May 30, 2007

What happens when you leave birdseed unattended?

What happens when you get a little distracted and forget to put the birdseed away? A very industrious little squirrel comes along and chews a hole in the bag.
And he eats and eats and eats and eats. Looking on the bright side - he hasn't emptied the bird feeder in two days like he normally does.
Not a great picture, but just had to share Ginger's new past time. This is her chair. Unfortunately for Ginger, it is also R's chair. As soon as R gets up for a split second, who moves in? Ginger - looking all cute and innocent. We know better though!
This was the latest cake that R made. Don't know who Ed is, but Happy Birthday anyway. He's a motorcycle nut, so the Harley/Halloween colors were a must.
This is what you do with Noro yarn when you aren't knitting with it, obviously. R took a short break from knitting her stole on Memorial Day and made a Noro pyramid.

This is what you do when you aren't making a Noro pyramid or knitting with Noro. It's really turning out to be beautiful.

This was taken a few years ago, but I promised Lee I would post it. It's a picture of my two favorite male knitters. L and Lee were making scarves. Don't know if Lee ever finished his, but L has gone on to make a few other things. Gotta love men who knit!

May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

These are some of the names engraved on the bricks in front of the Battle Cross. It is difficult to read in this picture, but in the upper left hand side is a square engraved with a soldiers name from the Civil War.

Down at town square, we have several memorials to our soldiers. Today there was a Memorial Day service to honor them. RL said he could hear the 21 gun salute from our house. I think it's terrific that our little town does stuff like this.

I've asked several people in our neighborhood what they are going to do today. 'Nothing' is their reply. Nothing. Isn't that sad? Not going to a Memorial service. Not going to a family get together. Not cooking out at home. Not remembering our soldiers from wars past or present. Nothing. L and RL went up to the square as the veterans were loading up their WWII Half Track, Jeep Willy and other vehicles from wars past and going home. However, as long as L and RL would stay, the veterans were willing to share their stories of the wars they served in and their opinions on what we should be doing in Iraq. L is very impressionable in these matters and said he enjoyed listening. He told me he felt they were probably a bunch of 'grumpy old guys', but that they turned out to be very interesting. I was so glad to hear how he appreciated them. With all the anti-war stuff going on out there right now, it's nice to see some patriotic behavior in public.

May 25, 2007

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Although there is plenty of knitting going on around here, I've decided to wish a Happy Birthday to a couple of people.This is my sister's husband Paul, and their first son, P.J. This was taken about a 25 years ago, but I really like this picture. So, Happy Birthday Paul!

This is Tim, my husband's brother. His birthday is tomorrow. Looks like he is already in party mode in the above picture, doesn't it? Happy Birthday Tim!

R is still knitting - constantly - on her shawl. I think the color she selected is finally growing on her. I haven't heard her refer to it as 'the color of dryer lint' anymore, so that's a good sign! I'm still working away on the Monkey socks - I'm turning the heel now, so I'm seeing the end in sight! YEAH!

May 24, 2007

Yippee!!!! My blockers are here!

I have been wanting to see how the Monkey socks would look if they were be on sock blockers and now I know! Yeah! I ordered these from The Loopy Ewe because I had heard wonderful things about Loopy Ewe, because they were the most affordable ones I could find on-line and they were so darn cute! I had to show you a picture of one without a sock just so I could prove that to you!Unfortunately the customer service at The Loopy Ewe is a problem for me. They are SO NICE! When I got my order today I wanted to get right back on-line and order something else. I didn't Mom, so don't worry! I wanted to though. Not only did I get a nice handwritten letter on my invoice, I got some little yarn samples, a couple of cards to keep up with my needle inventory and a free 'Knit Notes for Socks' because I mentioned Sockapalooza 4 - like it says to on the Blue Blog. I also ordered a miniature sock blocker keychain, which was also very affordable, and it came with a pattern to make a sock for it! How cute is that???? I either didn't read the fine print when I was ordering or they surprised me, but I wasn't expecting that pattern. Neat idea.
I have to include my daily backyard picture too. The squirrels do all sorts of acrobatics to get at the bird feeders. Most of them manage to slide down the bar holding the feeder and then swing around to the bottom. I know some of them are hanging on by the skin of their teeth! This little fella is actually lounging on his belly. How on earth he has maintained his balance on that little ledge is beyond me, but he has it down to an art form!

May 23, 2007

Good Luck? We could use some!

This evening while watching L with his sling shot and paint balls, RL found this four leaf clover in a patch of clover next to his feet. A real, honest to goodness, four leaf clover! We could use some good luck, so hopefully it will send some our way. I thought this was interesting. We have a couple of bird feeders in our yard in a clump of beech trees and a tulip tree (poplar). While looking for some 'awe inspiring pictures' to write about, I stumbled across this. If you look closely, you can see a sunflower wedged in the bark of this tree. The little birds go to the feeder and pick out the sunflower seeds. I guess they've been using this tree to open them! Shells were wedged in the bark all over this tree.
For those of you who just had to know - the paint ball color of the day is green. Looks like peas and carrots to me. I have to say that I am proud of L. His aim is improving from all his practice. Also, when I go out into the wooded part of our yard to retrieve any paint balls that are still intact, he doesn't use my backside as a target. It would make an easy target too! Such restraint the boy is showing!R and I went to Knit Picky today for the big Noro yarn sale. She's been interested in knitting the Lady Eleanor shawl from Interweave's Scarf Style for some time. Luckily, they had enough of this particular dye lot. It wasn't her first choice, but after holding every skein of Noro so she could go through the dye lots, we decided this color would do. At 40% off the price was right! Good thing she has some more cakes to bake in the next week so she can support her habit.
Yes, I am still working on the Monkey socks. I had abandoned them and started another pair, but nothing felt right. I don't like leaving a knitting project unfinished - anything else is fine, but I just can't leave knitting undone! I decided to suck it up and see if these will work out. I also decided to order some sock blockers from to see if blocking will make a difference. They had a good price on them and I'm anxious to see how this company is to work with. I've got ladders forming between the needles and I don't like that at all. R has assured me that we can work through them and make them go away. Okay - these socks are in your hands once they're finished. If anybody could make them work, it would be R - my knitting guru!

May 21, 2007


With the turn of recent events, Debbie has been on my mind a lot lately. Debbie and I grew up one door down from each other. She had an older sister who was my sister's best friend and she was mine. She was a year younger than me, but that was never an issue. I don't think I loved any body as much as my own sister like I loved Deb. Nobody could annoy me as much as her either! But then again, nobody could talk to me when I needed it like her. When we were little she wasn't really girly like me. I wanted to play Barbies all the time. Debbie wanted to play cowboys. She always wanted to be Chuck Connors. We would go our separate ways for a while and then we would be best friends again. We attended a private Christian high school together for a year. She made it easier for me to be there until I was able to make my own friends. She had her own set of friends and I had mine and we drifted apart, but we would always manage to get back together at some point.

There are some really big memories I have of her. One was the arguments we would have. Although our families went to church on a regular basis, we were both determined that our individual churches were the right ones and it was our duty to convert the other to the right church. Oh how we would argue over trivial stuff that seemed crucial at the time. She'd run home and get ammunition (scriptures) from her mom and I would run inside and get some from my Mom and we'd be back out front trying to convert each other with our new ammo! As we grew up we realized we had wasted a whole lot of time arguing over religion when we were both Christians and that's all that mattered. I don't think I ever knew anybody so secure in their faith as her. She was an inspiration to so many people and I didn't realize it until much later.

Another memory I have on her was on my wedding day. I had read in a book about this woman who had balloons all over her reception hall when she got married. I had never seen that done and I wanted it! Debbie was game and off we headed for a store to get as many balloons as we could. I didn't feel like driving, but she was up to it. We took her little station wagon, I can't remember what kind it was, but it was small! We filled that sucker up with soooooo many helium balloons that we could barely see around them and drove them to the reception. Then came the task of getting all of those balloons out of her car and into the building. What fun that was! She never complained and was a real trooper. I'm glad she was one of my bridesmaids too.

After I got married and she didn't, we kind of went our separate ways again. I would talk to her on the phone from time to time, but she wasn't in the best of health. I don't know if we ever really knew what was wrong with her, but she would end up in the hospital and then slowly recover. She had asthma and it was so hard for her to breath sometimes - her inhaler was her constant companion. When I had my first baby, she wanted to do something for us. I didn't want her to bother. I was tired and just didn't feel like dealing with company. She wouldn't hear of it. She went out, got dinner for us, brought it to the house, brought a gift for the baby and quickly left. It was one of the best gifts we received. When our second baby was born, we just didn't have much money. She surprised us BIG TIME! She worked at a local drugstore and had been buying packs of diapers for months. By the time the baby was born she had collected at the very least 20 to 25 packs of diapers. We didn't have to buy one diaper for the baby for the first few months of his life! She was always good to the kids too. She spoiled her own niece and nephews as well as all her friends children. I guess she knew she would never have children of her own and enjoyed her friends babies as a result.

Deb continued to get sick and would end up in the hospital more often. We would go see her on occasion, but it seemed like we were at different points in our lives and I didn't see her as often as I should have. I hate to say it, but her hospital visits had almost become routine and she would always shake whatever had her sick and be back to work in no time. Her birthday came and went and I didn't call her or send a card. I knew I would get a chance so I just didn't worry about it. I didn't get the chance. Debbie died the next month. I did manage to see her one last time in the hospital before she passed away, but she was in a coma by then. I told her I loved her and tried to share all the great memories she had given me, but it was just too hard.

When we went to the hospital that final time, there were people there I had never met. They were her coworkers or fellow church members. Some were people she had brought to God. At her funeral were even more people than I even realized she knew. She had touched her coworkers, her doctors and her customers and they were there to pay respect. She knew she was going to die and had arranged her funeral. She didn't want it to be about her at all. She asked that it be an attempt to reach out to those she wasn't able to reach and hopefully bring them to Christ. Once again, Deb was selfless.

Now, you might be asking, what has this got to do with current events? Debbie LOVED Jerry Falwell. She spoke of him so often and admired his work. The past few days I have been thinking about her and how happy she must be that he is finally there with her. And knowing Deb, I know she is following him, thrilled that she finally got to meet him and talking his ear off!

May 20, 2007

Have I lost my marbles?

Kind of looks like I've lost my marbles, doesn't it? I just might have, however, these are paintballs. RL and L decided they needed some, so off they went to the sporting goods store.
You can't have paintballs without something to shoot them. So, the next logical purchase was a slingshot. We're not quite ready for a paint ball gun. Some of us are, but Mom isn't one of them!
This is the target. It's been seeing a whole lot of action.
However, sometimes the target is completely missed and the shed sees some of the action. Better wash that off before Dad gets too upset about it!

We finally added to our horseshoe collection so all four of us can play again. R picked out this handy dandy little shepherd's hook for 50% and it's perfect for holding horseshoes. These are made in China too, but they are steel. Let's see how long it takes before these break!

Knitting and spinning are still taking place, but not as fast and furious as I wish. R is working on a pattern for fingerless gloves - and they are gorgeous! My spinning is coming along just as well as can be expected, but I'm not going to count on knitting any yarn I spin for quite some time! I've just about decided on a pattern for my Sockapalooza pal since the Monkey socks just aren't going to work. Oh well, live and learn...and believe me, I have learned!

May 19, 2007

Spinning and baby hats

Ta Da! The Wolverine hat is finished. It keeps reminding me of something out of Dr. Seuss. It was a quick knit and a fun knit. I just hope future Mom and Dad like it.
R is teaching me how to spin. If you see anything even on this drop spindle, it was when she was demonstrating the proper techniques. If you see thick and thin - well, that's my spinning. The directions say it takes three days before you can see any improvement. I wish that third day would hurry and get here because it's just not looking so great right now. We'll call it my foray into spinning novelty yarn. Yeah, that's what it is.

Of course this is R's spinning. Isn't it just perfect? She can't decide it she wants it single ply or double. In the meantime I look at the beautiful and perfect spinning and try to decide if I like her or not. It's so uniform and looks great. What can you knit with something that small? I guess we'll just have to get a glass case, stick it inside and admire it for all eternity. I know that's what we will be doing with my first successful spinning!

May 18, 2007

Cakes and Baby Hats

R had another cake order this week, so she's in the money yet again! Wonder where it will all go? Maybe we should just have her money sent directly to the local yarn shop.
Happy Birthday Wendy

Little Cables Hat was a dream to make. The cables were simple and it just turned into a kind of mindless knit. Mindless knitting is not such a bad thing after the sock problems I've had lately! RL has several coworkers expecting babies, so I thought I'd whip up some cute little knits. I was very pleased with this one.
What is this? Could it be another baby hat? Yep. Since I'm still not sure how to link, I'll just tell you it is the Candy Cane hat pattern from Itty-Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson. Dad is a Wolverine fan so that dictated the color selection. Thank goodness Jo at Knit Picky has a sister who graduated from the University of Michigan and knew just the right colors. Once I get the right size dpns I can start the decreases to finish this stocking cap. I'm really anxious to see how it will look. I made it a little bigger than the newborn size so maybe they can get some use out of it this coming winter. When this little hat is finished I have to start thinking seriously about my sockapalooza socks. Send some good sock thoughts my way!

May 17, 2007


You heard me right. I said POOP! I would say worse, but I just don't feel like it right now. This morning we had our septic tank pumped. Why, oh why, do we have to have it pumped more than Joe Smoe down the block or even John Doe next door???? Maybe because we are home 24 hours a day. Maybe because my homeschooled children who are teenagers use as much water as an adult. Maybe because I keep up with the laundry. Maybe because I wash dishes every day. Now you might ask - don't all people do those things? No. What about the couple down the street. They both work full-time. They don't have children. They run their dishwasher once a week. They do maybe three loads of laundry a week. Repeat that with me - maybe three loads of laundry a week. Who does three loads of laundry a week? A day - easy. A week - no way! What is a person to do? We bought a Maytag High Efficiency Washer. So highly recommended. It doesn't use nearly as much water. What did we get for it? A sleek looking washer, I'll give you that. Now we buy special HE detergent and have a bill with Lowe's AND still have a water problem. Showers are cut in half with those silly little water saving shower heads that spit water on you. Dishes are washed once a day in a water saving dishwasher instead of after each meal. Still we have a water problem. How can we be compared to our neighbors who are never home? How can they question how much water we use? Oh just wait! We have the same soil, the same neighborhood. When those toddlers are out of disposable diapers and using the 'real potty' there will be a whole lot of flushing going on. When those toddlers are teens, there will be a whole lot of clothes changing going on and a whole lot more wash to be done. When the couple down the street have children and quit eating out, that dishwasher will see more action than once a week! In the meantime, laundry gets done somewhere else and my beautiful, sleek washer sits there costing me a monthly bill until it's paid off. The teens get yelled at after running their showers more than 15 minutes. And now the septic tank gets emptied every six months until our little town decides to run a sewer down our street - like the one they have at town hall. Until then, plays are put on at town square. The biggest fireworks show in the county is put on every 4th of July. Concerts and huge beach parties continue. $$$$$$$ And we keep pumping that septic system. Okay, okay, I'll climb off of my soap box for a few minutes. I'm just upset - I bet you couldn't tell - could you? The real clincher is - do you know how much sock yarn I could buy with that money?

Want to know what else is going on? Frankly, it's as upsetting, just not as costly. I think I may be the only one in the house upset about it too, but if I complain enough, I might be able to bring everybody else down too! My sockapalooza sock is NOT WORKING OUT! R has about the same foot size as my pal and she tried on the almost finished first sock last night. Well, to put it mildly, Cinderella didn't fit into the glass slipper! ARGH!!!!!! (Yes, that is my favorite quote of frustration and I thank Charlie Brown for putting it so nicely!) So, what to do? Well, I did chose a pattern that is very popular. What happened the last time I chose a popular pattern? It did not work. I know, I know. A lot of people are walking around in their Jaywalkers that Grumperina did a beautiful job designing. However, I am not one of them. Don't even mention Jaywalkers in front of me! Apparently there is something called gauge that is important - or so I've been told. Yes, I admit it. "My name is K and I am a gaugeless knitter." Is there a Gaugeless Anonymous? "Oh sure, it will fit somebody I know," has been my motto for years. Well, it doesn't always fit the person it's intended for and that is NOT A GOOD THING! So, back to the drawing board or should I say sock patterns. I will find a pattern to fit and I will finish these socks by August and they will be spectacular! I hope.

May 16, 2007

Junior Bird Man

I walked outside to talk on my cell phone - better reception outside as well as quieter - and I saw a Mama Blue Jay and her baby. As soon as Mama saw me, she took off. However, she left behind Junior Bird Man. Poor Baby!
To me it's so odd to see what a blue jay baby looks like. The back of him looks like a stubby regular blue jay. The front of him is fluffy like a baby penquin.
See how lonely he looks?
But lookee here. Mom wasn't too far away! I just wish she'd get down there and get her baby!
Just checked - Mom came and got him. Good Mom!

May 15, 2007

Roving in the Clover

R decided to take some before and after shots of her roving/spinning. Isn't it a beautiful color combination? The roving itself is beautiful, but when it's spun, the jewel tones just seem to pop.

Chocolate Rose - Miss Babs: Hand-dyed fiber goods
This is the one of the latest sock yarn acquistions. It's from Knit Picky, of course. The assortments they had from this company made it nearly impossible to narrow down my selection. I thought of Mom because it reminds me of autumn and that's her favorite season. So, Mom, promptly forget about this yarn because you might be seeing it again in sock form later this year!

What a stupid way to take a picture of a sock in progress. Not wanting to put the sock on to model, I used a glass! It's sort of funky looking, isn't it? It's for my Sockapalooza pal and this picture does not give the true color of the sock. It's the Monkey pattern by Cookie A. as shown on the Knitty web-site. It's working up rather nicely and I can see making another pair of these one day soon.

What can this be? Hmmmm... I don't normally have two projects going at the same time, but I'm bending that rule just a little. Too many babies are expected in the next few weeks and they need hand knitted hats! I'll keep you updated on this as it progresses. The Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino is very nice to work with. The pattern, which is called "Little Cables Hat", called for it and I'm glad that it did. I might not have tried it otherwise. (The pattern can be found at

May 14, 2007

Knitting? No, Nephews

Have you given up on ever seeing knitting on this blog again? I can see how it might appear that way. I do have things to post, but R just won't let me show any of the wonderful patterns she's got cooking up in that brain of hers. Socks and hats have been knit from her original patterns and she won't let me show you any of it! I will post an update of my Sockapalooza Pal's socks in progress with my next post, but in the meantime, I give you my nephews.What a handsome bunch they were in the above picture. That's Sammy all the way to the left, then Mac Genius PJ and then Timmy with the big old smile on that cute little face.

This is what they look like now - still handsome. Mac Genius PJ to the left, Sam in the middle and Tim on the right. Do they look like they are having fun or trying to kill each other....haven't figured that one out yet! We used to joke that all three were born on terrible days in history: PJ on Pearl Harbor Day, Tim was born hours after the shuttle Challenger explosion, and Sam was born on my best friend's Mom's birthday! I think all three of them are pretty cool and I love them all very much.

However, one of the three is in the military. We are proud of you Sam! This is his picture at three years old and it sums up how we all feel about his being away from us all.