September 28, 2007

Let The Judging Begin!!!!

One of the longest week of our lives has finally come to an end. The first part of the week was a frenzy of sewing, knitting, crocheting, running to the store for 'that one last item' and looking for completed projects that somehow got misplaced. I fell into bed every night, actually very, very early in the morning, dreading the next day. What would we have forgotten? What would need to be done? I felt that way and I wasn't even doing the work! How do you think Miss R felt? Well, she thrives on this sort of thing, so she was on fire. So, you ask, how did she do? Considering this was her first year in the adult competition and the fact that she got a slow start, she did remarkably well. Let's start with the rug I showed you yesterday. Well, it didn't place....but that's okay. She didn't really feel like it would, but thought it wouldn't hurt to enter it. She was right. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Nope, didn't place either. What a bummer too! She did such a great job on it and worked so hard. Oh well.

There are other things that I can't show you because I don't have pictures of them! Maybe she took some and I can post those later. If not, you'll just have to wait for the fair to be over early next month and we'll post them then. Let's move on to the winners! The skirt that she worked so hard on came in 2nd. The felt purse she knit and then needle felted also came in 2nd. A lace scarf that she made this summer and forgot about and then remembered again, was entered and walked away with 1st PLACE!!!!!!

And this little fella? Well, we flew away with a 2nd place, red ribbon. Seems appropriate, doesn't it????
Congratulations R! We're proud of you!

September 26, 2007

Time to Fly to the Fair

This little red bird is waiting to take flight and head for the fair. R is putting all her finishing touches on everything. To quote the kid, "If it weren't for deadlines, I'd never get anything done." Well, we have a heck of a deadline looming over us and she's not done! It's 4:05 and everything has to be entered by 6:00 p.m. Yes, that is less than two hours and the fairgrounds are about 20 minutes away when we are not dealing with rush hour traffic. Wish us luck! At least this year we are not stopping at the craft store so she can pick up items to 'start' a craft in the car on the way! Oh yes, we have done that. And this year we aren't baking any items, so that is a huge relief as well. Thank heaven for small miracles!

This little crocheted bag was next to impossible to get a good picture of. She did a great job on it and really took her time. She's not a crocheter as her first choice, but she really did a great job on the items she did crochet. This bag is from an Interweave Pieceworks magazine. I think the issue was on re-enacting and this was from the Civil War era.

This is her rug entry. I can't remember if I have shown it before or not, but here it is. She finished it several months ago. It was knit following the directions in the Mason-Dixon knitting book. However, the potholder loops it called for made it a very expensive rug for our budget. R went to the Hanes outlet and bought the longest tube socks she could find. We took turns cutting them into one inch loops with a rotary cutter that soon died afterward. Moment of silence, please. Then she dyed the loops in red and pink RIT dyes. It was a fast knit and she did a great job. I think the whole thing was under $30 as opposed to $200 for the loops the book called for.

I would show you the other entries, but she is still sewing on the skirt and I don't have time to prod her along and have a photo shoot too! As soon as the fair is over, we'll take pictures of the rest and share them with you.

Looks like the little red bird is ready to go, so I guess we better fly! Wish us luck!

September 24, 2007

More Competition for the Computer

Every morning I get dressed, come into the living room and turn on the computer. While it's 'doing it's thing' to get started, I put my shoes on and pour myself something to drink. Then I sit down and check e-mails and look into all my favorite blogs. I guess I should say that would be my ideal morning. Some mornings I'll get distracted by a phone call or something else. By the time I get back to the computer, I find my chair being warmed by another butt. Normally it's R or L. Well, R is not really competition in the morning because she's not an early riser, but L is. Imagine my surprise this morning when I went to get my shoes, came back into the living room and was greeted by this sight:She's even looking at the screen! Now what kind of site is she going to get into? Is she ordering catnip? Is she putting a hit out on me for taking her to the vet? I shudder to think. However, you can be assured I will be checking the history on the computer tonight!
This weekend was a bust. What big plans we all had. R was going to knock out all her sewing for the fair. L was going to play on the computer and plan his next role playing game. RL and I were going to finish the mouldings in the living room and he was going to finish the little pieces of wood flooring that had to be 'fussy cut'. What did we do? I took R to Mom and Daddy's where she almost finished her skirt. She made a mistake and has to rip out a small portion of it and then do some hand sewing to finish. It looks great and fits her well. After dropping her off, I headed into town and ran a few errands. I even had time to go to the Hallmark store! That's a rare treat - the Hallmark store by myself! I came home to find L glued to the television, which I had been glued to before I had taken R. An 'Ugly Betty' marathon was on and we had never watched the show before. (It's on at the same time as our favorite NBC shows, so there was never a question about what we would watch!) Turns out, Ugly Betty is a pretty good show. We all enjoyed it! R and I talked by phone a couple of times while she was at my Mom and Dad's and she would ask for updates. L gave me updates when I got back from town and even RL was sitting to watch occasionally. NOTHING got done on Saturday! Sunday was going to be different. We were going to work! I dropped R off at Mom and Daddy's again and L and I went into town to run some more errands. I wanted to look for some stuff to send to my nephew who is in the military and also get some other things I had forgotten the day before. We hit a few book stores. You cannot go into town with L without going to at least one book store! We met RL at Home Depot and selected the mouldings we wanted and then went to pick up R. She was not having a productive day. Her throat was killing her and her fabric was not cooperating. We finally talked her into calling it a day and went around to the back of the house to get her sewing machine out of the basement. Guess what we saw? Three wild turkeys in a little field behind their house! So cool! Mom and Daddy live in a little community that is close to town. They have a cluster home in a cul-de-sac. All around them are other litle communities of condos and town houses, so you just don't expect to see wild turkeys in their neighborhood!
It is now officially fall and I have no idea when we will start enjoying all the sights and smells associated with it. The drought has hit us hard this year, so we might not have the spectacular leaves we have had other years. We were spoiled by some cooler temperatures last week and even had the house open for a couple of days. What a treat that was!
Now for some family news. My Uncle Joe, Mom's oldest brother, got married yesterday. After several years of hardships for his family, we have been thrilled he found someone and that he is truly happy. She has the same name as my favorite famous author from the late 1700's to early 1800's and I've been tempted to send my books to her to have them autographed. So what if she spells her last name different - I'll be the only person to have a copy that was autographed in this century!
Time to get the kids moving - R to start sewing and L to hit the school books. Wish me luck!

September 20, 2007

Ginger - The Amazing Howling Kitty

Today was Ginger's annual check-up. I think I would rather go to the gynecologist or get a root canal than take her to the vet. Maybe even go to the gynecologist and go for a root canal on the same day. The minute the carrier comes out, she gets paranoid and scarce. Last time I took her, she howled the entire way there - 10 miles away. She pooped and peed in her carrier. They bring her file out and on the top, in BOLD PRINT, it says CAUTION. Now, what Mom doesn't want to see that on their baby's file? So, the vet and the assistant come in with leather gloves that go up to the top of their shoulders. Are they dealing with falcons or my cat? Ginger acted like a complete idiot! I waited as long as I possibly could before I made the appointment for this year. R insisted I make the appointment as Ginger is really her cat. Is she willing to take her with me? NO! Anywho, I make the appointment and tell them that I don't want to be in the room with the animal and I don't even really want to be in the same office, shoot - the same town! They assured me I could drop her off by 9:00 and pick her up by 6:00. So, I get her in the carrier with some very unwilling help from R. Ginger starts howling immediately! Down the driveway we go - howling. On the interstate - howling. Onto the main road - howling. Turn left and towards the Vet - howling. Into the office - howling. I didn't even tell her good-bye because by that time, we were not on speaking terms! RL was supposed to pick her up on his way home from work. He drives a pick-up truck and absolutely NO love is lost between the two of them. Not knowing if he would strap the cat onto the top of his car like Eddie Murphy did with the guinea pig in Doctor Doolittle, I opted to pick her up when they called to let me know they had all survived the visit. L decided to go with me. If he could drive - I would have sent him by himself! She had a good checkup except they want to clean her teeth - $200 something. They also want to do blood work - $130. Holy Cow! I told them we would hold off for now. So, she is in the carrier and we are on our way home. Let the howling begin! Luckily it wasn't quite as bad. Unfortunately, she peed and P-U! Now she is upstairs sleeping off her immunizations. Her carrier has been cleaned. And we are good for another year. Thank goodness! Now I hope L doesn't act the same way when I take him to have his wisdom teeth checked! I'm pretty sure that R has CAUTION written on a doctor's chart some where!
The sock is coming along nicely. R has only had to rip it back for me a couple of times. I have got to quit watching television when it's time to move the row marker on the chart! I will be thrilled when these socks are finished. Then again, I always feel that way when I'm half way through the second sock. Good old second sock syndrome.
R is sewing away on a skirt for the fair. Unfortunately she cut the pattern out months ago and then promptly lost the pattern! We have some pieces, but no directions. So, between running Ginger back and forth to the vet, I got to go to JoAnn's and buy a new pattern. Ah - a mother's work is never done.
I realize I have whined in this post - and I do apologize for that. However, when you have a day that merits whining, you whine my whine!

September 17, 2007

Here's the cake!

The cake was finished last night around 7:30, but I had two choices. I could post pictures immediately or I could get it delivered. R and I opted to deliver it. The cake was as cute as ever and was well received - so were the cupcakes. They were very good. We won't know how the cake tasted until after the party, so we are waiting to hear. As always, we hope the person the cake was intended for loved it.

There was a 'certain comment' on the last post about the amount of books we have. (You know who you are, Kelly!) I don't know how to tell you, dear blog readers (Kelly), but I have spared you from the gory details of just how many books we do own. I didn't show you the bookshelves in the dining area. I didn't show you the bookshelf in the laundry room - doesn't everybody have a bookshelf in their laundry room? I didn't show you the bookshelves in our bedroom, R's bedroom or L's bedroom - each of them, by the way, have multiple bookshelves. I didn't dare show you the books stowed away in the attic. Oh, Mom and Daddy know the sordid truth and have come to love us in spite of it. Have they accepted it? I don't know, but they love us anyway. So, if you find yourself in need of something to read, Kelly, you now know where you can get a book or a hundred.

September 16, 2007

Today - We Bake

R got an order for a cake, so she is decorating today. RL helped her come up with the idea, so she was feeling a whole lot better than she was when she went to bed last night. It's hard to be original all the time, I would imagine. So, while she is decorating, I decided to bake some Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes. I found the recipe months ago and RL loves pineapple upside down cake, so I decided to treat him and see if I remember how to bake! Plus, the family who ordered the cake also like them, so I might sneak one or two to them if they turn out.
RL deserves a treat today anyway. He and L are over at Mom and Daddy's replacing toilet guts - for lack of a better term. Their toilets have been running for months and months. They haven't witnessed any sign of it in their water bills all this time. However, proof came in their last one and it was BIG! So, RL and L went over to take care of that. I hope it's a quick fix.
I decided to take a few pictures. Here's where I compose my wonderful little blog. Right now I'm looking at all the bad stuff - like the fire hazard of wires under the desk! Yes, the couch is covered. Ginger has a tendency to scratch everything, so until she realizes this couch is not her personal scratching post, it will remain covered. They say you can't teach an old dog a new trick, but can you teach an old cat? I sure hope so. I'm tired of the cover! The cds will not stay on top of the printer. I'm waiting to build some shelves for those to hang over the printer. Might be a 'next weekend' project - like we need another one!
Here are our 'wonder shelves.' You can see a few of our interests if you look close enough. Of course those baskets on top hold yarn....what else??? Duh! You can't see, but there are little gnomes here and there as well as Noah's arks PT Cruisers and VWs.
Here's a closer image of some of our favorites. Part of RLs VW collection, The knitting books are crammed onto the next shelf and of course we have our Melbourne, Florida 'orange' from US 1 when we lived down there.
I even have some proof of knitting. Can you believe it? If it hadn't been for R and here wonderful knitting sense, this sock would not exist. I handed it off to her too many times to fix my mistakes. I like mindless knitting and this isn't exactly rocket science, but I got distracted and would find myself working on row 2 instead of 3 which is an entirely different stitch pattern all together. I downloaded the pattern from Knitting Daily. I've started on the 2nd one, but it's been a slow process - since getting the living room together was taking priority. Go figure.
Remember the six great stitch markers that my sockapalooza pal Beth made for me? Here's a reminder:

R and I headed to the Gem and Mineral show last week and found some neat stuff to make our own markers. Here's what we found:

Just one more project to add to the agenda! Maybe we can get some earrings made know, in our spare time - between 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning!

Well, this post is finished and R's cake is NO WHERE near I'll post some pictures of it when it is finished.

September 14, 2007


Did you sing the title? If you didn't, go back and sing it. That's the way it was written and that's the way it should be handled. We haven't had rain in so long..... 'how long has it been?''s been so long that we've had our car for at least three car payments (don't you love the way I keep track of things????) and I am still having trouble figuring out the windshield wipers because I haven't had to use them very often! There's a burning ban and a yard watering ban - so that should tell you how long it's been since we've had rain. I woke up to kiss RL good-bye this morning and thought I heard something, but knew it couldn't be that foreign substance that falls from the sky. I woke up again at 8:00 with a pounding headache and heard the rain. Shoot! The headache was probably caused by the rain - my body was in shock! It's been raining off and on all day with some rumbles of thunder. I love thunder! (Must be left over from my Florida days when we had daily thunder storms.) We even had a tornado warning or two thrown in there too. I made sure the kids were dressed so we could head out to Mom and Daddy's basement if we had to. R does not get dressed early, so that was a big deal for her. Luckily we were spared from any tornadic activity. I used Ginger has my tornado gauge. She stayed in her little cubby and didn't act like today was any different, so I figured we were all safe.

Here's our super dobbler kitty keeping watch for us. Notice all the books! Yes! We finally have bookshelves in our living room! RL has asked that I find all the books in the house and put them on these shelves so we can free up all the other places we have books stashed. I just couldn't break it to him that these four bookshelves were probably NOT going to be enough to store all the books this family has! R is our resident librarian and has categorized the shelves by reference, home school, knitting, other crafts, fun reads, classics and we even gave L a shelf of his very own for his role playing books. Of course that shelf is the most accessible shelf. It's right behind the center of the couch where he does most of his sitting and planning for his next game. A shelf or two holds cds for the computer and of course we have a shelf holding yarn. We need at least one more of those. Right now I am sitting at my new computer desk, which R put together for me, and I have no fear, whatsoever, that the slide out shelf for the keyboard is going to come crashing to the floor when I least expect it. I will have to take some pictures soon so you can see where we take turns using the computer. I also want to take some more pictures of the whole living room because I'm so proud of it all! We did it as a family and nobody ended up in the hospital. Notice I didn't say hurt or bleeding because that did happen. However, I will not whine, Kelly, I will just let it go.

If you get a chance, go check out a cool blog that R found. It's done by a home schooling girl - Yippee for you, you home schooler you - and it's very interesting. She even has her own Etsy site - very cool! Here's the link - check it out - Bella Modiste.

September 11, 2007

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time, one bite at a time. How do you move an upright grand piano? One key at a time, my friends, one key at a time. How did R, L and I move a piano? Not one key at a time, that's for sure. My neck is letting me know that our method of moving was not the right method. The piano was in the kitchen - although the acoustics were so much better in the kitchen, it did make it a little difficult to get to the table for dinner. Actually, it made it impossible to reach the table. Now that the flooring is down... Yes! The flooring is down! What a weekend that was. RL and the kids rented a nail gun or whatever they call the nail thingie you need to put down wood floors. Saturday morning the drill sargeant got us out of bed - he is too cheery in the morning - and we started trying to figure it all out (not the cheeriness, the flooring. We will never figure out the cheeriness!) By 11:00 p.m. the nail gun had given out along with our knees, butts, and any other flesh covered muscle body part. RL decided to call it a night and we would start as soon as the rental place opened and he could replace the nail gun. Off he went bright and early the next morning. He brought one back and we slipped into the little routine we had established on Saturday. Except this nail gun decided not to work from the get-go. Off RL headed to the rental place - again. The third time was a charm and we got going. Did we buy enough wood? Well, since L and I were in charge of placing the wood while R and RL were hammering the crap out of the nails, we kept looking at each other, shaking our heads, saying we were cutting it close. We did cut it close. So close that we have to go back and buy one more pack of wood. Thirty freakin' square feet of wood because we are three pieces short. Oh well. If it could happen, it would and it did. So, soon we will be off to the wood place to buy the flooring and wait for it to acclimate for a week or two. In the meantime, we received the replacement loveseat - yippee! We bought bookshelves for the gazillion books that we own and put them together. Now we are slowing gathering the books and placing them on the shelves. We've moved as much as the furniture to its new location as we could and now we wait for the flooring to be officially finished. Oh, we are also on the hunt for a new computer table. I have a five foot area and want something a little sturdier than the one we have right now. The desk we have is fine, but you never know when the little roll out shelf that holds the keyboard is going to come crashing down...which normally happens when you are quietly surfing the net while everybody is in bed and you are thoroughly enjoying a few minutes of quiet time.

Here's a picture of the floors that R took while she was sprawled out on the floor. I thought she was trying to 'capture the true essence of the flooring', but now I think she was just exhausted and trying to convince us that she was being creative. Yes, that is one of our piles of knitting books in the corner. They are never too far from reach.

This is part of the process. Tar paper goes down on the subflooring - and for those of you who don't know - tar paper smells like really, really dirty feet. Those legs belong to L and me while we were figuring out the best way to lay those boards down so the seams were spaced properly and trying not to waste boards. I tell you, L had it down to an art. It was almost scary! He could place those boards so they didn't have to be trimmed! Freaky!

Last but certainly not least - Ginger decided to leave her mark on the tar paper. She would venture down from time to time and then get scared to death by the newness of it all and run back upstairs. This is the only proof we have that the entire family was involved!

Meanwhile, knitting has been found among the chaos - it actually still had all its needles in it! - and hopefully the sock will be finished and the second started. R is still plugging along on fair projects. Homeschool planning is still going on. And, as always, the projects on the house will continue.

September 5, 2007

We have a new door!!!!!

Labor Day was quite a laborious weekend for us. RL probably looked forward to heading back to his desk job after all the physical labor he did this weekend. The flooring by the front door had water damage due to the wooden door cracking. That had to be replaced first. I had no idea what we would find under that rotten wood! I just knew something would have a nest and lots of little children! Yuck! We didn't find any of that. How lucky is that?
Here's the new wood subflooring. It might not be an exciting thing for you - but believe me, it was for us!

Next came the new door. What a royal pain that was! The first one must have been stuck in place with duct tape, spit and chicken wire, to quote my darling daughter! It didn't take much effort to get out at all. That's a little scary when you think about it!

Here is a pic of the remains of what was once our front door.

The new door, however, is metal, heavy, sturdy, heavy, large and heavy. RL and L lifted it in and out of the opening several times to see if it would fit and what they had to do to make it fit properly. Then Mom came and took the kids into town and I was the designated helper. Where oh where was that boy! His father needed him! Actually, I needed him to help his father! Anywho, we managed to get that sucker in and out as often as it needed to be without too much harm to either of us.

Here's the new door. The door knob is on the other side - which is taking a whole lot of getting used to. How many times will I have to stand on the left side of the door only to realize there's not a door knob there????? Not a great picture, but you get the general idea!

Now, what can this be besides a big mess? It's our new wooden flooring getting acclimated to it's new surroundings. It had been in Mom and Daddy's basement when we were informed it needed to be in its new home for a while to get used to it. Off we went to pick up the wood. Then we realized, duh, it needs to be out of the packaging so it can 'breath'. So, as of late Saturday or early Sunday, it was breathing as much as it wanted. It's also serving as a shelf for lots of junk - like my pink knitting bag, past due library books, shims, knitting projects - you name it. This weekend might be the time it gets to be used for its actually purpose, but I'm not totally convinced of that yet. Things don't always go as scheduled around here.

We do other things around here beside home improvements - like garden. Here is our bounty - all of it! R has a book called "The $64 Tomato" or something like that - and this, my friends, is that tomato! No, I lie. We had two other tomatoes. See, it was a more bountiful harvest than I led you to believe!

And we have knitting - of course. R is knitting for the fair and I'm not sure I can share that until after she enters it, so you'll have to be patient. She's using Cascade yarn in a beautiful teal shade. Her hands are now teal as well as the needles. I hope her body won't be when she wears this item! I have been knitting dishcloths, which I mentioned in a previous post. I can show you those although they aren't as exciting as other things - like socks I've been knitting and frogging and knitting and frogging. Thank goodness I have a resident knitting guru who can help me through the mistakes!