October 31, 2007


It's finally here! R has been anxious for this day for the longest time - well since last Halloween. She has been working on her costume for a few days now. Although R and L don't trick or treat anymore, they can dress up if they want to. L doesn't always want to, but R always does and probably always will. One year she was the Bride of Frankenstein and the people at the haunted house told her how great she looked as she walked by! Now that's a compliment! This year she has been working on The Phantom of the Grand Ol' Opry. I left her at Mom and Daddy's a few hours ago to finish the sewing. Her sewing abilities have far surpassed mine, so when she gets in a fix we have to pack it up and go over there for guidance. She got in a fix and off I packed her to their house. It's not dark yet, so there's still hope that she'll get this costume finished in time. We have one friend we only visit on Halloween. She gets into it almost as much as R does. She gets special treats for the kids and we catch up on the past year. So, if R gets finished in time to go there, it will be fine.

I leave you with a picture of Ginger, aka Miss Priss, in a warm spot. Lucky cat!

Be safe and have a Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2007


Blogger decided to cooperate - so I present to you The Hallowig from knitty.com. Cindy Styrofoamhead willingly posed. Everybody has tried it on and this sucker is warm! Well, not everybody has tried it on - L thinks it's creepy, so he won't touch it. If it wasn't for the beard, RL would look even more stunning in it than he already does. Maybe one day I'll get him to pose for the blog. It's definitely something you won't, or is that can't, forget!

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 23rd anniversary. Congratulations to us! Last year about this time, I started having some problems due a new prescription I was trying - sometimes the problems were big, sometimes small - but problems just the same. RL has been a real trooper and cared for me when I thought I was losing my mind. Took me to the doctor and sat in on all those boring appointments. He even took time off work on those days I didn't know if I could manage on my own. So, I guess the congratulations is really owed to him. Thank you for sticking in there with me!
We didn't manage a trip to SAFF this year, much to R's dismay. However, a trip to Asheville at this time of year might be a little costly. I imagine the cooler temperatures and the sudden change of leaves would make it a little difficult to find a reasonably priced hotel room for the night. I don't think L was too disappointed. His idea of a fun weekend does not involve looking at sheep, fleeces, spinning wheels or wool in any size or shape. I would much rather spend the money on Christmas for R than taking her over there and not being able to get anything because she has to wait for Christmas or getting it now and not getting anything for her for Christmas. Maybe next year.
Last night we finally took the time to watch 'Transformers' - you know, 'Robutts in disguise'. I wasn't sure if I would like it. I do like Shia LaBeouf, so I knew I could probably manage to sit through the movie. L was half way interested and playing on his DS. RL was sitting next to me on the love seat and R was knitting. Every once in a while L would look up from the old Nintendo and watch. I noticed the clicking of the knitting needles during the quiet parts, and there aren't too many quiet parts either! RL was doing fine. All of the sudden I noticed RLs heart was beating a little faster, the Nintendo was on the couch not being touched and the clicking of needles had stopped all together! Everybody was into the movie - big time. It was pretty good. I was surprised since all I remember of Transformers is my nephews thinking they were the greatest thing. One of their friends even has them tattooed on his legs! And that was waaayyy before this movie was coming out. That's a dedicated Transformer fan!
I was going to leave you with a picture of the Hallowig that R knitted from a Knitty.com pattern, but Blogger isn't cooperating at the moment. I'll just have to show you next time I post. It's a real winner!

October 25, 2007

Whew! October is one busy month!

Around here, October is quite a busy month. I debated about blogging about each special event we have, but that would just be one blog after another and I don't have that in me! For starters, October is heavy with birthdays in this family. If we start with cousins we have Candi, Terry, Heather, Chanin. If we mention friends and neighbors we have Jessica, Justin and Jordan. If we mention birthdays of loved ones who have passed away, we have Debbie and Aunt Lula. If we mention anniversaries we have Randy's brother and his wife as well as our anniversary. We have two extra special birthdays this month too - my sister and my Mom. Let's add Halloween into the mix and we have one busy month! I debated about doing individual blogs for each of these people, but gee whiz! It would turn into a birthday, anniversary, tribute, holiday blog and I just don't have the time for that!

I also thought about giving my sister and Mom their own blog entries for their big days, but decided against it. Since my sister has her birthday on the 23rd and Mom has hers on the 24th, it just seemed a bit much. So, today is the birthday blog for both of them.

Let's see, what can I say about my sister? Well, right now she is officially three years older than me...but that will only last until June. Got to make the most of it while you can! Of course we had to call and wish her a happy birthday. Since she started singing Happy Birthday in 'Marilyn Monroe to JFK' fashion a few years ago it's become a tradition. I HAD to sing to her like that! It's just one of those things you do that you hope nobody else hears! She mentioned that one of her customers called her on her big day to wish her a happy birthday and sing to her. This customer must really like her because she made a repairman who was working at her house sing too! Now that's one dedicated customer! Since she lives in Florida phone calls and cards had to do, but I hope she had a great day. I think she might be making regular treks to the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine because she hasn't changed one bit since she was 19. It's just not fair.

Mom's birthday was yesterday. You don't have to know how many years she is officially older than me - you're welcome, Mom. We had Mom and Daddy over for some North Carolina BBQ, which is a big deal to NC natives, but is BBQ to me. (They won't throw me out of the state for saying that, will they?) We watched 'Meet the Robinsons', which was a very cute movie. She opened gifts and ate the cake that R and I made - chocolate with rocky road icing. I'm glad her birthday comes only once a year because that cake could be a real problem on a regular basis! The weather was perfect for her big day too. It rained most of the day and was overcast. Mom gets into days like that, so it was a perfect present. It was actually a present for all of us since we have been under some serious drought conditions.

Saturday RL and I will celebrate our 23rd anniversary. That is so hard to believe! Seems like we only met yesterday, but at the same time it seems like we've been in each others lives for, well, a lifetime! Since we got married when I was 20, I've known him more than half my lifetime, so close enough.

Since Halloween is almost here, Herman wanted his picture taken. He's kind of shy, but he knows it's his time of year. I made him a couple of years ago. You can't really tell in this picture, but he has stitches on the top of his head and on his chin. I had painted him and decided he needed something more. So, I took him out back and used the drill to make the holes for his stitches. Let me tell you - when something with eyes like that is looking at you while you drill into his plywood skull - it's almost heartbreaking! However, I think the stitches really added to his character.

Here in my messy kitchen are the tissue paper bats that R made. I think she got the idea from a Martha Stewart magazine. Of course there's all the other Halloween junk as well as my day to day junk!

Now it's time to say good-bye and to enjoy the rain and the temperatures in the 50's. BRRRRRRRR!

October 21, 2007

Those Darn Socks and a Cat

Here are the socks. What more can I say about them. They look better here than I thought they would when they were finished. I was beginning to think they were never going to be finished. This is the yarn that got thinner and thinner until it would finally just break. The first skein broke right under the area where the ball of the foot falls - not a comfortable place. So, with great hopes that skein #2 would be in much better shape, I knit on. Nope - this time it broke in the second most painful spot - the heel. Then it broke again about an inch or two from the heel. That's when I put them down and strongly reconsidered just how important finishing these socks were in my life at the moment. They sat there, in time out, for about thirty minutes. What would I do with them if I didn't finish them? One was completely finished. After fussing, quite loudly to anyone who would listen, I decided to finish them. My family let me fuss and had no input in my decision. I guess they are learning. Anyway, I finished them and I will keep them to wear with clogs until they just fall apart. This is definitely one pair of hand knit socks Mom will not want. Sorry Mom.

When RL and I went to the grocery store yesterday, R and Ginger had a photo shoot. Ginger found some sun and when she finds sun - you can get away with almost anything.

Here's another picture R took while we were out. The sky was truly Carolina blue.

October 19, 2007

Rain and Fall

This morning we awoke to the glorious sound of RAIN! I think it was the first time we have actually had rain this month. It's a gloomy, misty day and it is wonderful. Now, when I've dealt with days like this for weeks on end, I'll be singing a different song. However, since it's such a rarity, we are enjoying it thoroughly. This would be a terrific day to read, knit, sew, watch old movies.....the possibilities are endless!

Look who made her grand appearance....the Halloween Spider! She showed up a few days ago. She brought her little glow in the dark babies with her.
This is only one of the trees in our yard brave enough to change into beautiful fall colors. It's right outside our window by the computer and also R's window. She has a beautiful view of it from the second floor! It makes her room look brighter. That metal monstrosity behind it is our neighbors 70 foot, maybe 90 - can't remember, HAM radio tower. Just try not to see it and enjoy the tree!

RL and I discovered this huge yellow leaf while we were walking out to the mailbox. It doesn't really look big until you compare it to the leaves around it.

This is our view up the drive. See how the trees just drape over the driveway? I love that! When we looked at the house for the first time, it was November and the leaves were gorgeous. I knew then that I wanted this house. After living in it a while - well, we'll just say it's a money pit, but what house isn't?

As for knitting news....I just don't want to talk about it. It's just too painful to share. Oh, what the heck, here goes.... a couple of years ago I bought a bag of sock yarn from a mail order company. I love the company, so I won't say who it is. I decided I needed to start knitting from the old stash and save some money. The yarn wasn't knitting itself and I needed some Christmas gifts out of the way. So, I dug up this yarn that I had gotten at a terrific price - and now I'm figuring out why! I've made a pair out of another color from the bag with no problem. However, this color combo - argh! It has thin places that just rip apart with a little tug. It's not showing signs of a bug picnic - I've seen that, so I know what to look for. Some areas of the yarn are much thicker. It just must have been a batch of seconds. I have had to piece the yarn together on one sock right under the ball of the foot. NOT a good place for that! I started knitting the second sock with great hopes that this skein would be in better shape. No such luck. I've had to fix it in two or three places and I've just past the ball of the foot. Nobody will be receiving these socks as a gift. I'll just suck it up and wear them myself. Oh well, I could use a new pair of warm socks to go with my clogs.

October 12, 2007

Geography Can Wait

I was sitting here looking at L's geography book, trying to get motivated to get a lesson together, when it hit me that I could blog instead! Longitude and Latitude can wait a few more minutes while I 'talk' to you.
Last night was L's weekly session of Dungeons and Dragons, so I decided to bake some peanut butter cookies for him to take along. Yes, I tested one, okay, some of them, and they were edible. I don't know what I did wrong, but it only made about two dozen and they were very crumbly. Maybe I shouldn't talk so much while I'm trying to read a recipe! Anyway, I didn't get any complaints as I watched others choke them down! Can't you smell them? I don't even care for peanut butter cookies, but these were pretty good. They needed something like a big fat chocolate kiss in the middle or maybe some chocolate chips or maybe some chocolate drizzled on top of them. However, nobody else around here is the fan of chocolate chip cookies that I am (just who are these people??????), so I just make what is requested and dream of how they could have been better. (Mom always does the little criss-cross design with the fork on top of hers, so when I asked the kids if that's the way they wanted them, they just looked at me like I was stupid - I get that alot, they are teenagers - and said, "Duh!")

Since the colorful display outside my window is getting more and more colorful, I decided it was time to put out Halloween decorations. It also helps that it's in the 60's for a high! Finally! After having 90 degree days though, we are freezing our butts off. What will we do when it really gets cold? I guess we'll just wear every single knitted item we worked on all summer long - at the same time.

Can you make out that little cat underneath the candy corn flag? It's made out of metal and has marble eyes. I don't know if it's supposed to help keep cats out of your yard or if it's a Halloween decoration, but I like it and keep it under my little flag pole all year long. Has it deterred any cats from coming into our yard? No. Does it even catch their attention? No. Has it ever caught anybody's attention? Yes, the kid next door decided to beat it one day. It was all I could do not to beat him! Anyway, when we first bought it, we brought it into the house. We just put it out with our other goodies we had gotten that day. In walks Miss Ginger - scaredy cat #1! She sees that thing and up goes the bushiest tail you've ever seen. Her back arched up and she was spitting like crazy. After we were able to get past her to retrieve the flat, lifeless, metal cat with marble eyes (you stupid cat!) we never brought it in the house again! Ever! We didn't pick her out because we thought she was a genius - well, that goes without saying now, doesn't it?

The spider web is officially out and waiting for the big spider we put on it for Halloween. We have some little glow in the dark spiders on it now, but wait until the big spider comes out for some trick-or-treaters on Halloween! I mean, treats. Yeah, that's what I meant...

October 9, 2007

Thought You'd Seen EVERYTHING?????

Yesterday was 'pick up all your stuff from the fair' day. Well, I'm sure it has a much more official sounding name among the fair people than that, but around here that's what we call it. I was just running around looking for everything so I could take pictures of R's ribbons, but they must be in that sacred place she calls a room. You can't pay me to go in that room, so until the ribbons come down from that 'place', you'll just have to picture them in your head. We did have a surprise when we went to pick up her stuff. The lady giving it to us said they had 'discussed' R and her entries and wanted to know why she had entered knitting as a professional, but not in the other categories. For starters, the kid is in her first year of adult competition. Not only is it amazing she entered any of the categories as a professional - in my humble opinion, that is - she is only a professional in one category! She has been paid to knit certain items and she has been paid to teach knitting. She felt that made her a professional. I felt that made her a professional. However, she hasn't been crocheting that long. She's never been paid to crochet anything for anybody. She has never been paid to teach crochet. So, that makes her an amateur, right? Same goes for her sewing. Well, the fair people thought if you are a professional knitter, you have to enter everything as a professional. I don't get that. When the very nice lady said she was only the messenger - we must have looked a little upset by this time - we assured her we would not shoot the messenger. She seemed relieved and then said she understood what we were telling her about R not being a professional in every category and to keep doing it the way we were doing it. Whew! However, an e-mail will be going to the fair before anything is entered next year to see what their definition of 'professional' is.

Oh, I forgot to share something with you before the fair even began. We had gotten Chinese take out because nobody felt like fixing dinner. When you are running everywhere in the county to make sure R has what it takes to make something for the fair, you tend to get a little tired and the last thing you want to do is cook! Anywho, the restaurant always throws in a couple of fortune cookies. The kids each get one and it's totally random who gets which one. Actually, I think it's more like the person who finds them grabs one and throws it to the other person and then grabs one for themselves. So, L grabbed one and threw it to, or should I say at, R. She opened it and this is what her fortune said:

If you can read this fortune, you are better than I am! I couldn't get a good picture of it no matter how I tried. So, I will tell you what it said. "What are you waiting for? Start moving now." Is that appropriate or what? Almost scary!

On to more terrible photography. I made this adorable bat dishcloth just a few days ago. I got the pattern online last year and decided since I was in a dishcloth knitting mood, I would get busy in time for Halloween. Once again, if you can see the design, you are better than me!

Let me give credit where credit is due. I found the pattern at http://www.blackrayne.com/pages/batty.html

None of these things fall under the title's category. Actually, most of them could, including the horrible photography, now that I think about it! What I wanted to show you is this picture of R's (the queen of flip flops) latest pair of flip flops. We found them at Michael's yesterday and she had to have them. Since it is unusually warm right now, I figured, what the heck.

So, aside from all those little freaky things, not much is going on. L is convinced he can teach me to play one of his role playing games. I do have to give the kid credit for giving me so much credit in thinking he can teach this old dog a new trick. Last time we played I gave away all of the information he wasn't supposed to know! He still tries in spite of all that, so you've gotta love him!
On a much cheerier note, Daddy got a clean bill of health at the doctor's office yesterday after a scare and a half! God answered our prayers in a very positive way this time. Congrats Daddy!

October 7, 2007

Where's Fall, Ya'll?

I went in search of some fall pictures for today's blog only to come up short - very short! This is about the extent of 'fall' in our yard. However, our neighbors have a wee bit of red showing in some of their trees. Every morning when I talk on the phone - to Mom, to RL and to Kel - I sit on the front porch and see how much the colors have changed. I am noticing it daily, but when I go in search of it for proof for you, I come up extremely short. Oh well, soon enough we will be raking leaves and complaining about our neighbors leaf blowers making so much noise.
Knitting has been going on around here. I bought the yarn, Cleckheaton Country Silk 8 ply from Knit Picky's, to make this beret, Yorkshire Tweed Beret from One-Skein Wonders, last winter. I am trying desperately to use some of my stash instead adding to it. No, I haven't given up buying yarn, I just thought it might be a good idea to actually use what I have. I haven't heard any complaints from RL either! It was fairly easy to make. Due to lack of willing models, though, I had to using Cindy Styrofoam head. She didn't smile much, but waited patiently for the right photo op. What more can you want from a model?!?!?!?
This is more stash knitting. I bought the kit from our local fabric store earlier in the year. It had two skeins of yarn and a crochet hook and it was about 90% off! I tried to crochet it according to the directions, but this funky yarn makes it almost impossible to find the next stitch to insert the crochet hook into! I pulled out the trusty knitting needles and was pleased with the results. Hmmm, looks like I'm in a brown phase. I hope that passes soon.

On to the garden to see if it was completely dead. Nope. I did not expect to see this beautiful flower in October amid the dead tomatoes and squash. Well, I looked for color and I found it - just not reds, yellows and oranges.

Also, we'd like to send our condolences out to our brother-in-law and his family. His mother just died after a long illness. I wasn't around Martha very often, but when I was, she was a very sweet woman. I'm sorry to hear of her passing, but glad to know her suffering is over and she is reunited with her husband.

October 1, 2007

Let Fall Begin

The sunset on the way home from Lake Lure.

Although it has been officially fall for some time, it doesn't really feel like it until October. Not quite sure why, but that's the way I feel. We are seeing some leaves starting to change, but not many. We've been told we won't have a spectacular color display due to the drought. I'm just ready for any color and any cooler temperatures. I'm also looking forward to putting away the lawnmower until spring! That's a real treat in itself.

Apparently hummingbirds like Lake Lure too!

Yesterday RL and the kids journeyed over to Lake Lure to visit with his parents. They travel in their motor home from about May until the end of October. They were only going to be this close to us for a couple more days, so RL wanted to see them before they headed for Tennessee. From what I hear they had a great time. They all came back with sunburns, which seemed a little funny for this time of year. They stayed at the RV park and went for walks and talked, talked, talked. I'm glad they had a good time. I was still feeling a little crummy from my Friday Freak Out - ye olde nerves kicked in again. Missed out on the fair too. Bummer. Oh well, while they were out visiting, I slept in, ate a late breakfast, rented some movies I knew they wouldn't want to see and went to Wendy's for a salad. I got some mindless knitting in - that means dishcloths. I watched 'Casanova' with Heath Ledger. Very good movie. I really enjoyed it. I also saw a movie called 'Keeping Mum' which was a dark comedy. Very good. I rented 'For Your Consideration' but haven't watched that one yet. It was the only movie not rated R so I figured I could wait to watch it until the kids came back. It was a very quiet day and I managed to get a couple loads of laundry done, so I didn't feel like I had totally wasted my day. However, since we homeschool, I haven't had a day to myself - from sun up to sun down in almost 20 years. I didn't know what to do with myself! I felt very rested and ready to see them when they all came in the door last night!

I guess I wasn't all alone. Ginger was with me. When I went out on the porch to tell everybody good-bye, I left the front door partially open. Ginger is an inside cat. She's always been an inside cat and, contrary to what RL says, she will stay an inside cat. Well, I had the door open a little bit and out walks Ginger. Of course she doesn't know what do to with herself when she finally escapes to the great outdoors! She just sort of hunkers down and smells everything. RL told me to look down, R was frozen in her shoes, L didn't seem to care one way or the other and I was trying my best to figure out how on earth I was going to get her back inside. Before panic set in too much, I swung the front door open and in ran Ginger. Good thing she's such a 'fraidy cat' - I crack myself up!

Miss Miranda had a birthday on Sunday and I didn't even blog about it. Sorry Miranda! She is now officially a teenager. Watch out Mom and Dad! I had more recent pictures, but there's just something about a wee little kid wearing a Santa hat and missing teeth that makes for a better blog op! Gee, I showed her sister on her birthday blog post topless, at two or three years old, so I think Miranda got off easy! Hope your day was happy! It's hard to believe that the baby of the family is already a teenager! Boy she's getting old.