Monday, April 30, 2012

Household Chores and Back Yard Care

Yesterday we cleaned out the back yard and watered the garden.  We moved pots around along with the outdoor rug and the bistro set with the umbrella to the other side of the decking by the pool.  We had thrown out the old resin loungers who no one ever used.  It makes things easier to deal with with them gone.  Ody is sad since he slept on the things.  No one else would touch them. 

I had my breakfast outside like I do every morning now.  I didn't have a banana which is my usual breakfast these days, I had a nice cup of yogurt.  I need the calcium.  I soaked up some sun, and then I found my green bean seeds and planted them.  I watered them and the other pots that needed it.  Gary came out and wanted me to squirt down his bench he had redone for me.  He did a fantastic job.  It went from rusty to red with pale oak boards.  I love it.  Our next project is to repaint the blue bench and seal it with spar.  It needs it.  I love the blue bench that lives on the back porch.  He made it for me and he did a fantastic job of it.

We have to get the house in order for our annual 4th of July party.  I am thinking up the menu for it now.  I think we are going to do some ribs and the usual burgers and weenies.  This year we will have fresh veggies for our snacks since I am eating healthier.  I also want to do my usual ice cream sundae bar, it is the best thing under the sun for my guests, they all love it.  I just buy the neopolitan ice cream and put out several toppings, sauces, nuts and whipped cream out there and they can go as wild as they want with it.  Several people have asked if we are doing that again, and when I said, I didn't know, they said I must.  Well, okay if it is that popular then we will have it again.  It works out for us. 

I think I want to add fresh fruit to the mix as well.  I think it would be really refreshing between swimming to have some cold fruit to nibble on.  We are also serving our usual ice cold lemonade from the fruit off of the meyer lemon tree.  We have loads of juice in the freezer from that tree. 

Today is wash day over here and I want to go outside and just be a bum out in the sun.  I have to fix my pool cleaner today as he hasn't moved all night...the hose has issues and we pulled the new hose out of the deck box.  I have learned to have extra pool parts hanging around the place over the years of pool ownership.  I have parts for the filter, I have parts for the cleaner.  It makes sense to have these things to replace what breaks. I will be salvaging parts off of the hose for later fixes.  I know the back up system still works on the old hose and that sucker is expensive new.  I save for these emergencies. 

The shawl is on hold right now since I find that when I do sit down, I am so tired, I just veg in front of the tv and that is about it.  Or I fall asleep sitting up on the couch.  We are trying to get the place looking good.  I have let it go for too long now and it is getting out of hand.  Seriously..out of hand.  I want to get it clean and get my yarn organized.  I have way too much yarn around here and I am not buying any more right now.

I need to use up what I have.  That is my goal.  :) 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Top two photos are the swallow tail shawl designed by Evelyn Clark.  The yarn I used was Elann's Maize Organica, I used a US 7 knitting needle for this project and used 6.5 skeins of yarn.  There is a week's worth of work in this project. 

I have started a new shawl and I am doing another Evelyn Clark and this one is Heartland.  She knit it originally in Buffalo Gold.  Since I am not a millionaire, I can't afford it.  I am using Colour Mart's pure silk in lilac steel and no, I didn't pay a fortune for it.  I am using a US 6 long shaft Addi turbo lace needle.  The pattern calls for 550 yards.  I think my cone has 500 yards on it and I have three cones so, that is not a problem at all.  The yarn still has the mill oil in it and will bloom when I wash and block it.  Several people on FB have said they love it and can't figure out the color of the yarn.  Well, it is a lilac and it is beautiful.  I am on the 1st repeat of the second chart.  I have to do 4 repeats of this particular chart before I move on to the last chart. 

The pink swallow tail is on my blocking board and I noticed I had missed one point so, I had to squirt it with the water bottle and pull the point out.  So, it will take a bit longer to dry than originally expected.  Maybe it will be ready on Thursday instead of tomorrow as I had thought in the beginning. 

Will I knit more lace projects?  Oh yeah, I am hooked.  I have the yarn stash for it as well.  I have been collecting yarn for about 11 years now.  Time to use some of it already. 

I even have my Christmas presents picked out to knit.  I am thinking of starting a Faroese shawl next and it will be a birthday present.  I chose the yarn out of the stash but, I am rethinking it.  I will dig around and see what yarn to use for it.  That is the great thing about having a huge yarn stash, there is a big quantity to choose from.  I don't have to settle. 

If you aren't a millionaire either, then check out ebay for yarns, elann, and colour mart.  I love elann since they have a credit system after you buy $500 in yarn.  You get a nice $50 credit and it helps when you are dirt poor and can't afford to buy yarn that you just have to have.  I love those credits, they are wonderful. 

I may be teaching someone to knit soon.  He expressed an interest in getting rid of his stress and he wants a hobby.  I said I would teach him to knit.  It is very relaxing.  We shall see if I have another convert.  :)

Of All the Freaking...

Yesterday I made a custom necklace for a teacher.  It took three tries on the damn thing since it kept breaking, inferior crimp beads.  Never buy them on sale, they are not good ones.  So, today I get a call, the damn thing broke again and could I redo it?  Yes.  I stand behind my work.  I just finished a bracelet to match that necklace.  I hope it fits her.  I used the best crimp beads I own. 

I am finished with the pink shawl.  It is on the blocking board and my camera is on the charger right now so, I will get the pics on this thing sooner or later.  I started on a second shawl, this one is going to be out of pure silk in a lovely shade of lavendar.  I chose to do the Heartland Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark. 

Nupps....I know many a knitter who despises them, I found a way to do them that is so simple and why didn't I ever think of it before?  I have no idea.  I had an epiphany whilest I was in the middle of them. 

I have to get my butt off of the couch and back into the pool today.  I admit it, I am lazy right now.  Mostly I am interested in knitting and nothing else.  No socks on my needles, I really don't want to knit them right now.  Lace holds my interest these days. 

Saturday we went out to the air show and saw some vintage War birds and a beautifully restored B-17.  I told my nephews that my Uncle flew on one in WWII, out of Great Britain on bombing runs over Germany.  They were awe struck over that little tidbit of news.  They are good boys and the youngest one was so excited to be out there at the airport seeing all of the planes.  He was skipping and telling me to hurry up.  He wanted me to get into the B-17 with him but, let's face it, I inherited my Dad's shoulders and I will not fit in one of those things. Small men will fit and small women and of course kids but, not me.  Sorry, I am built like a Czech.  As the joke in the family goes, we are built of damn good peasant stock.  Yep. 
Is anyone else ready for the weekend or is it just me?  I found out that my niece, who has the shingles is now in the hospital since she wouldn't heed my advice, she needs rest and since she didn't do what she was supposed to do, her doctor put her in the hospital for them.  They are nasty and you must rest or end up in the hospital with the damn things.  It is one of the most painful things to go through in life.  I have had them and they nearly dropped me.  I was flat on my back for a week with them and the pain is so unbearable.  The only thing that helped me was taking constant hot showers to aleviate the pain.  I would walk the house at night since I couldn't sleep from the things and I guzzled Gatorade like it was going out of style.  I will have to see how she is doing later on. 

Oh, I love my new sewing machine.  I was using it the other day and I am about to get started on sewing Maribeth's dress as soon as the shawl dries, the blocking board is on my kitchen table right now and that is where I sew.  I need to clean out my home and get rid of a bunch of stuff.  Thank goodness we have a garage sale this weekend to get rid of a bunch of junk.  I have a huge stack of crap going out the door this weekend. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lace Weights

I am so impassioned by lace knitting.  Currently, the shawl is almost done.  I am taking some time off since I need to get ready for tonight's meeting.  I will be working on the last bit of it while I watch tv when I get home tonight.  I have plans to watch Swamp People.  One of my favorite shows. 

I have taken a break from sock knitting right now and I know I have tons of sock yarns to work with but, are you aware that sock yarns can be knit into lovely little lace objects that work wonders around your neck?  That gorgeous merino/silk sock yarn I sell works up into seriously fabulous small shawls.  I wrap my green effervescent shawl around my neck when it is freezing and head out the door.  I get many compliments on it.  Knitting with fingering weight yarns can also get your ready to knit with lace weight.  I used it for the green shawl and I started to get a feel for lace with it.  I have plans you see, I am going to knit myself a stunning shawl out of one of the many books that I own.  I have this one I have been wanting to do for well, forever.  It is gorgeous and I will be custom dyeing the yarn for it since it takes copious amounts of lace weight yarn. 

I know I had said I was going to knit myself a cardi.  I have lost weight so, until I get to my right weight, I won't be knitting the thing.  I put it on the back burner.  I lost one clothing size and I have plans to get down to a smaller size than the current one. 

Then there is next year, we are planning on renewing our vows in front of an Elvis impersonator in Vegas for our 13th wedding anniversary.  It should be a blast and we are trying to get our whole wedding party to Vegas as well for the big event.  I have let most of them know to save their pennies for it.

I read a review someone wrote about me being driven in my craft as a fiber artist...this no way describes me.  I am not driven for much of anything.  I am very laid back.  I know she meant well but, I started laughing at the review.  I couldn't help myself. 

Last night was curse and cut out the sewing pattern for Maribeth's new dress.  I hate that cheap ass paper they use to make patterns, they need to make them out of something more solid.  I love solid patterns.  I have been known to make my own on heavier paper.  :)  I can get more uses out of the thick stuff than that flimsy stuff.  I guess they are in the business to make money any way they can and using that crap stuff works out for the better for them. 

Oh, if you is something you need to know about...JoAnn's is having a 50% off sale on their beads.  I hit my local one and was able to get the beads I adore for seriously less cash than normal.  I also had a 50% off coupon on fabric and managed to get 2 yards of premium muslin for only $9.99 instead of $20.  I love coupons and saving money where I can for my items. 

My life has been crazy and hectic for a while lately since I have had to take care of the grave marker for my dear friend.  I can't believe all that I have had to go through for the process of one little marker.  I am hoping her family doesn't drop the ball and takes care of it because I can't close the file on it until I receive word from them as to when the maker will be placed.  I also requested a picture be taken of the tombstone once the marker is in place so, I will know and the chapter will as well that it was taken care of.  I emailed the grand daughter about it and what will need to be done for the marker to be placed.  I wish that they were in Texas where it would be so much easier to take care of.  Sadly they are out of state. 

I found a home for my old Singer sewing machine, Hank Jr.  My SIL needed one and so, I gave it to her.  I was hoping a relative would have taken it...I knew she would take care of him.  He needed someone who would give him TLC.  He didn't leave with the hard case, I kept that.  My Janome fits in it nicely.  I have to say, I do love that machine, it is super cool.  I love the start/stop button, I don't have to use the foot pedal for that.  For the money, it is a great little machine. I have 50 built in stitches.  I was playing with it the other day and let me tell you, the bobbin winder is awesome, it has a spot to add in a new spool of thread so, I don't have to un thread my machine.  So cool. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dead Computer

My desk top computer is dead right now.  I am stuck using the touch pad.
  I am knitting a shawl and I am also getting ready to do a bunch of sewing for my niece, Maribeth.

The shawl is almost finished, I will have to block and starch it since it is being made out of cotton.  Pics will follow once complete.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fish Tacos

Today I had to go and have fish of some sort for lunch.  I am Catholic and it being Good Friday, it was fish day or cheese.  I chose fish.  Cheese pizza might be dinner, I haven't decided.  So, we headed down to one of my favorite places, El Rey, a Cuban/Mexican Cantina.  I love this place, they have so many wonderful things.  Their grilled chicken salad is to die for, it is loaded with veggies, and it also comes with chopped mango and the most delectable cilantro lime dressing.  It is beyond fabulous.  Today since I had to have fish, I chose the grilled fish tacos with whole wheat flour tortillas, another great thing about this place, you get to choose your tortilla.  Gary had the fish tacos with corn tortillas.  I added shredded cheese to my tacos and the delectable cilantro lime dressing...oh just thinking of it, makes my mouth water.  I also had my usual mango iced tea, no sugar or sweetner.  I am a purist with this tea.  It is fabulous. 

I dropped off the bracelet order.  I finished them today.  I found what I was looking for and the lighter blue one was taken care of.  I made a darker blue one with some blue lace agate.  I love this stone, it is so versatile and I like blues.  Don't get me wrong, purple is my favorite color but, blue would be third on my faves, green comes after purple. 
We have an invitation for Easter at my big brother's house.  I am taking salad and cupcakes.  I just have to make a trip to the grocery store for the fixings for the cupcakes.  I have plans you see, I am going to substitute in xylitol.  I love the stuff, it tastes like sugar without that funky aftertaste that stevia has.  I usually have a cup of coffee in the mornings with one xylitol packet and some half and half.  It is tasty.  I only get 2 grams of carbs from the half and half.  It works out. 

It is a gorgeous day here.  I have plans to hit my pool and do my 30 minutes to an hour of swimming.  That is the plan.  I am trying to get into a purple dress for May.  It is stunning, I have shoes to match and I haven't been able to wear this dress for a couple of years since I ballooned up.  I need to lose about 1/2 to an 1 inch.  I can zip it but, it is snug in spots.  I have to swim to get into it.  Since the knee incident, I have to be careful with it.  I hit it in the pool the other day and let me tell you, the agony of that one hit, nearly did me in.  I was screaming in pain.  I am so amazed at how long this knee is taking to get back into the swing.  It is terrible.  I can tell I am no longer 20.  The swimming is helping so much.  Now, if I were really brave like my friend, Pam, I would swim in the nude.  I can imagine how freeing that is but, it would scare the crap out of my neighbors.  They might need some shocking but, I am not that brave yet and we live off of a major thoroughfare so, that would shock the locals as well.  I don't think they need to see my pasty white ass in the nude.  I need to get some color on this skin.  I am searching for my bikini.  Yes, they make them in my size.  Incredible, isn't it?  I would never wear it in public.  I am not going to gross anyone out.  I do wear it in my pool though since it is really freeing.  It is my pool and no one is going to see me in it.  Just Gary and the man has seen me naked many times so, I don't care. 

I looked at the shawl I was working on last night, notice it says, was...well, it seems that I dropped a stitch way back in the pattern and that is why it wasn't working out like it should have and I ripped it out.  I will try again tonight.  I bought some of that really funky yarn that makes it's own ruffles and I am working on a project for a friend.  I said I would make her something and this is what I am making for her.  It is cool stuff.  I get bored with it so easily and I put it down.  See....ADD knitter. 

Pictures will follow later when I finish the thing.  It is really cool and the color is called Cinnamon Candy.  It is red and lots of reds.  It is gorgeous. 

I am just completely fascinated with how this thing is turning out. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Working on Bracelets

I have an order for 7 bracelets.  I am working today and the rest of the week until I finish them.  So far this is what I have made.  The top one will work great for someone with dark skin.  The second one, is purples, which I love and the last one is greens with some accents of purple.  I love the last one the best so far.  I have plenty of beads and these little items make fabulous gifts. 

In the knitting world I am working on a scarf for a friend.  It is one of those new web yarns that are really funky and fun to work with. 

I also have a shawl on my needles.  Lace is supposed to be really hot this year.  I am working on the swallowtail shawl by Evelyn Clark.  I can't remember if it is a freebie or if it was purchased.  I just know it is on my computer and I didn't feel like digging around in any book for a pattern.  I am using my sparkly yarn, the one with the silver stellina in it.  It is going to be awesome looking. 

I hope everyone has a beautiful Easter. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

What a Busy Weekend

Saturday was super busy for me.  I had a chapter luncheon at noon and the usual ladies showed up for it and we had a great time.  One application was signed and made ready to head to National.  Yay!  I am so happy that the lady who will be sending in her app is really nice and will make a great addition to the chapter. 

Then after lunch, I had to run and get cash for our evening out, we were headed to a birthday party in Sealy at 5 pm.  Gary tells me, we are going to be late and I hate being late so, I hit the gas.  I was driving Stewie since Beau needs a front right bearing.  It has to get to the shop this week.  Gary was in the passenger seat playing with his new cell phone.  I was passing people left and right, honking at buzzards eating on the side of the road, and when they heard the roar of my engine, Gary said they were legging it out of there.  I just know, that I was cruising at almost warp speed to get to the restaurant in time.  I got to see people I haven't seen in ages.  My nephew, Aaron came in from Spring Branch, Texas, the other side of Canyon lake near San Antonio, even showed up.  It was nice to see him since it has been literally ages.  I think Meagan's wedding was the last time I saw him, and that was about 2 years ago. 

We made it on time to the restaurant and the birthday girl was late.  Well, dang.  I could have taken a drive instead of speeding like a bat out of hell.  Thank God there were no cops or DPS out there because I would have had one whopper of a ticket. 

Dinner was really nice and we were able to catch up on how the family is doing.  We never see each other much these days since we are all so dang busy.  Gary was gone for two weeks straight for a while and that sucked but, it was work so, we can't bitch about it.  He has a great job and keeps me and the kids in kibble. 

It was such a nice night on the way home, we decided to drop the top, crank up the stereo and take it easy on the way home.  I was doing a little above the speed limit on the way home because lets just face it, I can't seem to go slow.  I love going fast.  The only time you go slow is for funerals and school zones or when the cop is behind you.  Otherwise, I am the one going fast. 

Sunday was yard work again.  We pulled out the pineapple guavas out of the front flower bed since they were literally being shaded to death from our huge oak trees.  So, it was pull them out, chop them up into smaller bundle-able pieces for the trash men.  We then planted in the new rose shrubs that are supposed to grow 7 ft all and 6 feet wide.  They were purchased at Heirloom Roses.  They like shade and will grow nicely for us.  I went ahead and trimmed out the rest of the roses in the bed that needed it.  One of them is a china rose and it is gorgeous but, out of control.  Gary raked the yard and then we went down to Lowe's to purchase a new power washer.  We had a gas powered one that won't run so, it will be going to my brother's house.  He is a whiz with small engine repair and since I don't have time right now, it will be his new toy to mess with.  He gets the book to go with it.  He said he had wanted one but, couldn't afford it.  Well, he gets a new project and a pressure washer.  Gary bought himself an electric one.  Fine by me, he won't have to worry about repairs on the thing. One of the neighbors stopped by and was asking about the bushes that were at the curb.  We told her we pulled them out because they were dying.  She said our yard looked good.  We thanked her. 

We went to dinner and came home, I was headed for the bathroom since dinner didn't agree with me.  He was in there later.  My sugar had dropped and I was feeling raunchy.  That was pretty much it for me.  I was going to swim but, that didn't happen.  I was tired. 

Gary went and got the mail and I had the renewal notice for my driver's license, it can now be done on line in the state of Texas.  No more going to stand in that damn line from hell.  I hate having to go down there.  It is such a freaking hassle.  So, I get the same old bad picture on my license but, who cares because it means that I won't be going down there, which is fabulous. 

Last night, I was sleeping and the phone rang, I was thinking at the time...who died?  It was at midnight.  Melinda was having a crisis.  She said, "Maribeth wants to wear these shoes but, they make her look 26 and I am not ready for that!"  Huh?  I was barely able to answer the phone and she wants to talk shoes?  "Are you near your computer?"  No.  I am sleeping.  "Oh, sorry."  After that, I hung up the phone and that was it.  Then later something else woke me up and I am happy about that since I was dreaming about toads.  Ugh! 

I am trying to get my hair longer than it is right now because I am going to donate it for cancer victims and they need at least 8 inches of length.  I am at 7.5 inches and need that extra bit before I can cut it.  It is about to drive me crazy but, I want to do something special with it.  I thought, it would be a fantastic gift to someone who needs it.  There is no maximum length for donation hair.