Monday, July 25, 2005

Great Mail Day - Moebius Neck Ring Success

A huge THANK YOU!!! to Lynne for sending me the much wanted Christmas Stitchin' leaflet from Leisure Arts. I have wanted that leaflet for such a long time. I had it years ago, and made a few things for my Mom out of it, and it went missing when I moved to get married. I went out to the mailbox this morning, and there it was - all the way from Australia!!! Also inside the package was a lovely postcard. Lynne had read my "wish" on one of the BB's and she RAOK'd me and sent it to me! What a total SWEETHEART! Thank you!!

Yes!! Two successes in one day - can it get any better than this?!! First, I finally got a picture of the white goldfinch near a yellow one, but that yellow one wanted to leave before I snapped his picture. He almost made it! :-) Ahhhh, but I got that little bugger.

We have been enjoying the birds so much this year. They've been so plentiful and just such a joy to watch. We keep learning and seeing new things all the time. Since the kids did their unit study on birds this past school year, we've become so much more aware of them and their habits. They are quite interesting little creatures!

My next success was finally getting the Moebius neck ring cast on. I was making it so much harder than it was. Kat clarified what I needed to know, and now I'm off and running. It's a pretty pattern, and I'm making it in a pale yellow using Plymouth Galway. Kat's directions called for Brown Sheep, but I couldn't find any colors that I liked or were neutral, so I came home and dug through my stash to find something that would work with my wardrobe. This is going to be for me - you hear that DD? You're not getting this one! :-)

Yesterday was a busy crafting day for all of us. DS picked out a fleece Star Wars panel last week and he made a blanket (actually more like a throw) out of it. He also got a couple of Star Wars pillow panels and made a pillow for his bed. He's talking about getting more fleece to make more blankets and all kinds of cool things for his room. I think I turned him into a monster when I taught him how to sew! DD started her jeans quilt. We spent a few hours cutting out squares of fleece and from the jeans. Then she sewed some together. She has a nice start - with it about the size of a baby blanket right now. I'll have to put her off working on it a couple of days, as it's supposed to get unbearably hot again the next few days. Oh, to have central air.....

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sunday.... A day of rest and play.

You are Mohair

You are Mohair.
You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with
others, doing your share without being too
weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely
refuse to change your position once it is set,
but that's okay since you are good at covering
up your mistakes.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Our trip to the eye doctors succeeded in all three of us with vision changes, and new prescriptions. DS picked out his first pair of glasses which was no easy feat! We spent a looooong time going through glasses. He seemed to enjoy picking them out, and is happy with his choice. DH has to stay with contacts because his vision is so bad, and I decided to go back to them after a long time without them. It has been over 16 years since I had a pair, and had to stop wearing them because of all the computer paper dust where I worked. Well, I haven't had success so far, and have a feeling that when I go back for my check, it's going to be a no go. I really liked the price of the contacts -vs- the glasses. They run less than half the price. Ah well, we shall see what happens.

I "borrowed" the HP book from DD after she fell asleep the other night and got about half way through chapter 1. I couldn't read it because my eye hurt from wearing those contacts. That's really weird - wonder if there was something on the one I missed and scratched my eye. Still bugging me today. Guess no reading again.

We had a great night Friday night shopping. I picked up some yarn at Walmart to add to my Rainbow Afghan. It is obnoxiously bright and certainly something I'd never normally do, but wanted to get rid of some yarn I had in my stash, so figured I'd do it and if I didn't like it, I'd donate it. As you can see, I've just started the blue...

We stopped at JoAnn's Fabric so that I could get some size 5 DMC perle cotton to make the Harry Potter Bookscarf that I found on Laura's blog. However, when I got home, there were only 2 of the 3 skeins in the bag. Yup - there were 3 on the receipt, but only 2 in the bag. Of course, when I called, they didn't find any that had dropped or anything, so I ended up losing $1.36 and still can't knit the bookmark until I go back to get the other skein - an 80 mile round trip. By that time, DD will have finished the book.

We were out a lot longer than planned, so we went to Ruby Tuesday's for a fantastic meal. DH and DS had a Colossal burger and DD & I had a Bacon Cheddar burger. YUMMM! The Colossal burgers are HUGE with a pound of meat on them, but DS and DH put them down with no problem. DD & I had a hard time finishing ours.

We've had an interesting visitor to our birdfeeder. He's an almost white goldfinch. I have tried to photograph him many times, but for some reason, our camera doesn't want to focus on him, but the scenery behind him. I hate autofocus - but keep forgetting to take the time to read the book on how to override it until I need it again. One of these days.... :-) Anyhow, here's a pic of him, but sadly no other goldfinches to compare his color to. The peg he's on is a real faded yellow - the feeder has been in the sun for a couple of years, so that's the only point of reference I have to his color.

Ohhhh! And the butterflies!! They have been all over the milkweed and some of the herbs I've planted! These dark brown and orange beauties are regulars now. It's nothing to see 15-20 in one spot. They are one of a bunch of different species that are visiting this year. I've never seen so many kinds here, and will have to consider purchasing a book on butterflies to identify them.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday Musings

DD is reading the 5th Harry Potter book, again. She's getting ready for the next book, which was shipped on Tuesday (according to Amazon), so it should be here pretty soon. I guess I'm not as much of a HP fan as those that stood in line at midnight, since I bought it from the cheapest place I could find it, meaning that I'd probably have it a week later. Eight bucks for gas, sales tax and the price of the book (even with the discount) put it at almost $30 - vs the $18 I paid for it at Amazon. To get free shipping I had to order another book, but that wasn't hard, as I needed a book for the kids' lessons, so it all worked in very well. It's just waiting now.... DD haunts the mailbox and terrorizes the mailman :-)

With her up all hours of the night reading her HP book, I haven't been able to work on her sweater. She's one of those silent "cat" types that can sneak up on you without you even knowing it. I have just under a month to finish it in time for her birthday, so I'm not too concerned at this point.

I started a test pattern tonight for Kat's Moebius Neck Ring. I just fell in love with it, and volunteered to test her pattern. I've never did a moebius before, so between that and her new-to-me technique, I'm enjoying learning, but am also bugging Kat for help. I hope she's not sorry for allowing me to test it!

An email from Berroco arrived this morning, and ohhhhh! I'm in love with their new yarn!

They also have a new book out Book #237 Cold Comfort that has a sweater that I just love - actually quite a few of them, but this one drew me like a magnet... Batwing style with the stripes running verticle - love it!

Then there's a new free pattern that is really interesting, but not sure it's for me yet. The longer I look at it, the more it grows on me.... It is a lot like the 3-2 Sweater I got from Jackie E-S, so it may end up in my wardrobe yet. It uses the new Foliage yarn.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Movies, Image hosted by and more.....

Tuesday night wasn't a good night to knit. Actually, it was the day that I started the hood that wasn't a great night to knit. I did the base row correctly, but the next row I was to increase, and didn't. Ten inches later I discovered the mistake and had to Image hosted by it all the way back to the beginning. How on earth could I have missed it?! Well, after reading it all over again, the directions say to st st for X(X,X,X), X(X,X,X)" and then says" increase X(X,X,X), X(X,X,X) on the first row...." well, I missed this part entirely. Seems it is out of order, but if I had been a good girl and reread the instructions, I wouldn't be in this mess, now would I?! So, I'm now up to 4" again.

I had to make a trip to the nursing home to see Dad yesterday and find out what was going on there. They've decided to discontinue his therapy because he can't put any weight on his leg, but just a couple of days before they called and wanted his artificial leg brought down. When I got there, he said they were sending him home. HUH? He can't walk or anything and with a broken hip, I couldn't believe they would consider us able to take care of him. Well, we found out - and again, it was a breakdown of communication. The nurses were told he was being discharged, but that was from therapy, and not the home. They couldn't do anything more with him because he wasn't healing fast enough. Of course, this was after a good 20 minutes of the nurse calling around and trying to find info out. However, that was yesterday, and it can still change - happens a lot there...

Yesterday afternoon, I got the impulse to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so I got hold of Dh and asked if he'd want to take the kids. We had just enough time to get ready, pick him up from work and make the last matinee showing. The kids loved it and so did I! Dh on the other hand is an ol' poop, so his opinion doesn't count :-) I was a little bit skeptical about a remake - I mean, who could do Willie Wonka better than Gene Wilder? Silly me... Johnny Depp brought so much more to the character than I could have ever wanted. He's just fantastic! He gave Willie the eccentric personality that I had imagined when I read the book (over and over and over again as a child). And the set... it was awesome! Leave it to Tim Burton to do wonderful things to bring my childhood favorite to life. This is a must see to anyone who loves Ronald Dahl, Tim Barton, Johnny Depp, or just wants to smile.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

You Are 87% American
You're as American as red meat and shooting ranges.
Tough and independent, you think big.
You love everything about the US, wrong or right.
And anyone who criticizes your home better not do it in front of you!

Wahoo! The Fridge Works!

Life is good! We now have a working fridge :-)

and even more excitement.....

I went out to the mailbox to find this package of goodies! I was the lucky winner of 3 towels from Mary "elfinthemist". Thank you so very, very much, Mary!!! I've got a few ideas of what I want to do with these, and am so anxious to get my obligation knitting done so I can start.

Towels are always so neat - they look so nice in the house, and don't require any extra finishing - plus they always seem to be a welcomed gift from everyone who gets them. I like to tuck one in a basket of goodies every now and then.

Next is my update on the Iowa Cruise Socks that I'm making for DS. The are progressing but not nearly as fast as I'd like. They are in a turquoise color, although you really can't see it in this picture. I've got 6 1/2" of the 8 inches of the ribbing done. I seem to go so slowly on it.

I'm using Plymouth Galway on casine needles. They are ok, but I'm wanting a longer and more pointy tip. For straight knitting they are OK, but switching back and forth from k to p, I'm finding it more difficult to pull my yarn in. I knit the contential way - can't throw the yarn if my life depended on it! LOL

Finally a progress report and picture of the Lion Brand Hooded Sweater. I'm using the recommend Homespun. I laid it all out to see what it's going to look like, and I really like the colors. DD on the other hand has gotten out of her pink phase, so I don't know how this will be received. Not only that, but I bought more pink in a chunky to make a warm sweater/jacket for her. There's not enough to make a bigger one for me, so I guess she'll just have to deal :-)

Anyhow, the picture show's a difference between the sleeves and the hood, but it's just the light from the flash. There's not really any color difference there.

I'm half way on the hood, then all that's left to do is the edging and a pocket. I haven't decided if I want to put a pocket on yet. Her last one didn't have one, and I'm not sure she'd really use it. Or if she does, with this yarn, I'm wondering how much it will stretch. And will it go back to it's original shape or look awful?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Who Turned the Heat On?!

Oh man! I swear it feels like someone turned the heat on. It's 97 degrees and so humid that it's actually hard to breathe today. I don't know what happened to the 85 we were supposed to get - but I sure hope it hurries up and finds it's way back here. Now I wish I'd have put an air conditioner in. This summer has been unusually hot.

I did get to do 4 more inches on the hood last night, but didn't want to touch the sweater today. Actually, with this heat, I didn't want to touch anything. DH called and offered to bring supper home tonight, so he should be here any time with a pizza. The kids are going to love that, as they are pizzia fiends.

My brother called sick this morning, and said he wouldn't be able to make Dad's doctor appt. I figured he wouldn't, as he wasn't doing well yesterday, so I was prepared and ready to go. I called the nursing home to let them know that I'd meet them at the Dr's office, and the woman I spoke to was confused. She said Dad didn't have an appt. today. I said that was funny because I received a postcard that said he was going this morning. Well, she didn't know what happened and would call me back. Fifteen minutes later, she called and said they put the wrong date on the card - it was August 18th and not July! Imagine if we hadn't called and just went down. We'd have traveled 45 miles one way for nothing. No harm done tho, because I called first. Phew....

The part for the fridge arrived today!! YIPEE!!! Now we should be able to go back to normal and have our food chilled the way it should be. Life is good! :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Little Knitting This Morning

I had a little time to get some knitting done this morning. I have succeeded in putting 2" on the Lion Brand Hooded Knit Sweater that I'm doing for DD. I would have gotten more done, but I thought I heard her up early, only to find out after packing it all up, that it was DH instead. So, I decided to be safe and work on the "Iowa Cruise Socks" for DS instead. I succeeded in getting a few rows in before having to tuck them away and get busy with life.

I have been reading some blogs, and I'm drooling over everyone's great purchases and yarn stashes. How on earth does one afford all those lovely yarns? They are so pretty, and I've fingered them at the LYS, but don't normally get to purchase any unless they are on sale - and when I say sale, I mean a steep discount type.

I'm going to have to start scouring places like eBay for the yarn for my sweater. Red Heart just doesn't appeal to me for that. If I remember correctly, there was a group that stitched the 3-2 Sweater, and they used coned chenille - oooooh! That sounds heavenly! I'll be putting it off until I find a good bargain, but the hunt will prove to be both challenging and fun :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Time For A Change

Yes, it's time for a new look around here as well as other places in my life. DH has been passively looking for another job - but not very seriously until this past month or so. His place of employment isn't very stable, and he wants be be out of there before the company goes under. There has been so many cut backs, and no raises in the past 3 years - plus the upper management has changed about as many times as one changes a baby's diaper during the day. And probably stinks as much, too.

So, with the prospect of a new job, comes the thought of where we'd like to live in the US. There's not a lot of opportunity for him to find work in his field of speciaity in our area, so no matter what, it will require a relocation. Since we'll be moving - it won't matter if we go 50 miles or 500 as the packing is the same. He has been looking at a lot of different places to see what's available, the cost of living, and what is available for the type of housing we want. It's quite exciting with the prospect of moving on somewhere else!!

We have had an interesting time here since Thursday evening. When we came back from the program DD was in, DS had a glass of milk and stated that it seems to be getting warmer. Hmmmmm - not sure what that meant, so I tasted it to find pretty warm milk. Checked the fridge, and sure enough, it wasn't cooling. We did a lot of shuffling of food, and then DH went and tried fixing it. He found a huge chunk of ice frozen to the bottom of the freezer - not good as it's supposed to be frost-free. He got everything cleaned up and defrosted, and then checked things out, cleaned out places that might have been clogged, and worked until late into the night. Friday morning didn't show an improvement - and Friday was a scortcher on top of it all (so was Thursday!). When DH called Maytag, they wanted to send a repair man out right away. Nope - he wanted to know about a couple of parts, like the timer. Lucky us, there is no timer any more in their fridges, so it is now a replaceable circut board. He did a few tests, and found it wasn't working, so called back for parts. None in stock, and they are waiting on them, because they are a VERY common fix. A $1300 fridge doesn't have a circuit board that lasts very long at all - and the repairman didn't have any. Would be at least Thursday before he could get one. The other place DH called said it would be 10-14 days to get it in, so DH went to the Maytag parts place online and it should be here Monday - and was cheaper than getting it from the dealer (even with shipping). Can't even imagine what it would cost to get a repair person out (over 40 miles one way from here) and then have him come back and install the part! Nice being married to a handyman!! :-)

On to the crafting realm.....

I have been surfing the net for patterns for a sweater for me. I have made so many things for everyone else, that I decided it's time for me. Usually I keep away from making myself something because I'm on the "fluffy" side, so it's more expensive and takes longer. Yah, yah, and the truth is it aways looks crappy on. I have been wanting Jackie E-S's "3-to-2 Any Gauge Sweater" but DH doesn't like it at all. Well, today I went to her site again, and came across that pattern and again showed it to DH who said it was ugly. Hey - you know what? I like it, so I decided to buy it. I got an instand download (just love those things!) from The Knitting Vault and while I was there, I decided to try one of Jackie's "Peppermint Stick socks" as well. They are tube socks in a spiral pattern and DD thinks they're cool, so I thought I'd try them as well. Now, just to find the right yarns.......

Friday, July 15, 2005

VBS Play and Townsfolk

I was so proud of DD last night. She did a wonderful job, and had the lead part in her class skit. She spoke clearly and with feeling and after the play, many came up to her and complimented her on her effort and care she took in preparing. Mom was as pleased as a peacock (and still am!). DD was also awarded a beautiful stuffed lion (since their theme was Africa) for being the most well behaved. She was also awarded a set of resin tigers that she's proudly displaying in her room. And they say homeschooled children are backwards and unsocialized! (grin)

Now - as for the townsfolk, I must say to those considering small, close-knit communities - DON'T think they are great and you really want to live there, because close knit places are very hard to get into, and really easy to fall out of. (Warning - this is a rant, so if you don't want to read negative thoughts - better to stop here....)

I grew up in this town - and in the same house we own now. Our children are 5th generation in this town. My grandmother delivered most of the parents of the kids I grew up with. We are relatives to more than one would think here, yet we are shunned. People I played with, spent my whole life with, and helped more times than one could count, don't speak to us. Why? Because we dared to homeschool and not go to the local church here. I grew up Catholic in a Methodist community, so that put a wedge between some folks and our family. Dad DARED to marry a Catholic and someone from another town, to boot! Well, that wasn't so bad, as most were tolerant of the fact that we didn't go to the church here. Then I left Catholicism, moved away, came back, got married, and the town people got air that I was non-denominational. I was asked to come to the church and become a member. I won't go into the belief issues, but I declined stating I was attending DH's group, but was grateful for the offer.

Ahhhh - in good standing again. We got gifts for the kids when they were born, and the kids had friends. They played with lots of kids their own age. Then came the day that I didn't send our first child on the bus. "What do you mean you're homeschooling?!!" "Why would you even consider doing that?!" "What's wrong with the school here?! It was good enough for you!" It didn't matter to them that I had a boy who was so hyperactive that he'd never survived in school without breaking his spirit or putting him on some kind of meds to calm him down. No one wanted to hear a logical reasoning at all. They wanted me to conform and not do something different. I was already different, and this really just sealed our fate.

I watched our son blossom, and then our daughter with our decision to homeschool. DD learned to read while watching and listening to me teach DS. At 4 she was picking up a book and having a go. Both are bookworms and they love studying and learning. Yes, for us, it was a good decision in that respect.

Sadly, it wasn't in the eyes of our whole town. I never, ever said a thing to hurt anyone, and never put anyone down for sending their children to school. Each family has their own reasons and needs, and who am I to inflict my beliefs on someone else? When someone needs anything, we make sure we are there to help - fires, floods, broken down cars - we've been there any time we knew about it, and always helping. They accept our held-out hands when there's a need, but won't speak to us after. It is something I've become used to, and didn't really pay attention to how bad it was, until the play last night.

We sat in a church pew waiting for the program - there was 3 of us together, so that left more than half the pew. The place was packed, yet our pew where we were sitting stayed open. Then I turned around, to find that people were standing, yet no one would sit with us. Finally a woman and her friend sat down making it known she really didn't want to sit near us, but didn't have a choice. How hurtful can people be? Not a soul, except for the pastor's husband, spoke to us. After we left - I asked DH if we may have come down with a disease of some sort that I didn't know about (chuckle). He just shook his head and said he really couldn't comprehend what went on. He grew up in a very large town - and folks were a lot different there. I know when I lived in a college town, people were so friendly next to here. There was much more tolerance to being an individual.

This attitude hurts - it really does. I haven't had a friend over for coffee since we made our decision to school the children ourselves. OOPS - that's not true, there was our neighbor that wanted me to watch her children all the time and get them off to school - which I did for many months. She kept saying she appreciated my time, but couldn't afford to pay anything because they were broke. Someone forgot to tell them they were next door and we could see all the new things they were buying :-) That was ok, because I was home and it wasn't much of a bother. Then I came down with pneumonia, and she still kept bringing the kids - not even worried that they might get sick. Finally, I said I really needed to stay in bed and couldn't take care of them for a bit, so would she mind finding someone while I recuperated. Once I felt better, I'd be happy to watch them again. Being right before Christmas, I really wanted to get better so I could enjoy our family gatherings - and it would only be about a week she'd need to find care. Maybe it was an unreasonable request - because she never spoke to me again. Merry Christmas to you!

As adults we suffer with this shunning, but I think the kids hurt more. They have no close friends here. They have lots of friends in other towns, but not here. It makes it difficult for them to just hang because of the distance, but they never complain.

I'm just so tired of it all. :-( And I'm sure you're tired of the rant. Thanks for listening - it's something that's been built up for a while, and last night just made it all come to a head.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Small Finish

I wanted to get August's Teapot by Susan Gastler finished before August, instead of waiting until the month has started, like normal. So here's my small finish. I know it's not much, but there's just something about this series, that made me want to do them all. I only have 2 more to go to finish the set.

These are hung over my sink - the current month on the left, and the coming month on the right. In the middle, I have the current month framed pic of Lizzie Kate's Flip-It from the first series. I have a couple more of them to finish as well.

I guess you could say I'm a nut for seasons and monthly themes. I like changing the look of the house every month. Keeps it a bit more interesting, and the kids seem to enjoy it as well.

Tonight is DD's play. She's so excited and has been buzzing around here the last few days like a bee that's found a new flower patch.

I picked up the "Iowa Cruise Socks" I've been working on and off on this morning and have a couple more inches on the cuffs to do, then I can start on the ankle. Those cuffs are sooooo long on this pattern, but the guys really like them for boot socks. I need to get 3 pairs done by hunting season. Don't know if I'll make it or not, but hey - I'll put an effort in.

Well, my bee is up and buzzing around here, so I guess I better be going and get breakfast made and get started on school work.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Another Year Started

We've been getting back on track since the kids and DH got back. We've started our new year of homeschooling - making this the 10th year we've been doing it. Can't believe it's been that long.

DD has been attending VBS this week. She's been having so much fun. DS usually goes, but this year he wasn't interested. I won't make him do something he doesn't want to do, so I'm not pushing. Guess he's just being a teen and learning he has options :-) Of course, DD thinks her brother is nuts for not wanting to go, but as she says "He's a teenager!" and leaves it at that.

Tomorrow night is their closing program. Each class puts on a skit and then there's a time to show off all their crafts after the program. Everyone will go back to the church annex and have refreshments and pick up their child's work.

I'm looking forward to this year of school. DS, who is in 9th grade this year, will be taking Biology, Early World History, and Algebra 2, Latin, and Critical Thinking, Art History, plus the other normal classes. DD who is in 7th grade, will also be doing Early World History, Pre-Algebra, General Science, Latin, Critical Thinking, a Thomas Kincade Drawing course, and other normal classes. So for those that think homeschooling is a bunch of sit around an goof off all day - let me tell you - it's a lot of work! The state here requires the children to be tested in grades 3, 5 and 8 to make sure they are on target. DS tested off the charts on many of the things. He was at college level on most, and a few things a little lower. His average ended up being 12th grade 5th month. Not bad for an 8th grade student. It pleased me to see those grades, because it lets me know we are giving them a decent education.

I've had a little time to work on :Covered Bridge Spring". Here's my progress:

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Life is Good!

Another year of homeschool is finished and I can once again relax. The kids went on a camping trip with DH for their end of year reward - and mine :-) With them gone, I had a chance to start a new project. This one is something I've been wanting to do for a while, but with all the end of year school stuff to do, I didn't have a chance. Finally! I have started!

This is called "Covered Bridge Spring" by Stefani Martin of Design Stash. I picked up the pattern from Patterns Online a while ago, but didn't have the chance to do anything with it. Here's my progress as of this morning:

Image hosted by

It's an interesting piece and I love watching it come alive. I'm doing it on 14 ct. off white aida (since it'll be completely covered anyhow). I've found these past few days to be so very relaxing. I've mostly sat and stitched while watching movies, did the normal everyday chores, took care of the kid's animals, and spent the last couple of days with the family at the campsite.

Back to reality now, as I need to get ready for them to come home. They will be due back sometime late morning to early afternoon. It will be nice having them back, but at the same time, I'm going to miss the "me" time I've been having. Terrible, aren't I?! (Grin)