan. Yikes.

The trip to Missouri is to spend a few days with Greg's parents and pick up the car we have sort of inherited. However, the trip now will serve as double-duty because we are hoping the kids can stay with them for a few days while Greg and I fly to California. Greg has a new business opportunity with two friends there, which should be great - but we need to fly out to have some meetings to get all the details hashed out. Hopefully, Greg and I will be in San Francisco for two days, then fly back to Missouri and then drive from there to Michigan the next day.

In the midst of this, I'm still trying to figure out how to pay the bills and get everything done. I'm teaching a class at the Neighborhood Knit Shop on Saturday, then I'll be at church most of the day on Sunday, Greg has a day trip to Dayton, OH on July 1 and we hope to leave for Missouri on July 2. Oh, and I'm scheduled to teach another knitting class the day after we return from Michigan.

I think I'd better buckle up. It may be a bumpy ride. If I don't post as much in the next three weeks, I hope you understand.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tell Me...

Tell me what you're reading. I love to read and will read just about anything. Biographies are a favorite of mine, along with mysteries. Fiction, non-fiction - it doesn't really matter. Romance and western genres aren't high on my list, but if you present a strong endorsement, I would be willing to try it.

Right now I am reading All Hallows Eve by Charles Williams. It is an excellent book, but not one I would recommend for everyone. If you click the title, you can read the summary and reviews on Amazon. The story is rather difficult to explain, so I'll leave it to you to check it out if you're interested. I will say, though, that Williams was a member of the Inklings group, along with J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and others.

One of my favorite features of modern technology is being able to go to the library's website and see which branches have the book I am interested in AND being able to request that it be brought to my branch for me. In fact, I just requested a book this weekend: Failure Is Not An Option by Gene Kranz. I can't wait!

So tell me what you're reading now, or if there's anything that you would recommend that you've read recently.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Silent Tsunami

Have you noticed the Compassion child sponsorship widget I added to my sidebar a few weeks ago? I recently signed up to sponsor a child and want to encourage you to consider doing the same. I also want to share some information with you about the Global Food Crisis Fund and how you can help.

Over the past year, the price for staple foods like rice, wheat and beans has doubled. I'm sure all of us are feeling the effects of increased food prices - I know I am. In parts of the world where people are living on $1 a day, these changed prices mean they are now spending up to 80% of their budget just on food. As a result, millions of people are going hungry. This food crisis is being called "a silent tsunami" by the World Food Programme and it is affecting families in every nation.

What is causing the this crisis? Rising fuel costs, increased food demand from highly populated countries like India and China, natural disasters damaging or destroying crops, the growth of biofuels...all play a part.

Here's what you can do to help!

Compassion International has started the Global Food Crisis Fund to provide aid to those most affected by the rising cost of food. You can learn more about this fund here. Donations can be made there as well. Your donations to the fund will provide food vouchers to those in immediate need, seeds and agricultural tools so people can both grow their own food and earn extra income, and supplemental nutrition services offered at Compassion-assisted centers worldwide.

You can also participate in Compassion's day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, June 25, praying for all those who are feeling the effects of this silent tsunami.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ragamuffintop Challenge: Week 4

RC 6/21/08 from Julie Persinger on Vimeo.

You can see how the other Ragamuffintops are doing here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bringing Back the Borg

CraftBorg is with vlogging.

Check it out here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Knitting and a Thought

Knitting has been done this week. I both started and finished these socks, which are Rose's Fred & George pattern:
It was with great joy that I realized I had enough leftovers of two favorite yarns to knit a pair of of these - the variegated yarn is Socks That Rock (colorway: Moss Agate) and the nearly-solid is Dream in Color's Smooshy (colorway: Merlot).

Yesterday I realized that I had a few things deep in the knitting bag that have been sorely neglected, so I shall endeavor to finish them in the coming weeks. Some of you will remember this scarf, which is (slowly) getting longer:
But I don't think anyone has seen this's Judy "Magic Cast On" Becker's Tangled Up In Blue pattern:
It shouldn't take long to knit the cuff and then I'll be ready to knit the second sock. This yarn is what I received ages ago in the Dye-o-Rama Swap - it was dyed with Kool-Aid!

I will leave you with this thought (another from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity) - Lewis is speaking of his spiritual life, but I can see how it could apply to other areas of life where one aspires to be changed:
"If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and resown."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Think of it as a meet & greet

I would love to hear from you guys today - so let's think of today as a little bloggy meet & greet. Brad did this yesterday on his blog and I realized I've never asked you to do this.

I would love for you to leave a comment, letting us know:
I look forward to getting to know you a little better!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Move Over, Knitters

We've got another knitter among us. As some of you may recall, I introduced Natalie to knitting last year and we worked on it when she would ask. Her yarn and needles sat untouched for many months, but this weekend she asked when she would be old enough to knit by herself. I told her that at 6, she was already plenty old enough to knit by herself if she was ready to really listen to the instructions.

I quickly realized that continental knitting wasn't working for Natalie, mostly due to learning to hold the yarn - so we switched to English style and just letting the working yarn hang (rather than wrapping around her fingers). That made all the difference for her. She knit all evening and picked it up again as soon as she woke up the next morning! As a result, I am proud to show you Natalie's first FO (finished object, for the non-knitters):
Here's a close-up...the bottom third is where I cast on and got it started last year, also where she knit along with me (operating the right needle). The rest is all her own handiwork, even the bind-off.
And here it is, in its intended use...a blanket for her dog, Otis:

Finally, here's an extreme close-up of something I'm working on this weekend:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ragamuffintop Challenge: Week 3

So this week finds me down another 1.5 pounds. I'm not complaining. Especially since there have been brownies in my house the past two days.

Total Loss to Date: 6.5 lbs
Short-term Goal: 15 lbs by July 11

Check out how all the Ragamuffintops are doing this week over at Los' blog.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Socks and a Thought

I finally finished the RPM socks I've been working on. I wasn't sure how I would like the pattern with a solid-color yarn, but I'm happy with it. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solid in Loden.

I pulled out my old copy of Devotional Classics yesterday (which I've had since college), hoping for some fresh inspiration or insight. The first excerpt is from the classic Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and the following quote as been on my mind since I read it:
"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."
Are you still in your shell?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

I like a big drink. A big drink with lots of ice. Preferably the heavenly chips of ice from Sonic, but I can't have those on hand at home. I get very frustrated when I go to my in-laws' house because they seem to have the smallest drinking glasses known to mankind.

Recently, Greg asked me to find him an insulated cup or mug that he could use for water - something that would stay cold. You used to be able to buy that sort of thing at Target or WalMart, but not so much anymore. Now it's mostly cool insulated cups/mugs for coffee. I did, however, stumble upon this gem:
The Bubba Keg. Yes, that really is the brand name. I purchased the 34 oz Bubba Keg, but they come in a variety of sizes.

Mysteriously, the lid of the Bubba Keg leaks for Greg, but it does not for me, so now it is mine! I think it needs a name, though - something other than "Bubba," but equally redneck.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ragamuffintop Challenge: Short-term Goal

I've been thinking a lot about my goals with the Ragamuffintop Challenge and finally came up with a good short-term goal. Four weeks from today, on July 11 (incidentally, Greg's birthday), we will be driving to Michigan to spend a glorious week here at Family Camp.

My goal is to lose 10 pounds in the next four weeks. I think that is attainable, but yet not necessarily all smooth sailing. I'll still have to work for it! Since I had a good loss last week, that would bring my total to 15 pounds gone.

There's still a long way to go, but 15 pounds is nothing to shake a stick at.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

What does this mean?

Dear Mr. Creative Director,

So many thoughts ran through my mind when I came out of church and saw this today. Your inner diva shines through, leaving your wife's Mini Cooper blatantly parked right in front of the main entrance like that.

I have to wonder though, were you competing with the golf cart for a spot on the sidewalk?

A Confused Church Member

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Ragamuffintop Challenge: Week 2

OK, just got back from Illinois an hour ago, but wanted to throw a quick picture up so I don't get harassed about where my Ragamuffintop Challenge post is! Due to horrible weather and wind, I did not get to walk every day while I was in IL, but my eating was definitely better than it had been and my fluid intake was much better, too.

*UPDATE: It is Sunday morning and I am very pleased to say that I have lost 5 pounds! Yes, I know not to expect that again...slow and steady and all that...but 5 pounds is a nice little jump start. This week, I can't make excuses; even if the weather is bad, there's a treadmill in my basement so I have to walk!

You can see how the other Ragamuffintops are doing here.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Too Much

We have gotten a lot of rain in central Illinois since I've been here at my parents' house, and apparently they had quite a bit before I came up. On my drive up last weekend, I saw lots of standing water in the corn and soybean fields as I got closer. My parents live in Decatur, IL, which is essentially a blue-collar town surrounded by farmland. There is a lake in Decatur (aptly named Lake Decatur) and due to all the rain, there is now too much water in the lake. Mom took me down there yesterday to take some pictures.

I was standing on the patio of a little restaurant that has been by the docks forever. If you go down the steps from the patio, you cross the wide sidewalk that runs along the lake (lots of people walk here) and go onto the picnic table pavilion.
This view is standing on the steps that take you down onto walkway and pavilion.
After the pavilion, the sidewalk continues on down the lake toward the boat club docks...or not.
There is also a concrete pier that goes out near here, but the only indication now is the row of light poles.
Another view on the pavilion:
And a look down the lake - this section is all blocked off for now.
These guys seem to be the only ones who don't mind the extra water.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Trivial Information

I am so out of my blogging groove, being away from home. I'm not sure why, since I have full internet access and can even take my mom's MacBook anywhere in the house (I have an iMac at home. not portable.). So today I saw these questions on Amanda's blog and now you get to learn trivial information about me. Lucky you!

1) What was I doing ten years ago?

I had been married for just over 3 months and Greg was on tour with Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn, so he was only home for 24 hrs every 2-3 weeks (for 9 months). I had just working for a large law firm downtown and quickly realized that I hated it. I was not yet knitting, but it was around this time that I started scrapbooking.

2) What are five things on my to-do list for today:

  • Catch up on reading some blogs
  • Work on the sock I'm knitting
  • Call a new friend that I met on Monday and try to get together with her
  • Remind Greg to go to the bank before 2:00
  • Watch The Water Horse

3) Snacks I enjoy:

  • Terry's Chocolate Oranges
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • Doritos (original, not the flavored ones)
  • Blue Diamond Natural almonds (especially the vanilla bean ones)

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • Repay both my parents and Greg's for all the financial help they have given us over the years
  • Pour massive amounts into my church
  • Ensure long-term full support for my friend and her husband who are missionaries with YWAM in South Africa
  • Buy a Wii and whatever games I wanted to go with it
  • Buy or build a bigger house with a normal-sized bathroom (ours is tiny)

5) Places I have lived:

  • I was born and raised in Decatur, IL
  • spent 4 years in college in Wheaton, IL
  • lived for a year after college in Newquay, Cornwall (England)
  • lived with my sister for a year in Champaign, IL after returning from England
  • moved to Nashville once Greg and I were married

6) Jobs I have had:

  • Administrative Asst./Personal Lackey for a real estate developer (truly one of the most horrible people I have ever met)
  • Administrative Asst. for the Human Resources Director at a large law firm
  • Worked for a friend's merchandising company (no title, it was just me and him)
  • Teaching both piano and violin

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I feel very restless tonight. I'm not sure why. OK, that's not entirely true. I'm craving relationship. That's mostly why. I have lots and lots of friends online, some of whom are some of my dearest friends - but I have very few friends in real life. Since we switched churches last fall and started going to Cross Point, I've met lots of people and have started building relationships there - but it takes time. I don't like the fact that it takes time.

I miss having friends who really get me. (and like me anyway.)

Part of me wants to just delete this post and pretend I never wrote it. Kinda makes me feel like a loser, if you want the truth. I'm guessing most of us feel this way sometimes and I'm sure I'm not alone. I know there's no quick fix, though I have considered launching a friend recruitment campaign. I don't think I would have adequate funding to really make it appealing to the masses.

I'd drown my sorrows (being overly dramatic here - I'm fine, just feeling restless tonight) in chocolate, but I'm not doing that anymore.

P.S. wasn't able to go for a walk today because it's so freakishly humid that I would have practically needed a scuba mask to spend more than a few minutes outside.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

One Giant Photo Op

As I mentioned, we went to the St. Louis Zoo on Sunday. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it. Here are some glimpses of our day.
And finally,
It's a rainy day today, but later this afternoon I am going to meet up with my sister and a friend for dinner and Wii. I've never played and I can't wait!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ragamuffintop Challenge - Week 1

I mentioned a few days ago that I was going to take action against the sloth and gluttony, so here goes. Carlos says we have to have a measurable goal and to tell you the truth, I haven't decided yet what that is for this challenge. I am out of town this week (visiting my parents in Illinois), so I feel a little discombobulated. However, my goal for this week is to walk every day. We drove 2.5 hrs to St. Louis today and walked the zoo for 8 hours, so that's a start.

We are also supposed to post a photo or video in these weekly updates, so here I am. Hey, he didn't specify that it had to be a full body shot or anything, so this is all you get today. I know I look thrilled, but it's late and I'm tired from walking at the zoo all day.
So yeah. My goal for the week is to walk every day - oh, and up the water intake. I've definitely slacked in that department, too.

You can see how all of us Ragamuffintops are doing over here.