Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can she bake a berry pie, Billy boy?

Why yes she can!

But maybe not with the spoils of yesterday's berry pickin' adventure.

My dearest and I grabbed a big bowl, put on our walking shoes and headed out to the three spots near our house that we know have brambles.  Our mouths were watering thinking of all the goodies to be made:  cobbler, jam, fruit salad...

We walked and picked and walked some more.  For the record, summer is HERE!

And here, in all their glory, are the spoils of our efforts:

Now, if I can only find a pan small enough to cook that cobbler in.

Side note: we brought home more ticks, bug bites and hay fever induced sneezes than berries. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

*^$#&%@ Lace

Welcome to the world of "hate doing lace, but keep doing it anyway."  

What is that old saying, what doesn't kill you, will only make you stronger?  If this is the case, then I am on my way to becoming Popeye.

So, in an effort to keep de-stashing, I have pulled out some lovely pink yarn that has had several different potential patterns.  Cascade Alpaca Lace (colorway 1403) has been sitting in my craft room for over a year, it has thought it wanted to be socks, then a scarf, then it got confused and went into hiding.  A ball of Crystal Palace Kid Merino (colorway 9801) was purchased late last Fall, thinking it would be held with the Lace to add a loftiness to whatever the yarn said it wanted to be.  Quite frankly, both yarns developed an attitude problem and had to be put in time out.

Last week, it told me it would like to become "Vicuna Scarf" from Luxury One Skein Wonders.  It was wrong.  Rip. Now it has decided that it will become "Falling Leaves Mohair-Silk Scarf" from the same book. Five rows in, oops, rip.  Rinse, repeat, rip again!  I will do this!

On the other end of the scarf spectrum, my final installment of the Colts Super Scarves is plugging along...perhaps my lack of enthusiasm stems from the fact that  There, I said it! 

That's it for WIP's around here.  (just between you and me, knitting has taken a back seat to playing with Minerva)  

Linking to: Tami's Ami's WIPW

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I thought I saw a cwaaazzyy human...

EEEEEEKKKK!!! I DID, I DID see a cwaaazzzyy human!

Yes, this is what I do on those lonely Tuesday nights when my darlin' is out fishing.  I crouch behind stuff in the entry way lying in wait for the poor unsuspecting hummingbird.  Much like these two...

Only I have super mad hiding skills.  

Anything is better than biting the bullet and going upstairs to finish putting a teenager's bedroom back together that I tore apart to repaint and rearrange.  Could be worse, I could be sitting on the couch eating swiss cake rolls watching episode after episode of "The Real Housewives of Everywhere" like I did all day Sunday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meet Minerva!

What an exciting last few days in my house.  

Minerva is such a good girl.

To be sure, she has kept her Mama busy, what with the feedings she has required and keeping me up most of the night, but she is worth it.  As predicted, she went from a blonde to a brunette.

Here are a few of the first pics of her...

Gotta go...Minerva is hungry again...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear Deer,

The salad bar is CLOSED!

Step away from the beans...

Pretty and tasty looking things in the big wooden box that happen to be growing at your tasting level are OFF LIMITS.  

However, feel free to snack on the apples that have fallen on the ground...that way my children will not feel compelled to use them as baseballs and I won't fling them with the mower.


Friday, June 24, 2011

My baby is here!

She arrived yesterday afternoon, weighing in at 15#.  Currently she is a blonde, but expect that to change over the weekend.  No pics yet as Mama wants to keep her to herself for a few days. Her name is Minerva.

Now on to what Friday is all about, the FO's.

Sad to report that I only have one for today.  Well, actually a pair if you want to be technical.

The Crazy Zauberball socks are done.  And they appear to live up to their name.  They were made with the intention of being comfy slouchy socks to throw on with a pair of worn-in jeans and slip into a pair of Birkies.  Mission accomplished.  Visibly, they don't appear matchy matchy, since, for a change, I did not go all OCD and fret about matching up the color variations.  Surprisingly, it is quite nice outside of THAT box!  

On another note, it is with great sadness that I report the impending demise of a couple of Formerly Reported FO's.  The Ruched Yoke Tee and the Ruffles Cardigan are both about to hit the "ripping" table.  Here is the lowdown on this sad tale...the Ruched Yoke Tee, while very very pretty, is very, very, itchy and although the body portion fits, the yoke slides right off my shoulders repeatedly.  Now, this would be fine if I was about 20-something years younger, but I don't think anyone really cares to see all that at this point in my life!  After, looking through Ravelry notes about this tee, I found others with the same problem.  The Ruffles Cardigan fits until I wear it for any length of time and then it grows to gargantuan proportions.  Pima Cotton...'nuff said.  Well, that and the whole conversation about how I need to stop making size medium out of yarns I know are gonna do that.  All this being said, do not mourn the loss of these two items, as that is one of the beauties of this it, soak it, and try something else.  Not so easy with something you sew (although it can be done).

Ya'll have a great weekend...I'm gonna play with my baby...but first hop over to Tami's to see what came of needles and is gonna stay off needles...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Are you ready for some feetball?

It's been a long time since I actually participated in a WIPW.  You would think that since it is summer and you are supposed to relax and just chill that there would be loads of time to knit and get caught up on all those straggly projects.  Yeah, not so much.

Rumors still abound that there will be no Superbowl this year.  Frankly, I have no clue, all I DO know is that finally I have started my last scarf contribution to the Super Scarves project.  This is my third one.  The paperwork says that all scarves must be received by November 30, 2011.  My normal approach would have been to wait until about November 27 to even start this last one, but the balls of yarn have been taking up valuable stash space in my cabinets and it's time for something else to move in.

 The Crazy Zauberball socks have been fun and quite colorful, but I'm ready to start on something else.  Maybe, perhaps, something that is supposed to be delivered tomorrow...

Pick your Internet perusing feet up and walk over to Tami's to see what is happening at her stomping grounds. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Easy Summer Livin'

Hello Summer...I've missed you.

The green beans are beaning...

The tomatoes are 'matering...

In honor of today being the first day of summer, thought I would share my favorite (adult) summer drink.  This is very refreshing and easy to keep a tubful in the freezer.

Summer Slush

1-6oz can frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
2-6oz cans Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
2-6oz cans Frozen Limeade Concentrate
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups Vodka

Stir in a freezer safe pitcher or storage container, place in freezer.  Stir occasionally. 
To serve, either scoop directly into glasses or mix a few scoops in the blender to make it smoother/slushier.  (Works fine without the vodka as well, but where's the fun in that?)

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bald and The Booming...

I can't be trusted.

But it's not really my fault.  I have a loyalty to my cats.  I am their Meowmy afterall.  

He may look pitifully, pathetically, sorta bald, but believe me, he is much more comfortable.  And since he does not have internet access, he'll never know this is out there for all the world to see.  Shhhhhh.....

This morning on the way to work, I managed to snap probably the world's worst phone camera picture of the weather around me.  It is hard to do anything decent when your hubby is driving (the speed limit), it is pretty dark outside as you watch the lightning display ahead of you that you are getting ready to drive into and your lap is full of your drive time knitting.  Trust me, this storm was a doozy!  It was moving eastward, but there were wind gusts circling it back around from the southeast.  All that swirling and booming had me looking for my ruby slippers!

Now, it is simply muggy, hot, steamy, damp, sticky, and dank.  No, just saying humid could not possibly convey the message.  

Stay dry and stay safe!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Friday

Haven't done this in a long time, so let's do a run down of Five Fabulous Things on Friday.  

1.  It is Friday, so of course that means it is Jimmy John's Friday.   What's not to love?

2.  An afternoon break with a treat from Mrs. Curl.

3.  Bug bites almost gone...that is until I work in the yard again this weekend.

4.  The total of  5 kids between us making us not quite the Brady Bunch.

5.  It is Friday people!  Nothing else to say!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

All because of the full moon...

...seems like as good of an excuse as any!

Here's the short list of my world this week:

1.  At this point in time, we can no longer walk through the back of the shop due to the cases and cases of shirts to be printed.  To be sure this is a good problem, but the stacks are so tall, I kinda feel like a mouse in a maze.  The UPS guy is not very happy either, since there is zero space to offload more deliveries.

2.  One day of a super early start combined with a late ending to the day, plus some extra errands has made for little time to get much of anything else done.  Normal knitting time in the car to and from work, puh-lease! about prime napping time.

3.  One dog killing yet another set of clippers and resorting to hand trimming with scissors to partway straighten up the trim so he doesn't look mangy led to replacement AGAIN with the biggest, baddest, heaviest dutiest set of clippers I could find. Said dog is now mostly bald, but much more comfortable, and as he gets embarrassed easily, asked for no new picture updates.

4.  Yesterday was our 5th wedding anniversary.  Thank you to my darling husband for our life.  I love him with all my heart and soul and cannot imagine a world without him.  Mo Anam Cara

5.  As my family says, "I got a new kitty"  No, not literally.  I have no idea how this got started, but we keep it going...whenever one of us gets something new/exciting that we have been pining for...that is what we say.  This is my new kitty.  Or it will be as soon as it comes in and I stain it, wax it, and put it together.

6.  Today is my birthday...I am officially 39 and 72 months old.  It has been a big day for eating out.  Wes took me to Oaken Barrel for lunch and then to Ru Yi for dinner.  Two fabulous meals, but wow am I stuffed!  

7.  I rather like my fortune from the after dinner cookie:

Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Hair Raising Event aka Oops I Did It Again told by Jack.

Hello, my name is Jack.  I am a Golden Retriever that technically belongs to a boy in this house, but we know what that really means.  My Mama Dina takes care of me.  She feeds me, gives me water, takes me on runs, plays with me, loves me and protects me from the evil chipmunks around the lake. 

I have really long hair, and have a tendency to get a little stinky.  It's not my fault...I do what lots of boys do.  I jump in the lake and call that a bath in the summertime. Maybe I don't exactly take a bath the way Mama wants me to, but in the summer it gets hot (IF I decide to go outside) and the great big pool of water looks nice to me.  I really like it when Mama gives me a bath inside.  She gets the shampoo and towels out and I run get in her shower.  It's loads of fun.

Today was hair did day for me.  Here I am before the big event...

In case you were wondering, yes, that is my natural color and no I do not perm my hair.  Well, as you can see I am in need of a summer do.  Not to brag or anything, but I have killed two hair clippers all by myself.  Today, Mama got a brand new set of professional grade, super heavy duty, made for long hairs like me, clippers.  Yay!  Clippers are like getting a massage.  It hums and feels soooo good on my tummy and on my back.  (Don't tell anyone, but I fell asleep and started drooling while she was cutting my hair.)

And then...

It happened...


I killed the  brand spanking new set of clippers.  Since it was getting late and dark, Mama just forged ahead with the scissors  and comb to get me presentable until she can get ANOTHER set.  Not sure what this means, but I overheard her saying something about sheep shears.

Anyway, I rolled around and nuzzled up to thank her for the hair cut and the shower off before coming back inside.  Yeah, I am a little uneven, but that is probably a little bit my fault cuz I don't like to stand up during this fun time, I prefer to stand up and flop on her feet over and over again.

My goodness, that was exhausting.  Me and Hedgehog are gonna take a nap now.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

And now we know...

The mystery has been solved.  

Nope, not pumpkin or squash or OJ, or soup, or applesauce or anything like that.

Thanks to a daring teenager, the results from tasting were, "it tastes like milk."

OH YEAH!, now I remember...

During the super soap making spectacle, I had reconstituted some condensed goat milk and only needed half of what was made.  Distinctly remember putting the baggy of milk in the freezer and thinking that I better label it or I will forget what it is.  Sadly, I forgot to remember so that I wouldn't forget, but at least now I have remembered what I forgot.

Thanks for everyone's help...and yes, it is now labeled. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm not gonna try it...YOU try it!

I have been gone for the last week and returning home is always interesting.  Wes has been fending for himself.  Before leaving, we went to the grocery store to stock up on some provisions for him for the week.  If we had not done this, his meals would have consisted of Nutty Bars, grilled cheese & soup, or Taco Bell.  Not exactly the best...

Late Thursday night when I got home, I was searching for a little snack before collapsing in bed.  Looked in the freezer and found a freezer bag that I could not remember what in the world it contains.  Now, I remember filling the bag and putting it in there thinking I would label it sooner rather than later.  The problem is, I have absolutely zero memory of what it is.  

I have poked it, smelled it, and stared at it.  But, gotta draw the line somewhere...I'm NOT gonna taste it...YOU taste it...

Anyone else have a clue?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mother every time

After much cajoling, begging, pleading, guilting, and then the thing that sealed the deal..."you can always call it my birthday present!"

My boys...goobers...sweeties...I love 'em fiercely.

The photo below is one of my favorites.  It is framed and sits on a table at my parent's house.  Mother always said that she much preferred the silly pics and out-takes more than professionally done serious ones.  She really was on to something.  Personalities shine through so much more when you just snap away and let them be.

May 1998:

June 2011:

Now, if I can just convince them to let me recreate these...

Yeah, I'm not gonna hold my breath...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Going Home

I am at my childhood home for the next few days staying with my Daddy and helping him during his recovery from rotator cuff surgery.

Going home is always a special time...spending hours with Daddy and my sister and brother-in-law. The boys hang out with us as well.

This afternoon, the boys and I went out for a late lunch. When we returned to the house, I used all of my motherly guilt tactics to try to convince them that we needed to recreate one of my favorite pictures of them that my mother framed years ago. All three boys are up in the dogwood tree acting silly. It is such a perfect representation of how goofy they can be. Upon suggesting this recreation and photographic documentation, I was met with looks that can certainly scare a mommy into realizing that your men/boys think their mother is delusional and is convinced they are still itty bitty (sorta like the demented Easter bunny scene from "A Christmas Story")

Unfortunately, I cannot even insert a pic of my favorite pic because my technological savviness is lacking.

Daddy is recuperating nicely. He is officially off the pain meds and is getting a little cranky. Sorry, Daddy, but in my experience, you know men are getting better when they start getting a little cranky and women are getting better when they start putting their faces back on!

Maybe tomorrow I can figure out some photo affixing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fiber Festival Fiber Fondling Frenzy

Yesterday and today were the Hoosier Hills Fiber Arts Festival held in Franklin, IN.  Last year was my first year to attend and it was a little bit overwhelming.  So much fiber, so little time, and so little pre-planning!  Not so this time.

A couple of friends and I left early this morning.  Since we went last year, we thought ahead and went with projects in mind...and pertinent pattern particulars.  Remembering the vast quantities of spinning paraphernalia, I was ready to add some stash for my latest overwhelming obsession hobby.  The choices are mind boggling.  Fortunately, this is one type of event where touching and holding the merchandise is encouraged. 

My knitting yarn stash is pretty set (for now) so, I had my eyes on the lookout for some roving or top that I could not live without.  My choice of spinning wheel has been determined, but have to do a bit more penny pinching to give myself permission to make the purchase.  In the meantime, the spindle is going to get a workout. 

The pictures do not do the fibers justice.  It has been a little nutso busy around here and someone <me> forgot to charge the camera battery and, well, we all know the sad tale of phone pics.  

The bat shown below is actually more a combination of ochre, mauve, purple, pink, red and metallic gold fibers.  In real life it does NOT look like a pile of I don't know what...promise!

The second bat photographed a little bit better, but you still cannot fully appreciate the depth and variation of the greens, blues, purples and the silver fiber.  Both are shown folded in half, with each weighing in at 2.6 oz.

Both of the above bats came from the vendor Lunabudknits.  She has some seriously pretty stuff!

Next came some roving in pretty purples and grays (hmmm, there seems to be a trend here with the last I may be off my green kick!)  While you cannot tell much from these squishy bowling ball looking things, the sample of homespun made from this was G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.  It came from the Valhalla Acres Fiber Farm vendor and each ball weighs in at 4 oz.  I got ten of them, so it is a safe bet that the spindle is gonna be spinning for quite some time...this could be good (or bad depending on how you look at it and the bank account) and cause me to bite the bullet and make that phone call to order my wheel. 

Thanks Jane and Liz for a great morning!  Can't wait until next year...hopefully this stuff will all be spun up and knitted up into something before then.  Stranger things have happened.

Friday, June 3, 2011

She's saucy!!!

When Alex was little, he would say the funniest things.  We would go over to my parents' house for movie night.  My mother had, a few years earlier, discovered MTV. (let's not forget her slight obsession with David Lee Roth in spandex and the fact that when I moved back home during grad school, she could be heard coming down the street with the bass pumping and on more than one occasion I had to ask her to plleeeaaassse turn that music down so I could study).  Anyway, often upon our arrival, MTV would be on.  One time a comment was made, which led to frequent and seemingly never ending repetition of this comment made by a curly headed blonde chubby cheeked little boy, when watching a Gloria Estefan video in which she was wearing leather chaps..."She's saucy!"

Where am I going with this?

No, I have not resorted to drying pasta on the back porch staircase.  This is....MY yarn.  Below are the two skeins  of 2 ply from the first two cakes of yarn that I did on the spinning wheel.  There is enough to make a pair of slippers or short-ish socks.

These two skeins are the results from plying 2 strands from the cakes of yarn made with the drop spindle.  Don't mat or scarf?  Still toying around with plans for dying it also.

Socks..yes, socks again.  The best part is that one and a half of them was finished nearly a year and a half ago and then I got seriously sidetracked.  They are from a Flat Feet swatch.  Don't even remember what the pattern used was because Saturday after I finished the second sock, I promptly gave the pattern away.

I am happy to no longer be suffering from the dreaded Sock Syndrome that can befall knitters.

Happy FOF!  There are a bunch of really socksy people posting FOs at Tami's.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Stinky Cavities

First, I'm sorry.  I have no clue what comes over me when I sit down to write these and think up titles.  

Love me for my warpedness anyway? (yeah, so I make up words too!)

Previously, there was a promise made to share a couple of other homemade HBA recipes...specifically for deodorant and toothpaste.  Please tell me that you have been using something and not just sitting around waiting for me to post these.  I really don't want to have to descend to the pit of despair and gnash my teeth with guilt for not having gotten to this sooner.  (sorry...the chocolate ice cream made me say it)

Mint Toothpaste

6 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons glycerin (food grade)
peppermint essential oil

This is the starting point.  Begin mixing the baking soda with the glycerin.  We play around with it a lot to get the consistency we like.  It will NOT be thick pasty, but you can make it that way by adding less glycerin.  We store ours in a squeezy bottle, but you could also keep it in a little jar with a lid.  Start with about 10 drops of essential oil and just add until it is the strength YOU like.  Cinnamon oil can also be used, but be careful it can get hot hot hot!  My first reaction was nope, no way I don't like it, it is too salty/gritty.  But then, I bit the bullet and kept using it.  After a couple of days, WOW!  No joke, my teeth were literally squeaky clean.  My whole mouth feels fresh.  Honestly, they feel and look cleaner than even after a dental cleaning.  


***I have super duper highly sensitive skin, so am being totally honest with my experiences with this does work, but for me, I have to be careful to avoid developing a rash (from what I have read, this is likely due to the coconut oil)...can only use it 2 to 3 times a week.  However, even with that infrequent use, it still works on the days when I don't use it.  Don't ask me how, I don't know, it just does.  This is NOT an antiperspirant...I, for one, and because of a specific significant family history, am none too keen about some of the research I have been reading about some of the ingredients and their negative impact.***

1/3 cup baking soda
2/3 cup corn starch
5 tablespoons coconut oil
about 1 to 2 teaspoons beeswax

Mix the baking soda and cornstarch.  In a small double boiler, melt the coconut oil and beeswax.  Add the dry mix and stir well.  It should be fairly liquid at this point.  Here's the fun part...take an empty stick deodorant container, roll it all the way down and pour your mixture in.  Let it cool and TA DA! you have stick deodorant!

So, there you have it...

A quick internet search will yield many more recipe options, but this is what we use and love.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Don't taunt the Crazy Zauberball!

One of my favorite spoofs on Saturday Night Live was Happy Fun Ball.

It cracks me up, mainly because my father was a pharmacist so I grew up around all sorts of pharmaceutical journals, drug literature and other information and it does seem that this spoof is eerily more accurate than we would probably like to admit.  So, when I found a Crazy Zauberball, I had to have it.   Who could resist a ball of boldly colored sock yarn that comes with a warning to NOT pull from the center!  OOOOHHH, don't taunt the Craaaazy Zauberball!!!!

I've got socks on the brain as I muddle through trying to do a little bit of stash busting.  It's amazing how the sock yarn multiplies in my stash.  I swear I don't buy it, it just appears...yeah right.  But c'mon, sock yarn is such a simple indulgence.  It is relatively small (making for a truly portable project), usually inexpensive in the grand scheme, and my oh my the things they can make those yarns do on their own.  What's not to love about a yarn that creates a fair isle look without all the fuss?

Colorway: 1564
Sock pattern:  Lightweight Socks from Knitting Pure and Simple  (this is a nice, simple plain jane sock)  
Needles:  US 3 mini circs (I hate hate hate dpn's)

As this is another installment in WIPW, everyone at Tami's is taunting the world with teasing peeks at what they are working on.  Go visit, it'll be worth it.  Promise!


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