Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Shawl on the Needles

I cast on for a new shawl two nights ago.  So far, it is pretty simple and straight forward.  The yarn is performing like a dream.  What am I using?  One of my own hand painted sparkly lace yarns in Candy.  I will have to take pictures when I get farther along.  I plan to paint more skeins of this particular color way.  It is really pretty and I have had many compliments on it.  I managed to get one chart done and I moved on to the second chart. 

This morning I went and helped my sister wash her Volvo.  She washes that thing more than any one I have ever met.  Now, I need a nap.  I am wiped out.  I have plans to sit on my butt until it cools off and then I think I will get on my grubby tennis shoes and mow the front yard.  I need to wash down the pool grids.  They have been soaking in their caustic chemical for a while now.  They were really nasty and full of crud.  I hope their long soak time will have helped them.  I hate having to clean the things but, it is easier to clean a cartridge filter than a DE filter.  I do not miss that old monster for anything at all.  I hated it.  Then it was so freaking old that parts to it were completely obselete.  It blew. 

It is still hot down here and I know several people were telling me they had cold weather already up north.  Gee, rub it in, why don't you?  We are still in the 90F range.  Rain is supposed to be coming on Saturday.  Oh yay!  So, the yard has to get mowed before then.  We missed it last weekend since we were in Corpus Christi, Texas on our romantic weekend.  :) 

Yesterday, I was on my way home from my sister's house when I happened to feel eyes on me. I was stopped at a light next to a high school bus filled with boys and they were all staring at my car.  Oh boy.  I get more male attention with that little car.  It needs a bath but, with the rain coming, what is the point?  I am lazy anyway so, it isn't going to happen. 

I have no idea who the dude in the cement truck is but, whenever he sees me, he honks and waves.  So, I have another admirer.  I am not rude, I wave back.  I know the hubby is thinking I am encouraging  I am not high maintenance and I am easy going.  Someone once mentioned that I was driven...who me?  No!  Not at all.  They don't know me at all, if they said that about me. 

On my way home today from my sister's house, I was doing the speed limit, will wonders never cease?  When the cop that patrols the road that I always travel spotted the guy speeding next to me and he whipped his big old SUV around and was coming after the guy.  I wasn't in the mood to go fast.  I had a feeling and I am glad my cop senses were working otherwise, I would have been sitting on a nice fat ticket.  I don't want one of those, I can do without that kind of attention.  The dude next to me freaked out.  He slammed on the brakes.  Stupid, don't you know, you don't do that, take your foot off of the gas and your car won't dip.  If they see that dip, they will know you have been speeding.  I didn't date a cop for 5 years without learning a few things.  One of those things...don't ever date a cop. 

I also took the time today to make some stitch markers.  They are really pretty and I hope the recipient will love them.  I do make stitch markers if asked.  I did two custom sets a while back on a request.  Most of the stitch markers in the shop.  So many people make them and they must buy their beads in bulk because the beads I buy aren't cheap.  I hit as many sales as I can but, still, they aren't cheap. 

I just gave my niece, Maribeth some of my old beads...her bead habit is almost as bad as mine.  My sister was complaining to me about that today.  She has to buy her some more containers for all of the beads.  She told me her daughter is a bead junky now.  Oh well.  At least she doesn't have a yarn hbit to go with that bead habit.  I admit it, my yarn habit is out of control and it is time to go through the stash and start donating to schools for some of it.  I have a box of yarn ready to be mailed out to the DAR school.  It is listed on their website as a needed item.  I need to send them more than what is in the box.  I wonder if they need straight knitting needles?  I can send them a bunch of those things.  I hate those things.  I prefer to use circs when I can. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

North Padre Island National Seashore

Gary and I headed to the beach this past weekend for our 12th Wedding anniversary.  We went down to Corpus Christi, Texas for a nice weekend on a gorgeous beach...North Padre Island.  The day started out wonderful, Gary was putting up his beach cabana, he has to with that skin of his, he will burn like crazy if he doesn't have a cabana for shade.  I have learned that about him after 13 years together.  I tan.  The top three pics are of Gary and his cabana, I have one too.  We both like to read on the beach.  This time around, I did some knitting.  The second to bottom pic is the rain that was offshore and the last pic is the clouds before the rain. 

When the rain hit the beach, we were out of there.  We went back to the hotel. 

I did get to play in the waves for a couple of minutes before a medusa jelly fish hit my leg and then we moved into shallower water thinking we wouldn't see any more of the things...wrong!  So, out of the water we came.  I took along the shawl thinking I would get to finish  It is being finished tonight, I am doing a picot bind off which is such a pita.  It freaking takes forever. 

I think next year instead of Vegas, we are going to do a week at the beach.  I love the beach.  It is so much fun to play in the waves and to relax listening to the ocean.  I have been known to fall asleep on the beach, too. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Beading

Today I had to hit the bead store to find something to go with a pendant that has been giving me fits.  I didn't have anything in my bead stash to put with this particular pendant since I am not a fan of browns.  I had to break down and get brown.  So, I was able to hit a those sales, I admit it.  I won't be bead shopping for some time since I am in the need of getting the beads organized by color into their appropriate bins.  I want to see what I have before I go shopping. 

The top photo is the pendant that I have had trouble finding beads for.  You would think with fall around the corner, this would not be impossible but, it is next to near impossible trying to find the right colors to compliment this pendant.  This is what I came up with in the second photo.  The beads that look purple are deceptive because they are coated Czech druks.  The coating is a metallic copper and it doesn't photograph well at all.  It looks completely different with the coating showing through.  I used copper accents where I could.  The wire is copper colored, the toggles are copper, the jump rings are copper colored. 

As to the frogs in the turns out there was a family of 4 in the pool and Gary took them down to the creek and dumped them in.  So, they should be happy now, in the creek. 

We get to tear down the filter tonight and put in the new grids.  It is time.  The pressure gauge is pretty high on it right now.  So, that is tonight's fun job.  I am also making a frittata for dinner.  We enjoy them and it is a nice change of pace. 

Now, back to vacuuming my home.  I took a break from that just now to finish the Highlights of Autumn necklace. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rain and Bull Frogs

It has been raining here lately which I won't complain about ever again since our drought situation of last year and a slight one this year.  I love the fact that we have it now.  Then there is my other situation that I can't deal with...a frog in my pool.  This is where the hubby comes in, his job is to get rid of said frog.  This frog can't seem to take a hint and just stay out of my pool, no, he comes back all of the time.  We have pitched him over the fence several times and still he comes back.  He seems to think my pool is his home pond.  Think again dude, this is my pool...not yours.  He even has earned a name and brought a friend with him.  His friend isn't a bull frog, just a normal everyday, slimey fellow.  The bull frog has earned the name Mr. Ploppers since he plops into the pool and out of the pool.  Nasty thing! 

I am not a fan of the things at all.  Ick!  They are champion swimmers, I will say that for him.  He has to become sympatico with the net.  That is how I get him out of the pool.  When he sees the net, he doesn't realize he will be air borne in minutes...oh no, we mustn't let him think he will be leaving on a fast moving rush of air...we must surprise him.  Little does he realize that tonight he will be leaving on a different path...via bucket.  Yep, we have the little trip planned for him tonight. 

I grabbed an old pair of socks that I had been working on last year and put down.  I am now making them into tube socks.  Easy knitting, nothing major required, just knitting.  I am still working on that damn shawl and have plans to finish it this weekend.  I am sick of looking at it.  The yarn is getting worse and worse as I knit with it.  Absolutely detest it at this point in time.  Now, I can see why it was on sale.  I would have put it on sale to get rid of it, too. 

I washed clothes this morning and that is about all I want to do.  I want to go sit and knit along on the sock.  I also have plans for more socks after I finish the tube socks.  I have yarn that I saved specifically for me..I painted it into a luscious color way.  I can't wait to create with it.  Mine, mine, mine.  :-) 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Little Jewelry Making

Today I hit a bead sale.  I had to make a birthday present and since I didn't really want to knit any socks for a present, I decided to update the birthday girl's jewelry collection.  So, I used my bits and pieces to create this necklace for her.  It is called Rocking Roccoco.  Believe it or not, it is very hard to work with reds.  I have no idea why I find it so difficult in necklaces and not yarn.  I love using reds in my is so passionate.  This necklace has reds, it has browns, it has astral pink and it has beiges.  I am hoping it will be well received. I know she wears a lot of reds so, I am thinking this will be perfect.  The pendant I created with a hot fix flat back and some E6000.  The pendant came blank and needed that little bit of red to tie it into the necklace. 

I used copper wire and copper accents to make the necklace feel more like an Autumn color palette plus it is something different.  My first pendant wasn't working out and so, I tried another one and that didn't work with the rest of the necklace, it was too plain so, I settled on making this one and I think it came out great. 

I am slowly working on getting my beads into boxes and it is going to take forever.  I didn't realize I had so many of the things.  Apparently, my niece, Maribeth has a bad bead habit as well.  Oh and my sister blames me for it.  Oh well. 

I am still knitting on that shawl and I am really starting to hate the yarn.  It is so unforgiving since it is mostly cotton with a little bit of wool.  It blows.  My fingers are starting to cramp from working with it.  I can't stand stiff yarns.  I love how well wool stretches and gives, that lovely amazing fiber. 

I went to lunch and shopping with my sister today.  It was fun to get out of the house.  I hit the grocery store on my way home from her house and bought what I needed and I was out of there mucho pronto.  I wanted to beat the rain.  I made it.  I came home and the dogs were so happy to see me.  I love my boys, they are wonderful doggies.  You know how much you are truly loved when your dogs greet you at the door and their tails are wagging and they are squirming to lick and love on you.  Yep, I have to say...dogs are the best. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

One Found Camera

I finally found my camera, the couch had eaten it and I decided after tearing my way around the house that it was the last place I saw it.  So, I stuck my little hand into the couch and yep, there it was.  Damn couch! 
Top photo is a hat out of merino/alpaca, it is gone.  My SIL took it.  It actually fit her nicely.  The second hat is going to be a gift for a friend, and the bottom one is the hat that I knit for my friend's son. 
Currently on the needles, a shawl out of Knit Picks Main Line in Red Velvet Cake, no pictures of it yet.  I bought the yarn on sale a couple of years ago and decided to use it for the shawl.  It is such a pretty color and yes, it does look like red velvet cake. 

I am reading a book about designing shawls.  I want to try my hand at that next.  I also have sock yarn sitting around waiting for me to get crafty with it.  I am doing one thing at a time, I have learned that lesson well.  I no longer try to do two projects at one time.  Too chaotic for me. 

Tonight found me in my pool.  I love cold pool water and well, it did cool down some.  I was able to do my 30 minutes and I killed one water proof watch within 2 minutes of dunking it in the pool on my wrist.  Apparently, the people who sold it to me lied.  It wasn't water proof at all.  So, it went to the trash.  I realized that something was wrong when there was water underneath the bezel.  Okay then.  It killed it dead. 

I am trying to change up my work outs since the end of pool season is almost upon us.  Unless I find a pool that is heated for the winter season.  I do not like hot water so, this is going to be a big challenge.  Unless I go with bike riding and dog walking like I had intended.  I need to do something.  I can walk the boys one at a time and it is 1 mile.  They really like going for walkies on the leash.  I know Ody can use it since he is so damn fat.  Tell me about a Corgi that is skinny and I will tell you that dog has worms.  Mine loves to eat.  We have him on a frozen veggie diet to help combat his over zealous eating habits and he loves them.  I share my bananas with the boys, too.  They love bananas.  All three of them start drooling when I break out a banana.  I also let them lick my yogurt containers when I am done.  That helps out so much with stink.  They don't stink if they have yogurt. 

Today I had to head back to the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner.  Gary made bbq ribs and I needed some items for my side dish.  I decided to try my hand at asparagus with a cashew butter sauce.  Oh my word!  Talk about fantastic...that was so good.  You have to love cashews and we can't seem to get enough of them over here.  It complements the asparagus quite nicely.  I found myself wanting to lick the food processor container.  Yummy!  1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/4 cup of salted roasted cashews, process in your food processor until smooth, cook your asparagus in a cup of chicken broth, until fork tender, remove the woody stems before cooking, then drain the chicken broth and spoon the cashew sauce over the hot asparagus and serve.  We didn't have any left.

Tomorrow is a curry sauce asparagus.  That one involves capers and mayonaisse.  We needed a new jar of capers so, I had to get those when I was at the store.  I can't wait to try that one out.  I am making pork chops with the asparagus and bulgur will be our grain.  I am thinking a lovely rosemary gravy over the bulgur.  I might even skip it since we will have the curry sauce over the asparagus.  I do love to cook and my one thing is that I have to have a well stocked pantry and fridge to do it.  If I am missing items, forget it, we are going out. 

I need to get myself back to work and get the new sock yarns into the shop.  I am really having a hard time getting movtivated this year.  I think with the economy being as awful as it is and then with the heat we have been suffering through this year, it just has worn on me.  I can't seem to get excited about much of anything.  The only thing I want to do these days is stay inside the cool a/c and then go for drives with the top down on my car in the cooler evenings.  It is very nice.  I did find myself driving with the top down this morning with the Judas Priest blaring on my way to the grocery store. I had convertible hair by the time I got to the grocery store and of course, I happen to attract every man in a 10 foot radius with my little car.  I get more dirty looks from me, I don't want your hubby, I have enough with the one I have.  I couldn't handle more than one.  Last week it was an old Marine talking to me at the traffic light.  I am nice, I talk to them.  It was just how I was raised.  If someone speaks to you, speak back and always treat them like you want to be treated. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What The...Hey!

I know it has been ages since I have posted but, so many things have been happening and blogging isn't chief among those things.  I lost my camera and I am tearing my house apart trying to find it.  My wallet was stolen out of my purse and that made me feel completely awful and violated.  I had to cancel credit cards and thankfully, I was able to cancel them before said individual went on a buying spree.  I found out from my bank that those lovely aluminum wallets are targeted by thieves.  Since they can't scan the cards through them, they steal the whole damn thing.  So, I don't have one anymore. 

I also learned that you want a purse with a zipper and a flap if you can find one...something to make their miserable lives even harder.  Why make it easy for the damn thieves? 

I have been knitting like crazy and I even managed to paint yarn for the shop but, since I am without a camera, it makes my life harder.  Where did I put that camera?  I thought it was in one place and no it isn't.  Dang! 

I was thinking life was going to get better since I had found skinny sticks down at the grocery store, come to find out, they do not have room for them.  I had bought 4 bags of the things and when I went back last room for them.  The guy was talking to me about them and when he mentioned things to do with grocery stores, I tuned him out.  Gary was stuck talking to him.  I admit, if it doesn't interest me, I tune it out.  Yep. 

Gary has decided that my bead collection needs to be organized and he is right, I am trying to get them all sorted and separated, talk about a chore.  I have lots of beads.  They make pretty things and those pretty things make great birthday presents.  My sister tells me I am a shopping ho.  Well, okay I can accept that.  I found a new place that sell purses and accessories.  Melinda and I have spent way too much time in that store.  Yesterday was her turn for a new purse.  After perusing the whole store, she finally found the one she wanted and then the search was on for the matching wallet.  Oh boy. 

It has been so damn freaking hot here that it is next to impossible to go outside in the middle of the day, the heat will drop a cow.  So, we have been staying indoors more often than not.  I was talking the dogs for walkies in the morning but, that stopped when the sore throat started.  I am not happy with the amount of ragweed in the air.  The crap is about to do me in this year. 
I was asked to make something pretty for a relative.  The first thing that was mentioned was a blanket, oh yeah, can you see me doing that?  You would have to peel my ass off of the ceiling.  I don't do big projects, I get bored so easily.  I am currently working on a shawl for the family reunion, we do a silent auction each year to help out with the cost of the hall rental, etc.  So, this year, I am taking a shawl with me for it.  I may even take a few necklaces to it this year.  I took a necklace and a bracelet last year and raised money from those pieces.  I have to look and see what I have this year to go. 

I am not doing Rice Harvest Festival in Katy this year.  My health wasn't the best when the sign up came to me.  I decided to skip it this year.  I don't want to deal with the stress of it.  It is a huge stress filled weekend.  Not for me right now.  I don't even have the yarn for it.  Someone contacted me for it and wanted to sell me signs and business cards.  I declined since I will not be going. 

I am about to start cleaning out my kitchen cabinets and selling stuff that I haven't used in years.  It is going bye bye.  Why keep it when it hasn't been used?  I have some seriously expensive cake pans that are going to be sold.  If I make a cake now, it has to be sugar free and I have to use spelt flour since regular white flour is so completely awful for me.  I made xyla short bread the other day.  I will say this...they are wonderful if you need a good cleaning out.  I call them the laxative cookies.  With the amount of fiber I eat, this isn't such a bad thing. 

I am making pepper steak tonight with either quinoa or bulgur instead of rice.  Rice is off limits with me.  I can't touch it.  I need to find a Spanish rice recipe and convert it to quinoa.  It should work.  The family recipe of mushroom gravy and steak turns out really well with the quinoa.  The original recipe calls for rice but, if you can't have rice, you need a substitute and the quinoa is my substitute.  I use bulgur on pasta days.  No pasta is allowed in the diet, either.  I miss having lasagna.  I think what I am going to use in place of the noodles is zuchini.  Gary read about that.  I hope it will turn out well.  I love bolognese sauce.  I have found that chicken parm with bulgur works great. 

I know it doesn't sound great but, if you can't have the bad stuff, then you must find a way to have your favorite recipes, with other things.  The one item I draw the line at is lentils.  Oh my God, those are the nastiest things I have ever had besides those icky no calorie or carb noodles.  Your taste buds would have to be completely dead before those things would taste good.  I guess if you smoke and can't taste much of anything anyway, they would be fine.