July 31, 2007

Harry Potter, Finally!

This weekend was a whirlwind around here! Saturday was spent doing yard work, grocery shopping, washing the car, doing as little laundry as I could get away with and finishing this cake.

R had another cake order for a reunion. It started out as a family tree and then slowly turned into this cute cake. The recipients were pleased with it - which makes us happy. R was happy because she now has spending money. That makes me happy because she's not asking me to spend money on her! Isn't that nice how it all works out? I thought so too.

Yesterday we hit JoAnn Fabrics because their corduroy was on sale. I don't know many people who buy corduroy in late July, and that is probably why it was 1/2 price, but R had it in her head she needed some. Since she had the aforementioned money, I was more than eager to take her. She got several pretty colors and some flannel too. Hey, if you're buying corduroy in the middle of summer, you may as top it all off with a couple of yards of flannel, right? She wants to make a bag and also some skirts. Mom, be on standby. You know I don't know anything about sewing with corduroy! L and I wandered the store and found some yellow cotton yarn for a dishcloth I've been wanting to make. I just finished a dishcloth that is hot pink with a flamingo knitted into it, but I can't get a good picture of it - at all! Use your imagination and imagine it as the most beautiful flamingo dishcloth you've ever seen. It's not, but you can do this favor for me - okay? Okay!
I've also been working on another Monkey sock. I don't know how I like it, but I'm going to keep on knitting. It's strange the way the colors are coming out. I wish I could blame it on some idiot who didn't know thing one about dyeing yarn. I guess I can! I'm that idiot! And, no, I don't really know thing one about dyeing yarn. I do like yellow and pink together and this was a Kool-Aid dyeing experiment.
Maybe they'll turn out alright. Time will tell. They are unique. Yeah, that what I'm calling them...unique monkeys.

We went to see Harry Potter this weekend. What a good movie. I really prefer the book, but I was satisfied with the movie. We waited until this weekend because we thought the crowds would have died down. Nope. We rushed across town to the new theater with five minutes to spare only to find out it was sold out. Back in the car, driving in a storm to get to the other theater, which is much closer to our house. We had thirty minutes to spare and thought we'd have the pick of seats. Thought wrong! We had to sit about the 8th row back. People were still filing in long after we were seated until the theater was full. It was fun to watch with such an involved group. Lots of laughing, clapping and talking to the screen from time to time took place. We did see some little children there. I'm not so sure I would have taken a little child. I could only imagine the nightmares I would have had at that age after seeing the movie. Very good movie and worth all the running around we had to do to see it!

Now it's off to find some goodies to send to my Sockapalooza pal. Maybe a trip to Old Salem is called for.

July 28, 2007

Okay, I'm posting Mom - are you happy?

This week has been a little hectic, but no where near as hectic as last week! Thank goodness! We have been slowly recovering by sleeping in a little. We've been catching up on things that needed to be done around the house, but not nearly everything that needs to be done. Well, face it, those things are just never going to be completed!

Some knitting has been going on. R is still working on a shop sample for Knit Picky, but her week at knitting camp slowed that down a little bit. She's almost finished. I knit the above dishcloth, but I don't know if you can make out the design. It's a Transformer. When my oldest nephew was little he loved Transformers - 'robots in disquise'! Well, now that he's 25, I thought he would like a Transformer dishcloth. I don't really know if he's much into doing dishes - somehow I think not, but he's got a dishcloth coming his way in the mail just in case he decides to take it up.

We had a visitor to our hummingbird feeder this week. No hummingbirds, but at least a beautiful visitor is taking advantage of the feeder.

R had a cake order this week and this is the end result. You can't really make it out, but it says the names of the birthday people on some of the balloons. Such a cute cake. She has another cake to finish tomorrow for a family reunion. It's baked, just needs to be decorated. Another long day of powdered sugar coating everything in the kitchen!

The socks for my sockapalooza pal are officially washed and blocked. I have to get them into the box and just wait until the big send off date - August 2nd. I'm ready! I hope they fit her. They were a little snug before they were blocked, but I think they are much better now. I'm getting excited about getting a pair of socks knit just for me too! I have no idea what to expect.

Today was Juli's last day at Knit Picky. We didn't realize today was her final day. We thought we had until tomorrow. While in town this afternoon, we dropped in and there she was. I asked when her last day was and she said today. I am so glad that we were able to see her before she left. She's one of of favorites there and will truly be missed. We were her last customers of the day and I was glad for that. We exchanged hugs and promises to keep in touch. Good luck Juli! We'll really, really miss you!

July 23, 2007


What an incredibly long week, followed by an incredibly long weekend! I wasn't sure if we'd survive either, but we came out of both with flying colors.
Friday afternoon completed our week of running R back and forth to Knit Picky for the knitting camp. The great staff at Knit Picky and all the new 'fiber artists' hosted an open house for the parents. The girls were working tables to show what they had worked on all week and to show little demonstrations to their parents.

Above is a Kool-Aid dyeing demonstration with some yarn they had dyed earlier in the day.

Needle felting was a big hit too. Here one of the visiting brothers got in on the action.

Here are some of their knitting and crocheting projects from the week.

They learned so many things! They tie-dyed, dyed cotton yarn, kool-aid dyed wool, learned to spin with a drop spindle and a spinning wheel, make felted beads, needle felt and, or course, knit and crochet. I was very impressed with how smoothly everything went. You would never had known this was Knit Picky's first year at this.

Then - it was home to rest up for the - HARRY POTTER BOOK RELEASE AT BORDERS! We have never gotten any of our books on the night of the release. We debated, many, many times during the week whether we should wait until Saturday morning and pick up our reserved copy or suck it up and go for the whole experience of the midnight release. Realizing that we had never done that before and that we would never get the chance again - since this is the final book - we decided to go for it. Whew! I am NOT a crowd person - at all! I can't tell you how many panic attacks I have walking from one end of the mall to the other! What had I gotten myself into? We tried to look at magazines to pass the time. Nope, too many people beat us there. Well, we didn't leave our house until 10:30 p.m., so half of the county beat us there! Camera crews were there. Young children were there. Lone adults were there. Parents were there with their children. Many, many, many young people who had grown up with Harry Potter were there. To be honest with you, even though there was a costume contest, I think some of the people just looked weird and we couldn't tell who was dressed for the contest and who wasn't! We found a cool, quiet spot back in Computers and Finance and waited and waited. We got brave a couple of times and ventured back into the fray, but we would always retreat into the same corner. We met a great mom with her two kids who were visiting from Virginia and couldn't wait until they got home to pick up a book. We also met a dad who had come by himself to pick up the book for his wife who was home with their four young children. We told him he had won by not having to stay home with the little ones, but after three hours with ALL THOSE PEOPLE, I think she was the winner! I don't know how our evening would have gone if we hadn't found those kindred spirits to spend it with.

Yes, this is a blurry picture of a gazillion people waiting and waiting. The blurry pictures kind of show how we were starting to feel the closer it got to midnight after having had such a busy week!

I cannot commend Borders enough for the fabulous job they did! They kept order in a situation I thought would never be orderly! 'Snape' kept us all in 'line' with announcements of what would happen next and 'Voldemort' made sure you weren't in line until your number/letter came up. The staff looked slightly overwhelmed but they were extremely efficient.

Of course some Harry Potter knitting took place! The hat was finished in time to go to the store and the book mark/book scarf was my knitting project at the store.

And yes, we read and read and read and read and read. RL kept us fed - bless that man! We read some more. We got up and stretched. We took potty breaks. We walked in the yard. We read and read and read. We went to bed late. We got up on Sunday and RL kept us fed again. We read and read and read. We avoided phone calls when possible. We read some more. We discussed what we didn't understand and went to look up stuff in the other books. We read and read and read and then around 1:30 a.m. Monday we were finished. My voice was scratchy, the kids were tired, but satisfied and we headed for the showers and then to bed. I'm glad we read the books as a family. Nobody finishes before anybody else. We discuss what we don't remember or don't understand and somebody else always remembers that part or understands it. Great book and, after some doubts I had the first day of reading, I am now convinced that the wait at Borders was worth it. The all day readings were worth it. And most of all, the time we spent as a family was extremely worth it!

July 20, 2007

Cutest Flock of Sheep!

Aren't they adorable? R decided to bake some cupcakes for the girls in her knitting class since this will be their last day together. Sheep were on her mind, so sheep they are. She said she couldn't decide if they looked like sheep or really fluffy polar bears.
I'm not sure if they do either, but I do know they are cute.
How could anybody eat something that cute that looks at you like that? Oh well, kids like icing and there's A LOT OF IT on these cupcakes! I think she said she would be handing them to the kids as they leave. The girl is learning! If you're going to make a kid hyper, make them hyper just the second before you pass them back to their parents!

July 17, 2007

Hats, socks and bags - oh my!

What a busy week this is turning into! R is volunteering at the Knitting Camp at Knit Picky from 10:00 to 3:00 every day. For people (all of us, except RL) who do not like to wake up early - this has been killer! While she was waiting for the little knitters/campers to show up, she started knitting this little hat. The pattern is the 'Elf Cap' from Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick. By the time I picked her up from camp, she was well into her decreases. By 5:00 we were taking turns modeling. I'm the lucky model in this picture. (I showed you my best side!) Excuse the mess, but we've been knitting! This lovely bag is one of R's latest creations. She found the pattern in a magazine and set to work. It's just the perfect size for the latest knitting project! She's even used it for a purse - perfect size for a wallet and cellphone. The colors are just perfect! Do I make it sound perfect or what?!?!?!?!
We have a stump in our front yard which is 'Jordan's throne'. The little girl next door, who is two, comes over and sits down like she is 'the princess of all she sees'. This is her little throne where she proudly reigns. I don't think she'll mind that I used her throne to show off my latest socks. They are from a free pattern called "Pillars of Atlantis" designed by Chrissy Graham (http://chrissythegreat.blogspot.com). It was a nice pattern to work with. I adapted a few things to make it easier on me, but I don't think it changed the general pattern at all.

Here's a better view - you can see the cables and ribs as well as the yard without grass. Oh! I forgot to tell you, the yarn is Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock yarn in the Life Aquatic colorway purchased from, where else???? Knit Picky.

L and I have been keeping ourselves busy while R is at camp. So far we've worked on finding a light box for him since he is now into drawing. He's pretty good at it - he gets that from his Dad! He hasn't been willing to share any recent artwork, but I bet it's looking good. Today he and I tried our hand at role playing. He's a role player from the word go and I have been fortunate enough to sit back and listen, not play, to the adventures. However, I've been promising - all year - that I would play with him. Since R is NOT into it at all, we've been taking advantage of our time together to play. It's not going so well! I don't know what I'm doing and he's trying desperately to teach me. Good luck with that buddy!

July 14, 2007

The nest is empty

The baby cardinals have left their nest. I was a little apprehensive to take any pictures. I just knew I was going to climb the ladder and three little cardinals were going to be squawking at me for a meal and a mad set of parents were going to come swooping down at me. L held the ladder and I took my chances. The nest was empty and it still looks perfect. There's tape, leaves, twigs, pieces of plastic - you name it - Mom and Dad used just about everything during construction!
My Hosta bloomed! I've only had one bloom before and it wasn't nearly as pretty as this one. Beautiful!

Now on to something NOT beautiful. The stupid Japanese beetles are eating my tree - again. I know I complained earlier in the season that they had started. Well, they are almost finished. Normally we have a FULL tree and plums for the birds. Not this year, just like last year. What do you do about it? If we buy the traps, I'm afraid we'll just attract more. Oh well, whatever we are, or aren't, doing isn't cutting it!
We delivered Laura's cake to Knit Picky today for her big debut. I hope it goes well for her and she sells lots and lots of yarn. I've been looking at the colors on her site for a while now and although they look nice on line, I can tell you that in person they are so much better. They just seem to pop! Go see them if you get a chance.
R and RL have been busy working on the lawn mower today. R decided she wanted to mow the yard, but the lawn mower decided it needed some TLC. RL and R headed to Lowes for some parts and after some cuts and first aid, the battery decided to die! Now they are working on that. L and I decided we would just stay out of the way and took the pictures above! We ain't no dummies!

July 13, 2007

It's a rough life

This was the sight in our livingroom last night. The two girls were relaxing and getting some knitting time in. These are Ginger's favorite chairs because they are close to some sort of light - either the window or the lamp. I guess that's why they are R's favorite chairs too. R pushed the chairs together for some added comfort and Ginger just couldn't decide which chair was supposed to be hers. At the moment this was taken she chose the right one. R is knitting on the scarf for the shop sample and is more than half way finished. I know she'll be glad when it's finished. Her little knitting mind is racing with all kinds of designs she wants to try as soon as this is completed. Today she has a special order cake to work on, so that will give her a little break from knitting...although I don't think she ever needs a break!

This is day two of this post. I was going to show the picture of the cake earlier than this, but we had a slight problem. Lately when R bakes a cake, she ends up with the bottom being gummy. So last night she went to bed a little depressed. I was also a little depressed because I knew a new cake had to be baked. ARGH! Off to the grocery store I went this morning for more cake mixes and I baked this one. It turned out just fine. I guess we make a good team - I bake okay and she decorates really well.

She tried to copy the company's logo and I think she did a pretty good job. If you are interested in the company, or just want to see if R got the logo right, go to http://paintedsheepyarn.com/. The 16th is Laura's first day of business, so go see what she has to offer and support her. She has some really pretty color combinations and yarn types. (I hope the link works okay - it was my first time to do that!)

We finally got our glasses. L has had his for a while, so he had a little more time to get used to them than the rest of us. RL has gradual bifocals and that is taking a little to get used to. R looks artsy fartsy in hers. That would be an appropriate look for her since she is artsy fartsy! I don't know about mine. I like them, but they are very different from anything else I've ever had. Shoot, why should I care what they look like? I don't look at them - just through them!
Our eye doctor and staff are the greatest and we always look forward to seeing them. Ha! 'Seeing' them! Didn't really mean it that way! It's getting late - I'm laughing at dumb stuff! Have a great weekend!

July 10, 2007

Yippee Ki Yaaa!!!!

School is officially over for the 2006/2007 year!!!!!!!! I am sooooo excited. It's been a loooooong school year and it's been an emotional one for this Mom, so I'm glad it's over. I know, I know, most people already have school over in June, but this year we have had ups and downs - lots of downs, and it has taken us a little longer to get it finished. L went yesterday for his state required standardized test and did great! I am very proud of him. Unfortunately he didn't score too high in Math - who is surprised here? I am NOT a Math person by any stretch of the imagination and have apparently passed on my 'love' for the subject to the children. R squeaked by, but I think L is going to have to do more than squeak. (He wants to do Math related things after high school.) So, it's on to either more extensive studying with our current curriculum or extensive searching for a new one. You get the picture - it's extensive either way! Way to go buddy! I'm proud of you!

Yesterday was also L's day to pick up his new glasses. The rest of us are waiting for ours to come in, but they are taking a little longer for some reason or other. I'm anxious for mine. I don't like this mono-vision thing with the contacts and would like a rest with a pair of glasses from time to time. My current pair is closing in on being nine years old, so it's time for a new pair. I think R is looking forward to a new look with her glasses and RL is looking forward to a new pair as well. His last pair was made funky and he can't see well out of them. He's been doing the mono-vision thing for years now, so he has adapted to it.

We had a very nice 4th of July! I was so pleased with the entire day. We had our cook-out - burgers and hot dogs. Mom and Daddy came by to eat with us and spend the afternoon. Mom, R and I went for a walk after dinner and met some of the neighbors and their dogs. Then Mom and Daddy left around 8:30. If they didn't leave then, they weren't going to be able to get out of here until after 11:00. The entrance to our housing development is where everybody in the free world congregates for the fireworks. It was nice this year. We sat in the middle of all of our neighbors - and probably 1,000 strangers - and enjoyed the show. It seemed a little shorter this year, but that was fine. We had good company and bug spray, so we couldn't ask for anything more. We came home and did our little annual fireworks/fire hazard. Our neighbor who normally helps us light everything had just taken some allergy medicine due to an earlier encounter with six wasps, so we were on a tight schedule to get everything lit before he felt the effects of the meds! We didn't get yelled at for making too much noise this year, so that was a pleasant surprise.

On to the yarn store for their weekend sale and a terrific surprise! Both R and I found out we each had a $20 gift certificate waiting for us! (I may have danced from excitement a wee bit too much and I am truly sorry for the customers who had to witness that.) R got some more yarn to add to some other yarn she bought a few days ago and was afraid she wouldn't have enough. I think she's set now. Cherry Tree Hill had just arrived, so I think we all know where this is headed. Yes, I bought some. When you have a $20 gift certificate, it is an amazingly affordable yarn! I have NO idea what I am going to make out of it - but that's not why we buy yarn, is it?

July 4, 2007

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July! I hope everybody has plans for some fun today. We will spend the day with Mom and Daddy, having our annual 4th cookout. Of course we have all our sparklers and small fireworks for our own little fireworks show after the town's big show. And what a big show they put on too! Luckily we live down the block from the park and are able to walk and avoid the traffic jams.

We have a tomato in our garden! It's amazing that anything is growing after weeks of neglect. I guess the afternoon rains have kept everything alive. Hopefully we'll have at least one tomato. As gardeners we don't have high expectations!

This little fella likes to scare me! I'll be walking along in the garden and he'll hop out of nowhere! I saw him first today and he kindly posed for this picture.

We've had a lot going on lately and have just not felt like sitting here writing about it. RL took the week off of work, so we've been running around doing all the things we should have been doing anyway! The eye doctor yesterday was interesting, as usual. We have the best eye doctor with a wonderful sense of humor. Everybody was getting examined, so we crammed into his little office and let the jokes fly. It's a wonder we walk out of there with the right prescriptions because we're carrying on so! RL actually had an improvement with his eyesight and R didn't have much of a change at all. L and I weren't quite so lucky. L had a change and is extremely rough on glasses, so he is getting a pair that you can mangle and they just pop right back into place. That poor kid has stepped, sat, slept, you name it - to his glasses in the past. I got lucky and get to experience mono vision instead of bifocals. Between that and getting those stupid drops to dilate your pupils, I couldn't see a blasted thing for hours! Luckily RL was the designated driver, so we all made it safely home.

As for knitting, well, you can forget ever seeing a picture of the socks I was making from the pattern I found on the Crystal Palace website. I am a blind follower and the pattern was just too vague for me. The sock has been ravelled and is now in a ball sitting in time out until I can decide what I want to do with it...or it decides to behave! I'm working on a neat pair right now. Hold on - I'll take a picture so you can see it...

Not a great picture, but you get the idea. The yarn is not as blue as it looks. It's Sweet Georgia from Knit Picky Yarns. The pattern is 'Pillars of Atlantis Sock Pattern' designed by Chrissy Graham. It's a great pattern and I've really enjoyed working on it. It doesn't use a cable needle for the cables, so that's a bonus in my book!

We spent Sunday at my Mom and Dad's visiting with some of their friends from way back. I used to just love them so much - and still do. They were some of the only adults we were allowed to call by their first names, so that was cool to me! It's been over 30 years since I've seen them and they haven't changed much at all. She's still as sweet as ever and he's just like always. He's into motorcycles, corvettes, skiing and snowboarding - some things just never change. We had a great day and the kids loved them. L sat in awe of Paul and all his adventures. And to prove that it's a small world - RL's Dad grew up with Paul and they compared notes of who they knew and places they both remembered. Cool!

Have a safe 4th - be careful with those fireworks! Remember our soldiers and say an extra prayer for them.