October 27, 2009


Twenty-five years ago today I married my best buddy. Boy, I sure am glad I did.

October 25, 2009

Chocolate Cake Hangover

This is a picture of Mom's birthday cake. Oh man! Too much! It was G-R-E-A-T! It was a Devil's Food cake with Rocky Road icing. R is the queen of Rocky Road icing. I think we could have just left the cake alone and eaten the icing. It's more like fudge anyway. Mom took a piece home with her and had it for breakfast with her coffee! Needless to say, she is flying like a kite!

My terrific Ravelry buddy sent me the best Halloween surprise package! The little flag above is adorable and perfect for this week. She also sent a pumpkin scented candle, which smells great. Some ghost shaped Peeps and some Red Bird candy canes which just melt in your mouth! And the wonderful surprise of YARN! She dyes it herself and that makes it that much more special.
Here's a little peek of it with the flag.

Here's a different peek. It is perfectly fall-like! I am anxious to make a pair of socks out of it. I've already gotten it wound into a ball. Now just to narrow down the pattern selection......
Karen - this is your leaf picture. I think that a memo went out to every tree in the county and told them to put on their annual show! It is officially fall everywhere!

October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Have you noticed that it's birthday month?

L, Daddy, R and Mom way back when the kids were in elementary school.

Today is Mom's birthday. She managed to have Kelly while she was still 19 and then the next day celebrated turning 20. I imagine she was a little too sore and preoccupied to really 'celebrate', but you get the idea.

I've had a hard time getting a good picture of Mom to put on here. She does not like to have her picture taken. Kind of hard to avoid when your husband's a photographer in his spare time!

This year is a little different, as you can imagine, but this birthday is going to be a good day for Mom. The birthday shopping is finished - and I can't share it with you because she might read this before we give her her gifts! (I can tell you that one of the gifts has been off the needles for a while.....hmm, wonder what it is???) We hit the Hallmark store and looked at every single card they had. We are fixing dinner for her and making sure she does as little as possible. Per her request, I've promised not to sing to her as Marilyn Monroe. Gee, she sure is demanding! Maybe as Eartha Kitt! :) R will make her special 'Granny Chocolate Cake' tomorrow and we'll be ready to celebrate!

By the way, I did sing as Marilyn Monroe to my sister today. And darn it! She was at home. No fun to embarrass someone when they are alone!

October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Kelly

Today is my sister's birthday. See how well we have always gotten along?

Mom told me that when I was born, Kelly jumped up on the bed to tell her hi. Mom showed her me. Kel went, "Oh Yeah."

She and I couldn't be any more different if we tried. She is a super early chipper morning person. I am not. She is skinny. I am not. She loves to exercise. I do not. She loves to clean. I do not. She loves, loves, loves to iron. I think she has a mental illness or an addiction to starch. She goes to bed shortly after dark. I am getting my second wind somewhere around 10:00 PM. She sews quite a few of her clothes and does a beautiful job. I can sew elastic into flannel pajama pants. I think I did a pretty good job on a button hole once....

When our grandfather passed away, Mom took this picture that was on his refrigerator. She said he would look at it, shake his head and say, "That girl." What else can you say about a grin like that? That it looks like it hurts? Well, it kind of does look like it hurts, doesn't it? But that's her - putting her all into it.

Here we are at my Father-in-law's viewing. We hadn't seen each other in about three years. (I'm trying my best to do the 'Kelly grin', but it just isn't working for me.)

Everytime one of us has a birthday, she calls and does her best Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday Mr. President." Ever seen a mortified teenage boy? Come around in August when L has his birthday and that phone rings! I guess I should go practice my Marilyn Monroe so I can call her today. Hope she's in the middle of Wal-Mart when her cell phone rings.......

October 21, 2009

Turkey Time Prep

Knitting for babies is great. The amount of yarn needed is minimal and the patterns are adorable. Now that there is a baby in Mom's neighborhood, I have a greater reason to knit baby stuff than ever before.

This is a turkey bib for Raj. I hope that you can see the turkey design. I never can get the picture of designs like this just right. The pattern is from http://downcloverlaine.blogspot.com/2009/10/gobble.html She designs the cutest bibs and washcloths! Go look up her designs.

October 20, 2009

Turnip Time

The kids are major Halloween freaks. Having read some history on Halloween and learning that the early jack-o-lanterns were actually carved out of turnips, the kids have been after me for years to carve their own. Year after year I have forgotten. Today they decided to go to the grocery store with me. They remembered to get turnips. Using a knife and a wood carving kit, they carved to their hearts content while RL and I fixed dinner. By the way, there is WAY less mess with turnips than pumpkins!
Here are the finished products. L's is on the left and R's is on the right. R pointed out that it's a little funny that her turnip has one front tooth and L's has two. Long story short - L lost a front tooth in a hammock incident when he was about five or six, so it is a little ironic that his has two!

Once it got dark enough, they took their turnips out for a photo shoot. I love the way you can see the face shining on the steps.

This is my favorite of the two turnips together. Might have to do this every Halloween!

October 19, 2009

Alpaca Yarn and Finished Knitting

Complimentary pictures (for Karen) of leaves in the front yard.
Doesn't this look like the plant in "The Little Shop of Horrors?" R planted cotton this past summer and this is how far it's gotten. Looks a little menacing.

This was my purchase from the Alpaca Farm yesterday. Isn't it a pretty shade? I think I'll it with the other color I got in May.

Here's all the info on it.

This is last May's color. I think they will look pretty together. Any idea on what I should make with them?

Here is the Baktus that I have been working on. I love the blue variations. RL and the kids got this yarn for me when they went to Gatlinburg a couple of years ago. It's sock yarn. I made a serious mistake and didn't find the exact center. So the side on the left of the picture is slightly shorter than the side on the right. Some how I am going to make this sucker work! It's nice and warm, but slightly 'wonky'. My resident knitting guru told me she would have ripped it out to the correct center and started over. I couldn't bring myself to do that. I WILL make it work!

October 18, 2009

Field Trip!

Today was the Open Farm Day at Credence Farm. Of course we had to go and see how the alpacas were doing. First you have to speak to Henry.Here Henry and I are getting reacquainted.

Mom then had to get reacquainted.

The boys hadn't met Henry yet, so that was the next task.

Henry is not alone in the doggie department there. This is Jessie. A very friendly fella in his own right. His whole butt shakes once that tail gets going. There were a couple of other dogs, but I was there for alpacas, so I didn't catch all of their names.

On to the Alpacas! This is the newest of the bunch lying down on the job. He was only nine days old. So cute.

Here he's standing up and being like the big guys!

Once again, I like the black one.

This time we got into the field with them - avoided a few 'land mines' and R got these pictures.

We had to share some fall leaves. We haven't had massive color change yet. Some of the trees are bare, some of them are totally green and some of them are like this one. It looks like a paintbrush just touched it up here and there.

Back to the alpacas! One of them would move and the rest would follow. Not a free spirit in the bunch!

These alpacas were in the barn and a little closer for a photo op. They are a year old.

Of course there was alpaca to be bought. Mom bought a pair of alpaca/merino blend socks. I was so ashamed - they were machine made. Oh Mom..... R and I got some spun alpaca - I'll try to get some pictures when the sun decides to cooperate again. R and L got some peacock feathers. I'm not sure why. Guess because they were just so pretty! That's our field trip in one entry or less!

October 10, 2009

Candy Corn Pattern

I don't know if anyone was interested in the little candy corn pattern that R came up with. However, if you are, R gave me permission to share it with you. It works up super duper fast and is so cute. I test knitted it last night and it turned out pretty good. Mine is the one on top and I forgot a row of orange, so it's not as pretty as hers. However, I'm not worried about it! I thought it was still cute.
So here goes:
Sugar'n Cream yarn:
Color 1 - yellow
Color 2 - orange
Color 3 - white
US size #6 needles
With color 1 CO 24 (I used longtail CO)
Knit 4 rows
1) k3, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2 tog, k3
2) k3, p to last 3 sts, k3
3) knit
4) Repeat row #2
Repeat rows 1-4 three times (total 12 rows, 18 sts)
Change to color 2
Repeat rows 1-4 three times (total 12 rows, 12 sts)
Change to color 3
Repeat rows 1-4 one time (total 4 rows, 10 sts)
K3, ssk, k2 tog, k3 (8 sts)
k3 rows
k2, ssk, k2 tog, k2 (6 sts)
k1 row, bind off
Weave in ends
So, there you have it. If you make it, share your pictures with us. We'd love to see it!

October 4, 2009

Candy Corn!

Guess what happens when you leave a pattern next to the right kind of yarn......

You wake up and find this!

The knitting fairy (R) must have been up late to knock this baby out! Isn't it cute? Hmmm, what pattern should I leave out tonight????????

October 3, 2009

Grief Counseling

I normally love October. The leaves are starting to change. The weather is cooler. We even manage to squeeze in a few weeks of having the windows open before the heater has to be turned on. It's so nice to have fresh air flowing through the house. October is also a month for birthdays. My Mom and sister have their birthdays toward the end of the month. Our neighbors have three of their birthdays in the beginning. Cousins have birthdays scattered all over the month. RL and I have our anniversary on the 27th. It's always been a busy month too. The fair is normally in full swing and we are all trying desperately to relax after the wild and wooly weeks of frenzy R puts us through getting everything ready to enter in the fair.
This year is different. After a very disappointing fair experience last year, R decided not to enter the fair. It wasn't a decision she took lightly. She agonized over it for at least a week and probably longer before she mentioned it to me. I was fine with it. Those last minute trips to the crafting stores, hunting for that last pattern piece she can't find or making sure all her supplies are on hand is exhausting! Not to mention the cooking part of the fair! With the price of groceries reaching an all time high, I wasn't looking forward to buying baking supplies and then having to clean the kitchen after each item was prepared. So I was breathing quite easily as October approached.
However, I was blindsighted when it finally arrived. Mom and I have been going to a wonderful grief counselor at the Hospice House. What a wonderful woman this counselor is! I don't know how many people she sees every week, but she remembers exactly what we talked about the previous week and picks up just where we left off. She asks all the right questions and helps us intrepret what we are trying to say. RL, the kids and I went shortly after Daddy and RLs Dad died. We went for one session and felt we were going to be okay. Mom, however, was having a difficult time and decided that maybe she could benefit from going. I was her designated driver and was invited to sit in on the sessions. Mom was having a tough time remembering what she wanted to say each session, so I was appointed as her official 'memory'. I took in everything that was said and learned a lot about my Mom and Dad's relationship from the time they met until the day he died. It's strange sounding for me to say that I have enjoyed grief counseling, but in a way, I have. Mom and I have grown closer and I've enjoyed that part of it too.
The morning of our latest session, I picked Mom up. She instantly asked what was wrong with me. How do mothers know these things? I really didn't feel good and had been crying a little. I had no idea why - just a crummy morning I guess. We got to the therapist's office and she looks at Mom and starts telling her how great she looks - how strong her voice is - how together she looks - how she even has a little laughter in her voice. Then she swivels her chair towards me and says, "So what's the matter today?" Wait a minute! I'm not the one here for therapy! Then it all hit me. Mom's birthday is in October. Since Daddy was paralyzed on the left side for years, he used me as his personal shopper. He would always call me around the first of October to tell me we needed to put our heads together and decide on a gift for Mom. Well, here we were at the first of October and I didn't get my call. I still feel like I need to get into motion and do what he would want me to do - which I will. It just feels odd for him not to be calling the shots.
To make matters worse.....while we were sitting in the waiting area that morning, Mom handed me an envelope full of pictures she had found. This was one of them:

I love this picture. L was only about two days old and he's got the biggest smile on his face that matches Daddy's smile on his face. L is the youngest of the grandsons, but Daddy treated each one of them just like they were the greatest of them all. Needless to say, the tears started flowing again, but they were happy tears. I'm glad we have these memories of such a great Dad!