Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Some Items Just Aren't Meant to be!

Tonight I decided to install a new game on my computer...oh man, freaking big mistake, it hosed the whole damn computer.  I had to uninstall the game and now the computer is so happy!  I guess some games aren't compatible with Windows 8.1.  Fun! 

I have been working on the afghan for charity.  I also worked on my stole.  It is going to be a stole, it is just too wide to be a scarf.  I managed to get another couple of rows taken care of.  I also decided to work on the afghan.  I want to see the end of the thing. 

I also have an afghan to finish for my friend.  Notice I am not too thrilled about it.  I am afghan'd out.  I said it.  Pretty much that is it.  I want to sit down and work on stuff for me, just me. 

The neighbors are popping fireworks.  I could care less as long as they don't hit my car with them.  I am not into the whole New Year's party thing anymore.  I did my share of partying back in my 20's and I am shocked that I am still alive after some of the things I did back then.  I have calmed down in my 40's, I think. 

Well, not my driving.  That is still as good as it was back then.  :)  I scare the crap out of my sister, she refuses to crawl into my passenger seat.  I love that car of mine, though. I love to drive that car, it is fun. 

Tomorrow is scrapbooking day.  I have so many photos to put into the chapter scrapbook.  I was printing them out today and ran out of ink.  I had to go searching for my ink stash.  I found it after sitting down and thinking...where in the world did I put it? I cleaned my house and that is the worst thing for me, I can't find a thing right now. 

We had a weenie roast tonight with my fire pit.  I love that thing.  It was last year's Christmas present and it has been a wonderful addition to the household.  We use it on cold nights and we have weenie roasts and marshmallow roasts.  My dogs love melted marshmallows.  They are spoiled doggies. 

They are good boys, my doggies.  I would be lost without them. 

I hope everyone has a very Happy and Safe New Year. 

Back to watching The Wizard of Oz. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Beads! Why Did I Wait So Long?

I bought some seed beads and decided to go ahead and take the plunge to start knitting with beads.  I had originally thought that beads and knitting were something far flung and hard to do.  Boy, was I wrong!  Big time.  The hardest part is getting the beads onto the yarn.  Yep, that is it.  I used dental floss to get the beads onto the yarn. 

I thought of knitting socks.  No, that didn't happen. I went with a scarf or stole, I am thinking it might turn into a stole.  I am working on it right now.  It is looking pretty so far.


I am using one of my own hand painted yarns.  This one is called Pomegranate.  It is merino/nylon blend.  The beads are Toho cubes, 4mm trans-lustered rose.  They work really well with the yarn.  At first I didn't think they would look well with this yarn.  I found out that yes, they look fabulous with my yarn. 

So exciting!  I love when it all comes together. 

I love the beads and I found them at Artbeads.  I also look for beads at my local bead store.  She has a pretty good selection.  I want to go peruse her beads as soon as possible, again.  I have one bead here that I need more of with another yarn. 

I can see why so many knitters are into bead knitting, it is very addictive! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Misery!

Now that I am officially sick for one whole week, I am starting to really despise the crap in my lungs.  I have used up one box of each of my nebulizer solutions.  We can't even get lucky enough for some serious rain to wash down the offending pollen that is causing this whole miserable mess. 

I did decide to start knitting if I can stay awake long enough.  So far, that hasn't happened.  I did find the pattern I want to knit.  It isn't socks.  It isn't anything that I should be working on, it is something for little ole me.  Yep, me. 

I bought the new Jane Austen Knits 2013 and found a shawl I want to knit myself.  It has beads to be added to the pattern.  I went looking on Utube to find out how to attach said beads with a crochet hook and wow, that is simple.  So, I decided to go ahead and try my hand at making myself a nice shawl with beads. 

Then came the hard part, trying to decide what color of bead to use on my project.  So, I went bead shopping, like this is a real hardship to me...heh!  I found two different colors of purple beads that I want to use.  One is a silver lined lilac, so cool looking and the other one is a deep dark amethyst.  Very striking.  Since I couldn't decide which one to use, I plan to use both since the yarn has both colors in it.  Now the fun part, trying to find my steel crochet hooks to use with this pattern.  I have a set, I just need to find the bag that the set is in.  Always a trial over here with something.  I guess I should get myself better organized and it would be better for me. 

Hubby is probably reading this and thinking...oh yes, you need to be organized and start with your office first.  Yeah, I know this...when I can stay awake longer than say an hour, I will think about it. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Oh Great...My Allergies are Flairing Up!

It all started Thursday night, I had a bad sore throat and then I started to cough.  I had a major asthma attack and couldn't figure out what in the world was going on.  Then hubby tells me that cedar and juniper are really high right now.  That must be it.  So, I was thinking, I can deal with this, it is just allergies.

Well, Friday rolls around and I feel like crap.  I am thinking...okay, I will take my antihistamines and I will be fine.  I had the family party to deal with on Saturday.  It should be okay by Saturday...what was I thinking?  No, it wasn't fine, it was worse.  I was hacking like a smoker who smokes 3 packs a day.  My voice was going in and out and the sore throat was lingering.  No fever so, I knew it was allergies. 

So, Saturday comes and I am still feeling awful.  I had a house full of people and I was miserable.  Thankfully, I am blessed with a truly wonderful husband who took over for me.  I love you honey! We managed to get through Saturday and I am hoping everyone had a truly great time.  We had a first happen here, the kids did a White elephant present exchange.  What really shocked me during the present exchange with the kids was the fact that two of the boys were fighting for a rubber band loom.  I wouldn't have thought it. 

Then it was the adults turn to have their fun, it went well.  I came out of the deal with some trinket bowls, which I will use for beading.  Gary came out of it with a gift card from the local hardware store.  We used it already to replace the smoke detectors in the house.  They are hardwired into the alarm system. 

I figured Sunday would be better for me.  Was I freaking wrong!  I woke up to no voice whatsoever and I was more miserable than the previous days.  I moved to the couch and slept most of the day away.  I woke up only long enough for Gary to feed me.  Then I would fall back asleep.  I was miserable as can be. 

I woke up this morning feeling worse than the previous day, this allergy crap is getting the best of me.  I am living for the times that I get to nebulize!  My nebulizer is my friend at this point.  I am moving to the couch full time right now. I can't even sleep with my hubby since I hack all night long.  It is pure misery.  I sleep so much better on the couch.  I have my blanket and some throw pillows and I am quite comfy.  I had my jammies and my hand knit wool socks on.  Totally comfy.  Tonight I am planning on doing the same thing, just sleeping on the couch.  I plan on downing a cup of sleepy time tea and letting it take me to dream land.  Hopefully, this will let me sleep.  Still no fever!  I am finding this is the damndest stuff.  I have no idea if it is the cedar or the juniper, doing it to me but, it needs to quit.  I know cedar is a potent allergy on my Mom's side of the family.  One of my cousins can't breathe and has to have cortisone shots during the season.  I am starting to wonder if I need one.  That would explain a whole bunch.  I know when the wildfires were burning a couple of summers ago, I was in agony from the whole smoke thing.  Gary went out and bought me an air purifier and that is what I spent my time sitting in front of. 

I had myself a cup of coffee and then a decaf chaser.  I am hoping this will help thin some of the mucus in my lungs.  I miserable with the crap right now.  I don't even feel like crocheting or knitting, that tells you how bad it is. 

I closed the shop for the rest of the week, I need some time away from it.  I don't even feel like driving my car and I love to do that.  I just want to sleep and get rid of this crap.  I know how my 2013 Christmas is going...sick with allergies. 

I am catching up on my reading, though.  I have finished one book and I am working on the second one in the series.  It is pretty good.  It is a sci-fi fantasy.  I found the first book for free in the Kindle store and bought the second and third book.  There might be more books in the series, I will have to look. If nothing else, this gives me some much needed down time after a month of cleaning my house.  It did make it to being clean and the moral of this lesson, don't let it get that way again.  Seriously, it was freaking miserable.  I have plans to do maintenance work on it so, it looks good for the rest of our time here.  That is the plan.  Now my office needs to be gone through and crap organized and thrown out. 

I need to get my scrapbooking stuff organized and in one spot, not strung out all over the house, like the yarn was.  I am going to try to do better in the new year. 

My resolution is:  to get myself better organized and clean my house on a weekly basis to keep it looking good.  I also plan to use my yarn stash up.  No more buying yarn until I have half of the stash gone.  That means two rooms will be freed up.  Yay!  I have plans to do charity knitting anyway so, this should work out. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Making Candy on High Heat...Yeah...Bad Idea!

I have a new cookbook with some super yummy looking recipes and one of them is a candy recipe.  I should have realized that when it said high heat for 6 to 8 minutes I was going to be in trouble.  It didn't click today, and I paid dearly for this costly mistake and so did everyone in this house.  My hound dog was howling it was so awful, black smoke, and the STINK!!!!  Barfy funky stink. 

So, my hubby being the wonderful man that he is, volunteered to go and get me more almonds so, I could try another batch at a lower temperature.  I think he wanted to escape the funk.  I tried again and well, this time at a much lower temp, it turned out great.  I should have realized that the directions were sadly lacking on that recipe. 

I had also made some peppermint bark before that.  If you can nuke, you can make it.  So easy.  I will share my recipe with you.  People will think you slaved over a hot stove to make what is simply the easiest thing going.  You will need, a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips, I used Guittard, my favorite brand.  One bag of white chocolate chips, I used Nestle, get the 12 ounce sizes for both and one bag of crushed peppermint candy, same 12 ounce size, you won't use all of it, either.  Only about half of the bag. Wax paper and a cookie sheet.  Roll out some of the waxed paper onto a clean cookie sheet. 
Dump your chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl, nuke for about 2 minutes, then check, stir and if they aren't melted, nuke for about 30 seconds, check by stirring, if no, try 30 more seconds until they stir and lose their shape, do not over cook since chocolate scorches easily, you will have funk...see above and will have to throw it out.  Pour your melted chocolate on the  sheet of waxed paper.  Spread it with the back of a spoon.  Try to make it into a rectangle. 

Now, take another microwave safe bowl and pour in the bag of white chocolate chips, start on 1 minute and nuke it.  Be forewarned, white chocolate actually scorches faster than the semi sweet, try to mix it, if it won't mix, then nuke for 30 seconds, and try to stir again, if not keep doing 30 second increments and when it finally stirs, pour this melted chocolate onto the rectangle of the semi sweet chocolate.  Now, take the bag of peppermint and cover the white chocolate with it.  I try to coat it pretty good.  Not all of it will stick, you will have excess.  Take the whole cookie sheet and waxed paper, place in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

The fun part...breaking it up into bite sized pieces after it has been in the fridge for an hour.  Find a spot where you won't mind the mess...it is messy.  I let the hubby take out his aggressions on it.  Break it into small pieces.  I store mine in a plastic container with a lid in the fridge. 

When I was asked by my hubby what I was thinking with the high heat...I realized, I haven't baked or made candy in years.  Not since the diabetes diagnosis.  I just haven't been in the mood to do it.  The new cookbook inspired me to bake and make candy for Christmas. 

I have the family Christmas party this Saturday and I am trying to clean the place up and find spots for all of my crafting items.  I have yarn galore, scrapbooking supplies, and fiber all over this place. We are slowly getting there.  I also have fabric.  No more crafting supplies in this house, we are full up. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year.  Be safe. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Sabrina Sock!

I finally finished my niece, Sabrina's socks.  So, I decided to name the pattern after her.  It is a simple lace pattern that gives really nice results.  I used my hand painted yarn, pink frosting, it is merino/silk sock yarn.  One of my favorites to work with. 



As you can see by the three pictures the sock is pretty.  I love the three shades of pink in this one.  She mentioned to me that she loves pink. So, she is getting a pair of pink wool/silk socks.  Now, I just need to make the tag and washing instructions for her.  These are hand wash, cold water.  No heat whatsoever. I can't state this enough to my family members who do not seem to realize that putting them in the washing machine will shrink and felt them.  After this fiasco has occurred, you are no longer on the sock list, you are banned from ever receiving another pair.  Two weeks goes into a pair of socks.  I just love the fact that one of my nieces, didn't realize how long it takes to knit a pair of socks.  She thought I could zip a pair out in a matter of days.  Uh, no!  I have a life other than knitting. 
I was inspired by a pattern in a lace book.  I can't remember which one it was but, the pattern struck me as beautiful on a sweater and I knew it would be impressive on a sock.  I used a Dutch heel for this sock since it gives a more tailored fit to the heel.  It is very simple to do.  Almost mindless and when you have knit as many socks as I have, mindless is wonderful.  No counting involved.  So, as your husband or wife is yacking in your ear, you won't have to count loudly to let them know you are in the middle of a short row.  If you know the signs to look for, the Dutch heel will become your go to heel.  I even do stockinette heels for my socks with a nice garter stitch edge, it gives it some interesting texture.  I do love the eye of the partridge heel flaps, they are awesome looking in a hand painted yarn. 
This sock was knit on two circulars.  It is my preferred method of sock knitting.  They were knit one at a time since this is the way I knit socks.  Two at a time isn't enjoyable in my book.  I would rather take the time to enjoy knitting each sock.  It is after all my exercise in patience. 
I am also researching my next sock pattern since I have another pair to knit for one of my nieces by marriage.  She has a small foot( a size 6), love small feet, they are so much easier to knit for.  I am trying to decide if I should do a lace sock for her or maybe do some left twists or right twist patterns for her.  I have the yarn ready to go.  Her sock yarn is merino/nylon.  She has two small children to deal with and she can just throw hers into a cold water washer.  Each yarn has their own qualities that make them unique.  These are my two favorite sock yarns.  Not only do I paint the yarns, I use them as well. 
 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Doing A Little Sock Knitting





I am taking a much needed break from crocheting blankets to knit socks.  One of my many nieces needs a pair of wool socks.  She lives in North Texas and has cold feet.  This shouldn't surprise me at all since the rest of us have cold feet, too.  I call us the cold foot brigade. 

So, I used one of my own hand painted yarns in my favorite blend, merino wool and silk.  Love this yarn.  The color is pink frosting.  For some reason it didn't sell in the shop so, I am repurposing it by knitting socks with it. 

I was perusing a lace book and found this pattern, it was being used for a sweater and I am not a sweater knitter at all so, I decided to write a sock pattern for it.  I think it makes a nice looking sock.  I have already knit it once before.  I knit myself another pair of socks.  Face it, you can never have too many pairs of hand knit wool socks. 
 
With this last cold spell I managed to wear every single pair I own during the week.  I was washing socks left and right.  So, I am happy with the amount I have right now. 

I also have been asked to knit a pair for one of my nieces by marriage.  She tells me she has really cold feet year round.  So, I will be knitting a pair for her after these are finished for Sabrina. 

What I love the best about both pairs of socks...both ladies have small feet.  Sabrina's socks are size 6.5.  Anita's socks are going to be size 6.  I love knitting for little feet. 

My hound dog is barking and trying to tell me it is past his bed time and I need to come upstairs and lock him in his kennel.  I am surprised the cat hasn't come to whine to me that it is her bedtime and I need to get to bed so, she can sleep on the bed comfortably.  She also demands that I pet her before I go to sleep.  It is her ritual.  We can't mess that up, heaven forbid if we do. 

I have a merino/nylon blend that I had hand painted and I was going to put in the shop but, decided to not do it.  That yarn will be used for Anita's socks.  I think one of my other nieces wants socks for her kids.  I guess I am going to be busy knitting socks for a while.  I have to stop at some point to finish crocheting my charity blanket.  I need it for February.  I guess it is a good thing that I have so much sock yarn, it looks like I will be using it up this year. 

It works out for me since I am flush with yarn.  I did send off my charity items and it cost me $46 in shipping to get 16 pounds of items to the kids.  The ladies in the chapter are so amazing.  The ones who can't knit, they bought mittens and hats for my charity project.  Even one of my niece's teachers donated items.  She plans to give me more items, soon.  I donated to her cause a skein of hand painted sock yarn, a bracelet and some custom made stitch markers for her.  All of the items were made by me.  If you help me out, I am very generous with my thank you presents. 

I had ordered my niece, Maribeth her usual round of winter clothes for her birthday and some of them came in today.  It seems that when I checked big kid, the company I bought the clothes from ignored this and gave me the little kids version.  Thankfully, the clothes were made in San Salvador so, they were big for their sizes, if they were made in China or Taiwan, they would have been cut smaller.  So, I had Maribeth come over to try it all on.  She took everything except for 3 items.  Since those three items are cheaper than the shipping, I am keeping them.  I asked around to my nieces if any of their daughters wore a size 7/8 and sure enough, I found one.  So, I have 3 items going to one of my great nieces.  She said her daughter needs clothes so, this works out for all of us. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Soy Wax Arrived! Yay!

Yesterday, I broke out my candle making gear.  My sister, Melinda wanted a candle that smelled like the season and I told her spending $4 on a candle from the grocery store that really didn't smell like much was a waste.  I told her I would make her one.  I did.  It is a soy wax candle and it smells divine.  My scent that I used, apple jack and peel.  It smells like a cinnamon apple pie.  Heavenly.  I also heavily scent my candles. 

I realized after making her candles that I was almost out of wax so, I placed an order.  It arrived today and I had ordered in clamshells to make warmer melts.  My new scent that I ordered in is gingerbread.  It smells fantastic! 

So, I used the last of my apple jack and peel and some of the gingerbread to make warmer melts. 

I made three pint jars of candles yesterday and they are already spoken for.  I did have an ETSY shop for my candles but, decided to not sell on there.  Too many people as it is.  It is hard enough to sell my yarns on there. 

My sister, Cheryl suggested I make some candles and melts for our annual Christmas white elephant party for the chapter.  I guess I will think about it.  I have so many choices for that event. 

I can always give another necklace or bracelet to the cause or one of my wax creations.  I just have to think about it. 

It does pay to be crafty.  I have noticed more and more people are making their Christmas presents this year. 

I was asked if I was going to the black Friday sales this year and the answer is, NO!  I don't have it in me to do it. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Returning to Normal, or So I Thought

After all the stresses of the last month and the loss of my BIL, I thought things were going to be back to normal, I should have known this wouldn't happen.  I threw my back out and I missed my blood work last week because I knew there was no way in the world that I could get my body onto a table for them to take my blood.  So, I had to reschedule it for this week.  It works out for the best since I have a much later fasting appointment than before.  I have DAR on Thursday night so, I know if I stay out later than normal, it will work out in the long run. 

I haven't been able to sleep all that well with the back doing it's thing.  Just the pure misery that I have been through with it.  I managed to get some sleep yesterday on the couch.  I love this couch, it sleeps well.  We threw out our old couch and wei I  are using my Mom's 20 year old couch as a replacement set.  Love the Klausner brand, it holds up well.  The fabric still looks good.  We got a steal on the couch set when Mom was going into the secure facility.  We paid $250 for it and it is going strong.  Thank goodness we have it.  The other set had issues, the springs broke in the couch and managed to rip a hole into the carpet underneath the thing.  The love seat was soaked by cat pee.  Loads of cat pee.  It seems they took a dislike to the puppy who used to crawl onto the thing and they gave it a soak down.  It was nasty!  I pity anyone who thought they were going to take that thing off of our hands.  Someone even looked at it on the curb.  I guess if you don't have anything, even a cat pee sofa works out. 

The new curtain rod came in.  I went searching for it specifically for the family room window.  I had bought one a couple of years ago from JCP and hubby finally installed the thing in our bedroom.  Oh, it is amazing, the thing bends around to the sides so, the whole window is covered.  It isn't one of those cheap suckers, either.  This thing looks like pipe tubing.  So, I went looking for one in silver and sure enough just when I was about to give up, I spotted it and I had a coupon. Love coupons.  I managed to get a $75 curtain rod for $35!  Yep!  It was on sale and then with the coupon, that took off a major amount.  I have my thermal backed curtains in my home and let me tell you, those things have saved us serious money!  Our electric bill at one point was $759!  I nearly fell over when that one hit and I knew I had to do something.  So, I went looking for the thermal backed curtains.  I found another coupon for JCP and managed to get free shipping and all the curtains for the rest of the house for $100.  I was so happy.  Hubby has even remarked about those curtains.  This from the man when I first met him, he said he didn't believe in curtains.  Now he does! 

Anyway, I have been dealing with my back pain.  Oh boy, it actually hurt worse than usual and I was in agony for days.  I know I have been a misery to live with.  Last night, I was thinking it was all better and then it popped in my sleep...holy smoke, that wasn't pleasant!  Now it feels much better.  I also had to employ the torture device that hurts like a mofo when I have to use it.  It was well worth every penny I spent on it.  Even the hubby will get it out when he needs the thing. 

I was asked to make an afghan for charity.  I am hoping today to go and get the yarn for the thing.  I was going to do it in Wash but, then I realized that my hands won't let me do it in this yarn.  I am currently working on one in Wash but, I need Lion Brand Homespun for the charity one.  It works up so much quicker and I can use a size N hook.  Also, the Homespun is so much softer and snuggly.  I love my blanket in it.  I snuggle under it and the cats sleep on me when I use it.  They too love to snuggle into it.  I even made the hubby one in this yarn.  I made a prayer blanket for my BIL in it.  My sister said she loved how cuddly it is.  I am thinking I might be making more of these blankets for people in my family.  It is a good idea for a present. 

Even Ody tries to snuggle into my Homespun blanket.  He is so sweet.  I love my corgi!

The current blanket is the purple and silver monster.  I can't wait to see the end of the thing.  I am to the point where I look at it and grunt.  Ever been there?  I am there.  The patriotic afghan is sitting on my exercise bike right now.  It has been requested for a fund raiser.  At some point, I am going to have to rest my hand.  The poor thing is killing me and I have way too much to do. 

I might have to say no more charity after all the blankets are finished for the year.  I then get to start my charity knitting for the new year.  I have found out that more items are needed.  Oh boy!  I guess my stash will finally be used up for the good of others.  It works out.  I get to use awesome yarn for people who are in need of warm items.  I need to mail out three boxes of items to various schools. 

I am thankful, I have so many ladies who are willing to help me in my charity efforts.  One has been sewing for me and I made her a bracelet, some custom stitch markers and a skein of hand painted merino/silk sock yarn.  I thought that was a nice thank you. 

I have a new yarn I want to paint for the shop.  I have to wind out more skeins of it and then paint it.  I can't wait to see how well it paints up.  I also have a candle order to make.  I need to find my scent oils for that.  I have the jars for that so, that is not a problem.  I just have to find the time and I am still trying to get my home in order for Christmas.  I will be decorating it to the nines this year since we will have family here.  I haven't been able to work on it this week since the back has been out of whack!  I have to make up time over the weekend, we are doing a run to the local donation place to get rid of some of the crap that we have.  It is time for it to go. 



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

House Cleaning and Organizing!

I was actually terrified to start cleaning my living room and my dining room.  I have scrapbooking stuff all over my mom's table.  She gave me that table when she was moved to the Alzheimer's facility, she did this so, there wouldn't be a fight for it.  The table is an antique and it is solid oak.  It is heavy.  I love that table, I used to crawl under it as a child and played under it.  It holds many happy memories for me.  The table was actually an antique when Daddy bought it for Mom.  The table is 119 years old. 

I cherish that table.  It is a part of my family history.  Many happy memories happened at that table, many sad ones, too.  Any news we had was shared over that table.  I even think all 8 of us kids played under it and around it.  I know I did. 

So, I started the cleaning process yesterday when my large bin showed up in the mail. Gary doesn't get mad at me for buying bins, he would rather have it all in one place than strewn all over the place.  I am trying to organize today and also do several pages for the chapter scrapbook.  We are involved in so many things with the chapter and I am trying to get pictures printed and ready to go for the book.  It is going to be huge.  I am glad I ordered in more pages for it.  That scrapbook is a work of love for me.  I love making our pages so neat and pretty for this chapter.  I hope the ladies enjoy each page and memory.  I try to include everyone in it. 

Today is the Keep Them Warm Campaign page.  I have to also send out a box to another school that sent me a letter begging for warm items for their children.  The kids in these schools are below the poverty line and they get funding from DAR.  I think all children deserve a well rounded education.  If we do not educate our children, then they will not ask questions and will accept what is going on around them.  Always question, always keep learning, it will make a better person in the end.  I read as much as I can to learn new things.  You are never too old to learn something new. 

So, I started picking up the papers and stickers, the glues, etc to clean off this table since it will be put to good use for Christmas this year.  I decided to take family Christmas because we haven't done it in a while.  My house has been a wreck for a couple of years and I am trying to remedy that situation right now.  I am also getting ready to do a run to the local donation place.  I have a bunch of crap that they can have. 

I also want to make soy wax candles this week.  I have had several requests for apple jack scent.  It is a nice warm scent perfect for the holidays. 

The hubby is making sauerkraut and so, we have jars galore for that.  I even dug out one of our antique kraut jars that have been in the family for a very long time.  They are the ones with the separate lids in glass with the rubber ring and the metal wires to hold down the lid.  I told him I would let him use it but, he has to be extra careful with it. 

Even my kitchen table is an antique but, I picked that up at a garage sale for $60.  It works for us.  I know it is quality since it too is oak.  I seem to have an oak theme going on around here.  It is a nice wood. 

I will have to look on the craft tower to find my scent oils and was dyes for the candles.  I have some watermelon candles left over in the pantry.  I will see if anyone wants one of those.  I was thinking of making melts but, I don't have any clamshells for that animal and I really don't want to have to order in any right now.  I have way too much going on as it is. 

Now off to clean once again.  Y'all have a beautiful day! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hell Week!

Well, last week my brother in law, Gene, passed away.  He went peacefully after a horrible 6 weeks of pain, suffering and misery. He slipped away in hospice as we sat there with his brother and my sisters, and my nieces.  We were laughing about something and then my sister, Melinda noticed he had passed.  I know that my oldest sister, his wife wanted him to go sooner but, he wouldn't go.  He was waiting for his brother to get there and then he passed when we were laughing about something that was said.  He left on a very good note. 

The Rosary was Sunday, and the priest said the fastest Rosary I have ever been to.  I found out afterwards that he is 82 years old and doesn't like to be driving after dark.  I can understand that. 

Yesterday was the funeral and it was a very nice service.  I was worried about my sister, she has really poor health.  She swayed a couple of times but, she managed to get herself through it.   The hard part starts after the funeral when life has to return to normal and you realize that they aren't there.  I had to go through this with my Daddy.  I was used to him doing things for me and he wasn't there anymore.  Mom was easier to deal with since she was in a secure Alzheimer's home and she passed suddenly from a heart attack.  That was easier to deal with.  This cancer situation is much worse!  So much more horrible. 

Then as we were driving home last night, I get a text from one of my nieces, a different one than the two who lost their Dad, one of her friend's lost her Dad last night.  We all ran together when we were kids and I am so sorry that she lost her Dad. He was given a couple of days yesterday and then yesterday evening, he passed.  That quick!  Shocker to say the least.  I feel for her and her family. 

This week, I am trying to get back into the swing of things.  It is hard after sitting in vigil at the hospice last week.  I had to sit down and think about what I need to do today.  I have to start the major clean up of the formal living room and the dining room.  I have all of my scrapbooking stuff on my dining room table.  Lovely. 

I was asked to crochet an afghan for charity.  I started thinking about that today.  I do have the yarn to do it and I might need to get some more red for the afghan.  I have to decide how many skeins I need to buy.  I guess I will figure it out when I get to that point.   I am going to crochet this one out of my brain as well.  I love doing my own pattern.  It works out nicely. 

I never would have been able to get through this without my darling hubby and my supportive family.  We are a huge family but, I have noticed that if any one of us needs something, we drop what we are doing to go help.  That is how Mom and Daddy raised us.  I think they did a fabulous job with what they had.  I still miss them both. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and very blessed week. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chaos!

Right now, I have had to put my life on hold.  The reason, my oldest brother in law is dying of cancer.  A new form of the stuff that is so bad that MD Anderson here in Houston has pretty much told his family and 4 other families to come and get their people so they can die at home.  It is aggressive, it is new and there is no treatment for it.  They have no idea as to what it is.  It didn't respond to chemo or radiation.  It is horrible. 

My BIL was diagnosed with this 6 weeks ago and he is in hospice.  My sister, Melinda and I have been going to sit vigil with my oldest sister.  We have been praying that God will take him already.  He is wasting away in that bed. 

I do have to say that the staff and the residents of Parkview Manor in Weimar, Texas are the best.  My mom was in the secure section of Parkview Manor when she had Alzheimer's.  I can't say enough good things about that place.  They are truly wonderful.  The residents are very supportive of one another.  Every time I walk through on my way to see my BIL, I tell them all hello and they are so happy that someone speaks to them.  Just the little things in life make someone's day better. 

I have been working on another blanket.  It was supposed to be a wedding present but, I am not giving it as a wedding present because I was not invited to the wedding.  I have been so upset about this because it is my best friend's wedding.  She was in my wedding and I guess I am not important enough in her life to be invited to hers.  At this point, I do not even want to go to her wedding. I don't want to share that joy with her at all.  I am happy that she is getting married, I just am over all the pettiness of it. 

I haven't even heard from her about my family member and I am starting to realize that maybe she and I are on two different wave lengths.  I am dealing with a soon to be death and she is all happy about her new life.  We are going in opposite directions right now.  I wish her well.  I just don't have time to tell her how I feel. 

Today I have plans to stay home and deal with all that I have had to put on hold.  I have to get my meds refilled.  I realized I haven't had my asthma meds in a couple of days.  I have to go grocery shopping today since I know that tomorrow might be a funeral or the day after, we have no idea what is holding him here. 

Yesterday, I got a phone call that scared the living crap out of me, Melinda called me telling me to get dressed and get to her house, we had to go because the hospice called Betty, my oldest sister to tell her that the time was near.  So, I had to feed my dogs, get them outside, throw my lunch, snacks, and water together, grab the blanket in the bag and head out the door.  I was in a state of chaos.  I have been living that chaos for three days this week. 

We finally make it to Weimar, I get out of the car and my niece informs me that I have gray hair.  Oh thank you so much for noticing that.  I have noticed that I have more gray hair this week than I had last week.  We sat with him all day with his daughters, my nieces, and my sister, Jena, my brother, Gary and my BIL, Jack.  We watched his features go from a struggle to peaceful almost like his time was near.  I have watched his color go from yellow to orange to parchment to pale parchment.  I have to say that this is worse than watching my Daddy suffer from and die from cancer.  This one is so quick, it doesn't even give you time to deal with this loss.  It is going to be so weird not seeing him at family functions with his huge smile or a joke.  He always told me he wanted one of his tangerines from his tree but, the sad thing is, his tree finally produced fruit and he won't have one of the fruits.  His tree had frozen and it came back.  This would have been the first crop from it for him. 

My sister is in poor health and we are so scared that this will do her in.  We are there for her and for her daughters.  I keep telling her to call if she needs help with anything.  She is going to need a lot of help and if I have to go and do manual labor not a problem, I grew up with parents who believed in teaching their children how to work.  If I am sore for a couple of days, so be it. 

Tuesday on my way to Weimar, I drove and we had to stop in Columbus to get new wiper blades for my car.  I am thankful for the man at the Auto Zone, he put them on for me.  They are wonderful.  I kept telling Gary I needed new ones and he pretty much brushed it off.  I guess he thought I would go buy them and he would install them but, with all that is going on, I haven't had the time to even get to the auto parts store. 

It came down to not being able to see so, I stopped in Columbus and bought them.  Now to get the a/c fixed in the car.  It went out and I have been hoping and praying that it isn't the blower motor, I think it is so, that means more money out the door. I need that thing fixed so, I can use my defrost on the car.  That was a fun trip home, we had to have the windows down while it was raining.  It was awful but, I have been through worse. 

I finally finished the red, white, and blue afghan.  It is very nice.  The current one is a silver, lavender, granite so far.  More purples and grays or blacks will be added as I go on.  I will try to take a picture of it when I get it far enough along.  It has been my salvation right now as I work on it in hospice.  It is saving me from breaking down crying.  I work on it and my family watches me asking me questions on how can I sit there and work on it.  It is easy, it is my saving grace right now.  So, when my friend gets it,  I hope she realizes how many tears there are in it.  How many prayers there are in each stitch.  I hope she appreciates all the heartache that is in this one.  She probably won't care.  It is helping me cope with not being invited to her special day and for the loss of my family member. 

As a knitter and a crocheter, I realize how much love goes into each and every project.  I have been handed items from other knitters and crocheters as gifts and I know that each and every project is a reflection of their soul.  That bit of string and that hook or needles has helped that person cope.  Sometimes that stitch or row has worked out the most difficult problems we have.  I would be lost if I couldn't knit or crochet. 



Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday!

Here is one of the items I have been working on lately.  It is all my own design.  I have not written it down.  I guess I should do that.  Not that I will ever make another one like it.  I started out with a granny square, and deviated a little bit.  I got bored and in my boredom, I created other rows to give it some interest.  It is a one of a kind blanket. 

This one will be lap size only, I am not going bigger.  Pretty much the red will have 4 rows and then I will finish it off with a dark blue edging.  Probably single crochet.  Nothing fancy. 

The yarn used in this blanket is Willow Wash, 100% acrylic.  I know, I have said time and again that I hate acrylic but, this stuff is amazing.  Yep, I am saying it.  It is soft and doesn't make my fingers peel like other acrylics out there.  You know the one I am talking about.  It is harsh, it is nasty and it is cheaper. 

I have to fight the cats and the dogs away from my blanket.  They are thinking it is theirs.  No, it is mine! 

This one has been fun.  After I finish it, I have plans to work on more socks.  I am currently working on a new pattern and it is fun but, the yarn does not do it justice.  I will have to change to a solid colored yarn to show the pattern off.  I have plenty of sock yarn so, this isn't a problem at all. 

One good thing about being a knitter and crocheter, I will be warm.  My family and friends will be warm. 

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful weekend. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Project Almost Complete! Yippee!

I have been crocheting away over here and I am almost finished with my item.  I can't tell you what it is since several people read this blog and they will find out what it is.  It is a surprise and it is a Christmas present.  Just know this, it is almost finished and then I get to start on something else.  I so can't wait. 

The sock is coming along and I have plans to try to finish it this weekend.  Notice, I said try.  I need to go visit my family member in hospice this weekend.  I was going to go today but, I was coughing last night and I woke up feeling lousy.  So, I have to stay away until I am feeling better. 

I wish the headache and nausea would go away.  Ugh!  I put boxes together today for the charity items and I have two large postal boxes ready to be mailed out.  I just need to take pictures of all of the items for the chapter scrapbook.  I also have more items coming in from the ladies at the next meeting. 

Next item on the agenda, wheel chair bags for veterans.  I have to start that project, soon.  I will need them completed by the next meeting.  These bags will go directly to the VA hospital here in Houston. 

Best part of those bags, they are community service hours.  I have 74 community service hours so far.  I am looking to get more. 

I also have a wedding present to create in the near future and the hubby is telling me to move the boxes off of the love seat.  I almost have one box completely cleaned out from the current project.  I can't wait until I am down that one box and then on to the next one. 

Woohoo!  Then I was perusing a yarn site and found a totally cute new afghan pattern.  I might need to order in yarn for that.  Just what the hubby wants to hear.  I have more sock yarn that needs to be knit up into socks.  I am thinking about this one sock yarn that is sitting on the couch.  I found it last night in my yarn stash, it is a blue mix that I painted last year.  I might need to make one of the nieces a pair of socks for her birthday.  I just need her shoe size. 

Back to work! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

House Cleaning Takes a Back Seat to Sock Knitting

Yesterday, I spent my day out at the hospice.  A family member doesn't have long and we are trying to spend as much time as possible with him.  So, instead of taking my knitting as I should have done, I spent the day trying to keep myself entertained and spending time with my family member.  Today, I am supposed to go sit with him again and this time, the knitting will be going along.  I have several projects going right now...what knitter doesn't?  I have to make an afghan for a friend's birthday.  I decided to go ahead and make one since she loves my work and she has been hinting how nice it would be to have one made by me. 

I have a new sock pattern that I am currently writing and working on.  I haven't decided if I should offer it up for free or to sell it.  There are so few good free sock patterns out there.  I know that people want to make money on their patterns but, it is really nice when someone offers up their sock patterns for free. 

I am still trying to work on charity knitting.  I found out the school has 1400 children and there is no way that I can knit for all of them.  I will have to start earlier next year on this project for those children.  I might even choose a new school to knit for next year.  I have to see about this.  There are so many needy children right now that it is very hard to pick and choose which group to send my knits to.  The ladies in the chapter are truly wonderful to help me out with this.  I love that about them so much. 

I managed to hurt myself, again.  Do not ask me how this one occurred.  I managed to pull either a groin muscle or the inside thigh muscle and walking is excruciating.  I have been hobbling along with it.  It sadly is getting worse.  My quad on my right leg is aching since it is having to take up the slack.  I noticed today it is creaking.  I sound like I am 80 instead of 43.  Hopefully, it will heal and I can get back to moving at my fast pace.  I can't stand walking slow, drives me up a wall. 

I have no idea when house cleaning is going to happen since I am out of the house and hurt.  I am going to have to hobble over to the area that needs attention and just plop down on my butt and work on it as best as I can.  I will have to drag myself around on the back end.  It works.  Sadly, it is the best that I can do right now. 

I am also about to start work on another charity project for disabled veterans.  I am racking up those community service hours.  I will be sewing wheel chair bags.  They are really cute patterns and the community service hours will be going to my DAR chapter.  Our chapter will have a lot of those hours this year.  The bags will go to the local VA. 

I have fabric galore so, this will work out nicely.  I need to start cutting out patterns and working on that in my copious spare time.  Ha!  I think that will be after midnight sometime. 

Yeah, I know that should be for sleep but, the way it is going, who needs sleep? 



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stress!

Well, after the family reunion, I was at my sister's house and it was discussed about who would take Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I decided to do Christmas, it will take me that long to get my house in order.  I have yarn every where.  Since I have been knitting charity items, I have yarn hanging around and I have to corral it and get it upstairs into my office. 

I am working on a special project right now that does not have anything to do with charity.  This is a Christmas present.  It should be well received.  I have been working on it for about a week or more.  I lose track of time these days with all that is happening in my life.

One of my family members is being placed into hospice care sometime this week.  He was given only a month to live by the doctors.  Sadly, he was diagnosed only a month ago with his condition.  It has been a hard time for all of us. 

Saturday I am supposed to be going to a reunion for the high school I went my freshman year.  It closed after that year and then I was shipped off to another school.  So, I am going to go to see the school before they tear it down.  Several friends are going to be there and asked if I would come.  I didn't realize I was so popular.  I guess so. 

Life is getting crazy!  I was asked to custom knit a pair of socks for a friend's son.  Right now, I have no yarn to do that.  I need to order some in for the knit.  My hands are killing me.  She also wants it custom painted.  I don't have a problem doing that for her at all.  I just need to know his colors. 

Hopefully, I can finish the item for the Christmas present this next week and then I can move onto other things.  I want to knit myself another pair of socks.  I have some beautiful yarn that I painted that needs to be knitted.  I also want to spin myself some sock yarn.  I have some gorgeous hand painted fleeces to work with.  :) 

We had a cold front blow in yesterday!  I was so excited.  We are only up to 86F out there, instead of our usual 95F+.  It has been really hot here. 

Tonight our low is supposed to be 57F.  OOH!  I hope so.  I have a new blouse I am wearing to my meeting.  I can't wait to show it off.  It is going to look good with my DAR pins. 


Friday, October 4, 2013

Back to Work

Yesterday, I took a day to go shopping with my sister.  I needed a few items.  So, I went ahead and zipped over to her house and she drove.  I had my knitting bag with me just in case I had a time to sit and work on the hat.  It is slow going on this hat.  I still hate the yarn but, I can deal with it doubled.  I can't deal with it at all in the single form.  No way! 

We hit the local craft store for my items and then off to lunch.  We had to pick up my niece from school so, we went ahead and drove over to the school.  She needed to talk to one of the other parents so, she went visiting, I grabbed my knitting bag and started working on the hat.  I still haven't decided if I should make it an elf hat or a regular hat.  I guess I will figure it out. 

I also started working on the family Christmas present.  I am making it this year.  I decided we have enough crap in our lives, why not make something that will work for everyone and be beautiful as well?  So, I am working on that. 

I also noticed I have a huge amount of boxes with yarn sitting on my love seat in my family room.  They are multiplying but, they have yarn in them that will be become something truly wonderful over the next 12 months.  I have plans for that yarn and working with it, keeps me at home.  I like being home every once in a while.  I stay out of trouble if I am at home. 

The hubby had me write down my throw it together chicken tortilla soup recipe.  He asked me what my measurements for the spices were.  HUH?!  I don't measure, I guesstimate.  I don't have time to get out the measuring spoons and measure each item out.  I am an on the fly cook.  He wants to make my recipe, I guess and put it on his computer.  He was kinda freaked out by the number of spices I used on the countertop.  Oh well, that is just the way I roll. 

Yesterday, I went outside since I noticed the pool was on extra early.  Now, I know why our electric bill has been out of this world.  The pool has been running for 10 hours a day.  Holy Smoke!  So, I went ahead and readjusted the timer to 6 hours a day for the Winter season.  I run it all winter long.  Since it doesn't freeze here, there is no point in turning it off.  I let the water keep itself filtered and the dogs love it to drink out of.  Yeah, I know they shouldn't be having pool water but, who is going to stop them?  They think of it as one giant water bowl. I keep it low chlorine during the winter.  Enough to sanitize it but, not enough to over sanitize it.  Just enough to keep anything funky from growing.

I have been in jewelry making mode over here.  I have some really cute pieces and I need to make more.  I have necklaces galore and I have bracelets galore.  I haven't found a venue that will work for me right now but, I am still looking.  I want something close to home.  I don't want to have to haul myself all over the place for this. No way! 



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What a Day!

I should have known sleeping in today would cause some sort of freak reaction to my day.  I woke up around 10:30 am which is late for me these days and managed to miss breakfast but, not lunch.  Hubby took me out for Chinese today.  We get home, I decided to go ahead and get the oil changed on my car.  I grabbed my knitting bag just in case there was a line. 

I get there, no line, I am the first car up for an oil change.  Great!  I go to the counter and tell them about the leaking left front tire, would they take care of that, too?  Sure no problem, they would deal with it.  So, I am sitting there knitting and it is hot in the place.  The service manager comes out and tells me that my tires need rotating, they are past due on this...okay go ahead and do it.  So, in walks another woman who wants her oil drained and she is complaining because there are other people in front of her.  So, she starts making phone calls on her cell phone and screaming at someone on the other end in Spanish, the headaches started.  I am trying to be polite and not say anything but, my patience is wearing thin and I gave her a look, she gets up and goes outside with her phone.  Yay! 

So, I am still sitting there working on my current charity knitting project, a hat.  In walks a man who wants his oil changed and his car inspected.  He finds out there is an hour wait.  He isn't happy but realizes that there are several more people ahead of him, he doesn't have a problem with that.  He sits down and starts reading the newspaper.  I am still knitting away, and he asks me what is going on with them today.  I said, well, I am there for my oil to be changed and now I am up to tire rotation.  They finally get to the rude woman's vehicle and they come walking in with her air filter...uh, you know those are supposed to be changed?  Right?  The one off of her truck is thick and black with gunk.  Even the technician is holding it with one hand in horror.  No idea how in the world the thing runs.  I am surprised it can make it out of her driveway.  She tells him to put it back in, the truck runs fine.  How?  So, he explains how she needs a new one.  The sad thing is the air filter was a K&N and they aren't cheap but, she ruined hers.  I guess whomever she bought the truck from never told her what they used for an air filter. 

I looked on line today to see how much it would cost to put a K&N on my car.  $63.99.  It has to wait until I can afford to buy one.  Maybe next pay check.  They are so worth it.  We have one on the Aurora and it is the best thing in the world.  I bought that one.  We have recharged it twice.  Once after a sand storm coming out of San Antonio one weekend, the winds were so high, they were blowing the dirt out of a field onto the interstate.  So, we had to recharge the filter.  We also recharged it when the car hit 100,000 miles. 

So, I finally managed to get my car back and I get a call, they forgot to put the engine cover back on my car.  I had to go all of the way back.  Ugh!  So, by this time, I have a full blown migraine headache.  I decided to stop and pick up some grilled chicken for supper tonight since there is no freaking way that I am cooking at this point.  I stop and tell the girl behind the speaker that I want a 12 piece grilled meal.  She comes back with a 3 piece grilled meal.  No, that isn't what I said.  I told her what I wanted again and she came back with that damn same answer of three piece meal.  Finally I let her know that I would not be buying a damn thing from her since she couldn't get the order right.  I pulled out and I know she was pissed off but, she needs to realize if she can't listen to what I am saying, then I won't be giving them any sort of business.   I came home. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

One Finished Scarf for Charity

I broke out my crochet hook and started working on granny squares for a scarf for my charity project.  This is the end result.


 
I used Willow yarns Wash.  I have to say this is the best acrylic I have ever come across.  It is soft, not scratchy, and it is cushy.  It doesn't split, either.  I love this stuff.  I never thought I would hear myself say those words but, I am.  If you buy 10 skeins, there is a discount.  I bought more skeins.  I have a project in mind for someone.  :) 
 
I have 13 items ready for my charity so far.  I am working like a mad woman over here. 
 
The top photo shows the scarf with both sides showing.  The middle one shows one side, the bottom one shows the other side. 
 
I have plans to crochet more scarves for this project.  I think the next one will be smaller squares. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Now, How Did I Do That?

I don't know how I do it but, I manage it somehow.  I managed to sprain my ankle by actually bending down to plug my lap top into it's power source so, the battery could charge.  I screamed in agony when it happened and the hubby asked if I was okay.  NO!  So, I am taped up and on the damn irritating crutches.  I hate crutches!!!

So, to make the best of a bad situation, I have been working on my charity mitt.  I am knitting it when I feel like it.  I managed to do several rows today.  I have the blanket sitting next to me on the couch and the best news is we decided that it only needs three more colors!  Oh yippee!!!!  I can't wait to see the end of it.  We put it on the bed and wow, it looks so good.  The cats were all over it. 

I figure I am going to do the three colors and then use the original middle color to do a simple edge for the blanket.  I am thinking probably single crochet around.  That should suffice.  I hope anyway.  What do I plan to do with all the left over yarn?  I plan to make another afghan.  I want to do the kit that I have waiting in the back ground and then on to some granny square blankets.  I have some nifty new crocheting books that have some beautiful and bright patterns that have been calling my name.  :) 

I am still working on my mitts and hats for the charity project.  Yay! 

Last night, I couldn't even stand the thought of using the crutches to go up the stairs to bed.  I crawled on my hands and knees up those stairs and managed to get in some damn good cardio.  Now I know how my old dogs feel going up those stairs.  This morning, I scooted on my butt down those same stairs.  I managed to lose my socks that I had tucked into the waist band of my shorts some where along the way and my darling hubby found them and retrieved them. 

Did I mention that I am a horrible patient?  I get bat shit crazy after a day of not being able to do what I want.  I will take you with me, too.  I am horrible on cruises that last more than 3 days, I get nuts on that ship.  Those walls start to close in and I want off of that damn ship.  If I can stay drunk for a couple of those days, I can make it.  The hang overs aren't worth it, though. 

Maybe that is why I gave up drinking, it just wasn't worth the pain. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Progress


Here is the blanket as it looks right now.   I am working on pistachio.  It is faint in this picture but, it is there.  I have more yarn to add to this thing and it is getting to be huge.  Right now, it is covering up the love seat in my family room.  It will be on the king sized bed when it is completely finished.  I can't wait to see the end of this project so, I can move on to other things. 
 
I fell asleep under this thing this morning when I was working on it.  I am on the shells portion of the pistachio row and then on to another color. 

The cats love to sleep on it already as it sits on the couch waiting for me to work on it.  My right hand is killing me and I took a break from crocheting it to knit on my charity mitts.  I finished the mitts this morning. 

I will be casting on for either a hat or another pair of mitts. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More Colors!

I am still working on the blanket.  Here is the red that I had added a couple of rounds ago.  I am currently working on a pistachio.  Each color is two rounds.  Fun.  I have more yarn to add to this thing and hopefully, it will be complete and I can really start to work on my charity knitting.  So far, one hat completely finished.  I started on a mitten yesterday and hopefully, I can get those finished by the end of the day. 

My hands are killing me right now. 

I woke up this morning feeling lousy.  It seems that allergy season is here and in full force.  Great. 

On my mittens, I am contemplating my thumb.  I can't decide if I should do an increase thumb or do an after thought thumb.  Decisions, decisions.  Hmm.  I can see how each one would work, I just have to think of the person who will get this pair of mittens, will they like them if they have the increases or not.  It is always a challenge to a knitter to figure out these things. 

Today is knitting day.  I need to relax and get rid of the sore throat.  I hate the things.  I am just dragging.  I hope it doesn't last too long, I have things to do and people to see.  I don't have time to be sick. 

I really do want to see the tail end of this blanket.  I even ordered in more acrylic yarn for another blanket with a different pattern.  I have a new book that has some really cute blanket ideas in it.  It looks like bright colors are back in.  Finally!  If you didn't know this, I love bright colors!  I think my work reflects that. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Killer Pool Exercise that Works!

 I have a new pool exercise that is tough to do and it hurts when I am finished doing it but, man, it works!  I was perusing one of my magazines, it was one of those health women's ones and I saw this simple looking exercise that involves a pool noodle, aka cheap foam like noodle that will float.  Since I have three of the things for my guests to float around on, I decided to try this exercise out.  It looked amazingly simple.  So, I grabbed my blue noodle and proceeded to do the exercise.  It starts out where I grab the noodle in the middle and then push it down into the water.  Here comes the fun part, then I push my noodle forward into the water making my body, not my feet go forward, it is supposed to look like a push up but, the noodle holds me up and then the hard part, bringing my body and the noodle back to the upright position without moving my feet.  I started out with 4 repeats of this exercise. 

Now, I am up to 7 of these things a day.  I add one more each time I do this exercise.  What am I noticing?  My middle section is firming up.  It is incredibly hard for a woman past 40 years old to lose her belly.  I know.  I am loving this new exercise, a lot.  Not only do I swim for 30 minutes to an hour a day, I am doing this exercise.  I have noticed my core is strengthening from this exercise, too. 

The most interesting thing about this exercise, the hubby tried it and couldn't get the hang of it.  I think it is one of those exercises that women can do but, men can't seem to work out.  It is like the chair move, where you take a chair, place it against the wall, put your head against the wall and lift the chair straight up.  Men can't do it.  Only women can because our center of balance is very different from theirs. 

I am working on knitting hats right now for my charity knitting project.  I have been working with hand spun yarn and it is looking really cool.  I decided to use my hand spun since I am trying to use up as much of my yarn stash as I can.  The hand spun yarn is stretchy.  I love that.  When I finish the ear flaps, I will post pictures of it.  I love the colors in this yarn.  I can't remember if I dyed it or if I bought the fiber.  Either way, it is unique. 

One of my friends has volunteered her time and yarn to crochet hats, mittens, and scarves for the project so, I am still looking for others to help us out.  I will ask the other ladies in the chapter if they would be so kind if they have the time to help us out. 

I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend, if you need rain, I hope you get it, and if you need sunshine, I hope you get a bountiful amount to dry it all out for you.  Since I am in Texas, we desperately need the rain. 



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Updates to my Current Projects



Top photo shows my sock that I just finished.  The second photo is the most current picture of the blanket and my progress of it.  The last picture is the hat I knit for my charity project. 

More rows will be added to the blanket.  I will be knitting more hats for my charity project and this should decrease my yarn stash quite a bit. 

I wore the socks last night since my feet were freezing when I crawled out of my pool.  They are nice and comfy.  :) 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Keep Them Warm Campaign

I have finally found my charity knitting for the winter months and I am going to try and get other knitters to help me in my endeavor.  I am a DAR, or Daughter of the American Revolution and I am starting a charity knitting event for a particular school in Grant, Alabama.  This is a DAR school and what this means is that DAR funds it.  The ladies in DAR support it and other schools like it where a school was desperately needed.  Most of the kids in the schools come from poor families who are below the poverty line.  So, they are always in need of different items for the kids. 

This particular school is for kids from Kindergarten to 12th grade.  So, they are in need of a few items like coats, hats, mittens, and scarves.  They also accept clothing donations, shoes, etc.  My goal with the keep them warm campaign is to donate as many hats, scarves and mittens as I can knit or get knitters to donate to me for this school for their Christmas presents.  If you would love to participate in this with me, please comment and I will get back to you with my mailing address. 

Thank you to all in advance. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crochet Naked

I lost my sd card reader and I would love to find it to show off my lovely pictures of the blanket.  I have only 10 more rows to go according to the hubby.  Lovely, just what I needed to hear. 

I took pictures of the blanket today as I am working on it.  I have noticed the pattern of the thing goes in different waves of color.  There are light colors grouped together, then there are dark colors grouped together.  None of this was planned.  I just added what colors I thought would work with each color I was working on.  I even have men commenting to me about it.  I keep thinking...no, don't ask if I will make you one, it won't happen.  I might make another one of these in a smaller size.  No more king sized blankets for me.  Not for a long time, anyway. 

I have looked for my sd card reader and can't seem to find it in any of my usual spots.  No idea where I put the thing.  sigh! 

I am looking to start another project or two with sock yarn but, I won't be making socks.  I am thinking lace knitting, a shawl or even a scarf is in the works.  I am searching my shawl patterns to see what I can come up with.  I just know I need more of a challenge than the blanket.  I also have to use my yarn stash up.  I have way too much yarn.  There is no way I can use it all in this lifetime.  So, I am going to try and do the bin challenge.  Pick a yarn bin, any yarn bin full of yarn and make as many projects as you can with that one bin of yarn per month or two months depending on the size of the yarn bin and the project.  What to do with the items you make?  Why not donate them to needy individuals who have nothing.  Take them to a veteran's shelter and start handing them out.  I know they will appreciate it.  Find your local DAR group and ask if they would like your items to give to the veterans.  I know they would be more than appreciative for the items.  Women vets would even love the items. 

I think I am going to start making hats after the lace project is done.  I can make beanies for homeless people.  When winter hits, they are going to need items.  Hats are so easy to knit and they use up the yarn stash. 

I know several knitters who knit for charity and I was one of those people but, due to my health going to the toilet, I had to stop and take care of me.  I have been taking care of me for about 2 years and I am healthier but, on a long road to get to perfect.  I have found that I am growing short of patience these days and there are certain things I no longer give a crap about but, I am trying to get where I need to be with my health.  Health is the main project over here.  I am well read and I research my disease and I am dealing with it.  I take time each day for me. 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Running Errands

Today we ran errands and we hit the new farmer's market.  I had been earlier in the week with my sister and loved the prices on their produce.  I managed to get three bags of fresh fruit and veggies plus a chocolate bar for $21.  Today's purchases were only in one bag but, we came home with organic veggies, fresh fruit, and more coconut water and another chocolate bar.  Also, some sunflower kernels and pistachios.  This purchase was $26.  I view them as a cheaper version of W.F. 

We had to stop and get our propane tank refilled, it is cheaper to do that than to actually exchange the tank.  Yesterday,  I went grocery shopping and that was cheaper since I didn't have to buy produce.  I bought the basics. 

Last night, we took the blanket upstairs and measured it on the bed, it needs 10 more rows until it is finished.  I can't wait to finish it.  I am ready for it to be done.  I went ahead and ordered in a new crochet afghan kit.  I had to special order a crochet hook for the new one.  I have never heard of a size 7 crochet hook other than a steel one.  This hook isn't a steel hook, it is 4.5mm hook.  I know, weird size. 

Today I decided to not work on it at all.  I will go ahead and work on it a little bit tonight.  I wanted to take a day away from it and work on something else.  I have the blanket upstairs waiting for me.  I have yarn waiting on me to make something interesting and intriguing with it.  I am thinking smaller shawls. 

I have yarn that I need to paint for the shop, the silk lace weight.  I just haven't found the inspiration I need to do it.  I will probably do that this next week.  I have to take the dog to the vet on Thursday.  He has to go already.  I love putting him in his little harness and leash and he walks to my car.  I put him in the car and he waits patiently on the seat with the a/c on him and then when we get to the vet, he waits for me to open his door and get him out.  He is a good boy.  His brothers, not so much.  Bootsy is constantly needing me to pay attention to him and Napoleon thinks he has to drive the car.  I don't take Napoleon to the vet, the hubby does that job. 

I have to look in my bag of yarn and see what other colors of yarn I am planning in putting into the blanket.  I managed to find 2 more colors that I didn't have in yarn.  I bought those and brought them home to my bag.  If I do finish the blanket and I manage to have partial skeins left then I will make something else with them all.  Probably another blanket.  Nothing too major though.  This one for the bed has been a learning experience on patience for me.  I am not a patient person and that blanket is really making me learn that sometimes patience does have its uses.  I hope to take pictures of the blanket and share with everyone when it is finally finished.  If you are a friend of mine on FB, you can see updates of it all the time.  I take pictures of it on my phone and share with all my friends and family.



Monday, August 12, 2013

The Work Continues

Today I took the time to count the amount of colors and rows in my blanket.  I am still working on it.  I have 20 colors/rows in this thing.  It is getting really heavy and hard to work on.  I must keep going until it will fit nicely over our king sized bed.  I asked the hubby if he wants it to fit on top only or does he want it to drape over the sides like a bed spread.  He said bed spread.  Great! 

I decided to work on the sock today as well.  I put it on the foot and it is almost to the ball of the foot.  I am ready to be finished with this pair of socks so, I can design a new sock pattern for one of my new color ways for Fall.  I started painting the new colors last week and I am slowly working on more colors for the line up.  I did put the yarn that is in my ETSY shop on sale.  It has been marked 25% off to make room for the new yarns that will be coming in. 

I have to dig around in my shop bin to see what yarns I have available to paint for the new collection.  I need my yarn meter to measure out some of the cone yarns and get them into skeins ready for painting. 

I am waiting on a new lace weight yarn to come in and as soon as I paint it, it will be headed to the shop, it has a generous yardage and good news for those of you who are allergic to wool.  It is 100% silk.  Yes, I know several people have let me know that they can't touch wool and cotton tears up fingers unless you happen to use mercerized cotton.  So, for those of you who are woolphobic, silk is coming soon. 



Saturday, August 10, 2013

Putting the Miles on the Sky

Lately, I have been going places, my car has wracked up 1000 miles with all the places I have been.  This is a lot for me since for the most part, I just go places around my home and not much travelling.  I think it all started with the road trip to see my sister.  She lives 100 miles away from me.  I had to go deliver figs to her.  I also had to make my annual trek to the cemetery to put flowers on my parents' graves and other family members' graves.  Since my sister lives in the same town where the cemetery is, it was a no brainer. 

Then we went to the water park that I have my season pass to.  It is in the country.  It is cheaper and since it is very family oriented, none of the issues that we would see at other water parks.  Gary took a day off from work and we went to the water park.  Then I went again on Tuesday of this week with my sister, nieces and nephews.  We had fun but, we realized that a whole different atmosphere was happening on that day, it was buy one admission, get one free.  I didn't care since I had my season pass and I get in free.  The people around us were another matter, I don't know if a coupon brings out really sleazy people in other areas but, at this particular place, it was awful.  I had to constantly watch out for people pushing, shoving, being rude, cursing, etc.  This isn't what I normally see at this park.  I was wondering what was going on.  They normally won't tolerate any of this crap and will ask people to leave.  When pretty much the whole place is doing this, I guess they are stuck and can't ask these people to leave. 

We finally managed to wind down our day at the little kids section of the park.  It was nice and peaceful and my 10 year old nephew could scamper about in the water and slide down the smaller slides.  He was happy.  It was nice to just sit and watch him be happy. 

It was so hot out there that we managed to get sunburned even though we reapplied our spf 100 several times throughout the day.  My goal as soon as we changed clothes and headed to our cars was to get the hell out of dodge.  I managed to get back onto the freeway and get myself and one of my nieces home.  We were so happy to be finished with the crap at the park.  Do I want to go back?  Yes, I would love to go back but, I will not be going on a Tuesday for anyone.  No thank you.  Will I get another season pass?  Yep, even the hubby mentioned he would get one as well.  It is so much cheaper to buy one and then go when we can. 

I noticed something interesting right away with my car, it automatically goes to the speed that I have been driving at lately.  Oh my!  I had to look down and slow down since I do not want a hefty speeding ticket.  Just when I think all is well and I am doing the limit again, not so, my car has crawled back to that certain speed. He wants to go fast. 

Am I going any place special today?  No.  I am staying home this weekend and filling the pool with water right now since it is down from our 102.5F temps.  That was what my thermometer said the temp was yesterday in the shade of my back porch.  That is hot! 

I am still working on the blanket and I have added two colors since the orange.  I am also working on my second sock.  The first one went quick but, the second one always goes slow for me.  I am on the foot section right now and looking forward to doing the toe. 

I purchased a microwave on sale for the business.  It is a low wattage but, I don't need 1200 watts of power to paint yarn.  Nah!  It will work although my favorite dye pan won't fit in it.  sigh!  My other pans fit nicely. 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Socks, Not a Bad Idea

I am sick of working on the blanket and as the hubby informed me, I need at least 16 more rows to get it big enough to cover the bed.  Oh my!  So, I took it upon myself to stop and take a much needed break from it.  I cast on for a pair of socks for me. 

Yep, they are mine.  I am already on the foot.  I started at the cuff and I am working completely without a pattern.  After all the years of knitting socks, I figure I can knit a pair completely by rote.  So far, so good.  I improvised my heel and it worked.  The yarn is one of my own hand painted, in Acid Rain.  It is a super wash merino/nylon blend that is so soft and comfy.  I have several pairs of socks out of this particular yarn. 

It holds up really well against the carpets.  One pair I actually managed to shrink by accident in the dryer.  Don't use it in the dryer.  I found that out on my own.  I should know better since I am normally dealing with yarns. 

Our microwave gave up the battle last night and after the hubby stuck his frozen hamburger patty in the thing for 2 minutes and it came out ice cold, we knew, it was dead.   I called my sister who gets a killer discount on appliances and since I am family, I had to ask to use the discount for our new microwave/convection oven.  It comes in next Thursday.  We are moving up in the world. 

We did know that it was on it's way out since the turn table stopped working a couple of years ago and we decided to wait and see how long it would work after that stopped.  It held up for a couple of more years.  We did get our money's worth out of it.  The rule of thumb for appliances in this day and age is if they last 10 years, then you are lucky.  If they last longer, you are damn lucky! 

I am taking it easy today, I am completely worn out from my road trip on Friday.  I went to see my second to oldest sister and put flowers on my parents' graves along with my Aunt Melie, my great grandparents and my older brother.  I ran out of flowers and will need to buy more flowers for the rest of the family who are buried there.  I took my sister the figs out of the refrigerator. I had so many, I was out of room in there.  My sister wanted them, so, I drove the 100 miles to take them to her.  I have to pick more figs for another sister.  She wants some.  I will have to meet her half way since I am not inclined to go south right now. 




Thursday, July 18, 2013

Progress on the blanket


Top photo shows the blanket as it stands right now.  I am working on the dark berry section.  I went and bought more yarn to put into it today, the new colors are in the bottom photo. 

I am still going.  I have to say, it is hard work and my hands are killing me already.  This is why I do not do that many blankets, my hands can't take it. 

I went to the store to see what else I could find and the one color I need, they didn't have, I will have to go to another store for strawberry.  My cat had her way with it and now, it is in the trash, it was beyond saving. 

She also had her way with two other skeins besides the strawberry and I managed to find those two colors today at the store, a buttery yellow and a medium blue.  That cat, she is horrible where yarn is concerned.  She loves wool yarn and it can take the abuse she gives it but, acrylic can't.  I have no idea why it can't. 

Hubby seems to think I am a quarter of the way to my goal.  Okay.  If that is the case, I am in trouble and I will be working on this thing for more than just the summer months.  I might be working on it into fall and winter.  Oh well, I guess this will be more than a good exercise in patience. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Figs and More Figs

Today I was going to sit and work on the blanket.  Did that happen?  No!  Instead, I had to deal with the figs that were in the fridge.  I have massive amounts of figs.  So, I started the process of getting them clean and getting them into the pot for stove time.  I started my first 5 pound batch with xylitol since I can't have sugar.  I ended up with 8 pints of this mixture.  Since the figs that were in the fridge really needed to be processed, I decided to do another batch of preserves.  So, I used sugar for the next 5 pounds of figs.  I have 6 pints from that batch.  Then since I really didn't want to have to deal with them tomorrow, I decided to go ahead and process the next 5 pounds of figs with sugar.  I have 5 pints from that batch.  I still have more figs in the fridge that need to be processed but, I am tired and I really don't want to be in front of that stove any more today. 

I am not even going to go pick the things off of the tree today since the leaves are wet from the rains we have had and they are super toxic to my skin right now.  Dry fig leaves not a problem, wet ones, forget it, they had me breaking out in welts in under a minute.  It was awful. 

I even informed the hubby that I am tired and not even willing to crank that stove up again for supper.  I am not cooking.  I just want to sit and work on my blanket and not have to think about much of anything.  I also have to add wide mouth jar lids to my grocery list since I am completely out. 

What are my plans for the sugar preserves?  They are going to family and friends who want them.  I get requests each year that I have had this tree to please make fig preserves.  So, I make fig preserves during the summer.  Some people give me jars back which helps since jars are not cheap. 

How do I manage to get so many figs?  I have one Turkish fig tree and I use Algoflash flowering plant fertilizer on the thing in April.  I went ahead and used it in May and now I am dealing with copious amounts of figs.  Huge figs.  Some of them are bigger than my palm.  The tree has been only fertilized twice and that makes a huge difference in production.  I used it last year and we had a bumper crop this year is more of the same but, if you can imagine it, more than last year. 

I hate being sticky and today I was sticky from all the sugar in the figs.  They are more sugary this year than last year, I wonder if the second fertilization with the Algoflash did the trick?  I have to wonder since I know they weren't as sappy and sticky last year.  Forget it if you get the sap on your skin, it is on there for days.  I have even tried using rubbing alcohol on my hands to get the stuff off and it hasn't worked, yet. 

I wonder if I can figure out a way to bottle it and sell it as an amazingly long lasting glue. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Let the De-Crapifying Begin

We have serious clutter at our home, I have yarn galore and all the accoutrements to go with it.  So, I am sick of it.  It started last night, maybe that is why we have rain.  Ha!  I have come to the conclusion that coffee tables and sofa tables are nothing but crap collectors.  I am about to sit down and pull every single knitting book off of the sofa table, and donate them to a local school.  I figure if nothing else, they can have them and the kids can learn a valuable craft.  If it helps them to become self sufficient, then I have done my job. 

I am still working on my blanket.  I am going to take the time today to sit and work on it.  Yesterday, was dry figs day.  I have to do something other than canning since the things are everywhere, literally. 

Gary has now found out that the fig tree makes him itch and burn.  So, he can no longer help me pick the things.  I am going to have to find a way to pick the ones in the top branches, I am a mere 5'6" tall.  He is 6'1" tall.  I was always told as a child I would marry a man shorter than me.  Nope, didn't happen.  I have a tall man.  Love that big tall man, he is amazing and yet, he does make me crazier than anyone else I know.  Rawr! 

I have to clean out the Dyson when I have a chance, it is no longer sucking.  It take a quick spray with the water hose to clean it out and then it needs 24 hours in the heat to dry it.  It does get gunked up pretty quickly.  If you have one, then you know what I am talking about.  If you don't have one, buy one, it is the best vacuum cleaner, ever!  I have the pet canister and seriously, I thought my carpets were clean before using the thing and then I found out how freaking wrong I was.  It cleans that pet hair and everything else up and yes, I have to dump the bin far more than I would like but, it is amazing!  They need to make the bin bigger for those of us who are lazy. 

The dogs love that the family room floor is now de cluttered and nice and clean.  I had my yarns next to me by the couch and of course it spilled everywhere.  Ody loved sleeping in the yarn nest.  He would snuggle into the yarn and go to sleep. 
This mess is no longer there.  He is going to have to find some place else to sleep, now.  He usually can be found by the front door snoozing on the cold tile.  He stretches out and cools his belly. 
 
Today is also wash day, I am doing my laundry and I have to go upstairs as soon as I finish this post and put the clothes in the dryer, the towels just buzzed, they are done.  I also have to strip the sheets off of the bed and wash those.  Hubby gets to help me with that chore.  Fun!